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I figured it is time for a quick update on my new health regimen. Today is the end of week 12 and I have to say that based on my personal outcomes, this has been an amazing journey. My personal goals were mainly based around my energy level and making sure I was getting proper nutrition. One of the quantifiable goals that my coach and I set was a target waist size of being able to wear a size 36 in jeans again. He believed that to achieve that I would need to get my weight down to 195 pounds. Well two weeks ago I weighed in at just under 203 pounds, but the 38 jeans that I had been wearing were feeling quite lose so I decided to slip on a pair of 36s that I bought in preparation for achieving my goal. I'm happy to say that when I put them on that day they fit very well. I didn't have to "squeeze" into them. And it actually felt very good to be wearing them both in a physical and psychological sense.
Although reaching a specific weight has not been my driving force in this journey, I do have to say that I have enjoyed the way that my clothes are fitting now, and what I see when I look in the mirror. And I have also decided that even though I have hit my "target", that I am going to continue with the program because I truly do enjoy the outcomes that I have been achieving.
One of the things I believe in is celebrating when you have achieved an outcome that you have been working towards. I have discussed this in other articles and some of the SA 101 videos. That one of my challenges with “goal setting” is that we often negatively condition ourselves by the way we set goal, and also how we react when we achieve them. So often when we start out towards a goal, we have such a distorted perception of what it will take to achieve the outcome because of limiting beliefs and fears that have been stopping us in the past, then when we reach our outcome we are surprised that it was no where near as hard as we thought it would be. So many times we will say to ourselves, “Eh, that was no big deal” and we end up not giving ourselves the credit or reward that we have earned for facing those fears and overcoming those limiting beliefs. So I believe that when you achieve your outcome, big or small, you must celebrate!
I knew when I began this journey that I was going to be making changes to the kinds of foods that I would be allowing myself to eat to achieve the changes I desired. And I made the commitment knowing that I would be able to re-introduce them into my diet in reasonable portions when I achieved my outcome. So that Friday I "treated" myself to some pizza. Just so you have a reference point, all my life I have been a HUGE fan of pepperoni pizza. When I had pizza that night as my reward I realized that I really would have preferred some of the healthier food that I have been eating. What a great distinction that was for me. It wasn't that I no longer liked the taste of the pizza, I actually enjoyed it very much. What I noticed was that after I finished eating it, I was not feeling nourished the way that I have been feeling for the past 2 months when I ate.
Over the two weeks since hitting my “target” I have been allowing myself a bit of freedom in regard to what I eat. I’ve been doing it for two reasons actually. The first was for celebration, and the second has been more about becoming very aware of subtle distinctions to how my body and mind react to what I am ingesting. Most days I have been sticking very close to the "Take Shape For Life" program. I have been continuing to eat their products every two and a half to three hours and having one “lean and green” meal. Every once in a while I will “stretch” the rules in regard to the “lean and green” meal in an effort to explore how my body and mind are reacting to the changes. I may have a larger portion than I would if I were paying strict attention to the program. Or I may have food I would not usually have such as something with a lot of carbohydrates or a dessert.
As an example, one day last week I went out to dinner with my daughter and had a meal that was very aligned with what i would have on the program. But I decided to have a piece of cake for dessert. Just as with the pizza, the cake was delicious, but around 5 minutes after I ate it, I noticed that I just did not feel as nourished as I had between having finished my meal and having the dessert.
As another example, I recently returned from a two day getaway with friends in Atlantic City, NJ. On this trip I relaxed both the rules about what I would eat, and how often I would eat. I ate food I would not normally even consider while on the program, and also went for much longer intervals between meals. Although I felt no real effects while I was there, the day after getting home I noticed that my mental clarity was greatly affected. I was having an extremely hard time focusing even to the point of struggling when making simple decisions. Having been so proud of what I have been accomplishing and the clarity I have had recently I was actually getting scared on a certain level because I could not understand why I was struggling so much.
It wasn’t until the around 3:30 in the afternoon that I tied the two experiences together. I had returned to eating in alignment with the program after coming home and I recognized the connection between the lack of nutritious food and my lack of clarity. As the day progressed and my body continued to get the fuel it needed, my ability to focus and function returned.
People may ask, “How can you make that kind of self-analysis?” What are your grounds for claiming something like that? As with everything I share on this site, these are simply my experiences, my distinctions and my perception of the things that have happened in my life based on the choices I have made.
There is a saying that until you know peace, you do not truly recognize when you are in turmoil. But once you have truly experienced peace, the lack of it is quite obvious. I felt the same way about missing the nourishment I had been receiving. Until my body had been getting what it needed for some time, there was no point of reference. For me, it is quite obvious that what I had chosen to eat was not meeting my needs.
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