We are our own worst and best critics

I had an epiphany in the shower yesterday. I came to the sudden realization that within ourselves we have the power to both build ourselves up and systematically deconstruct ourselves. The latter is extremely painful, loud, and dangerous. It also sticks out like a sore thumb, for some it may even permeate from our presence and clear a room of any positive feelings.

We beat ourselves up for various reasons. After repeated beatings it can be very dangerous as we can go into a  vicious cycle which can manifest itself in hundreds of different ways; bad health choices, bad life decisions, sleeping all day, playing games, and watching TV all day to name a few common ones.

But why? Why? Why? Why? … Why? Re-read that, after each why I want you to pick something that you have been upset about not doing or wondering why you can’t change something (Like sticking to a diet, going out for a run, sending that e-mail off to your family, asking your boss for that promotion you feel you deserve…), and answer each why, better yet write it down on a piece of paper. Be honest with yourself. This is known as the 5 Whys technique, while it doesn’t help you fix an issue you’ve been dealing with, it can help you identify what is holding you back. Sometimes it can be fear, other times it could be simply that you don’t feel like it is as important as your “me time”, whatever that might be.

Once you have identified what is holding you back you can work to change that. You can use this technique  pretty much for any issue you are not happy about or may feel guilty about. My suggestion, though, once you have this list in front of you, sleep on it, then the next day formulate a plan to address the issue.

I used this specifically to snap out of a self-destructive cycle that had become so insidious that I misconstrued a common saying, that it is OK to be fat, and somehow convinced myself that being fat is healthy–It’s OK, right?? It had actually become a such a sore point over the years that I buried those feelings deep down and forgot about them.

Only when I started to be truly honest to myself about my weight, I was able to see how deep I had been lying to myself. Once I realized this, I took about half a week to formulate plan to fix my weight issues.

You may be wondering what about the best critic part–that’s the beauty of our inner critic, once we realize how to work with our internal critic and apply a mental framework like I’ve outlined so far, the worst critic really is our best critic.

It really is that simple. It comes down to taking those negative feelings, being honest with yourself, and identifying the root cause. The next part is action and it’s up to you to fix it if you feel its worth fixing.

future, Health, Insanity, Self, Uncategorized

Changing who you are now for the betterment of your future self

Happy 2014 everyone!

Unlike a lot of people I didn’t set a new years resolution this year, I tried but didn’t have enough time but I wanted it to be something about dieting, losing weight, whatever, I didn’t set it in stone and didn’t start from day one. In 2013, I didn’t shave at all, I had  a bushy beard at the end of 365 days without shaving. I did this to prove to myself, while yet small, that I can do anything that I can control.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday: I went to a Live Your Legend local meetup. One of the last questions asked in a mingling exercise was: “What is it that you want to leave behind in this world, what will your legacy be?”

I’ll admit I didn’t have an answer at first, I thought about it long and hard. I eventually reflected on what I would have said to answer it if it was a few years ago. I wanted to better others through the software that I create. But then I asked myself why that isn’t that the case now. I answered myself, “I just want to live a longer life, to make sure I don’t leave this world in the next two years.”

I’m 330 pounds (150 Kg), have been for about a year now, I know that this is a plateau and it’s just a matter of time before I will break past that and be 380 lbs. or dead in a blink. I did this to myself and I somehow convinced myself that it was ok. No more. I want to live to see past thirty. I have to change.

Right now, I am following the Slow Carb Diet.(as outlined in The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman). I am also doing yoga in the mornings, swimming at night. Just today I also spent an hour walking and I also added in the Insanity fitness test, Tomorrow I’ll do the first day to the best of my ability. I just shaved my head to cut down on the build up of heat and sweat on my head as well. I am still trying things out so I can create a schedule around exercise and other activities.

Unfortunately, I am low on work lately, I’ve been doing freelance work but it’s been kinda slow. I have to persist through this even though I don’t know what my financial situation might be, because I want to live and see past the age of 30, I have to do this for myself. I just hope it doesn’t drive my wife insane, because she gets stressed with financial concerns. Maybe I can find a part-time job nearby, but I feel like I have to change things drastically and from the ground up I need to find what works for me so I will be healthy. I will admit I usually have an issue with taking on multiple things at a time, being that I work 8 hours and then I am just so beat by the time I get home or off work I just want to be a vegetable until its bedtime or I get tired. Now the only way I know how to work around that is to just make exercise and eating the primary focus, and then schedule in other things. I could use help with that, but I need to start and continue to focus on eating right and exercising.

I did the fit test today as I mentioned for the insanity program I am following. Here are my results.

Switch Kicks: 79
Power Jacks: 22
Power Knees: 45
Power Jumps : 28 (modified because I dont trust jumping high at my weight)
Globe Jumps: 7
Suicide Jumps: 7
Pushup Jacks: 6
Low Plank Oblique: 18 (modified with belly on mat, since my belly sticks out so far)

My goal is to lose 100 lbs by the end of the year, I believe this is attainable. I may run into an  issue as my doctor believes I have a thyroid issue. But I’m gonna power through that.

Check out the book if you are interested.


Homeless don’t bother looking in recycling dumpsters

As the title may suggest, over the past few months I have been reluctant to write, I have observed at late night with my balcony view of seattle people who I presume are homeless 18 times out of 20 always skip over recycling dumpsters; and I believe that this was with at least 3-4 different people.  Each time they came down one block from my alley and onto the next; they moved with much grace, even if they didn’t know the dumpster locations. Tonight as I was watching another person searching through dumpsters on a bike with a flashlight, I just realized right then that nearly all of them skip the “blue” recycling dumpsters. It’s so smart, because while you might find some food or the occasional misuse its probably going to be a waste of time in a place like Seattle. Instead the “goodies” and food are actually easier harvested from the garbage (that means no compostables, and recyclables at the minimum) dumpster.

The reason I haven’t written in some time is because I guess I fell into a sort of depression. I’m not clinically depressed and don’t want to offend, as such I referenced to “sort of”, but I haven’t seen a doc for that matter either, but enough about that. I steadily had this emotion/feeling gradually taking over more and more of my waking hours. Right now I think I am about the lowest I’ve been before. The two earlier times are when I just graduated from college and was seeking out a career job in Fairbanks, Alaska that took up to 9 months and it was the 5th or 6th month in. The next is when I moved to Seattle for a fresh start and other personal reasons and was unemployed for 4 months. The 2nd to the 3rd month in is when it got –bad for lack of a better term.

It is what it is, but what I was thinking about just before I was interrupted by the thoughts in the previous paragraph and others , was that the next thing to come is for it to get better. A couple of weeks in the past up to a month, eventually I’ll be onto something else that will completely make me feel better even though the current situation hasn’t changed. And that’s something to feel good about seeing intermittently in the sea of negative and incessant pessimistic rhetorical thoughts that are to the port and starboard. But all is not so dreary, while I’ve looked down aft of my life at what my passions are and may be, I have relaid that info to the captain and steering the bow slowly and surely between the  depressive like feelings and thoughts.