Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Plan That Works

Ah yes. Here it is. The plan that works. Whew! Finally!

Yeah….relax a minute champ and stick with me.

So for those new to the blog (or for those following along but not paying attention), I’ve lost over 60 pounds in the last 6 months and I’ve decided to blog about it a bit. One of the main questions I’ve been asked over and over is “What’s your secret?”  I’ve already shared with you how I discovered my secret to weight loss while lying on my bathroom floor half paralyzed. Yeah, it was as pretty as it sounds.

I recently had a discussion with a co-worker about the plan I followed to lose the weight. This is really the questions many of us have, right? How did you actually do it? What are the steps?

Finding the right plan is important. There are many great diet and weight-loss plans out there today, each with their own merits. There are meal plans, pre-packaged meal plans, micronutrient plans, plans that count points, count calories, count grams of food, plans to exercise 30 minutes a day, exercise 10 minutes a day, eat no carbs, eat only carbs, eat low fat, eat high fat, eat no meat, eat grapefruit, eat bannanas, eat Subway, drink juice, drink water, drink water with lemon, honey, and cayenne pepper. The list goes on and on. The information age has given birth to an explosion of information and accessability to really great ideas. For every great plan however, there are double that amount that are scams. Becoming diligent about doing your homework is vital to choosing the right plan.

You do need a plan though. Don’t believe me? Ask any generally healthy person what they do to stay healthy, and they will likely be able to sum it up pretty well. Ask any unhealthy person, and you get a vague mumbling about diet and exercise. I know this because I used to be that guy. “Uh, yeah I really try to watch what I eat. I drink diet soda mostly. I exercise as much as I can. But, I am pretty busy with work and the kids, ya know?” Sound familiar? So my question is: If there are lots of great plans out there and the information about those plans is plentiful, why are obesity rates in America skyrocketing?

The fact is, weight loss is much deeper and more complex than finding the right plan. Do you think Jared lost all that weight by only eating subs and exercising? All he did was waltz into Subway and presto, the weight fell off? I contend his transformation was far more complex and deep that it seems.

Men, weight loss begins at home. Not your house or apartment. I’m talking about your mind. I believe no plan in the world will work the way it was designed unless you simultaneously address what’s inside your mind, heart, and soul. Getting your mind right is the key to unlocking the path to success. It is about changing your internal dialog and redefining how you view yourself and the success you deserve. We are going to explore this in more detail in the weeks ahead.

Here’s two pieces of advice that have never helped me:

1. Eat less. Exercise more.

Oooh, eat less calories. Shoot, I had that backwards. Dumb me! Why would oversimplified messaging about weight loss have ever help my complicated, long standing, well-practiced overweight existence? I was overweight light years longer than the 3 seconds it took to read those words.

2. It’s all about willpower…

Let me tell you about will power. Once, me and two of my friends ate 100 chicken wings and 12 beers in one sitting. You know what kind of will power it takes to do that? Will power was not my problem.

For some, oversimplification is what they want or need. However, I think oversimplifying weight loss is insulting to most people struggling with weight. I didn’t want it broken down for me into 5 easy steps. I didn’t need a break down. I needed a breakthrough. I needed a bridge between where I was, and the place where I could find enough courage to take those first, painful baby steps towards freedom. I needed to close the gap between what I was doing, and what I should be doing, Sound familiar? I’ve been there guys. I’ve been mired in the muck. I’ve felt deflated and defeated. I’ve seen the stares, raised eyebrows, and looks of disapproval. I’ve been to the end of the slack in the seatbelt. I know how it is, your life, because I’ve lived it.

So what is the best plan? It can be whatever you decide. Whatever is good for your body, Consult your doctor for goodness sake.

What is the plan that actually works? It’s the one already inside of you, placed there long ago. It is a force within that is screaming to be unleashed into the world. The plan that works yearns to breathe into your life and reveal the new you. The plan that works, once unleashed, will save your life. It did mine.

Come along with me, will you?

Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. Thanks for reading.

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Lost on a bathroom floor

It had snowed a bit the night before. I was headed to work one morning last February and my car was iced over. After starting my car and flipping on the blasting heater, I got out to scrape. I reached up my right hand with the plastic scraper to stab a small ice chunk off the windshield, when I felt it.

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More of a twinge really, and small enough that I didn’t really notice it at first. I got in the car and went to work like every other day. It was mid-morning when I began to feel stiffness across by lower back. By the time I was ready to head home, I was in full-on back ache mode. I got home, took some ibuprofen and went to bed early.

The next morning, I thought I was paralyzed.

I attempted to swing my legs out of bed, and I could not move them. At all. Then a wave of pain washed over me. I gasped, and discovered I could barely breathe in. From my midsection down was immobilized with searing pain. My wife could hear me struggling to move and breathe. I was in full-on panic mode. How did this happen? What did I do to myself? I considered calling 911, but after my wife helped drag my legs over the edge of the bed, I was able to slither down to the floor and crawl across the room to the bathroom where I collapsed, barely able to breathe.

That was my moment. My “I’ve had enough” moment. It comes to all of us eventually. It may have already come to you. It may be in your future. But make no mistake, it will show up on your doorstep. For me, that was the moment I decided that anything would be better than the pain. At that moment, I would have given anything, ANYTHING, to get rid of the pain.

Through a combination of heating pads, ice packs, and ibuprofen, I was able to hobble around my house for a few days, trying to decide what to do. I didn’t have a regular doctor since moving back to the Denver area in 2011, so I contacted a friend who recommended a physician in town, Dr. Jeffrey Gerber. I’m not sure if it was fate, luck, or God’s presence that put me in Dr. Gerber’s care. I will forever be changed by it. More on that in another post.

Dr. Gerber competently treated my back and luckily, no permanent injury. But I was a terrified man. I had experienced pain before, but nothing that debilitating. I never wanted to feel that way again. As I slowly got better, I worked up the courage to make another appointment, this time to discuss my weight. It was the scariest, most vulnerable appointment of my life. My back was slowly healing, but I was a broken man. I had tried to lose, and failed. Then tried again, and failed. I’d had enough. I was finally willing to surrender myself to something new. I was finally willing to say “I will try anything. I will learn anything. I will do anything. I’m done with the old fat me.”

So what are the secrets to losing weight? There are none. Before you will be able to shed a single pound, you must first be willing to lose yourself. Lose the old you. Lose the anchor of your old, fat self. Your old methods, as broken as they are. Surrender yourself to something new. Decide you have had enough. This far, but not one donut further. You may have to hit rock bottom. You may have to be scared for your life. You may have to lie on a bathroom floor, gasping for breath. Yet, once you are willing to let go and be open, only then will you begin to take the first step towards healing, health, and life.

Turns out the first thing I lost was lying on that bathroom floor. I lost myself. It was the sweetest loss of all.

What will you be willing to lose?

Thoughts? Share them in the comments or you can e-mail me privately using the “Contact” button above. Thanks for reading.

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Starting is hard

Since I am not a professional blogger yet, these first few posts will stink. I learned from Jon Acuff  it is ok to be terrible at first when hardly anyone is reading your blog anyway. (Hi, mom.) So we’ll have to live with that together, ok?

This is my bold declaration: Since the beginning of 2013, I have lost 60 pounds. I have dropped from a 40 inch waist to a 34 inch waist. I used to wear size 3XL Tall shirts. I now wear XL off the rack. So there.

That’s where I am now. But not too long ago, I was a different story. For most of my adult life, I’ve been over weight. I have, over the years, tried numerous weight loss plans, diets, and programs. Most are great weight loss methodologies that have transformed millions of lives. Just not mine. Not permanently anyway. During my weight loss regimens, I got down to as low as 270 pounds (thank you Gym Bag Bible.) But I also blossomed to a high watermark of 319 pounds between attempts (yes, I’ll bring pictures). Sound familiar? Yeah, me too.

I can recall the roly-poly feeling of 319 vividly. I began each day by sweating. I sweat in places I didn’t know I could sweat. I might have actually been a little steamy, but not in a good way. I discovered my shoes had to go on my feet that were waaaay down on the other end of my legs. I would get winded walking down the stairs. I felt as if I was slowly being strangled by my own body. Been there?

So this first blog post is dedicated to starting something new. Starting is hard. Momentum is not easily gained. The solid rocket boosters on the space shuttle provided a combined 6.6 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. Just to get off the launching pad. That’s some serious starting power.

Do you have thrust like that in your life? No?

Neither did I at first. I mean, who am I, right?

Who am I? Who are you? Let’s find out together.

Brian

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