Monday, September 04, 2006

Guilt – The Great Motivator


It has been said that fear is a great motivator. I submit to you that guilt is at least as effective.

I have been blogging for nearly four months now, and the theme of this blog was supposed to be personal transformation. Well, it still is. There was just one problem, one that has plagued me for most of my life: I was good at dispensing advice, I just wasn’t that good at following it.

Fortunately for all concerned, I was endowed at birth with that pesky little thing known as a conscience, and it had been giving me pricks for some time. Those pricks got a little sharper when an anonymous reader recently asked:

“How much have you lost so far? How are you really feeling since you started this journey? Healthier? Has your pant size gone down? Are you feeling firmer? How about your energy level? You've passed along lots of wise information but left out how Lucie is really doing. What's working for you and how? Tell us about your results.”

I was not completely satisfied with the quality of my answer, and I don’t imagine that Anonymous was either. In fact, looking back at the past few months, I was appalled at the extent to which I’d “backslidden,” as the Baptists would say. And it was so easy to do! Let me give you a few examples.

It’s time for lunch. Oops! Forgot those “Slim” and “Carb Right” supplements I was supposed to take 30 minutes ago. Never mind, I’ll get them in before dinner. Dinnertime arrives. Darn, forgot ‘em again. Never mind, there’s always tomorrow.

Evening walk time. Oops, looks like rain. Later, it’s still overcast but hasn’t rained a drop. Never mind, there’s always tomorrow.

Darn, it’s 4:00 p.m. and I just realized I forgot to read my daily Mem-Card (see blog entry of July 10, 2006) this morning. Never mind, there’s always tomorrow.

As the preacher likes to say: “Can I get a witness?”

Perhaps the sharpest thorn in my conscience, however, came after my recent job loss. I had once wished, half in jest, that I didn’t have to work so I could devote more time to all my motivational and health/fitness materials. Well, all of a sudden I had almost all the leisure time I could wish for. Then why were most of the aforesaid “helpers” collecting dust?

I can answer for the first couple of weeks. Not having taken a vacation in just over a year, I decided to take some much-needed time off for simply “vegging.” Week Three was scheduled for resuming a schedule.

Didn’t happen. Never mind, there’s always next week. Week Four was now scheduled for resuming a schedule.

Didn’t happen. Never mind, there’s always next week.

And that brings me to here and now and today. Thanks to the gentle prodding of Anonymous, Week Five became the week in which I am attempting to put myself back on track. After all, how can I tell other people about ways to improve their lives if I’m not really improving my own? That not only lets my readers down, but myself. So this morning it was back to…

Fifty morning and 50 evening repetitions of Matt Furey’s suggested mantra, “I can and will be what I choose to be,” as well as several morning rounds of “I feel lucky” in the mirror.

A meditation on Matt’s Mem-Card¹ for the day.

The resumption of daily vitamins² (even though they leave a somewhat fishy aftertaste in my throat), Carb Right², Slim², and a tablespoon of flax seed with at least one and preferably two meals per day.

Putting aside drinks such as non-diet lemonade and even my favorite hot tea for more water.

Setting aside hourly increments for writing and motivational reading.

The resumption of cold showers (I shudder at the thought, but I’m keeping it real, folks, and they really are invigorating – once you get past the initial bowling over).

And, of course, daily exercise!

I’m starting yet another new program this week (I see you out there, rolling your eyes) – “Eight Minutes in the Morning” by Jorge Cruise. By this time I shouldn’t need to tell you what attracted me to THAT product. (Hint: it’s in the title, and it sure isn’t “morning.” I hate mornings; they start too early in the day for me.) I’ll tell you more about it next week. I’ll also be returning to Claude Bristol’s “The Magic of Believing” very soon as well. Do yourself a favor, fellow treaders, and add this book to your library. It packs a lot of powerful information into a slim volume for a reasonable price and could very well change your life.


* * * * *

Do you like to eat out? I do, and not just because I don't really like cooking and don’t have to do the dishes afterwards. To me dining out is a special treat, a break from low-fat frozen dinners and pre-packaged salad mixes. Because of that, I admit that I don’t usually count calories or eschew dessert if I have room for it when visiting a restaurant. But many people who are carefully monitoring their calories, carbohydrates and sugars want to enjoy the dining out experience without sacrificing their hard work at other times, and if you’re one of them, I’ve got good news: there’s a Web site that can help you make informed choices. The National Restaurant Association has created http://www.healthydiningfinder.com/, which is collecting nutritional information on the four to ten healthiest dishes at restaurants in a community. Users can enter their town or zip code to search for eateries by food type or price range. The site’s formal launch, which will feature over 10,000 listings, is scheduled for January 2007, but check it out now for a preview.


* * * * *


That’s all for this week, folks. I’ll be back next week with an update on how my return to a more structured schedule is working, a look at “Eight Minutes in the Morning,” and a few more words about the magic of belief. Till then…Keep on Treading!


¹See www.mem-cards.com.
2 See
www.amerisciences.com

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I said I’d check in with my progress and here it is one week into my commitment. After posting my response I weighed myself and was shocked to find I weighed a pound more than I had stated! I’d been hovering around 212 for almost a year and still can’t believe it—a new high for me. I usually diet once I cross 200—it’s the bad number. I started my commitment day with a clean house attitude. I literally cleaned house. I was so tempted to sit at the computer and share my thoughts on this whole lose the weight process but slapped my hand. I’m a lot like you Lucie and caught myself diverting my energy into too much talking about it and less doing! I’m prolific that way. I made a mental list of all the reasons why I can do this and a list of what can trip me up—my pros and cons. Lots of reality a commitment takes! I have to keep telling myself that to change means just that—doing things different. My pros—I’m very nutrition and work out savvy. I know a lot. I take plenty of supplements. The biggest part of my diet is whole grains, vegetables, and turkey, fish or chicken. I drink green tea no sugar. If it’s iced I’ll add a table spoon of honey to a pitcher. I rarely drink soda. I mostly keep the bad stuff out of the house but not always. Sometimes ice cream sneaks in. The things that trip me up? Night eating is my worst. I lost 2 pounds since last week by just cutting out food at least two hours before bed. Two of those nights I slipped and cheated for just a nibble. My other con is anything over processed with white flour and sugar. Indulging in the bad white stuff has the most miserable effect on me causing bloat and obsessive craving. There’s a momentary bliss of satisfaction that turns into out of control craving. I have to be strong outside of my safe kitchen! Don’t ever go shopping hungry. I’m going to beat this with a mind body spirit mentality. What is the void I’m filling with food? Do I feed my spirit the daily joy it really needs to flourish? Do I listen to my favorite music, dance, or smell the roses? Is this wall of fat my inability to discern my own boundaries—do I speak up enough—or just eat? What feeds this wall—pain? Guilt? Boredom? Where else is my life weighted down? How about my room, my home, my yard? What do they say about me—where am I blocked? I’ve spent this last week de-cluttering my space—forcing my body to get moving. Just do it!

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