MYST 189 Next Step

What are you going to do when your current plan falters? Yes, of course, you can keep doing what you have been doing, but when that fails what will you add?

In episode 187 I talked about FOCUS (Follow One Course Until Successful–or Stagnant) and I believe that is the most basic action. Find a course of action that you can follow–and still enjoy life–and then ride that horse to the finish line (yes, I mixed a metaphor there.)

And in episode 188 I talked about KISS (Keep It Slow and Simple) by not adding complexities that make adherence to those rule overly difficult. When you combine those two episodes, you discover my true belief. Find ONE simple action to make a slow but steady improvement and don’t stop until you reach your goal.

But what happens when something unexpected adds a new twist to the problem? You need to have something planned for your next step. Mine? I am looking for a good but used rowing machine. Why that? Because it takes me back to my childhood, and memories of fishing on the lake in the morning with my father. It is a simple activity and takes no training. I can do it in my basement while listening to podcasts, or to music or to nothing more than the rhythm of the machine.

What is YOUR next step?

Photos via Pixabay by geralt

All images and videos on Pixabay are released under the Creative Commons CC0. Thus, they may be used freely for almost any purpose – even commercially and in printed format. Attribution is appreciated, but not required.

My LoseIt Food Journal for Sept 15, 2018

All images from LoseIt are mine, and cannot be used without permission.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen.

MYST 180: Forget Inspiration!

Lawn Care, Ego, and Habits

The Wisconsin seasons are beautiful and messy, wonderful and terrible. (If you didn’t know, Wisconsin has weather that can change rapidly.) But the weather can also be used in weight loss.

Winter snows bring Fitbit Adjustments, especially if you have a moderate-sized driveway and a sidewalk to clear. Spring brings yard cleanup and then summer mowing season starts. Your Fitbit will record many steps as you mow, fertilize and rake your lawn. When autumn arrives the falling leaves add to your “lawn care workout”. Or maybe you need to chop wood for the winter. It is a never-ending routine. And that’s okay (because I enjoy it.)

Lawn work is not always easy but it is relaxing, and it generates a fair amount of exercise. My Fitbit will easily record enough activity in an afternoon to earn a 400-600 calories Fitbit Adjustment. I enjoy seeing those adjustments. And my LoseIt friends frequently comment on my nice Fitbit Adjustments.

But I really don’t worry about these adjustments. I don’t eat those calories, and won’t until I finally reach my goal weight. So why do I bother wearing a Fitbit?

People have asked me how I keep my motivation. I don’t keep it. It keeps me. Motivation is my “why”. That never goes away. My “why” never leaves me. I want to be comfortable walking. I want to be able to ride a roller coaster. I want to buy clothes that are not in the “Big and Tall” department. I want to have my asthma and blood pressure and heartburn under control.

I have achieved some of those “wants”. But weight loss is different than most goals. Let’s say your goal is to climb Mount Everest. After you reach the summit and then descend back to your base camp, you are done. You accomplished your goal. No matter what you do, that experience cannot be taken away from you.

But weight loss is a goal that can be achieved and then lost. And losing it is stupidly easy. All it takes is to become lazy. In my case, I stopped measuring my food (“I know my portion sizes”) and to stop standing on the scale every day.

Would this derail your plans?

That’s all it took for me to give up that hard-won goal.

So, here is the real question: if a person’s motivation never goes away, why is failure so common?

Many people rely on other people to inspire them. I talk about that in MYST episode 91 where many people need cheerleaders to help them make progress. And there is nothing inherently bad with cheerleaders. It’s is exciting to have someone on the sidelines of your life, helping you maintain your focus and excitement.

The problem is what happens when the cheerleaders go home, and you are still on the field, fighting for that winning score?

Science fiction author Octavia Butler (1947-2006) wrote an essay about how to become a successful author, and her quote applies to weight loss as well as writing:

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit is persistence in practice.”

Habit is persistence in practice.

That is how you find success after the cheerleaders in your life are gone. If you don’t have reliable habits built into your daily life, maintaining success after achieving it will be very difficult. And in fact, if you don’t use good habits, you will join the vast majority of weight-loss winners as they regain what they worked so hard to lose.

Right now, earning a daily Fitbit Adjustment is simply a matter of ego. I’ve worn a Fitbit since July 12, 2011. It is a daily habit. Developing good habits–such as measuring my food, logging everything I eat and wearing my Fitbit–is how I continue to move toward success.

A healthy ego helps to reinforce those habits. I want to keep my Fitbit numbers growing. As of this morning (May 14, 2018, at 0615):

  • Total steps: 18,533,661
  • Total Distance: 8,242.58 miles
  • Total flights of stairs: 30,423

And I don’t believe that “habits are formed in 21 days” or “28 days” or…well, you pick a number. None of them are correct. Habits are like my baby chickens. They grow quickly, but only if you pay attention and keep feeding them every day. Habits are created in one day. One day that is repeated over and over, in an unending cycle. That is how long it takes to create a habit. (Also, it really only takes one day to break a habit, too.)

So, here are some habits for you to begin growing:

  1. Do you plan your meals in advance, every day?
  2. Do you weigh all of your food and log everything you eat?
  3. Do you monitor your weight on a regular basis?
  4. Do you remind yourself why you are working this hard, every day?

Those are the habits that bring success.

What are your success habits?

Photos via Pixabay by StevePB

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All images are Creative Common Zero.

MYST 168: Recommended Weight Loss Plans

Losing Slow and Losing Fast. Which is the plan for you?

120+ Ways to Lose Weight. Which One Fits You?

You know that I believe (and has used for the past 8 years) the “slow and steady” approach to weight loss. For me, portion control with LoseIt works for me. I believe that it can work for anyone, but it requires a “Big Picture” approach. I consider weight loss to be the long game, the “rest of my life” game. It never ends.

My approach allows me a donut occasionally, and does not require excessive exercise. I literally can have my cake and eat it, too. What is the down side? It is very slow. I don’t see the rapid changes on the scale, and I do not need to buy smaller clothes frequently.

That can be disheartening, discouraging and frustrating for some people. I totally understand that. And there were days where I also feel that.

Just like I refuse to accept compensation for commercials for products that I do not use (and I have turned down many offers) I only promote methods that I know will work, and that I would use. That means I promote the “slow to go” approach. And that’s it.

Methods other than “slow to go”.

Does that mean I think that all other methods are wrong and will lead to failure? No, not at all. It’s just that if I can’t say “this worked because I used it, and I would recommend it to my friends” then I can’t recommend it to you., because you are all my friends.

I use an iPhone. I can’t recommend the new Samsung Galaxy 8 (or whatever) because I don’t know anything about it. (But my son loves his!)

So what about all the other weight loss methods?

Here is what I believe:

  • All weight loss plans can work.
  • All weight loss plans have worked for some people.
  • There is no guarantee that any single plan will work for you.
  • You won’t know if something works until you give it an honest attempt.

If you want to lose weight fast, there are many plans that suggest it is possible, and for every plan, there is at least one person who says it worked for them. That means it might also work for you. I don’t know if it will, and I also don’t know that it won’t.

Which plan fits you?

Here is a link to a PDF of 120 promising weight loss plans. Included are links to neutral/non-biased sites so that you can evaluate the merits of the plan. In many cases, there is a name associated with the plan. That might mean there is a book available from that person. When I created this list, there were many that I had not heard of before, so it is likely that when you read it, you will find a new idea to try.

I received no compensation for including plans on this list.

Photos via Unsplash, by Thomas Kelley (Donut) and Audi Nissen (Wheelchair Athlete)

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All images are Creative Common Zero.

MYST 159: Three Ways to Fail

Okay, time for the ugly truth.

Most people who start a weight loss program do not succeed. And those who do reach their goal weight regain eventually regain most or all the weight they’ve lost. So with that in mind, let’s give you three guaranteed methods to find failure in your weight loss journey.

I mean, if most of my listeners will eventually fail, let’s get it done quickly!

If you enjoy this, excellent! But it is not the key to success.

Three Definite Methods to Fail on Your Weight Loss Journey

1. Rely on exercise alone to force the weight loss.

If you need to lose weight, you probably were not really into exercise much, and you really enjoyed eating. Is that a fair description? Well, while exercise has many very positive health benefits, you really cannot rely on it alone to get you to your goal weight. I talk about this in greater detail in MYST 84, but the bottom line is that weight loss happens in the kitchen. Fitness happens in the gym. You cannot out-exercise bad eating habits.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t exercise. On the contrary, I want everyone to increase their activity level, and how you choose to do that is your choice. But I am saying that if you don’t get your eating under control, and if you don’t have a reasonable calorie budget, the exercise is only going to cause frustration when you do not make the progress that you expect. You will eventually quit.

 

This is a great activity, but it alone won’t help you succeed.

2. Set a hard “due date” for success, especially if that due date is connected to a wedding, vacation, graduation or any other life event.

If you absolutely need to lose 50 pounds before your wedding, anniversary, birthday, vacation–whatever the special event–and you are closer than 52 weeks away, you are setting yourself up for a disaster. Most people cannot lose faster than 1 pound per week. It’s faster in the very beginning and much slower at the end, but overall, it’s 1 pound a week. If your event if 16 weeks away, you can realistically expect to lose 15-16 pounds. That’s it. Setting a 50 pound goal for an event that is happening sooner than 52 weeks is going to greatly increase your stress, because you simply can’t consistently lose as fast as you want. And stress will slow,  stop or reverse weight loss. I talk about anxiety and weight loss in MYST 102  and general stress and it’s effect on weight loss in MYST 138. 

If you need to lose weight for a big event, count the number of weeks, set your rate for 1 pound per week, and your goal is the number of weeks before the event. Will that be as much as you want to lose? Probably not. But it is a more achievable goal. And successfully losing that amount is better than trying for an unrealistic goal, and failing to achieve any loss at all.

3. Follow a diet. Any diet.

I don’t care what “diet” you choose, if it is not the way you intend to eat for the rest of your life, you are choosing a temporary eating plan, and any successes you experience will also be temporary. Any weight that you’ve lose will return (quickly) when you return to eating “normal” food.

This is especially true for any diet found in a book, on a magazine cover, or talked about on a television show.
Those “diets” are created and published for only one reason. It is not designed to help you lose weight, but rather to entice you to buy the magazine, book or supplement.

And if the diet in question is found in a book or magazine and the author is either a celebrity, or the guest or host of a television show, and they are talking about the diet, you will have more success simply flushing your money down the toilet.

But maybe the diet is not in a book or magazine. Are there any other clues that it is a waste of time an money? Yes, and here are the clues:

  • It requires that you buy “special weight loss foods” from a friend/relative/coworker.
  • That friend or co-worker wants to show you how you can make money by selling the product.
  • If any of these words (or anything similar) are found on the label or description of the product or plan: “Cleanse”, “Detox”, “Metabolism Jumpstart” or “Metabolism Booster”

  These will not help you succeed!

Okay, let’s make one thing clear. While I am serious about everything I said, I am confident that most or all of your have chosen a good method of weight loss. I am also confident that you will lose weight, reach your goal and stay at goal. You come back to this show each week because you are committed.

But this information is for you to share with others who may not be as experienced as you. I hope you are able to help your friends find success. (And tell them about this show!)

Photo via UnSplash by Maarten van den Heuvel (Runner), Scott Webb (Weights) and FreeStocks (Supplements)

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over

work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All images are Creative Common Zero

MYST 154: Nothing for Nothing

TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

You get what you pay for.

My phrase: You don’t get nothing for nothing.  (Yeah. I know it’s poor grammar.)

The bottom line is if you don’t take the right actions, you won’t get anything. That applies to school, on the job, at home, and certainly as you try to lose weight. Why do I say “try” to lose weight? Because many (most?) people aren’t willing to totally commit, to be fully engaged, or to put their money where their mouth is.

How many balls must be hit before a golfer becomes great? Can you skip that step in attaining greatness?

Photo via Pixabay.com by MadsLiebst

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over

work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All images are Creative Commons Zero.

MYST 153: Gentle Exercise

Exercise is important, but it does not need to be painful, cost money, or require a membership at a fitness center. IT can simply be the act of getting off your LazyBoy recliner and start moving.

If she can get her daily steps, why can’t you?

Photo via Pixabay.com by Kaz.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over

work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

MYST 146: Exercise on Purpose

The US has a problem. Well, it has many problems, but a major health problem is that as a whole, we are overweight. Why are we overweight?

We eat too much and we don’t exercise. And most of our exercise is “exercise on purpose”. But what happened to “accidental exercise”? If we learn to add accidental (also known as “incidental”) exercise, we will help enhance our weight loss progress. This is not the magic bullet for weight loss, but it is another piece of the puzzle.

 

farmer-657333__340

How are you going to add accidental exercise to your day?

Here is a link to the episode MYST 84 that was mentioned in this show.

Photo via Pixabay, by hfossmark

Resources:

https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/cwc/american-labor-in-the-20th-century.pdf

https://www.statista.com/statistics/244922/us-fitness-centers-und-health-clubs/

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity

http://time.com/3688002/obesity-in-america-photos-from-the-early-days-of-a-national-health-crisis/


Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over

work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. Follow his Facebook page to learn how to better use social media. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All images are Creative Commons Zero.

MYST 113: Calorie Counting or Food Choices?

Calories are calories, right? I mean, if over 7 days you burn 3500 calories more than you consume, doesn’t that mean you will automatically lose 1 pound? Popcorn, apples, butter, quinoa, bacon, tofu, lentils and dark chocolate. A calorie is a calorie.

Well, maybe. And maybe not. My friend from LoseIt, Charles Kemp, disagreed with some of my recent statements, and I wanted to further explore his comments and find a way to bring both of our belief systems into closer alignment. Because, in my humble opinion, we are both correct!

bread-1510155__180noodles-1632153__340

Photos via Pixabay.com by Couleur.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

MYST 109: Strategies and Tactics

chess
Strategies and tactics are used for success.

Photos via Pixabay.com by Jarmoluk.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his stor

 

MYST 105 What I Don’t Want To Do

We all have tasks in our lives that we would rather avoid. That is human nature. But no matter how we feel about some activities, if we ignore them, the problem does not go away. That means we need to face up to what must be done. Even if we really don’t enjoy it.

Fix-it Projects Never End!
Fix-it Projects Never End!

Photos via Pixabay.com by StevePB.

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Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com

Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!

All photos published on Pixabay.com are licensed under Creative Commons Zero