Friday, March 9, 2012

You're the Only One Who Can Flip Your Switch

This is NOT some infomercial about a product that will make you instantly thinner or give you an amazing cholesterol number or any other sort of "quick fix". What I want to do here today is encourage a change of mindset that leads to change in your decision making which then effects your time and energy which will eventually, over time, turn into a life changing event.

A little less than a year ago I became keenly aware of the people around me. In restaurants and offices and even on the daily commutes I noticed that at least 70% of the people I came in contact with were overweight to obese. These people had trouble moving and some even had labored breathing just standing there. I would imagine their daily process of everything from their eating habits to their lack of an exercise routine. Well, then I took a look at myself and realized that the people I was looking at could very easily be me.
I was not as careful with what I ate. I did not have any legitimate exercise routine or plans. I seemed lethargic about health and wellness in general and was fine the way I was...or so I thought. However, those of you who know me know that I am not a tall person and that I have had my battles with health issues in my life. Ten extra pounds on me looks and feels like thirty. I woke up one morning this past summer and told myself that this was ending today. I got up, got dressed and headed to play some tennis at our local park where a nice big green backboard waited for me. Now, picking the dead of the summer when the temperature was 100+ was probably not the best option, but after 10 minutes on the wall I was totally wiped. Things hurt I had forgotten could hurt. I was breathing so heavy I thought I might just pass slap out right then. I sat and hydrated and caught my breath. I got back to business and squeezed out 30-40 minutes of really good cardio exercise.
For the next day I ached. Shins, back, shoulders, you name it. However, I was not going to stop. I knew that getting started in an exercise program would take some time for my body to adjust but I would not get anywhere giving up or letting up after one time out. Two days later I was back at it. I went 45 minutes with only 2 stops and I walked off the court (as opposed to the labored crawl I had a few days before).
Those few days turned into to three weeks and then something amazing happened...I saw the results of my labors. Tennis is an amazing sport for cardio and fat burning and I could visibly see the difference. That makes you feel good and makes you want to do even more.
In this process, I also decided to adjust my food management (I do not like the word "diet"). Food management involves picking the right amounts of the right foods and less or none of the wrong foods. It really is that simple. I changed my thinking from "sludge" to "high octane" to fuel my new and improved engine. Result? More visible reminders that this was working. I was starting to be in the best shape of my life and the switch in my brain had hit a new level of commitment to the changes.
Now, I tell you all this not to brag or say that "I've arrived". What I want to get across to everyone reading this is that it all boils down to one very simple thing. The process can not take place anywhere else first but in your mind and being. If you don't determine to make the change nothing will change. Your family can beg you, your friends can make jabs at you (friends can do that), and people around you can suffer miserably with health conditions you are just waiting to get because you are on the same path as they are and nothing...I mean NOTHING will flip your switch but you.
If it helps for me to challenge you to take that first step...consider yourself challenged. Come meet me on the tennis court and we can get started today. All I know is that if you want it and you are willing to go for it, then nothing will stop you. There is no better feeling than knowing you are doing good things to make your life better as a result of the "no excuses" hard work and determination to stay at it. Becoming the new and improved you will always be worth it.
Flip that switch.

Inspiration comes in many ways and from various places. Videos like this one are right up my alley to keep me inspired and remind me what it takes to achieve. Enjoy: