The most important part of my transformation has been the psychological aspect. That is how I came up with the acronym S.W.I.M. (Self-Control, Will Power, Inspiration, Motivation). Honestly once I figured this out and thought about what it meant it made my transformation that much easier for me. It allowed me to set a psychological goal if that makes any sense. It was tough at first but after a little while it became easier. At this point it’s almost funny. I figured out how to control my own mind. I looked at how many things I did out of habit or temptation. I was addicted to food. I felt peer pressure. If I went out to dinner, I would eat anything that hit the table. Not just a slice of bread but usually about 2 loaves. How many appetizers could I cram down my throat before my main course? If there was calamari, I was probably eating two appetizers. If I went to a bar, I drank. What else would you do in a bar? (I’ll still go to bars once in a while but rarely drink). If I walked into the supermarket I would walk by the cookie section about 10 times for the free samples. I would buy 3 boxes of Oreo cookies to save for my “cheat day”. I would than convince myself that I was just going to eat one and save the rest for later. Within 3 hours the first box was gone. The next two might make it for about 3 more days. I would travel and convince myself that I needed to stay out of the gym during the entire trip.
I took at look at how my lack of self-control had made me feel crappy about the way I looked at myself. I realized that it was a weakness. I was WEAK! I couldn’t control my own mind. I felt like I had an addiction and had no control over it (I actually did). How could I be that weak? It was embarrassing.
Once I became honest with myself and could actually look in the mirror and say that I need to lose 40 pounds not 10. I need to realize what else is affecting my life. What do I need to do to make this transformation? 5 days a week in the gym (already doing that), running 5 days a week (right now I run 4 days a week. 2 days are light and 2 are tied into my workouts). Stick with a nutrition program that I can live with, without cheating.
It’s amazing how many situations I end up in where I pass on things that I would have jumped all over in the past. I actually feel really good about myself when I sit down to dinner with friends and don’t touch the bread, which I use to gob with butter. I don’t need it. I wanted it. My health is more important and the truth is that when you can control your mind over things like this you can also control it over other things. I chewed tobacco for over 20 years and every time I quit I constantly thought about it. I needed it when I drove, drank, or had stress. I had a lot of stress. I could not even tell you the day that I quit. It is irrelevant to me. It really doesn’t matter since I don’t think about it. I almost forgot to write about it in this post.
It is important that you enjoy the food that you do eat. 6 healthy nutritious small portioned meals a day that include both carbohydrates and protein. Be creative with your food. There are plenty of things that you can eat that taste like they are bad for you because they taste so good.
Being able to control my own mind influences many other aspects of my life. It also makes me consider how my actions may affect other people. I rather be a positive influence than having a negative influence or no influence. I have also realized that I can do much more now at 46 then what I ever thought that I could. I don’t set limitations for myself anymore (this will be a future post).
I would challenge to try something next time you go out to dinner with friends. When bread is brought to the table don’t eat any for the entire meal. See if you can resist it. If you don’t like bread try using this with a similar situation. Pass on cake at a party at the office. Don’t bother getting some just to bring home and eat later. Just pass it up. This is less about your nutrition than it is about being able to control your own mind.
If you thought that this post was about bending spoons or controlling someone else with your mind, sorry to disappoint you but the truth is that if you can learn how to do this than you will change your life for the better. You will accomplish more.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE AND LEARN TO S.W.I.M.™
I did this last night. Went out to eat with my wife and kids and passed on the fresh, hot bread sitting in front of me. It was hard but I knew it would hurt me in the end. Keep on motivating, Eric! Thanks.
Thanks Bill. Keep it up.