How do you keep motivated?

So I missed writing a blog post last night.  I went out to dinner with some friends and so that put me off my game a little.  I did however walk home afterwards so I was able to meet my activity goal for the day.

Once I got home I did some work on one of my small businesses.  I did some planning for a website I want to start also.  I went out to a professional site and reached out to find someone who could help with design.  That is a major piece of the puzzle that I can’t do.

The one thing I noticed over the last couple days was that I hadn’t turned on the television.  The television is always my downfall.  Once it comes on I get sucked into it and almost never leave.

Tonight I walked all the way home from the BART stop.  That’s about 1.5 miles with some pretty decent hills.  Once I got home I was exhausted and I made myself dinner.  While food was warming up I checked on some stuff on my laptop.  Well I found that it was frozen and so I fooled with it for a while before getting rebooted and one thing lead to another and you guessed it, I ended up on the couch with the TV on.

So now as I was discussing it earlier I need to find a happy middle ground where I can do a little work and rest watching TV or what have you each evening.  This way I don’t end up resenting any of my goals and get some down time since I do work 40 hours a week on top of everything else.

Have suggestions or comments feel free to leave them…

 

Focus is my weapon and procrastination is my enemy!

"Practice Mute"
In case some of you don’t know, this is a viola.

So I came home tonight and I got right to it.  I am on a mission to stay on task and focused to being productive.  Once I get home I have a horrible tendency to sit down and turn on the TV.  That never results in anything good normally.  So tonight I came home and here’s what I acomplished!

  1. Practiced Viola
  2. Washed the dishes
  3. Made a healthy dinner (Salad)
  4. Washed 2 loads of laundry
  5. Folded 2 loads of laundry
  6. Worked on one of my small businesses
  7. Waked 1.3 miles (Daily Activity Reached 109% )
  8. Wrote this blog posting

That was far to productive to do every night.  I would be considered OCD and and over achiever if I did that every night.  So now I need to figure out a happy medium.  Some middle ground where I can get certain chores done each night but yet have some down time.

If you have any suggestions leave me a message.  Maybe we can expand upon it and make it a blog post.

 

Monday evening thoughts

Image

So I just came back from a walk.  I went out specifically to meet my daily activity goal but it gave me time to think.  Walking has always been good for that one specific activity.  It lets me think, collect my thoughts and work through things that my be plaguing my mind.

So this year seems to be self empowerment.  I’ve taken on some personal growth activities that may seem pretty daunting to some.  To meet I’m just trying to move forward with my life.  I get to this point where I feel stagnant and I need to do something.

What I need to do isn’t always clear.  It can be simple or more complex.  This year it’s meant a couple different things.

  1. Lose weight
  2. Learn how to play a new instrument
  3. Create a small business

These are all monumental things by themselves but I’m taking on all three at once.  Why I’m not sure to be honest.  They all deal with different parts of my life and they are major parts of my life.  They are three things that make me happy.

So I’ve been going to Weight Watchers now going on 4 months.  I’ve lost 21 pounds and I can feel a difference.  I’ve been increasing my activity by using their ActiveLink.  At first it didn’t seem to be to bad.  I knew that my activity level wold increase but I didn’t think it was going to be that bad.

I walked from the 24 Street Bart station to Castro Street on my way home tonight.  That’s 1 mile with a pretty decent hill.  That wasn’t the only activity today.  In order to meet my activity level for the day I walked down my from my apartment to the Castro and back home.  That’s about 1.25 miles each way.  I’m happy to report that I topped my goal at approximately 114%.

As for learning a new instrument I’m working to learn how to play the viola.  I’ve had 5 lessons and the teacher tells me that I’m a natural.  It’s slightly frustrating because I want to progress faster but it’s all about forum and I’m still in the learning stages.

Last but not least is the small business.  I have two things that I’m working on right now.  I need to do more work with them so that they develop but I do have them started.  They aren’t profitable yet but I’ll work on that because the one can be.  Like anything it just needs more time and attention.

So I’m going to try to focus more and use this blog to keep track of my success or short comings.  I don’t plan on any short comings but it’s good to be realistic that there will be some along the way.  If any reader has any input I would greatly appreciate constructive criticism.

Status update

So I’ve been remiss on posting for a couple of weeks.  I joined Weight Watchers and I’ve watched my diet.  Last weekend I went to the grocery story and I found that my purchased was 90% produce.  I am trying to keep everything out of the kitchen that would be ‘bad’ for me on the ‘diet’.  So it’s been a lot of salads, fruit, and new veggie dishes.

So earlier today I went to my Weight Watchers meeting where I weighed in like I do each week.  This week I lost another 3 lbs.  That’s a total of 8 lbs.  It’s a good feeling to know that I’m losing weight.

I’m not seeing the changes yet but I know that it’s going to take time.  According to the charts I should lose about 100 lbs.  That’s a little more than I can imagine for myself.  If I could actually make it that far I think it would be amazing but I think if I take it 1 lbs at a time, I’ll be just fine.

Also I’m gaining my focus and trying to keep the negative out of my life.  It’s not easy but I find that I’m getting better at it.  I’ve walked for exercise, taking online courses, and reading to help me gain perspective, be positive and feel like I’m being productive.

 

Forward Motion This Week

So this week the weather has been beautiful here in San Francisco.  People would complain that it was too hot but after living in New Orleans it was mild.  Having sun in my life I find makes a huge difference.  I had thought that my vacation would be sun and warm weather but I chose to do something different.  I went to Rotterdam (the Netherlands in Europe) and it was cold and kind of dismal.  So this past week was a welcomed and pleasant change.

So this week I’m thinking about how I did on the list of 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.  Well #1 start small I’ve done but I don’t think I’m pushing myself that hard.  I keep myself busy but that’s a diversion most times.  I’ve done it so long I don’t even know I’m doing it now.

This week my action to push my boundaries was to look inside myself to deal with one of my demons.  My weight is the demon I decided to shine some light.  This week after talking to a therapist we had agreed that I would look into Weight Watchers and minimally see when and where they had meetings.  Checking to see when the meetings are held is pretty easy.  I’ve done it before and I can do that without allowing it to get too close to me.  Protecting the demon or all the feelings of shame and fear.  I told the therapist before that I saw the group (Weight Watchers) in the same way that I see a cult or church.  Ironically I see churches and cults in the same way.

When I pulled up the list of meetings in the area I saw that there was one in the LGBT Center here in San Francisco.  Being gay that made it seem somewhat more “safe”.  I found that the meeting was on Saturday morning at 10 AM.  Anyone who knows me knows that more than likely I’m not going to have plans at 10 AM.  Well maybe going to breakfast but now that’s (eating) part of the problem.  To push myself I filled out a form to go to the meeting and made plans to go and check it out.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Emotions ran high and there were wacky visions that crossed my mind.  Remember I thought of Weight Watchers as a cult.

So Saturday morning came and I rolled myself out of bed and got ready to go to the meeting.  There was anxiety but I pushed forward.  I’ve done a lot of things in my life that were ‘uncomfortable’.  I’m pleased to say that I didn’t find the meeting to be a cult and I could see that it was a supportive group of people.  Previously I’ve never really expected people to be supportive so that a part of the meeting that encourages me.  That little voice in my head still spouting negative thoughts but I am pushing it to the side to move forward.

This weeks challenge is to track my eating habits.  I’m not very good with this kind of thing.  I feel like it’s pointing out faults but it’s not about that at all.  I obviously don’t like to have my faults pointed out.  Trust you and me I know my faults.

Any suggestions are welcome.  Support is definitely welcomed as well.

As Megan McGlover would say “I love you strong, I love you long.”  Have a great week everyone.

 

Blue Sky May Be On The Way

So today I’m feeling better and I have to say that it makes a huge difference in life.  I keep trying to focus on the positive and that helps.  I read an article By Jae Song & Tina Su talking about Jae’s experience with a problem just like I had mentioned.  She talks about how she moved on and 13 steps that helped her get to a better place.  I’ve done a couple of the steps and I have to say I see how it helps.  If you’re in a gray place or feel like a black cloud is following you’re not alone.  Check out 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.

The one that I like the most I think is, Start Small.  Small task that you can complete are huge benefits to our psyche.  You feel like you can do more and it helps push out doubt and negative thoughts.  This last week I’ve been pulling back and keeping focus on the small and close things.  It’s helped and I stopped beating myself up.  That’s hard to do but it’s almost a mantra.  You just keep saying it till you believe it.

Yesterday I cleaned my apartment.  I especially focused on my bedroom which is a source of embarrassment for me.  I’m not a person who lives in their bedroom.  I don’t have a TV in their nor do sit I read.  I sleep in my bedroom.  That’s it.  My desk is in my bedroom though.  I am sitting there now.  So the desk is the center of a LOT of clutter.  I”m not a neat freak by any means of the imagination but it seems like a disaster and I equated that to my life in general.  Do you have a space like your desk that is about productivity and you can’t keep it under control?  Well that was causing some doubt for me because I couldn’t get it under control.  So I took EVERYTHING off the desk and gave it a proper cleaning.  I threw things away or put them away.  I still have a lot on it but I can see the majority of the desk top which makes me feel good.  Oh and here’s no layer of desk now either.

So the next step is to Create a Compelling Vision.  That’s going to be a little more difficult for me.  It almost ranks up there with “What do you want to be when you Grow up?”  Create an image of the person you want to be.  I’ve always been a fan of superheroes   I think my imagination gets the better of me sometimes.  So now the challenge is to find a realistic image of the person I want to be.  I’m thinking that the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method is the best.  So now to make the goal reasonable and attainable.

So as an example of my movement forward is writing this blog.  I know it’s small and I can do it.  There may be misspelled words or bad grammar but I did it.  I wrote this and I’m going to publish it.  That’s part of my goal actually.  To write here on my blog expelling doubt and negative feelings will be a way for me to not hold all this in and feed on it.  I welcome any comments and feedback.  It’s nice to know that others out there deal with the same feelings.

I’ll boil down the 13 points but you should go read, 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.

  1. Start Small
  2. Create a Compelling Vision
  3. Socialize
  4. Do Something that Scares You
  5. Do Something You Are Good At
  6. Set Goals
  7. Help Others Feel Good About Themselves
  8. Get Clarity on Life Areas
  9. Create a Plan
  10. Get Motivated
  11. Get External Compliments
  12. Affirmations & Introspection
  13. No More Comparisons

Have a good Sunday and get out in the sun if you can.  I’m here in San Francisco and the weather is nice.  The point is, get out and do something that makes you happy or content.  It doesn’t matter what that is, it’s just important that you DO IT.

 

Mondays … Why thou must be so difficult

Why is it that I’m never ready Monday for to come around?  Sunday evening comes and I can never believe the weekend has gone and work starts the next day.

For the last two weeks I’ve tried to watch what I’ve eaten and really eat smaller meals or in more moderation.  I hadn’t been paying attention much and I was eating lunch out everyday.  So now I’ve brought my lunch to work and I’ve eaten 5 or 6 smaller meals a day.

So I starting out another week and I had a little good news this morning. This morning when I got on the scales and in just two weeks I’m down seven pounds.  I’m not being strict with my diet but rather just focusing on eating healthier and eating appropriate portion sizes.  I’ve pushed myself for a while with the philosophy of shopping on the outer edge of the grocery store.  So cutting pack on processed food.

The next big focus will be increasing my physical activity.  I’m not much for going to the gym.  People ask “don’t you feel great after you go?”  The response is “No!” I never get pleasure out of going to the gym.  I don’t find it social most of the time and I don’t get any euphoric high from going to the gym.  Now in the past I did lose a little weight but the reason I don’t loose more weight is that I don’t push myself physically.  Growing up I never got that introduction to physical activity.  Even growing up on a farm physical activity was work.  Well what kid wants to work?  Yeah we would sometimes go  walk the farm but that wasn’t a frequent occurrence.

Every year (for the last several years) I’ve said I’m going to get healthy and try to lose the weight.  Well I’m trying to do it this year and I’m just doing it one step at a time.  So if you have any suggestions please feel free to pass them on through the comment box.  I’ll try to keep you updated and who knows maybe I’ll even try to post some pictures as I got through the process.  I’m not much for taking pictures of myself so don’t hold your breath but I’ll try.

It’s about time to start working on new years resolutions I guess

Sign for the Grumpy Troll pub in Mount Horeb.

So tonight I went to the gym.  Anyone who knows me would never use gym in a sentence when talking about me.  Well unless they say “Eric hates the gym.”  That my friends would be the truest statement that has ever been made about me.  Since after the stroke last year I’ve not really went to the gym.

So I signed up online for the gym.  Then I went to the gym on a Sunday about a month ago.  It wasn’t very busy which is the way I like it.  I’ll put a little plug-in here for the gym I guess.  I’m going to the 24 Hour Fitness at 2145 Market Street.  After pondering whether I should walk around looking for the locker room I broke down and asked where the locker room was after walking into the gym.  The guy at the front desk offered to give me a tour.  I respectfully decline so I didn’t have to deal with any salesmanship that he may feel obligated to do.

So I make my way to the locker room, change my clothes, and as I’m getting to go out to the gym floor.  Right there before me is a guy that is practically model beautiful.  Of course all the negative baggage from my childhood years come rushing forward.  I say that because I can’t imagine anyone that looks like that would even talk to me.  (I was and probably always will be the last one picked for group activities.)  So I make my way to the gym floor, find a stationary bike and start to peddle.  Shortly afterwards a guy walks up to use this rowing machine sitting next to me.  I try to just zone about but then I my mind drifts to this place were you kind of hope that he’s picked that because he’s interested in you.  Now that’s all well and good EXCEPT recently people are attracted to me because I’m fat.  Not because I have pretty eyes, nice smile, witty laugh, or I’m a well-rounded (no pun intended) person. For a second I’m OK with that … he was tall and handsome.  I mean shouldn’t I be flattered that he’s attracted to me, even if I am fat?

Well as you can imagine that little fantasy didn’t last long.  Then I remember all those times being picked last or having family members call me things like the human garbage disposal.  So then I just try to stop thinking and finish out 30 minutes on the bike.  When I reach that point I go in change my clothes and leave.  I decide to walk home for more exercise.  That may not seem like a big deal but when you live somewhat close to the top of the highest point in the city.  It tends to elevate your heart rate close to a that sweet spot for cardio exercise.

Oh then to do more of my new years resolution I’m writing about it.  Of course I’m complaining but it’s still in a written format so in my opinion I’ve done what I set out to do.  That’s what’s really important isn’t it?

So I wonder what I’ll find to complain about next?  Oh and if you have constructive criticism that you think would help me feel free to send it to me.  I’ll be sure to take it under advisement.  If it’s not constructive it may be just trashed or even the topic of a posting.  It just depends on how my demons are doing that day I guess.

I had a stroke?

Schematic representation of the circle of Will...
Image via Wikipedia

Well on January 7th I had what the doctors are calling a vertebral artery dissection.  It was something I had never even heard of and it turns out as I read that it’s somewhat more common than I would have guessed.  The whole situation is very surreal.  It happened quickly and everything was internal so there was no outward sign of the damage.  After having a horrible bout of vertigo, cold sweats, and nausea The squad picked me up and taken to the Hospital.

While at the hospital I learned the vertebral artery is actually vertebral arteries.  There is an artery running along both sides of the spine (left and right).  I am the lucky guy to have damage on both side.  The dissection as described by Wikipedia is a flap-like tear in the inner lining of the artery.  They could tell that one side was an older injury, while the other side was newly damaged.

There are two types of dissections.  There are spontaneous and traumatic dissections.  Spontaneous dissections are considered to be caused by intrinsic factors that weaken the arterial wall.   The traumatic dissections may follow a blunt trauma to the neck, direct blow to the neck, or strangulation.

So what’s the treatment for a vertebral artery dissection?  Well they kept me in the hospital for observation for several days to start with and while I was in the hospital they had me on a heparin drip.  Then they add Warfarin when they felt that there wasn’t going to be any complications.

The hospital staff did a great job. I had great nurses during my stay in the hospital.  During a time of uncertainly they made the stay pretty pleasant.  The last couple of days they knew that I was getting antsy because I was there for a week in total.  They were always pleasant and willing to help.  I didn’t abuse the call button so I’m sure that helped.