How to climb over a moutain

Have you ever had that moment, where you know what you want, and more or less how to get there, but the size of the task is daunting. I feel like that at the moment. After my trip, I started getting back into the flow of things and reevaluating where I want to go and what I want to do. Any way I look at it, there is a Lot of stuff I have to accomplish in order to hit my goals. Plus I’m not 100% sure it’s the right direction. I mean I could commit to a big project, and realize it didn’t get me what was advertised. Kind of like picking a major. Your going to have to commit a lot of time and energy, work hard etc. to get that degree, but at the same time a lot of people wonder if it’s going to put them on their desired carreer track, or if they should have focused on something else. 

That’s where my reserve is coming in right now, I can usually handle large tasks when I know what I’ll get in return. But this is going to require a lot of work, yet I don’t know if it will put me on the right path. Time is also a factor. You could start off with an Undeclared major, but your still on a time restraint to pick one. I also tend to over analyze things, so I end up with too many choices, and what ifs. Then I stall, and just feel more pressure. Well if it was easy, we’d all be rich and successful. The thing I’m trying to figure out now, is how to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed.

When I started my first job out of college, I learned how to focus on one task at a time. My boss would give me tons of work that he wanted done yesterday, and I had to keep from panicking. That habbit has stayed with me. The difference now, is that I’m trying to plan ahead, so I can’t just focus on the task in front of me. I have to know the bigger picture as well.

However, when I think about the bigger picture, it makes me procrastinate today. Well I know it’s good to think about it, instead of ignoring the issue. My only answer is that I’m going to have to commit to myself. Even if I end up going the wrong direction, it’s easier to readjusted then if your not moving at all. If I view it as a challenge, it becomes more fun. If I see it as an investment in myself, even if I decide not to make a career out of it, I’ve gained knowledge and skills. One thing I’ve learned is that things can connect in the strangest ways. So typically the more experience you have the more it will help you in your current position, even if it’s not related. I just have to stop looking at it as something that will be bad if I don’t accomplish, but as something that will be amazing if I do accomplish. 

Stagnating is the worst thing to do, but feeling overwhelmed can get you stuck fast. Focus on the journey, the improvement and the scenery. The hardest journeys make the most inspirational stories. If I see the mountain as the obstacle, I might never get the motivation to go, but if I look at the journey itself, it starts to sound fun. Maybe that’s just me. Either way, it’s best to move, it’s always easier to stay commited once you’ve made some progress.


Tick Tock

This is one of those moments where correcting a bad habit is a double negative. I used to eat when I was bored. So I started filling in my time with other items, in order to avoid that pitfall. However, right now I’m waiting on some pretty big news, that will come in some time today. So I am trying to distract myself, which I used to be able to do with food. So now I just have to figure out what to do with myself until I get the news. Well I guess one good fall back is writing. I used to not have that, and it keeps my brain engaged and occupied. Getting my brain sharper was the reason I started blogging, but it also fights boredom during a bad moment. Of course I can also cruise through other interesting blogs, which helps build motivation to stick to my goals. It’s realy interesting to see how many different bloggers are out there. You can go through 1,000 blogs, and each one is unique. Even 1,000 blogs on the same topic are all different. Yet I can still read a post and completely relate to it and think, that’s exactly what I went through, I know right? 

Quite amazing for us to be so different, going through completely different situations, and yet still understand the emotions, struggles, and achievements in others. It shows how connected we actually are, since we can pull motivation from just hearing someone elses story. It shows how much we connect and relate with others. Maybe it amplifies it online because we typically aren’t looking at someone’s socioeconomic class, race, gender, hairstyle, accent, or anything else that we can’t help but use to ananlyze the people in our everyday lives. When people blog online, we are normally just reading their words directly, which cuts out a lot of mental filters. You can apply yourself more directly to their story, and see yourself in their shoes, because at the heart of it we are very similar. Take out societal archetypes, and just read pure writing, and it’s easy to connect. That or maybe bloggers are just awesome, which is why there are so many great blogs. 

I just got an idea, if you know of any great blogs, (including your own), post or comment below. I can find really great posts in the most random ways, so I’d be curious to see if you guys have any favorite blog recommendations. I love reading new information, everyone has a unique perspective. That will also help me keep my mind occupied, and happy

Why, ‘Cookies or Health’ is the Wrong QuestionΒ 

If your making a sacrifice to better yourself, focusing on what you can’t have is a recipe for disaster. I see the clips all the time that give you two options, something like this:

And I would think, well I know camera shots make you look bigger than you are, so she’s pretty darn skinny, which isn’t my ideal, but I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t all that motivational. So I thought about it and realized something. If someone is asking if I want cookies, or a thin body, the choices have vastly different circumstances. The reason dieting is so hard, is because we can have instant gratification with a cookie. How long is that slim body going to take to get? Weeks? Months? Years? Depends on the person, but it’s long term. Cookies? 3 seconds to open a bag, and I’ve got my reward. The guilt, sugar crash, and fat come afterwards. Where as for dieting, the misery comes first, and the reward comes later. But when I would see the ‘would you rather have a cookie or a great body’ type add, I knew what the point was, but I would still want a cookie. Which I realized is because I can have it now.

Which brings me to my next point. Don’t focus on what you can’t have. If I sit and think about the things I want but can’t have, it’s only a matter of time before my mind will go, screw this, and I’ll end up caving. Especially if you do any long term dieting or type of goal, you won’t make it if your always thinking about things you don’t have. I’m not one to just use ‘modern’ healthy motivations either. And by that I mean, if it motivates me, pretty much anything goes. I’ve read plenty of articles that say don’t use negative emotions as a motivator because it’s bad for you. No, what’s bad for you is being overweight, constantly eating toxins, and hating what you look like. Once I realized I could use anger as motivation things got exponentially easier. Most of the time I don’t need it, but when you start, and things get tough, it can be a lifesaver.

My anger fueled some of the most challenging parts of my diet, as it was the only thing stronger than my desire for food. And you don’t have to keep at it forever, maintaining weight is way easier than loosing weight (despite what is commonly said). Especially after what you know you went through to lose the weight in the first place. I was mad at myself for a while, and that got me through the initial cravings when I didn’t have much progress with my diet yet. That anger turned to appreciation. I’m now thankful that my old self decided to stick to the plan day in and day out. I couldn’t today get the results I want, unless my past self had already got the ball moving. So no it doesn’t turn you into a ball of negative emotions. Fitting into your old clothes has the exact opposite effect. So use anger or whatever to get through that initial stage. Once you get traction it’s easier to keep yourself on pace. 

Bottom line, focus on what you want, not what your missing. It’s okay to use anger as a motivator. It’s fine to be mad with the shape your in, or the unhealthy habbits you have created. It just means you believe in yourself and know you could do better, be better. Don’t let others derail you because they say it’s healthier to be overweight and feel good, then to actually have a healthy body with self control. Nothing feels better than having that healthy body. And don’t feel bad if you see a guilt trip add with a cookie or a slim figure. Cookies come with instant gratification, that’s why it makes you feel more guilty than anything. But there’s nothing wrong with that, just get the image out of your head, and focus on the rewards of accomplishing your goal. If all else fails, get mad at the cookie.

How to succeed at waking up early

So I’ve been working to keep to a sleep schedule the last few days, and I first saw a difference today. For some reason my alarm was set to a different day, so I didn’t get up as planned, however, I still woke up way earlier than before, and was functioning enough to be able to study some Japanese. Which I didn’t expect to see a difference so soon. If you want to try getting up earlier, try to get something you really enjoy and do that first thing. Be it T.V., music, food, just something positive that will help wake you up. If you have something fun to look forward to, it makes it a lot easier to adjust. Then you can switch it up to something more productive once your body gets used to waking up early. I think that’s why a lot us fail getting up earlier, because we instantly try to attach it to working out, or something like that. Then you mentally have to get over getting out of your warm bed early, and getting your workout on. By the second or third day, our motivation gets pretty drained.

Once you get in a pattern, your brain will start waking up at that time, and you won’t feel half asleep. Much easier then to exercise or study, since your not fighting yourself to get up and stay awake. Honestly, I don’t know if the same holds for caffeine/coffee drinkers. If I have caffeine it’s rarely, and in tea, so I’m not sure how that would affect someone’s wake up pattern. Though it doesn’t hurt to try πŸ™‚ My main thought is successful people tend to get up early. So it must be worth doing. Having the morning to yourself is nice as well, gives you time to plan the day, get started on tasks early, or spend time enjoying a hobby. Just be prepared for the first early morning. When my alarm went off, I was going, why?? its so early, this was a dumb idea. But a few days later, I’m starting to wake myself up without the alarm.  Not as early as I plan to be, but it’s progress, and I’m starting to get things done. That was a breakthrough for me though, get up and do something fun. Not dragging yourself out of bed to do something productive. It’s easy to switch once you adjust, but just start with the time change. I didn’t have to argue with myself to wake up today, I was already good to go. 

Researching the topic, the hardest part of getting up early seems to be getting out of bed. Which is probably why my routine has been working, getting up early doesn’t mean getting out of bed. If I knew I was about to freeze, and leave my comfy sheets, the odds of me failing would increase significantly. 

(The normal methods for getting up early would just make me hate it more and more, I mean water thrown on you first thing? Yeah that’s not going to inspire much motivation)

However, if all I have to do is unlock my phone and start reading the news, or my favorite show, my brain starts waking up, with me only having to click a button. Your not wasting your time if your setting a new pattern. And your associating early rising to something positive, instead of the worst feeling possible of getting out of a warm bed. No wonder I could never stick to an early schedule before. Every morning I was associating my brain to a negative connotation. 

(Things not to focus on the first morning you try to get up early)
(Things to focus on, aww, seems so much better)

We’re told not to use smart phones, t.v., smart pads, etc., before bed because it keeps our brains awake and makes it harder to sleep. Then why not use that to your advantage when waking up early? Even if temporarily, if it gets your brain used to working, thinking, even laughing at that time, then I’m all for it. That could be a good idea, watch a sitcom, or comedy show to get you more alert. Get yourself to have a good connotation to the morning, and you’ll have already won the war.

Forcing yourself to get out of bed through sheer willpower = 😩😧😴πŸ˜ͺ

Having something enjoyable when you wake up, even if still in bed  = πŸ˜©πŸ˜πŸ™‚πŸ˜€

How to break up with Food

It’s not always easy to see the bad relationships in our lives. We build up comfort levels with different items, and it becomes unhealthy before we realize it. Mine was with food, though I feel this has become a popular one. As a kid I didn’t obsess with food, I had a big apetite, but was never overweight. I just enjoyed food during meals. As I got older, I started eating a little less healthy, while daily stress kept growing. And thus, the stage of emotional eating began. Happy, sad, angry, whatever the mood, food makes it better. Or so I thought. However, it’s much more damaging to your emotional and physical health, and your self image. 

The important thing to realize is that if you actually are an emotional eater. When your full do you still think about food you want to eat? Is it a constant obsession throughout the day? Often times it’s a replacement for another toxic habit that you’ve quit, say smoking, drinking, or a bad ex. Everyone’s different, but from personal experience, fasting is what changed me. The one great thing about always wanting to eat, is that it doesn’t change whether your hungry or not. So once I decided to go on a water fast, the hardest part was already over with. Water fasts have started to become more popular, but at the same time, their changing water, to not just water. Not sure what’s up with that, but when I say water fast, I mean nothing but water. I did this for 5 days, while still working about 30 hours within the 5 days. It’s doable, and much easier than I thought. Granted I was expecting worse case, I was going to crash, pass out, get sick, and then have to eat something. But I didn’t, the worst part was a general weak feeling that came and went, some hunger pangs, and mood swings.

Now the hunger part is strange. I personally don’t mind feeling hungry, because it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something, but during a water fast it comes in waves. You think the hunger will keep getting worse with time. But honestly it doesn’t. If you go a day without eating, the hungriest you feel, is about as hungry as I feel day five. It’s not constant either, you’ll get a hunger pang for a minute, and then nothing for hours. 

I’m not saying it’s easy, but the benefits are worth it. Want to kick start a diet? I lost 10 lbs during the 5 days of water only, and since I stuck to a healthy diet afterwards, that weight never came back. The fastest way to get burn out is to not see results. When you can physically see your clothes fit better, and getting looser, it keeps your motivation high. It’s also very healthy for you (as long as your not sick). Our bodies need time to recover, and water fasts give it a rest from constantly processing through food. The reason you can lose weight so fast is because after 2-3 days of not eating, your body starts converting your fat as fuel. Instead of just burning through the sugars it gets in it’s daily diet.

You are also put in a spot to figure out something to do besides eating. I would go, lets see it’s Tuesday, and I can’t eat till Saturday, so I can’t just think about food all the time. I also realized how much of my day was spent on grocery shopping, cooking, and eating, or eating out for some people. Which I realized was also a culprit to my attention for food. I had grown so accustomed to eating at certain times of the day, that of course I was going to think about food during those times. And if I tried to do a normal restrictive diet, I was so programed that I would get a certain amount of food during those times, that I always felt unsatisfied. It made me realize how my subconscious was betraying me. Fasting kicked me off this pattern, and helped my brain to not crave food at certain times of the day.

And it gives you an amazing feeling of control. Because it’s hard, it’s a gratifying feeling knowing your pushing yourself and accomplishing your goal. At one point I remember laughing to myself when I heard some women complaining that it was 6 or 7 and they hadn’t eaten since lunch. They were ‘starving’ to quote them, and I was thinking, I haven’t eaten for 4 days, so I’m sure you’ll be okay. The sense of control is one of the greatest benefits for emotional eaters as well. You can show yourself that you don’t need food, and you can choose what to eat and when to eat it. Not only that, but you start to lose your apetite. The cravings die down within the first 2-3 days, and then you naturally stop obsessing over food. I remember being on the fifth day, and a coworker brought in fudge brownies. After 5 days of keeping yourself under control, and being a day away from completion, do you think those brownies were tempting? Not in the slightest, if anything I was thinking don’t bring those near me, they don’t look appealing, and there is no possible way I would break now. Like I said, food loses it’s control.

Of course you have to properly monitor your health, but this gave my mind the psychological break through it needed to change it’s relationship with food. I’ve tried different fasts since then, such as eating whatever 1 day, and 2 days just water. The more I did this, the less I wanted to overeat. It took a month or so though. The most important factor is cutting cravings, which eventually led me to cutting out sugar and grains. Everything’s a work in progress, but I feel back in control again, after years of constantly fighting my cravings to eat. If your trying to ‘break up’ with an emotional relationship to food, this may be worth a try. Plus if you do overeat a day, just doing a 1 day water fast can bring you back down. It’s very useful to keep yourself in check, it also keeps you from being stressed even if you eat because you know how to drop your weight back down. Great trick for Holiday binges πŸ™‚

Saving for a Sunny Day

Do you have a plan for your future? Many of us neglect things in the here and now because we’re focused on today’s troubles. If we pay attention or not, the future is fast approaching. The decisions we make now create our new today. All we ever have to work with is today. 

We have 1,096 todays until May 25 2020. 1,826 todays until May 25 2022. Which are 3 and 5 years out. Tomorrow, we will have 1,095, and then 1,094. The older you get the faster time seems to go but the more we tend to ignore it. Are you where you want to be today? Maybe you don’t know how to get where you want, but everyone has something they could be doing better. If you spend some time each day focusing on an area, 1,826 times, will make you proficient in almost any area. Learn a language, play a sport, learn to paint, read a few hundred books, grow a garden, or any number of things are possible if you dedicate a little time every day. We all have the same amount of days, and 5 years will be here before you know it, but will you be who you want, know what you want, or be able to do what you want?

I had never written out a 5 year plan before, because it seemed too far away. How could you prepare for something so ambiguous, when you don’t know where you could be living, working, doing etc. But, I realized the one thing that will be constant, Me. I will still be with me 5 years from now even if everything else has changed. So, there are plenty of things I can focus on in order to be who I want in 5 years. I don’t want to look back and go, dang if I had just spent more time doing this, I would be in such a better spot right now. I want my future self to be appreciative of my current self for putting in the energy each day to make a better future. 

Hard skills won’t be useless, even if life gets flipped upside down. They serve as a cusion for rough times, and wings for successful times. Gaining new skills and abilities, changes a person, and makes them more likely to adapt and grow in changing environments. So be it 10-20 minutes even an hour, dedicated to a task you wish to achieve, that’s one less thing to worry about in 5 years, and something to look forward to. Have fun with it, I did. I went, if I spend a little time each day, in 5 years I’ll be pretty good, so what do I want to be able to do? We are a generation with the blessings and curses of the internet. We have access to vasts amounts of information, that has never before existed. Use it to your advantage, and though everything else may change, help your future self by planning a little time towards a goal. They will thank you for it πŸ™‚

Not one bite

So today marks the 7th day I’ve gone without sugar. HUGE difference in cravings. I’ll see food, and instantly check myself. As long as I keep my goal at the front of my mind I stop thinking about food. That’s been very helpful. I used to constantly think about all the foods I wanted, but that is such a quick way to self destruct a diet. Instead I think, no I don’t want that actually, because I want to hit my goal. I try to focus on food as little as possible, however, I don’t know if cutting out the sugar made that easier. They say to not watch your weight, and eat whatever, as long as it doesn’t have sugar. Then after a few months, you can work on a diet once your cravings are under control. I could only do that for 2 days, then I was fine to eat less. Though, I did eat pretty healthy before, I probably had a lot less withdrawals.

I’ve made a few healthy desserts the last few days, like chocolate from honey, and baked apples. I like to bake, so I’ve been enjoying that. And I can make whatever (without sugar), and just have a small portion. It’s helping my food budget too πŸ™‚ One of the best feelings, is sticking to my goal. I can tell the difference, and not craving cookies all day is very enjoyable.

A few articles I was reading online, were talking about false hope associated with goals. They were saying how people would fail at goals because they would make goals too big, and underestimate how hard it would be. I found it funny that the example they used was cutting out sugar. They said it was not sustainable, and a more realistic goal would be cutting back. Since just one bite would trigger your sugar addiction, and you will have failed. That is because sugar releases feel good dopamine. Now, that’s why it’s debatable how similiar sugar is to an actual drug. However, since it has this effect, having a little is WAY harder than having none. You also don’t have to debate with yourself each day about how much you can or can’t have. It takes away the constant struggle, when you know your not having any. 

I don’t think people are underestimating how hard a goal will be to accomplish. I think they fail because they don’t set clear goals, and they don’t focus on them everyday. So far, the first day without sugar was the hardest. But I was focused on my goal. I was aware my emotions were going to try to pursuade me, so I got things that would keep my emotions in check. Heck, I even wrote a letter to myself, so that I knew what I was thinking when I decided to quit sugar. I read it each morning and it’s an awesome motivator. Takes away any ‘why am I doing this’ doubts. After the cravings went away, my emotions are now in tune with my goal. And when I see, say a piece of cake, I literally tell myself You do not want that, you do want to hit your goal. Then I can list all the benefits from hitting my goal. It’s hard to explain, but don’t focus on what you want in the moment, don’t let your emotions dictate your focus. Don’t spend the day thinking, man I realy want cake. Focus on what you actually want, the end goal, and then your emotions will go ‘oh ya, I actually want that too’. After which your emotions will forget all about the cake, and be more interested in how you will look in that dress you couldn’t fit in before. 

Your emotions will derail you, not your goal. That’s another line that your emotions will try to tell you. But it’s not too hard, scratch that. It’s going to be hard, tell yourself that, but just because something is hard doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish it. I know it’s hard, I give myself props because it’s not something anyone can do. You wouldn’t have to set a goal if it was easy. I’ve never had to set a goal to eat more cookies, because that is super easy. But if your emotions get the better of you, don’t count it as a failure. Realize where your emotions are most likely to take control, and put a goal trigger there. Your the only one who can change yourself, and your emotions may be the only thing stopping you. Goal failure isn’t coming from a source of false hope. It isn’t because you think your stronger than you actually are. It’s because we’re not told to focus on our emotions. To not let them make the decisions. And to fix the things that cause emotional changes, bad diet, processed foods/sugar, not going to bed on time, not drinking enough water, stressfull job etc.. Besides your better off failing 10 times and getting it on the 11th, then never trying at all. Aim high, focus on your progress, and don’t worry about failing, it’s called trial and error, and that’s how humans learn to succeed.  

😢 mmm… cake, no wait, I don’t want it, I don’t want it, I don’t, hey I actually don’t, I’d get a sugar crash, feel terrible, shorten my lifespan, and it would go straight to my hips, yeah I’ll pass, plus who knows what other sugars and chemicals are in it 😝