Fitness Challenge Days 76-78: Those dangerous D words – Obstacles to Success

I want to preface this post with a couple of important comments. First of all, the subject matter in this post is very serious and can have a profound impact on the success of a weight-loss or health management program. Secondly, I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not seeking pity or for someone to “feel sorry for me in my plight.” There are many many people in similar or, in some cases, more dire situations than my own. Rather, I write this in hopes that some of those that may read it may gain some insight or some solace through hat I have written herein.
The past few days have been challenging. A major car issue took place with expenses that were way beyond my ability to pay them. That was discouraging. Other challenges came about during the week which led to disillusionment, dejection, distress, and, ultimately, a feeling of demoralization. All of these combined can lead to that big D word… Depression.  And that is a place you DON’T want to go, let me assure you.
Discouragement, disillusionment, dejection, distress, demoralization and depression. These are all dangerous words that can derail your progress on your way to better health or weight loss.
We have all heard the adage, “when it rains it pours,” but there are times when it rains it hurricanes. These are the times that those big D words can really put a strain on your resolve.
Yesterday was a case in point for me. I had events that caused three or four of these D words to impact me and all I could think about was going to Krispy Kreme and buying a whole 12 pack of fresh warm donuts and downing all of them. Your mind plays tricks on you and you think to yourself, “What the heck, does it really matter anymore?”
Well, I did not go to Krispy Kreme and I did not get donuts. I tried to dig deep with some fortitude. But, despite all that I made my way to the vending machine with the intent of buying a big cinnamon roll. I talked myself out of it and ultimately bought a 50 cent package of peanut butter crackers. Healthy and beneficial to me? Definitely not. Stress reliever… in the short-term, yes.  Better than indulging in a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts… Absolutely!
For a moment I felt better and I determined within myself not to feel guilty about indulging in some “joy food.” They fulfilled their purpose and I was able to feel satisfied long enough to convince myself that I didn’t need anymore.

My “Downhill Climb”

It was at that moment when I felt a little better that I was able to reflect not only on a number of my simple day -to-day blessings, but also on the progress that I have made over the last 75 days. I was able to look at where I have come and how far I have gone on this “downhill climb.”I was able to tell myself that I did not want to derail the progress that I am having.

Back in 2009 I suffered from a bout of deep depression. Once I got out of that depression I vowed to myself that I would NEVER EVER EVER allow myself to go that deep again. No matter what! This week has tried that resolve but I am beating it despite the myriad of D Hurdles I have had to face.

Morning Walk with a Smile at a Mile, a Two Mile Smile, a Three Mile Smile and a big YES!

After suffering through a fairly restless night last night, I rose at 4:30 and decided I would go for a walk. For me, putting on the headphones with some of my favorite music and heading out on a walk was going to be the medicine I needed to get me through this day. Even at 4:30 AM it was 71° and 100% humidity, though not raining. It was not a comfortable time to walk, but at least the sun was not out yet.

I was upset, feeling frustrated and demoralized and so I walked and walked and walked until I was absolutely exhausted. I ended up walking about 3 1/2 miles which was the longest I’ve ever walked. I felt a sense of accomplishment and felt good about myself.

The Map My Walk stats for June 17 … my longest personal walk yet

Ironically, as I came down the last block to my house the song “Congratulations” by the Traveling Wilburys came on Pandora. Some of the lyrics are as follows…
Congratulations you got a good deal
Congratulations how good you must feel
Congratulations you came out on top
Congratulations you never did know when to stop
I was struck by the irony…it helped. To me it was a special message congratulating me for getting over the hump, for realizing that I do not have to let those terrible D words derail me but rather, I could take control and realize that somewhere down the road that “this too shall pass.”
I’m grateful I took that walk yesterday and came in feeling good about myself because later in the day I received more distressing news which threw me back down. I was notified that the current contract position I have at BrainBox will end at the end of the week. It had nothing to do with my work or my output for the company, but was a business decision. I knew it was a possibility, but had hoped that there would be work to keep me through August, which would then be back to full time work. Ultimately, once again, that box of donuts sounded awfully good as I had to deal with a blow to my self esteem.
After the initial impact of that brief conversation, and after some time for reflection, I was able to stand back and start counting my blessings again. You know, there are so many little blessings that we overlook. In my case, there are things such as being able to walk like I did yesterday morning. It is a huge blessing. There’s all the big things like a roof over my head, a car (at least we have a second car!!), living in a free country, and so on and so forth. There are the wonderful blessings of a sweet wife, great children and fabulous grandchildren. There are the blessings of mentors, friends that encourage, supporters, and many other individuals that are there in times of need, and quite often, in times of plenty as well.
Thanks to some encouragement from my sweet spouse yesterday, I was able to step back again, avoid the donuts and renew my resolve, despite the gigantic D monsters bearing down upon me.
I was reminded of a verse from the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:11, which says:
“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility”
Those that know me know that the majority of the time I look at the bright side of life, I am jovial and gregarious. But, I am not perfect either and there are things that can drag me down. I am resilient and I remind myself that I am resilient and this is why I always use the adage that “I am awesome, but I’m getting better,” even in times when I am really feeling downtrodden and getting worse.
I have referred to this change in health and diet as a “journey. ” These big D words are some of the pitfalls of a long and arduous journey. Each of us will experience these fire breathing dragon-like D words in our own ways, but we may also be able to overcome them with ingenuity and gumption and fortitude.
There is no finish line. We must continue to press forward even if it is one grueling step at a time, even if we need to tiptoe through the forest of D words to get back onto the brighter pathways of our journey.
This too shall pass. And for me, I will continue on my journey of Independence from 400 and will not let these D words impact me in the long run.

KAri - June 18, 2015 - 10:13

Wow, you do get some spikes! So glad you perservered, and a huge Right On for avoiding the evil doughbutts. I don’t remember if I told you, but also congrats on doing the Fitness Challenge! Yay! Yeah, bad incidents do seem to come in threes, so the good thing there is that you got that out of the way. You have known challenges now to deal with, and it’ll be Ok. Rough patch, and good luck, seriously. Good job grabbibg that depression by the scruff; that’s a sneaky one sometimes, as you know. Hang in there, and fight hard!

Jane Birch - June 18, 2015 - 10:42

Amazing post in every way. Your honesty and ability to dig deep for strength are so so inspiring. I know you are a man who has learned to do this through hard knocks. You have my deepest respect. Keep going strong!

Karen Furia-Giesman - June 18, 2015 - 12:45

You are amazing and so inspiring! Praying for continued encouragement and that things will turn around for you.

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