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Posts Tagged ‘self esteem’

6:04 pm - Posted by Gregg

I am so excited about The Athlete Within Summit, hosted by my friend and colleague Renée Ramsdell, during which we can all learn how to build a strong and resilient body, unleash our self-esteem and embrace a healthier lifestyle.

This 21-day Online Event began on May 21 and you can still claim your free virtual seat by clicking here.

Are you tired of looking in the mirror and not liking what you see? Do you say no to activities that sound fun but seem impossible due to your weight or your sedentary habits? Are you finally ready to create real mind and body health along with achieving lasting happiness? This free online summit is about real health and life-long vitality. No more yo-yo dieting. No more exercise fads. No more starts and stops and start overs. There’s so much conflicting information on fitness and nutrition! It’s time to debunk the myths and reveal the truth behind lasting, vibrant health.

That’s why I’m thrilled to be a part of Renée Ramsdell’s virtual event. She has brought together 21 incredible experts to help all of us ditch the guilt, shame and confusion around weight loss and fitness — and learn to replace them with simple ideas that work to empower each and every one of us! It’s all the mind/body wellness information we’ve been looking for — all in one place.

The experts involved are Doctors, Coaches, Psychologists, Nutritionists, Motivators and Athletes — along with yours truly (and you all know once I get started, you can’t shut me up!)! Many of these experts have had their own issues with lack of fitness, poor body image, and an unhealthy relationship with food — and their amazing, inspiring personal stories reflect that. Together we can all reach real mind/body health and lasting happiness!

It’s not too late! Join us by clicking here. (And yes, you can share the link with friends and family — all of whom can also sign up for free). “See” you there!

Photo Source: Pro Well Fitness

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11:51 am - Posted by Gregg

Can you tell I’m excited about the availability of free online summits that can teach and inspire us to live happier, healthier lives? And no, I’m not just excited about them because I’m sometimes asked to participate as one of the guest speakers. I find these summits so useful for anyone looking to change their life for the better — whether they’re at the beginning of their journey to health or are working on maintaining the goals they’ve already achieved. I know I learn so much from these summits and speakers. And I love that the one I’m blogging about today focuses on discovering your inner athlete.

You know those feelings that tell us we aren’t athletes (oh, man — I know them well). Looking in the mirror and not liking what you see. Saying no to activities that would actually be fun, but seem completely impossible due to our weight or our current (or even former) sedentary habits. Well, we can now reclaim our health and a positive mindset once and for all.

First of all, know that you’re not alone. Lot’s of experts on these topics have been through it too and they are available to show you how! Connecting with your inner athlete can change the way you think about exercise, food, your health AND your body.

If you already know you want in, go ahead and click here now for free access.

You and I both know the internet is over-stuffed with lots of exercise plans, fad diets, self-help books, and dozens of other quick-fixes that over promise yet under deliver results. This is why we get so tired of all the failed plans and let-downs. What we really want is a healthy lifestyle that lasts — not another “get thin/fit/beautiful now” scheme.

My friend and colleague, Renée Ramsdell has pulled together a single resource for you where you will find all the tools you need to create lasting happiness while you build a strong and resilient body, unleash your self-esteem, and embrace a healthy lifestyle. We all deserve to be well and happy! Renée and I totally get what you’re going through because we’ve been there. The good news is we’ve both gotten though it and we’re excited to help you get through it too!

Renée has brought together 21 incredible experts (including yours truly) for this free online summit. She’s interviewed notable Doctors, Coaches, Psychologists, Nutritionists, Motivators and Athletes with years of experience. This rockstar group of experts have all come together to give you the tools you’ve been looking for.

If you’re ready to empower your inner athlete, get fit, lose those extra pounds and live a life full of amazing health and vitality, click here to sign up for free.

You’ll take away so many great tools and tips (all without charge, which I love!):

  • Discover what types of exercise WORK for and are FUN for you.
  • Learn to accept where you are now and plan for where you’d like to go.
  • Make friends with your body.
  • Enjoy foods that satisfy AND nourish you.
  • Harness the power of your mind to achieve your goals.
  • Decide that you are WORTH it!

I’m thrilled Renée invited me to speak on this free online event, and I’m proud to share this virtual stage with all my fellow experts. I look forward to your joining Renée, myself and all the other experts.

P.S. Share this link with friends and family and they’ll get to enjoy free access to the summit as well!

Photo Source: New England Journal of Medicine

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February 16, 2015

Scaling new heights

1:06 pm - Posted by Gregg

I make no secret of being put on strict diets since the first grade – and then continuing the tradition of different types of diets (the tried, the true, the super wacky) even after I was old enough to fully be in control of what I ate. The one thing they all had in common (besides me cheating on every single one)? They all included the key component of weighing one’s self – whether it be once a day or once a week. Thus, I quickly associated whatever number the scale was showing me with either success or failure. Nothing else mattered except that almighty number on the scale. And as that number increased over the years (to 450 pounds and more), I gave the scale more and more power. Talk about a false prophet.

This obsession with weighing myself to track my ‘progress’ (define that how you will) culminated one morning after graduating from college with my then digital scale registering no number at all. Instead, I found the scale reading, “ERR.” As many of you know, I later discovered in the scale’s manual that ‘ERR’ was the scale’s code for “Error,” as that particular scale didn’t register any weight in excess of 450 pounds.

Although a sobering experience, many more years would pass before I just stopped eating so much – and finally got my binge eating under control. Looking back, I realize that the scale was providing more than just a snarky editorial comment with ‘ERR’. It turns out I was putting way too much emphasis on what the scale was registering, when at over 450 pounds, my breathlessness and general shortage of good health (not to mention miserable social life and total lack of self worth) was already telling me everything I needed to know. I was giving the scale too much power – and this continued even into recent years, long after I’d taken and kept off over 275 pounds.

Finally, about four years ago (even after keeping most of the excess weight off for years), I realized just how much power (mental and otherwise) I was still giving the scale. If the scale was registering a higher weight, I was crushed (and this would lead to some kind of action that would further defeat my self-esteem). If the scale registered a lower number, then I was in a good mood, had pep in my step and would easily choose salad over a milkshake. But the scale was my mood setter to be sure. Thus, I picked the scale up off my bathroom floor, wrapped it in a plastic bag (to protect it from dust) and shoved it under my bed.

That’s right… I decided to just stop weighing myself… And the results were incredibly freeing.

Suddenly, I wasn’t defining myself by a number. Instead, I was getting in touch with what my clothes felt like when on. Was I fitting into my “skinny” clothes without the threat of popping a button and putting someone’s eye out? Was I feeling robust and energetic even after eating a meal? Or tired and lethargic? Without the scale to rely on, I was finding all sorts of feedback about my weight, my health and (most important of all) my attitude. To say the experience has been freeing is an understatement.

And yes, there are days the jeans are a little snug. So I amp up the exercise and add a little more vegetables and fruits to my eating repartee until the clothes are looking and feeling good again. For me, this has become a much better barometer for staying in shape than numbers on a scale that could send me into total depression were it to register 180 instead of 175.

In fact, I consider the scale such a potential downer to my self-esteem, that these days even when I weigh at the doctor’s office, I insist on keeping my eyes closed and tell the nurse to write my weight down on the chart and not to announce it. Is this a little extreme? Who the heck cares? I used to weigh over 450 pounds and now I don’t. So I think I’m allowed to be a little extreme. And I think you’re allowed to be, too!

Now, I’m not saying that using the scale to track your progress as you get rid of excess weight can’t be a good marker of your progress. But I do urge everyone reading this to think of the scale as just one tool in the battle against obesity. Do not make it your be all, end all in terms of how you’ll feel for the rest of the day, mentally. Body weight can be affected by so many different things (your hydration levels, your recent sleep patterns, salty foods you might have consumed, stress, etc.).So don’t put all of your worth into a number (whether it be higher or lower).

Think instead about how your tight jeans feel. Are they looser? Can you breathe when you sit down? And speaking of breathing, how do you feel when you’re out and about? Are you moving easily and without any shortness of breath? Are people noticing the twinkle in your eye? Do you find yourself smiling more? These are all indicators of your success and, quite frankly, mean a heck of a lot more than whatever number that scale’s registering.

So whether you follow suit and put away your scale forever, or decrease your weigh-ins from once a day or week to once a month or intervals even further apart, I urge you to take away the power that you (we!) have given the scale all these years. The number its registering has absolutely no reflection on who you are as a person. And, like me, you just might find that paying attention to other indicators proves to be a healthier – and happier – way to track your fabulosity.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with your scale? Or a tape measure? Or some other tool you’re using to battle the bulge? I’d love to hear all about it. So please – post away (or a-weigh, as the case may be).

Photo Source: Momastery

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December 31, 2014

The definition of success

2:21 pm - Posted by Gregg

Who are you as this brand new year begins? How do you feel about yourself? What kind of energy are you projecting into the world? And, if I Googled you, what results would there be that define you? Answer with the first word and/or descriptor that comes to your mind…

Fabulous?

Amazing?

Incredible?

Fat?

Sadly, it’s often words like “Fat,” or phrases such as “Too big” or “Too this or that” that we would choose as the first thought that defines us as of right now. As dieters, we often think in terms of negatives – as if those depressing thoughts might motivate us to finally stick to our diet and take off some excess weight. But in my experience, keeping negative words and thoughts at the forefront of our inner dialogue can actually be pretty destructive.

Think about someone close to you. Someone you love. Someone you think hung the moon. When that person comes to mind, do you think about one of their shortcomings? Or do you think about their many qualities and the warm, fuzzy feeling you get as a result of having them in your life?

Now, think of someone you’re not a fan of. When you think of this person, do you list one of their qualities first? Or do you focus on the reason you consider them someone you really don’t want to be around?

One thinking process felt good, right? And the other? Not so good.

And yet I’m willing to bet that when you think of yourself, it’s often in the same sort of light you think of someone that you dislike or want to avoid. In other words, you’re not feeling any of the warm fuzzies in regard to yourself. And I’m here to tell you that you should. After all, you are an incredible, amazing person just as you are right now (in this very moment).

I don’t care if you have 5, 10 or 100 pounds (or more) of excess weight to lose. I don’t care if you recently lost your tempter with your significant other. I don’t care if you goofed off at work the day before yesterday. I don’t care that you haven’t quite achieved or perhaps haven’t even started working toward your goals for this new year. You are still incredible. You are still amazing. You are still perfect – right in this very moment.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to encourage you to lose excess weight, get healthier, look better and meet all of your goals. But I doubt you’re going to do it if you’re defining yourself by what you perceive to be your shortcomings. In other words, it’s time to stop defining yourself by negatives (like your excess weight) and start accentuating the positive.

When it comes to helping someone change, wouldn’t you be more likely to do anything to help the person you imagined earlier that you care about? And isn’t it just as likely that you wouldn’t really care to help the person you imagined earlier who you’d like to avoid? So why would you think that you can be down on yourself and still accomplish your goals? By filling your thoughts with shiny, happy ones, you’ll add a little pep to your step and be motivated to initiate the changes you want to see come to fruition this year.

Another example: Think of dogs. Are they more motivated by having their nose rubbed in excrement? Or by getting a loving pat and lots of praise when they do something good? You know the answer.

So yes, I want you to stop rubbing your nose in the “excrement” of past failures – not to mention defining yourself by the same. None of those failed diets, exercise plans or goals matter. They can all be counted on as great lessons about what worked and what didn’t. Today is a new day. Heck, it’s a new year. A year in which you can accomplish anything. But only if you think of yourself with love, with acceptance and with the knowledge that you got it goin’ on – even if you’re not at your ideal weight quite yet.

So let’s all give ourselves some mental hugs today, shall we? And let’s start defining ourselves by our positives, rather than our negatives. This mental channel change – and new definition of ourselves – can lead to amazing things (including weight loss, better health and a happier life).

What have you got to lose? Aside from the negative thoughts, that is?

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4:50 pm - Posted by Gregg

Although you wouldn’t know it to look at me today, I used to be a total boob man. But the difference between me and that guy who Googles Dolly Parton is that, at the time I had boobs that could give Ms. P a run for her money.

This was back when I weighed well over 400 pounds and was approaching the dreaded 450-pound mark (at which point my scale quit me – but that’s another story for another post). During this time period, I was somewhat terrified to leave my apartment. Mainly because I was worried that the world was judging me. By just stepping out the door, I felt like everyone could figure out my weakness (food!) and see my Achilles’ heel (well, myAchilles’ belly, in any case).

Of course, a lot of this thinking was ego-based. I mean, inhabitants of Tallahassee, Florida (where I lived at the time) were likely too busy living their own lives to really care that my girth was close to being assigned its own zip code. And yet, often times, their stares told me differently. Usually, once I would catch someone staring, we would both look to one another, acknowledge mutual shame and then look away. This would usually be followed by me making fun of their outfit (silently in my head) – anything to combat the torture I was sure they intended for me to suffer.

Again, a lot of this was drama I was creating for myself. And this drama was paralyzing. This is why I would usually shop for groceries late at night. After all, I knew the sight of a 400+ pound man shopping for food might be too much for some onlookers to bear. Luckily for me, there was a 24-hour Albertsons nearby. So late at night I would sneak out of my apartment and scurry over to the grocery store, trying to stay hidden from the world. And from myself.

But there was a reason this market was open 24-hours a day. It turns out other people liked to shop around the clock as well (although I was sure their reasons weren’t as important as mine).

I’ll never forget one late evening, while pushing my cart through the aisles of Albertsons. My bounty thus far included my usual picks: 1/2 very healthy, “diet”-type food along with 1/2 binge-worthy treats that I would use as a “last meal” before beginning that week’s diet. Thus, I would quickly wheel past anyone who happened to be in the same aisle as me.

This particular evening, I found myself in one aisle that was very crowded. It was the cereal aisle and I was picking out one ‘healthy’ and one ‘unhealthy’ cereal. When turning my cart to leave the aisle, I saw a bunch of shoppers on one end. Abort mission! I quickly turned my cart toward the opposite end of the aisle, horrified to see it was just as crowded. ‘Why must everyone like cereal as much as me?,’ I wondered.

I then swallowed hard, looked down (eye contact with anyone seeing my girth was forbidden, after all) and pushed my cart toward the end of the aisle. At one point, I passed a mom and her daughter. The little girl (around 6 or 7) made eye contact with me. There she was, this sweet, innocent cereal lover. So I risked everything and smiled at her. Much to my chagrin, she stared back blankly. I continued past her and her mom. But as I did, the girl screamed out to her mom, “Mommy! Mommy? Why does that man have boobs?”

Everyone – and I mean everyone – in that crowded aisle turned to look at the man with boobs (I was sporting facial hair at the time, so there was no denying I was male).  I quickly made my way down the aisle, my hands gripping the cart while I held my breath, determined to slink away before every shopper saw my 44Bs. Or were they Double Ds?

After rounding the corner, I abandoned the cart and quickly left the market – getting into my Chevy Chevette and speedily racing home like a vampire fearing dawn’s first light. Once safe in my apartment, I wished that I had said something equally mean to the little girl – something that would have kept her up at night or, at the very least, made her pee her pants in front of all the other shoppers. I never did see her or her mother again. But I still went even further into hermit mode for the next several years.

I share this not to demonize – or even excuse – the little girl’s behavior. I share it because I know the agony of stepping into public with added girth. It’s our embarrassment and shame that not only keeps us from heading into public but also from actually taking the weight off. This is all part of the cycle of abuse that society offers and that we participate in. Looking back, I can see that the little girl wasn’t my worst enemy at the time. I was.

Nowadays I think back on my man boobs with pride and a big sense of humor. When appearing on the Today Show, I joked that I felt like I was nursing America when they flashed one of my shirtless “Before” pictures onscreen. It’s this kind of humor that can free us. No matter what size we are, it’s nothing to be embarrassed of. And it’s nothing that should keep us from shopping in public – or doing anything else in public for that matter (perhaps even exercising)… And it’s nothing that should keep us from loving and accepting ourselves. This kind of acceptance can be so freeing – and can help unblock the path to weight loss and good health once and for all.

Today, I have slightly-defined pecs from my years of working out (emphasis on slightly — LOL!). But look closely and you’ll see scars under my nipples from when I had excess skin around my chest (and elsewhere) cut away after losing and keeping off the excess weight. So I still think twice about being seen in a bathing suit in public. But then again, so do most people I know (even those odd ‘Thin all their lives’ people).

So wear your boobs proudly – no matter if you’re male or female, no matter if you’re in a “Before,” “During” or “After” phase. And for God’s sake, keep your sense of humor. After all, I may not have actual boobs anymore, but I’m still one of the biggest boobs you’ll ever meet.

Have you experienced something like this? If so, I want to hear about it. Not to be horrified. Not to be frightened. But to acknowledge, smile – and hopefully laugh – with you… One boob to another.

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