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Friday, April 11, 2008

A New Beginning--Again

This morning I weighed in at 222 pounds. That's not a pretty reality. This morning I also found myself unable to sleep in the early hours despite the fact that I've been unusually fatigued all week. I came up with a variety of thoughts about my life in the short term and the long term.

The short term would be the last week and the complete lack of control when it came to my diet and my weight. I made the decision that I didn't need to actually keep my food journal, a poor decision that was magnified by several things. Without going into great detail, those outside things included the power going off at my duplex, an exceedingly heavy photography load, and this daily medicine that seems to be making me tired as a side effect. The result was that my weight went up like a person who went on vacation and I think it will get back in line fairly quickly if I'll get my diet back in line. It taught me a lesson that I already knew.

During my early morning think session, I realized that when it comes to dieting I'm like an unruly dog being taken out for a walk. When I'm making an effort, it is like that unruly dog on a lease. Sometimes that dog will behave and stay in line, but any little distraction is problematic. Another dog, a squirrel, a car, an urge to sniff something--this unruly dog is easily thrown off track and even with the lease it makes walking the dog an inconsistent and sometimes difficult task. That's me on a diet. I do okay some of the time and then I get easily distracted and thrown off track. As long as I'm trying, it is like that lease that can be used to get me back on track. When I stop trying, it is like taking the lease off that dog and that will only lead to chaos and a total breakdown of discipline.

I also was thinking about how my life has changed dramatically over the last few years. In general, I believe those changes are for the better, but those changes have come at a high cost. That's usually how life works. As an example, think about an adult who decides to go back to college to get a degree. That's a huge change with a potentially huge payoff and I think we all would encourage our friends to go for such a challenge. On the other hand, that return to college often requires a lot of sacrifice. If you continue to hold down a full time job, then seeking a degree will absorb all of your free time and then some. You have to cut out a lot of things that are big in your life if you want to pursue something even bigger.

That's the way it has been for me. All of this photography that I've been doing is obviously adding a lot to my life or I wouldn't continue to do the photographs at Millsaps and a wide variety of other events. It is something big in my life like the person who has returned to college and it has brought plenty of sacrifices along the way. I tend to complain too much about all of those things that I've had to cut out of my life and maybe I need to focus more on the reasons why I continue down this new path. What I hope is that I'm still in some sort of acclimation period where I'll figure out a way to get a better balance and I'll reclaim some of those things that I've sacrificed. There's no question that I need to change the way my life has gone over the last year or two because I can't continue on this exact road for much longer.

Right now my weight and my life have one big commonality. They are both so far out of kilter that getting things back to normal has become a daunting task. If I was 195 pounds and in half way decent shape, then getting back to 175 and being fit would look like a doable task. At 222 pounds and in horrible shape, getting to 175 and fit is such a long journey. I can make it, but it is hard to stick to a plan when there is such a long, hard road ahead. Likewise with my life, I am so far behind that I don't know how I'll ever catch up. I can quote Henry Ford all day about no job being impossible if you break it into a series of smaller jobs, but there are just so many smaller jobs that need to be done.

Well hey, life isn't always easy. Right now I'm in a struggle and I'll fail here and there and I'll have my successes and I'll make progress over the course of time. I keep thinking that I can keep everything under control if I can just get back to the starting point. If I can get to 175 and fit, then I'll be able to maintain that. If I can get caught up with the backlog in my life then I'll be able to keep everything current. If I can get the house straightened up and uncluttered then I'll keep it that way. If, if, if--I need less of those and more done, done, done's in my life. I will get my life back on track if I'll just keep being persistent. It won't be easy and it won't happen overnight, but the rewards will be great when I get back to a life that is under control. Let's see if I can suceed at the smaller job of just having a good day today.

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