My name is Neale Bacon. I have lost (so far) 200 pounds with no pills, potions, shakes, short cuts or surgery. Join me for tips and tricks I learned on this journey. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

Cant-See-The-Forest-For-The-Trees-OptimisedI have touched on this topic before, but sometimes you have to take a step back and see how much progress you have made. We need to be our own cheerleader even though it can be hard. It’s hard for a couple of reasons. It can be perceived as arrogant if we blow our own horn and a lot of us have tried to be invisible so long, that it is hard to suddenly go “Hey look at me – look at what I have accomplished”.  It is hard because sometimes we just simply don’t see it. We get a mental image in our heads of what we look like and we think we will always look like that.

mc photoThis past weekend was my son’s wedding, and I was asked to be MC. I love being MC. Ask anyone who knows me – hand me a mic and off I go. I was especially thrilled to do it for my son’t wedding reception. Among the pictures taken this day was the one shown here of me with the microphone. The weird look on my face is that I was in mid-story. The point of the photo is that when I saw it posted to Facebook, and saw the positive comments I saw on the photo, I was brought close to tears. Tears of happiness I assure you.fat

There were tears of joy because my mind flashed to a photo my wife
found in an old album not too long ago that was taken about 7 or 8 years ago when I was around my highest and it made me realize that I have indeed not only made progress, but that my goal is possible and I will get there.

I thought this might be a good time to share some tips, even if some of them may be repeats.

First of all, I want to encourage you to take that step back. I know when you are really overweight, you avoid cameras like you would a salad bar, but dig out some of those old photos. Have a photo taken TODAY and compare the two. You may be very shocked by the difference.

For myself, the more I see changes, or have them pointed out by others when I DON’T see them, the more encouragement I find. More importantly, I find it keeps me on track. If we think there are no changes happening, then it is pretty easy to be discouraged and figure “What’s the point.” It is in those moments that we fall off the wagon as it were.

Emotional eating is a huge issue for me as it is for other, and when I get bummed about my weight, I will want a big bowl of anything I shouldn’t have.  I have found that by turning that emotional feeling on it’s head when I see positive pictures, I stick closer to my healthy eating plan.

A lot of people put pictures on their mirror or a goal image – of how they want to look when they get to goal. This can indeed be inspirational. Do you want to try something a bit more daring?

Get a photo of yourself at your highest, have it made to an 8 x 10 and put it on your fridge. I guarantee it will cut down on the grazing.

I remember a long time ago at the very beginning of my weight loss journey, we bought a fridge pig. What is a fridge pig? It was this little novelty item – a pig that was light activated. You put put it in the fridge and every time you open the door and the light goes on, the pig starts, well, making pig noises.

This was supposed to motivate me. It did. It motivated me to take a hammer and beat the little monster into a bunch of pieces. Hey not all the motivational ideas work.

I would also advise that you don’t make your goals too big without some smaller ones along the way. Don’t get me wrong. I am a big believer in goals, and I have my big goal of my final weight target but I have small goals along the way.

My goals almost fall into the one day at a time arena. I want to eat healthy and exercise, but sometimes it doesn’t happen as often as it should (confession time) and I find small goals help.

Instead of focusing on that big goal of 35 pounds still to go, I focus on getting to the gym at least twice a week and working out at home or getting other exercise at least twice a week. My rewards for doing so? There are obvious benefits of exercise and healthy eating, but I make sure my goals are not food related.

This is my next tip – don’t make those rewards food related. In other words if I make that goal, I don’t treat myself with a meal or an ice cream. I may take myself to a movie or buy a fitness magazine.

What would motivate you to make those small goals? I think we all need those carrots hanging in front of us sometimes.

I recently purchased a nice piece of home workout gear, and when I work out at home (in my room – I am a firm believer that working out is not a spectator sport) I have a few motivational posters of some body builders. It is not my goal to get into shape like Dwayne Johnson or Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it is still motivating to look at when working out.

The workout machine I bought is called a Total Flex, and I may review it some time, because I finally found a piece of home workout gear that is not an expensive laundry hanger.

So what do you need to do to do some “clear cutting”? To take down some of those trees so you can realistically look around and see where you are on the road and to see how far you have come?

In the meantime, have a healthy and happy day.

TakePride

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