knowing yourself and weekly reflections: 7/21 – 7/27

Some natural therapy in the form of sun and water

Change in weight (7/21/20 – 7/27/20):  -0.4 LBS

Still trying to build those followers! Follow my blog and instagram @a_better_ben.

How well do you know yourself? I’m talking about knowing yourself and how you deal with adversity, how you deal with challenges, and how you deal with disappointment. I don’t know about you, but I find that I learn new things about myself every day. Because I constantly learn more and more about myself, I recognize that I do not know myself as well as I may have thought.

I had a pretty solid week with one big emotional curveball thrown in. So check out the goals at the bottom to see how I did.

I want to spend this post speaking on the importance of taking the time to know ourselves. This is very important, especially when working towards goals. For me, I have weight loss goals and overall wellbeing goals (mental health, reduced stress, reduced feelings of depression, etc.). Do you have any personal goals? Think about them now, and we can move on.

What keeps us on track with our goals? Discipline, commitment, focus, accountability partners, motivation, fear, etc. Many of these are internal. They dwell within our being and require our own abilities to let them flourish (or with fear, control them) and help us to succeed. What are some of the things that can derail us and help us get off track with our goals? I could put ‘lack of’ in front of many of those first things that keep us on. I could also say stress, time constraints, distractions, or others. Outside influences hurt our ability to work towards our goals.

It seems that the outside factors, the exogenous factors of life, will always have an ability to derail our goals, especially if we do not have command over the internal aspects of our being that keep up on track. I could be moving in the right direction, but something could happen that totally distracts my focus and I can lose it. So learning about ourselves is knowing our own strengths and our own weaknesses. What am I consistently good at? Do any parts of me easily falter under the pressure of outside variables?

Some outside, emotional events happened recently which have forced me to take a good look at myself. Which of my personal attributes are at the most risk of faltering? Can I rely on some of my attributes to help gain control? I learned this week that my commitment to my goals and my discipline has grown greatly. When my emotions are blindsided, I easily lose focus and can step back from my goals to retreat to a place of ‘comfort’. I noticed that I did not retreat as far back as I could have before, so my discipline and months of effort helped me. It helped carry me to a week with weight loss, even though I did not feel like caring for the effort. It also helped me realize that I need to take care of myself and spend more time learning myself

Another area is simply having those people in your life to help you. It is okay to not know what to do. It is okay to be self-aware enough to know you may not have the best handle on how you deal with some of these random events. It is good to recognize that and allow yourself to then rely on some of the support you have outside of yourself.

We escaped to New Hampshire this weekend. This afforded me the opportunity to reflect… to slow down my brain and really think about myself and how my being deals with adversity. It was an important step and one that is helping me. I still have goals and I still have dreams. Once you understand how your personality and mind responds to adversity, you can prescribe the actions needed to help you overcome it. I am trying to do that now. Getting to this takes a little humility, seeking, and realization that you may not know yourself as well as you think you do. I wish I knew Ben better, but I am aware that I still have much to learn. I can accept that.

Take the time for yourself. I am trying to and need to take more for me. You probably have things that require some time as well. Let me know if I can be of any help to you.

Do you need to get to know yourself better? Do you know how you might respond to life’s curveballs? You don’t have to give me details, but let me know if you plan on working on this.

If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.

Please leave a like or a comment!

How did I do on last weeks action plan?:

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs. Attained
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat) Not attained
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Attained.
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc. Attained
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri). Attained
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days. Attained
  7. Track every bite. Attained
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day. Attained
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions. Attained

Action Plan

  1. 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 1 misc ride, 1 run.
  2. 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
  3. Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
  4. 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
  5. 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
  6. 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
  7. Track every bite
  8. Drink 10 glasses of water per day
  9. Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions

Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!

DateChange in Weight
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
2/3-1.2 lbs
2/10-4.6 lbs
2/17+0.4 lbs
2/24-1.6 lbs
3/2-3.2 lbs
3/9+1.8 lbs
3/16-3.2 lbs
3/23-0.6 lbs
3/30+0.4 lbs
4/6-1.6 lbs
4/13+0.8 lbs
4/20-1.8 lbs
4/270 lbs
5/4+2.4 lbs
5/11-5.2 lbs
5/180 lbs
5/25-1.0 lbs
6/1-1.2 lbs
6/8-0.4 lbs
6/15-0.8 lbs
6/22+0.8 lbs
6/29-1.4 lbs
7/6-2.4 lbs
7/13+2.4 lbs
7/20-1.6 lbs
7/27-0.4 lbs

* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning


weekly reflection and 5 tips for changing how you view regular weigh-ins

A primer to how I think about scales –

I have always disliked going to the doctors. It has never been a very positive experience and they make me step on a scale. I hate stepping on to a scale. It is easier to bury my head in the sand, right? It’s like playing peekaboo with my toddler, if she can’t see me, I’m not there. If I can’t see the number on the scale, must not be a thing! Perfect, good, great, don’t have to worry about my weight because I didn’t actually see a number. I am sure many of you also struggle with the thought of stepping on a scale, so let me go through the thought process and perspective that I am trying to use as I do weekly weigh ins.

1. It is your weight for one week and one week only.

We can get stuck in the trap of thinking “I weigh this much, this is me, and this is my life.” Let’s be real, that is your weight on the day you step on that scale. It is not what you have always been and it may not be what you are going to be. I am trying to remind myself that it is my weight today, but it better damn well not be next week or in a month. The scale is a snapshot of a moment in time, but we live through time.

2. The number on the scale does not define you, but you can define it.

I do not meet new people and introduce myself by saying “Hi, my name is Ben, I like warm hugs, and I weigh _____.” The number on that scale represents what we talked about in the point above. Our meaning, worth, and being go so far beyond that. And truthfully, I can stay the same weight and make sure that other attributes define me. If I am meant to be big for the rest of my life then I choose to be the healthiest I can be, the nicest I can be, and the best person I can be. You set the trajectory for who you are and you define it, not some number.

3. It can and will be frustrating, understand that to set realistic expectations.

It is helpful to set our expectations and ground them in reality. Weight loss is frustrating. People lose some, gain some, lose some more, and can hate it throughout the whole process. It is important to understand that this is an endurance race, not a sprint. It will not be easy and we may hate it, but we will fight through because of where we want to go.

4. Knowledge is power. Let’s use it to create change in a positive direction.

Let the number on your scale empower you. Knowledge is power. Knowledge allows us to make informed decisions and helps us to avoid guessing. If you didn’t know your weight, how much harder would it be to set targets. Let the understanding inform your drive to change and be a better you.

5. It is better than being surprised.

It is less shock to the system to incrementally know what’s going on. The shock of stepping on the scale for the first time in a month, 6 months, year can set us into an emotional tizzy. Keep on top of your consistency to ease that shock and take it one week at a time.

This list may seem completely logical to most or all of you. Or maybe not. If you had not thought about it like this, give it a try! Let me know if it has assisted your perspective on tracking weight. If this seems obvious, hear me out before you dismiss it as nothing new. Our thoughts about weight, our opinions of weight, and our fears of stepping on the scale do not always live in the realm of reason and logic. Fear is an emotion. Humans are an emotional species. Emotions do not often align with logic. I’ll let you fill in examples of that bad relationship that we could not be convinced differently about…

When I approach the scale my logic often flies out the window and it is replaced with irrational emotions. My goal is to conquer that emotion with cold hard logic, with the understanding that this fear and anxiety does not benefit me, but it holds me back, and with the realization that my logic is going to help me attain change.

I step on the scale on Monday mornings (though one week I weighed in on a Sunday ). I have set that as the time. I do it before I get dressed, before I drink coffee, before I have breakfast and water. I do this so I feel as lite as possible and to appease my many emotions (see above on emotions and rational thinking). Despite my emotions dictating when I step on the scale, I am okay with this because I am consistent. I do not want to weigh myself Monday morning and then the following Monday night because it is not an accurate comparison when accounting for daily eating and activity. Just the proper amount of water intake can drastically change your weight. I have read that some professionals will suggest daily weigh ins where others suggest weekly or other time periods. How often do you weigh in? Do you feel that daily versus weekly would have a big difference for you and your goals? I am curious what works for others.

My change from last week –

Change in weight (1/20/20 – 1/26/20): +0.4 lbs

This week was not the easiest. My body was tired and I was not as disciplined with eating. We had a Chinese New Year (see future post with more details) get together on Saturday and my wife and I had a much needed date night on Sunday. We also got home super late another night and were so busy that we ordered pizza. So there were a number of days where I definitely exceeded my normal calorie target. I tried to make up for it with exercise and walking, but let’s understand I am a bit frustrated looking back at my performance. Despite the frustration, I am working hard at being okay with weeks like this. They happen. When we hold ourselves to unrealistic standards, we always fail. So despite the fact that I ate more than I would have liked, I am proud of myself. I am proud that I tracked. I am proud that I tried to overcome the intake with burning calories. I am proud that I will continue fighting to get healthier next week.

I was super frustrated when I saw that I gained weight. It may not be much, but the emotions play deeply into this process. These are the days and weeks where it is all the more important to remember the logical points I laid out above. I have my marching orders, that number is only a metric for this past week, I will define the change and how I want to change it, and it wasn’t the biggest surprise. I knew that this week would be close, I explained it above. My goal for the upcoming week is to hit my 10,000 steps every day along with my other intake and workout goals.

I am curious about others and how they mentally motivate themselves. Do these 5 tips make sense? Are they helpful? How do you respond to weekly successes or a disappointments?

As this blog grows and I get the hang of it, I will be including a check-in weight tracker to show my progress over time. Hopefully I will feel brave enough to share my actual weight in the near future. For now, please see the below table showing my weight changes since December 1.

DateChange in Weight
12/2*-5.4 lbs
12/9-5.4 lbs
12/16-3.4 lbs
12/23+2.8 lbs
12/29-1.2 lbs
1/6-1.4 lbs
1/13-1.6 lbs
1/20-1.4 lbs
1/27+0.4 lbs
* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning