Sunday, January 08, 2012

Up, Down, or Sideways- A book review and some thoughts

While I was home with my broken leg, a book arrived in the mail called "Up, Down, or Sideways." The author, Mark Sanborn gives advice on how to succeed when things are going good, bad or in between.

Sanborn starts out by telling how things were going three years ago. His speaking engagements were fewer, his investments were decreasing, and he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  During this time, Mark looked within and around and remained proactive to rise above his circumstances.

Mark Sanborn is a leadership expert and "Up, Down, or Sideways" is a how to book on taking leadership in your life, helping you ride the waves, no matter how high or how low.

I got this book during a time when things were very down for me. I had taken a cut in pay, primarily because when things were going sideways, I became too complacent. Immediately after the pay cut, I went into a downward spiral. I felt like the lowest form of life, a loser. I started looking for ways to regain what I lost. And when things were looking like they would be going up, I went and broke 2 bones in my legs.  But I'm back on my feet, and things are starting to look up for me. I need to keep an attitude of success while realizing that there will be adjustments to be made.

Mark tells how to make the necessary adjustments dependent on the direction you happen to be going. A great attitude is a great way to go, but one also needs to approach life with a cautious optimism.

As I was reading the book, I got to thinking about those whom I have made friends with through the radio chat boards and how they flourished during their time. Many of them knew when it was time to leave radio and television and move on to different fields, knowing full their "15 minutes of fame" were up. Cliff Note: Most had well more than 15 minutes, but you know what I mean. these folks know that their continuing success wasn't dependent on their time behind the microphone or in front of the cameras. As a matter of fact, if Mark Sanborn could write a book for my particular region, I could give him some names of people to interview who others measured their success as their time on the airwaves, but they themselves measure it as the time they now  can spend with their family.

It's been said that you learn more when you are in the valley than up on the mountain. "Up, Down, or Sideways" outlines how to get the most out of whatever situation you are in.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Do you really WANT to lose weight?

As I mentioned in my last post, I had to have 2 insulin shots before I had surgery in October. Even though I had lost over 30 pounds before that, this was a real wake up call for me to really take better care of myself. I was diagnosed as being a diabetic in 2005. I'm certain that part of this occurred due to heredity, but I also think that much of this was because of my lifestyle. Matter of fact, diabetes is an epidemic because of lifestyle. And if you don't believe me, go to your local Evil Big Box Store(tm) and look around.

Let me ask you. Are you someone who polishes off a pizza, bag of chips, and a 2 liter of your favorite non diet soft drink while watching an episode of "The Biggest Loser"?  As much as I admire the people who succeed in losing weight and keeping it off, I don't think the show inspires as many people as they would like to. I think there needs to be more one on one contact, one loving on another for weight loss to be effective and more permanent.

And you can't shame others in losing weight. You insult somebody because of their weight, chances the emotions you get out of them will be hurt feelings and they will turn to their best friend,  be it a fast food value meal or a package of cookies.

And you don't encourage anyone by trivializing their loss. I once told a family member that I had lost 5 pounds. Their response was "Well whoop de doo! I could do that by taking a crap." Not the response I was looking for.  Didn't hurt my feelings, but also didn't motivate me to lose any more at the time. If that's the best you can come up with, keep your mouth shut.

For the most part, you lose weight because YOU want to lose it. I have found this out time and time again that I never lost it because someone else, including my doctor, wanted me to. I have always needed to find my divine spark. In my early 20's I lost 60 pounds because I wanted to have a social life. I gained some of this back, but lost 45 pounds in my mid 20's as a challenge not to gain weight after I quit smoking.

In my early 40's, I felt I needed to lose weight because of arthritis issues in my legs. I knew that I would need to have a knee replaced, which I did at the age of 45. I had lost around  45 pounds that time around.

I figure in my adult years, I have probably lost collectively over 200 pounds. Problem has been that after I lose, I gain back and then some. And I feel that maybe I'm in the majority. I change my eating habits then get too lax when I lose enough to get into a good size pants. Weight goes back on until something happens that makes you want to lose again.

I know I need to make some permanent changes as yo yo dieting is dangerous. I'm not big enough for the Biggest Loser ranch, but  I have access to a fitness center at my place of employment. And I think with internet access, ignorance is not an option when it comes to eating better.

Hopefully I still have some recovery bloggers reading my blog. If they have any friends from OA, I would more than welcome their comments.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Walking through the first day of a new year

I have one crutch in my house and the other in my car. I used neither today.

Felt good to walk into church today under my own power without something to lean on. And I also walked around the sanctuary a couple of times as well. I'm not ready to run any marathons, but then again, I never was ready in the past either.

It's been a long two plus months, but I got to learn quite a bit.

First, my coworkers are a very considerate group of people. Way more often than not, they would put aside what they were doing and do things such as hold doors open for me. If I would have asked, they would have done more for me.

I also learned that all handicapped parking spaces are not necessarily closest to where you need to go. I attended the winter concert performance of the Rittman band this past month as I wanted to say hi to many of the students and their parents. I got off work that day at 6, had to pick up a prescription at the store, then went to the school. The only parking spaces available were the handicapped spaces available on the side of the school, but nowhere near close to the door where I was to go in. But it was a good concert and the walk was worth it.

I've also gotten pretty good at using the electric carts that the major stores have available. I've been able to negotiate tight corners and close aisles. I also am able to back them into the spaces I got them from and plug them back in for the next person who needs them.

I have written previously about the misuse of handicapped spots, by those taking the spaces when others need them more than they would. A beef I have always had about the way people regard these spaces is that they sometimes use the lined spaces next to them as cart returns, not realizing some people need the area to get out of their cars.

I still have quite a bit of rehabbing to do and my goal is to be riding my bicycle again in the spring. In about a month, two of the 9 screws will be removed from my ankle, freeing up the leg somewhat. Hopefully the ground will be much firmer this year and I wont be slipping around.

And since before the break I had lost over 30 pounds, I hope to continue this trend in the coming year. Having to get a couple of insulin shots before surgery was very much a wake up call. And there was some concern in the back of my mind that healing would be a very slow process. Yeah, I need to take much better care of myself.