Saturday, November 8, 2014

How do you #LiveALittle Series? Featured Member: Arch

Your name?   Arch
Location?  Topeka, KS
When did you start to #LiveALittle (make the changes)?  Aug 2013

What do consider your main accomplishments?  The weight loss is clearly the most visible, but lowering my blood pressure, getting taken off diabetes medication, and learning to stop abusing myself with words and actions are the greatest accomplishments. 

What does everyone around you notice as 'different'? They obviously notice the outward physical change, but my overall demeanor has improved as well, and those who know me best see it very clearly. 

What qualities do you look for in the people you hang out with and allow into your inner circle?
I’m still very guarded about my “inner circle”, and it’s very sparsely populated. I don’t hang labels on people, and don’t have a checklist of what qualities people should have. Everyone I interact with will either become a part of my “inner circle” or they won’t. There’s no real criteria for me.

If you wanted to encourage innovative ideas on changing one's life, how would you go about it? I don’t think there’s much need for innovation. The methods are tried and true, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. As cliché as it sounds, things like, “If you want to see a change, BE the change” and “You need to love yourself first” are the real truths. That’s why they become cliché… because they are accurate. Step 1 is to incorporate positive self-talk and absolutely ELIMINATE negative self-talk. It’s powerful. Stuart Smalley was onto something. #SNL

How would you describe your personal #LiveALittle lifestyle change? One thing that has helped me was to make an agreement with myself that I will not break promises I make to myself. So if I say I’m going to walk a mile today, then no matter what gets in the way, I walk that mile. Even if it comes at the end of a long day and I’m tired. I refuse to let myself down. Maybe it has to do with my meal choices for a particular day. I approach every day with an attitude of setting out to “Win The Day”. Over time, I’ve gone from loathing physical exertion to craving it. Walking used to be a miserable necessity, now it’s a valued activity that I enjoy. 

If you wanted to create an environment where motivation can thrive, what’s the first thing you would do? I’d say it depends. If you mean one’s own personal environment, then my answer is to do the following things. 1)Be cognizant of that little voice in your head that spews negativity and SQUELCH it. When that voice chastises you or belittles you or tells you that you can’t reach your goals, audibly take control and say, “That’s not true” and follow it with a positive statement about yourself. It’s important to say it out loud. And it’s been proven that using your name in third person is far more effective. 2) Remove things from your vicinity that perpetuate the problems you’re battling. If you don’t have alcohol, soda/pop, or Twinkies, or Skittles, or Hot Pockets around the house, you won’t be able to succumb to moments of weakness. People sometimes slip, hammer some Girl Scout cookies, and then the cycle begins of beating themselves up over it, and the negative self-talk can follow. Remove those things, and you are one step closer to having a personal environment where motivation can thrive.  

How do you show that you believe in yourself? I show it through my actions. I show it by keeping the promises I make to myself. I make good choices. I get my exercise. Literally, I walk the walk. 

Who, Whom, and/or What has influenced you the most? I’ve drawn influence from many people. Some I’ve known personally, others only through their stories I’ve encountered via various forms of media. For me, being introduced to Plexus Slim was what triggered my rise from the abyss. The product gave me hope, and I’ve taken the proverbial ball and run with it. And it was the friend who introduced me to Plexus, Christina Crosby in my old hometown of Butte, Montana who taught me the power of eliminating the negative self-talk. I used to abuse myself verbally in a hateful way that would make most people cringe. I’ve gotten much better at that discipline, though it’s a constant battle. 

What do you do to challenge yourself when you're not motivated?  In those situations, I break things down into manageable components. I think about why I’m not motivated. A lot of times, it’s because the goal seems so far away, and what difference will one day make? Then I realize that I don’t need to lose 10 lbs. today. I just need to do SOMETHING today. I’ve learned that I never regret exercising, but I always regret when I don’t. So I just treat it on those days like a job. A necessary task. Then I (with apologies to Nike) JUST DO IT. 

When is breaking the #LiveALittle rules okay? Really, it’s never OK. But it’s gonna happen. And when it does, it’s imperative to acknowledge, and reset immediately. It’s forgivable, certainly, but not really ever “OK”. 

What does 'working on’ yourself mean to you? There are three areas that require attention and maintenance: physical, emotional, and spiritual. The physical part is obvious. Diet and exercise. Simple. The emotional part is deeper. It’s not just about being happy or sad, or fulfilled, though those things play a part. It’s also about loving yourself, respecting yourself. It’s about being able to hold your head high because you know you are being the best “you” you can be. It’s about a lot of things I talked about in some of the earlier questions, like creating an environment for yourself that encourages motivation, and keeping promises you’ve made to yourself. Spiritual can mean your relationship with God, or whatever greater power you believe in, or nature, or simply finding inner peace. I think, to find true balance, a person needs to be aware of and nurture all of these areas. 

What does empowerment mean to you? To me, I see it as coming to grips with the belief that we each do control our own destiny. For years, I rolled wherever the current led, feeling unwilling and unable to chart my own course. I no longer feel that way. I’m the captain of my ship and I’ll sail where I damn well please. That’s empowerment. 

How and where do you find inspiration? I used to think I would find my inspiration in a romantic partner. That when I found love again, that I would then have the strength and inspiration I needed to take control of my life. It turns out, the only REAL inspiration comes from within. My inspiration comes from my own core. And it’s powerful. I never realized it was there, until I learned how to tap into it. Now that I have, I’m unstoppable. 

How do you keep your feelings from clouding your decision-making? To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I know how to do that yet. I’m an emotional, passionate guy who feels things deeply. Love, pain, joy, sadness. Whatever it is, I feel it strongly. I’ve not really even tried to disassociate my feelings from my decisions.


What’s the best way to keep your eye on future results or maintaining?  Document things. Write down as much as you can, with dates. Goals, milestones, struggles, everything. Our minds play tricks on us, and our recollections get fuzzy. Hard data won’t lie. 

How do you bring courage and conviction to risky situations? I think the answer is in the question. If you have conviction, the courage comes a lot more easily. I’ve been wrong before, and it’s OK to keep an open mind to that possibility. It’s not imperative that we be “right” all the time, regardless of our conviction. But believing in and trusting in yourself will help you find the courage to stand behind your conviction.  

What values are you committed to? Family. Trust. Those are the most important things to me. 

What do you do to live a balanced life?  I’m blessed to be able to do what I love. I work for a hockey team which is the dream job for me, I get to perform music, and I’m active by playing adult league hockey. I have a great balance of work, play, and down time.

What dreams and goals inspired you to succeed?  I’ve always been an athlete. Even at 451 lbs I still managed to lace up my skates and get on the ice for adult league hockey. My hands and hockey smarts allowed me to remain competitive, and I could skate like the wind once I got moving, but like a locomotive, getting started wasn’t as smooth as I’d like. Being able to compete at a level that I felt good about is something that has helped inspire me along the way. Also, the possibility of advancing in my broadcasting career. Back to the negative self-talk, I would say, “No pro team is gonna want to hire a fat f*** like me who no one wants to sit next to on the plane.” I’ve buried that phrasing from my vocabulary. Life is full of opportunity, and I no longer fear or feel unworthy of any of it.