Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How do you #LiveALittle? | Blog Series | Featured Member: Ron in Kansas City

Ron in Kansas City

When did you start to #LiveALittle (make the changes)?  
Well, when I got my A1c done in January 2014 it had shot up to 9.9.  I should’ve wanted to fix that then and there, but instead I stayed on the “medication will fix this” path for 3 more months.  My doctor had put me on a new diabetes medication and thought it would do the trick.  Well 3 months later my A1c had only improved to 9.4.  At that point he told me that insulin injections were in my near future (3 months away) if I couldn’t get things under control quickly.  So right after that I decided to get busy with making changes.  The date I refer back to was April 28th.

What do consider your main accomplishments?  
Well so far I’ve lost 65 pounds, dropped my A1c to 5.9, biked over 400 miles, brought my waist size from 48 to 40, shirt size from 4X to 2X and just flat out feel great and continue to want to improve.
What does everyone around you notice as 'different'? Well, it seems like everyone first off notices the physical changes.  The slimming down has been pretty obvious.  When I look at older pictures I realize just how big I was but at the time I really did not seem to think I was so massive.

What qualities do you look for in the people you hang out with and allow into your inner circle?  Positive, can-do people.  Don’t like hanging around with excuse makers.  Sometimes I have to look in the mirror and remember that I was one of those people not so long ago.  
If you wanted to encourage innovative ideas on changing one's life, how would you go about it?  Well I feel like showing someone what has been accomplished often tells the better story.  The Before/After is very motivating to me.  I look at the success stories on MFP daily for my own motivation.  When asked I try to tell people to start with small goals and then build on successes.  For instance instead of changing your entire diet, just stop drinking pop for a week.  And then when you can do that, move on to another goal or two.  

How would you describe your personal #LiveALittle lifestyle change? 
I just focused on making little changes.  Logging on MFP was first, then after I had some data I analyzed and saw that adjusting carbs and/or calories would be a good goal.  Don’t try to change everything all at once.  It’s a classic setup for failure.  I also decided it was irresponsible of me to not use my abilities to their fullest when others did so much with limited abilities.  An example – my Dad has Lupus and has lived with it for over 30 years.  He has crippled up hands and can’t walk very well at all.  Does he let that stop him?  Nope – he is a Master Model Railroader and creates amazing things with his crippled hands.  He got himself a trike and takes long bike rides to try to keep his health that he does have.  
If you wanted to create an environment where motivation can thrive, what’s the first thing you would do?  Toss out negativity.  It gets people no wear and wastes a lot of time.  You need an environment full of “anything is possible” to prove that Anything really is possible!

How do you show that you believe in yourself?  
I keep working on myself.  I track things that help me stay on track.  I remind myself that the Ron a year ago couldn’t do that 50 mile bike ride or that 5K in under 40 minutes.  I look at my closet which has been reworked to get rid of my fat clothes.  I look at old pictures to remember where I came from.
Who, Whom, and/or What has influenced you the most?  Well there are several people who had a part in my motivation.  I suppose my Dad as I described above.  Also Ellen and Alicia really showed me what is possible when you really commit to something.  I had not seen Ellen in a while and when I saw how great she looked it really was amazing.  I’ve always looked up to her in the business circles we are in, but this showed me she is serious about bettering herself in all ways and she has accomplished so much!

What do you do to challenge yourself when you're not motivated?  
Tough question – sometimes I can self-motivate (by looking through MFP success stories or tapping in to the MFP community).  Sometimes I get motivated when my wife notices that I am slipping back in to my old ways.  It’s tough to do.  Still working on this!

When is breaking the #LiveALittle rules okay?  
Not really sure there is a reason to break any of the rules!

What does 'working on’ yourself mean to you?  
We are all works in progress.  Working on myself means that I am still trying to find the me that is the healthiest and happiest I can be.  Even when I achieve fitness (on whatever level that is) I will need to maintain it.  

What does empowerment mean to you?  
Helping others to see the power that they have in themselves.  I see so many people like me.  People that have not yet realized what they are capable of.  Trying to help them find that motivation is what I like to do.  

How and where do you find inspiration?  
I read all the stories I can find.  MFP and the #LiveALittle FB page give me a lot to work with.  
How do you keep your feelings from clouding your decision-making?  That is a tough one.  I am fighting this one right now.  I was laid off Friday from a company that I really loved.  I am feeling overwhelmed about the future and decided to eat my feelings this morning via a very large donut for breakfast and am fighting off a lot of fear at the moment.  Let me keep working on this one to see what I can do here.  

What’s the best way to keep your eye on future results or maintaining?  
You gotta remember where you came from to truly appreciate where you are and where you are going.  As much as I say “live in the NOW!” I know that I need to remember what old Ron was like and why I made changes to him.

How do you bring courage and conviction to risky situations?  
You gotta make the best decision you can with the data you have and then move forward.  You won’t always be right, but you have a better shot at achieving greatness than if you play it safe and do the same old thing day in and day out.  

What values are you committed to?  
Love, loyalty, continuing to better myself and those around me.  Laughing at myself and moving on when needed. 

What do you do to live a balanced life?  
I try to make time for myself.  I didn’t in the past.  I now know that 30-45 minutes of exercise daily really isn’t optional most days.  It really keeps me driving towards my other goals.  As I face time off from work during this layoff I have already told myself that I will spend some time every day working on myself.  

What dreams and goals inspired you to succeed?  
Again – go to MFP and read the Success Stories.  So many other people have made this journey before me and their experience has offered me so much inspiration and encouragement.

Monday, December 1, 2014

How do you #LiveALittle? | Blog Series | Featured Member: Robert in Topeka, KS

Robert in Topeka, KS

When did you start to #LiveALittle?My journey started on January 15, 2014. I hit the "restart button" as my New Years Resolution. I had begun to eat right and exercise.
Dieting and exercise is not new to me. I have rode that diet roller-coaster many times. I always started out great but I would lose motivation and drive shortly after I started. 6 months ago I came across the #Livealittle project. With this group I found my niche. I learned how to set goals, maintain motivation, and changed my perspective. I have made many new friends that are very positive and supportive.  

What do consider your main accomplishments?
My main accomplishment isn't the weight I have lost or the 5K's and Half marathon I have finished. My main accomplishment is the change in my way of thinking. I learned that I have to #Livealittle for "me" first. I can't change anyone and they can't change me. I have to love myself enough to change. I learned that I am worth something. I am not a fat, ugly and worthless person. I have something to offer. Each and every day I am surprised by the people that tell me I am helping inspire them #Livealittle. People that I had no idea were even paying attention tell me how they have been following my journey.

What does everyone around you notice as 'different'?
The one thing I hear the most is that people have noticed my unrelenting drive and determination. My never quit attitude. Every time I get knocked down I get up again. 

What qualities do you look for in the people you hang out with and allow into your inner circle?
I look for people with positive attitudes. People that genuinely care about others and want to help. People willing to love others and not care what others think. People willing to take time and invest in others to help build them up. You never really know how much of a difference you are making in others lives. 

How would you describe your personal #LiveALittle lifestyle change?
My personal lifestyle change has been to not be afraid. To take the chances and see what happens. To not settle for the status quo.

If you wanted to create an environment where motivation can thrive, what’s the first thing you would do?
I would surround myself with positive self motivated people. A core group that is there to keep each other accountable. People that are going to encourage and motivate you. People who help pick you up when you are down and celebrate you success with you! With a great core of support you can move mountains.

How do you show that you believe in yourself?
I show show that I believe in myself by not settling. My goal this year was to do one 5K. It was outside of my comfort zone but I overcame my fear and did my best. I learned an important lesson that day. I learned that the only thing holding me back was myself. I keep looking for new challenges and strive to better my 5K times. I am never satisfied. I want more. Since my first 5K I have ran six more and I have constantly improved my time and have cut 20 minutes off my time. I have also completed my first half marathon. That is something I would have never dreamed of at the first of the year. Now I am already setting goals to prepare for a full marathon.

Who, Whom, and/or What has influenced you the most?
I have several people that have influenced me but my parents, Joey Little and the #Livealittle project have made the biggest impact. My late dad always told me, "Unless your reach exceeds your grasp, how do you know what you can attain and don't!" My mom has always been my rock. That unwavering love and support for me to never give up. Joey has shown me to change my perspective and never settle. To take chances and look beyond my comfort zone. To love and support others in their journey's. The #Livealittle project has introduced me to several wonderful people that are committed to the #Livealittle philosophy and to help others #livealittle. I love seeing everyone's posted whether it is about a success or failure, a need or encouragement.  

What do you do to challenge yourself when you're not motivated?
I work hard at being consistent. I have formed new habits by sticking with my routine everyday. it has become second nature to me and now I feel lost if I don't exercise.  

When is breaking the #LiveALittle rules okay?
For me, breaking the rules is not okay but you shouldn't beat yourself up if you do. There is no shame in hitting the restart button.

What does 'working on’ yourself mean to you?
This means always striving to do better and be better. To not settle in all aspects of your life. Not just health but in your relationships, career and anywhere else you can think of to #Livealittle.

How and where do you find inspiration?
I keep positive people around me. I have a 12 year old daughter and I want to be healthy for her and to be a good example for her.

Whats the best way to keep your eye on future results or maintaining?
Setting goals. I set short term goals and long term goals. I write them down and post them in several places as a reminder. I have done the same with the #Livealittle rules.

What values are you committed to?
I am committed to being positive and honest. To love myself and others. To show others the love I have and hopefully inspire them to love others.

What dreams and goals inspired you to succeed?
My dreams and goals are constantly changing. My initial goal was to do everything possible to be a good example for my daughter, in health and in life. As my health gets better my dreams get bigger. I have a dream of completing the Boston Marathon, the NY Marathon and an Ironman.