Saturday, March 8, 2014


When I first started the "50 Pounds to Passion" blog a little over a year ago, I was focusing on all the things weighing me down, and holding me back, and what I needed to give up in order to find my passion. I lost 40 pounds of weight, and began to question if this was the way I wanted to be: always half hunger, struggling, losing and sometimes missing out. Life sort of got boring. It was like, true enlightenment lay just around the corner, after more meditation and yoga and raw foods. Was this who I wanted to be? A health fanatic(!).

Where was the fun and joy of life? I returned to my old and comfortable patterns. It was good to be me again. Like so many other people who had lost weight, the pounds came creeping back. And in a way I welcomed those pounds. There is a certain anesthesia to eating and being comfortably fat. No one sees you. You don't need to "be anybody" or "anything" because no one expects anything. When you are fat, you are invisible. People are comfortable around you because you offer "no threat". When you are fat you are not asked to move to the front of the line, more like you are asked to step to the side as you are somehow in the way. And when others treat you this way, it's really easy to start treating yourself way too. When you are not respected, you begin to disrespect yourself. Then, feeling disrespected, its easy to find comfort in more food. "You might as well your tell yourself", you wont be going back to the misery of starving and being fat too. It's just too much to bear.

Then once the weight is all back, the idea of beginning again is so overwhelming and frustrating that putting a frozen pizza in the oven, or taking a carton out of the fridge seem like a much nicer option. It is around this time that the mind begins its complicated journey of twists and turns in an attempt to re-imagine how and when and where to start again. Navigating the world of diet advice is like unraveling a the mystery of a rubic's cube. And all the while you get fatter, and friends and strangers offer advice designed to enlighten you. The all potato diet, wheat grass, no eating after 3, more water, no sugar, no flour, no meat, raw only, vegan! Oh and lose it slowly! (which means do everything differently for weeks, but see no results, but "know you are changing on the inside".) 

It's all too much. I realized I can't diet. I can't lose anything. It's not in our nature to lose. We live in an an acquire culture. It is our nature to want more and to want what we want now. And so with this in mind, I realized that the only way to get what I want to to have it now, in the present moment.

What does that mean? It means that I have to get into being healthy today, for the purpose of being healthier today (not in some imagined future perfect world). Being healthy today means making choices that reflect my perfect self.
I need to take the action required to be the closest to who I have always envisioned myself to be, the person I was put on this earth to be. I know deep in my heart that that person is not a fat, self loathing, depressed being, but rather an active, fully engaged, happy person. To that end, I can be that person to the best of my ability today. The object of my desire the, is not some distant thing that i will someday be, it is rather who I am becoming in this moment.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Temple

for a long time i thought i needed to lose something. but losing something, operating in the negative, is not how the brain works. the goal is always to attain. to improve, get stronger. so instead of thinking of weight-loss, i decided to focus on building something: a stronger body. 

this is a path that does not require a scale. the change that takes place, evolves from the inside out. when you start to build a stronger body, you will choose the best building materials, not the skimpiest. you will choose vegetables and fruit and nuts- whatever, but not low-cal fast foods and skipping meals. you will exercise your body so that it works better, not because you want to make it less (weigh less). the idea of building is empowering. the idea of losing weight is surrounded by deprivation and lacking. when you choose to drink water over eating a snack, do it because your body needs water more than a candy bar so it can flush out toxins. after you drink your 8 glasses of water a day you can think about other options. but drink the water first.

your body is a temple. an amazing gift. it's the best piece of real estate  you can get. you own it. it is a garden. what do you want to plant there? you are the landlord, you are the gardener. does your house and garden serve you? do you serve it? don't you struggle to HAVE the best? then struggle to EAT the best.

Be grateful for what you have. If you can walk and talk and get out of bed in the morning you are way ahead of a lot of people in this world. Be thankful for that- it will get you a lot farther than hating yourself and feeling sorry for yourself for being overweight. Being overweight is a privilege! Thank your lucky stars! And then know that you also have the privilage to be choosy. 

I have a project! and i get to work on that project 10 times a day. I get to build a better body morning ,noon and night. when i take a break at work, i can work on improving myself by eating something that will nourish and sustain my temple. and i also get the immediate satisfaction of being in a temple that will serve me today  and tomorrow. 

have you ever been in a beautiful temple? a temple that was in your mind perfect? and did you wonder about how much work it took to build such a thing? the time and all the choices and all the materials. It may have taken years to make, and when it was complete there must have been a celebration, and after the celebration the people who built it maintained the temple, with love and devotion. what i am saying is, that it takes a lot of work to build a beautiful temple. but it is a labor of love.

what you possess may not feel like a temple, but it is one. you are one of the lucky ones! you have inherited a "fixer-upper" temple! rejoice at the opportunity and thankful for the challenge. stop saying, "all i got was this lousy temple, i hate it". and for heavens sake, stop throwing gasoline and matches on your "hated temple", because believe me one day it will catch on fire.

i am serious about the language change too. change the way you talk to yourself, whether you are "building temple" or "repairing your vehicle" you have to get it into your head that this is not YOU, but rather the thing you are in. it's a vessel. it's a rocket-ship sailing through space. in this way you begin to change the relationship. instead of saying "i'm sad or mad or glad... i want to (or deserve to) eat a cookie as a reward", say "i feel sad... this is what sadness feels like" and then say "thank god i have my project to work on. what can i eat or drink or do to move my temple project forward?". your project, your temple, your vessel, your vehicle is the one thing in life that you have absolute ownership of. you are the sole proprietor! so work on it! fix it up. make it work better. turn it into a temple!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

eating heathy is it's own reward.

when re-booting a health program, it is important to NOT FOCUS on losing weight. i know that's what we all want, but it is too often the deal breaker that sends us back to the cycle of fasting, binging, guilting, and then back-petaling which lead to weight loss + gain (aka yo-yoing). don't do this. as hard as it sounds, make small changes to improve your health that will last. 
weight loss WILL follow, but mustn't be the primary goal! here is an excellent blog post from that reminds us of the important benefits of healthy eating:

Healthy eating rewards
Below you will find seven rewards of eating healthy that you should focus on during your weight loss journey and beyond. These side effects of healthy eating will be felt almost immediately, and, in my opinion, can be just as motivating as the weight loss reflected by your scale. So when you’re feeling down about your progress, or if you've hit a “plateau,” please keep these seven benefits in mind.
1. Clearer, brighter skin
The pillars of a good weight loss diet, which include drinking lots of water and eating lots of fibrous fruits and vegetables, will do wonders for your skin. Within 48 hours of initiating a healthy eating regimen, you are likely to notice brighter skin and eyes, less puffiness and fewer blemishes. The reason for this is simple: Water flushes toxins from your body while antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties found in fruits and vegetables immediately improve the look of your skin. It is also important to know that high-sugar foods and foods with unhealthy fats (namely trans fats) do immediate damage to your skin. So when tempted to stray from your healthy diet, remember how much you are enjoying your lovely new complexion.
2. Increased energy
Are you lacking energy? Do you feel as if you could fall asleep every day at 3pm? If you want to get that spring back in your step, be sure to start and stay on your healthy eating regimen. By eliminating sugar and processed carbohydrates (a cornerstone of all good weight loss programs), you will feel more energized within days. It often takes 2-3 days to cleanse your body of sugar, during which time it is possible that you will feel extra tired; however, after you’ve broken the sugar cycle, you’ll never want to go back.
3. Improved mood
Eating poorly is sure to wreak havoc on your mood and on your emotional state. Sugar highs and lows are most often to blame for this, but even the mere act of overeating can trigger a cascade of hormones that may leave you feeling down in the dumps. If you are a “veteran” dieter, you can probably testify to the fact that when you are losing weight you feel slightly euphoric. I can’t exactly explain the science behind this feeling, but you will likely feel it after a few days of clean eating.
4. Better-fitting clothes
Even before your scale shows weight loss progress, you will likely notice a difference in how your clothes fit. And isn’t looking trimmer more important than a number on a scale anyway? 
5. Finely tuned taste buds
Contrary to what you may believe, food actually tastes better when you are watching what you eat. If you are carefully choosing your meals and snacks, you will quickly realize just how delicious an apple can be. On the flip side, if you’ve been bingeing on sugar and chips, that apple may not taste as good anymore, because you’ve blown out your taste buds with excess sodium and sugar. 
6. Stronger friendships
Be sure to enlist your closest friends in your weight loss journey. Having a support system makes it that much easier to stay on track. And by reaching out, you are sure to make strong bonds with both new and old friends. Many of my closest friends are the people that I call for support when I’m not feeling so nutritionally motivated. 
7. A positive attitude
As I mentioned above, the hormonal side effect of eating well can do wonders for your mood. But there is yet another reason why you should get back on your nutrition plan: From Day One of your weight loss journey, I can assure you that you will have a better attitude about life. Whether you’re thinking about an impending social engagement or a stressful meeting at work, people tend to feel more in control and more positive in general when they have taken control over their eating habits. Even if you haven’t lost a pound yet, you will find that you feel better after stocking your kitchen with healthy foods.
As you can see, the number on the scale is not on the above list. And the reason for this is because the scale is not a good indicator or a good motivator of weight loss success. It is too easily swayed by hormonal shifts and water retention. Instead, focus on the seven positive side effects that you will feel from Day One of your healthy eating plan, so that the next time you feel like giving up, you can remind yourself that healthy eating is about so much more than just weight loss! Learn how to eat healthier with weight loss and nutrition videos on!

if you want to connect to others you have to show up.

why is this is so important? it's important because you have to show up, you have to do the work, you have to be there winning or losing. it's doesn't matter which, but to learn to be honest with yourself.

it's balancing accepting yourself for who you are with challenging yourself to be who you want to be. putting yourself out there. allowing yourself to be judged by others, knowing that their opinion doesn't matter if they don't have dirt on there face too from the fight of life.

are you an "all-purpose nobody" who sits in the darkness jeering smart remarks at those who are standing naked in the sun to recite a poem they created form their heart? or are you this unique, unspoiled, imperfect flower who is ready to bloom? you choose.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The 5% Statement
this blog is not about losing stuff. it is about gaining stuff, such as purpose and passion. you have to have a compelling purpose to let go of stuff. like if you are about to fall off a high cliff, you would have a strong reason to let go of your favorite tea pot so that you could use that hand to grab the rope which could save your life. no one wants to let go of comfort. even if that comfort comes in the form of being to fat or having too much stuff or even too much money. but when you realize your life depends on it, it makes it a lot easier to make that choice. to make the transition.

if you really want to make lasting change in you life, and have made dramatic resolutions geared to improve it, and yet feel like you have already failed at those new resolutions consider this from

Sometimes, the best way to find a purpose in life is to go out there and take action, even if we don’t know what we are doing!

My favorite tool at this stage is the 5% statement, created by Nathaniel Branden, who is widely considered to be the father of the self-esteem movement. It works by allowing you to take steps in small increments. Trying to change completely overnight, as some might suggest, often creates fear, uncertainty, and resistance.

A 5% statement is split into 2 halves. Examples would be:

If I were to be 5% more responsible today, I would ___________.
If I were to be 5% less lazy today, I would ___________.

The first part of the statement doesn’t have to change. But every morning when we wake up, we think of something that fills in blank, and then do it! As you can see, 5% is small and harmless enough to let us overcome our fears and procrastination. Being flexible enough to do different things everyday in pursuit of the same goal also keeps us from boredom and routine. Even better, it encourages us to think of new ideas to try (although we can simply do the same activity 5% more each time).

You can use this for anything you plan to do – begin a new exercise routine, reduce procrastination, improve your workflow, or even your personal relationships. And if 5% seems too little, don’t worry – it builds up rather beautifully.

read the whole article here:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Pursuit

i'm not sure that trying to lose weight is the right idea. this is a daunting task,
an endless, thankless venture. one that often ends in dismal failure.
perhaps the correct approach is "the pursuit of health"! this can be achieved each day. if in the beginning the best i can do is shop right, or just get the juicer on the counter and juice, or take a walk, i have succeeded in my pursuit. 

this "right effort" far exceeds feelings of terminal failure and continued excess. just as the bill of rights guarantees "the pursuit of happiness", you can guarantee yourself the pursuit of health. 

little steps in the right direction, day by day, are their own reward.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Trouble with Starting Again

the photo here shows a huge ginger root for the juicer, 5 of 10 pounds of carrots, 1 of 2 bunches of spinach (good for juice or smoothy), cilantro, parsley, head of romaine ( i know people frown on ice-burg, but i like it mixed in with other greens- it's a good staple). on the spendy side is the low carb protein powder and almond milk. i find have a protein shake is a good way to keep me from conjuring up a good tasting- "interesting" breakfast. it's quick and easy, and can sometimes get me out of the kitchen before i start "creating" in there.

the trouble with starting again is the fear of failure. the fear of going thru all the hard work, suffering, schlogging, trying and hoping- only to get tried-out after six or seven days, weeks, or months. Exhausting yourself again, then eating wrong and stopping everything, and gaining back the weight and losing all the momentum one more time. it's a trap.

so how about i don't do that again. how about i don't "try so hard", but i try just a little. if i just shop smarter, fill it with veg and expensive stuff that's good for me instead of cheap stuff that's not.

the other thing i have to remember is that "this is me". i have always been a little heavy, and will always be a little heavy. so this isn't a blog about, "look at me struggle and strive to be something i am not", it's a blog about taking responsibility for my own health. being mindful of who i am and what i can do to enjoy the best parts of life.

Read & Walk

Making change is a two part process. Educate yourself and then take action.
I have sometimes found that I read and read, and browse the internet searching for new ways to lose weigh, have personal success, attain enlightenment. But knowing is only half the battle, taking action is the other half. But, having said that I would like to share one of my favorite go-to websites for sensible weight-loss info it is

Sign up for the emails, and get the free e-book. This site has a lot of guest bloggers and isn't crammed with creepy ads for "quick-loss diet schemes".

Here's one of the posts that I liked:

The Greatest Gift

Monday, January 6, 2014

Taking off into the unknown.

We have all tried and tried to make positive changes that will improve our lives. And we have all succeeded and we have all failed. Succeeding feels better.

So here we are again: Taking off into the unknown.

When I took a look at this blog, with distant eyes, I saw that it was very inspirational. I thought, I want to be like that guy! "He has it all together."
Today, I am starting the blog again. Not to be perfect, not to make money, not to make a career, not even to have a successful blog, but as a part of my own process. I want to be the guy who inspires others. (But not at the cost of sabotaging his own success.)

Welcome to 50PoundsToPassion.