Sireadh Toileachas

It has been some time since I have blogged. I have many excuses. Work is busy. Life is busy. The dog ate my computer. But the truth is I have not made writing a priority.

Those that have followed this blog (all 5 of you) may notice I have changed the title. The new title is Sireadh Toileachas – which means seek happiness in Gaelic (Scottish). I changed the title for a few reasons. First, change is good. Though I am uncomfortable with change, my life is better when I include change – hopefully for the better. Second, Scotland is in my blood. According to Ancestry DNA, I am 18% Scottish – also 28% England & Northwestern Europe, 14% Irish, and 5% Welsh. 23andMe classifies me as 58.7 British & Irish – clearly they don’t know there is a difference!!! Also, my middle name is Scottish. Third, I recently returned from a trip to Scotland and remain in love with the country.

But the most important reason, is I haven’t been as happy or healthy in recent months. The title was no longer accurate. A new title is needed to better reflect where I am. Further, the new title describes happiness as a journey rather than a destination.

I believe it is better to focus on the journey than the destination. I’ll write more about the experience of the journey. This may include a discussion of things I am working on to improve the world around me. This could include things that I have tried that didn’t work. It will definitely include any travel or adventures.

This blog and adventure began with my description of my three steps to success – focus, facts, and forgiveness. Focus on what you want to achieve AND why. Gather the facts, prepare a plan based on facts, implement the plan, and make adjustments. Finally, forgive yourself when you lose focus or deviate from the plan. Forgiveness allows you to restart the journey.

In recent months, I forgot about the importance of these three steps. As a result, I have slipped. Bill Gates gave a commencement speech titled “5 things I wish I heard at the graduation I never had”. He reminded all that life is not a one-act play. So, it’s time to start over and make health and happiness a priority. Over the last few years, I have relearned that life is full of second chances.

I close with an interesting anecdote about the new title. After I decided on the title, I typed the name into a search engine to find out more information and verify its meaning. Unfortunately, my short and chubby fingers accidentally misspelled the title. Instead of Sireadh Toilechas, I typed Sireadh Touleachas. Only one letter different but completely different meaning. Turns out Sireadh Touleachas means “seek help.” While I find this phrase wise and I try to apply it in my life, it is not the title I want for my blog. So for now, the title is Sireadh Toilechas – seek happiness.

Until next time – Slàinte Mhath – look it up.

Moving from focus to facts

I apologize for not posting sooner.  Life has been hectic.  My goal is to have one or two posts per week.  Today, I want to spotlight my second pillar of weight loss success – FACTS. 

Facts don’t lie.  Nearly every day since November 2020, I have stepped on my scale.   I did so again this morning.  The scale gives me a number. The scale doesn’t care about my feelings.  The scale doesn’t care if I had a busy weekend.  The scale simply gives me a fact.  While I recognize there a numerous ways to measure one’s health, I have used the scale to measure my journey.  And, according to my scale, I am 70 pounds lighter than my all time high and 64 pounds lighter than November 2020.   So before, I write anything more, I am celebrating this.   

Like many, I have struggled with weight for most of my life.  If I am being honest, I was active and healthy until my family moved to a new house shortly before the start of 2nd grade. A new house in a new neighborhood with a new school was a lot for my 7-year-old mind to process.  I had to start over.  It wasn’t easy.  I most likely used food to feel better.  Further, the new neighborhood had fewer kids my age, so I wasn’t as active.  I developed poor habits at a young age.  Knowing this helped in my journey.  I knew I needed to break some habits and create new ones. 

A major challenge to weight loss is cutting through the crap.  To be successful in weight loss, I knew had find a program that worked for me.  Go to a book store and look at the number of books dedicated to weight loss.  There are hundreds.  I estimate that I have read over a dozen weight loss books over the years.  I’ve tried many of them and had some short term success. Ultimately, each diet failed, and I regained the weight (and often a bit more). 

For me, the reasons for the failure were the same.  First, I never had focus.  Second, each of the diets was missing essential nutrients.  Third, the diets were based on junk science.  Fourth, there was no support. 

I found some common ground with all the diets.  I have concluded there is a unifying theme with all the diets.  At its core, weight loss is simple.  Eat fewer calories than your body burns, and you will lose weight.  There are all sorts of formulas and/ calculators on the internet to figure out how many calories you burn each day.  Most will say you burn between 2500-3000 per day depending on you activity level.   Eat less than 2500-3000 calories and you will lose weight. 

Yet, with the simplicity of caloric intake formula, there is the complexity on the outside.  This includes what kind of food should I eat? How should I cook the food?  Can I have sugar?  Can I eat meat? Vegetables? Fruits?  As will discuss in a future post, the answer is it depends on you. I ate a lot of fruits and vegetables and not very much meat.  It worked for me.  It might not work for you.  We are all made differently.  

In my next post, I will discuss the importance of tracking what you eat.  It is essential to your success.  It is also eye opening.  Have a great day!

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