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It’s the last day of 2019.  The end of a decade.

I haven’t posted anything here since September.  That alone gives you a hint about how things have been going.

It’s been, to be honest, an abysmal failure.

This morning I weighed in at 308.7 pounds, so after seven months I’m .3 pounds lighter than when I started.  I look like shit. I feel like shit.  I’m so deeply disappointed.  But wait, there’s more.

My partner left in August.  I did not see it coming.  I was aware of some struggles in our relationship, but thought it was just the kind of stuff couples have, stuff you keep working on.  She saw it differently.  Now, for the second time in my life, I am working through the end of what I thought would be a lifelong relationship.

I tried, two different times this year, to write a book, and failed both times.  Did I mention that I was an English major in college?

(Sigh…)

There were some bright spots this year.  I did manage to go to Paris in 2019, which was a wonderful trip and something I’ll always be grateful for experiencing.  I also had the honor of performing at the National Guild of Hypnotists’ convention, which was a lot of fun, and well received by my peers.  I met a brother, in person, for the first time, who I didn’t even know existed until a couple of years ago.  I had a television appearance!

All in all, however, this year was really tough.  There was just too much time spent not doing what I know I can do.  Too much time not being the best version of myself.  There’s so much time in a year!  To have so much time, and now to have spent it all, and to feel like it didn’t produce anything of quality that’s representative of the time itself… it feels almost sinful, like I didn’t honor the gift of that time.  I understand that time is precious.  I know what a gift I have in this life.

Part of me wants to delete this whole post.  It’s such an unspoken taboo, in the profession I’m in, to admit that you’re struggling.  Hypnotists help people by coaching them and giving them strategies for success.  We’ve got the mantras and the models.  We’re supposed to have all the answers.  And yet I’m not the only fat hypnotist.

And there are hypnotists who smoke.

And hypnotists that drink too much.

And hypnotists that cheat on their spouses.

And, and, and…

Because hypnotists are human beings, and human beings struggle.  That’s okay.

Here’s the best news about 2019: it’s over.  We do love that feeling of having a clean slate, don’t we?  My clean slate has arrived, and I’m so very grateful, and I’m going to double down on ME in 2020.  How about you?  Is it time for you to do more, and have more, and live life at a level that’s better than ever?

The week after the hypnotists’ convention, I began my annual “Back to School Tour” where I travel around the country performing stage hypnotism for colleges as they begin their new school year.  This is always a fun time of year for me, as I get to travel around, meet a lot of nice people, and be in the role of entertainer.  While it’s a really busy time, it’s not something that I think of as stressful.  There’s a definite feeling of relief as I’m at the point in the year where I really just focus on this one thing, and so my stress has definitely reduced.  I’m still on the steroid taper, and I feel pretty good.  Sometimes the steroids affect my sleep, so there’s a little bit of a negative factor there, but overall I seem to be doing pretty well, and it was reflected on the scale.  I’m under 300 pounds!

Obviously, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but there’s something about not seeing that “3” at the beginning of the scale read-out that has really lifted my spirits.  I realized, as I was reflecting on it, that it has been nearly three months since I started this project, and while I have lost weight much slower than I hoped, I have also gone nearly three months without ever gaining more than a half pound in a week, and that’s a pretty significant change in my old pattern.  For years, the pattern was to keep going slowly and steadily upward, and now I’m going slowly and steadily downward, and that’s a great feeling.  And again, to have done it without dieting, without aggressive workout plans–just by shifting my thoughts and awareness a bit–is pretty cool.

But there’s still a lot of weight to lose.

So now I find myself debating internally; do I keep going the way I’m going, or do I make a shift that somehow accelerates things, so that I don’t get too comfortable with the way things are?  One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that when I get comfortable, it never leads to anything good.  Shaking things up gets me to create new things, achieve new things, and keep growing.

I mean, at my current rate of progress, it’s going to take me three years to lose the weight I want to lose.  Not cool.  Clearly I have to adapt to some new strategies and practices, and create better results.

No change in weight since last weigh-in.  It’s now been five weeks since I officially started this project, and I’ve lost 4.5 pounds, so a little less than a pound per week of weight loss, if you average it out.  While the results are disappointing, keep in mind that I really have not followed any specific program or approach so far; I’ve just made some small adjustments to my lifestyle.  I’ve created opportunities to be a little more active, I’ve increased my water intake some, and I eat only when I’m hungry.  These have been easy changes to make, really, and I could keep going this way, but that would mean that at the current rate of weight loss it would take me two years to lose the weight, and I’d rather not take that long.

So, today I’m starting Phase Two of the project.  I’m going to start actually using what I know about hypnosis and develop daily self-hypnosis practices.  Specifically, I’m going to target two issues:

  1. Sugar consumption.
    I’m still consuming quite a bit of sugar in the foods I eat.  Sugary drinks, cookies, the occasional ice cream cone.  I’m still consuming foods that are more about getting pleasure from food than getting nutrition from food, so it’s time to start re-wiring that impulse at the subconscious level.
  2. Portion size.
    It’s been really cool making the shift away from old eating patterns based on time of day and cultural expectations, to eating only when I’m actually hungry.  The new challenge that comes from this change is that a fair amount of the time, I’m getting to a point in hunger where I’m then eating more than I need when I actually eat.  I’m often eating to the point of being full, rather than eating to a point of being satiated.  I should be able to work on this with self-hypnosis, increasing my awareness of how my body feels as I eat and putting the brakes on sooner.

I’ve been interviewing experts in hypnosis and other areas for five weeks now, and those interviews are going to start airing soon, so I’ll be able to connect what I’ve been learning from these amazing people to the work I’m doing for myself.

I spent my 45th birthday in Phoenix, Arizona, at a four day live event organized by Brendon Burchard, one of the world’s top high performance consultants.  Brendon has published multiple best-selling books, his online trainings have been consumed by millions of people, and he has consulted for Anthony Robbins, Oprah, and more.  He’s no slouch.

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