Greetings from beautiful Southern Missouri where Ol’ Man Winter has decided to finally make his grand appearance. This year, Mr. Winter chose to use a “fashionably late” approach, but it seemed to get everyone’s attention as we are now at the end of November and that bitter chill has finally made its way into those breezy gusts of winter wind. Only a few younger members of our society are stepping outside the house while wearing shorts or missing a jacket.
This year, that wind seems to carry an extra bite as I’ve so quickly begun to shed that extra layer of defense that I have been carrying for so many years. It’s such an amazing feeling to know my body has changed so much since Septemeber that it is now having to learn how to handle familiar situations in new ways. It’s mind-boggling how quickly our bodies can begin to heal when we stop inflicting damage upon them and focus on living healthy lives. So, as I snuggle up in my winter sweater and hide from the bitter chill by staying inside with my beautiful Christmas decorations this evening, I’d like to talk about an epiphany I had this Thanksgiving: you can’t make anyone want or desire change. Period.
Over the past two and a half months, I have been documenting my story with the hopes of showing others in my situation that it doesn’t take a miracle to change one’s life. Far too many times, I have been sitting on the couch watching the story of someone that lost huge amounts of weight, felt momentary inspiration, and picked up my next slice of pizza and washed it down with a smooth Bud Light. They put forth so much fanfare and jubilation that it’s inspiring to see someone that has worked so hard being rewarded with the positive attention and gifts. But why didn’t that inspiration lead to change?
Seeing a moving story and the possibility of achieving a goal I’ve always had, but never really pursued, was inspiring. For me, though, I couldn’t feel more than a few moments of inspiration because I felt like that person had miraculously found a way to do something I COULD NEVER DO! My goal with documenting my journey was so that people could see that no miracle takes away 250 pounds… making better choices does.
So many people have visited with me and asked me questions about what I am doing. Throughout the entirety of my journey, though, those that are looking for change are inevitably DISAPPOINTED when I offer that I have gotten rid of processed foods, eat more vegetables, and track my macros. It’s like they are secretly hoping I’ve found some new, cheap wonder-drug that will help them lose the weight without actually trying or working to reach their goal. The disappointment leads to different choices: criticize my strategy, compliment and offer suggestions for improvement on my strategy, simply admit the disappointment, offer reasons why they couldn’t duplicate my behaviors, minimize their choices by focusing on one or two healthy choices that they make… Get the picture?
People HATE change and do everything they can to remain in a place that they feel comfortable with their current situations. No matter how obviously negative the situation or how devastating the doctor’s warning was, people actively resist making any choice that is uncomfortable. Denial is a blanket that makes us feel comfortable and gives us a false sense of belief that we really aren’t “that bad” and helps us to silence that small voice inside that is screaming for something different.
So, isn’t my goal for this blog a pointless one? Considering the above information, I have to admit that it could definitely appear that way. However, what if someone has already decided to change and find me while they are actively pursuing or preparing for change? Could I inspire them or offer those people tips for success? That’s a big HELL yes.
With that knowledge, I’ll continue my approach with a slightly improved vision for this blog and the goals I have for writing it. I can be an inspiration, but I can’t force or create the desire for change. That’s a personal process for everyone… just like it was for me.
For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…
- September 11, 2016: 450+pounds
- Today: 397.2 pounds
- Total loss: 52.8 pounds (19.7% of my total excess body weight)
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