Apr 11, 2011

You are doing great! What's different this time around?

I love that I have become an advocate and a walking example for others. I realize that sounds like I am conceded and boasting but my intention couldn't be further from that place. I am just so excited to be able to lift others while I climb. It's not because I am anything more than anyone else, if anything it's the opposite. I was 524 pounds. I let myself get there and created the problem myself. Do I feel accomplished for facing my problem, sure. Does that make me better than someone who has never let themselves get to 524 pounds in the first place? No.

Why then do I find inspiration from other weight loss bloggers? Are they doing anything that is groundbreaking or unique? No. Then why do stories like Sean's and Tony's and so many others inspire me and help me? I submit that it is recognizing the ability of a person to make such a drastic change. It is not the change in the doing but the change in the being that inspires us.

The difference in the do and the be was illustrated so perfectly by Lynn G. Robbins.

"Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events that can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s. I can take my wife out for a lovely evening this Friday, which is a to do. But being a good husband is not an event; it needs to be part of my nature—my character, or who I am. Or as a parent, when can I check a child off my list as done? We are never done being good parents."

"Because be begets do and is the motive behind do, teaching be will improve behavior more effectively than focusing on do will improve behavior."
It was in the moment of hearing these words that I understood the answer to the question so many people have been asking me. "What's different this time around?" or a question my wife is often asked, "Are you worried he will gain it all back again?" The simple answer is that this time around, it has been a change in the be and not just the do. It's not changes in my eating or exercise that have made the difference this time around. It is the changes in Mike Badger. I am not the same person I was at 524 pounds. I had to make a conscious change in being.

Who are you? Do you have a "to be" list?
While we have a specific competition/plan we are following right now, my wife and I just joined a second weight loss competition. Someone in our extended family is hosting a "Biggest Loser" type challenge and we got in on it. On the way over to Kar's cousin's house for the weigh in, I was thinking about that change in being.

I said, 
"It's funny how we are going over to do a weigh in right now and I am thinking about going out to eat. Wanting to go eat out will never change will it? The difference between now and before is I just know I can't. It's not really even a choice I have to make because it's part of who I am now."
Do I have the desire to eat a loaded cheeseburger, a whole bag of fries washed down with a milk-shake? Everyday. Do I have the ability to eat that food? Give me 10 min. and my debit card and I could show you. But I still can't do it. Why? Because it has now become against who Mike Badger is. Because the be is the focus, the do happens as a result.

Robbins also pointed out,
"Do without be—hypocrisy—portrays a false image to others, while be without do portrays a false image to oneself."
If we do things that have the appearance of being healthy, we are putting on a show. As a fat guy, people always want to give their advise to "help". The people that drive me crazy are the people who have a TON of information to give with little evidence of conviction or application themselves.

I have always know that my health was important and often "portrayed a false image" to myself of what healthy behavior was. At 524 pounds I actually convinced myself that eating a 4000 calorie meal was normal. I invented these whacked out ideas to create a false image for myself. I felt like I had to convince myself in order to get through my day. Any resemblance of confidence and self-worth I could conjure up made life tolerable.

If you want to find inspiration in my story, realize where the inspiration comes from. It is the power to change. It is the God given ability to recognize something within ourselves that we loath or are ashamed of. To confront it and change not only our actions in life, but to fundamentally tap into the unlimited potential that is in each one of us. Don't focus on changing your diet or exercise. In of themselves they do not contain the power to change.

You have within YOU the power to make a change. A change in how you define yourself and who you are. Only YOU can chose to change your mind, change your heart, change YOU. When temptation arises and you are starring decision in the face, it's not a question of "what will I do"? It becomes a question of "who will I be"?


  1. I love this post, Mike. And I want to set an example for others, as you do. Yes, I want the pizza and the bacon cheeseburger. But...no more. If I talk the talk, I have to walk the walk.

  2. Awesome post. I am ready to BE the healthy happy me and to DO that I am eating healthy and exercising daily. The rewards are weight loss and feeling better about myself. It's good.

  3. Great way to bring general conference into real life, Mike. I LOVE how you applied it. I am pretty sure I will be referring back to it often.

  4. Very deep post...lots to think about. Thanks for sharing. I am sure I will have something to say on my blog in a day or so about this.

  5. I have felt these things as well. 1. I purposely looked for weight loss bloggers who had to lose more or less what *I* needed to lose, and who HAD done it and sustained it (or in a few cases, sadly, not) or were doing it and learning along the way and 2. I worked to get the inner me, the BEING of me, to change in relationship to food and eating.

    Because I am a Christian, I've always been very beset by this sin of gluttony. And yes, there is the sin component. It's not just a habit or a lifestyle or a choice or a disorder. For me, part of it is a sin. The inner part of me, the spiritual part, has had to learn here, too, to become an OVERCOMER as we're told to be.

    I have lots of areas in my life I need to change into another mindset and "me". Eating has been one. And the reason I tackle this with utter focus now is because to change here, to become myself here, is what I need to overcome in OTHER areas. I visualize a me in my last stages of life who can weather old age with wisdom, self control, joy and more health than I've had in middle life. I ruined many of the best years of my youth and middle life (well, some of it was beyond my control heath-wise that started me towards megafat), but I intend to redeem what's left of my middle age and old age. If God wills i live long enough. :)

    I have defined myself as someone who can overcome and someone who can be healthier, and the Do and Be have been making progress hand in hand. :)

    Be well...

  6. So much good in this post Mike. You are right, in and of themselves, diet and exercise do not have the power. If they did, people wouldn't regain their weight or stop exercising. It has to be about change from within. Mind you, each of us will us a different approach but bottom line, change the inner and it shows outwardly.

  7. This is awesome Mike and you are SO right. There is so much wisdom in this post.

  8. This post is awesome. I love it! This sums what I've been trying to explain to others and myself. I want to BE healthy. I can't DO healthy. Doing is part of the being. Love it!