Jun 24, 2011
Excuses, Fears & Worries
Did I want to be fat? No, but that is the only thing I knew how to be. I didn’t know how to be anything else. There are only a few memories from when I was a small child where I remember not being overweight. I grew up overweight and in a way my fat was part of my identity. I was “big Mike” to most and in almost every circle of friends I was token fat & funny guy. I was comfortable with that role because it’s what I knew. I didn’t know how to be anything else. Although I often hated not being able to break the persona, it is one I knew how to navigate. Losing the weight forever meant finding out who I was all over again.
Comfort is about safety. It requires limited to no change or growth. While it is important to have places and times where we can feel safe and know there is a constant, it is also important to push our boundaries and break new ground of we are ever going to progress. Comfort was something I had to give up as I decided to head down this road to become fit. I had to change a lot. My relationship with food, exercise, activities were all subject to change. At the beginning it felt very naked to open myself up to the possibility of total transformation. I found my comfort in the support I received. My constants were God & my wife.
There is also something to be said about friends you make as a fat person. I worried about how I would be received into groups. What was my role if I wasn’t the fat & funny guy? While I may not have fit into some social circles in the past (no pun intended), the friends I made were friends who looked past my obvious flaws and loved me. I worried about how the types of people who wanted to associate with me would change. I didn’t want the people who avoided talking to me as a fat person to all of a sudden become buddy-buddy. When you are easy to love, sometimes it’s hard to tell who really loves you. I worried that my relationships would become more superficial and lose depth.
Leaving the comfort of my couch and my life, although scary, was exciting and empowering. I decided I was no longer going to let my past define my future. I stopped looking at the changes as loss of identity and began looking at it as gaining my true identity. I recently said, “We are not the sum of our past failures and successes.” What I mean by that is we are just rough drafts, revisions of the person we know we can become. I see that know. It took almost 30 years of my life to realize the potential that was in me. My Dad would always tell me about the incredible potential I possessed and I would roll my eyes and suffer through the speech. Dad, I think I get it now.
Now that I have a little more perspective, I see that my worries and fears were unfounded. The only thing I have lost through this journey is pounds, regret, depression and anger. For most who struggle with morbid obesity, the greatest obstacle is not medical related or lack of education. The greatest obstacle to your success is you. Success is sometimes as simple as getting out of your own way. Write down every reason, every excuse why you won't start today. Give em' a score of 1-5. 1 being stupid and 5 being valid. Cross off everything that is 1-3 and figure out the 4-5s.
My buddy James from Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition said it best. “One day you start running out of excuses, and when that day comes that's when your life starts to change.”
at 6:02 AM