Aug 23, 2011

IF I COULD TALK TO THE MAN IN THE PICTURE: A before picture that made me pause

Cleaning off my desk yesterday, my wife and I finally went through the oldest pile of papers we have put off for a long long time. One of the folders I pulled from the file was my application to be on The Biggest Loser. I opened the folder lifted a page and saw this guy.

At first I did not recognize him. Unexpectedly being confronted with the photograph was startling to me. "Oh my gosh babe look at this." I had forgot that this picture existed. While we both gasped for a bit and stared at the photo I was exclaiming excitement at the realization of my progress but at the same time couldn't help but feel compassion for the guy starring back at me.

In this picture, I still had not decided to change.
I had only decided that the problem was bigger than myself. I had given up on the idea that I had the power to do what was necessary. I decided it was either The Biggest Loser or weight loss surgery and that those were my only 2 options.

I was depressed, defeated but willing to do what I had to in order to lose weight. I stopped holding on to hope that somehow, something would change. I looked at the picture and it was like I didn't see me. I am not that person. I simply do not identify with him as myself. To me, all of the features, the face, the hair ... heck I was even wearing the same pants as I was in the photo at the time. I knew it was me but I couldn't help but view the image as someone else.

I was going to do it. Not for a television show, for him and his family. I wanted to tell him so much, all that I have learned over the year, and about all of the people he would meet along the way. I wanted to tell him how his family, friends and community would see him changing his life, choosing to be healthy and be inspired by him. I wanted to give him a hug and tell him it is his time. It's time to start now and forever. It's time to make the choice to be healthy. I would tell him how it was going to suck sometimes. I would tell him he would have moments of anger and frustration but then I would tell him about playing with his kids for hours, running and chasing them like I did last night.

We would cry for a minute together and then I would tell him it was going to be worth every tear, every stomach ache and every drop of sweat. I would tell him about how the choice would effect him emotionally and spiritually and how it would change his work life. I would tell him that the hardest part about the whole thing was finally deciding to be honest with himself and how by doing that he would be able to break though barriers in relationship with Karlie, his family, friends and coworkers.

I placed the picture next to the bed and finished up the paper sorting with all of this on my mind. I got ready for bed, laid down and turned to the bed stand where the picture was laying and as I reached for the light I saw the picture again and paused. I felt a profound sense of peace. The guy I wanted to help change so badly had changed. He was me. Not the me in that picture but the me I had hoped for him. I turned out the light, closed my eyes and slept more peacefully than I can ever remember.


13 comments:

  1. Okay, I'm going to the gym RIGHT now. That picture just motivated me. (hopefully that didn't sound bad. LOL) But I sure know how "that" guy feels. And I've been sitting here working all day, and was just debating on whether or not to do the gym... thanks for the "push".
    And seriously Mike... you are looking AWESOME!!!! Love you!

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  2. What a well written blog post. Congrats. I'm so happy that you have become the man you would have wanted for your former self :)

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  3. I know exactly how you feel. I look at pictures of the person I used to be and it's like looking into a strangers world. It's bizarre. It's like we are two different people. It makes you wonder.

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  4. Thanks Shelley. All you can do is do your best today. You are doing what you need to by going to the gym even when it's hard. Proud of my sis.

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  5. Thank you for sharing that. Beautifully written.

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  6. This is a great post, thanks for sharing it.

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  7. Thanks for sharing this. Amazing guy. :)

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  8. Mike I want you to know that everyday I read your post it causes me to pause and think and helps me to redirect my way of thinking , I am so speechless about how proud I am of you and hope you really do know we love you and always have and continue to become more and more proud of who Michael Badger truly is. thank you for your example and strength, and for loving our daughter and being thoughtful and caring, wow what a team!!!!!!! Love Barb

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  9. I recently stumbled across this blog, and have taken to reading through it. I wanted to let you know how deeply touched I was by this post, as I had a similar experience recently. I've spent that last few years being complacent with what I've let happen to my body, and finally found the courage to battle through it all and try to make a change for my health and for my family. Reading this post reminds me that I'm not alone in my struggle, and that I will be okay, and that I CAN do this.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'll be forever greatful.

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  10. I stumbled across your blog, and am I glad I did!!! I look forward to poking through and stalking your blog - I am awed by your story. I have struggled with weight my entire life and have recently decided enough was enough and am committed to creating the healthy life I want. It means so much to know I am not alone and I look forward to sharing your journey.

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  11. Your not joking, when I walk the hallways at work and see so many young big people, they are my motivation, I started to work out again, I've always loved working out, I used to be at the gym 5to 6 days sometimes 7 days, worked out 3 to 4 hours, was in the best shape of my life, I've never been a big eater, I don't eat cake, sometimes I get cravings for sweet, I gained so much weight without realizing it, but did not show because I carry my weight porpotioned, my clothing size did not change, but I felt uncomfortable, I went back to the gym i have not lost a lot of weight but I feel amazing, I do 10 hours a week dancing Zumba-Caribian rithym, I love it I do 2 hours a night. my motivation is seen all this your people walk around, I will not stop until I am my old high school weight..

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