The Give And Take of Receiving Inspiration From Others
Today was a great Sunday. I made a Wal-Mart trip, Courtney and I had a fantastic workout at the YMCA, I prepared a wonderful meal for Irene, Courtney, my sister in-law, my niece, and me! After our company left, Irene helped Courtney with homework, and I hit the walking trail for a quick 5K. When the temperature is nice, I love to get outside and exercise, and it's been unseasonably warm all weekend. Me saying “I love to get outside and exercise” seems very strange. My entire life I've avoided voluntary exercise, and now I “love” it? I always considered a Wal-Mart trip exercise enough, especially if I couldn't find a parking space close to the entrance. I remember ranking the parking spaces at Wal-Mart. I can tell you the best non-handicap space, followed by the rest of the top 10 spaces. Only someone as lazy as I was would waste the time to come up with that list! I'm sure my girls can remember me proudly proclaiming victory every time I'd get the best space. Now, after 147 days, I grab the first parking space I see, even if it's a block away from the doors. It isn't even remotely close to a challenge these days.
This morning I did something I haven't ever done before. I noticed a large man, a complete stranger, who really looked miserable. I made eye contact with him and then made a decision. I decided to give him my blog address and my phone number. It was a risky move, I didn't want to be too forward, and I certainly didn't want him to be offended by my action. But looking into his eyes for a brief second, I could see myself so clearly. We ended up talking for nearly twenty minutes and I learned a great deal about him. He asked me three times how much weight I had lost so far, as if he couldn't believe it. He shared with me that he was 28 years old and weighed 580 the last he checked. Remember in one of my early days, I mentioned about finding a scale that could weigh me at over 500? Remember me talking about the option of weighing at the Farmers Co-op scales? He's actually done that. I told him about the scales at the Payne County Health Department and he lit up. Turns out he has a sister in Stillwater, and he said he would weigh there the next time he visits. The more we talked, the more we could relate to each other. He shared his dream of being able to lose enough weight to wear a regular pair of jeans, I've been there. We talked about portion control and exercise too. It was wonderful to meet him. He promised me he would read the blog. We then shook hands and went about our day. I almost didn't approach him. I actually decided not to, then changed my mind at the last second. It's only natural to want to tell someone something that you're passionate about, and that's what this was. Now I don't know if he's read any of these pages or not, but I hope so, and even then, is he ready for the commitment? I sincerely hope so. Because there's a whole new life just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. I'm not even half way across this journey, and I'm feeling better than I ever have in my entire life.
I heard from a reader today in Ontario, Canada. She's reading this blog from both ends. She reads the new entries daily, and some old ones along the way, and in not long she'll be completely caught up. She shared with me that she's suffered from lung problems her entire life, and she really must be extremely careful when it comes to exercise. But with caution, she's out there doing it whenever she can. She's also making good choices when it comes to food. Her message really helped me today. She's going to lose weight and she's going to dramatically improve her life, I just know it. And her words really made me think. As I walked tonight, I thought about how lucky I am to have an opportunity to turn things around. I thought about friends and family that have faced extreme life or death health issues, and I'm not talking about needing to lose weight, I'm talking about diseases and tragic accidents. And I thought about how, when faced with their circumstances, I'm sure they were willing to do whatever it would take to turn it around and survive. There are a lot of survivors out there who didn't have a choice, if they wanted to live they had to fight. So there's no way I can ever take for granted this blessing I've been given. For too many years I thought “I'll do it someday, no big deal,” so I have to give thanks that “someday” found me in relatively good health, and able to tackle this journey. To those that are traveling this road with serious health issues that challenge them every step of the way, you inspire me and give me strength.
Our dinner tonight was one of those that could get seriously out of hand without proper portion control. We had baked chicken mozzarella on a bed of spaghetti and tomato sauce. It was amazing and under 500 calories for a small portion, and that number includes a half piece of garlic toast! Losing weight doesn't have to be boring, and It doesn't have to leave you feeling deprived either. Thank you for taking the time to read these pages. I sincerely appreciate your support. Good night and...