Day 708 and 709
It's All About Perspective
The spinning class Monday evening felt so wonderful. Deanna, the instructor, incorporated fitness bands...as if pedaling for an hour straight at different resistance levels wasn't enough of a workout! But I must say, it was a great addition to the spinning, brilliant actually. Oh, and the hour---yeah, that's another issue. I didn't get that memo until 42 minutes into what I thought was a 45 minute class. I was beat and so looking forward to stepping off that cycle. When we were on gear 18 and standing up "running" at minute 42, I knew we still had a way to go, and when the classmate on cycle 13 noticed my confusion, they confirmed through ragged breath: "It's an hour today." Really? All of a sudden, I was faced with the thought...17 more minutes instead of a little more than two. But I couldn't bring myself to stop. These people know me...what would they think? I dishonestly felt like I had already achieved an amazing workout at minute 5, it's just gruelling--but in a positive workout kind of way...and look where we were...Hey, I know, I thought...Maybe I have somewhere to be!?! But I didn't, and they would see right through that excuse...not because it would be so hard to believe that I would have somewhere else to be, but because I would have probably climbed off of the bike in dramatic fashion, spilling my water, and announcing over the loud music in an animated fashion, "I have a passion for Putt-Putt meeting to attend, and I wouldn't want to be late..." --But really, I couldn't be happy with myself had I made up something like that. But wow, I was so disappointed. My disappointment was replaced 17 minutes later with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. I climbed off the cycle along with all of the other sweaty spinning people and did my best to look all confident too, as if to say, "I was actually hoping it was an hour today, wow--how lucky for me!"
Perspective is an interesting study. It's all in our perspective, and sometimes---well, most every time, the difference between us accepting, I mean really understanding or at least appreciating something and being totally foreign to the concept...comes down to a slight shift in our perspective. Or sometimes a major shift is what it takes. Whatever, a shift--you know what I mean. An example I experienced yesterday was very interesting. I was broadcasting on location and communicating with the studios, when this amazing voice came on the line. It was a new board operator who was training to operate my broadcast. The voice I heard would make James Earl Jones seem like Peter Brady. Ok, really---probably not that good--but still, I made him say..."This is CNN." I'm kidding, I really didn't. I did however ask him his age. He told me 17. And then, I asked him how old he was when his voice dropped, and what he said reminded me all about the importance of perspective. With a serious tone he said: "It started when I was eleven years old, and just got worse as I got older." Worse? "Did it hurt?" I asked, "No, it just got deeper...everyone made fun of me starting in 7th grade, when they would call me the voice."
Wow...wow, wow. He was made to feel different because of a gift that he couldn't fully realize as a gift at the time. What an amazing revelation it will be when he fully realizes that his voice wasn't a curse or a problem at all, and could potentially give him a career in broadcasting and voice-overs. I'm excited to see how he develops as he realizes and appreciates his "unexpected" gift. Perspective, wow...very powerful. It's powerful because we believe whatever others tell us, or even worse, whatever we tell ourselves---for me it goes back to the "mix-tape" analogy from Day 327.
I couldn't help but to draw parallels between this kid and me. My obesity made me the target of cruelty as a child, like it did for so many of us. And I hated being fat. There was nothing positive, or so I thought. It wasn't until I flipped my perspective on Day 135 with my "Thank You Letter To Morbid Obesity" that I fully understood the power of perspective. And now, it's becoming very clear that, the very thing I thought would be the death of me---has led me to where I am now...and that's a wonderful place. And maybe someday, if he puts in the effort---this kid will realize and enjoy the same unexpected flip in perspective. It's beautiful my friend, it really is beautifully amazing.
Speaking of perspective, I had a nice exchange with a reader of this blog through facebook. I'll keep the readers name private because this is a personal subject. But I wanted to share the thoughts with you too because it's an issue many of us face.
Facebook friend: Hi...I have a question for ya...since you've lost so much weight, have you had a problem with hanging skin? That's what I'm afraid of...I have about 100 lbs. to lose, have lost 40 so far since last October...kinda wasted my whole summer not working at it. I know I'll more than likely need a tummy tuck, etc. after I lose it all....but would never be able to afford it...so, is there any certain exercises that help? Thanks...and you are an inspiration.
Me: It's something that I deal with, absolutely. I knew it would be an issue--how could it not? BUT--I'm healthier now than I've ever been as an adult...so it's still a nice trade. And as hard as it is to accept, I'll never have the underwear model body I dream of having--just too much damage done. And even with surgery someday, the truth is, it still will not be perfect.Here's the deal---I had to lovingly accept my imperfections---and I'm not all the way there, not by a long shot---But I'm working on these issues....and when I look in the mirror these days---I still like what I see, because it's so vastly different and better than where I was for so long.I once used that worry about loose skin to deter my efforts...I'm so glad I identified the craziness of that mental dynamic.
Facebook friend: Thank you so much for your response and insight...I think I'll never be extremely happy with what I see in the mirror, but won't let it deter me from working day in and day out to make this change in my life...again, thank you. I have to say, this is the hardest thing to do...getting the weight off and keeping it off...finding the will and strength every day to make it through.
Me: You must remember that this is one of the most important things you've ever done. It's about so much more than the physical benefits---you know this, the physical transformation is the least of it...the super important part is our health--physically---and most important--mentally. This freedom from the chains of obesity--that prison, is so incredible to experience. It's like a whole new world---and this loose skin issue is just a scar from my extended sentence. It's all about our perspective. Some call 'em stretch marks, I call 'em battle scars...I'm rather proud of mine.
Perspective, it's absolutely life changing.
I ended up not completing a 5K Tuesday night. And I honestly didn't feel like it Wednesday night, but I did it anyway. It was a long day on Wednesday. My show started at 6am---and with my live on location broadcast from 3 to 7pm, I wasn't back at the apartment until just after 8pm. I decided to eat dinner and then, as much as I would have rather just collapsed onto my big comfy bed--I put on my jogging pants, grabbed the iPod, and laced up the shoes. Had I not, I could have felt completely justified. After all, it had been an exceptionally long day and I was exhausted. But I'm too important. I stated a personal goal in my last post, and I know: If I'm going to hit that goal, I must return to the same attitude and workout consistency level I had in the very beginning of my long trek down this road. I had to make time for me and that trail. It was a top priority, my "importance level" is set super high---I mustn't forget, ever.
Chrissy sent this: Okay Mr. Anderson, since you make this look sooooo easy, question for you. How the heck do you motivate yourself?!? I am a mom, parent club president, work full time, have a house to keep clean and a family to shop and feed. I have a gym membership that sits idle. I am their best client, I pay and do not ever go! How does one make it all work because in my "spare" time I just wanna collapse NOT hit the gym LOL. I need motivation!!!! How did you start yourself off? What jumpstarted you?
Chrissy, you must make time for you a priority. It's all about that importance level of yours. I started off knowing that I had to do something now. I knew that I had never been consistent before and further--I knew that this was the reason I always failed. But how? With a very busy schedule--it can seem impossible...back to the perspective issue. I had to decide that this was, I was, important enough to make time---regardless of anything and everything. If I was being totally honest with myself--and I knew I had to be---then I couldn't use my busy schedule as an excuse or permission to fail because, "I'm just so busy." My desire to make this the last weight loss attempt of my life jump started me real good---I honestly felt like I had but one chance remaining...so this time had to be different, because my life--and more importantly---my family, depended on it.
I've been looking at a bunch of before pictures lately. It reminds me of where I've been and keeps me in touch with the emotions behind the eyes of the former five hundred pound version of me. I've posted some below. Thank you for reading! Goodnight and...
One of my old stand-up comedy head shots
With Louie Anderson
With Sinbad...and he is so genuinely nice by the way, full of wonderful wisdom that guy...Much respect for Sinbad...This was the only time I had a chance to work with and meet him---but he spent nearly an hour talking to me at the after party...telling me everything I needed to know about the business, and by doing that---he was telling me everything I needed to know about him. He's top shelf. What isn't top shelf is the mullet I'm sporting. Wow...that's an impressive mullet if I do say so myself.
The dreaded stage profile shot, with the head shot inset. Thanks Tulsa World! ;)
Not so dreaded recent profile shot
Eating lasagna. Man, I have to tell you---I LOVE lasagna!