Monday, April 23, 2012

Oversized Mirrors

What do you feel when you look at someone who is in horrible shape? You know the ones, so big, so overweight that they have multiple rolls of fat around their mid section. Or the ones who are so large that they literally "waddle" when they walk. Surely you have seen the people who are so morbidly obese that they have to buy their clothes in a specialty shop.

So what do you think? Be honest with yourself for a moment. Do you look at them in disgust? Do you feel deep sorrow for them? Maybe you even hate them? Strong word, hate. But, do you? Do you look at them and wonder with nothing but one word questions like "why?" or "how?"

Many times I have looked at folks like this and felt much like I'm sure you do. But here's what's interesting about these feelings. It's not that you have any personal negative feelings towards the people themselves, it's that you have these feelings towards what these people represent. You see, they are in many ways like large, over sized mirrors, reflecting everything that we hate or feel sorrow for within ourselves. When you see a person who is obese, you see a little bit of yourself. Not good huh? But true. Bottom line is these folks have had made the decision to get fit and lose weight many times over. Unfortunately, they didn't make the wrong decision, they made the decision wrong. Re-read that last sentence and "get it" before you read on.

In all of my years of training and helping people lose weight, I have met every possible situation, I have heard every possible story and I have seen every kind of success and, sadly, failure. In all these years, I have learned an awful lot of truths about weight loss and such. I was reminded of one of these truths the other day when my friend Paul Miller sent me some information on decision making.

When I read over his materials, I realized that someone had taken the time to detail and perfect what we have been seeing for years. I'll kind of boil it down for you. Basically, there are two different kinds of decisions. The kind that are not earth shattering and can be changed with ease. What you are going to have for dinner, what shoes you are going to wear today, what you are going to watch on TV, etc. are examples of these decisions. Unfortunately, many people make the decision to get healthy at this level.

"I'm starting P-90X with my friend Monday..." or "Well, I think I'm going to try Adkins again, that worked well for me before..." blah, blah, blah. I hear this nonsense all the time. And it is just that, nonsense. You're probably sitting there right now thinking I'm a little harsh for feeling this way and you are right, I am. Know why? Because PEOPLE DON'T FREAKING SUCCEED LIKE THIS. These casual namby pamby weak little "decisions" to change will never get the job done. Heck, they hardly are capable of helping you decide what you're having for dinner.

The other level of decision making is the one that IS life changing. It's the one that can't be easily changed. Decisions such as getting married, buying a house, changing careers, having kids, joining the military... these are big decisions that require a large dose of thought before diving into them. That doesn't mean that everyone DOES think, but we aren't wasting our time talking about those people. We are talking about people like you, good, honest, squared away people.

So the decision to get fit and lose weight is typically made at the "what's for dinner' level but should be made at the "do you want to marry me" level. Huge difference. Massive in fact.

So here's the deal. If you are in the midst of a fitness effort based on a decision made in a manner that can be easily changed yet is not life changing, you are on a path to fail. Yes, even in my own UB program, you are set to fail. Stop right now and reassess. Spend some serious time re-evaluating your decision. If you can bring it up to the level of life changing, yet not easily changed, then my words have not been wasted. You are likely to succeed. If you have already made the decision and it was a huge, can't be changed decision, thank you. You just made my life easier because now we can accomplish great things together.

If you are one of the ones who gets it and who has made the decision and who is committed, then you are special. You possess something that so many wish for but may never experience. You see, the Ultimate Body is not the great gift. The great gift, the one you have and the one they only wish for is the ability to create change for yourself within your life. Its the ABILITY to change that they long for. You, my friends, have it.

So here's what I would like to ask those of you who have it. Let's put it to good use. Good use for more than just ourselves that is. I would like to challenge you to make a goal of helping someone who doesn't get it, who hasn't got it and yet who desperately needs it. Real help made from real personal sacrifice on some level. Find someone who is suffering from being overweight and poor health and do something for them. Teach them something. Pay for them to come to UB for a month. Take them to dinner or lunch once a week and spend time getting to know them, then, when the time is right, teach them about healthy eating or exercise. Find a way. Spend some time. Mainly, just try.

Everything that we know and everything that we have experienced is wasted if used just for ourselves. Reach out to someone in need and try your hardest to help them. Don't be disappointed if you don't save them though. Some people don't want to be saved. Remember, my challenge to you is to go and try. You and I both know that success is up to them.

When you see a very overweight person in the future, I want you to do something. From now on, don't see the negative reflections of who you used to be. Instead, I want you to see who you truly are -the person that God created to be used as part of the change. You can make a difference, if you decide to...