Two years ago, I stood in a changing room — JcPenney’s because they carry husky sizes — looking at myself in the full-length mirror. I was disgusted. I was angry. I was dejected. How in the heck did the cleaning crew miss that smudge on the mirror!? Joking aside, it was disheartening to look at myself, to see how I’d allowed myself to gain so much weight and lose so much hope. I was looking in a mirror. Misery was staring back at me.
I took these photos of an awful changing-room experience — dang, those rooms can be demoralizing! — because I hoped something would spark a desire to change. Maybe seeing myself like this would inspire me. Unfortunately, they didn’t but it was part of a process of getting me closer. I finally hit rock bottom on an airplane a couple of months later. At that same time — there are no coincidences — I came across a health program. Ignoring my initial reaction that someone was trying to sucker me (my wife at first) into something, I decided to give it a chance. I’d tried and failed on my own many, many times. I craved structure. I needed some training wheels on my bike. I needed help and hope.
Since that changing room experience, here are some things that have changed in my life:
— My high blood pressure is now at a healthy level
— Dangerous inflammation has subsided
— I tie my shoes without feeling like a sumo wrestler attempting to do an Olympic gymnastics routine
— I breathe so much easier
— I found my razor and the barber (they were missing lol)
— I climb stairs, two at a time sometimes, and walk with ease instead of breaking out into a sweat after one exhausting flight or short stroll
— I don’t lose my balance and fall anymore
— I shop in normal sections (and don’t feel nearly as miserable in changing rooms … still don’t love ’em lol)
— I’ve moved my blood-sugar levels to a very healthy range and am no longer zooming toward Type II diabetes
— I have hope for a bright future
— I am pleased, not satisfied but pleased, with who I am
— I wear Size 36/38 pants instead of 54s and L/XL shirts instead of XXXXL
— I’m 150 pounds lighter than I was in March 2016 and, despite some messy life happening last year, am about 40 pounds lighter than I was on Jan. 1, 2017.
— I take selfies, like this from Dec. 31, 2017 at church, and feel proud to smile
— I’m a health coach who helps others change their lives.
I love the phrase “Changing for good” and the multiple meanings it carries. I also love the saying, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” Are you where you want to be? If not, are you willing to change? Do you know how to change? Do you want help changing for good?
I’m not where I want to be. My weight-loss journey will continue until I reach a healthy weight this year — and then I’ll continue to fight for my health the rest of my life. It hurts too much when misery stares back at me. I love the feeling when the man in the mirror smiles back at me.
Instead of saying “Have a happy new year,” I’m opting for this: “Make it a healthy new year!”
If you need help, please reach out. It’s worth it.