Soul’s Physical Health Journey Part 11 of 13: Re-imaging from the inside out.

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One steamy hot, no-wind Chicago day, I recall walking past a large shop window and wondering, “who’s that guy being reflected back to me. That’s NOT me!!”

I’ll not forget that moment for some time to come, to say the least! That day, I stood there looking at myself from head to toe, NOT recognizing me.  The thin, happy imagine in the window was NOT THE FAT, happy on the outside, miserable on the inside image I carried around in my sleepy, routine-laided “fat mind.”  The shop just happened to be a clothing re-use shop for a local children’s hospital. I spied some shorts I thought would be MUCH cooler to enjoy than the baggy pair of pants I sported that day.

I went in.  Examined the shorts.  Sighed.  “Too small” I thought.  The likelihood of me fitting in a size 32 was laughable.  Yet something inside me said – “SHUT UP!  Try on the shorts.  The worst that’ll happen is you’ll put them back on the rack.”  Okay! Okay!  I tried on the shorts with every intention of mocking myself for being so delusional!

self imageI wandered into the dressing room.  Baggy pants fall off easily you know!  Slipped on the shorts.  Without realizing it, I YELPED like I had just been surprised by a dear old friend materializing outta nowhere!  Actually!  I was surprised by a dear old friend – ME!

MY GAWD!  Those shorts – a bit snug – not too uncomfortable – FIT!

Those shorts FIT!  I could NOT believe it!

I gathered up my baggy pants and did a happy little Snoopy dance all the way to the cashier.  The poor woman at the counter wondered if I had completely gone off (or overdosed) my meds!  When I spotted her concern, I shared my story of retiring over 100 pounds little over six months ago (at that time). I continued to share how I thought I’d NEVER fit  into a size 32 EVER again!

She was amazed to say the least.  She also could stand to retire at least 100 pounds herself.  Do you think she inquired about what I did?  Nope!  I didn’t press the issue.  Everyone is perfect as is – right?  When you’re ready to get healthy – you know it.

From that moment onward, I daily worked at syncing up the image I felt with the image I thought!  Many times, I found myself in complete denial I had accomplished what I did!  Each time my ego wanted to flog me with old stories and images, I’d walk up to my bathroom door’s full-length mirror and observe myself from head to toe.  I gently rewired my internal image to match-up with real-time body.  Granted!  35 years of being morbidly obese imprints an image that’s hard to change. As we all know, ‘change happens’ with every breath we take!

When I begin work with someone who’s goal is to retire 100 pounds or more, I help them retire their inner image as they retire unhealthy weight.   The MORE my clients DO this work, the MORE quickly, safely, naturally retire unhealthy pounds!  Go figure!  Need help?  I’m a phone away!  312-268-0000.


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Soul’s Physical Health Journey Part 1 of 13: Preparing myself.

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Here’s our agenda for the first 13 blog posts focused on physical aspects to gain then maintain optimal health on all levels.

  1. Preparing myself.
  2. Preparing – family / friends.
  3. Preparing – professional relationships.
  4. Preparing – home routines.
  5. Gotta get walking.
  6. Water – who knew?
  7. Dairy – scary!
  8. Cleansing – an ancient art applicable now!
  9. Rest – what a difference!
  10. Savoring results.
  11. Re-imaging from the inside out.
  12. Re-imaging from family / friends.
  13. Old image – subtle sabotage.

Part 1 of 13:  Awareness!  Step one to preparing myself to be more physically healthy.

My journey to gain then maintain optimal health officially started in 1993 just past my 33rd birthday. Step one of my physical path to become more healthy was becoming more aware that I had a weight problem to begin with.  You see, up until that time in my life, I bought hook, line and sinker the family myth that ‘we’re all just big boned.’  Being the youngest of nine siblings, with eight of those nine siblings all morbidly obese, I didn’t think twice about my size.  I also didn’t think twice about how young family members died from complication of obesity.  How’s that old saying go?  “Ignorance is bliss?”  I certainly enjoyed a blissful young adulthood as I topped out at 285 pounds on a 5’7” frame!

As my awareness grew concerning all the complications I was headed for if I didn’t DO something – NOW – about my weight, my eyes opened wide, big time.  I was lucky to see I had choices to make before my lack of choice made some pretty hard decisions for me.  As I consumed materials concerning obesity, nutrition, diet, exercise and all the related hoopla around being more healthy, I knew I needed a plan I could actually commit to.  My plan started out by simply doing a better job at what I automatically stuffed in my face with NO awareness of what that stuff was.

My biggest eye-opener regarding nutrition was my wanderings around http://cdc.gov.  As I dove more deeply into that site, learning how awful our food supply really is (additives, vaccines, etc.) it made me realize I needed to be far more mindful of what I threw in my grocery basket. As with most folks I know, I swung myself overboard on being an organic queen.  Not only an organic queen (buying ONLY certified organic foods), but an organic queen apostle.  (I couldn’t stop lecturing people on the need to be more real with their food consumption.)

I’m amazed I still have any family or friends around after being such a drama queen about eating organic! You see, I replaced my arrogance concerning my weight with arrogance about how dumb others are about nutrition!   Needless to say, I soon realized I needed to prepare my inner circle about my intentions to become more healthy in order to achieve my goal to BE more healthy.

Stay tuned!  My next post explores how I helped those I love, love me back by being a solid support team before, during and after retiring over 100 pounds.


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Soul’s Physical Health Journey Part 12 of 13: Re-imaging from family / friends.

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You would imagine most family and friends would be THRILLED at seeing me retire over 100 pounds, right?  Well, for the most part, this is true.  One friend came up with a cute little goodbye … “It’s GREAT to see LESS of your MORE often!”  Have to admit, that took a couple run-throughs to catch what he meant. Too fun!

Part and parcel of changing my image from the inside out (see post below) was helping folks I know (who are still morbidly obese) NOT feel threatened by my new lean and healthy body.  Many have known the FAT me for 95% of the time we’ve known each other.  These folks have watched many other drop and gain a few times.  They anticipated that would happen to me.  Since it hasn’t, at first, it seemed threatening to them.  How?  from their comments, like, “You look TOO thin.”  Or, “Are you really okay?  You seem to look a bit gaunt.”  As you might guess, these folks really struggled with the change they witnessed in front of their eyes!

laughterI happened to ask a few folks I had just started getting to know (when I reached my goal back in 2005), “do I look too thin?  Do I appear ‘gaunt’ to you?”  All of them said, resoundingly – NO- you look great!  From those responses, the next time I heard a “you’re too thin” from one of my long-term obese relationships, I kindly, gently asked, “does my being thin bother you.”  Of course they laughed at the notion that my new healthy weight bothered them.  Months later, as our connections grew more strained, I offered them a graceful way to maintain a relationship.

With as open of a heart as I know how to make it, I look into their eyes (or asked them to listen closely to my words as we spoke on the phone) and said, “I love YOU for who YOU are, no matter your size, no matter your attitude about me.  I hope you’ll do the same for me.”  Of course, everyone always says, “OF COURSE I’ll love you for who you are.”  Now, what they seem to miss, is, ‘what kind of love’ are they willing to share. Conditional love, love that requires me to look or be a certain way, is the kind of love I shy away from these days.  Conditional love played a large role in how I got into my morbidly obese condition.  As I gained a more healthy sense of self, I watched other’s imagine, almost EXPECT me to ‘go back to my old self.”

Since 2006, I’ve stepped-up my boundary settings skills with folks.  I make it clear from the beginning that I’m on a path to live to at least a robust, lively, fully engaged 150.  That path include maintaining the best physical health I’m comfortable with.  (I have to admit, I need to get back to more walking these days.  I’ve gotten keyboard-bound with all my writing! Yes!  Yes! I Know!  I know.  Gotta step away from my keyboard more often!!)

Now, my health and wellness coaching program includes a couple KEY questions people MUST ask all those they hold near and dear BEFORE starting on my program.

helpQuestion one:  who will support your desire to gain then maintain a healthier body – for the rest of your life?

Question two:  who might be non-supportive in your quest to become more healthy in the form of teasing, less-than-kind remarks, etc.

Based on the number of people identified in the above two questions, we’ve got an excellent idea of where to start.  Until YOU have 100% support by 100% of those you hold near and dear, you may need to allow those less-than-supportive types to fade into the past. The most kind gesture I know to allow someone to be who they wish to be is to give them the space to do that!

Questions?  Need help? Call!  312-268-0000. Let’s talk.  Kindly know, as we come to our last segment of this 13 part series.  I’m here for you!  Engage us to help you sync-up that image you have on the inside with what you see on the outside.


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