Soul’s Physical Health Journey Part 2 of 13: Preparing – family / friends.

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Back in September, 2009, I laughed until I almost cried when I read a New Your Time’s article “Are your friends making you fat?”  (Click this link to read this article if you dare, for it’s a long one! )

I think this article should be mandatory reading for anyone about to consider making a life-long commitment to gain and maintain a healthy weight!  It covers all the important aspects of pro-actively creating a healthy, happy space to enjoy better health, one day, one person, one step at a time.

For me, I needed to address my families ancient excuse that “we’re all big boned!”  85% of my biological family is obese! Morbidly obese at that.  The stats show how most of my clan die at too early an age from stroke, diabetes, and related lethal outcomes of a life long love affair with denial combined with ignorance!

Strong statements there.  I know!  I make them based on real-life facts. I’ve held over 500 hands (virtually – through phone support) through my health and wellness program.  Folks have retired over 5000 pounds (that’s over 2.5 tons) when they STOPPED denying they had “an issue” and started learning how complex this issue of obesity really is!

To help my family and friends begin to understand how I intended to start living more healthy, I DID what I said I would do!  (We’ll cover much of what I do in upcoming posts).  The results spoke louder than my words.  As family and friends watched me retire over 100 pounds, they went through stages.

choiceStage one:  ‘that’s nice Soul!  You look great!  [wink wink . . . under their breath . . . ‘he’ll get fat again – everyone does!]

Stage two:  “Soul, are you sick?  You look too skinny?”  [People who know you most your life as a fat person often have a hard time believing you can really be a thin person!]

Stage three:  “Wow Soul!  You’ve kept it off!  How cool is that. I wish I could.  [Ah, yes, the river of denial is a long and deep one.]

Stage four:  “What is that you’re doing to keep healthy?”  [After years of skepticism, cracks in denial begin to break open.]

Stage five:  For those who love denial, resentment flavors our interactions.  The fact I retired my weight years a go is a painful reminder they still have work to do.  For those who deal with their weight, we bond like never before!

As you might guess, preparing your family and friends to support your healthy new life make take time and persistence!  It’s well worth it!  If you need help with this – get help!  Hire Peter.  Hire me.  Hire some one who’s got the professional background to help change HAPPEN.

Now, when I visit family and friends who insist on me eating MORE than I can possible eat, or eat something that’s FAR more deadly than enjoyable, I’ve learned a new response,

“Thanks!  Would LOVE to have more! I can’t though.  I have an allergic reaction to being fat!”

Good luck with your family and friends!  Send them the article above when you’re about to make your move to gain then maintain good health!


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Soul’s Physical Health Journey Part 13 of 13: Old image – subtle sabotage.

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Over the past 12 posts, I’ve shared a few insights on my success of retiring over 115 pounds (back in 2005).  This final post for this series is also a bridge to our next 13 part adventure featuring what I experienced mentally / emotionally as I witnessed less of me more often.  The bridge we’re about to cross connects two lands.

  1. The old land, my old image that while it seems far away now, once in a while, it feels like a moment ago.
  2. The new land, my current healthy self, sometimes seems foreign when I flash back to ‘the old country.’

One of the more memorable acts I enjoy recalling are the ‘end of the month, get rid of it’ days I created as I retired (on average) 30 pounds each month.  Yes, yes, for some that amount of weight release in that amount of time may seem a bit much.  Rest assured, not only was my body TOTALLY ready to let it go, I could FEEL my health come back on line each and every day.  (I digress, sorry!)

sparkleAt the end of each month, I’d try on every stitch of clothing I had.  If it was too big, it got tossed into the release pile.  I have to admit, while this was GREAT fun, it also involved some sorrow and a few tears.  Tears flowed as I remembered how some pieces were gifts from very dear friends.  How COULD I toss out such a gift. (Couldn’t I get it altered?  Often times, when I tried to have something altered, the results were less than optimal.) Besides, I looked DAMN GOOD in that back in the fat-old-days!  Such reminiscing IS a form of subtle sabotage.  Love, relationships and desire to feel loved are powerful emotions.  These emotions sometimes drown out my healthier inner voice leaving me to listen to external voices who say, “You looked so GREAT back then!  Now, you’re looking rather thin, don’t cha think?”  (Read this post to understand the importance of that last sentence.)

As the old clothes found new homes (often consignment shops to earn back some $$ to afford new stuff), I enjoyed, at times, a bit of a shopping spree. With 20/20 hindsight, I now see how I sabotaged myself with overspending on new clothes!  How?  I wasn’t at goal weight when I bought all that new stuff! (Sort of like the opposite of buying clothes for child! They say kids out-grow their clothes so quickly sometimes, the clothes barely get worn!)  For me, after about four months, I quickly discovered I spent WAY too much money on new, nice-fitting (for the moment) clothes.  (I wish I had the nerve to return things.  After wearing them more than twice, ethically, I just can’t bring myself to return something.) Part of my sadness of having to buy yet MORE new clothes resulted in a desire to STOP retiring weight!  Why?  I wanted to ‘get my money’s worth’ out of those clothes!  WRONG!  Had to bite the bullet and just wear really baggy clothes for a while!!

While there’s oceans of old-image sabotage stories to share, I highly encourage everyone to allow those stories to fade much like a pair of blue jeans after a few bleach washes.  Keeping such stories alive (by retelling them) is, yes, you guessed it!  Subtle sabotage.

As I wrap up this first series, please know I bow in gratitude for your time and interest.  Kindly do leave your comments below.  And by all means, I’d enjoy working with you should you (or someone you know) need support in gaining then maintaining a healthy weight.  For more details about my program, click this link.

And now!  Get ready for a 13 part series featuring a swim in the emotional pond!  Over the next few weeks, you’ll swim from the shallow to the deep end as I share insights on what I experienced emotionally as I retired over 115 pounds.  Stay tuned!  Click to connect directly if you’d like! Your comments and direct emails are GREAT no-calorie treats for my soul!


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Soul’s Physical Health Journey Part 3 of 13: Preparing – professional relationships.

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Do you work in an office of some type?  If you’re self-employed – this applies to you too!  How about all you net-workers out there?  Are you constantly going to social events where you stuff your face with those yummy appetizers not paying attention to the little extra inch that happens a few days later?

Over my professional career, I ballooned to almost 300 pounds, one cocktail party, one networking event at a time.  Events with a buffet always got my RSVP!  (Hey! Food at that time always got my attention!)  While at the event with a buffet, I’d make sure “I got my money’s worth” even if I didn’t pay a dime to attend!)  Buffets are a GREAT social networking tool.  I’d often ask, “Hey- can I get you something” as I warmed-up a potential new client relationship.  I often found myself doing business with those who say, “Ya!  Bring me . . .” and learned to not bother with folks who said “No, thanks!  I’m good!”  (Can we say judgmental here?” LOL)

soWhen the time came that I realized I needed to dramatically change my eating and drinking habits, I new I was in for a difficult time.  Why?  Just about every client I had enjoyed eating and drinking – often to excess.  This was our way of bonding.  I feared loosing clients if I rocked the boat.  It wasn’t until I faced what could have been a life-long love affair with Diabetes, did I wake-up to realize I may need to risk it all!  Now!

So, to help foster in a new way of socializing, I asked my normal drinking and eating clients if they’d mind doing something a little different in a few months.  I told them I’m making changes in my life then, and because I value their friendship, I’d like their help.

WOW!  That really boosted our connection!  Most folks were flattered that I asked them to “come along for the ride.”  When the time came to make adjustments, we first phased out all alcohol.  We then moved to eating at places known to be more healthy.  Finally, we decided to replace eating and drinking meetings with walking and talking activities (weather permitting of course!)  What a DELIGHTFUL change that was!  Our connections grew even stronger!

While it may take a some creativity and persistence to accomplish similar steps in your social circles, it’s well worth the time and effort.  As I talk about in my book, “Pay Me What I’m Worth” in chapter five, social networking is an art form.  Do it well, and your life becomes magical.  Do it poorly, and life rapidly becomes filled with more drama than you’d ever wish for.  For me, drama often invites the desire to medicate with food.   I steer clear of such drama these days.

Now, here’s a challenge for you!  At the office or while out socializing / networking, keep a refillable water bottle nearby or in your hand!  Why?  Well, we’ll talk about that in more detail in a future post.  For now, I invite you to experience the magic of drinking enough purified water on a regular basis!  It works in many ways!


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