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 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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