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


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 12 of 13: Re-imaging from family / friends.


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



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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