Posted by: leebase | January 15, 2013

Tell The World

JellyFishFramedA wise, successful and experienced person recently encouraged folks starting WW to keep it to themselves. Don’t tell anyone. All kinds of folks will start discouraging you and giving you all manner of nonsense dietary and health advice. Makes sense. Who am I to disagree with someone who has not only lost their weight, but kept it off for years?

Well, I gotta be me. I have not lost all my weight yet, but I have lost 80lbs and kept at it for nine months and counting. Even so, it is not my own success I’m going to draw on in order to encourage _some_ folks to take the opposite approach. Tell the world. But first, a bit of my story.

You can refer to the first post in my blog to learn why I finally started on my journey to health and fitness. Consider, though, that I started this blog, wrote the first post, and told all my family, friends, co-workers that I was embarking on this journey. Day one…before having lost a pound. I posted on Facebook, and I posted on my company’s internal “everyone can read it” site.

I did this for selfish reasons. I had gone on diets before, even lost a decent amount of weight…20 or 30lbs. Yet each time I would fail to stick with it and eventually would go on to regain the weight plus a good deal more. Announcing publicly was my tool to pressure myself to stick with it this time.

Something strange and wonderful happened along the way.

First, I got a terrific amount of support and encouragement. It’s not like my size was a secret. The embarrassing thing was getting fat…not working to do something about it. Each week I put up my progress. I wrote my blog posts detailing the journey and what I was learning…and my disappointments, set backs and progress. Played out weekly for all to see.

Here is the part that I absolutely did not foresee. Some of my friends and coworkers took inspiration from me and started their own journeys. A good number of them. More still are being inspired and it’s simmering in their hearts and minds…percolating toward a future start date for them.

One such friend, Steve, was a former coworker. Years ago he had lost a great amount of weight. At the time, I wasn’t ready. He even remembered a conversation where I said “that’s why I have life insurance” as a retort to his encouragement that losing weight would extend my life. He had since regained his weight and gotten larger still…a very common thing. He was inspired that I was FINALLY doing something about my weight and he joined me. More than joined, we became support and coaches to each other, talking weekly (sometimes daily). He’s now lost over 80lbs himself.

Another friend of mine, also named Steve, had moved away a few years ago. He’s now a Facebook friend. I see his status updates and he see’s mine. Imagine my delight when one day his status was thanking me for inspiring him to start his journey and that he’d already lost 24lbs.

I could go on. My friend at church who has now lost 20lbs. The numerous messages from friends thanking me, rooting me on, and telling me that I’m inspiring them. Best of all, my wife started in with me on day one and has lost 50lbs herself.

Why tell the world? Who lights a candle and hides it under a bushel? I’m no diet guru. I have no secret to success. My friends aren’t even going about things the way I am. It’s that we are all in this together. Struggling with weight is common, it’s almost the norm. There is no shame to be had in tackling the difficult challenges in your life. Lets do this together. Be an inspiration. Receive the support and encouragement others would love to give you.

There is amazing power in a changing life. Progress, not perfection is what inspires people. Real people, the friend THEY know…reaches people in a way that the Jillian Micheals of the world can’t. You can do it. And you can inspire others to improve their own lives as well. Maybe this isn’t the plan for everybody….but I sure am glad I went about it this way.

As for my weekly progress. I was up a half pound even though I had two a day workouts and ate well. I haven’t lost all of my holiday weight yet.

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Responses

  1. I’m with you, I don’t think It should be a secret. I don’t tell people around me. But I do talk openly about it online. I think as long as you have a support crew to keep you going its all good 🙂

  2. I hadn’t read this post, but on 1-21 announced on FB to my hundreds of friends that I was starting WW’s I completely agree with talking about it,


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