I spent some time today reading my blog postings from the three weeks I spent at the Biggest Loser Resort in Malibu. It was hard to read, first because I couldn’t believe the number of grammatical errors I found most of it from not proof reading thoroughly enough, but with the drastic reduction in food intake I experienced I don’t blame my brain for trying to preserve energy for more vital functions like breathing. Second it was hard to read because I couldn’t fathom how skeptical I was during my first week, and the change that occurred in me from being a cynical asshole to a kool-aid drinking disciple.
The experience in California created major changes in my eating habits, but more importantly created a mental fortitude that I had lost after years of having it beaten out of me professionally and personally. I never would have anticipated that a guy who was a reality TV contestant would help instill a mantra which I continue to carry, “you can only work as hard as the moment you are in”.
I was struck by the photos from my first day at Fitness Ridge; the picture I took with Mary made me laugh because I literally look like I’m going to eat her. She looks like a poor salmon caught in the clutches of a big crazy bear.
I often forget how much weight I’ve lost, I think reading the blog posts have given me a slight level of pride in getting to this point so far, even though I have a long way still to go, because at times it feels like I’ve been going at this pace for years it’s nice to sit back and take in the fruits of my efforts. To some degree I have been pushing hard for a few years, but obviously most of my success in the last two months.
It also made me realize that the evolution I am going through today is a result of a single impetus, or moment in time when I said enough is enough. After years of frustration and disappointment I realized that I needed an education in eating, and wasn't going to get it by just eating less and staying in the same poor daily patterns I had developed. If nothing else I knew going to the resort would show me what I need to eat, or at least how to eat it.
Going to the Biggest Loser Resort was also the last attempt to lost the weight myself before I went to have a bariatric procedure like lapband or gastric bypass. I had a few opportunities to have the procedure done in the past; in fact I went to a pre-intake seminar, sort of the final step before you commit to a surgical date. While sitting in this room full of obese people, I sat in judgment and looking at all the sad faces, some people even started to cry, I thought I'm not like them, I'm active, I played sports, and fuck it I'm better than them. In the end I just couldn’t do it call it hubris, ego or even fear but it did stop me from getting cut open.
I kept asking myself what if I want to intentionally overeat, like during the holidays, or on a special occasion, and what if I want to get rip roaring shitfaced drunk one night, doing one of those procedures would forever prevent me from having the choice to over consume. It's silly but why physically restrict myself in an unnatural way, when the problem can be fixed by altering my lifestyle. The other issue which kept weighing on my mind was that the procedures are so new the long term ramifications of this type of procedure is unknown. Who wants to walk around cross-eyed for the rest of your life like the people who bought Steve Martin's glasses in the movie the Jerk.
I am glad I didn’t.
What causes us to change? Why is that when we know we want to make a change, while knowing all the rational reasons why change is necessary, we cannot act on the internal idea of change, is it because we can’t accept the concept of what is new, or is it because we become comfortable with the status quo because it’s easier, or is it something darker and deeper that prevents to take the first step towards what we seek. Is it the fear of success?
And why is it that even when we start to take steps towards the change in our lives that we seek, along the way we self sabotage the progress we make. The only thing that ever prevents success in a person’s life is the "self". It’s all the emotional baggage which we can’t let go which encumbers our ability to alter how we perceive the world, it's the inability to shift our paradigm.
There are far more devastating health concerns than obesity, or issues with weight, being overweight for most of us, unless you have something like Prader-Willi syndrome (a genetic disorder which affects the brains ability to understand that it is full, so it thinks it is always going to starve), is completely in our control. It’s a matter of finding yourself in that one moment of desire to change, and acting on that desire which creates the steps toward reaching our physical goal. I can't figure out for everyone who reads this what that moment will be, but I know the seeds for the real change came that day sitting in an auditorium of obese people, if we were pigs it would have looked like a waiting room for hog slaughter.
Even leading up to that day I had spent a year or two trying to lose the weight, and it just wasn't happening, yet at that point the idea hadn't become all consuming. Today the seeds have blossomed into action, and I can't imagine being in a different place. In a matter of two months I have made significant lasting changes in my life. I have to find a way to always keep the goal in mind, yet focus on the task at hand, live in the moment. Ian gave me a great piece of advice; he said "your best changes everyday". Live in the moment, and enjoy the evolution.