Being Better

It all started with a picture actually. A long forgotten photo that was sitting on our camera’s flashdrive, not to be seen until many months later. It was maybe in September that I plugged the camera into the computer and downloaded the photos. As iPhoto added them, I probably wasn’t paying too much attention. It takes a little time to get so many photos (maybe 300 of them?) from one place to the other. When they were finally finished, I decided to go through them and see if I could delete some of the bad ones. You know…the soft focus pictures or the “not too flattering” pictures, etc & so forth. I mean…I DO have 2 women in the house and neither of them will let me live if there is an unflattering photo that magically finds its way to my Facebook page so…I have to go through them and get approval, ya know? Anyway, I came upon our Florida vacation photos and I was horrified. I was mortified. I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! In this slew of photos that my wife had taken beachside, there were pictures of my daughter being attacked by a whale!

Wait a minute…that’s not a whale!!! It’s ME?!?!?

Let’s set one thing straight here…I am NOT a vain man. Despite the fact that my hair is seemingly perfect all the time (or so I’ve been told), I rarely give a crap about what I look like or what I wear. I swear…my son’s wardrobe costs 50 TIMES more than mine does! So…vanity isn’t one of my sticking points. But for some reason, these photos stuck a dagger in me. I don’t know about you, but I tend to believe that everyone has a vision of themselves. We all want to think that we look like what we looked like…oh….maybe when we were in our early to mid-20’s. Young, in much better shape, ready for anything. It’s in our heads and we appreciate those images even when we’re NOT in our early to mid-20’s and we’re NOT in good shape and we’re NOT ready for anything. Time and work and responsibilities and children and so many other things take its toll on us and then…one day…you look in the mirror and…who the hell is THAT?

That is what happened to me. For years, I’ve been dealing with bad back issues. Had a couple kids. Got really busy with work and travel and God knows what else and my body paid the toll. Looking back at myself in September, I remember the revelation that hit me smack dab in my face when I saw the photos that I think have changed my life for the better. I looked really big. I mean…I’m 5’11” and 45 years old. I’m well past my physical prime but I shouldn’t feel like I did and I certainly shouldn’t have looked that bad. But I did.

Ok…here is the photo that got to me. Might as well put it out there already…


The reason I’m writing this isn’t because I’ve found a miracle makeover drug that can make YOU slimmer in a matter of days! I don’t have a crazy new workout that will have you feeling fantastic after only 30 days or your money back! I haven’t grown any amazing new, healthy vegetables in my backyard nor have I created a new workout machine that can transform your body into solid granite in 6 months!!!

The reason I’m writing is because I am feeling better now. After discovering this and many other photos, something clicked. I had been doing nothing for myself. I hadn’t been eating healthy. I hadn’t listened to doctors and chiropractors and physical therapists who told me I needed to work on my core to strengthen my back. I had been doing nothing but eating crap and sitting around, not doing ANYTHING to make myself better. After seeing the photos? It happened.

I can’t really say what it was that got into my head. All I know is that I had had enough. Enough with the back issues and the whining and the feeling unhealthy. It was time to make a change…so I did. I’m not going to tell you that you need to eat healthier and work out every day for the rest of your life in order to make a change for yourself. Only YOU know what is right for you. What I AM going to tell you is that I am working on being a better me FOR me. Now I go to the gym so that I can feel better about myself. I don’t care so much how others might see me…this is about how I see me. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to make a change. And I am happy to say it is paying off.

I’ve been going to the gym a lot lately and I’m enjoying it! I got a trainer and he’s been showing me new ways to make myself better that aren’t painful and that don’t hurt my body for days after. I have been playing basketball again and LOVING it! I have missed it SO much! And I’m actually not playing all that badly! I’ve been eating healthier and trying to cut back on calories and fat intake. Oh sure…I still eat crap from time to time. And I still enjoy pasta for dinner. I have a drink or two when the moment allows. But overall? I’m eating healthier and it has paid off.

On September 18th, I weighed myself at 208 pounds. I try not to gauge what I am doing by stepping on a scale because I know that a lot of the time, if you have a goal in your head and you don’t achieve it almost immediately, it can cause setbacks. So I don’t really use a scale to gauge where I am in this process. And honestly I have no idea what I weighed when those pictures were taken last March. I could have been heavier or lighter. Who knows? But today…I stood on a scale for the first time in a couple of months and…

20140117-210140.jpgIt’s paying off being better.

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