Wednesday, September 24, 2008

“…pick yourself up and get back in the race…”

That’s life! Am I dating myself with that Frank Sinatra song? Well I enjoy some of the words, for example. “…each time I find myself laying flat on my face, I just pick myself up and get back in the race”! For years now that has been how I exist. I have been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king, I’ve been up and down and over and out as I am sure many of us have been. The thing I know and I just always had a gut instinct was that I had to Never Give Up!

In my past my biggest downfall was not that “one binge” that I would have, no, never did any one meal put 100 pounds or 600 pounds on me. It was the behavior that followed that binge that became my problem. Initially it is just the taste of the food itself. Oh the experts may say it is the “salty taste, or the sweet taste”, all I know is that it is the “Good Taste” that sets me off. Let me not lie, pizza taste good and never did one slice of pizza ever satisfy me.

Anyway, there I would be struggling along “dieting” following one program or another, one gimmick or some new idea! Doing well for a while, numbers dropping, clothes drooping, and compliments coming and then one day (with or without a reason) I just was not going to have one more balanced “healthy” choice. I would give into the voice, I would weaken to the struggle, I would fall prisoner to the drive, and I became a slave to the compulsion of the self –gluttonous, self–destructive, yet un-controllable behavior. I would eat until there was just no more left; I would eat as if it was the last hour in earth’s being. At that moment nothing else counted, just consume as much food, as fast as I could. I was in a trance. Then often (not by my own power) but for some reason those many moments would be over. Then I had to deal with the after.

What did the after consist of? Guilt! The whys? “Why did I do that? Why did I blow the diet! All my hard work I wasted! It is just not going to work, I can not do it”! Then the next thoughts…. “Oh, I should have had bacon and eggs too or maybe crumb cake”. “Well I can not start the diet again without having a pound of bologna, I will have to have that tomorrow and then I will restart the diet the next day”!

The problem is the next day rarely comes and if it does it usually is a year (and 75 pounds) later.

That is the difference now!

I know that if there is a choice that I make now, that may not be the best one for me. A choice that in the past would have lead to an endless battle of guilt and self-destruction, just does not have to be that way anymore.

If I find myself lying flat on my face, I just have to pick myself up and get back in the race!!! I am an okay person! I am a human being, who at times, I may need to make adjustments in my life, and that is fine! Life is not a mathematical equation and sometimes 2+2 is not always going to easily add up to 4. Sometimes you have to help it along a bit. So why not, I am worth the effort, you are worth the effort!

I am thrilled to have a second (and third and fourth) chance if necessary. I am here today, I am alive today, and I am enjoying my life today because of second chances and my ability to, “not give up”.

My wife reminded me of something today. She had asked me what I was doing today and I told her I was blogging. She asked me about what and I told her. She reminded me that my “picking myself up” has given me an opportunity. An opportunity that I would like to share with you.

Twenty years ago, this past January I was at my lowest, and the year “2008” was not even a thought in my head. Then there was May of 1996, when they were taking me out my window with a forklift, in front of the whole world to see, “2008” was not even a dream of mine. Yet resilience, perseverance and just good old “attitude” of not giving up, has allowed me to be where I am today.

I am enjoying my life as if I was 25 years old once again; everyday is a new experience or just and old one that I may have forgotten. The point is that all us need to realize that our recovery, our quest to get well will not go without a bump here or there. Anything any of us strives for, go for, set out to do, will at times come up against a glitch or two. It is up to us to push forward, get through the storm and the bright days are in the future.

I have struggled for a long time, some times too long to think about but every battle every win, every backslide is worth the chance to be here today! Right where I am! Who I am!

Picking ourselves up, allows us to live ….not only live but also to be alive!

I say, I am going to be a player. It is a lot more fun to be a player than to be an observer and ultimately a victim. A player can play at any level, no matter what our physical limitations we may have.

So if you find yourself lying flat on your face, just pick yourself up and get back in the race …as long as you are in the race, YOU ARE A WINNER!

Good Luck my dear friends



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today is Just Another Day

Just another day. You know those days where there is no “Pomp and Circumstance”, no parties going on, no company coming over, no events, no plans ….just another day. These for many of us are the majority of days and very often the days that for me in the past were the hardest to deal with (especially when it came to my eating problems). Today is just another day, how easy that can be stated and how untrue it really is.

Just another day, who am I kidding, it is “just another day”, a day that I have awoke, that I get a chance to enjoy a sunrise. A bird sings in my yard and I hear it. I open the door and fresh air blows gently over my face. Just another day to watch a TV show, or to smile, or get to enjoy my grandson. Another day to be able to love and be loved by my wife, son, family and friends. Another day to be a player in this game we call life! How thankful I am to be this player!

Let us not forget what this day really is (the day I am writing this blog). This is a day no American, no world citizen will ever forget, today is September 11th 2008 “911”. Is it “just another day”, to over 3,000 families and loved ones, of those poor innocent people who perished so needlessly, so innocently, so tragically. I spent part of my day watching the reading of those poor victims’ names and as they read, those names I could not help notice how many were in there twenties and thirties. Having a thirty-year-old son, I could not imagine the pain, the horror of it all. All I can say is God bless theses special souls and their loved ones left behind.

If I think about it and maybe not on such a large scale (as 911) but what might be “just another day” for me and you, in someone else’s life it is a very important date. There are no days that are, “just another day”.

I know I needed to look at every day as an important day for me in order to make important changes in my life. To make healthy changes. If it were “just another day” then I would eat whatever I wanted today and then tomorrow on an “important day” I would do the right thing. Wrong! I am just as important today as I am on Christmas Day, Fourth of July, tomorrow or the next day! I am important and so is every day that I am alive.

We need to appreciate this day and everyday and make every day count …for us! We have to do the right things for ourselves just as much today as we should have done yesterday and certainly will do tomorrow.

Not everyday will there be an obvious “parade” but if you look very hard and listen real well you will hear the drums, you will see the floats and enjoy the clowns. You make those days special, even if it is just by doing something nice for someone ….even like yourself.

You wake up; you are ahead of the game and what a game it will be. Let us face it, you can look at a day and deal with a day in a two ways.
One outlook --- “oh man, another day, I don’t feel well, I am alone, I am overweight, I have no money, I can’t eat right, da da da da da”. Another outlook could be “wow, what a great day (even a cloudy, rainy day has beauty), I am alive, I get a chance to make healthy choices, I am going to make myself happy in some way today, I am a lucky person”!

Therefore my friends I know what is working for me and having a positive outlook about my life (even at the low moments), looking for that silver lining, appreciating the journey, taking one step at a time, looking at that glass as so “half full” has helped me lose over 300 pounds in three years. What is even more important than the numbers is the inner feeling of peace. I do not want you or myself to think that I am totally relaxed, I know that I am an addict (food) and I will always be an addict. Yet my positive outlook and attitude, my dealing with each battle as it arises, has helped me now, in the moment and making my life work. So far for three years, thank God!

So if you are one of those who have a little difficulty looking on the bright side, give yourself a chance, begin to love yourself, see that glass as half full. You will begin to realize that there is reason for joy in almost all times of living itself.

Those of my friends that see that silver lining, well that is great! A little suggestion (if you do not already do so) share a smile with someone (especially one who may find it difficult to see that glass as half full) I promise the rewards will be great.

Bless you all; bless all the families and victims of 911

To all my friends have a great rest of this wonderful day and a special tomorrow …