Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not Easy To Pick Yourself Up …But Necessary

Probably one of the most difficult things in the world is admitting to yourself (and sometimes others) that you have made a mistake. You goofed! Call it what you want, you may say you slipped, you fell off the wagon, you cheated, you had a bad day, whatever but I have learned two things in my journey. The first thing is not to ever say to myself that I have Failed! No no no, Failure is not an option!

Failure only exists, only when you stop trying! My feeling is as long as God gives me the gift of life, then I will do my utmost to make the best of it. I have to try to do my best (I sound like the Boy or Girl Scouts), for myself because the “carrot” for that effort is a better and longer quality of life. Do I not deserve it? Sure I do and so do you!

We are here for a fixed period of time. We are not meant to suffer in our lives. Certainly, we are not meant to be harmful to ourselves. You and I should take advantage of every moment we have. We all deal with different problems and situations and I know at times they can become overwhelming. Yet as soon as we snap to reality and at the next available moment we can, we need to take the “ball” we have be given and “run” with it. For some of us that “run” might be just a walk or just a way to deal with it.

In my life, my constant issues have been weight related and dealing with the struggles of eating healthy and taking care of myself on a daily basis. My “disease” has taken its toll on me. I have had my “ups and downs” and yes, I do not weigh 198 pounds as I did in September of 1990 but I am still not a failure (even though some may see me as one). I have not failed and why because I have not given up! I have never stopped trying.

I fought to survive for over twenty years. I have slipped, slid, fell, bumped, backslid, and binged myself up and down hundreds and hundreds of pounds but I never failed. There was not a day that I thought that there was not any hope left for me. There was not a day, a moment that I was not willing to try and try again, even it meant to start all over again!

I am eating healthier today than I have in many of my past days. I pray that I will continue to make the right choices and if there may come a moment when I will slip again; I pray that I will have the chance to try again. Hey, life is too good, not to want to make the best of it. Fourteen years ago, I was bedbound and I knew that I wanted to survive; I knew I had to keep fighting. I knew I had things to live for and I knew that there was more ahead.

Look what my life is now. I am a Grandpa! A completely new chance to love a completely new life. To share in the energy of God’s gift of new life! I did not know then that this is what was in store for me now as I do not know now what might be in store for me tomorrow…just let me go the way!

I have said I have learned two things along my journey and one being is not to ever say I have failed as long as I am trying. The other one is simple and an obvious one but it took me a little longer to learn and to accept. That is that I am “Human”. Yep, human, in all its glory and all its meaning.

In being human, I have realized that we are not perfect in the fact that we make mistakes by nature. Once I can accept that about myself then I will not be so darn hard on myself. Boy can we be hard on ourselves. Isn’t it funny we can be patient with the whole world, we can forgive so many people in our lives that have hurt us, time and time again but when it comes to forgiving ourselves ... ??

That has been the hardest lesson to learn in my new life, yet it has been one of the best and it has been one of my most useful tools! Self-forgiveness a better tool, the primary tool before any “Diet”, Food Program”, Exercise Regiment”, “Calorie Calculator” “Pedometer” or any other tool or gimmick one may use.

Learning to forgive you is such an important and necessary step in being a Winner! If we have the gift of forgiveness for others than it is about time to give it to ourselves.

It is “Not easy to pick yourself up, when you have fallen of the righteous path of living a healthy lifestyle. After days, weeks, months of eating the right foods, making the right choices, doing the healthy things then BOOM, a moment comes and you “Goof”. Sometimes those “Goofs” last a long time and do a lot of damage and picking yourself up, brushing yourself off and starting all over again may not be easy but it is “Necessary”!

Why because you are necessary…

Have a great day

Never give up

Love
Mike

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike
What a great post. You are so right I need to pick myself up and fogiv myself, it is about time.
Thank you
Toby

Anonymous said...

Mike
What a great post. You are so right I need to pick myself up and fogiv myself, it is about time.
Thank you
Toby

Anonymous said...

Brilliant blog. Almost as good as a Mars Bar biy.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to find this blog and have gotten so much help from this.
Thank You
Jane

Anonymous said...

Not so easy waht you say Mike but I know that I must do it. I have now done damage to the addage of 55 pounds. Must get some control back before it is too late.
I will let you know

Signed
In real need of help

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike
You mention about forgiving myself and that is not an easy thing. I have done some serious damage to myself and still I continue to do damage to myself. I too like you want to live but can not get it together. Can you or anyone give me a word of advice. I can not be sure it might help but I can hope.
Betty

Anonymous said...

I am new to this blog but I think I will be back. I want to read some of the past postings, how would I do that?
Charles Colby NC

Anonymous said...

After having a down time i am learning again to forgive myself and moving on ... with being sick right now and dealing with some issues i know i have to forgive myself to move on and to succeed....alot of times during this time i find myself going back to words you have taught me many years ago Mike .. All things are possible if you believe... i live by that motto....and i know getting my food back on track and my attitude back on track i can do this once again ...because as i look down on my legs seeing them wrapped again and in so much pain i know what needs to be done so now it is minute by minute and meal by meal and i will do this once again because i know i am not a quitter..thank you Mike for teaching me all the tools and for being a great supporter to me and to so many ... im very lucky to have you in my life for the past 20 years

hugggs and love
Carol

Anonymous said...

Carol
You know Mike 20 years? How? Are you related? It must have been great to know him in the days of when he was thin. What kind of a guy was he then? Can you share with us more about him. All I read is about when he gained the weight back, I want to know Mike the man.
I thing he is a great guy and has helped me so much. Have you met him in person?
Paula Levy

Anonymous said...

Paula..

Yes actually i know Mike a little over 20 years ... we are not related but good friends.. I met Mike when he ran a support group back in Brooklyn.. he had lost all his weight then...Mike has grown so much in the years and i dont mean weight wise but as a person .. he has helped me through many many things.. he has taught me that i can go on and i can make it... Mike is the type of person that will do anything for anyone.. he has a heart that is bigger then anything .. i have been blessed to know him and his family and to spend many wonderful times with them and have many memories...Mike is the most honest person i know .. ok i can go on forever saying how wonderful he is and yes he has faults also ... but dont we all lolol...
The one thing i can tell you paula is that Mike is very real and his words and blogs are very real ... what he has gone through is real and i know myself with his support and listening to others here on his blog has helped me to keep going and to keep the desire to fight strong within me
Good luck paula

ML said...

Mike,
You know, what I think about most is the concept of moderation. Why do some of us not understand what moderation means? This is what has tripped me up so much in my life, the idea of living moderately. Understanding what it means to be full and satisfied, not stuffed and guilty. Do we as a society teach people what moderation means, or do we supersize them to the brink?

I have an overeating problem. I don't stop eating, I just go until I feel so uncomfortably full that I have to stop, full of guilt and sadness. Of course I try to be healthy, my freezer has Lean Cuisines and my pantry is filled with low cal snacks, but it doesn't matter. Because when I want to just eat and eat, nothing stops me. I have this hard-wired self damage thing going on, and it's really hard to overcome.

So here's what I've been trying. That diet stuff makes me crazy, so I've decided to try something nuts: eating small portions when I'm hungry, and more if I'm still hungry, stopping when I feel full. It's actually really hard to do. I grew up ignoring natural hunger cues and instead just eating on whims..that needs to change for my well-being and health.

Anorexia, bulimia, those are horrible diseases..but I'm an individual with binge eating disorder. I love to eat. That's all there is to it. And I try not to label a day as a failure...I try to treat myself well. But it's hard.

Mike, this was your best post yet.
I think you're a wonderful writer.

Thanks for being so uplifting and supportive.

Your friend,
MaryLeigh

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with this woman Mary and I wish I knew Michael like Carol. What I am thrilled about is to find this sppot on this wide world web. Thank you Mike and thank you all.
Lynn

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
I feel as if you have started a family, a club. There are days I am feeling so low and bad about myself and I come to this blog and read something you wrote and start thinking. Then I read something Mary wrote or Kathy or Carol or even In real need of help and then I feel that I am not alone. There is a nice community here.
Michael I hope I can come here for a long time
Olivia F.
Wyoming

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
This has been an uplifting experience and I thank you. I am an overweight man fight my whole life. I feel you are sincere and really get it.
Please keep blooging
Hank J

Kathy said...

This morning I read a quote that says, "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end." I agree with Olivia. This does seem like a family to me because I never feel more accepted, understood or "normal" than when I am able to connect with other people who suffer from the same disorder that I do. We understand as only we can. I can relate to Carol's physical pain. I have a deformed leg from arthritis and in years past had to have surgery on both my ankles after the tendons gave out. Mike's so right. We are not meant to suffer. I do not believe we intentionally cause ourselves suffering. I think that part of this disease is an urgent attempt to care for ourselves when we feel uncared for. It is a complex problem. I believe you have to go at it physically, mentally and spiriturally. For years and years of my "starting overs", I would write and write, and I the first thing I always wrote was that I had to forgive myself. The next thing is to come at this from love. You have to keep your sense of humor. It never works for me to try and be my own mental drill sargeant. I have been struggling lately, and like Mike says, I know the only choice I have is to keep trying. Because I believe my best days are ahead of me. And I wish that for all of us.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kathy
You and many of Mike's blog family have kept me going at my worse times. Kathy I wish you all the best and will keep you in my prayers.
Cynthia Lewis

Kathy said...

Thank you so much Cynthia! That is so sweet and so appreciated!

To Charles, I think if you go to the top of the main blog page and click on "Dashboard" it will bring you to older posts. Good luck and welcome to a fellow tarheel. I lived in Charlotte for 15 years.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Kathy
Found the old post I am locked on to them.
I am hooked better still I am enlightened.
Thank you Kathy Thank You Mike
Thank you all
Charles Colby NC

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
You are an inspiration to me and so many. I hope to see more of you in the future I love what you have to say.
I have lost 44 pounds since December and you have been a part of my motivation and this blog has helped me.
Iris Green

Anonymous said...

This is a great spot. I first heard about Mike many years ago and have been following him for year. He has been out there with his vitories and defeats. God bless him and I hope he stays in touch with us.
Vera

ML said...

Quick question, does anyone else journal what they eat for every meal? That's really helped me cut down on binging and I notice myself eating healthier choices when I constantly have to be accountable. Writing down everything that goes in your mouth is kind of time consuming but it's really, really helpful, and makes you feel really good when you look back and see the positive choices you're making.

MaryLeigh

Anonymous said...

Mike is that you, who is going to be on Oprah tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

I think I saw him on an ad today. I thought it was my imagination. Hope it is a good show. Can not wait to see it.
Julia

Anonymous said...

To Mike
You have been biiger than life to me and I am not talking size wise. Your life, your struggle has encouraged me to go on. Thank You so much
Sydney

Kathy said...

I encourage all Mike's blog buddies to send an E mail to the Oprah show to let them know how much Mike's message could mean to the world. At the bottom of the site, there is a "Contact us" link where you can fill out a form and leave a comment about an episode. I would love to see him published. It was a fantastic show. My jaw hurts from smiling so much.

Anonymous said...

Mike
I just saw you on Oprah you just inspire me so much!!!
God bless you
Wendy

Preciousgem said...

I just saw you on Oprah and I am so happy to have found your blog! :) You are so inspiring to me. You are brilliant and your strength is astonishing.I have had the worst three years of my life with health, weight and the recent deaths of my Father and Eldest Brother. Thank you for giving me such beautiful words in your blog and on Oprah that I will carry with me forever. :)God bless you and your family always.

Anonymous said...

Your appearance has given me hope once more. I wish you all the best. I want to bless your family also. All of you are special people.
Michael thank you for sharing your life with the world
Gwen

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
I saw you on Oprah today and had to find you. What a great speaker and writer you are. More important what you have to say is what is importnat. I am suffering from obesity for over twenty years and now weigh over 500 pounds. After todays show I have made up my mind not only to eat right but to find the right medical help
Thank you
Tim

Anonymous said...

Great show
you are unreal and a great spokesperson for all of us who are in prison in our own bodies.

Anonymous said...

I saw you on the Oprah show and I had to look for you on the internet. I am about 370 and I just started my diet (new lifestyle) yesterday. I saw the preview for the Oprah show and set the TV to record it this afternoon. My wife and I watched it together this evening. You were so inspirational - especially your reliance on God and your faith.
Thank you Mike!
Blessings to you!
Rob

Anonymous said...

Saw you on the Oprah show and what a person you are. Then I found this blog. I struck gold!
thank you Mike thank you all who share
Cindy

Anonymous said...

Mike

I sat and watched the Oprah show with tears of joy... and some tears of remembering ...the tears of remembering was being at your house the day they had to take you out the window seeing what a circus it was that day ... but yet you kept your head held high and i was so proud of you .. then it was tears of joy to see how wonderful you look and so alive and well and that passion in your eyes....and hearing your message that you send to everyone ... i was so proud to sit there and say that is my friend..
i love ya
carol

Anonymous said...

You were great on that Opraah show. I really feel motivated and inspired. I hope to hear from you more
Fran

Anonymous said...

The more I hear your story the more I get reallly pumped up. You really have knowledge of what this is all about. You get it and know how to say it. Please keep speaking up and sharing.
Howard T

Anonymous said...

Daer Mike
You have he;ped me and I have to tell you I believe I owe you my life. Thank you for sharing your life and proving that not giveing up payss off.
Roberta

Anonymous said...

You did a great job on Oprah. I have been waiting to see you there hope she does a follow up.
Joe

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
I hesitated writing after seeing you on Oprah the other day. You have been a force in my life for so my years. To see you on Oprah still fighting and still smiling after all you have been through is so unreal to me. I have been struggling for so many years and feel as if the flame is going out.
How do you do it? How do you still smile after all you have been through? Don't you get tred?
Give me some advice, please.
Kathy G

Kathy said...

Kathy G. I'm sure we all get tired. God knows I am. I'm exhausted with this struggle. Just today I thought to myself if you had let me see through a magic mirror five or six years ago at what my life would be like now, I would have said I will absolutely never let that happen. At this point in my life, I would love to be able to relax on the benefits of a healthy life instead of having to plow my way back from the pit of this disease. But what is the alternative? To give up. To be crippled both physically and emotionally. I'm not ready to give up yet, and I'll bet you aren't either. Just know that I can relate to feeling like you're circling the drain, but take inspiration from Mike and what he has been able to do. I decided to do as many things I could do that bring me pleasure every day. That's how I'm pulling myself up out of the despair. As long as it doesn't involve the back end of a half gallon of ice cream! Whatever you believe in, believe that you are blessed in THIS body. Like Mike says, never give up. Rest when you need to but believe that your best days are ahead of you.

Anonymous said...

thank you Mike, thank you Kathy, thank you all on this blog. Mike you are a wonderful man for all you do for this cause and you do not deserve to have such struggles. I wish you all the best. I am not overweight but I have a drug problem and you and your bloggers have helped me so much.
T

Anonymous said...

Michael
I have seen you for years but you top yourself on the Oprah show. I kove your honesty on what you say. You know it better than any expert out there. I could listen to you forever.
Come to my house
Beatrice Lee

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
I saw you last evening on TV and was wondering was that recent? It was when you were in the Rehab place. How are you? You moved me so much that I am ready to tackle my 120 pounds. I hope you are well. Can we be friends?
Joan Williams

C said...

Mike!

Amazing Oprah appearance. She wasn't talking at you, she was talking with you. Oprah was blown away by you. So cool.

Love, Beth

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
Didn't have a chance to write but saw you on Oprah and I really feel you two connected. You can really speak on behalf of all of us.
Donna

Anonymous said...

I have had the pleasure of seeing and reading your story for years now (Ithink the Oprah was the best) you have been my the energy in my tank to keep going. You are simply wonderful.
Lori

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
You have been a true inspiration to me. I started reading this blog about 5 months ago and you touched my heart. I began to diet and exercise and I have lost 41 pounds. Thank you so much and I love reading what you and your friends write.
Paula T

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
You are an inspiration to so many. Good luck to you and God bess you.
Bobbi

Anonymous said...

Well Michael tax season is over and I have time to be here now. Who new 22 years ago I would be married to a man as strong as you are. You never ending energy on beating this disease is powerful that anyone close to you knows that you are winning this battle almost every day now. What a change. No Hiding, lieing like before. Please keep on going we have a family that needs you. By the way you did a great job on Oprah and lets keep on fighting this battle and helping our friends who struggle every day.
Love ya
and Happy Birthday as you start your 57 year

Liz said...

I'm so glad I read this.
I lost 100 pounds in 2006, my junior year of college, and over the past three years I have put it all back on. It took one year to lose it and 3 to put it back on. I of course considered this a monumental failure. But, it's only when you label yourself a failure that you truly become one. You're right, it's never too late to climb back up and be the person you know you're capable of being. Just over a month ago I started going to the gym and eating healthier again, I've lost about 15 pounds so far.
It's so easy to admit defeat and do nothing, but to get up and keep fighting... I know it's difficult, but it makes you heroic. You inspire me every day. Thank you for existing.

Kathy said...

Hi Liz! I very much relate to your post. I too lost 100 pounds, but I don't think it even took me two years to gain it all back. I wish we could all be together face-to-face. I have found it hard to find support from groups to deal with my problem in this area. So welcome to this blog family. I join you with being so inspired and helped by Mike and the other people here. And you inspired me and put a smile on my face today.