Andrew

Lessons Learned….Thoughts Realized

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

This past Saturday, Sharon and I attended an open casting call for the television reality show The Biggest Loser.  For those who don’t know, this is a show that takes 18 overweight people and kicks their butts through exercise and nutrition education in order to help them lose a huge amount of weight.  Some of the biggest losers (pardon the pun) on the show have been known to lose 200 or more pounds in a six to eight month time frame.  Why anyone would agree to be on this show when they know they will be challenged, broken down, beat up and exploited in front of millions of viewers is beyond me……..but I wanted to among the lucky 18.

Pulling into the parking area where the casting call was occurring, we saw the end of the line and decided to hop right in.  After talking to others in line we quickly learned that the end of the line was nearly touching the beginning when the casting call started. Since the call started a half hour before our arrival, we knew any hopes of a quick interview were not going to be in the cards.  The true understanding of just how long the line was came as we rounded one of the many corners behind the shopping center and saw nothing but humanity ahead of us.  Being a hot day and the ground under our feet being asphalt, Sharon quickly got overheated and went to the van to cool off.  Being the curious person, she started the van and started on a journey to find the beginning of the line and could not believe what she saw.  The line, containing people of all shapes, sizes and colors snaked along the side of this shopping center, past long abandoned store fronts and around to the back of the shopping center.  Passing abandoned loading docks and garbage dumpsters, the line finally ending in a dilapidated parking lot complete with broken pavement and strewn about beer bottles where Sharon would find me…waiting.  As I was holding a lone bottle of water that was rapidly becoming warmer by the moment, Sharon informed of the amount of human flesh that was before us. Looking at the ashen face and the perspiration running down her cheeks I decided to take Sharon home and return later to finish out my Biggest Loser quest on my own. I felt bad that I had dragged her to this event and it was only right that I get Sharon to a place where she could be more comfortable and not forced to endure hours of standing in the hot sun shine. 

To make a long story short, I did return to my spot in line as almost nobody else joined the sea of humanity in the three hours that I had been gone. I would eventually gain entrance to the casting call but it seemed by the time my group entered the interview area, the casting team gave little care to anything any of us had to say.  We each had thirty seconds to say who were are and why we were there (as if it wasn’t obvious enough why we were there) before we were ushered out of the door and into the now cool night.  We were thanked for coming and offered the standard “don’t call us, we will call you” line as the door was briskly shut behind us.  The friends that were made in line said their goodbyes and we all jumped into our cars to return to our normal lives after spending the day dreaming about being losers.

After leaving the casting call I reflected back on the day.  There had been men in line that were not even close to my size and others who were clearly more obese than I am.  My mind immediately minimized my size while my thoughts quickly grabbed the idea that others were bigger than I was and I wasn’t in that much of a need to lose weight. It was at this point that reality slapped me in the face and reminded me that I weighed nearly 500 frigging pounds. If anyone needed to lose weight it was me and I should never compare myself with someone else who was bigger than me because they will be just as dead as I am if this weight does not come off! There is no greater way to wake a man up than to have him come face to face with his own mortality.  It was then that the wheels started turning in my head and I knew that even if I didn’t receive a phone call asking me to become a Big Loser, I needed to do something regardless (again, like I needed this wake up call???).

The final turning point was watching another show on television the next day which featured a 400 pound man who loved to eat but found no motivation to lose the weight that he had allowed to accumulate on his body for 38 years.  His story and his words hit home with me in that I said and did many of the same things that I saw he was doing.  While watching the show, this man would lose 200 pounds over the course of a year, accomplishing this not by drastic binge exercising like the Biggest Loser but by watching what he was eating and doing sensible exercise that would push him beyond the limits of his mind.  As one former Biggest Loser champion once told me, “weight loss is all in your mind” and seeing this man push himself beyond what he ever though he could do turned a light bulb on in my head and sparked something within me.  Sure, I could lose weight by forgoing fast food and becoming more active than I have been (which would not be hard), but true weight loss and the result I desire would only come when I pushed and challenged myself to do things I was previously scared to try. Doing things out of my comfort zone is the only way to improve my weight loss and make these changes I desperately want be permanent. 

This is where I am at right now.  I have been at this point a million times before in my life and this is where I have always stopped.  Will I stop this time?  I don’t know.  I cannot answer that.  My head says I won’t but will I?  Time will only tell.  I will keep this blog updated.  All I know is that right now I will NOT be the Biggest Loser in the sense of the television show and I am ok with that.  As long as I do become a loser, that is what I desire more than anything.

 
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