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I was speaking to a few people last week about my journey from morbidly obese to just fat. They asked me if I had help getting to this point. My first instinct was to say that yes, I had a friend who was acting as my trainer. Over the last few days, I gave it some thought and have come to recognize that I have had a huge number of people supporting and helping me.

The first is my family. They have been very supportive (if not occasionally misguided and bewildered about what happened to me). I have my friend Jay, who is the greatest (and lowest paid) trainer I could have asked for. The people at my local YMCA, Laura, Katie, Tracy and Paige, all of whom greet me with a big smile when I am dragging my sorry, extra-large butt into the gym at 5 AM every day. The people I work with, that have listened patiently over the last 3 years to me babbling on and on about what I am doing and what is happening to me because of it (just like a smoker who quit and can’t stop talking about it): Ricki, Joe, Steve, Stephen, Destiny, Odessa and Stephanie, to name the ones that hear it most. My business advisers and friends, Denise, Jim and Mimosas Mama, who have all been invaluable in helping me think all this mess through. And my good friends Kimbo, Brendalee, and Jim S. who supported me even when I didn’t have any results and who were all so encouraging and had faith in my ability even before I had faith in myself.

I was also asked why I chose to work out at the YMCA and not somewhere else. At first, I was hesitant to answer this question. I wasn’t sure. I started to say it was convenience, but to tell the truth, I drive past one gym on the way to the Y and there is another that is about the same distance from my house and is open more hours. The convenience argument isn’t really a good one. I think it has more to do with my comfort level.

I just feel that I fit in there and I am one of the crowd.  I don’t think anyone is judging—at least it doesn’t feel that way. Most of the people working out there are more my demographic. We don’t look like the rejects from the cast of Jersey Shore with big muscles, fake tans and amateur tattoos. It’s more comfortable than that. I can dress in my old school, mismatched, banded-bottom sweats and no will think twice about me not fitting in.

A good support system has been valuable to me. One of the things I have learned over the last 4 years was how much my friends mean to me and (surprisingly enough) how much I mean to them. At the end of the day, no one can lose the weight for you, short of locking you in a cage and not feeding you.

I am 4 pounds away from my last “original” goal. I sometimes wonder what in the world I’m going to spend my time thinking about when I am done. I guess only time will tell.

Paul

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One Comment

  1. Aww, you mentioned Mimosa Mama! She really hasn’t done so much for you, but it sounds like you are lucky to have great people around you, a common thread in your writings. I always think that if you’re not grateful for what you have you don’t deserve any more. It is so hard to keep that in mind.
    Keep up your mental game dude!


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