On April 25, 2013, I decided to start this blog. I had written multiple posts in Microsoft Word prior to posting anything, but hadn’t had the courage to post it. At the time, I thought I had this weight loss thing figured out. I thought I would start writing and people would flock to read it. Of course, that was unrealistic and didn’t happen. What has happened has been even better.
Philippians 2:3-4 – “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
What’s happened is that by writing about how to change behaviors, I’ve had to look at my own behaviors. And I haven’t just looked at them in the area of health and exercise. I’ve looked at how I treat my wife. I’ve looked at how I interact with my kids. I’ve looked at how fear can control what we do instead of our goals and dreams controlling what we do. I’ve looked at why it’s so difficult to ask for help and begun to ask for help myself. Through the move to Philadelphia, the knee injury, the depression brought on by the injury, the exploration of my faith, and many other things, I hope that I have become a better father, husband, friend, and teacher than I was previously, even if I haven’t lost a ton of weight. The weight loss will come, as I’ve set a foundation to accomplish that by getting the other things in my life in order.
But most of all, what has happened is that you have written in. I’ve heard about how stories about my daughter have made people tear up. I’ve received emails from people I barely know (or don’t know at all) encouraging me as I’ve dealt with my own struggles. I’ve heard from people who aren’t ready to start their own weight loss journey but wanted to let me know that they appreciate that I’ll be around when they are ready. I’ve heard from people who are trying—some failing, some not—to lose weight so they’ll be around for their family. I’ve heard from people who believe that God led them to the site and that they believe that they’re pretty close to their last chance to get this right. I’ve heard from you, and I can’t thank you enough.
What I’ve learned these past 100 posts is that when you put something down on paper (or on the internet), it forces you to examine your own life and where you stand with your own advice. Sometimes it’s embarrassing, as you have to admit that you can’t even follow your own principles. Sometimes it’s scary, as you have to share things you don’t particularly want to. Sometimes it’s fun, as you get to share your successes and how you’ve overcome your old failures.
More than anything, it’s a journey. When I was in college and took difficult courses, I didn’t have any fun during the course. My fun came when I got the good grade and the hard work paid off. But as I’ve gotten older, the payoff from those classes is not necessarily the grade that I got, but the work ethic that I learned to achieve that grade. Had I been paying more attention, I would have realized that the journey—disciplining myself every day to achieve more than somebody else—was the payoff and I would have enjoyed it more. So as you and I continue on our weight loss journeys, I’m going to try and remind us from time-to-time that while eventually we all want to hit our goal weight, the true payoff is going to be the work ethic that we learn, the discipline that we develop, or the self-analysis that leads to personal growth. The payoff is in the journey.