It’s one of my favorite conversations to have.
It’s the “What’s your secret?” conversation. Large, expectant eyes await my pearl of wisdom. I say “Well (pausing dramatically for effect)….I did it with discipline, focus, intensity, stamina, self dialog, and belief.”
I can actually see the word crud flash in those expectant eyes.
As I outlined in an earlier post, there is no secret formula. There is no miracle pill, plan, or eating regimen that will be the key to unlock your weight loss success. I believe the key resides inside of you, placed there long ago. Until you realize this, and tap into this core, most of what you will try will be largely unsuccessful.
In upcoming posts, I will unpack these concepts as they relate to weight loss, especially for men. It is my desire to help everyone tap into the core that is within and unleash the person they were designed to be. To literally shed themselves, and become someone new.
But before we dive into these topics, I want to lay some groundwork by first. I’m speaking now to you, bud. You sitting there, alone. Maybe there’s someone in the room with you, but you feel quite alone. Alone with your thoughts, alone with your food, alone with your belly cutting into the top of your belt buckle. The sweaty, imperfect you.
Who is on your team? Who is on your side?
The Denver Broncos are my team. I’m not a huge sports nut, but I love watching and following the Broncos. Since that first Broncos knit stocking cap at 7 years old, through the “Broncos robe” years of middle school, and straight into the Shannon Sharpe jersey of adulthood, I’ve loved rooting for my hometown team.
Don’t like football? No worries. This post isn’t about football. Keep reading dude.
I love how some people refer to a sports team as “their team” as if they have some influence in the front office. It’s fun to participate in kinship over a sports team. In a small way they are like a family. There are team members you love and feel a connection to. There’s some that are annoying, but still part of your team so you root for them. There’s some that misbehave, but you love them anyway. Even though I am sitting on my couch watching the game, me and my team share joy in victories, and feel terrible when defeats come. Then we dust ourselves off, and begin again, preparing for next week’s game.
And so it is with shedding the pounds too.
Guys, the loneliest place in the world can be inside, insulated from life by a layer of food and fat. When I was at my heaviest, I can recall many times feeling isolated and alone, even in a room full of people. At parties or dinners with friends, I felt isolated because of my weight. It protected me and gave me a reason to quit, give up, or even more sinister, never start in the first place. Yeah, being fat and alone in a perceived skinny world is hell.
So, let’s change that, ok?
I want you to think a minute about your team. Not your sports team, but your life team. The team that surrounds you every day. Because if you are going to shed yourself, if you are going to begin inching forward, fighting to lose the weight, fighting to change your life, fighting for your very life, then I believe you must do this surrounded by the right team.
So stay with me and the football metaphor. I think it works. First up…
Quarterback: This is you. Your job is to make plays, direct traffic, grab the ball, and make things happen. The job can be hell. You’re the one that makes the sensational play, or gets sacked. Saying no to mom’s apple pie? Touchdown! Decide to graze on the donuts in the break room? Sacked. Ever notice how in football the pressure from the other team is overwhelming and the quarterback runs for his life? Well, your life is “the other team” and sometimes you gotta run baby! Yes, you will make great plays. You’ll get up off the couch and exercise a bit. You’ll make a big plate of steamed veggies for dinner. You’ll wake up early and take a walk while the sun rises.
But, sometimes the quarterback gets pulverized. Sometimes the donuts win. Sometimes your back goes out, or the blood work looks bad, or the knees begin to creak. Playing the part of the quarterback of the team does not mean you wont have setbacks. You’re gonna get your nose bloodied. And you’re gonna make a few sensational plays. So when the ball get’s hiked to you, what are you going to do? Let’s ask the next member of your team….
Coach: This is the wise teacher on the sideline calling in the plays telling you, the quarterback, what to do. For me, Dr. Gerber, my rock-star doctor, is my coach. Your coach provides wisdom, direction, and advice. Your coach is there because they understand the game, and what is at stake. Your coach is the person in your life that does not sugar coat your situation. Your coach needs action, and execution from you. Notice the coach doesn’t make plays on the field. Your coach knows it is up to you to make plays and follow the advice given. In the end, the coach calls the plays, and can only watch helplessly as you scramble around. Who is your coach? Who is that person in your life providing direction, guidance and wisdom? Hurting your feelings by telling you the truth? The coach is a critical member of your team. You need a coach on your side. However, don’t mistake the coach for your…
Cheerleader: This is the noise in your ear. This is the rah-rah person on your team. This person cheers you on, even when you make a bad play (remember the donuts?). They smile a lot, watch what you do, and celebrate you! They are usually not deeply involved in the details of your life, or care much about how you got to be where you are. They only care that you are participating, and moving. They will always be there to cheer you on as long as you are on the field. Cheerleaders provide encouragement when times are tough, and celebrate every single inch you move forward. The cheerleaders on my team (some of you are readers) provide me love, smiles, encouragement, and celebrate success. Do they know how hard it was to lose the weight? Nope. They don’t need to know. All they need to know is they are proud of you, and with a smile say “Well done!” Cheerleaders are an integral part of your weight loss journey, guys. You need cheerleaders in your life, to help you keep going with a shout of encouragement. Cheerleaders are not on the field, slugging it out with you. That role is reserved for your….
Teammates: These are your brothers and sisters in arms. The ones in the trenches, fighting it out with you. These people get you on a deep level, because they have been there. They’ve eaten what you’ve eaten. They’ve felt ashamed, afraid, and alone. They know what you are going though because they have been there with you. Notice how not all teammates on a football team have the same talent level, the same body shape, or ever the same work ethic? Same is true with your team mates. Some will make bad plays right along side you (you know the friends I’m talking about…the ones that take you out for pasta…). But other team mates are on the field when you make the big play, and move the ball down the field. They are there, shoulder to shoulder, as you fight forward. These are your co-workers who bring in veggie trays, or your friends who call you to go walking at night, or your softball buddies that call you to see how you are feeling. They celebrate your success, because they were there with you all along. They are on your side. They know how it is. They get bloody noses too. Sometimes, they may even need your help making their own plays.
Ok, enough metaphor.
So, who is your team? Who is your coach? Your cheerleaders? your team mates? As you begin to shed yourself, I want you to think very seriously about who fills these roles in your life. Without my team, I would be unable to lose the weight and continue to have success. It is my hope, through this blog, I can be your coach, cheerleader, or teammate. Ok?
Leave a comment or e-mail me directly. I’d love to hear about your team.
Thanks for reading.