The Art of Positive Change

Growing up, I was always the skinny kid. I was 6’4” by the time I was 14 and couldn’t put on weight to save my life. Basically, I was built like a stock of corn, and as long as I can remember, I identified myself as the “tall, skinny guy.”

Even when I went to college and started hitting the weights hard, it didn’t really matter. I was still skinny. I just turned into the skinny guy that was “surprisingly strong.” Not exactly what I was going for.

So I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. The only diet I had ever known was a “seafood diet.” Anytime I would SEE FOOD, I would eat it!

Time has a way of changing things. I learned first hand that the metabolism of a teenager is NOT the metabolism of an adult. So around the age of 23-24, my “eat anything I want” diet started to backfire. For the first time in my life, I started getting FAT.

Now me getting fat didn’t happen all at once. In fact, it doesn’t happen that way for anyone. But fat has a way of sneaking up on you, especially when you’ve never had to worry about gaining weight before. In my mind, I was still the “tall, skinny guy.” My reality was much different. I was 40 lbs over-weight, I was tired, I was unhappy, and I wasn’t taking care of myself.

Don’t get me wrong. There were plenty of warning signs. On more than one occasion, while attending a chiropractic seminar, I had doctor friends of mine make joking comments about “business being good.” In hindsight, it was their way of saying I was getting fat.

Of course, there were the clothes signs. I was convinced that all my clothes were shrinking in the wash. I could still fit in them, but as my secretary used to say, “Every thread was working.” In hindsight, it was her way of saying I was getting fat. (HAHA…I love her.)

Sadly, my self-blindness wasn’t a brief phase. It went on for years. I was living my life unaware and uninspired, but eventually, I woke up. I had the blinders ripped off my eyes one day when I caught an unflattering glimpse of myself in the mirror. It was at that moment when I became acutely aware of the fact that the fat, bald man standing in my bathroom, wearing my underwear was ME.

It was actually a rather disturbing experience. I really didn’t know that I had gained so much weight. I felt like I woke up from the night before and someone had slipped me into a fat suit during the night. How was it even possible that I had let things get so out of hand?

It’s been several years now. I’m happy to report that I got rid of all the excess weight, and I’m in better shape at 35 than I was at 25. It wasn’t easy, and the body changes didn’t happen quickly.

Like I said, I was always the skinny guy. I hadn’t ever had to lose weight before, and it was MUCH harder than I ever thought it would be. Not only did I have to completely change my diet and figure out how to fit exercise into my already crammed schedule, but I also had to fight off the excuses in my head. Thankfully, I did…eventually.

That’s really what life is about, isn’t it? You fail. You learn. You try again. You are only a failure when you stop trying again. No one is perfect. The process of positive change is a difficult one…for everyone. It requires a lot of personal resolve and the willingness to endure the pains that come with change.

Now before I finish up, I would like to share a few tips that can help you as you make positive changes in your life. These tips can help you make healthy changes, relationship changes, financial changes and any other positive change you set your mind to. Obviously, this isn’t an all-inclusive list, but these simple tips will definitely get you started in the right direction. Enjoy!

Thoughts: Your thoughts are powerful. STOP thinking negatively about yourself. If you identify yourself as a failure, you will always find a way to fail. If you identify yourself as a success, you will always find a way to succeed.

Habits: You are the sum of your habits. If you have the habits of healthy/fit person, you will be a healthy/fit person. If you have the habits of an unhealthy person…guess what?

Support: Not everyone wants to change. In fact, many people will try to tear you down the second you try to improve yourself. Surround yourself with those who will support and encourage you. You are going to need it.

Time: Changes take time. Typically the bigger the changes, the more time is required. The difference is that negative changes often happen mindlessly. Positive changes are exactly the opposite. Positive changes NEVER happen mindlessly. You have to work for them. At times, positive changes feel like they take forever. Stick with it. It’s worth it.

Words: Saying you are going to make positive changes and actually making positive changes are two different things. Don’t get caught in the trap of talking about change but never doing it.

Inspiration: Find inspiration in the stories of others. Regardless of your age, race, sex, disabilities or anything else, I’m 100% sure that there is someone out there in the same situation who is kicking butt! So, yes…you can kick butt, too.

Adapt and explore: There isn’t one thing that works for everyone. Be willing to try new ways of doing things. Try new ways of eating. Try new types of exercise. If you don’t get the results you want, be willing to change. Otherwise, you will just get frustrated when things don’t work the way you want. You will most likely quit.