Are you threatened by the lifestyle change your spouse has made?

Have you ever said things to your spouse about their lifestyle change that has made them feel bad?

I have to tell this story that really happened just a few weeks ago. I was having a discussion with a friend; we’ll call Sam, about my transformation and lifestyle change. He had a lot of questions, which I was happy to answer. But wasn’t sure where he was going with this line of questions. Finally, we came to the point of his inquiry. He told me about a mutual friend of ours named Jett, who is morbidly obese. I had seen Jett myself recently and honestly; his poor health broke my heart. Sam told me that Jett had been working on his health a few years back. He had been going to the gym and was trying to eat better. I was super excited to hear this, but I had to ask why he stopped. Apparently he was making some progress and had lost just enough weight for it to be noticeable. That’s when the support at home ended! Jett’s wife had suggested that he was going to lose all this weight, get sexy and leave her. You can probably guess what he did. He stopped going to the gym and gave up any progress that he had made and gained back all of his weight if not more.

This story is devastating to me, absolutely devastating. The more I think about it, the more frustrated I get. I’m confused about why Jett didn’t talk with his wife about the situation to ease her fears? Why he didn’t explain that he was doing it to be a better husband to her? I’m confused about why she would completely sabotage his progress like that? Would she rather see him dead?

I suppose situations like this happen more often than I would like to think; Spouses sabotaging each other for the sake of their own insecurities. Anybody trying to change their life could deal with this at some point of their journey.

So how do we deal with this when it happens??

As always suggested before you begin any physical fitness program, seek your doctor’s approval. I suggest seeing the doctor first simply because that is the best place to start. If you and those around you know how bad your health really is, maybe the support will be there, right? If Jett’s wife really knew all that his body is going through just to make it through each day, and how the sad reality of where he is headed if he continues to neglect his health, maybe that support would be there for change.

I would like to suggest to you today that you get your entire family involved in this journey to health. You will find so many rewards with the entire family on the journey with you.

How do we get the entire family involved? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Talk with your spouse about your plans. Be HONEST with yourself first and foremost. Be HONEST about how you feel inside. Be HONEST if you are unhappy with the way you look and the way you feel. Talk about where you want to be and how you want to get there together. Communicate these plans up front so everybody is on the same page. Rely on each other, rely on your children (if you have any) to hold you accountable. Getting your plans out in the open is the absolute best way to start this journey!

2. Trips to the grocery store – take the entire family. Start looking at labels for ingredients; share this with your spouse and kiddos. Teach your children and each other what the healthier choice is. This step has the added benefit of spending time together. Sometimes my wife would rather I not be with them, simply because I’m always causing some commotion at the store. Singing, dancing, you name it, we do it, and we have fun doing it!

3. Workout together – side by side when possible. I know that not all workouts can be done like this, BUT I suggest you make an effort. If there are kids in the home, get them involved as well when possible. Let them see the effort you are putting toward a healthy lifestyle.

4. Make it FUN – It is a journey that lasts the rest of your life, ENJOY IT.

I wonder if I share these ideas with Jett, if it could have an impact on his approach to regaining his health and easing his wife’s fears. I have to wonder if Jett’s wife would join him to make their marriage better. I wonder if, when told the gravity of the problem, would she be onboard with the changes?


The Story Behind the photo

The story behind the photo

I’ve had several questions about the new photo on my page so I thought I’d do a quick blog to explain how that came about.

My wife works for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and both my daughters are patients at the hospital. Needless to say, we are passionate about TSRH. They do orthopedic care for Children, regardless of their ability to pay, this has been the policy for 90 years now.

TSRH partners with Southwest Airlines to fly patients to Dallas for appointments if that is a necessity. This partnership just celebrated their 5 year anniversary and to help celebrate, they brought in a photographer named Robert Fogarty(he’s a runner too BTW). Robert does the coolest photo shoots ever. My family was asked to participate in the shoot and we were to write things on our bodies that were inspiring.

Here is the shot of my family

A Reason to Hope are words that my oldest daughter used to describe how she felt about TSRH. TSRH gives children a reason to hope. She also has a mind-set of NO LIMITS, which is written on her hands.

This is my oldest daughter and an employee of Southwest Airlines.

This photo bridges the gap. The lady in blue works for Southwest and is the person who actually books the tickets as needed for patients, my wife is the person who coordinates that ticket on the hospital side. They had never met until we walked into the shoot, it was really cool.

This of course is me. We were talking about my story and running with Robert. We came up with the idea to do a shot of me, I love this shot and I’m very proud of it. (I kinda think SUCCESS would make a cool tat, right? 🙂 )

The photos of my family and my wife were used by Southwest (along with other families) for a promo about the program.

SO there ya have it, the ‘story behind the photo’.

Just wanted to share

Take time to Reflect

I’m working on a questionnaire right now that I’ve been asked to complete.  This is for a national media campaign about weight loss and success stories.  I still get a little uncomfortable thinking of myself as a success story, but I’m getting more used to it.  This survey is very very detailed by nature and I’m trying to be as transparent as possible. 

Being transparent means that I’m really having to reflect on how I lived life before my transformation.  What did I eat, how did it make me feel, how did it affect my relationships,  how did I feel emotional because of my weight, etc.  I am having to think back to my meal plans, what was my nutrition like back then?  If I were only going back a few years, it would be easier, however, I am going back 15 years or so, that’s tougher.

I told my wife last night after I started this survey that I’ve done this reflection a number of times, it doesn’t get easier with time.  It’s an emotional journey every single time.  I suppose it gets healthier each time I do it though so I probably need to continue to reflect from time to time, right?

Reflection is so important to all of us.  Reflection is a reminder of where we came from, regardless of the journey, the reflection time is important.

Today, take time to reflect on your life.

LISTEN to your body

Yep – I always tell people to LISTEN to their body.  Your body will tell you when you need a rest, your body will tell you when you need to heal, just listen and obey.

Nope – I don’t follow my own advice well!  I admit it, I can talk THAT talk, but I don’t walk THAT walk very well.  99% of the talk I do, I follow pretty well, this listening to the body thing, sometimes I simply fail at that!

This morning my alarm went off at 4am as usual for my workout.  I was set to run 6.5 or so this morning.  I got out of bed, went to the living room as always and started stretching and getting my body moving.  After about 15 or 20 minutes, I laid all the way back onto my back.(I do this most mornings)  This is where my day started to go wrong!  Nearly immediately I was asleep on the floor.   I’ve been putting in lots of fitness minutes and running lots of miles lately.  This combined with the stress of work wore me out I guess.  NO RUN for me today and I’m ok with that honestly.  I will do Yoga X tomorrow morning(side by side with my wife) and hit the running trend again on Saturday.

Jerome – THIS is what you must do better!

Now then, due to the fact that I didn’t get to run this morning, I had several ‘issues’ this morning and I’m blaming my lack of run for these events.
The first was when I hit the highway to drive to work, it was a parking lot.  Literally.  Then I needed gas, so I got off the highway.  The first pump I stopped at just kept reading remove card.  UH, hello, the card is in my hand, goofy machine.  So I backed up to a different pump.  Same issue!!  SO, I march into the store to pay cash.  Everything is down, they can not sell anything.  OK great, I’ll drive on down the road a little bit.  Would you believe that the second store was having the same problem.   I got in the car with the hope of making it to work ok.  Enter parking lot number two.  ugh.  Accident miles ahead had me at a snail’s pace.  putt putt putt, which was actually good on my low gas tank.  LOL.  I finally made it to work, with gas to spare!  🙂

I turned the day around pretty well and kicked some serious IT booty!

Gotcha Day letter to Sydney 2012

7 years ago God gave us you
Your eyes so bright
Your smile so sweet
I’m so very thankful that God gave us you!

Sydney – it’s hard to believe that it’s been 7 years already.  It seems like only yesterday that we arrived in Nanning China to meet face to face for the very first time.  Those oh so curious big beautiful eyes will, I will never forget them. 

Your first words when we met I think were JieJie as you looked at Emily.  You already knew she was your older sister, simply melted my heart to hear you say that.  Very close behind that, you met your best friend in the world, LieLie.  Aunt Lori had looked long and hard for the PERFECT animal to give you and she hit the nail on the head.  You took one look at this sheep we had sitting on the bed and you were fast friends.  You said, ‘LieLie’ and gave her a hug.  This picture was taken shortly after that I think.

You are a blessing in SO many ways.  Each day is a new adventure and the joy you bring our home is amazing.  Hearing you laugh at one of your favorite TV shows, sitting on your comfy place in your room reading and even watching your personality blossom are all Blessings and I’m grateful for the opportunity to watch you grow. 

You are a loyal, loving, caring, giving person who often thinks of others first, I pray you always keep THAT attitude and never let that go.

You are amazing Sydney Faith and I love you with every fiber in my heart.

I am SO very thankful that God gave us YOU!

This picture was taken on New Years Eve 2011.

Letter to Emily – Gotcha Day 5-13-2012

11 years ago today, we were in China on one of the most important mission of our lives.

We were on a mission to bring you home!  Very excited, very scared, very nervous, but we were there and ready for our family to start growing.  Little did we know all the changes that would really begin that day.

We were blessed with an amazing little girl that day.  She was scared, unsure what was happening and very curious about everything going on around her.  This little girl is growing up so fast, too fast really.  She is growing into a beautiful young lady, very talented, athletic, artistic, gifted and overall an amazing person.

Watching you grow, and having the opportunity to guide you is a honor! 

Remembering a time when you were still a small toddler, walking out of our bedroom with my shorts pulled up under your armpits, we all laughed so hard.  SO SWEET!  I could go on and on with the memories, but I won’t.

Seeing your friendships develop over time, knowing that you are picking friends who are of great character, not just popular is rather amazing.  Knowing that your character is growing and shaping into an amazing young woman, wow, how amazing, what an honor to watch and be a part.

 I am looking forward to seeing where this journey called life takes you.  I believe there are amazing things in store for you.  God has given you amazing talents, I pray daily that those talents are used for the benefit of yourself and others.  I pray that you will embrace the love of Jesus in your heart and hold that dear to your forever.

I am very proud of you Emily. 

This picture was taken the day we got home and is STILL one of my favorite pictures of you.

This is a recent picture.  You were amazing the day we brought you home and you’re even more amazing today.

I love you and I’m proud to be your Daddy!

HIS Peace…….

Ever had one of those weeks?

You know what week I’m talking about:

the kind where your schedule is crazy.
the kind of week when you are in an ajustment phase

Well, I’m having one of those weeks, not a bad week, just a crazy week!

This morning while doing my run, this song came across the play list, what a breath of fresh air, just what I needed really!  Made me think about this one little phrase:
“HIS Pease in the midst of”  exactly what I needed to get through the end of the week!

Tenth Avenue North – Hold My Heart
How long must I pray, must I pray to You
How long must I wait, must I wait for You
How long ’till I see Your face
See You shining through

I’m on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You turn to me, yeah?

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

One life is all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart?

I’ve been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye
But if there’s no other way
I’m done asking why

‘Cause I’m on my knees
Begging You to turn to me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You run to me, yeah?

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

One life is all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart?

So many questions without answers
Your promises remain
I can’t see but I’ll take my chances
To hear You call my name
To hear You call my name

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

One life is all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart?

Hold my heart
Could You hold my heart?
Hold my heart

2 minute FAST

Ever had one of those stress filled days when all you want to do is EAT?

I want to suggest a 2 minute fast. 

Get up, walk away, drink water, walk for few minutes.

ANYTHING but pick up the food.

2 minute fast – it works, and I’m thankful for that fast today!

Do you have Dreams?

Do you remember when you were a kid, what was one of your favorite things to do?

For me and the kids in my neighborhood it was DREAMING.  We used to pretend or dream about what we wanted to do when we grew up.  We had big dreams back then, that’s certain.  Some of the dreams included things like:

I want to travel the world

I want to be a doctor

I want to work at Sea World

I want to travel in outer space

And my personal favorite was I want to be in a rock band.

Oh, the dreams we had a kids.  Yes, I wanted to be in a rock band (going to space was a close second though).  I even remember myself and three of my friends in my small town dressing up like KISS.  It wasn’t Halloween.  It was a DREAM and we were doing what we could to following that dream.  We had costumes, make up, pretend microphones, wigs, everything.  There are pictures, somewhere.  It was SO easy to dream as a child, right?  There was no hesitation in our ambitions.  We just went for it.  Whether it was jumping a ramp on my bike with 15 bricks stacked high or pretending to be Ace Freely.

Do you still have dreams and aspirations?  It seems that as we get older sometimes we are more likely to have given up or changed the dream significantly.  Why do you think that is the case?  Why do we sometimes give up on dreams and aspirations?  Maybe you’ve not given up.  Maybe circumstances have led you to suppress your dreams.  Maybe you realized that as you grew your childhood dreams seem foolish and instead of creating more mature dreams you just stopped dreaming all together?  Maybe your parents, teachers, spouse, friends, somehow led you to believe that dreams are not possible.  Who knows what circumstances you have crossed, nobody except you?

I have a question for you.  Have you ever considered your HEALTH and WELLNESS as part of your dreams?

Here is what I mean by that.  You have a bucket list right?  You know a list of ‘things’ that you want to do in your life time.  This bucket list is a list of dreams.  A list of aspirations that you want to accomplish.  This list could contain any number of different items that are very personal to you.   This list might include jumping out of an airplane, surfing, swimming with sharks, driving a NASCAR, or hang gliding.  You get the idea.  ANYTHING is possible, right?

May I ask you how much of your bucket list you have accomplished or you are working towards?

I want to encourage you to keep dreaming, keep working toward those goals.  You may very well be hearing a voice in the back of your head saying things like, “You can’t do that”, “Why bother trying”.  Maybe that voice is saying something like, “You can’t even stick to a healthy diet, what makes you think you can achieve that goal?”

You’ve heard that voice in your life time, right?  I know many times I used to hear and believe that voice.

You can change that circumstance.  I’m here to encourage you today to keep moving forward on this journey to better health.  Your dreams and aspirations MATTER and your HEALTH should NOT get in the way. 

I would like to offer just one piece of advice for all of you working on this journey.  You MUST change what you are putting into your head.  Your MIND has everything to do with your health journey.  There are so many influences that are filling your heads with positive and negative thoughts.  Free your mind and the rest will follow.  Get those negative thoughts out of the way and focus on your journey.  Focus on your dream, THEN go MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Changing the way you think is not an overnight process.  Much like dropping a few pounds, it will take time.  Be patient with both and your DREAMS can still happen!  Don’t let a road block that you can change, keep you from a dream.  You CAN change, it just takes time.

What dreams may have been altered in your life due to your weight management problem?  Are there bucket list items you HAVE completed since you took your life back, what are they?  Share your lists here, you may inspire the next person who reads this blog.