On May 16, 2009 I wrote about a "Lasting Impressions" Retreat I was on in North Carolina. I weighed just over 300 pounds at the time. I was about 2 1/2 months into my journey and feeling better about my health and fitness. I wrote:
Lasting Impressions is a teen support group for teens with cancer in Columbia, SC. My sister-in-law, Sue, introduced me to this group in 1992. I love volunteering with LI because the teens have taught me so much about life over the years………….The teenagers I am with are all overcoming cancer. When I see what they have overcome and how they handle life, I know that a 52 (almost 53) year old Fat Guy can handle dedicating himself to living a healthier, fitter, trimmer life. As you can tell, these teens definitely leave a Lasting Impression on me. Life is Good, if you know where to look!
Well, I just had another great weekend with this group in Charleston. I had a fit and fun time while eating like a teen for two days! We toured the Market area in Charleston, ate at Bubba Gumps and Mellow Mushroom, and attended an exciting Stingrays game.
This weekend made me reflect on my journey and what Lasting Impressions (L I) and Camp Kemo have meant to my life over the years. During the last 25 years, I have used my week at Camp and weekends with the LI Teens as time to recharge my engines and sort of cleanse myself. During all of my years as a workaholic and through my struggles with obesity/health issues, I have used Camp and LI as a way to enable me to continue my bad habits and poor behavior toward myself. The negative energy would creep in for a while, I would work to 'make it' to Camp or a retreat weekend, and then Infuse some positive energy into 'me' by immersing myself in Camp or a LI retreat. In a way it is good I had this in my life to make it to my turning point, to make it to the journey I need and want to be on now. In another way, it saddens me that I 'needed' Camp and LI to make it through to my journey, to make it through my poor behavior toward me.
What caused my reflection and mini-epiphany? I had such a great time this weekend! It felt better than any other retreat. Why? The group of teens, staff, and volunteers were great, as always. We had a lot of fun and quality time together, but I/we have had that before. I realized the major difference was me. I came into this retreat happy with me and free of the burdens of obesity and being a workaholic. I did not 'need' the retreat to recover or recharge. I was able to be part of the retreat in a different way. My energy level and outlook are at a positive place. I am operating at a higher more positive level. I no longer need it to bring me back to positive, but to build on the positive that already exists!
Note to ME and YOU: Building on the positive is much easier and more satisfying than working to get back to positive.
Living! Loving! Losing! Laughing!
PS I will do my next blog on "Consequences" as promised last week. I had to do this blog on LI!