I get forced smiles, laughter, bewildered looks, and nervous expressions when I refer to myself as TheFatGuy. It is something I have found a need to do and is definitely a tool, THE MAIN TOOL, in my journey.
Fat Guy Diary started the first day of my journey on March 2, 2009. It did not start as an intention to develop a website, book, or blog. When I woke up on March 2, 2009, I saw Polly off to work, went to my computer, and started the spreadsheet that still guides me today. The first entry of the log through today is on this Excel Spreadsheet and on my website. That first entry tells how I started my 'journey' and that I knew I needed to 'take care of ME' so I can best help my family and community.
As I saved that document to my computer it took me all of 5 seconds to name it. I looked in the mirror and identified my problem. I was a Fat Guy and , in my mind, I was TheFatGuy. I would always search to identify the main issue when addressing change at work and my main issue above all others was I was a Fat Guy. The weight was the root of all of my health and life issues. The other thing I would do in business would be to 'log' the progress on any project. I would keep logs of what was working, what was not working, and how we were doing on our journey through a project. So the other word that came to mind was 'Diary'. So I quickly typed in "Fat Guy Diary" to save my document!
I had no idea how impactful this document would be on my life and how others might react to it. I had no idea I would start a website 2 months into my journey beginning fatguydiary.com. I had no idea I would start a blog or work on a book. I knew I needed a tool and the spreadsheet was that tool to keep me on track and to keep ME accountable to ME. Fat Guy was not something I would project on others but a way to remind me of MY problem and a way to keep me focused on helping ME. As I tell kids when I speak to them, I refer to myself as TheFatGuy but I would NEVER call someone else Fat. Much like I am a recovering alcoholic, I am a recovering FatGuy. I own this issue!
TheFatGuy label does get some unusual reactions to it. The first person that I knew it effected, other than me, was my mom. It bothered her that I referred to myself as TheFatGuy and started my journey using Fat Guy Diary as the main tool in my success. I realized early on that mom did not look at me as a Fat Anything. She looked at me as Michael, her eldest son, and was proud of me for all or anything I had done in life. She never saw me as Fat. Moms do not want to label their children with what would be perceived as negative labels. Moms do not want to admit their child may be Fat. I love my mom dearly and I told her early on in my journey that at over 350 pounds I was Fat and I had to deal with it for my own good. I told her it was no reflection on her or how she viewed me, it was something I had to face to help me become healthy and fit.
Now I refer to ME as TheFatGuy to keep my attention on MY journey and to grab other people's attention so, if at all possible, I can spark them to start their journey to taking care of themselves. I see many people that neglect themselves for whatever reason. My wish for them is that they do a good job of taking care of themselves so they can be the best person possible for the people they touch in their lives.
Note to ME and YOU: Take care of ME so I can best help and serve the people in my life!
PS Thanks to Andy for the book and starting another good read!