TheFatGuy Pledge

Take Care of ME!

I pledge to take care of ME so I can be the Best ME for my family, friends, and community!   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This Pledge was born out of my first entry into MY FatGuyDiary spreadsheet on the first day of MY journey on March 2, 2009. The entry read:

Starting my weight loss program today. ………… ……..  I need to lose weight for my health and quality of life. I do not know the final destination, but I do know I need to start the journey! I want and need to be more positive about myself and my future even  with the things that are happening in the world and the economy. I need to take care of me so I can best help my family and community.

The key words are bolded in this statement. It is and always has been MY journey. Not a point A to point B destination. I constantly remind myself of this fact. I also voice this with anyone I talk to and in TheFatGuy’s presentations and talks. It is always about ‘the journey to ME’. I work to learn and grow every day on MY journey.

Back to TheFatGuy Pledge. I needed to imprint this on MY mind. I had to reinforce this statement for a number of reasons.

First, pre-journey I was really good at helping everyone else around me. I was great at promoting other people, other organizations, and other’s initiatives. I could always help fix anything. People would ask ME to do something and I would take it on, never wanting to disappoint, never wanting to say NO.  I did this over and over again to MY OWN detriment. This ‘habit’ put ME in the situation of going ALL-IN for 3 1/2 years to work to save a Youth Serving Organization that was near and dear to my heart. I left a wonderful career of over 28 years at the SC Port Authority to pursue a passion of helping kids do well in life, to help ‘at risk’ youth. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Trident Area was worth saving for the multitude of kids that needed it. I left my Port career to become executive director of the organization in January 2005.

Polly, my wife, and I discussed the ALL-IN approach as I/We made the decision to change careers and our life. I did not see ALL-IN as meaning 3 1/2 years of over 70 hour weeks. I did not see ALL-IN as going from 290 to 360 pounds. I did not see ALL-IN as not ever taking care of ME. I was working to ‘Fix’ everything on ALL fronts with the organization. I was working to rebuild it from the ground up while dealing with inherited scandal and debt. This is the short version!

Anyway, by June 2008 I had worked so hard on this one thing (with many parts), that I lost sight of taking care of ME and taking care of the closest relationships in MY life. My thinking became warped as I thought all of my time and focus HAD to go to the organization. That if I took anytime for ME or anyone else in MY life, I would be taking away from ‘Fixing’ the organization. The workaholic in ME was in overdrive and I was not finding MY way out of it.

As I left the organization in June 2008 I was a shell of who I wanted to be. I felt so bad and so unhealthy, I could not see may toward anything truly positive. I had served thousands of children over 3 1/2 years and was very happy about that fact. But, I did not ever truly get the organization to the point to ‘save it’. I really miss the kids, but I am really happy I found my journey and ability to help kids in a different way.

A second reason for having TheFatGuy pledge is the result of evaluating MY journey in 2011. As ‘life happened’ in 2011 I let myself slip a little. 32 years of adult bad habits starting to creep in and overtake less than 2 years of healthier happier habits. As Polly and I dealt with the passing of her dad, Garvin in March 2011, I started to allow bad habits to resurface. Life happened and TheFatGuy did not do the greatest job keeping himself on track.

Garvin’s passing hit ME harder than I thought and I did not manage MY journey as well during the year because of it. By November 2011 I allowed TheFatGuy to get way ‘out of bounds’ because I knew I was going to reset for the New Year. Just a good dose of that ‘stinking thinking’ creeping in again. I went from the low 220s to the low 230s to 244.4 on January 1, 2012.

Nuts, nuts, nuts, I was just plain nuts!

I am not saying that I should not have loved and grieved the loss of my father-in-law. I am not saying I should not be pleased with trying to save a non-profit serving at risk youth. I am not saying I should not be happy with all of the kids I served and helped.

I am saying I want to be ‘the best’ ME for all of the people in my life. I am saying it is a healthy thing to want to take care of ME. I am telling myself it is OK, it is good to make sure I am running at MY best to be the best ME for the people in MY life.

Hence TheFatGuy Pledge: I pledge to take care of ME so I can be the Best ME for my family, friends, and community!

I want to be focused and passionate about ‘taking care of ME’. This pledge helps ME with that focus and passion.

Note to ME and YOU: Take the pledge to take care of YOU!! YOU will be a better YOU for everyone in your life.

TheFatGuy (213.2 today! Down 31.2 from 1/1/2012)