Fat Shaming and Fairy Tales

I recently read an article about a guy named Sean.  He was having a good time dancing and abruptly stopped having fun when he noticed people laughing and making fun of him.

"Good time" turns to "most embarrassing moment ever" quickly. 

It was a 'fat shaming' experience.  The guy is big.  He was simply having fun and someone took a picture of the guy posting it online publicly shaming him for being fat.

I enjoy a good time.  I enjoy being stupid, silly and crazy.  What I don't enjoy is being made fun of while I do it...or ever.  There is a HUGE difference between making fun of someone being crazy and having fun with someone who is being crazy.  You can laugh along and be crazy too OR you can laugh at them and poke fun of them.  Big difference in how it is received emotionally.  

The latter is not acceptable.  Actually, in the world that we live in, it seems that it may actually be acceptable for many people to shame, bully, and take advantage of others.  Why is it that way?! 

I've been encouraged by seeing the response of others that don't know this guy that was 'fat shamed'.  They've stepped up and decided to throw a dance party for the guy.  Starting with a women's group [props for you guys...er girls...for doing that]!  Famous people, organizations, and others have decided to take a stand for this guy.  My fear is that this generosity will end with one guy.  

I am stoked for this guy that he may have new confidence in life.  What could have been, and probably still is in his mind, one of the most embarrassing moments has been turned into the craziest ride of his life.  People have given over $30,000 so that this guy can have a dance party!  How crazy is that?!  I have a feeling that this dance party that he is going to have is going to be C-R-A-Z-Y!

And then reality will hit.

What was done still remains.  He will still be a large man that will still have to struggle with people giving him looks or shaming him, less publicly I'm sure.  I don't know if he wants to lose weight. He might not want too.  He possibly could have a clean and clear bill of health from his doctors and not see the health benefits of losing weight.  That's for him to decide - not you, me, fat shaming picture taker or anyone else.  I'll be honest though.  I always have this fear, this gut feeling, when it comes to stories like this.  Maybe it's just my cynicism but outside of the dance parties and 15 minutes of fame - what have we done to change his or anyone else's future for the better.  Is this another one-hit wonder of generosity or are we going to help him and others in the same boat.

Let's empower people with the tools to make themselves better.  We can't do the work for them but why not lead them to the door and let them choose to walk in or walk away.  Let's be grand and great in gesture sure, but let's also follow up with something more tangible than a pumpkin carriage and glass slippers.  Let the rich and famous come riding in as the knight in shining armor coming to rescue the poor peasant person unable to defend themselves but let's also equip both sides with knowledge and tools that promote self-confidence and respect.  

I was watching a new show called "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" on Netflix.  Kimmy was kidnapped and put into a cult when she was younger and was rescued as an adult and is trying to live in New York City.  She found a roommate but she tried to keep her past out of conversations. He, the roommate, said something to her that was spot on:

"People love hearing terrible details of news stories. One, it's titillating like a horror movie. Two, it makes them feel like a good person because they care about a stranger. Three, it makes people feel safe that it didn't happen to them."

Seriously, how true are those things?  Can I tell you something?  Of course I can, we can put anything on the internet for a while longer still.

I keep a portable scanner radio in my house so that I can know what is going on when sirens are going off.  I can hear what the firemen are telling the home base.  I can listen to the police as they report to command.  I like to know those things and partly because I'm nosy.  Some of it is due to the excitement of it all and another part because it lets me know that I'm safe.  It became real to me though one night when it was my friend's house that the firemen were responding too.  The fire was in their garage and burnt the thing to the ground.  It didn't touch their house but they lost a lot due to the fire.

I wanted to be there for them.  We offered to help out any way we could.  

Did I do that for any of the other many, many fires that have come across that scanner?  No I didn't.  I had a relationship with them and so I wanted the best for them.  Yes, the grand gesture of offering help to them was there immediately but that could only last so long.  That initial fight or flight response would wear off.  Eventually, the fire is out and as time gets in between the date of the fire and the present - things go back to the way they were.  The fire is second thought just like when reality will again hit Sean.

This needs to be more than a bunch of people jumping on the bandwagon to help one guy.  Let's help and equip this guy to then go and change the lives of others. 

While this is a great story of others coming to the aid of someone that was put out, I want for it to be more than that.  This is not the only story that has left me wanting more for the person shamed or in need.  Life is more than being in the news for a little bit, a visit to the Ellen show and a Twitter trend.  While those things are probably pretty fun - I can't get that second picture of him out of my head.  He's standing there with his hands on his hips and his head hung in shame and embarrassment.  I've been there.  That's not fun and you hold onto that despite what you say.

I can't say that I know the answer.  I'd be lying if I said I did.  To be honest, at this point in the conversation - it's not about the Sean and the Fat Shaming any more.  He may not want his life to be any different.  He may have a great life but what has been sold to all of us is that he was shamed and needs rescuing.  

What we need to realize is that this is about us having an opportunity to take a stand for someone else AND equip them in the process. 

I give praise to the organization that sent out the dance party invite to Sean and for all of the people who have supported him publicly and with their own money.  I don't know very many men that wouldn't want to attend a dance party with 1700+ women and be the only guy?!  

My challenge is this:

When the lights go out, the clock strikes twelve, and the party is over - I challenge you to have changed his life and not just have given him a vacation.  


No Healthy U selection but I choose Healthy Me selection.

I was not selected for Healthy U here in Sedalia.

As I posted before, it was a long shot for me to be a part of it.  I was happy that I was one of the 25 granted interviews before the final selection.  In all honesty though, when I saw the size of the first four or five selected I leaned over to my wife and said, "I don't think I'm big enough for the competition".  Let me add that the comment was not a dig at any of the contestants' size but a matter of disappointment.  I do wish that there was more variance in size of people picked.  I might not be the biggest and I might be healthier than some but I am not where I need or could be.  

I am super stoked for the contestants, or students as they call them, that were selected and hope that the 13 others [from the 25 that I was a part of] do not stop their attempts at being healthy.

Healthy U is an awesome program and the results were there as the class of 2014 showed how much they have lost have gained in the one year paired up with a personal trainer and nutritionist.  It was pretty cool to see the transformations.

So here I am, still doing this journey on my own.  I believe I have found a way to have a 'personal trainer' without paying the cost of a training sessions.  The gym that I belong to is Total Fitness and they have crossfit classes.  I have done them before but the classes weren't working with my schedule.  They now work with my schedule!  I just have to get up early to go to them.

I also have a treadmill and stationary bike at home.  I'd like to get a kettlebell and some other free weights but those will have to come when I have some extra dough.

Be on the lookout for a before shot.  My hope is that in one year from now when they have the next Healthy U program - that I don't need to be there but will have lost the body percentage necessary to have won this year's competition.  

If nothing else, maybe I could win a door prize next year.


Turkey Dinners, Thanks, and Black Thursday

Not one.

Not two.

But Three.  

Three Thanksgiving meals that I took part in and the question I had for myself was, "how was I going to recover from them?".  

The answer:  All at the same time.

I didn't stuff myself.  I ate comfortably and felt comfortable afterwards but it so happened that all three meals took place within a day and a half.  

Wednesday Lunch. Wednesday Dinner. Thursday Lunch.  That leaves only one opportunity to recover and regroup from the delicious food instead of three different days and recovery times.  ha.

You would think that after three Turkey Dinners in 24 hours that I'd be rolling around everywhere but that wasn't the case.  To be honest, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers.  

I love sandwiches and cold turkey leftovers as a sandwich is awesome.  

I believe that I handled myself during the holiday eating pretty well.  

I even had enough energy to go out and brave all of the crazies at Walmart.  

I was almost trampled when they gave the go ahead for shoppers to start grabbing things.  People were nuts.  In all seriousness though, who advertises something at a great price and then only gets less then 20 items for the whole store.  

Sedalia is not huge, but come on man!  

I know many are doing the 30 days of Thankfulness, but I will do just one publicly.

I am thankful for my wife, my son, and the opportunities that I have had in my life to be where I am at.  I am thankful for my work.  I am thankful for those that I work with and those that I have in my life.  Life is not perfect but I am thankful for the blessings that I have and hope that I am always aware of those blessings!

Healthy U update:  Anticipation is killing me.  Jan. 8th can't get here soon enough.  I understand it might not mean much for those just reading about the program from here but it'd definitely be a blessing.  I think the reason why so many people choose not to get healthy is that they don't know where to start or have the resources readily available.  


I am 1 of 25 for Healthy U 2015

Recently, I posted about the Healthy U program where I live.

After filling out a very in depth application, I submitted it.  That was that and the rest was out of my hands, at least for the initial selection process.

On Tuesday night, I was out finishing up my deer stand for the upcoming season [way late in making that happen], and I received a phone call.  My service was sketchy but I made out the voice-mail that  I was one of the 25 selected for personal interviews.  I quickly called them back and between bad reception in the middle of the field and a constant beep from a failing phone battery - we made an appointment for the personal interview.

(picture from Healthy U Facebook)

For me, being in front of people isn't anything out of the norm.  It is common for a minister when he has job interviews to have formal and informal meetings and interviews with multiple people.  This was three women though.  It's not as easy as you'd think.  It reminded me of the time that I first got my driver's license.  I took my driving test with the 'driving grader/instructor' [not sure of official title] in the passenger seat and then a rookie on the job learning sitting in the back seat.

Overall, I believe the interview went well from my perspective.  I do believe that I have a few things that are up against me.  These are by my own thinking and were not said in the interview.

One, I'm not overly overweight.  I am over weight and could lose 40-50 lbs and by all BMI and body figuring formulas, I am obese.  Two, I've been successful on my own and so I can see how that may interfere with the thinking, 'he doesn't need this as much'.

This may all be in my head too.

I'm super pumped though and hope I am selected as one of the twelve!  


Very public weight loss Accountability may be in my future

Healthy U is a program in Sedalia, Missouri created to help others get off their butts and start to get healthy.  They have a very small, hand selected, class each year that they invest into in order to jump start and educate the participants on how to live healthy each and every day...consistently.

I applied for this program.  They take all of the applications and blindly select 25 of them for personal interviews.  They then select 12 participants for the year to invest in and help make lifestyle changes.

This is a 'Biggest Loser' type of competition without the big money.  What I find most attractive about this program is that they hook you up with a nutritionist/dietitian AND a personal trainer for the year.

If you have been a part of my weight-loss journey for a while, you know that those are two things that I've never had.  Those are two things that I really want and believe can contribute to further success.

I won't lie, I've been successful on my own in losing weight and keeping it off - but I need next level type of stuff.  I recently went in to the doctor for a general check-up as my insurance pays for it.  I got a good bill of health and I want to make it a great bill of health.  I want to be healthier.  I want to be faster, stronger and a healthier me.

I do hope that I get selected.  I don't know how many applicants that there are but it'd be pretty awesome to be selected.

(Picture from Healthy U Facebook)


Sugar Happy

I love sweet food. 

I do.  It's so tasty.  It's so comforting.  My taste buds dance with joy when the sweet rush of sugar floods their sensors.  It's almost as if they command - no, they control the way that I eat.  It's a love hate relationship that me and my tongue have.  I so want to please the craving but at the same time I know that it is not my tongue that is dictating my eating habits...it's in my head.  It's my decisions. 

It's not like my tongue is picking up the food with it's arms.  To be honest, if my tongue grew arms and starting picking up food - I'd be a little freaked out.  I would then have to join the freak show circus and I don't think my wife and son would follow me down that route so here's to my tongue staying a normal tongue. 

I've cut out soda.  I can cut out the other crap too, but sugar is my Achilles heal.  It is my weakness.

In fact, I have Flipz White Fudge Pretzels sitting on my desk at work.  I justify the fact that I have already had an apple and yogurt for breakfast and will be running later...so twenty one or two pretzels will be cool to eat right? They'll cancel themselves out.  In fact, their motto on the bag says this:

"So completely irresistible you'll make up excuses to eat'em"
It's true. 
They are irresistible.
I must resist.
Self control is lacking.
Just one more?
I must resist!
Okay, while I fight my urges - here's some music that I've been listening to while running.  Enjoy!


Going Off...

Thought I'd share a song from my workout/running playlist.


Texas Stew and lots of laps

I was wearing shorts in the afternoon and had to be in some heavy clothes this evening.  Temperature was near 50 and then snowing tonight.  Crazy!

Today was a good day though for some stew.  I made a recipe called Texas Stew.  It was delicious!  It has been one of my favorite meals so far this year that we've eaten.  Actually, it was awesome.

check recipe here
I really can't wait until I get to have some leftovers. 
Last night I got to play some basketball over at the church.  We had been having a lot of guys just show up that we had never met and causing some fights.  No fist fights but I do believe that it was heading there.  We had taken a break for a while from playing and that break helped weed out the guys that were the hotheads.
I noticed though that I was out of breath a lot faster than I used to be.  So...
that means that I need to get in better shape.
...so I ran laps at the gym.