When I was a kid, one of the memories I have from school, as early as 3rd grade, is writing about what inspires you - and who your hero is. I know I was wound differently than most kids early on, because my answer to these questions were never celebrities, or the local sport hero. My hero and what inspired me the most was always my dad and mom....Lately, a lot of people have been telling me what an inspiration I am to them because of what I am doing with my weight loss battle. For me this is an extremely heavy weight that I am honored to carry around with me. My parents were inspirations to me through hard work and their determination to be there always for my brothers and I. My answer to those of you who say I am an inspiration is simply, "thanks, now go out and be an inspiration to someone else." While I am honored to be this inspiration and reason that some of the people in my life have decided to turn their lives around and get healthier, I know that this is all a part of something much bigger.
My coach (TJ Topper) has been and continues to be a HUGE inspiration in my life, and has told me from Day 1 of this journey that this is much bigger than just he and I....and we were damn big! I had a conversation tonight with my brothers about how TJ can get me to try mostly anything by just talking to me about it! Tonight I heard that people are saying the same thing about me. For the first time in a long time I know that people are looking at what I do each day and are truly proud, and inspired to better their lives. This is the greatest gift that you can give someone....the power to create change in others simply by your actions. What we all do on a dilay basis affects and influences people around us, whether positively or negatively. At work, there are people who are always negative and bring you down to a point where nothing seems to be good enough to make the day worth while. Or there are people like me that some may want to punch in the face that tells everyone that "I'm living the dream" every time they are asked how its going...Sure it annoys some people, but if just 1 person takes that statement and moves positively ahead in the day because of it, then its worth all the other nasty looks from the Debbie Downers. I know that I never showed negativity to most of you even when i was north of 400 pounds, but inside I was more pissed off than the guy that hosted American Idol with Seacrest in Season 1 that quit because he thought the show would never take off.....good call buddy! That"s why your name is "the guy that hosted with Seacrest in Season 1!" I knew that the life I was living was good at times, but temporary - and I am thankful to TJ for getting me going and giving me not only the gift of a longer life, but this gift to change lives around me!
My point to all this rambling is that change is something that we can all do and something that everyone around you can take notice of and be INSPIRED by.....I have to be honest - -for the first time in my life I didn't think of anyone but myself and my family when I started this in October of 2011...I always used to think about everyone before myself - and i know now that its ok to do things for yourself. "If I can change, and you can change - ANYONE can change!" Sure, its a line from Rocky IV, but it really is something that rings true here for this journey and a lot of journeys out there....Whether you are battling weight, alcohol, drugs, reality tv addictions, etc. you can change - and those around you will take notice of that change and you will be surprised that they credit you for it! I am sure that I told TJ a million times that he inspired me and thanked him for it - - I know what that feels like and its HEAVY! A good heavy, but heavy!
For all of you that have called me an inspiration - make it your goal in life for someone to think that about you....you don't have to hear the words, but you can see it happening around you - - - and its amazing!! Kevin is going to be 2 in May and and he picked up a tension band the other day and said, "I'm exercising like daddy" - - he didn't say, "I'm going to try and eat a whole pizza like daddy" - - and let me tell you, that is powerful stuff!
Thanks for the high praise, and for the constant support, but please go out and pay it forward