Does This Harness Make Me Look Fat?

My friend celebrated his 60th birthday by jumping out of an airplane.

screaming parachutist

(Just to clarify, he was wearing a parachute.) When I asked why, he replied, “It was on my bucket list.”

“Wow!” said I. “I don’t think I’d have the courage to do something like that.
Good for you.”

Understand I am not a very adventurous sort, and furthermore, nothing on my “bucket list” has even a remote possibility that while engaging in the activity, I could end up in pieces small enough to fit in said bucket. After all, the way I look at it is if God wanted us to jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane, he wouldn’t have given them locking doors.

Now — should you be so inclined — before mounting high horse and considering me sans courage, realize I get my jollies as a public speaker. According to common knowledge, more folks are afraid of doing that than dying. Therefore, I safely rationalize that my skydiving sexagenarian buddy would watch me in front of an audience and say,

“Wow! I don’t think I’d have the courage to do something like that. Good for you.”

Check. And mate.

Recently, a speaking engagement had me presenting on a cruise ship.

(I know, it’s a difficult job, but someone had to do it.) If you’ve have not had the opportunity to be on one of these floating towns, understand they are indeed titanic. (Hmmm, poor choice of words; let’s just say they’re huge.) Moreover, our ship, Allure of the Seas, is the largest ever.

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Someday, somewhere, somehow…

At this very moment, a frustrated, frightened middle-aged woman is standing on a scale in a state of disbelief.

Depressed Overweight Woman

She hadn’t dare climb upon it for years, afraid of the number she’d see — and terrified of what it would mean. Today however, after finding nothing in the closet that fits, the anxiety of not knowing overrode the faux safety of denial.

Her fears were realized.

As she continues to stare at the number between her toes, confidence is dwindling. Lost, she understands she needs to do something. She’s also not sure she can.

Today, a foreman will unexpectedly be put face-to-face with the unpleasant reality that he isn’t as young as he used to be.

Long ago, feeling uncomfortable in ever-tightening pants, he shifted from a belt to suspenders. After all, he didn’t need to buy larger trousers; this was a temporary situation. As a million times before, he’d drop those “few pounds” as soon as things “settled down.”

Funny thing, that; they didn’t, and his belly now is profound. Having not been witness to his toes in a blue moon, moving has become laborious, bending a chore, and breathing — well, it’s just not as easy as it used to be.

Before today’s calendar changes pages, in the midst of a frustrating conversation with a client, his shortness of breath will ramp up severely; he’ll begin sweating profusely, feel light-headed, and become unmistakably aware of an overwhelming pain in his arms and back.

The day will end not at all the way he planned. [Read more...]

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Setting Realistic Goals During the Holidays

It’s okay to change your goals due to circumstances.

woman-resisting-cake

Simply because you have set a goal does not mean you are never allowed to change it.

As we move deeper into the holidays, it might be more difficult to stick to your goals (such as losing weight). That’s not a rationale for “giving up,” rather it’s an indication that you might want to adjust. After all, sticking to your program in January, when everyone else is doing it; is much easier than in December, when you feel like you’re all alone.

Adjust your goal to meet the conditions. Be realistic.

A goal “etched in stone” can be an excuse to give up when things get tough. Flexibility can be helpful.

You set the goals. They do not set you.

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Out of the Fog: Four Observations about Bad Habits

foggy scene

Forgotten habits exist right under the skin.

We think we’ve got them licked, but they’re always immediately beneath the surface, ready to emerge whenever we get careless or ignore their symptoms. Or look at them this way: We never get rid of them; we put them into deep freeze and can defrost them whenever we get sloppy.

We would all like to think we have “our acts together,” certainly in how we present ourselves to others. As I said we would like to think that, but equally certain is that within each of us there is a nagging — oft times scolding — inner voice pointing out our shortcomings; loath to congratulate and pretty darn quick to disparage. No one likes being critiqued with unrelenting regularity, so what do we do?

Simple, like teenagers not wanting to be scolded by critical parents, we tune it out. Call it “denial;” call it “defense mechanism;” or call it “mental health,” after all, a rose by any other name…

However, despite what children protest, sometimes, we parents know of what we speak and the warnings we provide could save them a bucketful of hassle — if only they’d listen. Alas; they, as did we, find out too late.

Being a “wrinkled kid,” I ignored my internal parent and was unintentionally thawing out some past routines.

It began innocently enough with five little words (six, if you count the contraction as two): “One small bite won’t hurt.”

And it doesn’t.

Neither does the next; or the next, or even the fourth. But upon the frightful realization that I had waded in so deeply I could no longer see the shoreline, I needed to face reality.

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