Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Blessings in Disguise

A few days ago I was driving around in my truck listening to the radio. Since it is the first week of January, New Year’s resolutions are still fresh on people’s minds and the advertising on the radio was trying to capitalize on it. Try this food, sign up for this plan, join a gym, etc. (All the regular things that resolutions seem to revolve around)

Then I heard an advertisement for a local church encouraging people to come and find answers to an array of questions thrown at us in our daily lives. It seemed a curious mix with the other diet and weight loss cures being hocked. At the same time, it wasn’t too surprising since people do a lot of soul searching around this time of year. One question they specifically mentioned was, ‘If there truly is a higher power out there, why would He let bad things happen to good people?’ Hmm, interesting.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to spend my morning volunteering at Humphreys Diabetes Center Weight Loss Challenge kickoff. My mother had encouraged me to sign up for the challenge in 2009 but I honestly didn’t think I would stick with it. I also remember thinking I didn’t have 50 dollars to flush down the toilet and tossed the signup form in the garbage. Over the course of the 2009 challenge that I didn’t sign up for I lost 38% of my body weight. I called my mom in November the day I saw the results in the newspaper and told her I should have listened to my Mom since I would have been one of the winners. Oh well.

11 months later I qualified to run the Boston Marathon and after I signed up I wanted to have a greater purpose other than myself to train for. I contacted Humphreys about doing a fund raiser on their behalf and the staff was excited. It was a fun way to share my story with others and help bring attention to the obesity problem that so many people struggle with. Many of their patients have Type 2 diabetes and the main treatment is increased exercise combined with diet changes. It was a rewarding experience and since then I have volunteered at the challenge kickoff to share my story with others and give them hope that they can reach their goals too.

Throughout the morning on Saturday I visited with most of the people signing up since I was volunteering where everyone had to weigh in. I saw a familiar look on a lot of faces as they passed by. The look of, ‘I know I need to make a change but I am not sure how’. I remember feeling that way a lot prior to 2009. I told people to ask me anything and everything if it would help them. I was asked lots of questions like… What did you eat? How much did you exercise? Was it hard to stick to? Did you ever have low points where you wanted to give up? What motivated you?

The one question that I got asked the most was… What was the ONE THING that was the final straw that made you change for good and stick with it? I told the story so many times that it got me thinking about the advertisement for the church I had heard on the radio.

November 2009
In December of 2008, I was standing at my father’s bedside at St. Alphonsus hospital here in Boise. I was there with my brother Russ and we were visiting with him after he had had brain surgery to repair a brain aneurysm. I remember feeling so helpless that day as he recovered from a situation he had no control over…wondering if he would be ok….wondering if I might go home and he didn’t make it. I thought about what I would say to my children someday when they were at MY bedside while I was dying from some disease that I could have controlled and done something about. It was a very scary feeling and I am sure I had the same look on my face as the participants Saturday. The look of ‘I know I need to make a change but I am not sure how’.

Fast forward 2 short months. Michelle got sick on Valentine’s Day with a kidney stone which was terrible. Shortly after that she got mono and the E. coli virus. These three things took such a toll on her body that she lost 40 pounds in a very short time. This, combined with my father’s surgery was the final straw for me.

In March I changed my diet and on April 1st I started exercising and since then I have never looked back.

While I stood there visiting and answering questions Saturday I couldn’t help but think… I am right here, right now….because my dad had brain surgery and because Michelle got a kidney stone, mono, and E. coli.

If there is a plan for me, these terrible things were all part of the plan so that I might help and encourage others with my experiences. Today I am thankful for my father and thankful for my wife who endured these things so that I might learn from them. They are both stronger than I will ever be.

1 comment:

  1. "I also remember thinking I didn’t have 50 dollars to flush down the toilet and tossed the signup form in the garbage."

    This made me laugh. A lot of times I see how much things cost and I think there is no way I can afford to do something that may not be right for me... or really afford anything at all.

    ‘I know I need to make a change but I am not sure how’.

    I feel like this a lot.

    I need to lose 50 lbs, and I need to give up sugar, but I don't know how I am going to do it...I have tried running and I hyperventilate. I have a fractured spine with rods in my back so I am not sure running is my thing anyways? So you are saying that St Lukes has a challange you pay $50 for and they help you know how to get started at least? Did I read that right? Both of my parents realized they had Type 2 Diabetes in their 60's and I think I could be headed that way myself if I don't start now. Any tips? I work with your bud Derek Call :) My email is :)


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