Thursday, August 20, 2009

Too Far Gone? I Don't Think So...

On my rant the other day, I did say one regrettable thing (and Amber at The Long Hard Road Out of Hell... was the first of several who called me out on it): I suggested that the couple I was writing about that day might be too far gone to change things for themselves.

Here's the thing: I don't really believe that.

There are folks out there who are absolutely up against it, who seem to be faced with an insurmountable challenge against unfathomable odds, but I don't truly believe they're too far gone.

There are people who look in the mirror and convince themselves that all hope is lost, that the mountain they must scale is just too high and too treacherous. They may be far from their goals, but they're definitely not too far gone.

Too far gone is stretched out in a casket or mixed up in an ashy urn. I'll even accept a doctor's note that proclaims you unfit for fitness, but barring that, I'm going to assume otherwise.

If you're up and on your own two feet, you're miles away from too far gone, my friend. If you're willing to work, willing to make a sacrifice or two, willing to take a leap of faith, then you're definitely not too far gone.

Because that's what it takes, you know.

A leap of faith.

A belief that there's a better life out there for you and that this is your time to engage and pursue it. I think that's what thwarts a lot of people, and I know it's tripped me up on more than one occasion. I wanted what I wanted, but I wasn't willing to do what it takes to make it happen. It wasn't like I didn't know perfectly well exactly what it takes to make it happen either. I just didn't do it... didn't take that leap.

A diet without true commitment is a promise made with your fingers crossed. To me, that commitment... that concept of buying in and owning your actions and your expectations... that's the key to the kingdom, the glue that holds all the other parts and pieces in place.

You may not have the wind to run a mile today.

You may not have the resources to join a gym or the free time to plot and plan each meal to the most healthful specifications.

You may not want to push yourself so far outside your comfort zone that you're... well... uncomfortable.

But make no mistake about it, inside each of us... whether it's just below the surface or deep within our souls... each of us has the drive and determination to make this magic happen for ourselves. It's within us all.

Too far gone? Not even close...

Thanks for the reminder, Amber.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A leap of faith. Or maybe a hop, for starters.

  3. Well said. Mr. Rogers did say you can never go down the drain, even if he did ply you with taffy and untoward body parts.

  4. ....How true...sometimes I think we feel like we are too far gone, but we are not if we don't let ourselves be. :)

  5. Love this post. You're so right - do what you can with what you have. It's not about a big bang, but it's building all of these new, seemingly small habits. Once you put them together, you have a lifestyle.

  6. Hi Jack. Thanks for posting this and the other supplemental post. I've stayed silent wanting to see how this played out because I was surprised at the first post. However, you've shown that you do have what we all need during this process/journey and for viewing others - compassion.


  7. I was thinking about this today myself, and I admire people who dont let the distance they need or want to go discourage or daunt them. Ive been there too, thinking I was too far gone to make it back to anything I felt was acceptable.
    I think that before we start with the baby steps or at when our lowest (hungriest! crabbiest!) points this is the kind of thinking that can cause self sabotage!

    Once you're in the thick of it, right the heat of battle you gotta block that out. Just fight the good fight most of the time and dont ever quit! I realize its a lot easier typed and said than done but, NONE of us is too far gone as long as we take the first step and put one foot in front of the other in good faith! Great post!~

  8. Good thoughts on the matter Jack. Change is just plain tough but we all definitely can do it if we put our minds and souls into it.

  9. Great post. There is no such thing as too far gone. It's a choice to be overweight just as it's a choice to be healthy. And, as you pointed out, it's a choice to get healthy. I used to say I was "big boned" and could never be a healthy, skinny weight. That was the excuse I used to justify the weight. It was a lie I told myself so that I wouldn't need to do the work to be healthy. But not anymore! I'm speaking new truths to myself about living my best life (god I sound like Oprah!), losing the weight, and keeping it off for life. It's a choice and I've made it. Sounds like you have too! I hope that couple can come to that conclusion as well.


  10. Oh man, after reading FD's blog and now getting this little nod from you...I'm a fucking blubbering idiot. You guys suck for making me cry like a girl! Don't matter that I am a girl lol...

    As for the thanks...anytime Jack. :)

  11. great post jack!

    i've though about all the emotions expressed about your post. i would make a distinction between being angry AT people, and having justified indignation FOR people who are obviously suffering. (the parents included) theres such a big difference.

    i have tons of compassion for others, but i have to be careful that this compassion doesnt morph into pity. if that happens then before you know it, im pitying myself, and reaching for a doughnut! lol

    people may choose to eat themselves to death, but just like a heroin addict or hopeless alcholic, we all have the power to make changes and get well. your hopeful post made my day!

  12. When I started, I didn't leap - just dipped a toe in. I did think I was too far gone to change.

    I don't think that way anymore. :)

  13. I actually did think I was too far gone, especially after several tries that ended in failure. I really did think I had blown it, was destined to die a fat, useless lump.

    No idea what changed, but I am so glad I gave it just one more try!

  14. I needed to read this post today. I am struggling...

  15. Jack: I did not think of calling you out on that one, but Amber was right. How many failed diets are in my past? Too many to count.

    Some just haven't woke up yet, but they're no too far gone until their are permanantly horizontal.

    Great follow-up.

  16. I thought I was too far gone. It was a very convenient excuse actually. And there's all kinds of scientific data out there to back me up--morbidly obese people can't lose weight and keep it off. So why the h*ll try, right? I'm so glad I made myself TRY. I figured I couldn't just assume I couldn't succeed if I didn't TRY. Realized I (and all those studies) had been wrong all along--obese folks, at least on a personal level if not on a statistical level, CAN lose weight and keep it off. There are a LOT of us who are proof of this on here! Keep up the good work, people! I hope that couple who were following you, Jack, come across some of our blogs--they'd see that they can do it, too!

  17. My highest weight was 340 several years ago. I remember crossing over the 300 mark with such a helpless, hopeless feeling. I remember thinking I had officially passed the point of no return on weight loss. After all, nobody who lets themselves get all the way up to 300 whopping pounds can ever get that much off, right?

    So glad I was wrong. Looking at the whole amount that has to be lost is what makes people think they can't do it. When you learn to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, and put one foot in front of the other...then you start to see that there is hope.

    When I started my blog nearly 10 weeks ago and lost 6 lbs the first week (and that 1st week was HELL)....there was just no looking back. I'm on my way. :)

  18. This is the first post I've ever read - so I don't know the backstory on the 'rant', nor have I read any of the comments. But I would just like to say GREAT POST. People on many places over the spectrum sometimes feel like a lost cause. I know a woman who lost half her body weight just using tools she picked up at yard sales - and I know she had many moments of despair along the way. Great post - looking forward to sharing it with others.

  19. Great post as usual Jack. Yes, we can all try!!! Never say never. Baby steps, just move even if it is slow at first, baby steps with food is fine too. It can be done & the blog world is proof!

    I really admire you & your blog. So inspirational!

  20. No one is ever too far gone. There is always a time for second chances.

  21. You're right. I didn't think about it in the initial post, but it's true: nobody is ever too far gone, we can always turn our live around.

    In other news, I may have infected you with another case of blog herpes--er, lovely blog awards. It's contagious, but I think since you've already had it you can't catch it again.

  22. Is it just me, or does anyone else see a little lamb's face in the clouds?
    A sad little lamb.
    Anyone? Anyone?

  23. Never too far gone, there is a way back. It's not easy, it's not pretty, beating an addiction never is, but it is possible.
    The alternative is worse.

    Thanks for the moments of clarity!

  24. A good friend of mine always says that no matter where you find yourself in life, how you got there is immaterial. The only thing that matters is what you do NEXT.

    I don't believe that waiting for "rock bottom" before making a change is a particularly good strategy, since for most people "rock bottom" equals six feet under. It's rarely ever too late to change.

  25. WOW...Jack wonderful as always!! Your right!! No one is to far gone, to change what they are doing if you can breath you can change!! Loved it thank you!!

  26. Now then... that's the compassion that I would expect from someone who's been in very simialr shoes. This is the letter you should have written for them; one with words of encouragment, not condemnation.

    Before I started, I did not think I was too far gone, I jsut thought it was too difficult. And difficult it is somedays. But so well worth the strength it takes. And the support... Alot of people out there don't have the support they need to make it through. We all know that it takes support to make it from day to day. The support we get from reading and writing blogs. The support we get from our families and or co-workers. It takes every ounce that we get somedays.

    Thanks for this post, Jack. I needed that encouragment today.

  27. Great post! You have to want it and sadly in this day and age, it seems like fewer Americans want it. It is so much easier to be complacent and accept your body for what it has become. There has to be a turning point. For me it was when I found out that I was insulin resistant. The knowledge that by taking a prescription every day could help me fight a battle that I believed to be lost gave me hope. 65 pounds gone! 119 to go!

  28. Great post...made me think. Check out the post you inspired at my blog!

  29. Awesome post Jack. It's an important reminder to know that we all have the strength within us. Thanks.

  30. Another great one, Jack. Keep on keepin' on, buddy.

  31. Ahh... great post, great timing, too. THanks :)

  32. I really thought many times I was beyond ever changing. I once told Irene that the only way I thought i could actually lose weight would be as an in-patient at a hospital where they strictly monitor all consumption and exercise. I really felt that out of control.

    So I agree---Unless death tragically wins---It's not too late.

    My best always

  33. Wow, great words. I think what scars people the most is the thought that its impossible. "If you can think it, its possible" I once heard. For some people its easy and for other people it takes a lot of work, but its possible. Great blog today!

  34. You're right. It's definitely not impossible - I think for me it was just hard to give up the things that comforted me: food and laying around. I've come a long way and have found others like me on these blogs so we're proof it's not impossible!

  35. HOw did I miss this post. Beautiful.



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