Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Time of Our Lives

Tick tock, tick tock.

Do you feel the rush of time slipping by like I do? I felt it more acutely when I was at my heaviest, but even now I sense the drumbeat of the calendar and feel cheated by the senseless waste of all those lost days.

That’s exactly how I feel now: that days and weeks and months (and, let’s face facts here… years) spent wrapped up in that uncomfortable and unfashionable fat suit was precious time that I squandered and have no way of getting back.

I mourn those spring days when I couldn’t run around and enjoy the breezy springtime, pity those once-in-a-lifetime moments with my family where I sat on the sidelines and watched good times being enjoyed and lament all those times I let my weight make me feel like less of a person than I was. I regret that I felt defined by my greatest weakness.

I’m fortysomething now, and once you make that turn to the back nine, you grasp with a little more clarity the fact that we don’t have all that much time on this earth. William Penn said “Time is what we want most, but... what we use worst.” I think it takes a bit of gray hair up top to fully get a handle on that.

I play basketball with some young cats, and they often seem tickled (and somewhat perplexed) by the fact that I still hoop so competitively and so often. I explain it to them like this: “We’re both at Disney World on a bright sunny day. For you, it’s 10 o’clock in the morning and you’ve got all the time in the world to do anything you want. For me, it’s thirty minutes before the gates close and I want to get in every ride I possibly can.”

I feel that way about the big picture, too. About life. There’s quite a bit I still want to accomplish, and up ‘til now this weight has been a big roadblock holding me back. Maybe it has been for you, too. For too many of us, it’s the anchor that makes us give in to the hardships and the hopelessness. It makes life seem unfair when, really, we’ve simply been unfair to ourselves.

That’s hard to accept: we did this to ourselves.

I don’t say all this to bring you down, to remind you of your own mortality or your own shortcomings.

I say it because it’s time to shake things up, time to remind ourselves that although we may have a finite number of days in this joint, we have an infinite amount of possibilities, a limitless number of things which we might accomplish if we set our mind and our heart and our will to it.

I don’t know if I’ll achieve everything I want to achieve or accomplish everything I set out to do from here on out. Chances are, I won’t.

But here’s the thing: it won’t be the weight that stops me anymore.

This is a brand new day, my friends. A new day filled with all kinds of promise, all kinds of possibility. There’s not a diet tip or weight loss secret I could share with you here that would be of any more use, any more important than this simple phrase: “time’s a’wastin.”

Get busy and get yourself in check. Take the steps you need to take to reclaim your body, your health, your life. It's the most important thing you'll ever do because it's the foundation for everything else you want to do, everything else you want to be.

Do it today, because tomorrow will be here in less than a blink, and you don't want to be that person who looks back and wonders what they could have had, what they should have done, what they would have been.

It's time to get going.

Tick tock, tick tock.

57 comments:

  1. Very well said; as usual.

    My new philosophy in life is stop waiting for things to happen and to go out there and make them happen!

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  2. This is my favorite post yet.

    My friend once said to me - "You know, we are too damn smart, and too damn old to be this damn fat"

    I will always remember that!

    Amazing dude. You are.

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  3. This is such a timely (lol!) post for me... I turn 40 in 2 days' time and the hourglass of my life has been on my mind a lot lately. Well said, Jack! And I really like Chai Latte's quote!

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  4. Just started reading your blog a few days ago. This post was excellent. I don't want to be defined by my weakness, either. Thanks for the motivation today!!

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  5. "we have an infinite amount of possibilities..." I like that. Makes me think of why the pilgrims came to America. A new body is like discovering a new world where the old social order can't hold us back from reaching our dreams.

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  6. A perfect post to go along with the end of summer and the coolness of the air that reminds us fall is coming.

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  7. I couldn't have said it better. Another great one!

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  8. So true. So very true. I'm lucky enough to realize this while I am still a young 'un, but I have still wasted precious feeling sorry for myself because i didn't have the confidence I used to. silly.

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  9. Yeah, just having turned 40 myself, I am feelin' it too. Thanks for the reminder. I won't let another year slip by.

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  10. Well said! "we did this to ourselves" is a hard pill to swallow but couldnt be more true.
    It is time to change for real!
    Thanks for another great post!

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  11. I really loved this post and the fact that you simply stated 'we did this to ourselves' and reflect on the time I've lost.

    Thank you for writing the obvious in a beautiful way.

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  12. a target without effort is just impossible...
    just a bullsh*t...
    Right said..

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  13. Excellent post Jack. I started my own blog a few days ago simply because I began to realize that I'm only 6 months from 50 - really on the back nine so to speak - and time was awastin'. Additionally, I've had this hammered home in another way this week dealing with my mother-in-law's Alzheimers. She didn't do it to herself but it's so sad to see that she's not what she could have been right now. On the other hand, I don't have any excuses, none at all. Thanks for hammering it home.

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  14. Mortality is the best motivation of all. Well said!

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  15. You know that everything you said, I know, but somehow hearing it from someone else makes you that much more motivated. I am so ready to reclaim my body, and meet the healthier person inside. Only time will tell who this person is, or what this person looks like. Being fat my whole life, this is a mystery unfolding.

    Thanks for your blog.

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  16. The older we are the chance we will stay fat for the rest of our lives right?

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  17. Thanks for the motivation everyday. I love reading your blog. :)

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  18. DUDE, great post, but "back nine"? Really? Didn't anyone ever tell you that the 40s are the new 30s? (Can you tell it's almost my birthday and some very similar thoughts are swirling around in my head?)

    Very nice mirror you posted this morning. The pill isn't quite so bitter for me today, now that I'm on the move. Good post.

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  19. Gosh, I don't feel like I'm on the back nine. Pffttt!!

    I'm all for shaking things up though. Shake, shake, shake...shake, shake, shake...

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  20. I often wonder where I would be if I kept waiting to make changes in my life.

    Would I have been housebound? Quite possibly.

    Great post!

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  21. I love the Disney World analogy...and right now I'm too fat for some of the rides!!!

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  22. And some joker had to make the time go faster on the back 9!! WTF????

    Great post, Jack. As a fellow forty-effin-something I accept the back nine analogy.

    But not the Disney one. It's not 30 minutes until the gate...at that point we'll be fitted for "Depends". I say in our 40's it's beginning to get dark in the Magic Kingdom, and I haven't even been on Space Mountain yet.

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  23. makes me think of the year before last when i turned 39 and was bigger and more unhappy than i'd ever been.

    i said to myself, "self, this sh*t ain't funny anymore"!

    i want a normal size coffin. lol.

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  24. Fat Daddy, the Disney analogy was just for the amount of time I feel I've got left to play ball with the youngsters. Actually, I may be staying in the park past closing time. ;)

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  25. What an amazing post, thanks for that. I've been feeling that way myself, I'm 36 and don't know where the last 10 years have gone, I've wasted so much of my life because of this weight, it's got to stop.
    I worry that it's too late now to do a lot of things I always wanted to, but really, who says, only me...

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  26. thats is so incredibly true Jack, my depression earlier in the year was down to feeling that i had wasted so many years fooling myself that i was happy with the size i was when really i was fooling myself. I'm 36 this year and am determined that i will be at goal before i'm 40

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  27. Lovely post Mr. Sh*t! Although I'm 'only' 25, I have spent the last six years of my life sitting on the side lines trapped in my own personal hell. It took a long time for me to 'forgive' myself for punishing myself in such a brutal manner, but I got there. Thank god.

    We wasted a bunch of time, but there's another cliche phrase you forgot to throw out there: quality over quantity.

    I will never spend another day on the sidelines.

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  28. ACK! I feel so old now, lol!
    Just kidding. I totally agree - why waste time feeling fat and tired? I don't want to be on my deathbed saying, "Geez, I wish I didn't get so fat so I could have enjoyed my life." I want to say, "Damn, that was fun!"

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  29. As always Jack, thanks for the great inspiration and motivation. You have such a good way of putting things to make one think. Good Luck!! :)

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  30. Holy Sh*t, Mr. Sh*t. You took my thoughts and put them eloquently on the internet. I didn't feel the time a wastin' bit so much until my mom passed...but she was only 19 years older than me.

    Since then, this has been on my mind. Thank you so much for a wonderful post.

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  31. In my post today I said sort of offhandedly, "weight loss isn't a race, after all." If I'd read your post first, I don't think I would've included that line. We're racing against time, against death, against all those memories we're going to lose. We need to push as hard as we can to free ourselves as soon as we can. The clock is, indeed, ticking.

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  32. fo'shizzle, Jack.
    But remember no regrets! Live, learn, move on. Always go forward, never go back.

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  33. You said it all! Nothing more to say! Thank you!!!!!!

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  34. Great post as always! I love reading what you have to say, always so insightful.

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  35. How fitting this was for me today! I think you woke up this morning and said 'I will write today's post just for Zaababy!' Well done, Jack, well done.

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  36. Very well said! I just found your blog through another. I look forward to reading your posts, what I've seen so far is motivating for me!

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  37. This is a great, thoughtful post, inspring great, thoughtful comments. I am so glad I have your posts to read.

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  38. Great Post!

    Could relate to everything. If I dwell too much in yesterday I can't deal with today. Sometimes it is just too painful.

    I'm older then you and I wouldn't say that gates are closing in 30 mins. Who knows, they might just keep it open....just for us!

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  39. Batmans utility belt ??? :-)
    After the day I've had I hope that was a compliment LOL!

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  40. Exactly! I'm in the mid 40's too and I'm finally doing what I always wanted to. It feels utterly fantastic.

    Wishing everyone a life of fantastic. :)

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  41. "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: It might have been."

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  42. My dad's phrase for wasting time is "You're burnin' daylight!"...I think he got it off a John Wayne movie. Gotta' love the Duke.

    You are spot on with saying we did this to ourselves. It was one of my very posts that I said it's not the diet that failed...it's you....own it...feel the sting from it...and change it. Here's to change, Jack. :)

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  43. Oh the days months and years...Gone. Most acute is the year that's gone because I regained all the weight I worked hard to lose.

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  44. You made me cry! Brilliant post.

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  45. ditto jack. Life is too short to let it go on by without me anymore. I hope you enjoy closing down the park...heck, maybe you can convince them to keep it open a bit longer.
    Chris

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  46. Absolutely dead on. For years (and years) I've been telling myself "I'll quit tomorrow" "I'll start my diet Monday" (or after the holidays or after this vacation.....) and somehow 35+ years have gone by, I'm in my mid-50's and have eaten my way into diabetes. I have learned to let go of the guilt and regret - negative emotions and shame just lead to turning to food to ease the pain. Trite but true: no matter how much is left, "Today is the first day of the rest of my life"
    Great post as usual Jack

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  47. It's so true - I had so many goals for my 20's and I haven't really achieved any of them. Time's slipped by so quickly, I haven't even thought about goals for my 30's and they're nearly upon me. I spend too much time looking backwards at what might have been, when I should looking at one can yet be. Time to start looking in the right direction, me thinks!

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  48. In my younger days, I would have never believed that a day or week or month could fly by as fast as it does now that I am older. So another excellent point Jack.

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  49. A favorite quotation of mine is:

    "The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot."

    My theory is that time, like most things, is totally relative. The older we get the % of our lives represented by any period of time gets smaller and smaller. A year to a 5 year old is 20% of their life--a virtual FOREVER in the passing.

    Now a year is less than 3% of my whole life, darn near just a blip on the screen.

    Tick tock, indeed.

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  50. brilliant Jack. thank you. I needed this today. it was the kick in the pants i so desperately need.

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  51. that was an exceptionally amazing post..thanks for the reminder and the kick in the keister. This applies to more than weight, so many other things in life hold us back--cause us to hold ourselves back. Sometimes they are as trivial as feeling too lazy to go out and enjoy the simple pleasures in life or putting off a phone call to a friend as well. We need to ride all those rides before the gates close for sure!

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  52. This is why we love you Jack. Sure, you make us laugh more often than not, but when you choose serious you tend to be a home run hitter.

    This one was out of the park. Love it.
    Thanks,
    Lynn

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  53. I know what you mean. I found though that the more I thought about that, the more it discouraged me and affected my new todays. So I take it for what it's worth. Plus, it's made to not take health and good times for granted.

    Great post.

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  54. Very well put. Your right we are responsible for where we are at and what we miss out on due to our weight.
    Getting myself in check as we speak!

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