Saturday, September 4, 2010

Time for a Change

Welcome to "Same Old Sh*t" Saturday, where I usually crack a joke about why I recycle old posts one day a week, but I'm not in a ha-ha frame of mind today. You see, we lost one of our blogging buddies recently, our good friend over at Stages of Change. He was a very gifted writer, and he left this world entirely too soon. You'll be missed, my man....

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.

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  1. This post is beautiful and I love the Disneyworld analogy. I really liked the blogger we lost and I pray for his family.

  2. ...What? I feel completely blindsided. I had no idea, how horrible! :(

    :( :(

  3. Inspiring post and unfortunate reminder on how short life is.

    Wanted to send my condolences to the family and friends :(

  4. Oh yes what a reminder! I too only have 1/2 hour left at Disneyland...I want to make the most of it!

    I'm new to your blog and just want to tell you how enjoyable and inspiring I find it!

  5. Great points Jack. I have been an up and down dieter, but no longer. I am now a healthy lifestyle person who is getting alot of rides in at Disneyland already!

  6. I'm crying. I feel like I wasted so much of my life to being fat. My twenties... all gone. My thirties I fear will be wasted to pain as a result of my weight & bad luck. But thanks for the reminder to just get out there and do it. One foot in front of the other. Every day, always.

  7. I've wasted at least 4 years. And I'm on the back nine, too. So now I'm trying not to miss out on anything!

  8. Powerful sh*t....wake-up words I really needed to hear. I'm further along the back nine than most of the rest of the pack but I plan to make the most of the holes I have left. Thanks.

  9. Another member of the back nine club...I'm not missing anything, ever again!

    Prayers for his family and friends...

  10. I didn't read him but that is indeed sad news. I loved this post Jack and it's timely as I start a new dedication on Tuesday. "What Can You Do In 100 Days" inspired by Tigerlilly. It IS time for me to crawl out of the past 5 months and get serious. Time to deal with lifes ups and downs in healthy and productive ways. Time to ride every ride I can! :) Hope you'll come and visit from time to time to see what I'm up to.

  11. Hear, hear. I lost my teens, twenties and thirties. I'm determined to live it up from here on out. Just glad I made the decision before it was too late to get in a few rides!!

  12. Great post. Everytime I find a gray hair I am reminded that I am that much closer to dying. Depressing, but you are absolutely right-totally eye opening. I'm sick of wearing long t-shirts and jeans in 105 degree heat because I'm mortified at how my body has become.

    Thanks again for the awakening, Jack.

    Polar's Mom

  13. beautiful post jack, and so incredibly on the back 9 too (i have NO clue about football but yeah!!)...and I feel the same way. I think this post can apply to ANYTHING we give too much power too because just like physically rooted problems they also hold us back. Dont be scared. Just BE!!!! Thanks for another awesomely delivered kick in the ass!

  14. Your Disney analogy is spot on.

    Moving forward to a better place is the only choice in life right now. It's unfortunate that it takes some of us so long to figure that out.

    Keep up the good fight!

  15. My condolences to the family!

    I totally relate to this post. I'm 37, and while I've not been heavy my *whole* life, I've spent the last 10 years over 300 (now, over 400)...I feel angry with myself, and I know my husband is also frustrated with me. It is time to stop wasting time.

    This post also resonated with me:

    I don't want to waste any more time.

  16. This kind of wake-up call no one wants. So let's not waste any more time. I challenge you all to join me on a simple, one-week exercise challenge. Quit making butt prints in the sands of time:

  17. So sorry. I hadn't checked out his blog until you mentioned it in today's post. I wish I had found him sooner. Thank you and condolences to his family and friends.

    Vee at

  18. It's so true. I'm very sorry about your friend. time's a wastin'. I better get on it.

  19. Oh my gosh! I've been gone from the comp for a while... I had just read his page right before I came to yours. Wow.

  20. I'm so sorry to hear this news.

    I find your posts motivational, fun and insightful, but today's post had me gasping.

    Thank you for framing the shortness of life in a very meaningful way. I'm sure it was a difficult post to write, but I appreciate you writing it so much. It reminds me of the story of the jar of marbles representing the weekends of a life.

  21. Yep. We did this to ourselves. I'm trying to be kinder to myself.

    Sorry for the loss of your friend.

  22. I'm so sad that he passed away. I loved his writing.

    I was pulling for him.

    How did he die? How can I send a thank you card or flowers or SOMETHING to let his family know that he touched my life??

    Let me know if you know. :(

    happyfunpants (at) gmail



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