Skeleton face at Zumba class

Hey Gang,

Let me introduce you to Mac. The first picture was taken around the time we started working together on May 5th. The second picture was taken at our meeting tonight.

Notice a change? Crazy right? Not you, Mac….I mean “crazy transformation.” Lol.

There is a 120 pound difference in the 8 1/2 month time lapse. But even more important than the physical change is the complete 180 he has done on the mental side.

Tonight we talked about validation. He mentioned that he has received many compliments about his physical change. He feels that it is nice of people to notice and enjoys that they say encouraging things to him.

We all like that don’t we?

I felt the need to warn him about the dangers of enjoying those compliments too much. WHAT? Those compliments are bad….you ask?

They can be if you don’t put them in perspective. See, compliments are just the yin/yang of insults. But in actuality they are equal. If you place too much credence on those compliments you will also place too much credence on insults.

Compliments/insults are exterior. You should not assign much emotional value to them. Why? Well, for one, we don’t control them. They come from someone else. We only control our response to them.

I always tell a story about the first time I competed in a bodybuilding contest. I had lost a significant amount of weight and had what I call “skeleton face.” When my mom saw me she shrieked and said “Oh my God Billy, you look like shit.” Hey, thanks Mom. You look great too. I was confused. I had six pack abs and never looked better in my life. Why was I getting such negative feedback? I also got all kinds of ball busting from the guys at work.

That was difficult for me the first time. I was bummed about all the negative comments. But the more I competed, the more I discovered that those negative comments were really just validation that I was approaching my goal. I started responding by saying “Thank you.” Believe me, there were some crazy looks. When someone says “Hey Murph, you like like you’ve been smoking crack” and you respond with “Thank you” you get some wild faces.

The bottom line is, I knew better than anyone else what my purpose was. I didn’t need anyone’s approval. So therefore, their comments were just data. They (the comments) had no emotional value for me. Someone else’s eyes validated my own observations that I was losing weight and approaching my goal. Had they not noticed, it would not negate the fact that I had indeed lost weight and was approaching my goal.

Mac is in a similar position. He is at the point where people will start to question how much more weight he wants to lose. Some will tell him he is too thin. Some will say he looks sick. And if he has placed too high an emotional value on others opinions he will struggle with the enjoyment of his new lifestyle.

The facts cannot be ignored, he has lost 120 pounds, his blood work is fantastic, he is stronger, he has more endurance, he feels better, he is more mobile and he has dramatically reduced his risk of a variety of dangerous health conditions. The opinions of those who do not understand his journey or purpose are meaningless.

This can be a dangerous time in his transformation. I am glad we have addressed it before it becomes a problem.

This is part of the process for losing 100 or more pounds and keeping it off forever. It is less about the exercise and food and more about the mindset and knowledge. The mind must change before the body. And, both must continue to change, adapt and overcome.

You can’t learn that in Zumba class!!!

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