Ben

What took you so long

Words I said I would say to myself when I got to this point. While my journey is far from over, I have reminded myself of that quote since I started. I’ve always been an optimist. So when I say I was a happy fat kid, I really was a happy fat kid. I never looked at my weight gain and got depressed. In fact, I viewed my weight gain as a statement of success. I was “livin’ la vida loca”. One of my best friends would ask me if I’d like to go for a jog or hike and I’d reply “nah, Im living.” How wrong I was. So I chose to “live” some more the way I defined “living”.

October 2012: I came to a crossroads. Superstorm Sandy and a loss of a job took me to a surreal peace that made me look at myself and say, “its time to practice what you preach.” A huge portion of what balances me is the expression of inspiration. For the past 5 years, I’ve shared my thoughts and point of views in email form to friends and family. I believed that if I could relate organically written content to others, success and happiness would come. What I found was that happiness came when I received emails of gratitude because my words inspired that individual to keep going or appreciate life a little more and my success was every week I accomplished my goals.

It was then and only then, that I realized what “living” truly was. Giving was living and I had to embrace the words I wrote and begin practicing what I had been preaching. It was time to change the course of my tomorrow. So, I walked in to a small studio seeking support, guidance, structure. I knew that while I loved chaos, a solid foundation was needed to build a  better me.

Greeted with a warm and welcoming smile, Karen and I met for the first time. We talked about life’s ups and downs. It was then that that surreal feeling of comfort came over me again and I knew I was at the right place, at the right time and I was excited for the unknown. At some point during our conversation, Anthony chimed in and asked me if I wanted to be a part of this movement he called “PROJECT MY LIFE”. His vision was clear, like minded individuals motivating and inspiring each other. His intent, to change the world, one life at a time. It was like the universe had set a course for limitless possibilities and I was being asked to pioneer it with a fellow visionary.

So began my journey.   Winter 2013: As I began to reflect on the journey, I yearned for adventure again. So I learned to ski. It was while taking a gnarly spill that I embraced one of the most pivotal lessons you must accept in life; “no matter what you will stumble and fall along the way….but you cant stay down…you must get up and keep trying, never accept defeat.” No matter how many times I fell I was determined to get off the bunny slope. The correlation was manifesting itself every time I forgot “pizza & french fries” (beginner ski cues) I had to get up. I had to get over the fear of falling. The fear of looking foolish. The fear of exposing my vulnerability. I had to get down the hill. So I tried again and again until finally I made it down without losing my skies and dignity. Something happened though…i missed falling, i missed the feeling of uncertainty and questioned my tenacity. I needed to push myself to never forget the full spectrum of living. The fall is just as important as the rise. You just learn differently from each experience.

As 2013 continued to provide me with opportunities to grow and experience challenges I never had, I found that my support structure was a key component to my success thus far. Karen continually celebrating the scale and non-scale victories and Anthony’s continuous motivating words kept me focused. Friends and families gave testimonials of their observations and the impact my journey had made on them. The euphoric feeling of humbleness engulfed every fiber of my body. A wonderful reminder of others taking notice of my vision. May 2014: As I look ahead all the while reflecting on the past, I am forever grateful for the love and support given to me throughout this journey. Each individual Ive met along the way has inspired me to accept the ups & downs, to love the life Ive been given; to have courage as  I continue this process and most importantly enjoy “living”!

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