Commit to Fit | Week 6

Author | Commit to Fit 2012 Winner, Karl Mason

Last week I was making the time to stop to smell the tiny roses I found beginning to blossom in my life garden, to appreciate and be thankful for the changes happening. This week, I found out that I have actually been unknowingly planting seeds of inspiration in other people’s gardens…and it has made me reflect on how I have cultivated my own life garden over the years.

I have received emails and texts from people that have been following the blog posts who are offering me details of their own struggles and battle with weight and healthy living. One gentleman wrote: “…I read your blogs and cried. I have been carrying so much pain and suffering in my heart from being overweight and have basically refused to face the real me…I realized it starts with a single step and I have made that step today. I went for a walk and it didn’t kill me. I thought if you [Karl] can do it, I can do it too! Karl, I did it on my own but you have absolutely motivated me! Thank you sincerely….”  WOW! Imagine my surprise – and joy – at reading this! I felt overwhelmed. Was I really able to offer inspiration to someone else? Yes, I am…and I am proud of that. Like the gentleman who wrote me, I am taking one step at a time and moving in the right direction. One step eventually becomes 10,000 then more and more. The journey never stops. In addition to the strong emotions I felt from that email, I feel a certain sense of responsibility too. Responsibility to not only myself but also to all those that have struggled, been uncertain and felt abandoned or overwhelmed at the process and of possibilities a healthy life. I want to be an example to them that healthy living and a healthy mental state can be achieved – as long as one commits to not abandoning one’s self along the way.

Not abandoning yourself is the real challenge. This has been my struggle. I was in therapy for a while with a great therapist, let’s call her S, but I didn’t’ really allow her “in.” I was guarded and reserved and thought I cannot open up to another person only be abandoned at some point in the future. My diagnosis: Abandonment Issues stemming from childhood trauma. Really? I didn’t want to be hurt again in my life. With S, I was projecting ahead to something that probably would have never happened…that never did happen. My attitude was a disservice to myself and to the work S was offering me to participate in. I eventually stopped seeing S – abandoned her – and chalked it up to a bunch of bogus excuses. It was only after a year of thinking on it did I have any real perspective on it. I never got up the courage to tell S the truth but one day I hope to. Regardless, I do want to apologize to S. Little did S ever know she taught me so much more to think about and resolve than I let on. I was a weed in my own personal garden I couldn’t get rid of- and I almost chocked myself out of happiness!

In the end, I am only responsible for the cultivation of myself – as each of us is. While we may or may not have a support system in place, I have realized I have to be my own best support system to the best of my abilities given the tools I have. If I am not, how can I ever support or offer inspiration to anyone else? It’s not possible. I am blessed to have in place an active, loving and reliable support system of family and close friends – and now new friends! I am not afraid to use the resources life places in front of me to achieve my goals - be it a Susan, a Trainer, a Nutritionist, a new friend, a close friend that I have fallen out of contact with but in process of reconnecting with…and most importantly, myself. I hope to continue to inspire others as I continue through this Commit to Fit journey. Even if no one else is inspired, I have the joy of knowing I made a difference to one man. How much better the world would be if we all could be that inspiration to just one person – even if it’s only yourself.

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