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The Weight We Carry

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America says it wants to lose weight. It’s ranked as the #1 type of New Year’s Resolution. So what will it take to actually make it happen?

As you saw in Carole’s post yesterday, the statistics are in.  America really wants to lose weight (by orders of magnitude).

I know a thing or two about this – in fact I’m sharing something that I was both shocked and inspired to see when I was editing this video for One Simple Shift two days ago:


Four years ago, I was tipping the scale at over 300 pounds.  I actually couldn’t tell you exactly what I weighed, because I was so ashamed and afraid to step on to a scale that I wasn’t even willing to get on and look.  Shame and fear were actually my primary drivers at that point.  I would say that I didn’t really know “how to eat,” I wasn’t open to new experiences, and most of all I just saw the general act of eating in general as a big inconvenience.

My typical daily routine looked something like this:

  • Wake up tired, drink 17 gallons of coffee.
  • Go into work to perform at the highest level possible.  Don’t pay much attention to my body or myself.
  • Around 1 or 2 realize I was hungry.  Perhaps run and get something or perhaps not.  Just depended on how busy I was that day.
  • Finish the day and realize I was now starving.  Stop somewhere on the way home.  Grab way more food than I needed because I was starving.

I didn’t kid myself, as I’m sure many of you don’t, that what I was doing was healthy.  That said, “health” wasn’t truly a motivator for me.  Sure, it was a great concept.  I’m sure that at some point, people wondered if I was ever going to get healthy.

The moment of transformation happened based on a total fluke, which had nothing to do with health, wellness, focus, or even attention.  I was sitting at a table with a good friend, ready to have a drink and start a big event the next day.  I noticed that he wasn’t drinking.  I got curious.  He mentioned something about his health, dieting, and how he was actually not planning to party too hard at the event.  Being who I am, I realized that there was no way that I was going to be the jerk that acted unhealthy in front of him or sabotaged what he was doing.

The self-awareness that came in that moment was enormous.  If there was One Simple Shift, that was the moment where it truly came into focus.  I simply hadn’t been present or aware of myself, this behavior, or any of it.  I certainly didn’t have the level of consciousness to identify the pattern, let alone have the presence to want to change it entirely.

The conversation resulted expanded and ended up involved in a 90 day wager with a larger group of friends and colleagues.  It was helpful, because now this awareness was everywhere in my daily being.

The most important shift wasn’t a driving passion.  It wasn’t a massive vision.  It wasn’t grand connection to a concept or idea much larger than myself.  These can be grand causes to a lot of people, but they certainly didn’t hold a lot of meaning to me when it came to weight.

Now I was aware.  Through that awareness came the transformation.

Every plate of food I ate looked different.  Every time I’d look at the message board I’d created to track the contest, I had the reminder.  Instead of trying one MASSIVE change, which I had tried so many times before, I committed to the idea of one new action each week.

A lot of this is actually why what we’re sharing is called One Simple Shift.  


Because the mechanism to create transformation starts simply.  It starts as an idea that lives within us somewhere.  It’s the flicker of a candle in a familiar room.  It’s a reminder that makes us remember what we truly want.  Sure, that candle can roar into a huge light that illuminates the world.  Yet someone has to light the candle first.

For me, it started with one simple observation, which led to one simple conversation, which led to a total change in my lifestyle.

What will it be for you?

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