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Who’s in your cheering section?

January 12th, 2011 2 comments

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us…
Hebrews 12.1 (NET)

I’ve had enough number crunching posts that I’ve bored one of my most favorite readers, and I can’t afford to lose her and cut my numbers in half!  So I’m going to write on something else that has been extremely helpful to my race. A cheering section.

Admittedly, there is one person I credit towards getting me off the starting line, my wife Angie.  Last year she started WeightWatchers, and she needed my support.  She told me if she was going to be successful, she needed to know that I was in it with her.  I joined WeightWatchers and started logging my points and began to see progress without much of a feeling of starvation.

But there are several others that had an influence in me as I started down the track.  I am an avid consumer of the social media, at present I have connections to my family, high school friends, church family and a great host of online friends that share my passion for LOST and other quality television shows.  Some of those friends had shared their successes and challenges with getting in shape and losing weight with their community of friends, and I was blessed to be a witness to some very encouraging stories.

Social Network Connections
Facebook 570
Twitter 1552
Lose It 109

The table to the right shows my connections to date, and I do not post those to brag, but as a reminder and encouragement to myself that I have a great number of friends that are watching and encouraging me in my race.  I also use two other sites, RunKeeper and DailyMile to track my exercise and have found more friends and partners on those sites.

Their commitment and motivation to their races, only fuels my motivation to keep on trucking in my race. It always so encouraging and humbling when I have a good day, or good weigh-in to have many of my friends comment and congratulate my progress.  It’s heartening and welcome to get friendly reminders from my contacts when I struggle or have an off day.  Their mere presence sometimes makes me want to shed the “stuff” that can easily clog my mind and thoughts and let them drop aside as I continue my progress.

image There is a chapter in the Lose It! book entitled Do These Friends Make Me Look Fat? that examines the importance of the social network around us.  It cites studies that show a correlation between our relationships and our waistline. That doesn’t mean I need to drop all my fat friends and go find some healthy thin friends.  The encouragement is this: When you start to lose weight, and share it with your friends, they start to examine themselves and they start to change.  By taking control of our lives, and sharing it openly, a butterfly effect kicks off with those around us, and we might not even consciously know it.

Online social media sites are so prevalent and such a interesting tool to use, so I’ve begun to remind my self that even though I might think that I’m insignificant (self-worth is one of those things I struggle with) I have a lot of people watching me.  I’m thankful to all my friends (online and offline) that share their interests in music, movies, pop-culture, religion, faith, nutrition, exercise and a genuine joi de vive! that I only hope I can influence them a fraction of the impact they had on me.

So, the weight-loss key for today, and the challenge to you, is to share.  Share where you are now, and share where you want to be.  Whether it is your neighbor, a relative, or just randomly tweet it or facebook post it.  Share your goals, and then start working to make them a reality.

For me, I still have a ways to go, so this is my reminder.  One-hundred and five pounds left to go!  Thanks for giving me the daily pushes I need to know that isn’t impossible.

Left Behind Pizza

April 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Around 10 years ago, probably closer to 9 and a half, I started posting on a message board for fans of the Left Behind series of books.

Well before the worlds of tweets, facebooks status updates, and blog trackbacks, message boards were how I interacted with the masses of people that shared a common interest.

This community shared an interest in christian themes, but had a bit of disfunction running through it. A group of us split off and thanks to the husband of one of our members, started our own message board. Heady times before the onslaught of social media, to have an almost instant community of friends.

The message board still exists. Sometimes I even, post there. But largely the community has moved on. I moved on to blogging, and that has had it’s ebbs and flows. I still keep track of a few of my friends from The Pizza Parlor, as we called it. Some are now facebook friends or twitter followers. Many are just faded Yahoo! Messenger nicknames, always hidden because life moves on.

I look back now, fondly, at those sometimes unhealthy times of Internet absorbtion. Who I am today, was formed in the crucible of yesterday. I experienced 9/11 with the people on that bored, formed many opinions based on those interactions. Learned that while I could ‘turn off’ the computer, these people still lived and cared ( well maybe not Melissa, and I sometimes wonder about Wilbo 🙂 ) about me.

Social networking is weird sometimes, I met my wife on a pre-Internet social network. We wrote letters back and forth using emoticons in 1993, while I was on deployment. Social networking is part of who I am.

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