Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ready for Summer Mini Challenge #4: Paying it Forward

Anyone who has followed my weight loss journey--on my old blog or this one--knows I believe in being supportive, being cooperative, and paying it forward.

I have learned from previous WL bloggers, from their peaks and valleys, successes and failures;  so I tried to blog useful stuff--not just from MY experience, but from the experience of others and research and books, etc. And I blog my setbacks.

We all have both--successes and setbacks, and we learn from it all. It's worth sharing.

But I do believe in helping those on the same hard journey: I designed and led/co-led multiple challenges, all of which took time and effort, in order to help others the way I felt helped (but added my own touches that I thought were helpful).

I think when we've achieved some epiphanies or made some progress and learned a few things (knowing it's never all and learning is ongoing), there is a sense where we should try to help. Even if it's just saying, "Here I am, what I've done: You can do this. It's possible."

I put up my unattractive Phat Pilates pictures back in 2010 on my old blog, then here in this newer one, because I could not find good info on dealing with obese Pilates clients. I wanted to see folks as big as me...and they weren't out there. So, I put them up. And my message is: "Don't be afraid to try this exercise if you are big. It can be modified. You can do it!" And I left messages at Pilates sites to tell trainers, 'Please learn how to modify for the obese. Learn to reach out to them. It's intimidating for us big folks to enter a gym or studio. Make us welcome. Learn how to work with our larger bodies."

I've seen progress made slowly with Pilates trainers online talking about obese clients (finally). My own trainer had me as a guinea pig, and she can take on big clients now fearlessly.

I want to encourage every big lady out there--middle aged and older, especially--to realize it's not too late to address our weight issues. It's not too late to take up exercise.

If I've been of help to you--with my blog, my Pilates pics, my challenges-- that was my way of thanking the few bloggers who were special encouragement to ME as I began to tackle this issue.

I try to be of help in real life, too. I smile and give thumbs up when I see heavy folks struggling to work out. I look up nutritional plans for people in my family with particular health issues. I post encouragement at other blogs. I post encouragment and study links on Facebook.

I want to be a small little voice in my corner here trying to help my nation move away from the self-destructiveness of our junk food addictions and sedentary propensities. I want my country to thrive (and the whole world, too, which is why we sponsor African and Asian kids to have education, meals, medical care).

Every little voice, on blogs and in real life, offering hope and information and encouragement is one more push to the tipping point to a better world. Every voice counts.

My spiritual gifts were identified years ago--by me and others. Teaching. Exhortation. So, that tends to be how it manifests in my life (online, IRL). I like learning. I like reading. I like sharing information. I like cheering people on to do better. Including ME. :D I cheer myself on. I like to give kind kicks in the butt. I like receiving kind kicks in the butt. It's how I function. I pay it forward with encouragement, information, and trying to be as annoying, rambly real as I am. :D

Be real. Be you. Share your abilities. Help us go forward a bit more... That's my advice for all in the challenge. Share what helps you most and what doesn't. Share your highs and lows. And be honest. We all gain something from human genuineness.

I like the accountability and self-directedness of the RfS challenge. We have to link up. We make our own goals. Our leader is optimistic, energetic, active, and is wanting what we all want: to improve our health and fitness levels and lose weight doing it. I'm glad I joined in. I may not make the progress some others will (we're all different and at different stages in this journey), but being with like-minded folks is a way to keep our focus and remember that OUR GOALS MATTER.

Community matters in weight least, I've found this. We are not alone.

Let's all pay if forward...


Maren said...

I absolutely loved this post. You are paying it forward in so many ways. Your pilates pictures has made me believe that it is possible, even for me.

I also want to thank you for your kind words. I am truly happy that you like the challenge!

Nanette said...

mmmm... propensity! I love that word. :)

I love that your blog is more than a blog, your blog is a resource. seriously... links to sites, recommendations, books, websites. I'm glad I found it.

Thank you for sharing you and all the lovely things you know and have found. :)

safire said...

Super inspirational! Congratulations :) with EVERYTHING!

Betty WSch. said...

And you are doing such a good job, paying it forward. If it weren't for you and the challenges I joined I'd still be 20 lbs or more heavier. I owe you a lot and I love reading your insights.
Lets keep on fighting! We can do it!

Bluezy said...

I have a Princess on my shoulder through out this journey. At the desk, on my phone, in my mind and in my heart. You are the best! Thank you for being you!

Beth said...

You do inspire this middle-aged fatgirl!

PlumPetals said...

How pilates photos are truly inspirational. When I first saw them, I didn't notice the weight or anything like that - I saw a fit woman doing these exercises.

Getting to the gym, trying out new exercises, and in fact any part of starting this challenging weight loss journey is scary. Providing motivation and encouragement is indeed a way to pay it forward.

I think you're doing an amazing job - no doubt your efforts have been paid forward :)

Super Earthling said...

What a wonderful post! I couldn't agree more with what you said. :)

-- Susan

Beth said...

Yes, I loved this post as well.

Your pilates photos were one of the first things that I looked at - I loved them!

I wish I could offer more encouragement to others but I have to get myself out of this funk first. One step at a time.

Thanks for being a support to me. Muah.


Jane Cartelli said...

Beautifully written post. Trainers need re-training. Obese people are not there to show off their physiques or socialize with their friends. They know they are trying to save their lives. Some encouragement and acceptance is very helpful. I wouldn't stay in a church community that did not love and accept me and everyone else as I am today. Why would I give more leeway to a gym who ignored the needs of someone who was obese?

You are an encouraging voice in our world!

Lyn said...

And I will take this moment to thank you for your kind support for all these years! You have made a difference, even though you may not always see it. Thank you!

Treadmill Hiker said...

Absolutely wonderful. I can't help but genuinely, truly like you. (Is that weird for a blogger?? Ah, who cares.)

Deb Willbefree said...

Thanks, Princess. Love your heart.


Beth said...

Hope you doing ok - it's been 6 days since last post and just thinking of you. I hope that the thyroid is pepping up and that you are feeling some benefit from the recent med adjustment.