Sunday, October 19, 2014

Beware of Reckless Drivers

OK, so I know that I have talked about “Road Rage” in the past, but that was mainly about anonymous hating focused on people whom I have never met simply trying to live their lives. I want to address the reckless drivers out there who pose a specific threat to my personal journey. There is no doubt that the internet offers a certain level of anonymity that has been the downfall of basic human kindness. I guess it’s the internet. I’d prefer not to think that the bully mentality that is so prevalent today is not because Homo sapiens suck, in general, as a species.

Anyway, as I was saying, I’ve dragged my soap box out previously to discuss how people can bash random people for being “chunky” or “fat” or any other derogatory term that indicates someone doesn’t meet the impossible standards that Hollywood— in it’s infinite wisdom— has set for how women should look. What I never expected to be discussing was how I have suddenly been subjected to some of this anonymous, random internet trolling (I believe a radio show known as The Kane Show refers to it as the 1% Effect: no matter how positive a story, there’s 1% of the population that will still find something negative to say.)

 When the story of my journey was published on CNN’s website and then, subsequently, around the world, I never dreamed that I would be reading negative comments about me. What I’ve come to realize through this entire ordeal is that I am a much stronger person than I could have imagined. Reading what these reckless drivers are saying actually amuses me and spurs me on to continue to succeed. People who say I will gain all my weight back in a year because diets don’t work or those who think it’s so easy to lose 150+ pounds and they don’t understand why it took me 2 1/2 years. Really? While I would really like to address each and every naysayer, I realized...who cares what they think? They are just sitting at their keyboards, hating their own lives hoping to lash out at any success that they see in hopes of derailing, or emotionally stunting, the ones who have had the success. Well, guess what? It’s not gonna work! Much like keeping a weary eye on the driver who is weaving in and out of traffic, with little regard to his own safety or that of the other drivers on the road around him, I will have to learn to be vigilant, keep my eyes wide open and stay alert and shake it off. I never, in a million years, thought I would understand where Taylor Swift was coming from!

Who knows if there will be more spotlights shining on me in the future. If there are, then that means more detractors. As long as I learn my lesson now, I should be able to navigate the crazy drivers that are sure to be on the road ahead and make sure that I stay clear of any collisions that they may cause.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Maintaining Control of Your Vehicle

Over the years, one thing I've learned about driving is that you have to maintain control of your vehicle. Whether it’s staying (relatively) within the speed limit, not texting and driving or keeping it on the road and between the lines, it makes for a much safer journey when you have everything under control. And just as I had to learn my road lessons through repetition and experience, I am learning that maintaining control of my physical vehicle is going to take patience and time.

It would be wonderful if I could just get up every day and not have to think about what I’m doing to maintain my healthy lifestyle, but that’s not the case. I certainly don’t want anyone reading this to think that any part of this experience has been easy. Getting started was tough, losing the weight was difficult and maintaining has certainly given me moments where I felt I could lose control. But, I've also learned that I am the one who has to remain in the driver’s seat, as being a passenger, by it’s very definition, means I would be surrendering the control.

The biggest lesson in this experience is that life will present us with challenges at every opportunity and we have to face them, like staring down a fire-breathing dragon. Sometimes we have to run and hide from the dragon and sometimes we win the battle, but it’s important to come back ready to fight after those times where we don’t win.  As long as you are the one in control of getting back in the fight, you will always come out on top.

People often ask me how I deal with the “food-pushers” or the “saboteurs”. This is how I do it...knowing that I have to be the one who maintains control of my vehicle. If I were to allow others to take over, I would be at their mercy and there is no telling where I’d end up. Remember, this is your journey. Why would you allow someone else to be in control of it?