A Parable and Admission
I knew that my pants were getting tighter. Somehow, in my mind I made up this story about how the dry cleaners were behind it. And then all the mirrors I looked in were misshaped. Everywhere. Maybe it was some kind of a conspiracy in my mind that never quite made it to my consciousness. But those of us that suffer with huge egos understand that denial of reality can run deep!
Yes, true story. This was 2007 and I was 25 pounds heavier than I had ever been and I did not know it. I somehow thought I had the same athletic body that I had during my college days. I did not know that I had gained 25 pounds of fat! That is, I did not realize it until that fated first day of vacation in Costa Rica with my colleague Dr. Brian Paris.
Dr. Paris and I had gone to the same chiropractic college at Life University in Marietta, Georgia. Although I was a few years his mentor, we collaborated on various projects in sports physiology, wellness, nutrition, and posture rehabilitation. I asked Brian to join me for a surf trip where we could relax, recharge and also get inspired. What I did not expect when we got together was giant dose of reality.
A few moments after we arrived at the hotel I suggested we go right to the ocean for a surf. He agreed. I changed and met him at the beach. Surfboard in hand, he stood there for a moment in silence, looked me up and down and then exclaimed in very clear Spanish: “Dude, Tu eres gordo!” which in English translates very directly to: “Dude, you are fat!” Knowing a little bit of Spanish, and with the ego as strong as a bull, I laughed it off as a joke and we went for a surf. Me fat? Ha! I am a doctor and owner of a wellness center. There is no way!
As I stood in front of my hotel room mirror later that day, I realized something…. The mirror was not misshaped. It was sturdily fastened to the wall without any compromise to its integrity. I looked down at the protruded gut below me. Wow. Reality.
I learned two things that day. One, Dr. Paris loves me. Two, I was off track in my life. I was off track in my commitment to my health.
Dr. Paris called it as he saw it. A friend who had lost his way. “Dude – Tu eres gordo”
Some call it brutal honesty. I call it a wake up call that became the catalyst to turn my life around. Within 3 months I lost those 25 pounds of fat that I insidiously gained over the course of the previous 5 years. And that was 2007. Now 7 years later, I have kept the weight off and have not seen any fluctuations (no ups and downs with the weight) since the initial fat/weight loss. My dry cleaners continue to do a good job and all of the mirrors I come across are in order.