Have you ever seen any of the X-Men movies? During an action-packed scene in the latest movie, the Captain of a naval vessel shouted out a line that really spoke to me. As things heightened to a climax in the standoff he turned and yelled to someone else in the room, ''Gun Boss, prepare to fire!'' Why on earth would that ''speak'' to me, you wonder?
For almost four years, I have been personally engaged in a battle to fight my way healthy from a state of morbid obesity. I embrace the idea of having lots of weapons at my disposal to aid me in the battle. (I mean no offense to anyone by using a military example of a battle. It’s just something that is very clear to me in my mind.) What if that Gun Boss had been unprepared to engage in the battle? What if he had forgotten to load the missiles onto the ship when it was in harbor? What if he had failed to prepare his staff to know how to maintain them, and load them when the time came? That crew wouldn’t have stood a chance to defend themselves. There wasn’t time in that moment to go back and do any of those things. Either he was ready or he was going to lose.
The position of Gun Boss was critical in that scenario, and it reminds me that I am in a similar position in my own struggle to health. If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you’ll know that I consider preparedness to be critical to success. Using all that is available to us to be prepared in that moment when you need to be your own Gun Boss. What can you do to be prepared on a day to day basis to fight the battle against the bulge?
As I look back over the time that I’ve been working on my goals, I find that there are several tools, or ''weapons'' that have always been critical to my success. Being honest and open about what I am working on has been one of the biggest success factors for me. It would have been easy to decide to try and work it out on my own without letting anyone know what I was doing. I’ve done that before and I didn’t find it successful. I mean really, it’s not like it wasn’t obvious that I was seriously overweight and needed to exercise and eat better. Who did I think I was hiding it from? So the first weapon that I chose was to be honest with myself and with other people about where I was and what I needed to do. This allowed me to find others who would either participate with me, or support me in my endeavor.
The second tool to success is to have some people that you can be committed to that will travel this road with you. The Gun Boss didn’t do all the work alone. He had a team to help with all the weapons and the process. I would like to think that I’d be strong enough to do it on my own, but sadly, that is not the case. Isn’t there a song that says no man is an island, no man stands alone? That was evident to me as recently as the day before I typed this article. I ran another 5k with my daughter and my best friend. I started a new weight routine the week before the race. It was the first time in the nine months post shoulder surgery that I actually worked out with very light weights for my chest and some other upper body muscles. I was sore and the night before the race was sleeping on a large ice pack. I didn’t sleep well and when it came time to get up in the morning I was anything but anxious to get ready in the dark, chilly temperatures to go outside and run. Left to my own devices, I would have gone back to bed as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. There have been many races where I wouldn’t have been there if my best friend wasn’t signed up to run with me, and the same is true for her. A few days before the race, my friend actually had a shot in her knee, so I’m sure she wasn’t all that eager, either. But two ropes bound together are stronger than when on their own, and we ran it for each other.
It turned out to be a beautiful day with lots of laughs and fun. As I was running down the hill to the finish line I thought to myself, ''Thank God I had two people to do this with me and get me out of bed!'' Without them, I would have lost the opportunity for that great experience. I also have a very close knit group of Sparkers that I am committed to and many times their posts, texts, and words of encouragement have gotten me back on track. Don’t use the excuse of not having anyone in your area because these virtual friends of mine have been just as helpful many times--and some of them are on other continents and we’ve never met face to face. Are you on an active SparkTeam? Are you committed to anyone to report in to and keep them updated on your goals and efforts?
To me, honesty, commitment, and shared experiences have been crucial on my journey. Commit to a team, join a Spark Live meeting, or get a friend involved in your quest with you—no matter how you do it, reach out and connect with someone. Find strength from others in the heat of the fight so that your weapons will be ready and you can win. Be honest with those around you so that you can ask for help when you need to.
Are you a prepared Gun Boss in your own battle, or do you need to reflect honestly that there is some work to do? Do you have support around you in your life, or on SparkPeople? What steps can you take today to be prepared this week to fight the battle against the bulge?
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