Greener on the Other Side

By , SparkPeople Blogger
''Yikes! It is hard to believe, huh?! We lived through it and didn't realize how bad it was until we were on this side of it.''

That is an exact quote from my wife about the pictures you see.

I’m not sure if it’s funny or sad that sometimes we are so busy with life that we fail to pay attention to ourselves. Isn’t that how it works most of the time? I know the women would agree with me, but what about the men out there? How many men out there are so caught up in their career or caught up in other activities that they don’t’ even realize what has happened to their bodies?

Maybe it’s not even our schedules that allow us to let ourselves go. Sometimes it’s nothing more than the fact that we get comfortable with ourselves and don’t even realize what’s happening to our shapes--and, more importantly, what’s happening to our health.

For me, it was really a combination of factors. Before moving to Texas, I was very active due to the fact that I worked with middle school and high school kids a lot.  That alone kept me moving and helped maintained my health and weight. When my wife and I moved to Texas, I changed careers totally, taking more of a desk job.  This is when I became less active and the slow weight gain started. A few years later, the loss of my mother triggered a very dark time of depression and emotional eating. Slowly, my weight climbed, and I was in denial about it all the while. I didn’t go to the doctor for anything other than pain, which ironically was related to my weight. I had problems with my hips being sore and neck problems from the way I was sleeping, all due to my weight.

Sometimes, health declines so slowly that we honestly just don’t notice it or pay attention to it. There is also a misconception among some folks that this is natural as we get older.  I’m here to tell you that this is a lie.  It’s not natural for our bodies to carry an extra 20, 40, 80 pounds around all day.  I know this now that I’m on 'the other side'.

Fortunately, I have lived through it and I can tell you that it really is greener on the other side.  There is a way to lead a busy life in a healthy way. I’m not going to accept excuses anymore. Sure, some days are harder than others; I totally understand that. LIFE, as they say, happens from time to time. I still have days where life takes over and crashes in like a wave, trying to pull me under. I don’t give in though; I don’t let those days beat me down.

I would like to share a few things I’ve learned about this now that I am on the other side, so to speak.

One of the most important things I’ve learned, or that I am continuously learning, is to live with intention.  I’ve learned that everything I do matters; therefore, I must do it with intention. This includes everything I do, whether it involves time with my family, work, meals, or training.
I’ve also learned that in order to keep up with my wife, two daughters and myself, I must have a schedule or a family calendar. This has become the lifeline of the family. Knowing the who, what, where and when of the Merlau Four helps manage the time we have so much more efficiently.

How about that menu plan that I’ve talked about? Do you think this has had a major impact on my new lifestyle?  Yes, it absolutely has!  How can I live by intention if I’m not taking control of what I’m putting in my body?

What about an intentional exercise schedule? Yep, I have that covered too.

You see Spark Friends, it really is greener on this side of the mountain. Greener because I actually have more time since we keep the family calendar current. I have more energy since we now plan a menu for a week at a time. My family knows what we are eating now, we know how it will fuel our bodies, not just fill them. There were numerous years when I was living without a purpose. Now that I live by intention, everything matters. I’m attempting to build a great legacy of health and wellness for my family.

Yes, it really is greener on the other side and I can’t WAIT to hear other stories of how life is greener for you now that you’re making the changes.

What side of the mountain are YOU on– denial, just getting started or the 'greener' side?  What steps will you take today to get to the healthy side?  Share your story; you may change a person’s life today.

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I'm choosing to live on the greener side too! thanks! Report
Wonderful insight. Thanks for sharing a very thoughtful and thought provoking way of life. Report
Loved it! Report
Thanks Jerome. I'm just beginning (again). And what you had to say was a very good reminder that I need to plan ahead and keep on top of my health, activity and what I eat. It's not going to happen by magic. Thanks! Report
Nice true too. I live on the greener side now. I put myself on the list of things to take care of. Report
I'm intentionally reading your blog today Agent J! Great blog and a great reminder to live on the greener side. I like life on the greener side and am intentionally working not to go back to the dark side. Luke I am your father - oh wait wrong line.

It's worth every intentional effort we make to get and stay healthy. Report
Good advice...the intention part got me too. I live with intention for the day but never thought about it in terms of eating and exercise. I will now! Thanks! Report
Wonderful blog - "live with intention", I'm going to put that on my vision board.

Thank you for sharing. Report
Love it.
Living with intention....great motto.
I am in the 'just beginning' stage. Report
Great blog Jerome! I'm on the greener side and will stay here "intentionally"!!! Report
very inspiring!! I'm on the "just getting started" side, and looking forward to seeing the greener side!! Thanks so much for sharing this! I am going to live each and every day with INTENTION!!! Report
Great blog my friend. As usual you hit so many things right on the head. Thanks for sharing Report
Great blog. Thanks for your wise words. Living with intention... makes a lot of sense. I think sometimes when we're in the fat rut we live with avoidance. I call it the ostrich syndrome, if i bury my head and can't see it (life), it's not happening. That's a terrible way to exist. Anyway, I'm glad to say I'm happily making my way up that mountain, but it doesn't feel like a toil, it feels like a relief. I'm looking forward to seeing you on the other side. :-) Report
LOVED this blog - you hit the nail on the head with this one -the weight gain happens when we stop paying attention to our bodies and instead are focused on "insert your own distraction here". Yes, we definately do need to live with intention and plan our days to ensure we get the nutrition and exercise our bodies and minds need. Thanks for sharing! Report
Way to plan I like the greener side too. I just have a little way to go to get to your level of fitness. Report
getting greener here 2= nice blog Report
Thanks, Jerome, for this inspiring entry!
I have been on the greener side, promised myself never to fall back again and but - over the course of 10 years of LIFE happening - I did anyway. Now I'm back on the track to greener pastures, and hope I will get there again with the help of inspirational spark members like you! Report
Great blog entry--thanks for the perspective! Report
I can't even believe that is you! What a transformation you have gone through!

I'm on the greener side, and I have to give credit to Spark People and especially to your Making it Happen team. Thanks for you encouragement and support. Report
I'm at that place where I know I need to change my eating habits, but I'm just not ready to do the work that it takes. Fitness is much less of a problem for me, but I'm not ready to give up making unhealthy food choices, or simply eating too much. Report

Congrats ! Report
Well writing... Thanks... I am trying to be more intentional and it helps. Report
Great blog!! Commenting from the green side!! :) With a schedule and a meal plan and good times! Report
"Live with intention." Says it all right there, doesn't it? Outstanding! Report
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