Editor's note: This is part 1 of a four-part series. Come back each Monday in January for a new dose of motivation from Jerome, who reclaimed his life and lost 100 pounds using SparkPeople!
According to various dictionaries, the word asleep has several definitions:
Adverb: 1. into a dormant or inactive state. 2. Into the state of death.
Adjective: 1. Sleeping 2. Numb and lastly dead.
There are many people who are completely asleep when it comes to living.
I am not talking about physically lying in bed, eyes closed all day. I am speaking to all those folks who are crazy busy all day. Busy with distractions that disconnect them from memorable conversations, meaningful activities, and mindful eating. Folks who are so busy making it through each day that each week blurs into the next. Don’t get me wrong. We all have crazy weeks. A million things to get done. It is when these day and weeks stretch into months and even years, that we begin to sleep through life. Denial sets in, and we no longer even realize we have stopped living. Denial is an ugly word that means refusing to recognize, acknowledge or believe.
I hear from many members of SparkPeople who joined to help not only themselves but their loved ones as well. Many I hear from are wives who are trying to help their husbands. Some are mothers trying to help their sons, others are siblings trying to help a brother.
Do you notice a pattern here? That’s right, most of the time I hear from members, it’s about a man they love who needs help. It’s about a man who needs to make some changes. In many of these cases, that man is obese, and simply doesn’t seem to care or acknowledge there is a problem with his health. Maybe they have a history of heart disease in their family, maybe there is a history of an early death in their family, whatever the case may be, these stories break my heart every single time!
Many times we men are in denial that we are inactive. Sometimes we do not like going to the doctor, therefore we are in denial about our overall health. How many times have we been asked, "How are you?" and responded with, "I’m doing great"? Can we all acknowledge the fact that we are lying to ourselves and others when we do this? Deep down, we know we aren’t great. Deep down we know there are issues with our health. Deep down we know the reasons for our denial that we do not want to address. Yes, men, sometimes we live in denial that we are sleeping our lives away.
I speak from personal experience when I say that men are in denial. I know because I was in the exact same place. I was in denial about my weight. I hadn’t been to the doctor in a very long time because I was scared of what might be discovered. I was in denial about the fact that I was sleeping my life away. Remember those definitions for asleep? I was dormant, inactive and it scares me to say that ultimately if I hadn’t made some serious changes, I was on my way to an early death.
Men, this is our call to arms. Our wives want us to be healthy and active in their lives. Our children deserve for us to be healthy, they want us to have the energy and ability to play with them. They want us to get out and play with them. Our grandchildren want to get to know grandpa. Our charge is to live again, by having memorable conversations with our loved ones. We need to participate in meaningful activities several times a week, and we need to be mindful about our eating habits. Men, we deserve to be as healthy as our spouse wants us to be. We deserve healthy relationships, with our families, with our co-workers and, yes, even with food!
This is the first blog in a series of four in which I hope to enlighten and share ideas on HOW to WAKE UP and begin to live life again. My next three blogs will give more details and advice about my own personal experience. I’ve come up with three success factors that helped me wake up and live again. It is my desire to share these success factors in detail so they can help YOU as well. If you are one of these brothers, sons or husbands, I challenge you to be courageous enough to step up to the plate and give these factors a try. I challenge you to wake up and live again.
Is there a man in your life who's sleeping through life? Men, how have you made the decision to "wake up" and start living again?
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