The Spark - Chapter 1
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Well, I just finished reading Chapter 1 this morning, while doing my morning workout on the exercise bike. You know, none of this stuff is new, and yet it feels new. Why?
I think one of the reasons is that Chris chose to use his gift, and in my humble opinion, what he has is a gift, to help other people. Sure, he's framed it all in his own career path and plan, and earning a living is part of any career path and plan, but his primary motivation certainly seems to be sharing his vision, which is really a lifestyle, with others. Not just any others, others who have such horrible self images, who are caught in that circular world of trying to lose weight, not succeeding, and eating more, and becoming more and more isolated from all the things they need more than anything to actually succeed.. The heavier they become, the greater the need, yet greater the isolation and the more daunting the task ahead.
These are the people that society, for the most part, blames for their situation of being overweight.. That society views as being lazy or weak and unable to just stop eating. I doubt there is anyone reading this who hasn't either been the target of those looks or, perhaps, even the giver of one of those looks. But Chris gives overweight people dignity. He starts from a place that recognizes that not every person who is overweight got that way by sitting around eating bon bons. He does not pre-judge them, as much of our society does. He just wants to help them. And he gives them hope and a plan for life. Not a biggest loser type "you have to spend 6 hours a day in the gym, killing yourself." Not a "let's just take a knife and cut your stomach open and tie it off so you won't eat as much." Not a "here's a liquid diet for you to follow for the next however long." Not a "here's a diet in which you can eat 1,000 calories a day and by the way, no...choose it: no carbs, no fat , no whatever..."
None of that. Chris says, start a little streak. 10 minutes a day will lead to 20 minutes a day. Maybe not tomorrow, but sooner than you'd believe. And you'll start to feel better, and when you feel better, you'll do better. You'll want to exercise more and you will. You'll start paying attention to what you're eating and incluude healthier choices in your daily foot intake. And you'll want to do even more and then you will.... And this isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle.
Why isn't this new? Because much of the "program" of SP has been used forever to help people that society views as in need of modification: drug addicts, alcoholics.. Or, the lifestyle changes of SP have long been used to help people with "conditions" that no one ever blamed them for, such as diabetes or arthritis, lifestyle changes have made a world of difference for these folks.. So the program isn't new, but the application of it to overweight people says: we no longer blame fat people for being fat, we just want to help them get fit.. And Chris Downie has made a career out of saying that and reaching out and helping millions. And as one of those millions, I just say thank you for taking that talent and putting it to use the way you have.