When someone starts a training program with me, it usually just starts out with just here's what to do to eat right and exercise. If you follow this, you WILL lose weight, gain muscle, and/or get better athletically.
After a while, and it's different for everybody, personal stuff comes out. It's OK. Training can help the brain and much as it does the body. Now, I'm no professional psychologist, but I take this part very seriously so that stuff stays private. But, I will tell you, every person that you think has a perfect life probably has more hidden problems than you can dream of.
I can honestly say, that I don't envy anyone. Sure, it may seem that someone else has a better life or had it much easier, but I like who I am...no, I LOVE who I am. I see too many people with millions of dollars, "perfect bodies", tons of "friends", and anything their heart desires. I also see that most, not all but most, are not happy.
I was in wine sales at a very exclusive store in Dallas, TX near Highland Park called Pogo's. Very high end Burgundy's, Italian wines, most of the top California wines, and just about any single malt Scotch you could imagine. The reason I bring this up is that most of the people that shopped there drove Bentleys, Ferraris, Teslas, etc. Many, not all but many, were miserable people. Money didn't buy them happiness, just more grief. I don't know what they've lived through, but I know I did not envy them in the least.
Also, I believe that things happen for a reason and they seem to happen when we are ready to deal with them. Every "job" I lost lead to something better. Every situation in my life that seemed like turmoil, lead to a more peaceful existence.
As many of you know, I used to be 487 pounds and have lost nearly 300 pounds. I was miserable, hated myself, and, quite frankly, wanted to die. I always wondered what my existence even meant to this world. Well, I absolutely know why I'm alive today. Helping other people may not be my only reason, but the timing, I believe, is for a reason...and I'll tell you why in the following paragraph.
About a year ago, I found out something from my cousin that just turned my life upside down. She told me I have a sister I never knew about. At the time, I was 41 years old and grew up in Plano, TX an only child. My parents divorced when I was in elementary school, but stayed friends. Maybe it was because of me, I don't know. But, I knew without a doubt that they both loved me. Now, keep in mind, that I was always told they never wanted more than one child. So, being told I have a sister I never knew about was pretty big! I always wanted a sibling. Granted, I wanted one to play with when I was younger, but I knew I was going to be an only child. I was a little spoiled at times, but my mom and dad, especially mom, worked their asses off to make sure I was provided for. A single mom in the 80's didn't have it easy. Both were school teachers, mom was elementary, dad was a college professor. Mom worked weekends at grocery stores to make ends meet after teaching full time. I was never worried about my next meal or a roof over my head. I also had every educational advantage I could ask for...but I never asked for them haha.
Now, back to my sister. My cousin Collin, called me on siblings day last year and told me it was her mom's (my mom's sister) dying wish that I find out about my sister. I then called my one surviving aunt on my mom's side to verify this and, sure enough, holy schnikes, it's true! She was born about 5 years before me, same mom and dad, and given up for adoption because my parents were not yet married and finishing college.
I had little information to go on and also had to figure out a way to tell my parents I knew. I talked to some friends and most asked why I wasn't mad? I'm freaking thrilled, not mad! I have a sister! I always wanted a sibling and dang it, I have one now! I asked mom first and she verified that it was true and she could never figure out a way to tell me. Well, this was as good a way as any, in my book. Then I let dad know and he just said that he thought he'd be dead before I ever found out!
Here's the kicker...it only took me 2 weeks to find her. A friend helped (one of those people, that while extremely rich, I wouldn't trade lives with for anything) and had a colleague of his do some investigating. He narrowed it to 3 people and thought it would be best for me to to the contacting. Well, I found her! Now, it was time to see if she even wanted to be contacted. We were both nervous and, after time, warmed up to each other. Her name is Abby and she grew up in Iowa, where my parents gave birth to her.
The next problem was that she now lives in The NETHERLANDS! What? I finally found her and she lives 7 time zones away? WTH? Well, it turns out she had planned a trip to the USA to visit her adoptive parents and extended the trip to come to Texas to visit us. She even has a couple of cousins in Austin! So, we found each other in March and met in April, 2014!
What the heck does this have to do with what I talked about earlier with skeletons in the closet? My mom was carrying this for about 45 years! Once it was out, I could tell she was a changed person. There were no more secrets eating her up inside. Sure she took it hard and cried, but it was good. It was cleansing. Now it's all out (at least that I know of haha). She's a much happier person.
As far as me, I said before that things happen for a reason and the timing is for a reason as well. If this was 2003 when I was 487 pounds, I would have NOT been happy about this. I would have been embarrassed to meet my sister and would have hated myself more than I already did. Because I lost my weight and was in a better place with my wife, Karin, the timing was the best it could possibly be!
You see, I have a sister named Abby. She is the coolest, smartest (yes she's almost too freaking smart), prettiest, funniest, and best person I could ask for in my life. I just wish she didn't live so far away. We bonded on her visit and there was no doubt that we were related (sorry Abby, I win on getting the better deal. Not much to brag about with me being your brother...kidding).
I wouldn't wish the pain my mom went through on anyone. So, when you see someone who may think has the best life imaginable, remember, everyone has skeletons in their closet. Be happy with who you are and where you've been. You're the best you that YOU have! And it is probably better than anyone you could trade with!
Heres some pictures of Abby's visit with us: