10 Things “Skinny” People Take for Granted

Unless you’ve actually been morbidly obese, there’s no way to know the truly hellish consequences that come with it.  The physical health aspects of it are easy to point out, but it’s the non-stop emotional and spiritual beating of everyday life that take the greatest toll.  It was during a recent moment of reflection that it really dawned on me how much different my life is since I started my journey towards health a couple years ago.  Things that once were an emotionally devastating struggle, I normally don’t think twice about now.  I’ve compiled this list simply to give some perspective that may allow you to understand some of the struggles faced by those who are losing their battle with a healthy lifestyle.  Soooo…..here we go!

1.) Tying your shoes…..on top!

Think tying your shoes is no biggie?  Try it with a watermelon in your lap.  For years I wore sandals or dress shoes simply because tying my shoes was a sweat inducing workout that completely wore me out.  When I did wear sneakers, tying them had to be done while sitting with one leg propped up on the opposite knee, which meant the laces were always tied on the side.  One of my first weight loss goals wasn’t a number, but simply to be able to tie my shoes like “normal” people.

2.) Trimming your toe nails

Think tying your shoes is hard……yeah.  Give this a try.

3.) Playing with your kids

One of my greatest motivators stemmed from one my deepest pains.  I was the Dad on the couch that always said “maybe later” or “it’s too hot right now”.  Nothing will ever wash from my memory the constant look of disappointment on my children’s faces.

4.) Anything Outdoors in the summer

When you’re overweight, you sweat. A LOT!  There were many days when I felt like I needed a shower after simply going outside to check the mail or get something out of the car.  If you don’t carry extra deodorant and a change of clothes in your car all summer long just to avoid the embarrassment of looking and smelling like you ran a marathon on the way to a meeting, be grateful!

5.)  Eating in public

Imagine this:  You see two people in a restaurant eating the exact same double cheeseburger and fries meal.  One has an athletic build, the other is 100lbs overweight.  Trust me, whatever just went through mind, showed on your face and every obese person you’ve had that thought about, saw it, felt it, and wanted to go crawl in a hole and hide.  We are well aware of the “that guy should have ordered a salad” look.  It’s hurtful, please stop!

6.) Wearing White 

Remember the sweating problem?  There is a reason most obese people prefer darker colored clothing.  It hides sweat rings!  Oh, and the whole “lean over your plate when you eat” concept…..you guessed it…….don’t have the option of doing that either.  It’s either wear darker colors and carefully balance your spoon, or just wear your napkin like a bib.

7.) Running, of any kind.

The next time you feel the need to judge an obese person who “yells” for their child to come back instead of chasing them down in a store, consider that it’s possible they physically CAN’T DO IT!  When I played Rugby years ago, I was given the nickname “T-Rex” (Big Head, Little Arms reference from the movie Meet the Robinsons) because I couldn’t “reach” out for ball.  Truth was, I was afraid to!  I knew that if I fully extended my arms while trotting across the field my torso would be off balance and I would fall.

8.) Wearing a seatbelt

Seatbelts aren’t the most comfortable devices in the world, regardless of your size, but when it constantly rubs against your stomach and locks from the pressure you put against it, it is excruciating!  Though I personally never had one, I’ve talked with several people who have had seat belt induced anxiety attacks.

9.) Sleeping in a dry bed

Sleep apnea, night sweats, back pain….. it’s a long list.  For many years, I lived on 4-6 hours of sleep a day simply because I couldn’t get comfortable or stop sweating at night.  A/C on, ceiling fan one, and another fan blowing directly on me was the only time I could get some relief.   One of my greatest victories was when Bryn and I “downsized” from a King size bed to a Queen, and had room to spare!

10.) Cleaning and Picking things up

Dirty sock on the floor?  Just bend down and pick it up……if you can.  This task ranks right up there with tying your shoes.  For years, if it was below waist or maybe knee level, chances are I was going to have get creative.  Luckily for me, I was blessed with children who were always by my side and willing to help.  Not sure how I would have made it without them!

Well…..the list could go on, but you get the idea.  Obesity isn’t just a physical ailment, it’s something that comes with incredible emotional baggage.  Hopefully, you’ll remember this list the next time you see someone who is struggling with the journey to a healthier lifestyle.  As I’ve said before, a successful health journey starts in the heart, not in the gym.

Be Blessed

~Scott

A good health journey also requires proper nutrition.  To learn more about the pharmaceutical grade supplements I personally used during my journey (and still use), CLICK HERE!

A Victorious Body

photo 3 (3)I was walking back to the campsite the other day, when my known reality came to an intersection with my new reality.

Let me take you back a few years.

I have been overweight since 2003. I topped out at 230 pounds. I held onto this weight through the years and my last two pregnancies. I stretched my body to its known limits and held it there for years. Then, in 2013, I began to lose weight. As I lost weight, I found skin. The more weight I lost, the more skin there was, just hanging there. I tried to hide it in every way I could. I stood as tall as I could stand. I laid as flat as I could. I tucked my skin into my pants as I sat. Now, 80 pounds lighter, I looked, in my opinion, worse than I did before. My breasts were no longer their former size. They were just a skin remnant of what once was. I had no desire to be seen in less than fully covering clothes. For over a year, I struggled with finding beauty with my new body. I tried lotions, wraps, creams and dreamed of surgery. Truth be told, I knew I would never find what I was looking for in a plastic bottle, or from a scalpel, I just didn’t know how to escape the “flaws” of my new figure.

This was my saggy reality, until the other day.

As I walked back to the campsite, the Lord reminded me why I have a saggy belly and empty breasts. I carried and fed babies, five of them, from my body. I fell into major food addiction, and co-dependency with food. I fed my body to the locusts.

What the Lord had to show me, was that greater than all of those reasons, I have a saggy belly and empty breasts, because I did the hard work and carried these babies, because I was willing to use my body to feed them, because I was willing to face my addiction and conquer it, because I was willing to break up with food and take back what I had fed to the locusts! I have the new less than perfect physique because I did something to change my life. I no longer see those areas as areas to improve or hide. I see them as a reminder of the hard work and time I put in to change my family’s legacy.

So, if you see me sporting a bikini this summer, and you happen to spot that droopy skin, give me a huge smile and a high five, because I am not hiding this victory under a bushel any more!

Blessings to you on your journey!

Bryn

Why is Commitment such a Rarity?

As a speaker and trainer, I get approached constantly with different business ventures and opportunities.  Most of the time, it’s from people I barely know, (which means the “like” and “trust” are not yet established….but that is a different topic altogether) and they are more than eager to share their “opportunity”.  In a recent conversation, I was asked a question that struck a nerve with me, but at the same time, gave clarity to the mindset of most entrepreneurs nowadays.

“So, how long are you are planning on doing this ID Life thing?”

At first, I wanted to respond with something sarcastic, but chose instead to dig a bit into the basis of the question.  “What do you mean?” I asked.   “Well…….”  then came the sales pitch about their company, followed by some questions about my level of success, income, etc..   I quickly dismissed the conversation, but as we parted ways I shared a thought with them.  The companies I choose to represent professionally, are NOT “things” I “do”.

When you stop and think about the phrasing, it speaks volumes about the mindset that many in our culture consider normal.  We live in a fast paced society that is in constant search of some-thing that is bigger, better, shinier, pays better…… the list of excuses could go on for miles.  What it really boils down to is an epidemic of fear that has gripped our society.  We are quick to attach ourselves to a brand, image, or cause that sounds good at the time, but are just as quick to “jump ship” when we don’t get the instant gratification or reward we were expecting.  I spent the majority of my 20’s with that mentality and the roller coaster it sent me on was almost unbearable!  What’s scary about this practice, is it is not limited to financial ventures.  The same mindset has infected our homes, relationships, purchasing habits, and virtually ever other aspect of our day to day life.  Our nation’s divorce rate and debt to income ratio are clear indicators that this is true.

So my question is, why are we so afraid of commitment?  Why is “long term” anything no longer the norm?  In years past, couples married for life and business professionals stayed in their profession for 30-40 years.  Today, people who “stick it out” in a relationship are considered an anomaly and it is near impossible to find people who have been at the same “job” for more than 5-10 years.  I understand that times are changing, but has the notion of lifelong allegiance completely died in our society?

About 5 years ago, I become a student of personal development and decided to get back to the basics.  One of the fundamental traits I noticed successful people have, is they are VERY slow to associate themselves, and incredibly loyal when they finally do.  I took that philosophy to heart and put it into practice in my own life.  The results were miraculous!  Not only am I not always looking over my shoulder, waiting on “the other shoe to drop”, I am confident in my associations and allegiances.  The very few brands I do choose to represent are solid, and are in alignment with ALL of my core values, without exception!

My challenge to each of you reading this today, is to take a long look at the associations and allegiances you have made.  Is it just some “thing” you “do”?  If so, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate!

Good, Fast, & Cheap: A Law of Marketing with a Nutritional Truth

Several years ago, I first heard the law of Good, Fast, and Cheap from a friend of mine who works in graphic design and animation. (Thanks Cheshire!)  The rule is simple:  The options are Good, Fast, and Cheap: You only get to pick TWO!   It’s a simply philosophy really and it holds truth not only in his field, but it carries over into many realms of life.  If you want something good, and you want it fast, chances are it won’t be cheap.  If you want it fast and cheap, it probably won’t be good; and if you want it good and cheap, you’re probably going to be waiting a while.

fast-cheap-goodRecently, I’ve found myself very aware of how this basic law applies to the realm of nutrition.  As someone who spent the better part of my life overweight, I was constantly looking for the “easy way” to regain my health.  What I eventually realized is that I was looking for a trifecta that didn’t exist!  I wanted a long term solution (good); I wanted to see results quickly (fast); AND I wanted to be able to get it for bargain basement pricing (cheap).  

In the nutritional world, as in many other areas of life, this just isn’t possible!  It’s a sad reality, but it is truth…..you get what you pay for!  If you want naturally grown foods that aren’t full of added hormones, chemicals or genetic modifications (or supplements that aren’t loaded with synthetic nutrients and fillers) you’re going to pay more.  If you want to achieve a healthy weight and lifestyle, it’s not going to happen overnight; and if you’re only looking for “quick fix”, you have to be willing to accept that what you are putting in your body may have repercussions down the road.

So when it boils down to basics, the question remains: What are you willing to compromise in order to achieve your health goals?  Are you willing to take your chances on the possible side effects of a quick fix program; or are you willing to invest in what your body really needs to give you a long and healthy life?  For me, the realization was a no brainer, and now…….2 years later and 125 pounds lighter…I’m glad I made the right decision!

~Scott

Want to know what supplements I chose in my health journey? CLICK HERE

The Gift

Yesterday my father came to visit me. A week ago I had a total hysterectomy and I was at home recovering. Before his visit, he asked my husband what he should bring me. My husband recommended roses. Being the agriculturist that he is, he brought me a rose bush. He was proud of his offering. It was a double red knock-out rose bush. He worked for a week to find the perfect one for me. When he pulled out the beautiful flower, I was overwhelmed with joy and pride. There it was; a gift I had never earned, worked for, or deserved. Just out of his own love for me, he brought me this beautiful treasure for me to delight in.

During his visit, he taught me how to properly prune back the overgrown rose bushes I currently owned. I had let them get out of control. I guess I had wanted them to have a fuller, more lavish appearance. The truth was, they were unkempt, more than half dead and rotted. Everyone but me, knew they were not in good shape. Who was I fooling? He showed me how to find the healthiest parts and how to cut back to those places. He instructed me at what angle to prune and when.

One of the things he taught me was to cut back after a bloom has fully blossomed. I had always watched my mom bring in roses that had bloomed. This was always such a gift of color to the house. I never knew there was another purpose to her flower giving. He explained to me that in cutting the blossomed flower back, it not only gave the gift to someone else, it gave room for the rose to multiply in a more healthy, productive way. What a revelation that was! In order for more to grow, living parts had to be cut back. I had left blooms on for so long, again hoping it would give some impression of health and vitality.

Soon after all was planted and properly pruned, Dad left and we were back to life. As the afternoon progressed, my mind lingered back to the rose bush and the lessons I had learned.

Then, last night, as my husband I traveled to a meeting, we discussed the day. It dawned on me why the rose meant so much to me: the gift of the rose was symbolic of God’s love for me. I never earned it. I don’t deserve it. I can’t repay it. He gave it to me out of His love for me, not anything I could have worked for, but simply for me to delight in. The revelations kept washing over me the more we talked. This perfect gift, chosen just for me, is also meant to be shared with others. When blossoms come and fully bloom,  I can snip them off, and share them with others; much like this realization I am sharing with you today. When I am willing to cut out the overgrown and dead parts and quit trying to put on this facade, the simple, healthy beauty will remain. His radiant gift He has given me, in all of its glory, will remain. My job is to water it with the Living Water, provide it with the Light of the World, and as it grows and blossoms, I am to prune it back and share the beauty with others. This is the gift the Lord has made, I will rejoice and delight in it!

~Bryn

The gift from my mentor that I’ll never forget!

There are some days in your life that are etched into the “forever” section of your memory.  Of course there the normal things: the day you graduate, get married, kids birthdays, etc.  Then are the days that you will always remember because those are the days that were “game changers” in your life.  For the past 3 years, I have had the honor of being mentored by a man named Scott Schilling.  We didn’t start off on the best of terms, it was quite awkward actually, but very quickly I knew he had been brought into my life for a specific reason and I now consider him one of my closest and most trusted friends on the planet.

That game changing moment for me came about a year and half ago.  It was a Sunday morning, and I was probably the most stressed I’d been in years.  I called Scott, told him I was on the edge, and he agreed to meet me after he got back from church that morning.   As we sat there at Jason’s Deli, I began to unload all the drama that had transpired over the past few days (don’t even remember now why I was so upset…..).  I think I ranted and complained for about 10-15 minutes straight before he finally looked up from his meal and gave me the gift that has helped me diffuse every bad day I’ve had since then.  The conversation went as follows:

Me: (ranting until I was blue in the face…….followed by a look of desperation.)

Scott:  And??

Me: And what??

Scott: And……what makes you think you’re so special?  Everybody’s got problems in their life, and right now, you’ve got more than normal.  So what?  Do something about it, and get over yourself.

Not sure why, but at that moment……that one word. “And?” caused a complete and total shift in my thinking.  That was the day I finally came to grips with how easy it is to slip into being the VIP at your own Pity Party.  It happens to all of us, and sometimes it happens so fast we don’t even realize we’re doing it.  What it really all boils down to though, is the simple realization that the only way to see a change in your current situation is to stop, hit the reset button, and take a step in a different direction.  It’s ok to have someone you can “vent” to, but understand that once you’ve vented, it’s time to take action and develop a “code word” that is your won reset button.

It’s takes some practice, but I promise you once you have that code word that triggers your brain to reset your thinking, it is incredibly powerful!!!!  I still have my off days, and now when I vent, Scott simply says “ya done?”………I guess that’s stage two of this process!  Oh well, either way, it’s progress and that’s what matters!

Be Blessed~

Scott

Why several Personal Trainers are FURIOUS with me!

Understanding the mindset of someone who has fought a long term struggle with their weight can be tough at times.  Over the past year, I have had some interesting and somewhat heated conversations with several personal trainers and other workout-aholics that can’t stand the methods I am using, successfully, to help others lose weight.  Reality is, there is a huge difference between someone who needs to lose a few pounds or tone up, and someone who feels trapped and hopeless in the obesity that binds them.  So, for all the personal trainers out there who can’t understand why your client turn-over rate is so high with “those people” who you think just gave up or were “quitters”……here’s a bit of clarity for you.  It’s time to understand that we’re not enemies in this quest to help people find health.  We’re allies.  Sometimes though, in order for them to be prepared for you, they need people like me.  Below is a list of “realities” that I have compiled throughout my own journey, as well as while working with others.  Remember, perception is reality, regardless of truth.  In order to help people find change, you must first find out what they perceive to be truth.

1.) Stop saying “trust me” –   Trust is earned, not given.  Nobody cares about the awesome results your imaginary other client had while working with you.  For all we know, you printed that before/after pic off of Google.  Unless that client is there with you, leave them out of the conversation.  If you want to gain trust, you have to be sincere about helping every person in their own unique way.

2.) NO, you don’t “Understand” – If you’ve never been morbidly obese, you have no point of reference as to the amount of physical pain and suffering that one goes through every single day.  PERIOD!  In order to get that point of reference, you have to LISTEN to what your clients are telling you.  Expecting someone who is in terrible physical condition to make drastic changes  to their behaviors and eating habits overnight is in many cases futile.  Changes have to be made in small steps that seem attainable.

3.) Put your muscles away, they don’t impress anyone –   Quite the opposite actually.  Your abs aren’t sexy, they’re depressing.  It’s one more thing that seems unattainable at this point, and the sooner you trade the skin tight muscle shirt for a regular fitting t-shirt, the better.

4.) They need a friend, not a drill instructor –  If you want to work with people who are morbidly obese…work with them.  Having “McHardbody” standing over you telling you what to do isn’t encouraging, it’s intimidating.  If you’re in that good of shape, the minimal amount of exercise your client is capable of in the beginning shouldn’t be difficult anyways.  The road to health for someone who has little hope is lonely and scary.  Be willing to walk the journey with them and be a should to cry on, not just a routine to go through.

5.) That….is not food – Yes, I know that “clean” eating is optimal for losing weight.  Once again, “reality” is that even the term sounds horrible to someone who has a food addiction.  Start with the basics, and work your way up to optimal.  Show them how to modify the current foods they like so that they still taste good.  The fastest way to getting someone to lay off the “junk” is to give them a great tasting alternative of the same meal!  Lay some groundwork that is attainable for them, while still allowing to hold onto at least a small part of the “safety blanket”.  They’ll eventually let go, once they believe they don’t need it anymore, give it time.

6.) It’s about their goals, not yours –  Once again, be willing to understand that not everybody is chasing 6pack abs and melon sized biceps.  When helping someone determine their goals, quit looking at the scale and start focusing on the things they want in life.  For me, something as simple as being able to tie my shoe laces, on top of the shoe instead of the side, without being out of breath was a HUGE goal.  Body image pales in comparison to the feeling of missing out on what life has to offer.  Help them get a part of their life back that they feel is lost, and let their joy be the fuel towards the next goal!

7.)  The journey doesn’t start in the gym –  While exercise is a crucial element in any weight loss journey, it is also the easiest way to scare someone right back into their comfort zone and into the hopelessness they came to you to help get them away from.  This is where the list comes full circle.  If you want someone with food addiction to trust you, you have to earn it.  That trust is earned ONLY when they feel you have their best interest at heart.  That means, you have to do the heart work, not just head work, that is needed to help them push out of what they know.  If you’re not willing to make that effort, let them start out with someone who is.

There are a lot more things I could add to this list, but these are the basics.  I’m not a nutritionist and not a certified trainer….I’m someone who has been there and knows what it takes to go from hopeless, to inspired!  If you find yourself where I was, and want someone to help you in your own journey, let me know.  I’d be honored to help!

Be Blessed! ~ Scott

To learn more about the nutritional foundation I used in my journey, Click HERE to take your free online health assessment.