Critical Transformation 1
As I start this blog to be read by countless 10s of people, I am sure, it may be best to explain what this blog is, who is it's intended audience, and what the heck "critical transformation" is.
First, most simply, this is intended to be a fitness blog. Outside of my own family and Christian faith, it is probably the topic in which I am most interested and, dare I say, passionate.
Second, to be more specific about the intended audience, I should specify that I would most like to focus on people who feel their fitness mountain to climb is insurmountable. Therefore, it may deal as much with psycho-social as well as physical issues related to fitness.
Many people know what their triggers are with relation to their personal health degradation, particularly if they grew up thin or, at least, active. The "I started getting this way when...." admission. Perhaps it was when you had that second child, your knees started giving out, you lost your job, your mom died, or a myriad of other circumstances and excuses when things went downhill. However, what is done is done. What I want to figure out is what will be the reverse trigger for you and how can we deal with our circumstances so they are no longer the wall that is preventing you from getting healthy and staying healthy.
For me, weight has been a bit of a struggle since I was a child. The main memories that remind me of my childhood obesity are my brother's name calling, my dad's well intentioned criticisms ("You see that fat woman over there? He would taunt, "that's what you're gonna look like!), and the label on my "husky" Sears corduroys. The reverse trigger for me was (at that time) when I was sitting on my butt watching tv, and this triathlon came on called the "Escape from Alcatraz". I watched these incredibly fit people swim over a mile in the ocean from Alcatraz island before biking and running through the hills of San Francisco. It seems rather benign, but that moment was my inspiration. Over the next several months, I lost enough weight that it was a complete transformation. I don't remember how much weight I lost, but it shocked my friends at school when I returned for my 8th grade year and was almost unrecognizable. It probably disappointed the bullies who could no longer create their desired humiliation with fat humor.
Incidentally, I had never gotten to do Alcatraz until this year, 2011. It was one of the most gratifying emotional and physical goal completions of my life.
Though I have had other periods of weight gain, there has always been some sort of trigger that was my mental line in the sand that I refused to cross.
Most recently, about a year ago I was getting close to 220 pounds and for some reason checked my body mass index (BMI for short). Seeing in black and white that I was obese was disturbing. Around that same time, I was talking with my wife, Susan, on the phone about what I had eaten that night on the road and she said something simple but profound...."Stan, you KNOW how to make good choices"!
She was right. I am a physical therapist, I have a ton of education and experience in healthy living, and yet, I was making the choice to do the things that would make me fat. That was enough.
Over the past year, I have lost about 50 pounds. In the early months I had to constantly remind myself to just make good choices. This "reverse trigger" theory is one of the things I want to research and address, so that I can help you find yours.
Finally, I want to tell you about the term"critical transformation". For a while I have been thinking about this blog. I want to use any knowledge I have gained in my PT education to assist in the fitness of people with difficult medical obstacles (such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, major chronic orthopedic issues, etc). I had been wanting to come up with a name for this area of focus. Recently, there was a commercial on tv advertising a new reality show. The host is a guy who helps morbidly obese people with their weight loss. He said he specializes in "critical transformation". That was it! My Eureka moment that gave me a title that clearly states the focus of intent for this blog. So, both of You reading this can now applaud! Thank you, thank you very much. I'll be here all week, and hopefully beyond. I hope you will be to.
Please email me your ideas for topics and issues you need addressed, and I will do my best to help. For now, if you are in need of a "critical transformation" be on the lookout for your trigger. What weight will you not allow yourself to go above? Is it time to no longer have to request a belt extender on an airplane? By the time of the London Olympics do you want to complete your own marathon instead of just watching one on NBC? Then, let's accomplish your goal together.