Sunday, February 24, 2019

Just Thinking...... About Living

So I will try to keep this from being a book but I want to share for a minute about my efforts to get myself in shape. Like you really care, am I right?? Anyway, I’ve been posting a lot of pictures on social media of my daily runs and I’ve received some really encouraging feedback. So thanks for that! But I want to let you know why I’m doing what I’m doing. This may ramble a little bit because there are several seemingly unrelated things I want to share that brought me to a crossroads. So hang in there I’ll get to the point. I Promise. It may also seem kind of over dramatic, but the end result is good, so no worries.  

It all kind of started back in July. My family was camping and I noticed something was up with my right ear. It felt like it was plugged and there was a weird buzzing sound. The best I can explain is it sounds like a refrigerator running in my ear all the time. Along with the feeling and the sound I noticed that I couldn’t quite hear like normal and when I would begin to lead worship at church, it felt like something was hitting me in the side of my head. Not really a pain, but an unexplainable pressure. If you understand my love for music both playing and listening you can guess how frustrating that is. 

So I made an appointment to talk to my doctor and, after checking some things, he could not determine what the problem was. After three appointments he referred me to an ear doctor. After several more appointments, the hearing doctor could also not figure out the problem, but could tell something was up because, after taking a hearing test, they found I had a decent amount of hearing loss in my right ear. 

In the midst of this, Ann went in for her surgery and if you follow our story at all, you know how that has turned out. So, while being worried about her, my doctor referred me for an MRI. I put it off for several weeks because I was at the hospital with Ann and honestly didn’t care about much else. 

However, my doctor wanted to check to make sure there wasn’t any kind of growth or tumor that was messing with my ear. He assured me that he didn't believe this was the case but wanted to act in an abundance of caution. So off to the MRI machine I went. Not a big fan of that to be honest with you.

Fast forward! When I came in to the appointment to find out the results of the MRI, the hearing doctor confirmed there was nothing noticeable causing my ear problems. So… no answers. The plan for my ear is to continue to keep track of what’s going on and check back after a period of time to see if there are any changes. Kind of a bummer but, as they say, it is what it is.

Although the doctor didn’t find anything related to my ear on the MRI, he did find something pretty unexpected that kind of knocked me for a loop. He showed me the picture and pointed to a small dark spot and asked me if I had high blood pressure. I confirmed that I did, but that I was on medication to control it. He said “That’s good because somewhere along the way you had a ‘mini’ stroke. He asked if I knew when it happened and I said I had no idea. His advice was to make sure that I stay on my medication and pay attention to my blood pressure so that something more catastrophic wouldn’t happen. Wow!! Really!?!?

For just a moment let me put a bookmark right there and switch gears. As I mentioned, at this particular time I had been spending a lot of time at the hospital and at the doctor with my situation and with Ann’s as well. I must have walked around the hospital 100 times and I saw so many people who were sick, young and old. 

I realize that what I’m about to say is going to seem indelicate and actually pretty rude, but please understand I’m not saying it because of others, but because of ME. Did I say this wasn’t about others but ME? ME ME ME ME! Not others ME!! O.K. here it goes. Many of the people I saw were overweight. Some a little and some a lot. I remember thinking; I wonder if they wouldn’t be here if they would take a little bit better care of themselves. I know that’s horrible, I get it, I have asked God to forgive me for my judgmental attitude, but I have to be honest about it because it was part of my personal wake up call. Why? 

The “why” is because while I was thinking these things, I myself was weighing in at a fit and trim 302 pounds. That’s right! Mr. “They should lose some weight” was in the same position as the ones I was thinking about. And guess what? Now I was facing MY OWN medical complications because of MY OWN choices and although I have skated through life thinking I’m fine because I’m young and strong, my recent encounter with an MRI told me that I wasn’t all that invincible. After all, nearly my entire family has a history of high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack. What made me think I was any different? Cue the “Lord please forgive me for being so stupid, and oh while you’re at it please forgive me for looking at someone else’s speck while my view is obscured by this log.” 

Bookmark #2 Trust me I’m getting there. 

To add one more layer to this story, during this same period of time I had several conversations with different people about my ear. I remember multiple times of there being a joke something to the effect of “that’s just what happens when you get old.” Ha Ha. Yep, when you get older, you should just resign yourself to a decrepit life of being overweight, losing bodily functions and fading away into history. I mean, that’s how it goes right?


I began to think to myself, maybe it doesn’t have to go that way at all. Maybe, I thought, my situation isn’t so much about getting older as it is about me being lazy and not taking care of myself. Not so much the ear thing, but just in general. Thanks for hanging in there with me, I’m about to get to the point. 

It was in this season of thinking and pondering that I had an epiphany!! I’m 48 years old! What if, just what if, instead of facing 50 with a sad sack attitude about getting older, I punch 50 right in the face. What if, when I turn 50 years old, I am in the best shape of my life? What if, not just physically, but physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally, I’m hitting on all cylinders when I hit the big Five O? Some of you might say 50!! Are you kidding me, I wish I could go back to 50. Others might say good grief 50 is practically dead. I can’t believe you’re that old! However, it’s not about being young or old, it’s about ATTITUDE! I made a decision that when I hit 50 years old which will be on May 13, 2020, I will, by God’s grace be in the best shape of my life in every area. 

So why the #FitBy50 thing? 50 is roughly a year and a half away for me. I know in the next year and a half there will be some ups and some downs. To be honest I haven’t really lost any weight for about 4 weeks now. Exercising? Check! Eating right? Check……….for the most part. Very frustrating!! However, #FitBy50 is a goal that reminds me that I don’t have to do it all today. It reminds me that if I have a bad day or two along the way all hope is not lost. #FitBy50 reminds me that I have a goal in front of me and I need to keep my eye on that ball and not on what’s happening just today. #FitBy50 is attainable. It is not unrealistic. It is a lifestyle not a momentary diet or a week of working out really hard and then quitting when I didn’t lose 100 pounds….. in that week. 

Did I say 100 pounds? Actually from my epic starting weight of 302 pounds, I actually need to lose 124 pounds to get to my goal weight. So far, so good. As of today, I have lost 63 pounds. Pretty good. I’m excited, but I’m not finished. My goal is not for today! My goal is to be #FitBy50

So, you may ask what does this have to do with you posting your exercise pictures all over social media? Are you trying to be inspirational? Well, maybe? I would not be opposed to being someone who inspires others to make a change in their lives too. So, yeah… maybe?

However, that’s not really the reason. The real reason is……………. I’m lazy! There I said it. It’s out in the open. I have confessed my mess. 

I have a history with weight loss. It may be frustrating for some to hear this, but I don’t really have a hard time losing weight. I don’t have a metabolism problem. I’m not big boned. My problem is that I eat too much and I’m too lazy to exercise consistently. However, when I get my mind set and focused I can do it. I can lose weight. I’ve done it! Over and over and over…………..and over.

My problem is not that I can’t lose weight. My problem is that I reach a certain level and I lose focus. I get lazy and I fall back into my old unhealthy patterns. 

I have been exercising now for about six months, but I haven’t really said much about it. Why? Because I haven’t wanted people to know what I’m doing because my history says that I will work hard, lose weight, get in shape and then get lazy, quit and gain it all back. And in the end I’ll be worse off than before I started. If others don’t know then they won’t know when I crash and burn again. After all, that is my pattern and that is my past.

However, I have made a decision that my past is my past. I have made a decision that my future is now what I’m fighting for. I have a calling on my life to teach the word and make disciples of all nations. I am a husband and a father. I need to be around for my wife and my kids. I am an EXTREMELY proud PAPA!! I can’t imagine not being around to see my grand kids grow up and pursue God’s calling on their lives. I can’t miss that!! So, I’m making a change!!! This has to be it. My time for messing around is over!! I’ve been playing with fire for too long. Yee hawwww!!! Sounds Great!!!

But I’m lazy!

So I need accountability. I need to let others know what I’m doing. Instead of hiding and banking on failure, I need to put it out there and say this is what I’m doing. BY 50 YEARS OLD I AM GOING TO BE IN THE BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE!! PHYSICALLY, SPIRITUALLY, MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY!! #FitBy50. There I said that too. I put it out there. Now I’m accountable to it. 

So if you’re reading this I’m giving you permission. If you don’t see me posting about my journey for awhile please feel free to call me out. If you’re part of my church family, YOU ARE MY FAMILY!! If you see me falling off call me out!! I’m good with it! I need it! Maybe you would say “I don’t even know you” Doesn’t matter. I need the accountability to not only reach the goal but to stay there. I need encouragement, but I don’t just need encouragement. Sometimes, I need someone to remind me that there are real life consequences if I don’t stay focused. Sounds harsh? It is my personality. I don’t need it sugar coated. Hit me with it! 

Maybe you are in my spot and you know you need to make a change. Maybe it’s weight, maybe not. Maybe you’re addicted. Maybe you’re not getting where you need to get in life. If you need someone to encourage you or kick you in the backside I’m here. I know making big changes is not easy, but it is doable. Let me know. I’ll pray for you. I’ll talk with you. I’ll help in whatever meager way I can. 

So there it is….I guess it did turn into a book. But I just needed to get that off my chest for what it’s worth. Thanks for taking the time. Be Blessed #FitBy50

 Oh, By The Way... If you don't follow me on social media, I would love to invite you to do just that. You can find me at:

Twitter: @TRC3
Instagram: TRCTOM 

Be Blessed, Tom