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Tom’s Fitness and Paris Martial Arts

BIGGEST LOSER “5” WEEK FIVE

Posted: November 02, 2008

We lost a few more this week. I guess things happen, but it’s still disappointing. Just like at the center. I’ll see people get started, but then something happens, and they just fade away.

Why is it so hard to overcome the inertia of the things we’ve done in life? Sometimes it seems like I’m just another barking dog in some strange Pavlovian world—I see the stimulus and just mindlessly respond—even though I know better.

Try to kick a habit. You know what I mean. Take for instance, smoking. For years, when things get a little tense at work or at home, you’ve just stepped outside for a quick one. You might not even know why you’re doing it all the time—you just do it.

Some of us eat to feel better. I’ve done it. You get a little bored, or perhaps are a little depressed about something, so you hit the refrigerator or pantry, just for something small—that can easily turn into something big. At least when you’re eating, you’re doing something.

A scarier habit on the rise involves the internet, and images that used to be a little harder to come by. Once only available in that “dirty” corner of the store (and you didn’t dare walk over there), now you get daily email invitations.

And if you respond, you’ll start to head down a slippery slope of addiction that can end marriages and create such disfunction that can you take years to overcome. There’s danger there.

Finally, there are the things that lead to more obvious social difficulties that can directly hurt other people—even jail-time. As a part-time police officer, I still get amazed at the things that some people do, even when they know better. And they keep doing it.

I think ultimately, everything’s related. We’re all the same, although some of our “habits” are more obvious, or more public than others. We all have things we struggle with. We all face demons of our past. But why do some people seem to be able to overcome them, and finally move on—and others don’t?

One of the first steps is to realize that often, we like doing the things we shouldn’t. It’s comfortable; it’s fun, perhaps even exciting. We like it—especially at the time.

We like smoking, eating, looking at internet porn, drinking, hanging out with those friends, stealing, thinking those thoughts, etc… (fill in the blank). And we’re going to do what we want to do—what we like, until the pain of doing it outweighs the benefit we get from it.

When we get so fat that we don’t like the way we feel anymore, then we might start making some changes. But if the “pain” of making the changes is too high (exercise, eating better), then we might just waver when confronted with the temptation again.

We need something more to help us get through the tough times, or every time they ring the bell, we’ll salivate, just like Pavlov’s dogs, and jump right into the old way of doing things.

Personally, I believe it takes more than just a strong will to get this done. I think it takes prayer and God’s help to overcome years of conditioning, and years of wrong desires. Even then, recovery can take a long time.

It can be a real battle. But it’s worth it. That’s when all things become new. That’s what I want. And what I’ve learned is that one of the ways God helps is by bringing you what you need, when you need it, if you ask.

There are lots of people who are more than willing to give you a hand. They’ve been there and done that. Listen to them.

There are also lots of great books out there, written by people who know. Use them. Keep trying to learn more. Figure out what’s going on.

Learn from your mistakes, and pick up and move on. Find and follow a plan that you’ve seen is working. Use others as an example of how you can get things together.

Then, once you start down that road, don’t quit. If you’ve finally had an epiphany, realized what you’d been doing to yourself, and actually took action to try to turn it around, what a shame if you then just throw it all away.

Look for and find a new nature that will allow you to overcome these things and become a new you. The old one’s not working anyway. Why not just put it away?

You can clean a pig, but if you leave it alone for awhile, pretty soon you’ll find it back in a puddle somewhere. It can’t change what it is. It’s a pig.

But we’ve got the ability to get a new nature. To become more than what we are. We just have to be willing to work at it a little bit. And realize that God does the giving on that one.

Things can change. I’m living proof, and I see it all the time in others. But you have to admit that they need changing. Then you have to want them to change. And you have to want that more then you want the things you’re doing.

I talked to a friend the other day. He hangs with people that get in trouble, drinking and drugs and the like. He knows better. He used to do that himself.

But they’re his friends, and he kind of likes that. So he’s got one foot inside the pig pen. Even though he’s got one foot outside, part of him is still getting dirty.

Another guy I met in the police academy had a drinking problem. He liked going out and partying, but he was also a cop. Having a few drinks is one thing, but getting blasted, belligerent and out of control is quite another.

After a stern warning and disciplinary measures (and the offer of help with the drinking problem he said he didn’t have), he found himself under arrest again, this time for felony charges. The department fired him, he was booted out of the academy, and his career was over.

We’ve got to take things seriously, because things have serious consequences. Don’t let those old “habits” control you. You deserve better than that. That’s why I love working with these guys in the Biggest Loser. They’re getting it done.

It’s kind of like the Paris Tigers football team. They’re getting it done, too. The years have been pretty tough on them. But this year, after a few early losses, things started coming together. With all their hard work, they got some momentum and started playing up to their true potential.

That led to excitement, which led to confidence. Then they had a setback. But they found a way to overcome it and came out growling on Saturday, making them the first Paris team ever to make the playoffs. It wasn’t an easy game, early on, but they stuck to their guns, and then things broke wide open. It can happen that way.

This week’s winner was a sleeper—Gayle Dailey, who lost 2.2% of her body weight and 3.0 lbs. She’d been flying under the radar, but at age 59, Gayle’s our oldest (by a year), and is proving that you can do what you really want to do.

I know she’s tough, because she took kickboxing classes from me a couple years ago. And we work really hard and hit things in that class! Gayle won a $20 Joe’s Pizza gift certificate from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance for all her hard work.

We had a tie for 2nd place between Weston Hughes and Erika Hollis, both of whom lost 1.6% of their body weight. For Erika, it was 3.0 lbs, and for Weston, it was 4.2 lbs.

Next week, I’ll tell you about how the Biggest Losers are using free weights to burn even more calories, and make even more changes in their body—and their life. What kind of changes do you need to make?