This is a twist on something a friend told me years ago as my father was dwindling before our eyes as a result of dementia… Taking him out was starting to become troublesome.
Now, this was a person I met through our mutual blogging who cared enough about how I was getting along to give me her cell number in case I needed to talk with a person who could relate to exactly what I was going through. I used that number a couple of times (with my wife’s blessing). The best advice she gave me was to remember that my dad would never be as good as he is today. Meaning it was all downhill at that point, he would never get better.
That simple concept helped me to maintain a positive outlook when taking my dad out to lunch or dinner when things took a turn for the worse.
We’ve all run into someone who wants to lose weight or get fit but they’re either hauling a truckload of excuses behind them or they simply struggle with “want to”. Rather than get into a long discussion on “Just doing it”, excuses, or a lack of willpower (losing discussions, one and all), I choose to plant a seed in the person’s mind instead:
“Getting fit or losing weight will never be as easy as it will today“.
It’s simple and if it takes, it’s near impossible to shake, it’s always there when the excuses come out. There once was a time when I’d get drawn into losing discussions but I can only hear so many excuses before I lose patience and shut the conversation down with something blunt, true, and brutally honest. In that case, we both lose. I become a jerk to that person, forever more. That person discredits or discards any good I was able to do during the conversation, and I go on wishing I’d have handled the conversation differently.
Helping someone get into fitness is done with attraction, not promotion. This phrase, changed to suit the situation, is common in recovery circles. I can tell someone they’re a drunken loser till I’m blue in the face and it won’t do any good. Hell, I was told I was going to die and I didn’t listen. On the other hand, if I present an attractive alternative to the misery that is alcoholism with those I meet, my example will always be at the back of that person’s mind every time things turn to crap. They’ll be thinking, “It doesn’t have to be like this. That guy I met at that stupid meeting was so happy… I could have that too”.
The path to fitness is no different. If I present those in need with an attractive alternative to the misery and can plant a positive seed in their mind, all I have to do is get out of the way and watch it grow.
Just a thought on this wonderful, snowy Monday.