A Quiet Thanks

(Because that’s all you can really do, until whatever you’re working toward succeeds or you run out of road.)

In another life when I worked at Cargill, I lost my first weight-loss bet to Chris. It was a bit of a kick in the nether regions to give him a check for $100. He earned it though. His weight loss was substantial. As a previous football player, he figured out a way to overcome his athletic metabolism and avoid eating all the things, so to speak. I underestimated him.

One benefit to come out of my loss was to realize that the first stage of any life change is easy: motivation burns bright. The impossible trick is to keep walking one foot in front of the other until it’s a habit. “Choose your hard” my sage cousin reminded me, because living with bad choices is very hard indeed, a lesson I’m plucking from the tree of the obvious many days in regards to my life.

It’s only fitting (no pun intended) that his wife Tammy of 23 years is partially responsible for the recent gong to my head about my weight. For reasons of her own, she dropped a stunning amount of weight. The ‘how’ isn’t relevant; her choice became her reality and that’s the lesson anyone with a heart should embrace. Anyone seeing the pictures initially has difficulty believing that the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures are of the same person. The difference in her smile is beyond redemptive.

I’ve struggled forever with the yo-yo of weight; each successive inability to manage new habits that persist long-term takes a bigger bite of my ability to try it again. I wrote Tammy to simply tell her it was amazing what she’d done. She looks amazing and I expect that the life satisfaction she attained is paying rewards in every area of her life.

I realized that it is ridiculous that Tammy can do something that’s impossible for me. Tammy would probably think I’m crazy. Rocky had a picture of Clubber Lane on his mirror to remind him of his unexpected defeat. He didn’t wallow in it, though. Likewise, maybe Tammy would be amused to know that she is my touchstone in this. It’s nice to picture Chris behind her, too, laughing, and wondering if I can figuratively earn back that $100 he won from me all those years ago.

At our age, I think most of us realize that everyone wins when even a single person figures out a way to be who they are supposed to.

This world is connected in ways that amuse and delight.

Whatever motivation plagued Tammy, I’m claiming a piece of it in her name. Thanks, Tammy.

P.S. Another line from a Rocky movie comes to mind in regards to this current version of my struggle: “Ain’t gonna be no rematch!”

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