Seeing the big guy walking in the park

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That used to be me. I remember walking in an attempt to lose weight. I thought that activity was what I needed, and that coupled with watching how many calories I ate, I would lose weight and get healthy. What I didn’t realize back then was that the type of calories I ate mattered, and the food I ate had a direct effect on things like my appetite, cravings, and directly impacted my chances for success.

I don’t know anything about the guy I see other than he’s out there every day, and it makes me smile. I haven’t talked to him, and I likely won’t unless he engages me first, but I doubt he will. He’s out there every day, walking at a brisk pace, and improving his heart health. As for his weight, I’ve seen it drop a bit over the past few years. He’s making progress.

The point is, it is heartwarming to see someone tackle their health issues. Often, when we are overweight or sorely out of shape, we are embarrassed to be out and about among the more healthy and fit people. We feel shy about the condition our bodies are in, and we’d rather not be among those who are trim and fit. What we fail to realize is that not all those people have been trim and fit their entire lives; many started where we started, only they’re farther down the path of their own weight loss and health journey than we are. That’s how I see myself when I see the big guy walking in the park; I’m just farther down the path than he is.

I always give him a thumbs-up, a wave, and a smile when I pass him. He always smiles and waves back. I don’t know if he realizes that I’m hoping to motivate him and let him know that it’s great that he’s out there with me, and that I’m happy for him that he’s tackling his health and weight. There is nothing at all for him to be shy and/or embarrassed about, and you should be neither shy nor embarrassed about your own weight, size, or fitness level. Just get out there and do your thing. Anyone who would criticize you or ridicule you is a horrible person; the overwhelming majority of people who are exercising would bend over backwards to help you, motivate you, and give you advice.

Here’s to you, big guy walking in the park. I wish you the best of luck, much success, and great health!

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