Your Sphere of Influence

That’s it. I’m pulling out the brat card. I had an epiphany today. . . .

As much as I push to find pockets of excellence whether they be academic, athletic, artistic or some combination thereof, excellence is what I “do.”

It’s my research it, my downtime reading, and to paraphrase Austin Powers, “it’s my bag, baby.”

So . . .

What hit me today was the idea concerning weight loss.

The ads that fill the whitespace on blogs, the ads that fill what could be whitespace on blogs rather, well, many of them celebrate losing 50 pounds, or 30 pounds and the one that set me off today, 110 pounds (albeit, split between 2 people).

I have known people who have lost 100+ pounds and I have known folks who could stand to lose 60+ pounds. I even had a boyfriend recently (2009) who needed to lose 60+ pounds. But he thought himself healthy. It wasn’t an issue for us, just was . . . well, gross.

So here’s the epiphany, why don’t we celebrate the folks who didn’t gain the extra weight to begin with?

Before you respond with the comment about media unfairly perpetuating models who are too thin, blah, blah, blah, save it. It isn’t about thick or thin, it is about self control.

If you surround yourself with slobs you will become one. I was reminded of this as I sat on a flight next to a person who proceded to eat out of a dunkin donuts bag . . . now, it was a flight departing from Newark, so you can’t be faulted too much when there are so few options (there were better options, but…). It wasn’t the Dunkin Donuts bag . . .

It was the way she was eating.

The food was taken from bag to mouth in one motion and then she took the heel of her palm to shove in any straggling pieces.

It was disgusting.

There is no way she was tasting that food.

There was no way she was even aware of the food.

Sadly, she might as well have had a trough attached to her.

Each time the heel of her palm reach her lips a few crumbs would drop onto her blouse.

If she was enjoying the food, she would have picked up the crumbs to savor them. But she didn’t. Instead they rested somewhere in the folds of her blouse on her not particularly large, but noticeable belly.

SpiralYou may be screaming that I don’t know what she is dealing with – divorce, death, career stress – you’re right, I don’t know. I did talk to her for 45 minutes. We talked about mainstreaming the refuge children in Dallas, we talked about excellence in schools and culture shock for the refuges. A pleasant conversation. She is a school teacher to children of refuge families.

But, will she be better off when she comes out of that depression (if there is one) with extra pounds packed on or will the pounds help her spiral even further down?

How do you have an intervention for a loved one when you see him/her doing the same?

It’s okay to call someone out for being an alcoholic, but you’re a brat if you call someone out for being out-of-control with their weight. I remember my Uncle Harold professing that everyone (expect him) in the family was fat. It was interesting to be standing in front of him and included in that mix given that I weighed 105 pounds at 5’6″. Some people want to belittle others for the sake of ego strokes. He’s famous for it so we don’t take him too seriously.

This is not that.

This is concern about the state of healthy physical, mental and emotional that is destroying our ability to be productive personally and as a country.

So again, how do you have an intervention for a loved one who is 60+ pounds over weight?

Should we really champion shows like Biggest Loser?

Something has got to give. I can’t afford to pay health insurance for these folks who aren’t taking care of themselves.

We need to incentivize the RIGHT behaviors. How do we fix this??

Images courtesy of Funky Tee

16 thoughts on “Your Sphere of Influence”

  1. Hay Rob, are you in on the ground floor with this? You’re really going to suck up the profits with this one.

    Martin O’Connor

  2. Yesterday I watched a video of a marshmallow test for children. It was designed to test self control.
    Watch it, it’s really interesting and also cute!

    Forget fast food, I have not been eating any processed foods or carbs such as bread and potatoes for 3 weeks now. This is my 4th week, and it’s VERY HARD. But it’s a great way to exercise self control. You have to do self control exercises yourself and I don’t see many people doing any sort of self control activity on periodic basis…it’s very sad. Children growing it that type of environment are disadvantaged.
    I was potty trained before I was 1 and I could tie my shoe laces when I was 3. It CAN be done! And it starts at a very early age. Same goes for eating bad foods…

  3. I love junk food. I can’t help it. Not like McDonalds – no, no. I mean like cookies, ice cream, chocolate bars, gum drops, doughnuts……mmmmmm. But, I’m also a strong believer in “everything in moderation.” When we go out for ice cream, I always order the smallest size. I buy mini size candy bars instead of full size. I keep saying I’m going to take “the healthy challenge” for a month, but I really don’t want to. I love sugar. Luckily, I don’t need to diet. I do have loved ones that desperately need to lose weight, but they get offended if anyone says anything. However, nobody seems to mind telling me I need to gain some weight.

    Lisa McLellan

  4. Kate:

    Do me a favor please and take a quick minute to answer the following question.

    I’m asking you because in my notes I have a notation that you are a Word Press expert. Also, I have posted this in some other places and on Kevin’s Vox but I’m not sure I did any of it correctly since I don’t have an answer. Also could you respond to my e-mail This is the only way I’m sure to get your answer.
    The question from my web helper, who is not familiar with WP, and me is :

    We’d like some clarity on the directory and correct location of files. While installing google sitemap yesterday it was brought to our attention that the path was missing the wp_content folder, with the location being found in the root directory only.

    Will this present problems for the function of Word Press? Please clarify this.

    Should there be a need to restructure the directory, better now than after all the files are placed.
    I’d appreciate your help on this because I’m stalled right now in developing my site since I don’t want to mess things up by not tending to this detail.

    Thanks for your help.

    Best regards,


  5. I like the was you told the story. Straight out. Political correctness has made all dull by making all bland, without personality, originality , without our own truth.

    Way to go.

    Martin O’Connor

  6. I like this post. It’s very direct and honest which I can always appreciate. Nutrition and taking care of your body seems like common sense, but for many people it isn’t. I was terrified of gaining the ‘”freshmen 15″ my first year of uni and was guaranteed by many ppl that it happens to EVERYONE. So I took the precautions, worked out and ate right. To be truthful, my body didn’t change much or look any different. The only difference was in my mental moods and ability to function. It takes a person to actually want good health, not just to be skinny, to make a lifestyle change. Even thin people don’t realize that.

  7. I’m one of those people most dieters hate – I can eat anything (with nice table manners of course) in any quanitity and never put on weight. That said, I naturally tend to eat a reasonably balanced diet, and I do enjoy exercise.

    My opinion, which is based on never having had any problem with weight (so I’m either eminently qualified or condescendingly unqulaified), is that anyone who is serious about achieving their ideal weight just needs to eat a reasonably balanced diet in reasonable quantities and to exercise regularly – for the rest of their life. It’s that simple!

    Most of us choose to eat what we eat, and choose whether to exercise or not. So if you eat crap and don’t exercise, your choosing to be fat! Harsh but true.

  8. Really good post. I completely share your opinion. I’ve never been overweight and I like to think it’s because I control my eating and excercise. Would be nice to actually have that credit.

  9. I don’t have a solution. Some people just don’t care and some of them have never learn what table manners are. You can lead a horse to water……..I try to maintain my own eating habits and excercise to help maintain a stable weight for my frame.

    OMG – Rob I haven’t seen or heard about feed bags. And the drive by – give me a break. What is this world coming to.

  10. I’m one of those people who has a sculpted body. I don’t even go to a gym. You don’t have to. A long time ago, somewhere around age 10, I just promised myself I’d never get overweight. I always played outside and my mom didn’t buy a lot of junk food snacks. I run on the beach almost every day. To me, it’s fun and beautiful. I always offer to work out with my friends if they want to. My standards are, if I don’t have a six-pack, I’m getting out of shape. It’s not vanity. I just believe that if i’m physically fit, I’ll be strong enough to do things other people can’t even imagine. And I have. And I will continue to.

  11. BAN High Frutose Corn Syrup, and any other chemical substance that has been found to interfere with the body’s cues that let it know it has had enough. Also ban aspartame while you are at it.

    The use of HFCS has increased lockstep with the obesity rate.

    Most of America is a walking chemical experiment, and will continue to pay for the consumption of these freakish morsels. And THAT is disgusting.

    Keri Eagan

  12. People i general need to exercise self-control. I can visualize the person shoveling the Dunkin Donuts down their gullet…I’ve seen similar events. People need to realize what they are doing and take control.

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