Remember the beginning of Jerry Maguire? When Tom Cruise writes the mission statement that changes his life and everything he ever stood for and believed in?
Well, If I were Jerry Maguire, this would be my mission statement…
Who am I and Why am I here?
It’s a common question with a perhaps-not-so-uncommon answer. I’m a health-conscious, nutrition geek trapped in the body of a 30-something business executive with a bit of a gut and a double chin (or so I’m told). I’m fascinated by nutrition, food and this concept of “fueling your body” with only the right things. Yet at my last yearly physical my family physician told me, “Brent, everything looks great—except you’re 25 lbs overweight!” You said what?
“How can I be 25 lbs overweight? I eat a 90% vegetarian diet, exercise a good 3–4 times a week and haven’t eaten a Charleston Chew since college (frozen Charleston Chew’s are pretty tasty BTW)! I read blogs about nutrition, have read over two dozen books about health and wellness, and just ran a half marathon a few months ago. I am at the top of my game Doc!”
Then why are you 25 lbs overweight?
“Don’t worry about me,” I responded. “I’m just a busy guy. I travel a lot for work. I have a high-stress career and don’t always have time to grab breakfast on the way into the office.” “Ahh that feels better,” I tell myself. “Now that I’ve found an excuse to justify my weight I’m free for another 365 days until my next physical…”
Fast forward to later that same evening. I envisioned coming home from work and sharing this (in my view) crazy story with my wife, Brittany. This is how I saw the conversation unfolding:
Me: Can you believe how wacky this Dr. is?
My Wife: Yes, maybe you should stop going to see that crazy guy (in her most compassionate voice).
Isn’t it funny how warped our silly little minds become at times? Not only did Brittany agree with my physician, but she went ahead and tugged on my heartstrings. “I’m worried about you honey,” she pleaded. “I need you around for the next 40-50 years. You need to take care of yourself…”
This last statement really stuck with me. There are moments in your life when you look back years later and can zero in on a fundamental change that took place. It could be a physical, mental or psychological change. You probably don’t notice it while it’s happening, but it’s like a switch is flipped. What was once black is now white. What was dark is now light. Sometimes this happens because of a traumatic life event (loss of a loved one, divorce, accident, job loss); but other times it’s just the alignment of mind, body and spirit. My switch flipped on September 9th, 2013. That’s when I finally went from excuse to action, from problem to solution.
What I saw –
- Happily married husband and father of two beautiful little girls
- Successful financial services professional, former consultant and MBA graduate
- Knowledgeable connoisseur of great food and drink
- Smartest person I had ever met who lived by the mantra “Life is good”
What I disregarded –
- 25 lbs over ideal weight
- BMI (Body Mass Index) of Overweight (close to obese)
- Craver of all things salt, carbs and peanut butter
- Difficulty ‘waking up’ in the morning and falling asleep at night
- Family history of heart disease, cancer and diabetes
My focus on the first bullet set allowed me to ignore the second bullet set. I became so engrossed in what I thought was good that I ignored or had an excuse for everything that was bad. Malcolm Gladwell writes in the The Tipping Point “Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push – in just the right place – it can be tipped.”
Well this was my personal tipping point. Life demands change.
This blog is my change story. It’s my “burning platform.” It’s my journey from thinking to doing. I view myself as well-educated, but I quickly discovered I didn’t know jack about nutrition, health and happiness. As my journey evolved, I felt I needed an outlet. I thought I had a story that would resonate with millions of people like myself who feel healthy and prosperous but realize something is missing.
I want you to laugh, I want you to cry, and I want you to be inspired to have your own personal tipping point.
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