This post is not about running, or weight loss/maintenance, exactly. And, most likely, these words will never reach the eyes of the person that inspired me to write today since he is not among my few followers, but hopefully my heartfelt thoughts of well-wishes and pure love will somehow drift out to him.
In this culture we're obsessed with winners, (or in the weight game "losers"). People rise to attention due to some action or affiliation and it seems that the whole United States cannot think of anything or anyone else. All too soon for most of them we move on to the next "hot ticket".
In the blogisphere and on message boards, characters emerge and gain popularity and followers. On the Weight Watchers boards, (and in the many blogs that emerged out of them) those who have lost weight become super stars. Some of these people are REALLY inspiring. They are amazing individuals who continually battle with (the term that one of my online favorites calls) "the fat mind". They keep all of the sysboombah in perspective and don't become judgemental and preachy (as so, so many of the "losers" do). They inspire others to keep at it, do what they do, and follow all of their sage wisdom so that the follower will "NEVER EVER go back to the way (I) was before."
Sadly, most readers don't meet their weight loss goals, or when they do they in fact go RIGHT back to the same lifestyle that they had before and gain every pound back and then some. But it's the advisers that really really take the greatest fall if they "fail". I am one of those people to a certain degree. I lost all of my weight, became completely obsessed with sharing the Kool-Aid, and then a major life change was followed by an injury that curtailed my weekly running mileage. I became depressed and gained much of my weight back...Not sure if that was in that order or somehow mixed and matched a bit.
One of the online "Super Stars" that I came across in my travels is this guy who by all means was fit as all get out, but was also depressed and obsessive. He used to use food to deal with life's challenges, but after losing weight and becoming a runner I would have to say he then used religion and ultra-running to "cope". He looked amazing, truly like a different person - but at the core I believe he was a wounded, sad man. Maybe that's one reason so many of his followers were female. In 2009 he went through a shocking personal blow and started to re-gain his weight. Just a little, he was after all running 50+ miles per week. His work situation was awful, his personal life was a mess and he started to eat. The donuts, the Slim Jims, the "on the way home from the gas station" food that he had always joked about during his lean years on top...
Now, I had come across him as I was starting my slide. I had re-gained about 15 (of the 105 lbs) and was panicking. I had come to the notion that my fat was NOT the reason that I was unsuccessful and/or single and facing the alternatives were very, very, (VERY) painful. I reached out to him and told him that no matter what I did, I had "lost it" - lost the drum-banging passion, lost the zest, lost IT. He (as expected) told me to hunker down and that I'd get it back....I've been a life-long dieter - I knew that I was going to need another gimmick to re-energize me because once the "bloom is off the rose" for me, it's GONE. And I gained...and I posted/read for inspiration...yet, I gained...
Then it happened. He started to post less. I sent him a few personal messages that he responded to with gratitude. He started to gain more, and post less. Now he has taken his blog down. I don't need to read his blog for ME; I am firmly 30 lbs over my goal weight and I still don't have "it". Reading inspirational stories of success is not helping to keep me from non-stop thoughts of food and eating. I struggle to keep it at 30 lbs. instead of re-gaining it all back.
I just want to somehow let HIM know that, fat or thin I care about him. If this sounds crazy to you, my reader, think of it this way: Spiritual people talk of faith. I am neither spiritual or religious but I am loyal to people I believe in. I believe my blogger/runner is wonderful, so in my mind is shall be so. Celebrities musicians, and actors are loved by adoring fans who don't know the "real" person. So it is so with anyone that we the public "create" to fill our needs. So, surely bloggers are no exception? Is it so crazy then to care about this person even if I don't know more than what he has chosen to put out there for mass (no pun intended) consumption?
The real truth is, I think of him as much now as when his feed showed up on my daily Yahoo home page. I wish he knew how much compassion I have for him at whatever shape he is in now. Inspirational super star in the losing/running world, or not. Life is short, but it is also long. What I've learned so far in my 47 years is that you can re-invent yourself, again, and again, and again. Just keep getting up every day and stay open to possible crossroads as you come up on them.
I care very much about you my virtual friend. You and your "fat mind" and/or currently fat body. I hope you got up today and come upon a crossroads soon.