Appreciating the Gifts We're Given

Sometimes we all need a kick in the butt to remind us of the wonderful gifts we have been given in life. Recently, I was doing research in my local bookstore and thought to myself, “a cup of coffee sounds good right about now.” I packed up what I had brought in with me, and headed toward the door where I was reminded of life’s gifts. It was instant, resonant and humbling and came in the form of another human being.

Sometimes we all need a kick in the butt to remind us of the wonderful gifts we have been given in life. Recently, I was doing research in my local bookstore and thought to myself, “a cup of coffee sounds good right about now.” I packed up what I had brought in with me, and headed toward the door where I was reminded of life’s gifts. It was instant, resonant and humbling and came in the form of another human being.

At the door was a woman holding a door for another woman who was walking slowly because she could not walk without the help of the 2 canes she carried, one in each hand. She needed them because her legs were swollen, big and weak.


I held open the other door and both ladies said “You don’t have to!” in the sweetest voices imaginable. I said, “Don’t you worry about it at all.” When the second lady got to the threshold she looked up at me and in the kindest, sweetest voice possible she said “Thank you so much,” and my heart melted. I told both ladies to have a great rest of their day and they offered the same, the second lady looking up at me smiling with the biggest eyes you can imagine.

All of us who can walk have a gift. It was obvious that the second woman had some type of degenerative condition from which she will not recover. Why is it then we sit on our butts, us healthy people, and bitch about how little energy we have, especially when it comes time to work out?

If you and I are of able body, no matter our size, it behooves us to get up and make every day count physically. Those of us who are larger have obligations to ourselves not to just sit there, but to try to prolong our lives. Losing weight, eating better and exercising are the keys to doing that, keys which most of us have right there in front of us. Hell, I did it and I was 400 pounds. I started by walking, the one thing I knew I could do. The one and only thing this second woman could do.

You have heard me say from time to time that us larger people have a responsibility to ourselves to get up, and that is true. We have that responsibility because no one can, or should, do it for us. There is no magic pill for weight loss. It will come from our own hard work and effort. Shame on us if we squander the days we have – if we delay that process simply because we don’t “feel” like going for a walk. That’s crap. I’m sure that second woman would love to go for a simple walk unencumbered by her 2 walking canes.

So get up and simply go for a walk today. Do it because you CAN. Do it because your legs DO work, no matter what size they are. And know that you have a gift – the gift of ability – that others do not have. It doesn’t matter what size you are, either. When you awoke today, you got up knowing you could do these things. So get up and do them, especially if you want to lose weight.

After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step so don’t squander them. For many of us that single step, as simple as it is, is not as easy for others and could very well be the hardest thing they could possibly do on any given day.

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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