Monday, August 2, 2021

Virtually no one leads the charmed life you think they do

I've mentioned how I attend Weight Weights/WW meetings every Saturday morning. There are many reasons for doing this, and not all of them are weight- or health-related.

A key factor in my decision to drive out to Mentor for 8am meetings is my WW leader Jenn. She has an inspiring personal story, having lost an amazing amount of weight and keeping it off over time.

But what most attracts people to Jenn, I think, is how relatable she is. She still struggles every day to do the right things when it comes to her health. She knows what it's like to want to say, "Screw it, I'm eating the gallon of ice cream."

She also understands -- perhaps better than anyone I've ever met -- the mental and emotional aspects of healthy living and weight loss.

At a recent meeting, Jenn said something I thought was especially profound. Actually, I think she was quoting another WW leader named Liz, who I don't happen to know, but the sentiment is so Jenn that I'll always connect it to her.

This isn't verbatim, but what she said in essence was, "If everyone got together and put all their problems into a pile on the floor so that everyone else could see them, you would gladly take your own problems back, put them in your pocket, and walk out the door."

In other words, not only is there always someone with a greater struggle than you, it's also important to realize that there is no one who doesn't have struggles. No matter how people may seem to you, they have their problems, and you're probably better equipped to deal with your own than theirs.

This struck me hard. I always say I have nothing to complain about, but I complain anyway. Yet, there is truth in what Jenn said. I would rather have my own issues and problems than anyone else's. And in the overall scheme of things, those issues and problems are relatively light.

Much of it comes down to changing your mindset (as it always seems to). The things I whine about "having" to do really should be looked at as things I "get" to do.

I "get" to prioritize my health every day. I "get" to go to work, where I can grow personally and professionally and support my family. I "get" to maintain a house and yard in a world where some people will never have the chance to own either.

That's the mindset I want. I'm not there yet, but I'm getting closer. I hope you are, too.

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