There. I said it.
I am addicted. I am addicted to something that is a time-waster. I am addicted to something that could potentially be ruining my eyesight. I am addicted to.... the internet. Excuse me. The Internet.
I am on it everyday. I wake up with it (and a cup of coffee). I use it during Quiet Time. I use it when I cook. I use it when I talk with friends and family who are more than a stone's throw away from me. I use it to shop. I use it help me ignore other responsibilities. I use it a lot. And in all the time that I have been on it, I have noticed a not-so-surprising-and-earthshattering pattern. The Internet is full of Skinny. Or as it is termed now, Strong As The New Skinny But Still Really Skinny. There are sites that tell you how to move your body to lose weight. Sites that tell you what to put in your mouth to lose weight. Sites that tell you what NOT to put in your mouth to lose weight. Sites that tell you what doctor to see to lose weight. Sites that tell you that it doesn't matter if you lose weight. Sites that tell you that you are worth nothing unless you lose weight. It's everywhere.
The Before-and-After's are numerous. The quick fixes are endless. The reasons, motivations, diagrams are countless.
And in all of this, good and bad, there is a pattern. A single thread that holds it together no matter the author. Do it (or don't do it) for you. For You. Even in my blog. How many times have I said that losing this weight was for myself. My children and my husband benefit, but it's for me. I sit on my bloggy soap box and tell you how to change, how to stick it, how to focus. For yourself. And I don't disagree with that (obviously). But there is something. Something that is sitting on my shoulder, tugging on my ear, making me lose my Focus. What if losing this weight, and getting fit and healthy, and running (not so many as of late) these miles, what if it could be something more. What if, instead of turning inward on myself and Focusing and Gaining Control, I turned it outward? What would that mean?
What if I could take this energy and this Life Change and use it to change other people's lives? In part, that is why I am running with Team World Vision this October. I am running what will surely be thirteen loooong miles in order to raise money that will benefit people that I will probably never meet. People that, although I don't know their names, I know they are struggling, and therefore I am morally responsible for doing what I can to help. And since I cannot jump on a plane to Africa at this stage in my life to help them, I will do my best to aid those who can. But what else?
As of now, I will be changing the way that I look at my weight loss journey. I will continue to run for Team World Vision, but I will also be on the lookout for what else this could mean. Where can I spend the energy that I am gaining with every pound lost and mile ran? Where can I spend the years that I am tacking onto the end of my life? Where can I guide my family to not only encourage them on the road to Healthy, but also on the road to Gratitude and Servitude? It can be anything. Donating the clothes that no longer fit me to a woman's shelter. And while I am at it, asking what I can donate in the lines of food and/or time. Looking for (or starting?) running clubs that focus on children from broken homes. Helping the kids donate some of their unused toys so we can not only help others but spend our time outside running instead of inside playing with Toys That Light Up In Order To Put Toddler Into A Daze. Even asking a widow or someone who is just down on their luck to join you for a run, or a healthy dinner.
This journey has been about me for too long. It's time to start looking outward. If my waistline is the only thing I change in this world, than I may as well have kept it cushy.
If you would like to join me in this, please do! We can start together, simply. If you are feeling ready to start your own journey, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and starting weight (I know! I feel awkward just ASKING!) and the reason you felt compelled to start. We will work together (metaphorically) until October 10 (which is 4 days before my race) to capture a fitter, more well balanced version of ourselves, and for every pound lost by those who joined, I will donate $1 to World Vision, with a minimum of $5 donated for each person. It really is not about the pounds lost, but that is the most tangible way to keep track, no matter how annoying it may be. Join to lose weight. Join to lose yourself in servitude of others. I am not asking for money, only your commitment to better the lives of others around you as you better your own. (That being said, if you would like to make a donation to World Vision outside of this journey, you can by following this link. Those donations will change lives, and will be tax-deductable to boot.) The only other thing I ask is that if you have ideas on how to create a ripple of change around you, that you share it with me so I can share it with others. Other than that, the only other time I will contact you is to get your final weight on the 10th of October so I know how much I will be donating. Break my bank, people! Change lives! Go!