Will You Choose To Blame or Will You Choose To Overcome?

I have been watching the continuing news coverage of the Wall Street protestors and I shake my head thinking how I once was a member of the “blame the world” movement.  News accounts and local bloggers all espouse basically the same message; “It is someone else’s fault that life is bad so, lash out against them.”  I thought about my own life and how I too once had this attitude.  Due to a series of circumstances my business began to fail, my life spiraled out of control — I blamed the world and I responded by lashing out. 

To whomever would listen, I told my tale of woe.  I complained, I griped and I blamed.  It was all someone else’s fault.  It was the doctors who misdiagnosed me, it was the national republican party

me at 340 pounds

for not getting behind my run for congress, it was this person or that person’s fault that my business was failing.  I responded by eating and eating and eating.  Every day I would simply exist to eat.  As my weight ballooned up, the person on the left rapidly came into existence. Was it my fault that I had become morbidly obese?  At the time, in my blame the world state of mind — of course not!  It was the situation, it was bad luck, it was those who wronged me, ala former news person Steve Corbett, it had to be the fault of  someone else.

Much like so many do today, I lashed out.  Over WILK’s airwaves and web-site, fear monger extraordinaire Steve Corbett assigns blame to any and everyone who has earned even a modicum of success.  I find it amusing that while he spends so much time blaming others, he avows just as loudly that it is up to others to take care of those he supposedly represents.

The fact is that I had some bad luck and was the victim of bad doctoring, however, while there may have been issues, the person truly responsible for my failings was the guy staring back at me from the mirror.

It wasn’t the hard times or the actions of others that pushed me to the edge of personal and business failure; it was my reaction and inaction that put me there.  Unlike the Steve Corbett’s of the world, eventually I realized that my demise wasn’t the fault of others and my salvation wasn’t going to be the result of another’s action. It was up to me, and me alone, to resurrect my failing life.

What does this have to do with weight loss and fitness? Pretty much everything.

When we lose the drive to care for our own fitness, when we lose the respect for ourselves and allow obesity to rule our lives, and when we no longer take responsibility for our own health, we lash out.  That is why I cut out negative energy and focus on what I can do positive with each and every day of my life. I don’t envy those who have what I don’t have nor do I seek to blame others for my lot in life. Contrary to Steve Corbett’s rantings, I choose how I will respond and my choice is to take self-responsibility, self-control and self-determination of my person.

I eat and exercise as if I will live forever, however I live life as if I will die tomorrow! I have no time to focus on what can’t be done.  I choose to embrace the positive aspects of my life and opt for a positive outlook over fear fueled outrage, hate and despair.

A student of mine stated that I always work nutrition and fitness into class time and asked me why.  I told this person that when one takes control of themselves, through taking command of their own health, the other issues tend to be easier to cope with.

This student told me they would like to lose weight and get in shape, but simply didn’t have the time.  I related to this student and several others the following:

I was entering a store when I saw one of my former weight loss clients.  Well, not exactly a client,  the gentleman only came in for the initial meeting, purchased my book, and confidently proclaimed that he could do it on his own.  One look at him and I realized he wasn’t sticking to the plan.  After some conversation, I offered to give him a free restart meeting to get him on track. I guess I struck a nerve, because his response was quite defensive.  He rattled of excuse after excuse attempting to justify why he had not even started the plan.  After I rolled my eyes and gave him a look he said; “What would you know, you’re a doctor and you work for yourself, you have all the time you need to eat right and exercise.”

Deep from my gut, propelled by the contractions of my diaphragm, a loud belly laugh escaped. Anyone who knows me, knows what I have been through.  An illness and one misdiagnosis after another caused me to be out of my office for an extended period of time. During and after this period, my business markedly declined and I lost every dime I had managed to save.  My mental weakness and my response to the situation caused me to neglect my business even further and I emotionally spiraled downward as my weight and girth ballooned upward.

However, this man didn’t know any of that.  Yet, I couldn’t contain my laughter. I think I offended, insulted or embarrassed him.  Since I don’t really understand those emotions, I can’t be sure, but I assured him I wasn’t laughing at him.

I have often said, getting fit and dropping weight are genuinely easy, however, it does require commitment and proper planning.  What better way to demonstrate the misconception than to give an account of one of my days?  So, what follows is a snapshot of one of my days.   This day was Wednesday 9/14/11.  By the way, Wednesday’s is the day of the week my office is closed, you know — my day off .

  • 4:08am — Alarm sounds.  I hit the off button and say to myself several time, “Get up, get up, get up…!” I pause in the sitting position at the edge of my bed and consider laying back down.  I grab a picture of myself at 340 pounds and only need to glance at it for a moment before I spring up to my feet and head to the kitchen for coffee.
  • 4:20am — Finish up my coffee, brush my teeth, shave, double-check my gear that I packed the night before, update Facebook for weight loss clients following me, get dressed and leave for the gym.
  • 4:45am — Arrive at the gym.  Do my leg work out; 40 sets in just under 50 minutes, then go upstairs and do my abdominal workout.
  • 6:00am — Shower, change for the day and leave the gym.
  • 6:30am — Stop by my office.  Check and answer emails from Fat Then Fit Now clients, friends and students.
  • 6:50am — Leave my office.
  • 7:00am — Arrive for breakfast at Tony’s Diner in Kingston, had the best sausage and cheese omelet.
  • 7:30am — Depart Tony’s and head to the college.
  • 7:50am — Arrive at the college and get ready to teach my first class.
  • 8:55am — Class dismissed; off to the office (you know, the one that is closed for the day.)
  • 9:30am — Arrive at the office.  Write and publish blog post.  Answer more emails and Facebook inquires for people interested in my book.  Look over new info for the second edition of Fat Then Fit Now; A Life Beyond Weight Loss.
  • 10:30am — Have a snack of mixed nuts and unsweetened iced tea.
  • 10:45am — Get on Skype with the one and only Jimmy Moore and record a brief segment commemorating his 500th podcast episode.
  • 11:00am — Treat two emergency patients. Ordered lunch.
  • 11:30am — Stop at Leo’s Pizza where a grilled chicken salad w/blue cheese dressing is waiting for me. After lunch I head back up to the college.
  • 12:15pm — Arrive at the college and teach my second class of the day.
  • 1:15pm — Class dismissed.  Off to the lounge. Mix up a protein pudding (just enough water added to protein powder to give it a pudding like consistency), eat it while I enter quiz grades and do some class prep work.  Take a few moments to “discuss” politics with a colleague.
  • 2:30pm — Teach third class of the day.
  • 3:55pm — Class dismissed.
  • 4:00pm — Teach fourth class of the day.
  • 5:50pm — Class dismissed, run to lounge and warm up chicken breast stuffed with artichoke, spinach and cheese that I prepared earlier in the week. Scarfed down dinner.
  • 6:00pm — Teach fifth class of the day.
  • 8:45pm — Class dismissed.
  • 9:15pm — Stop to see my girlfriend for a visit.
  • 10:00pm — Prepare gear, clothes and choose one the already prepared meals to pack for the next day, set up the coffee maker and the timer for 5:08am (I sleep in on Tues/Thursday), put clothes in the washing machine and then finally sit down and unwind with a little television.
  • 10:45pm — Go to bed, check to make sure alarm is set for 5:18am (I need to give the coffee time to brew), read until I fall asleep.

I am not one of those people, who sit around waisting {sic} their week, looking forward to Friday just so I can guzzle beer. I live each and every day to its fullest. I thrive on full, complete, productive days.  Don’t get me wrong, I like my leisure time, but even my leisure time is as active as possible. Being idle leads to indolence, which in turn, leads to an inflated physique.

The question is not whether it is possible to drop weight, get fit and recapture your health.  With the proper application of eating, exercise and mental energy through desire, determination and discipline, you not only can — you WILL achieve your goals.  The proper question to ask is;






Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com and CarbSmart.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, What’s Weighing You Down, w/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website http://www.betterlifeseminars.com.
************The information contained herin is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************