The Power of Writing

Key West

Key West (Photo credit: GarySlinger)

Some days I really feel like just dropping out.  I want to get in my car, drive south and stop when there is no more road — which would be the end of U.S. 1 in

Southern end of US 1, Key West

Southern end of US 1, Key West (Photo credit: djaquay)

Key West.  I could live with that, at a time when income was plentiful, I went to Key West at least twice a year.  That was back in the day when even my bad decisions, worked out for the better.

These days, I can’t even make a good decision about which brand of coffee to drink.  It is strange, about a year ago; my life was finally back on track.  After some very bad decisions and bad luck, things were again looking bright.  I was in the best physical condition of my life, my new practice was starting to materialize, I was doing interview after interview on weight loss and fitness, and my book, Obesity Undone, was beginning to sell.

Then, I made one of those bad decisions.  Unlike the olden days, this bad decision snowballed, and the stress and tension caused my once strong back to buckle.   As I dealt poorly with the stress, my fitness level plummeted and my body plumped up.  Now, a year later, I have given grim consideration to just giving up.

Since my weight loss, I became a positive person, and I always consciously focused on being positive.  I projected that attitude in my writings, interviews, videos, etc… I never allowed negativity to overtake my positive spirit.

Ernest Hemingway-Memorial

Ernest Hemingway-Memorial (Photo credit: HenryFigueroa)

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (Photo credit: chucka_nc)

Most times, it was easy — but other times, not so much.  Whether it is nature or nurture, I have a deep-seated fatalistic streak.  After watching my grandmother suffer and eventually pass away when I was twelve, I became immersed in the writings of Edgar Allan Poe.  It was a hell of an influence after my first experience with death; the writings of the dark master Poe were a dominant guidance as I started to develop my own rudimentary writing skills.  As my tastes changed, I became a fan of Ernest Hemingway, not so much his writings, which I do enjoy, but the man himself.  For those who don’t know, in addition to his larger than life persona, Hemingway had a lifelong obsession with death which culminated in the taking of his own life.  It is odd, because even though I never knew the man, I understand why he did it. I understand so much so, that his suicide is an important chapter in the novel I wrote, America Enslaved.

I share the same obsession with my own death that both Hemingway and Poe possessed, but more importantly, it was my dream to follow in their literary footsteps.

However, as I have allowed too often, other influences discouraged me from following my dreams and goals.  Those bad decisions trapped me in a life I never desired.   And, as I found myself on the precipice of escape, I would fall back into the abyss.

As is the norm, my recent woes are my own doing —- bad choices, wrong decisions, and mostly — flat out fear, have kept me from following my dreams.

Part of my problem is because the one truth of my life is I don’t feel home in the region which I reside.  I have never been connected to Northeast Pennsylvania; its lack of vitality, its awful climate and the despair that is engrained into so many of us at young ages are factors I can’t embrace.  I always tried to feel at home, I even ran for Congress in an attempt to make the area a better place for future generations.  Still, I feel disconnected, worse — I feel trapped. English: Location: Oahu, Diamond Head

Diamond Head

I have only felt at home once in my adult life — the two years I lived in Hawaii. I never dreaded a day, even the bad ones.  I was not only at home, I was filled with joy.  To this day, I will never forget my last moments on the island. My friend Doug’s wife prepared a lasagna dinner that we enjoyed as we said good-bye.  It was a grand time with close friends, as we left for the airport, driving off the base, I peered up at the sky — the light puffs of white clouds against the deep blue was more artwork than nature.  I began to cry; I knew I was leaving my true home and I was aware that I would never return.

Why didn’t I simply stay?  A combination of fear and guilt — the duo of emotions that have sabotaged me on more than one occasion — held me back even then.

For all practical purposes, for a long time, that was the last moment I felt alive.  After leaving Oahu, I simply existed and remained that way for a long time.  I tried to adjust, but always I was looking for a way to escape.

Finally, I achieved a modicum of professional and financial success which afforded me the opportunity to vacation several times a year in South Florida.  On those trips, that feeling returned — the feeling of life.  I’m not sure if it was simply the climate, the proximity to the ocean, the differing attitudes or a combination, but again, I was connected.

I am writing and sharing these feelings for a selfish reason — the power of writing helps me mend.   As my fingers dance along the keyboard putting the words to paper, okay computer screen, the despair exits through my fingertips.  Moreover, it allows me to be thankful for what I have.  I recall the reasons I have stayed this time — they are not trivial, they are part of my heart.

So, once again, I will pick myself up, brush away the crumbs of disappointment, wash clean the stench of failure and start moving forward.

My obsession with death allows me solace, comfort, and yes, acceptance of its inevitability.  However, I am in no hurry for that certainty to become reality, and I have no desire to simply exist.  Of the many disadvantages to being unfit and overweight, the primary drawback is the simple fact that life is not as pleasurable.  There is no joy in sucking wind climbing a flight of stairs, or dressing in baggy clothes to conceal the heft of one’s body.

Being healthy,  fit and strong of body gives the mind the same benefits.

I am back on track.

I am coming back.

I will be fit, I will be healthy, I will be successful and even though I know I will never feel connected to the area I call home — I will be thankful, joyful and happy.



Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to and 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 and check out his website
************The information contained herein 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.************

2 thoughts on “The Power of Writing

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