Hard Work + Discipline = Accountability

I used to weigh 293 pounds. It was around the time my second set of twins, Teddy and Anthony, were baptized. I looked at the overweight priest doing the baptism ceremony and thought, “That guy doesn’t look healthy.” But when I reviewed the photos online of him holding Anthony and me holding Teddy, I realized that the priest and I looked as much like twins as Anthony and Teddy. We both looked unhealthy.

I lost 64 pounds that year. I know, that’s a lot. Honestly, I often wonder how I did it, and even more how I could bottle that process and sell it to America. The magic, I can assure you, was nothing more than hard work and discipline. Part of that hard work and discipline was the accountability that I had set up for this job of losing weight. I often think I didn’t properly thank all the people in my life that had my back (or was it my front??) during that time.

I engaged my wife and my kids. My wife had to make sure that I was going to do what I said I was going to do (see commitment blog). I empowered her to push back on me if I was out of line. My kids were more my ‘motivational’ accountability partners. The thought of them living without a father put serious accountability to the hard work and discipline it took to lose 64 pounds. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my peers. I had about half a dozen guys that were rooting for me. They were rooting for me because I told them how important losing that weight was to me. Knowing that they would be asking and checking in to see how my meals went, how my workouts were going, and how much beer I was drinking was a vital piece to my actions. I knew that if I missed a deadline, I was also letting them down. After all, they were investing their time and energy into my plan.

It’s crazy that we can sometimes be more accountable to others than to ourselves. However, that’s how it worked out for me. I’m working on being more accountable to myself now. And about that 64 pounds? Well, some of it has come back. I know that, first and foremost, I need to hold myself accountable for living a healthy lifestyle. I also need to engage my family and friends as partners in this journey. Based on my previous experience, I know I can do it. With a little help from others, I can be accountable for my own health and well-being.

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