Oct 19, 2018
I’ve taken the stage many times in my life to deliver key messages on various topics. I’ve been the center of attention before, mostly because of the skill, talent or even the title I held.
In many cases I hated the way I looked as I was preparing my final rehearsal. Once I got dressed up, I knew I looked the best I could, and that the audience wouldn’t care because I would be distracting them with my message. My appearance didn’t matter, they weren’t there to hear or see me, they were there to hear my message. My message was always something besides “ME”.
Today, I embark on a new journey. On Sunday I will address a subset audience at a conference of 10,000 dietitians. The makeup is industry professionals all focused on the same thing - keeping people healthy and using our food supply as the tool. I realized for the first time, I’m not speaking as an Industry expert, I’m speaking as the glimmer of hope, and a success story that so many others have just now begun to write. I speaking on behalf of the hundreds of thousands who share my pain. My message is suddenly and simply “ME”.
Slides, graphs and visual aids have no where near the impact that my physical transformation does. Yet the audience on Sunday, has no frame of reference. The starting point for my story is long gone. I worked hard to burry it and make it a distant memory, but I now need to bring it to life, to deliver my message effectively. The pain has to be real again. Pain that I set aside and worked through must now be resurrected. Pain that I have overcome is now forced to be fresh in my mind. I have to re-live my journey in front of a room of strangers, with no expectation that they understand.
It’s a story that has to be told through photos and sound bites. Even I, at times, forget just how far I’ve come because I’m incredibly proud of where I am. I live in the now. I worked hard to forget the past. So as I prepare for this incredible opportunity, my brain wonders....
Can I deliver the entire journey in words? Can I make a compelling argument that I truly am proud of what I’ve accomplished? Can I channel the energy from this community and give back? Can I stand on the stage and represent the change that our nation needs?
The number one retention issue in our military currently parallels the #1 medical condition our nation and globe faces. Heart disease, diabetes, and so many other chronic illnesses are directly related to our poor and often deliberate actions. The result is obesity and it’s time we address it. Today, we lose more military members to the chow hall line, than we do to foreign conflict. The numbers are staggering yet often underreported.
In just a few hours, I’ll huddle into my inner mind to channel these emotions. Then on Sunday afternoon, whoever is in that room is going to get it from a fire hose, I’m going to hand them the problem and asked for their collective experience to work with me to solve it!
I could not be more honored than to be tapped on the shoulder in this moment. A moment I’ve unknowingly prepared my whole life for.
If you’re with me, dig deep, write your story, add it to the list of successful outcomes so my entire journey becomes validated! The solutions exist, we know that, we must continue to prove that. Together we will work with those with the educational background to channel our victories into replicable actions.
That is why what you’re doing matters. It matters beyond your life, beyond your family and extends across the globe to all generations.
It’s show time! Let’s Do this!