It's been a long time since I wrote you a letter. I remember as a child I used to spend days making sure I had my letter and more importantly my list complete before mailing it off. Nothing was better than running out Christmas morning and finding all the presents. It always seemed like a Christmas Miracle. Since you always made my childhood dreams come true, I thought maybe you could help me with a little something. I would really like a new wardrobe, but the problem is that I want it several sizes smaller than my current one. Which brings me to the second part of my Christmas Wish, in order to fit into the new wardrobe, I need to lose 50 lbs. I've been pretty good this year so I'm hoping you will grant me this one, well two, Christmas wishes. Thank you and I can't wait to wake up Christmas morning to the new skinny me.
(Insert name here)
PS: No offense, I think you look great, but I just want to lose some weight.
Why not? How crazy is it to ask Santa to grant this wish? Christmas is coming up and since a majority of the population is now overweight or obese and Chronic Diseases are on the rise, there are a growing (no pun intended) number of people who might ask for this wish. On the surface it seems childish to ask Santa for something like this and yet we do it all the time. We look for the miracle weight loss formula and there are plenty of vendors willing to supply the next great thing. We are constantly bombarded with stories of people losing incredible amounts of weight with the latest, greatest, easiest thing ever. No work involved! Don't change your diet! No need to exercise! Don't suffer through eating salad! Just take our new Santa's Miracle Weight Loss formula and you will be skinny by Christmas morning! Now, we can just sit back have some cookies and wait for the present to arrive. How good does it feel to know that soon Santa will be on his way and will magically make us lose weight and then our health will improve and then we will be happy and then... (Sound of screeching brakes). Reality check! We all know that >95% of diets fail, but surely if you were given this gift and miraculously lost 50 lbs. you would never actually regain the weight, right?
Let's look at an example from another fantasy shared by many people around the world, winning the lottery. Imagine it you wake up one day with the winning lottery numbers in your hand! Your dreams have all come true, you are instantly a millionaire with more money than you could ever have imagined!! Suddenly the world is yours and you can finally buy the things you've always wanted and be happy and..(sound of screeching brakes and a collision) "According to a 2010 study by researchers at Vanderbilt University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Pittsburgh, the more money you win in the lottery, the more likely you are to end up bankrupt." (Yahoo Finance, Riches to rags: Why most lottery winners end up broke. Golden Girl Finance). The not so funny part is that the more money people win the more likely they are to end up bankrupt. Now let's contrast this story with the recent one of Jack MacDonald who died in September at the age of 98, he left a $187.6 million charitable trust. Mr. MacDonald amassed his fortune secretly and by various news accounts many people thought he was homeless. He had a career as an attorney but chose to live a different lifestyle. He lead a frugal lifestyle and apparently had a knack for picking stocks but think about the discipline he had to continue with his lifestyle even after he had success.
So, why do lottery winners become bankrupt? For exactly the same reason that 95% of diets fail, a lack of a plan and a lack of discipline to make the necessary lifestyle changes. We can sit around and wait for Santa or some other weight loss fairy to come grant us our wish just like people buy lottery tickets against astounding odds or we can choose to take accountability and begin to make changes necessary to create the life we want. The odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 100 Million and we continue to buy tickets. The odds of developing type 2 Diabetes will soon reach 1 in 4 and yet we continue to ignore the warnings. Over 80% of type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease are preventable but it comes down to making the choice to do something about it or waiting for Santa to deliver a gift. If you think the odds of winning the lottery are high try calculating the odds of Santa granting this wish. The holidays are a great time to gather with family and friends, and create cherished memories. It really comes down to what you value most in life? We are all on a life journey of our own creation, the question is does it match what you value most or is it time to map out a new journey?
Life Pioneers: The Edge of Possibility! by Tim Terrio (Oct 18, 2013)
Available on Amazon and at All TERRIO Physical Therapy-Fitness locations. www.myTERRIO.com