The Unspoken Journey

There are always days in your life or job that are far more rewarding than others. Think of a time when you were in such awe, that all you could do was cry in disbelief over how incredible something was that you experienced. That describes my first meeting with Robert Martin.

Robert wanted to lose weight, but not just an ordinary amount of weight.  He wanted to lose 500 pounds!

Now, when I was first introduced to Robert, he had dropped almost 200 pounds of his goal. He had done this simply by making smarter choices in his diet and beginning to swim for exercise.

After a long meeting discussing his diet, exercise, blood pressure, supplementation and so on, I had most of the information necessary to assist with his new lifestyle. I asked another simple question, “Do you have any other goals you are looking to accomplish?”

“At first … my goal was to not die.”

His reply was, “To be able to walk into Old Navy and buy a pair of jeans off the rack.”

Most of Robert’s clothing has been special ordered for some time due to his size, so walking into a department store and simply grabbing a pair of jeans is not an option for him at this point.  He then became very somber for a moment and added, “At first … my goal was to not die.”

I looked up from my notes to see the look on his face and watery-eyes that enforced the severity of his statement, and just how big of a concern it had been for his life. Now tearing up myself, I have to admit; I’ve heard many powerful goals over the years that really spoke to me, but this one is the most inspiring.

You see, Robert began his journey at over 700 pounds. That’s when he realized he had to change something or he would die at a young age. Robert is only 37 years old.

With the history of the early-death of his parents due to poor health, he knew the threat was very real and potentially imminent. These are the details no one ever hears about. Too often someone who is overweight by society’s standards is looked at as lazy and judged solely on his or her appearance. What you don’t know, is their journey.

“It’s pretty simple; you put down the damn fork and you come here[gym] and do work.” -Robert Martin

You don’t know that Robert was in foster care until the age of 18 where he was left to live out of his car for 9 months. You don’t know that he worked at a truck stop saving money and eating what he could so that he could afford an apartment and have a shower of his own. And you probably don’t know that today, Robert is a successful business owner and self-made entrepreneur working hard to lose body fat he accumulated over this tumultuous past. Did I get your attention yet?

This is what I call, the unspoken journey. The important thing to remember is that everyone has a story. You may not know someone’s story, you may never know their journey, and you might not even think twice about it; but for better or worse, no one deserves your circumstantial judgment.

Since our first meeting 3 months ago, Robert is down another 60 pounds and countless inches. Robert has not only set his sights on his goals, but is working hard daily with his trainer Amy Mitchell, to achieve them.

“It’s pretty simple; you put down the damn fork and you come here[gym] and do work.” -Robert Martin

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