Ask Jonathots … April 7th, 2016

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There are many new weight loss supplements, procedures and surgeries. In your opinion, are they all scams? Is there any real help coming out of the medical and health field for weight loss, and what do you foresee in the future?

I have been overweight since birth–well certainly, since middle school.

So I am fully aware of the perils and purposes of weight loss.

It is similar to any endeavor of self-improvement. There is a certain order of events which must click into place to make the process work correctly.

As to your question about supplements, surgeries and procedures, we will get to that in a minute. First we have to understand the three-step process involved in self-improvement:

1. Without hating myself or making excuses, I have become dissatisfied with my situation.

In other words, occasional fits of guilt do not stimulate us to pursue wisdom, and having an excuse for why we are the way we are only makes us look anemic and stupid. When I am successful at weight loss, it is initiated because I am dissatisfied with my present situation yet feel no need for hating nor explaining myself.

2. I am prepared to honestly assess what I am willing to do and what I am not willing to do.

Even though doctors, friends and fellow-fatties may try to convict us of our need to lose weight, all of this is nothing but guilt until we have decided exactly what we’re open to.

What I’ve come up with is this: I am willing to change eating patterns that are unhealthy, eat a little bit less and not eat anything after dinner.

Right now, that’s my level of openness. I will not increase that through intimidation or self-incrimination. It’s what is available to me.

3. Establish a reward.

Human beings do not do well pursuing discipline without praise.

Reward yourself.

If you’re going to buy low-calorie food, make sure you get the kind of low-calorie food that may be a little more expensive, but is to your liking. I feel one key is to remove everything from your house that is high in calories, so if you do accidentally splurge, you’re falling off a shorter cliff.

These are the three things that have to be in place before you consider anything else. Once established, and once there is good cheer and satisfaction in your emotions about them, then you’re ready to consider other options.

Now, the ridiculous part about surgery is that you still end up having to be on a diet and eating less. It may take some immediate weight off, but that wieght is quite willing to come back quickly.

Supplements are comical because unless they are absorbed into the blood stream, most of them are eliminated through bowel movements or urine.

Honestly, the best procedure is to stick to whatever simple plan you come up with and make sure you honor it in joy.

For instance, the elimination of extra sugars from your diet will subtract about three pounds a month.

Cutting your carbs in half will cut five pounds a month from your waistline.

And, as in my case, not eating after dinner will generally shed somewhere between two to four pounds a month in itself.

If you’re in a hurry, your weight loss plan will fail.

The goal should be shedding about three or four pounds a month. It doesn’t sound like much, but at the end of a year, you’ve taken off fifty pounds–and fifty pounds is normally enough to alleviate much of your sadness and medical conditions.

I’m not a great fan of supplements, procedures and surgeries. It’s not that they’re scams–just that they are bandages which are eventually ripped away, taking with them the scab that was protecting your healing.

Look at the list of three things.

  • Are you ready to deal with them?
  • Are you ready to be honest about them instead of making promises which are unresponsive to your needs?

Remember this fact: if weight loss is based on what anybody else wants you to do, including God or your doctor, it will crumble.

So you have to decide what you want to do … and your level of commitment to achieve it.

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Ask Jonathots… August 27th, 2015

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My friend Rob is the smartest man in our workplace. He happens to be quite overweight. Recently I found myself in a discussion about who would get an upcoming promotion. I said that Rob would probably get the job, and was surprised when another man in the room said he wouldn’t because of his weight. I told the guy he was not only wrong, but also bigoted. He argued with me, and said that you can’t be bigoted against people who are overweight because it’s a condition they choose. I completely disagreed. What do you think?

It is a difficult path to negotiate when you start insisting that one group of people was born with a certain predilection, but this other group over there has made a choice instead of finding themselves genetically wired.

So to be honest with you, I prefer, for the sake of sanity and the purposes of having more personal control in my life, to choose to believe that even though there are certain features that may come with our human package, that we don’t necessarily need to use them.

Otherwise, we’re going to begin to contend that each and every weakness or strength in the human body is beyond our control and that we’re destined to become something rather than having the free will to guide our own direction.

That said, let me tell you that obesity is close to my heart. Literally.

I was born at 12 1/2 pounds, so I have a very strong case for believing that I was put together to be a fat man.

It doesn’t help me.

I don’t improve my life or increase my longevity by insisting that I’m cursed with an oddity which, as it turns out, could also be lethal.

So you have to make up your mind. Are we at the mercy of our genetics and destined to be a certain way from our birth? Or can we be born again and find a path divergent from the genetic pool?

It isn’t split down the middle, it’s one way or another.

So the truth of the matter is that since obesity is such an obvious visual impairment, the bigotry against it will never go away. Someone can be gay and not visually appear to be a part of the homosexual community.

Not true with fat.

So since human beings look on the outward appearance instead of the heart, it will be impossible to avoid the bigotry, but not impossible to dodge the people who are bigoted.

With that in mind, here’s what I suggest for your friend, Rob. Without mentioning the name of the acquaintance who said he was not going to get the promotion, ask Rob what he, himself, thinks about his chances and if they are hindered by his size.

He knows your heart; he knows you’re not bigoted.

But the question will get Rob thinking, which is what Rob needs to do.

Obesity has three terrible aspects to its pain:

  1. You can’t ever act or not look fat.
  2. There are so many stigmas put upon the fat person that whether you like it or not, they will be placed upon you.
  3. Obesity always leads to some sort of health issue, which might not have come to play without it.

So it is your job to both communicate love to Rob, but also make him aware that there’s a portion of society which is silently killing off his possibilities through its prejudice. He is strong enough to handle it–and you never know what will be a wake-up call to someone.

I do not believe we are born any particular way.

We have free will  and choice.

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Confessing … August 15th, 2015

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XV.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

It took a comedian.

Yes, listening to a stand-up joker alerted me to a little piece of hypocrisy which has found root in my heart, and therefore has infiltrated my conversation.

The comic said, “Don’t be sayin’ you got bad knees. You just be fat.”

The whole audience roared with laughter.

Truthfully, I cannot say that I was quite as enthusiastic, but certainly impacted.

When I was twelve years old, I tipped the scales at 300 pounds and have never descended below, and over the decades, I have claimed to have bad knees, even though those joints have afforded me a brief football career, hundreds of tennis games, swimming, setting up equipment in all sorts of difficult environments, thousands of shows performed, nearly a million miles driven and carrying a parcel of kids here there and everywhere.

  • I don’t have bad knees.
  • I have good knees that were prepared to last a lifetime–if I hadn’t decided to be overweight.

Nobody wants to come across as either weak or a jerk.

One also doesn’t like to appear to be making excuses.

So I shall not do any of the above. I will just say that I am so blessed that my knees have done so well … considering the fact that I’ve asked them to perform their duties with twice as much weight as was recommended by the manufacturer.

 

Confessing knee

 

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Ask Jonathots… June 25th, 2015

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My best girlfriend and I meet for lunch once a week. She is overweight and is on a diet–and she does seem to be losing some weight. But every time we eat out she orders huge meals and extravagant desserts. Every week. I don’t want to judge her. Should I say anything?

Your question is fascinating.

First, let’s start with some facts.

Every one of us has three different parts: the person we are born with, the person we are trained to be, and the person we decide to be.

You must understand, your girlfriend’s birth and circumstances are not the same as yours. And more than likely, her training does not duplicate the training you received.

I found some contradictions in your explanation. The truth of the matter is, your girlfriend is not on a diet if she’s ordering huge meals and extravagant desserts.

So I guess your question to me is, what do I do with a person who thinks she’s dieting, but who’s really acting out the elements of her birth and training?

The answer is really simple. You can do nothing.

Because until she decides to kick in the third part–her contribution–what she decides she wants to be–then all of your prodding, which you may deem to be encouragement, will only come across as criticism.

So you really need to ask yourself three questions:

  1. If my girlfriend has a metabolism which is going to keep her pretty plump, am I all right with that?
  2. If I’m not all right with that, am I prepared to walk away from the relationship to keep from harming her soul by my continual disapproval?
  3. And finally, if I decide to walk away, am I going to be able to find the attributes that drew me to this young lady with someone else in a thinner package?

Here are some of the stark realities regarding weight loss:

95% of the people who lose weight put it back on, usually with some additional. This should tell you that we do not have it figured out. When you take into account metabolism, digestion, training, appetite, and the human brain’s tendency to occasionally push things too far, we are probably a full generation away from a solution to obesity.

Will power only works for Will.

So what should you do in the moment?

Easy. Get a quiet space of time when you know her heart is open, and let her tell you what she feels about her weight instead of you telling her how much better she would be if she were smaller.

Once you hear her explanation, make a decision to stay with her if you can help, and leave her if you can’t.

Got a question for Jonathots? Send it to jacquelinebarnett76@gmail.com.

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I Pretend… May 22, 2014

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It is not that everything in my life is good. It is just that I cannot be healthy musing over the bad.Jon close up

So I pretend:

I pretend that my words are valuable and gain a listen.

I pretend that the smile I flash to a stranger cracks through the stony countenance I view.

I pretend that my children and friends welcome my thoughts and weekly emails.

I pretend that my mission is God-induced and not merely self-motivated.

I pretend that the church down the road wants me to come and inspire.

I pretend that my legs can carry me on, to complete my task.

I pretend that I am not alone.

I pretend that the Golden Rule still has the same rate of exchange.

I pretend that my creative offerings bless instead of bore.

I pretend that my plain features and overweight body do nothing to deter my outreach.

I pretend that God’s will can be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I pretend that a heaven awaits that I have never seen.

I pretend that good wins over evil.

I pretend that my whispers might one day be shouted from the housetops.

I pretend I matter.

I pretend you matter.

I pretend that anything matters.

I pretend because that’s what faith is.

It is pretending we see things that should be done before they can be.

I pretend…that I’m not pretending.

 

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Arizona morning

After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

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