Thursday, December 29, 2011

Helping Each Other: Let's Lose Weight Together

There are so many of us wandering around alone, needing help, but not quite knowing how to ask for it. We want to lose weight, get healthy, feel connected. But it's hard in this world. It's not the same world our parents grew up in.

Over Christmas break, my kids and I have been watching old Lassie episodes... the black and white ones, first with Jeff and then little Timmy. Each boy romps and wanders in the fields and forests, alone with their dog, not a care in the world. When their bike tire goes flat, they get picked up by a random passing neighbor and delivered back home. When Lassie needs eye surgery, Jeff hitchhikes to the big city to get her help. Strangers help each other. They stop and ask if someone might need help if something appears wrong. And everyone is safe, even a little 7-year-old boy wandering the streets alone with his dog, because strangers are watching out for him. But now, we can't live that way anymore. I never let my daughter wander the neighborhood alone, and she knows very well to never get in a car with a stranger. Thus, in the name of safety, we have become isolated.

How many times have you seen in the news that someone has a heart attack or an accident and dies on the ground while people walk on by? It's sad, really. Compassion is lost. People ignore or even make fun of others in distress. People say mean things to those who are struggling. Everyone looks out for themselves first. But it doesn't have to be that way. It SHOULDN'T be that way.

Several years ago, I was on my way home from my kids' swimming lessons in the summertime. I had a beater van full of hungry wet children, heading home for a change of clothes and some lunch. Lots of other people were leaving the city pool, too. As the line of cars came slowly to astop at the traffic light, I noticed a young lady straddling her bike on the corner. She didn't look so good. As the light turned green, suddenly, she was on the ground, toppled with a crash. Her bike lay on top of her, her legs tangled in the frame. She did not get up. I immediately put my hazard lights on and pulled over, as every car in front of me (closer to her) and every car behind me drove on by. I told my children to stay quiet, and ran over to the woman lying on the sidewalk. She stared straight up and began to shake. I tried to speak to her but she could not respond. She started having a seizure, and I just sat there and held her hand with one hand and tried to flag people down with the other. Finally someone stopped and called 911. I thought this lady was dying as she violently shook.  Cars whizzed by at the busy intersection as time stood still for me. She looked in my eyes and I told her she would be okay, that help was coming. Her eyes rolled back, her breathing slowed. Finally, the paramedics arrived, and as they took over, I stepped back. Suddenly every car in the vicinity was pulling over to see what was happening. To watch the paramedics rip her blouse open and shock her heart as she jolted off the sidewalk. I got in my van in tears, and went home. Later, I called the hospital and asked about her. They wouldn't tell me anything, but I couldn't get her off my mind. I said, "I just need to know, did she die?" and the lady said, "No, she didn't die. She is going to be okay."

I know I didn't do ANYTHING for this woman, except show compassion, but it has never left me how it felt to be there feeling helpless while everyone else just kept driving past.

In the blog world, we care about each other. We form bonds and friendships and support each other. Oh, not everybody does, but for the most part I have seen a lot of kindness and compassion here. I like that about blogging. When one of us is down, another will come and lift us up, or hold our hand until we are better. THAT is how it should be. That is how I wish the world could be... all of it. Well, we can't change everyone, but we certainly can change ourselves. We can change our little corner of the world by being compassionate and kind and caring about each other. We are NOT alone!

I get emails every day asking... begging... for help. I don't have *the answer* (I don't think there is one answer) but I do believe we can all share what we have and what we know to help each other lose weight. That's why I am putting this Challenge together for 2012. I want to help people, and I want to help myself. I want to form community and help people reach their goals for better health.

So, tomorrow (or maybe tonight) I will post the details of the challenge. It will be a two-part challenge involving eating and exercising. It will be as easy or as hard as you make it. You can choose to partake in one, or both. I will be doing both. We will have weekly updates and a community forum and I'd like to try out live chats, too. Start tonight by thinking about what your goals are for 2012... and I don't just mean a number on the scale (although that is fine, too). I believe that weight loss can and will be a side effect of healthier eating and exercise habits, so focusing on doing something *positive* for ourselves rather than focusing on restriction is the goal of this challenge. I hope you will join me in creating a healthier 2012. We can do it, together.

18 comments:

SG said...

cant wait to read about it.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. So very moving, and inspiring. You are truly a gift, please keep writing and sharing your triumphs and struggles.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn

I have been reading your blog for a few months and I just wanted to say thank you, for your honesty about life and things you go through. It takes alot of courage to write these things and post them out to the world. Please know that the things you write about make a difference. It causes one to think about their own life and where we are at, and where we want to be heading. You and your words are very inspiring.

SR

Tigerlilly said...

I'm a challenge addict! Its one of those things that helps change it all up a bit!! Can't wait to do it with you!

Jennifer McNeely said...

Such great observations, though i would point out that in the "good ol days" women were routinely discriminated against as well as minorities it was "normal" child abuse was rampant, and no one talked about it. Lassie was a movie, not reality. AS well, there are positive stories out there of people coming together, all the time. Its good to look for the good as well. Helpful when we are fighting depression.

Kim said...

Lyn.

My boyfriend and I are driving down the road and I read you post to him.. He pulled over and said well written, well said and nicely put. I told him you speak from experience. We commend you on your struggle and the will you have to never give up. And your willingness to reach out and help others such as myself... you deserve a round of applause... Time and time again you wow me and others with your blogs . Tonight is no exception... and sometimes its the support of strangers helping you through those tough days... When you think you need a slice of cake but you really don't so I would love to join your challenge...

Taryl said...

This sounds like a lovely idea! I'm not sure if I am up for a challenge right now, but I'm interested to hear the details regardless. And I agree with you completely, compassion is growing thinner every year as people become more self-involved and cease to reach out to those around them. I know I am guilty of it.

Kilpatrick said...

Omgosh!! I ate 5 large chocolate chip cookies tonight and felt awful afterwards! I am bored and lonely at night cause my hubby works evenings...Please help me!! I did not see your blog by accident, it was a God send!!!

Shelley said...

What a lovely post - I think you captured what it is about blogging that works on so many levels.

Deb Willbefree said...

Sighhhhh. I grew up in the days of Lassie. :} And in a rural community no less (but 20 miles south of Pittsburgh, so we had access to the big city. chuckle.)

The world IS a different place, especially for children. To add tot he stark contrast between Lassie and the real world, when I became an adult, I was a sexual assault counselor with my primary population being adults who had been sexually abused as children.

That stuff you hear on the news that is too hard for you to believe? Well, the victims sat in my office. I got an eye witness report, so to speak.

So, really, the world has always been a very different place than the likes of Lassie led us to believe. It is just more apparent now because the thin veneer of faith and principles and morals that once sealed us has been torn away--the underside of the plaster is not only exposed for what it has always been, but is now without restraint.

Those who sneer at values and moral behavior are now witnessing right out loud what society becomes without them.

sorry...that wasn't the point of your post. It just pushed a button. :} Please forgive this older woman who has seen evil up close and knows what we have set free in an effort to be free.

As far as the challenge goes, I think it's a great idea. And I think you have a great heart.

Deb

Diandra said...

First, that "50s safety" is an illusion. Statistics show that children, for example, are way less likely to be abused and/or killed these days. Only the frequent media attention on the cases makes us feel as if the danger had increased. But I still understand you idea - watching these old movies and series where at least there was the illusion of everything being right...

Slenderella Jenn said...

I will be a part of the challenge. :)

Lyn said...

Oh, the world has changed alright. I know there was always child abuse and other evils lurking, but even when I was a kid, I was allowed to 'go play' from sunup til sundown with just a checkin for lunch. My parents and many folks their age told stories of being out playing all summer and not worrying about being abducted or harmed. Even if the safety was a bit of an illusion... because bad things did happen... the way people live and treat each other mowadays seems colder to me. When I was a kid, we knew all our neighbors and went into their homes freely. Now, many of us barely know our neighbors and often people just want to keep to themselves. It really seems isolating to me.

Anonymous said...

what a brilliant post.
I am looking forward to hearing what ideas you have in store - just what I need, thank you.

Lynn

Fluffynurse said...

I'm proud of you for helping in a situation that would have been easy enough to not get involved in. Unfortunately you are right about society today, but you are not alone. There are those of us out there who still get involved. Who still care. I know I will be following your Superfoods challenge (the low carb version) and I've already started the exercise!

Deb Willbefree said...

About the changes---you are absolutely right.

Ginger said...

I think this post was beautifully written and so much from your heart. Thank you for writing it. I think the more we talk about real issues (such as the bystander epidemic) the more people will think about the things that matter and perhaps change their own way of thinking.
I look forward to reading about your challenge and hope to be able to take part!

Tammy said...

That story brought tears to my eyes.:( People don't want to get involved. It's horrible. What you did was awesome! I would do the same thing..how can someone just drive by and not care? But that's how a lot of people are. It's a sad and sickening thing.:(