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.
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