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Dear Hamilton,

I just wanted to take a moment and reach out to you and provide some encouragement. I know that you’ll never be able to read this letter, but in looking back, I wish I could say the following things to you:

You are stronger and more capable then you think. Although it might feel that your eating has more control over you, then you have over it – things will change.

 You will get stronger and you will face down the situations and emotions that are giving you problems. Don’t hide, but make it a point to see every situation in your life as an opportunity to learn to manage your issues. Time is your best friend and with each situation you face down, you will get stronger and stronger. So, don’t be in such a rush to reach your goal weight. Know that the time that it takes you is not simply about the weight loss, it is about taking the time to change the way you view the world and how you react to it.

Adina might be frustrated with your inability to get a handle on your weight, but don’t get angry with her. She’s only frustrated because she wants you to be around for a long time. Instead, talk to her about your feelings and include her in your journey. The more that you understands the reasons behind your eating and what you are going through, the more that she’ll be able to help. Above all, don’t just talk about change; prove to her that you are doing it through your actions. Although you may have failed in the past, you now have everything that you need to succeed. Amazingly, in time, you will change and the issues that you now fight with will become ones that you learn to manage. They’ll always be with you, but they will become less and less of a burden.

Stop blaming everything in your life for your situation and learn to take responsibility. Being overweight is not solely the fault of having bad genes, being surrounded by people that love to eat, or the fact that you love the taste of food. You’re overweight because you have taught yourself that eating feels good. The bottom line is that food is convenient, easy, cheap and readily available and you have made it your drug of choice. However, now’s the time to change!

You’ve eaten a lifetime of cookies and chips and in walking away from these things; you’re absolutely not missing out on anything. You already know where that road leads and it’s now time to take a new path.  Start your journey by being 100% responsible for the foods that you put in your mouth and the body that you want to have.  The sooner you realize this, the faster you can get on with living the life that is waiting for you.

No matter how much time you spend in the gym or on the treadmill, you are never going to be able to exercise your way out of a bad diet. Get into the mindset that going to the gym isn’t about burning calories; it’s about shaping your body, getting stronger and positioning yourself to physically be able to do anything that you want in life.Make it a point to start slowly by taking walks and getting into the habit of moving your body every day. Although you may have to roll back and forth to get off the couch right now, and exercise might seem unbearable, believe me when I tell you that you are building a foundation that will you build upon for the rest of your life.

I don’t want to be blunt or ruin the surprise, but you are going to be having two kids. Seriously!! You are going to be the father of two little girls that are going to be dependent on you to teach them and lead by example. So, the sooner you get your own issues together, the sooner you’ll be ready for the next chapter in your life.

These girls are going to be watching everything that you do. So, the journey isn’t just about you – it’s about breaking the chains and giving your kids a life free of the shackles that you are burdened with. On a lighter note, when Maison is five years old, remember to put the lid on the can of paint in the garage or you’re going to find your car covered in finger painting.But by then you would have already lost all your weight and able to chase her around the house.  Just don’t be too hard on her.  Also, financial note to self:  Invest in Apple – you’ll be amazed at where they take the cell phone.

2002belowLast, but not least, I also wanted to say one very important thing. That is, smile and enjoy the journey. You have an incredible life waiting for you and while you might be feeling a little miserable about and for yourself right now, but things are going to get much better. Sure, the journey is going to be hard work, but I want you to know that the creation of your new lifestyle is the foundation for everything that awaits you. Have faith that learning how to manage your issues, losing weight, and getting into shape are all worth it and will happen and become effortless and fun.  Have faith that you will LOVE the gym and it will be one of the most important parts of your life.  Have absolute and unwavering faith that you will see food completely differently and you will have conquered its hold you.  Have faith that you will look in the mirror and you will be VERY proud of the man you’ve turned yourself into.

In terms of battles, this is one of the biggest, but it also contains the most rewards. So, smile and enjoy the journey, it’s a very interesting one, to be sure and know that the person that is writing you this letter loves you.

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