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  • Kevin Armitage

Encouragement

You, the person reading, have a super power that is better than flying or super strength. You have the ability to be an encouragement to other people. This week I have been thinking a lot about my motivations behind this blog and my weight loss journey. I already wrote a post detailing a lot of my thoughts, but I had some more thoughts on the subject.


"Look at you, you're huge." That is a phrase that I will never forget. I have had problems with a reoccurring cellulitis infection, the last time it flared up half of the top layer of the skin on my right leg basically melted off. Gruesome I know, but it is true. The infection was so bad it damaged the lymph node system in my leg causing a condition called secondary lymphedema. Which basically means the skin on my leg has trouble self regulating fluids, which I why I wear a compression stocking on my right leg. I am currently on antibiotics daily, possibly for the rest of my life, to stop the infection from coming back. This reoccurring infection has flared up 5 times in the last 4 or so years. Throughout those 4 years I have been seeing a specialist with regards to the infection. He is one of the nicest doctors I have met, a Christian and just a generally nice guy. Every time I have a check up with him we have the same conversion about me having to lose weight. It is possible for a non-overweight person to get cellulitis and possibly reoccurring cellulitis. But the odds are very high that if I was normal weight this would not have been something I had to deal with. In my last check up in February I led with the "I know I got to lose weight" line and his response was the paragraph opener. He didn't say this out of malice, but it was a hard truth that I needed to hear.


You would think that the above information would have been enough motivation for me to instantly change my habits, but sadly it was not. I continued in my normal ways all while knowing it was likely the culprit behind the infection, among other health issues. So what changed between February and now? Encouragement did. Many friends have been encouraging me for a long time to lose weight, but recently they seemed to kick it into overdrive. That coupled with the fact that my brother had lost 75 pounds in 3 months was what started me on this journey for the last time. Then the blog started and the outpouring of encouragement was more then I ever expected.


I think of two friends of mine. One was near the same weight I am and had a similar talk with his doctor, serious health complications were ahead unless he changed his lifestyle. Another, while not the same weight, was still large and decided one day that mountain biking was going to be his new hobby. Both of these people saw amazing transformations from where they were to where they are now. I think often about both of them and am encouraged by their journey.


So when I say you have a super power that can change lives I am not lying. We have all been through this journey called "life". We have all experienced the ebb and flow of life. You have unique experiences that you have been through or maybe better put, made it through. Those experiences and journeys shaped who you are and have made you into the person you are today. Use your past pain, your past accomplishments, your past experiences and be an encouragement to others. I am aware everyone might not be dealing with weight loss, but everyone has something in their life they wish to change, something that has them hurting. So for both you and I, it is our job to seek out a place to be an encouragement and then to do so.

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