“Ever since I could remember, there has always been a little voice inside of me saying – you need to help, you need to make a positive difference in this world, this is who and what you are.”
You would have noticed me when I was a kid. I was the fat kid. Everybody noticed me. I was teased a lot by other kids and sometimes by adults. They called me names like; tubby, fatso, jumbo, fat boy, piggy and many more. The name calling hurt me deeply. The teasing took its toll and at a young age I began to withdraw from the world. While most kids ventured out more and more into the world discovering new things and experiences, I spent more and more time in front of the television and the refrigerator, hiding from the world. While other kids were interacting and developing their social skills and relationships, I was developing my social skills watching the Three Stooges and Batman and with my refrigerator. I was afraid and scared every time I left the sanctuary of my home. It seemed the more I was teased the more I withdrew.
I buried myself and my emotions with food. I felt so empty inside and I used food to try and fill that emptiness. I was lonely, sad and afraid. The only way I knew to get rid of the feeling was to eat massive quantities of food, until I was stuffed and beyond. Sometimes I ate until I was sick. I don’t think I enjoyed eating; it was just something I did. When I ate, I always had to eat all of everything and have the largest size, even if I that seemed impossible, I tried. I needed that full, stuffed feeling. It helped fill the void inside me of being lonely, an outcast, unloved, unwanted and being different. A vicious cycle began that went on more many years, the more I ate the emptier I felt and the emptier I felt the more I ate and I got heavier and heavier and I withdrew more and more from the world.
School was a torture for me. Even in grade school, I did not fit in. If I had disappeared one day, I do not think anybody would have realized I was gone.
We sometimes think that kids are cruel and they sometimes are. However, some of the most painful and embarrassing memories I had come from the words and actions of adults. I remember in grade school, every year in gym class we would spend an entire week doing the “President’s Program on Physical Fitness”, do you remember that? It consisted of doing different exercises all through the week like push ups, sit-ups, chin-ups and several other exercises. There were minimum standards that were set for this program and if you could not meet them you did not pass and you were not worthy and did not receive the President’s acknowledgement for your achievement or lack thereof. That was not the worst of for me. On one of the days we had to weigh in – I hated that day. My gym teacher was particularly sadistic and he always thought it was best to weigh us from the lightest to the heaviest kid, every year. I was always the last kid, I dreaded it. We would get done to the end of the weigh in; everybody had already been weighed in and was now standing on the other side of the gym. There I was sitting by myself waiting for the call and then my gym teacher called out, “Ok, Schmaren and anybody else who is left.” There was never anybody else, just me. All the other kids would start cheering and laughing as I went up to that dreaded scale. I would put on my fake, I don’t give damn smile, pretending to be the king of the gym class, the heavyweight champion. On the inside, I wanted to crawl up into a ball and hide somewhere I couldn’t be found and stuff myself with a pizza. The voice I had inside me telling me I needed to help people and to make a difference in this world, began to fade away to a whisper. Somehow, I kept going.
I remember being invited to a New Year’s party, there were 40 or 50 people there. Some of them I knew and many I didn’t. I remember making a plate for myself of all kinds of junk food appetizers and then I needed a place to sit so and could enjoy my pig out plate. There was the inviting wooden rocking chair off in a corner a little out of the way of all the hustle of the party, where I could enjoy my date for the evening, the plate of food I had made for myself. I remember sitting down in the chair and in a matter of a second or two, although it seemed like an eternity, the rocking chair broke. Just like a scene out of a movie. Actually a better way to describe it is, I crushed the chair. I fell to the floor and my food and my diet coke (what else would I be drinking) went flying all over the floor and all over me. Here I was, this short fat guy, sitting on the floor, covered in food, diet coke and pieces of wood all around me from the chair. In a split second, everybody frozen, turned around, looked at me and in complete unison, they all started laughing – not a nervous laugh for a few seconds, but it was roaring laughter. I never was so embarrassed or felt so small in my life. I put my fake smile on my face (I was an expert at that by now), I got up brushed myself off, made a stupid joke about it, all the time I was screaming and crying inside, “Why is this happening to me? Why? Why? Why?” As soon as the laughter died down, I left and went back to my apartment. I spent my New Year’s Eve in my apartment watching television with my two best friends at that time, a large sausage pizza from Nick’s and a frozen Sara Lee cheesecake. I was so angry, sad, embarrassed and a whole bunch of other feelings, I was ready to explode. I couldn’t take it anymore. I hated myself, I hated the world, and I hated everything. That little voice in my mind that had always told me, that I needed to help people and I needed to make a difference in this world, grew silent.
I was empty. I would make attempts at losing weight and I would, sometimes losing 50, 100 or more pounds and then always putting all of the weight back on and then a few more pounds on top of it. Each time I did this I would sink deeper into a black hole, losing a little more of myself with each setback.
I struggled with the demons inside me for many years to come. It was as if I had a second being, a whole other consciousness inside of me completely functioning independently of my conscious thoughts and actions. My subconscious mind was more powerful than my conscious mind. Even when I did not want to eat to excess and stuff myself until I was in pain, I did it anyway. Why did I do this? Why was I powerless over my physical actions? Why was I hurting myself and destroying my life. Without my conscious permission I was literally killing myself. It was if someone had a voodoo doll of me and they were controlling my body, mind and spirit. The two parts of my mind, the conscious and the subconscious while occupying the same space in my head, were totally different and separate from each other. How could this be? I was torturous and maddening and it went on for years. I was always able to keep a good front up, a facade of being happy. If you asked most of the people that knew me way back then, they would tell you that I was a happy and jovial guy.
As the years went on I get heavier and heavier. I withdrew more from life partially from fear and sometimes literally because I could not physical move very well. It was a horrible feeling trying to catch your breath walking up one flight of stairs, the sweat would be pouring off of my head and I would have this horrible burning sensation in my chest and lungs. I could not pump enough oxygen or blood fast enough through my very large and overweight body.
My sense of hopelessness grew deeper and darker and I become more depressed. I just couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.
I was searching for answers to my torment; always thinking it was an outside force or society that was pushing this horrible life on me. It took me a long time to realize that I was the key to my success and I already had the answers inside of me that I needed to solve my problem. I just didn’t know it at the time and I was still a long way off from discovering how amazing I was as a person.
When I felt there was nothing more I could do to help myself overcome my weight (of course there was, I just couldn’t see it at that time). It still had not sunk into my head that my weight wasn’t my real issue. It was only the symptom of my major problem which was the poor self-image I had of myself and of not truly loving myself and who I am. I did not like or love myself. My options were quickly coming to an end. I had been to Weight Watchers, Diet Center, Jenny Craig, TOPS, Optifast, Slimfast, starving, no carbs, only carbs, the ice cream diet, the grape fruit diet, only eat out of this bowl diet and so many more that I cannot even remember. I had failed with all of them.
It seemed hopeless. I had thought that I had tried and failed everything that there was. I was doomed, stuck in this awful body slowly but surely watching my life drain away. The light at the end of the tunnel grew dark and I lost my way. My flame had gone out. I would go to my office every day, close the door and cry for hours. Begging for mercy from the pain and emptiness I was feeling. I will never be able to express in words either written or spoken as to the depths of my agony. The bottom was coming soon. I knew that this could not go on much longer. Everything was about to explode and my life would never be the same.
I could not stand the pain and agony anymore. And then a terrible thing happened, I cracked, I gave up on myself, I quit. My will for life was broken and I did not want to live anymore. The pain was too great; my soul had been tortured too much. I could not find any peace, anywhere. I am 5’6” and at my peak I weighed 360 pounds with a 56” waist. I was almost as big around as I was tall.
One day I found as many sleeping pills and pain pills as I could. I had a lot of them, several bottles full. I remember putting them in a small paper cup. I went into the bathroom and just looking at the cup full of pills for what seemed like forever. I was looking for some reason or a sign why I should not take them. Maybe they were the answer for me, finally giving me peace and ending the relentless torture I put myself through all of these years. Then I remember looking into the mirror and when I did, I saw nothing. I was casting no reflection back to myself or to the world, I would never be missed and the world would be a better place without me. Then I did the most selfish thing a person could ever do to themselves, I took every one of the pills, I washed then down as fast as I could. They went down easy. After taking them I felt a sense of relief as if all my agony was over (That would not last for long). It was if I had finally “cured” myself of my obesity. The agony and the fear was gone. Then I sat down in a chair, I closed my eyes, I took a deep breath in, exhaled and I just sat there and waited to die. I fell asleep or passed out, I am not sure which one. Several hours later, I am not sure how long it was, I woke up in a panic, terror came over me as the reality of what I had done to myself began to sink in. The drugs had effected my perception of consciousness and I was terrified and in a frantic rage. What had I done to myself? Oh my God, I made a mistake! I don’t want to die, please somebody save me! I wasn’t sure if I was conscious or if I was dreaming or hallucinating all this. I vaguely remember falling out of the chair and throwing up all over, then I passed out again. To be honest that should have been the end of my story. It wasn’t. It had just begun.
I was unconscious for a long time. How long? I couldn’t tell you. It was light out when I opened my eyes again. When my eyes opened and I saw the light of day, I felt sense of peace. Honestly, I thought I had died, I didn’t. My faculties came back to me and for the first time in I don’t know how many years, maybe never, my mind was clear, sharp and focused on this joyous moment. I had survived and I was alive! I had survived and I was alive! In that moment I realized that I was put on this planet for a reason and a purpose. I really can’t express it in words. It was the most powerful and moving experience I have ever had in my life. Nothing could be clearer in my mind. I was alive, awake and in the present moment. I was given the opportunity to start my life again.
In that moment (I am actually reliving again as I am writing this) I was over taken by emotion and I started to cry and I couldn’t stop. It was if all of the crap from my past was being washed out of my body, mind and spirit through my tears. It seems as if I cried for hours (Maybe I did). At first they were tears of anger at me for what I had done to myself the night before. Then I began to cry tears of joy and they washed away all the excuses, all the fear and all the BS I had been telling myself all those years in rationalizing that my miserable past life was everybody else’s fault. It was all the stuff that was getting in the way of me, realizing how amazing I am. I became awake, aware and in the present moment. For the first time in my life I realized that I was responsible for my life and everything that I do and what happened to me – everything. No one made me eat until I was physically sick. It wasn’t anyone’s fault that my self-esteem was so low that I had to eat to fill the emptiness I felt inside. It was all me and I owned it. I was responsible for my past and everything that has happened as painful as it was to admit that. I was responsible for my today and for what I accomplish and achieve. I would be responsible for tomorrow and the next day and the rest of my life. It was a powerful and freeing feeling realizing for the first time in my life I had control and the power to mold and shape my life. To be the master of my life. I don’t know how long I sat there in that chair coming out of the lifelong comma I had just woken up from. Now it was time for me to take that first step in the new life that was given to me.
So, I got out of that chair I was sitting in. After really thinking about it, I got out of that chair of limiting beliefs, excuses and blame I had been sitting in all my life. I remember standing up and stepping away from that horrible chair and in that instant, I left my past behind me. It was gone and I was never going to ever go back there again. I had finally awakened from my nightmare. I began to bury myself in books instead of food. I was feeding my mind the nourishment it wanted and craved. Doorways in my mind began to open, letting out knowledge that I had in me that I thought was long forgotten. I began develop incredibly powerful techniques and applying existing proven techniques and skills in different ways. I began to work on me, applying these things to myself. I worked on and changed my values and beliefs on how I viewed the world and myself. My focus became on what I wanted out of my life, how I wanted to feel and what I wanted to look like. I began to define my goals, dreams and visions I had for my life.
The most important thing I did that I had avoided doing my entire life and that would be the key to all my future success – I changed the perception I had of myself that I had in my subconscious mind.
No longer would I perceive myself as being fat and unworthy of love, happiness, health, fun and success. Those days were gone. I began to perceive myself as being healthy, strong, lean, muscular, attractive and youthful, weighing 175 pounds and maintaining it easily for the rest of my life.
I remember setting my first goal and how important it was to me. By accomplishing this goal I would have had to have completely change how I perceived myself. My body, mind and spirit would have to be in alignment to achieve it. My first goal was to be able to go out into public and not be noticed as being the fat guy, in fact, I wanted to be able to go into public and not be noticed at all. When I was able to go out in to world and not be noticed and to be good with that feeling, the flood gates of my life opened up and I wanted to do more and more things, strive to new heights. I was like a little kid who went into a toy store and was told that I could have whatever I wanted and there were no limits. I needed an extremely large shopping cart for all my new toys.
That was more than 13 years ago. The little voice in my head telling me to help people and make a positive difference in this world came back to me…and I listened to it. It is why I am here, now to help you become everything you want to be.
Call me 847-331-5848 or email and we can talk about you.