Defining Moments

On March 2, 2009, Mike Campbell opened a word document. He wrote "Day 1, 351 pounds." And then he typed this:

I need to lose weight for my health and quality of life. I do not know the final destination, but I do know I need to start the journey! I want and need to be more positive about myself and my future even with the things that are happening in the world and the economy. I need to take care of me so I can best help my family and community.

Mike Campbell, Fat Guy Diary

Mike Campbell, Fat Guy Diary

A month earlier, Mike watched his niece perform in her high school play, and he could barely squeeze into the seat in the auditorium. And shortly after that, his wife, Polly, told him a story. Polly said if a fire broke out, regardless of who else was around, she would be the most important person in the room. If she couldn't figure out how to get out of the fire, she couldn't help anyone else.

Mike was still thinking about that story when he titled the document "Fat Guy Diary" and hit save.

One year later, he had lost 150 pounds.

Today, at 54, Mike maintains a healthy weight and no longer needs medication to control his blood pressure, cholesterol, migraines, anxiety and asthma. Mike says he starts each day with honesty, attitude and water. "I focus on being honest with myself which is not always easy. I work to build a positive attitude based on the blessings in my life and make my choices based on that attitude. I don't make the best choices when I have a bad attitude."

Photo By Jeffrey Scott, Oblique Magazine

Photo By Jeffrey Scott, Oblique Magazine

[caption id="attachment_2338" align="alignright" width="195" caption="Photo By Jeffrey Scott, Oblique Magazine"][/caption]

This story is particularly inspiring to me, because 17 years ago, Mike was my boss. I was in college, working as "summer help" at the State Ports Authority's Columbus Street Terminal. What I remember most about Mike is how involved he was in Camp Happy Days. Over the years, I've run into Mike several times, usually at Starbucks. Each time, he would tell me about the work he was doing in the community. That's the kind of guy Mike is. Always helping others.

Mike, a self-proclaimed workaholic, finally learned how to help himself.

Today, we meet for coffee every now and then (Starbucks, of course). We talk about how we want to inspire people with our messages. We talk about the books we are writing.

Life can be awesome like that. How it brings you full circle and connects you with old and new friends who can support you on your path.