This morning, I’m feeling very grateful.  I’m very happy just to have awakened again today, and to be able to live my God-given life one more day.  It’s the 24th day of our “Give-Back Diet,” and I’m grateful to you for coming back today, doing your best, and living your God-given life to the fullest.

I’m particularly grateful to God, today, as I’ve lost a couple of longtime friends this week, but I feel particularly blessed to have had them in my life.  They were mentors to me, and were really important.  They both encouraged me and believed in me 100%.  I will truly miss their always kind words; it’s so hard to believe their voices are now silent.  Their encouragement still lives in me though:  I still hear Bob Davis holding up an apple slice saying, “look at that worm hole!  The worm gave up halfway!  You’re not like that worm, Norris, turning back too early!”  I still hear David Mallery’s “keep dancing Norris!”  fondly remembering a retreat I attended 16 years ago.

Bob and David taught me a lot, but a few truths stand out: put myself aside and help someone else.  Encourage others.  Believe in them.  Appreciate them.  See God in everyone.

What’s so amazing is that not only did they encourage me way back when, they kept on for decades.  Every year, year-after-year, I’d get letters and Christmas cards from them.  When Bob passed on a few years ago, his lovely wife Marjory wrote me an annual Christmas card, always with some nice word, or interest in what I was up to.  She left us this week.

I think what I’m most grateful for is the love they felt for me, and the love they gave me in abundance.  They have helped me immeasurably, and their love and encouragement will be with me always.

NOW – time for YOU!  I want to continue to encourage you in your efforts.  I believe in you.  I feel like I have begun to know many of you who have posted, and I am really proud of you for taking action every day.  Speaking of taking action every day:


— When you feel the urge to splurge and eat something that you know isn’t healthy or good for you, stop.  Allow yourself to feel some love.  Think of someone who loves you, or someone who demonstrated love to you in the past.  Feel their love and encouragement.  Let that gratitude build inside.  Take a few moments to really experience some loving words:  “you CAN lose weight.  You are powerful.  You are beautiful.  You are a child of God, and you are loved.”

— Let that gratitude build, and give it back to God.  Say a little prayer: “God, thank you for the help you give me to stop my negative habits.  Thank you for the love you give me.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, God.”

— Now give-back that love to someone else.  Write them an email.  Pick up the phone and encourage and believe in them.  Post a comment and affirm your gratitude for others in this program with you.

I want to express my gratitude to you again.  I love it that you’re with me in this effort to improve, lose weight, eat better, move and take good care of yourself.  I send you my love, and belief in you.

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