I’ll never forget this photo, as much as I try. It was taken at a particularly low period of my life, after I’d just been laid off from a job as a reporter. In the four months that I’d worked the job I’d gained about 15 pounds. Most of my days were fueled off of egg and cheese sandwiches from the Nice and Easy and coffee  from the Miner’s Diner in Herkimer, New York, not far from my bureau office. I’d then have pizza for lunch and cap off the tense day with a Fast Break, which is a candy bar made by Reese’s that makes the eater feel utterly worthless open biting into it. I did almost no exercising and after a 12-hour day some days I’d walk the dog and go to sleep in my lonely apartment. I went from a 34 to a 38. I’m somewhere in between right now. Okay, enough of the depressing stuff. I’m reading a fabulous book right now called The Mood Book by David Burns. Unlike a lot of books written about positive thinking,Burns’ book is more about recognizing negative thoughts, reclassifying them and reevaluating them for worth. Looking at this photo and looking at a photo of myslef from 2001 when I was in much better shape, I have a tendency to want to be mad at myself. Truly, I’ve not taken good care of me, physical and spiritual.

On the other hand, to what benefit is it for me to see that photo and castigate myself saying, “Paul, you’ve screwed up. You’ve let yourself go. You jackass”?

It helps me in no way. Human beings have souls and the soul works best when nurtured.

Rather, today, at 210, I can perhaps motivate myself in other ways that are more beneficial to my spiritual and physical well-being. Lately, I believe I’ve been taking the right steps. I’ll let you know more about it. After all, this was the point of this web log, right!

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