The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

How to Change Others.

Well, you can't. Get over it.

Alright, that's not helpful. How about this?

Be the change you want to see in other people. 

When I first started working out and getting into shape it was very difficult to do so. I lived with my parents and their lifestyle did not match up with my goals. I no longer ate meals with them, I had to ignore all of the treats they kept in the house and say no to the numerous treats my mother would bake (until cheat day, glorious glorious cheat day).

My mother and father had been overweight for some time. They had stints of brief weight loss here and there, but nothing stuck. Both of them had somewhat serious health scares and conditions. My father diabetes, and my mother very high blood pressure. My father was never really concerned about his appearance in terms of weight (he ain't no shlub), but I know my mother didn't have a high opinion about her appearance and wasn't comfortable in her skin at times.

Fast forward to me losing 80lbs.

My parents saw me transform. Not just in terms of appearance, but also in life style and attitude. They couldn't believe the little chunky couch potatoe that was their son was now doing HIIT cardio without his shirt on outside. I had shown them that it's possible to change ones lifestyle.

Now, I wasn't an only child. I had two brothers that had always been athletic and involved in sports. So, my parents knew that they weren't cursed with fat kid genetics, but perhaps felt that it wasn't really in them to have the body types they wanted and it rubbed off on the most sensitive of their children, their middle child, Ol' Yeargain.

Lil Ol' Yeargain and Pops.

My ma tells me I inspired her, and since my pops is an easy goin guy and a great husband he went along this path with her. They asked me how to do it. I told them what I tell you guys. Count your calories and put yourself into a caloric deficit and supplement it with exercise. That's all they needed. My mom started making calorie friendly meals, started going to the gym every morning with my pops to do an hour of cardio. Now, they are content doing their own plans of fitness. Someday I'll get them to lift some weights, but to deny their progress would simply be foolish of me.

Look at that change!

My mother has lost 50lbs and has even started running! (One of her goals!)

My father has lost 70lbs even though while in the midst of his weight loss journey he fell out of his truck and fractured one of his vertebrates, something that would usually stir people to give themselves a month long "Fuck It" pass.

The same mother who once made me a Donut Cheeseburger (Per my request) is now making low calorie banana muffins. She's inventive with her healthy cooking and getting the results while living an interesting food life. They both drink beer and go out to eat regularly because they budget it in their calories. Neither of them go hungry, and my ma is usually so inventive with her food that she sometimes makes 3 course meals (appetizer, dinner, and dessert) that fit into their calories.

Their progress has even caused a ripple effect amongst their friends. Suddenly I'm seeing more and more of them at the YMCA putting time on the ellipticals and treadmills than I do people my own age.

It's not everyday that you can do something to inspire your parents to change their lives. I honestly think its the best thing I've done for them. I didn't lose weight for anybody else other than me, I made sure of that from day 1. But, now that I'm living on the later half of this journey, I'm very grateful I stuck with it because of the profound effect its had on my whole life. I'm now finding joy in helping out people that are close to me, whether its writing these long winded posts or simply living by example, I'm glad I can be helpful.

If you're a person that's looking to change the people around you, I recommend you stop that nonsense right away. The best you can do is be a positive role model, and be the changes you want to see in the world. Chastising and condescending will get you nowhere and leave you alone on your pillar of self-righteous sadness. Be successful in yourself and you'll find that other people will admire you for it. 


  1. Kasey, the effect goes further than you would expect. Because you inspired your mother, she inspired me, and I hope that my changes inspire others. It's a chain, and in our case, you were the first link. Thank you. Caroll Houser (New Zealand)

  2. Words cannot express the positive impact this has ultimately had on our entire family. I have not mentioned this to you before, but I had a fear in my head that I would hit my 50th birthday without conquering my weight issues. It really messed with me and even though I had the power to change it, I don't think I believed I did. I feel like a whole new life has opened up for me. You were never preachy, or condescending. Sometimes, I noticed a hint of concern, but it was never delivered in an unkind way. Thanks for getting us on the path. Dad and I are so thrilled to have come this far and have no doubts in our ability to see it through and make this a permanent change in our lifestyle.