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I’m not one that you would describe as a believer in mystical or magical powers. But looking back over last weeks series of events, it makes me sit back and say “hmmm….”

In the beginning of the week I received my friend Helen’s e-newsletter.

I met Helen a few years ago and quite frankly while I admired her as a person, I didn’t understand her business. Over the past few years as I opened up my narrow mind and other outside sources reinforced the significance of what Helen does, I have embraced her abilities and what she has to offer. Not only that but I really admire her for having the guts and determination to leave her comfy corporate job and follow her true passion. I have heard stories about this, but she is one of the few people  I know that has done it. Like many of us that have News Year’s resolutions, the tips Helen provided in her e-newsletter inspired me to rededicate my efforts and follow through with mine. The resolution that many of us have- and the one that I have had for most of my life- is to lose some weight.

Even as a child I was known to be called “stocky.” I can use the excuse that I am predetermined by the genes I inherited from my parents, that this is just how it is. My parents, in their mid eighties, both suffer from hypertension and type two diabetes. I am already on high blood pressure medication, and have been for years. I’m sure it has to do with my genetics and not the fact that from time to time life in and out of the window covering business can be stressful.

The truth of the matter is that three years ago, I discovered my holy grail of weight loses. For the first time in my life I actually felt good about the way I looked. I discovered my trifecta that led to my success. Then, after an unfortunate event that was out of my control, my secret weapon was taken away from me. In utter disbelief I watched it unfold before my very own eyes. I am the type of person that it’s all or laziness and excuses. Since my secret weapon was gone, the laziness and excuses won the battle of my mind.

Its been 3 years and 34 pounds since I last saw my secret weapon. Last week, on the same day that I read Helen’s inspiring newsletter, my secret weapon walked into Galaxy Draperies looking for me. I came out from my office and immediately started yelling at him for abandoning me and blaming him for those 34 extra pounds. We spent the next hour talking. I found out that like many people these days, due to many different reasons, he was living on the streets. You read about these people, but here was one standing right in front of me that I personally know and like that made a wonderful difference in my life. He came looking for help with nowhere left to turn. If you haven’t guessed yet he was my trainer, Nino.

He couldn’t get a job as a trainer in a gym because he didn’t have the money for insurance or the money to pay the gym to be a trainer there. Many gyms charge there trainers rent for the privilege of offering their services. This allows the trainer to work independently and contract direct with the person that wants to hire them to be trained. Nino is as hard working as they come and deep down inside, I knew that if I gave this man a fishing pole he would be able to feed himself for a life time. Nino told me that as long as he had insurance and his first months rent at the gym he would have a job. I’m a pretty good judge of character but I decided to go to the gym and make sure everything was on the up and up before I dished out the money to help. Right before the incident three years ago, I paid Nino $400.00 for training that I never got. He was already in debt to me and I wasn’t real comfortable throwing good money after money that I had already chalked up to as lost. The gym manager confirmed his story and of course put on his sales pitch and tried to sell me a membership. I took the obligatory tour and to be quite honest, it was very clean and pretty busy for late afternoon. There was one thing that I noticed. I was the only Caucasian in the gym. This gym, you see, is not like the one near my home where I look like almost everyone else. This gym is in the same neighborhood that I grew up in. It’s the same neighborhood that my mom still lives in, because she doesn’t like change. But like many neighborhoods around the valley, this one has changed.

I went online and bought Nino his insurance and gave him his first months rent. He looked at me like I had just saved his life. It was a great feeling to know he now had his fishing pole and would be able to make a living and get off the streets. There was just one more thing he needed to do. He needed to convince me to give up my suburban gym membership and come train with him in the ‘hood. It was his way of repaying his debt. He wasn’t looking for a hand out, just a helping hand. I do not believe I am any better or any worse than anyone else, so I joined the gym in the ‘hood.  Most importantly, I have my secret weapon back. It is kind of funny-as I sweat through my pre-workout cardio, Nino’s voice yelling from somewhere in the gym behind me, “Rick Baker in the ‘hood! Work baby work!

Did anyone notice my t-shirt?

In an effort to completely humiliate myself, here is a picture of me taken last week before I started this journey along with a picture of my starting weight.

You’d notice the newest Silhouette fabric from Hunter Douglas. It’s the Chateau collection and the color of the fabric really offers some warm day lighting in the room. The original shades were white and this change really warms the room.

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