“Burn all the videos”, I said, watching myself in disgust. “No one will ever see these.”
In August 2021 I hired a video team to film a huge event at an arena where I was Keynote Speaker in Las Vegas for over 10,000 people.
It was expensive to have them film, and sadly the audience wasn’t as keen on me as I’d expected, to my amazement it was the first time in my career where I hadn’t received a standing ovation for a group that size.
Perhaps even more devastating was the fact that I had to toss all the footage since I could not justify using it due to the way I looked in my shirt.
I shared the footage with family and friends who thought it was incredible, but I couldn’t get over how I looked under the bright lights.
I dove into a most dedicated workout and eating regimen that saw me release 30 lbs of fat from August 2021-March 2022. I hadn’t looked this good in years and was dialed in, never missing a day to workout, sweat, eat right, and loved living The Promise of Health.
July 14, 2022 was just another great day in the summer. I had gone swimming earlier in the day with my youngest son, spent some time mentoring a young speaker that day in my office, and took my older boys out to play basketball that evening.
If you follow my journey then you know I ended up that night in the E.R. and have been in a leg brace and mostly laid up ever since, having suffered a traumatic injury to my knee.
Determined not to gain my weight back, I continued working out from bed, on the floor, wherever I could crawl, while eating right and feeling as good as I possibly could during my initial weeks of leg injury recovery.
It has now been 2 months since my surgery, and I am sad to say – the weight is all back despite my best efforts.
I admit to having eaten imperfectly here and there, as the kindest neighbors and friends brought ice cream by the seeming forklift loaded pallet to my home, but can honestly say I have been good 95% of the time, and worked out every day without fail along with my physical therapy treatments.
Alas, not having cardio to crank out with fully functioning legs seems to have been the main culprit of my weight gain.
As I write this and share something pretty vulnerable, I can say it has been a bummer to watch the weight slowly creep back on, seeing my nicely shaped pecs sludge back into the ghastly melons they had become, and realizing I can’t do anything about it!
To see my once hiking-ready legs looking so uneven, like Arnold vs. Danny DeVito in “Twins”, the right is still muscular and enviable to those who have seen me in the right lighting, flexing those powerful quads and calves…but the left looks like King Tritan in the Little Mermaid after he gets hit by Ursula’s spell and shrivels to the bottom of the sea.
I could be depressed about all of this.
However, I know I have lived The Promise through this trial, my mind and spirit has never wavered to sadness or feeling sorry for myself, and I have done all I can to gain strength in my slowly healing leg.
Today I took a step up a stair for the first time on my weaker leg.
It was like expecting a metal street sign to bend as you grab it. The pain of moving this newly constructed leg, tendon, and kneecap, with scar tissue everywhere, is something quite fascinating to experience. It’s like unwinding dead and dried crawling ivy off your pergola after it has been brown and deceased for a decade. The crunching and crackling is incredible!
But I made it up the first step, and then the second, and up to the 13th with much willful aggression and triumphant exultation!
And that’s when it hit me: The weight gained back will make this weak leg stronger than it would have been 30 lbs ago.
The realization of not hating myself for my own weight gain during this time, and the benefit of it’s increase amplifies my capacity to function, saw my eyes filling with tears as I looked down at my leg…after sucking in to actually see my leg.
I’ve never looked at my own weakness and frailty this way. Some may say it’s a great justification to mediocrity. I say it’s the ultimate gift to myself in the depths of humility.
I’m sad I gained my weight back, but I’m grateful for what it affords my body to now relearn in gaining greater strength.
Once I get this leg really moving again, I know my body will become what it will become, and in that I am grateful for this fateful time.
The Promise continues to evolve for me, and I hope this post has helped you see you a little different, too.
~ Jason Hewlett
Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker
- Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Promise Legacy Project Coach
- World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to Create Legendary Leadership through the Power of Commitment
- Author of “The Promise To The One”