Time… It’s the one thing we can’t cheat.

No matter how hard I’ve tried.

No matter what situation.

No matter what aspect of life.

Time is the one piece we have no control over.

This is more of a reminder for me than anything. Going through a lot of change right now has me down in the dumps. I know I’m in the middle of losing something I love dearly. I am in the middle of changes in every aspect of my life. I know many difficulties lay just in front of me and somedays the fear alone is so overwhelming it sweeps my smile under the rug and I have a hard time getting out of bed, let alone being able to smile my way through the day…

Change is hard. I have promised myself over and over I wasn’t going to get comfortable with where I was in life and that is exactly what I allowed myself to do. I lost my wits. I lost my focus. I let myself drift away without paying attention to how far I had gone.

I obviously can’t judge the situation too far in advance because I can’t see the future, but living in the moment, I have lost my way on some aspects of my life. However, I have found clarity in other ways.

Although my smile isn’t gleaming as usual, I have found happiness in me. For the first time in my life, I am happy just being me. I can wake up and look in the mirror and be grateful and thankful for the guy staring back at me. He is far from perfect and still has many flaws, but he’s an ok guy. He still has aspects of life he is working on and getting through, but at the end of the day… I’m proud of the guy looking back at me.

The hardest part about finding happiness in myself is everything I had to give up in order to get where I am today… I have a long list of things I wanted to accomplish by TODAY… not specifically today, but this moment in time. I had a plan of where I would be physically, financially, socially, spiritually… I had goals that were supposed to be done by now. I had accomplishments I was supposed to achieve by now. For a long time, I was willing to put all the outside accomplishments & goals first and put loving myself (and the people around me…) last just to get the attention and external validation I wanted to receive… I know… how sad am I? Pathetic is more of the word I would describe the old Gary.

Maybe it’s coincidence.

Maybe it’s influences in my life.

Maybe it’s disappointment.

I do believe a small cause is maturing over time.

When I was a kid, I wasn’t smart. I wasn’t funny, I didn’t have many friends. I was obese, sad, and lonely…

I wanted to be the popular kid. I wanted to be good at sports. I wanted my parents to be rich. I looked at what everyone else had and always wanted to be like them.

I watched from afar always feeling left out and inadequate.

I wanted attention.

I wanted someone to talk to.

I wanted to feel loved…

Looking back, at what I felt I was missing… It is no wonder I would sneak food into my room. I was using food to fill holes in my life where I wanted to feel positive emotions.


When I look back at the last 5,10,20 years, everything I have done makes perfect sense.

Why losing weight was never good enough for me.

Why I was willing to give up everything, so I could move to Denver.

Why I disassociated with friends and family.

Why I drank myself to sleep for over a year.

Why I was deeply depressed to the point of wanting to end my life.

Why I made other choices which altered the state of my mind, my life, and my future.


I wanted to feel loved and I wanted attention.

I have learned a lot about myself in the past couple years. This journey of self-discovery has been full of mistakes, failures, lessons, and most of all the journey has left many people wondering…

One day I will be able to take everything out of my head and put it on paper. I will write my book. It is very important to me, now… I have found my reason why. For the longest time my goal was to write a book just because a lot of people wanted to read about it… now I know why I couldn’t ever sit down and start. I didn’t want to. Deep down inside I wanted to be able to write a book, so I could understand my life. I wanted to be able to heal from my past, accept the present, but more importantly, I wanted to write the future I really wanted.

I started writing because I needed to talk to someone. I have since learned communication is my number one love language. Words of affirmation and quality time come in next. When I feel stifled and alone, I lose my smile… and I feel like the lonely little boy who stuffed my face with food to avoid feeling lonely. Or maybe it wasn’t about avoiding feelings… maybe filling myself with food was the only way I could get the full feeling that allowed me a small bit of happiness, even if it was short lived until the next time I could eat.

I want to put a time frame on when I will have a finished copy in my hand, but time is irrelevant. I am no longer writing my book for anyone else or because of anyone else… I am now ready to accept my past and heal from my mistakes.

“We change our lives for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.”
-Jim Rohn

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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