Day 40: The Impossible is Possible…

“Everyone is different: different shapes, sizes, colors, beliefs, personalities, and you have to celebrate those differences.” – Kelly Clarkson

The impossible is possible. I have completed the Meaning of Life Tour 40 Day Wellness Challenge, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. The past 40 days have been some of the most positive and introspective of my life.

The Physical

I started my journey by fixating on the numbers, waging war with the scale. Each morning was a digital dance with gravity. Often, I felt like I was fighting a battle of lost causes, not pounds. In contrast, I am ending this challenge by reflecting on my personal victory over the scale. I started this challenge at 206.2 lbs. This morning, I weighted in at 191.2 lbs. for a total loss of 15 pounds! I am beyond proud of myself. The biggest takeaway I can visual see is that I really need a pedicure. I mean, look at those paws. Woof!

In addition, my waist size has dropped three belt notches from 36 to 33 inches. I attached these before and after photos for visual perspective. From left to right: March 17, 2018, January 31, 2019, March 22, 2019.

While I didn’t start this challenge on March 17, 2018, I feel like its important to remind you of where the weight loss portion of my journey began. This process started over a year ago. The point of this challenge was to motivate me to change my life – a complete and total change. The physical aspect of my journey is actually very important. My inside more closely resembles my outside. A year ago, I tipped the scale at 230 lbs. Today, I weighed in at 191.2 lbs. A thirty-nine pound loss, by anyone’s standard, is a victory.

The Mental & Emotional

Mindfulness was also an important component of this challenge. This whole challenge was actually born from a conversation with my community manager. During our monthly one-on-one, she asked me about my goals for the quarter. In addition to sales and prospect goals, I told her I had a personal goal to be more mindful.

How do you measure mindfulness? How do you measure the idea of living in the present?

A couple of days later, I came up with the Meaning of Life Tour 40 Day Diet & Exercise Challenge, and after a week (and reflection), “Diet & Exercise” was replaced with the word “Wellness”. I felt like the only way I could truly measure mindfulness was by blogging and reflecting on my posts. The only stipulation was that I had to blog at least once a day. One post, each day to share my life with you. As I reflected on my experiences and how I wanted to convey this blog to all of you, I kept thinking about Kelly Clarkson.

At the beginning of this challenge, Kelly Clarkson was a main character in my story. Her vibrant personality, off-the-wall quotes, uplifting songs, and overall awesomeness served as the foundation upon which to build my blog, and express my thoughts and feelings. However, after 40 days, I realize she is not a main character.

Kelly Clarkson is a supportive player. And I am by no means downgrading her importance to me. Her music has been the soundtrack of my life. From the highest of highs to the depths of “have you ever felt low”, she has been a constant comfort. Like her music, she is an important piece of my puzzle. The true main character in my life is Mikey. And before I started this challenge, I took that fact for granted.

The Future

I am not a fortune teller. I can’t predict the future from a saucer of tea leaves. I do not own a crystal ball. However, I have faith in God and the Universe that my journey will be full of unending joy, fearless laughter, and everlasting love. With Mikey’s steadfast love and support in my heart, and Kelly’s inspirational voice in my ear, I know everything will be alright. Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you. Thank you for taking the time to support my journey. I have nothing but gratitude for you. I am thankful.

Dear Kelly…

I have provided a link to a public reading of my fan letter to Kelly Clarkson. It has been years in the making, with several edits and revisions. It has evolved, like I have evolved. I hope it makes its way to her heart, and if not (at the very least) to yours.

Thank you for being so supportive. I love all of you! For your consideration, and even with a horrible preview picture (I will get over this) my life:

Dear Kelly, Thank You.

Dear Kelly,

I have never written a fan letter before, so this is new for me. I have no expectations. I have no delusions that you will read this letter. I hope you do. However, if this fails to make its way to you, at least I know I have told the Universe. Maybe, just maybe, the information will make its way to your heart.

I met Jeff went I was 20 years old. It was a whirlwind courtship, which should have never happened. However, it did. It was amazing! I also met you when I was 20 years old. You probably do not remember meeting me. I mean, how could you? You meet hundreds and hundreds of people every week. However, we met.

On April 8, 2005, you rolled through Indianapolis on the Breakaway Tour. Jeff had lost a very adult bet, and the penalty was front row, center seats to Kelly Clarkson. I did not believe it would happen to me, but the impossible was possible. The concert was a blur, except for one moment. You stopped the concert and took a dozen roses from me. You said that you had not gotten flowers from a guy in a long time. I was shocked, and excited, and you made my life.

Jeff is no longer with us. He died the following year in July. Cancer had overtaken his lymph nodes and he unexpectedly passed away on a humid evening in the comfort of our bed. I was completely devastated. For a long time, I blamed him for the direction my life had taken. I blamed him for leaving me all alone. I was a 21-year-old widower. I grieved for months. The more I grieved Jeff, the more I resented him. I would play Because of You on repeat as a way to direct my sadness into anger. Better to be angry than sad.

As the years have passed, I have realized how important he was in the shaping of my adulthood.

I have been with Mikey for almost two years. Mikey is my world. He is everything. When I am with him, I know that everything will be okay. I will be okay. There are no words to describe what he means to me. Now that I have the opportunity to see you in concert, I want you to know that he exists. We exist.

I hope that the Universe delivers this letter to you.

I want you to know that your music has been the soundtrack of my life. Every song has a special memory attached to it. Behind These Hazel Eyes was Jeff’s love song to me. Because of You helped me get through the sudden death of my father. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) is my anthem when I fail to realize how special and wonderful I am. My Life Would Suck Without You is my workout, empowerment jam. Never Enough, arguably your best cover, is the declaration of love I share with Mikey. It is our song.

Lastly, I want to thank you for being a constant part of my life. My journey is more complete because of your music. Your words, your lyrics, and your voice speak to me in times of great sadness and immense joy. I am thankful you are in the world. I am grateful for you sharing your gift with the world.

In addition, I am especially grateful I have the opportunity to see you on March 22nd in Indianapolis, and share the Meaning of Life with Mikey. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, and thank you for being such a special part of my story. You inspire me to be better.

From my heart to yours and with eternal gratitude,

Matthew “Matty” Jacobs

Day 39: “Two for the show…”

“Honestly, I just think we all have special gifts, everyone. You know, obviously, some are more noticeable than others and that’s why there’s the limelight. Everybody’s in it.” – Kelly Clarkson

Tomorrow, the Meaning of Life Tour 40 Day Wellness Challenge reaches it’s “first” conclusion. As many of you know, I am extending this challenge by 50 days. I do not want this journey to end at 40 days. I have more to achieve, and I need this blog and all of your support to guide me through this process. Asking for help has never been easy for me. For too many years, I was an army of one – dependent only on myself to navigate the hills and valleys of life. Sure, I had the support of my family and a few close friends. But I never asked for help, even when I truly needed it.

I need help. I need your support.

Tomorrow, Kelly Clarkson takes the stage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. I have waited more months than I can count for this moment – “a moment like this”. Several years ago, I wrote a letter to Kelly Clarkson. I believe I have re-written, re-vamped, and revised the context of the letter at least once or twice yearly to reflect the changes in my life. How do you explain to your Idol how much they have impacted your life? How could she know? I never sent the letter.

Tonight, I am going to make my final revisions and put the letter out into the inbox of the Universe. All I have is love, and all I have to give is love. Have a great day, y’all. And thank you for your support, grace and kindness!

Day 37: “Three to get ready…”

“It’s amazing to impact people’s lives – it’s a cool thing to have the spotlight and be able to reassure people, to say, ‘It’s OK to be you.” – Kelly Clarkson

The majority of blog entries are written in the solitude of my living room before the sun breaks the skyline. This morning is no exception. I have my cup of organic Italian roast topped off with some coconut/almond French vanilla creamer riding shotgun. And after typing the last sentence, I realize I sound like a pretentious toolbox. On the other hand, I know how I like my coffee in the morning. Did I mention the creamer is organic and non-GMO?

In other news, I have a three day work week. I am already stressing out. The Herculean task of completing 40+ hours of work, in the sum total of a day, has fallen on my shoulders. To be fair, I created this challenge for myself by taking two PTO days for the Meaning of Life Tour on Friday.

Have I mentioned that Kelly Clarkson will be in Indianapolis on March 22nd.?

The last statement was my veiled attempt at sarcasm. It’s too early to be witty. But, I tried. And now, I will finish my pretentious cup of suburban java, devour some spinach and egg whites, and prepare for the longest, shortest week of the year. As the old adage goes: “One for the money. Two for the show. Three to get ready. And four, let’s go!”

Have a great day, y’all! And remember, don’t be an asshole!

Day 36: A Video Blog Recap…

“This is my life; these are my fingerprints; I’m unique; this is what I want to do. You worry about your own front porch and what’s happening in your own world.” – Kelly Clarkson

For your consideration, a video blog update – complete with some witty banter and an ounce (or two) of charming repartee. And though I am learning to love myself on camera, I have to comment on the capture photo for this video. What is up with all the cheese in that smile? I do not smile, but I am tonight! Enjoy! And remember, don’t be an asshole!