This is my friend Jim. We attended the same high school, were both “band geeks” (Jim played trombone, and I played the trumpet and French horn), briefly worked at the same pizza shop, and had lots of friends and activities in common.
Jim’s brother, Kevin, was also a close friend. Kevin was a couple years younger than I and sat next to me in band. We had lots of laughs. Kevin and I both struggled with our weight and would often tease each other or joke about whose marching band pants were going to rip first.
Kevin passed away unexpectedly in 2016, and Jim entered a period of intense struggle with grief. Battling depression, he sought help and eventually began his own blog, “Jim Ladiski Writes.” For nearly as long as I’ve been writing, I’ve said writing is cathartic. Modern psychology backs this up. Expressing ourselves in words can be very healing.
When Jim launched his blog, I was immediately drawn to it. Although our contact had been very sporadic in the years since high school, I knew Jim to be one of the happiest and most positive people I’ve ever known. Reading about his struggles with depression made me realize once again that depression is commonly hidden. My own struggles with it often go unnoticed because people see me as happy and positive and rarely see me in my darkest moments.
While Jim hasn’t struggled with weight, he’s struggled with depression and grief, and has emerged as a positive voice for the importance of finding hope and healing. Jim’s also a hero in other ways. He’s a dad and an advocate for Compassion International, an organization that connects sponsors with children across the world to help lift them out of poverty. I could list many more ways Jim is a hero, but one that deserves a definite shoutout is his role as a firefighter and paramedic for the city of East Lansing. All of these heroic roles have likely resulted in countless lives being saved.
Congratulations, Jim! You are January’s Hope for the Heavy Hero!
Click here to read or subscribe to Jim’s blog, “Jim Ladiski Writes.”
2 thoughts on “Jim Ladiski is January’s Hope for the Heavy Hero”
Hi Jon! This is Dawn Baese! Glad I read this award that Jim got! I am at my heaviest and also have depression! One of the many who look happy all the time! Being older it gets tiring to be the “happy one” all the time and being a stress eater is not helping me to be healthier for my new grandson!!!! Any help or suggestions on “diet” or breaking bad habits let me know! Still remember the many laughs Justine and I had in pizza place😂😍
Hi Dawn! So good to hear from you! I hear your pain and can definitely relate. The holidays can be some of the best and also some of the most difficult times of the year! Have you read my book? If not, please consider getting a copy; I think you will find much within it to help you on your journey. For one thing, you’ll know you aren’t alone in the struggles with depression and weight. For another thing, I’m confident you will laugh yourself silly at many things…just like how we used to laugh every time you and Justine came to the Pizza Place! And laughter heals. Not sure if you are still in the O-E area, but if you are, I’m going to be in mid-Michigan January 13-20 and have a series of events planned where you could get a copy (and also say hi…I’d love to see you again!). If you are on Facebook, go to this link to view information about each event: https://www.facebook.com/hopefortheheavy/events/
If you can’t make any of those or are no longer in the O-E area, you can order a copy of my book via Amazon (Kindle or print) or get an autographed copy directly from me, if you prefer. Visit http://www.hopefortheheavy.com/book for ordering information.
My best advice about habits and diets is as follows; and please keep in my mind that I am FAR from perfect in these regards. I’ve gained back 100 of the pounds I’ve lost and a lot of old habits have crept in. So, I get it…I really do! Habits are so easy to make and so hard to break. This is what works for me (when I take time to LET it work)…First, it’s going to take time. It takes most people 3-4 weeks of discipline to break a bad habit. Second, you’re going to need support. Find someone you can talk to when you’re tempted. Third, prepare in advance. Don’t buy things you know you can’t control when it comes to eating. Fourth, don’t be too hard on yourself. If you mess up, tomorrow’s a new day!
Regarding diets, my best advice is this…diets generally don’t work for the long term. No one can keep eating nothing but bacon, sausage and cheese (Atkins) or eat nothing but lettuce and things that taste like they’re made from tree bark. Again, I am far from perfect in this regard, but I do my best to focus my goals on HEALTH, and not on a number on the scale. You want to be healthy to enjoy your grandson…make that your focus. When you’re tempted to overeat or eat too much of something that is high calorie…think about how you want to be around as long as possible for your grandson. And don’t deprive yourself of things you love to eat. That will eventually short circuit your success. Allow yourself to enjoy your food, but not be controlled by it.
These are just some tips that have worked for me; I’m not a trained expert in psychology or nutrition, so please take them as just being what has worked for me. Please stay in touch! If you need support or have questions about anything, you can write me anytime at email@example.com.