The Question Before the Question


I read a book that was one of the catalyst for the change I needed to turn my life around. It is called QBQ, The question before the question. It’s purpose was to motivate corporate executives and leaders to motivate their employees to take personal responsibility. It was recommended by my friend Lori Olson, who’s husband is a successful motivational speaker and teacher. Rick speaks mostly to large corporations. Rick is one of those calm approachable people, with a warm personality and great wisdom. Because of that character, you want to hear what he has to say. You know he knows what he is talking about. His wife Lori is the same. I am blessed to have these great people in my life.

The book is all about taking responsibility for your life and actions. It teaches you to quit being a victim, and even when the task ahead seems impossible, you still own it and try, regardless of why or how you got in the spot you are in.

Up until I read that book, I was spending most of my days feeling stuck, and listing the many obstacles that were in my way keeping me from having success. I did a lot of whining, and altho some of the situations in my life were not created by me, I quit focusing on the source, and started focusing on how I could resolve these things. I laid aside my resentments, and took whatever resources I had, and made baby steps towards claiming back my life. Never expecting to be rescued or taken care of. I quit waiting for those who in my mind had transgressions against me, to fix, apologize, or repent.  What they did or did not do, was none of my business.

There is a saying among 12 step users that goes, “I keep my own side of the street clean”. So that’s what I started doing. I started with little things. One, was making sure I stayed under 1400 calories a day, no matter how my day was going. As my friend Sean Anderson says, this was a non-negotionable. Sean’s blog, The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser had a huge influence on my new approach to live. There was not going to be any reason, no matter how chaotic my life got, that would change that non-negotionable, in my day.

So I started adding to that list, I started a blog, I sought out people in my life, and on the internet who were successful at what I wanted to achieve. I surrounded myself with these people, I watches what was working for them. I remember my pastor Tom Jacob saying we become like the people we spend time with and the books we read. So I started reading more motivational and Christian books. My relationship with God became more intimate. I knew there were things that I could not achieve alone, but I did not let that stop me from trying. Every time I just blindly moved forward, and trusted, exactly what I needed showed up at the precise moment I was in need.

I started meeting people who I always wanted to know, bloggers that were having successful weight loss, were made available to me. Leaders and experts in weight loss just supernaturally crossed my path. I did nothing special, except staying true to my calorie budget, and walked through every door that came my way, never questioning how I was going to do it, afford it, or even know how.

The biggest thing I did was quit being a victim and take personal responsibility. FullSizeRender 26I let God take care of any revenge I might want to cast, I did not freeload. Every time I have a need, I think of a way I can earn my way out of debt. And no job was beneath me. I have been up all hours of the night sewing little baby shoes out of felt, to make $40, when my need was over $1000. And somehow, I earned and saved my way to pay the debt I had.

The lesson here is, stop being a victim, own your situation, and let God deal with the transgressors in your life. Stay on your own side of the street, and keep it clean. What that man across the street is doing, is none of your business. What he thinks of what your doing is none of your business. What he or his wife think of you is none of your business.

My business is to take care of Kathleen, never at the cost of someone else, and never expecting anything from anybody. No matter how needy I am, or how much abundance the guy across the street has, or is capable of, he owes you nothing.

I was over 500 pounds, I was broke, sometimes even getting my utilities, and phone shut off. But I started with what I had or could do, and here I am 10 months later, and 125 pounds lost. I have a promise of a job in the Spring when my mobility is better, I have so much to look forward to, and an army of support people around me.

This is not about my great ability, or willpower. I have no willpower. This is about taking personal responsibility, and letting God fill in the cracks and broken pieces.

I spent the whole month of December every evening in my bed listening to OA (Overeaters Anonymous) phone meetings. I knew the Holidays would be tough, so I sought out ways to strengthen my mission to health.  I am in constant search of saturating myself with successful and progressive people.

One of the hard parts is when I recognize my old behaviors in others. I have not always handled it well. but I am learning, their way of handling life is none of my business. Unless specifically asked, I work hard at keeping my mouth shut. It’s hard, and I have not always been able to keep my criticisms to myself, but I am learning.

So my message  today is, quit whining, figure it out, stop being resentful of everyone else, and take personal responsibility of whatever your struggles are. You will be so surprised at the ground you will gain in a short time. Blessings to all of you!


Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog. I am a Baby Boomer from Nebraska blogging my way to good health. I am single, with no children, I have a little white maltese dog named Lily. Follow my journey to lose 1 pound 300 times.

18 thoughts on “The Question Before the Question

  1. lori olson

    Very nicely said Kathy. You will never know the number of people you inspire everyday! You are taking your life back, taking responsibility is HUGE…you and you alone can make those changes and you have and are. Surrounding yourself with the counsel of others is not only so smart, it’s biblical. Blessings on you and thanks for the kind words about Rick and me….humbling to say the least. Good to call you friend. You are an overcomer!

    • Kathleen

      Thanks Lori! It’s been a lesson long in coming, but Gods timing is always perfect. Give Rick a big hug, love you little Sister!

    • Kathleen

      It’s so easy to make excuses, and even not realize we are doing that. Self awareness is the first step! Thanks for reading!

  2. Nixpix

    Really awesome post. I needed to hear all of this. Thanks for taking the time to write it and share it with all of us. You are truly an inspiration. I always look forward to reading your posts. You are helping so many of us.

    • Kathleen

      Thanks for reading! we are all in this journey to better health together. Thanks for taking the time to read and message me! Blessings!

  3. Dee

    “Every time you make an excuse robs you of the chance to learn”…wow, Kathy that’s an awesome quote. Thank you, great post today…you’ve really made me think 🙂

    • Kathleen

      Thanks Dee! It’s so easy to get in the habit of making excuses to the point where we don’t even realize that we are doing it. Take care , my friend!

  4. I love this. It is awesome. One of my brothers favorite sayings is “Just keep your side of the street clean”. It is something that I always come back to when conflict arises. We cannot control how others will behave but we do have control over our “side” of the street. As long as we know that we are doing what is right then we have taken care of what we are responsible for. I agree with the principle you have stated here. Keep doing the things you should every day regardless of what those around you are doing. As we continue to do this day by day, I believe God honors these efforts and even rewards us by bringing the right people and circumstances into our lives. So Amen!! A wonderful post to read on a Sunday morning!

  5. I just found your blog and have been reading through it. This post called to me. I am tired of blaming everyone else. This is all me and I need that reminder once in awhile 🙂

    • Kathleen

      Thank you so much for finding me and your kind message! It’s s tough realization to swallow, but after you do, you realize there are many of us, it’s not an evil quality, just a way we cope. But now that we know better, we do better. Blessings!

  6. Rose

    I love this post, Kathleen. I love how you said you stopped being a victim and started to repair your own life. I commend you for all you are doing to make your life yours again!!

    I see a book in your future!! 🙂 Can’t wait to read it!

  7. Greta

    I’m so happy I stumbled upon your blog. As a 62 year old woman who weighs over 350 lbs., I too have made too many excuses and too often cast myself as a victim. Even at this age, I’m trying to pick up the pieces and take responsibility for where I am in life. Your post resonated deeply with me–so thoughtful and wise. Thank you!

    • Kathleen

      I’m you glad we stumbled across my blog too! Thanks for reading my blog and sending me this nice message. You know I have noticed that overweight people are living longer, but not better. There are a lot of us baby boomers who have a lot of years left to live. So let’s turn things around, and take better care of ourselves and not just live a longer life but let’s live a better life. I know you can do it! Please keep in touch, I would love to hear your progress.

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