Fast forward a few short months later.
By following what I told him to do, Nicco had dropped to under 300 pounds for the first time in 10 years. And he had lowered his A1C so dramatically that his doctor couldn’t even diagnose him as PRE-diabetic, let alone full-blown type 2.
But here’s the best part …
Not long after Nicco had returned to a healthy weight, we were at the gym working out when a young woman walked right up to Nicco and said something I will never forget.
I had seen this woman at the gym before, but we had never spoken. I would later find out she was a pro golfer, but in this moment she was nothing more than a stranger who walked straight up to my friend Nicco and delivered the following statement loud enough for me to overhear:
“You don’t know me,” she said to Nicco, “but I just want to tell you something. I’ve seen you in here a long time and just ...WOW ... you’ve really lost an incredible amount of weight.”
The words had gushed out of her with such enthusiastic sincerity, that she suddenly caught herself and felt a little self-conscious.
“You look great, that’s all I wanted to say,” she added. “That must feel really awesome.”
She gave an embarrassed wave and told Nicco she would let him get back to his workout.
Totally out of the blue.
I put down the dumbbells I was holding. I looked at Nicco.
He didn’t know her either. She was just a vaguely recognizable face he couldn’t quite place.
And she had just given him the ultimate validation: an unsolicited compliment without any agenda whatsoever.
The look on Nicco’s face in that moment is something I’ll never forget.
And you have to remember that this was long after Nicco had achieved his results.
He was clearly never going to back-slide again. This was the "new normal" for him.
Now this might sound corny, but in that moment I felt such a rush of awe and pure happiness for my friend that it superseded any personal accomplishment I could ever remember.
I mean, here was a guy who had every reason in the world to give up, to accept his family’s health tragedies as pure destiny, to retire to the couch and play out the string like the vast majority of American men, slowly circling the drain in denial of creeping weight gain, depleted energy and low sex drive …
... and instead, he had decided to take another chance to make it happen for himself, putting his faith in me in the process …
… and so as I basked in the secondary glow of Nicco’s validation, I realized that helping him with HIS success felt just as fulfilling as creating my own — if not more so.
Seeing him feel good is what made ME feel so awesome.