The Book That Changed My Life

I have been active most of my life. I was running in the 1970’s when they called it “jogging.” I was hit or miss. Decades later, I was turning forty and had just finish three years of graduate school and let’s just say, I had put on a few pounds. Sensing my frustration, my father sent me a book that had just come out, “Dr. Bob Arnot’s Guide to Turning Back the Clock,” by Robert Arnot, M.D. It changed my life.

I’ll never forget the question that he asked: “What do most Europeans talk about when they go back home after visiting the USA?”

  1. A) The Grand Canyon,
  2. B) The Statue of Liberty,
  3. C) Mount Rushmore, or
  4. D) The Balloon People? And by Balloon People, he meant, the people that looked like balloons.

Of course, you probably guessed that the answer is, D) the Balloon People (66% OF AMERICANS ARE OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE).

I did not want to be one of the Balloon People!!!

In his book, Arnot challenged his readers to, “look, feel, and act like an athlete in a sport you grow to love.” There it was! I saw a challenge that could turn back the clock in my life.

I remember lounging in my bed one Sunday morning in 1996, reading this book. Envisioning myself as an athlete, I became excited.

For these past twenty-plus years, I have been acting like an athlete. I have hiked to the top of some of the highest mountains in the continental United States (Mt Bierstadt on my 60th birthday). I have done solo backpacking trips through the Grand Canyon, ridden my bicycle across the state of Indiana in one day, and have run many half-marathons and 3 marathons. Of course, I surrounded myself with like-minded people, but it was the shift in my thinking that sparked this change in my like.

How does the saying go….”act as if?” I began acting as if I was an athlete and I continue to do so today.  I hope you too pick up the book and get inspired!


Mark K. Neese, LCSW, BCBA

Clinical Director

True North Counseling

Louisville, KY

Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own funds and no expectations from the author and/or publisher for a positive review.