Posted by: J. Kristén Halley | May 31, 2011


The Free Spirit. What images does your mind conjure when you hear someone say that person is a real free spirit? For the longest time, it made me kind of envious. I had not yet defined what kind of person is a free spirit, but it was always used in a context that seemed to say something about that person. They lived outside the box. A stop sign has a closer meaning to yield to a free spirit.

A Free Spirit doesnt care about all the trivial bull shit that everyone else is entangled ass-hole deep in. A free spirit defies traditional.  In fact, they oppose it.

I had a little quiet time where I involved my mind in a comprehensive and objective self-evaluation. I wanted to determine if I was or am a free spirit.  Do others say that Kris, he’s a real free spirit. He really knows how to enjoy himself. He is free from tradition and plays by a whole different set of rules. He doesnt worry. He loves to laugh. He is always looking for his next adventure.

Sadly, I didnt measure up as much as I was hoping. So, I decided I needed a clear, concise definition as to what it does mean to be  a free spirit.  I searched online and in some dictionaries, but the places that offer up a meaning for the conjoined word lefte me less than fulfilled.

So, I decided to define it on my own. I looked at the two words and then it hit me. I simply flipped the order of the words to get “Spirit Free.”  Now that seemed to say it all in a overly succinct way. A SPIRIT which is FREE.

Taking it one step further, a LIFE (spirit) that is born from LIBERTY (free.)  Thene a semse of patriotism kicked in and I began to realize that a “free gspirit” is one who embodies the American way of thinking. It is that Liiberty or free [will] that we willingly sacrifice our life or spirit to preserve. It is precious. It is historically American.

But freedom of spirit is not limited to Americans. It epitomizes life itself. How all life cherishes freedom.  In the early 17th century, that longing, or willingness to sacrifice spirit to gain freedom was the first and foremost driving force to the African who had lost their liberty and sacrifice of spirit was the measure of their resolve to taste freedom again.

From a slave willing to risk the whip, to the coyote that chews through its own leg to regain the freedom lost, an animal willing to pay any cost to escape a fate uncertain. They knew only freedom was gone and unimaginable pain must be endured to chew through it’s own flesh and sacrifice spirit for freedom restored.


At that moment I had an epiphany. While being a free spirit doesn’t take on such a deep meaning to the average person, it is a hidden monument. To grasp the meaning on the various levels it exists, is a treasure. A hiidden treasure that is right out in plain view, yet we don’t recognize the value and pass it by. This realization hit me right on cue.


I was fresh off two back surgeries. I paid no mind to my diet, in that I made no adjustments to account for my drastic and dramatic change in lifestyle. I was eating anything I wanted during my extended covalescence.

I barely lifted a finger, unless it was assigned to deliver more food to my mouth, and like every human on earth, I started gaining weight. I was always in a horizontal position and my mind was distracted by the severe pain that lingered.

I stopped looking in mirrors. I even eased up on my standards of hygiene. It took effort and caused pain to maintain a regular schedule of basic grooming. I remember the frustration of trying on something that was not equipped with an elastic band and the struggle it was to fasten.

I clearly remember how quick I was to shed the jeans in favor of sweat pants to relieve the discomfort I felt around my waist, and the red lines left behind. Then the most tragic moment was when I noticed the tag on the back was twelve sizes bigger than what was hanging in my closet, haunting me.

The fact that I was struggling getting on jeans that were 44″ X 30″ was paralyzing at first. I was in shock. I was in denial.

But the denial didn’t last long, not with irrefutable evidence in my hands. I walked into my closet and jerked a random pair of jeans off the hanger and looked at the tag and saw numbers that brought on innstant nasea.  The tag read “32” X 32″”.  I shuffled neurotically through all of the jeans and pants that were hanging there and found a variety of sizes. I threw my newest jeans, the ones with a 44″ waist on the closet floor, and made a path over to the drawer that held assorted colors of nice, comfy sweat pants.

I swore to myself I would never speak of that moment again and made my way downstairs, where a hospital bed had become part of our living room decore. I decided that I had had it. I ignored the onset of the hunger pains and routinely shook the fat around my torso to watch it jiggle. I was going to lose weight.

About then, Sue comes through the front door with pepparoni pizza, hot wings with bleu cheese dressing, regular Coka-Cola, and Beer. In an instant, I had lost my resolve. I ate two orders of wings and four pieces of pizza. I drank two glasses of Cola, and finished it all off three to five beers.

I was full.  I know you know the kind of full I am speaking of: So full that when you are lucky enough to get a burp out, you still feel bloated beyond capacity.  I laid there, hands cradling my gut, when I had the flashback of my earlier experience. To avoid guilt, I vowed to start a strict diet on the next Monday.  As it turned out, I started a diet nearly every Monday for awhile.

Finally, I started to get it. I was suffering with back pain, and all of the extra weight was making my pain worse. it was incapacitating. It seemed a lot like I was trapped. How could I control my appetite when eating was my biggest source of pleasure. In my mind, it was what I had been reduced to-sitcoms and constant snacking.

Then another cycle caught my attention. The more I wanted to lose weight, the more time I spent eating. Here is where I developed the rudimentary elements that would later become the free spirit philosophy.

I knew that the one thing that has to change first is my thinking.  I was in no position to enter a regimented exercise program, and giving up eating things I loved just didn’t seem remotely possible. So I applied some basic ground rules.

First, I changed the way or context I used the word “diet.” In my world, one cannot go on a diet, and so, on cannot break a diet. To me, diet simply meant the food I consumed. that meant I could have a good diet and/or I could have a bad diet.

I also replaced the word “exercise” with “activity.” I didn’t feel like exercising. That meant work, hard work. Whereas, I felt I could increase my activity level.


A word that I have grown an affinity for is “adapt” or “adaptation.” While it could have several applications, I was particularly fond of how it applied to the human being.

Whatever you spend time doing determines directly how your body changes or adapts.

For example, if you live in a tropical region, your skin darkens so that it is able to take higher and higher doses of the sun’s powerful uv rays. Likewise, it is often not a difficult thing to guess what profession a person is in simply by noting their body shape.

A person who works in construction and must rely on different muscle groups to get their work done. A man who swings a heavy hammer much of the day will have highly developed forearms along with shoulders and upper arms.

Then I thought about those lucky people who can enjoy any food they care to eat and yet never gain an ounce.


In its most primitive formula, weight loss boils down to just one thing.


That statement is indisputable and uncontested. It is a universal truth. There are not anyone who exists outside that law. It applies to every living thing and yields no exceptions.

So what about that person who can eat and eat but never gains weight? Next time you are around that person do a little silent observation.  Sure, that person may have a bad diet, but watch them when they are unaware you are paying close attention to them. I think you will discover something about them that may have escaped your notice until now.

That person is always moving. They sit and shake their foot, or fidget, change positions frequently and usually can’t sit still for very long periods. It is also likely that the three pieces of cake you thought they devoured, were shared, or had much of it left unfinished. The plate may not look like they left much, but if they scraped down their plate like you and I do, it would add to their calorie intake.




  1. Manipulate your beliefs

    I can help you. I have felt the same way. Let me start by telling you that my approach or philosophy is guaranteed to work. You will soon experience a feeling of liberation like you have never felt before.


    It starts with your thinking. In the few short sentences you wrote, I read enough to expose your mind as the central culprit in keeping you in chains. You are dwelling on what you don’t want. You don’t want to be unhealthy. Therefore your mind authored your comment. You do not want to be invisible in a crowd. You don’t want to die. Yet, these toxic thoughts consume you.

    This thinking is being expressed consciously and subconsciously. They have taken control of you and convinced you that you are powerless to change. Maybe you believe you are too far gone. Hope is reduced to the remants of the smoke from a candle that has burned itself out. But, hope is only hiding, it is never gone. It is never too late.

    You may imagine this long, hard road, that at this stage, seems far too daunting to even expend the effort to make that first step. You are defeated due to forfiture.

    Free Spirit Fitness, or rather the philosophy behind the method, is exactly what you have been looking for.

    No, I didn’t reinvent the wheel. In fact, I know that if you follow virtually any weightloss program long enough, it will deliver results. The universal rule embedded in any program for weightloss is burning more calories than you consume. We could talk about Homeostasis, a calorie of protein v. a carb, or a fat calorie. And while there are notable differences, it is not this knowledge that will inspire you.

    First, let me say that everyone, everywhere, are always on a diet. The word is misused so often that the real definition has been lost. A diet is merely what you choose to consume. So, you can have a healthy diet just as easily as you can have a poor diet.

    I urge you NOT to make any dramatic changes to your diet. Rather, in the spirit of keeping it simple, your only goal is to be more active today than you were yesterday.

    DO NOT run out and spend money on expensive home gym equipment. Do NOT run ro GNC and purchase bottle after bottle of supplements.

    DO be patient. Your weight is the aggregate result of your history of decisions. Speak these words out loud, “I am responsible for my current condition.”

    Say it everyday until you really feel that the responsibility is yours, and only yours.
    The only advice I have regarding your diet is to increase your protein intake significantly. As you begin to embrace the philosophy, the mantra is simply eat for nutrition. I didn’t say limit what you eat, or even change what you eat, with the above exception.

    The process begins in your head. Rather than allow your mind to be consumed by the negativity, change your perception. Change your perception, and expect with absolute certainty, your reality will change accordingly.

    Do not permit yourself to ever dwell on how out of shape you are. If the thought sneaks back in, kick it back out. Focus your mind on what is inevitable. Picture yourself with the body you want. Visualize an image of the new you and allow nothing to distract you from seeing it as a reality.

    It takes practice and time to learn how to manipulate your beliefs. Be patient with yourself. Forgive yourself quickly when your mind regresses. Know for a fact that mastering this philosophy will change you forever. It will change you in a way that you that affects so much more than just your body image. You will taste happiness on a scale that I wager you formerly dreamed impossible.

    My book has already been written, but I have certain luxuries that I allow me to be patient. I now have more to write and the editor works on my schedule. It causes him discomfort. But, his complaints have no effect on a project that I consider a genuine contribution.

    I allowed a sense of obligation to grow into motivation, which transormed into inspiration that I share my discovery to help those just like you.

    I know that I will make more profit by bringing some of the other projects to market, but this is far and away the most noble thing I can give to a nation that struggles with obesity and a world that could use this philosophy to heal themselves. Most importantly, it remove the shackles that have imprisoned my readers, many for most of their lives.

    The more specific you can be about your resources and situation, the easier it will be for me to introduce you to the philosophy that promises you permanent and positive changes in your life. Remember that a diet cannot be blown. A diet is not something that you will ever start and it is something that you will ever stop.

    Finally, I will conclude with this:

    I want you to allow yourself to be grateful for what you do have. I want you to identify what it is you really want and to ask for it (metaphorically.)

    Believe you are not only worthy to receive what you ask for, but that you will receive it. Remeber to avoid even a glimpse at the possiblity of failure. It no longer has a place in your life.

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