Sustainable You

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About the author:

Michael’s passion is helping people improve their health and lives by working with them to refocus on their true self-interests. Doing so gives them more power and influence, not only in their intimate world but in the world at large.

Michael says he became a speaker and coach via his belief in the power to change, born not of faith but experience. He was a fat kid who became an obese adolescent, surpassing 300 pounds for the first time at age 15 and twice more until topping out at 365 pounds at age 33. During that time, he lost more than 130 pounds twice but couldn't keep it off, all the while certain that he had all the information and other resources he needed to live happily and productively.

Now he concedes, if he had everything he needed, why did he keep ending up in circumstances he didn’t want? And if you have everything you need, why change at all?

Today, he’s maintaining a 155-pound loss for almost 25 years — and considers the second number far more significant than the first. His first book, Fat Boy Thin Man, used memoir techniques to make the case for food addiction as a powerful influence on many lives and on all of society. But he wrote nothing about dieting and little about food, because he eventually came to understand that although weight was "a" problem, it was by no means "the" problem.

Professionally, Michael was a newspaper journalist for 30 years, most recently editing at the Boston Globe for 14 years. Additionally, his news and feature stories, reviews, op-eds and more, on a range of topics, have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines.

He believes deeply that his combination of decades of storytelling practice and decades’ experiencing a unique, personal, and inspirational tale situates him to share his journey's implications with all who want to achieve and maintain healthy, personal change of their own.

Michael is blessed with a wife, Georgina, who believes both in him and his mission to communicate this message. He thinks of his son, Joseph, as nothing less than a gift of fate. The family lives together in Arlington, Massachusetts, in the United States.

Sustainable You

8 First Steps to Lasting Change in Business and in Life

Authored by Michael Prager

Individuals, companies, nations, entire species — not an entity on the planet couldn't gain from a greater ability to sustain itself.

To judge that thought for yourself, make a list of all those that haven’t achieved sustainability and they will have at least one thing in common: They're all gone. Wouldn't you rather be around, and in position to take full advantage of it?

The key to boosting our “personal sustainability” is to recognize how we connect to those around us — at work, in community, in the world. Even if many don't know it, even if some would deny it, we are in several ways parts of a whole, tying our fates together.

For example, if everyone at work acknowledges and fulfills their role, a success greater than any one person is the certain result. The most reliable way to ensure that happens in your circles is to do your part. Not only will your efforts contribute to a greater whole, but your actions could influence others to do the same. Not doing that can influence in the other direction, too, of course.

The crux of this approach is that healthy self-interest is the only motivation needed to move toward it. If others will benefit, fine, but our goal is no more than to sustain ourselves. Notice that is different from gratifying oneself.

So how does you move toward sustaining yourself? By factoring this question — “Will this choice enhance or hinder my long-term prospects?” — into more of your decisions, even mundane ones such as which products to buy at the market.

That needn’t be your only standard, because life is spiced by spontaneity, enjoyment, and whimsy. But too often, it has been nobody’s standard, and one certainty of our existence is that we experience the outcomes of our choices.

Should you be questioning the morality of self-interest as a guiding principle, fear not. Each one of us who works to sustain ourselves simultaneously makes the world more sustainable, and that’s not coincidental.

We are all connected, we are all parts of the whole.

Publication Date:
0982672020 / 9780982672020
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White with Bleed
Related Categories:
Health & Fitness / Holism

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