January 11, 2013

Six bowling balls



In the documentary, "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead," Joe Cross is on a mission. He's on a mission to lose weight, regain his health, and build a community of healthy-eating partners across the U.S.

The story doesn't really pick up for me until he meets Phil Staples, a morbidly obese trucker who realizes he is on his way to an early grave if he doesn't change his sedentary and junk-food-eating ways.

Phil takes on Joe's challenge, starts a 60-day juice fast (the central theme of the movie is losing weight by juicing), and starts exercising.

Phil becomes so transformed emotionally and physically, he starts giving talks and sharing his story.

He's a sweet and engaging man, but what really demonstrates his ongoing success is when he lines up six bowling balls and tells the audience that's how much weight he's lost so far.

Six bowling balls.

I didn't even have to do the math to figure out how much six bowling balls weigh -- it varies, of course.

All I had to imagine was wearing those six bowling balls on my body. Walking with them. Sitting, sleeping, climbing stairs.

What a visual! What an amazingly concrete illustration of the pounds and heaviness that Phil had lost.

Phil had already told a great story before that, but the bowling balls gave his words real meaning for anyone in the audience wondering what it feels like to be as large as Phil.

How can you give your words more meaning with demonstrations, visuals and props?

2 comments. Please add yours! :

Jim Harvey said...

Great story Lisa. It reminds me of this one: http://www.jim-harvey.com/great-use-of-a-visual-image-to-make-a-point/ - another example of using visual comparisons to sum up an idea better than words alone ever could.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Great example!

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