Discipline 101

     With the greater calorie restriction and the addition of running to my routine, I’m going to have to demonstrate even greater discipline. Here are a few great basics for a more disciplined life.

Weigh In Wednesday – Keeping The Faith

         Though my stomach continues to get flatter and my thighs leaner there is still no “weight loss” to report, but I am not going to give up or in! Instead I’m going to give it more of my “all”. One of the most valuable weight loss tips I’ve ever heard was from Dr. Phil McGraw.  I use to put all of my emphasis on the number on the scale, which is sometimes beyond my control. Then I heard him point out that for success our attention should be on our efforts which we are absolutely in control of. My goal is a numbers goal, to weigh 135 pounds but I will reach it by pushing my body to do more. So when the numbers are stubborn I will be more stubborn and I will feel successful for what I put into it wheater I get out of it exactly what I expected or not. I will keep pushing until the goal is reached.

So True!!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />


     Yesterday I ran! I have tried to run several times along this journey with little success but yesterday with great advice and lots of encouragement I jogged an entire mile without stopping. It has been at least 20 years since I’ve done that. It was a slow 3.2 mph pace but I did it! I was so excited that I shared the news. My Bestie, who has been beyond supportive, suggested that I check out Hal Hidon’s 5k training schedule for the novice. The schedule suggests running 1.5 miles on the first Tuesday of training. I was so excited that I decided to begin my training immediately so I put in another 1.5 miles on my lunch break, this time at 3.5 mph. At the end of the day I was still excited and wondering if I could go faster so I did a final mile at 3.8 mph. My legs are sore this morning, but in a good way and I am encouraged that I can push the body to do more and lose more weight.

why i run


     So I will be persistent and next Wednesday I will show up again having eaten less, worked out more, and hoping the dedication pays off in lower numbers on the scale. I’ve lost 75 lbs, I know I can lose the additional 22. I will do this. Thanks for all of the support!

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you know you lookin' at a winnah, winnah, winnah...

Lift Weights To Lose Weight

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Vicki’s Path to Half

This morning as I am gearing myself up to begin something new I wanted to re-read my Bestie’s blog about her beginning as a runner as a reminder that it doesn’t happen all at once but it will be so worth the efforts! A big “thank you” to Vicki Jansen for sharing and encouraging!

The Pondered Path . . . .

On April 28th of 2012, I ran in the Ocean City, MD Island to Island 1/2 Marathon.  It was an amazing experience, one that I will never forget.  Over the days that followed the race, many friends and family members congratulated me on my race.  My husband expressed great pride in my accomplishment; especially since I beat my goal time by almost 8 minutes.

What I want to write about today is not the 1/2 marathon race… but the path that led me to the race.  Many of the people who I work with assume that I am some awesome runner… that running has come naturally to me, that running is something I have done since I was young.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Those same people think that a half is something that they could never do – an activity that is beyond their reach.  They are wrong again.

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Stepping Stones Week 22 and Week 21 In Review

Me with my handsome hubby at Foster Falls

Just finished a lovely week full of fun. It was also full of change but not as difficult as I anticipated. I reached all of my fitness and nutrition goals. Surprisingly, I didn’t really miss the the 200 calories cut from my diet. I really enjoied the two Pilates sessions I added as well. I began Pilates briefly many pounds back and it was fun to see how much easier it is now with less weight. Now I can actually grab my ankles and roll myself into a ball, where my belly was in my way at 200+ pounds. The down side is with the lower weight I have less cushion on my behind and the sitting up straight hurts my tail bone. Maybe I need a thicker mat. My fitness adventure this week was a lovely 4 mile fitness hike with my handsome hubby at the lovely Foster Falls state park. This is a pretty flat and straight trail so there wasn’t a lot of “challenge”, but there was alot of beauty to enjoy. The fragrance of honeysuckle filled the air. We saw beautiful butterflies, flowers, and birds. The falls themselves were very pretty and the sound of them was so tranquil and inviting.  We really enjoyed the time spent together too!

In food-finds this week we enjoyed several new things. I traded in last week’s low sodium V8 for the Spicy Hot regular. I’ve been enjoying an 8 ounce serving once each day along with a wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb Cheese for a yummy little snack. It’s very satisfying.

I mentioned previously that I’ve been eating oatmeal each day, usually with my own added cinnamon, almonds, and rasins or cranberries. However, I did Quaker’s Real Medleys Peach Almond Oatmeal this week and it was yummy, filling, and comforting. When I first spotted these “Real Medley” selections I was unimpressed. Each variety is 290 calories. Then I compared it to my own daily serving of oatmeal. Yes, the oats themselves were only 130 calories  but once I added almonds and dried fruit each day’s serving was around 250 calories so the calories are pretty comprable.  It also comes in it’s own ready-to-go container so it would be great for travel. I’m on the road this weekend and threw a couple in my bag so I can just add hot water and eat up! It’s easier than packing oats, fruit, and nuts individually and no dishes to mess up for my host and hostess to have to clean.

Light & Lean Spinach Lasagna

I was excited to try another great Amy’s product, this time from their Light and Lean collection. This yummy Spinach Lassagna, like all of Amy’s products, is made from organic ingredients. With the rich flavors of the mozarella, romano, and parmesan cheese it’s hard to believe this hardy lassagna weighs in at 250 calories (the same as my daily bowl of oatmeal snack, coincidentally). I’m big on spice, so for me this needed just a little extra kick. With a touch of garlic salt I thought it was perfect and such a great way to fill up on healthy food!

     My friend Laurel Degener sells Amway products. Last week when I ordered my “gotta  have it”  Satinique Smooth Moves Shaping Cream for my hair, Laurel brought me a sample of the newest XS energy drink. I’ve enjoyed the
XS drinks in the past. They deliver a different kind of energy than the usual high sugar “buzz” often associated with this type of product. I find the energy to be more subtle and longer lasting. They even come in a variety of great flavors including my favorite, Root Beer.

The new XS Gold has a neat and unique flavor that reminds me of the old school fruity punch from my childhood.  It also has a unique ingredient called Essentra. Essentra is believed to help the body cope with stress, provide immune suport, sharpen mental focus, and alleviate mental fatigue. I enjoyed the energy I received from the drink and though it would take longer term use to confirm the other touted benefits it is an exciting prospect. I don’t drink many energy drinks these days, but this one certainly was a fascinating and yummy try.  If you are intrested in trying this or one of Amway’s other weight loss, energy, or health related products check out Laurel’s Shop.

     The Stepping Stones will remain the same this week but I will be looking into the best way to begin adding running into my routines. Have a happy Week 22!

Stepping Stones for Success – Week 22


Goal:  “To weigh 135 lbs by 12/31/2012. (That is a loss of approximately 40 lb in 1 year).

Action Steps: I will begin limiting my calorie intake to 1400 calories a day, contnuing to focus on good nutrition in my choices. I will perform at least 2 1/2 hours of cardio exercise.  I will also do two circuit training sessions with weights for toning and 2 flexability/stretching sessions, each at least 20 minuites in length.  I will officially weigh in once this week, marking my progress on the Weight Tracker tool.”

To-Do List:

1. Plan Weekly Menu (See Plan To Eat Fabulous Foods.)

2. Grocery Shop (See Stocking The “New Me” Pantry.)

3. Refill Snack Basket (See The Real Food Fight .)

4. Weigh In (See Weigh In Wednesday.)

5. Organize Outfits and Gear (See Get Your Rear In Gear.)

6. 2 1/2 Hours or more of Cardio Exercise

7.  2 or more Circuit Training Sessions  (10 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism)

8. 2 or more Flexibility/Stretching Sessions.

9. Give myself 3 “Get Out Of Diet Guilt Free Cards”.

10. Enjoy a Rest Day. (See Balance.)

11. Grade Last Weeks Efforts (See A for Effort.)

12. Assess Past Week’s Efforts (See Assess for Success.)

13. Create next Stepping Stones Sheet

14. Hoola- Hooping For Fun And Fitness (See Hoola-Hooping Workout)

Date: ________

Daily Log

Morning Weight: ______           Evening Weight: ______

Omega 3? ___   Chia? ___  Raspberry Ketone? ___   Multi-Vitamin? ___ Vitamin D? ___ Oatmeal? ____

Servings Of Dairy:   ——–    Servings Of Grapefruit: ____   Servings Of Green Tea: _____   Servings of Water: ____

Affirmations? Yes / No            Aromatherapy? Yes / No

Bedtime:  ——————               Wake Up Time:  ———————

Did You Eat Frequently (Approximately Every Two Hours Until After Dinner)? __________


Cardio?  Miles:  ____ Minutes: _____    Flexibility?  _________  Toning? _______

Foods Eaten








Total Calories Consumed:_________

Run Away From The Pounds!

     Today as I was browsing Pintrest I ran across the video below that tells Ben’s story. Ben was 120 pounds over weight and miserably depressed, until he began to run. I want you to take a moment to watch Ben’s story and see if it doesn’t make you want to run, too!

Want a reason to run? Click on the picture above to watch the story of how Ben ran away from depression and excess weight. He lost 120 pounds and gained great happiness. You will be moved and inspired!

     I’ve never been a runner. I can speed walk with the best of them, and in fact can walk faster than I run. However, I want to run. When I hear runners talk about their accomplishments or hear about the “runner’s high” I get all curious, and even a little jealous! I love the feeling of a good workout! I love to work up a sweat. I love the feeling of adrenalin. Running burns more calories than walking too. It would be a better use of my limited time. So why don’t I run?

     There are several resons I haven’t. Fear of failure, an old ankle injury that keeps resurfacing, cramping in my calves, sock that bunch, blisters on my ankes, and fabric burns on my thighs come to mind. Sound like a wimp? The reasons always seem to be enough at the time. However, I’m feeling motivated to try again and see if I get any further than before.

     My best friend is a runner and when I read her blog post about her journey to 1/2 marathon or listen to her talk about training it excites me, even though she doesn’t glamourize it. There is pain involved. She is currently recovering from a knee injury. I recently sat with her as she iced her aching legs and watched her grimace her way through. I know she braves both the heat and the cold to run outside where it’s “real”. I know it’s exhausting – but the senes of accomplishment and the pounds she has shreaded and kept off  keeps her going. What an accomplishment it would be to run a 5k with her one day! Maybe something fun and crazy like the The Color Run or The Zombie Apocolypse Run. That would be a memory maker!

     My sister-in-law runs, and loves the feeling. She runs 5 miles or more at a time and lives for the runs. I’ve watched her lose weight too and gain added energy and vitality.

     My Dad went from being a non-exerciser to being a 5k runner when I was a teen. I remember being amazed at how much weight he lost, how much endurance he gained, and how strong he had become. Runners just seems so tough! You don’t become a runner by accident, it takes determination and builds strenth. I want to be tough, I want to be strong.

     I know first hand that taking up a physical hobby and becoming passionate about it can lead to all kind of positive health advantages, including weight loss. My Zumba classes were proof of that. Maybe running should become my new hobby and passion. Wanna run with me?

Russell’s Story – Just What “The Doctor” Ordered

         Today I would like to introduce you to Russell Simpson, or let him introduce himself. I knew Russ in high school, casually. When I stop to think about it, I knew little more than that he always had a kind smile and a kind word when we crossed each other’s paths. I am fortunate to have been re-introduced to Russ via facebook and as an adult realized I missed a lot by not getting to know him better earlier. Russ is an inspiration. Not just his personal weight loss journey, but his love for his fellow-man, his dedication to his family and the children who he mentors,  and his zest for life. I know that my introduction won’t do him justice, so I will simply encourage you to read Russell Simpson’s story in his own words as printed below. It is a story that moved me to tears. Have your hankies handy.

     Sandee asked me last week to write a few words to tell “my story”. Now, my story is a very long one. There are a lot of factors that lead me to (what I call) my “condition” in March of 2012, and I promise, as long-winded as I am, I will try to condense this down to a manageable read. I also want to warn you all, I will be using terms that in 2012 aren’t exactly politically correct. If that offends anyone, keep in mind that I am talking about myself, and if I’m comfortable with it, then please don’t be offended. I’ve had a bad week of offending people because of my thoughts and beliefs, and I am in no mood to argue… my style of creative writing is, and you’ve been warned, rather unique. I will be speaking both through the eyes of a child, and the eyes of an adult, and I will speak my mind! I know Sandra did not ask me for my “life story”, but honestly, it took a lifetime to get me to this point… so here it goes:

      When I was a child, I was always a fat kid. I admit it! I was always the last one picked for team sports, and the only time anyone was interested in playing with me is if there was a tug-of-war because the fat kid is ALWAYS the anchor! Of course, I had a slobbish, horse of a mother! For as long as I could remember, she was a 300 pound couch potato who would never come out and play with me. She was a single mom, on welfare, and apart from an occasional trip to visit family, the only time I remember her ever leaving the house was to go to pick up her welfare rations or to go to the grocery store. As good as that welfare cheese was, we ate WAY too much of it. And, alas, everything we ate was cooked in lard. In 1974, who knew, right? The only good thing, back then, that I had to say about my mother was that at least she was friendly and loving. Oh, she loved me so much! I never once thought she didn’t. But through a child’s eye, every fat person I met was just the same. They were all so jolly and nice, like my mom…. and I wanted to be JUST LIKE THEM!

     Those are my earliest memories. The way I see it, a kid in that situation doesn’t stand much of a chance to grow up healthy and happy. I was teased, picked on, and down-right bullied. Back then, no one really cared, either! It was LIFE, and you either learned some street smarts and deal with it, or you don’t. I did.

     It took me some years, honestly many years after my mother’s death, to realize her situation wasn’t her fault. In 1977, she was diagnosed with cancer. Not just any cancer, but a brain tumor the size of a grapefruit! It had smothered her thyroid, and her weight gain was mostly due to her medical condition. It was after her death that I saw my first photographs of her when she was in her teens and 20’s, a very lean, beautiful young woman. I was shocked! THAT was my MOTHER? That huge cow that couldn’t even come outside and throw a ball? Needless to say, I was a very confused young boy. Some of you in my 3rd grade class may recall…

     High school was a much happier time. I moved in with Father Jim MacGee, a Catholic Priest from New England who was not only a healthy eater, but an avid outdoorsman. My story takes a very long break here, all I can say is that these were wonderful years for me, I learned how to eat right, how to hike, climb, swim, and MOVE! It was the first time in my life that I realized that I didn’t have to be fat to be jolly, and that the benefits of having a thin, lean body and tons of energy completely outweighed a lifetime of bad habits and substandard beliefs. How quickly we sometimes forget… We will skip to..

     1996-2002: My own, personal health battles began in 1996. I was working for AON corp, and I know some of you are in a job where you travel a lot, drink fine wines and eat at the finest restaurants, and work 70-80 hours a week on the road 52 weeks of the year, often little time to sleep more than 2-3 hours a night. No? Well, I did. That was me! A money grabbing, Junior Executive with ambitions of success like no one you’ve ever seen. But the stress of the work environment, long hours, lack of sleep, and bad eating habits caught up with me, and I developed pneumonia for the first time in my life. The Doctors gave me meds, it would go away, only to come back 2 or 3 months later.

    This embarrasses me to this day, but the pneumonia was so chronic, that I was questioned 100 times from 100 Doctors about my sexual lifestyle, and administered 100 AIDS tests because, in the minds of the Doctors, the only time someone has pneumonia as often as I did had an auto-immune disease, so I must have AIDS. Try telling that to a monogamous, straight, married white man! Insisting upon it! Wonder why I went to 100 doctors, they were all the same and I was so turned off, I still to this day have a hard time going when I need to. Ask my wife… But the bottom line was that all they could do was give me antibiotics and steroids… and the 165 pound executive, over time, turned into a 195 pound tired 30something. I was sick all the time, and most of the time, I was miserable.

    But, “the event” of 2002 changed my life! I became, in a lot of ways, my mother. I started gaining weight (up to about 210), I had no energy, most days I sat on the couch or laid in bed, I lost my career because I just couldn’t go anymore. Cody was 5, and I barely had energy enough to cook for him, let alone play with him. So, I taught him to cook and sent him out with the other kids. Not that teaching him to cook was a bad thing, I had taught Braelyn so it wasn’t anything new, but the way I saw it then, I wasn’t teaching him for the sake of education, I was teaching him out of necessity. I felt as though I was going to die, and who would cook for him when Dad was gone?

     Sierra was born in November, and I barely made it through that first week of having her home. Without a job or anyway to support my family, we were downgraded from a 6 figure salary to welfare and medicaid. THAT saved my life, as embarrassing as it was, and still is, it’s very important to my story.

     Sierra was born on November 14th 2002, and on November 21st or 22nd we were visited by a medicaid home-health nurse to check on Sabrina and Sierra. When she came in, she looked at me and said “are you okay”… I can’t remember much about that day, but I remember telling her I couldn’t take the 20 steps to the mailbox without resting 15 or 20 minutes along the way. I resisted doctors, but she absolutely insisted that I go to the free clinic in Christiansburg to see Dr Robinson. Since I felt she sincerely feared for my life, I took her advice, crawled to my car, and made the trip, solo. Sabrina had a C-section, could not drive, and I wasn’t going to risk my newborn, Cody, or Sabrina by taking them along as I drove. I didn’t think I could make the trip.

     To make a VERY long story shorter, when I arrived at the clinic I found out the nurse had called ahead, and I was seen immediately. That was a whirlwind! Doctor Robinson took my pulse, took my blood pressure reading, checked my oxygen stats, and said to me “I’m calling an ambulance to take you to the hospital”. Now, I’m a hard-headed idiot, the bottom line is I resisted and insisted on driving, his exact words are “if you drive, go straight to the hospital, do not go anywhere else, you are dying, and if you aren’t there in 10 minutes we might not be able to save you…

     The end result of that hospital stay was that I was diagnosed with an unknown auto-immune disease (NOT AIDS, idiots…), I was there for over a week, I missed Thanksgiving with my family, as well as Braelyn’s birthday and Sierra’s second week of life. When the 30th came and I was still in the hospital, I demanded that they release me because I had to see my kid for a birthday party. The Doctor didn’t really want to let me go, but understood and I had recovered enough that I was at least “safe”, but he warned me, on November 30th, 2002… that if I was “lucky, REALLY lucky, I had about 5 years to live…” That date, that time of about 11:30am, that MOMENT… was a game-changer for me!

     When you’re told you have 5 years to live, you have a different perspective on life. Those of you who have been there know this. Those of you who knew me BEFORE, know this. The bottom line is this: I decided that if I had 5 years, I was going to LIVE those 5 years to the fullest. Sabrina started coaching soccer, I’ve had a life-long love of the sport, I soon followed as her assistant. It’s always been a great joy of mine to raise children and to be around children anyway. I took it a step further and kept kids full time, some for days, some for months, some for years… I’ve had custody of so many children I’ve lost count. I became more active in a lot of social events, political events, and community events. I continued to see doctors, and finally a specialist out of Roanoke narrowed down my diagnosis to Sarcoidosis. To save time I’m not going to go into the details of this nasty little disease, but it is auto-immune, it was attacking my lungs on a regular basis, and over the years, I’ve taken a LOT of prednizone, which is commonly known to cause weight gains. With only a few years left to live, I wasn’t to worried about weight. I love food… pizza, fried chicken, pasta, more pasta, even more pasta, steak, anything with cheese or butter or cream. BEER! I really enjoy blaming my meds for ALL of the weight gains. It’s so easy. But, I am a realist. The meds were only part of my troubles. My slobbish eating style became the other. We all have been there, so no need to expand on that. Oh, did I mention BEER! Yes, I see I did! But I did learn, through everything, that life is short. You have GOT to have FUN! You have GOT to LIVE! You’ve got to ignore what we commonly call DRAMA, and be positive. YOU have to help people, and help CHILDREN… sometimes we get so wrapped up in life that we forget the small things, and the kind things, because bad things tend to take over. I decided to LIVE, and when my year came, 2007, I would be dead. But I was going out happy! IT was the one promise I made to myself and trust me, If I died at any given moment, even to this day, I have no regrets! And I lived my life! And I had FUN doing so, and make a lot of people very happy along the way! And boy, did I eat!

     Needless to say, 2007 came and went, and I did not die (and, thank God, we were in a different financial situation). Sarcoidosis works in a really weird way. It went in remission in my lungs, only to show up again in my joints. One morning I woke up, I was crippled, bottom line. To walk, I needed a cain. I preferred a wheel chair, but I looked silly in it.That limited my active lifestyle, and the treatment of steroids went from inhaled to oral, but it’s still the same. I gained weight. It’s funny how you never notice 5 pounds here or 2 pounds there…. but time is the tell-all, and before I knew it, I was obese, between 230-240 pounds.

     Skipping ahead to 2011, I had a rough year. Sarcoidosis comes and goes. As recently as December, I was having severe issues again. I went to Florida to see my son march in the Mini Macy’s Parade at Universal studios. I collapsed a couple of times and my wife begged me to go to the ER, but no WAY I was going to miss my son and his band make their debut on a national platform! So, I suffered through it, and suffered for it.

     January through mid-February of 2012 I spent most of my days in the bed or on the couch. For no reason whatsoever I refused a doctor, I still have boxes of Albuterol, Pulmicort, Prednizone, and, to be honest, sometimes I do better self medicating. A friend gave me antibiotics because my lungs infected really bad, and I self medicated that.

     And it was insanely idiotic of me to do so! I know this, I remind myself of this… But I am me.

     And now….. the meat of this story:

     Earlier this year, Sandra added me to this group because of a discussion about Doctor Who. I’m not going into a lot of details on Doctor Who other than to say on January 23, 1981, the show LITERALLY saved my life. I love The Doctor as if he were my brother or my own child. I know, I know, that’s silly to say about a fictional character, but then again, I do owe the man my life, so why not? And if someone ever wants to talk Doctor Who, I’m THERE!

     When I joined Slimdown, at first it was to reply to a couple of Doctor Who posts. I had no plans and no reason to want to lose weight. I’ve seen groups like this before. I’ve seen infomercials on TV, ads in magazines, and so many before-after pictures that the whole thing was instantly a turn off to me. Yea, you people chat about how much weight you’re going to lose…. I am NOT interested!

     But every Wednesday, I would get notifications of posts… “I lost 2 pounds this week, total of 30,” or “I lost 4 pounds, total of 35”, or “I have lost 60 lbs so far”…

     … and honestly, I said to myself “what DRUGS are these women on??” LOL I didn’t really mean that, of course, but it made me start thinking a couple of things:

1. These are people I know.
2. They are losing weight.
3. I’m seeing before/after photos of people I know, that I’ve known my entire life, and they are not doctored or faked.
4. Soccer season is coming up. I am sick and tired of not being able to run with these kids. Between my eating habits and my drugs, I have become a fat, slobbish, slow, low energy couch potato! OH MY GOD, I’M TURNING INTO MY MOTHER! (Not many men are secure enough to get by with that statement! LOL)
5. I think I need to do something…..

     But folks, it goes so much deeper than all of that. I have struggled, as most of you have, with weight issues my entire life.

     As the cook of the house, I looked at my beautiful wife, and realized she was overweight. I looked at my son, and saw that he was in a growth spurt, but he has been chubby on and off for years.

     And then I said to myself “Self, God has given you so much in your life. He has given you chance after chance, he even extended your life. Self, you are not helping God in this, and look with it’s doing to your wife and your son. THEY have taken on your bad habits! And there are about 100 children who look up to you as a role model, and they’re seeing a fat, jolly old man… and the shape of your body is telling them that it’s okay! I don’t think God would appreciate that. He is giving you a gift, self, and your are abusing it…”

     My friends, that actual conversation with on inside my brain. It would have never happened if I had not read posts and blogs inside this group. This is why I thank you all so very often.

    So, everyone knows that self-evaluation is the hardest thing we can ever do. At least it is for me. It took 42 years of abusing my body in one way or another, to the point that I did not want to even look in a mirror, or a photo, or anything that had me in it. I didn’t want to open up the bottom drawer on my dresser because I knew those clothes didn’t fit. In January, I officially outlived my mother by some miracle. She lived 15,371 days. January 5th of this year, I lived 15,371 days exactly. Please, don’t misunderstand… I loved my mother dearly, but I simply refuse to die and have my children think of me as I thought of her. In her situation, it was not her fault. But as I made every excuse I could, from my illness to my medication, for why I was obese, I realized NONE OF IT MATTERED!

     Because only I can change ME! And I need to do it NOW, before it REALLY IS TOO LATE! Folks, DEATH has ruined many plans. It hit me pretty hard… all this weight, all this food… I was slowing committing suicide! Suicide is so selfish! Too many people expecting me to be here a while…

     But I still wasn’t 100% ready. I needed a game plan!

     So, I set a date, March 20th.

     I told my wife, I told my children, and I told my friends.

     Then I came to the Slimdown group, and if you look back, at the beginning, I asked a LOT of questions. Foods, digital scales, support of all kinds, if I couldn’t find it, I asked for it. Then I set goals… GOALS GOALS GOALS, and I keep my GOALS in front of me every single day! I don’t remember who turned me on to myfitnesspal.com, but that is a wonderful tracking tool.

     Since March 20th, I’ve lost 31.7 pounds. It wasn’t so easy at first; I had to throw out most of my kitchen and start all over. I had to not only change what I eat, I had to change what my family eats, for the most part. I had to change my schedule, all of a sudden I need walking time and exercise time. And I’m so thankful that I have such a supportive family, because exercise time quickly became family time.

     And I have 100 little children and their parents seeing the new me, and asking a LOT of questions. I’ve always been a pretty good role model, but now I’m stepped that up a notch, and inspiring others to do the same.

     My weight is down, my BMI is down, my blood pressure is down, and my body is in so much shock that the Sarcoidosis is in remission, again. There are healthy alternitives to medicine. There is no cure, and only time will tell, but for the moment, raw foods seem to be keeping my body safe from attack. For that, I’m thankful.

     Everyone keeps asking me, “How are you doing this?” The answer is simple.

     My reply… “I changed my eating habits and started to exercise”.

     And I sound like an infomercial! We have all heard “diet and exercise” our entire lives! I have learned the hard way, it really is that simple.

     So, why did I just write a book to say 2 words, “diet and exercise”?

     Simply, for most of us who need, or needed to lose weight and get in shape, for the most part, the only thing stopping you is your mentality. For example, and in closing and summary:

     From the time I was born, I had weight issues. I was fat, on and off, most of my life. I became ill with a deadly disease. I took some medications, lots of them, that worked against my weight.

     But all of that, was no more than my excuse to sit on my couch and lay in my bed and worry about it. “I didn’t want to. It was too hard. I don’t like broccoli. I don’t have time.” I made, and burned through, every last excuse!

     Folks, I’m a dead man walking, yet I have all the time in the world. And in 2 short months, I have completely transformed my body. If I’d done this in 2002, perhaps my health issues the past 10 years would have improved??? Sadly, i will never know the answer to that question. I really don’t care to know, honestly, because I don’t look back.

     If I could offer any advise to those of you reading who haven’t started this journey yet, it would be this:

1. Only YOU can decide it’s time. MAKE THAT DECISION, NO EXCUSES!
2. Don’t be afraid to tell everyone you know, and ask those of us who are doing it… what to eat, when to eat, what to drink, when to exercise… We are all in this together, and we understand! Ask, we will be there for you!
3. Set a start date.
4. Set a weight loss goal.
5. Count your calories! This past week, I’ve had beer, pizza, and chocolate. But I did not once go past my calorie goal! I lost 3.9 pounds. I eat whatever I really want to, but it’s calories and portion control! Just be reasonable, and slowly incorporate healthier foods and choices.
6. MOVE YOUR BODY! Walking will do fine at first. It’s what I do. And, it’s easy!
7. Hold yourself accountable, publicly if possible! Win, lose, or draw, I report in to Slimdown every Wednesday! I love the encouragement!
8. Don’t over do it! You do not have to starve yourself. I don’t! Starving will cause you to drop a lot of weight fast, but you will pay for it when you gain it all back, or when you get really, really sick!
9. Take your time. I’ve been considered Obese since 2007. If I can live with that for 5 years, then I can take 5 years to correct it. I won’t, I will take 8 or 10 months, but the point stands.
10. Do this for LIFE! My final thought. I’ve dieted before, but I realize looking back, I wasn’t really serious. I’ve told my wife, and I will share this with you: Once I reach my weight-loss goal, I will still check in weekly. If I fluctuate more than 5 pounds in either direction, it’s time to readjust. As I said earlier, you will never notice 2 or 5 pounds creep up on you. The next 2-5 will creep up just a quickly. Over time, it adds up. This is a lifestyle change, and the first half of that word is LIFE! For some it will be easier than others, but commit to life. You will live longer, happier, and healthier.

     And finally, HAVE FUN! I am!

     I would like to give a special thank you to Sandra for inviting me to this group, as well as each and every person I’ve met here who have answered questions and supported me since day 1. I really can’t thank you all enough.

     And I thank Doctor Who… once again, the man put me in the right place at the right time, and has once again saved my life!

     Lastly, I would like to thank God for giving me one more chance!


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