Friday, April 17, 2009

Helping others have what I now have

I met with a man last evening who wanted to hear about my weight loss and how I did it. We talked for an hour and a half with great passion and excitement about the enormous positive changes in my life from simply focusing on better nutrition.

This caused me to reflect on what a privilege it is to share in the struggles others are facing with weight issues and all the health concerns that come from being overweight. I am confident that the experience I have and the path I have taken has equipped me to help others feel better physically and emotionally, achieve better health, enhance the quality and enjoyment of life and even save money.

Since I have lost weight I feel incredible! I can walk up my stairs again. Go for walks with my wife and kids. Stand and have a conversation with someone without having to lean on something. Clean the house. Take out the trash. Carry my sleeping child up the stairs to bed. Enjoy the beautiful weather outside. Go to the driving range and hit a bucket of balls. I fit in an airline seat.

I no longer take medication for diabetes, no testing my blood 4 times a day, no injections in my tummy several times a day, no pills to take all day...nothing! I have held off the terrible consequences that we hear about with diabetes that we think or hope never happens to us but does (even though I flirted with the wort consequences). My mind is sharper, my thinking is more clear. My energy is through the roof! I sleep better. I snore much less which makes it nicer for my wife.

I spend less on food but eat better quality, better tasting food. I spend less by not taking all those pharmaceuticals. I spend less on doctors appointments. I spend less on clothes.

My wife doesn't constantly worry that she will be left to raise our kids alone. My kids are confident that dad will be their dad for a long time. My family does not constantly worry about what to do to help raise my kids if I were to suddenly pass away. Classmates no longer tease my kids about their dad's size.

I am on a mission to help others share in the euphoria of a new and more joyful life. Tell someone you know and love to contact me and I will do all I can to encourage, counsel and coach them. It has to come from within the individual but there is someone out here that cares about their life.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Make you meals memorable!

Tonight I was struggling, craving things that were not in my plan for the day. It was not hunger, more anxiety than anything else. We got pizza for Elizabeth and the girls and Zack and I needed something else. I was finding myself getting weaker and weaker for some pizza but thankfully our plan involved in a delicious meal that not only fit our goals but satisfied all my needs and the pizza no longer called my name.

If we didn't plan something that really satisfied everything, taste, texture, color, etc., my mind would have wondered toward the kitchen all night and that would be too difficult to overcome time after time. I would have eventually stumbled and strayed into eating outside of my plan. The result is i am standing firm yet again, another victory in the win column. I get stronger with every day that ends in the win column.

Spend the money on GOOD food. This can be the most important thing in your life if you are like me. the junk and cheep stuff simply does not satisfy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Helping other people have what I have

A day does not go by that I do not enjoy the pleasure of people encouraging me for the weight I have lost. Sometimes there are a few people, sometimes crowds. Often complete strangers overhear the conversations and invite themselves in. I will never get tired of being asked how I did it and I will never grow weary hearing their excitement!

Usually the conversation turns to them telling me they or someone they care for have struggled for years, sometimes with losing a handful of pounds, sometimes a great deal of weight like I did. I was hesitant to be too bold helping others, I thought others might feel I am being pushy or disingenuous.

I have been selfish. I have decided that I will not keep this treasure to myself, I need to share how my life has changed. I am going to help anyone who asks how to have what I now have. The changes in my life, my wife's life and my kids lives are too precious to be stingy. If you come across this blog and want what I have stumbled upon or you care for someone who needs what I have now, contact me. Don't wait, why wait another day for a fuller, happier and healthier life? You can email me at or even call my cell phone at 571-405-1328. Weather it be 5 or 200 pounds, no amount is too little or too great to truly feel great. It is worth it, take the first step.

Benefits of the weight loss - 2nd edition

What do you think of when you see someone really overweight? I have always had to overcome negative first impressions, assumptions people make when they see someone really heavy. Honestly ask yourself when you see someone overweight, what are my assumptions? Lazy, unorganized, slow, undisciplined, maybe even worse?

Professionally I have always had to overcome those perceptions (right or wrong in their assumptions) before I could sell myself or my message. That is a pretty tough place to start from. Now I find that people who do not know me are not distracted from my message by my appearance. Those that do know me have greater confidence in what I have to say or contribute.

More companies want to hire me now, more people want to buy from me now and more people listen to my ideas without distraction now. It is a powerful new position to be in. If you are struggling with the negative perceptions of being overweight, you can overcome them. Your ideas can be heard. Your individualism can be recognized. Your unique value can be realized. Don't give up or give in, if you are having trouble overcoming struggles with your weight, contact me and I will help you overcome your obstacles the way I overcame mine.

It is amazing when people see who you are, opportunities reveal themselves professionally and personally. It feels wonderful to be heard.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Benefits of the weight loss - 1st edition

Tonight we did something as a family that would have been virtually impossible and certainly unpleasant prior to my losing significant weight.

After a long day, we decided to go to downtown Manassas, VA (a tiny little 'old town' setting with shops and restaurants) for dinner at City Tavern and then just walked the area visiting some little shops and enjoying the night out. This NEVER would have happened before, not only would it have been torture but I just physically would not have been able to walk that far and for that long.

I LOVED it, what a great night! This is the first of many more to come, we will finally get to know our local community.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Making eating a formal affair

My brilliant nutritionist gave me some very good advise and opened my eyes to something that I never noticed.

I would eat in front of the TV or while looking at the computer and inhale my food. Shortly thereafter I would "forget" that I ate and go to eat again. Mary pointed out that when you don't pay attention to the act of eating, it sometimes does not register in your mind that you have eaten.

How did I solve this? I made a deliberate effort to make eating dinner an event. We turned off the TV and computer, sat at the table as a family and used old fashioned good manners. I used a fork and knife even to cut a green bean in half to eat it, I payed attention to the meal. I enjoyed each bite. I have not "forgotten" that I have eaten since and it has helped me to maintain my disciplines and move forward toward my gaols.

Throwing away uneaten food is OK

One of the most difficult things I had to adjust to was to throw away the food that my kids were not able to eat at dinner. I have 4 kids and my 3 girls would take a bite or two out of a fantastic burger that I grilled that night leaving most of it in pristine condition sitting on their plates. I used to eat my burger, all of their remaining burgers and maybe an extra one, just for good luck :-).

I grew up with 7 kids in my family and we always had plenty to eat but I developed a competitive attitude regarding food. Not that we were forced to 'eat everything' but if you liked something you hurried to get an extra portion before it was gone. Soon I became good at it.

When I started eating right I talked with Elizabeth and the kids and told them if they had food left on the plate after dinner they were to run water on it and put it down the disposal right away so I would not be tempted. It was really difficult for a bunch of reasons but it proved to be vital early on while I was breaking old habits.

So, don't be afraid to put 'good money' down the drain, it may be the best money you spent.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Random ways my life has changed

I can sit anywhere at a restaurant, I do not have to ask specifically for a table with chairs because I do not fit in a booth.

I can go for a walk with my kids without it being painful and difficult.

I can buy a suit at Brooks Brothers instead of a polyester one from the Big & Tall store.

I can wear clothes I picked up at Old Navy or Costco instead of the ONE Big & Tall clothing chain in the region.

Seat belts in any car can fit me now. I had gotten tickets for my seat belts not being able to latch in the past. The police would tell me to custom make an extension so it would reach.

I can fly in an airplane without the person sitting next to me dreading the flight when they see who they are going to sit next to.

I no longer need to ask a flight attendant for a seat belt extension.

I won't break the seats in my car or van any more. I have broken a few car seats from the back falling off to the mechanism not longer being able to adjust the seat position.

Folding chairs at church or school no longer worry me, I have had more than 1 collapse on me.

I can sit in a lawn chair now.

My boss no longer makes me sit ONLY in the "special" reinforced office chair that was purchased just for me.

I can cross my legs.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The rewards so far.

A walk with my wife is romantic, not something that is difficult, uncomfortable, hard work or a distraction from connecting with the one I love so dearly.

No more hurtful words from my kids classmates about their dad, a renewed and stronger pride in their father.

The energy to go as a family to the zoo, the monuments, museums, fairs, amusement parks, fishing, school activities, community events.....the sky is the limit.

No more physical pain at the end of the day, or the beginning of the day for that matter.

Much more energy to do my job and maintain the confidence of my employers and peers.

More confidence.

Being able to provide my son with guidance and encouragement he needs to achieve the same freedoms.

The ability to buy a beautiful suit from Brooks Brothers for the same cost as a not so beautiful polyester suit from the Big & Tall shop. I always wanted to dress much nicer than I could.

My wife can shop at Old Navy for fun clothes as gifts. It is great that she gets so much joy from something so simple.

I came to love the idea of being defiant.

I had reached a point where I truly wanted no more of it and I would not compromise or negotiate these things.

No more not being able to ride a roller coaster with my kids because I couldn't fit on the rides.

No more being identified by my size or weight instead of; my love for my wife and children, my passion for what I believe in, the depth of my faith, my unique personality, my abilities, my intellect, my creativity, my belief in serving others.....I am so much more than the big guy.

No more passing on Redskins tickets because the walk from the parking lot is just too much to think about. (Go Skins!)

No more seeing the pain in my children's hearts when they hear their schoolmates say hateful things about their dad's weight.

No more having to overcome a negative first impression in business dealings.

No more having my wife, kids, parents, brothers, sisters aunts or uncles having to constantly worry for my health, which ultimately became worry for my life.

No more missing out on simple joys in life because it is too hard or too uncomfortable.

No more giving up when I stumbled and accepting less in life.

No more missing out on serving or helping others.

No more leading my son down the same wrong path I took!!!!!

No more settling on a life that will last shorter than it could be with those I love so dearly.

No more, no more, NO MORE!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Get Help From Those Who Care About You

Improving my health was not just about me, it affected my wife and my 4 kids in virtually every way. How could I take such a huge step in life without their involvement and how could I succeed without their help? I couldn't!

The first step was to be of the same mind with Elizabeth. We then invited our children to know what our goals were and asked them for prayer and help. It is a tough thing to do, asking your kids to help you overcome something that has been out of control in your life for so long. It could change relationships in the wrong way if you let it. We set ground rules, daddy was still daddy, there had to be the proper respect and love in every attempt to support or question my efforts to lose weight.

We gave the kids permission to ask, "daddy, is what you are eating in your plan?" was OK but things like "hey, should you be eating that?" was not. It sounds like the same thing but one is said out of loving support, the other changes the parent-child relationship. My kids honored that relationship and provided me with immeasurable support and motivation.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Newer me.

When I started this journey I could not imagine that I would ever get to where I needed to be or get to where I felt decent and strong on a regular basis. It is February 2009 and I can see where I want to be in the distance. I couldn't even dream of that when I started!

"Before" Pictures. Wow it seems like a whole different life!

How I Got Started on my Weight Loss Journey

It was September 2007. I had come to the realization that my health was quickly declining. I weighted over 450 pounds, was diabetic taking several medications to control my blood sugar levels. I had to stop to rest twice when I walked the 50 feet from my car to the doors of my office building every day. I could no longer walk up the stairs in my house, I crawled on my hands a feet. My wife tied my shoes each morning before I left for work because it was too uncomfortable to do it myself.
I knew my life was at risk and I shared with my wife that I needed to do something and do it immediately. She had some Internet friends who had gone through Gastric Bypass surgery and were successful and she urged me to look into the same procedure for me. After sitting through the 1st meeting a few days later, I came home that night convinced that it was not the solution for me, the risks were too high, Elizabeth agreed. That night we decided to research weight loss programs and pulled out the laptop. After looking over all the typical programs available we thought of a friend who suggested we look into Herbalife a few times at church. After visiting the website, we made a plan to commit to Herbalife meal replacement drinks and bought our first shake mixes the next day.
Along the way many things have changed, my health has improved fantastically and so far I have lost over 200 pounds. I no longer take any medication to control diabetes and my doctor has released me from her care because of the incredible improvement. Through this blog, I hope to share the journey that I have taken and will continue to follow in hopes it may change others lives as well.