My name is Neale Bacon. I have lost (so far) 200 pounds with no pills, potions, shakes, short cuts or surgery. Join me for tips and tricks I learned along the way. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

run overAre you getting a little complacent on this weight loss journey? Are you bored with what you are doing? Has your progress slowed down and you aren’t sure why?

Maybe you need to shake things up. It is like when you hit a plateau you have to either change up something in your exercise or eating plans.

Sometimes we hit what I call a mental plateau. We may even still be losing weight, but we think “Why am I doing this?” In reality, sometimes that is a very good question to ask yourself. Why ARE you doing this?

We need to remind ourselves why we began this journey. It could be you were just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Maybe friends or relatives mentioned they were worried about you. Maybe a doctor told you you needed to lose some weight.

My journey began with a lot of the same things as you, the same things I mentioned above. It was also because of a day that nearly broke my heart.

We had gone camping as a family. Now first you have to understand my idea of roughing it is a Number 6 Motel, so by camping I mean staying in cabins. At this camp, there was a swimming pool, though I swear the water was pumped straight in from the ocean and run through a freezer, but I digress.

My whole family was playing in the pool. I was playing with my son who was then about 10 years old. I was tossing him into the air and into the pool and generally rough housing in the water. After about 5 or 10 minutes, I started to notice my chest was pounding and I thought for sure that I was having a heart attack.

I told my son I had to stop, but what happened next broke my heart. My son looked at me with a very sad expression and just went to play on his own, but what really broke my heart was when he started to cry and said “I just wanted to play with dad, and I nearly killed him.”

For the rest of our trip, he didn’t want to play with me – in the pool, on the beach, playing badminton – anywhere. I had reached the point where I couldn’t play with my kids, and my kids were scared that if they DID play with me, I would die.

That was one of those eye opening events on my weight loss journey. It was almost as significant as standing on a 425 pound limit scale and topping it out.aha-moment

Now when I wonder why am I doing this, or why can’t I just eat what I want, I realize that I am still doing this for my kids and now for my grand daughter. I am doing this so I don’t die and leave my wife on her own. It is my “oh yeah” moment. It is that thing that keeps me going.

There have been times when I thought I might die before I began this journey, and I am reminded of a line from the Christmas perennial move “It’s a Wonderful Life”

After George Bailey wishes he had never been born and gets his wish, he sees how other people’s lives would be effected if he weren’t there. His guardian angel Clarence says to him “Strange isn’t it. Each man’s life touches so many others. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole.”

I didn’t want to leave a hole in my family’s life.

So what is your reason to keep going to keep going when that little voice in your head says, “Aw forget it. Go eat the junk. Just sit around on the couch. Who cares?”

I bet you lots of people care. I bet if you weren’t here, you would leave an awful hole in someone’s life.

So when you hit that mental plateau, think of why you started this in the first place. Are you bored with what you have been doing for exercise? Try something new. Take a class or now that the nice weather is coming, go to your local park.

We are so fortunate in our area to have tons of free tennis courts and basketball courts in the area where I live. I can’t wait to get out there because of all the times I couldn’t get out there.

The other day, I went for a walk with my daughter while she pushed our grand daughter in her stroller. We walked all over – to the bank, stopped for tea at our local Waves coffee shop (I am not a coffee person), and even got to look around a thrift store. I actually enjoy clothes shopping now that I can find clothes that fit.

The point is that not long ago, I would not have been able to do any of that, or at the very least I would be stopping to gasp for air or throw up every couple of blocks.

Are you tired of the same old foods? Are you in a food rut? Find a new restaurant. Take yourself out and try some new foods. Another fortunate thing about my area is that it is very culturally diverse and there are restaurants from literally all over the world. Ever wondered about food from a certain country? Go check it out.

Worried how that will effect you diet? Just ask the same questions you do when you go out to eat anywhere. How is the food prepared? Fried? With loads of sauces? Just ask.

I pray that you never look into the eyes of a loved one and have them look back at you through tears and say “I don’t want you to die”. THAT is why you are doing this.

In the meantime, have a healthy and happy day!

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