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 on this journey. There may even be a laugh or two along the way.

Posts tagged ‘weight loss’

The most dangerous time of the year!

holiday healthyWow! Where has the time gone? I blinked and October disappeared. Well I am back and wanted to talk today about entering what I call The Most Dangerous Time of the Year for those on a weight loss journey. Why is that? Well, look at the calendar.

In Canada, we have Thanksgiving in October. We all know that often after the big turkey dinner, we feel as stuffed as the turkey, and our calorie consumption was off the charts. “One more piece of pumpkin pie? Don’t mind if I do.”

Then comes Halloween. All that candy every where! We started a habit a few years ago of buying candy to hand out so that we don’t eat the left overs. That works really well until you go in the stores November 1st and see all the half price candy.

Turn the page to November and my American friends have their Thanksgiving. What happens right after that? The push on to Christmas with all the Christmas baking, parties and dinners.

We then finish off the year with a New Year’s Eve bash with more food. i_ate_too_much

On top of all this, it is darker earlier and the weather is just generally unpleasant (depending on where you live). This means we don’t walk as much or exercise as much and are more prone to long hours of near hibernation.

Then after all that intake and no exercise, we get to hide under layers of winter clothing. So what do you do to survive this time of year?

I have a few suggestions to get you through.

Regarding Thanksgiving dinners (October or November), Christmas dinners and New Years celebrations, moderation is the key. Look over the food and decide which foods you will have and which you will pass. Take the foods you will really enjoy, and maybe only get at this time of year.

Making some swaps can be helpful. For example – if dinner has both mashed potatoes and yams, pick one not both. Try to avoid the gravies and sauces because that’s where the calories hide.

Visualize your plate in sections. Half should be fruits and vegetables, one quarter for starch (like potatoes) and one quarter for mean or meat substitutes for my vegetarian friends. If you really want to curb your appetite, have some Tofurkey. (Just kidding) For more information you can look at the website http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

What about Halloween candy? I would say first of all, do not totally deny yourself. If you keep saying “I can’t have ANY” you will cave in and find yourself at the bottom of a bag of those little candy bars. Some people have found it effective to buy themselves a bag of their favorites and put it in the freezer, and just enjoying one when the temptations really happen.

If it is really a problem for you, if you think you might just sit down and eat the whole bag, then don’t have them in the house at all. That’s why I buy candy I don’t like to hand out.

The Christmas office party or New Year’s party can be a landmine of bad food choices. The same rule applies. Just choose carefully those treats you can really savour. Try not to socialize near the buffet table then you won’t be tempted to graze as you chat.

If it is a party with lots of snack type foods, look them over carefully and try to pick the healthier choices. There are almost always veggie trays available. I am not saying to have rabbit food all night, but nibbling on some veggies can take the edge off.

You can have a small healthy meal at home before going out so you won’t be super hungry and tempted to eat just any old thing.

In all of these situations, you will also run into the well meaning people who will tell you “Oh it’s the holidays, go ahead” or some variation like “Have some more” etc. I find the lost effective is to simply say “I’m fine with this thanks” and leave it at that.

Now how about the darkness and weather?

I suffer to a degree from what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder where I have a problem with the lack of light giving me a lack of energy. Basically all my get up and go, gets up and leaves. I do a few things for this.

I try to get outside every day for whatever sunshine is there. I make myself go to the gym to get my exercise. I may want to curl up in bed with a book and a cup of tea rather than go to the gym but after I do I always feel more energized.
Some people have found Vitamin D helpful but talk to your doctor about that first. Somethings else that’s important is getting enough sleep but not too much. Keep your regular bedtime routine, going to bed at the same time as well as getting up at the same time.

Make your bedroom as restful as possible. First of all, no electronics. No phone, no TV, no computer. I even put a piece of cloth over the display of my clock radio to make it darker.

I read recently that displays that are blue disturb your sleep patterns more than a red display. You can also find some alarm clocks that will let you dim the display.

I like to have my window open a little for fresh air as well.

A little advance preparation and planning goes a long way at this time of year. Just be on the look out for food traps and well meaning hosts and hostesses.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

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Have you ever had a deck of cards kick your butt?

bob-harper-300This is Bob Harper, one of the trainers on Biggest Loser. Let me say right off the bat I am NOT a fan of Biggest Loser because it is unrealistic and sets people up for failure.

I have said this before, but if I lived on a ranch with nutritionists and cooks and a trainer that beat me with a stick 8 hours a day, I could lose weight too. My concern is what happens when these people return to the real world. Look up past winners is all I am saying.

OK, with that out of the way, let me say I started using a new tool that Bob Harper promotes (not sure if it is his invention) called a fitness deck.

You see, a lot of us, myself included, don’t always get to the gym as often as we should. We also figure if we don’t have tons of equipment at home we can’t do a proper workout. This is a misconception.

The fitness deck uses cardio and exercises using your own body weight or minimal dumb bells. I should explain the fitness deck.

This is a regular deck of cards. I am sure you have a spare one around the house. There is finally a use for those tacky deck workoutdecks of cards in the plastic box. You know the ones – with the pictures of kittens or flowers or whatever on the back.

Next – decide on four exercises. For example with my deck, I use squats, push ups (wall or regular), jumping jacks and dumbbell curls. You can use others like burpees or mountain climbers or what have you.

Now assign one exercise to each suit. For example mine is Diamonds=Jumping Jacks, Spades=Push ups, Clubs=Dumbbell curls, and Hearts=Squats. I even made a little label for the box.

Shuffle up the deck, especially if it is a new deck as they are put in suit and number order, known to magicians as the deck order. Now you put the deck face down on a table of somewhere where it won’t be disturbed. You turn over the first card and the suit tells you the exercise and it’s value tells you how many.

For example, you turn over a seven of hearts, you do seven squats. Turn over the next card. It is a ten of clubs, so you do ten dumbbell curls. Face cards are worth ten and aces are worth eleven. If you deck has jokers, you can do a certain number of all 4 or do a certain number of whatever you like, kind of like a wild card.

When you have finished the workout, shuffle the cards before putting them away so your next workout will be totally different. You now have a complete workout tool you can take anywhere. If you want to do it with no equipment like dumbbells, just choose a different exercise.

Try to have your exercises target different areas and have one for cardio (like the jumping jacks).

Let me tell you, having done this workout, it will kick you butt! The other advantage for beginners is that you only have to remember 4 exercises. It’s very simple but very effective.

You don’t need to have a lot of expensive equipment to workout at home, and this deck proves it. I have mentioned that I travel a lot for shows, and I can’t always guarantee that the hotel I will be staying in has a gym.

I would offer a word of caution. If you are in a hotel or apartment, you may want to be careful with the jumping jacks. You don’t want people living or staying below you to think you are going to come through their ceiling.

Lapping-people-on-the-couch

I have used this illustration before but it is so true. We are a people of excuses. I don’t have time, I don’t have money, I am too fat etc.

I keep re-emphasizing this to people – Everyone can do SOMETHING.

I hear excuse after excuse from people. They ask me what can they do to lose weight. I give them a few ideas and immediately I hear the reasons it won’t work.

I know these people will not be good candidates for weight loss coaching because they are already have their excuses lined up.

Those that take a couple of hints soon find something amazing. They start making progress. It may be slow at the start, but you have to keep going.

Remember that (in my opinion) the biggest battle in the weight loss journey goes on in your head. Some of you are suffering (as I did and still do) a food addiction. Some of you have eating disorders (not the same thing by the way). There are a lot of things behind the why and that’s what you have to answer for yourself. WHY do I make bad choices? WHY do I seek comfort in food?

So what other tools can I recommend, especially for those at the beginning of this journey? Find an activity or exercise you like. Simply put, if you don’t like doing an activity, you will find reasons not to do it. If you choose an activity you like, you will even look forward to it.

There are a lot of things like walking, or tennis (check out free neighbourhood tennis courts), badminton or even playing with the grand kids. Just get up off the couch!

Some people also find in this highly scheduled that they need to schedule time for themselves. Schedule your workout or activity like any other other appointment. More importantly, don’t just make the appointment but KEEP the appointment.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

Week 3 of my 12 week challenge was a real eye opener!

The number one reason people give upThis phrase came to mind a lot in this third week. I had been doing my workouts at home the first 2 weeks, but was limited by the weights I had at home. I put my pennies aside and went to the gym 3 times in the last week and I discovered a few things.

First of all, I am capable of much more than I thought. I discovered that when I had a much wider range of weights, I could lift much more than  thought.

This applied to the machines but also to the free weights and was very exciting to me. I just had to be careful in my excitement not to push too hard too fast.

That is when you learn about DOMS which stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. In other words, you won’t hurt at the gym but you are gonna hurt later!

Secondly, when you are surrounded by mirrors, it is hard not to take a look at yourself, and even I could see the progress I have made. When you look at the photos below, you will see what I mean. These were taken in 2010 and 2011. That is my loving wife Bev with me.

She has been my biggest supporter in this whole journey and loved me no matter what.head

2011 b

20072011 a

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And there is a photo taken last year in the vest and tie.

As you can see there has been a difference. I have spoken about this before but it really hit home because it home emotionally as well as physically. The physical differences are obvious but what you can’t see in the pictures are the internal differences.

I now look forward to going to the gym. I love recording what I can do now that I couldn’t do not that long ago. I love feeling a part of the “gym crowd” but also for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I belong there, and I DON’T feel like I am being stared at or being judged.

I am no longer the biggest guy in the gym and that is an amazing feeling.

I have also seen that new feeling translate into my mental attitude in other areas of my life, but especially on social media. Not only do I now try to make all my posts positive and helpful, but I have started eliminating people who fill my feeds with what I call Pity Posts. I don’t have time for that mindset anymore.

As part of the official Body for Life journal, it has you to record not only your food and your exercises but also your goals. It has you record each day what you can do to keep you on track to your goals.

Part of that process is also in asking what you can do for others. This blog is part of that. I hope people can pick up some encouragement here. I hope my readers can see they can do this too.

I have also been sending encouragement messages via email and through other media to folks who might be struggling along the way. It has also given me a new sharper focus on my weight loss coaching.

I have decided that my ideal client is someone who has tried and tried to lose weight and it hasn’t “clicked” but most importantly, I am looking to focus on those looking to lose at least 75 to 100 pounds. These are the folks who have tried it all and see no end to this journey.

I realize there are tons of people out there to help those who are trying to lose a few pounds, but there are still a lot fewer working with the obese or morbidly obese. This is who I have decided I want to help.

Of course if others wanting to lose weight ask me to help, I will be happy to take them on, but I want to focus on those who are now where I have been. I want to help show them they CAN do it.

I am convinced this has come through taking this Body for Life challenge and how it has made me take a sharper look at myself and my journey as well.

And what did you learn this week?

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

By the way, if you live in the Vancouver BC area, I just wanted to remind you about my upcoming seminar entitled What’s Eating You? It will be happening July 20th and you can see the details below. You should get your tickets soon as this is a small venue and only holds 100 people.

The biggest thing I will cover that night is the WHY of overeating and how it spills over into the other areas of our life. We will look and why we overeat, why we make bad food choices and how we can make good choices and more!

Sorry if it’s a little blurry. Tickets are available at https://whatseatingyouseminar.eventbrite.ca

I hope to see you there!

whats eating you corrected

Today we answer questions from readers.

I posted to some of my social media outlets asking people what they wanted me to talk about, or if they had any questions and I did get a few answers so here we go.

What role does your mindset play in the weight loss journey? Your mindset is critically important. If you sit around thinking that you are going to be deprived or that you can’t do this, you are beaten before you start. You have to be positive, which I will admit is not always easy. You have to visualize why you are doing this. Visualize yourself slimmer and healthier. Picture yourself doing all those things you have wanted to do but couldn’t, or wearing that new outfit because now you can buy clothes that look good, not just being happy they fit.

What changes have you made to your environment? I invested in a good set of measuring cups, spoons, and a food scale. When I first started, these tools were very helpful, and when I find myself slipping back into some bad habits, I get them out again. I also changed the plates I used. I don’t use a full sized dinner plate. I use a bread and butter plate.

The other environmental change was getting the junk food out, particularly the trigger foods. If they aren’t in the house, I won’t be tempted by them.

What other parts of your life have improved such as outlook on life or confidence? I have so much more confidence than I used to have. That sounds funny coming from a performer and speaker but it’s true. I no longer feel I have to get people to laugh WITH me instead of AT me because they aren’t laughing at me anymore. If there are some that still do, I could care less. My outlook on life is so much better as well.

Who are you without the “weight”? What is the weight loss actually about? Richard Simmons once told me Don’t wait until you lose the weight to like yourself because all you will be is a smaller version of the same person.” Without the weight, I am still me, but a much happier me. I recently had some new headshots done. I had originally met this photographer a few years ago and even he said I am not only happier but friendlier than I used to be. The weight loss is about me being healthier and happier, and being here for my family.

Are you able to identify with your new self? What does that new self feel like? My new self feels amazing! I still have trouble identifying with new self because we all have mental images stuck in our heads. I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and still sometimes think “Wow, is that me?”  My daughter asked me to go for a walk with her and my grand daughter a while back. The route she picked was one I hadn’t done in a long time. The last time I did it, I had to stop to throw up twice. This time, we reached our destination when it dawned on me I wasn’t even winded, and I wondered “How did that happen?”

What has it taught you? It has taught me that I can do it. For years I just figured I was destined to be fat. It has taught me it is never too late, though I do with I had started on this journey much earlier and with much more passion. It has taught me that there are too many other people out there suffering with this. It has shown me that the gifts God in His mercy has given me of being able to encourage people and make them laugh are not confined to the stage. I can use those gifts to help other. Mostly it has taught me to appreciate life.

I’m curious if you struggle with still seeing the old Neale in the mirror? Simply put, some days yes but every day it is getting better.

How do you over come the negative thoughts about food, etc? I have learned there is no such thing as bad food. I don’t deprive myself. I don’t really get negative thoughts about food like I used to get, but I now get negative thoughts about the food being pushed at us in fast food restaurants and on store shelves. I guess I have redirected my thoughts about food. Food itself is not bad though some are bad choices. Do I want that candy bar knowing how hard I have to work to burn it off? Not so much anymore. I still struggle some days with negative thoughts when the weight isn’t coming off as fast as I would like but then I try not to look at how far I have to go but at how far I have come.

What is at the root of your weight loss, when you peel back your layers? At the very heart of it is the fact I don’t want to die or spend the last years of my life sick. I want to be able to play with my grand daughter. I missed out on a lot with my kids so this is a bit of a second chance. When I peel back the layers, I have learned a lot about myself on this journey. I have learned that the WHY is the biggest question of all.

Why do I make bad food choices? What hole in my life was I trying to fill with food? I have been learning the answers to those questions not only for myself but to be able to share that information with others who are struggling.

Thank you to my readers for their questions. I hope this has been a helpful post to someone today. In the meantime, have a healthy and happy day!

By the way, if you do want to hear more, I will be having a seminar in New Westminster in July called What’s Eating You? For more information, go to https://whatseatingyouseminar.eventbrite.ca

whats eating you

When was the last time you challenged yourself?

same oldFirst of all, let me apologize for being late with my latest blog post. I always try to post on Mondays, but this was a long weekend in Canada then I got busy Tuesday but here I am!

I hear a lot of people talk about being stuck on a plateau and trying to break through. I now find myself in that area. As I get closer to my goal, losing the weight gets a little tougher. I always tell people you have to shake it up a little when you hit a plateau. You have to change something about your food – get back to measuring your portions to make sure your “eyeballs haven’t gotten bigger”. Focus on pure healthy eating with no processed or packaged foods. (Always a good idea).

You also have to shake up what you have been doing for exercise or activity. That sort of brings me to today’s post. In order to get moving again, I am challenging myself. In 2000 I participated in a thing called the Body for Life challenge. I completed it, and still proudly have the certificate.

It is a 12 week exercise and diet challenge. It not only focuses on exercise and diet but also on the mental aspects of this. It does lean heavily towards using their products like protein powders etc but that’s not why I did it. If you want to learn more about it, go to http://www.bodyforlife.com . I am not endorsing I am just informing.

That year was when I really got serious about losing the weight. Well, on the weekend, I was at a garage sale and I found the Body for Life book and the journal that goes with it. They were brand new. I don’t think they had ever been opened let alone used.

That was enough to make me say, yes, it is time to do it again, but this time really do it. After all, last time I was 188 or so pounds heavier than I am now. For easier tracking and prepping, I have set Monday June 1st as my launch date. Between now and then, I am reading the book again (not sure what ever happened to my copy) and starting to fine tune my diet.

A couple of challenges I will face in this may seem silly. It is not the diet or exercise that concern me. I know that I can do those parts, though it will be without a lot of the products they recommend. I will be using real food and the occasional smoothie using real fruits and vegetables with some protein powder on occasion.

The first tough part for me is that you have to take “before” pictures when you start. You are supposed to take them wearing just gym shorts (and for the ladies I assume a sports bra). That is still uncomfortable for me as I am not yet at a place wear I am comfortable being that (pardon the expression) exposed. I am just focusing on how much progress my after pictures will show. The focus is progress, not perfection.

The other thing that I find a challenge, partly because I can be pretty lazy, is actually journaling the whole process. The journal itself even gives me guidance on what I track (much more than food and exercise) but I have to get the discipline to do it every day of the 12 weeks.

punching bagSomething else I managed to pick up at a garage sale on the weekend was a heavy canvas bag (as in punching bag). I got the chains and hardware to hang it in my carport. It has steel beam construction so seemed like the best place for it. This will be one way of shaking up my aerobic portion of my exercise plan.

Another way I challenged myself recently was on the treadmill at the gym. You see, when I was much heavier, I COULDN’T run. Not only was I out of breath in about 10 feet, I had put so much strain on my hips and legs, they would give out on me.

One day I tried to run for a bus and part way to the bus it was like someone kicked my legs out from under me, and it created a real fear of running. Well mainly a fear of falling and looking like an idiot.

The last time I was at the gym, I started as I always do with some cardio. One thing I often do a brisk walk on the treadmill. Well this time I actually ran. OK, I ran in short bursts almost like I was testing out my legs but I ran! I plan to do more.

So let me ask again, when was the last time you challenged yourself? If you are feeling stuck, have you looked at your food or exercise plans to see what you can tweak. You see, as you burn off the fat, your body will adjust. Our bodies are very adaptable. Yours will adapt to the new level of exercise and types of food, and the metabolism can “down shift” somewhat and make losing more weight a bit tougher.

The weather is getting better. You can get out more. What kind of outdoor exercise can you do. Maybe this is a good time to try something new, or to go back to something you may not have done for a while. Try badminton or tennis, of if you have some limitations, try just walking more.

Have you really taken a look at your eating plan? It is easy to get a little cocky or lazy and let the diet slip. Every once in a while if I feel that is happening, I go back to my measuring cups and diet scale. I start measuring my food again to remind myself what a half a cup of rice looks like, or what a 3 ounce serving of meat looks like.

Remember no matter what challenge you choose, your challenge is just that – YOURS.

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

Use the whole toolbox.

toolboxWe live in a world of quick fixes. We want someone to give us quick and easy answers. This applies in the world of weight loss too. We want someone to give us a number we should try to hit on the scale, but it is never that simple. Weight loss is a very complex issue. Even though I have said to people Eat Less, and Move More is the short answer to what I have done, it is not the WHOLE answer.

For years we used the old height/weight charts designed over 50 years ago by insurance companies to figure out how much of a risk you were to insure. In recent years, people have now realized these are out of date, and do not take into account things like age and changing metabolism.

Then along came the Body Mass Index, or BMI which now seems to be the gold standard. Guess what folks? It has the same flaws. It also does not take into account things like muscle weight. Most athletes, trainers and body builders are obese by this standard.

I did some digging around on the internet, and based on their height and weight (which the BMI still uses to find it’s number) people like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson are obese.

The BMI is just a tool. It is a guide to be used in consultation with your health care team. If you use the BMI and find a number, you need to consult your doctor, your nutritionist, dietitian or even your trainer to see if that number is right for you.

For example, when I joined TOPS I was 329 pounds. That was way down from my high point of 425+ but I needed a target or goal weight. I said 200, which seemed like an impossibility at the time. I talked to my endocrinologist about it and he said based on my age, frame structure and other factors, 200 was a good goal number.

Well, according to the BMI, that would give me the BMI number of 29.5 which is still considered overweight and on some BMI charts, even obese. You see, even different BMI charts disagree, and none take into account the other factors I mentioned.

Like the scale, the BMI is a tool. Please don’t obsess on it. Richard Simmons tells the story of people who have told him when they get up in the morning, the weight themselves, then after “morning duties” weight themselves again to see if there is a difference.

This is the kind of obsession that can lead to eating disorders.

I have been taking an online course through Dalhousie University called Behind the Scenes: Addressing Weight Bias and Stigma in Obesity. One of the most fascinating take aways from this is how little people address the issue with their doctor and what I find scarier is how little doctors address it with their patients.

It’s like if we don’t talk about it, it will just solve itself. People think “If the doctor won’t mention it, neither will I” while doctors are often thinking “I don’t want to bring it up as people can be touchy about it.” Meanwhile the condition gets worse and each side blames the other.

I have learned on my journey, that you cannot do this on your own. Besides the support of family and friends (and distancing yourself from those who don’t support you), your health care team needs to be part of this journey.

I know it is difficult to talk about. I get it. You are embarrassed that it has gotten this bad. You think the doctor is going to lecture you or say something useless to you like “You could stand to lose a little weight” without giving you the help to do so.

If you have a weight problem, or even think you do, book that appointment and ask questions. What is a good target range (not necessarily a specific number), what can of exercise or activity can I do, what food changes should I make?

If you really think your diet is the issue, then talk to a dietitian or nutritionist and get some suggestions from them. Remember that focusing on one type of food or totally eliminating one type of food is not an eating plan. It is a fad diet.

I have seen local stores like Choices Markets offer free seminars on a lot of aspects of health, diet and nutrition. One of the most informative things I attended was a local supermarket tour. It was offered by Save On Foods but I am sure a lot of grocery store chains offer something similar.

We went around with a nutritionist and she showed us how to make healthy choices when shopping and the ways that supermarkets are laid out is not always in your best interest so you have to know HOW to shop the lay of the land.

There are a lot of tools out there to use on this journey. Open the whole tool box.

Here comes a couple of blatant plugs. If you look at the links at the side of my blog, you will see Get Healthy with Bacon. That is my website where I offer my Motivational Speaking and Weight Loss Coaching. Right below that is a link to sign up for my monthly newsletter.

If you live in the Vancouver BC area, here is something to mark on your calendar. July 20th I will be doing a seminar called What’s Eating You? You can see details in the picture below. Click for a bigger view I hope to see some of you there. If you are among the first 10 to book, use promo code “earlybirdbacon” to get $10 off!

Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!

whats eating you bigger

A Day That Broke My Heart

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!