Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Christmas present I didn’t want.

I guess I will have to settle for losing 95 lbs in 8 months and not 100. Oh well.

Seriously…Of all of the days for the scale to show me that I was up, Christmas Day was not the day I was looking for. I can honestly say that I have been “perfect” on my diet for the last 200 + days. I have not had a “cheat meal” or eaten anything that was outside of my parameters.

On Christmas Eve morning I was working with a weight loss client (yes, I am starting to do weight loss coaching) and told her how she shouldn’t base all of her energy on what the scale reads, but in trust in the process.

Those words came back hard on Christmas morning to me. Of all of the days, when there is going to be food all over the place, when no one would “judge me” for eating off of my diet, on a day when I could really use motivation, the scale shows I’m up 2 pounds.

Thanks life, good shot.

I’m happy to report that I didn’t buckle. I ate perfectly on Christmas day. Not one thing wrong. Not one candy, not one cinnamon roll, nothing. I ate exactly as I was supposed to eat. Sure, the scale doesn’t reflect it yet, but I trust the process.

When you have faith in the process, the results can’t hurt you as much. Sometimes you just have to walk in the direction of your dreams, entrusting you are doing the right things.

I think it was Thoreau who said that, but maybe he stole it from somebody else as well.

I don’t think I’m going to reach 230 pounds by New Year’s Day, which was my original goal. I would love to, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop. This process isn’t over until I weigh 180 pounds. Do I have to tweak it along the way, obviously.

But I know that the supposedly 2 pounds that I gained over the last week is nothing but water weight, and that as long as I am true to the process, everything else will work the way it is supposed to do.

For now, I have to be a good example for the people and coaching, and continue to fight even though the scale took a shot at me. Like Rocky said, "it’s not how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forwards."

Because the reality of it is…I only lose if I quit. All I have to do is keep working and I’m winning.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas day or Happy Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate, or not. Hang in there, stay strong and eat well.

Your life deserves it. :)

This post has been edited.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Struggling through the Season

After losing 100 lbs, you'd think that I was on cruise mode. You’d think that I was locked in and safe.


Yes, I have eaten “clean” (not off my diet) for 232 consecutive days. That’s right – 232 days. Only twice have I gone over my calories. Once on my son’s graduation, and once on my birthday. Even then, I still ate the foods that work for my eating lifestyle, just in a little larger proportions.

People who have talked to me about my weight loss tell me that they couldn’t do it, and how proud they are of me for being so strong.

Truth is, I thought by now it would be a little easier. But it’s not...

Making changes in your life is never easy. It affects those around you in ways that is easy to overlook. My wife, who loves to cook, has had to endure 232 days of not cooking the kinds of foods that she loves. I think she feels like she is being forced into a ketogenic diet by default, and I know she is struggling with that, even though she tries not to show it.

And the holidays don’t make it any easier. Thanksgiving was especially tough. Being surrounded by family who were eating foods I love, while I ate turkey, ham and stir fried broccoli, was hard.

Now, moving into the Christmas season, I’m faced with even more temptation and pressures.

How do my choices affect those around me…should I have one meal that is not the best for my weight loss…what do we do with all the food that kind people invariably bring as gifts?

One meal would not change anything. Realistically, I could fast the whole day and eat one meal of anything and it wouldn’t significantly change my life.

But I must confess that I am incredibly reluctant to do so…because I am afraid. I am afraid that if I break one time, it will be easier for the next time. And the next, and the next and the next.

I think I’m getting some kind of an idea of how an alcoholic feels. One coke would be too many, and two would never be enough.

I’m trying right now to get to 230 lbs by new years day. That would be 100 lbs lost in 8 months, and 110 lbs overall.

It still feel weird to think of how much I have lost. How much I have changed physically.

And how much I am trying to change mentally.

Truth is, I’m still that 340 lb guy, desperately trying to lose weight, afraid that one wrong move will screw it all up. I’m still ashamed of how I look. I get that it’s better than it was, but it’s still not good enough, and I tremble to think that it may never be.

I have so many goals left to reach – so much of a life to change. Losing weight is only a step on the journey. An important step, a critical step, but it’s not the destination, it’s just a toll booth on the highway.

So I struggle…every day.

I struggle to fight against the negative self talk and the fears that drove me to use food as my drug.

I struggle against the angry teenager who still haunts my soul with his feelings of never being good enough, never fitting in, never feeling whole.

I struggle with the burdens I place on those around me as I try to become the person I feel I owe them.

Mostly, I just fight, because it’s all I can do right now.

I fight for my self esteem, for my hopes for the future and for my dream that I can feel like a “whole, complete and accepted person”. I fight to achieve the life I owe my family. I fight to find a pathway into the future that is better than the past.

But honestly, I think I fight most of all for peace. Peace in my soul, for I have known so little of it lately.

Tony Robbins once said that fat people were just people who were wearing their pain on the outside.

What I’ve found is that as the weight comes off, you have to deal with the pain and struggles that you were suppressing.

And that’s not easy.

But I struggle, and I fight and for today, that has to be enough, because it's honestly all I have.

To those of you who have supported me on this journey, I thank you. I couldn’t have done it without you.

While I have to fight this myself, it’s easier with good people in my corner.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Chili has always been one of my favorite meals. My wife has an amazing recipe and up until I started doing Keto, she'd serve it over a Rice Pilaf.

Now, she's converted it so that it's Keto friendly. It didn't take much to do that and it's still one of our winter staples for dinner.

We like it better than the original. She misses the rice, I don't! You can find the recipe at 2 Kids and Tired Cooks.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Egg Scramble...Keto

My wife has been a fantastic support to me as I have embarked on this Keto journey.

While I tend to stick to the same kind of meal every day, she has found some terrific recipes and converted others to low-carb. She is starting to share some of these recipes on her cooking blog.

One of my favorite meals and one that we do for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner is an Egg Scramble.

It's about the easiest thing in the world to make. You can find the recipe at 2 Kids and Tired Cooks.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Progress Pics 100 lbs lost!

100 lbs lost from this time last year.

This picture is actually from May 1 to Dec 5 of this year - when most of my weight loss has occured.

I'm amazed at how far I've come, but I still have a long way to go.

But for today - I'm happy with it.

Monday, November 28, 2016

97.5 – Sounds like a radio station

97.5 – Sounds like a radio station.

It’s hard to believe, but I’m so close to having lost 100 lbs of weight.

In September 2015, I weighed 340 lbs. When I weighed myself today (November 27, 2016), I weighed 242.5 lbs.

97.5 lbs...DAMN!

That’s a lot of weight. I have two nieces who I love to death, and neither of them weighs that much.

But I know what you are all thinking...Show me the 100! :)

My original goal was 250 by Christmas – blew through that one in early November. So then my goal was 240 by Christmas – and it looks like I will get through that in the next couple of weeks.

I’m still toying with the idea of trying to hit 230 by New Years, which would give me 100 lbs of weight loss in the 8 months since I started, 110 lbs total.

But most of all, I’m looking forward to being help other people do what I have done. The great news is that I managed to lose this much weight without surgery, supplements, or medications.

I’m going to be coaching people who want to improve their lives by losing weight, helping them make the changes to enjoy a happier, healthier and more energetic lives.

It’s coming soon – just watch me.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me so far. Your friendship and support have meant more than you can know. Please take some personal satisfaction from my success, because part of it is yours.

Have a great week, and keep watching.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What does it mean to you?

Recently I was teaching a small group of 14 year olds about how they can learn to analyze a situation more intelligently. While I don’t know if they got the concept I was trying to get across, I hope that somewhere in their minds they stored this simple phrase…

“It’s never the event – it’s always the interpretation”.

I hope that it will come back to them at a time when they need it most in their lives. I sincerely believe that’s why we teach youth – it’s not that they will understand it right now, but at some point in the future they will see a situation and interpret it as we have taught them to do. Life will provide the example, but how we interpret that example makes all the difference in our lives. We teach kids so that the interpretation is loaded into the subconscious, so they can make the correct interpretation of the event when it occurs.

However, even knowing this truth, as adults we still jump to a conclusion when something happens, not realizing that we might have an option to redefine what the event means to us, so we can make it more empowering.

To some people, the idea that you can redefine your interpretation of an action or an event seems ridiculous. These are the kinds of people who I think of as “reaction machines”. They perceive an event or a situation, and they react to it (either emotionally or physically) without thinking. Have you ever done that on occasion – my guess is that you have, because we all have. Especially in a tense situation, or with someone whom we have an emotional relationship, or just a professional one.

I’ve been married for 20 years now. I can honestly say in that time, we have had very few arguments, and we have never had a “fight”. I define a fight as “when two people who love each other try to hurt the other person rather than come to an agreement about a problem”. I saw too much of that as a child, watching my mother and father fight endlessly about my father’s drinking.

My mother chose to interpret his drinking, and his struggles to provide financially for his family, as an affront to her and to her children, and felt hurt and angry. Imagine the possible differences in her marriage had she been able to interpret his actions differently.

As a child, I was too young to interpret his actions with any perspective. As a young man in my 20s, I too chose to interpret his actions as those of a selfish, immature and cruel man who cared more about his own pleasure and enjoyment than he did about his family’s welfare.

Now, as a 46 year old, I have chosen to interpret his actions differently. As I have learned more about people, and they way our minds work, I have come to interpret his actions as a desperate attempt to self medicate his own pains and grief. Himself a product of a dysfunctional childhood, he struggled with his own demons, and was trying to survive as best he knew how. Did he make great choices – no, but I choose to believe that he was trying to do his best.

I don’t think how I chose to interpret his actions as a young man made any great difference to him. I’m not sure that he would care how I choose to interpret them now. We haven’t spoken in years – and I don’t expect we will ever have a meaningful conversation about it in the future, if any conversation.

But the change in my interpretation has affected me profoundly. For years I carried around anger, hatred and repulsion for him. Thoughts of him would frustrate me, cause changes in my psychology and affect my life in negative ways. When I thought about him, I felt abandoned, rejected and minimalized, like my worth was so insignificant because he didn’t care enough to be there.

I carried, and to some extent still carry, those kinds of feelings. The scars of those emotions still haunt me to this day, and I can see how the interpretation that I chose, and the emotions that came from that choice, still impact my life, and that of my family.

Imagine the changes in my life that could have occurred had I chosen a different interpretation, seen from another point of view the actions of a man who was trying, and failing, to do the right thing. Imagine if I had felt like collateral damage, rather than someone who wasn’t worth caring about. What could that have done to my sense of self worth, and to my confidence and attitudes.

As a child, you are always trying to find an answer to a situation, some kind of logical connection to make sense of the world. For me, since my father treated me poorly, I subconsciously chose to see his actions as a rejection of myself, not as a symptom of his own issues. No child wants to see their father as damaged, so I chose to think that he was trying to do the right thing, but I was somehow unworthy of his affection and his concern.

Was he trying to do the right thing, or was he just being a jerk like I described earlier – who knows? But my choice of interpretation is the greatest control I have over the situation, and it forces me to re-examine all my actions.

A mind that is awakened to the possibility of situational redefinition is a mind that has left reaction, and the dark abyss of being at the mercy of other people’s actions.

The mind that is awakened to the possibility of choosing how to redefine a situation is a mind that has struck out on a journey for that greatest of realities – a universe full of possibilities, no longer chained to the actions of others for meaning.

The mind that is awakened to these possibilities is a mind that can change the world.

And it is a mind that can know peace.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

How do you know when you are ready?

How do you know when you are ready?

Life has a way of changing on us. In the musical Jekyll and Hyde there is a song that contains the lyrics “The Only Thing Constant Is Change”. Never were truer words spoken.

But how do you know if you are ready for the change that is coming? I recently had a friend become a parent for the first time. Before the birth, I shared with him my philosophy that you are never truly “ready” for parenthood, because you have no idea what life is going to throw at you.

I certainly was not ready to become a parent. I was not ready on the day of my son’s birth to be confronted with the harsh reality of congenital heart disease. I certainly was not ready for him to have open heart surgery at six days old.

You are never ready for something like that.

But to go even further back, was I ready to be a husband? Coming from a dysfunctional family, I had no experience of a happy family to be able to base my decisions for the future. All I had were my own theories and ideas and principles that were forged through a childhood of listening to my parents fight and scream and cry.

Even before that, was I ready to change countries and start a new life with a woman who I had not spent much physical time with at all? A long-distance relationship is a difficult way to get to know each other, and yet I was prepared to walk away from family, friends and country to start a new with nothing more than two suitcases.

I was prepared, but was I truly “ready? No – we never truly are.

Does your fear of “not being ready” hold you back from doing the things that will make you happy? I have written recently about the value of time and the importance of spending or investing time wisely. One of the things that often holds us back from the proper investment of our time is a feeling that we are “not ready”. That somehow we need more experience, or a better understanding, or more resources.

Most of that is our own fears. Can you be underprepared…sure. Could you be more experienced…of course. Could you have more resources…of course you could.

But you can also spend your entire life hiding behind those reasons. At some point you have to make the decision to go.

From the first time I watched it, Apollo 13 has been one of my favorite movies. There are so many moments in the film that give me goose-bumps but, without fail, every single time I watch the scene where they are giving the go/no go for launch, and as the flight controller is calling out to each of his team leaders for their go/no go, I feel that same thrill of excitement, as the combined knowledge, skill and experience of so many people converge at a single moment when 7.5 million pounds of thrust is unleashed on a Saturn V rocket to hurdle three brave men into a rendezvous with danger that they had no concept about.

Were they ready for the explosion to happen? No. Had they prepared? Yes.

They did not know that that exact failure was going to occur, so they could not have been ready for it. They were trained for many other failures, but nobody had even considered such a catastrophic explosion that destroyed so many of their spacecraft’s systems.

However they had drilled and prepared and studied and learned as much as they possibly could about their spacecraft and their mission before they left. Their training, and the skill and training of the entire flight control team got them through a situation that they should not have survived. They came home despite overwhelming odds when they should have been breathing their last moments in the vast expansive unforgiving space.

They were not ready, but they were prepared.

All of us go through life with different experiences and different situations. Sometimes we come up against situations that we are “not ready for” because we have not been there.

Do not let the fear of that stop you. Prepare, but then do. There comes a time when you have to trust your skill, knowledge, experience and training, and then just do.

Whatever it is in your life that you are preparing for, set your deadline. Make your decision. Prepare, prepare, prepare...

And then do.

And you will know peace.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Power of Rituals

The power of rituals.

I wrote over the weekend about the sanctity of time. An hour wasted can never be reclaimed.

But how do you spend/invest your time?

Sometimes we decide to spend our time in fun. Sometimes we invest it in work. Sometimes time is taken from us by responsibilities we have agreed to, which I feel is like investing in humanity.

I’ve always looked at time spent not planning or working for the future as time being spent now. Maybe it’s emailing a friend, watching a show or just mindlessly roaming the internet (it’s never mindless, there’s always something to learn). Time spent that does not have a directly intended future impact is time spent.

Then there is the other side – time invested. This is where you set aside time to work on something – yourself, a relationship, your business…something that will pay a future dividend in either increased ability to help others, increased quality of relationships, increased revenue to allow you more time to spend instead of investing.

When you think about time as a resource like money, you tend to treat it more seriously. This leads to a greater sense of satisfaction in life, a greater feeling of accomplishment and a greater “presence” in the lives of others.

One of the best ways to ensure that you are investing your time wisely is to use rituals. I know, sounds crazy, but we all have rituals in our lives, and our rituals will determine the outcome of our lives.

For some people, their morning starts with the coffee ritual. Maybe it’s made at home, maybe it’s picked up on the way to work, or after dropping the kids off at school. If you’ve ever seen my wife make her hot chocolate and take that first sip…trust me, it’s a ritual. There are priests who show less sincerity on a Sunday than she does making hot chocolate.

Maybe it’s the ritual of working out, investing time in your future health and appearance.

Maybe your ritual is looking at your investments, and working out how to improve your financial health.

Maybe it’s the ritual of sitting in front of a television/computer/tablet and watching a show that really has no redeeming qualities, but makes you feel better about yourself as you watch people make fools of themselves and everyone around them.

Maybe your ritual is the 30 minutes you snooze the alarm before reluctantly climbing out of bed.

Maybe your ritual is to get angry when someone takes too long at a four way stop. That’s more of an unconscious ritual, but we have those too.

Our rituals determine the quality of our lives. We need a balance in our lives of ritual and spontaneity. Make your rituals ones that empower you, invest you in good things and ones that enable you to live a life of spontaneity.

Your rituals are like the skeleton of your life. Used properly, you can unlock a future more rich and rewarding than you can imagine.

So invest time, in rituals, so you can invest in yourself.

And you will know peace.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stand and deliver – your money or your…time?

Stand and deliver – your money or your…time?

I’m sure that you are thinking to yourself ‘that’s not right’. It’s ‘your money or your life’.

Well, what is your life if it is not your time. If you have no time, you have no life left. Game over. End of the line. Termination.

But which is more valuable to you…your money or your time?

I knew a man once who was very, very frugal with money. Even though he had a personal net worth that most people would consider a fantastic sum of money, he watched every dollar with the intensity of an eagle, streaking down on its prey.

At first I wondered at him, then became frustrated with him, and finally I sought to understand him.

And then I realized that he didn’t see money the way I saw money. He saw every dollar not as it was, but what it could be. Every dollar he had was viewed not in the short term, as something to be spent, but as something for the long term, to be invested.

For him, every dollar was a seed for the future. It wasn’t the $1 or $10 or even $100 that he was worried about losing. It was the $10, $100 or $1000 it was going to become that he was trying to keep.

Now, I’m not suggesting that each of you become so focused on money that you become that way.

But maybe you should look at your time that way.

Money lost can be earned back, but an hour lost can never be reclaimed.

Three and a half years ago I had the chance to meet an icon on the fitness industry, Greg Plitt. A motivational speaker, a gifted athlete and a very determined human being who travelled many places inspiring people to live their lives better.

This picture was taken the day I met him. In it, you see a fit, confident, outgoing and energetic man, clasping hands with a overweight, tired and not very self confident 40 something who looked like he was one happy meal away from a tombstone.

I cried the day Greg Plitt died. A freak accident. A guy I admired, respected and listened to as a source of inspiration, had no more time left. We were all the poorer for it. There didn’t seem to be any justice that he should be dead, and someone like me who wasn’t taking care of his body, his mind or his life, should still be alive.

But he did so much more with his time than I did, and his passing taught me that truth.

There is a saying that time is money, but that’s a lie. Time is much more precious.

Every hour of your life today is a “hour-seed” for your future self. The actions you take, or don’t take, today will change your future, or not.

So please, think about what you are doing today. Look at each hour and decide how you want to invest that hour of your life. Focus on what you want out of your life, and decide how you can spend time today investing for that life. Whether it’s learning a new skill, deepening a relationship, fixing a problem, walking on the treadmill or telling someone “I love you”. Invest your hours today in a way that is meaningful.

And you will know peace.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Perfection is deadly, but deadlines are perfect.

Perfection is deadly, but deadlines are perfect.

How many times have you looked at something and found fault with that which is "good enough"?

How many times have you been stalled in your pursuit of a dream, a desire or a passion, simply because you thought your efforts were not "perfect".

How often have you walked away from something you could be great at, because you were afraid you would get things wrong?

Stop it now.

Resolve instead to set deadlines, and do the best you can until that time.

Will you make mistakes - yes.

Will you have days when you feel like you have failed - yes.

Will you have times where you feel like the world is crashing down on you, and you feel like you have lost your way, your truth and your self respect. Probably. Just do.

Do it as a way of living, a commitment to yourself to give yourself over to your passions, your dreams and your desires. Set deadlines and apply yourself at whatever it is you want to do until then. Screw up, evaluate, change approach... whatever.

Don't stop.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I say the road to paradise is paved with imperfect actions.

Do, learn, adapt, overcome and succeed.

And you will know peace.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Goal of 100 lost by Christmas (AKA it’s all about the numbers)

Back in the early part of the year, I set myself a goal of weighing 250 pounds by Christmas.

That was before I started eating to a Ketogenic diet, and I had no concept of how I could actually achieve my goal, given my failure at losing weight before. Truth be told, I wasn’t even sure I could do it, but I knew I wanted to.

After starting Keto, I calculated that I could reach 250 pounds earlier than that, and I decided that 240 would be a better goal. That would get me 100 pounds down from my highest ever weight, and I decided that was a good target to aim at. I like round numbers :)

I weighed in this morning at 252. Almost to my first goal, and I have 8 weeks to lose 12 pounds, to get me to 240. Given that I am currently losing about 2lbs a week, that should be achievable without too much difficulty.

And then my brain started a new set of calculations…because I’m crazy like that.

I started the Ketogenic diet on May 2 weighing in at 330 pounds. That’s a lot of weight. But now, theoretically, if I push really hard I might be able to reach 230 pounds by Jan 1st, which is 9 weeks away. That would mean that over the course of eight months, in what has been an incredibly difficult time personally and professionally, I would have lost 100lbs of weight. I think that’s quite an achievement.

So…9 weeks…to lose 22 pounds. I would need to lose 2.4lbs a week to make it going into the holidays, statistically the most difficult time of the year.

There is a huge part of me that wants to go for it, because of just how difficult it will be. The other part of me thinks that I should stay with the progress I am on, and not try to push it.

What do you think? Should I push for it, or should I be content to stay on the course I’m on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Out with the Old and in with the...Older?

One of the great things about losing weight is watching the scale show you lower and lower numbers. At 5 ½ months, I am down around 75 pounds. I never thought it was possible, but I am actually enjoying losing weight, and I do not feel like I am depriving myself at all.

One of the things that has been a surprise is how fast I am going through clothes. When I started back on May 2, I was wearing a size 50 pants and 4-5X shirts. I am actually fitting currently into a pair of jeans that are a size 40, and I have realized that I am over halfway to my goal of a 34 inch waist.

But going through clothes so quickly has a end up with a closet full of things you cannot wear and need to find new clothes, which can get expensive.

This last weekend I boxed up a lot of clothes that are simply too big. I know some people would tell me to get rid of them right now, but I have been there and done that before, and it got expensive having to buy all new clothes.

The payoff to keeping clothes you've outgrown at least is that one day maybe you can get back into them.

While putting away the box of bigger clothes I pulled down a box of clothes that I was previously too large for, and to my surprise I found some clothes that were too small, and about 10 pairs of pants and five shirts that I are the perfect size for me at the moment.

So I just avoided an expensive trip to the store, and I now have a closet of clothes that fit me again. Huge win.

I have started to incorporate walking on the treadmill and in a couple of weeks the weightlifting starts. I am actually looking forward to it.

Thanks to all of you who supported me on the journey so far. I still have a long way to go, but I am over halfway there and I love how I feel.

Thanks again, have a great day. Remember to live your life, not live your life for someone else.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

80 lbs lost!

I have lost over 80 lbs!

Over half-way to my goal of 180 lbs. Last September I weighed 340 lbs. No idea of how I was going to make it happen, but I knew I need to change.

As you know, in May of this year I started the Ketogenic Diet (should be called a lifestyle, because diets end, this won't) and now I'm down 70 lbs since the start of May of this year, and over 80 lbs overall.

I'm half-way through, but this is only the beginning.

What would you suggest as a celebration for reaching 100 lbs lost.

I don't really need something to motivate me at this point. I'm locked into this lifestyle, but I think it would be fun to so something to celebrate when I hit the 100 lbs lost mark.

Any thoughts :)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Progress Pics: 4 Months on Keto


Picture on the left is May 1, 2016.
Picture on the right is September 3, 2016.

This is 4 months and 60 lbs.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Halfway Point

Almost halfway:

That sounds crazy. Almost halfway through losing a whole person (I guess losing 160 pounds could be considered a whole person).

I was just tracking some food in MFP and I realize that having lost 78 pounds from my highest weight of 340 pounds last September I am two pounds away from hitting my halfway point. My goal is to weigh 180 pounds which I know is going to take a long time. Realizing that I am halfway there is mind blowing.

I have gone from wearing pants that were a size 50 and I am now hovering between 42-44. The suit that I was wearing on May 1st when this all started is now too big, and the suit that was a size is smaller than that is also too big. Right now I am focusing on getting into my favorite double-breasted suit which I can usually wear while I weigh between 225-250. It is probably about four weeks off, and it will be amazing to be able to wear that again. Hopefully sometime around February or March of next year I will be shopping for a new suit.

The strange thing about this ketogenic diet is how natural it has become for me. Holly and I are finding new recipes that are low in carbohydrates, and it really helps control cravings. When I think back to the days where I would have a meal that was 90% carbohydrates, I am surprised that I am still here.

One of the greatest aspects of this lifestyle is that it has given me a sense of hope that maybe I can finally get this part of my life under control. My weight has been a struggle for as long as I can remember, and the possibility that maybe I can defeat this is giving me a sense of direction that I have not seen before.

What has been surprising is how much joy I am finding in sharing this with other people. Those of you who know me well know that I love psychology and helping people and it seems that there may be an avenue in my life that I have not had the ability to go down before, that of being a coach and helping others find the satisfaction that I have found in losing weight. I am not sure how all of that is going to shake out yet, but I think there is a definite potential there that I am going to explore.

So at halfway I find myself surprisingly okay with where I am in. While there is a desire to be “done”, there is also a sense of gratitude for the people and events in my life that have brought me to this point. I have no idea what the future will hold, but I have some goals and I have some dreams.

Thank you to all of you who have continued to support and lift me. Especially to my wonderful wife who has been so supportive, and even cooked broccoli for me.

Almost halfway there…may the next half be as easy.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Faith in the Journey

One of the psychological problems in trying to lose a lot of weight is that you eventually find yourself in what feels like no man’s land. It is like you have lost sight of the shore and while you have faith that there is land across the ocean, right now all you see is water all around you and it’s disconcerting.

At this point I am down almost 60 pounds since starting a ketogenic diet (Keto). In another 10 pounds I will actually be down 80 from my highest of 340. 80 pounds is halfway between 340 and my goal of 180. I thought getting halfway would be mind blowing, but it is kind of anticlimactic.

I feel like I am in the middle of the ocean sailing the ship in the right direction, because if I don't, I will drift back to where I came from. But it is hard sometimes, when the days are long and stressful, to keep my eye on that shore that I know is there but I cannot see yet. I have faith and belief in the journey even when the journey is hard, the seas are unfriendly and there does not seem to be a lot of enjoyment where I am at.

I knew this wouldn’t be easy. One of my favorite comments that I have heard is that "desire fades, but discipline remains". For me, part of this now is the discipline to stay with the process. I can’t imagine what it is going to feel like when I step on that scale and see that I am under 200 pounds. I cannot remember the last time I was, except that I have a horrible suspicion it was somewhere around 1997. 20 years of being overweight is hard to comprehend. It is frustrating to realize that I could have done this any time had I only had the information that I have now. To quote Eric Thomas, "information changes situations".

In the back of my head there is still this voice tells me that I am going to lose all the weight and then put it back on again. I have lost a lot of weight before, only to put it back on, but the last time I lost this much weight I was not eating, and the lifestyle was not sustainable. This time what I am doing appears to be sustainable. What I must find is balance. I need to find the balance between eating for fuel and occasionally eating for enjoyment. Finding that balance has never been easy for me, but this time I am determined to do it.

Once I have reached my goal, the question becomes what to do with the knowledge I have gained. I am wondering if I can use my talent for public speaking, my education as a physician and my experience as someone who has lost a lot of weight to make a difference in the lives of other people.

But for now, I just have to keep the boat pointing forwards and sailing on. I have faith that there is a shore out there where I can fit into a 34 inch waist, smile and feel like I have accomplished something quite spectacular.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sometimes a Long Journey...

They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. After you have taken those first steps you need to keep doing it, even when you do not seem to have made much progress towards your destination.

For me, 340 pounds was the start of that journey, with the eventual destination being 180-190 pounds. That is a lot of weight to lose, and it is a long journey.

Carrying 150 pounds of excess weight is like having a person on your back the entire day. You are more tired, and everything hurts. You hate how you look, you hate how you feel, and you pretty much hate yourself.

On a journey of this length it helps to have intermediate goals; little things to celebrate along the way to help you stay motivated.

So I am excited to be able to say that I have finally broken through the 50 pound weight loss goal. When I weighed in this morning I was 286.4, which is over 50 pounds lost from my highest weight in September last year. While I can tell I am losing weight (clothes are looser and I had to put another notch in my belt) reaching that 50 pounds lost is huge for me psychologically. The last 3-5 weeks have been incredibly stressful both professionally and personally, but somehow I have found the strength and the discipline to keep losing weight.

So now it is on to the next goal. Christmas Day is 22 weeks from today. My goal is to be at 240 pounds by then, which will be 100 pounds lost overall. I need to lose about 2 pounds a week for that to happen. While I am doing well with my food and nutrition goals, I need to start building in some exercise to help work on my strength and stamina.

Today, I am just going to be grateful for where I am at. I still have a long way to go, but I am about a third of the way there, and for today, that is enough.

First posted at 21st Century Chiropractic.

Monday, June 27, 2016

First Milestone...Accomplished

First milestone accomplished.

So after eight weeks on a ketogenic diet, I am happy to say that I am finally under 300 pounds for the first time in probably three years.

At this point, I am down about 30 pounds in around eight weeks. It is a little more than I expected I would be losing, and I have to play with my food intake a little bit to try and bring that down to around 3 pounds a week, but so far I am really happy with the progress.

I will need to go clothes shopping in a couple of weeks, because without a belt now most of the pants I am wearing will not stay up at all. I have even had to go back to using a belt that I gave up on about a year ago.

I have also managed to fit back into my largest wedding ring (I have four, because I was 168 when Holly and I got married almost 20 years ago). It is nice to be able to wear it without worrying about being able to remove it if necessary.

So I am trying to work out what I should do to reward myself for the first 30 pounds, and also trying to set a reward for the next goal, which is 250 by Christmas.

Any thoughts on what I should do?

First posted at 21st Century Chiropractic.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Courage to Start Again

Most people who know me know that I have struggled with my weight all my life.

There have been times that I have been successful in losing weight, only to fail and put it all back on again.

In 2012, I did the 60 day juice fast and went from 294 pounds down to 217 pounds.  I thought I had found the answer to my problems.  I ended up putting it all back on and more, eventually weighing my highest at 340 pounds.

So why try again? Why try when multiple times in my life I have lost a significant amount of weight only to put it back on again?  Each time costing me more of my self-esteem as the failures mount one after another.

I think part of it is the realization that I only really fail if I stop trying.  I live with the hope that someday I can find a way through this problem and be happy where I am at.

I have learned recently that sometimes you have to take a long hard look at yourself and be brutally honest about what you find, even though it is painful.

So why start again? Because if I do not, nothing changes.

So I have started the keto diet, also known as ketogenic diet.  Mainly it is a balance of fats and proteins, and very little carbs. I have cut out milk, soda, bread, pasta, cookies, pizza and anything else that contains carbohydrates. I watch my macro intake (protein/fat/carbohydrates) and my calorie intake at My Fitness Pal (an online tracking program).

So far I am down to around 24 pounds in about six weeks, averaging out at about 4 pounds a week. A little higher than I probably ought to, but right now there is some balance there so I am going to work with it.

Because if I do not, nothing changes. Time passes, frustration mounts, regret builds and dreams die.

That is unacceptable to me, so I start again.

Wish me luck.

First posted at 21st Century Chiropractic.