Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Morning Reflection: Noise is Oscillation

Could you turn it down please...

Prior to the advent of headphones, I heard this a lot as a child. Then as headphones became more popular, the sound got quieter, but the noise got louder.

I live in a world today with a lot of noise. Some comes from my soul, some comes from the drama of other people, and some from what a teacher of mine refers to as ‘human problems’, by which I think he means that inescapable fact of being a person, alive in this universe.

But recently I have noticed that I use the noise of others to drown out the noise of my own soul. That comes from my wants, my needs, my beliefs and my fears.

Over the last 10 years I have allowed other people to become my distraction. What looked like dedicated service, or great kindness, was often a way for me to avoid the sound of my own soul.

Too many of us now live in a world of distraction, noise, entertainment and the ever present soundtrack of headphones, devices and clicks.

When do we take time to be silent, and allow the whispering of our soul to become pre-eminent in our lives. How often do we sit in silence and solitude, allowing the universe to unfold before us.

No, we use the noise to avoid the silence that introspection requires.

And that noise stops us from living out our lives authentically, honestly and vibrantly.

Life requires balance, and noise is oscillation.

To find peace, seek silence.

And listen.

Dr. Alan Barnes

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Morning Reflection: Listen

What are you listening to?

I heard something yesterday that forever changed my perspective, and hopefully will change me going forward.

My wife was opening a present that I had given her. Inside was a gift certificate I had purchased for her to do something that she wanted to do.

Her reaction, in a moment of honest joy, was a simple two word phrase...

“You listened”.

As she hit me with that beautiful smile that I fall deeper in love with every day, those two words resonated in a powerful way deep in my soul. For her, the gift of what she wanted to do was really secondary to the gift I had given by paying attention, and by knowing her, noticing her, valuing her and learning who she is. By listening to her, I was really saying that I loved her, and that her happiness was important to me.

Too many times in my life I listen to the sound of my own soul, my wants, my needs, my opinions, my judgments.

How often do I listen to the sound of someone else’s soul? Their wants, their needs, their opinions, even if they are diametrically opposed to my own.

For me, I don’t listen like I should.

So I need to be better, be quieter, pay more attention.

And listen.

Dr. Alan Barnes

Friday, December 15, 2017

Morning Reflection: Flexibility

When you are born, you’re really flexible. When you are dead, you’re really not.

Flexibility denotes movement, so therefore movement is a component of life. The 7 signs of life are respiration, irritability, nutrition, growth, movement, excretion and reproduction (Thank you Mrs Thomas, I still remember).

So an area of your life in which you are stuck indicates a lack of movement, and therefore the presence of death.

What are the areas of your life in which you feel stuck, and therefore dead?

Chances are, these areas are the same today as they were yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that.

Movement in life is essential, especially if an area of your life is out of balance and causing you pain.

What are the areas of your life that are stuck in unbalance, and how can I help you find movement…?

Dr. Alan Barnes

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Celebrate Independence

​Here's to independence and freedom. Have a happy 4th of July!

Celebrate Independence

​Here's to independence and freedom. Have a happy 4th of July!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Closing in on Onederland

If you would have told me a year ago today that I would weigh just over 200 lbs this time next year, I would have laughed at you. I would’ve thought you were crazy.

After all of my attempts at losing weight, all the failures, all of the devastation to my self-esteem and self-confidence, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would have believed my past, not my future.

There’s a huge lesson there. Your past does not determine your future. Forget the past, you can’t do anything about it and it doesn’t define what’s going to happen to you next.

So here I am, 54 weeks into a new life, and I am closing in on Onederland, where the scale starts with a 1, not a 2, not a 3.

It doesn’t seem real. It really doesn’t.

Because this last year has been very challenging both personally and professionally, I haven’t really been able to enjoy the weight loss in the way that I would have liked to.

However there have been great moments along the way, and for those I’m grateful.

I’ve had incredible support through this from my wife. Holly has been my rock, my cheerleader and sometimes the kick in the ass that I needed. This is as much her victory as mine, because without her this never could have happened. Despite frustration at some of my food choices, and a severe dislike for broccoli, she has pushed through, and pushed me through some really hard times.

Others along the way have provided support, encouragement and hope in the difficult times. You know who you are, and I’m so grateful for all you have done for me.

It’s been a long year, but I have grown, and shrunk.

I’ve done something very few people have done, and my hope is to encourage and empower people to experience the wonderful changes that I have found. There truly is hope out there.

You don’t necessarily need medication, surgery, or supplements.

You will need discipline, desire and determination, but those can be built.

I am ready to help people to become the person they can be.

In January of this year, the very generous and kind Ryan Deluca took me flying to celebrate losing 100 lbs, and to help me get over my fear of flying. It was a wonderful day, something I will never forget.

For breaking into Onederland, I’m going to push myself way, way out of my comfort zone. This time, it’s not the flying I am afraid of, it’s the falling. I’ve decided to skydive. This crazy idea started about 2 months ago, and it won’t let me go.

So it’s time to face my biggest fear head on, and see if I can find the courage to throw myself out of a perfectly good aircraft

The late Greg Plitt once said that when you break through fear, the energy that you put into the fear comes back as confidence. I wish Greg were still alive so I could show him what I’m doing. I think he’d approve.

So the weight loss continues, and leads to a date with destiny. Sometime in the near future, I will face my fears, face my future, and face my destiny.

It’s time.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.

In one of my favorite movies, Sylvester Stallone reprises his iconic role as Rocky Balboa. During one of the film’s most memorable scenes he confronts his son, who has allowed living in the “shadow” of Rocky to become an excuse for why he is not succeeding in the way that he wants. Rocky launches into an iconic speech explaining that the world can be tough, but “it’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forwards”.

My weight loss journey has been a lot like that. In fact, life seemed to get harder the longer I continued to lose weight. Even now, I’ve been consistently losing weight for almost a year and I am still having “tough days” which push me and try me. There are days when I want to fall back into old patterns of eating for comfort, and it would be so easy.

So why haven’t I given in and had a “cheat meal”? After 11 months, I can honestly say I have not had a single meal where I have broken down and eaten something outside of my profile for eating. People have asked how I have accomplished that. It comes down to one simple statement:

It’s not worth it. It’s not worth it to blow an 11-month track record for something that might taste good at the moment but that will leave a sour aftertaste long after it’s gone. It’s not worth it to put a question in my head as to my willpower. It’s not worth it because after eating something with high carbohydrates I will probably feel bloated, stupid and annoyed at myself.

The truth is, even when it looks like it, it wouldn’t be worth it.

For me, my weight loss is not just about losing weight or “getting into shape”. My weight loss is linked to much more. My weight loss is linked to transforming my life, becoming who I should be, transforming not just my waistline but my worldview and experiencing life at a whole new level.

When I keep that in mind, then the rest of it fades away. So far I have not forsaken when I want the long term for what looks good in the short term. I have my eye focused on my long-term goals. Does that mean I don’t have tough days? Absolutely not. As I write this, today has been one of those days where it seems that if it can go wrong, it’s going to try to.

But as Rocky reminds me, it’s not how hard I can get, it’s how hard I can get hit.

Sometimes you can’t punch back at life in the way you want to. All you can do is double down your efforts and continue to do what you know will work, even when it takes time, when what you really want is to be able to strike back at the universe and all its unfairness. Truth is, that gets you nowhere. Repaying frustration with anger would wound you twice. You have to move beyond, focus on who you can help and who you can serve, and then just double down and go for it.

The universe doesn’t play fair. Mother nature plays dirty, and sometimes Murphy just doesn’t know when to quit.

But if you keep your eye on the prize, and learn to keep punching even after you have been hit harder than you can ever imagine, eventually you’ll arrive at where you want to be.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Shredded BBQ Pork...Keto

BBQ is one of our favorite things. Doing BBQ on Keto hasn't been easy, but my wife discovered G Hughes Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce and it's amazing. She gets it at our local Albertson's, but I know you can get it on Amazon too.

We love the Hickory-flavored one.

This recipe was super easy. I like mine over salad, she wraps hers in a low-carb tortilla.

You can see the recipe at 2 Kids and Tired Cooks.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Ham and Egg Cups...Keto

We've been trying new recipes and figuring out how to convert favorite recipes to keto. One of the latest is Ham and Egg Cups.

These are fantastic. They make a great snack and are a good way to get more fat into your diet. They keep well in the fridge and are good cold!

You can see the recipe at 2 Kids and Tired Cooks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

In the service of others...

One of my favorite quotes by a man I greatly admire goes like this…

“Serve a cause greater than yourself or you will lead a one-man army.” -- Richard Marcinko

A passage from a book of Scripture reads...“For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?”

All around us are incredible examples of service. Most acts of service are quiet, personal, and never make the headlines. Service from a parent to a child, a sister to a brother, a child to an aging parent or friend to a friend.

Even greater is the service to a stranger, because when we serve someone who we don’t know and with whom we have no relationship, we are no longer serving within the bonds of the relationship, we are serving within the bonds of humanity.

I get a chance to serve every time a patient walks into my office. It is an honor and a sacred trust that I take seriously.

I long for the day when I can serve as a doctor without having to charge for it.

Service uplifts us. It takes us out of ourselves and allows us to serve a cause greater than who we are. When we serve humanity in general, we find a greater sense of connection, a greater sense of identity and a greater sense of whole.

Service doesn’t have to be great or loud or noticed. Service allows the one who serves to forget themselves and to give of their best.

However and wherever you serve, always try to give the very best of yourself, knowing that you are made better by your service as much as the person whom you serve.

Look for opportunities to serve everywhere, and you will be amazed at the possibilities before you...and you will know peace.

Monday, February 20, 2017

New experiences, new life

It is amazing how transforming your life changes aspects of your life you did not expect. When I started losing weight my goal was to feel better about myself and to hopefully feel less of a fraud as a doctor.

Then when I started losing weight successfully, other avenues opened up.

New experiences that I had never had before, people coming into my life with different experiences, different stories, different opportunities.

I had another one of those recently. On my flight to McCall for lunch, I met a guy named Steven Conner. Along with his partner Dustyn Stevens, they have a created Forge Your Potential, an organization designed to motivate and inspire people to find the best that is in them and to fulfill their true potential.

Part of that organization is a podcast and, on our flight to McCall, I was invited to be a guest on their podcast.

The fact that anybody would want to interview me still makes me laugh. Seriously, why would you want to interview a guy like me?

However, I’m starting to be open to new experiences, new opportunities and new horizons. While I figured there was a good chance that I could make an idiot of myself, I decided to go for it.

I’m so glad I did.

Conner and Dustyn are really amazing people. Intelligent, thoughtful and with a desire to make a difference. If you haven’t checked out their podcast before it, I really recommend that you do. It’s hard hitting, insightful and raw blistering honesty. You can’t listen to what they do without feeling inspired.

In a world full of negativity that tells us that we can’t come Dustyn and Conner will make you believe that you can. And that belief is the most important thing you’ll ever belief.

I had a fantastic time recording this podcast because it felt like I was sitting amongst old friends, just talking about life, goals, dreams and forging your potential.

So the next time you feel the urge to enrich your mind, jump on over to Forge Your Potential and spend a few minutes becoming more than you thought you could be. Follow them on social media as well. You won't regret it and you'll come away inspired and motivated. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram.

And if you're interested in the podcast we did together, you can find it here. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, February 13, 2017

His example made a difference in my life

Yeah, the picture is slightly blurry, but my memory of this day is as sharp as ever.

This is Greg Plitt. Fitness model, author, motivational speaker, former army ranger. He acted, was on TV, and had an amazing life.

On June 8, 2013, Greg was part of the Fitness Expo in Boise.

Although he was rushed, he spent a couple of minutes talking to me, and then was willing to be photographed with me.

For him, that was an everyday thing. For me, I hated being photographed. I hated how I looked, how I felt and who I was.

But he didn’t see me that way. He made me feel like I could be successful, could change my life. I told him that day that I was going to change. It took me longer than I hoped...but I made it.

But I made it too late.

Greg passed away in an accident on January 17, 2015. A life cut short.

If he were still here, I would find some way to meet him again, show him the picture of who I was, and who I am becoming. I would thank him for how he made me feel, and the hope he gave me. I would try to explain that the 2-3 minutes he spent with me touched my life deeply.

I would tell him that I had made good on what I told him I would do.

I would tell him that his example made a difference in my life.

And I think he would tell me that I had done well, and to go be something better, because he was all about becoming everything you can be.

I’m working on it Greg.

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Next Journey

The next journey.

When I started my weight loss journey in May 2016, I didn’t really have a time frame. I just knew that I wanted to lose weight and eventually get back to 180 pounds.

Around November I started realizing that I could achieve 100 pounds of weight loss in approximately 8 months and I got excited. What can I say, I like round numbers. :-)

So I set myself a goal of weighing 230 pounds on January 1 and by pushing myself really hard I managed to achieve it. It was amazing to realize I could do this.

But once I reached my goal I realized there was something missing. I was still slowly losing weight, but I didn’t have the drive and the focus the same.

Because I didn’t have a goal.

Don’t worry, I still haven’t cheated or eaten anything that I haven’t planned to. I just haven’t been as mentally focused.

And it struck me again how important the mental focus aspect is.

So now I have a new goal. 130 pounds lost in one year.

My new goal is to weigh 200 pounds (or less) on May 1, 2017.

That would give me 130 pounds in a year. Not too shabby. :-)

To get there I’m going to have to change things up a little bit. Until now, exercise has never been a significant part of this program, but it is becoming so.

I’ve realized that I don’t just want to lose weight, I want to feel fit.

Growing up and always being overweight, fitness was always something that was a negative for me. But over the last few weeks I’ve started to become more and more interested in the idea of fitness, not as an aesthetic, but as a way of life.

Losing weight has made me realize that I can do more things. That my life is not limited. That I have wasted so much time not becoming all I can be, and I’m sick of that.

So now it’s time to strike out for a new destination. Now it’s time to become more, to do more, to serve more and to give more.

Fitness is now going to be a more significant part of my life. I’ve realized I can do this, and now I want it.

So here we go. I’m currently 226 pounds and there are approximately 12 weeks. So I have to lose approximately 2 pounds a week to get to my goal.

So bring it on.

Bring on the focus, bring on the drive, bring on the intensity. Bring on time in the gym, time spent in meditation. Bring on soreness, tiredness and achiness.

Bring all of it.

I’m ready.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Truth in Advertising?

With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, there will be a lot of commercials. When you watch, ask yourself how many commercials you see for foods that are just carbohydrates, or at least high in carbohydrates.

Chips, pizza, beer, pasta, soda...

Then see if there are any medications for conditions caused by this type of eating such as, but not limited to:
  1. Diabetes
  2. Heart disease
  3. Source.
  4. Obesity...
Yeah - it's kind of a circular insanity isn't it. We advertise the food that causes the problems, and then we advertise the medications you need to try to mitigate the problems caused by diet.

And we are supposedly the 'civilized world'.

Not so much.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Stall Warning

When you fly a plane, if you try to climb too fast or you change your angle of attack (how aggressively the wing attacks the air) too suddenly, you create a stall. Depending upon your plane, you will get a nasty buzzing noise or the computer freaks out and starts yelling at you.

Unfortunately, stalls are also a part of weight loss, but they don’t come with a warning. They can happen after you try something specifically stupid, like pushing yourself too hard to hit a target. Possibly someone you know (or are reading about) has done this recently. Possibly someone who looks a lot like me.

Yes, I was stupid. In my race to make 230 lbs on January 1 (which I managed, which got me hundred pounds weight loss in eight months) I kind of pushed it a little hard. Unfortunately, the human body doesn’t play fair, and doesn’t give mulligans.

So I have spent the last two weeks at around 230 pounds. It’s frustrating to get on the scale and see that it really hasn’t moved, but I also realize that this is my body paying me back. I pushed hard for something, and I got it, but there is a cost with pushing that hard.

So I’m trying to be good, trying to stay hydrated and making sure I eat enough. It’s funny, in my ninth month of doing this, I am struggling to eat enough calories each day. Other than occasional psychological cravings for certain foods (Golden Double Stuf Oreos are particular repeat offender) I am really not interested in eating.

Part of that may be stress. Some of you may know, some of you may not, but I am no longer a part of the team at Price Chiropractic Center. I now have my own small practice which I am looking to expand. There is a lot of stress that comes with that, a lot of fear and a lot of action in spite of fear. Unfortunately, stress releases a lovely little hormone in our bodies called cortisol, and cortisol causes you to gain weight, or at least makes it very difficult to lose it.

So I realize between my shenanigans up to January 1, and the added stress load since December 30, weight loss for me right now is going to be a little bit difficult.

This is when the WHY is so important. Anyone who has heard me speak on weight loss will tell you that I have a firm belief that you need a WHY, as well as a HOW.

Whenever people ask me about weight loss, they invariably ask me how I did it. I always tell than that asking HOW is the wrong question. The most important question is WHY did I do it.

If you’re not motivated to lose weight, it doesn’t matter how you could lose weight, because you are not going to. You have to be motivated, you have to want it, and then you have to build that want, turning it into a desire, into a hunger, into a determination, and finally into an obsession.

You don’t lose 100 pounds of weight without getting determined. There have been many times in the last 8 ½ months where I could have failed. I haven’t. I have stayed on this new way of eating, even to the frustration of friends and family. And I stay on that because I have a very strong WHY.

So even in this stall, which is frustrating and probably a result of my going for it, I’m staying focused and determined.

Hopefully I’ll break through this stall soon, but if it lasts a while, so be it.

Next goal is 200. Hoping to be there by May 1.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Doing something new...

I did something today that I’ve never done before. In fact, until the last few months of my life, it was something that I hated.

I actually paid someone to take a picture of me.

I know, crazy right?

For me, having someone take my picture has always been something to avoid. When you’re morbidly obese, you don’t want anybody to look at you, but you especially don’t want a camera anywhere near you because you don’t want to record that image of you for history.

But I actually paid a professional photographer this morning to take a head shot of me. I assured her that she will have to use a lot of Photoshop to make it look good. :-)

I’m kind of nervous to see how it turns out.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Food is fuel – not fun

Food is fuel – not fun (with apologies to Bruce the shark in Finding Nemo).

Someone recently asked me what I eat. As I thought about it, I realized that I tend to eat a lot of the same things. Holly, my wife, has been very supportive of my lifestyle change, but I know it has been hard on her as she has felt like she can’t make a lot of the foods that she wants to make for me.

In conversation with someone, I was able to finally explain clearly what I feel about food at this point.

Food is fuel – not fun.

I use that analogy very specifically. For the longest time, I have used food for a source of comfort, and something to look forward to. In the past, foods like pizza, pasta, soda, milk and bread have been a staple of my life, and I have enjoyed eating them.

So why change how I was eating? Because for me, they were the wrong type of fuel.

Let me explain it like this.

If you inherited a really nice car, and that car ran on premium unleaded, what kind of fuel would you put in it?

You could put premium gasoline, or economy gasoline…or you could try any number of fuels like alcohol, aviation gas, kerosene, jet fuel or even diesel.

Sounds stupid right – you know what your car needs to run smoothly and without risking damage to the components, so that’s what you put in it… right?

Why is your body any different? You wouldn’t put a lower efficiency fuel in your car, so why would you put a lower efficiency fuel in your body.

So yes, I do eat a diet that is probably less varied than other people. And yes, there are times when I would like to indulge in something that would probably taste really good.

So why don’t I – simply because I have a WHY.

In my mind, I have a very specific set of reasons as to why I am eating and living the way I do.

For me, weight loss is not just about looking better, although that’s part of it, but it’s a small part. The WHY for my weight loss involves serving my family in the way I would like to. It involves having more energy to be able to do the things that I need to do for them. It involves being able to increase my income, and finally give them the lives I want them to have.

Whatever your reason to change your life, the intensity of your WHY has to be stronger than the difficulty of the HOW, so you can achieve the WHAT that is going to make all the difference to the quality of your life.

So I choose to fuel my body for performance and function, and not focus on the emotional aspect of eating. Focusing on how food made me feel emotionally is a big part of what resulted in me weighing 340 lbs.

If I can find some enjoyment in food along the way, fantastic. Great benefit, but it’s not the overriding factor in what I choose to eat.

Sometimes I get tired of eating the same kind of foods – so what? It’s just fuel. If I can change it up and make it less boring within the parameters of my food program – then great, let’s do that.

But I will not sacrifice my progress or my possibilities in the future just to appease how I feel emotionally. That’s not what food is about.

Food is fuel, not fun.

So if you find yourself reluctant to make a change that you know you need to, chances are it’s because food is an emotional decision in your life, not a physiological one.

Ask yourself – what foods am I unwilling to give up? Then try to decide why that is. Because if you are making emotional decisions about food, my guess is that you are probably struggling with self control over the things that you eat.

Emotional eating is dangerous, since it allows us to avoid confronting the problems that we want to ignore, and increases our weight at the cost of our health.

Emotional eating, coupled with a diet that is high in carbohydrates, is a sure fire way to end up dealing with obesity, diabetes and death.

So even though it’s hard, and boring sometimes, and frustrating, I choose to make the choice of fueling my body with what it needs, when it needs it, regardless of how I feel about it.

Food is fuel, and it can be fun, as long as it stays within the guidelines.

Wherever you are, I hope you have a wonderful day. It’s freezing cold where we are, and another winter storm is headed our way. More snow, and freezing temperatures, on top of already packed ice and crazy road conditions. Going to be a fun weekend!

Stay safe, and eat well.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An unexpected miracle…

I wrote last week about my unwanted Christmas present, when the scale showed me that I had gained weight. I was pretty sure it was water weight – but it still wasn’t what I was looking for.

When I started losing weight, I wanted to be at 250 lbs by Christmas. At the time, it seemed like a crazy goal that I could never reach.

Until I got there way earlier.

Then it was 240 by Christmas, but I achieved that early as well.

So then I wanted the big one – 100 lbs in 8 months.

When I started this journey on May 2, I weighed 330 lbs. To lose 100 lbs in 8 months, I would need to weigh 230 lbs by January 1, 2017.

It seemed impossible, but then it started to look like I could make it…and I got really hopeful..

Until last weekend. The scale showed me the bad news on Christmas day – there seemed to be no way I could reach my goal.

But I didn’t give up – I kept going, and going, and going. All through Christmas Day. Through a very stressful week at work, and through a weekend that was changing my life.

And then came the scale on Sunday. The moment of truth.

I knew there was still a chance that I could make it. When you are losing weight like I have done, there are things we call “stalls and whooshes”. A stall is when your body refuses to lose weight, hanging on as hard as it can to the weight…until it finally lets go.

And let go it did.

I stood on the scale, watching and waiting…would it work, had I made it, was I going to be rewarded for all my hard work and sacrifice...

Yes. Yes I was.

When I looked at the number I could see a 2, then a 3, and finally a 0.

I had done it.

100 lbs lost in 8 months – I weighed 230 lbs.

I can’t really tell you how it felt. It’s too hard to put into words. For just a moment, I felt at peace. I felt like a weight had been lifted from me. For one moment, the clouds had parted, and the sun shone through. I felt like I had achieved something unexpected – something magical.

Part of me wanted to cry, part of me wanted to shout, but the rest of me was at peace.

I realize weighing 230 lbs doesn’t make everything better. I am still facing huge challenges in my life as I try to move in the direction of my dreams. There are many hurdles to overcome, there is much work to be done.

Next up – Onederland. That’s the name we who have lost huge amounts of weight call that moment when the scale no longer starts with a 2, but instead begins with a 1.

My goal right now – to try and achieve that by May 1, 2017.

130 lbs in a year – 140 down from my highest.

That’s something that will require a lot of effort and a continued desire to improve.

I have come a long way, but there is still so far to go.

To all of you who have helped, supported and uplifted me – thank you. This is your victory too.

100 lbs – 8 months.

I never thought I could do it…

So what else can I achieve.

I wonder.

This post has been edited.