Always Forward, Rarely Straight

25 09 2012

So I was living the dream, 70 pounds down, plant based diet, feeling healthier and full if energy – then vacation time came. After making the proclamation here that I would not allow vacation to derail me as it has done to so many others – it did. Day one of vacation started with pancakes, bacon and sausage and I never looked back. And a week spiraled into two months of eating a lot more of what I hadn’t been. The last time I looked at a scale I had gained back 12 pounds.

How does it happen? How do human beings that are so focused on a goal slip up like that and completely fall apart? For me, I was frustrated. I was tired of feeling like I was depriving myself and barely seeing the needle on the scale move. It was frustrating to go to my acupuncture appointments and pay hundreds of dollars and see that I lost .4 pounds that week when I knew how hard I was working to lose more. Some weeks, I was even slightly up. So despite the tremendous physical benefits I was feeling from acupuncture, I stopped going all together.

And same was the fate of this blog…checking in weekly to give the weight loss report – I’m just not wired that way. The self imposed “foot on the neck” approach does not yield lasting results for me. I need to have a more gentler setup.

In the past several weeks, I’ve felt a whole lot less full of vigor. I started to feel like how I felt a year ago right before I got sick. I’ve recently been eating an 80% raw diet of uncooked fruits,veggies and nuts in an effort to get back on track. I’ll be frank, I have no idea of what the future game plan is here. I’m just trying to figure out what works for me. Mostly plant based / mostly raw feels good but I’m just not sure if I have the strength or will to limit all food intake to that – at least for the moment.

I’m thankful to the many people who wrote me to see if all was okay or to ask what happened to the blog. It would have been interesting to blog during this two months “in the wilderness” but I just didn’t have it in me. I needed to hit the reset button and clear my mind. I feel like I’m in a better space now.

So for those still checking in, thanks so much. Here we go again…always forward, rarely straight….

65 Pounds Down in Five Months!

15 05 2012

And so begins week number 21 of my switch to a plant based diet and increased exercise regime. This week I lost an additional 4 pounds! That brings the total to 65+ pounds in just five months.

What a ride this has been so far. Emotionally its like a roller coaster. The plateaus are coming now about every 10 pounds or so and they can really be a bear at times. The last one played havoc with me for nearly three weeks. I have redoubled my efforts though and have seen a great deal of movement after cutting out wheat, stopping my late night snacking and steering away from my occasional cheat meals until I make my way under the 300 pound mark.

I’m finally getting to the point where I’m starting to feel comfortable in my own skin again. I’m not there yet but it is within reach. I can feel the physical and mental switch within the last week. I look back at when I topped 400 pounds and almost find it unfathomable. How the heck did I let things spin that far out of control? It wasn’t long ago yet in ways, it seems like a lifetime.

I continue to receive really nice words of encouragement from you and I am very thankful for that. Your words are inspiring and the information that you send is helpful. That some of you take the time to send me an email with your thoughts and reflections on what I have written means so much. Complete strangers, some from half way around the world reaching out with messages of hope. It helps to restore my faith in humanity and makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile here. Without you I am positive that this struggle would be exponentially more difficult if not abandoned alreeady.


So this week, I’m enjoying my Vitamix juicer/blender. I’ve decided to eat RAW foods meals at least twice a day this week and the Vitamix has gotten me off to a good start. Tonight I’ll be making some soup. Last night I got a little creative and made a smoothie with broccoli rabe, apple and pineapple, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeƱo, scallion, tomato and cucumber. The pineapple was a last minute addition after tasting it and realizing it needed something else to lighten it up some. An interesting mix of flavors but it definitely worked.

This is a whole new world for me so if you have a Vitamix and/or enjoy juicing, post up some tips here or drop me a line at

Envision Something Different

16 04 2012

And so begins week 17 of my journey to better health through exercise and a plant based diet. This week I lost an additional 2 pounds which brings my total to 61 pounds shed in nearly 4 months. I’m starting to see that some of my bigger goals are within reach, especially life below the 300 pound mark.

I recently donated about a dozen pairs of pants because they are now too big for me. I’ve gone down several pants sizes and can barely keep the current size on. In the not too distant future I’ll be able to purchase my clothes at real stores and not specialty “big guy” clothing shops. I can’t tell you how liberating that will be. These are all big changes but sometimes the smallest of changes are the ones that really hit home for a person.

On two recent occasions I have gone out to eat and have been able to sit comfortably in a booth. This hasn’t happened in about 15 years. There was a pain associated with the dining out experience that just became so natural and engrained that I actually began to no longer recognize it. I just sort of became numb to it.

There has been a whole process with going out to eat that has been complicated and stressful for me. In the past if I was offered a booth, I’d have to ask the server for a table instead. I have a 7 year old and she wants to sit in the booth every time I take her out. So there is that whole process of trying to explain to her that it’s more comfortable for me to sit at a table. Often times this does not resonate with her and meals get off to a rocky start.

At the size that I have been, sitting at a table is no easy feat either. From the second I walk into a place, I’m on a scouting mission to find a chair that has some room around it and especially behind it. I don’t want to obstruct anyone else’s flow or make a person sitting at a nearby table feel like they don’t have enough room. It’s been a real headache but one that happens so often that the pain of it has dulled. It’s just become the reality that I have lived with – until now.

Lately I can sit comfortably in a booth. There is room between my gut and the table and it is a pleasant experience. My daughter is happy to finally be sitting in a both like a “normal” person and that makes me happy too. To be able to go out to eat like most people do is an amazing feeling.

With the way I have been living up until now, there were so many things I had taken for granted. In a lot of ways this weight loss experience feels like a slow rebirth. I’m beginning to realize again some of the simple pleasures in life (things that most people take for granted). I’m really recognizing deeply how my poor choices have limited me in the past.

How are our lives similar? Everyone has their own battlefield in life. It may not be weight. It can be anything really, whatever holds you back and prevents you from being your best self. We are all encumbered by “the weight” of something. What are our own lives trying to teach us? Can we pull ourselves from the wreckage of our past hurts? Can we become our own phoenix rising from the ashes of our past disappointments? Can we use our greatest weaknesses as rungs on a ladder and climb above all of the muck that seeks to hold us back? Can we inherit the life we were meant to live? The life that we deserve to live? I think we can. It takes just one single step followed by another and another combined with the willingness to walk into and through our fear. On the other side, something beautiful waits for us. We really can get there together.

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