I am so weak…

“I am so weak that God has given me everything; all the tools, instructions for their use, even a good brain to use them with…God is feeding me and what I’m praying for is an appetite.” – Flannery O’Connor

On my twitter profile @the2nd100lbs, my little blurb has said for quite some time, “Eat the right things, take care of your heart, press towards the goal”. I want to have an appetite for the good things; the things I need as opposed to the things that would/will destroy me.

I am still pressing towards my goal…I am even for the month (222) but hope to get back to my low of 219, which I saw on July 3. More importantly than that number though, is that I would love to get down to 212 by the end of August, which would be about 10 lbs. in the next 40 days. I will go into why 212 is a significant number in my journey coming up in a later post.

In the meantime, I hope we all can know that we are weak, but we have someone feeding us trying to give us strength…but that we need the appetite to consume those things that are good for us because if we have the appetite for the right things, we no longer crave the things that are bad for us and would ultimately destroy us.

Not done yet, but oh, how far we’ve come

I am very much looking forward to heading to the beach with the family for a few days! Now granted, I have never been a huge fan of the beach (perhaps partially rooted in my weight issues) because of the sand and the fact that I get sunburned so easily, but our 5 year old loves playing in sand and loves the water and our 6 month old has never been to a beach, so it will be a milestone few days for him! Just spending time with my wife and boys will be wonderful!

I started this blog back in August/September 2013 as I began work on losing the second hundred pounds in my weight loss journey. Since then, because of God’s grace and so many wonderful people reading about my story and my thoughts as it plays out, my blog has been followed by over 100 people and has been viewed almost 2,000 times by people in 16 different countries! When I started this blog, I never would have thought the reach that my words could have…I am humbled.

This Tuesday, I hope you all check out my story in the Morning Call, one of the local papers here in the Lehigh Valley…my story will be highlighted as their latest “workout winner” as I reached the milestone of losing 180 lbs. (so far!). If you’re not local, it should be posted online at mcall.com. I will try to post a link if I can, but I will still be out of town on Tuesday, so it might not be posted right away. Either way, enjoy! Please let me know if you are sharing it with friends! I hope that my story can inspire you and/or others to live a healthy live and help others see that with effort, an attitude of perseverance, and a faith that won’t quit, we can achieve things we once never thought possible.

It is pretty amazing how the body works. I was frustrated for most of the month of June because through the first three weeks, I was up a pound for the month…then I stepped up my game and worked hard…it yielded a stretch of 11 days where I lost 7 lbs.! I have reached 219 lbs., 182 lbs. down, leaving me with exactly 20 lbs. left to lose before reaching my goal of weighing 199 lbs.

I fully expect that I will meet that goal within the next 3 months and am looking forward to what great ways I can share my story and help be a positive influence in people’s lives… #nostopping

June Results and a complete 180!

My last post indicated how frustrated I was with myself for not being consistent through June and the results had shown it…I was up a pound for the month at that point and there were just so many things that kept me off of my normal routine…or was it just an excuse?

Either way, last week, especially with starting a new job, I was trying to get back into a solid routine. My first full day at the new job was Wednesday and I decided that I would get up at 7am and go walk first thing. I did it Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and it was nice. It is a little quieter since there are few other people out walking and out and about at that time of day. I got walks in on Saturday and Sunday and did the 7am gig again on Monday. I had a slightly earlier meeting, so I didn’t get a walk in on Tuesday, but I happened to already be up around 6:30 this morning and went out to walk a little earlier and not only was it a good way to start my day, but with storms rolling through eastern PA this afternoon and tonight, it was a good choice if I was going to get a walk in today.

Getting back on the routine during the last week of June paid off immensely! On June 22, I weighed in at 226 lbs., which as I mentioned, was a pound more than three weeks prior (June 1). The following Sunday, I was down to 222! I dropped 4 lbs. in a week and then finished the month at the same weight to finish up at 3 lbs. for the month! As much as I struggled through June, I still ended up half way to my June goal! This morning, after my 6:30am walk and subsequent shower, since it was already pretty hot out, I weighed in at 220.5 lbs.!

Finally, I have reached 180 lbs. down! I have 21.5 lbs. left to lose and it is still within reach to do it by my birthday at the end of September! That is still my goal! 88 days! By the strength, grace, and guidance of Jesus Christ, LET’S DO THIS! #nostopping Isaiah 55

The hope of completion

I’ll be honest…I’m struggling.  I’m not discouraged, but I am frustrated with myself for not doing a better job so far in June to help reach my goal for the month and get closer to reaching my goal of 199 lbs.  There have been a lot of things over the last few weeks that have interrupted my routine, and even though I know that the routines would be changing with the new job and everything, I’ve gone off course and while I have been mindful of it, I haven’t quite gotten back on course yet. 

I am four pounds off my low weight of 222 lbs. and up a pound for the month.  I haven’t picked up the weights enough this month and I haven’t done any ab work to help.  I’ve missed some days of walking recently.  On the plus side, I have been thinking about how to get into a routine with the new job and I think I have a pretty good plan in place…I just need to execute it and stick with it. 

I’ve been pretty realistic with myself in knowing that these last 20-25 lbs. would be the hardest to lose and so far they are proving to be just that; but even though I feel like I’m struggling and frustrated with myself, I am not without hope…a hope of completing this part of the journey.  It’s a similar hope to the hope that gets me through this earthly journey and it is one that lies in Jesus Christ. 

In 1 Corinthians 7:1, Paul writes, ” Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”  It is mentioned several places in scripture that how we take care of our bodies is a huge part of our spiritual journey.  Paul mentions it here and the easy thing to think of when we see “defilement of body” is sexual immorality and how we use our bodies is a very important thing to think about as we consider holiness, but I also believe that what we put in our bodies and how we treat our bodies in other ways is an equally large responsibility and part of our spiritual (and obviously physical) journey. 

Paul writes in a different letter, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6).  So I am frustrated because I want to be closer to my goal’s completion…but this hope that not only is God in the habit of finishing what He starts, but that there are even more important things to work towards than losing weight, is hope enough to keep going, knowing that the timing is relatively insignificant as long as I continue to strive as hard as I can to get to where I need to be.  The hope is that it won’t be me who gets me there…it’s Him! 

I’ve been so encouraged to look at the stats of this blog and I wanted to thank all of you who follow me here at the Second Hundred.  I hope you are blessed and encouraged by what you read.  There are over 100 followers and this blog has been viewed over 1,800 times, all thanks to you!  So thanks for taking the time to stop by!

I had my photo shoot at the Morning Call today, as I mentioned in my last entry!  It went well and I got to see some preview shots…I’m pretty excited to see what the article, which has a tentative publish date of July 8, looks like…I will, of course, post a link when it’s out! 

Keep up the hope!  God has your back!



Mid-June/Father’s Day Update

Hey, I know I haven’t written anything since the beginning of the month and that it’s been about two weeks since I posted an update, so let me tell you all what’s I’ve been up to these last two weeks:

First, Happy Father’s Day to all of my fellow fathers out there!  I hope you have all had a wonderful day!  My family actually had a great day hanging with my family up at my sister’s place…it was a beautiful day outside, the kids got to play, and there was some great food to eat (and yes, I enjoyed it with very limited guilt because you need to have days like that once in a while). 

Last Sunday, I reached 222 lbs. which put me at 179 lbs. down…this week, I was actually up (technically) a pound (I weighed in at 222.4 lbs. last Sunday, 222.8 lbs. today…since I started at 401.2 lbs., I round down at .4, and up at .8, though I was actually only about a half pound up).  I may be up a little bit more tomorrow because of what I ate today, but I am going to get back on the horse most of the rest of this week, get out and walk as much as I can and do what I have done to be successful to this point because I know it works.  I am just trying to get down under 220 by July 1 (so 219 lbs.)…even if it doesn’t happen by the end of June, it WILL happen, so I need to be patient with myself while still holding myself accountable to reach the goals and not fall back into old habits.

Friday might be a tough day to “be good” when it comes to eating (and in general) since it will be my last day at my current job.  I know I will be taking some food for my staff to enjoy and I am sure there will be other goodies there as well.  I am already starting to think about my new work walking route and how I can transition into continued success even though my situation is changing a bit.  I am looking forward to my new position and the challenges it will bring professionally, but also with my weight loss journey and to stay on course.  One of the biggest positives will be having a whole new group of people to share my story with and I want to really try to bring this attitude of growth and perseverance into my new job as I have my current job and really jump start a culture of not giving up, while setting realistic goals and making smart decisions. 

In addition to the new job, on June 24th, I will be heading over to the Morning Call, one of our local newspapers here in the Lehigh Valley, for a photo shoot as I will be the subject of an upcoming “Workout Achiever” feature.  This will be another avenue for my story to get out and hopefully inspire people and let them know that changes like this can happen IF we truly want it. 

Yes, often times we feel that it would be easier to quit the journey, whatever that journey is…but remember that if we quit, we’re telling ourselves that a better life isn’t worth fighting for.  I am telling you that it is worth fighting for and YOU are worth fighting for…let’s stop with this complacency that tells us that our current circumstance is one that we are either stuck with or the best that things can be because that is just simply not the case.  If we want something bigger or better, it can be ours…we just have to go get it. 

May Results – Picking your Battles

I had mentioned in a previous post that my goal for May was to lose 6 lbs.  This was a very reachable goal, though a harder one to reach when you find yourself in a plateau for the first half of the month.  I was stuck between 230-232 lbs. from the beginning of the month through about May 18 or so until finally I got below 230.  Then, if you follow my blog, you saw that I posted on 5/26 a picture of me at 226 lbs.  I happened to finish the month at 225 lbs., 5 lbs. down for the month, only missing the goal by 1 lb., despite the 2 1/2 week plateau.  That is why it is so important to keep fighting, even when the results aren’t necessarily there on the scale…it will come.  I know that if I am in this for the long haul, and I obviously am, but even in your own weight loss journey or any other trial or challenge you might be facing, things can get in the way of you seeing the results you want to see, but if you know that the fight isn’t over until you win, then the timing of the results isn’t nearly as important as winning in the end. 

The next pound I lose will be number 177 and will mean that I have only 25 lbs. left to lose to reach my final weight goal of 199 lbs., which I hope to reach by my 33rd birthday on September 28th.   My June goal will be to lose 6 lbs. and end the month at 219 lbs., so under 220 and leaving me with 20 lbs. to lose. 

You know, I’ve never gotten myself into a fist fight with anyone before, though I have gotten into verbal sparring matches with folks or had disagreements that have lingered and at some point, you tend to realize that the fight you’re in isn’t worth the effort because even if you “win”, you lose.  Do you come out of it as a better person?  Do you feel better about yourself after you “won”? 

When I saw 401 lbs. on that scale almost 17 months ago, I went to war with my 401 lb. self.  We don’t get into wars or fights just for the sake of getting into a war or a fight (well, we shouldn’t anyway), we pick the ones, even the challenging ones that we can win, need to win, and are worth winning.  Losing every one of the 176 lbs. I have lost so far is a battle that has been won, every victory along the way giving more motivation to continue and more glory to God as He continues to bring this work that He started into completion. 

Ultimately, when it comes to this journey, the more I lose, the more I win, no matter how long the war may take.  The enemies of bad habits and the lack of self-control are retreating and are being chased and conquered by discipline and a renewed way of thinking that can be slowed but not stopped. 

Be encouraged…if it is worth winning, it is worth the wait…#nostopping