Overdue update

Well, I haven’t written a post in over three weeks, so I should get back into this and give all of you an update on my progress.

First things first; today (9/28) is my 33rd birthday! I am thankful beyond words for the Lord giving me breath every day for the last 33 years, especially when I consider how I have taken care of myself for the majority of that time. His patience and grace towards me means more to me than what words can express. Through a good portion of my journey, today was the day by when I wanted to reach 199 lbs. (my overall goal). I’ve known for a little while that it wasn’t going to be realistic for me to hit that number by today and you can read some previous posts to read more about that. The weight is coming off much slower, partially because I am getting closer and closer to my goal and have reached a reasonable weight, but also because of my own lack of discipline, which I have also addressed in previous posts.

How much have things slowed down? Well, on August 1 I weighed 218 lbs. On September 1 I weighed 220 lbs. Yes, I gained 2 lbs. in August, the first month that I had done so on the journey. I also happened to weigh in at 220 lbs. today, meaning in almost 2 months, I have gained 2 lbs. Of course, while that’s true, that is not how I choose to look at my current situation. The way that I choose to look at it is realizing and pointing out that earlier this month, I reached 213 lbs., which was the weight I reached when I lost weight about 10 years ago before gaining all of that weight back plus 80 lbs. in less than 8 years. So the immediate work that I have before me is getting back to 213 and then going from there because every pound I lose from here on out is very significant and I believe each of those milestones will give me the extra motivation I need to reach that final goal of 199 lbs.

Unfortunately, there is another obstacle that has been put in front of me that I need to get around – about 2 weeks ago, I lost my job. This means I have been home looking for and applying for positions, but it also means fighting and processing all of the emotions that come along with losing a job. It is a new situation for me, so while I am trying to plug away and move forward, it has been a challenge and I have found myself being undisciplined in not thinking about what I am eating (or the consequences of what I am eating) as well as not getting out to walk, even though the first few days went very well. I have no excuse not to exercise with the extra time, even while using much of the available time looking for jobs.

With my birthday over in a few hours, I have already put together a food and exercise plan that I am challenging myself to follow every day in addition to getting back to the food program that I have built for myself, which has worked quite well.

So we’ll see how things go…70 days left until the 100 week/700 day mark…time to do this! Time to get the focus level into “the second hundred” percent!

20 months

I reached another time milestone for my journey as today marked 20 months since it all began. It was one of the most encouraging days I’ve had in a long time. After a Labor Day weekend that once again added pounds back on, I’ve gotten back down to 215 (I got down to 214 on Friday and Saturday of last week), but what the scale told me wasn’t the most encouraging part…

After a work errand, I stopped in to a drug store to see if a pharmacist I used to work with was at the store today. I had not seen him in several months and he had known of my weight loss journey, but when he saw me, he said, “I’m glad you’re here; come over here for a second…” He had gone over and grabbed a copy of the Newspaper article about my weight loss story that was published about 2 months ago and wanted me to sign it for him. After I signed it, he said it would be worth something someday (which I highly doubt)…but what an encouraging thing for this friend of mine who I only see from time to time to save this article for when he saw me next to have me sign it and let me know that he thought what I’ve been able to do was amazing.

To add to the encouragement, during my walk tonight, I was about half way done and as I was walking by a house, a lady was crossing the street towards me. I thought nothing of it until I heard her say, “How much did you lose?” I looked at her and she repeated the question and I told her that I had lost 187 lbs. There is something about being asked that question and saying the number of pounds that I’ve lost out loud that seems to make it all the more real…she responded, impressed and said that she knows that I’ve been walking for quite some time and that I looked great…and the coolest part was when she added, “God bless you, that’s fabulous.” Later that same block, two guys were loading (or unloading) some kitchen appliances from a pick-up truck and one of the guys, who I had said hello to several times as I’ve walked by his house, also said that I looked great and asked how much I had lost. I told him and he said, “That’s amazing…” As I continued walking, I could hear him tell the other guy, “He just said he’s lost 187 lbs” and the other guy was saying, “Wow, that’s great”…

But it didn’t even end there because I went to visit some old co-workers this evening and ran into one of my old customers (who’s daughter also used to work at my store) who I had told my weight loss story to before I changed jobs. She asked me how much I had lost and we got into a really nice conversation in which I even went as far as to tell her how I am praying about how God wants to use this story for His glory, whether it be a book or speaking engagements, or maybe even more consistent blog posts!

I tell you of these encouraging moments today not to boast or to convey that I am great in any way, because God gets the glory for it all, but hopefully to encourage you through the encouragement I have received and hopefully inspire you to reach for more so that people will see a difference in you, whether you are changing physically, spiritually, or maybe both.

Strive for what satisfies and only delight in the richest of foods (Isaiah 55) #nostopping

600 days!

Today marks day number 600 on my journey! The last 100 days have not yielded hefty weight loss results (at 500 days, I was down 173 lbs.) but I have reached 215 lbs. and 186 lbs. down! So I have lost 13 lbs. in the last 100 days but really in the end, it’s all about progress, positive attitude, determination, and claiming the victories for what they are.

The fact that I am writing this entry celebrating 600 days on the journey is a victory in and of itself. God’s grace has rained down on me through this journey, giving me the strength and wisdom I’ve needed to see the success that I have been able to achieve, to God’s glory.

I mentioned in a recent post that I will make it to my weight loss goal by day number 700, which is on December 7th. That’s 16 lbs. in 100 days. That is my goal. I would love to do it before then, perhaps by Thanksgiving! All I know is that I am going to put the work in to try to make it happen.

Either way, my story is already written; I am just living out the story God has written for me. I don’t know when the ending comes (to this phase of the journey, anyway), but I know the ending is a happy one!

God takes joy in writing stories with a happy ending. Does your story have a happy ending? If you’re not sure, know that it can…

Back to 216…

I have officially made it back to 216 lbs. as of today! It took 11 days to take the 10 lbs. I gained up in the mountains back off, but they’re gone now and I can move on to what I’d like to call the milestone pounds! Each pound lost from this point out is significant…here’s why:

215 – It’s 215! A nice round number!
214 – Under 215!
213 – This is the weight I reached when I lost over 100 lbs. back in 2004/2005 and is the lowest weight I have been since middle school.
212 – This will become the lowest weight I have been since middle school.
211 – 190 lbs. down!
210 – It’s 210! Another nice round number!
209 – Under 210 lbs., 10 lbs. to go to reach the goal!
208 – under 10 lbs. to go!
207 – 5 lbs. smaller than I’ve been since middle school!
206 – 195 lbs. down!
205 – Another round number!
204 – 5 lbs. to go!
203 – less than 5 lbs. to go!
202 – 1 lb. away from 200 lbs. down!
201 – 200 lbs. down!
200 – Yes!
199 – GOALLLLLL!

This is not to say that the 185 lbs. I have already lost are not significant, because as I have said many times before, each pound lost is a victory…there are not a whole lot of things we can do in life where losing actually means we’re winning, but this journey has been just that. The more I lose, the more I win.

I won’t reach this goal by my birthday on September 28th and probably won’t hit it by the end of October either, but that’s ok. It WILL happen and at this point, the “when” is secondary because the celebrations can, should, and do happen along the way…Friday, 8/29 happens to be day number 600 on the journey. By day 700, which happens to fall on my mom’s 60th birthday on December 7th, this goal will be reached and the next phase will be underway.

Be encouraged…live out the story that has been written for you because it is one with a happy ending!

These weekends are killin’ me!

So it’s been 2 weeks since I posted last…thought I should probably post an update on how things are going. Well, last week, I officially hit 216 lbs., to reach 185 lbs. down! Since then, however, the journey has been interesting. It was a week ago, for last Friday’s weigh-in, that I saw the 216 lbs.

I was out in the field for my job last Friday and bought the staff at one of my stores pizza and sides for lunch and then the family was heading up to the mountains for the weekend to celebrate my wife’s birthday. We ate at our normal spot on our way up to the mountains and I had chicken fried steak (something I had actually been craving for quite some time). Then the weekend saw my father-in-law bring back cookies and cupcakes from a local bakery. We had hot dogs and cheeseburgers for lunch, birthday cake for my wife, then went out to dinner that night. I had chicken parm, one of my favorite dishes. After dinner, we went for ice cream at our favorite spot, where I had three scoops…one scoop butter pecan, one maple walnut, one peanut butter ripple. I probably also had some more birthday cake and definitely had some roasted marshmallows fresh off the campfire that night too. We had a big breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, etc. then chili for lunch. I don’t remember what I had for dinner that night but I do know Monday didn’t end up so well because dinner was big and I snacked until later than I usually allow myself.

So here is the question…how bad do you think the weigh-in was on Tuesday morning? Oh, my friends, it was bad…226 lbs.! 4 days, 10 lbs.! I even took my walk on Friday, Saturday, and Monday (missed Sunday). Here is the good news…5 of those lbs. are already gone and I know if I keep going, the other 5 will come off soon as well. I do see some more obstacles in my way the rest of this month, the biggest of which being my fantasy football draft on August 30th. I definitely need to be careful and stay focused the rest of this month. I am still shooting for 212, but I know that is 9 lbs. from where I am now in only 2 1/2 weeks. I hope I am up to the challenge and can focus on making the right decisions and realizing how worth it is to keep going and not get in my own way. If I can get back to 218 for Sunday’s weigh-in, I’d actually be even for those two weeks and the month of August and I can go from there…

I probably haven’t said it enough, but if you pray, please continue to pray for me on this journey. It’s been challenging the whole day, but as the goal for this phase is approaching, it is becoming harder and harder and I need continued strength and grace so that God can get the glory for finishing what He started, and I have all the faith in the world that He will make it happen as long as I am committed to it.

#nostopping

July Results

I came in at 218 lbs. this morning, meeting my goal of getting under my previous low of 219 lbs. before the end of the month. July was a modest loss of 4 lbs., but still a help in the journey for sure. This leaves me trying to reach 212 lbs. by the end of August. If I was to reach that number, it would be a month of milestones despite losing only 6 lbs. for the month.

Milestone #1 would be reaching 216 lbs., which would be 185 lbs. down. Reaching 215 lbs. would then be the next weight milestone. Getting down to 213 lbs. would mean that I got back to the weight I was when I lost weight about 10 years ago. 212 lbs. would be the lowest weight I’ve come in at since middle school. 211 lbs. would mean reaching 190 lbs. down, 210 lbs. would be the next weight milestone, and then 209 lbs. would mean there are only 10 lbs. left to lose and the countdown begins!

I’ve said it before and I will say it again…every pound lost is a reason to celebrate because it is a step forward in the journey. Maybe the journey is going slower than you want or expected, but as long as there are steps forward, enjoy the journey, no matter how far along you happen to be!

#nostopping

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.