Archive for July, 2013

The Good Fight
July 26, 2013

July 26, 2013

“The Good Fight”

I guess the key is to never give up.

Even when you mess up, you got to keep on it. I worked hard this week to get back where I was. I was a bit discouraged, but by God’s grace, I was able to turn things around.

We have to remember, as I often remind myself, that this is not a sprint, but a journey. With everything going on in life, which I’m sure you can relate, it is hard to get focused on the goal.

When I was working in a drug rehab in Florida, we would take the kids on a sailboat out in the ocean. I remember we would sail at night, and the captain would give us a focus point, either a star or a lighthouse, and tell us where to keep it as we sailed. (For example, “keep that lighthouse at 1 o’clock” or “keep that star at 4 o’clock”)  This way we knew the direction we were going was right. We’d reach our destination if we stayed focused on the light.

With that being said, I’ve focused on God, diet, and exercise. My weight this morning? 262.6 pounds! And, there has been a pair of jeans I bought 4 to 5 years ago that is hanging in my closet.  I’ve been wearing size 46 , and I’ve always said I’d hold on to them until I fit into them. They are a size 44.

Today, I wore them to work. Fits perfectly.

I am ecstatic, and very motivated. The Apostle Paul says we have to fight the good fight. I am.  And this fight ain’t over yet. I got a wedding to go to tomorrow and a church picnic the day after. Pray for me.


Sounds of Silence
July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

“Sounds of Silence”

It has been almost a week since my last blog. A couple reasons for the silence.

I have done poorly regarding eating and exercise. After I hit my lowest in a long time (262.4), I think I got a bit over confident. Exercise was less this week (although I did have back issues, but that’s an excuse) and eating got bad.

Went back to old habits. Portion control was bad, we were invited out to eat and I over did it. feeling it’s ok because of how I’ve been doing, I just lost focus. Lots of focus.

Then, as I viewed this past few days as a failure, I got feeling bad about me, feeling bad about how I let people down, feeling bad. What does one do (at least I do) when I’m feeling bad? Eat. Like I said, bad week.

But, in reading Scriptures, I read of Joseph and his brothers, how the brothers mistreated Joseph yet Joseph received them with open arms, and they were restored. And as i read that, I realize that failure doesn’t reside in failed attempts, it resides in failing to attempt.

So I’m at it again. Disappointed? I was, but not now. It’s all learning. I find that the greatest lessons I learned weren’t in a school building, but in life. Life is the greatest school and Christ is the greatest teacher.

Remember, there are no mistakes if we learn from them. It’s a lesson. If we repeat the lessons, we just ain’t paying attention.

Weight this morning? 266.4, up 4 pounds. But this is a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s do this.

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News
July 17, 2013

July 17, 2013

“Doctor, Doctor, Give me The News”

Went to the doctors for my six month check up. It’s always a little intimidating, particularly when you are getting weighed. But I was excited to go this time.

That morning (two days ago) I weighed myself and couldn’t get below 264. It’s been awhile, and getting frustrating as I’ve been working out very diligently. So I weighed myself expecting to break it and I came in at ………264.

I’m thinking my scale must be blocked and won’t go below that number! So I go to the doctor. Well, with my clothing on, my weight was 263! Everything in me wanted to strip to my underwear there and get on again, maybe hit 262, but thought nobody needed to see that, and I apologize for the visual you just got.

When they did my vitals, my pulse was 64 and my blood pressure 110/76. This is like pretty phenomenal. Then she tells me that my weight six months ago was 278. That’s a drop of 15 pounds. When I started my “Walk to 199”, I was 273, so I’m at a spot of a definite 10 pound loss, and 15 in six months. Good start.

I talked to her about my being at a “plateau”, and she suggested that I’m not eating enough. I’ve NEVER been told that I don’t eat enough, ha ha, but I guess it may be true. So trying to focus on 4-5 meals, small meals.She also says I don’t get enough sleep, that i need 7-8 hours. That ain’t gonna happen.

She has decreased my Metformin for diabetes by 500 mg., and wants to see me in three months to possibly lower my other medications. This is extremely good news as she told me that her goal is to have me off all medications. That’s my plan also.

My weight this morning was 262.4! I’m pumped! I hope this motivates you as it does me. God is good.

Idiot Wind (5 Hot Dogs? Really?)
July 12, 2013

July 12, 2013

“Idiot Wind (5 Hot Dogs? Really?)

(Notice that all my blog’s names included in “Walking to 199” are song titles. “Idiot Wind” is a great Dylan song.)

Ok, let’s confess this and get it over with. I am an idiot.

Those of you that know me may agree, but those of you that don’t, well, you’re in for a treat.

I had one of those days where I really did good. I exercised, did weights, watched my diet all day at work, was really pumped to go home and keep it up.  Bonnie, Luke, and Amanda said that we should take a walk in the park.

Excellent! Did another two miles in the evening, and it’s 7:30 and we decide lets go to the Hermitage Hot Dog Hut. I love hot dogs, and they’re so healthy. (That was sarcasm, in case you were wondering. I live for sarcasm).

My rule is: Burgers? Only one. Sandwiches? One. Hot dogs? Three, because they’re small. So we go and order, and I decide that I really am hungry so I’ll order four. Notice how I broke the rule? Wait, it gets better.

We order, Bonnie wants two. Luke wants four. I want four. Amanda wants chicken, so she’s not part of this equation. They have a special if you order twelve hot dogs, then you can get it cheaper along with fries and a drink. So, without hesitation, I said, “Bring us twelve. Fix five up Luke’s way and five up my way”. Five. Seriously, I did. All of a sudden I’m thinking I’m Joey Chestnut. I’ve NEVER eaten five hot dogs at one meal.

So along with the fries, I had five hot dogs. Oh, did I mention they were CHEESE hot dogs? I didn’t think I did. Yeah, five. But the Diet Pepsi helped.

I was so sick last night. It did not go well, if you know what I mean. I was so angry at me. I can’t believe I did that. All that work for naught. So I woke up this morning and killed it at the gym. Came home and weighed myself. I am 264.2

I want to break 264, which has been my nemesis for weeks, and if it wasn’t for the Joey Chestnut imitation, I’d be in the low 260’s. But I’m not. So, today again was good. I am ready to enjoy the evening. I will do my best, with God’s help, to eat appropriately.

I’m getting the exercise down pretty good now, but the eating creeps up on me. I realize that when I am famished, or extremely hungry, all the rules are thrown out the window. I don’t think straight. So, the key will be for me not to get famished.

I am not discouraged, just disappointed in me. But I will not quit. I will not be defeated. The Lord says that we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. It’s back on the horse again. It’s a lifestyle. I will screw up. I will make mistakes. But I will overcome the mistakes and the screw ups.

I got this.

Yellow Pee
July 10, 2013

Life gives you various signs on how well you’re doing.

Pants don’t fit? You’ve gained a few pounds (or your spouse has shrunk them, which is my preferred excuse). People zone out when you’re speaking? You talk too much. Hair in your hairbrush? You’re going bald.

Since I’ve started this walk to 199, one tell tale sign of me not drinking enough water is “yellow pee”. If I come home from work at 4:30, and my pee is still yellow, then I’m not drinking enough water throughout the day.

I take a multivitamin and it’s like my urine glows in the dark. By 2 or three in the afternoon it should be clear. If it’s not, then it’s telling me I’m not keeping hydrated.

My guru, Emily Alexander (whom you REALLY NEED TO FOLLOW HER PAGE on Facebook, titled “Establishing Emily”), turned me on to an app to help me remember to drink enough water. The app is “iDrated”, and it’s 99 cents and well worth it. You plug in how much water you need for a day and it does the rest, even sends a message to your phone to remind you.

It would be so cool to have apps like that for other things in life, wouldn’t it? I’m going to invent some. “Call your mom” app, sends you messages to call your mom at whatever pace you want (daily, weekly, monthly).

For college kids, “Take a shower” app. A gentle reminder that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and that your peers will soon drag you into the shower and scrub you down with a vegetable cleaner.

For men, “The Non-ESPN” App. This one comes with an electric shock, to remind fellas to turn the TV to another station instead of watching the fourth repeat of “SportsCenter”. This could also be called the “Save Your Marriage” App.

Still plugging away at this weight thing. Not quitting, not frustrated, realizing this is a lifetime commitment. It’s a marathon race, not a sprint. I’m not going to sit here and eat rabbit food (lettuce and carrots) 24/7 to lose weight quickly. That will just cause me to gain weight when I go off it. This is a lifestyle.

Weight this morning: 265. Up one from a week ago, down 8 from May 24th.


I see the doctor on Monday for my six month check up. We’ll see what she says.

Finding Jim Paynter Part 2
July 8, 2013

This is a bit off of “My Walk To 199”, but felt it was important to update. Last November, I wrote a blog about a man I used to work with that was very influential in my walk with Christ. His name was Jim Paynter.
I had sent feelers out all over the place to try to get in touch with him. I was a bad boy when I met him. Drinking and drugging, yet this guy never judged me but did nothing but work next to me and live his life in front of me.
I decided to google “Jim Paynter Eustis Florida”, as that’s the last place I heard of him. It brought me to a page that was an obituary of his wife, Judy, who passed away from a flu shot that went septic. It gave names and cities, but no numbers.
I called my niece Dee Dee and asked her to look around and find if the Jim Paynter listed might be him. It said he was 74, and lived in Lady Lake. She gave me the address, but had no phone number. She gave me the address of one of his sons.
I left a message, not trying to sound like a creeper, and said he was visiting grandchildren out of state. She gave me his cell. I told her I didn’t want to bother him, but she said he’d love it.
So I called him and re-introduced myself. I told him I worked with him in 1976, mentioned some co-workers we had in common, and says he remembered me. I told him what an influence he was on me and that he was semi-famous, at least in my small church. He said isn’t it funny how you can influence people without even knowing it.
He tells me he has been traveling the country to speak to his grandchildren about Christ. He states he feels the time is short and he needs to speak to them about Him. He has 40 something grandchildren and great grandchildren. Around thirty of them were there when his wife passed. He said God was glorified.
He said he’s going from Michigan to Arkansas (“Man, I didn’t realize how far that is”) before heading back to Florida for a day, then taking a youth group to camp in North Carolina.
He told me to call him anytime, as “preachers don’t have a lot of friends they can talk to”, and if I ever needed to talk, he’d listen. I told him I’d be honored to be his friend. It was like talking with Andy Taylor of Mayberry, that comforting.
Thank God I was able to reach him. It was like a trip back in time, as Billy Joel says, “when I wore a younger man’s clothes”.
Here’s to you Jim Paynter. May the Lord continue to use you.

July 6, 2013

The last few months have been awfully confusing to me. It’s made me realize that this life is not for the weak. Thank God for God.

My friend Bobby passed, like I said earlier, and three days later I’m welcoming my first granddaughter into the world. Then later in the week Gerda, a wonderful Haitian woman I met and just loved her spirit when I was there, had a stroke and died. I’m really confused with what to do about Haiti so please pray. And I’m really aware of the uncertainty of life.

John Piper, one of my absolute favorite authors and preachers said, “I am fully aware that I stand on the edge of eternity”. That means, he realizes that any second he could leave this life and enter eternity. Humbling to say the least.

It’s funny how old habits kick in so easily. I haven’t been eating great nor have I exercised like I should. It’s almost one a.m., and I’m seriously thinking of heading up to Planet Fitness, but I think I’d regret it tomorrow. But I’ve learned one thing: No guilt. If I fall off the wagon, dust myself off and get back on. It’s really that simple.

As much change that has been going around, the same amount remains the same. Old habits come back, old relationships come back, old songs stir old feelings. Kind of poetic in a way. Yet kind of freaky.

I’m trying to slow it down a little and enjoy this thing called life. People that believe in heaven and hell say that this life on earth is hell. I tell them that that is a crazy thought because there is way too much love and good in this life for it to be hell. We just need to slow down.

John Lennon sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. That is so true, my friends. We plan, but God decides.

My weight is up 3 pounds, back to 267, but I’ll get it off. I’m not discouraged, I just need to get serious. If I’m off the wagon, it’s no guilt for me. Just get back on. My goal is to do a 5K, like Ms. Emily Alexander. It’ll happen. I put no time frame on it. Just don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.