Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on our many blessings.
I can say with confidence that my life has been filled with many blessings. I have never done without. I have always had a roof over my head, food on the table, a comfortable place to rest, clothing on my back (and front) and friends and family who love me.
Even in lean times when there wasn’t a lot of money, God has always provided a way.
And a recent blessing that I wish to share is my weight loss journey. I have been overweight most of my life. My mom said I began blossoming around age 7. When I was a little fellow, she couldn’t get me to eat a stack of pancakes, let alone spinach. Someone must have turned on an eating switch.
I have lost and gained weight through the 50 plus years since I was a youngster.
I lost 100 pounds in 1983 after winning a bet with a co-worker at the Tulsa newspapers I worked for at the time. Our bet was for $50 to the best man who could lose the most weight in two months. I got into running and lost 39 pounds to my co-workers 26 pounds.
Instead of the $50, my co-worker and long-time friend, gave me his old camera, a Konica FP-1. That camera opened the door for me to return to school and eventually go on to earn my college degree. From there I landed in Iowa.
Back in my running days, I ran a few 5k races (3.1 miles). I remember one in particular where I was running at the back of the pack and two race walkers walked right past me. I didn’t quit and ended up finishing with an average mile of 9 plus minutes.
They were faster at walking than I was running, but I was the real winner in the race.
In 2013, I topped the scales at 352 pounds.
I’m happy to report that on Nov. 18, I visited my doctor in Montezuma and I have lost 54.5 pounds.
I dropped below 300 pounds for the first time in more years than I can remember.
Some years ago, I purchased a tie dye shirt at the Iowa State Fair. I tried it on and it seemed to fit me OK. I got home and put it on and thought it was tighter than I was comfortable with, so I put it in the dresser drawer. I set a goal at the time that when I went below 300, I would wear it. I tried it on the other night and it fit like a glove.
I credit my weight loss to not giving up, but also to my desire to keep moving. I walk a lot, mostly on my day job, often topping 40,000 plus steps a week.
My goal is 5,000 steps a day. I sometimes don’t make it and other times I exceed it with 8,000 to 10,000 steps in a day. It all depends on what I am doing that day.
I started walking in the Spring of 2015 and many days have walked up and down my driveway and on the gravel road in front of my home.
It was a long time before I started seeing any results. It wasn’t that many years ago when I had to stop and catch my breath to walk up my driveway, which has a slight incline, to go get the mail. Now, I can walk up and down 10 or 15 times and I feel better with each lap.
At the same time, I went cold turkey on Pepsi. I only drink unsweet tea, water and milk on occasion.
I also have made some changes in my diet by eating more baked and grilled foods along with steamed vegetables, boiled eggs and salad.
I still like digging into the chip bag on occasion, but I have worked to change in that area by eating yogurt, fresh fruit, granola bars and other healthy alternatives.
Eating breakfast is also a good idea. Mine consists of sausage patties cooked in the microwave and oatmeal. I sometimes eat a piece of buttered toast.
I do enjoy a pizza and Debbie and I have one on Fridays. We call it Friday Night Pizza Night.
There are more pounds to go and more walking to be done, but I’m moving forward.
The key to life, at least in my thoughts, is more than eating right, it’s having a good attitude in all you do. Life is not just results, it’s about not giving up even on the those days you miss the mark.
No matter what you want to do or achieve, you can do it, I believe in you!
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.