Friday, February 24, 2012

An Apple A Day

How much does a person have to eat in order to put on 300 pounds?  Let's do some math!! 

 1 pound of fat = 3500 calories so 300 pounds of fat = 1,050,000 calories.  (that's over one MILLION calories).  I didn't put on 300 pounds all at once.  I did it slowly, over the course of 30 years.  So 1,050,000 calorie in 30 years comes to 35,000 calories, or 10 pounds a year. Looking back over my life, that's about right.  35,000 calories divided by 365 days equals about 96 calories a day.  A medium to large sized apple is about 96 calories. 

So if you exceed your body's caloric needs by the amount of one apple every day, you too can put on 10 pounds in one year, or 300 pounds in 30 years!!
 I'm not suggesting that apples will make you fat!  I'm not suggesting you stop eating them!  What I want to point out is just how well the human body regulates it's own weight.  A healthy person eats only the amount of food they need to maintain good health, and that exceeding that by even as small an amount as a single apple, will, over time, have drastic effects.  If we look at all of nature we'll see that animals in their natural habitat, eating their natural diet, don't eat so much they get fat.  They don't have to count calories.   Cows don't think about the size of their hips before deciding whether to eat more grass or not.  Panda bears don't skip lunch because they're watching their figure.  Robins don't count how many worms they eat or worry if they'll be too fat to fly.  So why do humans have this problem with eating too much?
 We don't.  Not really.  Certainly I am in the extreme range as far as my weight is concerned, yet I've only eaten more than I needed to by an amount equal to one apple a day over 30 years.  The problem isn't in how much we eat.  The problem is in what we eat.  We super process our food to the point it has no nutrition but has more calories than we need.  Our bodies don't know how to handle all the sugar and fat we feed it.  Our bodies need the fiber that comes from whole foods.
 Anyone who's read my blog knows that I don't eat meat or dairy, and that I severely limit added fats and processed foods.  Many of you who read this will never consider making the changes I have.  But would you consider changing just one of those things?  Surely you can agree with me that we eat too much processed foods.  Surely you can understand that the concentration of fat, sugar, and calories in processed foods can easily cause you to exceed your body's caloric needs, and that if you make just that one change you will, over the course of time, make a big change in your weight.  By trading calorie laden processed foods for nutritious and dense low calorie foods like whole grains, potatoes or rice you will be able to eat as much as you do now, maybe even more, yet start to reverse your weight gain and improve your health.
 It's not how much you eat.  It's what you eat.

Happy Eating!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind

Here is an excellent video for you to watch!!    Dr. Lisle explains why "Eat Less, Exercise More" is not the solution to weight loss.  Understanding the principals he teaches will help you in your own journey towards better health. 

Happy Eating!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weight Loss Update: 02/22/2012

The two weeks since my last weigh-in have marked a notable shift in my attitude and approach to my weight loss.   In these two weeks I have lost 8.6 pounds, an average of about 1.2% per week of my body weight.  The two weeks prior showed a drop of only 4 pounds, less than half the progress of these past two weeks.  What's the difference?  The two weeks prior were weeks I admit I was simply too busy to put any thought or effort into my weight loss.  I was on auto-pilot.   I consider it great news that I could sail through two weeks on total autopilot, putting no effort into diet or exercise, and still lose 4 pounds! I am thrilled that this way of eating is so ingrained in my brain that it requires no conscious effort, and still lose weight!  Wouldn't you like to be able to do that?  It's a good feeling!  But I know I can't sail through the rest of this journey on autopilot!  So I thought about it and wondered, if I could lose 4 pounds on autopilot, how much could I lose if I actually put some effort into it?
 I came up with a two pronged strategy.  The first was to make a conscious effort to get more exercise.   I did that.  I walked 3 miles most days in the past 2 weeks, and walked 6 miles twice a week.  The second part of my strategy was to adopt Dr. McDougall's advice for volume eaters.  In short, his advice is to not eat large meals all at once, but to break them up into medium sized portions with at least 20 minutes in between.  You can still eat as much as you want to, but you have to spread it out.   The idea is to give the body time to send signals to the brain and throughout the body that you've eaten, to prevent overeating before you realize you're no longer hungry.    I talked more about this in my blog entry titled A License To Eat.   I have to say...  this eating technique WORKS!!  Last night I jokingly lamented to my wife that it was ruining my Tuesday Night Soup, as I wanted to eat my normal amount of soup but couldn't.  I was too full.   My volume of food intake is noticeably less this past week, yet I've eaten to satisfaction and have not deprived myself, gone to bed hungry, or felt like I was "dieting".
  This opens up a whole new world for me, as I've not made the slightest effort in over a year to eat less food.  No calorie counting.  No portion control. No depriving myself.  So even the idea of eating less is new to me.  But the thought that I actually CAN eat less food... and be HAPPY about it, amazes me!  How many diets have I been on in my life where that's all I did!  Count calories!  Limit food intake!  Starve myself and hope my willpower lasts long enough to lose all the weight I needed to.  It never did.  Weeks or months of torture were always followed with binge eating and more weight gain.  I am at the very beginning of the learning curve for this.  I can think of several days in the past two weeks where I ate more than I was comfortable with simply because I was used to eating so much more.  My goal is to work with this new way of eating my meals and learn how to get it just right and find the perfect balance between satisfying my appetite without eating too much, all while continuing to lose weight!
 This leads me to my outlook for the future.  Looking at the chart at the top of the blog page you'll see a graph with 2 plotted lines.  The red line is my actual weight loss to date.  The green line is my projected future weight loss using a goal of 1% weight loss per week.   Why 1%?  My experience to date and my research on the subject tells me that I can reasonably and safely lose 1% of my body weight per week without any problems.  I've had quite a few weeks where I've exceeded that, but over all my trend has been slightly less than that.   My goal from here on is to follow that green line right on down to it's end.

 Happy Eating!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Where Do You Get Your Protein?

 Where do you get your protein?  That is the big question I hear the most when I talk about my diet.  Everyone becomes an expert on protein the minute you mention you don't eat meat or dairy!!  I get my protein from the food I eat!! Where do you get yours?  If you're under the mistaken belief that only meat contains protein, then tell me, where does a cow get it's protein?  And how much protein do you need, any way?  Do you even know?

  Nature says you only need about 5% of your calories to come from protein.  Okay, Mother Nature didn't tell me this directly, nor do I have some mystical connection to her that you don't...  But nature provides the perfect food for growing infants, doesn't it?  Human breast milk contains about 5% protein.  And is there any point in our lives when we're growing faster than as an infant?  No.  The World Health Organization also says you need about 5% of your calories to come from protein.  6% if you're pregnant, just to be safe.  How does this compare to the protein found in non-meat foods?   Let's see!!

Potatoes - 8%, Sweet Potatoes - 7%, White Rice - 7%, Brown Rice - 9%,
Oatmeal - 15%, Corn - 11%, Spinach - 51%, Onions - 32%, Lettuce - 40%,
Kidney Beans -- 27%, and so on, and so on.

 The bottom line is this...  If you're eating enough food to survive, you're eating enough protein, even if you eat no meat or dairy.  We've been sold such a load of bull (pun intended) by the meat and dairy industry.  We've been taught, and we believe that you're not eating healthy if you're not eating meat and dairy. Yet entire populations of people live and have lived in various places on earth for thousands of years and have thrived on diets that included very little meat or dairy.  Our own children, at the point in their lives when they're growing the fastest, thrive on diets of 5% protein, found in the breast milk of their mothers.

There are quite a few "expert" sources in our world who differ with this opinion.  Many of them medical and health institutions we've been taught to trust and respect.  But there are quite a few who agree.  Among them, the American Dietetic Association.  The following is taken from their website.

Volume 109, Issue 7, Pages 1266-1282 (July 2009)
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods. This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence-based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals. The variability of dietary practices among vegetarians makes individual assessment of dietary adequacy essential. In addition to assessing dietary adequacy, food and nutrition professionals can also play key roles in educating vegetarians about sources of specific nutrients, food purchase and preparation, and dietary modifications to meet their needs.

Who do you trust?  For me, the clincher is the fact that human breast milk is only 5% protein.  I'll trust nature over any of the modern experts.
For a much more thorough and better written article on the subject I recommend the McDougall Newsletter, April 2007.

Happy Eating!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Are Humans Designed To Eat Meat?

I mentioned in my blog post yesterday titled Were Adam And Eve Vegetarians? a video I watched recently about the comparisons between herbivores and carnivores and said I'd find it and post it here on my blog.   Here it is.   You can safely skip the introduction and pick up the video 6 minutes and 30 seconds into it.  It is not the best video nor is the speaker the best speaker, but there is a lot of information in it.

-Norm  (aka John Smith)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Were Adam And Eve Vegetarians?

Were Adam and Eve vegetarians?   I believe a compelling case for this viewpoint can be found in scripture.   Let us examine Genesis 1:29-30. (NKJV)

 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.

God tells Adam what his food should be, and there is no mention of eating animals here. Only plants.  God does not give permission to eat animals untill after the fall, and after the flood.  In Genesis 9:1-3.  (NKJV)

 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 

A reading of several translations seems to confirm that God is saying "Earlier I gave you plants for food, now I give you animals too." 

Interestingly enough, the passage in Genesis One says that all animals were to eat only plants, too.   This makes me think of what the prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 11:6-7 (NKJV)

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

Here we can see that just like in the Garden Of Eden, at some point in the future there will be peace among animals and between man and animals and that animals will once again all be plant eaters.   This implies that man too will once again be a plant eater, as it wasn't until God gave man permission to eat animals in Genesis 9 that there was a fear among animals towards man.  Since Isaiah describes a time in the future where that fear of man is removed from animals, it is no doubt because man is no longer eating them!

Some Observations.

 I know already that some people's reaction to all this is going to be "See?  God gives us permission to eat meat, thanks for the scriptural proof!"  But is that really the most important thing we should draw from this?  It seems to me the most important thing to draw from this is that God created us to be plant eaters, and that it makes sense that he'd design our bodies accordingly.  Yes, we CAN eat meat, but an honest comparison between man and all other animals show that we have more in common with herbivores than we do with carnivores in just about every design aspect of our physical bodies and digestive system.    I recently watched a video that went into great depth of all these comparisons, and it was an eye opener. You can watch that video by clicking --> HERE.

Another observation I have made from these passages, and indeed the entire account of man's fall in the Garden of Eden involve the fact that Adam and Eve's only commandment and the one they broke involved food choices.  They could eat of everything except the forbidden fruit.  Is there any wonder why we are so blind to our own poor food choices?  More and more evidence suggests that most, if not all of the diseases that plague western civilization are directly caused by our diet, yet we are blind to this, even at the highest levels of thinking on health and medicine.  It is as if God is saying "By your own food choices you fell, by your own food choices you will suffer and die."  And we continue to shovel countless calories of sugar, fat, meat, dairy, and over processed foods into our mouths until we're too ill to keep doing it, and in many cases, until it literally kills us.  We look at the diseases caused by our food choices and don't see the cause and effect.  We accept obesity, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, asthma, and a host of other illnesses directly caused by diet as if they were a normal part of ageing. We turn to doctors who turn to drugs to treat what we caused ourselves, and never consider that changing what we eat will cure us. We allow ourselves to suffer into old age with our own diet caused infirmities.  Yet on Sunday morning we go to church and ask prayers for God to heal us and our loved ones from the diseases we caused ourselves, and praise Him when he reprieves us from death and allows us to suffer on a while longer. We praise Him yet again for His mercy in ending the suffering of our loved ones when they finally do pass.  We have come to accept sickness and suffering in old age as normal and view the rare instance of someone living into old age in good health and passing fairly quickly and painlessly as some kind of miracle.  Yet that is how God wants all of us to live and die.  He does not want us to suffer the misery we put ourselves through.
  Yes, I'm talking to YOU!! And I'm talking to me.  This is quite literally one of those cases where I'm pointing one finger at you but have three more pointing right back at myself.  I have been a bigger offender than 99.999% of mankind.  I did not balloon up to almost 500 pounds eating bean sprouts and squash!  I did that to myself. 
 I have had a life long problem with poor vision that has affected many things in my life, including getting jobs or promotions, performance in sports and hobbies, and many other things.  Many people feel that the "thorn in the flesh" that the apostle Paul spoke of was his poor vision, so I have always felt a certain kinship with the apostle Paul in that regard.  Now I have a new kinship I feel with him. Paul, because of his past actions, considered himself the "chief of sinners".  When I speak about diet, believe me when I say I am "chief among sinners".  And just as God was able to turn Paul's life around and use him for wonderful works, I am hoping that He is able to use me, the chief of dietary sinners, in some mighty way.

Were Adam and Eve vegetarians? I believe so.
Are you a sinner if you eat meat? No.  God does give permission in Genesis 9 for man to eat meat.  However, our bodies were originally designed to eat only plants. An observation you can make yourself is that everywhere on earth where large populations of people eat mostly plants with only small amounts of animal products, you'll find fitter, trimmer, healthier people with fewer instances of "western" diseases.  And those populations with a more westernised diet where they eat more meat, more dairy, more fat, and more sugar, also have much higher instances of obesity, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc, etc, etc. 

We all have choices.  What's yours?

 -Norm  (aka John Smith)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The "Eat More Starch" Challenge

People are much impressed with my weight loss.  It is often the first subject of conversation with people who haven't seen me in a while.  They almost always ask me what I'm doing differently, and a conversation of diet quickly follows.  When asked to sum up my diet I say something like this:

  I eat a plant-based diet with the bulk of my calories coming from whole-food starches and the rest coming from fruits and vegetable.

This usually sparks a conversation that goes something like this:

Them:  "Yeah, but what do you eat?"

Me: "I eat a lot of oats, barley, wheat, rice, quinoa, potatoes, bread, pasta, corn, beans, etc.  Fruits such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, etc.  And vegetable such as spinach, kale, cabbage, peas, carrots, squash, etc."

Them: "No meat?"

Me:   "No meat."

Them: "No eggs?"

Me.   "No eggs."

Them: "No Butter?"

Me:   "No butter.  No milk.  No dairy of any kind."

Them: "I couldn't do that.  I couldn't live without my [insert favorite meat/dairy product here]"

And that usually sums up my interaction with many people.  They leave feeling happy for me but convinced they could never do the same thing.   What they don't realize is that I did not start out this way.  I did not intend to give up meat or dairy.  In fact, quite the opposite.  I didn't think I could ever live without my meat and my butter.  I looked at the "whole package" and said "I can't do this or that or this other thing, but I CAN do this over here."   For me the "this over here" was to add more whole grains into my diet.  That is how it started for me.  I bought a grain mill, started grinding my own wheat, baking my own bread, and eating oats & barley for breakfast. And I started losing weight.  A pound or two a week, without cutting back on the volume of food I ate, only by adding in those few things.  Then one day I was going through my refrigerator to see what I needed for my big monthly grocery shopping trip, and realized that I had more meat left in my freezer than I usually did. It was only then that it dawned on me...   without thinking about it or trying, I had been eating less meat than usual. And not only that, I was happy and content to do so.

This blew my mind, that I, a life-long over-fed fanatical carnivore could eat less meat and be content and happy about it.

 This brings me to a recent newsletter by Dr. McDougall called The "Eat More Starch" Challenge which you can read in it's entirety here:

 Dr. McDougall's "Eat More Starch" Challenge

In it he cites a study done in 1979 which describes weight loss in college aged men who simply added more bread into their diet, and Dr. McDougall suggested to those who couldn't or wouldn't follow his whole program to simply eat more starch.

 Recently I have been printing up copies of that newsletter and handing them out to people I know.  I gave a copy to my friend Pam.  She read it and I'm sure she had her doubts. After all, the whole "Eat More Starch" thing is contrary to the conventional wisdom of Western Medicine, and she's an intelligent and well trained nurse.   Yet she's literally watched 125 pounds melt away from me before her very eyes.  So she thought she'd give it a try.  She reports back to me that she's lost 7 pounds, has more energy, and hasn't felt the need to eat as much meat!!  The only thing she's focused on is eating more bread.  It works!!

  I have found that I'm happier, healthier, have better digestion, more energy, and lose weight quicker and easier if I don't eat meat or dairy.  So if you have no hang-ups, or are willing to set your hang-ups aside for a period of time to try eating this way, I encourage you to do so!  But if you are like I used to be, an entrenched carnivore, and simply can't or won't give up your meat or dairy, then don't!  That's right, don't!!   Do as I did, and as Dr. McDougall suggests in the newsletter above, simply add more starch into your diet.  If nothing else, eat more bread!  That one simple step can open up a whole new world for you.  If it has a positive effect you might consider going another step.  Perhaps eating more oats, barley, rice, or potatoes.  There is room for improved health that you can make without having to give up things you love.  And you never know...   you might find, as I did, that you don't need as much of those things you thought you couldn't live without.

                        EAT MORE STARCH!!!

-Norm  (aka John Smith)


My friend Pam, mentioned in this article, has now lost over 75 pounds! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A License To Eat.

 I tell people that I've lost all this weight and I eat as much as I want, whenever I want.  I tell them that I eat more than I ever have, and it's true.  For the first time in my life I can eat guilt free, because I've learned to eat foods so low in calories and high in fiber that I'm literally stuffed to the gills before I've consumed enough calories to make me gain weight, or even to stop losing weight.  And I'm not just stuffed, but stuffed with healthy, nutritious food that will stick to my ribs long enough to satisfy my appetite so I'm not hungry again before bedtime.
 So I've been eating even more food than I ever did, because even at my heaviest, even with my worst eating habits, there was ALWAYS that nagging guilt about eating too much and my world of eating revolved around a conflict between eating enough to satisfy my appetite while not overdoing it TOO much.  What a miserable place that was!  If I ate enough to satisfy my appetite I invariably put on weight faster than ever, but if I pulled in the reigns hard enough to not gain weight, I found myself constantly hungry.  And lets not even talk about the torture of cutting my intake down enough to actually lose weight...   We all know how that works for most people.
 So when I discovered this way of eating and found I could eat as much as I want and still lose weight, I was thrilled!!  I've been at this for a while now and let me tell you, I haven't gone to bed hungry once.  I haven't gotten up in the morning wondering if I could "pull it off another day".  I've not had that inner conflict that pitted my appetite against my own health.  I have no guilt in eating as much as I want!!  None!!    And I've come to view all of this as.....

 A License To Eat.

I admit it.  I've gone overboard!!   I've expanded my volume of food to the point that I know it's too much.   Sure, I am still losing weight.  But that is because it takes an incredible amount of calories to maintain a body at my size and even at the volume I'm eating my low-calorie high-fiber diet still gives me a sufficient margin to lose weight.  But this won't be the case forever.   At some point I'll have lost enough weight to where my calorie intake will match my needs and I'll plateau.  I'll have reached my set-point for the diet I'm currently eating.
 I've known from day one that at some point I'm going to have to learn to eat more like a normal person.  As my body loses more weight, gets healthier, and becomes more efficient, I'll have need for fewer and fewer calories. If I want to continue losing weight when that happens then I'm going to have to learn to eat less. This doesn't mean I'll have to starve myself, or torture myself with the pain of not satisfying my appetite.  It means I need to learn to satisfy my appetite in a manner that doesn't cause me to over indulge.  I am what Dr. McDougall would call a Volume Eater, as described in his excellent newsletter article on the subject here: How to Help the Volume Eater  In that article he says:

 "This is the advice I give to volume eaters: They must slow down their intake and give the food they eat time to register. The stomach needs to tell the brain that food has been consumed.  A pause must be taken so that hormones signalling that calories have been consumed can deliver their messages throughout the body.  In essence, the binge-eater must change from a gorger to a nibbler and a grazer.  In practical terms, they are to consume a medium-size plate of food and then go work on some other project—to return to the dinner table a half-hour later and have another similar-sized plate.  This slowed pattern sends signals of satiety to the brain before over-consumption occurs."
It is this advice that I have recently started to adopt.   I am not eating my HUGE breakfast all at once.  I have found that I can break my morning oats/barley into 2 and a half servings.  There is at least a half hour and a half mile of walking between each serving.    Dinner, likewise, I'm breaking down into smaller portions with 30 or more minutes in between and if I still want more after my second serving, going for a short walk before indulging.   I've only been doing this a few days but I have some initial observations.
  1.  I'm eating less.
  2.  I'm enjoying not having the sensation of being stuffed to the gills.
  3.  I'm eating enough to satisfy my appetite.
 I'm not necessarily eating less at meal time.  Breakfast, for example, is a constant.  I cook up the same amount of food and I eat it all.  But it's taking me much longer to finish it all.  Today I didn't finish the last of my breakfast food till 4pm, and started eating dinner around 5:30.  Dinner tonight was soup. and I love my soup, and I ate the same amount of soup as usual.   The difference, today, is that there was nothing in between.  No mid day grazing.  Well, I guess there was...  but it was grazing on my breakfast I hadn't finished yet.   Yesterday I ate a noticeable amount less at dinner time, but my mid-day "grazing" was the same as usual.   If I find my breakfast consistently lasts till mid-afternoon, I may consider cooking less of it.  But maybe not.  What could be more healthful to graze on than my super nutritious ultra-delicious low-calorie high-fiber oats and barley?   I'm also exercising more.  Today I walked a total of six miles, my personal best.  By inserting short walks in between portions of food it helps spread the exercise out during the day making it easier to do more.

 Between learning to eat less, and exercising more, I will continue to maintain my weight loss at it's steady pace, helping me extend my 52 weeks of continuous weight loss out for another year!!

 -Norm  (aka John Smith) 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

300 Pounds Of Joy!

Greetings, and welcome to Three Hundred Pounds Of Joy!

I decided to name my blog after a song sung by one of my favorite musicians, Howlin' Wolf, which you can listen to below!



What do I and this blog have in common with this song? 300 pounds, that's what!! No, I don't weigh 300 pounds. I need to lose 300 pounds! Yes, I said I need to lose 300 pounds!!

Jeeze Louise!!! Just how fat does a person have to be in order to need to lose 300 pounds?? For me it was 486 pounds. Part of me is embarrassed to ever admit that. My actual weight has long been a closely held secret. Those who know me in real life have always known I'm a big man. Few knew just how big though. I never told anyone just how much I weighed. Why would I? I've always carried my weight well and people would be shocked to know just how much I weighed. Those who know me on-line had no clue what I've weighed. I have only joked about being bigger than "your Daddy's Buick" and if pressed for a number I often said I weighed 700 pounds. Nobody ever believed that number and that was the point. It was a light hearted way of skirting the issue, and at least I wasn't trying to lie and tell them I wasn't fat, right?
My journey to lose this weight started in early 2011. I was having gall bladder issues, and with all the other health problems in my life I realized something had to change. I wasn't going to live very long and what's worse, I wasn't going to enjoy the time I had left very much if I didn't make some radical changes.
So I did. This blog is going to talk about those changes.

I still have a ways to go, but I've been at this steady for over a year and a half now and I've learned some things worth sharing, and I think I'll have learned even more to share as I continue learning.  It has been a joyful journey so far and while I haven't reached my goal yet, I have a new outlook on life and am looking forward to the rest of my journey and the rest of my life!

Would you like to follow along with me?

-Norm  (aka John Smith)