Wednesday, May 29, 2013

To Everything There Is A Season

My life is changing in big ways!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8  (NKJV)
To every thing there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, And a time to die; 
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.

 The past three years have been a remarkable journey.  Those of you who have followed along have seen an incredible transformation in my physical body.  But there has been an even bigger transformation taking place in my life. 
 The seasons are changing!  Soon I will have lost 300 pounds.  Soon I will reach a "normal" body weight.  Soon I will commence with the next leg of my journey.   Just what is that going to be?  What is in store for Norm?   
 I have felt all along that I would find a way to share my "message" of restored health with others.  But how to go about that?  And exactly what would that message be?  Believe it or not, I've struggled long and hard over what my "message" to the world is.  Sure, I could point the world to how I eat now.  But there are plenty of voices out there pushing the whole-foods plant-based low-fat diet that I eat.  And they're doing a fantastic job of it. 
 I could focus my attention entirely on the super morbidly obese people like I was.  After all, I have an intimate knowledge of what it is to be where they are.  I've been there and I know the obstacles they face.  But what about everyone else?  Surely I have a message for them as well.
 I could focus my message on the transition to better eating.  After all, I could not bring myself to dietary change all at once...   and I believe most people have trouble with it.  Learning how to transition towards better eating is powerful knowledge that could benefit a wide audience.
 I could focus my message on the spiritually minded.  I am finding more and more spiritual connections to the food we eat and am currently preparing to teach a series of classes at my church on this very subject.
  Or I could be even more ambitious and take my message to our struggling youth and help get them started in the right direction before they end up where I did.

 Or I can do ALL of these things.

I'm leaning towards the last option.  I want to carry my message to everyone, everywhere.  I want to reach the people in the churches they attend and hit them with a message that will inspire them to look at how they eat as an aspect of their spirituality.   
 I want to carry my message to those who are super morbidly obese.  I want to share with them hope for a bright and healthy future.  
 I want to carry my message to our young people who face more and more health problems due to poor  diet choices. 
 I want to reach all of these people and I want to do it in a way that isn't "all about the money".   Some of those who need to hear my message the most can't afford to buy a book or a DVD.  Young kids aren't going to fork over lunch or allowance money to learn what I have to teach them.
 Diet, health, and weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry and it sickens me to think of competing in that market.   Yes, I see myself writing a book, and I hope it's a best seller.  I have an amazing story and I could do a lot to accomplish my goals of helping people with money coming in from a best-selling book!  But the book is down the road and won't be the main focus of my life.  Face to face interaction.  Talking to people.  Teaching them in person.  That's where the rubber hits the road.  I have a vision of an organization, a not for profit organization, perhaps even a 501c3 non profit, who's purpose is to take my message to any group that'll have me.  In the meeting halls.  In the schools.  In the churches.   On the internet.

 Sometime this summer or fall I will be having my Three Hundred Pound Party!  I will be celebrating having lost 300 pounds.  I'll be inviting everyone I've known for the past few decades.   I'll invite family, friends, church congregations I've been involved in over the years, people I've worked with, different social groups I've been involved in.  I will also invite those I've met on the internet.  I will invite the media.  It will be a huge party!  I will be sharing my journey up till now with everyone there.   I'll be sharing my vision for the future.   
 This will also be a "Coming Out" party.  Up to this point I've hidden behind a cloak of anonymity on the internet.  You all know my name is not Norm.  Nor is it John Smith.   It will be time to step up to the plate.  If I'm going to carry my message to the public, I have to do it as myself, not Norm, and not John Smith.
 I believe if handled right such a "party" would gather some media attention.   To capitalize on that I want to have a website up and running before then.  This blog and my journal elsewhere have served their purposes up till now, but I need to have a better footprint on the internet and a proper website will be my first step.

 So expect a website in the near future!  Expect an announcement for my Three Hundred Pound Party!  Expect more news on all my other plans!

 These are exciting times!

 -Norm   aka  John Smith

(If you're interested in helping with the costs of a website and plans for my upcoming celebration, my email is: eatmorestarch at

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weight Loss Update: 05/19/13

Greetings, and welcome to my weight loss update for May 19th, 2013.   Yes, it is a few days late.  :)

When we last left off two weeks ago I was rocketing towards my goals at warp speed.   It looked as if nothing could stop me!   And nothing could...   except myself!

 I should know by now....    slow and steady wins the race.   But I was on a mission and wanted to drop as many pounds as possible so I'd be as light as possible for upcoming surgery.    I had a head on collision with my old nemesis chronic pain/fatigue/inflammation that brought things to a screeching halt.  I've spent the entire last week trying to recover and the scale has not been favorable in that whole time.

 However, because my "official" weight is my Ten Day Average, we have what appears to be another "glowing" weight loss report!   My Ten Day Average for Sunday, May 19th was 196.05, down exactly 6 pounds from two weeks before that.   The current stall will be reflected in the next weight loss report in two weeks, by which time I hope to have recovered from my current malaise and gotten the ball headed in the right direction again.

 Happy Eating!

 -Norm   aka  John Smith   

Friday, May 10, 2013

Who Let The Dogs Out?

The neighbors down the street!  That's who!

The other day I was riding my bike around the neighborhood when I rounded a corner and out of a yard shot a dog tearing straight after me, it's owner yelling for it to come back but to no avail...

  I don't like getting chased by dogs.  I don't like getting bit by dogs. So I did what instinct said and I pedalled as hard and as fast as I could.  I hit the speed bump at full speed...  the dog was gaining on me...    I pedalled harder and faster...  the dog was falling behind...  I started wondering if I'd have to slow down to take the next corner, but by then the dog had given up the chase. 

 I won!

 But I won more than the doggie chase race...    I remember when such physical exertion was impossible...  I remember when I would have stopped and dismounted the bike knowing my odds with the dog were better than trying to outrun it.     Or attempting to would have left my legs burning and cramped up and left my heart beating so hard and fast I'd feel like my head would explode, and would leave me gasping for air...    There was none of that.   Sure, my legs were a bit tired and I couldn't have sustained that level of effort forever, but they were no where close to giving out.  My heart rate went up, and my breathing increased, but neither exceeded my comfort zone...   I didn't need to stop and rest.   I pedalled on and when I came back to that corner again I was ready in case the dog was still out.    He was, but he just watched me go by cuz he knew he couldn't catch me!

Just another adventure in the life of a man with a new body!

 Happy Eating!

 -Norm   aka John Smith      

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

1,000,000 Calories And Counting!

I was thinking the other day about all the milestones I've reached and passed along my journey...    And thought that I was quickly running out of milestones to reach.

  I came up with three more milestones coming up.  

1.   At 186 pounds I'll have lost exactly 300 pounds!
2.   At 173 pounds I'll fall into the "normal" weight range.
3.   At 162 pounds I'll have lost 2/3rds of my starting weight and weigh only 1/3rd of what I used to!

 Well, I forgot one!!

 At 199.5 pounds I finally got under 200 pounds for the first time in almost 35 years...  but at 200 pounds I passed another milestone...      We all know a pound of fat is 3500 calories...   well, when I hit 200 pounds that means I'd lost 286 pounds...   and 286 x 3500 is....    1,001,000 calories!   I've burned off over ONE MILLION CALORIES* in my weight loss journey so far!!    

 That is mind boggling, even for me.

Norm at 199.5 Pounds

*  Now before my math obsessed friends will point out, I know that there is no way to know exactly how many calories I've burned off because although I've lost 286 pounds, not all of that was fat.   Some of it was muscle and body fluids that were needed to support all the extra weight.   At what point will I have actually burned off 1 million calories?   I don't know.   I don't care.   I'm celebrating it now.   :)

Happy Eating!

 -Norm   aka John Smith  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Weight Loss Update: 05/05/13

There's something different about my toes this morning....

Today, for the first time in almost 35 years, I weigh less than 200 pounds!

 My Ten-Day-Average has dropped from 209.45 two weeks ago to 202.05 today, a remarkable drop of 7.4 pounds.

 My actual weight dropped from 204.5 two weeks ago to 199.5 today, a drop of 5 pounds.

 This is higher than my long-term goal of 1% of my body weight per week, which I'm happy with as I lost a lot of ground in the last couple of months.   I expect my weight loss to taper off a bit and hopefully resume and maintain closer to 1% per week from here on in.  

 Not a lot of words....    but this is a GREAT day in my life.  :)

 Eat Well!

 -Norm   aka  John Smith