How I lost weight...
Did you ever wonder why every Weight Watchers, NutriSystem or Jenny Craig commercial has a teensy, tinsy little disclaimer below whoever's yammering on at the moment? It says, "Results Not Typical."
It's there because, statistically only 2% of the people who lose weight with these programs (or any diet and exercise program for that matter) will be able to keep it off. Sure, just about everyone who follows one of these programs will lose weight--but only that "Golden 2%" will keep it off. For all the rest of us, we'll gain it back, plus some.
So hey, if you happen to be in the Golden 2%... I am genuinely SOOOOOOOOOO happy for you! But one day, after being taken to the hospital by ambulance with something very much like a heart attack, I just had to admit to myself that I'm not in the 2%.
What I'm selling...
Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
No shiny new hardback book with a slipcover. No downloadable e-book. No pills. No vitamins. No exercise machine. No Jenny Craig membership. No NutriSystem package. No Weight Watchers... bla bla bla...
I know it's hard to believe, but I have a different motivation for getting you to come to my page... My "ulterior" motive in making my weight loss experience so profoundly public is that I want to catch your ear for a moment and tell you the most important news that any human being can ever hear. In fact, it's SO incredibly important that I decided to have it tattooed on my arm...
In case you had trouble reading it, I've copied the text below. (I've also inserted scripture references in parenthesis that you can hover your mouse over to see where those thoughts come from in the Bible.)
|Lied? (Revelation 21:8)
|Stolen? (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
|Blasphemed? (Leviticus 24:16)
|Did you know God
lust as adultery (Matthew 5:28)
|and hatred as
murder? (1 John 3:15)
|We all deserve Hell.
|(Romans 3:23, Romans 2:5, John 3:36)
|But Jesus' death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
|purchased forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7, Romans 3:25, Acts 13:38-39)
|for anyone who repents of their sin (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)
|and puts their faith in Him. (Romans 5:1-2, Ephesians 2:8)
|Don't wait. (2 Corinthians 6:2)
You don't know the day and hour you're going to have to face God... and neither do I--but that doesn't change the fact that we will.
God says, "It is appointed for man to die once,
and after that comes judgment," Hebrews 9:27.
Time is so fleeting. Neither one of us (you, who are reading this right now, or me) may have even an hour of life left. Every 15 minutes someone dies in a car accident--when people climb into their cars, they may be climbing into their own coffins.
Believe me, no one living in Japan woke up on the morning of March 11, 2011 saying to themselves, "Well, I only have a few more hours to live. I'm going to die this afternoon in a tsunami caused by the largest earthquake in recorded Japanese history. I'd better take some time this morning to make sure I've made peace with God..." No one who worked in the World Trade Center woke up on the morning of 9/11/2001 saying, "Well, I'd better enjoy this cup of coffee because it's the last one I'll ever drink. My place of work is going to be turned into a towering inferno and I'm going to leap to my death out of a window rather than be burned alive. I'd better make sure I know where my soul is going after I die."
What is the point of all this? The point is that the time you have--right at this moment--is a gift.
As long as you are still drawing breath into your lungs, God is having mercy on you. Everyone dies, it's the ultimate statistic. But whether it happens today, or 10 years from now... whether it happens dramatically, or quietly... whether it happens along with hundreds of other people, or whether you die alone... one way or another, it it's going to happen. And that is when you will face God.
If you have any fear right now, don't waste it. At some time in your life you may have been told you should never fear God... Or you may picture God in your mind as a kindly, grandfatherly figure. But Jesus tells us we should "fear" God, who can, and will, throw guilty criminals (like us) into Hell, (hover your mouse over this verse and read it: Luke 12:5).
So, if you are blessed right at this moment to be filled with fear of facing a Holy God while you are still in your sins, then thank God for that! And take time to either thoughtfully read through this page on my website, or go to needGod.com and take the test provided there. Don't waste this moment. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, 9:10).
May the Lord bless you by opening your heart (Acts 16:14) to receive the AMAZING grace He offers you in the legal transaction that Jesus, the God-man, made with His own blood on the cross. (Look up this verse to get a glimpse of what He did for you: Romans 5:6-11.)
Please visit needGod.com.
So, how did I actually do it?
How did I go from XXL to M? ...from a size 28 to a size 10?
How did I get down to 165 in a year?
Well, I decided that I needed to take advantage of the advances in the medical field that would enable me to put a tireless and unyielding "accountability partner" into my very guts; one that will never again let me eat more than a bite or two at a time. In other words, I had gastric bypass surgery ...and I've never regretted it.
I did a blog, with lots of videos, starting from before my surgery and going up to about 2 years after my surgery. It has before and after pictures, a chart that shows exactly how many pounds I lost throughout the first year, how many inches I lost ...and of course the passion of my life -- the amazing gospel message.
I hope you will really think about what you've read here. It's my hope to use my weight loss journey as a springboard to share the most important message. But I'm also very happy to talk about it alone. If you have questions about whether or not gastric bypass might be right for you, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you have questions, conundrums, or snarks, about the living gospel message... you can feel free to share those with me as well.
So, as a friend of mine said to me, "Remove the excess 'wait' by getting right with God now." : )
May God mercifully open your heart to repent and place your trust in Jesus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "What is the quick and easy way to drop 20-40 pounds?"
A. Here it is: there are only two steps, and it's extremely fast... (1.) find your friendly, neighborhood, machete wielding maniac, and (2.) have him lop off one of your legs. Tip: Be sure he washes the blade first and wears a surgical mask. Hand washing would be a good idea too...
Seriously, though, if you want your weight loss to be permanent, it's NOT going to be quick or easy. I know there are times when you feel desperate to see some of that weight come off, but you need to resign yourself to the fact that it's going to be a difficult road and it's going to take some time. Adjust your brain to this fact. You'll thank yourself in six months!
Q. "How did you afford this? Are you rich, or what???"
A. At the time when I had my surgery our family had very good medical insurance. I think I paid about $50 out of pocket as a co-payment. One of the reasons insurance companies are willing -- and even eager -- to get morbidly obese people to have gastric bypass surgery is that the lessening of future health problems (diabetes, heart attack... etc.) will end up saving the insurance company money in the long run
Q. "What about all the excess skin?"
A. By losing weight, you don't gain excess skin... you lose the fat that is filling up the excess skin! So, if you are "morbidly obese," like I was, you have to decide if you want "excess skin" that is filled up with fat... or "excess skin" with less fat in it. That is the real question.
Q. "Can you get rid of excess skin with exercise?"
A. Think of taking a rubber band and stretching it out around a 2 liter bottle. Now imagine leaving it there for 10 years. When you take that rubber band off, it's just never going to go back to the original shape. It loses it's elasticity, just like our skin.
Plus, if you have stretch marks--like I certainly do--(my belly looks like a map of downtown Los Angeles!!!)--then you have to realize that every little mark was the creation of new skin. Your skin got so tight that it was about to split, so, it grew a tiny bit more skin to kind of "patch" that spot. All that extra skin you grew is not just going to disappear when you lose the fat underneath it.
Unless you are very young (and still have super elastic skin) or have been overweight only a very short time (and have no stretch marks), you're going to have excess skin. It's just a fact.
Q. "Do you have to have plastic surgery to remove excess skin?"
A. No, you don't have to have surgery--but it won't go away by itself. If you don't have surgery, you will have to learn how to live with the excess skin... and that's where I am.
Now, personally, I would love to have plastic surgery. But it's expensive, and I don't think I will ever be able to afford it. So how do I deal with the loose skin? Well, I wear a lot of 3/4 length sleeves to hide my floppy "granny arms" and a girdle to hold down the "apron" of skin left over in my belly area. (For you girls--girls only please--I have some more info on this subject.)