Friday, December 21, 2007


The holiday season is a time for an explosion of emotions and feelings. There is the obvious and that is joy and happiness but then there are the feelings and emotions that many of us are either afraid to talk about or ashamed to talk about. These are the feelings of sadness, emptiness, and loneliness. The feelings you get when you miss someone(s) and you cannot just pick up a phone and call him or her. In my case around the holiday season (just a little more than other times) I seem to miss my mommy and daddy. Let us face it, it hurts.

I can smell the freshness of the real Christmas tree in our small apartment and picture the same decorations placed in the same places year after year. I can hear my mom on the phone to my father, telling him to stop at the grocery store and to pick up something she ran short of for her cooking and baking. In my home (when I was single), the holiday ran for the whole week long. There was different guest every night and a spread put out on the table, fit for a king. My mom cooked and baked for a whole week before the holiday, in anticipation for these galas. Friends and relatives could not wait for her specialties that she would cook traditionally at this time of the year. I remember that we lived in a very small apartment and my dad built her a steel box to put out on to the fire escape so she could use it to store her food, there was so much of it. This was the spare refrigerator (our fire escape). Every day different smells and aromas would mesmerize you coming from her kitchen. Dinners the week before the holiday were a little skimpy because mom would always say, “I had no time to make anything to extravagant for supper, tonight”. Yet it all seemed okay because we knew the payoff was next week. Yes there we go with the payoff (rewards) being food and cooking but what the heck it was the holidays. I am sure many bad habits of mine were established during those years but that is not what I am writing about today. I am writing about mommy and daddy.

I wish my mom were around to see my son (she missed him by a couple of months) she would have been a very proud “nana”. Her son’s son, her chest would have stuck out at least a yard with pride. It angers me sometimes, that she never got to hold my son, never got to see him laugh or smile. My son had a great personality as a little boy, everyone loved Mikey and why not he was and still is a great person! My dad did get to know him some what.

Yet neither one of them got to experience the “piece de resistance” and that is my grandson. Oh, man he makes every battle, every hurdle, and every step I take worth it all. Just the pleasure to hear his little voice call me Ga-ga. I wish my mommy and daddy could hear that. Is that selfish? It might be, some people may say, but I do not care! I wish they were here to share this joy in my life, to see that I am happy, their little (maybe not so little) boy has truly found the meaning of happiness. It is not in things that you can buy or own. Happiness can be measure by how much you are loved by others. My mother and father’s only child is truly happy. I am loved by my wife (and friend) of over 30 years. I am loved by my son and his wife, my family and friends and now by my special little ga-ga (my grandson). I have happiness and I would like my mommy and daddy to see this, especially now around the holiday season.

Well with technology the way it is going, maybe next year I can pick up my cell phone and dial 1-800- 4HEAVEN and ask to speak with Jeanette and Mike (my mom and dad). I miss you guys, I love you, have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, do not fight and remember I have found true happiness!

Love your baby


And to all of you my friends all the best for a holiday season and healthy New Year


Monday, November 26, 2007

Canonization... Not In My Near Future

Thanksgiving, I had a plan and thank God I did. I knew from the beginning 1400 calories for the day was a little unreasonable and too much pressure on one’s self is not always the best plan either. Of course, I could have made the choice to stay at home alone, but what did I do wrong? Why should I punish myself? Last year I was at Brookhaven with my friends and Brookhaven family and that was a good experience. Because of that choice last year, this year I now could be with my wife and family. I knew from the past that dinner would be about 4pm and starving myself all day was not the way to go. Therefore, I had a light breakfast and was good. My plan for dinner was some turkey (light and dark, I like both) no skin. A teaspoon (yes teaspoon) of stuffing, veggies and that would be it. Later, if I wanted a couple of fresh nuts, I enjoy them on the holidays.

The guest arrived at my mother in laws house and at about 3:50pm I lead the group in Grace and the feast began. First the dreaded “anti-pasta”, those imported Italian chesses. It has been a long time since I tasted chesses at least one that is not salt/free, fat/free, I had a couple of pieces. Just that I can remember it was a couple is a big thing for me (I use to eat pounds of it), I also had a couple of pieces of the imported smoked meats (I paid for that the next day, my body is not use to fatty meats). Then there was the pasta course (I did not even take a plate for that course) but those mini raviolis looked so good I had to taste one. Then the main course! It is kind of funny when you are not busy stuffing your face and you get to observe how other people eat on holidays and what actually goes on the table. There were five yes five different potato dishes on the table. Two different mashed, candy yams, sweet potato pies, and yes a baked sweet potato, (for me). There were two different kinds of stuffing’s, turkey, roast pork and green veggies some creamed and buttered and some steamed and plain for me.

I strayed a bit and I went off my plan and it made me feel a little guilty but it should not have.

Let me share the great things about that day,
1. I was alive
2. I was a participant
3. I was with my wife and loved ones
4. I didn’t have to prepare the food
5. I did not have to deal with leftovers
6. Most of all there was a family medical emergency (we had to call 911) that could have ended up in a disaster but turned out to be okay

We had a lot to be thankful for that day, I am thankful for that day and every other day … so Sainthood is not in my future (I really never expected it to be) but I do thank the Lord that I have today to keep trying and that we all have today as a gift. We need to make the best of this gift.

Have A Great Day …. “All things are possible…”

With Love and Respect,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

To Eat or Not to Eat ...That is the Question..

Or is it the question? The holidays are right around the corner and for the past 55 years, that has meant an orgy of eating. Usually, it begins a couple of days before Thanksgiving (preparing the meals) and ending the second week in January with the last of the leftovers. I use to laugh when I would hear the report how the “average” person would gain 6 to 9 pounds over the holiday season, Ha! Once again, I did not fall into the averages. My weight gain over this seven-week season would be more like 50 pounds, yes fifty pounds. Then the depression and anger with myself would give me the excuse to beat myself up and say “what the heck” and the 50 would turn into 100 pounds. They are just numbers, for me it is 50 and 100 for you it can be 25 and 40 or 15 to 30, the numbers are not the issue, it is the behavior and attitude!
I cannot afford a backslide. I cannot let my guard down. My gift to myself this holiday season is to stay healthy. I must stay focused on the great feeling of being able to move better and participate in life better than I have in the past. It cannot be all about food. Yes, reality is that there are favorite seasonal, traditional dishes that are made during the season. Well I do not have to eat all of them and I do not have to eat it all. A taste if anything will have to be enough! I am a realist and in the past (1989-90) I starved myself for the holidays like some kind of hero. Whom did I fool? What was I proving?
I am a human being and I will want to have a taste of something, right now to be honest I do not. There is nothing I want to have and part of my disease is to have this great control and have nothing during the holidays, but why? When the time comes, I will do my best to plan, choose, and eat sensible.
I want this to be a joyous holiday for me. I have so much to be thankful for and so many things to look forward to. Life is so great, the world is a beautiful place, and I want to be a player. It is much more fun playing than just sitting on the sidelines and being a spectator. Relaxing, making the right choices and loving myself will allow me to continue to be a player and play even better next year!
Have a great day and remember "you are worth it"!
with Love

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I Can Be My Worse Enemy...

Oh my mind, what a mind! I really like myself and I would not trade myself with no one else. I like the way I reason things out, I love the way I love. I think I have a fairly, good outlook on life and I know I could hang out with a person like me. Yet sometimes when I allow my negative thoughts to get the best of me, it can be damaging. Let me share something with all of you.

I came home from Brookhaven (Rehab) the end of June and when I left, I weighed myself as we did each week. Two weeks later, I paid a visit back to Brookhaven and of course, I weighed myself and had lost a couple of pounds. That was good. Unfortunately, I have not been able to return to “My Brookhaven Family” since then. I have had all kinds of reasons and stupid little problems but one of them is I think in the back of my head I thought I might be gaining weight. Why? No logical reason for this thought pattern. No reason, except for my sick mind. You see when you are in Brookhaven (or at least when I am in Brookhaven) you eat three meals a day. Three meals that are planned for you, prepared for you and then served to you. If I ate between meals, it would be a piece of fruit or a cereal (portion-controlled cereal) that I would bum from someone and that would be it. Since I have been home, I have not binged. I have not eaten bread, or pastas, or pizza or a lot of meat. Rarely do I eat a slice of beef or pork, I have had no cold cuts or cheese. I eat many veggies and fruits, salads, some chicken and tuna fish packed in water. Yet I find myself picking sometimes on an extra cracker or pretzel or a 90-calorie, Quacker snack bar. My mind right away says that is cheating, you are doing the wrong thing, “bad Michael”! In the past, I would then turn around and punish myself by turning that snack into a 50-pound weight gain. I do not do that any more, at least not for now!

I fight my mind making me wrong and looking for the opportunity to turn a snack into a reason to binge. My mind wins sometimes, and how it did this time is by telling me I am gaining weight. Even though my clothes say I am not, my family says I am not. I am getting around more, and I dance with my grandson a little. We play hide and seek, of course, he hides in the same places all the time and I pretend not to see him, then he jumps out and scares me. Why do I still after all these years allow myself to listen sometimes to that voice that says to me “you are getting heavier, you are not doing well”!

Well let me share with you and the world that voice is a liar!!! I had to go to my Doctor’s office this past week and I with fear in my heart I knew I had to face the demons and get on that scale. Well I have lost 27 pounds since I have been home! Twenty-seven pounds, I am so pleased. It is not any world record and that is fine I have “been there, done that” before! It is coming off slowly but it is coming off! All I know is that with God’s help I will soon be out of the 400’s. The thought of me in the 300’s a number I have not seen for over 15 years.

We cannot let our negative thoughts rule us. We must push on, past those thoughts and reinforce the positive things we do for ourselves. We cannot let fear rule us. I knew I had to get on that scale and whatever the results would be I had to go on and fight. “Every day in every way, I am getting better and better” and this is what I have to live by! My program, my life is too important to be ruled by what the scale says. We know in our hearts what we are doing, I have to allow my heart help me more and for my mind to but out sometimes.

Good luck my friends and never give up!

With love and respect


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What a Great Day!

What a great day! I like to start each day by saying just those words, “What a great day”. Some days it really takes work to make those words have the right meaning and then other days those words seam so obvious. Everyday is not the same, life deals different hands and often on a daily basis. Some days things are just going great for me. First, I wake up and that in itself is a miracle. Then I see my wife, a little later I get to see my son when he will stop by and say good morning. Then the real miracle happens and such a blessing, my dear daughter-in-law will come down and in the background I will hear a little voice say “hi grandpa”… emmm what else could I want. Me, hearing those words “hi grandpa”, never did I ever think I would hear it. I barely have gotten use to being a daddy (30 years) and now its grandpa. The best part of getting older is to see things like that.
Speaking of getting older, many of my friends and family have such a thing about getting older and “God forbid” mentioning their ages. So what, I am going to be 55 years old and God willing in 5 years I will be 60 years old. What is the difference as long as I am around to say all that. Thank God, I can say I am going to be 55 years old. It is just a number. I have friends who couldn’t say “I am 17 years old or 27 years old or 45 years old” and why can’t they say that because the died at 16, 26, and 44. Did my 16 year old friend think he would drown the day he went into that lake, did my 26 year old 1,000 pound friend think he would die just that day or so on? No! They expected that there would be many tomorrows, but there were none for them. No one knows how many tomorrows there will be for any of us, which is one very important reason why today “is a great day”!
It is a great day for me; yes, I am a little lonely today. My dear wife is out of town for the next two days and nights. My family is out doing their own things, I get a little lonely, and worse than that, I get “bored”! Boredom can be my worse enemy. When I am bored, I find myself looking too much for something to munch on. Yet I have to remind myself how important not giving into that desire to munch. Eating healthy and being 60years old has a direct relationship in my life. I have things that I want to do, that I want to see done. Living life is more than eating food, I know this! I believe it!
Today and everyday I can say it is a “Great Day”! If I have to work a little harder some days to make sure it turns out to be a great day, the so be it! I have the power in my life to make my day the “Great Day” it deserves to be!

Feel free to share your thoughts and feeling about anything I have written or anything on your mind. I would love to hear from you!
Be well and remember “all things are possible if you believe” believe in something. Believe in something as beautiful as God and/or as beautiful as today and tomorrow.

Love you

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I am a man "Hungry for Life"!

I am just a regular guy with an unreal desire to live! I have a problem and it has been a problem for a big part of my life. I have an eating disorder, and when it comes to food I am an addict. I have allowed myself to eat tremendous amounts of foods to the point where I have become totally dependant of others and in danger of losing my life. Some say I have a “death wish”, I say poppycock to that! I do not know anyone who loves life, has a desire to live and who has hopes and dreams as much as I do. Yes I am hungry, hungry all the time, but I am more so “hungry for life”. I invite you to my blog page for sharing your feelings, ideas, successes, set backs, and for those who are interested in learning about the hearts and minds of the obese. Right now I am in a good place and doing good things for myself. I am experiencing things in life that I haven’t in over 15 years. The world is a beautiful place, things have changed a lot. For example what happened to the simple “walk and don’t walk” traffic signs, now there are hands telling us when to cross the streets. Well it is great to be a player again. I have a long way to go in my journey but if “I believe” then it will happen. There are changes that need to be made for my friends who suffer from this disease and need help, we must do something!! “Death wish”, poppycock I am a man who is “hungry for life” and I want to and I am going to live.