Wednesday, May 7, 2008

You’ve Got to Believe …!

There have been times in my life when I thought of quitting baby, but my “heart” just won’t buy it! Then I find some reason to hang on. Throughout my adult married life, it has been my family. My love for my wife. The thought of missing her forever was just not an option. Then I was blessed with a son. He has been a source of great strength and pleasure for me over these past thirty years, and now my life seems to have received “the cherry” on the sundae and that is my little grandson. What a pleasure and joy this little baby gives me. I have a great daughter-in-law, such a wonderful human being and becoming quite a great friend of mine. I have been blessed with a good extended family also and have had some very dear close friends throughout my life that I have drawn strength from at times.

Much of my survival I owe to my God and my spiritual relationship we have with each other. We have this thing where we lean on each other if we need each other (yeah sure! My relationship is really one-way God’s support for me and my love for God.

Yet you have to believe ….believe in something if you are going to survive. This is what I believe. One has to have a reason to hang on, to go on. I do not care what it is you believe in. It could be and should be a combination of things. It should be you, some spiritual belief in a higher power (being), another human being, a puppy dog, a soft cat, or pet pig, whatever it is. You have to believe.

What is the payoff? I will share with you one of the payoffs! Most of you know my struggle with my weight and how it has been my whole life. Many of you know of my story because of the notary I achieved in the 90’s when I lost over 700 pounds in 19 months and made the Guinness Book of records. I had received a lot of support from Richard Simmons at that time (and through out the years a continued friendship).

Many more of you have gotten to know me, when in May 1996, I gained back much of that weight and was removed from my home (due to a medical emergency) by a “fork lift”. It became a “media event” a “circus act”, as if I were some freak, rather than some poor human being, fighting to save my life, a human being who was “Hungry for Life”!

Now since May of 1996 my scale has seen many numbers. Numbers ranging, from 450 pounds up to 800 pounds and all kinds of numbers, back and fourth since then. Over the past 5 years, I have been in a Rehabilitation Center not once but twice all in the effort to fight the “battle of the bulge”. I respect everyone’s efforts but I have to say, I try just as hard as many of you. I have fought both privately and publicly very hard to be a “success”. Every pound that I have gained privately has been worn in the public. I could not help feeling that I have not only did I let myself down and my dear family and friends but many people out there who were following my story and rooting for me. This way if I could do it then maybe then, they too could have something work out in their life.

I refuse to give up! I will not quit. I get down sometimes but I am not staying there. You’ve got to believe in “HOPE”!

Now I have been home from Rehab for about 10 months and the time before this when I came home I almost started to gain weight immediately. Well I am home now and I can say for the first time probably 15 or 16 years I am out of the 400's! I am now in the upper 300s, me, Mike Hebranko. I am cautiously excited. This is a gift that I know if I do not continue to work at and take care of myself, I will lose it, by gaining it! I have not broken any weight loss records since I have been home (I have been there and done that). It has been a slow steady process, but that is good for me. I use my K.I.S.T. method and it is working for me. Some one asked me at the doctor’s office “what is your goal”? I promptly responded, “To never get to it”. I have reached goals before and never maintained them for long. I gain lose weight and boy can I gain it! Therefore, for now, I am taking it easy and slowly but surely, it is coming off.

I do have to share something with all of you. It feels good. I try not to make that scale my police officer, my Academy Award etc but when I stepped upon it, the other day, at the doctors’ office. I see a 22+-pound weight loss since the last visit, well I was ready to do a tap dance and jump up and click my heels (now that would have been a sight in itself, not to mention a miracle). I was full of joy and thankfulness.

My dear friends all things are possible …..You’ve got to believe!

Love to you all

Mike

53 comments:

Karon said...

Hang in there, Mike. You have never given up and that is what makes all the difference. I like your thoughts about goals. Mine are simple and not based upon the number on the scale anymore. After all, that number does not define who I am. Thanks for being here. I know I'm not disappointed in you at all. I am amazed at all you've been through, yet you continue onward with determination. Hats off to you, Mike!

Chris said...

It is such an honor to know you. You have been an inspiration to me as well as many other people.I really just wanted to say thank you, for being YOU!It's funny how the truly wonderful people like you, really are so modest and don't see themselves that way. All we can do is wake up in the morning, and take one day at a time..

drziltox said...

hey mike, here's a prayer poem that I wrote and keep pinned up on one of the walls in my place:
the light that finds me

in a quiet christmas afternoon, I looked up and there was the light
reflecting off building side
illuminating me sand beach bright although I'd not been so far today

for they who look off world in matters of inner guidance, sometimes the simplest truth can go awry in heads for who only chanted books can lead the way

around us all the time
infinite points reflecting light
some not even aware
when it bounces of hooded cars
catching us below the hair

and at night only to look so high
to be reminded of a place
in the universe for you and I
even at 4am on christmas day
and now reaching further
across building glass along the way
no magic potion spell needed
the light finds me where I am
and all I need to do is understand.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
You are an unbelievable guy. Like you said I have know you or your story for quite some time and you have been an inspiration to me and so many. What you have been through is so much and we can all hang on to it.
I have to believe as you say.
Congratulations and I am a Mike Hebranko believer.
Sandy

Dawn Silvia said...

Mike, I watched you on Discovery Health Network just now and I want to tell you that I got out of bed and fired up the computer at 11:00 p.m. just to let you know that I think you are doing a terrific job! Of everyone on the show, you seemed to have the best attitude -- the desire to create real change in your life -- and with that, you can't help but succeed at meeting your goals. You are clearly a very smart and motivated man, and I wanted to wish you and your wife well as you support each other in the next phase of what is sure to be your very long life. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Mike I have known you for about 20 years now...shhh ok we met while i was a baby lolol...and the one phrase that always stuck in my head was All things are possible if you believe......that has been a motto of mine ever since back in the days...you taught me to always believe in myself and in what i fought for...each day i wake up believing this is gonna be a good day and this is gonna be ok.....I have seen you at your thinnest Mike nad I have seen you through the hard times of your weight...and never once have i seen you quit...yes htere are times you might have said it but never once did you do it because if you did you would not be here today to carry on what you so believe in...You have been my inspiration for many years....if i didnt believe in you i might still be in abusive relationships....or still a drug addict...but i believed i could get out of them...i have not been in an abusive relationship since i left NY and i have been clean and sober for 12 years......i do believe in miracles and Mike you are one of them...and i know in time i will be also...i am not a quitter and will never be one....ok and i leave you with these words....

Today is the day so plan to be your best.
You have the chance to pass the ultimate test.
Lift your head up high and open your eyes to see.
Let your mind wander and be what you can be.
Stand up be your all, show your strength and your skill.
You have a mission that only you can fulfill.
With life you get just one, but many times to try
To show all the world, how high you can fly.
Just open up your wings, you know what to do
One little decision and you'll be like an eagle, too.

Love you Carol

Josie/ Scottsdale AZ said...

Mike I have been following your story over the years, from your weight lost in early 90's to gain to lost. So brave to keep fighting the fight regardless- and letting your story be told through the ups and downs...I'm at a loss for words. Your motivation is just so very inspirational. Talk about believing?!! You are someone to believe in! I pray strength and happiness for you always.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike You are a true inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Mike
Every time I fear you are lost you never stop fighting. Thanks for your drive and inspiration.
I am a fan, I am a believer!
Linda

Anonymous said...

Mike way to go! You have fought so hard and have faced so many ups and downs, I wonder how you do it but I am proud that you forge ahead and never give up hope. You strength is an inspiration to me and my family, you have been a big player in our lives and we have watched your story for years please continue with the job you have started so many of us need you. You are a very special man and you family is very lucky to have you.
Love ya
Chubby

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
Faith is an important thing and your faith in life and I have a feeling in God also helps many of us.
Thank You
Love to you and your family
Julia

Anonymous said...

I am trying Mike. I am trying to believe. Your story and life is certainly something to believe in. I thank you for your sharing and being so wonderful.
I hope more people share their stories so that me might be able to encourage each other.
Thanks Mike keep up the great work.
Ellen

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
Thank you and your family for allowing you to give so much of yourself.
You have made me realize I want to try and keep going!
Anthony

Mike Hebranko said...

Hey Karon
Touché, those numbers do not define us. It has taken many years of de-programming myself to really believe that.
I appreciate your support. You are obviouly someone who lives this "daily battle" or you know someone who does or you are just some wonderfully understanding person who "gets it"! Any of the way I appreciate your support and I thank you.
I hope that you continue to contribute to the blog, I know that your thoughts help others!
Stay well Karon and continue to take care of you too!
My love and appreciation ...
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

P.S.
KARON

I hope all is well with your husband, daughters and your sweet little granddaughter. Aren't grandchildren a real blessing??

Be well
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Chris
Just want to let you know that the honor is all mine. I am happy to be alive and that I have been blessed to have gotten through the things that I have been through. If along this journey I am able to a little sommething nice for some one else then ...why not? What else is life about, "we help ourselves, when we help each other..!
Chris your words are so true as many before us have said and many after us will say.... "one day at a time"
Take care Chris, It is my pleasure to be part of your life
Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Drziltox
Deep writing...I think! You know what I was thinking when I was in rehab one early evening. A group of us siting in the dining room. All of a sudden we saw all these torches (hundreds) marching down the block. It was like a parade. We later found out that it was a celebration for the Temple across the street from the Rehab center.
Anyway reading your poem just reminded me of that and the great social life I had at Brookhaven Rehab.
I met wonderful people and made some lifelong friends.
Be well my friend
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Sweet Sandy
You can, you will, I bet you do believe!
I believe in you! I believe that you have the power and strength inside of you.
Hang in there
My respect and Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Dawn
Thanks (on behalf of myself and my sweet wife) for your great wishes.

I have to tell you (as you say in your comments) I do "desire to create real change " (sounds like I should run for President of the USA)certainly first in my life and if I get the opportunity in the lives of others fighting this battle and Change in the way the "civilians" (people without the problem) see us.
Thanks again Dawn, oh one last thing. When you say "fire up" the computer are you using "coal" or "oil" or just oak?
Have a great day!!
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Oh Carol
You were such a cute baby, Little pink ribbon in your hair, the little "binky" pacifier in your mouth, I think they were called Marlboro's ....yeah a baby, what a baby!
I guess you really were to me at least you were in your early 20's .. no? Younger? What's the difference it is only a number, what number in your comment I am proud and excited about is "12" WOW 12 years that is surely something to really be proud of.
Remember "Rockaway Parkway"?
Well next will be many years of being out of abusive relationships especially the one you have been in with yourself, you sweet thing.
Well we will keep in touch,
Love Ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Dear Josie
Thanks for your prayers! If you don't mind me asking please keep them coming.
I need to be brave, and faithful, I am being tested (health wise) a litttle but "I believe" and with that all things are possible
Thank you again
Love and respect
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Linda
"Lost" there have been time i thought I might be lost but soon realized it was just a little detour!
Keep in touch and thanks for your support
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Julia
You right therre is a lot of faith there both in life and I can't see perssonally how one can have faith in life without having faith in God or some kind of Divine power.

You hang in there Julia and keep in touch

Give me a smile I can see you are not smiling today

Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Ellen, Ellen are you there?
Well Ellen you keep trying and you will never fail.

Yes i have to agree with you, I too hope people keep sharing because I know that we can help encourage each other...

Be well Ellen

By the way Ellen do you have a TV show and do you dance?

Don't give up!

Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Anthony
I am proud to hear that you are willing to keep going. The greatest gift I can get is you hear that some one else is trying today!
Well Anthony keep trying and keep in touch
Love ya Buddy
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Chubby
Thank you, and you are right, I have fought hard along the way. Yet I have to tell you Chubby, that I have not fought alone. I have been lucky to have a lot of moral support from dear friends and from very close family and yet there have been two people that have literally been physically been by my side through "thick and thin" and "life and death". Those two people are my Son and my Soul Mate (my wife). They have gone through, put up with, did for me, more than any people shiuld have to do for any other human being. They have kept me alive especially my wife. My son, well his whole life took care of his daddy (above and beyond any little boy should have to do). Not even to imagine the emotional pain and fear he had to live with each day and I am sure to some extent even today.
My wife lived in every hospital with me, by my side for years, she personally nursed me back to life, to health and the only professional training she has, is from God himself. She learned to bandage wounds with the best of them, fix and set up respirators just as good as any trained therapist and never stopped loving me for a moment (love that keeps me going every day).
So yes Chubby, I have fought but never let it be said I fought alone.
I am a lucky man, I am a blessed man!
Thanks for your kind and uplifting words Chubby
Love
Mike

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
I can not believe I found this fantastic blog page. I love what you have to say and your outlook about life. I want to read so much more. All I know about you is what thee is in the media, how about you write a book and lets here the whole story as told by you.
Anyway I hope to return to this blog page over and over again and thank you for not giving up and being so public about your struggle.
Lovingly
Susie

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Patti
I am 35 yrs old and I weigh 379 pounds. I don't go out or socialize. If some of you can help me to explain where you get your power to carry on. I am not talking about like ending my life or anything like that but just to go on with the everyday things. Mike how did you find a wife and how much did you weigh (if I can ask).
I am ashamed of my body and what I look like and I just can not put myself out there.
I would appreciate any one's advice.
Thanks
Hopefully
Patti

Anonymous said...

HI Patti
I too am about your age and I have to tell you I too am overweight. I have always been the "fat girl" in town and school. It has not been easy. People can be cruel. I have too report I am happily married ten years, I was 275 pounds when I got married. I have 2 children and am severely overweight and I must do something about it. The most important thing that I get from this blog page and knowing Mike's story is that we must go on. We have to constantly keep at it.
So Patti my name is Maria and lets keep in touch. If you send Mike your email address and I will send him mine we could then connect.
Look forward to get together
Maria

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
I foung this blog through the google and I have to say so far what I have read makes me so glad that I have found this site.
I have known you in the press for many years and have been rooting for you. At the same time my life has run parallel to yours. Your courage and determination as been an inspiration to me. I am honored to know of you and hope some day to meet you.
Love and respect
Shirley

Anonymous said...

Runs in here hangs birthday signs and wishes you the greatest birthday ever...all my love to you on this special day...hugggs kisses and will call you later today

Love you Carol

Anonymous said...

Patti,

I read your comment and felt like i was reading a mirror image of me....afraid to go afraid to do things because of your weight....the only piece of advice i can offer you is you need to start liking you...you dont have to be happy with the outside package but you need to start looking deep inside you and seeing there is a great person in there...one that deserves to be out there and not hidden away....it took me many years to realize hey im not so bad after all...and trust me it doesnt happen overnight nor does it stay with you every day but as long as you keep trying nd keep pushing yourself you can do it...i was taught a phrase by mike many years ago and that was Allthings are possible as long as you believe...well i have lived by that motto for many years and the reason i am still here today is because i never stopped fighting and never gave up....hang in there patti and if you would like we can exchange emails through mike and talk more if you like......never give up though
Huggs Carol

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi Mike
I think that your story and spice for life is fantastic. I read your blog almost every day and sometimes twice a day. I wish there was a way we could have live chats and we could hear more about your way of just carrying on through what sometimes can be rough times. I have been inspired to carry on with my life and be a better person because of you.
God bless you and your family
Wanda

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
The other day you repsonded to my comment and I was very thrilled. You told me in your response to "smile" that you knew I was not smiling that day and you were right. I have to tell you that you got me to smile and I have been ever since. You are a special man and I thank you
All my love
Julia

Anonymous said...

Dear Maria and Carol
I want to thank you for the inspirational thoughts. I will take you up on the idea of getting in touch with you soon. I appreciate you sharing feelings with me, it really helps.
We can for now continue to communicate through Mike's blog page.
Mike thank you for the place to be able to find such great people like Carol and Maris.
A great big thanks to both of you.
Patti

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Susie
Thank you for your sweet thoughts. I too am glad you found this blog site and I hope you return very often.
I do want to tell you that I am currently working on a book. I am not an author but I do believe I have a story to tell and share. I am working with a great co-author and all we need now is a publisher.
So my hopes are high and I do believe...
Susie you take care and keep in touch
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Patti
Keep communicating with us and never be ashamed to reach out for help, even professional if necessary. Whatever it takes to take care of you.

I know you will be fine just take care of you and take a look in the mirror and say "I am going to ial do great things for this special person today".
Also Like Carol says, I always told her you have to like the ingredients you can always change the package.
You are not what you look like!!!!
Be well, keep in touch you wonderful you!
Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Maria
Thanks for trying.
We help ourselves when we help each other.

Love

Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dearest Shirley
It would be my pleasure to meet you some day also.
Shirley we all have courage, for some of us it may be more deep down than others but it is there.
Sometimes we have to dig real deep.
Thank you for you words and thoughts and keep in touch and who knows some day we may meet

With Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

My dear Carol
thank you for being you and I know who and what you are!
Love
You
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Sweet Wanda
Never underestimate the beauty of life. Even on the regular days there is the glory of being alive.
Always look for that silver lining and "never give up"!!!!
Keep in touch
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Julia
Are we smiling today

Let me See!

okay, that is good!

love ya
Mike

Anonymous said...

Patti....

I was so thrilled to see you blogging again which means to me you are still fighting which is awesome.....its a long road Patti and a very bumpy one with many forks and turns...but together and with the right support and help it can be made easier....again if you would like to speak or write Mike has my email he can send to you....or just request it from me i have no problem giving it out....hope that you have a great day and hang in there and do something for you today...
Hugggss Carol

bwolper said...

Mike, I wanted to cry when I read your blog today. I am so happy for you. No matter how successful you are (or are not) there are many people out here who love you too. My heart truly goes out to you. I have been following your plight since the 90's.

Some day, I hope to meet you. You have been a great inspiration for me because you have gained and lost so much over the years.

I hope to achieve a 50 pound weight loss by June. I am very close (45 pounds).

God bless you and thank you for your blog.

My name is Bruce

Mike Hebranko said...

Hey Bruce
You are going to do it by June. I know it, your 50 pounds is there for you. One of the reasons is because you believe it will be and you are working for it. Bruce just a little friendly advice if it is 49 pounds or 55 pounds as long as you keep trying you are a winner.
Thank you for you nice thougts and I would be honored to meet you some day.
Good luck and keep us informed, we are all in your corner!!

All the best
Mike

Yanna said...

Congratulations Mike on breaking out of the 400’s! ::::kisses on both cheeks [Italian style]::::

You’re so right on target in your words on “believing”. I personally feel that without belief in so many things like a higher being, ourselves, hope and in life itself, then failure is inevitable. Some people think it’s just easier to give up. Well, is it really? When one gives up the suffering is double, sometimes triple isn’t it? When one gives up they leave themselves open to depression, gloominess, hopelessness, sickness, loneliness, low self esteem, suicidal thoughts, and negativities of all sorts… I don’t know that I’ve ever met one person who didn’t believe in anything at all ever say they were truly happy…

The way I see it, we’ve all been given a life… it’s up to us what we do with it… but we’re here… and if we don’t try, if we don’t believe, if we don’t put our best foot forward, then the life we were given is wasted… and for those that believe in reincarnation… watch out cause YOU’LL have to come back and do it all over again until you get it right! So do it!

Sometimes we have the authority or ability to make choices and sometimes we don’t… one of the instances where we don’t have any choice is WE ARE BORN INTO LIFE… We may not have asked for it and it may not have been through any choice of ours, but someone somewhere thought it necessary for us to be here… I wouldn’t argue with someone that has that much of a higher authority then I… haha! For those that unfortunately feel suicide is the answer to a hard life… NOT! It’s no answer at all, it’s just another ESCAPE that accomplishes nothing but heartache for those loved ones left behind! And for those of you who think that the heartache left to those behind is deserving to them because of some mistreatment towards you?… well… WRONG AGAIN… because if they didn’t care enough about you while alive, they certainly won’t care when you’re dead… only those that loved you will suffer and THEY are NOT deserving of that!…

So here we are with a life that was given to us… we MUST believe there is a purpose, rhyme and reason… we all have and will make mistakes in this life… mistakes aren’t to be punished, they’re simply to be corrected… So for those who punish by indulging in things that are not good for us for whatever reason you may “believe” you deserve such punishment… make the necessary corrections so that you can see how very worth it you are! Start by BELIEVING you DESERVE the correction, you DESERVE love, goodness, and success! In those things you DO HAVE a choice… I love how you love and appreciate all the goodness around you Mike, such as your wife, son, daughter-in-law, grandchild, friends, etc., you’re already a success in that alone! AWESOME BLOG MIKE! LOVE IT! JUST LOVE IT! Sorry for the length, I can’t help myself sometimes… hahaha!

I do believe fairies! You’re loving perpetual Peter Pan wannabe… Diana [aka: Tinkerbelle]

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Sweet "Tink"
I too believe in fairies and you are certainly one special little fairy. Your smile and attitude make people want to be part of your life.
Thank you for you kind words about me and your wonderful sharing that you have done on the blog.
I know these words will touch others, they are full of love, wisdom and a lot of "life" itself.
"Tink" thank you for being part of this beautiful world and wonderful life.
Your out look makes me .... well it makes me "I want to crow..."!
I love the old Peter Pan movie with Mary Martin.
I have been looking for it on vhs or dvd can not find it. Oh well
"D" my love to you and your dear son. Take care and .....just thank you ....just for everything now and in the past
Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

P.S.

Tink

Never appologize because of the length of what you write. It takes what it takes for you to say what you need to say

Thanks
Mike

Yanna said...

Hey Mike! "Gotta Crow?" Well aren't you just the "Cleverest fella, 'twas ever MY fortune to know!" Haha! How much fun is this? Haha! I'm just as grateful to you too Mike (past, present & future)... I'm very Blessed & fortunate to know you... And no need to thank me for being part of this beautiful world and wonderful life... I had nothing to do with it hahahaha! A much higher authority brought me into it... I'm here... you're here... we're all here... let's ROCK the place! Woo hoo! I love all this positive stuff!! Gets me all kinds of tingly all over! haha! Love ya!

In Peace, love & light... Diana [aka:Tink - haha!]

Mike Hebranko said...

Diana
When I get to see this higer power I will personally thank him!
Love
Mike

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