Friday, June 13, 2008

WHEN IN NEUTRAL ….

I’ve lived a full life and I am only 55 years old. It has been packed; I have had a difficult abusive childhood, yet two parents who were only guilty of loving me very much. Their problem was, that they did not know they had “issues” therefore there was no such thing in the fifties or sixties as going to therapy and airing out your dirty laundry. Therefore, you took it out on your 4-year-old son or each other and went on living “happily ever after”.

The rest of my life “in a nutshell” was packed with intrigue business situations, the ups and downs of weight losses. I have seen my body go through several metamorphoses, spent endless days, weeks and months in hospitals and rehabs. “Mr. Death” and I have had many close conversations. Fifteen minutes of fame, well I have had several! The jewels in my crown are the people and friends that I have met and made along this journey. The foundation of my life is my great extended family who I love dearly.

Then needless to say the diamond in my life is my “love of my life” my soul mate, my “Boot” my sweet dear wife Madelaine. Then with Madelaine comes the cherry and sprinkles on the sundae, my son Mikey. The blessing he was in my life. Two things I never thought I would have, the love of my life, and she accepted me at 450 pounds and then a child at almost 500 pounds. They told me do not expect it. Well I say “man plans and God laughs”, I was blessed with both. Then twenty some odd years later my wonderful daughter in law and now God bless him my little grandson, oh man do I love that little boy.

The point I am making is that life is an interesting ride and sometimes the ride is smooth, sometimes fun, sometimes rewarding. Yes, sometimes the ride is rough, very rough. Sometimes you cannot seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel (it is there, you just have to keep pushing ahead, you will see the light). It can get rough, I know! Right now, I am going through some personal rough times but I have my eye on the light.

We do not have to go through the rough times 24 hours 7 days a week! We do not have to re-live our past over and over constantly (no matter difficult). The question you need to ask is right this second, NOW, right now how are things. If the answer is okay or even if it is, just “well nothing” then why not smile!

When in neutral …..smile! I love to observe people and now that I get out more often than I have in the past twenty years. I love to look at people’s expressions on their faces. WOW! How can so many people be so angry, all the time? One of these days, I am going to get hit! You cannot believe how often I will say to a cashier, “smile”. When my wife will pull up next to a bus driver and I look at them I will ask them “are you okay”? They say yes. Then I say “well smile”!

I do not recommend that you do any of those things. What I do recommend, is for you. When you find yourself in neutral, smile! Oh chemically then say it releases endorphins and this and that. The point is it makes you feel good!

A smile is a nice thing! It is a nice thing to hold personally and even a nicer thing to share.

A smile is a simple gift from God given to us to use at will. You know what they say, “if you don’t use it, you, might lose it!

You do not lose your smile. Now if you have not done it for a while or if you are in neutral well lets go ….

Take the sides of your lips and with the muscles of your cheeks (in your face) start pulling up! Come on, you can do it. Pull back a little more. Now do not be carried away, I wouldn’t want you to actually laugh. Someone might hear you (only kidding).

You are a good person and deserve to smile often as possible. When you are in neutral whether driving, sitting outside, watching TV, reading a book, listening, just smile.

I love to smile; it gets me through some rough times! It helps me get to that light at the end of the tunnel.

Have a great day!
You wonderful you!

SMILE
Love
Mike

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike
I am the first to post and I hope I am doing it right.
I must tell you I was not smiling until I read your blog. You are so right why not smile when we are in neutral, it does not cost anything. The government has not learned to tax it yet and companies don't make a profit from it. It is mine and mine to do.
Thanks Mike for the smile you have help me to get back.
Love
Lisa
New Mexico

Anonymous said...

What a great blog, Mike seems like a wonderful human being. I sure wish I get the chance to meet him in person and spend time with him. Some of you are pretty lucky to have met him. In the meantime I come here almost daily and I am thrilled I did today.
Special thanks
Bill R

Anonymous said...

Dear Bloggers
My name is Larry and I only mean to ask in the most respectful way, but I have a question? When I see an overweight person in public my heart opens for them. I do not have a weight problem but I just can feel their effort and struggles they go through to even just go to a doctors office.
I just don't understand, Smoking prevents lung cancer so many millions have stopped smoking. Why don't you suffering people just stop overeating? I understand it is not simple but it will save your life?
Please explain, I want so much to understand!
Thank You and good luck to all of you
Larry
Alabama

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
This is an inspirational place to hang out. Thank you and happy fathers day
Love
Denise IL.













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Anonymous said...

Mike, I have sent a few messages and am not sure you received them. My husband weighs close to 800 pounds. I am on my last legs. How did you function at that size? Cleaning and movement? He has bedsores and discoloration of the legs. Did you receive benefits? I can't afford the food bill? How did your family support your habit? Please advise. God Bless. Maria from Boston.

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Maria from Boston
Email at michaelhebranko@yahoo.com
We will talk. In the mean time my dear sweet Maria hang in there, do the best you can. You can't make him do what he isn't ready to do. You can only "lead the horse to the water, you can not make him drink it"! Hopefully he has had enough, in the meantime you must get him some kind of medical attention. He can also do somethings right from a bed or chair. He must keep his chirculation going. Do ankel pumps, (pump his feet up and down). Lift his arms up and dos often as he remembers. If he could just eat a little less today than he did yesterday, then that would be a start. Then tomorrow a little less than today and hopefully by then he has some professional advice to put him on a healthy program that is doable for him. One that includes eating better, moving, and dealing with the "head"!
It will not easy. He probably needs hospital attention and maybe some rehab if there is any in Mass. But in the long run "every journey has its gold"!
So Maria write to me adn we will continue to talk on a one to one.
Good luck, stay strong, I will pray for you and also for your husband who right now is in a lot of pain. Both very server physical pain (those bed sores are a killer) but even worse mental pain and fear. So I will pray a lot for him!
Love you both
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Howdy Lisa
I am so glad you were smiling! Are you smiling now? I hope so. I am smiling as I am writing this to you and the truth is I am so in neutral right now. If I wanted I have a list of things I could worry about or bring my head down with, I am not going to let it happen now! Later, well I am not sure but right now, I am smiling and I hope you are too.
Lisa I hear the IRS is coming out with new regulations about a "smile tax" ...... only kidding!
Be well Lisa, Keep in touch and say hi to Gov. Bill Richardson!
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Bill
Thank you for your kind words and for your visits. It is great to have you part of our family.
It would be my pleasure to meet some day, who knows and as far as people being lucky to know me ,,,,well ask my wife and son that question. I bet they would give you an ear full!
Let's hear from you agian Bill and be well
Regards
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear friend of ours Larry
If understood it, we wouldn't be dying from it! I can tell you this, I knew eating that fourth Ham and Cheese Hero (sub) or that 24th Pork Chop was killling me but at that moment it didn't register. Even now sometimes doing the right thing does not register that I am extending my life. Food - Life / doesn't relate and it should. I personally am never full. I can eat until ...... I am not sure I have only stopped because that was the end of food or I felt that people were watching and three Pizza Pies were enough!
I am an addict!
Let's face it take a pack of cigarrettes (thank God I do not smoke) but look at the pack. It basically say "Idiot if you smoke you are going to die"! People still smoke! It is sad but they do!
Larry I wish I had an answer, if I did there would be millions of healthier people in the world.
It is not an easy thing.
All I can tell you Larry is we do not want to be this way and for the most we all want the help and we all want to live longer, healthier and somewhat a more normal lifestyle.
Larry thank you for you kindness and true respectful curiosity.
If in the future you see and overweight, obese person out there in public (if you don't do this already) give them a smile and nod of the head, maybe a friendly "Hi". It will help them feel better!
Thank you
Larry
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Denise
Hang out with us all the time we love having you.
Be well
Love
Mike

Kelly B said...

I have liked you since I first saw you and I'm overjoyed to see that you have a blog! I know you are a kind and sweet person who has suffered very. Keep on *smiling* and know that God is with you. I'll say a prayer for you!

Anonymous said...

Mike
Saw you on TV the other night. Just listening to you makes me want to go on! Now I found this blog. You are a blessing on this earth
Thank you
Geraldine, El Paso

Anonymous said...

Hi
I'm not sure how to say this, but well... I just saw a document that told a lot of your struggling and... I really felt like telling you that I can see clearly how you're trying. In the film you said you hope that your wife and son would know the fact that you are trying. So, not just they know it, but lots of people too.
I'd be glad if you'd read this.
Yours truly
Loviisa, 14 years old
Finland

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,

I came across your blog again (I left a comment way back in January!) while I am supposed to be studying hard for my nursing degree. I'm very good at finding things to do rather that write the assignement!

I was glad I did though, as your hint to smile has made me feel a whole lot better!! Sometimes life feels like an uphill battle (I'm the single parent of a five year old as well as doing the nursing degree, and it feels like I've got far too many balls in the air sometimes...), as you said, we can feel quite sorry for ourselves sometimes, but you are so right, when there's nothing partucular wrong a big smile seems to make me feel so much better, and its contagious!!

Thank you for your inspiration, as always!!

Emma :D <- a big smile for you!

PS I've bookmarked your blog, so I won't stay away long this time!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
I am so glad I found this page. You are such a loving man and your family is so lucky how much you love and care about them.
I never had a daddy or a grandpa, and I would be thrilled to have you as my father of grandpa.
I am smiling and I feel great. You are wonderful!
God bless you
Linda

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Mike Hebranko that they took out the side of his house in Brooklyn? I heard he died? Well if this is that Mike I am kind of glad he is alive. I would love to know how he survivied and what has kept him going.
If it is not him and he has passed well sorry for taking anyones time and I will say a prayer for that Mike.
Just Wondering
Lucy from Montana

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike
Love this blog and love you and your outlook. You are one great guy!

All the best to you
Love
Monica

Anonymous said...

I came upon this blog today Mike while i was in neutral and you know what go on guess guess guess i smiled.......i am sitting here and there is no drama just waiting one to come over and visit for the weekend and i have a big smile on my face....It reminds me of the old song that i use to hear you play all the time.....Smile though your heart is aching;
Smile even though it's breaking.
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by.
If you smile through your fear and sorrow,
Smile and maybe tomorrow,
You'll see the sun come shining through for you.

Everytime i hear that song i think of you Mike...You have seen my tears and my smile...have heard my laughter and my sobs...but each day we continue to fight and we continue to move on in our life...we all deal with personal trauma in our life but each day that we face is another battle won....
Hang in there and love you very much and i leave you with these words i found and thought they fit so well....

A smile costs nothing, but gives much-
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it usually lasts forever.
None are so rich that can get along without it-
And none are so poor but that can be made rich by it.


It enriches those who receive, without making poor those who give-
It creates sunshine in the home,
Fosters good will in business,
And is the best antidote for trouble-
And yet it cannot be begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is of no value
Unless it is given away.


Some people are too busy to give you a smile-
Give them one of yours-
For the good Lord knows that no one needs a smile so badly
As he or she who has no more smiles left to give.

Love you always Carol

Anonymous said...

Michael
I have been a fan of yours for many years. I say fan because I think you are fantastic! You are an amazing guy who has so much to share and you do. Thank you! Keep sharing with us!
Love
Theresa

Anonymous said...

Pssttt Lucy from Monatan...this is the real Mike he is very much alive

Anonymous said...

Well I am glad this is the real Mike.
How are you doing? What has kept you going? I am so glad this is you and that you are not dead.
Can you tell us more about your life?
Lucy from Montana

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike. I remember seeing you on TV and on work-out videos. When you had lost all that weight did you work? I think I read you had been working 2 jobs? An accountant? I just think you have become a celebrity and it would be great to know what has been going on in your life? Career thourghout your battle. Thanks and Best Wishes Joan from Massachusetts.

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

Hi Geraldine,
The feeling is mutual and I am know that you too are a blessing, we all are in our own way. Everyone is!
Thanks for your comment and please continue to write, You have a great, Healthy day!
Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi my friend Loviisa, from Finland.
First I want you to know tha I am reading your note and I am honored that you wrote me! You have touched my heart! I want to thank you very much and I hope that you are very happy, as you should be!
You sound like a very nice and kind young girl. I hope your life is filled with all good things and that you are healthy and happy.
If you would like to please keep in touch with us. I know I would love to hear from you and I am sure the other readers would too!
Be well
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Emma
First I want to tell you I have the utmost respect for nurses. Being a patient over the last twenty years many many times, I have learned how important a nurses job really is. Therefore good luck to you Emma, and when things get a little rough, just look inside yourself and see how special you really are ....and smile.
Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Emma
PS
I am glad you bookmarked m blog page (whatever that means, I am not that good at computer joggin). Yet it sounds good! If it means you will be back and reading and sharing then it is "a good thing"!
Keep smiling my friend Emma and keep in touch!
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Linda
I do love my family and I am not ashamed to say I adore them.
I am sorry you didn't have a dad or grandpa, I would have been proud to be yours.
In the meantime we can be friends so lets keep in touch and keep smiling.
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Lucy
Yes this is, yes I was and no I am not dead. Yes I too am glad to be alive!
You ask what has kept me going, well I first credit my "Maker" I owe my life to God! I also believe that my "Hunger for life" has been a big plus for me. I have had my ups and downs but in the heart of my heart I love life and I want to be a w. I would also be selfish to say I survived on my own. I have a great support team. I am loved by my family and friends and I am a lucky man! I have a great medical support team, headed by (in my opinion) the worlds greatest doctor.
I am blessed to have a son and his famliy in my life and last but certainly in no way least my "soul mate". Part of my reason for hanging on during the rough times was my wife! She was there for and still is all the time.
Yes I am blessed but God gives you the tools .... You have to use them, you have to want to use them. I survive because I am a man who is "Hungry for Life"!
Lucy you be well and keep in touch
Love and respect
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Sweet Kelly B
Thank you for your Kind wishes and prayers and believe me I know God is, was and always will be in my corner.
I too will keep you in my prayers.
If I may Kelly, I would love to invite you back to read and comment on the blog. It will only live on if we all keep it going.
It is a pleasure to hear from you, good health and keep smiling!
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hey Monica
Thank you and I love you too.
I am thrilled you came to the blog and happy you posted a comment. I hope you feel it in your heart to return and post again.
Let me just tell you, I work hard on my outlook. One has to look at that glass as half full. That is the way I love to look at that glass as half full! It makes life so much better!
You be well Monica
and keep in touch
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Carol
I can clearly hear your laughter and yes I remember the tears too! Yet your laughter, your smile (sometimes I know you worked hard on coming up with it through some hard times), but your smile would light up your face and many of our faces around you!
You are a person who needs to smile a lot (when I think of it we all need to smile a lot).
You are a special person and I have been telling you that for close to 17 years now?
Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear sweet Theresa,
First I want to thank you (you make me blush).
I want to share something that I have learned after meeting and talking to many thousands and thousands of people.
We are all terrific in a very special way and it is a very individual way too. None of us are better than the next one, we all pretty special!
Theresa I know you are a terrific person, I can tell and yes I will continue to share as long as I can.
You be well and take care of you...
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Joan
Thanks for writing. In answer to your question as I understand it, here goes.
I actually worked two job both when I was 1,000 pounds and when I lost weight. I worked in the drug business "legal" and I have been doing Income tax for many years, where H&R Block Hired me at 800+ pounds and then I continued to work for them until I regained the weight In mid '90's and I got sick again.
As for my "celebritness" when I lost all the weight and appeared in every newspaper, tabloid, and TV show I never made a penny!!
When I did Sweatn II I recv'd a small amount for the three days of taping but other than that I did not get paid. If I did a TV show in a different city of course they paid the exspenese of getting me there and putting me up in a hotel but nothing else. So when I do an interview it is basically to help educate the public to what is really going on and also maybe in some way to touch one of my "brothers and sisters" in the same battle and say to them "maybe there is hope". I pray they may try to help themselves one more time and not give up!
Now that is PAY!
You can not put a price on that!!!!
Joan I hope this answers your questiions and if there are more ...ask
Best wishes
Love
Mike
PS
Joan
for the past years I have not been able to physically work. Which is one of my prayers some day to be able to go back to work and once again help support my family and give me a another chapter in my life.

Anonymous said...

Mike, thanks for some updates on your life. You might not realize it but many people are interested in you. I would love to read your autobiography if you write one. It is nice to learn that you were working two jobs even at that weight. My husband is heavy and is on full disability. Did people accept you in your office/Job? Were you able to travel or vacation? You seem like such a people person that you would make a great salesman. When did you stop working? How did you survive with no income? Thanks Again and God Bless Joan.

Mike Hebranko said...

My Good Friend Joan.
First let me say I love the back and forth communication.
Also I want to wish your husband all the luck in the world and he is in my prayers. Please tell him he is welcomed to email me at michaelhebranko@yahoo.com and we could talk and maybe exchange phone numbers. He has to realize as long as there is life there is hope!
Now back to your questions. I am in the process of writing a book. I have a great co-author and even an litterary agent. The problem is no publisher wants the story. They say there is no "HOOK". I guess when I lost the 700+ pounds in 19 months I should of wrote then. I just didn't feel right at that time and did not want to write what they wanted me to write.
Now 20 years later ans just surviving hundreds of medical problems and hospital stays, being at "deaths door" several times being in rehab for 3 years and now losing very slowing but not breaking world records is not enough. A book of survival the publishers think there is not an interest in.
Yet like everything else I have not given up on that. I feel like I have a story to share that can help some people.
Just Quickly I was involved in sales although I didn't sell personally (not directly, I sold my personality). Then when I got so ill my wife went to work full time. I tell you my wife is the real hero in my story!
Well Joan I have to go now
You hang in there and be well
Love
mike