Thursday, July 3, 2008


I write this on the third day of July and in our country, that is the day before “Independence Day”! Independence, a very interesting word and an even stronger concept. I do not want to talk (although appropriate) about political Independence. What I do want to talk about is “Personal Independence”.

Personal independence is so powerful! It comes to all of us on so many different levels. Two levels that I will mention right now is “Physical and Emotional”

Physical Independence can be obvious sometimes. You might be able to run a full marathon, go earn a living, and build a house. Your physical independence may be a limited on different levels. This can be rough, trust me I know. Although I never ways at the marathon level (I almost was) but I have been at the level of total dependence on others for everything. Even today, I am far from totally “Physically” Independent but I stride each day in every way to get better and better and better! For me I am lucky, my physical world can get better. 100% better? Not sure! Yet better than today is certainly better than it was yesterday! For some of us the Physical Situation might not get better due to some serious illness. Those ones have to fight hard to hold on to whatever physical independence is theirs.

What we all have and all have complete control of is our “Emotional Independence”. Now that is some powerful stuff! No one can give it to you and no one can take it away from you. It can be developed, improved, and made stronger. It takes working at it!
You and I are in charge of our emotions and the sooner we get it the sooner life works a little better.

Emotional independence means freedom from all things! Yes things, we all become part of our worldly things. What we have, what we do not have! “He has a car, they have a flat screen TV”, and “I have two Computers”, things, things, things, things. We become all about our things! Well I have had so many things and I was all about things. Guess what? I lost them all at one time or another. What is important to me is Health, Family and relationships.

My emotional independence helps me to be a stronger person and compensates for any physical limitations I do have. My emotional independence allows me to put things into perspective. A great example is I have been very sick over the last four months. There were days that I could not find the strength to get a glass of water. When you are sick, your spirit is one of the things that get attack quickly. You better make sure you are prepared for it (like a storm). Lucky I am positive enough that I was able to hang on and get through this crisis. If I was not emotionally independent, it might not have happened.

Hey, there were moments I was down in spirit, frightened, outright scared but always deep down in side of me there was a light that burned bright. One that I knew was my hope, my emotional independence. You have to work on it, it has to be fed both emotionally and spiritually all the time, it just does not burn on its own forever.

I have now passed this crisis for the time being (hopefully forever on this one) and it has helped make me even a stronger person, as should every experience do. Yet you have to allow yourself to get the “positive” out of each and every experience...

My friends, life is great!

Even at sometimes the darkest moments, it is still a great thing.

Life is a wonderful gift given to all of us!

If we allow ourselves to be burdened with everything that is wrong with life and all the things, you do not have or lost ….well then fiddle faddle, blah, blah! NO! It is not going to work or be any fun!

Celebrate Independence! Enjoy the little things. Feed into the positive. Hang with Joy!

Fill your heart with love!

It will help when the rough times come and you need that light burning … it will be there for you too!

Happy Independence!

Love to all



Thanks for all of you who sent along your kind wishes, thoughts, and prayers …it helped!


Anonymous said...

Powerful blog this one as independence is so important...but this means physical and emotional independence to me....for the first time in a long time i live alone and i need to do for me which keeps me going knowing that i cant allow myself to not take care of the house and cook and clean.....and on the weekends i have the little one here who is 10 that i take care of ...... to be able to move around after manhy illnesses...after almost losing my leg...its wonderful...but i also need to be free free of the past and of what holds me back...hand in hand and overcoming these obstacles i know i can make it.....with support and with each day waking up and saying to myself you can do our country fights for the nations independence we fight for out independence and together we can stand strong and we can win.....

hugggs and kisses

Anonymous said...

Dearest Mike
Once again you make me think and that is a good thing. You have such a way with words and feelings. I want so much to meet you. Do you make public appearances at all, anywhere? You have touched so many and you have touched me deeply.
You inspire me to just keep going and not stop.
You are a special man.

Anonymous said...

Independence is so important i am working on my emotional idependence.
You are give so much, thank you

Jane Portland,

Anonymous said...

I have read your blog for some time now but never commented. I just had to now! You write so deep and touch my heart. You get me to want to fight for evey day and for this I can not thank you enough. Please Keep up this great space and never stop sharing your thoughts.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
How do you stay so positive? I would love to hear from your wife, is it all an act? Does she have much to say in your relationship?
Are you willing to answer these questions? I have to tell you that you are an inspiration to me and many of my friends.
Please respond

Anonymous said...

To Whom it May Concern
I met Mike in the rehab and he is one of the kindest, sincerest men you ever wanted to meet. He truly loves people and has a real concern for them.
Yes he has a very positive, up attitude and loves to sing and socialize with everyone!

SapphyreDreamer said...

Wow! I'm so glad to have found your blog! How are you doing? I've kind of been following your story for several years now, I hope this note finds you well. I started for the second time on Richard's program to help me lose 124 pounds, it's a tough row to hoe, but I'm getting there a pound at a time. I've finally wised up and joined a gym, it's helping a lot. Well I'm going to go now and read your blog, you're such an inspiration to me!

Anonymous said...


It was great to read your comment and see the strive and devotion you have to YOURSELF...that you are not giving up and that you continue to is comments like this that help keep me going to know others go through the same battle.....hold strong and keep fighting


Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
I am so glad I found this blog site also. You have been a sought of hero of mine for many years. My daughter is 19 but has many medical problems, you have been a great source of entertainment to her. She loves to watch you in Oldies II she dances down the row with you and puts her hands up in the air as you do it at the end. It brings us all a lot fo Joy.
You are a man with a special spirit and we can tell.
You give hope to so many and your words you share are so profound, who ever knew?
Bless You Mike
Deep Love
Paula and my daughter Wendy

Emma said...

Again, Mike, you make us all think. You are so powerful with words, have you ever thought of writing a self-help book, you are truly inspirational?!

I'm inferring that your procedure went well, and I hope that you approached it with the strength that I know you would have.

God bless you Mike.

Emma x (and my partner Dee who is reading with me now!)

Lindy said...

I finally stopped crying long enough to comment on your independance message. At 500 pounds and 5 foot 2 inches tall I am homebound, nearly bedbound and have so many health problems that I tought independance was beyond me. I believe God has led me to your words to remind me that there is more than one kind of independance - emotional AND spiritual independance. While my physical independance may be slow in coming the othere are accessible now.
God bless you,
Lindy -

Anonymous said...


Your blog touched me and i listened to your words and i know the battle of physical dependency....but you have to keep in your head each day you fight and each day you make it you are one step closer to winning the battle and regaining so much....and once you findthe emotional independence i believe the physical will follow...hold strong and keep strong


Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Carol
A 10 year old, since I know you you have always been taking care of Children, you are a natural. Remember that adorable little one I forgot her name and I do not even want to think how old she must be now. She may even have children (good thing I am not getting old).
Seriously Carol what you say about keeping mobil is so important. Especially if you have mobillity you have to work hard on keeping it!
Movement is a gift and unfortunately sometimes we lose it. In your case you were able to over come your obstacles and keep going.
You are a fighter now and always
keep smiling, keep pushing and keep going
Thank you for your words of encouragement to all

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Special Karen
You ask if I make special appearances, well I do! Everyday I make an appearance in my backyard, or my local Church, maybe at a shopping center or even sometimes at a local diner.
Karen I am no more special than you but I thank you for that thought. I will share a quick story with you.
Last week I was at the hospital having the procedure on my heart. Now picture this... They have in hospital clothes (cool they fit) I amlying on a gurney and they are transporting me across a bridge from one building to another. As they are pushing me, this woman runs up to me (and believe me I am feeling so lousy at this point), she runs up to me and yells, "Oh your famous, I know you from TV your are that man aren't you"? My wife said all of a sudden as sick as I was that "Hollywood" smile came on my face and I acknowledged her.
The point is I do not make special appearances but I am reconized all the time and that is okay!
Karen who knows some day maybe we will meet for a second or possilbe even longer (it would be my pleasure) in the meantime Karen you be well, take care. Remember You are a very important person who needs tender loving care.

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Jane
I do not know if your last name is Portland or you are from Portland either way all I want to say to you is something that i live by that is
"Never Give Up" You are working on emotional independence well as long as you keep trying you will never fail.
All things are possible Jane

Mike Hebranko said...

Doreen my dear friend
Remember to never stop that fight!
You are a super person and you are worth any battle! Certainly your own fight!
I do not know you but I bet you are the kind of person who will be there, and do for others! Right? Well don't forget you! Leave some of that special love for you!
The most important love is self love.
Before you can love anyone else, if you love someone else then they deserve the best of you. You need to take care of You.
So lets keep in touch Doreen and I am honored to have you read the blog
Love to you

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear John
Does my wife have much to say in my relationship....oh John you do not know Madelaine! Those who read this blog and know us personally have to be laughing right now!
The truth is I am the boss, I keep her in a corner and throw her a crust of bread. (Ha, this will probably be my last post, especially if my Boot reads it, I will be Dead).
John, I a proud to say my wife is a very independent, outspoken, individual, who (whom) I hold with the utmost respect and love. She is my backbone, my best advisor, my best friend, my soulmate and she is the Boss!!!
I am proud to say that.
John am I always positive? No, but I am never always negative! I work on being positive, it feels better, I like being happy, it makes me feel good.
Therefore John I hope this answers some of your questions and feel free to ask more if you want to.
I hope you are doing well and have an inner peace.
Take care and smile

Mike Hebranko said...

My dear dreamer friend
I hope you received my email. I am so glad that you have not given up and you are now working on that 120+ pounds. The gym will definately be a plus. Movement is so important!
My dear Dreamer friend keep tilling the soil and worker that land (I like the analagy) and You will have a great harvest!
How cute!
Be well keep us informed and Hve a great time taking care of you!

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Paula and My dear sweet Wendy
I am so glad you enjoy Sweat'n II I loved doing it. That was back in 1990 and now I too use if for my exercise at times.
Paula if you email at I have a special copy with a special note for Wendy that I can send you!
Paula Bless you and your Sweet daughter You guys are in my prayers
keep in touch
With all my Love

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Emma and Dee
Thanks for you wonderful words, the truth is I have a book I need a publisher.
If it is meant to be it will happen!
The procedure went well, I thank you for asking and thinking about me.
I hope all is well with you two.
Keep in touch and and agian thanks for posting a comment
Smile and good health

Mike Hebranko said...

My dear dear Lindy
I hear you and feel eveything you are feeling.
A few words, first ----keep moving!
I know that sounds crazy and I know the pain! Yet move, even if it is just ankle pumps, (moving your feet up and down) lift you legs whenever you think about it! You have to keep the blood moving, super important!
Next..... the next thing you put in your mouth let it be a little healthier than the last thing you put in your mouth! Do a little better today that you did yesterday!
Next ---- Hope you are getting some kind of medical attention. If not fight for it! Your life is worth it! If you can not get to a doctor call the medical associations you need some medical attention at home!
Last --- remember as long as there is breath there is hope! All things are possible as long as you believe! Keep the faith and do not give up!
You have to want to make and you can!
Lindy my friend keep in touch
Good Luck
Love ya

Anonymous said...

I thank you for your thoughts and kind words that you share with all of us. You seem to have so much to offer and I wish there was a way to get to meet you. I realize that some of the people you communicate with through the blog know you personally and I bet they get the fullness of you.
I only hopesome day to be able to meet you and possibly read more of your feelings.
Thank you for all you give of yourself.
Your friend

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael
You have so much knowledge on this subject. I get so much help and hope from you. I love what you have to say about Independence it has given me so much.
I look forward to your blog post and I thank you!
I am sorry that you had to go through what you have gone through for us to get so much from you.
Life is funny!
Mary T.

Jason said...

Hi Mike,

Greetings from Ireland. This isn't something I normally do. In fact, I've NEVER posted on someone's blog before (not even my favourite sports sites!). But I saw you in documentary recently and I was completely blown away...

I can't remember the name of the program, it was months ago on a UK or Irish channel. Anyway, all I wanted to say is that you seem like an amazing guy - immensely positive and full of determination - and whenever I think of inner strength, yours is the example that always comes to my mind.

You've probably seen the t-shirts with "WWMD" written on them ("What would MacGyver do?"), which is a light-hearted question you can ask yourselves when you are stuck in any kind of situation. Well, whenever I feel that things are going against me or that I've 'hit the wall', so to speak, I always ask "WWMHD" - "What would Mike Hebranko do?" It always brings a smile to my face and makes me realise that anything is possible. So, thank you, Mike!

I look forward to checking out your blog from time to time and I want to you know that you have all my best wishes.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
I have seen you for years from time to time in the news or on the Boob tube. No matter how sick you have been or at what stage your life is in you have inspired me in some way. Now I have found your blog (a friend sent it to me). Well you make me happy to know there are people like you on this planet.
I am working on my smile and you have me thinking about my independence. You are one of the greats that have come our way.
We love you

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

To all of Mike's friends and supporters,

I want to thank each and every one of you for your kind words and support that you give to my husband. Michael's is always out there giving his all and what makes it all so special is that each of you give to him and support his intense feeling of courage to go on with his daily battle with his addiction to food. Yes, some of you maybe suprised but every day you give hime strength too.
I believe that my husband has really made some very big hanges in the ways he handles his llife and is winning his battle both physically and mentally each day. His words when he first started on his road to recovery was "all things are possible if you believe" and I have been a Believer of this, even at our hardest times.
In my life I am one lucky person to have met someone who shares so much in common with me. Do not get me wrong there are times we have our differences and we are both strong willed but our love and respect for each other always prevails and I win(LOL).
This independence day has had a very special meaning to my family and I. I am glad that it has been shared with all of you and always remember that:

All thing are possible if you believe.


PS John, Mike is the boss and he has my permission to say so

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled to see Mike's wife comment on the blog. Her story has to be so interesting. She could tell us so much more of Mike's insite and his positiveness.
I thing the two of them as couple must be a powerful experience and to be in their company must truly be an honor.
I find Mike's writings to be so uplifting.

Anonymous said...

You have been a person who I have been inspired by for years now. I want to know how do you live your daily life. In other words, do you go to work? Have you had the surgery? How do you stay motivated to continue every day, especially that you have had so many ups and downs. How do you keep picking yourself up?
Whatever you do, you amaze me and encourage me and my husband. We love to see you on The television and now we love readin your blog.
Keep up the great work and please continue to offer your advice and encouragement to all of us!
Thank you
Cathy Wilson

Anonymous said...

This is a blog that has helped me and two of my friends, not just lose weight but in our attitudes towards our life in general. I didn't know of this Michael but as I read more about him I find him to be just the type of guy I would like to be like.
I now visit this site almost daily, I wish he would write more often but we will take what we get.
Tim Wash. DC

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

Dear Jean
How sweet of you to say such nice things about me. As for my friends who know me personally I am sure they will tell you (I hope) That I try to be sincere but I am far from where I would like to be in all my relationships. In other words, I believe that all relationships are works in process and that we never reach "Perfection". I think that is what keeps it interesting, besides "Perfection" Ha, we are human. What is Perfection?
Be well Jean and who knows where our paths may lead, all I know it would be my pleasure to meet you too.
Keep in touch

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Mary
Life is funny ...hysterical! You are right! All in All I am not sorry about what I have gone through, for many reasons. First of all I wouldn't be where I am today! Second, my journey along the way has been educational, enlightening and I have been blessed to have meet many beautiful and wonderful people. I have been given a gift to see the best sometimes of the worst, in situations ans sometimes in people themselves.
So I am not sorry!
As for what I know and share, I am not a professional (in other words did not get a degree from a formal university etc). I have gotten a degree in life, especially when it comes to this disease and every step of the way is a learning adventure.
Mary you be well and take care of my dear friend Mary
We will talk in the future

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Jason
It was great to hear from you and you too brought a smile to my face!
I was wondering if those Tee-shirts come in size 6 or 7X.
Seriously as for determination and positiveness, what can I say.
I love life, Jason. Every day is a gift and I love the sun, the air, the evenings, nature. I love people, I am in love with my wife and that deepens with each breath I take. I adore my son and now his family. I have great family and friends. I have so much, so much in life to live for.
Do I have the same problems as other people do ..... yes, probably (I do) but I try not to dwell on them. I do not hang out with them or even think of them. Even now as I write to you I do not want to think to much about them.
I am looking out to my right and I see a bright sunny day and I thank my maker that I am a player (part of) in this great beautiful day.
Well Jason I hope to hear from you again
You take care and I have heard all my life how beautful your country is.
Well kiss that "stone" for me, I think I would be afraid a bit to get into the position you need to go into to kiss the "stone", but I bet I would do it!
Jason thanks for writing and let's keep in touch
Your friend

Mike Hebranko said...

Oh my Queenie
Thank you for such kind words. What can I say. I just feel that we all contribute to each other in some way or another. You have contributed to my day today, in a big way.
I just feel like I have been given a gift ( gift of life) and like all my gifts, I like to share them. It sounds so simple to me.
Queenie, I hope you realize that you too are a very special person and never forget that!
As a special person you need to care for yourself.
So keep smiling (as often as possible) and realize you are Independent!
Let me hear from you again

Mike Hebranko said...

My dear friend Rita
On behalf of wife, Madelaine and myself We thank you.
I am not sure if the people around us would call us powerful, intersting might be more appropriate.
No, we as a couple run the full gammit and go through all kinds of interesting levels.
Again thank you

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Cathy
Thanks for all the interesting questions and sweet remarks.
Let me try to answer some of your questions.
As for the surgery, if you are referring to any of the barriatric surgeries, no I did not have any. Twenty years ago I did have skin removed but none of the stomach surgeries.
You as about work, well I do work, I have a job (none that I get paid for),my job is working on my life! Taking care of myself! Right now it is a full time job. I am not YET able to work officially, I am not physically healthy enough today, who knows what the future may hold.
I hope that has answered some of your questions Cathy
Stay in touch

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear TIm and your friends
I am glad I have been a little help and I am thrilled that you guys are doing well. I would like to write more often but I do not want to "over do" my welcome sought of. I figure two or three postings a month.
Eventually I hope to be published and there will be a more complete overall view of some of my experiences.
Tim I hope you and your two friends are doing well and I hope tha tyou keep in touch.
I wish you all the luck and keep on smiling!!