Friday, August 15, 2008

“Man Plans and God Laughs ….”

I am writing this on August 16, 2008 and just three years ago on this date, I experienced one of the most joyous events in my life (right up there with the birth of my son and my wedding day), it was the birth of my grandson. I speak from two points of views, the first is like any proud grandparent. A grandchild is such a gift, such a pleasure, they usually come in the “autumn of our lives” and if I may say so my self, the timing is just perfect. When my grandson is near me, or he calls me “GaGa” or I am holding him, every single ache and pain is gone. I can think of nothing else but being at his beckon call for every moment, he needs me. Nothing but pleasure and the most joyous thoughts are in my mind. To, even just look at him brings a feeling of euphoria all throughout my being. Let me share a story with you with this game between him and I that just melts me. My wife (and son) has taught my grandson to enjoy teasing me and he loves to and gets the biggest kick out of it. For example; I will ask him “how much you love everybody in the whole world”, he will proceed to stretch out his little arms as far as can be and say “this much Ga Ga”. Then I will say and much do you love me and he takes his cute little thumb and pointer finger and squeezes it close together and say “only this much Ga Ga” then he will get hysterical laughing. I just melt and eat it up (and at the same time could eat him up too.).

Being a grandpa is a feeling that I just cannot explain. I am sure all my grandparent friends out there can understand, exactly what I am talking about.

Today is special for me for another reason. Now do not get me wrong, I have the greatest amount of respect for the medical professionals (especially my current doctor and the medical team that helps keeps me going) but until I found this current team did I go for an emotional ride! ….

Since I was “eighteen” years of age, all that doctors and many lay people would tell me was “Michael you are not going to live to twenty-one years old, especially if you do not lose weight”.
Then at “twenty-one” the doctors said “for sure you will never see ‘twenty-five’ years of age”. At “twenty-five”, I was told “at over 500 pounds, forget seeing “thirty” years old.

In addition to all that good medical advise, from the time I was ten years old I remember my grandmother saying if I, didn’t “lose weight I would never find a girl to love me and marry me”. Over the years, other family members felt it was there obligation to tell me the exact same thing.

The best was when I did get married I had doctors tell me “at 450-500 pounds you will never become a father you definitely have to lose weight”.

Well, “Man Plans and God Laughs”.
I found a girl to love and marry me and it just happen to be the girl of my dreams. She is not only my best friend, she is my soul mate, my life long lover and she comes with a great family. I am proud to say we will be married “thirty-three” years this coming June. I also became a daddy at twenty-four years old and yes, I was over 450 pounds
(I am not bragging, just saying what is so). By the way, I will be fifty-six on my next birthday.

Besides who ever thought, I certainly did not in my wildest dream ever think, that someday I would be celebrating the third birthday of my grandson. I love humankind and for the most part human beings are great but God is better.

Hey, I am not saying that those doctors were all together wrong, they were basing their opinions on scientific facts and statistics and common sense. Unfortunately, 400, 500-pound people do not live long lives. The quality of life at 800 pounds is compromised. My grandmother and family meant well in their own way, I know that.

Yet you cannot live your life in fear! You have to do the best you can, make the best out of the situation and have faith. All things are possible if you believe. First, you believe, next, you hang on and then you finally do something to make changes.


Change is such a funny thing. You know basically I have either been home bound, hospitalized or in a rehabilitation centers over the last 15 to 18 years, so therefore I have not been out in the world a lot.
Over the last year, I am out at least two to four days a week.

One of the changes I have experienced is, that here in New York (and maybe over the rest of the country)when you go into some of these family type (chain owned)restaurants, they now (on the menus) list the calories counts for the items.

This is a great idea and I believe it is going to revolutionize the way people eat out in the future. It will help change the way people eat. It helps you to do a reality check. An example is that “grilled chicken fajita” that you thought was healthy and a good choice, you are now find out has over 900 calories not to mention the baked potato, sour cream etc.

I now go into these restaurants and just tell the waiter or waitress, “ah, just bring me 165 calorie appetizer and a 400 calorie entrée, It doesn’t matter to me what it is, it could be paper, all I know is I want about 600calories”. They look at me as if I am crazy!

Things have changed out there and it takes time for me (any of us) to adjust but I love every moment of it and I love the opportunity to be able to be a participator rather than a spectator.

Change is good, especially when it is going to improve our life in general.

Yes, I love and appreciate all that my doctors have done for me but I know in my heart that there is a greater force that works through them. That beautiful force I call God.
In spite of what man has said over the years, I get to do something that at age 18, I never thought would happen. I never thought I would even be alive, and yet I did get married have a child and imagine I get to see my grand child celebrate his third birthday!

Thank you Lord, thank you for being in my corner, giving me the strength, sending me the right doctors, the right people in my life, my wife, my son, his beautiful wife and my grand baby….

In addition, I want to wish my “little Ga Ga” a very Happy Birthday to you …even though you only love me a little bit!!!!

To all my friends …… don’t ever lose hope, as long as there is life there is hope, there is a chance. The spark of life burns inside of all of us!

I hope and pray you have a great day and that you do something special for you!

Love

Mike


Ps
I am thinking of starting a Newsletter, please read the details on the right side of the blog page thanks!

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
I knew you had to be a spiritual person, you have a beautiful inside.
I am so honored to have found this blog site. You have helped me through some rough days. You or anyone have tips on night binge eating?
Thanks
Darcy

Anonymous said...

First off...Happy Birthday to that gorgeous little one .....what a heart breaker he is going to be....I hope he has a great day.....Second love the new pic of you you look wonderful and there is such a calmness over you ...it is great to see...even though it brought tears because i miss you all so much.....Now third i understood this blog to an extent knowing what it was like to hear the words you will never make it till such and such a time if you don't do something ...I remember first getting sick with my breathing problems and a Dr came in who i didn't know and told me that i would be dead in less then a year and i remember my best friend throwing him out telling him he had no right and he was not God so who was he to judge....well that was 9 years ago and i am still here.....i try to live with a lot of hope in my life because if i didn't what would i have to look forward to...but not every day is easy some days i have to look hard for that hope and that desire to keep going ...but as i said i am still here so i just keep on pushing me and having a great support team here with me is a great asset also.......and also having you in my life Mike is wonderful as your words keep me going and keep me inspired and i definitely thank god for bringing me to your meetings so many years ago..was it fate i dont think so it was meant to be
hugggsssssssssssss and kisses
love you
Carol

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
I understand what you are saying, I too have been told some horrible things and by the grace of God I am still here. I know I have to do something to change or I wont be for long. I am 33 and weigh over 600 pounds can you please help me? I believe in you and what you say so much.
Charles S. --Calif.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael
I know you through the media for many years and now the blog. You are an inspiration.
Joan

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
I am so interested in your life. I too am an obese man only I am not like you I have not found love and a family. How did you do it? I am 44 years old and about 500 pounds. I can't find someone. I can not get past the physical problems? How did you, how do you deal with it?
Can you please advise me.
I respect you a great deal and thank you
Salvatore V.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael
You never cease to amaze me. I love your attitude and your outlook on life. What I admire the most is your desire for life. You seem to have gone through so much and you survive. I am going through a bout of Breast Cancer and I am not sure I will emotionally do as well.
Any suggestions?
Rose

Anonymous said...

Dear Mikeplace
This is a great visit and I can not wait until I get your newsletter.
Good luck to you
Helen

Anonymous said...

Hi,

It has been a while since I have visited and I sure have missed a lot. You are a great inspiration to us all. I sometimes wonder how you have had the stamina to go on. You must be a strong man even with doctors and God you must be a fighter with some great people in your corner. Hearing you makes me strong. Keep on going and keep on fighting you are making winners out of all of us.

Chubby

Anonymous said...

Michael
I agree with you on so many of your points of view. For example Your smile, and forgiveness and I love the K.I.S.T but this one is difficult. I never knew you were so God orientated?
Jim

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
I am very interested in your Newsletter, I have forwarded my email address to you.
I like the things that you have to say and I enjoy reading your blog and other peoples comments.
I too am obese and I find strength and inspiration from this blog.
You have helped me to get on track and want to lose the weight.
I thank you
Prissy

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Darcy
I hope someone else gives you some tips but let me share with you what I do.
I was (am) a night eater, (I also eat in the day plenty too!).
I use too and have been know to binge at night too. Although I was never one to get out of bed and go raid the refrigerator. No, I just ate tons of food before I went to bed late at night.
What has been working for me recently are a few things. First eating balanced bulky meals during the day is one thing. Then trying to go to bed earlier and be sure to fight the urge or getting out of that bed.
It is a whole behavior change and not just one thing. For example if you exercise more during the week and also keep yourself busy (physically and mentally) you will be more active during the day and more tired at night.
I also still eat at night. I know the experts say do not eat after 7pm or 8pm or after dinner, well the experts are not food addicts nor were they a thousand pounds.
I eat before bed (all included in my daily calorie count). I'll eat maybe dry cereal, or fruit, or diet gelatin or pudding, anywhere between 100 to 200 calories and in my case I like quantity. I will try to get the most for my "bang".
This kind of fills me (at least mentally) and then my belly (mind) is a little satisfied and it is easier for me to sleep.
But in general Darcy, eat better during the day , more physical activity and effort on our parts and we (YOU) can do it.
Keep in touch, good luck
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Carol
Interesting post you made, as I read it I was saying to myself the following ... "I know this girl and she does have hope" and then ah ah there is was you write that you have hope! Hope is so important!
Without hope things would be almost without sight of a better tomorrow. We know this is not true, we know that as good as toady is and maybe today may not be the best of days, we know as long as there is life (breath) that there is hope that tomorrow will be either just as nice or even better if need be.
So Carol we know there is a "Big Guy (Gal)" up there in charge, but we also know that we have our job to make the things work.
We get the tools, we are given the gifts, we are often shown the way, ti is up to us to get the job done.
So my Carol be well and please keep in touch!
Love ya
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Charles
Can I help You? The answer is, the truth is, NOT SURE! I can help you. I can make it all better. I can come live in your home and coach you 24/7.
The truth is Charles, I can tell you what I have been through, what I have learned, the msitakes I have made, the things I have learned alnog this journey. I can support you by talking to you when need be, emailing you, bloggin with you. I can share my K.I.S.T. method which is working for me now and working with me. I can be a friend!
Therefoe if this is help, then I am
a helper.
The truth is Charles, you are still young enough that your metabolism is still working well to work well once you begin to do what you need to do. One of which is "Eat Healthy" and do some kind of "Physical Movement".
So Charles write me at --- michaelhebranko@yahoo.com
and keep bloggin.
Be well, good luck to you,
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear sweet Joan
Thank you but I am sure you too are an inspiration, we all are!
If you get up everyday with the attitude to do your best when you get to bed that evening, that you have left the world a better place. If you do your best everyday to do good things for you (and other loved ones) then you are an inspiration.
Joan I bet you fit into this category.
Keep in touch Joan
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Salvator
I will not tell you that it was easy. The fact is we need to take our negative feelings about ourselves and put them in the closet (temporarily) and hold your head up, be positive (about life in general, you in specific) and just put yourself out there.
You know once this girl wrote in my 6th grade graduation album
"be who you is, not who you isn't. If you is, who you isn't you just isn't who you is",(thank you Sadie).
So Sal, you are who you are, you can physically change (eventually) but in the meantime have a great time, live life! It is going to be rough, you are going to have insecurities but you know what I have learned even those "perfect" body guys, with the 6 packs and the abs, even those guys have their
own insecurities. People are basically insecure people and inspite of it they can succeed and you will succeed.
Keep in touch and if you want to talk email me at michaelhebranko@yahoo.com
Take care
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Rose
Maybe my wife should comment on your blog post. When she had Breast Cancer in 1999 I believe she made it through basically because of her attitude. Her faith helped a lot, the support of the loved ones around her but most of all it was her attitude. She was not going to let this get the best her. She tried to "lighten" up as much as possible and use her sense of humor to heal some very painful periods (physically and mentally).
She was and is and always will be my hero.
She was our strength as we feared (and prayed) for her, yet she went through the period (including the chemo and radiation) like a trooper. A year later she then had an additional problem and had to have a hysterectomy. Once again her faith and attitude was her best medicine.
Now we are blessed, almost nine years clean. She follows up on her medical teams advice and lives life to its fullest.
So my dear Rose
We often draw our strength from the experiences of others. I believe that my wife Madelaine and I have drawn from each other and learned from each other.
Rose, hang on! Buckle up it may a bumpy ride but if you take those bumps with as much "a grain of salt" as possible, trust your experts and keep the faith. Enjoy the good moments you will get through it. Sometimes it gets a little darker just before it gets much "Brighter"!
Good Luck
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Helen
Thank You and I did receive your email and as soon as it is ready ( a couple of months) you will be one of the first.
Smile
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Chubby
Your are kind!
I have to tell you, I have a great doctor who makes sure I get to the best doctors. God is so much in my corner and I am so thankful, and yes I have people that love me and are in my corner. My son, daughter-in-law right at the top of that list.
My greatest supporter, as so many know already, is my wife. I am not ashamed to say I would not be here if it were not for her!
Yet with all this support and love from friends and family it still comes down to the bottom line and that is "OURSELVES"!
We are the ones in the battle field everyday. If we do not fight for ourselves then how can expect others to fight for us. Even if they do, without our cooperation ...then what good is it?
So Chubby again I thank you and I bet you must be a special person ...you sound like one.
Take care and please keep in touch we love hearing from you
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Jim
I am not God orientated, I just know that God is in my life and I am thankful
Jim I hope to keep hearing from you and thanks for your comments, I appreciate it
Your friend
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Prissy
Got your email for the newsletter. When it gets started It will included some stories form others who work with our struggle daily. Technical stuff, fun stuff, recipes, support sections etc.
Prissy I hope it will be helpful to you, in the meantime Prissy, you take care of yourself and do your best to do the right thing for you today. Remember you are certainly worth it.
Let's keep in touch
Love
Mike

Anonymous said...

Hey Michael
You are one heck of a guy!
Salvatore

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
How often do you see a doctor. Do you still have medical problems and are you able to get out to the doctor. I am sorry for asking these questions but the answers might help me.
Linda Co.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael
I absolutely love this blog you are such an inspiration and have so much knowledge when it comes to this problem. Do you make personal appearances?
You have encouraged me and can encourage so many others.
Keith J

Anonymous said...

Michael
I need to tell you something. When you wrote about your KIST program i began to do some of the things you talked about. slight changes, nothing drastic, it was 3 months ago and I have lost 26 pounds and a total of 11 inches. The most important thing is reading your blog has helped to smile, make amends with my sister, and feel so much better about myself.
Thank you, you are one of God's special people.
Karen W. Mn

Anonymous said...

Michael
I saw you yesterday in Atlantic City with your family, you looked fantastic. I wanted so badly to come up to you and say hi. You looked at me and I know you noticed me. I have blond hair and weigh about 280 pounds and about 5ft 4in.
You really looked great and you were smiling and I noticed that.
I was too nervous yet you seemed so approachable.
Maybe next time, I would tell you that you inspire me and that I think you are wonderful.
Please continue to post to the blog, my friends and me love reading what you say and then we discuss it. By the way, they did not believe me that I saw you but I would recognize you anywhere. Do you go there often?
Until next time
A friend who thanks you
Francine from New Jersey

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Linda
I will be thrilled to answer you. I see a doctor basically on a monthly basis, sooner if necessary.
Then you ask if I still have medical problems, Let me put it this way. I take about 30 pills a day. Yet you want to know something, about 18 months ago I thing I was taking about 40 pills a day. Who knows what next year will be, maybe only 15.
Today I feel good, I could not run a marathon but two 19 months ago i could barley walk and now, I can get around the house.
I try not to look at what I can not do but rather what I can do, I like to look at where I am now as to where I was two years ago.
So Linda I hope this helps you and if you are suffering wit h any medical problems I hope and pray things will get better for you and in the meantime look at that silver lining ...it is there.
Have a great day
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Keith
Every morning I make a personal appearance to my wife ... to no applause at all.
Just kidding, the truth is I really haven't made any personal appearances lately. I have done some TV last year, most aired in Germany, Japan, Spain and all over Europe.
I am always willing to talk on the subject of this disease and the struggles.
Keith I hope all is well with you and I am glad you enjoy the blog and I hope you continue to return.
Keep in touch, and have a great day!!!
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Dear Sweet Karen
We are all special people that God blessed in one way or the other.
Now are you smiling? I hope so, because you and all of us look so much prettier when we smile.
Now 26 pounds, I love it and you are not suffering and you are really not dieting. You are adjusting your lifestyle and that is what is important. We need to make life adjustments. We know how to diet, that is for sure. We have all been there and done that! We need to know how to live with food as part of our life.
So Karen keep up the great road trip you have begun!
I am partners with you and keep in touch,,,Good luck
Love
Mike

Mike Hebranko said...

Hi Francine
I am almost sure I did see you too. My wife and I went on the spur of the moment. I have to tell you it was nice to be able to just make the decision to go and then get up and go.
I have not been there in about 18 to 20 years.
It was great, we stayed a few hours and then headed home.
In the future Francine if you ever see me in the future please feel free to come up and give me a big HELLO! I will be glad give you a big hug and hello back.
All the best to you
Love
Mike

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike
I live, I think in the same area of New York that you do. I too like that woman Francine have seen you around in different stores and at church. I have wanted to approach you and your lovely wife but I wanted to give you your privacy and respect that fact. Yet I am so inspired by you and would love to say hello and maybe get a hug.
Maybe some day I will get the nerve in the meantime, thank you for all you do.
Susan R. Staten Island, NY

Anonymous said...

Michael
You have helped me to save my life!
I have been inspired by you for many years and now I get to read and participate in this great blog.
Your outlook is I strive for. I have begun to follow you KIST method and with some nice results. I find it reasonable and sensible.
I would love to meet you some day, will you ever come to California?
I hope so, I live in the San Diego area and would do anything just to see you and talk with you live.
Thank you so much for all your advice and uplifting words.
Lovingly
Candy Ca