Posted in Ramblings of a Single Dad


Good evening everyone!

I promise this post to be less … depressing than the last one.Actually my lost post was very therapeutic for me. I felt so much better after putting all of my thoughts to “paper” as it were.

So anyhow, on to the post.

 Milestone number 1 – Weight-loss

So I have exciting news to report to all of my friends out there. I have broke the 40 pound weight-loss total I set for myself. I have another 24 pounds to lose before my Birthday so I can hit that milestone.  I am not back to where I was before my ex left the first time. Lord willing, I will be below where I was the last time I lost a ton of weight, that is only 23 more pounds to lose.  From my highest weight ever I am down more than 65 pounds. I feel fantastic.

This photo was taken when Kenny was just a little guy. It was one of the smallest points in my adult life. I believe I was down into the 240 pound range. One of my long term goals is to get back to this size by Christmas. By this time next year I hope to be even smaller still. I want to be able to run a 5k. There is so much I wish to accomplish.

Milestone Number 2: Accepted to Bachelor’s Program

I’ve always wanted to go back to school and finish my bachelor’s degree. I’ve never had the time or the resources to do this before. I am going for my Bachelor’s in Information Technology with a software emphasis. I am absolutely excited about this. The program will take me 2 to 3 years to finish.

Milestone Number 3: Single Parenting for over a year and I’m still alive.

I realize this isn’t really a good milestone, but I was so scared when I first started raising the three of them on my own. I wasn’t sure I could handle it. Especially when Sammy came home in May of 2013. I didn’t know how I was going to handle a 3 month old baby, let a lone a 9 year old and a 7 year old. We are doing pretty well for the most part.

Milestone Number 4: I actually had family pictures taken.

A special thanks to my sister for her help on this one. I wish I would have been smaller for the photos, but I am more than 40 pounds lighter than when they were taken. I have to admit, I feel a bit like George Costanza in this picture though. Luckily I don’t have his personality.

Just as exciting as milestones, GOALS.

I was never one to set goals in my life. I’ve always known they were important, but it was all I could do to just survive.

Short term goals

  • Lose another 24 pounds to put me below a huge milestone.
  • Finish my 70-410 certification
  • Go out on a date
  • Read a book
  • Finish first semester of college with high scores.

I know they aren’t phenominal goals, but the instant gratification monkey is strong with this one.  (Great article here:

6-18 Month goals

  • Get to a size 38 pair of pants. I can’t remember ever being below a 42.
  • Down to no more than 240 pounds
  • Run a 5k
  • Learn some type of sword fighting
  • Go to a comic-con

Long term goals (3-5 years)

  • Graduate college with my bachelors
  • Reduce my debt as much as I can
  • Learn to dance
  • Maintain weight-loss listed above.
  • Find a wonderful new partner that keeps me honest and marry her.


Well that is all I really have for this one. I am so excited to be starting on all of this.


Posted in Ramblings of a Single Dad

The Future

Good Morning,

Since I have been going through the end of my marriage to my ex wife I have had a lot of time to soul search and try and figure out where to go next in my life. It has been very healing experience for me.

Relationships and Dating

For those of you who don’t know me, I haven’t really been single for any length of time since I was a junior in high school. I’ve never been one to do well alone, I have always felt that I needed a partner to be happy. Thankfully, I have grown up a lot since I was in high school. It was this kind of thoughts and behaviors that made the relationship with my ex-wife. I had been in a relationship with a woman that I truly loved, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I was heart broken and lonely. I felt that I needed to fill that gap with someone. Sadly that tied me up in a relationship that wasn’t for the glory of God, but for what I desired.

Because of what happened, I have become more dependent on my faith in Jesus. The more I seek him in this tragic situation the more I realize how broken I really am. I have major trust issues with anyone, especially when it comes to the children. My faith in Christ has risen, but my faith in people in general is nowhere near as strong as what it was. It leads to a lot of insecurity. I need time to not only heal my own wounds, but the wounds of my children as well. I need to be there for them and focus on helping them move beyond what happened. I need to become the father they need me to be. This will hopefully allow me to be the husband God wants me to be as well, assuming he even blesses me with another marriage.

I’ve met some wonderful women recently and in any other time I probably would have wanted a serious relationship with them, but as things stand now I can’t even imagine myself with another person. I am willing to admit that I’m just not ready for that kind of commitment with anyone right now. I need friends, good godly friends, both male and female to help me to grow into a more Christ-like image. I need to learn to display the image of grace and mercy to my children so that they may learn to have grace and mercy on others.

I need time to learn to be myself again, to find out who I am in Christ and build confidence in that.

Health Goals

I am currently around 130-150 pounds over weight. It tears at me, I don’t have the energy to do the things with the children that I want to do. I need to start my nutrition plan and work diligently towards my goal. Ideally I would like to have under a size 40 waist. I cannot remember the last time I was in a pant size that small. I am assuming it was sometime in middle school. I wore 40-42 pants all throughout high school.

I feel like I am setting a bad precedent for my children. I don’t like how unhealthy I am, and I am working to change it. No one else can do this for me. I am trying to find a support group around town here though because I don’t have the wherewithal to do it on my own. I need the support of a group to know that I can do it.

I’ve lost the weight before, but the end of my marriage really threw a wrench into those goals. Basically I have to start all over again. I need to change my lifestyle so I live a life that is pleasing to Christ and healthy for my body, the temple of the holy spirit. I know we all like to have our room, but I don’t think the Holy Spirit needs all the extra space my fat provides! (That was a fairly bad attempt at humor, sorry.)

I also need to have my wisdom teeth removed and several other teeth fixed or removed as well. I am hoping they can be fixed, but I am not certain. I haven’t been to the dentist in a very long time. I worry that the ACA/ObamaCare will actually make having them fixed much more difficult. I’ve been waiting for a long time to find a job that will provide the coverage I need at an affordable price, but the pricing will be changing next month because of the ACA requirements and I worry that it will once again be priced out of my reach. The health exchanges are a joke, they want me to pay $600 a month with a minimum 20,000 for the family out of pocket before they actually cover anything. Doesn’t seem like very affordable insurance to me, I’m better off not carrying it and paying for everything out of pocket. I can’t say that I’m all that surprised by this fact. Math being very logical you cannot insure more people for less money, it just doesn’t work that way.

Anyhow, that is all the time I have to write for now, I look to write another post in the next few days.

Posted in The Journey

It’s not about losing weight . . .

There are many people out there who want to lose weight, but how often is it really about losing weight? We all have our reasons to want to lose weight; attracting the right mate, being healthier, helping get a better job, or just plain tired of being sick and tired. Whatever the reason may be, we all have one.

Losing weight isn’t a diet.

You read the books, you watch the news and the weightloss shows and they all tell you it’s either about the diet or about the exercise or both, but how true is that really? How many people do you know that eat well and are still fat? What about exersize like crazy and are still over-weight?

Losing weight is about nutrition. The majority of losing weight falls square on what you put in your mouth, not how much of it. If you eat food that isn’t good for you it’s going to show. Have you ever stopped to wonder if sometimes its about what you aren’t eating as well?

Most of the food pyramids out there tell us that eating grains and starches should be the bulk of our diet, but how much of that is really true? For centuries before the FDA and other countries equavalent programs what did we eat? We ate primarly fruits, vegetables, and meats. Why then are those items the small part at the top of the food pyramid instead of the bottom?

We as a society are getting fatter because we eat these calorie dense foods that have little nurishment for our body in them. Every time heat is added to food it kills the good stuff in it. How many of us eat our vegetables raw, let alone the 7 to 9 servings a day the doctors recommend?

Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea:

McNasty McDouble
McDouble – 390 Calories

1 McDonald’s McDouble Calories = 390 Calories


Green Beans
Green Beans – 48 Calories

48 Calories – 1 Cup of green beans

Grill Chicken
Grill Chicken – 114 Calories

141 Calories -1 Grilled Chicken breast (approx 4 ounces)

Corn on the Cob
Corn on the Cob 70 Calores

70 Calories – 1 Corn on the cob, 1 5 in. ear

1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese 114 Calories

114 Calories – 1/4 cup of shredded cheedar cheese

Grand Total = 373 Calories

Given the choice I’d rather eat meal 2 than meal one. It only gets worse from there.

Long term losing weight is more than just making the right choices.

Anyone can lose the weight by making right choices, but the weight won’t stay off if you don’t change your lifestyle. You can’t leave the weight off if you go back and do what you were doing that got you there in the first place.

So for myself I am making one small improvement in my life at a time. I am looking into my habits and hang-ups, trying to find out my weak points and working with God to deal with my past issues.

Some Wisdom from the Bible – Proverbs 23

When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;
do not desire his delicacies,
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.
Do not move an ancient landmark
or enter the fields of the fatherless,
for their Redeemer is strong;
he will plead their cause against you.
Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
If you strike him with the rod,
you will save his soul from Sheol.
My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.
Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
Hear, my son, and be wise,
and direct your heart in the way.
Be not among drunkards
or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and slumber will clothe them with rags.
Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.
My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe my ways.
For a prostitute is a deep pit;
an adulteress is a narrow well.
She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the traitors among mankind.
Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
Those who tarry long over wine;
those who go to try mixed wine.
Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter perverse things.
You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
“They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I must have another drink.”
– (Proverbs 23 ESV)

Posted in The Journey

A Scary Thought and Article

(image from ABC News)

I was reading the yahoo news feed on lunch today and I saw this article: 407 Pound Woman Denied Flights Home, Dies Abroad. Second Article

To summarize: The article is about a 56 year old woman named Vilma Soltez who had one leg and weighed 407 pounds and had kidney problems. She was trying to get home to the US for medical care, but was unable to board a flight due to issues with her seat, unable to board a second flight at a different airport because they had no way to get her on the airplane, and kicked off a third flight because she couldn’t get under the seat belt.

A few other notes from the article: “According to reports, a local fire crew were bought in to help move her into the seats but they could not lift her out of her wheelchair.”

My own opinion on the matter: The airlines do their best on the matter. The fact is that she could have received care where she was. Where does the airline make the cut off for what is safe for other passengers? How does one persons value hold more than the other 150 people on the airplane?  It just doesn’t jive that her husband is suing the airlines for doing their best, but ultimately choosing the safety of the other passengers.

The tragedy of obesity:

Events like the one I mentioned really make me reflect on my own life and struggles. At my highest weight I was at 385 lbs and I hated myself for it.  I couldn’t even look in the mirror without seeing myself in disgust. I hated myself for who I had become. The person in the mirror wasn’t the me I saw.

When I see other people who are becoming big like what I currently am it makes me angry. I just want to go up to them and talk and say “why would you do this to yourself! Stop now and make the changes. You don’t want to be where I am. Stop, turn back now!”

Over the last couple of years my personality has changed and I have done a lot of personal development. I am not longer the person I once was. I have such compassion for those people who are in the same struggles as me. It’s why I have chosen to share my own personal journey, even if it is just a little piece here and a little piece there.

The Facts:

  • 7 out of 10 Americans are Overweight and it’s growing.
  • We live in a high calorie low nutrition society
  • We fill our bodies with toxic chemicals that cause a myriad of health problems
  • Most of our food has huge amounts of sugar added to it.
  • We have a multi-billion dollar business that makes people “healthy” but gives them more side-effects that they need to take other medicines to fix those issue.
  • The number 1 complaint of doctors visits is chronic fatigue.
  • American’s don’t tend to slow down and enjoy life. It’s always more, bigger, better, faster, etc.
  • When a person is diagnosed as diabetic they are given insulin; switched to artificial sweeteners; told to eat a diet high in starches and grains. There is something wrong with this picture, starches and grains are high in sugar!
  • Insulin causes your body to store more fat! In fact many people on insulin gain weight every single year!

I could go on and on and on about the problems I see caused just from our diets, but I will refrain.

The stuff hidden in our foods

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) : MSG is a neurotoxic substance that causes a wide range of reactions from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage. Almost all processed foods contain MSG

Pesticides: Every time we eat an item that has had pesticides sprayed on it we are taking in remnants of those chemicals. Did you know that we get it in our meats and animal products as well? Every time they are fed this food the chemicals are passed along. Our bodies were not designed to break down these chemicals! Worst of all we eat them and our body stores them because it doesn’t know what to do!

HYDROGENATED OILS: To be put in its simplest term, hydrogenated oils are rigid fats. They are not naturally occurring and our bodies can not use these properly.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: HFCS is added to a great deal of foods to make them sweeter. It is extremely high in sugar and isn’t really healthy for anyone. On a side not they are working to change the name to just “Corn Syrup” since the other has such negative association with it.

There are a lot of unnatural things hidden in our foods.

Changes to make:

We all know that being over-weight sucks. It kills our energy, makes us unhappy, depressed, etc, but did you know that fat cells not only store the sugar, but they also store the chemicals we eat.

There are a lot of things we can do to change our direction. Being willing to make a change is the very first step in any journey. Figuring out which direction to go is the second. So if you want to help fight this obesity epidemic sweeping the developed world you need to first start with yourself. So I am going to tell you what I am doing to change the world around me by first changing myself.

I know that I have a deeply personal battle with obesity. I worry about things like that article happening to me all the time. My mom is extremely overweight so I worry about it happening to her also. How can I help my mom change if I can’t change myself? To that end I have resolved to do certain things, to make changes as necessary and grow.

  1. I resolve to put Jesus first in my life and myself second.
  2. I resolve to change myself so I may have a positive impact on those around me.
  3. I resolve to make better food choices; to read the labels; to think about what I buy.
  4. I resolve to log my food in a journal because I know that without any measurements I will have a hard time getting to any destination.
  5. I resolve to exercise a little bit every single day. Even a few minutes, a few extra steps, its better than what I was doing.
  6. I resolve to share my 100% honest results once a week whether the results are good or bad.
  7. I resolve to be honest about my struggles with those that I trust.
  8. I resolve to be diligent and to ask for help whenever needed.
  9. I resolve to share my own personal journey in hopes that my own journey may make someone else journey just a little bit easier.
  10. I resolve to be a little bit better every day.

That is all the time I have to write for now, but I will probably expand on some of this stuff later in different posts.  I hope you all have a wonderful evening and I look forward to reading your blogs and progress as well.

God Bless

Posted in The Journey

Putting my money where my mouth is

Good Morning Again!

I was thinking that if a big part of this blog is going to be my journey to optimal health through weight-loss, that I should put my money where my mouth is. I need accountability from others and the best way to do it is to make my food diary and weight-loss history public.

I am using a site called “My Fitness Pal” to track my diet and exercise . I have tried other food logging programs but I like this one the best because of the mobile app. I can scan bar-codes off of products I pickup from the store and add them easily to my food log.

To access my food log I put a link in the menu to the left title “Shdwmage’s Food Log” and below that I put the weightloss tracker that my fitness pal created for me.

Have a blessed day!

Posted in The Journey

Addicted to food?

Good Morning!

Yesterday started out as a good day as far as food went but then later in the day I went out shopping and bought some stuff I shouldn’t have eaten and over-indulged. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are just some foods I have to stay away from. Does anyone else have similar problems? What have you done to combat the cravings?

Here is just a few of the foods that I can not stop myself from eating more than I should of:

  • Mac and Cheese
  • Pizza
  • Cookies

The only way I have found that works to stop eating foods like this is to not start eating them at all, however being a part of a family it is hard to not keep foods like that around.

Addiction and Food

Because I have such an over-indulgence to certain foods I think that I have a food addiction problem. I often ask myself how do I deal with a food addiction, it’s not like drinking or pornography. It’s not like I can stop cold turkey like I did with alcohol when I was younger, or getting rid of the internet at home to make it less tempting to view.

How can I punish everyone else in the house by not by foods that they like and don’t suffer with like I do? How can I combat the fact that my wife likes to order pizza in? How do I deal with this without alienating everyone else in my household? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.