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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chapter 3 – Forgiveness


Riding Tom’s horse was uncomfortable, but it did help speed up the search for his son.  John allowed the steed free reign as it trekked towards to what he had hoped to be one of the Beverly Brother’s lairs.  John knew the horse would eventually find its way back to familiar territory, and surely that would be the perfect opportunity for John.

Night crept in on the heels of a growing summer storm, giving him an uneasy feeling. He would need to seek shelter soon, before darkness and the storm overtook him.  Up ahead, he could make out the shadowy shape of a building forming on the horizon. The silhouette looked familiar, but he couldn’t place it.

As the thunder grumbled overhead, the shape of the building became clear. It was the old abandoned mission.  For years it had stood, welcoming strangers and offering a safe refuge from whatever unpleasantness the desert dished out.

John sighed in relief as he reached the entrance.  He slid off the horse and tied it to the post nearest the door.  He scanned the area looking for anything or anyone that might mean him harm but the winds from the brewing storm kicked up so much dust it was impossible to tell.  Unable to detect a threat, John turned around and headed into the mission.

The interior was dark, but the smell of fresh lilies filled the air putting him on his guard.  With each flash of lightning he could make out the benches and the cross hanging over the nave.  Thunder rumbled over head drawing his attention to the roof.  Not a single hole in the roof or a broken window. It was as if the building was still being used.

John turned from the door and made his way inside. From the corner of his eye, he caught a shadow moving through the darkness. Hand on his gun, he stepped further into the room and leaned against a pillar for cover.

“Who’s there? Show yourself!”

Silence filled the building.  He knew his eyes were not playing tricks on him, and his belief was confirmed when the shadow moved again, this time swooping from one side of the room to the other.

John figured it might be a barn owl.  He waited behind the pillar for the owl’s screech, but was greeted with more silence.  Peering around the pillar once more, he waited for the shadow to move again.  He found himself leaning further from the pillar as he listened for movement, but there were no sounds.  No footsteps, no animal cries, nothing.  Surely the heat hadn’t gotten to him already.

Standing up straight, John turned back to the door to find himself face to face with a priest.

“Can I help you?” the priest asked.

“I could have killed you.  Why didn’t you answer when I asked who was out there?”

“I’m sorry, I have trouble hearing. It’s the weirdest thing, one moment I hear like a young’un, and the next 
I’m deafer than a mule.” The priest said as he lit a candle by the door. “What brings you here?”

“I was taking shelter from the storm.”

“Storm you say? Turns out you are not the only one claiming to hide from a storm.”

“There is someone else here?”

“Why yes, he rode in right before sunset.  Since you both seem to be gun men, I remind you that you are in a house of God and should respect it.  That means no shooting and no fighting.”

“Not a problem,” John said.

They walked to the front of the mission, the priest lighting more candles along the way.  As the light filled the building, John could see the care put into its construction. It was more than a refuge from the tortures of the desert. It was also a place where people could worship and seek God’s comfort.

As they made their way into another room, John saw the stranger the priest had mentioned. He was sitting in a chair with his back to them. He had obviously been out in the desert for days. Dust clung to his sweaty skin, and the rusty desert sands had stained his clothes with a reddish hue.

“Gentlemen, I expect you both to be on your best behavior.” the priest said.

The stranger stood up and turned around. It was Bob Collins.  Bob was the Beverly Brother’s number one man.  He could kill a man and holster his gun before his victim’s lifeless body hit the floor. John quickly placed his hand on his gun as he stared into Bob’s eyes waiting for him to make the first move. 

“You boys gave me your word that you would respect this place, so kindly take your hand from your side and SIT!”

Wary of his nemesis’’ skill, John positioned himself in a seat where he could keep an eye on Bob. John was not as quick on the draw as he used to be, and he knew he wouldn’t stand a chance against someone like Bob. One wrong move and the man would quickly end his life.

“I see you two know each other.” The priest said attempting to ease the tension.

“This man is known for his careless acts of gunning down innocent men,” John said.

“Not anymore.”

“What do you mean ‘not anymore?”

“After the Beverly Brother’s did what they did to you and your kin, I knew something wasn’t right.  I can’t do those things to children.  That is where I draw the line. Sam Beverly told me if I didn’t like it to leave, so I did.”

“I don’t believe you.  I have seen the results of your actions.”

“Yes, against men who tried to draw against me. Believe me, sheriff, I would not have killed those men if I didn’t feel it was my life or theirs.”

“See, he is a changed man,” the priest said. “All can change.”

They sat in silence for most of the night but the tension between Bob and John was so thick even the priest grew uncomfortable.  The holy man shifted in his chair and stuttered in his talk no matter how many times 
John assured him he wouldn’t disrespect his rules.

When the sun peaked through the mission windows, John rose from his seat.  Exhausted he made his way out of the room followed by the priest and Bob. 

“There is forgiveness for everyone, no matter what they have done!”

John broke eye contact with Bob and looked to the priest. “This man is part of the group that took my boy.” he said.

“I’m sorry, but I recall him saying he left that.”

“All I care about is getting my boy back, and he knows where they took him.” John paused and looked to 
Bob. “Is he still alive?”

“He was when I rode out yesterday. Didn’t have a scratch on him.” Bob said.

John sighed inside holding a tough look on the outside so Bob wouldn’t think he was off his guard.  Knowing Billy was still alive ignited a spark of hope inside him. He planned to hit the trail again, but there was still one thing he needed to know. The question was: would Bob tell him? 

“You said you left the Beverly Brothers, so where are they?” John asked.

“Sheriff, you know there is a code. I can’t tell you that.”

“You said you drew the line at what they did to children. The least you could do is point me in the right direction so I can save my boy. We are still in the mission. Whatever you say here stays here, as far as I care.”

John watch Bob pause as he awaited an answer. John knew Bob would be marked for death if he helped, but John was willing to do the same if he didn’t help.

“Son, there is forgiveness in doing the right thing,” the priest said to Bob.

“I will point you in the right direction, but I can’t give you anything else.”

“That works for me.”

John stepped out of the mission and was blinded momentarily as his eyes adjusted to the morning sun.  He mounted his horse and said goodbye to the priest while Bob mad his way around the mission. As he headed away from the building, John heard the priest wish him luck in finding his son. He waved in acknowledgement and urged his horse eastward. Around the side of the building, he found Bob loosening his horse’s tethers. 

As John rode past, the faint click of a revolver being cocked reached his ears.

“Hey Sheriff,” Bob said, “I was looking for forgiveness, but your dead body will get me much more.”

Turning in his saddle, John drew his gun and fired. The bullet hit Bob in the forehead and threw his body to the ground.

“You’re forgiven.” John said as he turned away and rode on in search of his son.

Chapter 2 - The Dusty Gully

Several days had passed since John start tracking the Beverly Brothers.  Edward was right when he said their trail ended at the river, but what they missed was the torn shirt that was further up the trail. It was obvious that they had been dragging some kind of brush behind them to hide their tracks, but the torn shirt caught on the tree pointed their direction once again.

As John rode up to the tree he could tell it was his son’s shirt.  A sigh of relief passed through him. He could tell when they passed this point his son was still alive, but now that they have a few days lead on him, there was no telling what he might still find.

He followed their tracks and moved west as they headed into a gully.  As he approached the gully a gunshot echoed. His horse threw him, fell to the ground and landed on his leg.  Pain seemed to become a regular occurrence and one he could soon put aside. He struggled to get out from under the horse and take cover.

With his gun drawn he looked at every high point and any place that someone could shoot from, but nothing.  No movement, no sound, not even a puff of dust to show the shooter’s location.  He hid behind some shrubs hoping to see something.  The silence was broken as someone yelled out.

“Coming for your little one are you?”

“Who is that?” John yelled out.

“It’s Tom Johnson, sheriff!  You are not gonna get him!” Tom answered.

“Tom if you hurt him, I swear I will get all of you and HELL will follow with me!”

Tom cocked his riffle again and shot in the direction of John’s voice. He looked over the rock desperately trying to see John.  He could see his lifeless horse as it lay at the entrance, but not a single sign of John.

“What’s a matter, sheriff?  Did I get you?” Tom yelled as he continued to scan for John.

A breeze passed by and dust moved from behind a bush.  Tom aimed and shot at the bush.  He waited for the sound to confirm he shot John, but nothing.  The only sound he could hear was that of the wind as it whistled through the canyon and the snort of his horse that was tied up to some shrubs behind him.

“Where are you?  Come out and let me kill you SHERIFF! I can do this all day!” Tom yelled.

John sat behind a rise in the gully keeping his cover.  He focused on Billy and could sense in his heart that he was still alive.  He remembered on his ninth birthday when he walked up to John and said, “Pa, I want to be like you when I grow up.  I want to be a fearless sheriff too.”  As he finished he embraced John.  John felt so proud of his son.

An hour had passed as the sun reached full noon and baked on both of them.  It had positioned just at the point that not a single shadow could cover them from its intense heat over the dirt. John took a sip of water from his canteen, took his gun out and popped a shot in Tom’s direction.  Jumping to attention Tom shot back in the direction of the bush he thought John was at. 

“Come on Sheriff, let’s end this.  I know you can’t survive in this heat!” Tom said.

John knew he was right, sitting there would not stop him and he couldn’t get to his son.  He looked around and saw a way up to Tom.  He took some rocks and threw them at several bushes to draw Tom’s attention.

As the second bush moved Tom aimed and shot at the bush.  He cocked the rifle and shot at the other bush too.  He paused to see which would move again so he could fire the perfect shot and finish the John off.   
Another bush moved and he quickly jumped to his feet to fire at it.  As the shot echoed through the gully he saw a skunk move out into his view.

“Where are you Sheriff?” Tom yelled out.

“Right behind you!” John answered.

Tom turned to see John standing there with his gun in hand.  A look of shock played over his face as he quickly tried to position his rifle but it was too late.  John hit him knocking him to the ground and causing him to lose his rifle.

As Tom laid on his back he looked up at John and said, “How?”

“With all the noise you were making a blind man could have found you.” John answered.  “Now, where are they taking my boy?” He asked as he pointed the barrel of his six shooter toward Tom’s head.

“I don’t know.  They told me to slow you down.”

“Wrong answer!” John said as he pulled the hammer back on the gun.

“Honestly, that is all I know.  Besides you can’t shoot me.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because you’re the sheriff.”  Tom sighed.

“Wrong, I’m not the sheriff anymore!” John said as the hammer fell on the bullet.

(Chapter 2 - The Dusty Gully - Written by EW Bradfute)

Chapter 1 - Sheriff no more!


The wind blew through the grass, a peaceful whistle tickling his ears as he gazed across the field.  The dancing of the grass swayed like that of the ocean waves crashing upon one another. His thoughts came to an abrupt stop as his boy yelled out.  “Papa!” 

Opening his eyes, he found himself lying in the field with a sharp pain to his chest.  The bullet had pierced the skin and penetrated his ribs a sharp pain radiated through his body and made it difficult to move.  Cringing in pain he looked down to where his hand held his chest. Blood flowed out and painted his hand red.  His gun lay to his side. The sun’s rays splashed on his face and adjusted his focus away from his weapon.

“PAPA!” echoed through the field.  He looked around to find the source as a bullet whizzed by his ear.  Ducking for cover again, he remembered why he was in this field!  The Beverly Brothers had cornered him and his family.  They took his wife into the house but his son escaped and he’d been shot rushing to protect his child.  Panic and anger rushed through him all at once with the force of a bull hitting him in the chest.  He gathered his breath as anger took over and the fear of death became a dim light to him.

“Sheriff, your wife was so tender and sweet! Shame you won’t be with her anymore!” Bubba Beverly yelled out as the sound of the gun shot echoed.

Grabbing his gun the sheriff climbed to his feet and rushed to the house.  Gun shots echoed across the field as he hurried.  With an occasional look to his wound he cocked his gun.  As he rounded the corner one of their gang waited.  The sheriff lifted his gun and in one smooth motion he pulled the trigger.  The cloud of gun smoke surrounded him as he watched the thug’s lifeless body fall to the ground. 

He kicked in the door with his gun at the ready to drop any and all that would stand in his way.  The room was clear except for his wife’s lifeless ravaged body which lay across the table.  It was clear a single bullet took her life as his grief was quickly replaced by anger and a thirst for revenge as he heard his son call out.

“PAPA!” echoed through the thundering sounds of horses rushing past the house as the riders laughed and taunted the sheriff.

Weak from the loss of blood he staggered to the door with his gun in hand.  He quickly scanned the field, ready to end their lives as they did his wife.  Poking his head out he saw them ride across his land.  He fired his gun wildly hoping to take down any of them, but missed.  Barely able to walk he moved out the door to see them stop and reach down into the tall grass of the field.  They positioned their horses so he could see as they gathered his son.

“NO!” The sheriff yelled out.

They laughed and danced around on their horses and then rode off over the horizon with his son.  The sheriff fell to his knees as tears streamed down his face. Weak from all the action and loss of blood he fell to his face in the dirt.




Several days had passed when he woke up in the comfort of a bed.  The town doctor stood over him checking his heart beat on one side of the bed, on the other side of the bed his deputy stood looking concerned.

“John?  How do you feel?” The doctor asked.

“I feel like I was trampled by a herd.” He replied.

“Well, you gave us quite a scare, but you are doing just fine.  The bullet lodged into your ribs and didn’t go any farther.” 

“Where’s my Billy?” John asked as he looked to his deputy.

“We haven’t found him yet and we lost their trail.”  Deputy Edward said.

“What do you mean you lost their trail?  You are one of the best trackers I know!”

“That’s just the thing, I tracked them into the river and it is like they just disappeared from there.”

Struggling to sit up, John grabbed Edward’s arm and sat on the side of the bed. “You get my guns, any and all bullets gathered up. Also, get my horse ready.”

“You are not going anywhere you are not fit to ride.” The doctor blurted out.

John looked him in the eyes, darkness hazed over them “Do I look like I care if I live or die?  I want my boy before they kill him too.” Edward handed him his shirt and pants at the same time.

“But you are the sheriff!”

John took the badge from his shirt and threw it across the room as it stuck in the wall. “I am the sheriff no more!”  He said as he put his clothes on. “I am getting my boy back!”

“What do you want us to do with your wife’s body and your property?” Edward asked.

“Burn it, burn it all!  They defiled everything and I don’t want her body put in the ground like that!” John exclaimed as he loaded his gun.

(Chapter 1 - Sheriff no More - Written by EW Bradfute)

Monday, July 2, 2012

July and some more changes

July and some more changes

So it is a new month and a somewhat new me.  I can feel changes happening in my body with the weight loss, the biggest being, I have more energy. It is great but my body still suffers pain in the legs and hips and I am starting to get concerned about that.  It isn't normal, is it?  At least I wouldn't think it is.

Last week, I really was bad and had some foods that I said I shouldn't, but I also went the entire week with out my thyroid medicine.  Except for Sunday, I didn't notice any changes from not taking it.  Sunday, I pushed myself to the limits and was so exhausted by 7pm that I don't know if it was the lack of medicine or just being on the go that whole time.

So, I had to dig some questions up and their answers and I thought, you know there are people who ask the same question and really would like to know.  So...

Question 1: Does eating at night make you fat?

Answer: If your overall calorie intake is appropriate for weight loss or maintenance, it may benefit you to eat something after dinner.  Late-night calories will ultimately get used the next day (and even while you sleep). To keep your energy levels up, it is better to spread your calories out during the day when your body needs fuel. Aim to eat something every two or three hours. This will stabilize blood sugar levels and help you feel full and energized all day. If you do need a late-night snack, consider keeping it to 200 calories or less.

Question 2: Does exercise make you tired?

Answer: Yes, it starts that way because I have to push myself more with my disability, but as the body gets in better shape, most people feel exercising gives them more energy than before. Regular exercise can also help fight fatigue, improve your sleep, and manage your stress.

The eating right helps a great deal too, with all that bottled up energy you find yourself being more active and doing more things.  Before you know it you have a regular routine going and a great deal of thing accomplished.

My best example is now that I am getting the energy I find it harder to stay in one place, I am moving about the house looking for things to do.  I am helping to clean the house, move things around, and even just finding a reason to get out of the house even if it is to just walk about in a store or something like that. Oh and if you go to the store and are on a budget, DO NOT take money with you.  If you don't have it on hand you are less likely tempted to spend.

I have heard it said, mind over matter, and with diets, weight-loss, finances, and so much more it is true.  If you know you have money in your pocket you are more likely to spend it, the same with food.  You have those tempting chocolate donuts sitting on the counter and each time you walk into the kitchen to get a drink you find yourself looking at them.  Your mouth waters as you reminisce on their flavor.   STOP!  If you don't see them then you are not temped, but when you see them you are tempted and we are more likely going to give into that temptation.  See, mind over matter!  We are so supperficial that if we see it, we know we can get it, then we will.  However, out of sight, out of mind! Sad but true fact!

I am just as guilty when it comes to seeing things like that.  Honestly, if I had chocolate cake donuts in front of me with a tall glass of milk I would totally consume them all. Funny part is I am not craving them, I don't really care to have them, but I would give in to temptation if they were there.

It isn't until the end of August when I stand on the scale.  If I do go down a good amount of weight I am going to be a happy camper, but should it say I didn't lose weight, I am going to lose it.  I have been trying hard and working even harder to change habits and food.  If at that point nothing changes, then I will have to seek all the doctoral help I can get.  Sad part is sometimes we have to do that.

So how are you doing so far?  Is any of this helping you?  Let me hear from you!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Great feelings and One bad thing!

Let's me say, I have been feeling WAY BETTER!  It is like I am getting more energy and more stamina throughout the day.  Before I would get exhausted and want to take a nap about mid-day and then sometimes that didn't help me feel the energy to keep going. 

Last year as our house heated up I just felt blah and didn't even try to do things.  Since I have changed my eating and drinking habits I have found myself able to push more projects and do more things around the house.  I even find myself just moving up and down the hall because I have energy.  I have read in countless number of diets that when you are doing it right you will gain energy.  It is true.

I have taken as much bread and wheat products out of my diet as I can since last week.  As I said it isn't easy and one thing that makes it harder is that I have my wife who does eat them and so sometimes I get tempted.  I admit I am strong willed, but when you have a good juicy burger placed perfectly between the buns and the cheese is melting around it your mouth can't help but water and bite into such a tasty treat.  Well, I did do that and I have to say, I couldn't finish it.  A sign that my stomach is shrinking.

I didn't get to exercise since there has been a great deal of issues personally that I have had to take care of.  They have consumed the time I have to exercise and try to add that to my weight-loss plan, but I will say I have pushed myself to walk more and use the scooters a lot less.  I was able to make it around the grocery store last week without the cart, but my legs did tell me about it later.  They were sore but not like all the other times, this time it was less and lasted less time as well.

So what's the difference in workouts?  First, if you push yourself to hurt, that is never a good thing.  You can actually injure your muscles and cause maybe even worse problems down the line.  Also, if you push to build muscle fast you will find a good side effect that will discourage you, weight gain.  Some people strictly workout to lose the weight and if you go building muscles you end up gaining weight, because muscles weigh more than fat. 

So an envigerating workout is one that you do more reps with less weight.  This will help the muscles burn the fat around them and not be so painful on you down the line.  Don't get me wrong you do feel a burn, but that one is a good burn.  You are actually TONING your muscles instead of building them.  I am 6'2" so building more muscles now would make me weigh more as well as bulk up and I really want to tone down on the fat.  If after I decide to build muscle mass I can, but the biggest focus is weight loss.

With being told I am borderline diabetic, I need to make sure the right weight comes off.  That is goal and key for what I am focusing on.  To be honest, I can tell it is happening.  Not only do I have the engery, but I also can tell in my clothing, and feel on my body.  They all add up to encouragement and a reason I want to press on.  That is what helps you the most.  Now, it could be shattered, I could step on a scale and it tells me different and that will ruin things.  See why I say DO NOT always run to the scale?  Keep going, a bigger drop would make me happier than a few pounds in a few weeks.  20 to 30 in 2 or 3 months would rock!

So, what is the one bad thing?  Today, I discovered I am passing a kidney stone. Why?  Well, there is still a really large stone in my kidney.  They attacked it once and it is jagged and capable of dropping pieces, which in turn cause the pain and other bad feelings.  I will get through this, but it could put a damper on things in the next day or two.  Specially since tomorrow is my wedding anniversary.

How are things going for you?  I would like to know if this is helping anyone or encouraging them, please let me know.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

New Week New Changes

I know it isn't Monday and I am past the time I should have posted, but there is a reason for that.  I knew when payday was and that I would be doing a NEW shopping list compared to before.  That's right, I am still working on changes to move the weight off me and to get some healthier results.

As I said before, I refuse to step on the scale until August.  The main reason for that is the scale can bring your hopes of seeing your goals down.  There are times of the day that we actually weigh more and there are times that we actually weigh less.  Think about it, you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, until that food is digested where is it and what is it doing? Sitting there and causing some looks of weight gain, but is it really?  No, because it is doing it's part on your body and making a difference over...wait for it...TIME!  It is NEVER and over night success and if you find something like that you better be careful because the results can hurt.  What do I mean?

Most quick weight losses are temporary.  You still eat the same, you still do the same routine, and your body says, OK, I don't need to worry and puts those quick pounds loss, right back where they came from.   So, sure you can do it for a day at the beach or to look good for that event, but your best hope is to NOT go back to what your normal routine was or you put all that weight back on.  According to some studies that I have read, most who get that weight back, get it even more.  So you could end up putting on MORE pounds than you lost.  Thus the warning of being careful.

For my grocery list, I focused on meats and veggies.  Notice something missing there?  Bread!  I didn't even buy a single loaf this time.  As I was saying you really can't just cut everything out cold turkey...Mmmm, Turkey.  Oh, sorry, but really you can't just cut it out.  Do things in moderation. I figure it has been a few weeks and it is time to see if I can actually get past all that.  I have moved it down to a point that I can't actually recall the last bread I ate.  Thinking like that made me realize, maybe it is that time to take it out.

You may wonder how am I feeling with this diet or eating change?  To be honest, I have been feeling more energized and happier.  Missing quite a few days of my medicine was a bad thing, especially since I don't have a thyroid anymore.  Even after that, I still felt good.  Some clothes that were snug are looser and I don't hurt as much in my legs as I had been.  Both signs of changes that could be ruined if I stood on a scale, the main reason I won't do it. A great deal of our feelings, such as the energy levels, and aches and pains actually help us with the eating changes we make.  When we feel positive results, we realize that this has to be good for us and we continue to press forward.  Would you want to do a diet that causes severe headaches, bodily aches, or even make you ill due to the fact that you cut something out of your body because it is bad for you?  Is that actually a positive sign of change?  In my opinion? NO!  It is not encouraging at all.  You fed yourself these items for a great deal of time and so you have to step down and ease off of it.  Just like a smoker, the patch or the gum helps cut the cravings, but they still smoke only not as much as they did before and they feel better as the heavy amount of toxins exit their body over time.

I know there is some doctor reading this saying I am wrong, but then again, am I?  I am seeing results physically and feeling better.  A great amount of our food binging comes from emotions and if we feel better we tend to stick with that.  So, if the actions cause a positive reaction, is it wrong?  Also, remember this, not everyone is exactly the same.  What might work for one person, might not work for another, what might be helpful to another, might not be helpful to you, it is all in learning.  Learning what works for YOU is what matters the most.  If you are feeling better and you notice changes that are positive, keep going with them.  Keep regular appointments with your doctor to make sure you health is up to par and that you are not hurting yourself.  I stress that, because people who remove RED MEAT from their diets actually lose an important vitamin in their body and sometimes pills DO NOT replace it.  Iron!  That is why it is important to keep regular check ups and make sure you are doing just fine.

What's next?  Let's see how a week without bread entirely affects me.  Would it be positive or negative?  Will it help with the weight loss or will there be no change at all?  And will I keep getting energy and be able to make the next step and start something I have not been able to do for a while?  Exercise!  That's right, I have been without it due to my illness, so the positive changes I have been getting are encouraging me to make an attempt at another change.  When I was healthy and could exercise, I felt great and had more energy than you can believe.  Sure, I know that it was before the tumors and all the health scares, but it tells me that if it worked then and all the people I know that do get some form of exercise in feel better, then there has to be something hidden in it.

Tell you what!  I will discuss exercise some next time and what the difference is between a painful work out and an invigorating workout.  Is there a difference? 

Monday, June 4, 2012

New Changes Second Step!

So here we go, a week has passed and what things are happening with the changes I have had to implement? 

First, eating without white bread, flour tortillas (and may I know that is hard in Texas), cut back on potatoes, and no sugars, like donuts oh the agony! You would think this is pure torture, you would think this is purely impossible, but the truth be told it is really a mind over matter thing.  I know you thought is "Yeah right."  However, it really is.  We get so used to thinking these things are important to us and we crave them so much it kills us with cravings, but when you realize these things actually could be killing you later you stop and rethink. 

Flour, sugar, and starches actually build up in your system as sugar and stay there, they can't be worked off like you think unless you have an exceptionally high metabolism, I on that case don't.  So, it sits there.  According to doctors when we think of the calories and decide we are going to work out to burn them off the math doesn't work like we think.  In fact, if you really do the math and try to match the amount of time you would have to work out for removing the ONE meal of calories you are actually hurting your body by working out too much.

So, how do you win against that?  Well, I, not being an expert, am learning one step at a time.  Last post I told you the first step is to accept yourself the way you are.  This step is putting your foot down and taking action.  Reading about certain foods, diets, and so forth helps a great deal but it really isn't enough.  There are diets that are bad for you, there are foods that are bad for you, and there are exercises that are bad for you, but there is always hope.  Sure you ask how is there hope with you saying that?  Well, truth be told we have to realize that we are not all the same.  For example, did you know I am allergic to red dye?  That's right, who would have known?  Are you?  Probably not, but some people are allergic to other things and thus it hurts them.  So you have to know you first and then know what you are capable of doing.

Let's start with foods.  This is my first week with 6 days of NO flour products, like white bread, flour tortillas, sweet breads, and I also cut out as much as I could potatoes and pastas.  I actually had people telling me what can you eat after that?  Well, there is a great deal of foods out there that I could still eat and I began to learn some things as the week progressed.

Have you ever read in a diet that you have to eat until you are full and then you won't be hungry until the next meal?  When we pig out on fast food like that we do get full but hours later we are hungry again.  It is that flour in the meal that stuffs us and then has us craving food again later, something I call the Chinese Buffet syndrome.  Now, if you eat a proper meal until you are full, you don't crave or get hungry until the next meal time, I actually found myself not being hungry then either, but I did eat even if it was a small amount.  That tied me over as it should.

Here's how that works.  One day I had a Grilled Chicken Salad, it included the following: lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, flame grilled chicken, bell pepper, avocado, and a small amount of cheese.  I did not add dressing, but I did add a home-made salsa, careful with salsas.  If you get a store bought salsa it is filled with sugar, but if you go to your local Mexican restaurant you can get a natural salsa that contains nothing but veggies.  That was the meal I ate for lunch.  I felt stuffed and kinda felt guilty at first, but then I remembered there are good foods to stuff yourself with and when dinner came around 6 hours later I was still feeling full.  Good foods and good fats help do that.

I had someone ask me what is your breakfast like?  Well, breakfast actually was the easiest meal to figure out.  I took a combination of 2 diets to figure out what was right and seem to have nailed it right on the money.  I have eggs, bacon, re-fried beans, coffee, and corn tortilla.  Did you just freak on one of the items or two?  Well, let's start with Bacon.  Do you recall in the last paragraph I mentioned good fats?  That's right our bodies need those things.  I said I mixed two diets together to figure this out.  Doctors have heart patients do a special diet to drop so much weight before they do an open heart surgery, did you know that diet consists of BACON?  It is true.  The bacon fat actually tells our bodies what fat needs to be burnt off and thus that is a good fat.  Now the eggs are actually good for us as is the beans.  Since I cut out the flour tortillas I was able to switch to corn tortillas.  Some might say that is still bad, but honestly it is impossible to just cut everything COLD TURKEY and it can be bad for you to do so, also.

What has the results been for this week so far?  Well, I won't stand on a scale until August and that is because the scale can discourage you so put it away don't look at it and don't think of it. I will say though I have felt better, I feel like I can see some weight loss, but for me the most important is that I feel better. 

Oh, just in case you missed it in the beginning or did see it and wondered, yes I said 6 days.  I took one day and in a moderation ate a burger and fries.  Not good for me, but as I said, it is impossible to just cut things out cold turkey.  To be honest, I didn't feel guilty either, in fact I didn't feel any physical changes as I did before all this.  This means my body is accepting the food changes and liking it.  So at this point I will continue to push, eat right, and see what happens. 

Do you have questions on things?  Let's work it out together, ask away and I will answer you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Changes and New Strikes!

I have heard it said many times that this Earth finds us a destructive force and sometimes it takes our lives, whether it is from natural causes, natural disasters, or from the foods we eat one way or another is seems to have a hand in our demise.  Sounds Science Fiction doesn't it.  What if you found out that it might not be?

Science has told us over the years that as man populates this Earth he removes vital things in keeping it a thriving source of our survival.  "What do you mean?" You ask.  Look at a city, the buildings go up but what gets removed?  Trees, grass, plants the very things that help give us oxygen, the very things that help keep this world cool with shade and other sources.  What is happening out there?  Have you noticed that each year we get hotter and hotter? 

Now, I do believe in God and I do also believe when science mentions a past, such as the dinosaurs, we should be listening.  A population of creatures that became over whelming to this planet and it some how finds a way to wipe the slate clean and start over.  Look at the Bible how it talks of the flood and the earth starts over again.  Are this things just a coincident?  I don't think so and the Bible talks of it happening again, but this time in a FIRE.  What is this earth doing, but heating up?

Ok, so what does that have to do with my health?  Well, let's just day I am learning each day.  First, I got rid of the salt and the changes in food flavors has really changed.  I learned to appreciate their flavors, their natural goodness and yet, I get struck with a new blow.  One that makes me wonder how bad this earth really wants us to change, how much we have been ruining it along with ourselves.

My most recent visit to the doctor reveled that I am borderline diabetic.  Now, to be honest I have heard many people say they have been told this, but something in the talks with my doctor has opened my eyes to a change I must do and then much more.  I will explain.

Many of the foods we eat are not healthy for us, sure you knew that, but did you know some of the foods we can only afford are what is making us FAT?  Did you know that you are told it is health but in reality it is causing something to happen that we can understand, we can't grasp, and we can't fight?  Well, the last part is wrong.  My doctor was telling me some of the foods we eat actually build up a sugar level in our bodies and no matter how hard we work out we just can't fight it.  It stores in our bodies and begins the bulge we so strongly wish to defeat.  Ok, another sci-fi movie pun, but it really is true!

I again will be fighting to save my health and prevent a disease that is plaguing our country as well as our loved ones and we didn't know it was preventable this whole time.  Obesity has brought on this diabetic plague and has claimed body parts, illnesses, much more and in some cases death.  Why?  The answer lies in your refrigerator.  FOOD!

Now, let me just say I am no expert, but I am human and I will do like many...LEARN!  Learn to fight, learn to stand strong, and learn to defeat it before allowing it to get the best of me.  How?  Well, let's just say the old saying..."ONE DAY AT A TIME!"

Are you ready to journey with me?  One thing after another has struck me down but I refuse to lay down and take it.  Support of my fantastic wife, friends, fans, and family have kept me pushing harder and harder to beat each challenge I have been given.  So, let's fight this one too and together get healthier and stronger and hey, who knows, maybe even happier with ourselves.

First step, accept yourself for the way you are!  Remember you are your own worst critique and the only way you will be happy is when you are happy with yourself.  I admit it isn't easy looking in a mirror and saying I look like Jabba the Hut and I am happy with that.  (No I don't look that way, but I am using that as an example cause I say that about myself alot.)  So, what you have to do is look in the mirror and say, "Ok, I look this way now, I might have these problems now, but I AM going to get them under control and take back my life as I want it to be."  If you are happy with things now, then why change?  A great deal of people are NOT happy with themselves now and look for the answers out there and how to fight against them. 

Together we can.  People supporting each other, people encouraging each other, and people putting their foot down saying I AM going to change.  No, this is no 12 step program, this is grasping life by the hands and saying you WILL make a change.  Once you have done that, we can start with the next thing, talking about our foods.

Let me just say, if you have NOT like a Facebook page I started called Just Weight, you should.  I will post tips there.  I will post things that will help, but I will also try and I mean try my hardest to keep this blog going to encourage you (the reader) as long as you do me one favor.  If I miss posting, message me and tell me!  Together we can do this, we can lose weight, we can gain strength, and we can take our lives back! 
ARE YOU WITH ME?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Personal Blog Journey Day 5

I know what you are asking, "Where is day 4? Why did it skip to day 5?"  There happens to be a couple of reasons.  First and most important was I skipped taking some meds, not the ones for the thyroid but some other important pills.  Anyway, I reaped the results of that from aching joints, to extreme swelling, to pure BLAH and in the end nothing happened in the day.

Oh yes, I went on the air and I sounded great, but behind the scenes I was in major pain and begging for it to go away.  Not the first time I have gone on the air like that and I am sure it won't be the last.  To be honest I always think of you fans first.  You guys are what keep me going with the station, the shows, and anything else that you like.  You guys are awesome and deserve great things like last nights show.  WOW, I will say it was a blast.

Today, I am doing better and feeling a small amount of joint pain.  The nerves in my legs aren't screaming so that is another good sign.  I was planning to get out in the yard, but it is hard to tell what the weather is gonna do.  Looks like the skies are going to break open and unleash a watery wrath on us.  So, I will just take it easy today and plan out the show tonight as well as get more podcasts up for you guys.

Hopefully, you are liking these blogs and honestly, if you have questions or would like to know more things, tell me, either here or on Facebook.  Either way, I will respond.  Also, get ready, I am about to start another kind of blog, more of a story.  Details coming soon.

One more thing, would you rather a daily or weekly report?  Dailies can be tough to do, but I would like to hear from you.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Personal Blog Journey Day 3

Day 3:

I woke up feeling more energetic today and ready to face the world.  The funny thing was I fell back to sleep two hours later.  However, I think my body is finally adjusting to all the meds and I am getting more energy.  I know it isn't all that I should have but it is enough to start doing things.  Big plan with this is, weather permitting, I will try to get out and cut the yard some.  I know I will look funny doing it with a cane, but at least it will get cut.  It's a jungle out there.

I ate spinach today and with no salt... I think I remember why I gagged on it as a kid.  To tell the truth the best thing you can add to it is vinegar.  Oh the flavor is divine!  If you haven't tried it you should.  When you get the right amount of vinegar on it you will know, too much oh you will know.

I did cheat and grabbed a soda, but it is just one.  Felt a touch of a headache coming on so I thought I would try the soda and see if that was the cause.  I have also noticed I am getting hungrier than normal.  I mean I really don't eat that much, but lately I feel like I could devour a whole buffet and not be satisfied.  It is almost like I am gaining a new appetite for food.  My fear is I would give in and ruin the chances of losing weight.  Any Ideas?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Personal Blog Journey Day 2

Day 2:

Already from the time I woke up to now I could tell today is going to be one of those sluggish days.  I push myself to get things done because I know they have too, but if I really did as my body feels I would still be in bed.  I am sure the slow rain outside doesn't help any with the gloomy, coolness it is giving off.  It is a lazy day, however, I am pushing to move around and get through the day.

My wife made fajitas today and as the taste buds are waking up I could so taste the onion and bell pepper she added to them.  It was again a party in my mouth telling me what I have been missing with the salt.  I do warn who ever decides to try and cut the salt out of their life, keep bananas handy or you will suffer some nasty cramps. 

Funny thing with this sluggish feeling I have, ideas are coming to my mind.  More of a lazy man product, you know those products, the grabber to reach across for an item or even a remote so we don't get up to change the channel.  Heck I remember asking my father why don't we get the TV with a remote.  He said "Why you are my remote, now go change the channel."

Ideas are a good thing, at least they keep me thinking and planning what to do when I get those spurts of energy and move forward.  Today, well, I am reserving my energy some to make sure the shows go off tonight without fail.  Let's see what tomorrow brings, I hope enough to be productive on some major projects.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Personal Blog Journey Day 1

For some time I have had this blog page and never had a creative use for it.  Many of you have sent me messages suggesting I should take you on a journey and many of you have asked about my health.  Why not take a journey on both?  I am really not one to talk much about myself, but after having this last surgery and getting to know more about life, I feel it would be great to share both with you.

Today is actually the 31st day since I had the surgery removing the two tumors and my thyroid.  The scar still heals and even itches as it heals but that isn't what has made this an interesting journey thus far.  The first night they let me eat and the nurses were telling me I was to totally take salt out of my meals.  Salt?  One nurse described to me it would cause me to bloat up and swell, a function that our thyroids help prevented.

31 days later and ZERO salt picked up, things have changed.  Who would really look at salt as being so bad since it added so much flavor to your food?  I mean do we really think things taste that bad so we throw a blizzard of salt on our food?  I would say yes to that at the way I have seen people of this last month drowning their food in salt.

To be honest, I thought I was going to go crazy not having salt on my food, not getting that familiar flavor that I so craved.  Ok, I never really drowned my food in it, but I did use it enough to tell a difference when I don't use it. Food started to taste bland and sometime just horrible, but I am doing my body good according to them.

Today, 31 days salt free, I ate a raw carrot and for the first time I tasted this carrot like never before.  It was like FOOD PORN!  I know that sounds bad, but when you are starving and you watch some cooking show you are doing some wild things too that many would tell you looks just like porn.  My taste buds dances and celebrated a flavor I have long forgotten.  Sure I have eaten carrots before, but when you dowse your food in salt your taste buds seem to die off and food doesn't taste the same.  However, now that I have gone this long I have started seeing many different changes in food and drinks.

Two days ago, I drank my first Dr. Pepper since surgery.  I vowed to just totally cut them out, but his headache hit me hard and nothing would take it away.  Someone suggested a soda and so I opened a Dr. Pepper.  WOW, the flavor was out of this world.  I taste it like never before and it was like winning the lottery in your mouth.  (FYI, I never finished the drink but it did take the headache away.)  The very next day I wanted to experiment with taste since I could see things were different already so I tasted a Coke.  Again a huge WOW in my mouth as I realized that soda is very strong flavored.  Now I can see why they say if you put a screw in one over night it would be eaten up by the Coke.  Don't know how true it is, but I will say the flavor was powerful and totally different.So I guess the interesting news there is our food has many amazing flavors without us changing them with salt.

As for health, I would lie if I told you I was 100%, I don't think I will ever be, but I will say I see changes there too.  For example, the tumors on my thyroid destroyed many things for me such as giving me neuropathy along with other unhealthy bouts in my body.  I got mood swings, changes that affected others, and some changes that well, I will never get to take back.  I will say that I am getting a better use of my legs back and don't suffer as much pain in them as I did before and I have less numbness in them too.

A major side effect from all this is I have a large Vitamin D deficiency.  What does that mean you ask? It means for my body, I will get sluggish and sleepy quite a bit, they say the calcium won't absorb as it should, and other things.  They do plan on attacking it, but it won't be until they see how the thyroid replacement meds work on my system.  Once they have some idea there they can attack the Vitamin D problem and hopefully get me back on my feet and running circles once again.

I will try to do this daily as many say I should, and I am sure it won't be as long as the first but it could be fun and maybe a learning process for myself and others who may be in the same boat.  Maybe it might even help someone who like me didn't know they had tumors on their thyroid until they were extremely large.

So comment, let me know what you think, ask questions, or what ever you feel, I will respond, and like I said, hopefully we can learn together.

Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 and Health

As many of you may or may not know a great deal of my health issues look to have revolved around 2 tumors that were growing on my thyroid.  This past Wednesday, January 25th, 2012, I had major surgery removing the tumors and the thyroid.

According to the doctor the largest tumor was about the size of his fist.  That is large!  The good news is, it was NOT cancer and I will be ok.  Now it is healing time.  According to what I have learned about the origin of this tumor and the effects it had on my body I may recover through some of the major health issues that it plagued on me over the years.

They said that the tumor literally absorbed all the chemicals my thyroid was to produce and caused neuropathy in my legs, created a HIGH amount of calcium in my kidneys creating massive stones, and many other issues.  I don't share much of my health issues with everyone, but for those who have heard me on the shows I have discussed these.

So you ask, what does this all mean now?  First, I start recovery.  They say it will be 6 to 8 weeks before I really can start normal routines.  However, this doesn't mean I can't write or even start something new, like focusing on a blog.  Also, 2012 is the year that many things GREAT will happen.  Finally the return of "The Mortal Vampire" book, some releases of other books, and don't forget TMV Cafe!   If you haven't been there yet, you are missing out on the growth of the station and the amazing family that is uniting together.

I love my fans!  To be honest without you guys anyone that is anything doesn't go anywhere without fans.  I try my best to dedicate everything I do for you guys.  If I fail in areas I learn from you and improve in the next section.  So to be honest it is all because of YOU that I will be trying new things this year including a blog section that I have neglected over time.

You tell me, what would you like of a blog?  What is interesting to you and what would make it the ideal thing?