Diet Tip #2

scale

I now have lost over 41 pounds since I started my diet on Dec 14th. For me the Paleo, low carb way of eating has been the best thing I have ever discovered for losing weight. I believe I am converted to the Paleo way of life. I don’t miss bread, sugar, dairy or fast food.

There are all kinds of diets you can choose from, some healthy and some crazy. I am focusing some of these tips over the next few months on little things that I am learning in my own process. That brings me to tip #2

Diet Tip #2 Deny By Serving

Last week I had my sales team over for an annual dinner we have to celebrate this past year in sales. When I do these dinners I make sure that my team, which is fairly large, has plenty of food to eat. This year I had a caterer provide us with a great BBQ meal. On top of that we had a huge selection of cheeses and fruit to snack on before the meal. All together it was a wonderful meal for everyone but a potential trap for me. You see in the past I would really go overboard with the food while trying to be the best host possible. This year I found a secret to maintaining my discipline while at the same time being a great host.

The secret I found was this; Don’t choose to deny yourself, choose to serve others. Really, as hard as that may seem possible, the more I focused on others having a good time, the less I focused on me. In fact I served ribs to people and even poured wine for some, all the while not having any for myself. The whole night I only ate a chicken breast and some green beans with a small salad. I stayed right on my program  the entire night and felt fabulous the next morning when I woke up.

The next time you have or you’re at an event that you feel might cause you to stumble, choose to be the person that is serving everyone else. It’s amazing how it gives you a different perspective on everything and the power to say no to yourself.

Have a great weekend!

Coach Don

Diet Tip #1

 

scale

I have now lost over 36 pounds since I started my diet on Dec 14th. I started this journey at 286 pounds and now I am approaching 249 pounds. This is the most successful I have ever been on getting a hold on being healthy and losing weight. I am learning a lot about obtaining real victory in this area of my life. It’s been a battle I have fought for years! I will be sharing some things I am learning from my experience over the next few months as I head to my goal of being 205 pounds.

Tip #1

Quit trying to start when it’s most convenient

I started my journey two weeks before Christmas on December 14th. I had everything from Christmas Parties to College Football Game Cookouts on the calendar before me. Everything told me to wait until the holidays were over but something said if you don’t start now everything from Pro Football Games to Valentine’s Day will keep you skipping until you are back to this time next year.

We choose convenience when we should choose commitment.

I would love to tell you how I got the strength to make the choice to start then but I really can’t. All I can tell you is that I made the choice and it actually gave me strength as I won the wrestling match with my own will.

Now flash forward to January 27th and I feel invincible. Bring on the Super Bowl, Valentines Day, Daytona 500 and all the other events that would wreck me. You see when I made that choice and won that first battle it gave me strength and that strength was multiplied again as I won again. Nothing makes you as strong as one victory! It leads to other victories.

Diet tip #1 is quit trying to choose when it’s most convenient. If you’re going on a cruise this week it might make the most sense to wait until you’re back home, but if you get the strength to just say no to all the bad stuff and eat leaner while you’re floating in the sea, when you get home you will have a head start to really get into it and win this battle for good.

Champions don’t wait for the battle to be convenient

I will be praying for you today!

Coach Don

 

0to50: What I Learned From the This Past Year!

Today, as I awake to the reality that I am now 50 years old, I am reflecting on what I have really learned this last year. It was over a year ago, as I was getting ready to turn 49 years old, that I decided to have a year fully directed at changing my life in three areas.

The first area was to lose weight. I was almost 300 lbs when I turned 49. Today I am a very healthy 248!

The second goal was to write my first book. Last year I started with an undeveloped idea in my head. Today I have a book in the making as I have defined the characters, the timeline and most of the plot lines. My book idea is alive and growing every day!

The third and last area was to deepen my relationship with God. No doubt about it, this past year has brought me closer to God. While you can’t measure being close to God like you can losing weight or writing a book, there are key signs like hunger and dependency. I am more hungry for and dependant on God than ever before.

I am so thankful for the progress that I have made this last year in not just those three areas but other areas of my life. While I learned a lot from this last year, I think the main thing I learned was the power of living life on purpose. Here are some of those insights.

  1. Living life on purpose brings lifelong change. I have lived life on purpose, and I have also let life happen to me “as it may”, and now I see the difference between the two. I started last year with three goals in mind. Defining and setting those goals helped me to direct every decision that I made this last year. In essence, my life now has a road map, a compass, and a vehicle for movement. I have changed because I had a plan to change.
  2. Living life on purpose brings wisdom and understanding. I can look back and see that during this past year, I learned more about life and myself than any other year. Living on purpose brought that. Psalm 90:12 says it best: “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I numbered 365 of them and it caused me to gain wisdom and understanding.
  3. Living life on purpose brings more purpose.  Living life on purpose last year has filled me with more purpose for this upcoming year. I don’t know exactly why getting control of your life fills you with more vision, but it does. I have a greater vision for my life today then I did when I started this 365 days ago. Purpose begets more purpose!

This is not the end of 365to50 but really the beginning. Next week I will post my new goals for the New Year! A very good friend of mine shared with me that today is Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of a new year according to God’s calendar. He called this “the year of open doors to new opportunities.” I believe that and I am ready to define and set my course for my next 365 days until! I encourage you to do the same and watch what happens when you live life on purpose. Meet me back here next week, and let’s do it together!

What will make you change your life?

I began 365to50 last September when I was getting ready to turn 49 years old. I wanted to chronicle a year of my life before I turned 50. My goal was to help myself and others as I worked to change my life in three specific areas.

  • Lose Weight: I was almost 300 lbs when I started this journey, but now I am under 250 lbs.
  • Write my first book: Last year I had nothing but an idea in my head, the same idea that had been there for the last 15 years. Now, although I am still far from completion, I have character descriptions, chapter ideas, plot lines and a developing outline.
  •  Grow closer to God: My faith is deeper than it has ever been before! I am not the same follower of Christ that I was this time last year.

When I look at the three goals that I set for 365to50, I see one common goal in all three. 365to50 is all about changing my life! Here are some key thoughts that I have learned regarding change. I pray that they help you in your journey.

  1. Change is inevitable! Your life will change over the next 365 days whether you like it or not. The question is what will change about your life. I saw a series of pictures the other day of a teacher who wore the same shirt in all of the school pictures that he took during his career. It was amazing to see pictures from 1973 until 2003, all with the same man wearing the same shirt in every picture. While the shirt never changed, the man continued to change, from a young man to an older man.  You can never stop change from happening to you, but you can choose how and what you decide to change. “You are the captain of your own ship and while you can’t stop the wind, the tide or the currents, but you can set the direction and chart a course for where you want to go.”
  2. Time is a gift for change! Each new year brings you the wonderful gift of being able to change more. Think of it! Another year means that you will not die like you are right now. With another year, You get the gift of time and experience. Used wisely, that gift will make you a better person tomorrow than you are today. Time is a gift from God to change who you really are for all of eternity!
  3. Change will always look different in the end! When I set my goals to change my life last September, I had expectations of how it would all look when I turned 50 years old. It is not looking exactly like I thought it would, but that is not a bad thing at all. The reason it looks different is mainly due to the fact that parts of my original goals changed along the way. Certain things became a little more important during the journey, and like a good captain I adjusted my course slightly. Have you ever gone on a vacation and the destination looks a little different than what you thought it would look like? Well, you’re still glad that you’re on vacation, and you may even be pleasantly surprised that its even better than what you first expected.

What will change your life? Time will change your life. Treat it as a gift from God and maximize every moment of it to direct your course in the direction that you want to go in. Live life on purpose and live like your life depends on it, because it does!

Six keys to weight loss and reaching your weight goal!

Since starting the 365to50 challenge I have lost almost 40 pounds. I had determined not to do any fad diets as I really wanted to take a full year to try and find what would help me not only lose the weight but also to keep it off. When I started this process I weighed around 298 lbs. Today I am around 260 lbs and I really feel that I will be near 220 lbs by my 50th birthday in September. Here are the 6 key things that have really helped me. They are simple steps to long term results. If you are looking to lose weight, I really hope one of them helps you on your journey!

1. Having a long term goal.  This really helped me tremendously as it took me awhile to get started. I never became discouraged because I still had a long time to accomplish my overall goal of losing weight and experiencing better health.

2. Tracking my calories on the “Lose it App“. Being able to see what I was eating and making the type of good choices that really count have made a huge difference. There is a big difference between a hamburger that is 400 calories and one that is 1200 calories!

3. Going to bed hungry. I was taught this saying by my friend Joe Christiano, “Go to be hungry and you will wake up lean”. This one thing, when I do it, makes an incredible difference. Remember you really lose weight at night!

4. Get a decent nights sleep. Back to what I said in last point, You lose weight at night. Some say sleeping is just as important as exercise and I would agree.

5. Find a type of exercise that you really enjoy. For me the key is bike ridding. I really love ridding my bike so I am more prone to do it. If your exercise is hated you will only do it long enough to lose a little weight. Find one that you like and challenge yourself with longer periods or harder workouts. For it to work you really need to like doing it just on its own.

6. Find someone to keep you accountable and to also encourage you. My daughter Brittnee is not only my daughter she is also my coach. She helps me to schedule my workouts and also helps me to eat right. I have an agreement with her if I don’t do what I have agreed to, that I will owe her $5. She calls it her Cancun Fund. I have Paid her about $45 so far. We started this because I would rather suffer the pain of $5 now rather than the pain of regret in September when I had missed my goal.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and please let me know how this blog or post is helping you in your journey!

Quitters Can be Winners!

RunnerWe’ve all heard the adage “winners never quit and quitters never win.” No doubt, this is one of the truest statements ever been forged by man. If you’ve played sports or been part of a team, at one time or another you’ve had the urge to drop out. Just like sports, the temptation to quit in life hits all of us at some point or another. Believe it or not, there are times that even champions do give up and quit.

When you quit something that you really wanted to finish, you can feel defeated or even heartbroken. Sadly, it can even haunt you for years to come. This week as I was praying I felt impressed that some of the community that reads this blog may just be struggling with the temptation to quit something that’s really important to them. I also felt that some of you might be still struggling with the disappointment of something you quit years ago.

As I approach my 50th birthday and work toward my three goals of losing weight, writing my first book and growing closer to God, I have been tempted to quit several times. I know what it is like to face the temptation to quit, and I know the pain and disappointment of quitting something that really mattered. Today, I am going to spin some random thoughts on the idea that sometimes “Quitters Can Become Winners”:

Quitting Point #1

“Once a quitter always a quitter?” While I understand the point and the lesson this can teach, could also probably cause more damage than good. The truth is that not everyone who quits in life will be a quitter for the rest of their life. If that were true than the Apostle Peter, who quit on Jesus 3 different times, would have also quit on him in Rome! If this was true, every great businessman who ever declared bankruptcy would have never been successful in business again. The key is to remember that some of the greatest people in the world have quit at one time or another. They just eventually made the decision to quit quitting on the things that matter.

 

Quitting Point #2

“Quitters can make great comebacks.” In life, the most inspiring stories are not the stories of the perfect kid who never fails and always wins. We are most moved and inspired by the stories of those who have failed and yes, even quit, to eventually overcome and win in the end. Why is that? I believe its because everyone struggles with failure and quitting, and we find hope for our own lives through the stories of those who have overcome it. Feel like a quitter or a failure? You’re just positioned for an incredible comeback!

Quitting Point #3

“It’s all in how you view quitting—and what it actually is that you are quitting.” I bet you have never have thought of champions as quitters. How can that be, you ask? Personally, for me to reach my 3 goals by my 50th birthday in September, I am having to quit a lot of things. I have to quit the habit of eating late at night. Now, for my natural man, eating when I want to eat is a daily “goal.” After all, it makes me feel good, and my brain strives to do things that make it happy. However, I have to become a quitter in this regard if I am ever going to become a winner. I also have to quit procrastinating when it comes to writing. I have gotten really good at procrastination but now I have to learn how to be good at quitting it. Yes, this is a play on words, but being a quitter can actually be a powerful thing. It’s all in what you are choosing to quit!

Today I want all of us to realize three things:

“Once a quitter, not always a quitter.”

“Quitters can make inspiring comebacks.”

“Quitters can be winners, it’s all in controlling what you choose to quit.”

What shouldn’t you (or should you) quit today? Leave me a comment below!

Don’t forget to follow 365to50 on Facebook and Twitter!

Losses, Gains, and Trips to Mexico

The Cancun Fund
The Cancun Fund

This week I posted a picture on the 365to50 Facebook  page and asked you to take a guess at what it was. Some of you correctly guessed that the picture of the cash in the jar was of the money—or rather the fines—that I am paying to Brittnee. Under the current deal, every time I miss a deadline or fail to lose the minimum number of pounds that I agreed to each week, I have to pay her $5. Brittnee calls it her “Cancun Fund.” As you can see, I’ve already added to that jar before!

I hate having money fly out of my wallet. It reminds me of the guy in the Geico commercial who’s paying too much for his motorcycle insurance. The producers show the money falling off of his body as he is driving down the road, and it illustrates what you would see if you could actually see the cost of what you’re losing by choosing one of their competitors. What if we could actually see the cost of our decisions before we made them?

It's raining money!
It’s raining money!

This brings me to this weeks installment of my 365to50 story. As I have to look at the Cancun Jar everyday (because it is just outside my bedroom, conveniently placed there like the drive-thru at the bank) I am consistently reminded that I am paying a price for missing my goals. While I dislike losing money, I am aware of that it’s not just money I am losing but also time and opportunity. Money gives me a tangible way to feel the loss. I was praying about it the other day, and came to this realization:

We are always paying a price! The question is this: is it being invested or is it being lost?!

When I ride my bike, I pay the price of effort and some sweat equity. That equity is actually being invested in my health, my future and my well-being, and there will be a return of something better in the future. On the other hand, if I skip my workouts and choose to lay on the couch eating chocolate chip cookies, I also pay a price. The difference is this: this price is not being invested, but rather it is lost. It cumulates into losses in health, time and opportunity to become the better me. When I put those $5 bills in Brittnee’s Cancun Fund Jar, I am paying a price and it is a loss. The only return for that deal is a happy daughter who gets to go to Cancun while I sit at home with cookies.

Here are some things that I think we all need to consider in light of paying the price, either as an investment or a loss.

1. Words.  What if we could see how powerful our words were before we said them? Like that jar, every word we say can add to our life or subtract from it. Are your words investing in those around you or taking away something?

2.Taking care of your body. This one is so important as we get older. Think about the price we are paying for either great health, or the price we pay in dealing with sickness and or disease.

3. Unforgiveness/Forgiveness. Either way it cost you! It may cost you some pride and maybe an awkward conversation to forgive, but the price of unforgivness is surely a loss.

4. Debt. We can either pay the price to get out of debt, which is an investment in our future, or we can pay the price of continual interest on debt that goes unpaid.

5. Being Thankful. It cost us a little effort and thought to be thankful, but what a price we pay if we are never thankful! That is an investment that really comes back overtime. Either way, it’s your choice. Your still paying a price either way.

6. Laziness. The price of laziness is called “going broke.” It is so much better to pay the price of hard work and receive the reward for it.

7. Family/Relationships. The price for spending time with your family is quality time. The price for not spending that quality time, although it might not be seen immediately, is distance and loss of connection or intimacy.

When we can actually see the price, it makes it makes such a big difference in the choices we make. As we approach this weekend and we celebrate the greatest sacrifice and miracle of all time, we should look at the price that Christ paid for all us. Talk about an investment! His life, sacrifice and resurrection continues to bring an exponential return. I never will forget when the movie “The Passion” came out and all of us saw through the power of cinema the incredible price Christ paid.  For me, any of us that serve and follow Christ, it should inspire us even more to live for Him and His glory. It is important for us to stop and see the price that is being paid.

Either way, be it for an investment or a loss, we need to pause and reflect on it. Start to make investments this week!