Diet Tip #2


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



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


A New Begining

This post is just to update everyone that follows this blog that I am continuing to work on changing my life in these areas.

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Finish My First Book
  3. Pursue The Destiny God Has For Me


I started on December the 14th to focus on just one thing. To lose weight! A good friend had come into town and I didn’t even recognize him. He had lost over 60lbs. I asked him how he had did it and he shared the following with me.

The Perfect Diet

  • Eat Paleo. There are all kinds of website you can read to learn how you can eat like a “Caveman” or a “Hunter”. I recommend this one Paleo Diet if you can’t find one. Remember even as you look at this sight there is flexibility.
  • Eat a Low Calorie, Low Carb Diet.  in the beginning. For my size, I began at 6ft 285 lbs, I needed to stay at between 1300 to 1500 calories every day and keep my carbs under 30 net carbs a day.
  • Eat Organic. From organic fruits and vegetables to grass feed beef and butter, Organic is better!
  • Drink a lot of Water! I am drinking half my body weight in water everyday. Yes, I go the bathroom a lot but honestly I have been living a dehydrated life for years. This one change has made all the difference.
  • Healthy oils make up 70% of my daily calories. From Olive Oil, to nuts to Avocado. Healthy fats need to be the largest part of this lifestyle.
  • Coconut oil. While there may not be any miracle foods that can do everything, I can tell you that Coconut Oil is a close as you can get to finding one that can change your health. Just read online or listen to what Dr Oz says about it. Coconut Oil Dr. Oz
  • Reset my body by being on a ketogenic Diet. Truly burning fat while eating healthy organic food is causing my body to use my own fat to run my body. I recommend this website to learn more. Ketogenic Diet

I have lost 21 pounds in four weeks eating this way, but the most exciting thing is that I have learned that I can eat this way for the rest of my life. Sure, I will add more healthy carbs in later on. but I am loving this food. In short I do not feel deprived. No more insulin spikes and out of control hunger at night before bed. I have replaced bad carbs with things like nuts and Coconut oil. The healthy fats keep me satisfied and keep me from having the hunger cravings that sent me into another bag of chips at 10pm.

I am getting back to my weekly blog next week. I hope this has encouraged someone to make this year the year that you change something in your life. Please feel free to comment and for those that respond that want to make changes this year, I will add you to my prayer list.


Coach Don

Taking Life In! Finding balance between living and growing.

As I get closer to the end of my 365to50 journey, I have learned so many life lessons. One of the biggest is that even when you are working on a great goal, you have to stop and take life in. The hardest thing hasn’t been the 40 mile bike rides or 6 a.m. swimming sessions, it has been finding that delicate balance between working for the future and living in the present. How do I share time between my goals of being in shape and becoming an author with family dinners? If we stop growing, we give up the person we are supposed to become, but we must be people who achieve their goals without losing what’s important.

Last week my wife Tracee and I joined our best friends, Jeff and Linda Welker, in Chicago for the wedding of their youngest daughter Kaleigh to her fiancee Bill. One thing that stood out to me as I watched the wedding was how each moment counted. Each individual moment in that evening would never happen again; they were, in a sense, eternal. The procession, the presenting of the bride, the vows, the toast, the special dance Jeff had with his daughter and the tossing of the bouquet. All these moments were once-in-a-lifetime. That’s why we pay photographers thousands of dollars to capture them—because we know they’ll never happen again.

So how do I find the balance between achieving my goals of losing weight and writing a book, and still making the most of every moment? Here is what I believe helps me keep my priorities while still becoming a skinny author who loves God.

1. Have long-term goals. When you are in such a hurry to get somewhere, you feel the pressure to cut out everything else except for that which takes you to your goal. I set my goals almost a year ago. This allowed me time to live regular life while making small steps toward my goals. Small steps really do matter! I didn’t have to exclude my family from my life so that I could go after my goals. I had long-term goals, and small steps allowed me to keep the balance between being a husband and father, while becoming a triathlete and an author. What are your long-term goals, and what are your small steps?

2. Be Present for the Eternal Moments of Life. What are the eternal moments of life? These are moments you would choose above achieving your goals if you only had one month to live. I would choose to laugh with my wife and family during dinner instead of writing a best-selling novel if I had 30 days to live, but I wouldn’t choose surfing facebook over writing my first book if I had only 30 days. Yesterday I came home from a hard day at work to find my family having a cannonball splash contest in the pool. Everyone wanted me to join. I had a lot to do and a bike ride planned, but I was in my swimsuit within 3 minutes and made the biggest and best cannonball splash of the evening. My granddaughter laughed at me as I became a kid again, jumping into a carefree pool full of water and eternal moments. Do you recognize eternal moments when they pop up?

3. Cut Out the Stuff That Does Not Matter. What are you giving your time to that doesn’t 1) produce eternal moments, or 2) lead to achieving the goals that God has for you? Come on, don’t hold back! Have you been on any extended lunches with other people who you wouldn’t spend the last 30 days of your life with? There’s nothing wrong with having lunch with friends, but what would happen if you only did that 2 days a week and spent the other 3 eating at your desk and working on your goals? Maybe you need to trade some of your television for reading, studying, writing, whatever. Are you willing to cut out or limit things you wouldn’t do if you only had 30 days to live?

You will only get one chance to live your life and achieve your goals. I love the picture above of Jeff dancing with his daughter Kaleigh. He got both things right. He had a goal that he had to achieve as a father and a provider, but he was also present and living in the moment.

The good news is that you, too, can have both! You can achieve your goals and grow into the person you are supposed to become. Leave me a comment below and let me know how you plan to do that this week!

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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!

Do You Want Fries With That?

Today I had one of the biggest victories so far in my year-long goal to change my life before my 50th birthday.

As I had shared in The Escape Hatch, I am great with personal goals when the sun is shining and the bills are paid, but bring me a few trials or tribulations and I really have a hard time staying on track. This is especially true with my weight. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve blown it, just as I’m starting to make progress. Thankfully today was not one of those days! As lunchtime was approaching, so were the invitations to join others at every glorious food-trap from Golden Corral to a local Mexican favorite. Luckily, I had a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A meal, so I declined the invitations as quickly as I could and headed straight for the drive-thru at chicken nugget heaven.

The line which greeted me was so long. I waited and waited. I could feel my hunger growing while my patience was shrinking. Finally, I got to the window and was handed my bag of tantalizing golden goodness. I just love Chick-fil-A. My favorite item is their famous Chicken Sandwich. Served on a wheat bun with no butter, this sandwich is a wonderful low-calorie option. As I pulled out of the drive through I could smell—and almost taste—the sandwich. I decide to go ahead eat my sandwich as I drove back to work. As I reached into the bag I did not find my sandwich, but instead a hot container of waffle fries! I had forgotten to ask them to substitute the fruit cup for fries, a practice which Chick-fil-A will always do for a small upcharge. I was so hungry, and everything in me wanted to eat the 500-plus calorie container of delicious fries. It’s at this point that I made a decision; one which was the opposite of my natural feelings or desires. I took the fries out of the bag, and before I could talk myself out of it, I dumped them into the garbage can at the corner. I might have been wasting food, but better to waste the food then my life. My quick decision made it impossible for my willpower to battle my desire. Once you lose willpower, you find yourself giving in to your desires on a grander scale. Have you ever thought, “I’ve already blown it, might as well get dessert too?”  Here are some helpful points to ponder while pursuing your goals.


“Before I could talk myself out of it, I dumped them into the garbage can at the corner.”

1. When you know something isn’t going to get you where you want to go, make a quick decision to remove it or remove yourself from its influence or presence. Don’t give yourself the chance to slip; do it quickly. If I would have taken those fries back to work with me to give to a hungry co-worker, I would have been that hungry co-worker and enjoyed the hot fries for myself.

2. Out of Sight, Out of Mind. Think of how Eve fell to the serpents plan in the Garden of Eden: “When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it” (Genesis 3:6). Are there things within your sight that aren’t helping you to achieve your goals? Are you looking at or listening to negative talk which discourage you about life or the future? If they’re not helping you, don’t look at them or listen to them! I was not tempted by the hot fries because I could not see them. If I could still see them later on, especially as the day wore on, I would have dived into them.

3. Plan to Succeed, Not to Fail. You’ve heard it before: failing to plan is planning to fail. I had a plan to get fruit instead of fries at Chick-fil-A,  but forgot to follow through on that plan when I ordered. There have been many times that I have forgotten to pack a healthy lunch or light snack, only to find myself giving into a bad lunch invitation later. If I would have planned and prepared, I would not have failed.

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The Escape Hatch

This week I found myself getting a little sidetracked by some unexpected trials and obstacles. A few weeks ago, I had one of the best bike rides of the year on a chilly February Saturday—which promptly handed me a serious sinus infection and bronchitis. Just when I had begun to make progress again, I could barely breathe. At about the same time, challenges arose at work and I found it almost impossible to focus on my well-laid plans for achieving my goals.  It is hard enough to stay disciplined and focused when I have a normal week with fairly normal hours, but when the normal is interrupted with trials and hardships it becomes even harder to stay focused. What is the unexpected trial that has popped up and threatened your progress towards your goals this week? Financial hardship? Issues with friends, partners, children? Catching “the bug” that’s going around?

We have often heard the term “comfort food”; for some of us, when we want or need comfort in our trials we wrongly can turn to food to help us feel better. It’s amazing how easy things are when the sun is shining and the bills are paid, but it can all go off-course when an obstacle harries our day and tempts us to reach for our favorite treat.  Some trials are truly so serious that a detour is definitely prescribed, but hopefully those serious trials are rare. The question then is what do we do to stay on track when those lesser trials hit us? When we get sick, when we get under job stress, or when we have problems in our relationships. We can all go on and on about the sneaky problems which derail our good efforts, the question is “how do we stay focused in trials?”

1. Force yourself to look beyond today. Whatever the current trial is, it will not last forever. It has a limited lifespan. Knowing that it will not last forever enables us to look past it. To look beyond it. We can’t get lost in it. When the dust of this trial settles, where will we really want to be?

2. Turn to God and set your mind on him. Looking to God gives us peace. He’s a faithful God who will keep you in perfect peace when your mind is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). In this, God will give you peace and peace will give you the ability to focus and get through the trial.

3. Look for the escape hatch. God will lead out of that temptation or past that obstacle if you let Him. Remember, God told us that we will face all kinds of trials, but he also promised that for every trial that he would provide a way to escape it or overcome it:

1 Corinthians 10:13 The Message (MSG)

“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”

What temptation or obstacle must you overcome today?  

If you haven’t already, “Like” my 365to50 Facebook page, or find me on Twitter at @donlnewman, and share your goals and your journey to achieve them with me! I can’t wait to hear from you!