Weight-loss and the Relationship you have with your Scale!

Weight-loss and the Relationship you have with your Scale!

For those that didn’t read another blog of mine on weight-loss; I’m a slow learner and this is the third time that I have had to lose a significant amount of weight.  Each time I have have lost, I have maintained that loss for at least 10 years and some tragedy or stress has taken me out of my rhythm and I love to eat, so that has been my comfort.

Many popular diet programs say that you need to only see your scale once a week.  That has never worked for me.  The idea is that you look at the whole and don’t get freaked out about fluctuations.  Those variances, however, tell a story.

I need to see my scale everyday…

If I look at my periods of weight gain, they are periods where I have not been seeing my scale.  If there are even a few weights together, there is a dip in my weight that follows.  When I step on my friendly scale everyday, this is always weight-loss.

Yes there are days and a few times a few days that I have stayed the same or even gained and have not exceeded 800 calories on any of those days.  This is where you need to be patient and understand that this is a direct ratio, but there are many factors.   Did I get extra salt?  Are there certain foods that I shouldn’t eat?  More for another blog.  Salt is the biggest culprit and the best news when this happens because that means there is a water/hydration issue and drinking more water will fix it.  Salt is in many prepared and restaurant foods.  I even go off diet and introduce some caffeine and that fixes it in a day or two.  There are other tricks, but they are plan dependent.

My advice…

Remember advice is worth what you pay for it and this advice is from a priest and not a doctor.  I have to get on the scale every day.  Everyday see the damage I caused the day before.  I can’t stand an upward trend and self correct.  Even on last maintenance period when I was bad and didn’t get on scale, 2 pounds appeared.  Getting on the scale fixed that.

Your scale is your friend!  It likes low numbers!

Reverence, how do we or should we show reverence….

Reverence, how do we or should we show reverence….

I was asked today about how I project reverence.  That took me back a little, because I’ve struggled with that question.   I don’t really think that working at showing reverence is appropriate.  How do we show reverence?  Kneeling?  Folding our hands?  By what we wear?  The prayers we say out loud?  I don’t think it is any of those things by themselves.

Reverence is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

1 :honor or respect felt or shown :deferenceespecially :profound adoring awed respect
:a gesture of respect (such as a bow)
:the state of being revered
:one held in reverence used as a title for a clergyman
So what does that mean for me?

On Ash Wednesday, I find the readings challenging.  We are told to pray in quiet and not to mark ourselves, and yet we do just that.  We put a big black cross on our forehead.  I reconcile that because our intent is to show our humanity and frailty, not that we are fasting.  We show our dependence on God.

We all see those people doing things to be noticed.  The person with the wad a prayer cards or the 30 rosaries dangling from their hands, arms and neck.  Any overtly obvious sign to look at them praying or being holy.  We have all seen it.  This doesn’t apply to all.  I think of the widow and the one coin, the woman at the well, the tax collectors and all those Jesus lifted up and they all have one thing in common, they were humble and simple of faith. Simple, doesn’t mean shallow, but unencumbered.  Simple faith can be the deepest.  We know when we meet those people too.

So how do I show reverence?

By respecting all of God’s people.  Whenever I slip and think or say bad things about someone, I feel that I have not been reverent to God’s creation.  Same is true with self-talk, we need to respect ourselves.  As a priest, it is about being respectful of my duties.  It isn’t my Mass, it isn’t your Mass.  All our official liturgies belong to the Church.  I show reverence, by doing them as closely as possible to what the Church intended.  I show reverence by being the best possible priest that I can.  Showing reverence is being all of who God created us to be.

Thoughts about losing weight and my VLCD or Very Low Calorie Diet.

Thoughts about losing weight and my VLCD or Very Low Calorie Diet.

With all the questions that I have been getting, I thought I would take some time and explain a few things here.  I am on a VLCD or Very Low Calorie Diet eating between 500 and 800 calories a day.  For those that don’t know me, on July 15th I weighted 284 pounds and am way too short for that weight, 5’11”.  I have had issues for years and it isn’t new.  My parents would give me incentives to run as a kid.

In Grad School, Theology, my second year I decided to lose weight and started running.  I was able to run 10K’s in 40 minutes and won the McGuire AFB 5K in 1986 with a time under 17 minutes.  I kept this up for years and started cycling and was finishing Ride the Rockies in the top 50 every day.  This was an annual cycling tour of the Rockies with over 2000 participants.   All was good till things went sort of bad in my personal life and the weight came back.  My eating and lifestyle took me away from anything healthy.  One day, a button popped of my pants at a chamber function and I knew I needed a change.  This time I lost about 50 lbs and focused on cycling.

What I accomplished the second time…

I was riding 4000 miles a year until 2008 when my dad died.  And it was  friend that had my out on New Years Eve to get my last 35 miles to reach 4000 that year.  That year started the weight gain.  My mom needed help and traveling with a bike wasn’t easy and when she got sick and died 18 months later, exercises was gone and I resorted to comfort food.  I think all the kids gained weight.  We all love to cook and eat.  Here is from when I got this scale and what I  have done.

Weight-loss Part 3

The graph shows that I have attempted many times to lose weight, but lost my focus.  I get distracted, upset or other things seem important.  The first time I lost, I had the seminary and my vocation director who would run with me to keep me on track.  The second time, I went to LA Weight Loss and I guess I can blame them for weight gain as they closed down their stores here.  JUST KIDDING, all my fault.  They had a great accountability program and you got 1/2 your money back if you kept weight off for a year.

I need a motivation and I am not good a doing things like this in moderation.  A VLCD is perfect for me.  The scale moves almost every day in the right direction.  I need that.  I will write another post on just how I use the scale and how it is an important part of what I have learned about myself and my weight.


I had a very bad dizzy spell in sacristy (vesting room in Catholic Church) and had forgot blood pressure meds and BP was 192/112.  I went to doctor and on the paperwork it said morbidly obese.  That struck me, and she wanted to do blood work.  I had a feeling from blood work last year that I wasn’t going to like the results.  I bought a glucometer and my blood sugar was 197.  (should be around 100)  With blood work I would be labeled a diabetic and it was all my fault.

I went to a parish physician and said I needed help and needed to lose this weight quickly to get my numbers back in line.  He suggested the cr500 diet.  I am not going to debate if it is healthy.  Remember, I am not a Doctor, but in under three months, I have lost almost 6o lbs.  I have gone from numerous BP pills to normal, UNREGULATED BP.  My a1c was 5.4 which means my blood sugar is consistently good.  That is the good news, the bad news, is that I have 40 more pounds to lose.

Finally, For this post…

The only thing I will say about this diet in terms of being healthy, being 284 was not healthy, I am much healthier now then I have been in a very long time.  I am getting more deep sleep a night then I was getting in 2 or 3 weeks before.  Sleep, blood pressure & blood sugar/glucose numbers read as normal!  All those things are fixed, so I will not debate if this is healthy or not.

Remember, I have lost weight and maintained before.  Unfortunately, I am a pro at this.  As a doctor that has known me for all 3 losses said, you just need the weight off so that you can get back on your bike.  For me moderation in this area of my life is hard, this is actually much easier.

Coming posts will share more of what I learned, but needed to clarify this first.  Hope it helps.  I feel amazing and it will only get better.

2 suicides- one day. Please get to those maybe thinking of suicide

2 suicides- one day. Please get to those maybe thinking of suicide

Modified a little, this was on Facebook last week.  But with funerals this week, decided to also post here.

I’m sitting here a bit dazed. I’ve been a chaplain at a level one trauma center and am usually pretty unflappable, but today has me thinking and praying! 2 people working or attending my parish lost siblings to suicide today. So please, if you, or someone you know are at risk, please know there are people that care. Even people you may not know, care. The incredible pain this causes those who your life has touched is immeasurable.

If you are not sure if you can take another day, or know someone that might be feeling that way, call a church, call the suicide hotline or go to an emergency room. Always better safe than sorry!

No matter what you think right now, your life does matter. If you truly believe that no-one cares, know you were created for a purpose and ending your life in noway serves that purpose.

Here is the number for the suicide hotline. They have a chat option too in case you can’t call privately or can bring yourself to talk about it. Just google suicide hotline or call…

Click here

or call 1-800-273-8255.

Or the Boys Town HOTLINE:

1-800-448-3000  FOR EVERYONE, but just boys.