Unconscious Calories? Really!

DO you really need to eat that?

Unconscious Calories? Really!

As I settled into the New Year, I realize just how many unconscious calories I consume. Do you do that, too?

The entire first three years of my journey were based around tracking calories, trends, habits and so on. I kept a spread sheet the entire three years because I did not trust ME! 53 years of bad lifestyle choices and habits will do that to you. I had to really work to break bad habits and work to develop/build good lifestyle habits. Hard but very worthwhile.

So, back to unconscious calories. After logging and tracking for three years I realized how many ‘unconscious calories’ I was consuming when I was 360 pounds. No thought, no effort to track, no conscious healthy choices. Some things I did that can still creep back in at times are :

  • Well first, I am sitting at Starbucks right now AND I use to drink 2 to 3 Venti Caffe Mochas a day! WOW, almost 500 calories a pop. 1,000 to 1,500 calories a day with NO nutritional value and loaded with sugar—45 grams per drink. Does have 5 grams of fiber !
  • SO that leads us to ‘unconscious calories’ that we drink! I use to drink sodas and since I use to go to fastfood joints, I would ‘supersize’ them. These sodas and more that I dank during a day could lead to another 800-1,000 calories, See a trend.
  • Fastfood- talk about ‘unconscious calories’! I supersized everything. Lets just look at one place, BK> small fry and coke to supersizing equals 280 to 880 calories. It’s simple, “Sir, would you like to supersize that meal?” Sure, what’s another 600 calories to a guy that weighs 360 pounds.
  • Sugar (processed, the white stuff), the emptiest calories I know. Candy, ice cream, gum, and just about anything sweet! Bag of candy, yes please. Large ice cream, yes please. ……….
  • There are all sorts of empty calories we consume every day— gum, chips, that last item at check out, half & half, and the list goes on.

I have these bad habits, these ‘unconscious calories’, calling my name to this day. They find their way into my life when I’m stressed, tired, in a rut, almost any way they can. 6 plus years of working on healthy habits still does not ‘outweigh’ 53 years of bad lifestyle habits.

So what to do? What do I do? What do you do?

  • DON’T kick yourself. If you recognize it, you can fix it.
  • Create a log for at least a week of everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you consume. Then, LOOK AT IT.
  • Make this commitment, do NOT drink your calories. WATER, WATER, WATER.
  • Try giving up the processed sugar. I had to do this for a year and still struggle with it.
  • Ditch Fast Food or at least try to search out the healthy choices. Ummm, NEVER SUPERSIZE.
  • We are all online. Google it if you are not sure.
  • STOP! If it goes in your mouth, STOP for a moment and ask, “What am I consuming? ‘Unconscious calories’?!

Small changes and a focus on new healthy habits can make a world of difference.

Note to ME and YOU: Just think! Think about what you are putting in your body and then make the smart choice. (Not always easy, but soooooo worthwhile)

Mike, TheFatGuy




If YOU want something different, YOU need to do something different

Or The definition of insanity!

If YOU want something different, YOU need to do something different

Simple thoughts jump out at me all day long and I seldom take the time to jot them down. Think that will be one of the things I work on during the 2016.

This sentence popped into my head this morning as I prepared for the day—“If YOU want something different, YOU need to do something different.” This is something I know from my life and my journey, but happened to jump out at me this morning. Many times in my life I have wanted something ‘different’ and made the decision to do something ‘different’ to get what I wanted.

Any significant ‘different’ thing I have wanted has taken a significant ‘different’ approach, a change in me and in my habits. Habits can be what get you there are sabotage your journey, your wanting something different. I’ve had many bad habits in my life that I have changed with focused pray, thought, and action. I’m a grateful recovering alcoholic (since 1984) and I ditched the nicotine habit in 1986. Significant changes that took significant ‘different’ approaches to life to make the shift, to attain the goal.

The latest significant change in my life came in 2009 when I started on my present health and wellness journey. I was 360 pounds, in horrible shape and health. I knew it would take a significantly ‘different’ approach to make the shift, to drop the pounds, to get control of my life one more time. You see, I had 53 years of bad lifestyle habits to overcome. A significant shift, a significantly different approach.

So, what did I do different to make the shift, to lose 150 pounds? Let’s make a short list:

  • I made my mind up that I was the most important person in the fire. If I could not take care of myself, help myself, I could not help anyone else in life.
  • I made a conscious effort to make my change a journey and not and A to B diet/goal.
  • I created a spreadsheet that a logged on daily for 3 years to make my change ‘stick’
  • I started drinking ½ ounce of water per pound f body weight daily, starting first thing in the morning each day.
  • I gave up processed sugar for a year!
  • And the rest of the list is at http://fatguydiary.com/where-did-thefatguy-start/

As you can see a significant shift. I did things significantly different to do something  significantly different in my life—lose 150 pounds!

Now I am once more doing something significantly different and you can help me with it. I am working to help more people find physical and financial freedom in 2016. If you know anyone that wants to lose weight, improve how they feel, or create financial freedom for themselves, have them contact me. I like to help people, I want to help people improve their lives. I would love to share my success and strategy with others.

Thank You for reading and Thank You for any help you can give me!

Note to ME and YOU: If you want something significantly different, do things significantly different in your life. You know what Albert Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.

TheFatGuy, Mike

PS That is my wonderful wife in the pic with me. She provided the #inspiration for my #transformation!

2009 to 2015 MFC PPC JPEG

What’s your WHY?

Change your life, Change the world.....

Something I have been thinking about and dwelling on recently is “What’s your WHY?”   It is something I have had to come to grips with a number of times in my life. Most times my “WHY” just jumps out at me. I have an AHA moment that changes my life. Other times, I have to think about it, pray about it, and have it come to me.

The Fat Guy on the Bridge

Why change my life? Why quit drinking? Why quit smoking? Why change careers when I am at the peak of one? Why lose weight after being overweight all my life? All of these are actual “Why’s” in my lifetime. As I look back I know I have been driven by my “Why’s”.

My “Why” may have been a little different in each situation, but they all came back to ‘me becoming a better me to best help and serve my family, friends and community. I have always enjoyed helping others in my life and have learned the hard lesson that I needed to help me, so I could be the best me to help others.

Do you know your “WHY”? If you want to make any substantial change in your life, know your “Why”, embrace your “Why”, and own your “Why”. Some things to do, some questions to ask to find your why:

  • Write it down
  • What are the first thoughts that come to mind?
  • How do you want to make a difference?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What makes you feel alive?

Find your “Why” and YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!

Note to ME and YOU: Embrace your “WHY” and change your life, change the world!

30 YEARS!!! This is dedicated to the ONE I LOVE! #blessed #thankful

You may say 30 years is a LONG time. It is and it isn’t. The last 30 years has flown by when it comes to my life with my wonderful wife. We have experienced all of the highs and lows of life and marriage. We have been up and down, right and wrong, happy and sad, and through it all we have come out with 30 years of great memories.wedding pic

I must say, I have been the clear winner in our relationship. I have benefited in so many ways from Polly being in my life, putting up with my ups and downs, dealing with my weight, job demands, and ME. Polly has been the significant force that has allowed me to accomplish anything important in life. I am thankful for Polly for a number of reasons and I will list a few of the BIG ones here:

  • Polly supported and loved me through a majority of my 28 ½ year career in Ops Management at the SC Port Authority. She saw me go from terminal to terminal and operation to operation. She dealt with my all-in attitude and supported long hours and intense focus on the job at hand while not focusing as much on her and other things in my life. Anyone that I was able to positively impact during my time there has Polly to thank because she supported me and loved me unconditionally while I was investing time in others.
  • Polly supported my decision to leave the Ports Authority the last day of December 2004 to chase a dream of saving a nonprofit that had become near and dear to my heart, the local Boys & Girls Clubs. She knew I would go ALL-IN and she knew it would mean much time invested in the kids and organization with less time invested in her. She supported the 70 hour weeks for 3 ½ years and she loved me through it all. She loved me through going from 300 to 360 pounds. She loved me through an injury I sustained the summer of 2006 and drove me everywhere I needed to be. She loved me even though my weight, health, mind, and soul were becoming worn out and wore down. She loved me even though she was scared for my life with all of the health issues the weight and lifestyle had lumped on me.
  • Polly has done many things for me during our relationship, many significant things. The most significant to me was saving my life in February 2009. She told me “The Fire Story” that quite literally saved my life. It was the story that created that AHA moment that started me on my journey of weight loss. It was the story that got me to see I needed to Take Care of ME if I was ever going to be able to help and support anyone else in my life. It created that spark and momentum for me to lose 150 pounds. This helped me to shed 7 medications, a CPAP machine, and other health related issues.

febr 12 2009a_1

To say I am a much better person with Polly Porter-Campbell in my life is an understatement. She is the spark that makes me go, she is the light that guides my way, she is the love of my life that completes me in so many ways.

Thank You Polly for agreeing to marry me 30 years ago today! Thank You Polly for making this roller coaster ride so enjoyable and meaningful. Thank You for being YOU!

Note to ME and YOU: My prayer for all of us is that we have at least one person in our lives that supports us, loves us for who we are, and sometimes saves our life.

PPC and MFC AUg 8 2015

Warning: This is NOT a political post, it is a post about LOVE!

Warning: This is NOT a political post, it is a post about LOVE!

I have consciously tuned out the news for about 4 weeks. I’ve allowed the constant bombardment of bad news affect my heart, soul, and mind. The left is right, the right is right, Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, Democrat, Republican, and every label you can think of in our country, in our world participating in the hate in some big or small way. Horrible things are happening every day. Hate has become the prevalent part of every story, of every message. We also have a lot of ‘if you are not with us, you are against us’. Everyone is put in a Win-Lose situation. If I get my way, I WIN, you LOSE! AND, I’m gonna let you know it!

We have seen much loss of life recently. We have seen battles over things that become hateful. We have seen so much sorrow in our town, state, country and world that my heart started to ache constantly. And 4 weeks ago I shut the news off and started working on me, working on a more positive outlook, working to be the person I need to be, the person I want to be.

THEN I look at Facebook early last Thursday and see the unthinkable. 9 people killed in their own church, in my state, in my town. People that were very loving, giving, prayerful, and joyful in life. Gone from their church, our community, and all of our lives. My heart started hurting again in a very painful way. Why the hate? Why the senseless act? WHY?

Charleston Strong Heart

Amazingly, out of this great tragedy, I see LOVE! I see HOPE! I see the victim’s families forgive, love, and pray. I see our community come together. I see tens of thousands of people come together. I see so much positive that I am overwhelmed.

Then, I turn on the news. Big mistake on my part! I see this tragedy becoming a political football. I see people start to pick sides again and start to move back to their comfortable corners. I see the division creeping back in already! WE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN!

We need to do things in LOVE to properly honor the 9 people that have lost their lives and to properly honor their families that have showed us the way. We have to make our decisions based in LOVE. We cannot make any situation WIN-LOSE. We have to find the path toward winning for all when it comes to our community, state, and country. LOVE cannot be legislated. We have to find it in ourselves and each other. We have to find it through God, with God. Why should we hate when we could LOVE and could be LOVED?

Father Willey, the pastor of our church, helped me to better understand what is happening and has happened in our world. On Sunday he made one statement that stuck with me:

“Evil only exists where there is an absence of God’s Love!”

This statement hit me where I needed it most, in my heart and soul. If we are truly doing things out of love, out of God’s love, we will not allow evil to take part in the decision, in our thoughts, or in our hearts. If we approach each person we see and say to ourselves “I love you”, how would that impact our conversation and relationship with that person? Placing that simple thought in our mind over and over could make a huge difference in how we travel through life. It could make a huge difference in how we impact other’s lives, our community, and the world. Father Willey is right, evil cannot exist where God’s Love exists.

My dad added one other nugget driving in the car yesterday. He said a friend of his once told him that when you are dealing with someone in a situation that is becoming difficult for that person and you, ask yourself this, “What would I do if this was my best friend? How would I respond and act?” Just think about it.

Each of us has a decision to make. Each of us needs to choose between LOVE and evil. Which will you choose? I CHOOSE LOVE!

Note to ME and YOU: If we can always work to make our decisions in LOVE, LOVE others, and travel our journey in LOVE then evil has no place to creep in!

TheFatGuy, Mike

PS To all of the people in Charleston, in our community, please continue to LOVE one another the way I have seen it these past few days. Let’s keep the love alive and push it out through our state and country. We all need and deserve it!

charleston+strong love over all

When life happens……

When life happens……

When life happens I have a tendency to revert to the 53 years of bad lifestyle habits that got me to weigh in at over 360 pounds. AND, life has happened a little too much these past two months. I had been OK with staying in a range of 215 to 230 over the past 8 months with the 230 number being in view a little too much. 230 was going to be the line I would not cross.

I had been in the process of rebooting myself and getting on the right track with my nutrition and physical activity when things started coming unraveled. During the week of April 13th I was helping plan a 60 anniversary gathering at Blossoms on April 17th for my mom and dad. I took my mom flowers on April 16th, their anniversary, and talked a little about the event we were having the following night. One minute she said she was going and the next she wasn’t. My brother, Walter, and I tried to work on some special invitees that night to make sure mom was happy J  I called the next morning on April 17th to talk with my mom about the fact that Father Willey, our pastor, would be at the dinner. As she joked with me about him coming and her deciding to come, she fell to the floor. I knew it was not good as I could hear my dad talking with her. I stayed on the phone with them and steered my car to their house which took about 7-8 minutes. I knew from what I could hear that my mom had stopped talking. When I arrived at the house my mom was unable to communicate with us and was slipping away. The EMS and Fire professionals did a great job responding and getting my mom to Roper Hospital but the outcome was out of all of our control. Talking to the doctor at the hospital we found that she had a massive stroke with a significant bleed on the left side of her brain and a secondary bleed had started. Our only choice was to make her comfortable and at peace, as best we could. We had just over 4 days to come together as a family and say goodbye to my mom.

This was all tough on me and everyone but I thought I was handling it OK. AND, life happened again! On the day of my mom’s funeral, April 25th, I was going to pick up my dad so our family could meet to go to the funeral together in the provided vehicles. As I drove down Rutledge Avenue I was in the left hand lane beside a Toyota SUV in the center lane. The GPS in the Toyota SUV told the driver it was time for him to take a left onto Vanderhorst Street and he proceeded to make an abrupt left turn into the side of my car as we both crossed the intersection of Rutledge and Vanderhorst. I was shook up pretty good but I did avoid hitting a hydrant and tree across the intersection! My first thought was to call my brother Walter to pick up my dad. And then I made sure my car was drivable. The police officer did a great job of making sure I got out of there in time to make it to my mom’s funeral.When Life happens 2

The accident left me with significant left shoulder, upper back, and neck pain. Numerous doctor visits, PT sessions, and visits to the chiropractor are getting me back on track. Then came a great business/wellness retreat, followed by my annual week at Camp Kemo. Not all bad, just a bunch of life happening.

SO, Sunday (June 14th) I wake up with much pain in my shoulder and neck weighing 245 pounds! It was/is time for me to reboot, go back to simple (KISS) and manage things a little better.

The first thing I see on Facebook that day is a good friend of ours, Devin Page, post a challenge to his friends to ‘set a 3 month goal, to get healthier, lose weight, get in shape and be a better person.’ Well this came at a great time for me, I’M IN! Devin plans to be 30 down during that time and I AM IN FOR THAT.

Second step was to get back on my muscle relaxers, get back to better pain management and get back to PT Monday. This has started!

Third step is to work a plan for Eating Smart and Moving More throughout the summer with Polly, my wonderful and now skinny wife. Our nutrition system is in place and is working for me and her. The moving more will come with a scheduled plan of Total Gym workouts, , some body weight workouts, stands at Stoney Field, and walking with Polly.

I am blessed to be in pretty good shape even at 245, but that is not where I want to be. I have allowed ‘life happening’ to pull me away from my main mission and commitment to me and others in my life. My first post in my log/spreadsheet on March 2, 2009 included this line:

I need to take care of me so I can best help my family and community.

I need to remember this always. You need to remember this always! I thank Devin Page for posting at the right time for me! I look forward to success for me and all in this group.

Note to ME and YOU: Take Care of YOU! (It is that simple and that complicated)


PS: I want to thank Devin and Britni for being such great friends, especially over the past 4 years with the loss of Polly’s parents and my mom. Our conversations and your support have helped us more than you know. It has helped me stay inbounds and continue to travel my journey.

Comfort Zones and Magic

Comfort Zones and Magic

The picture of me in the playboy/playgirl bunny suit was taken in the mid-70s. I was 19 years old and out of my comfort zone by a long shot!

The idea that I was anywhere near my ‘comfort zone’ in this outfit and on stage is ridiculous. I grew up that short chubby kid in grammar school that did not quite fit into any click. Some days I felt like the guys drew straws to see who might pick on me that day. I was shy and introverted throughout grammar school which carried over into high school. In high school I stayed in the back ground for the most part and did not really get that I had grown in height and size. I still felt like the short chubby kid that had become fine with staying in the background. NO LIMELIGHT FOR ME!

Well that changed with this photo and my participation in the Pilot Club Comedy Musical in the mid-70s. My mom sang in every show over the years and her good friend Traynor produced, directed, and starred in the shows. Many were held at theaters in Charleston over the years, but the one featured in this picture advertisement was done at the Gaillard Auditorium! My brothers and I had some background roles over the years but I never had to speak or be OUT FRONT on anything and I was fine with that.

Many months before the show my mom came to me and said that Traynor wanted me in the show again. My first thought was great, I like being involved and I can be part of the crowd. When my mom and Traynor enlightened me to the role I would play and then WHAT I WOULD WEAR, my heart nearly stopped. I was terrified. They could tell I was apprehensive but I think I hid the terrified part. So they ‘convinced’ me I needed to do it. Basically, people did not say ‘no’ to mom or Traynor. So off we went.

I rehearsed each week for months. Traynor would pound the lines, tone, and delivery into me. HE was working to make my part automatic and I am sure he knew he was having to push me far outside of my ‘comfort zone’. I was blessed to be flanked by two women that were seasoned performers and could handle anything. They made me feel comfortable in the not so comfortable zone I had stepped into.

The scene was a rough neck women’s bar. Pretty much traditional roles flipped where I was the ‘bunny’ and they were bar tender and patron. I delivered the straight lines and they ran with the scene! They were loud, tough, and oh so funny. We appeared for two nights in the Auditorium with huge crowds. When I walked on stage I had trained to allow the laughter to quiet before I started my first line. The crowd laughed forever or that is how it seemed. As I remember, my first line was “Two Double Bourbons for the pool room STRAIGHT!” And off I went.

As we finished the second night and had the cast party, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. My trip outside of my ‘comfort zone’ did not kill me! I was pretty sure it was going to kill me. Die of fright, fall of the stage, or Traynor and mom might have me done away with if I screwed up. All of these thoughts ran through my mind, but I not only survived, I thrived in the roll and the sense of accomplishment.

This picture and feeling had been out of my mind for years. Twice while I was on our retreat last weekend the picture jumped to the front of my mind. As I had my eyes closed, mediated and thought of happy times in my life, this picture was clear and the feelings strong. It is helping me with my decision to live my life outside of the comfort zone. I love living life and the best parts of life are lived outside the comfort zone. wherethemagichappens

Today, in my mind, outside the comfort zone is MY COMFORT ZONE! All of the magic in my life has happened and does happen ‘outside of the comfort zone’. Magic truly does happen outside of your comfort zone.


Note to ME and YOU: If you are looking for Magic in our life, it is OUTSIDE OF THE COMFORT ZONE. And goods news, it won’t kill you.

Take Care of YOU!


PS My Godfather, Ralph, is playing the piano! He was magical! And he is playing for my mom in heaven now. The other lady in the photo, was just funny as hell!

I don’t feel beautiful?

I don’t feel beautiful?

I had a wonderful conversation with a young lady the other day. I will not tell you the circumstances of our meeting as she may not want to be identified. I will tell you of our conversation and about her.

We talked for about 30 minutes total and I learned a lot about her as she learned a lot about me. She had 2 daughters she loved and cared for, she loved her job, did a lot to help her co-workers, genuinely cared about me and people in general, had a great smile, beautiful face, and huge heart. She is one of those people you feel comfortable talking to and sharing your life with during a conversation.

As we shared information about our lives the conversation took a very personal turn. We arrived at a point in the conversation where she said, “I don’t feel beautiful? People tell me I am, but I don’t feel I am.”  She started to cry a little and my eyes watered over. I felt for her and felt her pain. I have had that pain and it is not a pain that is easy to share. You see, she equated her weight to her beauty and to some degree her self-worth. She was obese and needed to lose a great deal of weight. She had shared some health concerns and the medicine she had to take to manage several health issues. During our chat I was concerned for her health issues and even discussed how she was like me in the fact that she was good at helping and taking care of others, but often overlooked taking care of herself and her needs. My response to her came quickly, “Beauty and weight are two separate issues.”

I told her this because I have known many people that would fit the mold of beautiful in our superficial society;  Barbie figure, ripped abs, 4% body fat, chiseled features, and you know the list. Some of these people have been some of the ugliest people I have known in my life. They are self-centered, self-absorbed, judgmental, and as one person once told me, Beauty is skin deep, but ugly is TO THE BONE! The young lady I was speaking with was a beautiful person with a weight problem.

I was her 6 years ago. Not matter what else I did in my life, I allowed my weight to diminish many other positives in my life. I do realize now that I positively impacted many people in my life and did some good things, but I allowed my weight to diminish those positives.

I wanted her to understand that she was a beautiful person and that her weight was something she might need to work on for her, for her health, for her well-being. She had much beauty in her mind, heart, soul, smile, and so much more.

As I stood to go on my way we gave each other a big hug and I said, do one thing for me “Take Care of YOU!” I asked her to download my story from my website and I gave her my contact info to let me know how she is doing and how I might be able to help her with her journey. I told her I would not promise her it would always be easy to lose weight, but she needed to work to make it simple, and she needed to know it would be more than a worthwhile journey.

My hope and prayer is she travels a successful journey and builds on the beautiful person she is now. Yes, I met a truly beautiful person the other day and like all of us she has something in her life she has to work on to be the person she wants to be. I hope she does it for herself and not some perceived need to be like someone else.  And if you read this: Take Care of YOU! And know you are a beautiful person, PERIOD! And KNOW YOU TOUCHED MY HEART.

Note to ME and YOU:   Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes. DO NOT let a pretty package fool you into thinking you see beauty. Or as a friend told me “Beauty is skin deep, ugly is to the bone!”