2 Corinthians 12:9

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Rick Carlton

Rick Carlton
July 2010

"I Look To You" Selah

My before pic

My before pic

"The Journey Begins"

October 9, 2008
About a month ago, I began my Herbalife diet. Actually I hate the word "diet" because over the years I have tried them all with little or no success. So lets change that word "diet" to commitment or way of life. That’s how you need to look at it if you want to succeed. That was my attitude with all my "diets", so why didn't they work? Some of them may have, if I had the patience. Typically I would give them 1-2 weeks before I would step on the scale, then when that pivotal moment came and I would step on the scale after a week or two of "suffering", I needed to see some change, a reward for my diligence. All I was able to do was maintain the weight I was at when I started. At least it didn't go up. For me that wasn't good enough to motivate me to continue so, I would take a few weeks off then try another "diet". It became a vicious cycle of failure. Not very motivational.
A year ago, My Doctor told me that if I didn't take this weight off I probably wouldn't see my 50th birthday. Today I'm only 8 months away from turning fifty. I figured that was just a scare tactic, however since that time I have noticed more chest pain, shortness of breath, knee and ankle pain and many other health issues that made me realize that even if I make it to fifty, my quality of life would be so bad that I may actually wish I didn't.
With all my "diet" failures I made peace with the fact that I wouldn't live a full life. I quietly in my own mind considered myself to be terminal.
The only time in my life I ever lost a significant amount of weight was about 20 years ago on the Herbalife diet. I needed to loose 60 lbs, and I did, taking Herbalife. My thought was I have changed a lot since then, I'm older now, my metabolism is different and this diet would most likely go the way of all the others.
Some friends from church were selling the diet and given the fact that I've run out of new diet ideas, I would give Herbalife another try. I told John, my distributer, that even though it worked for me before, I'm skeptical that it would work again because I'm a different person now than I was then. My metabolism has changed and I'm not as physically active as I was then.
Over 10 years ago I had a severe back injury. I could no longer go hiking or water skiing. All my physical activities came to a screeching halt and that’s when the weight went on. I could no longer do the work I was trained for and had to leave my job as well. I knew then that my life was going to change but I had no idea how much. I gained 170 lbs over a 14 year period. My weight peaked at 365 lbs. When I started this diet about a month ago, I was at 360 lbs. I started the diet and in one week I lost 7 lbs. As of today, I've lost 21 lbs. I'm at 339 lbs. It's working! I no longer believe that I'm "terminal". I actually believe I can turn this around. My clothes no longer fit properly. I ran out of holes on my belt and need a new one. (if I want to keep my pants up:)
One additional note, my wife Connie is also doing it along with me and is now fitting into clothes she hasn't fit into in over a year. I would tell you how much she has lost but even I'm not priveid to those numbers.

"Just As I Am"

October 11, 2008
Pick up a magazine or turn on the TV and you will hear the worlds opinion on how we should eat, how we should dress, how we should look. Remember Billy Crystal on SNL saying “It’s better to look good than to feel good”.
My mother used to say “what will the neighbors think? And I used to say “Who Cares”.
All to often we seem to be preoccupied with what others think of us, will they accept me for who I am, for what I look like?
The truth is that the world does not. Good intentioned people can be cruel.
My wife, my family and my friends love me and accept me for who I am and what I look like unconditionally.
Those who don’t, no matter how well intentioned, are not my close friends. I can’t be around people like that for long because they bring me down and typically, those kinds of people are more interested in changing me than addressing their own issues.
Luke 6:42
How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

There is another who loves me and accepts me Just as I am.

David Phelps "Just As I Am"

James 1:12 (The Message)

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

10-18-08 "Need to stay the course"

Well, this has been a tough week for weight loss. My weight loss seemed to get stuck. I didn't gain but I didn't loose. Until this weekend, I didn't notice much change. Today I dropped a few more pounds but more importantly I noticed that my pants don't fit right. My belt doesn't keep my pants up very well. People are noticing a change and I guess that's a good thing. I bought some new belts and I expect this week I'll see a bigger change on the scale.
Typically by this time I would be thinking that this isn’t working so well. But I'm going to stick with it. I'm getting used to the shakes now and I will need to change what I eat for a meal and perhaps what time of the day I eat it.
This week. Connie and I will join a gym in hopes that the exercise will turn up the weight loss a few notches. I know that it's just a matter of finding the right balance. This fat has been on me for a long time, I'm older now and my body may have a harder time loosing it than I did when I was younger. So I'll stay the course.

October 24, 2008

You've got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It's called perseverance.
Lee Iacocca

Today I top the scales at 332. It is working! I'm getting used to the change of diet but I have a long way to go. I know the key to my success is to stay the course.
My failures of the past was not finding a diet that worked. The truth is most diets can work if you find the right balance. For me, bringing a calculator to the table didn't work. Eating foods I didn't like doesn't work. Eating cardboard flavored rice patties didn't work. Eating less of the things I liked didn't work because I just wanted more.
Every time I would pick up a low fat, low carb cook book, nothing appealed to me no matter how pretty the picture was.
I'm a creature of habit so what I needed to do was change my habits, but it had to work and get past my taste buds. Changing habits is an incredibly hard thing to do. My cravings controlled me. They dictated to me what I would look like and what my health would be. I still crave the sweets but for the first time, I now feel that I can be in control.
I was also in the habit of not exercising so now I am trying to develop the habit of exercising.
Here's three things that I believe have to take place for me to loose all my weight.
1. I have to truly want the end result more than anything.
2. I have to believe that it is achievable, that I can actually do it.
3. I have to be willing to make changes to my habits and be willing to do the hard work of sticking to it finding the right balances that will work for me, no matter what.
I'm determined to get healthy, take back control of my habits and never, never quit!
To persevere!

Slow but sure

Well it's been a while since my last blog. The weight loss has been stuck for a while. I'm haveing to fight for each pound I loose but they are coming off. I'm told that slower is better. I'm at 37 pounds lost. 323lbs. It is showing. My clothes no longer fit. That's a good thing. I enjoy the shakes. Today I'm excellent and tomorrow I'll be better. The decision is mine and no one can take that away from me. As I left Hallie's school, I stepped into a hole and sprained my ankle pretty bad and I'm not walking to well right now but it's getting better. Another 24 lbs and I'll be under 300. WOW, that's huge for me. I'm beating the odds and looking forward to the new me.

The Holiday's 12-2-08

Tough time of the year to try to loose weight. The good news is I'm not gaining any. I went online and checked a weight loss chart. It says if I want to loose 3 lbs a week, my calorie intake should be 1,600 p/day. That's less than I thought it would be. I'm guessing I've been over that. So time to hit the reset button and look at this through some different lenses. New approach. I'm still commited to loosing it all. I'm not giving up.

A week and a half ago, I sprained my ankle REALLY bad. That's effected my activity level and exersize routine. Even now, it's still painful to walk on.
It feels at times a little like trying to open a combination lock when you don't know the combination. So I need to back off on the hit or miss method and zero in on the science of it.
Till next time, Rick

"Time To Get Serious"

I guess you could say I blew it. I've been doing the shake every day but my old habits creeped back in. I used to think I could eat anything if I balanced it off with a Diet Pepsi:-). Doesn't work. I lost 40 pounds and then got stuck. Stuck with it for a while but still nothing. Life got busy eating habits began to slip and now I've gained 20lbs back. Today is memorial day and I'm gonna give it another try. I'm gonna do the diet the way I should have and cut back even more. I'll try a few new things and not settle for the same old lack of results. Lets see how it goes.

June 7, 2010

In 4 short days it will be 3 months since Dad's passing. I was with him when he died and nothing causes you to think of your own mortality quite like watching some one who is a giant in your life, take his final breath.
Dad made it to 84 years. That's pretty good. My own Doctor doesn't think I'll see 54 much less 84 if I can't take off this weight.
I watched Al Roker this morning talk about his weightloss journy. He found his combo of diet and exersize that worked for him after his surgery. I fear the surgery because I know on the other side, I to will need to find my combo that will work. The surgery, I have heard gets more risky the older you get. Not sure what my next step is. Al Rokers story has lit the fire in me again. Perhaps there something that will work for me. Rick

The evolution of Al Roker

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