Big Budah’s blog: Christmas with family and reflecting on 10 years’ progress

What a busy holiday season! When people learn that I am taking time off from work, the most asked question is: “Where are you going?”

I do like to travel, but more than that I love to spend time with my family and have a great stay-cation.

This month’s blog falls into several categories:

10-year change

I recently ran in to Jesse, who ten years earlier took a picture with me at the Hogle Zoo. As the new photo above shows, we both have changed tremendously!

Health and fitness:

I suffered a couple of injuries (a shin contusion and a strained calf muscle) that have slowed me down but not stopped me from working out and continuing my 30-day challenge.

See what I can do:

I was able to check off snowboarding on my bucket list after visiting Brighton Ski Resort and falling on my butt all the way down the slopes.

Christmas:

I was grateful for all the gifts I received, but the two best for me were the call from Sister Te’o, who is serving as a missionary in Australia, and my box of kisses from my high school senior Kilani.

Budahful Cinema:

One other thing I love to do during the holidays is to go to the movies to escape reality and all the craziness. Two movie suggestions for this season are “Samoan Gold” on Amazon Prime, because I helped my cousin Tua Kealoha by volunteering to play his Dad, and “The Greatest Showman” in the theaters to support Keala Settle and my boy Will Swenson.

Following my example:

I am proud of my wife Jennifer and her weight loss journey, here she shares how she is doing in her own words:

This month has been an amazing one! I was able to achieve several of my personal goals while still making it through the holiday session.

My weight loss has been steady every week, but I am still losing every day. Since my last post in November I have lost another 12 pounds, putting my weight at 202 pounds, and I am beyond excited.

During the beginning of December, I was able to talk to my nutritionist and my exercise specialist from the BMI of Utah to get some help with making sure that I was following my diet and exercise program. It was really helpful to find out what my protein, fat, and carbohydrate intake should be. I was lacking in my protein and calorie intake at the time, and once I made the adjustments I started losing about half of a pound a day.

As far as my exercise, I make sure that I am up walking every hour and trying to maintain at least 900 calories a day, which is really hard to hit, but once I do, I can start going to the gym and adding 30 minutes of cardio three days a week.

The first milestone that I hit this month was being able to fit into THE JEANS. Ladies know what I am talking about, our favorite jeans, the ones that if we aren’t able to fit into them anymore we still don’t throw them out because we love them. Well I was able to fit into THE JEANS again, and it has been about 5 years since I last wore them so I was so happy and surprised!

I will need to start shopping for new clothes soon because my size 16 jeans are starting to fall off of me.

The second milestone is that I was able to make it through the holidays without overeating and without have any junk food—all while following my diet. I have always loved the holidays because of the food. I love to eat breads, potatoes, stuffing, and all kinds of sweets. So, I was nervous about being able resist all the yummy treats that the neighbors brought to my doorstep, but I made it.

I had a family member ask me if I was able to eat bread, sweets, and drink soda. My response was that I am able to eat all of that stuff if I wanted to but I don’t want to. When I decided to have this surgery, I promised myself that I would not take this opportunity for a new life for granted and I won’t!

My final milestone this month was my weight loss of 12 pounds. I had set a goal for myself that I would try lose 10 pounds each month. This can be a challenge if I don’t pay attention to what I am eating and how much I am eating.

Every day I track my food on my phone. I track my protein, fat, and carbs on everything that I eat. If the food item has too much fat or too many carbs, then I choose something else. I make sure that I weigh all of my protein so that I am getting the right amount that I need to continue losing.

Looking to the future, some of these things I have done before with other diets: the food logs, the food scale, reaching some milestones. But I would always go back to my bad habits. It is different this time. I am determined to change my life. I am determined to be healthy for my family. I am determined to be around for my future grandchildren. I am determined to succeed for myself!

I have been given a life-changing opportunity, and it is up to me to take for advantage of it.

Thanks to everyone for the ongoing support! Click here to follow my Losing for Life journey.