Big Budah’s blog: Finding solace from the slumps in service, family

Health and fitness

Let’s start with the bad…there is something to be said about mental health and mental fitness. I fell into a rut this month, and the timing of my “slump” is right around the time of my cousin Jr Matuu’s passing.

It left me thinking of all my family members, including my Dad, who have gone on, and I allowed myself to take one day off from working out—chalking it up to a mental day. That one day has turned into a month.

I believe one of the crucial contributing factors is low testosterone levels, which I am addressing, so I hope to be back at it very soon. Aside from that, I don’t have—lucky to say—any other debilitating issues. Now I just got get my ass to the gym.

Part of getting out of this mental funk has been serving among young men and women in my church. Being around them and feeling of their love for life-affirming activities, like attending the Jordan River Temple open house: What a great booster shot of positivity.

Good News???

Where to start…. To echo a popular saying, “God is good, all the time.” When people ask me how am I doing I usually answer with “Better than I deserve.” Lots of things have happened this month, and in-spite of efforts of going to the gym I have been able to maintain a high level of energy to be able to participate in many things and to be able to handle exciting news, like my oldest daughter Jordyn being engaged.

It is a feeling of sad joyfulness, meaning I am excited for her new chapter in her life yet saddened that I will no longer be the man she depends on.

In other good news, my nephew Austin came home from serving an LDS mission in the greatest mission of all time: the Apia Samoa Mission. It was so good to converse with him fluently in Samoan…malo le galue malosi!

A new hobby

A friend and colleague of mine, Patrick Essex—better known as DB or Danger Boy and as part of the radio morning show on ROCK 106.7 with Hooker and Brooke—reached out to me and asked if we could partner up and start recording a podcast for fun. It’s basically just two guys sitting around drinking kava and just shooting the breeze about anything and everything with our personal feelings and opinions.

So here’s my shameless plug for the DB with Big Budah podcast on Soundcloud, Stitcher, Pocketcast and soon to be on iTunes. Shout out to @Kavakingdom for supplying the kava and Pure 4 Health for the best coconut water ever! (proved it)

Celebrity sightings

I had the opportunity to hang out with Culture Crew and Tenelle, who are touring with Wyclef Jean and his Carnival Tour stop here in Utah.

I go back to my dad’s favorite saying that has helped me regenerate excitement in everything I do: “A leai sou alofa, e leai sou aoga,” which means: “Without love you have no purpose.”

I look forward to putting love in all I do to lift myself out of this fog. May you find your inspiration and motivation to do whatever you can to bring more sunshine to this world.

Let’s check in with my wife Jennifer and how she is doing.

Six months down and 70 pounds lost

April 2 will mark six months since my gastric sleeve surgery. The time has flown by and so have the pounds lost. When I look back over the past six months and the lessons that I have learned, they are monumental. I finally have control of my eating, my negative thinking, and my bad habits. I have control of my life again.

My weight is the lowest it has ever been in my adult married life, WOW! Daily I find myself excited to get up and to go to work because I feel happier, healthier, and full of energy. My self-image has improved tremendously. The struggle to find clothes that I feel comfortable in, the worry about what others are thinking of me, and my reflection in the mirror are no longer problems for me. I love myself again!

New outlook on my life

Many times I have mentioned how this surgery has saved my life in more ways than one. It was literally the best decision I could have ever made for myself and my family. Today I feel like I have become better at being a mom, a wife, a sister, a friend, and an employee. When I wake up in the morning I am excited to see what the day will bring. I love my job and look forward to going there every day.

Back in December I returned to working in my field of study in psychology. This is my passion and always has been. My desire to help people in need in any way that I can brings great joy to me. Having the surgery has given me the energy that I need to do my job the best that I can.

Another job that means the world to me is being a mom—for all the moms out there you know what I am talking about. There is no greater calling in my life than raising my five children, they are my heart. Being able to be healthy for them and being able to be around to play with my future grandchildren helps to push me every day to make good choices, healthy choices.

One day at a time

From day one after my surgery I was told that this process is not a guarantee of major weight loss. I was told that it would take work and determination on my part. My success has and will continue to be based on my commitment to change my bad habits to good ones. This is a continuous struggle. It is not easy. It is hard to kick bad eating habits, especially eating sweets, which I love.

This month I had challenged myself to start exercising more and it has been hard to get back into working out again because it has been so long. My exercising has been doing 30 minutes of cardio at least three times a week. It has been getting easier, but I have to really push myself to get up and do it. One day at a time is what I have to remember: one step at a time is a step in the right direction.

Life is busy and I love it

March was a really busy month for me and my family. I took on the challenge of being the team mom for my daughter’s high school basketball team. We had her banquet this month, which made it a little stressful at times. My calling in my church working with the young girls ages 12 to 14 keeps me running around trying to find activities that will help them to learn and grow keep me on my toes.

Date nights have been a wonderful opportunity for me and my husband to spend some quality time together, much-needed time. This month we have had several movie dates and we went to see the play “In the Heights” at the Pioneer Theater. The play was amazing with great music and performers. It is fun to get dressed up now and to go out. I feel more confident in my appearance. I feel pretty again!

Busy is the way to be. I love having many things going on at once, the difference now is that I have the energy to accomplish it all. With a good night sleep, healthy diet, and exercise I feel wonderful. All of these things are needed in order for me to continue to be successful in this journey.

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