Big Budah’s blog: Halloween and other holidays

Celebrate our differences

As I look back on the events of this month, I noticed that in almost every instance I am meeting new people and having a cool exchange of dialogue, opinions and even culture.

From reality TV star Clint Harp to a cute porcupine at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, I am grateful for the connections with people (and animals) I’ve made this month.

Halloween and Day of the Dead

I have been to Fear Factory and Odyssey Dance Theatre’s Thriller to get in to the spirit of Halloween, but I was also impressed to start my own ofrenda for my Dad to honor and celebrate him during Dia de los Muertos.

Health and Fitness

I have been doing great with my diet and exercise and am happy to report that I am down from 326 pounds to 310 pounds with 40 days before Sister Te’o comes home…my goal is to be at 300 pounds or less by 12/12/2018

Kolepoki

I was so honored and excited to have met with Elder John Groberg, better known as “Kolepoki”,  and Mitch Davis the director of the movie “The Other Side of Heaven 2.” Seventeen years ago I interviewed some of the cast from the original movie based on the life of Elder Groberg in Joe Folau, Miriama Smith and Christopher Gorham.

This month I’m ending with some shout outs BMI Utah, Doctors Cottom & Richards, FOX 13, Performance Ford, Total Health and Fitness—and all of you for helping support me in all I do.

One last shout out to my wife Jennifer, who is also sharing her journey with us:

The Holidays Are Upon Us

This is by far my favorite time of the year. Once Halloween is over Thanksgiving seems to come so fast, and then before you know it, it’s Christmas. Every year I tell myself that I will be prepared for Christmas by shopping earlier in the year, but it never happens.

This year we will be spending Christmas here in Utah with our daughter Jaelyn, who will be returning from her LDS mission. Words can’t express how overwhelmed I feel with joy that she will be home in 41 days.

She is serving in Sydney, Australia and will have been gone for 18 months. She has had a wonderful time and has been an amazing missionary. We couldn’t be prouder!  So, once again, life is busy as we prepare for her return home.

As a family we will be taking a trip to Disneyland in early December to celebrate Sister Teo’s return. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays of the year, I love the meaning of these two holidays and the opportunity to give to others.

But we aren’t there yet, back to Halloween! For the past 10 years we have a family tradition that we go to watch “Thriller” at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah. This has always been a fun night with the kids. I can remember when my youngest wasn’t even old enough to go watch the show, and now he is in high school: Wow! Time flies. Before long we will be taking our grandchildren to watch the show.

Another great tradition that we have is we host a family Halloween party for my husband’s side of the family every year. It is just another great way to spend time together as a family and for the kids to get closer to their cousins. We have a ton of food, games, candy, and prizes!!

New Found Energy

With life being so busy, I am so grateful for the energy that I have since having my surgery a year ago. I am able to do some many more things that were out of reach before. I am physically and mentally stronger than I have been in 10 years.

Back in 2016 I graduated from the University of Utah with my bachelor’s degree in psychology. At that time I decided that I would take a break from school and work a little bit. Well the time has come for me to return to school and earn my master’s degree in social work. I just completed the application and should hear by the end of May if I have been accepted.

So many thoughts and emotions have flooded my mind over the past few months while making this decision to complete my education. This has not been an easy decision because am I not getting any younger, and I’ve been thinking about the cost and the time it will take to commit to going back to school.

After many hours of prayer and thought I knew that I had to apply. It has been my dream to be able to help people and having this degree will allow me to do just that.

Moving Forward

On October 4th, 2018 I celebrated my one year anniversary of having my gastric sleeve surgery. I am down 85 pounds and I feel wonderful. To be honest, I was hoping to have lost more weight by now, but I am grateful for what I have lost and, more importantly, what I have learned.

This is a daily challenge, and I have to be accountable every day for what I put in my mouth. The biggest lesson that I have learned and have had to keep perfecting is that even though I had a surgery to shrink my stomach, I still have to be careful what I eat. I have to eat the right foods, healthy foods.

My struggle has been, and will probably always be, sweets. Having the surgery didn’t magically take away my sweet tooth, but it did make me aware of what works and what doesn’t work. Every morning when I wake up, I have to make a mental promise to myself that I will make smart choices with eating and exercising.

Moving forward to the month of November, I have challenged myself to workout five days a week, 30 minutes a day, and to eat healthy every day. My daughter comes home in 41 days and I want to lose another 5 pounds. I know I can do it with the help and support from the BMI Institute. I am forever grateful for the resources that they continue to offer to me, their team is always a phone call away. Thank you once again for all your love and support during my life changing journey.

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