Look at my family! The Big Sexy is blessed! Believe me, I know it. I've had so much luck in my life and I am so thankful for this. But luck, like karma, shouldn't be taken for granted. You need to earn it. I'm sure that my future wouldn't be so lucky if I didn't change and take control of my life. One of my favorite lines, courtesy of Big Ben (not related to Big Sexy, though I have been told by my kids friends that i look like him):

            "I am a firm believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it."

On this note, I want to share a recent email I received from one of my Plant Strong Wagoneers. She has stayed plant strong for 18 days and not lost a pound. But she's not giving up! She will make her luck.

Here's the email to me:

Hi Jon,

This week I cut out nuts completely and upped my exercise, so I'm hopeful. But yes - I'm all for finding other ways to measure improvement. I know I will never be 25 again. But I also know at 25 I couldn't run or exercise the way I do now, 50 lbs heavier. I weighed 115 lbs but I also smoked a pack a day. I know I could lose 20 pounds by picking up a cigarette.

But obviously, I'm not going to do that. I have to accept myself in the present moment, with this array of health challenges and the effects of an illness that has altered my metabolism significantly, and do whatever it takes to look after myself. Regardless of whether or not I ever wear a bikini again.

But all the same, its difficult not to want to see amazing change, when taking care of myself requires so much time and effort. You know? Blah blah blah.

I did ok traveling - sought out vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants via a couple of different websites. Of the three we tried, one was awesome and two were so-so. I brought food and we stayed in a hotel with a kitchen and a fitness center so I could stick with my program. I feel ok winding up week 3 but definitely suffered a little bit last night at a good Mexican restaurant, eating sauteed green peppers in a flour tortilla while my boyfriend chowed on awesome shrimp and steak fajitas.

How are you doing today? Do you miss the meat at all?

Big Sexy Response:

My 18 y/o is here this week.....then off to start college at Penn State tomorrow. He's a total carnivore and I'd be lying if I said his veal or lamb didn't look good. But it didn't look good ENOUGH! He ate it in about 20 minutes and then, I was glad I didn't.

Funny, while he loves his meat, on so many levels, he loves that his Dad is taking steps to being here and being his Dad for a lot longer. He told me that he's proud of me. We are very close and my wife and three kids are a big part of my motivation. So while he has his share of vegan jokes....he seems to be very much at peace with not having to worry about my health.

Other than those fleeting moments of temptation....I'm cool. I feel great. My wife has been vegan for 4-5 months and I can really see a difference in her. I can't stop staring at her. From head to toe I can see a difference. While she's always owned my heart....now she is making me feel like a smitten little kid.

Soooooo, on that note, go beyond the scale. Take your measurements and see how they change over time...they will. And keep reminding yourself about how much you're doing for yourself with the exercise. Feeling more energetic then when you were 25 is awesome.

And pardon my french....but don't touch those fuckin' cancer sticks. No sense killing yourself to lose weight.

Stay with it!