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"Taking a Swing at Weight Loss - Update #17" 

29 December 2001

To Those I am blessed to have as family and friends,

I pray your holiday celebrations were rich, safe and intimate with those you love! I have never been so content to be "resting in the bosom" of my family. After 8 months on the road, "home" has a special new ring in my heart and there is nothing I enjoy more than sharing the joys of life with those I love the most. As 2001 now becomes part of life's rear view mirror, I hope that the transition to a New Year will be an opportunity for each of us to take inventory of our lives. While I am not a big fan of New Year resolutions, I can't help but spend much time in New Year reflections. I am overdosing with awe and appreciation as I reflect on God's generosity to me this past year. My prayer for you as it for myself is that the NEW Year would bring NEW personal growth and greater intimacy with God. I wish you all Happy New Year Reflections!

I would like to provide a short update on the current state of my continuing personal adventure and devote the "bulk" (pun intended) of this update reflecting on some of the standout morsels and tidbits of my trip as well as a few special thank you's. As of this week I weighed in at 237 so I have lost 230 pounds since April 1st with only 7 pounds left
to reach my initial target weight. Looking at myself in the mirror and feeling motivated enough to keep going, I have reset my target weight from 230 pounds to 210 pounds so now I still have 27 pounds of fat to loose. I started eating "flesh" again on Christmas Day enjoying some delicious turkey meat and tonite after waiting almost 6 months, I grilled
my first piece of salmon from the monumental July 4th fishing trip in Alaska. It was sooooo yummy! Vegetarian existence was great and quite tasty but with the heavy weight training I have been doing it was time to get more protein on board. I am still doing an occasional protein shake and have been spending at least 2 hours if not more in the gym each day
since Thanksgiving. I have enjoyed catching up with many friends and colleagues and am eager to be an encouragement to others struggling with obesity whenever I am granted the opportunity. There are many public speaking opportunities that I will be embarking on after the New Year. Just as with my personal faith, I am eager to share some of the insights from my experience with those who are open to receiving it. Like one beggar telling other beggars where to find bread, sharing the lessons from the journey is the essence of the experience for me. I am still thoroughly amused on a daily basis with the clueless and confused expressions of those I have known for years that I am seeing for the first time since returning who have absolutely no idea who I am. There is something so pleasurable about those looks of baffled amazement. Its my buffet of joy! I am eating it up!

There has been extensive media coverage locally about the trip and these are links to a couple of the many generous articles in the two main San Diego newspapers that have appeared recently. I have had several requests for these so I thought I would include them in the update:

Dr. Nick's random trip tidbits and thank you's from the "TAKING A SWING AT WEIGHT LOSS" ADVENTURE:

Favorite Ballpark: Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Least Favorite Ballpark: Oakland Coliseum.

Favorite States: Colorado, New Mexico, Vermont and Alaska.

Least Favorite States: There were none.

Last state left to be visited since 4/1/01: Hawaii. (anyone have a
spare timeshare?)

Most trusting and generous friends who left keys to their homes for me in their absence: Yang and Alice Chen, Mike and Ellie Kreopolidies, and Steve and Susan Vargas.

Most Amazing Baseball Game: Game 5 of the World Series. Seeing baseball lightning strike the second night in a row sent me into the ultimate emotional sports euphoria seizure. I never have to go to a game again in my life and I die a content sports fan.

Most Faithful Travel Companion and Earthly Source of Encouragement: My dad George.

Oldest and most gracious travel companion: My gramps John.

Most Memorable Baseball moment frozen in memory: Scott Brosiu's homerun in Game 5 of the World Series.

Oldest game companion: My childhood Sunday School Teacher Mr. George Hawxwell.

Youngest game companion: My buddy Joshua Chen in Denver. 

Cheapest Gas: 94 cents in Virginia.

Priciest Gas: $2.25 somewhere in Northern California.

Cheapest Ticket: $1 Disabled Ticket in Phoenix Arizona. Qualified based on my large size at that time in April per the ticket attendant.

Longest Drive: 2100 Miles from Minneapolis to Seattle with my dad nonstop except for gas.

Most Miraculous Miracle Moment: Being used by God to save a woman's life at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Most Memorable Hour: 9:30 - 10:30 am September 11 watching the world change from across the river in New Jersey.

Most difficult town to visit while on the diet: New Orleans.

Most Tempting Food to Smell: Grilled Sausages in Kansas City and Milwaukee.

Gracious and Hospitable Hosts: Too many to list. Staying with family and friends often not seen for years was the spice that added the flavor to the trip.

Most Helpful Ticket Master: Kurt Varricchio of the San Diego Padres.

Most Enthusiastic Journalist: Jeff Frank of the North County Times.

Number of times pulled over by the Highway Patrol: 1.

Number of Speeding Tickets: 0.

Number of warnings for not wearing my seat belt (it did not fit at the time): 1.

Most Powerful Museum: Martin Luther King Memorial in Atlanta.

Biggest Celebrity I met: Rudy Gulianni at the World Series.

Closest Call: 0.2 gallons from running out of gas. Fill up was 29.8 gallons on a 30 gallon gas tank.

Best Personal Play of the trip: Sliding safely into "home plate" on Thanksgiving day.

City with the Richest and Best Display of American History: Boston, Mass.

Number of miles driven: 38,000.

Number of Van problems and breakdowns: 0.

Closest I came to a serious accident: dodging bails of hay falling off the back of a truck while driving 75 MPH in Phoenix, AZ.

Most appreciated gesture of support: Prayer.

The least appreciated gesture of support: "Come on just a taste!! You have to eat something! You'll starve to death!!!!!"

Most Consistent Phone Encourager: Pastor Pat Kenney of Calvary Chapel Escondido. "Hey bro, how many this week?"

Most Generous E-mail Encouragers: Laura, Pat T., and Tamara.

Number of E-mails Received in 8 months: 5632.

Number of E-mails Sent in 8 months: about the same.

Most Important Factor in Being Able to Leave on the trip and not have to worry: Jim Schultz and my Brother Phil taking over my roles at the health center and with my patients.

Most generous, talented and enthusiastic web site designer by allowing me a way to share the miracle: Toni Hock.

The go-to guys for technical and computer support (and all kinds of other things): my Brother Paul and Mark Searle.

My trouble shooter and legal expert(and all kinds of other things): my Brother John.

Most Pounds lost in a week: 17.

Least Pounds lost in a week: 1.

Number of vivid dreams about food and waking up feeling terrible thinking I ruined my diet: too many to remember.

Gallons of Gas purchased: 2800.

Those I missed the most while gone: nieces and nephews.

Thing I am most grateful for: safety.

Person I am most grateful to for so many things: GOD.

Respectfully Submitted,

dr. Nick

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phillipians 4:13.

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