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A tribute to Tony

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I've put together some of the more memorable posts by Tony Florida. I know you will get so much inspiration from reading, and re-reading these.


Posted by Brandalynn911


Tribute to Tony


Everyday we listened for your "voice"

your inspiration came through loud & clear

We waited each day for your wise thoughts

and the encouragement we held so dear


We waited to hear your thoughts today

but instead our hearts filled with sorrow

For the man we had grown to love

would have no further tomorrows


We still find inspiration in your words

Its so hard to believe you aren't here

We will never forget you Tony Florida

because we still hear you loud and clear


Obituary for Tony from Naples Newspaper...





Member # 14121 posted April 09, 2003 08:05 AM


May Tony RIP and look down upon us.


Death Notices - Tony Sheppard Naples, FL Tony Sheppard, 60, of Naples, died suddenly Monday, April 7, 2003. Tony was an extraordinarily kind and intelligent human being, a loving husband, father and friend and will be sorely missed. In 1995 he moved to Naples and spent a year as the music coordinator for LaPlaya Resort, thereafter, he could be seen at The Edgewater and numerous private events with the group Partners in Sound. The last two years, Tony was employed by the Ritz Carlton where he delighted guests from all over the world with his talent, class and style. He was a published writer and poet and became and ordained minister, his hobbies were reading, writing and composing. He is survived by his wife, Amy Edward; two daughters, Julie Scheff and Melissa (Steven) Oritz. A memorial service will be held with a reception immediately following at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 10, 2003 at Unity Church of Naples, 2000 Unity Way, Naples FL.

Location: FL Date: 4/9/2003

Source: Naples Daily News



posted February 13, 2003 02:06 AM


Hi all,


I'm Tony, down in Naples, Florida, a bit of Paradise on the sun-kissed shore of the Gulf of Mexico.


Last December I turned 60, which is a miracle in itself! I am married to DW Ms Amy, and we have two wonderful daughters, one married in California, and the other to be married later this year, over on the Florida east coast.


Actually, Ms Amy and I are re-married. We 'took a break' at 25-1/2 years, back in 1992. It seemed to help us both learn a good deal, but ultimately we moved in together again in '98. We re-married (officially) on the day after Christmas of '99.


I have been living in Naples for a little over 8 years, and my profession is music. I am a pianist and singer at a wonderful 5-star hotel, in their main dining room, for about the last two years. I've spent over 40 years in the music business; between secular and church music, theater and recording session work, songwriting, choral direction, restaurants, hotels and night clubs, there really isn't much in music I haven't done! The neat thing is I still enjoy playing after all these years.


Ms Amy is an assistant manager for a local gourmet grocery store in town, part of a small chain of stores out of North Carolina. They have the best stuff -- risky for a guy who likes to cook as much as I do! -- and we *do* get a lot of our food from there, which is delightful.


My diet history isn't very remarkable. I was the fat kid, the one who caught all the slaps, miserably unpopular as a kid, seething with rage inside both at myself and the outside world. I was on every "diet" craze that hit the scene from the early 60's until the late 80's. In '87 I had a gastroplasty -- without a doubt one of the most incredibly stupid mistakes I've ever made! I nearly died from the surgery, and skipping the details it was a real horror show!


I've weighed as much as 370, but in the last several years I have been under 300 (barely) most of the time. My weight has been a contributing factor to most of the other medical difficulties I've had, over the years.


I had low back surgery last July, and from the first of August through the beginning of October I went from 278 to 259, more or less without trying. For some mysterious reason, I decided to keep the momentum going, and signed up for WWAH. I've had several gains in the months I've been doing this -- I still need my butt kicked about some things, I'm afraid. But all in all, it's been a WONderful journey, and something I'm enjoying more and more as time goes on.


I was in about two weeks when Ms Amy decided to join me. She has much less to lose than I, but we have been doing this 'in tandem' since late October, and having a lot of fun with it, too. To date, we've lost over 50 lb between us.


I do not claim anything like perfect adherence. I have been journaling religiously, no matter what. Most days I have no trouble getting lots of water. I still struggle with staying in range, not all the time, but enough to make it troublesome. I'd love to say I've never "deliberately" gone over points, but it would really be a lie.


I believe 110% in the BCB way of approaching this. If you've seen my posts to others, you know I don't have a hard time expressing my opinions. By the same token, I am in this for the long haul. I'm a firm believer in the "life change" idea; I do not "diet." Period.


I look forward to being here until the lights go out. I truly believe this is the absolute best way to approach a weight problem. Even though I am still learning, I have every expectation of getting better at it, and ultimately winning the war against my fat. And I *do* mean permanently!


Thanks so much to all of you, for keeping the lights on until I was able to summon the honesty I needed to get here. I am so grateful to Denise and the early members, and to everyone who contributes day by day on the boards. You're a bunch of lifesavers to me!


Warmest regards,

Tony Florida


posted March 08, 2003 01:02 PM


Hi all,


Present and accounted for!


I got a PM overnight from redhotmomma (Ms Diane) about my whereabouts. You guys are something else! I can't tell you how I felt reading that email...


I'd just gotten home, close to midnight, from the second gig of the day. The first was an outdoor job at a dog track! It's an annual series of performances the track does as a promotional for seniors. The day was lovely, but hot! It hit 88 in the mid-afternoon, and while there was a lovely breeze, I'm afraid I got slightly baked! Gotta take a hat for the rest of these.... The good news is I had my breakfast and lunch with me, in my little "OP bag." (That's the lunch kit thingy I carry stuff to work in.)


I got through and came home at about 4PM, only to have to change, run to the doc's office for a scrip refill and high-tail it to the hotel to play my regular gig! I'm sure you've experienced the thrill of having to work or be somewhere when you're a bit sun-burned, right? So there I sat, in the tux with the collar and tie, slaving over a hot Steinway all evening while my body played blast furnace under the suit!


In that frame of mind, I got home and found Diane's wonderful note, and had an instant "attitude adjustment!"


What I told her is that this is the real height of our 'season,' down here. More escapees from the frozen north, and a lot of extra work. I'm doing 9 gigs a week in 7 days just now, and I don't have a night off until a week from Sunday. Then it all begins again.


I think it's called "making hay while the sun shines," but as I told rhm, I'm just not 18 anymore! LOL


I will try to check in and participate a little more. I need to for me, just to keep my cap on tight! I manage to breeze through at least once a day, even if I don't log in, so I'm not totally out of touch.


Thanks for thinking of me! I have to warn you, though, that the season has an end, and things get r-e-a-l quiet. I'll be yakking it up so much you'll want me to shaddup already!


Best to all,

Tony Florida


posted March 24, 2003 02:10 PM


Hey there,


Interesting that you immediately assume you must be "doing something wrong." Not so...


I went through a month (Feb) where my body refused to move, in terms of the scale. I was rooted in place, so to speak. I hadn't changed anything, was absolutely doing everything just like I had in January, December, and before.


Personally, I think the body makes up its own mind what it wants to do. I also noted that you are just beginning. Most people get a jump-start, and you may be comparing to that. In that case, it's your expectation that is the problem, so drop it.


The point is, you're an individual. Your body may have needed to catch up and process what you did to it in the month before you began this program.


I realize patience is a dirty word -- at least it is to me! But sometimes you just gotta trudge along and know that, as long as you're OP and doing what the program requires, it's all gonna work out in the long run.


Holler, scream, vent -- that's what BCB is for. You ain't gonna get pity but you'll get honest support, and that's a lot better!


Hang in there, and best of luck!!


Tony Florida



278/225.5/155 (since Aug 1, 2002)

2nd 10% goal = 210 (stay tuned!)


posted March 24, 2003 01:51 PM




Nothing has to ruin your day, unless you're a crisis junkie.


Adjust your plan to counter the 3.5 points and go from there. You're talking about 180 calories -- you ought to be able to find 16 ways to back off a few things in the balance of the day to take care of that.


Chick-fil-A is nice, but not really worth it, IMO.


Best to ya,

Tony Florida


posted March 25, 2003 05:09 AM


Hi Lynette,


The issue is the points, not the hour.. I work evenings, and routinely eat at 11, midnight, maybe 2AM. It has no effect at all on my weight loss, if that's your concern.


Yeah, I know, Oprah said.... Well, I love her dearly, but that doesn't make it so.


The deal is that you're absolutely right -- if you don't make your minimum, you're going to stymie your weight loss. That's counter-productive. So, if you're 5 points short, have a toasted English muffin with a little I Can't Believe butter spray, and a piece of 1-point cheese, and you're home free. You could make a batch of Glop (see Miscellaneous Recipes board) and have a cup of it on 4 Wasa crackers -- also 5 points.


The 'point' is that eating in the evening is no different than eating at any other time, and our program stresses "No Deprivation." So why are you beating yourself bloody trying to be a hero(ine)?


Good grief, I wish I knew what it felt like to have to 'stretch' to get to my minimum...and I'm about to drop a category in points, to boot!


Best of luck, and be careful -- you could fall into the trap of "dieting," and that would really be awful!


Tony Florida



278/225.5/155 (since Aug 1, 2002)

2nd 10% goal = 210 (stay tuned!)


The Perfect Way is only difficult for those who pick and choose;

Do not like; do not dislike; all will then be clear.

Master Seng Ts'an


In the Beginner's Mind there are many possibilities; but in the expert's mind there are few.

Shunryu Suzuki


posted March 25, 2003 05:40 AM


Hi Candice,


Twenty y/o and 70 lb to go.... Well, if you want to live to a ripe old age, better stop "dieting." That won't do squat for you.


What you really want to look at is a whole new way of relating to food and eating. Weight Watchers will get you there. So put the word "diet" out of your mind and your vocabulary and hop on board!


This really is a change of life habits, and if you've done the "diet" cha-cha for any length of time, you'll be amazed at how terrific this program really is! It's a given that if you stay in your points range, you're gonna lose an average of 1.5-2 lb per week. That's 75-100 lb in a year, which is not tuna fish!


It's not an automatic, though. You have to supply the want-to, the readiness, the willingness to follow instructions to the letter and to accept the help that you're gonna need to get where you want to go. I am an At-Home member, so I can't speak about meetings. I do find all the help and support I need here, more than I ever dreamed!


My wife, BTW, does attend local meetings; it seems to work better for her that way. It's cool either way, IMO.


Make a commitment to jump in with both hands and feet. Do it for just 90 days. If you do it with BCB, you'll get the help you need, lots of support, and meet a lot of wonderful people. If you go to meetings, you'll get the help you need, lots of support, and meet a lot of wonderful people. If you choose BCB, just remember we're not kidding around with this thing. Nobody's going to condone willful disregard of the program. We'll help you change your life, though..


So, either way, you win. Just don't be in a hurry. That's the #1 downfall of all in the weight loss world. Slow and steady gets it, and it stays gone that way.


Your move.


Best of luck,

Tony Florida



278/225.5/155 (since Aug 1, 2002)

2nd 10% goal = 210 (stay tuned!)


posted March 25, 2003 05:58 AM


Hiya Newme,


You know, you confuse me. You mention "struggling" to stay OP. Why?? If you really don't want to do the thing, go eat! How simple could it be?


OTOH, if you really do want to make the changes that are required, why would you struggle?


You've been handed a program that says, in effect, "Eat anything you want." You can do that one day a week, five days, seven days.... You never have to "diet." You don't have to "give up" any foods whatsoever. You aren't faced with being a "good" little girl who's OP, as opposed to a "bad" little girl who eats "what she musn't."


So where's the struggle??


Everyone has (or is hopefully on their way to getting) a life here. We understand scheduling, parties, food pushers, well-meaning but stupid people in our lives. We all face the same challenge daily: it's called "reality." But we do not, under any circumstances, dump the program -- especially for the thrill of emotional eating. I'm really happy you mentioned that!


Now, as to your eating..... You have a points range. It's not arbitrary. You supply the motivation that says, "I'm worth doing this thing for." And you do it. The idea of eating over your range may be attractive, but if you don't plan for it, you just don't do it. Remove, if you will, the element of 'choice.' It's not a choice; you just don't do that, period.


So when you accept your need to make permanent changes, and you accept the gift of this terrific way of eating (and way of life), and you remove the element of chance and choice -- I repeat myself: Why struggle? And where is the struggle? It simply disappears.


What's the secret? I'll tell you..... Over here, listen v-e-r-y c-l-o-s-e-l-y:


It's called 'surrender to win.'


Best of luck -- glad you chose BCB, and I really hope things turn around for you.


Tony Florida



278/225.5/155 (since Aug 1, 2002)

2nd 10% goal = 210 (stay tuned!)


posted March 25, 2003 05:24 AM




Remember, we are not "dieting," right??? What we are trying to accomplish is a change of life habits. If we are successful in this, the excess weight we are carrying goes away. So far, so good...


If I asked you how long you intended to keep the weight off, you'd think I was nuts. But the simple truth that no one wants to hear is that if you are not in a hurry to lose it, it will likely stay gone. If you try to rush the process, you will gain it back.


Optimally, you want a 1.5-2 lb per week loss rate. It's not dramatic enough for most of us, it's just a heck of a lot more effective. If you have already dumped 7 lb in three weeks, you're right on the money, so don't knock it.


Please bear in mind that even though patience is a dirty word (at least to me), if you really understood your body and how to feed it you most likely wouldn't be here now. So try doing what works, instead of what your "feelings" tell you should be happening.


The idea of "quick" weight loss is a left-over from the "diet" industry, and not a welcome idea here. Slow and steady gets it, and you may never have to do this again.


It's your call, really. What would you like to do? Choose now.


Best of luck,

Tony Florida

posted March 25, 2003 11:21 PM


Hi all,


Well, I hit 60 in December, and Amy's joining me there this coming Monday. We are both still working full time, and choice has nothing to do with it.


I am in the music business, have been for my entire working life. Even though I've been more successful than many -- I've had decent work most of the time and love what I do -- the financial (lack of) rewards have been astounding! Amy is an asst. mgr for a gourmet supermarket company outlet here, and I work for a 5-star, 5-diamond hotel. It's a good life, although we are well aware that the clock is ticking.


I know there were a few times I had the opportunity to improve my financial picture. I suppose most of them occurred when I was too young, when I thought the big bucks were "just around the corner." Well, who knows? They still might be. I still have a shot as a songwriter, even though my performing days are numbered....


With all that said, I have to tell you that playing nightly, working at a gorgeous property, living under "the sheltering palms," and getting the balmy breezes from the Gulf of Mexico -- well, it's not all that hard to take. I'm sure that if this were January, and I was in New York City, waiting for a #$%*! subway train after working till 4AM, my view might be somewhat different. As it is, I'm content.


Then, too, I spent a part of my younger days following some pretty esoteric spiritual practices. One of them included daily meditation on my own death. (Not as grim as it sounds, btw!) I got really clear on the truth of "You can't take it with you," and that's stood me in good stead.


I know it's cold comfort to those whose minds are made up, but living in Southern Florida I see a *lot* of retirees. People have spent their entire lives socking away the bucks so they could "take their ease" in old age. Hmph!


Well, the reality is that about a third seem to think "retirement" translates to "Aah, now I can finally drink the way I want to!" They stay blitzed from early till late.


Another third are hell-bent to grab every bargain in every store, and every early-bird special in every restaurant -- but they all drive in the middle lane at 20 mph to get there! Getting around town "in season" is madness!!


The balance are, unfortunately, so ill and on so many meds that when one says 'hello' they generally get stuck for an answer. Their conversation is severely limited, and the topic is always "the tube" -- what they put in on one end, and what emerges (after a lot of Metamucil) on the other. BTW, the orange-flavored Metamucil is pretty good! Hee-hee...


In general, I understand now why South Florida is referred to as "God's waiting room." And frankly, if that's what retirement is about, I don't want any part of it!


Besides, the truth is Amy and I have all the money we need to live the rest of our natural lives......as long as we die by Saturday.


No, you're not alone....


Tony Florida


Topic: No place for vitriolics

Tony Florida




Member # 22949 posted March 27, 2003 01:34 AM


Hi all,


I received a PM from a Buddy who takes rather strong exception to a rather tasteless remark I made on another thread here. We have discussed this difference of opinion rationally, for which I am grateful. It's only one of the ways in which BCB far excels the vast majority of cyberspace.


My knee-jerk statement was made when I was offended by a statement made by still another Buddy. I took it to be an example of a current fashion loosely known as 'male-bashing.' Its author replied on the thread that it was meant to be a joke. My contention is that even as a joke, it was not a nice thing to suggest. In my accustomed fashion, I shot from the hip.


I decided to go off-list and PM'd the author directly. I don't know if she's seen that message. Whether she has or not, I realize that BCB is not a place for nastiness. I think most of the Buddies know that I'm aware of that. Despite that, I would like to apologize for the crudeness of my reply. It did nothing to help, and only succeeded in offending others.


I will not seek to justify the remark. I will, however, ask all the Buddies who read this to please think twice about what you post here.


I have a sensitivity to a remark like that simply because, as I noted elsewhere, I come here for help and support, just like you. To imply that because I am male I am somehow 'less than' -- even in jest -- doesn't seem to fit "help and support," in my opinion. At the very least, it's unnecessary.


Am I too quick to take offense? I don't believe so. I'm certainly no quicker to be offended than most of my female compatriots who have a bad time with PMS....


As I see it, the point is not how quickly one should take offense, but rather why there should be any cause for offense in the first place. In this case I have, as a fat man, got a lifetime of offense at the hands of others. If you have been heavy most of your life, couldn't you say the same thing?


I am as human as anyone, and I am as human as you. You are not responsible for my reactions or my moods, or my program. You are responsible for what you type.


Listen, gang, in a forum this large there are going to be people who are coming from some pretty sick situations. The saying "We're all here 'cause we're not all there.." comes to mind. And the fact is that you and I don't know who's reading our words, or what power those words carry. It really is one more good reason to be careful.


Thanks for your understanding. You have my word that I will continue to do my best to exemplify the solution, not the problem.


With love and respect,

Tony Florida


posted March 27, 2003 02:04 AM




My losses, too, have been slower than I'd like and protein seems to play a role in helping.


I spent all of February dead level on the scale, which was pretty frustrating. Someone here made the suggestion that when I analyzed my journals I take a look at the protein/carb balance. I'm glad I did.


I was a horrendous meat-eater, so I naturally over-compensated! I didn't revert to my former way, just began to adjust the meals to include a point or two more protein at each meal.


What's it mean?


Well, I'm not as egg-shy as I was. I probably have eggs (2 at a time) twice a week now, instead of once in two weeks.


I've begun using 8 oz of chicken instead of 6. I am more inclined to eat beef or pork than I've been for the last 6-8 months. I still don't go nuts with it, but for example, last night I had BBQ ribs.


I'm really happy that since I made that change, really a "small" one for the "king of the 220oz ribeye," I've gotten back into a losing track.


In general, I just can't eat as much at a sitting as I used to. It means getting a little smarter about what WW calls "The Right Mix."


Oh, and by the way, my body lets me know quickly if I'm going in the right direction. Whenever I change something like this, I pay attention to how quickly I begin to feel cravings or hunger again.


I realize your nursing situation may make for different needs, but you can get the protein from places like I mentioned, or soy, TVP, nuts and seeds -- all sorts of ways.


Best of luck,

Tony Florida


posted April 01, 2003 03:07 PM


Hi all,


I have had an interesting weekend, foodwise. Amy's birthday 'festival' started on Saturday and ended last night. We had a lot of meals out, lots of atypical really fancy food....lots of points, undoubtedly. We laughed a lot, had a wonderful time, and I can say that Amy's made the transition from her 50's to her 60's with grace and good humor.


One other thing I did was give a lot of thought to my involvement on BCB. Looking over the F & S board last night I became aware of yet another issue in which I seem to have a role. I'm only going to make one little comment here; it's for clarification, not for debate.


I've had a horrible history with food problems for over 50 years. I've been on every "diet" known to civilization at least once, and only recently came to grips with the whole problem with an eye toward a real solution.


One thing is quite clear to me: I cannot do this alone. I need the help and support of like-minded people who are interested in a no-nonsense approach to weight loss. I believe I found that here at Bootcamp, and was really thrilled!


In order for it to work, though, I have to be able to trust the people I'm involved with to be truly supportive, without strings and conditions. I know from past experience -- lots of it -- in other areas of my life that "unconditional" is a really important word in matters like this.


In short, I have to be able to be just who I am, and open myself to you in ways I certainly would not with the "general public." I've got to let you know things about me they'd never hear. I need to be vulnerable and able to communicate what's going on inside my head and my heart. I need to trust you.


I've been in the entertainment business for over 40 years, and made a really in-depth study of comedy. I know what's funny. I also know that all comedy is based on exposure of failings. All comedy is funny at someone's expense. I didn't make that up, it's just the way it is.


To cut to the chase: If I am to trust enough to be open enough to get the help I need here, what am I supposed to think when I find the overwhelming majority of those present think that a 'slap' at guys is acceptable here? If I lay myself out and get real, who's going to assure me that nothing I say will be made the subject of another 'joke?'


Am I really making too much of it all?


Honestly, I don't think so. I noticed that when I postscripted my post about making nasty cracks about women's suffrage and "fat, dumb and pregnant" jokes, no one replied. And yet, when a female member took umbrage at my taking offense and threatened to leave, everyone was all over her with consolation about her hurt feelings.


And that is what has convinced me that it's time I just shut my mouth. I think it's a shame that a double standard should exist, but evidently -- at least on this board -- that's just the way it is.


Once again, I deeply apologize for anything you may perceive as inconsideration on my part. It's clear to me that what I think of as inconsiderate is not relevant.


Thank you very much for your clarification. I assure you I won't be causing any further difficulties.


Very best wishes to all,

Tony Florida


posted April 04, 2003 03:25 PM


Hi all,


Who says nice guys don't finish??


I've spent the better part of three months flapping my gums and being a windbag around here, and what did it get me??




Now I can celebrate my new NCO status by shutting up some more!


Best to all,

Tony Florida


posted April 04, 2003 01:43 PM




Originally posted by Kelly Malloy:

...right now is going on Saturday mornings to get weighed.

I've been going for about 4 weeks and haven't had the greatest start. It's friday now, added to it being "that time of the month" and I am completely cringing being weighed tomorrow.

If anyone has any suggestions for how to remember to write/journal everything. could you send them to me?



Hi Kelly,


Sure can't help ya with TOM, cuz I'm not built that way....


As to journaling, however, in the beginning (and still) I determined that I would make this way of life a priority. I dunno, maybe it's a case of "How badly do you want to succeed?"


I got the materials from WW by mail, having signed up as an At-Home member. I read all the stuff they send, which are the booklets you get when you begin meetings, etc. And, of course, they supplied the packet of little journal thingies.


In the first few weeks I was never without that kit. I laughingly called it my 'purse.' (Got a few raised eyebrows at work, too! ) But there's that little mantra: "Write every bite!". I knew I'd just have to make the effort to do this until I got used to it. Just like a lot of things in life, whether I like it or not has nothing to do with it. It's a 'just do it' thing...


Most of the excuses I hear from people who don't do it are 1) it's too much trouble; 2) I don't like feeling 'different;' or 3) I'm embarassed to whip out the journal in public, but then I forget.


All I can think of is being put on a three-dose-a-day medication which, if I don't take it, will cause me instantly to have a convulsion or something. I'd sure as hell find a way to remember to take that medicine. It would become a 'habit' real quick. And I wouldn't give a thought to anyone else's view of my taking it!


To me, getting my weight and eating under control is just as serious. It means no more "diets" and being willing to go to any lengths to make the necessary changes. There are no reasons not to do this, only some pretty lame excuses.


Well, that's worked for over 50 pounds now, and I wouldn't dream of not writing every bite. It's just no big deal....



Tony Florida


posted April 04, 2003 12:17 AM




Basically there are two ways that are pretty cool. One is to eat the meal that 'fits' the time of day, like bfast in the morning after work, etc.


The other is to make your 'day' the one you follow. That means eating bfast in the late afternoon before work, lunch in the wee hours, and dinner in the AM before you go to bed, so to speak.


I've done both, before and after WW. I've been a night guy for 40+ years. The main thing I've learned (with all due respect to Oprah) is that my stomach doesn't know how to use a clock. If I take *any* 24-hour period, regardless of the start and finish times, and simple work my program, it's gonna work out fine.


Now it means maybe a little adjustment, but you also have room to try both options to see which works better for *you.* I'd do just that -- try them both -- and customize the plan you feel more comfortable with.


It doesn't require crisis measures. This isn't 'building a rocket;' it's adjusting meal times, that's all. I've found that either method seems to work equally well, and doesn't screw up my weight loss, either. I *tend* to do the first one -- bfast around noon, lunch at work and dinner after, but that's more from convenience than necessity.


Keep in touch and let us know how you make out with it. Us "night-owls" gotta stand together!


Best wishes,

Tony Florida


posted April 04, 2003 12:59 AM


Hi Diana,


I've learned a couple of things:


1 - I have to practice constant vigilance. I often talk about the little green b@#$*d that sits on my shoulder. He whispers to me, all sorts of terrible stuff about me, to make me give up. I think of him as a deadly enemy. And because he's always there, I'm never out of the woods, where what you called "mindless eating" is concerned.


2 - NO DIETING! On any given day, I bet I have at least three or four instances where I catch myself thinking like a "dieter." It's been a long haul for me, and all that conditioning goes pretty deep, so I need to keep telling myself "It's a way of life, not a temporary aberration."


3 - I CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. This may be the most important lesson of all. I may be an At-Home member, but I'm not "Home Alone." I need people, feedback, and shared experience to make this thing work. I need to write or email or call someone before I do something that's gonna hurt me, not after! This took a long time for me, but I'm used to it now. I go by the axiom that "WE can do together what I cannot do alone."


And these little "learnings" stand me in good stead every single day.


Best to ya,

Tony Florida


posted April 05, 2003 01:51 AM


Hi all,


Gee, how do you pick 'one' as most important?!?


Here are just a couple from me:


1 - NO "DIETING!!" Since most newbies aren't new to diets at all, commit to yourself to make this a real lifestyle change. Your best thinking about food and eating got you here, so why not try for a real solution from here forward?


2 - ONE DAY AT A TIME! I bet the number one cause of failure at losing weight is because of the impatience we feel when it all doesn't just disappear!


It took me a looooong time to yo-yo my way to signing up last October, and I am committed to doing this in "day-tight compartments." There's no pressure from needing instant results, and no looking down the road at how terribly far off my goal might be. I will do this thing and live my life OP for this day, and renew my commitment each day forward. Yesterday and tomorrow are illusions to me, and I don't sweat 'em! Being OP for today is my full-time job!


3 - FIX THE HEAD, AND THE FOOD WILL FOLLOW!! My personal opinion that this is the Number One thing!


That trainer guy of Oprah Winfrey's mentioned again just yesterday that the real problem is in the emotions. According to his research, there are a small group who just make bad food choices, and a smaller group with genetic pre-disposition to excessive weight gain. The rest of us are just 'emotional eaters,' pure and simple!


Well, I've been saying that for years! We are eating compulsively and obsessively to cover up emotional issues, and we need to get those handled or we're screwed. When you've always got a problem with food, food is not the problem!


So, by making this a top priority right from the start and doing the work we need to in between the ears, we gain knowledge of what's defeating us. a new respect for ourselves, and a better way to deal with the people, places and things in our lives. And I can flat guaran-dam-tee you that if you do this part -- even if it means getting outside help -- food and weight will cease to be a problem once and for all. I think that's worth going for, don't you??


These three are probably my top choices. I know that if my head is right, I enjoy each day. Being aware of the food choices, doing the stuff like the water and journaling is a breeze, and life is good. And when I get into bed I know I've been a much better friend to me than I ever was, and that's a wonderful feeling, gang!


Best wishes to all,

Tony Florida (whose big mouth got him promoted to Sergeant today! )




posted April 05, 2003 03:03 AM


Hi all,


I've done a lot of work in Zen and the Samurai culture of medieval Japan. It's an area of world philosophy that has been with me for nearly 40 years now, and it's very close to my heart.


So, while it probably doesn't mean much to anyone else, I changed my avatar to the Samurai. The symbol of discipline, training and dedication are a good daily reminder for me of who I am and why I'm here.


Just didn't want to confuse you with the disappearance of Inspector Clouseau!


Best wishes,

Tony Florida


posted April 06, 2003 01:08 AM


Hi Beaut,


I knew it was bound to happen eventually. The body has its own cycles, not only your TOM deal, and I figured I'd catch the wrong end of one in a WI sooner or later. Sure enough I did, and I've done it several times since!


Y'know, since I gave up even the idea of "dieting," and accepted this new way of life for my journey, the gaining and losing really don't mean too much. Oh, sure, I want losses every week, and I want the whoosh fairy to take up residence at my house! Who doesn't?? But the truth is that after sooooo many years of playing mind games with myself, and letting me down and getting nuts and despondent, the way things are today is ever so much better.


I put on a lot of weight. With all the yo-yo'ing I'd guess it's close to a ton! But I didn't get to last October's sign-up overnight. So there's no reason to expect the last 100 lb are going to just take wings and fly away in a week or a month or two.


I go by, "Fix the head and the food will follow." My main effort is in between my ears, because that's where the victory will be won. And that's exactly what's happening. If I average a pound a week, that's over 50 lb for this year!


I can relax and feel good about each day as it comes. I can get off the carousel and not feel tense and tight and desperate to lose!! I can just be me, and the weight seems to be leaving of its own accord.


That's what I think works best in the present, and what I believe will keep it off down the road, which is really important to me. When folks here started pounding on me about this being a way of life, I opened up my mind to that "novel" idea, and I've begun to see the wisdom in it.


This is really terrific! The weight goes when it goes, I stay (relatively) sane, and best of all, I am enjoying the trip -- and the company!


Why not give some consideration to the idea that if you deal with the head -- the emotions behind the eating and all the desperate struggle about it -- that you may be doing yourself a tremendous favor. After all, you are not a number on a scale, you're a human being, and you deserve better!


Best regards,

Tony Florida


posted April 07, 2003 12:54 AM


Hi Scrubbie,


I didn't have to go past the remark about the phones to realize you're under a lot of pressure right now! So, first things first:



(That's my rendition of a "group hug!")


I think sitting down with yourself, and just taking time to breathe for a bit would be a wonderful start. Then, with a relative calm between the ears, take a little trip back in your memory of how you got to WW. Think about the false starts and disappointments that finally gave rise to the click.


Think, too, about BCB, the friends you've made here, and the mutual support on these boards. The fact is you've been a lot of help to a lot of people here, and you've also gotten a lot of help and support when you needed it. That's worth fighting for, and worth keeping in mind.


Next, remember that when the whole world's nuts that diving head first into food isn't going to change any of that. Eating won't fix the mower, or reverse the overdraft, and like that.... I'm aware that you know that as well or better than I, but take a moment or two to reflect on the truth of it.


So maybe what you want isn't to eat uncontrollably, but for other stuff in your world to not be the way it is. If it's uncomfortable, frustrating or frightening, then that's where you'll find the click.


But how can we make that connection? Can't say for everyone; for me, it's doing a spot-check inventory, maybe with pen in hand. What's right? What's not? How do you feel about the stuff (NOT the food!)? Most important, what action can you take besides eating that will get rid of the tension and pressure you're under? What can you do that will make you feel better about your own abilities and strengths?


Then take the actions your gut tells you are right. If you do this, then all the reasons for "panic eating" are no longer operative. You can find the click -- maybe a whole new click -- and keep on chugging!


Last, but I hope not least, please remember how much the Buddies care about you....including me! Stay close and keep talking about what's going on, so we can help. We really want to!


Whatever you get from this ramble, I hope it's helpful. I also hope you resist giving in to that LGB on your shoulder. I've always known that while I was in the house trying to do something about my eating, that little b@#($d is just outside, doing pushups! Tell him to get lost!!


Very best wishes,

Tony Florida

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thought become your words.

Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.

Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.

Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.

Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

Author unknown




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