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After neglecting my body and health for the better part of the last two decades, I decided enough was enough.
Last year I was helping to coach my son’s baseball team at the 9-10 year old level. I was overweight and out of breath just watching the kids practice. One day I was shagging fly balls in the outfield and almost killed myself making catch. Once the ball was in the air, I starting running and for a split second, I forgot I was fat and 275 lbs I thought I was tracking a flyball like I was in high school. Well, I made the catch and couldn’t stop running. I literally had to run for another 15-20 seconds to slow down so I wouldn’t fall on my face. This was the beginning of my decision to finally stop making excuses and do something about my health, I had no energy. My knees, heels, back and pretty much every joint in my bad…HURT REAL BAD!!! My wife was tired of hearing me bitch about how I felt, because I refused to do anything about it. My excuses were…I don’t have the time. We have too many kids that need our attention. I’m too tired. I can’t exercise or I will hurt myself more. I can’t afford the gym. I can’t afford to eat healthy foods. I can’t afford vitamins and supplements. These are all true statements, however, I needed to figure it out. When I went to the doctor’s later that summer to get some anti-inflammatory meds for my back and knees, I was a staggering 285 lbs. I was so embarrassed. I had let myself go and if I didn’t make some changes first, I wouldn’t be around to see my kids get married and give me grandkids and that thought made me sad, scared and angry all at the same time.
So my better half was introduced to this health and wellness company that sold products for energy, weight-loss, nutrition and sports performance. The company is AdvoCare. After an In-home presentation, we decided we were going to do this together. It was a huge investment of time and money, but it successful, it would be worth it. We began with their 24 Day Challenge. This was extremely difficult as we began our quest to eat better, take appropriate supplements and general healthier life-style. I did very well with the change in diet and food portions. I couldn’t get into the exercise as it would take me 3-4 days to recover my sore joints from a 20 minute walk. I lost 25 lbs in the 24 day challenge. This was working and I was exciting about the progress. We started this in September. It is now almost May 1st and I have settle into the 225-230 lbs range over the last 2 months, but now I have not only able to exercise, but now working with a personal trainer once a week to help me push through to the next level. My goal is 200 lbs, by November of this year. Now, I am focusing on building lean muscle so that it will help push through this last 20-30 lbs.
Here’s how I know its working…I had my yearly physical last week. I had a positive exam where my doctor said I physically checked out well and no concerns. My biggest nemesis over the years has been my blood work. I typically have a Vasovagal response every time I have blood drawn, shots or get an IV. This time, I got my blood drawn and was able to leave in minutes instead of the 15-20 minutes of blacking out or something similar. Saturday, I got my results in the mail. For the first time in nearly 15 years, I have NO RED FLAGS. My liver enzymes, sugar and cholesterol have always been borderline if not flagged. I was put on blood pressure meds last year and I no longer have to take them. It was such an empowering feeling to see my hard work and money was paying off.
Yeah I have a long way to go. If I can do it, anyone can. It has been worth every penny and I now feel I will get to see my kids grow up and do something amazing..I also feel I have that since I’ve been feeling better and my wife has been doing the program with me, we have grown closer and have been able to enjoy each other in ways we haven’t been able to in a while. Oh and if you have any questions about the programs…just ask. Atalie is a distributor and we can get you info if interested. It has changed our lives. It will only work if you are committed to it as well as the nutrition and exercise. This is just a tip of what healthy looks like…
Many of you reading this blog spent time this past Sunday with family and friends. You did this because you were celebrating. Perhaps you were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you were celebrating the Passover. Perhaps you were celebrating the arrival of the Easter Bunny and all his/her sweet goodies. Regardless, it was a great opportunity to spend time with the people you love and the majority of the world observes it in some way. When the 24 hours groceries stores are closed, you know its a serious holiday.
My family and I had ANOTHER reason to celebrate this Sunday. Our first baby, Quentin Taylor Luhrs, celebrated “the 10th anniversary of his birth.” These are his words of course. He has grown into a handsome, intelligent, compassionate and creative young man who is an amazing big brother. If you are following, my better half’s posts, you know this boy had a special purpose in life from their very beginning and we couldn’t be more proud to be his parents. He was used by God as an anchor to keep this family together in the early years. He has been a rock to build on over the last 10 years.
I look forward to see him continue to grow up and be a positive impact on this world. I love you, Son! Never compromise who you are and what you believe.
My last post really was a downer and probably left you a little empty inside and wanting more.
Since my most prominent writing influence is the best screenwriter and director of all time, Quentin Tarantino, I figured it was appropriate to use a non-linear format to storytelling on this site. Flash-forward from the dark cliff hanger in California in 2003 to New Jersey, 2012. My, now, beautiful bride was extremely pregnant with Quincy Boy. We were celebrating her birthday, and I took her off to a “surprise” dinner. She figured out in a few seconds, where we were going because I can be predictable at times. This was, of course, playing right into my plan. We were going to one our favorite places, The National Hotel, in Frenchtown, NJ. This is her favorite place to get a tasty burger. The first surprise is we were meeting some friends. We will call them Arthur and Kelly. This appeared to be a wonderful surprise for my gorgeous, glowing bride. This night was the seed that has now developed into this blog site. We spent the next two hours giving our interpretations of “our story.” It was amazing to actually hear how far we had come.
What my bride did not realize, I had written a long song for her using a poem I wrote during a marriage retreat we had attended approximately 6 months prior. Because I am a terrible singer, I had enlisted Kelly’s help as a vocal coach as well as some background vocals. After dinner, we went downstairs to enjoy the Open Mic artists perform. Arthur and Kelly had smuggled my guitar in earlier in the evening and I had signed up during a “trip to the bathroom.” We got downstairs with only one artist to go before me. At the appropriate time, the host announced me and I went on stage to perform my love song to my blindsided and probably mortified bride. Kelly also came on stage for some back up vocals as I sang, with all my heart…
Before I met you.
I’d given up on love
Risk too great for the reward
Wounds seemed to deep
for God to heal them
To open a new door
Pushed you far away
Caused you pain every day
Gradually You brought emotions back to life
You were made to be my wife
Your compassion and love
knocked me off my feet
I’ve learned so much as we’ve grown
You don’t see yourself
The way that I do
Inside and out your beauty’s shown
Pushed you far away
Caused you pain every day
You brought emotions back to life
You were made to be my wife
I’m so proud
that through the darkest clouds
We stand as one in the crowd
When our time on Earth is through
I will say to you
“You made all of my wildest dreams come true”
I love you
You make all my dreams come true.
There is going to be a lot of “he said, she said” on this site. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and can definitely add to the comedic value of our posts. You have been blessed with my better half’s recollection of certain events. Now its time for the gaps to be filled in…
I was a “man of the cloth,” but I was crippled in the wake of a failed marriage and unable to emotionally meet the needs of those I was called to serve. I never lost my faith, but I was struggling on how to reconcile my broken heart with the message of hope I was preaching. I felt that I needed to get my life back in order before I could be effective in serving others and their spiritual needs. So I graciously submitted my resignation and got my credentials to be a substitute teacher. At this time, the State of California had a shortage of subs and I could make a cool $125 a day and be home by 4pm. I could even decline to work on a day I wasn’t feeling up to it and not worry about losing my job. Other than this, all I was doing during at this time was working a screen play and watching movies with my roommates. I had a brilliant idea. I could get a part-time job at a video store to get free movies and a few extra bucks. I would follow in the footsteps of Quentin Tarantino.
So I applied at 2 chain stores and a mom and pop shop. Only one called me back. The manager called me and asked me to come in for an interview. So I rocked some slick threads that I knew would leave an impression: tight black shirt with one vertical white strip, black Dockers and black shoes. I was dressed for success and it clearly worked as I was asked to interview for the assistant manager position instead of a clerk. I killed it at the interview and got a call the next day that the district manager wanted to interview me in the Valley to test a new interview protocol as a training session for all the store managers in the district. I was used to speaking in front of 30-50 youth every week so a dozen or so adults I never met before was hardly a challenge. I must have killed it yet again, as I was offered the position of Assistant Manager. My Empire Records persona bestowed on me by the crew was “Joe” as portrayed by Anthony LaPaglia. Indeed Wikipedia describes “Joe”/me fairly accurately as the “reluctant and perpetually exasperated but loveable father figure.” I quickly abandoned my lucrative substitute teaching career for more time with the “HV Family.”
I began to spend more and more time with the store manager as we formed a connection as a “failed marriage support group.” I began hanging out at the store even when I wasn’t on shift. I felt she was the only one that understood what I was feeling. I was finally beginning to heal but I was still in a weird place. One of the “kids” from the store spilled the beans that the manager was interested in more than a friendship. This was extremely flattering, but a bit awkward at the same time. I did feel a special connection with her, but did not want to jump back into a relationship after the despair I had felt over the past year. It was a struggle to keep her at an arm’s length when I really enjoyed her company. So my natural response was to write a song called, “Love Sucks Ass.” Maybe someday I will record it for the soundtrack for this story.
This is were the story actually begins…the story of how my boss became my “Boss.”
My lovely wife, Atalie, and I thought that people might enjoy reading about the craziness that is our family. With 6 kids, a dog and a cat…life can be a bit hectic, yet shits and giggles still abound. Since our first ever blog post consisted of a profanity-laced rant about the weather, I thought I better introduce who we are and why you may care.
We are “Mixing Oil and Water.” The fun middle school science experiment claims that Oil and Water cannot mix. Oil is non-polar (the electrons are evenly spread around), and water is polar (the oxygen part of water tends to pull a Little more on the electrons than the hydrogen). My wife accuses me of implying that she is bi-polar, but I would never say that…aloud. Water is non-polar and that’s the story I’m sticking with. Anyway, this chemical makeup does not mix. The oil will separate from the water. There is, however, a way that you CAN mix oil and water and get it to “stick together.” If a compound called an emulsifier is added, the oil and water stay mixed. (Think salad dressing) An example of an emulsifier would be eggs yolks, mustard, lemon juice or my personal favorite, Grey Goose. An emulsifier allows the polar and non-polar compounds to interact and stay “mixed.” When people are as different as we are, there is little chance we would have been able to “mix.”I was East Coast, She was West Coast. I was “book” smart, She was “street” smart. She had common sense, I am full of non-sense.
What we did have was a friendship that developed out of mutual support through failed marriages. Although this brought us together, our chemical makeup, kept separating us. Then there was an emulsifier called, Quentin Taylor Luhrs. Then came the emulsifier, Zoe Bella Luhrs. Then after life was beginning to settle down a little, we had four more emulsifiers arrive in 4 of the next five years: Zali Brianna, Zannah Brielle, Quincy Tucker and Quaid Tevin. We have been extremely blessed and have been given an enormously important responsibility to raise and equip these six children to be amazing contributors to society. This is a responsibility we take very seriously, however, we get to enjoy the silliness along the way.
We hope to post something interesting, humorous and/or thought provoking several times a week. Take from it what you want, but we will share from our heart and experience. You will quickly see we have different style, humor, interests and view points. We will provide an unfiltered look at a variety of topics.