Beginning The Journey

Hey folks,

It’s D.A.

I wanted to start a new blog series. This one is a bit different. I don’t know if I’ll update this series daily or weekly, but I do plan on having more installments. I’m calling this series “The Journey.”

Now let me explain that to you all. I went to my doctor last week for my yearly checkup. It went alright, I suppose. They ran a few tests, and I just got the results of those a couple days ago. There were some issues that came up. Some blood sure and testosterone issues. So, I made an appointment to go back to my doctor for a follow-up and to talk about the irregularities. It turns out that my testosterone levels are low and my blood sugar was high. To quote my doctor, they were “Super High.” That’s no bueno. No good.

He thinks that it’s possible to have late onset diabetes, but it’s also entirely possible that if he can get my sugars under control, my body might reset itself and start self-regulating again. He also said that once that happens, my testosterone levels should return to normal. If not, then we can address that later. He started me on a new medication, Metformin. That’s supposed to help accomplish two big things. One, to bring down my sugars. The other, is to help me lose weight.

I’ve been trying to lose weight for a while, but the process has been slow. I went from being very active to almost zero activity overnight when my back went out. Literally, overnight. I went to bed fine and woke up unable to stand up on my own. I don’t know why it happened like that, but it did. My career as a cop was over in an instant, although I wouldn’t know that for certain for a few months.

Having severe spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and arthritis hit me hard. The trifecta of bad back problems. To top it off, the surgeon said I have the lower spine of a 90 year old man. There’s no way to operate without putting me in a wheelchair. That’s just the fact of it, unfortunately. For months, I struggled to walk and because of that, I gained a lot of weight. I ballooned up to almost 320 pounds. I’ve been trying to lose the weight since I’ve gotten some mobility back, but it’s slow. I had a procedure called a spinal ablation and it’s really helping. It didn’t fix any of the damage, but it’s helping to take away the pain. And I’m walking without a cane for the first time in a few years.

 So, I started my Metformin and this is my first day on the Journey. This is something I don’t just want to do. I have to do it. For my health and for my family. So, I weighed in after I got out of the shower. I weighed 279.6 pounds. My goal is 220, then I’ll reevaluate from there. I’ve always been a big guy. I’m broad shouldered and thick of limb. I prided myself on my strength, both as a cop and as a man. I’m still strong, I just have to be wary of my back and avoid doing anything that can cause more damage. The stenosis and degenerative disc disease will only get worse with time. At some point in my future is a wheelchair. It’s unavoidable, but I can fight it for as long as possible. Thus, the losing weight part. Not only will losing weight cause less strain on my back, it’ll also help with the blood sugar and high blood pressure. It’s a win-win.

My journey begins now. I’m on the medications and I’m changing my diet completely. It’s totally in my hands to fix this issue, to improve my health and to regain my activity levels. I want to get back into the woods. To go fishing again. To hunt again. To do the things I’ve missed doing for the last few years. Now, I know this journey won’t be easy. I’ve got temptations to fight, and I have to exercise discipline. I like to eat. It’s just a fact of life. I’m not fat because I just woke up that way. I’ve eaten too much junk food, sweets, and fatty foods for my entire life. That’s my fault. Mia Culpa. But that ends now.

I cut soda out of my diet months ago. Frankly, I don’t miss it. Once in a while, I’ll take a sip of my wife’s drink or just order one at a restaurant because they don’t have tea and I hate it. It’s so sickly sweet that I don’t enjoy drinking it anymore. I figure it’s going to be like that with other things too. I’m going to keep more fresh fruit in the house. A good orange is better for me than a snack cake. An apple better than candy bar. It’s the decisions that we take for granted. I just have to make better ones and remain conscious of them.

I need to drink more water, too. I’m going to see to that first thing. Hydration is key. It helps keep the body functioning at peak capacity and flushes out toxins. I’ll use the old Army way to gauge my hydration levels. Yep, you guessed it. The color of your pee will tell you everything you need to know. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. The clearer, the better.  So, I’ll shoot for clear, and I’ll be in the clear. See what I did there. Tossing in a bad pun. Gotcha.

From now on, I’ll post my weight with each new blog update on “The Journey.” Like I said, my goal is 220 pounds, then I’ll reevaluate my situation. That’s about sixty pounds. I know that will have a huge impact on everything in my life. From energy levels, to strain on my back, to blood pressure, to blood sugar, to well…. Everything.

Don’t think this will take away from my writing schedule. Along with changing the way I eat; I’m changing the way I work. I’m dedicated to an overall improvement in all aspects of my life. That means better time management for writing projects. I hope that will actually increase my productivity and help me focus on finishing projects. I’ve got a lot of stories left to tell and if I want to tell them, I have to make some changes to improve my health.

I might do a bi-weekly update on the show, too. All of you out there in the #DAExMachiNation can help cheer me on and keep me motivated. I’m doing this for myself, but I’m also doing it for my family. That includes all of you. The people who have been with me on this other journey. The writing journey and the podcast. Stories are journeys that we take together. Thank you all for taking this journey with me.

Day One of the Journey – 279.6 pounds.

I have no idea how long this will take, but I’m dedicated to seeing it through. Your support and encouragement would really be appreciated. Thank you all for taking the time to read this. See you along the Journey.

  • D.A.

16 thoughts on “Beginning The Journey

  1. Rich Hartman

    Good luck bud. I to am on that path. Luckily they caught it early and you are paying attention to it. I tried all sorts of fad diets but the only thing that works is eat less (and better), move more. Practice GOYA (Get off your Ass) as much as your back allows. It’s not easy so take the little victories and don’t get to down if you back slide. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.


  2. Robert Delzell

    I really hope all goes will. I have been going thru this same sugar thing and high blood pressure for a while now for 40 years. My back has same thing going on for long time and the Doctors said it would put me in a wheelchair 7 years ago but I’m staying active and my back hurts every time I walk . The reason I am telling you this I am now 71 years old and still going, So cheer up and keep fighting and you just have to keep moving. I guess I am sort of lucky because the Veteran Admin. has to take care of me because of other things and they do not give pain meds. I really Hate to hear about this. My wife and I love your books and Cameron Buckner doing your books, we have listened to other Cryptid audio but yours are the best by far. Will be praying for you and keep writing. Hope this gives you better hope for the future.


  3. Bobby Casey

    I’m with you DA. I’m 68 and retired 4 years ago and ballooned to 297lbs. Like you I have always been big. Been on metformin now for a couple of years. If it upsets your stomach I found ginger helps with that. Tablets and candied ginger. I struggled with my weight for years but last year after a doctor visit with my a1c 9 and blood sugar 189 I new I had to do something. I lost a little on my own but couldn’t stick with anything. Had a friend who was going to a place call Metabolic Research so last August I started and since then I have lost over 50 lbs. I needed someone to be accountable too. My a1c was 5.9 the last time and blood sugar is 93. Its not cheap but cheaper than a hospital stay. Also when I first heard your interview on Dixie Cryptic I read all your books in a month and a half. I always keep watch out for the next one and yes I just finished First Hunt. Love your books and your podcast so please do what the doctors say , you make the world a better place to be in.


    1. Thank you. I’m definitely taking active steps to not only lower my sugar, but to lose weight. I know they say Rome wasn’t built in a day. So, I’ll keeping taking steps until I get there. I’m really glad you like my writing. Cam is great to work with and we’ve got a lot of projects planned together. I’m really glad you liked Dark Frontiers. I’ve never written a western before and hoped people would enjoy it. Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it. – D.A.


  4. Nick Schmidt

    Mr. Roberts in reading this blog I realized we are dealing with very similar struggles. I too Metformin…yippie. And being former Military Law Enforcement I can relate to having a large part of your self identity taken away.
    I over shared all that to say, you got this! If i can do this, i know you can do it! We all believe in you.


      1. Henry Kent

        Mr Roberts,
        I also am on similar Medication for the last 11years now. It’s not easy but of course it can be done. In part of my firefighter training I/ we were told “look out for number 1 then you can take care other the others. So I know what you mean when you say you’re doing it for yourself and then your family.
        You’ll get there one pound at a time, it took a while to get where you are so it’ll take time to meet your goal. I know you can do it
        I love all of you books so far and I just finished
        Apex Predator: Dark Moon and I’m really looking the next installment. Getting ready to continue with the 4th Book of Ragnorok Rising
        Well Mr Roberts wishing the Very Best on you new Journey.
        Keep up the Great Work!


  5. Andria Vincent

    You can do it. I’ve been on the same journey as you. I started it 5 years ago. I’ve lost 200 lbs. I went from 370, diabetic, mobility scooter, and oxygen to 168 (so far), no diabetic meds, no oxygen, and I work out 2 hours a day at the gym now. Heck I start an actual job at the gym tomorrow.


      1. Andria Vincent

        I’m also an 11+ years lung cancer survivor with 1 1/3 lungs and I turned 54 on St. Patrick’s Day so I’m not a spring chicken that seems to be able to lose weight by thinking about a diet. LOL


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