Journal Entry, 4-20-06
Great News!  As of yesterday I weight 333!  

I decided to go from Bedford to Indianapolis to put me back on Hwy 40.  Hwy 50 has a very narrow shoulder to walk
on even though I enjoyed walking on Hwy 50 and meeting all the people along the way.  So I will be on Hwy 40 until I
get to NY.  My original intention was to walk on hwy 40.  So I am now in Indianapolis and plan to be in Ohio by
Sunday or Monday.  

As I said from the beginning, I do not have a time line for this walk.  I will just keep going until it is finished.  As long
as I am losing this weight I am happy.

I receive a lot of emails from folks that are following my Journal and wonder why I can't update more often.   Out here
on the road I simply do not have a means to update my Journal.   Updating my journal is a daunting task for Cheryl
and consumes so much time that it is nearly impossible for her to deal with.  She puts in a lot of time trying to sell
Real Estate.  Thus, she gets behind and can't handle the many journals I send her. I have tried libraries, but all I can
do there is read and answer emails.  I have had a couple of people offer to do my journal for me until I can find a way
to do it.  This would only be a short term solution to the problem, if not a problem in itself.

This walk is about losing weight and bringing attention to Obesity in America.  I  felt it would be nice to post my
journey on a website so those interested could follow my walk by reading my journal.  I write my Journal nearly every
day and don't have a problem with that.   So sooner or later I will get it on the website.

Cheryl opened a website store so she could earn enough money to buy me a laptop and help support me on my
walk.  The good thing about her website is that once it was put together it requires little upkeep.  When she needs to
update products,  the suppliers get it done for her.  If Cheryl can raise enough money from her online store, I will buy
a laptop and that would allow me to post my journal daily out here on the road.  I believe that would solve the
problem.  Until then, I just have to do the best I can.

I now have Hat's and T shirts available. They are very nice.  You can check them out from the link on my home page.
All proceeds from the sales will go to help support my journey.

As far as walking, I decided to try the Spira shoes.  So far they are really doing great.  I am very happy with them.  
My feet are really doing great.  I haven't had any problems at all.  With diabetes my major concern was feet
problems.  Darlene with Foot Efx is constantly advising me on proper foot care for diabetics.  So now I will be
swapping from Spira shoes to Aetrex as needed.  I find that the Aetrex do best on flat surfaces and the Spira do best
on uneven surfaces.  Darlene also sent me some diabetic socks that are really great.  I highly recommend  anyone
that is a diabetic with feet problems, contact Darlene Schmitt with Foot Efx.  She is one of the most caring people I
have ever met and she sure knows her business.  Her contact information is:

Foot Efx
Darlene L. Schmitt, C.Ped.
Mark G. Schmitt, C.Ped.
1972 US Highway 1, South
St. Augustine, FL  32086
Telephone:  904-819-0332
FAX:  904-819-9645
Monday - Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Call to check on holiday hours.
24 hour/7 days a week education:  
Web:
www.footefx.com









I continue to receive emails from all over the world in support of my walk. I am saddened to learn about some of the
obese folks that write me that are in really bad condition. But on the bright side, most folks that write me are
encouraged by myself and Steve Vaught's effort to walk across America to lose weight. I hope that those of you that
have found a way to walk to lose weight or simply dieting can find the inner strength to continue and not give up.
Losing weight is so important for obese people. You can sweat for a few months to a year, or you can remain
uncomfortable being fat. Both are very hard to do. But by sweating and losing, you can enjoy your life feeling great
everyday and having all the fun that life has to offer. By staying fat, you waste your life away, can't enjoy it, look like
a slob, feel sick all the time, and most important, you are a ticking time bomb waiting to fall dead.
DON'T DO WHAT I
DId!
 I gave up and thought I was doomed to die.  But, Thank God for me waking up one day and deciding that I
didn't want to be fat anymore. Now I don't know why I waited so long to start losing weight. Please don't be angry with
me for making such bold statements. Losing weight and trying to help others lose weight is all about my life now. I
would gladly come to your home and help you get started on a weight loss program if you felt there was no other
way. The only thing is I need to wait until I am done with my walk, then I will dedicate the rest of my life helping others
lose weight.

A great way to walk is to make up a walking friend list with a minimum of 3 friends.  Come up with a schedule to walk
every day that would be good for you and your walking friends.  Always meet at the same place at the same time and
make it a mandatory event.  If one or two friends can't make it sometimes then there should always be at least one
that can.  This will keep you going.  Cheryl started doing it this way and it has worked well for her and her friends
now for 2 weeks.  She is now walking 5 miles every day.

For now I will be out here walking and losing this weight.  Thanks for all your emails and don't forget if you see me
out here, stop and talk.  It makes my day when I get to talk with you folks.  I really love it when you can find the time
to walk with me.  Until next update, Gary, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other.


Journal Entry, 4-21-06
Hello everyone.  I wanted to give you guys an example of email I get from folks.  This is one from a Lady named
Karen that is obese.

KayKay65  wrote:
I know you will finish your trip with your goal being accomplished. As myself being obese I know the
feeling of wanting to be a normal size.I have always struggled with my weight, and not being able to
afford any kind  of help to loose it. So whenever someone takes a step like you are doing my prays are
always with them. When I seen your story in our paper I was ecstatic. I am very happy for you and Cheryl.
She must be so proud of you. Keep on walking and you will be successful. God bless you and good luck
to you. Stay safe.
Karen

After reading her email I wanted to give her some encouragement to lose weight herself so this was my reply:
Hi Karen,  It is emails like yours that make me even more determined.  I am challenging you to find a way
to lose weight.  You are missing out on so much life being obese.  Read the last entry on my website
about the 3 buddies to walk with.  It is such a great way to lose weight.  I am going to give you a secret.  
In order to focus on losing weight, you have to stop thinking about all the at home distractions, like kids,
financial problems, etc.  Only then can you free your mind to accept what you need to do.  You know
what you need to do.  Most people that know you are not supportive and try to discourage you indirectly,
 perhaps because of their own insecurities.  You have to become a "FADI" (Focus And Do It) when it
comes to losing weight.  I hope you the best, and please keep me posted.  I want to come and visit you
when this trip is over and see how much weight you have lost.  Take care, Gary

I get a lot of email from folks like Karen.  I am so passionate about weight lose that I could not resist trying to give her
some encouragement.  I also get a lot of email from folks that give me advise.  Primarily about what to eat.  I know
that I don't have all the answers but I do know one thing for sure.  Any fat person that will start walking will lose
weight.  

I will post a different email from folks once in a while to let everyone know the different problems most folks have
when it comes to losing weight.  

Take care all, Gary, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."

JOURNAL ENTRY,  4-26-06
Hello Everyone, This is Gary's wife Cheryl, today Gary crossed over the Ohio State Line and is camped out in
Gettysburg, Ohio tonight. Journal Updates Coming Soon. Gary is on Hwy. 40 and is doing great. Thanks for caring
and following his journey, Cheryl Long.

JOURNAL ENTRY, 5-06-06
Hi Everyone, its Saturday morning Gary's cellphone got wet several days ago and he has no service, no way to send
me his journal for updates and pictures. Tomorrow he should be in Columbus, Ohio. If anyone knows someone in the
Columbus, Ohio area that could help my husband with a used verizon phone  Please call me @314-941-3939 or
email me at gary@afatmansjourney.com  Thank you, Garys wife Cheryl.  The only way he can contact me now is by
a pay phone. He's doing OK otherwise . He says hes losing weight and getting a tan too. He thanks everyone for
following his journey and will have a lot of stories to get updated on his journal. At this time I do not know when Garys
cellphone will be taken care of but one thing for sure he is going to keep on walking.  God Bless Everyone.  Thanks,
Cheryl Long

JOURNAL ENTRY, 05-11-06
I am currently in Hebron, Ohio.  I weigh 327lbs.  I plan to be out of Ohio by next weekend.  

Due to having a problem with my cell phone, I lost all the pictures I had taken between Indianapolis, In and
Columbus, Ohio.  I had met so many nice folks and taken their pictures. I am truly sorry.  If you are someone that I
took a picture of, you may email me a picture of you and I will get you in my Journal.

I write my journal almost daily but can not post it.  I can only give you these little updates for now.  When I get a
laptop computer I will go back to posting my journal updates as before.  But for now, I have to focus on my walk and
not bog my wife Cheryl down with daily journal updates.  

So for now that is the best I can do.  I am doing fine and have no problems with my feet or knees.  I am so amazed at
how great my feet are doing.  I have really been walking harder and farther for the last month.  I am feeling stronger
by the day.  I want to thank everyone that has taken the time to stop and talk with me.  

I am getting a lot of steam from a few folks that are accusing me of being a copy cat or trying to steal Steve Vaught's
recognition for walking across America.  Let me make it clear.  I am doing this walk to lose weight and bring National
Attention to Obesity in America.  I give Steve full credit for inspiring me to do this walk, but he is not carrying my 50
plus pound pack across America for me.  I am doing it.   Giving me a rough time about this is like saying after Neil
Armstrong walked on the Moon, no one else should have done  it because it would take the recognition away from
him.  This is very shallow thinking.  To sum it all up, I really don't care if some folks don't like it that I am walking
across America like Steve did.  I am doing this for myself and those that love me and a very noble cause to bring
attention to Obesity in America.  I have improved my health by leaps and bounds.  I was a very sick man when I
started this walk.  I am now on only about a third of the medicine that I used to be on.  I am not going to give up my
walk across America and I will finish it.  

I am so glad that Steve Vaught has finished his walk and I hope he does something great with his life.    As for me, I
simply want to lose this weight, go home, be with my wife, family, friends and dedicate the rest of my life trying to help
others with weight problems.  I will dedicate the rest of my life to teaching young folks about the problems with
obesity.  Now, what is wrong with that.

That is all I have to say about that.

I am always so happy and uplifted when some of you stop and talk with me.  After being on the road all day and in
the tent at night, I do get a little lonely.  I love talking with everyone, so please keep stopping when you see me, if
you can.  Until next update, take care all, Gary, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."

Today is Sunday, May 14 Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful mothers out there. Gary is in Zanesville, Ohio
today and is doing great. Have a wonderful day. Cheryl Long
Darlene in St. Louis at the Arch
the day I started my Journey
Darlene's Store in St. Augustine,
Fl. On opening day