Journal entry, 11-17-06 (continued)
While I was walking through Tulsa, I stopped by a "Lot of Burger" because they had an outside table. I ordered a
diet soda and sat there for about 30 minutes. I met some very wonderful folks there.
This is a video that I made from two ladies that worked there. Their names are Judy Bush and Colleen Bennett.
We talked for a while during their work break and I told them all about my journey. They were really happy to know
that I was doing something that might inspire others to want to be healthier.
After leaving there I walked a ways further and found a clinic and thought I might be able to go inside and weigh. I
really thought it would be no problem weighing. I have weighed across the country and no one ever said no. Until I
ran into Debbie. I made a short video of it. I don't blame her for saying no, after all they were busy and it is their
right to say no. I just want to show folks it is not always so easy getting things done.
After I left there I ran into a nice guy that gave me real good directions on how to get out of Tulsa. His name is
John Dewell. He is a very interesting man and knows a lot of history about Tulsa.
As I was walking out of Tulsa on route 66 I stopped at the flying J truck stop. There I met a guy named Rod
Sawman who was a truck driver. I shared with him my story and showed him my website and we really had a great
talk. As he was leaving, he handed me a gift certificate and said my next meal was on him. It was very kind of him.
The waitress that we had was so nice and was very interested in my journey I thought it would be nice to put her
picture here as well.
I am fixing to pitch my tent behind the Flying J. It is kinda funny, no one will know I am out there. That is the way it
is with my tent. I wait until dark and no one sees me put it up. The only disadvantage to that is, I will have to take it
down before daylight or some one will see me out there. I am posting this journal at the same time these events
take place. I guess on one side, the whole world knows where I am sleeping tonight. Please, don't sneak out and
scare me if you are in the area.
I may try and take another picture in my tent tonight and post it tonight still. We will see if I can get the lighting just
right. Take care all, Gary, "Keep on Walking, one foot in front of the other."
Journal entry, 11-19-05
Every once in a while I get an email that really inspires me and I like to share them with everyone. This one is in
response to one of my journal entries.
I have been following your walk from the beginning, after hearing about Steve Vaught and then, through his site,
about you. I catch up with your journal entries (and now your great video clips :-)) on a regular basis ( I am a British
woman living in Berlin, Germany, where I work as a translator), and always find inspiration in your positive attitude
and honest, humble approach to life and to your walk - your attitude is admirable and I think you are an excellent
role model, both for those who wish to lose weight, and in general, as someone who seems to me to be doing their
best and facing up to their problems. That's something not many of us are able to do as courageously as you are. I
have thus been really happy that you have made so much progress and revolutionised your life in this way. When
you started walking with Dr. Judi Herring and took up the fast-5 diet, I became interested and now own a copy of
the book, which makes sense. In fact, I had been eating in a similar way to fast-5 for around 10 years, and am now
making a few adjustments to bring myself into line with the lifestyle, which I find suits me very well, so I can
understand why you now feel so good on it!
In your journal entry of 17th November, you mentioned that you weren't sure that you could maintain your weight
loss and keep the weight off. I can really understand this fear. I am 27 and have struggled with eating issues
(mainly surrounding not eating enough, being very controlled and, at one time, almost anorexic, before then
putting weight on and yo-yoing up and down) for around 13 years, and I really empathise with the fear that one
could so easily spiral out of control, either eating too much or too little, as both are forms of the mental disorder
you mention in yo ur journal entry. Like you, I admire those who can eat "normally", who don't have to struggle with
their weight and can somehow maintain a healthy balance between their mental state and their desire to eat.
However, I sometimes think that maybe these same people struggle in other areas of their lives, and that everyone
has some sort of burden which they have to deal with. For me, the fact that you're trying to face your problem and
deal with it is the most important thing: failure, and the desire to give it all up, is a part of that, it's a natural thing
and we're definitely tested in our resolution as far as eating, weight loss, drink or drugs are concerned again and
again, but the crucial thing is that you don't give up, and you really don't sound as if you have given up!! These
words may sound simplistic, and I know that I really don't know you well, only from what you've writte n on your
website, but I hope you don't mind me sharing my opinion with you. You write that you don't think you are the best
person to teach others about weight loss. I disagree! You are very brave, you have admitted that you have a
problem and are doing your utmost to solve it, and more importantly, you are allowing others a very personal
insight into your worries, fears, strengths and weaknesses - how many others would feel able and willing to do
that? This makes you, for me, a wonderful role model and a strong, good person - I would love to take a leaf out of
I think most people have some kind of mental disorder, whether this surrounds food, drink, narcotics, smoking,
whatever, as people are inherently arbitrary beings and can't always strike a balance, and it's easy to get out of
control when life throws a series of problems at you. I used to think that, by controlling my eating so strictly, I was in
control of at least one part of my life, as all the other parts seemed totally crazy, but, in the end I realised that the
"crazy" things were just life taking its usual, unpredictable course, and it was my eating patterns which were out of
control. It's hard to let go and admit that, and I definitely sometimes still make the same mistakes, but not as much
as before. The way I see it, having a mental disorder isn't so bad, it's the way you deal with it which is the important
I have been rambling on too long, sorry! Really, I just wanted to pass on my best wishes for you, your journey, your
message and to tell you that you are doing absolutely brilliantly, as you really want to change and feel better, and
are taking millions (!) of positive steps towards your goal.
Good luck, Gary, and I hope you get home in time to spend a wonderful Christmas with your wife!!!!!
All the very best for you,
Thank you Hattie for sharing your thoughts and kind words with me, and now the world. I never wanted my life to
become so public but I knew becoming public was inevitable when I started this walk. I felt that sharing my life was
worth it when It helps one other person. Sometimes I feel all alone out here and that makes me have my moments
of weakness. But great letters like yours and hearing from my wonderful new friends all the time keep me going.
There are a lot of folks that have really became close to me kind of like family. My friend from San Diego, Judi,
Mary (who both accompanied me from California to Oklahoma) and Bert (The Doctor that wrote the book about the
Fast-5 lifestyle) from Florida, Max from Pa that calls me every week, Roger and Linda also from Pa, Terri and
Bradley from Illinois, Charlie, Bonnie & BK from Louisiana, Teresa and Robert from Texas, all my aunts and
uncles, Nieces and nephews, cousins, my biggest fan Evelyn Phelps, who is my Mother in Doniphan, Mo, and
mostly my wife Cheryl. If I tried to name everyone it would take me a week.
Here are a few wonderful folks I met in Catoosa, Ok.