The truth hurts.

Today has been filled with many wonderful things. A great article written about my journey in the National Dog Examiner and my very dear friend Michele Hays’s very personal account  in her own amazing blog of our time in college together.

Her words have made me ask myself the question “what if” someone would have said something to me about me weight? If my weight was addressed for the reality of what it was instead of people looking past the physical to only see what lay beyond my oversized body. I have never had a problem making friends, connecting with people or feeling like I was part of a group. I feel very blessed at the support system I have had throughout my life. When was my fat “too fat”? Was it when I couldn’t fit in the desk in 6th grade? Was it when I had to have my band uniform specially made because they did not come that large? Was it when I could no longer squeeze behind a steering wheel of a car, or perhaps when chairs collapsed under my weight? The truth hurts.

Much of my life the weight was simply ignored. We did not acknowledge it or talk about it in a way which would facilitate any change.  It simply was the way it was. In the same way my fathers dementia was not really acknowledged for so long.  Nothing more, nothing less. No one ever really challenged me, questioned me, held my feet to the fire regarding what the potential outcome was for my health. I was young, I was stupid, I was already in a long term abusive relationship with food…and I did not want to break up!

I am not sure what the answer to the “what if” question would be. I have to say, I am not sure there is one.  I don’t know that there was anything anyone could say to me that would penetrate the walls of denial I had carefully crafted through the years. I was very very obese when my 78 year old father had to undergo heart by-pass surgery. I remember the cardiologist saying to my Dad… “Mr. Hiltenbeitel your  heart is just wearing out, it has worked well for you for many years (turning to look at me) now you, you are another story…get ready to go through this yourself soon”…. It didn’t hit me until I stepped into the recovery room to see him after the operation. Tubes, wires, breathing machines, beeps and pings, oxygen and holy mother of god…giant staples from his belly button to his adam’s apple….his legs sliced open from where they took the veins out to use in his heart. I remember leaving the room and running straight to the bathroom to throw up. I then experienced my first full blown anxiety attack. I swore to myself that was it, it was going to be different. That day would be the beginning of a 250lb+ weight loss for me.

It was the cold hard  truth that I needed to hear, needed to see, and needed to fear. I did not want to die. That is really the simplicity of it all. The fear of death is a powerful thing. Yet, again I find myself motivated by fear, this time however it’s  for the innocent animals that have no voice, no choice and no hope as they are killed needlessly, violently and inhumanly all to often at “shelters” all throughout the world.  The truth hurts.





  1. Rita Morgan says:

    Hi Lori, I just posted a comment on your fb and pledge to support your amazing efforts. When I read your blog post, I felt compelled to follow-up on my fb post encouraging you to look into a veggie diet to accomplish your goal. The account of you father’s operation is so jarring, so painful, I can’t imagine how you must have felt. Please do yourself and your heart a favor and search for a show that aired a few weeks ago called “The Last Heartattack”. Also, watch the movie “Forks Over Knives”. I really think you will get a lot out it. I’m so impressed with your courage. Stay strong, for the animals you are helping and for all those extra years thst you’ll get to soak up their love!!

    • dogl2324 says:

      Hi Rita!

      First, thank you so much for your generosity and kindness, I can’t tell you how much it means to me! I am working with a nutritionist, and have eliminated all red meat from my diet at the beginning of this journey. I am also under doctors care and had a full physical in August before beginning. It’s a little wacky because most people would assume otherwise but I have optimum cholesterol levels, no high blood pressure, and my blood glucose number is great. About 6 months ago I had a EKG and cardio workup and everything looked fine. Amazing I have not done more damage to my body! I know I am on borrowed time and need to get the rest off now, it’s a gift that I have not had serious medical issues. I am very grateful.
      I have seen “forks over knives” also read all Michael Pollan’s stuff. Not too long ago I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Savour: Mindful Eating, Mindful life. I highly recommend it, if you have not read it.
      I buy as much as I can from local, organic, sustainable farms. I do some personal chef work part time and some clients are Vegan, Vegetarian, Glutton free, dairy free…you name it, I have cooked it. 🙂 I feel like if most people (who actually would be willing to know where their food came from) especially from industry slaughterhouses would never eat meat again. When I do eat meat, I know where it comes from and the methods used in their farming and slaughtering procedures. I still struggle with it, but I know nothing bearing the word TYSON will ever go into my mouth. Have you read any of the Temple Grandin books regarding slaughterhouses? Fascinating.
      This is probably way more than you wanted to know! 🙂 I would love to hear more about your veggie diet. I am always looking for more info and learning! I can tell you quinoa is my new best friend. I am cutting out pretty much all refined white flour and sugar and limiting milk products. It’s a process and I am trying to find out what will work for me long term. Again thank you for everything! Cheers- Lori

      • Rita Morgan says:

        Ha! I’m “addicted” to quinoa! It’s so yummy and versatile. If you don’t already, try making it in a rice cooker. So easy, so fast. 1:2 ratio quinoa/h20. Of course being a complete protein, it’s perfect for vegans, but so many other benefits for everyone. You have such a great handle on this stuff, there’s not much I can add, but please feel free to fb friend me and you’ll see pics/info of quinoa dishes that I make in different ways. You’ll also see my pups, Missy, Deuce and Monkey, 3 rescues who are my world and inspiration for supporting rescue efforts in any way I can.
        Once your eyes are opened to food, food production, animal suffering, health impacts etc…there is no turning back. I’m vegan b/c I’m an animal activist so I’m familiar with Temple and her work and how it’s changed the processing of animals in slaughterhouses. While I applaud her goal to reduce suffering, my wish would be for her to go one step further understand that no animal, no matter the species, wants to die.
        I have heard of but not read Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, but will now! I just came back from a 10-day meditation retreat and the food was so wonderful, not only b/c it was beautifully prepared vegan fare, but b/c you could tell it was “made with love” and I was in a frame of mind that allowed me to more aware the plate of goodness in front of me and the nourishment/healing properties of food that is truly good for you, body mind and soul.
        Indeed, you are very fortunate that you are working from a strong position health-wise. The body has an amazing ability to heal itself when given what it needs, which really is so so simple. If you saw FoK the movie, then you must see the special I mentioned. It goes into even more detail.
        BTW, with me (as I suspect with you) there is no such thing as “more than you need to know”. Knowledge is power and it’s as nourishing as food in my opinion.
        Lori, it’s a delight to talk with you and I really look forward to following your progress and supporting you in any way that I can. Sending you lots of positive energy and 3 paws up from the Morgan household!!

        • dogl2324 says:

          I too love the quinoa, I use it both for savory and sweet dishes. I will check out your pics for sure! I love Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings, world views and theory on life. Sounds like your meditation retreat was amazing! I find that true of all cooking, when it is made with love, and out of ingredients that are fresh and grown the way nature intended, it will always taste better! Thank you again for all the support and kindness and for caring about this project! Big Hugs-

  2. Moody says:

    I agree with Bob on the “losing” weight.
    I’ve tried to lose it so often, but it keeps finding its way “home” again.

    And yes, sometimes we need a big, fat boot to the @$$ to get us going.

    The truth does hurt, but we need to see it and face our fears in order to grow. Hiding serves no-one.

    Keep up the good work!!

    • dogl2324 says:

      Yeah, me too. Bob is a good egg! This is not a diet for me, this is a process of figuring out how to live my life a different way…to break down the walls of why I have built the relationship I have with food and to dissemble that way and rebuild a new way.

      Fear is a huge motivation for me, so I try to embrace it and take what I need from it and leave the rest behind and more forward.

      Thanks for always reading and commenting and being an active part of this journey Moody, it means a lot to me! – Lori

  3. Bob W. says:

    Lori, as I start to type this note to you, I have trouble focusing on the screen because of the water that keeps forming in my eyes. Except for my darling Mel, I don’t think I have been more moved, more impressed, more awe-struck, more admiring, or more motivated by anyone but you. And did I say that I just flat out feel so blessed that our life journeys have crossed so that we have this time to share together?

    It has been mentioned multiple times in prior blog days about the gifts we are given or the coincidences that occur in our lives. Well you truly are a gift to not just everyone here, but to anyone who encounters you, whether they be human, or furry, or just a furry human.

    You know that you have our complete love and support as you “motor on”.

    I cannot put into words how wonderful it is to see and hear about the progress that Tristan has made. To see him, and have you descibe him actually being outside the house, once again brought tears to my eyes. And that is all because of you and the person you are. (This is the point where I am giving you a big hug).

    Some random thoughts here:
    – Reading about the recipes, granola, et al, not only are my eyes watering, but so is my mouth. YUM.
    – Let’s make sure we get a bike ride in before we have to put snow tires on the bikes
    – Don’t think of it as losing weight. Think of it as reducing your weight. What do you do when you lose you keys? You want to find them again. so your subconcious is programmed to go find something after you lose it. Change that programming to reduce it and get rid of it.
    – The next time we get together, I want to talk more about the Pet Food Pantry and other things we may be able to do to help out those in need.

    I could go on and on, and maybe some day I will. But for now, thank you. Thank you for showing us what courage is all about. Thank you for demonstrating that there is still love in this world. And thankyou for being the beautiful friend that you are. I know I am a better person because of you.

    • dogl2324 says:


      Talk about the water works! Your words,friendship and support mean so very much to me. It is not often you feel so at ease and comfortable with people so quickly but you and Mel…well you both are family and I love you. I can’t wait to get together so you can see just how far Tristan has come and to watch him outside, happy, safe and finally enjoining the fresh air and sunshine!

      Yes, to the bike ride! I gotta get as much riding in before that white stuff get here! 🙂 I hear you about the “reducing” mentality and I like it! I think you would both love to be part of the pantry and I know you guys would be a welcome addition! Thank you for always loving me unconditionally!

  4. John Simpson says:

    You are amazing. Your courage is inspiring.

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