More than a decade ago I was playing bass guitar at a gig and I was really going for it. It was a fairly large musical ensemble, a worship band at a conference. I remember walking to my car later that night pretty pleased with my effort when a car pulled up beside me. One of the sound guys wound down his window and commented on my enthusiastic bass playing and he could see I was having a great time. Then he used those three dreaded words, less is more. We’ve probably all heard this phrase in any number of settings, be it preparing a proposal; writing an article; delivering a speech; or playing an instrument to name a few. We know what it means when we hear it. We may have even spoken the phrase to someone else, I know I have. Whilst it can sometimes feel like a discouraging comment, it is generally meant to have a positive purpose, in helping the receiver to be better at what they are doing. No matter how irresistible it might be to add complicated riffs to the music when you are hammering the fretboard of a bass guitar, sometimes fewer notes sound better than more. It’s true, less is more, more or less!
In February this year a person commented to me about my life. He suggested that I have been successful in almost every area in my life. He said that I have lived a good life; I’m generally healthy and fit; I have an awesome wife and two wonderful daughters; I have had great jobs over the years, in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors; I have had the opportunity to do some pretty amazing things, and travel to some incredible places; I have been spiritually blessed; and along with my wife we have had the special privilege of being able to support some pretty amazing people and work around the world. And then he suggested that the one area left in my life to be successful in, is the area of sustaining a healthy weight. It’s a battle I have had for more than thirty years. Actually to be completely honest, it began when I left home and started my first job. Within months of starting work I got a ‘beer pot’ and it’s been expansion ever since. I have not been under 100kgs in more than twenty-five years, ballooning out to 140kgs in 2010.
I have been on almost every type of diet known to humankind. My first diet was Complan; a favourite for a while was the Atkins diet; and my most successful was the Optifast diet. On that diet I lost a total of 35kgs, and got down to my lowest of 105kgs back in 2011. Weight reduction has not been too much of a problem once I have gotten into the zone of being on a diet. The problem has always been keeping it off. It should be easy, but most of us know it’s actually more difficult than we like to admit.
The person who made these comments about my life was a surgeon, and he suggested that surgery might be the best next step for me to take. Accordingly, tomorrow morning (Monday 20 April 2015) that surgeon will perform Bariatric surgery removing 90% of my stomach in a procedure called sleeve gastrectomy. A good animated video of the procedure can be seen here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl1w8bxItT0). I know some people who have had a very successful experience and some who have not, so although there are no guarantees, I believe this is a last ditch effort for me.
It’s a case of literally becoming less in order to become more for my family and my passion of fighting for a slave free world. I know if this procedure is successful my life will be extended by many years and I’ll be able to enjoy my children getting married and having grandchildren. I’ll also be able help many more people who are enslaved in New Zealand and around the world. So it really is less is more. For those of you who pray I would value your prayers for the surgery and recovery period. And next time you see me I will be getting smaller by the day.
Thank you for letting me share my life with you.