Lightening the Load

A Fundraiser to Keep Natasha & Delilah's Dad Teaching, Bubbling, and Puttering Around Longer, and to Get Other Kids Real Help, Too (<---click on any of those listed reasons to pledge to learn more!)

UPDATE 11/7: Several folks have expressed interest in re-pledging as I continue to lose, so the new stats are below!

Mike's Original Starting Weight 4/21/13 = 286.4 lb.s

Final Weight as of 11/1 = 269 lb.s

Net Weight Loss, first round = 17.4 lb.s

NEW Current Pledge Value per Pound lost = $7.00

NEW Starting Weight 11/1/13 = 269 lb.s
Last Updated= 4/4/14


The Short of it:
Mike needs to lose weight for health and longevity; doing it as a fundraiser to help kids in need worked before, a little over a decade ago (i.e. folks were supportive and Mike's weight loss back then has never come back), so he's doing it again. You can pledge a dollar amount per pound to support him (emotionally/motivationally) and a worthy cause (economically) at the same time.

The Center for Youth Wellness* offers a holistic approach to creating real change, providing youth and families with comprehensive care to achieve positive outcomes for themselves and their posterity. Nationally and internationally, this is a model that may revolutionize the way we care for ourselves, planting seeds of change that can strengthen our inner-city communities, our nation, our planet...if we support them NOW!
You can just fill out the form or peruse "The Long of It" below. You can also ignore Mike and just support CYW here!

Submit Your Pledge Today!



Pledge (and Maximum Total, if any):

Fundraiser runs through 4-21-2014, OR you may choose your own end date if you prefer:

Comments are welcome!:

(This form will simply generate an e-mail for you to send from your browser's default e-mail program. You can also just e-mail me the same info yourself :) )

> "Comprehensive accessible health services under one roof."

Mike in 2001, 350+ pounds

June 2012, 217 pounds

April 2013, 280+ pounds

Serious support from Tipping Point is a compelling endorsement for CYW!

The Long of It:
The Beneficiary:
Center for Youth Wellness
How did I pick CYW?
I wanted to find a program that was intent on "teaching a man to fish" rather than, say, handing out processed fish products. Yet, teaching a starving man to fish while his stomach gurgles is a poor approach to achieving deep learning! Dr. Nadine Burke Harris seems like someone who will give that guy something to eat while teaching him to fish. In this case, the nourishment comes from a rejection of the labels with which kids are dismissed within many of our institutions, and the provision of an attentive, understanding care that wants to get to the heart of the matter. ADHD? You try sitting and staying focused when your psyche is doing flips, trying to distract itself from the incessant trauma of daily life in what amounts to a war zone. A healthy, self-protective organism will do whatever it takes to avoid the cognitive torture (and the physiological stress) of the trauma-states which accompany the unmindful "focus" required for success in a traditional school setting. Rather than discard kids with labels, we need to teach them to care for themselves, to process the trauma with guidance, to find the success they deserve, to avoid the perpetual tragedy of the concrete legacy of adult ill-health effects which tear at the hearts of struggling families. Surprisingly, I find that Dr. Burke's lack of flash as a speaker actually wins me over; she isn't offering a sales pitch. She is trying to muster resources to find real solutions. She sounds teachable. I listened to privileged callers to KQED Forum asking the most forehead-slappingly ignorant questions...and she did not scoff and you could not even hear a bemused grin shaping her tone as she answered such questions with genuine grace, poise and compassion for the intentions of the caller. This is someone who can get good things done.

Why this organization now?
It has been suggested to me that I should relate my fundraiser to specific tragic occurrences of recent months in order to garner the most fervent support. I submit that I am doing just that. Whether or not the violence of poverty is as visible as the high-profile tragedies that fill the headlines, it is the wholehearted refusal to discard or neglect ANY member of a society that will have the most profound and lasting preventative effect upon our perpetual alienation, desperation and willingness to harm one another and ourselves. Beyond any gun-control or law-enforcement efforts, our creative and dogged efforts to relentlessly care for one another will reduce the myriad forms of violence we inflict upon one another to quiet rage and hurt, to mitigate a sense of powerlessness, to get someone to notice. The Center for Youth Wellness employs just the kind of practical, new, creative approach within one kind of worst-case-scenario that may revolutionize our ability to care for ourselves in every other scenario.

What about the "drop in the bucket" excuse?
First, if a bucket is full, it's full of drops. Period. Put one or two in.
Also, in my personal successes and failures alike as an educator and self-helper, I have discovered a precious truth about the human spirit: we are a resilient species. It does not take a sunrise to convince us that the night is over, but the tiniest sliver of pale on the horizon. Show a student or patient a light at the end of a tunnel of struggle, and she will often go from static fetal despair to a full-sprint in the direction of the light in an instant. Scraping the bottom of the metaphor barrel, the difference between leaving a child lost in a desert of hopelessness and seeing the same child find motivation and determination that can only come from an incredible constitutional strength within--a strength that had been utterly hidden--can arise from that child being shown the humblest tiny oasis of hope within her desert. So lets put a drop in this bucket.

Mikes' Guidelines for his own Success:
1. Drastically changing a lifestyle requires support. I will engage my support community (fellow compulsive overeaters and other trusted peers) PRO-ACTIVELY to walk with me through the emotional turmoil, anxiety and ill-ease that always comes with the removal of addictive/compulsive behaviors from a healthy human heart-mind-body. There will be feelings and these feelings deserve positive comfort, not relapse or alternative compulsions. My family and I deserve this.

2. I will eat
Nothing in front of the TV
No sweets
No flour, bread or pasta
No fried foods
No snack foods, except whole fruits, up to three a day
Three substantial meals a day (no fasting)
No thirds

3. I will walk, ride my bike, or hike every day, unless injured or recovering from a major ride/hike of over an hour or two.
I will do resistance training at least once every three days, and no two days in a row.

4.I will both seek and also attend to the advice of friends and loved ones, especially if they think I am behaving unhealthfully or erratically.

5. I will weigh myself once monthly, to sidestep the torture of obsessive weighing and micro-managing of food/exercise behaviors.

How to Participate:

1. PLEDGE SUPPORT. Use the form above or cut and paste the same information into an e-mail yourself, to Pledges made any time will be calculated based upon the weight loss since April 21, 2013 (in the event of a negative weight loss, payments will not be sent to people who have pledged, but supporters will be encouraged to make a comfortable donation of their choosing). This is on the honor system--I will send instructions to you for sending payment directly to the Center for Youth Wellness at the end of the fundraiser. (It's very easy and convenient via Razoo!)

2. Schedule a hike, bike ride or other sporty endeavor--even a gym visit--with Mike. Downtown Oakland YMCA has childcare in the early evenings...

3. Do your own fundraiser--Mike will make you a lovely prehistoric html page just like this one, but personalized to your own goal and/or charity.

*Please Note: Mike L. Miller is in no way affiliated with the Center for Youth Wellness, and his personal fund raising effort is entirely separate and independent from CYW. He is simply a supporter, garnering other support for a cause in which he believes.