Bill Hickle

Season 6 Alumni

I was a contestant in season 6 of FWSW. During that season I officially weighed in at 282 pounds and was at my lowest weight at 202 just before I ran the half-marathon. I had never felt better physically and emotionally. One of the things I realize is weight loss is a journey…And it isn’t meant to do alone. I (and others) have experienced gaining our weight back once we left the accountability of FWSW Family. My goal in being part of season 10 is to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. Perhaps something I have learned on my journey will help our new contestants.
Renew - Redo. - Restart

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I am working through some emotional things this week...Usually raw emotion is dealt with by using food as comfort.  I did have a moment this week that food won but I recognized what was happening and have been able to recover.  I think that is the key...recognizing when we are weak...When we are wrung out emotionally...When we are physically exhausted.  I keep working through my weight lose journey.  I haven't been perfect but I have been trying to be consistent. 




Good and Perfect Gifts - 

I started a new job recently after more than 10 years in pastoral ministry.  It hasn't been an easy transition for me...In fact the last three months have been the most difficult of my professional career.   I have been forced to evaluate who I am without the title pastor and learn how to navigate in a place where I have little to no influence.  Somedays I struggle with my identity. 

Being selected for FWSW was a gift to me during time I needed something good to happen...It continues to be a gift.  But sometimes I take gifts for granted even though I may not mean to.  I forget why the gift was so valuable to me when I received it.  

The last two weeks I have found myself forgetting the good gift of FWSW...Not intentionally.  The new job, being away from my family so much, and my personal struggles seem too big compared to the gift.  With all that is happening in my life it is easy to overlook something so valuable.  Today I was reminded that every good and perfect gift comes from God.  James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is NO VARIATION or shadow due to CHANGE." (Emphasis mine).  What this verse says to me is that even though my circumstances changed and feel difficult, God hasn't varied or changed His mind about the good gifts He has given to me or wants to give me in the future.

Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner is a gift.  Rick and Tina bless me in ways they will never know...They bless me beyond the gift of being able to participate in Season 10 - They have blessed me for more than four years now.  If you are reading this as a contestant there will come a day that you will understand what I mean.  If you are an Alumni you already know what I mean.  Either way we were given a gift that came "down from above" and placed in the hands of Rick and Tina Walters to pass along to us...

My pray is that you would find gratitude in the gifts (FWSW) even when life feels too hard.

Be blessed today


Have you ever had a tough day?  I am sure you have...Probably multiple tough days in a row.  

Today is that day for me.

I woke up at my normal time (4:50am) and just didn't want to get out of bed.  I hit the snooze twice and felt more tired today than I usually do.  I did make it to my workout but I felt pretty weak.  My body felt exhausted during the duration of the morning.  I think I was functionally at about 75% of what my normal level and all I could do is give 100% of my 75%

Since the workout much hasn't changed.  I still feel wiped out.  Lots of coffee and water in my body.  A little salad and an apple for lunch is what I forced myself to eat but I really don't have much appetite today.  I will do my midweek run tonight and hope for the energy to be strong.


A little later in the week then when I normally blog.  It was a very long week at work and just personally feeling the weight of many things.  My body feels strong but it doesn't feel like it is losing much weight.  It could be holding onto stress or it could just be the way I feel.  I'll find out at my weigh in Monday.  I will post a longer blog on some things that I am learning about myself early in the week.



Deja Vu -

Last week was a disappointment for me.  

After hurting my back during a workout session I spent the rest of the week in the pool.  I wasn't disappointed with the pool workout but disappointed in not being with my team.  I was also disappointed because I was expecting a 3-5 pound weight loss but ended up having a 1.6 pound gain.  After feeling so good about my losses from previous weeks I expected one thing but another thing happened.  

It was a set back.  It was a very familiar feeling...Getting hurt...Being in the pool...Gaining weight...Feeling disappointed...It was deja vu.  

Deja Vu is the feeling that you have already experienced something,but it is actually happening for the first time.  This deja vu has actually happened before...During Season 7 I helped as an Alumni.  During that season I got hurt, worked out in the pool, felt disappointed, gave up, and gained weight.  Over the last three years this "Deja vu" has reoccured many times.  It is an uncomfortable feeling inside me when it happens...One that feels so familiar I become scared.  I don't want to experience the same deja vu anymore.  It always ends in disappointment...always.

There  are some difference this time.  My mind knows it doesn't have to believe it.  It doesn't have to follow the same pattern as the other times.  That there can be a different outcome to this familiar deja vu.  This doesn't need to be another SETBACK.  

It is different this time.  I am experiencing something better...Something more hopeful.  Recent experiences in my life have caused me to look at myself in a more honest way. (That isn't a fun thing to do)  I am learning to me more of who I am and not who I think I should be.   I had to experience some tough lessons and become more self-aware of who I really am.  Although these last couple weeks with injury, pool workouts, weight gain, and disappointment seem familiar - There is one thing missing...The thoughts of giving up because of this SETBACK.

Not this time.  No deja vu for me.  I get to edit what feels familiar.  Re-write it.

Someone once said,  

"Our biggest SETBACKS can become our greatest COMEBACKS."

Here is to week 5! 




Just say no!

Many of us remember this phrase from the 80's and early 90's - I remember getting a box of Lemon Heads and opening the flap to see that phrase printed on the inside.  The "Just Say No" campaign was part of the U.S. "War on Drugs"  I don't know how effective the campaign was but I remember the phrase.  I have been thinking about this phrase for a couple of days and I realized something about myself...I don't like telling myself no.  I don't want to "Just say no" to extra food.  I don't want to "Just say no" to the things I want.  I don't want to "Just say no" to my desires.  And because I don't like telling myself no I give way to things that might feel good in the moment but aren't good for me in the long run.  Cake taste good in the moment but it isn't good for me.  Sleeping in instead of working out feels good now but what does it cost me later?  Having more stuff than I need is nice but in the end I will be buried without it.  Just saying no isn't easy for my humanity but I am learning that I must begin denying what I desire.  I know I am not strong enough to say no to big things so I am going to practice saying no in the little things first.  Then once FWSW Season 10 ends I will be strong enough to say no to foods that I know I shouldn't have.  Or I can say no to sleep when I need to be at the gym...Say no to things I really don't need.

Practice saying no to the SMALL things so that when it is time to say no to the BIG things you have practiced and are prepared.   JUST SAY NO!




I read this quote recently - "If you're going to AMPLIFY your W's (wins) you have to ACCEPT your L's." (loses)

This quote started me thinking about what areas in my life I have "Amplified" (W's) and what areas I need to "Accept" (L's)  It is way easier for me to point out the wins in my life...Beautiful wife, great kids, nice house, stable job, reliable car.  Those are easy ones to see but when I read the word amplify I think beyond those things.  Amplify or amplification means to make larger, greater, or stronger; enlarge; extend.  What that means to me specifically...I struggle with pride.  I am quick to tell people about my successes...I amplify those so I feel better about my weaknesses.  During and after season 6 I amplified my success.  I was very public about my accomplishment...that in itself wasn't wrong but I did it for prideful reasons.  So people would notice me...congratulate me...Think I was amazing.  I amplified my win.  This will be a life long battle for me because I will always struggle with pride.  Sometimes I recognize it and can change direction and sometimes I don't and it causes pain for me and others.  Over the last several months I have had to look at and accept areas of my life that I would consider loses.  It isn't easy for me to accept loses.  But the reality is I allowed my pride to get in the way and I couldn't see it until it was too late.  Sometimes we don't know how good we have it until we don't have it anymore.  I recently had to accept that I was not healthy anymore...I spent a couple years struggling with my weight and I recently had to accept the L.  But it doesn't end there.  Accepting the L leads to the W...MY HEALTH. #FWSWPROUD #FAMILYFORLIFE



 Redo -

When I was in elementary school we played a lot of games during recess...Dodge ball, freeze tag, hide-n-seek or other games. Occasionally we would play a game or do an activity that I would mess up on...One that comes to mind is kickball.  As the ball would be rolling towards me I knew I was going to crush it but sometimes I would wiff...I missed it...Never made connection with the ball.  I kicked at the air...Took my eye off the ball.  And out of embarrassment I immediately called for a redo! (Or do over) Sometimes I would get one and sometimes I would be denied.  It all depended on the other kids.   I always liked getting to redo the wiff...The second time I was more measured and focused on the ball so I wouldn't make the same mistake.  Even if I didn't kick a home run on the next attempt I always made solid contact and the ball would be in play.

The word redo is what I am doing as a former FWSW contestant.  I have been given another chance (A do over) not wiff...To figure out where I missed it the first time and focus on the end goal...A healthy and whole me that is stable physically, emotionally and relationally.   Not everyone gets a second chance to correct the "Wiff" but when it is given we should be grateful and focus on why we missed the first time.  That is my goal for season 10 - Discover what I missed the first time...Where did I take my eye off the goal?  I want to put the ball in play on my second chance.