Good Day Utah


Big Budah’s blog: Celebrity sightings and animal encounters

Posted at 12:55 PM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 14:55:10-04

Health & Fitness

This month has been a struggle with injuries, but I was able to show some patience and let myself heal up. I am especially proud that I have been able to stay at 306-310 pounds during my bum knee phase. I have been re-energized by attending a weightlifting meet where my boy Jordan Larson dead lifted 1,000 pounds HOLY SHIZ!


I am amazed at the level of energy I continue to have to be able to workout, complete my daily job tasks, coaching sports, and still have energy for family time.

Love my Job

Being a feature reporter affords me the luxury of meeting some incredible people, including celebrities. We met the first ever Tongan Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Veronica Pome’e, Fan-X was so much fun, and the stars were so gracious with their time; Aimee Garcia, Samantha Smith, Steve Grad, Austin St. John.

I can’t leave out the cute and cuddly bear cubs and penguins.


Lots of good benchmarks were recognized this month. The East Girls Basketball Team had our banquet and picked up our rings.

Super proud of my cousin Tua Kealoha and his cast winning some hardware from the Salt Lake Film Awards for their film “Dear Lord”.

I had the privilege of accompanying Mark Miller Subaru and Nuzzles & Co on their third annual animal rescue, saving more than 100 animals and bringing them from Colorado to Salt Lake City. We were also lucky to have been able to see my little brother who was visiting from Hawaii.

Me Time

I am adding this section to this month’s post to serve as a reminder that we all need to find that one thing that helps us stay even keel—I unwind and battle stress through fun times with family at musical jam sessions and drinking Kava on the weekends. Let’s be kind to one another. See you next month.

Here’s my wife Jennifer with how this month was for her:

April 2019

Spring is in the air, and I love it! It is true that living in Utah we can have sunshine one day and rain or snow the next, but either way I am glad summer is on its way.

Along with arrival of Spring, it is also the start of birthday season for our family. Ugh! We have two birthdays in April, two in June, and three in July. It is always a busy time but a fun time as well.

During Easter weekend we were able to take a trip to St. George for a cousin’s 50th birthday party. The weather there was amazing. We went swimming with the kids and did some sightseeing at Pioneer Park. While at the park we took some really beautiful pictures of the red rocks, and yes: I climbed up to the very top of the rock with no problems at all.

It felt so great, and it’s something I would have been too scared to do before and physically not able to do before having the gastric sleeve surgery. I love being able to try new things because it reminds me of why I had the surgery to begin with. Being up on the top of the red rocks was so breathtaking and beautiful, and we got some great pictures.

On Easter morning we were down having breakfast at the hotel and got a text from my husband’s brother, Lu, that he and his wife where in Las Vegas and wondering if anyone wanted to make the drive to come and see them. Well, being that we were only an hour and a half from Vegas, we jumped at the chance. Our daughter Jaelyn, who returned from her mission this past December, hadn’t seen her uncle in over two years.

My husband and I decided to surprise the girls and tell them that we were just going to go to Vegas for the day. When we arrived at the hotel where Lu was staying, he was sitting on a bench. The girls saw him, and Jaelyn started to cry and ran to hug her uncle. It was a great surprise. We were able to enjoy Easter dinner with them and some good conversation.

After being in the car for over five hours we were back home. I noticed that my legs didn’t ache at all and they weren’t swollen, which is a problem that I faced all of the time before. I can recall a trip that we took when we flew to Hawaii. After arriving, my legs and ankles were so swollen that I had to take my shoes off. I was really over-weight and my circulation was so bad. It was refreshing to be able to take a trip and to truly enjoy myself.

School, School, School.

The other day I was thinking back to when I returned to college at the young age of 37 to pursue my bachelor’s degree in psychology. My very first day back on a college campus since 1991 when I was fresh out of high school, I felt like a fish out of water. I felt OLD. When I arrived to my English class, I swear I could have been my professor’s mom, she was that young.

She had all of us stand up and introduce ourselves. When it was my turn, I told them that I was married and had five children. I also shared with them that I was old enough to be their mom. Needless to say, that was the first and only semester that I took classes on the campus. After that I finished my degree all online.

So now that May is upon us, that means school is around the corner and I am going to be taking a class at SLCC before beginning my Master of Social Work program in August. I have spent the last few months trying to wrap my head around returning to school and being on campus twice a week all day with individuals who are probably, again, half my age.

I worry about how I will do and if I will feel part of the program. One thing I am confident about is how I feel on the inside and look on the outside. Before when I was in college I was overweight and had a hard time walking around the big campus and being able to fit comfortably in the desks. Knowing now that this will no longer be a problem for me because of my success with my surgery brings great comfort to me. I have struggled with whether this is the right step to take at my age, wondering if it is worth the time that I will be away from my family and the financial cost of it. But even so, being a marriage and family counselor has been my dream for a long time and this is the next step that is needed in order for me to reach that goal.

Knowing that I will have the opportunity to help many people and to effect change in their lives brings me great joy. I have always had a love for helping others, especially teenagers, who I work with daily. There are so many individuals that need our love and support, our compassion. Having this degree and ultimately this career will allow me the chance to make a difference in the world. So onward and upward I go! Life is about to get crazy busy; I am blessed to have a husband and children who fully support my decision to return to school. Showing my children that it doesn’t matter how old you are your dreams are attainable is important to me.

Daily Grind

When I began the process to have gastric sleeve surgery, the first thing that the Dr. Cottam told me is that this weight loss surgery isn’t a quick fix. It is a jump start to lose weight, but you still have to work at it every day.

He wasn’t kidding. My experience with this lifestyle change has been an amazing journey, but it isn’t over. It is a daily process to wake up each morning and make the right decision with exercise and eating. I am not going to lie, some days are better than others. I have been the same weight for about 6 months now. There are adjustments that I need to make that will help me to be more successful and I am making those strides daily.

With all that said, I feel good and I am happy with the reflection that I see in the mirror. The process of learning to love myself and developing some self-care has been just as important as the pounds lost. I took this step to ensure that I will be around for my family, my kids, my grandchildren. Being able to be there for them is the most important thing to me.

If you are considering having this surgery or another weight loss surgery, I would just suggest doing your homework and make sure that it is the right fit for you. If you are like me, it can and will save your life. Make sure that you take advantage of the support system that the Bariatric Medicine Institute has to offer. Their experts are there to help you achieve your highest success, they truly are amazing, caring people.

Thanks to everyone for the ongoing support! Click here to follow our Losing for Life journey.