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It's been A Longtime

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 


It has been so long I think I should have to say Hi I'm Mark from Florida and I'm a smokeoholic . Well, I'm still alive and really doing well. The last time a lot of ya'll saw me I was well let's say pleasurably ( I topped out at 318) plump. I went on a diet the doctors told me I was a great subject for a lung transplant. But, I was too fat so lose the weight we will fix your lungs. Atleast that's what I heard. I lost the weight about 142 lbs of it. the doctors now told me that my lungs were now too good for any surgery. Well that pissed me off and as most of you know I love surfing. So I picked up my surfboards and started surfing again. I have been surfing all summer and even got the wife surfing. I'm down to about 180lbs now and have started working again. I opened my business back up about 3-4 months ago and I'm feeling fantastic. Almost young again. I have always maintained my love for smoked meats and making bacons and sausages. I actually just cured, smoked, sliced and enjoyed some Lamb Belly Bacon. The wife has me smoking and frying 8 birds this year. I really missed your guys here and my smoking family. It has been a long and hard road but I have made it though with almost flying colors. I'm still ugly but now there's just less ugly of me.

Me in June 2012

July 2013

This is my kind of Selfie Lamb Belly bacon

lamb belly. I had to remove the bones and then glue two together and then cure for 5 days and then cold smoke with cherry for 16 hours.

Lamb Bacon


This is a cured dried beef chuck roast I did a few months ago.

Some baby back I did last night.

I still love to smoke meat and now. I'm going to get a food truck and serve hand made sausages and smoked meats. The wife has been pushing me to do it and I think I'm good enough now. I'm feeling good enough and think my food is pretty darn good. So I have missed you folks here and I'm swear I'm going to start checking in more.


Mark "The Fat Kid" Ballinger

post #2 of 16

Well, Mark!  Great to see a lot less of you!  What's your secret?  You look amazing!

post #3 of 16

texas.gifHello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything  ........  



post #4 of 16
Nice to see you back mark. I'll say one thing, you sure look a heck of a lot better than our Gators do!
Welcome back
post #5 of 16
Welcome back Mark! You've been missed around here. Amazing before and after pics! Looking good brother!

post #6 of 16

Mark, glad to hear about improved health. I need to kind of the same thing. I had emergency hernia surgery back in January, Doctor told me to take it easy. So I really took him at his word gained 50 pounds. Hernia popped out again a couple of weeks ago (Same Place) went back  to the Surgeon  last Thursday he said to loose 50 pounds and come back, unless I have an emergency like the last time. Bad time a year to start a weight loss program, but gotta do it. Glad to see how much you improved and got back to doing what you like, And feeling like doing it.





post #7 of 16
Glad you joined us Mark, even weighing less you look familiar...bravo.png ... welcome1.gif from North Dakota!
post #8 of 16

Congratulations on the weight loss and returning to the things you love.

How did you lose the weight. I know I need to lose a lot myself.



post #9 of 16



You da man!! Awesome to hear that the weight loss goal can be reached and still involve smoked meat! lol


I am at your begining point (:th_crybaby2:) 338 lbs., but thankfully no other issues. You look great, and I'm sure your family is super proud of you - congrats and enjoy some well earned turkey!!

post #10 of 16

Lord help us Mark

Fantastic!!!!!  You wouldn't like to send about 50 pounds of your loss to this scrawny Albertan would you??  I can't gain a pound for love nor money.  65 and I still weigh the same as I did at 16.  And I was real skinney then.  LOL No insulation for a cold Alberta winter.  When they say chilled to the bone, it is not a long way to go--just get through the skin.


post #11 of 16

Well I'll drink to your success! "Clink!" Been wondering how you been.

Funny thing... I just watched a modern marvels show about food trucks the other day...cool way to go ! Best of luck!


post #12 of 16
Welcome back!
Congrats on the good health.
post #13 of 16
what I meant it to say is Welcome Back......
post #14 of 16

Wow, what a transformation!  Congrats to better health!

post #15 of 16






post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 


Clink SOB 


I know everything will work out. I have put too much work into this for it not to. Thanks to all

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