"Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out. Welcome back to that same old place that you laughed about." - John Sebastian
I joined the Body Shop here in Newcastle. Unfortunate name, as it reminds me of watching pro wrestling as a kid in Enid. Jesse Ventura used to host a talk show on WWF TV called "The Body Shop." The gym is nothing like the memory I had as a kid. The gym is quiet. The gym has friendly people. And nobody is busting Superfly Snuka over the head with a coconut. The gym is not crowded with muscleheads. The lone elliptical is always empty. Most folks use the stationary elliptical or the treadmill. I use the machine that has arms or handles that you grab and they move in rhythm with the legs. I use this because I had a trainer in Hot Springs named Allen who said always use this machine (I feel sort of like a Norse warrior as I simulate the cross country skiing) because the one you rest your hands on, that doesn't move, does not replicate real walking unless "you walk with a walker." I trust Allen Black because he lost a ton of weight, keeps it off, trains and participates in iron man competitions and has enough tattoos to really intimidate me into doing whatever he commandeth in the weight room.
But the Body Shop has everything I need. I use the free weights and the exercise ball and do some core strengthening and I use a few other machines. I have had a successful week of eating. People in my life have been very supportive and my wife has been very patient. I have dramatically cut calories and been faithful to log all I eat and all my exercise into my LoseIt app on my iPhone. The guys who share the app and are my friends on LoseIt have been very good to check on my progress. Thanks Chris, Zac, Dave and Jeremy.
I have dropped seven lbs so far, which puts me ahead of my weight loss goal for this week. I have not been hungry and I have not been weak. I drink an extra cup of coffee a day to jump start the metabolism. I stopped snacking. I have shunned almost all things sugar except the 100 calorie ice cream bars I sneak occasionally. I exchanged microwave popcorn (popcorn is my true snacking vice, along with Popsicles in the summer) for a hot air poppper and can enjoy a whole bowl for about 100 calories as well.
I even eat lunch once a month with a group of fellow student pastors and they were all gracious enough to eat at Genghis Grill so I could have a bowl of Mongolian BBQ for under 400 calories. It was awesome and I hope to be back soon. Thanks to my brothers in arms for being so faithful. I appreciate each one of them more than they know. Today I had some great encouragement from Micah, Nick, Sonny, Josha (sic according to his church's web page), Zac, Tribs and Kent. About 20 guys braved the snow and came for some fellowship. These guys can really be such a lifeline for me. And the encouragement and the high fives and the prayers mean a lot. Not every state has this sweet fellowship among youth ministers.
And my church hasn't really had a chance to celebrate with me but one guy has been on me about keeping up with the workouts and I am thankful for Jeff for that.
My only real goal is to be thinner and healthier by the time our second child is born in late June or early July. My friend Chris (another youth guy who refuses to eat with us but does send his regards most months) cared enough to speak some good truth in love into my life about being there to see my son graduate and get married. I don't ever want Jackson to know or have memories of me being so big. I don't like not really fitting into thrill rides or asking for lap extensions on planes (those days are thankfully behind me) and I hate forcing skinny, disciplined people to sit at a table instead of a more comfortable booth because I simply don't fit into a booth (another fifteen pounds and those days are gone too). I have since fleshed this out into actual weekly weight loss goals with six big goals to be rewarded along the way.
My wife has been so good and so understanding for me and with me. She doesn't say anything when I prepare something different for myself then what she and my son eat. And she indulges me as I buy weird low cal foods in hopes to stumble across something to add to an ever-growing menu. By the way, low cal turkey tacos and Craig McMuffins are my favorite. I had the tacos three times this week and have one serving left. Three tacos for about 335 calories. So good too. Full of flavor.
I am also diving into one focus in my devotional times. I read one chapter a day. I invite one person to church a week. I memorize one verse a week. And I focus my prayer life on 5 requests a day. When I get my eating and exercising in order, everything else falls into place. I hope to be able to meet with three or four guys at Super Summer Week 3 this year and give them some workout tips and actually work out with them, hoping to help them out. But I cannot do this if I am THIS big then. So I charted my plan into an excel spreader. I log my cals and workouts on LoseIt
I am blessed. Soon enough I will have my Eeyore spell and be a gloomy Gus. Until then, I will reward workouts where I burn over 1000 cals lifting and sliding with a Coke Zero with a lime chunk at the Sonic located uncomfortably close to the Body Shop.
So that is my update. Oh yeah. Surprisingly, I don't miss Facebook. Apparently I didn't care as much about everyone as I thought I did. And I am also spared a significant amount of the negative posts, immature status updates, finding out students "Like" things that make the devil blush and pics of teenagers with plastic Solo cups (ah, Solo, sponsoring underage drinking parties since 1983 - if you see a Solo, you know it's booze!).
If I can do ANYTHING to help you out, please let me know. And if you think about, pray for me this week. Weeks 2 and 3 are the toughest to stay connected and disciplined. After that it becomes more of a habit. My hope is to be under 3 large by February 1st. Pray me to that end, please. I will try to post more.
Epstein's Mother (totally brings it back to Kotter...)