I have six months to reshape my life. I can do this.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Week 2: Let Me Roll It

"I can't tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel.  Let me roll it." - Macca

So, this past week was pretty much a roller coaster. My wife and son and Baby 2 (still residing in his womby apartment) were in a wreck last week that totalled the car and threw our world into a week of tears, frustration, appreciation and thankfulness.  I haven't really gotten to a place where I have a comfortable enough feel of my heart and emotions so I can write about it.  Suffice it to say God and Honda protected my wife and God and Honda and the carseat protected my son and Baby 2 was safe because God and Honda protected him/her as well and Baby 2 is the size of an avocado, according to my iPreggolite app on my iPhone.  When I am more comfortable I will write about it.  I will say two things before I tell you about the sweaty progress.  First of all there is a moment after your family gets smacked by a distracted co-ed going about 65 where you think "I could be all alone right now because of that one moment."  It is overwhelming and awful and scary and produces the palpitations.  For obvious reasons I don't like to think about it.  And secondly it produces extreme perspective.  To quote David St. Hubbins, too much perspective. 

I have really done well with the weight loss.  I have been logging every day and exercising often and I have lost another six lbs.  I am in a good zone.  The discipline of wanting to work out is slowly creeping back.  I feel better, move better and look better.  Thanks for all the encouragement.

People ask me what I am doing.  I am counting calories and working out.  I am eating less and eating better and exercising more.  That is the trick.  FYI, don't believe Suzanne Somers.  If you are overweight and cannot lose it, it actually IS your fault.  I am not allowed to blame faulty genes or the fact that Burger King sells original chicken sandwiches at a 2 for 5 dollar clip.  I am only allowed to blame the owner of the hands shoveling food into my mouth.  If you want to lose weight, eat less and exercise more.  Eat less sugar and less carbs and less fatty foods. It really is that simple.  Plan to lose weight and make appropriate plans.  Set a start date that leaves you about a month to prepare.  Figure out your workout plan.  Clean out the pantry and fridge and freezer.  Shop accordingly.  Have a farewell tour of your favorite places to eat unhealthy.  Then hit the diet and workout hard for about three weeks.  After that it really will become a habit.  After three weeks, allow yourself a cheat meal where you are allowed a taste of what you miss.  Don't go crazy and have a 3000 calorie meal.  And add one extra workout in your week. 

That is where I am at.  Next week I will have my cheat meal. Maybe.  Right now I am not craving anything other than losing 20 pounds in January.  I am making good progress.  I will check in later.  Just know that right now I am going to hit my goal weight by February 6th.  Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.  Keep them coming.

Also, there were some funny and awesome moments in that awful week that are related to the wreck.  Maybe in a week or two I will write about that.

So far, down 13 lbs.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week One: Welcome Back, you Sweat-hog

 "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...)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Too Fat to Facebook! Part 1

"When it's time to change, then it's time to change." - The Brady Bunch

Real change happens when you make preparations in your life, adjustments for what is about to come.  You simply cannot make wholesale change if you don't prepare for it at all.

So that is what I am doing.  I made a seven point decision, all changes I must make if I am to be a healthy, happy husband, father, friend and youth pastor.  These aren't resolutions because most of them have been swimming around in my head for a few months.  However I am resolved.  Some have been real wrestling matches. But I have settled on the following seven changes:

1. Going to lose well over 50 lbs by the birth of our second child.
2. Going to memorize one verse a week. Trying to memorize two chapters of scripture this year.
3. Going to pray for five requests a day.
4. Going to walk with Jackson and Danielle more.
5. Going to be a better youth minister by being on campus more, preparing more and preparing better.
6. Going to build more significant relationships with parents in our student ministry.
7. Going to try to develop a new model of doing Wednesday night programming to help the next generation lead out in the kingdom

Most of this can be accomplished by better utilizing existing allotted time for each area.  The hitch is the losing weight.  I need to find time again for that.  To make room for it, I am dumping facebook.  I spend about an hour throughout the day that I should be using for working out in the gym.  When I lose 100 I will rejoin whatever is left of the Facebook world.  Understand this is not an overtly spiritual decision.  I am not leaving history's largest social networking site because God told me to or I am convicted because of all the negative posts or I am disappointed by all the cuss words on teenager's pages.  I am simply too fat to Facebook.  I wish it was more holy or spiritual.  But long ago I gave up blaming God for all of the decisions I had to make to get back on track and outta my selfishness.  If God was REALLY telling me not to do something, I wouldn't have started it in the first place.

No I am too fat to Facebook.  Too nectarine-shaped to network.  I have too much status to update.

Pray for me if you think about it.  Or think happy, slimming, commitment-based thoughts.  Or tell the little purple people eaters you sacrifice your raw spaghetti noodles to to throw me a bone.  Even though Jesus has my back totally on this, I like it if you think you are involved too.  So lob your crazy, wackadoo religiosities my way.  Hopefully by the end of the summer, I won't be too fat to Facebook any more.