Wednesday, January 26, 2011
This past week was a real challenge. On the one hand, I gained no wait. Yea! On the other hand, I didn't lose any either. Sometimes we have weeks like that. A differing work schedule threw me off as I wasn't able to follow my regular workout schedule. This week is more of the same.
However, I'm not discouraged. I will keep moving on. I will lose the wait. I've done it before, and I can do it again.
As I side note, I've organized a fundraiser called Weigh Loss For Charity to raise money for The Bartlett House homeless shelter here in Morgantown. I had the opportunity to appear on WAJR radio 103.3 FM (wajr.com) yesterday morning to talk about it. I haven't had as good a response as I hoped to have. However, there are more ways than one to skin a cat. Check out my wl4charity blog to get the latest.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Read a great article today by Elder Kent D. Watson entitled Being Temperate In All Things. It seems particularly appropriate at this time when there is a great "strife of words and contest of opinions." I invite you to read it and come back and share your thoughts.
Made it up again. Keeping on. Did upper body workout - push ups, and several exercises with resistance bands, along with jogging for 30 seconds in between exercises.
I feel better every time I exercise.
Monday, January 17, 2011
To that end I share the following story.
You know you're getting old when one of your Christmas gifts is a genuine deluxe ear, nose, and eyebrow trimmer. What's worse is knowing that you need it and that others recognize that you need it. Ah, sad day!
Such was the case for me this past Christmas. There it was among my stocking stuffers, a loving trinket from my sweetheart. I was grateful for her thoughtfulness. However, my pride was thumping around inside my head. I'm not that old. Yes I may have a long nostril hair or two and my eyebrows do look rather like one long bushy caterpillar, but are they really that bad? And my ears, I don't have long hairs in my ears--do I? Nevertheless, I swallowed my pride and after all the gift opening was done, I went to the bathroom to try out my new "toy."
When I opened it, there were several little attachments, each one fashioned for its assigned purpose. There was also a little manual. Being the man I am, and it being such a little tool, I was sure I could figure out how to use it without reading "The Friendly Manual."
I did figure out how to put in the battery and how to put on the attachments. Having done so, it was time to test it. I looked in the mirror and the bushy black caterpillar on my forehead seemed to say "pick me first. Give me a good trim." I listened and proceeded to trim the middle between my eyes. It was then that I experienced that feeling that every mother, or occasionally father, feels when their little girl or boy walks into the room with a sheepish grin on their face and chunks of hair missing from their head. "I cut my hair. Doesn't it look nice?"
In less than a second, not only was the caterpillar cut in two, but fully one quarter of the left side was gone! Ahhh I screamed out of shock--and a ton of embarrassment. This wasn't supposed to happen. There I was, completely bald between the eyes and seriously lopsided on the left. What did I do? I did the only thing I could do--I trimmed the right side (much more carefully) in attempt to regain some balance. I looked better, but I still, at least in my mind, looked utterly ridiculous. I leave it to your imagination as to how my wife, mother-in-law, brother and sister-in-law and children reacted.
I'm happy to report that I learned a lesson from this experience. No matter how small the tool, always, always, read "The Friendly Manual." We'll see how long that lasts, however, given that guys seem to have a built in gene for not asking directions and not reading manuals.
I'm also happy to report that I'm very grateful for a couple of other things. Fortunately for me, no one at work noticed any change in my appearance, or if they did they were kind enough not to say anything. Additionally, the old saying that "time heals all wounds" (and silly trimmings) is proving to be true as well. Mr. Bushy isn't back to normal yet, but he's filling in quite nicely.
Friday, January 14, 2011
No, not the psych ward, although at times this week, it was a possibility! Committed to weight loss. What did I do? A few simple things.....
I bought a much more difficult workout game for the Wii, which not only weighs you, but tracks your measurements, tracks your calories, and notes when you exercise. It asks you to commit to a program, and I chose to work out 6 days a week.
I was asked to select a product to review on my blog, and I chose a portable step machine. I plan to keep it in my office for stress relief and to get in a little exercise. I have to use it, or I can't do the review--committed again.
At work, the nurse has begun a "Biggest Loser" contest. There are 12 of us, and our entry fee is a $10 gift card. Whoever has lost the biggest percentage each week will get the gift card of his or her choice.
Thanks to Randy, I'm now committing myself in public. Finally, I've also committed to myself and my family... the most important people of all.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
My journey through the Doctrine and Covenants continues, with a stop today in D&C 11. Every time I read this section I can't help but feel amazed at the Lord's love and wisdom and the great promises made to Hyrum Smith, which, if we live for it, can be ours too. Like Hyrum, if we will follow the Lord's admonition and study the scriptures, we too can be filled with the words of life (spiritual fatness) and have our tongues loosed so that we can be instruments in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth.
I have to ask myself when I read verse seven, "what are earthly riches compared to the riches of eternity? What greater gift can we obtain than wisdom and knowledge from God?" Words cannot describe the sublime feeling that penetrates the soul when pure knowledge from God flows in. This is true joy! Those moments, too sacred to speak of, unless prompted by the Holy Ghost, make an indelible impression on our hearts and minds.
What's even more wonderful, though, is when we have those moments when writing to, speaking to or teaching others. Then it is that the words of D&C 84:85 which states, "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man," are literally fulfilled and all are uplifted and edified.
I've had those moments. I know they are real. I hope to have many more as I continue my journey to being spiritually whole.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Everyone in life starts out on quests. Like knights of a past time those quests can be an honest and sincere wish to see improvement or a misguided crusade where people or ideals get hurt. A lot of life is figuring out the path that our life will take, and yes where we go is our choice. There are times when we wish that we could blame where our life has brought us on someone else or uncontrollable situations, but never give in. Never give away the power that is in you to choose where your life is going to take you.
There was a time in my life when I gave away my power – when I forgot that I had a choice where I wanted my life to go and it led me to being 240 pounds.
Growing up I was never quite comfortable with myself, I always saw myself as fat. I have looked at so many pictures from my childhood and remember what I felt in those moments, shame and embarrassment of myself. Those feelings should have had no merit. Anyone looking at my childhood would have seen a normal child. I was not overweight but that was how I felt. I do not share these feelings to gain pity but to relate to all the people out there who I know felt the same way.
Those feelings were what I focused on and eventually those insecurities I made into my reality. As I was growing (In age and girth) I told myself all the different excuses –“I eat like everyone else, I shouldn’t have to change”, “I already give up so much, I can’t give up more”, “What if I fail…” Those thoughts were reoccurring constantly in my mind. I didn’t know what my potential was and I didn’t know if I could ever get there, so for years I didn’t try.
The day I decided to change nothing traumatic happened but I made a choice. Every pivotal point in our lives starts with a choice. I didn’t know where that choice would take me, I didn’t know what my success would look like, but I made a choice that I wanted to be healthy. I made being healthy both physically and spiritually a quest for myself; a quest to discover what my potential is. I have gone from 240 pounds to 175 pounds. The liberation that I feel is undeniable. I feel that I am still on my quest to discover my ultimate potential but I invite you to join along in my journey. Make a choice in your life today. Decide what you will no longer accept and take your power back. Never give up your power to choose.
Monday, January 10, 2011
I didn't do as well as I would have liked with my spiritual exercise yesterday. I had plenty of opportunity but allowed myself to get side-tracked by too many distractions. I didn't get into my scriptures really until it was time to go to bed. Pretty bad--especially for a Sunday.
Thanks goodness for repentance. Today is a new day and I did have the chance to feast a bit this morning. And the Lord knew exactly what I needed to read. I started out reading in Doctrine and Covenants section 10. This is the section where the Lord really took Joseph Smith to task for allowing Martin Harris to take the 116 pages of manuscript, which he subsequently lost. Verse 4 reads as follows:
Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end.I've read that verse dozens of times, but this time the word diligent really jumped off the page at me. So I looked at the footnote which referred me to the word diligence in the Topical Guide. In reviewing the verses listed there, I was impressed by how many of them refer to diligently keeping the commandments of God and being diligent (or enduring) to the end so that thereby we might win the prize. Just as we must exercise and eat properly to gain and maintain the prize of physical health, so too we must exercise and feast properly to gain and maintain the prize of spiritual health.
I don't know about you, but being consistent is a real challenge for me. I seem to go in spurts (writing, exercising, spiritually feasting, etc.). I have a tough time setting goals and meeting them. My desire is to learn to do better at that. I know many of you are good at being diligent and setting goals, etc. I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Come on by and drop a note or two.
Hello all my loyal followers! It's great to be at the beginning of another new week.
Well, today was hard. Trying to peel myself off the mattress was like trying to peel dried paint of your windshield. After much mental exercise I manage to slither out of bed.
I'm glad I did. I did my lower body workout and I feel great.
I also weighed myself. I'm down 2 lbs. from last week. Not as good as I'd hoped, but still moving down. Yea!
I should note that I cheated. Well not really. Normally I don't exercise on Sunday. And I didn't do it on purpose yesterday. However, when the snow comes, there's no getting around getting a workout here as I have a huge driveway. So I got a de-facto workout whether I wanted to or not.
Happy exercising, eating right, etc!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
As I indicated in my physical entry, yesterday was not a good day with regard to spiritual feasting. Thank goodness for repentance.
Today I read again in the Doctrine and Covenants, sections 7 and 8. I was struck by several things.
First, I've always been impressed when reading about John the Revelator and the Three Nephites and their desires to live until Christ comes in his glory so that they could bring more souls back to the Kingdom of God. What great love they must have for us. I can't help but wonder how many lives have been changed because of their intervention. I look forward to the day when we will find out!
Second, in reading the Lord's words to Oliver Cowdery in section 8, I was particularly struck by the words in verse 10--"remember that without faith you can do nothing." One of the cross references to the word faith goes to 1 Nephi 7:12. In that verse we are reminded that "...the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him...." That knowledge is a great comfort to me. If we exercise faith in God and do our part, and desire those things that are in accordance with His will, he will bless us according to our needs.
Have you gotten your spiritual exercise today? If so, what did you do? How did you feel? Feel free to share you thoughts. I'd love to hear them.
Wait a minute. What happened to Day 5. Well, the mattress won the battle yesterday. I didn't sleep well and when the alarm went off, I couldn't get up. I stayed up too late the night before. As you might imagine, that through off my whole schedule. Needless to say, my spiritual feasting was more like a spiritual fasting. Prime example of why "early to bed, early to rise" are wise words to live by. When I don't, the outcome is always the same.
I did better today. I got up and stretched. The went out to shovel four inches of snow off our longer than a football field (over 400 feet) driveway, followed by using a roof rake on the southern side of our roof. It was a good workout.
I should add, that on Thursday, in addition to the exercise I did in the morning, I also walked a mile at work.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
For my spiritual exercise today I read a bit in the Doctrine and Covenants. I read both section 4 and section 5. Section 4, as many of you know, describes the qualifications for becoming a missionary. Verse 5 reads:
And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
I've always been struck by the fact that there is a distinction made between charity and love and wondered why. I'm still puzzling this out in my mind. What are your thoughts?
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Made it up again today. Ugh. I'm tired. Or at least I was. Now I feel pretty good.
Half hour of exercise consisting of stretching, jogging in place (with a few aerobic moves thrown in that would look ridiculous to you if you could have seen them), and riding a stationary bike for just a bit over a mile.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
So what does that mean to me? To me it means doing all in my power to be worthy to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. It means praying with all the energy I possess to be filled with the pure love of Christ, so much so that it exudes from me. I hope some day to have such and abundance of the spirit and love that wherever I go those around me can feel it. I don't mean that in an arrogant way. I want others to want to know Christ because they know me. I'm a long way from that right now (at least I feel I am). We've all been around people like that, though, and found ourselves thinking "I wish I could be like that."
A good friend of mine once shared a story that exemplifies what I'm trying to say. He was walking through the Los Angeles, CA airport -- LAX. As usual it was very crowded. As you might imagine he was shocked when as he walked through the airport he suddenly felt the Spirit of God so strongly that it almost overpowered him. He stopped dead in his tracks and started looking around him, trying to figure out what was going on. Then he looked over to his right and sitting there waiting for a flight was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Marvin J. Ashton.
Thats what I'm talking about. Oh that I can be that spiritually fat someday!
Quick Journal Entry
Tuesday Jan 4, 2010
Up at 5:00. I had a real mind over mattress battle, but I won! Yea for me.
The purpose of this entry is to explain what a little bit about what I'm doing for me on a daily basis. Don't worry, all the entries won't be this long.
I've worked out a schedule that works for me. I recommend everyone find what works for them and stick to it.
For me, I'll be working my legs and stomach on Mondays, my upper body on Tuesdays, and doing aerobic exercises on Wednesdays. Then I'll start the cycle again for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Yesterday (Monday) I exercised for half an hour.
What I do every day to start out with is stretching. I found that for me this helps me get warmed up for the real exercising. I start by jogging in place for 1 minute then I go into the stretching. I do exercises to stretch my back, legs, arms and calves.
Then I go into the exercises. I do a workout designed for both weight loss and muscle strengthening. It combines both aerobic exercise (jogging in place between the main exercises) and specific exercises for specific muscle groups. The workout came with the Bodylastics resistance bands I purchased a couple of years ago.
I don't have a lot of time to go into the exercises here, but I will try to get more detail later this week.
Bottom line, yesterday I worked my legs by doing squats and reverse leg thrusts. Then I worked my abbs and lower back by doing back extensions (laying on your stomach, stretching your arms over your head, and lifting your arms and legs off the floor at the same time), bended knee crunches, leg raises, and full body sit ups. After stretching and before doing squats, I jogged in place for 30 seconds. I also do that in between the squats and reverse thrusts and the back extensions. The back extensions and other exercises are all done in succession without jogging in between.
Today I did the usual stretching. Then I did pushups and several upper body exercises using the Bodylastics resistance bands.
Two days down. I feel great!
Monday, January 3, 2011
I was very excited when I found out Randy was starting this blog. I have many reasons to lose weight, including my health, how I feel, and my new daughter-in-law.
While my story is not as dramatic as Randy's, I still need to lose weight. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and my joints don't appreciate the extra pressure. I can feel my blood pressure going up, and will need medication soon if I don't do anything. I am also concerned about developing diabetes, which runs in my family.
My main reason, though, is that I'm not comfortable in my skin. I was a slightly overweight child, often teased as the lone girl with three brothers. When I entered college, I had no transportation other than feet, and was too poor to eat much. I also discovered that if I walked fast, I could leave home 10 minutes later and still make class in plenty of time. Turns out, that was aerobic walking before its time, and I was so slim that my husband could wrap his hands around my waist. That hasn't been true in quire a while. I'm tired and irritable, and don't sleep well. This keeps my spiritually from growing at its usual rate. I've felt it, and have been praying for help and direction.
I met Melanie, now my daughter-in-law, last summer, when she and my son were dating. I next saw her about 3 weeks ago (we lived in different states), she had lost more than 40 pounds. She looks great! Melanie and John are temporarily staying with us, and she's teaching me delicious recipes that are very healthy. I had "macaroni and cheese" tonight that was very low calorie and had many healthy things in it.
So, time for a change. I hope blogging will also increase my motivation. I need to take action before I need a seatbelt extender on my next plane ride! I've already started by eating fruit for breakfast (two servings) and another piece of fruit for my midmorning snack. Next week I plan to add a large salad before dinner.
I'll keep you posted. Next big hurdle--an exercise plan.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
To start off with I was having challenges with falling asleep at work. Then my wife told me one night that in the midst of my snoring (I snore like a buzz saw) I stopped breathing for nearly a minute. That scared her and me both, so, I went and a sleep study done. Through the study they found out I have a mild case of sleep apnea. I stopped breathing about 8 or 9 times through the night but only when I turned over on my back. On a scale of 1 to 100, I'm at about a 7 or 8. In the process of that diagnosis they did some blood work and found out that I also have high cholesterol. I was told I would need to lose weight and that I would need to get a CPAP machine to wear at night so I could breath properly.
To get the CPAP I had to go through another sleep study. I need to explain a little here. When you go in for a sleep study, they wire you up to a machine in a couple of dozen places on your chest, legs, arms, and head. Then they give you a sleeping pill to help you sleep with all that wiring and they monitor you all night. Needless to say, being a stomach sleeper, which I have been all my life, it was not super comfortable. When I woke up in the morning I had wires wrapped around my neck and just about freaked out.
Now imagine all that and a mask stuck on your face. The mask has air blowing through it to keep your throat open so you can breath better. I was given a special slotted pillow--meaning that on either side there was a half circle missing so that you could supposedly sleep on your stomach even with the mask on. However, even with the pillow, there is really no way to sleep on your stomack with a mask. Every time I moved the mask would slip to one side or the other and air would be blowing in my face. I then tried sleeping on my side but couldn't get comfortable. Finally I decided to turn on my back but when I did, I stopped breathing. When that happened the guy who was monitoring me turned up the air pressure trying to force air down my throat. I woke up feeling like I was drowning in a wind tunnel. As you might imagine, I only lasted an hour before I called the monitor and asked hm to unwire me as I was going home. I told him "There is no way in hades I'm going to wear that mask. I've been sleeping on my stomach for 40 years and that isn't going to change."
So I came home. A couple of days later I went to see my doctor and we discussed the situation and determined that the only option for me is to lose weight and get in good physical shape.
It was not too long after that when I read the verse in 2 Nephi 9:51 which I quoted yesterday:
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.When I read that, the idea for this blog came in to my head. I made the logo for it and created the blog, but then let it sit for a little while.
Then this week I ended up in the hospital because I started feeling pressure and tightness in my chest. It turns our my heart is fine, but I have really bad acid reflux which can cause symptoms that appear to be similar to a heart attack. Yet another reason to loose weight because when you have a large stomach, as I have, it can cause your esophagus to move upward and outward, making it so the valve at the end doesn't close properly, which in turn allows stomach acid to flow into your esophagus--hence the acid reflux.
In addition to affecting me physically, I know that all these conditions have affected me spiritually. When I'm tired, it is harder to feel the promptings of the spirit. I also tend to be irritable and cranky with myself, my family, and my co-workers which also drives the spirit away and can lead to contention and stress--not only stress at home but in the work place. The added stress leads to more fatigue. It becomes a vicious cycle. Without the closeness to the spirit that I need to be a good father, companion, friend, co-worker, etc., I cannot function properly.
So here I am. The only options I have are to lose weight and do everything in my power to be "spiritually fat" so I can be the man I know God wants me to be, and my family needs me to be. I'm a holder of the Melchizadec Priesthood. I have to be worthy at all times to use that priesthood. I cannot afford to not have the spirit with me. As Elder Packer pointed out in his talk in the April General Conference:
Hence this blog. Hence the exercise and diet I'm going to follow--one I've used successfully before which I'll share next week. Hence the scriptural and hopefully spiritual feast I intend to have. Anyone interested in joining me, feel free to contact me at psfsrmac at gmail dot com.The authority of the priesthood is with us. After all that we have correlated and organized, it is now our responsibility to activate the power of the priesthood in the Church. Authority in the priesthood comes by way of ordination; power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness.Now, fathers, I would remind you of the sacred nature of your calling. You have the power of the priesthood directly from the Lord to protect your home. There will be times when all that stands as a shield between your family and the adversary’s mischief will be that power. You will receive direction from the Lord by way of the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Elder Boyd K. Packer, The Power of the Priesthood, Ensign, May 2010, p. 9)