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A Baker’s Dozen

A Baker’s Dozen.
Some may not know that a few years back this clown was a baker.  Actually – a donut fryer.
As a donut fryer, I had no qualms about quality assurance.  If you gave me a box of donuts I knew exactly what to do with them.  Really any sweets.  I could put them down! (Down the hatch – that is.)  A breakfast for me could easily be a box of Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, or Ding Dongs, or (on a light day) a Pop Tart – chased down by as many ounces of Pepsi as I had readily available.  For many years eating like this made no difference as my metabolism kept me at a reasonable weight.  But, as happens, things changed – fast forward a bit…

On October 14, 2011 this clown realized that he was no longer the skinny kid in his wedding pictures.

Technically around 224 pounds he was a dreaded word that he doesn’t like…  Obese.

I suppose that made him another dreaded word that he doesn’t like…  Normal.

This clown doesn’t do normal.
Normal is not something I aspire to.
Normal is broke, sick, depressed, heavily medicated – and overweight.

Video Games & Cell Phone Apps.
We own a Wii, and we already had the Wii Fit.  So this clown thought he could shed some pounds by simply waking up 30 minutes early each day and doing some virtual hula-hooping.  Among other things.  And as silly as it sounds – it worked.  I lost some weight pretty quickly.  But must admit – I was a little like this guy:

Well… maybe not quite that extreme.  I knew the real way to lose weight is to take in fewer calories than what you burn each day.  And you could either burn more calories or eat fewer calories – or, I suppose for maximum effect, do both.  So with my morning Wii Virtual Torture session I downloaded the myfitnesspal.com app for my phone and began logging my caloric intake.

I highly recommend it for anyone that doesn’t eat the way we all know we should…
When you set your current and target weight, it tells you how many calories you should eat that day – which in turn makes you think twice before stopping by McDonald’s for a quick 1,300 calorie “Value” meal.

It took me about a month to stop eating Pop Tarts and Pepsi for breakfast.  I realized that the 555 calories only kept me “full” until 10 am – at which time I needed a candy bar and another Pepsi (another 400 calories) to get me to lunch.  When I switched my breakfast to an apple, 2 bananas and glass of orange juice – totaling 375 calories – I could make it to 11:30 before taking a slightly early lunch.  Shortly thereafter lunch changed too.
A handful of mixed nuts, apple, orange and bottle of water (400 calories) became my favorite lunch.  On the days I needed an afternoon snack, instead of an almost 300 calorie Snicker’s Bar I would stop by the produce department for a 200 calorie granola bar.

I had no fad diet I was following.  No one at all coaching me along the do’s and don’ts of healthy eating or weight loss.  I simply made one decision at a time.  In so doing, I learned that when I ate these things I had more energy, stayed fuller, and did it without the crazy caloric intake a normal American consumes.

For those wondering – Dinner would be as a family and I’d eat whatever my incredibly talented wife conjured up.
Usually something between 800 and 1,000 calories.

As a result, I lost 30 pounds in six months.

Totally NOT Normal.

Yet, I was still overweight.  Overweight is normal.  This clown doesn’t do normal.

A friend during this same period was making some changes of his own – some that most would call extreme changes.  He became one of “those” … vegans.
Go ahead, click on the picture and read it.  It is seriously roll on the floor funny if you have ever met one of these passionate folks.

As he was learning new things about how closely linked many of the “normal” ailments (obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer) that plague us are to our diets he felt compelled to share.  Many of our friends never gave a serious look into what he was saying because they felt the delivery was too extreme.  However, I was surprised that much of what he was saying lined up with what I had found to be true just by counting calories.

I was 2/3 vegan and didn’t even have a clue!

One night at dinner I loaded my plate up with the side dishes my wife made, took a small portion of the meat and made a half-hearted comment in jest to my wife that “I’m already 2/3 there – it’s no big deal to me to drop it completely.”  To which she replied something very close to, “I could never be vegan.”

Never say never – less than a month later that changed.  We saw a documentary titled “Forks Over Knives” – it was enough to change her mind.

Now I know that is completely and totally not normal.  Crazy and weird even.  What do I eat?  How do I get enough protein?  How can I not be starving all the time?  The fact is everything tastes better, I get more than enough of all my vitamins, nutrients, protein, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…  As far as what we eat – it’s a lot like this:

Within 2 months after becoming 3-thirds vegan, I had dropped to my personal goal weight of 165 pounds.

Beyond The “V” Word.
I no longer count calories using my cell phone.  It’s pretty easy for me to mentally track caloric intake after a few months of using my phone and also a bit insignificant since a plant-based whole foods diet makes it nearly impossible to consume too many calories.  BUT I did need something else to prevent from becoming a scrawny strung-out-hippie looking vegan – so I joined the gym.

A gym is not a place I have ever been drawn to.  For years I would much rather lift virtual weights on the Wii and do virtual exercises than come close to the real McCoy.  Yet here I am – 3 to 6 times each week, enjoying (yes – it is fun!) an hour lifting weights doing crunches and push-ups and pull-ups and bar dips and the like…

Definitely NOT normal, I know.
The security cameras at the gym actually captured this photo of me as I was leaving the other day:

Even crazier…  I decided for cardio I couldn’t stand a treadmill with all that work going nowhere.  So I began running.  At first, a mile was an eternity.  After six months though, a mile is a warm up.  Here’s what I have logged at dailymile.com since I started in May:

A Baker’s Dozen.
On November 14, 2012 – exactly 13 months (a baker’s dozen) later – this clown weighs in at 166 pounds.
Well within the healthy range.
Healthy, vegan, incredibly happy, and…

Today I begin the next step in my journey –
Training for a marathon that I’ll run in 2013.

Now, if I ever become like this guy:
You can fry me up, dip me in ketchup & enjoy:

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in My Life

 

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Aw, how ah you ma f-wren?

That’s exactly how I am greeted at my favorite Chinese take out place by my house.
Appropriately named: China House.

Or if I call ahead to place my order I hear the matron say:
“China How – may I alp you?”

The folks that have rated it on urbanspoon.com give them a 93% positive rating…
Beats everyone else I’ve seen on there!

I absolutely LOVE these people…  I couldn’t tell you their names, but the family is great to watch.

There’s the matron that rules the place – she is always yelling at the guys.  Always.

Then there’s ma f-wren (my friend).  He’s the delivery person.  Probably the matron’s son.
He’s hilarious to me because he’ll yell right back at her… and then always gives me a free 2 liter. Always.
Why?  Because he’s ma f-wren I suppose.  He doesn’t do it to everyone else.  We just click I guess.

There’s a few grunts that are confined to the kitchen…  Probably matrons husband and some of the older sons – I really don’t know everyone’s status.

And finally there are the matron’s grand children.  I’ve kind of seen them growing up the past 5 years or so.
The oldest is a teenage girl that is starting to take over the phone & register from the matron.  She speaks much better English, so I really like it when she’s there.
The middle is another girl – probably 8 years old now.  Always doing homework.  Always.
And the youngest boy.  He was a baby when we started, now he’s 6 or so…  And he’s trouble…
No doubt he’ll be ma f-wren soon.

Anyhow…  I finally updated the FCC page – click here, ma f-wren, to read the last 5 months of fortunes!

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2012 in Fortune Cookies, Musings

 

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Through The Looking Glass: November 2012

Readings by day for November.  For past readings click here.

November 1, 2012: Luke 19      November 2, 2012: Mark 11; John 12

November 3, 2012: Matthew 22; Mark 12      November 4, 2012: Matthew 23; Luke 20-21

November 5, 2012: Mark 13      November 6, 2012: Matthew 24

November 7, 2012: Matthew 25      November 8, 2012: Matthew 26; Mark 14

November 9, 2012: Luke 22; John 13      November 10, 2012: John 14-17

November 11, 2012: Matthew 27; Mark 15    November 12, 2012: Luke 23; John 18-19

November 13, 2012: Matthew 28; Mark 16    November 14, 2012: Luke 24; John 20-21

November 15, 2012: Acts 1-3     November 16, 2012: Acts 4-6

November 17, 2012: Acts 7-8    November 18, 2012: Acts 9-10

November 19, 2012: Acts 11-12     November 20, 2012: Acts 13-14

November 21, 2012: James     November 22, 2012: Acts 15-16

November 23, 2012: Galations 1-3       November 24, 2012: Galations 4-6

November 25, 2012: Acts 17     November 26, 2012: 1 & 2 Thessalonians

November 27, 2012: Acts 18-19      November 28, 2012: 1 Corinthians 1-4

November 29, 2012: 1 CorInthIans 5-8      November 30, 2012:

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Looking Glass

 

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Through The Looking Glass: October 2012

Readings by day for October.  For past readings click here.

October 1, 2012: Matthew 1; Luke 2      October 2, 2012: Matthew 2

October 3, 2012: Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3       October 4, 2012: Matthew 4; Luke 4-5

October 5, 2012: John 2-4       October 6, 2012: Matthew 8, Mark 2

October 7, 2012: John 5      October 8, 2012: Matthew 12; Mark 3; Luke 6

October 9, 2012: Matthew 5-7      October 10, 2012: Matthew 9; Luke 7

October 11, 2012: Matthew 11    October 12, 2012: Luke 11

October 13, 2012: Matthew 13; Luke 8    October 14, 2012: Mark 4-5

October 15, 2012: Matthew 10    October 16, 2012: Matthew 14; Mark 6; Luke 9

October 17, 2012: John 6     October 18, 2012: Matthew 15; Mark 7

October 19, 2012: Matthew 16; Mark 8      October 20, 2012: Matthew 17; Mark 9

October 21, 2012: Matthew 18      October 22, 2012: John 7-8

October 23, 2012: John 9-10      October 24, 2012: Like 10

October 25, 2012: Luke 12-13       October 26, 2012: Luke 14-15

October 27, 2012: Luke 16-17      October 28, 2012: John 11

October 29, 2012: Luke 18       October 30, 2012: Matthew 19; Mark 10

October 31, 2012: Matthew 20-21

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in Looking Glass

 

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Q3 Update: To Do in 2012

2012…
Nearly complete.
100 days left.
Let’s see where I’m at –

1.  Drop the PMI on the mortgage.                                                Goal #1 – Check. 

2.  Sell the boat…  SOLD!!!!                                                           Goal #2 – Check.

3.  Remodel the master bathroom for the wife…                           Goal #3 – Check.

4.  See Italy.                                                                                   Goal #4 – Check.
I’ll definitely have to make time to blog about the trip!
What an opportunity!

5.  Put ONE of my million dollar ideas into action.                         Goal #5 – Well…
This has completely stalled…  I’ll have to schedule at least a short period of time each week to work on it.
As mentioned in Q1 update – it’s not really one of my million dollar ideas, but something even better really!

6.  Learn to be moved with compassion…                                       Goal #6 – In Progress.
You can read a little about this by clicking here.
Again, this won’t ever be simply checked off.
Someday’s it is very difficult to allow compassion to have its way.

7.  Read the Bible through in chronological order.                        Goal #7 – In Progress.
Day 265 – 72.3% of the way through.  Only 100 days left.  I can’t help but believe it does me good – regardless of how many times I read this book there is always another lesson learned, another verse that jumps out at me, another act of God’s love revealed.

8.  Make sure AFT Sunday School hits that top branch…                Goal #8 – In Progress.
We’re going to keep jumping!
We have such an awesome team of people, doing great things to further God’s work in Oklahoma City.

So, out of 8 goals – 4 are 100% complete,  1 is stalled (but I’ll kick it in gear), and the other 3 are actively in progress…  Gotta Keep On Truckin’!

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in My Life

 

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Through The Looking Glass: September 2012

Readings by day for September.  For past readings click here.

September 1, 2012: Ezekial 21-22   September 2, 2012: Ezekial 23-24

September 3, 2012: Ezekial 25-27    September 4, 2012: Ezekial 28-30

September 5, 2012: Ezekial 31-33     September 6, 2012: Ezekial 34-36

September 7, 2012: Ezekial 37-39    September 8, 2012: Ezekial 40-42

September 9, 2012: Ezekial 43-45    September 10, 2012: Ezekial 46-48

September 11, 2012: Joel 1-3     September 12, 2012: Daniel 1-3

September 13, 2012: Daniel 4-6   September 14, 2012: Daniel 7-9

September 15, 2012: Daniel 10-12    September 16, 2012: Ezra 1-3

September 17, 2012: Ezra 4-6; Psalm 137     September 18, 2012: Haggai

September 19, 2012: Zechariah 1-4     September 20, 2012: Zechariah 5-9

September 21, 2012:  Zechariah 10-14    September 22, 2012: Esther 1-5

September 23, 2012: Esther 6-10      September 24, 2012: Ezra 7-10

September 25, 2012: Nehemiah 1-5      September 26, 2012: Nehemiah 6-7

September 27, 2012: Nehemiah 8-10      September 28, 2012: Nehemiah 11-13; Psalm 126

September 29, 2012: Malachi      September 30, 2012: Luke 1; John 1

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Looking Glass

 

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Through The Looking Glass: August 2012

Readings by day for August.  For past readings click here.

August 1, 2012: 2 Kings 20 & 21                              August 2, 2012: 2 Chronicles 32 & 33

August 3, 2012: Nahum                                           August 4, 2012: 2 Kings 22 & 23; 2 Chronicles 34 & 35

August 5, 2012: Zephaniah                                      August 6, 2012: Jeremiah 1 – 3

August 7, 2012: Jeremiah 4 – 6                                August 8, 2012: Jeremiah 7 – 9

August 9, 2012: Jeremiah 10 – 13                             August 10, 2012: Jeremiah 14 – 17

August 11, 2012: Jeremiah 18 – 22                           August 12, 2012: Jeremiah 23 – 25

August 13, 2012: Jeremiah 26 – 29                           August 14, 2012: Jeremiah 30 & 31

August 15, 2012: Jeremiah 32 – 34                           August 16, 2012: Jeremiah 35 – 37

August 17, 2012: Jeremiah 38 – 40; Psalms 74 & 79  August 18, 2012: 2 Kings 24 & 25; 2 Chronicles 36

August 19, 2012: Habakkuk                                     August 20, 2012: Jeremiah 41 – 45

August 21, 2012: Jeremiah 46 – 48                                   August 22, 2012: Jeremiah 49 & 50

August 23, 2012: Jeremiah 51 & 52                                  August 24, 2012: Lamentations 1 & 2

August 25, 2012: Lamentations 3 – 5                                 August 26, 2012: Ezekial 1 – 4

August 27, 2012: Ezekial 5 – 8                                      August 28, 2012: Ezekial 9 – 12

August 29, 2012: Ezekial 13 – 15                                    August 30, 2012: Ezekial 16 & 17

August 31, 2012: Ezekial 18 – 20

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Looking Glass

 

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