Saturday, October 29, 2011

How is this inspirational?

I love Facebook. It gives me a chance to see what friends are up to from all over the planet.  I really like hearing about their work, family, social life, and some of their jokes. However, Facebook has an annoying meme that people do not stop, that is re-posting “motivational sayings” for the world to see.  It is the new version of the chain letter.  Interestingly, most of the re-posting of chain letters comes from my Christian friends.

Now the point of this blog, a friend posted an appeal to the world that Jesus is everywhere, here is a copy of the posting.


Where to start?  Most of these types of messages always come from Christians, they have an obvious obsession with caps.  Maybe they have forgotten where the caps lock key is and couldn’t turn it off.  As annoying as this is, it is truly a sick story.  Who comes up with this stuff? If this story is real, if it is accurate, how about some citations to make it more legitimate?  The part that is really most disturbing is the part that “HE SAT NEXT TO ME BEHIND THE COUCH”.   This is supposed to be god, the most freaking awesome, most loving, caring, powerful thing in the universe?  What a bastard!?  Instead of preventing the murder suicide which any truly loving, caring compassionate person would do, he allows it to happen.  Also, assuming this is real, there is some little girl out there scarred for life, schizophrenic, and having an imaginary friend.  What is inspirational about this message?

At the end, there is a bible quote that is a non-sequitur.  Who is denying him? (except for me and most rational people who can make critical thinking decisions).  If you want to quote the bible, I could throw hundreds of quotes at you that are equally not meaningful.  Mark Twain said it best,

Do you know what these re-postings do? They get me more fired up and I will fight for people more rational and to think critically even harder.  I do not want to alienate my friends, but I will not put up with bullshit.  If you are going to say something, back it up with facts.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Healthy Living 2.13 - Anniversary Weekend

January 10, 1990, I met the most amazing woman of all time.  I was fortunate enough to pick her out at a popular bar in Quebec City.  In a couple of weeks, we knew we were in love, a couple of weeks later we were engaged.  On October, 12, 1991, we were married.  I have said this many times, but feel I cannot say it enough, but Erin makes people around her better.  Whether it is her smile, her attitude, her kindness, her work ethic, or her “je ne sais quoi?”, whatever she has, it is infectious. 
With regards to healthy living, she has been by my side for the full gamut.  When we met, I was a healthy 210 lbs, then by the time we were married, probably close to 300.  Stayed that way for a while, then got into refereeing hockey and triathlons, so got down to low 220s, stayed there for about a year before ballooning up again.  Now, the last few years, have been terrible (from a weight perspective), but each time, Erin stands by me regardless of my weight, what I look like, or my eating habits.
So this past weekend, Erin and I went to a lovely bed and breakfast for our anniversary celebration.  A very cool murder mystery, romantic walks, and a scenic bike ride through the cotton fields were awesome.  As always, my thoughts were always on food and how I could share meals with my love and at the same time be healthy.  I was very cognizant of what I was eating every single meal, eating half portions, leaving carbohydrate heavy foods on the plate, and drinking plenty of water.  Yes, I believe I did eat more carbs than normal, but my calorie count could not have been over 2000 per day.  Ugh, it was so tough.  But I enjoyed wonderful meals, plenty of fish and vegetables, and an occasional glass of wine.

As Erin and I were leaving, we discussed the weekend and how we both agreed that I ate proper portions, never overboard, nothing outrageous, had plenty of exercise, and that I should be maintaining my trend.  So, was very positive when I got home.  Checked the scale, gained three pounds?  How?  Didn’t even eat 3 pounds of food over the four days!  Will I have to live never eating like a “normal” person again?  So much work to lose 3 pounds, and doing nothing but being good for 4 days and weight comes back on.  Garbage!  So disappointed. 

The weekend was wonderful, sharing it with Erin, but then realizing that my life will never be normal sucks big time.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Healthy Living 2.12 - Binge

As I enter the fourth month of this healthy living lifestyle, I must ask myself, “Just what is wrong with me?”  I went thirteen weeks, one quarter of a year, three months without a binging episode.  Not to say the urges were not there, they were, but I just overcame them.  Today, however, I was not strong enough, and I don’t know why.  Something inside of me was telling me to get a bowl of cereal, then another, then another, until the entire box was gone, then some fruit, still never felt full.  The urges continued until I went into shower and wanted to make myself puke.  I have worked so hard these last months to lose over 40 pounds, and then in one hour, I consumed more calories than I do in 3 days.  Again, what is wrong with me?  Why are these urges so profound?  Is this what an addict feels like when they need their next fix?  An alcoholic when they need their next drink?  I hate this feeling, it sucks!

Now that the episode is over, I try to look at the causes real or imaginary or whatever that led up to this.  My food this week was pretty much normal except for one day at school, there were bagels and it was the first real “pure” carb food that I have eaten.  Last night, Saturday, I cooked a version of orange chicken, a light version, and really a healthy meal, but now, as I look back on it, I probably ate a pound of chicken and three servings of vegetables, healthy? Yes, but probably way too much.  Then today, normal breakfast, early lunch, made a breakfast of an omelet with bacon, onion, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and probably ended up eating a half pound of bacon.  Then this afternoon, I’m walking by the kitchen, boom!  Just one bowl of cereal…why did it become so many?

I guess it starts again right now.  Now, out for a walk, a cup of coffee, and some self reflection.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Healthy Living 2.11 - Becoming Routine

Another week down, and dare I say that this is becoming routine?  Yes, there are constant cravings.  But I will have to fight those battles as they come, one at a time.  Also realized something else this week, actually getting in the car (or riding the bike) to the gym is more difficult than the work I put in at the gym?  Hmm, guess all things are relative.

The statistics for this past week.

BMI - 41.2 (down 0.6 down 5.3 total)
Calorie Intake - 1608/day
Calories Burned - 3520/day
Net Caloric difference -
Water - 72 oz/day

Proteins - Carbs - Fat distribution -- 49% - 41% - 10%

I truly hope that this does not become routine…at least in one sense of the word.  Routine bores me to death.  I don’t even like taking the same bike route to school every day.  I change it up, short cut behind the mall; take the longer route along side streets, anything to alleviate the same path every day.  Another great thing about being a teacher, even though I teach the same lesson four times a day, each is different because of the dynamics and personalities in the classroom.  I love it.

However, I would like it to because routine, losing 3 lbs/week, getting stronger, getting healthier, feeling better.  That is what I like about this becoming routine.  Yet, I am wary of situations that are out of routine.  Restaurants, lunches at school, parties, bowling night are all opportunities where I might binge.  Yes, that thought is always in my head, always!  Guess I will keep using my supports and will power, hard to believe that this is almost three months now.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Courtesy. What ever happened to it?

Courtesy, being polite, what has ever happened to it? Simple manners, please, thank you, your welcome, excuse me...all of these are so rare now.

Perhaps I am jaded as I come from Canada, generally considered the most polite country in the world. In fact, I've heard it said that Canadians are too polite? Is that even possible?  Things are different in the United States, I feel the people are more aggressive, but that is not totally a bad thing.  You can be aggressive and polite at the same time.  A funny thing that I noticed when I first visited the United States, when I say “thank you” for something, the response in Canada (every time) is “you’re welcome”; however, what you hear in the U.S. is “huh huh”, more of an acknowledgment.

However, what I am seeing more and more is a lack of courtesy, a lack of respect for fellow human beings.  So let me rank the three most common events of rudeness I see on a daily basis.

1.  Cell Phones – people walk around them like they are protective baby blankies.  It doesn’t matter where they are; restaurant, mall, car, school, park, work, and about anywhere else.  Now, I have no problem with people having their security blankets, I have a problem with how they interact with society when their cell phone is out.  If I am having a conversation with someone and they start to text (or answer a call), I’m gone, listen, that person is a jerk, has no respect for me or the conversation and is not worthy of my time.  I have seen this many times in restaurants, a couple sitting down for dinner, they place their phones on the table and are constantly checking it.  What?  The person across the table is not worthy of your attention?  In school, you are there to learn, and this is not only my high school darlings, but educators (adults) I have seen in class.  You are there to learn.  You playing with your phone is distracting, despite it being on vibrate.  Just the action is enough to draw attention away from the instructor.  Finally, do not use your phone while driving.  When, not if, you get into an accident, it will be someone else getting hurt, probably not you.  What is so important that it cannot wait until you reach your destination, probably less than 15 minutes away?  Really?  You people make me sick

2.  Driving – Hey, have you ever heard of turn indicators? You know that thing beside the steering wheel?  Really, it is a useful thing.  I found out a couple of years ago, that it using a turn indicator in Maryland is not a law.  It may not be a law, but it is the polite and courteous thing to do.  Aggressive driving is not unique to the United States; there is plenty of it in Canada.  Part of the reason I started to take the train into the city everyday from suburbia.  Is it necessary to speed?  To pass on the right?  To tailgate?  What is your issue?  You will save how much time in the long run?  Probably not that much, but in the mean time, you have put many people in danger.  Finally, how about letting someone in when there is traffic? Would it really kill you?  Just be nice to you people, let them in, you will make their day maybe.

3.  Manners – What has happened to basic manners?  Saying please, thank you, excuse me, and your welcome?  It sounds so much nicer than without.  It makes whoever you are asking maybe feel a little better about doing that something for you.  I don’t know how many times I hear a child say “Can I have this?” no “please”, but then no admonishment from the parents.  When someone gets something, there is no “thank you”, sometimes there is barely an acknowledgment that something was done for them. 

I am so disgusted by this.  And do you know what is interesting (sad?), this is happening on a more regular basis.  I try to lead by example in class, at work, when I’m out.  And I’m not the only one who sees this.  I think it is time we start treat everyone with respect, dignity, and courtesy.  Whether you know that person or not.  Think about this the next time you think a text message is more important than the people you are around.  If not, our world, our society is done!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Healthy Living 2.10 - Challenges

Food was not an issue this week…or maybe it was.  My calorie intake is way below what it should be, I am trying to get up near 2000 calories/day, but am not getting close to that, as a result, I think that my body is trying to conserve fat as I may have gone into starvation mode.  So for the second consecutive week I will try harder to get up to 2000 calories/day.  Yet the fear of binging is always there and it is killing me.

The statistics for this past week.

BMI - 41.8 (down 0.1 down 4.7 total)
Calorie Intake - 1550/day
Calories Burned - 3371/day
Net Caloric difference -
Water - 72 oz/day

Proteins - Carbs - Fat distribution -- 48% - 43% - 9%

Many battles are fought when you have been fighting obesity.  Some jerk on a website said, “hey, to lose weight, all you got to do is eat less calories then you take in!”  Well, no shit!  Well there is a problem, you have to take in calories to lose weight, and a decent amount of calories if you are working out.  For the past three or four weeks I’ve seen my caloric intake decrease and am way below where I should be.  It is crazy to think that you must eat to lose, but it is the way our bodies work.

Another battle I face is the desire to binge.  I’ve talked about it many times.  When I go to the grocery with my family, they buy pasta; I have thoughts in my head about how much I would love to eat an entire box of pasta in alfredo sauce.  Today, my wife made pizza for my daughter and her friend…I could not resist.  I had about 2 servings of pizza.  It took every ounce of energy/willpower/whatever you want to call it to not finish that pizza.  I wish I could explain this desire? need? more clearly, but I can’t and it sucks.  The feeling sucks!  Will this be something that I must battle the rest of my life?  I thought habits were broken in two months, been over two months since I’ve binged, but oh man, the desires to binge are there all the time.

Finally, this past week, getting to the gym was an issue.  I do not know why, but I just could not get my fat, lazy butt out of the house.  Schedule conflicts prevented me from stopping at the gym after school.  I am glad I have the support of family, my friends, and Team Awesome.