Monday, December 28, 2009
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
We had a great Christmas at our house this year. Family was in town for an extended stay. There was shopping, singing, worship services at church, presents abounding, and holiday treats. And there was Christmas dinner. Oh wow, was there Christmas dinner.
My wife makes some of the best traditional holiday meals so I especially love it when she gets to cook for everyone. This year was actually a little bit smaller meal. She is used to cooking for about 15 people (she has a big family) but there were 8 at the house this year (and one of them is 1 year old). But it was still an incredible meal...
We had roast turkey that I didn't so much as carve as I did just shake it off the turkey. It was literally fall off the bone tender. Inside the bird was her incredible homemade stuffing. I could eat that until I popped. Especially with the gravy she made in the bottom of the roasting pan after I took the bird out. And that gravy goes so good on top of whipped potatoes (with some Happy Cow butter and maybe a hint of cream...). And then, right there on the side of the plate where it looks like it might get pushed off the side by the mounds of other food is that golden brown wonder of sweet potato, butter, and brown sugar - candied yams!
And what's Christmas dinner without pie? Nothing, I tell you! So we had some pumpkin pie, an apple pie, and one of my Dad's favorites: egg custard. I ended up with 2 slices that night.
One thing did hamper my enjoyment of all. Since I have been eating less at each meal for the past 15 weeks, I guess my stomach has gotten smaller. I just could not eat as much as I thought I wanted to. It was actually frustrating. I was expecting to gobble up a mountain of food but had to stop somewhere in the foothills. I guess that was a good thing overall.
One thing that I think helped offset the indulgence on Christmas (and Christmas Eve... whoops!) was the fact that I moved about 3 rooms of furniture (2 of them up and down stairs) on Wednesday and Saturday. I know I burned some calories then.
Which leads me up to stepping on the scale, finally, on Sunday morning. And the results....
Kinda shocked me. I expected to stay even or go up a little. I guess moving furniture, eating right the rest of the week, and throttling back on the mountain of food paid off.
So that's more dollars added to the pledge total for Love146.org over on the right sidebar. Each quarter I donate the pledged funds built up so far. I also let my friendly sponsors know their tally so they can donate as well.
If you are interested in sponsoring me as I (and others) support Love146.org in their efforts to end human trafficking and restore those people freed from it, drop me a comment below, email me, send me a message on twitter, or friend me on facebook and I'll add you to the sponsor list.
You can also donate directly to Love146.org any time you like by clicking the donate button over on the right sidebar.
Thanks for your support and I'll see you in 2010!
Background image photo credit to flaivoloka.
Friday, December 18, 2009
It has been an interesting week. I thought Thanksgiving was going to be tough on me and the weight loss goals I set. Turns out, that was just a scrimmage. The Christmas season is like the playoffs. Between holiday parties, "cookie exchanges" at the office, gifts of sweets and breads at home, and a general deluge of seasonal treats being offered by restaurants, it has been tough trying to stick to a plan. Well, a plan that doesn't include a gallon of hot chocolate and half of a chocolate chip cookie pie....
I managed to make headway despite all that...
But today, that just does't feel that important.
As you may know, I've gotten very interested in the work that Love146.org is doing (here at home and across the world) in freeing people from very real slavery and helping to restore them to freedom in the world. Salvation and restoration. What wonderful words to me, a person not chained up and abused, not forced into prostitution, not threatened with harm to my family, not stolen away in the night and smuggled into another country.
What incredibly amazing words are salvation and restoration. Why do I feel this way? Because the incredible folks at Love146.org are doing for these victims of human trafficking what Christ has been doing for me: freeing from the bonds of slavery and restoring to freedom and love. The chains that I had might not have been the ones made from steel and hooked to a wall, but there were chains on my soul nonetheless. I may live in the Land of the Free and of Opportunity, but I am being restored to a life of freedom and promise that far exceeds what the USA can offer in the end. Just as Christ is working in me, Love146.org is working for over 1.2 million children that are trafficked each year; for the 100,000 children here in the US who are forcefully engaged in prostitution or pornography each year; for the over 27 million people who are enslaved worldwide.
So, I ask you, can you get involved in even the least way with the work that these wonderful people are doing? Join me in supporting Love146.org today. I'm giving $1 per pound that I lose until the end of October 2010. There are a couple of people who have agreed to sponsor me as well. You can see the current total pledged over in the right sidebar. There is also a button for you to donate directly to Love146.org if you want to go that route.
If I haven't been able to convince you to help out, please listen to some people that are more knowledgeable than I am. Go over to the site and get the facts for yourself (* some of the information contains adult themes and actual accounts of sex slavery).
Photo credit to samplediz .
Friday, December 11, 2009
In the picture above, you can see what 35 pounds looks like. I know, I know. It's not the most exciting thing. It doesn't even move or have sound effects. But that little graph up there has been one of the key things that has helped me out over the past 3 months. I've gotten encouragement from seeing the downward run over time. I've gotten reminded that this is a "slow and steady" course and not a sprint as the days have stretched out to the right. I've also been kicked in the butt by those flat spots where it seemed like no progress was being made.
Yup, this has been an invaluable tool so far. And it will keep helping me, too. Many of you either know about LiveStrong.com or have heard me talk about it. The site (and it's many tools for fitness, health, and weight loss) are tied in with Lance Armstrong's Live Strong movement and Armstrong is a spokesperson and contributor to the site.
I'll go ahead and say it... Without LiveStrong.com and The Daily Plate, my efforts to lose weight and get healthier would definitely not be as productive as they have been and I might have given up already. It's been tough to get here (and I have a long way to go), but I can see that it is possible...
As some of you may have picked up by the far right part of the graph, this wasn't a great week. That flat spot means that I didn't lose any weight this week. I looked down at the scales and it greeted me with the same number from last week:
I even checked 3 times to make sure. Same number...
But I'm not discouraged (well, not much) and I know this is just one of those things. I'm going to keep pushing on. I'm still targeting 45 more pounds in the next 27 weeks. If you are inclined towards it, please say a prayer for me as we get deep into this holiday season. The next 4 weeks will be quite a test....
And don't forget Love146.org. Go donate to help free people (in this country and others) from the bondage of slavery and give them hope.
Peace to you.
Friday, December 4, 2009
One good thing about having traveled for Thanksgiving is that we weren't hip-deep in leftovers the week after. The bad thing about traveling for Thanksgiving is that we weren't hip-deep in leftovers the week after. Actually it worked out for the best. Since I was gone on travel for work most of the week, it didn't affect me either way. OF course, traveling itself has its own burdens...
This time wasn't quite as bad as traveling last month. I had direct flights both ways (Woo Hoo!), left Tuesday morning and came back Thursday night. It was easy to get exercise while in DC - you walk everywhere... I easily got in 3 or 4 miles of walking each day.
But the meal situation can be a bit rough. Thanks to the travel schedule and some unforeseen events on Tuesday, I didn't get a chance to eat until dinnertime in DC. That wouldn't have been too bad but I found out we were all going to a "small plate", or tapas, restaurant that served Greek, Lebanese, and Turkish fare. I love that kind of food... I was starving from not eating that day... And you usually have to order A LOT of things at a tapas place to really have dinner. This was adding up to some high calorie and expensive dining...
It worked out really well with 5 of us having dinner there. There was a good selection of items that I could choose from and still keep things reasonable. And the check came in under $30 for each of us. And I didn't have to stop somewhere to get food on the way back to the hotel.
Wednesday was more reasonable during the day. The shops and restaurants by the building we were in were open and we had a chance to go to a place with a great salad/hot bar. Dinner started to look challenging as we went to an Italian restaurant. But I found a nice tuna steak with veggies on the menu. It had avocado and a "robust green sauce" that was amazing. So I was able to avoid the pastas, the bread, and the oil at dinner and salvage the meal.
Thursday was a work and travel day. I managed to get some fruit for breakfast before checking out of the hotel and going to work. Lunch found us at Wendy's (we were out of downtown DC by this time) where I snagged the usual Mandarin Chicken Salad. Dinner came with options that included Atlanta Bread Company. So it was the familiar chicken salad on sourdough.
In the end, when I stepped on the scale Friday morning, I was anxious to see if I was able to move the numbers from the past couple of weeks. So...
Whew! Must have been all the walking...
I'm glad the number went down for a few reasons. First, I'm back to losing weight. Second, I get to add to the pledge amount for Love146.org again. And third, I picked up a new sponsor last week so I get to add double to the pledge amount this week! Gotta say thanks to God for friends like that.
Remember, I'm still looking for others to partner with me on raising money for Love146.org. This organization is fighting against human trafficking, helping to rescue those enslaved, and restoring hope and life to those freed from this bondage. See some of the stats from Love146.org below. You don't have to lose weight yourself (but you can if you like). All you have to do is pledge some money based on the weight I'm losing (like $1 per lb lost between now and the date of your choosing), pledge a flat amount, or donate directly to Love146.org. You can even do something else of your choosing, even for another cause. Just please do something for those in need!
Top photo credit to Kim Rosenbloom.
Bottom image from Love146.org