Monday, March 29, 2010

Weigh In #28

Well, last week I made the announcement that I was going to start doing some running. One week later I'm here to tell you that I survived the first week of 5K training... As I mentioned back then, I said I was going to use the Couch to 5K training program so that my oldest daughter and I could run together and enter (and finish) a 5K on our way to the 10K Cooper River Bridge Run next year. Not only has my daughter finished the first week but my wife has joined in as well and she completed the first week of the program too. I'm very proud of them!

For the last 28 weeks I have been using the Daily Plate over at to plan and track my eating. The site also lets you track you fitness and exercise. They mash-up with Google Maps to let you plot runs/walks/bike rides (called "loops") and then do calculations on the number of calories burned in doing that loop (based on walking/running/biking speed and some specifics about yourself).

I have to admit, I was kinda disappointed when I plugged in my stuff for the first 30 min workout and saw that it burned less calories than I took in with my Chick-fil-a salad at lunch. But you have to start somewhere...

And on that note, here's the latest weigh in info:


Movin' on down... (sung to the tune of "The Jeffersons")

And the greatest thing about that number going down is that it keeps the pledge number over on the right side of the screen movin' on up. Every pound I lose towards my goal is another couple of dollars pledged to in the fight to end human trafficking in our country and in the world.

I have pledged $1 per pound lost and I have a couple of amazing friends who have added their pledges as well. There is still room for more pledges. If you feel called to help free children and adults from real slavery, please leave me a comment below, email me, find me on facebook, or get me on twitter (@scbubba) and let me know. I'll add you to the roles and put your pledge in the tally.

You can also give straight to right now. You can click here to DONATE at their site. Or you can use a text message to send $5 immediately to Enter your cell number in the box "Text To Give" box in the right hand sidebar and go from there. Any amount is good and greatly appreciated.

Slavery is very much alive and operating in our world today. It is a reality for around 27 million people in the world today. Each year about 17,500 children are trafficked into the United States and forced into commercial sexual exploitation.

It doesn't have to be this way. It can be stopped. We need your help.

Photo credit to saavem.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weigh In #27

Well, I know there's no way to compete with all the health care reform news and noise today, so I'm keeping this week's Weigh In post short and sweet...

Things are slowing down in the weight loss area for me it seems. I stepped up on the scale this morning and, while I saw progress, it's not much. Today was:


That's a pound from last Monday and gets me ever so close to the 60lb mark. I keep reminding myself "slow and steady wins the race."

Which is a not too awkward segue into the next mini-topic here: a race. More specifically, the Cooper River Bridge Run. I've lived in Charleston for almost 13 years and never had anything to do with the Bridge Run before: never ran in it, never participated in any of the festivities and activities. As a matter of fact, we have intentionally always avoided the downtown and Mt Pleasant areas the weekend of the event because of the traffic and crowds, etc.

Well that's going to change. But not this weekend (the 2010 Run). The pledge is to run in the 2011 Bridge Run with my oldest daughter. For many of you, this doesn't seem like a big deal. And it probably isn't for a lot of you. But for a 40 year old man who was recently well over 300lbs and hasn't run much more than his mouth in over 15 years, it's a goal.

This week my daughter and I are starting the Couch to 5K interval training program. I've heard wonderful things about it from friends who have used it before (and are using it now). I'm pretty excited about it. And that's a huge turn around from what you would have heard me say a year ago...

But I don't want this to be just about me. I'm still committed to the cause of helping to stop human trafficking in our lifetime. I haven't said much about it in the past few weeks but it still weighs on my heart. I, and some generous supporters, are donating money based on how much weight I lose. You can see in the right hand side bar the counter that keeps up with the amount of money pledged to so far. I will continue this pledge until at least the end of October, 2010 (when I turn 40).

Some where over the next couple of months I plan to introduce a new pledge based on the running program, too. Keep an eye out for details.

If you would like to offer a pledge to help, then please leave a comment below, or email me, or find me on twitter (@scbubba) or facebook.

Photo credit to TumraNeedi.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weigh In #26

26 weeks. The half year mark. Hard to believe six months have gone by already. At the same time I almost can't recall when I wasn't paying attention to diet and nutrition. It's just kinda habitual now. Weird.

As of Monday morning I'm down to


which makes a total of almost 59 pounds in those 26 weeks. So, in one sense I'm becoming the man I want to be.

But in so many other ways, I'm not. I find that I keep messing up. I do it so often that I think that I can't do anything else sometimes. I lose sight of who I am meant to be. I believe the lie. But, thankfully, I don't have to.

It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
(Romans 7:21-25, The Message)
(Thanks for the encouragement Hope!)

Photo credit to Bessarro.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weigh In #25

Yesterday I was reading a post from someone I admire, Brody Harper, about people who, in the name of being honest, pretty much blast away at people in electronic forums (like Twitter, Facebook, email, etc). I've been on the receiving end of this before and, as much as it pains me to say it, I've been on the giving end too.

While there is a lot to be said about what might be good and bad about "being honest" (especially in a most anonymous forum or at least one that gives the speaker a big buffer), the part that really got me thinking was this part of the blog entry that Brody wrote for someone who was truly being honest:
I know that I’m supposed to put others before me, but I try not to let that affect the way I Tweet or blog because sitting in my room it’s really about me and what makes me feel good. And that’s just me being honest.

And that go me thinking, why am I blogging? Or on facebook? Or twitter? I've noticed that my involvement on all these forums has dropped off a lot in the past several months. I guess I'm not "really in to it" right now. Hmmm. Maybe.

But then yesterday, I got some clarity on my disengagement. I stepped on the scale Monday morning and I saw the same number as last week:


I filed it away as I went through my morning routine, getting ready for work, etc. When I got ready to plug in the report for the blog post, I couldn't do it.

That's right, I just could not bring myself to report that I had made no progress last week. Even after all that I wrote on my identity, I still succumbed to my "fear of Man" issues.

But then I thought "I have to post something. People (well at least 2 maybe) are expecting me to be accountable here." So I came up with an idea to not post on Monday, weigh on Tues in hopes that it would be a little lower, and then just post Tues and say I forgot to weigh or post or whatever on Monday." Simple, right?

Nope. I had 2 people ask me yesterday afternoon and evening where the post was and how I was doing on the weight loss. I mumbled some reply about looking for the post on Tuesday.

It was nagging my mind pretty bad last night and this morning. I did get on the scale this morning to see if my plan had a shot at working. But for some reason, I couldn't go through with it. I couldn't put myself out here as being honest and then be dishonest. I can't hide the parts I don't like all the time and expect people to know and trust me.

As I pondered this line a little longer, I began seeing the old pattern again. I'm disengaging from interaction with people and communities. Why? I'm not sure but it has something to do with my worry that people I know, admire, love, and respect will look at me and disapprove. Of what I don't really know...

So I come back to what i wrote about last week. I am complete in Christ. Why is this so hard to truly accept? Why is it so daggum tough to get over needing acceptance from people more than I need it from God?

I'd like to ask you, dear readers, for 2 things today:
1) If you are inclined, please add a prayer for me as I struggle with this.

2) If you have words of encouragement or a story you would like to share on the topic, please feel free to leave a comment on this post. You can even do it anonymously if you like.


Photo credit to eskim0j0.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weigh In #24

This has been an interesting week. After last week's little blip, I've gotten a ton of support from folks. And I vowed to double my efforts to get back to it and keep the numbers going down again. But as the days have gone by, I've been wondering about a few things.

Six months ago, my weight was a noticeable part of how people knew me ("He's a big guy" or "Kinda reminds me of Chris Farley"). But now it is probably the defining characteristic of me for a lot of people. And there are days where it seems my sole purpose is to hit my weight loss goals. But, honestly, is that who I am?

Two things really sparked this thought about "who I am": one is the series that we are using for the High School Sunday school class I help lead at church and the other is an old sermon series from by Craig Groeschel.

The Sunday school series is called, appropriately enough, "Who am I?" and is from Simply Youth Ministry. It centers around understanding that your true self is rooted in your acceptance by God and not all the other things we end to focus on.

The sermon series is called Practical Atheist. It's over a year old (Nov '08) but I just got around to pulling it down the podcast. Pastor Craig talks about how many of us say we believe in God but then live as though God doesn't exist. This can have a big impact on where you draw your identity from, as well. It does for me anyway.

So, where does that bring us? Good question. I'm not altogether sure, but I believe God's working on me pretty good here. I've struggled in the past with identity. A lot. In college it really got going. I joined a fraternity as I was seeking identity. I found a great group of men that became my brothers and I got a label ("He's a Beta."). But I didn't find that "this is who I am" thing.

I looked for identity in the sports I played. I am a big soccer fan and have loved playing the game for a long time. In and after college (especially once I had a steady paycheck) I outfitted myself with gear (I mainly play goalkeeper) and "lifestyle" clothes. People could look at me and know that I either played soccer, was a huge fan, or that I was a poser who spent a lot of money. But it never gave me the feeling that "soccer player" was my identity.

In the last 10 years, my career has been a big focus of identity for me. As a matter of fact, I so strongly coupled my identity with my work that I nearly worked myself to death and caused quite a bit of heartache and pain for those closest to me.

There were (and are) many other things that provide labels that I and others attach to me. Some are good and some not so much. The ones I always thought were the best were "Husband and Father". And they are great - they blow all of the others clean away... for a while.

The other things start sneaking in telling me that it's not enough. I hear things like "What will people think if you're not the go-to guy for all of these things?" and "They will really love you if you just do these things perfectly." or "Imagine what everyone will think of you if you can be the best at this stuff."

So I get wrapped up in this weight loss thing. And when something happens, like last week, that tarnishes the effort (that is, my image) it strikes deep into this identity thing. And then I get on the scale again this week and the wounds are healed a little because I see this:


But it's a temporary salve for my fragile identity/ego/image/self. I need more.

And what I'm learning is that I really need fewer things for my identity. In fact, I need only one thing. I read passages like this one in Colossians:
For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Col 2:9-10 NLT)

Or, to paraphrase, I am complete in Christ.

Now, how to live like it's true....

Original illustration courtesy of barunpatro with a little modification by yours truly.