Monday, November 29, 2010

Weigh-In 63

Happy (late) Thanksgiving to you! I hope you had a great holiday.

We shared the time with family, including 4 generations of aunts, uncles, and cousins on my Dad's side. It was great to reconnect with family and share some of the same old stories of when we were younger. It was also incredible to share the new stories about kids, and grand kids (not mine!), and people that weren't part of the family last year.

This brought me back to a theme I've been on before: Story.

We all have a story. Some of us might have more than one story. We might not even know all of our story. There could be parts of the story that happened before we were even around or happened without us ever knowing about it. Or we may have just forgotten about some parts of it (for good or bad reasons).

In the mood of sharing stories with everyone, I mentioned that my right leg is about 1/2 inch shorter than my left leg (I'm not sure why this was relevant but it fit the conversation at the time so bear with me...). I passed it off as just one of those things. But my Dad was right there and said "And tell them why that leg is shorter..."

I just kinda looked at him and shrugged my shoulders. At which point, my father bean to tell a story that I had no memory of (even though I was the main character and point of the story).

As only Dad can, he spun the story of a 4 year old at a playground at the State Park in my hometown. This strapping lad had gotten a "for real and official" Batman costume, complete with cape, for his birthday and could not bear to part with it.

So, the scene is set with this 4 year old in full Batman regalia (don't forget the cape) at the playground. Enter our antagonist: The slide. But not just any slide. This monument to evil rose almost 12 feet off the ground with a ladder to rival that of a firetruck. It had the magnetic effect on a 4 year old boy that the Sirens had on the sailors in the Odyssey.

Step by step, inch by inch, the young Batman protege moved closer and started up the ladder. While the parents were right by the slide, they were in no way prepared for the next moments.

Standing atop the slide, surveying the playground as if it were the mean streets of Gotham City itself, the young man was filled with the confidence and power that only a utility belt and cape could bestow. Puffing up his chest (because that's what heroes do), he then leaped out into space to fly through his domain!

Wait... What?!?! "Batman can't fly!" I can hear some of you saying out there. Turns out, neither can a 4 year old boy, with or without a cape. What he can do, however, is hurtle to the ground from 12 feet up and manage to break his fall (so to speak) by getting one leg under him before the ground met him.

I don't recall those events at all. I don't remember the trip to the ER or being at the hospital. I don't even have recollection of the Batman costume. I do not remember the things that my Dad does about the even or the aftermath (like how I was worried that I had disappointed the real Batman with my failure to fly - C'mon! I was 4 years old!).

But my father remembers it. He recalls every anxious and agonizing second of my short lived flight. He has a memory of me laying on the ground screaming out. He also remembers picking me up and carrying me. Getting me help. But that's not the thing he keeps in his heart when he thinks of me. He doesn't define me by a slight limp or a medical bill that would have been hard to pay back then. My identity in his eyes is a beloved and cherished son.

And I believe that is how our heavenly Father sees us. Not the agony, exasperation, disappointment, anxiety, and pain. But as His beloved children. He knows our whole story, even if we don't, and loves us in spite of, and because of, the limp.

On to the numbers....

I was away from the "official scale" while we were traveling so I didn't get to weigh in until Mon morning. And I dutifully stepped up on the scale to see


All that good food and sharing stories over dessert caught up with me this week and I added a pound back. It's gonna be tough hitting the 210 in 2010 goal. I've got 33 days to drop these 8lbs to hit 210 before the new year. And this is one of the worst seasons for maintaining dietary discipline...

But we'll see how it goes. I appreciate all the encouragement and support this community has been giving me. Thank you all so much.


Photo credit to squeakymarmot.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weigh-In 62

As most of you know, I'm a supporter of an organization called Love146. Their mission is, quite simply, "The abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation. Nothing less." it's a cause I can really get behind because I can think of very few things that are worse than the enslavement, terrorization, and breaking of a child. It is, well, inhuman.

To date, my support has been in the form of donations, fund raising, and encouragement. Not the biggest contributions to the mission and I know it is greatly appreciated by the Love146 folks and the people they help. But, this problem is too wide spread for a few dedicated people to tackle and end on their own. Knowing that, Love146 has now started the Love146 TaskForce Community.

The TaskForce Community is " A collection of volunteers committed to ending child sex slavery and exploitation." It provides a ton of resources to help anyone, and I mean anyone, get involved in helping bring an end to this global (and local) horror.

"Task Force 101" gives an excellent overview of the concept of the Task Force, where some existing Task Forces are and what they are doing, and additional links of interest. The key, of course, is to find one near you and get involved. The site has a way to search for a Task Force by location.

Being a relatively new community, it may be that you can't find a Task Force near you. No worries, you can step up and start one! Don't be too scared by this concept. A Task Force is simply:

If you feel like this is something that you can do, then get over to the Love146 TaskForce Community site and JOIN NOW!

This was the 62nd week of working towards my weight loss (and fundraising) goals. I felt like I worked harder this week than some of the more recent weeks with respect to running and tracking my diet. So it was a little disheartening to step up and see:


Just half a pound for all that work. But, time and again, I look back and see that there may be a few things that I've been dismissing that are making a difference. For example, on the weeks where the math (calories in vs calories out) should be working in my favor but the scale isn't showing it (little or no loss or even a gain in weight), I find that my sleep patterns, especially just the amount of sleep most nights, is pretty bad. This week I probably averaged a little over 4 hours per night. I think that messes with the normal function and equilibrium of my body and brain. My observation over the past year plus points to that anyway.

With the short week for Thanksgiving upon us, I'm hoping that means I can slow it down a little and get back into a regular sleep pattern where I get enough, or at least some more, sleep.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Top photo: credit to millicent_bystander.
Bottom image: credit to Love146 TaskForce site

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weigh-In 61

Spiritual gifts seem to be getting a lot of discussion time lately. My church is undertaking an effort to go online with a set of tools to help people identify and use their gifts and talents. I've seen several web sites and books that are designed for this purpose as well. I've also heard a couple of messages in the past few weeks from pastors covering the topic.

The one that stood out to me the most was from Jeff Henderson who is a campus pastor for NorthPoint in Atlanta (he's out at Buckhead usually). In a sermon series about understanding God's plan for our lives, Jeff talks about "God's thumbprints on our lives." I think that is a very interesting way of talking about the talents and abilities that God has created us with.

Just talking about someone's abilities or even "God given talents" doesn't personalize it like the idea of having individual and unique marks placed on us by the our creator. I have these thumbprints and fingerprints on me where God personally and individually held me and made me for a purpose. He intentionally gave me the abilities I have. I didn't get them by happenstance or the roll of some dice (was that a Dungeons & Dragons reference?).

I am who I am because I was created to be that way. Now, I may behave in a way other than in a way for which I was created. That is different than who I am and was create to be. But, when I look for God's thumbprints, I see the clues to who I am supposed to be and to what God's plan is for me. And, personally, I feel the love of from a parent and not the detachment of just "something created somewhere".

What are the "thumbprints" God has put on you and how are they clues to His plan for your life?

Speaking of who I am and who I am becoming, I weighed in this morning after running 3.5 miles. Really didn't think I would get to that distance when I started running a few months ago. Not the fastest guy on the block right now but faster will happen.

Anyway I stepped on the scale and saw


I'm closing in on the end of year goal (210lbs) so that we can maximize the contributions and pledges that you all have made. At present we have $420 in pledges/donations here. That gets matched for another $420. We have $315 from the Birthday Wish donations. And finally the $274 from the 80-60-40 campaign. That's $1429 that y'all have helped raise for Love146.

Awesome. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Now to bring it on home....

Photo credit to fazen.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weigh-in 60

Well, this has been an interesting couple of weeks. I turned 40 two weeks ago. We had 6 sick people in the family in 3 days. We spent a day at the fair. My Mom got a new shoulder. My oldest got braces.

I hit the 100 lbs lost mark...

Yup. Stepped on to the scale this morning and saw


looking back at me.

Just thought I would let y'all know....

That still leaves 11lbs in the next 7 weeks to hit the 210 in 2010 goal. A wonderful friend gave me an incredible birthday gift of a donation to Love146 that put the total for this drive art $420. That means we have the matching funds for both donors and the current 210 in 2010 total is $840.00!

I love you guys and gals and how you have opened up your hearts to support Love146 and their efforts around the globe. You guys rock!