37 and counting

I few days ago, I celebrated my 37th birthday. I didn’t feel old until I started working at LifeChurch.tv a few months ago. It seems that most of the staff here is in there twenties. One person that I know of is only 18. 18??? I was in college when he was born. I’m trying not to dwell on this.

I got some nice gifts from the family. My wife gave me the third season of Battlestar Galactica on DVD, which I’m very excited to see. But I am more excited about the gifts God has given me. He has blessed me with a wonderful wife, three great kids, a nice house, good health, two reliable cars, a fantastic church, and a very exciting and supportive work environment and most important, my relationship with Him.

Thanks God for 37 years. You have been so good to me.

37 and counting

Down 50 Pounds

Today, I reached a major milestone in my weight loss efforts. Through disciplined eating, regular exercise, and God’s strength, I’ve lost 50 pounds over the last 16 months.

The Background
I’ve struggled with being overweight my whole life. When I got married 13 years ago, I weighed around 170 lbs. Then, over the years, I kept adding more and more weight on. Sometimes, I’d try to lose some weight and end up losing 5-10 pounds. Then eventually I’d gain it back. In 2002, I lost 43 lbs, but then over the course of the next 5 years I gained it all back.

The Moment of Truth
In March 2007, I was pretty disgusted with where I was going. I didn’t care what I was eating and I wasn’t exercising. My weight had crept back up to 223 lbs. So I prayed about it and repented to God for the way I was treating the body He had given me.

What I’ve Been Doing
I got back on the treadmill and started walking for about 45 minutes a day, six days a week. I started to eat better as well. At first, I just tried to eat at Subway more often and cut back on the Big Macs. I’d had already given up on the soda back in 2003, so I was just drinking water, skim milk, or orange juice. By the end of 2007, I had lost around 40 pounds.

The Plateau
It seems that when I hit around 180 lbs, I’d hit a plateau. I wasn’t able to break through that point when I lost a lot of weight in 2002. So this time I tried to change things up. I cut back on the cardio work on the treadmill and started strength training. That didn’t work for me. In hindsight, I was not very disciplined with the strength training and I wasn’t doing enough cardio. So in June 2008, I changed things up again.

Here’s what I’m doing now
I’m just doing cardio now. I’m walking on the treadmill for 80 minutes, six days a week. I walk at 3.9 mph at a 5% incline. I keep my heart rate at 80% to 85% of my maximum. My Polar heart rate monitor says I burn 1000 calories per workout. I also do intervals 2 to 3 days a week. I’m not doing any strength training right now and probably won’t until I reach my goal weight of 164 lbs.

In addition to the exercise, I’ve also made a major change in my eating. I’m eating much healthier. I’m eating more vegetables, oatmeal, flaxseed and less cheese, sauces, and red meat. Here’s what a typical menu looks like for me:

Breakfast: Bowl of All-Bran Cereal with skim milk
Mid morning snack: Banana
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, an apple, a small bag of French Onion Sun Chips
Mid afternoon snack: Low calorie Protein Bar
Dinner: Grilled Chicken breast with lots of vegetables
Dessert: A small dish of frozen yogurt

The plan has worked. Since the beginning of the month, I’ve lost 16 pounds. I’ve blown past my previous barrier of 181 lbs. As of today, 6/27/08, I’m 173 lbs. I’ve lost 50 pounds!!! Praise God!!!

It’s been very exciting to see the weight come off. Here are some of the stats:

Weight went from 223 lbs. to 173 lbs.
BMI went from 34 to 26
Fat percentage went from 33% to 22%
Waist size went from 38 inches to 34 inches

None of this would have been possible without God giving me the strength and perseverance and for the encouragement and support that I’ve received from my wife. It’s my prayer that I can break the cycle of weight loss and weight gain. I’m praying that this will be a permanent change and the weight will not return. I’ll keep you posted.

Just 9 more pounds to go!

Down 50 Pounds

An Update

Life has been pretty hectic lately. It seems that as soon as we get back from one trip, we are on the road again. Right now I am writing this from a hotel room in Indianapolis. The family and I are on our way to New York to spend some time with my wife’s family. Indianapolis is the halfway point between Oklahoma and New York.I’m excited to see the extended family again. It’s been nine months since we’ve seen them. I’m especially excited to meet the newest member of the family, Ethan. He is brother-in-law’s newborn son. He just came into the world last week.

So what else has been going on? Well, effective June 1, I started in a new role as Technical Director for LifeChurch.tv. My team and I are responsible for all the audio, video, lighting, and satellite systems for all the church campuses. It’s a big job and I am very thankful for the dedicated guys I’m serving with.

So what else is going on? I have been working very hard to lose some weight. For the first six months of this year, I have not made much progress in my weight loss. So at the beginning of June, I decided to get back on track. I’ve worked hard to improve the quality of what I’m eating and I am now working out 80 minutes a day, six days a week. The hard work has paid off. In the last 14 days, I’ve lost 12 pounds. I praise God for that. I’m going to continue to work at this until I get to 165 – 170 pounds. With God, I know I can do it.

For the next few days I probably won’t have internet access, so I won’t update the blog too much. But as soon as I get back, I look forward to sharing with you what God’s been doing in me.

An Update

Good Visit Home

On Memorial Day weekend, we took a very short trip to visit my family in Illinois. It was a great, but too short. It was interesting to see how things have changed in the six months since I moved to Oklahoma. My nephews and niece got bigger. One of them got really tall. Another one will be going away to college in a few months.

It was nice to see some things hadn’t changed. Interacting with the family felt so familiar and comfortable. It was as if I had never left. It was a great time and I was sad to leave after only three days.

Here are some of the highlights…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister made sure the deep dish pizza was waiting for me when I came in the door.  I miss that pizza.  No, I didn’t eat the whole thing.  I only had two pieces.  But in the three days I was there, I gained six pounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, after church, we had a birthday party for my dad.  He turned 70 that day.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the last night we were there, I went bowling with some of the family. I am a terrible bowler. I usually get one strike per game, but for whatever reason I was on a roll that night. This was my best game ever and a perfect way to end our trip. And by the way, that is not my nickname on the screen. One of my nephews was trying to be funny.

 

Good Visit Home