Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turning the Face of Serenity to the Warmth of the Sun

Post Number: 56
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 34 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 3596
     Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
     Exercise Completed: Aquatics Class at the Y plus swam 1 lap

I hope you will forgive me, but I am going wax rhapsodic for a moment. As I was driving from one errand to another, seeking to fulfill my responsibilities, planning the next several steps, and just generally charging through my day, I had something of a zen moment. A tall gentleman was waiting at a bus stop. He appeared to be of Native American decent. He had a smooth, coffee with cream colored complexion. He wore his nearly shoulder length hair of deep black in lose, gentle waves. His body from the shoulders to his feet were tall and straight and faced the road I as traveling down. He had one crutch with him. But the crutch didn't appear to be for his support as he stood. He supported the crutch that leaned again him. His head was turned and tilted towards the sun. I was impressed with his expression. It was the sincerity of his serene expression that impressed me. I only saw him for a moment at I passed him at 35 mph. But he stood out in my day by giving me a momentary mental pause. I set aside by concerns. I stopped planning. Instead, I pondered the opportunity to turn the face of serenity to the warmth of the sun.

And then, since I was still driving, I was back into my life, pondering the events that had transpired so far, which was basically my class at the Y and a visit to my Mom. At the aquatics class, I pushed my way through the exercises with extra oomph to be able to get as much of a work out of the experience as I could create. A little past the top of the hour, a lifeguard class showed up to share the pool. They stayed on their side until the class was dismissed, then they started spreading out. I tried to do laps. I barely made it back down the lane to finish my first lap. By the time I turned to take my second lap, they had taken over the lane. I moved on to the hot tub. I am taking some time in the hot tub to see if it aids in recovering from exercise.

While I was enjoying the heat and bubbles, a shrill triple whistle rang out from the lifeguard class. Out of the life guard locker room shot a female lifeguard at the ready. A nearby lifeguard had to intercept her and calm her down. She looked a little chagrined.

While the lifeguard's reaction was both encouraging (in case I need her or one of her compatriots) and humorous, the thing that really stood out while I was at the Y was a comment from the exercise teacher substitute today. She challenged us to make each and every class in December because December is the most difficult month to take care of yourself. It seems to me that this is one of several comments in the last several days to remind me that I have chosen to have a January 1st attitude today and every day.

I am grateful for many (but not all) of the attitudes my kids express. As I typed this, Lemur was here at my side telling me to make sure that I type that I love MBWM. And I do. So I did. And because I love her, I push myself forward in the hopes of being the better, longer lasting, more loving husband she needs and desires. And towards that end, I am going to meditate for a little while today on the opportunity to turn the face of serenity to the warmth of the sun.

Lovingly, gratefully yours,


Iguana told Jaguar to pick from the available Papa Murphy's pizzas that were part of dinner. One of the flavors we ordered was a seasonal pizza known as the bacon, bacon, bacon. While looking at her options, Jaguar said, "I don't like the bacon, bacon, bacon, except for the bacon." That's my girl!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Some Grateful Thoughts on the Day of Giving Thanks

Post Number: 55
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 43 of 71 (Goal: 21) {Didn't track carbohydrates or sodium like I usually do}
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 2006
     Meetings Attended: Overeaters Anonymous
     Exercise Completed: None Scheduled

My heart is full with gratitude for the bounteous blessings bestowed from on high. I will not be spending much time on today's blog, but typing in thoughts as they hit me when I am near a computer.

Things I am thankful for:
  • The publishing branch of my church for their online, hard copy, and apps that allow access to so much spiritual material. And I only need go out and get it. And sometimes, not even that. They send it to me frequently without being asked.
  • The smart phone that lets me have a church manual open and a scripture reader open at the same time to make reading references very easy
  • And the scripture reader app that lets me take notes
  • The talent and skills in cooking passed on to me by my mother, strengthened in my restaurant experience, and refined in my family
  • Food in the house that was only as difficult as bringing it back from the grocery store
  • Jaguar's delightful excitement for Thanksgiving
  • Lemur's willingness to jump into the middle of the work as a helper
  • The desire to put my house in order
  • The delight in the wonderful house we are renting
  • Jaguar's awe at my dicing several stalk of celery at once
  • Iguana's willingness to start washing the dishes without being asked
  • My kids' enjoyment in veggies. They snitch veggies off of my cutting board while I'm cutting cucumbers, peppers, celery, etc., although not onions
  • My kids' reaction when they snitch a diced onion off of my cutting board and pop it into their mouth before they realize what it is
  • The chance to cook for my family
  • The chance to cook with MBWM and Asian Red Fox
  • Modern technology that lets me stay in touch with family
  • Having less than 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and sweet potatoes
  • MBWM and Quail getting in a nap after dinner
  • Having two separate floors so MBWM can nap on one floor while I take the kids to another floor
  • Holding off on desserts until the kitchen and dining area were clean. (This didn't work. The kids all decided to go to bed rather than work on the dishes. I did the dishes. I cannot have the desserts, so I'm thinking they will be donated to an upcoming function. Now I need to find an upcoming function.)
  • Getting out the old VHS machine and a box of tapes to watch movies from awhile ago
  • Teaching my kids troubleshooting techniques to get the tape machine working
  • Listening to their suggestions to troubleshoot the VHS machine
  • Spending a lazy late afternoon watching movies with my kids on DVD
I asked my boys what they were thankful for. This is what they said.

  • An X-Box
  • Video games for the X-Box
  • Food
  • Lots and lots and lots of food
  • And water. Don't forget to mention water. I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for water.
  • Mooooovie (pointing at the television)
  • Puuuuuppy (pointing at sticker of cartoon characters that includes a dog)
A couple of events that I wanted to record for my future review and research. For review, the OA meeting topic last night was the insanity surrounding foods that trigger an eating binge. When I shared, I said that there are foods like that for me, but it's especially the situation and my reaction to that situation I need to monitor. If I am going to seek binge food, it's usually under the guise of comfort food when things are not going the way I designed them. Sometimes I'm okay with chaos redirecting or ruining my efforts. Sometimes I am not.

As for research, I am looking to record a data point in my progress here in the blog. One of the ways I can tell that things are going well as far as Kimkins is the color of my pee. I know this isn't the best indicator, but it's the only one I can afford. The primary source of carbs I ate yesterday were from a spinach salad that included tomatoes, cucumbers and olives as carb sources. I did nibble some mashed potatoes, gravy, and sweet potatoes. But in the case of this BLTN, if it reached a total of 2 tablespoons, I would be greatly surprised. But where as the pee indicator was going great for better than 2 and a half days, my first bladder draining after dinner was disappointingly normal.

There are things I can do influence the direction of my weight loss, but the perversity of weight loss is such that the quantity is up to unknown puckish entities that dance freely and playfully beyond my ability to control. I pick the tempo of the music, these entities pick the rigor of the dance. I may play a lively jig, but they dance a regal waltz. I may play a simple dirge, but they dance a bounding ballet. I play a minuet, but they dance a bouncy break dance. You get the idea. But the scientist in me is seeking the better influences to have a little say in the dance.

MBWM passed on a Facebook post to me from her cousin Janelle. I thought I would include it in my Post Script section. I look forward to more thoughts on gratitude as I continue this journey.

Gratefully your servant,


Here is a song my kids have been trying to sing all day. Enjoy! The Turkey Song: A Funny Thanksgiving Song.

And to throw a little additional humor your way, enjoy Thanksgiving Jokes.

I have included a Facebook post by MBWM's cousin Jonelle. I did make several of edits. I removed middle and last names of the poster, her husband, friends and others, changed ect to etc, changed addition to edition, I added links, and I added spacing between paragraphs. Here is the post -

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! A year ago today, I was 66 pounds heavier. It was the heaviest weigh in I'd ever had. I was shocked and scared. Since that day, I made a promise to myself to change my behavior. As a food addict, that task seemed impossible. HOWEVER I was determined to stop the madness and get my life back. This is what I've learned this year. **Sorry in advance, this is a long post.

1) Just because I have a lot of weight to lose doesn't mean it's going to come off quickly because I am eating right and exercising. I've been disappointed at times of how slow the weight has come off. So I'm learning this process takes A LOT of patience and persistence. It took time to get heavy and it's going to take time to get rid of it.

2) Motivation is 95% of weight loss and it is Contagious. I've surrounded myself with people, groups, quotes, pictures, and food that has kept me motivated daily. Here are a few on my Facebook feed every day. Ruby (she's lost over 350 pounds and is still going strong), Ilene (my neighbor who has lost 100 pounds, posting workouts and healthy activities she's doing), Shawny (kicking it at boot camp workouts and posting inspirational quotes), Courtney Crozier – Biggest Loser Season 11 (showing me how active your life can be every day), Tiffany (my personal trainer, life coach, and healer - taking me to the next level), Denise (showing me places to travel and that personal goals can be met), Stephanie (her weight loss story helped me find my personal trainer), Joe (my cousin's 80+ pound weight loss), People in my ward who run amazing races (Jim, Kevin, Stephanie, etc), (amazing recipes, workouts, weight loss tools, etc), Extreme Makeover Weight loss edition, my religion (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) reminding me of who I am (a daughter of God), my husband (Martin) for loving me through the good and bad days, and many of you who are brave and make amazing choices each day. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

3) No matter what anyone tells you, there is no quick fix for weight loss. Weight loss is not curable from a pill, gimmick, diet, or surgery. You still have to do the work. Some of these things can help you get there, BUT in the end YOU have to do the work. You have to get your butt up every day and choose to workout, eat fruits and vegetables, and stay motivated. And it TAKES TIME. Time is going to pass anyways, but you can choose how you spend it.

4) You absolutely cannot, without a shadow of a doubt, lose weight on your own. You have to have tools, people, groups, family, friends, neighbors, pets, etc to help you reach your goals. It is true. I have not come this far without help from someone or something.

5) Staying educated. There is just too much to learn about the human body and new studies are happening each day to teach us how to care for our bodies. I read a lot of articles on food and exercise to help me change things up.

6) It's okay to eat carbs, have your cake, enjoy a burger, BUT all things in moderation and portion control.

7) Being Fat or Being Thin BOTH take work. It takes work to maintain the calories you consume being overweight. Clothing is harder to find in stores and more expensive too. More doctors visits and/or prescriptions are required. And it's tough to get around and have the energy needed to live life. I personally found I was more depressed. Being healthy requires working out, eating better foods, and staying motivated, BUT I am learning the benefits outweigh the work.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year and I'm excited to share just how far I've come and I'm still going strong.

Keep on Keepin' On, Jonelle!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The War On Weight - The Battle of the Aquatics Class - Victor: Murphic Entropy

Post Number: 54
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 43 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 9254 (That's what three shopping trips in one day gets you.)
     Meetings Attended: Missed Weight Watchers
     Exercise Completed: Aquatics Class at the Y replaced with swimming 4 laps (200 yards)

You shoulda seen me. The clock said 6:58 am as I left the laptop for my adventures in aquatics. I was ready this morning for starting my car with the dead battery. I grabbed the portable battery out of the van. As I hustled to my car, a stray thought crossed my mind. One of my brother-in-laws was annoyed with taking his car to the mechanic to change a battery because it was buried underneath the radiator reservoir. I had no idea where the battery is in my car. I popped the hood. No obvious location for the battery. But while searching, I located an arrow with a plus in it that points to the positive terminal for jump starting. Says so right on the label. The battery is buried and the shaft of metal lead high into the engine compartment for accessibility. I scan for the negative terminal. Unable to find it but filled with a strong desire for success, I turned to the instructions. My car hadn't come with them, but I had insisted on buying them off of eBay shortly after buying my car. I was going to succeed! Murphic Entropy was not going to beat me today.

So beating a quick path to the glove box, jumping to the index, scanning for jump start, turning to page 186, I eagerly read about jump starting. I read through the safety warnings including protective eye wear. I read through the parking instructions for two cars ahead of jump starting. I read through the transmission warnings. I read through the security alarm warnings. And then I came across the important information, the location of the negative terminal, and leaped into action. It was an amazing metaphorical leap. I return to the engine compartment. I clip the red (positive) lead from the portable battery to the metal stem with two arrows pointing it out. I clip the black (negative) lead to the stem meant for it. There's even a arrow with a negative near it, but it's in an unusual location. It's part of the mechanism that holds the hood closed. But I've found it and succeeded. Time to advance! I flip the portable battery switch to on. And I'm immediately greeted with my horn beeping. Oh, yeah. The security alarm warning. The horn didn't even sound for a full beep so swift is my response in turning it off. I return to the main part of the car and lean in to turn on the key. I wait 3 LLOONNGG seconds. I then turn the portable battery back on. Life is going in the right direction. I turn the key in the ignition. And Murphic Entropy exulted in my vain efforts. There was a minor rowr from the engine and then click-click-click-click-click from the starter. Not enough juice in the portable battery. Argh!

I had charged the portable battery a couple days ago, but only for an hour or so. The Battery Status light never registered as full. No worries, I still had time and ideas. I zip into the house heading straight for a white, tightly curled extension cord. In passing, I notice the time is 7:17. Time is still on my side. I call for Jaguar or Lemur or Iguana. Jaguar responds. I send her to wake Iguana and send him to me. I pull him out into the cold. I warned him it was cold but he goes out jacket-less and in his jamas. I send him into the garage along one side to plug in the extension cord. I know where a battery charger is that is powered by house current. MBWM had pointed it out just a day ago. It's buried, but I am energetically charged with excitement. Murphic Entropy will be beaten today in spite of my planning failure. I dig. I relocate. I displace. I lift out the charger. Immediately, two new problem present themselves. First, it is my charger, not my charger / starter. ARGH! And second, it has a grounded plug while the extension cord Iguana ran for me has only two prong outlets.

Iguana is called for. He smartly grabs his winter coat. I pass him an extension cord that solves the problem. It takes some wrestling, because the cord is on a very large plastic spool and it will be difficult to pull out the leading end. The trailing end, which is female, can be unwound from the outside. Simplicity itself. Please notice I am ignoring an opening to make a joking remark connecting the ideas of feminine and simplicity. Into the garage again, scaling garden equipment, climbing suitcases, passing over piles of wood, Iguana seeks to complete his task while carrying the spool. The charger is connected to power. The car is connected to the charger. The 10 amp switch is thrown. And the needle that bears witness to the level of charge in the battery barely moves.

But I move. I am undaunted. Iguana grabs the portable battery and brings it in to charge. I locate the white two prong extension cord. I get the portable battery to charging. Three of the four battery status light are lit, it's mostly charged. The plan now is to put charge into both the car battery and the portable battery. When they have both charged for awhile, their combined energy should start the car. I stumble into the house to bring the family together for the morning activities that start our day. While they assemble, I hurriedly type with gusto to begin this entry, ignoring grammar, spelling, punctuation, readability and understand-ability. Those could be corrected later.

It was 8:18 am when I finished writing this portion of the entry. The aquatics class ended 30 minutes later. Murphic Entropy had won The Battle of the Aquatics Class. I had to admit defeat and call for retreat. But I will win The Battle of the Lap Swim Replacement. But this battle didn't need to be fought. That is the real victory for Murphic Entropy. When MBWM arrived home last night, all of these steps could have been run last night. Then this morning, instead of having misplaced confidence in my portable battery, which has only ever failed when it sat forgotten all summer, I would have had well-placed confidence in the car that had been started last night.

The rest of the day was very involved. So much so that I was unable to reach my Weight Watchers meeting, a minor victory for Murphic Entropy. But it was a good day, especially the part where MBWM needed me to take her to the pharmacy to get her father's updated medications. Finally some time alone with my wife. She was feeling rather sick and didn't want drive there alone. I'm afraid I may have overwhelmed her a little with my excitement in being alone with her. But she went with the flow as best she could. She even heroically pulled herself together while we were in Fred Meyers.

And since this is being written / edited / posted on Thanksgiving, I wish one and all a Happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful for so very many things that I hope to record during the day today to post on Friday.

I hope you give thanks with all your heart even if it is only from within, embrace loved ones with abiding joy even if it is from a distance, eat without lasting remorse even if it is off your menu planning, cook with enduring pleasure even if it is straight from the can, box or bag, and watch as others clean up for you even if it involves extensive bribery. Personally, I have a fairly extensive selection of desserts available that won't be served to the kids until the kitchen is clean.

Yours in the warm fuzzies of Thanksgiving that warm the heart for weeks to come,


And what do political cartoonists give thanks for? Let's ask Steve Kelley -

Meant to mention on Monday that GoComics has cute Peanuts Holiday Countdown.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You Never Forget How Much It Hurts to Fall Off of a Bicycle

Post Number: 53
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 37 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 846 (I can explain this)
     Meetings Attended: Missed Overeaters Anonymous
     Exercise Completed: Didn't attend Y for Bicycle machine work out

Jaguar pointed out a couple days ago that I placed one of the sticky notes on the Wheaties box in an interesting location. Reading what's printed on the box with my sticky notes, the message reads, "Gearing up for / Kimkins onslaught this week."

Quick sticky note review, even though I have only been using them for 3 days. Here are my primary reminders for this week and a review of each:
  • First Note
    • Reminder: Be active for 5 minutes out of every sedentary hour
    • Review: Near total failure so far. This one has only been used twice so far this week.
  • Second Note
    • Reminder: Put down the fork and sip water between meals
    • Review: Mixed success. I have remembered for about a third of the meals. Tried drinking lots of water after the meal. Doesn't help. Tried drinking lots of water before the meal. That works nearly as well. But the best effect comes from putting down the fork and sipping water between bites.
  • Third Note
    • Reminder: Kimkins onslaught this week
    • Review: Near total success so far. Carbs have been low, but I ate the cheese and toppings off three pieces of pizza. This made for one meal a little higher in fat than I like.
  • Fourth Note
    • Reminder: Light a candle when a craving hits (or unpack a box or both)
    • Review: Haven't needed to light a candle until yesterday, which makes this reminder a success and served to suggest this review
  • Fifth Note
    • Reminder: Get to Bed!
    • Review: Complete success so far in getting to bed. Mixed results in remaining asleep because of sick kids
Reviewing plans, goals, and responsibilities is how I overcome lackadaisical attitudes, resistant behavior, or Murphic Entropy. Unfortunately, Murphic Entropy can pervert a chosen path by adding an obstacle long before you see it coming. And I aided Murphic Entropy yesterday because I changed my plans. Originally, I was going to leave half an hour before MBWM. I changed my departure time to half an hour after. I did this to shorten my time between the Y and my OA meeting from an hour and a half down to a half hour. I had planned to learn the best way to set up a bicycle machine, see if they have a rowing machine, and seek any additional advice in burning calories while at the Y. If that half hour in between exercise and meeting was available and not just a cushion, I was going to read from the Big Book. My plans were set. I was ready to go! And go, my MBWM went, as she left for an appointment related to caring for her parents on time. I went to leave a half hour later but my car battery was dead. My portable battery was in MBWM's van. The van's battery has died twice in the last month while running errands so it made sense to leave the battery in the van. I have a second portable battery, but it was dead (of course). I was unable to locate its charging cord. And I did not locate a neighbor that was home and had jumper cables. The effort of Murphic Entropy preceded my designs not only in terms of timing, but also in terms of preparations. I've never had to jump start my car before. Never occurred to me that I would need to plan accordingly. I suspect that I won't have this issue anymore because I will be more vigilant and my car just hasn't needed it until this once. I know it sounds like paranoia, but it seems to me that the more meaningful the task that induces a positive change in my lifestyle, the more the universe pushes back with Murphic Entropy.

And in this case, the Murphic Entropy spilled over into my OA meeting. This made me a little testy, but there are things I did to use the time wisely. Among the most off-the-beaten-track was cutting up the last of the pumpkin for steaming. We purchased pumpkins from Linder Farms for $10 per car load. Now we will have pumpkin available for everything from pumpkin muffins to Sloppy Joes. Yes, Sloppy Joes. Pumpkin is a wonderful filler for many of our dishes. With the seasoning, it's hard to tell it's there. It cuts down on expensive meat while increasing the nutritional value. The pumpkin deal was quite the opportunity.

Another opportunity I have is to get back on course. I will do so today. My body is grateful for the break in the action as expressed with a reduction in the amount of pain in my muscles and joints. But I need to get back on the bicycle, as it were. I am far from making exercise a habit. Pushing myself today into something resembling a return to exercise success is very necessary.

And with that, I am going to close my blog and head off to the Y. No if's, and's, or but's about it.

Yours in opportunity of stretching yourself into something better,


I haven't viewed them in awhile, but I thought I'd share a former enjoyment among favorites, Savage Chicken.

Pedometer Reading Explanation: I took off the pedometer to change into my work out clothes prior to driving to the Y. I packed a change of clothes that included my pedometer. I never made it to the Y to work out while staying in my work out clothes the rest of the day.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Good and Bad of Busy Once Again

Post Number: 52
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 48 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 4348
     Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
     Exercise Completed: Missed Aquatics Class at the Y

Yesterday was a good day for food selection, with one notable and surprising exception. I managed to stay busy, so I was distracted away from any cravings. But the busy-ness was from a family crisis that came up from the extended family. There were some initial instances of Murphic Entropy that slowed my progress towards getting to the Y, but these were light salvos compared to the family crisis that nuked my morning. I ended up missing my aquatics class. That had me bummed. But I'll try and make it up today. I am going to try out a bicycling machine. I'm also going to look for a rowing machine. And I'm hoping to get some good advice in getting started from a trainer. And then afterwards, I am hoping to make a lap or two in the pool. We shall see. All of that will make for a busy day at the gym.

While I was busy dealing with issues from the extended family, I was out and about. I had only had a slice of ham lunch meat and a cheese stick before heading out. After all, I was supposed to be back home before 12 noon. Activities and errands away from the house ended up taking more time because the list grew while we were away. In spite of being exceptionally short on funds, MBWM and I went to Arby's. I received something of a shock. I only ate the meat out of a Roast Beef Max. I was hungry, and it's roast beef, right? The Arby's web site has an online system that includes a Menu Builder that provides the specific nutritional information for your meal. The result? Fat: 23 g Carbohydrates: 1 g Fiber: 0 g Protein: 37 g. That is 9 points. Ouch! I'm still way under my total, but what an on-the-run shock. I suppose I shouldn't have been quite so shocked. Most lunch meats are 1 oz = 1 point. Beef is typically 1 more point than the oz, so 2 oz = 3 points. And I knew that the Arby's Roast Beef sandwiches are 3 oz, 5 oz, and 7 oz because that's is how they used to be labeled on the menu. So, I probably wouldn't have been surprised if I'd thought it through. 7 oz has a quick guess of 8 points. 9 points is only one more point up.

This means that today's lesson is make sure you are busy going through the day to ease the dieting process but pay attention during the food selection.

Yours in the big and little lessons of the day that lead to success,


Weight loss is both a sprint and a marathon. Exertions comes in both short, intense bursts of effort and lengthy, exhausting tests of endurance. I must sprint through today to make sure I am actively engaged in the weight loss process- mind, body, heart, and spirit. I must have the mindset that today is only the next step in the marathon. - Eliot Smith

Monday, November 25, 2013

Short and Sweet... As if I could do that.... Bwahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Post Number: 51
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 40 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 1975 (It was a very good year)
     Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
     Exercise Completed: None Scheduled

A slow day today brought about by a sick family.

Put my five sticky notes on a Wheaties box the kids emptied at breakfast. The reminders were right in front of me whenever I was at the table. It helped.

Hoped for and achieved an early night. But also had a miserable night. Our sick little Quail spent the night kickboxing in our bed. And then there was the 4 am train that came through with a driver that insisted on warning Boise of his impending arrival while still passing through Kuna.

Okay, my original idea was to have a shotgun of short paragraphs describing my day, but that's about to go out the window.

I have spent much of my time pondering Thanksgiving today. While the traditions of Thanksgiving bring forth images of pilgrims and native Americans (as well it should), the institution of the holiday was the responsibility of Abraham Lincoln. He called for a national day of Thanksgiving with important words written by his Secretary of State. The proclamation not only explains why we should be thankful, but how best to express our gratitude, especially in prayer. I have included the proclamation in the P.P.S. When I have prayed of late, I have attempted to ask for nothing, only to express gratitude. And I have found much to be thankful for. At one point, my ponderings concerning gratitude turned to the political strife that seems to divide this country. And I thought about the many people that have served to guard our country's freedom to make our current political expressions possible. Some of those very protectors that Abraham Lincoln spoke of in his proclamation. Veterans Day wasn't very long ago, so these thoughts all blend together. A patriotic song asks the question, "Who are the brave?" The lyrics are also in the P.P.S. While the brave are certainly among those that gave the last full measure of devotion and those that might well have done the same, there is so much more bravery than this short song can express. And so I give thanks for the bravery of those that reach out to what I consider one of the highest of human ideals, building bridges of reconciliation across the gap of strife caused by religion, politics, and other differences. The great Redeemer of us all turned none away, the down-trodden and the powerful, the outcast and the common, the opportunist and the grateful, the denier, the betrayer, the mourner, and the believer. He knew we were all children of God. And that is enough to be recipients of His Love. And for that example, I am especially grateful.

I am thankful for the sickness that helps me to appreciate health.

I am thankful for a wonderful house, even with its proximity to the train tracks.

I am thankful for the simply steps that lead to success.

I am thankful for the extra rest I will received by getting to bed early tonight.

I am thankful for my beautiful MBWM and her loving, faithful loyalty.

I am thankful for my brave Horse and her artistic delights.

I am thankful for my intelligent Asian Red Fox and inspiring joy.

I am thankful for my strong Iguana and the strength of character he is building.

I am thankful for my loving Jagaur and her joyful dancing.

I am thankful for my smart Lemur and her contagious bouncing.

I am thankful for my missing Shrike and her patience in joining her family.

I am thankful for my growing Quail and the adorable example he is to everyone.

And I am thankful that I have the responsibility to be husband and father. And as a husband and father, I am most grateful for the opportunity to receive of the forgiveness that my wife and kids offer me so many times each and every day as I learn to be better at what I am doing.

I am thankful for my mother, step mother, father, mother-in-law, and father-in-law for reasons that I will have to expound upon another day. For my intention of short and sweet has become long and (hopefully) satiated.

Yours in the grateful hope of reconciliation being spread,


"Gratitude is one of the most important human virtues and one of the most common human deficiencies. Gratitude does not develop without effort." - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Who are the Brave?
Who are the brave? Those who go to war.
Who are the brave? Those who fight no more.
Those who gave their lives, protecting freedom's shore.
Who are the brave? Those who serve in war.
Who are the brave? Those who live with pain.
Who are the brave? Those whose lives are plain.
Those with healthy bodies, those protecting the unsure.
Who are the brave? Those who serve the poor.
Who are the brave? Those whose speech is free
Who are the brave? Those loving liberty.
All those with heart and mind, protecting all they find.
Who are the brave? Those who serve mankind.
These are the brave.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Things that Make Me Go, "Hmmmm..." Starting with - Post Number: 50 (Evaluation: Week 13)

Last Weigh In: Saturday, 23 November 2013

Weight Information -
  • Weight: 424.8 lbs
  • Weight Change This Week: -2.6 lbs
  • Weight Change To Date: -28.4 lbs
  • Weight Gauge: Hmmm
  • BMI: 66.5 (down from 66.9 last week)
  • Daily PPV: 71 (unchanged)
  • PPV Used this Week: 245 out of 497
  • PPV Not Used this Week: 252 (50.7%)
Current Goals -
  • Number Goals
    • Weight: 408 lbs (16.8 lbs away, 10% weight loss)
    • BMI: Reach a value below 40.0 (26.5 away)
    • PPV Not Used this Week: 149 (Beat by 103)
  • Waist Goal: Lose one more available hole in belt (currently at 9)
  • Feel Good Goal: Set up the house. Get in the water with the kids
  • Physical Goal: Walk upright up the stairs of my house every time
  • The Y: Go to three aquatics classes and work on the bicycle machine once next week
  • Weight Watchers:
    • Make a meal plan with the PPV's worked out for two days
    • Use the paper tracker to record calculated points every day this week
    • Use 50 for my daily points instead of 71
    • Avoid using 49 weekly points. Daily points leave 21 available every day. This is up from 15. That's 147 left over points available per week
    • Attend at two meetings this week. Scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday
  • Overeaters Anonymous: 
    • Attend two meetings this week. Scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday (Yes, Thanksgiving Day there is an OA meeting going on)
    • Face up to Step 1
    • Read Preface of AA Big Book
  • Sticky Notes (details to follow)
    • Be active for 5 minutes out of every sedentary hour
    • Put down the fork and sip water between bites
    • Light a candle when carb cravings hit
    • Kimkins onslaught this week
    • Get to bed!
  • Weight Watcher's Awards this week -
    • Bravo - for walking up the stairs more frequently
  • Number Goals: A little closer. Direction feels good. Quantity does not.
  • Waist Goal: Belt is still comfortable and effective at 9 available holes. 10 is ineffective. 8 is uncomfortable.
  • Feel Good Goal: Still working on it. The house is making progress, but it's rather slow. Kids had the audacity to schedule a flu bug to coincide with the pool trip. Rescheduled pool trip for next week.
  • Physical Goal: Still need to crawl up the stairs, especially while recovering from exercise. Exercise particularly difficult on the knees this week.
  • The Y Goal: Switching to machine for calorie burning. Yoga will have to wait. Missed one aquatics class.
  • WW Goal: 
    • Still need to make meal plan goal. 
    • 245 points consumed, 252 points unconsumed. That's 50.7% of my available points remained unused.
  • OA Goal: Still facing up to the spiritual challenge of Step Zero - Is this where I belong for the spiritual assistance I need?
Okay. Let's face up to some of the numbers here. For three weeks, I have gradually decreased the number of points I've consumed. I've eaten less in the Weight Watchers accounting system. I've even recorded my simple slips and guilty pleasures. But as the number of points I've consumed for the week has gone down (291, 278, 245), so has the amount of weight I've lost (14.4, 9.2, 2.6). Hmmm. What is the lesson here? The lesson here is that I need to test these numbers by being very vigilant with my eating on the Kimkins program this next week, this Thanksgiving week. If I am vigilantly selecting my food, diligently tracking the points, aggressively staying on program, willingly working out, and just basically doing everything great for six days, I will have another data point to use when making decisions for continuing my success. I also need to review all of my goals personally more than once a week. Reading my sticky notes will help keep me aware of those specific goals and remind me of additional goals. Among those additional goals, I need to pay attention to my spiritual preparations in making and maintaining these lifestyle changes. In this week's case, reading the preface to the AA Big Book.

Looking Forward:
  • Stay on program with Weight Watchers
  • Stay on track with low carb / low fat food selection
  • Keep on track with Aquatics class and using bicycle machine
  • Develop tools for handling stresses
  • Sleep schedule
  • Pay attention to my sticky notes (details to follow)
I have found the way (IV) to keep losing weight amid lesser stresses.

I have seized the road (CU) road to manage my eating this week.

I am enjoying the journey (FI) by being thankful at every opportunity.

Post Number: 50 (The Big Five-O)
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 23 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 4249
     Meetings Attended: Weight Watchers
     Exercise Completed: None Scheduled

Our Weight Watchers leader, Robin, was thrilled with my more appropriate level of weight loss. I wish I could say that I was thrilled with the weight loss, but I'm not. I'm grateful it was a downward direction. I don't like choosing between an unhealthy rate of weight loss and staying morbidly obese longer. I choose the unhealthy rate of weight loss so I can shorten the time I am morbidly obese. But the weight loss should have been more. Because there were higher than allowed carbs and fat consumed, I have been keeping myself from higher weight loss. I need to face this with every tool I have to make sure this week I am on track. Then I can see if strict adherence produces greater weight loss. If it does, then I have a new set of decisions to make in using the tools I have.

One of the most important tools I have is a getting on a sleep schedule. The more consistent the quantity and timing of the sleep, the better I act, react, and behave. Towards that end, I will be setting a strict schedule for me. Hopefully, that will mean I am more on top of getting the daily things done so the kids are in bed at a consistent time as well.

To assist with the carb counting, I've done two things. I have allowed myself to eat carbs today in moderation. This cannot be a regular occurrence. In Body for Life, there is one day set aside to set aside the diet and exercise. Decisions are still made in moderation, a piece of cake rather than a whole cake. Weight Watchers has the 49 weekly points to use throughout one week. You can use them all on one day, should the mood hit. One leader said she ate all of her daily and weekly points in one day. But because she tracked everything she ate that week, she still lost weight. This take-a-break option is not available in a low carb diet. Eating carbs brings about the end of ketosis, the primary metabolism boost these diets rely on for burning off fat. But for today, I am pondering and relaxing a little. Eating two cups of popcorn instead of the entire bag of microwave popcorn. Half a chicken patty instead of the whole thing. But after today, it is straight into the low carb fast lane.

As part of being in the low carb fast lane, I have created a second carb tool in the form of two tables to assist in tracking the carbs. I will include the tables below. The first table was taken from multiple sources that I did not record. I computed the volume of a serving to eat 4 g of carbs or 5 g of carbs. This is for when I don't want to use my scale. But when I do want to use my scale, I made a second table that will allow me to computer the carbs eaten based on the mass of the serving eaten. This second table includes a percent column so I can calculate the number of grams of carbohydrates eaten. It also include the mass of the serving size to eat 4 g of carbs and 5 g of carbs. These second two columns are more for approximation before I start consuming the food. The data for the second table came from Self Nutrition Data. I will keep these on hand.

I also plan on keeping on hand my candles from OA. My thought here is that when I am feeling the carb crunching urge, I will light a candle to meditate on spiritual growth instead. This will be a herculean feat in that I will have to consciously fight ingrained, automated behaviors. But then, that is part of what I am doing in this life style change.

The lifestyle change includes seeking exercise instead of dodging it. Eating well regardless of desire. To keep my interest in specific activities that I'm most especially interested in and to bring these ideas into my conscious reminder, I will be starting up sticky notes. My plan is to have a maximum of 5 sticky notes. I will use different colors each week as a way to stay alert and to review. My sticky notes for this week are:
  • Be active for 5 minutes out of every sedentary hour
  • Put down the fork and sip water between bites
  • Kimkins onslaught this week
  • Light a candle when carb cravings hit
  • Get to bed!
When I get into my bed on time, I will be thankful. And so, in gratitude during this seasons of Thanksgiving, I thank you for offering me this experience to put forth my thoughts and ideas on weight loss. Truly, this is a blessing to be grateful for.

In gratitude for the successes, great and small,


Faintly remembered quote from a play about a slave turn Mormon. She said, "There isn't anyone that God doesn't bless with something to be able to bless others."
Thank you for your blessings made to me and my family.

Here are the tables I created for counting carbs.

Item4 g Carb Serving5 g Carb Serving
Broccoli, Fresh2/3 cups3/4 cups
Broccoli, Frozen1/2 cups2/3 cups
Cauliflower, Cooked from Fresh3/4 cups1 cups
Cauliflower, Cooked from Frozen2/3 cups3/4 cups
Spinach, Fresh10 leafs13 leafs
Spinach, Fresh1 2/3 cups2 cups
Carrots, Fresh1/3 cups1/3 cups
Cucumbers, w/Skin, Fresh1 cups1 1/3 cups
Cucumbers, w/o Skin, Fresh1 1/2 cups2 cups
Tomato, Fresh1/2 cups3/4 cups
Tomato, Canned1/4 cups1/3 cups
Onion, Fresh1/4 cups1/3 cups
Green Peppers, Fresh1/2 cups2/3 cups
Olives, Canned2 cups2 1/2 cups
Green Beans, Canned1/2 cups2/3 cups

Veggie - Sorted Numerical by % Carb% Carbs
by Mass
Serv. Size
for 4 g Carbs
Serv. Size
for 5 g Carbs
Cucumber, peeled, raw2.2183.4229.3
Lettuce, iceberg (includes crisphead types), raw3.2125.2156.5
Mushrooms, white, raw3.3121.7152.2
Lettuce, cos or romaine, raw3.3120.0150.0
Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw3.4118.1147.6
Radishes, raw3.4116.0145.0
Celery, raw3.5115.8144.7
Spinach, raw3.7109.1136.4
Tomatoes, raw, diced or sliced3.9101.4126.8
Cauliflower, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt4.491.9114.8
Beans, snap, green, canned, regular pack, drained solids4.490.4113.0
Peppers, sweet, green, raw4.686.4108.0
Mushrooms, canned, drained solids5.179.098.7
Onions, young green, tops only5.671.489.3
Olives, ripe, canned6.363.579.4
Peppers, sweet, yellow, raw6.363.178.8
Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt7.255.769.7
Onions, sweet, raw7.652.966.1
Carrots, baby, raw8.050.062.5
Carrots, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt8.248.860.9
Onions, raw9.343.053.7
Onions, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt10.139.449.3

Weight Watchers, Saturday, 23 November 2013
Put your fork down and sip water between meals. How is it working?

  • Hard to remember
  • Works well when remembered
How did you spend time with family and without food? Was it just as satisfying? Why or why not?
  • Watched wrestling
  • Bowling
  • Playing cards
  • More time going up and down stairs
Thanksgiving buffet - The Great Plate

Part 1: The Plan - What's on your Thanksgiving plate?
  • How many total PPV do you want to set as your budget?
  • Don't forget to consider the entire weekend before deciding on the big meal
Part 2: "Fill" your plate with food from buffet.
  • Choose a drink
  • Estimate how many PPV are on your plate
When at someone else's house or a restaurant, you don't always know how food was prepared.

Thank about the PPV of things you don't really want. Swap the item for something you do want. Have what you love with a little control.

Measure an 1/8th of a piece of pie by folding a paper plate in half three times. This will give you a feel for an 1/8th of a pie. (1/8th of a pie is a typical serving in WW)

Use smaller plates. Studies have shown people have equal satisfaction from the same foods on different size plates.

What did you discover at the buffet?
  • How easy was it to stick to you plan?
  • What can you do to effectively combat any on-the-spot urges to splurge?
  • Why don't we always follow through on our intentions? What happened?
If you make only Power Foods, then Thanksgiving will be a Simply Filling day.

What else aids follow thought?
  • Watching out for hedonic hunger (Two Articles: Article 1 and Article 2)
  • Avoid food aromas in air fresheners
  • Eat one bit at a time. Make it meaningful. Sip water.
  • Drink warm water ahead of the meal
  • Move around
How can your Thanksgiving Day Plan help you all season long?

Advice from a lady who reached goal a second time: You are not "home free" at goal. It is still a journey.

Next week - Losing List (A wish list for what you want to gain when you lose the weight.)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Creation of a New Term: Murphic Entropy

Post Number: 49
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 34 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 8126 (Took my Mom grocery shopping)
     Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
     Exercise Completed: Missed the Aquatics Class at the Y

I think I am going to start using a new term, Murphic Entropy. Entropy is the condition of nature where organized entities head from order towards disorder. Anyone with kids and toys has experienced this. A clean play area goes from organized to trashed in the blink of an eye. In keeping with the science of entropy, energy must be expended to restore order to the play area. This is true everywhere. But sometimes, entropy seems to have a perverse sense of humor. This is expressed subtly by Murphy's Law, anything that can go wrong, will. Murphic Entropy, then, is the tendency of nature to head towards the most perverse disorder possible as directly as possible. In the case of yesterday morning, my swim trunks were not ready for me take (entropy). But worse still, they were in the washer (Murphic Entropy). I dried them for a few minutes before finally giving up. Energy is needed to overcome entropy. Thoughtful planning and careful execution in expending that energy and applying enough time is needed to overcome Murphic Entropy.

Of course, there was Murphic Entropy ahead of the swim trunks. The clip to the safety strap to my pedometer broke. I found two of the three pieces instantly. But I was distracted for quite awhile looking for the third. Then there was the attempt to put the clip back together. A process that would fail without tools. So then the search for the tool box commenced. But to no avail. So in the end, these and other similar events of Murphic Entropy piled into my plans for this morning. But while I can speak to these instances and examples, let's face reality. I am in pain. Let me say that again. I am in pain. Nope, not quite right. I am in pain. Close enough. My muscles are still aching with every motion. They tend to stiffen if I sit for too long. My weight bearing joints from my lower back down are complaining mightily. This has been true from early in my move, through the brief respite between moving and engaging in exercise, through to today's exercise regime. So while Murphic Entropy was in full force, the real reason I didn't attend my class is that I gave up the fight. There was enough opposition to forward progress to convince me to give in. This needs to be rare, so I can keep on track with my health improvement.

One of the reasons I am not worried about missing exercise as much as I am about the failure in the eating arena comes from studies on long-term weight loss Let's review the formula ahead of the information on the studies. The formula for weight loss is well known: Eat less and exercise more. There are programs on this that can help one way or another. For example, the Body for Life program spreads out food intake to encourage eating less. Exercise is a part of the package. More importantly, the exercise mixes cardio and weight training. And above and beyond the food/exercise combination, Body for Life gives you a day off to keep yourself psychologically charged. Low carb diets like Atkins and Kimkins rely on the high protein content to slow down your digestion so you feel fuller longer. In the end, the power of these programs is more about the eating less and less about the ketosis process the low carbs encourages. Also, carbs and alcohol have been shown to encourage eating binges. This can make low carb programs more likely to be successful ahead of maintenance. Other programs have wonderful explanations that really come back into eating less and/or exercising more.

While the eat less/exercise more formula is well-known, studies have located the best proportion of eating less and exercising more. If 100% represents the amount of effort being expended to lose weight, 80% of the weight loss effort needs to be in reducing the calorie intake, 20% of the weight loss effort needs to be in increasing calorie burning. This works out very well considering how little calorie expenditures we have during exercise. Studies have also shown that weight loss is maintained longer with the addition of exercise during weight loss and maintenance. I am putting my best effort (usually) into eating properly. I am pushing myself to exercise more. And later today, I will be seeing how well this week went as far as weight loss. I am hoping for four pounds of weight loss given the strict adherence to tracking every point eaten and the aggressive point calculations for BLTN's. I am not expecting much more than that because I was less than strict in keeping to Kimkins. We shall see what the results are.

I already know what the results of my errands with my Mom are. My pedometer reads in the 2000 - 3000 range most days. Yesterday read 8000. This number is more in keeping with what MBWM accomplishes on her pedometer on a daily basis. Since my pedometer is a Weight Watchers model, it shows the number of Activity Points I have earned and can use to increase my food intake. I ignore this option. But it made me start thinking about what foods I could "earn" through exercise. And then I hit upon the idea of calculating the time it would take to burn off through exercise the calories available in one Oreo. Here are the results -

Time in Minutes to Burn Off One Oreo Based on the Activity and Weight of Person

Activity 160 pounds 200 pounds 240 pounds
Aerobics, high impact 6.0 4.7 4.0
Aerobics, low impact 8.6 6.7 5.5
Aerobics, water 7.5 6.0 5.0
Backpacking 6.0 5.0 4.0
Basketball game 5.5 4.3 3.6
Bicycling, < 10 mph, leisure 10.0 8.6 6.7
Bowling 12.0 10.0 8.6
Canoeing 12.0 10.0 7.5
Dancing, ballroom 12.0 10.0 8.6
Football, touch or flag 5.5 4.3 3.6
Golfing, carrying clubs 10.0 7.5 6.7
Hiking 6.7 5.5 4.7
Ice skating 6.0 5.0 4.0
Racquetball 6.0 5.0 4.0
Resistance (weight) training 8.6 6.7 5.5
Rollerblading 5.5 4.7 3.8
Rope jumping 3.6 2.9 2.4
Rowing, stationary 6.7 5.5 4.7
Running, 5 mph 5.0 4.0 3.6
Running, 8 mph 3.6 2.9 2.4
Skiing, cross-country 6.0 5.0 4.3
Skiing, downhill 10.0 7.5 6.7
Skiing, water 6.7 5.5 4.7
Softball or baseball 8.6 6.7 5.5
Stair treadmill 4.7 3.8 3.2
Swimming, laps 7.5 6.0 5.0
Tae kwon do 4.0 3.4 2.8
Tai chi 12.0 10.0 8.6
Tennis, singles 5.5 4.3 3.6
Volleyball 10.0 8.6 6.7
Walking, 2 mph 15.0 12.0 10.0
Walking, 3.5 mph 10.0 7.5 6.7
160 pounds = 73 kilograms
200 pounds = 91 kilograms
240 pounds = 109 kilogram
Information Source  -
Accessed: 11/22/2013
Oreo calculations based on nutrition label of 3 cookies = 160 calories

As I was making this table in Excel and refining the HTML, a few thoughts occurred to me that I thought I would share. I should pick the activity I'd most like to perform to burn off that one Oreo. Then ask the following questions: 
  • Is an Oreo worth the time and energy to me necessary to burn it off?
  • Could I enjoy that one Oreo if I knew I had to burn it off with activity?
  • Could I enjoy that one Oreo for the same amount of time as the activity to burn it off?
And so, with those (hopefully) motivational thoughts, I am off to today's Weight Watcher's meeting.

Yours in the hope of weight lost,


Today's Post Script is brought to you via Randy Glasenberg's web site. Enjoy!

Check out today's Dr. Who inspired Google Doodle on the Google home page today (Saturday, 23 November 2013).
If you miss it, you can find in the Google Doodle Archive for the US.
Or, if you want to have some fun, just explore the entire Google Doodle Archive with all of its international entries.
And don't forget the Dr. Who song on You Tube.

Friday, November 22, 2013

By the Warmth of Candlelight

Post Number: 48
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily Points Left: 34 of 71 (Goal: 21)
     Weekly Points Left: 49 of 49 (Goal: 49)
     Pedometer Reading: 2994
     Meetings Attended: Overeaters Anonymous
     Exercise Completed: None Scheduled

As I sit here typing this entry, blackness outside, warmth of family and light by candle, I am coming back to the here and now from some time spent beyond the horizon pondering the OA meeting I attended last evening. To my right is a brand new candle, lit, giving off no apparent aroma, peach colored with white filigree. It was given out at a candle exchange yesterday evening. The candle exchange was so people could light the candle during the holidays and remember that they are not alone. Next to it, there are two shorter, narrower candles. They are unlit, white, strong vanilla aroma when lit that lingers in the air still, with a six petal flower cross-section. They were lit a couple nights ago when I exchanged them at the Tuesday afternoon meeting. Candles are wonderful to me. I enjoy watching the flame. I enjoy scented ones giving off pleasant aromas. Candles have a simple existence, to provide light. The chemistry behind them is a wonder to me. When one of my kids is a little younger, I light a candle with a match, usually wooden. I let the match burn down until a can barely hold it before blowing it out. And then I tell them that I can relight the match. The child usually disagrees. And then the child watches in amazement as I relight it. I try to push the match through the flame from their point of view so the tip is on the opposite side of the candle. From there, I dip the tip of the burnt match into some liquid wax. When I pull it back through, the real fuel source, the wax, ignites.

My own mental candle has been ignited. It started with Asian Red Fox asking me about something on my blog yesterday. I don't remember what it was concerning, but I ended up seeing a previous page the spoke of making plans in different categories towards making my life healthier. At this point in time, I was drawn to the idea of putting together a spiritual plan, much like I have an diet plan and an exercise plan. As I pondered this ahead of tonight's meeting (because OA is a spiritual program, not a weight loss program),  I wondered at my reluctance at accepting the 12 Steps as a means of progression for me. Moses brought the higher law to the Israelites first. But in their sinful state, he destroyed the higher law and brought them the lesser law, the preparatory law. Twelve Step programs are the lesser law, the worldly version of repentance. Is my reluctance to embrace what I know to be true within the 12 Steps because I am seeking the higher law? Or is it something more sinister. Am turning away from the repenting in this worldly fashion as a way to fight against what I need to do and where I need to be? There was an interesting statement that caught my attention in tonight's meeting that led me to think that maybe I have less than honorable intentions towards OA.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer
I believe that my contempt is a little more subtle than usually is projected by addicts of whatever stripe. I know that I have compulsive and addictive behaviors. It runs in the family and I have displayed. I know that I am at Step 1 at best. But I am looking toward the higher law that cannot be rebuilt from the broken tablet pieces. Maybe the higher law is there for me after going through the 12 Steps, instead of over them. I am still seeking inspiration. I do believe some prayer and meditation is in order. I will start with my current understanding of meditation for relaxation. Then I will look for examples of meditation for understanding tomorrow.

By way of example of the addicts way of life, I nibbled on a few chips and crackers late yesterday afternoon. They were no where near enough to push me beyond  my assigned daily points or my personal goal for daily points. But they were in response to the stress of being hungry but tied down to tasks, the stress of unemployment, the stress of dealing with an achy body as a result of exercising, the stress of putting my house in order, the stress dealing with many more bills than I have cash available for this month, the stress of this, the stress of that, and the stress of the other thing, known as life. But eating the wrong thing pushed my stress level a little too far. After that, I was easily angered for much of the rest of the day. And then I ate a few more chips and crackers, which angered me even more. And while I'd like to justify the anger as a natural response to a kid running off and skipping a chore for the 17th time today, the child deserved the thoughtful consequences of my frustration, not the verbal explosion of anger.

Another part of the explosive trigger is that the source of the anger revolves around the turmoil caused by the internet wrestling to determine the best spiritual path. I need to have long-term success. This means far-reaching effort motivated by deep personal changes. I do not necessarily have the ability to do this. And was expressed directly to me last night and heard many times in the past, a person needs power to be able to make these changes. And I don't have the power. That power comes from the appropriately named Higher Power. I understand turning my will over to God, necessary for spiritual growth. But I do not see the way forward. And yesterday, I yielded my will to anger instead. I figured it would be best if I remove my anger from my home so I left for my meeting and took my anger with me.

And the anger stayed behind in the meeting. Part of that was the meeting, where we discussed how self-knowledge was not enough for a compulsive overeater. Even with knowledge, insane, destructive behaviors take over a life. There needs to be a reliance on a higher power. Another part of the release of anger was I was given an Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, the inspiration of all 12 Step program. In the case of OA, the word alcohol is replaced with the word food and the phrase alcoholic is replaced with the phrase compulsive overeater. The gift of the book is a kindness that I appreciate. I will honor the gift by taking the time to read it and rewrite the book manually the way OA suggests. This will add yet another responsibility. And though I am behind in too many responsibilities, I will work at them all.

The primary responsibility that I feel now is that I need to find a job. After my little display of anger this afternoon, I decided not to apply for a job opening at the Pizza Hut in Kuna as a General Manager. I know I would enjoy it, but I don't think I need to be around food right now. Especially since the idea of exercising this morning only makes me cringe.

Another cringe-worthy item was working towards applying the Affordable Care Act to my health. As a follow up to yesterday's online fiasco at, I will be providing a running journal on today's efforts to learn if I will receive subsidies for the ACA. Look for it in the P.P.S. section below. I am not suggesting that you read each and every entry. Actually, I am suggesting you don't read each and every entry. I'm just providing it as a warning that you should expect to spend some time on this process if you haven't looked into it already and to be aware of the multitudinous steps involved.

And I must take the steps, literal and figurative, to move on to fulfilling another of my responsibilities so I can be a better husband and father. Towards that end, I will be apologizing to my kids soon. And I will be helping one of them complete a certain chore by working at that kid's side. And to get the work started, I will be blowing out the candle and moving forward.

Yours in the bright hope of light renewed,


P.S.: Being a parent without a sense of humor is like being an accountant that stinks at math.

This is what I experienced numerous times today -

Thanks for Clay Bennett for the picture.

Below is a journal of activities as I interacted with the website. I do not include it expecting anyone to ever read the whole thing. But if you do read the journal in its entirety, I kept accurate notes. The notes were taken in Notepad to take advantage of the time stamp button, F5. The key points in time are -

7:44 AM - Started process
8:37 AM - Completed corrections to and re-entry of information provided during previous sessions
8:38 AM - Began entering new information
9:51 AM - Eligibility determined
10:00 AM - Process ended

Time Spent: 2 hours 5 minutes (11 minutes of breaks recorded)
Health Care Plan not chosen yet. Review of available options to commence soon.

Little bit of a chuckle at, "Are any of these people pregnant?" where it lists all the girls in the family. MBWM, Jaguar, and Lemur are incapable of becoming pregnant. Asian Red Fox is living a Gospel centered life, so she's not pregnant. Granted, there is no way for the web site to know that. Well, unless the website ties into the computers at the NSuch Agency.

7:44 AM 11/21/2013 - START

7:45 AM 11/21/2013
Signed right in. Reached "My Profile"

7:46 AM 11/21/2013
"View My Current Applications" shows:
2014 Idaho application for Individual & Family Coverage
Status: In progress

Clicked "2014 Idaho Application..."

7:47 AM 11/21/2013
Information provided by website:
Your application is incomplete
You haven't finished your application for health coverage. You must complete and submit your application to find out if you're eligible for coverage and to enroll in a plan.
Clicked "Continue Application"

7:47 AM 11/21/2013
Application process pushed back to step 2 under Section 1 "Get Started"
Website shows that I do not live at the address provided. Corrected this.
Website shows that I do not use the phone number provided. Corrected this.
Correct "Phone Type" entry
Remaining information correct. Clicked "Save & Continue"
Asked to verify home address. Clicked radio button associated with my address and then clicked "Continue".
Asked to verify county for zip code. Selected "Ada". Clicked "Continue" (Kuna resides within Ada and Canyon counties)

7:52 AM 11/21/2013
Reached an interesting part of the application process. Providing a security question so I can get assistance from other people. The entry reads, "We need to make sure that only people who have your permission are viewing the application. Enter a security response. Choose only information that you'll know."
Selected same question as before and provided previous answer.
Clicked "Save & Continue"

7:53 AM 11/21/2013
Clicked "Save & Continue" to complete several questions that were still entered as I had previously entered them.

7:57 AM 11/21/2013
Reached the family portion. This portion was the most egregiously empty portion previously. Let's see how today goes.

7:57 AM 11/21/2013
My information showed entered and complete. Clicked "Save & Continue" Received the error message, "This Social Security number (SSN) isn't valid." When I had considered it correct moments before, it showed * for the first 5 positions and the correct numbers for the last 4 positions. This does not bode well for the remaining 6 SSN's.
Entered my SSN

7:59 AM 11/21/2013
Received the following message:
Verify information
We can't confirm the information you gave about Eliot Smith's Social Security number. Review and make any necessary changes. When you're done, select "Continue."
Checked Name, DoB, and SSN. All are correct. Re-typed SSN. Clicked "Continued".

8:02 AM 11/21/2013
Asked about filling Federal tax return for 2014. Entered answers.

8:05 AM 11/21/2013
Reached Section 2: Family & Household
Listed my tax return dependents
Asked about my tax return dependents and my relationship to them.

8:07 AM 11/21/2013
Accepted Ethnicity questions (already selected properly)

8:08 AM 11/21/2013
Asked about MBWM's information
Fearing ***-** portion at the beginning of the entry, re-entered her SSN. Clicked "Continue"

8:10 AM 11/21/2013
Received the following message:
Verify information
We can't confirm the information you gave about Eliot Smith's Social Security number. Review and make any necessary changes. When you're done, select "Continue."
Again, checked Name, DoB, and SSN. All are correct again. Re-typed SSN. Clicked "Continued".

8:11 AM 11/21/2013
Selected MBWM address. Clicked "Save & Continue" (Thank goodness for copy and paste for this journal)
Next several entries (which I had to enter for me) were correctly pre-populated for MBWM. Clicked "Save & Continue" several times

8:14 AM 11/21/2013
Reached Asian Red Fox's entry
Replaced *'s in SSN again
Clicked "Save & Continue"

8:17 AM 11/21/2013
Reached Iguana's entry
Replaced *'s in SSN again
Clicked "Save & Continue"

8:20 AM 11/21/2013
Reached Iguana's entry
Replaced *'s in SSN again
Clicked "Save & Continue"

8:22 AM 11/21/2013
Reached Lemur's entry
Replaced *'s and corrected numbers (Jaguar's last 4 were showing in Lemur's SSN entry)
Clicked "Save & Continue"

8:26 AM 11/21/2013
Reached Quail's entry
Before I could actually enter anything, the "Please Wait" dialog box came up and passed me to the next portion of Section 2, "More about this household."
Scrolled back to look at family information. Entries for all other kids were grayed out. Quail's was still available.
Replaced *'s in SSN again
Clicked "Save & Continue"

The following issues arose with every entry for each kid
When confirming the address, I needed to click "Save & Continue" twice before it was accepted
When asked to select the address for members of the family, my home address was listed 3 to 7 times, increasing as I went through the list of kids.

8:33 AM 11/21/2013
Reached the next portion "More about this household" of Section 2 "Family Information"
All of the entries were correctly entered.

8:37 AM 11/21/2013
Reached summary. Reviewed information.
Clicked "Save & Continue"
Up to this point, all of this information was entered previously, much of it twice.

8:38 AM 11/21/2013
Reached new section for first time, "Income"
For the SSN's and the verification process, I figured the HealthCare website was tied into the Social Security computers.
At the income portion, they pre-populated the information concerning my income. The HealthCare website must also be tied into the IRS computers.

Not sure what to do with the information, so I clicked "Edit", since "Remove" and "Save & Continue" didn't seem appropriate.
Changed prior number to current approximation of income. I do have a little.
Clicked "Save" and then "Save & Continue". Received the message, "Important: Check above to indicate the information above is correct or select "Edit" to make changes" Clicked "This information is correct." Clicked "Save & Continue"

8:45 AM 11/21/2013
Needed to remove the income because the next page attributed my current income to ITT. That would have been nice had I still been working there. Updated employment to self-employment and current income amount.
Clicked "Save & Continue" for this and remaining income questions for me.

8:49 AM 11/21/2013
Started income entries (zero) for remaining members of family.
Each entry involved four steps -
Does **** have any of the following income? "No", "Save & Continue", wait
Does **** pay for any of these deductions? "No", "Save & Continue", wait
Based on what you told us, if ****'s income is steady month-to-month, then it's about $0.00 per year. Is this how much you think **** will get in 2014? "Yes", "Save & Continue", wait
****'s income summary / ****’s income in 2014 $0.00 / Monthly total income $0.00 / Clicked "Save & Continue"

9:08 AM 11/21/2013
Completed income entries for wife and kids
Reached "Income Summary"
Reviewed information.
Clicked "Save & Continue"

9:09 AM 11/21/2013
Reached new section, "Additional Information"
Information for this section: We need to know a few more things about you and your family to make sure we match you with the best available programs.

9:10 AM 11/21/2013
Started entering information about my current or available health care coverage (none)

9:12 AM 11/21/2013
Asked about contact information for ITT. Since I don't work there anymore, that made me wonder if I would be hampered by the IRS providing this information. The good news, I didn't have to provide the Employer Identification Number (EIN) for ITT. It was pre-populated

9:14 AM 11/21/2013
Started entering information about MBWM's current or available health care coverage (none)

9:16 AM 11/21/2013
Reached new section, "Review and Sign"
Information for this section: Take a few minutes to review the information you gave us. This is your chance to go back and make changes before you submit your final application.
I suspect that because I was not applying for coverage for the kids (as selected early on in the process), I was not asked about their health care plans. Yay!

9:19 AM 11/21/2013
Temporary derailment. Spilled some of my yogurt. Needs cleaned up. Yogurt very thoughtfully brought to me by Iguana.

9:21 AM 11/21/2013
Back to the application.

9:22 AM 11/21/2013
Reading over the information, I have come across a conundrum. For the block of information that contains my information, it shows the correct "Email address". At the bottom of the block, it shows -
Preferred contact method for notices: Email address
Cell phone number/email address: Not provided
Has the system been programmed well enough to grab the email address I have provided? I would like to received my notices.
If I click "Edit", how much information will I have to enter for a third time?
I am going to review the rest of the information on the page before deciding.

9:28 AM 11/21/2013
The remaining information is correct. The top portion is identical in content and lay out to the review at the end of the "Get Started" and "Family & Household" sections.
Debated the Insurance Coverage for each kid. Afterall, I could enter that they are on CHiP. But I don't want to mess with anything.
Ultimately, chickened out and clicked, "Save & Continue"

9:29 AM 11/21/2013
Here we go, into the "Sign & Submit" section

Read these statements, and select whether you agree or disagree. Here is a preview, in case you've not seen them yet -
No one applying for health coverage on this application is incarcerated (detained or jailed).
To make it easier to determine my eligibility for help paying for health coverage in future years, I agree to allow the Marketplace to use income data, including information from tax returns, for the next 5 years (the maximum number of years allowed). The Marketplace will send me a notice, let me make any changes, and I can opt out at any time.
I know that I must tell the program I'll be enrolled in if information I listed on this application changes. I know I can make changes in my Marketplace account or by calling 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. I understand that a change in my information could affect my eligibility for member(s) of my household.
Clicked "Save & Continue"

9:31 AM 11/21/2013
Read this statement, and check whether you agree or disagree.
I'm signing this application under penalty of perjury, which means I've provided true answers to all of the questions to the best of my knowledge. I know that I may be subject to penalties under federal law if I intentionally provide false or untrue information.

****'s electronic signature
Please type your name in the box above

I wonder if I could have copied and pasted my name from immediately above the box.

Typed name. Clicked "Save & Continue"

9:33 AM 11/21/2013
Eligibility results
Learn more about your eligibility results
Results based on your application (ID ####) submitted on 2013-11-21
Your application was received and has been processed.
Your detailed eligibility results are ready
Important:  Read your eligibility results before you enroll. We'll let you know if there are problems with your application that you'll need to resolve.

9:34 AM 11/21/2013
Temporary derailment. MBWM is leaving. Wishing her well as she heads off to Social Security Office for dealing with parental responsibilities.

9:43 AM 11/21/2013
Returned to

At the bottom of the screen, it showed -
Full Medicaid determination
Do any of these people want to request a determination for Medicaid as conducted Medicaid on the basis of disability, blindness, or reoccurring medical needs and bills?
Nope. I'm not covered or cover-able.

Clicked "View Eligibility Results"
A new PDF file was downloaded. I shall read to determine what it says.

9:51 AM 11/21/2013
I read to page 6 of 12 before stopping to make this entry.
My goodness. It worked. For MBWM and I, we have the same information for eligibility.
• Eligible for a tax credit ($446.0 each month, which is $5352.0 for the year).
• Eligible to purchase health coverage through the Marketplace
• Can choose a health plan with lower copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles (06)
Next Step:
• Choose a health plan and make first month's payment

I meant to download the submitted information I reviewed but forgot to once I was done reviewing. I will have to go back and see if there is a way to download it after the fact.

9:53 AM 11/21/2013
Clicked "Continue to Enrollment" where I received the warning:
Review your Application Details in your Marketplace account to resolve any outstanding issues with your application. Issues with your application must be resolved to keep your coverage.
Clicked "Application Details"

9:55 AM 11/21/2013
There doesn't appear to be anything in need of attention that I can tell. Clicked "Apply for new coverage"
Sent on a strange loop that took me out to the home page for

9:59 AM 11/21/2013
I will end here with the specifics of my application process. A general discussion may follow concerning selecting my coverage. IF I can figure out how to get there. At this stage, I don't seem to be able to get to the comparison of available plans.

10:00 AM 11/21/2013 - END