Friday, January 31, 2014

Kid in Orbit and Exercising in Faith

Post Number: 118
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
     Pedometer Reading: 7355
     Meetings Attended: Overeaters Anonymous
     Exercise Completed: At the Y -
          Recumbent Elliptical Machine
               15 minutes & 1.1 miles @ 2.0 resistance
          Swam Laps (7 laps, 350 yards)
     M-W's Daily Word: Aerie

Scripture study yesterday was held in my room so MBWM could stay in bed. After our cleaning up for the inspection, there was quite a bit of floor space available. This was achieved by consolidating the myriad boxes that were in various stages of sorting and unpacking. Asian Red Fox was laying on the floor in this open space. Quail, having slept well and started the day with excessive energy, started orbiting Asian Red Fox with great enthusiasm. Iguana said he stopped counting at 104 laps. Quail even added in "choo-choo" towards the end of his laps. We all had fun joining in encouraging him onward. Although even the most avid Quail supporter (no VP jokes, please) ran out of enthusiasm long before Quail ran out of energy.

And getting up at 5 in the morning is leaving me without energy through most of the afternoon and into the evening. Not sure what changes to make, but hopefully my waking hours will gradually sort themselves out. This is necessary so I'm not ready to pass out at 2 in the afternoon. Now watch, I'll get a job offer for a position that works afternoon / evenings again.

Job searching continued through numerous breaks in the action. The networking leads have diminished. So I have had to dig a little wider and deeper to locate people and positions. Not much to report this week, but there is definitely something out there for me. As I network, I use appropriate opportunities to build leads into my consulting services as well. When I get through this stage into the next stage of my financial evolution, I will be grateful for having been so diligent in keeping up with the diet and exercise.

Well, maybe not so much for the exercise. My muscles ache and are frequently much weaker that I expect. That I don't mind. It just takes adjustments in thinking and action. Right now my ankle knee joints hurt. That bothers me. I have to rely on those joints for quite some time. I need them to be available. I have faith that it will all pan out in the end.

Yours in the knowledge of lesser-weighted pleasures to come,



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Inspection Past and Passed

Post Number: 117
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
     Pedometer Reading: 6990
     Meetings Attended: Weight Watchers
     Exercise Completed: At the Y -
          Recumbent Elliptical Machine
               15 minutes & 1.1 miles @ 2.0 resistance
          Swam Laps (7 laps, 350 yards)
     M-W's Daily Word: Passim

We worked hard yesterday on getting the house in shape for the inspection. We ran out of energy in the early afternoon. The house was looking great. MBWM chose to call the property management company. She discovered that 1) the inspection had not occurred and 2) since there was no written notification, they would do a drive by. This changed the tenor of the rest of the day. First, gratitude for the process being passed. Second, satisfaction that the house was looking good. Third, relief that it was over. And then, it was on to the events of the rest of the day.

One of those events was eating enough food to be able to reach 23 points. After four days of eating this week, I noticed I had only eaten 23 points every day so far. So I ate a little more than I was planning to be able to hit 23 points yesterday. I am hoping to keep that up a couple more days.

And now on to my day today.

Yours in the opportunity of work that stretches before me,


P.S.: Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Who Knew A Trial Would Arrive So Soon? Or...

Post Number: 116
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
     Pedometer Reading: 6438 (paused)
     Meetings Attended: Missed Overeaters Anonymous
     Exercise Completed: At the Y -
          Recumbent Elliptical Machine
               15 minutes & 1.2 miles @ 2.0 resistance
          Swam Laps (7 laps, 350 yards)
     M-W's Daily Word: Logy

Who Knew the Trial Would Arrive so Soon?
Or That Hope Would Alight in the Darkness so Quickly?

Yesterday started a little rough. The exercise on the machine went fairly well. I left my phone in my locker so I missed tuning out by tuning in the radio stations that were broadcasting the audio from the big screen TVs I was facing. But I pushed through the 15 minutes on the recumbent elliptical machine. It was somewhat difficult, but I did it. Then I went on to the pool. This is where I wanted to be. Near the start of the first lap, my thigh muscles were complaining about having to swim. Near the end of the second lap, my upper arm muscles were likewise complaining. I was once again having to push to be able to keep up a plodding pace. Near the end of my seven laps I tried increasing to a sprinting pace. My muscles weren't going to have anything to do with that. I finished the seven laps and could go no further. I sat in the pool for quite awhile before I could even get out. Changing into my street clothes was a strenuous exercise in and of itself by this point in time. I was so grateful that the car does most of the work of getting me home.

While I was home on Monday, my efforts were about getting on track with the job searching. I updated my profiles at the temp agencies in the valley. I attempted to reapply for the customer service center that Maximus is trying to staff. I couldn't get into my account, even with the automated assistance available on their web page. That was okay. There were other places I could go online, profiles to update, jobs to search, etc. And that was going to be my plan for today. But the universe had another plan.

And I even made something of a prophetic comment two days ago on the universe's plan for me yesterday. My closing line was "Yours in the hope for survival ahead of the trial, exercise or otherwise." I suspected something might be coming, but I chalked it up to nerves not foreboding. This time, I should have been paying better attention. Out of the blue, our property management company called us to say they were giving us a 24 hours inspection notice. They specifically mentioned the trailer and trash in the front yard. The trailer's return to the back yard had been stalled because the frozen ground prevented us from opening or closing the gate to the back yard. I asked for permission to cut off some of the bottom of the gate. They provided it. I put a strip of subflooring down I have and ran a saw along the strip to cut off the bottom of the gate. The gate swung freely and the trailer was quickly if not easily stashed.

As for the trash, there was no trash. The only loose items in the front yard were our cars, trash cans and snow shovels. It took some rearranging in our cluttered garage, but we were able get both garbage cans into the garage. The snow shovels were quickly ensconced in the warm safety of the garage as well. That took care of the motivation that prompted the inspection.

Next was the care of the inside of the house. Our house is still quite cluttered. The inside of our house is a mix of stashes of boxes, living out of boxes, organized living, and daily living. This situation would get some attention, but there wasn't much that could be done. And there is the small portions of degradation that comes form having kids that we were absolutely going to reverse. And of course, Murphic Entropy stepped in. While we were thus engaged in disengaging as much natural entropy as possible, Murphic Entropy made sure that we had a toilet overflow, a plugged tub, and a broken toilet seat in the kids bathroom.

Because of the urgent nature of the work induced by the inspection, I didn't attend OA. That made me a little disappointed and frustrated. There is so much we have to be doing to be able to keep the family moving in the best direction. And this and other events of interference can be disheartening. And those feelings didn't push me into any bad food decisions. I admit, the Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream Sandwich MBWM ate was looking yummy. But a small nibble and I was satisfied.

But the reason for this issue would probably never be satisfied. Amid the introspection concerning so many problems that had me asking, "Is it I?", a ray a cheer arrived. A special, anonymous someone had sent MBWM some cash. That ray of cheer was very much needed, not only for the assistance it will provide down the bumpy road we are traveling, but also for the timing of bringing some light into our dark day.

Right now, it is also a dark day; the sun hasn't come up. But once I return from the Y, I will be heading into the urgency of the inspection preparation. And that will probably continue right up until the inspectors arrive. And so, with gratitude in my heart and the hope that someday soon I can provide a ray of cheer to someone else as well, I bid you adieu.

Yours in the gratitude of the single ray delivered by another's kindness amid the shadows,


P.S.: At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. - Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Surviving the Next Exercise Hurdle

Post Number: 115
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
     Pedometer Reading: 4851 (paused)
     Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
     Exercise Completed: Swam Laps at the Y (7 laps, 350 yards)
     M-W's Daily Word: Rutilant

Farinaceous and vegetable foods are fattening, and saccharine matters are especially so... 
THOMAS HAWKES TANNER, The Practice of Medicine, 1869. 

The ante-script is borrowed from "Prologue A Brief History of Banting" which opens the book Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. I put it on hold at the library today. The book had been in my Wist List for months. I put books there to look up at the library or possibly purchase. I include the link to the Kindle versions because that is what I have stored in my Wish List but also because provides a "Look Inside" preview. The electronic version of this book is what I have read because I don't actually have it in my hands at the moment. I still have to get out to the library to get it. That is why there are no page numbers in my references. This book was a delight to read through the first few paragraphs. I will have to set it down metaphorically as the book Start Strong. Finish Strong. is my current read and is due back to the library all too soon. The other reason I have to set it down is that the preview always runs out at the most inopportune time for me as a reader. The end point of the preview is probably picked for just that reason. But I had to share one paragraph. It's the last one I read before "putting it down." It works well as an example of the writer's wit and insight:
Banting's diet plays a pivotal role in the science of obesity-and, in fact, chronic disease-for two reasons. First, if the diet worked, if it actually helped people lose weight safely and keep it off, then that is worth knowing. More important, knowing whether "the sugar and starchy elements of food" are "really the chief cause of undue corpulence" is as vital to the public health as knowing, for example, that cigarettes cause lung cancer, or that HIV causes AIDS. If we choose to quit smoking to avoid the former, or to use condoms or abstinence to avoid the latter, that is our choice. The scientific obligation is first to establish the cause of the disease beyond reasonable doubt. It is easy to insist, as public-health authorities inevitably have, that calories count and obesity must be caused by overeating or sedentary behavior, but it tells us remarkably little about the underlying process of weight regulation and obesity. "To attribute obesity to 'overeating,'" as the Harvard nutritionist Jean Mayer suggested back in 1968, "is as meaningful as to account for alcoholism by ascribing it to 'overdrinking.'"
I will be picking up my reading rate (hopefully) to get through the Finding Your Fingerprint from Weight Watchers and the Start Strong. Finish Strong. All of this while looking for work and getting in exercising and... and... and... We shall see.

One thing that you cannot see in the PPV I've used is that there are a couple chicken nuggets and half a dozen fries in the point count. That was a little off target for food selection, which made keeping to the point total all the more important. And while the food tasted good, I felt overly full after eating it and for quite some time afterwards. The discomfort makes me wonder how much my body has changed.

But now it's time to change gears and head to the Y. At my father's request, I am going to try hitting the machines as well as going for a swim. I combined my gym bags. And I've set out my gym clothes because I am going to use the recumbent elliptical machine ahead of my swim.

Yours in the hope for survival ahead of the trial, exercise or otherwise,


P.S.: Luctor Et Emergo.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Joie de Vivre - As an Energy Source

Post Number: 114
Review of Yesterday's Progress
     Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
     Pedometer Reading: 4791
     Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
     Exercise Completed: None Scheduled
     M-W's Daily Word: Conflate

Sunday turned out to be a good day to be applying the joie de vivre of the last few days. Not sure why yesterday was difficult, but reviewing the past weight losses and planning for the future by researching meditation helped carry me through most of yesterday. In my research, I discovered a website I am looking forward to exploring further: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). They are a subset of the National Institutes of Health that runs my favorite website for general scientific research, PubMed. Research opportunities included, I know I am doing well in so many respects. And so many aspects of my life are in better shape than they have been in a long time. But something about yesterday really troubled me. I have so much support from so many people, that I truly feel blessed. And even those that are reading this provide implicit support because there are still so many page views every week. But in reviewing these negative feelings, I cannot but think there is some aspect of my life in need of additional adjustment that I am not currently seeing. Hopefully, prayer, journaling, blogging, working Step 4, meditation, and other spiritual assists will get me through the process of gaining the enlightenment I seek. Maybe, all I needed was a decent night's sleep. That wasn't last night. Quail was very intrusive last night. But I do feel better for having gotten some small measure of sleep and hit the Y.

Yours in the rebounds of seeking to lift life out of the doldrums and into an amiably cantankerous adventure,


P.S.: In the book of life, the answers aren't in the back. - Charlie Brown

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rockin' the Weight Loss (Evaluation: Week 22)

Last Weigh In: Saturday, 25 January 2014

Weight Information -
  • Weight: 380.4 lbs
  • Weight Change:
    • This Week: -5.4 lbs
    • To Date: -72.8 lbs
  • Weight Gauge: Rockin' the Weight Loss!
  • Body Mass Index: 59.6 (down from 60.4)
  • Daily PPV:
    • Assigned: 71
    • Personal: 28
  • PPV This Week: 
    • Used: 161 out of 497
    • Not Used: 336 (67.6%)
Goals (Description / Evaluation) -
  • Chronological Goal: No longer obese in 2014 / Well on my way but it will be a tight race. Current projection has the date for this goal at December 3, 2014.
  • Employment Goals
    • Make at least 5 networking contacts each week. / Making progress with digging past the surface level leads into deeper opportunities. Following up on all leads. Starting to get steady flow of input from 2 or 3 networking resources each week. Need to keep the network active with my feedback of gratitude and confirmation of applications while expanding the network to new sources.
    • Apply for at least 5 positions each week / Applying for positions is time consuming but I am hitting this one and then some.
  • Weight Watchers Awards this Week:
    • 5 lbs - For passing another 5 pound mark
    • Bravo - For hitting the Y 5 times this week even though it meant getting up at 5 am
    • 5% Star - For passing the 15% mark
  • Number Goals: Direction feels incredible. Quantity feels even more incredible.
    • Weight: Passed the 15% Weight Loss Hurdle
      • Use Bathroom Scale at 380.0 lbs / 0.4 lbs away
      • 75 Pounds Lost at 378.2 lbs / 2.2 lbs away
      • Leave 71 PPV behind at 374.0 lbs / 6.4 lbs away
    • BMI: Reach a value below 40.0 (morbidly obese) / 19.6 away
    • PPV Not Used this Week: 301 PPV / 336 PPV - Beat goal by 35
  • Waist Goal:
    • Lose another available hole in the belt until I need to switch to a new belt. / Belt is comfortable and effective at 5 available holes. 6 is most ineffective. 4 is effective much of the time but sometimes uncomfortable. Suspect changing shape of tummy is interfering with regular, consistent downgrades.
    • Eventually lose enough weight to use my large belt when I'm thin by wrapping the belt around me twice. / Not sure this is feasible, but it's a wonderful dream. It is a 74" belt, which would mean I would have to get down to a 37" waist. Very much a long term, distant future, nearing the finish line of the marathon goal. And I am well on my way. And it is a cool image. I would thread the belt through the first half of the belt loops, then wrap the belt around me outside of all of the belt looks, and then finish up with the last half of the last lap around me using the last of the belt loops.
  • Feel Good Goal: Consistent practice of my meditation / Starting meditation this week. Starting review and research tomorrow.
  • Physical Goals: 
    • Put on the seat belt in my car using both straps, not one strap. / Very nearly there. Without my jacket, I can exert the strength to occasionally get it to click.
    • Walk upright up the stairs of my house every time using the railing only for precaution. / I still need to pull myself up the stairs, but at least I'm not crawling anymore.
    • Tie my shoes unassisted anywhere. / I cannot tie my shoes without physical aids or personalized assistance but it is much easier.
    • Take a bath in my bathtub. / My bathtub is big enough, but I cannot get into or out of it when it's dry without great exertion. Don't want to try wet.
  • The Y: Swim laps four days next week. Still planning on not using the recumbent elliptical machine for now. I exercise much longer in the pool and with greater zeal. I am going to set my alarm for 5 am for next week. This preference for swimming will add motivation when awaking at 5 am.  / Arrived at the Y, swam my laps, came home, all before 7 am for five days in a row. Plus, I increased my laps from 5 to 6, 7, and then 8. Heavy duty work out. And I'm feeling the work out physically as muscular exhaustion. I am feeling it emotionally as well. And it feels great!
  • Alternative to the Y: I need to research further for options outside of the Nampa Rec Center and Axiom. / Still unable to locate any options (such as Gold's Gym) that aren't running into the same problems as Axiom. Ran out of ideas for this week. Need to brainstorm some new ideas this next week.
    • Weight Watchers:
      • Make a meal plan with the PPV's worked out for one day to serve as a fall back. / I don't know why this one is so difficult. I made a three week plan for the family. A one day plan should be easy.
      • Use the paper tracker to record calculated points every day this week. / I have tracked for 14 weeks. The only day I missed was Christmas.
      • Keep available PPV at 28 for my daily points instead of 71 as assigned by WW. / No problem. I have even been eating a little less than this. And the assigned points start decreasing for me after approximately 374 pounds. We shall see.
      • Range of PPV in past has varied daily between 6 and 18 points from goal in one week. Keep range to 4 points except while fasting. / This week was great. The range was only 2 PPV.
      • Avoid using 49 weekly points. Daily points leave 43 available every day. That's 301 left over points available per week. / Nailed it!
      • Attend two meetings this week. Scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday. / Missed Wednesday. Wednesday is frequently a problem. No more scheduling visits or activities anywhere near Wednesday's meeting. Saturday is always easy.
    • Overeaters Anonymous: 
      • Attend two meetings this week. Scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday. / Done and done.
      • Perform moral inventory for Step 4. / It's going great! Having experienced personal, spiritual growth in the past, it feels good to be getting into it again.
    • Never Ceases to Amuse Me Blog:
      • Journal 300 out of 365 days. / I have yet to miss a day in 2014.
      • Write a weekly Expansionist Knowledge article so long as employment goals have been met. / Employment goals are being met but I am spending time on the job search rather than the article writing. I hope to balance both this week.
    • Reading Materials - Self-assigned reading assignments
      • Start Strong. Finish Strong. - Read Chapter 2
      • WW Handbook for Success - Read on
      • WW Find Your Fingerprint - Read on
      • AA Big Book - Read Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the AA Big Book. / Done. Moving on to Chapter 5 and Chapter 6
    • Sticky Notes
      • Be active for 5 minutes out of every sedentary hour
      • Push for another WooHoo Weigh In!
      • Put down the fork and sip water between bites
      • No high carb nibbling. Kimkins separation in T-minus 30 pounds.
      • Get to Bed! 5 AM Comes Early!!
    I have truly enjoyed the success of this week. I have felt the excitement of setting and hitting the food and exercise goals. But it came at a price. I was gradually more exhausted as the week progressed. Exhausted in body and spirit. The bodily exhaustion makes life more difficult. But it is tolerable when the spiritual, mental, and emotional exhaustion is not an issue. The combination of types of exhaustion made applying for work and other responsibilities more difficult. I also noticed more back pains along my spine. I suspect that this is due, in part, to not having a completely well rounded diet. Fortunately, in 30 pounds, I will completely transition off of LCLF food selections. 

    Looking Forward:
    • Stay on program with Weight Watchers, especially keeping the daily points consumed to a daily maximum of 28 and a daily range of 24-28 PPV.
    • Already added in more veggies. Need to work even more in as I adjust food selection gradually away from the strict low carb / low fat options to round out the diet a little more without allowing the temptation of high carb nibbles into my week.
    • Get on track with swimming laps at 5 am.
    • Attend all meetings. Don't schedule things before them. 
    • Hold onto the joyful feelings of this day to get me through the the times of lesser success in weight loss, the trudging through job searching, and other complications life is throwing my way.
    IV - I have found the way of weight loss that is working comfortably for me.
    CU - I have seized the road by my keeping my weight loss over 3 pounds per week for the last 9 weeks.
    FI - I am enjoying the journey by putting it all together, weight loss, food selection, exercise, and meetings.

    Post Number: 113
    Review of Yesterday's Progress
         Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
         Pedometer Reading: 3114 (paused)
         Meetings Attended: Weight Watchers
         Exercise Completed: None Scheduled
         M-W's Daily Word: Visage
         Page Views to Date: 1521 (Increased by 94 Page Views This Week)

    The weigh in was a delight. I was sure I had lost weight but I didn't know it would be as much as it was. It made Weight Watchers all the more exciting. I definitely had a mental bounce in my mental steps for the rest of the day. It set the day in motion wonderfully. My focus yesterday was updating as much of today's entry as possible and getting a job application into Micron. The residual excitement filled my every thought and effort. It felt wonderful having the warm glow of healthful success, listening to classical music on Pandora, and tailoring my resume, cover letter, and online application to the job description Micron provided. I started the efforts yesterday. I continued them today. In all, it probably took twice as long as usual to complete this application. It normally takes me about 2 hours to tailor a resume. The Micron application took about 4 hours. Although it probably took closer to 6 hours from start to finish to complete with all of the interruptions.

    One of the interruptions was for Jaguar's drawing class. I wasn't able to attend for long, but she worked hard in setting up an art studio. A few of the other children-induced breaks in the job application process were less pleasant. I resolved my way through the breaks and then returned to the work at hand. And then there were the meals. I actually wanted to eat less than I did. I knew I needed to eat a little more than was mentally desirable to keep my body from fearing it's being starved. I want this to be another good week.

    And I have quite the lift to help me make this a good week. Great weigh in this week. Two easy hurdles to clear next week. A recent history of successful effort. Support from MBWM, all of our kids, my dad, step-mom, mom, and in-laws. I will need this surge of support to get through the next few weeks. I'm not too worried about this week. But I don't know much about what's coming my way in the next few weeks. I need to be prepared for the stresses and strains as much as I can. I am storing up the joyful successes and strengthening support for those days.

    We shall see how those days go. This journey towards a more healthy me is both a marathon and a sprint. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." (Attributed to Lao Tzu.) The next step in the journey is the one that will decide if I will reach that thousand miles.

    Your fellow traveler on the journey to push past the momentary pleasure and achieve the lasting joy,


    P.S.: There is one thing in life you can have without working for it—ignorance. - Unknown

    P.P.S.: I would add apathy.

    P.P.P.S.: This is why the work of knowing how to care for others and then doing the work of caring for others is so well rewarded by the universal powers that be.

    Weight Watchers, 25 January 2014
    This Month's Theme: Start Simple

    Research shows that with the Weight Watchers approach, using meetings and our apps, people lost 8X more than those who tried to lose weight on their own.

    Why does it work?
    • Focus on losing weight
    • Not just lose weight, also gain taking care of yourself
    What gets you here out of the house on a Saturday morning?
    • I'm worth it
    • Save money on medical costs
    • Get to enjoy future grandkids
    • The pole at the meeting (miss your peeps)
    • Helps have a better week
    • Gets me over a rough week
    • Son's track meet
    • Want to get my body in shape
    • Want to love myself
    • Take care of my body now
    • Overcome parents health issues
    • I'm worth it. I'm putting me on my to do list (Yay! MBWM!)
    • I'm here for me
    In what ways are you thinking and acting differently since you started?
    • Make things like exercise a habit
    • Trigger -> Behavior -> Reward
    • Exercise is more important
    • Simple Start - different breakfasts that leads to less cravings and better day
    • Active Link helps me looks at exercise differently. Just being busier int he day adds to my exercise routine
    This week; Success Secret #3 - One Step at a Time
    • Start with small changes
    • Small changes within Simple Start, for example
    • Easy to stock kitchen for Simple Start
    • Easy to switch to Simply Filling (only Power Foods)
    • Simple Start get you to Simply Filling
    • Try mix and match, including Progresso soups (Weight Watchers approved with 1, 2, or 3 PPV per serving among their varieities)
    • Then easy to go to PointsPlus Values
    • One meal at a time
    What are your simple steps?
    • More exercise if machine is in the living room
    • Get up and get started with the day quickly makes the 
    • Add exercise in when feeling tired
    How do you handle moments when losing weight feels too big job?
    • Breast feeding sped up weight loss after baby arrived
    • Graph of total weight loss reminds me how far I've come
    • Know that I am on a journey
    Write down your weight loss ultimate goal: Break below the obese mark in 2014

    Write down 2 or 3 things to do this week to get to this goal
    1. Keep to food selection that is working
    2. Hit the Y 5 days this week at 5 am
    3. Journal / Blog
    What's helping you reach your goal? Became determined

    "Change is not an event. it's a process" - "Switch" by Dan and Chip Heath

    Saturday group lost 69.2 pounds this week.

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

    Five Days at the Y at 5 am. Done!

    Post Number: 112
    Review of Yesterday's Progress
         Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
         Pedometer Reading: 4723
         Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
         Exercise Completed: Swam Laps at the Y (6 laps, 300 yards)
         M-W's Daily Word: Stymie

    Exhausting day yesterday. As well it should be. For I can count as my achievements of yesterday:

    • Swimming for the 5th day in a row at 5 am. While I plodded along two days ago, yesterday, I pushed hard. I was unable to get past six laps. Six laps was painful enough.
    • Completing two applications: an exciting one as a project manager and another exciting one as a lab supervisor.
    • Starting a third application that should be easily finished today.
    • Getting my desk cleaned and organized. It was buried in a mix of items from moving and daily living.
    And for those achievements and the ongoing successes of picking the right PPV foods, I patted myself on the back. That tapped my remaining reserves of energy completely and sent me towards my bed. Except that dinner hadn't been made. Executives decisions needed to be made. Cold cereal for dinner. Dish types were assigned to the oldest three to get into the dishwasher with Asian Red Fox starting it. And then it was a night.

    I wanted to record a few of my observations and conclusions concerning swimming at the Y by getting up at 5 am for later comparisons. 
    • Getting up at 5 am became more difficult over the course of the week. That being said, I need to compensate accordingly in the evenings if I am too continue this pattern next week. That decision will be brought up in Executive Council on Sunday.
    • The busiest days were Tuesday and Thursdays. The lanes were not available in the main pool on those days. This was due to swim practice. There was a reduced swim practice on Friday. The reduction was enough that lanes were open in the main pool. Since I was using the instruction pool, it didn't really matter at this time. But I am thinking of switching back in a couple weeks to compare temperatures versus level of muscular exhaustion.
    • The hardest days to get a parking spot were Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I presume this is due to swim practices as well. Parking becomes much simpler a little after 6 am. This may influence the discussion concerning continuing this practice in Executive Council.
    • I swam all week in the instruction pool, which is much warmer. It may be that the this aided my exhaustion. It's difficult to discern the influence the change in the temperature has with the many changes in my life going on right now.
    • The downstairs family locker room has been rather busy because the upstairs adult locker room is being renovated. This has made getting a locker rather difficult. The renovation is expected to be completed in early February. I look forward to the reduction in traffic. I hope they renovate the aquatics locker room. It is the most in need of attention.
    My attention is mostly on heading off to Weight Watchers. I am quite sure I lost the 0.6 pounds to be able to get past the 15% loss of weight. And I am hoping I lost close to the 5.8 pounds to make the next two goals easily attainable in the next week. We shall see.

    Yours in the anticipation of today because of the efforts of this last week,


    P.S.: Enjoy this philosophical rendering of color: Jason Silva on Color

    Friday, January 24, 2014

    Don't Draw Attention

    Post Number: 111
    Review of Yesterday's Progress
         Daily PPV Used/Left: 24/47 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
         Pedometer Reading: ? (Battery died. Happened before. Guess I'll change it this time)
         Meetings Attended: Overeaters Anonymous
         Exercise Completed: Swam Laps at the Y (8 laps, 400 yards)
         M-W's Daily Word: Acephalous

    Round I of II

    My kids laid a booby trap in the fridge yesterday morning. And it caught the biggest booby in the house. They placed a large, mostly full yogurt container on top of a small, glass relish jar at the front of the top shelf. This tower of impending doom was ever so slightly blocking the tea jug I use every morning. I opened the door, reached in to take out some tea, but before the tea jug could be grasped the trap was sprung. Grumbling as I bent over to clean up the yogurt, my glass fell off my face. I grabbed at them but ended up batting them across the floor of the kitchen. I glared at the glass as though it were another one of my errant children. Then I returned to the cleaning of the yogurt from the floor and fridge. After consuming my morning tea and reassembling the fridge, I grabbed my coat and swim bag and headed for the car. I had lost the few minutes of lead time that had been mine by waking ahead of my alarm. Already, it was after 5 am and I hadn't left yet.

    Traveling along the road, I noticed, finally, that my glasses were still not a fitting feature of my physiognomy. I debated heading back. I need to wear my glasses according to my license. In the past, I had taken the DMV sight test without my glasses. But the last time, watery eyes induced by a head cold made it impossible to pass with at least one eye without my glasses. I wanted to be sure to be home by 7 am. That time frame being my prime concern, I drove on, deciding I would drive in such a way as to not draw attention to myself. Moving forward with the plan in confidence, I arrived at the YMCA without anything that drew my attention or that drew attention to me. Or so I thought. Upon arriving, I soon discovered that I would be parking in the distant wings of the parking lot. And while pulling into a parking spot, I noticed that my lights weren't on. So much for not drawing attention to myself.

    The YMCA was once again set up for the benefit of a high school swim team practice. This time, they had set up the lane dividers to cover the length of the pool. All of the lanes appeared to be in use. And there were multiple people in each lane. That was fine with me. I was going to use the warmer instruction pool. Normally, I push hard for much of the energy expenditure. Yesterday, I didn't feel like pushing at all. That made me want to push in some form, so I completed an 8th lap. My best distance yet. But while I was thus engaged in getting through the exercise, I was mentally seeking a word. While I was seeking the word, I drew a comparison. And that comparison thought me back to the SAT analogies. These were the portion of the English skills that would test you with a question like:
    1. elbow : arm :: knee : _______
      • walking
      • finger
      • leg
      • nose
    So my question was:
    1. plod : jog :: ___?___ : swim
      • ?
    Yesterdays exercise was the swimming equivalent of a plod. I just have no idea what word that would be, but at my level of effort I was only able "to progress or develop slowly." But it is still progress. Just not sure what the word is: Swim + Plod = Swid? Swod? Slod? Plod + Swim = Plom? Plim? Pwim? Plomswid? Slodpwim? Anyway, at least the plodding pace of swimming was better than not doing any exercise. Of course, as a (currently) at home father, I get quite a bit of exercise chasing down the kids. Something that needs to happen right now.

    Yours in the exuberance of youth that surrounds me, inflicts me, and joyously enlivens my day,


    Round II of II

    Now that the child issue has been resolved, a few more thoughts in the review of yesterday. Only partially completed one job application. I completed the application for ACHD and the tailored resume file I use to prepare a targeted cover letter and resume. Now that the harder parts are over, it's time move on to the last two. But those will have to happen after I have returned from the Y later today.

    Something else that will have to happen after I return from the Y is working on the OA Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. I have been working on Step 4 off and on for about three weeks. Here are the parts of the process as I understand them:
    1. This step asks me to look at the resentments I have. 
    2. Then it asks me to inspect the cause; Why am I angry about this? 
    3. Next is to examine what part of my life was hurt or threatened.
    4. Next, Step 4 asks me to examine where I am to blame.
    5. And finally, I need to determine the exact nature of my wrong.
    The fourth part is usually pretty easy. I start with the idea that I am selfish and expand upon it from there into specifics: pride, vanity, fear, etc. I'm not sure why so many people fear the introspection behind this process. The only thing I can draw from my experience is the fact that growth may appear painful before heading into it. The hardest part I have with Step 4 is not the doing of it. It's that it is already a part of my thought processes so it frequently feels more like review. In my education education, I learned about a process known as metacognition. This process asks us learn to observe our thoughts to understand behaviors and motivations. There are numerous resentments I have cleared already thanks to this process. This might well be due to have been through Step 4 before, it has become a small part of my metacognition process. I am going to keep going until I feel I have satisfied this step.

    And I am satisfied that I have filled this journal entry far enough.

    Yours in the opportunity to get on with my day,


    P.S.: As I was leaving the YMCA yesterday, their muzak system was playing: The Tide is High by Blondie. I just had to share.

    P.P.S.: A neat feature of the Merriam-Webster website and their app is that every word in their definition can lead to the next definition. At their website, if there is a word in the definition that you want to look up, double click it. The definition will open in a new tab.

    Thursday, January 23, 2014

    Warming Up Swimming

    Post Number: 110
    Review of Yesterday's Progress
         Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
         Pedometer Reading: 7861
         Meetings Attended: Weight Watchers
         Exercise Completed: Swam Laps at the Y (7 laps, 350 yards)
         M-W's Daily Word: Pratfall

    The exhaustion that comes from my new schedule is nearly as intense as the exhaustion that comes from swimming at the Y. I was amazed that I was able to complete the seven laps. It was quite difficult. But that difficulty may have arisen because I have changed pools. Now that I am arriving at the Y so early in the morning, I have taken to using the instruction pool. It has the same length, is more shallow, and is much narrower than the main pool. It all started on Monday when I arrived to discover that about half of the main pool had been freed from the lane restraints so that a swim team practice could take place. This crowded the regulars into the remaining lanes. And even the open swim area at the shallow end of the big pool had lane swimmers. Seeing only a single person swimming laps in the instruction pool, I asked the life guard if I could use that for laps. And I have been using the much warmer instruction pool the rest of this week. I wonder if it contributes to my tiredness. I doubt it. But it certainly feels great getting into the warmer pool.

    It also feels great eating well on autopilot, especially amid the exhaustion. I hope the autopilot lasts for several weeks. I have several goals I want to reach, most notably completely transitioning off of LCLF food selection at 350 lbs. I keep track of my number goals in Excel. I'll copy and paste a table into my blog to demonstrate the worksheet. Just remember that the last few entries in the table may not have anything to do with reality. It helps having built these and other features into Excel so I don't have to calculate anything when I am exhausted.

    There is great hope that the exhaustion will begin to diminish starting tonight. Last night, the evening was extended by the repairs MBWM was making to our bed. The stack of books holding up our bed was getting old. There was a tilt to my left that made me sleeping something of an uphill battle. To roll to the left, I would shift my hips to the right. With the bed now repaired and our first night's sleep on it, we can declare the bed available for the indefinite future. The bed's availability adds an even greater hope that the exhaustion diminishing process will continue for the next couple days. Working on job applications yesterday was pretty much useless. That's okay. I will press forward today.

    Yours in the forward momentum of success,


    P.S.: From a poster -

    At the end of the day, turn your cares and concerns over to God.
    He's going to be up all night anyway.

    P.P.S.: Because I edited the HTML for this post to force the table to be quite wide, it overlapped the side bar information. To create some additional vertical fill, enjoy these four Chemistry Cat quips grabbed right from an search on Chemistry Cat -

    Number Goals from Excel - 23 January 2014

    Goals Weight Distance to Next Goal From Achieved
    Prior Goal Prior Weigh In
    5% 430.4 Saturday, 16 November 2013
    25 lbs 428.2 2.2  -  Saturday, 16 November 2013
    10% 407.8 20.4  -  Saturday, 14 December 2013
    50 lbs 403.2 4.6  -  Saturday, 21 December 2013
    Enter the 300's 399.8 3.4  -  Saturday, 28 December 2013
    15% 385.2 14.6 0.6
    Able to use bathroom scale 380.0 5.2 5.8
    75 lbs 378.2 1.8 7.6
    Finally leave 71 PPV behind 374.0 4.2 11.8
    20% 362.4 11.6 23.4
    100 lbs 353.2 9.2 32.6
    Transition off of Kimkins 350.0 3.2 35.8
    25% 339.8 10.2 46.0
    125 lbs 328.2 11.6 57.6
    30% 317.2 11.0 68.6
    150 lbs 303.2 14.0 82.6
    Enter the 200's 299.8 3.4 86.0
    35% 294.4 5.4 91.4
    175 lbs 278.2 16.2 107.6
    40% 271.8 6.4 114.0
    Morbidly Obese BMI (40) 255.4 16.4 130.4
    200 lbs 253.2 2.2 132.6
    45% 249.2 4.0 136.6
    225 lbs 228.2 21.0 157.6
    50% 226.6 1.6 159.2
    Severely Obese BMI (35) 223.4 3.2 162.4
    55% 203.8 19.6 182.0
    250 lbs 203.2 0.6 182.6
    Enter the 100's 199.8 3.4 186.0
    Obese BMI (30) 191.4 8.4 194.4
    60% 181.2 10.2 204.6
    275 lbs 178.2 3.0 207.6
    Overweight BMI (25) 159.6 18.6 226.2
    65% 158.6 1.0 227.2
    300 lbs 153.2 5.4 232.6
    70% 136.0 17.2 249.8
    325 lbs 128.2 7.8 257.6
    Normal BMI (18.5) 118.0 10.2 267.8
    75% 113.2 4.8 272.6

    P.P.P.P.S: Here are the remaining jokes -


    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    Exhaustion is NOT as Exhaustion Does

    Post Number: 109
    Review of Yesterday's Progress
         Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
         Pedometer Reading: 4254
         Meetings Attended: Overeaters Anonymous
         Exercise Completed: Swam Laps at the Y (7 laps, 350 yards)
         M-W's Daily Word: Jaunty

    I was pondering yesterday my post from two days before. It was a long description of my job search efforts. But I didn't mention anything about my weight loss efforts. And I believe I didn't mention anything because I was on autopilot for my food decisions. And this was a good thing. I made simple choices, put them into action, and moved on. I didn't weigh the consequences of my choices. I didn't compare and contrast the pleasure from the food versus the pleasure from the low point value. I went forward with the best choices I had made before. The exhaustion could have influenced my decision making process, but I didn't allow it to. The mental and organizational simplicity was a delight because so many of my decisions had been completed well before the time to enact them.

    And with the extreme exhaustion of yesterday, I couldn't wait to get to bed. I enticed the kids into getting done with their evening chores by offering to let them watch a movie. They picked Despicable Me 2. I had hopes of passing out during the movie, but it didn't happen. It was a little too exciting for the kids for me to be able to get to sleep. I hadn't realized that some of them hadn't seen it yet. But it turned out okay because I passed out right after the movie. But 5:00 am came encumbered with exhaustion. Nearly as much as yesterday and being awoken at 3:00 am.

    That exhaustion was alleviated a little with the spiritual boost at OA. It was a good meeting with several good shares.

    Not much to share on the job search. I did get another lead. It turns out that Intermountain Gas was bought out by a company called Montana Dakota Utilities. A lady at the OA meeting said her husband was just hired on there and recommended I take a look. I did last night and wasn't able to find the position with multiple openings her husband had accepted, but there are others that have my attention.

    Yours in the chance to live life in all of its aspects,


    When you were dating, the lyrics were, "'Cause breaking up is hard to do."
    When you are a parent, the lyrics become "'Cause waking up is hard to do."
    This may refer to the parent or the child.

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    The Job of Getting a Job

    Post Number: 108
    Review of Yesterday's Progress
         Daily PPV Used/Left: 22/49 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
         Pedometer Reading: 5671 (paused)
         Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
         Exercise Completed: Swam Laps at the Y (6 laps, 300 yards)
         M-W's Daily Word: Melancholia

    My Heavens! Getting into networking is paying off in quite a few job leads. I am incredibly grateful for all of the job leads I have received. They range from assistant librarian to business statistics instructor to probation officer to highway district project assistant. I will be busy this week researching the position and tailoring resumes. I have already determined in my first round of streamlined research that the upper age limit for a US Probation Officer is 37. But other than that, it's only going to take time to apply for the remaining positions that my network has provided to me. The great thing about these networking leads is that not only are people out there keeping me in mind, but by keeping me in mind, the next layer of leads will be those jobs that aren't listed yet. That is where the greatest power of networking comes in. And I look forward to taping into that power.

    And I hope to have the power that arises from the effort of working out this week. I reached the Y after getting up at 5 am. The 5 am wasn't as difficult as originally expected. But by 10:30 am, I was ready for a nap. Fortunately, that is the time slot for our snack. The snack time didn't happen until 11 am, but grapes don't need much prep. Snack time was a much needed respite for me.

    And then a few hours later, it was off to job applications. While taking a break from the first resume for the job I was most interested in, I chose to follow up on a couple applications from last week. It is a good thing I did. For the position at Simplot I am interested in, I had completed my profile, but hadn't actually submitted an application to HR. And then, hot on the trail of the "Submit Application" button, I was blasted with the error message: faultMessage: Could not create HTTP connection. faultType: HttpCreationFault fcn: HttpDialog.prototype.process I typed out the error message so, by golly, it is going to be used somewhere. I have a variety of hypotheses on what that means, but I could ponder the technological significance later. I tried applying again. Same error message. I switched web browsers. And the application was submitted. And even better, I received an email confirmation.

    Later on, I took a break to research reasons that might explain why I am not getting a job. I read quite a few online articles. Several of them were more of the bent that it may not be your fault that you weren't hired. Those were informative but not particularly helpful. One of the articles that had me pondering was: The main reasons why you are still looking for a job. The five points the articles makes are:

    1. Your resume just doesn't cut it. Response: Nope. Only one reviewer has thoroughly disassembled my resume. The advice was superb and the rebuilding was strenuous. I am grateful for the give and take he was willing to provide over the course of an extensive e-mail conversation. The only piece of advice I didn't take was dropping the use of "and more" at the end of a list of accomplishments or responsibilities. I left it in because an article at CareerBuilder suggested putting in teasers like that. Just be sure you can answer an interviewer's question about those "and more" statements with at least three more examples in the list. Also, don't put in more than one or two "and more" teasers in the entire resume. Most resume reviewers are impressed and suggest only minor corrections.
    2. You aren't at your best during job interviews. Response: Nope. I enjoy interviews. Interviews are my best chance to shine. And I do shine. I have made it over the major hurdles and have reached the pool of the final few candidates.I have researched the company, department, and obtained as much information as I can in that direction. I have researched the skills in the job description to be abel to provide specific answers to questions.  I am ready, able, willing, prepared, knowledgeable. The interview is my chance to prove it. At my Hastings manager interview, I took company reports on my phone to study. I downloaded the article 6 Fundamentals That Can Make You A Better Manager In 2014. And I only had a couple hours ahead of the interview. I tailored my resume, researched the company, and prepared for the interview. And I still wished for more time to prepare.
    3. You may be asking too much or may be overqualified for the job. Response: Nope/Maybe. I rarely get asked about a requested salary range. I can only think of two jobs in the last three rounds of job searching that asked: Amalgamated Sugar Company in Nampa and Hasting in Meridian. I have heard during an interview that I am overqualified for the job. But that's okay. Those skills and talents are there for the company to use to their customers' advantage while I continue to grow those skills and develop new skills for the company's continued success. A win-win situation.
    4. Your job title is rapidly becoming endangered or extinct. Response: Nope. Chemists will always be needed until Star Trek's replicator or some variation of it is actually created. Teachers will always be needed until telepathy (biological or technological) can be used for transferring information between people. Computer techies will always be needed until the computers take over the world.
    5. Your attitude is terrible. Response: Nope. I enjoy the exciting challenges of a new job. For several jobs that I may have not been the best fit, I still chose to take the time to shine. At an IT service desk, I was hitting the minimum resolutions while still in training. For a temp position at government lab performing the exact same analysis all day every day for months, I was still excitedly performing chemistry. I was as excited by the chemistry on the last day as I was on the first.
    In all of these points, there is a piece of background information that motivates me to research deeper. I have asked about my resume and interview after a rejection. This is not easy to get someone to do because most interviewers worry about legal ramifications if they provide the information. Some have been uncomfortable holding a conversation with the person just rejected. I inform them that I only want to be a better candidate for the next time I interview. When people start providing information, I don't get defensive. Coming across as argumentative or whiny is only going to make the situation worse. I need the information to make improvements and the best information comes from following up with those that rejected me. And so far, I mostly hear great things. There have been specific descriptions of my strong points in all of my follow-ups for feedback. And the only negative points have been in relation to the person that was offered the position. And in following up when I have been hired, I have sought feedback there as well. That feedback was positive as well. After all, I was hired.

    In spite of the positive feedback, there are other issues behind the scene that I want to explore. It might well be my weight. It may be my age. Maybe the recruiter wants to provide only encouragement to keep me motivated. It may be that I am over-confident or have some other characteristic annoying to the interviewer that no one has mentioned in my follow-ups. Assistance I have received from several groups that assist job searchers have also been at a lost in what to suggest for improving my resume or interview skills. There is something deeper here that I need to explore. And that will have to wait for another day.

    As will my next post. And my next article. These will have to wait because today is going to be long. As I type this line, my computer's clock says it is 4:52 am. My alarm will be going off in eight minutes. I was able to prepare this post because my two little girls woke me at 3 am to ask if they could get a drink of water. I assured them that they were welcome to quench their thirst. And then I couldn't get back to sleep. Hopefully, this post is good therapy to get my day started.

    Lots to do. No time to do it in. No energy to do it with. Time to head to the Y ahead of my alarm. So please excuse me while I dance off into the sunrise.

    Yours the delightful exuberance a little dancing can accomplish,



    Monday, January 20, 2014

    Getting to Work on Getting Work

    Post Number: 107
    Review of Yesterday's Progress
         Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
         Pedometer Reading: 5349
         Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
         Exercise Completed: None Scheduled
         M-W's Daily Word: Zany

    Yesterday was a wonderful day. I had been practicing for three weeks on a piece of music to share in our sacrament meeting. I received many compliments including a request to play it again. It was a challenging piece for me. I look forward to playing again. And since the request to perform has instigated a (near) habit of practicing the piano, I plan to continue practicing. I have picked a couple more pieces of varying difficulties so I can be ready quickly to perform again.

    And then it was on to performing my part in the keeping of the Lord's Flock. There are so many joyful blessings when serving as an under-shepherd. And then my day was nearly over.

    And while I did have a minor, brief temptation to join in what the rest of the family was eating, I was easily able to push it aside. I was eating some awesome food myself. The family was eating some of MBWM's home-made lasagna. Lasagna has long been a favorite food. MBWM's lasagna is incredible! But I said I looked forward to trying some when I was below 350 pounds. That's when I will be making my transition off of Kimins for food selection and into my self-made VeggieDaBody program. VeggieDaBody is based on a vegetable heavy selection of food, the American Heart Association Dash Diet and Body for Life. I am still assembling the details for publishing in my blog. I am hoping to make it a part of my next article.

    The next article may be awhile. I haven't even started my next article (due today). I would like to have an article to post for today but since I kept working on job searching last week, the article will have to be a future endeavor. I am hoping to put together something today, but I have to follow up with my networking contacts first. And then I need to work on creating new networking contacts. And all of that is after home school. The thing I actually most want to do clean my desk. The clutter is getting to me. And I am most looking forward to getting through these categories of tasks so I can move on to the fun of a family birthday party today.

    Yours in the success that is getting to work,


    P.S.: The diaper packaging lies. My Quail's diapers never holds the 21 pounds the packaging claims.

    Sunday, January 19, 2014

    Making It Work! (Evaluation: Week 21)

    Last Weigh In: Saturday, 18 January 2014

    Weight Information -
    • Weight: 385.8 lbs
    • Weight Change This Week: -3.6 lbs
    • Weight Change To Date: -67.4 lbs
    • Weight Gauge: Making it work!
    • BMI: 60.4 (down from 61.0 last week)
    • Daily PPV: 71 (unchanged - changes at approximately 374 lbs)
    • PPV Used this Week: 184 out of 497
    • PPV Not Used this Week: 313 (63.0%)
    Current Goals -
    • Employment Goals
      • Make at least 5 networking contacts each week
      • Apply for at least 5 positions each week
    • Number Goals
      • Weight: (Next three weight goals)
        • 15% Weight Loss at 385.2 lbs (0.6 lbs away)
        • Use Bathroom Scale at 380.0 lbs (5.8 lbs away)
        • 75 Pounds Lost at 378.2 lbs (7.6 lbs away)
      • BMI: Reach a value below 40.0 (20.4 away)
      • PPV Not Used this Week: 313 (Beat goal by 12)
    • Waist Goal: Lose another available hole in the belt until I need to switch to a new belt. Currently at 5 available holes.
    • Feel Good Goal: Pondering this one.
    • Physical Goal: Walk upright up the stairs of my house every time. Tie my shoes unassisted anywhere.
    • The Y: Swim laps four times next week, but skip working on the recumbent elliptical machine. I am going to set my alarm for 5 am for next week. This means I will be aiming for my preferred form of exercise.
    • Alternative to the Y:  Need to research further for options outside of the Nampa Rec Center and Axiom.
      • Weight Watchers:
        • Make a meal plan with the PPV's worked out for one day to serve as a fall back
        • Use the paper tracker to record calculated points every day this week
        • Keep available PPV at 28 for my daily points instead of 71 as assigned by WW
        • Range of PPV in past has varied daily between 6 and 18 points from goal in one week. Keep range to 4 points except while fasting.
        • Avoid using 49 weekly points. Daily points leave 43 available every day. That's 301 left over points available per week
        • Attend two meetings this week. Scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday
      • Overeaters Anonymous: 
        • Attend two meetings this week. Scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday
        • Read Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the AA Big Book.
        • Perform moral inventory for Step 4.
      • Never Ceases to Amuse Me Blog
        • Journal 300 out of 365 days
        • Write a weekly Expansionist Knowledge article so long as employment goals have been met
      • Reading Materials - Self-assigned reading assignments
        • Start Strong. Finish Strong.
        • WW Handbook for Success
        • WW Find Your Fingerprint
        • AA Big Book
      • Sticky Notes
        • Be active for 5 minutes out of every sedentary hour
        • Push for a WooHoo Weigh In!
        • Put down the fork and sip water between bites
        • No high carb nibbling. Kimkins separation in T-minus 36 pounds.
        • Get to Bed!
      • Employment Goals - Starting to get steady flow of input from 2 or 3 networking resources each week. Need to keep the network active with my feedback of gratitude and confirmation of application while expanding the network to new sources.
      • Weight Watcher's Awards this week -
        • 5 lbs - For passing another 5 pound mark
      • Number Goals: Direction feels wonderful. Quantity felt delightful, especially with all of the high carb nibbling I did over the course of the week.
      • Waist Goal: Belt is comfortable and effective at 5 available holes. 6 is ineffective. 4 is nearly comfortable. Suspect changing shape of tummy is interfering with regular, consistent downgrades.
      • Feel Good Goal: Still working on it. Need to find something a little closer to home for a feel good goal that isn't mindless entertainment.
      • Physical Goal: Still need to pull myself up the stairs. Cannot tie my shoes without physical aids or personalized assistance
      • The Y Goal: This week was a clear miss  with only 50% attendance. Next week, I need to make getting to the Y the first priority first thing in the day.
      • Alternative to the Y: Unable to locate any options (such as Gold's Gym) that aren't running into the same problems as Axiom.
      • WW Goal: Still need to make a meal plan for one single day. Otherwise, I am doing good.
      • OA Goal: Attended one meeting. It was wonderful. Need to follow-through on attending both meetings and Step 4.
        This week's weigh in was a delight. I indulged more than I would have liked on the wrong foods. I cannot say that I didn't want to indulge, because I did indulge and I did want to and I did enjoy it. I ate more food than two weeks ago, about the same as last week, except in terms of selection, and still lost an exceptional amount of weight. Long before joining Weight Watchers, having researched dieting and partaken of the fruits of success with a LCLF diet, I had come to the conclusion, weight loss and weight maintenance is all about the calorie. Calorie is king. The longer I am on Weight Watchers, the more I think weight loss is possible on any food selection program, if the calories are curtailed. LCLF programs have the advantage of making you want to eat less be feeling full longer and slowing down the digestive track. As a word of warning on LCLF programs, stay away from carbs aggressively because the cravings that follow can be intense. The two prime advantages of Weight Watchers are (1) any food can be eaten as long as you track it and (2) there really is power in the gathering of like-minded people with similar goals, desires, and experiences. Sharing our strengths and weaknesses, failures and successes leads to more success for more people.

        In the interest of success this week, I am planning on pushing carbs back into their proper position. That position is that carbs attached to green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and other veggies are to be relished with delight. Foods that are basically only carbs, cereal, bread, etc, are going to have to wait for another 35 pounds. I do not think I will hit my next two number goals (0.6 lbs away and 5.8 lbs away) in one week. But I want to make the next two number goals after that (currently 5.8 lbs away and 7.6 lbs away, which is 1.8 lbs from each other) nice and easy to hit together and start out close to the mark. This is not to say that all three goals are not achievable in one week, just very unlikely. And to tell the truth, I'd really rather get the next goal and the third goal on different weeks. But we shall see. Avoiding late afternoon nibbling will be all the more difficult with my plan of getting up at 5 am all next week. Thank the Lord above for melatonin!

        Looking Forward:
        • Stay on program with Weight Watchers, especially keeping the daily points consumed to a daily maximum of 28 and a daily range of 24-28 PPV.
        • Already added in more veggies. Need to work even more in as I adjust food selection gradually away from the strict low carb / low fat options to round out the diet a little more without allowing the temptation of high carb nibbles into my week.
        • Get on track with swimming laps at 5 am.
        • Hold onto the joyful feelings of this day to get me through the the times of lesser success in weight loss, the trudging through job searching, and other complications life is throwing my way.
        IV - I have found the way of keeping my success on track even amid my indulgences.
        CU - I have seized the road by facing the challenges of today with courage and faith.
        FI - I am enjoying the journey by basking in the simple delight of ongoing success.

        Post Number: 106
        Review of Yesterday's Progress
             Daily PPV Used/Left: 23/48 of 71 (Goal: 28/43)
             Pedometer Reading: 5348
             Meetings Attended: Weight Watchers
             Exercise Completed: None Scheduled
             M-W's Daily Word: Ubiquitous
             Page Views to Date: 1427 (Increased by 82 Page Views)

        Little Quail kept MBWM and I up late two nights ago. I had to get last night going in the right direction. And while I did get much done, there is so much more needing done. But that little matters. Getting sleep matters. There will always be more to do. At the start of my morning, I am looking forward to doing the Lord's Work that is before me today, which is much. And then crashing early. And then rising early. And then the Y. And then my work day will be truly underway. And so I will work and rest today all in accordance with my understanding of the Lord's Will. And I will be grateful for that additional time I get to spend with my family.

        Yours in the work that builds lives,


        P.S.: Speaking of Quail's successful efforts in keeping MBWM and I awake two nights ago, I had to share this picture -

        Weight Watchers, 18 January 2014
        This Month's Theme: Start Simple

        I feel ____________ about my efforts last week
        • good
          • Simple Start ends in two weeks
          • Finally eating to fuel body
        • pleased
          • Learned I eat for quantity and flavor
          • Now food is portioned and lost weight
        • unmotivated
          • Weather (heavy fog), makes me want to curl up in bed
          • Listen to better music
          • Make small changes
        • Overwhelmed
          • Life, work, home, and new plan. Led to over indulging
          • Got off of tracking, just listed the foods I'd eaten this week to get back on track, didn't list PPV.
          • Cut something out to focus on more important responsibilities
          • Not getting sufficient sleep. Set alarm 1/2 hour later. When feeling rested, make plans for when you're feeling overwhelmed
        Get  back into common sense

        Success Secret #1: Timing is Everything 

        Success Secret #2: You Can't Eat It if You Don't Have It
        This works both ways. For the foods you should increase for weight loss success and the food you should decrease for weight loss success

        Have you ever eaten something just because it was there? How does convenience help or hurt your efforts to take care of yourself?
        • Teenage daughter made whole wheat sugar cookies when she couldn't find the white flour. Stopped eating the cookie and passed it to the toddler. Didn't want to use points for something that's not enjoyable. (Yeah! MBWM said this)
        • Hurt: eating things you shouldn't eat, not on program
        • Help: If only thin in the home is Power Foods, then that's all you'll eat.
        • Keep the good food nearby, up front, prepared to eat, etc.
        Individual Writing Activity: Make Eating Healthier Easier
        1. Take inventory
        2. Stock up
        3. Pick an "easy to be healthy" eating space
        From the Simple Start grocery list on the back of the Simple Start handout or the Power Foods list in the tracker, create an Energy Palette (not a shopping list). Put check marks next to foods you already have in the house right now. Circles the foods that you should have and will add to your kitchen.

        Far more likely to eat the things that are easy to get to
        • Look for where you are tempted
        • Don't bring in bad foods. If they are there, hide them
        • Enjoy some indulgences. Eating everything that is an indulgence won't work.
        • Get rid of temptations
        Getting out the door is the hardest part of exercising. Feeling good is a great reward.

        With the Weight Watchers approach, you can lose 8X's more than those who try to lose weight on their own. 3X's the success in Weight Watchers meetings over Weight Watchers online.

        Saturday, January 18, 2014

        Reaching Goals

        Post Number: 104
        Review of Yesterday's Progress
             Daily PPV Used/Left: 21/50 of 71 (Goal: 26/45)
             Pedometer Reading: 2406
             Meetings Attended: None Scheduled
             Exercise Completed: Missed the Y
             M-W's Daily Word: Hoopla

        A late night medical crisis with the in-laws pulled MBWM away, creating the opportunity for a rousing start to the day yesterday, heavy on the effort behind the rousing With MBWM about to be completely out of the picture yesterday morning, I planned to simplify my day. First, yesterday's lesson in home school was changed from personal projects to physical education at the Y. Second, the home school room, being a little too well attended this last week and displaying ample evidence of that attention, was going to get a work over in preparation for next week. And having made those plans, I discussed them with MBWM. And as happen so often where planning is involved, there were several events I hadn't remembered and a couple more than I didn't know about. We raced through the morning routine with only verbal alacrity and I watched as MBWM and Asian Red Fox headed over the horizon.

        While still very much home in the early morning, I witnessed Quail playing among the DVDs in my bedroom. He found one that delighted his attention. He proceeded to remove the shrink wrap. That exercise invoked intense concentration and effort. He then tried to get at the discs but the security seal did its job and secured the DVDs firmly inside the case. This particular DVD was one of his Christmas presents. And with little Quail, he can watch the same movie several times before becoming interested in the next one. I am very grateful for this viewing characteristic of his. This means that of the several DVDs he received for Christmas, about half of them are still in their original shrink wrap. He is enamored with Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine. This means his movies were easy to locate in the less-expensive bins. This adds to my gratitude. But he was just exploring the DVD case and striving to reach the discs inside. Wanting him away from the DVDs, I said, "Quail, take that downstairs to watch." His enthusiasm was such that it expressed itself before his coordination was activated. He went from a sitting position into a sprawled position with one energetic tumble. As my girls are wont to say, "He is so cute!"

        My day was to be cleaning and planning until right before MBWM came home. A that point, the Y was the target. But then two different contacts directed my attention to two different jobs. One of jobs: full-time chemistry instructor with CWI. This one received my full intellectual attention but my heart wasn't in it. I made several refinements that I think increased the value of the cover letter and resume over my previous submission. But having had my prior efforts receive no response beyond the automated and appreciated e-mail acknowledging submission, I expect to hear absolutely nothing this time around as well now that the e-mail confirms that my cover letter and resume have been received. And that took my heart out of it. If they do call me in for an interview, I will most assuredly have my heart back into the exciting opportunity to be teaching once more.

        The other position that I did put my heart and intellect into was for Simplot. That position looks quite exciting. It took quite awhile to craft the resume. And then, when I thought I had expressed my experience to meet what the job description requests, I let it sit for awhile so I could see what their career website would provide for administrative hurdles. It was a lengthy process. Not as involved as the one with Hastings, but certainly intriguing. There were a couple of good question in it. "Why do you want this job?" and "Why do you want to work for Simplot?" in 50 characters or less. These and other challenging questions made more challenging by the length limit were exciting to answer. There was much detail required in the online application. And I do believe I caught all of it.

        But I wasn't able to catch the Y. I was barely able to catch dinner. I have to complete my efforts in adjusting my scheduling to fit all of my requirements. And the best time for the Y time and time again is getting up at 5 in the morning. I don't see any other way around it. I pulled it off once. Can I pull it off for one week? We shall see this next week.

        Yours in the plans that please the mind and reach the goals,


        P.S.: A great article on the value of sleep: Goodnight. Sleep Clean.