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Bringing our faith and behavior together

For those of you that know me I have always struggled with weight loss.  My wife and I are on a new journey together.  We are attending a new life group at Coastal Community church, which is a 12 week Bod4God weight loss program.  I posted the following entry to my Myfitnesspal blog this morning and I thought I would share it with my friends here.

There are a LOT of nice gems in the Bod4God book.  One of them that I love is how we are to bring our faith and behavior together.  We confess Lord Jesus with our mouths.  We confess that we desire to be obedient to his word.  We confess that we want to die to ourselves and carry our cross daily.  There are days when the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  Those are the moments when we need to cry out to God and ask him for his power and strength to bring our behavior into submission to our faith and his will for our lives.  

We know that eating garbage is turning our temple of God into garbage.  We know that it grieves the holy spiriit within us, when we do that.  God gave us our bodies so that we can be his glorious children.  We are to serve him and use the gifts within us to bring glory and honor to his kingdom.  

My prayer today for all of us that struggle with bringing our faith and behavior into perfect alignment is this.  

Dear Jesus, please forgive us for being slothful stewards of the temple you have given us.  I ask that you will put a burning desire within each of us to take small steps each day to live out our faith in obedience to your word.  Help us to love one another and not to judge one another.  Help us to encourage each other and to be examples one to another.  Help us to lift each other up when one of us is weak or struggling.  We believe that your word is true.  We believe that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.  Help us to be the kingdom kids that you want us to be.  We ask you these things in your most precious and holy name.  Amen 

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Moving on in 2012

I am happy that 2011 is behind us, and the holiday season is over.  Our family is on the mend and we are all feeling much better.  I am back to work, Justin is back to school, and spring semester for college starts up on January 9th for me.  I am not looking forward to school starting up again, but I am getting closer to my goal with regards to getting my associates degree.  I have three more semesters or 27 credits or 9 classes to complete for my degree program. 

There is a lot of talk on TV and social media about New Years resolutions.  It is a known fact that most folks who make New Years resolutions have a very difficult time keeping those resolutions during the new year.  One New Years resolution is to lose those extra pounds that we packed on as we gorged ourselves during the holidays.  Gym memberships go up and folks make an effort to work out.  I am ahead of the curve on this one folks.  I did not gorge myself during the holidays and I was sick and lost weight.  That was one positive thing about being sick.  My short term goal is to lose 1 lb per week and I am hopeful that I can meet or exceed that goal. 

In 2012 I plan on continuing my healthy living goals which are very simple.  I plan on eating meal choices that are healthier for me.  I also want to work on burning more calories than I consume.  That means that I need to continue down the path of going to Planet Fitness on a regular basis.  I would like to see myself going to Planet Fitness every day and getting a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.  Aerobic exercise is where I will begin to burn fat cells at an increased rate. 

In 2012 I plan on being less critical of myself.  I plan on living one day at a time and do the best I can with what I have.  I am my own worse critic, and boy do I love to judge myself, and remember those stupid mistakes from the past.  There is nothing I can do about the past, other than to learn from those mistakes and move on. 

In 2012 I plan on reducing my consumption of social media.  If I were honest with myself, I would have to say that I am a technology junkie (addict).  Technology to me is like mind candy, and I can not get enough of it.  I love social media, and having the ability to make personal connections with different people, via the many social media apps online.  I have an account with Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Google Plus, LinkedIN and many more.  My goal is to reduce how much time I spend on the different social media portals.  As I have been consumed with social media, I have gotten caught up in mindlessly wandering through multiple social media streams of endless content. 

In 2012 I want to help others, become more aware for their need for personal and family defense preparedness.  I have begun to work on a series of articles that take a no nonsense approach, to what personal and family defense preparation is and is not.  I want to find a balance between preparing for the end of the world as we know it, and the belief that crime happens to other people.  My goal is to help people to be better prepared to keep themselves and their families safe in the world we live in through common sense solutions. 

In 2012 I want to be a better husband to my wife of 21 years and father to my children.  I want to be more thoughtful, compassionate and loving.  I want to be a better Christ follower and someone that gives of myself back to the community.  I want to be a better friend that brings value to the lives of others.  I want to continue to be an encourager to those that need encouragement.   I want to be a man of integrity, courage and compassion. 

Dear readers, what are your goals for 2012?  Do you share some of my goals or are they very different than mine?  How can we help one another to be who we want to be?  I look forward to your comments. 

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Planet Fitness 2010 work out picture

One of the things I have failed to do is to take update pictures as I lose weight.  My goal is to lose 1 to 3 lbs per week.  My goal is 220 and I have 106 lbs to go.  I am hoping that by November of 2011 I will be well on the way to losing 50+ lbs of that 100 lbs.  I will try to remember to take a monthly status update picture to journal my progress.

Planet Fitness 2010 workout picture

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 James Moffitt

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Living a dream

Is this a dream or is it a nightmare?  I woke up this morning and the last thing I remember from my dream was looking at a computer screen looking for a picture of a blue mushroom.  At this point that is all I remember about the dream so I guess that is ok.  I seem to have a lot of dreams about cities and lots of water.  I wonder if our living close to the Atlantic ocean has anything to do with that? 

underway

Compared to a lot of folks in this world I am living a dream.  I am married to a wonderful woman who has given me some of the best years of my life.  I am amazed that she has not changed the locks or moved away and not given me her forwarding address.  I am not sure I would have put up with me for all of these 21 years and because of that I am extra thankful for my “Gizmo” who has endured my personality and shortcomings. 

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I have been blessed to have a career in the I.T. industry for the last 21 years and that I can always seem to find a job that pays fairly decent.  We have always had a roof over our heads and food to put on the table.  We have two vehicles to drive and two wonderful teenagers living at home with us.  I could write a book about what it is like to live in the same house with two teenagers.  Seeing as that is out of the scope of this blog post I will say that while they can drive me out of my mind at times over all they are very good children. 

I am thankful for my friends that I have met through social media online and through the local “meetups” and “tweetups”.  I am not a social butterfly and I tend to steer away from events that thrust me into the midst of any size crowd with lots of other humans.  Twitter, FaceBook and local events have enabled me to move away from my security bubble and to expand my horizons. If it were not for some of the people I have met online I would probably be a recluse.  My heart felt thanks goes out to those of you who know who you are but will remain nameless in this blog post.

I am thankful that in the last 5 months I have seen some progress in my being the biggest loser in my family.  I have lost close to 45 lbs and have lost 3 inches in my waist line.  My pants are already getting too big for me even though I just had them taken in 2 inches.  This is very exciting for me because I have spent the last 10 years being so depressed about how bad my self image was and how it was affecting my ability to go out in public and be around other people.

This is November 2010 and Thanksgiving Holidays are just around the corner which means I will possibly celebrate another birthday on the 27th.  That means that I will be 49 years young and the BIG 50 is right around the corner.  I think that means that I am getting to the top of the proverbial hill and that next year I will begin the decent into my second childhood.  I hope and pray that the decent into my second childhood will be delayed for quite a few years to come and that I can experience good mental and physical health while I am doing it.  With all of that said, we all have a lot to be thankful for and I am hopeful that each of us will take the time to step back and reflect on the many blessings that we do have all around us.  

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Mind over matter

Katy and the kids are off to work and school and it is just me and the pets. I have an evil grin as I imagine the things I could do to rid myself of my own personal Farmville.  I love my wife dearly however I do not love all of these pets.  I have a couple of favorites that I would probably spare if I were to ever go off the deep end but the rest of the critters would need to run for the hills or perish.  I guess that explains why most of the cats keep a wary eye on me and never turn their backs on me. They can sense that I am secretly plotting against them.  I love to day dream about what I could or might do to get rid of the excessive pet population in my home and then I am snapped back to reality with regards to divorce court.  I am not sure I want to push my wife’s love to a vote over me or the pets. Something tells me that I would suffer her wrath to the point that it is just not worth the brief moment of pleasure I would get to empty out Farmville. 

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Today is the first day of my three day weekend.  I plan on having a leisurely morning which will include my regular trip to Planet Fitness in a few minutes.  My body is killing itself trying to convince me to use my three day weekend as an excuse to stay planted firmly in my recliner and to enjoy some well deserved laziness.  I am tempted to give in to the belly aching and whining from the flesh this morning but then I remember how much work I have done up to this point to gain the momentum I have gained and the weight and inches I have lost.  That did not happen by listening to the flesh and allowing it to talk me into a lazy bliss.  I will be stifling the moans and groans and I will drag my carcass out to the truck and drive over to the gym.  That always seems to be the hardest part, getting started and convincing myself that the trip to the gym is worth it. 

It is a mystery to me why at this stage in my life I have this huge amount of energy and motivation to do what I am doing.  Over the last 9 years Katy and I have been working through several stages of grief as we absorb the impact of losing one of our children to cancer. Having lived through 14 months of watching our daughter get sick and then sicker and then pass away has caused a huge rip in the fabric of our entire family.  That takes a lot out of you emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  When you take a beating in those three areas the flesh usually has its way with you and you don’t really pay much attention to what is going on.  Nine years later I guess we are managing the grief more efficiently and now we are finding a place where we can refocus our energies in other places and not dwell on the pain as much.   I would like to take all of the credit for going back to school after 20 years and getting gobs of motivation and energy to kick start my wellness program.  I am thinking that my motivation and energy must be a God thing.  I know that I have several people in my life that have been praying for me and my weight issue for quite some time.  These people have watched me and wondered why in the world would I let myself go as badly as I did.  How is it that I could waste so much time with trying to justify the issues and just be satisfied with the way I looked despite the fact that I was on the road to a heart attack or stroke? 

I may not be able to put my finger on exactly what happened within me to kick start my action but I am thankful for it.  Maybe it is a combination of friends praying for me and the Holy Spirit of God prodding me gently and methodically over the years.  No matter what the reasons I am happy to find myself on the track of getting better.  Slowly but surely I am working towards my goal of losing one pound per week and getting in better physical condition.  This is my body that God gave me to live in and it is my duty and responsibility to be a good steward of what he has given me.  My flesh is not who I am.  My flesh or the body that you gaze upon when you see me in real life is only a shell for the person within.  Some would say that when you die that is all she wrote and there is nothing else. You die and that is it, it is over.  I chose to believe that the spirit within me, who I am will live on in the hereafter.  At some point I came to the realization that my not taking care of this body was slowly but surely speeding up the process for me to meet the hereafter.  I realized that as I look around me I do not see any obese old people.  Have you noticed that for yourself?  You do not see severely obese old people because obesity eventually kills you.  I do not want to live through diabetes, high blood pressure or the many physical ailments that comes along as consequences of those issues. 

Mind over matter means that in my mind and spirit I am taking possession and control over my flesh.  I have decided that my flesh will no longer have dominion over my destiny.  I will no longer allow it to rob me of precious years of life.  I realize that no matter how much I work out at the gym that ultimately I will experience that physical death that we all will face one day.  Nevertheless that does not mean that I can not take care of the body that God gave me and enjoy life to the fullest in a body that is in good shape.  I am also thinking that while I am increasing the longevity of my life that I will be able to do things that I otherwise would not be able to do.  I am hoping that at some point that my wife will be encouraged by my progress and that she will adopt the same mindset as mine and start doing some regular exercise as well.  Mind over matter means that when we go to the grocery store that we determine that we will not buy crappy junk food and we will buy fruits and vegetables and lean meats.  We will decide to eat smaller portions and not sit in front of the idiot box and eat comfort foods that make us feel better about ourselves and ultimately eat ourselves into the grave. 

I used to get depressed when I saw advertisements for the TV show the Biggest Loser.  Now I am getting to the point that I am proud of those people for what they are trying to accomplish in their lives.  I realize that they probably get paid nicely for being on the TV show but despite that they have the courage to stand before a huge TV audience and admit that they need to lose so much weight.  I am proud of the fact that despite all of the odds and the difficulty of exerting so much energy that they are doing whatever it takes to lose the pounds.  Yes, working out takes a lot of energy and at the age of 48 it is way harder than it was when I was in my teen years or the 20’s.  In 1.5 years I will be 50 and I know that I know that it will only get harder to do this.  In my mind I want to be the biggest loser in my home and in my neighborhood.  I no longer care what people think of me and how I look because I know that I am doing everything I can to get exercise  and eat right so I can obtain my goals. 

My hope and prayer for you is that I can be vulnerable before you with my actions, feelings ,thoughts and fears so that you might be able to identify with me and realiz
e that you too can do whatever it takes to make permanent life changes that will help you be the biggest loser.  Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Today is the day that you can and should make steps towards making good life choices and develop new and healthy habits.  You will have to decide what it will take for you to make these changes.  I hope and pray you make those decisions and changes in your life now while you are able to do it.  You can do it!  I have faith in you that you can and will make these changes. 

 

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 James Moffitt

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Weight loss is work

We have all seen the ads. The weight loss ads where this diet or that exercise machine is being advertised as that mechanism that will cause you to become the hard bodied person that you should want to be. Have you ever noticed that there are no fat people in those advertisements and that almost everyone appears to be in perfect health and shape?

Different diets and different forms of exercise will work for different people. God made us all different and because of that not every diet or specific exercise will work for us. I would also like to say that if your goal is to look like the hard bodied people that you see in all of the TV or magazine ads then you are setting yourself up for failure.

Weight loss is a lot of work. Let me say this again for those of you that are hoping I really did not say it. Weight loss is a lot of work. There are no magical diets that are going to melt away the pounds and keep them off for a life time. Yes, there are weight loss diets out there that will take the weight off. The million dollar question for you is will you be willing to stay on that particular diet for the rest of your life? If you are not willing to do that then the unwanted pounds will come back to haunt you just as soon as you fall off the diet bandwagon.

Your desire to lose weight needs to be something deeper than just how you look. Sure, we all want to look good and have people admire us. If the truth were to be known we also probably want to feel good about ourselves and be healthy. Whatever the reasons for our desire to lose weight it has to come from within and you might as well quit waiting on someone else to hold you accountable. You have to want to change your life and do it yourself for your own reasons. Some of us need more motivation and accountability than others but the majority of the motivation will have to be in your heart and mind and soul.

Weight loss is work both mentally, physically and spiritually. Weight loss encompasses every single fiber of your being. I say that because weight loss affects every part of your life. Weight loss has to be a life change. One day you look in the mirror and you say to yourself, I want to look different and I want to feel different. My motivation for losing weight is to become healthier and to live longer so I can enjoy more years of life with my wife and children. I want to feel healthy and be able to have increased mobility and physical ability. I used to play basketball as a sport when I was younger and loved it. I have had to give up that sport in the last 20 years thanks to obesity.

I have had to make some very tough choices. I have had to determine in my heart that I am going to do whatever it takes to lose weight. That means that I eat less food and I am learning how to eat healthier. I am also relearning the importance of regular exercise. At this time I am working out every other day. I started at the end of June 2010 and I joined Planet Fitness at Citadel Mall. My goal is to eat better, eat less and get enough exercise to lose one pound per week. Thus far I have met or exceeded that goal and I am seeing a difference in how I feel and how my clothes are fitting. It is nice to talk to people and have them mention to me that I am losing weight and that they can tell. More importantly I feel so much better. My blood pressure is under control and I have much more energy than I have had in a long time. My mobility has started to increase to where I can do things physically that I have not been able to do in a long time.

Yes, I have seen some success but the battle is not over. Every day is a new day and I have to remind myself that while I have had some small victories over obesity in my life I still have 100 lbs to lose. I am determined to face this battle head on every single day until I reach my goal. When I first started going to the gym I counted the days. At the outset that was important for me to count the days so that I could give myself the encouragement to keep on doing it. I would say to myself, ok, I have been to the gym and this is day 6 so if I can go six times then surely I can go to day 7 and so on and so forth. I have quit counting days and I am now just trying to live one day at a time and I am slowly but surely making healthy eating and exercise a regular part of my life. Thus far it is working and I am happy about that.

One of the things that I have seen that has really kick started my metabolism and helped me to start shedding some pounds and keep it off is aerobic exercise. Planet Fitness is a “judgement free zone” which means that it is not a typical gym where all the jocks hang out and all the fat people are afraid to show themselves in there for the fear of being ridiculed. You will find different people of all different shapes and sizes and varying degrees of fitness or obesity as in my case.

The important thing is that we are there doing something to make a change in how we look and feel. We are there to exercise and leave our fat cells behind. I get sort of tickled when I see the folks who come in there with their make up on and jewelry and get on the treadmill for 15 minutes and never break a sweat. If you are not going to the gym to “work” that body and break a good sweat then you are not getting an aerobic work out and therefore you are wasting your time.

I know that sounds judgmental so please forgive me if it sounds that way. The bottom line is this, the weight is not going to come off if you are not willing to work at it. The weight does not get on over night and it will not come off over night. It takes a lot of determination and will power and prayer and sweat to make it come off and stay off. I say this because the work I have been doing has not always been fun or easy. The hardest part of my day is when I throw my body onto the elliptical trainer and start running on it. I am very thankful that there is the ability to listen to my favorite radio station and that when they play the right songs I have a beat to run to. That helps me to tune out my body who is screaming at me to please stop. My flesh would rather that I not get out of bed and would rather stay there sleeping until 8 am if it could. I have to force myself to go to the gym and do this whether my body wants to or not. The good thing is that it is getting easier and easier for me to go. I am starting to get to the point where I look forward to going and that is a good thing.

Weight loss is work but it is work that will reap a lot of short term and long term benefits that will last you a life time. The work that I do today and tomorrow and six months from now at Planet Fitness will help me to increase the quality and quantity of my life in the future. I challenge anyone reading this blog that is struggling to get going to be encouraged and know that you can do it. I know this because if I can do it you can do it. If you have any questions or need encouragement feel free to contact me at chiefpropellerhead@comcast.net.

If you live local to the Charleston SC area and you need someone that can help you be accountable and work out with you then feel free to give me a shout and we can do that. Planet Fitness costs 10.00 per month with no contract. I don’t think you will find anything more economical than that folks.

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Planet Fitness Day 12

I am posting this late but on Wednesday (yesterday) I completed day 12 at Planet Fitness. I ran for 30 min on the elliptical trainer at level 2. I burned 410 calories and ran for 2 miles. I was tired and broke a very good sweat on that session so that was very good. I also spent an hour on the different weight machines and the free weights. Justin went with me and worked out too which is awesome. I am finding that the more I work out and get exercise the better I feel. I feel stronger and more confident and my mobility has increased quite a bit. I can bend and pick objects up off the ground so much easier. I have found that when I get out of the car and walk into the office or across the parking lot at the store that I am not struggling with making that trip. The weight is coming off slowly but surely and for that I am so thankful. My blood pressure is down to about 117/76 which is awesome as well. Once I lose another 10 lbs I will be able to take about 5 pairs of pants to the cleaners and have them taken in 2 inches. Now that is progress folks and even though I have made this progress I have about 100 lbs to go. I can do it and I shall do it. Phillipians 4:13 is my motto when I get on the elliptical trainer. I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.

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Planet Fitness Day 10

Yesterday was day 10 for me at Planet Fitness. I am still doing the same workout routine which includes 25 minutes on the elliptical trainer which is now at level 2 and running between 4.0 and 5.0 mph. The first ten minutes is warm up and then I start to sweat and get my heart rate up to about 155 bpm. The last 15 minutes is where I believe I am starting to burn some calories. If I were to do that for an hour I would burn 780 calories. I will have a long time before I can run on that thing for an hour and I may never do that. I do want to work myself up to 30 or 45 minutes at some point. The more I can do that the more weight that will come off.

Once I am done with the hard part which is the elliptical trainer then I cool down for a spell and allow my heart rate to lower and then I hit the weight machines. Yesterday I tried out the torso machine for the first time with about 40 lbs. The left side of my abdomen seems a bit sore today which means I worked a muscle set that is not used to getting that kind of exercise. I work my upper and lower body with assorted different machines and then I do the bench press and free weights for the curls.

What are some of the benefits other than the weight coming off? My goal is to lose 1 lb per week and thus far I am losing between 1 lb and 3 lbs per week. One of the benefits is that I have lost 2 inches on my waist and my pants are fitting much loser. I figure when I lose another 5 to 10 lbs I am going to be forced to take all my big pants to the cleaners and have them reduce the waist size by 2 inches. I am looking forward to doing that.

Another benefit of regular exercise and eating right is that I feel so much better. I have more energy, my blood pressure is much lower than it used to be and my mobility has increased. My left knee no longer hurts, I can get up and down out of my recliner at home with much less hassle and I can climb the steps on the boardwalk at work without having to hold on to the side rails as much.

I am noticing that as I focus on getting regular exercise and try to build some muscle and cardiovascular endurance that I no longer want to eat garbage. At lunch I go to the general store next door and get their chef salad which is the only healthy thing they have. They have a lunch line where they sell fried chicken and french fries to all the contractors on the island. They have other fried things that is no longer of interest to me because I know that I know it is not good for me to eat and only leads to adding pounds to the body.

I hate the word diet because it reminds me of all the times that I half heartedly tried to “diet” so I am going to use the terminology “eating habits”. I am trying to retrain my mind to realize that if I eat garbage I am going to look like garbage and feel like garbage. Now that I am serious about my regular exercise I no longer feel like garbage and I can feel my body responding to the exercise nicely. When a person feels good it is so much easier to motivate one self to do the harder things such as increasing the work out time etc. My goal is to not eat fried foods and other things such as those foods that are “white” such as mashed potatoes, potatoes in general, rice, pastas etc. I am trying to stick to lean meats and veggies during supper time and at lunch I eat a salad and breakfast which is my worst offender I eat a breakfast burrito. I try to stay away from the biscuit with sausage egg and cheese. I will have one of those per week but that is it.

One other thing that I need to do more of that I am struggling with is to drink more water. I have gotten away from the sugary sodas and now drink either Diet Dr Pepper or Coke Zero Cherry. I need to drink 8 glasses of water per day and I struggle with that. At work I have a 2 quart container in my refrigerator in my office and I have sugar free drink packets that flavor the water so it makes it easier to consume. I guess the mind set is that if the taste is good then I will consume it. I need to get better at drinking that 2 quarts of water each day and only have the canned drink for lunch.

I hope that my blogging about my personal journey as I lose weight will encourage someone else. I weigh 340 lbs so I am no small person. I am six foot tall and big boned so I carry the weight well. At the gym the other day someone guessed me at 280 lbs. I am looking forward to the day that I am 280 lbs and I know that if I keep up the hard work and be consistent then I can get there. I can do it and so can you.

One of the things I love about Planet Fitness is that it is not your typical gym atmosphere where all of the jocks and hard bodies get together and laugh at the fat out of shape people that might wander in. I have seen people that are in shape at Planet Fitness and I have seen people that appear to be in worse shape than I am. The important thing is that we are there trying to make a difference. What is the cost for membership? You pay 10.00 per month and you have access to 90% of what they offer. Full membership is 20.00 per month and neither plan requires a contract. If you need to take time off because of illness or injury you can stop paying and then when you are ready to go back just pick up where you left off.

I know that I have said that one of the benefits of regular exercise and changing my eating habits is that I feel so much better. I feel stronger and more confident. My main goal is weight loss and my motivation for doing this is to increase the quality of my over all health. I have no desire to become Mr Universe even though I did dream last night that I was invited to be a part of that program. I do desire to live a longer and more healthy life so I can be around for my family. One of the wake up calls for me has been to realize that there are not very many old obese people around. The reality of this issue is that if I do not do this now at this point in my life I am a candidate for heart attack and stroke. Both of those events could be life ending or crippling in so many ways. I really do not care to reap those consequences nor do I want my family to witness it or experience the aftermath of those events with me either.

As I say in my accountability forum on Battle Plan Ministries I am starting over every single day. Every day is a new day and I have the ability to chose to eat right and get exercise. It is my choice and I can make the right choice every single day. I invite you to start your own journey and to do the right things. If I can do this any one can do this. The choice is yours.

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Planet Fitness Day 5

I managed to go back to Planet Fitness today over at Citadel Mall. I am working on Saturdays now and since I had a 14 hour day on Saturday thanks to a power grid going down and killing electric service on all three islands I decided to rest on Sunday. I started my day by taking princess to work at the Jewish Community Center and then I went over to Planet Fitness and climbed on my beloved elliptical trainer. I have a love hate relationship with the elliptical trainer because I love to HATE it.

One of the reasons I use the elliptical trainer is because it gives me a good aerobic workout in a short amount of time. I am still starting out on level one for my age and weight but in 20 min I can run 2 miles and burn off 250 calories and get a nice sweat going. My heart rate goes from 83 to about 153 in about 10 minutes.

I want to journal my way through my experience because I know how hard it is. I need to lose 100 lbs or more so if you think about it I already carry around an extra person on my back every single day. It is much harder for someone like myself who is obese to go to the gym and have the self discipline to get exercise than it would be for someone that is slightly over weight. I want to be as transparent as I can in my journal so that anyone reading it will not think that I think this is a cake walk.

I have been severely over weight for way too long and as I get closer and closer to the big 50 I realize that the time has come for me to DO SOMETHING about this NOW. I could easily be considered as a contestant on the Biggest Loser and I have to tell you that I do not watch that show because it really seems pretty depressing to me. Maybe it was depressing for me because it reminded me of the fact that I am in those shoes and really have not done much about it. Yes, I have dabbled with walking on and off and changing my diet in the last year and I have lost some weight however I need to do more.

Weight loss is a mental and physical journey but it is also a spiritual journey. I can not lose weight by myself and believe that I am going to have the self determination to do this no matter what. Every time I get on the elliptical trainer within the first five minutes I find myself quoting a verse out of the bible (Phillipians 4:13) I can do ALL things through Christ that gives me strength. I quote that to remind myself that it is through Jesus in ME that gives me the will power and motivation to keep going even when my body is screaming to get the heck off of that elliptical trainer. Every day I ask God to give me the wisdom and knowledge I need to make the healthy choices with what I eat each day.

Weight loss means real life changes. I have to examine how I got this way and figure out what changes to make in my diet, exercise, mind and spirit. My diet can no longer consist of fat greasy foods. I can no longer eat the deserts I want to have and I have to chose to eat better. Eating better will take many pages that I do not have time for in this writing but I promise to revisit it soon. I already touched on the importance of regular exercise and burning more calories than I eat. I already touched on the spiritual side of things and how my faith comes in to play through prayer and using bible scriptures to help me keep on keeping on.

The other part that comes into play is my mind set and attitude. It is hard to go work out in a gym when you are surrounded by hard bodies. You will find out quickly that not everyone is as overweight as I am and most of the folks are trim and slim and seem to have lots of energy. If I am not careful I find myself comparing myself to those people and then I can slip into despair and depression and then my will power and determination goes into the drain. I have to be careful to NOT compare myself to others. I must realize that I am on my own physical, mental, spiritual journey and it has nothing to do with anyone else. Some days that is easier said than done but I am getting better at it. I have to work at having a positive mental attitude and realize that as long as I am making steps in the right direction by eating better and getting more exercise and having a manageable goal of losing one lb per week then I should be happy with myself. Thus far I am back on track and meeting my goal.

My prayer and hope is that someone reads this blog and can find the courage to make that first step which is to realize that the weight will not come off magically. Yes, this is like any other thing in life, it is hard and requires a lot of work and sacrifice. The important thing is that YOU CAN DO IT. Take baby steps and make the changes that will improve your quality of life. One day at a time make some subtle changes and figure out a way to eat better and get more exercise. Your quality of life and how you feel about yourself and the way you look will start to change and that in and of itself will help you keep on keeping on.

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Planet Fitness Day 2

Today was day two for my trip to Planet Fitness in West Ashley. Today was special because my 15 year old son went with me. He told me that he would love to go work out with me if I were to get a gym membership there so that helped to motivate me to make it happen. I am not sure how much camaraderie we will have while we are there but at least his going will get him some exercise and it will give me another reason to go.

I can tell that my legs are still not strong enough to handle the elliptical trainer for longer than 20 minutes but I am determined to stick with it no matter what. I am punching in my height and weight and then putting it on level 1 and going for it. The elliptical trainers all have control boxes you can plug your headset into and listen to the TV’s on the wall or whatever music station you chose. I chose to listen to 100.5 or His Radio while working out. The music helps to motivate me to do what I have to do. After about 10 minute on the elliptical trainer and my heart rate getting up to about 154 I started to develop a good sweat and I could tell that I was starting to get a decent cardio work out. I averaged 3.9 for speed and ran 2.5 miles and burned 252 calories.

Once I was done with the elliptical trainer I got on some of the weight machines and did some light reps. I did some bench press reps and then spent some time with the dumb bells and did curls with Justin. I must remember to take it slow and not over do it. Once I get there I tend to forget that I am no longer 18 years old and if not careful will go overboard and then pay for it for the next couple of days. One day at a time and one step at a time. That is what I have to keep reminding myself as I do this.

Along with regular exercise the other important part of trying to lose weight is nutrition. Katy and I went to Kingstreet Grill on Kiawah today since I had a call from the office that something was broke. When we go out to eat most of the time we order one entree and share it. We got the prime rib wraps and Katy had the home fries and I ordered a side salad instead. I have to continue to eat less and eat right and stop eating garbage. Getting more exercise and still eating junk is defeating the purpose and will only slow down the weight loss process.