Archive for December 2010

My 2011 Resolutions

Every year, I make resolutions. They are usually broad, sweeping resolutions that cover almost every aspect of my life. And while I am not one of those people who hate resolutions, I still have to admit – I usually forget about them by mid-January.

I’m going to try and do it a little differently this year. I’m going to make my resolutions in a way that I have to “check” in every month. So basically, rather than just make my resolutions for the entirety of 2011, I’m going to make them so that I can check on my status at the end of every month.

Before I give my resolutions, let me remind you that some of these are purposefully easy to accomplish. That helps give me a feeling of accomplishment, because I know there will be months that I don’t do as hot on something.

Lose 120 pounds.
Based on past experience, this one is big, but I’m still tackling it. It is a tough but doable ten pounds a month. Now that my thyroid issues are more or less under control, with some hard work, this one may be possible. I don’t deny that it will be tough, but I’m up for the challenge.
To accomplish by the end of January: Get down to 350.

Bench press 180 pounds.
I seriously contemplated not putting this one on the list, because to do so will require me to admit how much I bench press. I am not as strong as I’d like to be. I can bench press 135. That’s only one forty-five pound plate on each side of the bar. I’ve selected 180 as my goal because, according to charts, that is my ideal weight, and I would love to be able to bench press my weight.
To accomplish by the end of January: Increase bench press to 140.

Eat one vegetarian dinner a week.
I’m not vegan. There are some vegan blogs I read (and a few I stay away from because their militant veganism turns me off), but I like the idea of being so committed to healthy eating that you practice it at EVERY meal. Please note that I am committing to eat a vegetarian dinner one night a week, not a vegan one. I like animals. I have four that I share my life with (two cats, two dogs, all heathens). I just also happen to think that vegan food sucks. I’m sure some of my meals may end up being vegan, but I’ve tried cooking vegan. I’ve never been able to make anything better than “eh, it’s mostly edible.” But by not eating meat during at least one dinner a week, I can reduce my carbon footprint somewhat and expand my culinary repertoire. Tina and I are making Thursday night our Veggie Dinner night.
To accomplish by the end of January: Report on all four January dinners and plan out all four of February’s.

Become an ACE certified personal trainer with at least two clients by year’s end.
I already have the study kit and the testing certificate in my possession. Yes, I will still be obese when I go to take the exam, which I expect will result in a few raised eyebrows, but oh well. I plan to blow the test out of the water. Given that I’ll probably take the exam by late Spring to early Summer, I have decided to up the ante on this resolution and require myself to use it. I’m not planning to replace my career at WKU with a personal training one, but I’d definitely like to do it on the side. I feel pretty good about this one, too, as many overweight people I have talked to say they would prefer a trainer who once had weight issues as opposed to someone who has always been a hard body.
To accomplish by the end of January: Study through Chapter Four of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook

Complete (and edit) that young adult novel that keeps popping up in my brain.
I’ve been a writer since I was a little kid. I guess you could say I’m technically even published. However, I want to finish this one particular young adult novel that has been clanking around in my head for a while, edit it, and actually send it out to agents in the potential of getting it published. I realize that publishing fiction is only 2% talent and 98% luck, but I’ll never be published if I don’t at least try.
To accomplish by the end of January: Write at least 12,000 words on the tentatively titled Athena Institute.

Attempt to have my watercolor paintings put up in the gallery at the local library.
I have dabbled in watercolors for several years now. I don’t pretend to say I’m amazing, but I keep looking at the local artist galleries they put up, and I frequently say to myself, “Well… I can do that.” Except I haven’t. In 2011, I’m going to at least try. First up – I need to decide on a cohesive theme for a series of paintings. Frankly, right now, I’m thinking something healthy living related.
To accomplish by the end of January: Come up with theme for series and paint at least seven paintings in said series

Create an online store to sell my photographs, space paintings, and watercolor paintings (and other arty things, including light-up wine bottles).
Tina is immensely talented when it comes to crafts. Far more than I am. However, I’ve made some things that I think are pretty interesting. I don’t know if I’m literally good enough to make money off of my talents, but let’s give it a shot.
To accomplish by the end of January: Open store.

Build my first ever snowman.
We’re looking at having a very rough winter in the south this year. We’ve already had two decent snows, and that’s pretty rare for us. Our first snow usually comes in January. Despite having enough good snows over the course of my life to build a snowman, I never have. This year, Frosty is going to make an appearance.
To accomplish by the end of January: If there is a snow in January (and there better be), build a snowman. Complete with scarf and carrot nose.

Send 100 letters out through The Mail Project.
This one will be easy. The Mail Project is a new blog I’ve started where I basically write to companies and ask for free stuff. I’ve already had some successes. Over the course of 2011, I have to send out at least 100 letters.
To accomplish by the end of January: Send out eight letters.

Take Tina to Las Vegas after she graduates.
Tina is finishing up her Bachelor’s in May and promptly starting her Master’s in June, if things go according to plan. I’ve promised her a trip to Las Vegas for some time after her graduation. In mid to late May, I resolve to take her there.
To accomplish by the end of January: Put aside $100 to help pay for trip.

Visit at least one more National Park.
On our life’s To-Do list, Tina and I plan to visit every National Park in the U.S. So far, we’ve only knocked out two, Mammoth Cave (where I proposed, in fact) and the Great Smokies. We just went to the Great Smokies a few weeks ago, and in fact, I’ll soon be documenting the trip on my travel blog, The Window Seat. Going to Mammoth Cave is very easy, as it is just thirty minutes from our house. We go regularly, and we’re going to take a nice day trip there as soon as spring shows up. However, that still leaves 56 national parks to go. Since we’re going to Vegas, I plan for us to also go visit one or two near that desert oasis. There are several. For this year, I’m leaning toward Death Valley National Park, as it is only about two and a half hours away and it seems like one you should see in the summer. Hopefully, we’ll also be able to go to the Grand Canyon. It may take us our entire lives to see all of them, but that’s okay by me. I’m in no hurry. I’m also not in too big of a hurry to see all of the National Parks near Las Vegas, as the city is so much fun, I’m sure we’ll go back again and again and again.
To accomplish by the end of January: See above, in saving up for Vegas trip.

Begin work on my doctorate.
I’m not officially in the cohort yet, but I’m starting on some additional grad-level classes this spring that will count toward my hours. I have two Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree right now. I definitely want that terminal Ed.D! (Please note – I am choosing the Ed.D. instead of the Ph.D. because I work in education, and given my current circumstances, an Ed.D. makes more sense for me than a Ph.D. Either way, I’ll be a doctor!)
To accomplish by the end of January: Successful start classes this Spring semester, which begins January 24th.

So, those are my resolutions. Do you have any?

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2010 in Review

I weighed in on Sunday, December 26th, at 364.2. That’s atrocious. It’s a little embarrassing. But it’s changing.

I made the decision to not wait until January 1st to “reboot” my “diet,” and I’m glad for it. I ate so much food over the holidays, I literally felt fatter. My energy was lower; it just doesn’t seem worth it.

I’m going to weigh in only twice a week now. I’m going to weigh at home on Sunday morning with Tina, and I’ll weigh in at my meetings on Tuesday at Weight Watchers. I’m only going to report my Sunday weigh-ins here, though. 2011 will see me restart my Themed Weigh-Ins. I will do my level best to post every Sunday. I hope I can make it the whole year without missing a single Sunday. Let’s see.

The scale has often ruled my life. I’m going to make an effort to keep that from happening, and the first step is to eliminate the daily (and sometimes multiple-times-a-day) weigh-ins. Twice a week is more than good enough, and it’s only twice because of Weight Watchers. At home, I will only get on the scale on Sunday mornings.

I’ll have a Resolution Post on New Year’s Eve. Some people hate making them, but I’ve always loved it. Some I have stuck to; others I have not.

But this post is going to be about the amazing changes that have happened in my life in 2010. Even though I weigh more now than I did on January 1, 2010, this has still been one of the best years of my life.

As quite a few people out there are doing, I am going to make this post, one of my last of 2010, a Year In Review post. (Yes, I’m aware that if you look at my archives, it seems I started this blog in September, but I swear I posted before then. I just had some host issues, transfer problems, and ultimately, I just decided to start over.)

The year started off great. I was in a new job. I can’t wax too poetic about that job, because that job ended up being the WORST job I had EVER had in my entire life, but I can still say that I was at least happy to be there on January 1st.

In early January, I applied to my local gym’s Biggest Loser contest, called Train 2 Lose. Grand prize was $3,000. I didn’t think I had a chance of being picked, but lo and behold, after just a few weeks into the new year, I got the call saying I had been selected.

Sadly, I did not win. I did not come even close. I came in 6th. However, I found that I did not enjoy being in a weight loss competition. The stress of it was not good for me. After taking part in my relatively low-stress weight loss competition, I would NEVER want to be in something like The Biggest Loser. The temptation of winning $3,000 was stressful. What on earth would $250,000 have done to me?

However, on the positive, I met several very cool people, some of whom I still see at the gym. Some I have not seen since the day they were eliminated, but I am pleased to know there are a handful of us who are still plugging away at the weight loss efforts.

By spring, my exciting new job had turned slightly hellish. It was going to get worse before it got better.

All through the year, Tina and I were saving money and trying to get ready for our upcoming wedding on October 8th. We were also pretty excited about our honeymoon in Antigua as well.

My weight fluctuated up and down within a twenty pound range.

In July, I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem. Nothing serious, but medication definitely helped. I wish I could say that this was the root of my weight loss issue, but it was only an interesting little side note. Yes, being on the medication helped me lose weight, but you know what doesn’t help lose weight? Overeating. I don’t think they have a medicine for that yet.

In late July, I decided to begin training to be a personal trainer. I plan to take my exam in Spring 2011.

In August, I quit my job. I quit it cold, with no other solid full-time job prospects lined up. My assistant (yes, my ASSISTANT) literally took some of over my job duties without my permission, my boss allowed her to boss me around, and one day, she accused me of stealing a package of cookies from her office and then proceeded to yell at me about it. I was accused multiple times of being a racist, which I am not. I was then accused of being a thief on more than one occasion, which I also am not. A body can only take so much. I promptly went home, wrote a resignation letter, and I quit.

Walking out of that hell hole was the most liberating thing I had EVER done in my entire life. The karma part of my brain provides solace in reminding me that she is utterly miserable in her job and I was happy at the mere prospect of leaving hell and going to work at a fast food restaurant.

This is also why God never gave me super brain powers. I would probably only use them for evil and blow up people’s heads with previously mentioned super brain powers. I’m not always good with balance. Thank God for karma. That tends to take care of it.

I was cruising the classifieds, prepared to go take a job as a waiter or bartender, when the most amazing job in the entire world fell into my lap. I got a job at WKU, my alma mater, to work in the Center for Literacy.

So yes, on Monday, August 16th, I quit the worst job I have ever had (which required a Master’s Degree but my income was so low I was almost in poverty), and on Thursday, August 19th, I got the best job I have ever had. I plan to stay at WKU forever.

I get along fantastically with my coworkers. I love my bosses. And better yet, at my last job, despite the claim that I was going to get to make a difference, I was allowed to do nothing. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was hired to be a token figure and absolutely nothing else. I got to make no difference whatsoever. At my new job, I am making a difference. I am educating people. I am a teacher again.

Can you tell how much I love my new job?

Oh, and a perk? I get six hours free tuition every semester, and Tina gets 50% off of six hours of tuition every semester. I’m starting my doctorate this spring with some elective coursework. I’m not in my actual Ed.D cohort yet, but that is coming very soon. So hopefully, in about three or four years, I’ll be able to say, “It’s Dr. Logsdon, but you can call me Jeremy.”

The wedding went off without a hitch on October 8th, and I got to marry my best friend. Best day of my life.

The next week was also awesome, as we spent it in perfect weather on the island of Antigua. I think I want to go back.

Sadly, money is a little tight right now, but I think that may simply be a requirement of being a newlywed. I’ve heard of VERY few newlyweds who were rolling in the dough. But it’s okay; Tina and I are paying our dues now, and really, I have absolutely nothing in the world to complain about.

What does 2011 hold? Well, that’s another post for another day. Probably Thursday. 🙂

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Time for Healthy Eating Again

The past two days have been amazing. I’ve had three different Christmases, first with Tina’s mom, then with my parents, and then with Tina’s dad. Siblings were present at all. I feel extremely blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful, loving people. Lots of gifts and lots of laughs were had.

Discounting the presence of family, which is of course awesome, the best part of this Christmas?

SNOW!!!

That’s right; south-central Kentucky had a White Christmas. At least sort of. Apparently, it is only officially considered a White Christmas if one inch of snow fall is recorded on Christmas Day. The five inches we got last night on Christmas Eve apparently doesn’t count. Whatever. I’m calling this one a White Christmas.

The only bad part about the holidays? The food.

I seriously expect that I have gained significant weight in just the last two days. I know a lot of people are waiting until January 1st, and you know what, that’s okay. I’ve done it MANY times before. But I’m not doing it this year. I am recommitting tomorrow.

December 26th, Sunday, will see me getting back on the diet hardcore.

Not joking – I literally feel fatter.

Tomorrow will see me eating healthy, tons of fruit and veggies, sticking to my points, and going to the gym for at least an hour of cardio.

I don’t regret a single thing about the past two days, though. I wouldn’t change a single bite.

It isn’t the overeating on the holidays that made me obese, after all. It was the overeating at every meal that made me obese.

I may gain a little weight at every single Christmas celebration for the rest of my life, and I am okay with that, because I am going to strive to make the vast majority of my meals healthy.

So, December 26th. A fresh reboot. Who’s with me in not waiting until 2011?

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He’s scary yet educational!

Expect a video from me on Sunday. This will be my last post before Christmas, as we’ll be heading out to enjoy the holidays with our families.

I did not have a weigh-in this week, as the Weight Watchers group I go to is a workplace one, so we won’t weigh-in again until January 4th. Tina and I also just got back from a short vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I’ll be posting all about that shortly on my travel blog, The Window Seat.

So this post is to serve only two functions. Here is the first.

If you are a horror movie fan, (I’m specifically looking at you, Craig), then there is a movie you MUST watch before Christmas night. (Oh, and a quick FYI – not really scary at all.)

Santa’s Slay.

It is the most amazing holiday movie ever, starring Bill Goldberg as Santa, the evil spawn of Satan and the Virgin Erica. One thousand years ago, he lost a bet with an angel that he had to be good, stop killing people, and even deliver toys to children for the next millennium. And this year, the 1,000 year bet is over.

Freaking awesome. It does not take itself seriously at all, and it had what may be my favorite movie line from any movie ever.

The two protagonists are waiting for 7 p.m. to arrive, as that is when midnight will occur at Greenwich, which they theorize will also mean Christmas is over at the North Pole. But seven o’clock hits, and the male protagonist says, “The clock just struck midnight at the pole. Christmas is officially over for you, Santa!”

To this, Santa replies, “You know, most people make the same mistake. The correct time at the pole is completely discretionary, because the poles are where all the time zones actually converge.”

And then my favorite line ever, given the female lead: “He’s scary yet educational.”

Here’s the trailer, and it does contain my favorite line. (Which happens to be spoken by Claire from Lost.)

Greatest holiday movie ever.

And this post’s other function: Merry Christmas. Have a joyous and wonderful holiday and enjoy your loved one’s company.

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Week 2: An Exercise is Good Weigh-In

This is just a quick post as I prepare to batten down the hatches for the ice storm allegedly coming through south-central Kentucky tonight. (I’m praying for it to miss us, as I DESPERATELY need to drive forty minutes to see my chiropractor for an adjustment as one of my pinched nerves has suddenly manifested as an extremely painful tingling in my lower right leg that I need to get fixed, asap.)

But this is Week #2 of my new Weight Watchers journey, and I’m calling this one an Exercise is Awesome Weigh-In.

Why such a wordy title? I’ve always known Exercise is Awesome. However, my original title was “Exercise is Awesome but Activity Points Suck Weigh-In” and that’s a little wordy.

On my first week, I decided to eat all of my activity points, but I forgot one big factor. I’m a big guy, and I work out much harder than your average weight watcher. That isn’t meant to be construed as a snarky statement, as I know there are weight watchers who do marathons and triathlons and lift weights and tons of zumba and everything else. In fact, I’m putting myself in their camp, as I do believe the hard-core exercise is a weight watcher rarity.

If those of us who work out hard eat all of our activity points, we can end up eating far too much. That’s exactly what happened to me. There were a few days I earned in excess of 20 points a day, just from my workout.

Well, what happened was I ended up overeating myself out of my workout benefits. I gained this week.

Week 2 Stats
355.6
Up two pounds from last week
Down 47.2 from my all-time highest

So next week, which technically starts today, I’m still exercising as much as I my crazy tingle-leg will let me, but I will not be eating those activity points.

Oh, and I’m also, starting tonight, working on my flexibility. I’m sure it will help me with my pinched nerve (and subsequently the leg tingle), it will be a major benefit when I start back to taekwondo (my reward for getting under 300 pounds again), and it’s just good for overall health, right?

Video coming soon!

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)