In Review

One Resolution Accomplished

It’s 10:43 p.m. Central time, and I just realized I haven’t yet posted today. I can’t miss today; I may actually be able to blog every day in February! This is a big post, too.

Yesterday, I successfully crossed one of my 2011 Resolutions off of my list.

I didn’t go to Vegas.

I didn’t lose 120 pounds.

I didn’t get my book published.

But I did finally build a snowman!

Yay! This is my first ever snowman. The snow was pretty powdery when it first fell and just wouldn’t hold together. There are rumors that this may be the last snow of the season for us. I really hope not, even though this was a really fun snow that even gave me a snow day from work. Who even gets those anymore?

However, we did get about four or five inches, which is decent for us, and I knew if I wanted to build a snowman, this was pretty much the last chance to do it before MAYBE this December.

So yesterday when I got off work, Tina and I bundled up and tried our best.

The snow didn’t really stick together like I was hoping. We had to almost immediately abandon our plans to make a man-sized snowman. However, I refused to just pile the snow into a pile and put a face and scarf on it. I wanted to actually roll out balls and stack them.

So we did! This little guy, about three feet tall, was as tall as we could get it, but we were very proud of him.

So that is one Resolution crossed off the list. It felt nice.

Now to work on the others…

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January Resolutions Update

2011 is shaping up to be a good year. I made some big resolutions, and rather than make them and just hope they were accomplished by December 31, 2011, I decided to break them up into small, manageable goals. Every month, I plan to report on how I’ve done and set goals for the next month.

So how have I done? The bold is my resolution and below it is what I wanted to accomplish in January.

One quick note – a lot of bloggers (present company included) make a big deal about labeling everything as a failure or a success. I’m not going to curse myself with the word Fail for those goals I did not accomplish as I had planned. I will therefore have successes and Not Yets.

Lose 120 pounds.
January’s Goal: To get below 350
The verdict: Not yet. I’m not going to beat myself up, though. I weigh 358 right now. I weighed 364.2 when the year started. That is six pounds. Is it amazing? Nah, it’s okay. But what is amazing is that even if my weight loss doesn’t increase, I will still weigh 72 pounds less on January 1, 2012, and THAT is amazing.
February’s Goal: To get below 352

Bench press 180 pounds.
January’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.
The verdict: Not yet. When I got my eye infection, I got grounded from the gym, and I didn’t put the time in on my bench press early in the month like I should have. I am still benching 135.
February’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.

Eat 52 new vegetarian dishes over the course of the year.
January’s Goal: Report on all four January dishes and plan out all four of February’s.
The verdict: Success! I ate Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas, Savory Sweet Potato Chips, Spicy Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Asparagus. I have my vegetarians dishes planned for February as well.
February’s Goal: Report on all four February dishes and plan out all four of March’s.

Become an ACE certified personal trainer with at least two clients by year’s end.
January’s Goal: Study through Chapter Four of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.
The verdict: Not yet. When I made this goal, I’ll admit to having only skimmed the book. I suspected this textbook (a good thick textbook, too) would have twenty or so chapters. Nope, only five. Five chapters of about 100 pages each it seems. But I did do some work, albeit not as much as I planned. I have to get cracking, though. My testing certificate expires in August!
February’s Goal: Study through Chapter Two 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.
January’s Goal: Write at least 12,000 words on the tentatively titled Athena Institute.
The verdict: Not yet. However, I made some headway, and I’m grateful for that. I may have not written 12,000 words, but I did write 3,648.
February’s Goal: Write 8,000 more words on my young adult novel.

Attempt to have my watercolor paintings put up in the gallery at the local library.
January’s Goal: Come up with theme for series and paint at least seven paintings in said series.
The verdict: Not yet. But wow, that was ambitious. I have decided on my theme, which is going to be Fitness and Weight Loss. I have not yet painted a single painting, however.
February’s Goal: Paint at least two paintings in my series.

Create an online store to sell my photographs, space paintings, and watercolor paintings (and other arty things, including light-up wine bottles).
January’s Goal: Open store.
The verdict: Not yet. I picked out some photographs to sell, and I’ve rounded up some wine bottles, and I’ve even started the process of making my store, but I haven’t actually put anything into it yet.
February’s Goal: Open store.

Build my first ever snowman.
January’s Goal: If there is a snow in January (and there better be), build a snowman. Complete with scarf and carrot nose.
The verdict: Not yet. We had a few tiny snows, but nothing more than two inches or so.
February’s Goal: Make a snowman, even if it is a tiny snowman.

Send 100 letters out through The Mail Project.
January’s Goal: Send out eight letters.
The verdict: Not yet. I mailed out one letter.
February’s Goal: Mail out fifteen letters, eight for February and seven that I missed in January.

Take Tina to Las Vegas after she graduates.
January’s Goal: Put aside $100 to help pay for trip.
The verdict: Back burnered, at least for a while. Tina and I have quite a bit of credit card debt. Far more than I am comfortable having. We will have paid off one credit card entirely here in the next few weeks, but we still have one to go. I can’t in good conscience go on a vacation when I have bad debt. I still hope to take Tina to Vegas before the year is over (maybe over Christmas break this year), but I have to take care of our bad debt first.
February’s Goal: Put this one on the back burner until May 2011 when I re-evaluate our finances.

Visit at least one more National Park.

January’s Goal: See above, in saving up for Vegas trip.
The verdict: Ditto. Not yet.
February’s Goal: Reference the Vegas trip.

Begin work on my doctorate.
January’s Goal: Successful start classes this Spring semester, which begins January 24th.
The verdict: Not yet. The online class I had hoped to take ended up not happening through the fault of no one. It just didn’t make. It looks like any post-graduate work will have to wait until summer at the soonest.
February’s Goal: Back burnered until May 2011.

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