Posts Tagged ‘wku’

Busy Summer

Have you ever had the best of intentions, and life just gets in the way?

In the past on this blog, I’ve spent some considerable time griping about the utter hell that was my previous job. Now, any time that I mention that work has been hectic, I always feel I need to disclaim, “It’s been busy, but it’s still great!”

Well, here comes that same disclaimer. This has been one of the busiest months of my professional career I have EVER had. However, it has been amazingly awesome.

Until this past weekend, I worked about fifteen days straight, with each workday consisting of, at a minimum, ten hours, and at the maximum end, around eighteen hours. A typical work day for the month of June has been about eight hours. I’ve taken a laptop home and set up a little workstation in my living room so I’m not completely ignoring my wife and pets.

I’ve been working on producing some very research-intensive PD modules. I have read a LOT of research this month. I’ve been dreaming about research. (And if you want to have a sucky dream, dream about research.)

I did a presentation last week at a conference. My presentation title was Buffy, Harry Potter, and Homer Simpson Help Teach Core Content. It was freaking awesome! I absolutely nailed it and got tons of kudos and accolades. Yay me!

Of course, preparing also took up a considerable amount of time.

But again, I absolutely adore my job. I adore everything about it.

I work in education. I should have next summer off with pay. That will be sweet. I did not have this summer off, but I did get paid. I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to work this summer with pay, regardless of how tired I’ve been.

That’s why my blog has been languishing for a bit.

That’s also why my weight loss efforts have been languishing. I’ve been hovering around the 370 mark for a while. I have to break through this. I’m setting myself the goal of being below 350 by the time the fall semester starts in late August. Tough but doable. I just have to stop eating so much food and move more. There isn’t really a secret formula; I know this.

I am going to resume weekly weigh-ins. I need that level of accountability. I’ve found myself dreading the scale a few times in the morning because I know that my lack of activity the day before and a few poor food choices are going to make me regret it. That’s not healthy, and it completely defeats my purpose of wanting to weigh in every day. So until I get in a mentally healthier place, I’m not doing that.

So on Friday, I’m going to weigh in. I’ll use my starting June weight of 375.3 as the previous weight.

I’m going to continue my dorkiness. In fact, I am continuing my dorkiness at the gym.

Tina and I finally switched gyms. We just signed up to use the Preston center on WKU’s campus (which is where I now work). In the past, I’ve been taking my portable DVD player to the gym. An amazing thing occurred to me the other day.

This gym is on WKU’s campus.

WKU has wi-fi all over campus.

I have an iPad and a Netflix account.

I can watch Netflix when I’m on the cardio equipment! Right now, I’m making my way through the series Power Rangers Mystic Force, which is the series that was airing when I stopped watching Power Rangers. It’s mega-dorky (of course), but I love it because all of the fight scenes inspires me to push myself even harder when I’m on the elliptical. I just wedge my iPad on the magazine rack, set the time, and enjoy. Obviously I can’t watch Netflix when I’m lifting weights, but I only get bored doing cardio, so it works out pretty well.

I have other good news.

Tina just got her first big girl job! Best yet – she also is coming to WKU to work. With both of us working here, that means we have the top-tier insurance for free. That alone equals a $210 a month savings, because I can now take her off of my insurance.

She also will get free tuition. She’s starting her Master’s degree this fall.

This job is one of the best thing that could have ever happened. This will also help us pay off our debts and get us in a great position to potentially start a family soon.

Things are coming up great. Now I have the rest of the summer to get my weight loss efforts on track, too, and things are golden!

I will be reviewing an episode of the Power Rangers before Friday when I do my next weigh-in.

How has your summer been?

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A Well-Oiled Machine Weigh-In

Let me first share with you a fun little tip I just discovered. Don’t go to Google Images and search for well-oiled machine without expecting a LOT of interesting images turn up. Hoo boy. However, I did find a suitable image for this blog post, and here it is.

So why is this a Well-Oiled Machine Weigh-In?

Because that’s what I am right now. I’m a well-oiled machine. I’m doing what works, I’m counting my points, I’m working out like a fiend, and I am making progress! And that’s going to be even more important in the next six weeks, which I’ll explain in just a moment.

May 10, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 359.8
Today’s Weight: 357.7
Change from All-Time High: -45.1 pounds
Change from Last Week: -2.1 pounds

I lost 2.1 pounds! Woo hoo! Nothing new, really. I just counted all of my points, stayed away from my trigger foods, and I hit the gym daily. Okay, that’s not entirely true. One day’s workout consisted of an hour and a half of sweat-drenched work out in our new garden (post on that coming soon), but I’m considering that a good workout.

Anyway, I have my routine down finally, and I just hope that sticking to this will keep the pounds coming off. I’ll happily and joyfully take two pounds a week. After all, that’s 104 pounds in a year.

So why is it now especially important that I have my routine?

I’m starting work on my second Master’s Degree!

I’ve shared here many times before that I work at WKU, my alma mater. One of the perks of being an employee of WKU is that you get 18 hours of free tuition every year, six in the spring, six in the summer, and six in the fall. For someone like me who ADORES school, that’s a dream come true. I can’t believe I waited until now, ¾ of the way through my first year to begin.

I desperately want to start work on my doctoral degree, but for as badly as I want to do that, I can tell that now is not the right time. For one thing, the doctoral degree I want (the one that will advance my career) is not available here at WKU but would require a 90 minute commute to the University of Louisville on at least once a week (and probably two days a week at some points during my coursework). The commute doesn’t scare me. Lots of people here in Bowling Green commute to Louisville to work on their doctorate while maintaining a full time job at WKU. It can be done.

However, I’m just not in the right place for that at the moment, and I have three reasons.

The first is financial. Tina and I are still newlyweds. She’s graduating on Saturday. Frankly, we’re kinda poor. While there would be a tuition break for going to an in-state school, I can’t afford tuition OR the commute at the moment. And I’m not sure my car would like it, either. (In fact, our next big purchase is going to be a new car, because my 2002 Mustang with 194,000 miles would like to retire.)

The second is family related. Tina and I want to have babies in the foreseeable future. I don’t want to spend a lot of their infancy and toddlerhood working on my doctorate. While I know a Master’s is a lot of work, too, I can only imagine how much more a doctorate is. Plus, since I would be doing my doctorate part time, it would take even longer. Right now, I picture me starting a doctorate when our yet-to-be-born kid is around 4 or so. Maybe not; I don’t know. I might wait ‘til they are teenagers. Who knows? I just know that the time is not right at this particular moment.

The third is health related. Other than a slight case of morbid obesity, my health is fine, but I want to get this obesity under control. I’ve got several years of hard work ahead of me in losing weight. I don’t want to have to fight to lose my weight while doing 700-level coursework. Plus, and this may be a pipe dream, but I want to be crazy fit, like six-pack ab fit, when I become Dr. Logsdon.

Welcome to College Literacy, freshmen. Has anyone seen my shirt?

I’m basing a lot of my decisions on the fact that there will be a combined three hour commute for every day I had to go to Louisville’s campus, as well as the added rigor of doctoral coursework. At the moment, I am not ready.

But as I said, I am ready to start back to school, so I’ve decided to at least get a leg up by working on my second Master’s. My first is in Secondary Education (which is funny, as I no longer teach high school. However, I do teach college freshman, and really, they aren’t that much different). My next Master’s will be in Library Media and Educational Technology.

I’m in a fantastic position to grow my career and vita now with Master’s coursework and career experiences, so that when I do begin my doctoral work (in the next five to seven years, I hope), I’ll be physically fit and ready to impress the academic world with my amazing dissertation on the use of popular culture to help teach literacy.

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WKU and Snowfall

I’ve shared a few times on here that I work at Western Kentucky University. WKU is my alma mater, and I cannot express in words how utterly thankful I am to have the job I have. I’ve never gotten to experience the sensation of “loving your job” and I do here. It’s an unreal experience. I know that is largely due to the people I work with and for and not simply having a job at WKU, but I do love my job now, and that’s a blessing. I have had jobs I’ve tolerated, I’ve even had jobs I liked, but after my last job that I HATED, I just really feel like every day at WKU is truly a gift.

Seriously. I went from a job that was so awful I kept a towel in my car because sometimes I would wretch so hard on the drive to work that I would have to clean myself up before I could go in the building to now working at a job that I LOVE. Oh, and it pays better, too. (Note to any of my bosses that may be reading this: I will still happily accept more money. WKU doesn’t pay THAT much better.)

But this post isn’t about me rehashing the hell of my last job (although I reserve the right to return to that in a future post because I’m still not sure I’ve said everything I have to say about that hellishness). This post is instead about me singing the praises of two of my favorite things that combine into one beautiful thing.

WKU’s campus and snow!

We don’t get a ton of snow here in south central Kentucky. In my entire life, I’ve only ONCE seen a snowfall that was over a foot deep, at sixteen inches. No photos, because this was in the days BEFORE digital cameras and I couldn’t even begin to guess where the old film pictures of that snowstorm from my senior year of high school in 1996 even are.

But I love snow. I’m sure if I lived in a place where it was a blanket of white from November to March I’d change my mind (or not – anyone want to sponsor me for a trip to
Antarctica?), but I really, really, really love the snow. We usually get four or five decent snows a year, and for us, a decent snow is three to six inches.

For the past week, we’ve been in the middle of a “sunny” spell with no chance of snow. All of my facebook friends keep posting crap like, “Yay, no more snow.” Bastards. I want more snow!

Well Monday, I got my wish. Rather unexpectedly, too, as just last night, the weather guys didn’t seem to see this one coming. So as I was leaving campus Monday afternoon, I got to walk to my car in a very wet, heavy snow. I know this isn’t much for some of you, but for me, this was nice. And I was really struck by how beautiful our campus is with the snow.

It snowed all Monday night, and the campus was even more beautiful today during the day. However, I wanted to share these photos taken of a very small part of campus from the 3rd level of the parking structure where I park every day. It was magic. Snow and my beloved workplace at the same time.

I really do like winter.

Oh, and this last final picture was as I was slowly driving down the off-ramp of the parking garage. I dunno; it just looked beautiful and a little magical, with the snow falling down the spiral. Sorry. I turn into a little kid a bit when it snows.

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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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Direct Life Giveaway Contest Entry

I recently came across one of the most amazing giveaways I have ever seen in the blogging world.

Foodie McBody (if you name your child that, she is guaranteed to grow up fit – Tina and I are naming out firstborn Fitness T. Worksoutalotberg) is hosting a giveaway for a Direct Life Activity Monitor, plus a year’s worth of free coaching.


Holy crap. That’s a huge giveaway.

I’ve considered buying the BodyBugg, but I just got married, we have debt of various sorts, and we don’t have $300 lying around for me to try out a product that I mostly know about from the Biggest Loser.

However, Ms. McBody (can I call you Foodie?) has heartily endorsed hers for a while now, and given that she doesn’t work for DirectLife but is just a client, I consider that a pretty ringing endorsement. I’ve considered buying one, and if I don’t win (*tear), then I may have to splurge on one somewhere down the road. As in way down the road. Maybe a birthday present to myself in April. 2015.

But I want to win. Aside from the fact that I like free stuff, her giveaway is more than just a random-entry-wins contest. If you go to her page here, you can see how to enter. Basically, a 250 word blog post or a 2 minute video can do it.

Apparently, I’m doing both.

Here’s the video, lovingly created in front of my Christmas tree.

And you are currently reading the blog post which is starting to feel a tiny bit random.

I have tweeted, I have followed Direct Life (I already follow Ms. McBody, and you should, too), and I have videoed and blogged.

Basically, I want one because I truly have no idea how many calories I’m burning. I lift weights and do cardio, and I’m very excited because I’m about to start Weight Watchers’ PointsPlus. I’m literally on fire right now with the excitement of losing weight.

Er, wait. Not literally. Figuratively. Because literally would be awkward.

And painful.

My last reason for wanting a DirectLife Activity Monitor? I work at Western Kentucky University. And although our sports mascot is called Big Red and he looks basically like Grimace from McDonald’s, we are called the Hilltoppers because our entire campus is one big hill.

I walk up and down that hill a LOT. I work on the fourth floor of my building at WKU. I’m sure I’m clocking lots of activity I don’t even know how to count, and the curious part of my brain would love to know. And even better yet, when I get home and after the gym, if I’m not where I should be, then I can throw the leash on the dog and take a quick walk up the street.

It doesn’t appear that a lot of people have entered this giveaway yet, so if you think you are interested, you should do so, but hurry, because her contest is over December 6th.

Except don’t enter. Because I want to win, and you entering would lower my chances. Pick me!

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