truth

I’ll add that to my list

hand pen writing plant

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Confession time: I am a list maker.

OK, not that I really need to confess that but what I have found is that I am perpetually making lists and sometimes I find that I am being held captive by my lists. Like, I look at a list and all I want to do is run away from it because it is overwhelming and though I have the list, I am not sure where I want to start.

I make lists at home.

I make lists at work.

I make lists on my phone. I make lists on little pieces of paper. I make lists in notebooks. I make lists in my head. I make lists on my computer. Grocery lists. Ideas to write about lists. Movies I want to see lists. Books I want to read lists. Places I want to go lists. Things I don’t really want to do but really should do lists. Things that need to get done ASAP and things that don’t need to get done ASAP.

I make lists.

Now, I might need to confess if I never really got anything done on my lists. I guess the real problem is the lists actually never end or go away. I get things done, but then add more things to the list – by creating a new list.

Example: I made of list of six things I wanted to get done over the weekend. I only get three of them done. So, I’ll add those three things to the list of things I want to get done next weekend. And the list goes on and on and on…it just grows!

Damn. I just realized as I was writing this blog that I have now created a list of my lists.

I am without a doubt – neurotic.

OK, I’ll just add that to my list of things that I am, and remove it from the list of things that I am not.

Sheesh.


So, how do you get through life? Are you a list maker? Do you feel overwhelmed by your lists or do you get freedom by making lists? 

Tell me what you do in the comments below.

Accountability of Weight: 1 year later

color colour fitness health

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This is the twelfth, and final, update on this project. I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

Not much gained…er, lost.

Yeah, that is incredibly discouraging. I mean really, the loss of weight over the last year really comes down to water (probably). I am disappointed. But, I guess I am not disappointed enough because, well, I didn’t really do the WORK needed to lose more weight than I did. I tried doing it via just monitoring what I ate and even then I didn’t really do a great job at it.

What I am trying to say is that I am disappointed in me, not the results. I made a commitment to myself to get healthier and I just didn’t follow through with it. I paid it lip service (as well as food, LOL) and just didn’t ever really make an effort. That realization sucks.

Highlights:

I learned some things about me and my aging body.

I can’t just watch what I eat, or how much, any more. I actually need to put some physical effort into it. My body doesn’t metabolize food like it used to and burning calories takes effort. I need to train my body to do it again.

As such, since the beginning of January, I have been on a pretty regular workout schedule. I am just building up stamina and getting some strength back, so I have a long way to go. BUT, that is the goal, right? To be consistent and to be mindful of the effort it takes to make things happen. I can already see changes in my physical structure – even if there isn’t evidence on the scale. I know it is important to keep that in mind!

Also, I visited my doctor to see what things, from their perspective would be good for me to change. This is kind of a big thing for me, since the last time I saw a doc was three years ago. So, there’s that. It was helpful and after a blood test I also learned that the cholesterol level is elevated and needs to come down. Nothing drastic at this point, but that adds additional motivation to the “diet and exercise changes” that have to happen.

Progress. Baby steps. One day at a time.

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

    3.0  = pounds lost as of the morning of 2/19/19

207.0  = current weight

If you have stopped by during this journey, if you have offered encouragement during this last year, THANK YOU. I appreciated the support and appreciated the suggestions. It may not have turned out like I thought or intended it would, but I learned some things along the way. That is for sure!

The journey has not ended. It will continue, but I won’t be updating it on here any more. Well, maybe not on a regular basis. Obviously, once I achieve the desired goal, I will certainly do some celebrating here – so stick around.

 

Accountability of Weight: Update #11

person on elliptical trainer

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is the eleventh update on this project. I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

As I predicted, “eating season” didn’t go well. Man, it is hard to lay off all the treats. As such, the weight that had been lost was all back at the first of the year. No progress.

Yeah, that doesn’t feel good, even if it was only a little progress. I’d like to say the scale is a lier, but it only tells the truth. The truth is that painful.

Highlights:

Weight loss doesn’t just happen from changing your diet. Sure you can probably do one of those fad diets and lose weight, but will it stay off? Probably not. As soon as you go back to eating, it’s gonna come back. It is only a matter of time. So, ….

Time to add more effort. I have been working out on the elliptical 4-5 days a week and still watching what I eat. Already I can tell a difference in posture and how I feel afterwards (energy up a little?). I am sleeping better and I am drinking more water as a result. The scale doesn’t show much progress yet, but I am convinced that this is the only way to lose the weight. It isn’t gonna happen just from cutting calories. There has to be more effort. Sweat equity. Time to build it.

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

    1.2   = pounds lost as of the morning of 1/14/19

208.8  = current weight

Your thoughts, encouragement, and good juju as the journey continues is much appreciated! If you have ANY words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated at this point.

 

Accountability of Weight: Update #10

This is the tenth update on this project. I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

I am sure you are all aware of this already, but we are getting into “eating season,” again, and it hasn’t been going well.

Cookies? Ok, I’ll eat those.

Donuts? Oh, sure why not.

Cake? Well, I haven’t had any of that today.

Going in the wrong direction anyone? I’ll take two steps back and a do not pass go, thank you.

Highlights:

I am thinking that I am gonna have to do something different and I am not sure what. This plan I had for the year just isn’t working like I was hoping it would and the results are just not there. No, wait, the results are there…just the wrong results. Right? So, the question is, I realize the way I am going about it now isn’t working so what am I going to do to change it?

Not sure that is a highlight, but a shred of something is a shred of something. I’m thinking that I am going to need some external help since the internal motivation just isn’t as high as I thought it was. Two months to go and something is really going to have to change!

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

    4.0   = pounds lost as of the morning of 12/18

206.0  = current weight

Your thoughts, encouragement, and good juju as the journey continues is much appreciated! If you have ANY words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated at this point.

 

Fake News and Media Evaluation

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In a world where “fake news” is a thing, whether on social media or on an actual network, and lots of people are looking for ways to back up their own opinion YOU can do something to be aware of your own bias. Everyone needs a wider view of the world and being informed in a well-rounded manner could only make things better.

I used to tell my students there was no such thing as unbiased media – everyone has a slant – and I stand by that statement. However, there are media resources/outlets that do their best to remain “neutral”, as hard as that may be. One thing we know, even if an outlet tries to remain bias free the person/people contributing the media still have a bias.

I recently found a source I wish I had known about while I was in the classroom. It would have been incredibly valuable! The site is called AllSides.com. The cool thing is that you can get news from across the political spectrum – the Left, Center, and the Right. So, if you are a news hound like I am, you can get your news from all perspectives, not just the ones Google thinks you want to see (remember, Google logs your clicks and searches so it progressively narrows the results you get based on your selections).

Allsides

AllSides.com site banner

An interesting part of this website is the ability to check your own bias. It has you take their short bias survey, but you also have the ability to complete a bias survey from Pew Research as well as a political party quiz from Pew (for confirmation of where you fall, specifically, or seriously have no idea). All together those surveys give you a pretty complete picture of your social and political bias.

From there, you can rate the numerous media outlets based on your perception of their bias. Of course, your opinion is only a small part of the overall bias rating. They take all the submissions (a sort of crowd-sourcing) and then use statistical research and methodologies to develop on over-all rating for the media source. The methods they are using is really quite interesting. For me, I agreed with the bias rating on about 70% of the media outlets. I gave my input and added it to the aggregate results.

Article

An example of what you would see at AllSides.com

The important thing here is that you are contributing to bias awareness. Why is that important? Well, too many American’s get their information from too few sources. If more Americans took time to look at the same topic from different sources/perspectives, they might understand the topic in a more well-rounded way. Instead, many Americans fall into or use a confirmation bias. This is dangerous, especially in a technological, highly connected society that is hyper-sensitive and hyper-politicized.

We have to (no, really NEED to) stop using just one source to support our argument. Or, even better, we need to stop using sources that fit our point of view. We need to encourage more media sources to go back to what they used to do – report, without editorial and bias. We need to stop trying to argue our points over social media and instead demand truthful, unbiased reporting.

I know. Maybe I am too hopeful that we can “turn this ship around”. But, I believe that if we are more aware of our own bias we might have a chance. I think using websites like this is a good first step in the right direction.

**Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement for the website mentioned above and I am in no way affiliated with the organization. Just a satisfied new user.**

Accountability of Weight: Update #9

food sandwich eat fitness

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This is the ninth update on this project. I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

I am sure you are all aware of this already, but we are getting into “eating season.” Yeah, that time of year where it seems to be endless gatherings centered around food and family and friends. We have had two birthday parties this month with copious amounts of food and we are just two weeks away from Thanksgiving. Then come the Christmas parties and more birthdays and then Christmas dinner. It that were not enough, that is followed one week later by New Years parties…this stretch between November 1 and January 2 is going to be a challenge for the waistline no doubt about it.

Any way, learning to maintain control and portion size it not an easy thing, right? I mean, after all, that is how be all tend to get out of shape and overweight so as eating season has returned I need a reminder every time I step up to the plate that I need to control myself and not go overboard. So far, reminders ignored. Am I a lost cause?

Highlights:

The elliptical is up and running after repairs and I have been using it a couple mornings each week before I telecommute for work. It has been good to get a sweat on before work (even if I am at home) and then get a shower in to head into the day refreshed. The time on the machine passes quickly with an episode (22 minutes) of Friends and some scrolling (8 minutes) on the phone.

If I were maintaining weight, I would be killing it! LOL I guess it is good that I haven’t really gained weight since I began the process. Obviously I am more aware of what I am doing, just motivated enough to take it to another level yet. Not sure why. But, again, there is nothing gained.

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

   7.4   = pounds lost as of the morning of 11/12

202.6  = current weight

Your thoughts, encouragement, and good juju as the journey continues is much appreciated! Slow, or lack of progress doesn’t feel good and so some extra motivation is helpful. If you have ANY words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated at this point.

 

Accountability of Weight: Update #8

blue tape measuring on clear glass square weighing scale

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is the eighth update on this project. I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

It has to get worse before it can get better, right? Isn’t that what we tell ourselves? Yes, I know, we shouldn’t do that but that is all I can hold on to at the moment…

Progress? Yeah, not so much. Holding steady? Yeah, pretty much. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be! In fact, it’s become a chore. I was hoping it wouldn’t get to this but now it feels like it will never get better. How do I change this attitude? Better yet, how do I change? There doesn’t seem to be any motivation left in me.

The elliptical I got used, broke. Well, not completely, but I am working on repairs and the parts are on their way.

Highlights:

I am still tracking the food intake, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference if I stay under the calorie count. Well, at least it isn’t making much difference in losing weight. It is helping to maintain where I am currently at – which is less than when I started but well above where I would like to be.

I can’t come up with any. It is hard to stay positive when you see little to no progress.

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

   7.2   = pounds lost as of the morning of 10/16

202.8  = current weight

Your thoughts, encouragement, and good juju as the journey continues is much appreciated! Slow, or lack of progress doesn’t feel good and so some extra motivation is helpful. If you have ANY words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated at this point.

 

Accountability of Weight: Update #7

This is the seventh update. Now, just over six months ago, I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

Excuses. Not gaining, but not losing. I need to do better and stop rationalizing my eating.

Highlights:

I decided to invest in a used elliptical trainer. I picked it up and reassembled it after having to disassemble it to get it into my car. It is now in the garage and I have used it about two weeks, at 15-20 minutes at a time. Boy, am I outta shape! I do have some repairs to do on it. The electrical cord was damaged in the move and the electronics have stopped working. So, repairs are in order and I am gonna have to find some parts. Hopefully I can make that happen this next weekend.

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

    7.4  = pounds lost as of the morning of 8/13

202.6  = current weight

Your thoughts, encouragement, and good juju as the journey continues is much appreciated! Slow, or lack of progress doesn’t feel good and so some extra motivation is helpful. If you have ANY words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated at this point.

It may be an uphill climb most days, but the view at the top is usually worth it!

Truman and Free Speech

Image result for harry truman

“There is no more fundamental axiom of American freedom than the familiar statement: In a free country, we punish men for the crimes they commit, but never for the opinions they have. And the reason this is so fundamental to freedom is not, as many suppose, that it protects the few unorthodox from suppression by the majority. To permit freedom of expression is primarily for the benefit of the majority because it protects criticism, and criticism leads to progress…But we would betray our finest traditions if we attempted…to curb the simple expression of opinion. This we should never do, no matter how distasteful the opinion may be to the vast majority of our people…We need not fear the expression of ideas—we do need to fear their suppression.”

– President Harry S. Truman

Context: fighting communism in the United States and around the world.

The emphasis above is mine. One of the most important freedoms we have is under attack and I’m afraid it will only get worse. The attacks are coming fast and furious and from every side. I doubt there will be a turn from this trend, only a charging straight into an unknown and dark future.

“We punish men for the crimes they commit, but never for the opinions they have”

We have sunk so low these days that we are punishing people for their opinions. I don’t mean we are legally punishing them, though I suspect we aren’t far off from this. (On second thought, maybe we are – see the baker, the florist, the photographer, the wedding venue, etc. being prosecuted because of their beliefs and opinions.)

We are now punishing people in the public arena via social media, sometimes even to the point of violence off-line. There is no crime in holding an opinion and expressing it, yet many people apparently believe it is these days. The trend to punish people for their opinions has gone to name calling, bullying, harassing, taunting, threatening, unfriending, embarrassing, humiliating, and in some cases even following through with physical violence simply because someone disagrees with another person’s opinion or disagrees with their extreme viewpoint.

Take this student photo article as an example. No harm done, to anyone, by her posting a photo she is proud of. It is easy to imagine that anyone would post a picture they have when they got it while interacting with someone famous. So, when did it become acceptable to treat someone so poorly because you disagree with them?

We teach our kids in school not to bully, harass, threaten, or otherwise make someone uncomfortable (Really? Because that’s reality…). Yet, there is no reasonable expectation among the adult world that this will carry forth into daily life. We aren’t practicing what we preach. It brings to mind that whole “Do what I say, not what I do” adage.

Now, it appears at least as adults, we celebrate people who go out of their way to bully, harass, or even attack others who have opinions that don’t line up with mainstream opinion. We are teaching our kids that it is ok to fight detestable and offensive opinions with violence and intimidation and bullying and harassment, etc. as long as we believe it to be repugnant.

The whole point of the United States and it’s foundation was to protect free speech, even the kind we find repugnant. Our Founders, who were persecuted for their beliefs and opinions, are celebrated because they fought against a society that believed their ideas were repugnant. (Back to the whole historical argument – were our Founders patriots or terrorists? It depends on your point of view.) Our Constitution is meant to protect all ideas and opinions, even the ones we don’t like, because we are supposed to have a “marketplace of ideas”. Take the ones you like and leave the ones you don’t. There is nothing in the Constitution about convincing others they are wrong by bullying and harassing them into changing their idea.

Truman understood that “To permit freedom of expression is primarily for the benefit of the majority because it protects criticism, and criticism leads to progress…”  He understood that if there is a problem in society it needed to be discussed and worked on until it was fixed. If there is a belief that our country is going in the wrong direction, then there needs to be open dialogue about it not suppression and violence.

If we become a society that suppresses ideas we don’t like or find repugnant, how do we move forward? Censorship at every corner and in every facet of life? I know everyone hates the cliche “slippery slope,” but we are seeing some prime examples these days. Where does the suppression of ideas or thoughts, or opinions end? What one person finds objectionable, another finds acceptable. Who gets to decide in a open and free society?

 

 

 

Accountability of Weight: Update #6

person on elliptical trainer

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This is the sixth update. The mid point. Half way. The in-between. Half full, half empty. Six months ago I started a year-long project of returning my physical self to a much lighter, and healthier, version of the past.

I’ll try to keep it short so as to not bore you with lots of details and try to just cover some of the lowlights and highlights, cutting to the chase at the end.

Lowlights:

Well, folks, I am in about the same place I was last month. I did, for a short time, lose an additional two pounds but I have gone back to where I was the month before. At least I can say I am consistent, right? Yeah, not exactly the kind of consistent I wanna be.

Highlights:

I have now done a week of pushups. 25 a day for 7 days. I should be doing 50 every day by the end of the month.

I have also decided to invest in a used elliptical trainer. I used to use one in the past when I was really getting things under control. That was about 10 years ago and at the time I was only about 8 pounds from my goal weight. A lot has changed in the last 10 years but I do know I can be successful using that tool so I am going to give it a shot again. I have seen some nice used ones on one of the sales apps, so I don’t think I will have to invest too much to make it happen. Once installed in the garage, it will be easier to have access on a regular basis.

The Chase:

210.0  = official starting weight 2/15/18

    6.2  = pounds lost as of the morning of 8/13

203.8  = current weight

Your thoughts, encouragement, and good juju as the journey continues is much appreciated! Slow, or lack of progress doesn’t feel good and so some extra motivation is helpful. If you have ANY words of wisdom, it would be much appreciated at this point…and if you are wanting to make a change too, perhaps a friendly challenge would be a good motivator.

It may be an uphill climb most days, but the view at the top is usually worth it!