Saturday, June 30, 2012

No Longer Obese!

I have never been what you would call a slender person.  For most of my life I have struggled with my weight.  I can trace the beginning of my weight problems back to the summer between 3rd and 4th grade.  As summer break began, I started to develop stiffness in my legs.  They never were sure what the problem was but thought it was either rheumatic fever or a reaction to a rubella shot.

As a result, I spent most of the next 9 months in bed.  For a 10 year old boy who was used to running around playing ball all summer, to be stuck in bed was awful.  There was nothing to do but eat and watch television.  I couldn't even walk.  My father would have to carry me to the car to take me to the doctor.  By the time it was all over, I had gained a bunch of weight and my muscles had atrophied to the point that I had to learn how to walk again.

When I went back to school, I was no longer an average looking kid.  I was fat and wearing husky sized clothes.  Add to that having to get glasses and it was a tough time for me.  Eventually, I went through a growth spurt and grew taller.  My weight stayed the same, so I was able to slim down a good bit as I entered junior high and high school.  Though slimmer, I was never thin.  I guess you could describe me as sturdy.

During those days and college, I became a lot more active.  I participated in a lot of sports and did a lot of weight lifting.  All of that activity kept me in pretty good shape, though I never really ate right.  I just felt like it afforded me the opportunity to eat and drink what I want.  Eventually, after college, I got my first 9-5 job.  My activity level decreased, and I started to gain weight again.  I think I gained 30 pounds that first year.

The problem was that as time went by, my responsibilities grew at work. I became less active overall but kept the same eating habits.  So the weight started to pile on.  It used to amaze me to see former professional athletes gain a bunch of weight after they retire.  They kept the same calorie intake, but didn't have the output.  Let's face it, even Michael Phelps would look like Jabba the Hut if he stopped training kept eating like he does now.

A couple months ago, I decided to take the plunge and start a new was against the battle of the bulge.  I decided to once again use the MyFitnessPal app on my phone to keep track of my calories.  I decided to set a goal of losing one pound per week to calculate the amount of calories that I could consume each day to lose weight. However, I also have made a conscientious decision to try to stay far enough below my goal to try to lose a little more each week.

I set for myself an overall goal to lose 60 pounds.  This would be enough to put my BMI into the healthy range.  Whenever one takes on the task of trying to achieve a monumental goal it helps to break the goal into smaller individual goals.  My first goal was to get my weight down to where my BMI was under 30 so that I would no longer be clinically obese.  That goal was achieved when I weight in this morning.  Now I am just overweight.  It is a nice psychological barrier.

My next goal is a little bit closer to hitting than the first one was.  I needed to lose 21 pounds to get my weight out of the obese range.  My next goal is to get my weight down to under 200 pounds, so I only have about nine pounds to go.  Beyond that, I have either one or two goals remaining and I reserve the right to adjust them somewhat.

I feel as if 180 pounds would be a nice healthy weight for me.  It is definitely much better for me than the 230 pounds I was sporting six weeks ago.  Technically, according to the BMI charts, 175 pounds would be the upper range of the healthy range for my height.  That is why I have set 170 pounds as my initial overall goal.  So far it is going well.  I just hope that I can keep with it and then keep it off when I get to where I want to be.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Big Day for Political Junkies

Eric Holder - Caricature
Eric Holder - Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)
Tomorrow looks to be like a very busy news day here in the DC area for political junkies.  First off, and probably the most important news will be the expected announcement by the Supreme Court regarding the Constitutionality of Obama's health care reform bill.  The other big news will be the House of Representatives plan to vote to cite Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his constant refusal to comply with a House subpoena regarding turning over documents dealing with the Fast and Furious scandal.

It probably won't come as a big surprise that I do not hold the Attorney General in very high regard.  Racebaiters and liberals would probably accuse my opposition to Holder, like my opposition to President Obama, due to the fact that he has a darker pigmentation that I do.  Sadly, that tired rhetoric from the left is getting old.  Nope, the fact of the matter is that everything Holder stands for, and for that matter Obama, is in complete anathema to my personal beliefs.

So far, there is at least one House Democrat who has already come out and said that he plans to vote in favor of holding Holder in contempt.  That would be Utah Representative Jim Matheson.  In addition, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, who happens to be my Representative in Congress, said he expects that there will be other Democrats to vote in favor of the contempt citation.  As an aside, I hold Hoyer (who happens to be white) in the same disdain as Holder and Obama, so my beef is clearly ideological and not racial, but I digress.  I am glad to see that there will be some bipartisan support of the contempt citation as it will give it a bit more teeth.

Washington DC: United States Supreme Court
Washington DC: United States Supreme Court (Photo credit: wallyg)
The other big news expected tomorrow will be the announcement by the Supreme Court on the Constitutionality of Obamacare and the individual mandate that all must buy health insurance or face a penalty.  There are a number of ways that the court could go on this.  I have heard a number of more conservative commentators expect that at the very least the individual mandate could be declared unconstitutional but let the rest of the law stand.  Since the individual mandate is also said to be the linchpin of the entire law, then the whole law might be struck down.  Of course the possibility exists that the whole law may stand.

Personally, I can not understand why anybody who can get health insurance wouldn't want to have it.  When I first started working and became eligible for my own health insurance through work, I jumped at the opportunity, even though I was still a minor and on my parents policy.  Even though I was young and healthy, I also played a lot of sports and had my fair share of injuries.  I wanted to have insurance to cover the costs of any x-rays and what not.  Still, the Libertarian, less government side of me bristles at the thought of the government dictating to me that I have to buy something and the type of product I must buy.  I'd prefer to keep my liberty rather than turn it over to the government.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Music Monday-Hootie & the Blowfish "Time"

I have featured the solo work of Darius Rucker as Music Monday picks, but it occurred to me that I haven't featured his work with Hootie & the Blowfish.  So, here we go.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.   PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cowboy Monkey Rodeo

I have been looking forward to this day since I first saw it on the promotional calendar for my hometown Bowie Baysox.  Today was Country Day at the ball park and as part of the entertainment between innings the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo was on display.

Let's face it.  I am a guy.  I like sports, and like most guys, I like monkeys.  If you want to have a hit commercial during the Super Bowl, you have monkeys in the ad.  Now, combine baseball and monkeys and you have the ultimate in guy entertainment.

Oh yeah, and there was also a baseball game which the Baysox won handily.  A great day at the ballpark.

Dude Write
Drop by Dude Write to check out this and other blog posts by the dudes that are participating this week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Time for June Break

Tomorrow is the end of the current school year for our son.  My wife will be heading out in the early morning to go pick him up and bring him home for one of his longer breaks, two weeks.  He is set to head back to school on July 5th, which will allow a nice visit home.

The program that my son is on with his school is essentially a 12-month program with the new year starting in July.  The July session usually runs about 5 or 6 weeks and then a second summer break in August.  During the August break we will take our annual trek out to Ocean City.

With the beginning of this June break, I will be taking a rare weekend off of my weekend pizza delivery gig as we have a lot of activities planned over the next two weeks.  Friday night is Autism Awareness night at the  Bowie Baysox stadium.  It is one of the nights we make sure to attend during the season.

Saturday night, my in-laws are having a party to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  My son is looking forward to attending the party.  I am just hoping that he will be well behaved.  Normally at events like this we have to worry about keeping him entertained.

Sunday, we have another Baysox game on the calendar.  As soon as the promotional calendar was released and I saw Sunday's promotion I knew that we would have to attend the game.  Sunday is country day and will feature the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo.

I googled Cowboy Monkey Rodeo and discovered that they have monkeys dress up like cowboys and ride dogs around like horses.  Let's face it, as a guy, you just can't beat a day of baseball and monkeys.  I will definitely be trying to get some good photos for the blog.

In addition to all the fun stuff we have planned, we also have a lot of other not so fun things we have to take care of before he returns to school.  Each year, he has to have a check up from his doctor and a form filled out from his dentist.  Both of those should  be an adventure.  We will see how the next two weeks impact the amount of time I spend blogging.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Music Monday-Phil Stacey "Hard to Get"

Just prior to his untimely death in an automobile accident, Rich Mullins had recorded some very rough demos that would later be released as a 2-CD set entitled The Jesus Record. One CD was the rough demos of Rich performing the songs. The second CD was several of Christian Contemporary Music's biggest starts performing the songs.

Even though I am not currently involved with a church, I still like to listen to Christian music and read Christian books. Whenever I feel like things are particularly closing in around me or I just feel small in the face of everything, there are two Rich Mullins songs that become a prayer for me.

The first one is Hold Me Jesus which I featured in the Music Monday post here. The second one is this song from The Jesus Record, performed by Phil Stacey.  The lyrics are unbelievably moving.
Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.   PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

II would like to take this opportunity to wish all of the dads out there a happy Father's Day.  Today is my 18th Father's Day as a dad.  I have to confess that I am a little depressed this morning since my son is away at school, and I will not have the opportunity to see him.  We could go out for a visit, but since he is coming home in a couple of days, we decided to wait until Thursday.

One of the things that crossed my mind this morning as I was moping around missing my son was the night that he was born.  I remember it well.  The entire time my wife was pregnant, I was going with her to her appointments.  I couldn't wait to be a father.  On April 6th, 1994, my wife received a phone call around 10pm from her OB/GYN.  He was at the hospital delivering another baby and asked my wife if she was ready to have her baby.  She said she felt fine.

I went to sleep shortly after she hung up from that phone call.  A few hours later, around 1am or so, my wife woke me up.  She told me that she thought that her water broke.  We left the house and headed to the hospital.  On route, we encountered a heavy rain storm and I had to have the windshield wipers on high.  We arrived at the hospital around 2am and headed to the emergency room.  An initial examination confirmed that her water had broken but that our son had not dropped into position for delivery.

They took us up to a room on the maternity wing of the hospital and had my wife rest in bed.  We were told that they wanted to have us wait for a while to see if our son would drop into position on his own, otherwise they might have to induce labor.  After a few hours, they determined that they were going to have to induce labor as my son had decided he didn't want to leave the warmth and comfort of the womb to enter the cold cruel world on the outside.

As they set everything up for the pitocin IV, they asked my wife if she wanted to have an epidural.  She replied in the affirmative.  Shortly after the IV began, she started to have some contractions.  However, they must have set the initial drip too high as she started to have contractions that were much too quick and much too hard.  They slowed the drip down to a more manageable level.  My wife was even able to get a few hours sleep, but I was too keyed up to get any rest.

As evening rolled around, it was time to get serious about the delivery.  Finally, my wife was suitably dilated and was ready to enter the pushing stage.  I did my best to try to be a supportive helper during the delivery.  Like Bill Cosby, I was the cheerleader, "Push him out, shove him out, way out!"  In spite of our requests to not have anybody come up to the hospital since we did not know how long we would be, my entire family was in the waiting room.  Finally, around 9pm, our son came into the world.

The entire time that my wife was pregnant, we did not want to know the sex of our baby.  Every sonogram, they asked if we wanted to know, each time we said no.  I honestly did not care if we had a boy or a girl at the time.  We had names picked out for either event.  Our baby's bedroom was painted light green with teddy bears to be gender neutral.  However, I confess, that when the doctor told us we had a baby boy, my chest stuck out a little further than I anticipated.

After he was cleaned up and my wife was able to rest a bit, my family came in to see us.  My son was the first grandchild of my parents.  After they left, I visited a bit with my wife and son until she was ready to go to sleep.  I headed home and stopped by Grace's Fortune in Bowie to pick up an order of Kung Pao Chicken. Exhausted, I hit the bed and slept.  I have been exhausted ever since, but it has been worth it.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Office Grumblings

I am participating in the Dude Write Starting Lineup this week where you can find posts by a bunch of other bloggers who happen to be dudes.

I spend most of my time working.  Monday through Friday I leave the house before 7am and usually get home around 7pm.  I work Friday and Saturday night at my part time job.  Consequently, outside of my family, most of my friends are in the office.

One of my coworkers is a guy who is about 20 years younger than I am.  We get along great.  Mainly because we are so much alike.  We like the same things, and the same things tend to easily irritate us.  I have had over 50 years to turn into a cranky old man.  Sometimes I wonder how bad my friend will get when he gets to be my age.

We work on the same floor as a couple other departments in our company.  We do not have a lot of interaction with the other departments, so we do not know very many of those folks by name.  Still, there are some of those folks who have somehow irritated us in some way, shape, or form.  Those people have earned nicknames from the two of us.

There is one guy on our floor that we refer to as "Mr. Personality."  He is an older looking guy with totally white hair.  He walks around with a cup of coffee and a perpetual scowl on his face.  There have been times when a group of us were in an elevator and all getting off on the same floor.  This guy will blast out of the elevator cutting everyone off while my friend and I let the ladies exit first.

There is another guy on our floor that we simply refer to as "Shredder."  He is a tall guy who actually looks a little bit like a young Glenn Beck.  The reason we call him "Shredder" is a particular habit that he has.  Like a lot of us, Shredder uses a paper towel to open the rest room door upon exit.  Unlike the rest of us, rather than throw the used towel in the trash, he places in the secure documents bin that get sent to the shredder.  It is like he is trying to hide something.

The last guy I will introduce you to is a guy we refer to as "Bathroom Boy."  Bathroom Boy would remind me of a minor Simpsons character if his skin were more yellow.  My company does a lot to try to conserve electricity.  They have switched over to LED lighting and the restroom lights are equipped with motion detectors so that if they do not detect movement over a period of time, about 10-15 minutes, the lighting will dim.

One morning, I entered the restroom and the lights came on.  However, Bathroom Boy was in the center stall of t
oilets.  I took an adjacent stall and took care of my business.  While I was in the stall, I could detect no movement in the adjacent stall.  No naturally occurring bodily functions, no movement, no sound of toilet paper rolling off the roll.  The only thing I noticed was the phone case attached to the belt in the stall next to me.

My desk just happens to be right outside of the restrooms on our floor.  Talk about your prime real estate. Location, location, location as they say.  It was several minutes later that Bathroom Boy eventually left the men's room.  I figure he must have been in there a good 45 minutes.  Over the next several days, I notice the pattern repeat itself every morning.

Now I enjoy a good crap as much as the next guy, but I don't think I have ever spent 45 minutes at a time on the throne.  On those occasions when I have had to take a rather long constitutional, I know that I haven't been completely still or silent.  Believe you me, there are definitely naturally occurring bodily function noises coming out of me during those times.  Makes me wonder if Bathroom Boy is just starting off his day with a quick power nap.

Now, don't get me wrong.  Most of the people that work on my floor are perfectly normal, and haven't slighted us (real or imagined) in the least.  I think it is just our way of throwing a little entertainment into our day.  There is one other nickname we have for somebody on our floor, Miss Spectacular.  I will leave it up to your imagination as to why.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

User Testing

I am always on the lookout to try to earn a little extra money now and then.  Over the years, I have been a participant in a couple of different survey companies that earned me a few hundred dollars.  Through a variety of sponsored post companies, I have made a little bit of money writing reviews on this blog.  I even have made a few buck through some sponsored tweets on Twitter.  None of these activities have generated a tremendous amount of money, but every now and then it is handy to transfer $50-$100 from my Paypal account to my bank account.

A few weeks ago, I was browsing the Amazon website looking for books for my Kindle when I came across 10 Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online by MJ Wolfe.  The price was right at the time, free, so I went ahead and downloaded the book.  As I write this, the ebook is currently selling for $4.77.  The book itself is very short but contains some worthwhile information.

There were a couple of things that I found in the pages that I might be able to do to earn a little bit of extra cash.  Then there were some that were not of any interest at all.  The first one that I have decided to give a shot is user testing through  Participants have the opportunity to perform usability testing for companies to give them feedback on how easy or difficult it is to navigate their websites.  Each test takes about 15 minutes or so to complete and the testers are paid $10 for their work.

I decided to sign up last night.  The first thing that I had to do was to perform a test assignment.  To do the testing and be a participant, you do need to have a microphone to attach to your computer.  You simply do the tasks and record your thoughts to give feedback as you navigate the sites.  I have already started to receive potential testing opportunities, but thus far have not met the demographics that the clients were looking for at the time.

Again, it is not going to be something that will get me to quit my day job, but if I can do a few jobs per week.  I was lucky enough to find the book while it was free, but $4.77 really isn't a lot to invest, especially if you can end up making $10 with just one usability test through
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Music Monday-Keb Mo "We Don't Need It"

I saw this video the other day on Great American Country television. I was really kind of surprised to see Keb Mo on a country station as he is more closely tied to Blues, though he did do an awesome cover of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues. I am not sure that I would classify it as a "country" song, but it is definitely a country theme.  The man loses his job, doesn't want to disappoint his family, but discovers that family is all that is important.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.   PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fossil River

Conditions are ripe in this country for a potential energy crisis in the future.  The environmental movement has made it increasingly difficult to drill for oil. The Environmental Protection Agency has put policies in place that make it difficult for coal fired power plants to be built or to even remain open. For all of its potential, alternative forms of green energy has not proven to be a fruitful enterprise.  Any hint of unrest in the Middle East can send oil prices rising.

Fossil River by Jock Miller takes place in the relatively near future of the United States.  The country is faced with an energy crisis.  OPEC has reached a deal with China to send an increased percentage of their production their way.  Unrest in the rest of the Middle East has further reduced the supply of oil.  On top of that, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico has reduced dramatically US domestic production of oil.

With the strategic oil reserves set to be bone dry in a matter of weeks, the President of the United States launches an all out search for domestic supplies of oil.  As luck would have it, they find a huge oil field in a very remote area if the Noatak National Preserve in Alaska.  An all out effort is made to verify the find and to find a way to tap into that oil field to prevent the country from falling into a depression to rival the Great Depression.

The first team of scientists enter the area to try to confirm the find.  They are flown into the area by Scott Chandler, a decorated helicopter pilot of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, of the Fish & Wildlife Service.  None of the team, with the exception of Chandler, makes it out alive as they are attacked by an unknown predator.  During the attack the predator left behind feathers and a talon with blood on it.

Chandler called on the knowledge of his ex-girlfriend Kimberly Fulton who is the Curator of Paleontology at the New York Museum of Natural History.  He sends the talon and feathers to her.  She runs a series of tests on the relics and comes to the conclusion that the predator is a living fossil; a dinosaur.  She flies out to reunite Chandler to somehow find a way to access the oil field without everyone getting killed by the dinosaur and without destroying the pristine ecosystem.

I won't reveal any more about the plot of the book.  Most of this is found in the book description on Amazon.  I found it to be an exciting book.  The action was non-stop and the characters sympathetic.  There were a few things I did not like.  Some of the plot twists were easily predictable.  I also felt some of the characters, particularly the military characters, were a bit too much of a caricature.  All in all though, it was an enjoyable respite from reality.
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crucial Memory's $10000 Apple Sweepstakes

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you ever been doing things on your computer when all of a sudden everything comes to a screeching halt?  Frustrating isn't it?  If your computer is more than a year or so old, you may think that it might be time to get a new computer.  After all, the technology changes so fast that it doesn't take long for your computer to become obsolete.  However, chances are you just need to upgrade the RAM memory on your machine.

So much of what we do on our computers is memory intensive.  If you are anything like me, you are doing more than one thing on our computer at a time.  When I have my internet browsers open, I normally have multiple tabs on my browser on different websites.  As I am writing this, I have 8 different tabs open.  There are other programs running in the background.  Each of those background programs and tabs use some of your computer's RAM memory capacity.

Upgrading your computers RAM capacity is simple and can speed up your system considerably. makes it easy to upgrade your computer.  On their website, they have this neat little scanner that will scan your system and show you exactly what type of memory your computer uses.  It take all the guess work out of shopping for memory.

Once you have your new memory, has great instructional videos to show you just how simple it is to install your new memory.  I have installed memory to several of our computers over the years.  It really is simple.  Trust me, if I can do it, anybody can.  I am not exactly the most mechanical person around.  You can also trust the memory you get from They are owned by Micron Technology, Inc. one of the worlds largest memory manufacturers.

While you are visiting, take a few moments and enter the Crucial Memory Sweepstakes.  Just take their short survey on Apple computers and be entered in their sweepstakes for a chance to win a grand prize of $10000 in Apple gift cards.  Just think of what you can get with that.  In addition to the gift cards, they will make a matching $10000 gift card donation in your name to TechSoup Global to provide a worthy non profit organization with $10000 in technology products.  Talk about win-win.

I took the time to enter the sweepstakes myself.  I hope you will take the time to do the same.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

SSI Approved

I had to take another personal day from work today to take care of some business for our son.  We had our third meeting at the Social Security Administration today regarding Supplemental Security Income for our son.  It looks like things are lining up nicely for it.

We scheduled our first meeting with the SSA a couple months prior to his 18th birthday.  Originally, we were told we should apply prior to his 18th birthday so that we could start to receive the income when he turned 18. Unfortunately, when we had the meeting we were told that they would consider our income and we would have to reapply after he turned 18 years old.

Our second meeting was back on April 30th, a few weeks after our son had turned 18.  In that meeting, we had all of the forms filled out ahead of time.  There were a few questions that we had to answer while the SSA representative took our application.  As the meeting came to a close, we were told that we would get a letter from the Maryland Disability Determination Services office and that the whole process would take 3-6 months.

Within a week, we  received a letter from the office along with another form that we would have to fill out for our son.  We had 10 days to return it otherwise we would be denied benefits.  Naturally, we filled it out as soon as we got it.  Our doctors also received letter from the office requesting various medical information.

About two weeks ago, we received a letter from Disability Determination stating that they had approved our claim and that we would need to go to the meeting we had today at SSA.  We answered a few more questions and learned of some of the requirements to maintain the benefits.  They told us they would be processing the claim this week.  The last thing we needed to do was to set up a checking account for my son with me as the representative payee.

It looks like our claim will be approved and we will be receiving a payment going back to April 30th.  We set up direct deposit for the account, and soon I hope to have the extra funds to care for our son.  I checked the SSA website, and it looks like he will receive $698 per month for his benefit.  This will be a tremendous help for our family.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Music Monday-Big and Rich "That's Why I Pray"

One day last week I was driving home from work listening to the Sean Hannity radio program. This particular afternoon, one of his guests was John Rich from the country duo Big & Rich. During the show, they played the new single from the duo. The thing about Big & Rich is that they run the gamut from rowdy and tacky songs to deep, meaningful songs.  That's Why I Pray falls in the latter.
Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.   PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

If I Can Lose It

Since my last post was about Michael Bloomberg's desire to ban large drinks with sugar in them in New York City, I decided to review a weight loss book that I recently read on my Kindle.  The book is entitled If I Can Lose It...A Middle Age Tech-Fanatic's Extraordinary Journey & Guide-Book For Losing Weight written by Jonathan Ellis.

Quite a mouthful of a title, eh?  Henceforth, I will refer to it as If I Can Lose It.  The author of the book, Jonathan Ellis, is not a medical doctor.  He is a middle aged man, like me, who has always struggled with his weight, like me, who also happens to be into technology, like me.  So you can see how I might be interested in seeing what he had to say about weight loss.

I really liked his style of writing.  It was conversational and humorous.  Ellis is a man who has tried a number of diets over his life time.  Some of which worked for awhile, but eventually he would go back to his old habits and gain all of the weight back and maybe a few more to boot.  Been there, done that!  His goal in writing the book was to take control of his weight loss plan and to do it in a way that would be sustainable in the long term.

So, what is his secret for losing weight?  Consume less calories each day than your body requires to maintain its current weight.  Hardly earth shattering, right?  That is what doctors diet gurus have been telling us for years.  I remember when I was younger, my mom would have a book of calorie counts and when she was trying to lose weight, she would dutifully tally her caloric intake.

Seems like a lot of work to me.  I can easily see why doing that would get old quick, and would not be easily sustainable.  What if there was an easier way to keep track of your calories each day?  That is the driving force behind the Ellis weight loss plan.  His secret to losing weight is by utilizing the MyFitnessPal app on his iPod touch so he can easily track his daily calories.

I have used MyFitnessPal in the past.  It is a great little app.  In fact, I have recently started using it again.  I am discovering a lot of features that I did not notice before that I think are going to be quite helpful in my goal to achieve a permanent healthy weight.  One of the features allows you to enter a recipe so that you can  calculate the caloric content of the food.  I recently added one of my favorite meals that my wife cooks for us.

MyFitnessPal has tools that you can use on the internet or from the app.  It has a place to enter all of your food and exercise daily to track your net calories each day.  I mostly use the app on my smartphone.  It has a great feature where you can scan the UPC barcode on a package and it brings up the nutritional info so that you can add it to your daily diary.  This way, you do not have to try to remember to log it online at the end of the day.  They have a huge database of info.

In the previous paragraph I mention "net" calories.  This is an important part of the app and achieving your goals that I learned from the book.  When you set up your account, you enter your weight, your goal weight, and how much weight you want to lose each week.  That gives you a daily calorie goal.  It is important that your net calories each day not fall below 1200 calories.  That is the minimum number of calories that the body needs each day to function properly.  If you enter a daily diary of less than 1200 calories, the app actually gives you a warning message.

I have to confess that I did not finish the book.  The first half of the book consisted of the main focus of the book, how to take control of your weight loss plan.  It consisted of 11 chapters which shared encouragement and tips for achieving your goals.  When I got to chapter 12, I stopped reading.  Chapter 12 was over half the book and consisted of his daily diary of his quest.  It probably would have benefited me to read it, but I just couldn't bring myself to do.

I can't say that I highly recommend the book because it really didn't break a lot of new ground for me.  I did enjoy parts of it, and I did learn a couple nice tips.  The thing for me is that I know what to do, it is just sticking with it when I get frustrated.  I do recommend the MyFitnessPal app if you desire to lose weight.  I looked at a few others, but of the ones I looked at, MyFitnessPal had the most extensive nutritional database.  Below is my badge at MyFitnessPal tracking my progress to my goal.

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools


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