Winning Again!

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Weight 224

The last couple of weeks, I’ve written about problems and obstacles we face, in weight loss, and in life. Things were getting very discouraging, but I stuck with it. I faced my obstacles, and I shared it all with you all, both as a confession, and as a lesson. We all face these challenges.

I got on the scales today, and saw a drop. I haven’t lost weight in three weeks. In fact, I had gone up a bit. But today, I’m back where I need to be. And I’m psyched.

You all deserve a lot of the credit. You kept reading, liking the posts, and some started following the blog because of the articles. You gave me so much support and confidence. Thank you so much.

The changes I made in tracking, and adjusting my calorie intake, really helped. As I have said before, calories count. It’s basic science.

Over the last three weeks, I have found some fat based snacks to help me quell my hunger. I don’t have to eat many of them. And I’ve begun regular exercise. My workout is pitiful right now, because it’s been so many years since I’ve done this, but I’m doing it. And I’ve started to see some improvement in my performance.

I’m doing only body weight exercises. And I’m doing those for a few reasons. 1. Gyms are all closed here. 2. Gyms cost money. 3. Weight sets cost money. 4. I don’t want to spend money. 5. Pumping iron will do more to make me gain weight as muscle, I think, than body weight exercises. I’m trying to tone my body, rather than bulk it up.

Three weeks is not a long time to be stuck on a plateau. I know some of you have been there much longer. Just stay with what you know has worked. Don’t give in. Tweak what you do. Tweak your calories. Adjust your fat vs protein calories. Walk, Run, exercise. Do something to surprise your metabolism. You will get through this.

I know I may have reached the stage where I won’t lose weight every single week. I’m ok with that. I have a goal. But I’m not on a time limit. We’ve got this!

New Year’s Resolutions? Again?

To Keep Your New Year's Resolution, Make a Plan for Success | Psychology  Today

I’m writing this on the 28th of December, 2020. Christmas is behind us. It was pretty uneventful here, because of the renewed lockdown. But, we were still able to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. Yes!

For the record, here in Scotland, everything is pretty much on go slow from Christmas to New Year, most years. As I look out my office window, the town is pretty darned quiet. Pretty much the only things allowed to be open are the grocery stores, gas stations, take away eateries, and one bakery. Those are pretty much the places that would be open this week anyway.su

The sun is shining and it’s cold. Well it’s cold for this part of Scotland anyway. The temps are in the 20s F. The sun is trying to shine. All in all, it’s a pretty nice day. It gives us opportunity to think about our New Year’s Resolutions.

First, I haven’t believed in those for years, maybe ever. I learned long ago, to set goals for the new year in about October, so that I could think them through as much as possible. This year that’s been tough, because we don’t know what 2021 will bring with all the Covid issues.

But I know that many of us are thinking about our 2021 weight and fitness goals. A new year, seems to be a great time to start fresh. Most of us are tired of overeating, and we want to make the new year count for something, so we decide to go on a diet. Millions of people will join a gym. I want to suggest a different strategy, and one that may work well with all the Covid restrictions.

  1. Give up Sugar in January. This sounds so easy, but I promise you, it is not. I’m talking about white sugar, brown sugar, and molasses. Heck, even honey. You’ll be amazed at all the food it’s in. This will require you to read labels on cans. When you do, you’ll shake your head at how many canned goods contain sugar. Next week, I will talk more about that. But don’t try and make a strict diet for you New Year’s Resolution. Chances are, you’ll last maybe a week. Start with sugar for January. That will be hard enough.
  2. Decide to put a little exercise into your week. You don’t have to join a gym. I know many subscribers to this blog are gym rats, or even gym owners. I’m not trying to cost you business. I’m trying to get people started on a road they can stay on. So start with some walking. Walk a block, a mile, two miles. Just get started. Don’t even try to jog or run yet. Walking burns as many calories in a mile, as running a mile burns, or so I’m told. Add in some body weight exercises; sit ups, push ups, squats, jumping jacks. Start with a set of about 10. Just do one set. I know with me, I won’t be able to do 10 push ups. Since my heart surgery 2.5 years ago, my chest and arm muscles have deteriorated enormously. Just start with what you can do. Do those exercises two or three times a week. No weights other than your body weight. After a week or so, move to two sets. Then after another week or two, depending on your base fitness, add a third set. After you’re comfortable getting through three sets each time you exercise, then once a week, just do one set of as many reps as you can do. Do push ups to failure, for example. The other two times, do your regular sets. This is my plan. Our gyms are closed. They are small, and they are expensive. I don’t want to work out in front of people. I don’t want to pay a bunch of money. And I don’t like swimming. I will say, that swimming is great all round exercise, if you like to swim.
  3. Keep a journal. Write down your exercises and what you ate. It won’t be easy, because it’s boring, but a year from now, you’ll be glad you did it.
  4. In February, cut out processed flour. That’s white or regular brown flour. This is another hard one. It’s in everything you will find in a box. Every kind of processed food out there. I meet people every week who say, “I can’t do it.” I know it’s hard. Bread and flour are in so many food items.

I guarantee that if you try these small steps, you will be surprised at how much weight you will lose in January and February. Then, at the end of February, you will be in a position to decide whether or not this is a path you want to travel for the rest of 2021. Write and tell me whether or not you’re going to try it. Write at tell me how you get on. I’m curious.

I’m in it with you. On Christmas day, I hit my Christmas weight loss goal. I wanted to weigh 235 by Christmas. I made it that morning. My next goal is 200 lbs on Easter Sunday. This one will be tough. Easter is a bit earlier than I had originally thought. So be it.

I have written out my exercise plan. I know the exercises I’m going to do. I will give you updates. I need you to hold me accountable. I’m going to walk. I used to run. That was 25 years ago. I haven’t even gone for a jog in 23 years. Now, my sciatica is so bad, I can’t physically do it. But I can walk. My wife is a great walker. She leaves the house, sometimes for a couple hours, just walking the neighborhoods. I find that boring. I’m going to have to drive to some places out in the country. I get bored so easy. She has often said, ‘Just do it!’, but I’ve been too lazy. Well in 2021, lazy isn’t good enough. So stay tuned.

Keep in mind, I’m on a South Beach/Keto eating plan. I’ve conquered the sugar and flour. I do have bread once or twice a month. Usually in the form of a Weight Watchers tortilla or a hamburger bun. I have no sugar. In a spirit of full disclosure I do eat artificial sweeteners. I use Sucralose in my coffee, and I use brown Erythritol in baking and in my BBQ sauce. I know purists gasp when they read that. I’m not a purist. I’m me. And I’m doing what works for me. But I will not lie to you.

I hope this has given you some things to think about as you plan your New Year. You are part of my accountability team. Thank you. Keep your chin up. Remember God is for you, so who can be against you. Have a great 2021. We’re in this together. Let’s do it!

Who Wants To Go Debt Free in 2020?

I know. I know. That headline sounds awfully click baity. But it’s not. I promise.

It’s time for many of us to set our 2020 goals, and make our New Year’s Resolutions. One of them for loads of people is to get out of debt. Or at least to reduce IOU NO MORE: A Quick Start Guide For Becoming Debt Free And Living Debt Free Forever by [Sam Burton]debt and get money working for them, rather than the other way around.

One of the best known sources of help out there is Dave Ramsey. I’ve listened to Dave for years. He offers some great advice. Check out his information at www.daveramsey.com. And for what it’s worth, I don’t get any financial kickbacks from Dave at all. None. Zero. Nada.

I also know that creating a budget, and a financial plan that will work, can be a nightmare. I know it, because I’ve been there. My wife and I were on the fast track to oblivion, and we overcame it. After we had created out plan and were working it, I discovered Dave Ramsey. I was amazed at how similar our plans were. Way back in 2006 I published a book called, IOU NO MORE, a quick start guide to becoming debt free, and living debt free forever. It was available as a paperback. Last year, I felt like some of the illustrations were getting a bit old, so I stopped publishing the paperback and made it available only as an eBook.

The information is still really good. The stories are still true. The plan still works. In fact, I believe with all my heart that it’s the simplest money management plan out there.

From December 26,2019 – January 31, 2020, I’m reducing the price to $.99. I want to help you change your life. The forms alone, are worth more that the price you pay for the book. And, if you email me, or send my your email via the comments section, I will send you the ‘basic’ budget form, for people who are in debt. I will send it absolutely free. No gimmicks. I’m not going to sell your email address. I wouldn’t dream of doing something that sleazy. I know how much I hate it when someone does that to me.

I want to help you help yourself. I want to see men and women set free from the stress of money worries. Also, just in the spirit of full disclosure, every one of you who buys the book and writes to me for the budget form, will immediately go on my prayer list through January 2020.

That’s it. Just a quick announcement about this deal. I believe in you. 2020 is your emancipation date.

Click HERE to check out the Book.

Why I Don’t Want To Walk With You. Yes, You! (A ‘Transformation’ Supplemental)

Alone on the trailIt’s not you, it’s me.  So said many a soul trying to break a heart as gently as possible.   Sometimes, though, it’s true. Sometimes people just can’t be with others.

When it comes to exercise, that’s me.  As it turns out, I need to be alone. I have to work out, and, walk, alone, sans company.  It’s not personal. It’s just a fact. Here are some of the reasons:

  1. It’s my quiet time. I need time alone with God every day. I don’t just want it. I need it. It’s my time to pray and talk with Him. Maybe you pray. Maybe you don’t. I do.  My morning walk is where I do my best praying.
  2. It’s my ‘me’ time. I’m an extrovert. I expend a great deal of energy being with people. I love being wired that way, but the simple truth is, I need regular significant ME time. I need to get away from anything that even smells of responsibility. In the old days, that was during my daily time training my sled dogs. Once the dogs hit the trail, it was just the dogs, nature, God and me. I could tune out the real world and just be. I treasured those miles and minutes. After we moved south and I had to give up my dogs, I found my space in my morning farm chores. I would be up early, feeding and watering all the livestock and taking care of the garden. Now that farming is mostly behind me, my chores only take a few minutes in the morning. In the past few weeks, I’ve rediscovered peace and harmony in my morning walk. That’s probably weird, but it’s definitely true.
  3. It’s my most creative time. When I’m walking in the morning, or doing my exercise, I can mentally work on books, blog posts, podcasts, sermons, and a host of other creative projects. I can’t do that if someone is walking with me. I will only focus on the person or people with me.
  4. Walking with someone is distracting. When the going gets tough, I like to let my mind wander. I want to think about writing, or teaching, or just the nature around me. I want to think about anything except the work I’m involved in. If people are around, I can’t get lost in the moment. All I can hear is the footsteps and breathing of my companions. All I can think about is my exploding lungs or weakening muscles.
  5. Walking or exercising with companions makes my workout harder and takes me off my plan. First of all, I’m too sociable. I will want to talk with my companion(s) and talking throws off my breathing and rhythm.  When that happens, I get short of breath and tired too soon.  I really don’t want to have a stroke. That would seriously mess with my goals.  Also, because I’m slower than EVERYONE, I will subconsciously speed up which will mess with my distance.  The breathing and pace of those walking with me will silently influence my own. I hate peer pressure. 😉
  6. Getting thrown off my game makes me grumpy. And I don’t want to be grumpy. I’m not bothered by the fact that you are faster than me, or are a better athlete than I am. I have a plan, a goal.  I need to stick to it. If I’m thrown off that plan, I tend to melt down.

I love being a social butterfly. I love people. Chances are I’m fond of you; just not while I’m trying to focus on my quiet time.  I would love to spend time with you before my exercise time, and I would love to spend time with you after my exercise time. We can drink coffee, sip on iced tea, and chat or argue, or bear one another’s burdens, or any of a number of activities, but I need my tiny fragment of time alone.

I don’t know whether that sounds crazy, or whether it registers with you, but hopefully, it will at least help you understand that while I want you in my life, I don’t want you in my exercise program. I have no problem seeing you at the park or in the gym. In fact, I’m comforted if people I care about are there. Just do your thing, I’ll do mine, then we’ll change the world together.

Thanks for understanding.

Transformation – Let’s Do This

As part of a Church Planting preparation conference, Brittan and I are attending in July, I was asked to create a Personal Development Plan. One of the areas I’ve made public is related to health and fitness. I have neither! I want both.

I’ve identified my obstacles (excuses) as being: Too Old, Too Fat, Too Sick, and, Too Broke.

In future episodes, I will rebut each of those excuses.  BTW, these are the same kinds of issues each of us faces regardless of the areas of our lives we wish to transform; be it, physical, like me, or career, finances, relational, or even, spiritual. They are lies we are told and that we tell ourselves.  Please subscribe to my YouTube page to follow my journey, and watch here for regular updates along the way.

Before I go here are some of my goals:

Weight: currently – 275 lbs, Target – 175 lbs; Time table: 18 mos. Mid term goal: Jan. 1, 2017, 199 lbs

Fitness; Complete a 10k in 2 years. Keep in mind that I can’t run at all for health reasons. Watch the Video.

Clothes: Current: 46 trousers; xxl and some xxxl shirts, Dress Shirts are 19. Goals: Trousers, 36 by goal weight, 40 by Jan 1. 2017, Shirts: xl by Jan 1,  dress shirts – 17.5 by Jan. 1 and 16 by goal weight.

Stay tuned – more to come.  Next time, I’ll describe my eating plan.