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New YouTube Videos Up   Leave a comment

“Keeping Your Headlights On” and “Using a Victory Log” are now up on YouTube.  The first video talks about how your being happy isn’t just for you.  The second video expounds on the concept of a Victory Log, that I mentioned in the first video.  Check them out.  Like and comment if enjoyed the videos.  Subscribe and click the bell for notifications on YouTube if you want to be notified every time I put up a new video.  Have a geat day.


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Weigh In 11/12/2018   Leave a comment

Did my weekly weigh in this morning.  Last week was a disappointing gain in weight.  This week was a triumphant comeback.  A week ago I weighed in at 277.2 pounds.  Today I weighed in at 273.0 pounds.  A 4.2 pound drop for the week and that places me 1.4 pounds under what I was 2 weeks ago.

For muscle mass I was at 27.2% last week, and now I’m at 27.7%.  In pounds that’s 75.4 pounds last week and 75.6 pounds this week for a gain of .2 pounds of muscle.  Not a lot, but a gain none the less.

For body fat I was at 37.3% last week, and now I’m at 36.6%.  In pounds that’s 103.4 pounds last week and 99.9 pounds this week.  I’m down 3.5 pounds of fat.  More importantly I’m now under 100 pounds of body fat.  So very excited about that.  I even had to redo the math a second time when that came up because it surprised me so much.

Exercise wise it was a great week.  I closed all three rings every day of the week.  I got in 2 workouts a day of fifteen minutes, or more, each.  I’ve been including more body weight exercises in there, which explains the slight gain in muscle.  I feel stronger and healthier each day.

Mentally, it’s been a very positive week for me.  I’ve noticed at work that I’m not letting things that would have gotten under my skin rattle me anymore.  I respond better to customers who are being difficult.  And the few times I did start to lose my cool my mind immediately jumped in to remind me I’m a happier person now and it diffused.  I’m reading more, and I think a little quicker.  As I approach the end of the year I just feel better and better.

Finance wise not much to report.  I’m doing better with my money and haven’t wasted it on silly things.  I catch myself when I want something and think about whether it’s really a necessary purchase or not.  The answer is mainly that it isn’t.  Bonus time at work is coming up soon and I plan to use the bonus to pay down credit cards.  Overall I feel a lot more positive about my finances.

And I feel a lot more positive about my life in general.  I’m less than 2 years from turning 50 and the road ahead of me looks better to me every day.  And I’m more confident about my long-term goals, like enjoying life on the road going from place to place as I get older.  Kind of a vacation that’ll last the rest of my days.

I hope things are going well for you all, like they are for me.  If not, hang in there.  With time and patience it can get better.  I know because it has for me.  Have a great day.

Making Things Keto   Leave a comment

Invariably when someone suggests you try this diet or that diet the first thing you want to know is “What am I going to have to give up?”  The keto diet is no different.  Fitting your eating around less than 50g of carbs makes the list of things you’re giving up quite long in fact.  Event things that used to be considered ok to eat on other healthy diets.  Things like sweet potatoes, which are ok on the Paleo diet, just won’t fly on Keto.

So one of the strategies to deal with what you’re giving up is to start finding ways to make “keto friendly” versions of the foods you want.  Overall I’m ok with this strategy.  After all if you’re sticking to your diet, what does it matter if the foods you’re eating are designed to remind you of the things you aren’t supposed to have.   Having said this, when it comes to starting with keto I do recommend a month of strict keto before you start looking to work around what you aren’t supposed to eat.  The reason is that if you’re including things in your meal plan that remind you of foods you loved to eat before you’re fully adapted to keto you run the risk of indulging on the real deal.  If you feel that you can do these keto alternatives without the temptation, though, go right ahead.

This isn’t going to be an exhaustive list by any means, just a short one of a few adaptations I’ve made or used.

My first one, to replace rice, is riced cauliflower.  It isn’t a perfect alternative though as it has what I call a temperamental window.  It’s easy to not cook it enough so that it’s too hard to give the same mouth feel as rice.  It’s also easy to over cook it and your riced cauliflower quickly becomes mashed cauliflower.  Here’s how I typically use it.  I usually buy it riced instead of chopping it up myself.  I’ll microwave it in 30 second intervals until it’s warm but not hot.  I’ll then cover it with whatever I would have used to cover the rice with.  The heat and liquid content of that usually heats and softens the riced cauliflower from warm to just right.  Again, it’s all about getting the right mouth feel.  A nice dish is to brown some sausage, add a small amount of Rao’s Tomato Sauce, and serve it on top of the riced cauliflower with a little shredded mozzarella on top.

My next one is a breakfast alternative.  If you like McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin with egg there’s a keto alternative.  Cook an egg on the stove while browning some sausage patties in the oven.  They do sell rings to make the egg circular like McDonald’s does ( http://a.co/d/ffxvpVO ).  Instead of using muffins you just use two sausage patties, placing the egg and cheddar between them.  It’s a little messier but so delicious.

If you really just need bread though there are recipes for that too that are keto friendly.  My favorite is Fathead Dough.  Here’s a link to a recipe from Keto.Connect on it ( https://www.ketoconnect.net/fathead-pizza-crust/ ).  Once you’ve made the fathead dough it’s easy enough to use it to create different things.  You can wrap it around some sausage and cheddar and then bake it in the oven at 350F until golden brown and you have delicious sausage bites.  You could form them into buns to use with hamburger patties to make keto hamburgers.  You could wrap it around a hot dog.  Lots of options.

And the final one I’ll list today is noodles.  You can make keto noodles with a spiralizer and a zucchini.  You can get the spiralizer pretty cheaply on Amazon ( http://a.co/d/dNrkDiu ), although you might be able to shop around locally and find one.  It’s easy to use, and if you get the model I linked it offers the ability to vary the way the noodles come out.  Once you’ve spiralized them though I’d use them quickly.  You can basically use them in any recipe you’d use noodles in.  Just keep in mind that like noodles the more you cook them the mushier they get.  If you can, to maintain a more al dente type noodle, use them raw or only slightly heated.

So there you have it, a short list of ways to create keto alternatives to foods you enjoyed before keto but can’t have now.  Again, this is a very small list.  If you’d like to hear about specific foods you like that yo’d like to make keto just leave a comment below and I’ll try and find an alternative for you.  There are tons of keto alternatives out there, including sweeteners and desserts.  Some require you to cook, some come premade.  But that’s for a later post.  Hope you’re all having a great day and I’ll see you soon.

Shred the Past   Leave a comment

A popular plot in movies involves a person, or persons, who are able to go back into the past to change something.  The movies generally end one of two ways.  First, the person somehow makes a change and returns to the present and finds a ton of unintended consequences, like in the Butterfly Effect.  Second, the person tries and tries to change the past but no matter what happens the future seems immutable.  The person might create minor changes but the future that is meant to be will be, like in the Terminator series.

Both ways teach us one thing, the past is the past.  And it really needs to stay the past.  Bringing the past into our present (or making your present the past) never ends very well for us.  Thankfully, movie plots aside, you can’t actually change the past.  However, as many prove, you can live in it.

Every time you made a decision, the decision led to a result.  Some good, some bad.  Take me for example.  In the past I decided to eat what I wanted and not exercise a lot.  The result was I put on  a lot of weight.  Other examples might be you have had an unpleasant disposition in the past.  The result is nobody wants to be your friend.  Maybe you were very poor, or just had little skill in managing your money.  The result is you experienced a lot of lack in your life.

The thing is that when you look at these traits you used to have, sometimes you identify with them in the here and now.  Even if you’ve made a lot of changes in that area.  You might have, like I did, lost a lot of weight via dieting and exercise.  Or you’ve learned to be happier.  You’ve created budgets for yourself so that your obligations are met and you aren’t in debt anymore.  All of these are good things, but you won’t be able to move forward if you’re still stuck in the past.

If you identify yourself as always fat, always lonely, or always poor even after you’ve made all those changes you’re definitely living in the past.  And no matter what progress you make if you keep your focus on your past self you’ll sooner or later bring your past back into the present.  It’s the Law of Attraction.  What you think about and dwell on most will be attracted into your life.  In psychological terms it would be refered to as self-sabotage.

Maybe it’s time to get rid of those past beliefs.  But how would you do that?  You can shred that past.  Here’s how it goes.  Take out a piece of paper and a pen.  I think this exercise works better going old school and actually writing it out because it’s more personal when you move the pen across the paper.  Having said that, if you won’t do it other than on a computer and printing it, by all means do that.  It’s better to do it that way than not at all.  Now start writing out past qualities about yourself that you feel you’ve moved away from.  Include things you’ve done that you regret doing and wouldn’t do again.  Avoid writing down things you know still are in the present.  Like if you had a habit of needlessly complaining, and don’t complain nearly as much any more, but still find yourself complaining about things sometimes, don’t include that.  It all needs to be things you’ve moved on from.  Anything that is in your past, you know isn’t relevant in the present, and you don’t want interfering with your future.  You don’t have to make sure and get it all down on paper.  So don’t wrack your mind and stress yourself out making the list.  Also, keep in mind these are past qualities that don’t apply to you anymore.  So make the list without judgement.  This is who you were, not who you are, so no need to judge at all.

When you’ve jotted down your list and feel good that it’s complete enough, hold the list in your hand.  Tell yourself (out loud or in your head, whichever your prefer) that this is a list of the past.  Tell yourself that as it’s the list of the past you, it holds no weight in the present.  These are things that don’t apply to you anymore and you don’t need to carry with you anymore.  Then walk over to your shredder and shred it.  Or if you don’t have a shredder, walk over to the trash can and rip it to shreds and toss it away.  Shred your past.  I’ve heard of doing the same thing by burning the list as well.  If that’s how you’d prefer to destroy the list, feel free, just be safe doing so (preferably in a fireplace or fire pit designed to contain the fire).

Once you’re done shredding (or burning) just let it go.  Relax.  Take in a deep breath, then breath out.  It’s gone.  Destroyed.  Out of your life.  Keep it that way.  If you feel the past is creeping back in again, repeat the process.  Every time you remind yourself the past doesn’t control your present.  Remind yourself enough of this, and you’ll be more positive about your future.  Have a great day.

The Universe Doesn’t Value Things Like You Do.   Leave a comment

I’m a big fan of Doctor Who.  Haven’t always loved the individual Doctors themselves (never really took to Colin Baker’s portrayal of The Doctor) but I’ve been in love with the show since the late 70’s (when Tom Baker was The Doctor, and still my favorite Doctor) until now with Jodie Whittaker (the first female Doctor, and my third favorite just after David Tenant, the 10th Doctor).

The license plate on the front of my Prius is a picture of the TARDIS in space and says “My Other Ride Is The TARDIS”.  I even have a couple of sonic screwdrivers.  The most frequent question I get asked about my love of Doctor Who is, funny enough, “Why?”  Most of my friends can’t for the life of them figure out why I’m such a fan.  I’m not sure how they can’t be.

Of course the answer to both questions is pretty easy.  We all value different things for different reasons to different degrees.  The fact that my friends clearly aren’t enlightened enough to understand what a great show Doctor Who has been for longer then I’ve been alive is just a matter of taste, or possibly lack thereof.

Seriously though, I’m sure you find this concept easy to relate to.  You’ve been super excited about something and go to explain it to someone else only to get the response “And?”  You go to a movie with a friend and afterward they just rave and rave about it, for reasons that escape you because you thought it was a big waste of time and money.  There are tons of examples in your life about things that are important to you, but not so much to others you know.

It all comes down to value.  We naturally understand that due to tastes, or philosophies, or backgrounds, we all value things differently.  But for some reason when we think something is big and important to us, the Universe and the Law of Attraction (LOA) must put high value on it as well.

The Universe, and the LOA, just doesn’t put the same value on things as you do.  Next time you’re out at night, start counting stars.  You probably won’t go for long before you realize there are just too many for you to count.  The Universe is vast.  Things that you think are so big and so important, generally the same things you are trying to attract to yourself using the LOA, are really small and of no value to the Universe.  It’s all the same.

Take money for example.  It’s probably the most frequently sought after thing using the LOA.  So why isn’t it just as frequently manifested?  Because the people trying to do so are placing such high value on it.  By placing such a high value on it the person subconsciously reinforces the idea that it’s something hard to get.  The LOA can pick up on that subconscious belief and give you what you’re focusing on.  That money is hard to get.  Now stop and really think about this.  Does the Universe really cares a lot about money?  Why would the Universe need or want or care for money?  It’s the Universe, money isn’t important at all to it.

So the value the Universe is putting on it is being created by you, not it.  Same for expensive cars.  Or big mansions.  Or private jets.  The Universe doesn’t value these things.  It really doesn’t care about these things.  The Universe is vast and has everything.  So to the Universe, giving you a new Bentley is no different then giving you a $100 bill.

The next time you decide to attract something to yourself using the LOA use that mindset.  The Universe doesn’t care and value like you do.  So no matter what you’re asking from the Universe it’s all the same to it.  So just ask.  Don’t fear or speculate on the chances.  In fact, go ahead and ask for it, or something the Universe feels you’ll want more.  And then just let it go out into the Universe to be fulfilled

No worries, no concerns about it being too big or too much.  Just ask and trust the Universe can deliver all things big and small to you equally and without judgement.  Have a great day.

 

New YouTube Vlog   Leave a comment

I have the latest vlog up and running on my YouTube channel.  This one is on using a Gratitude Journal, including a review of the Five Minute Journal.  It’s a wonderful practice that can help you lead a happier life.

Check out the video.  If you like what you see and hear feel free to go over to YouTube and leave a Like and a comment.  Subscribe if you’re so inclined.  If you hit the bell when you subscribe you’ll be notified every time I put a new video up.  At the moment I’ve been doing one a week every Wednesday.  I’ve been wanting to do shorter ones like product reviews so that could change to more frequently at random scheduling as well as the Wednesday vlog.  Hope you’re having a great day.

Monthly Update with Pics   Leave a comment

Time now for the monthly update with pics.  I weighed in this morning and the news was not good.  Last week I was 274.4 pounds when I weighed in.  This week the scale read 277.2 pounds.  I gained 2.8 pounds.  Not sure why or what caused the gain.  I didn’t fast this week, which could be the issue.  I tried a new keto shake, which also could be.  I’m thinking more the former then the later as there’s nothing in the shake’s ingredients that would be any different from stuff I’ve already taken without any issues.  As always I keep in mind that it’s just a number and not a judgement.  And it’s one point on the journey, not a reflection of the whole trip.  So by next week we’ll see if this gets turned around.  If not I just look at the situation harder and come up with a plan.  But I’ve definitely decided not to let it stress me out.

Mainly because at the start of last month I was at 279.8 pounds.  So even accounting for the gain this week I’m still down 2.6 pounds for the month.  Not as much as I’d have liked but down is down.  And I started out at 352.6 pounds so I’m still 75.4 pounds lighter than I was when I started.  It does bring my monthly average down to 7.54 pounds, but it’s still a respectable average.

Body fat this week was 37.3%.  Last week it was 37.1%.  Last month it was 37.8%.  At the beginning of the year it was 52.0%.  In pounds that’s 103.4 this week, 101.8 last week, 105.8 at the beginning of last month, and 183.4 at the beginning of the year.  So up 1.6 pounds from last week, down 2.4 from last month, and 80.0 from the beginning of the year.  An average of 8.0 pounds of body fat lost a month.

Muscle mass this week was 27.2%.  Last week it was 27.4%.  Last month it was 27.0%.  And it registered as 25.0% at the beginning of the year but that’s because 25.0% is the lowest it’ll read.  In pounds that’s 75.4 this week, 75.2 last week, and 75.5 at the beginning of last month.  I won’t do the yearly because it’s not an accurate number.  So slightly higher than last week, and slightly lower over the month.

Overall when it comes to exercising I’ve gotten better since the beginning of last month.  I put more minutes in.  I close the 3 rings on my Apple Watch more consistently.  In the time I exercise I’m working harder on average by including more time on the steps and jump roping.

Meditation wise I’ve reached the point where I’m not making big progress.  It just gets a little easier each time to clear the mind and stay focused.  In other areas of mental health I’m doing much better.  Like this morning when I weighed in and saw the number had went up my total reaction was just “Huh.”  Didn’t get mad or upset or down, just was a little surprised and moved on.  I’m also finding myself less inclined to respond back to every perceived slight.  I just say “Ok” and move on.  Things that used to really irk me now don’t even move the needle.  Some areas, like my patience behind the wheel, could still use work.  But for the most part much better at reacting with calmness and kindness.

So now for the photos.  The one with the neon yellow top is the current.  The one with the gray sleeves is the last month pic.  The plain red top was my first monthly pic.  The flash top is my “starting” pic taken a little over a week after I started.  And the final pic is from 2013 at the bottom of the Staircase of death.  Hope you’re having a great day.