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Archive for the ‘baby steps’ Tag

A little boulder   Leave a comment

I used to watch a lot more television then I currently do now.  I would get lost in wonderful adventures as they unfolded before my eyes.  Which is why I don’t watch as much anymore.  I’d rather be spending more of my time doing things which nurture and nourish my mind.  Reading and meditating being big parts of that

Having said that there are always lessons to be learned if you look closely enough.  And one of my favorites comes from Superman: The Movie.  What kid wouldn’t be fascinated by it.  Christopher Reeve was a great Clark Kent, but an even better Superman.  The movie had a classic villain in Lex Luthor, played by the amazing Gene Hackman.  Great storyline, great special effects (for the time), and top-notch acting.  You watched it and you felt like a hero.

If you haven’t watched the movie, beware, there are spoilers ahead.  It’s a great movie, so if you hate spoilers go ahead and get a copy, watch it real quick, and then come back and finish the post.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Back with me?  Good.  During the movie a large dam breaks and Superman has to save a town in the path of the raging waters.  How does he do it?  Does he pick up a mountain and drop it in the path?  Nope.  Does he use his freeze breath to turn it into a big iceberg? That isn’t it either.  What he did was push a couple of rocks over.  And those rocks hit other rocks on the way down, that went on to hit other rocks, that went on to start an avalanche of rocks that created a new rock dam which stopped the water in its tracks.

One little action, begat another action, which led to big things.  What a wonderful lesson that is.  Superman, as powerful a being as he is, didn’t go from start to finish in one big move.  He started a cascade of smaller actions which created big results.  And if it works for a guy running around town in blue tights and a cape, it can work for you too.

Take my case for example.  As I mentioned in the beginning, I don’t watch as much television as I used to.  I didn’t go from watching hours of tv a day to pulling the plug on the cable.  Instead, I just came to the realization that one of the shows I was watching just didn’t really have any benefit for me anymore.  I didn’t even feel entertained by it.  And so I stopped watching that show, adding an open hour to my schedule.  That was the first small step.  I used the extra time to read more.  Another small step.  Reading opened me up to new ideas which did benefit me, leading to more steps.  And then the cascade happened.  I sat down and thought about the shows I was still watching.  A number of them were just as bad about squandering my time.  So I stopped watching them as well.  Now I had a lot of extra hours in my weekly schedule.

I still have this really nice 4K television that I enjoy using.  I just use it for viewing things that are more beneficial.  I watched “The Magic Pill”, which is a documentary about the ketogenic diet.  It’s on Netflix.  In fact there are a lot of good documentaries on Netflix. There’s also a lot of great information to be found on YouTube as well (although I will mea culpa to a few funny cat videos along the way).  YouTube has videos on working out, van life, the ketogenic diet, and mindfulness to name a few.  You do have to be mindful that it’s very much like Wikipedia.  Go into it knowing that just because it’s on there doesn’t make it 100% true so take it all with a grain of salt.  But there is plenty of good information to be found there.

All of this information has led me to better life practices.  I meditate more.  I’m learning how to write better.  I’m learning music again.  I spend time making plans and goals using methods I’ve learned have worked for others.  And that cascade of rocks continues.  Each little act getting me closer to being saved, like the village.

So this week, knock a rock over.  Just make sure it’s in a direction where it will hit another rock.  Let those rocks hit more rocks for you.  Let the movement create a cascade of energy that propels you forward until you reach your goal.  All because you took a small action with intent and precision.

You don’t need one big action that solves everything.  You don’t need to have godlike powers because you were born on Krypton.  You just need to be willing to knock over a rock.  And just like Superman, knock over another rock from a slightly different vantage point to compound the results.  Start today.  Let the actions compound.  And in time you’ll have created your own damn, stopping the things which are putting your village in jeopardy.

Choose to be the hero of your own life’s story.

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Writing a Book   Leave a comment

So I’ve started a new project.  Well, that’s not entirely accurate.  I’ve restarted a project I began a few months ago but let fall by the wayside.  I’ve decided to write a small book about the basics of the Ketogenic Diet.

The aim for this book is to be a quick read.  Less than an hour.  If I can, less than half an hour.  I’m not worried about filler, just the basics.  I’ll include a list of resources at the back of the book that will allow anyone who wants more than the basics to keep learning.

I’ve been working on it for about 6 hours now.  Taking a break to give myself a little time to get refocused.  I’ve made a lot of progress.  Since it’s not designed to be long I’d guess I’ll be done writing by the end of the weekend.  Then I’ll need to edit it so the content is sharp.  Along with that I need to design a book cover.  I think I’ll go the easy route with that by just using the same image for the front and back of the book.  I’ll be creating it only as a Kindle book so I don’t think having a separate image for each makes the same sense as it would if it were a physical copy.

I’m finding that there’s a lot more to it then I imagined.  It isn’t as easy as just opening a word processor and banging out a book.  Logical progression is an issue as well as getting it into a format that Kindle can use.  Thankfully Amazon made researching all that and getting the tools necessary to do it really simple.  I didn’t even know this before today but they even have a free program to alow you to see what the book will look like on a Kindle simulator on your computer.  Having read a few Kindle books where I wondered why they formatting was so awkward, this just made it all the more odd. Why wouldn’t you use the simulator to know how it’ll turn out before you ever upload it to Amazon?  Maybe they did and it just turned out wonky anyway.  Guess we’ll see how mine goes.

When I get it published I’ll leave a link on here for the book.  I haven’t fully decided yet but I think that I’ll be offering it as both a Kindle Unlimited title and for $0.99 if you want to buy and keep it.  Don’t see charging more than that considering how short the book will be.

Along with the book project I’m finally completing, I had another idea I started a while ago but never followed up on.  I like doing this blog, and will continue to do this blog, but I want to try to reach more people in other ways.  So I contemplated having a YouTube channel to track my progress as well.  I even got so far as creating the channel.  Just never made a video for it.  So that’s on the agenda now.

Like this blog, the channel will cover both The Ketogenic Diet/Lifestyle, my progress with it, and also how I’m working to be a better person on the inside.  I don’t have a lot of experience with video production so I’m sure it’s going to look a bit amateur at the beginning but I’m thinking it’ll grow in production value as I grow along with it.

When I get my first video posted I’ll add a link here for people to follow.  Mainly today I just wanted to get a post out where I stated I was doing these things because accountability.

I turned 48 yesterday and spent a little time thinking about what I’ve done with that time.  I’ve led a good life so far but when I thought about it, it’s really been the last year that I’ve been most proud of.  I’ve made a lot of improvements.  Lost a lot of weight, both in terms of body fat and bad habits.  But I still see a path ahead of me where I’ll get better still.  I don’t know how the book or the YouTube channel will turn out, but the best part is that in just doing them I’m already better because I’ve tried to be better.  Although I’m hoping the success isn’t just in the trying, of course.

That’s all for now.  Time to get back to the book.  Thanks for coming along on the journey so far and I hope you join me on these new journeys.  Take care.

Monthly Update   Leave a comment

So this will be my monthly update with pictures.  My weight as of this weigh in is 280.6 pounds.  My first weigh in for August had me at 285.4 pounds.  So I lost 4.8 pounds.  I’m pretty happy with that considering I did take a week off from keto while I was in Bellingham, Washington.

My body fat was 38.2% for a total of 107.2 pounds of fat.  At the August weigh in it was 39.0% for a total of 111.3 pounds. So I lost 4.1 pounds of fat.

My muscle mass was 27.1% for this weigh in, translating to 76 pounds of muscle.  For August it was 26.7%, putting me at 76.2 pounds of muscle.  So I dropped a little in that category.  Not surprising as all the exercising I did in Bellingham was simply walking.  Also, at .2 pounds lost this could be the result of the small inaccuracies in determining my muscle mass through electrical impedance, as the scale does.

That leaves around half a pound lost somewhere else.  Probably water weight.  I’m ok with all this.  The vast majority of my weight loss this month came from fat, which is exactly where I want it to come from.

My starting weight on this journey was 352.6 pounds.  My body fat was 52% and my muscle mass read 25%. But I’m guessing it was well under 25% as that’s as low as the scale goes for muscle mass, and it didn’t go over that until near the end of May.  So overall I’m down 72 pounds.  I’ve lost 76.2 pounds of fat.  So I can’t be sure what the other 4.2 pounds gained is.  Could be muscle.  Could be water.  I know going by the first time my muscle mass percentage did change I’m up a pound of muscle.  At the end of the day though, the most important thing I want to track is my current weight and body fat lost.

I’ve been back on keto for a few weeks now owing to using the second weigh in of September for my monthly check in.  So the October check in will represent a smaller time window.

Right now I’m averaging 9 pounds a month.  A lot of that is due to a huge weight loss near the beginning of the year.  So I expect that number to drop.  Lately I’ve been around 4 pounds lost per month.  Based on that it’s looking like my weight loss for the year will be just under 90 pounds.

That’ll put me within 12 or so pounds of my initial weight loss goal.  I used 230 pounds for that goal because I wanted to wait until I was 230 to narrow down what I thought would be a healthy weight for me.  So when I hit that mark I’ll have a new goal to reach for.  It’d be easy to speculate what that would be now, but I’ll resist the urge.  The only prediction I’ll make right now is that I should be hovering around whatever that will be by around mid year 2019.

This makes me very happy.  In two days I turn 48.  I’ve been this heavy for at least two decades of that.  To think that what I took around 28 years to gain, and held for nearly two decades more, could be wiped away in a year and a half.  Amazing.

When I reach that point there may be other health decisions to make.  The most obvious being the real possibility of loose skin and what I’ll do about that.  But that’s a concern for 9 months from now.  As for right now, I’ll just enjoy my victories and keep plugging away a day at a time.

The progress pics are below.  The Superman tee is the current weigh in pics.  The blue t-shirt and red shorts are last month.  And I’ve included the first pic for overall comparison.  See you next month.

Quick Update   Leave a comment

So the internet at my house is down, yet again. Still haven’t heard what’s wrong but the last two times this happened it was because someone was digging and cut the cable and it took a few days to fix. I’ll find out for sure tomorrow.

Because of this my scale can’t upload my weigh in this morning. If there’s one thing I’m not fond of with my scale it’s that you have to use the app to see your results after the weigh in disappears. I wasn’t being mindful of that this morning and only caught a glimpse before it went away.

Based on that glimpse it was either 282.8 or 282.5 pounds. So I’m either .2 or .5 pounds lighter. I don’t have the other measurements to tell me better how much was fat loss/gain or muscle or water. So once the internet is back up I’ll post that.

I’m ok with this as I spent three days bed ridden this week due to a flu or something. Could be another keto flu I suppose as payback for going off keto for my vacation. So I was actually happy to see that I lost weight. I had actually thought the number would go up.

I’m doing this from my phone at work. I live in a rural area and my cell connection isn’t great but I’ll try to get back to posting daily soon. Take care.

Momentum   Leave a comment

So I’ve been waiting until I get home at night to try and post and there’s one drawback to it. I keep nodding off before I post. My momentum has stopped because I’m sitting in bed doing nothing that requires energy. It wouldn’t take a lot to fix this, just a little movement. That would create enough momentum to keep me going.

How big can a little momentum be? I’ll answer that question with one of my favorite trick questions. I can give you $1 million right now or I’ll give you a magic penny that doubles in value every day that you can’t spend for the next 30 days. Which do you choose? Most people would give me a quizzical look and say “the million bucks, obviously”.

Here’s the reason it’s a trick question. While the penny is literally as close to nothing as you can get in US currency it does have value. Double that value every day for 30 days and that lowly penny becomes over $5 million dollars. If you take the million today you’re getting less then 20% of the money you could have if you were patient and waited for the momentum to build.

How does this relate to life? Well a lot of us will avoid doing small things based on the faulty premise that because the “penny” doesn’t have much value why bother. But even a penny doubled over time can have amazing outcomes. I’m not saying if you can do .01 push-ups today you’ll be doing over 5 million by the end of the month. I’m saying that if all you can do today is a penny’s worth of work do it and try to build on it tomorrow with the momentum you’ve created. Who knows how far that will take you? I do know if you do nothing you’ll stay where you are. Take care.

07/30/2018 Weigh In   Leave a comment

Made a little better progress this week.  My weight was 288.2 pounds, down 2 pounds from last week.  My body fat percentage went from 39.7% to 39.5% which is a 1.4 pound difference.  The .6 remaining pounds was most likely water weight. My muscle mass percentage went from 26.2% to 26.4%, which means I stayed pretty steady at 76 pounds muscle mass.

I have to admit that I’m happier about this result for a bad reason.  I was a little lax on exercising this week.  It wasn’t that I didn’t exercise.  Or that I didn’t do a good amount of exercising this week.  Honestly, though, I know I could have done better.  As I get lighter and in better shape there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be exercising longer and more intensely.

On a good note, I am noticing that my heart rate stays lower while I exercise.  This being another reason I know I should be pushing harder.  But it’s also a good sign that I’m getting fitter each day.  Definitely need to get out more and increase my jog time.

Nutrition wise, while I still need to do a better job of tracking on a more consistent basis, I am doing a better job overall of meeting my keto needs while getting more protein in.  I’ve tracked my ketone levels on meals where my protein intake was very high to see the effect and my blood glucose level still stays in the fasted range.  One reading was slightly above 100 mg/dL, but since that’s the top for when you are actually fasted I’m not too worried about that.  Especially since my lowest blood ketone reading was .7 mmol/L. Well into the ketosis range. I may try to squeeze in a little more protein but I don’t want to accidentally overshoot and ruin the results I got this week.  I wanted to be at or below 280 pounds by the time I went back to Bellingham to visit.  As that’s two weeks away I’m pretty sure I won’t make it but I’d still like to be as close to 280 as I can get.

That’s all for this weeks weigh in.  Hopefully the doubling of last weeks weight loss will be a continuing trend.  Or at least if it holds steady it’s due to greater fat loss offset by more muscle mass gains.  On the whole though still moving forward and that’s all that matters.  Take care.

Keep Going   Leave a comment

This morning when I woke up I wasn’t feeling well. I had a really bad headache and was tired, even though I had just slept the night away.  The easiest thing to do in that situation is just go back to bed.  I have a job that offers paid sick leave, so why not just call in, roll back over, and go back to sleep.  But the easiest way isn’t always the best way.

I had another choice I could make.  Get up and get moving and see how things played out.  So I headed to the bathroom, took some Advil, and took a shower.  When I shower I start off with a warm shower to wash myself, and then finish off with a 5 minute cold shower.  This, as you might imagine, usually wakes me right up.  Not so much this morning.  I was still a little tired and the headache was still there.

After my shower I will meditate for about 20 minutes.  So I lay there in my bed and tried to meditate.  With a pounding headache that wasn’t so easy.  But I persisted.  Over the course of the 20 minutes the headache lowered in intensity but was still there.  The relaxing while helpful for my headache left me even more tired.  I would usually take a 15 minute walk after the meditation but I knew that wasn’t happening this morning so I went straight for my morning coffee.

The coffee helped a lot.  But still not feeling 100% and a bit ahead of schedule since I didn’t do that walk, I decided to give myself a short nap.  I told myself if I still felt under the weather when I woke up I had permission to call in.  I set the alarm for 45 minutes later and laid back in bed.  A little before the alarm went off I woke up on my own feeling way better.  My headache was gone and I felt alert and awake.  I got dressed and headed into work.

At work today I was paired off with a female coworker to do a job.  It was just the two of us so we could speak freely.  We had a great conversation and had a lot of fun hanging out, I mean working, together.  It made my day.  And it wouldn’t have happened if I had just called out, turned back over, and went back to bed.  I’m not advocating ignoring your body and pressing on no matter how much your body tells you to stop.  I’m just saying don’t give up right away. Try to make a day of it.  If you can, keep going.  Who knows what your day will bring you.  What I do know is you’ll never find out if you just take the easy way out.