Archive for the ‘setting goals’ Category

It has come to this.  The metaphorical tornado that is my life swept through over the last couple of months and now I have to assess the damage caused by stress, apathy, inactivity, distraction, and gluttony.  I hate doing this, always have, but it is essential to starting over.  It’s hard to climb out of the hole when you don’t know how far down you are (not to mention which way is up).   It would be far easier to sulk and stew where I am, ignore the depths to which I’ve descended, and find comfort in a blissful ignorance of my current condition.  After all, if I am unaware of how much I weigh now or how many inches I’ve added to my waist then I can’t have any depressing thoughts about how much ground I’ve lost over the last few months.  Well, I can have those thoughts, but as long as they aren’t confirmed by the scale and the tape, I can push them to the side and ignore them with much more ease.

No longer though.  This morning I braved the tape and the scale.  The knowledge I gained wasn’t pretty, but it was essential.  I have returned to a 37 inch waist and about 188.5 lbs.  This is still far better than the 209 or so lbs I started out at, but a far cry from my best weight of 166 lbs.  I did some chin-ups only to find I lost some, but luckily not a lot, of my upper body strength (down from 7 chin-ups to about 4).

But my workout for today isn’t going to be fun, nor will it be easy.  I designed it to be part fitness assessment, part penance for my previous apathy.  Perhaps it will be a cathartic exercise (pun intended).   (more…)

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I’ve written about our family’s dream several times on here before.  For those of you who need to catch up, check out the links below.

A Farm of Our Own

Setting Our Goals

Also Scroll down to the bottom to see a Brief Summary.

Caught up?   Good.  So here is the idea.   Anyone who can afford to share a little just drops a bit in the donate button below.  Who should do this?  If you have some spare change laying around in your PayPal account (or in that jacket you haven’t worn for months) you would be a good candidate. It is all up to you.

You see, I am very curious what could happen if the hundreds (possibly thousands) who have visited this sight over 52,000 times donated a dollar or two towards a fund to help us achieve this dream.  What do you think?  Maybe we could have a good part of our down payment ready to go.

So you ask, what’s to keep me from blowing all the money on booze and comics?  Well, just my word.  I would hope that after almost ten months and tons of embarassing pictures, you guys would know how much a share without reservation.  If anything I am TOO truthful.

If you don’t want to donate, no hard feelings.  Well, maybe a few.  But for those who do, thanks.  Let me know if this whole PayPal things works, I’ve never used it before.

DONATE

Warning: This donation is NOT tax deductible. 

What will we be doing with the money?

1. Down payment on a piece of land- small to medium acreage (30-60 acres).  We are still locating the right piece of property and we are waiting to see where I end up in two to three years with my Ph.D.

2. Run a small scale animal rescue (dogs/horses).

3. Combine the animal rescue with a program for at-risk youth.  We are still learning lots about this, and it is very interesting stuff. Click here to read about one such pet training program currently employed in prisons.

4. Run a fully operational ranch and/or farm (depends on the land) where we can sell a portion of our agricultural returns and donate the rest to local individuals in need as well as local charities.  Some ideas we have include orchards, crops, milk, and eggs.  There is a big learning curve on all this stuff and I spend much of my limited free time reviewing books on these subjects.

5)  Care to make any suggestions to fill this space?  Anything I missed?  Drop a note in the comments section.

God bless you whatever you give- including those of you who give nothing.

BTW, for those of you skittish about PayPal, you can email me and drop a few small bills or a check in the mail.

Frustrated by my inability to hit 159lbs, I am thinking of beginning my bulking up phase earlier than expected. I think I will wait and see how the next goes.

Monday’s workout will be a tough one. Up at 4:30 a.m. to make the 2 hour drive to Greensboro. A crack of dawn run at 6:30 from the parking deck to the Student Recreation Center.  I like to end my run by running the steps outside the fitness center- about 40 in all up a steep incline.  Then a hard workout- as I’ve given my body about 5 days off. When I say hard workout I mean this:

Leg press: [goal] 12 reps@ 270lbs

Squats: [goal] 6 reps@ 180lbs

Chin-ups: [goal] 10

Leg Lifts: [goal] 12

Push-ups: [goal] 50

Reverse Rows: [goal] 20

Pull-down Rows: [goal] 8 reps@ 180lbs

Knee-ups: [goal] 12 reps

Bench Press: [goal] 8 reps@ 210lbs

Dips: [goal] 10 reps

Tricep Push-down: [goal] 7 reps @ 100 lbs

Bicep Curl: [goal] 9 reps @ 90 lbs

Side planks: [goal] 3 reps (each side) @ 20 seconds each.

I ALWAYS start out with legs. Why? Because leg exercises (like squats) are the most anabolic. They get the blood and the testosterone flowing better than any other exercise I can think of. They bring in pretty much every major muscle group and focus on the largest muscle groups in your body- the muscles in your legs.

I will update this post with my actual accomplishments come Monday. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

As we near out first pay check in over two months (times have been tough but God provided) we are set to implement some money saving procedures and a much improved budget.   What have we done?  Well I will share with you three tips today to shrink your expenses and saved lots of money

First, perhaps the biggest change for us, we are limiting our grocery/all things Wal-Mart budget (excluding dog food) to $250 per month.  We are going to enforce this budget limit by taking out $250 cash at the beginning of the month and placing said cash in an envelope to be used each time we shop.  When the money runs out, no more groceries.  As an incentive to save more, 50% of the money left over at the end of the month can be used for ANYTHING we want.

Estimated Savings: $200-400/month

Second, we are going automatic.  We are signing up as many bills as possible for automatic bill pay.  We have been paying anywhere from $5 to $25 dollars in late fees each month.  The main offender is our water bill.  It is the only bill that comes without a return envelope and is therefore easy to forget about.  To make matters worse the local water department are known in our house as the water Nazi’s- if you are two weeks late with your bill they shut off the water and charge $20 bucks (plus late fee) to reconnect.  As if they weren’t selling the most abundant resource that only cost about $30 a month, and we were somehow going to run off without paying that hefty $35 dollar water bill….geesh.

Estimated Savings: $5-$25 dollars

Third, we will be paying down our lowest balance credit card in a month or two and using that card for gasoline- NOTHING else!  Well okay, emergencies, but only real emergencies.  The card will be paid off before the end of each month.  It will help us budget our gas money and allow for quick and easy gas purchases.  Tried buying gas without a credit card lately?  It isn’t fun.

Estimated Savings$10-$25/month on interest

OVERALL estimated servings:  $215-$450 dollars

Well today was the start of my (insert large number here) Two Week Total Transformation Challenge  [I really should trademark that].  So last night I sat and thought about how to make this two weeks different from the more than a dozen challenges that preceded it.  The answer…

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Tomorrow will be a very full day.

I have several projects for tomorrow- not including updating this blog.  I have…

  1. To write an encyclopedia entry on slave patrols,
  2. A guest blog post to write
  3. To complete a journal article (or at least get close to completing it) that I would like to have published before the end of this year.
  4. 300-400 pages to read (some fun American History stuff).
  5. Read as much as I can online about adoption.
  6. A hard workout to kickoff this new Two Week Total Transformation Challenge,
  7. Two very big dogs that need a long walk. Altogether, it means a long and most likely fulfilling day.

In addition, I have three blog posts planned for tomorrow. One will clear up some issues on our adoption plans. The second will be, well, the topic is up in the air at this moment. I will see where God leads me during my morning quiet time. And the third, well let’s just say God came through big on several fronts.

See you then. Until then, God bless.

Despite going to bed at 172.6 lbs a good 15 minute run this morning landed me on the scale at 168.8 lbs. Not only was the weight good, but the run was excellent.

The problem with running is that when you fall off the horse it takes SO LONG to get back on again. For weeks (sometimes months) running can be a chore that hurts your feet, ankles, shins, knees, and lungs. Your stride can feel odd; twenty minute miles leave you feeling ashamed; and you would rather be ANYWHERE doing ANYTHING else, other than running.

But then comes a day like today. Your feet hit the pavement like pistons, firing exactly as programmed. Yeah your sucking air pretty hard BUT your lungs don’t hurt. For that matter, neither do your feet, ankles, shins, or knees. For that firs time you actually enjoy running.

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