Archive for the ‘shame’ Category

After processing the news of Tony Snow’s passing I knew there was something I had to do.  I had to pay a visit to the Daily Kos and see what the folks over there thought of the passing of this genuinely good and kind man who left behind a wife and three children.  What I found what about as revolting as the time back in college when I accidentally took a swig from my roommates dip bottle- which was all to inconspicuously disguised as an ordinary Coke bottle and in very close proximity to my Coke bottle.

I will warn you that the comments are quite vulgar. I must also give props to those on the comment board who had the moral courage to condemn those spewing pointless vitriol- thank you all for standing up to a conmmon decency that knows no political bounds.

Why am I republishing these awful comments?  I think that republishing these comments on this blog can lead to a teachable moment, a moment I will capitalize on next week in a post under the intellectual transformation series.  [Note: All of the below quotes can be found at this thread on the Daily Kos]

“Tony knew that his boss was full of shit and that he was lying to the American people everyday.  He gets no kudos for being a lying sack of shit.  Yes its terrible for his young children, but it is also terrible for the young children of soldiers who keep getting killed because of the bullshit this lying sack of crap spewed everyday from his podeium.  rest in hell.” -Rogereaton

One can have little doubt that what the poster (and countless other folks after him) considered “lies” were more likely than not points of political difference- instances where Tony Snow or those he represented drew different conclusions from the same facts.  Yet, Mr. Eaton is more than happy to condemn Tony Snow to the darkest pits of hell because of their political disagreements.  I guess we are lucky this guy isn’t actually in charge of who gets what final destination.  Aside: For those of you looking for the proper application of the admonishments against judging others found in the New Testament, here you have a perfect example.

“I am a little baffled by the kind words for Mr. Snow on this blog today. Here was a man who could have used his talents to better the world, and he chose to do the complete opposite. I am not sure how he slept at night. My condolances (sic) to his family, but I can’t be sad that he’s gone.”- unionsally

While I am glad she expressed some concern over Tony Snow getting some rest- since we all know a good nights sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle- some might consider it a tres bit gauche to make sweeping moral claims about the dead.  Perhaps we can all find some way to at least stay quiet if we can’t say anything nice about those recently departed.

“You were my favorite of the Bush administration’s apologistic (sic) panderers.  You were a good spokesman for the side of evil and if not for your cancer, would have easily had a promising career in televangilism (sic) should you have chosen to pursue one.”- Juliewolf

The best that I can say is that perhaps this is an attempt at humor that took a disappointing turn.  Note how she connects Tony Snow with “the side of evil” and suggests a possible career in televangelism- since we all know televangelists are horrible people right?  All I want to know is whether Ms. Wolf was among those who decried President Bush when he called North Korea, Iran, and Iraq an “axis of evil.” (A statement I had problems with at the time, although no doubt for completely different reasons. Especially since I do believe that the North Korean governmental system is a clearly evil system.) (more…)

It is always interesting that whenever you take on a major lifestyle change the old habits always seem to find a way to creep in when you let your guard down.  They find the cracks in your resistance and slip on through with ease.  For me it was stress from school that got me eating like I used to and skipping my cardio.  I tend to eat when I want to get my mind off of whatever is stressing me.  That is why I reached 206lbs back in law school, as I was constantly stressed out back then.

Thanks to my continued resistance training I haven’t fallen too far off track, but for a perfectionist like me, I am INCREDIBLY frustrated that I am still hanging around between 167 and 171 lbs.  I should be 159lbs by now.  Well, I would be, if I hadn’t succumbed to my basest urges.

So now is a time for rededication of sorts.  To throw myself back into this fully and fit into this shirt– not to mention make it look good!  So for the next two weeks I am going to reintroduce cardio and bring my eating back under control- no more cookies or chips!

I am presenting for your enjoyment a PowerPoint presentation on slavery I created last year for a course on teaching at the college level. Some of its contents might surprise you. Let me know what you think.

Most of all I want to know if you learned anything knew? Did it challenge anything you thought you knew? What do you think it was missing? Or anything else that might be on your mind.

Just click the below link/file.

What is Slavery

Since this is a slow day for workouts, how about some news stories from around the web.

Sharpton’s Collateral Damage

Future of Imus Charity Ranch Questioned, Deborah Baker (AP).

“Don Imus’s banishment from the public airwaves also deprives him of a critical platform to raise money for the sprawling Imus Ranch, where children with cancer and other illnesses get a taste of the cowboy life…

…Imus said he and his wife Deirdre are round-the-clock surrogate parents to the youngsters who spend a week at the property, nearly half of whom are from minority groups and 10 percent are black.”

[Someone who asked a similar question stirred up a lively debate over at “Yahoo! Answers” (See also this discussion on the same forum). For those of you unaware of Sharpton’s slash and burn (not to mention callous disregard for the truth) past see Larry Elder’s recent article. I’ll leave you to decide if Imus’s good works are of far greater worth than three words- “nappy headed hos.”

Aside: I despise this topic; however, I discuss it because the media has turned it into a major news event. I emphatically state for the record that I can’t stand Imus or his radio show.

For your perusal I have also linked to several comments on Imus’s firing.

Cowards Kick Another Piece of America’s Soul, Kinky Friedman.

“Wavy Gravy says he salutes mistakes. They’re what makes us human, he claims. And humanity beyond doubt, is what appears to be missing from this equation. If we’ve lost the ability to laugh at ourselves, to laugh at each other, to laugh together, then the PC world has succeeded in diminishing us all.”

Music Lyrics Take Spotlight During Imus Controversy, Goff and Alexander [Could also be called “The Giant Double Standard Elephant in the Room.”]

[When asked to defend a rap act where the N-word was used more than 100 times (I bet if the H word (ho) and the B word (b*tch) had been counted the tally would have been much higher) the student body president responded with the following statement- contained in the article linked above]

“Being they are a performing artist group they’re merely here to entertain us. That’s nothing serious in content, they’re here to entertain.” – Student Body President Deven Anderson.

[Imus Fired for Threatening to Reveal 9/11 Secrets?] American Radio Icon Don Imus Disgraced, Fired after Threat to Reveal 9/11 Secrets, Sorcha Faal.

“In a clear sign of its intent to reign in dissident American media personalities, and their growing influence in American culture, US War Leaders this past week launched an unprecedented attack upon one of their most politically ‘connected’, and legendary, radio hosts named Don Imus after his threats to release information relating to the September 11, 2001 attacks upon that country.”

[Is this kind of stuff supposed to be taken seriously?]

The Ten Commandments for Husbands, Doug Giles.

Thou shalt not hang out with horndogs. Hanging out with guys who hateth their wives, who loveth to indulge in the superfluity of naughtiness and who are out to convert the faithful to the Cult of Infidelity is muy goofy. Be not deceived: bad company will land thee in a strip club or an illicit affair which will causeth thou to meet with the chainsaw of Jehovah. Be afraid.”

[An excellent list of ten rules to live by that will keep us men out of most of the stupid and ridiculous situation we often find ourselves in. I also recommend my series (a new section is in the works) on living the deliberate life.]

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Here is where I am starting from:

Weight: 186.6- I know I had been down to 183, but I love my wife’s homemade cookies. 

Measurements: Waist=37 1/2 inches; Right arm= 15 inches; Left arm= 14 3/4 inches; Right upper leg=23 inches; Left upper leg= 22 3/4 inches.

Pictures: Here are the pictures from last night:

april-8-front.jpg  april-8-side.jpg  april-8-back.jpg

So begins week 1 of the Total Transformation Two-Week Challenge.

After sleeping through the guilt and shame of consuming over a dozen oatmeal chocolate chip cookies- not to mention a general lax attitude in my food intake over the last few days- my weigh-in tomorrow will not be very pretty.

So the next two weeks will be a project in both returning to the straight and narrow path of discipline and commitments as well as seeing what my won body is capable of. Below you will see my food and exercise commitment for tomorrow.

Food:

Breakfast– 5 eggs (2 whole, 3 whites w/ smoked turkey breast), one piece of whole wheat toast, 4 cups water, and one serving Creatine.

Snack– Protein bar (20g protein), one serving Creatine.

Lunch– Peanut butter and jelly on 100% whole wheat, one medium pear, and one serving Creatine.

Snack– Protein drink (12g protein), one serving Creatine.

Dinner– Smoked turkey and ham sandwich (w/ lettuce and tomato) on 100% whole wheat bread, blue chips, salsa, cucumber. Two cups of water.

Snack– Jello and 2 cups of water.

*Each serving of Creatine is also a full serving of water.

Exercise:

Sprints: I have a 110 foot drive (so about 36 yards), so I start a few feet before the bottom, and sprint 40 yards up the driveway. Repeat five times, walking back down to the starting point. [I should mention my driveway is at a 30-35 degree angle].

One-legged calf raise: holding weight- in my case a bucket full of rocks.

Rock Carry: Carrying to buckets with 45lbs of rocks each up and down the drive-way 4 times.

Circle Push-ups: Assume a regular push-up position with your left foot raised slightly in the air. From this position, keep your right foot set as a pivot and move your right hand to the right; do a wide grip push-up; move your left hand to the right; do a close grip (diamond) push-up; repeat until you do a full revolution. Now lift the other leg and rotate in the opposite direction.

Plank: Assume a push-up position, and contract your abs as if you were trying to touch your backbone with your belly button. Hold for 15-20 seconds.

Side Plank: From a plank move right into a side plank. Lay on your side supporting your weight on one arm (bent like an L) and one foot. Bridge up to form a straight line with your body. Hold for 15-20 seconds.

[Move from plank, to right side plank, to plank, to left side plank for two complete cycles]

Now cycle through this workout one more time (do as much as you can without unusual pain).

This day last week I woke up sick as a dog- with water and waste coming out both ends (gross I know). The preceding day I had weighed 191 pounds. Now here I am, a week later. The scale this morning read 183.8- a difference of almost seven pounds. So what’s the big difference?

It isn’t water weight, as I have been drinking 12+ cups a day for the last five days- and haven’t had diarrhea since about five days ago.

The primary responsibility belongs to G.E.R.D. and hard work in the yard. My G.E.R.D. suppressed my hunger in a rather severe fashion. Here is an example of what I ate yesterday.

Cheerios, apple sauce, water (4 cups)

Protein Bar (w/ 20 grams of protein), water

McDonald’s grilled chicken wrap, Diet Coke

Protein Bar (same kind as above), water

Two slices of a medium veggie pizza (Papa Johns), Fiber drink (Metamucil) (2 cups).

In addition to my decreased appetite, I have also done extensive amounts of yard work over the past few days. My tasks from yesterday included:

Hauling about 8 wheel barrels full of 5 to 25lbs rocks (about 150-200lbs per load). Setting those rocks up in the garden. Digging about a dozen holes for Azaleas and planting them. Digging a spot for a garden path. Shoveling leaves and hauling a tarp full of them across the road and over to a dumping spot (a legal and approved one for any who might be worried).

On Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I work from about 9 in the morning until 6 at night doing similar tasks- our yard was a mess.

So what do you think?  Is this weight loss good, bad, or in between.  The reason I ask is that I’ve heard countless times that you can only safely lose one pound per week- but I’ve watched a lot of Biggest Loser shows and they seem to lose much more (and don’t appear too unsafe).

P.S.  My Chest, arm, and leg measurements are the same, so it doesn’t appear I am losing any muscle.

P.S.S. Pictures will be posted later today.

“An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning
       will not be blessed at the end.” Proverbs 20:21.

Sometimes you need to sit down, look back, and evaluate what you’ve done.  In such times you need to be honest.  For without an honest review of our actions we repeat the same mistakes over and over out of prideful (and willful) ignorance. 

After this weekend I have returned to about 189lbs (off my low of 187lbs).  The tape says my waist is still approximately 38 1/2 inches.  All this is despite my indulgence this past weekend in rainbow bars, super fatty steak and ribs, left-over Thin Mints, and my daughter’s gold fish crackers (oh childhood memories).   

However, I also worked in the yard hauling heavy rocks (10-25lbs each) and buckets full of gravel (about 40-50lbs).  So it would seem this helped in keeping me below 190.  I can not state emphatically enough how much I don’t ever want to cross over 190 again. 

190 is the line in the sand I can not turn back to, I will never cross again.  It is a indicator that I am still about 30lbs overweight- and have an unhealthy amount of fat hanging from my waist. 

For that reason I am redoubling my efforts.  I am intensifying my workouts, increasing my yardwork, pushing my cardio sessions harder, and eating even better (not counting the last few Thin Mints I had this morning).

Well better start working out.  See you all later.   

Illustration Through Autobiography

I lived a pointless and meandering life for over a decade. I blindly stumbled into excellent opportunities that minimally sustained me without significantly benefiting me (and in several instances I experienced severe harm).

It began before I left high school. Although it is generally good advice to apply to multiple programs, I applied to only one college (one I was lucky to get into). Beginning with my first day of class I managed to do only one thing well- sleep through almost all my classes the first two years.

While at UNC-Wilmington I had an excellent opportunity to work as a fireman (in exchange for which I obtained a free room at the local fire station). Of course I squandered this too with a half-buttocks attempt at learning the requisite skills due to my focus being in all the wrong places (mostly on the attractive women at the beach).

It was during this period that I came to the Lord and was baptized in the inter-coastal waterway.  I thought my life would change, I told myself I was going to change, but I didn’t commit and all my good intentions feel by the wayside.

During the end of my sophomore year I left my intern position with the fire department behind (at the same time ( also quit going to church) and moved right across the street from campus. There I cleaned up my act a little academically and managed to drastically improve my G.P.A. and stay awake through my class. But truth be told I only went from doing nothing to something- but something wasn’t all that much.

When it came time to graduate I applied for only one law school. Not only was I lucky enough to get accepted, but I was accepted with a $17,000/year scholarship. When I arrived there I promise myself things would be different. But only a few weeks into the program I was the same person I had been in undergrad. I spent the remaining three years alternating between paying little attention (doodling in my law books) and studying like mad a week before finals. While this method allowed me to graduate in the top 25% of my class it also led to a severe digestive illness that caused me to lose thirty pounds in about forty days.

You see where this is going? Due to my own thoughtless-ness I squandered every opportunity that came my way, and missed countless opportunities that might have existed had I applied myself. I could tell you more stories, but I think you get the gist of this story.

Looking back I can only wonder what might have been had I thought through some of these major crossroads in my life- much less the everyday decisions. While I am powerless to change the past, I am now committed to ensuring that the same failures don’t sabotage my future success.

Introducing The Deliberate Life

The deliberate life is a journey. The journey begins when you decide that a life of pointless wandering has led you into a place you would rather not be; when you decide to live your life accountable to God; and when you begin living a life marked by conscious decisions- in opposition to thoughtless meandering.

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It happens all the time, the BIG mistake. The circumstances that lead to it can be vastly different. In one instance your life is good, everything is going well, and you are generally content with your life and actions. Then it happens- something that changes the course of your life.

It might be one big mistake. Maybe it’s a college party where you made some poor choices involving alcohol and sex. Maybe you got arrested for possession of (or maybe even for selling) a controlled substance. For everyone that mistake is something deeply personal and life altering.

It might be a series of small mistakes. Maybe you flunked out of college, not because you weren’t smart enough, but because you spent too much time partying. Maybe you have made a series of bad choices that resulted in your becoming entangled in a particularly harmful and near inextricable sin.

But maybe your big mistake didn’t interrupt a “good” life. Your life might be one marked by excess and rebellion since the beginning. A life where no choice was ever wrong, nothing was forbidden, and up to this point you never felt any regrets. And maybe now you are feeling your first pangs of conscious guilt for your sinful lifestyle.

No matter how you got to this point (the big mistake or the long descent), we all have one thing in common. At one point you will think (or have already thought), “Am I too far gone?” It is the voice of the adversary and his powerful tool of shame. An emotion that can, if we let it, keep us from redemption and forgiveness. How? It makes us too afraid to even ask for what we have already been promised.  We feel not only unworthy and undeserving but we feel that even if we asked we would be denied- and our shame would only grow.

Thanks to the Lord, we don’t have to feel that way. Think of the amazing promises God has made to us regarding our sins (no matter how great).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

“as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalms 103:12.

“[N]either height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39.

Why would a holy and righteous God make us such a promise?  Because God loves his creation and He has already made us an open invitation to fellowship and reconciliation.

“The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.” Numbers 14:18.

“You do not stay angry forever/but delight to show mercy.” Micah 7:18.

He expressed His great love when He submitted himself to death upon a cross for ALL of us.

“…my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10.

There is no sin, no lifestyle of sin, big enough.  There is no mistake large enough, life changing enough, to overcome the love of God and His offer of forgiveness and rebirth.  While you may have been living in sin for the last forty years, it only takes one prayer to begin a new life.  The offer is there, it remains only for you to accept.