Time to Change – August 23

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So this week was the first with daily weigh-ins.

It was interesting.

First, you get some real time feedback on what you’re doing.  What I was doing mostly this week was eating poorly.  So the number wasn’t good.  Somehow I still came away feeling good, if only because I knew exactly when in the week the mistakes had been made.  Which let’s me pinpoint the problems.  The primary problem is portion size and the lack of any kind of plan for food.  The first is easy in theory, the second one presents more of a challenge.

My schedule is not always consistent and can change relatively last minute.  So menus tend to be wish lists.  But now I have a better eye on that.

Exercise was poor.  I actually intentionally did some “exercise” three times this week.  Not enough, not even close.  Put my Fitbit back into the lineup and was reminded just how sedentary my job can be.  Again, better focus on the issues.

Now to turn that focus into some positive results.

This guy – 2009

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good. (New photo of The Guy)

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

The next milestone is getting back below 195.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

201.4 pounds

Weight Change this week –  +1.4 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 0.0 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Time to Change – August 15

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So what needs to change?

Last week I wrote about the things that presented the biggest challenges for me right now.  Trying to replicate what I did before in a very different environment hasn’t worked.  New context requires new answers. I’ve spent my time off thinking about how to approach that.  Here’s what I found:

  • I need to diversify my exercise routine.  In many ways that’s good because I dislike exercise in general and I am easily bored.  Having different things to do can help keep me interested.  I can do some water exercise for a few more weeks till the pool closes. (Can someone explain to me why the pool is closed at Labor Day when there is still at least a month of warm weather to come here?)  I’m looking at some very basic yoga work, plus this next item.
  • I need to focus more on strength exercises than I have before.  In the past I’ve done mostly (almost entirely) cardio.  As the body gets older you naturally begin to lose muscle mass.  I need to take steps to counter that.  Lean muscle mass will help lose weight.  I will continue with cardio, just not exclusively.
  • Drink more water.  This is one area of past practice that I can go back to again.  It’s easy and it helps.
  • Watch what I eat.  So very basic right?  Making a menu, reducing portion size when eating out (get a to go box for half!), finding the joy in the kitchen again.
  • Daily weigh ins.  This is a change from what I had been taught for years.  But a new study has come out that says that daily weighs helps lose more weight.  It makes a certain kind of sense because you will keep a daily eye on any fluctuations and can adjust accordingly.  So I will weigh myself every morning before breakfast instead of only Friday mornings.
  • Increase accountability by tracking more of what I’m doing here.  If I exercise I’ll say.  If I loaf, I’ll say.

I began some of these already, so the weigh in will tell us the tale.

The Goal

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

Watch my activity at my Fitbit page

The next milestone is getting back below 195.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

200.0 pounds

Weight Change this week –  -0.6 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 0.6 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Time to Change – August 8

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It’s time to begin again.

 

I’ve taken the time off this summer to really think about what I’m trying to do, what I’ve done before and what needs to change.

First thing was the title.  It never really got real, did it?  Nope.  LOL.  So let’s begin with something new.

Being of a somewhat analytical mind, I wanted to figure out what was different from when I’ve had success before.  Because something was different.  I’ve never struggled the way I have over the last year and a half.  Here’s what I found:

  • I’m older.  A good six or seven years older from when I had my best success.  The body changes.  It’s going to be harder.
  • It’s not as easy to exercise.  Not just because of the above but because I’m in a new environment.  For the last decade or more I lived in a village context.  That meant I could just walk out the door and do a two-mile circuit on quiet streets.  Today I live in an apartment complex with limited walking areas within it and no safe area outside it.  Virginia doesn’t do much in the way of berms on their roads.  That creates problems for both walking and biking, my two favorite forms of workout.  Temperature is another issue.  I could workout almost any time of the day during the warm season.  That’s much more limited here.
  • My kitchen doesn’t inspire home cooking.  I know, this one sounds like I’m reaching.  The last couple places I’ve lived have had spacious kitchens with enough .  I’m in a galley kitchen with very limited .  It takes some of the joy out of cooking.  Cooking has been one of my creative outlets so things that limit the potential for enjoyment don’t help.  We made some changes in our organization which has freed up the counters as much as possible.  I think I see some light at the end of that tunnel.
  • The new job is much “busier” than my last one.  My previous position worked at a more leisurely pace.  It was lots of planning, weekly visits and then a half-dozen busy events each year.  This position has weekly events with closer to a dozen big events each year.  It’s taken a while to find some kind of tempo and routine.  That’s thrown a lot of my life into a scramble.  Which is a tough environment to try to get fit and lose weight.

The third and fourth items are the easiest to change.  In fact, I’m seeing some resolution in both of them.  The first there is nothing I can do about at all.  In fact, it’s just going to get “worse”!  The key is going to be how to attack that second piece.  I will have to rely on more forms of exercise than I have in the past.  I will have to find times that work.  It’s a challenge.  I’ve got some ideas about that.  I will share those next week.

In the meantime I stepped onto the scale for the first time in a month.  The number was not good but not as awful as I was afraid it might be.

The Goal

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

 

The next milestone is getting back below 195.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

200.6 pounds

Weight Change this week – 0.0 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 0.0 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/25

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Time to Get Real – July 3 Update

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Still taking a moment to consider.

A few things become clear.  I need to completely re-think what I’m doing.  I also need to be honest enough to say that I’ve been kidding myself for the last several months.  There was no plan, there was just some vague wandering around.  If the wandering was good, I’d drop a couple pounds.  When it was vague, I’d gain them back.  I need to know what I’m trying to do in order to succeed.

 

My job took me to Italy for a week.  We averaged close to 8 miles of walking per day most of the time so I thought I’d done pretty well.  In fact I gained 5 pounds.  That was not a happy weigh in.  I am still not officially weighing in (maybe next week) but the news was better today.  Down three pounds.  So at least trending the right way.

Just wanted to check in.

So let’s see how we do.

The Goal

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

 

The next milestone is getting back below 195.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

199.4 pounds

Weight Change this week – 0.0 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 0.0 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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So Whatcha Gonna Do?

I am on vacation this week.  With back to back pilgrimage and Vacation Bible School I am ready for some down time.

The question everyone is asking is, “So whatcha gonna do?”

It may not be sexy or exciting but the answer is:

NOTHING

Call it a “stay-cation” or just goofing off but I’m not planning on going anywhere (I do have a family funeral this week but that doesn’t count).  I’ve got my fill of travel for the moment and I just want to stay home.

At the same time I seem to genetically incapable of just “doing nothing”.  So I’ll be doing some reading, getting caught up on my various blogs, uploading pictures from my trip to Italy with the pilgrims, cooking dinner, puttering around the house and probably exploring some more of this still new place where I live.

Other than that, nothing.

Peace.

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An Open Letter to Bishop Daniel Martins

The Right Reverend Daniel Martins is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield.  At the current General Convention of The Episcopal Church he recently tweeted “ Never very impressed with the “official youth presence.” How do they get chosen?”,  followed by “Meant no offense re GCOYP. Just being honest about my experience over 5 GCs. Steady progressive orthodoxy; not much Jesus”.  GCOYP stands for the “General Convention Official Youth Presence” a group of teens selected in pairs from each province of our denomination to insure that the voice of young people are heard at the highest level. This is my response to him.

Greetings Bishop Martin,

I don’t believe we’ve ever met so let me introduce myself.  I am a 50-something year old cradle Episcopalian.  Over the last 25 years I have served as a youth minister at the congregation level (as a volunteer), at the diocesan level (as Diocesan Youth Missioner in the Diocese of Western New York for 13 years) and currently serve a congregation in the Diocese of Southern Virginia as the full time Director of Youth Formation.  During my time in diocesan ministry I served as the Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinator for Province II on two occasions.  In that position I worked with the GCOYPs at three of the last five General Conventions.

Let me begin by asking you a question.  Have you ever spent any time with the GCOYP, individually or as a group?  Before you make a judgement of them I would recommend it.  While from your position it may appear that there is a uniformity of theology to these groups I can assure you there is not.  Division on some the most hotly debated issues facing our denomination during this time period has been a real and very painful part of the GCOYP’s experience.  You will find a diversity of opinion, theology and personal piety in the groups.  I can assure you that Jesus has been held dear by all three of the groups with whom I worked.  I have no reason to believe that the current group is any different.

Having been through the selection process three times, I can assure you that ZERO time was spent applying any kind of theological filter to those selections.  Drawing from the available pool of applicants (which we always wished was larger) we considered leadership ability, involvement with their home parish and diocese plus personal abilities to work under pressure and with people with whom they may disagree.  I am proud of the three groups that I helped discern and was honored to walk along with them in their ministry.

As for the selection, it’s pretty simple.  At a certain point prior to General Convention the application period is opened.  Word of this application process is sent to all the provinces and dioceses.  Young people must discern their own call to be involved and submit the appropriate paperwork and recommendations.  Since I have left the provincial ministry at this point in my own journey I will note what happened during the three GCs where I was involved.  It may have changed somewhat since then.  The Provincial Youth Ministry Coordinators (PYMCs) along with the denominational staff person for youth ministry (Betsy Boyd and Bronwyn Clark Skov in my time) receive, review and ponder the applications.  They then gather for a time of prayerful discernment to select two young people from each province.  We worked very hard to get the best balance we could to represent the diversity of our denomination.  Were we perfect?  Certainly not.  But it was not through a lack of trying.  The greatest obstacle was small candidate pools when dioceses do not encourage their youth to put their names forward.

Once selected the GCOYP members are gathered together and given extensive training in how denominational governance works, how to conduct themselves, what they are permitted (by canon) to do and what they may not do.  In my time I spoke to them about how to deal with the media, based on my previous career in the media.  Prayer is a consistent part of their time together as well.  One adult from each province serves as “staff” for the youth of that province.  We are there to support and assist them in any way possible.

One of the things the adults are clearly instructed NOT to do is to “put words into their mouths”.  Everything you hear those young people say are their ideas, their words.  Some of the adults will help them polish the delivery but we do not enter into forming the ideas.  That would directly contradict the function which the young people are called to fulfill.  They are to offer up a voice of our younger generation to the governing body of the church.  In my time serving with GCOYP I know that the adults were meticulous in that pursuit.

My experience with the three GCOYPs buoyed my faith in our denomination.  They humbled me with their faith.  They inspired me with their dedication.  They challenged me to think more deeply.  They blessed me with their friendship and trust.

I would like to urge you to find the time to meet and talk with this year’s GCOYP.  I know that will be difficult, perhaps even impossible, because of the busyness of both your schedule and theirs.  A meal might be an excellent opportunity for casual interaction with some or all of them.  Talk to them.  Ask them about themselves, their homes and their life in faith.  Ask them about Jesus.  Share with them your concerns for them and the church in general.  My prediction is that you will find them to be intelligent, thoughtful, faith filled and deeply invested in our church.  They will listen respectfully, and will question your with equal respect if they disagree.  I believe you will be impressed.  I’m betting you might even walk away thinking “I’d love to see one of our young people serving next time”.

May God bless your ministry and strengthen you during this busy time.

Peace

Jay Phillippi

Me with the Province II youth in Minneapolis

Me with the Province II youth in Minneapolis

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Time to Get Real – June 13 Update

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Just a short note.

I had said that I needed to fall back and reassess.  That’s done.  The other problem is that I am about to enter into my busiest time of the year at work.  A trip, followed by Vacation Bible School, then a week of vacation, another week long mission trip, a week off and a final week long trip.

It’s a challenge because I will have somewhat less control over my diet.  On the other hand I should be registering major activity levels.  So my goal will be to simply be smart about my eating.

I fly out to my first trip later today.  I wanted to get a new baseline weight for this, so I weighed myself this morning.  I’ll be honest and say I expected the worst.  Especially following a big dinner last night (hey, it was my 33rd wedding anniversary), I fully expected to have departed “one-derland” and broached the 200 pound mark.  Again.

It was better than I thought.  Not great, but not what I had feared.

So let’s see how we do.

The Goal

My resolution remains :

I want to am going to be The Guy again.  The Guy weighed 175 pounds and looked good and felt good.  And his blood pressure was good and his blood tests were good.

 

The next milestone is getting back below 195.  I will get there and go on.

Official Weigh In Weight

199.4 pounds

Weight Change this week – 0.0 pounds

Total Weight Loss To Date – 0.0 pounds

Goal Weight and Total to Lose – 175/30

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