Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The First Run

Okay, this is actually the beginning of week four, and I thought it fitting to change up the routine and push myself more than I had been. It is about 11 pm on Monday night as I type this. I just got done with my first real RUN of the transformation. Well, it actually was a Run/Walk, but you can understand this is my first time, right? Lungs still sting a little, coughed a bit, and my legs and rear feel like tree trunks right now. Will soon be replaced by soreness and shin splints, for sure. But with that out of the way, I gotta say this really feels good right now! J Is this an endorphin rush? Well, I LIKE it. It is refreshing, and I can see that I need to create this on a daily basis to effect my physical transformation, along with some modifications of my meal (fuel) intake (as I NOM NOM NOM munch on this NOM NOM NOM fresh pear).

Here’s what I did, specifically. I knew I wasn’t going to set a record for a mile run today. Not at my weight or level of fitness. I did, however, want to do something that would challenge me and be hard. I knew that going in. So, I did some basic stretching in the driveway, grabbed a cup of ice water (left it in the driveway for when I returned) and headed off into the night. For the first 60-count (didn’t bring a stopwatch, just counted), I walked. Not a calm walk, but a tense walk, with every muscle in my body engaged. Knees were bent, core was solid, chest and arms flexed in almost an isometric state, and pushed myself forward with a rhythmic use of glutes, hammys, quads and calves. Kind of felt like I was wearing an Iron Man costume. I prefer to think of it as a muscular athletic guy in a 140 lb fat suit. At the count of 60, I took off thundering down the road in my best effort to look cool while making sure I didn’t fall on my face. I did this for the next 60-count. At about count 25, my mouth must have looked like the air intake of one of the engines on a 747, and I thought I might just die. I was seriously re-thinking this running thing when I got to count 60. I spent the next 90 count walking, sucking air, wheezing and hoping Jesus would return right at that moment. But eventually, through the wheezing and coughing, I remembered my decision and why, so I took off for another 30 count run. It was as if my body said “What the … don’t you remember what the last run felt like? Are you nuts?” So at the end of 30, more wheezing and recycling air. Then I started another 60-count power walk, then another 30-count run. Somehow, this run became a little easier. I rested only 30 counts this time, then took off on a 60-count run. I didn’t believe it would happen, but that 60-count run was easier than any of the other runs so far (!!!!!!). After another brief rest, I did a 30-count run and arrived back at my driveway. It was probably about ½ mile altogether, which isn’t really bragworthy, with so many of you doing 193 mile sprints recorded faithfully in Daily Mile, but it was my humble start. Yeah yeah, it adds up to only about 7 ½ minutes, but it felt like an afternoon. The best things I can take out of tonight would include feeling great right now – not the accomplishment, but the physical feelings I am experiencing, and then the fact that even in the middle of the run, the latter stretches were easier to do than at the beginning.

Posting a ‘before’ pic of myself might be in the next entry or two. I honestly have some anxiety about it, and kind of feels like one would feel a couple days before knowing you were going to have to stand on stage in only your underwear. But it might be a good idea to let you all know where I stand right now. I am 5’7” tall, and 295 lbs and actually have a wide-shoulder athletic frame underneath all that extra weight. My soon-to-be-posted before pic will also serve as some accountability for myself.

In today’s OwnIt365 reading, David is running from Saul, and Saul is driven by his anger and bitterness towards David. When Saul discovers that the priest Ahimelech had helped David and his men by feeding them the shewbread and giving David the sword of Goliath, he was exceedingly angry and called for Ahimelech. When the priest appears before king Saul, he tried to play dumb and the king will have none of it, then orders Ahimelech and all his father’s house to be killed. The soldiers standing around him would not do it, so this guy Doeg the Edomite does it for him:

1 Samuel 22:18-23

And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod. And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David. And Abiathar shewed David that Saul had slain the Lord's priests. And David said unto Abiathar, I knew it that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of thy father's house. Abide thou with me, fear not: for he that seeketh my life seeketh thy life: but with me thou shalt be in safeguard.

That last verse stuck out at me, because this is very similar to what Jesus said to us in the New Testament. Abiathar means “excellent father; father of the remnant”. There was an acknowledgement of what he had gone through (v. 22), like Jesus did with the church in Revelation 2-3. He says to abide with him, like Jesus did in John 15. He says he that seeks his life also sought his life, which was also said by Jesus in John 15:18-20. And he ends it by saying “but with me thou shalt be in safeguard”. Wow. Am I the only one who sees that? John 6:37-40 talks about that which God gave to Jesus (us!), and how that he will in no wise cast us out (v37), and then says in verse 39 that it is God’s will that he should lose nothing of what God gave him. David is a ‘type’, of Christ, meaning that he personified many things that teach us about who Christ was. Anyway, I thought that was cool and I wanted to share that with you as well!

Hope you all have an awesome day, and hope these posts have been a blessing to you!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Ups and downs

Well, here I am starting week 3 of the transformation. All in all, I think I feel pretty good, but I would like to say I have had more success fighting those old procrastination strongholds. I have put off several workouts, but I have found a positive out of this thing.

I have been thinking only in terms of a specific workout, like running, weights or power 90. But with spring in full swing, I can say that there are plenty of other projects around the house that require sweat. On Saturday a good friend helped me unload 2 and a half yards of dark brown mulch. That was in the heat and occupied the better part of an hour. Then I played a four hour gig at the Carriage Club. On Mother's day, I bought Missy some nice painted clay planters and several blooming plants. Moved and filled the planters, then planted all the flowers. Then began trimming shrubs and moving the mulch around. That was some good workout action. Woke up this morning a little stiff, but feeling good.

Today, after working until 8, I came home, prayed with the kids and moved mulch again for about 45 minutes.

I have thought of myself as being more confident, particularly in the last 2 years. However, something about making a decision of this magnitude has given me a measure of confidence... Specifically when dealing with people who I would have otherwise been intimidated by. Maybe its just a 40 thing, maybe it is a result of feeling better.

Proverbs 14:26 KJV

In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

This verse came to mind as I thought the confidence I feel. The decision I made was based in transforming myself so my body did what I wanted it to do, not the other way around. That way, I could better "yield my members" in the spirit of the following verse:

Romans 6:13 KJV

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

This will be an ongoing theme, and it will develop, I am sure. Well, that's it for now. More to come!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Workout Wednesday

Today started at 5:30 am when I had to go outside and take the trash container to the curb. Drat! I forgot to move our old trash from our old container to the new container. It was heavy, the sun still hadn't come up, and some animal had gotten in there and tore up the bags. That meant I had to physically lift up the old container and "dump" it into the new one. I am no weakling, but that was hard to do 'quietly' and with good aim. Most of my neighbors also were not up, so I wanted the ruckus factor to stay low. While walking by my truck in need of a good cleaning I collected the remains of toy ads that looked like a newspaper insert, a sonic cup, and several candy wrappers from the back seat. Not a huge workout, but with my arm now hurting again from dumping the old trash container (after making some progress on my injured forearms), it required plenty of effort. Now, to wake up my children...yes they were in rate form this morning. All 3 of them decided I was in the mood to be a jungle gym, so I rassled with them for a bit, then jumped in the shower.

I am not really considering that my workout. I plan on doing some of that after work. Might run or get out on my bike. I do know that skipping yesterdays workout definitely had a price. Didn't feel as good yesterday or this morning. At 40, my body adjusts much slower than it used to. More grunts groans creaks and pains.

Proverbs 20:4 KJV

"The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing."

Folks, this tells me that there will always be excuses not to workout (plow, or till the land of my body). In other words, if you want something to BE different, you must be willing to DO different. If not, you will be regretting your lack of action later.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Troublesome Tuesday

Today I slept in. Absolutely exhausted. I think this is a good time to evaluate the amount of sleep I am getting, along with the quality. When not working out, five to six hours seemed enough. Boy, it doesn't now! So, no workout this morning. I work until 8 tonite and then have a late rehearsal. Another later night. But with sleeping in today, I should be able to get up early tomorrow and resume my workouts. Please pray!

In addition, many years ago, life seemed a lot less jam packed. Working until 8 or even 6pm every day takes its toll.

Yesterday was pretty good from a productivity standpoint... I just felt like I was playing catch up until I went to bed at 10:30.

Monday, May 2, 2011

It is a Good Monday

Good morning! I woke up this morning to another Power90 workout, which was rough, but I am finding that although I am not necessarily able to do more of the moves on the dvd yet (the largeness of my, um, belly makes power yoga very difficult), I was able to increase the intensity of some of the moves. That made for a very good workout, much more intense than last week's workouts.

I missed blogging the last few days about this, so I will catch you up with how I am feeling after this first week of my transformation. I have experienced a big change in my flexibility and ability to reach down and pick up things on the floor. If you have ever been old and fat, you can understand the importance of that second one, particularly when you have small children running around. I also have found that the pain and stiffness that result from sitting for long periods of time have almost disappeared.

I have also dropped soda altogether - I have not had a carbonated soda drink for almost three weeks now. I take that back - I had one for a movie night, but could not even finish it. That's a big deal to someone who didn't believe he could live without a soda everyday.

It is no small bit of news that last night, a team of American Commandos, Navy Seals, conducted a raid in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden, one of the most hated international terrorists in history. I am not sorry he is dead, but I do pause to think about a soul that went into eternity without having confessed the Lord Jesus nor believing that God raised him up from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). Given his philosophy of life, and knowing what the brand of Islam he subscribed to preaches, as well as the orchestration of the deaths of thousands of Americans and other westerners, it certainly plays into our sense of justice that he should go to hell (where he certainly is at this moment). But a bit of perspective on this - Bin Laden isn't in hell because of the despicable life he led, nor for the thousands and thousands of people he killed on, before and since 9/11. He is in hell because he did not accept the gift of eternal life that God freely offers to all. The bible tells us that we all fall short of the glory of God. There is none that doeth right, no not one. Where do you fall in all of this? Have you received the gift?

Last night we learned of a monster that was slain. Today, are there any monsters being slain in your life? Do you have any strongholds that need to be destroyed? Anything keeping you from receiving that free gift of salvation? Let me know your thoughts...

"When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 2 of Transformation

Today is day 2 of my transformation.

I did level 1-2 of P90 cardio again today. It was harder today in the sense that not only did I know what was coming, but all my leg, rear and torso muscles hurt from yesterday's workout. I actually gained about 2 lbs from yesterday. Can't figure out why, but I did. So, whatever. I drank tea and water only again.

I still need to finish my OWNit365 reading today - I wrote this at 7am, after my workout and while making breakfast for my wife, who is now working out herself. I have no observations yet today in this reading, except Proverbs 11:1 - A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.

This verse is talking about judgment, fairness. A balance is what was used to determine the value of something sold by weight. Today, we call it a scale. A just weight is something that weighs a pound and SAYS it weighs a pound. A false balance could be used by a merchant looking to cheat the customer by saying there was more there than actually was. Inspirationally, this is us using double standards and judging people by a standard they likely don't even know about - our own. THAT is an abomination. Do you judge fat people? People who are a different color or culture? People who make less money than you? Don't hold the same views on their career or children? Are YOU the standard by which you measure others?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Of Fear and Desire

Today is day 1 of my transformation.

It started well, but I had to deal with two competing emotions this morning. One would lead me to worry about what I can't do or face, while the other is drive, motivation. If you read my last post, you would understand my desire, or motivation and drive, to transform myself. What I didn't write about were my fears, at least not at length. I am not talking about the 'good' fear that the Bible teaches us. Fear of the Lord. There is a whole other study on this kind of fear, maybe for another day. Also, there is another kind of desire that is an evil, or lustful desire. I am not talking about those things.

Proverbs 10:24-
"The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted."

Fear paralyzes, desire catalyzes. Fear envies, desire loves. Fear is negative, desire is positive. When I woke up this morning, my mind was dabbling in the fear area. Fear reminds us of our failures, and compels us to live in the 'safe' world. Fear sounds rational and tells us that desire is irresponsible. Fear told me this morning that I was a lazy fat kid. Working out would only make me tired and I would fail at it anyway. The old nature wanted me to conform to the wicked. The wicked has fear come upon him. His fears become self-fulfilling prophecy. What a contrast with the desire of the righteous...

The desire of the righteous. What is that? Because scripture says it will be granted. It is interesting to think about this: Some of you focus on the word "desire" in that phrase and think of a Genie in a lamp scenario. "Man, if I could just act righteous enough, I could get anything I want!!" But how would the scenario change if you focused on the word "righteous"? Consider this passage:

Psalm 37:3-6
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light and thy judgment as the noonday." (emphasis mine)

Here we are told to trust in the Lord, do good and delight yourself in the Lord. The results? you shall dwell in the land, be fed, and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Think about it. When you delight in someone (men, when you pursued your wives; women, when you fell in love with your husbands), you desire to please them. In reality, in our marriages, when we seek first and only to please our spouse, it in turn brings great joy to us. When both husband and wife are seeking to please each other, its kinda hard for one not to be pleased! When we seek the joy first, though, without much regard to pleasing our spouse, the results are empty. What about God? When we are delighted in the Lord, we are focused on pleasing Him. As a perfect God, he is not selfish - he is a giver. He will take care of your righteous desires.

S0 what am I sayin? Fear is one of our biggest obstacles to success. When we fear God, however, and seek to please Him, our very desires will line up with His desires, which are 100% pure.

Today I began day 1 of Power 90, the precursor to P90X. I got my butt handed to me today. But I expected that. In 90 days, that is going to be a much different post!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Transformation Begins...

Well, here it is. It has been some time since I have posted, and for that I must ask your forgiveness. I am going to be posting a lot more about a big thing in my life. Yep, its ME. I am big. Too big. Since high school, I have not been overweight maybe once. I have lost a lot of weight over the years, but kept finding it again.

All kidding aside, there are some passages of scripture that really stuck with me this last week, and I would like to share some of them with you:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”

This one kinda got things rolling for me. I was teaching someone on salvation, and that WE are the purchased possession talked about in Ephesians 1:14. God made that leap off the pages, and I immediately felt as if he was saying “Hey, there, dummy. Look what you have done to that body that I bought and have taken up residence in? Are you glorifying me in that thing?” I realized at that moment that this is a thing that I have been fighting for a long, long time, and a battle that I have consistently lost over the last couple decades. I confessed to God that I didn’t even know what to do to get my body into shape enough where it was MY servant rather than the other way around, or if I could even do it at all. I realized I had been living defeated. Embarassed. Bad thing about living like that, is once it permeates one area, it has a tendency to creep into other areas. But God doesn’t make or purchase junk. Now, do I realize that just losing weight itself doesn’t glorify God? Sure I do. But what it represents in my life, as well as getting to the point where my body is in enough shape that I can at least use it rather than drag it around as a liability and a bad testimony of being out of balance.

I will share more about this decision, and a couple of demons I had to face in my past in another post. This is talking about where I am now. I am grossly overweight, and I don’t feel like I should be. I’d like to be able to go to the pool and take my shirt off without feeling embarrassed. I’d like to not have to buy fat clothes. I’d like to be able to get down on the floor and not first look around for what I will grab to help me back up. How am I going to do this? First, I have to be transparent to you. This is not easy. I like being the mysterious musician. I like having a dry, dark sense of humor. I have broken things down into four major areas of focus for starters:

1. Time with God. I read regularly, but I have noticed lately that reading itself doesn’t mean much. I mean a lost person can read. But what about the connection with the author of the book – God? We can read thru the Bible in a year and still not really connect with God. I am changing my strategy a little bit. Rather than worrying if I finish all my OWNit365 chapters for that day, I am focusing more on having real fellowship with God. If that is 2-3 chapters, or if it is all of them, the goal is fellowship and connection with God. I am not speaking down to those that feel otherwise about their daily reading. I am merely saying that the time that I do read and commune with God in prayer should be more about connecting with my Lord than “getting something” or “doing my daily chores”.

2. Eating habits. I don’t eat horribly, except when I snack. Okay, and at LIFEgroup when people bring all that great food. OKAAAAY, and at dinner when I have 2 helpings… anyway, I am making 3 main changes to what I am doing in the area of nutrition. First, I am cutting out the snacking, and when the need to snack arises, I will have a couple backups in place at all times. Second, I am cutting out ALL second helpings of stuff. One trip, one plate. And each plate will be person sized portions, not Beluga Whale sized. Finally, pop of all kinds is gone, replaced by water and green tea.

3. Activity. I want to do some strenuous activity every day. Sometimes that will mean running, other times bicycling, P90, yoga, stacking wood, men’s workout with guys from church, chasing my boys, wrestling, or maybe just a good walk. Okay, six days a week at least. When I mean strenuous, I mean a good amount of time pushing myself to some previously established limits and beyond. I want to be able to run a mile by end of summer.

4. Journal and accountability. I am going to post, hopefully at least weekly, my progress and experience. Failures, epiphanies, lessons and successes. Whoever you are that reads this, you will be able to hold me accountable to what I am setting out to do.

This is not a “lifestyle change”. I hate that phrase. Overused, underachieved. No, this is a transformation altogether. Starting now. I am not asking you to go on this journey with me. Those who want to follow, that’s great. But this is for me, led by God, I believe. Not for my sake, but for His, as according to the verse above, as he purchased this body.