Monday, October 31, 2005

Weight Update

Those of you who faithfully read every entry of this blog until I dropped off the face of the earth and stopped posting will remember that I mentioned that I was going on a diet and I predicted I would lose 5-7 lbs. by Halloween. Well today is October 31st and when I stepped on the scale this morning I weighed 156 lb.--the exact same amount as a month ago when I started my diet. That's ok, though, I am glad that I didn't GAIN any weight. Besides my diet was pretty minimal anyway. I simply cut out drinking soft drinks since they are basically liquid sugar and I don't want to wake up one day in a diabetic coma (or maybe I wouldn't wake up).

I can't tell you how difficult even this is. I love the delicious refreshing taste of a Dr. Pepper or Coke followed by another one. And then later another one. And then later I wonder why they make the cans so small. So you see why it was a good idea to cut-back/eliminate it from my diet.

So how did I do this month? Well, I mentioned that my weight stayed the same. I did drink a few soft drinks like Diet caffeine-free Coke, and Diet A&W Rootbeer but these taste so crappy (I don't like Diet) it wasn't really worth it. The only exercise I did was 25 push-ups to impress my wife.

So my goals for this month are to continue to not drink ANY soft drinks, to avoid caffeine, and additionally not have ANY chocolate--starting tomorrow. Today, after all, is Halloween and I plan to gorge myself on mounds of chocolate.

You may ask why I would want to avoid caffeine. The explanation of this gets kind of personal but, what the heck, that's what blogs are for. Caffeine is bad for my digestion. I have a really sensitive stomach and time and time again I have discovered that caffeine will give me really horrible stomach aches the following day after gorging on sodas. Of course, you would think that I would have given up drinking sodas a long time ago but that's not the case. I have had this monkey on my back for as long as I can remember. People who smoke know that it is bad for them but that's not enough to make them stop, usually.

With God's help, I going to start eating healthier, and taking better care of my body because it's the right thing to do. That reminds me of a joke. I'll share it and sign off for the day. Don't be a stranger, now. I'll start posting again so come back and see me.

Dave got down on his knees one day and prayed to God. "God," said Dave, "Please let me win the lottery!"

Well, they drew the numbers for the lottery that week and Dave didn't win and he got pretty mad. He hopped down on his knees and said, "God, I'm begging you! Please let me win the lottery. I won't ask for anything else."

Again, they drew the numbers and Dave didn't win that week.

This time when Dave prayed he said, "God, I am mad at you. Why won't you let me win the lottery?"
Then God replied and said, "Dave, meet me halfway--buy a lottery ticket!"

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Fairy Tale

I just finished reading a book called "God of the Fairy Tale" by Jim Ware. I really enjoyed it because it would tell well-known fairy tales in a delightful way and then use them to point to some truth about life. As I was drifting to sleep last night I made up my own. I guess this is only appropriate since my first and middle name rhyme with fairy tale (Barry Dale). Anyways, for your bedtime enjoyment here is the story of...


Once there lived in a small hut, in a small village, a small boy named Jack. He was very skinny and did not eat much. Jack loved to eat tasty morsels like any other boy but there was nothing to eat except a few small potatoes from a meager garden by the hut. At dinner his step-father would eat most of the potatoes and even the bread. Then Step-father would leave the rest on his plate for Jack's mother. "Here," he said rudely, "I am finished with this tasteless slop". Jack's mother would take the scraps and try to secretly hand them to Jack.

"No, Mother!" said Jack. "You must eat."

"Nonsense," said Mother. "I ate yesterday. And besides you are growing. You need to eat to grow tall like your father."

Ah, Father. Father had been dead for two winters but Jack still remembered his smiling face and tickly beard. Father was a tall, skinny woodcutter who worked long days to make sure Jack and his mother had wood to keep the fire going during the cold winter. Father sold extra wood to feed the family and there was always plenty to eat. Then one night as Father was cutting, a tall tree fell on him and pressed him against the ground. Father was then attacked by wolves and he never came home.

Jack remembered seeing his mother cry and saying "With your father gone I do not know what we will eat." But then Thomas came to the door and said to Mother "I need a wife to cook and clean. I have a hut and food, but only enough food for you and me, not that little runt!" he said scowling at Jack. Then Mother told Jack they would have a new home and she would share food with him. Jack was scared of Thomas and only said, "Yes, Step-father." when Thomas addressed him.

"What are you whispering about?" thundered Step-father. "Runt, leave your mother's food alone and go to bed!"

"Yes, Step-father." said Jack. As Jack walked toward his bed Step-father slapped him on the back of the head. "If you do not go to sleep soon I will knock you out myself!"

Little Jack cried quietly and fell asleep.

The next morning when Jack awoke there were loud booming sounds outside and people talking excitedly. Jack rubbed his eyes and looked around. "What is happening, Mother?" Jack said.

"Do not go outside, Jack, it is too dangerous!" said Mother. "Your step-father has gone to grab food from burning houses."

"Burning houses!" cried Jack and he jumped up and ran outside. Then Jack saw a giant--a large, huge man who was taller than any of the village huts. The giant had dark eyes and blood running from the corner of his mouth.

Jack could not believe his eyes for he also saw a dragon. A huge green, dragon with a long curved neck and fire coming out of his mouth. The giant punched the dragon with his big hand and the dragon bit the giant's arm.

The giant yelled, "Go away dragon! This is MY village. I am going to eat these people."

The dragon hissed back, "Stupid giant, I will eat these people and then eat YOU!"

Jack had heard about the giant and the dragon before from travelers who came to town. The giant would go from village to village scooping up people and eating them. The dragon also roamed the countryside killing people with his fire and eating their hearts out. Both of them would turn the earth brown and kill crops with their evil magic. Now both of them had come to Jack's village and were fighting.

All the villagers watched as the dragon and the giant fought. "Oh well," said Sam the Butcher "they will kill each other." Then Sam walked back to his hut. "Perhaps we should go to another village." said a farmer calmly. "I will pretend I did not see this." said John the Baker.

"Wait," cried little Jack, "someone must stop the giant and dragon!" But no one listened. All the people muttered to themselves and walked off. Glenda the old maid grabbed Jack by the wrist and said, "If you have any sense you will go hide yourself or they will find you. If you do not you will die. The taylor's family has already been burned alive in their hut."

Jack rubbed his wrist and walked toward the giant and dragon who were still fighting. He walked past the blackened, smoking taylor's hut. He saw a burned body on the ground outside the hut. It was Step-father. He had a large hole in his chest where the dragon had eaten his heart.

Jack shuddered and almost burst into tears. "Someone must stop the giant and dragon!" he thought. Jack pictured his mother frightened inside their hut waiting to be burned and eaten. Jack pictured his father pinned helplessly beneath a tree and being attacked by wolves.

Jack ran toward the giant and dragon. He got so close he could feel the wind from the giants' punches and feel the heat from the dragon's fire.

Jack squeaked with all his might, "Go AWAY you wicked beasts! LEAVE!"

Jack trembled as the giant and dragon turned to look at him and Jack braced himself to be eaten.

"ANT!" thundered the giant "I will crush you."
"How DARE you speak to me, boy!" hissed the dragon "I will turn you to ashes."

Jack sobbed and fell to his knees.

Suddenly, the elf-king on his large white stallion appeared. His crown was shining gold, his beard was the darkest red and he carried a lance so long and straight it looked like the trunk of the tallest tree. Without a word, the elf-king charged his horse at the dragon with blinding speed. The magical lance sunk deep into the body of the dragon burning away all flesh it touched and turning the tough hide to smoke. The dragon wriggled and collasped into burning ash.

Then giant seeing that the dragon was dead smiled with a wicked grin and swung his huge fist at the elf-king. From his hip the elf-king drew a sword that shone like the sun and in a flash cut the giant's fist off in mid-swing.

The giant howled in pain and raised his bloody arm which now had no hand. "I have killed a thousand lesser men than you, Elf, and you will die too!" cried the giant.

Then the giant lept at the elf-king with all his weight and with a loud crack landed belly first on the ground trying to crush the elf-king with his giant form. But the elf king atop his stallion was quicker than the wind and was not under the giant when he landed. Instead, the elf-king appeared by the giant's head.

Leaping from the saddle the elf-king again struck with the brilliant sword like a woodcutter splitting wood. The giant's enormous head rolled off like the wheel of a cart and rested near Jack who stared into the whites of the giants rolled-back eyes.

Jack dared not rise from his knees in the prescense of one so great as the elf-king but suddenly the elf-king stood in front of him and raised his tiny chin with his strong hand. "Jack, you may be small, but you spoke the truth. Well done."

Then the elf-king smiled and leaped upon his stallion. As he rode, the ground beneath the horses hooves turned lush green.

Jack ran home to his hut. He could not believe his eyes. Their meager garden was now a beautiful orchard with full fruit trees. In fact, everywhere Jack looked, there was beautiful flowers and greenery. The land was healed. The door opened and Jack's mother ran to him and kissed him and hugged him.

"Oh, Jack," she said while crying with joy, "you are alive."
"I AM alive, Mother." said Jack. "And we will never have to worry about food again."

copyright © Barry Bishop 2005

Sunday, October 02, 2005

My weight

So I mentioned before that I was 130 lbs in highschool. Even though I am only 5'7" that was still pretty slim. Since then the years have been good to me and now I find that my pants are getting tighter and tighter. For instance, I used to wear jeans that were 29" in the waist but now I'm up to 32"--a snug 32".

Part of the problem is that I love to eat and by "eat" I mean junk food. You ought to see my trash can at work. It's pretty embarrassing how the bags of chips and cans of coke and such piles up in it so fast. To be honest though, I have always eaten a lot of junk food. My age [and inactivity] are catching up on me, though. For years, I have lived in ignorance by avoiding scales. Three days ago I bought a scale hoping to change my gluttonous ways.

So to see what the damage was I stepped on the scale first thing in the morning while I was in my underwear. 156 lbs.

Hey, not bad! Especially since I had weighed the day before and it said 166. Believe it or not, my boots, wallet, jeans, car keys, cell phone, pocket knife, space pen, and shirt weigh about 10 pounds. This is a really great way to start a diet--lose 10 pounds by disrobing. I have a feeling that the rest of the pounds won't come off as easy.

So what is my diet? Well, I don't want to push myself too hard so I am cutting out all sodas from my diet and trying to eat a little less junk and if I feel like it do a few push ups and situps. That's it. My goal is that by Halloween I will have lost 5-7 lbs by simply doing this.

So far the progress has been the wrong way. The second day I weighed I was 158. This was probably due to the fact that I hit a Chinese buffet the night before and ate about a million California rolls.

I am confident that I can lose weight over the long haul if I just follow this diet for the rest of my life. The hardest part is giving up sodas. I really love sodas! Even typing this makes me wish I had a cold Dr. Pepper to sting my throat or a Coke to eat the lining of my stomach. I know I'm a sick puppy--that's why I'm trying to change.

Honestly, if I had drank beer like I do sodas I would be considered an out-of-control alcoholic.

Alright, I'll update you on my weight from time to time and you can guess at how much I'll lose or gain. Or if I'll fall off the wagon.