Friday, Mar 11 2022
 
 

Starting Again


40 before 40 update:

Im working hard on my relationship with food, professional help has not worked in the past so I am on my own on this one. I was able to move more yesterday and I was able to get on my bike this morning, but the boys are home today from daycare so that will have to do.

It is my firm belief I can do this. I know I can, I will need the support of anyone reading this! Please reach out and check on me and encourage me!



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Wednesday, Mar 9 2022
 
 

40before40


I am going to start another everyday blog so that I can try and lose 40lbs before I turn 40! this is a test.



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Monday, Oct 26 2020
 
 

Diet Journal


I know I cant commit to this everyday, but I do need to make progress towards doing this more often as it is a part fo the journal, and the stress eating I have been doing I am up 8lbs.

Why am I doing noon? I have done a bunch of the fab diets over the years and nothing really ever sticks. I lost the most of my weight on weight watchers, but as soon as I was off it all the weight came storming back. So why am I doing noom? I am attempting to correct the mental aspect of the dieting process. I have an unhealthy relationship with food and I can no longer let that define me.

So today I will keep it simple. Today I am just here to admit: I have an unhealthy relationship with food, and I need to do something about it.

that is all



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Wednesday, Oct 21 2020
 
 

Charles H. Roberts PhD


I guess I will start by saying I don't know where to start. Everyone thinks their father is the best father to ever father (most people at least). I won't assert such a claim as it seems too cliché. Instead i will tell you the type of father he is and let the facts speak for themselves.

  • The type of father that doesn't let a B slide in a math class. Education was not something my parents took lightly. My brothers and I were held to a very high standard when it came to our education, especially math. At a young age my father would take me to the classes he was teaching at MSU from time to time. Mostly to run the camera for footage no one would ever watch, but I would also end up learning during the process. My cousins used to make fun of us for going to "Math and science" camps during the summer, we had to because my dad was the one running them! Yet again, something I took for granted until my first few days in college, a time when most freshman are overwhelmed when they see the amount of school work and the new social atmosphere. Not the Roberts boys. I felt prepared and ready to tackle what the professors were throwing at me because of all the extra homework my parents had given me over the years. Did it work? Two sons graduated from Georgia Tech, and the third son from the school up north that shall not be named.
  • He always had my back (unless it was a teacher saying I did something wrong). Once, I was being bullied on my long walk to 6th grade. After a couple days of this I decided to tell my dad. Did he go to the principle? Find the bullies parents and have a nice "sit down"? No, he followed me to school and hung back just enough that when the bullies showed up like they always do, he sprung into action. For the next 6 years those two didn't come near me, and even feared me a little. It was nice...
  • Those long trips to Georgia. About once a year, my dad and I would get into his Nissan Z and embark on a journey to Macon to see my grandparents. Just me and him. We had long talks about school and life. I learned to love Ottis Redding and the Jackson 5, though the Jazz he played never seemed to stick. He regaled me with stories about how he invented wine cooler by mixing kool-aide and rum in college, or his grand idea for satellite radio. Sometimes there was some adventure. Once I woke up in the middle of the night to find the car pulled off to the side of the road, my dad no where in sight. When I called out he appeared outside of the car changing a tire. Another time we stopped at a restaurant in Tennessee where we just happen to meet Alex Haley, and I subsequently embarrassed him by not knowing who Mr. Haley was. I spent the next 5 days at my grandmas house watching Roots on VHS.
  • His effect on my friends lives. To this day, my friends from Lansing will tell you about the Math Club my dad started in Junior High, something we all thought at the time as nerdy but still had fund hanging out and solving logic puzzles. They will tell you that while we thought it made us outcasts, the critical thinking skills we learned in that club became very important later in life. Here is one of his favorites. There's a duck in front of two ducks, a duck behind two ducks, and a duck in the middle. How many ducks are there?
  • SOHCAHTOA and the dipstick. While most dads where teaching their kids about carburetors and fishing rods, our dad was busy explaining complex trigonometric ideals to us. Once, my car was making a funny noise, so i gave my dad a call as a son should. My dad asked me to check the oil. "Oil?" I said, "How do I do that?" He asked me to pop the hood and find the dipstick. "What's a dipstick?" I asked in return. "Boy, you don't know what a dipstick is?" "No dad! Too much SOHCAHTOA, not enough cars."

These words are only a small fraction of what my father means to me, a fraction where the numerator is love, and the denominator is knowledge. Sure, I have a credit card made out to "Benjmain Roberts" because I still often misspell my own name, but I have the greatest model of a father and husband anyone could ask for. Every bit of the man I am today is just me trying to be my father. He set a very high bar in life, and given his beginnings, that was a hard thing to do. He was firm with the belt, and giving with the love. Even in high school when I worked late at a movie theater and would come home and pass out on the couch, only to be asked to move by my dad who was kicked out of the bed for snoring, I knew that was love. Every punishment, love. Every bit of yardwork, how to work hard. Every bit of extra math home work, preparedness. Every time he threw a party for mothers odd/prime numbered birthdays, that surprises keeps a marriage alive. He taught me so many things that I haven't even realized yet. His spirit may be gone, but his legacy lives on, and I cant wait to see what he teaches me next.




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Sunday, Sep 27 2020
 
 

Soccer and Basketball


Ok, I'm tired of getting into this argument with you soccer fans. Yes, there are more fouls called in basketball. Let me break it down. There are 22 players on the field in soccer and 1 referee. In basketball there are 10 players and 3 refs! So if there are more police in basketball, there is going to be more crime reported. It doesn't mean there isn't any crime in soccer, you can just get away with it more because there aren't a lot of police around to catch you. So when you see those statistics, just keep in mind how any police there are in the black neighborhoods and not in the soccer neighborhoods. Not saying soccer families commit more crime, but there will definitely be more arrests in the black neighborhood since they are over policed.

... I think I mixed up my rants...



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Friday, Jun 12 2020
 
 

Some things we need to keep in mind


With everything going on in the world, there are some truths we need to keep in mind:
  • ALL lives do matter, black lives are a subset of that. ALL lives are not the ones getting killed by cops every other night on the evening news, so for right now we need to be specific. When other "colors" are struggling with something, feel free to start a green lives matter, orange lives matter, etc. movement, I will gladly be on board with that too.
  • Resisting arrest is NOT PUNISHABLE BY DEATH
  • If you want to do something about the situation right now, join a PEACEFUL protest, or better yet, VOTE, and I mean everyone, VOTE.
  • The protesters and the looters ARE TWO DIFFERENT GROUPS, sure there might be some overlap, but as soon as you start looting,you are no longer protesting.
  • LOVE is whats going to make this come to an end. We have to learn to love each other and remember we are all human and are not all that different.
that is all...



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Thursday, Apr 5 2018
 
 

Stage 1: Detox -> Day 0


Today is day zero, meaning tomorrow I start detox. I haven't got to the part of the book where she tells me what to eat everyday but I am getting there by tomorrow. I have been counting calories and that has been going great. Last night instead of popcorn and booz like normal, I ate a banana with light whip cream, grapes, and cinnamon. Next time I will be able to back that off to doing something non-food related.

I don't have measurements, im trying to leave the scale out of it for now...



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Tuesday, Nov 14 2017
 
 

Keeping it going!


My morning walking routine is kicking ass!!


Now I just have to eat right....


le sigh



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Thursday, Nov 9 2017
 
 

6 days in a row


I have been doing my 545am plan everyday since I posted last week and it has been going great! I have had 10K+ steps everyday, I'm at the top pf my friends list on my fitbit. I hope I can keep it up everyday till the babies get here.

Lets get on a scale soon right...






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Wednesday, Nov 1 2017
 
 

Early Morning Workouts


I have devised a temporary plan to get a few more steps and only sacrifice 15 minutes of sleep. i am goign to wake up at 545, and immediatley leave the house, getting to the church where I carpool around 6am. I will then walk for 45 minutes until the time we meet to goto work, and get dressed once we arrive at work. on the days we dont carpool, I will go straight to work then walk near work for the 45 minutes! Sounds like a plan, lets see if I actually do it. Today, Check.

Forgive yourself for the blindness that put you in the path of those who betrayed you. Sometimes a good heart doesn't see the bad.



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Tuesday, Oct 31 2017
 
 

Birthday Boy


The excuses we make in order to justify the crappy thing we eat is amazing. Its my birthday. Its a party, Its the super bowl. its HER birthday. Its a potluck. Its Tuesday. rediculous.

I will never tackle this thing as long as I continue to make excuses for the shit way I eat.

I had cake for breakfast again.


One of the simplest ways to stay happy is letting go of the things that makes you sad.



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Wednesday, Oct 25 2017
 
 

Have a Brightline Day!


As I usually do, I read the cliff notes for this book on how to handle the psychological issues with food, and think I know anything. This book, The Brightline Diet, outlines some steps to follow to break your addiction to food, which I firmly believe I have. In a nutshell, I have to stop eating the things that "reward" my brain (sugar, flour) and stop snacking. As far as your mental health, it suggests a regimen of meditation and inspirational quotes.

We don't know what tomorrow will bring. So don't stay mad for too long. Learn to forgive and love with all your heart. Don't worry about the people who don't like you. Enjoy the ones who love you.

So far, since Friday I have lost 4 pounds. good start, need to work harder at working out. Part of the bright line thing is writing in a journal, so I will be trying to do that as much as possible.



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Tuesday, Oct 24 2017
 
 

Too Much Money on Food


Long story short here, I have spent 257 dollars this month already on food, and by food I mean eating out at lunch or out drinking with friends and co-workers.

That's Absurd.

no wonder im fat

and broke

time to nip this shit in the bud.



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Tuesday, Oct 3 2017
 
 

Train of thought


my mind and my heart have been all over the place lately. With the kids coming into the world, the world being a crazy jacked up place, the stupid HOA issues I am having, work, I can't seem to focus on one thing at a time.

Why am I always tired? Why am I anxious? Why am I not happy?

I wish I had the answers to at least two of those, then know I could solve the third. I don't want to be at work anymore, and I don't really want to be at home a lot of the time, I don't really know where I want to be anymore.

I need to stop being so damned emo.



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Friday, Jul 14 2017
 
 

Ketogenics: Let's try this now


I am not a big fan of jumping from fad diet to fad diet, but I need something, working out and trying to diet has not been working. My wife said that I either have to go hardcore or not at all, even from her perception that's the only way I have ever been successful with dieting.

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates.

So far I have been on this diet for just a couple of days, but I can already "feel" a difference. One of my friends has been doing it, and he looks great! So I am motivated to get on it and get like him.




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Wednesday, Apr 12 2017
 
 

New Diet Plan: Day 1.


I have not been stepping on the scale, its been more disappointing then helpful as I will be good for a week and see nothing, so for now I am going to try this scaleless and continue to work on my will power.

Yesterday was good, kept my wits. today is another day.



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Tuesday, Apr 11 2017
 
 

I haven't found that edge


I'm still looking for something to effectively motivate me. Last January I made a pledge to loose weight and spent 12 months gaining it. this year I have done the same with the same result.

No declarations of no more.

Just hard work.



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Monday, Apr 10 2017
 
 

Are you yella?


Any fans of 80's movies out there? Specifically the back to the future franchise. There were these moments in the film where the protagonist would have a confrontation with the antagonist and it always ended the same way. Right when cooler heads were going to prevail and the protagonist was about to walk away, the antagonist would call him a chicken, leading to the protagonist to do something stupid.

I am having a somewhat similar situation...

For me, the antagonist is simply everyone else in the world (not that I see the world that way, just for the purposes of this simile), and I cannot stand being called "Big Guy"

I get it, you meant it as a compliment, I HATE IT.

Today I am turning that into motivation. The guy at Costco tonight called me big guy and I guess it stuck in my craw.  So im back at square one AGAIN.

the only difference is...

I'm mad...

and ready to do something about it.



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Friday, Nov 18 2016
 
 

Weight Loss Self Challenge


I've challenged myself to loos weight again, so far I'm not doing a great job.

I promised my wife I would be 190 by our anniversary next year... I do not know how much I weight currently so I am not sure how big of a task that will actually end up being.

Man oh man, just to make it through the holidays...



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Monday, Oct 17 2016
 
 

Micro Blog


So I've started a micro blog in hopes of gathering more accurate information about my eating patterns, to then in hopes understand why I feel hungry, the things I can do about it in the future. It is going pretty well so far I think, it has only been about a week. If there is a want for anyone to see these micro blogs maybe I will find a place for them on this site. In the mean time they remain private!



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Friday, Aug 5 2016
 
 

More Of what I shouldn't have eaten, pictures...





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Monday, Jul 25 2016
 
 

What I should not have eaten, weekend edition


Went to a house warming party, so EVERYTHING there.
  1. three beers
  2. hamburger
  3. chips
  4. half a hot dog
  5. cookie for breakfast? who does it?
  6. beer
  7. popcorn
  8. mango juice
  9. chocolate
  10. Peanut butter m&m's
thats all I can think of at the moment, but a big lit none the less, need to get these numbers down.



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Friday, Jul 22 2016
 
 

Things I should not have eaten


I'm back and I'm fat!

OK so I stepped on the scale today and it was not good

So I need to be honest with myself on the things I should not have eaten the day before.

Lets start

  • chocolate
  • popcorn at night
  • grapes at night
  • goldfish
  • soup after 7
  • coke zero




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Thursday, Feb 18 2016
 
 

The difference between Star Trek and Star Wars is you're an idiot.


Howdy fellow space fans. Are you being ridiculed for liking Star Trek or scoffed at for your Star Wars obsession? Yeah me too. It comes with the territory. I've grown to welcome it. Approximation is the highest form of flattery. There is but one mockery that cuts me like a knife and it goes like this:

"Hey, Lance, did you see the new Star Trek movie?", says one of my now former family relations.

"You mean Star Wars?", I reply, giving them at least the chance to correct their misnomer. My intention was to wait for them to admit that though they knew it was Star Wars and not Trek, they accidentally switched the nouns. Common mistake. Totally forgivable.

"Star Wars, Star Trek, whatever.", Cousin Idiot retorts, "Same difference."

Ok. Right.

"So did you start the conversation that obviously took you more energy than you anticipated investing in oxygen than it did in sincerity with the intention of turning YOUR mistake into a specific insult, are you arrogant, or just dumb?", I politely think to myself.

"Yeah I saw it.", I answer, sparing what little credibility his brain has left.

Cousin gives me the condescending thumbs up and continues to live blindly for the rest of his life, and I move on. I've heard it before, over and over.

Let me break it down for the Cousin Idiots out there. Star Trek is Science Fiction. and just because a story might involve a spaceship flown by a magic wielding marsupial, that alone doesn't make it Sci-Fi. Science Fiction, whether it takes place in space, on Earth, in the future or the past, is a prediction of events based on either the proven or theoretical laws of Einsteinian Physics. It can imagine fantastic things like time travel, but only with a reasonable explanation of how that might work. It never contains elements of religious or unexplainable intervention, and it can't involve magic. Star Wars is Fantasy. It makes up its own rules. It's not earth in the future, but a galaxy far away, a long time ago. It relies on "the force", a mystical power with unlimited potential for physical and mental manipulation, and offers no scientific explanation of itself. Harry Potter and Guardians of the Galaxy are Fantasy movies. Back to the Future, Minority Report, and The Terminator are Sci Fi. There can be a mixing of the two genres with stories like The Matrix, for example, which could have been pure Sci-Fi, but its creators decided to give the protagonist Neo a God-like ability to bring people back from the dead, defying science itself. Spoiler, I know, but pure Fantasy. (For those of you paying attention and wondering how Spock came back from the dead, he never actually died. Vulcans have the ability to transfer their soul or " Katra" to a host body before dying, and retain the ability in rare cases to be reborn.)

What I love about Science Fiction, and Star Trek in particular, is that it doesn't have Fantasy's luxury of playing God or betraying Einstein. If it wants to make us believe something about the future or the past, it has to make an effort to operate within the confines of scientific reason. The producers of Star Trek even enlisted renowned physicists Denise and Michael Okuda as consultants to the show. Every piece of their imagined technology has been refined to have a reasonable explanation of its engineering. For example, to explain the "Warp Drive" theory for its starship, the Okudas postulated how that might actually operate. Warp Drive is the theoretical engine used aboard the USS Enterprise to bend or warp space itself in a "bubble" around the ship, allowing it to travel faster than the speed of light and thus compensate for the conundrum that if you truly were to skip around the galaxy with ease, even light speed would take forever. That's what I call Science Fiction, Cousin.

I happen to be a fan of both Star Wars and Trek, and it's natural to confuse their titles. Even I switch the names occasionally, but only the names. To accidentally switch the names and then brush it off with an arrogant and ignorant response like, "whatever", makes you look stupid. I know that for certain because to fall into that trap, you must be talking to a fan of one or the other, and even if we spare your feelings, it's still ignorant and offensive. For Star Wars fans,you've lumped them in with the much geekier, canon obsessed, Trek fan base. Star Wars has a much larger, mainstream following with a broader cultural, gender and age demographic, so it's way "cooler" than being a Trekkie. The real insult is what it does to we Trek fans. Trust me, we like Star Wars, but more like the way a kid likes The Neverending Story. By lumping us in with Star Wars, you rob us of the gift of our benevolent religion, and the distinction our long and arduous commitment deserves. It's kind of like confusing a doctor with a dentist, but more like a physicist with a Phys-Ed teacher.

It's impossible to become a Trek fanatic overnight, or even in a year. It's a journey, and there's enough of it to spend an entire lifetime exploring. The original Star Trek television series that I think even my cousin recognizes began in 1966, and introduced our patron saints, Captain Kirk and his pointy eared sidekick Spock. Since that time, it's spawned 6 different TV series over 30 seasons for a total of 725 hour long episodes. We will also be marking its 50th anniversary with the release of the 13th feature film later this year. Even if you binged watched it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, it would take you almost 19 weeks to complete. The incredible thing is that every piece of it ( aside from a few discrepancies only we doctorates are qualified to debate) is connected in a cohesive timeline that spans from around 2060 to almost 2400 AD, and we patiently await its inevitable future and beyond. Star Wars just released its 7th film since 1979, and aside from 2 animated series and an embarrassing Christmas special, that's it. It takes a holiday weekend to become an expert. Mathematically, that proves the level of sheer time commitment a real Trekkie fan dedicates to become official. I easily rank in the upper echelon, and I have yet to see every TV episode. I'm close, but the closer I get, the more conservatively I ration what little is left, like a senior citizen saving for a Florida retirement.





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Tuesday, Nov 24 2015
 
 

Just trying to be Hygenic


"went to put lotion on my foot before i go to the doc so I aint ashy than a mug, but my whole office just saw me pick up a bottle of lotion and walk into a private bathroom..."



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Friday, Oct 9 2015
 
 

First Two 'Real' Frames


I seem to be struggling to drink my 100oz of water everyday. Need to get a fix on that. Otherwise I'm off to my usual uneasy start when I bowl. I did pretty well yesterday knocking down 9 pins! I've weened myself off the work free food closet pretty well, that for me was going to be the toughest pin to tackle. Not eating after 7 is also a hard one, I don't get home until 630 and have to rush to put something together.

Goal Today: Drink my 100oz of water and pick up this spare.



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Friday, Oct 2 2015
 
 

STTRRRRIIIIIIIKKEEE



I got a strike on my first warm up roll! It wasn't easy, not eating after seven is a lot harder than I remember it being when i was dieting hardcore. On to frame number two.

Trying to find a way to be able to keep score of the game online, right now I have a scorecard I printed out and put on my fridge, if your interested in playing, download your scorecard here!



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Thursday, Oct 1 2015
 
 

My Ten Pins


I have created the ten pins for my Diet Bowling Challenge! 
  1. Do not enter the snack closet
  2. No Sodas
  3. No food after 7PM
  4. Track all my food with Weight Watchers
  5. Do my nighttime calisthenics OR goto gym during the day
  6. Eat breakfast, keep it under 10 points
  7. 100oz of water a day
  8. Only 2 cups of coffee
  9. Eat veggies with dinner
  10. Eat a snack that makes me happy
Going to spend a few days I think getting "Warmed up" before I play for real, and also work on the score card!



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Wednesday, Sep 30 2015
 
 

Diet Challenge Bowling


This idea is coming to me almost as I am typing it, but my idea is to have what I am calling for now "Diet Challenge Bowling". Here's how it goes.

Step 1: The Setup
In order to bowl you need to setup the pins. For the next ten days (as there are ten pins in bowling if you are not aware), I will be creating my pins. Each pin is a particular health/diet challenge, that can range from something very generic like "thirty minutes of exercise" to something personal and specific like "NOT going into the snack closet at my job". Every day you need to add a new pin to the game, while maintaining the pins setup the days priore. So if your first pin was to get thirty minutes of exercise, then when you assign the next pin, you have to continue to get thirty minutes of excersise as well, therefore giving you ten simultaneous activities by the end of ten days.

Step 2: Play the game
Now comes the hard part. Each of the next ten - twenty days is a frame. If you are only able to keep five of your pins one day, you have the next day to try and pick up the other five - get the spare. (this gives us the ability to be flexible, it will be really hard to do all ten at once, your bound to slip or have a life circumstance keep you from being "perfect" but the hope is that by the end of the setup period, you've gained the endurance to get as close to doing all ten at once.) You would keep score just like you would in a bowling match, I wont go into those details here. 

Step 3: Evaluation
At the end of every game, you can decide if you need to change a few pins, if they were too hard or too easy, and play the game again, and try and beat you score! Figure out what you did right the last game, what you did wrong, take 1 day off, and start the game all over again! Ready?

I am going to start min with the challenge to not go into the snack closet at my job. Pin #1!



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Tuesday, Sep 29 2015
 
 

Conversation


Her: "I saw a thing on Facebook that they are talking about removing gullible from the dictionary because its too hard for some people to understand"

Me: "... its really sad you and my dad don't hang out more."



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Friday, Sep 25 2015
 
 

Finding That Motivation


I'm still having issues finding my motivation so I have been reading my old blogs trying to figure out what I did before to get past this, and I came across this blog and remembered my "GED" challenge. I am going to start this back up and I am going to find my weight anchors and put those back around my neck again. Get this thing moving.

Still having issues with my weight, I loose, I gain. So sick of the ebb and flow. I'm starting my count of "Good Eating Days" over again, and challenging myself to 7 straight days to start. What does a "good Eating Day" look like you ask?:
  • Tracking ALL food eaten
  • Not going over my allotted points
  • Not eating after 7pm
  • Eating breakfast
  • Careful snacking in the afternoon
  • The last one is key because I tend to snack a lot while I sit at my desk in the afternoon, vending machine food, terrible. I am going to stick to chewing gum, eating applesauce and drinking water to avoid the snacking.
Well I hope I can do this. I'm wearing my anchor (even got WW to replace them so they are newer looking), I feel super motivated, I need to get more exercise. I just hope I can keep this up and get this weight off. Need to be strict with myself like I was when I started that journey.



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Wednesday, Sep 23 2015
 
 

Day One... AGAIN AGAIN


Finally stepped on the scale for the first time since I injured myself and it was not a good idea. I have gained another 10lbs and I am starting to loose my mind. 

Food is happiness for me, we all know that, but right now I am finding myself in dire need of this happiness. Being "disabled" has been rough for me, and with my wife in super stressed mode with her dissertation I have not been laying the bulk of my depression on her, and still trying to be a good husband and keep her mood up as best I can. At the end of the day the result is a decently happy wife (which is important), but leaving myself in shambles on the inside wanting to scream all day long. 

One of the few things that puts a smile on my face is food. Eating doesn't make the pain go away, but it does a great job of hiding it for a few moments. I've said this before, I never attacked my mental issue with food, just forced myself to work around it to loose weight. My usual workarounds, like exercise, are no longer an option. So what do I do? 

I've started writing on my arm again, hoping that will give me some sort of motivation. I've been tracking all my food in my tracker, hoping that helps keep me on track. I've stopped eating out for lunch, that has saved my diet and my wallet. If I can avoid the food closet here at work i think that will be another great step, but its hard, particularly in the afternoon, when my appetite is on high. I keep going back in there to grab something. FREE FOOD! Who passes that up. We even have catered lunch today, and it's Thai food, which I love. Oh man. going to be particularly hard to stay strong today.

Anyway, that's my rant for right now, just trying to figure out how I'm going to make it, or at least fake it till I can get my but back to the gym, or at least out for a walk.



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Wednesday, Sep 9 2015
 
 

Rolling Along.. Literally


If you read my last blog you know I have been struggling with trying to cope with only really having one leg. Two weeks into this disability and I was already loosing my mind. Well things have gotten a little better, I am proud to report. I still have my cast on but I am coping with things a little better. I have returned to work so it's good to be getting out of the house. I still struggle doing the easiest of tasks but just not letting myself get down about it and planning the appropriate amount of time to finish them.

I did purchase one of these nifty knee scooter things from Amazon and it has worked out well. I am able to scoot along instead of using the crutches, which had started to give me carpel tunnel. I was able to attend Dragon*Con this past weekend via my knee scooter and able to get around grocery stores so much easier. The only thing that sucks about it is that it is pretty bulky. It takes up a lot of space in my trunk and as I am rolling around, I take up even more room. Thankfully the people at Dragon*Con were so much nicer than everyone else in life, and helped me carry my scooter up stairs and what not, and got out of my way when they saw me coming, even allowed me to cut the lines to get on elevators.

I still need a name for this scooter...



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Tuesday, Sep 1 2015
 
 

New Found Respect


I have been on crutches now for two weeks. In that short period of time I have not only learned a lot about myself, but I have gained a lot of empathy for people who are disabled. This has only been a short period in my life, but for some people, this is their everyday, and to magnify what I have been experiencing in that period across a lifetime just sounds like a nightmare to me, and I would wish it on no one.

The Last Two Weeks
As soon as I tore my Achilles, I was taken to the hospital, put in a splint and given crutches. I've never used crutches before and I was much like a baby learning how to walk. I would wobble all over the place and have a hard time keeping my balance. Much like a baby, though, I learned more and more everyday how to use the crutches and have even gotten pretty good at them. If I have a clear straight away, I get get some good speed going!

Not being able to do some of the easiest tasks in the world has been rough. Even the simple things, like going to the bathroom, are so tough. I can't help my wife clean the house much, and doing yard-work is definitely out of he question. Obviously I can't exercise, which is usually a relaxing activity for me. For the first couple days when I was getting waited on, I almost thought it was going to be cool, but the more and more people waited on me, the more pathetic I felt. Having to ask someone to get you water, condiments, or just to carry your plate for you, seems so terrible to me. I pride myself on doing everything for myself, and being able to help others at the same time. Being in a position where I am receiving all the help but not able to provide much help is new to me, and I don't like it.

Some people have even been rude. Very rude. Especially at grocery stores. It was amazing to me to notice how inconsiderate people are at the grocery store. I'm on crutches people! As I pointed out above, I don't like taking hand outs but to hold the door open for someone who clearly can't, seems to me to be a part of human nature, or at least it should be. When you see someone who is disabled, try to make sure you don't impede their path, it's hard enough for them to get around as it is. One lady just stopped walking right in front of me the other day. Who does that? There have even been people attempting to make crude jokes, and falling flat. Why make jokes? If I'm like this permanently, is it still funny?

I don't understand how people can be so rude sometimes, especially to those who are disabled. I weep for humanity.. and it's only been two weeks.

The Disabled Life

When I think about what I have experienced, and what it must be like if I had been doing this for the 32 years of my existence on this planet, I can't begin to fathom what my mental state would be. Not being able to get up and down stairs with ease. Having to ask everyone else for help all the time. Not being able to open the door, just not being able to do everyday functions that the rest of us take for granted. Then, having to deal with peoples jokes, peoples rudeness and simply not doing what seems would be natural and try to make life easier for the person whom already has a rough life. My mental state would not be able to handle it. To think this is my life for the next 3 months, AT LEAST, is depressing.

Yet, somehow, whenever I see someone in a wheelchair or on crutches, they are happy and full of life. How is that? How do they find the will power to look past all the closed doors, tall flights of stairs, and rude people and still see so much joy in life? It's finding the answer to that question that is keeping me going right now. Knowing that millions of people around the world have it like me and much worse and find a way to be happy day in and day out. People who find what really important in life, focus on that, and tune everything else out, those people are my inspiration.

I've been through some tough times in my life, and made it out the other end. I know I can make it through this one too, it's just finding a way to make it through with my psyche in tact. That's the challenge, that's the goal. I will find my inspiration in others on this one, because at the end of the day, not only is a torn Achilles not THAT BAD of an injury, my pain and suffering is only temporary. There will be a time when I can jog again, and reflect back on these days and shake my head at ever letting them get me down.




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Sunday, Aug 23 2015
 
 

When Life Hands You Lemons


I typically try to shy away from blogging about religious stuff as to avoid any type of online conflict or debate, as this is not where that type of discussion belongs, but today, I decided to do just that because I feel very strongly about how my faith has effected me this year when so many things have gone right, and so many things have gone wrong.

What's gone right?
On May 15th I married the love of my life and started the next chapter of my life. The wedding had its own set of issues but nothing we couldn't overcome, and at the end of the day we were husband and wife and that's what matters most! If you have read any of my blogs from two years ago, you know that being single was a huge hurdle for me and to finally reach my wedding day was something I never thought I wold be able to do.

We spent our honeymoon in Italy, traveling to several different cities. You can read all about that trip here. The trip its self had it's ups and downs, but again, at the end of the day we had a wonderful time, took some amazing pictures, and celebrated spending our lives together the way we wanted to!

I also got a new job in July, making more money and better benefits. I also get to play basketball twice a week at this job, which we all know is something I love. The hours are a little longer but they make up for it with the abundance of free food everywhere!

Okay... What went wrong?
Just two short weeks after our nuptials, life took a drastic turn for the worse. My entire team and I were let go from our jobs. Couldn't have been at a worse time. My funds were low because I just threw two parties for a couple hundred people, and my new in-laws had just left so I was looking forward to starting normal married life. I spent the next month looking for a job and after a bit of drama I was able to start my new job on July 1st, only having been unemployed for a month.

Two days into our honeymoon, I lost my debit card in London! Not good. I had to call and cancel the card, but since this was the first part of a three week trip, it wasn't like I could get a new one, and was reliant on places that took my discover card as we continued to travel, which I found out was not that many places.

After returning from my honeymoon, up twelve pounds since the wedding, I recommitted myself to loosing weight and got right back into basketball and jogging. One week in, I tore my Achilles tendon! Had to be rushed to the ER and I will be having surgery on my Achilles this coming Thursday, and it looks like it will be at least 3 months before I can even walk normal again.

What Most People Do
I find that too often, people only turn to God when things have gone terrible wrong. Usually after a day or two of possibly "blaming" God for whatever it is that has gone wrong, you start asking for his forgiveness and asking him to heal your wounds, sometimes even making a deal with him if he can follow through.

Just as often, people don't give god the glory when things are going right in their lives. We tend to turn the credit inwards when we should start by giving God his due.

When Life Hands You Lemons
In trying to get my spiritual life back on track, I'm trying to get better at the things "most people do" and trying to do things the right way. The old saying is "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." Well for the spiritual of us, it's "When God hands you lemons..." I believe that God doesn't want us to make lemonade, he wants us to pray over those lemons, humble ourselves, and hand those lemons back to him, and he will create the most delicious lemonade you have ever had.

With each thing that went right with me this year, I tried my best to remember to thank God for his blessings. With everything that went wrong, I would still thank God for his blessings, and ask for the patience and peace in order to see what it was he had in store for me. Adversity is just an opportunity God has given you to learn how to overcome. I believe that is very evident this year.

I may have lost my job and spent a torturous month searching for a new one, but God blessed me with a better job, better pay, better benefits, and a job that was okay with me leaving for almost a month just two weeks after I started. I received a large severance pay from my last job due to the fact I had a lot of vacation time built up so that I could go on our three week honeymoon trip. With the short turnaround in jobs, I did not have to use much of it and I was able to recover financially from all the money I spent on the wedding rather quickly. That's lemons into lemonade.

After I lost my debit card and had to use my Discover card across Europe, I came to find out that Discover does not charge foreign transactions fees, and I earn 1% cash back by using the card, so I ended up saving more money in the end by putting up with the headaches of getting cash and finding places that took Discover. That's another lemon into lemonade.

While I do not know what will come of my Achilles surgery, and what God will have in store for me on the other end of this struggle, the past has taught me that as long as I continue to praise him, pray to him, and give my problems back to him, he will ALWAYS see me through, and give me some of the best lemonade I have ever had.

Around my neck I wear a necklace with a charm, on the charm is a portion of the "Footprints" poem. It reads:

"God said "My child, I love you and will never leave you. When you saw only one set of footprints it was then I carried you"


Right now, I know God is carrying me, and carrying me to a better place than where I was before.

Well someone has to carry me, I can barley walk....



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Saturday, Aug 22 2015
 
 

Things always get in the way


Since I have returned from my trip to Europe, I have been wanting to get my act together and loose some of this weight that I have put on since our wedding. With my new job came a gym membership and also renewed my commitment to myself and to my wife that I was about to get things moving in the right direction. I started playing basketball on Tuesday and Thursday, spin class on Wednesday, and going for a jog on the weekend. I even laid out my daily eating schedule.

Exactly one week into my new found motivation, something has slowed me down. While playing basketball I managed to snap my Achilles tendon right in half. As I was falling to the floor, I knew it was going to be bad. I was rushed to the hospital and put into a cast. I have seen the Orthopedist and have my surgery scheduled for this coming Thursday. After which, will be about a 3 month recovery time.

I am trying to find the will power I need to not let this get me down. To try and at least continue to eat right even though I cannot exercise. I've started doing sit-ups, and it is pretty much the only exercise I can do. I also plan on going tot he gym and doing some upper body lifting, to make sure I keep my arms and chest in check as well. All is it I expect is going to be hard to WANT to do while all I really want to do is sit on the couch and watch TV.

So as usual, wish me luck as I try to keep my spirits up, and my diet in check.



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Thursday, Aug 20 2015
 
 

The Tourist


I recently went on my honeymoon and I wanted to do a write up about it, but I feel like the whole "we did this, then this, then this" chronological listing of events to be boring, so I will just jump into describing the interesting things I found on this trip, and pepper in a few interesting stories. I will even "Tarantino it" and not tell everything in the correct order! This will be fun.

Are you not entertained!?

Ever since I saw the movie "Gladiator", I have been wanting to visit the Colosseum in Rome. Just the fact that something that old exists still is amazing within itself, but to actually go there and visit one of the greatest structures to ever be built is awesome. When I saw it from down the street as we walked there, I started to get super excited. Once we got up close to it and started taking pictures, I was in awe.

The Colosseum started construction in the 1st century, its real name is the "Falvian Amphitheater", as is was built by the emperors of Rome during the "Flavian" empire. The first uses of the amphitheater was for re-enacting battles, they could even flood the floor to re-enact sea based battles. Eventually they used the area underneath the floor to house animals and slaves that would be used during the human combats. In the morning, they would have gladiator vs animal battles, then followed by great battle re-enactments, then in the evening, gladiator vs gladiator combat. 

The first thing you notice when you look at the Colosseum is the large amount of divots in the cement of the building. When the amphitheater was built, they used metal clasps to hold the cement stones together. Centuries later, between wars, crusades, and raids on the city, people tore out the metal clasps to melt them down for weapons. The second thing you notice is that the entire south end of the amphitheater is gone! The structural integrity of the amphitheater was weakened due to all the metal clasps being taken, and an earthquake eventually caused the south end to collapse.

Intrigued? Read more on the history and stuff on Wikipedia, or read the pictures of the placards I took in the gallery section of the website. The Colosseum was the last thing we visited before we left Italy, and is the lasting memory of our honeymoon. 

How Rude?

I have always been afraid to travel to France because I have heard all these horror stories about how rude the French are. Apparently this stereotype should have been applied to the Italians and not the French. I can tell story after story about all the rude Italians we met, but to not bore you I will give you just a couple examples. First, I don’t know if I’m just spoiled by Americas pedestrian right of way laws, but the drivers in Italy seem to have no issue with running you over. Even if you have the little green “ok to walk” symbol, you better look both ways and run! Secondly, every service workers treated us like we were there fore the sole purpose to make their life miserable. I have said it before, if you don’t like your job, I get it, a lot of people don’t, but that’s NOT MY FAULT! Either get a new job (there wasn’t a draft you do not “have” to do that job”) or find a way not to take it out on the customers. I know your country has been overrun with tourists, and we may be a bit annoying, but by now you should be used to it.

We did have some positive experience with some Italians. In Florence, on our first night we went to a restaurant not too far from our hotel, and our waitress was super nice. I should point out that our hotel was off the beaten path, it was not in the city center. So this area of town doesn’t get a lot of tourists, so this restaurant did not cater to tourists, so we were lucky she even spoke English. Since the restaurant didn’t cater to tourists, we got more of an “authentic” Italian experience. There was a large family in the corner of the restaurant, drinking wine and being loud, the food was authentic, not made to be fancy the way other restaurants do to entice the tourists, and the prices were normal, not inflated. We were so pleased with our waitress, the environment, and the food, we visited the restaurant 3 times during our 4 days in Florence. 

On our second day in Rome, we also discovered a small restaurant, which oddly enough, served reheated food! Their kitchen was a microwave, but the food was AMAZING. We went there and enjoyed the service and environment so much, re returned on our last night in Rome. On that night, the bartender, who remembered us from two night prior, gave us free shots! And seemed genuinely sad to see us go. If I ever make it back to Rome that will be the first place I go! Well maybe after the Colosseum.

White Anglo-Saxon Protestants

I have to think it is fairly unique to get attacked by the mascot of your alma-mater. We visited Portland England on the tail end of the trip for my brother-in-laws wedding. Portland is one of the most picturesque “islands” I’ve ever been to. I use quotes because they built a land bridge years ago so it’s not technically an island anymore, more like a peninsula. Her brother got married outdoors at a castle. During the cocktail hour, I was waiting in line to get some ice cream while sipping on some Champaign, like you should at any decent wedding. I went to take a sip of my drink and felt something sharp right on my tongue. I immediately spit back into my glass and saw the Yellow Jacket swimming in my drink, stinger still out.

I will take this moment to point out that in other English-speaking countries, what we call a Yellow Jacket in the states, they call a Wasp. I have not yet figured out what they call what we call wasps here, other than uppity white people.

Long story short, I had to be taken to the hospital because if my tongue were to swell, we were so far away from help I wouldn’t make it in time. So the paramedics took me to the hospital for more medication and observation. Thankfully I was only there for an hour and was allowed to return to the wedding.

I’ll take towers that lean for 100, Alex.

You can’t go all the way to Italy without visiting the leaning tower of Pisa. What I did not know prior to getting there was that it is actually intended to be the bell tower for the church in the complex. A brief history, the tower began erection in 1173 and during construction of the second floor, the base of the tower began to sink. Due to lack of funding because of wars, the construction was halted. It was picked up again in 1272, with the new builder trying to “curve” the building to correct for the sunken side, giving the building the banana shape you see. The building was shut down in 2000, said to be unsafe to climb. It took 12 years of construction to sure-up the base of the tower to allow tourists to climb the tower again.

The church next to the tower was pretty impressive as well. Everything from the pillars outside to the gold ceiling inside were amazing. There was even a dead body inside the temple! Like most of the old Catholic churches, it was filled with beautiful artwork and very detail was fine tuned. I was very impressed with the inside of this church.


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum


We almost didn’t go to the forum, as we were told there was nothing really to see but a pile of rubble. While that is true, the Roman Form has a very interesting history, being the center of town and were most business was done both commercial and federally. The Forum was where everyone congregated and was the focal point of the city of Rome. Upon leaving Italy, I was reading a book on the plane on the history of the Roman Empire, and got to read up on Julius Cesar. He had a very interesting life (which included fathering a child with Cleopatra!), and was killed by his own people while on his way to the roman Forum. I never thought about the title of the play “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, but man, that’s some serious sarcasm right there.

Not too far from the Forum was the Pantheon, the oldest church in the world. Construction on this building started around 19BC and to date, is still the largest cement dome in the world. Church is still held here regularly, while tourists fill the building on a daily basis. There is a skylight in the middle of the dome offering a very unique experience when you look up into the skies. This building was so impressive, we had to visit it twice!

You aint from around here are ya boy?

Just last night my wife hit me with this riddle. What is a foreign accent? A sign of courage. I’ll give you a moment to think about that.

This was one of the few time in my life where I was the one with the foreign accent. Thankfully all the places we went there was a good number of people who spoke English I was able to get by. I did do a good bit of speaking German while we were in Germany. But everywhere I went, it was apparent on my face that I was a foreigner, even my facial features could tell someone I was definitely an American, not an African, and if they weren’t sure still, they knew as soon as I opened my mouth, no matter what language came out, they could tell I was an American. While on a train in England, a guy asked me where I was from, I said “America” to which he responded “Well yeah, I got that bit.” The experience of seeing myself perceived as a foreigner, and seeing how people react to that both positive and negative, was very interesting. It puts how I perceive those here in the states who have “accents” in a slightly different light. Once someone heard my accent, their head was filled with stereotypes and assumptions about what type of person I was, and there was nothing I could do to control it. It is a slightly scary feeling I must say. To then return to the states where everyone sounds like me, was actually a relief, and gave me a great since of home.

Rome is Burning
There was a great fire in Rome in 64AD that pretty much leveled everything in site... but I want to talk to you about the semi-small forest fire of 2015 at the Rome Airport. When we got of the subway and walked into the airport, my wife and I noticed the pillar of smoke emitting from somewhere near the tarmac. Thought, "well that's interesting." Checked in for our flight and even boarded the plane. Then the pilot comes on the intercom to tell us that the airport has CLOSED due to the fire in the forest near the airport and the smoke it was generating, and that we cannot leave the plane or takeoff until he gets word from the tower. As time begin to tick away, everyone on the plane grew restless. Eventually, the flight attendants began pasisng out food and drinks. 3 hours into being on the plane, they had run out of food, and there was no more water in the bathroom in order for anyone to wash their hands. Things were getting rough. We were told that the tower was no longer communicating in English, and would only speak Italian and wouldn't respond ot anyone, even changed frequencies to avoid talking to pilots.

3.5 hrs into being on the plane we finally received word that we would take off. We got into the air and the pilot got on the intercom with yet another sad message. He and the copilot had been on the plane so long that day, that they couldn't legally finish the flight because they had too many hours in. (we were flying Germanwings so you know they are playing everything safe). So we had to land in a small city in south Germany and get new pilots to take us the rest of the way to Hamburg. We landed in Hamburg, only 5.5 hours later than expected...

There’s no place like home.

Being gone for 3+ weeks made me appreciate home a whole lot more. The rude people in Italy made me appreciate our driving laws, how drive civilly, and how Americans will be nice to you, even if it’s fake. I’ll take that any day. We were gone so long that when we arrived home, I couldn’t remember where light switches were in my house. I’d gotten used to living out of a bag it was a hard switch back to normal life. While what small parts of the rest of the world I have seen have been amazing, there will never be anything that beats being at home. The feeling of a chair that knows exactly who you are, a TV you know how to function, and having all the things you need at your fingertips. We sometimes take for granted all the great things we have in life, but like anything, you don’t appreciate it until you don’t have it anymore. (Or until you pay a bill for it and you haven’t even been able to use it for the last 3 weeks.)

Our flight home, much like the flight to Hamburg, came with its own set of interesting factors. We are on a direct flight from London to Atlanta, an 8.5 hour flight. We were about 30 minutes outside of Atlanta when the pilot tells us they cannot land in Atlanta because of bad weather, and will have to be in a holding pattern until further notice. About an hour later he comes back on to let us know that weather still has not let up and that he has to fly to Knoxville because we are running low on fuel. SO we land in Knoxville and re-fuel and wait there for word from Atlanta that we can head back. One problem, Knoxville is not an international airport, so they don't have staff to check our passports and what not so we can't get off the plane, which is a small problem since we should be heading back to Atlanta at any moment, but is a bigger problem if the weather doesn't let up and we have to stay in Knoxville till the following morning, this means we all would be stuck on the plane as opposed to being put up in a hotel.  Thankfully about an hour later we received word from Atlanta that we could head back and land, and a short 3 minute plane ride later, we finally landed back home.

So that’s all the interesting stories and facts I got about our European trip. Head over to the gallery section t check out the over 400 pictures I took (actually I took 1200 and had to narrow it down a bit) separated into three different galleries. There are a lot of monuments and building we visited that I didn’t mention here so please take a moment (or 400) and check out the pictures!




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Friday, Aug 14 2015
 
 

Time for day one... again


So I was 198.4 after my honeymoon... I was 185 the week before my wedding in may. This is NOT COOL.

So its back to day one again, and without any impending trips or nuptials, I will have to dig deep to find the motivation to get this weight back off. The ability to get a workout in at lunch at my new job is going to be key on this leg of the journey so wish me luck, and for anyone reading this I may be coming your way for that motivation.

Here we go...



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Tuesday, Aug 11 2015
 
 

Secret Cinema: Star Wars


So this really sucks because I don't have pictures to go along with it, but I experienced something very Star Wars nerd should. It was an epic night in London centered around the Star Wars universe, and a night I'll never forget.

So there is this thing in London called "Secret Cinema". Basically, this company renovates an area in town to look like a scene from a movie, and invites thousands of people to come and watch that movie in this environment. Sometimes, the patrons are involved in the scenes playing characters and what not. This goes on every weekend for 3 months during the summer then they tear it down move to a diff part of town and do it again the next year with a different movie. This year it was Star Wars.

After you sign up and pay the nominal ticket price of 80GBP, you are given access to the "Top Secret Rebel Website". When the website gave me a character description based on a personality test, I knew this was about to get pretty interesting. I also had to bring a costume with me to go along with my character. (Essentially I was Han Solo, they called it "Mercenary") When we arrived at the top secret location day of, it was a giant abandoned warehouse, the outside read "Earth Transport Station". Once inside, us "rebels" were given more instructions from one of the actors, then taken into a large room which they had gone into great detail to look like Mos Eisley. I mean, everything looked super authentic, from the sand on the ground to the two moons of tatooinne. You could use your earth credit card to buy things like Banta Burgers and other Star Wars related pun foods and beverages. There was even a cantina band playing, you can guess what song played the most. At one point, Luke, Ben Kanobe, and the droids came wizzing by on the land speeder. I can't stress enough the amount of detail that went into this.

Couple hours in this room we went into another room (btw there is about 4000 people there we were told), in this room actors in the scaffolding above reenacted several scenes from episode 4, including a large (had to be to scale) x-wing fighter appearing out of the ceiling and destroying the death star (projection on a different wall). It ended with the awards ceremony on the stairs at the end of the room just like episode 4.

After this we are separated into pods of about 1000 into another room where we are finally seated and watch episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back. During the movie, the actors would come out and reenact certain scenes from the movie right in front of us as it was happening in the movie. Once the movie was over, they threw a rave type party till the wee hours in the morning, and re-opened Mos Eisley for more food and beverages.

Again, sad I do not have pictures to go along with this story, they made us turn our phones off and seal them in these bags in order to prevent us from taking pictures (for trademark reasons I'm sure). Definitely one the best experiences of my life, despite the fact I lost my debit card somewhere in Mos Eisley.



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Friday, Jul 10 2015
 
 

How to Stop Stress Eating


(CNN)Sometimes it happens after you get an angry email from your boss. Or, maybe because you recently connected with a new love interest...and now he or she's gone MIA. Whatever the dilemma, cue your hand in the bag of Cheetos or a visit to the kitchen for, well...whatever's there.

DailyBurn: Egg whites or whole eggs: Which are healthier?

You know what it is: stress eating. "It's perfectly human to want to avoid pain and seek relief," says Minh-Hai Alex, a registered dietitian and founder of Mindful Nutrition in Seattle. "Stress eating usually happens when we want to disconnect from the moment. It's like changing the channel in our brain to try to change how we feel," she explains. Here's why food is such a salve for stress — and how to stop the cycle.

DailyBurn: 19 reasons to work out (beyond the perfect body)


This is why you turn to food when you're stressed

It's no surprise if you suddenly feel famished when deadlines or crises strike. "Stress activates your adrenal glands to release cortisol, increasing your appetite," says Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC, psychologist and the emotional eating expert behind the site Too Much On Her Plate. Stress also impedes hunger hormones, like ghrelin, that regulate your appetite, research shows. If the anxiety is cutting into your sleep, a lack of zzz's ramps up your appetite even more.

DailyBurn: 6 signs that you're exhausted (not just tired)

Unfortunately, that anxiety-induced hunger can have long-term consequences for your waistline. In fact, one new study found that women who reported they were stressed burned fewer calories and fat, and had a higher insulin response after eating a higher fat meal. Published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, the researchers concluded that these stress-induced changes led women to burn about 100 fewer calories per day — a difference that could cause you to pack on 11 pounds in a year.

When you're under stress, you often feel out of control and overwhelmed — and that can leak into your eating habits, McCreery says. So it's no surprise that you go after junk food like a hungry lion, rather than keeping up your normally healthy habits. "You're worried about the past or the future — not what you're eating in the present," she adds.

Stress depletes the cognitive resources you need to remain focused and resilient, and to practice creative problem solving, says McCreery. That's why getting elbow-deep in a pint of mint chip always feels easier than actually coming up with a plan for how to tackle that super tough work project.

When junk food is calling your name

While it's too bad you don't crave celery sticks and carrots during crazed moments, that would go against biology. Fries, snack mixes, cookies and ice cream are go-tos because these high-carb, high-fat eats increase the brain's feel-good dopamine response, Alex explains. Then, next time you get into a bind, you'll hear the siren song of chocolate chips because your noggin has come to expect the rewarding hit of dopamine — and knows where to find it. (Ahem, cookies.)

Not only that, but it's easy for stress snacking to become an ingrained habit. A 2015 study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism discovered that one reason we eat high sugar foods is because sugar dampens stress-induced cortisol responses. Translation: You feel better on a sugar high. Over time, your brain may start to rely on these foods to simmer down.

Problem is, anyone who's done it (and who hasn't?) knows what it feels like after you eat for emotional reasons — the guilt and frustration hit you like a hangover. Research from Penn State backs up what we've all suspected — that eating bad-for-you foods can make a grumpy mood even worse.

How to stop stress eating

Ready to break free from stress eating and bring back happiness to your eats? Try some of these simple tricks next time anxiety strikes.

1. Focus on the real issue.

We all know food is just a crutch when we're stressed. "Stress eating is not the primary problem, but a symptom of unmet needs," says Alex. Ask yourself 'How do I feel?' or 'What do I need?' to figure out what's really getting under your skin.

2. Think long-term.

Take a minute to focus on the future (whether that means recalling your weight loss goals, or how awesome you want to look on vacation next month) before you give in to stress eating. It can help get you out of the moment so you make healthier food choices instead of succumbing to the lure of a tasty treat, suggests a 2014 study.

3. Get mindful.

In a study in the Journal of Obesity, women who underwent mindfulness training — learning stress reduction techniques, how to recognize hunger, and pay attention to taste — were less apt to stress eat and lost more belly fat compared to a control group. Next time you're feeling taxed, try this exercise. You'll learn to identify your feelings, accept the unpleasant ones and focus on your breathing so you can fight the automatic urge to reach for a snack.

4. Be kind to yourself.

"Self-compassion can decrease stress eating," says Alex. "When you're a kind, understanding friend to yourself, it's easier to resist the urge to try to disconnect through stress eating," she adds. If you do stress eat, promise that you won't beat yourself up and understand that it happens to everyone sometimes. That can help stop you from eating out of failure and help you make better choices later.

5. If all else fails...

Go ahead and indulge. "Food is a lovely, comforting thing," says McCreery. So if you're going to do it anyway, she recommends really enjoying it. "Sit down, let yourself relax, and taste the ice cream." Of course, do so in moderation. Plan on savoring a small brownie rather than the whole batch.




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Monday, Jul 6 2015
 
 

193.3


So since the wedding I have been a little bad :-)

My wife and I have been struggling to get our eating back on track. Spending the month of may doing wedding prep and entertaining guests from out of town led to a lot of eating out and poor choices, and we have yet to be able to recover from it. I finally decided today to get back on the scale and start my damage control. not "terrible" at least I'm not back to 200 right? It's time to find the will power to eat right and get things moving, I have my honeymoon in less than 2 weeks!

I stated a new job last Wednesday, and while that is a great thing for me, its proving to be challenging for my diet. This new company is a firm believer in free food so there are snacks all over the place here. There is also fruit, so I am trying to do my best to just eat the fruit. Having to dig deep to find the will power to avoid the free food and make sure to stick to my diet as best I can.



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Friday, Jun 26 2015
 
 

Been a while


Life has changed quite a bit since my last blog.

May 15th 2015
This was the happiest day of my life. I finally married the love of my life. The day had the normal glitches any wedding would have, but the important part happened went of without a hitch, we said "I do"! My wife's family was here for about 3 months surrounding the wedding, it was awesome seeing them, hanging out with them and getting to know my new family a lot better.

May 28th 2015
I chose this day to start over my fat smash diet. Just as I am getting in the routine, just bought all the groceries necessary to get going on this diet, the worst happened, and my entire department was laid off.

What transpired over the next 3 weeks was rough, trying to start a marriage while unemployed is not fun. It also reeks havoc on your diet, it's hard for me to keep track of what foods to eat when I am at home all day and not sleeping on a regular schedule. Thankfully I have only gained about 5lbs, lord knows it could have been a lot worse.

It is all over though, two days ago I accepted a job offer with a company called eVestment, and i start on July 1!

The last month has been rough but now that things are starting to settle hopefully I get back to my little venting sessions here and get back to dieting correctly and get those 5lbs back off and get back towards my goal weight.



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Friday, May 8 2015
 
 

FSD: Those last few pounds


Today's Weight: 186.3



Up a little bit today after a bad weekend. It was my anniversary and my fiances birthday. Not making excuses, just what happened, even i can only do my best sometimes. Been rough to stay on track to get these last few pounds off, and will only get harder as the wedding approaches since her family arrives from Germany today, and it will be non-stop going out between now and then. Sigh.

Staying Motivated
This topic is a tough one, as I believe motivation comes from within and varies from person to person as to what motivates them. I wanted some help with this topic, so I googled "stay motivated" and this is what I got.
  1. Set goals. Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. ...
  2. Make it fun. Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. ...
  3. Make physical activity part of your daily routine. If it's hard to find time for exercise, don't fall back on excuses.

Interesting. Even Google has great ideas on what to do lol. All I can speak to is what has worked for me in the past. For me, reading my old blogs helps keep me motivated. Compliments from strangers is a big boost, and having a short term goal is a good one to try and stay on track. I am pretty hard on myself with respect to my diet, and I do not suggest that. Sure it has proven successful if you are only looking at my scale victories, but when I fall off the wagon, I tend to fall hard because my approach doesn't allow for any wiggle room. For me, if I allow myself for wiggle room, I will shake all over the place. You have to find that balance for yourself, find a rhythm, find a routine and diet regimen that is both easy to maintain for you psychology, and is effective.





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Friday, May 1 2015
 
 

Fat Smash Diet: Last day of Foundation


Today's Weight: 185.0 ❰❰ Like a Boss!




For exercise, I go running on the Silver Comet Trail. Since I have been on this diet, I have been out there 6 days a week, and when you are out there that much you see the same people, even at the same spots on the trail, everyone seems to have their same daily routine, even me. I wave and say hi, almost as if we have a friendship. I will share a nod with someone, a non verbal "Hey, good to see you again stranger, good to see your still working out, go and get em. See you tomorrow!" I actually did once form a friendship out of stopping and talking to one of these people on the trail one day, she and I are still good friends to this day!

It reminded me of one time in particular where a stranger stood out to me. Now, I have been going on this trail for 7 years. So i was on this trail back when i was 282lbs. Well after a large chunk of the weight loss, a man stopped me as I was on my way out for a walk, a man I remember giving the nod to a few times out there on the trail. He said to me "Hey, you've been coming out here for a couple years now right? You are always with a few females? I just wanted to tell you, you look great man, keep it up!" I didn't have a response for him because I was floored by the compliments of a stranger, particularly at that time where I had lost a bunch but was struggling to stay on track.

As usual, I said all that to say this. It will be hard for those close to you to notice your weight loss unless you loose a drastic amount, it is the virtual strangers who will notice, so don't be afraid of a strangers comments!



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Tuesday, Apr 28 2015
 
 

Plateau: More Than a Geographic Formation.


Today's Weight: 188.7



If you look up the definition of "plateau", you will find you will find out that it is "an area of relatively level high ground", but if you read the second definition, it says: "a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress." It is that definition which I find more apt! On April 17th, I weighed in at 188.7, same as I have weighed in this morning, which means I have gone 11 days, and essentially without any movement. I have gone up, I have gone down, but always ended up right back here at 188.7. Frustrating. What do I do? Well, I've created a three step process in order to try and get off this plateau. I just made this up, so I have not proven that this works just yet.

1) Be honest with yourself.
Since you have been on this plateau, what things have you done wrong? What things have you done right? Be honest with yourself about these things and you can move forward, lying to yourself will only hurt yourself! Did you eat pulled pork and two cookies last night? YES YOU DID! It's important to recognize your short comings, even more important to find a way to address them so they don't happen again.

2) Make a plan
What can you do to make sure you don't do the things wrong that you found in step one? What can you do to make sure you do more of the things you did right in step one? Make a action plan, maybe schedule out the next 7 days of exercise and food so you know what you have coming and don't have to worry about thinking too much and getting off track.

3) Don't wait until tomorrow
We often say "Diet starts tomorrow", if you are on a plateau, that cannot be the mentality. Need to adopt the "No better time than the present" mantra. Put your action plan into motion ASAP! What can you do RIGHT NOW to get things moving in the right direction?

I hope with all my might I can get off this plateau and continue on my journey. I am only 8.7lbs from my goal and I am far to close to start backing up. My wedding is in 17 days and I need to be as lean and fit for those pictures as I possibly can!



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Tuesday, Apr 21 2015
 
 

Fat Smash Diet: Rough Weekend


Today's Weight: 188.5





I had a very busy weekend, and as often happens with busy weekends, diets have to take a backseat while you are trying to get things done. With busyness of the days, I lost focus of my recent good eating habits. I wont go as far as to say "I fell off the wagon", but I did lean out and think about tucking and rolling for sure. On Friday, I met my fiance for lunch, we hadn't seen each other the day before and wouldn't see each other that evening. We went to Longhorn steak house but I had the issue of being too hungry because I had not eaten at all that day, bad idea. I ended up ordering a corn fritter appetizer and a hamburger for my meal. I did remove the bun from my hamburger before I ate it and had a salad (no cheese) as my side.

I was proud of myself Sunday for sticking to my guns, I attending an AWESOME lip-sync party Saturday night and I was able to stay away from the food table, only eating (about half) of the apples they had there (I felt bad because they were meant for people to dip in this caramel dip, but I ate all the apples to the caramel dip went relatively untouched lol).

Sunday we had a few people at the house to help with random tasks and I provided some food for them, and I messed around and bought some lemon cookies, one of my favorites, and might have had a few of those...

The good news: I got my exercise in on Saturday and Sunday. Ate right and exercised on Monday and since last Friday I have actually lost 0.2 pounds, a blessing in my opinion.

I look forward to staying seated on the wagon, secured firmly , and enjoying the rest of this ride.

Don't fret falling off, just get your butt back on!
We all fall "off the wagon" at some point while trying to kick any habit. If it was easy to do, we wouldn't need support groups, pins, medications, and metaphors that remind us of the Oregon Trail. Never the less, don't fret if you fall off the wagon on your journey. In keeping with the metaphor, just remember you still have a seat in that wagon, and it's not going anywhere without you. Dust yourself off, take note of what caused you to fall off, get back on and avoid that thing in the future. The main thing to remember is that the wagon cannot move if your not on it, so if you want to get to your goal, you got to get back on! This is definitely a journey that's just about finishing it, not making good time.





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Friday, Apr 17 2015
 
 

FSD: Day 16


Today's Weight: 188.7




It's Friday! Sadly I will not have time to get a good workout in today but that's fine, I got one everyday this week so today is my day off. Finally dropped my weight below 190 for the first time since last fall when I spent that week at 187.5, right before I hurt my knee and the holidays hit. So I am excited to be under 190, I did my little celebration in the bathroom this morning then went downstairs to pack my healthy food for the day. I still got 8.7 to go, and got a feeling it will come off very slow, patience is now going to be key. I am going to return to Weight Watchers today, and stop being lazy about it like I have been in the last month letting work meeting and lunches with friends get in my way. Here's to being back on track!

Our Busy Busy Lives
Too often life can just be so busy. Everyday you have to deal with a whole lot of things; work, your house, spouse, kids, wedding planning, business, friends, trying to figure out who Tyler Perry is, your day can fill up rather fast, so you have to try and fit in exercise and dieting in there and do it right. It's tough.

I don't have the secret to getting it done either sadly, all I can say is that if you are a planner like me, then plan your exercises. I have a exercise calendar on my google calendar and pre-load my workout times about a week ahead of time, that way I can schedule other things around it.

If your not a super planner, my best recommendation is do get your workouts done in the morning, get them out of the way, so you have the rest of the day to handle whatever it is life throws at you.

Not a morning person? Not a planner? How about 30 minutes right before bed? If you live in a safe neighborhood, go for a jog around the neighborhood before bed. If your a member of a gym, go to the gym for 30 minutes before bed. Use workout equipment at home if that's an option.

Un-safe neighborhood? No gym? Boflex just won't fit in the man-cave? How about lunch time at work? Head out of the office and get a good walk around for 30 minutes then come back to eat that healthy lunch I know you packed. Take the stairs instead of the elevator to get in and out of the office for those much needed extra steps.

If none of those work for you, leave a comment below and I can dispense some more advice for you. Also comment below if you have figured out who Tyler Perry is.



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Thursday, Apr 16 2015
 
 

Fat Smash Diet Two Weeks In


So today marks the two week mark since I started this diet. I have lost 9.5 pounds but seem to be plateauing around 190.5 for the time being. I do think this diet is doing a good job or re-training my body to process food in the right way, but still does not address my addiction to food. I think that may only be a job for a psychologist.


I would still recommend this diet for anyone looking to jump start their weight loss. Be prepared to be challenged and be prepared to have the time to get the workouts in. I have always said, weight loss required determination, will power, and discipline. You need all three or it will not happen.



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Tuesday, Apr 14 2015
 
 

FSD: Day 13


Today Weight: 190.3



Today I won't do a full blog, I just want to mention a conversation I had with my fiance last night. I told her that when I got under 190lbs I was going to treat myself to one of the Cadbury Creame Eggs she so sweetly got me for Easter. She reminded me that that was not the mentality to have, and I agreed. Going back to the blog I wrote on Day 11 and Day 10, Telling the world and not celebrating by eating poorly, I was able to get re-motivated behind my own principles and get my mentality back on track, thus making this blogging thing cyclical!



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Monday, Apr 13 2015
 
 

FSD: Day 12 - Phase II


Today's Weight: 191.6




Yesterday was a really weird day, I had brunch with some friends in the morning and then ran errands for about 7 hours, so my eating/exercise schedule was put to the test. I ate a egg white fritatta for brunch, it had 2 too many egg white and cheese the is probably not approved, I did avoid the biscuits and the rolls that were on the table! I remembered to pack a lunch so I was able to eat at 3pm as scheduled but did not make it home by 7pm for my dinner, which resulted in a meal at 830pm and jogging in the dark, not good. I was excited that coffee was finally back into my life tho, even at a measly 10oz per day.

When you gotta eat out
While eating out on the first day of my second phase is not exactly a "good idea", it was "un-avoidable". I was meeting an old friend who was in town and had to go along with the group plans for meeting up with her. Thankfully the restaurant had a newly launched healthy section of the menu, and I focused my attention there. That's where I found the egg white fritata. While the cheese in the fritata was not low-fat, so probably did not fit in with the second phase of this diet, and there were six egg whites not 4, It was still my best option, unless I wanted a twelve dollar salad. So I said all that to say this, sometimes you just have to eat out, and watching others enjoy awesome food while you eat nothing is absolutely boring, so do yourself a favor, find the healthiest thing on the menu, (really look at the ingredients to make sure they are including fatty things like nuts on a salad) and give yourself credit for at least making the decent decision, and not getting the burger and fries.



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What Will I Read Here?
 

Most of my blogging has to deal with weight loss, if you can tell from the tag cloud above. I didn't want to use my blog to just be like "oh, here is what I did over the weekend," my life isn't that interesting. Instead I began this blog in hopes of expressing a lot of the thoughts I have about my own life and life in general, as well as share a lot of the humerous things I see out on the net including chat conversations. This blog might seem random and all over the place but serves as a great deal of inspiration not only formyself, but it would seem for a few others. If you have come here I hope you are either inspired, or at least entertained. Enjoy!

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