VEMAN1's SparkPeople Blog VEMAN1's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Social Choice When addressing the social issues the matter of choice is paramount to frame the discussion within the human context. Excusing the choice to not act or failing to learn would extinct the human race in short order when we were fighting for our survival. What has changed? <BR> <BR> Our need to strive for survival! For the most part, the other participants in the animal kingdom do not hunt humans as a source of food. Anthropology supports this statement for much of our existence. Other than hu... Sat, 4 May 2013 11:33:54 EST Passion Sometime in your life you discover what you really want. All the scheming and tell-tale-sirens stop and your desires burst forth. When we stray too far from our path we become forlorn and irrational. We fight the truth we know so deep in our beings, a little piece of us dies each time. The compromise we tell ourselves is all BS and we know it. So stop the insanity (yes I am borrowing from Susan Powter). And, return to what works for you. Find that voice inside which unlocks the passion for wh... Sun, 4 Nov 2012 17:34:52 EST Beware of the halloweenies! It is fitting the US political debate zeinths around All Hallows eve and the like. Why with all the dead voting each election year it is no wonder this event has taken to such poor tastes. Do not believe the hype. For every promise of candy there are surely more to lose than gained. Be mindful of who you are and your surroundings. This will tide you over. And, when the last trick-or-treater calls, dump the remaining goodies in the trash where they belong. You have my permission to indulge in ... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 20:35:17 EST Beliefs In essence, choice is the basis for life. <BR> <BR> Beliefs are not facts. The basis for what we believe is our opinions when the belief creation occurred. That person at the time prior to the belief is the real you. <BR> <BR> I create my beliefs. <BR> <BR> My beliefs limit and control who I am. My beliefs control my life. <BR> <BR> Therefore, I create my life! <BR> <BR> So choose wisely. I am important. I am worthy. I am real. I am many things. Yet, I restrict who I am because I believ... Tue, 25 Sep 2012 16:10:48 EST Lipase Our bodies are remarkable biological machines with a less than perfect method for controlling survival urges. Yesterday I did increase my caloric intake solely with carbohydrates (brown rice chips to be exact). I guess with the lack of sleep and extensive exercise the day before, my body overrode the brain’s will power with physical urges. I felt I was just along for the ride. I did feel better this morning and continue to do so this afternoon. <BR> <BR> I cannot say for sure if the additio... Sun, 2 Sep 2012 13:52:40 EST Creating a positive attitude (part 3) My ultimate goal is to live a healthier lifestyle that affords me the opportunity to engage in activities and personal choices of my own volition. Notwithstanding the rare exception on this website, most Sparkers would ultimately agree with this definition as to why they are here. This broad brushstroke does not capture the exactness of wanting to lose weight, regain flexibility, increase agility, feel better, etc. Moreover, the statement itself accomplishes little in describing: who (other... Thu, 30 Aug 2012 16:42:04 EST Forethought on Four Weeks As I pass through my fourth week from restart I can praise myself for some major positive achievements. <BR> <BR> Total inches lost (hips, legs, arms, waist, chest and neck): 7 <BR> Total lbs lost: 13.5 <BR> Average caloric intake from 1985 to 1380 <BR> Average daily exercise from 30 minutes to 90 minutes <BR> Average sleep from 6 hours to almost 8 hours (bed times nearer that of my children) <BR> <BR> The euphoria of the initial stages of calorie reduction is over. Now the real work begi... Sat, 25 Aug 2012 10:32:30 EST Creating a positive attitude (Part 2) The connection of positive self-talk to a happier person is stronger than majorities of people believe or even admit. We all say, “Yeah, yeah” and not give it a second thought. Consider your opinions towards somebody who talks down or poorly of you or your work (or children). The blood may begin to boil and even constructive criticisms become hard pills to swallow. So why should you be any different? <BR> <BR> Indeed, our internal critic comes out quite frequently, and surprisingly often u... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 16:36:01 EST Creating a positive attitude Part 1 Attitude makes all the difference in the world. Think something will stop you, it will. Looking for opportunities does not result in a solution. One must act to take advantage of the opportunity once discovered. <BR> <BR> One must act with conviction, the bolder the better. A person’s character arises under stress, irrespective of the source or perceived source: physical, mental or vestige thereof. <BR> <BR> Only you can change you. It is in this stubbornness we often find ourselves facin... Wed, 22 Aug 2012 22:25:07 EST Another Opportunity Some days feeling your best means, the aches and pains of aging and exercise are along for the ride. Coming to a workable agreement with your body is easier when stretching and warm-ups are added to your routine. A stretching routine, like Tia Chi, is an ideal way to begin your day. <BR> <BR> I am planning to add this to my morning routine later this week as I begin my mornings with walking the dogs a couple of miles. This personal goal depends on the sleep regiment and cooperation by the a... Mon, 20 Aug 2012 12:44:51 EST An Opportunity to be Better Finding the opportunity to be a better me starts with the first third of our life, sleep. Sleep is the quintessential necessity of all complex organisms that receives the least amount of forethought. Think of little children, zooming around until crashing. When their tanks expire, so do they for the day. Mature animals have to think about where to lie down, when to lie down and how to reduce risk all before they succumb to the repairing time their bodies need. <BR> <BR> So why is this the f... Sun, 19 Aug 2012 12:43:19 EST Lemming Syndrome Like most animals humans find solace in being part of a herd. It is safe, not really led, and the predators really only go after the weak or infirmed. Of course the down sides of being in a herd are part of the lemming effect. I can hear my mother saying, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” Well the truth to the answer is it depends; of course to irritate my parents I would say “Sure!” <BR> <BR> So part of my humanity is embracing the uniqueness that is me. The herd may be saf... Thu, 16 Aug 2012 21:54:46 EST Strategery The method for any successful venture generally cites Strategic Planning as a best first step. During this planning, creation of a vision consistent with project and personal values will afford the opportunities to generate enthusiasm. This optimist view creates esprit de’ corps which boosts morale through the drudgeries of the upcoming tasks. Executing the tasks, especially the tactical planning, is where many plans go awry. <BR> <BR> As I continue on the “starting phases” of this effort,... Wed, 23 May 2012 13:25:36 EST Up, up and away! Choices abound throughout our day, from the time we arise until returning to bed. As part of our daily routines, we choose our attire, both inside and out. We often neglect our internal attire in lieu of the external faces to portray a false sense of whom and what we are. For shame, as this neglect fails us in so many ways. We fool only those who wish to be and we can never truely fool ourselves. <BR> <BR> Without properly attiring our inner selves, we allow the pitfalls and emotional trap... Mon, 21 May 2012 14:47:50 EST Go Fly a Kite The challenges of staying on task almost won the day. I won by staying focused on the daily, weekly and beyond goals. So, what do you do when the you are on the D line versus the A train and the tracks are heading off into oblivion? <BR> <BR> Having several preplanned options is a good answer to this dilemma. Know your limits and have fun. Take a stroll, walk around the block, romp in the park, or even fly a kite. You will reconnect with your goals and stay focused. <BR> <BR> Some people s... Wed, 9 May 2012 22:49:44 EST Alas, Well poor Yorik fell before most of our great-great-great-grandparents were even a glimmer in their parent eyes. Yet, the thoughts provoked from holding his skull are not far from the same for many who have lost hope. Not I, for I have a plan. <BR> <BR> Be not afraid of the road lying ahead. The bumps, jars, and soft shoulders are all within the scope of things to come. <BR> <BR> So, we find ourselves back once more with something more acute in our sights. The one thing I must absolutely do... Sun, 6 May 2012 20:36:07 EST Making Good on a Promise In the hustle and bustle of the last month of the year and the season of winter solstice, holiday joy, and spiritual renewals, I rediscovered a promise I had made to myself. This week driving home from work, I recognized the stark reality of those whom have less than they need on a daily basis. Part of this realization was the fact that I got a phone call for an interview last year about this time. I did land a job out of the interview; but, not the one I was interviewing for. The outcome is ... Wed, 14 Dec 2011 17:49:13 EST Ing By doing we succeed, <BR> By doing we fail, <BR> It is a matter of choice for, <BR> By doing nothing, we succeed in failing. <BR> Period <BR> <BR> To do without a plan is to hope for the best. <BR> The best we can hope for is not to fail. <BR> Therefore, to guarantee success, or some measure thereof, we must plan. <BR> Period <BR> <BR> To plan without measuring is wishful and immature. <BR> To remain immature is irresponsible and disrespectful. <BR> Love yourself enough to care and measure ... Thu, 10 Nov 2011 12:38:09 EST In a sane way not insane So, the third time did not take either. I most certainly need a renewed approach. I demonstrate the classic definition of insanity, trying the same thing and expecting a different result. I paused my Spark People efforts in the spring of this year because my time commitments were too much. Then, I injured myself over the summer; and viola all my hard efforts from 2010 and earlier 2011 land me back at a disturbing place. <BR> <BR> There is no blame only shame because I know better. I not onl... Mon, 10 Oct 2011 22:37:41 EST 2011 Independence Our celebration pertaining to the American colonies declaration of independence from the regal monarchy of the British Empire carries significant lessons for those journeying towards and on a better lifestyle. Lost to lore in the depictions of glorified battles and personal horrors are the intertwined facets of desire, commitment, choice and virtue. Many seemingly unrelated choices and actions created the conditions for the birth of a nation. <BR> <BR> Again, lost in the historical diatribe... Sat, 2 Jul 2011 12:23:46 EST Soulful Commitment The commitment to be your best originates from the depths of your soul. For those who profess we have no such entity, they fail to grasp the beauty of our being. A soul is fragile and delicate yet remains indestructible and unceasing. It can grow and shrink by the magnanimous or contemptible nature of ourselves. Since very few of us truly comprehend infinity, thoughts of the beyond lack substance and awareness. Nevertheless, I profess a soul is part of our being and we must nurture it as we d... Sun, 26 Jun 2011 12:51:03 EST Father to Father As I am about to set off to mow the lawn the thoughts on being a father continue to be foremost in my mind. It is easy to tout the party line on being there for your kids, teaching them well, and loving them no matter what. So what more is there to add? <BR> <BR> I think more than ever the importance of leading by example, is a lesson unto itself for these mimeographs of retained behavior. I read somewhere we assimilate over 80-percent of our knowledge by visual cues when given the opportuni... Sun, 19 Jun 2011 12:50:51 EST To what end This time of year, I find myself a bit nostalgic about summer activities. I remember my parents and all the things and time they sacrificed for us without appearing too disturbed by our lacking grasp of the fleeting behavior of time. With both parents gone it seems I can see the truest of meanings when I look at my children. The summers were always full special moments yet, our all-too-busy world today seems relentlessly forcing more and more, newer and newer, better and faster, without so mu... Tue, 7 Jun 2011 23:04:48 EST And another thing Congratulations to all of the Winter 2011-1 5% Weight Loss Challenge winners (and losers!) for having lost 1250 pounds as a team. This value shows the power of persistence. To those continuing, a hearty hurray extols my feelings. Unfortunately I will not be continuing with the 5% club this summer as my computer time has and will continue to be limited. I will always be a Teddy Bear at heart and I am especially proud of a second place overall finish as this team several challenges ago was tr... Sat, 7 May 2011 14:58:24 EST Frustration This week has culminated into one of the most frustrating weeks I have had in many a year. Not to complain, this was just a most difficult week. Civility and pent hostilities are incompatible. Together they breed frustration, which is permeating every aspect of my life. This situation, although temporary, seems unremitting. Worse is how I perceive this storm front draining humanity from my very essence. <BR> <BR> Choosing a lifestyle rich in personal experiences versus one of high drama or h... Sat, 9 Apr 2011 15:54:19 EST Frugality The pining for youthful exuberance can sometimes lead to realization of painful limits. As spring 2011 begins to unfold in the mid-west we have to remember to start slowly. Even though the weather appears warm, the ground is still too cold to plant. Although it is warm enough to apply woodchips or mulch, the flowers and veggies need to wait at least two more weeks. Sigh, just when we have a few days our intelligence forestalls inappropriate actions. I cannot wait but I must, and such is life.... Sat, 2 Apr 2011 18:55:15 EST Questions of the heart “Where for art thou, Romeo?” <BR> <BR> Longings of the heart become the paving stones of life, trampled upon by the masses in our materialistic world. How unfortunate as these desires are quintessential to the fabric of our lives. Life without them becomes bland, meaningless, and depressive, almost to the point of oppression. Modern society teaches men (ahem) to quell these emotions lest they reveal a softness transcending the macho-ism of manhood from early on. This situation generally corr... Sun, 27 Mar 2011 19:43:50 EST Great Expectations When planning to fail as we often to, do we ever really give ourselves a chance to succeed? I know many would say planning to fail, well I never… Now before I receive the obvious responses, think. <BR> <BR> Great Expectations is a literary classic not only for the prose containing the adventures of Pip but the deeper meanings of life which Charles Dickens masterfully elicits from his experiences in and around London. The nuances employed in creating expectations within our lives appear ingra... Tue, 22 Mar 2011 06:22:33 EST What time is it? “What time is it? Adventure time!” <BR> <BR> What a great lead-in for a kids’ show. I have to admit the show is as goofy as it sounds but it does offer a glimpse of truth into the minds of the younger generation. The semi-coherent thoughts of possible, improbably, and humorous can lead to the unimaginable, imagined. It is like twisting your drinking straw inside out to use it as it was intended. <BR> <BR> These are thoughts from the edge of my universe, where time seems to move faster than ... Sat, 19 Mar 2011 22:23:57 EST Imagine John Lennon’s inspirational song is a song of hope and perspective. If you can see the image you wish to achieve, you can see a better place and a better way. It is in our imagination where hope takes flight and sometimes our conscious mind grasps but for a moment. Those thoughts are more than fleeting; they are our reflection, no rather perception of ourselves in motion. Take care not to dash those moments lest you chase them away and scatter them like butterflies into the wind. <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 11 Mar 2011 23:35:17 EST To the community I offer my sincerest apologies to the 5% challenge community regarding my communication absence. This unfortunate event has cause significant confusion within the participants and for that I am truly sorry. But, life is often about survival and after almost a year of unemployment, I have two and a half poor paying jobs to make ends meet. So my 82 hours of work is compounded by home activities, exercise and sleep. There are only 168 hours in a week. And that is all there is. <BR> <BR> For tho... Mon, 7 Mar 2011 07:13:19 EST Orbits Many times, we find ourselves covering familiar ground, orbiting around a focal point we cannot see. These binding forces are our deep-seated habits, the comfort zones holding us to the constancy we live. Therein lays the crux of many a problem. The habits we espouse foretell the countless decisions we make and the predictable outcomes of those choices. <BR> <BR> Our ability to transcend these self-imposed limitations runs contrary to the desires of pathways already known. When faced with a ... Sun, 27 Feb 2011 12:04:07 EST Seized Up It seems strange that another week has ticked away. The world events across this 168 hours were profound, subtle, wondrous, inspiring, and down right scary. My life seems trite and dull compared to those in the midst of radical change. But, I’ve been there, done that, got a tee shirt, won and lost all in the same breath. <BR> <BR> This moment in time is all you have. Tomorrow is uncertain, yet hopeful. So gird your loins and promise yourself to seize this moment and this day for all it is ... Sat, 26 Feb 2011 00:39:52 EST Purposeful Being at a loss for words never bothers me. Trying to say something profound everyday is difficult, sometimes. I find it best for myself to keep the pie hole shut when my words lack substance. But, I that is and is not the point of these blogs during the Winter 2011-1 5% Challenge. <BR> <BR> These blogs should be a record of our personal journey, giving us a reminder of what we are doing and why, or something we may have stumbled onto giving us a really neat way of coping. They should tell o... Thu, 24 Feb 2011 07:40:33 EST Under where? The discourse of human events over the past few days has created opportunities for our communities to reflect on their aspirations. On one-hand the communications gap formerly seen in many developing and dictatorial countries fell pray to the breaching power of technology. Simple video cameras and the web create a powerful force by showing raw conditions. Yet in a matter of time, the subversive nature of the same technologies, where fact and fiction blur without detection, may turn on those w... Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:44:06 EST Moonshadows In 1971, Cat Stevens (Steven Demetre, aka Yusuf Islam) created a very fanciful melody on his Teaser and the Firecat album call Moonshadow. The lyrics are extraordinarily playful. One of his best performances was captured on video in 1976 on his Earth Tour. <BR> <BR> You can watch it at: <BR> <link><BR>s3eiII </link> <BR> <BR> Refrain: <BR> <BR> Oh, I'm bein' followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow <BR> Leapin and hoppin' on a moonshadow, mo... Mon, 21 Feb 2011 23:14:36 EST My Commitment Today I enthusiastically commit myself to my new 5% weight loss challenge. <BR> Over the next eight weeks I shall: <BR> <BR> Lose 16 pounds of fat <BR> Gain 3 pounds of muscle <BR> Exercise each and everyday <BR> Plan, measure and prepare my meals. <BR> <BR> So on April 16, I shall weigh 224 pounds or less, and I do these things because I want: <BR> <BR> To look and feel better <BR> Be happier with my choices <BR> Live without regret <BR> Make myself more attractive to my spouse... Sat, 19 Feb 2011 18:13:26 EST Super Sunday Today in America it is Super Bowl Sunday. Meaning after a long and arduous journey we can witness a spectacle like none other where millionaires literally beat each other into the ground for billionaires to profit. For millions of fans this description lacks the awe and majesty of the event, which they say equals the Gladiators of the Roman Coliseum. (Hum, I not going to touch that one.) I digress with this frivolity. It is a Super Sunday and like all days, we should make the most of the oppo... Sun, 6 Feb 2011 17:42:46 EST Something New On February 5th of last year I was laid-off from a position I had held for a little over three years previous. Now, moving time forward approximately 343 days, I have recently had a few interviews just to get in the door at several places. I have to admit, I did not think it would take over 11-months just to land an interview. But, times are tough and really not improving. It seems that new positions are only available when somebody leaves, voluntary or not. Expansion is definitely out of man... Sat, 15 Jan 2011 19:13:12 EST Life! With the close of the calendar year, we celebrate as many of our ancient ancestors did. For the northern hemisphere, after the winter solstice, the days will grow longer, albeit colder; and a sense of profound wonder appears as snow and ice quiet our surroundings. Some people dread this time of year because despair and unfulfilled dreams surround them at every turn. <BR> <BR> Feelings of loneliness and abandonment can overwhelm those whom cannot see the bounty and beauty life has to offer. ... Sat, 18 Dec 2010 10:08:45 EST Meaning Today I awoke invigorated and happy to start the day. I am joyful to continue with my adjustments to my program – exercise, mental acuity, caloric intake and spiritual calisthenics. Some days are like this. They are to be enjoyed and remembered. Today will be the third day of this renewed commitment and I may just be feeling the euphoria of the start of any caloric reduction program. To me it has much more meaning. <BR> <BR> I see days like this one resulting from hard work and mental awar... Tue, 23 Nov 2010 13:00:14 EST Cravings My wife said an astonishing thing this week, “Cravings are not commands.” A truth about life seeming simple enough to be missed my many, including me. As we pass through our day, we respond to many commands we memorized to make decisions quicker in our “busy” life. Often though, I select the easiest and most gratifying decision at that moment foregoing the best long-term choice. As an avowed procrastinator, the creation of a crisis is a failing that adds another layer to this decision tree. T... Sat, 20 Nov 2010 15:23:15 EST On being an Optimist Negativity in your life complicates the journey. It is like driving down a road following a pothole-making machine. Eventually you are going to bend a rim or worse. Listening to friends (or spouse) constantly berate your efforts does not bode well for your mind or spirit. But, do you egg them on by continuing to forego what is good for you? Or, are you your worst critic which invites more negativity into your life? So, why all the negativity and how does one go about stopping it? <BR> <BR> ... Mon, 15 Nov 2010 13:59:02 EST Plates Some days are like juggling plates, every now and then you are going to break one. Today was a I cannot seem to finish anything type of day. Oh, the good intensions were there, things just did not seem to click. Ever had one of those days? <BR> <BR> I am looking forward to bed so this day will end. I am shamed to request unwanted time. Seems my perspective is out of whack, when I sit quietly for a moment or two to think about the accomplishments. I was able to get the kids off to school an... Mon, 8 Nov 2010 21:56:38 EST The 2nd Step of a 1000 Miles The proverb regarding the start of any journey beginning with a single step simplifies the nature and experiences we all feel during the mid-portion or restart towards any goal. While it may be true that a journey starts with but a single step, I can attest, due to the 1000-miles I walked in the previous year, this same step looses some of its significance each and every day. That next step in front of you may be the most difficult; you may have starting walking backwards. Nonetheless, we al... Thu, 4 Nov 2010 17:26:57 EST Teddy Bear of the Week I thank my teammates for the distinguished honor as Teddy Bear of the week. I applaud all of my teammates and our compatriots, on other teams, for continuing through the midpoint and beyond on our Fall 5% Challenge. I know some teams have lost almost half of their membership and are struggling to remain competitive in the weekly competitions. We Teddy Bears have just lost Rene to surgery, although she is home from the hospital today. I already miss her lively chat and contributions. <BR> <B... Wed, 27 Oct 2010 18:25:35 EST Da Bunny So how is your journey going? Are we having fun or is it more as if the kids in the back seat asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Yea for the former of the two, otherwise, we have all had those days, weeks, months, and sometimes years. <BR> <BR> Today was the first day of my second year after returning to SparksPeople from a hiatus that never should have happened. Several days ago I mentioned this fact and began to ponder, as I often do. We procrastinators ponder well. (That sound... Tue, 19 Oct 2010 20:23:57 EST Almost a year back at Sparkspeople October 18 last year I rejoined sparks for the third time. This time I have a different path. The previous two times lacked the determination to follow through with my plan. Some how depression crept back into my life. The most compelling reasons are because I stopped doing what I loved and I was doing what I thought I loved. I believe this time around is showing evidence of major improvements in both areas. <BR> <BR> My most successful time of weight loss during this past year was from Octo... Sat, 16 Oct 2010 13:05:36 EST Anthropology Recently, I have been reading a many blogs throughout the Fall 5% Challenge membership. I see several patterns developing which lead me to reiterate the difference between want, desire and motivation. We all face the struggles of day-to-day living and coping with the frustrations and stresses of life. <BR> <BR> As an emotional eater, I must hold fast to what I know to be true. Food is fuel and nutrients, nothing more. When I find myself distressed, I must slow down and ask why am I doing som... Thu, 14 Oct 2010 15:43:49 EST Beware of Grasshoppers Yesterday I was not feeling all that well as a cold has ravaged through our home. I did manage to get out and walk around the lake with the dogs, that felt good. By the time evening was at hand, my head was stuffed and a running like a faucet. Last night I slept down stairs to avoid contaminating others as the contagious period was still present. This morning, I experienced no real relief of symptoms with sparse sleep through the night. I still managed to walk the dogs over to the vet and kee... Tue, 12 Oct 2010 14:15:55 EST