Friday, January 28, 2011

Bad dads piss me off

There I said it.

My father died when I was very young shortly after my mother and father had divorced. As hard as I have tried, I have no memories of my father and I do not recall my mother ever sharing stories with me as a child about the kind of man he was.

One of the very few pictures
of me with my dad.
That is my back
Growing up a fatherless boy in a single parent household had a tremendous impact on my youth. It did not help that I was overweight, awkward and very shy. Not having a father became a focus to everything I perceived as wrong in my life. I just knew if I had a dad around he would be teaching me everything I wanted to be and was not. I would know how to be athletic, fix things, be thin, talk to girls, be smart, make friends, and more. Eventually when I was in 8th grade my mother remarried but unfortunately the man that became my stepfather and I never connected.

Fast forward to August 19th 1997. On this day I became a father. I will admit that I was terrified about being a dad to a son. What kind of dad would I be given that I had no positive example to follow? The moment when I held him in my arms the first time all my fear went away and I committed to do everything I could to be the dad to Conner that I had fantasized for my own as a child.

Fast forward to May of 1998. That was the moment when I learned I had cancer and my chances of living beyond even a few months were very slim. Suddenly the prospect of a fatherless childhood became a reality for my own son. Would he now have to suffer through the same kind of childhood that was my memory?

Now here is the pissed off part---

With this background, it breaks my heart to see dads that do not appreciate the awesome responsibility and joy of fatherhood. Dads that neglect their child through lack of time with them or lack of effort need to realize what they are doing. They are impacting a child that could carry this pain forward to future generations. The truth is that most boys will grow to father the only way they know how through your example.

I am fortunate that my past experience created a passion to help mentor boys through Scouting and to encourage dads any way I can.

Now is your time to change or to help another dad discover the best in himself. I have made in the past and will make in the future many mistakes as a father. However, to my core I will never stop learning and trying to be the best father I can possibly be.

Dads---you too can reach your fathering potential. Learn, grow and strive to be more.

Don’t piss me off

Monday, January 24, 2011

I love Mondays

I have a confession. I love Mondays.

What? Yes I know most people hate Mondays and comments putting down the day are quite common. Of course there are those “back to the salt mine” and other references to the drudgery of another work week that we hear often on this day.

Here’s the deal. I see every Monday as a little Jan 1st. It is an opportunity to start fresh and step into week of new goals and promises. The mistakes and missteps of last week are gone and my life is once again a blank page. What will I accomplish this week? What meetings to I need to plan? What performance at work do I need to impact? How many miles does my training schedule say I need to run? What is my nutrition plan to be healthy? What steps can I take this week to honor God?

These are just a few questions I find myself asking every Monday morning.

I choose to live for the weekends AND I choose to live for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as well.

Face it. The majority of our lives take place during the in-betweens. I will not waste these days with complaints or just getting by until Friday does arrive.

I hope you too will take a moment to look at Monday with fresh eyes and attitude!

Are you an “I hate Mondays person”?

If not, what are some things you do to start the week excited?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Going for Great

“If you keep doing what you have always done you will keep getting what you have always got”

This is one of the most powerful statements I have ever heard and I posted it up as a theme as I wrote my 2011 goals.

I think one of the greatest dangers in life is success as it can lead to complacency. You reach that weight loss goal, stop eating right and soon the weight starts to creep back on. You finish the marathon and the post run workout break soon becomes months of inactivity. You finally get that job you dreamed and worked so hard for and then stop learning and growing. I have seen this in my own life many times.

Good is indeed the enemy of great.

I am planning to get radical in 2011. I do not want to be comfortable and content. I want and plan to seek the pain of challenge and of risk.

What about you?
If you have not taken a deep personal assessment of what you are going to do differently do it now and post it somewhere that will drive you forward. Step out this year and stop doing what you have always done.

God did not make you to be simply good. I believe He made you to be great and to make a real difference during this very short time you are on this earth. A difference for him through your talents and your passion.

Don’t just be good---be great!

What is one challenge you plan in 2011?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Getting healthy thanks to Android and my HTC EVO from Sprint

Like many of you I am using the New Year as an opportunity to refocus on my health and shed the pounds I picked up thanks to all the yummy holiday food over the previous two months. This year I have a new arsenal of weapons in my war against girth thanks to my wonderful HTC EVO and the Android market.

The key to losing weight I have found over the years is not to diet but instead focus on healthy eating habits and to make in an all in family lifestyle choice. Diets simply do not work because they are temporary and mentally indicate you are “on a program”. Programs have a beginning and an ending vs. a lifestyle which is simply ongoing.

Losing weight through a life style change then becomes easy and simple. Keys for me have been:

• No fried foods

• No sodas—Including diet

• Minimal processed foods and sugar

• No snacks after 8PM

• Four small meals a day

• Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables

• Lower intensity cardio over a longer period of time

• Weight lifting

• Still enjoying pizza and other “bad food” gilt free from time to time

It is simple math really. You should take in less calories than you are burning during the day. I could go into the points above in great detail but that is not why you are reading this : )

So how do you figure the math? Thankfully there is an awesome free app for that called Calorie Counter. This app links you to and will sync all your data inputs.
The app has a food diary for entering your caloric and nutritional intake, exercise diary for tracking your calories burned, diet calendar for an overview of your progress and a weight training to graph how well you are doing. 

Almost every food you might encounter can be found in the database to make tracking a breeze. It even has really cool bar code scanning embedded for you to easily do uploads.

With all this help at your fingertip there should be no excuse for a healthy 2011!

Have you tried this app?

What other healthy lifestyle tools have you found that are device friendly?

What is your big health goal for 2011?