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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I have officialy lost 30 lbs.  9 more pounds and I will have lost 10% of my body weight.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I have broken through .



I am no longer stuck at 25 pounds lost. I have lost around 3 pounds last week.  I am down 28.8 pounts total.  I am not still eating like I should every day.  I have made a few bad diet choices the last couple of days and been over my calorie goal. I also haven’t been working out like I should.  I have not had a lot of energy this week.  I need a fresh start tomorrow.  Furtunitly I am going to meet a coworker at the gym to get my exercise on.   I just feel so slothful today. 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Plateaus suck


Plateaus suck


I have hit a plateau weight loss wise, I have only been dieting for a few weeks and I have stopped losing weight already.  I have been sitting at the 24-25 lb mark for about two weeks now.  I am going to have to make some changes.  I need to exercise consistently each day. I also need to quick my late night snacks and control my portions a little better.  The Plateau is making my question my decision not to have surgery. 

Please check out my spark page to the right.   It is a great place to see what I am up to on the diet / exercise front. 

LOSING MY RELIGION ENGL 102 paper


LOSING MY RELIGION




                                                     
                                                                            by                    
James Hull













English 102 – Essay and Research
Mr. Brandal
Monday, June 18, 2012
I rarely went to church as a young child. I would go to vacation bible school, Easter sunrise service, and a few other occasional services.  I didn’t have a church home; we would go from church to church, denomination to denomination.  As a small child religion was just something we did and not something we believed.   That all changed in the seventh grade.  I was invited to a new church and it became my life.  I was highly involved in the church until my freshman year of college, where a bout of depression changed my life yet again.  Since that time I have lost all faith that I formally have and have become agnostic.
In my high school years I was very active in the church.  I had full and unwavering faith in the existence of the one true God.  I believed that I could feel him in my life and that he was helping me get thru my day to day existence.  I attended church at least three times each week; I was a member of a missions team going to inner city Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Dayton;  I would listen only to religious music; read my bible and pray several times each day.   I was a very active Christian and believed that it was the way that everyone needed to live their lives.    I would take any chance I was given to try to convert someone to Christianity. Some of my fondest childhood memories revolved around the church camp where I worked as a lifeguard and around time spent with my church friends.  When I was a young child I wanted to be a police officer just like my uncle.  Church changed that and I decided I wanted to become a pastor. I went off to Bible College in Springfield, MO to train.  Shortly after arriving I began to suffer from depression.  I didn’t want to go to class, and as time went on the depression worsened.  I stopped going to class and to chapel all together, I stopped hanging with friends and going to work.  Eventually I even stopped showering, eating, or getting out of bed for any reason.  The only thing I wanted to do with my life was sleep every day.  One week the only time I got out of bed was to use the restroom.  My roommate went to the administration out of concern for my wellbeing.  I remind you that I was attending a Bible College.  This is a College that exists for the sole purpose of training pastors, counselors, and other leaders of the church.  The response to my depression was not to attempt to get me the medical attention that I so desperately needed, it was not to provide me with counseling or any other type of help. The response was to determine that I was unfit for ministry and to kick me out of school and the church.  I was 710 miles from home, they not only kicked me out but they did it immediately.  I was made homeless by the one group of people who should know how to handle someone with depression.  It was going to be over a week until I could secure transportation home, and the college was aware of this.  Some of my friends snuck me back on campus to their dorm room so that I would not be out on the street.  They ended up getting punished by the college for their “crime.”  This is how I lost my faith. How could men and women of a just God ignore such basic needs?  I do not fault my friends, because we were all young and did not know better, but the administrators with their degrees in psychology and counseling.  They should have recognized my symptoms and gotten me the help that I needed.  This is how I lost my faith.   While I made my decision a little later in life than others, I was far from alone.  As demonstrated in the chart below from “A Longitudinal Study of Religious Identity and Participation During Adolescence” by Lopez, Huynh, and Fuligni
As you can see Christian individuals of European decent that practice their religion decreases almost in half from the 10th grade until the end of 12th grade. 
Today I find myself embracing Agnosticism.  As an Agnostic, I do not believe in the existence of a higher power.  I also do not believe that myself, nor any other person, can prove the existence or nonexistence of a god.   I know that when I was a teen I “felt” the presence of God.  Today I believe that I was young and naive.   The Christian church teaches that having faith like a child is the only way to enter the kingdom of heaven.   As an adult I sometimes wonder sometimes if my intellect is what is keeping me from having that faith.  I know all the apologetics and the arguments that the church teaches to overcome my intellectual reasoning and I think they totally fall flat.  One such example is Pascal’s wager.  Pascal was a mathematician and a philosopher from the 17th century believed that if you take a look at the pros and cons of believing in God, the smart betting man would believe.  His thought was that if you believe in God, and he does not exist, you have lost nothing at all.  If he does in fact, exist the non believer then finds himself faced with eternal damnation.   I have several problems with this wager.  First off is the fact that if God is real, he would not be fooled by someone who believed just because he was playing the odds.  There is no way for a rational person to simply choose to believe.  A rational person would choose to believe what is most likely, not what may be most lucrative.  Secondly, by believing in a lie the non-believer is giving up a significant portion of his time, and money to the church of his own free will.  Thirdly even if one decides that one should believe in God, which God should one choose?    Pascal himself was making the argument to try to get people to believe in the Catholic Church.    Many Protestants believe that Catholics are hell bound.   If I were to choose Catholicism and the Protestants were correct I would still be damning myself to eternal hell. 
Organized religion is big business.  It is a big tax exempt business.  Most churches exist for the good of the community; most church leaders are in the business to help others.  It takes money to run the programs that the churches provide, and the pastors deserve to be compensated for their time, but we need to call a spade a spade.  Churches sell a product just like any other business.  Churches sell faith; they sell it at a cost of 10% of your income every week.    According to Charity.com in 2006 $93.2 billion was given to churches in the United States alone.  This is almost $300 per man, woman, or child living in the United States. While the church does have programs that provide for the needs of others, it should be sold that way.  Instead churches are selling eternal life in exchange for believe in a deity and following his commands; the command to provide your tithe, the command to recruit others to join the church, and the command to volunteer your time in service. In “Earthly Empires” William Symonds writes about how the leaders of big churches are great marketers or branding whizzes saying “so successful are some evangelicals that they’re opening up branches like so many Home Depots or subways” (545.)  When I attended Bible College I took a class in church planting.   Now that I have returned to college to get my business degree, I was amazed by how similar to that class my marketing and sales classes are. 
Organized religion has its place in this country and in this culture.  There is no denying that.  The church can do a lot of good.  It helps to feed, cloth, and care for the poor and elderly. The Church helps to care for the emotional health of many.  However the Church has no place in my life.  I know that for some the church is a social refuge, a place that they feel that they are needed and belong.  I satisfy those needs in other ways.  I hold no ill will to people of faith.  I just believe their faith is misplaced.




WORKS CITED


Chairty Choices.com. Chairty Choices.com. 2012. 21 July 2012 <http://www.charitychoices.com/chargive.asp>.
Lopez A, Huynh V, Fuligni A. A Longitudinal Study of Religious Identity and Participation During Adolescence. Child Development [serial online]. July 2011;82(4):1297-1309. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 30, 2012.
Symonds, William C.. "Earthly Empires." The Blaire Reader. Ed. Kirszener, Laurie G. and Ed. Mandell, Stephen R.7th. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011. 545. Print.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Letter to myself


Jay,

You are at the dawn of a new you.  Your life will never be the same.  Every day you will make yourself better than the day before.  You will become a better father, a better boss, a better employee, a better student, and a better athlete.  Each day you will become a better man.  You will live your life with honor. You will do your best in all that you take on.   You will do your duty to your family, your country, and your fellow man.  You will help other people at every opportunity.  You will make yourself physically and mentally prepared to handle whatever emergency may arise.  You will constantly challenge yourself to; go farther and faster, to be smarter and more compassionate.  You will lead your life as an example for others to follow.  I will serve with professionalism, respect, integrity, discipline.  I will pay attention to details and have a sense of urgency in all I do.   You are a new person, and you will be better every day.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I hit the 25lbs lost mark this last week.   I had eaten a lot more than I should this weekend.    I got some workouts in but not near enough there either.   Today is a reset day.

Some interesting stats

  • I have tracked 20 workouts since I started using MAP MY RUN
  • I have logged 44.27 Miles
  • I have logged 12.53 hours
  • I have burned 6,500 calories



Why I work



Here is a paper that I wrote for my English Class 


WHY I WORK, MY AMERICAN DREAM





by
James Hull










English 102 – Essay and Research
Mr. Brandal
Monday, June 18, 2012

Why do I work?   That is a very interesting question.  There are many different “whys” to why I work, and all of them come down to one simple reason: my two teenaged sons.   I have a job, I work out, I go to school, I do housework, and I do my best to raise my children.  I want them to have a better life than they have now, and a better life than I had growing up.   I want them to see that with hard work and dedication,  you can meet your goals, no matter what the goals may be.  My goals are to put myself in a position where I can meet any challenge that is thrown my way.  I work, not because it is easy, but because it is hard.  Many of my goals exist simply because they are something that I cannot do now.  I chose the goals not because they are easy, but because they are hard. I chose them to challenge myself, to make myself work harder and become a better person.  I work hard in many different ways in order to make my life and my children’s life better.
My boys need food, clothing, education, medical care and shelter.  They want Internet, TV, football, video games, dates with their girlfriends, and eventually cars.  These things are not free; therefore I have a job.  Sometimes it seems that I need to have two jobs to keep up with the expenses of having children as a single dad.   You will notice I said that I have a job and not a career.  I do not get up every day dreaming of going to work and doing my job like I did in the past. I currently supervise a team of 30 customer service representatives and manage multiple projects for one of the biggest companies in the United States, Express Scripts Holdings.   I gather very little joy out of my day to day existence at work.  I do not feel that I contribute to a greater good.   I know that my actions directly affect my direct reports, and therefore indirectly affect hundreds of people each day in small ways. I used to work as a firefighter / paramedic, and I miss making a very big difference every day.   My current job provides me with a steady paycheck, ample time off, flexible work schedules and an amazing health and decent retirement benefits.  My current job fills my needs but not my desires.
I work at school.   In addition to working full time I am currently going to school full time.  I currently do not have a degree and if I want to improve my current job situation, I need an education.  I am taking classes at Columbus State that will transfer to Franklin University as well as classes at Franklin itself.  I am majoring in Forensic Accounting and Business Forensics with the goal of eventually getting my Masters of Science in Accounting.  Attending class full time can be very difficult for me.  With all the other demands on my time, I sometimes find it hard to do the studying and the other assignments that I need to do.  One of my biggest problems is that I do not feel that I am a strong writer, and writing is such a large portion of the work that I do, especially since I take the majority of my classes online.   
I work at the gym.   In the past, I have allowed myself to get into horrible physical shape.  I am 6’4” and weigh in at 378 pounds; I am extremely morbidly obese.  I am hypertensive (high blood pressure) and pre-diabetic.   My current physical condition puts me at high risk for heart attack, stroke, and even death.  My father died at 52 years old of a massive heart attack.  He did not get to see his grandchildren reach school, let alone be there to see them graduate.  If I did not make the start working out like I did recently I would be in a grave at a very young age.  I have two amazing teenage boys that I want to see grow into men, and eventually give me grandchildren. In order to prevent my early demise, I have started to work out.   I do several different things each week in order to improve my health;  I go to the high school and walk 2-3 miles three times a week, I run a mile each week , I do the biggest loser workout three times a week, and I go to the gym another three times.  So far I have lost about twenty  pounds and have a long way to go.  I have several goals for myself over the next two years; I want to lose an additional 136 pounds, I want to participate in the Columbus Half Marathon this October, and the full marathon the next year, and finally I want to be able to run a mile in under seven minutes.  I am also focusing on physical fitness in order to be prepared for any emergency that may arise.  When I was growing up I strongly believed in the Boy Scout motto and the belief that I need to keep myself mentally and physically prepared for whatever life may throw my way.  I don’t care if it is a medical emergency, a financial crisis, or whatever else may happen to come up; I want to always be ready.  I am getting into shape for another reason as well.  While it seems like a difficult, if not impossible, goal at my age - I would like to join the Ohio Air National Guard.   In order to do so I need to get my weight down to 225 pounds.  It is a weight I have not been at since high school.  I am looking at two different possible careers in the guard.  I am interested in either getting trained with in security forces or as a crash fire rescue firefighter.  Both of these are things that I have wanted to do in my life.   I have let these goals go by the wayside by letting other peoples priorities override my own.  I will no longer do that.  All the work that I do is for myself and for my sons.  Anyone else’s opinions do not matter to me at all.  
As a single dad, I work double hard in the home.  No matter how much work I do, there is always more to do.  In “The Second Shift” Hochschild writes “Adding the time it takes to do a full time job and doing housework and childcare … I found that women work roughly 15 more hours each week than men” (416).  I have the extra labor of housework, and raising my children without the benefit of a wife.  There are always chores to do, carpools to coordinate or drive, dinner to cook, or just time to spend with the boys.  Thankfully, my children do help out by doing household chores.  While they may not do the greatest of jobs it takes a great weight of my shoulders to have them help out.  It also helps me teach them the responsibility that they will need to succeed on their own in a few short years.  I do feel that my children sometimes get the short end of the stick when it comes to my schedule, but I try to incorporate them into my other activities as much as possible.  I take them with me to work out, and I take my study breaks and spend time with them.
One of the biggest risks that I run with all the work that I do is burnout.  I get very little time for myself and pursuing my own interests.  With burnout, I risk overextending myself and running out of time.  I also risk completely giving up on my goals.  In the past I have burnt out several times in my attempts to lose weight.  I will lose 10 or 15 pounds and then just either upset or depressed and begin eating again.  Gaining back everything I lost and even more.  In “Putting the life back into work-life balance for graduate students” King writes about avoiding burnout. “Slotting certain “off times” from school work is one way in which graduate students can maintain a balance between their work- and home-life roles. Building downtime into our schedules can allow us to enjoy time with our friends and family, work on our personal hobbies, and recharge.”  I deliberately ensure that I have time off from my job at the same time as breaks from school so that I can get away and recharge.  While I still have the responsibility of having my boys, getting away and spending the weekend swimming at a resort is an amazing way to refresh before starting another hectic semester.  I know that if I do not make time for my friends and time for myself that I will never be able to meet the goals that I have set before myself.     
I work at my job, at the gym, at school, and at home.  I do it to make my children better people and to improve my position in life now.  I work hard to ensure that each day is better than the last, and that I am improving as a person on a daily basis. I am doing these things with the goal of reaching the American Dream for myself and for my children.  For me that is working in public safety again.  Even when I am done with school, back in shape, and an empty nester, I desire to stay busy.  My hope is to work as an accountant for a state law enforcement agency assisting with fraud investigations as my full time job.  I would also like to volunteer my time as a public safety officer in a small community; serving as a police officer, firefighter, and emergency medical technician. 


Works Cited
King, Aimee E., and Kelsey C. Herb. "Putting The "Life" Back Into Work--Life Balance For Graduate Students." TIP: The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist 49.4 (2012): 125-129.Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 July 2012.

Hochschild, Arlie. "Why We Work." The Blair Reader. Ed. Kirszinger, Laurie G. and Ed. Madell, Stephen R.7th. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011. 416. Print.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Had a great workout today.  I felt so much better after it was done.  I did  2.25mi, time: 00:42:00, pace: 18:40min/mi, speed: 3.21mi/hr.   My pace was so much better than it has been.  I had been at 21-22 minute miles.   

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Let me start with my intro


Welcome to my new blog. 
First I want to tell you a little about myself.  As you can guess by the name of the Blog my name is Jay, and I am fat.   I don’t want to be fat anymore but I am.  This blog will serve several purposes as I rethink and attempt to restart my life just a few weeks short of my 35th birthday.


1.       I started going back to college last quarter.  I will post observations on going back after being out of school for 15 years.  I am attending classes at Columbus State Community College as well as Franklin University .  My goal is to graduate with my BS in Business Forensics within the next three years. Then on to my MBA.  To read about my college experience just go to label  EDU


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  • 2       I am in need of losing weight.  I am currently 380 lbs and drastically need to reduce my weight.  I am trying to spend the next six months to do it naturally.  I will be working with a dietician, as well as my physician to do it right.  If I am unsuccessful I will be looking at having gastric bypass surgery.  To read about my weight loss use label – FAT, workout, or diet.


a.       MY goals between now and October.  (4 months)  
                                                               i.      Lose 40lbs
                                                             ii.      Walk in the Columbus ½ marathon.
                                                            iii.      Participate in at least 3 5k walks for time.

Wish me luck everyone.