Remain

John 15 talks about the vines and branches, it’s a passage that i’ve been sitting with for a while, and i’m not really the type to sit and meditate on scripture. I’m a lover of analogies, so this is right up my alley.

4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

I’m a strong believer in goal setting and pushing to actually achieve those goals, but are we really missing the point? Branches bear fruit by staying connected to the source, not by venturing off and striving as hard as they can —regardless of that high achieving branches good intentions.

This morning in church I had shared with the congregation a story that occurred a couple months ago leading up to the True Pursuit, Inc.Weekend at Timber Wolf Lake – A Young Life Camp. I was feeling pretty restless about life, training for an event that I knew I just needed to finish but wasn’t really excited about finishing.

I met up with a friend the morning before leaving on the retreat, and he asked me what I was hoping to get out of the weekend. I answered that I was really hoping to hear something from God, as I had felt pretty disconnected: I didn’t feel like I was hearing anything from the spiritual camps in those preceding months.  I really wanted to get some clarity on my life direction, how to move forward, and what way to take my business activities.

All good things right? My strengths finder test has me high in Futuristic thinking, so being forward thinking is kinda my thing.

So I get up to the weekend, and there’s a couple training runs I needed to complete- a 5 miler on thursday and then a 10-14 miler on saturday.

That thursday afternoon, as other men started arriving for the weekend, I found myself in the bunk room reluctantly lacing up my running shoes. Ready to embark on 5 miles.

Mile 1 started like all mile ones for me: a list of complaints from all over. Ow, what happened to my back? What’s wrong with my toe? Hmmm, my knee kinda hurts. What do you mean i’ve only gone half a mile?

After mile one it’s usually smooth sailing, and this run was no different.
As I approached the half way point of the run, my thoughts were likely fixated on business to do lists and other aspirations, and I was suddenly attacked by a rush of calmness. And there was a voice that was saying “You’ve come so far, You’ve come so far” the voice repeated itself several times.

The voice was saying: dan. chill out. things are good now, you’ve come far, and you’ll go far, and you know what? I’ll be there with you. It’s not you alone.

So back to the vine and the branches. It’s easy to think we need to do all of these great things in order to live productive lives, but in reality, its a little easier.

Our job is to remain in him. That’s it.
Remain in him and we will bear much fruit.

30 Days of Ketosis

Me and Jayda

Over the past year, I’ve written about successes i’ve had in my health. I am 80-85 pounds down from my original weight of 375 back in February of 2015, however that has fluctuated around that range for the last few months. There have been a couple reasons for that.

  1. I have remained low carb during my work day, but dinners/evenings have seen a lot more cheats. I think a cheat day works, but you need to keep it at a day.
  2.  My fitness routine has become less routine. Now that I’ve been training for the 25k race in may, I haven’t been hitting the gym immediately after work 3-4 times a weeks like I had been. I think the routine I had in place had a profound impact on the diet success of 2015 for me.
  3.  Personal discipline. I haven’t been going to bed on time, waking up on time, working out on time, it’s been a struggle.

So I’m going to spend April in a strict Ketogenic/low carb diet.

So what does that mean?

It means that I’m going to follow a ketogenic meal plan for 30 days, and hopefully get my health progress back on track.

Why does this matter? >>>>>*disclaimer* i’m not a doctor. <<<<< there.

Sugars from carbohydrates are stored as energy in your muscles. So when your body looks to access its energy, the first place it looks is the energy that’s stored in your muscles as Glycogen. If you avoid the intake of carbohydrates, your body will be forced to look elsewhere for it’s energy.

One of those places is the fat in your body- which is what we’re looking for. Right? Right?

Another place is your actual muscle tissue, but based on the things i’ve researched, if you are eating enough protein, your body should be using the fats as energy.

So for the next 30 days, i’m going to avoid sugars to try to sustain a body state known as Ketosis— when your body is adapted to burning fat for fuel.

There will be challenges.

I like beer — and aside from the occasional trip to the local brewery, my brothers and I are known to brew tasty beers. We are scheduled to make some in the next couple weeks; it will be a challenge to avoid during these times.

Eating out.

It can be hard to know what is put in sauces at restaurants, as well as sometimes the choices that will work for me in the next month might be the least appetizing thing on the menu.

Traveling.

I am set to have nearly a week off in the middle of the month, during that time, I’ll be up north for a men’s retreat. I remember last year struggling with being low carb while my friends were eating all sorts of goodies that were prepared for us, I’m going to have to come prepared with my own things to eat as a backup if i can’t get my fill with things that aren’t compliant.

Crazy Predictions.

My running pace increases.

Once my body is fully fat adapted and i’m not torturing it with constant fluxes from sugar energy to fat stores, I think I’ll be able to run faster, longer. This is a good thing because my long runs are now over 10 miles long.

I feel better.

My energy levels should stay high all day, and I’ll be looking to reincorporate strength training into my schedule 1-2 times a week so that I’m maintaining a healthy muscle mass as well as doing something I love.

I hit the centennial mark.

The big one.

275 would mean i’ve lost 100 pounds, and I think I can hit the mark with a month of solid discipline.

I’m not asking you to join me in a month of ketosis, but I would love it if you stay in touch with me throughout the month to see how i’m doing, I intend to keep this site updated with a few updates as the month goes on.

 

Seth Godin’s Assorted Tips for Life

A few years back, Seth Godin put together a list of Assorted Tips.

It’s interesting how much of an impact a random blog post can have on you.

I’ve referred to different points on this list countless times, I want to post them here so I can reference them quickly. Maybe they can help you too.

  1. No stranger or unknown company will ever contact you by mail or by phone with an actual method for making money easily or in your spare time. And if the person or company contacting you asserts that they are someone you know, double check before taking action.
  2. Don’t have back surgery. See a physiatrist first, then exhaust all other options before wondering if you should have back surgery.
  3. Borrow money to buy things that go up in value, but never to get something that decays over time.
  4. Placebos are underrated by almost everyone.
  5. It’s almost never necessary to use a semicolon.
  6. Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite.
  7. Cognitive behavorial therapy is generally considered both the quickest and most effective form of addressing many common psychological problems.
  8. Backup your hard drive.
  9. Get a magnetic key hider, put a copy of your house key in it and hide it really well, unlabeled, two blocks from your house.
  10. A rice cooker will save you time and money and improve your diet, particularly if you come to like brown rice.
  11. Consider not eating wheat for an entire week. The results might surprise you.
  12. Taking your dog for a walk is usually better than whatever alternative use of your time you were considering.

Told you they were assorted.

Basketball and Reclaiming your Old Glory

On thursday night, my plans evaporated and I was left with an open night.

I had no plans to work on client work, I had nothing immediate that I needed to attend to. It’s an odd feeling for me.

One of my friends had been telling me about a pick up basketball games that he attends with a group of guys every thursday night. I hadn’t been able to make it up up until this point, and I realized this might be my chance.

I played a lot of basketball up through middle school. It was one of the main things I did at recess through elementary, and I conquered the tryouts in middle school to make the roster. I doubt we won a game that year, but I was on the team!

I probaby hadn’t tried to shoot a basket in a year.

I know I hadn’t tried to play in at least 3.

I also hadn’t subjected my surgically repaired ACL to anything as high-impact as basketball since the surgery 7 years ago.

I was nervous about it. I am competitive, I would want to win. I am a perfectionist, and I knew that I would want to perform as well as I used to.

The more I thought about how much I didn’t want to be the worst person in this pickup game, the more I realized it was time to put my knee to the test.

So I played.

And I was bad.

And I definitely airballed my first attempt at a three-pointer.

And it took me a while to adjust to the fast pace of a game where a ball can fly at your face in a moment’s notice.

By the end of the night, I was exhausted. My lungs were telling me that they hadn’t been exerted like this in ages. But I was able to contribute to the team, though by no means was I a star.

It felt so good to be back at it. To be running up the court. To make plays happen. To see the ball settle through the hoop.

After we finished, I removed my knee brace and discovered that I had abused the joint more than I had realized. I wasn’t sore yet, but I could tell that the next day was a struggle.

It was.

I limped through my day Friday. My knee had swollen up and limited my mobility. I had to skip my training workout. I begged my Physical Therapist sister-in law to do an “emergency” check up, and was given some exercises to rebuild strength around my knee. It was a tough day, but ultimately I knew that I would be back to normal very soon.

The next day the swelling had dissapated and I made the decision to run the training run that was assigned to me.

5 miles. The furthest I’ve ever run in my life. I’m on my way towards running 15.5 (God willing)

My limp still has hung around a little today, though I’m not worried about it.

I can be a basketball player again.

I can run the full River Bank Run in a couple months.

I can be an overcompetitive person in a position to lose pickup games and be ok with it, because I know it’s just one training session on the way back to the excellence I expect from myself.