Starting with a serious note:
I have been emotionally struggling with what is going on in the US right now. I grew up in a bubble of suburban and rural New England. The types of racial tensions that exist here can pale in comparison to what people experience in other parts of the country and that can give me, as a white male, a sense that I am not part of the problem. What I am grappling with, is that you can be a good, even great person, yet that doesn’t mean that we do not fail at ‘not being racist’. This is because racism goes far beyond (and can be far more subtle) than the evil and drama of the KKK or open hatred of other skin tones. I have walked down the street in Boston and without consciously meaning to, assumed different precautions based on the dress or color of somebody near me. That right there suggests that deep inside of me I am using race as a primary determinant of a trait of an individual… which is part of the textbook definition of racism! “WHAT, ME!?!?!” I am realizing that the classic Ben has been a good person, but has also allowed these issues to continue. So how do I better myself through this betterment journey and how do I change so that new Ben is more aware and more of a force for good?
I am starting to get it. I can, despite my faults, be anti-racist and do my best to get better. Part of this involves educating myself more on what is happening today and what has happened historically to bring us to this point. How can I change to be a better ally to those who need allies? How can I raise my daughter to be the same? How can I support such a necessary cause, and not just let this continue on? I do not have all the answers to all of these, but I am trying and I am listening to the voices that need to be heard. Can I try to start with simple loving conversations with those I know? Maybe a new avenue will open up from there. I am confident that although initial education of myself may not change what is happening on the street, it will inform and influence my decision-making far into the future.
Please do not mistake this for me looking for praise or forgiveness, or for talking politics. I am talking about humanity. I am talking about how I do not want to live in a country where we accept such overt abuse of our fellow citizens. This is me starting another part of my betterment journey, to be a better neighbor, dad, and citizen. To be a better ally for my brothers and sisters who were created in the image and likeness of God, just like me. I would like us all to consider that the movement going on right now in this country is not to personally attack you, but to get us all to take a moment and reconsider what progress we think we have made, and act to continue towards progress. The Civil War was not enough. Ending Jim Crow was not enough. MLK Jr. and Malcom X were not enough. The Civil Rights movement was not enough. Ending credit and geographic redlining is not enough. And sitting on the sidelines is not enough.
Thank you for listening to me. Just because below is a classic weekly update, does not mean that the above hasn’t consumed my mind and thoughts. I broke them out because I do not have the literary skills to give each the proper gravity if talking about both together.
Now reflecting on my week:
Change in weight (6/2/20 –6/8/20): -0.4 LBS
I woke up this morning in a mood. I felt like crap, I was in a fog, and I looked horrible. I sat down in my chair to log into work (I usually boot up before I do my morning weigh-in) and had a moment where I did not know if I could function today and if I should just call in ‘sick’. Well I stepped on the scale and saw that I have lost another 0.4 pounds. This didn’t even please me. I was muttering about how it should have been more and “why didn’t you do this?” or “why didn’t you do that?” I was a mess. I realized I just need to take a shower, shave, and maybe getting cleaned up will help.
Sometimes you just need to clean up. I left the shower feeling great and the shave made me feel like a new man. Now I can say I’m happy with my continued weight loss. Even though this week’s drop was small, it was still a drop. I need to remember to celebrate my effort and cherish the victories, not matter how trivial they may seem.
I listened to my body this week. I have been doing 3 runs per week for about 3-4 weeks now and until this week I have been feeling pretty good. But during my last run, I had to stop because the pain in my ankle was significant. I need to remember that it is one thing to push through fatigue to get stronger, but pushing through pain risks hurting yourself and setting you back on your goals. My plan is decrease to 2 runs per week, allowing at least two days in between, and I will continue the low impact Peloton rides to keep my cardio progress going.
I did hit another PR on the Peloton the other night! I again did the Greatest Showman ride by Robin, which I have coined my PR ride, and I kicked ass. It also helped that my good friend just got a bike so we did the ride together. My calves started cramping with about 90 seconds left and I am screaming “noooo” in my head because my daughter was asleep in the room next to me, so I had to be quiet! But I was able to get through and felt super happy,.. and breathless.
My favorite (and healthy) meal of the week was a last minute, throw it together meal. We had Tempeh, sweet peppers, and broccoli. I ended up tossing together a stir fry with some Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce and boom! It was fantastic. I must admit, this meat lover does dig himself some tempeh. I will say that one struggle I need to fix is my giving up on cooking when I am sick of it. I just say “screw it” and order food. This continues to be a struggle of mine.
I am 6.8 pounds away from 300. I want to drop below 300 by July 4th. This would be a huge step for me when looking at the lifelong struggle I have had with weight.
What is your favorite ‘quick hits meal?’ I need more ideas. My sister sent me a few the other day, but I need a treasure trove of quick, easy meals. Do you have any advice for me with running?
If you know anybody who you think might benefit from reading my blog, please share it with them. I would love to reach more people because the success I am currently experiencing comes after years of struggle and frustration that I know many others face. If I can help myself through this, wonderful. If I can help others, even better! I am here to cheer on your effort and work, to whatever goal you are aspiring towards.
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How did I do on last weeks action plan?:
- 6 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 3 runs (Mon/Wed/Fri). Partially attained. Only did 2 runs
- 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat). Not Attained
- Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks. Partial – Too much take out
- 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc Attained
- 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri) Attained
- 20-30 minute midday walk on work days Attained
- Track every bite Attained
- Drink 10 glasses of water per day Attained
- Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions Attained
- 5 Cardio workouts. 1 45 min ride, 1 HIIT Ride, 1 Low Impact ride, 2 runs (Mon/Wed/Fri).
- 2 Strength Sessions (Tues/Sat)
- Plan out my meals, stick to them, and portion snacks
- 2 additional outdoor activities. This can include walks with my daughter, disc golfing, skiing, etc
- 3 dedicated stretch sessions. 2 10-min lower body and 1 10 min full body (Mon/Wed/Fri)
- 20-30 minute midday walk on work days
- Track every bite
- Drink 10 glasses of water per day
- Find some quiet time to calm my thoughts and mind. 2 5-10 minute sessions
Please stay tuned for more updates. If you have been enjoying this, please become an email follower or a wordpress follower. Having this public audience has been a positive motivation for me to continue working towards my goals and so I really am thankful for all of you!
|Date||Change in Weight|
* I first weighed myself on a Sunday night and began the regular weigh-ins the following morning
3 thoughts on “a serious note on current events and weekly reflections: 6/2/20 – 6/8/20”
Great post Ben!
You’ve looking good.
Keep up the great work.
Thank you, Lee! Hope all is going well with you!
Here are some of my favorite vegetarian slow cooker recipes. https://thefamilyfreezer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Five-Vegetarian-Crockpot-Freezer-Meals-Recipes-and-grocery-list.pdf
I also really like this slow cooker chicken tikka masala:
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
This meal is surprisingly kid-friendly! Even if your family isn’t used to eating Indian food, this mild dish appeals to just about every little one who has tasted it. Serve the chicken with rice and steamed veggies for an easy dinner!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Calories 260 kcal
· 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
· 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, NOT drained
· 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
· 3 teaspoons minced garlic
· 1 cup diced onion
· 2 teaspoons Garam Marsala
· 2 tablespoons tomato paste
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 teaspoon pepper
1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours.
2. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and serve over rice.
FOR FREEZER MEAL OPTION:
1. Place all ingredients into a large zip-top bag. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Dump ingredients from bag into slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.