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Monday, February 21, 2011

Judgment and judging and the curse of expectations

I find the way people act to be a good indicator of what they believe regardless of what they say they believe. My daughter back in September on a visit to see her asked her step-dad to adopt her. Of course prior to this action I had no clue whatsoever that she had even entertained the idea. Needless to say it hit me like a brick wall on fire. I couldn't believe it. The daughter that I love so much and had worried about and worked so hard to cultivate a good and open relationship was asking this of me? How could this be?

[This is in response to a letter I got from Madeline Saturday.] Oh yes. I remember. My old friend religion was at work here. The Christian was showing the true nature of what it means to be an adherent. Reality isn't what matters but it is the perception of what make her comfortable. The trip went ahead as planned but needless to say the call from her Uncle on the morning I left for Kansas was a most distracting thing to deal with. Her Uncle happens to be the attorney that was handling the adoption.

So a trip that was designed to be a fun time with my daughter and girl friend became a horror filled nightmare. Why? Well, that really is the question. Had I ever hurt her or abused her or did anything to her detriment? No. All I ever wanted for her was to be happy and healthy and smart. The last time I saw her she had made a point of wrapping a present for me and giving it to me for Christmas. What had happened from the caring loving daughter I had last scene then? During the year I would call her and also send her text messages. For awhile I got messages back but I figured she was busy and such.

But this was much more than a communication situation. It was the influence of religion in all that moved my loving daughter to a hostile person. It was through the encouragement of people that are self-righteous and would prefer to hurt me and destroy Madeline rather than show the love and charity and compassion that their religion asks for them to do. No doubt, it was and is hate that fuels this behavior.

How many times must one forgive? Is it three times? It is seven times? Even if you have forgiven seventy times seven you have only just  began to forgive according to the sayings of Jesus. What are the characteristic of this love? Aren't they long suffering, patience, tenderness, forgiveness, gentleness, self control, faithfulness and kindness? When did God give up on those that believe on him and call on his name?

I see the hand of my self-righteous ex-wife at work in the actions and words of my child. The burden of anger and frustration that I feel is so intense and so burning with rage that I can barely explain it. How I want to teach all of them what is the right way to act. How I want to force them to confess their evil deeds and turn to me and ask my forgiveness.

How I want to steal my daughter from the influence of the lies that she has been force to accept as true. And even more evil that I wish I could do to them for the hurt, pain and anguish they have caused me. But can I?

I am not sure how many of you are familiar with the story of The Good Samaritan. It is a parable from Jesus and talks about the compassion of one person given to another person that is undeserved or at least rightly with held. The Samaritans were a sect of the Jewish people that had a slightly different view of how to worship God than the more Orthodox Jews. The Samaritans felt you could worship God where ever you wished and the more Orthodox Jews felt this was only done in the Temple. Because of this the Samaritans were hated and viewed with utter contempt by the Jews.

So, as the story goes, a man was on a journey and was beaten and robbed and left to die on the roadside. [a pathway in today's meaning] As the man laid in need a priest came by and walk by him and did nothing to aid him. Likewise the same with the Levite that walked that way. No assistance was offered or given. One could understand this situation. The bandits may very well be waiting nearby to beat and rob the person that would help the injured man.

Then as we all know finally The Good Samaritan comes and helps the man, binds his wounds and takes him to an inn where the Samaritan pays for his rest and recuperation asking nothing in return. Yet even saying to the inn keeper that anything the man needs, that when he comes back he will pay for that as well. The man who was despised by the one he helped was the one that showed loved and mercy. To this, Jesus doesn't call him his brother or his friend. Jesus simply calls him his neighbor. If that is how you treat a neighbor, isn't that much more to your own father?

Jesus asked the ones that listen to the story who was the one that showed mercy? The answer was hard for them to say. Because the right answer was the man that was despised, the Samaritan. So what was answered was, "The one who showed mercy."

This is the way I have to react when people treat me with cruelty and bitter anger and hate. Am I going to answer their evil with evil? Am I going to judge them by my worse fears? Or am I going to hold out hope that my tolerance and hope for them will lead to a path that we both can share and help each other?

While I am sure it would thrill my ex-wife to no ends to have me become angry with my daughter she has no way to fathom the love I can show and that I feel. Some say that the love of God stretches as far as the East is from the West. I don't know about that. But I do know that when you show love it helps you and the person you show it too.

Maybe if more Christians were more eager to show God's love we could dispense with the divisions in the world and our country and focus on helping one another instead.

Great evil and malice has been shown toward me yet I will not act in kind. I will judge this situation by the actions of what has happen to me. But I will do it in patience and with reflection on my own human frailties.

What is worse; to destroy someones body or destroy someones mind and will? How about both are bad and not do either to the best we can.

Why do people seek to cause others harm? I could only guess that it has to do with false expectations. As humans we tend to project certain ideas and results on people and groups that we think we have a valid understanding of. This is part of human nature. Sometimes these expectations are worth merit but more often than not they are a best guess.

If you have ever meet another person, out of the two of you one is more intelligent. That is a fact. But according to the Dunning-Krugger Effect, If you have two people both will assume to be above average in their intelligence. This, of course, cannot be right, only about 40 percent of the people can be above average. The rest are about average or below average intelligence. Having study this effect I have seen how I am a victim of my own self delusional behavior and tend to think what I think is right or best isn't always the best or right way after all.

This applies to our relationships as well. The amount of time one invests into a commitment tends to amplify the value of that commitment. I once collected stamps and loved to get new ones and find out where they were from and all about them. I went to stamp shops and went to stores and looked up all sorts of facts and things about stamps. I got great joy from them. They were stolen from me when I was about 18 years old and that hurt me very much. Even to this day, all the time and effort and education I put into it still brings a bit of pain. But the truth is to someone that has no desire in stamp collecting my actions and feelings would be foreign. Rightfully so.

Because of this, I could have an unreasonable expectation of them to empathize with how losing my stamp collection made me feel. A reaction to that may be to get even madder at them because they fail to react as I would want them too. This would be an unreasonable reaction on my part. Of course, this also applies to careers, politics, and religion.

We have by nature unreasonable expectations for others to accept our ideas and behave as we wish. I surely do that. It is hard to explain how we feel and to do the often tedious work of explaining ourselves. But I try to be aware that my expectations may not be reasonable. Just because I have invested a lot of time and effort into them doesn't mean that others must feel the same as I do.

Sometimes the most simple things is to step back and say, Why don't you feel like I do? Or what do you think or feel about this?

Of course, this requires communication and since my ex-wife thinks it a great idea not to communicate, that left my daughter with very little of my influence. I know for a fact that if I hadn't been left out of the picture that I wouldn't be dealing with this Today.

It doesn't hurt to reevaluate your values now and then. You might find betters ones. After all, didn't Jesus change the way the Jews were thinking?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Some good news some bad.

More people are hitting the trail with warmer weather.
This is for a couple of days since I have been pretty busy. The good news of the start is that even though I have not been posting daily I have still been doing my walking. So far this week I have walked more than 57 miles. This puts me over the 20 percent mark for reaching my goal of 1750 miles. I have walked 364.61 miles since December 28th. This also means I only have 1385.39 miles left to go.

Some more good news is that I have lost more than 40 pounds since I began. I hit 256.4 yesterday and that is 40.6 off my beginning weight. The bad news is that I got a new scale to replace the old spring one that I had and I found out that the old scale was off [light] by about 7 pounds. Because of this I have adjusted my starting weight from 290 to 297. It may be more because there isn't a direct linear comparison. But that seems to be fair. More than likely I was over 300 pounds. SO that is the bad news part.

The trail has really seen the number of people go up with the warmer weather. Seems that Ground Hog may have been onto something after all. I always had faith in him. Never wavered a bit. Over the past three days we have 151, 147 and yesterday there was 197 people. It is odd to see them out there. Some of the people I have seen many times and some I have only seen one time. But there are only about four or five I have seen even in the coldest weather. I am so glad I started when it was cold because I have a feeling the heat is going to wipe me out. I am already in shorts and t-shirts. This is with the temperature being in the 40's and 50's.

Let's see what this look like in a couple weeks.
I am going back to Chicago for a few days to see Cheryl and will do some more walking from there. Though it has only been a couple of days since the snow has melted, there is green grass and some leaves beginning to grow on the trail. Get ready for pollen if you have allergies.

While my stomach is still pretty huge it is at least much softer than is has been in a long time. Not long ago when one would poke my belly it was hard and you could poke it in. Now it is soft and I giggle when that happens. Like the Pillsbury dough boy.Too bad I can't lose weight like how the snow melts. Or can I?

More birds and squirrels are around the trail now too. Dang squirrels.

Keep on Track,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

People are Getting on my Trail.

Yesterday there was a record number of people on the trail during my walk with 51. Today there were 37 people. This of course doesn't count the dogs and babies which have no say in the matter. One of the funniest ones was a woman that brought her bike with her to the Tesson parking area and just rode her bike to Gravois. That was only a two mile bike ride. I guess it is better than nothing at all but it seems really minor to me. I walked 10.63 miles and I thought I should have gone further.

There seems to be an issue with the website. I have tried several times to get on it to
track my walking and food but the pages keep going blank. I wonder if it will be fixed soon. That is a bit inconvenient.

The ducks were out Today, so were the people.
I saw some ducks in the creek near Grant's Trail near the headend at The Lodge end of the trail. They were all swimming together in their little ducky formation and quacking just as ducks tend to do. It will be interesting to see what sort of facility that is going to be built there and how that will relate to the park and fitness. I should look into what is available at the Clydesdale Park. But I think just walking up the hill is about enough activity for anyone.

It is very quiet in here in the morning.
I went to Grant's National Park for my turn around point. I was joust going to Gravois but I had to use their bathroom. When I was in there I sneezed. I guess it was a bit loud and the Park Ranger stuck his head in the bathroom to see what was going on.

I think I am going to get a scale that works Today. That will help measure my actual weight without having to guess. However, when I was up visiting Cheryl one time we went to Zannie's comedy club and the guy there was selling t-shirts that benefit dog rescues and I got one, The thing is the only size they had was large so I had to got that. I wore that shirt Today. Of course I am fat in it but I can at least wear it somewhat without it being over stretched.

According to my fitness tracker I have walked 331 miles and I am at almost 19 percent of my goal to walk 1750 miles. Just think, almost 20 percent done. Looking back it looks so easy, but looking forward it looks really hard.

I also had a large number of hits on my blog yesterday. I want to say thank you for reading and I hope that you will be returning to see me become successful on my journey to a better me. I couldn't do it without you. Well I could and I am.

Keep on track,


Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Darwin Day

Happy Birthday Charles.
Tomorrow represents the 202nd anniversary of the birth of naturalist Charles Darwin. Regardless of a persons views on his work concerning natural selection, he certainly is a person that has influenced the world from his life's work. So go out and hug an ape.

Today is going to be another short day as I have got to get ready to go to Collinsville, IL and do some work. Plus Tonight Cheryl is going to be here so I want to be ready for her arrival.

Today was a very short walk. It is funny because it is as long as when I first started out back in December but now it is less than half of the distance that I cover. I weighted myself again Today and it seems like I might be at 256 pounds. That is twelve percent of my body weight that I have lost now and my blood pressure continues to stay in the “green” levels.

I find it so hard to deal with the long slow process of losing the weight. I mean the actual walking and watching food consumption is really hard. Plus when I look in the mirror and see how far I have yet to go to look the way I want to it seem like and unending path. I guess in a way it is.

That is the main reason I began this process of keeping a blog and recording my fitness numbers so I can have clear and tangible proof that I am actually moving toward my goal. How many of us have worked to lose weight and then after reaching a goal slack off and do not even realize that the weight lost comes back? It is that easy to gain weight. You don't have to do anything at all.

I know some people that can eat all they want, it seems, and are still skinny as a rail. That used to be me when I was in high school and college. But I think I was pretty active back then too. I did a lot of walking and was pretty active. Back then you had to go to an arcade and stand up while you played video games. Not these in home couch potato ones they have now. However I guess the manufactures are changing that too.

Highlights, I am at 307 miles which is enough distance to reach where Cheryl lives in Chicago. That also brings me to 17.5 percent of my goal of 1750 miles. This months average blood pressure is 125/77. Not too bad for a fat man, I say.

Keep on track,


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Short Blog Today

I am going to make this fast and easy because I have several things I need to do Today.

SO Today I did over ten miles which brings my total to 304 miles. Just shy of reaching from my home to Cheryl's apartment in Chicago. My blood Pressure was 118/75, so I am glad about that for sure too.

Come on out to Edwardsville this weekend for pet pictures.
Due to me doing a event this weekend I am going to be walking a shorter distance for the next two days to make sure I am back in time. Also I may not have my walking blogs posted until much later. Sorry about that but you have to do what you can.

I wish everyone success on their journey and I will be back with more soon.

Keep on track,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Message From our Sponsor

I did 10 miles Today and this put me over 293 miles and almost 17 percent of my goal of 1750 miles. This would be more then the distance from St. Louis to The Kansas State line on Interstate 44. Which also means that I have walked the distance to Kansas City, Memphis, Indianapolis, Louisville and Nashville. I should reach the distance to Chicago with in a couple of days.

My blood pressure continues to stay within healthy levels. The best news is that the temperature should be getting warmer for the next week. I am pretty excited about that. According to the livestrong website I am on target to be at 240 pounds by March 10. I would be very happy about that.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More Than One Million Steps!

Interstate 44 is at the north end of Grant's Trail in Kirkwood.
Well that alone should be good enough for Today but I also walked all the way to the end of Grant's Trail. I also walked 12.5 miles Today too. That is 283 miles since December 28th, 2010. Thew one million steps is from all of last year though. So it is from a much longer period of time. I was also surprised to find out that it got colder as the day went on. It was about 26ºF when I started and it was down to 12ºF when I got back home. I thought it was getting colder but I thought it was from the wind chill and not real temperature.

The number of steps I have taken since I began walking again is 567,066. So that is more than a half million in about six weeks. So at this rate I should reach my goal of 1750 miles in November. That has moved up due to the fact that I am walking more than my original goal. I think once I reach the goal I might go back to the 4 miles per day to maintain my weight.

My Starting place is Musick and Gravois.
My total distance Today was 12.5 miles and I think that is the longest I have gone in a long time with out a break somewhere a long the line. I am also feeling better and think I can see some differences in my waist. But it is so big it is going to take a long time. I know when I come in after a long walk like this I want to go in the bathroom and look in the mirror and see it ALL GONE. But it doesn't work that way.

But it sure feels good using the livestrong website for the food tracking and activity tracker. It helps a lot with keeping your totals on your food and calories on track. I know I have mentioned it before but if you have not used it yet or even looked at it it has so much good information that you cannot help but to gain some sort of useful information from it. And donate blood.

9109 Watson Rd, Home of Almon Chiropractic Therapy?
Grant's Trail passes near my niece's new office I am sure it is in the 9109 Watson Rd Building near Applebee's. It looks mighty fancy to me. I think she said she is going to name it Almon Chiropractic Center or Clinic I would name is Almon Chiropractic Therapy so the initials can be ACT. Then she could answer the phone, “Hello, ACT Center. What acting up with you?” Plus I think the name sounds better too.

She still needs Missouri car tags. Oklahoma is OK, Missouri is awesome!

Anyway, I hit 260 pounds Today. So that is more than 10 percent of my weight goal. WHAT? All that work and only 10 percent. I must be one fat tub of lard. Oh yes, I am. Back on track. That is really good news since I was going to stop Today if I wasn't any lighter. [not really] That is 30 pounds since the end of December. I am after all trying to reach a 30 percent goal so I am already one third there. To be honest the 30 percent is just a starting point. Then at that time I have to decide what I am going to do. Either working on weight training or more jogging. After I get under 250 pounds I might start jogging again. I might wait until 240 pounds. I am just concerned about my knees and the extra weight. SO far I have not had any noticeable issue with my feet or knees. However, my back hurts a bit but that has got to be from the 60 to 70 pounds of extra fat I am carrying.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Waiting For That Warmer Weather

This horse ate some freshly tossed alfalfa on the ground.
Someone told me that some animal saw its shadow and it is suppose to be warm now. By the way Groundhog day was my Grandmother's 110th birthday. Happy birthday Granny Tanner.

With the Super Bowl over and winter still much in effect for much of the country the only thing to do is to walk to entertain each other until some real sports begin. Like say, baseball. All you cricket and soccer and tennis people may say that your sport is worthy to be enjoyed but that is just because you have never enjoyed a good baseball season. But through the magic of time and some other magic, the gr4eenskeepers are transforming the white snow into green grass all across the country. So that on March 31st real sports can begin again.

OK enough about that. I walked more than 11 miles Today which is the furthers I have gone on Grant's Trail. I went all the way to Watson Road. I think Tomorrow I will try to make it all the way to I-44. That would be the whole length of the trail. That would mark the first time I had done that, even on a bike. Plus it would be a good path to get on. That would make my walk about 13 miles. I just hope it warms up soon.

I have almost walked the distance from St. Louis to the Oklahoma State line following I-44. I should reach the total distance by the end of the week. I hope by Wednesday. I am at 271 miles as of right now. I figured the number of steps that is about 3.5 million to reach my goal distance of 1750 miles. It is odd to think that there are so many steps to that distance when we can drive it in just a few days or fly it in just a few hours.

It takes a lot of feed to feed these big bodies.
I wonder how long it would take me if I was using a Clydesdale to reach the distance. Maybe I should ask the people at Grant's Farm to see if they would let me ride one of their horses.

Oh this was a interesting tidbit. My Army uniform top is much closer to fitting that it has been in a long time. I still can't get it on but I am glad that I kept it all these years because when I can fir into that I know that I am on my way to my weight when I was in the service. I haven't tried the pants yet. I figure the shirt would fit before the pants will.

I found a tape measure and found out my chest is 48 inches and my fat waist is 52 inches and my neck is 18 ½ inches. Being that I have no prior measurements to compare this with I will have to use this as a comparison moving forward.

That's all for Today, Folks.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another Snow Story

Clydesdale in the snow.
When I woke up this morning and looked outside there was about 6 to 7 inches of snow and it was still coming down. I was pretty sure I was going to have to walk from home since the snow was so deep. I went a different path Today and went down to Grant's Trail through one of the neighborhoods that border it. Then I headed to Grant's Farm and then back the regular path. I was surprised how many people were out this morning. Before I even left I saw someone out jogging in the snow in front of the house.

I also saw several bike riders and even a cross country skier near Clydesdale Park. Actually I saw his tracks but when I began he wasn't there and they were there on the way back. So he must have been pretty fast. But they only went for about a mile so even going back and forth it was two miles. I did ten miles Today.

An abandoned rail track near Grant's trail showing the snow.
Due to the snow it was incredibly hard to walk. It took much longer than normal, plus I fell one time near the Affton Athletic Center. It seemed that at the AAC they had some event because there was a lot of traffic this morning. Some of the other areas that were hard to walk on was the intersections where the trail and a road met and all the streets. At least the snow was wet enough for me to get a good footing but still if I was to fall the road was right there.

The temperature was rather warm considering that it has been in the 20s for the past month or lower. It was in the 30s during Today's walk so the roads were clearing of snow fast. As of the writing of this the temperature was 37ºF and it looked like the snow on the street was melting.

I am also at 260 miles so far and that puts me near 15 percent of my 1750 mile goal. I am still averaging more than 1000kcal per day used and more than seven miles per day walked.

Friday, February 4, 2011

No Horsing Around, Back on Track

A world famous Budweiser Clydesdale at Grant's Farm.
After my return trip and a walk in the mall I am back to the trail. This time due to the distance I was walking in Chicago I am going a longer path on Grant's Trail. Now I am turning left on Gravois and walk toward Grant's Farm and the National Park. I got to see some of the world Famous Budweiser Clydesdale there as well. They have on their winter coat of hair too. It was nice that a few of the horse came to the fence and I even got to pet them on the nose. I saw how their hoofs make the snow fly up as they walk like in the TV ads. They were pretty friendly but still a bit skiddish.

The distance was over ten miles the way I walked. Most of that is on level ground or at least at a very slight incline. I also extended the walk to the Moose lodge at the end of Grant's Trail. On that last section there is some construction work being done and it looks like there might be some sort of bike park or trail there.

Without a doubt there is a need for some warmer temperatures soon. It wouldn't be bad to have about a week or longer of temperatures in the 30's or more. That should get rid of the ice and snow. But of course with the warmer weather will come rain and storms.

From the famous Grant's Farm bread package.
I am almost at 250 miles of the 1750 mile goal I am shooting for. I am looking forward to the next 60 days as that should really make a bigger difference in my gut and such. If I can lose about 40 to 50 pounds by then I will be most happy with the results. With Today's walk I did ten miles and even though that is the longest one for in St. Louis I still have several that are longer when I was in Chicago. I understand that due to Chicago being so flat that it is much more easy to walk further. That is why so many people are able to start and finish the Chicago marathon.

Look for a run near you.
I would say by April or May I should be jogging again and maybe by then I can consider looking at doing some actual runs for a charity or something like that. There is a website that has these events listed called “GO! St. Louis.” There are lists of many running and walking events.

My blood pressure is good so far for the month but do to the snow and travel I got only Today listed but I am glad that it is staying low going into the short month.