Weekend Update For January 24th, 2015

Weekend

SataDayaRandaThis morning I gave myself permission to sleep in, lounge around in my two sizes too big sweatshirt, not shave, and let my Chewbacca-hair run wild.

I did brush my teeth though. That has to happen or I will growl like a Wookie.

So, I will not make a video for this weekend update because I am too busy drinking coffee and typing it out. In other words, need a break from another emotional/busy week and don’t need to be in front of a video camera.

Health & Fitness

Last week I lost just under a pound for a total net weight loss of 80.2 pounds. I did get five workouts in. I think I added some muscle (not fat) so that may be offsetting weight “loss”. I am noticing the difference in how my clothes are fitting (for the better) so that is why it could be a redistribution of weight.

Two weeks after firing Weight Watchers (which I still highly recommend as a very good program) all is well. My stress levels are still pretty high but not getting headaches like I was last week. I did do a little comfort eating but not enough to knock me off the “healthy” wagon or induce a food coma.

Everything Else

Well, I think this personal post on my Facebook profile sums it up. I love my friends :). I will write more follow-up posts generated by feedback I have gotten since coming out soon. Have a great weekend.

Weekend Update Video For January 15th, 2015

In case you missed it, and are interested, here is the Weekend Update video For January 15th, 2015. This video includes some follow up thoughts to my “coming out” post, as well as my health and fitness update for the week. I am moving this weekly video to my public page because Facebook did a major upgrade to the video features there. I am also going to make the video more than just my health and fitness update. I have limited time through the week at work so I want to expand the possibilities of what I can do with this weekend video. I hope the video makes sense and of course your feedback is always welcome.

Man In The Mirror Moments & The Question Of Forgiveness

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Friends, today Ben Patrick Johnson graciously accepted my invitation to write a guest blog post. I extended the invite with full confidence that he would be honest, clear, and civil. I asked him if he would be willing to write about my coming out and what he felt were the issues that this might represent. I didn’t suggest what those issues would be, and trusted him to write from his heart. His post below is the result and completely unedited. Thank you so much for writing this Ben. – Randy

There are moments in life when we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see. In a blush of painful self-honesty, we realize we’ve been making choices that are not in the best interest of ourselves or those around us. We may have hurt others with our actions; we have almost certainly hurt ourselves.

A friend of mine once said, “Some people just travel the road to hell. Me, I bought property.” I, for one, have certainly bought property on this road. I’ve made foolish and cowardly choices. I’ve taken shortcuts, moral and practical. I’ve lied. I’ve been an enabler for bad behavior of friends and family, feeding (and funding) folly in the hope they would love me more.

I am flawed.

We are flawed.

So what we do when we have these mirror moments? Do we sit with the discomfort then take steps to improve our behavior? Or do we look away, distract ourselves with a drink or a toke or chocolate cake, go on a shopping spree, gamble, or jump out of an airplane? Most often, it seems, we jump to self-soothing, distraction and denial. But every once in a while we find courage to face our own shortcomings and poor choices, and make material changes in our lives as a result of this self-reflection.

Thank You For Your Feedback

My post about being gay has generated more emails, comments, and messages then I can respond to in a timely manner. I will try to respond as soon as I can either directly or through follow-up blog posts. For those of you who have sent along encouragement, support, and honest heartfelt rebukes :)… I am grateful. I do read everything that comes in and appreciate the time you have taken to contact me. Your feedback is incredibly important. Thanks again, and have a great day.

A Peaceful Disclosure – I Am Gay

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I have read many stories of people who have “come out again” or accepted they are gay after some time in the ex-gay world. Many of their stories are compelling and well-written. But, sometimes I wish they would get to the point right off the bat. Just say it and then tell the story. So that is what I am going to do: I am gay.

Now take a deep breath (talking to myself here), and here is more of the story for those interested.

What Led To This Post?

The past six or so years have presented an opportunity to question my beliefs and evaluate my experiences without an idealized agenda. Then in 2011, as a result of all the turmoil that erupted at Exodus International (my former employer from 2002 to 2013), I began to dig deep and ask hard questions. Who am I? What do I make of my journey to date? How does God view me, my state of being? I questioned/pondered/re-examined all this and more again. Then in January of 2013, a man named Michael, someone I dated for a little while 24 years ago committed suicide. We remained good friends up until his death. His death was shocking and I still mourn his passing. Michael had several difficult issues contributing to his suicide, and I know he also struggled with his faith and sexuality. His death shook me to my core and made all the questions I had been asking were even more stark, consequential, and pressing. After being laid off from Exodus International (as a part of closing it down) in August of 2013, I began to have the personal space to think things through without distraction or filters.

Parallel to all this was a deepening and expanded understanding of God’s grace. These factors get more specific and complicated, but I think that the above describes the gist of how I began to come to the conclusions that I present in this post. I could have written this post last summer but was discouraged by some feedback I received. Regardless, I needed to pray and think it through a little while longer. Now is the time to do this. There is more about my motivations later in this post, too.

Grace Underway – Update

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I am four days short of not having posted anything to the blog in a month! I have missed you my little blog {{{HUGS}}}!

New Job

I started a new online content and social media job on November 17th. I love it! At first I was working on my personal clients after work hours. Basically I ended up working umpteen hours a day. This resulting in simply having no time to write for my blog or create any new artwork.

It’s too long to try to explain, and probably not that interesting to others, but I am gently transitioning my ongoing personal clients to the client list at my new job. That way I can do what I am doing for them during normal working hours along with all the other fun stuff I get to do for my new employer. As this transition happens I am starting to regain some personal creative time. It feels good to get some time for personal writing and art.

By the way, I know I have mentioned it but if it needs to be said again, I LOVE my new job. LOVE it. Since it is exactly what I was doing while self-employed plus other fun creative projects … love it. I love my new boss. I love the work environment; all of my office friends…it’s just great. And look at my company car:

 

Ok… truth be told … that is not my company car. SO sorry for that little fib :). I don’t have a company car and I drive a humble Ford … that I am very grateful for :). However, because of the new gig, I enjoyed being a worker-bee at a very fancy/nice/hoity-toity event Friday night. I got to stand next to sparkly things like this McLaren P1. Santa got a whopper of a Christmas list from me this year!

Health & Fitness Update

Over Thanksgiving I have taken a break from creating the weekly badges/videos about my health and fitness updates. This may extend through the rest of the holidays. Like last year, I am *not* going to be strict with my diet during the holidays. I am still tracking what I eat, still listening to my body, still exercising 4 to 5 times a week … but not being strict or feeling guilty for enjoying holiday parties and meals. I spent too many holiday seasons feeling guilty about eating too much at every event. Whether I ate too much or not, I always felt guilty. Last year was the first time (in a long time) I didn’t feel guilty while not giving up all the good that I have learned either. This year is the same. I am enjoying time at parties and meals while naturally employing/enjoying what I have learned.

I am going to enjoy the holidays by keeping a healthy perspective without guilt tripping myself into temporary behavioral adjustments. Legalism can rob the joy out of just about everything and is only good for producing temporary shame-based behavioral modification.[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] Grace produces freedom to enjoy personal responsibility and informed stewardship. This is the path to a healthy life.[/inlinetweet]

Spiritually

The last few years have been difficult, and wonderful. Interesting how those two descriptors often go hand in hand. I was telling a friend over coffee yesterday that I am just over here “living my little celibate life, and trying to not be an a*hole.” He thought that was funny and should be the title of my memoir if I ever get it written. I love Jesus, He loves me. We’re good because He’s Wonderful.

Well, I think that is it for this post. I will continue to blog when I can. I appreciate you. I would love to hear how you are doing or any thoughts you may have in the comments below. You can also contact me privately (on social media or here.)

Much love,

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Veterans Day 2014

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I am forever grateful for the men and women who have bravely served our country with dedication and incredible sacrifice. This includes my family members who are veterans (especially my brother Jimmy), much love to you!

At a recent event I met David Booth who is the President/CEO of Combat Veterans to Careers. From their website:

Combat Veterans to Careers (CVC) was founded in The Villages in May 2012 with the commitment to serve our nation’s combat veterans and their families. Since our inception, we’ve assisted more than 25 veteran families in the area of education, employment, housing and wellness.

CVC has partnered with local residents, clubs, businesses, colleges and VA offices to bring combat veterans and their families “home” to a community that embraces them and provides education, understanding and meaningful employment to minimize hardships.

In addition to counseling, housing, career and educational opportunities, we provide veterans with opportunities to deliver services beyond themselves. This is essential to successfully reconnecting with others in the community, and is a large part of why many veterans were led to serve their country in the first place.

Accessing care and benefits through the VA, utilizing earned education benefits, training for civilian careers, securing affordable housing and developing a quality resume package are just a few of the ways we continue to help our veterans transition back into civilian life.

This organization is amazing and I will do what I can to help support this effort. Please consider supporting Combat Veterans to Careers or similar efforts nationwide.

Our Veterans deserve respect and our willingness to serve them with hearts of gratitude. Please consider how you can best bless, thank, and help our US Veterans.

Health & Fitness Update: I Can See My Clavicles!

Weekly Update!

If you don’t know what a “clavicle” is … where were you in high school biology? Click here to learn more about  the clavicles you missed  while skipping biology class.

Yes! I lost two more pounds last week for a total of 84.6 pounds! As has been said a million times, “slow and steady whens the race.”

The reason I titled this update the way I did is because if I actually lived with someone (I don’t, unless my other personalities count … #kindaJoking) they might have overheard me in the bathroom mirror saying, “Wow… I can REALLY see my clavicles now!”

That was an exciting moment.

My clavicles were not visible 84.6 pounds ago. They slowly started being revealed as the fat burned off. Now my other personalities think I have sexy clavicles now.

My supermodel career is SO close! ::: laugh :::

What worked for me this week was eating more protein and bananas. Once I upped my game with the weight training aspect of my gym routine, I was hungry all the time. Now I am using more of my points for healthy proteins and added a banana a day. Good stuff.

What also worked? Not turning on the TV at night … at all… all week (thank goodness for Hulu+ :)). I spent the evenings drawing on my iPad. I think that drawing/painting (for me) is as important and healthy as going to the gym.

Ok that’s it for this week. If you too are amazed at rediscovering your clavicles after weight-loss, or had no idea you even have clavicles, I’d love to here your thoughts. Have a great day!