Independence Day – My Freedom Gratitude List (Happy 4th of July!)

Happy Birthday America! Man, I love my country :)!  One of the best ways to celebrate freedom, not the only way but one of the best, is to show gratitude. So here is a mostly random gratitude list for today and I challenge you to make one yourself. In no particular order except for the first one :)

  • Eternal Freedom found in Jesus Christ :)
  • The earthly freedoms we have here in the United States.
  • The freedom to pursue Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
  • The men and women who fought for, and some who even died, to obtain and defend our freedom.
  • Living unhindered by legalism and embracing the freedom of pure grace instead.
  • Activia yogurt (just ate some so … made the list.) Not sure how freedom oriented this one is but … at this moment it is important.
  • Friends and family who accommodate the freedom to be healthy, honest, and authentic.
  • The freedom to live in a high-tech/online world without being enslaved by it :)
  • The freedom of self-determination.
  • The freedom to embrace or to walk away.
  • The freedom to take a stand and/or apologize. The freedom to forgive.
  • The freedom to respectfully disagree.
  • The freedom to assemble … for any reason.
  • The freedom to know and be known; to love and be loved.

And I could go on and on but I think I will stop there. What freedom(s) are you grateful for today?

Coconut Cake Schmoconut Cake… I Still LOST Weight This Week :) #Win – (Health & Fitness Update)

Last week I didn’t do a health and fitness update because I just really didn’t want to be online much that day. So with that said, I have lost 2.2 more pounds since my last update :) .

The Weight Loss Part

As of today I weighed in for Weight Watchers (WW) at 225.4. The rundown:

  • May 14, 2013: Was at 270 … total net loss to date, 44.6 pounds
  • On May 17, 2014 (Rejoined WW after stopping for three months) I weighed 238.2. Since rejoining I have lost 12.8 pounds

I know 2.2 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot in two weeks but that is par for the course for me this time around. It is rare for me to lose higher than a pound or two in a week.

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Boop … Boop Boop … BLAM!!! (Health & Fitness Update)

It has been a great week on the health and fitness fronts. I lost more weight than I expected, made a rather large dietary shift, and am feeling more powerful (upping my game) at the gym. I am so grateful for the folks who send along regular encouragement and inspiration! I still have quite a bit to go, but thank God, we have traveled a long way already. Yay :)!

The Weight Loss Part

As of today I weighed in for Weight Watchers (WW) at 227.6. I lost 4.2 more pounds last week! The rundown:

  • May 14, 2013: Was at 270 … total net loss to date, 42.4 pounds
  • Feb. 22, 2014: Weighed 228.4 after being on WW for six months and quitting after that weigh-in … today, now back on WW, I am down 0.8 pounds from that February weigh in.
  • May 17, 2014 (Rejoined WW ): Weighed 238.2 … in three weeks I have lost 10.6 pounds
  • Only 1.3 pounds left to lose to reach my next goal weight of 226.3. It’s not my final goal weight, just the first benchmark since restarting WW.

Last week I posted that I had lost 40 pounds… what was I thinking? I am not so great at on-the-fly math… I actually lost a net of 38.2 pounds (total) last week. This week I went past 40 pounds to a total loss of 42.4 pounds and I am so excited. :)

I am also very happy to be .8 pounds lighter than I was in February. I was kicking myself for gaining that almost ten pounds between February and May. However, that gain is now gone and then some!

#HappaRanda indeed :)

I will also probably drop that second bullet point in the rundown next week. Again, I do that rundown really to psyche myself up, but some of my bullet point friends appreciate the effort too. :)
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Embrace The Imperfect Student – A “No More Perfect Kids” Reflection (Cross-posted)

Here is the full text of my guest blog post on Dr. Kathy’s blog not too long ago. I am so honored to be guest blogging over there!

I am honored to be blogging here today! Lately, I have been reading No More Perfect Kids by Dr. Kathy Koch and Jill Savage. The story below tumbled out and onto the screen after reading the first chapter of their excellent book. I hope you will see the value of how a teacher can embrace an imperfect student, help affirm their innate gifts, and set them on a positive course. Mrs. Pierson has always been a personal hero of mine. I am sure you will see why.

Mrs. Pierson had this completely ’80′s longish bob hairdo thing going on. This was of course completely appropriate because the scene I am going to describe happened in 1984. She also dressed like a college professor (in my mind) even though she was my 9th grade civics teacher. I wouldn’t say she was overly gregarious, but she always seemed super-smart, confident, and calm. For many reasons, I loved her and that class. In all of my school years, civics was one of the very few classes I felt eager to attend. I never hesitated to raise my hand and answer the questions she would ask.

I loved the subject and I loved seeing her eyes light up in recognition of my eagerness.

Even when Tip, the kid in front of me, would blow spit bubbles randomly in the air, I was always focussed and enjoyed that class. Tip was cool too.

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