Friday, February 22, 2008

One Oreo at a Time

Recently, after helping out with the youth group at my church, I was offered the last three leftover Oreos at the end of the evening. I had eaten a few of them earlier, so I declined and patted my belly saying that I had eaten enough already.

One of the women there said "Pa-lease. If you turned sideways you would disappear." Well, first of all to me this is somewhat of an insult. The first thing that crosses my mind is "I know I could use a few more pounds of muscle, but I thought - I'd hoped that I outgrew being skinny many years ago."

The woman continued to explain that her husband, who is definitely bulkier (more muscle) than me, has been gaining undesired weight since working at a desk job, and that she has also always struggled with her weight. So if she's coming from the perspective of me not being fat, then I guess it's kind of a compliment, especially considering that I think I'm in better shape than most men my age.

But here's why I turned down the Oreos, despite the fact that I'm not overweight. Because "fat" simply begins the moment you consume more calories than you burn. It doesn't happen overnight, so that you wake up, look down at your gut and say "Shit! I got fat!" It happens slowly, ever so slowly, a cookie or a piece of chocolate at a time. It happens after every meal that you feel too full and every night that you go to bed saying "Well, I didn't exercise today, but maybe tomorrow".

Don't get me wrong, I eat (and thoroughly enjoy) sweets, burgers pizza, and the like. But if I already had a helping, then I'll turn it down. If I start feeling full during dinner, then I'll just stop eating and leave what's left on my plate (or at least not go for seconds). If I get a burger for lunch then I usually skip the fries. I have maybe 2-3 sodas a week at most, and I rarely finish the whole can.

I'm not trying to toot my own horn here. I'm just explaining my philosophy on eating, and how I plan to avoid looking like the picture below in my later years.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"It's A Manufactured Holiday"

If I hear that one more time I'm going to slap the man who said it.

Yes, Valentines Day stresses me out too and yes, I get frustrated because of the high expectations (by my wife or that I place on myself?). It takes work and planning and effort to execute properly, or at least to prevent it from being a big disappointment. And that's all a big pain in the ass. In fact, I am still frustrated because there are additional things that I was hoping to do yesterday that I wasn't able to finish.

But damnit, men need Valentines Day, especially the ones that complain that "It's a manufactured holiday" (spoken in a whiny little girl voice). Because we need to be reminded how important it is to women for us to do romantic things. We need it also to remember how good it feels to us when we do those things. And when/if we actually are successful at making our wives feel special and loved, then it's great to experience the difference that it makes in your relationship.

I've also heard several men say that their wives don't really care and told them not to get anything, etc. But seriously, even if that's remotely true (which I doubt), then would it not make them even happier still to put some effort into being romantic? In other words, just because she doesn't need it doesn't mean she wouldn't like it.

So quit your whining, get off of your ass and get out there and make your wives happy, even if it is just for one measly day of the year!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Audio Opposites

While I was in Florida, my brother and I went to a Jaguars vs Raiders (pro football) game in Jacksonville. The tickets were a Christmas present from him (thanks again Steve).

On the way there, we were listening to country music in his pickup. The words to a particular song really got my attention, and it occurred to me that much of the message of country music is completely opposite of rap music's. Country songs often promote God, family values, being content with what you have, and appreciation of the little things in life despite the annoyances and frustrations.

The song was Lucky Man by Montgomery Gentry (link is to an mp3). Besides Lucky Man, other examples that I can think of off the top of my head (with links to the lyrics) are:
Phil Vassar - Just Another Day in Paradise
Martina McBride - I Have Been Blessed
Montgomery Gentry - Something to be Proud of
Lonestar - My Front Porch Looking In
Craig Morgan - That's What I Love About Sunday

In sharp contrast, rap music usually promotes drinking, drugs, womanizing, partying, a heavy emphasis on money and wealth, etc. Admittedly, I can't help but appreciate the rough attitude and catchy bass beats, but the lyrics and message usually suck! As an example, check out the lyrics to the current number one hip-hop song.

I'm not trying to knock all songs that are about sex or having fun at clubs, especially since I like them too, if they're catchy enough (Low is pretty damn catchy - I downloaded it). I'm just noting the contrast between the two and encouraging any readers to give country a try once in a while. The positive message alone is worth it, and the ratio of good songs (catchy music, good lyrics) to annoying ones is probably about the same as hip-hop's.
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