A Look Ahead…2013

2 Timothy 1:7Gini Dietrich shared her 2013 Business and Personal Goals with you yesterday and it motivated me to share with you my personal goals for 2013.

If you happen to be friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that 2 Timothy 1:7 is my personal Bible verse for 2013. The idea of not living in fear but with “power, love and self-discipline” covers every aspect of my life…both relational, physical, mental, and professional giving me the motivation to try new things this year and experience things that quite frankly would normally scare the heck out of me!

So here we go…below are some of the goals I’ve set forth for myself. I’m asking for your help in holding me accountable and seeing how I do!

RUN A MARATHON
I’ve run but never 26.2 miles and not even 13.1 miles. Ever since I’ve lost over 30 pounds in a contest at my kids’ school, I’ve been more motivated to make this change to my body last and become a lifestyle so why not use the lighter body to run a marathon! And I’m not just running a marathon for myself. I decided after watching the story of the Pokot Tribe in Kenya that I needed to run with purpose. The purpose being to raise money so that these people can have access to the most basic need that we often take for granted…clean water. I’m hoping after watching the video below, that you will consider helping me reach my fundraising goal of $2000. Who knows, if I hit it I may just raise it!

FOSTER CARE / ADOPTION
This has been a big one for me over the last year. I’ve finally got my head wrapped around the idea of it but I haven’t quite figured out how our family will be act on it. Is it foster care? Is it adoption? Is it foster to adopt? Either way, I know that there are children out there that do not have the benefit of parents to love them and lead them and participate in their lives. Why can’t I, who lives in one of the wealthiest countries in the world spare an extra room in my home (which by some standards is a mansion in other countries) and care for the least of these? More to come on this one but certainly something that I will hope to act on very soon.

BE A BETTER HUSBAND & FATHER
I can always do better here. I can be more intentional with the time with my wife and kids. I can give my kids goals to strive towards that will help them at school, on the teams they play on, and provide them with a foundation to be the leaders I pray they can be. I can put aside the busyness of life and make sure to date my wife. Besides my faith, my relationship with her is the next most important relationship I’ll ever have in life. Why not set that example of marriage for my kids so they know how they should treat their spouse and how their spouse should treat them.

There are other goals for this year but these are the big ones. I found that I won’t have success unless I write them down. Something I learned in my weight loss…track everything and measure yourself against your goals regularly. So now I ask you to hold me accountable. If I can stick to these with 2 Timothy 1:7 as my motivation, I hope I’ll be able to look back fondly on 2013 but more importantly motivate others to look at their own lives and goals and live in power, love and self-discipline instead of fear and timidity.

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You’re Not As Healthy As You Think

I’ve always considered myself “athletic” but never “healthy”.  Often times, many people think the 2 are interchangeable but I’m here to tell you they aren’t.  Sure, I’ve been able to play soccer but there were times that I jumped into a game only to feel the painful effects the following day or the next few days for that matter.  When I actually played a season, it would take me at least 3-4 games to get into game shape.

I mention all of this to you for a couple of reasons.  First, many of you might be aware of the lifestyle change I’ve been going through since September.  I’ve been participating in a competition at Oakland Christian set up similarly to NBC’s Biggest Loser.  In that time, I’ve lost weight, stepped up my exercise, and made lifelong changes to how I look at food and how I eat.  Second, as a country the trend is going in the wrong direction.  According to the CDC, over one-third (35.7%) of Americans were obese in 2009-2010.  If you look at the trend since the late 1990s, you will be even more alarmed.

I never really paid attention to these statistics before.  I assumed I was somewhat healthy and healthier than the rest of the U.S.  Boy was I wrong.  It wasn’t until I stepped on that scale in early September that I realized I needed to get serious.  I’ve done the up and down with my weight but was never able to maintain it for an extended period of time and when the scale registered 201.1, it was time to get to work but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it.  Fast forward to November 9 with a weigh in of 176.3 and a total weight loss of 24.8 pounds.  In just over 2 months, I’ve been become the healthiest I’ve been a long time, I’m able to post good run times for me, and now I play soccer without worrying about “saving my energy” in games.  So how did I do it?

My Weight Loss Progress since September

WHAT?
You have to have a goal.  For me, when I stepped on the scale and saw a weight that disappointed me, the goal was to lose the weight.  In my head, I wanted to drop at least 20 pounds but as I got into the program, I increased the weight loss goal to 32 pounds for a goal weight of 169.  With anything you do, have a purpose or goal.  You have to know WHAT you want to accomplish and for me, I had data to back up the need for me to start shedding some pounds.

HOW?
Once you know why you want to lose weight, you can focus on the how but before I share with you the tools I’ve been using, I also wanted to mention that if you do a program like this, do it with other people.  Being in community with people holds you accountable.  It motivates you and if you’re in a contest, who doesn’t want to compete?  This has been one of the biggest motivators for me as I want to encourage but I also want to win!  Now on to the tools.

Nike Fuel Band

Nike released their Fuel Band earlier this year and I was hooked.  Not only was it a cool piece of technology but it tracks my activity with steps, calories and Nike’s own metric, Fuel points.  Each day, you set a goal for Fuel points and your activity earns points to achieve that goal.  On top of that, you can see how you rank with friends that also have the Nike Fuel Band with a fully integrated iPhone app and badges you earn for achieving goals and milestones.

My Fitness Pal iPad App

The My Fitness Pal iPhone app has truly become my best friend.  With this app, I was able to document the food AND portions I was eating to make sure I was achieving my calorie goal each day to support my weight loss targets.  Throughout this entire competition, I’ve learned that what you eat and how much of it contributes to the success you’ll have in getting healthy.

WHY?
I have 5 great reasons as to why I did this.  Their names are Julianne, Gina, Joshua, Jessica and Luke.  Since turning 40 this past March, you begin to notice the subtle aches and pains.  You notice it takes a little longer to recover from any activity.  You also realize, your kids are getting older and they want you to play with them and that means being able to keep up with their energy and participate in their activities.  I could do this before but I just couldn’t do it well.  What this also has done is given Julianne and I a “project” to do together!  We now can encourage each other by eating well, going on runs or bike rides, and enjoying the progress we are making by losing weight.

Finally, this experience will also be a good teaching opportunity for my kids to value their health and what they eat. If we as parents are modeling a healthy lifestyle to our kids, they then have an example to follow (hopefully) that will give them the tools they need to live and eat healthy and hopefully pass that on to their kids and future generations.

THE TAKEAWAY
I’ve learned a lot about myself in these 2 months.  Yes, exercise and diet are the main focus but you also need to be motivated and don’t give up easily.  It’s not a quick process and as they say, “results very”.  Since I’m all about sharing my experiences with you, this is what I’d like for you to take away from this rather long blog post about my health kick.  It’s pretty simple.

  1. Have a goal
  2. Track your goals
  3. Be in community with people to hold you accountable and encourage
  4. Don’t give up
  5. Pray and give thanks to Him for your success.  I wouldn’t have been able to do this without God’s help and the people He put in my life to encourage me.

This is serious business everyone.  The health of our country is going in the wrong direction.  If you live in Michigan, you will be happy to know that we are the 5th most obese state in the country.  My hope is that you will think about what I’ve shared with you and not be accepting of these trends.  You can still eat what you want but you also need to balance it with exercise and how much you eat.  Once you’re able to get past this being a “diet” but rather a “lifestyle” you’ll succeed.

As we approach the end of 2012, why not consider making a drastic and healthy change for 2013?

Mother’s Day

As another Mother’s Day approaches I wanted to take a moment and honor the women that play such a huge role in the lives of our families today.  As many of you know, my mom passed away in 1990 and as I now go into my 22nd year without her, I know her spirit lives on through me and my kids.  I’m also lucky enough to be married to a woman that also shares a lot of the same qualities my mom had growing up.

For Julianne, you are totally appreciated and at least I know I don’t tell you that enough.  You are loved by me and your kids even though at times it may not feel like it.  You are beautiful and each day I find myself appreciating how lucky I am to have you at my side.  So thank you…thank you for all you do and for you who you are.  I know that for at least this family, having you a part of this Reyes clan has been a blessing to Gina, Joshua, Jessica, Luke and me (even the dog, cat and fish)!

For the rest of you moms, Scott Stratten shared this on Twitter tonight and I just had to share it.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!  Enjoy your day!

P.S. I’m glad I’m a “real man”…check out the video and see what I mean. 🙂

 

The Sun Will Rise Again

This week has been a very sad week for my neighborhood.  Our neighbors across the street lost their dad/husband unexpectedly on Saturday morning.  The mom is now left to care for her 3 children (ages 8, 5 and 3) on her own without the support of her husband.  Julianne and I were away with the kids on a quick getaway to Frankenmuth and Splash Village when we heard the news from a text I received from another neighbor.  We were in complete shock.  Jon was a great father.  I’d always see him out in the yard with his kids playing baseball or making snow men…doing the things dad’s should be doing every day.  I knew he valued the time spent with his family more than the time he spent at work.

Today is the funeral and I can only imagine what they are going through.  I lost my mom when I was 18 but to be 8, 5 or 3?  Wow.  As we come around this family and put our arms around them, my hope is that they will treasure the time they had with their dad / husband.  The memories will last forever.

This is a powerful reminder to men to embrace the times they have with their family.  Don’t let work get in the way of soccer games, ballet recitals, or piano recitals.  The work will always be there but your kids or spouse might not be if you continue to put a premium on the job.

Say a prayer for the Jacksons today.  Pray for peace, comfort and healing.  Pray for the sun to rise again in their lives.

Coca-Cola Where Will Happiness Strike Next?

I came across this little nugget from a work e-mail I received today and just had to share for the following reasons:

  1. It’s about the Philippines
  2. It’s about Coke
  3. It’s about the real meaning of Christmas

As we get closer to December 25th, I’m hopeful all of us realize that our families are our greatest gift.  More important than any “thing” we get.  The memories of families are what last and not what we got back in 1982.

A Camping We Will Go

Our family is about ready to head to our yearly visit to Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp in Onekama, MI.  Our kids just finished a week at Spring Hill Day Camp.  I mention this to you because, as a parent, there is a huge value in sending kids and family to a summer camp.  What’s even better (in my opinion) is if you can send them to a Christian camp.  Take a look at the following video.  I’m amazed at the statistics!  If you’re a parent, consider sending your kids to camp!

Source: www.kidsneedcamp.com

A Father’s Day Poem from John Wooden

Don Cousins spoke at Kensington yesterday.  If you don’t know him, he is the father of Michigan State University quarterback, Kirk Cousins who also gave an awesome message as he reflected on things he learned from his father.  This was a great example for dads everywhere to remember our kids are watching every move we make and every thing we say.  Dads, be a leader to your kids.  If you do, you’ll see the influence you had on them as they grow and mature.

A careful man I want to be,
A little fellow follows me;
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he’ll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whate’er he sees me do he tries.
Like ME he says he’s going to be –
That little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see;
The little chap who follows me.

I must remember as I go
Through summer suns and winter snows,
I am building for the years to be –
That little chap who follows me.