John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Diet Update

jyb_musingsWeighing in. One last time.

8 months and 4 days ago I weighed 205.4 lbs and set goal for myself to get down to 178.5 lbs.

Today I weighed in at 177.1 lbs.

I did it.

But only for today. The point of this post isn’t to declare victory but to recommit to maintain this new way of eating and exercising. Daily.

Somehow posting about my diet on Facebook and providing updates helped keep me accountable and the encouragement I received from so many Facebook friends was a wonderful motivator.

Thank you. Very much.

And now….not the end of a diet but merely the continuation of a new lifestyle.

No secrets to this diet. Just eating a little less and exercising a little more. And doing it every day and being patient. Going slower to go farther was my motto.

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This morning I was admiring my recent weight loss in the bathroom mirror as my wife and I were getting ready to go out for coffee. After my proud moment of self-satisfaction, I threw on a pair of jeans and wet my hair before combing it and began looking for a shirt.”

My wife walked in the bathroom to explain how our dog Macy was just showing off to her by proudly holding a spider in her mouth before it dropped out and ran away.

Wanting to change the topic back to my proud weight loss, I pointed to myself and said, “Well, what do you think?”

“What?” Rebecca answered quizzically.

“This.” I responded smugly pointing in a circular motion to my torso area.

“What? You got water on you?”

“No!” I said flustered. “I’ve lost 28 lbs.”

“Oh.” Rebecca responded laughing. “You are acting like Macy showing off having a spider in her mouth.”

“No I’m not.” I said defensively. “I don’t think it’s the same thing at all. First off Macy didn’t lose 28 lbs and, second off, I am not holding anything in my mouth.”

“OK.” Rebecca said laughing to herself.

“Do you have water on you?” I repeated to myself under my breath. “Really?”

“Well, I’m proud of both you and Macy this morning.” Rebecca offered in a consoling voice.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Circling the Drain

jyb_musingsThat feeling you are “circling the drain.”

For some it signifies the end. For others it signifies being on the brink of a new beginning. And for others still it means the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning or, for extreme pessimists, the end of the end.

For me, though, it feels more like an extreme sport. Hangin’ 10. From near the drain. At least some days. Like today.

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Some days I feel like I am hitting on all cyclinders and am a masterfully mindful multi-tasking maniac.

Other days I feel like my brain is operating aduquately for a 1963 model.

And every now and again it seems concerningly quiet and uneventful up there –like I am mentally moving at the speed of the video game Pong. And my side forgot to show up.

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“I’m way deep into nothing special”

How I feel today (quoting Steely Dan, West of Hollywood)

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Look, I get it. It’s not my post. You just aren’t in the mood to “like” something right now.

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“It’s not personal; it’s just business.”

Really means for the person hearing this that it is no longer “business” and just became “just personal.”

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Groups, ironically, seem to be the best place for us to learn how to be better individuals

–Leaving my men’s accountability group this morning

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Sunday Morning

jyb_musingsGet up!

If you are like me and plan on doing nothing at all this Sunday, you ought to at least have enough pride to get up early and start right away!

Anything worth doing –even doing nothing –is worth doing well.

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Sunday morning vanity conversation leading to disappointment

This morning I was admiring my recent weight loss in the bathroom mirror as my wife and I were getting ready to go out for coffee. After my proud moment of self-satisfaction, I threw on a pair of jeans and wet my hair before combing it and began looking for a shirt.”

My wife walked in the bathroom to explain how our dog Macy was just showing off to her by proudly holding a spider in her mouth before it dropped out and ran away.

Wanting to change the topic back to my proud weight loss, I pointed to myself and said, “Well, what do you think?”

“What?” Rebecca answered quizzically.

“This.” I responded smugly pointing in a circular motion to my torso area.

“What? You got water on you?”

“No!” I said flustered. “I’ve lost 28 lbs.”

“Oh.” Rebecca responded laughing. “You are acting like Macy showing off having a spider in her mouth.”

“No I’m not.” I said defensively. “I don’t think it’s the same thing at all. First off Macy didn’t lose 28 lbs and, second off, I am not holding anything in my mouth.”

“OK.” Rebecca said laughing to herself.

“Do you have water on you?” I repeated to myself under my breath. “Really?”

“Well, I’m proud of both you and Macy this morning.” Rebecca offered in a consoling voice.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: September 12th

jyb_musingsI know this is probably not politically correct to say but I personally believe Sept 12th is a more significant date for our country to commemorate than Sept 11th.

Because it signifies that no matter how horrifically shocking the terrorist attack was 13 years ago, that it lasted only one day, and on Sept 12th, we began picking up the pieces and moving ahead, chastened and somber, to be sure, but also united and wiser and unbowed.

And that, to me, is important for us to remember and celebrate today.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Rewards

jyb_musingsI got excited to see a late night email from American Express that I was receiving an “update” on my recent increase in Rewards points including a link to use them to shop for something right now.

My excitment grew when pictured under the notice was a picture of a brand new iPad and next to that JetBlue airlines and mention of round trip ticket to any of a long list of resorts.

So I click the link.

And find out my new “updated” Rewards point total is worth just under $28 and that the only purchases suggested for me from the Amex “store” is an eye liner or alternatively a rouge compact. But only with 170 more Rewards points.

Anybody out there want to trade me a new iPad for some Amex eye liner? And who also can spare 170 Reward points?

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Corporate Iron Man Triathlon

jyb_musingsI propose the Corporate Iron Man Triathlon

On the Monday following the actual Iron Man.

It will consist of 112 conference calls, sitting through 26.2 PowerPoint presentations and finishing with 2.4 hours of continuing education credits.

And in the spirit of the real Iron Man competition, the individual contests will lead to no particular destination but just be a test of endurance.

And, of course, wearing cool gear will matter more than it should.

I have already started training!

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Inspiration

jyb_musingsAs we get older our ideals of what we can one day become changes too.

When we are younger we imagine ourseleves as one day becoming an astronaut, firefighter, pro athlete, Phd, movie star, CEO, President and the like. 

We line our bookshelves with stories about such people and line our walls with inspirational images and quotes from our idols.

And then one day we realize we have begun to ratchet down rather than ratchet up our hopes and dreams for oursleves —and have moved on to a new ideal of one day, with luck and effort, maybe becoming merely a wise and humorous companion.

And realize it is hard to find an inspirational book or motivational poster of Jiminy Cricket.

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Inspirational thought for the day

“If you can’t ‘Just Do It,’ look bored and indifferent like ‘Just Doing It’ is beneath you.”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: What employers should really look for in job interviews

jyb_musingsI just read several articles about what employers look for in job applicants. Each list I saw included qualities like professionalism, high-energy, confidence, curiosity, self-motivation, etc, etc, etc.

But on no single list did I see “sanity” or “stablity.” You may say that these are assumed. Really? Why?

I am serious.

I think most employers get in heat, metaphorically, when hiring a new employee and end up hiring the employee who is most exciting to date, so to speak, rather than the employee who is the best fit for marriage, i.e. a long term functional and useful business relationship.

Like the famous Pepsi and Coke taste test when most people picked Pepsi after one taste because it is sweeter. But sales of Coke continued to exceed Pepai because people got tired of the sweetness after the first few sips.

In other words, employers should focus more on hiring the person who can do the mundane things reliably –in other words, the person who they can rely on to lock up at night when they leave the office rather than the person who will make others the most envious at the country club.

Remember the new hotshot associate you are about to hire is to fill in a piece of a larger puzzle that is your organization and just because he or she looks big and colorful doesn’t mean that piece is more likely to fit. Just that it is more likely to drive you crazy until you find a place in your puzzle to plug it in.

John Y. Brown, III: Joan Rivers

JYB3_homeI was saddened to hear about the passing of comedian and entertainer Joan Rivers.

I was never a great fan but had great respect for her pluck and persistence.

Although none of the eulogies I have read mention it, I consider her an important as a woman who broke through and competed with great success in a profession dominated by men. Women comedians, in my view, have a tough time of it. Audiences like monologues that are raw, sometimes profane, personal and edgy.

But we don’t seem to like it as much when the punch lines are being delivered by a woman.

Joan Rivers didn’t seem to mind about that and did it anyway. Because she was smart and shrewd and richly talented and an indefatigable performer who made a lot of us smile and laugh out loud — and even think –during her 55 year career as one of America’s most prodigious entertainers..

RIP

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Favorite Things

jyb_musingsFavorite things….

At dinner tonight, No, we weren’t discussing Julie Andrews but were brainstorming for our “Top three” favorite lists in a bunch of different categories. 

It’s fun to play along. Here are some of mine. 

Comedy Series (Cable) — 1) Ali G , 2) Chapelle Show, 3) Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

Drama (Cable) — 1) Sopranos , 2) Six Feet Under (never got the credit it deserved, IMHO , 3 ) Breaking Bad and House of Cards (tie) I know that is cheating by having a “tie.”

TV Series– 1) Columbo 2) Twilight Zone 3) Beverly Hillbillies

Musical Groups — 1) Steely Dan, 2) Traffic, 3) R.E.M./Pearl Jam/RHCP ( 3-way tie). Honorable mention to Black Crows (Totally cheated on this one. I struggle to be succinct.)

Movies — 1) The Twilight Saga (Not really, of course. I joke. But mostly because my favorites don’t seem very congruent. I just like them a lot) Real favorites: 1) Annie Hall, 2) ‘O Lucky Man, 3) About a 10- way tie but am unsure which 10 movies but might include Pulp Fiction, My Dinner with Andre, Little Miss Sunshine, Raging Bull, The “Up” Documentaries, Magnolia, Goodfellas, American Beauty, Casino, and Gandhi. And had an honorable mention category that included Forest Gump and Owning Mahoney. Drugstore Cowboy and American Hustle. (OK. I really, really cheated on that one. But I love movies.)

Classic books: 1) Inferno, Dante. 2) Odyssey, Homer, 3) Huckleberry Finn, Twain. Honorable mention to Candide, Voltaire and Gulliver’s Travels, Swift. (Didn’t cheat very much on that one.)

Modern books: 1) Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell; 2) A New Kind of Mind, Pink 3) World is Flat, Friedman (With not to self to start reading more recent books.)
Honorable Mention: Musings from the Middle I and II. (I mean, c’mon. Whaddaya expect?)

Best kitchen investments: 1) Nespresso 2) Vitamix, 3) Panini Press,

Worst Kitchen investments; 1) Doughnut maker, 2) Fondue, 3) Snow Cone machine.

John Y.’s Video Flashback (1995):

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