Thursday, March 29, 2012

Laid to Rest

Some, if not all, of you know that we were in an accident Sunday morning. Thankfully no one was hurt. My Highlander, on the other hand, will not be coming home. Yesterday afternoon Cooper and I went to the body shop to get the few remaining things out that we needed and paid our final respects. As we were pulling off Cooper said, "Bye, bye Highlander."

It was a great vehicle. Allison and I both agree that we should probably get another one to replace that one. The problem is, I am very cheap and cars are not.

Have you ever totaled a car? Did you replace is with the same make/model?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Conversations With Cooper - Part 9

As I've mentioned recently, Allison and I have been making smoothies for breakfast. There are various flavor combinations that we are using and Cooper generally wants some as well. Today we had chocolate banana and so I made him one too.

Over the weekend Allison went to an even at church and heard a nutritionist speak. One thing she mentioned was that fresh spinach is good to put into smoothies because it adds some vegetables and doesn't alter the taste. My first thought this morning was to make Cooper's without spinach, but I decided to go ahead thinking that because it is blended well he wouldn't notice. As he was drinking it I asked him if it was good.

Me: How's you smoothie Coop?
Cooper: Good. What's that green stuff in it?
Me: (As Allison turns her head and starts to laugh) Huh? Green stuff? I'm not sure. Is it good.
Cooper: Yeah.
Me: I don't think there's green stuff in there.
Cooper: Yeah there is. I'm looking straight at it. (much more laughing from Allison)
Me: Is it good?
Cooper: Yeah.
Me: Oh well. Don't worry about it then.

You can't get anything past him. He pays major attention to detail. Thankfully I didn't have to tell him there was spinach in the drink or he would never drink one again.

What have you tried to get past your kids recently that didn't work out as well as you planned?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Eating Differently and Moving More Intensly

When Allison was in law school I hung out with my friend Jeff quite a bit. We rode mountain bikes, got coffee, and talked a lot about God and fitness. As I look back on those days I now realize that when Jeff and I rode mountain bikes he probably felt as though we were crawling through molasses (I'm not getting into my first mountain bike excursion with Jeff here on the blog).

As I began to lose weight and get faster on the bike and on foot, people would often ask me "what have you done to lose all that weight." Regularly I would tell them exactly what Jeff used to say to me when I would ask him where I needed to start: "eat less and move more." Everyone wanted a secret formula to how I had lost 40 pounds in 2 months. But there wasn't one. I simply at about 25% less than what I had been eating in the first month and in the second month I added running about 10-15 miles per week. That's it.

As you can read here and here, I made some adjustments to my fitness and health plan at the first of the year. This time it wasn't really how much I was eating, it was what I was eating. After making these changes and increasing the intensity during my time at the gym, I have really made some strides when it comes to my body. As of last Friday I was down to 179 pounds (down 18 pounds from 197 pounds) and 15.1% body fat (down from probably at least 22%).

I don't write this to brag. I simply write this to tell people that it can be done. With some effort in your eating habits and additional effort in the gym or on the streets of your neighborhood, you can change the way you look and feel.

Is it easy? No. Does it hurt at the gym? Yes. Is it worth it? To me, absolutely!

Have you made any significant changes or commitments to your health lately? How are they coming along?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Favorite Part of the Day

Because the three of us commute together almost everyday, Allison and I have Cooper's attention on the way to and from work. For the most part, we take this opportunity on the way home to talk to Cooper about his day. We try to ask him pointed, open-ended questions so he has to tell about what he did. I initially got this idea from Michael Hyatt's blog, and one thing that I try to ask Cooper every day is "What was your favorite part of the day?" Many times it's "we played," or "painting," but sometimes it's much more specific.

Not long ago Cooper asked me to come to his school to eat lunch with him. I told him I definitely would that week, but I wasn't sure which day it would be. We settled on Wednesday, which I knew was a little disappointing for him. As we were dropping him off on Monday morning I looked at my calendar and realized I had a meeting on Wednesday right in the middle of the time that his class eats lunch. Once I realized this I decided that I would come that day. When he finished washing his hands I asked him if it would be alright if I came that day instead of Wednesday. He said yes and I could tell he was really excited.

When I showed up he was still very excited. He was pumped, not only that I was there, but because we got our own table. He told all of his friends that I was there  and we had a great time together.

That afternoon when I picked him up I started asking him the usual questions. He answered and as I looked in the rear view mirror I could tell he was waiting on me to ask what he favorite part of the day was. When I asked him he face lit up and he said "Having lunch with you there." My response was "that was my favorite part of the day too buddy!" And it absolutely was.

I often say that it's the little things. For me to take an hour, walk over to Cooper's day care, and sit with him and eat lunch really isn't a big deal. But to that five year old little boy it meant the world. We, as dads, have to major in the minors with our kids. It's not how many toys you buy them or what you do for them. It's what you do with them that matters most to them. I learned this lesson and hopefully I don't have to keep re-learning it in the future. Maybe I can take what I've learned and expound on it.

Dads, what have you done recently that made your kids day? What little things (in our mind) can we be doing that are huge to our kids?