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Archive for January, 2016

8
Jan

One week down already

   Posted by: jasoncbunn    in Weight Loss

It’s already January 8th and one week is already in the bag for 2016.  As a Catholic, the next couple of years could prove interesting as we arrive at the 100th anniversary of Fatima and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  There are some that believe that the 100 years that was given to Satan according to the vision of Pope Leo XIII started with Fatima and thus his time is nearly up.  Undoubtedly society has moved away from its past affiliation with Christian principals at an alarming rate in the last century.  We don’t know the future, so all we can do is pray fervently, raise our kids the best we can, and leave the rest up to the Almighty.

To more mundane matters, it’s been a slower start to the new year than I wanted in regards to the weight loss battle.  Lost 3, gained 2 back.  It’s not a family affair, so it’s tough.  I read recently that you only change when the pain of change is less than the pain of the status quo.  The pain of change is really the pain of loss.  Giving up this dessert or that heavy meal, giving up convenience in favor of cooking a meal.  There is some physical pain from exercise, but I believe 80% or more of the battle is with food.  You can probably strive to just walk a ton and get your 10K to 15K daily steps and be fine for a good long part of the weight loss battle.

So what’s the pain of the status quo?  Not fitting into clothes right.  Not being able to keep up with the kids or to take them on any sort of physically challenging activity.  We live in the great white north and don’t ski.  Partially because I hang on to my east coast right to complain incessantly about the weather in winter, but mostly because I can’t physically do it.  So the kids miss out.  Same thing with something like a roller coaster.  The problem, or challenge, is that most of those pains can be avoided.  We don’t ski.  We rarely go to amusement parks.  Other pains are more hypothetical, like not being here for the family.  Terrifying, but too easily dismissed; you can’t focus on the future all the time.  There’s work to be done.

So victory, or at least progress, comes when the pain of eating in or eating right is less than the pain of being fat.  The immediate vs. the hypothetical/avoided makes it difficult.

 

3
Jan

A Sunday day of rest

   Posted by: jasoncbunn    in General

I don’t suppose when the Church established the idea of a day of rest, we’re supposed to rest from our healthy living initiatives, but that’s what happened.  Started out well enough, but today was a special mommy and daddy day for DD2.  She had an outing with just the parents and herself, no siblings, as a Christmas gift.  So, lunch out, a movie, and bringing pizza home.  Not exactly a wonderful example of healthy living, but hey, it’s a special day for the girl, and Sunday.  Back on track tomorrow.

Christmas break is now over at the office, so we begin a new year with the dreaded season of performance reviews.  The system isn’t too bad at our office.  I’m pretty protective of my 1 on 1 meetings with my team, which we try to have weekly.  Thus, the annual review shouldn’t be a surprise.  The idea is to summarize what should be obvious during the year, and to set the stage for growth in the next year.  It’s more time consuming than anything else, but a valuable part of the process.

2
Jan

January Goals and Plans

   Posted by: jasoncbunn    in General

So, it’s Saturday evening, the second day of the year.  Yesterday was not a bad start.  Of course, we ended up at a restaurant for breakfast and I didn’t go completely overboard, but it could have been better.  There is so much confusion about the right way to eat.  For some, the 500 calorie “fit fare,” or whatever it is called where you dine out, is the way to go with low fat franken-food.  For others, layer on the fat, but sugar is the enemy.  Add in the vegetarians and fruit-fanatics, and basically, you can conclude eating is hazardous to your health.  I’m still feeling the waters out in that department,  generally gravitating to a higher fat, low sugar and little to no pasta and bread as the way to go.  Of course, I grew up in Central NJ, with Italian food as a way of life, and pasta and breads are a big part of that.  Challenges galore.

So what are the goals for January?  First, I want to make the changes to lose 15 pounds.  It’s a lot, but back to my half-bodyweight comment earlier, it’s a drop in the bucket, maybe 10% of what I need to lose.  The trick will be getting it into my head that I need to approach this as if my life depended on it.  Because the reality is, it does. For the diet, that means getting rid of the soda, 64 or more oz of water each day, passing on the candy, sweets, and other junk, and portion control.  I should fire up myfitnesspal again to track the food each day.  Of course it’s a pain to deal with measuring everything, but it’s less painful than the consequences if I don’t get my act together.

Other goals for this month is to set up a meeting with a mentor for some advice regarding personal continuing education at the office, read nightly with my 8 year old, and get back to 10K steps per day.  I also want to post something here daily and read one management/leadership book.  I’m not sure I will ever have, or even want, an audience, but this is more like a place to collect thoughts and ideas and a place to look back on a phenomenal 2016.

2
Jan

2016 Roadmap

   Posted by: jasoncbunn    in General

A new year, and a new attempt to record the journey. Ideally, this year either the idea takes hold and I am able to give back, and get something, out of this writing exercise or else I hang it up. The idea of capturing plans, successes, failures, musings, etc., still has a lot of appeal for some reason. There is a lot of accountability that comes with putting something “on paper,” even if it is electronic.

So, it is a new year, so let’s start with the objectives for the year. Professionally, I am in the position of leading ont of the most talented set of professionals in the organization. There are eight database administrators and two ETL platform administrators and together we’re essentially responsible for the availability and performance of several hundred TB of data assets across hundreds of servers. The details are not something the organization likes to publish, so I will be a bit vague about that. Suffice to say, we are heavily invested in SQL Server and are in a very strong position in the company. We have the ability to make such an impact on how the end user perceives the company. If the databases are running slow, if the ETL data loads are not running as they should be, there is a direct impact to the business. We had some great wins in 2015 and I’m looking forward to delivering more solutions in 2016.

Being the team lead has put me into an interesting position. I feel comfortable in the role, and do wonder how to best prepare myself for what other opportunities could be on the horizon. I don’t have any thoughts about leaving the organization; I’m pretty happy with the area and the quality of life it provides, but at the same time I hopefully have a good long career still ahead of me and don’t want to stagnate. This year I want to make some changes in that regard.

Personally, the objectives for the year fall into three categories– health, family, and personal growth. In the health category, without going into the details too much, I have a lot of work to do. Suffice to say if I were to lose half my bodyweight, I’d be barely, if at all, underweight. You can do the math. This is a lifelong struggle and I do wonder sometimes how it affected my career and especially my parenting. My kids have a couple of health challenges that are directly attributable to my generally failure in this regard. This must be corrected in 2016.

Family. I have a lovely wife and four wonderful kids, and we are what I’ll call orthodox Roman Catholics. Orthodox in the sense that we follow the teachings of the church, even when difficult. God established the pillar and foundation of truth not in the bible, not in a pastor’s message, and certainly not in my exulted opinion (thank goodness for that!), but in the Church. When I disagree with the church on matters of faith and morals, I do my best to submit to her will and strive to find the fault in my own. When it is not a matter of faith, I still strive to understand and weigh her opinion most strongly. In this regard, we can do better in our daily prayers, in habits of living the faith. We also homeschool two of the three oldest who are school-aged, and I want to get back on track there after a few sicknesses and a very busy December set us back.

When it comes to personal development, I need to read more and surf less. More writing, less TV. When the weather breaks, I want to do more outside and put in a garden, to take some steps in the realm of self-sufficiency. There’s a lot of problems in the world today and sometimes it seems like all it would take is a minor market correction and all we see around us can come crumbling down. I’m not planning to go off-grid and live in the woods somewhere, but being able to live for a few days or weeks without the crutches of modern day infrastructure isn’t a bad idea either.

At a very high level, that’s the lay of the land as I gaze upon this new year. I’ll focus in a bit more on January in my next post.