60 Day Update On Intermittent Fasting

I shared with you a couple months back that I was beginning a new diet known as Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting. You can read my post here.

60 days in, and I’ve lost somewhere in the ballpark of half a pound each day. Weight really wasn’t my greatest concern, except for how it demonstrated that I crossed a line somewhere back in 2006. Truly, quitting smoking was the most difficult change I’ve ever made, and I ballooned while eating everything in sight.

My wife insists that our scale is garbage. So I stopped using it. But I can still tell as major things change. Even without numbers, running my hands over my sides tells me a lot. When the bumps disappear, that’s generally a good sign.

So as strange as it sounds, I’m tracking progress by the noticeable feel of my belly’s shape changing from day to day, but more pronounced from week to week.

Shedding excess fat wasn’t my only goal. It was a primary goal, but there were a couple supplementary goals attached.

Secondary Goals

  1. Reduce joint and foot pain
  2. Increase flexibility
  3. Accomplish more productive work
  4. Give a better first impression
  5. Reset my system so it works better

Number five there is a big one. I’m not sure how to know if I’ve accomplished that goal without someday quitting the process and eating more carelessly.

Regardless, one of the goals is to reset my system, so that I’m burning fat as a primary energy source rather than sugar (carbs).

The goal in everything is to live in abundance. To maximize quality of life. To excel at stewardship. To not miss out because I can’t move.

Life is about baby steps of progress toward abundance. Abundance in everything God created and called good.

6,288 Pages A Year

What you fill your mind with will control you.

I popped a sermon tape into a portable cassette player and took it with me on the road. It was a recording of my grandfather’s radio show, and he was telling a story about how an old lady accurately prophesied his wife’s death six months before she passed.

But that’s not the focus of today’s rumination.

I’ll expound upon that another day. Today I want to focus on something else Grandpa Lennard said that rocked my world. He confessed to reading the entire Bible SIX TIMES per year ON TOP OF his regular daily Bible study. SIX TIMES!

If you, like me, have read the entire Bible once in a year, you know how much perseverance that takes. Wading through the legalese of Leviticus and Numbers can be excruciating.

But six times??? I can’t even imagine how many hours that took each day. I mean, is that even humanly possible? If he had used my exact Bible, he would have read 6,288 pages. And naturally he did other Bible study. Naturally.

Imagine how that would change your thinking.

I’m imagining it. If I read that much Scripture, I would eat, sleep, drink, and breathe Scripture. There’d be no room for anything else in life. And yet… Grandpa Lennard traveled the world preaching the gospel and healing the sick for decades.

I can’t let it go. It feels like a gauntlet has been passed.

We’ve all binged on a show here and there. The age of Netflix and DVD sets is upon us, and it’s way more compelling to follow the storyline in a short period of time than to wait a week or two or twelve between episodes (LOST anyone?). And I must confess, when I’ve binge-watched a show, it seeps into me. It alters my dreams. My precious sleep time forms storylines that relate somehow to the story I’ve watched hour after hour after hour.

Which reminds me of a quote I can’t escape:

You become what you behold.

Whatever you gaze upon most often has the greatest power to shape your thinking, expectations, beliefs, and behaviors. It’s so subtle we sometimes don’t recognize it happening, but it’s happening. Music, movies, songs, videos, gossip, and social media all worm their way into our psychological DNA. They influence who we are.

We typically don’t WANT this to be true, because it calls us to a higher level of personal accountability. But knowing that what we behold shapes who we are empowers us to decide whether we actually want to keep choosing to be the same person. If you don’t like who you are, look first at what you behold. What do you most often watch, read, listen to, eat, touch, and daydream about?

You are forming reactions to those stimuli. You are compensating for their messages. You are adapting to make room for their truths.

And if that’s true about less than ideal inputs, it’s true about ideal inputs. Which brings me back to Grandpa Lennard.

The Call to Action

I’m not pretending to try to read the Bible six times this year. C’mon, man! I got three kids, two businesses, a homestead, goats, chickens, cats, dog, and a garden. I shut down and crawl into a fetal position sometimes. But reading once a year again might be worth it.

There are mindsets I’ve never attained, levels of faith I’ve never acquired. And I can’t help but attribute this to the quality of my inputs. I’ve dreamed of a version of me that sees the world differently. That Daniel sees into the spiritual landscape of a geographic area and calls that which isn’t into being, somewhat like lassoing a unicorn.

But you don’t lasso the unicorn by sitting on a couch eating Cheetos (or non-GMO potato chips made from avocado oil).

I want to elevate my thinking.

So I’m stepping up my game to read the Bible in one year. And that’s on top of other reading I do to better myself, including poetry, audiobooks, and podcasts.

What are YOU going to do to be a better YOU?

Prediction: An Anti-Wifi Tech Industry Will Emerge

Apple leads the way with non-negotiable wireless technology built into more and more of its products. Wireless charging, Bluetooth headsets, wifi file sharing, streaming everything from “The Cloud.”

As the innovator and tech brand people can’t seem to live without, Apple has continually set new standards before the market was ready to adopt. But Apple doesn’t care. Apple tells you what you want and what you need.

Remove DVD drives to make space, reduce hard drive storage space, and promote a new Cloud-based system for accessing data.

The problem is, constant streaming, wifi, and Bluetooth come at a cost. And that cost is your health.

Mark my words, a backlash industry will be formed for wired-only products in an attempt to regain the trust of consumers who one day discover that half a dozen of their significant health problems are the result of a lifetime of close-proximity wifi/cell signal exposure.

Lest we forget, there was a point in American history when smoking wasn’t bad for you either.

Just Because It’s Familiar Doesn’t Mean You Belong There

Inspiration comes from the most unlikely places. I’m sitting in the theater with my wife and kids this weekend to watch Pete’s Dragon. One of the previews shows a girl who dreams of a better life who learns to play chess. It turns out she’s really good and has the potential to play her way into a destiny far beyond the simple home where she grew up. Then came the voice that said,

Sometimes the place you are used to is not the place you belong. You belong where you believe you belong.

It’s really that simple. That unexpected moment relieved some of the pressure building up inside me.

I’ve known too many people who settle for very little in comparison to what is possible. And nothing grieves me like unfulfilled potential.

It’s such a confusing decision — knowing whether staying local and loyal to one’s roots is healthy or dis-ease. Sometimes leaving the only community we’ve known is the slow but steady death by a thousand cuts we fail to notice. Other times our homes and our histories hold us back and drag us down like weights.

Sometimes we escape the familiar because accountability is painful and restricting. Other times we stay close to home because we are afraid to try and fail.

The first lesson here is to “Know Thyself” well enough to discern your motives when opportunity arises. Are you motivated by fear, irresponsibility, laziness, passion, duty, or purpose? Positive motivations typically lead to faster development. Negative motivations can turn around over time as well. I know that I started on a path eight years ago because I was afraid. That fear drove me to do extensive research and discovery on a topic that led me to discover the beauty, power, and extravagance of permaculture.

I continued performing many of the same tasks as before. The difference being that my endeavors were once based on fear of loss and now are based on the desire to design and foster beauty in the form of harmonious micro climates. It’s not about avoiding my fears. It’s about embracing my potential.

The second lesson is to embrace growth. Growth means change. Ben Affleck recently said in an interview with Bill Simmons that for the longest time, he held this attitude that he wouldn’t let it (Hollywood, success, etc) change him. He called it being true to himself. He has a whole crew of guys from Boston who hold this ideal of never letting anything change you. And those guys have the same kinds of jobs and do the same kinds of things they did as teenagers.

Never changing means never growing, and eventually Ben gave himself permission to grow and change and develop as a person. That’s called maturation.

Points to Remember

You want to know yourself well enough to pursue life and achieve your potential, and you want to give yourself permission to change.

How This Transforms Your Culture

If you’ve read other articles on Culture Feast, you may be wondering how this subject applies to your culture. I write mostly for one specific audience, and I’d be thrilled if these ideas apply to others as well. But my single-minded goal is to chip away at the mindsets of the people I grew up with who are stuck in family traditions, church traditions, hearsay, and wives’ tales.

You can transform yourself and your local community culture by choosing every second to be your passion. To leave behind the old mindsets that may be comfortable but never got you anywhere.

Unless you grew up in a community where the things that excite you are valued and esteemed, what’s familiar may not be where you belong.

Sometimes we break free to become who we truly are. If you’re afraid of losing your roots, don’t worry. There’s often time to go back and rescue others where you came from. But you’ll have no power to rescue until you embrace your very own becoming.

I Switched Over To Medium Then Fear Paralyzed Me

Every time I get halfway through a post, this heavy weighing my chest and I can’t think clearly enough to complete another sentence.

A few weeks ago, I published an article announcing my switch from WordPress to Medium. It’s not a popular move, let me tell you. Most people who blog professionally (read “makes lots of money blogging”) think I’m being foolish.

But it doesn’t matter to me whether they’re wrong or they’re right, because whether search engines rank my pages isn’t my biggest problem. No, my biggest problem is that I’ve had to wrestle with myself to get anything written.

I think it’s the standard here on Medium. While not all articles contain the most brilliant words ever written, the brilliance quota on Medium is vastly superior to other platforms.

But that’s what you get when you strip away ads and flashy widgets and you center each article around actual content.

So the intelligence level is pretty high, which leads me to feel I need to go the extra mile in researching a topic before I breeze through with my latest opinion. But there’s no time to do that research, since this is not my day job. This isn’t even moonlighting. I’m moonlighting as a dad. Blogging is something I do from locked bathrooms and sitting in the car at stop signs.

It’s gotta be short and sweet, or it doesn’t get published. Which is why you’ll see more blogs about what I’m about to do or what I’m not going to do than what I’m doing. I’m processing through all the challenges of being a third string blogger.

See what I did there? I stopped writing this post long enough to go register the domain name ThirdStringBlogger.com. The name sounded too good to pass up. I’m just squatting on it for now.

So I need your help. In order to get ANY OF THE EIGHT BLOG POSTS sitting in my draft queue published, I have to be okay with the less-than-stellar form they come in. I’m just going to be me and I hope that’s okay… even here at Medium.

It’s really the only way I’ll share anything more than a State of the Blogging Union.

See you soon.