Monthly Archives: June 2010

Reached my first Line Diet goal

I have mentioned The Line Diet – The elegantly simple diet on twitter. I have now been following it for 29 days and have reached my first goal a day early.

The result is that by BMI I am now no longer obese, simply overweight. Somewhat good news. Note that I don't entirely accept that BMI is accurate for me as clearly most of my weight is muscle not fat (at least in my dreams it is).

I have now set my next goal and decided to make it a shorter period so that I can line up the Line diet with calender months.

It is going to take a long time to get past the overweight category as I set my targets based on a very simple target of losing 0.1kg per day, that is 1kg every 10 days. From what I read a loss of 0.5 kg to 1kg per week is sustainable so turning this into a daily target of 0.1kg makes it very simple to remember and monitor. It also neatly fits with the display of most digital scales.

It is also a lot more than a decade since I weighed what BMI would consider in the normal range.

I am by no means any kind of expert when it comes to dieting and am fanatic about not following any weird diets. So I have only made a few specific changes, they seem to work for me but you will be different so sort out what works for you rather than copy me:

  • Green Tea instead of instant coffee at home. Switched for health and environmental reasons a few months ago, but think it is actually helping with the diet too.
  • Proper porridge for breakfast. Cycling magazines are particularly positive about oats at the moment and I am sure it is better for me than the fatty/sugary breakfast cereals I used to eat. Before I got bored very quickly with the cardboard "healthier" cereals such as shredded wheat and weetabix.
  • Trying to avoid late night snacks . The best technique for me when desperate for a late night snack is to weigh myself first, if I will still meet the next days target I allow myself something. Also trying to got to bed earlier helps a lot.
  • Trying to ride my bikes more. In one sense not difficult, I love riding my bikes, but it is very hard to fit the time in at the moment and I don't always manage it.
  • No puddings when eating out. Even so meals out are a real problem. We went to a pizza hut to celebrate the end of significant GCSE's the other day. I had no pud, and the healthiest things I could find on the menu (peppers stuffed with cous cous, a side salad with nothing that had mayonnaise or sauce, salmon pasta something). It cost me a 0.6kg bump and has taken a couple of hungry days to recover.
  • No cake at coffee shops (unless I cycled there) and no biscuits at Church events

The good thing about The Line Diet is that it does not care about these changes, it simply measures the effect, the result. For me this acts as a powerful and simple motivator.

So 29 days, 3kg lost (down 6kg from a horrifying peak earlier in the year). Planning to continue.

The Truth is Uglier Than We Think, God is More Beautiful Than we Realize

I think this post from Jollyblogger is really important: "The Truth is Uglier Than We Think, God is More Beautiful Than we Realize". He tackles some of the ways Christians lie or hide from the truth. He promises more on this which I think will be very helpful.

Denise Spencer wrote a post a couple of days ago about Michael Spencer's last days and the upshot of it was that his last days were ugly and painful.  His last days were not the peaceful beatific kinds of days we often hear about of Christians who pass into heaven peacefully with visions of angels and loved ones.  In fact, nearly from the time he was diagnosed till his passing he never had a good day.

I have seen both peaceful and ugly. Neither of my parents had peaceful or gentle last days. Others have been the opposite. I am also with Jollyblogger on the harm and hurt some Christians have caused people suffering from cancer etc. Christians all to easily forget that every person that Jesus healed went on to die later and Jesus also died. Death will come, it may not come easily but it will not be the end just as we see in Jesus.

Feminist beneficiaries attacking feminism

Suzanne writes an excellent post in Suzanne's Bookshelf: Passionately outspoken for Christian feminism I particularly like the last paragraph:

I am sorry that Mary Kassian cannot say thank you to the first Christian women who went to university, paving the way for her.

There is this huge irony of educated women attacking feminism. Who do they think gained them the freedom to have a full education? Feminists of course. Who do they think gained them the freedom to write for the public under their own name? Feminists of course.

Some of the achievements of feminism are detailed in three comments on the original post by Alex: Exploited Miss America. Empowered Miss USA. : Girls Gone Wise which Suzanne quoted in her post.

I am not going to repeat them here. Go to Girls Gone Wise (if only the author of the post Mary Kassain had also gone wise) and add your support to Alex who has made an excellent argument that has been ignored.

Android on your next phone

In 42: Htc Desire, Android Mobile Phone review I wrote about how I love my Android phone. Remember Android is the operating system for phone (well any mobile device really), rather like Windows or Linux are operating systems for PC's (only Android is free and open so more like Linux than Windows).

Below is the keynote speech on Android at the recent Google IO conference. It is 45 minutes long but should be interesting to anyone who has any interest in smartphones. Lots of nice detail on where Android is now (60 devices, 49 countries, 100,000 phone activations a day [more than iPhone], more data traffic than any other phone operating system, 50,000 applications in the marketplace, …). Also on what is now available in the latest release of Android (Froyo or version 2.2).

Note that for Android phones it is worth checking what version of Android your phone includes (mine is 2.1 but I should be able to upgrade to 2.2 within a few months). Some phones are cheap but are running very old versions of Android and so many new features will be unavailable on them (worth asking about Android upgrade policies too). Note of course that the features already on the phone will still work so if it has all you need and you like the price then upgrades won't be a concern.

Anyway here is the keynote:

I love some of those new things. The WiFi hotspot will save me £5 a month. The music sync support is going to allow me to replace my iPod (or at least allow me to use one device for work music and one for pleasure). Many of the other upgrades are cool even if just great fun to experiment.

All this with the open platform that is why I chose Android in the first place.

The Thrapston Hope Team – what every town needs

Tonight was my last business meeting with the Hope Team in Thrapston. After experiencing years of teamwork preparing for Hope 08, doing Hope 08 and then continuing through 2009 and 2010 I am so excited about what has happened and what is happening in Thrapston.

If only every town in the UK had a Hope Team like this, then we would see real change.

So what is so special about the Thrapston Hope Team:

  • A small team of highly committed people (arround 12 in the core, many supporters)
  • All Churches involved
  • Agenda is entirely focused on getting on with Mission (seeking God's vision, sharing with and encouraging the Churches, getting on with it in the town)
  • There is no formal structure
  • It is totally open to and connected with all the Churches
  • It does not exist to promote Churches but to love and serve the people of Thrapston
  • It supports and encourages what the Churches are doing and then does more

So what were we planning tonight?:

  • Thrapston Charter Fair (Sat June 26th). Again a stall on the High Street with free fun things, encouraging people to come into St James churchyard for It's a Knockout, Teas, Flower Festival, Treasure Hunt and lots of free games. This year will include hoola hoop races up the ally way to the churchyard.
  • Hope Praise (Sunday June 27th 4pm). This year a bring and share tea with worship. All in the garden at the Baptist Church
  • Hope on Mondays: Coffee morning and activities for younger children every Monday of the school summer holidays
  • Support for the Holiday Club at the Baptist Church, 1st week of the School Holidays 26th – 30th July
  • Holiday at Home (Tue – Thu 3rd-5th August) for older members of the community
  • Hope Picnic Bank Holiday Saturday 28th August. A free picnic in the Lazy Acre estate for the whole community
  • A Thrapston Hope page to soon be available on Facebook

We also prepared for the launch of the "Hope One Hundred Club" where we are initially looking for 100 people to give 50p per month or £6 per year to support Hope in Thrapston. I managed to beat the rush and sign up as member 007 :-)

We also spent some time on supporting the Samaritans Purse campaign "Turn on the Tap", on future prayer weeks and on a potential special youth event with proper skateboard ramps etc.

Every Town needs a Hope Team like this. Where is yours? How are you bringing Hope to your community?

This is the Christian fundamentalist equivalent to the Taliban treatment of women

[Update]

Thanks to Bene D for the following comment:

This is B&D site.

I remember this from a few years ago, I guess part of the kink for is the religious language.

The disclaimer – for entertainment and education only.

I have removed the link to the site. I thought sites like that were supposed to have some kind of warning or age rating.

[End Update]

I read this tweet today Twitter / Alan Hirsch: This is the Christian fund ….

This is the Christian fundamentalist equivalent to the Taliban treatment of women. To be honest, it totally sickens me http://bit.ly/wij0W

So I took a look.

Absolutely unbelievable! Hateful.

Of course as you would expect it is based on a number of terribly dangerous mis-readings of Holy Scripture (eg helpmeet from Genesis 2 see Submission Tyranny, in Church and Society: God as Help Meet) and to be honest it sounds like an attempt to justify a persons kinky fetish through claiming it is about Christian discipleship.

It is a good indication that the dangers of complementarianism (clever marketing of male headship) that have been expressed by many people (and that I share) are real. See 42: The dangers of power in Male Headship for some of what I have written before.

It is sad that we don't here supporters of male headship both rejecting these interpretations and also acknowledging the danger of their teaching. After all they are always eager to make claims for the supposed dangers of equality.

Speaking up for Women’s Equality

From Speaking up for Women’s Equality « bWe Baptist Women for Equality's Blog.

Do you know what the people around you are thinking about female equality?

It seems to me that there is often a huge gap between what people immersed in a particular Church think other people believe (both people in other Churches and people outside Church).

Somewhere, somehow we need to connect with people and hear their beliefs.

It pains me that on many issues of justice and equality the Church gets left behind. That does not fit well with the gospel I read.