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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More Weight Loss Images

More Weight Loss Images


More Weight Loss Images

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 11:37 AM PDT

Losing weight isn't easy. I should know, I have struggled with my  weight for years. I have been blessed with the will power to change my  eating habits, and make the necessary changes to give myself the  opportunity to live a healthier life. But losing weight isn't something  that just happened overnight.     

I struggled with my weight, my image,  my confidence and my health for many years. I remember thinking about  being overweight when I was  in the 6th grade. I weighed 136 pounds. In  8th grade I had a gym membership to help in my battle to lose weight.  Into my high school years I gained more weight, and by the time I  graduated I weighed over  325 pounds!          

 

And I still thought  about losing weight – all the time. I knew I needed to make a change.  Somebody who has never had to deal with a signifi- cant weight problem  can't fully understand how someone can think about losing weight all the  time, but never actually do it. I did exactly  that for years. I  thought about it after eating dinner at night or after consuming a  tempting dessert.     

 

Like clockwork, I would tell myself I'm going to  enjoy eating this weekend, but come Monday, I will make my lifestyle  change. I must have made myself this promise hundreds of times –  literally. I have been trying to lose weight for what feels like my  entire life. Nothing ever worked. I would make an annual new  resolution  to lose weight, and start a diet only to fail.   And I failed dozens of  times.    

 

I was at my heaviest in 2010. At 6'2", I weighed 380  pounds, had a 52-inch waist and my 3XXXL shirts were getting too tight.  Eating unhealthy foods in unhealthy portions was like an addiction. For  some people its cigarettes or alcohol. To me, food was like a best  friend after a long day at work. This all changed with a little  "brotherly love," encouragement and a lot of determination.     

 

So when  did it all change? I remember clearly. It   was a Monday afternoon. I  was eating one of my   favorite meals – fried chicken, baked beans, and   macaroni and cheese. My older brother walked in the room while I was  eating, and proceeded to let me have it. This wasn't the first time I  had been lectured about  the huge portions, unhealthy eating habits, or  my weight,  but it's the last conversation I had before I began the   biggest change in my life. I started a low carbohydrate diet on  September 28, 2010. I set my goal at seven days, telling myself to make  it just one week, and keep pushing. After seven days it was fourteen,  twenty-one, and then one month. I began to feel a difference before I  could actually see any physical results. When it got hard, I kept  pushing.          

 

Then almost miraculously, after three months of being  on the diet, it  became the easiest thing I have ever done. I was  comfortable with my new food groups, and now I was beginning to feel a  difference and see one as well. More importantly, the support and  encouragement I received from friends and family has been incredible.  Every single day since 2011, someone has made a comment regarding my  weight loss. That person had no way of knowing at the time, but it was  this positive encouragement that kept me going.      As I look back over  the last two years, I can say it has  definitely been worth it. My  waist size is down to 38 inches. My shirt size is now down to L or XL  depending on the brand. I still have about 25 or so pounds to lose, but I  now weigh 235 pounds. I lost an entire person but I don't miss him, and  I vow to never make his acquaintance again.        

 

I will never know  exactly why, on that particular  September day in 2010 that everything  finally came  together for me. If I had to point to any one thing, I  couldn't. My journey from "Big Ben" to just plain old "Ben"  began from  an accumulation of years of weight loss  failures, and a brother's well  intentioned dressing down combined with new found will power and a whole  lot of encouragement

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more pictures

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 10:29 AM PDT

more pictures

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Pictures from Palestine

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 09:44 AM PDT

Pictures from Palestine

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Photos From Palestine

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 09:25 AM PDT

Pictures from life in Palestine

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Against Israel's military offensive

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 08:37 AM PDT

Al Quds day in Berlin, Germany. Around 1200 people gathered on 25 July to protest against Israel's military offensive in Gaza. An estimated 1000 policemen were in the field.

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Cape May bird sanctuary

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 04:35 AM PDT

My wife and I were walking through the sanctuary when we saw this American Oyster Catcher.

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Azerbaijan marks Ramadan Holiday

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 04:04 AM PDT

Believers in Azerbaijan celebrate today the end of the month of Ramadan, Fasting. All mosques in the country are crowded today, and the faithful read public prayers.


Completion of Ramadan is celebrated with a prayer and almsgiving to the poor, the size of which this year should correspond to 5 manat per person.

Azerbaijan and Iran, unlike other Islamic states celebrate the end of Ramadan a day later. Local theologians explain this difference in timing of the appearance of the moon in the night sky, which marks the beginning of a new month.

Photo by Aziz karimov

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THE MISSING CHIBOK SCHOOLGIRLS

Posted: 29 Jul 2014 12:26 AM PDT

DAY 105...

100+ DAYS...Since Over 200 Chibok School Girls Were Kidnapped By Boko Haram Terrorists and Are Still Being Held As Captives.

#BringBackOurGirls

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Teachers, Parents and Kids Swarm DC

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 10:13 PM PDT

Teachers, parents and kids fight back against corporate deformers in Washington DC.

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Delta IV rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 04:56 PM PDT

A Delta IV rocket glows over the skies over the Indian River in Cocoa Florida Thursday night. The Air Force sent a new GPS satellite into orbit.
Tonight's launch marks the 25th flight of the Delta IV rocket since its inaugural launch in 2002. Cape Canaveral has been the site for all GPS satellite launches for the Air Force since 1989.

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Thousands attend New York pro-Israel rally

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 03:50 PM PDT

Approximately 8000 people rallied across from the UN today, expressing unconditional support and solidarity with Israel as the ongoing crisis in Gaza continues to unfold. Speakers, as well as those who attended, blamed Hamas for perpetuating the situation and offered no apologies for those who have died in the newest conflict. The overwhelming consensus was that Hamas willfully puts their citizens in harm's way and knowingly encourage and accept any deaths that might result from that policy. While they expressed sympathy for the loss of innocent lives, they held Hamas responsible for those deaths.

 

Senator Charles Schumer addressed President Obama's call for a cease fire and said that would not happen until Israel disarms Hamas and destroys the Hamas tunnel system under the border of Israel and Gaza.

 

The rally was starkly different than Friday night's pro-Palestine protest in Times Square where people were angry and visibly concerned and saddened by what is happening in Gaza. The protestors at today's rally were generally happy and the mood upbeat. They expressed total confidence and commitment to their cause. There was an underlying sense of defensiveness when it came to talking about the media and the world reaction to the Gaza/Israel conflict. Many expressed anger and were concerned that the conflict might resurrect or exacerbate anti-Semitism because of "unfair and unbalanced" press coverage.

 

The rally was sponsored by the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

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Yosemite Fire

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 12:50 PM PDT

A 2,600 acre wildfire threatens the El Portal area of Yosemite National Park. Water dropping helicopters and other aircraft work to slow the fires progress and help to contain the fire that is only 5 % contained.

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Teachers March on Washington DC

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 11:44 AM PDT

Teachers from all over the United States March at the Department of Education in Washington DC today to take back education control from corporate reformers.

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Teachers Fight Back

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 11:22 AM PDT

Teachers from all over the United States March at the Department of Education in Washington DC today to take back education control from corporate reformers.

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Synchronized Swimmers of Lake Chamo.

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 09:34 AM PDT

My fellow travel mates and I went on a boat ride on Lake Chamo, Ethiopia in hopes of seeing crocodiles and hippos which we did. As exciting as it was to see those creatures, it was truly the Great White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) that captivated us.

 

We spent quite a bit of time following and watching a small flock of five pelicans from the time they were onshore to when they entered the water to feed. They were not at all bothered by our presence.

 

We marveled at how they would simultaneously dip their large beaks into the water, looking like synchronized swimmers. Later, I learned that Great White Pelicans feed in groups, coordinating their swimming to drive fish towards the shallow water. There, they can easily dip, head and beak down, to scoop up the fish.

 

Aside from their synchronized feeding actions, they were just gorgeous to look at with their white features and bright yellow pouches beneath their bills. On our way back to shore, we watched a larger flock fly overhead.

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Don't trust in Arne Duncan

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 08:52 AM PDT

Teachers from all over the United States March at the Department of Education in Washington DC today to take back education control from corporate reformers.

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Badass Teachers Association March on Washington DC

Posted: 28 Jul 2014 07:04 AM PDT

Teachers from all over the United States March at the Department of Education in Washington DC today to take back education control from corporate reformers.

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Gigantic Lamppost crashes into Bank of America, Chicago

Posted: 27 Jul 2014 05:40 PM PDT

Infrastructure issues in Chicago caused an enormous lamppost to crash into the Bank of America building at the intersection of Roosevelt & Canal. Police on the scene said the incident occurred at approximately 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 27th due to "heavy winds." No one was injured, according to the CPD.

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7th Annual Tour De Turtle 2014

Posted: 27 Jul 2014 11:52 AM PDT

Two Loggerhead Turtles, Shelley and Melba crawled off for their journey on July 27 2014 at 8:30am from Sea Turtle Conservancy in Melbourne Florida. Seven years ago University of Central Florida started the Tour De Turtle to track turtles and their habits. They setup a tracking devices to see how fast and far these turtles will travel after they nest on the shores a long the eastern coasts. Watching two turtles race to the ocean was a great joy for the many who came. Hope you enjoy the photos and short video . Off to my next IReport. You can track recent turtle at this link http://www.conserveturtles.org/seaturtletracking.php?page=currentsatelliteturtles

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Views of the Israel-Gaza conflict from a Palestinian-American

Posted: 27 Jul 2014 10:55 AM PDT

I am an American, and I love my country… I also love my heritage.

 

I was born in Tampa, Florida to Palestinian-American parents. At a young age, my parents' decision to move from America to Palestine is one that has changed the course of my life. The purpose of the move was for me and my siblings to learn Arabic and our family's culture. Yet, the four-year experience was much more than that.

 

We lived peacefully in Ramallah (West Bank city just six miles north of Jerusalem) for a couple of years. My father built a home in Area C (Israeli controlled). During the first two years, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was at a quiet period. Our lives were pretty normal. My older brother and I attended a private school operated by the American education system, and my two older sisters went to an all girls-Catholic school operated by the French education system. in our free time, our days consisted of shopping in Ramallah, taking cabs to Jerusalem and even hiking the mountains of Ramallah.

 

In the summer of 2000, our lives were flipped upside down by the second intifada or "the uprising". A 26' tall harsh concrete wall was constructed around the West Bank, there were placements of checkpoints between towns and villages as well as daily clashes between Palestinians and Israeli authorities interrupted our day. We no longer had the liberty to take cabs to Jerusalem, shop in Ramallah or hike in the mountains. Our sense of freedom was stripped away from us.

 

My family soon discovered that living in fear and under occupation was dangerous and too hostile. So we decided to move back to the U.S. My family's decision to leave was one that would carry guilt on our shoulders for time to come. Leaving our extended family behind in a war torn country left us with feelings of sadness.

 

My life in America has been very different than my life in Palestine and much different than the lives of Palestinians youth in Palestine today. Going to school in Tampa, my only morning worry was getting a decent grade on my homework. My cousins in in the West Bank on the other hand, also are worried about grades but now have to worry about checkpoints and random clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli authorities. The day the four children were killed while playing soccer on Gaza Beach, my friends and I were at St. Pete Beach playing volleyball. Unlike those children, we made it home safely to our families.

 

As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, the world is watching with big eyes. In the U.S, public opinion has been very wary. American's opinion about the conflict is split between both sides. Some support Israel, some support Palestine.

 

For me, however, I have a different perspective of the Gaza-Israel conflict. When terror hit America on 9/11, I was filled with sadness, sorrow and anger. I thought 'how could someone do this to my people'. The anger lingered for a very long time, and still does today.

 

These past couple of weeks have also made me angry. Waking up everyday I would discover a new increased death toll of Gaza civilians. I would turn on the TV to find limbs of Palestinians plastered all over the news. I am sad, I am angry. I thought, 'how could someone do this to my people'.
I think I speak for many Palestinian-Americans when I say I feel helpless in watching the continuous deaths of civilians in Palestine. I guess my reason for writing this essay is to express my feelings about the conflict in order to help the Palestinian people – my people – in some way.

 

Before leaving Palestine, I remember taking a walk with my mother in the hills of Ramallah. On the bottom of the hills was the West Bank barrier. Once we reached the top of the tallest hill, my mother grabbed my arm and pointed in the far distance. "You see that city over there? That's Jerusalem. That's where I was born, where your father was born and where you are from. One day, well walk from here to Jerusalem… And no wall or soldier will stand in our way."

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