Ahead Only

Old to New. Aspiration easy.
Achievement challenging.
Sustained improvement impossible.

(September 2021)

The above is my experience in relation to weight loss. I aspired to get slimmer and eat more wisely. Target achieved after an 8-week battle previously described in the trends post. My target toughened from an initial 78kg to 76kg and then 74kg during the 12 week period.

77.8kg was my average ideal weight based on suggestions from 6 different sources. 76kg was the target based on reading of the Roy Taylor book I have found helpful throughout.

Someone told me that breaking bad habits, like snacking, would take at least 3 months. Other reading informed me that a probable reduction in metabolic rate and a ‘measurable’ 6-fold rise in appetite would make it almost impossible to sustain my aspirational weight target(s). How discouraging, especially if true! There is considerable research and commentary (click here for one example) in relation to appetite alone.

Appetite is just one of a seemingly unlimited number of factors to consider. Sometimes there are too many advisors and too many options to make sense of. We hear much based on digital sampling of our analogue world. Is there a best, decisive and right way for all people and every context? Should we stick to one source of knowledge, aspiration and leadership medically? Theologically? Faithfully?

During the 8-12 week period of my 3 month plan, I attempted a more gradual decline in weekly weight loss, to no change at all. I hoped my new weight would be sustainable. Are bad habits of old, behind the new me? Temptation to snack remains, as evidenced by the 12th to 13th week rise to 75.6kg. Ongoing challenge remains before me. Sustaining 74-76kg the hope. Back down to 74.4kg at 14 weeks. Hope remains. Effort to sustain weight ongoing. But… I did enjoy my Dorset holiday food during weeks 12-13.

Weight over 3 months. 73.2kg lowest weight. Sustaining 74-76kg the hope.
Project what?

I’ve lost just under 4 inches at the waist which has loosened trousers and put decorum at risk. I’ve gone from large to medium in shirt size too. Jackie has suggested/insisted new clothing be purchased, including new belts. I’m now medium size for everything. I can’t fit my new clothes on top of the old, even if they are more fashionable and presentable. The old has to go. I can’t fit my old habits into my new lifestyle either.  It’s a bit like putting new patches on old clothes -the different fabrics end up tearing each other apart with their differential shrink/stretch and wear personalities. Is the faith we project complete and whole?

Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17)

I can’t resist another technology analogy as I play with Windows 11 beta and enjoy new updates regularly.

There are times when I am asked to deal with a computer containing too much rubbish. Badly written or outdated software, viruses, dodgy settings, corrupted drivers, cluttered registry entries… Despite the pain, it’s better just to reformat and start again with a completely new installation, only adding back that which is known to be good. The old mess needs to go completely and permanently for the computer to function as designed. I’ve had quite a rebuild personally, particularly post accident.

Windows 11 Beta Desktop

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:9-10)

I can despair when I go back to what I left as a clean new computer, safe secure and running well, only to find out what has now been done to it. There is rarely any evidence of user improvement in regard to the organisation of files and the tidiness of the desktop. There has been user acceptance of every pop-up request via the World Wide Web and complex settings have been found and confidently ‘played’ with. Corrupt user habits usually remain. My family users don’t worry about their ongoing tinkering. Someone else will sort it out. Sort it out repeatedly. Do we selfishly treat faith, forgiveness and our Father like this? I left them with choice rather that lock them down as an administrator controlling a pro version of Windows. God gives us considerable choice too. How do we use this?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthains 5:17)

We need to move on from old worldly ways.

Storage, Burn & Delete, School desk with ink wells

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isiah 43:18-19)

September is the start of a new school year. Let’s hope it’s better than last year for all. If teaching is not about helping people to make the best of their future, I’m not sure what it is for. Remember the notion of giving an Apple to the teacher in the days of the old school desk above? The past. The future… yes please. I’d like the imminent Apple Mac OS 12 M1X MacBook Pro computer or an Apple iPhone 13 Pro. At the risk of making a very small point, this teacher of old might also like the forthcoming new Pixel 6 Pro with Android 12. Are Androids our future?

Apple Mac OS Mammoth is about to walk in. Mac OS 12 is named after another place, Mammoth Lakes, rather than the extinct mammal. Even in nature, some changes may be permanent whilst others evolve. The Elephantidae has been revised by some to include or exclude other extinct proboscidean genera. It’s up to you to decide group membership for yourself. The evolved or the extinct. Dodo n’t miss out personally.

(Edit: MacOS 12 is Monterey as mentioned in a previous post. It’s not Mammoth after all.)

Sustaining faith and new holy habits?

Out with the old?


We all have to make sense of things for ourselves throughout ongoing change. We can aspire and hope for better, but have to work hard to sustain holy habits in the new born again future. Christian faith is more than an aspirational prayer at the point of conversion at the cost of our saviour. It’s also a journey with Him that requires sustained holy habits. We do not journey alone. “From the old things to the new, keep me traveling along with you” (Sydney Carter)


Brain injury has caused memory problems and I know how valuable and precious old memories can be. I now call my wife by the right name -Jackie. I’ve mentioned memory issues in multiple posts such as Art(Film) and Questioning and Symbolism. We can learn from our mistakes and experiences but should not take our bad habits with us. We’re on a continuous journey towards perfection.

We need to keep to our highway code, advice and mandates, whilst journeying to make progress faithfully.

Ahead Only.

Oldfangled postscript:

In days of old I was always told, “Please allow 28 days for delivery.” I read this at the base of almost every advertisement.

Yes, that was four weeks for delivery. My Nicad battery charger and batteries actually took longer. 28 days was an aspiration rather than an expectation. Delivery seemed to take forever for a school boy. Remember Nicad batteries? I was an early user of rechargeable batteries and bought them via information found in the Hobby Electronics magazine I read. You did not want to short out Nicad batteries. Things got melting hot very quickly!

In the 80s I read, and very occasionally contributed to, computer magazines. Weekly ones like Computing Weekly and the monthly Your Computer.

Delivery of a ZX Spectrum computer took months and it arrived completely dead. I was tearfully sad. I started to buy things only from shops. Now I’m buying things that need delivery again, albeit online purchases these days. Next day delivery is achievable for almost everything. How newfangled. It will be hours not days for delivery soon. No new tears, but there is a boohoo.

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