July 19, 2008

The Other Side of the Scale...

I'm a fairly skinny person, just recently weighing in at around 111 lbs. I know, most of you are going "WHAT?", but that's been about the norm for me. I've always been a skinny person, and probably always will be unless I really work at it. The most I've ever been able to get up to is around 125, and that's when my fiancee was pregnant and I was gaining sympathy weight.

And, I know a lot of you are saying "What's your secret? Tell me how", all I've got to say to that is "METABOLISM". I get that being over weight sucks, I know plenty of people who have dealt with it, but being skinny like I am is just as hard. I found an online calorie calculator recently and found out I'd have to take in around 3,600 calories a day to gain weight. To put it in perspective I have to eat what most people eat on Thanksgiving every day.

So, I've decided to do this post for all the other people out there who are tired of being skinny. I'm not trying to help make you a body builder or anything like that, just trying to help others like me feel somewhat normal about themselves. Being as skinny as I am is hard on my self esteem, and I know it must be on others who have the same problem.

To get on with the show, here is a small list of foods that will help you in your fight against being under weight:

  • White Bread

  • Pasta

  • Avocado

  • Beans

  • Cheese and Whole Milk

  • Salad Dressing

  • Peanut Butter

The key to using these things, and others, to gain weight is maximizing the things you eat by adding, adding, adding:

  • Instead of water, use milk in you oatmeal and soups.

  • Add an avocado to your sandwich, or salad dressing(even fat free dressings add calories).

  • Casseroles are a great weight gainer; mix those meats, pasta, beans and cheese.

  • Use you left-overs as snack time foods.

Remember, you can't gain weight sticking to the "3-square meals" model, you've got to add some substantial snacking to your plan. And, another thing, gain weight in a healthy way, don't add a bunch of fast food to your diet, even if you're skinny "bad fat" is still "bad fat" and can still put you at risk for heart problems.

I'll be continuing my fight to gain weight series in further posts, I'm not done yet. Keep reading for more tips, and if you want to know more now, I've added some links below that will give you some more info on the subject. Thank you for reading Joseph's World and have a great afternoon.

*If you want to read more tips from a great site HERE's the one I found a lot of my answers.

*I know the website is called "Free dieting: the weight loss guide", you can find a great calorie calculator for both men and women HERE

*And, if your okay with PDF reading, here's a great PDF file you can either view online or download, with more great healthy ways to gain weight click HERE

*I don't claim any ownership or copyright ownership on any of the above links or any material they contain, information on their site belongs to their site. And, I am not a doctor, nor do I have a doctorate in medicine or a degree in nutrition.

July 17, 2008


I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone who has commented on my blog so far, you don't know how much your comments mean to me. I enjoy reading everything everyone has said. I would also like to thank all of you over at bloggeries.com, your blog reviews and commentary have helped immensely. I wouldn't be excited everyday to check my e-mail for "you have recieved a comment" if it wasn't for all of you.

Once again, thanks, all of you,

Waste not, Want not

Let’s talk about W.I.C. and Food Stamps, the two biggest government programs that were put in place to help struggling families. Yet, as I’ve been involved with both programs I see major errors in both. Starting with W.I.C., my fiancée and I recently had an appointment with them concerning our 1 year old daughter. She has always had problems gaining weight, so we have to keep her on formula for longer than usual (doctor ordered). This is not a usual occurrence with children I guess, because we have to get a prescription from our daughters pediatrician for the “Next Step” formula. We ran into one big snag with W.I.C. though, the only “Next Step” formula they offered was a soy formula. Most children, our daughter included of course, drink a milk based formula. Our daughter, once again doctor ordered, is not supposed to switch over to soy formula as she is not milk intolerant, and the soy formula doesn’t contain the vitamins and minerals she needs. Even our W.I.C. case worker was confused when she looked this particular problem up on her computer, but she couldn't do anything about it because it was W.I.C. policy. The other thing I find odd about the W.I.C. program is how much milk they provide you with. 4 and a half gallons just for my fiancée and another 4 for our daughter, and that’s every month! I’m sorry, but who drinks that much milk in a month? You should have the option of picking something else from a list of products they can provide, as it would prevent the waste of milk that goes bad because we can’t drink it fast enough.
Now, onto food stamps, the most disorganized program second only to the D.M.V. (Department of Motor Vehicles). It can take months to receive your food stamp benefits and, if they lose anything you turned in, you have to go back, wait in line for at least 45 minutes, and turn in your paperwork again. That second issue wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t happen two or three times each time you turned something in. Some of the paperwork they require is hard to come up with and the time spent at the food stamp office is time away from your job. But, that’s not all my friends, that’s not all. If these things weren’t hard enough to stomach, the Food Stamp office has a very strict rule against using your food stamps for toilet paper, trash bags, and other things of this nature. I can buy an entire case of Arizona brand sweet tea, but I can’t buy one roll of toilet paper. Now I understand why you can’t buy things like beer, wine, or other alcoholic products with food stamps, which would be a step in the wrong direction for anyone trying to get back on their feet.
The government is supposes to take care of its citizens, but through government programs I see only disorganization and lack of thinking things through. It seems to me sometimes that it’s easier for illegal immigrants to receive benefits from the government than it is the people who were born and raised here. How can we stand behind and believe in a government that takes care of another country’s citizens before its own? And, how can we put our lives into a system that can’t even keep enough staff on to keep their offices at least somewhat organized?
By the way, the newest thing on the goverments agenda, cutting there work week down to 4 days, an effort to "save money".

July 16, 2008

No, I'm driving...

You know, I have to admit something that I recently caught myself doing. Now, don't attack me right off the bat, I'm not sexist or anything, I just caught myself having a semi-sexist thought.

My fiancee and I were picking up an item we purchased from craigslist.com, and as we were getting ready to leave we play fought over who would drive home. I said I would drive, she said "No, I'll drive", and we went back and forth with this for about 15 seconds. She ended up winning this "play fight", and ended up in the drivers seat.

I felt embarrassed and a little angry, I felt like these people, whose house we were leaving, were probably laughing at this "man" being dominated by his "woman".

I felt my manhood threatened, a feeling that I've never really had in this regard before.

The pouting set in and next thing I know my fiancee is really upset that she'd hurt my feelings, and the guilt set in on me because of the guilt I had caused her.

This wasn't something she should have felt guilty for, she had driven to their house and I hadn't had a problem with that. It wasn't until we were leaving and she said those words "No, I'm driving", that switched me over into "man" mode.

She had said the words playfully, as I had originally stated my want to drive, and it wasn't fair to make her feel guilty for something that was my problem.

As time goes on I find myself observing these "man" and "woman" moments in myself and others, and it's kind of a scary thing that these things still exist.

The "who gets to hold the remote", "who can get a job being a firefighter(or equivalent), etc. All of these things still have a very sexist center once you really start observing people in situations where they come up.

There are still plenty of men that feel threatened, for example, when a woman drives a large truck , makes more money than them, etc.

I think I'll be doing more posts on the subject of sexism, and how it still thrives in a country that's supposedly "politically correct" on this subject.

Don't think these sexism posts will only be about men, women have quite a few "sexist" assumptions going on inside their heads too, this will be a look at both sides of the coin.

And, I will be doing posts on other subjects in-between, this is Joseph's World after all, and I don't want to become a one topic blogger here.

"He went to Jared's..."

Mouths, hands, sit down, have a seat, thank you for your time, do you want to pay in cash or credit ? We've just spent another pile of cash, but the tents will be there, they're ours. How many will be attending? How much do you need? Do you want this deal or that one? Okay, more cash on the table, but we've got the food. The list is getting checked off, the money's adding up. That special day, the day of the wedding is being built from the ground up. Everyone always says "Oh weddings can be so expensive", but we forget that the reception can be a bigger bill. You keep telling yourself, "The cost doesn't matter, it's our special day", but how much is too much. I'm excited, she's excited, I'm stressed, she's stressed, we agree to just enjoy the day. It's so hard in this day and age to really plan a wedding without a lot of stress involved. Not only do you have to consider the enormous cost of it all, you've got to send out invitation and hope everyone shows(because you're paying for all that food and seating), you've got to make sure that the ceremony is well planned enough that everyone is where they're supposed to be, figure out what, how much, and who's doing what with the music, write up those vows(or at least figure out which ones you're going to use, there are a million different variations now), and this to-do-list goes on and on, without end in site.

The thing is though, it's all worth it, there is no higher step in a relationship than marriage. But, don't let the details ruin it for you, as many people do. They get so into the planning of it all, they forget why they're getting married and by the time it's all over they're just staring at each other, wondering what just happened.

Marriage is a sacred thing, no matter what religion you belong to(or don't belong to). It's that day when you become one with your partner for life, the day you lock your two souls together forever.

So, if you find yourself making the wedding planning more important than the wedding itself, STOP, take a deep breath, and think about why you wanted to get married in the first place. Most of us would say that we're getting married because we're in love with our significant other, so make that special day about that, not about how much money you spent or how elaborate of a cake you ordered.

The work involved in getting it all together should be an important bonding experience for you and your other, it should teach you to work together, make decisions together, and believe in each other. True love, like the planning of your marriage, is going to sometimes be stressful, a lot of work, and you're going to have to learn to work together through life. There will be times that you feel like you hate you're love, but true love is making the choice to love that person even if you don't feel like it all the time. Love isn't supposed to be easy all the time, the trials that are faced in a relationship that holds true love are all a part of spending the rest of your life with that one.

All in all, I think the very fact that you've found true love is worth all the work, stress and money. True love is invaluable, and if you really love that person deep down, all the trials should be worth it for you too.

July 15, 2008

I want to hear from you...

Come on people, form a straight line, girls on one side, boy's on the other(oh, if only my blog was that popular, "sigh...."). What do YOU want to hear about ? I want to hear what you want, what topics you need help with, things you want to hear my thoughts on, subjects you think deserve attention, etc. The readers are the most important part of a successful blog(well, besides the ability to write and being able to relax enough to write), and I'm officially declaring this "Reader Demand Day" on Joseph's World. So, come on people, show me what you've got, tell me what you think, DEMAND a topic.

July 14, 2008

Brooms and Dustpans for all...

I had a special request from one of my readers to do a post on men and their view on house work. Does flushing the toilet count ? Just kidding, I'm a firm believer in men doing their share of the house work. My fiancee and I weren't even dating yet and I was already helping with the laundry and doing the dishes.

Once we became a couple the only thing that changed was that we started officially living together. And, I believe that entitled me to do more around the house.

I actually enjoy doing the dishes and mowing the yard, they can actually be very relaxing activities. I'm not big on laundry, but I don't know any man or woman who is, and I'm not about to watch my fiancee work her ass off while I sit on mine.

My mother raised me to be kind, respectful, and to get up off my butt and be a part of the house hold by doing my share of the chores. No allowance for house chores, as a member of the house hold, it was just as much my duty as every one else in the house.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of days where I've slacked on getting things done around the house. But, I'm not the type to make a habit out of it, and usually it's one of those days when my fiancee and I both just "veg out", and try to relax(well, as much as you can relax with 4 children).

But, I don't see how any man can watch his mother, wife, girlfriend, etc, doing all the work around the house while he pulls the "it's a woman's job" card. You would think by now that this card would have been thrown in the garbage with all the other bullsh*t "Boy's will be boy's" philosophy. Strangely enough though it hasn't, many men still believe a woman's place is in the kitchen, doing laundry, giving the kids their baths, etc, and won't lift a finger to help.

I'm not saying all men are like this, there are plenty who do their part in the battle against an unclean home. Obviously, I know I'm not the only one who helps out, there are plenty of "good" men still out there.

The whole point of all of this is simple, it's just as much a man's job to do the chores as it is a woman's. There should be no dividing line between male and female on this subject, to live in a happy and healthy home everyone has to do their part.

To all the "I'm a man, I worked all day, I don't have to do anything but wait for my dinner" kind of guys, you're not only an a-hole, you're also lazy, stupid, and don't deserve any woman.

And, to all you men out their who do the dishes, the laundry(that includes folding it), make dinner, mop the floor and give your kids their baths, I raise my glass to you(my glass of iced tea), give you a great big thumbs up, and say "Thank you for everything that you do, your significant other appreciates it more than you know".
Here are some fun links that are about men doing chores and helping with the kids:

July 13, 2008

Artistic Soul

I believe an artist exists in all of us, a little guy/girl with a paintbrush in hand, complete with french accent. The problem is that throughout our lives we come across people who look at our
artistic works(writing, sculpting, drawings, painting, singing, and every other form of art under the sun) and criticize us and SPLAT, our ego's or lack there of get the better of us and we quit.

The way I see it is very simple, you really shouldn't care what others think of your artistic ability, as long as it makes you feel good. Art, like counseling or journals, can be a form of therapy for many of us. I've heard before that kids can be happy with their art, whether it be a finger painting or doodling, as long as they haven't hit that stage where other people's opinions start interfering.
If you like to draw, draw, if you like to paint, paint, if you like making little people out of straws, make those little people. Unless you're trying to sell your art to a prestigious gallery(which of course your not trying to do, right ?), it doesn't matter what other's think about it, It's YOURS. And, heck, even if you are trying to sell it, different people like different art, they might love your work. My uncle David was fabulous at drawing and painting, but the first piece he ever sold was to a guy who saw him carrying a "off the top of his head" painting of a brick wall, nothing special just a brick wall. The guy loved it, and bought it from him right there on the sidewalk in front of my uncle's apartment.

Art should be about you, it should be about what you feel, the things that make you laugh, cry, love, hate, and believe in.

That's it, that's the only requirement I believe should exist for being an artist, the ability to just be you.

Things it means to be a DAD...

"Being a dad means putting your

hand on your child's chest at night to

make sure she's still breathing"

-From the book "1001 Things it Means to be a Dad" by Harry. H Harrison Jr.

Isn't that the truth, I can't count the times my fiancee and I have taken turns checking on our two little baby's just to see if they're still breathing. It's especially fun when you've laid them down for bed and it's dark in the room, you squint and squint, but in the end you put your hand on their chest just to be sure. And, even when you can see their chest rising, their lips moving, heck they can be sucking on a bottle(clear evidence that they are in fact breathing), but you still have to touch them. Being a parent is a stretch on your sanity, but brings more warmth to your heart than anything else. I don't think either my fiancee or I would give it up for the world.

The chaos, the sleepless nights, the obsessive compulsive need to check their breathing by touch(trust me, you can't do it any other way, unless of course you want to be back in the room 2 seconds later to do the touch test). It's all a part of being a parent, but there are even greater things.

  • The first smile.

  • The first giggle.

  • How it feels when they say "Mommy" or "Daddy" for the first time.

  • That first day of school, which you dread more than your child does.

  • Watching them pull themselves up for the first time.

  • Hearing them say "Mommy" and "Daddy" compulsively for everything, because it's the only word they know.

  • Watching them learn how to write, from scribbles up to cursive.

I could write this list forever, in fact I could fill my entire blog with reason why kids are a gift. But, I'm sure you've got other places to visit, dinner to eat, etc. And, I wouldn't want to keep you from that, especially if that other thing is keeping you from experiencing any of the things I listed above or a bazillion more.