Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rockin' 34

Weigh-In 222 lbs

Quick post, but I just wanted to note that I'm rockin' a pair of 34" waist jeans today.
That's right, 34. Now I know I'm doing well because I wore 36" jeans in HIGH SCHOOL.
When I started this I wore a tight 42".

I'm happy with that.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays

Weigh-In 224 lbs

Happy Holidays to everyone!

My Christmas went well. It was nice to hang out with the family. It was great getting my Christmas shopping mostly done a week early for once. It was nice to come out of it basically unscathed in the weight loss department.

That said, yesterday was probably my highest caloric intake day since I started this quest 5 or 6 months ago. It included a few cookies, a slice and a half of Pumpkin Pie, a bit of Chocolate Mousse, and a moderate amount of general snacking throughout the day. I tried to keep most of the snacking as healthy as possible though.

I know that sounds like a lot, but compared to other years it was nothing. I managed to run 4.5 miles and lift weights on Sunday night. I also went for a 2 mile walk/jog on Christmas day, mostly to check out my new Heart Monitor watch (thanks Dad!). I think it was important to keep some level of activity during this time. It also made me not feel as bad for taking the day to indulge on some snacks.

So in the overall scheme of things things are still going great. I'm still sitting below my January 1st 08 goal by 6 pounds.

This morning I went back to running my morning 5k on the treadmill. I threw in some bench presses as well. I'm still less than 10 pounds away from my original weight loss goal. There are still some parties and outings coming up, but won't there always be? I'm not worried about it.

Here's to a healthy, safe, goal filled and fun new years and 2008. I hope everyone else is having as good a time as I am!


Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Party

weigh-in 223.6 lbs

I guess the low weight is sticking since this is the second day in a row at that number.

I had my department holiday lunch and then party/happy hour yesterday. I had turkey and some salad for lunch. Then I left the room because it was filled with about 15 different desserts people brought in. I figured it be best not to be around them...

At happy hour I had some Vodka and Diet Cokes, no food. I had another salad when I got home later last night. I wanted to keep it light since I probably had a lot of calories in those drinks.

Lots of comments about how I looked at the happy hour. I guess people lighten up a bit and find it easier to talk about such thing. All of the comments were positive though and I feel really good about it.

So all in all, not the healthiest day, but considering the circumstances I'm happy with what went down. There will be days like this so it's a good test.

I'm just over 8 pounds away from my goal. I think me running a 5k every morning and drinking a LOT of water throughout the day is really making the weight fall off. I've also lifted twice this week and aside from the drinks yesterday my diet has been really good. Maybe I'll be at 220 by the end of the year? We'll see. I'm in no rush really, it just happens that I'm going through another one of those phases where the weight is coming of quickly.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Weigh-in 223.6 lbs

Weird low weigh in today eh?

I spent all my blog time redoing the layout to something that worked better than my old one.

So with that said, gotta go!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Weigh-in 225.2 lbs

I used all my spare time today to edit this new compare pic, so I really don't have time to post.

Here's the new pic with day 149 being today. I'll let the pic do the talking today.

I have some more update pics I'll be posting but I have to redo the layout of my blog first. So until then...later

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Record Broken

weight-in: 225 lbs

I had another unplanned milestone today. I broke my best time record for a 5k. I ran it in 27:45.

This wasnt planned. First I ran 11 intervals at 5 and 7.5 mph, but then after the last one I cranked it up to 8 mph, basically just to see if it was feasable to break my 5k record. I always have my prior best number in the back of my head.

Eventually I ran the last 45 second or so at 10 mph and I was yelling at the machine to make me go faster as I'm watching the time unfold.

I thought I was either going to pass out or launch off the treadmill!

The bad news is my back is kinda sore now. I'm not sure why but hopefully that goes away.


The pic is another from the Firebird Festival Saturday night.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Goal Met

Weigh-In: 225.4 lbs

I thought I'd share this picture from Saturday night. Every year my town has a festival where they build this three story tall Phoenix bird and burn it to the ground. It's supposed to symbolize a rebirth for this old, once shabby iron town. It was a rebirth of sorts for myself as well.


As of today my weight loss goal is 10 pounds away. I'm excited to get there.

After a not very relaxing 3 day reprieve from the gym I decided this morning it was time to attack one of my goals. The one that has been staring me in the face for a while now was the sub 8 minute mile.

When I started running I didn't really even pace myself for a fast mile, but after the first minute I figured "what the heck" and I hiked the treadmill up to 8 miles an hour and kept it there. Eventually I was running at 10 mph and I was able to eek out a 7:44 mile.

Strike that one off the list!

In other news my friend and I are looking into purchasing an Olympic weight bar and weights so we can start doing squats and bench presses in his basement.

I have to say, when I see that huge bar sitting on the floor it's a bit daunting. This will really be a challenge for me to build upper body strength as I've never even been able to do a single pull-up in my entire life.

In a way I'm really looking forward to the challenge of it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Drink Your Water

Weight-in: 226.4 lbs

I know that you're supposed to drink a certain amount of water every day. Lately though I've been reading how if you do not drink enough, your body thinks there is a drought and actually retains water.

I've often been guilty of not drinking enough so yesterday I made an attempt to drink more. In fact I drank probably 80 ounces throughout the day. I was peeing all day long. You'd think that I might actually weigh more today taking in all that water. Guess what? I'm down almost two pounds from yesterdays weigh-in. Coincidence? I don't think so. I don't think it's possible to lose 2 pounds of fat or muscle in a day, so it must have been water retention.

It seems weird to think you need to drink MORE in order to lose, but it seems that its true. In addition to getting rid of retained water, drinking the correct amount also makes your metabolism work more efficiently and therefor you also burn more calories when you work out. That's what I've read anyway.

This whole thing just shows me first hand that it really is so important to drink lots of water, every day. From now on I'll be trying to do just that. I suggest to everyone, weather they're trying to lose weight or not to do the same.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pics and a Story

Weigh-in: 228.4

I felt kinda sluggish this morning as I made me way through a 30 minute workout, so afterwards I played around with my camera a bit. Someone had asked for some updated pics a few days ago. I was going to wait until day 150 which is coming up, but what the heck.

Don't pay any attention to the retarded/crazy faces I'm making :). Click the pics for Larger/Scarier versions.

In other news, I have a story to tell:

As I mentioned before, Liz and I adopted a 6-8 year old St. Bernard rescue named Bella. She is the nicest dog. Bella had surgery last week and this week she's had some complications that has caused her to bleed. She'll be OK, not to worry. In the meantime we wanted to keep her in the kitchen when we're not at home so she doesn't get blood all over the house.

Yesterday morning Liz put Bella in the kitchen and blocked off the door with an ottoman and a recliner chair. I came home at lunch to check on her and she had pushed the recliner and ottoman out of the way and was asleep on our bed. Thanks Bella!

I had an old plywood door in the garage. I cut it in half and installed it in the doorway, then latched it with a brass hook and loop into the door jam.

Liz and I went for a walk last night after putting Bella back in the kitchen and closing the new door.

Upon arriving home, I opened the front door to the house, only to be greeted by Bella.

Upon further inspection, I found this.

Needless to say, I think we might be getting her a diaper instead. That should be a good punishment!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Walk in the Woods

Weigh-In: 228.5 lbs

This picture is from yesterday. I took the day off from work and decided to hike a 7 mile loop in the woods. The snow we had is gone from everywhere else, but in the higher elevations in the PA mountains it's still there. It was a foggy, rainy, cold day, but it's always beautiful in the woods.

This particular picture is from a section of the trip that was on the Appalachian Trail. The Pennsylvania section is well known for it's multitude of "ankle breakin'" rocks that require you to constantly be staring at the ground planning every step. The cold, wet and ice covered rocks made it even more interesting than usual.

The trip started and finished near a man made reservoir seen below.

It really looks like a frigid winter place, but it was actually close to 40 degrees. I did the hike alone, walking most of it but jogging the parts that were too treacherous to run. At some points I needed my hands to get over ice covered rocks the size of Volkswagen Beetles.

I'd brought with me some beef jerky, water, and a power bar and I'm glad I did because I did start to feel a little weak in the middle of the hike. I'm still tweaking my diet on days when I do a lot of heavy/long activity.

I feel like the weight loss has slowed down a bit over the past few weeks. I'm not saying that is bad and in fact I've been wondering as of late if I've been losing TOO fast. According to my Excel sheet, as of today, day 144, I've lost 68 pounds. That boils down to almost a HALF POUND A DAY.

Don't get me wrong, I want to lose the weight and I'm happy its gone. But I want to do it a healthy way and I want it to stay off.

So my point; that fact that is has slowed down a bit in the past few weeks is OK with me. I feel great, I feel stronger than I ever have, and I have more stamina than I ever have had. I am by no means done, but I do feel good where I am. I just want the rest of my gut and love handles to go away! I know they will.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Facing the Enemy

Weigh-In: 229.9 lbs

I don't know if its the holiday's, the fact I've been working out basically 7 days a week, or I'm just not eating enough, but I've been really hungry the past week or so. As a result I've eaten a little bit more. Nothing crazy, but I've allowed myself some more food on several occations. I even had a slice of Cheese Cake last night..don't shoot me!

Like I said, it's practice...right, practice. I havent gained weight though and I'll tell you why. Because I work our more/harder when I know this is going to be happening. Normally I don't run on weekends, but on Saturday and I went for a 3 and a half mile jog around town, and Sunday I did 45 minutes on my treadmill while listening to the Eagles lose, again.

So in this time of great temptation and wonderful cheesecake filled moments, stare that food in the face and let it know who controls who. And even if it wins the battle, you will win the war*.

*But it won't be one of those drawn out wars that last like years and years. It will be more like a blitzkrieg of sorts, with you being the victor. SPARTA!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Still losing; Maintain Mode Practise

Weigh-In: 229.6 lbs

First time in the 220's today. Woohoo!

I was thinking about it, and I believe it was definitely High School when I last weighed in this range. Also, this will probably be the last month that I participate in any of Tuck's challenges. Kinda sad actually :(

I know I've said I'd be lifting more and I have, but I can't seem to stop running. I think I'm really getting a high from it. I ran a 5k yesterday on my new (free) treadmill that I got the other night. Then this morning I ran another 5k. I'm taking it easy and running them in right around 30-31 minutes. I'm not really going for speed, but I will say they get easier each time I run them.

The eating has still been good, although not perfect. Part of that is on purpose. 1., I think I might have been losing weight a little too fast and 2., I know I'm not always going to be eating perfect, plus I'm getting close to my maintain period. I'm in a way practicing. Basically, I want to start getting used to eating in moderation while still having some of the things I like that aren't the best for you. I'm not going crazy, but I've allowed myself some cheese here and there, some butter, and a few of the things that I'll eventually be eating every once in a while, but that I didn't let myself have over the past few months. I'm still keeping my calories around the 2k mark though.

I don't want the maintain mode to be a huge shock to my system physically or mentally so I really think this is an important step. Don't get me wrong, I still plan to eat as healthy as possible, I just have to allow myself some of those "other" things too. I'm just teaching myself to control them instead of them controlling me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Winter Exercise

Weigh-In 231.2 lbs

So what do you guy's do for exercise in the winter? I'm in the gym every day, but I'm going to need a good outdoor activity to supplement that on the weekends. Of course, I could jog or ride my bike but not in the snow. Well I guess I could jog in the snow...that just sounds like a twisted ankle or broken hip waiting to happen.

Speaking of snow, it's doing it right now. Just a few flurries. We don't normally get that much snow here in Philadelphia. And usually not before Christmas. The fact that we're relatively close to the ocean and I guess due to the jet stream, we often get ice, or freezing rain. This year so far seems like it might be different as we've actually gotten flurries a few times and it's only December 5th.

Anyhow, I'm thinking of trying out a new winter activity. Maybe Cross Country Skiing? I do after all have a huge park (Valley Forge) right near my house. Maybe Snow Shoeing? Not sure if we'll get THAT much snow...

I do know one thing: it won't be shirtless leg lifts in the snow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Motivation, among other things: The Longest Post Ever

Weigh-In: 230.8 lbs

The past few days I’ve been thinking about motivation and what creates it in me. I have to say, I can be a very lazy person. The weight and shape I allowed myself to get in over the past ten years is a great example of that. I’ve been lazy paying bills, keeping things clean, getting things done. I can admit that. These are all things that I’ve tried to improve about myself over the past year or so. For me, something snapped inside me in the months leading up to my 30th birthday. I don’t know exactly how to put it into words, but somehow in the past 18 months or so I’ve come to realize my own mortality. I guess this happens to a lot of people when they hit 30. I’d like to think I’m not alone anyway.

I don’t consider myself a religious person and I have no idea what will become of me after I die. Everyone has their own ideas ranging from nothing, to going to heaven, to being reincarnated. I don’t want to get into that discussion, but I’d just like to get across the fact that I do not know what will happen. It’s pretty scary really, especially for a person like me who often values rationale and facts over feelings and faith. My answer for this dilemma is to try not to spend much time trying to figure it out, but instead enjoy the time I have and make the most of it. I don’t plan to have any regrets. Will I make mistakes? Absolutely. But I will not regret those mistakes because they will be part of learning, which is part of living. Regardless of what my peers, my bank account, or my body tells me, I will do what I want, and I will achieve what I want, or at least give it a hell of a try. If it ends, I will make that decision. I refuse to have it made for me.

I know I’m only 31 years old and that is relatively young, but I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that your body will adapt and allow you to do things you’d never have thought you’d be able to do. It’s a wonderful machine that can reward you, or cause you great pain. For me anyway, it constantly impresses. I will give back what you put into it. At least that has been my experience.

I have not always felt this way. As with many things my thoughts and feelings about motivation have changed over the years. And there have been a few defining moments that have helped shape me.

The one that’s been sticking in my head is my Chicago – Philadelphia bike trip a few years ago. For those of you who read this and know me, you may want to skip this part as I’m sure you’ve heard this story before.

At some point, maybe 8-10 years ago, my Dad started riding bicycles. I’m not really sure what motivated him to do so. Maybe it was because he didn’t smoke anymore and wanted to get in shape. Maybe it was because he rode as a teenager and wanted to relive those days. I don’t really know why, I’ll have to ask him someday. The point here is that he started riding. I’d also ridden to work and around my home town as a teenager, but most of that went away when I started driving a car. When my Dad started riding, eventually I started going with him. I can credit him with being the one getting me into the sport which eventually in a way changed my life.

This was also a pivotal time in our relationship as I was just becoming a man at 20 or 22 years of age. I was just starting to really get to know my Dad and we ended up bonding on our bike trips in one way or another. What started out as an hour down a flat paved path on a Sunday afternoon eventually turned into 40-60 mile day trips in the rolling hill of southeastern Pennsylvania. I’d been interested in hiking prior to this so at some point I suggested we get some pannier bags and take the bikes on a longer multi-day touring trip. Neither of us had ever done this before.

Over the next few years we’d end up doing many trips. We threw our bikes on the train from New York City to Montreal then rode home to Philadelphia through the Adirondack Mountains over 10 or so days. We rode to Virginia Beach in the hot summer heat, turned around and came home, camping all the way. We also did smaller long weekend trips through wind and rainy weather, hot and cold. People at work could never understand why I’d take vacation time to ride a bike all day. At times I wondered the same thing, but at the end of a long hard day of riding the feeling of accomplishment always overrode any pain I went through.

In Early Spring of 2004 we’d planned to do a bicycle trip. Actually, I’d planned it. I do the planning and my Dad does the repairing of the bikes. That’s just how things work . That year, a former high-school peer of mine made headlines in the National News. His name was Nick Berg and he’d gone to Iraq for business, and ended up being murdered. A simple Google search will tell you more of what happened if you’re interested.

The event hit very close to home for me and for some people I know who were close friends with Nick. Somewhere during that time I got the idea to basically dedicate a bike ride to Nick. In fact Nick used to go on long bike rides himself. So in late May of 2004 my Dad and I flew out to Chicago with our bikes, intending to ride home to Philadelphia. We’d have signs on our bikes that said “Ride for Nick” and we’d hand out flyers which told people what we were doing and asked them to contribute to the Nick berg Memorial fund. I’d also set up a website that had a forum and I would update it with pictures and text from our trip along the way.

Before we left I’d been interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer and our story ended up getting picked up by the Associated Press. The story reappeared on news channels and in newspapers in several places across the country as we were riding.

As for the trip itself, well, we had our problems. I had done no training whatsoever before the ride and was not in the best shape. In fact I never trained for our bike trips. I’d just suffer it out for the first few days and my body would eventually adapt. Being overweight probably didn’t help either.

The first half of the trip through the flat Midwest went well enough, but about half way through my Dad started having major knee problems. As it turned out his bike was not put together properly when we got to Chicago and it was slowly irritating his knee. Once we fixed it, it was too late and the damage was done. The strongest rider I’d ever ridden with was having trouble keeping up with me even at a slow pace. He was in a lot of pain and really should not have been riding at all.

When we reached the mountains of western PA, it was my turn to suffer. I had bike problems where it wouldn’t shift into lower gears right when going up yet another steep incline. One time I got so angry I jumped off the bike and chucked it into a ditch in the shoulder and started walking. I’d even considered sending home a lot of the luggage we were carrying on the bikes to make it easier.

This was the longest and hardest trip we’d ever done. At the same time it was the most emotional. As we were riding my Mom would phone us letting us know she read about our story in the LA Times. I’d been in contact with Nick’s family and they knew what we were doing. In fact Nick Berg’s father planned to ride the last few miles home with us on the last day.

So back to our trip: it was hard. In the end, we ended up covering over 1,000 miles in 9 days. My Dad somehow suffered through 500 or so very painful miles. I somehow got stronger the farther we went regardless of how much my bike acted up.

We did end up riding the last few miles with Mr. Berg. When we got home my friends were there waiting, along with a reporter. I wasn’t sure how but we’d made it, but we did. We did it for ourselves, for Nick, in a way it was for who we were as a people. There were a lot of reasons I guess.

When I started feeling better, and as I was riding up a steep hill, I could not stop thinking that whatever anyone throws at me, however difficult things get, it all just makes you stronger. That goes for western Pennsylvania hills, knee injuries, and Iraqi terrorists. I know it sounds cliché to say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I was really realizing this first hand.

Most importantly, what this trip proved to me was that I CAN, and I WILL do what I set out to do. Sometimes we need a little help from each other, but in the end reaching your goals is up to you. It get’s a lot easier when you truly understand that you CAN DO IT. If it were easy, well that just wouldn’t be life I suppose. We all fall down, the important part is that you get back up.

My take away from this is the following:

1. I will not ignore my problems. They will not go away.
2. Things will almost never be perfect and I will fall down. I will ALWAYS get back up, until I meet my goals.

Learning these two things changed my life. Some day’s I’m still learning them, but they will always be in my mind.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Breaktime Over - Let the Weight Training Begin

Weigh-In: 231.2
Well, I just had a nice 3 day vacation from working out. It was nice, but I found myself constantly thinking about what my next challenge is going to be. I'm within 15 or so pounds of my goal weight and just over a pound away from my JANUARY 1st goal of 230.

Speaking of my weight, if you remember last week I was saying that when I started running the marathon I actually got heavier. It's true. When I started I had leveled out at 234, then two day's into the run I was at 236 and as high as 240 depending on what time of the day it was. It didnt seem to make sense because even though the scale was higher I my clothes were looser. Yet to make it even more confusing I felt kinda bloated.

Well, within two days of when I finished the run I was back down to a new low of 232, and now that has come down slightly further to 231.2 as of this morning. So why the gain? Seems it was water retention. I read somewhere that when you're putting that much stress on your muscles they retain water in order to repair themselves. Makes sense. The farthest I ever ran before two Friday's ago was 3.2 or so miles, then I suddenly did 5, took two days off, then ran another 5, then 7, then 7 again, and so on.

I read that some marathon runners actually put on weight when they're training. Crazy.

The other reason I know it was water weight was because the first day after I finished my run I was peeing NONSTOP.

So now I'm back to normal, at a new low weight-wise, and I'm ready to start back up the exercise again. I do still have some lingering blisters on my left foot, but nothing too bad.

Starting this week I'll be toning down the cardio a little bit and concentrating on weight training. The fat is MOSTLY gone except for some around the middle, so I want to start toning.

What the schedule is, I don't actually know yet. I had to take Bella to the vet this morning so I haven't started yet.

I'm thinking about running just 2 miles or so in the mornings, then lifting in the PM, rotating between upper and lower body. Basically two-a-day's.

We'll see how that works. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Measurements

Thought I'd post some new info I just received. Just got back from Target because I only have two pair of pants the fit and they are getting a little bit large.

As it turns out, I'm now a 36x32 pants size. I was a very snug 42 last July. For comparison, last time I was a size 36 pant? High School. Possibly even early High School, I can't remember exactly.

I'm also now a 44L suit. I was a 50L in July.

Size L shirts too.

I can't tell you how nice it is to go shopping and not be embarrassed about what size I'm looking for. The selection seems much better as well.

I'm happy. Lucky for me I'm one of those guys who likes shopping though.

5 ... Make that 4 Day Marathon; Accomplished!

Weigh-In; 236 lbs
Miles Run Today: 7.85
Week Total: 26.2!!!

That's right! I'm done!

I got on the treadmill this morning planning on maybe doing 3-4 miles, which would have been half of what I had left. After yesterday's run I started to develop a slight blister on the side of my big toe on my left foot, and where that rubs on the toe next to it. So last night I went to Sports Authority to try to find these socks that I figured might help:

I couldn't find them so I tried another store. No luck.
This morning came around and my toe felt OK.

Back to my run this morning: At around 3 miles I decided I felt good, so I'd go ahead and do 5 miles, leaving me about 3 for tomorrow. When I got close to 5 miles my toe starting really acting up again, and having some experience with blisters before I had a feeling it was going to feel pretty bad after the run, so I decided to go ahead and do 7.85 miles which was what I remembered I had left in order to have run a marathon.

In the end , I did it. At one point I fell off the treadmill though! It backs up to a wall, I just closed my eyes for a second and I guess I went too far back. Somehow I ended up into the wall, kicking the chord out, and then landing next to it on my feet. So one second I'm running, and the next I'm standing next to a turned off treadmill. Luckily I had been watching the numbers on it so I just laughed for a second, then jumped back on and added the totals in my head to what I had.

That's pretty much it. I think I made the right choice finishing today because I'm now limping around the office due to my toe. I'm taking tomorrow and the weekend off from running, then next week I'm moving back to morning H.I.I.T and weight training.


*over 4 days and on a treadmill.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Feelin' Better

Weigh-in: 236 lbs
Miles run today: 3.2 + 5.15 = 8.35
Week Total: 18.34

What is up with that weigh-in? I'm at 234 for three days, then I run/walk over 20 miles over two days and I gain two pounds? Psssh, whatever.

Anyhow, the week marathon is still going well and I feel strong again. However this morning there was someone else in the gym and I had to share the treadmill. That meant I only had time to get in 3.2 miles, so I'll either be running again today or making up the other 1.8 miles sometime between now and Friday night. I'm not worried.

A correction: I mentioned yesterday that when I walk 10,000 steps a day it equates to about 5 miles. I was off on that, it's just over 4 miles.

I have been eating a little more over the past two days. The food I'm eating is clean. The reason for the change is simply because I've been hungrier. That is understandable because when i was only running 2-2.5 miles a day I was burning around 260 calories, and now when I run 5 miles I'm burning close to 600. Makes sense to me.

EDIT: I got a free hour after lunch so I wanted to make up the miles I missed this morning. I ended up doing 5.15 in 54 minutes, putting my daily total at 8.35 (by far a new daily record for me). I've updated the numbers up top.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Scratchy Throats 'N Joggin'

Weigh-in: 234.5 lbs
Miles run today: 5.06 (5 miles run in 52:42)
Week Total: 10.09 miles

As you can see from the numbers I was a little slower today. I hate to give excuses, but I'm a bit tired and worn down today. Yesterday morning I had some slight scratchiness in my throat and it hasn't gone away, then last night after dinner this pain in my stomach came up that didn't go away until waking up this morning. Not sure if it was something I ate or what...

Not being really sure how the running was going to go this morning, I figured if I completely ran out of steam I'd do half the mileage then the other half this evening. After all, the goal is to get in just over 26 miles by Friday night, but I didn't say I could only run once a day.

In the end I ran the entire 5, but I'm hoping to feel better for tomorrows run.

I guess I could have worse problems.

Additionally, I was able to get all my walking in yesterday. That means I walked an additional 5 miles according to my pedometer not including the morning jog. So if I keep that up this week I'll have covered over 52 miles on foot this week. That seems like a lot! Here's to keeping it going.

Monday, November 26, 2007

5 Day Marathon

Weigh-In: 234 lbs

For this week I've come up with a plan. Yes, I'm a bit of a fool.

The plan is this: Run a marathon. Over 5 days.

That is, Between this morning and Friday at 11:59pm I plan to have logged 26 miles and 385 yards jogging on the treadmill.

I've just finished up with my first hack at it. I ran 5 miles in 50:30. That is over 5 minutes better than my number on Friday which was the first time I ever ran 5 miles. Today was the first time however that I really tried to do it as fast as I could, hence the 5 minute difference.

I wonder if by Friday I'll be doing it in the same time, more, or less? Hmm. Only time will tell.

BTW, all this running is getting me to my weight loss goals pretty quickly. Perhaps too quickly? I've weighed in at 234 for 3 days straight, and that is only 4 pounds away from my JANUARY 1st goal!

I'm already starting to get comments from a few people telling me that I don't need to lose any more weight, but the fact that I still have some small "love handles" and there is still a gut there tells me that I'm still on track to lose another 15=20 pounds. At that time I'll be hitting the weights and hopefully bulking up in the muscle department.

Friday, November 23, 2007

5 mile Milestone

I just wanted to make an entry in my blog today stating that I just ran 5 miles. That is, five miles, all at once. I did it in 55:57. I barely even walked any of it, I'd say about 4-5 minutes tops.

That is the first time I'm my life I have ever jogged that far so I just wanted to make a note of it so I can look back on it at some point and wonder....why?

It was nice that I burned just short of 600 calories doing it too!

I think I'll go have an ice cream sundae.

just kidding.

Post Turkey Report

Weigh-in: 236 lbs

OK, so I did not do the Turkey Trot yesterday. The main reason was because it was early and would have required me getting up really early on the only day I've had to rest in for a little but in a few weeks. Instead when I did wake up I went to my local park and ran a timed mile (new low, 8:10), and then headed over to the gym and ran another 2.5 miles on the treadmill.

So all in all, I did more than a 5k :). After that I didn't feel guilty about not going to the Turkey Trot.

All in all everything is still going well despite the constant busyness of the recent move and the fact we just had a holiday. In fact I'm right at 60 pounds lost since I started this a few months ago. Another 20 pounds and I'm going into a maintain/muscle building mode. I can't wait!

My thanksgiving dinner was really good. I definitely ate more than I do for a normal dinner, but I kind of "saved up" for it by working out and eating light earlier in the day. I think it worked out well for me.

That's all I got for you today. I hope everyone else's Turkey Day was good!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Trot/ Bella Trot

Weight-In: 237 lbs

I've decided to do another 5k. It's tomorrow (Turkey Day) morning. Info Found here. I don't really feel like I'm mentally prepared for it, but what the hell.

Yesterday, I took my dog for a walk around our new town. We ended up going about 4 miles. I got a call from a friend who was waiting for me at my house, so we jogged the last mile home. Needless to say, Bella needed a rest as soon as we walked in the door:

Also, I'm just over 20 pounds away from my goal. It's time to put it back into high gear and get there. So that's what I'll be doing.

Check out these articles:
It pays to count, pedometer study finds
Pedometers may encourage weight loss

I also saw a quick bit about it on the news last night. It made me laugh since I've been using my pedometer for a few months now. I guess it reaffirmed to me that it was a good thing and has definitely aided in my weight loss.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Still Busy...

...only now it's due to my job. I have a lot of things to catch up on due to having missed the last 3 days of work.

In fact I think I'm already late for a meeting.

- I went back to the gym today for the first time since last Tuesday. Went well. I worked out a little too hard and almost barfed though.

- I ate a piece of pizza the other day! There were a few other firsts in the bad food department over the past five days for various reasons. But I finally figured out what the trick is , after 30 or so years...moderation!

Today's weigh-In: 237 lbs

Gotta run!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Still here - New House Mayhem

Just thought I'd let everyone know I'm still around. I settled on my house last Thursday then basically have been moving, spending money, unpacking nonstop.
I don't go back to work until Tuesday.

Eating has not been the best, but I'm still right at 240. I havent been able to get to the gym since last Tuesday. My trick for the past few days has been moderation. I have been getting a lot of non gym exercise in though, moving boxes and furniture.

I need to get back to work, but I should be back to my regular schedule soon.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Progress/Doctor's Report

Day: 114
Weigh-in: 240 lbs

Lots to report today. I have my doctor's appointment and got my blood work results. I also have my camera working again and have some update/comparison pics.

The Doc says I'm doing a great job and to keep doing what I'm doing. He was impressed with the weight I've dropped in such short time. We talked about a target weight for me and he basically agreed with my goal of 215. He thinks anywhere between 210-220 or so is a good healthy number for me, although if I get to that, and then gain a bunch of muscle I would probably weigh more. So I'm going to stick with my target weight of 215 before I go into maintain mode.

Here's some current numbers for you; I'm still doing some research to see what they really mean. All I know is the Doctor said they're all good/passing.

Blood Pressure: 118/80

Triglycerides: 67
HDL (good cholesterol): 40
LDL (bad cholesterol): 86
Cholesterol total: 139
Cholesterol/HDLC ratio: 3.5

My report had a bunch of other numbers on it as well, but I don't know what they mean. I'll just take my doctor's word on those that they're good.

As for pics, here are some comparisons:

And here are just some pics from today:

In talking to the doctor I've realized that this weigh loss has helped some other areas as well:

- I no longer get up a night to pee several times. Apparently overweight people retain water and when they lay down it makes them have to pee more. I always slept through the night, then in the last year I started getting up all the time. No longer.

- Sleep Apnea . I had it. I used to snore really loudly and I'd stop breathing in the middle of sleep and it would actually wake me up. No longer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Great Shirt Tuck-IN

Weight-In: 240 lbs

As you might know, being a fat person, there are many tricks you do in order to hide your fat. Dark colors, baggy clothing, layering, to name a few. Over time, incorporating these things into your wardrobe becomes second nature.

The one that I've been doing for so long I can't remember when it started is "shirt un-tucking".

That is, I'd wear a t-shirt (see layering), then over that a button down shirt of some sort. The button down shirt would be un-tucked and hang down over your belt and therefore your belly.

On the surface it seems to work quite long as you don't look at your profile in the mirror. No one sees your profile during the day anyway right? I'm not fat; I just like un-tucked, baggy, Johnny Cash looking clothing. Right.

So, did I mention that Liz and I are currently living in a spare bedroom at my parents’ house until we settle on the house later this week? Well I also need to mention that a good bit of my clothing is in storage with the remainder organized in perfectly neatly folded piles (prior to the explosion that apparently happened under those piles at some point), or they're contained in designer trash bags that are deliberately strewn about our room. This does indeed create a very articulate, organized living experience for us. We're quite happy with it.

Today while performing my daily routine of attempting to find two socks that match (I never did) I came across a shirt I had purchased several years ago. It never really fit. Meaning, that even while employing such "fat" techniques as the aforementioned "un-tucking" and "layering", it never really worked. Too tight. In fact my love handles often tried to fight there way out of it making it impossible to tuck it in even if that thought crossed my mind.

Today I decided I'd try it on, and even try something new. *GASP, I'd tuck it IN.

In the dark recesses of the spare bedroom this morning at 7:30, while being so quiet as to try not to wake Liz, with my pre-work-out non showered hair, one gray sock and one black sock, I made a great decision. I decided to wear that shirt, and furthermore, I would tuck it in. There would be no t-shirt underneath attempting to mask my man boobs into muscle.

The result, though in my mind still not perfect, was "not bad". In fact at the coffee machine I even found myself getting another "have you lost a lot of weight recently?" question for yet another co-worker. I thought to myself that yes, the shirt is working. Yes, it still could be something Johnny Cash might have worn to the Grand 'Ol Oprey (did he go there? I really have no idea...), but it seems to look OK. Not perfect, but passable.

I'll let you judge for yourself. Once again, please excuse the crappy cell phone pics. My new camera battery charger should be here any day now. Click on the pics for the bigger versions.

Love is a burning thing
and it makes a firery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rest is Good

Weigh-In: 239.2 lbs

As of today I've officially met my December 1st goal. As you can see my weigh-in was 239.2. I had a feeling I might be breaking the record today when I weighed myself last night and it was 240.8. The funny thing is that over the past three day's I've eaten more and worked out less than I have in any three day period in quite some time. I did manage to get in 2 treadmill workouts over that time, but my eating wasn't really as good as I could have done. Or maybe I'm just too hard on myself.

Even though I don't put much stock in it, my BMI is now 29.9. That is in the overweight category adversed to the "obese" category. YAY I'M OVERWEIGHT!

In any event, I'm going into this week feeling good about things. I think I'll be entering a "maintain mode" after another 20 pounds or so which I expect to be happening in January some time.

In other news, this is a busy week for us. We have another walk-through on the house Wednesday, settle Thursday, and start the moving on Saturday. We also get to go pick up Bella, our St Bernard we rescued, sometime this week.

Speaking of Bella, we picked her up this past Thursday and kept her for a few days because we'd be home to keep her company. We gave her a bath and in addition to cleaning up nicely she turns out to be the nicest, most laid back, loving dog I've ever met. This is amazing considering what life has dealt her so far. She had such an impact on us it was really sad dropping her back off at our friends house at the end of our time.

Bella also agrees that "Rest is Good":

Anyhow, thanks again for everyone's support!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I Ran Over a Twinkie on the Way to the Treadmill

Weigh-In: 243.8

It came out of nowhere, like a squirrel who suddenly changes his mind while crossing the road only to make an about face into the tread of a tire.

Except instead it was the tread of my running shoe.

It turns out I killed it.

Goodbye, sweet Twinkie. Goodbye.

No longer will you find your way into my middle, lodging yourself into my artery as your cousin the HoHo wraps itself around my love handles.

Where is the rest of your family? Will I see them again?


However, it will be on my terms, understand? If your Twinkie brethren try to force themselves into my life as you did, they will find they've met the same fate.

I will step on them.

Be weary, be warned, Twinkie. Your overpopulation is about to be thinned. The world is no longer safe for you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Interesting read ... or not.

Weigh-In: 244.4

I'll admit I have no idea what to blog about today. To be honest, I'm getting a little tired of talking about myself every day. I need some new , more interesting material. Like space exploration, kangaroos, rock climbing or something. Unfortunately I have nothing to say about any of those things. So here I am blabbing about how much weight I did or didn't lose in the last 24 hours.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with what I've done so far and I don't mind talking about it. In fact I was feeling a bit guilty because I thought I wasn't making progress fast enough this past week. Then I looked at my blog from last Wednesday and realized that my weigh-in was in fact 2 pounds higher than it was today. Here I thought I was stuck at 244.

Then to further feed that thought, I looked up some posts from Billy when he was roughly at the same time into his quest as I am now. I try to use him as a gage since he’s been so successful in his quest. Ironically he was talking about eating a Cheese Steak for the first time since he started, something that has been on my mind the past few days. Ahh the Cheese Steak! The Bain of our existences as Philadelphians!

I decided that I’ve been doing ok so far.

Here's to stepping back and looking at the big picture...

There I go again, blogging about myself and my weight.

How about those Red Sox? They resigned Curt Shilling for another year, 8 Million dollars he'll get. BTW, I only possess that information because Sports Center is always playing on the TV at the gym in the mornings. Even though I used to play baseball for years and love the sport, I really don't follow it anymore or have any real feelings about Curt Shilling. But there is yet another benefit of this new lifestyle: I'm more informed about sports.

So yes, I've learned that part of this "excess weight reduction process" is that it is easy to get caught up in the whole day to day details. Especially when you weigh yourself daily. That is yet another reason why these blogs come in handy. You can take a peek into not only your weigh-ins from a week prior, but your state of mind. Even when you feel that things are going slow, you can still track the progress.

In conclusion, being forced to write about yourself and your poundage on a daily basis, although sometimes without that interesting flair, can on occasion prove quite useful.

So I'll continue doing it.

Even if some days it really isn’t that interesting of a read :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rest and Recovery


I think I'm stuck at 244. I've been at that weight give or take a pound for over a week and I've done a hell of a lot of work in that time. That's exactly why I've decided to take today off from cardio. My legs felt great Sunday after the 5k, then yesterday morning I ran another 2.5 miles in the morning (intervals) and walked another 5 miles throughout the day at various times. I think I overdid it because now my legs ache whenever I get up and I have this general tight feeling in my muscles.

So today I'm allowing myself today to recover a bit so no cardio, but I will still of course eat clean and I'm going to be doing some weight training in the gym this afternoon.

Who knows, other times when I've let up on the workouts is actually when I saw my weight go down. The thing that gets me this time though is that I've really been having a lot of snack urges throughout the day. For the first time in a while I'd really love to go chow down on a Cheese Steak or a Pizza.

MmmMMMmm , cheesy cheesy pizza.

I'll just have a few crackers and maybe a yogurt instead :(

Monday, November 5, 2007

5k Race - Been There, Done That


If you read my blog last week you'd know that on a bit on a whim I signed up to run a 5K Race yesterday. This would be my first ever organized run of any sort, and my second time running that distance at all (the first time was on the treadmill last week, I got a 32:).

The goals I set for myself were as follows:
- Get below 30 minutes
- Do not walk
- Do the best I can

I'm happy to report I ran my first 5k in 28:10. The first mile I ran in 8:40, then in the 9's the second mile. The last mile I did slow a bit to catch my breath few times. It was hard and I was pushing myself. But the last couple of hundred yards I found it in my willpower to sprint through the finish line. I was happy with myself for meeting my goals.

I basically just paced myself behind two runners who were going a speed I was comfortable with. Running with them for over half the race we went, but eventually one of them slowed down and stopped so I passed them. At that point I finished the last mile or so of the race alone.

I'd say about 3-400 hundred people ran the race and I have no idea where I placed as I didn't stay around to find out. The standings will be posted on their website later this week though.

I did the run with a co-worker friend of mine (he ran it in 23:03, he's in a great shape a runs all the time) and we decided that we would continue to run 5k's every few months as it is a good way to stay in shape and gage progress.

In other healthy news I'm headed to get some blood work done this morning. I'm have a physical as well as my cholesterol and blood pressure checked. I have no idea when I had this done last so I figured why not now.

Friday, November 2, 2007

An Introduction

weigh-in: 243.3

Well, I'm behind on work again so today's post is going to have to be on the shorter side. As you can see with the weigh-in the weight is still going the right direction. I didn't work out this morning since I'm running the 5k on Sunday and I don't want to be sore for it. I will still eat right of course, and try to walk a bit more today to make up for not working out.

In other news, Liz and I have adopted a dog. Her name is Bella and she is a 6-8 year old St Bernard.

Her story is this:
She was abused and neglected all her life, and used just to produce puppies. Over the summer Bella was pregnant again and gave birth to 8 puppies. The owner for whatever reason decided he did not want to deal with it because he was going out of town that week, so he called the local pet adoption and asked them if they wanted to adopt Bella and 8 puppies, otherwise he was going to shoot them in an hour....

When Mary from the Pet Adoption place got Bella and the babies they were in bad shape. Bella was 60 pounds underweight and the babies were covered in feces. 4 of the puppies didn't make it. The rest were taken care of and eventually adopted. That left Bella. We saw her last week and got the story I just related to you. No one really wants to adopt an 8 year old dog who has maybe 4 good years left if they're lucky.

Needless to say Bella will be coming with us to our new home in a few weeks. We'll try to give her the best few years possible. I have to say I originally wanted to adopt a younger dog, but Bella deserves and needs our love more.

Anyhow, meet Bella:

click on the pic for a few more.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone quality.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Busy Signal

Weigh-in: 244.2

Been too busy to post today. Let's just say that things are going as planned!

I leave you with this quote:

"As a cure for worrying, work is far better than whiskey. I always found that, if I began to worry, the best thing I could do was focus upon doing something useful and then work very hard at it. Soon, I would forget what was troubling me. "

-Thomas Edison

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day 100 and the Longest Post Ever

Weigh-in: 246.2
weight loss to date: 50.5 lbs

So, it's just another day that happens to be the 100th day since I decided punishing treadmills and sparing 90% of the unhealthy food on Earth from my gullet. My "system of weight loss" has evolved a bit over the past few months, but here is a sample of what is working for me right now.

Typical Weekday:

-Morning Cardio. That is to say, I drive to work and run on the treadmill before eating anything. There is a debate as to weather you lose more weight by working out before eating. I don't really know the answer, but it's what's most convenient for me, so that is what I do. What I do is intervals. Usually 7-9 of them. Lately, I've been doing intervals of 1 minute maximum, 1 minute moderate. Usually that means I finish in 15 minutes, but I feel like I’m half assin' if by finishing that quickly so I normally walk or jog for another 10 minutes after that.

-I then have breakfast of black coffee and some kind of oatmeal or a yogurt. My main rules are to keep the calories pretty low, little to no saturated fat, little to no sugar, but if there is sugar it will be natural, not artificial. I still do sometimes have the fake stuff, but I'm trying to stay way from it.

- I work for a bit, and if I can I go for a short walk in the morning. We're talking 10-15 minutes. Sometimes I walk down to our other building at work which is down the street. I wear a pedometer usually 6-7 days a week and I try to get in 10,000 steps minimum, but over 13k is probably the norm for me. I don’t wear it while on the treadmill though, that’s cheating.

-Lunchtime comes and I have a salad, maybe with a bit of chicken or tuna. No-fat dressings, veggies, that sort of thing. Sometimes I'll have home made chili, or a healthy soup like split pea. I do keep a small fridge under my cube at work and a drawer full of healthy snacks. That helps a lot if I get hungry in the afternoon, or if I can't make it out for lunch. Got to be prepared so as to avoid mistakes.

-After lunch or at some point in the afternoon I normally go for another walk anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. If I can I walk after every meal, but especially if I overdid it a little bit and feel full. The benefits are that it burns calories, but it also helps with digestion and gets rid of that uncomfortable full feeling. I'm not saying you can over-eat if you walk after eating and I don't suggest it, I'm just saying it helps if that does happen.

-2 days a week during the afternoon I'll run back to the gym and do some weight training for about 20-30 minutes. I forgot to mention, I have a small gym at work that is at my disposal. I'm very lucky compared to others in that regard and I use it to my advantage.

-At dinner time I'll just try to eat sensibly. Ideally I'd like to have lunch at my biggest meal of the day, but that doesn't always happen. Anyhow, I do the best I can. I'll have baked chicken or pork, chili, salads, steamed veggies, things like that. I try not to eat too much, and I try to eat dinner as early as possible.

-If I can I'll try to go for another walk after dinner, or at least do some activity that requires being on your feet. Even walking around the mall or walking in your town to get coffee is better than sitting in front of the TV. Not that I don't sit in front of the TV, but that usually doesn't happen until after 9pm up until 11 or so when I go to bed.

Sometimes I weigh myself at night just because I can tell how good my morning weigh-in is going to be based on that. That said I almost always weigh the most at night. I think that's normal.

So that is basically my routine m-f. My general rule for weekends are to take at least one day and do some activity that I like doing that is strenuous, such as riding a bike, going for a hike, whatever. If I know I can't get that in either day and I'm either going to be in an abnormal eating situation, or sitting all the time, I'll squeeze in another cardio workout Saturday morning.

Sunday's are usually my day off and I spend it with my GF. It's the only day we're both off from work.

Here's a few rules/comments that I think are important and that I try to follow:

- No artificial anything. I shop at trader joe's or the natural food section at the food market. I was using artificial sweeteners for a while, but there is talk that they can cause cancer and just generally not be good for you. I'd rather not take any chances.

- Don't eat too late. I actually don't really know what the reason for this is, but it sounded like a good idea so I try to follow it.

- No calories from drinks. I only drink water or very low caloric drinks on occasion. Yes, there are nights when I drink alcohol, but I try to limit them and prepare for them by eating less and working out more. I stay away from beer and have mixed drinks with diet sodas. Yes, this is one of those times where I can't get away from artificial sweeteners.

- Stay active and do what you need to do to keep moving. The pedometer has been a huge tool for me to help me keep moving. On days when I forget to wear it I have noticeable less motivation to do my walks. I'm the kind of person who needs to see what they're doing. If you get one, wear it for a few days and see what your normal amount of steps are. Once you get a number, double it, triple it, make it over 10,000, whatever. The point here is to move more than you were before, so use it to show some improvement even if it is minimal at first.

- Counting calories - I don't do it. I know a lot of people do, and maybe at the beginning of your weight loss quest you mind find it helpful, but I find it annoying, and honestly a bit of a crutch. I have an idea of how many calories I eat based on what I'm consuming. I read every label. But I don't really know. My mindset however is that I must either walk, or run or jog, or lift weights, or do whatever to burn off what I consume, or as much as possible.

What I'm trying to say is this:
Let's say on some given day I eat 1200 calories. Not much right? Well I probably wouldn't be as motivated to burn as many calories because I didn't take in as many. My way, I always assume I'm eating too many and I do all that I can to burn them off. It might not work for everyone, but it does for me.

- My last thought/goal for the day is this. Your mindset should not be to lose weight. It should be to GET HEALTHY. Yes, one of the results of doing that is you will look better, but the real point is to get healthy. Your diet is part of that, but so is exercise. So is hardship. You're going to have to fight in order to be healthy and live longer and no one is going to hand it to you. I think once you realize that things actually get easier. Not that there still isn't pain, but now you have something else on your side; purpose.

I guess I have learned a few things in the past few months. There is however much more to know.

p.s. I mentioned yesterday I’d post new pics today. It didn’t happen because my digital camera is dead and almost all of my belongings are in storage (including the charger) until I move into the new house in a few weeks. I’ll hopefully be posting a few pics soon though.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Weigh-In: 248

Today is day 99 since my "lifestyle change" began. I suppose tomorrow being day 100 I should post some updated pics.

I did some intervals today. I changed it to doing 1 minute of moderate, 1 minute of "vigorous". It was definitely a good workout. I did 7 intervals like this. Of course it only took about 16 minutes which included a short cool down period. Do you all think this is a good way to do intervals? I kind of felt like I was cheating since it didn't take so long. I'm used to doing between 20-30 minutes of cardio in the mornings...

I've been bouncing between 246 and 249 for the past week so I'm not sure if this is another plateau or not. More likely it the result of several nights of drinking, and some less than stellar food choices I made over the weekend that I mentioned in yesterdays post.

That's really all I have to say today, except, where the heck is everyone? I'm seeing a LOT of blogs with very little activity lately. What's going on??? I think we all need to step it up a little bit.

Additionally, I'd like to call out a few people who have barely posted AT ALL and I'm wondering if they gave up:


If any of these people happen to read my blog, can you let us know how you're doing? Even if you've fallen of the wagon, here's your chance to get back on. After all, isn't this why there is a F.A.T. Coalition? We're here to help each other out. So I'm hoping to see some more posting from these people, or at least an update saying they've been doing well. Come on guys!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Challenges are for Fools!!!

weigh-in: 248

So I've decided over the past week or so that my newest set of challenges is going to be running/jogging related.

I'm someone who has ALWAYS hated running. For one, I've twisted my ankle badly so many times between playing baseball, and just walking on old brick sidewalks after too many drinks, that I can easily injure it again. I have to be really careful there.

I'm not really sure the other reasons I've always hated running. Maybe because its hard on your joints and it gives me a headache. Maybe it was just always so hard because I didn't do it enough. Wait, I know why, "SHIN SPINTS!". I hate those things.

So with all that said, why did I decided to use "running/jogging" for the basis of my next set of challenges? Well, for those same reasons, and because challenges, especially those that are designed to improve yourself, are not always fun. I've also found in the past that some of the things I've initially hated to do (like riding bikes up steep hills or toting around a 30 pound backpack over mountains), I eventually learned to respect and on some levels even enjoy. Not always mind you, but usually the mental payoff after accomplishing said task overrides the hardship it took to get there.

So why wait?

Today I signed up for my first 5k race. It's being held in Philadelphia this Sunday, November 5th, and it is called Free to Breath. Read about it if you wish.

I'm not really treating it as a race, but more of a "see what I can do" type of thing. Oh and I'm hoping the T-shirt I get is kinda cool :)

After signing up I realized that I've never actually run that far or that long without walking in between at some point, so I headed to the old trusty work gym and hit the treadmill. I just got back from there actually.

The good news is that I didn't die. I did in fact "run" the entire 5k(3.1 miles) straight without stopping or going less than 5mph. In fact I ran it in its entirety in 32 minutes and 29 seconds which I guess isn't so bad considering I've never done it before. If it goes anything like my "mile run" experience I should expect a decent improvement in time on my second attempt. I learn to better pace myself after doing it once.

Also, you'll notice I've logged my time under my "stats" section to the right. I'm starting to realize that keeping a log that shows improvement is much more helpful than setting goals. In other words, goals are great, but it's more important to track improvement and show that you're actually making it to your goal. Goals tend to change so often anyway based on your performance. I know I'm not really explaining this how I wanted to, and I'm running out of typing time for today, but lets just say to me anyway, the more important part here is the journey, not the goal.

On an unrelated note I want to point out that even though I've lost 50 pounds in three months, I am by no means perfect. For example, I ate chocolate, and yet another round of drinks Saturday night. I even had some chips with dip, some pie appetizer things, and a few chocolate chip cookies. I was at a Halloween party.

I think it's why my weight is still in the 248-249 range when it really should be a little lower in my opinion. I save up for these events though by working out twice as hard or for twice as long, and also not eating at much during the day when I know I'm going to be at an event where I'm going to drink or eat such things.

I can't say I eat those things a lot, in fact that might have been the second or third time I allowed it in the past few months, but it does happen.

I think the important thing is to plan for it, do what you have to do, reward yourself a little with some sweats or whatever, but then forget it ever happened, and overcompensate to try to make up for it in exercise and eating the next day. Thats what I do now and that's also what I plan to do once I get in a maintain mode. There is no reason to give up all "evil" things that you like to eat. Just learn to control them. I'm still learning that.

That's all I have for today.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kashi "Good Friends" Cereal

Weigh-In: 247.8

So I had some of this cereal this morning, Kashi "Good Friends"

As I'm sitting there enjoying my breakfast I take a look at the box.

I felt that this cereal was really making a statement. Here we have two women of obvious different ethnic backgrounds, who are smiling over a box of cereal. If I could show you the back of the box you'd see an Asian woman, an Asian baby, and other people of varying backgrounds.

They seem to be saying, "Look at me! I'm a black woman who has this good friend who is white, and we LOVE our Good Friends cereal!"

I put the box down and knew that I was engaging in something on the very cutting edge of society. Not only do I have multi-cultured friends, but I eat lots of fiber with them.

I look around my desk while eating the cereal. I see nothing short of a black man, two Asian men, a white woman, an Indian woman, and one guy from New Jersey.

I'm thinking to myself, "YEAH! I'm multi cultural, and look at this awesome cereal! It tastes good AND promotes diversity!"

These two smiling women on the box are proud of our diversity, and they show it with a smile.

Then it hit me. "Wait a minute..."

"I have to go to the bathroom....RIGHT NOW!"

In fact, I wasn't even sure if I was going to make it to the bathroom. This all came out of nowhere.

I'm pretty sure I knocked over an Asian woman and an Indian man in my "carefully orchestrated so as not to have an accident" speed walk to the bathroom.

Luckily I made it. "Whew, that was a close one.."

Just at that moment I realized something.

Those smiling women on the box? They weren't smiling because they were happy with their own level of diversity. They probably don't even know what diversity is, let alone celebrate it.

They were smiling because they knew this cereal, which has enough fiber to cleanse the colons of an entire retirement community in a matter of minutes, was going to send you running to the bathroom like you'd not visited it after spending 4 days at Octoberfest.

Look at that box again:

They mock me still.

If you see this product on the shelf, well, you've been warned.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nothing to see here...

So uh,,not really too much to say today. One of my goals is to keep posting as much as possible, shooting for 5 days a week. It really does help me stay focused when I know I have to report my activities good or bad to this blog.

Oh and my weigh-in today? 249! What the hizell? Maybe that water weight caught up to me, but 4 days later?

I don't really know, or care. I know I didn't do anything wrong eating or workout-wise, so whatever. I'm still below 250 a week before I wanted to be , so I'll take that. Dwelling on it is a waist of time as far as I'm concerned.

In other news, I went back to my intervals today after a bout of "I must run a mile as fast as possible". Getting a sub 8 is still a goal, but the most important thing right now is to burn calories, so I'm back to focusing on intervals instead of speed.
So I did 8 intervals this morning on the treadmill. It felt pretty good, especially with my new sneaks.

Also, I need some new ideas for healthy things to eat. I've been too busy to research and try and find new things so I've been eating the same old stuff.

Anyone have any good healthy recipes?

One last thing: Did I miss something or should there have been an October weight challenge weigh-in yesterday?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's the Shoes

Weigh-in: 246 lbs
Mile Run Time: 8:14

That's right; it's the shoe's. I got some actual running sneakers last night at Sports Authority. For more info on the sneaks, see here. I got a great deal as they were on clearance because they had no box, plus I get a discount at that store because my company runs their website.

So this morning I strap them on and decide that today, the 3 month anniversary of my new "lifestyle", I shall really kick some anus and run a mile as fast as I can. The time? 8:14!

Let me tell you, I really did almost die. I mean, I'm fairly sure my heart came within a few beats of exploding all over the gym wall. But either way, I'm happy with that number for now. I have to go back to doing intervals in the mornings and maybe in another week or so I'll try the mile again.

My weigh-ins also seem to have stabilized at around 246 which I'm highly excited about. I expected it to go back up after I got properly hydrated over the weekend, but instead it's been hovering around 245-248. So given today's weigh-in, that puts me at around 50 pounds weight loss since I started. Actually, there was a 6 pound discrepancy in my scale at one point, so it might actually be closer to 44 or 45 pounds, but I like the sound of 50 better :).

I'm allowing myself today to feel good about myself, but after that it is back to work. I hope no one thinks that I'm trying to gloat about my success, I just feel really good about what I've done so far and felt the need to talk about it a little bit. I have to say I've surprised myself a little bit with this whole thing. I do however still feel like I have a lot more work to do and lots more to learn about this lifestyle and myself. Maybe I'll always feel that way on some level, I don't know. I've just been lucky so far to have the right set of circumstances to allow me to succeed in this thing. I suppose that is all I can really ask for.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hikin' Pics/Story

Today's weigh-in: 247.6 lbs

Well, I got my pics back from hiking. A lot of them didn’t come out because I used a shitty disposable camera, and because I didn’t use the flash. I never said I was smart.

If anyone is interested in viewing all of the pics, go here.

I was kind of surprised seeing this one. That's me on the left; I actually look thin! Part of it is an allusion because I'm wearing a back brace, but so what.

We had a great time on the trip hiking a total of 18 miles over two days. It ended up being a harder hike than we thought, and we had to climb using our hands during a few sections. The nice part was that all of my cardio work has paid off because I felt great, and all three guys mentioned several times that I "looked strong" , as I was flying up the inclines and leaving people in the dust.

That doesn't mean I'm not sore this week though. I think no matter what shape you're in hiking up mountains in like taking a baseball bat to your body.

Here's a quick breakdown of what transpired over the weekend:

- Leave work and all of us meet up at friend’s house. We all pile in my Jeep and head to the outdoor store, the state store (liquor store for you non state controlled liquor types), then we get on the road.

- It’s about a 3 hour drive, except that it starts to rain REALLY REALLY hard. I can barely see out the window while we're driving and I have to go 45 mph.

- We arrive at the camp site around midnight. Luckily the rain had just stopped. We set up a quick camp near where we're going to start the hike the next day. We're tired, but feel relived we're finally there, and so we decide to relax and drink a bit. I'm drinking diet coke and Captain Morgan's.

- Well, between my friend Dan and me, somehow the bottle of Captain Morgan's was finished. I never did go to sleep that night. Somehow I ended up kind of passed out in the driver’s seat of my car which was parked next to the tent. I had wet socks on and my head hurt. The sun was blinding and it was 6am. I decided I better get in the tent and get some sleep.

- I slept from 6am-9am.

- woke up in a bit of a haze after 3 hours of sleep, but no headache. Thank god.

- Grabbed breakfast at a local small town, then got on the trail.

- got a bright and early start on the trail, 12:30pm.

- hiked 7 miles. Up rocky hills, over creeks, through the woods.

- got to camp next to the pond at about 5pm.

- set up camp, started insanely large fire.

- this is where 3 hours of sleep and 7 miles of hiking makes me kind of tired. I crashed in my tent.

- awoke well rested, hikes 10 miles over mountains, creeks, woods. Filtered and boiled drinking water, ate lunch, rested. You know, did all of those hiking outdoorsy things.

- got back to the car at 4pm

- drove for an hour, got dinner at Ruby Tuesday's (Salad and coffee for me. Everyone else had burgers and beers)

- Dropped friend off in the City. Got home around 10.

It was a good weekend.

I took off yesterday and today from running to give my achy calves a break. I'll start that up again tomorrow, or maybe this afternoon depending on how I feel.

Now it's back to work...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Soreness and a new low

Today's Weigh-In: 247 lbs

We all made it home alive from backpacking. I'll give more details on that later as I'm getting the pictures together and whatnot. I'll just say the weather was great, I felt great, we hiked 18 miles, and my shoulders are sore.

As you can see from the ultra-low weigh-in I'm probably still a little bit dehydrated. That number might go up a little the next few days, but not much. I'm hoping to stay in the 240's.

I don't really have much else to say at this point until I'm ready to completely fill you all in on my trip.

Hope everyone had a great weekend...

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Walk In the Woods - and Day 88 Pic

That's what I'll be doing this weekend and I can't wait.

Myself and 3 of my friends will be going on a 20 mile backpacking trip near World's End State Park.

So, I took a rest today from the workouts since I'll be getting a workout all weekend long. I also needed the time this morning to get ready for my trip. After I got everything all packed up I weighed my pack - 27 pounds. It will actually be heavier because I wasn't fully loaded up with water, and that is the single heaviest thing I carry. I'm really excited about this trip because I haven't gone backpacking in about 5 years. I used to do it all the time but life seems to get in the way a lot. As you get older it seems like it's 10 times as hard to get people together to do stuff like this.

My weigh-in today mirrored yesterday, 251.5, so I'm hoping that the hike will put be under the 250 by Monday morning. But don't worry, I'll be eating well during the trip. I've got trail mix, chili, power bars, all that good stuff ready to go. I wonder how many calories you burn hiking up and down mountains with 27 pounds on your back, for 6 hours a day?

In other news, I snapped a pic this morning, albeit a crappy one, of my current progress. I wanted to wait until after my 3 month anniversary next week, but I figured what the hell.

I apologize in advance for the hair (I had just gotten out of the shower :) ). Also, as you can see those pants are just about to the point where they're so big they're too sloppy to wear. They are a size 40 and I'm wearing 38's now.

Even though the quality of the pic isn't great, I think you can see a small difference from the day 74 pic to the right. That was only 14 days ago, but I think it's about a 7-8 pound difference.

Well, it's time to get some work done. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Run for Your Money

I did it again today. I ran another mile, this time starting out at around 6-6.5 mph, and gradually getting up to 7.5. Towards the end I was ready to have a heart attack, but guess what my time was?

Yes, that's a second short of a full minute less than yesterday.

I had a feeling that when I did it yesterday my approach was wrong; I started out too fast and lost steam. I feel that I can improve a little more right away by starting out slightly faster. I also think you're generally slower in the treadmill since you have to adjust the machine to go faster, instead of just doing it. One of these day's I'm going to buy a stopwatch and go to a track so I can get a more accurate number.

Until then I'm pleasantly surprised with my 8:54 on the treadmill and will work on getting that down.

Oh and my weigh-in? 250.5. SO close! I get that number by weighing myself on my scale at home that I've always used, then checking it against the scale at work right before I work out. They're usually within a pound of each other so I use the average of the two. My home scale already reads that I weigh 250.

I know I'll be meeting my October goal over a week early, unless something really bad happens. That's good news!

p.s. about the image in todays post: I did a google image search for "A Run For You Money" looking for something that fit the content of today's post. Nothing did so I used that instead.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Walk a mile in their shoes

"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."

This morning I ran a mile in my shoes. I haven't run a timed mile since high school so I thought I'd give it a try. I roughly remember my mile times being somewhere in the 9's, possibly in the high 8's. Let me say that even in high school I wasn't in the best shape I could have been. I played sports and all that good stuff, but exercise just wasn't a priority. Drinking and smoking was. That said I've always been one for endurance rather than speed.

Today's mile was 9:53. I think I could improve it right away by starting out slower and keeping a more medium pace rather than going balls out from the start and then losing steam half way through. No doubt there is progress to be made on my part, but I'm still thinking there is a bit of planning and strategy involved in getting your best time.

So now I have another goal, and that is to run a sub 8 minute mile, something I've definitely NEVER done. BTW, for some reason running that mile was harder than doing my intervals! I was surprised.

In other news, I had another new low weigh-in this morning, 251. I'll be posting that in the October Challenge soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm starting to notice

I was looking at myself in the mirror this morning in my new size 36-38 boxer briefs and was thinking, "OK, now I'm really starting to see some progress". I think it's starting to sink in that I'm actually doing something. Sure, there are numbers, stats, pics, all of these things that show progress. There are comments made by people. But the most important gage of my progress is my mental state.

I'm starting to get excited because I'm entering into a weight range I haven't seen in YEARS. I'm starting to feel that I have the potential to be in better shape now that I have EVER been in my life. This is a good feeling and it is really what is working overtime to motivate me.

I'm starting to feel the real effects of the most important reason I decided to make this change. I feel better about myself mentally, I'm more confident of myself, and less likely to have that feeling of riding this out of control wave of life.

The comments from people are great, being able to jog without dying is great, fitting into smaller clothes is wonderful. But the biggest payoff so far has been this new mental condition I'm beginning to enter into. The fact that I once again feel like I can and will do anything I put my mind to, and do it with confidence. I think I knew it all along, but maybe one part of my brain needed to prove it to the other. Maybe my body needed to prove it to my brain. I don't know.

"Life is a complex and wonderful thing, full of many questions, few real answers, and endless unchartered territory that begs to be explored."
- Me, October 16th, 2007.

Monday, October 15, 2007

13th Move Acomplished

Weight: 253.5

I had another active weekend, not of the fun variety. My GF and I moved temporily back to my parents house, about 20 miles away from our apartment.

It's a long story, but basically we needed to break our lease due to the presence of toxic mold on the premises. It would have been nice to have stayed until November 15th when we settle on the new house, but we couldn't exactly stay in that environment.

Anyhow, as I was cleaning and moving boxes I figured out that this is the 13th time I've moved since I first left home for college 10 or 12 years ago. Moving into the house next month will make 14. That better be it for a while...

I had another low weigh-in this morning: 253.5. I'm really thinking that I'm going to be able to meet my October goal by early next week. This coming weekend I'm going on a hiking trip and will be walking about 20-25 miles with 30 pounds on my back. If I do well this week with my workouts and eating I'm really thinking one week from today I'll see the 240's for the first time in who knows when.

So here's to a successful weight loss week for all of us!

Friday, October 12, 2007

BWahahaAH! - and Sad

That's right. I'm laughing at those Fajitas, all 4 of them. Why? Because I showed them who's boss. Today weigh-in was a mirror of yesterday's ultra low 254. How did I manage to do this after eating 4 fajitas for lunch? Well, by purging of course!

No, just kidding. Instead of purging I walked a total of 3 miles after lunch, and had a light dinner. Then I did some moderately strenuous activity when I got home (more moving things into storage). Go me!

On a different note, without further adieu I'd like to share with you a poem I wrote about my good friend with whom I parted ways with last night after quite some time: my 1980 Jeep CJ-7.

My Jeep CJ

7 long years, me and my jeep,
we tore up the road and the trail and my knuckles,
flat tires, no gas, bad brakes and wet feet,
I'd fix you again, my will never buckled

from the ground up I built you, everything needs replaced
I'd hammer and weld, 'til red in the face

time after time, you'd require much cash
I'd love you as mine, while others yelled, "trash!"

now the time has come, that we must part ways
a house near the road, will instead fill my days

I'll always remember you, for all that you were
the times that we had, passed like a blur

that time, I drove you into a tree?
new fenders, new hood, less money for me?

that time, I drove you into a street sign?
too many drinks, perhaps too much wine?

that time, I rolled you, onto your side?
couldn't see that hole, perhaps I was blind?

I remember it all, like it was today
I'd do it again, not put you away

but life is here, better senses prevail
plus you sit in the road, ignored without fail

your value is burning a hole in my pocket
I just bought a house, you must go now, so.....fark it

goodbye jeep

p.s., if anyone is interested in a little more about my jeep, click here. It however, has been sold :(

Thursday, October 11, 2007

fajitas, beautiful fajitas

Ew. I went to Baja Fresh today for lunch with some friends from work. I had some steak fajitas. I think 4 of them. They included: steak, corn torillas, tomatos, green peppers, onions, black beans, and a tiny bit of guacamole. So I guess the contents of the meal weren't that bad, but the fact I had 4 of them wasnt great. In fact now that I'm back at work sitting at my desk I kinda feel like I ate a brick. I might have to head back to the gym and see if a 2-3 mile walk will help clear that up.

This is the first time really that I've eaten that much in one sitting for lunch. I hope it doesn't mess me up too much. I had another low weigh-in this morning, 254.

Anyway, I just wanted to hold myself accountable for overeating a bit today at lunch. Sometimes I feel like in my effort to remain positive all I post about is the good stuff.

So...time to go take that walk and burn off some of those calories I just consumed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Doing the Needful

I feel like I got a lot of exercise yesterday. I did 9 intervals of running/jogging in the morning. That turned out to be about 25 minutes of cardio/2.5 miles/200 calories.
After lunch I walked another 1.5 miles. In the afternoon I did my weight training routine for 30-40 minutes. Then last night I walked another 1.7 miles for a total of 3.7 miles walked yesterday. I ate pretty well aside from a celebratory drink of diet coke and vodka I had at dinner with some friends. The celebration was because my great friend of the last 15 years just put an offer in on a house that is literally a one minute walk away from the house we're settling on next month.

So yea, I think it went pretty well. I was rewarded today with another low weigh-in of 255. That's three days in a row now of 255 which is half way to my November 1st goal of 250.

I hope for today to be similar. I've already done my morning cardio interval training and as I type this I'm having a nice bowl of GO LEAN Crunch by Kashi and a cup of black coffee with a hit of fat free soy milk.

Oh and, I'm sitting here in my new pair of size 38 jeans :)

One more thing, the title of today's blog: I work with a lot of offshore consultants from India who speak English as a second language. As is expected sometimes they have trouble conjugating verbs or putting sentences together. On more than one occasion and from different people I was asked to do things.

For example, from someone in QA
"Brian, this bug is still not fixed, please DO THE NEEDFUL."

So today and for the past three months that's what I've been doing. The Needful.

UPDATE: Actually, I just found this which says this is an old Indian/British Saying:

So maybe it isn't a mistake. Either way, I'll be doing the needful, as needed.

Monday, October 8, 2007





I wear size 38 jeans now. I know it's not a fluke because I tried several brands of jeans in size 38 and they all fit. We're not talking Old Navy jeans which say 38 but actually measure 40-42, we're talking Calvin Clien, Lucky Brand, Claiborne, DKNY, they all fit. I have not been a size 38 jean's since I guess about 6 or 7 years ago and when I was they were TIGHT.
38 is still of course a bigger size, but at least it's in the 30's and I no longer feel embarrassed holding my 40+ inch jeans while line at the store or asking a sales person to help me find my size.

Wait until I get to 36; I haven't been able to put on a pair of 36" jeans since high school.

Also, I had another low-low weigh-in this morning, 255. It's just a number, but it just shows I'm still moving in the right direction. Those 5-6 days a week of working out and 95% of the time clean eating are paying off. It's these kinds of things that just motivate me to keep doing what I'm doing, if not even harder.

BTW, just to reiterate my level of happiness, I was a size 42 old navy jeans (and they were a bit tight) on the day I started this blog, July 24th.

OK, sorry, I'm done bragging now. Back to your regularly scheduled programs...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Nothing bad to report

I really don't know what to type today, except that things are going as expected. Ive been really being careful what I'm eating. I really don't know how many calories I've been consuming daily, but if I had to guess I'd say between 1200-1500. Pretty low for someone my size but I feel great, have plenty of energy, and do not feel hungry all the time.

I've been doing intervals on the treadmill every morning. Usually 9 intervals but no less than 7.

I'm also walking at least 2.5 miles a day. Usually I take a mile and quarter walk around the business park after lunch, and sometimes another walk at night, but I'm consistently hitting 10,000 steps a day now (which equates to 2.5 miles about).

I've been doing my strength training routine 2-3 days a week, but I have to say if I'm busy, this is usually the first thing to get bumped. One of my goals is to improve in that area.

I've had record low weigh-ins for three days in a row now with today being 256.5 so I think my actions have been working.

So basically I'm just trucking along. My main motivation lately has been that I'm now entering a weight realm that I haven't seen in years! I can't wait until I get to a level of fitness I've never been in before. I'm really looking forward to it for many reasons.

Anyway, I'm off for yet another action packed weekend (moving a bunch of things into storage, fun!). Hope everyone else has a great weekend as well!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Going Back In Fat Years

Like I've mentioned in the past I NEVER used to weigh myself. Not ever. So that said, I don't really know what I weighed when. I DO know that since roughly 1995 when I graduated high school, I've put on some weight every year. Sometimes I've lost it when I'd go on a long bike trip or something, but overall I weighed a bit more every years since say I was 18 up until Last July when I was 30. 12 year's of putting on the pounds.

I really wish I had measured my weight because now I’d have a good gauge of what weight I’ve got myself down to age-wise. Since I don’t, right now I’m using clothing. Last night I went through my closet and decided I’d try everything on and get rid of all of my clothes that were too big. In the end I had a pretty big pile. So today I’m going through what pics I can find of myself with those clothes on to try and figure out when the last time I weighed what I do now was.

-I’m definitely back to Spring 2007. This should be obvious, but it was blatant when I tired on a bunch of shirts I bought back in April or so that were size XXL. I swim in them now. In the bag for the Salvation Army they go.

“My name is Heinrich and I’m here for your Cheesteaks!”

- New Years 07? “Boy, Drunk and Fat is no way to go through life!”

- Fall 2006. That suit I bought for a wedding that I only wore one time, in this pic, is a no go. Way too big. Maybe it can be let in? Who knows, but I’m definitely gone back past fall 2006.

- Feb 2 2005. Hmm. I threw out the shirt and jeans I’m wearing in this pic because they were a bit big. Well Ok, I threw out the shirt because it’s ugly. But the pants were definitely big. I think my face looks bigger here too.

-I’m definitely back to 2004. I have a bunch of sweatshirts and shirts I used to wear then that fit fine, but over the past few years seemed to have shrunk. Now they either fit me fine, or are a little large. So I decided to keep those. Here’s one of them. I guess I had a fake goatee back then too. Hmm.

-1997. Well, it’s kinda of hard to tell from this pic how much I weighed then, but do I really want to ever look like this again? Was the gay german tourist look really ever in style? Probably not.

I tried on a pair of biking shorts I wore in 2002-ish and they seemed to kinda fit. So I think at this time I’ve roughly taken 5 years off of my fat life! I don’t have a pic handy for this one though! Good thing I guess.