Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ran -Biked - Lifted this week

Just a quick note to say that I ran 5 miles on the treadmill today. Time was 53:37. Ironically the last time I ran 5 miles on the treadmill was exactly 1 year ago today. Today's time wasnt my best or my worst, not that I was running for time.

I also commuted by bike to work yesterday for the first time in 6 weeks or so. I lifted as well. Gotta stay active you know..

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Mile Time

Sorry the posting has been off. It's not due to lack of workout effort, just the fact that I haven't had a lot of time to post, and not really a lot of new information to talk about.

I've been running on the treadmill 2-3 days a week, lifting weights 2 days a week, and still riding my bike when I can, maybe 50-60 miles a week if you include weekends.
My weight has gone up slightly the past few weeks and I think it's probably due to water retention from starting lifting again. WHen I say up I've been around 206-210 when my lowest recorded weight ever was around 200. My original goal was to stay under was 210 (remember that I'm 6'3" and a large frame guy) so I'm still maintaining under my original goals.

Today I started out quick on the treadmill and decided to see what mile time I could get. I ended up with a 7:24 which to my surprise after referencing my best time earlier this year is a new record by 20 seconds! I feel like I could probably get in the sub 6 minute range but I always seem to have some back pain when I try to run really fast miles. It must have something to do with my form or lack thereof. That said I prefer to focus on longer endurance runs anyway.

I think I've been in maintenence mode for 10 or 11 months now. I'm happy with myself but like to continue to push my limits to see what I'm capable of.
Anyway, it's time for another meeting so I've got to run...no pun intended.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vacation Is Over

Yup, Vacation is over.

By that I mean, I'm back from North Carolina. By that I mean, it's time to get back to work.

Cardio; I'm in good shape. I still ride to work every day. Haven't missed a day of bicycle commuting for 6 weeks. 120 or so miles a week minimum. Blah blah blah.

I still have goals to achieve. I've spent the summer enjoying my new self, but there is still work to be done. I still can't bench my body weight. I still haven't run a 10k. I haven't tried recently, but I still don't think I can do 10 pull ups.

So, the riding isn't going to stop, but the weight lifting is starting back up again. In fact it started Monday with a nice upper body workout and I've been sore all week. Just goes to show what a few months off does to a body.

I do have the MS150 to ride in a few weeks. And I have some new goals to strive for, but more on that later. I just wanted it to officially be known that I'm going to be back in the fitness blogging world, setting new goals for myself, learning, tracking my progress, doin' stuff.

Welcome back, self!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

6 months of 200

Weigh-In: 202.2 lbs

I figured I'd update my blog today since it's been so long. In doing so I just noticed that's its been over 6 months that I've maintained a weight right around 200 pounds. I'm really happy about that, but I'm already thinking about how I'm going to keep it up once winter comes around. That's always been my biggest concern because in the past I would become less active and put on a few pounds. I don't want to allow that to happen this year.

My plan of attack is as follows:

-Keep riding my bike as long as there is no snow on the ground. Currently between commuting and recreational riding I'm putting in about 150 miles a week. I'd like to maintain that for as long as possible. I think it will go a bit lower in the winter so..

- I'm going to start running on the treadmill again in the winter. I enjoyed it and it has taken a back seat to riding this summer, so it will come back.

- I'm going to start lifting again. 3 days a week. There is no time like the present.

- I'm going to start doing 200 push-ups a week. I need to start this now. In fact, hang on....

ok, I just did 4. 196 to go.

I eat OK. I think caloric intake is inline with how many calories I burn during the day, but I'm not always happy with the quality of those calories I'm consuming. I need to do a better job to eat things that are good for me and that aren't swimming in sugar and preservatives. After all, the overall goal here is to live longer, not just be thin. It's easy to forget that once you're in decent shape physically.

Anyhow, I'm on vacation next week in the Outer Banks North Carolina so maybe I'll actually have some time to post some more. I plan to get in a bunch of riding,a bunch of relaxing, and a bunch of seafood (the healthy kind of course).

I hope every else's summer is going well.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MS 150

Hey guys,
I'm riding my bike in the MS150 City To Shore ride in September. It's a two day event, 75 miles each day. I have to raise $250 in donations for the event, so if anyone would like to contribute, no matter how small, it would be greatly appreciated.

To do so use this link.

Anything you could mange would be a great help and go to a great cause!

Thanks in advance


Thursday, July 24, 2008

1 Year Anniversary

It was one year ago today that I made my very first blog entry. It was one year ago I decided it was time for a lifestyle change. On that day, July 24th of 2007 I weighed 296.5 pounds.

Today, one year later, I weigh 200 pounds and have been 200 pounds plus or minus 5 for almost 5 months now.

I'm too busy to post much more at this time, but I just wanted to call this out. I'm proud of what I've accomplished this past year. Now it's time to keep moving forward and meeting goals.

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Monday, July 7, 2008


My weight finally went back down to 201-ish. Today it's back up to 205 but I attribute that to a late meal yesterday. No biggie.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and is back at it working towards your goals.

For me right now, maintenance is an accomplishment so that's what I'm working towards.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I don't know...

...what I weigh.

Yea, for the first time in a while I decided to ditch weighing myself for a few days. Why?
Because I got frustrated. My weight suddenly went up 8 pounds for some reason and no matter what I did I felt like I couldn't stop it. That annoys me. So, I struck back. I ate more. And I stopped weighing myself.

I needed a mental break from wondering what my weight was every day. I figure, if I look in the mirror and I think I look like I did the week before, I'll be OK.

Tomorrow I'm going to go back to weighing myself. I'm hoping I'm back down to where I've been since March or so..203-ish.

I ran again today. It felt nice. Instead of jumping on the treadmill and trying to see how fast I could crank out a 5k, I ran a few intervals, and then I just ran at a steady 5-6 mpg for 20 minutes or so.

Eating has been pretty good today. Like Bill and some others I do end up indulging on alchohol on the weekends and I'm of the mindset i want to have fun this summer and not limit myself everywhere. So since that is the plan I'm trying to keep my weekdays extra clean and healthy in order to prepare for the deboucherous weekends. Hopefully this works out.

Well, that's all I really have to say about that..

Since I don't like posts without images to look at, here's a picture of my dog Bella with a bowl on her head. This one is for you Melissa.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Dude Abides

Weigh-In: 205 lbs

This week has been funny weight-wise. I've eaten pretty well, biked about 70 miles since Monday, lifted weights on Tuesday, and yet I'm up several pounds. I'm assuming its water weight , or maybe muscle?

Who knows.

Anyway, here's a random pic from my bike trip last month. You can get an idea of the crazy looking recumbent I ride when I go on bike tours.

Funny lookin' eh?

My pictures tend to be pretty boring, but if you want to check out the rest of them from that trip, they can be found here.

I don't really have much else to say. I'm just trying to maintain my weight, and hopefully slowly build some muscle. I'm trying to stay active.

Hope everyone else is going well and meeting your goals!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Little Reminder

You know, something happens after you've lost a bit of weight. You forget what you were before. I would even go as far to say that you might get comfortable in your new "skin". That's where things get dangerous for a lot of people I guess. They tend to slowly fall into their old habits and start to become mirrors of their former selves.

To combat this I like to remind myself of what I used to be by looking at pics, or even just thinking about some of the meals I used to eat and consider normal fair.

This time a year ago I would have found myself content on with a dinner of Bubba Burgers. I use the plural sense because I'd probably have two burgers with dinner. Mmm, Bubba burgers. Those are great arent they? My love for them have not changed.

This year I might have the same cravings, but I remember all of the hard work I put in in the last 11 months. So I won't have a bubba burger, or if I do I'll have a low fat version, and only have one, and probably go for a jog or a bike ride the next morning because I feel guilty , or maybe just afraid of becoming what i once was.

The urges are still there, I still love that food, but I now have an arsenal of things to combat that.

-I like a lot of healthy food. I love sushi, vegetables, water, fruit. I'm happy to eat those things the bulk of the time.

-When I'm no longer hungry I know now I no longer need to eat. Portion control. Learn it.

-Guilt. I have guilt whenever I indulge. Maybe not right away. I can still enjoy foods that are bad for me, but sooner or later I'll be thinking about what I just consumed, and taking the proper steps to ensure it isn't going to lodge itself onto my love handles.

-Exercise. I've come to really enjoy it. I don't like when I go a long time without it. I like to stay active. I like to do things. Hopefully this never changes, because I feel like when you slow down, you die. I don't ever want to die.

So back to a year ago. Reminders of what I was.

This is the closest I can come in a pic, July 4th 2007:

Is that me? Oh that's right. It used to be. Wow, I think I'll pass on that Bubba Burger.

Sometimes today I forget what i was like, and maybe I get a little hard on myself because I havent worked out for a while and maybe my eating wasnt the best. So, let's take a picture from today and compare, just to be sure we're not falling back into BurgerLand:

ok so maybe I need to learn to smile a little better, and is my hairline receding? What the hell is that about?

But the plan worked. That is not the same person. Try a body shot if the face shots aren't working. Maybe I'll do that next time.

So here I am, plodding along. Still living with my new identity , maybe a few reminders of my old one. But I'm doing OK.


You'll see I took a run yesterday on the treadmill (my time is posted on the right). This was the first time in..I don't know, 2-3 months that I've run? I still ride my bike and I'm active, but there really is no way to keep in good running shape unless well, you run. I wasn't too hard on myself with my 25:53 5k time though. Sure I've done better, but I'm still in the respectable range as far as I'm concerned. My legs are sore today though.

I think you have to keep yourself in check and keep challenging yourself. I think that is one of the keys to staying in shape. I'm hoping it is anyway.

Oh and I do still have goals. I'm starting to lift again. I'd like to get some more muscle definition. I want to be able to do a few more pull-ups.

But tonight I think I'll have a Bubba Burger, think about what I used to be, then maybe go for a bike ride and know that I'll never be that person again.

OK, I'm partially kidding. I probably wont have a Bubba Burger.

Maybe Nachos...

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Just thought I'd let you all know, as of last night, I'm engaged!

Uhmm...I guess that's it!

Bubye now!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Maintain Cycle

It's that time again. Time for another monthly update!

What have I been doing to maintain my weight loss?

Well, I ride my bike!

All the time.

I ride to and from work 5 days a week. That's a 18 mile round trip. I also ride with a local club one or two nights a week. So in total I ride my bikes about 150-200 miles a week.
That alone is probably enough to keep me in shape, but I also still watch what I eat and weigh myself every day. My weight is usually between 200 and 203.

I lead a pretty normal eating life now. I try to eat healthy as much as possible, I try to control portions and not overeat, I try to stay away from alcohol and sweets. But that said I do allow myself to indulge every now and again.

But I almost always feel guilty when I eat a plate of cheesy nachos or something like that. Because of that I don't do it very often.

You could say I'm slowly finding my groove. Learning what I can and can't do in order to maintain this weight.

I have however been slacking on the weight training though. There are really no excuses. I've been wanting to do push-ups in the morning , but it just has not happened. I'm putting it on my list of things to do.

I don't have much else to report.

Have a great month!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Yeah, I'm here

I figured I'd give you all an update since it's been over a month.

I've been trying to get back into a "normal life" the past few months. You could say I'm still not quite used to not being in a weight loss mode, even though I haven't been for some time.

Here's a few comments/thoughts:

-I still weigh myself every morning. What is that weight? Well today it was 203. It's been between 201 and 209 for almost two months now. I got sick for almost a week about 2 weeks ago and that was when it went down to almost 200. It's been hovering in the 203-205 range for about a week now. I'm happy with that weight. I think it's a good weight for me to maintain. 6'3", 204ish. Not bad at all.

-Exercise: I'm still doing it. I'm not running as much anymore, but I have replaced that with bicycle riding. By the end of this week I'll have ridden my bike about 75-90 miles between commuting to work, club rides after work, and running errands. I hope to keep that the norm.

I still do weight training, but only about two days a week. I'm not really trying to build muscle much anymore, but more-so just maintain what I have. I think once it's cold and crappy out again and I can't be on my bike I'll be back into lifting, but for now I prefer to spend my spare time outside.

I'm still swimming, maybe 1-2 times a week. I'm probably not going to do the triathlon though. I just really haven't gotten the breathing part down and I couldn't really imagine swimming non-stop for a half mile. I'm still working out it, but probably not at a level that I'll be able to do it for the triathlon.

Call it a cop-out, call it what you will, but I'm not going to do it. Instead I'm going to ride my bike more since that's what I enjoy.

Speaking of bicycling, another reason I'm riding so much is because I'm going to be going on another unsupported bike tour in just over a month. It will cover over a thousand miles and two weeks of time. Here's a rough map of where we'll be riding:

In addition to that trip in two weeks I'm going to be doing another quick tour around the Delaware bay, 180 miles in two days. That may sound crazy to some, but I can't wait.

My eating is still good. I feel I'm doing pretty well at eating more like a normal person, albeit healthy. I eat smaller portions, I don't each many things with lots of fat or sugar. I do allow myself some things here and there, like cheese or maybe a beer. But I'm constantly aware of what my weight is and what I'm putting in my body. I'm still staying around 2500-3000 calories a day and that seems to be working out. I'm finding out that 205 is a good natural maintain weight for me to be.

I'm not really sure what else to report. All really is going well. I feel strong, I'm happy with how I look and how I perform. I'm trying to do my best to lead a healthy lifestyle, yet not be "that crazy health nut" guy. I think I'm doing ok so far. I'll try to check in now and again and hopefully comment on some of your blogs, but in case it's already not obvious, I plan to be outside enjoying life more than posting blogs. So I'm still here, just not as much...

I hope everyone else is doing well!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Stroke, Breath, Stroke, Drown

Weigh-In: 208.6 lbs

Yesterday I was finally able to join Liz in being a member of the Y. I've been wanting to join just to use the pool so I can start swimming laps in preparation for a triathlon I'm going to do in July.

I purchased my speedo, goggles, and ear plugs last week. This morning I put them to use at the pool.

When I say I put them to use, what I mean is that I wore them while I violently thrashed around the pool, attempting to swim, and breath at the same time. It was hard.

I know how to swim, I guess. But I haven't really done it for a long time. I know I took lessons as a kid, but I'm not sure that is helping me here.

My main problem is that I'm having trouble breathing without taking in water. So, it's really hard to swim a lap in the pool when you can't breath. In fact it's impossible.

I only managed 3 laps this morning before I gave up, deciding I need some more education before I proceed. I really don't want to have to be rescued by the 18 year old lifeguard.

So that's what I'm doing now. I research at Beginner Triathlete.com. I'm also going to get some direction from a professional at the Y next time I go.

So these are my next set of immediate challenges:

-Learn to swim correctly without drowning.

-From there, I need to be comfortable doing 17 laps as that's what I'll be doing in the triathlon.

I feel like I'm a long ways off from that, but we'll see.

There is a guy at work who also just started training for his first triathlon and has just crossed these same hurdles. Talking to him is motivation for me. If he can do it I know I can. In fact, he's a smoker...

Aside from that, things are going well. I'm still doing weight training 3 days a week, and I throw in some cardio 1-2 days on top of that. I still weigh myself daily just to monitor what is going on, but as I've said before I'm no longer trying to lose weight. I seem to fluctuate between 206 and 210 these days.

More updates in my triathlon training to come.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Runnin' Bikin' Workin'

Weigh-In: 209.5 lbs

My weigh-ins have been anywhere between 208 and 212 for about two weeks now. I guess that's good since I'm not really trying to lose weight. I'm still adjusting though to not losing weight. It's weird.

Anyway, I ran a 5k this morning for the first time in a week. I really pushed myself a got a new best time (I think): 23:36. Woohoo!

I still haven't signed up for the Philly triathlon yet, for a few reasons.

One, it's $120 and I'm kinda broke right now because of remodeling my kitchen and a few other things (It sure wouldn't hurt to have that $40 bucks from the DECEMBER weight loss challenge! Like that's going to happen. Anyway, I shall digress...)

The other reason I haven't signed up is because I'm not sure if I really would like to swim in the Skukyll river, right next to downtown Philly. Apparently every year before the triathlon they test the water for contamination. A few years they didnt have the race because it failed the test...that sounds...kinda scary. Maybe there is another triathlon I can sign up for where I don't have to risk infection.

Everything else is going well. Still weight training 3 days week and doing cardio 2-3 days. Still eating well. I started commuting to work on the bicycle, but now the weather has turned bad and it's just too cold. In fact, here's a pic from Monday:

Hmm, kinda looks like I have a gut, but it's actually just because that shirt is tucked in. Ignore that please!

Well, that's all I really have to say today. Hopefully everyone is doing well!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Day 200 something

Weigh-In: 209.00 lbs

Monday, February 18, 2008

First Bicycle Commute of the year.

Weigh-In: 210.5 lbs

Nothing new weight loss or fitness related, so I'm going to cross post this story of my morning that I posted on a bicycle forum I frequent.


First Commute of the Season

All weekend I had been thinking about riding a bicycle to work on Monday. The winter saw a lot of changes for me. For one, I've lost almost 90 pounds since July 24th of last year, much of that since the last time I'd been on a bicycle. I've been really itching to see what I'd be able to do on the bike with the lighter weight.

I've also recently been setting up an old vintage Raleigh Grand Prix as a commuter. In the past I'd commuted on a LWB USS Vision recumbent, but I don't really like to ride it to work because it's a pain in the ass in traffic and in a few tight spots I have to get through.

So this morning came and I looked out the window to see foggyness and light rain. Crap, I guess I wouldn't be riding today.

When I went outside to let the dog out I couldn't help but notice that even though it looked crappy out, it felt like it was about 60 degrees! I'd been in the 30's here in Philly for a while. I had to ride.

So I loaded up my laptop and a change of clothes in my messenger bag and jumped on my Raleigh, ready to make the 8 mile commute.

Two blocks from my house, after going down a steep hill which is actually an elevated bridge I hear a loud bang! Holy crap! Hey wait, the front end is very squirely. The front tire had blown its bead, making a sound equal to gunfire and scaring the crap out of me and several pedestrians.

OK, I guess I'm not riding today. I pushed the bike back up the hill, two blocks, back home.

Then I remembered that someone just gave me an early 80's Nikishi Sport ten speed that I'd just cleaned up last night getting ready to sell. May as well test er out...

The seat on the 'ishi is less comfortable and riding on a brick, so I started to move the seat over from the Raleigh. Crap, different seat post sizes, have to unbolt the seat from the post.

5-10 minutes later.

Ok the seat is all sorted out.

Time to change the spd pedals over so I can click into the 'ishi. No big deal.

One pedal off the nikishi, one pedal on the 'ishi.

The next pedal, which had probably been threaded onto the crank arm on the 'ishi since 1981 did not want to move. Wouldnt budge! After a few minutes of beating the crap out of it and bending a wrench on it I yelled "F@#$ You!!".

Apparently my neighbor heard me in his yard, wondering why I was alone in my garage yelling at something, and offered his help. A little embarassed I said "no, I'm just pissed at this bike".

Then I got an idea....both bikes have 27" wheels, just put the 'ishi wheel on the Raleigh and be on your way! Duh!

OK, switch front wheels. Put seat back on Raleigh. Put pedals back on Raleigh...adjust seat.

I don't know what time it is anymore, but it's probably pretty late. Whatever, it's so nice out and now I'm commited, I HAVE TO RIDE TODAY.

Finally everything is all sorted out, I jump on the Raleigh and head through my town, towards the bike path that is my commute.

Forgot my pump, oops.

Hope I don't need that.

In the middle of the wooded bike trail after shiftng, my chain suddenly stops. Won't move at all.

Seems it got stuck between the smallest rear chain and the bolt from the fenders I just installed last week.


After few minutes and very dirty hands I'm on my way again.

A few minutes later I shift the front derailler and it throws the chain into the crank arm.

Great, thanks.

Fix that, on my way.

Well, I'm already late, lets stop and take a pic. After all, I'm going to enjoy this nice warm morning! I'd like to snap a pic and post it on BF.

Memory full.

What? Oops, forgot the memory card for the camera...

And you know what? Carrying my laptop in this messenger bag really sucks. I really need to install that rear rack and start using a pannier bag.


I ended up getting to work 45 minutes late.

Hmm. Well, it sure was nice out this morning. I wonder if my bike will break in half on the way home, throwing me down an embankment into a river. Time will only tell.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Bench

Weigh-In: 211.3 lbs

I just thought I would share with you guys the numbers for the first 6 weeks of lifting. These are just for the bench press. I think the numbers show that I'm improving every week. They also show what I already knew, that my upper body strength kinda sucks. Dan(my lifting partner) has already met his goal of benching his body weight. I think he weights around 220-225.

All of these numbers were basically "maxing out".

Anyway, here they are:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Day 200

Weigh-in: 209.6 lbs

The 200th day of the new lifestyle has arrived. With it ironically comes a new low weigh-in that puts me below my current goal of 210. This is good news!

Here's a new side compare pic. I didn't realize it had been 51 days since I'd posted one last...

I can't even believe day 1 when I look at it anymore. Seems like a different person.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Day 199

weigh-in: 210.6 lbs

Hey there! I've got a meeting in 5 minutes, and a busy day ahead of me so I have to make this quick. I wanted to post anyway though because as you can see, I've posted a new low of 210.6! I'm very close to me Feb 15th Goal of 210, which is good since Feb 15th is close too. Other than that, I actually took off from cardio this morning because I'm not feeling well, sore throat, no energy. Hopefully I can fight this off before long, but I think I need the rest right now. Hope everyone else is going well!

P.S. If you read this...Happy Birthday Mom!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Day 197

Weigh-In: 212.6 lbs

I don't really have a whole lot to report today. Things are going really well! I'm eating right, I'm creeping up on my goal of 210 by Feb 15th, I'm starting to feel better and better after weight training sessions.

Liz joined the Y last night and it's got me thinking about taking one of the "basic training" classes, or possibly a triathlon training class. I never thought I'd be saying that! How things change eh? It's also getting closer to bike riding season which I'm really looking forward to. I know, still February, but it will be here before we know it. Can't wait!

Well, lots of work to get done today so...

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Weekend of Exercise

Weigh-In: 212.6 lbs

Well the weight finally went back down close to where it was a few days ago. As I'd mentioned before I'm sure I was retaining water from the weight training, but I am glad to be back where I was.

I feel like I got a lot of exercise in this weekend, especially yesterday. Sunday Liz and I took Bella for a 4-5 miles walk first thing in the morning. Then Sunday afternoon I took my new (old) bike that I just recently got all together out for a 17 mile ride in the local hills. I felt pretty strong, especially for not having ridden much on a regular upright bike for several years. Actually my friend who rides all the time but not much over the winter mentioned he was jealous because I was faster than him up the steep hills. He said all that running I've been doing must have paid off. That was nice to hear.

That's all I've got today.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Day 193

Weigh-In 214.2 lbs

Apparently this guy climbed Seven Summits in 193 days.

Soren Gudmann claims Seven Summits in 193 days!

I didn't do that, but I have done a few things.

For example (not in any special order):

- I ran a lot.
- Rescued a dog.
- Bought a house.
- went on vacation.
- lost 80 or so pounds.
- ate a lot of salad, hummus, water, and carrots.
- ran in a 5k race.
- tore my kitchen apart to remodel it.
- spent a lot of time at work, doing stuff...
- rode my bike to work.
- moved.
- organized my garage.
- went hiking/camping. A few times.
- rode a train.
- drove a motorcycle.
- lifted some weights.
- painted some pictures.

A lot of things can happen in 193 days. In less time people have reinvented themselves, ruined themselves, gotten married/divorced, run for office, changed the world...

What are you going to do in the next 193 days?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Be All That You Can Be!

Weigh-In: 216.6 lbs

The weight is up again today. I know it's not fat though. First of all, I've not eaten anything bad, or in mass quantities. Secondly, my pants if anything are looser than they were a week ago. So it's either water or muscle or both. It's probably time for another comparison pic or something as its been 40 some days since I've done one. I was thinking of waiting until say 200 which is on Feb 8th though.

I kinda feel like blogging is really falling off for a lot of people. I don't know if that means they're not into the weight loss as much or what, but I just feel like less and less people post blogs and read blogs every day. I hate to think that because that really has been one of my main motivators, the online support. I looked forward to posting blogs and discussing things with people, but these days I just feel like I'm at a bit of a loss for words, and maybe everyone is. I suppose it's just a phase. Maybe it's the winter blues. I thought everyone would be going crazy though what with their new years resolutions.

Someone mentioned the other day (Bill? Ripx? Bro Jay?) about trying to look your best come memorial day. The thought behind it being that it's the first possible "take your shirt off day" this year. I've been thinking about that lately and I really want to strive for that as well. I feel OK now, but if I were to hit the beach tomorrow I'd still not be overly comfortable about my gut hanging over my bathing suit. Of course, it'd be 100 times better than last year and I'm sure 9 out of 10 people who saw me then will be commenting on how different I look. But I'm not completely comfy with it yet. I don't have to have a six pack, but I don't want a jiggly gut hanging out there.

So I guess memorial day is just short of 5 months away. That might seem like a long time but it will be here before you know it. Time to keep plugging away and try to be the best I can be. I really have no idea what that is, but I'd like to find out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Weigh-In: 216.0 lbs

The weight went up again today despite my actions yesterday of running a 5k, doing a hard-core hour long weight lifting session that obliterated my chest and bi's, and eating perfectly. I can only imagine I'm retaining water or something. Less than a week ago I was weighing in as low at 211.8. Now I'm a full 5 pounds higher. I say whatever to that!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Keep Up the Good Work. Forever.

Weigh-In: 214.8 lbs

If you're like me, when you become interested in something, you really engulf yourself in it. It consumes you. In the past 6 or so months I've done it with exercise and weight loss. At other times, some recently and some not, I've done it with the following:

Bicycles, Motorcycles, Guitars, Kitchen Renovation, Old Jeeps and the list goes on.

Actually, now that I look at this list, those are very manly things aren't they? ROAR!

I guess you should be worried if I mentioned things like collecting hair brushes and Hello Kitty Memorabilia.

Anyhow, the reason I'm bringing all of this up is that a lot of those things that have consumed me often eventually fall off to the point where I forget how to play songs on the guitar, jeeps sit rusting in parking spots, and bicycles go un-pedaled for months, maybe a year. Usually these things find their way back into my life at some point albeit, not to the point they once were.

That can't happen this time. It doesn't mean that I have to spend every waking moment researching/discussing weight loss, planning workouts, and reading online forums about muscle building. But it means that I can't let this lifestyle sit in the corner for 6 months or a year getting dusty.

Just like playing the guitar, if you don't keep practicing eating right, working out, you're going to get rusty. The next time you sit down you wont be able to play "Freebird". Or perhaps you'll just be flabby. Your calluses are gone. Your gut is back. You get the idea.

BUT just like anything if you go at it 100% 24 hours a day 8 days a week eventually it's going to fall of some. That's expected.

So well, I'm not really sure if I had any other point aside from what I've said. I think I just needed to remind myself about my history and to stay focused. The one thing that is different about this time is that this isn't a hobby at all, but a life changing event. I haven't done anything yet. What is 6 months in the entire scheme of a life? I do indeed have a lot further to go.
In other news, I broke my 5k time today on the treadmill. Ran a 23:39. Go me!
BTW, that was done doing 8 intervals at 6.5 and 8.0, then with about 4 or so minutes of running at 9mph at the end. Just thought I'd throw that out there in case anyone thought I'd stop doing intervals. I almost always incorporate them into my runs.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hungry Like the St. Bernard

weigh-in: 211.8 lbs

Much like my trusty sidekick Bella, I've been so hungry lately I can eat just about anything and everything in sight. That is not to say that I'm doing that, but I've wanted to. I think it's something to do with the weight lifting.

Also, unfortunately I feel like I might be fighting something off or possibly coming down with something. I have a sore throat and its possible I feel a little weak...

But that does not keep me from working on my new project, a 1969 Raleigh Grand Prix 10 speed, while in my other project, my remodeled kitchen, while looking mighty dorky with my head lamp, while looking at my dog, wondering what to eat.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

100th Post

Weigh-In: 212.2 lbs

Today is my 100th post!
And that figures because I really don't have anything interesting or insightful to say.

So, how about a pic comparison?

I'm posting a pic from the day of my first post, and then another from my 100th post, today, day 184. Let me know if you can tell any difference.

296 pounds - July 24th 2007

213 pounds - January 23rd 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Day 183 : Goal Attained; Phase 1 Complete

Weigh-In: 214.4 lbs

I'm hereby declaring my original weight loss goal of 215 pounds to have been met. I've been weighing in the 213-215 range for a week now, so I'm going to call it.

Here's a few stats of what was achieved over 183 days:

- Roughly 81 pounds lost
- average 3.01 pounds of weight loss per week over 26 weeks.
- 10 inches lost of off waist, size 44 pants to 34.
- Size XXL Shirt to size L
- 2 inches gained in inseam? Seems weird, but I now wear a 34" inseam as compared to 32". I think the difference is because my pants were forced to reside under my gut, hence the two extra inches.
- I no longer snore
- I no longer get constant heart burn

Here are some of the things I can think of that made me successful so far.

- Persistence. It's in my nature that when I really decide I'm going to do something to give it my all. It just happens to have took me until I was 30 years old to decide to do this. I was getting some form of exercise almost every day. I was watching what I ate ALL THE TIME. Any one not great day I had was ten times better than my best day before I started this lifestyle. I do not give up. Any movement is progress no matter how small. Once you realize that, the pain of working out and being healthy is a lot easier.

- Ease. On some level, however you decide to change your lifestyle, you have to make it fit your schedule and your lifestyle. I was very lucky in that I had a gym in my work building and a schedule that allows me to use it basically when I want. Without persistence and the will to do anything this would be useless, but the fact the facilities where there make it all that much easier to act on them. That said, I did many things that contributed to my weight loss that anyone can do, no matter what there physical location to a gym is. One of them is using a pedometer and simply walking whenever possible. Running. Planning meals. Keeping healthy snacks around. Any of these things anyone can do to make this change easier on yourself. Once you do it for a while it becomes second nature anyway.

- Support. I had full support from Liz, my girlfriend and from my friends and family. I'm sure it was an adjustment at first dealing with me not wanting to eat or do some things that I'd always done before. But overall everyone dealt with it pretty well. These blogs were also one of my main means of support. I can't say I wouldn't have done any of this if I had not happened across my former co worker/friend's blog Billy, but it was a huge inspiration and a big push to get me moving. Hell if Billy could do it anyone could :). The blogs were a big help for info and support for me. Thank you all for that!

In Conclusion:

Moving Forward:
Just because I've declared this goal met does not mean this is over. The first phase might be done, but as I've said in the past, this is a new , healthy lifestyle. In a way it will never end. I will never stop regularly monitoring my weight. I will never stop paying attention to what I put in my body. I will never stop making sure I get some forms of exercise.

As I've mentioned, my next set of goals are to exchange some of my left over fat for muscle. Although I appear pretty slim and fit in clothing, I'm still a bit soft around the middle. I have not reached my full fitness potential in many respects. I want to be able to bench press my body weight, squat my body weight, do pull-ups, etc etc. I guess you could consider those things phase two of my transformation.

I might end up weighing less than I do now, I might weight slightly more, who knows. Muscle after all weights more than fat. The point is that I want to get my fat percentage down and my muscle percentage up. I want to wear a swimsuit and be proud of myself. I've made a hell of a lot of progress, but now it's time to fine tune.

That's all I have for today. Thanks again for everyone's support and for reading my blog over the past 183 days.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Weigh-In: 215.5 lbs

I had a few new low weigh-ins this weekend with the lowest being 213.4 yesterday. Today I'm back up a little bit though, most likely because I had a larger and later dinner than I usually do.

I'm off from work today and plan to be drywalling the ceiling in my kitchen. Then tonight if I'm feeling up to it I have another weight lifting workout to do.

I purchased an old English 10 speed Raleigh bicycle that I'm fixing up and I'm going to use to commute to work when it gets a little warmer. Hopefully it will be a little warmer than today's 13 degrees.

That's all I really have to today. Not much new to report.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chips and Salsa Extravaganza

Weigh-In: 216.8 lbs

I kinda screwed up yesterday. I've been really hungry lately, ever since I started lifting. I'm still eating around 2200 calories a day. Usually when I'm hungry I simply just eat something, but I keep it healthy and I try to keep the portions small.

For lunch yesterday I had my normal salad. It was good, but about an hour or two later I was running errands and I found myself still hungry. I happened across a Baja Fresh which is a Mexican fast food-ish place. They have some healthy stuff, I probably eat there once every two weeks or so, usually getting a salad. I was really craving some chips and salsa.

When you order any meal they usually give you a small side of a few chips. That's what I wanted, but apparently when you order the Chips and Salsa by itself it's considered a full meal and they give you enough to feed 4 sumo wrestlers.

I told myself I'd been working so hard and that these chips and salsa weren't really that bad for me anyway. I didn't think about how that night I'd be going to my sister's house to celebrate my twin nieces' 4Th birthdays. There would be cake and we'd be ordering takeout. I wanted to save some calories for that.

Anyway, I ATE ALL OF THE DAMN CHIPS AND SALSA! I knew I had gone overboard. Not only was I not hungry anymore, but I was rather stuffed.

After finishing my chips and my errands and went back to work to look up the calorie numbers for the chips and salsa. I don't normally do this as I don't count calories but I knew today was going to be close and I may have just ruined my dinner.

So Chips and Salsa: 810 Calories!

Wow, that's a lot.

I did some quick math and added up all the calories I'd had for the day, subtracted the calories I'd burned on the treadmill, and I found myself sitting at 1600 or so before dinner.

I ended up having a "Mexican wrap" and a tiny slice of birthday cake for dinner... and about a dozen fries.The Mexican wrap had cheese and fried pieces of chicken in it.

So in short, I don't think I stayed under 2200 calories yesterday. Hopefully I stayed under my maintenance number of 2800-3000, but who knows.

What bothers me more than the calories was the saturated fat content of the chips and probably the dinner. I looked up those steak fajitas I'd been eating maybe once a week and even though I don't put cheese or sour cream on them, they're much higher than I thought in the saturated fat content as well.

So all that said, I know it sounds like I'm being overly anal. I know some people will read this and say that I've lost 80 pounds, why should I be worried about going a little overboard one day.

The answer is that I'm still learning to eat. I've been slowly trying to introduce some less than perfect foods back into my diet, but always at a controlled pace. I always want to at least have an idea of what I'm putting in my body so I can monitor it. If I don't do that, I could find that in 5 years, or 6 months I'll have undone all of the hard work that got me here.

It doesn't mean that I can never eat bad things, it just means I have to control them and for a while yesterday, I didn't. My mind just went blank and I started shoving a boatload of chips and salsa into my face.

I wasn't even going to write this entry because I'm embarrassed by what I did. However I realized I needed to, not only to be accountable but so I can look back on it and remember what happened, and what needs to be done differently next time.

In the end I didn't ruin my weight loss plans and gain a bunch of weigh back, but I hopefully did take a small step in learning how to eat right, or at least how to control it a little better. Actually I don't know if I did or not, but time will tell.

p.s. I ran 3.5 miles this morning and burned 400 calories. I feel a little better now and a little more in control. I like that feeling much better.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Business as Usual

Weigh-In: 216.2 lbs

I decided to scale back my cardio a bit, so today I did 2.5 miles of HIIT, or 10 intervals plus a 4 minute cool down period. That burned about 250 calories instead of the 350-400 I normally do.
I’ll probably only be running a 5k once a week or so. I need the extra calories to build muscle.
Aside from that, everything seems to be going well. Not sure I have much else to report!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tricep/Back Workout

Weigh-In: 216.4 lbs

I ended up jogging two miles on the treadmill today. After doing squats yesterday my legs were already a little sore, but it felt good to run again.

Here is last night's workout. I actually couldn't finish the last tricep workout because I was so sore. I'm definitely feeling it today.

We switched the tricep back workout with the shoulder workout since last week I didn't want to do the back stuff on the regular day because i was sore from laying sheet-rock all day. That's why we just did some of the same stuff I just did last Friday.

I'll be doing the shoulder workout either this Friday or Sunday morning. I'll post that when it happens.

Dumbbell Kickback

Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Barbell Lying Triceps Extension "Skull Crusher"


Barbell Bent-over Row

Dumbbell Bent-over Row

Weighted Back Extension (on hyperextension apparatus)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Routine to get Buff

Weigh-In: 216.8 lbs

Yesterday was a good day. I'm trying to learn as much as possible about gaining muscle while still losing fat. It's time to adjust my routine a bit to meet these new goals. I still will run, but I'm going to have to cut it back on "lifting days" to make sure I get enough caloric intake to build muscle. It's also a fact that running is a highly catabolic (read: muscle break-down causing) activity, so that is a bit counter productive to building muscle.

There is a line I have to walk between cardio and strength training. I'm still trying to sort it all out and get in a groove, albeit a new type of groove.

My new schedule is looking something like this:

-strength training; chest and tri's
-light cardio workout, no more than 1-1.5 miles of running/jogging
-50 situps (this number will get higher as time goes on)

-strength training; I actually forget what we do today but I'll post it as soon as I hear back from my friend.
-50 situps (this number will get higher as time goes on)
-light to no cardio

-4 sets of squats
-light cardio as I need to recover from the two days of lifting

- run a 5k

- run a 5k

Saturday or Sunday (whichever day I can fit it in):
-strength Training: shoulders and back

Aside from that on the weekends I rest and do my normal weekend things which usually include some type of physical activity anyway.

Check back later and I'll post the Tuesday workout. I just need to hear back from my friend so he can tell me what we're doing since I forget!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sub 24 Minute 5k - Goal Attained - Chest Workout

Weigh-In: 219.4 lbs

As you can see my weight is still up from last week, I assume due to water retention from weight training. I'm not really worried about it.

This morning I made another attempt at my sub 25 minute 5k goal and I'm happy to report I broke it! I ran a 24:17 5k on the treadmill. I pushed myself pretty hard throughout the run so I'm pretty confident I did the best I could. I might be able to pull off a sub 24 minute soon, but we'll have to see.

Tonight I'll be lifting again. It's chest and tricep night:


Chest/Tri Workout

Once again, 4-5 sets, 10-12 reps starting out, adding weight and working down to 5-6 reps.

Bench Press

incline dumbbell bench

dumbbell flys

EZ bar biceps curls

dumbbell biceps curls

Friday, January 11, 2008

Back Workout

In case anyone is interested, here is the workout I'm doing this afternoon. Today is Back day.

For all:
4-5 sets each, 10-12 reps first set decreasing about 2-3 reps each set with increasing weight or same weight.

Dumbbell Row

Barbell Row

Cable Front Pulldown

I'll post the other two workouts we're doing next week.

So much to say so much to do...

Weigh-in: 218.4 (what?!)

Yes, sometimes I go up in weight too for no reason. Yesterday's weigh in was 216 even. Today? 218.4. Sup with that?

Don't know. Don't care.

I ran my 5k this morning. It felt great. I actually ran 3.5 miles.


So...I did a lot more manual labor yesterday. That was nice.

And uhh. Things are pretty good.

Gonna lift some weights on Monday.

So, well, I guess I'll talk to you all later.

Maybe I'll have something better to say next time..

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Work Work Work

weight-in: 216.5 lbs

Another new low today. I'm kinda beat today. The last two days I've done the following:


-ran 5k in the AM
-did manual labor in the evening for 3-4 hours
-started new lifting routine at night, chest and bicepts

- ran 5k in the AM
-did manual labor for 5 hours, including moving a clothes washer down a flight of stairs.
- lifted again, shoulders

This morning:
-ran another 5k

In addition to all that my eating has been light as I've been so busy. My caloric intake was probably slightly lower than it should have been, hence to new lowsThe good news is that I am still drinking a LOT of water, over 100 ounces a day which is good.

Over the next few days I'm going to make sure I get all the nutrients I need and spend a little time recovering. I won't stop running, but I might tone it down slightly in addition to letting my muscles recover from the lifting and hard work I've been doing.

That's all I've got today, I'm late for a meeting.

have a great day!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Weight Training 101

Weigh-In: 217.4 lbs (new low)

So I finally started my lifting routine last night with my buddy Dan. We did chest and biceps.

I'm sore. I mean, I can still lift up the phone, drive the car and whatnot, but I'm pretty sore. We didn't "max out" or anything like that, but did 10-12 reps for 4-5 sets.

We did bench presses (I maxed out at 115 lbs for 4 reps, I told you my upper body strength sucked), curls, flies, some above the chest type thing, and a few other things I can't remember. I let Dan do most of the planning and basically tell me what to do. Once it becomes routine I'll write down some more details here.

Dan can lift much more than me which is good because it makes me push myself. He maxed out last night at 195. Both of our goals are to be able to bench our body weight, and right now we both weigh around 220. So I have a bit more work to do than he does to meet our goal.

Tonight we'll be working triceps and back, I think.

I brought my camera to the gym this morning and took some pics before and after my workout. They're not serious pics or anything (as you'll see in a minute).I wanted something other than the normal poses so I could really see what I look like in other positions. They're to serve more as a record of what I looked like after the first day of lifting for later comparison. Hopefully in a few months I'll be able to see some real progress.

I still have love handles and a small gut that I want to get rid of, which is why I'm looking to lose another +- 10 lbs.


Beck, now you can see why I really need that new Monkey Hair Style you were talking about in your blog..

Monday, January 7, 2008

Deconstruction of Goals

Weigh-In: 219.8 lbs
5k Time: 25:30

Today I attempted to push myself a little further and see how close I could get to my sub 25 minute 5k goal. As you can see, I was able to record a 25:30. That time included 8 or 9 intervals at 5.3/7.5 then 5.3/8.0. I think if from the start I would have bumped up my lower interval time to say, 6.0 I might have been able to get under 25 minutes. I like to try to attempt to break personal records on Monday's since I'm usually fairly well rested from the weekend, so maybe I'll make this a weekly thing.

Tonight I'm FINALLY starting my lifting program with my friend who lives down the street. I'd been putting it off because I've been gutting my kitchen, tearing down walls and ceilings and so forth so i didn't want to be so sore I couldn't put my arms over my head.

The kitchen still isn't done, but the demo work is, so hopefully I can move on with my lifting. Although installing drywall on the 12 foot ceiling might be interesting with sore arms...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Pain is a part of achievement

weigh-in: 219.7 lbs
weight lost: 76.3 lbs
Day Number: 165

I've been running at least a 5k (on the treadmill) every day M-F for maybe a month now. Yesterday I recorded a best time so far of 26:01. Most days I incorporate some form of H.I.I.T while running it.

Running really is very therapeutic. Several times I've been in a bad mood for whatever reason at the beginning of the run. Usually when that is the case I run further than usual. At the end of the run I'm always feeling great, and that feeling tends to stick with me for several hours.

If I take more than two days off from running I tend to find myself thinking about it. The longest I've gone without running at least for 20-30 minutes is three days, but only one or two times in the past few months.

It's funny because before I started this new lifestyle I'd been thinking about jogging for a while. I was worried about turning my ankle as I'd always been prone to it ever since injuring it a few times. Now I'm realizing weighing close to 80 pounds less really has an effect on turning your ankle. It doesn't happen; at least not at the rate I'd expect it to. I'll knock on wood now because I'll probably walk out to my car at lunch today and fall down the stairs or something...

Another deterrent for me was back pain. The few times I ran in high school I remember hating it so much; it was hard on my knees, my back hurt, trouble breathing.

There are a lot of the reasons why I took this on. One of them was because I wanted to be able to confront those issues. I'd never have thought I could actually enjoy something I despised so much. Sometimes it just takes a different approach and a lot of patience.

Overall I think I realized that losing weight was going to be hard. Therefor, I expected some discomfort in order to achieve my goals.

What is it they say? "Anything worth anything takes work."

Something like that anyway.

I'll take it a step further and say that "anything worth anything takes work, and that work is probably at least occasionally going to hurt".

Pain is a part of achievement. I think once you can realize that and in a way, embrace it, you can be successful at just about anything.

Pain means progress. Mistakes also can mean progress. You teach yourself what works and what doesn't. Every mistake should teach you something. Each mistake, each pain session you recover from makes you stronger. For yet another cliche, what doesn't kill you truly does make you stronger.

These are some of the things I've learned and what I believe has made me successful in this endeavour.

I expect pain and I expect mistakes.

I persistently expect them.

So, don't be afraid to fail. Don't be afraid to get hurt. It really is good for you and makes you a better, stronger, smarter person. Once you truly realize this you will start to meet your goals and in the process improve yourself.

I often imagine where I'd be right now if I'd realized this 10 or 15 years earlier? Bah, who cares, I've got work to do...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Próspero año nuevo!

Weigh-In: 219.8 lbs

Happy New Year to every one!

New Years resolutions? I'm not making any. Why? I don't know really. Maybe I made mine 6 months ago. More likely, News Years resolutions always have seemed doomed to fail for me. Not that I wouldn't encourage anyone else to make them, they just don't ever seem to pan out in my favor.

In other news, if you haven't noticed, I've met the last weight loss goal I had in the right column. It was 220 pounds by Feb 15th. I picked that date semi-randomly months ago and I probably should have moved it up once I knew at what rate I was going to be losing. I never did, so it's not really as impressive as it looks.

So I've decided to make a new goal of 210 by February 15th. That time frame is a bit longer than usual for me because I really want to concentrate on weight lifting and trading muscle for fat. I want to slow down the weight loss just a tad just to make sure that it is gone for good and I'm doing it right. It's another step towards that "normal life" mode that I'm trying to ween myself onto.

Speaking of goals, I should have some more updated ones soon as it relates to lifting. I've yet to have a chance to start my routine with the new bench press and weights my friend and I purchased, but that should be happening later this week.

As for today, I'm happy to report I broke my 5k record again with a new best time of 26:33 on the treadmill. You know what the trick was? Music! A friend gave me an Ipod shuffle and I wore it today while running and it really had this effect on me that made me maintain a higher speed throughout the run. It also really helps to take your mind off of the run and get into that "auto pilot" mode. Whenever I get in that mode I find it easier to go farther, faster, longer.

I also just eeked by a faster time on the 5 mile run last Sunday. I highly recommend those toe socks that look like gloves for your feet for longer runs. Whenever I ran that far before I'd get a blister on the side of my big toe where it touches the next one. No more. Here's the socks I'm referring to:

Toe Socks

So here's to a great new year!

Much like Billy has said; a year will go by regardless...what will you do to meet your goals?