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?