Monday, November 22, 2010

A chip off the old block

So over the weekend I was cleaning the yard and when I brought a barrel of leaves for the compost pile I noticed something in my mother in laws back yard, who lives next door to us. A HUGE tree had fallen in a summer storm and their chainsaw wasn't big enough to go through the mass of an about 6 foot long section of trunk and its been sitting back there just waiting for me. I thought about how I like to toss "alternative exercises" into my program as much as possible and had the great idea that I would go out and buy an axe and chip this massive section of tree into some primo firewood for the coming colder months. This morning I got to the gym nice and early where I did 25 minutes on the stationary bike followed by some weight lifting, spending time on my shoulders felt good but that chunk of tree was in my head the whole time. Sunday I had run out and bought a shiny new 4.5 pound axe which is an inch under 3 feet long and I decided on the ride home that I would eat something quick and onto the tree I would go.

Da new axe.

Spending about 2 hours with that axe in my hands left me with a pair of blisters and a cracked axe handle but I did make a dent in the chunk O wood and there is a small pile of firewood for my efforts. I unfortunately did not take an after picture of the log and the wood but I will take and post one either later or tomorrow, I know, how exciting wood! but hey! it is alternate exercise for me and I am trying to focus on that to change things up a bit so it is what it is, besides all of the people that say that they can't afford a gym membership can see that there ARE other ways to break a sweat. This chunk of wood has sat where it is for months now and isn't really bothering anyone since its at the back of the property but I know that they would like it to be gone and I know a guy stupid enough to chop up a piece of hardwood that's about 6 feet long and has a diameter of more than 3 feet by hand so its on.

Front view with the failed shallow chainsaw marks from over the summer.

Back side, look at all of those knots! its going to be a challenge to actually cut this entire thing up.

I did make some changes in my calories because I had hit sort of a wall with the 2000 calorie up that I did a few weeks back so I am back to 1700 and on weight lifting days I will add a whey protein shake to see how that goes. Over all the weight is in a downward swing right now and has been coming down faster since I changed it back to 1700 so until I hit a wall with it I am going with the if it ain't broke way of thinking. I lost all of my weight on a 1700 calorie intake and along the way I change things in the way of exercise and calories from time to time and I always seem to come back to the 1700 calorie allotment so that's where I am at right now.

This week is Thanksgiving and I will have some good eats come Thursday but I am not going to over indulge in anything and am bringing a low calorie side dish so that I know I can make good choices come dinner time. Making my way towards 275 pounds one meal at a time and one workout at a time I know that I will be there and that April goal is still on the table, perhaps I will make it to that line in the sand and perhaps I will fall short, all to be found out on a later episode of as the fat guy turns.

Until next time, keep on keepin on, its all that we can do after all.

As Ever

Friday, November 19, 2010

Set the pace.

This morning I awoke from my slumber and decided before my feet even hit the hard wood floor that I was not going to the gym, I was up late, was out of bed 30 minutes early and feeling it. I read somewhere that we should make our beds every morning because it sets the pace for the day so after I hit the head I walked into the living room and asked the boss lady if she needed any help to get her morning going. She could see that I wasn't my regular old not a morning person self and said "Nah I got it" so there I sat thinking about what I would make for breakfast, a bowl of cereal later I sat down to write a blog post. Nothing was coming to mind and nothing exciting happened that would lead me to write a post, nothing health/weight loss related anyhow because there was the incident with the raccoon a jack O lantern and flip flops. Al Roker was running about on the Today show and I began thinking about how my day would play out, should I finish raking the leaves in the yard? perhaps it was time to paint the bathroom or maybe I would just sit on the couch all day and be as useless as I felt.

Not long after I shot down all of my ideas including the one where I had a go at world domination with my new friend the raccoon I thought some green tea needed to be made. Somewhere between the ice cube tray and stubbing my pinky toe I decided that bad attitude and bloody toe be damned, I needed to at least go to the gym for a short bike ride. The gym clothes were placed upon my slowly moving body and I had a time getting the pants pulled up over my dragging ass but I was off. By the time I made it to the gym My attitude improved marginally and I honestly thought "Well, I did technically go to the gym today so now I can go home" Suck it up Butter cup! get your ass in there.

That trip to the gym was very much productive, I started off with a 20 minute bike ride to warm things up and I ended with a 99RPM pace which is great! Off to the weights I went and did my back and biceps, I threw in one shoulder movement for good measure and the weight lifting session took me the better part of an hour, realizing that the mopey uninspired fella that drove me to the gym had gone home it was back onto the bike for 30 more minutes. Covered in sweat now, I return to my car and drive home to make myself a nice lunch, The leaves are raked and I pulled up all of my Canna bulbs to store for the winter.

I just came from my bedroom and ya know what? that bed still isn't made.

As Ever

Thursday, November 18, 2010

That guy

To think that I was "That guy" you know, the one that would eat a whole pizza just because it tasted good and not think twice about the repercussions of the act, in fact I have a friend that would do the same thing and it was normal to us to go grab a couple pies for dinner and scoff them down with a 2 liter of coke. I was the guy that would take the challenge of "So, how many $.99 Whoppers do you think that you can eat at one time?" and run with it, the answer is 8 and because the tab was on someone else I was ok with it and I look back at that and my guess is that it was one of the most calorie laden $8 ever spent. This morning I noticed that it was 8:40am and I had dropped a half gallon of green tea down the hatch already, I thought about how that green tea use to be soda or whole milk and seriously what the hell was I thinking? how could any of that be alright? but that was me guilty as charged.

I worked in a manual labor job at the time and believe me when I say that I got PLENTY of exercise at that job and I think its the reason that I was able to eat the way that I did and not get over 350ish pounds. Seven in the morning until five or six at night digging holes, mixing concrete and installing most of the time steel frame work for five to six days per week gets the blood pumping and in hindsight I can say without a doubt that is why I never gained weight back then. An injury back in about 2000 forced me to take a job that was not physical at all, in fact I spent the next 8 years either not working because of the injury or behind a desk and since there was no movement other than walking to the car to drive to the office I was unable to drop any of the weight that I had gained in the first few years after my injury. I became "That guy" again, You know, the huge fellow pouring himself into the car each morning wearing uncomfortable "business casual" clothing, looking sloppy because none of it fit correctly and of course because of those things did not come off as confident as he could, typical fat dude behind a computer in an office and not because it was a choice but because anything more labor intensive would grenade his heart.

My life is what it is, I wouldn't change any of it mostly because my experiences make me who I am and I can honestly say that I am happy over all. I have everything that I need and most of what I want in life right now, sure there are things that I wish I had done earlier and other things that I want to accomplish that could have been done by now if I had gotten started years ago but at this point in my life things could be much worse. I choose to focus on the positive things in my existence insisting on doing things the way that they need to be done in order for me to stay where I need to be and I can't say that was always the case, perhaps I am evolving? growing up? maturing? I am unsure but I know that focusing on the negative will only drag me down so its just not how I get down these days. I fuel my body with mostly clean food, drinking H2O and green tea exclusively these days and I attempt to get some sort of physical activity into every one of my 24 hour segments of time that you humans like to call a day.

I go to the gym almost every day and I only say almost because I enjoy riding my bike more than I like the gym so when weather permits I try and ride instead, I hike when at all possible and Wify comes with me when that happens, I am always looking to do something physical. My kids randomly drop to the floor and bang out some push ups or sit ups all of the time, they say that kids learn from their parents and I would like to believe that they do it because I do the same, I know its why and I have faith that none of my kids will ever suffer from being obese from inactivity. Every person in my family eats healthy these days, there is no soda in my home, no jars or bags full of cookies and I know that the home prepared meals are full of nutrients and not laced with fats and overly salted calories. Again I am finding that I am "That guy" but this time its something to look up to, no more "So, how many $.99 Whoppers do you think that you can eat at one time?" instead I am that guy that insists on living healthy and making it to the gym each day is a very important ideal to me. I don't care how "picky" or "pain in the ass" I might seem to be these days when it comes to what goes into my body, the key words are "My body" and its the only one that I have so from now on its just how its gotta be.

I like this version of "That guy" so I think that I'll keep it for a while.

As Ever

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giving up..

What can I do? it feels hopeless and I can't figure out how to fix it, this is how it's going to be forever no matter how short forever is and nothing that I can do will be enough. I know that I need to do something about this or it will do something about me and the story will end up with a fat man in a hole with a rock at one end carved with something nice about him while the earth keeps spinning. Why can't I just stop eating the garbage that passes for food these days? What is it about eating a satchel full of greasy over processed food that is so appealing? yet here I am with a bag full of Del Taco in my lap wolfing down my second cheese burger so that when I walk through the door no one will know exactly how much I ate. I don't want to get up off of the couch any more, simply sitting here has become enough, at least that's the perception that I want people to believe because if they don't believe it then I have to admit that I can't do much more than this, fuck, I have to piss and I can't just sit here and do it on myself, I suppose I will drag myself into the bathroom even if it makes my back hurt.

I made it to the top of the stairs which is awesome but now I need to wait a few seconds so that I can catch my breath and let my heart rate go down, I don't want Wify to know how hard I struggle with every stair and I know that I am only fooling myself because the concern is all over her face day in and day out. Why can I not get a hold on this? something that in theory seems so easy is turning out to be the bane of my existence, will today be the day? the day that my heart hand grenades behind my ribs shredding everything that I know and love as the shrapnel exits my chest? Front page news, 550 pound man had to be cut from his home this afternoon as the scene of a hole in the side of my house graced the news sites and television, no fuckin' way I was going to let it be me.

Diligently counting every calorie that entered my body while walking as far as I could every day feeling a little more confident in what I was doing. I started off by eating the foods that I was use to but in smaller portions, then I began researching types of foods and what they do for me or to me and adjusted my diet to include as many whole foods as possible. Walking one third of a mile at a two and a half year old girls pace became walking at my pace while she rode in the stroller for half of the ride which became her on my shoulders and on and on. The weight was coming off and I was feeling better and better physically, I was missing less and less and it dawned on me that as long as I did my part the rest kind of just happened on its own, who wouldda thunk? When you weigh 500 plus pounds everything that you do is hard, I mean everything and without getting into details I am sure you can use your imagination and get pretty close on most of it but as plainly as I can say it life pretty much sucks when you weigh that much.

I've had people say to me "I have X Y and Z which limits what I can do so you don't know what I am going through" when I say to start small and do what you can while making the commitment to the eating less part priority. That is ALL excuses, I don't care what a person perceives as a roadblock I call them excuses at this point and before you get all "Oh you cocky son of a bitch where do you get off blah blah blah" I weighed more than 500 pounds, yeah that's a quarter ton, I have a disk injury in my lower back and I go to the gym every day currently and am limited only by my own hand, as a 500 pound man I walked while my back was on fire, my heart pounded and sweat poured from every inch of my skin but I kept doing it despite the pain and discomfort. The whole time I walked I held the hand of the most beautiful little girl in the world which was a constant reminder of why I needed to keep going no matter how much it hurt, no matter how slow I went and no matter how uncomfortable I was. I never said that it would be easy and every one of us that has lived or is living the life of a super obese person knows the feeling. Something that I've learned is that I am not and was not the only person with this problem and feeling sorry for myself helped me to get to that 500 plus pound stage of my life and if I had looked in a mirror sooner I may have figured it out earlier than I did.

Now its time to finish what I started because even though I am seemingly unlimited in what I do these days I do have health goals that I wish to reach so its on, I wouldn't recommend standing in my way.

As Ever

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Submit to me...

Lately the name of the game has been get to the gym, count the calories and drink my green tea and H2O, I have been all business at the gym and for my efforts the posts have been coming slower lately. This afternoon I did 20 minutes on the stationary bike at the gym @99RPM's covering eight virtual miles, following that I lifted weights for about an hour covering my chest, triceps and did one movement for my biceps since they were a secondary group being used in one of my chest exercises. My calories as I type this are at 2005 total and I am done for the day at this point, included in those calories is a banana, 2 peaches, 4oz of roasted turkey breast, a whey protein shake and the rest of the menu is very similar, to say that I have been eating cleanly is an understatement. Somewhere along the way in the last week or so my focus has become strongly aimed at getting below 300 pounds as fast as possible without stressing over it and I can see the numbers on the scale in my head as clear as I can see the screen in front of me as I type right now 299.

I have not been posting my weight on Fridays for a couple weeks and that is sort of purposely not on purpose, wait what? Somehow having that "I gotta post my weight on Friday" monkey sitting on my shoulder was screwing with my mojo so the first time around it was literally I lost track of days but last week I decided that I wasn't posting it because I was in a zone and didn't need the false road block to get in the way. I have had no time to write daily because of a non weight loss related situation that has kept me from the keyboard as often as I would like to be here but I am going to try and get to posting on a regular basis once again as some of the smoke is clearing and I actually feel guilty not writing a post! not to mention that I have fallen behind on all of the other blogs that I enjoy reading.

My wife has been a peach the last couple weeks, She has kept me on track with some extra support and we even got out on a hike yesterday which played a part in why I didn't get a post up. We hiked about 4.5 miles much of that was up hill and we packed a lunch that we enjoyed on a "look out point" along the trail that actually over looks one of the bike trails that I ride and that was probably the most awesome lunch that I have had in a long time. I started something back in January 2008 with this whole weight loss thing and back then it was a matter of do I want to live or do I want to die and that made things easy because if there is one thing that is certain its that I want to be around for my wife and kids, for about the last year though I found that I was/am comfortable with where I am a point.

Comfort is one of those things that can sneak up on a fella and slowly take over the drive that was once flowing in his blood, it is after all one of the main reasons that many people try and lose weight right? I LOVE the being comfortable with myself thing, I am finding it harder to find things that I am limited from doing these days and feel that I have my life back not in the respect of anything other than my stamina is there again and I do what I want to. The mere fact that I can on a whim go on a hike with the love of my life and sit in the quiet of the New England woods sharing a moment of just enjoying the company is something that I was not a possibility at 534 pounds and I have been soaking those moments up as they come for the last year.

There is something on my horizon that is very important to me and getting myself back into the groove of dropping weight like its my job is just how its going to be for as long as it takes me to get to my goal weight. The days of letting the comfort be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow are over, I need to get to my goal so that I can prove to myself that I can in fact go the full 100% and not be mister 97% like I have been in the past, its time to get the last couple few off of my bones once and for all. My lowest weight since starting down this road to better health was 305 pounds back on May 21st, I am right now as I type this post 25 pounds higher than that low number and honestly it aggravates me more than almost anything that I can think of right now but to focus on that would be a mistake.

I am focusing on my calories, I again started weighing EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth a week ago, no more "going off of what I know" with my "eying it" technique. Missing a workout is not an option which is nothing new because as you all know I LOVE the gym and I LOVE the workouts but I am going to push myself harder in order to get to my goal weight which will start by me getting back down to that 305 pound mark that I made back six months ago. I need to get to that initial goal not because of anything other than to prove to myself that I can finish what I started back in January 2008, I've come this far and I've done it on my own, no payment plans or food in a box delivered to my door, not at the edge of a knife on an operating table and no miracle pills, I will get to the weight that I set out to get to, my way.

That's all I got for tonight, tomorrow will be just the next day in a string of many where I punish my body into submission.

As Ever

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Human Engine, When did you last change your oil?

I had an old 1984 Buick LeSabre once upon a time and that car looked like hell when I was through with it, there were dents, broken windows and it had about 200k miles on it, I inherited the car from my mother when she moved out of state when I was about 22 years old. I drove that car for more than a year with about a quart of oil in it right up until the time that I sold it to the scrap yard it never quit on me, it ran in lieu of the treatment that it was getting even if it knocked and dieseled when I tried to turn it off. There was damage to that engine and transmission but it held together just long enough for me to save up and buy myself a 1986 RX7 (yes I fit into an RX7 so zip it!) so it did its job and I didn't have to take care of it one bit in the time that I owned it but it didn't last as long as it could have. If we take care of our cars they will last a long time, sometimes when we beat the shit out of them they keep on going but at some point something will break, it has to because it was not designed to work with extreme abuse and some are better than others at taking the abuse while still performing even if at a lesser standard than it was meant to.

That RX7 was WELL taken care of when I bought it, the thing ran like a top and that rotory motor hummed perfectly, I changed the oil regularly, washed and waxed it weekly and drove it everywhere. The fella that I bought the car off of had owned it since new and it had sixty some odd thousand miles on it when I purchased it and became the second owner, this car was my baby...for the six months. In my younger days lets just say that I was known to put after market parts into cars and proceed to beat the living hell out of them, this was starting to become the fate of that once pristine RX7. The car was taken care of all of its life until it met me and ultimately died at my hands and was sold off as a parts car the very next summer, yes I said parts car, so this car had a different life than that LeSabre but did share the same fate. Sometimes when things get taken care of properly they can still end in disaster because of all kinds of different problems or stupid decisions.

Engines work as they should when taken care of properly, change the oil regularly, tune ups help to keep things working and driving the way the car was meant to be driven will most times mean a reliable car for many years. When a car is not taken care of it may last for a while but eventually all of the parts that are wearing down every time it gets driven will fail and at that point the car is shot, we may be able to limp it back and fourth to work while it sputters and chugs along like that LeSabre did but it will be a short lived ride. I recently have been reflecting on some things that were in my life not too long ago and what I may have been doing to my body in the process of those things and the car analogy came to me, at 534 pounds I was beating the shit out of my body just like I did that LeSabre. My heart, my lungs, my bones and muscles, all of my ligaments along with every part of my mental was getting the shit beat out of it on a daily basis just because I weighed more than a quarter ton and was essentially running on a quart of oil and broken windows, I was fucking myself and couldn't see it.

Something was going to fail catastrophically in short order if I hadn't changed the oil when I did, but does it mean that because there are fresh plugs and oil in the engine that it will now be a 200k mile engine? this I am unsure of. Like a car that was beat to hell and then changed owners where the new guy takes care of the car sure it will last longer now because its being taken care of but are there stressed bolts internally that will ultimately make the engine fail? or will that odometer reach 250k and beyond? perhaps I worry about things that should not be as close to the surface as they are, perhaps not. As a once 500 plus pound guy I think that there are worries that are valid and should be monitored and all at the same time I know that the oil is being changed regularly now and the engine is being run properly so it should last a good long while more with this maintenance routine.

We need to take care of our bodies as if they are the most precious thing that we own because they are, we cannot call the scrap yard up and have them tow away the shell of a Lesabre because a shiny new RX7 was bought, we get one go around and that's it and the scrap yard that we end up in has a 6 foot deep hole in it. These days I am a machine, I eat properly, I exercise daily and I live as clean as I possibly can the days of beating the shit out of my cars is in the past and the days of me beating the shit out of my body are over, that is until I get into the gym or onto my bike but that is another story.

You gonna end up in the scrap yard? or pull that oil and wax out and show a little love to yourself? I know which one I choose.

As Ever

Friday, November 5, 2010

Appreciation, what is that exactly?

Today I am stealing an idea from somebody on my facebook friends list, Josie is posting things that she is grateful for for the next 30 days on her page and this idea somehow sounds like a cool idea so I shall do something similar. I don't know if I will be able to post EVERY day so I can't say for the next 30 days but I am going to attempt to post something that I am grateful for or something that I appreciate as often as I remember, this could end up being easy or it may be harder than I think but either way its an interesting venture.

So I wonder, what do I appreciate, there are so many things to choose from and so many different directions this can go in but I have to say that the thing that I appreciate today is my wife. She is my rock, she is there when I need her to be and she is there no matter what the situation, without her I am unsure how successful I would have been with my better health venture and she knows this but in the spirit of the appreciation thang, she gets the number one spot. The image that I posted is her standing next to a sun flower that we were growing, She is my hiking partner, my conscious and you will never find a kinder person on the planet, which is subject to debate on the days that I don't put the dishes into the cabinet! she is a huge part of why I am able to do what I do.

Ok, ok enough of the sappy stuff, back to the weight loss related chatter, This week I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off and finding time for myself has been quite the task and because of that I haven't gotten many posts up this week, such is life I suppose. The little bit of time that I have had to myself has been spent at the gym so you can't fault me too much for that right? I mentioned that I got some seat time at a tattoo shop and because of the placement of one of them its bothering me when I lift weights so I have pretty much spent my time this week on Cardio more than lifting and Saturday through Tuesday I didn't even make it to the gym because of an unrelated issue so its been an odd week for me over all. Making good choices with my intake hasn't been hard for the better part of the week and Halloween did toss a couple hurdles in my way but I think we made it through pretty much unscathed for the most part and this week the theme will be hardcore workouts.

The things that I do now compared back a couple hundred pounds ago and the way that I do them aren't comparable, Making good choices with diet and exercise force me to stay healthy these days. I have said this on my blog countless times but I believe that anyone who wants it can lose weight and get healthier than they are currently, the biggest part of weight loss is the mental because as soon as we realize that fact everything else doesn't seem so hard.

A bit random but that's all I got for today.

As Ever

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I have in 1037 days transformed my entire body into what it is today, what exactly that is I am unsure of but I know that its much healthier than it was at 534 pounds. This weekend a couple things happened, Halloween came and went but not without me dipping into the pumpkin for a couple few pieces of chocolate and I got some seat time at the tattoo shop on Saturday which was cool as its been a while since my last ink. Friday I hurt my neck yes yes I am ok so don't start crying, and that kept me away from the gym until this afternoon, so a whole four days of no work outs had me bouncing off the walls and pretty uncomfortable between that and having to watch where I placed parts of my body because of the new tattoos.

Working as hard as possible to get as close to or surpass the goals that I have set in front of me is all that I can do in order to make the deadline, This is what I will do in order to realize all of my health goals. Sometimes there will be obstacles, sometimes it will be as smooth as silk and then there will be the times that an injury or something else stops the bustin' ass cold in its tracks but keeping all of the underlying framework that has been built in check will keep me rollin' in the right direction indefinitely.

Anyone can do this, each and every person out there that has a weight problem can grab control and drop all of the extra padding that is holding them back from doing what they want to do in life and I believe that statement to the very core of me. If I were to somehow gain 200 pounds back onto my bones I would have to say that I would be completely at fault because even if I was immobilized I control what goes down the hatch, taking responsibility for ourselves is pinnacle in making a lasting change in how we live. Learning that I have control, that You have control of your intake and whether an attempt is made at some real exercise is a step that needs to be taken in order for this to work, without it I am unsure that success can be had in a world where weight loss and better health is the goal.

I weighed 534 pounds at one point in my life and I will never go back to that life, ever...

DXXXIV...Never again...

As Ever