Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fat Guy Contingent

I briefly mentioned the Fat Guy Contingent, or FGC, in a post I wrote back in August. While the post itself was really about pictures, or lack thereof, I wanted to bring back the concept of the FGC.

It's a silly little name for ourselves, because we were the biggest kids in that particular circle of friends. I can't speak for the three other members, but I believe that the name united us and made us feel okay about ourselves. We were with people who looked like us, and that made it alright, you know? But at the same time, I think all four of us realized that while we liked the idea of feeling alright about ourselves, we knew that in the big picture we were unhappy with ourselves and needed to change. That's why the first (and to my knowledge only) rule of FGC is to get the hell out of FGC! None of the four of us knew exactly what getting out entailed, though we were pretty sure that not eating Chinese food and doing some exercise seemed like the first couple steps.

I've thought about it recently. I've been working hard, both on the diet and on the exercise front. I'm still consistently going to the gym every morning (my upper back is so sore from yesterday's t-bar rows!) and I'm drinking lots of water to keep myself full all day long. But is it enough to be out of the FGC? What do I need to do to accomplish Rule #1 of the club? When will I know that I've done enough to leave?

Turns out, the answer is... today.

I'm at a new low of 278.1 this morning. I'm buying clothes off the rack at normal stores and not shopping at Big and Tall stores. I'm wearing size 36 jeans right now. And the big one, the one that just happened... My BMI has passed from 40 to 39.9. Now I know, it's just about the same thing, and if I were in grade school I'd just be rounding up. --BUT!-- Little details are important! A BMI of 40 results in a naming convention of Morbidly Obese. A BMI of 39.9 results in Class II Obesity. Look, I'm still a total fattie. I know it. I understand that a weigh-in of 278 is very, very high. I recognize that physically I'm not too appealing to women. I realize that I still have a long, long way to go to reach my overall goal.

But I'm getting there. Class I Obesity, here I come! ;)

Anyway, thanks FGC for giving me a place where I felt like I belonged when I was down, but we all know what Rule #1 is. So today's my day. I'm officially out of the Fat Guy Contingent, and now I'm just another fat guy. I can't wait for you guys to come join me. :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Xmas wrap-up

So can I quit writing about Christmas please? Last one, promise.

I'd asked my mom to get me some pants and shirts for Christmas this year. Specifically, size 36" jeans and some 2xl shirts. I wanted to shrink into them. Then I went and bought some 36s on my own and kind of blew up the whole deal for myself. Or did I?

When I unwrapped my stuff on Xmas, there were two pair of jeans, and a couple shirts. The jeans were a 36 and a 38 respectively ("so you have one for now and one for later!" she informed me), and the shirts were 2xl. Hmm. So I went into the bedroom and tried on the 36 jeans. I stepped into them and felt the constriction around my thigh. Uh-oh. I got them up over my butt and felt them cup my bum a bit too much. Crap. I grabbed the button and the hole and pulled them together - it buttoned. And then I let out my breath. Crap! Same brand, same size, different cut, bunk results. Looks like I've got me some work to do yet.

I took the pants off and went out into the living room again. "Mom, do you have the receipt?" I asked. "I'd like to return the 38s. Get a second pair of 36s."

Later I then put on one of the shirts, just for shits and giggles. It was a 2xl, a plaid in red, black and khaki. She buttoned up! No kidding. I was beyond thrilled.

The next day we went to the store where she got the jeans and shirt. I exchanged the jeans for a second pair of 36s, then for fun I added another button-down 2x and two 2x t-shirts. This was the first time I'd gone into a clothing store and bought stuff off the rack. Even though I'm still at the far edge of acceptable with my 2xls, I'm finally starting to get some awesome non-scale victories. I don't have to shop at Casual Male XL anymore! And even though I'm so glad that I don't have to, I do just want to say, I was so so so happy that they were there for me when I needed them. It was my one bright spot when I started to get really depressed and began packing on the pounds. Losing the ability to shop in normal stores was really hard, and only contributed to my plight. But that's all over now, and I couldn't be happier!

So, I'm back. I've got the gym early in the morning. It's Back Day, which means deadlifts. Yay! I'm so fired up to get these two pair of jeans fitting me well. I'm so excited for getting out of the 2xls and into the xls! I'm so ready to get back to being me. I think that 2009 will be a very good year for me. I hope you're ready to make it a good year for you too.

Almost back to normal

Christmas was fun - good to see the folks again.

I was able to hit my mom's gym twice while down in TX, and while I didn't get in the best workout either time, I still got my 20 minutes of cardio coupled with some weight lifting done. Turns out that though her gym is 3 or 4 times the size of mine, the free-weights aren't readily available. They're in these little workout rooms. I don't know if you have to be in a class to use them or what, but neither of us had the details and I was short on time so I just used the nautilis machines. It was fine.

I'm really looking forward to next week already - I just want a full week of normalcy. I don't *need* routine like a little kid or anything, but when I'm trying to focus on my weight loss goals, the lack of distraction makes things much easier.

Anyway, sorry about the crappy post here - I'm pressed for time as I'm about to dash into a meeting at work. I'll expand on things later. For now, I'm at 280.4 this morning. So getting to 275 by Wednesday looks to be unlikely at best. I'd still like to focus on it and get it done by next Friday though, so that's the currently re-estimated goal.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'll be home for Xmas

Well, not home exactly per se, but I'll be with my parents and that's home enough - I see them all of one time a year.

I don't have any clue as to my computer access there - I mean, they both have computers I think, and my dad's a regular blogger himself, but who knows what I have access to - or time for.


I will be good. Actually, that's not even accurate anymore. Because it's not a question of good or bad behavior with regards to food. I've changed. It took awhile, but I have. So I misspoke when I said I'd be good. What I mean to say is, I'll be true to myself. Enjoy, not indulge. My life's pleasures no longer come on a plate. What a great Christmas gift I've received!

279.7 (I seem to be treading water - probably because my schedule's been out of whack for a week now - I enjoy Xmas, but I'm *really* excited for things to return to a sense of normalcy).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

So one thing about me - I'm slow to get into the "holiday spirit", whatever that may be. I tend to enjoy complaining about how every year Christmas seems to come earlier (I saw Xmas decorations in some stores before Halloween!), but when I finally give in, I'm totally down like a browntown clown.

I'm officially now down for Christmas.

I leave for the airport tomorrow directly after work, and get to Mom and Dad's late on Christmas Eve. They called last night and wanted to know if I wanted to help trim the tree - nope! I want to walk into the house and see that thing all aglow with the multi-colored lights my dad insists on using (I'm an all-white light man myself). I want to see all the ornaments that my mom has stitched (she's a fan of needlepoint and every years stitches a new ornament for the tree - it's her goal to have every ornament on her tree handmade by herself one year). I want to wrap presents. I'm ready to listen to Christmas music. I'm excited!


Monday, December 22, 2008

This is getting kinda old...

Today for the third time in two weeks my workout partner and I ran into issues getting to the gym on time. The snow and ice is wreaking havoc on our and others' cars, and it's taking forever to get where I need to go.

That means that I again missed cardio and only did weights. Bah! It's hard to get the motor revved up without my daily cardio boost!

Rumor has it that tonight snow starts falling again after midnight. I'm all for a white Christmas, but enough is enough. Let a guy get to the gym please.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Quick Post

I'm not usually one to post on Sundays, but I had a weird little experience today. I was out shopping for Christmas gifts and ran into three people that I knew, but didn't know that well. Acquaintances I guess. All three of them had some variation on, "wow, I almost didn't recognize you - you've lost weight!" I smile, say thank you and that I've lost a little bit and then move on.

People that knew/have known that I'm losing weight have commented on little changes since the end of July. I noticed real changes somewhere around 30 pounds, when my face started to come back in. Now, finally, at 55 pounds lost, other people are noticing. I guess it's just harder when you're that big - I could lose 10, 15, 20 pounds, but because I was *so* huge, it really didn't make that big of an overall impact. I needed to lose 55 pounds, or 16.4% of my starting weight, to get enough of a physical change that others can tell.

So if you're just starting out, don't worry if people aren't noticing right away. Put in the work. Because if you do that, if you really work hard, the weight will come off. And people will notice.

I'm so surprised that I went out to buy Christmas gifts and ended up receiving three wonderful ones too!

Friday, December 19, 2008

End of the week

Oof - Friday night and I'm just posting now. You lead a more exciting life than I do. Trust me. ;)

Well, the remainder of this week wasn't as good as the start. Wednesday at work I was stuck in an "all day" meeting, which ran from 9am until 3pm, after which I was in another meeting from 3 to 4:45, then a third meeting from 4:45 until 5:Something. Ugg! I *hate* meetings. I'm a producer, a do-er - I'm not a meeter. So frustrating. The other negative thing about that was that we had lunch catered in as we were in the long meeting. They brought... Chinese. My weakness! I tried to be good - one eggroll, a small serving of white rice, a small serving of Sesame chicken... but the elliptical doesn't lie - I didn't sweat as much as I wanted to Thursday morning. And the scale reflected an uptick. Damn.

Thursday wasn't much better - after work I met up with some friends downtown for dinner, drinks and a holiday parade. Four beers and one appetizer of 4 small burgers later, and I knew I'd botched it.

Today I did better, but was invited to happy hour by some of the people at my current workplace. I couldn't say no - it was my first invite since joining there a month ago! Again, four beers. I grabbed Subway on the way home, along with two waters.

I'm not really that mad at myself; I'm just fine. But I also recognize that hitting 275 by Jan 1 is really *really* on the outside edge right now. I'm not sure how I feel about that - on the one hand, I'd like to make that goal. I'd feel good for reaching the goal and I'd be at 60 pounds down. On the other hand, I know that it'll be waiting for me by the 7th of January if I botch it. I'm just not quite feeling the big drive to work my arse off right at this exact moment. I will again, but I just feel like I'm going to enjoy seeing my family and won't make a huge deal about things.

I'll be fine.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A little at a time

I want to talk about goals for a minute.

Successful people have goals. Successful people know where they want to be. But the real secret of successful people in reaching those goals? Isn't in setting them. It's in deciding how to get there.

There's a phrase that I like, which sums up very well the idea about how goal-setting works: Plan the Work, then Work the Plan.

If you look up at the top of my blog, you'll see a weight loss ticker with a scale slowly trekking from 0 to 150. See, I set a goal of losing 150 pounds for myself, and the ticker is one way that I track my progress towards that goal.

But seriously stopping and thinking about 150 pounds doesn't help me as I work towards meeting that goal. It's too big. It's a ridiculously high number! Logically, I know it'll take around 18 months of hard work to get myself there. Eighteen months! Holy shit, that's a long time! So I don't think about 150 pounds, and I don't think about a year and a half. I think about five pounds. Five measley little pounds. Shit, five pounds? Five pounds is easy. And I *always* think about my weight in five pound increments. The couple times I haven't, it's shown on the scale. I lose focus. I lose my way.

I a way, I'm lucky I guess. I started at 335 pounds. That means that every time I lose five pounds, I'm really completing one of two slightly larger goals. One of them is to get into a new "weight decade". I lose 5 pounds (and technically 0.1 more), and I'm out of the 330s and into the 320s. A whole new weight decade to think about! And then I let that thought fall out of my pretty little head and I instead focus again on 5 pounds. Five itty bitty pounds. And once I knock those next five off, I'm at 325 - and my next bigger goal is met - I've lost a nice round number of 10 pounds! Wow! Easy! And then I just focus on the next five pounds and look, we're back to another new weight decade! lol. And pretty soon, the decades keep going down and the total lost keeps going up. And today I'm looking at the number at the top. I don't have to lose 150 pounds any more; I only have to lose 94.5 pounds. Shit, that's not even triple digits! Holy shit - it's NOT triple digits! See? I hadn't even thought of it like that before right now. Because 150 wasn't digestible as a number. It's just too big. But five pounds is totally digestible. And the beauty of five pounds is, if I'm working at it, it takes two weeks to drop. Three if things are going way wrong, but I've also done it in only one. So I'm getting constant positive reinforcement for my efforts. And every now and then (like yesterday) I remember to look into some bigger things, like new pants. It'd been two months since I'd last thought about new pants until yesterday. Because they weren't my daily focus. Five pounds. That's it. That's how I look at it.

I eat for fuel. I don't eat after 7pm. I drink only water (or try to). I do 20 minutes on the elliptical 5 days a week. I weight-train a different body part 5 days a week for 30 minutes. I focus on losing five pounds. That's what I do. I've planned my work, now I work my plan.

Sure, from time to time I botch it. I eat poorly. I have froofy coffees. I gain weight. But I don't beat myself up anymore over it. I'm experienced enough to know that I'll go take care of it. That those days are now the odd day.

So when you think about where you want to be, write it down. Then write down how you plan to get there. Then write down what you're going to do today. And tomorrow. And how you're going to lose five pounds. Then go lose the five. Then do it again. And then? After you've had some success losing the five pounds? Take a look at the big goal again. You may find it's not so ridiculous anymore.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Closet Pants IV

Much like Hollywood, I seem to be churning out inferior sequels to an exciting original post. Eh, what are you going to do, nobody's paying me to be original. :)

So today I'm leaving work. It's snowing out. I've lived my whole life in the great state of Minnesota, and yet I don't have a snow brush/ice scraper for my car. Idiot. Moreover, I decide to just fire up the car and go, instead of waiting for it to warm up, for the front/rear defrosters to kick in. It was fine at first, but as the defroster started I was suddenly greeted by a thick fog on my windshield. It was further compounded by the blowing snow off my hood which hit the windshield and amped up the fogging. And I'm doing 25 with my window rolled down and my head sticking out of it, so I don't bury my car into someone's side panels. That's when I get the bright idea - let's jump on the highway and try to not die and go buy some new Closet Pants!!! :D

I haven't had an official pair of too-big Closet Pants since I last got some Lucky 38s, I'd run out of "skinny" (lol!) pants. I guess I just haven't had that feeling of going for something like that in awhile.

So I fought the weather and got to the store, and once inside went to the rack. I grabbed another pair of Luckys, this time a 36 Regular. Just for fun, I bought myself a 2x button-up as well. It's been awhile and I don't seem to have any nice button-ups in a 2x in the closet.

I just got home and put down the bag. I pulled out the pants. Lots of apprehension here. Thoughts just racing in my mind. I know that as I continue to lose, each next pair of Closet Pants will become harder and harder to fit into. The distance and work to go from 46 to 44? Easy. A couple weeks of real work and eating right. By the time I'm trying to get into 38s, it had become a real grind. I remember putting on those 38s for the first time - no dice. They didn't get worn for two weeks afterward. But man did they motivate me. I *had* to get into a thirty-something waist. I just *had* to, you know? And so it was with today's 36s. It had been two months since getting into a lower waist. How long would the 36s take?

I plucked the tags off the jeans, peeled the sticker with the big 36 REGULAR off the leg, turned and headed for the bathroom and its mirror. I put my right leg through the leg of the jean. Surprisingly, I didn't get any resistance. No tightness around the thigh. I put my left leg through. Again, No problem. I pulled them up over my butt, grabbed the button with my right hand, the button hole with my left and got ready to hold my breath.

They buttoned.

No fighting. No big suck-in. No problems. I honestly thought that there was something wrong. I pulled at the waistband, wondering if they were some sort of stretchy something or another. Nope. I looked at myself in the mirror. Sure, the stomach still hung over the waistband (that'll take a while to lose), but the pants were fine. Better than fine in fact. It's weird - I've had so much extra room in the hamstrings and thighs and crotch of my recent pairs of pants, I've forgotten how pants are supposed to fit. Don't get me wrong, I'm still 281 pounds of hugeness, but my god, these things don't look like I could billow out the extra fabric and glide from treetop to treetop like some flying squirrel. They look... normal. Kind of. They improve the way I look. They've reduced my silhouette.

I tried on the 2x shirt too, just for fun. It buttoned up. When I *totally* relaxed you could still clearly see the outline of my gut, and when tucked into the jeans I looked as though my torso was made of thick, heavy marshmallows, but seriously - I'm like two weeks away from having that shirt be a viable option. No kidding.

I still had a 3x shirt in the closet that didn't fit when I bought it. It's not American, so it's cut isn't as generous as the stuff Casual Male XL sells apparently (their stuff seems to be cut so huge - I think that their 3x is like a "normal" 4x). It fit. It effing fit! Again, when tucked into these 36 jeans the button-up looked a bit ridiculous, but I'll be damned if I can't wear it on casual Fridays where tucking in isn't mandatory.

I guess it's time to go buy a pair of 34s and get ready for Closet Pants V!


Not too sure what to write today. I seem to be in a bit of a funk. It's cold outside and I don't much care to think about venturing out there. Of course I did this morning, but working out is pretty much mandatory these days. Point is though, I just want to stay inside and eat something warm and get under a blanket.

Not much else is going on. No big revelations. No major changes at work. Nothing going on with the family. Blah. I guess I'm anticipating the holiday? Doubt it. I did read in the paper this morning that Best Buy is offering buyouts to 4000 employees. My boss's husband was laid off yesterday. I'm getting a bit nervous about work, my place there and how concrete of a position I have. We received a note last week letting us know that in an effort to stave off layoffs, there are no raises for anyone for 2009. On the one hand, it's good that they're making efforts to avoid layoffs, on the other it's rough to think that depending on how long the economic slide is going to be until things settle, there will be layoffs at some point. I just hope that if it's me, I land on my feet quickly. Ugh.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Good Weekend

Well, I was able to put together a good weekend of eating, and the results are showing on the scale this morning. I'm thrilled about that. I'm not thrilled that the weather/snow here made traffic bad this morning, to the point of delaying me getting to the gym by 30 minutes. So no cardio today, only weights. That? Isn't getting it done to the best that I want. I didn't get a big sweat going. I didn't start my day off as right as I'd like. But I still did my shoulder lifts and got a small sweat going.

One and a half weeks until Christmas and all the travel, stress and bad eating that goes with it. Just remember everyone, it's a holiDAY, not a holiWEEK. Be good.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Well neat

Not much of an update today, except to say that I woke up today, stepped onto the scale, and I'm at 284.1. So a nice little drop to kick off the weekend. Totally unexpected (especially as I was noshing on some chips/salsa last night and expected the high sodium to keep my water retained), but absolutely welcome. :)


Friday, December 12, 2008

If you could, please spare a prayer

I'm going to take some time out from blogging about weight loss as I just received this letter from a friend of mine:


Hello everyone,
Just wanted to give you an update. I just got off the phone with Jen and kinda good news/bad news. Its officially breast cancer and it has so far spread to at least one lymph node. The tumor in her chest is size of a walnut and the lymph is size of pea. There could be more in the nodes, but they are small enough to not be felt. She is undergoing CAT scan on Tuesday to make sure it hasn't spread any further.
Now for the good news. Its a non-aggressive form of cancer. So if you are going to have cancer, best kind to have.
They are going to be starting chemo asap and then following with radiation. Surgery is last resort if the chemo/radiation doesn't take care of it all. She's looking at a rough 8 months. But she sounded relieved to at least know its treatable and she's sounds pretty optimistic. She's drained though for obvious reasons.
I am so glad that we are going out there - interesting thing about timing sometimes huh?
Just want to thank you for your prayers and ask if you could to continue them. If you have any prayer warriors in your circle of friends, I know she would greatly appreciate all the assistance!


Please, if you've got some time, Jen could use positive thoughts, prayers and wishes. She's in for the fight of her life. Thank you.

Weird Week

My apologies for the alliteration, but what a weird week, weight-wise. This morning I'm back at 284.7, which is where I was on Tuesday, before the bizarre uptick in my weight mid-week. The thing is, yesterday I wasn't on my most best behavior. I mean, I did my water, my lean chicken and salad and apple for lunch, but then had a 12" meatball sub and then a Mountain Dew and a candybar in the evening. Whaa? And yet I went down in weight! But the day prior when I was dang near perfect, I'd held steady. I don't know if it takes two days to register good behavior on the scale, but when I blow up, eat Chinese and lose my mind, the scale registers the bad behavior immediately!

Always observing, always learning.

Yesterday I skipped my froofy coffee. I skipped it this morning too. I think I'd like to be done with them. So I guess I will be. For awhile anyway. I don't need 6-7 of those guys a week. Too much espresso!

Oh, almost forgot - I woke up last night, for the second time this week, with a terrible cramping in my right calf. I've been stretching, I've been drinking water... I've had calf cramping issues for years now. Typically I am woken up once every three months or so with them. Terrible. I awake, crying out in pain. I try to pull the leg up close to me and massage the calf a bit, but moving it is so difficult. Once about 60 second have passed I can begin to slowly stretch it again, but man does it hurt!

I was concerned as Friday is leg day at the gym. I still did my squats, but typically I then alternate between leg extensions or leg curls, and then do step-ups for the third exercise. Today I tossed out the step-ups and did both leg extensions and curls, and avoided putting the calf under duress. I'm still feeling my calf as I sit this morning.Ugg.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Another day, another no drop on the scale. And I was good yesterday! I tracked my calories and didn't overindulge! I went to the gym! Bah. Bodies are just funny that way I guess. It's kind of sweet to micromanage me when I'm losing on the daily, but when I gain or like today I have no change? Weaksauce.

Last night I got almost all my Xmas shopping done. Yay! I love giving gifts to people, so I really like shopping for others, thinking about them, what they might want. It's fun. Strangely, I *hate* receiving gifts. I always have these weird reactions. Maybe I didn't always, but at some point I guess I did, then I became self-conscience about it and now I just hate getting stuff. I feel like a weirdo when I open the package. Am I alone with this? Is this common? I've never discussed it with anyone, so I don't know if this is just one of my many idiosyncratic characteristics or if it's more common than I'm aware.

I was up late because of the shopping and doing a bit of freelance work on the side, so I fell asleep hard at 11. Getting up on time was quite the chore this morning, but I made it into the gym and got a good arm day done. I was on the elliptical machine and felt something weird in my right knee at around the 15-minute mark. Don't know what it was, but after I got off the machine I had a slight limp. Thankfully it went away in the next 10 minutes or so. Then we were doing some standing curls and we used a machine to do them. We used the straight-bar attachment that we normally use for reverse curls, and I found that it was a bad call. The straight bar forced me to over-rotate my wrists - turns out there's a reason that standard curl bars have the 45° kinks in them. So by the third set, my wrists felt strained. Next time? Curl bar attachment.

I think that's it for today - be well. :)


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Daily Vigilance

One of the things that goes with writing this blog daily is being accountable. To myself. Sometimes when I have an off day scale-wise, I'm tempted to not post. Such is my situation today. However! It is days like today that I realize I need to post the most. I need to be honest with myself (and honest with all six of you who read this - thanks!).

The thing is, it's not really bad. I'm only up three-tenths of a pound today. It's nothing. For all I know, it's a full bladder or a stool on the way.

But I know it's not.

Yesterday I had a Mountain Dew on my way to work. 210. Then for lunch I skipped the salad and got a sandwich. Only 100 calories more than the salad, but fewer vegetables. 620. And then I got an apple for 80, and *then*... I was feeling like a little something sweet, as if the apple isn't sweet enough. I poked my head into the bakery and found a pastery with some blueberry danish thing. I'm guessing in the neighborhood of 400. Then a small fruity coffee for 450. That's 1760 and I'm not even home yet! For dinner I did a 12" Club from Subway (640, though with cheese and mayo I'm thinking somewhere around 900-1000). Then I got two waters, and a bag of Doritos - 280.

So... 2940 calories yesterday. I believe that my basal metabolic rate is about 2500. So I created a caloric deficit of... plus 440. Lol! I did my workout, which should be around 400 calories burned, but still... I waaaay overindulged.

Today I've had a Mountain Dew (210), an apple (80) some terrible sushi (300) and a coffee (450). That's 1040 so far today. I've also had 24 ounces of water. Tonight I'll have a sandwich and water. I should be right around 2k for the day, and with the 400 calories burned this morning I should be in a good place tomorrow.

Daily vigilance people! I hate that I'm a scale slut, but at the same time when I see an uptick it serves as a nice early-warning sign that I'm not paying as much attention as I need to be. And in retracing yesterday's steps, I see where I bonked. I'm not beating myself up over it, but I'm aware of what's going on so now I'm able to course-correct before things get too terribly out of whack.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I had a small loss on the scale this morning: two-tenths of a pound. Yet small as that may seem, it's positive movement, and takes me down to a new low. Weight loss, like many things, is all about building up some momentum. Getting up every morning. Hitting the gym. Working out hard. Eating well. Drinking water. Getting enough sleep. You need to start getting a couple of those pieces to the overall puzzle working for you. You need to string together a couple small victories. Build that momentum up. Once it starts rolling, it's hard to stop.


Monday, December 08, 2008


Saturday I had a visit to a Chinese medical specialist, which is apparently code for someone who believes in the power of positive energy, needles and herbs. :) Anyway, he and I talked for a bit, then I went into one of the treatment rooms where he proceeded to put about 12 needles in various parts of my body. Then he turned a warming lamp onto my stomach to "get the energy flowing", and let me experience a "journey of contemplation" for the next 30 minutes, while relaxing music played in the background.

I'm a guy. I like to eat meat and drink beer and watch sports. But man did I enjoy my time! I let my mind wander, intent to focus on nothing at all. Mentally I hopped from one idea to another to another, while feeling my body seemingly sink into the table as I lay there. Thirty minutes came too soon, and I was up and out quickly.

Afterward the doc (and old friend) and I went to get some Thai food, and had wonderful, grown-up conversations about the minutia of life. We were having so good a time that after lunch we kept going for awhile longer. Once we finally said our goodbyes, I headed over to the hobby store where I used to spend lots of time. I very quickly got sad there, because it seems to represent an old version of me that I'm trying to shed. I like all the guys there, and I like the hobby too, but I just can't sit there and make fun of people and eat terrible food for hours on end like I once could. So I split. Good god - I used to spend upwards of 20 hours a week there, and now it's work just to score 2 hours. I don't know... I'm just enjoying going to other places, meeting other people, trying new things. Rediscovering life. Who I was before I let it go. Who I want to be again.

It was a good weekend. :)

Friday, December 05, 2008


Believe it.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

I have jowls.

Two quick facts: I have jowls. They're not sweet. And don't tell me that the second of these two facts is actually an opinion - because jowls *aren't* sweet. I asked everybody. They all agree.

I used to wear a little chin-beard-goatee-thing. I grew it in college, originally to signify that I was cool. I think. I'm pretty sure goatees were cool back in '96, and certainly the fact that I could grow facial hair was in itself cool. When I started getting bigger, I realized that I kind of needed the chin beard. Not because it was sweet - it's level of sweetsauce was debatable at that point - no, because in photos, the goatee helped to disguise the second chin I'd developed. It's something I didn't think about in a 3d world, but when rendered in only two dimensions, flaws like the extra chin became very apparent! So by wearing the goatee, I kept my chin/neck hidden in photos, and you couldn't see that obvious sign of obesity as much. Every little thing, right fellow fatties? lol.

Anyway, with the new job I've decided to keep it clean. I now shave everyday, and I shave the whole face. And I've noticed that I have jowls. Puffiness along my jawline. It's very noticable because the puffiness tightens up right as the skin gets to my chin - running my thumb along the jawline confirms the swollen jowls. I guess I didn't notice it because my goatee grew over the part where the puffiness tightens up.

I can't *wait* to get these things out of my life. Assuming that they will go away, and not just become loose skin on my face or something.

Good god I did some damage to me over these last few years.

Please, if you read this blog - take care of yourself. You don't want to end up regretting your apathy in a few years' time. Now all I want is to fix me, only I'm aware that there are some things that may *never* be back to proper. I'm not yet at acceptance over these things, so I'm going to keep working hard in the hopes that I can fix it, but if you haven't yet come to the point where you have jowls, or stretch marks from becoming fat very quickly, or skin tags or anything else... don't. Just take care of yourself. Trust me on this one. Please. :)


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Today I stepped on the scale and it read 287.0. That's a 0.7lb loss for the second straight day! Yesterday at lunch I had cafeteria food - I got the "healthy mix" that they offer. I think it was called... rangut? Maybe? Don't know. It had some meat, some cabbage, some carrots... it was fine. I also had a breadstick, a banana, and original flavored Sun Chips. Probably could have done without the chips, but whatever. For the most part these days (with the exception of weekends) I'm eating for fuel, not for pleasure. So steel oats, rangut, salads... I don't care what it is from a "is it yummy?" perspective. I just want to keep losing, because there's no hamburger or slice of pizza in the world that can make me feel better than a lower number on the scale can.

What else? Not too sure... I had a decent chest day today. It's time to go up on the bench press. For whatever reason, my chest and biceps have always been my two weakest muscles to train, while my legs and shoulders are consistently rockstars. I'm sure everyone has a different makeup when it comes to that, and which body parts train up better than others. I guess I wish that the two big 'showoff' muscles weren't my two tough spots, but whattaya do? Focus on the exercises and push/pull hard, don't slack. That's what you do. So that's what I did today. And my chest still feels a little trembly from the exercises 90 minutes ago. Sweet!


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Good Morning!

I'm a bit tired this morning, but overall I feel great! I'm down again today on the scale, so I'm looking forward to a great week and a great month here.

I'll try to post more later, but today promises to be a busy one so if I can't get back until I get home, so be it.


Monday, December 01, 2008

I missed the gym!

A couple discoveries this morning. One, after missing four straight days in the weight room, I felt as though I'd been hit by a truck trying to get through the shoulder presses this morning, and those were just the first of three weight lifting exercises!

I really missed my workouts and I felt it, that's for certain. So my first pledge for December will be that come Christmas, I'll be sure to hit the gym. I'll be in Austin, TX, where my folks live, but my mom's got a membership to some fitness center there, so even if I just end up walking or doing the stationary bike or whatever, I'll still be at the gym. It's just too important to miss, both for my physical progress, and my mental health. So that's that.

In good news, I was up absolutely no weight over these past four days. I'd been lamenting that last week when I got to 288.4 that I saw a great week in sight, and that I'd be torpedoing it over Thanksgiving. However, when the day came I had only exactly the food that I set out to have. I had no second helpings of anything, and when my friend left, I sent *all* the leftovers home with him. No reason to risk any temptation there.

So that means that I'm poised to have a great week on the scale this week. I'm hoping to get 13.4 pounds off, which would put me at 275 for the new year. That would be sweet! Christmas and having no control over what I'm eating will make things a bit more difficult, but I've got to do what I've got to do.


Saturday, November 29, 2008


"Chrysalis," he said plainly.

My friend and I were out for dinner, and halfway through my first beer I'd mentioned how I felt like I wasn't feeling quite right lately. I'd mentioned how I felt these weird jumble of emotions all the time. How sometimes I saw things perfectly as they are and how I was comfortable with how I fit into them. And how other times everything was a jumble and I was totally confused and worried. How I felt I've lost my funny.

"I used to be funny, right? I used to be --"

"Mean." He said back, cutting me off. "You used to be really, really mean."

My mouth curled up in my half-sneer and I grabbed for my beer.

"So now what?" I asked. "What do I do?"

"Chrysalis," he said.

"What? What's chrysalis?" I asked, clearly having forgotten my junior high biology class.

"It's like... it's like a cocoon. You know, butterflies? Look, the caterpillar? He knows what's up. He knows what he's all about. The butterfly? He does too. They ain't about the same thing. They're different. The caterpillar is all about eating and hanging out. The butterfly is all about being sweet. But between the two, there's the chrysalis. It's the part where one becomes the other. That's you. That's where you're at right now. You ain't the caterpillar, but you're not yet the butterfly either."

He's right. I don't know exactly when I stopped being the caterpillar - maybe at twenty-five pounds down? Thirty? When I got under 300? When I mentally decided to move forward and rejoin life? Not sure. At some point I stopped seeing myself as that big, awful version of me that I was. But at the same time, I'm not where I want to be. I'm stuck in the middle. My self-esteem is bruised. My self-perception isn't wholly negative, but when I catch a glimpse of my reflection in office buildings or the bathroom mirror at work, I'm stunned at how bad I still look. I sort of mentally feel like I should look a bit better than I do. Not in a body dysmorphia sort of outlook. Just... I'm ready to be something else. I want desperately to be the butterfly right now.

But I'm not. I'm changing. Evolving. I'm in a chrysalis. But life keeps going on, not waiting for me to catch back up to it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The day after

So it turns out my Thanksgiving was surprisingly fun. I'd been dreading it as this marks the first time I'd be without family on the holiday, but it turns out that hanging out with a friend and avoiding the stress and hassle of air travel is pretty okay. Though I'd still rather see my parents next year than do this again.

On Wednesday night I went out for pizza and beer, then yesterday for Thanksgiving I had a bucket of KFC. lol! I also didn't work out yesterday, nor today. I'm not skipping - it's a planned absence. Though truthfully I'm missing the gym right now. Guess it's just part of my routine and things seem 'off' without it. And that's a *really* good sign.

I'm also up 1.6 pounds this morning, at 290.0. A bit is real, a bit is sodium-induced water weight gain. I'm a tad concerned, if only because of my typical weekend weight gain. I can't be setting myself back like that this time.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Too often I think I focus on what I want to change. To fix. What's wrong. I'm taking today to think about the things I'm thankful for in my life. I hope you take a couple moments to think about the good things in your life too.

Eat, drink and be of mirth, and care not about what the scale says today, but don't go overboard just because it's a holiday. Tomorrow's not. Don't regret today tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I think I've lost my fastball

I used to be funny. And by used to, I mean, like just a couple months ago. My humor tended to be mean. Nasty. Vicious. I'd tear other people down fast. I'd be self-deprecating, quicker to attack myself lest someone else do it for me. And by attacking me, I'd be able to keep focus on things I could deal with, without allowing someone else to find and expose my real vulnerable areas.

Now, much like with 3x shirts, I feel like I'm in this bizarre no-man's land when it comes to being funny. I don't dislike myself as much as I once did. As a result, I'm not as quick to pull the trigger on an attack. And I'm much more positive, which keeps me from really attacking and making fun of others. I mean, I still do it, but not with the vim and vigor I once had.

Problem is, I haven't really replaced it with any other kind of humor. So while I appreciate and laugh at funny things, no longer am I funny. And that really sucks! Now I'm just a fat guy, sans the jolly.

I want my funny back. I need my funny back. But at the same time, I don't want to be the mean, nasty vicious person that I was. I don't know. I'm just rambling this morning.

The driver's license

About 18 months ago I got carjacked and mugged. The next day I was doing what I could to quickly get my life back in order; turns out when you lose your phone, all your credit cards and your driver's license, you're kind of hosed.

I went to the DMV and stood in line for awhile, waiting for my turn to get my license. When I filled out the paperwork, I got to the weight question. Ugh. I decided to put down 280, even though I knew I was well over three bills. I don't know why I lied. Well, that's not true. Embarassement. Shame. Ect.

So as of this morning I'm 288.4, which puts me at 3.4 pounds from 50 lost, and 8.4 pounds from an accurate driver's license.

Did you lie on your driver's license? Am I the only one who's done that?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'd been meaning to do this for awhile. At the same time, I don't want to do it at all. Then I thought, maybe I'll post at 50 pounds down. Then I thought - why wait? I seem to think too much. I'm conflicted?

Essentially, I'm posting a photo of me at my worst. And me only 32% from worst to best. Or decent. Or whatever. I don't even know how I'll look when I get where I'm headed, but it's got to be better than where I am right now.

The thing is, I'm a third of the way there now (roughly), but the change isn't that dramatic in these photos. I'm still huge. Really fucking huge. But I know that when I lose my next 50 (roughly), I'll look considerably better.

Anyway, I tried to put my hand in roughly the same spot, just to give better match these two pics up and give you a decent look at where I'm headed. I can't wait to get there!

(the bad one is on the left, with me in a hat)

And because I'm a glutton for punishment, I took a quick snap of what I looked like in my senior picture. This would have been taken in the fall of 1993, when I was 17. See? Not always a fattie. Oh, and even if I do get my waist back? I think the hair is gone for good. :)

No means no!

Today I got up about 2 minutes before my alarm went off. I was up and getting dressed and ready for the gym very quickly. Once there, I did 20 minutes on the elliptical at lvl 11, and I'm *almost* to 2 miles. I had 1.9 on the distance reading... I've *got* to get to two miles. I want it really bad right now for some reason. I'm thinking that tomorrow I go up to level 12.

I followed that up with deadlifts, high-rows and mid-rows for my back. My shirt was back to the familiar and appreciated dark grey as I was just pouring sweat. I guess that's gross? I don't know. I mean, if I thought about some strange fat dude sweating I'd probably change the mental subject, but when it's *me* sweating, it's a good thing. It makes me happy. It lets me know that I'm doing my job well.

Today I'm wearing the Worst Pants in the World again. Seriously, these things aren't getting it done for me. I've *got* to get rid of them. Thankfully I get my first paycheck on Friday, so I'm looking forward to having a bit of cash in my wallet again.

Speaking of pants, I was on the phone with my mom last night. She said that my dad's been working out and is wearing size 38 jeans again, and when I come down for Xmas I can have his 40s. What??? I don't *want* his 40s! I started to tell her this, and she tried to cut me off, talking about not wasting, blah blah blah... First off, c'mon. Seriously? Not waste? I've never worn that dude's leftover clothes. And now you want me to wear my 57-year-old dad's jeans? No. Then you want me to wear 40s when I've worked down from a 46 to a 38 since July? No! No means no! Outrageous. :) She's got good intentions, but seriously. I don't need those things. And I won't wear that size again. Well, unless I have to buy slacks. Those fuckers are always higher in number.

If she makes me take those jeans back with me, I'm going to light them on fire when I step off the plane. Believe it.


Monday, November 24, 2008

I hate this.

I lost a friend today. She was once my best friend, and now she doesn't want me to contact her anymore. She says that it's too hard to speak with me. That she needs to move on and can't with me in her life, in any capacity.

I understand her position. So I said goodbye.

I have so few friends. Real, true, tight-knit friends. The ones I'd be more honest with than I sometimes am with myself. She was one of them. She's gone now.

For the first time in years I'm sitting here, crying.

I hate this.

Some days

Some days are easier than others. Some days are harder. Some days we get what we want. Some days we don't.


In other news, I picked up my weekend weight again. Today I'm 292.5. The thing is, it's usually gone by mid-week, but with no Thursday or Friday workout this week, I might have some trouble dumping this. So that's not sweet.

Friday, November 21, 2008


This week's hard work has paid off, and this morning the scale read 289.0 even. Yay! Now I'm out of the 90s and into the 80s. This makes me happy. :)

I'll try to post more later.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still on track

I'm adjusting to the new schedule slowly but surely, and I'm still doing pretty well. Today I'm down another half-a-pound, so yay. I imagine that tomorrow I should be dipping my toe into the 280s and gearing up to leave the 290s behind.

My office is cold. My nose is cold. I'm shivering. Maybe I need to keep this layer of fat? lol.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Worst. Pants. Ever.

For the second day in a row, I'm wearing The Worst Pants Ever. When I went shopping, I first surveyed what I had in the closet. Two pair of khakis, a couple pair of cargo pants (ahem, looks like those are a no-go here), and a pair of black pants.

Sweet, I thought. I tend to wear mostly blacks and whites, with some khakis and reds in the mix, flavored to taste. So when I went shopping this past weekend, I didn't pick up any black pants.


These things? Are total fattie pants. First off, they're too long by a good four inches. My ankles look like they're covered in leg warmers. Then, they've got pleats. Wha? I thought pleats died a terrible death years ago? How the hell did they end up on my pants? And why do they flare out so far, making my crotchal area look like it's got it's own separate spare tire? Seriously, with the belt on, I've got my stomach pooch, then the belt, then the crotch pooch. I look like the Goodyear Tire mascot. Or an asshole. Or maybe both.

The waist of these pants have to be what, a 44? I don't know. It's out of control. They're falling off me! And the belt is the same story, but it's the only belt that sort of semi-fits, and doesn't look like someone would wear it to an Iron Madien concert. The lesson here? I need new belts.

So they're too long, too loose, too pleaty and too awful.

The worst part is, as much as I do enjoy encountering signs of my weight loss like these pants or whatever, I caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror that's in our bathroom. I'm still so fucking big. Seriously, I've changed so much over these last 4-5 months as a person. I'd like my body to catch up.

I had once contemplated getting bariatric surgery and have my stomach tied off as a means to an end, but decided not to because 1) I wanted to do it myself and thought that the surgery was a cheap and weak method to lose the weight. Doing this via hard work builds character and changes a person in more ways than just the waistline. And 2) I feared that if I couldn't change my behavior, then I'd end up popping the band like I did my coat's button, and if you go the surgery route and eff that up, where do you go next? But I wonder if at this point it's not the worst idea. I feel like I'm now prepared to have the proper lifestyle to go with my surgery, and keep the weight off.

It just strikes me that a real man wouldn't opt for surgery. He'd work hard. Not for one or two weeks or months, but for as long as it took.

Goddamn this is taking awhile.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quick update

Hey, it's me. It's my second day on the job, and now I officially have computer access - huzzah! And look, already blogging - hope that this doesn't get me a talking to.

I saw the evidence of my Chinese lunch this morning, by way of my lack of total shirt soak after my workout. Always a bit of a letdown when my heather grey t isn't charcoal grey through and through on my way out the door of the gym, though I did bust my hump on the exercises.

I'm up to 1.9 miles on the elliptical in 20 minutes. Tomorrow morning I'll kick it up to lvl 11 and see if I can't get to two miles done. I'm starting to entertain fantasies of running a 5k at some point. I realize that smoothly loping along the elliptical is nothing like running 5k on hard pavement, but I'd like to at least get a better understanding of my real-world fitness level. Unfortunately with winter pretty much here, I don't know of too many races in the Twin Cities. I'm assumming that there's a Snow Rabbit race or two though, so I'll look into it when I get home.

Other than that, not too much to report. I'm just doing the best I can, and I'm staying intently focused on my goal - I'm almost in the 80s!


Monday, November 17, 2008

New Schedule (again).

So with the new job, I've got a new schedule as well. I start work at 8:30 instead of 9:30 like before. This means that I'll not have the time to come home and blog after the gym! I'm not too sure what that fact means for me or this blog just yet.

I'd like to think that I'll still get it done in the evening, but the fact is, I don't come home straight from work every night. I may end up blogging over my lunch at work, though that's a bit spotty too (all our internet usage is monitored and recorded, and we're all subject to random audits - I don't know where this fits into that).

So I don't know. I do know that I don't want to give this up. It's too important. Chronicling my successes and failures keeps me focused on my main goal right now, and helps to reinforce my positive behaviors and makes me face my negative ones. So I don't want to lose that. I'm also not yet even a third of the way to my goal of 150 pounds lost, so I can't just assume that by letting go of this thing I'd be alright. I firmly believe that this is just as important as a good diet and daily exercise to my continued journey, and that if this goes, the diet could go and the exercise could go. It's all a slippery slope.

Oh, and for the record, I opted for the 3x shirts. While I reject the lifestyle that they represent, I would prefer to look presentable at work, and not jammed into a too-tight shirt, straining to be free like a link of packed sausage. But that's just me. :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Get this sofa outta here!

Yesterday I was lamenting my old sofa that was standing upright in my kitchen, too big for me to carry out by myself, and even if I could, where would it go?

Then, as if by magic, I got a call from my buddy Brian. "Hey, what's going on?" he asked.

"Not much. Just hoping to get this stupid couch outta here."

"Ooh, I have a truck. Should I come over and help?"

Seriously... how things tend to work out for me like this by pure luck I don't know, but I don't question it.

Anyway, he and another friend show up and after a bit of chit-chatting, we begin to get the sofa out of the apartment.

After wresting it out the door, Brian turns to Nigel and says, "Gosh, Roder's pretty strong Nige." I overheard it and said nothing, but smiled inside a bit.

Once downstairs with the sofa, we then had to carry it for what seems like a 1/4 mile through the courtyard. Brian was on one end and I held the other end and we walked with the couch, but about halfway down the walk Brian set down his end. "I need a breather, hang on," he said.

"Nigel, can you grab that?" I asked. Nigel tagged in and picked it up and we kept going.

Here's the thing. Brian's in shape. Good shape. He runs or bikes several miles everyday. So for him to get wiped out carrying the couch down and out, while the likes of my fat ass just lifting it and carrying it? Let's just say I felt pretty good.

Lifting weights is kinda sweet. :)


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hope and the Winter Coat

Last year, sometime just past a couple weeks into the new year I believe, I had kind of hit rock bottom in terms of looking towards my own future. I'd just sort of... I don't know... checked out I guess.

I remember it specifically, because I'd outgrown my winter coat in grotesquely horizontal fashion. I couldn't button it anymore, and hadn't been able to for awhile. So I primarily just, you know, wore it open. Luckily what I'd lost in fabric coverage I guess I'd made up for with several inches of fat, so I didn't freeze to death, though it had occurred to me that I was at a sort of crossroads.

So I made a decision. I decided that I was a fat guy. I'd been big for a few years at that point, and didn't see any future that didn't feature a fat version of me. I'd lost hope. The hope that I was going to take care of myself again. That I was going to love myself again. I'd become so miserable that I was resigned to living an empty and unhappy life rather than work to improve my station. So in deciding that I was now just a fattie for life, I bought a new coat. It was beautiful. A 3/4 length black Calvin Klein wool and cashmere for $500 - on sale. It brought me a fleeting happiness - I was covered again, and looked a bit better, but it was also damning - I'd paid quite a bit for confirmation that I'd chosen this road over the other.

I continued down the newly-chosen road. And a month later I burst a button on the new coat. I didn't bother getting it fixed. I just wore it open.

Two weeks ago it started getting cold again. I pulled the coat out of the closet, went to a repair shop and had a new button sewed on. Then I put on the coat again.

It doesn't fit.

The sleeves now run long, covering my hands to just past my thumbs. The sides need to be brought in. I can grab the front buttons and pull the coat away from myself - easily seven or eight inches. I look like a fourteen-year-old boy wearing his father's overcoat.

And that brings me to my current conundrum - my new job starts Monday morning, and its dress code dictates a new wardrobe on my part. No more jeans and short-sleeved bowling shirts paired with tennis shoes. I want to make a good impression on these people, and I want to look the part, but I don't want to spend a fortune on clothes I'm simply not going to be able to wear in two or three more months. So I've been putting that off all week... I'm caught somewhere between a 2xl and a 3xl for shirts, and I don't know what to do. Buy the 2x and look like an asshole for a little bit? Buy the 3x and flush some money, then go shopping again in a couple months? Buy only like... two shirts and make it work? Ehh... probably not that. And then there's the slacks...

So I don't want to go shopping. I don't want to go shopping because somewhere along the way I found my hope again. And that hope has transformed into effort and hard work. I no longer hope that I'll lose the weight. I now know that I will. I've rejected the idea that I'm a fattie for life. So buying the 3x shirt is tantamount to buying back the unhappiness, the embarassment, the life I've decided to leave behind.

Goddamn hope is expensive. :-D

I'm taking the day off.

Nothing much to say here, except that watching four Star Wars movies in a row yesterday left me feeling more sluggish and tired than any gym workout yet.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vacation Day 3

"I'm going to have to charge you for that," she said, barely audible over the heavy scratching sound and my own heavy breathing as I pushed the big mattress through the snow and slush-filled parking lot.

"I'm sorry?" was all I could muster, peering around the end of the now-soaked and surprisingly heavy mattress at the apartment manager walking towards me, ten minutes away from starting her eight am shift.

"It won't be much, only twenty bucks or so, but the waste removal company charges us for big stuff like that, so I have to charge you."

I nodded quietly, the sweat from my morning's workout still running off my forehead and dripping off my brow. "Sure, okay. I understand. Whatever," I said as I resumed parting the slush with the mattress.

"You look good," she called as I past her. "You've lost a lot of weight. I can see it. Still going strong. You look good."

"Thanks," I said. "Just drop the bill off at the apartment when it's convenient."

That was nice. And unexpected. Turns out I like random compliments. I'm not even mad about the $20. lol.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hey there

Another solid day at the gym this morning. I had great workouts all last week, and two good ones so far this week too, so yay me on that front.

Yesterday my schedule *was* off as predicted. I didn't get to lunch until around 2:30ish, then went to a movie and didn't finish my dinner until 8ish. I was in bed by 10pm (whoo, this vacation... I'm so wild!), so I guess I'm not too surprised to see a half-pound uptick in my weight today. But I'm not really loving it either. It's already just about the middle of the month now, and I'm concerned that I'm going to start having some really bad weight loss months if I keep treading water as I have been.

I feel a bit emotionally distracted from my main mission recently, so I'm just going to have to do a better job of eliminating that for the time being. I need to be more focused on dropping lbs, so that's what I'm going to do.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm bored.

So technically I haven't yet had a minute of vacation (I don't normally roll into work until 9:15~9:30 and it's only 7:45 right now), but I'm officially bored. I don't have any bum friends to hang out with, and I'm suddenly really not looking forward to filling an entire 7 days by sitting about the house, alone.

I have a feeling that I'm going to go out shopping. A lot. I have a greater feeling that this is going to be a *very* expensive week.

Okay, let's see... Friday I went out after work for cocktails with friends. The first place was cool - just a big table for lots of us to gather 'round at and drink and tell stories. Lots of laughs. Good times. I had 7 or 8 beers there (these pear cider things - the first one was quite tart, but suddenly they were just flowing) as people came and went. Eventually it was just me and three of the women from work. We decided - dancing! So we went to a little dance spot in St. Paul. Several more beers and Jagermeister bombs later and I was out on the dancefloor, having a great time.

Saturday morning came and suddenly I wasn't feeling so good. I found a random Gatorade in the fridge (score!), and laid on the couch for several hours, trying to watch something but seeing absolutely nothing. Ugg. I got it together enough to go out and meet up with some friends for a bit, but didn't stay too long. I was back home, and napping on the couch. Hangovers are apparently a long, drawn-out process for me.

Yesterday I woke up and drove down to see one of my friends. We went to her sister's place to watch football where I had two beers and a big slice of pizza. We then went and toured the city where I went to high school. Afterward we had dinner (I picked at some walleye cakes - not hungry, but had two beers), then went to a bar to watch the evening game. The first bar we went to was a dud, so we went to a second one. It too was lame. At halftime I called it and drove home. Again, not the healthiest choices for my food, but I was very conscience about portion size and didn't go overboard.

Today I'm hanging at 294.7. I've really got to be careful this week as I've got no structure, save for my morning workouts. It's times like this that absolutely kill me. I don't eat at noon exactly, I eat.... whenever. I don't eat at 5:30, I eat.... whenever. I've got to be careful that if I'm eating whenever, I'm not eating whatever too. Honestly, as important as hitting the gym and doing my elliptical and lifting weights is to my program (and the exercise is so very important), getting a good diet every day is so much more important in my estimation. Because I can skip the gym and not blow up for a day or two, but a couple days of poor food choices and I blow up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Prison cells of our own making

Sweet - today's my last day at the current job! Last night I went out for dinner and drinks with a pair of my friends, one I'd not seen in probably 3 years. It was great to see him again. And then he invited another buddy to join us and didn't tell me, so when that guy walked through the door? I about hit the floor.

When I started getting big, I pulled away from my social life. I didn't realize it at the time, but I'd begun to build an invisible prison cell for myself. Where I used to have plans every Thurs, Fri and Saturday night, suddenly I stopped calling people. Stopped taking people's calls. I said things like, "hey, I'm not feeling well tonight," or "I've got something else going on" when in reality I just didn't want to go. I didn't want to be seen. And that sort of self-destructive behavior only beget more and more of the same old. Pretty soon I'd become a hermit, cloistered away from people, hiding in a dark room with the remote control and a pizza. Ugg!

So lately I've been going out. Just about every night for the past couple weeks. And tonight I'm going out again, for a little gathering of co-workers present and past to say goodbye. And I intend to have fun! No doubt I'll pay for it in the morning, but whatever. It's worth it. I'm still bigger now than when I stopped being social, but I'm moving in the right direction. I've let myself out of the prison. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Hey all. Not too much going on in my world today. I just got back from the gym after arm day. I'm feeling pretty good about that. Yesterday's chest day was pretty huge, and today I can really feel the soreness of the muscles as they work to repair the small tears that lifting weights has caused, growing bigger and stronger. So yay to that. :)

My forearms are continuing to get more muscle definition. Now when I flex them, there are three distinct lines that pop out. They're only three inches long each at the moment, but I'm pretty confident that'll change as more fat weight continues to drop off and I keep up exercises that use a strong grip. Also, I've been wearing those Lucky Brand jeans quite a bit. Pretty much every day last week! lol. Also, my buddy Dan said that he's starting to lose more weight around his middle and will be giving me a ton of size 36 jeans in the not-too-distant future. That's cool, though I know that it'll be several months before I fit into those guys. Which is fine. I'm here for the long haul.

It's been almost 4 months of consistent gym exercise for an hour 5 days a week now. I'm down 40 pounds, I have tons of energy, I have become quite social again, I don't smoke after 13 years... things are going well. I'm pleased. Hope you're doing well too.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


On this past Sunday night my current boss called me. I had company over and we were just going to sit down for some takeout and a dvd, but I ended up talking to him briefly. He wanted to talk about some random project at work, but what he *really* wanted to do was tell me that he wanted to keep me on staff. He wanted to give me a counter-offer, matching my new salary at the new place. I gave him a couple soft, indirect 'no's, then told him that I'd do lunch with him and we could discuss it. I always prefer to do important things face-to-face. Even though I'm a terrible player of politics and an even worse liar, so when pressed I tend to make weird faces and clam up or have my words come out in short, staccato phrases, I still have an idealistic way in my mind of how a man should act and be, and part of that means handling business 'as a man should', regardless of how not a man I sometimes feel. And as I resigned over the phone as he was out of town, I feel like I owe it to him and myself to join him and give him my reasons for leaving. And I also feel like I owe it to him out of respect.

But this brings me to my point today - his call? His wanting to do lunch? His counter-offer? It makes me feel wanted. Needed. It's a feeling I crave.

I don't have any siblings. My parents live 1000 miles away, in Texas, and I see them twice a year at most (and won't see them for Thanksgiving this year as I don't have any vacation time at the new position for 30 days after my start date). I haven't had anyone special in my life in several years. And I've gone through a long period of self-loathing and disgust. But suddenly, both this new place, and my current place, want me. Me! Not just an applicant. Not someone with the requisite skill set to complete set tasks. They want Andrew. It makes me feel good.

So I'll do lunch with him. And I'll be polite and charming and gracious and respectful and will at the end decline his counter-offer.

Now I just need to feel wanted by someone in my personal life. Yesterday I went to lunch with some friends, and we went for Chinese food. My fortune cookie? "Watch for a new relationship to develop within the month." I don't believe in fortune cookies or tarot cards or magic or ghosts.

But I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful that I'll find someone who wants to be with me.

Wow, this took a weird left turn. I should edit it. But I won't.

294.5 - that's forty pounds friends. :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


It's election day in America, so today I plan on doing my civic duty and voting. I'm always surprised at the general apathy of my peers when it comes to voting, though I don't know why anymore. My vote doesn't matter... the lines are too long... blah blah blah. C'mon people, this country was founded on the idea of giving people a voice! There are billions across the globe who have no voice at all, and thousands who die trying to be heard. Do the right thing. Vote.

And when you're done, enjoy a healthy salad, some water and then go exercise. ;)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Holy crap!

So my biggest problem area has been the weekends (and lately those damn candybar in a cup coffees - ahem). Upticks of five, ten, even twelve pounds (!) have been documented via my scale, if not on this blog. And that, coupled with my overall weight-loss slowdown recently, had me worried going into this past weekend.

Saturday I woke up around 8:30. I dilly-dallied as I'm often want to do, then began my day in earnest, showering and meeting up with some friends for lunch. I ended up going with the Chinese (seriously, Chinese food? The best. My total weakness.), though I dialed it back to just the 'lunch size' version, rather than the obnoxious size that they normally sell me. And at some point while eating, I got full. There was still several large pieces of chicken on the plate, but I was just done. I tossed 'em. Then I drank about 4 waters throughout the afternoon, before deciding to pack it in and head home. For dinner I did a Subway Club and water. I cleaned a bit, did some laundry and had a mostly quiet evening.

Sunday morning I stepped on the scale - 297.8! What the hell? That's *never* where I am on a Sunday morning! I had a quick muffin/coffee breakfast, then one of my friends came to visit. We did various activities, had a small lunch (I had eggrolls - I can't stop with the Chinese!), then for dinner I indulged in a burger, though thankfully the fries were cold and gross by the time we'd gotten home to eat. Not my best day, though portion control was in full effect.

Today? 295.5. Half-a-pound from 40, and only three days past the mini-goal I'd set for myself. Time to think about being in the 280s.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The week is done.

It's Halloween. I didn't reach my goal. That stinks. It also stinks that I've been roughly maintaining for two weeks now. Plateaus are no fun. I think Monday I'm overhauling my workout program. That'll be good. Something different to jump start my losses again. Seriously? I'm still huge. I should be dropping easily right now.

Outside of that, not too much to report. I'm glad that I did my count yesterday, even if it got messed up when I went out. I imagine I'm still close to accurate, and that's all I need to know how awful it was. One meal won't destroy me, but if I start with a bad one, like the breakfast, then add to it during the day? Bad news bears. So yay me for putting myself in check, because like my man Ice Cube said, you'd best check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Okay, so today I'm going to keep a running total of my calories. It'll probably affect my choices throughout the day as I try to avoid being an idiot after starting my morning like an idiot. What? You'll get it. Just follow along...

1 Medium White Chocolate Mocha w/ Skim Milk and no whip cream: 483 (fuck.)
1 Blueberry Muffin: 410 (fuck.)
Total: 883

Okay, off to a bad start here. But honestly? Good to know. Because I've had that for breakfast 4 days in a row now. Clearly I need to switch back to my 120 calorie protein shakes for breakfast. That's damn near 1000 calories already (893 actually), so I have to go light at lunch. I'm going drinking tonight to celebrate Chad's last day here, so I guess I'll need to look up 12oz Crown Royal and 7ups. This could be a disaster. Holy shit. I'll keep updating, live-blog style.

1 order of Nagano Special fresh sushi from the local Byerly's grocery store. They don't put a calorie count, but I did a search. The closest I can find is 432 calories for 8 pieces. So I guess we're going with that.
8oz of Fresh Cut Pineapple Chunks:109 (according to
24oz of water.
Total: 541

Not bad.

1 can of Mountain Dew: 170


1 Patty Melt from the Sunshine Factory. I have no idea. There were fries too. Should be say... 1000 for the burger and the fries? Fuck.
4 Beers - 1000. Holy fuck.

Overall Total: 3594

I think I went over my daily allotment. Fact.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I worked out today. I'm blogging about it now. I'm still all off on my schedule. I'm eating a bit more than I should be. I think I'm going to start tracking my calories again, as a wake-up call if nothing else. I'm not going to be 295 by Halloween. I am going drinking tomorrow night. I intend on not getting drunk. I won't commit to not getting drunk. This is the worst post ever. The end.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Train keeps rollin

Because of my workout partner's new job, I'm forced to go to the gym 30 minutes earlier than usual. No big deal, right? Except that there's a huge difference between waking up at 5:45 and 6:15. Huge! Way bigger than the 30 minute difference you can see on the clock. Additionally, he made me go to a different gym! One that was closer to the highway so he could get downtown easier.

For tomorrow, he wins the clock fight, but I win the location fight. The new place sucked. Well, that's not even true. Normally, I'd bet it was fine. It's certainly bigger than the one I go to. And more populated. With women. Which is nice. And distracting. And it's quiet, like a library. No decently loud music. WTF? The ellipticals there suck. The machines are different, and today different seems to = suck. The layout sucks. For the bigger space, it's extra jammed with stuff, and it was hard to get the workout in because our deadlift was bumping up against some dude doing bench press. Bah! It's not that I'm opposed to change, but perhaps at 6:30am I need a bit more normalcy.

I quit last night. Called the bossman to let him know. He took it well, considering. He asked if there was anything he could do, was my decision firm. I told him my offer and said that it wouldn't even be fair to ask him to match, and it wouldn't. He isn't a big company. But I also told him that his place was too unstable and that I was uncomfortable with it. We hung up on good terms. Then two hours later a co-worker called me, because *he* just called and quit. Ugh. Now the boss is returning to the office today instead of being out all day as planned. He wants to meet with both of us. I don't mind confrontations (in fact, I kind of like them), but I can get a bit emotional (not like I start to cry emotional, but just I kind of get wound up and say things that I don't mean, or say things I mean, but too harshly) and depending on how he comes at me, I could blow my top and burn some bridges. It's not something I strive to do, but sometimes? Sometimes I feel pushed or disrespected, and then those babies end up burning bright and lighting my way home. So I'll let him lead today's dance, but if he steps on my toes, I'm out.

Hey me, isn't this a weight-loss blog? Haven't we covered this ground already? Blah blah work, blah blah quit? Whatever. Achieving weight loss, like all goals, is the combination of the physical, the mental and the emotional. Right now the mental/emotional is just getting a bit more attention. But I'd like it to come back into balance. I'm ready. I'm getting annoyed. I miss *my* gym.


Monday, October 27, 2008

A long drive

Well, today is the first day of driving to the new location for this job. Instead of working out, coming home, blogging, then showering and heading out, I had to immediately get ready for work. It was a 45 minute drive. Boo!

I had a decent weekend, ate a bit bad but not too bad. My weigh-in was 301.9 this morning.

I just got my phone call as I was typing this. I've passed all my background/drug/credit checks. I'm in! Done!

Holy shit. Now I have to do it. Now I have to resign. Now I'm feeling nervous - the boss isn't in town today. Ack! Call him? Wait until Wednesday? So many feelings... shit! Excitement! Shit!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Yay! Let's see... at the gym I got *soaked* with sweat today. I really had a great workout. I'm feeling awesome. I feel like most of the stress of the past couple weeks is over. I'm ready to put my focus back on this effort - I'm glad that even though I wasn't thinking about weight-loss non-stop, I still made it to the gym every morning without fail. So important! Today we shut down shop at 11 to move our operation across town. Then we're going out at 5 for cocktails. So it should be a nice cap on a great last couple days.


Thursday, October 23, 2008


Sorry I didn't get a blog post out this morning. I actually feel guilty about it! It's part of my daily routine, and it helps to keep me focused on my goals.

And let's talk about those, shall we? Now that I'm under three bills again, I think I need to get a bit more aggressive. The cold is coming soon, and I'm going to be spending much of my time indoors during the coming months. I ended the month of September at 306.3, but so far I've only lost 7 pounds for October. Not enough by a lot! So goal #1 right now is to kill another 3 pounds and at least lose 10 before Halloween next weekend. I think that's totally doable, though with the way I've been botching weekends and drinking candy-bar-in-a-cup coffees, it'll take a bit of refocusing on what I want to make it happen.

November? Let's look at dumping 15. That'll put me near 280 going into December, and then I'll only be 30 pounds from 250. Did you know that Homer Simpson, the paragon of fat ass on television for the past what... 20 years? He's 245 according to the show. That's the number that the writers picked to say that he's a big ball of fat. Fuuuuuuck... Anyway, fuck that guy. Let's focus on 3 pounds. Three pounds is easy. A baby could lose that much weight. Seriously. Three pounds? Nothing. Let's get it done. For a nice round number, I'll aim for 295. See how round that is? I'm an idiot. Anyway. That's my short-term goal. Have you set any recently?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm kinda dumb.

I've been told that the definition of smart is how quickly a person's brain can make mental connections, properly filling in little details to arrive at a conclusion or understanding. In that case? I'm dumb.

I've been working out same as always, only I've noticed that the sweat ring around my neck has been much smaller recently, indicative of lesser effort. Except maybe not. Because if I look back at what I ate the couple nights prior to a bad workout? I find a bad diet. A meal or meals full of sodium. The same sodium that holds my liquids in over the weekends and makes me gain a faux 10 pounds. That sodium also is preventing me from sweating in the big amounts I'm used to! I'm kind of sure of it. Because this morning I've been eating clean for a couple days now, and without changing anything else, I had a good 4" of sweat by the time I was off the elliptical. The lesson, as always, is I'm an idiot.

In other news, I think that one of the reasons I've been slipping and eating a bit poorly again, outside of the stress of the current job/job hunt/new job deal (and those factors are probably related), is because I've stopped having my protein shake for breakfast. I usually have a good 40 minutes to kill after the gym but before work which I use to write up my posts and generally dilly-dally, but I've stopped with my shake! Why? I know exactly why. A shake has somewhere north of 8 ounces of water in it. If I drink one, then step on the scale? That's a half-pound! So in my race to be under 300, I started taking bizarre steps like eliminate the shake to keep any extra weight off. Well, that protein helps to keep me full, as does a fiber-bar or banana if I go that route. So by 11 I'm getting hungry and by noon I'm kinda losing my mind. That's why I'll get a salad, fruit and water for lunch, but then stop at Starbucks and get a White Chocolate Mocha and a Lemon Loaf.

I did mention at the start of this post that I'm dumb, yes? Yes.

So I just had my shake again. And I'm 300.8.

Oh, today is Dan my Workout Partner™'s last day at work. We're going out for lunch. He wants Thai. Which is distinctly *not* my fruit salad and lean chicken meal. But I'll do my best to be reasonably good.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's cold!

Well that didn't take long. Two weekends ago it was in the high 60s here. As I type this, it's 34°! Frost is coating the grass. When I left the apt 90 minutes ago it was pitch black outside and 28°. And I'm the idiot going out to my car still wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Fool! Today I think I'm going to pick up a zip-up hoodie and a pair of sweat (athletic? are they still called sweat?) pants after work. I'll have to start bringing a bag and getting a locker at the gym, but I guess that's okay. Maybe I'll even just shower and change for work there. Crap. I'm going to become one of those creepy old dudes who likes to walk around butt-naked in the locker room, striking up conversations with people who don't want to be social with nudists, aren't I?

Yesterday I brought a new exercise to shoulder day - external rotations. I can't believe how hard they are! There are two standing cable machines at the gym, and one is set with a default of 30 pounds. I couldn't do it! Thankfully the other machine's default is 20, so we did three sets of that. This morning when the alarm went off and I rolled over to turn it off, my shoulders pinged, letting me know that I worked them yesterday. Good. I always like the feeling of sore muscles the day after.

Today I got both my t-bar rows and my deadlift in, along with some lighter weight but slow lat pulldowns for the burn and I'm a happy guy. The weekend weight is almost gone (303.5), and things are returning to normal. Oh, and I got a job offer! I'll have to submit to a drug test and a background check before I get it get it, and I want that done before I resign, but yay me, a new job! And it's got a really nice benefits package (I've never had more than two weeks of vacation before, so usually I use them in one and two-day increments for holidays and emergencies - I may actually take a real vacation this next year) and I'm getting a great raise over my current position.

Be positive, put positive energy out into your world, receive positive energy in return. That's my one New Age-y core belief, but I'm telling you it's true. Things are working out.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finally feeling myself again.

So on Friday my buddy called and wanted to meet up for drinks after work. Cool, says me. We meet up around 5:30. A couple cocktails later, we head for the next place and meet up with more people. More drinks, then the next several places. Next thing I know, it's 3am and I'm falling into bed. Then the alarm goes off at 6:30am. Then the phone starts ringing. Uggh. My head isn't even pounding yet - I'm still drunk.

Thankfully one of my friends offers to drive, and I pull up a seat in the back as we head to LaCrosse. All I want to do is sleep, but I instead get some greasy breakfast and three bottles of water to try to get it together. All day I was a mess! And people brought in food - brats and beer, welcome to Wisconsin, and then burgers and pizza for dinner. Good God man, this is not the winning plan for this kid. But what can you do? No car, strange town, captive audience. The day was fun, but long (it ran way too long for me), and when we headed home I just passed out in the car and snored my way back to St. Paul. Blech.

Sunday I slept until noon and was out of it all day. A friend called and I was spacey and lame on the phone, so I cut it short. I tried to go out, but I didn't want to do anything. Just lethargic. Ate bad too.

This morning I was 7 minutes into my elliptical when I finally felt better. I'm feeling myself now, but man was this weekend the opposite of relaxing! I'll have to work on that. Yuk. Oh, and big damage again - 308.4. Kill me.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Well, the end of another week is here. A slight uptick in my weight has me aware of myself, though not overly concerned. Yet. On Tuesday I pitched a new job, and I'm pretty sure that I've got it. Mostly because the VP of eCommerce called me that evening and said that I've got it. However, she also said that I'd be receiving an electronic offer sheet the next day, and the offer would be FedEx'd to my place by Thursday. Wednesday I thought I was going to have the best day ever by both crossing the 300 pound barrier and resigning my current job - two huge weights lost. I left my Gmail account up on my screen all day, my eyes constantly flitting over to it, waiting, waiting. Nothing. All day, nothing. I ended up leaving work early, it was just too much pressure on myself. I think I drank two fruffy candy-bar-in-a-cup coffees from Starbucks that day. Yikes. Then yesterday for lunch we went to Red Robin - one of the best and WORST hamburger joints around. It was one of the guys' last Thursdays with us as he quit, so his choice. Ugg. Whereas in the past I've done okay, yesterday I just housed all my fries and my bacon and guacamole burger. Thankfully I only drank water! After that, another fruffy coffee. Yoi. I can't stop! I guess this is what the pros would call emotional eating. And that's annoying, because it just doesn't seem like something guys do. I should be watching football and killing defenseless animals and taking my wife for granted, not emotionally eating. ;)

Anyway, the VP emailed me yesterday and she said that HR policies dictate the the position must be posted internally for a week before an offer can be made to me, but that it's a done deal and the job is mine. That was good to hear. I was able to get work done after that, and I didn't go nutso anymore.

I spoke with my mom - she said that when I was little, I was always this way. If ever I got money and we were going shopping, she had to take me to get what I wanted first, lest I drive her absolutely bonkers all day. So the lesson here is, I'm impatient. Another character flaw, chalk it up.

Anyway, tomorrow morning I'm headed to LaCrosse, WI for a nerd day by way of a Warhammer tournament. I'm going to house some nerds, then we're going to grill brats and drink beer. Sounds pleasant. I'm bringing several bottles of water though - I can't go overboard bananas here. I need to be putting some distance between me and 300.

302.4 (though I'm still claiming to be under 300 to my friends - don't tell!)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Closet pants III

Yesterday after work I headed over to Marshalls, the discount clothing store. I need a new pair of closet pants, as I fit and regularly wear the two pair that I'd actually found in my closet. I decided that Marshalls was the place to go, because I didn't want to spend more than $50 on a pair of jeans that I intend on shrinking out of in a couple months time (though I do intend to buy a pair of $500 Versace jeans when I hit a 33 waist - a waste, to be sure, but dammit sometimes you have to treat yourself and I've always wanted one pair of designer jeans).

The thing about Marshalls is, they're so feast or famine! Last night's row of size 38s had a *ton* of junky brands, brands I'd *never* heard of, or jeans with bizarre stitching patterns or weird patches sewn in on them. To be fair I've been out of buying normal jeans in a normal store for several years now, but really? Does Tommy Hilfiger or Polo not make jeans anymore? Am I that out of style? Do Levis still exist? What's going on here? Arggh!

After I'd made up my mind to go with a pair that I hated slightly less than all the others, I did one final loop through the men's section, just to be sure. I found myself first by the socks, where I decided that it was a good time to do my binge/purge routine, wherein I buy 18-20 new pairs of socks, then come home and cull all the existing white socks I own, throwing them out. Honestly, fresh, thick white cotton socks on my feets is one of the best feelings in the world! Once for a birthday a friend of mine bought me a six pack of socks and I still think it's one of the better gifts I've ever received. Then I looped through the underwear section. I think that either all male underwear models have the biggest flaccid penises in the world, or like me they pick up some fresh socks regularly. These pictures don't make me want to buy the underwear, they make me wonder if I need an erection to fill them out properly. Apparently the underwear makers have decided that wives and girlfriends buy the guy in their life underwear? Let's just move on.

I looped back to the 38s, just for one more go at them. Maybe I missed something, you know? Perry Ellis, Perry Ellis, Perry El -- wait a minute... What!? Are these... Lucky Brand? Really? I *love* Lucky jeans! I wore them almost exclusively in college. Fantastic denim. And they're here? In Marshalls? Does this mean that Lucky Brand are lame now? Do I need to go buy a new copy of Details magazine? Whatever - I was totally excited! So I bought my pair of 38 Luckys and took 'em home. I peeled off the tags (these guys ain't going back, even if they don't fit... well, *especially* if they don't fit), then went into the bedroom and tried them on. One leg through... not bad around the thigh. A second leg... still doing okay, mostly. Up over my butt and we're still in the game... button them an -- button them an-- button... No. No go. If I sucked it all in and held my breath I could button them, but then I look like a total asshole with an extra-poochy belly as all my fat gets pushed up and over the waistline. Oh well. I'll try again in two weeks. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where's my dancing bears?

Growing up American, we're trained from an early age to believe that our hard work will be rewarded. The popular movies and television shows all tend to end with the hero beating the odds, blowing up the Death Star and getting a medal of honor from a beautiful princess in front of thousands of onlookers. Well, unless you're Chewbacca. That dude? Got screwed.

This morning I'm below three hundred pounds for the first time in years. I've also lost 35 pounds, and 10% of my former self. There's no medal ceremony. There's no throngs of scantily clad women cooing their congratulations. There's no dancing bears. Where are my dancing bears? I want dancing bears! Wait, no I don't... well, maybe one.

Nope, I cross this barrier on a random autumn day, unnoticed by anyone but me. And you know what? That's okay. Now it's done. And now I'm in the two-hundreds. But there's a lot of work ahead, so tomorrow it's back up and early, lifting hard, kicking the elliptical up another level and getting the shirt soaked.

There's a phrase that people out in the weight-loss blogosphere use - it's called ONEderland, and it's where you are once you're out of the two-hundreds. It's a place I've been to, but I think I left it by the time I was 22. I hear it's nice this time of year. I hear they have dancing bears. I think I'm going to go back there soon.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tag, huh?

Looks like my blogging buddy Will over at 4xlt tagged me in my comments earlier today, which now means that I have to tell my readers 6 random facts or interesting things about myself that they might not necessarily know.

1. My name is Andrew, though since I was in third grade I've been called Roder. I once played the theme to Peanuts on a piano and because my friends weren't clever they called me Schroder, after the piano-playing kid that Lucy crushes on. It took about a day to shorten it. There was a brief respite from that name when I moved away from Minneapolis to Rochester, MN to start my freshman year of high school. People suddenly decided to call me Andy (I'd always been either Andrew (Dad's side of the family), or Drew (Mom's side)). When I hear the name Andy now it's like stumbling upon an old relic lost in time.

Also, it turns out there were a *lot* of unclever kids, and as a result Roder is a seemingly more popular nickname than I'd like to believe; it is taken on every messageboard slash ps3 slash xbox slash whatever, so I've picked up RodeDaddy as a fall back.

2. I primarily listen to some pretty aggressive music. I'd have thought that by my age I'd have transitioned into more of an 'adult contemporary' listener, but I can't seem to shake the angry metal and aggressive rap. I listen to it in the car as loudly as possible (down to 4 speakers from 12 - lol!), though sometimes I've clenched my teeth so hard while driving that my jaw's joint is sore for hours afterward. And yet, as much as I love Black Label Society, my favorite artist of all time is... Michael Jackson. When nobody's watching? I'll dance to his music. Fact!

3. I've never once cheated on a girlfriend. Some things are important.

4. I've cheated on every math exam I could. Some things aren't.

5. One time I had to drive 70 minutes to work, and traffic had stopped on the highway. Like, parking lot stopped. And I had to pee. Bad. So I made the decision to pee on the floormat of my car. Of all the stories that I tell, it might be my best. I'd rather have a good story that will make friends laugh than have a pee-free car. Though a pee-free car is like number two on the list of things I'd like to have. Guess I'm just old-fashioned that way. :)

6. I paint elves. lol. Seriously. It's so nerdy and dorky and not like anything else I'm into, but for whatever reason I love the game Warhammer and will paint these little figures. I obsess about the right shade of red - should I add blue to it and give the hue a cooler purple base, or should I add brown to give it an earthy, muddy quality? Gah! These nerdy things have been featured in hobby magazines and websites. I've never told some of my closest friends about this hobby that I've been doing for almost 9 years. Eighteen months ago I was held up at gunpoint and my car got jacked with my miniatures inside. My insurance paid me for my loss. I got $11,000. Nerd!!!

And with that, I'm off to tag some bloggers... Lyn, Marshmallow, Melissa, Bikini Envy and Lorrie, y'all are up!

Excuses excuses...

Every morning I leave for the gym at 6:45, and every morning I return to my building at 8:10ish. Usually as I'm leaving I run into one of the few maintenance people who work here (we'll call him Beardy) - we pass by each other, nod our heads, grumble a short hello if we're feeling especially chipper - then when I return the whole crew of 'em are getting out of their morning meeting and are usually having a brief coffee and chat in the hallways.

Today on my way back in, I was feeling a little down. First, fire my assistant because judging by the way my shirt smelled once I took about seven steps on the elliptical I could tell that someone missed laundry day. Oof was it stinkin'. Then I finished up my morning jog, only I wasn't really huffing or puffing, and the customary four or five inches of sweat ring around my neck was only an inch of wet, dark grey. Weaksauce! I need to kick it up another notch it seems. And apparently it's already been three weeks, so the deadlift was swapped out in favor of some high-row exercise. The problem here is that the high-row, while no doubt being a fine exercise it its own right, doesn't really get the whole body moving. I think I've mentioned it, but if you search a few weight-lifting messageboards, looking for the one single best weight-lifting exercise to do, they'll say the Olympic Clean and Jerk. Then the thread devolves into gnashing of teeth as the trolls insist that the OCJ is actually like 6 exercises in one. Whatever nerds, quit arguing! But if you dig a bit further, you'll find that the two exercises that are most often cited are the Squat and the Deadlift. They work such huge muscle groups and really give you a spike to your heartrate, so you are not only adding muscle, but you're burning lots of calories as you cook your muscles and you're going to elevate your metabolism as a result. So I really do try to keep those two in the weekly routine, but sometimes I'm beat by my workout partner who, in all fairness, is just keeping us honest by switching in and out other exercises. Point being, we did three isolation exercises today and I just didn't get a huge rush, nor did I have a big sweat. So I was a bit blue.

Anyway, on my way back in Beardy stepped away from his cronies as I passed. "Hey," he said as I nodded my silent hello, "you ah... you still doing this huh? I mean, I see you coming back in all sweaty every morning. Been doing it awhile. That's good. Wish I could have that kind of motivation."

"Yeah," I smiled somewhat sheepishly as I kept moving, "gotta take care of business."

"I'd like to do that too," said Beardy. "But a'corse, my wife ya know. She don't want me out there, playin' around or whatever. Gotta be home, ya know? But maybe I'll figure somethin' out. Just gotta find the motivation."

"Sure," I said as I stepped into the elevator, "I hear you."

What I heard were excuses. And they're so easy. I've got a spouse. I've got a baby. I've got a job. I need to watch Lost. I need to clean the house. I just need a breather, to sit and chill out for a bit. Blah blah blah.

Funny - when I started writing this post the point was going to be that I appreciate Beardy taking notice of my hard work. But now I've kind of had a change of mind halfway through - I guess I'm tired of hearing excuses. The Why I Can'ts. Because it's bullshit. You don't have to do 60 minutes 5 days a week. That's just what I do. But you can find time in your schedule for 30 minutes a day. Or 30 minutes three days a week. You just can. So do it. Drop the excuses. Find the time. Make the time. For you.


Where I've Been and Where I'm Going