Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Man in the Mirror

A couple weekends ago I stayed over at my gal's sister's house. In the morning I walked into the bathroom to take a shower. I took off my sleeping shirt and turned on the light and... ugh. Apparently the lights in my bathroom are of the softer, slightly yellow variety. Hers? Harsh, bright white.

I wanted to cry.

I literally stopped in my tracks, as though I was a cartoon character. I did a double-take. "What?" I thought. "What's wrong with my stomach?"

The stomach's front had all these... lines. Folds. Not deep, and not long, but lots of them. I thought back to one of my favorite blogger's posts - my stomach's lost fat, but the skin hasn't disappeared along with it. While it was once distended, it was also firm fat - stretching and pushing against the confines of my body, insisting on growing the available real estate. Fat as I was, the stomach was at least taut still. No longer is that true.

I feel like I've currently got the worst of both worlds. I'm still wildly overweight. 255 is pretty goddamn big, regardless of how much I've changed my lean muscle poundage, or how much fat I've lost. At the same time, my body looks more disgusting to me than ever before. My belly is soft. It now jiggles as it's not locked into place by my straining skin. My arms have more definition then they've had since I was a sophomore in college, but between the shoulder cap and the biceps, there's a nice big flap of sagging skin. I don't even like flexing my new muscles, because I just see this area that I know isn't going away anytime soon.

The insides of my thighs tell the same story. They sag. You can literally see the sag lines as gravity pulls the loose skin downward, notching elongated U shapes in my skin.

Mentally I almost feel like I need to stop losing weight for awhile. That I need to give my skin an opportunity to catch up. Because it's probably at this point that if I continue to drop weight, the skin issue will only be exacerbated. At the same time, I realize that losing weight is still the single most-important activity in my life at this point.

I was reading a post from Tony the other night. I hope that my skin tightens like he says.

I hate the way I look.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Meetings and Crap Food

Work has me in an all-day meeting for the next three days. I cannot dream up a worse work task than that for me. Needless to say, I'm dying in there...

This morning I was back at 255.6, and I went to the gym a second time this evening once I got home. I felt somewhat obligated, because in these meetings there are just piles of free junk on the table. I found myself noshing on some "trail mix" (i.e., M&Ms, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanuts and raisins) for a good portion of the day and felt a bit ill once I stood up.


So we're just going to have to bust ass and get that gone.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A late one for me.

Just got back from the gym. Last night I found myself having had too many Diet Cokes, and as a result I was up past 1am. Just couldn't get up with my alarm, no matter how good my intentions.

I just remind myself that even if I miss in the morning, there's still the evening to make my wrong right.

ps - having sushi, no matter how delicious it is, wreaks havoc on your weigh-in due to all that soy sauce. So skip the weigh-in and just work out instead.

I'm not typing the scale's lie tonight. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Should I be a runner?

Last night I went out for drinks and dinner with some friends of mine. I ended up having four or five beers, along with half an order of chicken tenders, half an order of bruchetta, and an order of salmon cooked on a cedar plank with a glaze of brown sugar. So good! Of course it didn't help my weigh-in this morning, but hey -- I don't really go out too much these days, so I was fine with the choice I made.

Oh, yesterday I did the elliptical for 20 minutes again. I'm up to Level 13, and ran for 2.1 miles. My best yet! I don't know how much faster I want to go. Do I want to be running 7 minute miles again?

Back in the day (and by that I mean the fall of 1992), I ran Cross Country for my high school. I sucked. Turns out I don't much care for the whole running thing. I joined because 1) I wanted to be involved in sports of some kind, 2) my friend Mike was going to run, and 3) there was a cute girl who ran, so in my adolescent mind I thought maybe something would happen there.

Of course, like any good episode of The Wonder Years, my choice didn't go as planned. 1) Cross Country isn't so much a sport as an activity, 2) Mike twisted his ankle on the first day and quit -- I'm just not built to quit like that so I toughed it out, and 3) I never spoke to the girl. Nice triple-fail me!!! lol...

So now I find myself "running" again, five days a week. And I've been entertaining thoughts in my head of putting on the running shoes and stepping out into the neighborhood for a jog, and even finding a 5k that I can participate in. WTF? Need I remind myself that I don't like this stuff? That I don't care what my mile split times are? That I've got a loping gait and I'm not much of a natural at this? What's my deal here? Aren't I in it to lose weight? What's up with the desire for expanding my exercise into a real-world activity?? I don't know. I don't know that I'll actually do much about it. Or maybe I'll try it and hate it and be done with it. At the same time, I don't want to put too much stress on my knees, and running at 255 pounds will certainly do that. So I'm kind of holding off, at least until I'm down in the 230s or 220s. But going outside for this would give me better "real world" fitness, and would put a bit of color on my skin.

Gosh my life is hard. ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Yesterday I woke up and it was still dark out. The wind was blowing cool, and there was rain pitter-pattering against my window. I was helpless -- I can't not sleep when that's going on!

So I didn't hit the gym yesterday morning.

Instead I went at night. :)

I just got back from this morning's trip over there. I sweated like something that sweats a lot. Pretty gross. It's just about time to start laying a towel over my carseat like I did last summer. Or possibly just shower at the gym. We'll see.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Another Week Comes to a Close

Just a quickie as I've got some work to get to and I'd like to be done early so I can leave work early today.

Quick follow-up to yesterday's bizarre Steroid Pimp -- my buddy Dan went into the locker room and two of the regulars were there with funny looks on their faces. Dan asked them if the Guy had approached them, pushing steroids and whatnot. Yep! Not only that, but dude told these two that, and I love this... That he is a warlock, and can guarantee his product works. I'm not entirely sure what Lord Voldemort is doing at the LA Fitness in the Midway area of Saint Paul, Minnesota, but more power to him. Though he really should conjure a front tooth if he's going to be the face man for underground illegal steroid sales. Just a thought here, Mr. Wizard...

In other news, I'm up 0.3 of a pound this morning. Probably should have taken a poop before I weighed in.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


Today I had a fresh, new experience at the gym.

Dan and I were banging out some tricep pushdowns when this dude came over.

"You been lifting awhile, yeah?" asked this guy to Dan. Now, he looked to be about 280ish - big, extended belly on this guy. Arms and legs showing no definition as they poked through a sleeveless t-shirt and a pair of shorts. btw - I want to wear a sleeveless t one day, but let's be honest - you gotta *earn* that shit. This dude hadn't. Anyway, based upon the question asked, I was thinking that he had some workout questions or something. Nope. After Dan said yes, the guy's follow-up was, "You know much about growth hormone?"

"Like... steroids?" asked Dan.

"No man - growth hormone! It's great; you can add 10 pounds in a week!" as the guy got excited, I noticed the spittle that shot out the hole in his smile where most of the population has a front tooth.

"Oh. I uh... I'm actually looking to lose ten pounds," said Dan.

"It can do that too! Real quick!" At this point I've completely disengaged with the guy. Big fat bastard trying to push steroids on a couple early risers? Give me a break.

"Anyway, you take the stuff, then you listen to these sounds. Binaural beats. They make all kinds of 'em. (note - I looked it up this morning, just because.) They gots all different kinds of beats - stuff for sex, getting smarter, losing weight, getting big - whatever you need man. Growth stuff, steroid stuff. And it's free for 15 days! Doesn't that sound great? Check it out man!" He continues with some URL, though I'm a bit shocked that this guy even owns a computer.

Dan starts to disengage with him and comes back over to the weight rack and does his reps. The whole time I'm just clocking this guy, watching his every move. He moves through a couple weight stations, then stands in front of a mirror and stares into his own eyes - hard. Intense, like old video of Mike Tyson staring down an opponent, or me in the bathroom after eating a rogue cheeseburger.

I'm giggling at this point.

He does his "circuit" a couple more times, finishing with the big staredown again. Only this time he crosses his arms over his chest and throws up the metal horns. (Ronnie James Dio is so mad right now!) Then he raises his arms high, horns still out. I'm dying with laughter.

He retreats to the locker room and I finish up my workout. When I'm walking to the small lockers for keys and wallets, I see one of the regulars coming out of the locker room - he's big and muscular. His face has a bemused look on it. Three steps behind him, it's the Steroid Guy. Another botched sale, I'm thinking.

I enter my combo and grab my stuff from the mini-locker, and Guy makes his move -- "Hey man, binarul beats! You hear me tell your friend about how I can get you thin and ripp--"

"Dude," I respond. And I realize that I probably should stop using that word 15 years ago, "If taking that stuff gets me ripped and thin like you? I think you should count me out."


Not a huge drop this morning, but that's okay. I'm feeling great and ready to have another fantastic day.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Some Progress Pics

It's been awhile, so I'm uploading a new pic of me at my current weight of 256, along with a couple other pics.

Please note - I so very much hate having my photo taken, but I dream of a day when that's not true.

Runnin' and Liftin' and Sweatin'

Don't underestimate the power of a good playlist.

While I typically don't bring my iPod to the gym unless I'm going solo, I've decided to change that up. This morning I was slogging along on the elliptical when the song One by Metallica came on. The outro portion of the song kicked in and the drums started pounding, and I just began chugging hard on the machine, to the beat of the song. Legs pumping, arms swinging, sweat dripping. So good!

I had chest day after that, and the dumbbell presses felt great! I'm really starting to like them. I'm also looking forward to tomorrow's arm day - typically I think arm day sucks (though to be fair I do like looking down my arm when I'm sitting around my apartment and I can see the lumps of muscle on the shoulder, then the bicep, tricep and my forearm), though last week we mixed in a hammer curl and I think I've found an exercise I can look forward to. That, plus the reverse curl are my two favorite bicep exercises - I think that the preacher curl is probably better for the muscle (better being relative, but as I suck at them I must assume that they're good for me), but finding two bicep exercises that I actually like is a nice change. Only took 9 months... :)


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Things are Good.

I had a fantastic weekend! So much fun.

I don't know if you've been reading this blog long, but if you have you know that I'm a single guy in my early thirties. I've been alone and lonely and unhappy for quite a few years, but back in August of last year I reconnected with a woman I went to high school with. At the time I had little hope of it becoming much outside of a friendship, but things seem to have blossomed the past few months.

She's an amazing woman, and this weekend I had my eyes opened as to just how much more amazing she is. Her seven year old son is in town for the week and I met him for the first time. Great kid - super happy, excited, and fun. He seems to love making people laugh and almost always has a big grin on his face. But as with all kids, there are challenges there too, and with him there's a bit more - he is a child with autism. He needs lots of attention and guidance, and while he's got a very wide independent streak, he also needs help as frustration can quickly lead to meltdowns. She almost never gets a break. I have such a deeper respect for her and how hard things can be, and am continually impressed with just how strong this woman is.

I'm a pretty lucky guy to have her in my life. :)

I hope Easter went well for everyone - I think my body was just a bit overworked from last week as I'd busted my rear hard to get the pounds gone, but this morning I received my reward - almost four pounds down.


ps - after getting back from the gym this morning she was laying on the couch and he was playing with Legos while watching Wonder Pets. I took a shower, then cuddled up next to her. He jumped up and climbed all over us. Domestic bliss. It was heavenly - a feeling I've always wanted and feared I'd never have. So happy!

Friday, April 10, 2009

End of the week

Yesterday I was doing awesome. Note the WAS. Late in the afternoon there was a surprise meeting, where our VP re-organized the department. My section is fine, btw. But the thing is, there were a box of cookies and sweets there. I didn't really have too much interest, but decided that one cookie wouldn't hurt.


The woman next to me had taken a gooey brownie out and bit into it, then found that there was coconut in the treat. She doesn't roll like that. She was looking around, obviously trying to come up with a plan for the brownie with a bite. Never one to let a lady in distress stay that way for long, I offered my services - I ate the rest of it. Then something weird happened... I started manically craving carbs. I had a second cookie on my way out of the meeting! Then I left, went shopping and picked up a 300 calorie drink! Then I had a small bag of chips, two Zingers and a Mountain Dew, then a pack of M&Ms...

I was drunk on carbs when I went to bed.

I can't really recall the last time I went so fucking nuts. Note to self: don't eat the cookie. You're an addict. You can't do just one. So lay the fuck off.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Another frustrating weigh-in

This morning I'm at 261.6, down half a pound from yesterday. That sucks.

I should be out of the 260s by now! I went to the gym for a second cardio session yesterday. I counted all my calories and came in at 2k. I've been to the gym 6 times this week already!!! What more do I have to do just to drop the weekend weight???

Yesterday I drank 4 liters of water. The front of my jeans smelled of urine I'd drank so much and continually peed. Gross, right? I know! But still - two-fucking-sixties...

I'd hoped to be 258 by the end of this week. Now I'm praying for a bigger loss than I got today, because I need to at least be back to 260. Pathetic.

It's time to change up the routine again, methinks...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

How 'bout a fifty?

262.1, and I'm heading down fast. Or back to where I was last week. Can I be done with the 260s yet? Please? How 'bout a fifty? I'm so sick of the 60s...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring Training, in a Way

What's up my fatty peeps? I'm just getting back from the gym - second time today. I was just in a mood I guess, but damn... I'm just done with it, you know? Done being fat. The sun is shining, the air is warming, and dammit I just want to be out there, enjoying life. So I did another 20 on the eliptical and 10 on the stationary bike.

In other news, I was at a gaming event this past weekend. The game I play is called Warhammer, and a couple times a year a bunch of 20, 30 and 40-somethings go to different tournaments and throw dice while pushing miniature soldiers around the game board. Great stuff, I love it.

The thing is, the guys there... I'd guesstimate that ~70% of the guys are at least overweight, and an abnormally large percentage are morbidly obese. It's sad to see man. I spent a lot of time looking around, just wondering what each guy's story was. Because they're probably the butt of jokes to lots of people in their regular lives (like I'm sure I was/am), but something in their lives has brought them to this place. This prison of a body that they themselves have constructed. And it made me sad. But I can't help them - they've got to help themselves. Because just like me, they got themselves into their prison - and we each have to get ourselves out alone. We've all got to tap into our own inner strength, focus on what we *really* want, and then go get it.


Up a pound this morning, and all I had was a muffin, a coffee and one bite of a chicken sandwich for dinner. Back to the grindstone...


Monday, April 06, 2009

Back home

Hey all, I'm back from Chicago, and more importantly I'm just recently back from the gym.

The weekend was great. My waistline suffered some, though not much. Luckily the convention hall where my events took place had free water and were selling apples and the like during the day. I had myself about four apples over the weekend, and some water (though not enough). For my lunches, my roomie and I brought sandwich meat, veggies and soft shells, and we made lunch wraps. So good! And what a cost savings when compared to hotel prices.

Dinner was more of a mixed bag. Thursday night we went out and I had an amazing peppercorn tuna steak - the fish was so soft, it was like sashimi. I also had some fried calamari. Then I started drinking - I had several rum and diets that night. Friday I did a Starbucks coffee/muffin for breakfast, wrap for lunch, apple snack, and we had... hmm... we had something for dinner. Oh! I had a 6" sub and 6 potstickers. Saturday morning I did Starbucks again, wrap, apple, beer beer beer, chips (uh oh...), then was hungry for a dinner dinner, so we went to the bar and I had a big burger. Yum. And fries. And chips. And more drinks. Yikes!

Sunday I did Starbucks, beer, beer, Chinese for lunch, a Greek pizza and cheese sticks for dinner, a late nite coffee, a Mountain Dew Amp, a scone, a choco-taco, 3 sodas and several mini bags of chips. The drive killed me, obviously.

I'm up 3.5 pounds since Thursday morning. Oh well... I'd be willing to bet that 2.5 is water, and I'll get the last one gone this week. But I had a great time, so it was totally worth it.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Windy City Time

Today I'm going on a mini-vacation to roll some dice with friends down in Chicago. I'll be gone today through Sunday, so no updates until Monday.

I'm not going to lie to you... I aim to misbehave.

Hopefully just not *too* much. :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Going Solo

Just got back from the gym. Feeling very good.

Last week I was a bit passive-aggressive towards Dan the Workout Partner. See, I've got a fairly casual relationship with time, where others don't. Between five and ten minutes late for me is "on-time", and unless I'm 20 minutes late I really don't see an issue. Apparently that's just me.

While I was on my gym hiatus when sick, Dan got done with workouts faster, listened to his iPod instead of gabbing with me, and liked getting to work "on-time". So last week he decided to enact a new policy; he would be on the elliptical at 6:30am sharp, regardless of where I was.

Last Monday I rolled in at 6:35. I could see him jogging in place on the machine, ear buds in, looking straight ahead. I got up there, he finished, he walked away. I completed my 20 minutes, then I went downstairs to lift. He was waiting for me. We finished our workout.

Tuesday I got there at 6:30 (apparently his method worked - I'm conditioned already!) As I was walking in, he was walking out of the locker room. He turned, saw me, then waited. But you know what? At this point, I was pissed. In my head I thought, "fuck it - you don't want to wait? Don't fucking wait. Go up there. Go elliptical (or whatever the proper verb is). Go put on your headphones and ignore me. Don't you dare fucking wait." But what I said was, "..." and just didn't look him in the eye. When we got done with cardio and moved on to weights, I didn't respond to his attempts at conversation.

Wednesday I got there at 6:32. He was on the elliptical. I ignored him to the best of my ability while at the same time working out with him.

Thursday I got there at 6:32. He was walking out of the locker room. I ignored him as soon as I saw him - same feelings had brewed up. He doesn't want to wait? Fine. Don't fucking wait. But don't expect that I won't have some type of reaction, even if my reaction is to ignore you. By the time we're doing weights, he asks if something is wrong - if I'm mad at him.

I find myself not being a Real Man, and saying, "whatever."

Friday I got there at 6:31. As I step out of my car, I see him stepping out of his. And now I'm fine. Because I know the truth - it's *hard* to get to the gym every day. It takes goddamn effort. So if he needs an extra couple of minutes, that's okay. I just like when he's there.

That said, I've gone to the gym the past two days without him. His job has him traveling at least once a month, and whenever he's not going to the gym in the morning, I don't go either. But that anger of last week, that mental isolation from him... it was actually fantastic in a way. Because I showed up. I did the work. And I did it without him, for all intents and purposes. So yesterday when I got a text at 6 saying that he was feeling ill and wouldn't be there, I realized that I could choose to not go and it would be fine, or I could choose to go and make this gym thing mine, not something that I *need* him for. I chose the latter. And I did it again today.

Having a workout partner is really nice. He keeps me accountable and when I really don't feel like going, I know he's waiting for me (or was... lol). But I've come to the realization that I don't have to have Dan there to lift the weights. I'm just fine on my own.

Man... I sound like a real bitch on this post. lol. Oh well, perhaps some days I am.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... :)

Last night at midnight the project I've been working on for the past three months went live. I received this email this morning:

"Thank You for making this whole thing happen.

But for now, please send instructions to your team, to stay home today and get some sleep.

I'm serious.

Please forward on to appropriate team members."

And with that, I'm going to pitter-pat about here at work until noon, and then call it a day. Finally - normalcy! (I hope!)

Where I've Been and Where I'm Going