Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This morning's stats

45 Minutes logged
4.5 Miles ellipsed
519 calories burned
11 Black Label Society songs
1 sweat-soaked t-shirt
And the commitment to go gymming when I just want to stay the hell in bed.

And since I'm feeling pretty damn good, I'll post this "before" pic. Somewhere around September-ish of '08. Spot the fatty.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ruminations on a Compliment

Last night I headed over to The Gal's™ place to say hi. When I walked in the door, I saw her whole family huddled around the table, working on their next big event. Her mom greeted me, then said, "Andrew - you're losing some weight!" I did my typical quiet thank-you bit, and left it at that, but it got me to thinking.

A year ago I'd taken stock of my life and how much of a waste I felt it had become. I wanted to get healthy for a number of reasons, though thankfully all the reasons were my own. As an aside, I'm not really convinced that if someone's parent or spouse says something regarding your weight, you're really going to do much. And if you did, it wouldn't be with your whole heart as it wasn't *you* that came to the decision to do it for you - you're doing it for them. Because of that, I do believe that in order to be successful at this you sometimes have to exhibit selfish behavior - you've got to put this effort above other things in your life, be they family, friends, hobbies, etc. I digress...

One of the things I was really concerned about was how women viewed me. And as I viewed myself pretty low, I assume (and probably correctly, because unless they're all a bunch of fat acceptance chicks, they're typically more interested in someone thin/muscular. At least at first blush) that they saw me the same. But one thing I never gave much thought to was how their family members would see me. I guess I just never made it that far down the thought-line.

So The Gal™ has 7 siblings, along with her folks. What did they think when I first started coming around? What did they think when she and I started dating? Did they say anything concerning her new beau's weight? Did they feel that she was settling, or slumming, or any other negative word usable here? Did they wonder just what in the hell she was doing with me?

I don't know. I haven't asked. I'd really not thought about it too much before driving home last night. I think at this point I've pretty much got them all liking me for me, so I'm not too worried about it, but it's just an interesting thing to ponder.

Anyway, I appreciate the compliment Pam. Thanks for noticing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More ramblings for this week.

Man, I've been straight slacking on updating this thing this week! Don't think that slacking here means that I'm slacking out there though - thankfully I'm not that cliche.

Let's see, what to ramble about today...

So this past weekend I volunteered my time at a weekend conference. It was a decent-enough time, though sleep seemed to be at a premium. The reason? Those crazy Catholics had set up a volunteer room full of baked good and fully loaded soda! Initially I avoided the Mountain Dews and brownies, opting instead of a bottle of water and... well there's no and. There weren't any healthy alternatives offered. I kind of get the sense that Jesus was a loaves and fishes kind of guy, but the diocese of Winona is more of a cookie place. And since I was there all Friday night, from roughly the time I woke up until Saturday night, then bright and early Sunday morning, I was at the mercy of them. In fact, I'd even had a McMeal as I drove in Sunday morning. Sonofabitch! Of course, no debauched eating weekend would be complete without stepping on that scale and taking my punishment, so I did. Sunday night I damn near broke my scale, clocking an impressive 259.9. Believe me, I would have shit my pants right there, but I'd already taken a dump before weighing in. Good thing too, apparently.

By yesterday's weigh-in, I was at 251. Not my lowest, but I'm fine with it at the moment. Just gotta keep fighting the battles, winning back any ground that gets lost in the daily skirmishes, you know?

Tuesday night I went to taekwondo, which I shall tend to reference as fight club going forward. First rule of fight club is that you don't talk about fight club, but fuck that Brad Pitt Shit, I've got some stuff to say!

At the 40 minute mark of class, they had us strap up in helmets and chest protectors - it was fight time! I haven't sparred in *years*. Of course, they pair me up with some black belt dude - he's the only other barrel-chested cat up in that place, and there's a certain logic in keeping the heavyweights together. That said, I'm a yellow belt and he's testing for his third dan black belt next month. However, and this is the good news, he's terrible. I did discover though that I too am terrible! I swear, I didn't used to be. I don't think. I hope. But I am now! In my mind I could see what I wanted to do, but my agility, flexibility, and skills are just gone at the moment. Basically I'm just a bull in a china shop, all size and strength but no control or precision or ability. So in an attempt to not look like a total schmuck I stuck to lots of round kicks and back kicks to his gut. He had a few more tricks in his bag, but I avoided most of them. Mostly I slid backward quite a bit as I wasn't expecting to spar and didn't wear a nutcup. I don't trust these big lummoxes to avoid kicking me in my enormous genitals (not really), and damn did he kick hard!

After two two-minute rounds, they had us switch up partners. Both he and I ended up with women. I have no huge issues sparring against women, but typically I only enjoy it when they're significantly better than me. I don't feel so bad about launching attacks at them as they're usually quite quicker than me and will avoid my kicks, so I benefit from fighting these little whip-quick squirts who continually tag me with their feet. The woman I fought was not that. She was probably 200ish, and wasn't particularly quick on her feet. However as she was significantly higher in rank, she had this annoying in-ring habit of trying to put me into different fighting situations and then offer up "coaching tips" as we fought. Fine, whatever, I know I've been guilty of that in the past myself so I went with it. However, I'm now in my third two-minute round on my first night of fighting and the reality of being 250 came into play. My tubby legs had grown quite heavy and weren't snapping up, striking as I'd have liked. She kept coming in on me, jamming my attacks. "What do you do if your opponent is this close?" she'd ask as our chest protectors would touch. My first answer is to slide my back foot backward, creating space to then lift my front leg and snap a kick into her midsection. My second answer is to slide back, then just do a jumping back kick or jumping spin heel to the dome. Unfortunately I was waaay too gassed at this point to make any of those answers happen. By the third time she'd crowded up on me and was questioning me again, I'd had enough. I just put my hands on her chest protector and... shoved. Hard. Thump - she stumbled back and her ass hit the mat.

Bull in a fucking china shop man.

At least I wasn't the only one though - that guy I fought for the first two rounds? Apparently dusted the gal he was paired up with. She walked out of her ring in tears, having been hit hard. I have some sympathy for her as the dude really did hit hard and didn't appear to have a sense of dialing things back based on skill level. At the same time, we're at fight club, you know? So move, block or counter. Bah - whatever. I'd prefer that we just keep the bulls together, let 'em bruise one another up and let us leave it at that. No need for a woman of 150 pounds to fight a 230 pound black belt with no sense of adjustment. Plus the dude's got a dickish air about him. He can snack one.

So anyway, Mon/Wed I lifted, Tue/Thur I biked and elliptical'd. I had to cut short my elliptical today though as I had an early-morning meeting. So frowny-face on that.

Hmm... I think I've run long here, so I'm just going to end it for today. Plus, I've already drank two liters of water and it's time for a bathroom break.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


What's going on, my bunch of chubby chasers?

I was slothing around my apartment this morning, trying to put my bags together for work. Some mornings I'm just draggy like that, and today was one. In fact, I just realized that I totally forgot to weigh in. Which in hindsight is probably the right call as I had a totally delicious sandwich from this place called Great Harvest for yesterday's lunch. They're this bread joint that serves pretty much the best sandwiches ever (I assume that the others are good - I'm pretty much totally gay for their chicken panini whatever sandwich that I don't even bother with the others - I can't cheat on my main meal, it might get hurt feelings), but the thing is they're only open from 11-3 for lunch. Dicks. I don't normally get home until 6ish, so that sees me miss them on the daily. Probably I'd eat that fucker every night if I could. Thankfully yesterday I worked from home, which is code for I ate a chicken sandwich from Great Harvest. Apparently.

What else? Oh, you'll love this, because who *doesn't* love a workout update, right? God I'm so lame today. Whatever, it's my blog and I can be lame if I choose to be. Anyway, I was knocking out 45 minutes on the elliptical again. Now, two (three?) weeks ago, I was doing my 45 minutes at level 14, but after 20 minutes I dialed her down to 8. Then last week I did 30 minutes at 14, then the last 15 at 8. Today I kicked some elliptical ass and rocked all 45 minutes at 14 - go me. By the end I was getting a bit draggy on the thing, but then my Pandora station put on some solid metal, the tempo went up quickly and the next thing I know I'm standing ramrod (hot) straight, running to the beat. Didn't even hold onto the big ski-pole looking hand things (what?), nor the other handlebars that measure heart rate. Just hoofin' it. I *highly* recommend fast music on that turd of an exercise. Basically I can't imagine flushing my life away 45 minutes at a time while listening to LA|Fitness play deep cuts off Now That's What I Call Terrible Dance Music 36. Eff those guys, their shitty playlists and their constant commercial interruptions every 2 to 3 songs to tell me to put my kids in Playland or get a Personal Trainer. LA|Fitness? Enough with that shit. Even a rube getting a 20 minute workout is going to hear your entire collection of junk self-promotion.

Tonight I'm in training to be a volunteer for a church thing this weekend. Basically me and Jesus and a crapload of high school kids are going to be kicking it for the better part of my available hours until I'm able to do some laundry on Sunday night. They better not accuse me of being a pedophile or something like that - that's this bizarre fear of mine when around minors these days. I guess I've just read too many headlines of teachers getting busted boning their students. Not that I'll be boning any of them. Holy shit did this just go totally off the rails.

Anyway, just ate a chicken salad and some strawberries/blueberries/kiwi. I've housed some water already, and have another liter on deck. Now I'm off to read some other people's fatty-lifestyle ramblings as I think I've come to the end of mine.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Oh man.

This morning I woke up at 6:30. Shit, I thought... that's when I'm supposed to be *at* the gym. And seeing as how my gym is 75 minutes away, and I still had to pack up my work clothes, etc... pretty clear I wasn't making it. Additionally, my cheek was soaked as I awoke in a swamp of my own drool. I always drool when sleeping if I'm sleeping HARD, so clearly I was wiped out.

I made it to work on time (mostly), and I'm going about my morning business, but I've got to say - without my morning exercise, I'm struggling. I've stretched my legs and back several times here in my beige cubicle (fucking kill me please), but I still feel tight and sore and beat. Some days it's just tough trying to find enough time for gym, work, my drive, my gf, sleep and myself, never mind the daily chores that I've just kind of let go of. Something had to give, I guess that's what I've chosen.

But today apparently my body opted for sleep over anything else, as I clearly recall setting the alarm when I went to bed. I must have turned it off (I did check the switch and it was OFF this morning) in my sleep (or a close proximity of sleep), the rolled over and cashed out again. Shrug. I guess it was important.

Tonight I have a second night of TKD, so I'll get some decent exercise in anyway. Oh, and last night I got some round kicks up to face-height: some flexibility is already starting to return! Huzzah!


Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm in love...

I have an admission to make everyone... I'm in love! Yep, it's official. I get excited thinking about it. I can't get it off my mind. Whether I'm looking forward to it or thinking back on it, I just can't get it off my mind...

Of course, I'm talking about the Arnold Press.

When I wear t-shirts, I've really noticed the shape that my shoulders make as they fill out the short sleeves. There's a perceptible lump there now. I can clearly remember when my shoulder cap was an amorphous idea, hidden under layers of fat. Then one day, a small curve began to appear out of the fat - it looked like the side of an egg, slowly pushing its way up and through the garbage. Eventually that egg became fuller, and the fat has slowly fallen away from it. The shoulder cap rounds out in the front, and there's a fairly clear separation of the shoulder from the upper back trap muscles, and from the triceps muscles below.

Shoulders are some of my favorite muscles to target.

I'll knock out some upright rows. I'll do isolation moves with raises to target the front, lateral and rear deltoid muscles. I'll do presses to hit those babies. But now... it's the Arnold press.

Not only do I feel them in my front and lateral delt heads of my shoulder, but also in the forearms. I'm doing three sets of 15 reps each with 30 pounds at the moment. I feel like I'm ready to do a bit more weight as well, but that's not why I love them. I love them because they allow me a spot of vanity.

When I'm pressing the dumbbells up towards the sky, I can see the longer line of my extended biceps, though I've been seeing that line for awhile. The exciting line I'm getting now is the line that's carving the separation between my rear delt and my triceps. The line comes out of my armpit and runs below the biceps line. It's small at the moment, but it's something that I can see, something that I can focus on. And it's getting ever so slightly longer and deeper each week.

But it was today that I saw something I'd yet to see. Something that I've been hoping for since lifting weights. Something that marks the next phase in my body's reconstruction.

I saw a vein.

For several years, I'd only seen one vein on my body, and it took and trip to the bathroom or some downloaded adult material to see it much - and even then, with my belly in the way, I'd have to work a bit to notice it. But no longer! When my hands stopped looking like marshmallows and instead deflated a bit, there was a little bit of vein happening on the backs of them. But veins on hands is boring... And then, today, just behind my wrist there looking like a topographic map, a small creek of a vein, cutting a slightly raised path two inches long down the top of my forearm!

As I sit here and type it's gone now. This vein apparently requires some hard, blood-pumping action to make itself known, but that's fine. I've got the tools I need to bring that vein out. I've got the Arnold Press.

I'm excited to watch that vein run longer up and down my arms, much like the muscles of my forearms began small and have now carved several lines of muscle that are visible even when I'm not flexing. Then? Then I'll be even more excited when that vein stays parked on my arm, even when I'm just sitting at my desk, typing up TPS reports and going about my business.

Small, steady progress peeps. That's what it's about.

255.6 (looks like I fucked myself this weekend, just as I'd feared. Didn't see a vein when I was doing it either. Ooops.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Done with this week

Wow am I beat... four miles on the elliptical yesterday, taekwondo last night, and then a tough day of lifting with a couple super-sets in there have kept my heart rate up - not that I'm complaining! I love the feeling I get after a workout, so yay to that.

Years ago I used to go to a taekwondo school, and on a good day I could do the splits - on a bad day I still wasn't too far off. Now? I can barely get my legs to go past 90° when I spread out. I suspect that the issues are a combo platter of 5ish years away from the sport, combined with tight muscles from lifting regularly without much in the way of stretching. Stretching is something I really need to work on - it keeps me limber and agile (as agile as a 250-pounder can be anyway), and I'd like to get some of that back. I don't know that I'll ever do the splits again, but it's definately a goal to reach for.

I think that last week's 247.8 may have been a bit premature - I think that it was a combo platter of 4 miles in the morning plus the first day of taekwondo in the evening and little to eat. Basically, I think that I'd dumped all my water weight as I never replenished after the tkd class. This morning I'm at 250.8, which seems much more realistic than the idea that I basically lost 10 pounds in a week. I'm still okay with the 250, but I'm also a tad worried. Normal weekends are difficult as it is for me as the routine is always a bit screwed up, but tonight I'm headed to a friend's for some barbeque, then tomorrow is my girlfriend's mom's 60th birthday party (more bbq, plus cake - ooh, delicious cake!), then on Sunday we're going to see some of her family's old friends/relatives, so even more chances for me to fuck myself. And since I do enough of that on my own, I don't need too many bonus opportunities!

BTW, closed-circuit to the cleaning guy at the St. Paul LA Fitness: clean the fucking showers please. Seriously; the shower curtain folds have that orange mildew thing that looks like some junior chef was dabbling marinara sauce on it. It's gross. And seeing as every time I'm at the gym you're only in the men's locker room, I think you're in the right place. Quit with the vacuuming, start with the ungrossing. Please.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Little things that I don't do

I was reading a post by Fat Daddy today, which dealt with the large issues of being fat (forgive the pun). One of his first rants revolved around being a big guy on an airplane - something I've already discussed myself. He is looking to hear from readers about some other big issues that they deal with whilst being fat.

His request got me to thinking about some of the little things that I actually no longer do as I slim down.

No longer do I walk into a room and instantly survey it, looking for someone bigger than me. I don't know when exactly I stopped - I actually hadn't even thought about that until today - but when I was huge and very self-conscious about my weight I would always hope that somewhere in the room would be a man or woman whose flanks stuck out farther than mine, hanging out the sides of their chair. I'd really wish that someone would be there with a stomach that pushed uncomfortably against the table in front of them - moreso than my own. I'd hope that I'd see someone whose gaze I could meet and share a sort of understanding, much like two guys on motorcycles waving a short hello as they pass by one another on the road. It was important to me. It made me think that there was hope. Hope that I wasn't *that bad* yet.

No longer do I walk with my shoulders slouched forward, stretching the fabric in the back of the shirt so as to allow a bit of looser fabric in my chest to disguise the fact that I had larger boobs than most of the women I passed by. I've read that losing weight and lifting weights helps to contribute to better posture. While I believe that there's truth there, I also must say that part of the bad posture of the overweight masses out there is self-induced. It's a coping mechanism. It helps to hide all the rolls and bulges on our bodies. Sort of. I mean, no man wants to admit that he's a solid C cup, so if it's something that's possible to hide, he'll do it. I did.

Now I walk upright, with my shoulders back. Again, I don't exactly know when I started doing this, but I do. I stick my chest out a bit, in a sign of confidence. Oh sure, I've still got a set of tits on me, but thankfully I'm outsized by my girlfriend and I don't stress about it much. It's just one of those things that's slowly going away.

I also no longer pull my shirt away from my chest as I sit down in a chair. I've seen this behavior in other men as well - you sit down, the fat boobs and stomach push out and collapse together at the same time, and the shirt gets stuck in the rolls. I'd pull the shirt out as I sat to prevent that - to allow the shirt to hang loosely over the top of all those lumps and bumps. Not too sure when I stopped, but for the most part I have.

One last one, and I think it may be a bit of an embarrassment for many of us - I don't work too hard at wiping my ass. When there's so much mass on your body, it can become a bit of an exercise in and of itself to reach behind your back, past one ass cheek to get the paper in the right place. I would be incredibly aware of this, fighting with my drooping back fat and oversized heinie to get clean. I'd like to think that I always did clean properly, but I put in the extra effort to make sure of that fact. Now I guess I wipe my ass like a normal person. Silly to think about perhaps, but no less true.

So these are some of the little things that I don't do - things that no longer cause me daily stress and contribute to a low self-esteem.

I'm still fat, but I'm getting there.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

33! And One!!!

Happy Birthday To Me!
Happy Birthday To Me!
Happy Birthday Dear Roder,
Happy Birthday To Me!!!

Today marks thirty three years and nine months since my folks boned, making me, and one year since I decided to begin the journey to get well again, physically and emotionally. Things are going very well, and every day gets a little bit better. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for following along and supporting me. I hope you have a great day - I know I will!

Monday, July 06, 2009


Today at the end of the lifting session Dan and I grabbed 25lb weights and finished up with lunges, doing a hammer curl of the dumbbell each time we stepped down. Such an amazing exercise in motor skill/control. We would lunge down and back the gym floor, turning with a pause at the end of one direction to come back to the starting point.

The initial start was fine, but by the time the turn occurred my body's coordination and motor skill would let me down. I'd get out of rhythm, out of breath and out of sorts. I got lightheaded and slightly confused. Basically I was reliving the night I lost my virginity with each lunge and curl. Yikes...

As we lifted, I'd confessed to Dan that apparently the top of my manhood had been rubbed raw this weekend. In the lockerroom, he grabbed a bottle of some ointment thing that he rubs on his arms when he gets new tattoos (both of his arms are half-sleeved from the shoulder to biceps). "Put this on your junk, it'll help," he said. He squeezed out a bit of some sort of petroleum jelly substance onto my finger. "uh..." I said. "Thanks. This is the gayest thing I've ever done. Don't tell anyone," was my response. So now I'm telling everyone. lol!

Anyway, the fourth was good, but this morning's weigh-in had me at 255 - so it was also very, very bad. Gotta sweat out that water weight gain. At least tomorrow is 45 minutes on the bike - that'll shake loose the junk!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Close the book on another week

It's the start of a three-day weekend. I can't even begin to say how relieved I am that I can avoid the office - it's become a total madhouse, with constant demands and nobody knowing what's going on. Very frustrating place to be these days.

Luckily on the other side of things is my weight loss. Now that I've given it my full attention again, things are happening. While I dream of a day when I can just go to the gym, do some light cardio and lifting and come home, maintaining my losses while not having to think about it every day, I'm not there yet. So I lift, and I run, and I bike, and I do it all with total effort, as do I pay attention all day to my diet needs.

Last night was fun. I went to TKD, met a couple people, worked up a decent sweat, and had a good time. It turns out that one of the guys there knows some of the guys I used to train with back in the day, so we've instantly got things to talk about. Yay!

Beyond that, not too much to report. I've got to work on some volunteer project that I've been meeting to complete, so that will be the lion's share of my day today.

247.8 (oh hey, lookit at that...)

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Today was elliptical day - 45 minutes, 4.2 miles run, 500 calories burned, and I'm currently sitting at my desk, 1 hour removed from the activity. Sweat is still streaming down my torso right now... the afterburn effect from elliptical is like nothing else!

Tonight I'm going to be starting up taekwondo again. I spoke about this before, though as I've moved since looking into it then I'll be at a totally new place. I'm both nervous and excited for the class. If it's anything like the last place, then once I'm skilled enough to start sparring again I should be dropping pounds with the quickness. Nothing like avoiding a kick to your face or nuts to get the body tense and moving!

I was up a pound this morning on the scale, though I ate less than 2087 calories yesterday. My guess is water retention due to the weight lifting yesterday, coupled with a dinner of a fajita - the rice tends to keep some water in your system. I'll be drinking lots of water today to keep things flushed - I'd *love* to break into the 240s by tomorrow morning's weigh-in. Especially as I'm going out of town this weekend, which always fucks up my consistency.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

You Got Me Man...

Because I don't get it either. Maybe the change in workout? Maybe the better tracking of calories in? Or perhaps it's just because I've channeled my negative feelings into fueling my workouts. Regardless of knowing exactly why, I'm down again, and this time it's a huge drop and another new low. I guess the big lesson is, don't eat back your burned calories because that concept really is bullshit if you're looking to lose. At least, that's what I'm going with for now.


Where I've Been and Where I'm Going