Losing It For The Family

Losing It For The Family

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The War is Over

I often find myself talking about 2010-2011 when I get involved in a conversation about fitness. I feel like I need to let people know that I can be skinny (well skinnier anyway), I did it once!! (in actuality, in my adult life, it has been more like 5 times, but I digress.) Usually, after I have said that, I find myself later reflecting on how I was so successful, but somehow, once again, let it slip away. Why is it I keep letting food and laziness get the best of me? How can it happen so often? Why can't I just get healthy and stay healthy? As you can imagine, this brings me great stress and aggravation.

Those who know me personally, know that in the past 2+ years I have began a spiritual journey that has brought me closer to God and accepting that Jesus died for our sins and we only have to do two things: 1. believe in Him as our Savior, and 2. love unconditionally. So long story short, you need to walk in love, even with someone who is an enemy.

Without fail, every success that I have had in getting healthy, I set out with a battle mentality. It was me against food and sloth and I was going to win!! And I have won many battles, but clearly, food and sloth have won one more battle than me. It stands to reason, winning one more battle than your enemy means you won the war. So, going forth, I am calling a truce with food and sloth. I refuse to lose one more time, so I will not take up arms against them.

I will instead decide to follow what the title of my blog insinuates I was doing, even though I now realize I was not. I will go forward using love as my motivation. And not just my love for my immediate family, but my church family, and the great big family I am part of here on Earth. I am determined that I will get healthy not for my benefit, but for the benefit of my family at home. Kathy, Mom, Dad and Lauren have been so supportive of me in chasing my dream to be a lawyer. I owe it to Kathy to stick around as long as I can so that now that finances will not be so tight, she can enjoy the fruits of her labor in keeping me going. My mom and dad can now rest assured that it is much more likely that I will be able to help them financially in their old age. Lauren has a better shot of taking our family even one step further in using her gifts to make this world a better place. I am so glad that she will be the first of our family to never have lived the red neck white trash life into her adult years.

I want to get in shape so that I can continue to grow and enjoy relationships in my church family. I am so blessed to have found Momentum Church and it's members. I am in a church where I am accepted and loved and quite frankly I want to never have to let that go!! And this church is so community minded that it blows me away. I by myself am not able to do as much for those in need in the River Valley and I rely on my church to help me get those opportunities. I want to be in good health so that I can continue to do serve the River Valley through my church as long as possible.

As for the world at large, I have decided to take my role as the child of the one true King more seriously. I have shared my testimony with a few people, but I want to share it with many people!! And fair or not, this society has a prejudice against fat people. It is proven in studies that people just don't take a fat person as serious as a skinny person. The default opinion when you meet a new person that is fat, is that they are lazy, dumb, and undisciplined. So in order for me to spread the Gospel and be taken serious, it just makes sense that I do what is necessary to make myself more credible to those who need to hear the Word.

So once again, the war is over, and my mission was not accomplished. Tactically, it just makes sense to change my war plan to a peace plan. I will not psyche myself up for battle anymore, but humble myself each day, and ask that God walk with me to get to my goals so that I can better serve Him, my biological family, my church family, and my worldwide family.

Isaiah 40:31- for he that hopes in the Lord will renew his strength, he will fly on wings like and eagle, he will run and not grow weary, he will walk and not get faint.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Joe Said It Best

So often I have a concept in my head, and I can verbalize it, but it seems like more often than not, someone does it better than me. I have been watching the Biggest Loser this year. Never watched it before this one. It is one of only 2 shows I make it a point to watch. That and the Big Bang Theory. So anyway, I was watching last night, and Joe, the ex-football player, was talking after his workout with Layla Ali. And the second it came out of his mouth, I realized the words were exactly how I feel summed up in one short phrase. "It feels great to be in control of my body now." I am not sure the exact context he meant it in, but I took it like this. When my body is in its worst shape, I literally feel like a prisoner. I feel like my fat belly is the boss. I can't sit up out of my chair very well, usually have to rock. I can't bound up the steps, I have to be deliberate, and I damn sure can't run two miles continuously. I am a mind trapped in a lead weight. And that sux. So when he said that, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I am back to being a happy person since I started eating right and exercising. And the source of that happiness is the fact that when I go to get up, I don't have to rock out of my recliner to get momentum, I just stand up. When I go up to my third story classes, I don't walk up the step, one foot up to next step, next foot up to the same step. I bound up the stairs, one foot on one step, next foot on the step above it. And when I run two miles, it isn't in spurts anymore! I just came in from running my block as a last ditch effort to get a run in, and it was a hard but satisfying two miler!! And quite frankly, I feel like I am back in control of this here "lead weight" and it is moving out for the new hybrid body that can "float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hodge Podge Post

I am kind of all over the place with thoughts as I sit down to write this post. So I may ramble, and I apologize if I do. I just like to get thoughts I have in black in white so they are real and not fleeting. I think that is what those of us that blog get from it, it is a way to make the ideas come to life, and therefore real. When you reserve your thoughts to the recesses of the mind, then they are too easy to forget or ignore.

So to kick off the ramble, I love billowy shirts. Well let me qualify that. I love billowy shirts that are size XL. See when I lost may way, I began to upsize my clothes again. Rather than digging my feet in and pulling back against the rope, I was drug up to the line ( a tug of war reference in case it isn't clear). But what finally made me dig in, made me fight was when it became obvious, evidenced by the fit of my XL shirts, that I was about to have to upsize again! That was the line in the sand I refused to be drug over. So now I am about a month and half in to eating better (not perfect yet but more on that later) and exercising regularly. Of all the things I could get the most excited about, none is greater than the realization that the XL shirt that was snug on you last month, now has a little bit of room between you and it! I love the fact that when I walk, it tickles my belly and chest hairs because it isn't sticking to me! It truly is the small things that keep me going

Another thing that just absolutely excites me is when I am walking somewhere, and it suddenly occurs to me that I am not schlumping along, but rather I am floating. Since I have given such importance to getting back to running form, I can't help but notice my leg muscles and others that are associated with walking are once again strong, and so each foot step often feels like I am walking on air. Another one of the things that made me dig my heel in was the fact that one day, I was going up the stairs at school WITHOUT MY BACKPACK and still got winded. Now, even with my back pack, I can get to the second floor flight of steps before I start to feel it, and when I reach the third floor, I am still breathing hard, but not panting anymore! (FYI, there are elevators, I just refuse to use them)

The final thing that has been on my mind this morning is the fact that I was doing something I had no idea I was doing until I was giving some advice to my friend who is thinking about starting a journey to healthy living. When he was trying to kind of hedge on when he was getting started, I told him the key to all of this is just break the seal on it. Don't think about it, don't analyze it, and don't defeat yourself by deciding your are going to work hard right from jump street and be fit in about a month or so. Just break the seal on it. Decide that today, I will go to the block I plan on walking myself into fitness, and maybe stroll to the corner and back to the car. What you did was just break the seal on the plan. Now once you do that and realize it ain't so bad, just add a little at a time. So anyway, back to why this is in this post. I had been doing that very thing, just hadn't put it into a concept yet. My school schedule and family schedule have been giving me fits as far as getting to the gym or the trail goes. I am now mostly doing afternoon workouts. The problem with that is I was using my caffeine high to have great morning workouts (coffee addict here) and afternoons still are when I begin to try to wind down for the day. So one day, I was trying to rationalize not going, and so I said look, just go to the gym, don't commit to killing a workout today, just show up and see what happens next. So I pulled into the parking lot of the gym on the way home, then got out and went and checked in. It wasn't 30 seconds, and I was strapping on my knee brace, tightening my laces and heading for my treadmill to kill a quick 2 miler! So from that day on, when I am trying to act like it would be ok to not go on a day I am supposed to, I just show up and let the rest happen. That was what happened this morning. I have a great deal of reading to do, and some catching up on some stuff I am not picking up on in negotiable instruments. I was starting to think "I should be a responsible student and stay home and get smart." But instead, I got up, put on my gym clothes, and just showed up at the gym. Quite frankly, I cannot tell you how glad I am I did that. It was a great run that showed me how much stronger I am getting already and really set the tone for my attitude for the rest of the day!

Ok, glad I was able to get all that out. Now for the responsible student in me to get to reading! Thanks for dropping by and listen to me ramble!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kathy Griffin Post

Today, this blog is not about me, well not per se I guess. It is about how proud I am to be in a front row seat watching Kathy Griffin, my lovely and awesome wife, beginning to catch fire in her desire to be fit! Kathy is like me, and has sputtered and stumbled in past attempts to get started, but if these last 3 weeks are any indication, she is fully ablaze with a desire for fitness! I have to sit back and grin when I think about Kathy a month ago, and Kathy today. Kathy is by far not a morning person, or at least historically she has not been. For the past 3 weeks, her phone has been waking me up at 4:45 at least 3 days a week! Why you ask? she is getting up and meeting her friend Robin at the gym for morning workouts! She has also started going on Monday evenings with her mom.

But that is not the part I get the biggest grin out of. What I love is that she is suddenly very fidgety. Let me explain. As a general rule, at our least fit, it was not hard to find either of us. We were both generally in our chairs. A lot. But a couple of years ago, when I began to get fit, I was suddenly always hyper, always looking for something to do. I would clean or organize or sometimes just go outside and walk around. I am starting to get back to that mind set, but even better, I have been watching Kathy beginning to be edgy when she sits for a little bit. In this past week, she is literally killing me by doing everything and not leaving me anything to do when I get bored!

So Kathy Griffin, here is to you. Great job getting 2013 started off right. Now for me to try to figure out how to stay ahead of you in running!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why I Like to Be Sore

I guarantee that title makes no sense to most folks. Heck, it barely makes sense to me, but it is true. You see, I am a guy who has problems recognizing anything but time spent in the gym as exercise or even activity for that matter. If I didn't drive down to either the gym or the track and spent X minutes doing some form of "exercise", then I sluffed off that day. But the cold hard truth is, anything you do that is moving is good for you, and should be recognized as exercise in the broadest sense of the word.

Let's take for example this weekend. I don't go to school on Friday's this semester, and since I don't have a job yet, it makes it more or less a free day. I of course have to do some reading for school, but for the most part, I am on my own while Kathy is at work during the day. I had decided that for this semester, Friday afternoons would be spent going to the gym. Well this past Friday was the first one, and the day came and went, but no gym time for me. I had spent the morning cleaning the house, and then my cousins came down and we went to lunch. On my to do list for the weekend, I had decided the garage needed (to be read desperately needed) to be cleaned up. So I forsake the gym that day to spend the afternoon cleaning the garage. It became a gargantuan task taking 3 1/2 hours!

Long story short, it was not a "gym workout" but it was a workout nonetheless. Several trips up and down the attic latter, I took apart an old recliner to get to the big heavy metal frame so I could sell it for scrap (that was much harder to do than I envisioned when I started by the way). I completely rearranged my shelves based on the fact I now have a lockable cabinet in there that lots of top shelf stuff went into. So even though I was doing "exercise", it really didn't register to me as exercise, and I went to bed that night feeling like I had failed. But then, the next morning, holy canole!! I was so sore!! I had soreness from the tops of my shoulders to the bottoms of my calves! So it was only then that it occured to me, yup, I did do exercise, and had not actually sluffed off!

I guess I just took the longest way around to say it took some lactic acid to help get my mind right, and divert the feeling of failing to stick to my planned gym time as being a failure. I hope I learned it well enough to continue to understand that because it is not "gym" exercise doesn't mean it isn't exercise at all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Old Techniques Not The Only Techniques

Past success can sometimes equal present failures. It's true. Since my backslide, I have attempted many times to just go back to doing what I did to be successful in the first place. Then after I only have limited success in my resolve, I become even more dejected, and continue down a path of destruction. So one day last week, I was dealing with an after dinner snack urge. In the last successful go around, I just willed myself to not eat. It was all internal. That technique was not working this time though. So I was trying to figure out what to do about that. So I began to pray about a solution to deal with this problem, and then God gave me the answer. My pastor did a series in November called Circle Maker. A quick synopsis is that instead of just inciting a prayer internally, to make it real. He told the story of a man who saved his village from a drought by drawing a circle in the dirt and saying Lord I will not move from this circle until you give us rain. Long story short, because he circled his prayer physically (made it real by doing a physical action) God answered it. So in response, I grabbed my iPad, and typed out 5 times that I did not need a snack after supper and it was destructive behavior to obsess about it. That worked! So for the next few days, I used the same method. Rather than sitting and brooding internally, I would type out a message. For example, one night I had been having a wonderful day diet and exercise wise. I had butted up against my calorie goal for the day however, and at about 8, I became a tad bit hungry. That is my pet peeve when I am on track. The days I am legitimately hungry kill my drive!! So I did get a snack that rounded out my calorie budget for the day. About 9, I became ravenous! So I then took out my iPad and typed out the follwoing:
Does it seem kinda silly? Maybe, but I spent the next few nights doing that when the after dinner snacking urge reared its head, and I can honestly say the last 4 nights, I have not had the urge!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Oh the Liberation!!!

When things are going wrong, man does it feel like prison. You just can't get out of your own head. You think and think and think. Far too often, thinking has gotten me in trouble. It sometimes makes me decide to give up, or "take a break" or some other self defeating behavior. But man, when you have that 24 hour period when you do it right and then on top of that see weight loss, oh buddy can you conquer the world!!!!!

I started a little something last night to try to break my eating after dinner problem. I just started writing what I wanted to do 5 times. So after supper, I wrote 5 times that I was not going to snack after supper. I was starting to crack, so I wrote i was not going to bargain or rationalize in order to eat something 5 times. Later, when i was fixing to get up to go to bed, I made sure that rather than my usual habit of finding something to eat on the way to the bedroom, I wrote I will not get a snack on the way to bed 5 times. It worked!!!! Not one snack after supper!

And if that wasn't enough, well guess what? 2 pounds disappeared off of Shane since last week!!! Oh Friday was such a good day. Not making the Deans List didn't even ruin my day. Even though I only missed it by .08, I was still happy for the great stuff that is going on!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Not All Fluff

I know that typically when you come here to my blog, you will see me being excited about now and the future. But today will not be the same. I am a little aggravated with my scale number and my struggle with after dinner eating. Now I say that with the caveat that I have all sorts of signs of progress. Trimmer waist (evidenced by my pants fitting better), smaller side boobs (evidenced by my treadmill walking the other day and not hitting the hand rail), and better cardio fitness by far!! I can run 2 miles without feeling it, although that is on the flat treadmill at 5 mph.

But I am just not happy with my scale number, and my guess is that is directly tied in with my other aggravation, my trouble wrangling the after dinner snacking. Not that I am going nuts with ice cream, or even the age old favorite hot dogs! I snack on Carl Buddhig lunch meat packets, cheese sticks, yogurt, and the occasional peanut butter sandwich. If I can ever get rid of the propensity to snack after supper, I think i will be well back on my way to a better scale number. Right now I am at 269. I would love to see a good number at this Friday's weigh in. Like say a 266. So now that I have verbalized my anger, I will move forward having taken its power away from it.

I think that has always been my problem. I would be dealing with life's craziness, and rather than doing something proactive or healthy about it, I would shove it down deep inside and ignore it, and to keep it down there, I apparently threw some food on top of it!! haha. So that realization prompted me to write a griping blog. I actually feel a lot better about the situation now that I have found a place to bring it out that is safe. I am very thankful for each of you for listening. If the scale don't cooperate this week, you may see some more of them!! haha.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Be Mindful and Do Not Let Progress Go Unnoticed

So I am not making great headway scale number wise, but the reality is, I am killing this journey otherwise. I am able to run faster and longer each week, I am not even kinda struggling to button my pants or to latch my belt now, and I am getting a better grip each day on my eating. But I almost didn't recognize a small but nice sign of progress that showed up today. I was running my 1.5 miles that I managed to get in despite not being completely well from a respiratory infection. When I slowed down and moved to an uphill walk, I noticed something after about 10 minutes. Obviously when I run, my arms are up. Walking, I just let them swing by my side naturally, except for on a treadmill at my gym. I start off trying but then I have to do the power walking stance because my arms are forced out too far by my side boobs and hits the hand rail on the side of the treadmill. Well today, I noticed I was not holding my arms in the power walking position because they were not hitting the rail!! side boob is starting to shrink!!! yaaaaay!!! Glad I was able to catch that and not let it slip by!

Friday, January 4, 2013


Not sure where exactly I am going with this, but I have it in my head rattling around. We are all on this weight loss blog thing for a reason. Our weight is not where we want it to be. So as a matter of course, we set out to correct that segment of our life by getting motivated to do the things necessary to lose weight. And we succeed and fail to varying degrees. And those successes and failures are relegated to that segment of our lives. What I lack is the global thinking to realize that I fail in that segment of my life because of other segments of my life and the influence they have over each other. I lost a lot of weight in 2010. Why? Because that one segment became my focus, taking a back seat to all others. However, when I started law school, that segment, that focus on my weight loss or physical fitness segment of my life, it got supplanted. Now I find myself back in an unenviable position. I have to muster the strength to get my fitness back in focus. But obviously, I still have to put effort into being a law student as well. So now I am faced with a daunting task: how to succeed in two areas that require my attention. And in so succeeding, to not let my family life, my spirituality, or my social life wane. I honestly believe that so often, that is one of the major reasons we fail. We can't balance out each segment of our lives, and then when we get one fixed to our liking, we have let another one get so out of whack that we throw all our attention that way, and then lose focus on the one we just spent a ton of energy on. Well no more for me. I am going to lose weight and get in shape, but this time around, I will be mindful of putting TOO much effort into it, to the detriment of other segments. I may take a long time getting myself back to sub-200 pounds this time, but I think that may be the best thing for me. I cannot let one segment outweigh any others, or that progress will again be lost.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Not Another New Year Resolution Per Se

I know that often times on this day, folks stop and consider the areas of their life they feel are deficient, and so on New Year's Day, they resolve to do X to improve that area. Of course one of the most common is the health and fitness resolution. While I have no scientific data to prove it, I am guessing the percentage of success on those resolutions are low. So why bother to "resolve" to do it? Just do it. I chose to not wait until today to get back on the wagon for eating better and exercising. Now I have not been spot on great at it, and maybe I could use the typical sentiment of the day to boost my enthusiasm, but I am not New Year's day resolving to do it because I already got started. What I did use today for is to remember what all I am hoping to get done before the end of this year, by whatever means. I first and foremost want to get my 5k time back under a half hour. I then want to be able to complete a 10k, but the time goal is left open for now until I know more about what is a decent time on a 10k. And finally, before December 31st rolls back around, I want to have competed in a half marathon and my only goal for it right now is to finish! In the past, I was averse to running. In 2010, I found out that I was actually just averse to the effort it would take to become a runner, and that I was actually in love with running! So this year, I am uncovering the enthusiasm I have let get covered up over the past year, and I am going to get back to being a runner. Now that of course requires some ground work, such as eating better, and obviously some concentrated training to get back into running shape, but so be it. I am chasing my dream again!!