Losing It For The Family

Losing It For The Family

Monday, December 29, 2014

What Do You Do Well?

No matter who you are, there is something that you do well, in at least one aspect of your life if not many aspects of your life. For example, I have the ability to see beyond the here and now when I am on a journey to get somewhere. All the years I spent in school, it would have been very easy to make the excuses, like I am too old, I can't be a husband, father, full time employee and a full time student. What I chose to do instead was to steel my jaw, and I would get my degree plan out every couple of weeks and note all the check marks I had made when I completed the courses. Just seeing that I was making progress helped me see the bigger picture; that one day I would have them all checked off. Along the same vein, I am able to produce a second wind in those journeys because I always without fail divide any task into two halves. I work my butt off in the first half to get to the halfway point, then I rejoice in my second wind while working my butt of in the second half, because I am over halfway done!

With that in mind, I am starting anew in my weight loss journey. And using the what do I do well question led me to come up with a plan to get me going, keeping in mind that one of my other talents is adapt and overcome when plan A isn't going as well as hoped. I am good at making plans that have structure and definitiveness. That is why I was so successful in my last bid to lose weight. I took time each morning to say "today, I do X." So each morning, or even the night before, I am going to plan for the next day. INcluding what exercise activity I am going to do, and what my calorie goal will be for that day.

I am also going to use visual aids (think degree plan example above) this time, though very basic. I have a yellow legal tablet that is the master copy of my daily calorie count, listing all my food and its caloric value with a tally at the end. I have a white dry erase board that I am filling out each day. Which leads me to the next aspect of my plan. I am now going to be dieting in 10 day increments. See above my I can do anything to half way, and get a second wind at the halfway point. I am on day 5 of the current block of dieting days, and as promised, I am excited to work my butt off being successful for the second half of the stint. My definitive goal is to always stay under 2,000 net calories for the day. At the end of the day, after my evening snack, I tally up my calorie count and write it on the board for that day, so that when I start the next day's board, I can see that I succeeded the day before, and it motivates me for the rest of the day.

That is pretty much it for now. I may add some stuff and I may subtract some stuff along the way, but at least I am being INTENTIONAL in my weight loss effort, rather than ABSTRACT.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Inner Turmoil/ How Do I Make This Time A Happy Ending?

I come to you today completely aggravated, disgusted, sad, defeated and any number of negative emotions. I am in another stop and start and stop cycle in my efforts to regain that fire in my belly (no pun intended) to get myself back on track to lower weight and better health. It is possible I am over-thinking it, but I set out this time trying to do something different. I am sure we have all heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. When I decided to fire up this time, I thought to myself " I put a lot of energy and time and effort into the 100 pound loss. When I hit 196, I just decided I needed a break from all the effort." I also debated the point that maybe losing 100 pounds in 10-11 months was too quick and that made it easier to put it back on.

With all that in mind, my thought process was to put a little less emphasis on number crunching, and to try to take off the weight a little slower than last time. I also decided to not use a scale to track progress, but to pick out clothes and use them as goals to reach. It seemed like was doing a pretty good job for awhile. But I stand here today, having to admit that the lack of structure may not have been the best way to get me going. I have once again began an inner debate about going back to being OCD on calories and exercise. But history tells us that hasn't worked out.
So the ultimate question winds up being, what do I need to do to be successful? Can I make the OCD route work by just being mindful of where I am and how to get either to the next checkpoint, and when the goal is reached, to stay there?

Any thoughts on this ?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Belt Notch Story

Probably one of my favorite stories of all my weight loss stories. I think we can all relate to the belt struggles. When your current belt notch isn't quite fitting, as in too loose. But the next notch is pushing it for too tight. So you are stuck in between. I had that issue a couple of weeks ago. At some point I just gave up and went to the next notch and dealt with the "too tight" problems. Friday was a crazy morning. I had cranky kids, it was cold, and I had court to get to an needed to look over my files before I left for court. So I am walking in the back door of the office and I realize my pants are starting to slide down. I immediately thought "crap, I put my belt in the wrong notch." Guess what. I did not! I have to admit I have been living on that rush for the past couple of day.

On the running front, I still haven't gotten my speed up to where I want to be. But I have gotten my average minutes per mile down significantly over the past two weeks! And I managed to up my distance in 30 minutes (obviously the two are related but I wanted to say both... haha) I am hoping that before the end of the Run for God Couch to 5K, I am actually running a competitive 5k time!!

Friday, November 7, 2014

One loss, One win

With the holiday season upon us, I was reminded of one demon that I had yet to address since I have been back on track. The Free Food Demon!! I went to the courthouse the other night to watch the returns and kinda hobknob with my local folks. The circuit clerk's office had put out quite a spread for the event! And despite the fact I had just come from supper, guess who partook of the food anyway. Not saying I stuffed myself like a turkey, but in reality, I probably should have just bypassed it all together. But the rationalist/"economist" in us always says "but it is FREE FOOD!" So now comes the prayers for help to defeat that particular demon.

On to the wins category. Remember that goal shirt that I have probably made everybody sick of hearing about. I am wearing it right now. That's right, goal shirt #1 is now in the wardrobe rotation!! I also picked out goal shirt #2 this morning. And in order to celebrate? Not a trip to Furrs, but a run up in Mike Myers Park!! 'cause that is how I roll!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kick the Ice or Pick It Up?

Had what I would call a dumb epiphone. I was getting ice out of the ice maker the other day. As often happens, a piece of ice made a break for freedom. now here was the whoa moment. I bent down and picked it up I mediately. Historically, I would have taken a second to debate "pick it up or kick it under the refrigerator?" On this day, I realized I had become a "pick it up" guy!! I like that guy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Exorcising A Buffet Demon

Oh that heaven we know as a buffet bar! Remember all those days of just getting giddy when you pulled into your favorite buffet (for me it was chinese buffets and pizza buffets) cause you knew it was fixin' to be ON!! I don't have to cook it, I don't have to pick one thing only, and they just keep bringing out your favorite dishes!! Aaaaahh.

I have recently been trying to get a handle on my eating by just being aware of the dangers ahead of time, and most importantly, praying that Jesus remind me He is by my side to push me out of the way of danger zones! So about three weeks ago, I told my daughter to choose where she wanted to eat and as always she chose our favorite local chinese restaurant, Vincents. I am the guy who never actually piles my food up on a plate, because of all things, I don't like my things to touch on my plate. Figure that one out. So my plates never have a lot of food on them. I just used to get 4-5 plates. I am proud to announce that on that day, I got one. Flash forward to yesterday. My buddy Jeff whom I have been running with lately, pops his head in my office and says come to lunch with me. I said sure. We wind up at the 2nd best local pizza buffet. Know what I did? I had a plate with a salad and then a plate with 2 slices of pepperoni pizza (smaller slices at that). I walked out from a potentially dangerous situation with my head held high and my heart thankful. I never really felt any urge yesterday to throw caution to the wind and just get after that buffet. That old familiar tug just wasn't there. And I even had a good rationalization available to me. We were going on a run in a couple of hours, I could have just called it carb loading.

I am thinking my buffet demon is exorcised. I know my snack demon is up against the ropes too. I am consistently eating fruit and carrots with hummus as my snack now. And sometimes not even that. Slowly but surely, I seem to be transforming rather than modifying.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sooooo Close!!

I been saying soooooo close here lately. I tried on my goal shirt this past Friday. Soooooo close to fitting like I want it to. I made it a goal to get my running intervals to a 5 mph average. I am averaging 12:30 a mile on the run intervals, so I am sooooo close. I vowed to be a smart eater all three days of our Texas trip. I had too much shrimp on Saturday night. I was sooooo close.

The best part is, I was also soooooo far away. Soooo far away from what all of that would have looked like 6 months ago. I didn't even have a real goal regarding getting into smaller clothes. I wasn't running but maybe once or twice a month. And I wasn't putting any REAL effort into curbing my bad eating habits. All of those were on my mind, but none of them were in my life! So long story short, being so close was not a loss, but a major major win!!

Far too often, I think that we set out with goals, and if we don't meet them exactly, we only focus on the fact that we didn't get to the finish line like we wanted to. But in reality, if you shot for 5 pounds lost in a month, but only lost 3, so frikkin' what? You lost 3 pounds dude/dudette! It is 3 pounds less than you weighed last month! It is progress. Learn to celebrate, not deflate!!

I am now resetting my goals to the exact same thing, just giving myself two weeks to get them accomplished. And if in two weeks, I am still a little off on the shirt, as long as it is a bit looser than it was Friday, sweet! If I am averaging 12:15 a mile on run intervals, awesome. I moved forward and will be soooooo close to the end goal.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Today has been a day of reflection so far. The following are things that have stood out:

1. The Good= I noticed it myself, but it was nice for my wife to say that my favorite red shirt was looser on me this morning! Plus, and this is exciting, I was FORCED to go ahead and tighten my belt one more notch this morning. I had been ABLE to get it one tighter but today I HAD to make it one tighter!

2. The Bad= I am getting thinner in my face, thinner in my arms and thinner in my waist. The the reality is I wish I could have kept the size in those for more loss in my midsection! It goes on first there, and it comes off first there!! aaaaaargh!

3. The Ugly= The run I took with a friend this morning was ugly. I struggled for the entire second 15 minutes. But the upside was that was the fastest pace I had run in a looooong time, and i survived!!

Honorable mention is the fact that my wife has been cooking soooo much healthier the past month or more! Plus I am taking metformin to help get my blood sugar down. I see good things in my future! And Sean Anderson, I think I deserve them! How is that for progress? haha.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Despite Being Aware......

Isn't if funny how you can know the solution to a problem, and still not employ the solution? I have been a complete grump butt the last 3 days. Been feeling depressed, overwhelmed, anxious.... whatever you name it. Part of the problem was I haven't been running. Now lets be clear. I could have been, but I used the deluge of rain we have been getting as an excuse to not run. I also got knocked off my routine on day 1 of those days by having to go to a birthday party for my aunt rather than meeting with my Run for God group that afternoon. But in reality, if I had prioritized it, I could have made the run that evening.

So today, I get back to work and I go at lunch in get day 1 of week 2 of the Run For God Couch to 5k completed. I FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS!! All it took was one good run! all my blah passed away and I feel like I could conquer the world!!

BE SMARTER SHANE!! GO FOR THE RUN, KEEP THE GOOD ATTITUDE!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Modification vs. Transformation

Full Disclosure: I am stealing this premise directly from a sermon at church from a couple weeks ago.

Transformation. Modification. They sound like the same thing, right? Turns out, they are not. Especially when you are on the path we are.

When you modify something, you make a change, but it is more of an external change. Like I can modify my car to look like a tank on the outside. However, at its very core, it is still a car. It don't have the horsepower of a tank, it doesn't have the firepower of a tank. It just appears to be a tank to the naked eye.

When you transform something, you change its essence. A caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. You have a whole new thing once the transformation process is complete. The thing transformed is changed at its very essence.

So what you say? I think I have spent far too much time trying to modify my behavior, rather than transforming me! I am walking and lifting weights and tracking calories and making goals. But in my mind, I am not enjoying whatever results I may be getting. Because I feel like I am being deprived of something I love. I love food. I love gooey, yummy, greasy, fat filled, sugar laden food. So while I am making changes in my life, they are aesthetic only, and will remain that way until I can TRANSFORM myself into a person who sees food as fuel only, not as a filler for emotional hurts or hang ups, or as salve for the wounded soul. I have to transform my mind and my heart to a healthy attitude towards food!

Romans 12:1- offer your body as a living sacrifice to God. I can't help but think of the fact that the Holy Spirit lives within me, and with each poor food choice I make, I am dumping trash in God's Temple. And that makes me sad. On to transforming myself for the Glory of my God, my Savior, and my Strength!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Going Small/ Less Than Perfect, And Being OK With It

I stand by my assertion that most of us overweight folks have some kind of inability to go small or go home or to accept less than what we perceive as perfection from ourselves. One deviation from "the master plan" and we are derailed. And Lord forbid we make one small change to our lifestyle rather than a complete overhaul all at once. I am starting my second week of P90X3. It frustrates me to no end that I am not as good as the guys on the tv. If they can do a 60 second routine of Warrior Squat Moons, why can't I!!?? I have also been frustrated about my ability to eat better up until evenings. If I can go all day doing well, what the heck is up with my evening snacking? It should just continue!!

You know what? I am ok. As Tony says, if you ain't getting it right, you are at least getting it righter than the guy you know who is smoking cigarettes and eating cheetos on his couch right now. You are there and you are moving! I ain't going big on workouts, but I am getting a half hour of huffing and puffing in, and to be honest, some of the stuff I am better at it than I thought I would be. I can plank then open up to half moon on both sides for the full time required. I can do plyo crawly pushups. I can do the side laying punch. I think that recognizing those things are important so I can feel accomplished presently. I also am thinking that not being able to do some of the stuff is a secret blessing, saving those successes for later, so I can continue progressing and feeling good about reaching my goals.

As for the snacking, I am happy to share some good news on that front. All habits start out as the first time doing it. I am on the fourth time of only having a handful of almonds after supper!!! Last night, I almost "forgot" to have those!! But it all started with my decision to not just cut out snacks, setting myself up for failure, but to be intentional in planning both my snack and the amount I would have and how often. Hello going small first!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blessed to Excess

I know it has been awhile since I put anything up. And historically that would mean I am flailing and hiding because of it. Not so much this time. I have have a series of events that have led me to feel like the most blessed man in the world. First, my Chief Deputy Prosecutor, Robert, started me going to the gym during lunch regularly a little over a month ago. We made it at least 3 times a week. Secondly, one of the men in my life group from church is an IT guy and he bought P90X3 and gave me a copy of it!! I started this past Monday and have been enjoying it for the most part. I got put in my place today with the yoga workout, but it will come to me, I am sure of it!!

But my most favorite blessing is that the shirt I spoke of before, the one I am aiming to be able to fit into for my first goal, almost fits!! I think another two weeks and I may be golden!!

But to balance out the enthusiasm, I am still struggling with quantity of snacking at night. Quality is much better, but quantity is still higher than I would like. I have been eating almonds and carrots and hummus, which I am sure beats the PBJ, the cereal, and whatever ice cream my wife brought home. But still, that has to be dialed down or else I may just as well be eating those things!!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

That Monkey That Won't Hop Off My Back

Despite all rah rah and actual good I am doing on this journey lately, I still have the evening snacking monkey on my back. Reality is that I snack more healthily than in days past, but the amount of times I snack at night need to stop! So that I can keep putting a face on my enemy, I am talking about it once again. I had a sentence typed out that said I was thinking about starting this battle tonight, Friday night and 3 day weekend be danged!!! I am following my own advice and saying I AM STARTING THIS BATTLE TONIGHT, FRIDAY NIGHT AND 3 DAY WEEKEND BE DANGED! I have no reason to be eating anything but one evening snack, and even if they are more healthy. Too many carrots and hummus lose their health benefits, too many apples keep my blood sugar up. Pick on snack and let it go Shane!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Bad

Ever have that day when you are just feeling like busting out? One of the things I decided a couple of weeks ago was to just walk for now, so I could consistently work out day to day with no soreness or knee pain. So I have actually spread cardio out between the stationary bike, this machine that is not an elliptical but kinda looks like it, and then walking on the treadmill. It started yesterday. I was on the treadmill and it was all I could do to not break out in a run. I made myself be good, and just did a nice brisk walk. But today, I just couldn't keep the leash on. So I broke out in a nice jog. It was only at 4.5 mph and I only jogged a combined 18 1/2 minutes of the 30 minutes, but man! But the best part was I thought I had hit the wall at about 6 minutes left so I was just going to walk it out. I happened to be looking at the how many miles mark at about 1 1/2 minutes mark and saw that I was at like 1.86 miles I think. I decided I was a wuss if I didn't shoot for 2 miles. I turned it up to 5 mph real quick to try to make up that mileage. I honestly don't recall how long it has been since I felt so free. I was running with good form and it felt so good to just BUST OUT!!

The one thing I have always held onto despite my weight gain is my desire to run distances. There is just no feeling like it when you get a good run in! I am going to go back to being good and walking biking or whatever that machine is for now. But I would be shocked if another bust out day shows up in the near future.......

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Perspectives

Sorry for the two posts in one day.


So today I was at the gym getting my sweat on, and I saw me in the mirror. Typically this is a bad experience for my psyche. I generally think "man, how did I fall from the pinnacle to this?" Today, it was different. I don't know why, but I just felt different. So when I got back from the gym, I found the two pictures you see above on Facebook. In one, I am in the best shape I have ever been in my whole adult life (presuming we don't count teenage/early 20s) and in the other, I am the guy who backslid from not being the fattest guy in the room usually.

But that is not what I see anymore. As of today, I see where I am, and where I am headed. I am not ashamed of where I am. It just means I get to get better! for the first time in a long time, it doesn't pain me to look at a 2011 picture of me. In fact, it encourages me. To the rest of us who have backslid, it ain't nothing. It just gives you an opportunity to be successful twice in weight loss and then prove you can be successful again in maintenance!

Badges of Honor

Yesterday's workout is settling in this morning. That half hour on the bike pedaling like mad? Got my thighs and abs and obliques hurtin'!! That chest workout with a new lift added at the end? Got my chest screamin'! Those to me are badges of honor. Do I actually like being sore? I don't know, I think I kinda do. In my line of work, I am chasing evidence down to make sure a case is solid (I actually don't go do it, I have the police do it. But you get the picture.) I want to be able to tell a jury, see, look at this fact, and this piece of evidence. How can you not see that he did this crime??

Every day that I wake up sore, stiff, and taking a bit longer to wake up, that is evidence. It is evidence that I chose change. I got off my couch/recliner/office chair and went and created a calorie deficit, and pushed my muscles to a point that they began to burn sugar for energy rather than using oxygen. It means that today or within the next few days, I will have bigger muscles that burn more fat even if I am just sitting still. It means that next week, based on my continuing to workout consistently, I will be in even better shape than I am today. Soreness is a sign of forward progress. While your attitude may initially be that it hurts and hurt sucks, if you are more forward thinking, it is a badge of honor. It is your proof that change is coming if you keep up.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Seriously?

I went to the gym for lunch today. It was a small miracle that I did really. One of my usual cohorts is out taking his son to college today and the other just decided it was a half day kind of day. So I debated about the idea of just not going. Then I tabled that debate, got my damn gym clothes on, and went! But the bigger story here isn't about my going. It is about my leaving.

I don't mess around when I decide to work out. It just isn't in me to chit chat and spend a few minutes between sets or even between lifts. I go in, do my cardio, walk straight to the weight room, and begin lifting. I doubt there is ever a straight 30 seconds of me not lifting unless it takes me longer to load a bar up with weight. So anyway, the point to this is. I did my workout that has been leaving me dying as I walk out the door. I was not dying as I walked out the door! I was tired, but I didn't take the usual 5 minutes to make sure I wasn't going to pass out while driving!!! I honestly feel like the biggest stud in the world! Seriously folks. Commit to 7 days. Heck commit to 4 days if 7 scares you. I promise you that once you get to that point that you just go do it instead of thinking you should go do it, it is a game changer! I seriously don't remember walking with this much swagger in quite a while. My head is up, my eyes are looking ahead, and I am marching into a a new success story that has a happy ending!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It Feels Good!

Man. I have to admit it feels good to look back on the past week or so and see that I put together something to be proud of for the first time in a long time. Maybe Friday night wasn't optimal. But big picture wise, a successful week. I have started tracking again, which phelps me be more mindful of what goes in my mouth. I have been consistent in activity, which makes the next day not so hard on me motivation wise. I even got a glimpse of the thing I miss the most from healthier Shane days. I got antsy to the the point I had to go outside to find something to do!!!

I wish there was a way to figure out what it is that sparks the fire and desire to do rather than having to talk yourself into doing it. If I could bottle that up, I'd be rich!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

7 Days

I just put together 7 straight days of good nutrition and consistent activity. In those 7 short days, the change in my energy level and attitude about getting back on track have taken a 180 degree turn! So that is my challenge to all who are having a little trouble getting going. Commit to 7 days of eating well, and no matter how sore you are after days 1,2 and 3, just go do something lightly strenuous for 30 minutes. I am loving the new found actual motivation rather than trying to talk myself into being motivated!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What One Victory Can Do

Wars are never one event. They are a chain of battles. Before you can ever win a war, you have to win battles. But while battles are the smaller part of war, they can play such a big role. Momentum is gained or lost in each battle. And even lost battles can serve as a learning experience. But the battles are what wins the war. What can one small victory in a seemingly small battle do? Oh so much. Success breeds more success. Attitudes begin to shift, willpower becomes stronger, and resolve is strengthened.

Yesterday at the gym, I had one whale of a workout! I did 15 minutes on a walking program on the treadmill, 13 minutes of jogging, and a 2 minute cool down. I headed directly from the cardio workout to the newly added strength workout. I did a back workout yesterday. But now rather than shooting for heavier weights, I do lighter weights, more reps, and shorter rest periods between sets. Yesterday was the first time I recognized that I am getting stronger and have more endurance! I didn't leave the gym, completely wiped out! I was still half wiped out, but that is a 50% improvement!! So I spent the day yesterday feeling pretty good about myself (which is a great feeling!) Then this morning, I was getting dressed for work and put on a pair of jeans I haven't worn in awhile. Last time I put them on, they buttoned but it took a little effort to do it. Today, not even a little resistance!!

I say all that to say this. Today, our office is going to an event called Taste of Crawford County. As you can imagine by the name, it is a collection of food vendors that come together and give samples of their cuisine. I'll be perfectly honest and tell you that I had no intention of engaging in any kind of smart plan for this event. I was going to just go with the flow. But that one small victory this morning has led me to decide to be smart about my intake. I am not going to be able to come up with accurate calorie counts but I think just being conscious of wanting to restrict myself, and then actually restricting myself, will be a big step on such short notice. I think my plan will be to walk around and see what all is offered, and then limit myself to selecting the top three samples I am interested in. Wish me luck!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Stop Choosing The Excuse, Start Choosing the Solution

I have kinda slow played the fact that I have been kinda working out at lunch. I say kinda because I haven't really been consistent with it. It has been a hit and miss thing since I have gotten hired here. I mostly go because my colleagues go and it is one more way to hang out with the guys. But when I don't go, you can bet it is because I tell myself I am too busy, and I would rather not workout with a hard deadline to be done by. I choose the excuse. But that is my newest excuse made up after I actually started to go kind of consistently for a bit. Before that was the excuse, I am a morning person, I like to work out in the morning. However, since Kathy took that spot from me by starting to meet her friend at the gym at 5 a.m., now I am screwed. I can never workout at lunch, and I am not likely to workout at night! Oh the excuses, I got'em!!

But here is the thing. Excuses got me where I am now. Choosing the solutions got me where I wanted to be before. So what if I have a hard deadline? Getting in a quick 30 minutes of cardio or weight training is BETTER THAN an hour sitting behind my desk looking at Facebook, and probably snacking the whole time. So what if I am a morning person. Obviously working out in the morning is not an option now. But working out at lunch is. And I have friends to go with. People that I could ask to make me accountable. I think far too often we know the solutions are sound, we just don't like them for some inane reason or another. Besides, it is easier to not do than it is to do. But again, that is how I got to where I am, and clearly don't want to be. When I look back, I am not sure how I could have kept up my running regimen the same as I was doing before law school, but I think if I had been purposeful in my decision making, I would have found a way. I just chose the excuse.

I am quitting again. I am quitting choosing the excuse. I want solutions, and from now on, I will seek them out with an open mind and determination to put them into action. I may not be able to always go to workout during lunch, based on the uncertainty of my dockets, but more often than not I can, and I will go when the docket permits.

I also use the excuse that if I can't run around my block, then I am not going to walk it. That is my pride getting in the way there. It has really been a sore spot with me that I cannot run like I used to. And one of my problems is that I can run some, still have the lungs and hard headedness to ignore my muscles during the run, but my muscles and joints hurt pretty bad the next few days, to the point that I actually cannot run then. So basically I can get one good run in a week. But from now on, I walk away from my pride hang up. I need to walk before I can run. Literally. I also have historically ignored the recumbent stationary bikes at the gym. I have used one a few times over the past couple of months. I have to admit it is a different workout than running and gets different muscles sore. I plan to not make the excuse that the bikes are just not as cool as me running on a treadmill. I will utilize the bikes as a recovery from my treadmill wokouts. I can handle the muscles pain on a bike, and my joints don't take the pounding.

Like the song in Frozen says, you got to let it go!! Choose the solutions, ignore the excuses.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I Am The Tortoise

This week has been a good jump start for me. I picked one thing (my activity level) and decided to work on it. I chose to make the prison break, and that has been successful too. I feel the momentum starting to pick up! My most recent yay moment came last night. I had been on the move all day, and in the recent past, that would have equaled me taking the first opportunity to hit recliner and plant it for the night. And that most often would have meant a short walk from the dinner table to the recliner. But I kept looking at my back yard during dinner,and thinking "man, if I mow it today, I will have gotten to it before it gets grown up for the first time this whole summer." So I got up from the supper table, gassed up Old Yeller, and I mowed last night. I got done about 7, and historically, I would have chalked that up to a day, and then rationalized that I deserved to go sit on my butt the rest of the night. Not last night. I had a few errands I meant to get to yesterday that I didn't. I had left my ipad at the office, and we needed a new rake and broom. Rather than say "I will get to that tomorrow, I loaded my wife up and we ran errands at 7:30 at night! If you know us, that is unheard of! By the time we got back it was about 8:15, and I did plant in the recliner, but it was at least 2 hours later than the usual!

Being who I am, the do it fast and do it perfect guy, I cannot minimize the hugeness of last night. I set some small goals, not big ones, and I decided that I will take this thing a little at a time. I will not chastize myself for not being back to my pinnacle in less than a month. I will be the tortoise, slow and steady. Just like the parable, I will win the race by being slow and steady and consistent with my goals.

My thinking for the time being is to stick with my goal of activity for the entire month of August. Come September, I am going to become more strict regarding my diet. I figure that gives me a month to devise some sort of plan that is doable for me. But for now, I will bask in the glory of feeling like I am achieving again!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Enjoying The Pool Again!

One of my neighbors when I was a pre-teen and young teen had an in ground pool. Both of our parents worked, but trusted us to use the pool while they were away. Also, we were expected to do the upkeep on it since we used it all the time. One of the things you have to do obviously is add the chemicals. We were ok at it, but keep in mind, we were kids. Sometimes, we got stuff wrong. Our most common mistake was getting too much chlorine. We all know an over chlorinated pool leads to some burning eyes if you swim in it. So naturally, we had to close our eyes underwater on those days. The solution to keep on swimming, at least in our juvenile minds, was to wash your yourself off with the water house, then get back in! It never occurred to us to keep our heads above water on those days. Of course we readjusted the chemicals the next time around and then the pool was much more fun! Luckily, we got it right or at least tolerable most of the time.

My current physical state reminds me of the over chlorinated pool of my youth. It has made me have to close my eyes to keep from being in pain. To have been where I was, at the pinnacle of my physical fitness and body image, and to have let it go really has burned me deep inside. To go buy an XL shirt or two, then a XXL shirt or 20 has hit me where it hurts. So I closed my eyes, I held my nose, and I kept swimming below the water. But these last few days of blogging consistently, and making plans to succeed have really been effective. To keep my issues up front in the conscious part of my brain rather than back there in the subsconscious has been a blessing. And I do that by actually giving physical form to my thoughts, and to my plans. I am a firm believer giving your plans for success a corporeal state is key to succeeding. Put it on paper, make it real before it dissipates and becomes non-existent. It works just the same for emotional hurts and hang ups. If you begin to deal with them on paper, then you begin give them a face. And when they get a face, they are no longer shadows, and now you can fight them!

I love my blog/diary. I have no idea why I ever stopped blogging to be honest. I remember how much joy it gave me along the way when I started it. I remember feeling empowered and in control of so many things I had let get the best of me before. I remember my self pep talks, I remember celebrating my victories with so many people that had my back! It was a tool that,if I had continued to use it properly, was saving my life and giving my family some security that I would be around for a good long while. We all know hindsight is 20/20. Did I mess up? Yes. Do I have a wealth of knowledge to use in building my next success story? Damn right!! Now to start picking up those bricks and stacking them back up!! I will now keep my head above the chlorinated water.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Prison

Monday, when I was push mowing my front yard, I started to do some thinking. I was really enjoying the day, the weather, the activity I was engaging in. Then my thoughts turned to the fact that I just don't seek this out enough. If I am being honest, apart from what I HAVE to go do, I spend the vast majority of my time in what I am now dubbing "my prison cell." The living room and kitchen are separated by a wall in my house. So within a 20 square foot area, I have my recliner and my refrigerator. I spend a lot of time in my recliner, usually with my nose buried in my iPad. The most common reason I get up out of my recliner? To go to the refrigerator to get food, or if I am feeling feisty, I walk all the way to the pantry in the utility room to get food. Heck I rarely get out of the recliner when I am playing with the kids in the house. That thing has a magnet and my butt is metal is seems like!

So I am adding a new goal to my get at least half hour of strenuous activity 5 days a week. I will also avoid my "prison cell" at least until 8 o'clock at night. I haven't decided for sure how I will avoid it. If nothing else I could go sit on the deck. Heck that may work because every time I walk out there, I see something I need to be doing. Here is to Project Prison Break!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Face It, Then Defeat It

I think I have talked about this before. I at one time had a small bout of anxiety, if you can call anxiety small. I mean I had weird things going on. Like I would feel like I was having a heart attack anytime I was about to walk into a Wal Mart. Seriously. It was Wal Mart specific. Being honest, I probably turned around at the doors and went home like 10 times. And if I did go in, I was always feeling like I was fixing to die. But one day, I faced that fear. I said hey, how ridiculous is this? You know what, despite my feeling that I am going to die the whole time, have I ever actually died? Huh, it doesn't appear so. I'm standing here talking to myself ain't I? (but that is a whole different issue... haha). And literally from that day forward, any time I had anxiety, I would ask myself, how ridiculous is this?

I won't pretend that I don't have the beginnings of anxiety attacks anymore, but they don't control my life. I don't stop what I am doing and run away. I just recognize it for what it is, and go on. Another thing that helped, I had to admit that I had anxiety. As in I told people about it. I OWNED it. Too often, issues or situations own us because we are too scared to face them or to even admit to others that we have them. I am a proud man and didn't want anybody to know I had a weakness. But the minute I found the courage to talk to my friends about it, I gained power over it. Then I began to make it a bit of a joke, and I gained even more power over it.

What of it you say? I think the thing that I am facing now that has me paralyzed is my fear of failing AGAIN. Sure I have shown a handful of times how great I am at losing weight. But that isn't the end goal is it? The end goal is keeping it off. And I have shown a handful of times I cannot. Kinda cancels out the successes in my mind. But you know what, screw that. I might fail again. It is cliche I know, but the true measure of success isn't whether you fell, but did you get back up, dust off and try again. I am afraid of failing. There I said it. I have achieved so much in the last few years, that I feel like failing anything would prove me a fraud. No more. I am going to pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back on that horse until it is broke!

My last post, I made it a point to say that I needed to pick a point to start working on. I chose activity. Yes I am only two days in, but so far, it has been successful. Monday, I came home and push mowed my front yard for about 45 minutes after supper. Tuesday, I came home and after supper, Lauren and I went for a walk around the block twice. That is a little over a mile and it took about 20 minutes. After that, I got the weed sprayer out and hit the front yard. After that, I helped Lauren practice her serve for volleyball and then we worked on her passing. All told, I exceeded my 30 minute goal by about 30 minutes!! And that is all well and good, but the thing I took away from it was a sense of pride in succeeding TODAY!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pick A Starting Point

One of my favorite jobs before my current profession was as a set up guy. My job was to get the tooling out for a new work order, apply it to the proper base machine, and set it up so that the part it was fixing to run was in dimension and met quality control standards. For whatever reason, while in a production run, the part would go out of specifications or some defect would pop up, and so my next duty was to go figure out why that was happening. Often times I had an idea when the operator came to tell me what was happening, but sometimes I had no idea. On the occasions I had no idea, my approach was to try adjusting things I thought may have caused it. But when that was also ineffective, I had a different approach. I just started somewhere. I made an adjustment, any adjustment, and looked to see if it made any difference one way or the the other. I just picked a spot and began to apply change.

I am starting to realize that my problem is much bigger than I ever thought. What sucks about that is that unpacking all that has led to 3 days of me being even worse than ever eating/exercising/attitude wise. Today, I pick a spot. My first spot is that at least 5 days a week, I am going to exercise. Whatever that may be. I may walk, I may go life weights, I may hop the treadmill or stationary bike. But I will at least exercise.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The "Can't Win" Paradox

I am suddenly beginning to become acutely aware of a lot of things. My wife went on a camping trip with the Girl Scout troop she is the co-leader of last night, so after I got the kids to bed, I had a few minutes to think and unfortunately over eat too. The weird thing thing is, while i was overeating, I was actually completely conscious of it. Like I was analyzing the action while doing it. Always when I get off in binge mode, it is almost animalistic. I just dive into it, it is instinctual. Then afterwards, I become human Shane again and then begin to analyze it. But last night I was cognizant of the fact I was doing it. I took a few minutes after finally regaining my composure to think about it some more. And I realized something odd.

We all know that if you are an addicted eater, you have a Jekyll and Hyde nature. On the one hand, you have that part of you that is good, and wants to do the right thing and eat well. On the other, you have that part of you that wants to give in, do the easy and fun thing! But here is something I realized about myself last night. It doesn't matter which one of those guys wins, I have feelings of failure when ever I eat anything after 4 or 5 o'clock. It could be 20 almonds, or a half of a cheesecake. If I eat anything after supper, and sometimes even supper does it, I feel guilty. I can eat completely healthy all day, and completely healthy at supper, and completely healthy in any snack after supper, and still I feel like a failure for eating anything. I literally can't win if I am jekyll and can't win if I am Hyde!! The worst part is, I don't know how to fix that. These last 3 days of blogging have led me to believe I need a therapist!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Maybe Your Will Isn't Always Your Own?

I come from rough beginnings. I had a heck of a life growing up. But despite all the sorrows of my youth, I seem to have always been able to transcend the situation. I seem to have always been able to say "eh, that happened. Now on to living the rest of my life." And quite frankly, I consider myself a tough guy. But now I am starting to wonder. I have never put much stock in the whole "I am a mess because of my past" theory. And I still am not ready to buy into the idea that you cannot function because of it. But I will come off my notion enough to say that your past may be able to effect you in some ways. Not to delve into details, but I have been adopted twice, I was passed around a lot as a child, and in some stops I was abused or neglected. I never let that stop me from being somewhat productive as a member in society. I was an overcomer. But now I am starting to believe that despite being a go getter and hard charger, some of the stuff I have seemingly let slide off my back has come home to roost.

I had an epiphany as I told you yesterday. I feel guilty about the fact I made it. I kept thinking about that yesterday. And I discovered I may also feel unworthy of a life that has suddenly become much less tumultuous. I have a wife that loves me, a step daughter that tolerates me. I am working at my dream job, I don't cringe every time I have to spend money now. The foster children we have had made me smile to be able to help someone. My church life and spiritual health are better than they have ever been in my whole entire life! But somewhere along the way, did I buy into the idea that I am not worthy of anything good? I mean I clawed and scratched and spent hours and days and months and years aiming for where I am today, how can I convince myself I don't deserve it? It was earned, not given.

Is it true? Could my will not be my own? Can what others have thought of me in the past really attach so strongly that I can't be happy for my achievement? That as Sean said, I can't be ok with the idea that I may be exceptional? A funny story. After I read Sean's comments, I made a conscious effort to say to myself "I may be exceptional. I did something not many do" and I kid you not when I said that it literally caused a physical response when I let myself think it. My chest tightened even thinking it. In fact, it just tightened when I typed it. How on earth can I begrudge myself my achievement?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Manufactured Stress

I am a worker. I love to accomplish. Sometimes it occurs to me that I love to accomplish a little too much. If you see me, it is a very good chance that I am thinking about what all I need to be doing. It fills my head. It also stresses me out if I feel I need to be doing something, and I am not making progress towards it. I for real cannot think of the last time (outside of vacation) that I was just sitting around thinking about nothing. Just enjoying the moment. I never just enjoy the moment I don't think. Well unless I am on vacation out of town. For some reason, I can stop thinking then. That may explain why I am such a big vacation fan.

So this morning, I tried to take a few minutes of quiet reflection. I tried to not even think about what today held, what all things I needed to do before the day is out, or how I would manage to get it all done. And though it was short lived, I had a really happy thought. I happened to be facing the wall my Associate's Degree and my Bachelor's Degree are on. And for a fleeting moment, it occurred to me. Where I am today was a long and hard road. I started school shortly after starting to date, and eventually marry Kathy and became a step dad to Lauren. I worked all through undergrad full time, and went to school at night. That was a heck of a 4 years, but I then followed that up with 2 1/2 years of 3-5 times a week minimum driving 50 miles one way minimum to go to law school. I had to swallow my pride and let Kathy and mom support me while I was in law school. I then took 2 months to study for a test that literally would make my life so much easier, or potentially destroy the last 7 years. I passed the bar and immediately had a job that pays well, has amazing benefits, and that I LOVE!! It occurred to me how awesome all that is. And for the most part, I have glazed over that. I have never really stopped and appreciated it. Why? As soon as I started working, my goal was to hurry up and be just as smart as the other attorneys who have been here from 10 to 20 years longer than I have. I didn't bask in the moment really, I just set a new goal and started hard charging. And I am not as good as them and it bothers me. I manufactured my own stress. I am aware than none of the other attorneys believe I should be just as good as them 3 months into doing this job. But in my head, I am a drag on the office. So I have to drive myself, and each time I have to ask a question or I make a mistake, it sits hard on me. I can't just move on. I would love to, but I can't.

Now make no mistake, I have learned a lot, I have done a lot of things right in this new job. And I recognize that things I sucked at 2 months ago I am much better at today. But I just gloss over accomplishments and set new sights. I am perpetually stressing myself. So now I have a new goal. Not a weight loss goal, but a life goal that may help my weight loss goal. Stop trying to speed forward. Better yet. Just stop. Stop and look at what I have already done. And don't minimize it. I have had probably 100 people tell me how impressed they are with my drive and determination and ability to finish what I started. Without fail, I brush off the compliment and tell them it really isnt that big of a deal. But you know what. It is. And I am not going to convince myself anymore that I need to be completely humble. Dadgummit, it is pretty cool that I am where I am. I did work hard and I will stop feeling guilty that I made it. Holy crap. That just literally came to me. I feel guilty I made it when I have known so many other people who deserve it just as much as I do, but they didn't make it. That thought just floored me. Did I recognize that I felt guilty but bury it? See, this is one of the benefits of writing/blogging. That literally just came out because I had a forum to just dump my thoughts, raw and sometimes unknown. I think I am going to set aside some time this weekend to explore that epiphany. Is that something that has been keeping me from launching again? Do I feel like my life is better than I deserve now?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Flexible Rigidity

A few days ago, I set some goals for myself. Easy, reachable goals. Things that are doable. No seconds, no finishing the kids plates, and no snacking after supper. The first two have been no problem. The last one, I struggle with every day. The thing is I wind up getting something pretty much every night. Now my mind set is usually take no prisoners. Set the goal, do exactly that. And if I am fudging on it, I get down on myself (see my I want to be fast and PERFECT post from before.) So the last 3 days I have been snacking after supper. And as always, I get down on myself. And that invariably leads to the one thing I don't need. More snacking. I seriously have this logic loop. I already messed up, may as well do it big. I seriously think that. I consider myself mildly intelligent, so how do I fall for that self-sabotaging thinking?

So instead of rigidity proper, I decided to find some solution, some something that will keep me from de-railing if I snack after supper. I will make it a regimented event. I will do two things to insure that the snack is not a de-railing situation. First, I am going to fill this house with low calorie high nutrition snacks. Fruit, vegetables, yogurt, etc. Second, I am setting a schedule. If I am home, and I am craving a snack, then I will have a snack at 8 o'clock. The snack must be something that I can confidently say is not junk food. and it must be less than 200 calories.

Bridges are built with some wobble in them because otherwise they would fall from the stress if they were solid. I am building my bridge back to a healthy weight. I will need to remember to be flexible to be safe.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Want To Be Fast and Perfect

It is part of my DNA I guess. My whole life I want to be fast and I want to be perfect at everything I do. The wanting to be fast was further enhanced by my life in factory work. Of course whatever kinds of job you have in an industrial setting, the key is speed and quality both. So with 15-18 years under my belt in that kind of setting, I have a hard time understanding that you don't always have to do 100 mph. Also, you won't ever be perfect. It is ok to shoot for it, but be realistic when you don't get there.

One of the hardest adjustments for me in my new career is that I don't have to race a clock to make sure I get all my hours in because that is how I get maximum compensation. So I still occassionally find myself trying to rush across town after dropping off the kids to get to the office before 8. Now I am coming to grips with that is not necessary. I am on salary, and except for maybe 2 days a week, I have no need to be here that early.

The other adjustment for me has been I am now the end of the line. Whatever I am doing better be right, because nobody checks my work anymore. So rather than racing through typing a document up, I have had to learn to go slow, and learn to use crazy methods like reading it backwards for typos or mistakes. So lately I am more methodical in drafting things. With that has come the luxury of my mind not racing so fast. Even with all that, the facts are I do still make typos. I do still get something wrong. Not as often, but still. Another thing I learned...... so do the others. I have used some old documents as go by's when I am typing stuff up. I find that the other guys made typos too. We by nature are not perfect.

I know,you are wondering what the heck does that have to do with the price of tea in China? It says this about me. I can change, I can become better at those things. And that is what I need most to be successful in this new bid. Moment of truth telling. I was so good all day yesterday. But for some reason, I was sitting around last night, and the girls were out shopping and my boy was in bed. I decided to do a little binge. I fought it off for a bit, but eventually habit won. And in the old days, i would beat the hell out of my self mentally and emotionally. Now, my attitude is that was yesterday. I have to let that go and move forward. I wasn't perfect YESTERDAY. But I do get another chance today.

Also, I have made it ok to not feel like a slacker because I didn't run 3 miles everyday this week. If I get 3 in, so be it. If I get no organized exercise in, but I have mowed, and I have been out messing with kids in the back yard, or even went to a boardwalk and walked all day, still counting it. This is how it is now. No insanity here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Insanity

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I keep going over and over in my head the fact that I had reached where I wanted to get to, but then didn't protect it. How the heck does one do that? It drives me crazy.

So having thought about it too much, I decided to let that go. Move forward with getting there again. Of course, having had amazing success in losing 100 pounds in just a few months, my instinct is, let's do that again! I obviously know how to make it happen right? Well as we have all heard a million times, the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over, expecting different results. I have always been able to lose weight easily and quickly, but I have never been able to keep it off. I always go back to poor eating HABITS. Habits, as in behaviors. Bad habits are not born over night, and changing them will not be a permanent fix if you attempt to do it over night.

So having reached that conclusion, my next question was ok, but this overeating thing, surely it is born of some emotional need right? I mean, it just isn't my fault!! To that I say that perhaps. Perhaps in a former life, where I was in a dead end job, I had no family, I knew I was meant for something bigger than standing on a factory floor all day, sometimes 7 days a week. Perhaps when I didn't have a close relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Perhaps before I went to 4 years of undergrad, finished law school, passed the bar, and got my dream job working in the prosecutor's office. Perhaps when I was constantly struggling to make ends meet, keep my family solvent, and wishing like crazy we had just enough money to take even a weekend trip to somewhere besides this state. Perhaps there was a huge hole I was trying to fill with food. But at this point in my life, I am better emotionally, professionally, and spiritually than I have ever been! And yet, I eat and eat and eat. At this point I can't really see that emotional eating is my problem. So I have narrowed it down to two problems. I eat out of habit, and dang it, I just like to eat!! If I am being honest, after my current meal, I am often thinking about what will the next meal be.

Previously, I was all about the numbers. How many calories am I eating? How many did I burn? What is my weight this week? It became a job or a project. As we all know, when you work too hard at a job or finish a project, you burn out or congratulate yourself on a job well done. I seriously remember that when I hit the Onederland mark, when I saw that 199, I breathed a sigh of relief. I had DONE IT. As in I was done. I had spent so much emotional energy chasing a NUMBER. I now realize, I needed to be chasing an change in behavior. I know, it seems that the behavior should have logically followed. But clearly, it didn't have time to take in the few months it took me to reach the goal NUMBER.

So now, my plan is this. I am not going to be fascinated by numbers anymore. From now on, the day starts with goals with regard to my behaviors. Yesterday, I had three goals when I started the day. I will not have seconds, I will not finish the kids plates, and I will not snack after supper(and if I am being honest yet again, snacking means eating continuously after supper). Not a single one of those are hard goals. And I made every single one of them. I ended the day with a sense of accomplishment. I began this day with a sense of resolve. I will keep those same goals for the next 3 weeks. I think that is sufficient time for them to become newer habits, replacing old habits.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I call Shenanigans!

Recently, I have been approached by a few people about me starting to blog again. I have done the spit and sputter, stop and start thing lately when it comes to blogging and dieting. I often wonder why it is that I am doing that. I mean I have an idea of what needs to be done. I chronicled what turned out to be a wildly successful run down the scale to Onederland. It isn't like I should have to figure it all out again right? The mold is set, I just have to pour the plaster, right?

Yeah it seems like that would be the common sense approach. But if I am being honest, I have to call shenanigans on myself. This may be a reference that is missed to those who have never watched Southpark. The short hand on it is that in one episode, the boys were at a fair and someone tried to rip them off. So they called shenanigans and the cops came running. Well, I feel like I am a fraud who ripped people off. A lot of people bought into my blog, got caught up in my hype. A lot of people rah rah'd for me, congratulated me when I got to 196 pounds. I hear even more folks never said anything in real life but they read my blog and it was a high point of their day and made them want to follow in my steps.

Knowing this, I just feel like I let a lot of people down by back sliding, by being nearly back to square 1. And add to that the stops and starts I have been having with blogging and I just can't work up the heart to possibly let folks down again. As i sat typing this, I am starting to think that is likely the reason I am doing poorly generally. I am a fraud to myself. I swore to be damned that I would never tip the scales above 200 pounds again, and here I am in 2X shirts again. If I am a fraud to myself, how can I possibly sell myself on another run at Onederland?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Diversify Your Investments

People are people. As much as we like to think we are individuals, we are more alike than we would care to admit. For example, if 100 people were to go on a diet at the same time, and we asked each one of them what their goal is, each of them would tell you that they have a goal weight. Why is that? We all seem to want to measure our progress with a factor that is trackable, that shows progress in a tangible way. I call BS on using the "what does the scale say?" method. Why is that? I will tell you. Much like in the economic world, you have to diversify your investments for success. You can't put all your money in that volatile stock, you also have to find that safe investment that may not realize great gains, but will make sure you don't lose what you invested in it. When you are on the train for getting healthier, you can't simply look at a scale number, you have to recognize all the mile markers. Look for those non-scale victories!

I have been back on track of eating better for the most part and getting MUCH more organized exercise in, as well as being more active in my life generally, such as playing outside for an hour with the kids, or doing housework on weekend mornings rather than sitting around reading my ipad. I hopped on the scale recently, and I had lost a whopping 1 pound. That's it, just one measly pound. And that seems discouraging. But here are the things I can't write down on paper that I have recognized to have changed. My pants are baggy, the tensile strength of my 2X shirts is no longer being tested, and when I walk now, it is no longer an effort. I glide along, all light an airy like!! And lastly, when I am sitting down and realize that I need to go do something, I don't immediately try to figure out how I can put it off and sit more, I just get up and do it!! So look here Mr. Scale, you will not define my progress, you will not steal my thunder, you will not hold me back anymore!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wagon Train!

Back in the 1800's, when the west was still "undiscovered country", often times folks that were looking for opportunities out west would get together and form a wagon train. Now in our culture, that is an odd concept to us. Most of us don't even want to travel with our own families, much less extended family or, gasp, strangers. But there was a purpose for the wagon train. There is strength in numbers folks! I can't fight off the wild animals at night and get sleep for tomorrow's journey. I need more people so that we can rotate nights of watching for the animals.

I am glad to report that my family and I have formed a modern day wagon train! Me, Kathy and Lauren are all in the groove here lately. Kathy has started to cook healthy meals for us at supper, and as the chief purchasing agent for the house, she is keeping crappy snacks out of the house and getting us to eat more veggies and other healthy snacks. I am the whip cracker when it comes to hounding everybody to get their exercise in, and Lauren is the most in shape of us and gives Kathy and I the desire to get in better shape just to hopefully one day show her up!

I can't begin to tell you how much easier it is to have the whole family on board! I did lose 100 pounds once, and I honestly believe that if our whole house had been in the same groove I was alone, that I would never have put it back on. And the best part is the part where I have to be cautiously optimistic is over. We have been doing this for more than a month I believe. I know that between my personal workouts and Kathy and I walking together, I have been feeling better of late and my clothes are starting to reward me for it. I did weigh the other day and while I am not particularly happy about the number, it is not deterring me. 280 is much better than the 315 I was at for my highest weight!

I also have the benefit of the fact that the office I work at has other folks in it that are gym goers, and my schedule permits me to take off long enough to get a good workout in and get cleaned back up for the office. I went to the gym 3 times this week and had excellent workouts. I am shooting for 4 times this week. Also the weather forecast seems to favor Kathy and I getting our evening walks in as well.

Yes sir, the wagon train has left and it is making its way into undiscovered country where the future is boundless! Go Griffins!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

$10,000,000

I had a wonderful experience last night. Me and my family sat around the dinner table and had a great discussion about the fact that we need to get off our butts and start eating right and exercising. What was the best part of it is that I wasn't the ring leader in the talk! It was amazing to have Katherine be the one who got loud and passionate about how we all deserve better than we are doing for ourselves! And how as for her, she as the head of food here at the house (aww who we kidding she runs the whole damned thing around here) was not going to stand for bringing crap in here anymore!

What sparked the whole discussion is that our daughter Lauren had made quite a stink about eating a bowl of fruit that Kathy had served with dinner. In all the talking and crying and getting the bad habits and ideas and hurt feelings out in the open, I made a point I am particularly proud of! I asked Lauren one simple question. I asked her if someone guaranteed her that if she ate a bowl of fruit for her dinner every night for 1 year, that they would give her $10,000,000.00, would she eat fruit every night for 1 year? She said without hesitation, yes. And so I asked her, what if I told you that if you eat a bowl of fruit every night for a year, you will be lighter, stronger and faster, and able to run 3 miles straight without quitting? Isn't that at least as good as $10,000,000.00? She hesitated but said yes.

Why is it that we think like that? Why is it so hard to do something that is good for you, and if you are consistent with it, it will bring you benefits galore. But we hesitate to say yeah to the good action if only our health is to gain, but the money gets a heck yeah right off the bat? Here is the thing. It isn't likely someone is going to pay you the 10 million for eating the bowl of fruit for a year, but it is a near certainty that you will be lighter, faster, and stronger at the end of that same year. It's a good bet to be making on yourself, so just pretend that you are chasing 10 million bucks in making your choices every day!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Parking Brake Slide--------> Driving With My Right Hand

Yeah I know, the title makes you say HUH? Indulge me for a bit. When I was in high school, I drove the heck out of whatever I vehicle I had. One of my favorite moves was the parking brake slide. Yeah, I was that kid. So what did the parking brake slide accomplish? Nothing really, just a fancy way to stop. And to top if off, it tears up your vehicle and messes up your tires too. So in the end, it is a futile action. You are much better off applying the brakes with even pressure and coming to a proper stop. And your car will last longer.

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Well, here is the thing. In 2010 and 2011 (I know, not a good amnesiac, still using the last journey, but it is for a point)I was doing the parking brake slide. Did I lose weight? Yup, and man did I look cool doing it too! I was knocking down 10 pounds a month! I was really getting the job done, or was I? See in 8 months, I was not actually building any long lasting habits. I was just in Mission Impossible Turned Possible mode. I was chasing a short sighted end, with a short sighted means. I went too fast and learned nothing from it. So once the Mission Accomplished banner was rolled out, then what? Go back to doing what you know I guess, because I did.

So where does the right handed driving part come into play? I will tell you. I am 41 years old. Been driving since I was 14. In all those years, there were two options. I drove with both hands on the wheel, or I drove with my left hand. For whatever reason, despite being a right handed person, it was not a natural feel for me to drive with my right hand only. I just couldn't do it. So lately, I have been having some pain in my left shoulder. When my shoulder is hurting bad enough, I have been trying to drive with my right hand the past couple of weeks. It has felt weird and never lasts for very long. So tonight, I had to run a few errands in town, so I took off driving down Highway 59. I was driving along deep in thought about some stuff, when it occurred to me...... I was driving right handed and it wasn't bothering me, it felt ok!!

I say all that to get to this. I feel like this time around, my goal should not be the parking brake slide method. It should be the right handed driving method. I am not going for whole sale changes and quick results. This time, I will single out behaviors that I want modified and work on them one at a time. For example, I am getting better at not eating second helpings of supper (and Kathy has been wonderful in helping me with this by adjusting the amount of food she makes). I am also better at eating more healthy snacks both during the day, and in the evening. Next up, I am going to try to phase the three small snacks at night to two, then one. I am also not going to try to be Hercules in the working out department this time around. I figure if I am going to do the right hand driving method, the weight will take longer to come off. My running won't come to me as fast as it did last time, so I have to continue to give this journey its own value, celebrate these successes and not measure them against 2010.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The 2X Redemption

Anybody who has ever lost weight only to gain it back will get this post. See, at my peak, I was wearing a large shirt, and even that was getting to be a little baggy. But along the way, I of course began having to buy a couple of shirts here and there to account for the fact that I was putting the pounds back on. It sucked to go out and buy a few XL shirts, and it was humbling or degrading or something to have to begin to buy a few 2X shirts after that. And if I am being open and honest about how far I have come, I was preparing myself to go back to look for some 3X shirts. Thankfully, I was able to figure out this had to be turned over to Jesus, and the skid has stopped!

But even better than that, today, I put on a 2X shirt that was on its way to becoming too small. You know what I mean. You put it on, and it is snug, but wearing it for a few minutes gets it stretched just enough that it will be ok. Today, the initial snug in this shirt was not there!! It isn't hanging off me or anything, but there was some air space baby!!

Isaiah 40:31- for those who place their trust in the Lord will have their strength renewed; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not grow faint.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So Close!

I have a goal in mind. I am working on trying to get up to 2 miles on the treadmill in the 30 minute workout program I do. Today was not the day though, I only got to 1.8. I kept bumping the preset speed up to 3.9 miles an hour, but I was only able to do 22 minutes on the higher level today. I kinda thought about pushing it for the last 6 minutes at speed, but this is where the Coach had to save me from myself. I tend to be a bit hard headed (not to be confused with determined, which I try to claim is my real trait) I honestly believe I could have but I am glad I didn't. After I finished up the walkjog, I was feeling a bit off. I went ahead and tried to do a strength workout after like I always do. I didn't even get all the way through all the sets in my first lift without realizing I probably should call it a day. I knew going in that it may be a bad workout. I was still feeling the effects of 12 hours on my feet Saturday all day and the fatigue in my muscles didn't feel quite gone yet. But I am hard headed and having not walkjogged for 6 days was nagging at me pretty badly. I love that He has answered my prayers to give me that fire again. I love that He also tapped me on the shoulder when I needed it too! Here is praying that I will be reaching my goal one day next week! I am so close!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Shift Is On

Today was the day I think. The day that the paradigm shifted and I let go of my disappointment comparing today to 2 years ago and actually embraced this journey on its own merit. When I finished my treadmill jaunt today, I was actually very proud of how well I did compared to last week. After my strength training, I realized how much stronger I am today than I was when I started working out again 2 months ago. I have gone up at least 30 lbs on my bench, 40 pounds on the lat pull down, and yesterday, I did crunches on the big boy apparatus, albeit with no incline on it. The point being that I am invested in this goal/journey and no longer sad sacking about how I screwed up.

One of the things I missed is how I was optimistic about what next week or next month would bring. How fast will I be a month from now? What size shirt will I wear in May? I envision myself thinner, stronger and faster 1,2 or 3 months down the road. I have bought in!! And that bodes well for me!

Monday, January 6, 2014

That's a Blessing?

I woke up today and let me tell you, this dude was sore from the top of my feet up to my ribs. I also went to the gym today, sore and all, and did the higher of the treadmill programs I have been using lately for 20 minutes, then had to turn it down again to the next lowest level and finish it out on walk. But make no mistake, I was dead tired and hurtin' for certain when I was done. Generally, those are things we grimace at, not smile about. To me, these were blessings of the highest order. It meant I had worked out hard. It meant I had taken the wisdom that I had prayed for and put it into action. Was it comfortable? Nope. Was it what I needed? Oh yeah, and then some.

I haven't really talked much about my eating. Mostly because I don't think about it as much as I used to. Another fine example of praying for help, and getting so much of it, that the issue starts to just melt away. Course it also doesn't hurt that Kathy has been helping me out with it. The quality of food and supper portions have been getting much more conducive to weight loss around here lately, and I have a wonderful wife to thank for that! Thanks for the solid babe!!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Throwing Stuff Away

I had a short but good conversation with my Church's Worship leader this morning. Sarah knows that I am trying to get back to running well again. As we were talking, I told her that the hardest part of where I am right now is that while I am trying to get amnesia about how well I performed getting back in to shape in a short period last time, the biggest issue I find myself facing is that I know the numbers from last time, i.e. how many mph I could run, how fast I could finish a 5k, how many pounds I was losing a week, etc. And I just said it without thinking about it. I told her I just had to throw it away, this was all new ground here. Like I said in my amnesia post, that journey is not to be considered in this journey. In fact, it would be toxic.

So after that conversation, I started thinking. What all do I need to throw away? I came up with a couple of things. First, I am throwing away my old running times and distances and records. I have a medal I won on my first 5k. 2nd in my age group. It is in my hallway. It's gone. I have a lot of posts on this blog from before. I am going to try to figure out how to delete those. Gone! I have my pity party I have for myself after every "run". Gone! Now, I celebrate the fact I was faster and had more endurance than the last run/ last week. And I think most importantly, the scale. I paid a pretty penny for it, and Kathy still uses it, but to me, the scale is dead. Gone! See, I could have my pants falling off me, my shirts could be so baggy that I look pitiful, but if I didn't lose 2 pounds after a good week of diet and exercise, well then there goes my attitude. The pounds are not my concern anymore. To replace the battle with the scale, I have picked out a shirt that I really miss wearing. From now on, rather than weighing every other Friday, I wake up and I put that shirt on. The day that shirt goes back to not having to stretch out to fit me, then I will find a new shirt to work towards. That is stage 1 of this plan.

But how did I come up with this plan? That is the most important part of this thing. Today Pastor Barry gave a great sermon, and the thing he said is something I kinda have put into practice, but without thinking about it. I like when someone gives me a lesson and makes tangible an idea that was there in the abstract. I obviously wasn't successful in keeping off the weight and staying healthy. So I have called in the ultimate in ringers to give me an advantage!!! I finally have surrendered the very thought that I can make this happen!! I am no longer THE MAN in my story. I did this crazy thing. I prayed for some wisdom from above. That's right, I called HIM in to give me some pointers, but like Barry said, I just needed to realize I can't do it myself, and swallow my pride that said I can. I surrendered it by asking that He put me on the right road. When I was young, I loved having a coach. All the years I've spent fat and out of shape, I always wished I could get one of my old coaches to come train me back up. I need someone to push me. I also missed how my coaches believed in me. When they believed in me, I was motivated to perform at my best for them. So it stands to reason that I call in THE Coach, and I will definitely perform at my best for this Guy because nobody in all this world will never believe in me as much as He does!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Prodigal Son

I hate to bring my former weight loss success back up as I said I was trying to get amnesia. But today, I saw a modern day version of the prodigal son parable but instead of a dad welcoming his son home, it was my friends welcoming me back to the world of fitness. Me and a bunch of my friends from church went out to a trail here locally to get a run in. Now here is the thing. I am 5'7", weigh 270 pounds, and I am not in shape. All my friends are accomplished runners. They all knew that I was going to be the trailer. And despite my best efforts to convince them I didn't deserve to be there, they continued to encourage me to come on!! And with a push from my wife, I agreed to do it. I was the prodigal son who had wandered away from a healthy lifestyle. I had let the world get the best of me and went back up the scale to a dangerous weight yet again.

But you know what, when I decided I was going to go back home, there were my friends there to wave at me and to plan a party to welcome me back. This trail run was just the thing I needed to really light a fire under my rear. We all agreed the trail running needed to be a regular event. So here is the deal, I can't keep being the trailer or I will feel like I let my family down. So now, whatever fire I had to get back in shape before today just got multiplied exponentially!! Thanks James, Casey, Bo, Anthony and Dustin (who was kind enough to keep me company today. Thanks for that bro). You guys are amazing and are a shining example of what the modern church should be doing!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Amnesia

I had an unusual prayer to God after my gym visit today. I had to pray for amnesia. I am having a hard time with holding on to what I accomplished before and not appreciating my gains over the past month of working out. Today I went up a level on the treadmill program and did 20 minutes of an extremely light jog, and then for the next 10 minutes, I had to finish the program a level lower than I started. The light jogging, it was 3.8 miles an hour.... some uphill, but still. I used to run 6.3-6.5 mph before. Aaaaaaarrrrrggggh!!

So today, I prayed to let all that go. This is after all a new era, a peace time mission. I think this blog will help me with that. I still think that at least part of my success last time was about me blogging, and being able to focus myself rather than having tons of thoughts floating around. Here, I can put abstract thoughts on paper and make them real and more achievable. Plus I can come back and read these. I have a terrible memory, so if I come up with a plan that is strictly kept in the abstract in my head, then I forget it.

So here I go. I am no longer aiming to get back to the same shape I was, I am looking to get in to shape, period. I don't want to run a fast 5k again, I want to run a fast 5k. Heck, I'm not stopping there. 10k and half marathon are on the radar. The new attitude is now not what I did being awesome, but how awesome what i am going to do will be!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Go In Moderation, and Don't Go Home

I suppose the title probably needs some explanation. I am sure we have all heard the saying, "go big or go home." It is my contention that this attitude is part of what is wrong with our society nowadays. If you aren't going to blow everybody away with what you are doing, then don't do it at all. One of the things that I am sometimes amused by is the fact that when someone does decide they are going to help others, it can't be your neighbor next door, it has to be the whole town. Or a whole other country!! I am a victim of this mentality, just like everybody else. This year, I am shaking that attitude off.

In many ways this attitude tied into my mental state of being at war I talked about in my last post. I can't just clip along at a good pace solving a big problem with food and my laziness, I have to go to war and fight fight fight!! I have to work out till I drop, I have to starve myself, I have to eat just the right foods, no snacking, no junk food!! Hut, hut, hut!! Fire cannons now!!

So this year, I am not going big, and I am not going home. I will go in moderation and I will keep myself out there moving and achieving. I almost messed this up earlier this week, until my wife set me straight. I have a strong desire to get back into good running shape. It nags at me day and night. So a group of my friends from church are going on a trail run this Saturday, and they all know I want to get back into shape. Casey, Anthony and James all invited me and I declined saying that I was not in good enough shape to go. My thinking was that all these guys are in much better shape than I am and I am going to get out there and look like an idiot because they will all be waiting forever on me to finish. So I was talking to Kathy about it, and she flat out called me out. She said that I was just going to keep using that excuse and I will never get out there to get into shape. Wow, that was a bunker buster right there!!

So after our conversation, I started thinking. Ok, so I won't be as fast, but I will be faster than if I was sitting on the couch. I will also be taking a step towards my goal, albeit a wobbly step. But it is forward motion. I won't be fast, but I can be consistent. And if I am not fast but consistent in my workouts, then each week I can start pushing myself a little further, and I will get to my goal. I will have gone in moderation, and I won't get getting myself too sore for my next workout, so I won't be going home either.

Isaiah 40:31- Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.