Losing It For The Family

Losing It For The Family

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


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.