October 2, 2009

Namesake Post

I've seen it. I saw it often as it flew past and landed on a chubbier number. But, today... it stopped. It stopped on 210. I stepped off, stepped back on...still 210. I silently motioned for Sally to come look, to give me a positive affirmation that the number that was actually on the scale is the same elusive number I've been longing to reach. And, it was.

I remember that chilly fall morning as Sally and I were backing out of her parent's Chuckanut house and in the rear view mirror I saw, on the windshield of the Mule, the number 210 written in the snow. Dennis, who coined the phrase and also urged me to SEE it, had used his finger to carve out the numbers. He must've seen something in me because I launched into a nearly year long battle to lose all this weight and I have absolutely no plans of ever returning!!!

Thank you to all who have read this blog throughout the year. You've inspired me to keep on pushing myself and in turn "inspire" you, well, some of you... but, it's still an awesome feeling to know I have my "work-out" family to support me whenever I need it! What a ride it's been.

So what's next? I don't know. As cool as it is/was to see 210, it was a bit anti-climatic. I mean, it's really just a number on the scale. For all I know, maybe now I'm just a skinnier fat dude, you know?! My goal's now are less weight oriented and more fitness oriented but mostly maintenance oriented. The blog? I'm not sure... maybe when it slows down a little more I can get back into writing and finding new inspiration.

Till then... I'm signing off (as I've said in the last 3 posts:)...

Jeff

September 19, 2009

Where've you been?

I can't believe it's been a month and a half since I've written anything other than a Facebook status update or an email at work. To all of you who wonder what the heck is going on and am I still working out and all that, hopefully this will answer some of those questions.

Right now, in our photography business we are in full-swing... it's wedding season which is our busy season. This is our first really busy season so we didn't really know what to expect. Then, throw in my new promotion at work (thank you very much) that brought on a new schedule for me which makes the homelife time even less. Oh, and of course... we have Audrey, 3 months old today:) Combine all those together and I have a busy thing going on! But then again, who isn't busy?!

I've continued my 16 floor climb every morning at work and I walk about a mile and a half to and from the bus... and honestly, that's the extent of my actual "workouts". I still watch what I eat, or rather, I continue to eat a helluvalot better than I used to... I also throw in the occasional push-up/sit-up set a few times a week. Shooting a wedding has proven to be quite the exercise, too.

With all this put together, I've found a happy(ish) medium where I don't gain but rarely lose. I'm maintaining at 212 right now. It's not too exciting to talk about and rarely do I feel motivated to write something on here because there's just not much to tell... but for the sake of an update. I'm doing well:)

Hope you all are as well!!!

August 7, 2009

The Stairs Are There...and the people are using them

It's catching on. I'm not the first person who has thought of it but I've been telling my co-workers how I walk the 16 flights of stairs to our floor every morning. And, most recently have been climbing to the top floor (23rd).

One came over to me the other day to tell me that she has been climbing the flights from floor 10 (where our lunchroom is) up to 16. She is out of breath from it but feels so much better. It was really fun to talk to her about it and I challenged her to add in a few more here and there and to take the plunge. I said one day you are going to walk through the front doors and decide today is the day and you will huff it up the 16. Or, just stop at 10 and take the elevator. We'll see what she does.

A couple of weeks ago, another co-worker came to me out of breath after a large meeting we had down on the 3rd floor. I took the elevator but she totally showed me up, she decided to just climb them all to 16:)

It's really fun to see people around you getting into it. To me it's just a part of my day but they are beginning to understand how nice it is that we have those to use whenever we want:) I use the stairs as a justification for more coffee (which I don't need). I walk up the 16 to my desk. Then a few minutes later walk down to 10, get my coffee then climb back up 6 to my floor. A few hours later I go back down and repeat. So, by the end of the day I've climbed at least 28 flights... sometimes more!

August 3, 2009

"Didn't you have a beard?"

I've been running into random people here and there that are finding it hard to put their fingers on what has changed about me. For people that have been near me the change has been gradual and almost non-noticeable... but, there are others that I've met once or twice before that when I saw them again they didn't even notice me.

This last weekend, Sally and I did a photo shoot for a family that won a portrait package we donated for a charity auction (same family won it last year). We walked up and said hellos and the guy looked at me a little cockeyed and said "didn't you have a beard last year?" I said, "maybe... but, I've also lost a little weight!" He was shocked and we all discussed it for a few minutes. He said he didn't even recognize me, "you look really different".

I have found that sometimes people don't want to come right out and ask if I've lost a lot of weight and hide behind a question about some other trivial part of my appearance... then there are others who think I was a different person. Both are great to hear, and both make me feel like this is all worth it!

July 23, 2009

A New Low

But, not in a bad way... I realized after writing the title to this post that it could be misleading, but never fear, the new low I've hit was on the scale. Two-eleven, to be exact. I'm getting back into this quietly. I have (once again) had to re-evaluate my eating habits that I thought I had so in control.

Just because I'm finding it hard to find time to write doesn't mean I've given up. I've got my partner-in-crime back (Sally) and I'm so excited about that. It has rejuvenated me and given me hope again...I thought I may be destined for the 215 mark forever (which goes against everything I have learned and written about). It's my typical problem areas that have creeped up on me, slowly and finally made themselves known.

You know how it is when you achieve something? That feeling of "I made that goal and achieved it, what's next?" It all snowballs from there... new goals, new feelings of accomplishment leads to even bigger stretch goals and absolute elation. My body is abuzz with the possibilities I've just reached.

Two-eleven. I'm almost there... next goal (this shouldn't be news though)...sub 200.

July 17, 2009

Too Busy to Blog

I am taking a temporary hiatus from writing so I can get through this big event at work. The biggest day is over and it should calm down next week. Tomorrow morning we are coming downtown to the Flagship Nordstrom store to walk and walk and walk while the girls shop and shop and shop. So, in a way it's going to be a great workout:)

I hope you guys are enjoying the wonderful weather. I suppose I have to pass one little tidbit of encouragement on to you... this last winter I made myself a promise, actually I made it known that I was going to lose weight during the holidays. This forced me to reconsider that third cookie or 7th beer... it all resulted in a few pounds lost during the biggest food consumption time of the year. Hey, if you want to rock out all summer long on jerky and cheap beer I kind of understand but just remember...if you want it to stop it's totally up to you. And, it's totally doable! Don't feel like "just because it's the holiday (or summer)" that you are destined to pack it on...it doesn't have to be that way:)

Talk to you in a while.

July 8, 2009

Two Hundred Sit-Ups

I took a week off from work to welcome our baby (as you should know by now) and for the most part took a week off from everything including my pursuit of 200 sit ups, 100 push ups and seeing 210.

On Monday night, I decided to start week 5 over. I did my first 4 sets easily (32, 38, 32, 32) then I had to do a max set. The max set for this day is 48. I started cranking them out and got to 48 before I knew it. I was shocked to feel little in my abs so I kept going. As I reached 100 I was getting a bit tired but pushed on, concentrating on my form so I wouldn't hurt myself.

By 150, I was stunned... a week off and here I am 3/4 of the way through and feeling good. I got a second wind and it honestly felt like I was just starting the set. I recalled a piece of advice from the two-hundred sit-ups website that said to make sure to breathe out on every rep (on your way up). I got into a rhythm and reached 200. I would've kept going but stopped out of sheer excitement and disbelief that I have beaten the 200 sit-ups challenge on my 5th week.

Still not believing myself I went back to the website to make sure I did the sit-ups correctly. Well, as far as my form, I was spot on. There is one small discrepancy... it mentions pausing for a second or two when you get to the fully contracted position. Damn. I guess it's back to the drawing board.

Last night I did day 2 of week 5 and finished off my set with yet another 200 sit-ups. Now, I have to do this with the 1-2 second pause... I will do it!

I lifted this image from the website of a proper sit-up according to them.

July 4, 2009

Morning Jog

This morning I was awoken by my lovely little 2 week old passing gas about 1 foot from my head. Not so pleasant. After changing her and taking her back to mommy to be fed I looked over at my alarm clock to see that it was just about 6am. Hmmm...time for a morning jog.

I geared up and hit the road. I gave myself a rude awakening by forcing myself to jog up a rather steep hill during the first half mile. After I was up it the rest of the jog was quite easy. I took a different route this morning and it was nice to see some different neighborhoods. It was also nice to go so early in the morning because there are less cars and it's a lot less hot out. Today it's supposed to be mid to upper 80's, maybe 90.

My last post was about how I'm easing back into things... I realized last night (hence the morning guilt run) that I'm still hiding from what needs to be done. I'm still making excuses for myself. Instead of easing in I've been standing on the edge of the pool contemplating, maybe dipping my toe every once-in-a-while.

This morning was another toe dip. Hopefully I can jump right in soon because I feel like the fat kid again and that's annoying. I've come too far to feel like that again!

For those of you who celebrate the 4th of July, enjoy, and have a safe one! For those of you who don't...have a great weekend anyways:)

June 25, 2009

Easing Back In

I've gotten the eating back under control...a hard thing to do when there are so many people bringing over such fantastic meals! Then, I woke up and knew what needed to happen. No more making excuses and hiding behind this little 8 lb bundle of joy... today I had to go jogging. I've missed the feel of the street and the dull burn of my legs, I missed that feeling you get just moments after the final big breath of the cool down and most importantly I missed moving. I just haven't moved much in the last 2 weeks.

From a tip I received from a neighbor of mine, Natosha, I set out on a new route. A new chapter in my life should be celebrated with a jog around town in a different direction. I'm easing myself into it...that run was 3.25 miles and took me all over the place. There is an interurban trail in North Seattle and it was great...hardly anyone on the path and if you can get past the cemetery on your right and the power lines on your left it's an absolute joy to run where you know you can't be run over by horrible Seattle drivers.

So, today I woke and thought I'd head out early in the morning. As the morning went on I realized it's going to be a late afternoon jog, no biggie. I then thought I might hit up old faithful...my 5 miler. I spoke to my father-in-law, Dennis, and he reminded me that there is no rush to getting back into it. Why push yourself so hard that you don't want to head back out? OK, I'm heeding his advice. I've dropped my jog down to a 3-mile loop this afternoon...it'll be nice to get a second warm-up jog before I hit the road for a long one.

Here is the loop that I ran yesterday...I will probably go on this one quite a few more times...what I also love about it is that it's very expandable...I can add a few miles easily without disrupting the natural loop. Love it!

June 23, 2009

Audrey Royce

What a weekend!  My baby girl was born on my birthday, June 19th at 11:10pm. She weighed 8lbs 7oz and was 20.5 inches long.

As in all birth stories and recollections of all things fatherly, it is utterly impossible to put into words the feeling you get when you see your baby being born.  The rush of emotion and general haze it puts you in is just mind numbing.  Watching Sally labor through it all was really tough but I knew she could do it! And, of course...she did and Audrey Royce was born!

To celebrate and for reasons of sanity I took this week off from work.  A very wise decision indeed!  I'm excited by the smallest things this little girl does.  The first hint of a smile nearly reduced me to tears:)  

We have been helped out so much through these last few days and I am so thankful!  However, with all this good food around I've noticed the tightness I've worked so hard to attain is turning a little soft.  I'm excited that the weather will be cooperating this week and I hope to get out on the road and run a few quick jogs to get my legs back...they will probably be personal bests because of my want to be home holding or just looking at little Audrey! 

To see some more pics of Audrey and us at the hospital click here.

June 16, 2009

A Nice Morning Walk

What a beautiful morning!  Last night I decided that working from home made more sense...see previous post for many reasons why being at work around many people wasn't the best idea for me!!  I woke at my normal time, went downstairs, had my coffee with Sally, started working from home then we took a break and went for a neighborhood walk... down to Sandle Park and back. 

Walking down to that park is about as relaxing as a walk in our area can be.  We strolled checking out every one's yards and I kept her busy by asking her what types of flowers or plants we were looking at were.  I love checking out the neighborhoods and seeing how different people are and how it all seems to work.  It's always nice for us to get on the street together since my normal jogs are almost always done by myself.

The morning air and leisurely pace was exactly what I needed to help destress! I only have to work till 2 today so that will feel amazing when I can be done and have the rest of the day to hang out at home with Sal:)

June 15, 2009

Beside Myself

Today our baby is officially one week overdue. Never has a time in my life gone slower than the last week. I'm unable to describe how I'm feeling right now, but, it wouldn't be like me to write a post without at least trying! So...here it goes:

I feel like I'm floating and all the normal, everyday things are just flying past me because all I'm thinking about is Sally and the baby.

I feel like I felt back in school when I'd watch the clock and wish the next 3 hours would go by in a few seconds. Time would stand still, that's today!

I feel like there is a huge planned event that will happen any second but there is no way to predict nor know when it will happen.

I can't focus on anything (including this post).

I jump every time my phone rings.

I feel like a zombie but only because I want my reality to be something it will be inevitably.

I try to will things along and realize I have no control.

I'm a control freak and I've been rendered useless, I cannot control this situation.

I'm exhausted.

I don't want to go to work, not just because of the work, but because I have to face so many people and answer the same questions. (If I'm here, then no, the baby hasn't been born).

I'm still very excited for all my goals and working out again with Sally but feel I'm having to put life on hold till this happens!

OK, that's enough for now...I think you get it. It is truly a mind-F dealing with the day to day of waiting for our baby. I know it's going to be well worth the wait but I had to be honest with you. It's draining! And I'm just the Dad...I can't even imagine how Sally is feeling! I think she is dealing with it a lot better than me.

Wish us luck!! Thanks:)

June 11, 2009

Reaching Out

I've been learning a lot about this lately...it would seem to be a pretty obvious thing since, you know, that's what our business is all about. Every time I put myself out there and let people in on my "personal life" I usually get an amazing response and find that most people are just as excited to share information as I am.

Recently, here at my normal job I've let people know that I'm a photographer. I've found out there are a few other photographers including a wedding photographer, a lady that makes jewelry, two make-up artists, some venue owners, a florist, and on and on. I've also heard nothing but great response about my whole "losing 60 some odd pounds" thing. Just the other day I was asked if I take the stairs up to my floor...a girl from my work saw me entering the stairwell. The answer in short was, yes. I've been climbing those damn stairs for the last 7 months. I've only missed them a couple of times. Once when I was too sick and I shouldn't have been at work and the other time when I tweaked my back. Many days I fight it but still force myself to go up them, I guess it's just a part of my day now.

I know this isn't about my workouts or any cool goals I've achieved...this post is about life. It's about how fun it is to share ideas with people, it's about networking to become a better person and it's about the feeling I've gotten this last week from all the outpouring of support and new readers. It's been a lot of fun sharing running routes with our next door neighbors, challenging some newcomers to the Fatbet and seeing comments from people I've never met.

With baby due any moment a new chapter starts in our lives...Sally is excited to get back to pre-baby weight and I'm stoked to not have ice cream every other night...I mean, I'm excited to have her and I eating the way we used to because now I have a hefty goal. My next goal is to lose even more fat and become a sub-200'er. Yes, it's a word...and here's a fun fact. I haven't been under 200 pounds since before I was in 8th grade (maybe 7th)!!! That was the last time I saw a number on the scale that was less than 200. It's going to be a strange day for me especially if I think of what I was like back then. I had braces and spiky hair and I was uncomfortable in my own skin...that'll be a fun before/after shot:)

Here's to a new chapter and sharing it with some new friends! Cheers!

June 9, 2009

Fatbet - Join Us

Every few months or so I start up a new Fatbet with family or friends. It has kept me in check and has provided me with some healthy competition for this whole weight loss gig.

What the heck is Fatbet? Fatbet.net was started by a few guys back in 2007 when they realized that their upcoming Hawaii vacation was looming and a conversation (bash fest) started about who was fatter and who could lose more weight by the time they left. After a very early version of the newer, polished website they realized that losing some weight could be a fun and competitive sport. Fatbet was born! For their whole story, check this page out.

Basically you get a group of people together interested in losing some pudge. You set a wager or a penalty to make it competitive then everyone sets their goals. Your actual weight is never shown but the amount you want to lose is shown. There is also a message board where you can write in taunts and/or encouragement to each other. I have found that there is some taunting but it always ends up on the encouraging side because as you lose you want others around you to succeed as well!

With that, I'm writing today to invite anyone who would like to lose a few pounds to join in on our newest Fatbet!! It started today and will run through August 31st. A penalty or wager has not been set yet, though...that is still up for debate.

Check it out at Fatbet.net and if you decide you'd like to join us (which I really hope you will!) then click on this link: http://www.fatbet.net/joinbetreg.aspx?JoinBetId=2953&Digest=4BPVANrZzwI7m4aozBGDlQ

Hope to see you on there...or, at least hear about yours:)

June 8, 2009

100 Push-Ups : Final Update

I opened my mouth a few weeks ago and now I'm starting to wonder if it was what I said that is making baby not want to come out. I mentioned that I made a goal of doing 100 consecutive push-ups before baby was born! Idiot...who puts that kind of pressure on their self (or their unborn child) but me?!

Last night I finished my 3rd day of week 6...the final day of the prep. All I have left to do now is 100 push-ups. I'm ready. I've taken all the necessary steps and it's on me now. What will it take to succeed? Ugh. One thing I noticed right away when I'm doing a long set like that is I get extremely bored and agitated. I'm not even really tired and I want to give up because it's an annoying motion to keep going through. Hard to explain but my goal is to put that all aside, put it behind me so I can finish this little challenge. Maybe tonight I'll give it my first shot!? Seconds after I finished my 9 sets of over 245 push-ups, Sally looked at me, congratulated me then said... "Oh great, now you can finish and do your 100 tomorrow?!" I laughed.

So, maybe tonight then? One thing that I'm excited about and gives me confidence is that after a big night of push-ups I awoke to little or no pain. My muscles have no recollection of the stress put on them last night. I kind of wanted to be sore to prove that what I've been doing is not going unnoticed by my own body...hmmm. I'm over it.

Wish me luck...and if you are just starting this challenge...keep at it. It's flipping hard at times but you will be SO surprised at what your body is capable of. I remember on week 3 looking at week 6 and thinking, "oh hell no, there is no way!!"

I'm on the third week of Sit-ups and am about to start the squats! I'm excited:)

Good luck to the newbies...Cheri, Dennis, Chris and Natosha! Let me know how you guys are doing!! I'm gonna keep you honest right here on this little blog of mine:)

June 5, 2009

National Doughnut Day?

Yes, it really exists. It was created by The Salvation Army back in 1917 as a way to boost morale of soldiers fighting in WWI. It takes place on the 1st Friday of every June.

Did I celebrate? Yes.
Was it because I need a boost in morale (and sugar)? No.

Without bringing my political views into my blog (which may be a little unavoidable) I have to explain my thoughts on eating doughnuts. I would have to say it reminds me of the saying "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." But people wouldn't kill people with guns if there weren't guns around. (told you, couldn't be avoided).

Anyways, it reminds me of it because doughnuts alone will not make me a fat ass again. Eating 5 doughnuts in a day every week will, though. True story, I used to work for my dad and this saleslady brought in two boxes of doughnuts every Tuesday (or Wednesday?) and since my job was "cleanup kid" I could roam the shop and not worry about getting in trouble. I would "clean" the lunchroom on that day every week. I honestly used to scarf down or "cleanup" about 3 - 5 of those fried delights...glazed ones, powdery goo filled ones, fritters, maple bars, etc, etc...

Today I had just one. I feel like hell now but it reminded me of the time when I stomached triple the amount and probably mixed it with a Mountain Dew. What I'm trying to say is that over time I've changed and I don't "need" the doughnut fix. I realized it back then and went cold turkey and didn't eat a doughnut for over 6 years...I broke when Krispy Kremes were introduced to Seattle. And since, I've only had them here and there.

I changed my mind about how to deal with food and have found a very satisfying balance. I never deprive myself, ever. I can do the cold turkey route but if I like something then I should be able to have a taste every once-in-a-while, right? Well, that's how I see it. I spent the better part of my journey getting my eating habits in check. I've discovered how I work and I've enjoyed life along the way.

Instead of a big bowl of ice cream...I enjoy a few scoops in a cup.
Instead of 5 doughnuts...I have just one
Instead of a bag of chips (full-size)...I dump a portion into a bowl and then stop. (sometimes I stop, chips are my kryptonite)
Instead of many cheap, weak beers...I go for a few nice beers.

Calories are important...they are one of the most important parts of the whole calculation of weight loss. We know that. But, I'd argue with anyone that deprivation will be the downfall of your weight loss goals! When you finally break, the guilt that comes with that is so big that it will throw you into such a funk that "you might as well just keep eating whatever you want because you've already failed yourself!" Trust me, I've been there...many, many, many times.

So, go enjoy a doughnut...celebrate this strange holiday!
(and don't play with guns or deprivation, they are both killers in their own ways!)

June 3, 2009

Congrats to Andrew!

My blog buddy from New Zealand, Andrew, just completed his first marathon! He masterfully recapped his experience on his blog "Andrew is getting fit"...I urge you to check it out!!!

In it, he quotes a poster that was put up near the end of the race...it hit a nice chord for me too. "It's not that I finished but that I had the courage to start."

Nice work Andrew!

June 2, 2009

A Whole Lotta Nothing

It's been a confusing last few weeks. I haven't done anything that is noteworthy but at the same time I've been doing a lot. I've been attending BBQ's and parties and have come away a little better off than a few weeks ago. I've continued the hundred push-ups challenge...now on week 6 and finished Day 1 last night...holy cow, that's a lot of push-ups.

I did a set of 40, a set of 50, a set of 25, another set of 25 and a max set of 50. Ugh. I did them all...it took me a little longer than they say to give yourself but I did them and that's HUGE and important in my book:) I have also continued the 200 sit-ups challenge... starting Week 3 tonight!

We went shopping last night and I found a mental hurdle I wasn't expecting. Before I lost all the weight it was all about finding shirts that fit in such a way that it didn't make me look fat. A horrible idea that never, ever works because when you are buying XL and XXL so that the shirt fits "loose" (read:baggy) then it's obvious you are hiding something, mainly rolls upon rolls...you get it. Anyways, last night while trying on size Large polos (the vintage style that runs small and more fitted) I all of the sudden felt self-conscious. I felt fat again. I looked in the mirror, nothing. I showed Sally and an old friend that still works at the store and they both said the Large is the right shirt and that it looked good fitted. Hmm. We (or rather THEY) decided that a Large Tall would work best for me. Since that size isn't carried in the store we walked away and it hit me. I was explaining to Sally how it's weird to see me fit into clothing this small and when it fits a little tighter I feel weird. She calmly explained to me that certain items of clothing should fit like that, such as the vintage style polo. The hardest part for me is accepting that maybe I do look good now, maybe I am this small. I know, I know...really "hard" problems I've got. I'm a smaller guy and after all those damn push-ups I'm actually able to wear some tighter clothing. I'm not talking about spandex tight, just fitted.

One last thing...the other night I went to a nice BBQ at my sister's. My older brother and his wife and 4 kids came down, too...I was playing with the kid's, throwing them around, lifting them up in the air, drawing with sidewalk chalk...I was pleasantly sore after that! Hmmm...there's got to be something out there that shows "workouts" you can get by playing with kids. I'll search around and let you know if I find anything!

May 28, 2009

10 to go

Today marks 10 days till the due date of our baby! As you can see by my lack of recent posts, I've got a lot going on!

Right now I've shifted to just maintaining as I sort these new things out in my life. I'm also still participating in the 100 push-ups as well as the 200 sit-ups challenge. Tonight I am on Day 3 of Week 5 for the 100 push-ups.

Look at the crazy amount I have to do tonight! (amount per set): 20, 20, 24, 24, 20, 20, 22 and a max set of at least 50! Added up that is at least 200 push-ups tonight. The kicker...I only get 45 seconds between each set...yikes! What I'm finding is it really pushes me mentally, almost as much as it does physically!

I'll keep pressing on and finish this and will let you know when I hit the 100 continuous push-up mark! My PR for continuous push-ups so far is 67.

I'm excited for baby to be here, in part because I can stop being anxious about what I think it's going to be like and move on to just being a father and learning my new role. I'm stoked for it!

May 19, 2009

100 Push-Ups : Update

I finished my first week (actually week 3 of the program) and I was surprised at how difficult it really is. The biggest difference of doing this program versus doing the same amount of push-ups on my own time is the time between sets. The first day you are only allowed 60 seconds between each set. How does that feel? It feels like you are doing one long, continuous set. Capping off each day is a max set which always really sucks!!! My chest and arms feel like they are ripping and shredding which makes me want to quit. I persist and then am forced into a stale mate with gravity.

Beginning of week 4. I started week 4 last night with a renewed vengeance. I looked forward at the upcoming weeks and the daily workouts... and it scared me! The number of sets jumps from 4 sets of 20+ to upwards of 8 sets of 40 and 50 push-ups! I know I will do it though, I'm just a little scared right now;)

The website also offers two other programs (all free by the way)... 200 sit-ups and 200 squats (holy hell). Last night I decided to do the 200 sit-ups challenge too. I did my exhaustion test last night and will start up tonight fitting it nicely as an every other day thing with my push-ups. Wow.

Keep checking back for progress reports and whining about how hard it is!!!

A Taste of Summer

This last weekend we had shorts and t-shirt weather. Around here, as soon as you can walk outside without a coat on the BBQ is turned on. I had a bit of a wake up call this last weekend. I was reminded that even though I’ve lost lots of weight and have gotten better about what I eat and drink, I still can’t just do whatever it is I want. I went out to happy hour on Thursday, we went to Sally’s Dad’s birthday party on Friday and a BBQ at my sister’s on Saturday. Phew…three days in a row of eating out and drinking.

Since Sally has been pregnant it has been a lot easier to lay off the booze and eating out but when people around here can get outside the plans start building up. I had a blast at all three of these events but I came away so bloated and fat. I’m going to have to figure out a new way to approach these events because I know I will be at many, many more to come. I get wrapped up in the celebration. Lots of food and drinking. I over-consume and I’m fully aware that it’s happening. It’s a bit of a slap in the face because I really thought I’d broken all the bad habits. Apparently, though, I’ve got some more work to do.

Having this first taste of summer will hopefully prove an invaluable learning experience…I’ve bounced back, or rather, shrunk back down to where I started last week which is great but going forward I must learn to separate the drinking and eating from the true reason of celebration! I’m excited to go to our pool in Chelan and not feel like beached whale for once in my life…so why ruin it now with burgers, ribs, chicken, gin & tonics, beer after beer, soda, chips and all those other crazy slaws and sauces. Bring on the fruit and small plates. I want to taste summer as a skinny guy!!

May 16, 2009

Waking with the City

One of my favorite things in life is waking up early in a foreign city and getting my day started before the rest of the city wakes up. There's no easier way to get a feel for a city than walking around while the shop owners are sweeping off their sidewalks or the delivery trucks are unloading their goods.

Since I can't travel anywhere right now the best way to translate this feeling is to head out for a morning jog before anyone else. I wake up at 5:30 every day for work and sometimes on the weekend my body just forces me out of bed. I woke Sally so she wouldn't worry where I was then I left to go on a leisurely jog around the neighborhood.

I timed it a little wrong though. I love jogging by the stores to see it getting prepped or to see the earliest of risers enjoying their first cup of coffee, or jogging by the bakeries and smelling wonderful bread or pastries... not today, nope. NOTHING was open, not even the coffee shops. In Seattle, there were no coffee shops open at 6.

I'm home now and I'm about to make a fresh pot and wake Sally back up... what a great start to the day. A jog, Sally's company and a fresh pot of coffee... oh, and it's sunny out:)

Enjoy your weekend!

May 14, 2009

Just an Ordinary Guy

This morning I was listening to the Blue Scholars. They are a local rap group consisting of two guys and usually I just listen to the songs and then move on to whatever comes up on random. Today I actually listened to the lyrics (not the norm for me!) and I was surprised at the simplicity of the lines and how they concisely convey everything I’ve blabbed on about for the past 5 months. There is a lot more to the song but this stood out to me, kind of like when you hear your name at a party even if it’s loud and you are on the other side of the room! Check out the lyrics…

And people keep asking how I lost this weight
More work and less food on the plate, man
Just a simple plan with a little bit of self discipline

I'm just an ordinary guy, ignoring all the hype
I let it all pass me by


When I’m asked about my weight loss I often stumble at the simplicity of it all. Like he says, “more work (read: get off your ass) and less food on the plate, just a simple plan with a little bit of self discipline”. That’s it, that’s exactly how it happened for me. Some of the lines were left out but when I heard how the chorus started it all just fell together. So here is how I will answer from now on, (minus the whole rapping and rhyming thing).

“Wow man, you’ve lost some weight, how’d you do it?!” so and so asks.
And I’ll say, “I ate less, I worked out and moved more along with a little discipline and will power. I knew it would have to be a lifestyle change not a quick fix. Not anything fun to hear but that’s how it happened.”



May 12, 2009

Down, Up times One Hundred

I’ve been beating around the bush and claiming that I’m about to start this, I’ve even started doing push-ups more regularly and did a burn-out of an awe-inspiring 67 consecutive push-ups the other day. But it’s time to start this for real and I’m ready for the challenge. I told Sally the other day that I’ll be able to do 100 consecutive push-ups before baby is here. I’ve got some work to do.

Thankfully there is a great site that has a 6 week program you follow and log in to that has been designed to help you build the right strength and stamina in order to achieve the 100 consecutive mark. Wait! But I have less than 4 weeks till baby’s due date… since I’ve tested out at 67 (just last week) I get to start on week 3. Perfect timing.

If you are at all interested in joining along, go to http://www.hundredpushups.com/ and sign in. I’ll keep you updated with my progress…wish me luck! And, if you’ve done this already let me know how it went for you :)

May 5, 2009

Running (a fever)

Yet another exciting set back hit me over the weekend. I was cruising through the last few months watching everyone around me fall victim to a nasty sickness. Alas, my body finally gave in and said "let's get it over with"... it hit me pretty hard. Luckily, it seems, the last few years I've gotten a similar sickness I usually save up and then it hits me like a ton of bricks all at once, then I get over it and go on with life.

I'm thinking this is what happened this weekend. On Sunday I woke up and felt really cold. I kept feeling cold and watched my very pregnant wife open every window in the house because she was boiling. Hmmm? I decided after an hour of not warming up to take my temperature (because it's not every Spring day where you'll find me in a full sweat outfit with big wool socks on). I declothed and popped the thermometer in (my mouth) and got a reading of 102.1... ugh. What's worse is this thermometer has been consistently reading our normal temps under 98.6, so further deduction made me believe it would've actually been higher.

I hopped into bed in the fetal position and proceeded to be babied by my very pregnant wife, who is also sick (just not feverish). I felt like such a wuss... I suppose that's why women are the bearers of children not men! She left me in my fever-inflicted comatose state to head to the store so she could make me homemade chicken noodle soup (hell yeah). I was continually reminded to hydrate and was given proper dosages of Tylenol and theraflu throughout the day.

Sally helped pull me out of the sickness... and I love her for it! Today I'm feeling so much better even though I'm at work, but at least I can move on to feeling normal again. Hope you are all feeling well and have gotten over all the sicknesses for the season! They've been nasty!

May 1, 2009

Humbled...

Part of what makes writing day in and day out (or every 4th day;) so interesting and rewarding is the people you connect with. Old friends, family and people on the other side of the world have come to this blog to leave me a comment or two... I've been inspired by them and have somehow inspired them, too.

I didn't really struggle at weight loss in the past few years because I wasn't trying to lose weight. For many years I just lived. I ate what I wanted, drank what I wanted, both too quickly. That's a recipe for disaster. Yeah, I felt gross and sick at times...I felt guilty moments after eating something... I was dilusional to how I looked, yes, I've been there. I was always aware of it but I made every excuse (I still make some now)...one of my favorites that always makes me laugh is when I told Sally that "my body must like being 250 so I'll just shoot for that" Ha ha ha. Absurd!

Lately the onset of a stall... a long, boring plateau has just flipped me around. I've written about this way too many times but I kinda lost it, I just wasn't trying as hard. I'm finally feeling a resurgence as of late and have heard so many amazing comments from people around me. I want to share one from my cousin Wendy! She has hit a milestone goal for herself and I have to call her out!!! I hope this is OK Wendy:)

"I just wanted to let you know that this morning when I weighed myself, I was seeing 110! I reached my goal and I am so happy! I owe much of my motivation to your blog and really appreciate you being so honest with your journey of weight loss. For awhile I felt, after 30 you just can’t be as thin as you were in High School. You have been inspirational to me to get back in my good habits and continue to reach for my goals. I have been stuck in the “5 lbs over my goal weight” for about three years now so this day is very exciting for me. Last summer I was even 10 lbs over, so that was very difficult. I can finally fit into my Sevens…are they even in style now…it’s been awhile. I was stuck in what I called my “big girl Hudson’s” for a few years...refusing to buy bigger sized clothes except for one pair of Hudson’s I got on sale at Nordstrom’s. Just kidding…thanks, Jeff! I will continue to follow your journey as I attempt to maintain what I have accomplished. I never thought I would see 110 again, so I am proof it’s possible! I had many things going against me, but I did it to my surprise. I know you’ll be seeing 210 in no time!"

What an amazing thing to read! So happy for her...and you are safe with your Seven jeans...they are still cool :)

Have a great weekend everybody! And, keep the faith! It's gonna happen:)

April 30, 2009

A New Idea, Direction and Goal

Today is April 30th, the end of the month...the date I'd been looking forward to for the last 4 months as the day I saw 210. The day isn't over but it would take a minor miracle to reach 210 today. I'm sitting at 214 which I've been at for well over a month. I'm feeling great though, I'm a little upset at a missed goal but am still amazed that I am where I am. I never thought I'd get here.

Anyways, not that you haven't heard all that before, I tend to reiterate a lot of what I've already said :) I suppose it's lack of material, since, you know, I haven't been doing as much as I've been saying lately! I've been doing some searching and (yes, here we go...another regurgitated idea) I really feel naming my blog Seeing 210 has been the best thing for me and the worst. It gave me a tangible goal, something to strive for...then I realized I was scared/anxious to reach the goal.

In the next few weeks you can expect some changes. Changes in my goals and changes on this blog. I'm going to do my best to get some more progress pictures up and hopefully add some different features. I'm also starting the process of renaming it...I plan on changing the Title Bar but leaving the URL until I've finalized it all then I may migrate this blog to the new address. You'll be the first to know!

Thanks for your continued support and for following me along this crazy fat loss path!

April 27, 2009

Feel Good Post-Prego Stuff

Shifting gears here for a little bit…talking about a sensitive issue here. As we get closer to the baby's due date, Sally and I have talked about our plans for our post-baby workouts. We have all sorts of walks planned which will be great for us and the little one to get outside but she is very interested in getting back to pre-baby weight as soon as possible. In addition to our planned outings, Sally has heard about and is planning on buying a post-pregnancy workout video. There are many of them out there but the one that keeps coming up in her searches is the Tracy Anderson Post-Pregnancy Workout DVD. The problem is it's so popular that it's nowhere to be found. Do a search on Tracy Anderson in Google and you are bound to see how she is the personal trainer for Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Yesterday we did a photo shoot of a friend, her husband and their 1 year old daughter. The day before she had done a 3.5 mile walk for the March of Dimes. I thought to myself, what a great way to get back out there…great exercise for a great cause! It also got me to thinking about an 8k coming up that's a really popular one for this area.

Beat the Bridge is an 8k which raises money for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund). 2 mile's and 20 minutes after the last wave leaves the start area, the University Draw Bridge goes up…the idea is to "Beat the Bridge". I've volunteered a few times for this race and have participated in it twice. It is a blast. I'm looking at my schedule but would love to run it again:) They also have a 4 mile Family walk and a Diaper Derby.

It's great to know there are events like this to get us out of the house (with baby) and doing our part. I will be following up with more post-pregnancy ideas when I come across them!
Have a great week!

April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad and Steve

It's been all about birthdays and BIRTH days lately!

Since my success has reached beyond the level of a freakish my family has been taking note. Maybe not taking notes, but definitely they have noticed and our motivation and enjoyment at becoming smaller versions of ourselves has grown by leaps and bounds.

My brother Steve and his family have changed up so much of the way the eat and think about food and exercise. Steve's birthday was on the 18th and one of the greatest presents that I think he got was a new wardrobe because he can fit back into the clothes that he wore when he just got married! (it wasn't too long ago so the looks aren't too out of style;). I'm just so stoked to see him melt before our eyes...both he and his wife Nicole have really turned the corner. Out of experience and seeing the change within myself I can recognize that what they are going through now will change their lives! They are doing so well!

Today IS my dad's birthday! One thing I feel my dad and I shared was the "Big Guy" mentality. Once I finally broke free of that identity I noticed a dramatic shift in my attitude. He is on the cusp...he has made some great strides and hearing him talk about it with such hope and actual belief that it will happen for him makes me so excited for it to start showing for him! I'm in a great mood right now (for various reasons) and I'm happy that my hardwork and my struggles have helped them see that they too can make changes for the better!

Happy Birthday Guys and well done!

April 20, 2009

Life Happens

Everything is lining itself up nicely for a wonderful afternoon jog today and tomorrow.

70+ degree weather. Check.
Physically able. Check.
Emotionally ready. Check.
Motivation on high. Check.
Time to run? Not going to happen. Not today. Not tomorrow. Ugh. Life Happens.

Take today for example: Get home at 4, pay bills, mail off client's pictures, clean up from a party at the house yesterday, edit 5 photo shoots worth of material (over 1000 images), post on the blog (not this one), eat dinner, call the guy that hit our car (again!), grocery shopping, refinish the changing table (yes! Still working on that!), rehang the shelf in the baby room, patch 6 holes in the wall, hang a new light, work in the yard and then it's time for bed. Yes, you're right…too much!

I've been contemplating the morning runs now. I'm out of time, I have no other good time to get out there and take care of business…I've always been an afternoon/evening runner. I've gotten out on the rare morning occasion but it was usually around 9:30 not 4:30/5 like I’m planning now. If I time it right I will be getting back home right about the time I normally roll out of bed. I'm out of ideas because life is coming at me full force these days.

I've written many times about prioritizing your life and making time for a jog or a workout but the 30 - 1 hour blocks are very hard to come by these days. I'd love it if any of you have any other ideas how I can free up some time?!

April 16, 2009

"Keepin' the Faith"

It's a saying that often adorns all email communication between Dennis and me. It's not really meant in a religious aspect but more for the actual word and meaning of faith itself. Of the many definitions of this word the one that best encompasses what is meant is: the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a promise (person, engagement, etc...).

We go back and forth about our newest conquest, our newest personal record and pretty much anything that keeps us headed in the right direction. It's very evident that having support has played a HUGE role in my ability to stay the course, to keep my sites set on my goal and to keep pluggin' away!

My "faith" and obligation is only as strong as I want it to be. Fortunately, I have Dennis to keep me striving to outdo myself (or him) in various ways. He credits me for keeping him in line which is great because I have found (as most humans probably do) that it's easier to say, than do. I've done a lot of both. This blog has allowed me to "say" a lot and it in turn keeps me honest and I "do" a lot as well. That's how it works with Dennis and I.

Often times, the "faith" is my loyalty to Dennis, to Sally, my readers and to myself. I can't let them and I can't let myself down...gotta keep the faith. It will happen!

April 15, 2009

Seeing 210 by EOM

I'm in high gear now as I try to hit the 210 mark sometime during this month! The end of the month is looming and visions of attaining this goal are shining like the light at the end of a very long tunnel. At night, I've been back to my push-ups... last night I knocked out 100 push-ups in 4 sets. I could've done more but I was exhausted from staying up too late watching a movie.

I've been working some overtime as well as getting stuff ready for baby. Yesterday I assembled the crib and put a coat of primer on the changing table. Tonight I will apply the first coat of paint but am dedicated to going for a jog. It's been harder and harder to get out on the road (read: I've made every excuse possible!) but I must make time! Remember, I'm committed to this goal!

Sally is helping out tremendously. She continues to wake early with me and makes me the most beautiful bowl of oatmeal complete with raisins, cinnamon, a little brown sugar topped with a large dollop of yogurt... oh, it's so good! What a great way to start the day!

There are so many things going on in the families right now. Babies on the way, houses and practices selling, today is TAX DAY, birthdays... you name it and it's probably happening this month! I am still floating between 213 and 215 but I know with my determination I can get it to 210...even if just for a moment, I need to see it, this is the month it'll happen. I'll work on keeping it 210 later (and lower for sure) but for now, it's Seeing 210 (by the End of the Month).

April 10, 2009

Flea Circus

You've undoubtedly read about how you can train fleas to jump a certain height, right? If you haven't read this quote… I learned about this way back in college and it stuck with me (thanks Mom & Dad for tuition, figures I'd remember the important things)… While reading this you should make a few connections with our motivation (or lack thereof) or possibly, as I've realized for myself, you'll see a pretty strong correlation between your goals or expected results and your efforts.

"Flea trainers have observed a predicable and strange habit of fleas while training them. Fleas are trained by putting them in a cardboard box with a top on it. The fleas will jump up and hit the top of the box over and over and over again. As you watch them jump and hit the lid, something very interesting becomes obvious. The fleas continue to jump, but they are no longer jumping high enough to hit the top. When you take off the lid, the fleas continue to jump, but they will not jump out of the box. They won't jump out because they can't jump out. Why? They have conditioned themselves to jump just so high."

This all came up because of a push-up email Dennis and I have been sending back and forth recently. Well, that's how it started anyway. I was doing a burnout of push-ups the other day and I got to 32ish and I stopped and got up. I had more in me, my body just said "you're done, dude, get off the filthy ground." So I did. The next day after the email thread had started and Dennis push-upped about 40 or so I got back down without any thought of how many I was going to do. I hit 51. Hmmm. When I typically do my sets of push-ups I usually stop at 25. My thought was this: have I been conditioning myself to only be able to do 25 push-ups at a time?

As the thread went on we talked about hitting this point and the awareness of our own walls and "lids"… what we haven't figured out is how to break this conditioning… how do we let ourselves achieve greater goals and see the potential? I suppose it's just "keepin' the faith" as Dennis leaves every email to me... yes, a lead in to another post... (to come)

April 7, 2009

Suckin' (warm & flowery) Air

I kept my promise yesterday and I jogged my normal 5 mile loop! Except that I was sucking air the whole way...and not to mention the trees are in bloom (pastel pinks and whites) right now so I was breathing predominantly pollen! Luckily I'm not allergic, well not that allergic to pollen... but it got to be a little overwhelming at times. It was one of the more uplifting and beautiful runs I've gone on in awhile but also one of the hardest mentally! Coming off of 3 weeks of nada (Spanish for nothing) I kept wanting to walk and almost talked myself into thinking it was smart to do so. But I persevered, I pushed on, wading through the thick, aromatic pollen blanket until I finally reached home.

My goal was to See 210 by the end of this month... at this rate that means I have about 1.25 pounds to lose per week...totally doable, especially if I'm working out regularly now too! I have a birthday party to attend tonight so it's a test. How badly do I want to make this happen? Only time will tell, in fact 24 days will tell.

I woke today feeling alive! It's that post-workout numbness that courses through your body that gives you a sense of purpose and excitement for the day to come. I love waking up early to watch the day take shape and feel like my body is doing the same! Wish me luck on the home stretch! I'll keep you posted with my progress!!!

April 6, 2009

In the (blue) Shadows of the Great Olive 8

My cubicle is next to a floor to ceiling window on the 16th floor of a building in Downtown Seattle. There is a new building, the Olive 8, being built across the street (South East) of me. The building has these odd, blue glass plate accents all over it. As the sun was passing through one it cast an eerie blue blast of sun into my whole cubicle. It was such a weird feeling that I had to grab some other co-workers and show them! And...so far...that's about the most interesting thing that has happened to me today!











The weather forecast looks great... at least for the next few days...enjoy the weather!

Calling Myself Out

Here it is, I'm calling myself out! Since I tweaked my back (which actually happened), I haven't gone jogging once, I haven't lifted a single weight (unless you count my camera) and I have even skipped some of my nightly routines (push-ups and abs). I've been using the back as an excuse but now my back is fine. In fact, it's been fine for a week and a half. We shot a wedding last week for 14 hours...no problems with the back.

So I'm laying it out there. I'm writing with my tail between my legs and a red face just to let you know and to promise myself that today I will be changing my routine (again) today!

Tonight...I'm going for a jog. I'm returning to my roots or (routes) and will be hittin' the road around 4:30 today. I'm shooting for a 5 mile loop...then I'm going to come home, have a nice dinner and feel good and less hypocritical about my "inspirational blog". Sometimes, you just have to call yourself out. I haven't been slipping at all though, in fact, my weight has stayed the same and actually has dropped a little so I'm lucky...but adding the workouts back in will drop it even faster!

No more lying to myself... if you are living up here in the Pacific Northwest you all know this is rare weather...get your butts off the couch and get outside!!! Enjoy:)

April 3, 2009

Dream Run - #7 (Lake Bled, Slovenia)

Have you heard of it? Most people haven't and stare quizically at me when I say one of my favorite places I visited in Europe is Lake Bled, Slovenia. Favorite partly because of the beautiful lake with the path that circumnavigates the water's edge (often times over the water), favorite because of the view of the Alps rising above the cliff with the castle on it, favorite because of the church on the little island in the middle of the lake and also a favorite because the great people I met while I was there.

The route shown is an actual path that I walked with these new friends I had made. It was a snowy, messy, cold morning but we trudged through it all…and we were awestruck most of the way. When I think about my photography and places that stand out as possible turning points, Bled ALWAYS stands out. I only had a point and shoot with me but the images I was capturing still amaze me.
The path around Lake Bled was partly paved (think Greenlake) and partly raised, wooden pathways (like a dock) that curved with the lake's edge and at times was over the lake. It turns out, our leisurely stroll (to help the hangover) ended up being a 4 mile journey. Who would've thought!? And, like so many other places I've been, I've promised to return here as well:)



April 1, 2009

BMI : My Journey to Normalcy

34.1 was my Body Mass Index at my highest point. This gave me a baseline to work from…even though I've read so much about how it isn't the most accurate I kept it filed away. I checked back on it midway through my loss and was still discouraged by how slow it seemed to be dropping. A score over 30 is considered Obese. An example I just read about why it is flawed is to think of Arnold Schwarzenegger. During his prime lifting days when he was Mr. Universe he weighed 235 pounds and is just over 6' tall. This put his BMI over 35 which made him "obese". Clearly that cannot be correct, look at him.

Regardless, it has served me a good base to check against since my goal thusfar has been strictly weight/fat loss. I'm not getting any taller (and hopefully not any shorter!) so my BMI should change in a fairly linear and somewhat accurate way.

I have been weighing in under 215 most of this week and hit 213 yesterday so my new BMI is now 25.9! According to the Index, I'm still "Overweight" which, judging by my shrinking but still prevelant spare tire, I reluctantly concede that this a fair and accurate assessment. However, once I eclipse my goal of 210 and land on 204 I can finally call myself "Normal". <-- insert joke here!

Was turned on to a wonderful site that I didn't even know existed. Thank you Emilie! You have to check out http://www.livestrong.com/. Lots of great information on there!

March 28, 2009

Yakima Bound

Last night we left for Yakima. We are shooting a long wedding today and will be back tomorrow. We were just talking to the videographers about how much work it is lugging around this equipment. Today is an exceptionally long day. We have been up for 5 hours already (it's 1oam) and we will be going strong till 9 pm tonight! We'll be sore as ever and then we have to decide whether or not we can make it over the pass tonight. It's supposed to be just dumping snow up there...they are expecting 20 - 24 inches of the fluffy white nightmare. Good times.

Hope your weekend goes well and I'll be posting more regularly next week!

March 26, 2009

After...ish

Here is a shot of me today, happy, at 215. Still a few more to go but looking and feeling a whole lot different!

A few months ago I posted about some Before and After shots:

Check out the BEFORE and the DURING posts to see the change:)

March 23, 2009

Rolling with the Metaphors

My back is 75% now…it actually feels like 85% but I'm allowing for 10% failure rate because I'm at the point where my mind is saying it's good to go but one move in the wrong direction could have me laid up again. I was having a tough time this week getting myself motivated to try anything…I figured some rest has got to be good for me!

Lately, when I hit a lull like this I've gotten a friendly kick in the backside and/or reminder to keep on plugging away! I have heard from a lot of you recently during these tweaked back days and I really appreciate it. Last post I mentioned a metaphor that I wrote to Dennis…well, he wrote back. He sent me a metaphor that got me to think about those times when you are either in a lull or incapacitated in some way. Dennis and I write back and forth to keep each other motivated and it works! Lately I've been talking the talk but he's walking the walk. 4 of 8 days he has done his routine and is just killin' it, good stuff. Wish I could say the same.

The metaphor was a good one, it reminded me that I can keep going through motions to not lose the "fire" I've built over these many months. He simply titled it "Pilot Light". During an email to him I told him that I was going crazy driving on my running route and that I really missed all those things that I physically can't do at the moment. He countered with giving me a few non-impactful exercises I could do that would isolate all movement away from my back…then said "why pilot light? I guess, because it's something to keep the fire burning until you come bursting back, exploding onto the scene with full speed and power…" So basically he just reminded me to go through the motions, do a little careful exercise to not lose the momentum I've worked so hard to gain!

March 19, 2009

What Next?

I wrote this to Dennis (my Father-in-Law) just a few minutes ago. I've been getting closer and closer but have kind of hit a mental wall. After much reflection and thought this is the metaphor I keep seeing in my mind and I thought I'd share it with you.

I'm sure you've been on a long road during the night, right? You can see the car way ahead of you because of the other car's headlights. You may be miles behind it but you know it's there. You start to pick up speed because you decide you want to see what kind of car it is and can't stand the idea of being behind so far. 10 minutes later the car is just outside your car's high-beams. You click them off...then speed up so the car in front of you starts to take shape and is then illuminated by your lights. You start to notice that it's a nicer, faster, newer version of the car you are driving. You pace it for a few minutes waiting for just the right time to pass it and when you finally feel that you are ready to do it, the car in front of you starts to pull away. Before you know it, it's out of your beam's and you are losing ground quickly. Right now, the car is in my beams...I'm pulling in on it and my finger is rested on the turn signal. I've been pacing it for a few weeks now afraid to overtake it, scared that I'm not in the best position, worried that the road will take an unexpected turn.

This has played out in my mind as I get closer to my original stretch goal of 210. I realized I have been just coasting along as of late and started to wonder if maybe achieving that goal brings more along with it than I originally thought?! I've learned through overlapping goal setting that as you get closer to a goal it's OK to reevaluate it and tweak it if necessary (maybe a slight reference to my back tweak, maybe:).

What will my new goal be? Possibly sub 200? I can see it... when I figure it out you'll be the first to know!

March 17, 2009

Stressed? Hug More

Leave it to the Swiss to run studies on how hugging can relieve stress. I ran across this article on MSN and it made me want to run home and hug my wife, like 20 times :)

"New research shows that hugs and kisses slash stress. Loving touches — and the resulting gush of good feelings — can cut the level of stress hormones coursing through your body by 7 percent…"

7 percent may not seem like a lot but as a by-product of something I love to do anyway, I'm sold!

You owe it to yourself to read the brief article here!!! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 16, 2009

An Off Week (courtesy of a tweaked back)

Last night I went out to my newly cleaned garage to do some dumbbells. I was going to do the routine that I posted a few posts ago. I love how quick and effective it is. What I don't like is how I thought I could just pick up where I left off. I worked up to using a 30lb dumbbell last time. This time I started with one. During the 3rd movement (the bent-over row) I was trying it a few different ways to make sure I was getting the full and intended effect. Except... I moved too suddenly and quickly in precisely the wrong direction.

Damn! Figures it has to happen on my low week! I hit 214 and 215 numerous times!

I'm doing OK but it means all activity has ceased. I can walk but it's painful (and robot-like). I can't do push-ups, no yoga, running (ha ha, yeah right) and weight lifting is out for sure. This week I'm focusing on my food intake. I have no choice. I'm also trying to find any sources on stretching and how I can help my back heal faster.

My posts for this week will probably concern more about recovering from injury. I just got done reading an article last week about roadblocks in your workouts. Injury was on there as was having a baby. Guess I should go find that one again:) Wish me luck in my recovery!

March 12, 2009

Hook, Line & Sinker

It totally had me. Images of people starting their days with the sun rising and so much hope ahead of them… all to the tune of a very influential song, "Today" by the Smashing Pumpkins. I hoped during the first 20 seconds that it was going to be a commercial for something inspirational. I would've been ok with a Nike commercial. Sadly it was a Visa commercial. Visa didn't get me into the financial situation I'm in (it's like saying guns don't kill people, people do) but I was left flattened and confused at how all that inspiration ties into Visa and having a credit card. I mean, I get it…the message is simple enough… but, really?! Visa?

Anyways, now that I totally let the cat out of the bag… try watching it for what it is. It's a great commercial with a great imagery and one of my favorite voice-over voices (I won't ruin that for you). I like to watch it and pretend it's going to be a different product at the end. Kind of like during a suspenseful movie when you try to will a different ending, or maybe that's just me. Another idea would be to watch it for the first 25 seconds then move on…allowing the song and the images to be ingrained as a positive message before the Visa logos are plastered across the screen.

An inspirational message brought to you by the fine folks at Visa.

March 10, 2009

Preparing for Changes

...and I'm not talking about diapers

Everywhere I turn people tell me that "once you have a baby everything changes." Can we get a more boring, blanket statement? I don't do well with the ambiguous, I need specific things that will inevitably change so I can prepare myself for them now. I like to be prepared, mentally and physically.

A friend of mine, Shane, was chatting with me back and forth via email and he finally gave me a little of what I was asking for, some hard truth. He laid it out there for me and as I suspected it was something that being privvy to it maybe I can start to make small changes now to lessen the blow later. What he told me was that the bulk of his weight gain happened right after his first daughter was born and it was simply the fact that all your schedules (sleep, food, work, etc…) are all screwed up. His advice was get a routine that works for you now. How I've expanded this in my brain (this is where my preparation comes in) is to identify my weaknesses and eliminate them or at the very least, control them. Since then, Shane has kicked it up a few notches and has been losing weight steadily and has found a new vigor, a new fire in his daily battle to get rid of the fat…meanwhile, Shane has dropped more pounds while welcoming a new baby. Between his wife and him, they've lost close to 100 pounds! That's amazing!

Then I was talking to my sister the other night and she was telling me about how hard it is when you need to make something quick for the kids and you end up eating it too. I'm assuming it was something like tater tots and fish sticks or something like that (at least that's what I envisioned). I didn't have much of a response at the time because, well… I hadn't really thought of that as being a problem. I'm sure I'll be faced with more and more "things" like this as I become a dad. I suppose that's what makes these parenting styles, right, everyone has one and no one's is as good as your own! The first thing I thought about after I hung up the phone with Diane was, "can't they just eat what you would fix quickly for yourself?" I know, I know…I have NO idea, and I oversimplify…but here's my dilemma. One of the problems that I've identified about myself is that I pretty much will eat whatever is near me. If we have it, I'll probably eat it. We buy chips every once-in-a-while for lunches, mainly Sally's lunch, and I can't help myself! On the other side of that, if we have a lot of fruit and veggies around…I eat that too. (I do have to interject…I have actually gotten better at just eating when I'm hungry and limiting my portions…it just sounds more desparate when I say I'll eat anything:)

I guess I have a lot to learn and even more to prepare for…and I suppose that's what being a parent is all about. That's probably why I won't get too many hard facts or too many specifics, right? There's too many to list and wouldn't it be like trying to tell someone all the changes you'll go through during your 20's? It's humbling already, but I'm ready for it!

March 7, 2009

Long, Large and Slim (my dress shirt that is)

Last night we did something that I haven't done in about 15 pounds. We went "shopping". We didn't buy, but I tried on many, many things. Right now I go to work in the same clothes that I've had for the past few years and 65 pounds. I have a ton of nice shirts that work for the occasion but recently I've noticed how they are feeling more and more like sails rather than shirts.

As I sit here writing I can wear size Large dress shirts, the slim cut ones. I fit into size 36 pants and almost 34...I am actually a 35 if they made more of those.

Last night was the first time where I got to see myself in the mirror of a changing room (which by the way always adds what seems to be 10 pounds) and actually felt like I was looking at someone else. I didn't even notice the guy in front of me. Sally has been making comments here and there about how small I am now and how thin or emaciated I look. OK, maybe not emaciated, that is definitely an inside joke (especially funny since it took place 35 pounds and 3 years ago). 

I walked away without any bags in hand, no new clothes... but I left with a sense of pride that all my hard work and determination has finally made a difference. I love it! 

March 4, 2009

Optimism

I live with an eternal optimist.  She sees the possibility of goodness in every situation, every single person in every area of our lives.  As I have been thinking about optimism lately I came to wonder if people are predestined to be optimistic or pessimistic.  Kind of a lame thought if you got stuck on the half empty side!  As I've read more and more about it and have searched my life for examples I've concluded that we have a choice everyday whether or not we are going to look at something through rose colored glass or not.  I don't know about you but I vary widely from day to day, maybe that's my innate sense of over-dramatizing things, or is it over-analyzing things and reacting too sensitively to the analysis?! 

I have found that living with a person like Sally has helped me see greater potential in what I can achieve. Optimists tend to make many, many plans and truly think that they can achieve all these goals. They crazy thing is, they usually do. Being optimistic can piss off pessimists. I know because I used to wallow in my own bouts of pessimism like a pig in mud pulling any and everyone down around me because so and so was achieving something I would rather not hear about. Yeah, wow. But for the most part I'm a pretty positive guy, in fact, I'd say I'm optimistic.  

Especially now. As the weight came off and I fought through those days when I thought it was a waste of time or I thought I was destined to be a fat guy forever an amazing transformation took place within me. I became optimistic. I now believe in myself and I believe that if I make a goal I will achieve it. It is a powerful thing and it's very contagious! I'm lucky to have someone like Sally around me at all times reminding me that I can do it and most importantly that I WILL do it. 

I found a few articles about Optimism and it's benefits on our health and well-being. Very interesting stuff. Check it out if you are interested. Here, here & here.

And...if you are needing an inspiring quote or two on any topic go to this great site: ThinkExist

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." ~Winston Churchill 


March 2, 2009

A Different kind of Dumbbell Workout

If you search around enough for what to do with those rusty dumbbell's sitting in your garage, you'll undoubtedly come across this article. I've come across it numerous times, saw it on Men's Health's website (and magazine) and I even went as far as trying them out without a dumbbell (just to see if it was worth my time.) Ok, my time? Really?! Today I got home and couldn't decide what type of workout I wanted to do. I clicked on MSN for some inspiration (seems so illogical) and came across this, again. 

Today I decided to stop being lazy and give it a try. The whole routine is done with the same dumbbell, without stopping between movements...you get 2 minutes rest between the 4-movement set and then go at it again (3-4 times). 

I started easy with a 15 lb'er and realized that I was wussing out...I stepped up to a 20 lb'er and for my final set I busted out a 25.  I found it was actually easier to stay in form with a little more resistance...but that's me, do what works for you!  

The link to one of the many places you can find this article is HERE, I also attached the pictures for you, because, well...I like you guys;)




By the end of this I was sweating. Then a few minutes later my body just tightened up.  These are all very good examples of functional training (I'm not sure if it's called that)...but doing movements that you use in every day life to build up your core stability will help prevent many injuries! Try it out and let me know if you liked it! 

99 (Baby) Bottles of Beer on the Wall

Saturday marked 99 days till the estimated birth-date of our baby. Obviously the first thing that came to mind was the annoyingly catchy "99 bottles of beer on the wall" song…I spent the better part of the weekend thinking of how I could incorporate the amount of days left and that song. Babies and beer. I imagined the cartoon baby from looney tunes (the one with the cigar) reaching for a beer filled baby bottle…not really the image I'm going for. I then remembered hearing about a game played at co-ed baby showers (I can't think of a worse hell) where you have to race to finish one of those beer filled baby bottles. Hmmm. I then thought, "maybe I could explain how not drinking 99 bottles of beer could extend my life as a dad and further my advancement on this weight loss thing (yawn). I tried rewriting the lyrics to be "witty" and "original" but realized it's about as fruitless as coming up with an ending verse for the "song that never ends".

Alas, I've folded…I have nothing for ya. I'm just excited to know that I have that many days to get everything as lined up as possible…97 days (now) to keep working on all my goals!

*I apologize if that song is now stuck in your head…I always am stuck at 99, I take it down, pass it around then look up to see it has been replaced - I'm back at 99?!

March 1, 2009

TMI : Too Much Information

The other day I was talking to a co-worker about my weight loss.  Normally I don't talk about much at work except work but lately I've been chatting more about my personal life. With baby on the way and an obvious change in my appearance it's hard to escape it!  The girl I was talking to had so many questions and wanted to know exactly what it was that I did in order to lose as much as I have. I swear not everything has been so cut and dry as I've made these last few posts seem but I really did have two distinct thoughts while I was listening to her. 

The first is that there is just too much conflicting information at our fingertips these days. I recognized this early on as she was telling me how she's doing this and that and not eating this but eating that and so on and so on (a run-on sentence is best in describing how the actual conversation went!).  I began thinking of how I sifted through all the information grasping onto what turned out to be useful nuggets. Exhausting! One day it's okay to do this then the next day it will lead to certain death. We are so fortunate to have information but maybe it's all the information that makes us quit prematurely? Just a thought...which actually led to my next thought. (which is...)

Clearly, we are all different people. Different shapes, different sizes, different ideas of how it should be done and most importantly we will require our own special code that must be cracked. Once you crack your own code you are in the money, trust me! It was easy to realize that I overate, it was difficult to figure out how to limit my portions and stick to it. It was super easy to realize that I didn't work out enough and it was a helluva lot harder to not only start but keep up a regimented exercise routine. 

Don't get me wrong...I don't have it all figured out, I still struggle with many things that life throws at me!  I just realized though, after talking with my co-worker, that maybe I've just cracked my own code (yes, I'm foreshadowing possible postings in the future...I didn't just use an obvious metaphor such as "cracking ones code" for nothing!) 

Thanks to all of you that have checked out our Photo Blog...the response has been very positive and helpful! If you haven't checked it out...go here.

February 28, 2009

One of those Weeks

This week has been one of those weeks. I haven't had the chance to work in any extra workouts at all. We met with our accountant, we met with a client for a wedding, we had our monthly class with our midwifery group, I worked late for two days, we worked for 9 hours straight to launch our new photography blog and today, finally, we woke up and felt like we turned a corner in our business.

So much of my blog thus far has mentioned how I build in my workouts so if I have a week like this then I don't have to feel guilty for not jogging 5 miles every other day. I've been banned from running at night in the city because I'm a father-to-be...plus, I suppose it can be a little sketchy anyways! I continued to do what I could: watching what I eat, doing the stairs at work, doing lunges and push-ups at night and basically trying out this new thing called maintenance. I was shocked that giving my body a break for a week actually made a difference.

I hit 215 on multiple days in the morning...at one point the scale said 214!? My body needed a little rest and it needed to see what it's like to be at it's new and vastly improved weight.

I don't let on to what I do much outside of this working out/losing weight gig but a huge part of my time can be divided into two distinct areas:

1.) Getting ready (mentally) for our baby's arrival. This means classes, painting rooms, reading about things, talking with my wife about observations we've made of other parenting techniques (use your imagination) and various other things that take up a lot of time.

2.) I work a second job. Sea Studio photography is a business that my wife and I started a year or so ago. We are constantly looking, talking and translating our inspirations into new blogs, blog postings, website redesigns, etc, etc. We make lists about everything, we even make lists of lists, it's crazy.

What I think has made the biggest difference this time around in my weight loss journey is I actually believe I can do it. I finally have stopped listening to that little, negative voice inside me that tells me every lie possible in order to keep me from making my dream a reality.

Anyways, I really just want you to check out our new Sea Studio Photo Blog...we put a ton of time and energy into it:) I will be back onto regular posting for this blog starting this week!! Thanks again for following along, as always!

February 25, 2009

Snoose for a Slice?

Temptations abound in the Greenwood neighborhood starting next month. We just got word (or were reminded) that we have an amazing pizza place (Snoose Junction) opening within walking distance from our house. We are very happy about this but this will be a test for me because good pizza is my kryptonite, my weakness...and like all temptations, proximity is usually the catalyst for failure.

I vow to forgive myself for a slice here and there. And, I also vow to stop after just a slice!

Other notables about Snoose Junction are their commitment to being an Eco-friendly company. The decor inside is all reclaimed woods, some of which are taken from the lanes at a now defunct Sunset Bowl and the coolest part (sort of:) is all deliveries are done by bicycle!

It should be a welcomed addition to this growing neighborhood!  They even have a cool logo;)

(Yes, I do realize that's two postings in a row that mentions pizza...I told you it was my kryptonite!)




February 24, 2009

Dream Run - #6 (New York, New York)

A few years back, Sally and I lived in a very small Greenwich Village aparment in Manhattan. The adventure we had out there could fill an entire blog on it's own (or book) so I'll try to limit my excitement to just one of many walks I'd love to go on if we go back. This could very well turn into a Dream Run subset. I find myself gravitating to the things I know (Manhattan, Italy, Spain and pretty much anywhere I've traveled to)…I didn't have the foresight to see how hard it would be to choose somewhere like Bali or Rio and try to come up with a "dream run". If you've been to Manhattan with Sally or myself this isn't too far off what we would've made you endure! We loved torturing, er…touring with our visitors showing them the sites…we had it down, too!

Starting at Bedford and Downing (our apartment) we walk towards SoHo..saying hi to the Joe's on the road (old super). In order to get us through this long journey we have to (MUST) stop at Ben's Pizzeria for a slice of the best NY pizza (in my opinion) on the corner of Thompson and Spring. Refreshed we walk further south on the coolest, cobble-stoned road (and only with trees) in SoHo, Wooster! We swing by Sally's old work then cruise up by mine. It's out to Broadway and up to Bleecker…turning right we head towards the Bowery and see the remains of CBGB (rip). We navigate through a few streets with our sites set on McSorley's Old Ale House…(I see a common theme here reminds me of Dublin).

We then take a small detour to 1st Ave then brings us back to Day 1 when we stayed at a shoddy hostel! We walk down 14th Street (the longest of all the Streets on Manhattan...not Avenues, Streets) to Union Square and turn to head up Broadway to the Flatiron building. We look up at it and then push on across town on another long thoroughfare, 23rd st. We turn on 9th and head back downtown stopping in at the Chelsea Market to see if we can find Emeril. After checking out the market we browse up and down the Meatpacking District. We work our way towards Hudson Street passing Cowgirls and Christian Louboutin along the way. After enjoying our favorite stretch of the Far West Village we head back to Bedford, across 7th and back to our 400 sq. foot place we called home. I guess it would be weird to go back there now since we don't live there, but hey this is my dream run:)


Here's a picture of Ben's...oh how I love it so!


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