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


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


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 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.

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