My Progress

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Update, yo"

Those words spoke more to me than all the inward reflection I've done this last week combined. Well, here it comes, and this one is a long one too.

I really wish I was more motivated to blog recently, I honestly do. I'm just not feelin it of late. I'm in a place where I just can't find the urge to post, read, comment or anything. I've actually had quite a lot going on that would have been great blogging material, but the desire to share just hasn't been there. I haven't fallen off the weight loss wagon. I'm still chuggin along. I weighed in yesterday at 248, just 0.8 lost from 2 weeks prior, but that one was right after a 5k, so it was artificially low. Yesterday's may have been artificially high as well. I was feeling pretty sore -- especially in the quads, hams and gluts -- thanks to this weeks workouts. More on that in a bit.

Regardless of where I actually am, it'll all even out in the end. I was hoping to be 245 at this point for a Memorial Day challenge on the WW Guys on a Diet forum. I didn't make it, but considering I started at 271.8, I made a good show of it. I guess technically I'll get one more weigh-in to make weight, so I may have made it after all. I guess we'll see.

I got a lawnmower last weekend. Used it once already and I have to say I grossly overestimated the amount of time it would take to mow my lot with a push mower. Up until last week I was paying a kid to mow it for me. $30 for the area around my house and an extra 10 for the lot to the south. He used two of those very fast stand-up riders to get it done and it took him about 15-20 minutes to do the whole thing. I guessed with one less mower, a smaller deck and having to push it, I'd take 3-4 hours to mow it. I got it done in about 2½ (60 minutes by my girl and 90 by me). I'd imagine we could get it done in 2. That was a good feeling knowing that I was taking care of my own property finally and getting a decent workout in doing it.

Speaking of workouts, I've got a new tool in my little arsenal now. Back when the buzz was starting to get some momentum going, I was reading up about EA SPORTS Active, an "interactive and customized home fitness product for the Nintendo Wii that gives you the benefit of a 'personal trainer in a box.'" I got really interested in the product. It was being advertised as a more Western approach to fitness in response to the Eastern approach of Wii Fit. Whereas Wii Fit focuses on balance and yoga, EA Sports Active promises a more active workout that'll get you sweating. I was intrigued, so I sent an email to EA's PR department expressing an interest in reviewing their promising new addition to the slew of Wii fitness games. I was a bit surprised when I got a response a week later. I was told that a copy of the game would be sent on the 19th (its official US release date). I got my package on Thursday and dove headfirst into it. With only 30 minutes of use under my belt, here's my first impression of the game.

I opened up the box and found everything I was expecting to find based on the previews and advertising I'd read. There was the game itself, a neoprene leg strap and a red resistance band. I popped the game in and put on the strap, ready to rock. I was first asked to set up an avatar in the game to represent myself. I was able to adjust the hair, accessories, clothes, shoes and apparent body shape of my pixelated self. The Wii Fit me is a tubby little guy that while cartoony looks a lot like me. The EA SPORTS Active me, on the other hand, doesn't look all that much like me at all. The hair is right, but the face and body shape aren't very accurate. I set it to the biggest body the game had available, but that isn't very big at all. Nevermind the fact that I was over 100 pounds bigger than this. I'm still too big to be well represented here. But that's not why I was interested in the game, so I could honestly care less. I pressed on. I opted to start the 30 day challenge, a guided tour of the game that introduces the player to all the 20+ exercises targetting upper body, lower body and cardio.

I was given the option for a high, medium or low intensity workout. I set it to "high" while I thought in the back of my mind "yeah, right..." See, I've always thought that Wii Fit was kind of a joke in terms of workout. Granted rhythm boxing, hula hooping, advanced step and island running will work up a sweat, but not like this. With the constant feedback and rapid succession of different workouts, I was sweating in 3 minutes and didn't stop until the end. I got much better feedback on the running activities than I EVER got from Wii Fit. The instructional videos made everything very clear. The trainer was unapologetic when it came time to correct my mistakes and didn't let me have more than a few moments' rest between exercises. I like that this game focuses less on BMI/weight progress or time spent "playing" and more on calories consumed and perceived exertion.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sore as all hell for the next two days thanks to this game. I used muscles I haven't engaged in quite a while. I like it. I'll definitely be putting this game to good use as I progress through the 30 day challenge. I'll bring you more updates as I find my way back into blogging.

Pushups are doing well too. I finished week 2 a ways behind schedule, but I made it. I did a new exhaustion test Wednesday evening and was right where I'd hoped to be at this point. I managed 25 good form pushups before I felt pretty spent. I'll be pressing on with week three tomorrow.

So there ya go. I updated. I dunno if I'll be posting more this week or if it'll be another 7 days before you hear from me again. Time will tell. Rest assured, though, I'll be back and I'll continue losing the weight like it's my job. Later.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I'm feeling a bit lost in terms of blogging right now. I haven't quit or anything, but I've definitely been lacking in the motivation to post for the past week. I missed weigh-in yesterday morning and truth be told I have no idea where I am right now. Between my grandparents' 60th anniversary dinner, my girlfriend's classmates' graduation party and my own graduation celebration, I had a pretty rough week as far as weight loss is concerned. I missed a couple of workouts and had a few less than healthy meals.

I also had an appointment with my physician, who was happy to confirm that my labs are all in range. She approved of my decision to ditch my blood pressure meds and she dropped my metformin dose a touch. I should be off that one pretty soon.

What else? Oh, I hit up Old Navy this past week. I have never bought any clothes from there before mainly because they don't carry fat man stuff, but their prices are pretty hard to ignore when I'm living on a budget, plus they have some pretty decent coupons if you can get to them quick enough. I picked up a new button up shirt that I wore to my graduation and I snagged a pair of board shorts for our trip to the lake next month. I was impressed when the XL shorts were too big. I'll be the happy, sunburned dude in the size L black-on-white Hawaiian print board shorts if you happen to be at the Lake of the Ozarks in June.

That's all I got. I'll try to post more this week. Thanks for checkin in on me, yall.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Farewell to Harm

If you can't stand bad poetry, please stop reading here.

Spring is finally here
With summer on its way,
Our last season together
And I just have this to say:

I'm not going to miss you
Not even a little bit.
You dragged me down throughout my life,
And made me feel like shit.

You've clung to my body
For almost all my life,
Caused me to doubt myself
And brought me too much strife.

You've got to go now.
You're leaving piece by piece,
Dropping off my body
As my Calories decrease.

As I've liberated myself
From your painful grasp of weight,
I find myself rewriting
My once dismal fate.

So don't cry for me
As we say our last goodbyes.
I'll keep a small piece of you
At a fraction of your size.

I'll still feed you wings
Beer and pizza too,
But not in the amounts
You'd grown accustomed to.

I'm sure you've seen it coming,
As your mass has contracted.
I've worked my ass off at the gym,
And in turn you've reacted.

I should have done this years ago,
And truth be told I tried.
I'm sure when I started this time last year
You just rolled your eyes and sighed.

"He's never done it before," you thought
"He's not going to now."
But now that you see it's working
You've got some sweat upon your brow.

109 pounds of your brethren have left,
And few of your still remain.
By healthy eating habits
And elliptical they've been slain.

So goodbye to my dwindling fat
Auf wiedersehen, adieu.
You've overstayed your welcome
I'll be a better man without you.

Happy Mothers day to all you moms out there! Have a good Sunday.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I'm 70% the man I used to be

I should do 5ks before every weigh-in because I was down another 3.2 from only 36 hours earlier at my Thursday meeting. That puts me past my 30% lost mark, just shy of my 22nd 5-pound star and inside 25 pounds to go for my "final" goal. As I inch closer and closer, I realize I'll go lower, but I set that goal when I started and I'm keeping it as my goal on my ticker. I'll get there this summer, reward myself with some skydiving, then get back on my horse and press onward to 210, 200, or who knows, I may even go for that desirable 25.0 "normal" bmi at 179 pounds. That's just weird thinking I could get there. It seemed so foreign and strange to me 110 pounds ago, but I've never weighed this little in my entire adult life, so I have no idea what any of these lower weights will look like on me. I'll know when I get to my maintenance weight. My body will tell me. I'm not going to stress about it. I'll just keep chugging along like I have been.

So the 5k was an interesting experience. I am not a runner. I can book it on the elliptical, getting as much as 7 miles in 1 hour at a resistance of 6, but that is nothing like really beating feet to street. I really wanted to run the whole thing, but I had no expectation for it. It was fine for the first mile, but I had to drop down to walking for the second mile and the first half of the third. The last half-mile was entirely uphill and I was not going very fast. I ended up finishing at 44 minutes. That's not terribly impressive, but it's a starting point. I'll definitely need to start practicing running. I want to improve my form. Right now it's terribly uncomfortable feeling the impacts reverberate through my body, my guts bouncing around. Part of that is weight and will improve as I move on, but a lot of it could be alleviated with good shoes (my workout-only shoes are getting old) and good form.

I'll definitely be doing more 5ks in the future, so I may just set small goals. Next time, I want to finish in 40 or less. We'll see how that goes. Eventually, I'll be in good enough shape and well-trained enough to do a half-marathon. I've tentatively planned to do one with my cousin in October. That's all I got. Have a good Saturday!

Progress so far: 109.4 pounds.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Progression (man boob warning)

I found some old pics from my cell phone that I took in May of 07, just before I was starting another failed weight loss attempt. It motivated me to post some more progress picture updates. So here you go. Back then, I was 325, a full 33 pounds less than when I started this weight loss journey almost exactly 1 year later. I've definitely got a ways to go, but my god, how far I've come....
Tomorrow is my 5k for corporate challenge, just before weigh-in. I had an early weigh-in last night just in case I don't make it to my Saturday meeting in time and I was down 2 from last time, but I think I'll probably make it for the official, regular weigh-in. I'll have an update tomorrow morning either way. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How soon we forget...

So... I didn't do week 1, day 3 of my training program last Friday, but to be fair, I was wrist deep in grilled foods and nursing my fourth beer when it should have been happening, so... you know... priorities!

Seriously, though, I guess it kind of slipped my mind because I really do want to do this thing, but it's so early on, I haven't really established enough of a routine to notice when I forget it. I obviously didn't do week 2 day 1 on Monday either. It didn't even occur to me until last night. I was debating what I should do to get back into it and wound up deciding to pick up where I left off. So, I did W1D3 last night. The first four sets were 8, 10, 7 and 7, then the max (minimum 10) with 2 minute breaks between sets. I was surprised how much easier it was to get in 10 reps this time (as opposed to just 10 days prior, when 10 was my absolute limit on the exhaustion test). I whipped through all 4 sets without any trouble at all, but I think I can mostly chalk that up to the extra 4 days of rest I got. Anyhow, the max last night was 12. Thursday I'll do W2D1, which looks like a bit more of a challenge, but very doable considering how I managed last night.

After I finish this week on Saturday, I'll give myself a couple of days' rest and then it's time to do a new exhaustion test. That is when I'll see how I've really progressed because while it's nice to see that I can do 12 pushups whereas before I could only do 10, the progress is much more than that because I did those 12 pushups within moments of doing 32. I wouldn't be surprised if my max on a fresh set would be closer to 20 or 25 by then. I guess we'll see.

BTW, today is Nurse's Day, so if you know a nurse, give her a smack on the butt. They love that. By the way, did you know that if you slap a female coworker on the ass it's considered sexual harassment, but if you add in a little "HEEYAAW!" productivity goes up 10%. No shit.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

365 days ago, I was on day three of this weight loss journey. My girlfriend and I went out to her favorite restaurant of all time, Margarita's. I was completely lost trying to fit it into my points, so I just took a couple of bites here and there, took a huge box of leftovers and pretty much wasn't satisfied with my experience at all.

Flash forward to today. I planned out last night how I was going to fit it into my points. I was going to have a taco salad sans guac/sour cream/cheese/tostada shell. So as soon as I got home, we hopped in her car and headed over. By then, it was 1830 and the place was ridiculously busy. We couldn't even find a place to park. So a wrench got thrown in my plans. We hemmed and hawed about where we wanted to go, concluding that most every downtown Mexican joint was going to be pretty packed, then I suggested Chipotle. I know, I know. Fast food isn't the same, but the place is delicious. I tried my best to lighten up my favorite, a steak burrito, so I had them use very little rice, black beans, no sour cream, no cheese and a heaping pile of lettuce. I probably could have done without the tortilla and gotten a bowl instead, but meh. We came home and I added some fat free sour cream and a pinch of 2% shredded cheddar. The burrito was awesome and came in under the points I'd budgeted. Awesome!

This week has been phenomenal for me. I am determined to erase my poor choices last weekend. Now that I'm back on the elliptical, I've upped my time up to a full hour. I think I'm going to start putting in a half our on the Wii Fit in the mornings as well. It's not much, but it's a great way to start the day and all those APs add up. Oh, speaking of, I've still got two days of workouts (plus a 5k Saturday morning for the KC Corporate Challenge) before weigh-in and I'm already at 39 activity points (that's 3900 calories burned for those of you who don't do WW). I am really riding the rush. I guess those indulgences gave me the kick in the ass I needed, huh? Here's to finishing out this week strong.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Standing Up

Thanks to all of you for your comments on my last post. I felt pretty defeated on that one. You're right, too. It became far too easy for me to see a couple days of poor food choices as more significant than a year of continued success and more than 100 pounds lost. Well... sorta.

So I had the pizza, I hit the bbq and had a brat, some chips, a burger, a brownie, a slice of cake and 3 beers. The following day, I just couldn't find the nerve to face the scale, so I skipped my meeting (I hate doing that) and tried to do damage control throughout the day. Evening came, friends arrived and we had a buffet of finger foods and booze. I planned out ahead of time with what I was going to sample and how much. That didn't happen. I ate way more than I'd planned on having and I even made queso, which was never in the plan but oh so delicious. Everything was. I also made baked mozzarella sticks (I'll try that one again; very reasonable recipe and only 1 point per stick), baked jalapeno poppers with light cream cheese and turkey sausage and the queso. One of the guests brought some ham salad sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches as well as a strawberry sorbet. Another brought jerk seasoned chicken strips that were to die for. We also had beer and vodka. I drank less than I could have, I smoked more than my girlfriend would have liked (to wit, at all), I didn't win at any of the games we played, but I had a great time. I think everyone did. We'll definitely be doing this more regularly in the future.

So after 36 hours of bad food choices, I woke up at early on Sunday morning. I jumped out of bed and faced the music on the Wii Fit. Traditionally, it has been very precise in terms of agreement with the Tanita scales at my WW meetings, so I've come to trust its readings. I hopped on and was a bit pained, but not overly surprised to see +5 pounds show up. I had gained enough to put me below the 100 lost mark I'd fought so hard to reach. Blech. I told myself to let it go and get back at it. I'm not quitting this. Not now, not ever. I redoubled my efforts right there starting with a nutritious breakfast followed shortly thereafter with an hour and a half on Wii Fit.

Now, in the past I've discounted the level of intensity one can achieve on this particular game, but I've also never really given the strength or yoga games a chance. I've pretty much always done the aerobics (which can work up a sweat somewhat) and the balance games (which for the most part cannot). Yesterday I did a circuit through all the strength training games. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling after that, especially the plank, which had me holding my weight on my forarms and toes while keeping my body rigid for 60 seconds. Great core workout. I still put in a good half hour on the less-than-intense balance games, but I got a pretty decent hour workout prior to that.

After that, I got myself cleaned up, had a modest lunch and headed to my first event in the KC Corporate Challenge, disc golf. Much like traditional golf, it's not an incredibly intense workout, but 2 hours of physical activity, regardless of how light, is nothing to sneeze at. We did pretty well, too, tying for 5th out of 22 in our division. Considering I have only played one time in the past 4 years, that's pretty respectable, and I think I'm going to pick the game back up. It's a lot of fun, a decent workout and I can see myself improving pretty quickly. I feel like I already throw better than I did when I played between 02 and 04.

Dinner was light, reasonable and tasty. Overall, yesterday was a great day to be a Weight Watcher. I stayed within mypoints, got in over 3 hours of activity and felt good about myself. I hopped on the Wii Fit this morning and it agreed, showing a 1.5 pound loss from the previous morning. I've still got some ground to cover to make up for the gains, but I'm back on my feet and I hit the ground running this time. It's good to be back.

Friday, May 1, 2009


down the slide that breaks the will. ♪♫

Hopped on the Wii Fit for a sneak preview of tomorrow's weigh-in. Saw +2.6. Got disappointed. Went into the lab, ready to put it behind me, buckle down and take what the scale has to say tomorrow. Lunch time came. Went into the kitchen to retrieve the stuffed pepper leftovers I had brought. The lab had ordered pizza from Godfather's in celebration of the KC Corporate Challenge, which kicks off today (there's a bbq tonight I'll be going to as well). I cave dand grabbed three slices. Finished those far too fast to enjoy. Went back for 2 more. And a cookie. And another cookie. Feel pretty disgusting right now. Still have a BBQ to face tonight. Have a get together planned for tomorrow night. Will be getting drunk. Might do so tonight as well. Don't even know if I'll go to weigh-in tomorrow morning. Going to get worse before it gets better.