Weight Loss Ticker

Monday, December 24, 2007

Week 47 Weigh-In

Last Week's Weight: 269.6 lbs.
Today's Weight: 268.6 lbs. (-1)
Total Lost: 111.4 lbs.

Fat Ratio: 26.4% (-0.2)
Lean Mass: 197.7 lbs. (-0.2)
Fat Mass: 70.9 lbs. (-0.8)
Waist: 50.25 inches (-0.25)

I have discovered that my resolve is slipping a little when it comes to making wise food choices. I can't wait until this next week is over. I have not gone overboard, but still ate a few treats just because they were there. I think I said it before. Will-power is overrated. It's better to place myself in situations where my will is not tested.

With that being said, I made Christmas cookies yesterday: Snickerdoodles, chocolate crinkles, peanut butter blossoms, and gingerbread. Starting off, I was pretty good. I didn't snitch any dough from my first batch. When I was placing them on the cooling rack, one cookie broke, so I ate a piece. It was awful! I forgot the sugar!!! I took the rest of the dough and added in half sugar, half splenda. These tasted better, but on the next batches I tasted the dough to make sure I hadn't forgotten some ingredient...well, that's my story and I am sticking to it.

For some reason, the cookies didn't turn out quite right this year. I am not sure if it was the splenda, or old baking powder and soda. I should have bought fresh. Oh well. The kids will have fun today decorating the gingerbread.

Exercise has been very good this last week. I cross country skied a few more times, and I hope to get out some more this week. I took my two oldest ice skating. I continue to run and lift weights. I don't know if this makes sense, but I feel my muscles. I have more awareness of them especially in my upper body and arms. I don't look like I feel. I look doughy, but I feel muscular. I am not quite sure why. Maybe it's just a natural result of less fat on the muscles.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance."--Samuel Johnson

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Week 46 Weigh-In

Last Week's Weight: 267.6 lbs.
Today's Weight: 269.6 lbs. (+2)
Total Lost: 110.4 lbs.

Fat Ratio: 26.6% (-0.3)
Lean Mass: 197.9 lbs. (+2.3)
Fat Mass: 71.7 lbs. (-0.3)
Waist: 50.5 inches (-0.0)

If I were certain about my fat ratio, I could say that my gain was water weight or something. Since I can't, I won't. It doesn't matter. I ate healthy. I exercised regularly. It's just a temporary dip. No reason to go crazy. But it still sucks!!!!

Saturday, I went cross country skiing. So, I achieved another one of my fitness goals. Woohoo! I hope to get back out again this week.

Note: Those aren't my toes. It's a stock photo. I wouldn't be caught dead with purple polish. I always use red! ;-)

"It is not work that kills men, it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more on a man than he can bear. But worry is rust upon the blade. It is not movement that destroys the machinery, but friction." -- Henry Ward Beecher

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Week 45 Weigh-In

Busy, busy, bee is me. Just a quick post to update.

Last Week's Weight: 270.2 lbs.
Today's Weight: 267.6 lbs. (-2.6)
Total Lost: 112.4 lbs.

Fat Ratio: 26.9% (-0.0)
Lean Mass: 195.6 lbs. (-1.9)
Fat Mass: 72 lbs. (-0.2)
Waist: 50.5 inches (-0.0)

The race was cold but went well except, my wife accidentally packed my lawn mowing shoes instead of my running shoes, lol. I finished the 8k race with a pace 10:36 which is 39 seconds faster than the last race so I was quite happy with that. My daughter finished the 5k race and did well. She was excited that she finished ahead of two 10 year old girls, a 9 year old boy, and seven adults. She was the youngest at 8 years old. In addition, they had about 20 massage tables set up and were giving free massages. Woohoo. That was nice. Our next race will be in April.

Since I reached the 10 lb. mark, here are my pictures.

"The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can." -- Robert Cushing

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Interview & Pre-Race

I had an interview for a position near my father's house yesterday. I did as well as I could. I have come away from interviews quite upset with how I did, but not this time. I did all I could. Now it's up to them to determine if I am the best person for the position. Unfortunately, I won't find out until some time after the first of the year.

Today, I have to go to my sister's house to meet with a contractor. My father owns her house which makes me the trustee. It's considered a rental property even though family lives in it, so the city requires an inspection every three years. This contractor will take care of the last bit of work which needs to be done. I have until the end of the month to complete the list he gave. Did I mention that the house is a 3 hour drive from mine. UGH!!!!

Anyhow, it's not too far from my father's house which is much closer to the race my daughter and I will run in tomorrow. So we are taking the kids out of school early today and heading down. All I have to say is that running in the winter is cold, cold, cold.

On the way back, we plan to stop in Frankenmuth and shop at Bronners which is an enormous store for Christmas decorations. The kids always love going through there. Hopefully, we will have time to get a stocking personalized for our baby. It's been a tradition with all our kids to get one there. I have to get to work at 5 PM tomorrow, so we are on a bit of a schedule.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Week 44 Weigh-In

Last Week's Weight: 274.6 lbs.
Today's Weight: 270.2 lbs. (-4.4)
Total Lost: 109.8 lbs.

Fat Ratio: 26.9% (-0.0)
Lean Mass: 197.5 lbs. (-3.2)
Fat Mass: 72.7 lbs. (-1.2)
Waist: 50.5 inches (-0.0)

Wow, I haven't lost that much in a week in a long time. I weigh every day. About Wednesday last week, I noticed that I had lost a lot, so I figured it would fluctuate back up by today. There was a little bit of fluctuation, but not much. I will take it, and hope that it doesn't pop back up this week. Interestingly, I did less cardio last week than I had been doing. I am not sure how that fits into this loss. I guess it just goes to show you that weight loss is a complex interaction between several systems in our body...

...hehe, that sounded almost like I knew what I was talking about rather than the truth that I just made that up on the spot.

Anyhow, this means that I am OBESE! Woohoo! When I started I was almost "Super-"obese, but was "Morbidly-"obese. Then I was "Severly-"obese. Now, I am just plain old obese with no qualifiers now that my BMI in under 35. My next BMI goal is to get under 30 which will just make me fat rather than obese. So here's to my next goal of becoming fat!

Concerning the exercise, this is my week to take a break from weight training. After every 6 weeks of weight training, I take a week off. This coming Saturday is our next race. I will be running the 8k portion and my daughter will run the 5k. The challenge of running in the winter and the snow had me worried. However, the city has cleared the new bike path off every time it has snowed. I am guessing they are doing that to keep the snowmobilers off rather than to provide a place for me to run, but I will take it anyhow. Still, I can't wait until the weather gets warmer (in about 5 months, Ugh!).

A quick update on the job front. A while back I posted about some of my father who has Alzheimer's Disease. I live about 3 hours away from my brother and sister, and my father's house. My father also owns the house my sister lives in. Guess who was left in charge of everything by my parents. I did of course even though I am the youngest of my dads five children.

So I have spent a lot of time traveling back and forth over the past 15 months. This has put a lot of strain on my family and my work. I was trying to find work in my field close enough to my dad's house that my family could move in there and dad could stay in his home. I had a prospect that didn't turn out, so I looked to changing my career.

For this I had a very promising lead that could be quite lucrative. I knew that the job was mine for the taking. I had gone through 2 interviews and was scheduled for the final interview. After much consideration, I just could not bring myself to leave my current profession. After 8+ years of schooling, internships, and 13 years working in the field, I just couldn't leave it to become a financial advisor. My heart just isn't in the financial field. It's one of those fields that if you work hard and put in the hours, the benefits are sure to follow. I realized that I just don't have the enthusiasm for that field of work. I would think differently if I didn't already have a job, but I do.

So, in the meantime, I have been traveling back and forth 2-4 times a month. My father has been moving back and forth between my house and my sisters. I finally talked my sister and brothers into letting me put him into an assisted living place near me. In fact, he moves in today. This should provide him some stability and give him much more to do than he has at my house.

However, I received a phone call on Saturday from the place that was my original prospect to work in my field near my father's house. I have an interview next week. I know that this place has narrowed the candidates down to 4 of which I am one. They are not on a speedy schedule so I don't expect to find out if I get the position until after the first of the year.

Just when I was settled with the idea of staying put, I am back to worrying about moving again. I hope this all works out and we get to move, but things will continue to be hectic until I know one way or the other.

"Don't waste your life in doubts and fears: spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it."--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Week 43 Weigh-In

Last Week's Weight: 276 lbs.
Today's Weight: 274.6 lbs. (-1.4)
Total Lost: 105.4 lbs.

Fat Ratio: 26.9% (-0.5)
Lean Mass: 200.7 lbs. (+0.3)
Fat Mass: 73.9 lbs. (-1.7)
Waist: 50.5 inches (-0.5)

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was nicely surprised this morning. Even though I ate too much on Turkey Day, it was all relative. A year ago, I could have eaten a lot more before I thought I ate too much. In addition, I so disliked that full feeling that went out for an hour walk in the cold off and on drizzle. I felt much better when I returned.

Mental Note: Don't even think about second until you move around and drink a glass of water.

Another nice thing happened. I earned my gold medal in the Presidential Champions program. I knew this was coming up. I was a little sad since I would have completed all the challenges. When I plugged in the numbers that put me over the top for gold, I was given a surprise. They offered another challenge. This one is the platinum award of which there was no mention anywhere on the website. Anyhow, the gold is earned when you reach 80k points. This took me about 5 months or so. The platinum award is earned when you reach 500k points. I figure this will take me another 26 months to earn. Wow, talk about a long term goal to work towards. I will do it.

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.: --Theodore Roosevelt

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Week 42 Weigh-In

Last Week's Weight: 278 lbs.
Today's Weight: 276 lbs. (-2.0)
Total Lost: 104 lbs.

Fat Ratio: 27.4% (-1.0)
Lean Mass: 200.4 lbs. (+0.5)
Fat Mass: 75.6 lbs. (-3.4)
Waist: 51 inches (-1.0)

Obviously, this was a good week weight-wise, but also fitness-wise. On Saturday, my daughter and I went for our regular run, except we went to the new bike trail which runs through a mostly residential area along our main highway. In other words, we weren't in rifle range of the deer hunters, lol.

Anyhow, I decided to run to the end of the bike path and back. That's a total of 6 miles. I was hoping to make it in 60 minutes, but no dice. I did make it 1:07:28 which roughly works out to and 11:15 pace. I ran the race with an 11:14 pace. However, I am sure I ran the race at a faster pace than I had been running, so I am thinking that my pace is improving. I will need to a fixed distance run more often to get a better idea of my pace.

Normally when running with my daughter, I run ahead a couple of blocks then run back to her and turn around again. Obviously, I would never be able to figure out my distance. On the bike path, she agreed to run for 30 minutes one way and then run back and I would meet her at the end. I bought her a stop watch, but she was goofing around with it when she was running and screwed the time up. Anyhow, it all worked out in the end, but we were unable to determine a pace for her. Not that it's all that important. I am just thrilled that she is continuing to run.

It's kinda of funny. I feel like we are developing a deeper bond with each other. We don't talk much while running since we aren't together. I do give her words of encouragement when I turn back to her. Perhaps, it's that we are sharing a common determination, will, struggle, pain, challenge, and mental struggle that is causing this bond. Maybe it's just the fact that we are doing something regularly together. Perhaps it's just me and she doesn't feel it. Anyhow, I am thankful for her and this special time we share.

Back to the good fitness week. Our local ice arena recently opened for the season. They only have open skating on Friday and Saturday nights. I took the 2 oldest skating. They didn't rent skates, but had used ones you could borrow. The oldest found one in her size, but my other daughter had to wear a pair that were 2 sizes too big. The poor girl ended up with some nasty blisters. I guess it's off to the thrift shop this week to find skates.

For kids learning to skate, they had walkers. I had never seen that before, but it's a great idea. I was dreading having to bend over holding my daughters up while they learned to skate. With the walkers, I could just skate around on my own. I can't wait to go next week.

"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." --Epictetus

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Date

Last night, my inlaws came to spend the night and babysit. My lovely wife and I went out on a date. First, we dined at Olive Garden where I could I have eaten better, but I could have eaten much worse. We enjoyed ourselves and my poor wife didn't need to run to the bathroom with one of the kids every 5 minute. She actually ate a hot meal!

Afterwards, we went the Blue Man Group concert. The show was fantastic. The band was phenomenal and the blue guys were a lot of fun. We arrived back home at 11:15 PM. I am normally asleep by 9:30 PM, so I was snoozing before my head hit the pillow. It was a very good evening. I wish we could do something like that more often. I am very thankful for my inlaws.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Week 41 Weigh-In

Last Week's Weight: 279.4 lbs.
Today's Weight: 278 lbs. (-1.4)
Total Lost: 102 lbs.

Fat Ratio: 28.4% (No change)
Lean Mass: 199 lbs. (-1.1)
Fat Mass: 79 lbs. (-0.3)
Waist: 52 inches (No change)

I am looking forward to a great week. I need to get more fresh fruits and veggies in. For some reason, it seems like as the weather gets colder, the less inclined I am to eat fresh produce. It's not intentional. I like fresh produce. I think that perhaps, I have programmed myself to focus more on heavy, starchy foods when it turns cold. I will need to be careful, intentional, and self-respecting.

Saturday, when my daughter and I went running, we decided to run in the woods. We have some nice trails around here. In the winter, they are groomed for cross country skiing. It was good and bad. There were lots of leaves on the paths. Some parts were grass covered. This made it difficult for me to keep up my pace because, I was afraid of stepping in a rut or a hole and twisting my ankle. Ever since I broke my ankle playing football in high school, I have had a tendency to sprain my ankle. The good part was there were lots of hills which is good training.

When we drove away from the trails, I realized that running in the woods was the dumbest place to choose this time of the year. It's hunting season. While it's only bow season, running in the woods is still none too bright. I guess it's back to city streets and bike paths for us.

"The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." - Socrates

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ten Pound Pictures

Every time I reach a ten pound mark I post my shirtless pictures in order to mark my progress. Since I went under 280, here are my next pictures.

All and all, I have been disappointed in these pictures. I expected to see a bigger difference by now. I guess I shouldn't expect to since I have so much yet to lose. I suspect that I won't see the big differences I am looking for until I get under 250.

I know, this is not all about ego and looks. I am in this for the fitness, first and foremost. I am proud of my accomplishments. But, I am human. I still want to look good. I want to be able to indulge in a little vanity. While I am not as huge as I was, I am still blubbery, fat, and disgusting to look at. This is definitely a motivation (as I hoped posting these pictures would be) to continue on this path of fitness I have chosen to follow.

I am not looking for sympathy, just journaling my thoughts.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

ADDENDUM: This morning I decided to try a size 44 pants. I thought they would be rather tight. Instead, they fit well. I can't wait to get under size 40, but this was a pleasant surprise.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Week 40 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 279.4 lbs. This is a 1.6 lb. loss from last week and a total of 100.6 lbs. lost. My fat ratio is 28.4% (-0.7) giving me a lean mass of 200.1 lbs. (+0.9) and fat mass of 79.3 lbs. (-2.5). My waist measures 52 inches (-0.5).

Today started out horrible. I woke up early to use the rest room. I started feeling sick and my stomach started cramping. I was in pain. I wanted to throw up, but didn't. I started sweating profusely. Eventually, the pain subsided, so I laid down for a little while. Soon, I was feeling better. My stomach still doesn't feel right, but I am doing okay. Although, I am not sure what that whole episode was about. We did eat out last night, so I wonder if it was a touch of food poisoning. Anyhow, I hope it does return.

Of course, the scales numbers helped me feel much better too. After I weighed, my daughter and I hit the pavement. We took a week off since the race, so today was are first day back at it. Because of the time change, we weren't running in the dark for very long. I felt pretty good running this morning. I really missed it last week. The race really inspired me to keep running. We are planning in entering another race in December (Brrr!).

As far as running goes, I picked up a couple of books by Galloway. His approach seems similar to the Beginning Runner's Handbook method. Of course, I have just begun reading these books. We started employing some if his ideas this morning.

Coincidentally, I saw a man interviewed on TV who has lost 100 lbs. and finished the New York Marathon. It took him 2 year to lose 100 lbs. Now he ran a marathon. What an inspiration.

Having just past the 100 lb. mark myself, I have no plans to run a marathon, but the idea is intriguing. I think I will wait until I have had at least a year of running experience before I think about entering a marathon. There are some triathlon and biathlon events in the summer. I might sign up for a biathlon if I can find a decent road bike at a decent price. I don't think I will look at the tri's because I don't have much experience on the swimming end.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tricking the Treats

This Halloween was quite different from past Halloweens. In the past, we would buy a couple of the huge bags of candy sold by Sam's Club. Of course, we would choose the ones that had the candy we liked. I would hold off for a day or two before I would break into one. At first, I would have one or two a day. Soon, I would be grabbing hand fulls. My wife helped out too. We hoped that there would still be some left to hand out. Sometimes, we would buy an extra regular sized bag, just in case. Of course, we always overestimated how many little darlings would come begging, so we would have a bunch left over.

I am gagging, just thinking about it. It's a wonder that I never came down with diabetes (and yes, I have been tested).

This year, I bought one of the huge bags of candy from Sam's Club. However, I bought some nasty gummy candy. Half the bag went to the school where my kids attend. It's a small private school with about 60 kids preschool-8th grade. All the kids bring in enough for everyone in the school. Someone then takes all the candy and makes a bag for each student. The rest we handed out. Although, there was still some left over.

So buying the candy I wouldn't eat even if you paid me to was half the battle. The kids came home with a huge loot of candy. My wife took the opportunity to "inspect" the candy after the kids went to bed. I have no idea how much she "inspected," but I had no part of it.

Before, I took the kids out for some of the festivities, I made sure I had a filling snack and lots of water. In fact, I felt a little too full. I made sure I ate lots of salad at dinner and drank lots of water. When I took the kids door to door, some of the adults wanted to give me candy too (What is up with that?). I graciously refused.

So I filled up on nutritious food. I avoided many of the pitfalls. Yet, there was a tingling in my forearms as I thought about eating some chocolate. Certainly, one of my little ones would have gladly shared a bite sized Snickers or peanut butter cup. When the kids poured out their candy on the dining room table, there were mounds chocolate yummies.

I thought to myself, "You could eat one. It won't hurt you. A little treat is fine." All that of course is the right circumstances. I realized this was not the right circumstance. I was like a shark who smelled blood. If I had one, I knew I would go into a frenzy.

Instead, I went to the store and bought some sugar free cocoa. I made a nice hot cup of cocoa and slowly sipped it. It was extra calories I would not normally have. It was after the time I normally eat. I am glad I did it. It satisfied that chocolate craving I was feeling. It made me feel full. Most of all, I took pride in not giving in to smell of blood. I showed that I respected myself.

That's how I dealt with a couple of hours Wednesday night. Since then, my wife has hidden the candy, not for my sake but so that the kids wouldn't have unlimited access to it. I am not sure how much candy she continues to "inspect," and I don't ask. I am afraid if I think about it too much, I might get sucked into the "inspection" thing. Then I will turn into a shark.

Anyhow, that's how I tricked myself to avoid the treats.

It does bring a question to mind. Why do I feel a tingling sensation in my arms when I get around the smell of chocolate? Is it a mental reaction? Is there something in the smell? It's kinda of weird. I don't recall having this reaction to any other kind of food. I wonder if there is something about chocolate. Do any of you have a physical reaction to the smell of chocolate?

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Week 39 Weigh-In & Race Update

This morning I weighed 281 lbs. which is a loss of 0.6 lbs. for a total of 99 lbs. in 9 months. My fat ratio remained at 29.1% giving me a lean mass of 199.2 lbs (-0.5) and a fat mass of 81.8 lbs. (-0.1). My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

Now for the race:

First of all, this race turned out to be expensive. Not only was the entry fee higher than many races, but since it was on Mackinac Island, there was an expensive boat ride. Also, we signed up for the dinner afterwards which was not as good as it cost. So, between 2 entry fees, 3 ferry tickets, and 3 dinners, it cost about $150, not including the gas to drive the 2.5 hours there and 2.5 hours back. Thankfully, my in-laws watched the other kids.

The weekend before the race was beautiful, sunny, and unseasonably warm. The weather forecast for the race day was 40% chance of rain and a high of 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8.3 Celsius). Driving there, it rained off and on. It rained on the ferry ride. It was drizzling when we got off the ferry.

This is a picture of the island from the ferry on our way out. You can see the clouds started to break up and there is sun. Go figure!

Mackinac Island is an historic island in Michigan. There are no motorized vehicles on the island except a fire truck and an ambulance. You must either walk, ride a bike, ride a horse, or ride in a horse drawn vehicle. When we got off the ferry, there was a horse drawn vehicle with a sign that read public transportation. It was headed to the where the race begins. So, we got on with a bunch of other people. Then the driver turned around and said, "Every needs to pay $4.50 per person. I will not leave until everyone pays." So we hopped off and walked the mile to the hotel in the rain.

My Daughter and I before the race.

When we got found where the registration was, there was a big wall with every one's name followed by a number. We gave that number to the people at the registration desk and they gave us an envelope and a race shirt. The envelope had our race number which we pinned on and a tracking device which we put on our shoes.

The tracking device is pretty cool. It's not gps or anything. When you cross the starting line, the computer starts tracking your personal time. When you cross the finish line, it records your time. In other words, it doesn't matter how long after the race starts that you cross the starting line, your time is tracked from when you cross the line. My wife said that there were people who waited five minutes before they started.

Anyhow, it was cold and rainy. We were miserable. However, the rain had let up by the time we started.

And we are off!

The road we started on was a nice flat, level path. About 50 yards (45.7 meters) after the start, the road turned. At the turn, I was surprised by a steep incline. which after a while veered off the to the left. Then there was a turn to the right, and the steep incline continued. Then there was another turn to the left where the incline decreased...a little. After a while, it finally leveled out.

After that first second turn to find more steep incline, I was scared. I was afraid that half the race was going to be uphill. I was already winded, and I wasn't sure I could last. I was afraid that even if it has leveled out that I had used up so much energy just running up the hills, I wouldn't last. I was also afraid that my 8 year old daughter would get discouraged right away. She was somewhere behind me, but I couldn't go back to see how she was doing.

I kept plugging away, and hoped that my daughter was too. Once we got past those initial hills, we were in the woods. It was much warmer in the woods. In fact, I started to wonder if I overdressed. Anyhow, I picked my pace and just kept going. I was surprised to see that some of the runners just walked up the hills in the woods. I kept running, hoping I would not wear out too soon.

Back in the woods, there some downhill stretches as well. I just let my weight, momentum and legs take me quickly down those.

It was interesting running with all those other people. I was tempted to run to try to pass up people who passed me, but I would have worn my self out too soon doing that. I was surprised to pass people that looked to be in much better shape than me. I even passed up another fat guy, though he was not as big as me.

Still, I was worried that I picked too quick of a pace. I wanted to finish the 5.7 mile race in an hour. I would need to run about 10.5 minute miles to do that. The first mile was over 11 minutes. I thought I would be faster the second mile since that huge incline at the start slowed me down. But I was still over 11 minutes by the second mile.

This is a picture of the downtown area of the island. I took this on our way out. It figures that the sun came out after the race. lol

When we were running through the woods, we were on a paved bike path. However, there was a point just before the third mile, the race turned onto an unpaved path. Now, I had to contend with mud and puddles. I made it through, but I kept worrying about my daughter. I hoped that she wasn't discouraged or all worn out.

At the end of the muddy path, we turned on the road that went around the island. This road was exposed. The wind was blowing and the rain was drizzling down. Thankfully, the wind was at our backs. The people who ran the half-marathon had to run into the wind for a good 1/3 of their run.

Once, I was out on the flat road, I knew I had to pick up my pace if I were going to finish in under an hour. So, I started to go a little faster and see how I felt by the 4 mile mark. By the time I hit that mark, I saw that I would need to go even faster to make it in under and hour. So I picked up the pace a little more.

My heart rate monitor showed that my heart rate was pretty high. I started to worry that I would have a heart attack. I was mad. I couldn't blow all this training by having a heart attack. I thought maybe I should slow down. Then, reason returned. I thought about all that I had done over the past 9 months, and the running I had done for the last 13 weeks, and said that my heart could take it. I have built up its strength and endurance. So, I told myself, I would see how I felt by the 5 mile mark.

When I hit the five mile mark, I realized that there was no way I would finish in an hour, so I quit!

...Hah! Just kidding. I didn't quit. I picked up the pace anyhow. I wanted to finish as close to and hour as I could. I even passed a few people who had passed me earlier. That reminds me. Somewhere after the four mile mark, a walker passed me. She was a power walker. The difference between her walking and running is a fine line. I expected to be passed by a few power walkers. Thankfully, it was only one.

I am coming to the finish line and pass that guy before I cross. Hah!

That last 0.7 miles, I kicked it up. When I saw the finish line, I poured everything I had left in me as if I were battling for first place. When I crossed the finish line, I had tears in my eyes. I am not sure why I cried and became so emotional. I certainly wasn't sad. They weren't tears of joy either. I think I was profoundly moved by what I had just done. I guess I didn't realize how much this race meant to me until that moment.

In the last 9 months, I have lost a lot of weight. I have fit into smaller and smaller clothes. I have enjoyed compliments about how I look. I have been able to physically do things, I had not been able to do for awhile. None of it even comes close to how I felt when I crossed that finish line. I am getting choked up now as I write about it. I am not sure why this had such a profound affect on me, but it has. Without a doubt, I will be in more races.

After finishing, all I wanted to do was bask in my accomplishment, but I still had a 8 year old girl on my mind. So I headed back down the road. This time, I was going into the wind. It was miserable. I had no idea how far back my daughter was, or if she was even still running, or what. My heart leapt when I turned a corner and saw her running. It was somewhere between 4 and 5 miles. She was doing it. She kept going. I started to cheer for her. She looked up and smiled.

When I saw that smile, a pride welled up inside me like I had never felt before. All my fears and worries dissipated as she kept plugging away. I fell in beside her and ran with her the rest of her way to the finish. When she passed the five mile mark, she said, "I can't believe I have actually run five miles. If I ran five, I can run the rest." I told her, "I know you can. You are stronger than you think you are."

That a mantra I had her say when we trained. When we were getting toward the end of our running sessions, I would tell to say out loud, "I am stronger than I think I am!" It would have her repeat it louder and louder. Then I would cheer. Now, I saw that she was stronger than I thought she was and I couldn't have been prouder.

When she saw the finish line, she put on the gas and sprinted across it. She is a champion. I am not sure, but I think she might have been the youngest runner there. Regardless, there are not many 8 year olds that can say they did what she did.

Here is my daugher coming to the finish line. They guy behind her is a half-marathoner. The finish for both races were at the same place though the trails were different. She is AWESOME!

After the race, we went to were they posted the results. My finishing time was 1:03:58 with a pace of 11:14. I missed my goal by 4 minutes. However, I did reach my other 2 goals: To finish the race and not to come in last. I came in 18th in my age group (35-39) of which there were at least 20. I came in 289th overall of which there were at least 380. The final stats haven't been posted yet. We don't know my daughter's official time yet, but I think it was around 1:40:00.

This post is way too long already so I will end it here with our running mantra:

"You are stronger than you think you are!"

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

UPDATE: The final results are in. There were 398 finishers and 21 in my age group. My daughter's time was 1:41:37 and she was 397th overall. Hah! She didn't finish last either!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Week 38 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 281.6 lbs. This is a 3 lb. loss from last week and a total of 98.4 lbs. lost. My fat ratio remains at 29.1% giving me a lean mass of 199.7 lbs. (-2.1) and a fat mass of 81.9 lbs. (-0.9). My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

I am cautiously happy about this weeks loss. While I didn't get under 280, 3 lbs. is excellent. On the other hand, if my fat ratio is accurate (of which I have always doubted) then my most of that loss was not fat. All and all, I am expecting to lose lean mass as I lose fat. It only makes sense. If there is less fat then there must be less other materials (like water) to support that fat. Anyhow, I will enjoy the loss and keep my eye on the stats.

Five days until the big race. I am getting nervous and excited, but not so much for myself. My 8 year old daughter has been training for this race along with me. I am so proud of her. She has been plugging along for 3 months preparing for this race. I thought she would quit long ago, but she proved me wrong. However, the furthest she has run in all our training is 3 miles and the race is 5.7 miles. It will prabably take her at least 1.5 hours to finish the race. So, I am a bit nervous for her, but I bet she will prove me wrong yet again. After all, what are kids for if not make their parents look foolish.

I probably will not be posting again until after the race. I hope to have some pictures as well.

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." Thomas Jefferson

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Three Quaters Man!!!!! Half-Way There!

Today, I weighed 284.6 lbs. which is a 1.4 lb. loss for the week and a total of 95.4 lbs. I have lost a quarter of my weight, and I am now half-way to my goal. My fat ratio is 29.1% (-0.3) giving me a lean mass of 201.8 lbs (-0.2) and a fat mass of 82.8 lbs. (-1.2). My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

I was shocked and frustrated by the scale this morning. While on our mini-vacation last week, I made a lot of unhealthy food choices. I did no cardio besides the regular running routine. I thought for sure, I would show a gain on the scale. Of course, it might not show up until next week. None the less, it was a nice surprise to see the loss. Then I thought, imagine what it could have been if I hadn't eaten those donuts at the cider mill or ordered the moussaka (sp?) at the Greek restaurant or etc... Anyhow, I am redoubling my efforts this week.

It is now 12 days until race day. I was hoping to get into the 270's by race day. It may still happen, but probably not by my next official weigh-in.

"You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind." -- Author Unknown

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Week 36 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 286 lbs. which is a loss of 2.4 lbs. from last week and a total of 94 lbs. My fat ratio remained at 29.4% giving me lean mass of 202 lbs. (-1.6) and a fat mass of 84 lbs. (-0.8). My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

I don't have much to report. The kids have Wed.-Fri off of school so I am taking a few days off work so we can go down and work on my dad's house. My back seemed to be just about fully healed until my run on Saturday. When I began my post run stretching, the pain in back returned. I don't recall doing anything in particular that agitated it. I ran this morning despite the pain. All I can do is be careful.

I hope every is having a terrific week.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." Aristotle

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Week 35 Weigh-In

I goose egged it this morning weighing in at 288.4 lbs. My fat ratio is at 29.4% (-0.2). My lean mass is 203.6 lbs. (+0.4) and my fat mass is 84.8 lbs. (-0.6). The fat ratio numbers are in comparison from 2 weeks ago. My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

Considering I did very little exercise last week on account of my back along with sitting and laying around a lot more, I am not surprised about this week. My back is feeling better, but it's not 100% yet. I started running again. I plan to start my weight training back up today.

I think I was in such a foul mood last week because I wasn't exercising. I think I was used to the endorphins exercise produces and when I went a few days without that, I was not able to cope as well with the other crap going on in my life. Now that I am back at it, I am feeling better.

I finally purchased the power blocks I wanted for years. I hurt my back before I could use them. So they have been sitting unused for over a week now. I am itching to break them in. That will come this afternoon.

Also, I recently purchased a stability ball and a bosu. I think these along with the weights will add a lot of variety to my fitness routines. I am confident that the balance and stability I will gain will improve my running and biking as well.

I am not a gym rat, nor do I have time to be one. I consider that having a home gym to be an important investment in my future and the future of my family. Now, I just need to be careful so that I don't injure my back again.

"Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage: it can be delightful" -- George Bernard Shaw

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Week 34 Weigh-In

I weighed 288.4 lbs. this morning which is a loss of 0.2 lbs. for a total of 91.6 lbs. I didn't take any other measurements this morning because I hurt my back yesterday. I went for a bike ride. About 7 miles from home I stopped and bent over to adjust a strap on my pedal. When I straightened up, I was in great pain. I had to bike that way back home. I am in pain and very, very frustrated about what I cannot do until my back gets better. It even hurts to sit here and type. I don't want to take a chance twisting around to take measurements.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gross Pictures, but Progress

I always intended to post pictures after each 10 lb. loss. I think I have missed a couple. Anyhow, since I dipped below 290, I put these together with the ones I took near the beginning of my journey.

Doh! I see I time traveled and put tommorows date on the picture, lol.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Week 33 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 288.6 lbs. This is a 2.8 lb. loss this week for a total of 91.4 lbs. lost. My Fat ratio is 29.6%. I measured wrong last week, so this is up from last week. Last week's should have been 29.6% as well. With this percent, I have 203.2 lbs. of lean mass and 85.4 lbs. of fat mass. My waist remain 52.5 inches.

Getting below 290 is a big deal for me. This means that I have less than 100 pounds to go.The ticker at the top finally is counting in double digits instead of triple digits. Also, I have a few milestones coming up soon. When I hit 285, that will mark the half-way point as far a weight loss goes. Then at 280, I will have lost 100 lbs. Then at 272 I will reach the point of obesity without qualifiers. 45+ super obese, 40-45 morbidly obese, 35-40 severely obese, 30-35 obese, 25-30 over weight, 20-25 healthy.

The weight loss is a significant factor in my fitness. It is encouraging to see the weight go. However, it is one component in my overall journey of fitness. My fitness through exercise is a huge component in this journey. I am six weeks away from running in a race. I am certain that I will be the fattest guy there running, but I don't care. I still want to do it. This has been great motivation to keep going on my running program.

Another motivation has been the president's fitness challenge. In fact, I just earned a silver medal in the president's champions category. I will earn the gold by the year's end or shortly thereafter.

Thoughts are mightier than strength of hand -- Sophocles

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Cactus Freak wrote: "What is your secret to continual motivation?"

I wish I could say I found some secret, some magic technique, that something that eludes most people. I cannot. Heck, I am still severely obese. So who I am to say anything?

However, the question has prompted me to go into some introspection. For whatever it's worth, this is my thinking at this point in my journey.

First of all, I have many motivations for living a fit lifestyle. I have listed those before here. The kicker is that all those motivations were there when I was eating horrible and sitting on my rump all day. They are truly motivations, but they didn't get me started. I like to think they keep me going now that I have started, but I am not sure.

Some times, my wife says that I have a lot of will power. I am not so sure that I do. Instead of using will power, I try to avoid those situation in which I need will power.

For me, it has been a mind game. I had wanted to get back to living a fit lifestyle for a long time. I was waiting for that magic moment when I would feel a strong sense of motivation, but it never came...and it never came...and it still never came. I told myself to just start. Just do it (sorry Nike). At least, I needed to go through the motions. I knew that if I didn't start, something terrible would happen. Much of the stresses I have now, I had then. With my morbid obesity, stress, and lack of exercise, I knew that I was headed for a nervous breakdown at the least.

So I started. Actually, my wife and both started the South Beach Diet. We became extremely moody and irritable, so about 12 days into it, we quit. That is when I started my own program which I had gleaned from various health and nutrition experts. One of my first mind games was tell myself that I wasn't doing this to lose weight, but to get fit. I was going to change my lifestyle forever. My goal can never be reached until I am six foot under because it is a life long goal. My goal is to live fit.

However, this is an ongoing mind game. I love the weight loss. I like to think about how many pounds I have lost. I like to think about how great it will be to reach this weight or that. I have to keep reminding myself that as great as the weight loss is, that is only a side effect of my main goal, living fit.

Along these lines, I do remind myself that living fit is my #1 job. When I live fit I make everything else that is important to me that much more important. When I live unhealthy, I treat all that is important to me like crap. Why? Because I am sacrificing them for pizza and donuts. I can't show how important my wife and kids are to me by eating myself into an early grave.

Another mind game I play is to keep myself from feeling hungry. I eat all day long until about 7 PM. But I eat small meals with healthy snacks in between. I try to never feel ravenous in my hunger. I try to eat slow as well so that my brain get the message before I eat too much.

I am not sure if this is medically possible, but I feel like my stomach capacity has shrunk. I feel full on less food. I think part of this has to do with another mind game. Before this journey, I would eat to get full...I mean stuffed. I could pack away a lot of food. I could pack away enough to make most people sick just thinking about it. Instead of eating to get full, I now try to eat so that I don't feel empty...and no more. Consequently, I find myself unable to finish meals when eating out. I can eat a bowl of soup for dinner and feel satisfied.

One of the greatest mind games is self-respect. This is especially helpful at buffets, family get-togethers, and potlucks. I imagine what I would think if I saw someone who looked like me filling their plate at those things. Did I want to fit the stereotype of a fat slob who had no self-respect? No! In fact, people were looking at what I was eating. They were thinking the things I would have thought. I told myself I needed to eat like someone who respected himself. I still wanted to fill my plate with mash potatoes and gravy and then get a dinner plate filled with deserts. Instead, I limit myself to one plate with nothing touching on the plate and one desert cut in half. I don't always follow through how I should, but I try not to let that get me down either.

Along these lines, if I am going to be out of town, on the road, or on vacation, I plan. I think about what I need to do in order to eat the way I want to eat. Even if I need to adjust my routine, I find I can still eat healthy and get some exercise if I just plan ahead.

One last mind game for the road is what is referred to as falling off the wagon. Since this is my lifestyle and not temporary program, there is not wagon for me to fall off. Part of living a fit lifestyle is accepting that there will be times when I will eat something that is not healthy. There will be times that I will blow off exercising for one reason or another. It's just part of life. But I haven't blown anything. I can't dwell on the past or give up the future. I can live fit right now. If I can learn something from when I have made unhealthy choices then I am the better for it. There is no learning without making mistakes.

So I play a lot of mind games. I am to the point where I don't need to think about these mind games all the time. Most of the time, they come naturally, but not always. I must resolve to live fit with all the mind games that come with it. This is simply the way I live now until the day I die. So I guess if I have a secret, it is to play the mind games. At least that is what has helped me to get to where I am at now. But since this is a lifelong journey who knows what I will say in six months.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Week 32 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 291.4 lbs. which is a respectable 4 lb. loss from last week. Hopefully, I will break the 290's next week. My body fat is 28.25% which is down 2.65% from 3 weeks ago. This gives me a lean mass of 209.1 lbs. which is up 6.6 lbs. and a fat mass of 82.3 lbs. which is a loss of 8.2 lbs. (from 3 weeks ago). My waist is 52.5 inches which is down 1 inch also from 3 weeks ago.

All in all, it was a good week fitness-wise. My new weight lifting routine is going well. Cardio slowed down this last week for various reasons, but I still did it 6 days last week even if some days were only for a half hour. I am continue to train for the 5.7 mile race on October 27th via the Beginning Runner's Handbook method. My daughter is still training with me. I am really pleased that she is sticking with it after 6 weeks.

Endurance is the crowning quality,
And patience all the passion of great hearts. -- James Russel Lowell

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!