Category Archives: Exercise

When You Can’t Punch Faster, Punch Harder

Last weekend I tried to get to TITLE Boxing in Salem on Saturday but woke up with a HUGE headache and stomach cramps. I really didn’t want to use this as an excuse so I tried to get feeling better prior to it and that didn’t quite work. But I didn’t let that discourage me. I went in on Sunday.

I arrived a half hour early for a tour and to sign some paperwork. I had to buy some wrist wraps for $10 which they helped me get into and some loaner gloves (ew). Everyone seemed pretty friendly. They showed me the basic moves they call out (jab, cross, front/back hooks, front/back uppercuts, front/back slips).

I warmed up as much as I was comfortable warming up, trying to get some heat into my shoulders and elbows. They told me not to go to crazy during the 15 minute cardio session and that was an excellent suggestion. I paced myself as much as I could so I could handle the actual 8 3-minute “rounds”. The cardio is a combination of things like jumping jacks, frog jumps, toe taps on the bottom of the bag and general punching combinations.

I started off the rounds pretty strong. In the past I’ve done boxing and kickboxing classes and I always gas out because I go too hard to start, so I reminded myself that I got 8 more rounds to go and I’m not trying to score a knockout blow… on a heavy bag.

So around the end of the first round, my plantar fasciitis roared back into life… I pushed through and eventually it went away before the 6th round. I know how to handle this next time… stretch out my feet. I was still gassing out around the 3rd or 4th round, so I tried to focus more on form then speed. 

At one point they have you do like a barrage of punches. That was great. That reminded me why I like boxing. Just drilling the body of the bag with big giant hooks until the end of the round. I also found that it was good to slow down and really count out my combinations correctly. When I did this before we would number them. 1 was a front jab, 2 was a cross, 3 was a front hook, 4 was a back hook, 5 was a front upper, 6 was a rear upper. So I tried to slow my pace down to count out my combos which helped a lot as they got more complex. I also was slowing down my pace a bit and hitting harder instead of faster.

By round 6 I caught a surprise second wind! There’s a cooldown between rounds that are about 30 seconds or so. They have you do stretches during this and then you have about 15 seconds to get some water. I brought a water bottle (which I left there…) but you have to basically remove your glove every time as the thumb is secured to the glove. I’ll bring a straw bottle next time. 

The cool down is… a lot of sit ups. By then I was dead. I couldn’t even do 1 GOOD sit up… this is definitely a full body workout. I got through the whole thing without dying and it felt great.

They keep a score table and I did pretty good for my first time. Just under 100k points. That was mid-pack. The top folks were in the 150k area and the lower folks were in the 50-70k area. I’ll have to ask how the scores are tallied.

The day after I experienced some wrist pain from a glancing blow that rolled my wrist and general soreness all over. My shoulders were murdered though. 

There was some concerns I had about the price though. It’s expensive. In fact, most of them are very expensive I found out later. This is actually a bit of a deal if you pay in full for the year. I need to send them an email about some of the prices they quoted because they don’t always make sense… like why would there be a down payment on a paid in full membership?

I hope this works out as I really enjoyed going and really wanted to go back. That’s more than I can say for previous efforts to workout in my life. Also, lets be honest, it feels good to punch the shit out of things for an hour.

Oh, 289lbs as of 2/15/19

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In Which I Discuss Self Control and Taco Bell.

So over the past 10 days (since the 3rd) have been an interesting display of self control that I really hope I can keep going. I’ve attended a kid’s birthday party where there were plenty of choices that wouldn’t have been healthy (Pizza, donuts, etc…) but I never felt even the need to pine over them. I went to my doctor because I have bronchitis and a sinus infection, but despite that I didn’t let the stress of the situation lead me to the Taco Bell next door. That’s a huge win… my discussion with myself went something a little like this: “Probably not a good idea to go eat Taco Bell…” “Yeah, you’re right.” So, that was an easy discussion… with myself

We’re almost there… just a few more years.

Speaking of Taco Bell… I watched Demolition Man recently and it occurred to me how much they nailed bits and pieces of the future. Hell, Taco Bell actually changed their logo based on the movie… We’ve got tablets, self driving electric cars, personal biometric security devices on our things, personal video teleconferencing… an ever increasingly angry Denis Leary who just wants a steak and a cigarette and not your opinions… But out of all of that, I learned that Taco Bell has an official apparel store. I don’t know why this surprised me, but it did. I don’t have any Taco Bell apparel and now I’d feel like a hypocrite. That’s probably enough about Taco Bell for today…

Taco Bell Logo from 1984-1993 (left) Taco Bell Logo from Demolition Man (1993, but 2032)
Source with 1994-2018 logo and the NEW 2019 logo

Other fun little self-control situations I conquered were getting black coffee without sugar and dairy when I went out. Not eating the bread that came with the few salads I ordered over the week was probably the closest I got to losing a discussion in favor of health with myself. Eventually I sabotaged the bread by dumping trash on it… and then tossing it in the trash. Once it was gone I felt like “Why was that one so hard?” Either way, I didn’t beat myself up over it and I let my trash bread go off into the ether.

Why is that though? Why can I start off so gung ho and let it lapse over time? How does my stress actively whittle away at that. Was there something specific that happened that day that had me almost make a bad decision? I don’t recall. I’ll have to watch for that.

I mentioned that I was sick… well am sick. I get bronchitis and sinus infections pretty much annually for 1-4 weeks. It sucks. It’s also taken a little of the wind out of my sails when it comes to exercise. I’ve walked a few days (one that ended with a pulled calf muscle… because of course it did). I’m really trying to not let this put me off my goals… so lets do a little goal check-in

I haven’t invited anyone over, but I have gone out socially a few times. The house is reasonably picked up and I could tidy it shortly for guests, so that second part of that goal is also in play.
I’ve done my cooking pretty solidly. We’ve had a few take out orders, but nothing crazy (mostly salads). I’ve actually rang out a few meals that were pretty decent and didn’t make me crazy trying to make them.
I’ve played games with friends when they’re available.
I haven’t started on my exercise routine, but I did send a feeler out to TITLE Boxing in Salem to see what the next steps are for some free classes.
It’s too cold and I’m too sick to be cycling, but I did buy a bike cover for my bike so I can keep it outside when I’m not riding it. That’s better than keeping it in the basement.
I’m journaling… obv.
I haven’t lost any weight so to speak. I’m hovering around 290, +/- 2lbs. I need to watch my snacking I think.

Overall, a pretty successful week and a half in terms of my mental health, now I just need to get better and get out to some places to see what exercise routines will work with my schedule and my energy and passion.

The 300 Club

Hey, it’s January 1st. You know what that means!? THAT’S RIGHT! NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!

maxresdefault

So, this one hurts a bit. I’m not quite 300lbs, but I’m nearly there. Here’s some things I learned over the past few months:

  1. The Bacon Smokehouse Signature Burger from McDonald’s is fucking delicious… no joke. It’s actually really tasty.
  2. Cheez-Its make me sick now.
  3. I can’t eat as MUCH as I used to
  4. I’m VERY weak. I have had a lot of trouble doing what I would consider basic movement and exercise. I couldn’t even start a fight much less end one.
  5. I’m still a sugar addict.
  6. Stress is a mind killer. When I get stressed out, I don’t give myself the room to discuss making mistakes with myself before I make them, I just jump right in.
  7. Negative self-reinforcement doesn’t work in the long run. I can’t beat myself up mentally and expect to get and feel better.
  8. Alcohol is no longer a vice. I feel comfortable cutting myself off at 2 drinks and only drinking something that I know I will like. I hate feeling drunk now.
  9. I’m getting better at cooking.

I started a new sheet on my weight loss chart. I can’t consider my goals going forward correctly looking at my old chart. 37 is a lot different than 31. Losing weight now is going to be a lot harder. But, for data tracking sake, here’s what it’s looked like since I started the blog until today

weightchart

A fast loss over the course of about a year followed by a slow, methodical crawl back up over 6 years. Let’s zoom in on the good chart:

GOODweightchart

As much as I’d like to reproduce this again this year, it is not my goal to shed tons of weight in a short time. It starts with setting goals for myself. So here are my goals. They’re not all weight related, but they are health related:

  • Invite someone over or go out socially once a week.
  • Plan, Prep and Cook 4-5 dinners a week
  • Play games 1-2 times a week with friends
  • Find a exercise routine by end of winter
  • Start riding bike 3-4 times a week for commute
  • Journaling at least once a week.
  • 250 by my birthday (July 24)

Let’s break those down into what they mean.

Invite someone over or go out socially once a week. So this one is simple, but has two things to it: inviting someone over means keeping my house clean. That means finding a cleaning regimen that keeps the downstairs picked up enough and tidy enough that I can have someone over and only need to spend 30 minutes tidying vs 6 hours cleaning.
The second part is that I feel better when I’m social with folks. My depression lifts away a lot better when I’m around people. That said, I need to make sure the social bit of this stays ahead of the cleaning thing. I can’t simply NOT be social BECAUSE the house isn’t picked up. I can’t use that as an excuse for staying home all the time. But, going out can lead to pitfalls. Drinking, eating off plan, etc… are a big concern, but I can’t let them be. I just need to go out and have fun with friends. I should be honest with my friends and let them know that I won’t be drinking heavily (if at all) and I won’t be eating like a savage anymore. I also invite my friends to question my choices. I’m definitely going to need some help here from the crowd to get back where I need to be. So, no peer pressure to drink and eat and feel free to make me THINK about my decisions.

Plan, Prep and Cook 4-5 dinners a week. Eating in means eating healthy for the most part. It also helps me save money. I’ve got all the tools (RealPlans, Grocery Delivery, etc…) I need to be able to do this… so do it.

Play games 1-2 times a week with friends. This obviously ties in with the above item. But sometimes I need some me-time and I like playing video games (or even starting a D&D group or something) to unwind. I need to stop being a hermit and play video games WITH my friends instead of alone. Again, depression battling being the major push for this goal.

Feel free to add me on whatever game service you have that I have:

  • Xbox Live GamerTag – Chapel976
  • Blizzard – Chapel976#1146
  • Steam – Chapel976
  • probably a bunch more, just hit me up and let me know what you’re playing, but most of my stuff is under Chapel976

Find a exercise routine by end of winter. So, this one is more of a ‘take advantage of the free trial days at as many places you find interesting and come to a decision before the end of winter’. I’m thinking of looking at a few boxing places nearby to see which one fits best with me. Ideally, I’d like to have this sorted out before end of February.

Start riding bike 3-4 times a week for commute. This is more of a post-winter goal. This one should be easy. Bike just needs a minor storage tune up. This will save me time and money. My big ass truck doesn’t get good mileage on short trips and parking isn’t free.

Journaling at least once a week. I need to keep up on this one for myself. I may do some of my journaling here and some privately. I need to keep my brain unloaded with the stresses of life and be honest with myself and sometimes with my peers and friends. If I’ve gone 12 days without making a post, hit me up on facebook and remind me. I need to really keep up on this one and have it help me focus on my goals.

250 by my birthday (July 24). 250lbs is 46lbs away. July 24 is almost 8 months away. In my other recent post I can do this because I have done this I said that this is doable because I’ve done it before. 76lbs in 6 months. So, why the lower goal? Why not push for 70 in 7? Because I’m older and this is going to be harder. If I get there earlier, great. But I need to start setting up the building blocks now and that’s why this is the last goal I have set right now.

And the last goal that I haven’t mentioned is basically KEEP IT UP. I need to be honest with my therapist, with my journaling, with my family and friends and I need to keep pushing myself. I need to keep setting achievable goals and working towards them. I need to get back into the mind set that I was in back in 2012. I need the fire and the passion to keep this up and keep it going for longer. I want to come out of this year stronger than ever. I want to be able to push myself without breaking myself and I’m going to need some help doing it. I need to identify when I’m making excuses for myself and overcome those excuses. I need to THINK about those excuses I’m going to make ahead of time and fight them without being mean to myself.

So, lets get started!

First up: grocery shopping for the meal plan I have for the week that I’ve already made!

Starting Weight – 296lbs

The Blood Sugar Solution 10-day Detox

For the past 10 days, I’d been subscribed to “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet“. We also purchased “The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook” to compliment it. Suffice to say it worked. Common sense says: “Of course it did, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t.” I lost 17lbs in 10 days. I’m now at 256lbs. But now I hear people asking: “wait,what? Last time you checked in your weight you were 268.” Well, people… let me tell you a little bit about the weekend BEFORE I started this detox. Friday was a gala feast at Naumkeag Ordinary in Salem in which I ate 3 cheeseburgers (no buns), a few appetizers (that were actually pretty paleo) a half a bottle of white wine and a glass of beer. Saturday was a lovely birthday party in which I had a few bottles of cider, a few shots of hard alcohol, a lot of my wife’s cheese dip and 2 slices of pizza. Sunday morning finished me off at O’Neills of Salem where we brought a friend out to his first Full Irish Breakfast. My wife, my son and I ordered 1 each. Then when my son couldn’t finish his, we split it between my wife and I and ate it. By Monday morning weigh in, I was 273lbs. That Friday morning before the weekend I was 263lbs. For a 3 day gain of 10lbs.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

I know buddy, I know…

One part of this detox involved a detox of social media and news. There was simply not a better time for me to start this in the face of what’s going on this election season (I’ll stop there before I alienate people or start stressing myself out…). It was definitely nice to get  away from the stresses of facebook, the 24-hour news cycle and a lot of general negativity that was surrounding me.

The main part of it is simple paleo eating and daily workouts. The basis for the plan is to remove all sugar, caffeine, grains, starchy vegetables and beans from your diet. The main idea is that sugar is as addictive as drugs. There’s a lot of exposition that explains how your brain’s addiction centers actually get more activity from sugar and even artificial sweeteners than it does from cocaine. It’s a lot of fun science if you’re into that and it’s mostly sound from my perspective. It gets a little preachy and if you’re already paleo or primal, this might not be the plan for you. If you were paleo/primal and fell off the wagon, this one should hitch you right back on. If you were NEITHER of these things this is a GREAT starting point. It ignores the ‘cult of paleo’ and cuts right to the meat of things. Sugar is killing you and making you do things you don’t want to do. He coins the term ‘diabesity’ in this book as diabetes caused by obesity. I know when I first started my journey, I was definitely in that category and that’s what got me to start it in the first place: I didn’t want to get diabetes.

If you’re familiar with the Whole30 or a Whole9, the food is nearly identical. The one interesting thing about the Blood Sugar Solution is that they NEVER ONCE CALL IT PRIMAL/PALEO despite it being pretty much 100% to a T. I think the MAIN reason for this is because there’s also vegetarian options that include things that wouldn’t work as paleo. So good on them. It also distances themselves from the paleo movement which can be a turnoff for a lot of people as it has become a little militant. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten someone commenting on my facebook page about how something I ate wasn’t 100% paleo or primal. I get it, I’m not perfect. The food in the cookbook and the plan was great, but the recipes were not very well laid out. Make sure you read and re-read a recipe before you start in on it. I can’t tell you how many times I screwed something up because half of the recipe was on one page and the other was on the opposite page and I’m scrambling to wash raw fish off my hands so I can flip a page back to see what herbs he’s suggesting I toss in with it.

The daily regiment is pretty simple: Weigh yourself, measure yourself, take your blood pressure, take your blood sugar, do 30minutes of exercise (I did incline walking), PGX Fiber pill, multi vitamin, Vitamin D, fish oil and a smoothie from the book. I stuck with this lovely concoction that was made with a Kiwi, 1/4 of an avocado, chia seeds, kale, water, ice and mint. My wife and son hated it, so that’s what I stuck with so they could enjoy theirs without me digging into their stash of ingredients. That said, there’s was superior to mine, but I enjoyed mine enough. The good news is that it really did stave off hunger. Also, the going cold-turkey on sugar really had an immediate effect on my cravings. I wasn’t going to the kitchen and chowing down on things I shouldn’t. I wasn’t even opening the counters at work to LOOK. I also stopped taking my blood sugar after the 3rd day. It was in the low 80s and the pain of pricking my finger was impeding my work as my fingers ached all day. My blood pressure was thankfully normal before and throughout.

Lunches were a variety of options, but I stuck with the least stressful: salad and protein. I made a mixed green salad with carrots and tomatoes and slapped 2 hard boiled eggs on it and my wife’s homemade greek dressing (which is paleo). Snacks would be a small handful of nuts (about 12). Dinner was varied and we stuck to the plan for 6 days. By the 7th day, we got a little more adventurous and looked at the cookbook for ideas as some of the suggestions for days 7-10 didn’t have us excited. I will tell you now, it’s mostly chicken and SMALL fish (ie, no tuna). There was one red meat meal that we ate on day 8 where I got a REALLY nice aged ribeye that my wife and I split and enjoyed thoroughly. The good news is the chicken meals were fantastic. There was a great chicken soup lunch option that we made twice. There were some great cod cakes (which I massacred when I attempted the 2nd time we ate it) and some other good fish suggestions. I wasn’t in love with the first day fish suggestion, but that might have been because I bought shitty salmon.

stupid-human-brain_o_1224189Overall, I was very happy with the food. The exercise was good too. Of course I lost weight, that’s what happens when you eat right and exercise. I did have recurring nightmares of cheating badly on the plan though. It was very strange. Everyday I’d wake up with a stomach full of guilt because my brain ate a bunch of pizza and beer while it slept. Stupid human brain. I’m pretty sure we’re going to continue to make this kind of food for another 90 day at least. Maybe make some adjustments to things so we can have steak a little more and fish a little less.

There’s also a journaling aspect to the project as well. There’s daily questions and a daily log of your food, weight, measurements, etc… It can be great for someone starting out on a paleo journey, but for me it was a lot of questions about how your dealing with your cravings and sugar addiction… and for me it wasn’t dramatic. I just stopped craving them immediately. Also, I absolutely hate writing with a pen and paper. I wish I’d just kept an online log of it. It’s a lot easier for me to jot down notes on my phone or something than to constantly be searching for that pad of paper and pen.

There was one thing on the detox that I hated: Detox baths. First off, I’m not a ‘bath’ person. At least not in my own house. I’m pretty tall and my bath doesn’t really fill very much before it hits the overflow drain… which has a bad seal and leaks into my downstairs living room. So the only bits of my body that get submerged in the water are my hips, butt and ankles… and my legs if I sit bolt upright. In the long run it makes my back and ass hurt and I tend to get cold because most of me is above the warm water. I tried to read in the tub to some minor success, but mostly I was annoyed to be lightly simmering in my shitty tub. I should have bought one of these: Bottomless Bath Overflow Drain Cover – RecyclableThen I could have gotten somewhere. I should also probably replace that gasket…

bathtoosmall

I know buddy, I know…

Otherwise I’m pretty happy with the results, the food and the plan. I’m probably going to stick to limiting my facebook usage, reducing the notifications from facebook in general, avoiding the news cycle and trying to get away from my phone and computer more. I did break away from one thing today and probably JUST for today: the morning smoothie. I missed eggs and bacon, so I got some with some peppers and onions (instead of homefries) this morning. It wasn’t as good as I had hoped… so I’ll probably go back to smoothies tomorrow. I also miss the taste of coffee and black tea, but not the caffeine that comes with it. I’ll need to figure that one out too.

So, here we are again. At the beginning of a new journey… a new, old journey. Next time I’m going to discuss my concerns about how this goes forward, my plans for what happens next and my major concerns with things like going out with friends to bars and restaurants and parties.

The Disney Dining Plan Disaster and Zero-carbing

This is kind of the opposite of what I should be doing.

This is kind of the opposite of what I should be doing.

250lbs. That’s what I got up to after my latest Disney Dining Plan trip to Walt Disney World. Incidentally, my trip was nearly ruined by stomach problems. A trip to the 50s PrimeTime Diner on a hot day which was filled with fried chicken, a milkshake for a drink AND ice cream for dessert led to the next few days with some gastric distress including waking up in the middle of the night with the feeling of acid eating it’s way through my neck. The next few days were fine as long as I wasn’t eating… Unfortunately I continued to eat because I paid for a dining plan, god damnit! Every bite would unlock some pain and pressure which would subside after a while. On the plane ride home, I had that nightmare you always have: I had to go to the bathroom REALLY bad and they never turned off the fasten seatbelts light… they did eventually. The next two days were spent at home, shitting my brains out… Nothing like getting back from a vacation that ate up 7 vacation days to have to spend another TWO at home sick.

Prior to leaving, my wife and I decided to try doing a Zero Carb diet for 30 days. My wife has a friend who went on it and had some success and she’s been having some issues that her doctors wanted her to do an AIP or other elimination diet. In this instance, we eat nothing but meat and water and some dairy. I’m hoping for a reduction in cravings and a return to behaving properly with food. I’d like to lose a little weight and also reduce my psoriasis. We started on May 17th, and we’ve had a good run so far. Lots of eggs. Lots of bacon. TONS of ribeyes. And before you have a chance to ask: yes, I’m pooping fine.

I feel pretty good. My energy is coming back. My mind is a lot clearer. My body aches less. I have more interest in actually doing things. The other good thing is that this diet works great in the summer. No one really questions when you go to a cookout and eat burgers and chicken. No one notices that you aren’t having a bun or chips or veggies. I took some of the savings we made by not going out to dinner and invested it in a great grille with the help of my dad.

I need to get back into the gym. My previous diet had me abusing my burned energy by overindulging a little. I’ve gotten more active. Hockey season has started. I’ve begun riding my bike a lot more. I’ve got a good feeling about this next 30-60 days. I think I’ll need to re-assess the Zero Carb lifestyle at that point. Many people seem to be able to live healthy with this diet indefinitely, but I may go talk to my doctor and make sure everything is in order.

Weigh In

239lbs as of 5/29/15

60 days to get back on track.

Ok, I’m doing this. I’m writing a blog post.

So, after continual failure to get back on track, I decided that I love myself, my wife and my son enough to do it like I did last time. That’s what was my driving force when I started. It took me a while to figure out what my spark was. It wasn’t looking better or feeling better for JUST myself. It was doing it for my family.

So, the good news. This is not a “I’m going to make these changes” post. This is an “I’m doing these things already” post. I started this on Saturday which makes this day7. Paleo diet is a given. My “cheats” so far have been a little cheese on a burger wrap and a gluten free, dairy free cookie.

do-you-even-liftThe other piece of the puzzle, which has always been a problem is “working out.” While I’ve been fooling myself with thinking my walking commute and hockey once in a while was enough, I decided to finally go get a gym membership at my YMCA. Now I have to pay for something… which means if I don’t use it, I’m going to feel deep seated Scottish-guilt pains for not using something I’ve paid for. And using it I have! I’ve gone twice this week. I’m focusing on my legs and abs for strength training and 20-30 minutes of cycling, rowing or the Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer (which is this really cool thing that lets me ‘run’ in the stride I actually take). Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve done so far:

Active Day 1 (Monday) – Gym

  • 20 minutes of rowing

    I really enjoy the sauna...

    I really enjoy the sauna…

  • 20 Minutes on the AMT
  • Leg Press
    • 2 sets of 10 reps @ 360lbs
    • 3 sets of 10 reps @ 270lbs
  • Leg press calf extensions
    • 3 sets of 15 reps @ 180lbs
  • Inner thigh machine
    • 3 sets of 10 reps @ 75lbs
  • Outer thigh machine
    • 3 sets of 10 reps @ 56lbs
  • 15 minutes in the sauna

Active Day 2 (Tuesday) – Hockey

Active Day 3 (Thursday) – Gym

  • 20 minutes on the AMT
  • 15 minutes on the bike
  • Leg Press
    • 3 sets of 10 reps @ 360lbs
  • Seated Calf Raise
    • 3 sets of 15 reps @ 90lbs
  • Abdominal crunch machine
    • 3 sets of 10 reps @ 125lbs
  • 20 minutes in the sauna

So, yes, a lot of legs. There’s a reason for that. There’s a reason I’m giving myself 60 days. There’s actually 2, but the one I’ll discuss is this: hockey. The muscles I’m currently working on are the ones I need to skate with longevity and power. I’ll focus on my upper body soon as well and I’m always looking for suggestions on good exercises, so if you have any, let me know.

I’m hoping to drop 20lbs in these next 60 days but mostly I’m looking to increase my lower body strength, stamina and flexibility. I’d like to really get my shoulders, pecs and abs in order and tone my arms up a bit (I don’t really need ‘big guns’ to play hockey).

Then we can discuss the OTHER reason I’m giving myself 60 days.

Wish me luck and send me some workout ideas for me to try.

1 Year Off Paleo. The Battle to Get Back to 215 and Eventually Less.

Remember last June when I said I needed a kickstart? Let me tell you what happened next.

In July of 2012 I’d mentioned that I was under a lot of stress and needed AN INTERVENTION. Work was causing me a lot of stress. There were tons of things going on around the house. I was barely making enough money to get by. Working out remains a problem. I did get a bike and I sorted that all out but I don’t use it enough. I really killed myself when I said that the Paleo Adventure is over. That’s when things went bad. I’d started playing hockey but the summer season is sporadic.

Then there’s just the summer malaise in general. I did NOT survive this summer well. I went to parties and gorged on food and drink. I ate out with little regard for health and finances. It was bad. Even this past weekend was a mess of bad food choices but good times. Now I’m 240lbs again. October 2012. The last time I was that heavy. It took 2 months to drop to 230. It took another 1 month to drop to 225lbs. It took me a little more than a MONTH to go from 229 to 240… This is the sad reality of life. 3 months to lose weight that can be put back on in 1.

Here I am in a burger eating contest this summer... No, those aren't gluten free... I came in 2nd... (photo courtesy John Andrews @ socialpalatesphotography.com/)

Here I am in a burger eating contest this summer… No, those aren’t gluten free… I came in 2nd… (photo courtesy John Andrews @ socialpalatesphotography.com)

So, what’s next? Well a few things have changed in my life. I’ve gotten a new job that doesn’t feed me breakfast and lunch daily. They do have a lot of ‘snacks’ but none that are good choices. They do have some nuts and fruit, but that’s about it. I’m surrounded by food choices, but most aren’t paleo/primal. I’m making more money, so that stress is alleviated a little. They pay for a fitness plan, which means I can’t claim that I can’t afford to go the gym. I go in later which leaves more time in the morning as well to go workout. So I just have to get off my lazy ass and go do it.

I need to find a new way of life that is like my old paleo way of life. I need to prepare for things better. I need to change my mindset. This is a new adventure. My family needs to work towards a goal. A reward of some sort. Perhaps we need another Disney Adventure. We need harder, stricter goals to reach if we want to get there. We need to find a way to keep to a goal AFTER the fact as well. I need to be more active. I need to get my mind around being in control again. I need to just stop what I’m doing now and do the right thing NOW.

Here are the numbers for this new starting point:

240lbs.

Squeezing into my 36x32s.

Large shirts are tight.

On belt notch 2.

32/205

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a person who works best with tangible goals. Numbers are tangible to me and that’s what I’m going to aim for. My goal, by July 2014 is to reach either 205lbs or a 32″ waist. As of today (10/14/13) that puts me 4″ out or 20lbs. I’ve been having a really tough time lately sticking to the plan. I need to reorganize and get back on track the best way I know how: GOALS.

I should probably start with a proper measurement and not just my current pant size, as pants can stretch. I’ll try to do this tomorrow morning. I’ve also decided to reintroduce some minor grains (like rice and occasionally rolled oats) but otherwise stick to a paleo diet. Of course, we threw our rice cooker out like the week before we decided to put white rice back into our diet… so fuck me, right?

Ladies shoes? Fuck it, I needed my Pumps! So what if I’m a white kid who has no interest in basketball whatsoever…

In other news, I’m running a 5K this week. I went out and splurged on some fancy running shoes. Brooks Ghost 6. I’ve been a Saucony Trail shoe guy for the past few years (Excursion TRs) but the problem I have had with them is that they wear poorly on pavement (which they should as a trail shoe). This was the first time I spent 3 figures on shoes since the Reebok Pumps in 4th grade (which I wanted so bad that I settled on a woman’s version just to get them). These are fancy ass shoes. I got fitted at a proper running store (Greater Boston Running Company – Swampscott) where they actually had me on a treadmill with a camera focused on my feet (apparently I’m neutral). Great service there and they didn’t over-sell me on a shoe. 

My bike is working out great. I’ve finally got it set up properly. You can see it’s progress here. I really need to start putting more miles per trip on it. RIght now it’s about 2.5-3 miles a day. I need to start prepping for cold and slimy weather as I’d like to ride it in foul weather (that means fenders and non-slick tires). I find my issue with pulling long rides is again a matter of time. My weeks are very full and my weekends are packed with family stuff. Luckily, October in Salem is a good excuse to go for LONG walks around town because driving is an abomination to all things vehicular in nature (except bikes). I’d like to get a home trainer for the bike so I can ride in the house when it’s gnarly out. 

So, goals: 32″ waist or 205lbs. Weight wise I’d like to take it 5lbs at a time. 10 months until July now. 20lbs and 4″ to go. 2lbs or .4″ per month. When you break it down, it’s not that bad and totally feasible. Stick to the plan, run and ride more… get it done.

I need an intervention

I’ve been super stressed about a lot of things in my life over the past few months. Regular stuff, nothing serious (money, career, work, etc…). It’s become sort of overwhelming and my health has gone into this bad autopilot. I walk around mindlessly through work and have been finding myself shoveling non-paleo food into my mouth. I’ve had cookies, bread rolls, yogurt, ice cream, cereal. And it’s not just once. I think the past 2 weeks I’ve had at least one bad thing a DAY. And it’s starting to show. I’m back up to 223 and I don’t LOOK good. It looks like I’m bloated. Now, I’m not GORGING on these foods (that’s pretty much my only saving grace here), but I am falling off the plan. When I’m mindful of my trajectory, I’m good… but every so often I’ll just go through and be like “yeah, fuck it, it’s just this one thing…” and then it happens the next day and the next.

Again, I turn to the blog to out myself on this in the hopes that this will put me in check.  I’ve recently heard from one of my readers who has lost 30lbs in 3 months thanks to my blog (well, mainly thanks to themselves doing the plan AND exercising vigorously… actually entirely thanks to them doing that, but they do attribute my blog for giving them that kick in the ass to get going). And here I am, eating fucking cookies and ice cream. Seriously?

And that’s another thing. The working out thing. I don’t know what to do here. I can’t wrap my mind around a solid, CONSISTENT plan for working out. I’m in a rut when it comes to my energy and I think that’s one of the main reasons I’m having problems with my eating. I don’t really know what to do. I wish I could get my mind around ‘the run’ and go run. I’ve gone for ‘runs’ in terms of running a half mile or so to the train here and there, but that’s with my work bag and in my work clothes. What I really want to do is punch things. I wish I had a heavy bag, but there’s two problems with that idea.
1) There is NO place IN my house for that
2) I could put it outside, but it would look kinda trashy to my neighbors AND it wouldn’t be useful when weather is a problem.

I could go to a boxing place, but I don’t have the money to do it right now. So the thing I need to be doing right now is finding a solution to what I can do with what I have. I’m just going to have to start biting the bullet and working out at work during my lunch break. I was ready to do it at one point when work was slowing down, but then 2 of the people on my 6 person team left and the work immediately increased to match.

Bicycling is another thing I love to do, but I don’t have a proper bike. I have my old BMX bike from 1996. It’s great for scooting around, but you can’t really get proper exercise on it. I do keep an eye out for cheap bicycles here and there, but I never find anything that’s reasonably good for short money. I’m not looking for anything special. To be honest, I’m looking for a GOOD piece of shit. What does that mean? Basically I’m looking for a name brand bike (like a Giant or a Specialized or a Trek) with quality parts that won’t break. I don’t need it to be new at all. I would even prefer it to be older because I like CroMoly steel bikes. I like hardtails. I like solid front forks. I grew up riding these and I don’t need any fancy technology. Now, I HAVE a bike like this at my father’s house (my old Giant) but it is in need of serious repair (the wheels are bent badly and the tires are cooked. The gearset is rusted and seized. The seat is destroyed. The headset is rusted (and it’s a quill stem). At this point it’s just a frame. it would cost more to repair it then just buying another bike. I’ve looked at ‘cheap’ bikes too… like Walmart/Target bikes. But the problem with them is that most of them have front suspension… and shitty suspension at that. I’d rather have NO suspension at all then some shitty front shock, but it seems like the only solid bikes that are for sale these days are actually MORE expensive. Eh, that’s enough about that. I’ll keep looking for a bike. I think I could get an hour of bike riding a night done if I found one. I know all the routes I’d take.

I’m not looking for sympathy or anything, I’m a fan of the Bob Newhart method:

I just need someone to tell me to stop it. I need to be reminded that I want to get BETTER, not worse. I need to be reminded that this isn’t over. This isn’t where I want to be. I want to be in BETTER shape.

I don’t want to go through life continuing to be this. I want to be better.

I just turned 32. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in a long time, but I’m not in the best shape I could be. I want my 30s to be the healthiest I’ve ever been. It’s time for me to intervene.

1 Year of Paleo: What’s next?

As I stated in my last post, I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit. I feel like I can directly attribute this to my lack of posting and updating here. I’m feeling less accountable because I feel like I don’t need to impress upon anyone anymore. The problem is, that’s what keeps me going. I like driving towards a goal for the enjoyment of others. So that is what I’m going to do. Starting today, I’m going to be more accountable for what I eat, I’m going to take on new challenges, perhaps even user submitted challenges. My goal is to be as fit and healthy as I can be by next year. That means: more exercise, better control over what I’m eating, more strict guidelines to follow.

My wife and I have been discussing the ‘one hour cheat’ to satisfy any real cravings. We’d heard about this before, but thought it was pointless. The idea is that once a month, for one hour, you can eat whatever you want. Now, the silliness comes from the idea that you would gorge yourself like a pig in a trough. The reality is that what we’d LIKE to do is use this time to go have a dinner out someplace and not care if there’s a little soy in it or if we have something that may have some grains in it. I’m not planning on going to a buffet and tipping back the fucker into my open mouth.

My revised weight goal is going to be 210lbs. That’s a loss of about 20lbs from my 1 year anniversary on primal. I was doing better when I was accountable to my readership and I need to remain accountable to myself. I need to get a hold of my brain and say “STOP THAT! STOP THINKING IT’S OK TO EAT THAT SHIT! STOP BEING STUPID!” It actually works… and I do actually say that to myself. Sometimes I just need to walk through the kitchen and say to myself over and over “You’re not hungry, your’e not hungry” because I’m not… I just want to eat because I’m in the kitchen.

Other goals are appearance based. I’d like to be flat chested and flat bellied by next year. That means I need to come up with a workout regiment that works with my current schedule. I wake up at 5 to get for work, so early morning workouts aren’t really available. I get home at 530pm, so there’s time there for workouts at the end of the day if I can keep my brain energized to push through it. Even if it’s just a 1 mile run, that’s only 10 minutes or so… and I can do it. I glazed over it in my retrospective, but I finished 2nd overall in a 1 mile trail run in the rain (actually 1.2miles in 11:39)

I’m going to do this. I have it in me, and I know my wife wants it for herself too.

Here’s my starting points for Year 2

JLR_1413

JLR_1412

Starting Weight – 229lbs

Starting Pant size – 36×32

Semi-Naked Truth after the cut

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