Archive for March 2012

Good Rule #1 – Do Not Compare Who You Are to Others

Some times, when I think about it too hard, I feel weird about writing a weight loss blog and even thinking about offering any sort of advice.

After all, I lost my way down to 250ish and then gained my way back up to 380ish over four years. What advice could I, a failed loser, possibly have to give?

And then… I realized… Why not?

Seriously, why not?

The truth of the matter is, I have come a LONG way over the course of my life. By no means do I feel I have reached the top of my mountain, by I’m not a little rank beginner. I know stuff. I’ve learned stuff. I’ve intuited stuff, I’ve gained stuff, I’ve given stuff away, I’ve built stuff, and I’ve let people have stuff.

I know stuff.

Heck, I even know stuff just by virtue of having failed at it. I know that the trick to weight loss is sticking to it, day in, day out. I know this because, in 2006 after a bad breakup with a girl whose face I can’t even really remember anymore, I started gaining weight back and didn’t stop for a long time.

This is a lesson I have learned. I can share that wisdom with others.

If you read other weight loss blogs, you see the gamut. You’ll see people like me who have been struggling. You’ll see people who are at goal weight and maintaining and sharing their wisdom. You’ll find people at goal weight who hardly post anymore at all. You’ll find people who are so arrogant that you read them for a bit and then delete their posts from Google Reader. You’ll find people who have accomplished a lifetime’s worth of awesome and are still so humble, it’s almost shaming to read their posts.

You’ll read people who swear that paleo is the only diet to be on. Others swear by everything in moderation. Some say that eating animal products is the surest way to develop cancer. Others swear by all organic, all the time.

I fit somewhere in that gamut. For what it’s worth, I believe in moderation and I have definitely had my fair share of weight struggles.

I also realized today, as Tina and I were combining our offices to empty out her old office (i.e. – guest bedroom) to make a nursery, that I am the luckiest man on the planet. My life is awesome. I have no reason to complain about anything.

This didn’t arise out of a need to make myself feel better. Today was already a good day, but here are the things that made me realize how amazingly blessed my life is.

1. We have so many things, we had to fill our jeep up to the roof to take them to Goodwill.
2. We have two reliable vehicles sitting in our driveway.
3. We own our home. Granted, it comes with a mortgage, but I would happily write a significantly smaller check each month to the mortgage than rent. (Seriously, I save about $300 a month by owning outright, and I’m building equity. Win!)
4. I have a wonderful job with great colleagues. Given that my last two jobs were absolute hellholes and I hated going to work, this is an amazing, amazing thing. If you hate your job, I truly hope you someday know the joy of going to bed on Sunday evening and not dreading Monday morning. This job is the first job I have ever had that was like that.
5. In seven days, we’ll be debt free (other than mortgage and student loans.)
6. We did a little travel hacking (thanks to some tips from Steve at Nerd Fitness), and Tina and I are going to take a free (except for meals) 7-day vacation to San Diego in a few months for our Babymoon.
7. We’re having a baby in six months, and so far, all blood work, genetic tests, and scans have come back clean. Moon Pie is healthy. I pray every day that s/he will stay that way.
8. I may be obese, but I still have my health.

Okay, so what entirely brought this on? As we were decluttering, I found some bloodwork from a very intensive blood test I had done a while back. When I first got it, I just shoved it in my desk and didn’t really worry about it. But today, after finding it, I realized that I am not just responsible for me anymore. I’ve got a baby coming, and this little boy or girl needs me to be around for a long time.

My cholesterol is perfect.

My blood pressure was 121/84. This is pretty dang good.

My resting heart rate was 64.

My doctor told me that I have the cardio endurance of someone much thinner – that I, a morbidly obese man, have no right to have the cardio endurance that I have.

And yet… when I workout, my calorie monitor never gets as high as other people’s. I’ve never seen quadruple digits after an hour’s work. I did 55 minutes the other day and got 347.

I must stop comparing myself to others.

I am not a failure because I did not work out as hard. There might be a million different reasons why others post higher calorie counts than me.

I am not a failure.

I am a success.

So my lesson to myself, and heck, to anyone else who needs it? Don’t compare yourself to others. You are awesome, just being you. It’s who you are supposed to be, anyway.

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Match #2: Working out in a diner vs. Battling zombies

The bracket is still chugging along nicely. I am SO glad I did this, because it has encouraged me to work out more. After work today, my allergies were so severe (have never had them before, but apparently, a super warm winter and super early summer are combining to make one of the worst allergy seasons everywhere), that I wanted to just crash. However, I did not, and I still worked out. Yay me!

This match-up was between Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 and Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast. Let me first recap Sweatin’ 2, which I did yesterday.

I’ve had the Sweatin’ tapes for a while. I think so highly of Richard Simmons, most people think I am about to make fun of him when I make that statement. I’m not. I think he is an amazing human being, and I credit him with being the reason I am not diabetic today. I’ve been obese my entire life. I hated PE with a passion. (In my school, PE just meant Laugh at the Fat Kid Try to Work Out Class, Including the Gym Teacher. [I still hate you, Coach C.] That’s a post for another day.) So while I didn’t have the eating down, at all, I at least had Richard Simmons and his Sweatin’ tapes to provide me with physical activity. I did them at least 3-4 times a week, from pretty much 8th grade through college. Seriously.

I firmly believe THAT is why I didn’t weigh 500 pounds and why I don’t have diabetes today. So for that, thank you Richard.

This was a 55 minute workout, including 25 minutes of low-impact aerobics, a song devoted to very light toning, and one song for ab work. Richard’s tapes always include a dynamic warm-up and cool down at the end. He knows his stuff. And in typical Richard style, it was set in a 50s diner.

Yes, it’s cheesy. But you know what? Muscle memory from 10-20 years ago kicked in, and I had an absolute blast!

One final thing I want to say very quickly about Sweatin’ 2. There is a dancer in this tape and Sweatin’ to the Oldies 3 named Aaron McAllister. He had already lost a significant amount of weight in Sweatin’ 2 and had lost even more by Sweatin’ 3. He’s a young guy (20ish in the videos, I guess?) and to my 13-year-old self when I started working out, he gave me hope. He was a fat man who had lost weight.

So to both Aaron and Richard, thank you for giving me a few things I really need during my younger years. (And Aaron, if by some fluke you read this, email me and let me know how you’re doing!)

Now the second workout, the one I did today, was by Crunch and called Cardio Dance Blast.

Oy.

I go from a day of awesome fun to a day of suck.

This video sucked. Hard.

The trainer was irritating.

The dance moves were poorly cued, needlessly complex, and I spent a LOT of time just trying to catch up. Now granted, I was moving, but I was not doing exactly what they were. I’ll be honest – that’s not really a problem for me. So long as I am moving, I’m happy.

Usually.

This video was AWFUL!

I did sweat decently, but it was never one I’d do for fun.

So what did I do to entertain myself while I worked out?

Well, thanks to this young lady…

…in her mangled outfit, I imagined that they were a group of survivors who had just narrowly escaped a zombie attack during the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Ving Rhames from Dawn of the Dead is off-screen, and he was making them workout to ensure they weren’t actually zombies.

Yeah, it was that bad. I basically had a zombie fantasy during this 35-minute video.

Oh, another thing that bugged me? She called the dance moves ridiculous names, like the Pop Eye or the Chiquita Banana, which made NO sense at all. And my favorite move she didn’t even name.

I would have called it the Taking a Dump While Participating in Hands Across America.

But that’s just me.

If you want to try this video workout out, it’s available from Netflix Watch Instantly. And maybe you won’t hate it as much as I did. But even if I hated it, I was still moving, so win there.

So, who was the winner?

The calories counts were 347 for Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 and 235 calories for Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast! Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 wins and advances to the next round of competition!

My next two workouts are Sweatin’ to the Oldies 1 and 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp.

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Match #1 – Heee! heee! heee! versus “Know what I’m sayin’? Say hi to your mother for me.”

The first game of the Home Workout Video Championships is over! I asked Tina to take a photo of me as soon as we got home from work on Monday but before we attempted the first workout. This is a multi-month championship, and I hope to see some significant changes to my body. As a result, I thought it appropriate that I occasionally document my progress visually to track what I hope are some significant changes.

The first match-up was between Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates and the Marky Mark Workout Video.

Who is the victor? Before I announce the winner, let me give you a brief recap of each workout.

We did Pick Your Spot Pilates on Monday. This video was available on Netflix Watch Instantly. I’m already grateful for this championship, because without it, I NEVER would have done this video, and I am definitely interested in expanding my athletic boundaries.

This video was about 30 minutes long and featured your typical interchangeable video workout personality leading the workout. I don’t say that disparagingly; it is just that I’ve never heard of her. I know Pilates is a complex, multi-tentacled beast, but this particular workout targeted three different body parts – the stomach, the butt, and the thighs.

Pilates was simultaneously tougher than I expected and easier than I expected. I was definitely sweating by the time the workout was over, but it also didn’t get my heart rate up like I expected.

There were moves I had to modify. Fortunately, there was a beginner model I could follow along with. I could do a few of the advanced moves, but I found that my greatest weakness with Pilates is that my neck isn’t strong enough yet. Who knew?

Today (Tuesday) saw me getting off of work a little bit later, but it didn’t matter, because I had already planned out my entire evening, and a chunk of that time was devoted to the Marky Mark Workout.

This video actually contains two completely different workouts, one you can do at home and the other you can “allegedly” do at the gym. I say allegedly because it was really less of a workout and more just about thirty minutes of watching Marky Mark workout without his shirt.

Even though I bought this video in 1995 because I wanted to look like Marky Mark, this is the first time I actually did this video. After today, I suspect that the reason today is the first time I’ve done this video is that this is packaged less like a workout video and more like an Ode to the Body of Marky Mark. Dude is without his shirt. A lot.

We started off doing static stretches for FIVE minutes. I wish I could make that part up, but I’m not. As we were doing it, Tina said, “Didn’t you learn in your personal trainer training that you aren’t supposed to do static stretches before you workout?” Yep. Static stretches are so 1990. You are supposed to do dynamic stretches before you workout and save static stretches at the end. Oh well.

The actual video consisted of supersets that worked the legs, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and abs. There may have been more, but good God, this video was boring. There was no cueing, and the only thing interesting were the fly honeys that Marky Mark kept flirting with.

Clearly, anyone with Marky Mark’s physique is someone who knows how to workout (or at least has a trainer telling him everything to do). However, that physique does NOT mean you know how to make an exercise video. The one saving grace was the MST3K-style running commentary Tina and I kept up as we watched the video.

“Ow! Groin stretches make my STDs hurt!” (Sorry Marky Mark. Your mid-90’s self was just too easy a target for ridicule.)

Most of these exercises were pretty standard, even though I didn’t recognize all of the names. (What he calls a duck squat I’ve always called a sumo squat.) Now, all mockery aside, I have to admit, I was sweating fairly decently by the time we were done.

So, who was the winner of the first match-up of the 1st Annual Stellar Path Home Workout Video Championship?

Marky Mark! Holy crap!

“I won. Awesome. Say hi to your mother for me.

Pick Your Spot Pilates burned 124 calories in 31:08. The Marky Mark Workout burned 190 in 33:34.

I’ll admit I’m surprised.

So the first match-up had a rather surprising outcome. Will Marky Mark make it all the way to the final game and ultimately be declared the winner? Only time will tell.

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An It Worked! Weigh-In

This is an It Worked weigh-in.

Why?

Let’s get right to it.

March 19, 2012
Weight: 372.6
Change from Last Week: -1.8 pounds
Change from Highest: -30.2 pounds

I did it! Counted my calories, did my workouts, drank my water.

And this week, the scale rewarded me.

I am very excited to see if drastically changing my exercise very day (as a result of the Home Workout Championships I am undertaking) will make a difference. As it is, I tend to do the same workouts most days. It’s either a walk in the park, a Leslie Sansone DVD, or kettlebells, weights, or on rare occasions, a Jillian Michaels DVD.

I’m in an exercise rut. I’m very hopeful the 1st Annual Stellar Path Home Workout Championship will change things up. After all, today I am doing a Pilates workout and tomorrow the… ahem, Marky Mark Workout. Both are going to be new experiences. On Wednesday, I’ll report and let you know who won the first “game.”

In others news, Tina and I are trying to declutter our lives. We have a garage full of crap and we each have a home office full of crap. And this doesn’t include our home which is full of crap.

Right now, we are in the process of combining our offices so we can have an empty room for a nursery. This requires a major decluttering, which we desperately needed to do. A lot will be going to Good Will, Craig’s List, and the trash.

I read a book a few months ago called “Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?” It was basically about the issues that make some of us overweight also cause us to have too much clutter. I need to read it again; it was definitely inspirational about making me want to clean up and simplify my life in a lot of different ways.

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The 1st Annual Stellar Path Home Workout Video Championship

Things are still going fantastic in the slowly growing Logsdon household. Moon Pie is still gestating nicely, all of our tests are coming back the way we want them to, and in about five weeks, we’ll know which Moon Pie onesie we need to buy.

And in other news, my bracket is, uhm… not doing so well. I should have picked Duke to lose. I HATE Duke.

Now, here’s a little secret you should know about the Logsdon household. Neither Tina nor I like sports. At all. I grew up in a Basketball Household, and as a result, I still somehow manage to bleed UK blue, but we just don’t care to watch sports. It doesn’t appeal to us.

(And yes, it may seem odd that someone who doesn’t follow sports would hate Duke, but if you are a UK fan and you watched the 1991 Duke/UK Game (I was 13, I was still living at home), you would understand.)

I like the idea of sports. I especially like the idea of playing sports…

And that’s what led to this.

The 1st Annual Stellar Path Home Workout Video Championship!

Yes, it’s lame, but I’m excited about it, so bear with me.

I’ve given up the gym, mostly for financial reasons. (Turns out babies are expensive, even before they get here. Who knew?!) As a result, I’m doing a LOT of home workouts.

I have a TON of workout videos from the 90s. When you see the list at the end of this email, you may judge me. Heck, there is one workout video that I have that will REQUIRE you to judge me.

Netflix has a lot of workout videos in the Watch Instant Queue. They have even more in their DVD library. Bowling Green’s Public Library has a handful of workout videos.

Every time I have a competition, I’ll post about my progress in this bracket. (But we all know life gets in the way, so there may be times I’ll post about two competitions [i.e. – 4 videos] at once.)

Basically, I compiled a list of 64 workout videos. I randomly assigned each video a number using a random number generator. I then paired up each video with another video in the bracket. I’ll make two videos “compete.” This is part of this week’s. (To remind me of the order to do them in, each week, I’ll highlight the videos in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.)

And yes, that is Marky Mark’s Workout Video.

I am ashamed. I won’t deny it. I bought it when I was about fifteen because I wanted his abs. Turns out that just simply buying a video and never doing it just doesn’t work.

I’ll include the list of all 64 videos at the end of this post, but this week, I am doing these six videos.

The first match up is Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates and The Marky Mark Workout. The second match up is Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 and Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast. The third match up is Sweatin’ to the Oldies and 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp.

So, how do I determine a winner? Good question!

I’m going to wear my Polar Heart Rate Monitor during each workout. Whichever video burns the most calories is the winner!

And yes, there will be days where my energy level will be higher and that will contribute to a higher calorie burn. Some videos are shorter than others. It doesn’t seem very fair.

Well, it probably isn’t, but that’s the way it works out. Is it fair that a 16 Seed Team always has to face off against the number one seed?

I do have a few rules. One, if it is a video that contains levels, i.e. – do this at beginner, this at intermediate, this at advanced, I will do the beginning workout. If it is a collection of short workouts that you can choose to do one or all of, I will do them all. Other than that, I plan to do the videos start to finish. I am allowed to do modifications as required. In other words, if they are doing an activity that I cannot do for whatever reason, I will do a modified activity. Not that this would happen in a video, but if they were doing box jumps, I would substitute with step ups.

Much like the NCAA, there are four brackets. Unlike the NCAA, this isn’t based on region but is based on the results of a random number generator. I may have to hop around a bit in the brackets as I have to get the videos from Netflix, my library, et cetera, but I will complete all 64 initial videos before I move on to the field of 32. (You may have to click the picture to make it full-size to see each individual video title.)

Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

When I get down to 32, we do it again. I expect the calorie count to be different this time around, as 64 days of workout videos, ranging in intensity, should have significantly upped my muscle mass and cardio endurance. I’m intrigued to see if it makes as big of a difference as I’m hoping.

It starts tomorrow. I know you aren’t as excited as I am, but I do hope you enjoy following along with me! And heck, if you have some of the videos, do it with me!

The overall list of videos is below. If it has no character beside it, I already own the video. If it has one * beside it, it is available from Netflix Streaming. If it has two ** beside it, it is available from my local library. And if it has a # beside it, it is available from Netflix DVD delivery.

1. Sweatin to the Oldies
2. Sweatin to the Oldies 2
3. Sweatin to the Oldies 3
4. Sweatin to the Oldies 4
5. Marky Mark Workout
6. Richard Simmons Groovin’ in the House
7. Leslie Sansone 5 Really Big Miles
8. Crunch: Super Slim Down*
9. Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates*
10. Crunch: Fat Burning Pilates*
11. 10 Minute Solution: Target Toning*
12. 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates*
13. 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp*
14. Crunch: Fat Burning Ab Attack*
15. 10 Minute Solution: Pilates*
16. Crunch: Boot Camp Training*
17. Crunch: Burn & Firm Pilates*
18. 10 Minute Solution: Carb Burner*
19. Crunch: Total Resculpt*
20. Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast*
21. Crunch: CardioSculpt*
22. 10 Minute Solution: Fat Blasting Dance Mix*
23. Crunch: Fat Burning Dance Party*
24. Crunch: CardioSalsa*
25. Tummy Tone Party Zone*
26. Pilates Essentials*
27. Dance Off the Inches: 15-Minute Express*
28. Dance Off the Inches: Calorie Blasting*
29. Richard Simmons: Broadway Sweat
30. Richard Simmons’ Dance Your Pants Off!
31. Buns of Steel: Total Body Fat Burner
32. QVC Walk Aerobics
33. 30 Day Shred
34. The Biggest Loser Workout: Cardio Max**
35. Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones**
36. Billy Blanks’ Ultimate Boot Camp**
37. Jillian Michael’s Extreme Shed and Shred**
38. Let’s Get Moving: Low Impact Cardio**
39. The Trainer’s Edge: Integrated Strength Training**
40. The Biggest Loser: Calorie Knockout#
41. The Biggest Loser: Boot Camp#
42. The Biggest Loser: Power Sculpt#
43. The Biggest Loser: Cardio Max Weight-Loss#
44. The Biggest Loser: The Workout#
45. The Biggest Loser: The Workout, volume 2#
46. The Biggest Loser: 30 Day Jump Start#
47. The Biggest Loser: Last Chance Workout#
48. Jillian Michaels: Shred It with Weights#
49. SWAT Workout: Ultimate Body Definition#
50. Surf Stronger: The Surfer’s Workout#
51. Carmen Electra’s Aerobic Striptease: Vegas Strip#
52. Budokon: Beginning Practice#
53. The Abs Diet Workout 2#
54. The Firm: Total Body Time Crunch#
55. The Firm: The 500 Calorie Workout#
56. Men’s Health: 15 Minute Workouts#
57. Jillian Michaels: Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism#
58. Dancing with the Stars: Dance Off the Pounds#
59. Jari Love: Get Ripped#
60. Fat Burning Kickboxing Workout for Dummies#
61. Jari Love: Get Ripped to the Core#
62. Total Body Cardio with Tanja Djelevic#
63. Weight Loss Cardio Sculpt with Violet Zaki#
64. Goddess Workout: Cardio Burlesque: A Striptease Workout#

There will be a grand total of 126 workouts. Two videos will be used six times as they face off to become the high calorie burner of the 1st Annual Stellar Path Home Workout Video Championship. Who will win? Stay tuned. (And be patient. It’ll take me about five months to do this many workouts!)

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)