Archive for April 2012

366 Weigh-In: Keep On Keeping On

I am down to 366. My weight fluctuated a bit as a result of too much birthday celebration, but today, I dropped several pounds, which put my average squarely below 366. I am happy with this. Birthdays are for celebrating, but they are for celebrating for one day. Not for a month. At least with food.

I have nothing really profound to say, except to post this little graphic I just made. (I believe the image to be public domain, as I found it on a website of public domain photos, but if you are the owner and I am incorrect, please contact me immediately and I will rectify the situation.)

That’s all it is. Do it every day. Repeat forever.

I’m cool with that.

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35 Goals Before I Turn 35

I discovered that fellow blogger Emily at Fit and Free Emily and I share a birthday, April 19th. She is doing 28 goals for her 28th year of life. I am totally ripping her off and doing my own list of goals to accomplish before I turn 35. I’ll document these as I cross them off the list over the next year!

Some are serious, some are fun, some are dorky, and others are odd, but they are all things that I either already planned to do this year or have now decided to do.

And because I love photos (but didn’t want to go into overkill and do one for all 35), only random entries have photos attached.

1. Compile a complete DVD collection of all MST3K episodes.

2. Get all of my Garbage Pail Kids in collector condition (i.e. – in binders with acid-free storage sleeves).

3. Clean out our office, including LOTS of purging and donation to Goodwill.

4. Complete the Maher Ventriloquism Course that I ordered in 1990.

5. Whittle DVD collection down to just DVDs that I want.

6. Complete my workout video bracket.

7. Complete a full round of a 90-day workout series (a la P90X, Body Revolution, Rev Abs, etc.)

8. Go for a hike in Joshua Tree National Park.

9. Swim in the Pacific Ocean.

10. Get weight down below 300 pounds.

11. Submit my short story “The Shifter” to six different paying markets. (Publication would be awesome, but it is not required. I just need to get my stories out there again.)

12. Finish writing a textbook with my colleague.

13. Start a container garden.

14. Do the Color Run (but we’ll walk it) in Nashville in October.

15. Have an official date night (complete with baby at my parent’s for the evening) for the Fur Ball in January 2013.

16. Finish at least one young adult novel. (I’m a better starter than a finisher. I’ve got three in mid-progress.) (Oh, and I obviously mean writing, not reading.)

17. Go thirty days straight without stopping exercise. (Well… not non-stop, like a streak… you know what I mean.)

18. Do the Great WKU Stair Challenge (invented by me, where you walk up the stairs of every openly accessible building (so no dorms) on WKU’s campus in one stretch).

19. Repeat the Great WKU Stair Challenge six months later and significantly beat original time.

20. Write five letters to people who have been important to me in some way.

21. Complete 365 Project with the camera on my phone.

22. Read 35 books that will, in some way, help my life. (Pleasure reading is awesome, too, but these need to be books that will improve my or my family’s life somehow.)

23. Paint a fitness-related watercolor series and submit it to my local library for inclusion in their rotating artist gallery.

24. After Moon Pie is born, join our church.

25. Create and self-publish a children’s book for my son.

26. Bake the 13 Breads of Panem. (Hunger Games, totally dorky, and I’m by no means the first blogger to want to do this, but it sounds like so much fun! Especially the green fish bread from District 4.)

27. Paint my own Foamposite Galaxy shoes. No kidding.

28. Have the dorkiest family-themed Halloween ever, complete with Halloween party for our friends.

29. Read the entire Bible. (Again. I did this when I was much younger, and I feel a calling to do it again.)

30. Do at least one thing (other than becoming a father) that truly scares me, pushes me outside of my comfort zone, and ultimately makes me experience something new.

31. Empty out our hoarders-esque garage so that we can actually begin parking in it.

32. Stain the back deck.

33. Remove the gravel and weeds from Tina’s flower garden and lay down rubber mulch.

34. Write letters to my son to read later in his life.

35. Document everything I can about my son’s birth and first year of life, so he’ll have it when he is older and has children of his own someday.

So, those are my goals! Wish me luck as I try to cross them off!

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Happy Birthday to Me, and Gratitude in Pictures

Happy birthday to me!

I haven’t always been a huge birthday person, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more and more into them. It’s funny. I am now 34 years old, officially in my mid-30s, and I feel younger than ever.

I have decided to post a few things I am grateful for.

I am grateful for my amazing wife. I adore her more each and every day. I see far too many people unhappily married around me, and I am so grateful I get to come home to my best friend. Life is smooth sailing with Tina, and I love everything about our marriage.

I am grateful for our healthy pregnancy. We are also having our first child later this year, and I am choosing today, my birthday, to announce our baby’s sex.

We’re having a boy! For some reason, I was convinced that Moon Pie was a girl, but I was proven wrong, and I could care less. I can’t wait to have a son. I look forward to playing catch, going on hikes, teaching him how to shave and how to tie a necktie, and even the birds and bees talk. I want to have an amazing relationship with my son, and I am grateful that I have the tools and abilities to do so.

I am grateful for my health. My weight is slowly but steadily dropping (I actually posted a loss today, but I’m going to share it tomorrow). I can walk. I can lift weights. I am strong, and I am getting stronger daily.

I am grateful for my job. I work with amazing colleagues who I value as friends, including one I’m writing a book with this summer! I have the most amazing boss ever. I enjoy what I do. I don’t dread Sundays like I used to (because Sunday meant Monday was almost there). Maybe it was because my lost two jobs were utter hell, but for whatever reason, I am grateful for everything about my job, even the stacks of grading papers I have to do.

I am grateful for all the wonderful people in my life. I have so many amazing friends and family members.

I am grateful that I live in a country where I can share my thoughts freely and worship as I choose, without fear of punishment. I am also grateful for the men and women who have died for me to have this right.

I am grateful for my sense of humor, and I love that my wife shares it. We have spent hours laughing together at stupid cat pictures, lame jokes, awful horror movies, and other random crap that I’ve never seen anyone else but me laugh at. I don’t believe in soulmates, but if I did, she would be mine, because I’ve never met anyone as well suited to be my partner.

(Sorry. We really like funny cat pictures.)

I am grateful for the Hunger Games. Don’t judge. Book and movie were both awesome.

I am grateful Tina is not into Twilight, and in fact hates it even more than I do. Bella makes me sad and a little angry.

I’m grateful that Tina heartily endorses my desire to become a Power Ranger tolerates my obsession of the Power Rangers.

I am just grateful, and I need to be more grateful everyday.

And to close, happy birthday to me!

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Match-Up #6 – Broadway Dancing vs. Fighting?

I am slowly catching up on my brackets! I’m also VERY close to getting to post a new pound lost, but today was not the day, so instead, I shall tell of the matchup between Richard Simmons’ Broadway Sweat and Fat Burning Kickboxing Workout for Dummies.

I’ve shared my fondness of Richard Simmons before, but somehow, this was a workout video that I had in my collection that I had never done. It came out in the early 2000s, well after the Sweatin’ phase, and I suppose that is why I ended up never having done it.

This video honestly had one of the most fun “sets” I’ve ever seen on an exercise video. Usually, exercise videos are set in some very oddly decorated room, like a cross between a waiting room, an abandoned warehouse, and a vase storage facility. (Seriously – pay attention to how many vases you see sitting in the background of exercise videos. You’ll be amazed.)

This one was on a stage, complete with curtains and lights, and for every Broadway song, they changed the set decorations. The songs ranged from “Ease on Down the Road” from The Wiz and Tomorrow from “Annie.” There were some songs that I didn’t know, but they were all plenty of fun.

The other video was Fat Burning Kickboxing Workout for Dummies, once again starring the blonde British kickboxer Keli Roberts.

This one was not as strenuous as her 10 Minute Solutions workout. It was a tough workout, but again, I miss the participants. I like Keli, but I still want to see other people working out in the background. It consisted of several rounds of increasingly complex kickboxing patterns.

So who is the winner?

I’ll admit to being surprised. Broadway Sweat! I’m going to say it’s probably due to the length of the video (Broadway Sweat was about 20 minutes longer), but there you go. Another of Richard’s videos is moving into the next round of the bracket!

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Will You Do It Every Day?

Have you heard about the latest diet in the news?

Feeding tubes.

I’m serious. You can’t make this crap up.

You can click the link above to read about it and watch a video, but the gist… a doctor (who should lose his medical license, in my opinion) is allowing people (brides-to-be are apparently the big population) to use a feeding tube, through the nose and down the throat, to deliver a slow drip of protein and fats over 10 days. There is no eating. The doctor even makes the claim that this causes ketosis (which yeah, it probably does) which doesn’t cause you to lose muscle (which is not entirely true – there is some muscle loss during ketosis). The people getting this procedure are only getting around 800 calories a day.

This may be the stupidest thing I have ever heard of.

I am not a fan of fad diets in any way, shape, or form.

Understand – I’m not a person who is opposed to the word diet, because frankly, sometimes it’s just easier to say “I’m on a diet” than go through the whole rigmarole of “Well, I’m eating less and moving more in a way that I plan to stay on for the rest of my life to reach and maintain a healthy weight.”

But that last part is the difference for me.

I had a trainer once who said something to me so incredibly profound, it has stuck with me for years. When I get clients as a personal trainer, this is something I will share with them at our first session.

“If you are not willing to do it forever, do not do it at all to lose weight.”

I’m not willing to give up grains forever. That means Paleo is out for me. (Although most people I know who are on Paleo seem to be willing to be on it forever, so more power to them. I’m only anti-Paleo for me, not anyone else.)

I’m not willing to give up fast food forever. That means Strict Eating Clean is out for me.

I’m not willing to give up meat or cheese forever. That means Vegan is out for me. (Although I wouldn’t call veganism a fad diet, as virtually every vegan I know does it for ethical reasons, which makes it a very different situation here.)

I’m not willing to inject myself with the hormones of a pregnant woman, or have my stomach surgically altered so that I can only eat a thumb-sized serving of food at a time, or run a feeding tube down my throat, or drink two fake milkshake/meal replacements a day, or eat tons of cabbage soup, or only eat grapefruit for a week, or anything else extreme.

I try to live by an 80% healthy/20% splurge-y mentality. Honestly, most of the time, it’s more 90%/10%.

I count my calories. I eat healthy as often as I can. But at the end of the day, if I truly want something and I can “afford” it in my calorie totals for the day, I’ll allow myself a little of it. It keeps me sane, and my weight is slowly decreasing. Sure, I could do something extreme and lose the weight faster, but I’m in this for the long haul.

These are things I am willing to do forever. I know I can’t eat McDonalds everyday, but if I want a McDouble once a month, I’m not going to sweat it. If I choose to have a Diet Dr. Pepper and pizza on one date night every so often, I’ll do it. And I’ll eat healthy at as many meals as I can.

You have to be able to live with it. Because if you lose weight using a method that you can’t live with, then it will be gained back.

Losing weight is not easy, but for that matter, neither is life. Just as there are no shortcuts in life, there are not real shortcuts in weight loss.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat 600 calories at dinner, planned out of my calorie allotment for the day, and exercise before going to bed. And this IS something I am willing to do forever.

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