400s

Cold in Kentucky

It is bitterly cold today. We have just a touch more than a dusting of snow on the ground, but many schools and business are closed because of the cold. The high today was four degrees. I know for some of you in some places, you are probably thinking, “Aw, that’s adorable.”

But here… our average winter temp is in the 30s. Four degrees is a type of cold we are just not equipped to deal with here. My wife was fortunate enough to be able to work from home today, and since I teach and I’m not teaching during the month of January, I was able to stay home, too. Our house was (and still is) nice and toasty. We only ventured outside to go to the gym.

That’s right! I’m back in the gym!

We have a gym less than two miles from our house. We have to go separately because of little guy (this gym doesn’t have day care) but it still works fantastically for us.

I am, however, sad to say that I have lost pretty much all of my cardio endurance. I used to do an hour on the elliptical at a high setting. Today, I forced myself to do 33 minutes on whatever level it came pre-set on (read: level one).

No tears, though. I’ll just progressively up it. Before long, I’ll be doing my full hour again.

I’m also working in some free weights. I want my cardio endurance higher, however, before I jump fully back into the weight room again. I know the logic in just working out with weights, and I don’t even disagree with it from a purely physical standpoint. This, however, is mental. I need to feel my lungs and heart strong again.

I measured myself over the weekend. I’m only going to measure myself once, maybe twice, a month. I’ll weigh-in every Friday, but the measurements will be less often. That said, here they are in their ugly glory to serve as my baseline.

Waist

55.25

Chest

58.75

Stomach

66.5

R. Bicep

19

L. Bicep

17.5

R. Forearm

13.75

L. Forearm

13

R. Thigh

34.5

L. Thigh

35

Hips

62

R. Calf

20.75

L. Calf

20

My body used to be much more symmetrical. My right and left body parts were pretty similar in size. This was back when I actually used to lift weights. Now, I’m clearly favoring my right for almost everything. But again, this is okay. It’ll get back to where it should be.

I realized today that I can use one of my predilections for projects to my benefit. The first is mental and the second is an actual physical thing.

Mentally, I like working on things. I like seeing something start and taking it through to its conclusion, whether it’s writing a short story, painting a space painting, or even something as simple as cleaning the kitchen. I like that satisfaction of, “Ah, I did it and I’m done.”

I’m going to use this same mental attitude toward my body. I’ve made no secret of my desire to look like… well, this:

jasonstatham

(Jason Statham and I have the same hair. I do have slightly fewer prison tattoos.)

And truthfully, what is weight loss except for a project? Yeah, I know, it’s a long-term thing, too. But this is what I get to work on right now. I get to carve away the fat from my body. I am so tremendously lucky to be in a position to get to do that.

When I get to goal weight, I’ll get to select a new goal, which will likely be increasing muscle mass. It will always be something, and that sounds tremendously exciting to me.

The actual thing I can do is as follows.

I’m actually kinda crafty. I like to paint. I like to work with my hands. And thanks to my wife… I like to quilt.

I don’t like to sew, I like to quilt.  And I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are a lot of guys out there who like to quilt.  Not like… so many you’ve probably ever met one before, but enough that there is an internet presence.

Anyway, I’m going to use quilting to keep track of my weight loss.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I wanted to do a quilt out of the dork shirts that I currently wear to the gym to work out in.  I had planned for my wife to do it, but she taught me a few things over Christmas break, and I have to say… quilting is kinda awesome.  So I’m going to do it myself.  The front of my quilt will be my dork shirts, as planned.

The back of my quilt is going to be this design:

quilt1

Each of the colored squares will represent a week.  So, for each week that I have a good week, however I choose to measure it, I’ll give myself a colored square.  I can measure it by weight loss, loss of inches, or even a case of “I know I did everything right.”  However, if I don’t have a good week (too much overeating, no gym, just didn’t try), then I get a plain white square.  I will hopefully have a nice fun quilt with lots of colors at the end.

This quilt allows for 120 blocks.  Since each block is a week, that puts me at 120 weeks, which has me finishing the quilt around my 38th birthday (late April 2016).  I do have a lot of weight to lose, and truthfully, I do believe I can do it in 120 weeks IF I put my mind and effort to it.

So that’s my plan.  Expect me to talk about quilting a bit now.  It’s just strangely cathartic and pleasant, for some reason.

I’m feeling the need to be more manly now to make up for it, too, so if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wrestle a grizzly bear in the backyard.  Or go play with my kid in the living room.  Whichever will give me more of a calorie burn.

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Weigh-In #001 – January 3, 2014

It has been a while since I’ve blogged.

Things are still going well in my life, but it has been a hectic few months.  I’ve been sick for about three of the last four months.  Nothing serious, just ickiness.  Because of my (mild) hemophilia, I have a slightly compromised immune system.  Because I have a 15 month old son in daycare, he brings home every little illness that goes through there.  Combine the two, and you get a consistently sick Daddy. 

I had a tremendously busy fall semester, teaching an overload class.  Spring is always nicer and a bit slower.

In fact, this spring, I’m taking on a new challenge.  I start working on my doctorate next month!  Holy cow!  I’m pursuing a doctoral degree in postsecondary leadership at Western Kentucky University.  I obviously have no idea what my ultimate dissertation topic will be, but if I had to pick right now, it would be something related to international education.  I also graduated this past December with my second Master’s degree, a Masters of Science in Library Media Education with an emphasis in educational technology.  I have a 470 page capstone project completed if anyone would like to read it.

Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

That’s cool.  But I digress.

My professional and educational life is moving along swimmingly.

My health has taken a nose dive.  I blame no one but myself.  I’m not going to gnash my teeth and tear at my hair (what little is left) and lament, “But I did everything right!  How did this happen?!”

I’ve done nothing right.  I know how it happened.

I haven’t worked out since early fall.  I went to the gym a few days ago, got thirty minutes in on the elliptical, and I left EXHAUSTED.  I have lost pretty much all of the fitness I once had.

That’s not the part that bums me out the most, though.

I’ve gained every single pound back that I lost a few years ago, and I’ve gained ten pounds more.

402.8 is no longer my highest weight.  It is now 412.0.  I have at least gotten back on the horse and lost some weight from that number, so I’ve got that going for me, I guess.

But regardless, that horrifies me.  When I first started losing weight and got into the 300s (back in 2004), I swore it would NEVER be that high again.  When I got into the 200s, I swore it would never creep past 300 again.

If you had told 26 year old me that I would meet the girl of my dreams, start my family, have a wonderfully healthy son, AND get up over 400 pounds again, I would have told you you were crazy.

And yet, here we are.

I know what to do.  I know how to lose weight.  I just have to do it.

I’m thinking very seriously of taking down my old blog posts, but we’ll see.  It just feels weird having four years of history here and it all just lead up to me being fatter than ever right now.

But I’m not giving up the blog, and I am going to resume my Friday weigh-ins.

I feel like the ultimate cliché.  Fat guy, starting a blog in a new year.  But it is what it is.

This blog was supposed to keep me accountable, and I’m going to bring it out of storage and start using it again.  Every Friday I will post a weigh-in.  I am going to measure myself every weekend and post that in a separate post, and if I’m feeling super ambitious, there will be another post somewhere in the week about something else.

  • Weigh-in #001
  • January 3, 2014
  • Weight: 407.0
  • Change from Highest: –5.0 pounds

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