Running

Thoughts for Boston

I said I was going to do a photo post of my food today.

After the events at the Boston Marathon yesterday, anything here other than sympathies feels wrong, somehow.

I had a friend from elementary school who (along with her husband) was in the race. I’ll admit to feeling very relieved when I found out her time was 3:49 which meant she should have been well past the explosion (Which occured at 4:09). She and her family are fine.

Last night, I was holding my baby boy (seven months old, almost) when I heard that one of the victims was an eight year old boy.

The thought that just eight years ago, that little boy’s mother was holding him and loving him and wishing him a future of success and love… And now, thanks to the actions of one (or more) despicable human beings, he’s gone. He isn’t with us anymore.

I honestly don’t know how parents survive that.

I’m praying for the people of Boston and the world today. We all need it.

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And the truth of the matter is… we’ll move on. We always do. Things will be back to normal even tomorrow.

I don’t have anywhere in particular I’m going with this. I just really hate this planet, sometimes.

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Race 1/49 – Lifeskills Run for Autism

This past Saturday, April 11th, we did our first of 49 athletic events!

A little backstory first…

My wife works for the WKU Kelly Autism Program. As you can infer from the program name, it is a program designed to provide assistance and support for individuals with autism and Asperger’s. The program she works for recently held a 4 Mile Run and 1 Mile Walk to fundraise for their services.

Since she works for the program, we had to be there bright and early to help. Obviously, Moon Pie had to come, too.

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The turnout was pretty impressive. I was especially impressed by this young woman. I am afraid I can’t remember her name right now, but she has autism (and in fact, did not even speak until she was five years old). She sang the National Anthem before the start of the race.

Wow. That’s all I can say.

As I said in my last blog post, I am going to wear a different dork shirt to each race. For this race, I am wearing my Garbage Pail Kid Adam Bomb shirt!

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This will also be the first shirt in my dork quilt.

Tina and I were doing the walk instead of the run, which means I was allowed to be slightly obnoxious and take pictures as we went. (I promise – I didn’t stop walking. I snapped as I walked.)

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We pushed little guy in his stroller. He was pretty much zonked out by the time we were done.

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It was a nice, easy way to start our recommitment to a physically healthy life. And it was fun – this is only the third “race” I’ve been involved with. I definitely understand how people get hooked on this!

We’ve already signed up for our second “race.” It’s on April 27th!

Miles: 1 mile
Comments on Dork Shirt: 1

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The Next Week…

Long time, no write.

I’m still vlogging. I’m just slow about it.

But I’m blogging today because my weight loss is going much slower than it should be.

I weigh over 350 pounds. I should be able to lose two to three pounds a week, no problem.

I am not. I am losing roughly two to three pounds a month.

I know why. This isn’t a blog post where I lament my slow weight loss and tear at my hair in frustration.

No, I’m losing weight slowly because I eat too much and don’t move enough.

The end.

In an attempt to stop this, I have done/am doing two things.

The thing I am doing – for the next week, I will post a photo of everything I eat, report my weight daily, AND say what I did for exercise, here on the blog. I don’t want to say I’ll do it forever, but I am certainly planning to do it for more than a week. I just don’t want to say I’ll do it for a month (or three months… or a year…) right off the bat. So for now… I’m going to do it for a week.

I’m going to take photos of my food and post an Instagram mosaic of my food. I’m going to be completely honest – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I feel like my diet is extremely clean (mostly), but I still do eat the occasional candy bar or drink the rare Sprite. Still, feel free to comment, constructively criticize, or whatever else on my food choices.

Overall, we eat an extremely clean diet, but we do have our indulgences. I may be eating too many indulgences – I’m hoping this photographic food log will help.

The thing I have already done…

My family recommitted to a healthy lifestyle this weekend. On Saturday, we took part in the first of 49 athletic events.

I’ll blog about the event tomorrow.

So, the 49 things…

If you’ve been watching my vlogs, you know that I am a HUGE fan of dork t-shirts, and that I initially planned to wear a different shirt for every 10 pounds until I got to goal weight.

However, I have recently decided to slightly modify that.

Have you ever heard of a t-shirt quilt?

Basically, it’s just what it sounds like – a quilt made out of t-shirts. And it just so happens that my wife is incredibly crafty and knows how to quilt.

I want to make a gigantic King-sized quilt that will represent everything about my weight loss. When I get to goal weight, I want to hold this quilt up and say, “This quilt is a pictorial and nostalgic representation of me and the journey I took to today.”

I am going to have a collection of 49 dork shirts, representing (more or less) every five pounds (or so) of my weight from its highest (402.8) to my ultimate goal (currently set at 180, but we’ll see). I’m still in the process of collecting and making those shirts, but so far, they are primarily concerned with nostalgic things from my childhood, such as Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, classic Nickelodeon, and some old-school Nintendo games.

Oh, and why 49? Because seven rows of seven quilt blocks (cut from the front of each t-shirt) is the size you need to make a nice big King quilt. I know my wife won’t let me put it on our bed, but it’ll be awesome to cuddle up under on the couch on a cold winter night.

That’ll be the front of the quilt.

The back of the quilt will be 49 patches from race t-shirts.

I’m not a runner. Right now, I’m just a walker. But Tina and I were talking about it, and we want Moon Pie to grow up in an athletic household. I want going to a 5K early one Saturday morning to be the norm for him. And for that to be the norm, we have to get started now, when he’s not quite seven months old.

I have no delusions of being a runner just yet. I currently weigh over 350 pounds. That’s too heavy for me to start running right now. I don’t want my knees or back to blow out. However, I can start walking events (a lot of races around here also contain a walking component), and I am.

At each event, I’ll wear a different dork shirt.

And when I am at goal, I’ll have my amazing quilt, one side dork and nostalgic and the other side t-shirts from races and other athletic events that helped make me a fit, healthy athlete.

So, to sum up…

I am going to start photographing my food and posting it, along with my daily weight, on this blog. I am pledging to do it for a week straight.

I am going to collect dork shirts AND complete 49 different athletic events as I progress to goal weight. Just an FYI – Tina has told me that one of the events MUST be the half-marathon (or marathon – dare I dream?) at Disney World. Frankly, I hope at least one of them is a Tough Mudder.

I once lost weight down to 250 pounds. I’m past being ashamed of gaining so much back. Now, I just have to get there and go farther.

I’ve done it once. I’ll do it again.

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A Nerd Fitness Six Week Challenge Weigh-In

My weigh-ins jump all over the place. I’m just not very consistent that way, but I am consistent in that I weigh in roughly once per week. For the next six weeks, at least, I am weighing in on Mondays because I am going to take part in the Nerd Fitness Six Week Challenge. Since today is the first day and it ends on April 16th, I’m switching to Mondays.

If you don’t know what Nerd Fitness is, well… it’s basically a fitness/health/level up your life blog for nerds. I know of no other way to describe it. Plus, Steve (the owner/author/dude in charge) has six-pack abs, and I think I have a man crush. (Is that weird? Sorry. But not really.)

To participate, go here for more info.

First up, my complete measurements, along with two Myspace-esque hold-the-camera-at-the-mirror photos. (I hate doing those, a lot, but I want a photo visual to compare before and after, and Tina left for work. [I have no work because it’s spring break!])

They aren’t flattering, but they are me, right now. Unshaved, unshowered, and a little funky from just cleaning out the garage.

And these are my stats, along with body measurements, some of which were very, very, shockingly eye-opening. It’s funny; you see that body every day in the mirror, but until you actually wrap a tape measure around your stomach… it just doesn’t have the same impact. I am definitely looking forward to that number going down.

Weight: 370.3
Change from Last Thursday: -1.3 pounds
Change from Highest: -32.0 pounds
Waist: 54”
Stomach: 65 ¼”
Chest: 54 ½”
R. Thigh: 33”
R. Calf: 19 ½”
R. Bicep: 18 ½”

The calf may reduce some, but not much. My calves are pretty solid. The rest of the numbers will drop. I have big arms, but there is definitely some flab on there I need to lose, too.

Part of the Six Week Challenge is picking two to three diet goals, fitness goals, and Level Up Your Life goals. Here are mine.

Diet

Eat at least seven fruit and veggie servings every day. (Seriously – I struggle hard with this.)

Track all foods that I eat. (For the most part, I do well here, but I want to keep this a goal so I remember to do so.)
Have a protein-based snack every day, instead of reaching for carbs. (I’m thinking a few hard-boiled egg whites every day at two p.m. might get me through the afternoon slump better than a candy bar.)

Fitness

Run a 5K, regardless of time. (I’ve struggled with running for a long time. I want to yet I don’t, because it is hard on my body. Well, I recently discovered something that, for me, seems to be working. I jog in place to train, and I limit my outdoor runs to once per week. So far, I’m doing great on this plan. No feet or joint pain, and my cardio endurance, even jogging in place, is significantly growing. Let’s see. And if for some reason I end up being unable to run, I’ll count this a victory even if I just walk the 5K.)

Stretch after every workout.

Decrease waist size by 3”. (I know we shouldn’t use numbers for time-based goals, but I feel this is very attainable.)

Level Up Life

Pay off last remaining credit card debt. (Very doable. Should happen in next two months. I want to see it happen in the next six weeks.)

Write 15,000 words on my young adult novel. (At the end of the day, I am often very tired and after I get my exercise in, the idea of sitting at the computer and writing doesn’t always appeal to me. However, if I want to finish my book (and I do), I need to do this!)

So, those are my goals. If you want to participate, you have until March 7th to sign up.

Here’s hoping it works! Today is a brand new day. I’m making it mine.

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An Open Letter from my Muse to Myself #2 –

Dear Jeremy,

The pounds are slowly coming off. That’s awesome. Keep it up. But there’s something else I want to talk to you about today.

On these electronic pages, you’ve shared many, many times your desire to be a runner.

You’ve tried it, many times, but frankly, at your current weight, it hurts your joints. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.

I can already hear what you are thinking.

“I hate that my cardio endurance is strong enough that I can run, but my joints won’t let me.”

“I hate that I have the desire to run, but the last time I tried, I literally ended up at the doctor’s office, getting a prescription for severe inflammation in my feet.”

“And to be honest… I hate that I am jealous getting to read others’ blogs as they progress from weight loser to runner.”

I want you to stop living in the realm of “I want to but…”

Screw that. There are things that you CAN do now.

You can’t run. Big freaking deal.

You can walk. Your legs are strong. Your joints may not be able to take 370 pounds of running, but they can sure take walking.

I know how much time you spend at the Bowling Green Road Runners website, looking at their calendar of upcoming races and fantasizing about joining their ranks.

So stop fantasizing and do it. There are going to be a lot of 5Ks this year that are also open to walkers.

Sign up, give your money to a worthwhile cause, walk the 3.1 miles, collect your t-shirt, and every step, every ounce lost, will put you closer to joining the ranks of runners you so desperately want to join.

You can do this. You will do this. You owe it to yourself.

Regards,
Mason

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