Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

3 of 15 – The Joys of Running

I think I’ve made it pretty obvious throughout this blog that I LOVE exercise. I enjoy fitness. I like lifting weights. I even like cardio. I LOVE the idea of signing up for races and collecting 5K t-shirts, moving on to harder races, and someday, maybe even claiming the title of Marathoner.

Please note – I love the IDEA.

The actual running itself?

Hate it. I hate it with the blue hot fiery hate of a superhot blue star.

I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried. I’ve seen what, from my perspective, seems like the vast majority of fitness bloggers take up running, discover they love it, and then run races all the time. I’m jealous.

This is what my experience looks like.

I start off. I manage. When I’m doing runs shorter than five minutes in duration, I even find myself enjoying it. At least a little. I look forward to the day when I can sign up for a 5K and just go run it without having to worry about EVERYTHING. But then… it starts to suck. I find that it takes recovery time after a workout. I hobble the next morning. My knees ache. And then… just like that… running sucks.

And I stop.

I’ve done this at least six times now. Maybe more.

Will I do it again? Probably. In fact, my big decision (ever closer, I promise) may require it, albeit indirectly.

This time, I am going to wait. I’m doing great with my weight loss at the moment (I look forward to sharing a big loss in December!) but I really do believe that I need to weight significantly less for running to be safe for me.

I don’t know how long I will wait, but it’ll probably be a while. I definitely do not see myself trying to run until I am below 300 pounds. My body just can’t handle the stress and strain.

Frankly, if exercise is not enjoyable and does not improve the immediate quality of my life, then I am not going to do it. I’m not writing running off forever. I’m just writing it off for now.

Right now, I’m getting my cardio in in a few different ways. For one, I have my Wii. It’s actually a surprising way to get your body moving. I go for surprisingly strenuous walks that don’t hurt my joints but definitely get me sweating and my heart rate up. And of course, I lift weights.

I want to be physically active. At some point when my financial situation is better (not that it’s awful at the moment, but we still have some minor credit card debt and some major student loans to pay off), I plan to sign up for taekwondo again.

I want to have a family with Tina, and I want to be physically active. Notice I didn’t say thin. Frankly, yes, I want to be thin and fit, but the fact also remains, even if I somehow can never change the way my body looks, I plan to keep exercising because it makes me feel good.

When I was overwhelmed with work earlier this semester, I ended up going about two weeks without getting any real good workouts in. Working fourteen hour days can just kind of do that to you. I didn’t feel good. I felt lethargic. I felt even bigger than I was. I just felt run down. I need to be physically active so that I have that wonderful endorphin rush and my heart doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode if the elevator is broken.

Even more than that, I need to be physically strong because what I have planned is going to require it. I need to be strong, fit, and athletic. For a long time.

And if you are guessing, no, I’m not going into the military, either. Stay tuned. I’m normally not one who is a fan of, “Keep reading! I’m not going to share yet!”

But yeah, that is exactly what this is. One hint – you’ll either think it’s cool that I’m actually trying this or slightly insane. Maybe both!

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Let’s Go to the Mall!… Today!

I am still not fully well. My throat hurts and the coughing is ridiculous. However, I do feel better, so on Saturday, I got to exercise for the first time in almost two weeks!

Isn’t it amazing? In the past, a two week reprieve of NO exercise would have been a case of, “Whatever. Turn on Star Trek: TNG.” Now, it’s more like, “Two weeks! I’ll go crazy!”

I did got crazy a little bit. But last night… we did it! And since we are in the midst of our no-gym experiment, I knew the workout would be one we did at home.

Last weekend, in the midst of our first annniversary extravaganza, we bought Just Dance 3 from Target.

We’ve had a Wii for a while, but I’ll admit that since the Super Nintendo became an outdated relic, I’ve not been much of a gamer. I did enjoy playing Super Mario Brothers Wii and Super Mario Galaxy, but I’ll be honest – even though I am a MAJOR dork/geek/nerd and do tons of dorky/geeky/nerdy things, gaming isn’t one of them. However, Tina got Just Dance 2 last year, and it was decently fun.

When we saw Just Dance 3 at Target, there was one song on the list that I KNEW would require us to buy the game immediately…

Robin Sparkles’ “Let’s Go to the Mall”

If you watch How I Met Your Mother, you get the signifiance. If you don’t, well… the character of Robin Scherbatsky on the show was a teen pop sensation in Canada named Robin Sparkles who had one hit, the song “Let’s Go to the Mall.” This is an entirely in-show joke. Never released, no radio air-time, there is no Robin Sparkles. Except in Just Dance 3.

They actually used the entire song in Just Dance 3! We had to get it!

The game did not disappoint. We did it for about forty minutes and got a very decent sweat going. I honestly felt like I worked out just as hard as I would have on the treadmilll. I do believe that working out at home will require a little more mental energy expended, but that was required at the gym, too. There were plenty of times that I had mentally checked out and just barely worked out at the gym.

Tina and I are doing some weights today and restarting the 100 Push Ups workout.

Have you ever tried 100 Push Ups?

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A Shirt Skirt Weigh-In

What the heck is a shirt skirt?

This is a shirt skirt. It’s a women’s skirt made out of a men’s dress shirt.

What does that have to do with me losing weight? I’ll explain below.

August 8, 2011
Change from Highest = -33 pounds

I don’t even remember the last time I had a normal weigh-in. It HAS been one of those summers. You know the type that are crazy busy? Yeah, but I’ve also been lazy and I’ve been slacking. Because the truth of it is, we make time for what is important to us.

I have moments, periodically, where something triggers, “Oh yeah, this is why it is important to lose weight and not die morbidly obese in my 40s.”

My wife Tina has a pinterest account. She’s been going on and on about how awesome it is, so I signed up, too. It’s cool; I don’t think I’m hooked yet, but while I was going through her pins, I came across one for a skirt shirt.

I asked her about it, and she said that as soon as I’ve lost lots of weight and can no longer wear my current dress shirts, she’s going to turn them into skirts for her to wear.

That simple comment really hit home. My weight loss is incredibly interconnected with everything in my life, especially Tina.

How can I be so selfish to stay obese? I have a loving wife. Aside from the obvious fact that I owe it to myself, I owe it to her, too. She deserves a healthy husband.

Yeah, I could care less about Tina making skirts out of my dress shirts. It’s just the big picture. Every action I make has repercussions. I choose to get up at 5:30 in the morning to go to the gym and run in the morning rather than sleep in. I want to be healthy, fit, and an athlete. I don’t want to be morbidly obese and continually buying larger clothing because I’ve upsized again.

So… I’m going back to the reward system I had LAST year at my blog before the move to this host. Those of you who were reading me back then may remember, but basically, I set myself five goals. Each goal is worth $1. If I make that goal, then that’s $1 that goes into a pleasure account for me. I can do anything I want with it.

If I don’t make that goal, then that $1 goes into a giveaway for you. When I’ve collected enough money to give away something fitness or health related, that’s what I’ll do.

So, my five goals for this week?

1. Get my weight down to below 367.
2. Run five minutes without stopping.
3. Drink a gallon of water on at least four days.
4. Eat a salad full of greens on at least five days.
5. Do yoga before bed at least three times.

Any shirt-skirt moments in your life recently?

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Power Rangers: A Pressing Engagement

Busy summer.

I truly believed that by working at a university, I would have an easy summer. There aren’t many students here now, right? It’s got to be easier.

Yeah, right.

One of the busiest summers of my professional life ever. (I’ll be honest – I’m really looking forward to having next summer off. My new nine month contract starts in August! Woo hoo!)

But I wouldn’t change a second of it. It’s been awesome. I’ve made some extra money, paid down some credit card debt (still have a ways to go, but we’re working on it!), had some good times, and kept working out. My weight, as always, is giving me a little trouble, but I’m in charge here, and the numbers are dropping. I’m actually excited about weighing in tomorrow. I expect to post at least a two pound loss, so woo hoo for me.

The Run For Your Lives is in just a few months. Holy crap. I have to get cracking! Weights are good, weights are great. The weight room makes me happy. And weights are going to be crucial during this challenge, because the Run For Your Lives isn’t an ordinary 5K. They’ve only released two of the twelve obstacles we have to navigate during the race (while running from zombies), but one involves climbing a wall. Climbing a wall will take muscles. It would be nice if I was about two hundred pounds lighter, but I’ll just have to do the best I can. Fortunately, we’re allowed to skip obstacles if we just physically can’t do them, so I always have that in my back pocket. (This is not the best option, for two reasons. One, if you skip an obstacle, while you are allowed to finish, you automatically finish as a zombie, and I’m still hoping to finish the race as a survivor.)

So, in a change of pace, rather than lift weights this morning, we did cardio at the gym this morning. I’m still nowhere near ready to run a 5K, and given that I’m being CHASED through a 5K on October 22nd, I should get a move on. I feel confident in my ability to tear it up; I’ve still got time. I just have to start. So today we did.

It’s funny. If you take a break from exercise, you lose it. A few months ago, I actually jogged 1.55 miles without too terribly much effort. Today, three separate 1-minute jogs almost killed me. Oh well. I was there once; I’ll get there again. Tina and I are even talking about hitting the gym after work a few times, too, just to get in more cardio time. (We like weights in the morning.)

But this morning, I watched an episode of Power Rangers at the gym. I just put my iPad on the treadmill, signed on to WKU’s wireless internet, pulled up the Netflix ap, and got the 4th episode of the 1st season going. The pregnant lady next to me on the treadmill kept giving me looks out of the corner of her eye when the show started. I know she was just jealous she had to watch AM Kentucky while I was rocking out with Zordon and Alpha.

So yeah, I accidentally took a little hiatus from my dorkdom to work on work. Geeze, it’s like there are bills that have to be paid or something. And while I can’t promise how often I’ll post, I’m really going to try and do more than just my weekly weigh-ins.

Without further ado, I present to you the 4th episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, A Pressing Engagement.


Our episode starts with Jason in the Youth Center, trying to set the Angel Grove High Bench Press record. For most reps. The record to beat is 1,010. Not heaviest weight. Most reps.

Okay, I’ve never heard of such a weight lifting record, but whatever. Ernie loses count around 1,005, and Jason is afraid people will think he’s a quitter. Kimberly and Zack assure him that they will think no such thing.

Rita notices that Jason is distraught, but his friends make him feel better. Therefore, she will send a monster called King Sphinx down who can flap his wings, blow the other Rangers away, and make Jason be alone or something.

This should have been the episode they submitted for the Emmy nod.

Anyway, Jason, Zack, and Kimberly hear from Zordon about the monster, morph, and sure enough, Kimberly and Zack are blown away from the fight and into the Youth Center, demorphed.

Jason, of course, is alone, but the other four get together, Zordon tells them something about Power Crystals or Power Somethings, and the Ranger find them, throw them, or something, Jason finds them, and they turn into his friends.

I really was paying attention. But in the end, Jason is reunited with his friends, they defeat the monster, and he reattempts the bench press record, this time with Trini counting. And of course, he succeeds, with his friend’s help. Mostly because Trini can actually count above 1,000 without being distracted.

Cheering for Jason's victory... and Trini is levitating

Cheering for Jason's victory... and Trini is levitating

Weight Loss Analogy

Okay, I never claimed that every episode would be a winner. Part of the problem is that Power Rangers was adapted from footage of the Japanese show Kyoruu Sentai Zyuranger. Other than the appearance of the Ranger suits, very little stayed the same. It wasn’t a show about five teenagers fighting evil. It was about five ancient warriors fighting evil.

That made for some interesting fill-ins when the show was adapted for a US audience. The Power Crystals allegedly made more sense in the original footage. (The usage of Japanese footage is also why the Yellow Ranger looks masculine when morphed. Yellow was male in Japan.) But regardless, I’m going to disregard the Power Crystals or whatever other nonsense was going on and just focus on Jason.

Jason admitted that he needed his friends to help him out.

How perfect is that for weight loss and fitness? Whether you have a little to lose or almost 200 pounds to lose (or more), we don’t need to do it alone.

I’m not going to say that it can’t be done alone, but I know that I, for one, have no desire to attempt it alone.

I’m very lucky in that I am surrounded by people to help me out. Tina is my number one support. I have my coworkers, who always express an interest when I share any success I’ve had in the gym or on the scale. I have my Weight Watchers @Work group, who are likewise very encouraging and a great support system.

I’ve also got this blog and all of you. I love having a place where I can vent, share my dorkiness, and talk with others. Even if you don’t have a blog, you can leave comments and talk with people on their blogs. We’re all in this together, and collectively, we can accomplish more than we can alone.

Those are just some of the people I have in my corner, helping me in my weight loss fight. (And I’m including you in my corner, too. You’re a bigger help to me than you’ll ever realize.)

Who is helping you?

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A List of Lists Weigh-In

Quick one today, folks. Thinking I might do this one in list format instead of a several paragraph mind blarf.

July 8, 2011
Change from Last Week: -1.1 pounds
Change from All-Time High: -27.7 pounds

Things I Did Great This Week:
Lifted weights (HARD) almost every day. (Tina and I took Sunday off, although I mowed the yard then.)
Have successfully adapted to a pre-work workout (which entails getting up at the sucktacular time of 5:30 – for a hard core night owl like myself, this is tough!)
MOSTLY tracked my food.

Things I Didn’t Do So Great This Week:
Only MOSTLY tracked my food. (This means there were times I didn’t track, which is not good for weight loss for me at the moment.)
Ate four cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster on Wednesday night (really, one wouldn’t have sufficed?)
Didn’t keep reading Geneen Roth’s book (which may be why I didn’t post a bigger number)
Didn’t do as much core work as I should.

Good Things I Have Noticed This Week:
The hard weight lifting is paying off. I definitely have bigger arms and stronger legs.

Now off the lists:

I guess I’m not that good at lists. Even when I make lists, I end up rambling on and on in the list.

Next week will be a tough one. I’m going to a three day conference for work in Lexington, Kentucky. Unlike my job, which I love, the conference is going to suck. Hard. (I’m also going to miss Tina. I think this is the first time since we’ve been married we’ve not been together – no, I’m not so codependent that we can’t function apart, but I’m still going to miss her.)

And there is a big temptation awaiting me at this conference…

The hotel I am staying at has an all-you-can-eat breakfast mega-buffet-extravaganza every morning!

Have I shared with you how much I love breakfast mega buffets?

They are most definitely not conducive to dieting.

I’ve got two potential game plans.

A) If there is something I am craving that is available on the buffet, say scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon, rather than go to the buffet and eating all I can eat, I’m going to leave the hotel, find a restaurant, order scrambled eggs with cheese and a side of bacon, eat it, enjoy it, and not eat all that I can eat.
B) Take some form of food that I can eat in my hotel room and simply man up and NOT even think about going to the breakfast buffet.
I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

On the plus side, the hotel has a fitness room, so I can at least get in some form of exercise, even if it’s just three nights of cardio.

In other good news, Fitbloggin Local is tomorrow! I’m going to the Nashville chapter, and even though there are only seven of us going, I can’t wait to meet some of my fellow bloggers! Thanks to Emily at for planning such an awesome morning for us tomorrow!

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