Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

231.4!! Officially Over 80 Pounds Lost!

Another great weigh-in with 2.0 pounds lost.  That puts me .6 under my August 1 goal with three days to go.  A week ago, the prospect of getting to 232 looked bleak.  Now, I am hoping to shave a couple of pounds off that goal.  Wish me luck...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Friend The Scale

One of the most difficult things about our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park a week and a half ago was that I was not able to weigh in for two days.  I really didn't know when I started this journey if I would enjoy weighing myself daily.  I thought it might be a little overkill.  But, I have found that I look forward to these weigh-ins.  And, again, they are part of this whole ritual of accountibility.  It really does affect my behavior when I know that I am going to have to own up to an increase in pounds.

I thought I might be past all of this.  I even thought that I no longer needed the accountibility factor of this blog.  But, I think not being able to weigh in on Saturday and Sunday was a small contributor to my lack of focus.  It is easy to let yourself think that you are doing good even when you are not.  And, much easier when you don't have your trusty friend to remind you.

I go back to what I said a couple of months ago.  I need that constant reminder.  I need to know right away when my body has registered an even minor blip upwards because then I can make a quick reaction.  If I weighed weekly, despite knowing how this whole Eat Less Move More process works, I still think I might let a day turn in to a couple of days and eventually even a week. 

I hated not having a scale with me.  I hated not knowing if I had indeed lost some weight from the hike only to gain it back after a brutal Sunday.  In addition to the chance to react, weighing daily allows me to mentally track what works and what doesn't.

This Sunday is August 1, my official weigh-in day.  Unfortunately, I will be out of town again and unable to weigh myself on the biggest day of the month...  well, second biggest since I have my only non-first-day-of-the-month weigh-in scheduled for my birthday on August 16.  I really hate missing this weigh-in.  Even worse, I really hate pushing it back to Monday because Mondays have been notoriously worse than the other days because of the much more difficult task of staying focused over the weekends.  But, Monday it is.  That give me one extra day to get to 232.  Please don't turn me in to the obesity police for skipping the August 1 weigh-in.

This has been a good stretch for me since returning from RMNP.  I have lost 7.6 pounds in nine days.  I have finally gotten past a two week period where I felt like a hamster on one of those round wheels that keeps pedaling his heart out but never gets anywhere!  Again, this mini-struggle within my struggle was all due to my choices... no surprises there.  But, it was nice to have my friend the scale remind me to get busy after we got back from the trip.  The scale is brutally honest.  It doesn't tell me that it's okay to have a bad weekend.  It doesn't tell me that I deserve it.  It simplys states the facts and it is brutally honest.  It tells me that I gained 4 pounds in bright green LED numbers!  And, even though we don't always listen, it practically begs us to stay focused and make better choices.  Here's to one of my best friends... my scale...


Back in the groove once again with another 1.4 pounds shed!  That puts 232 within reach and gives me some small hope of actually exceeding that number!  Since it is rounded, that ticker now shows 80 pounds!  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Silence Is Deafening

I would guess that at least 95% of the people at the gym have some sort of MP3 player.  Obviously, music is a great workout aid.  It can keep your mind off of the monotony of a workout.  It can help you ignore the pain creeping in to your body.  And, it can even help motivate you to go a little bit harder or a little bit faster. 

I have a four-point checklist that I run through my head every day as I am heading out for the gym.  I make sure that I have my gym ID card, a towel, my water, and my iPod Touch.  I have been nervous on those nights when I realized that my iPod needed charging and that I was dangerously close to having it go off in the middle of a workout.  Lori has completely forgotten her iPod on a couple of occasions.  I have offered mine up each time and she has thankfully declined every time. 

As I was leaving tonight, I remembered that I wanted to add "Find Your Love" by Drake before I left.  I added a few other songs for good measure before took off.  I got to the club, started the treadmill, put my headphones on...  and then tragedy struck!  My iPod came up with a screen that said "No Content".  I was stunned and slightly horrified.  While I knew the answer, I checked to see if any of my podcasts or videos remained.  But, alas, my iPod had been wiped clear of any content. 

I wanted to cry.  If I didn't have only an hour until the club closed, I may have gone home and loaded it.  I kept walking on the treadmill while listening to the pounding of my own footsteps.  I tried to fill my thoughts with possible blog ideas or any other thought that might distract me.  I wasn't very successful.  Seconds passed... then, well, seconds passed again.  Every minute seemed like five.  Finally, at about the 40 minute mark, my son walked up on his way out of the club and I asked him for his to get me through the end of my workout.  What a lifesaver!

Tonight was so much more difficult than most nights.  All I could hear is the pounding of my footsteps.  It reminds me of the center lines blurring past when you are tired and driving on the highway.  There is no other noise.  Only silence.  As a matter of fact, I don't know how people exercised in the "old days". 

I will make sure that I check my iPod every time that I connect to the computer.  I will make sure that my mental checklist includes a check of the playlist and the battery life.  Here's to never having your MP3 player run out of battery life or display "No Content" right before or during a workout...


Under 235 for the first time... well, first time in a long time!  While still looking bleak, my goal of 232 is now only 2.8 pounds away.  Difficult, but attainable.  I won't give up until the fat lady sings... sorry, I won't give up until the metabolism-challenged lady sings.  Hey fat lady, quit warming up!  I'm trying, I'm trying!

Monday, July 26, 2010


With only six days to go,  I may need to cut off a limb to reach my August 1 goal of 232.  But, I haven't given up quite yet...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Pics!

It used to be a rare thing to have any pictures taken of me, let alone two taken in one day!  Yesterday, I found myself on the wrong side of the camera once again. 

In the morning, my friend Russ and his son, Brandon, picked me up on our way to a golf fundraiser in Colorado City.  I laughed when I saw Brandon walk up wearing an outfit awfully similar to what I had on.  He made a face at his father as if to say, "Are you kidding me?".  Below is the picture of mini-me and and his Uncle Anthony after finishing our round of golf.  By the way, Brandon swings his driver better than me.

After I got home from the golf tournament, I realized that I still had about a 40 minute window to hit the club before I had to get ready for the wedding we were attending in Colorado Springs that evening.  And, yes, being able to get to the club absolutely made my day!  Not sure of the relevance of this part of the story since it has nothing to do with these two photos.

The second picture is of Lori and I shortly before leaving for the wedding.  Besides Lori wanting to take this photo, I had a secondary reason for taking it because I wanted to show you my "found" suit.  Some time last week I realized that I didn't know what I was going to wear to this wedding.  I knew that it would be a pretty fancy wedding and that it was being held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort.  I figured that most of the people in attendance would be wearing suits and a quick survey of my friends who were attending confirmed this. 

The only problem is that the suit I had purchased a few years ago and wore as recently as a couple of months ago simply didn't fit me anymore.  And, that was my only suit. In fact, it would look pretty silly on me.  I debated purchasing a new suit.  But, given that I have at least 35+ more pounds to lose, that seemed silly and a waste of money.  I thought of renting a suit as well.  I asked a friend if he had any jackets that might fit.  In the end, I hoped that I wouldn't look too underdressed when I showed up in a dress shirt and tie.  I thought about being underdressed even more when Lori found a really nice dress last weekend.

Some time in the middle of the week, I remembered that I had kept some old suits in my daughter's closet.  I also remembered looking at them late last year and getting rid of them along with a lot of other old clothing in the closet.  I knew I had gotten rid of one of my old suits because it looked a little old and worn.  I also thought I had gotten rid of a second because I thought the color was no longer in style.  But, I couldn't remember if I had gotten rid of the third.  When I asked Lori, she said she didn't think I had kept any of the suits and was pretty sure I had given them all to Goodwill.  The next day, she called to tell me she had found it in the closet. 

I was glad that I had kept it, though I had no idea if it would be remotely close to fitting since I can't remember the timeframe of any of these old clothes.  I finally remembered to try it on Wednesday night.  I couldn't believe it when I slid the pants on and they fit!  A touch snug, but definitely workable.  With a couple of good days eating, I figured I could survive the night and still be able to breathe.  It was like finding a brand new suit!  I no longer needed to worry...

To add to the excitement over finding my old suit was a fun evening at a nice wedding filled with more compliments and encouraging words from so many friends that it's almost overwhelming.  Thanks to everyone who had something kind to say.  I really do appreciate the words.  Here's to finding unexpected surprises in the hidden recesses of your closet...


Finally, a new low.  Even better since I can't say I was as disciplined as I would have liked last night at the wedding we went too.  Good to see the scale moving in the right direction again. 

Friday, July 23, 2010


Another 1.8 pounds down!  Come on 235!  After a rough two weeks, I find myself fighting to break that next mini-barrier once again. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sunday Bloody Sunday

When we set out for Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday, our plan included the 10+ mile hike to Sky Pond on Saturday and then another 7+ mile hike on Sunday.  About halfway down the mountain on Saturday, it started to sink in that our plans may have been a touch optimistic.  By the time we got back to the car, we had already begun negotiations regarding a new plan with a much shorter hike.  We settled on about a 3.6 mile hike. 

Up until that point, I had done pretty good on my eating.  P.F. Chang's was awesome on Friday and I still hit my calorie goals.  And, while I ate plenty on Saturday morning in preparation of our hike, I know I burned plenty of calories during that hike to easily offset the bigger than normal breakfast.  With that in mind and the smaller hike on the Sunday agenda, I decided that I could get away with another favorite meal.  We spotted the Qdoba around the corner from the hotel and, as always, Qdoba did not disappoint.  My intent was to have the much healthier tacos.  But, desire won out over intent and I instead ordered the Three Cheese Nachos... my favorite.

Everything was going according to plan, well save for the nachos that replaced the taco and the 3.6 mile hike instead of the 7 mile one.  The only problem is that Lori and I struggled to wake up or get out of bed on Sunday.  A small part of me still wanted to hit the mountain.  But, it was such a miniscule part that it was very easily convinced to turn over and sleep a couple of more hours.  When we awoke, that hike no longer seemed like such a good idea.  We decided to go shopping as we made our way back to Pueblo.  On Saturday, we were climbing a mountain.  On Sunday, we were both falling forward as we stepped off the curb in the parking lot of Gordman's!

Needless to say, this change in plans made my Qdoba outing a much worse choice.  But, I wasn't that worried.  I planned to go to Chik-Fil-A for a chicken sandwich on the way home and figured the day and the night before would be a wash as long as we took a walk when we returned home.  There was only one problem.  Like countless Sundays before, we had once again forgotten the unfortunate Chik-Fil-A policy of closing on Sundays!  My favorite chicken sandwich was no longer in the cards.  One of my all-time favorites was crossing my mind as a replacement... though I was trying hard not to suggest it... but the words came out, "How about Brewery Bar".  The Brewery Bar!  I love the Brewery Bar!  While it doesn't sound even remotely like a Mexican restaurant, the Brewery Bar is probably my favorite Mexican place.  I used my Anniversary as justification and happily headed to chile relleno nirvana.  By the time I was done with my chile relleno and enchilada smothered in green chile, beans, chips and salsa... oh, and a ton of wonderful melted cheese... I was as full as I have been since my last Mexican meal at Mi Ranchito's.

I can't say I had no regrets.  I can say that I have so much confidence that these meals are simply minor setbacks and only delay the day that I break 200.  I no longer worry about one meal derailing my progress.  I think my only regret is feeling that full as I got back in the car. 

I knew that Saturday night and Sunday afternoon were going to be reflected at my Monday weigh-in and I was proven correct. I won't lie.  I have gotten way better about accepting these mornings.  But, it didn't start my week on a good note.  Luckily, that memory faded fast.  The memories of the hike, the meals, and the wonderful weekend will outlast any of the bad memories I have of a full stomach.  Here's to a short-term memory when it comes to the poor ones and an elephant's memory when it comes to the good ones...


Happy to be back under 240 and thrilled at the 2.2 pounds lost.  While I am pretty sure that I will not be getting to my stretch goal of 227 or my offical goal of 232 by the end of the month, I am now hoping that I can at least get under my original August 1 goal of 235. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The End of the Streak

Something else happened on Saturday... though it seemed uneventful after our hike to Sky Pond.  After 116 straight days, my streak of being in the gym and on a treadmill finally came to an end.  The streak that drove me for more than 16 weeks was suddenly over.  That streak had lasted from March 24 until July 17! 

And, I miss it.  I liked that streak.  That streak got me to the club on nights when I didn't quite feel up to it.  While that incentive was not as necessary over the last couple of months as it was in the beginning, there was still always a part of me that wanted to get that number as high as possible.  I knew it would come to an end eventually.  I just knew that life and circumstances would present a day where the treadmill just wasn't possible.  But, I hoped that day would come after I reached 100 days and was glad I was able to reach that milestone.  I enjoyed saying, "I have been in the gym for __________ number of days and am eating better" every time I was asked what my secret was. 

Somewhere along the journey, I realize that my addiction to exercising had taken over and that I no longer needed the streak to get me in the gym or motivate me.  Even after I hit 100, I had no less desire to get on that treadmill even on those tired nights.  As soon as Lori and I started planning our weekend, I knew that I was facing the likely possibility of the end.  I figured it would be difficult to get up early on Sunday, hike, and then drive home and still be able to fit in a visit to the hotel gym or club.  I think Lori was worried that I would be a little nutty about getting to the gym in the hotel.  I wasn't.  I was okay with it.  Even told myself that it was probably healthier to let it end and face my obsessions head on. 

When we arrived on Friday, we made our way to the hotel gym for a 30 minute workout.  The streak continued.  Day 116 was in the books.

On Saturday, I realized about three miles in to the hike that there would be no treadmill in my future that day.  I laughed at myself for even letting thoughts of the treadmill interrupt our incredible hike.  The streak was coming to an end.

It is hard to feel really bad about ending an exercise streak after hiking 10 miles.  But, the streak wasn't simply that I had exercised every day.  It wasn't simply because I defined the streak as being in a gym or a club.  Silly me.  Had I defined it as getting at least 30 minutes of exercise, then my streak would now be at 134 and would still be alive and well.  That streak started the night that this blog started and is still going strong.

Despite our soreness and being tired from a long weekend, I still wanted to go for a walk on Sunday night when we got home.  We hit the Riverwalk and walked for about 70 minutes.  It was hard to even climb up and down the stairs.  But, it felt good to stretch those legs that were so tight.  And, it felt good to be exercising once again. 

I will continue to go to the gym every single night that I possibly can.  For now, I feel that I need it and, yes, I am slightly obsessed.  I hope that the day will come when I reach my ideal weight and I can back off the pedal ever so slightly and reduce my workouts to five or six times a week.  But, I also know myself well enough to realize that I may never feel that way again.  I am likely to exercise every single day except the days where it is simply impossible and those few moments where my body is telling me to give it a rest.  I plan to listen to my body then more than I do now.  Monday started a new streak.  Today was Day 3.  Only 114 more days to break my own record.  Here's to starting your own streaks and breaking your own records...


That darn scale just can't give me 239-something... what a tease!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Hike To Sky Pond

While I gained five pounds over my anniversary weekend, it hardly made an impact on my psyche because I am still on such an incredible high from Lori and I's hike on Saturday.  We had planned on hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday and Sunday and chose this as our Saturday route because it was longer than the other hike and we wanted to get it out of the way first.  We had driven through RMNP a couple of years ago for the first time and loved it.  But, two years ago we had absolutely no thoughts of hiking the park.  

After walking 7 miles around Lake Pueblo Reservoir last weekend, we felt confident that we could handle the 10.6 mile hike up to the top of Taylor Glacier.  We weren't naive.  We both knew that hiking up the side of a mountain was not going to be quite as easy as our two hour relatively flat stroll around the Reservoir.  But, we still underestimated the difference of climbing 2,000 feet and definitely underestimated the difference in altitude!

We woke up early, though not as early as we had originally planned, loaded up on carbs and set off for Estes Park.  We ended up getting to the Bear Lake Trailhead about an hour later than we originally intended.  Because of this, we were not able to park at the already full Glacier Gorge parking lot, thus adding an additional 1 mile to our overall hike... and, unfortunately, forcing us to finish our hike with a half mile uphill climb. 

We set out for Alberta Falls, eager and energetic.  Within five minutes, we already realized that even though we had enjoyed our Reservoir hikes, those trails did not compare to the heavily wooded trails we were now on.  The morning was perfect.  Sunny, but cool.  As expected, we saw plenty of folks on the trail.  RMNP is a popular spot and that first 1.2 miles to Alberta Falls has plenty of traffic in the morning and even more as the day goes on. 

We continued on, with a few less people on the next section of trail, towards The Loch.  The next mile was a decent climb, but nothing daunting.  Within about a mile of The Loch, the trail gets noticeably steeper with several switchbacks up the side of the mountain.  As we neared The Loch, we came around a corner to see our first snowbank.  Shortly after, we had arrived at our first of three beautiful lakes, The Loch.  Unlike the other two lakes which our both above timberline, The Loch is surrounded by pine trees and is a quiet sanctuary.  The number of hikers around us had decreased substantially over the last half hour and the lake was incredibly quiet and peaceful given the number of people we could see.  This lake looked like a popular fishing site and the water was so clear that you could watch the trout swimming around from the shore.  We stopped there for a high protein lunch and enjoyed every ounce of fuel we put back in our bodies while sitting on a rock near the lake.  We were now well over halfway to Sky Pond having traversed 3.4 miles.  Only a measly 1.9 miles to go!

The Loch

We ran in to a hiker who told us that the next mile and a half was easier than what we had just come up and that once we hit Timberline Falls we only needed to "scramble" up some rocks to get to Lake of Glass.  Well, he lied to us.  And, maybe that was a good thing because it was better to not know the difficulty level and the steep climb that was ahead.  When we finally reached Timberline Falls, we stopped to take it all in, take some photos, and then debate whether we were going to "scramble" up the next section.  Maybe we didn't understand what the term "scramble" means to hikers!  This next portion is a climb up a portion of the waterfall that is the only Class 3 section of the trail.  If there weren't other people there or if we hadn't talked to Mr. Helpy Helperton, we might not even have known where to go... despite the Sky Pond sign pointing at the rock wall. 

Getting up close and personal with Timberline Falls

Celebrating a little too early!

Now I have to be honest with you.   I wasn't sure that Lori would be willing to make this climb.  I knew that I was even a little nervous... and I rarely get nervous.  But, she was determined and she said she thought we could do it.  And, it wasn't easy.  It is a definitely a hands on the rock climb.  But, what awaits you at the end of this climb through a wet portion of the waterfall is truly worth the effort and the risk!

The Sky Pond sign and the "trail"
(and it looks easier in this picture than in real life)

Once you crest the falls, a beautiful turquoise lake opens up before you.  Lake of Glass is surrounded by rock and very few trees because you are now above timberline.  We sat there for about 15 minutes soaking in the beauty and even soaking our feet, very quickly, in the ice cold water!  A couple of hikers, including Mr. Helperton, had suggested turning around at this point and not climbing more rocks and additional trail to Sky Pond.

Then we ran in to two ladies who told us that it was only a "hop, skip and a jump" to Sky Pond.  To which I responded, "Good!  Because all I have left in me is a hop, skip and a jump!".  And, they were right.  Maybe it was a little more than a hop, skip and a jump, but the last half mile to Sky Pond was so worth it.  As each mile of our hike passed, the number of folks we saw continued to decrease accordingly.  By the time we reached Sky Pond, we saw only two people, not counting the rock climbers in the distance.  Once those two left, Lori and I found ourselves alone in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been!

Sky Pond
(8 photos stitched together - click to enlarge)

So many words went through my mind to describe what we were seeing at both Lake of Glass and Sky Pond.   Beautiful.  Serene.  Breathtaking.  Peaceful.  Inspiring.  Stunning.  In one word... Striking!  I couldn't look at it long enough.  After many photos we decided to start the long hike back... though I had to turn one more time to soak it all in.

We headed back.  While going downhill is not as easy as it sounds, it is still a lot less difficult than the climb up.  We no longer felt like we were searching for air and I even practically jogged down the hill at times.  We enjoyed the sights going down as much as we did the first time we saw them.  We trudged on, tired and sore but so completely content.  When we got back to Glacier Gorge, we started the ascent back up to Bear Lake.  That was a rough finish to a long day, but it went quickly.  And, then we were done.  We walked slowly to the car, savoring the moment.  Eight hours and 10.6 miles later, we sat in the car with tired grins crossing our face. 

I can't wait to do more hiking in RMNP.  And, I already am excited for a return trip to Sky Pond one day!  For now, this is one of my favorite places I have ever seen or experienced.  Six months ago, my knee wouldn't have lasted eight hours.  Six months ago, I probably would have had a stroke or a heart attack on that mountain.  Six months ago, I would have grasped for air only hiking to Alberta Falls.  Six months ago, I couldn't have gotten to Sky Pond and would have never experienced this day.  Here's to experiencing opportunities I never even realized I was missing...

Proof that we really did make it!


Down a pound and, once again, fighting to get under 240.

Monday, July 19, 2010

P.F. Chang's

As I said this morning, even though Lori and I did not focus our weekend get-away on our food options, that doesn't mean we didn't find our way to a trio of favorites over the weekend. 

Friday night, we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants on the way up to Longmont...  P.F. Chang's.  We love the Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  We love the Hot and Sour Soup.  And I also love almost every item I have ever tried from their menu.  In the past, I would have had generous portions of the wraps and the soup and still found it easy to eat an entire entree' for good measure.  But, I can no longer eat that much food, even if every tray of food that crossed my visual path tantalized me.  It didn't help that they sat us near the kitchen... something that I had never experienced in all of my previous trips.  I could almost taste the explosion of flavors coming from each entree' as it left the kitchen. 

Lori and I ordered the Lettuce Wraps and the soup.  I added an iced tea because I love their iced tea.  What's crazy is that the wraps and the soup were not only satisfying and plenty of food, I actually still left the restaurant feeling a little full.  The food, like most of my exceptions, was... well, exceptional!  And, maybe an exception should be exceptional.  The longer I go without these treats, the better the experience is.  Even a Bud Light Lime now tastes like the best beer in the entire world on those few occasions where I imbibe.

The best part about our two appetizer meal was the bill!  Another byproduct of our healthier eating is the amount of money we have saved by not eating out.  Even on the nights we do go out, it is substantially cheaper than in the past.  When we got the bill, I laughed when I saw the total, $15.35.  If I had gotten water, which is what I usually drink now, it would have been about $12.75!   Even with a $5 tip, we still spent slightly more than $20.  A great meal to kick off a great weekend get-away all for a $20 bill.  Priceless... or, as I said above, $20.35.

While this was the first of three exceptions over the weekend, I still felt pretty good about my calories that night.  After about 30 minutes on the hotel treadmill, I was still feeling pretty positive and I imagine that none of my current five pounds gained over the weekend had joined me yet.   Here's to finding more healthy compromises at your favorite places and enjoying those meals as much as I enjoyed P.F. Chang's...

So Much To Say...

After a couple of days where I struggled to write about a topic, let alone think of one, I now have plenty of topics from an event-filled weekend and wished I could have given you a real-time dialogue of the events of this past weekend.  This has been the case since I posted this blog.  One night, I will be on the treadmill and one idea after another will come to me.  Other nights, I can't even think of one thing to say.  Combine that with a busy week and preparation for our mini-vacation and I ended up missing a few nights.

And, while I was planning on a blog-fest this evening, the hour is late and so I will save up the weekend tales and spread them over the next week.  Tonight's installment... P.F. Chang's. 

Miss Me? 242.0

I learned this weekend that just because my weekend isn't "planned" around where we are going to eat doesn't mean we can't find our way to all of those places without a plan!  I think I guaranteed last week that I wouldn't be over 240 again.  Well, shame on me.  My climb up a mountain on Saturday might have given me some sense of accomplishment and the feeling that I could reward myself.  Well, I was wrong.  And, I will leave it at that and get busy again today.

Sorry for the shortage of posts lately.  I have just been incredibly busy.  But, I have a full slate of thoughts and ramblings from this weekend that I will be sharing with you over the next week, including some pics from this weekend.  See you then...

Friday, July 16, 2010


Time to look at making some changes to my diet or exercise.  I have done really well for four straight days only to find myself not making any movement in the right direction.  My stretch goals no longer look possible and it appears that something will have to change for me to even make my official goals.  The good news is that despite how I let this make me feel during the day, I have yet to let it lead me down a path of poor decisions or any thought of throwing my hands up.  Just need to wipe the tears off my keyboard...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Considering  the visit to P.T.'s for chicken wings last night, I am happy with this  morning's results.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Favorite Vacation Activity

Whenever my wife Lori and I travel or vacation, we inevitably find ourselves planning our activities for the days ahead.  And, when I say "activities", I really mean where we plan to eat.  We have been known to schedule other trivial activities, like say the beach, at certain intervals to allow ample time to experience local flavors... or even some national flavors that we just have to have because they can not be found in good ol' Pueblo.

This is one of our favorite vacation pasttimes whether we are spending a weekend in Denver or two weeks in San Diego.  In our defense, we are usually pretty adamant about trying restaurants that are not chains or, at the very least, ones that we do not have in Colorado.  We make it a point to find hole-in-the-wall places that the locals go to.  This can be difficult at times.  I am not sure if it's because the locals want to keep their places a secret or if some of the locals we talk to are simply not foodies, but we have heard places like Outback, Applebee's, and Olive Garden far too often when asking for good restaurants. 

I am famous for talking about restaurants with anybody willing to share stories with me.  When I was consulting and traveling weekly, I would inevitably end up passing the time on my flights by listening to tales of the best places to eat in the various cities I was working in.   And, I made it a point to enter them in my PDA (personal digital assistant for my young readers... think cell phone without the ability to make phone calls) and always made a point of experiencing most of them.  As I have said before, I enjoy food.  I enjoy tasting regional variations on dishes.  I enjoy talking about restaurants and loved when a fellow traveler had experienced many of the same places. 

Our last real vacation was last August in Las Vegas.  Like all of our other trips, we made sure to list those places that we had to go to.  Not places like the fountains at The Bellagio, which we love by the way.  Not places like our favorite casino.  Not the incredible shows, like "O".  By places I, of course, mean restaurants.  We had to make sure that we got our In 'N Out burger fix...  though I don't love the food, the rest of the family does and I enjoy the experience.  I wanted at least one night of all-you-can-eat sushi at Yama Sushi... highly recommended for those sushi fans traveling to Vegas.  We plan for which buffet we are going to make ourselves sick at.  It's a ritual with us.  And, from many people I have talked to, we are not alone.

This weekend, Lori and I celebrate our 23rd Wedding Anniversary!  This is an amazing number since I sometimes don't even feel like I am 23 years old... oh, and also because I am such a putz and I am shocked that she has put up with me for this long.  As Lori and I were making plans for a little mini-vacation this weekend, we started talking about spots around Colorado that offered great hiking trails and beautiful scenery.  For the two of us, a weekend of physical activity combined with being in the great outdoors sounds better than the search for a good eatery.  We have only discussed what park we want to go to.  What hotel or campground we will stay in.  What trails we will hike.  And, not once have we discussed where we are going to eat.  We have not talked about all of the places we love in the Denver area and there are plenty.  I am not even sure we will go anywhere special to eat.  We might even opt for a healthy lunch 9,000 feet above sea level!  And that excites me... yeah, I know, I am a freak!

Here's to planning vacations around local places of interest and not local restaurant favorites...


A new high in the pool...  19.5 laps or 39 lengths of the pool.  For those of you curious why I always have an uneven number of laps/lengths, it's because I jump in the deep end and walk out of the shallow end.  By the way, no breaststroke legs this morning... only freestyle.  Down a pound and determined to get back to 236 quicly.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lifting Me Up

As I have said before, one of the great things about losing so much weight so quickly is running in to those folks I have not seen over the last couple of months and seeing their faces and hearing their words.  What's nice is that none of these people notice the 2.6 pounds I gained this morning.  And, because of their reactions towards me, I begin to forget about those same pounds as well. 

In the last three days, I have run in to several people that I had not seen for awhile and all of them were shocked by the "new" me.  The reactions range from, "Holy Shit!  You look like a different person" to "Who is that guy?"... ironic since that is part of the title of this blog and I know that this individual has never read this blog.  One person at the club actually jumped out of his chair to come tell me how good I looked and to ask how much I had lost.  Today, I needed all of the comments I received.  And, again, I thank everyone for their kind words. 

I also had an ex-classmate reach out to me today to tell me that he had been inspired and was embarking on his own personal journey to lose 130 pounds.  What's amazing about these comments is how much they motivate me in return.  The fact that someone is following my success and using it as inspiration completely inspires me and motivates me to continue being as strong as I can... call it the Circle of Inspiration (sung to the music of "Circle of Life" from "The Lion King").  Even if I doubt whether I am truly going to inspire anyone, just knowing that it is a possibility is enough.  I am pulling for every person who has read this and is in the same battle.  I am pulling for those who read this and only need to lose 20 pounds.  I am pulling for those, like the guy who stopped me tonight, that only need to lose 6 pounds.  Our battles come in various shapes and sizes.

So, thanks again to all of you who have helped me with your support, feedback, and encouragement.  You helped get me through a bad day today.  You have helped me ignore temptations.  You have helped me when my legs are tired and I still have 30 minutes to go on the treadmill.   Here's to the Circle of Inspiration... 

239.2 : (

Disappointed.  Not sure if it was the  7 mile hike that made me feel like I could eat anything I wanted, but I wasn't the best this weekend.  After losing 14.2 pounds in 18 days, I have now only lost 14 in 26 days after gaining .2 pounds over the last 8 days.  I am not as grumpy as I used to be... won't let this affect my day.  But, I am extremely disappointed in myself.  So, like I did after the second week of June, it is time to re-focus for these last 20 days in July. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"... part of the adventure"

While Lori and I were hiking around the Lake Pueblo Reservoir this Saturday, make that aimlessly wondering, we realized that we were not on the path that we had intended to travel that morning.  The first trail entrance location on the South side of the reservoir is very easy to find.  The second entrance not so much.  We ended up passing this entrance and found ourselves at the second "red gate".  After about a half mile of wandering around and just as we were starting to realize that we were not in the right place, a mountain biker came upon us.  He asked us if we had a map, which we did.  So, we handed him the printout we had brought and discussed how we were obviously not where we wanted to be.  He was also lost.  But, he did mention the gate back up the road and said that he thought he had seen the wooden sign to Pedro's Point. 

As we were discussing how none of us were in the right place, he laughed and said, "It's all part of the adventure!".  I responded that there were much worse places to be lost.  When we made it to the correct trail, I kept thinking how much that statement summed up how I felt.  Not only about our hike and our wandering around the wrong part of the reservoir.  But, also how I felt about this entire journey... and even about life in general.  All of this... swimming again, going to the club daily, playing golf again, hiking with Lori, and trying to fill every moment of my day with activity... is all part of the adventure! 

What a great attitude he had.  What a great attitude about life.  What a great attitude about changing your life and losing weight.  Here's to thoroughly enjoying all the parts of all of your adventures...


Not the best idea to weigh yourself immediately following a 7 mile hike in the heat!  It makes the next day that much more difficult.  Even with the slight gain, I find myself already ahead of next Saturday's goal weight of 236.7 and 4.6 pounds away from my August 1 goal. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010


After an awesome 7+ mile hike with Lori out by the Lake Pueblo Reservoir, I come home to find myself only 3 pounds away from an even 80!  Yeah, it's probably cheating to weigh myself after the hike.  But, I'm still taking it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wow! Not Repulsed...

I know I have sounded like a broken record, but I will again point out something that has not happened in around 15 years or so.  I have not liked a single picture of me.  To say I disliked pictues of me would actually be an understatement.  Pictures of me usually repulsed me and were met with an audible groan of displeasure.  And, while I enjoy seeing the improvement in the before and after photos I posted a couple of weeks ago, that in no way is an indication that I "liked' the after photo.  It just means that it is an improvement and I am happy that I am no longer the fat penguin.

Over the last few years I have enjoyed my default role as family photographer because that meant I was behind the camera and not in front of it!  I regret that I have felt that way because the memories of me through photos will be severely limited in the future.  But, the few times I found myself in front of the camera were always upsetting. 

This past Sunday, Lori took a photo of me in front of my sister's house in Salida.  I looked at it on the camera and thought to myself that it wasn't half bad.  But, I thought it might not be quite as appealing on a large screen.  But, when I downloaded it yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised.  I don't LOVE it.  But, I like it.  Best of all, I look at it and am not upset.  I can only imagine how I will feel in a few months.  But, for now, this is the best capture of me I have seen in quite some time.   Here it is...

Here's to having photos of you that truly reflect how you feel about yourself inside...


Back to 239.0 again.  I have been doing great the last three days so I am hoping for another round of big days soon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Fit Guy Within

When I started this journey, I talked about becoming the athlete that I once was.  Despite my weight, there still lived a fit person in my mind.  That is how I saw myself despite all of the considerable evidence to the contrary.  But, I will also let you in on a secret.  That fit person was starting to fade from my memory as I once again passed the 300 pound mark.  I went from still feeling like an athlete to finally starting to realize that I was not only no longer that athlete I remembered but also that I was a very obese person.  I was starting to accept that what people saw when they met me was my new reality.

About a week ago, it hit me that I was exercising so much now that I was actually becoming as fit as I have been in well over a decade and a half.  While I had slowly gotten heavy since the early '90s when I tore up my knee playing hoops, I had pretty much quit doing any significant exercise since that day as well.  I had short periods of time where I made it in to the gym occasionally.  But, none of these episodes was long-lived and consistent enough to show major results.  And, they definitely never compared with my recent efforts.

I have been thinner in the last 15 years.  But, I doubt if I have ever been this fit.  It hit me at that moment that I now had a fit person hiding inside of this overweight (I promised not to call myself fat any longer) body.  When I eventually get down below 200, I will not only be much thinner, but I will also be fit!  The fit person that was once hiding in my mind has now become a real fit person hiding behind this old suit of fat (sorry, Cyndi, I loved your analogy so I had to steal it!).  I can't imagine being as fit as I was 15+ years ago.  In reality, I am not even sure that I was as fit when I was playing hoops daily as I believe I will be when this journey ends.  Other than some more aches and pains that come with aging, I actually hope to become fitter than I ever have been in my entire life. 

I no longer want to win the lottery soley to buy my wife a new car, the two of us a new house, and all the toys a man could desire.  I now want to win the lottery because I would love to wake up early each day, go swimming, golf 18 holes, go hiking, and then end up at the gym to do some cardio, weights and possibly some hoops or racquetball.  That sounds like a great day to me!  Here's to finally getting to meet that fit person who has taken up residence inside of this fat suit I call home...


After my post last night, I think my body was telling me to not get too cocky.  I was expecting a new low this morning so I am slightly disappointed.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Encouraging Trends

On June 4, I broke 255 for the first time.  It took me almost two weeks until I was able to break 250 on June 17.  On June 15, I weighed 253.2 and felt like I was in my first rut.  I was pretty confident that I had not hit the dreaded plateau and began a renewed and more focused effort, one I labeled P17X, to prove it was not.

Over the next 19 days, I lost 14.2 pounds and went from my low 250s struggle to 239!  Not only had I discounted any thoughts of a plateau, I actually had one of my best stretches to date.  Given that I am a little over five months in to this journey, I am even more ecstatic at that number.  To lose 14.2 pounds so easily after losing about 60 previously is an incredibly encouraging trend.  I am no longer a believer that one should expect the weight loss to decrease exponentially as you continue to lose.  Is it harder?  Sure.  I have had to increase the incline and mileage to continue to burn the same number of calories on the treadmill.  I have added exercises to increase my calories burned as my deficit from eating well becomes smaller with each lost pound.  And, I have even tried to be even better about what I eat.  I would love to have another 21 day stretch like the last 21.  But, anything remotely close would be much higher than the goals I set in March.

I have yet to have a bad stretch where I was not to blame.  I am not saying that there are not times when a person's body does not act positively to positive changes.  But, I think these exceptions are few and far between.  I think these excuses and the confusion behind them are extremely overrated and overused.  Those of you out there who are fighting the same battle and struggling, need to take a serious, and truthful, look at what you are doing.  Go back and think of EVERYTHING you ate.  That includes every handful, every bite, every nibble that enters your mouth.  Don't pretend you had 4 ounces of meat when you really had 6 to 8.  I just know that all of my ruts can be directly attributed to too many calories or too much fat.  There might be days where my body reacts adversely because of things like eating too much sodium.  But, that is only a day or two.  If your rut is lasting any longer, like mine was in early June, then there likely is a reason.  There are no fat gods plotting against you.  Your success is solely in your own hands.  Eat less, move more.

Today marked my 15th straight week in the gym!   The situps continue to get easier ever since that first night not that long ago when I whimpered through my entire set.  Yesterday, I walked on the treadmill for an hour, lifted weights, and then swam for 30 minutes... with a new high of 18 laps I might add.  As I was leaving the club my son and his other young friends asked me if I wanted to play some 3V3 since they only had five people.  After some deliberation, including a moment where my knee spoke to me and pleaded that I abstain, I decided to play.  Nothing outstanding.  But, I didn't embarass myself.  And, I found myself so incredibly content at having finally played a game of pickup basketball for the first time in many many years.  The best part was that my knee didn't bother me near as much as I had expected. 

Here's to being honest with yourself...


I promise... no, guarantee... that I will not see 240 again! 

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Wow!  Seems like I was fighting so hard to get under 250 and in the blink of an eye I find myself under 240!  And again, I went to a birthday party yesterday and found myself eating a little too much green chile.  I guess the 3.5 plus mile hiking, the 3 plus miles on the treadmill, and the weights were enough to offset some minor poor decisions.  Incredible start to my Fourth of July... something worthy of fireworks and celebration!  Off to see my sisters in Salida.  I hope all of you have a wonderful Fourth of July holiday!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Only two short days after my official July 1 monthly check-in comes my weekly Saturday check-in.  After a great meal with some good friends, I was fully expecting...  and, yes, even content...  with a weight gain this morning to kick off the Fourth of July weekend.  The feeling of eating way too much filet mignon, which was so incredibly tasty that I made audible moaning noises as I ate it, and still losing .6 pounds may be one of the best I have felt yet.  For me, it means my body is a fat-burning machine and all of this extra exercise is paying off. 

That puts me .5 under today's goal!  Nice way to start July.  Off to the Lake Pueblo Reservoir with Lori to start hiking again after a 15+ year hiatus.  I am thrilled.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Kicked off July with a nice .6 pound drop.  I need to lose only .1 by tomorrow to hit my first Saturday goal in July of 241.3.  Upped my laps to 17.5 today and increased my freestyle to breaststroke ratio to almost 8 to 1!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1 Status Update... 100 Days!

Today was my third official weigh-in against my monthly goals. Below is a quick status update...
  • On June 1, I weighed 256.2 pounds. My July 1 goal was 245.0 pounds. This morning I weighed 242.0. I beat my July 1 goal by 3.0 pounds and lost 14.2 pounds in the month of June!  This is the second straight month I have exceeded my goal.
  • My August 1 goal was 235. Based on me beating my July 1 goal, I am reducing that by 3 pounds to make my new goal 232. Like before, I will adjust my remaining goals accordingly. So, they now are August 1 - 232, August 16 (my birthday) - 227, September 1 - 222, October 1 - 213, November 1 - 205, December 1 - 198, New Year's Day 2011 - 192.  That puts me under 200 sometime late in November!  
  • I have lost 71.0 pounds since the middle of January. I have lost 60.0 pounds since the start of this blog.  And, I have lost 55.6 pounds since returning from Las Vegas on March 23... 55.6 pounds in 100 days!
  • As of this morning, I have been in the gym 100 straight days!
  • I lost .473 pounds per day in June. My goal weight for August 1 would require me to lose .323 pounds per day. Secretly, my stretch goal will be 15 pounds, or 227.
  • I started swimming this month and have done three to four days per week.  The first day I swam 7.5 laps and took a break after pretty much every lap.  Today I did 16.5 laps without a break.  As of last week, I was still swimming half a lap freestyle and the return half breaststroke.  The first two days of this week, I upped it to two freestyle halves to every breaststroke half.  Today, I upped it again and did three freestyle halves to every breaststroke half. 
  • I finished the month much better than I started the month.  As of June 15, I had only lost 3.0 pounds in June.  Since then, in just over two weeks, I have lost 11.2 pounds.  Part of that was due to a renewed focus and my personal P17X program.  I hope to continue that momentum in to July.
I give myself an A for June. I am still striving for that perfect month.  But, I am content with stringing together A or A- months.  Here's to striving for an A+ July...


Full status report to come tonight.  I am thrilled that I am under my July 1 goal by 3 full  pounds!  And, I was about to add that tonight will be my 100th straight day in the gym... until I remembered that I already swam at the gym this morning.  100 days!  I guess I can rest now...................................  lol. 

I wanted to add that I am proud of my daughter for getting up with me in the mornings to swim.  This morning she kicked butt and kept up with me for 16.5 laps!  Not only am I proud that she is getting up with me, but I am thrilled that she is with me even if our quality time consists of glances over the lane marker as we both try to stay above water!  And, another benefit that I did not realize until  this morning is that having her doing this with me ensures that I am going to get out of bed myself.  I felt pretty tired this morning but I didn't have the heart to tell Kelsea that.  Thanks Kelsea.