Thursday, December 23, 2010

I need a nap!

I made it!!!! 195 pounds this morning!!! Now I did have to use my fail safe. When I woke up and weighed in I was 196, but after a 5 mile run outside (finally ran outside again!) I snuck in under the wire at 194 and some change. I cannot believe that I did it.
I thought after completing such a tremendous fete I would feel exhilarated, but in all honesty I am exhausted. I ran 18 miles over the past 3 days, and that is not including Monday's ramped up workout. I am also fighting a bit of the stomach flu that has ravaged our household for the past few days, and I am just beat.
I think after I get some rest I might feel better about the accomplishment, and I am very excited about getting a jump start on fighting the holiday bulge. Winning something in the fatcyclist competition could certainly help make me feel better. But for now I just really need a nap.
I get off of work today at noon, and do not return until Jan. 3 (SWEET!). In the meantime, we have several holiday festivities that will make working out difficult, if not entirely impossible. If I continue to watch what I eat, I should be able to maintain this weight into the new year, when I can really start dropping some pounds.
Merry Christmas to all, and may your New Year be happy and healthy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Run, Brian, Run!

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was participating in a contest on to lose 10 lbs before Christmas. If a person loses 10 lbs before Christmas they are entered into a drawing to receive some really cool prizes from the website, including a new hybrid bike from Trek and some other really cool biking gear/miscellaneous items. The competition has been a constant reminder to watch what I am eating over the busy holiday season and for the most part it has definitely helped me to avoid the holiday bulge. Initially, I thought it would be easy for me, but multiple holiday parties and get-togethers have served as meaningful obstacles to my goal. On Monday morning, after a weekend celebrating Christmas with my family, I weighed in at 201 lbs. A little disappointing because I slipped back over 200 again, and additionally challenging because I was 6 lbs from my goal weight of 195 for Thursday morning.

The good news is that Thursdays have consistently been my best weigh in days; typically slightly better than my Wednesday weigh-ins with my "weight watchers" group. The weekends have been brutal for my weight, but I can usually recover during the week. So I have that going for me. Which is nice.

But timing alone was not going to solve the 6 lb issue. So, I have also decided to ramp up my workouts. I ran an extra 3 miles on Sunday. I ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill yesterday, lifted weights for another 30 minutes, and then walked for another 30 minutes over my lunch hour. This morning I ran 6 miles and I plan to walk another 30 minutes over my lunch hour (it might just be nice to stretch out my legs after that run this morning). Tomorrow I will replay the Monday routine, 30 min. run, 30 min. lift, 30 min. walk. And hopefully by Thursday morning I will be golden.

It already seems to be working. When I weighed in this morning, I was at 198 and some change. I do have another fail safe. I lose a tremendous amount of weight while running, probably in water weight. As I said, I weighed 198+ this morning before my run. After running 6 miles, stripping my clothes, and toweling off, I weighed 196+. So if I don't hit the mark prior to Thursday run, I am sure I can hit it afterwards.

To do all of this extra running I have had to wake up a little earlier, 4am instead of 4:30am. Katie asked a couple of times this week already what I was doing. And maybe it seems a little crazy to her and probably others, but really it is just a few days of punishment for the possible reward of significant weight loss and some really cool schwag.

Wish me luck; I will let everyone know how I do on Thursday!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Observations from Hell

Update on my health: I went to Iowa City on Tuesday to follow up on some tests that were ran in November. All the test for biliary dysfunction came back negative. The doctor explained that all other blood tests and indications lead him to believe that have fatty liver disease. He advised me to continue to lose weight, eat less fatty foods, stop taking Tylenol, and drink less alcohol. I will abide by his advice as best as I can. I may still have the occasional burger, and most definitely will have a beer from time to time. However, I will moderate both of these with more discretion.

When I woke up this morning determined to run outside, I noticed that it had snowed 3 inches and running on the streets would be nearly impossible. So I was resigned to run on the treadmill (or better known as Satan's plaything) once again. While I run on the treadmill, I watch Sportscenter. As I stated in my last post, watching is one thing, but hearing the show over the noise of the machine is nearly impossible. So I am forced to make up the commentary to the show just by what I see on the screen. And maybe not commentary as much as mental observations of of the visual stimulus. Here are a few of my observations:

1. The 2 guys in the new BMW commercial could not look more Aryan. Seriously, they look like German soldiers from WWII films. They are both tall with blond hair and blue eyes. Wouldn't a German car company be wise to avoid this stereotype as much as possible?

2. Though a much better player, Joakim Noa is the ugliest player in the NBA since James Edwards of the Detroit Pistons in the late 80's. Actually, I see some physical resemblance between the two. Enough that I think a paternity test is warranted.

3. Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb are hated by more back up quarterbacks than anybody else in the world. It is time for both of these gentlemen to pack it in.

4. The Boston/New York game and the San Antonio/whoever game were both settled with last minute shots. And in both games the shooter pushed off before hitting the shot. I hate it when the refs put the whistle in their pocket to end the game. A foul is a foul no matter when it happens; blow the darn whistle.

5. Ohio State has a better basketball team than Duke does, yet Duke remains to be the unanimous number one team in the country. This situation completely typifies my disgust with the ranking systems in college basketball. The entire college press is so enamored with Duke that it clouds their better judgement. And don't even get me started with the commercials during March Madness. How that is not a recruiting violation I will never know!

6. Kobe Bryant was not mentioned in today's Sportscenter until the second half hour of the show. Which I find completely amazing, because since moving the show to LA, all things LA are pushed to the forefront. In fact, I think Mark Sanchez owes Sportscenter millions of dollars for bumping up his draft stock when they covered this one particular Southern Cal player everyday for the two weeks leading up to the draft. It was pathetic!

...and I really like this show. Imagine if I had to watch Oprah while I ran on that damned thing!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 Satan

For those that are not aware, it is frighteningly (after spelling that word, I am questioning if it really is a word) cold outside. When I got up today for my run, I checked the weather. It was 4 degrees actual with a wind chill of -9 degrees. While I have dressed for similar conditions recently, I was not sure that I was up for it today, and had truly resigned to running indoors as of last night. So it was with great anticipation (sarcasm!) that I jumped on our family treadmill.

We got our treadmill at a garage sale in town for $75. That was 3 years ago and darn thing continues to operate as it should. When I started working out a couple of years ago, I solely walked/ran on said treadmill every morning. It wasn't until May 2009 that I actuially ventured out-of-doors to run for my cardio workouts. Since that time, I have wondered why I ever ran on a treadmill at all.

Please do not get me wrong. The treadmill does have its good points. Take this morning for example: the treadmill saved me from freezing to death on a 4 mile run outside. But overall, running on a treadmill seems like some devious form of torture. I am pretty sure Dante wrote about sinners running on a treadmill in the fourth circle of hell in the Inferno. A person runs and runs and runs and they go absolutely nowhere. At least you get to watch TV, right? Sure you get to watch TV, but good luck trying to hear the damn thing. You have never seen me so confused as I am trying to decifer what Brett Favre is bitching about on Sportscenter, while I can see that he has his hands down his pants (taking more pictures of his junk?) for most of last night's game. When I run for 30 minutes outside, time seems to go by relatively quickly. When I run for 10 minutes on a treadmill, I feel like I have aged 40 years and need to shave the hair growing out of my ears.

I really hope that the weather settles down in the next couple of weeks; I just don't know how much more I can take of that treadmill.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

See ya later, 200! I hope I never see you again!

Work is killing me right now, so I only have a couple of minutes for this post. The big news...I weighed 199lbs this morning!!!!!! I am so excited. Breaking the 200 pound barrier had been a big goal of mine for awhile. When I weighed in for the support group on Wednesday I was hoping to see a sub-200 number. Sadly, I didn't make it on Wednesday, but I worked hard all day long and low and behold, I made it this morning!

There are a couple of problems with all of this. First, I don't know that I really weigh under 200 lbs. Our scale is old and often weighs lighter than other scales. Especially the doctor's scale, which sometimes can add 7 pounds to my girth. Second, it is going to be extremely difficult to stay below 200 lbs in the next couple of weeks. I have an office party on Friday, 2 parties plus a beer tasting this weekend, I am on the road all day on Tuesday, and then several successive family holiday gatherings. Good, delicious, fatty food will be readily available at all functions, and nothing packs on the pounds like a few brews. I am nervous! However, I am more acutely aware of my eating than I have ever been in my life. I really want to keep losing weight, even during the holidays. I hope this motivation is enough to dissuade my urge to pig out!

Time is up. Gotta go.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Just Do It!

I remember when Nike came out with the slogan, "Just Do It!". I remember that the slogan stuck with me; I even stenciled it on a project in shop class. There is certainly the marketing aspect of the slogan, which has often times steered me towards the Nike brand, but there is a deeper meaning to the words, and I have always understood it. No excuses, no fear, no more "I'm gonna try", just get your butt out there and do it already!

I think about those words when I hear people complain about working out. I thought about those words last night, when my Dad said I was crazy for even thinking about running outside in single digit temps. I could think of a hundred reasons why I shouldn't work out, the good thing is I only need this one simple reason I should.

Check out this video:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Do these pants make me look fast?

I weighed in with my support group yesterday; 201 lbs, down 2 lbs since last week. I am very excited because this past weigh in included the Thanksgiving holiday. I was disciplined throughout and managed to lose some weight. Yippee!

I went for a 4 mile run this morning. When I got up the wind chill was 16 degrees. For those who don't know, that is freaking cold. I geared up with some lined workout pants and a sweatshirt, and it all worked well. But the whole time I was dressing for conditions, I was thinking to myself, "I really could use one of those nice running jackets, with the reflective stripes and slot for my iPod." The whole run and much of today I have been thinking about "things" I would like for fitness gear. I signed up on another website to possibly win a bicycle jersey, and last week I was talking to Katie about these sunglasses that have interchangeable lens for bike riding. I know it's Christmas time and that really seems to put everybody in the consumer mindset, but sometimes it is depressing to think about how much stuff I think I need to get fit.

And that is the crux of the matter. I don't need any of these things to get fit. I was born with everything I need to run. But something inside of me tells me that if I had these shoes, or this jacket, or that HR monitor, that somehow I would be faster or the experience would be better. I can ride any bike with 2 wheels to get fit, but if I had a carbon fiber, lighter than air road machine I would be so much more fit, right? My parents basement has an old DP rowing machine and Airodyne exercise bike in it collecting dust. Millions of other folks have nordic tracks rotting away in their homes.

And suddenly I realized something...working out sucks! It is difficult. It is hard to get up at 4:30 every morning to work out. Running in sub-freezing temps is not fun. Biking on a heavy ass steel frame is demoralizing. But no piece of equipment or attire is going to change all of these things. But I do feel better having lost weight. I like having goals of losing more weight. I like the idea of being healthier. It makes me happy to look at my skinny wife. And maybe for me all of the latter NEEDS outweigh the former ones...

...but Santa, I still WANT those sunglasses with the interchangeable lens.