DAY ONE of 365

I likely picked the worst (or best???) time of year to start something like this.  I am surrounded by sugary cookies, parties, alcohol, and everything else that I know would end this before it even begins.  Then again, when you know…  you know.  It is time to get moving.  Perhaps by losing 5 pounds over Christmas instead of gaining 10, I may actually come out 15 pounds ahead.

And so, with Christmas only 4 days away, I am giving up sugar and starting things off on the right foot.  I am hoping that come New Year’s, I will have a jump on everyone and the resolution craziness will keep me motivated.  Let’s be serious.  If I can’t get motivated on January 1st, it will NEVER happen.  I have always been a “start on Monday” kind of guy.  Well, New Year’s Day is the king of “Mondays”.  There is no better time to wipe the slate clean and attack a new program.  That’s what makes this early start so odd for me.

Easier said than done.  My mind is ready to tear into things, ala Rocky as he runs up the 72 steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  My body, however, has other ideas.  I can almost cry laugh at how sickeningly out of shape I am.  After just 5 minutes of medium strenuous cardio, I need a nap.  No, seriously.  I need a nap.  My body rebels almost immediately, and I actually nodded off mid-sentence chatting with my 9 year old.  She thought it was hilarious.  I have a bit to go before I can attack anything with even the smallest crumb of intensity.  It is what it is for now.

Posted December 19, 2015 at 7:20 PM. Add a comment

In the beginning… 378.4 pounds

378.4 pounds.  Sigh.

As I struggle to find a point of reference to begin my blog, I am also fighting a very distinct urge to rattle off a confused jumble of excuses that might explain my current situation.  But what is the point?  Is there ever really an excuse to be closing in on 380 pounds?  Boredom, depression, guilt, SHAME.  The only power I have to change those feelings is in changing myself – right now.

I have been here before.  I find more shame in that fact, having lost and now regained even more weight, than I do in actually weighing almost 380 pounds.  I have lost too many supporters over the years through repeated failed attempts that those people have bought into.  And so they watch now with indifference, perhaps even wanting to see me fail for not being able to deliver changes within their own time frames.  I don’t need that type of support.  I don’t need the negativity from others that would question my daily mindset, my approach, or my goals.  Support me unequivocally or get out of my way.  I don’t have time for doubt or indifference.

Despite the iron determination that I woke up with on DAY ONE, I know that this is a long fight that I won’t win every single day.  To think otherwise is foolish and a recipe for defeat.  However, I would urge my remaining supporters (and new stragglers that I am able to pick up) to stick around, keep inspiring me, and watch as I transform my life from the outside in.  The approach is simple:  EAT, TRAIN, REST – with consistency.

And so, with a single step, I really am beginning a journey of a thousand miles.

Posted December 19, 2015 at 10:34 AM. Add a comment

pulmonary embolism – PART II

Things seemed to be humming along, relatively I guess, back in February 2012.  I had managed to lose 16 pounds and stay motivated through the first 60 days or so of my blog.  I was about 325 pounds.

March 2012 changed all that.

After getting back from a huge cheer competition in Dallas, and after having walked all over the city with unknown blood clots in my leg, the worst happened.  I found myself tired, barely able to breathe, and struggling to workout.  I thought I had caught something.  After a week of trying to fight it, I finally relented and went to the ER.  I knew by their faces immediately.  Pulmonary embolism.  I had been through this all just 5 years earlier, but this time was much different.

Aside from the sheer luck it takes to survive an attack like mine, it left me damaged.  After 8 days in intensive care, I was finally released.  The recovery from that was so unlike my first PE.  I spent the next 6 months fighting a tiredness not many people get to experience.

It wasn’t a sleep deprived tired.  It was the kind that makes you want to nap because you spent so much energy walking to the other side of the house.  I recall one specific moment.  I had gone to Walmart to buy sweet potatoes. I was in line to checkout, holding maybe 4 large potatoes in a bag.  I was so winded from carrying that single bag, that I had to set them down and rest.  And this was months after I had been released.

As you can imagine, that took its toll.  I did eventually recover, but not before the damage was done.  I had gained 50 pounds in the first 4 months.  My body was wrecked.  Enter the fall into depression.

Trying to start a workout program that big is like trying to swim in sand.  It took so much energy just to get off the couch.  I became so deconditioned that walking around the block became a chore.  I learned to hide it well.  I became efficient.

And so here I am, almost 4 years later.  I haven’t done much but wallow and sink further into depression.

I have retained a few of the last posts I made from 2012 below this.  I like to read them occasionally and see the red flags that were pointing to my blood clots and eventual embolism.  Workouts had became stubbornly lumbering and slow.  I wasn’t able to even finish them on several occasions.  Something had changed, but I didn’t see it.

It almost killed me.

Posted December 18, 2015 at 11:08 PM. Add a comment

DAY 53 of 365

[OLD] 2.23.12

March or bust?!

I am obviously already looking past February.  It has been a miserable month for my progress.  Posts to the blog have been sporadic.  Workouts even more scarce.  If it weren’t for my eating clean 90% of the week, I would have nothing at all.  And yet, considering nutrition is 80% of the battle (if not more), I have continued to drop weight.

This week has been more of the same.  After a killer workout last week left me mostly incapacitated, I set a goal of hitting the program hard this week with three sessions in the weight room.  Sunday came and went.  I was willing, but my body had not healed enough to walk, let alone tear up my muscles even more.  Monday came.  Monday went.  I was finally up to the task of working out, but overwhelmed with life.  Everything fell apart for me from the moment I woke up.  I spent the day putting out all the fires.  It wore me out.  It started with the post office being closed when I absolutely NEEDED to send a few time-sensitive things out.  Ended up at Western Union working out the details instead.  Ugh.  Then Candy had a flat tire that we had zero money to fix (but had to nonetheless).  A few more similar excuses things popped up, and I just didn’t have it in me after dinner.

Tuesday was spent packing and preparing for the upcoming trip to Dallas this weekend (more later).  Reservations, tickets, laundry, cleaning the house, etc.  Now my wife will eventually read this (maybe!), so I should be honest in that she did 90% of the actual cleaning and house prep.  I did do some, however, but mostly more of the running around stuff.  With a running club race right after school and cheer practice after that, the gym wasn’t happening on Tuesday either.

That brings us to today.  Whew.  Well, I had already discovered last week what a mistake it was to put that much time between workouts.  The beginner’s DOMS hit me hard and kept me from hitting my stride last week.  As such, I knew that I HAD to get to the gym today.  And so, at 10:30PM, I headed out.  Big mistake.

Tonight was the worst workout I have had in a while.  Zero energy.  I ended up completing only half of it before crawling out the door with my tail between my legs.  I just couldn’t white knuckle it tonight.  It was not the brutal workout I needed, but still something.  A few deadlifts, presses, split squats and pulls.

I used to be able to pull off late night gym sessions.  As I approach 40 this summer, it just isn’t in me anymore.  Lesson learned (hopefully!).

So this weekend should be another interesting test.  We head off to Dallas to experience NCA’s for another year.  The absolute best cheer weekend I could ever dream up.  I am a BIG FAN!  800+ teams, 17,000+ cheerleaders, 35,000+ spectators.  It will be insane.  And, just like our last trip to Palm Springs, there will be no home cooked and measured meals.  I need to be better than I was just a few weeks ago.  I allowed a fun weekend to turn into two weeks off and a five pound weight gain.  That can’t happen.

Of course I will probably let loose a bit.  It is simply too restrictive to demand healthy alternatives when the city will be crawling with people, the restaurants jammed, and most of our meals spent in the convention center.  I won’t promise I will hit the hotel gym every night, but I would like to think that I will give it a shot one or two nights I am away.

Bottom line.  I don’t mind a few days off program.  I absolutely MUST get back on track when I come home Monday night.  There can be no week long cheer hangover.


Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:23 AM. Add a comment

DAY 48 / DAY 49 out of 365

[OLD] 2.19.12

DAY 48

TGIF.  I wanted so badly to hit the gym.  Sadly, I was in such a ridiculous amount of pain that I could hardly get out of my chair most of the day.  The only reason I did even that was to prevent my legs from growing roots and freezing up altogether.  Not a good day.  I ate well, but no workouts to be spoken of.  Not much movement at all, in fact.  I can only do as much as my body allows.

DAY 49

Still not fully recuperated, I spent most of today stretching out my hamstrings hoping to still get in a late night treadmill session.  It took every bit of the day, but I finally made it onto the treadmill just after midnight.  Not exactly how I saw the weekend playing out to this point, but ehhh, I’m working on it.

Intervals were both good and bad.  I was soooo slow and lumbering, but I was able to push myself albeit at much lower speeds.  I went after it old school tonight, with Du Hast (Rammstein) and Head Like a Hole (Nine Inch Nails) blasting in my ears.  When all was said and done, I brought it tonight.  I actually feel GREAT right now, basking in the post-interval glow at 1AM.

Another weigh-in tomorrow.  The week consisted of one brutal weight lifting session and one interval workout.  That’s it.  I did, however, eat almost perfectly all week and still expect magic numbers in the morning.  I won’t be happy unless I drop at least 4 pounds (and kind of nervous about it too).

For that to happen, though, I need sleep.  I’ll be out in 10 minutes.

Interesting week coming up…  more about that later.


Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:12 AM. Add a comment

DAY 47 of 365

[OLD] 2.17.12

I woke up not thinking I was going to make it through the day – at least not without a serious barrage of prescription drugs.

Sooooo sore.  My hamstrings were pissed.  My glutes not so thrilled either.  Ahh, they’ll get over it.

It took some coaxing, but I think the majority of my body forgave me before too long.  I would have loved to just lay in bed all day, but even that was uncomfortable.  Sitting still in any position for any length of time was excruciating.  Ironically, the best I felt was when I was walking (slowly!).  I ended up pacing aimlessly around the house most of the afternoon.  At this point, my wife is wondering why I didn’t just vacuum the house.  Yeah, I don’t have an answer for that.  Sorry.

No treadmill session.  Let’s not get too crazy here.  And I forgot to wear my pedometer.  Still, I ate well, and I am pretty happy with the day.

Tomorrow is the big question mark.  I would really LOVE to get to the gym for another beating.  I just don’t know how much resistance I might get from my muscles.  I’m going to seriously try to get there.  It may not be the most inspiring workout, but I want it nonetheless.

A quick check….  yep, deadlifts.  Add to that incline bench, lat pulldown, Romanian deadlifts, Bulgarian split squats, and some ab work.  Ouch.  Six total sets of deadlifts?  And more squats?



Posted February 17, 2012 at 12:44 AM. Add a comment


[OLD] 2.16.12

So the gym this afternoon was brutal!

Apparently, just two weeks away from the weight room was enough to force my body to re-enact the awful beginner’s soreness that I thought was already behind me.


I started the next phase of my workout plan today.  After completing four weeks of the break-in phase, I have moved to the FAT LOSS I stage for the next 6 weeks.  My body simply wasn’t able to comprehend what was about to happen to it.  [Ugh.]

I had been doing 2 sets of 5 different exercises twice a week.  The new regimen requires 3 sets of 6 exercises THREE times a week.  My load just increased from 20 sets a week to 54 sets per week.  It was insane.  Same basic exercises, squats, lunges, deadlifts, rows, etc.  Just now being done to exhaustion.  And that is no joke.  I wasn’t able to complete my last set of lunges (using only bodyweight!).  My hamstrings were shaking so hard, had I taken one more step I really think I would have ended on the floor.  No, seriously!  I had to let several people pass me on the stairs heading out because I was moving so slowwwww.  Each step felt like the last one before my stumble down to the bottom.

Tomorrow should be fun.  Woohoo (not)!  I doubt I get much done in the way of cardio, but I intend to walk quite a bit and stretch out these leg muscles.  I guess it’s time to strap the pedometer back on.  10K steps will be no joke in my current state.  I’d settle for half that right now.


Posted February 16, 2012 at 1:30 AM. Add a comment