Morning Meat

So I read somewhere recently that protein early in the day can really help curb hunger as the day progresses. I'd been struggling with 10:00 munchies that generally led to a big, unhealthy lunch, so I gave it a go.

For the last several days I've tried an egg, some cheese, a bit of turkey sausage in the morning. It's a lot of calories first thing in the day, but I can make up for that by snacking light later, and it works. I'm seldom hungry until after noon now, especially if I remember to munch on some carrots or an apple or something around 10 or 10:30 (I know that you shouldn't eat unless you're hungry, but I'm trying to train myself into 6 or so SMALL meals instead of two big ones).

Now my big struggle is exercise. I don't feel like I have a lot of time to hang with the family and stuff as it is, so the exercise thing can become a sticking point... but I think I've finally got a handle on the eating... I just need to push more calories out now that I'm bringing fewer in.


The Bad Touch

About a week ago I bought a 12-speed bike at a pawn shop. With the river run coming back up I need to get back in shape, and I wanted to try a little cross-training this year to see if I could get some better results than I did with just jogging alone. Plus the last few times I went running my knees starting screaming in pain, so I wanted to try to build up my conditioning a little more before I start pounding the pavement again.

It's weird though -- Its literally been years since I've owned a bike. I had one in college for a while, but I leant it out to someone and well, long story short - it got stolen. Before that though, we're talking like 5th or 6th grade, back in the days when your bike was the only possible way to get around.

Anyways, the bike I found turned out to be a pretty nice one -- and after a trip to a local repair shop to get the brakes tuned up I took it out last night for a spin. 2 miles, nothing crazy -- but definitley enough to get the blood pumping. As expected, it was easier on my body than running - in fact once I cooled down I felt really charged, like I could have done a couple more miles easilly without causing myself too much harm.

The only bad thing about it was the seat. If I had ever wondered (and I really hadn't until about a mile or so into things) why cyclists have such tiny asses, I certainly know the truth now. Then again, I think I've finally found the perfect motivation to get in shape quick -- because when I got back home it felt like I'd been locked in a Turkish Prison for a couple of years.

Seriously, while I was riding last night it was like there was this voice in my head screaming "Whoa buddy, what did I ever do to you!?"



Glad to see that Dan's progress is progressing. Mine has not gone well. (NOTE: The next small bit of whining will be followed by renewing of purpose, fear not.)

My left knee suffers from a heinous injury done to it while dancing to the classic Motown hit "My Girl" eleven summers ago. I twisted it right good going down the stairs about a week ago, and I've pretty much sucked up on the exercise since then. I wasn't doing GREAT before, but I was doing OKAY, and the last several days have felt pretty awful.

I do agree with Dan on the overeating = feeling like poop thing, which is a nice development. I still think of grabbing a snack when I'm bored, though... so I'm trying to take the kids outside or hop on the bike or something during those times.

So I don't know what my weight is, I haven't hopped on the scale in a while... but I'm back in the saddle this week. Megan is home and she and I are going to go at this thing together (which will be helpful), and though FitDay is a pain in the ass, it will help me to track myself and see how I'm doing.

So that's all the news that's fit to print... weigh-in on Friday after a week of renewed purpose to see where I'm at.


Two Two Nine

I checked the scale this morning and it looked back at me 229.

This is a pretty big deal. Normally my weight jumps around between 230 and 236. I guess the changes come from the way water weight fluctuates so much or from external factors, like if I’ve had a really big meal before I weighed myself, or even the clothes I’m wearing – but ever since I’ve had this scale and started weighing myself, the numbers have been the same.

My initial weight loss goal when I started this thing was go get myself down to 220 and then see what could be done from there. What I’ve learned in the past few months is that what I’m really aiming for is my scale to range between something like 215 – 225. Today when I got on there and looked down at the numbers, I felt like I was taking my first real step.

To be perfectly honest, the Fitday thing is a hassle. I barely know what I’m going to eat half the time, so it’s hard for me to track it without supreme effort. The real word for that is of course laziness, and I realize that having to track your food on Fitday is supposed to bludgeon you into the concept of "meal planning," but I’m a single income guy who doesn’t always have time to catch a regular lunch at his job -- so planning meals becomes it’s own kind of cruel joke.
Well, I was supposed to have a salad today,
but I never frikkin got around to it...
I'm still running on a regular basis and I’m trying not to pig out and eat everything I see whenever mealtime comes around, and I'm hoping if I keep it up the process will become easier and easier.

I will say this though – as the weight starts to drop off, I find that when I eat too much I start to feel like crap. It used to be the other way around – that the most nagging feeling I could possibly have during a given day was that sense that I was still a little hungry; which would normally lead to endless snacking efforts in search of that elusive perfect thing to kill the munchies.

It’s a slow road, but progress seems to be getting made.
How about you fellas?



we have all been exhibiting wanton (mmm, won tons) disregard for our fitday accounts. I have been negligent mainly because I am ashamed to admit some of the things I have eaten recently (read as pizza, and chipotle).

So clean slate on the days we've skipped, but we all should get back into the habit. I know that I am less likely to grab a burger if I feel like I will have to share that experience with you guys.

A Term From My Youth

back·slide (bksld'):
intr.v. back·slid, back·slid·ing, back·slides
To revert to sin or wrongdoing, especially in religious practice.

When I was a young adult, I spent a great deal of time with my church youth group. It was, for a lot of us, our core social circle, ventured away from on fear of our immortal souls (or in pursuit of acceptance, popularity, and/or third base). We would participate in a lot of pre-arranged activities... beach trips, theme park visits, pool parties... the kind of thing secular people do, but we invited Jesus.

Anyway, one of the the tried-and-true outings was to the old "Natural Bridge", site of a (the) famous north Florida civil war battle, where they have a stable of horses available for riding.

I've been a big guy for a long time. Really, since I started high school, I've been kind of known as a big guy. I've been a few pounds overweight that whole time, but I think that when folks mentioned my size, they were talking about the total package as opposed to only my gut (I didn't think this at the time, but time heals all wounds and most self pre-occupations). The point is that when it was time to be assigned horses for our little trip across Panhandle wilderness, I always got the same steed.

A big, wanna-be draft horse named, aptly, Tiny. Tiny was huge, roughly the size of an SUV. Even with my above-average height and longer-than-normal legs, I had a hard time mounting this beast. She was, I came to realize, the only horse in the stable capable of hauling me around... and she was chronically bored.

Tiny trotted with the kind of lethargy you might expect from a person who shared her nickname. Twice, she actually FELL ASLEEP while we were walking a part of the trail.

Needless to say, horseback-riding did not rank highly among my list of favorite youth-group activities, Jesus or no Jesus. Still, I had a kind of odd affection for Tiny. I happened across an employee of the stables years later, and we toasted the memory of Tiny, who was loved by all of the stable workers, I learned, and had been put out to pasture, with all the cruelty hidden behind the euphemism, on Christmas Day, 2003.

Somehow, I will draw together the metaphor of "getting back in the saddle" with the significance of the word "backsliding", and the fact that I used to ride a huge horse with my church youth group.

I'll get back to you when I figure out how... but for now... drinking water, eating bananas, turning things back in the direction they need to go.

Trying to keep my horse awake.


On My Planet

Yesterday I took my kid to a local waterslide park and spent literally HOURS chasing him around, riding down slides, bouncing around in a wave pool, and ingesting pool water. It was a total blast and as planned, the combination of sunshine, chlorine, overactivity, and hotdogs had my kid happily passed out like the drunkard in some early Irish novel in the car on the way home.

But the whole time we were there I kept thinking to myself -- why can't this be more beneficial? I mean sure, mathematically speaking I had to have burned off some decimal points worth of calories, but even I know that there's no way to argue that standing in line with throngs of summer camp kids waiting for my chance to slide my butt down modified PVC did me any sort of weight loss favors at all.

      ..and honestly, that sucks.

The workout regimen I keep up with at home leaves me feeling good when I'm done, but it makes me feel utterly FAT and OUT OF SHAPE while I'm doing it. It's a sensation reminiscent to the humility that highschool presidential fitness tests would always bring -- where not only were you always left hanging there trying to will a pull-up out of yourself so you could at least say you did ONE, but you had the added hell of knowing that eternal-crush object Cathy Mortensen was standing somewhere nearby witnessing this failure firsthand, eternally relegating you to backrub-only status.

I think that's part of why I always crash and burn on my exercise kicks. No matter how much I do these things to get myself in better shape, they always make me feel like shit about myself. Weekly regimens of crunches and curls might be doing me some sort of good in the long run, but each one I attempt still feels like a little part of me is dying.

I understand that getting in shape takes time and that the reward is worth the struggle, but really and honestly -- every time I go to work out there's a voice in my head that says:

      "oh man, are we really doing this again?"



ob·ses·sion (b-sshn, b-)
n - Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.

For the last 2 weeks I have be completely preoccupied with this whole diet/exercise thing... but (not necessarily in a bad way) other things have started to creep back into my mind. Between things I should be doing (like homework), or things I would rather do (like video games) the over the top approach I have been taking towards this has taken a back seat.

So what can I do to find a happy balance to my often frantic mind. How can I find motivation to break my 7 hour a night gaming habit up with an hour in the gym? How, once I have pulled myself away from the gaming, can I justify wasting time at the gym when I should be working on programming assignments?


Chemical Sponge

I don't know about the science behind this, but I've noticed that now that I'm eating few calories (read: less food), food & drink with "medicinal" qualities effect me more.

For example, I have become, though I doth protest, a two-cup-of-coffee guy. I used to have a steady flow of coffee into my craw all day, but now the caffeine hypes me up quick, and I have to lay off in order to be sure that I'm making sense to the people around me.

Megan drinks some Kava tea to help relax her and prepare her for sleep, and as I haven't been sleeping well, I tried some last night. I was out like an f'n light.

So I'm wondering, do mood-altering chemicals and herbs and what-not act more potently if there are fewer calories/less food in my gut to soak them up? Could it be that I'm actually just a little healthier, and therefore more sensitive to chemical alterations?

Kinda crazy, but kinda nifty. Any indicator that things are working as they should is good by me.


Bullet Train

I'm looking around, but FitDay doesn't seem to have an entry listed for "enormous fight with my ex-wife" which had to have burned off a couple of calories but in turn could also lead into a ton more eating.

It's one of the more frustrating parts of this whole process for me, that so much of my body's motivation for holding on or losing weight seems tied to my emotional states..

        I mean honestly, like twizzlers is gonna fix ANYTHING?


Clean Eating

1st off when are we gonna get a tale-of-the-tape rundown on Hex? Does he have a fitday account?

I also wanted to post a link to the menshealth forum's "clean eating" thread. Ignore most everything but the 1st post. http://forums.menshealth.com/eve/ubb.x/a/tpc/f/295109121/m/721103321
Main idea here is figuring out how many calories you need to eat a day, and to determine how many of those calories should be from protien, fat, and carbs. Using this and fitday together (since fitday will do your daily calulations for you) makes for a pretty easy measuring guide.

Visualize The Workout (Instead of Doing It)

For me this is the worst part. I have the time. I have the goal in mind - but somehow there's that last click on the switch that just doesn't want to go. The workout when I do it energizes me and makes me feel like I'm moving forward in the right way towards my non-pudgy victory circle down the line, but I'll be damned if I actually want to do anything about it right now at all.

I went out to a bar last night just to get away from this empty apartment for a while (and also to watch game 6) and had a couple of beers to help me along the way. I also cooked this mama jamma dinner before that, grilled chicken and dirty rice. Nothing unhealthy, but when eaten with in copious amouts with reckless abandon it certainly can't be a great thing..

I mean, imagine if you wolfed down 100 granola bars or something. 100's still 100.

Blah. Now I'm blathering.
..Might as well get to it.

The Burrito Option

Okay, so I didn't bring anything for lunch today, either. In a calculated move, I decided to do a little research on my own re: my purchased lunch options. I found this:

My burrito has 35g of fat, and 864 calories. How about yours?

My initial burrito option had something like 47g of fat and over 1100 calories. Now I'm thinking I may not go burrito at all.

Either the internet is the coolest, or I hate it. I can't decide right now.




I don't know about anyone else (as I am doing this same challenge with 2 groups currently), but I am extremely motivated by this whole deal. The idea that my honeymoon is closing in (7 weeks left), feeling accountable for everything (and even the thought that others might be looking at what I eat everyday) is helping me keep my willpower up and running. Weighed in just under 190 for the 1st time in a few months this morning. Kinda feel weird about it cause I know I shouldn't lose weight as fast as I seem to be, but I assume that it will drop fast at first and then slack up as the weeks roll on. As long as I can keep losing something each week, and keep hitting the gym as much as I have been, I should be well on my way to (dare I even think it) being able to hit the mexican beaches sans-shirt.... well, as long as I can get my back waxed first.

Welcome to Hex

My good buddy Hex has joined the ranks... the Challenge of the Pudgy Titans echoes thoughout the country.

Is it calling YOU?

Tattoo Ideas vol 1

So, as the reward for this little endeavor is some swank ink, I thought I'd post a couple of ideas.

I will NOT, as Ryan suggests, be getting the face of Walter Cronkite immortalized on my person.

The Cronk rocks, but not quite in a tattoo kinda way.

I do like this logo from the Corps of Royal Alician Marines:

It's got a "fist of a titan" thing going on that I dig. The other idea I have is a symbol my sister first introduced to me upon her return from Ghana:

It's the "gye-nyame" (pronounced ZHEE NYA-MEE), and it's a symbol of the supremacy or omnipotence of God. The story goes that in Ghanaian, it literally translates to "expect for God", and used to be used to decorate items that belonged to the tribal leader, who was divinely ordained. Hence, no one "except for God" can sit on this stool, use this staff, etc. Later, when the indigenous people were fighting to retain the land of Africa, tribal warriors used to tattoo themselves with this mark, as if to say "no one except for God has dominion over my body", and thus, if death came in battle, it was the work of God, not a hated French colonist.

Tomorrow in Tatt History 101, we'll be studying the peoples of Polynesia...

...just kidding.

A Plague On Both Your Houses

I got feverish and sick on Saturday evening - had me cooped up indoors until late yesterday afternoon. I'm not sleeping well with Megan & the boys gone - which is kind-of casting an odd haze over everything during my day. I do have a kind of sleepy resolve, though - it's making me control my eating habits through an almost apathetic style of dedication.

Hey, whatever works.



Had a bad day yesterday... control-wise, anyway. I was out and about most of the day, ate lunch at TGIFriday's with the work crew (at least it wasn't by myself). It's tough for me to try to order something moderately healthy at a place like that... it just doesn't taste as good. I know I would have probably enjoyed a salad as much as my burger and fries... but alas. Then I went out again for dinner... a tex-mex place - chips and salsa and other goodies. I did NOT have popcorn at the theatre last night, though... but I did eat some gummy bears.

Alas, it was not a day in which the gods noticed me. But there is today... we shall see....


My main problem...

... has got to be my own twisted mind. I have serious impulse control issues. If I can use this challenge to make myself think twice about all the nasty (but darn tasty) items that run through my head each day, then this is worth alot more than $25.00.


Fire Within Me (Burning Calories?)

I doubt it's good for my overall health, but I'm thinking that intense anger at inept coworkers probably does help burn some calories. For some reason, a few little asinine quirks left over from last night's shift just got my blood boiling this morning.

So I'm wondering... will a fiery temper help the progress? Or will it, combined with my excess weight, just cause me to have an aneurysm and render the entire point moot?


Like Water Under the... uhm... be right back

Okay, so...

I'm trying not to drink all of the sodas, dig? I mean, usually, I've had a couple of 20oz Coca-Colas by this point. It seems like it would be shooting myself in the foot to pour sugar-water down my throat. Diet Coke still has caffeine, which I'm told stimulates your appetite... and Diet Caffeine Free Coke seems like a really good way to waste $1.27.

So I've been drinking a lot of water. Like, I dunno, about 60oz so far today. The problem with this is...

... our bathroom is up a flight of stairs.

Uncool... does a person's bladder expand to accommodate new and improved drinking habits?

I believe he said he had to go pee

That's right Punk!

You have to know that I plan on winning this.

Gauntlet, Thrown Down

I was going to use this space to eloquently talk about healthy competition, and how when applied between brothers, a rivalry can compel both to great things.

Then Ryan posted before I finished editing, and was all "I hope you know I'm gonna win" or whatever.

So now I say, bring it on, beeotch. I'm already a double-cheeseburger ahead of you!