Mike Anderson

Racing Red Team

Mike is happily married with 3 fantastic children.  Mike lives in a purple 1885 Victorian in West Central.  An old house nerd, who can be found in his natural environment, walking around in shorts and sandals.  Although he is a former athlete, Mike hasn't run in 25 years, and until recently, hadn't owned a pair of gym shoes in this century.  That is about to all change.  His goal is to drop 90 pounds in the next 15 weeks.   Update:  At the halfway point, Mike is now expecting 70 pounds, and pushing for 80.

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Tuesday 5/23/17

Monday at the weigh in, I dropped another 7+ pounds.  That is 2 weeks in a row.  I climbed from 6th place, all the way up to....  6th place.  Spectacular!  As a consolation, I did get to see Tom Spiece vacuuming a Lion.  That's not something you see every day...

Tuesday I decided to get the  @#$%#$@  Jacob's  ^$%#$^$#  ladder in after class as with the kids coming out of school, I just won't have many opportunities this week to complete it.  I got up to  #@$#@#@%$  just under  #$%$#%  400 feet, took a  $*&$^%*  break, and the  %$##%^#$  thing  $^#%$^#  reset on me.  I went home defeated and demoralized.

After 6 weeks of an unknown disease for the wife, at this point I am just hoping that it's not something with a person's name.  Diseases named after people are the really bad ones.  Another round of ultrasounds and tests maybe it is the gallbladder?  It's something new every week.  Medical is never right, and they don't have a clue.  We've avoided surgery so far, but it is looming.  This whole process is 10 times harder than it has to be with the wife almost completely out of commission and 3 young children.


Sunday 5/21/17

I did 7 miles yesterday. My goal was 1:45:00.  I wanted that 15 minute mile for a long period.  I came in at 1:44:57 with 3 seconds to spare.  I sprinted the last 15 yards or so, but I did it!  As I crossed the 3 mile mark I thought that the 3.5 mark would be just moments away.  It was a LIFETIME away!  I swore, on everything I held dear, that surely the mark for either 3 miles, or 3.5 miles was incorrect.  There was no way that another half mile was that far away.  NO WAY!  As I came back from the 3.5 mile mark, the 3 mile mark was simple.  It was right there.  Seemed so far on the way out.  Not knowing where it was ended up completely messing with my mind.

Where 2 weeks ago it seemed like most of my walks were on the downhills, this week EVERY run on the way back was UPHILL.  I worked through them well.  The only one I caved on was the long, LONG climb after the bridge.  I power walked up part of it, and added more run time on the back side to make up for it.  In fact, I added a lot more run time.  After the first 2 sets I slid into 4/6s.  I even ran for 7 on two of the sets without really even realizing it.  I pick an object in the distance and go it it, then check time and pick a new distance.  I was obviously running slower than I thought I would, or I was miscalculating, but twice I realized I was over 6 minutes, close to 7,and just did the 7.  Granted, they were downhill.  It got me thinking about running.  Here I was running more than required on both purpose, and then by accident.  My breathing is there.  Its coming together.

I found an 80s channel to listen to.  What a difference music makes!  When a great song comes on, I can run.  Anything George Michael or WHAM comes on, and my pace falls apart.  Hall and Oats is a mess as well.  Far and away, Oats was the better talent.  Does anyone really like John Hall? Dead Milkmen?  Punk Rock Girl is a song for the ages. I dare you to try and walk to it.  I am virtually sprinting.  Even Depeche Mode was a pace booster.  I Ran by Flock of Seagulls came on, and I was virtually flying.  The Police are also helpful.

I can make the half Marathon now.  I honestly wish we could just do it so it would stop looming.  I can complete it now.  It will take about 3.5 hours, but I got it.  My issue is now leg fatigue.  It used to be breathing, but I have realized that I am rarely struggling with that at all now.  I got Calf compression sleeves from 3RRC, and the Calves are now great.  My thighs are the mess now.  I am going to get compression for them.  Then I expect that my knees will need it.  I already have a bunch of compression socks.  Maybe I can find a full body compression suit...  and then wear it in the suit for those dumb jumping sets where your swim suit falls down to your knees....

This weeks weigh in will be interesting.  Like half and half.  On weeks when I kill it, there are a bunch of signs.  Belt, clothes, the works.  On weeks where I struggle, there are no signs.  About half the signs sort of hit this week.  I am guessing a small loss, but one where I get a clap instead of being told that they love me.


Friday 5/19/17

I have to share the Jalapeno Poppers I made today!  Yummy!  Found some small Jalapenos, and cut them in half.  An ounce of goat cheese (read lables, oh my god not all goat cheese is created equal) divided out among them.  In the oven at 350 for 10 minutes give or take (until they are soft and the cheese is melted). The ENTIRE plate was 86 Calories.  Awesome snack.  The little ballerina plate was just a bonus for myself.  You don't have to be a little ballerina to enjoy these.  I look damn good in a tutu though....

I got Jalapeno in my eye again.  Just a special kind of stupid....

I ate a reasonably sized pear today, like 5.5 ounces.  100 Calories?!?!?!?  Never again, pears are banned.

Dizzy came back on and off in the work out.  Still struggling some with it.  On a positive note, I have done, at minimum, everything required of me in workouts.  Ran every second required and then some.  Held every plank for the time required.  Even held every wall sit with only adjustments instead of breaking.  Again, it might not seem like much, to only do the minimum required, but I am still proud of the accomplishment.  I am at about a week and a half of this success.  It's the little things.

An epiphany hit me like a ton of bricks today.  I am the oldest Male contestant in the competition.  I don't know if there has ever been a time in my life where I was the oldest one doing anything?  I believe I am the second oldest in the competition?  When did this happen?  When did I become the oldest doing anything?  It has really rolled around in my head today.  I am the old, slow, sad guy.  I have never been that guy before.  There is always a fair amount of pity extended to the old guy, and thinking back, I can now see where it has been extended to me.  I am not sure where to go with that?  I have never been in this role before.


Thursday 5/18/17

We ran in Spiece tonight.  I HATE RUNNING IN SPIECE.  There is no joy in it.  Everyone just laps me.  I was determined to hold Big Sexy off from lapping me a 3rd time, and I did, but only because we ran out of time.  He was absolutely breathing down my neck as time elapsed.  Another 30 seconds and he had me easy.  Even my new running socks, which are damn sexy on these feet, didn't help.

Those feet are damn sexy.  I stopped by 3RRC after the run as they were starting to close.  I stayed well past their closing time just talking about running, the joy of running, and when will it start.  The one thing I most want to come away from this process with is a joy of running.  Maybe even an addiction, and it is not happening.  They shared stories with me, and we talked.  We tried more shoes, and ultimately decided to stay with the ones I have.  I walked in with my hat in my hand just asking for help, and they stayed late just to talk.  They didn't even make a sale tonight.  Just talked to me about the things that are concerning me.  You don't see that much in retail.

Another contestant was pontificating (not annoyingly, but certainly dogmatic) on final rankings today, and slotted me in at 10th.  Grumble.  Game on sparky!  While I want to believe I can still turn it up enough to win, the logical assessment of my chances puts me about 5th.  But 10th?  I will not be 10th.  I am currently in 6th overall, and climbing again.


Tuesday 5/16/17

Good weigh in.  I lost over 7 pounds.  I knew it would be a good weigh in.  My belt came in a notch, I dropped down sizes in my pants and shirts.  I was confident.  Even broke out my Wedding Ring, and it FIT.  It is the simplest of bands, and surely doesn't weigh much, but I didn't care about the extra weight it added at the weigh in.  First time I have been able to wear in in a few years.  It feels SO WIERD!

The first day of extra luv was much easier this week.  The first day last week DESTROYED ME for the rest of the week.  My blood pressure seems to be under control, and except for the one day I accidently took the old medicine instead of the new medicine, every day has been strong.  The packages look exactly the same, and I stored them together, and took the wrong one.  That was a rough day of dizziness.

I am now registered for the German Fest 5K, the Vision Walk 5K, and the Hero 5K.  It will be the season of 5Ks.  Kat and I are also signed up for the Bounce House 5K in July.


Sunday 5/14/17

I got outfitted at 3RRC for the 6 miles on Saturday.  New socks, and a water sack thing that worked AWESOME.  It comes with a hand piece, and as you drink water, it gets smaller.  It has a bite top.  Wonderful water system.  I also bought some calf sleeves.  OH MY GOD what a difference, and they are damn sexy as well. 

Look at those legs!  Unbelievable sexy!  You could have calves like these if you had spent 4 years in High School pushing a billion miles of sled.  You need a little bald lineman coach to yell at you constantly for the better part of 4 years, but you too can have them.  At this point, I likely have to keep them covered up to stop the throngs of admirers from freaking out at the mere sight.  I was going to buy colorful ones.  I couldn't find any in red.  The only cool color was Orange.  Just couldn't do it, I need to beat those Orange punks, not wear their color.  I might still go get the orange ones, they were sweet.  I can't find anything in Red.  No socks, no Calf sleeves, nothing outside of headbands.  Going to jump on Amazon.  Go Big Red.  I can tell that I am starting to feel like myself again.

I still need an arm strap for my phone that actually fits around my bicep.  Big Sexy has one that fits around his bicep.  I should ask him where he got it.

I ran great on Saturday.  5/5s.  Again, I thought about 6/4s, but didn't go for it.  I did push at the end, and I came in at 15:20 a mile for 6 miles.  I was at 14:20 a mile after 2 miles, but it kept sliding away from me.  I got lost with a group at the 3 mile mark and we wandered around looking for the mark.  We finally found it on the other side of the street.

At about mile 4, my legs started chaffing.  They HURT, and were rubbing together.  I hiked up my shorts like Ed Grimly and continued to run. 

Image result for ed grimley snl

I made it through.  I kind of forgot about it until later in the day on Saturday, and oh my god, here came the PAIN.  My Wife owns a baby business called Snuggy Baby.  www.SnuggyBaby.com.  My wife is "crunchy".  When our children were born, she knew she wanted to use cloth diapers, wear our children, the works.  She couldn't find anything in the Market that was of the quality she desired, so she made her own.  It has grown into an International business, with seamstresses, a production facility, the whole works.  Please click the link to her website if you have babies in your life.  Well, one of her products is an awesome diaper rash rub.  I grabbed some and rubbed down my "diaper rash" and it cleared up by morning.  God I was happy to have her last night, I needed that Diaper rash cream.  Incredible stuff.

So, Extra Love.  I thought I would own it.  We walked in on Tuesday and did this ball thing where you pass it back and forth between your arms and legs.  DEAR GOD, that was the end of my week.  By Thursday, EVERY single inch of my body hurt to move or do anything.  Rick killed my stomach.  CeeCee killed the arms.  Everything, everywhere was sore.  I feel good tonight.  I will kick Extra Love's ass this week.  Last week Extra Love kicked my ass.  I haven't been this sore in....  Well, maybe High School...

So, I am wearing 44 waist shorts today.  I am in an 2XL shirt.  When I started, I was stretching out size 48 pants, and filling out the 3XLT shirts.  My pants were virtually screaming to be let off the torture rack that was my waist.  All my 48 pants have buttons about to fall off as they were stressed to the point of breaking.  I got really good at sewing buttons back on.  My already HUGE belt was so far out, I was trying to decide if there was room to punch another hole down at the far tip of it.  Today I was easily able to take in another belt hole.  That is 3 belt loops smaller from where I was week 1.  My belt may become too big for me soon.  I haven't been able to wear this shirt in the picture since the year 2000.  This thing has hung in my closet for the last 17 years.  It was my golf shirt for the club.  It even feels loose on me.  I am going to kill it this week.  This is my weigh in.  I am going to break back out my wedding ring.  Don't be shocked to see it on my finger at the weigh in.  I haven't worn my wedding ring for years.  I lost skin on my finger when I was finally able to force it off a few years ago.  I also rolled the seat back in the convertible, and my stomach fit without rubbing against the steering wheel.  When I hit 199, you are going to see me out driving it.  I have driven it only one single time in my life...  To take it home.  It sits in the garage.  This is my week.

Alright, personal embarrassment time.  I accomplished a MAJOR task for myself this weekend!  This is sad, but I haven't trimmed my own toe nails in YEARS.  I carry all of my weight in my stomach.  When I sit down to try and clip my toenails, my stomach becomes a huge ball, and I can barely get my feet in a position where my hands can reach them.  My wife has been trimming my toe nails for as long as I can remember.  I go and get the clippers, and sheepishly bring them to her, pretty embarrassed.  My toe nails will sometimes get way too long, and I needed help.  When I did try and cut them myself, I would curl up into a ball, struggle to get to them, and get winded.  Seriously, I would be breathing hard just trying to clip my toe nails.  I CUT MY OWN TOE NAILS on Saturday!  Granted, I cheated, and sat on the stairs, but I did it all by myself, and my wife didn't even help me.  It's the little things....


Thursday 5/11/17

Ran for 50 minutes last night doing the 5/5.  I thought about doing 6/4, but it didn't happen.  Home was a mess with the girls trying to get to Roller Derby practice, and then I couldn't find ANYTHING I needed.  It was hot, and I needed the arm strap for my phone most of all.  I will not make this mistake again.  On a side note, when do I get small enough so that the arm strap actually fits around my bicep?  I have to wear it down on my forearm.  I have shopped a bunch of them, and they are all too small to go on my bicep.  I wish I could say the reason was my Adonis like, chiseled body, and massive biceps, but we all know that isn't the case. 

So I showed up late to the run.  As I was pulling in, the group was leaving.  I threw myself together as fast as I could.  I then realized that I didn't even have pockets in my shorts.  Everything that could go wrong went wrong.  I was last, running to catch up.  Thank god it was a time requirement, and not a distance.  I did poorly.  I performed the worst I have performed since week 1, and dragged the entire time.  I never got in a rhythm, and it was terrible.  I am changing this.  Not even these sweet new socks could help me.  It was terrible.  No time to prepare, just being reactive, not proactive.  I don't operate well that way.

Those really are some sexy damn feet....

So, I can't do one single real Burpie.  Don't get me wrong, I have done more than a thousand of them in my life.  They were called Bruin Sprints.  Here is how it worked.  In full pads, you ran out 10 years, did a Burpie, yelled "BRUINS", ran another 10 yards, and did it again.  It sucked.  Certainly on days where practice was in the rain.  Your pads were so weighed down, and so heavy.  Normally you would get 100-200 yards of bruin sprints.  So running in between, you would do 10-20 Burpies.  If the Coach was especially frustrated he would call out a bigger number.  The most I remember at one shot was 500 Bruin Sprints.  That was 50 Burpies with sprinting 10 years between each.  Now, it full pads, you could just throw yourself on the ground and not get hurt, so that was likely easier.  I can't do one now.  I tried and face planted on the gym floor at Spiece, luckily, no one really saw me do it.  I have to make sure my feet are under me each time.  It sucks to be old and fat.  I am struggling today.


Wednesday 5/10/17

Got Jalapeno in my eye again last night.  I am a knucklehead. 

Our house just doesn't run right anymore.  My wife is on her 4th week of a simply unknown medical issue.  They have ruled out about everything under the sun.  We thought we she was having surgery a week or so ago, but that wasn't the problem.  At this point medical is just throwing darts at the dartboard hoping to get lucky.  She has missed so much work.  She sleeps for entire days.  I bring this up because I love her, and I understand that things are not right, but sweet baby Jesus these people in my house are killing me with the food.  It was one thing when I felt strong, but I have been down for 2 weeks battling my blood pressure, and I am not strong right now.

There is pizza here every day.  Or Taco Bell.  Or Wendy's.  Or Macalister's.  Something yummy from a fast food take out Every....   Single.....  Day....  I try to cook for the family.  But my Chili is too bland.  Well, that is because I can't put in all the hot peppers because no one else can eat them.  The boy will eat Chili with me.  No one is interested in no Salt added chicken with Mrs. Dash as seasoning.  "It's too bland".  "Green Beans again Dad???"  I got Edamame to try and solve it. 

So Kat makes homemade DOUGHNUTS.  And they look GOOD.  Again, I didn't eat any.  She was disappointed, but if I cave right now, it's going to be ugly.  There is just too much around the house.  For the love of God, could all the Chinese take out be eaten soon.  Middle shelf, right at eye level in the fridge SUCKS.  Egg Rolls, just staring me down for days with that "I know you want me big boy" look in their eyes.

Tuesday 5/9/17

I thought I was going to be late to the weigh in.  Got out to Illinois Road, and realized that I had left my wallet at home.  Turned around.  No one at home would answer phones, so I couldn't have it run out as I pulled up.  Grabbed it as fast as I could, and got moving again.  I had forgotten how much I HATE South West traffic.  In my former life I lived off Liberty Mills Road right by Homestead High School in Kekeonga Shores on the lake.  The God forsaken burbs, where no one knows their neighbors, and everyone rushes home, only to get stuck in traffic, and then hide within their air conditioned house behind their un-neighborly 8 mile tall stockade fences.  I love living in God's country, downtown, where everyone knows everyone.  I was happy to reclaim my soul when I moved downtown.

Terrible weigh in.  Thank god we weren't in the group setting, I would not have gotten a clap.  I knew it was going to be bad.  Nothing felt right, nothing changed, I was struggling with food, felt weak.  Honestly?  I was happy to have lost.  I was concerned it would actually be a gain.  The worst part is the feeling of letting down your team.  We need Big Red to take home those medals for the week.

So, here we go again.  Now I have to win this week.  I hope no one else was planning on winning this week, because this week is mine.  Whatever it takes.

I enjoyed the walk in the grocery store.  I have the groceries and the labels down pat.  I am a Grocery Store NINJA at this point.  Fear the NINJA, you never see him coming.  I spend hours and hours in the grocery store.  My wife will call concerned as I have been gone forever...  I am just aimlessly wandering around the store, putting 1 item every 30 minutes into my basket.  I have found so many cool things walking down isles I would have never walked down in the past.

Grocery Stores.  You have the vegan section, the Organic section, the section for hippy dippy can't eat anything yummy people.  You will make a MINT on this idea.  WRITE THIS DOWN....  A zero/low sodium section.  YOU ARE WELCOME.  I expect my royalties in a timely fashion.

AJ turned me on to the no salt added Beans.  That is where it is at.  10 Sodium for a half cup is absolutely a fair trade not to have to soak beans over night.  You can get Red Kidney and Black no salt beans in the Kroger Brand.  If at Meijer, it is an off brand, on the top shelf, but they have Red Kidney, Black, and Garbanzo beans with no salt.

I was INVITED to the extra love.  Not sentenced as a punishment.  I clarified that I wasn't being required to go before I happily accepted.  I am going to grab that love, wrestle it to the ground, and own it like a Rock Star.


Saturday, 5/6/17

Chad Bohnke pulled me aside last night and gave me some great encouragement.  Chad, as you read this, thank you.  When I am allowed to eat out again, we need to get the families together again for dinner.  Between you and Eric Heffley, the encouragement has been great.

I got jalapeno in my eye again last night.  This time it was only 1 eye at least.  Just seriously dumb.  Going to have to bubble wrap my head.

We did 4 miles today.  At the 2 mile turn around spot, I stomped all over that "2M" painted on the sidewalk.  Stomped all over it.  I owned that 2 miles.  We were set to do 6/4s today.  I am feeling stronger and stronger now that my BP is climbing.  I decided I was going to keep up with Shawn today.  So I got behind him, zeroed in on the back of his head with that sweet new shaved head do he is sporting....  and watched him get further and further away until he was a little Orange speck in the distance....  Frick.  Double Frick.  However, in the attempt to catch up, I did 5/5s instead.  Half way through the first 5 minutes, I wondered what dumb thing I had done to myself mentally committing to the 5/5s.  Just get through this one and forget this nonsense, just settle back into 6/4s.  Then the second period came, and I started on the 5, because, well... Honestly I was still trying to catch Shawn.  I went the full 5 minutes.  I thought to myself, "Anderson, you knucklehead, stop that".  Then the 3rd period came, and at that point, it was a personal challenge.  Can I actually do the 5/5s all the way to the end without surrendering?  Well....  I could.  Finished it all, and did 4 miles at 59:21, that is under 15 minute miles, outside roadwork, for multiple miles.  Absolutely the very best I have ever done.  Feeling stronger today.  Should get a good second workout in as well today.

I did the traditional walk around Kroger for 2 hours and only buy 12 things after the run.  I spend so much time in grocery stores now looking at Sodium on labels.  I see food labels in my sleep.  I really have got this salt thing pretty well under control.  At this point, I am far more in danger of taking in to little sodium than too much.  HUGE CHANGE!  And really?  It hasn't sucked.  I have found a number of gems that I can eat that I would have never considered before.  Seriously, I spend hours, and HOURS, and HOURS in the grocery store.  I can get some great products if I shop at Kroger, Fresh Thyme, and Fresh Market.  I really can't find anything special I can eat at Walmart.  I am really shocked at how good Kroger is on so much of this stuff.  I am impressed.  The only thing that sort of sucks with Kroger, is that each Kroger carries different things.  What I can get at one Kroger, I can't find at another.  I visit all three of grocery stores at least once a week, I am in Kroger more like 3-4 times a week.  I buy under a dozen items each time.  It used to be roll out to Walmart/Costco/Sam's Club and buy $500 worth of groceries every time.  It was easy to do as all of that food has a long shelf life.  It has a long shelf life because it is FULL of sodium.  I can't eat like that anymore, so I make 5-10 grocery store runs a week.  Creative meal planning is what I really work at.  Today I am going to make some no salt turkey chili.  I have a no salt Shrimp jambalaya pizza coming tomorrow.  A ton of my time is now filled with food prep, but I am enjoying the challenge of avoiding salt.  Not an easy task at all.

I had a 98% lean ground chicken taco with homemade salsa for dinner to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  I offered to share, but the rest of the family ate Chinese carry out.  At least they cleaned it up and didn't leave it sitting out.

I am overly concerned about the weigh in on Monday.  I want to be able volunteer for the Extra Love sessions.  I have felt so weak, that I haven't volunteered yet.  I don't want to embarrass myself.  I am concerned that the scale will not be kind this week, and I will get Extra Love as a punishment, not as something I sought out, wrestled to the ground, and owned.  There is so little time left before the weigh in.

Pushed the sled back and forth for the Challenge this week.  I did it with Marcus, and we timed the both of us as together.  16:09.27.  Not bad.  I certainly did better this week than if it had been the challenge last week.  I believe Marcus could have done it faster, and he was kind to sacrifice his time to help pace me.


STAR WARS DAY, May the 4th be with you....

Today marks 1 month where the only thing I have drank is Water.  Period.  Just water.

Pool day today.  It was a good workout, and got the blood pumping.  For the first time, I couldn't understand Mari.  I never understand CeeCee.  My ears are old, and the high pitch voice, yelling into a microphone just becomes a muffled mess to understand.  I just watch other people to try and see what they are doing.  Dan is an excellent CeeCee interpreter.  I am constantly asking him what we are supposed to do.  Tina is clear to my ears.  Her voice is not as high of an octave, and I can hear her easily. 

I was ready to be done with the wall kick today.  Done.  NO MAS.  Then Tina looked right at me and said "2 Minutes".  I can do anything, even stand on my head, for 2 minutes.  2 minutes it is.  Powered right through it.  It was awesome knowing where the light at the end of the tunnel was.  CeeCee did the same thing for me in the run yesterday.  On the 3rd running set, my feet just wouldn't rise off the floor, I was ready to give.  Which would SUCK, as I haven't given up on any running section in maybe 2 weeks.  I am pretty proud of that accomplishment.  It doesn't sound impressive, simply that I have run every required second for a couple weeks, but internally, I am pretty damn proud of it.  I was ready to give, the ONLY thing stopping me was that stupid streak.  CeeCee looked back and called out "1 Minute".  I can do 1 more minute.  I decided that I was running until the bridge, come hell or high water.  It actually took an extra 5 seconds or so to make the bridge, but I did that minute and then some.  She has no idea where my head was, but without that call out from CeeCee, I might have lost that two week streak.

I discovered that the vitamins I have started taking have calories.  The biggest one is the Fish Oil that was recommended to us a few weeks ago.  The Magnesium that I take to offset the muscle spasms from my Statin cholesterol medicine also has Calories.  (Man, I would like to get off the Statins).  I take in more calories a day in vitamins and medicines than you would ever guess.  Need to start tracking those numbers.  Your Daily dose of Fish Oil is basically a Cutie in terms of calories. 

I came home to take a nap again.  I am tired.  My Blood pressure is up to 104/68 at the moment, and my heart rate is only 70, so I doubt I will have any real issues today?  As you know by now, that is actually pretty high for the course of the last week.  Over all it is still too low.  I need to really watch my food for the rest of the week, I am hungry all the time since the event on Saturday.  Of course there is Taco Bell left over from the families dinner last night.  I see a big cookie (likely from Qudoba) sitting in the living room, still wrapped up.  There is a pot of Chili, full of salt, on the stove.  This place is full of land mines.  I do know my wife is really sick, and she desires comfort food, I understand and accept that, but there are a lot of land mines laying around here.  I haven't stepped on a single one.  I also need to get in more workouts.  I am extremely worried about the weigh in on Monday.  Extremely worried.


Wednesday 5/3/17

This morning was Jacob's Ladder.  I was the very first of season 10 to meet Jacob.  Jacob is kind of an asshat.  Not really my friend at all.  I survived.  I felt really weak, but I did it.  Much stronger for the rest of the workout.  I even pulled off 25 straight, full force Jumping Jacks.  Also a personal best.

Last night my pulse was racing again as I tried to go to bed.  It was like I was spinning while laying in bed.  It took a LONG time to finally fall asleep.  The Doctor says that when your BP is too low, your heart will compensate by pumping blood faster to keep oxygen to everything.  That is why my feet, hands, and nose are soooo cold.  They aren't getting enough blood.  My feet were hard to raise at the run tonight.  I just don't have any spring in my step.  I had to actually sleep with covers last night.  A first in as long as I can remember.  I sleep in shorts and short sleeves, with no covers.  Even in the coldest stretches of winter.  I am never cold.  It sucks being cold now.  I am ready to be off this BP poison.

I really struggled with food yesterday.  The wife is massively under the weather, and has been for weeks.  She has missed a lot of work as medical keeps trying new things.  We are in an episode of House.  So, Monday I come home from the weigh in, and there is Pizza everywhere.  One daughter (who was also home sick) had made cheesy shells, and left them on the stove.  The other daughter is just starting to explore some cooking, and had taken egg roll wrappers, and filled them with BACON and cheese to make her own version of a hot pocket where she fried them on the stove.  So the entire kitchen is filled with easy comfort food, and I feel like crap, and so very weak.  I had to send myself to bed.  So the next morning, I am up at 5 and the only one awake.  None of it was removed from the kitchen.  I open up a second pizza box to peak, and it has brownies.  Did I mention that there was still fried BACON sitting there?  DUDE, FRICKEN FRIED FRICKEN BACON, JUST SITTING THERE...  The struggle is real.

Soooo....  I didn't eat any of that, but I did eat too much on Tuesday.  I don't feel good in general  Slow, weak, embarrassingly weak.  It was all good food, just more of it than normal.  We were given a range to keep our calories in.  I normally run at the low end of that range.  Yesterday I not only hit the top of the range, I smashed through it for another couple hundred calories.  I feel stronger and better today, maybe because my body needed some food to help heal itself?  It did seem like the entire cosmos was aligned against me yesterday.

Honestly, I am at the top of the range again today.  It is still in the range.  My body is likely trying to tell me something, I need to learn to listen.

Did almost 3 miles of road work tonight.  It didn't go as well as Saturday, but I was strong, I didn't falter, and ran for more than just the minimum.  I can't see ever crossing the finish line walking, so I ran out the final stretch.  Just shy of 6 straight minutes of running.  It HAS to be the fancy running socks.  Check out this new pair.  Those are some sexy feet!

One of the pitfalls of chopping and eating maybe 5 jalapenos every day, is that you sometimes forget to wash the oil from the peppers your hands afterwards.  You are hungry, you get distracted, something.  I just had another one of those awesome experiences.  I rubbed my eyes.  Took at least 5 minutes of blinking to really be able to see again.  Must remember the oils are on your hands.  The really bad one is when your jalapeno hands come into contact with something only men have to hold.  You would think I would remember to wash the oils off my hands every single time after an event like that....


Tuesday 5/2/17

I lost 5 pounds.  I was far happier with that than the 8 pounds the week before.  Lenny missed out, he would have actually gotten a reaction from me last night.  He was less than amused with my stoic reaction to the 8 pounds in the prior week.  But last week I knew I was going to kill it.  Belt loops, that is the tell.  It is like the John Malkovich playing the Russian with the Oreos in Rounders.  If the belt goes in, I am going to crush it.

Alright, settle in, the tale about to be told is one of intrigue, mystery, pain, complete defeat, and redemption.  It has its ebbs and flows, and its highs and lows, but in the end the Hero of the story survives to fight another day. 

EXPOSITION:  I came out of the run on Saturday feeling like a CHAMP.  I had a hard week.  A very hard week.  Like I was running in quicksand all week.  Weaker every day.  To the point that by Friday I could barely lift my arms throughout the day.  I was back to taking a daily nap in the middle of the day, and I found that if I wasn't paying attention, I would nod off in my car at long stop lights.  I felt puny, unable to do much but survive.  I pushed through workouts, as anyone that knows us, knows that Andersons may not always win, but we don't give up easy, even though we are often the underdog. 

RISING ACTION:  I head over to Scotts like I do every Saturday to buy some Jalapenos and other various lessor foods.  Nothing can really compete with the Jalapeno super food.  I am working along the back of the store, and the whole field of vision turns white.  I can't really see.  I am only standing because I had a shopping cart.  It just came up and overwhelmed me.  I would not have been still standing without that cart.  My heart is racing.  I didn't think to look at my Fitbit at the time, but my heart is racing.  I start working my way to the front of the store, and it all settles down.  I pay and head home.  Right around Jefferson Pointe, everything goes white again.  I am gripping the steering wheel.  Luckily I was sitting.  I get off to the side, and wait until it passes.  I hadn't eaten well that morning before the 5 miles, like a small banana, and I was thinking my blood sugar was likely off.  I just needed to get some food in me, that was the working thought.  I limp the car home.  Once home, I get some food in me, and start cutting peppers to freeze for the week.  My heart starts racing.  I mean racing. Luckily, I am sitting down.

CLIMAX:  I look at my fit bit, now I haven't exerted a bit of energy, my sitting heart rate was 147.  My hands, feet, and nose are FREEZING.  White dots clouded my entire field of vision, I could make out where things were, but I could barely see anything but white dots.  At this point, I am strongly questioning if I am having a stroke?  I remember something about chewing aspirin and getting it under your tongue for a stroke.  I start searching the house for aspirin.  I can barely stand.  I stand up to the cabinet, and search about 5 bottles, and then need to sit down.  This process happens 3 or 4 times.  I find every form of Tylenol that exists in the known universe, but no true aspirin.  My heart rate is climbing and won't settle down.  I have not exerted myself at all, and my heart rate, just sitting there, was now north of 150.  I am breathing like I just ran a marathon.  I can't speak, all I can do it breathe.  I found that I was unable to call out for help, as I was breathing so hard that I couldn't make a sound, I needed every millisecond of mouth time just to inhale and exhale.  My Wife, (Who has been seriously ill, like a patient on an episode of House kind of sick) hears all this and comes down to me breathing HARD, just trying to take off my shoes because my feet were tingling so bad, I just needed those shoes off.  At this point, the whole scene explodes.  Children are moving around, my Mother is involved, medical comes into play, the works. 

FALLING ACTION:  As I am telling this story, you can assume I didn't die that day.  I just wondered if I was going to?  It turns out that I now have HypOtension.  Not the Hypertension I have been dealing with for many years, but Hypo.  It is when your blood pressure is too low.  My wife ran in my blood pressure cuff and my BP was 95/55.  It dropped down to as low as 85/50 on Saturday.  Relaying that info to medical, it was advised that I find a way to move.  To get blood moving.  So I ran around the house as best I could and I started feeling a little better.  My DOCTOR told me to get Salt in me.  NOW WE ARE TALKING!  There is no way our nutritionist can argue with Doctors orders!  OH GLORIOUS DAY!  SALT!  I ate a pickle, and drank the pickle brine straight from the jar.  That seemed to help some as well.  I slept for most of the rest of the afternoon.  The worst part is that what should have been a glorious salt revival really didn't taste as good as it could have, and it kind of made me feel like crap.  Sigh.....

RESOLUTION:  I have been on 3 blood pressure medicines for over a decade.  I take them religiously every day.  Although I have lost some where in the 20s of pounds in the program, I started before the season began, and came in down 17 pounds from where I was.  My Doctor noted that I have lost 44 pounds according to his records.  We talked about my new 1500 (or so) mg of salt a day, where even just 4 weeks ago I was putting down about 8000+ mgs a day.  I have also given up caffeine, and soda, in fact Star Wars Day will be the 30 day mark.  I was taking too much blood pressure medicine, and I don't need it any more.  That is why I have been so unbelievably week.  That is why I questioned if I was dying on Saturday.  My BP was way, way too low.  The Doctor dropped 2 of my 3 BP meds.  He might drop the last one, but he wants to see how everything is going first.    I have to give him my BP readings on Friday so we can check again.  He told me to go slow for a bit, but that is really not in my nature.

So, once my BP started climbing, I am feeling much better.  I still feel weak and tired, certainly more than I should, but my BP is riding a roller coaster now.  Today I finished 7 sets of the party train on the stairs.  7 LOOPS, NO STOPS!  Best I have ever done.  My old record was 5.  And THEN, I did ANOTHER 4 LOOPS on the train.  I feel so embarrassingly weak, I need to straighten all of this out.

So ends the story of how our protagonist ( in his damn sexy socks ) survived, and grew stronger.


Monday 5/1/17

I "ran" 5 miles on Saturday.  Can you believe it?  It was surely all about these fancy new running socks.  They even have a right and left foot.  I am like my youngest boy with R and L on my feet.  I was strong on the 5 miles, actually helping others.  I actually think it helped my mental game to concentrate on another.  It also slowed my pace some and made it mentally easier to survive.  Just look at these socks!  JEALOUS?  You know you are.  Those are some damn SEXY feet...

I am concerned about the weigh in tonight.  In the weeks I have done well, my clothes fit better, my belt came in a notch, everything just seemed to work.  This has been a hard week.  I felt weaker and weaker all weak long.  Like unable to raise my arms weak.  I had an event on Saturday, and have been under the Doctor's care.  I don't feel like this will be a good week.  I need 1.6 pounds to get into the 270s.  I know I won't get a clap, but I just hope to get into the 270s.  Although my 1st weigh in was at 306, I was 323 when I started this journey and decided to apply.  273 is going to be a big number for me, as that will be 50 pounds.  I am getting close.  Hopefully I don't gain.  It has been a very hard week.


Friday 4/28/17

This morning I lasted for 2 minutes on the planking!  OK, it was only 1 of the 3 attempts.  Ok, OK, so I was on my elbows and knees.  But dammit, that was the very first time I made it to the end on the planking!  Very first time.  And yes, elbows and knees, but I actually made it the full 2 minutes.  And it was not easy at all.  At the end, with just seconds left to go, everything shaking, I actually heard myself say "Please" out loud.  No clue where it came from?  I just wanted to make it.  Yes, elbows and knees.  Next time I am going to try and make it all 3 sets.  Yes, elbows and knees.

I was next to Parker on the wall sits this morning.  I made it further than I have in the past.  I'm not 23.  I break easy.  I still can't do Jumping Jacks for 2 minutes, but I tried a few full open Jumping Jacks today before reverting to a less jumping style.  Sitting next to Parker definitely made a difference.  I am far too competitive to just let it go when another is holding so strongly right next to me.  I wish I were 23.....

I realized how I know Shane today....  We have met before.  It is actually a pretty small world.  Shawn was telling me that his kid's day care is run by the mother of a girl that used to rent from me.

Stair Challenge:  Let's tell the truth.  I waited until today because....  I was absolutely dreading it.  dreading.  100 flights?!?!?!?!?!?  Would you like me to build a ladder to the moon as well?  Could I empty the ocean right after that?  Perhaps dig a hole to China?  All of those things are preposterous.  I expected to get to 10 flights and that would be the end of that.  It was even after a workout where you are tired to start.  Completely going to fail, in every...  single...  way...  10 floors, tops.  However, the instructions were that you had to get on, and you couldn't get off until you hit 100 floors.  So, I figured sometime around dinner, someone would take pity on me, and I could get off after just standing there for hours unable to climb.  The unthinkable happened.  10 flights came and went.  Then 20.  And 50.  Sweet baby Jesus, I might actually do this!  100 Flights.  49 minutes and 52 seconds later.  I seriously still don't believe I made it.  And I actually made the entire 120 seconds on the planking, even if it was on my elbows and knees.  Some pretty HUGE wins today. 

I have to admit I am dreading the 5 mile run tomorrow.  I bet it takes every bit of 90 minutes.....  Finishing that will be another huge accomplishment.


Thursday 4/27/17

I got very lucky today.  It seems that the morning workout was cancelled.  Speice lost power in the storm, and they called it off.  I had no clue, and went to Speice for a pool day.  I had found an old suit that seemed to fit me now, that was far more streamlined.  Less pockets and such to drag the water.  Maybe it would help with keeping my shorts on?  As I walk up to the locker room, Rick tells me that the workout is called off, and suggests that I go a head and work out in the pool in likely a self guided way.  I just figured I would go and swim laps.  So, I head into the locker room, put on these old swim trunks, and....  THERE IS NO DRAW STRING!  If we had class that morning, there would have been no way to keep my shorts on outside of finding some duct tape up at the front desk.  Then there would have been a bunch of embarrassing questions to answer, and certainly harassment.  I dodged a bullet!  I ended up taking the longest, hottest shower that I have had in a very long time.  No distractions, no kids, just shower.  It was AWQESOME!  I will need to apologize to Tom Speice for all the water I wasted.... 

This week we head into 7/3 on the running, and I was dreading it.  I can't seem to catch my breath, and really struggled with the 8/2s.  I ran with Rose up at Solomon Farm, and surprised myself.  I made every single second of the 3s, and short of one stretch where I FOOLISHLY tried to talk during the running part, I came away able to breathe.  That is a real change.  I am not feeling the change in my body this week like I did last week, so I suspect that this weigh in is going to be a difficult one for me, but there was a real change in my endurance last night.


Saturday 4/23/17

The first week of the contest, I didn't feel much different, and was embarrassed in the result.  The second week felt great.  I brought in my belt by a notch, clothes felt loose.  Week 2 I won the week for the Men, and maybe overall?  Week 3 nothing felt different, and it was a pathetic 2.6.  This week things feel different.  My shirts are getting big.  I am actually in a 2X shirt today instead of the normal 3 X shirts.  My belt has come in another notch.  If I get another 2.6 this week, you will see the face of a truly demoralized man.  I think this will be a strong week on the scale.

5K today, and Kat came along.  She finished 3rd in her age group and took home a medal.  I finished 205th overall at just under 50 minutes.  I'll have to do the math, but that is likely between 15 and 16 minutes a mile quickly in my head.  A flat course would be much preferred.  I could see doing more 5Ks.  As it was just a mile or so from our house, I wish I had understood how these things work.  My middle daughter could have ridden her bike over and peddled with us.

In my attempt to have no salt, the calories are becoming easy.  Almost too easy (he says foolishly).  I set a limit on sodium at 140.  If it has more than 140 sodium in a serving, I cannot have it.  Everything with sodium has a billion calories.  I am eating things without sodium.  I eat pounds and pounds of food every day, and my calories are still low.  Maybe too low at times, but I can't see forcing myself to consume calories when I am not hungry.  Literally, I eat so much more food than I used to, and the calories just aren't there.  I am at the point where the first thing I look for on the label is sodium.  Low sodium = everything else works.

A pitfall I fell for.  Look at the generic entries for your foods on MFP.  A number of them are off.  It is one thing to do the bar code, but when it is a fruit?  I have learned that the most popular entries that come up in MFP first are the ones everyone uses.  Because if this, if someone wants to have inaccurate info to look better, it can get used a ton and move up the list.  We are guilty of it as well.  If you put in banana, the top three entries might be 100, 105, and 120 calories.  You are inclined to use the 100 calorie one as it is lower.  Then you cheat yourself by using it over and over.  There are tons of cases like that.  The most popular "strawberry" entry was just the one at the top.  I have used it a ton.  Recently, I put in 6.8 ounces of Strawberries and it came to 5 total calories.  I was very pleased.  About 20 minutes later, it still wasn't sitting right in my head, so I did the research and the math, and discovered that the entry in MFP was way, way off.  I have since gone back through all my generic foods and found a bunch of problems, often that the nutrients are missing, but some where the calories are way off.  Thought I would pass it along.

I hope for a good result tomorrow.


Thursday 4/20/17

Today is my Son's 5th birthday.  It has always been a tradition to let the kid pick where they wanted to eat on their birthday, anything they want.  For the Boy that would mean Takaoka or Coney Island.  While I am confident that I could eat out successfully by picking the right restaurant and analyzing the menu ahead of time online, I can't eat at Coney Island.  One single Coney Dog is 331 Calories.  I used to eat 4-5 and a bag of chips every time I went in there, and I was generally still a little hungry.  That is roughly 1,500 calories in that single meal.  Interesting to contemplate.

To put it in perspective:  This morning I ate a metric ton of food for Breakfast.  A HUGE egg white "omelet" with green pepper, onion, jalapenos, and goat cheese.  A tomato with cottage cheese.  And a quarter of an entire cantaloupe.  220 Calories.  I couldn't put another bite in me if I tried. 

Two takeaways:  1)  I could eat 1,500 calories in a single meal and still be hungry.  I just ate 220 Calories in a single meal, and I am stuffed.  2)  Dear god, how yummy is a whole tomato, 1/4 cup Cottage Cheese, and Mrs. Dash's extra Spicy?  So unbelievably delicious.  Where did that come from?  I threw it together on accident just working on getting a cottage cheese container empty to have more room in the fridge.  It might be my favorite flavor combo right now.

As for the boy's birthday, I have to run tonight.  Looks like it will be at Spiece due to weather.  My wife went back to school for her Masters, and has class on Wednesday night during the run out SW.  No way to avoid "missing" this birthday.  I am strongly considering taking the boy and my oldest daughter to the run tonight.  In an enclosed environment, he could sit on the bleachers on the side of the far gym if he get tired and be just fine.  Thinking about trying it anyway.

The pool is great.  It is a nice break.  What I will say is that the whole jumping up and down with your hands in the air just doesn't work.  My stomach is the widest part of me, and my hips are much smaller.  You start jumping up and down, and your shorts come off.  With your hands in the air....  well, it is a bad combination.  Maybe one of those old timer suits that comes up over the shoulders?  I suspect that would be preferred over just going commando?  I doubt I will ask.....  I need some swimming suspenders.

It still would be wonderful to have any indication of a count down while doing endurance exercises.  I would be much more successful if I knew there was a minute left, or 30 seconds left.  Not knowing gets in my head.  That it is going to last forever, and then doubt sets in.  Once doubt sets in, I break.  If I knew there was a minute left, I could zone in on that and last longer.

We get to sleep in this Saturday.  I signed my oldest daughter and I up for the 4-5K run at Saint Francis this Sunday.  The boy is singing in the 10:30 church service.  No way to get out of church at noon, and be at Saint Francis at noon.  My daughter and I will have to miss the service, which is a shame as it is his final singing of the school year.  Very cute to see a group of 4 and 5 year olds sing a few songs up in front of the church.  I thought about going and leaving right after the songs, but we sit in the first few rows, and to have a family of 5 get up and leave wouldn't be the best of appearances.

I have been dragging for the last 2 days.  Yesterday I almost couldn't lift my head at a few points.  My body was so sore.  We did what seemed like hours of wall sits in the work out.  My legs were just shaking wildly as I sat on the wall.  Have I mentioned how awesome it would be to get countdowns?  Like 1 minute, 30 seconds, and then count down from 10 to the end?  It would be awesome.  I broke many more times that I wanted to.  A countdown would be spectacular.  I could gut it out longer knowing where we are.  We also had the boxing gloves on, and punched forever.  My legs and arms were toast.  TOAST.  I was a blob all day yesterday.  My "second workout" was just getting up every 30 minutes and walking around the building.  It is about all I could do.

Then I couldn't get to sleep last night.  I kept checking the clock, and the time just kept going.  I finally fell asleep somewhere just before 1 am.  Then up at 5 am to head to the gym.  I am going to head home after lunch and take a nap.  I get the kids at 3, have appointments at 4 and 4:30, have to be at Spiece at 6, the wife is at work, and the sitter called off sick.  I might take all the kids to the run tonight?  $5 a head to Spiece at the door is likely still cheaper than the sitter.


Tuesday 4/18/17

I didn't feel like there was much of a change in my body going into the weigh in last night.  My stomach didn't seem smaller like the first 2 weeks, I didn't seem to have much more energy, My belt didn't come in a notch like other weeks, it just didn't feel like a win was going to happen.  I was correct.

2.6 .....  Terrible.  However, I didn't feel the overwhelming embarrassment immediately after the weigh in like I did in week 1.  I was truly devastated after that first weigh in.  Admittedly, I heard 2.9, but still, that would be terrible as well.  Just terrible.  Perhaps I should have felt embarrassed?  When I was completely and utterly disappointed in myself after week 1, I came back to win week 2 for the Men.  My goal is now to win week 4.  Again, embarrassment was a powerful motivator last time, I actually wish I had that kind of a fire right now, it was an intense motivator for week two.  I have dropped to 15th place overall.

Funny how I was just talking about special running socks, and then they were mentioned today after the work out.  I need to get up to 3RRC for a better way to carry water as well.

My digestive track is having fits this morning.  Yesterday I did an all Vegetarian day.  Meatless Monday if you will.  So an unholy amount of Vegies, and added in Beans which have not really been a regular part of my diet.  So far it has been an interesting morning.  Given the digestive track events so far, I wish we weighed today.  I would have been a lot lighter...

The kids were off school yesterday, so I took them to the Junction Playground out SW at the Jorgensen Y.  I let them play, and just circled the playground.  When it was time to run, I shot down a long stretch, and then walked back.  I can be successful running if I pick a spot I have to get to and just zone in on getting there.  I really need a goal, a point, something to get to.  I need a countdown, I need to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I would do SO MUCH BETTER at things like wall sits if they would call off "1 minute left", "30 seconds left", and then do a countdown from 10 to 1.  I can force myself to just endure, but only for so long.  Not knowing how much time is left psychologically messes with me.  Even if I just knew how long the period of endurance is, I can figure out the rest.  Call out that it is a 2 minute wall sit.  That would really help me.  Running was a TON easier setting a point to get to.  Once there I would look at my timer and pick a new point based on much more of the 2 minutes was left to go.  Then I would count down the last seconds.  Interestingly, on the 2nd and 3rd running periods, I got much further each time.  I was about to run out of sidewalk.  That felt good.  On the 4th and 5th, I didn't make it as far.  We were scheduled for 40 minutes.  I did 5 sets for 50 minutes, with a total time of about an hour.  That kind of surprised me.  I cut a few of the 2 minute run periods short on Saturday, and Andy got on me.  Not looking to fall short next time.  Much better performance in the 2 minute runs on Monday.

Rick called out to run the long stretches this morning during warm up.  Knowing exactly how far I had to go was exceedingly helpful.  I opened it up, and ran faster than I have ever run so far in the program.  Interestingly, Walking, jogging, and Running all have an extremely different feel.  Open running and walking seem to be much easier than jogging.  Too much body wiggles, jiggles, and bounces in jogging.  It is more painful to do a light jog with my stomach bouncing around.  Jumping up and down in the pool hurts as well with this huge stomach.  I need to figure out how to open my running up more, as it hurts less.

I really just want my shins to stop being on fire.  I want to be able to come away from this process with the ability to run.  Enjoying it would be a massive win.  When does that happen?  When does the sheer pain in your shins finally go away?  They are on FIRE.

Did stairs today with Tina.  Oh my god, my body just gave up.  Mentally I wanted those stairs, but my legs wouldn't move, I wobbled some coming down on the 4th lap of the second set.  I wasn't going to fall, but my body just failed me.  Jumping Jacks also took a ton out of me.  Jumping...  Jacks....  I was a 3 sport athlete in High School, and could do about anything.  I can't even climb stairs now.  We used to have to run stadium laps, up and down a billion stairs.  This is sad.  After Tina pulled me off, I got back on and finished my stairs.

Got to do the sled for the first time since the 1980s.  Felt perfect.  Everything came back to me.  I grabbed it and sprinted down and back, felt GREAT!  Then I got up from the sled, and sweet baby Jesus, it was tough to stand.  I've pushed a sled around for thousands and thousands of yards in my life, I am not a 10th of the man I once was.  I just need to find a way to catch my breath.


Monday 4/17/17 (effectively)

It's late Sunday night, effectively Monday.  The biggest thing from the weekend were blisters.  I took the second Friday workout too far, did just short of 5 miles outdoors between Swinney and Headwaters Parks, and my toes were destroyed afterwards.  I wrapped them in bandages Saturday morning.  I had 5 of my 10 toes all wrapped up, and just hoped for the best.  It WORKED!  I was able to go Saturday am on the run with virtually no difficulty.  I spoke with Mike over at 3R Running Company, and he suggests special running socks.  I am going to try and get over there this week.

"Ran" with Andy on Saturday morning.  It was actually pleasant, and it helped.  I slowed him down, and surely he would have preferred to do more/better, but it was the first real time that having another person in the picture was productive instead of counter productive.

I don't feel good about the weigh in this week.  Last week I was focused on redemption.  I have done the same things this week, but it just doesn't feel the same.  We will see what the scale says.


Friday 4/14/17

I work to find a zone put space when we are working out.  It is working for me.  It is actually surprising as I expected to be more vocal, to laugh, to play around more.  Really just trying to breathe.  Once I get into the space, I can endure.  Now, I understand the trainers and others are trying to be encouraging, but when they come by and interact, it throws me out of that space.

I want my salt back.  I am not currently using food in the way God intended....  As a Salt delivery Vehicle.  When the urge is just too much, I literally eat a raw Jalapeno.  There is a small village of Jalapeno growers somewhere in South America or Africa that I might be solely supporting by now.  I am also helping put Mrs. Dash's kids through college.  I'm eating sushi without Soy Sauce like a Heathen.  The struggle is real.

Day 11 without a touch of Caffeine.  Water is the ONLY drink I have had.  I no longer want to wipe out and eliminate all Humans.  I am going to dump out the rest of my bottle of Diet Pepsi soon.  I don't need to hold on to it like a crutch, and by now it has be very flat.  While I am thinking about it, I quit Cigarettes right around now 5 years ago.  My last half pack is still in the deep freezer.  Maybe I can let that go now?

There are things I want to fit into.  Size 42 pants.  A car that just sits in storage.  The car comes out at 199 pounds.  I will actually be able to fit in it by then.  Maybe I'll race a powder blue Lambo for pink slips?  Right now, the Main goal is to fit back into my wedding ring.  I took it off so long ago that you can't even see the indentation in my finger any more.  Getting it off took about 15 minutes, and I lost skin in the process.  Wearing it again will cost me a few ounces at the weigh in, but I am looking forward to fitting back into the representation of our family.  How awesome would it be to get too small for it and have to size it down?

I've gotten both guys who stood with me at my wedding back on the fitness kick.  All of the sudden they noticed that the old, slow, fat guy was out stepping them on Fitbit.  Now I need some 15K steps a day just to keep up.  Taunting them has worked out perfectly.  The wager with one of them is that the first guy to 199 pounds gets a Harley.  I don't even want a Harley, but the extra pressure will help.

Newest Sushi Bowl!  I used Cauliflower "rice" instead of rice.  Salmon, Jalapenos, Red and yellow peppers, chopped Onion.  This huge bowl is 200 calories!  The picture doesn't do it justice.  These bowls are massive (although I used to consider it a standard size, but put a cup of cereal in it, and the bowl is huge).  I should have put a hand or something in the picture to show scale.  Very happy with Cauliflower "rice".  Just Sautee it up with a half tsp of olive oil in a pan.


Thursday 4/13/17

Outside "running" is slower than inside "running".  I worked 14.58 minute miles inside last week.  Today, outside in the wind and hills it was 18.18 minute miles.  I believe I am faster walking than I am running.  To complete the half Marathon in 4 hours, you need a minimum average pace of 18.32 minute miles.  Curse these stumpy hobbit legs.


Tuesday, 4/11/17

I took the week off from blogging, so there is a lot to catch up on...

I didn't want to blog.  I had a substandard showing at the weigh in, and didn't want to share.  I was beyond disappointed after the first week weigh in where I came in 14th out of 15 guys, and in the bottom 20% overall.  4.6 lbs.  Now, I do understand that I had already dropped about 17 lbs. before the contest started, and didn't have those super easy pounds to drop.  I get that.  It doesn't matter.  I was embarrassed.  So I made some changes.

First, beginning a week ago on Tuesday, the ONLY thing I have drank is water.  Period.  Only water.  That means no caffeine  I haven't gone without caffeine for a week since the 1970s.  Even then you would have to ask my parents, as what was given to kids back then was very different from what we give them now.  NO CAFFEINE for a week.  At one point in the middle of last week all I wanted to do in life was KILL ALL HUMANS!

I also lowered all my salt intake.  I spent hours working on the salt issue.  I crave it sooooooo badly.  Most days I just want to get a jar of pickles and drink a half gallon or so of pickle juice.  My mouth is literally watering as I type this.  I want my salt back.

So last night at the weigh in, I lost the most weight of the men % wise.  It wasn't announced at the time, and I was disappointed in myself because I thought I had failed in my goal of winning this week.  This morning Tina came up to me and told me that I had actually won the week.  I wish it had been announced at the time, but what an awesome feeling as I was doing dead bugs for her to say that.  Incredible feeling.  I am in 8th place now.

Jalapeno Peppers are my saving grace.  That is my salt substitute.  I eat 2-3 of them raw a day anymore.  Sushi is still the name of the game, however I have had to start making it with vegetables only.  The Tuna and other fish have too much sodium.  And I have to eat it like a HEATHEN without soy sauce.  I found an online Salt alternative website that claims to have a soy sauce substitute that I plan on trying soon.

I have been trying to get the family to come out with me on the weekly walks.  My daughter Kat came out last Thursday to Spiece.  It was fun.  She must have just skipped a mile.  When she was born we were the over the top parents who watched everything she ate.  Because of that, she loves vegetables, lean foods, and eats well.  I cheated the other children by not being diligent.  At this point, the rest of the kids eat crap.  I need to fix that, but what a fight to break those habits.  Easter will have very, very little candy this year.

So Kat came with me.  She had a BALL!  She and Tina got along well.  Kat has a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and is a Roller Derby Girl.  At 10, she is 5 feet tall.  If I can direct her, she will be physically spectacular.  My wife's family are giants.  The middle school aged kids on her side loom over my 5'10" frame.  (I am 6'2" in stilettos, it is fabulous).  We were working all the way around the basketball courts.  I believe that the "track" is about a quarter mile.  Kat decides she is going to lap me.  I was moving pretty fast, and then started going virtually as fast as I could.  Kat lapped me, making up a quarter mile on me at my best speed in 8 minutes.  The girl is FAST!

She said she had a ball.  She liked talking to Tina and Rose.  I didn't even know she spoke with Rose, it must have been when she was away from me.  So, my best speed, she picked up a quarter mile in 8 minutes on top of my speed. 

I tried to get Kat to come on Saturday morning, but she wasn't coming out of bed.  But my wife was ready to go, which was awesome.  With a 4 year old, and an 8 year old (who won't put in effort), I don't know how taking the family is going to work?  I would have to slow my pace dramatically to have the rest of the family with me.  Kat can go much faster than I, but I suspect that the rest of the family can't keep my pace.  Do I go slow to not leave my family somewhere behind me?  That doesn't allow me to do my best.  I WANT THAT MILE MARK!  I got just barely short of .9 miles out last Saturday.  I want to hit the mile out mark.  Do I push past what I believe the family can do and leave them behind?  I don't think that will go well.  However, we need to do more moving as a family.  That means slow my pace, to be with them, and then add an extra pushing workout every week.  I believe that will have to be the final solution.  I will contemplate this more.

My family needs to throw away or put away their food.  I did go through a period of food insecurity in my 20s barely working, trying to figure life out.  I won't blame it on that, it is just simply the case.  I cannot, under any circumstances, leave food on my plate.  Not only that, I can't leave food on my children's plates.  I have spent years as the human vacuum taking in all extra food.  I can't fathom throwing it away.  On Sunday Kat made cheesy shells, and left them on the stove. Come Monday morning, my old routine was to simply eat whatever was left on the stove for breakfast.  This was a good plan, as it wasted nothing, and didn't get out new food.  I just ate whatever was left.  I can't tell you how badly I wanted those cold, drying up cheesy shells.  I forced myself away, but god did I want them.  Then we weigh in last night, and I come home, Kat made homemade cheese pizza, and 3 slices were still sitting out.  I WAS NOT HUNGRY.  I ate a great meal after the weigh in.  But I wanted these cold, dead chucks of pizza.  I had to throw them away.  Then I ran water over the pan so there would be zero temptation to eat the now cold, once melted cheese.  This morning I found a half eaten piece of pizza on a plate in the dining room.  I had to throw that away as well.  In the past, that would have been breakfast.  I cannot, under any circumstances, stand to see food wasted.  Mom came over this morning to get the kids started for school.  I wish we started at 5:15 am, she wouldn't have to roll out of bed every day and come over.  I could be home before the wife left.  Now in her 70s, Mom is a trooper.  So I walk in the door, and Granma has a pile of eggs, a ton of hash browns, banana, a full English muffin with jam, and a huge glass of milk for each kid.  All I could think about was how much wasted food was going to be left, and how much it was going to drive me crazy.

My mother is from the south, and my wife was raised on a dairy farm.  WE MAKE TOO MUCH FOOD.

From the day I decided to apply for the contest, I am down just over 30 pounds!


Monday, 4/3/17

Having not posted anything yesterday, there is a lot to get through.

Tonight was the weigh in.  I lost 4.6 pounds.  That would be the lowest on my team.  Very likely the lowest of any guy, and perhaps in the bottom 3 of so over all.  Tonight I find myself completely embarrassed.  The Red team came in last, and I was the veritable albatross around it's neck.  I am sure it will be better in the morning when I am done brewing and stewing, but tonight I feel terrible.  One of my greatest struggles is throwing food away.  Certainly food with use.  I often finish the kids left over meals as I can't stand to see them thrown away.  In this process, I have been asking the family to throw away their small leftovers, after having spending years berating them for wasting perfectly good food.  I have been excellent with that since we started.  Where I found myself struggling this week was with perfectly normal things in the fridge that I know will go bad if I don't eat them.  Not that they are bad things, just that I could have eaten that 2% piece of cheese, or better yet no cheese at all, but I ate the normal cheese because it needed to be used.  Yesterday I took on 2 ounces of regular cheese that I didn't have to simply because it had been in the fridge forever, and it was 2 ounces to just finish it.  I am going to have a trash can party with the fridge tomorrow.  I assure you that it will be painful.  I don't want to feel this embarrassed again. 

In the words of the old song, "I think I am turning Japanese, I really think so", I am embracing the Sushi lifestyle.  Killer vegetable sushi in tapioca wraps.  Avocado, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, the fake crab stuff.  As for the song, look it up, 80s music is God's music.

So, now lets talk about salt and this fake crab stuff.  It is SEAFOOD.  It is a snack.  80 calories.  I ate one tonight after the weigh in.  All should be good....  So, this package is 20% of your MAXIMUM sodium intake. and say 1/3rd of the daily salt intake I should likely be on.  I can't find an easy food that is not full of salt.  I love salt.  This is a seafood....  Which creates the dilemma again.  No one in my family will eat them.  I just bought them for sushi, and have 3 packs left.  Do you throw away perfectly good, brand new food because you just realized it has too much sodium?  It is great low carb food.  I get not buying more, but I this is already in my fridge.  The struggle is real.....

Along the lines of turning Japanese, Tonight after the weigh in was a sushi bowl.  Brown rice, 3 ounces of WILD CAUGHT salmon (there is huge difference to farm raised) broken up and mixed in.  Avocado, Cucumber, Asparagus, the works.  I spent a few calories on a new twist on the traditional spicy sauce.  Canola oil mayo. sesame oil, and Sriracha.  I used the teeniest, tiniest of that, and there just wasn't enough to flavor.  I didn't dare take on any more calories from the spicy sauce, and was becoming thoroughly disappointed....  then I picked up the bottle of Sriracha, and the heavens opened up.  Angels were singing, the entire heavenly host band started up.  80 Sodium per ounce serving!!!!!!!  Like no calories!  That is a win.  The homemade "Clear soup" that has been steeping today was a swing and a bunt.  It is in play, but so bland.  A cup is 15-20 calories tops, you actually remove all the ingredients to just have the nutritional water (Clear soup) and then add a couple mushrooms and some green onion.  It would have been a huge win if I had dumped a wheelbarrow full of salt into it.....  Really bland.  I mixed some Sriracha into it.  Still needed salt, but the heat gave it something.  Finding and/or creating salt alternatives are the name of the game this week.

Finished the day with 7,163 steps, 3.27 Miles, and 11 flights of stairs.

Totals 1,351 121 60 78 3,943 25  
Your Daily Goal 2,404 301 80 120 2,300 98  
Remaining 1,053 180 20 42 -1,643 73  


Sunday, 4/2/17

And on the 6th day, He rested....


Saturday, 4/1/17

Life got in the way yesterday, My legs are dead.  Friday coming home from the class, all I had to do was go up 2 steps to the back porch of our home.  My mind and body were not in sync, and my foot didn't come up high enough.  I laid on the deck for a little bit before I went to relieve my Mom with the kids.  I really wish that the class was from 5:30-6:30.  If it was just a half hour earlier, I wouldn't have to put Mom out.  She wakes up every morning and comes over to get the kids going as the wife heads off the work.  I am home in time to take them to school.  We may also try morning care at the school, but it is less than optimal to have them just sitting at school in the cafeteria for an extra 1:15 minutes every day.  At one point Rick said that class used to run from 5-6 am.  That would be sooooo much better for our family.

I HAVE A HUGE SALT RANT COMING.  Anticipate it....

Sushi.  The Japanese are brilliant.  I could live on the stuff.  The calories work.  Below is a brown rice, all vegetable for under 200 calories for that huge plate.  And if you eat it like a Heathen without Soy Sauce, the sodium is nothing.  You could also give up the wasabi for more sodium reduction, but lets not get crazy here.  Tuna Rolls for the Win.  Sushi is going to be a big part of the new life style.

Did I mention that there is a sodium rant coming?  Not today as I am still pulling data and contemplating, but basically EVERYTHING YUMMY is full of sodium.  Really, EVERYTHING has a ton of it.  You cannot eat anything short of a Caveman diet and stay under the sodium limit for the day.  So I love pickled jalapenos.  Like bathe in them love them.  The sodium in pickled Jalapenos is 25% of your daily allotment for a half dozen little slices.  So I built my own Roasted Jalapenos to substitute.  I used a Olive Oil to marinate them, and baked them off.   How in the heck do you track a marinade?  You don't eat all of it.  In this case, I built a recipe in MFP, and once the oil was added, these Jalapenos have a BILLION calories.  Like 4 calories a little tiny slice.  I can't win for losing.  I need to figure out a fair way to count any and all marinades.  I will eat these (The big ones are Pablano peppers) but the next attempt will be in the food dehydrator.  Although I could see doing them in an egg white bath with a light dusting a wheat flour, instead of a panko, then baking to get them crispy

I was good on the Friday class.  The part where you lay on your side and lift or hold your leg was intense, and I did have to drop a number of times.  But 4-5 big breaths and that leg was back up.  Not a surrender, but a break.  Extremely tough though.  The wall chair sitting thing.....  I just couldn't hold it.  I looked down at my legs and they were vibrating uncontrollably at least a half inch in every direction.  The only reason I didn't fall down is because it's barely possible given your position.  I climbed back out of it a couple times, but went back to the chair as soon as I humanly could.  It destroyed my legs.  I fell down on my back porch at home because although my mind lifted that leg up the step, my body didn't.

I really wanted to get to the mile mark on the walk this morning.  On Wednesday, I started out in the front of the pack, and was able to get around the corner of the Firehouse to the entrance drive way.  I pushed to get there.  I got to the same point today.  I could have gotten further, but I started towards the back of the pack, and there were just so many people to pass, I couldn't keep the pace.  I need to make sure to get out in the front of the pack before we start if I want to get that mile next time.  My team mate Joy is a walking machine.  She has shorter legs, but she moves them.  I kept trying to catch her today, but it wasn't going to happen.  Every time I got close, I was blocked, or she would pick up the pace.  She and I are the same age, and she has so much "no nonsense, get it done" drive.  She carries herself very well, and seems so much stronger than I see myself.  Color me impressed.  I perceive that we are wired in much the same way. 

I continue to find that this is nothing like I expected it would be.  I doubt any of the other contestants would believe it, but I am a social creature throughout the day.  I expected that I would be out there talking and teasing.  It turns out that so much of this is internal.  When we get going, I can't yet find the energy to talk.  The alumni are constantly wanting to talk, to encourage.  I recognize it, and I do understand they want to be awesomely helpful, but most of the time I can only get out a "thumbs up".  I expect that I am perceived as anti -social.  For the most part, I am just trying to breathe.  I forget who said it, likely CeeCee, but if there is breath in me to chat, then I am not pushing hard enough.  I want 90 lbs. in 15 weeks.  I need 6 pounds a week.  That doesn't happen by coasting.

Dinners are my easiest meal.  I want to eat throughout the day, but at night, a single decent meal full sates me.  My new strategy is a snack before class, a strong breakfast, 2 lunches, and a dinner.  I did a Caribbean Jerk Pork Loin Thursday night.  Yummy.  The prepackaged mush vegetable was terrible, and full of salt.  Wish I hadn't bought 2 of them, but I was looking for quick and easy.  None of the food that seems to be right is quick and easy.  I need more vegetables to just sauté myself as needed.  Food prep is becoming time consuming.  I need to ponder more time saving moves.

In this first week, I am not eating with the family.  By the time I get home, and with the Wife in class at night, and that I am still learning what works, I am just not finding the time to get something the kids will eat together fast enough.  We made a YUMMY white bean chicken chili today, enough for a couple of meals.  Going to try and prep up some easy, already made meals for this week.  It would be nice to be able to eat with the family again, but more importantly, I need them eating better as well.


Friday, 3/31/17

Tried a take on eggs benedict for breakfast.  Honestly, the English Muffin added nothing for me, but we need the carbs.  I wanted to dump hot sauce on it, but that would wreck your sodium for the day.  As you can see, my sodium was wrecked anyway.  The sodium level that MFP has is simply not realistic.  Thought about having Special K cereal for Breakfast.  A single cup of Special K is over 10% of my sodium for the day.  A cup of cereal.  A cup of canned black beans?  Like 17% of my sodium for the day.  There is a salt rant coming.  Everything has salt.  EVERYTHING.  You have to be a caveman to avoid it.  Anyway, this was a bland breakfast without hot sauce.  Next time I am going to whip up a Hollandaise with egg yokes, lemon, and butter.  Yes....  Unsalted butter.

Intense workout on Friday?  Yes.  It was almost surreal, out of body like.  I was virtually hallucinating when I left Speice.  I sat in the parking lot for awhile before I could head out.  I got out the end of the drive on the south side of Speice, and although I feel like I looked everywhere and didn't see anything, when I pulled right out into traffic a car narrowly avoided hitting me.  I was fortunate that the other car was paying attention.  I just didn't see them.  Like a bubble around my head.  Then as I was heading south on Wells street, I just wanted to put my head back and close my eyes.  I rolled down the window, and put on loud terrible music.  (That would be anything country, truly horrible music)  I can't begin to express how much effort I am putting out just to try and keep up in this first week.  I have had to take time out and lay down every single day.  I wish I didn't have to go home so quickly to get kids to school.

Finished the day with 9572 steps, 3.76 Miles, 7 sets of stairs.

Totals 1,243 163 46 35 115 3,726 32  
Your Daily Goal 3,247 406 50 108 162 2,300 130  
Remaining 2,004 243 53 73 47 -1,426 98  


Thursday, 3/30/17 - Day 3

Laid in bed the extra 5 minutes again today.  Decided to tackle food a little different.  Before the work out was just a handful of tomatoes, Ham, and stick of light string cheese that was torn into smaller runs.  125 Calories.

I was perfectly fine.  Once the workout kicked in, Food was the last thing from my mind.  Nicely took the edge off.

Water was good.  I was on a swim and dive team for most of my youth, and a Lifeguard in the summers when I was a teenager.  Over the years I worked at a pool, on a lake, and on a river.  For the first time in a few decades I found myself in the regular public without a shirt.  It was one thing to weigh in a room with brethren, kindred spirts, and other fat guys.  It was another entirely today in public where any little thin person could walk in.  I did think about wearing a tee shirt, but it turned out fine.  I was surprised by how much arm work we did.  Towards the end. we had to swim a lap.  So...  I have a huge belly.  I look like I am in my 4th trimester.  With the swim trunks, they are WAY out over my belly.  My belly is much larger than my hips.  As I was racing trying to do well on the lap. my swim trunks slipped...  and they had nothing to hold on to at the hip...  There was a full moon in the pool this morning.  It is hard to swim with one arm trying to pull your trunks back on....  At one point I had some difficulty breathing, but it passed.  I wish I hadn't forgotten my towel laying on the dining room table at home.

Started getting a little hungry around 8:45 after dropping the kids at school, and had my real breakfast.  Huge Egg muffin with green pepper, onion, ground pepper, and turkey sausage.  Hot peppers and tomatoes on the side.  224 Calories for a ton of food!  (would have been 164 calories for a metric ton of food if Franks didn't lie - see below)  I really want to find a low calorie cheese to melt into the egg.  That will be a grocery store mission very soon.  Frank's ripped me off!  The label says ZERO calories per serving.  However, when you enter it into MFP, it comes up as 30 per serving.  There are 60 Calories I can never get back....  NOT ONLY THAT, but those 2 little ounces put me up to like 200% of my daily sodium goal!  I can't win for losing on Salt.  I have decided to be happy with figuring out how to stay full this week.  Maybe I will worry about salt starting next week.  I am done worrying about it this week.  Baby steps.


At the moment, I feel good, believe that the food plan for today is solid with effectively 2 more lunches, and then a dinner.

My body is sore.  I am looking forward to a night to recoup some. 

Finished the day with 8195 Steps, 3.06 Miles, and 13 sets of stairs.

Totals 1,209 134 37 103 4,906 42  
Your Daily Goal 2,972 372 99 149 2,300 119  
Remaining 1,763 238 62 46 -2,606 77  


Wednesday, 3/29/17 - Day 2

8:30 PM Update:  Huge salt cravings today.  I was the leader of the band, beating the drum on sodium intake.  At one point, I decided enough was just enough, I was going with the nuclear option, and poured some pickle juice into a juice glass.  That seemed to finally settle the craving.  I don't know how to track pickle juice, but lets just say I went WAY over my sodium intake for the day.... 

I find myself absolutely full again at the end of the day with 1243 Calories consumed.  Used WAY to many at breakfast.  I had no clue how many calories were in 1% milk.  I need to cut that intake WAY down.  I spent 20% of my total calories today on 2 cups of milk, foolishly thinking milk wouldn't hurt me.  I mean, it's milk...  I tried having 2 breakfasts today to see if it would help with mid day hunger.  One before the workout, and one after.  Used up a ton of calories, and still found that I was hungry during the day.  Then I scrimped on lunch again (although not as bad as yesterday), because I am still worried about not having enough calories for dinner, being out of calories, and hungry.  I will try breakfast early tomorrow, and then effectively eat 2 lunches in the day and see if that plays out better?  Here was lunch today.  A seemingly metric ton of field greens, onion, 2 ounces of Chopped ham, some tomatoes, and 14 chips.

The "run" was good tonight.  As with most of the physical work, it waffles between more than my body wants to do, and absolutely horrible...  For about 10 minutes.  Those first 10 minutes have been rough, real rough...  But not too long after that, my body finds it's grove.  After both workouts today, I finished with a feeling of euphoria, on a natural high, and feeling ZERO pain.  It is both a great, and an interesting feeling.  After the "run" tonight, I will say that in that moment, I honestly felt the best I have felt in a very, very long time.  Had a good moment with Tina tonight on the course.  I look forward to continuing to develop that relationship.

For the second day in a row, I took an afternoon nap.  I was VERY lucky that the sitter came at 5 to take the girls to Roller Derby practice and they woke me up in the process.  I had fallen asleep on the couch, with no alarm.  I am an early-to-appointments person by my nature, and these first few days are testing that.  I continue to lament that some alarm won't go off, or my body will just shut down, and I will miss a session.  The embarrassment would be devastating.  Although at this very second, I FEEL LIKE A CHAMP!  My body is beaten, and I am exhausted, but here in this space, in this second, I feel AWESOME!  We did more today than I ever do in a week...  Going back decades...   My sedentary lifestyle is certainly on display right now.  Today my mind didn't want to stop after either workout.  Mentally, I could have gone another hour each time.  Shear Euphoria.

Finished the day with 16K steps, 6.7 miles, and 17 sets of stairs.  Food notes below.

Totals 1,243 182 28 80 3,697 47  
Your Daily Goal 1,600 200 53 80 2,300 68  
Remaining 357 18 25 0 -1,397 21  


Wednesday, 3/29/17 - Day 2

I struggled more to sleep last night.  Likely because I was literally unconscious for a couple hours in the afternoon on Tuesday.  I woke up about every hour on the hour throughout the night.  I obsessed for a good while about whether my alarm would fail, and how poorly that would play out.  At one point I wondered if I was getting sick, but we won't be down that path.  No sickness.  I did lay in bed an extra 5 minutes this morning.  Need to get that under control before it can become a habit.

The warm up this morning was far more leg aggressive than the stretching yesterday.  We were constantly moving.  I got to the point where my legs were just about done, and looked down at my watch....  we were ONLY 6 MINUTES INTO IT!  My mind is so into this.  The flesh is currently so embarrassingly weak, but it is willing.  We did a timed Mile today.  THE LAST TIME I RAN A MILE WAS 1988!!!!   I didn't get the final time, but I am guessing about 15 minutes.  Basically half was running and half was walking.  I surprised myself, and kept up with most of the youngsters.  I thought it would be about watching others and working to stay with or pass them.  That wasn't it at all.  It was about finding a space in my mind where I could zone out.  Not really strategy, but will power.  I was surprised and will have to ponder this.  I felt like I was going to fall down a couple times in the mile, but I stayed on my feet, kept them moving.  I surprised myself.  I didn't think it would go as well as it did.  I will say that Rick being with the group helped me a lot.  The guy is just full time positive energy.  I need that. 

So I have a Fitbit.  It comes with a factory settling of 7.5K or 10K steps a day (I can't remember exactly).  Since I was always failing to achieve that many steps, I lowered my goal to 5K steps in a day so I could be more successful.  Right after the mile, my watch starts buzzing.  Would you believe that I hit my 5K steps this morning at about 40 minutes into class?  That is my goal for the day, that I don't always even hit, and I hit it before class was over!  I think I need a new daily goal....

Still coasting on the food part (he FOOLISHLY says on day 2!).  The food is strategy and planning.  I am strong in those areas.  Not concerned.  I did increase my morning calorie intake a ton today to see if it will play out better?  Still have a fear of getting to the end of the day and not having enough calories left to feel full.  We will see how this adjustment plays out?

Tonight we run.  Well, seemingly, we walk.  Although I expect it to be a brisk pace, the pressure came off a ton when it was announced that it would be a 30 minute walk.  I plan to be in the Thursday running class on a regular basis, but I have a meeting, that has already been rescheduled once, that must be attended this Thursday.  With the wife in class tonight, I lined up a sitter to take the girls to Roller Derby practice, and the boy will be with Granma.  I believe that the "run" tonight will go well.  Still struggling with how to dress, and the best way to ergonomically carry water.


Tuesday, 3/28/17 - DAY 1

I woke up easy this morning before my alarm.  I did have some concern that I wouldn't get any sleep, or would struggle to get up.  Pleased that it was really no big deal.  Showed up at Speice about 30 minutes early.  Honestly, I was a little winded just walking around the gym a half dozen times before class.  The physical aspect of the training went well.  I broke a real sweat on mostly just walking, stretching, and calisthenics.  At the end of the class, My mind had another hour in it, mentally I was ready to go, pumped up and in a zone..  The legs however, were DONE.  At one point towards the end I could barely lift them off the floor.  I gave virtually everything I had at the end with my eyes closed and a forced smile on my face.  Destroyed, wiped out, and breathing super hard at the end, and here is the thing... it was JUST BASIC CALISTHENICS!  I find myself far more out of shape than the mental image I have allowed myself to create.  I didn't check at the intense height of everything, but my standing heart rate was 127 right after class.  I looked at the Miles walked after class.  2.5 MILES!?!?!  That is more than I normally walk in an entire day.  As an example, I am finishing the day at 4.5 miles.

I was beat today.  I kicked off work at Noon to grab a lunch, and blew off the rest of the day.  After I picked the kids up from school, I couldn't keep my eyes open.  I went upstairs just to lay down for a few minutes.  I sort of remember my wife asking me a question when she got home from work, but that might have been an hallucination?  Somewhere around 7 pm. the kids are roller skating around the living room, and their playful squealing wakes me up.   If they hadn't, I don't believe I would have woken up before tomorrow morning.  Just completely wiped out, basically fainted into bed.  I come down to kids skating everywhere and the house smelling like Pizza.  The wife was working on a paper for her Masters, didn't have time to cook, and I was asleep.  At the time I had only used about 600 calories for the day, and had a grand to give and still be at 1600.  I have to admit that I almost started looking up the nutritional information and calories for Dominoes Pizza!

I have spent a TON of time battle planning my food.  At this point I have been in Scotts so much in the last two weeks, that they think I am an employee.  I will go and just get lost in the aisles, the next thing I know, 3 hours have gone by, and the wife is texting asking if I got lost?  I was a little intimidated by the 1600 calories.  I understood we were going to be working with calories in/calories out, but I didn't understand 1600.  I didn't know how to gage, so I went light, and was hungry at times during the day.  My goal, and strategy coming into this is simply to not be hungry right now.  I'll worry about adding more things once I am just not hungry.  DON'T BE HUNGRY.  If that can be conquered, I've got this.  I have to say that my planned SECRET WEAPON, the ordinary dill pickle, ended up not being the secret weapon I thought it would be.  I bought a huge jar, as they are ZERO calories in My Fitness Pal.  I was going to eat pickles all day to keep a full feeling.  The serving size was 1/4 of a large dill pickle.  I grabbed 1.5 large pickles for a snack, ate them, and was really pleased with myself for the planning and strategy.  Put in 6 servings of dill pickles, and it was ZERO calories.  SCORE!  Then the warning popped up that I had eaten about 90% of my Sodium intake for the day.  Heart breaker.  I don't plan to kill myself on Sodium yet, but I want to stay under the limit.  Salt is a huge one for me.  I have said for years now that all food is simply a salt delivery system.  Love salt.  Not salty snacks, literally just salt.

Sine I was worried about the 1600 calories, I stayed light all day.  I used about 600 calories before 4:30 pm when I passed out.  My plan tonight was Ground chicken tacos.  A huge one with all the stuff comes out to about 300 calories.  Ground Chicken, Onion, Various peppers (used red and orange tonight), made enough for 4 tacos.  I didn't know it would be so manageable before I built the recipe in the software.  So, I was hungry a few times today, and then I find myself at dinner, certainly full enough, with just 900ish used calories in the books.  I would normally think that was great, and just stop.  However, Rick cautioned that going under 1200 calories in a day stops the furnace from consuming fat.  So, I had another taco.  Here at 9:45 pm, I am STUFFED.  REALLY STUFFED.  I will need to do a better job of using calories during the day, but again, there is still a fear that you get to the end of the day and not have any calories left and you are still hungry.  I used 1226 Calories today, and currently couldn't eat another bite.  The goal for tomorrow will be to NOT BE HUNGRY during the day.  If I can just feel full, I got this.

Dinner was 2 huge Ground Chicken tacos, Romaine lettuce (Which has more calories than you would think!), Onion, Red and Orange peppers, with salsa.  Next time I am going to add Rotell/Green chillies right into it.

Food notes below

Totals 1,226 128 50 108 5,450 27  
Your Daily Goal 1,600 200 53 80 2,300 68  
Remaining 374 72 3 -28 -3,150 41  



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  • Great blogs as always, sometimes a little too much information but ...ha ha. Great to read of all or those little victories that so many take for granted. You really are doing very well, it was so awesome for the red team to be the winners this week. I cant wait to keep reading of your victories. Thanks Rick and Tina

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  • Guest (Ashley)

    Great job completing 6 miles this morning, Mike! I can tell that you're "in the zone" when I approach you during the runs. I really appreciate your transparency within your blogs. I hope you're enjoying blogging, because we sure enjoy reading it (especially when I see photos of new running socks!) Challenge yourself this week to push yourself further than you did last week. Your mind will ALWAYS become weaker before your body actually does. By personally pushing yourself on your own you will reap HUGE rewards by the end of the program. Good luck with Week 8!

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  • Always enjoy your blogs alone with some great laughs I do learn a lot about how you think. Awsome, you put some good stuff out there for all of us to learn from. Not so sure why you so nervous about this weeks weigh in, trust the process, your doing great. Remember extra love is never punishment, just a way to help with the push to get as much from your 15 weeks as possible. Thanks Rick and Tina

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  • You are doing great and your weigh in's have proven your discipline and hard work! Awesome job! Cheers to making week 7 the best yet!!!

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  • You're doing great, Mike!


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  • Mike-
    WOW your blog made Rick and I crack up!! The bit about the stair climb challenge really had us LOL!! Oh my goodness the comparisons you make!! BEST part you surprised yourself and YES, YOU DID IT! Like we always say-We will never ask you to do something we do not feel you can do!! Yep, you did it!! GREAT JOB!
    Love you were able to hold your plank! You are getting stronger and if you used your knees and elbow you will build to not using sometime. Celebrate these accomplishments and you will look back someday and realize how far you have come!
    Oh yeah about the comment dreading the 5 miles....WELL, Rick and I must write what you yelled at us as you were pulling out of the parking lot Saturday at us!!! Yes, YOU SIR said "HEY CAN YOU BELIEVE I JUST DID 5 MILES" YEP, YOU did it and YES, we knew you could! Again, never asking you to do anything we knew you couldn't! See the pattern here? LOL Yep, we kinda know the process:) Trust the process and you will continue to fly!
    Week 6 here we come!
    Let's do this!
    Tina and Rick

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  • Guest (Rose Murphy)

    Your riced cauliflower sushi bowl looks delish!!
    So happy you are figuring out how to modify the food you love!
    And congratulations on getting into a 2X and your belt being more loose!
    Proud of all your hard work.
    Wow, what motivation with your wedding ring and waiting until you get to 199 to get your car out of storage! And so awesome that your friends from your wedding are now motivated by your journey to work on their own!!

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  • Mike-
    GREAT job running your 5K today! You looked strong when I passed you going back for people. Love you are seeing results and knowing your hard work is paying off.
    Love you are including your children! Kat did a great job and was glad we got to have her with me for a mile and half:) She is a good girl full of spunk.
    Glad you are figuring out your food and sodium. Continue to talk with Abigail as she is amazing and can help you every step of the way!
    Week 5 here we come!
    Let's do this!
    Tina and Rick

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  • Guest (Cicely Ware)


    You are doing amazing so far in the program. Man your journaling is amazing! Great job! Keep this up and you will definitely go far in the program. Remember: "If it was easy... Everyone would be doing it!" "If it doesn't challenge you ... It doesn't change you!"


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  • Mike-
    We really enjoy your blogs! We can learn a lot about you as you are an amazing writer! Thank you for detailing what you are feeling and thinking.

    We are hopeful the salt cravings after FWSW will be no longer:) You are changing how you look at food and have no doubt you will not crave anymore. GREAT to hear no caffeine and you are good with getting rid of the diet pepsi and not using as a crutch! GREAT SIGN!!

    Loved meeting your daughter KAT and what a gift you are giving her showing her you will be fit and run with her! She is such a great little girl and I truly enjoyed talking to her! She has a great personality and you and your wife should be so proud! She is a little athlete and love she can do this with her dad! YOU are getting fit MIKE!!!

    Yes, I couldn't wait to tell you first thing in the morning about doing the weigh in by week and not cumulative!! YOU DID GREAT!!! Stronger each and every week!!

    WEEK 4 here you come!

    Tina and Rick

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