Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

2009 is almost in the books now and heck the 'oughts' are also ending. We are heading into a new decade. Kinda cool. I'm looking forward to decade number 6 for me :) Remember, I was just barely born in the 60's. Rock on!

Looking back on 2009, I think I've got a lot to be proud of. I've dropped somewhere around 30 pounds or 2.1 stones, or 13 kilograms .01 tons, or 36 troy pounds (whatever the hell those are). Not too shabby. The holidays have been brutal on the workout/diet but January 4 starts me back on my routine.

Something new to the workout rotation in January will be swimming. I swam competitively in my youth. Swimming is such a great way to workout. Calories burn like super dry kindling.

I haven't made it to the gym as much lately as I'd like. Some of it is just lack of motivation but I kind of expect that when my routine isn't so routine. I did stop in to the gym yesterday for a nice run. The Nike+ stuff is still pretty cool. I don't remember if I shared it here or not, I know it's been updating Twitter and Facebook, but here's the link you can check up on me and see my runs:

My run yesterday taught me something about myself I didn't know and still don't really understand. I have several running friends that have encouraged me to find a running pace that I can do for a long period of time. OK. Here's what I'm learning. 4mph on the treadmill is the point at which I feel the crossover between walking and running. 5 mph I can run, but my legs quickly hurt like hell. 6 mph, still hurts but I can do it for about 10 minutes no problem. 7 mph still a little pain, but the heart redlines. And here's the new twist, I hit the button for 8 mph just to see - no pain. My legs didn't hurt and my stride felt comfortable. The downside, my heart felt like it was going to explode after about 60 seconds. Sigh. I think ultimately, I just need to keep it up and all of this will just improve. You think?

So, as my final post for 2009, I should probably do the whole goals thing. Last year, I did this in a very generic and attainable way. I'd like to lose another 30 pounds this year. That would be cool. I'd also like to keep learning to eat and live more healthy. I think this is pretty much where I left off last year. Attainable.

I'll leave you with this video. It's from one of favorite running songs. I love this song! Try it in your headphones and let me know what you think!

I think I'm gonna cross post this over at the Geek blog. I might decide to transition all of this to the geek blog just to simplify my life. I love blogging but this multiple site thing is getting brutal. Before I do it officially, I'll post it here. Happy New Year!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Missed it by that much

We had our final weigh in last night. Another .8 pound loss week. About half of what I was hoping for. I came in at a loss of 9.8 pounds in 10 weeks. That's still not too shabby. The real news will be when I go back for my bod pod follow up.

I guess it's back to the gym! See ya there!

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Final week of the M.A.L.E. program

Tonight is the final week of the M.A.L.E. program I've been talking about. Kind of bittersweet. I really like the accountability of having to do certain things by certain times. There's a chance I might sign up for it again in January. I'll consider it...there's also a chance I wouldn't qualify for it if I do a good job working out and eating over the next 2 months. We could hope.

Last week was a bit disappointing. .8 pounds. I know the goal was a pound a week, but I guy can dream right? I'm not sure this will be a good week either. The scale at home is basically showing now progress even with more workouts this week. The pants seem bigger this week, but the scale is telling a different story.

One thing I've started was to get a pair of running shows and actually use the Nike+ stuff to monitor progress. Let's face it, I'm a geek. Any shiny new tech is fascinating to me. I've done 3 runs already with it. Not like marathon runs but run/walks that push me. My legs aren't quite up to the challenge of full on 30 minute runs but we are getting there. Yesterdays run started with an entire 5 minutes of running without slowing to a walk. Just 2 months ago there would have been no way. 2 minutes usually killed me.

If you are interested in checking out my progress, here's the link to the public side ( It's an interesting website. There are goals and all kinds of stats to keep you interested. Ultimately, I'll be getting a new iPhone and hope to start using this site, Runkeeper. This has quite a few other options that look pretty awesome. When you use it with your phone and run outside, the GPS keeps track of your location and the shows your details on a map. Pretty cool.

The final day of the M.A.L.E. program is Saturday morning. They will be serving us breakfast and then awards and recognition. It could be fun...right?

Here's to smaller jeans..Cheers!

Monday, November 9, 2009

24 pounds - really?

I had fired the Wii up with the kids tonight. We did our usual screwing around. After the kids went to bed, I decided to screw around and see what kind of progress has been made since we bought that thing.

As it turns out, I've lost 24 pounds since we bought it and I first stepped on that funny gaming controller called the Wii Balance board. Not too shabby.

Running because I want to

Really awesomely good news last week at weigh in...I lost 2.2 pounds in that week. I was actually hoping for a little more, but I'll take it.

Working out has been happening a lot more lately, although this Halloween candy business makes it damn hard. One thing we learned in the M.A.L.E. program is that you are much less likely to snack, nibble and generally take in stray calories if you don't have the food any where near you. Damn cute pumpkins and candy dishes...they are EVERYWHERE this time of year.

Will power...damn it!

There is a part of me that really likes running again. Today at lunch, I went to the gym just to run at lunch. Granted, it's only the treadmill at this time. I wanted to break in my new shoes in a controlled environment rather then running a mile and find out there's a problem. Corn fields are surprising not a place you find many phones.

Being the gadget geek that I am, I'll be trying out the Nike+ stuff here too. I've got the shoes and the iPod so if I can just figure out how to get it all working together, I'll be all set.

Let's start hoping I can pull off the weight loss again this week. According to one of my teammates, we are the biggest losers so far.

Happy shrinking!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This weeks strength routine

Figured I'd post this while I was thinking about it. Here's this weeks strength routine. It's got some serious umf in the core...

Strength Routine – All exercises performed at 3 sets of 12 reps and do not need to be completed in this order. We are hitting all the major muscle groups during this workout so you can do which machine is open at the time it is available. Pair the abs exercises with a machine and during your rest break you will do 1 set for 30 seconds. At the end of each exercise you will have performed 3 sets.
Free Motion (FM) Chest Press
FM Shoulder Press
FM Lat
FM Row
FM Squat – Those with lower leg injuries use the Leg Extension
FM Lift – Squat and Row

Alternating toe touches
Bridge ups
Reverse Crunch
Yesterday, I skipped this and did only a 20 minute run on the treadmill (which felt awesome, thank you very much!) Not sure if the run added to this, but I'm still feeling the abs even today. Might I have a 6 pack by Vegas? Ha! Yeah, right :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Moving past disappointment

Last Thursday, I suffered a bit of a disappointment. For the first time since I started the M.A.L.E. I didn't really lose any weight. I was officially down .2 pounds, but that's basically nothing. Bummer!

Not to make excuses but I did kind of expect this. Our workouts last week were mostly yoga. While I like yoga, it's not much of a calorie burner.

I've also been suffering a bit of knee and shin pain. Let's just say ibuprofen was a good friend of mine.

The best part of being flat weight wise though was I was sticking to my diet. I've told you about my fancy diet, right? Eat less then burn.

This last week I've started some new training. I really like this one. It uses free motion machines for doing strength training and then you do a short ab workout between each machine. I can post the workout later.

Another change comes in the form of running on the treadmill. A few of my friends have been running regularly. This has inspired me to push myself in this direction. I guess we'll see where this takes me.

That's about for now. I'm hoping to show some actual weight loss this week. Let's all cross our fingers!

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I did it! I crossed another second digit milestone. I have no idea why my weight just parks at those spots.

The MALE program is chugging along. I feel terrible that I haven't been doing the homework like I should. Work has been keeping me extremely busy so finding the time to take extra classes hasn't been easy.

On the bright side, I've lost 1.4 pounds two weeks in a row bring me to a total of 6.4 pounds over the 5 weigh ins. Sure would be nice to have pulled off the 100 pounds in 7 weeks like that dude on Biggest Loser but then again, if I lost 100 pounds the blog would be about me being hospitalized.

Hopefully I can make a yoga or cable class today. It could happen!

Oh! Before I forget...I'm wearing an old belt now that hasn't fit me in years. It's the little things :-)

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Circuits, running and nutrician - Oh My!

Sorry for the lack of updates, seems I was distracted by the Minnesota Twins, it happens. Win Twins! (Yeah, I know, three and out again...damn.)

Here's an update about the M.A.L.E. program I'm in.

The really good news: I've lost 1.2 pounds in each of the 3 weigh ins we've had. 3.6 pounds over 3 weeks! Go me! I'd like to hope I can keep doing that or a little better each week, but really, that's a good number.

So, what have they got us doing? Over the last week, we've been doing running and circuit training. I gotta admit to you, my legs are killing me. For most of the last week, ibuprofen has been my best friend.

It started the week before, we were doing cycling. It used to be called spinning, but seems now they just call it cycling. The first two times I did it, I got done and just couldn't walk stairs without immense pain. The last session of it, the instructor stayed with me after class and gave me a proper fitting for the stationary bikes we are using. Wouldn't you know, my seat was too low by almost 3 inches. According to her, that would probably make me knee feel like it's gonna explode. Well said, it did.

Damage was already done, no biggie. We'll just grin and work through it...running. After the first night of it, yep, shin splints. More ibuprofen. The circuit training didn't contribute any to the leg pains....thank God, that just made everything else hurt. The arms, the shoulders, the tummy. Did I mention ibuprofen was my best friend (thinking bff soon).

It's all good, I remember spending a few weeks at the start of every swim season wondering if I was ever gonna be able to lift my arms over my head. Well, I still, to this day, can do it, so I must be able to survive any of this ;-)

Our class Thursday night is actually a rest night. No workout! Yeah! Instead, we get a private session with one of the Healthy Living Center's on staff chef. He's gonna give us a cooking demonstration themed "Game Tizers". I think I've seen this one before, but if I remember, the U.S. Senate bean dip was outstanding.

Time for a little Wii Fit. Hope your jeans are getting baggy too!

PS. I wondering if I need to keep this blog going. I could just post these over at my Geek blog. Anyone else want to join me here? Should I keep this separate from my geek blog? Did anyone really read this far down?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


One of the goals of the M.A.L.E. class is to expose us to a variety of the workout programs available in our area in the hopes that one or more of them will become long term activities in our lives.

One of our assignments for this week was to check out one of the aqua classes offered at the Healthy Living Center. The class I found that fit my schedule was called AquaMixx. Here's the description from the website:
Teaches water fitness training through intervals (cardio/strength), drills, circuit, cardiovascular work & plyometrics.
Hm. Could be interesting...

It wasn't too bad. It was basically low impact exercising in the pool. Me and two of my M.A.L.E. colleagues were there and about two other guys. I think at 40, I was the youngest male...the rest were all women.

The class was about 45 minutes long. I didn't really mind the class. The instructor had more energy then a 5 year old, but that's how they usually are. One exercise in particular I got shivers doing...she called them something else, but anyone that swam with me back in the day will remember them as "dips" or "pool presses". Basically you push your self up on the wall of the pool over and over again. Feather, our coach, liked to answer the phone and make us stay in the up position as long as possible. I always hated that :)

It was at least fun and got me moving. I didn't find it particularly stressful or difficult but it got the old ticker ticking.

One more trip to the gym before tomorrow to find these other machines to work on. A class with homework...geez.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The workout that almost never happened

Some how, I either turned off the alarm click in my sleep or it malfunctioned but I missed my 7 am class. Damn it! Figured I would eat breakfast and then go find the instructor after class had broke and make up the workout but I couldn't find the keys to the van.

Oh look! They are still in ignition from last night. Crap!

I pulled out the handy, dandy car starter got the van started, went on a tour of Rochester to charge up the battery.

In the end, I made it to the gym and let this machine kick my ass for 30 minutes. I even found my instructor and got credit for the day!

With this plus the weights, breakfast never happened. Time for lunch.

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Like a Phoenix: M.A.L.E.

Probably my favorite mythical creature has to the be the Phoenix. A mythical bird If you never really knew the story behind these creatures, this is what Wikipedia has to say:
A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of myrrh twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again.
To rise from the ashes and be born again. Kinda like this quest of mine to fit into smaller jeans. Well, my jeans are a bit baggy then they used to be, but the momentum I had when I started this blog evaporated for the summer. It wasn't destroyed, it just changed state. I spent the summer walking at lunch and maintaining the progress I had made last winter and spring. The good news was, I didn't gain weight, the bad news, I didn't lose any either.

It is with renewed vigor, I introduce M.A.L.E. which stands for Men Attaining a Lifestyle Evolution. This is a program offered through the fitness center of my employer. This is there description of the class/program:
M.A.L.E. - Men Attaining a Lifestyle Evolution is an ten-week men’s only weight loss and chronic disease prevention program. Each week various nutrition, behavior change, and men’s health topics will be addressed. The program will include high-intensity group exercise sessions. Open to male members with a BMI of 30-39.9.
I'm a person that needs something on my Outlook calendar to make sure it happens. If my phone doesn't beep and tell me it's time, I probably won't make it. This program meets every Thursday evening and Saturday morning. Thursday are for 2 hours and involve 1 hour of education in nutrition, lifestyle and the like and then 1 hour of fitness training in the gym. 30 minutes of cardio - 30 minutes of strength.

A few weeks back, my beautiful wife challenged me to step on our fancy scale in the bathroom. It tracks your progress in your weight management goals. I'm sure some people might be trying to gain weight...go you! I'm not one of them. My wife worries about my health and I hate it when my wife worries about me. It's my job to worry about her and the kids. I'm committed to her not worrying about my health. I guess she could still worry about me getting hit by a bus, but right now, I'm not will to climb into a padded room...yet.

Since stepping on that scale that day, I'm down 7.5 pounds. Not too shabby. I'd like it to be more but I've been not doing my diet correctly yet. The M.A.L.E. class is helping with that.

In preparation for the class, we got to go in for a full evaluation. This includes all kinds of very high tech body analysis equipment (so very cool!) one of the pieces of gadgetry is called the "Bod Pod". It looks a lot like the egg Mork from Ork arrived in, oh so many years ago. This device scans your body and determines all kinds of details about you, your true body fat and muscle compositions, from that, the computer determines your resting calorie consumption (Resting Metabolic Rate - RMR). This is what your body needs to do it's daily livin' as if you were left sleeping in your bed all day. Mine came in at 2005.

Here in has been the cause of one of my problems. My usual net calorie consumption lately has been ~1600 calories a day. The only secret to weight loss that's real is that in order to attain weight loss, you need to use more calories then you consume on a daily basis. Our bodies have a mechanism in them that makes sure we don't start to death quickly. It's called starvation mode and it happens when our calorie consumption falls too low. The body starts to conserve food more efficiently and store anything not immediately needed...thus slowing the weight loss!

According to the nutritionist in the M.A.L.E. program, this ain't good. My target calories should be in the 1800 - 2000 calorie range to maximize my weight loss. So strangely, I need to eat a little more each day to lose more weight faster and healthier.

Over the next 16 weeks, I hope to give regular updates about my progress in this program and share with you any nuggets I find in needing of sharing. I have no idea if anyone is still out there reading this. If you are still there, Hi! I'm back! If you are new, welcome! There are others who can post here if they want and hopefully some of them will join me. If you are new, these are members of my family - strangers - I'd like to introduce you to my Hi!

Thanks for stopping by! I should be back soon with more!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Gonna try to update this once and while again, maybe someone else will join me, who knows. A friend of mine introduced me to It helps you record your walking, biking and running. Pretty cool. This graph should appear on the right...let's hope it works!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Getting back

I got back to the gym, finally. Started back slow as I really don't want the knee injury to return and derail my goals again.

Getting back is hard. I think I can find a new vigor. My workout buddies have moved to another level a working out. This is a little challenging. They have goals now that are not even close to similar to mine. Makes me feel a bit alone now. They are attacking the bodybuilding and muscle development. Me, I just want a better life. I really don't care how many inches my biceps are.

Today, we say goodbye to a co-worker that's retiring. I worked out yesterday and should be back in the gym tomorrow.

Thankfully, the diet has been keeping me near where I left off...

Happy sweating!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's been rough

I admit it. I haven't been exactly faithful lately. This week in particular. I'm still committed as ever to fitting into smaller jeans, but this week, I've had to put the working out on the back burner.

I'm still very concerned about what I'm eating and by concerned I mean paying attention. Working out just hasn't been in the cards. Mark and I usually do it during lunch by stretching the definition of lunch hour just a bit. This week, that stretch has been near impossible for me to accommodate.

As soon as I get this project off my plate, which had better be in the next few days, I'll be back and ready for more. It's just right now, I can't afford to lose too many minutes from the project as much of a slacker that makes me...but hold my feet to the fire. I'm going back. I should probably be upping the Wii Fit time...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Shaking things up

It's really been a struggle lately. It was EXTREMELY cold last week. I'm tired all the time and worst of all, I'm always really hungry.

Snacks have been back.

I slipped off the calorie counting habit a little while back. I just stopped recording everything I ate and how much I exercised. I think this has gotten me eating at the wrong times and at the wrong amounts.

Who knows. All I really know is I'm just hangin out at 250 and the scale ain't changing. Sigh.

Last Wednesday, my good friend and work out buddy Mark introduced me to his weight lifting routine. The treadmill is still the main show in town, but it was nice to do something different. Unfortunately, it was Saturday before I could move my arms again. No worries. When I was a teenager, the start swimming season always left us incredibly sore. I've done it before, I can do it again. I lifted again with him yesterday. I got through most of the workout but decided to pull back. A bit of the winter crud has me feeling like crap. I did at least out bench press him. Only 4? I did 8.

Today it's back to yoga. Rumor has it OhCountess (my wife) is joining us. She likes to use the word maybe so she can back out. Lame if you ask me. Just Do It! Not sure where I heard that. It would probably make a great slogan for some shoe company.

Back to the grind. Chins up! We can do this!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Changes that we hope will be closer to habits

We are trying to make some food changes. We only buy wheat bread. Now we have added much more fruit to our diet. Also, we have decided to use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes for most meals. The sweet potatoes we boil, peel and eat. They are not the caramelized ones we eat for a holiday. They are sweet, smooth and really satisfying plus they are full of nutrients and fiber which we need to increase in our diet. The next change we have been trying is to use whole wheat macaroni products instead of the white ones. They really are quite tasty in a dish that calls for macaroni. Todd told us they were really good - now we know he is right. These changes may not be the answer to losing weight but they are all good changes we need in our bodies and daily lives. Try to sweet potatoes - they are great!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Losing my marbles

Today is yoga day.
Today is very cold.
This morning, the furnace was not running.
This morning, the intake pipe to the furnace was blocked by a snow drift.
This morning, I packed my workout clothes, refilled my shampoo and grabbed a new bar of soap.
Right here, right now, I wish I had brought my gym bag when I left the house.
No yoga until next week.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Something I heard

While in yoga last week, our instructor would do little motivational statements. One of them really caught my attention. I really wanted to share it with you.
Engage fully in life.
No matter what you do, be present, hold your heart opoen and your mind will follow.
Talk to people, write to people, fax, email and page people.
Share ideas and experiences with new friends, old friends, stangers.
When something tickles you, laugh out loud.
When electricity runs through a crowd, catch the fever.
Go to meetings and speak your mind.
Listen to live music whenever you can--or perform it.
Support local artists--or be one.
Read, vote, comment, protest, question, participate.
There are a thousand ways to engage in life.
Just pick one.
Get out of your chair and out of your house.
Ask someone to give you a boost.
Get engaged now--and be wedded to life!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Keeping it going with variety

Just thought I'd add a quick update. My friend Mark and I started taking yoga classes today. Granted it's Yoga 1, but we have to start some where. It was actually a lot of fun and a lot more work then I thought would be. 

The class meets every Tuesday. The plan is to go every week and just add this to the routine. I might just make my goals.

Good bye 2008, Hello 2009

2009 is here. Let's face it, I'm not really a guy that focuses on the dates for any super natural meaning. For me, there are just good times to do a little benchmarking and goal examination. Lots of fanciness that really only means, check and see how we are doing and adjust the plan accordingly.

I survived the holidays and did accomplish my goal for the month of December. I weigh no more now then I did before Christmas. Let's face it, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cookies aren't health food, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna skip them :)

An interesting conversation happened yesterday. I was down in the locker room of our workout facility and got to participate in a conversation and the start of a wager, "What is the over/under of the number of all of these people working out today, that will be here regularly in February?" The gym was packed with people. Lot's of new people. Welcome to the fitness center. The guess - half. What is your guess?

Since this blog is supposed to be all about weight loss and getting healthy. Here's my goals for 2009.
  • Weigh less on December 31, 2009 then I do today. (249.7 pounds)
  • Learn to eat food much more healthy then I'm eating now.
I've decided to not set to specific goals. I want something I can attain. I think both of those together will help me get to the place I really want to be. Smaller. I would think that a realistic goal would be to lose at least another 20 pounds, but a pound a week is 52 pounds. I guess if you want to pin me to it, somewhere between 20 and 52 pounds is my goal. Nice zone, huh?

I'm stealing this next thing shamelessly from the monthly newsletter we get here at work from the Healthy Living Center on the campus. I thought it's advice was spot on.

It's January and our motivation to reach our wellness goals are running high. The goal of sustaining our behavior change is a difficult task, and the Wellness Coaches at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center have identified the top ten ways to stay motivated and achieve success as you journey into 2009.
  1. Visualize yourself living the way you want.
  2. Set small, easily-achievable goals that line-up with your own set of values; track your progress regularly.
  3. Recognize and appreciate every step toward your goal, celebrating your successes along the way.
  4. Create an environment that supports your good habits.
  5. Surround yourself with people who are already role-modeling the behavior you want.
  6. Look forward, not backwards.
  7. Anticipate set-backs and have a back-up plan for each.
  8. Avoid comparing yourself to others - focus on your own personal goals and achievements.
  9. Regularly practice positive self-talk.
  10. Believe in yourself and your abilities.
Another goal? Yeah, I hope to use this blog to record my progress, set backs and basically do more journaling. Huh? I'm gonna try to post more and more regularly. I firmly believe I have good news to share! (Brag)

Stay healthy everyone!