Sunday, November 24, 2013

Missing in "action?"

Yes, it is I. I'm still alive. Still fat, but still alive.

I haven't gone anywhere, and well, that's probably really the problem. I haven't gone anywhere or done anything over the last couple of months.

There's probably a multitude of reasons, excuses, why. Busy schedule, keeping up with kids, working earlier in the morning, working 10 hour days, etc. But really, I've just been lazy. Better to call a spade a spade. So what to do about it?

Get up and move, I think, is the answer. However, I seem to read like a cautionary tale as of late. I suspect I've either re-aggravated on old hernia I had fixed a few years ago, or somehow caused a new one. Probably when I was moving a piano into our house that my mom brought home from California. So, that's something I need to get checked out. Yay.

Coming back here to make a new post was probably the hardest part as of late. It's been long enough that when you come back you're like, "Hi ... I, I'm back" to an empty room, right? And if you don't come back at all, then all those that invested any of their time to read your earlier stuff may, and probably do, feel like that was wasted time.

Frustration with almost no movement on the weight meter led to a breakdown in will power which led to more frustration (and gain), so the vicious cycle continues.

So, before I came back to post, I figured that I should have accomplished something. Yesterday I went hiking again with my father-in-law. Funny, the last time I had a real workout was when we went hiking. In September. Sigh. The hike was good. There were plenty of sections where it got real steep, and I got winded. David is exceptionally patient, and for that I can't thank him enough for the experience. Hopefully this will continue to be a regular thing, with shorter intervals between outings. With winter coming, though, our outdoor activity might be a little limited. He's an experienced outdoorsman with ice climbing and whatnot, but I have zip experience and I would be more of a liability with those kinds of treks this winter. We did talk about possibly going snowshoeing this year though, so that'll be a good first step.

I did order a new little device that came in the mail on Friday, it's a Nintendo Fit Meter and it works with a new game coming out (retail) at the end of the year (nice timing). It's been available to download for a few weeks for free, but the game only works for 30 days after which you pay to unlock it. I don't know how much, but probably more than I paid for the meter which, once synced with the game on Wii U, unlocks the game for no additional cost. The meter was just $20. Since I have a gift card on file w/ Amazon that I won a couple of weeks ago. That made this purchase pretty easy. Now I just have to wait for it to get here.

All of that being said, it's time to look at my calendar with a little more realism. The Spartan race is hard for people in relatively good shape, something I'm very far from. So I'm readjusting my goal to participating in the Spartan Race in 2015 instead of this coming June. However, I will be looking for smaller goals to accomplish leading up to that. 5k runs and possibly races like the Dirty Dash. I have to also consider the possibility of surgery again if a hernia is really what I have. Recoup time from that will take a couple of months, but I want to be at a much healthier weight before I go through that again.

Now that I've gotten the first hurdle of getting back out and doing something active, it's time to, instead of getting to work, continuing to move toward the goal.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Watch your step...

This past Saturday I took up a new challenge with the help of my father-in-law, David. We took to the trails of one of the many hiking paths into the mountains of Utah. David is an experienced hiker, rock climber, and ice climber having climbed the tallest mountain in Mexico, and Mt. Rainier among many others, so he knows his stuff.

The trail itself wasn't all that bad. Some steep spots, a little water to cross, but nothing too difficult. Some of the trail was just .. gone. There had been a wild storm that ripped through the area about a week before, so pieces of the trail, especially at the beginning was just washed away, leaving a small trench that, if I'd climbed down into, the trail would have been over my head.

All in all, we hiked up for about an hour and a half, the weather was cool and the trees were thick and kept the sun off of us. I looked up what hiking for 2.5 hours does to you calorie-wise on the MyFitnessPal app on my phone and saw it's a staggering 2,000 calories burned. This is awesome if you don't have what happened to me afterward.

We stopped climbing after an hour and a half, looked at the time and decided (well, I decided) that it was time to head back. While the hike down takes a little less time, it's not really any easier on you. You spend a lot of time mostly looking at your feet so you don't tumble down the trail. You also put a lot of strain on your joints, toes, and ankles going down. There wasn't a great view most of the time anyway, because it was blocked by all of the foliage around the area. Still, it was a great workout.

Now the setback, shortly after we came back down, I started to hurt. Not in the "oh man I'm gonna be sore in the morning" kind of hurt you get after doing cardio for the first time in five years, but some discomfort in my core (stomach, kidneys, back). Over the last four days or so it peaked and waned, but made doing anything difficult. I did stiffen up from the workout on Monday/Tuesday, but this pain/discomfort was far more debilitating.

Yesterday it dawned on me what it felt like. A gall bladder attack. I had my gall bladder removed back in 2008 and the last time I had an attack was a couple of weeks prior to that while on vacation in New York City. We'd been hoofing it all day in the city (was our first full day there), usually toting my then 10 month old daughter. Huge exertion that just set off a major attack that essentially crippled me that night. My wife has fond memories of that night, she'll tell you. /sarcasm

This past week was like a low key version of that which lasted for days. I think, and I'm no doctor so it's total speculation, that the hike was strenuous enough to set of the attack, but was so gradual that I didn't recognize my limits. There was one point after about an hour, I stopped to rest and my head started to spin, not like a sudden case of vertigo, but sort of type of tunnel vision where I kind of detached from reality and didn't sense my surroundings for a moment. It passed quickly and when I felt okay, we kept going for about another half and hour after that and nothing like that occurred again. I think that was the point we should have headed back down. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.

So, one big workout basically cost me four days of regular workouts which I expect to resume tomorrow (my schedule has me away from home almost the whole day/evening, so there's simply no place to wedge it in today), and David and I are going hiking again this Saturday.

I'll just need to watch my limits better.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

When nobody's looking...

It can be hard to stay motivated.

After going through the month of August. I really hadn't lost anything. Sure, I was working out a little bit more, and watching what I was eating a bit, but not really making much progress. Here we are in September and I'm pretty much in the same spot I was at the beginning of August. And June is now a month closer.

297 Days, 11 Hours, 34 Mins

A month closer.

It's now under 300 days away.

Having someone that will support and even push you can be a fine line. At least at the beginning. My wife looked at me tonight and said that I owed her a workout. Anything, a walk, whatever. I didn't say much, just put on my shoes, and left the house. And walked for 30 minutes.

I told her thank you when I got back. She was afraid she'd offended me or sounded condescending towards me because I left and didn't text her back while I was gone. I didn't have head phones or music. Just me and my thoughts, and making sure I didn't get hit by a passing car since about half of the trip I took tonight didn't have sidewalks.

I told my wife that I would be more likely to thank her after I returned or finished a workout than to do it before hand. I'm not mad or put out that she's pushing me. Like I said, this is afterwards. I just don't want anybody to expect cartwheels when I'm headed to my workout, sometimes it's just because I'm already trying to put my mind in place to accomplish the workout. And because I can't do cartwheels.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Finding a Rhythm...

It's been a challenging week or so. I've tried to keep up with some working out, but having some friends over, drinks, and job change celebrations have kicked my calorie count a bit too high. I'm fortunate to have kept my weight around the same, but that certainly won't be enough.

Last Wednesday I was offered a new position at my job, which I eagerly accepted. I no longer have to take inbound phone calls all day long. Monday was my first day with the new position. Other than feeling a little lost making my way around some new tools, my stress level plummeted to a comfortable low. I didn't have to talk to a single person all day, listened to some music, and basically had a great day overall. I might not be making more money, but keeping my schedule (in terms of the days I work), and the overall feeling of peace is a fantastic reward. I'm looking forward to the new challenges and opportunities that will be presented to me and my new team.

Now, it's about finding that rhythm again to get a workout routine in place. My wife put it best the other day, every day that there isn't a workout is a day lost on the way to becoming a spartan. I don't have an unlimited amount of time here. June 2014 will be here really quick.

Time to go workout...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Missing a beat...

I haven't disappeared.

It has been a trying week, though, and my push to be a spartan has certainly been set back by a week. I need to get on the scale and see what damage has been done, but I'm sure it's still something I can recover from.

I have, however, stayed away from sugary soda during this time (I will typically have diet cola - or coke zero). I've been very diligent in making sure that after my initial cup of coffee, or two, in the morning, especially at work, I switch to water and keep it that way. So far so good. I haven't had a regular cherry coke, pepsi or coca-cola in the ... what? last three weeks now? It's helped me keep more on track thank I would have been otherwise.

This week has delivered some grade of stress that I haven't found the motivation to "work out." Monday and Tuesday were pretty normal, but on Wednesday my car was being much louder than normal (it's had a knock in the engine for some time), bad sign. At work that morning I found two emails that had been sent to me on my day off (Tuesday) scheduling me for interviews for different positions the following day. Prep time.

Thursday was just... well, difficult. Went to work and the car sputtered when I got to the light at the freeway off ramp. Went to work all dressed up and had my first interview at about 11 AM. It lasted an hour. My second interview wasn't until 2:45. I got an email about the first interview at about 2:14 indicating that they'd moved forward with another selection. A turnaround that fast indicates that I wasn't seriously considered for the position in the first place. I was just filling some bullshit quota. I was a little annoyed, and the timing was just perfect since I had the second interview just minutes away.

The second interview went better. At least I didn't get any emails before the end of my day, anyway. Haven't heard anything by phone either, so who knows? I don't return to work until Monday after a three-day weekend, so we'll see then, I suppose.

I did take the car into the shop. The engine quit on me three times heading home on Thursday, and two or three times going into the shop on Friday, so it's looking like an expensive fix. But I do have a little support there.

It's time to get back to work.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Carving out time...

There are two things that can be serious roadblocks to making it to my goal of being a spartan. Time and injury.

Now, time is broken up into two parts (so, you could say three things are roadblocks, but it's my blog, and I say two). Age is just a part of time. 37 years old can make one prone to spontaneous injury. And then the problem of just carving out the time required to exercise, meal plan, and execute the meal plan.

One of my favorite breakfasts is the breakfast burrito. Start with a large tortilla, put a little cheese on it while you warm up the tortilla and then load it up with sausage, egg, and hashbrowns. Sometimes bacon instead of sausage, but I think sausage works best with this all-in-one combination.

Order something like that at a cafe or restaurant and you're probably looking at somewhere around 600 - 900 calories depending on the size, the place, and how they prepare the other ingredients. I like to make it at home. I use Bountiful Baskets for the tortillas (roughly 70 calories), and then get about one-and-a-half egg (105 calories), I usually make two at a time - one for me, and one for my wife - and I make them together with three eggs. A serving of hashbrowns (70 calories), and then, the key, a serving of turkey sausage (another 70) - comes out to about 315 - 350 calories. Turkey sausage basically tastes the same as pork sausage because of the way sausage is seasoned. It's also about 1/3rd of the calories for the same serving size.

So, it might not be a bran muffin and orange juice - but it's once again an example of how homemade trumps eating out.

Then there's random injuries. I pick up my kid to carry him upstairs while explaining how it's not a good idea for him to play with that noisy toy outside of mommy and daddy's bedroom while mommy is still asleep (the one day a week she can sleep in a bit) and somehow wrench a muscle in my back. Awesome. Not debilitating, no, but sure doesn't feel great all the same.

We'll have to see how that ends up all working out. Also, speaking of homemade, tonight, we're going to try homemade sushi for dinner. Nothing fancy (and certainly no tempura), but it should still be fun.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Days like these...

It's been a challenging couple of days. I would have to rate the night before last as one of the worst nights of sleep I've had in a long time. For sure since I started using a c-pap about three-and-a-half years ago (not long before my youngest was born). Said youngest turned up in our bedroom sometime between 1 AM and 3 AM when I noticed him laying down on the floor by my side of the bed. He was wet (we just recently stopped using diapers at night), so I got up, found some clean underwear and jammy pants, had him use the bathroom and put him back to bed, and then couldn't fall back asleep. Until about a half-hour before I was supposed to get up.

I most certainly didn't get into the gym yesterday morning. I had to work out at home tonight after the wee ones were in bed. And it wasn't all that much either.

I did however get into the gym Sunday morning. Being Sunday, it was blissfully empty. I started the Couch to 5k app on my phone. And barely made it through half of the first day. The set up for that was a five minute warm up walking, then alternate running for one minute, walking for 90 seconds for 20 minutes total, and then a five minute cool down. My legs were just hurting too much to keep going at about the 15 minute mark. My shins were just not up to taking the abuse my heavy upper body was driving into them.

I was feeling a little discouraged at that, but my wife made a good point when I told her that later in the morning. She said that I was still lapping those on their couches. Or, in this case, those still in their beds.

Need to work on more cardio to drop some of that weight and then get back into some running. I might start lifting on the machines to make my legs and arms stronger, and some core work to get my stomach stronger as well.

"I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it." ~ Gale Sayers
I had a coaches meeting last night for the city soccer team that I'll be leading this next month. I think for practices I'll do warm up exercises for the girls. Simple things like jumping jacks and some light jogging. They're only first graders, so they won't stay interested in that for long. They just like to kick the ball around. It'll be a good way to put in a little extra in my routine for the next four or five weeks. The season doesn't last too long, they double up the games per week so the season is done in four weeks instead of eight like the spring season.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Keeping it up...

My wife is amazing. The night before last she went out and basically threw herself into her derby session.



and then some drills.

1200 calories burned in 2.5 hours. I didn't come close to that. I worked out for close to an hour and a half (keep in mind, it was with a couple of different Kinect games, so load times aren't working out times). I have to step up my game.



I worked out yesterday with the Your Shape game I've mentioned before, this game doesn't have the same kind of "downtime" but keeps you moving pretty well. It's also good when you're unable to get out (because the kiddos are in bed). It even gets you running, which I did yesterday. "Running" through the financial district of New York. It's not exactly detailed, but keeps you engaged with interesting tidbits about different buildings you're passing along the way.

After that, it was time to find something for the little ones to do. In July. When it's about 100 degrees outside. Yay. We went to the park. Nobody else was really around.

Kids were getting their wiggles out. Running around the playground equipment. They were having a good workout, for them. I needed one too. Still. Even after their rest time.

I started chasing the kids around playing tag.
"For me, winning isn't something that happens suddenly on the field when the whistle blows and the crowds roar. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream."
 ~ Emmitt Smith
Yesterday also was kind of a "cheat day" with some friends over, we did indulge in some alcohol and poutine. But I think my wife's workout on Thursday and mine combined from that night and yesterday, along with a pretty low-key dinner (chicken, rice, salad) made up for it to prevent us from getting derailed.

Friday, July 26, 2013

You're gonna run...

If you've stuck along with me this far, then you, like me, know that in something like the Spartan Race, you're going to be running, and jumping, climbing, crawling through mud, getting hit. Seriously, go to the site and watch the video. Plus, the Sylvester Stallone voice over is pretty awesome.

Anyway,  it's just that sometimes, you don't really know what you're signing up for. I know all of that above is part of the race, and yet, somehow it still strikes me how OMG! I'm going to have to run. A lot! I don't like to run.

It's intimidating.

It's fuel.

48 weeks to go.

There's basically a set plan:

Start the Couch to 5k - it takes roughly 9 weeks. That leaves 39 weeks left.

Weight training. None of this is going to work without building muscle.

Endurance. I need to go beyond 5k. I have to prepare my body to be ready to run at least a half-marathon. 13 miles. Wow.

I see some of the videos for the Spartan Race, and see these really fit guys (or so they seem) dropping from exhaustion.

It's fuel.

Training has to be the key.

"A champion is someone who gets up when he can't." ~ Jack Dempsey
The local recreation center here has an indoor track on the second floor. And a day care center. The cost to use the track without a membership is fifty cents. And hour at the day care for both kids is like $4.00. Hell, if the signs that just scream out "Hey, just get out there and do it!" were any more obvious, it would probably be tattooed on my forehead. Backwards.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Depending on when...

I was up a little early this morning, and had the idea that I should weigh myself again. I don't know why since I'd just weighed myself a couple of days ago, but I did it anyway. Lost four pounds since Tuesday. That can't be right. Then I realized that it was early morning, I'd just gotten up and last time I had weighed myself toward the middle afternoon. So I might have weighed a little more that time of day then I had earlier that morning.

Still ... progress?

Losing weight early on is always pretty easy. Retained water finds its way out of your body, you're suddenly more aware of how many calories you've eaten during the day, and the technology of today allows us to keep those right in our pocket and countdown until we're done.

It's really only been about a week.

Get. Out.

I walked down to the gym yesterday. From my desk it takes roughly 5-6 minutes. I'm serious, the building is huge. And the gym is pretty much the furthest point away from my desk I can get and still be inside the building. I walk halfway through my wing to get to the stairs, then down the long winding staircase, cross the other half of the building.  Walk through the small hallway that connects the three level building to the one level building, walk past the entrance to the cafe, then past Starbucks (yeah, we have a Starbucks inside our building, it's kind of a giftshop/coffee shop named after the security guard that passed away just before we moved to this building), then past the security desk and hang a right, walk down the hallway that passes the two entrances to the auditorium, turn left, walk by the bathrooms, break room and then about six training rooms (three on each side, roughly the size of a college classroom each). Then the hallway kind of elbows to the right and then you know you're close, because there are figures on the wall doing sporty things, you still walk past the mail room and finally reach the entrance. Another 20 feet and I would have been outside on the receiving platform for the cafe and mailroom.

The on site trainer wasn't there, so I grabbed a flyer for personal training sessions and then headed back to my desk. I wasn't there to workout, not in my jeans, but mainly to find it. Considering the walk to and from, plus time to workout and cleanup, going to the gym on my lunch break is definitely not going to happen (just a half hour). Looks like I'm going to be getting up earlier in the mornings.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Two at a time...

I work on the third floor of a rather large building. Not large as in height, the third floor is actually the top floor, but large as in long. It basically runs from east to west, with a smaller one-level building attached to the east end. The smaller building contains a Starbucks, the eBay Cafe (with a ton of food choices), an auditorium, a bunch of training rooms (reminds of college classrooms), the gym I still haven't been in, but I plan to change that this week. Naturally, I work at the far end (west side) of the main building, top floor, furthest away from... well, everything.

We moved into the building back in April, the parking lot is forever away, as they left a massive dirt lot between the building and the main parking. They're in the process of converting those dirt lots into two full size basketball courts, a volleyball court, and a soccer field. That should make for some fun work events down the road. Right now, though, all we see are tractors pushing dirt around.

Anyway, my point being that when we moved in, I didn't relish the idea of hiking up even just two flights of stairs to head to work. I'd just take the elevator.

That's changed. Now it's all about changing the little things, and using the stairs is a good way to change for the better. I'd like to believe that people will soon see me and not think, "Gee, that guy should really use the stairs," but instead, "Hey, that guy must be running up the stairs every day."

It's a simple mechanic and hey, with the Spartan Race getting closer everyday, you have to figure a couple of flights of stairs is probably going to be the easiest obstacle I'm going to face.

Rundown for yesterday:

Came in well under my calorie budget - the app predicts that I should lost close to 20 pounds in about 5 weeks if I keep that up.

Hit about seven glasses of water.

Played Dance Central and Kinect Sports Season Two on my living room Xbox (where the kinect is) for my workout.

Slept close to seven hours last night (I usually sleep six or less, typically on purpose).

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Little Sweat...

I really, no listen, REALLY dislike the heat. If there was ever a time I feel most comfortable it's when people around me are complaining that it's freezing. That's about the right temperature for me. The last few days have been pretty hot. About 102, I think. It's made wanting to do the exercise part of this quest the most difficult to kickstart.

Today was a good day overall. I stuck to my calorie budget. My app says that I only had 1270 calories. But I'm thinking the dinner that Erin made was a little more than just 209 calories (chicken fried rice), but I didn't eat that much of it, either. Portion control, you know.

I also worked out after the kids went to bed (to bed, not to sleep, still working on getting the youngest to go to bed without having to go to the bathroom 5 times a night). Now, the workout wasn't a lot, just about 20 min for some cardio. So it credits me back about 218 calories. The app shows that I still have 968 calories remaining for the day, but I'm betting is somewhere between 600-700.

All in all, I can't really complain, I made sure I had several healthy snacks like carrot sticks and the nature valley oats and honey granola bars that nobody ever wants but are sure tasty when they're pretty much the only option you have.

I also have to say that my little snack bag of cheez-its (with 29 crackers) was probably my best friend today. Gave me a little bit of that salty snack fulfillment without going overboard.

Finally, one of the biggest problems I have is staying hydrated. I've NEVER been a fan of just drinking water. Boring. I did find some flavor enhancers at the store the other day, so I took one of those with me to work. Similar to the powder stuff, but you just give a squeeze or two of this stuff in your water to basically make it kool-aid. I did well today, easily hitting my 8 glasses of water requirement.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Building habits...

Yesterday I mentioned some of the tools I'd use to help keep on track. I've been carefully inserting the foods I've eaten in the MyFitnessPal app I have on my phone. 

I also weighed myself yesterday morning coming in at a depressing 288 lbs. It's not the highest I've ever come in at, but it's pretty high. I'm only 5'10" so you can imagine what that looks like.

I watched everything I ate yesterday, not so much to limit, but so I could keep an accurate record. 4 starbursts are 80 calories.

I did pretty good overall, coming in at 33 calories OVER my daily goal of 2020 (to lose two pounds a week according to my app). I'm feeling pretty good over that. The kicker that pushed it over was the rum I had last night. So, not all bad.

So far today I'm still at 1337 calories to go for the day, but we still haven't had dinner, so I'm expecting that to use between 600 - 800 calories tonight.

We're supposed to weed the yard tonight, too. And I plan to put in some exercise as well which gives me some calories "back."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Talk is Cheap...

So, for the last couple of days I've laid out a bunch of information about me and what I want to do in getting to the Utah Spartan Super Race. While this is nice and all, talking about it is not going to make it happen. People (in general) spend an inordinate amount of time talking about things they're going to do and rarely execute it.

So, today it's time to lay out a plan:


MyFitnessPal - An app for my Windows Phone (I know, not an iPhone or Android - I'm a regular pariah in society) that I can use to track food, exercise, and how much water I've consumed on a daily basis. It also connects to my Facebook and allows me to build a support group of others using the same app. I think the hardest part about this is getting into the habit of recording everything.

Couch to 5K - another app for my phone that builds you up over a nine week period to get from being a lump on the couch to running a 5K race. Let's face it, to be in the Spartan Race, there's going to be some running involved.

My Kinect- Yeah, the Kinect isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, by any means, but some of the games I play on there can really make you sweat. It's not like I'm doing serious cross training with it, but for some good cardio, it works for me. At least for now.

Gym - my work has a free on-site gym to use. Since we recently moved to a brand new building in Draper this past April, the gym is supposed to be pretty state-of-the-art. I need to get in there. I have no excuse to let a an opportunity to use a free gym go by. At least I don't have to join a rip-off gym.


Finding a good way to balance busy lifestyle and nutrition might be one of the biggest obstacles I'm going to face. I'm checking around with various websites and might consider joining the Jillian Michaels site for exercise and dietary info, but I'd like to spend as little money as possible. So, I'll come back to that.

Meeting with a nutritionist might be in the plans also. Erin has spoken about meeting up with one, at least once, to get some sense of direction. I'm also sure there are probably a billion e-books out there to download from any number of places.


Here we have the biggest challenge for just about anybody. Exercise. It sucks, makes you sweaty, and overall isn't the most enjoyable experience, right? I always see how great some people look and feel, and all that stuff. I want to be there. I'm just not exactly excited about the journey to get there. But, there are some ways to get there without totally hating it I suppose.

Games - I already mentioned the Kinect. Some of the games I've found that have been pretty awesome to play on there. Dance Centralis a favorite to just get some sweat on. Various difficulties make this game a perfect way to ease up in skill. Plus there are many sequels already. Other workout games like Your Shape Fitness Evolved are popular and really get you going.

These, of course, are mainly good cardio games. Lifting weights on a machine or free weights are better to build strength. Endurance will come from running and extending cardio sessions over time.

I'd also like to get into cross training with something like P90X but yeah, that's some expensive workout. Saving money from going to a gym will help, clearly.


So, at this point, talk is cheap, it's time to put it all together and get working.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

In a nutshell...

So, earlier I mentioned that I'm 37. Birthday is coming up fairly soon in October.

I've been fat nearly all of my life. Husky as a kid, chubby as a pre-teen, and then, well, pretty much fat since then. Back in 2004 my then-girlfriend (now my wife) and I started working out and eating a lot less. Grilled (foreman grill) chicken, broccoli, and white rice was a pretty constant staple in our diet back then.

I was working from home and didn't have the constant access to the free soda machines at work, ate a lot of yogurt, slim fast for lunch. Stuff like that. For about eight months, things were going really well. Erin and I were engaged in May of 2005 and married in October later that same year. After our engagement pictures, when we both probably looked our best in our respective adult lives (she's about seven years younger than me, almost), things began to slide a little bit. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon, and really enjoyed the constant food there. All the while we had the intention of getting back into our healthy eating and work out habits when we returned home.

We didn't. Then came along our daughter (and a few years later, my youngest). Lack of sleep (I still hear the low tones of Hexic HD in my head from late night playing on the Xbox, while holding her, because she wouldn't sleep when we tried to put her down), and unhealthy food that was super cheap sort of led me to bulking (not in a good way) back up. I'd dropped down from about 290 lbs to 240 (where I kind of plateaued for a while) when we were being healthy back up to just over 300 pounds. (I'm more in the range of about 285 now).

I like Doritos and peanut butter M&Ms and cherry coke/pepsi/anything and the list goes on forever. Recently, things have gotten to the point where long hours at work, getting the kids situated with either dinner (for them), homework, baths, bedtime, etc. basically put my wife an I on a pattern of getting fast food to eat after the kids went down.

Back in January my wife set foot on a dream to play in roller derby. She accomplished that dream on June 20th when she actually played in her first exhibition bout - you know, not a scrimmage, but an event they made flyers for, and she was on a team, and we paid actual money to go in and watch.

She's not satisfied with just that, though. She's giving serious thought into joining the pro league in Utah. Sadly it's not the kind of pro league where they pay her crazy amounts of money to play, but you pay to participate. Sort of an exclusive club. I'm very proud of her for running (well, skating) after a dream and capturing it. She doesn't want to let go until her body won't let her do it anymore. I fully support that.

I've never really had a dream. Not like that anyway. Fantasy of playing football when I was young, but I'm not the most athletically gifted person. Could bowl pretty well. But bowling and golf are kind of fat guy sports a lot of cases, and the really good players are still fit.

Then I caught an ad online, it might have been one of my "friends I've never actually met in real life" on Facebook that might have put something up on his feed. The ad was for the Spartan Run. Now, here in Utah, they run the Super. It's like the second level. Eight to nine miles over natural terrain (not a flat track) and 20+ obstacles. I can't imagine what the "Ultra Beast" (26 miles w/ 50+ obstacles) must do to a body.

It piqued my interest. It looks HARD. It looks like something that'll take DAYS to recover from. And for some reason, I. WANT. TO. BEAT. IT.

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination." ~ Tommy Lasorda

So, here we are, looking at my story. Just at the beginning. The road is long, and time is running short.

Let's go.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's time...

Have you heard of this race?

The Spartan race is regarded as one of the most difficult terrain races around, similar to the Dirty Dash and the Tough Mudder.

I want to be in this race.

And finish it.

I'm not looking to win the race. That would be silly. I'm 37, and by the time this race rolls around to Utah again (June 28, 2014), I, like most people, will be a year older. I'm not realistically going to keep up with people in their early 20s, or those that are my age or even older that have been doing races like this for any serious amount of time.

The goal: enter, run, and finish.

346 days.

49 weeks.

11 months.

It's time to get to work.