Friday, October 29, 2010

How a Fatty bought a gym membership

This foot issue was really starting to get me down. I've been in a bit of a bummer mood about it the last few days and I didn't work out at all yesterday because of it. Even walking was feeling a bit rough and I had been thinking all day that today would be exercise free too. These are BAD thoughts. Bad, negative, boohoo I'm a fatty thoughts and I won't sit for them any longer!

At 5:30ish I leapt from my comfy seat, put on my workout clothes, grabbed some earbuds and beelined to the nearest gym to buy a pass. I'm not sure how long I'll be in this town so for $65 I just bought a one month pass. The gym is really nice! TV's on every machine and great strength training machines, with plenty of class options. I am pretty excited about it. I've wanted to do yoga for years and while I am super nervous about showing up to a yoga class at my size, I've been finding that I am starting to care very little about what people think of me when they see me at the gym. The gym is a scary place for fat people, I don't think skinny people or gym rats understand that. It's intimidating. I've been known to feel like a walrus flapping around the beach when I walk around a gym BUT NOT TONIGHT! No buddy, those days are over! It was fantastic! 
First I jumped on a very cool elliptical with an incline option and rocked that for 45 hard minutes, keeping my heart rate just a bit below peak. It was a great cardio workout without any real foot movement so my poor foot feels fine even after a hard push. It was really great to be able to watch TV too while working out, family guy had me laughing pretty hard and I kind of zoned out in a great way. The time flew past!
After that I wandered around the gym for a bit and grabbed a November calendar of group fitness and yoga classes  and then found a stationary bike to jump on. Another 30 minutes of hard pushing on that while watching Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives and my legs started to feel pretty jelly. 
Jumped off of there and hit the strength training area for so many reps of different things, I had to use my wrists to drive home. 

Man it feels great! I am excited about my foot healing so I can keep with the running but this is definitely a fantastic addition to the mix!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How a Fatty started counting calories

Did you know that one pound of fat is roughly 3500 calories?
That means to lose a pound of fat you have learn roughly how many calories your body burns in a day. According to various online calculators I can consume somewhere in the neighborhood of 3200 to 3800 calories a day to maintain my current weight. I am guessing that I've been consuming somewhere north of that for quite some time to get to the size I currently am.

Anyway when my foot started acting up I started examining all the other factors that need to be considered for a healthy lifestyle. I've never EVER been interested in counting calories, I've always frowned on it in much the same way that I frowned on running but, as you already know, I have changed. I own a pretty nifty Android phone and I found a really sweet app on Tuesday, it's called MyFitnessPal - the website is totally free and they have an iphone app for you weirdos too. I've been using it for a few days and I'm really impressed with it so far. I've not eaten anything that it hasn't had in it's database and it's proving to be a really great way for me to track calories in AND out, since it also has an exercise tracker. Its proving to be really astonishing how fast 2,000 calories can add up, a "green tea with mango" here, a chicken burrito there BAM! 900 calories. Putting all this science into what a healthy lifestyle should like, both active and digestive is very informative.

So what I am learning? Eat more fruit and veggies. We can consume all the calories we want from those and our bodies will thank us for it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Fatty update from the road

Yesterday I made a mistake when booking a hotel in LA for a job interview and booked it for check in on Monday instead of Tuesday so at 3pm I tossed everything in the car, conned my brother into coming with and headed for the city of angels. The hotel, the magic gnomes behind Priceline's hotel bid system put us in, is near LAX with absolutely nothing around it BUT there is a fitness center so I headed down there last night to work up a sweat. Without a pair of earplugs, gyms are BORING.
I did half an hour total of cardio on an elliptical and weight machine workouts.
Today we walked all over Santa Monica and in a bit I will head back down to the fitness center to put in some additional time on the weight machines. Do something everyday!
My right foot is still acting up with some pain, I am guessing I stretched something or I don't really know, I just want it to feel better so I can get back to building distance. I might be off my feet for a few more days though, I don't want to strain it too much.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How a Fatty lost 5 pounds in a week

Well my fear of the scale was slightly justified but ultimately losing five pounds in a week is a good accomplishment so I'll take it. We get a bit disillusioned from watching shows like the Biggest Loser, when the contestants drop 15 or 20 pounds in a week. What they fail to mention is that the contestants are on a 1200 calorie diet and workout 8 hours a day. But even knowing that, it is still hard when you step on the scale and it's just a measly five pounds, still that's five less pounds than last week and hopefully at least another five pounds next week. At that pace in 6 months I'll have dropped to my goal weight! So looking at it that way, WOOOOHOOOO! FIVE POUNDS! YES!
After getting home from tonight I convinced my kid brother to go for a bike ride with me. I'm not sure where my bike pump walked off too though and with presta valves on my bike, not just any pump will do. So we just did 2 miles on the bikes as the tires were a bit low and I don't want to ruin them. I'll have to get a pump tomorrow. My legs were on fire on even that short of a ride. It's pretty disappointing, high school wasn't even 10 years ago and back then 40 mile bike ride days were pretty common for me. My bike and I were best of friends. Now though it's like we don't recognize each other, with all this extra weight my balance feels off and everything feels sluggish. Anyway after the bike ride we put them away and did 1 mile walk/run. My little brother made me feel pretty foolish. The kid is 17, has never run in his life and spends a pretty fair amount of time video gaming. When I would jog, he would just fast walk next to me with his hands in his pockets while I panted like a dying hyena. I'm still glad he came though, it's nice to have the company. After the run we challenged each other to situps, he did 40 and I managed 20 plus 10 crunches. Gotta start small!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How a Fatty feared the scale

Yesterday was a rest day and today was difficult. Everything felt slow motion and really really sluggish. Maybe it was all those zucchini muffins (they're healthy right ;P ) or maybe it was just the rest day but I was really off today. My right knee and foot are pretty sore and tender as well. I think I will have to run in the regular sneakers for a few days and give my barefoot muscles some time to heal.

Tonight was earlier than usual for me as well, that might contribute to the sluggish feeling, I don't know. Everything just felt off. When the knee pain became a bit too much to move forward in a speedy manner, I stopped at a park and did crunches, jumping jacks and stretched for a bit.

Tomorrow is weigh-in day for me. To be honest, I don't want to do it. I'm afraid of the scale. The first week of running it was just about energy and getting in shape and now that I am starting to get in a routine of it, what if it isn't working? What if I step on it tomorrow and it says I'm more than last week? What if I'm the same? I know the scales can be rough on your psyche when you're just starting out, you're building muscle and that weighs more than fat but at this size and with how close I've been watching the foods I'm intaking, I feel like I would've seen some kind of tangible results. Maybe you can't actually watch the grass grow or the paint dry though. 

Anyway sore right foot, sore right knee, semi-depressed spirit about the weigh in. Still very much excited about the overall new lifestyle though!

How a Fatty took a rest day

Sometimes you just gotta take a break. Today was my break day. One nice long barefoot walk around the neighborhood after getting home from a concert and a cold PBR to end the night!

The important thing to remember on rest days is that you're just resting your legs from running, you should still add some kind of exercise to the day, even if it's just a walk around the neighborhood with your kid brother.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How a Fatty learned to pace himself

I've been running now for almost two weeks with just 1 rest day for my legs and 2 semi-rest days which were just walking. Last night I was disappointed in the distance but proud that I made the muscles burn. I woke up today knowing that tonight would be equally as rough, possibly rougher. It was.

Tonight I did 1.5 miles and I ran with my old new balance shoes on to give my feet a rest after last nights barefoot run. My calves were screaming. I really am trying to focus hard on proper running form and so since I am starting from scratch it literally feels like I am taking a million baby steps to run just 50 yards or so. The best way I can describe it is, well it feels exactly like running in place but then you just lean forward a little bit and BOOM forward motion. My legs are definitely not used to it. I've heard that it can take a long time to build the muscle strength up and it is frustrating because my chest now feels like I can go farther, I am getting out of breath much more seldom and my head wants to go all the way but my legs just aren't there yet. There are so many people who push harder than they should too fast and I don't want to be one of them so 1.5 miles of wogging was a good place for me to stop tonight.

A cool thing happened though, as we were running past an older couple taking out their trash, we said hello in labored breath and the man said "Good job guys! Keep it up!" I turned as we ran past and said "Thanks!!" My friend than made fun of me the rest of the run for promoting the blog but it was really cool of that guy to be supportive. I think a lot of us fatties are scared of running because of people seeing us and mocking us. We've got low self-esteem, it comes with the territory but the truth of the matter is people are kind. If you're sitting at an all-you-can-eat buffet stuffing your cheeks, then it's open season, I get that. I'll make fun of me when I do that too but when people see you trying and working hard, I think they get it. I think they know that you're not truly a fatty in your mind anymore, food isn't what you desire and they can support that.

After the shortish wog, we decided to hit the bowflex and do some upper body cross training. We set the weights pretty low and did sets of 40lbs on each arm and then a few more sets of 30lbs, doing press, butterfly  and inverted curls with sets of crunches thrown in. It feels good to work the upper body too, I like the idea of building lean muscle mass.

Tomorrow I think I will cross train, maybe jump on the bike I've been neglecting for years and put in a few miles.

How a fatty found time to run

Normally I've been typing these messages at night and posting them the next day but at this moment it is 1AM and I am going running before I go to sleep. I will not let getting home late or feeling tired get in the way of being healthy.

I got out the door a little later than anticipated but the wait was worth it. It was raining in the desert and it was awesome. So awesome that I did the run tonight barefoot, totally barefoot. I thought my legs could handle it and I ran longer than I've run before without stopping for breath. I also really focused on proper barefoot form.

This is what pain feels like! I only did 1.25 miles and maybe 1/3 of it was walking and now my calves are in incredible, excruciating pain like they were just beat from all sides with a hammer. Thankfully I've done my homework and I know this is a good thing, it means I am running with the proper form! Soon my legs will adapt to running/walking barefoot and I will be stronger and healthier for it! Bring on the new muscle growth and the fat burn!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Things that weigh 350 pounds

Black bear


Cow Elk

Giant Panda


The Fatty
Just a little bit of perspective for motivation on this Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 excuses to NOT go running

  1. "I don't want to" - Well fine then. Don't do it. Enjoy the couch and the tv and the cake. (Which the fatty will say not so sarcastically, "I will!") There was no getting me in the mood to run or to exercise at all. The most I would do is walk the dog down the driveway and throw a tennis ball but I don't think a chuck-it counts for legitimate arm work-out. There is no changing a fatty mind until said fatty realizes they're A. In fact a fatty.  B. They have to exercise to lose weight. Which leads me to...
  2. "I'll just eat healthier instead"  - This might work. A little. I know for me though it's going to take a long long time to eat off 150+ excess pounds of weight. It's just delusional thoughts from a lazy mind. I know now and I know I knew then that diet change without exercise doesn't stick. 
  3. "Running just isn't really my thing, I like cycling and hiking" - Ok. I do like cycling and hiking. Do I cycle and hike? No. Why? Because it's hard work. Why can't I handle it? Because I'm out of shape because I don't exercise! I fully plan on incorporating cycling, a sport I loved in high school and frequently biked 100 miles a week recreationally, and hiking into my workout regime as cross training options but I know that saying running isn't my thing and pointing to other activities I once loved is just a classic denial tool. When asked to go running and when I respond with that answer both I and the asker knew I was being a lazy fat bum. There's no denying it. 
  4. "I'm worried that my joints won't be able to handle this much weight" - This is a fairly legitimate excuse and shows that the user probably googled it. The general consensus is that you start with what you can handle. I just finished Day 10 and I was able to walk/jog 2.5 miles tonight. That's not a long distance in anyones book but I am proud of that accomplishment and proud that I pushed through the muscle ache to make it happen. Your body was made to run. Made to move! I plan on not wasting that ability any longer. I don't think most of us fatties could move long enough to do damage to ourselves anyway, it takes a lot of energy to move this much weight!
  5. "I don't have time" - Bullshit. I didn't have time either. You know what I did have time for though? Hours and hours and hours of TV. Want to hear my lineup? I'm going to try to go from memory as I watch most of my shows online and have no idea what network or day they actually air - Chuck, House, HIMYM, Big Bang Theory, Entourage, Boardwalk Empire, Bored to Death, Bones, Stargate Universe, Eureka, Running Wilde(funniest show on tv, please don't cancel it FOX!), Supernatural, Sons of Anarachy... I'm forgetting a few but on top of my 40+ hour work week I managed to find time for no less than 11 hours of television a week, not including movies or social outings. Having kids may take some of that extra time away but I think we can all squeeze in at least half an hour a day. 
  6. "It's just too hard" - Yes it is. It's really hard but is it any easier to be fat? About two years ago I kept falling asleep at work, in the car, pretty much everywhere, I finally went to the doctor and they suggested a sleep study. At the sleep study I woke up 180 times in 2 hours from the fat around my neck cutting off my airway. Since then I've slept with a CPAP machine that fixes my sleep apnea. Is this sexy? No. Is this fun for me? No. Is this more than slightly embarrassing? You bet your sweet bum it is. Being fat is way harder than exercising. The anxiety, the guilt, the negative emotions and your own body failing you. This is hard and it makes running seem easy.
  7. "Running is boring" - There is this great new digital device called a mp3 player. I don't know if you've ever heard of it but it does this amazing thing, it plays music right into your ears! It's crazy! In truth running for me right now consists of me picking out a light post ahead and forcing myself not to stop until I get to that post, then walking for a little bit to breathe and then running to another light post then past that one to the next one. I can't think of anything other than that light post and how far away it seems at that moment. I know eventually this will get easier and then I may start to get bored but right now that is a terrible excuse not to move. You can always find a friend too! I am running with a fat friend right now but I know many of my fit friends I think would gladly run at my pace with me if I asked them to. Our friends are our friends because they care and our healthy friends want us to be healthy! 
  8. "People will stare at the fatty" - aka "I'm embarrassed". Guess what? I don't care anymore. I hope that people seeing my mass moving down the sidewalk will motivate them to move. It's kind of hilarious how we all have this assumption that people stare at us or that their world will revolve around mocking us. It's just not reality. Anyone who does can jump off a bridge, it's not about them, it's about me being healthy. Who knows, you might see some of your fatty neighbors out there running after they watch the pounds melt off you! Be the motivation for others. 
  9. "It's too hot... It's too cold.... It's too rainy...." - Ahhh the weather argument. Ok buy some appropriate clothes. Even wal-mart sells workout clothes that can keep you cool (bottle of water helps. I'm running in Phoenix at night too), or warm or dry. The weather should not stop you from being healthy. I am excited to run in the rain and the cold. I'm kind of crazy but I love inclement weather. 
  10. "Where I live isn't conducive to it" - Everywhere is conducive to running. Anywhere you live you can find a place to run. Even if you're in a hotel in a supposedly dangerous city you could still run around the parking lot until you achieve your distance or time. At the moment I am running around and around and around my block. Is it repetitive? Yup. Could I run somewhere else? Sure. I run here because it's convenient. Someday I will live somewhere else and I will have to figure out a new route and that will be ok too. If it's dangerous, or you think it is, run with one of those previously mentioned friends or get a dog, they love running! 

So that concludes the 10 main excuses that this Fatty always provided as reasons not to run. I hope some of them touch a little too close for comfort and you too can work through why they aren't legitimate for you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How the fatty conquered day 8

Last night was brutal on the legs. After a Five Finger hike through Hassayampa River Preserve, my previously mentioned friend and I grabbed our running gear and set out. I decided to wear my old shoes tonight to give the feet muscles and calf muscles a bit of a break so I don't kill myself too fast with the switch to barefooting it. Today we made use of my android phone and turned on the My Tracks app to track distance and overall speed. We wogged right at 3 miles and 50 minutes when our legs could take no more. Then I peeled off the shoes and socks and walked the cool down lap in bare feet. I love the feel of the warm pavement as my toes stretch to take each step, I am really looking forward to building up the strength to run barefoot. It will be a fun day! Earlier today I found a scale that is apparently made for weighing industrial freight... Today's weigh in was 348. That is 9 pounds less than my last known weight which was in August, I am fairly certain I was larger than the 357 I weighed in at then but without proof I will just say I lost 9 pounds so far. A solid start.

Tonight was hard though, we had to take turns picking out the next running set, pushing each other to go just a little further. The night before I did the same by myself but it really helps to have someone who wants it just as bad right next to you. I am going to push through the low slumps and continue towards the prize of being healthy. My buddy asked me tonight if I could say that I enjoy running. I never thought I would hear myself say the words but Yes. Yes I do. I love the way it makes me feel, I love the way it's going to help me look. I am falling in love with running.

So with that here's the inspirational, get off the couch and do it fatty, video of the day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

How a Fatty changed his diet

You don't get to be 357 pounds by eating like a cow. Well, I guess I consumed as much as a cow but the leafy greens and the those nasty fruits were tantamount to eating cow pie as far as I was concerned. Dinner would often consist of a frozen pizza or a frozen lasagna or perhaps both depending on the night. There was of course always room for desert too, whether it was ice cream or a cake or pudding or cookies, the night wasn't done until something sweet had been consumed. So even though I was aware of that this is how I lived, somehow it never clicked in my head that this was an unhealthy way to live, it was more like a slow way to die.

Sometime last week I stumbled across this news story.
(CBS)  Adding fuel to the idea that junk food is like crack, scientists at Scripps Florida say rats fed high-calorie junk food became addicted to the food and voluntarily starved when given healthy food instead of, say, cupcakes.

Repeat: The rats voluntarily starved instead of eating healthy food.

Scripps Florida scientists Paul Kenny and Paul Johnson tell the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that junk food changed the rats' brain chemistry in the same way that chronic cocaine use alters an addicts brain functions.

In the experiment, one group of rats was given healthy, nutritionally balanced food. A different group was given "unlimited access to the worst stuff Johnson could find at [the supermarket] Publix, including bacon, sausage, cheesecake, pound cake, Ding Dongs and frosting," reports the Sun-Sentinel.

The junk food group gained weight and became less active. "More surprisingly, the fat rats exhibited the sort of self-destructive behavior associated with human junkies. The rats would eat junk food even if they knew doing so would result in a mild but distinctly uncomfortable electrical shock to their feet," reports the Sun-Sentinel.

The scientists then replaced the unhealthy food with the healthy diet of the first gtoup of rats, and the fat rats refused to eat at all.

Junk food alters the brain's chemistry by releasing dopamine that would normally be released when having sex, snorting cocaine or eating a rich dessert, say the scientists. The junk food-addicted rats learned that the easiest way to experience pleasure was by eating high-calorie, high-fat food.

Kenny and Johnson hope the results of the study can help people learn to deal with food addictions.

"Food can be highly addictive," author of "The Maker's Diet" Jordan Rubin tells the Sun-Sentinel. "When people describe overeating and weight loss as a battle, this is why." 

Wow. I finally realized that I had become addicted to fatty, unhealthy food. This revelation created a domino effect in my head. All the pieces started to fall into place.

  • Addicted to fatty food
  • Not exercising at all
  • Literally too fat to be weighed at most doctor offices
  • Eating through my paycheck and consuming enough food for 2 or 3 people at a time
  • DING DING DING You might be a fatty if.... 
It all came together. I was fat. I think a lot of us walk through life completely oblivious to our slowly expanding waistbands, well maybe oblivious is the wrong term, we are definitely aware of it but we choose to ignore it. In this choice we make a potentially fatal flaw. By not living a conscious life and being mindful of what enters our mouth, we instead choose to live a life that supports terrible things. The food most of us eat has been processed beyond recognition of it's original form. Most of us don't even know what's in more than half of what we eat. I started reading food labels and quickly realized that more than 80% of the food around my apartment had HFCS in it. I had just finished reading The Omnivores Dilemma, in which the author describes in chilling detail how middle America has turned into a HFCS production machine and the negative effects of that on both our economy and our waistlines and so everything labeled HFCS went into the trash.

I think that all this knowledge fried some circuitry in my brain or I've just decided that I can be smarter than a rat. Either way now I am really enjoying my new lifestyle, diet and all. The word diet has become kind of a bad word among us fat people, something to be talked about but nobody really wants to do. I try to avoid using it most of the time because my brain does have a negative association with it so I'll just say this.

I've never met a fat vegetarian and I've never met a fat runner.

Now a week or more into this lifestyle, I love it. I love the tangelos, the mangoes, the oranges, the honey crisp apples, the baby carrots, the hard boiled eggs, the sweet potatoes, the cucumbers and of course all the leafy greens. I can eat as much as I can afford without worry that I'll put weight on from it but I've been finding that I am eating less. My stomach is filling fuller faster, I am drinking more water, chewing more thoughtfully and being mindful of the pleasure of eating. It wasn't ever so much about changing my diet as it was about changing my mindset about food and it's purpose. I want to consume foods that give my body the right kinds of energy and vitamins I need to be alert and healthy. I want to eat foods that lead to a healthier planet. I want to eat foods that nature flavored to perfection.

So with that I'll leave you this fascinating video of a study done on humans at a Zoo in the UK. They had a group of folks move into the zoo and eat 11 pounds of raw fruits and veggies a day to see what would happen. Enjoy!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How a Fatty got Five Fingers on his feet

When I started running I grabbed the only pair of shoes I owned that could do the job, an old pair of New Balance cross country shoes. I had kicked around in those shoes for the better part of two years but it was those or my Chaco's, which I love but are better kicking around the supermarket or a day at the beach. I started slow and tried not to overdo my 350+ lb, 26 year old body but every day I was having major foot pain and leg aches. By day 5 I could hardly walk on my left foot, I wanted to run that night but the idea of running on that foot sounded torturous.

To rewind a little bit, I spent all last year living on a 30' sailboat in the Puget Sound and had run across some talk of a gorilla-like shoe that sailors had started wearing as boat shoes. I did some research and found the Vibram Five Fingers shoes online. They were originally made as a way for rock climbers to climb barefoot with minimal protection but since their release in 2006 they've been picked up and used by enthusiasts in running, sailing, hiking, kayaking, mountaineering and just for walking around town. I dashed over to the REI in Seattle but I became embarrassed after a few minutes because I couldn't get my toes in right. I dropped my head in shame and left thinking these awesome shoes just didn't fit my feet.

Back to this week, Day 5, torture, etc. I got on the trusty internet and I started googling barefoot running. In passing I had read a couple of articles and seen some information about the barefoot running craze that is sweeping the nation and the shoe industry has been doing us all wrong for quite some time. On the websites there were near unbelievable stories, people were getting healed left and right like a Benny Hinn show, barefoot running is going to save us all. So what the hell right? I drove to the REI in Phoenix and told myself I would not leave without a pair. This time around I walked in with confidence and determination and I was able to get my toes into the first pair without too much wrangling. The trick is to put your toes in and then use your fingers to line them up one at a time and then pull the heel on. I found my size and looked for toe socks as I had also heard that the Five Fingers can get pretty stinky pretty fast (thankfully they are machine washable!) REI didn't have them but I did find them at the local running store. Not to break from the story but the closest running store for us folks in the West Valley of Phoenix is seriously on 16th St in Phoenix, 36.7 miles from my house OR a little over an hour drive time. How is there not a runners store in the West Valley? There are over 3 million people living in this area! The last town I lived in had 7,000 people and they had a running store larger than the one downtown! Someone needs to get on the ball. Oh snap, I digressed....

I walked out of REI with the Sprints on my feet to be stopped at the door by a guy coming in with Five Fingers, "You won't be disappointed man! Best shoes I've ever had and the only shoes I wear now!" More miracles, these shoes probably let you walk on water too. "Thanks man! I'm excited to try them, do you run?" "Uh no. I'm not a runner but the shoes man, the shoes..."

I didn't get to run in them that night as my foot still hurt and there were a few concerts I wanted to see downtown but I kept the shoes on and hit the town. I stood and walked around venues and downtown Phoenix from 7pm till just after 1am and I swear to you that when I got in the car to drive home, my feet felt great. That morning I could hardly walk and after 6 hours in the Five Fingers they felt fantastic.

Day 6 - After more than 24 hours of ownership, I finally went wogging in them. It's a crazy new experience. I did a little less than I had done earlier in the week because running barefoot means learning how to walk again. Most people run by landing on their heels because that's how our shoes have been cushioned, the toes curled up to provide a nice rolling motion, this is all wrong though. Our feet are naturally springy and by landing on the ball of our foot and rolling down onto the heel, we can use the arch to take the pressure. I've read that a good barefoot runner is silent to the point of scaring people when running past them and after one night I have a long way to go to get from my earth shaking landings to being light as a feather but my feet feel good. I can feel the stretching from my toes moving more than they've moved in years and I can feel where there are some parts of my feet that need to toughen up from never being used. I can also feel my achilles starting to stretch back out to the length it should be after so many years of walking with shoes with heels higher than the toes.

I am not a total barefoot evangelist yet but I am certainly a convert.

Check out for more information and guides on the Vibram Five Fingers and barefoot running in general but if you're going to buy a pair support the Fatty by clicking on this link.

How a Fatty started running

All my life I've hated running, frequently mocking runners when seeing them, "Hey you can't run from your problems!" and "Who are you running FROM?" I don't know if it was a defense mechanism or just denial that exercise wasn't needed to have a happy and healthy life. Either way I hated the thought of it and I loathed people that did it. I hated their in-my-mind snarky running talk too, you know what I mean, the constant urging of runners to non-runners to take up running. "Oh you should run with me! It'll be great!" Yeah No Thanks Pal!

Then everything changed.

I don't know why and I don't know how but as of last week, I am officially in love with running. I recently relocated across the country and realized that as of the last time I was in a doctors office with a scale large enough (most only go to 350) that I weighed in at 357 pounds. This is officially beyond shrugging off as "big-boned" or being just a "big guy." I am fat. I am a fatty. A lard monster. A fat ass. It doesn't bother me much on an emotional level. I've known it was happening for years. Slowly my favorite activities like rock climbing and mountain biking became too exerting to handle. I became best friends with my laptop and the couch.

Though, as many who know me will state, I am a pretty narcissistic guy. I'm kind of a big deal but this is definitely the wrong kind of big. At 6' 2" the BMI calculator says 357 is 45% body fat. This is without measuring around my wrist, hips and neck and I do have big bones and some fairly huge calf muscles but that's just the denial talking.

Six days ago I put on an old pair of athletic-y shoes, and set out around the block. Every 50' of running equaled almost triple that walking with my breathing being more than a little labored. I pushed myself hard that night, going around and around the block for almost an hour. I finally came inside with legs of jelly and a drenched t-shirt. The next day though something incredible happened, I felt amazing, better than amazing, I felt healthy. I called a friend who needs to lose some too and that night we went "wogging" (walk/jogging) and did another hour. At one point that night he said "I like running with fat people!" "Me too buddy. Me too." He shot me a text the next morning "Man, I can't wait to do it again tonight!" I've heard of 'runner highs' and I am not sure if this is what they are referring to but I feel great. At the same time that the running started I switched my diet from mostly garbage to mostly fruits and vegetables. Late-night snacking turned into a post wog apple or orange. I've been consuming more food than before but it's mostly all fruits and veggies. Filling our bodies with processed food and sugary drinks has turned most of us into walking blimps. There is no denying my size and no use crying over spilled milk, you just have to get off the couch, put some shoes on and start.

So as I feel the burn from tonights wog, I decided to track this journey from extreme obesity to a healthier me. I hope you are inspired, I hope you contribute and someday I hope to see you at my first race.