Saturday, November 27, 2010

How the Fatty broke through the wall

It's been a few weeks since we saw any kind of positive movement on the scale. At one point about two weeks ago I did a mid-week weigh in and it was 343! But those days are now past. My muscles have healed from the initial shock of weight training and things are now on the decline leading to the best week yet. 334! I looked myself in the mirror and this goofy grin crept across my face, it feels so good to see the scale reflect the fun I'm having on this journey.
I was going to title this post "How a Fatty was pleased as punch" but then I did some research on where that saying originates and learned that it's based on an Italian puppet character that is a wife beater and an all around nasty little fellow. Todays fun fact I guess.
Anyway my gym membership expires in a few days and I am torn on what to do. I love going to the gym, it's an amazing environment to do what needs to be done. Even though no one talks to you, you know everyone else is there for the same reason you are and that is motivating. I may be moving though and since I've been out of work for a few weeks now, I need to monitor the outgoing cash flow a bit. There is a bowflex at my parents house, it's a bit old and getting a bit worn but it might be able to be a cheap alternative until I land in a new place.

Do you have home weight training equipment?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Fatty runs to the gym

I hate treadmills. Mostly because the track stops every time I land, even when walking. It's more than a bit of a frustration for me. It's just totally embarrassing. Not that I particularly like running indoors, mind you, it's just that one would like to be able to use all the gym equipment if one should so choose. Though when you are 340lbs there are certain pieces of equipment that don't appreciate your company. Treadmills and quite a few different types of chairs, for starters. For instance, I attended a group dinner a few months ago and the host asked me to sit in a reinforced chair, one that had been broken from a previous fatty, it is funny how easily I could cope and deal with these constant embarrassments as a fatty.

Thinking about it now I realize that I evaluate every chair I sit in before I sit. I know exactly what weak points to look for. The things you gloss over when you aren't ready to except the fact that your huge. We are so creative in finding ways to avoid regular size things. I stopped shopping at actual stores and just ordered all my clothes from the internet because I knew I would save myself the embarrassment of the clerk telling me they don't carry my size. I forsook booths for tables, bicycles and kayaks, diving boards and those .75 bathroom showers. I really hated those .75 bathroom showers, I always bumped the door open. These are some of the things a fatty learns to avoid. These and the common treadmill.

Imagine the escalator as your 2 mile car drive to the gym.
I hate treadmills. To change things up, I asked my mum if she wouldn't mind picking me up from the gym when I was done, Phoenix is getting a bit brisk lately but it feels really great to run in a slight chill. 2.15 miles at an average speed of 4.89mph is a new record for me and it felt really good to get to the gym by my own power. I had worn my backpack on the run too, which always makes things feel like a bit of an adventure but I wanted a fresh shirt and some clean clothes for after. I did a quick change, sauntered past the cardio equipment and hit the weights before a nice steam. Who doesn't love the steam room? I've started doing planks in there, it's quite difficult that, the planks I mean, made all the more difficult by the heat but it feels really good to work up a deeper sweat. 

So next time you head off to the gym, think about alternative modes of transportation. It's pretty crazy how so many of us do all of our working out inside a box. It feels good to run! 

(Todays post might have a bit of an accent. I've been watching loads of Doctor Who! Any other fans of the Doctor out there?)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

How a Fatty felt stronger

I'll tell you a secret. I'm going to weigh more tomorrow than I weighed last week. And I am ok with it BECAUSE I started strength training. I feel stronger today than I've felt in years after the last week of switching it up. I am still doing cardio but I've added a lot of strength training into my gym workouts and now I leave the gym not only feeling sweaty and tired but feeling FEELING it. I've been told it will take a few weeks for the muscle growth to slow a bit and for the weight loss effects of strength training to kick in. I can wait a bit to start seeing this in the mirror.
Except way more handsome and cuter. Cause let's be honest, I totally am.

So here's the other thing though that I could use some feedback on. As I've mentioned before, I am inbetween jobs right now. I quit my last job in Washington on the 30th of September and I am waiting for the next job to come along. I've been working odd gigs here and there for gas money, mostly helping a friend with concerts at night, so my sleep schedule is pretty abnormal.

Here's the question I would like feedback on.
If you wake up at noon and go to sleep between 3am and 5am, what timezone constitutes "late-night snacking?" I feel like I should stop eating after a certain point but I feel like my breakfast is at 2pm, lunch at 8pm and dinner at 1or2am! I will get back on a regular schedule when I go back to the real world but for now let's hear some suggestions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How a Fatty got back on the street

Last night was the first time in a few weeks that I ran, I mean really ran, out on the streets at night. It's how I started a little over a month ago and since then that simple minimalistic exercise has turned into a gym membership with classes and machines and headphones and all kinds of crazy. Last night though was magical. No music, no people, just me, the sound of the ground cracking beneath my feet and the stars spinning overhead. I did 1.6 miles at an average speed of 5mph. This is definitely a new record for me. It was great after doing so much cardio in the gym to see the gains of that as I ran past every place I used to stop to walk and breathe. Something is definitely wrong in my right knee and last night I didn't wear my brace like I should've but today it doesn't hurt so I think I am alright.

I'm going to try a new tactic in the gym this week. One of my best friends has been a gym rat as long as I can remember and he said some things that make a lot of sense. He told me to focus more on strength training because a body full of muscle burns continuously more fat than a body that just does cardio.
I found this article pretty helpful in breaking things down.
I am going to continue running as well but as my friend said, "Jake your leg muscles are your bodies biggest muscles. Think about how much energy it takes to work them out hard with squats and presses." And leg exercises are the one thing I haven't done any of yet.

So this week = hard strength training which may mean another week of no movement on the scale but I am excited for the results nonetheless!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How a Fatty ignored the scale

Today's weigh in? 337. Some of you may remember that this is the same weight as last week. I am actually ok with this. While I would like to see bigger gains in the weight loss side of things, my pants are now almost too big on me and I bought a new shirt yesterday that is a size smaller than my last shirt purchase and it fits great! This week contained a lot of cardio, a lot of strength training and one very uncomfortable pilates class. Regardless of the lack of change on the scale, I am happy with the direction I am headed and I feel good about this weeks workouts. I may have had a few meals here and there that were less than healthy but they are becoming rarer.

Anyway I am off to the gym!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How a Fatty tried Pilates

For years I've been saying I wanted to do yoga. I once spotted a climber, Chris Sharma, at the now defunct Phoenix Boulder Blast, I remember asking him what he did for workouts besides climbing. He replied, "Yoga," while hanging by his fingertips from the problem he was ascending. I've never forgotten that. I worked MLB Spring Training for 7 seasons and I've met baseball legends from Frank Thomas to Sammy Sosa and I've yet to mean anyone who impressed me strength-wise as much as Sharma.

So ever since then I've said that this is the type of body that I want. Not one that is overly bulky or able to push a bus but one that could pull myself up a cliff with some measure of grace. I went to the gym tonight to try yoga but I had the times wrong and it was a Pilates class instead. Now I am nervous, it's obvious pretty quick that I am going to be the only guy in the class and definitely the weight of 3 of any of the other participants put together. We arrange our mats, me somewhat more awkwardly than the others, and begin with a breath in and a breath out and then downward dog to cow pose. What? About this time I started to get confused and my embarrassment began to grow. I was thankfully well positioned at the back of the room but that was serving to add a different type of anxiety. Maybe they all thought I was there to oogle them? Maybe they weren't focusing on what they were doing because it was second nature to them and maybe they all hate men. Doubts began to grow and the movements began to get way beyond what my body can handle. All levels my ass, this is a class for bendy people.
"Now lay on your back and bend your knees up, place the heavy bar behind you knees and pull your groin into your face. Hold and breathe. You'll feel your spine begin to snap in 3, 2, 1...."

I may be exaggerating a little bit but it was a very awkward hour for me. I stayed because I thought leaving would be more awkward than staying and trying to emulate their movements, without looking like I was staring at them I tried desperately to keep up. I was more than relieved when the 55 minutes had passed and I could unpretzel my body and hobble out. Pilates was a lot rougher than I anticipated and I was only able to do 20 minutes of cardio before my body screamed "ENOUGH!"

Maybe tomorrow I can try Zumba.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How a Fatty lost 20 pounds in a month

July 2007 (Xlarge shirt est 270lbs)
It's been a week since my last post, I can't believe it! So after todays weigh-in I am officially 337. 20 pounds in a month! I don't feel like it's been a hard month and I don't feel like I've denied myself that much, in fact it's quite the opposite, I feel great, better than I've felt in years. I was shooting for 10 pounds this week when it started but I am not disappointed in the least. This week got a bit crazy, I left last minute on Wednesday and drove a van to McAllen, Texas for a band. 1,350 miles driven solo in 28 hours. After getting to McAllen on Thursday night I crashed out in the hotel and found myself awake at 4:30am, so I went running. My right knee has been really acting up a lot lately and I've been spending more time on the elliptical than the streets so that was a tough run but it felt great to be out there. I am totally in love with my Nike Free TR's, they are a great light shoe that make me float like a butterfly (and STING LIKE A BEE!). Definitely happy with their purchase. After that I rode with the band to Dallas and then got a hotel near the airport and left early on Saturday to fly to Denver for a connection back to Phoenix.
Airports are terrible for fatties. There was nothing semi-healthy in the whole place. I made the mistake of ordering a "breakfast plate" at one of the local places that had a spot in the terminal. They handed me a plate with 3 pieces of bacon, a sausage patty, a biscuit with gravy, scrambled eggs, and grits. I did some quick addition with the help of the MyFitnessPal app and it was easily in the 1500 calorie range for food that wasn't very good. I probably would have been better off with starbucks and a bagel. After landing in Phoenix, a friend picked me up and we went to Chompies, a NY style deli restaurant that I had seen on Travel Channel's Man v Food. I ordered the Jewish Sliders and they were incredible. I didn't realize until half an hour or so later that I hadn't considered the caloric intake on those bad boys, that thought was quickly followed by "I don't care. They were delicious and I will order them again!"

July 2007 (X-Large shirt)
I keep thinking back to the summer of 2007 when I was lifeguarding in Guam. When I had arrived there I was a svelte 290, I think. Everyone I worked with was stereotypical bronze god(dess) and for the first time in my life, I felt self conscious about my size. Over the course of my 2 months there I lost 30 pounds. It probably had more to do with pneumonia, PTSD(long story) and all the tuna sandwiches(the best thing in the employee buffet line) but when I see pictures of myself at that weight, I can't help but get excited to be there again. This time I am going to do it the right way, through a lifestyle change and not disease, so I can maintain it. I didn't realize then how nice it was to be 260 and it would've been a lot easier if I had started from that weight but now I at least have some not so old pictures to keep me focused on my goals.
September 2010 (XXXL Shirt)

How was your week?

Monday, November 1, 2010

How to properly reward a Fatty

Around noon I left the house to find some new shoes and then head to the gym. I went looking for some minimalist footwear that has a bit more padding than the Five Fingers to give my sore foot a bit of love during the transition. I ended up with a pair of Nike Free TR's, they are super comfy and really fun to run in (I did a quick loop of the store parking lot). I also grabbed some Under Armour boxers and a pair of nice Nike workout pants that were on sale. When I was checking out I spontaneously boasted to the cashier that I had lost 20 pounds this month and her response was "Oh what a nice way to reward yourself!"

It struck me as complete truth, it is a really great reward! A lot of fatties reward themselves by allowing themselves a cheat meal or a cheat day or a cheat week. This seems like the wrong kind of reinforcement. I don't want to cheat because there is nothing to cheat on! I am not denying myself sweets because of some strict dietary plan, I made a decision to live a healthy life. I don't want to "cheat" on that. The word "cheat" implies negativity on whatever you are cheating on, doesn't it? I don't want to cheat on my health because I am really enjoying being healthy. I am happier, getting fitter everyday, I have WAY more energy, I am eating healthier and feeling all the positive rewards of that. It's great.

So in summary reward a fatty with awesome new running shoes and super sexy new workout pants and chaff-free boxers. It builds positive reinforcement and damn I look good.

How a Fatty learned he loves the gym

Today's weigh-in: 340
So just 3 pounds last week. Just. I guess 3 is good, it's better than none and I didn't get the gym membership until late Friday so 3 is good, I'll take it. This weeks goal is 10 though! I think I can do it or come really close.

Woke up this morning and headed straight to the gym and spent 2 hours there! It was fantastic! I did almost an hour of strength training and then 50 minutes of cardio until I thought I was going to pass out. Stumbling up to the smoothie counter at the entrance I asked for whatever would keep me from falling down. It was the most delicious Strawberry Pina Colada protein smoothie ever crafted at that moment. :p I've fallen in love with working out and pushing myself harder and harder each day. I am still looking forward to this TOFP (top of foot pain) going away so I can get back to barefoot but at this moment I think the gym is a solid part of my future fitness goals. I've been doing high rep, low weights to build lean muscle and a lot of leg raises to work on that future six pack! I recently read this article on Newsweek that talks about why you should Stop Doing Sit-Ups and it makes a lot of sense to me. I've dealt with lower back pain for years and I don't want to add any extra stress than I need to and leg raises are apparently way more effective at hitting all of your ab muscles, especially your lower ones which situps and crunches neglect. I'll take it!

Today was one of the first days I've worked out at the start of my day instead of the end of it and I have to tell you, it was amazing. It really made the whole day feel so much better. I felt healthy and happy and strong and now at the end of the day, I am tired and don't have to worry about going for a run or working out, I can just hit the pillow and dream sweet dreams.

Bonus Story about dreams:
Last week I had a dream that I was dating Taylor Swift and I was sitting in the audience of a small venue and she was singing a song she had written for me. All the paparazzi were asking me questions but I was too busy listening to the song and I distinctly remember tears on my face in the dream. It was magical. The weird thing is that I've never watched a Taylor Swift music video nor do I listen to country music. In fact I think the only time I've ever seen Taylor Swift was when she hosted SNL last season. Super weird dream. Anyway there's your bonus story.