Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Bye 2008

And good riddance. wasn't a bad year as far as things go for me personally. I got married about half-way into the year, which was a very good thing. I had a lot of good times with friends and watching my children and grandchildren grow and develop. Professionally I have done well. No major health problems. No financial stressors that couldn't be dealt with. Everything seems to be maintaining...particularly this fitness goal that I've had all year.

and that is the problem

I went through all the photos I have taken of myself and, for all intent and purpose, it looks as if I took them on the same day rather than spread out over twelve months. My initial reaction was to sigh with despair; nothing is changing, nothing is happening, I still carry around this fat flabby body of a middle-aged couch potato.

then I got pissed

What is wrong with me? Why can't I do what I know others have accomplished? Is it really too late to do anything about anything or am I just a lazy screw up full of talk and short of walk?

In the stillness of this last pre-dawn morning of the year, I'm forced to consider some unpleasant aspects about myself. I am lazy. I want results without paying the price for them. I'm following the the classic path of addiction and insanity by doing the same things over and over while expecting different results each time. Nothing about me will change until I make some changes myself.

To remind me of that irritating fact, I put together the video clip below. It's not really put out here for entertainment or to blow my own horn. It's certainly not anything I'm proud to show...but I'm posting it for my own sake. This video disgusts and angers me. All the goals with fitness that I've started with this year went nowhere and accomplished nothing. I do not want to make another like it...ever. it if you like. Fair warning that it is just a succession of unappealing photos. There is no amazing transformation. There is no celebration of triumph.

Just a wake-up call for myself.

2008 from Jay Sheer on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I guess this is about the time that most of us think about how we are going to do things a bit different in the next year. One of the things that I'm mulling over is being much more organized with my time. I have a rather strange work schedule that seems to take up much of my time....but when I look closely, I also notice I have a great deal of spare time during the week as well, if not during some particular day.

I work four 10-hour days, Wednesday through Saturday. I usually get to work around 9am and leave about 7pm. During that time, I'm working and have no time for anything but the job. On Saturdays, I am on-call for 24 hours which means I have to be available at a moment's notice until 9 Sunday morning.

It makes for a hectic and tiring week, but the great upside is that I have Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off. There are special events; such as teaching duties, trainings, workshops, and meetings that fall on Monday or Tuesday..but for the most part, my schedule is pretty stable. As well, though I work until fairly late in the evening, I have a habit of waking fairly early in the morning which gives me almost four hours before I have to be at work.

So here is my plan.

Up at 5am (my usual time). Grab a glass of water and a cup of coffee, get dressed, and go to the gym. Back home by 6:30 at the latest. Eat breakfast and see what is going on in the world. Prepare the meals for the day. Go to work or begin my day-off. Sunday will be a free day and I won't have to worry about responding to an emergency call if I'm in the middle of squats in the gym that morning. Sunday is also the day I will shop for food the rest of the week.

Looking at it, I'm surprised that I have so much free time to exercise and prepare sensible meals. I guess it's just a question of making it something that you do everyday, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tis the Season to be Nutty

Several people that I know through the internet are behaving rather strangely the past couple of weeks. I dunno. Maybe it's just me. In any event; I'm just kind of backing off from them for awhile because, in my confusion of where they are coming from, I might say or write the wrong thing.

On a similar note; the $25 challenge seems to slipped into a weird sort of limbo as of late. Not much going on as far as who is doing what. No specific guidelines other than one challenger demanding photos every two weeks be sent to him rather than the judges. I'm not even sure where that rule came from. There really seems to be no fun in this little challenge and I'm considering just abandoning it and continue with my transformation with others.

I'm in a pissy mood. I better quit writing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Shopping for my Wife

I tell ya, it's hard being a man....and nothing tests us to the limits like shopping. Not just any type of shopping but the dreaded Christmas shopping for (shudder) a woman.

Christmas shopping is bad enough. Especially if you have all my organization and planning skills and decide that two days before Christmas might be a good time to go out and buy a few presents for the wife. Bumper to bumper traffic, no parking, insipid Christmas songs blaring out of department store speakers, and lots of screaming little ankle-biters whom I hope Santa has crossed off his "nice" list. All bad enough; but even worse is having to venture into the forbidden zone at one's favorite retail hell.......the women's wear department.

I don't know what I'm looking for. I steer away from dresses, pants, and blouses because misjudging a wife's size is never a good thing. Too small and she cries because she thinks she's fat. Too large and she cries because she thinks you think she's fat. Ya can't win. There's scarfs and gloves, that's usually a safe bet but I opted out for that the last three years and Vicki is a bit overstocked on those items right now.

What to do? What to do?

I find myself in the lingerie (fancy word for underwear) section and start sifting through a selection of kinda skimpy bra and pantie sets. Trying to picture my wife in some. Smiling. Thinking "this might be kind of nice" when a salesclerk descends upon me asking if she could help me find something. I say that I'm just looking for a gift. The clerk asks what size and I reply "I dunno, about this big" I say, cupping my hands in front of my chest "and about this big around on her bottom" I added, forming my arms in a circle and inadvertently moving them in what could be perceived as an obscene gesture.

The clerk literally gasped, along with a couple of other lady customers who were giving me the evil eyeball.

I gave up. Got a nice scarf. It would have been pointless for me to explain that I'm not a pervert. Really. I'm just an ordinary man trying to figure out what type of gift would please the woman he loves. A woman can load up a cart full of men's bikini briefs and jock straps and nobody gives it a second thought. Men, however, must either be lost or some type of degenerate to be fondling the lacy drawers. It just goes to show the tired old stereotype that all men have on their minds is sex, sex, sex.

It's a shame we live in a world that judges men with such prejudices.

Why...I hardly noticed that the store mannequins had nipples.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Live or Memorex?

Some readers may remember back in the prehistoric times when, if you wanted to record or tape something, you actually used tape. Memorex had a bunch of commercials touting that their product was so great, you couldn't tell if it was a recording or live. One commercial that I particularly remember is Ella Fitzgerald belting out a high note and shattering a glass....then they played a recording and, sure 'nuff, the glass shattered again.

The reason I'm rambling about this is due to a recent incident at work. I do a lot of trainings for new employees and I was put to task for having classes that bit too realistic. Scary actually. It seems some in the class became uncomfortable almost to the point of trauma.

Now, there's a reason I do that. It's not because I'm a heartless asshole who enjoys tormenting rookies. I do it because I want the new employees to face as realistic of a situation as possible before they go out and actually have to deal with the real thing. In my class, they get scared. In the world, somebody could get dead.

I remember one training in Navy boot camp. They had all of us jump into a pool with instructions to stay afloat for...I dunno...about a half hour or so. It was great! I just leaned back and floated for thirty minutes. There's very few opportunities to just relax like that in basic training and all the instructors were busy yelling and fishing out the others who were sinking to the bottom of the pool.

Later in my adventure, the Navy took a team of us a few miles out to sea in a helicopter. Once there, an instructor opened the hatch and ordered us jump out. While bobbing around in the ocean we all watched the helicopter head back to land, leaving us all alone. I KNEW in my mind that my instructor hadn't gone insane and decided to kill us all off....and sure enough, a boat came by to haul us out of the water. The whole ordeal lasted maybe five minutes; though it seemed like hours. I knew it was only a training but it was scary as hell for those few minutes

Which training do you suppose made me think of the seriousness of being overboard without any type of floatation?

Anyway.....I've been told to tone down my instruction methods...and I will.

But I really worry that some new employees may be in for an unpleasant surprise when they encounter situations that are not so sympathetic to their sensibilities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Some people like winter. They like the snow, the ice, the crisp frigid air.

I'm not one of them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Now I Remember the Advantage of a Home Gym

It can be hard to motivate oneself to get out of a nice warm bed on a frigid December morning. Sleepy, hungry, and sporting a good case of bed-head...and starting off your workout with the joy of chiseling ice off the windshield while wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt.

My neighbor thinks I'm crazy.

He's probably right.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I'm unable to go to the gym first thing this morning because, even though I'm normally off from work on Tuesdays, I have to zip over and teach a class. use to be that I would just blow off the whole day, which would usually lead to blowing off the next day, then the week, month, get the picture. However; I've joined a neat little gym that is open 24/7 and is virtually deserted right about the time I will finish with my class and head home.

It would be nice to be able to schedule my life so that the world runs on my timetable, but that isn't the way the universe works. Any goal requires the need for flexibility.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

So...What's the Plan?

There are a lot of diet plans out there. Everybody seems to have their own idea of what to eat and what to avoid in order to shed the pounds...many of them mutually exclusive of each other. One says go low fat. Others say forget worrying about fat, slash carbs and concentrate on animal protein. Still others who say stick to carbs and reduce protein. There is weight watchers, body for lifers, nutrasystemers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Subway Jared, and about a million others that offer the opportunity to lose weight eating foods that you may particularly like.

I have a theory. I think that the body pretty much knows what is good for it and will let the brain know if we listen. Is a small portion of lean meat like chicken good for you? My body seems to like it. Is a pound of fried bacon good for you? Though my taste buds may like it, usually my body feels a bit sluggish and queasy afterwards. Veggies and fruits seem to be things that make a body function well though I'm sure they can cause problems if consumed in massive quantities; which brings to mind another aspect of diet much to eat.

I can't keep track of calories. Ditto with calories from fats. I get tired of spending the day using mental calculations of "well, that meal had close to 500 calories so my next should be close to 200 or I skipped one meal so that means I can go over my next or it's 4pm and I've already eaten my allotted calories for today so I just don't eat anything else, etc, etc.". I also hate feeling like a failure because I may have snagged a bagel at the office one morning.

What I am doing is a no-diet diet. I'm just eating. I love food and I refuse to deprive myself of the enjoyment of eating. Now, that doesn't mean that I will cram everything I see into my mouth. I'm basically following the BFL plan of five or six small meals a day. I measure food by portions and just make an effort to balance out protein and carbs with each meal. IF I still feel hungry after eating, I'll have another portion. No biggie. I am avoiding low fat processed foods. I'm avoiding artificially sweetened foods. I'm avoiding saturated and trans fats though I'm not going to obsess about it. I'm avoiding sweets. I'm increasing my consumption of fruits and vegetables. Hunger is the enemy of dieting.

In short, I'm eating as if my Mom were feeding me again. Real food. Food that is good for the body.

Oh...and exercise too...but that's my next post.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Taking an Honest Look at Myself

Gawd, I really hate doing this. It's a ritual done at the beginnings of challenges....the taking of the "before" photos.

But, here's why it's important.

I look in the mirror every morning when I shave. Most times I unconsciously keep my eyes from wandering down past my neck and gazing upon the flab below. Ignorance is bliss and, hey, if I don't see it, it ain't there. The human mind has the amazing ability to filter out what we don't like to notice about ourselves.

Cameras don't have that ability. There is no squinting, no turning, no escape from seeing in full color what is really there. It can be quite depressing. On the other hand, it can be very motivating as well. An honest look at yourself can focus like nothing else on why you are seeking a transformation in the first place.

I'm doing it for the person in the photo.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Long Day

Grandpa looks about the same.
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Happy Turkey Day

It's obviously an American tradition. Not since ancient Rome has there been such a focus by a society to spend so much time and energy into cramming as much food into one's body as possible and calling it a holiday. Tables across the county will be groaning under the weight of every imaginable delicacy with the crowning centerpiece occupied by a huge bird that bears a striking resemblance to a buzzard.

Oh...but I guess I'm slipping into curmudgeoness.

I actually like Thanksgiving. It usually gives me time to pause and think about all the things of which I am grateful. I'm even fond of the food (big surprise there) and will do my part in putting away enough to feed a small nation today....saving just enough room for pie. Since I will have kids and grandkids over today, the plan that my wife enthusiastically supports is to go out to a restaurant and let them deal with the cooking and cleaning up afterwards. That way, my wife and I will be all rested up for tomorrow...which is another uniquely American mass consumption holiday: Black Friday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Dealing with a minor life upset right now. Well...maybe not so minor, but certainly not a major life changer like a terminal illness, death, fire, earthquake, meteor impact, or whatever. My wife was laid off from her job and it's always crappy when you lose a job, especially when it wasn't due to anything you had done or didn't do. The really upsetting part was that the lay off was completely out of the blue. She had just gone into work one fine morning and was told her position was eliminated, told to leave immediately, and escorted out under guard without even the chance to say goodbye to all the people she had worked with for years.

A somewhat chickenshit way for a business to treat people. Then again, it just goes to prove the point matter what kind of BS a business entity loads on employees about how they care for their the end, any business will toss you like a turd if it suites the immediate needs of CEO's to get a bit of extra money in their pockets.

Yet, in the larger scheme of things, it's no biggie. My wife is a talented person and she will get another job. We don't have any huge debts that are looming over our heads. I also still have a job (at least today) that pays fairly decently. All in all, I live a charmed life. A friend of mine at work had a daughter who died. Another was in a car accident and messed up very badly. Still another has health issues that have pretty much ended her career. I'm sure any of them would trade the changes they are going through for my changes in a heartbeat.

There are two types of changes in life, those that we make ourselves and those that we can't do anything about. Fitness is one change I can make for myself. My life may hand me something tomorrow that makes my fitness goals unattainable. The future is full of wild cards.

But for today....all I can do is deal with what I got.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Talking Trash

I think it's a guy thing. Get some guys competing against each other and the trash talking starts to fly. Though, now that I think of it, I've known some women that could hold their own in these verbal pissing contests.

One such bout is starting up with the challenge that I mentioned in the previous post. My wife was looking over my shoulder as I was trading jabs with Brad (feel free to go over and visit him on YouTube to make fun of him) on Facebook and was convinced that we were angry at each other for some reason.

Heavens No!

I like Brad. More so...I admire him as well. I've been watching him for quite awhile now and know that he's come a looooong way. Lotsa people talk about change (like me) but he has actually done it, and continues on.

But...this is a challenge. Dares have been made. Money has been put into mouths. All's fair in love and war and make no mistake, when boys play, it is war. Talking trash is how we show affection and support each other. It may seem screwed up but, as I said, it's a guy thing.

If you do zip over to laugh at Brad, go ahead and stop by to visit this girlie man He does a great rendition of "I'm a Little Tea-Pot".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Challenge Challenge?

Terry mentioned in a comment a while back that perhaps I ought to forget doing challenges and just...well...just do it. That was some pretty good advice and I've been really mulling it over the past couple of weeks.

There is an inherent flaw in fitness challenges. It's very easy to quit because...who the hell would know? There is no investment in money or reputation. There is not much urging on by others in the challenge because the ones that are still in it want to win too. It's a lonely pursuit and, as anybody knows that has tried to do something difficult, the reasons to quit a goal can quickly multiply and seem fairly reasonable.

But that last reason...the isolation of attaining personal fitness also a good aspect of challenges. If you can find a group of people that are supportive, that want you to succeed and need your support as well, that will hold you accountable because they want the same; well, then you have something positive going on. You have a circle of people that become more than competitors; you have friends that share your goals, your failures, and your successes.

One such challenge is being started up by a couple of fellows, Brad and Jason. I've embedded Brad's video clip describing the details. Yes, there is money involved. $25 to put in a pool...but really...that's not a lot of money and it does ensure that YOU are serious about being a part of this group. There are prizes but that's nowhere near the reason to enter. Do it for yourself.

You will meet some great people. Make solid friends. And, at the very least, you will look and feel better in three months.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I'm noticing a spat of commercials recently touting the harmless nature of high fructose sweeteners in foods. Take, for example, the commercial above. A children's party and one of the moms is filling a glass with some type of bright red slop to give to the little darlings. The other mom expresses concern but can't seem to come up with a reason other than she had heard that high fructose syrup isn't all that wholesome. The other mother counters that the high fructose is just like sugar, it's all natural because it comes from corn, it's perfectly okay in moderation, and surely the benevolent corn industry wouldn't sell something that would be bad for the kiddies. The needlessly worrying mom realizes she was mistaken about her preconceptions of corn syrup and, I suppose, gives a brimming glass of goodness to her own overweight kid that comes waddling over

What utter bullshit!

First of all, high fructose corn syrup isn't the Karo syrup that grandma used to bake pecan pies. This stuff is the result of a lot of manufacturing and is about as "natural" as a styrofoam cup. Your body doesn't treat it like sugar, which is metabolized by the cells in your body, high fructose sweetener is metabolized by the liver...which can cause all kinds of nasty things. This stuff came out in the late 70's and we saw the beginnings of skyrocketing levels of obesity and diabetes at the same time. Just a whacky coincidence, I know.

As for use in moderation...well...that's pretty much impossible these days if you buy your food at a grocery. See, high fructose corn syrup is CHEAP and it is in everything...and I mean every processed food you buy. That cup of punch the lady is pouring has about 7 teaspoons of the stuff. A slice of bread is loaded with the crap. Think you're staying on your diet by eating low fat foods? Guess again. They are crammed with more sweetener that you can find at any desert bar. We literally eat pounds of this sweetener every day. Saying that this stuff isn't any more harmful than sugar is like saying that Winston is no more harmful than Salem. Sugar is not good for you in great amounts. High fructose corn syrup is not good for you in great amounts. The food manufacturing business guarantees that you will will receive insanely high amounts of high fructose with nearly everything you eat.

The corn industry....and it is an industry, not farmer Brown growing a few acres of corn and taters for the local selling us a bill of goods. They don't give a rat's ass about your health, or your kids, or the fact that you're getting fat as a hog and might die thirty years before you should. It's about money.

Do I have an answer?

Hell no. Short of growing my own food, I don't know how to get around not eating stuff with high fructose sweeteners. Maybe if more people demanded less in the foods there would be a market for foods without the sweeteners.

I kinda think that's why the corn industry has started spending millions on these convince you that you have nothing to worry about.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh Har-de Har Har

It's really starting to piss me off. Some people that I work with making cracks about my gut. Kidding me that I must be enjoying married life and eating well. Poking me in the belly and asking me "when is it due?".

Jokes? Humor? Good natured ribbing?


Oh, I laugh. I smile. I go along with the joking. But...ya know what? It hurts and it's embarrassing.

You know what the real kicker is though? The same ones that are getting their cheap yucks at my expense are the same people who were unsupportive while I was trying desperately to do something about my weight. They were the ones who seemed to take delight in every chance to sabotage my efforts. It was like...trying to get healthy was a direct challenge to them and they spared no effort to help me fail.

The reason I bring this up is because it occurred to me; some people will support you in your goals, some people will want you to fail because it will make them seem successful. Spending any time with the later is a waste because the only way you will please them is to continue to fail.

Do what you do for yourself. Those that care about you will rejoice. Those that don't...screw em.

I ain't laughing along anymore.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dance Like Nobody is Watching

If this doesn't make you feel at least a little have my sympathies. This is for Terry, someone I am gently badgering to make a dancing video showing his stuff.


There's a store in my town that sells used CD's. I pop in there once in a while because the CD's are always in great condition and I can usually pick up some hard to find things for a fraction of the cost. I was really pleased to find Muddy Waters Hard Again album.

Well...I get home and proceed to pop it into my player and instead of Muddy Waters, I find myself listening to John Lee Hooker. Evidently, they put the wrong CD in the jewel case at the store when they checked me out.

Not too disappointed. Hooker is pretty cool too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whut Happened?

I dunno. I'm trying to figure it out. I'm trying to decide what to do next or if I even want to do anything more with this challenge stuff. I was going along with a full head of steam, then it just unraveled. Tremendous amount of pressure from work, a loss in my family, and some illness put exercise and diet on a back burner. Before I knew it....a week passed....then another....then a month.

I'm pissed off...mostly at myself.

I'm thinking that, maybe, I just don't want to transform as much as I say all the time. Perhaps I'm not really willing to do what it takes. Perhaps I'm lazy.

Today I am fat, lethargic, sick, and smoking again. I feel like shit. I'm sitting here wondering what it will take to get me to do what I know I need to do.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Day 39

This is just peachy. I've had a very sore back all week which is making it pretty hard to do anything at all. I'm fairly certain I didn't do it with exercise. Maybe it's just one of the things about being over fifty I have to live with. Maybe it's the weather.

I dunno. I just know it sucks.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Day 31

One month over. My weight is still hovering around 215 but I am noticing differences....small things that probably nobody else does but, nonetheless, pleasantly surprise me.

Such things as being able to put on and take off my jeans without unbuckling my belt and unbuttoning and unzipping. Just slip them off like a pair of pajamas. I'm also starting to sport that baggy britches look that is popular among some young folks.

And...this I woke....I had my hand resting on a bicep and couldn't even believe it was my own arm.

Changes are happening.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Day 25

I may not be posting much in the next few days. I'm pondering a change in the look of this place. It's a slow process for an old fart like me. I have most of the bad qualities of a geek without any of the expertise.

Any suggestions at all will be needed and welcome.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 24

Inspiration. Where to get it? From a book? Another person? How do you get that push to be motivated to implement drastic changes in behavior and lifestyle?

I believe motivation has to come from one's self. All too often it seems that we want to find somebody that will make the changes for us. We search high and low for someone who will move us, alter us, enlighten us, plan for the work for us. And we are willing to shell out big money in this quest. There are many folks in the world who will gladly take your money and tell you to do what you can tell yourself. Heck; send me a hundred bucks and I'll tell you a sure-fire way to lose weight.

Inspiration is fine. Being motivated by the actions and advice of others is okay. Yet, in the end, it is you that gets up in the morning and decides how to spend the day. It is you who decides what to eat. It is you who commits to working out. All the diet and exercise gurus in the world will not "make" you lose a single pound nor add one inch of muscle to your body.

It's up to each of us to deliver our own swift kick to ourselves.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Day 22

A bit of a crimp in my exercise plan for today. I have to hang around the house and wait for the delivery of a new bed. Until then....I can get in a bit of a workout by using the old bed as a trampoline.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Day 18

Six well balanced and portioned meals a day. That's the BFL plan and it goes with the idea that giving your body what it needs every two or three hours during the day keeps the metabolism at peak efficiency, as opposed to loading down with calories that your body cannot use and therefore stores as fat. Pretty reasonable idea.

But what happens when you just are not wanting to eat that last meal of the day?

This is something that I'm struggling with. My 6th meal comes around 9pm and I'm not wanting to eat it because I'm not hungry. Plus, I generally go to bed at 9 or soon after....I'm old and, besides, I get up very early to exercise in the morning.

I don't know what to do about this or if I should even bother worrying about it at all. After all...I don't wake up hungry.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day 16

I love my gym! Anytime Fitness....I wish I had joined a long time ago. Since it's open 24 hours a day, I can go anytime I wish and it's hardly ever full of people when I do go. I think that the most I've ever seen in there at one time was about four. The best part is that those that are there are busy with their workouts so that you can concentrate on your won. Most times I'm there alone. It's like having my own personal gym.

Another great thing about this place is the equipment. It is state-of-the-art and ergonomically perfect. No joint pains. It is a joy to use the equipment for my old bones.

Finally! I now look forward to going to the gym.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day 15

I know a guy on YouTube, Sean (visit him, he's a helluva inspiration) , who in an effort to eat more healthy decided to go vegan. In fact, I think he is into vegan raw...which means he prefers to eat unprocessed and uncooked veggies and fruits. One of the things he has run across though is the old "war" people have about eating meat versus not. Sean seems to have the right attitude; namely, he's eating what he wants and everybody else can do the same. Sean prefers not to eat meat and that's cool. At one time I was a vegetarian and I was for several reasons that are still valid to me.

1. Americans eat way too much meat. We really do. I've been to a lot of other countries and the average American eats more meat in one sitting at the dinner table than most other families have in a week.

2. The factory raising and slaughter of livestock to supply all that tonnage of meat to Americans is cruel. We can go on and on about whether it is reasonable to project human standards to how we treat animals; but the bottom line is that inflicting cruelty and pain on a creature that can experience it, I believe, diminishes us as humans.

3. Meat is so full of hormones and chemicals as to render it toxic...especially in the amounts served. Good grief; people die from eating hamburger at fast slop places.

4. Humans are not carnivores. We have no fangs. We do not chase down prey. Without our technology, in fact....we ARE prey.

Now...let me clarify. I am no longer a vegetarian. I eat meat. I like meat. If there is no BBQ in heaven, I don't want to go. What I have done is take in mind my considerations about meat.

1. I limit the amount I eat. Not every meal must have a meat. I do not need meat every day. Even the guidelines with BFL suggest only a serving of meat about the size of a deck of cards. That's not much folks.

2. When I buy meat, it is from independent producers that treat their animals well. Open range beef and cage free chickens. A happy animal is a tasty animal. It costs a bit more but it's worth it.

3. As above, only animals and dairy products free from growth hormones and not fed god-knows-what kind of swill just to fatten them up for sale. As for fast food......bleeeeech! I would just as soon share dinner with my cats.

4. Actually, humans are buzzards. Way back in primitive times, the only way a human got any meat for his dinner was to find some carcass rotting in the sun. In fact, I think that's why fire started being used to cook kill the bacteria. Cavemen who cooked their road kill didn't die from explosive diarrhea like those that ate it au natural. Cooking also masks the aroma of rotting flesh. Today we use catsup.

I think the best way to go is just be conscious about what you are putting in your mouth. Grains, veggies, fruits, and nuts should be the overwhelming basic of the diet. Toss in a bit of meat protein once in awhile to give the amino acids that can't be found anywhere else.

But above attention to what you eat and don't waste time preaching to others what they should eat. Be an example rather than a preacher.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 10

Ever hear of a guy called Dave Freeman? He wrote a travel book titled 100 Things to do Before You Die. Freeman also died a few weeks ago at the age of 47 due to an accident in his home....only managing to do about half of the things on his list.


...or is it? He did, after all, pursue his life as he wanted rather than wait for "someday" to come around before starting.

Yeah, it is too bad that Freeman died at a fairly young age. I'm sure it was unexpected to everybody close to him. Certainly it came as a surprise to him. Death usually does for most of us, and that is my point today.

Most of us don't think about dying. We don't get up in the morning knowing that it might be our last. In this entirely human characteristic of denial about our own mortality, we also tend to have a nonchalant attitude about living. Tomorrow will always be there. We'll do that later. I'll put that goal on hold for awhile.

If you knew this was your last day, what would you do?

If you are thinking of a lot of things you would feel an urgent need to cram into the next 24 aren't living right now.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Day 3

A little change up for today. Usually, on three-day holiday weekends, I take Wednesday off as my holiday since my work schedule has me off on Mondays anyway...but I have a couple of meetings this morning that I really can't afford to miss. So, I'll go into work and take the afternoon off and probably the afternoon tomorrow as well. Rather than going to the gym early this morning, I'll drop by after lunch and spend a bit more time than scheduled. I want to go through all the machines and document what settings I need so I don't have to fiddle with them every morning from now on.

Dieting going well. Ground turkey breast is God's gift to fat men.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Day 2

So here it is, another year.


None. I'm still fat. I'm still out of shape. I'm still taking before photos and I'm still starting challenges.

But...then again.....

I haven't gained any weigh in the past year. I know more now than I did last year. I eat healthier. I live healthier. Maybe that should count for something?

216 lbs
40% BF

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Gym least new to me. I have griped and complained about the YMCA for some time now. Crowded, noisy, long drive from home, closed on every holiday imaginable, and generally just not very enjoyable anymore. I've driven by this place every morning on my way to work and thought about joining. My interest was prodded along by my friend Boyd who joined up in his neck of the woods.

So I took the plunge and went to check it out.

Nice place. Friendly. Clean. Equipment is top of the line. Not crowded and those that are there are there to work out and are not interested in fashion or social posturing. And it is open all-the-time.

I should also mention that membership is fairly cheap. I got a family membership for $35 a month. The YMCA is about three times that cost.

The one draw-back is that the cushions on the weight machines are all some type of weird purpley-pink color; but what the hay, at least they aren't patched up with duct tape.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Spare Time? What Spare Time?

I know I haven't posted much recently, certainly not on a regular basis, but I've been putting in some serious hours at work. My agency had an accreditation inspection this week that required everything from medical charts to the waste basket to be just-so perfect. On top of that; the agency decided it would also be a good week to switch over to our new computerized paperless system....which ran about as smoothly as a three legged hog on a frozen lake.

I've been spending long days at my desk at my laptop until my eyes are spinning and I can hear the faint sizzle of my brain frying.

The week is almost over though. I just need to hang to speak.
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

New Toy

These are so cool! They are called Perfect Pushup and you can get them in a lot of places. I picked these up at Wal-Mart for about $20.

What they basically do is allow your arms to rotate while doing push ups. Now...that may not seem like much but the workout these little doo-hickies give the chest, shoulders, abs, and arms is amazing. It takes old-fashioned push ups to a whole new level.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Obesity...the 21st Century Disabiliy

I was at the grocery store today, completing my weekly challenge of finding healthy foods amid all the high fat, high sodium, high carb, low nutrition, and overly processed crap that fills most of the shelves. While wandering up one aisle and down the other, I noticed something.....there were a lot of people whizzing around in those little electric carts that stores provide for those folks who have difficulty walking.

The strange part though...the part that really made me go "huh?"...not one single person in the carts was old, feeble, paralyzed, or even looking as if they just felt a bit under the weather. They were mostly young. And by young, I mean 20 or 30 ish....maybe a couple of the advanced years of 40.

They were all, however, fat. Not chubby. Not overweight. Immense! (the above is stock footage, I wouldn't be mean enough to actually take a picture of these huge shoppers). It's really strange when you think of it. Morbidly obese people who are so out of shape that they cannot even walk to get the junk they eat to maintain their massive girth.

Now...don't get me wrong. I'm not condemning these people. I feel sorry for them. What a lousy way to live. How dreadful to have an existence dependent upon a machine to haul you around because you are unable to carry all the fat hanging on to your body.

But for the grace of God though....

I walk. I run. I bike. I even dance.

because I get to

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How Much is Too Much?

Is there such a thing as too much exercise?

This is a question that was put to me by a friend the other day when I mentioned that I was hoping the rain would hold off so that I could get in a little jogging or bike riding in the evening. I had explained a bit about the program, alternating weightlifting with cardio during the week. My friend noted that I had done weights in the morning and was suggesting that it might be bad to do cardio the same day AND do it again the next morning.

I forgot to mention that this friend is about a hundred pounds overweight and would rather cut off a finger than take a stroll around his block.

I can agree that too much of anything is not a good idea. At my age, I certainly pay attention to what my body tells me when I'm lifting weights or slinging around a kettlebell. I can't recover from injury like I use to and pushing beyond my limits could seriously put me out of action for weeks. Cardio is the same, I suppose. I mean, I don't want to push to exhaustion but I'm finding that my body enjoys the activity. It needs to move. It needs to sweat. The whole point of doing this thing is to be more active...after all.

I dunno. do you answer people who give fitness advice that they obviously do not take themselves?

Without hurting their feelings of course.

Monday, July 28, 2008


One of my most important piece of equipment in this transformation is a blender. I gotta have it because my biggest problem is eating. I love to eat. I love food. That's not a bad thing but, over the years, I've been pretty indiscriminate about quantity and quality. I would eat carrots or cheesecake with equal pleasure and abandon. Now, with the goal of losing lotsa weight, I have to be careful about what I eat during the day. Every calorie counts since I'm limiting myself on how many to take in every day.

That's where the blender comes in. A couple of my meals every day consists of a Myoplex shake mixed with some fresh fruit. It's quick. It's easy for a cooking impaired person like myself. Clean up is a breeze. It's relatively cheap. It's very nutritious, probably the most balanced meals I have most days.'s yummy!

213.8 lbs this week.

and my pants are loose again
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Mouth - Stomach Synchronization

The interesting thing about trying to achieve a transformation is that I get to take a long look at myself and, especially, my body. I'm trying to figure out why my body wants one thing while my brain is wanting something else. It's complicated.

Fer instance.

I'm eating well. No starvation diets for me, I eat plenty of good foods all during the day. But...even though I'm basically full, not hungry, my belly is mouth still wants to chew something. Snack attacks! They are with me all the time. I sit at my desk at work and have incredible urges to eat chips, sweets, whatever I can find (and it's really easy to find too).

I dunno. Maybe it's an emotional need. Maybe I'm bored. Or stressed. Or just want to do something else besides write some twenty pages of reports.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Two for one

I'm finding it is possible to push away my plate at a restaurant and ask for a doggie bag.

I can't avoid eating out. Earlier this week, my new sister-in-law came to town for a visit. Now, being a new member of the family and wanting to be a good host, I couldn't very well offer Myoplex's all around or go all out with a bit of tuna and brown rice. So yeah, let's go out to eat at a nice place.

What's that? Oh, she likes Mexican food. ummmm....okeedokee

Get to the place. I order something that, while not exactly low fat, at least is low in carbs. The waiter plops down a platter piled high with more food than I have right now in my fridge. It was good too. I ate half. Okay...I ate a little more than half. I then put the rest into a carry-out carton for lunch the next day.

Then yesterday, my team at work wanted to go out for lunch and do a little bonding. Where to? Why an Italian place. ooooooohhhhhh.

Same thing. Order the best I can that was available. No pasta. Eat half and save the rest for an evening meal.

It's not the ideal way to eat but it keeps me from completely going of the tracks when I have to divert from my carefully planned meals

Monday, July 21, 2008

whoopee doopee

I lost one fifth of a pound last week.

I think my trouble might be the free days. I still think it's a good idea, but perhaps I need to be a little less in not trying to cram a week's worth of junk down my throat in 24 hours.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I need a new movie maker.

I swear, either this movie maker of mine is a piece of junk or I'm just too stupid to figure it out.

If you're placing bets...I'd go for the latter.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Two Weeks Completed

I know I haven't been keeping up with this blog like I should. It just seems like time is flying by. Why...already two weeks have passed.

My weight today is 215.2 lbs. That's only 0.8 lbs this week but still almost five from my starting weight. Plus, my bodyfat percentage is going down.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Got Milk?

I've never really liked milk all that much. I don't hate the stuff, just not wild about milk. One of the things I'm trying to do, however, is find some variety to my help me stay with it. Milk is a good food source loaded with good protein, vitamins, and minerals. Trouble is, milk has a lot of fat and I cannot stand no-fat, skim, or 1% milk.

I do like chocolate milk.

So I came across this soy milk at the grocery the other day. All the goodies of milk with none of the animal fat and chocolate to boot. "Worth a try", I thought to myself.

It's good! A great treat for myself that I can have every day without drifting from my plan.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Lost Four Pounds

Only 46 lbs to go. At this rate, I can get there in the next eleven weeks.

Of course, I know that isn't the way it's going to happen. I just love starting a program because the first week is always dramatic. The body really responds to being treated well....good food...activity and just about everybody loses at least a couple of pounds almost immediately after starting any type of program. That's what sells diet schemes.

The trick here is to not think that, since I've lost a chunk of weight, I can slide back into some bad eating habits or slack off on the exercise. I'm readying myself for much less impressive weight losses, or even slight gains, for the next few months.

It's all about the big picture.

Friday, July 04, 2008


Okay...I know that it's a familiar whine and really no excuse, not really....but my job sure makes it hard to stick to a BFL schedule.

I spent a lot of time planning out the day's meals. Packed them all in a cooler and headed off to work, thinking of when I would be eating what during the day. I get to work and up pops an email saying that I need to attend a mandatory training at another building across the city for half the a location where I cannot take the cooler, or any food, or even have a bottle of water.

Of course, everybody gets the assumed "lunch hour" at high noon but I miss two meals.

It's bullshit. I'm going to get a few Myoplex bars even though I really don't care for them all that much (I'd rather eat some real food) and DEMAND that I be allowed to eat one every two hours or so no matter what the location or situation.

I'm fed up with living in a three-meal-a-day world. Let everybody else adjust to my six for a change.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Can't Do Squat

I suppose I must have gotten a fairly good workout with my hike yesterday because my legs feel like there are a thousand tiny hammers pounding away on them. Not able to do much of a lower body this morning, little more than agonizing stretching, but I did do some abdominal crunches.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Like the Doodah Man

Cardio day...and what to do. I'm pretty much out of shape and didn't really want to go to the gym to hop on some piece of equipment, with the chance of hurting myself this early in the challenge. I also needed to go to the store and pick up a bit of cat food since the cats are certainly not restricting their caloric intake.

So I thought to kill two birds with one stone. The store is about a couple of miles with several hills in between. I timed my walking speed and hit several high points along the way as planned with a cardio. When I returned home I was drenched in sweat and my heart-rate was in a good zone, so I guess it worked.

By the end of this challenge, I would like to be able to do that same four mile walk...but running.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Beginning Stats

weight --- 220.0 lbs
body fat percentage --- 38.0 %

neck --- 16 in.
chest --- 45 in.
bicep --- 14 in.
forearm --- 12 in.
waist --- 50 in.
hip --- 44 in.
thigh --- 21 in.
calf --- 15.5 in.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Crossing the Abyss

This is the new Body for Life book just now out in a bookstore near you. It is, in a word, fantastic. The book outlines in great detail how to transform your body, and ultimately the way you feel.

Those that know me know that I'm into psychology and counseling people struggling to deal with mental health issues...particularly depression. I'm a firm believer in the theory that mind and body are an intricate part of the same system; that is, what effects one effects the other. In other words, we can have a great deal of control over our bodies as well as our emotional state. All to often we fall in the trap into believing that we have control of neither; that outside forces cause us to be fat, to be depressed, that it is not within us to change, that it can only be repaired through surgery or medication.

The book describes this mindset as crossing the abyss. Some call it taking a leap of faith. It's making the conscious decision to transform. To no longer accept the status quo of your life. To take charge of your body and your mind and attain the quality of life you want. sounds easy.

It ain't. If it were, I suspect there would be no problems with obesity or depression in this country and I would be out of a job. It requires work, tremendous amounts of work. It will be my project for the next 12 weeks to transform my body as well as my mental cross an abyss of my own making. Photos may tell half the story. Hopefully, the writings here can tell the other half.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

A wonderful trip. First real vacation that I've had in years, but it's good to be back home.'s just good to no longer be on the highway with all those crazy-assed drivers.

Did I exercise? Nope. I was on vacation, remember? I did do a lot of hiking through woods and in caves. Did I eat clean? Well, kinda. Missouri is not known for its cutting edge culinary delights. The actual eating out at a nice restaurant experiences were a bit disappointing. Mexican and Italian places were a disaster because they have no concept in that state about spices or flavors. It looked mighty good but I've had TV dinners that tasted better. One Mexican restaurant had a course of bland food with salsa that was little more than watery catsup. I requested hot sauce and the waiter had no clue what I wanted or why. Another place seemed to have salt as their only spice along with some undercooked shrimp and gooey pasta.

So, I didn't really chow down much on the trip.

I did read though, and I'm going to be talking later on about what.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Really difficult to stick to any type of eating or exercise plan right now...and I'm not really trying. Have finished reading the new BFL book (what would you do on a honeymoon?) and have to say it is amazing! I can't wait to get back home and get started.

I'm fired up!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day ?

The days are flying by, so much so that I'm losing track. This wedding thing is pretty much consuming all my time and energy, getting worse the closer the big day nears.

Speaking of consuming....the above photo is one of the trays of chocolate truffles and fudge that will be available at the wedding. Of course, I will just sit with this in front of me and not even touch a crumb. I'll probably be sipping on a Myoplex while everybody around me in gorging on all the delicacies.

yeah, right

I'll have some work to do once this thing is over.