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.