Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Proud to Be an Idiot!

Last winter I took a shot of this guy snow blowing. There had been so much snow he didn’t seem to have anywhere to put it… I couldn’t help but think how bizarre it looked to snow blow it all of ½ foot away into a 20 foot tall snow bank! I didn’t use the word “idiot”, but I couldn’t help but laugh and take the picture at what looked like a really futile battle.

This last week we’ve had wonderful bicycle riding weather and I’ve only really stopped because I couldn’t peddle any more… If you ride your bicycle for any distance at all you are very likely to get screamed at by someone in a passing car. This last week I put on one of my best weeks in the saddle with over 60 miles in seven days and actually over 130 miles for the month of May, thus I was bound to get screamed at sometime.

I’m on my cargo bicycle at a stoplight next to a car waiting for green and someone turning screamed, “Get out of the road IDIOT!” To some of you folks this might seem like a horrible thing to happen. However while I did get out of the road it was because I was laughing so hard I almost fell of my bicycle. Why was it so funny to be called an idiot some of you might ask? Most all the time the usual scream of something like “get out of the road” is directly tied to some rude comment about my weight with it. Now, I’m so proud that I’m just another idiot without the vivid and creative weight descriptor!!!

An official weigh in (I call it official because someone besides me witnessed it) hit the scales Sunday at 305! That’s another 5 pounds down since last post or about 7 in the last two weeks. Eyeing the 200’s club again!!! Soon… very soon! I’m an official person again because I no longer max out my digital home scale with the dreaded O.L. but have a number. My scale officially acknowledges I’m human!!!

There is lots’ of positives but a rather large negative. But I think part of the reason for upping my riding is that the relative I mentioned in a post before passed away and I’ve been riding to clear out my mind. I didn’t get to see him in person but I did get a message to him via another relative that was looking over him at the hospital that I was thinking and praying for him. I just couldn’t go remembering what cancer had done to the other relative. I don’t think I will regret it even though I’m sad I couldn’t see him one last time, because I did what I could. His funeral is this week. I will go to that. No funeral is “fun” or “easy” but I expect it will be very hard. He was only 53.

At Foolsfitness we urge you to try to live life more fully each day, because not many of us have forever here.- Alan

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Encounter with a 10 Foot Tall Polar Bear!

Last weekend I wondered around a house built in 1625, went to a wedding, and saw Wild Bill Cody’s signature as well as a four legged baby chicken (it was a genetic mutation) and a 10 foot tall polar bear. I even ended up at a folk concert in the middle of the weekend. Oh yeah, there was also the part where I lost another two pounds since last week!!! About 310 right now. I got to see this very nice museum that had curios of all kinds of odd stuff. I literally walked through the jaw of a sperm whale. I know I’ve gotten a bit smaller but gee, seeing a polar bear that the tip of my head barely makes it to his arm pit and seeing that whale jaw, let’s just say a person would be like an M+M size in our mouths… if that! It makes me feel down right tiny!

This weekend was the first real daring eating on the go I’ve tried. Running around in another state and all about I just tried to keep a rule of moderation. What do runners eat anyways? Eating out I instantly divided the food in half to a takeout container before digging in, and avoided the cake at the wedding. I still don’t feel comfortable guestimating calories at all. All in all I think I was up a few calories over the weekend but not a ton.

I’ve gotten more adventurous with this developing body with somewhat unlimited energy! Maybe a bit intoxicated by the new things I can do almost like a little kid, “Look what I can do!” bouncing around like Winnie the Pooh's pal Tigger... It was a riot to dig out old dress clothes for the wedding I went to. I put on the pants and could have easily tucked in a couple of small lap dogs in with what’s left of my lap! After belting up I had to carefully bunch up the pants to make them look pleated. Perhaps by next year they will look like MC Hammer pants on me?! People are starting to comment now, sometimes it’s kind of odd because it should be a cool compliment but I feel really awkward sometimes.

It’s not all roses though I do have many blessings. Some of the darker side of the weekend is I have a relative that is among the closest blood relations I have left and he is dying of cancer. I tried to go visit him in the hospital but just couldn’t make myself go as I drove by. He has cancer similar to another family member that passed a few years ago that I still have trouble with. It’s really hard to wrap my mind around it. Another thing is with all the travel over the weekend and being spent emotionally I’ve not officially exercised in a few days. Hopefully tonight I can get in a volleyball game, the last of the season.

At Foolsfitness we love ten foot tall polar bears and four legged baby chickens!- Alan

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dropping Pounds... and Comments?

I got my “official” weigh in for the last two weeks… 5 pound drop. I was getting greedy for a while with my 4 pound drops per week for the last couple of weeks and wanted 8 but it’s nothing to sneeze at. Things are moving in the right direction, about ½ of my winter weight has been shed. I’ve actually started wearing a few XL shirts in public as well as my “skinny” shorts.

Has anyone lost comment posts? I think Blogger had a shut down last week and I’ve lost a couple of comments. Please note folks I did not delete you! In fact I really live for comments. I don’t see them in the spam and don’t know how they got deleted… Anyways, sorry but I didn’t do it and don’t forget that comments charge me up and keep me going!

So yesterday was the second to last Volleyball night for the league, next Tuesday is the finish for the season. The games were intense and I was sopping wet with perspiration at the end. My team ended the night loosing more games than winning. However, I had the highest scoring game I’ve ever played in… in the rules a team needs to win by two points. Normal games go to 15, but in this one game we couldn’t get two points before loosing the ball and the other team was the same. That final score was 21-23! We made the other teams earn those wins for sure. A couple of the other games were fought up a couple of points or only lost by two or three. Those games I don’t mind. Its no fun when one team runs over another like 15 to 8.

Another question to fellow bloggers… I’ve recently gotten a couple of requests to guest blog, I’ve blogged as a guest a couple of times but I guess I’m nervous when someone writes requesting to blog on my own site. I’m uncomfortable “endorsing”, I’ve tried to keep this walk away from the fad diets, tricks, and quick fixes and such. I’m not saying people asking to guest on my blog are any of those but I just get nervous about it. I even struggle with sharing links to resources at times. I honestly don’t want to lead people astray.

At Foolsfitness Ice cream is a food group- Alan

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thinking Small

I’ve been trying to set lots of “mini” goals on my way to a more fit and healthier me. One of those goals is to go 50 miles a month during the fair weather months on my bicycle. On the bicycle today I *HAD* to stop by the library to send off this quick post… Month of May, gee in only 11 days I’m actually over my 50 miles for this month!!! I had a free day today and I just ended up riding for miles and miles. I think like 14 miles or so, the highest single day number of this year so far.

Thinking small can add up for sure… a few miles here and there start turning over the odometer miles. A goal of keeping the calories under my 2000 mark and a little goal of just getting out and doing 3 miles 4 times a week, string a few of those days together and suddenly little things are adding up!

I played Volleyball last night, but my finger is still pretty sore and not completely mobile from last the week before’s injury. Still, I’m glad I played… there were some intense and seriously fun games. My normal serve was impossible due to whacking that finger on the ball, so I improvised… some of my serves were so weird aimed and off speed that people had trouble adapting to them. My serves suffered for sure but I seem to adapt by trying to play a bit more tactically. I couldn’t spike but I’d focus on tapping the ball to odd spots.

I’ve been trying to not be so psycho with the scale, attempting to curb my weight checks to once every two weeks. I’m itching to see what it’s going to be on Saturday. I haven’t eaten perfectly but pretty close and I’ve been getting a good amount of movement in. I know clothes are fitting differently. Last night I almost lost my shorts in attempting to jump up for a block on the net!!! Time out! I need to redo my belt!

What small goals are you setting for yourself?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I May Need Adult Supervision?

Being more mindful of what I am eating, including tracking everything has given me an opportunity to reflect. In the last two days I’ve eaten oddly. One days total complete food intake list was two scoops of Sheppard’s pie, ¾ lb of turkey burger, and some yam fries with mustard. In the next day a 57 percent of my calories were “invested” in ice cream and the day after 30% in chips!!!

I personally have a no rules policy when it comes to banning foods. I guess it makes sense if you’re diabetic to watch your sugar or someone with peanut allergies really shouldn’t have a PB + J sandwich… but I’ve found banning foods just makes me want the “forbidden fruit” more. However, I am increasing efforts to obtain some nutrients beyond those found in Doritos and Funny Bones. Right now I’m trying to keep it fairly simple asking myself if I’ve had something from the major groups meat/protein, bread/starch carbs, milk/cheese, veggie, fruit, and the junk food group. I’m doing well with the last one.

I am the type of guy who runs with scissors and thinks the 60’s Batman theme song makes the best ringtone for your phone. Maybe some people are just wired differently, think differently, and need general adult supervision. Overweight people have got to be wired differently. Somehow it makes sense that a pizza is a serving to people like us. I’m not saying we are in any way lemmings that need to be herded for our own good and general protection… I’m just saying maybe we need to relook at some of the first impulses that cross our mind before acting on them.

I’m thankful I’m keeping a food journal. It’s a reflection I look at then ask myself things like well if a big cookie is an OK breakfast is it ok to just buy a package of cookies for the day and skip veggies altogether? Hey, its seems to work for Cookie Monster…

I’ve gone to three places in search for my funny bone cupcakes, this time for breakfast and after giving up looking for them I figured since it was brunch time I’d find something else. I noticed a sign up at Cumby’s for wraps. I picked up the southwestern style turkey wrap and thought overall this is better nutritional choice than some of my standards. For 520 calories you get zero sugar and 36 grams of protein. Moreover it’s a serving of a whole package (one wrap is cut in half) so if you ate a half wrap it would be a manageable snack at 255 calories. I think my main complaint was that the sodium is pretty high at 1040MG! Also beware if you use one of those sauce packets, some of them are like having heavy salad dressing and lots of it. It makes me tempted to start making my own wraps as I know I could keep a better eye on the sodium.

AN UPDATE: someone just replied to my blog (Rachel) about the hospital food… she says the hospital she knows *Does* fry their stuff and some of their food seems to rival old high school café type menus. I guess it shows you got to ask and be constantly aware, I would have thought hospital food would have been of the same level everywhere but no. I guess I have a blessing at my area. They did tell me they bake everything here but they do have some of those heavy soups and occasional foods I do tend to avoid… Thanks Rachel.

Another example of being constantly aware is the difference between the two wraps on sale at Cumby’s. My glance at the hummus one saw it was over 700 calories. I didn’t compare the nutrition after seeing that the general calories were higher than I had planned to spend on a sandwich at that time.

At Foolsfitness we occasionally treat ourselves to an apple, but usually try to wash the taste out of our mouth with chips after! - Alan

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Things That Fit, But A Mind That Doesn't

There are some things in life that you can not appreciate, or perhaps even fully realize that are out there until you experience them... like a BBQ grill in the shape of a pig! I gained a good chunk of weight over the winter, but am working very hard and shedding it quickly. My clothes once again are starting to get “breathing room” in them. I tried on my skinny guy shorts (the smallest pair I own) the other day, and they are at the point of near wearability. I can button and zip them up but they are not quite at the point of being comfortable. . I’m starting to eye XL shirts again. Not really ready fully comfortable ready yet either, but I can jam myself into some of them. One of my friends mentioned about how her ring fit different as her weight changed and I got a kick out of putting on my old college ring again. One serious shaking and it goes flying off.

So I got a new experience today. Picture three parking spaces beside one another. I pull my car in the middle one, there is a car on both sides. The spot was just a bit “mind the door” tight but I got out with minimal effort and walked over and I started talking to a guy in the spot next to me who has an old truck next to my passenger side. I like antiques so we get talking… now next to my drivers side a woman who is a passenger of the other car gets beside her and my car and says loudly, “How am I suppose to get in there!”

I heard this and step to the side saying, “Oh, did I not park in the lines?” I was going to move but realized I wasn’t out of my space, neither they theirs, we were both in our respective spots… I guess they just are small parking spaces. Now the guy in the old truck suggested she just wait for the driver to back out of the spot first before she got in. Never underestimate the power of the practical wisdom of an old farmer.

She sort of grumbled but they figured it out in short order. As they pulled away I shrugged looking back at the farmer guy in the old truck and said, “I got out of my car ok?” sort of earnestly puzzled as it was snug but I didn’t think the thing was really impossible or even really difficult beyond just being careful not to ding their door. If I had gotten out how couldn’t she have gotten in? It didn’t make sense.

Now the thing that made my day… the old guy shrugged and without the slightest hint of sarcasm says, ”Well, she’s bigger than you.” Just a very simple, matter of fact, obvious explanation that makes perfect sense said only like an old farmer in an old pick up truck can. He said it so off the cuff and moved on like it was nothing, I was so truly blindsided by it. I almost stumbled away. I’m starting to bump into people who weigh more than I do now. No offense to them… hey I’ve been to the point where I think a 350lb doctors scale would not have covered it at one point… but now somehow there are people that are bigger than me?

It sort of made my day in one way, yet perplexed me and threw me off the whole day to no end. Perhaps some of you out there can understand? There are times where I think my self image goes to both ends of the spectrum. I honestly don’t think I can “really” see myself much at all. Whether I’m blocking it or twisting a perception, I really am blind when I see myself in a mirror… up or down. Had you honestly asked me about that woman I wouldn’t have thought of her as big, never mind bigger than me.

Even when I get on a scale. Naturally I like those numbers going down and all but somehow they don’t seem real. The only times I really seem to pick up on my changing form are occasionally I’ll be lying in bed and somehow brush an elbow or something and it feels sort of alien, I guess because part of it sort of isn’t there. The other times is in bicycling, the first couple of times I make a new hill without stopping… or suddenly notice I’m in a higher gear than what I’ve been using.

This happened once before with finding my wrist bones. I remember it was such an odd experience I actually questioned if I broke something at the time. There are times when my mind doesn’t fit. It works the other way too. The other night I really wanted to keep riding my bicycle, yet my body just couldn’t do any more miles… my body just wouldn’t “go” as much as I wanted to and tried to.

So much for the mind/body connection? Both of them have to check their day planner first before getting together?

At Foolsfitness we wonder how much Ego can we cram in a smaller body?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bicycle Scavenger Hunt

In this picture you can see my 7 speed Raleigh I named “Boba” in front of an official tobacco store cigar Indian. My challenge to you is to get out your bicycle and ride to some place to take a picture of your own bicycle in front of something unique and post it up on your blog. Maybe you can find a neat named street sign, an old car, or in front of a nice backdrop. Let’s see who can find the oddest thing to take a picture of their bicycle with. Let’s have some fun while getting fit too.

Last year I put on about 205 miles on this cargo bicycle and this year I’m planning to do at least 300… perhaps more. A basic goal of 50 miles a month in the “fair” weather months. April was right on at about 56 miles. May so far I’m about half way to this month’s 50 with a few days to the middle of the month to spare. You can see a pick of my bicycle odometer…

I attribute a lot of my getting more fit to being in the saddle of the bicycle. I haven’t burned off all the winter fat yet, but I’m on my “weigh” (bad pun!) At least I haven’t popped a tire in the spring of this year (yet).

Happy and safe peddling! Foolsfitness- Alan

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Going to the Hospital

I got my first “sports injury” playing Volleyball Tuesday night. If you look close at the pictures in the top one my right ring finger is rather puffy. I’ve put up a picture of the other hand to show the vast difference in size below it. I almost look at it as a badge… See this right here, I got that playing sports!

I haven’t gone to the hospital for it. A couple of days it’s still puffy, sore, and doesn’t bend well but I doubt it will need to be chopped off. What I *DO* go to the hospital for believe it or not is dinner or lunch a few times a week. Crazy? Isn’t hospital food terrible?

Hear me out. First of all the hospital bakes all their foods rather than frying them. Second they are cheap, for example I can get salads for 1.50 less a pound than at the supermarket. Lastly, one of the things I’m trying to do is learn serving portions. The hospital café tends to be inexpensive, reasonably healthy, and not completely heap the plate. At home one of the things I’ve adopted is measuring out my cereal and milk with a measuring cup. It’s so easy to just pour a double serving in a bowl otherwise.

There is one flaw to my hospital café eating plan I noticed last night. The nice lunch ladies there are starting to recognize me and seem to be starting to increasing the amount of food on the plate, perhaps out of trying to be nice and wanting me to get a good deal or something? It was a huge error last night as it seemed to trigger me to also add in some bread and a brownie for dessert… somehow I ended the day with like 3,100 calories!!! I’ve got to share my plans and goals with them and get them on my side. Sure I want a good deal for my money, but I either got to take some of it to go or get a half serving or something.

Now for something totally irrelevant to weight loss. But I have to rant… I watched the new Green Hornet Movie last night. I was so disappointed. I’m a huge Green Hornet fan, the comics and also the old radio programs… they made the Green Hornet into a buffoon. The “tech” and effects were great (I loved machine guns in the suicide doors!). I did like that they respected Kato more but to make the Hornet into someone who just “lucks” into stuff… I don’t think they paid it proper due. I guess it’s a hard movie to make because he’s a lot like Batman. Brett has more class than that.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Over 55 Pounds Gained?!

(The picture is the conflicting scene at my works break room... Did you see the donuts or the scale first?!)

Speaking of conflicting... Well I’ve enjoyed quite the roller coaster gaining 55.5 pounds of winter fat!!! Last years low was about 282 and at the end of the winter I had skyrocketed to 338 pounds! That’s a mere 5 pounds away from my starting weight a couple of years back!!! All that work and poof in six months!!!

Though fear not. This is indeed Fools Fitness but even a fool can learn, abet slowly. In the month of April, naturally April 1st I tried to renew my commitment to a more fit me. In April I dropped 21 pounds!!! Currently I am 317.

So what have I learned? What has changed? Wow there seems like so much. Some of it seems so elementary yet it really takes me a while to pick up on stuff.

1) I am *way* more active in the summer. (example Aprils bicycling over 50 miles, March zero) At lot of the fitness I enjoyed centered around walking and biking.

FIX: Now Set a rule of minimum 4 days a week walking (or bicycle) at least 3 miles. OR during bad weather an hour in the pool doing my Alan Paddles. (I don’t call it dog paddles because it would insult dogs. A simple goal of to keep moving.) It usually ends up more miles and more days a week but the minimums get me out.

2) I may have set myself up for failure in setting my calorie intake too low and never eating anything of any seriously nutritious value… then starved and binged.

FIX: bumped up my calorie intake to 2000 calories a day, and try to hit all major food groups. Even that tracked at a consistent 4 pounds dropped each week for 3 weeks. This works when I am active.

I even take a multivitamin from time to time! My rules of all foods stands though. I still have pizza, Funny Bones, gooey yummy Chinese food, ice cream, peanut butter, and Doritos. Big Macs are still tasty! Anything goes! But not everything of anything! I try not to do them all at once!!!

3) I fail to continue to pay attention. I also get a bit overconfident as I succeed.

FIX: I’ve started to write down all my food in a journal as well as the exercise I do, every day. No exceptions. Tracking it keeps it fore front in my mind. it’s a bit of work but I think pays in the end. I can see trends and writing it down physically makes it real and tangible. Also the blog journal. If I stop paying attention and start my evil super villain laugh it’s a set up for a failure.

4) I can’t cut corners loosing the gym membership.

FIX: I need the mood and energy boost, especially during bad weather… rain or snow. That membership is very expensive, but it’s also very expensive to get in a funk and gain 55 pounds!

5) Food is not medication and it will not fix my car!

FIX: awareness and reminding myself that some comfort food really isn’t a good long term fix for what ever is going on.

6) Staying connected… The blog and friends are key elements too!

FIX: there is a correlation when I dropped writing and started gaining and I don’t think its coincidence. If that means bringing a jump drive with a blog entry to upload at the library it’s still worth the effort. Also having feedback (on the comment section as well as with friends off line) is helpful. It gives me a third person perspective, keeps me thinking, and with new ideas. I’ve got to stay connected somehow.

55.5 pounds x 3,500 calories= 194,250 calories gained in six months… Mind boggling. Am I a bear needing a winter coat? I may be in a cage, but I’m still a panther!!! Doctor Chinese Food and his Diabolical Ice Cream Minions armed with Hunger Ray Guns won a round… but don’t count out Captain Unbelievable yet! 21 pounds gone… AGAIN! A month ago I was devastated, but these things I think I am learning are gems of incredible value. Gaining 55.5 pounds is a victory at Foolsfitness.

(Captain Unbelievable, Doctor Chinese Food, and the Diabolical Ice Cream Minions with their Hunger Ray Guns are intellectual property of Fools Fitness May 1st 2011... Get your own Superhero and arch nemesis… before they are all gone!) Foolsfitness- Alan