Friday, June 26, 2015

How To Lose 130 Pounds

Last week I finally hit my goal weight.  This morning as I was driving to work I was thinking about how much I wanted to take a bike ride last night with my wife and it reminded me of a business trip to Ocracoke Island I had a few years back.  I was hosting peers for a two day trip and I hade to guide people on a bike tour.  Even though I owned a really nice bike, I decided to rent a scooter to give the tour because, well, I was really fat.  I played it off like, "oh, this is awesome".  But realistically it was because I was so fat I didn't want to be embarrassed of being out of breathe riding a bike.  So, as I was thinking, I really needed to jot down my thoughts about losing weight.  Here is my disclaimer: these are my thoughts, I haven't even had to start maintaining my weight and yes, I am just me (my body is different than yours).

So here is my key points of losing weight.


It really isn't.  It is a lifestyle change.  It takes work, it takes time, and it will is for the rest of your life.  You can't just lose weight and decide I can eat like I used to. Now some people do try some new fad or gimmick or stuff that even works.  I did not.  I used Weight Watchers and it worked for me.  it might not for you (So don't sweat it, try something else).  I use Weight Watchers because it simplifies your habits by making a useful app for your phone to add what you eat and it calculates what you should eat based off your age, height, weight, and gender.  Obesity is an addiction just like alcohol, caffeine, or any other type of drugs.  Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is healthy.


This follows the first rule.  You don't have to eat all vegetables, shakes, microwavable foods or whatever myth people tell you.  It is about portion control and being honest.  I still eat pizza, ice cream, and cookies.  I just limit how much of all that stuff I do.  I tend to have one bad day every week.  With Weight Watchers, you have extra weekly points that you can use if you go over board.  You need to enjoy yourself.  I tell the story about last summer when I was on vacation with my family and I not only used all my weekly points but I also used my activity points.  Almost every night we went out for ice cream.  I didn't care because I was healthy about my other choices and well, I did rule #3 (see below).  Starving yourself or eating incorrectly will do two things.  It will make you miserable and also stop your body from functioning correctly.  If you eat the right things, your body will work correctly.  If you enjoy it, you will keep it up.


Here is the one people forget.  Humans were not designed to be sitters.  We were designed to be nomads, hunters and gatherers.  Our bodies have a large amount of muscle and it needs to be used.  The more muscle, the less fat, and the more your body burns food.  Think of your body as a car.  take care of it, use it.  I only started running because the Elliptical was not enough for me at the gym.  But not only do you need to work out, you need to be more active.  I walk twice a day during work.  I spend 15 minutes each time.

Eat better and work out and your body will like you.  I also recommend buying an activity tracker like a fitbit, gps or whatever.  I actually use the Activity Link through Weight Watchers because it gives me points I can eat for being active.

I exercise so I can eat.  lately, my wife and I bought bikes and have been biking.  Last weekend we biked 7 miles to go get ice cream.  It was worth it.  Make it fun.  Do it with people.  But start slowly.  Even if you can barely move, just start with little things.


This is a big one.  Don't do this for the kids or your wife.  Do it for yourself.  yes, they can be your motivation.  But you have to want to be healthier.  You are the one who has to do it.


Very simple.  Keep positive people around you.  People will complain, bitch and do whatever else they want when they see your habits change.  Who cares.  If you are healthy and happy than be that way.  Don't let anyone let you down.  I can't tell you how many people have asked me, "how much more are you going to lose?".  I don't know.  It also helps having positive people around because it makes it easier to transition to healthier lifestyles and eating habits.  My wife and I have altered our meals but it was all gradual.  But we love it.  She has supported me the whole time and it has helped us both.


You can not compare with anyone else.  Everybody has a different body make up, age, gender, etc.  You are only working with yourself.

I am probably going to add things to the list but I think these are the most important.  A lot of this stuff is things people do tell you.  I don't have the perfect answer or tips for this but these are my thoughts.  And as I move forward, I am going to keep writing this stuff down because it is a reminder.  Good luck out there people.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Goal Weight Achieved

I don't even know what to say really.  When you first start Weight Watchers, you pick small battles like 1st 5 lbs, or 10%, or your 1st 25 lbs.  I remember my first goal was under 300.  It had been so long since I had been under 300 pounds that I was just excited to get there before New Years Eve 2014.  Then I hit 50 pounds (I was pretty excited).  Then I lost 75 pounds.  Then the biggest number I hit was 230 pounds which was a 100 pound weight loss.  That is a lot of weight to lose.  It wasn't easy.  My doctor even wrote me a note so I could get Goal Weight at 230 but when i literally weighed in I was 4 pounds too low.  So I had to reboot.

I picked 200 pounds.  I haven't been under that weight since middle school.  Those 30 pounds were the toughest.  I had more weight gains (I haven't had many) then I did the rest of my journey.  I haven't been going to meetings as frequent because they are the same time I run in the morning on Saturdays and their schedules are not really conducive with a working husband (most their meetings are during the weekday and not even early morning or late evening).  I would probably weigh in every 3 weeks.  I would start to stress during the second week when I didn't know where I was.  But.....

Today, I weighed in before work.  I finally hit it.  I weighed in at 198.  I hit my Goal Weight and begin to start the maintaining process.  I am pretty much scared because I have to add points to my daily system so I don't lose too much.  But I am also super excited.  Seeing that "1" on the scale was awesome.  I will hopefully be able to embrace my victory tomorrow morning with my old group.  I haven't made a meeting in a long time but it's only because I am much more active in my life.  I miss going to meetings but I have to pick my battles.

I never thought I would weigh less than 200 pounds.  It wasn't easy.  I had family deaths, family drama, holidays, partial separation, and everything else thrown at me.  But the reality is this:  I am and never was on a "diet"  I changed my lifestyle.  I changed my life.  Lori and I even bought bikes and a baby trailer for Avery.  We biked six miles to get ice cream last week.  Every Sunday we go to the Oceanfront to run and get coffee together.  We love it.

As Ice Cube would say, "Today was a good day".  

I couldn't of done this without great friends and a wonderful wife.  She has had her own weight loss journey and knows what it takes.  

I don't really know what my next plan of action is.  I do know I am going to keep running and keep doing what I am doing.

Here is my weight loss graph.  I have been consistent but I have had some bumps in the road.

Monday, June 15, 2015

CHKD 8k Run for the Kids 2015 Recap

So this is only the second race I have done two years in a row.   Last year, it was my second race and it was truly the race that really motivated me to run more.  In 2014, I ran the Shamrock 8k and I wasn't really addicted to running yet.  But the CHKD did it for me last year.  I didn't even know anyone at the race but I loved it.  Last year, I ran it in 56 minutes.  Which I was so excited because it was a big chunk off my last 8k at Shamrock.

The event is for a great cause.  It is for Children's Hospital for the Kings Daughter.  This year I was excited because this was the first race Lori was running with me (she says she's not a runner).  I helped Lori train pretty good.  She got a four mile run the week before which was more I got before an 8k last year.  She was nervous.  I was too for her.  It was dreadfully hot and humid.  By the time she finished it was 90 degrees out. At the start, I kissed her and wished her luck.  I was going for a PR and she was going to run her own pace.
I will say this, it was the second hottest race I have ever ran.  The #rftd2015 half marathon was as hot but I had to run a half. So that sucked.  Lol.


So, my longest run I have run at full tilt has been a 5k.  I knew I could push myself for this race but it was really hot and I didn't know if I could do it.  I ran the 5k at a 7:30 pace and I knew it was in me.  I kept pouring one cup of water on my head and sipped one at each water stop.  I was pretty stoked with my finish.  I finished in 37:56.  Which is a 7:29 pace.  I destroyed my last PR in the 8k at about 8 or 9 minutes.  Couldn't be anymore happy.

I found Tim and Avery, drank a bottle and took Avery to catch up with Lori.  I ran about a mile back and found Lori around mile 4.  She was overheated but was doing really good.  At that point, she had run farther than she ever has it.  I dumped a bottle of water on her head and she felt better.  Avery and I kept her on pace and she finished.  She was super excited.  She was exhausted but happy.  She really did good.  At one moment, she hugged me and cried and told me she never imagined she could accomplish running an 8k.

She had become a runner.  She loved it.  She felt so good about herself and she was excited to run the next day.  On Saturday, just like it was for Shamrock was the best moment you could have.  Helping and watching some finish a race and feeling the pride of accomplishment.  But this time it was my wife.  Which I couldn't of been prouder.

Running isn't just about yourself.  It's about the community, families, kids and accomplishments.  Running gives you a feeling most can't understand.

So, Lori, what's your next race?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Hoppy Hour Runs @jandahoppyhours

I remember graduating from college and living in Royal Oak, Michigan and thinking how awesome it was to live in a bike-able and walk-able city.  I bought myself a nice Giant urban bike to use.  I rarely did use it unless I was delivering for Jimmy Johns, which I made a bunch of money not having to deal with parking and being quicker than the drivers.  But I rarely used my bike like I truly wanted to.  I think I used it once to go downtown to go for dinner.  I also talked a lot about walking and enjoying the community.  That I never did.

Scroll forward ten years.......

And here I am 130 pounds lighter, ten years older, and I am the healthiest I have ever been.  I run 5 times a week and I walk regularly on a daily basis.  Lori and I go every Sunday and run together than get coffee at our favorite joint, #badasscoffee.

Last night, J&A racing had their first #jandahoppyhour run at Hot Tuna.  There were over 100 runners who met up, went for a run together and had some hops and food.  Lori asked me if I was okay with her joining me.  I said, Hell yeah.  Why not?  When I started to lose weight, I wanted our family to be healthier.  I wanted us to do things we didn't want to do before.  I love that my wife wants to join me for a run and bring Avery.  Actually, the best purchase I ever made was the jogging stroller.  Avery loves it.  Lori, when she is home, it gives her time to clean or cook while I take her.  It is also bonding time and it is also a positive image to show our daughter what it is like to be healthy.  It reminds me of when I was a kid and my dad would take my brother and I on the Big Boy fun runs in Huntington Woods (If the Motor City Striders brought this race series back, I would travel to do it).

Back to last night.  It was a blast.  I never thought becoming an ambassador for #runningetc would take me to the places I have gone.  I never thought I would be so active.  It's great.  My wife loves it, I love it and Avery loves it.  You don't really understand how awesome a community is until you are part of it.  And the running community in Hampton Roads is top notch.  From our local running store, local race company and local running groups like the Tidewater Striders and Running Turtles, is just fantastic.  I mean there were 100 people out there.  That's awesome.  I mean 100 people being active at their pace.  There were kids, spouses, and people from all ages.

Last night, I also found a bike trailer for Avery so we can pull her on bike rides once we pick up our bikes.  I know, I know, where is this going.  Well, I started this post out talking about my old bike.  When I first moved into Lori's house (now our house), I sold my Giant.  I was like there is no way I would use it on these rural roads (this was before I lost weight).  Now, I run on these roads and Lori and I decided to buy each other bikes with our tax returns.  I am picking them up tomorrow finally.  But how great it is that when you are healthier, you love doing more things.  That trailer is going to be awesome.  I can't wait to take the family for a bike ride around Creeds or the oceanfront for ice cream or on vacation.  I never did that as a kid but I am excited that Lori and Tim want to.

So, this summer's theme is #hoppyhour.  Last night was the epitome of what I want my summer to be, family oriented, healthy, and active.  Summer is just starting but I am so excited to enjoy it with my family friends.