a new beginning...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oh the horror

Ironic title seeing as how my weekend started off Friday night by going to see Saw IV. I'm not going to offer up my review, let's just say they could have stopped after part 3. God bless the sequel (and the almighty dollar).

Saturday was a day off from working out. The first half of the day my eating was good, but late in the day I got a bit derailed. Had raviolis for dinner and no protein with it. Later that night my wife and I had some wine and a few olives. In addition we shared a delicious piece of peppermint brownie (made fresh) from Whole Foods.

Sunday I did get a good cardio workout in along with 4 minutes of Tabatas (squat thrusts). Took the family to breakfast at a local diner. It's my daughter's' favorite place since they have a "choo-choo" train that circles the entrance way. I ate an egg white omelet, wheat toast & a bite of my wife's french toast.

Went to the Jet game last night (like I said, oh the horror) and while it was not my best tailgate, it was not my worst. My brother-in-law and I brought some friends who were Bills fans (very happy Bills fans I might add) and we had a great time. Grilled chicken with fresh mozzarella and roasted peppers. Unfortunately it was on regular Italian bread as I could not find the whole wheat style I normally would buy. Toss in a few beers and a few handfuls of pistachios and that's how my night went.

The baby was up most of the night teething and screaming, therefore I was not rested enough to go to the gym this morning so I missed my workout. Nights are hard, but I will make attempts to workout this evening.

I'm looking ahead to Thursday when I will take my next round of pictures and measurements.

While I'm a bit sluggish & out of sorts today because of my less than stellar choices this weekend, I still have a smile on my face since I have my cords on again today.

Remember that there is no such thing as failure. There are only feedback and results.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Just stop it already

When I started this year long "journey" last week, I had decided that I would take pictures and measurements (weight and waist) every 2 weeks. I figured that would allow enough time between readings to show significant progress and help keep me on track.

As I arrived home from the gym this morning, my older daughter (who turns 4 next month) asked me, "Daddy, how much do you weigh?" This was odd. Even though she's been on the scale before, she's never asked me directly how much "I" weigh. Being pretty jazzed about this weeks' progress I decided to weigh myself right on the spot.

188.6 lbs.
23% BF

A new low (high?) with my weight. I can't tell you how long it's been since I was in the 180's. Could have been 7+ years. I have no idea. A minor accomplishment in the grand scheme of things, but an accomplishment none the less.

Anyone want to go have a cream soda? Just kidding.

Lastly, I wanted to share a little by-line from my wife's' school newsletter. She's a 4th grade teacher here in North Jersey:

End Procrastination

Perfectionism often leads to procrastination. Perfectionists would rather put off a project or task than do an incomplete job. Rather than perfection, aim for progress. Any small step toward completion is an accomplishment.

Oh, BTW...Samantha also wanted to know how much she weighed. I plopped her on the scale and found out she's 33.6 lbs. of pure joy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Danger Will Robinson

On a scale of 1-5, today started out as a 6 on the "Wow, progress, let's go for a milk-shake" o-meter. Let me explain.

As I eluded to in an earlier post, I've teetered with weight management over the years. One step up, two steps back. Three steps up, one step back, etc. Most of us know the drill (and that's why most of us are here). Currently there are 2 pair of pants I alternate between for work. No, I'm not a bum, - I own lots of pants, but unfortunately only 2 currently fit comfortably & I refuse to buy any new (bigger) ones.

It's sort of a rainy, cool overcast day here on the east coast so I decided to get a bit crazy and try on a pair of cords that were buried in the depths of my closet. I figured why not. I've had an excellent week of clean eating and my workout routine (especially the 4 minute Tabatas) has been stellar - nay I say outstanding. So I peel the little corduroy ridges from the hanger, peer at the size (36x30) and slide them on. SHAZAM - they fit! And comfortably I might add. Now this is in no way a "goal attained" for me since I've been here before. My waist size has not been magically reduced to 36" in a week. Some pants are cut differently and had it been a different pair of cords I might not be writing this blog, I might be swearing about some factory workers in a 3rd world country and how they can't measure properly.

In addition to the "new" pants, I put on a new shirt (b'day present from my wife). The size happened to be a large (depending upon the style and cut I can be a L or XL), so that made me feel good. To top it off I dusted off an old belt and I managed to get it on a new notch.

Now all these are good things. Don't get me wrong, I totally realize that. It felt good to have some fashion success and not have the wardrobe police come out and say "You're wearing that again? That's it, no more warnings, I'm going to have to issue you a summons." But this is a scary place for me. I've been here more often then I care to admit. When I see the least bit of progress or success I have a tendency to pull back the reigns, sit back and rest a while. Maybe grab a cream soda.

I can't do that any more.

That's why I decided to embark on this journey. That's why I decided to start this blog. That's why I asked to become a part of F.A.T.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Simplify, focus & trust

These 3 words stuck with me some time ago. They were spoken during a homily given by the priest at my church. "Take something with you, a word or phrase" he'd say and sure enough these 3 came home with me. So as not to forget, I even had to swipe a piece of my daughter's' coloring pad to write them down before we left. Direct and to the point (in any aspect of your life - whether you are a religious person or not). Keep it simple, stay focused and trust that what you doing is right (or trust in a higher power).

Currently, I've set these words to scroll as my screen saver on my laptop. A co-worker noticed it recently and said "If that were mine, it would say 'complexity, chaos and dishonesty'." We had a chuckle and he went on his way (I swear this guy has adult A.D.D.). Later that night I got to thinking about his comment and realized that what he said (while it was meant to be funny) was sort of sad.

It was not an indictment of him, rather of me.

How many times have I not kept it simple? For example - the other day I had to write a card to someone for their birthday. Instead of just getting out the address book and writing the address on the envelope (oh no, that would be far too easy) I had to open MS word and use my Access DB of addresses as a source to create a mail merge to print ONE SINGLE LABEL. WTF???

How often have I lost focus (or even failed to gain it)? Another example - I take the bus back and forth to Manhattan daily. Up until recently my bag has been constantly overflowing with multiple magazines, books, web print-outs, etc. Do I really think I can read all this crap in one 40 minute bus ride? Why not just PICK ONE? Read it. Tear out the pages that seem interesting and toss it. Done deal.

What about trust? I'll leave that to the wordsmith Billy Joel
(lyrics to 'A Matter of Trust'):

You can't go the distance
With too much resistance
I know you have doubts
But for God's sake don't shut me out

This time you've got nothing to lose
You can take it, you can leave it
Whatever you choose
I won't hold back anything
And I'll walk a way a fool or a king

I'll choose royalty over being the court jester any day of the week.

Monday, October 22, 2007

History of the World Part 1

I've been waiting so many years for Mel Brooks to make the sequel to this classic, but I don't think it's going to happen, especially since his efforts seem to be on Broadway plays these days. I work in Times Square and while walking to and from work each day I've been watching them build the stage sets for Young Frankenstein which debuts next month. But I digress...today's' history lesson is about me. Stay with me here - this is not the time to head for the bathroom or reach for the remote.

In order for F.A.T. to know where I'm going, it's only fair to tell you where I've been.

I've been heavy my whole life. The last "skinny picture" I have of me was in Kindergarten. Being young and fat was horrible. I had to shop in the Husky section at Sears. I always held up 2 fingers when it was Hot Dog day at school. I'd come home miserable and what would mom do? Bake cookies, pies, brownies, etc. I know deep down she meant well, but if she only knew it was adding to the problem (as well as my waistline) she might have acted differently. Then again mom was heavy (sadly still is) and that's how she dealt with things - by eating. Lets save that psychology session for another blog, shall we?

Grammar school - FAT
High School - FAT
College - FAT

But wait - something happened my senior year of college (actually it was the summer before my senior year). I guess I got tired of being every body's drinking buddy during the party and then being the one going home alone after it was over. Dean Wormer said it best - "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life". That summer (1990) I had the opportunity to go live with family in TX. It was an opportunity to get away from all the bad influences and social aspects of my life in the Northeast for 3 months. No beer, cigarettes, late night eating - no more. This was going to be it for me.

I began walking 2 miles every morning and again in the evening (TX summers are wicked hot). As the weeks went by the weight began to come off. In 3 months I went from 230 (my all time heaviest) to 210. I went to the grocery store and picked up a 20lb. bag of dog food knowing that this used to be wrapped around my waist. That really hit home for me (I highly suggest trying it for those of you who have already lost a significant amount of weight). When my dad picked me up at the airport, I nearly walked by without him recognizing me.

My progression continued and I ultimately got down to 180 lbs. I lost an amazing 50 lbs. in about 6 months. All sensible eating. All the "right" way. A combination of diet and exercise - 2 words that up until that summer were not a part of my vocabulary.

Over the past 17 years, I must have gotten lost somewhere along the line. Maybe not completely lost, but certainly off course. Way off course.

So yes, I've been there - done that . I can talk the talk because I've walked the walk. Yet here I am 1 year away from the "naughty-40's" and I find myself sadly out of shape but luckily in the current company of some like-minded individuals.

Unlike Mr. Brooks, there will be a sequel to this one.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Knowledge is NOT power

...rather the consistent application of knowledge is. If it were, I'd already have the body of my dreams, a cure for cancer and more money than I could spend in 2 lifetimes.

The "more about me" post is coming later this weekend so in the mean time I thought I'd throw out there my current workout routine. I'll be following this for the next 5 weeks (right up until Thanksgiving). I got this Mens Health 5 Week Transformation back in January 2006 (luckily the link was still good). I had much success following this in the weeks leading up to my 10 year wedding anniversary and 2nd Honeymoon in Barbados.

This works for me. With 2 small kids I need to fit my workouts in first thing in the morning. I go to the gym on M-W-F & my wife goes T-Th-Sa. I can get in and get out in about 45 minutes. The circuit routine (including warm ups) takes about 30-35 minutes, then I perform 4 minutes of Tabata intervals . I do try to train my Abs on my off days from the gym and also get in a good cardio session on the weekend.

Exercise & nutrition have never really been the issue for me rather the consistent application of exerecise & nutritiuon have been.

But that is all about to change...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

There are no secrets on the Internet

At least not for me...not any more. Photos I promised and photos I shall deliver. These were taken at 5:30 this morning.

Weight - 195 lbs.
Waist - 42"
BF% (Tanita) 25% (ugh. That means I am comprised of 48.75 lbs. of fat).

Now I know that Tanita may not be the most accurate measurement, but until I can get my callipers around my girth (double ugh) it will have to do.

Lots more to write about, like where I've come from, where I intend to go and how I wound up here. For now I figure it's best to avoid the "stream of consciousness" blog postings and stick to the point.

No, I'm not Eric Cartman & I'm not big boned (hell, I'm only 5"10). I'm carrying around an unhealthy amount of body fat and it's time to do something about it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

and so it begins...

Hello everyone in Blogville and a special hello to all my (hopefully) soon to be F.A.T. Coalition bloggers.

Gene from Jersey here. I came across these blogs after reading about Billy on a link from the Turbulence Training website: http://www.ttmembers.com/public/303.cfm

I'm new to blogging but not new to fitness (or at least veiled attempts at it). Today is my 39th Birthday and as you can see by the title of my blog this is my journey to the ripe young age of 40.

While I cannot promise 365 entries over the coming year (just not enough time in the day with a wife and 2 small daughters) I can promise to be an active member of the community, lend an ear and advice when needed or asked for, and lots and lots of pix (they really keep you honest).

A special thanks to swankywanker (she was one of the few who had email access in her profile) for her email and words of encouragement. I almost thought this was a secret society like the Illuminati.

Pix and more posts to come. I was going to use pictures from August but to be fair and really make this "journey" an accurate and honest one, I'll be taking new pictures tonight.