Living an active lifestyle: It’s a choice

Yesterday we went over to Grandma and Grandpa Badger’s house for a visit. After church we headed over. Grandpa Badger is the epitome of an active lifestyle and Grandma is devoted to getting the granny fanny she has been carrying around gone forever.

Grandma & Grandpa Badger

Before I made the choice to stop living my fat life, dinner would have been the highlight of our visit for me. This last Sunday, spending time together and enjoying each others company was the highlight and dinner was a pleasant appendage to the visit. Dinner kept me on plan and after dinner everyone went for a walk.

Nothing new to my parents. They always want to go for a walk with the grand kids after dinner if the sun is still up. They would always invite and my wife would prod me but I would choose to blob out on the couch till they got back. Now, everyone know I would go without question. We bundled up in gloves and hats and walked towards one of the parks so the kid’s could have a few runs at the slides. As we walked we would have little races with the kids to get our heart rates up and keep Jeffrey & Katie interested in the walk. At the park there is a big hill and for fun we walked to the top. Huffing and puffing I thought about the time with my family I had given up and was thankful for the moment.

My babies Jeffrey and Katie

A mini snowball fight ensued when my teasing son thought it would be funny to throw snow at Karlie. Smiles were plentiful, some laughs and an appreciation for the term “quality time” came to mind.

Why had I chosen to miss out on this before? Was I really that lazy and apathetic? I get a little emotional but shake it off quick before Kar sees. (She hates when I think too much about that stuff.) We get back and put a movie on for the kids and the “grown ups” sat around the fireplace chatting about everything and nothing until it was past the kid’s bed time.

I am so lucky to be where I am right now. Looking through new eyes and in many ways experiencing life for the first time. My family is worth it, I am worth it, you are worth it. It comes down to a choice. We spend so much time and sanity worrying about things we can not control while letting the one thing we have complete control over go to the crapper. If you have an excuse, you have not made the choice. If you honestly chose to be healthy, excuses become nothing more than obstacles on the journey. Change your mind, change your diet, change your life.

Not off the wagon but not on the ball

Compared to last week’s 9 pound loss, the 3-4 pounds I lost this week got me kicking myself for not pushing myself like last week. My food was on track but my exercise lagged. Last week I hit 4500 calories burned a day. This week, the average was 3500 – 4000. It’s no wonder I didn’t get the results of last week. 1 pound = 3500 calories. 4500 calories burned – 1200 consumed = 3300 calorie deficit a day last week. 3500 – 1200 = only 2300. The math doesn’t lie. I get out of it what I put into it.

All aside, I am happy to be rid of the 4 pounds but happy and unsatisfied will push me to get 9 pounds next week.

After hitting the scale and realizing I had slacked in my tenaciousness over the week, I was frustrated, even angry with myself and took it out on my family this morning. After getting to work I felt awful for being short with my strongest supporter, my wife.

To my loving wife,

After I got into my work I was trying to figure out why this keeps happening (fights about weight loss) and I think I gained a little insight into the root of the problem. First of all, I see that you were just trying to help. I am sorry for being ultra sensitive. I know you want nothing more than for us to succeed and be happy.

Weight, in general, has always been a sensitive topic my whole life. I didn’t want to talk about it and I DEFIANTLY didn’t want anyone telling me what I was doing wrong. In this whole journey, I think the only way I have been able to cope with confronting the reality of the problem is to own the problem and the solution. Unless something is MY idea, it doesn’t resonate and doesn’t work for me on a mental level. Even explaining it doesn’t even probably make sense to you but it does to me. Even though we are on the right track, it hasn’t made taking anything that resembles criticism easier for me.

Please forgive me for snapping and being short this morning. I feel I know why I didn’t get the results I was shooting for this week because I didn’t put in the vigilance and hard work I did last week. I have no one to blame but myself and I don’t mean to take it out on my family. I guess when you are frustrated with yourself, the ones who suffer are the people who love you and are around you. Sorry, I will try and be less sensitive.

I love you Kar,
your husband, Mike

P.S. Thank you for supporting me 100% everyday by making my meals, encouraging me and most of all, walking along side me in this journey.

Winning in the margins

I busted my but this week. I have stuck to 1200 calories religiously and have rocked it on the exercise front. I weighed in on Friday and was at 7.5 and wanted to hit an 8 pound loss for the week so I amped up my exercise and made sure I hit 4500 calories burned a day minimum. I also watched my salt intake Saturday to keep from any unwanted water weight.

I attribute the extra 1.5 pounds I wasn’t planning on losing to choosing activities that make me get out and move my fat body. A typical Saturday is usually less than active. I usually grab a redbox movie or we unload the Tivo of shows we recorded the previous week. The most moving we do is get off the couch to go pee or lift the remote to change the channel. We did something a little different.

As I do most Saturdays I worked overtime for about 7 1/2 hours at work. Whenever I am at work I power-walk the halls and run flights of stairs. 6 laps for my first 15 min break, 6 laps for the second break. People at my work are getting used to seeing me pump up and down the hall now. I used to care that everyone thought I was crazy but now I just don’t care. Karlie dropped me off so while I was waiting for her to pick me up I started doing laps in the parking lot. I once measured the distance with the odometer in my car and a trip around the lot is almost exactly 1/10 a mile. I got a good 1/2 mile in before she got there walking mostly but peppered with a little chunky man jogging.

This is where “the flop” usually happens. I would drive home, flop on the couch and then not get up till bed. Instead I suggested that we do something with the kids. We are tight on cash right now so I had to think of something fun for the kids, free and something that would keep us active. The answer was Cabela’s. If that name means nothing to you, it’s like a Costco for hunters, fishermen and outdoorsmen.

They have an aquarium that houses fish that are native to Utah. You walk into the fish cave, look at all the beautiful fish, wish you could say you caught even one of them on a fishing trip and then are dumped out the other end into the fishing gear section of the store. Very effective for fishermen like myself who dream of landing a big monster like the ones I just saw in the cave. It worked on me. Last summer I spent $150 – $200 on a new rod and real and some tackle.

The kids love to see the fish in the tanks and it is fun to try and name all the fish species. My boy is getting good at picking out the bass. After spending a good time in the fish cave, we continue on to see the museum-like collection of stuffed animals they have displayed all around the store. We are not “exercising” but we are moving and walking and that’s what matters.

After leaving I check the bodybugg and I had hit my 4500 calorie goal for the day. Something I wouldn’t have done sitting on my butt watching TV. It’s not about food or exercise or calories. It’s about choices. Choices I make everyday to be active or to be sedentary. Choices I make about eating for nourishment or eating for comfort, celebration, boredom or any other excuse I can think of. The best part about this Journey is that my wife and I are doing this together. Not only are we changing the way we live for ourselves but we are choosing  a life that will teach our kids how to really live.

Another Wal*Mart Workout

9:20 PM and I didn’t reach 4500 calories burned according to my bodybugg. Decided I would try and squeeze in a second workout at the gym but headed over and they were closed. Then I remembered my Wal*Mart Workout I did before.

I wanted to look at some dumbbells anyway (the weight kind, not the kind that sit behind the cash register at most Wal*Mart stores). I did my brisk walk to the back of the store by going up and down the isles till I got to the sporting good section. The weights were expensive and I forgot my wallet anyhow so I kept pumping up and down the isles till I got the calories needed. Before I truly decided to change my life a closed gym would have been excuse enough. Not any more. I am DETERMINED to hit that 100 pounds lost and start the next 100 pounds!

Soooo Motivated today!

Rocking this week so far. I lost 5 more pounds after Sunday’s weigh in. I am sooooo motivated it’s crazy! I have always wanted to lead an active life and while I may not have the shape or the endurance to do everything I want, I am motivated to DO things now. I have the energy to at least get started.  here is also a lot to be said about sleeping well when you are trying to lose weight. GET GOOD sleep!

Last night I was under calories and paycheck wasn’t in yet and we didn’t have what we needed to cook what the “plan” said I should eat. I ended up having a Healthy Choice can of Mexican Chicken soup. Threw some hot sauce in there and it was delish. The calorie count was less than the planned meal by far. Also had cucumber & tomato with balsamic vinegar. My wife kicked me out of the house so she could do a girl crafts with a friend from church. I went over to my Mom’s and watched a movie with my bro. My mom always has chocolate and little temptations but I resisted them easily.

When I got home, I told myself I was STARVING (dumb). I started to build a salad with lean chicken on it and some salsa and less than 1/4 cup of black beans. Not bad right? Problem was it was 10:00PM. I have been doing so good not eating late. Also, I was building myself another dinner basically. “You are within your calorie limit”, ” this is good food for you”. I started to salivate as I imagined myself
eating the salad but before I got to eat it I was interrupted with the nightly bedtime routine for the kids.

As usual, I pretend I am a monster, scare the kids into my bedroom and get them consolidated on my bead. We throw on PJs and then I pretend to skip reading a book, shut off the lights and start to sing a lullaby. The kids shriek “no daddy we forgot to read a book!” I act surprised I forgot but now have the book as leverage to make them lay still. I read a “Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies” theatrically then turn out the lights and sing a few with my wife to the kiddies. We say a prayer, do kisses and hugs and place them in their beds. Both kids need a drink and Jeffrey needs to go potty.

The kids are in bed and I am free to go chomp my salad. I walk into the kitchen and look at the clock. 10:30 PM. I look at the salad again and I know I can’t eat that. Not only am I already supposed to be asleep, I know I shouldn’t NEED to eat again. I get frustrated and turn off the light to the kitchen and lay in my bed. I cry (dumb) but not because I am hungry, but because I am frustrated that I even wanted to eat the salad. My wife comes in from the kids room and asks what’s going on. I am embarrassed but try to explain. She lifts me up, reminds me that you can’t change the way you think in a week or a month. I love her.

I go to sleep happy and motivated and a little stronger. I wake up not missing that dumb salad from the previous night. Anything worth achieving is NOT easy. It’s not supposed to be. The miracle is the challenge and the struggle, not the destination of your goal. (Don’t worry, not going to break out into Miley Cyrus’s “The Climb”)

Make a choice today and for the rest
of your life. You are worth it, your loved ones are worth it. You have the
strength in you to do it. The question is will you make the decision?

Excercise makes me feel good.

Dieting does not make me feel happy. I am moody and frustrated as my body adjusts from years of eating wonderfully awful food. I am often hungry and when I am due for my meals, I am testy. Exercise on the other hand makes me happy.

Shirt from contest. Would wear one to the gym if it came in my size.

When I was in my “accept me for who I am, you are the one with a problem” stage in life I would often joke about people who ran arround tracks and ended up where they started. When someone would say they were going to be running in a marathon I would crack a joke about how you couldn’t get me to run if even if something were chasing me.

I love the way exercises makes me feel. I have WAY more energy, I feel accomplished, I sleep better and it motivates me to eat better because there is NO way I am doing another 30 min. of hard core elliptical just to eat something that is not on my diet plan. I am using a bodybugg I purchased used and it is worth every penney to help me track how many calories I am burning every day and for each workout. It helps me feel that every time I move my calories COUNT. You know how you get on the treadmill or elliptical trainer and even though your 20 or 30 min. workout is done you see you are at 450 calories and it just pushes you to get fifty more for an even 500? I do and this motivates me when I take my breaks, I walk. When I am waiting for my wife to pick me up at work, I run some stairs. I have a calories burned goal for each day like I have a calories intake goal. It’s awesome. The bodybugg is pricey because you not only have to buy the hardware but there is a monthly subscription. If I were to do it again I would go with a BodyMedia FIT. It is the EXACT same hardware and the subscription costs less.

Allan DID say it would suck

Today, going on 50 hours at work, the free pizza they order on Saturday at my work looks like it was made for my taste buds. To top it off, I didn’t have time to be very well organized with my breakfast and lunch. I had to My wife had to throw it together as I ran out the door this morning. Next to the hot cheese, and hot tomato sauce, my lunch was about as attractive as Rosey O’ Donald in the morning with no makeup, the Pizza on the other hand had the appeal of Jessica Alba.

I have done well before on diets but tend to falter when the convenience and excitement of starting the diet fade into the reality of the inconvenience and struggle that a TRUE DIET AND EXERCISE is.

I picked up a plate deciding which piece of pizza was worthy of yielding to. Which slice would make all that I am working for worth giving up for a brief pause of tasty bliss. “I could do extra exercises today and burn off the calories” I told myself. I looked around to choose carefully. As I looked, scanning left then right and then left again, I realized that there wasn’t a piece to be found. There was no slice that I wanted more than the long term effects of NOT taking a slice.

When this epiphany came to me, my heals dug into the ground, I tossed my empty paper plate on the table. I began to get angry that I had even let myself walk into such a familiar trap and began walking, then bounding down the hallway. I huffed up a flight of stairs to the second floor, chugged down the second floor hall until I reached the end and ran down the stairs to return to my starting point, but I didn’t stop. I continued making laps down the hall, up the stairs, through the second floor hall then down the second set of stairs. I reached the last step of the 6th lap, my legs burning, my heart racing and my resolve strengthened.

It was a hard but proud moment for me. A small victory at changing not only my poundage but my whole attitude about myself and what matters to me. I know… I know queue the melodramatic music …

Someone who does not understand what it is like to go from morbid obesity will tell you, you can do it it’s easy. While well intended I just want to say “screw you skinny butt!” It’s like a guy telling a woman in labor he understands the pain she is going through.

The truth is hard but believing anything but the truth will get you nowhere when you are going from 500 pounds to a “normal” human being. Like him or hate him, my bud Allen told the truth when he said “It will be hard, it will be a pain in the ass, and you will lose weight.”

” Sacrifice: Giving up something good for something better.
Success: The successful person is willing to do what the unsuccessful person is not willing to do.
Character: The ability to carry out a worthy decision after the emotion of making that decision has passed..”
– Hyrum W. Smith –

Ummm … I am Awesome Today

Planned to work out this morning … BAM on the elliptical trainer for 25 min. (would have done 30 but didn’t have time)

Wanted to hit 1 hour of significant activity … BAM knocked out the other 35 min. durring my breaks at work doing “laps” in my building and huffing up and down stairs.

I think I might have even gotten a taste of runner’s high! To be clear, I am not running. At best I am chunky-trotting (walking with a jogging like bounce so you feel like you are jogging but really you just look like a fat kangaroo)

I feel great!!! I am sooooo determined to hit that 100 lb mark by March 1st. It will be hard but worth it! That’s 25 lbs I need to blast. For comparison here is what 25 pounds equals:

  • 5 bags of flour (whole wheat of coarse)
  • 2 large human heads
  • About 3 gallons of water
  • An American Bulldog

Possible? Not sure yet. I’ll let you know on March 1st!

Blaaah! Morning people

Over the past couple of days I have done an informal study of things that I notice about people who are fit. If I am going to become one of these people and try to look like them (not fat), I need to do what they do, eat what they eat (in some cases) and think like they think. During my observations I came to an appalling conclusion. I need to become a morning person …. Blaaaah! I have never been known as a morning person … but then again I have never been known as a fit person either … correlation? As much as I hate the idea, I think so.
My observations:
– Morning people go to bed with a plan. Other than setting the alarm to take a speedy shower, throw some clothes on and tear down the street to work I have no plan. I have a hard enough time coming to terms with the idea of waking up let alone everything that may come after.
– I hate going to bed. MY time begins when work ends (I work 50 hours a week on avg.) I find excuses to not go to bed even when I am beet. Morning people go to bead before the sun goes down in the summer. They wake up and blow sunshine out their backend the rest of the day.
– Morning people are the ones who, more than most, find time to exercise, eat right and look for opportunities to be active.
– Morning people seem happier.
Over generalizing? Maybe, but I think that that is part of the “life change” I need to at least try and adopt. I think I despise the idea of transforming to a morning person because they have bugged me my whole life with their “…good morning” sing song voices and their positive outlook on life at 5 AM. Not making an7y promises but an experiment is afoot.

28 lbs to the 100 mark! Get real!

When I started out I was a depressed, Fatty Mc Fat Fat. Now I am a happy Fatty Mc Fat Fat. Why? because I am filled with hope. I am seeing the results of my hard work and know that I CAN do this because I AM doing it. Getting to where I am has been as much of mental battle as a physical battle. It is hard to admit you are your own problem. In order to start at over 500lbs and begin to turn your life around, you really have to come to terms with some deep seeded problems.

It’s hard to describe the battle of morbid obesity to those who have never struggled. Looking at myself in an honest, NO BULL, kind of way was and still is hard. We make exceptions for ourselves. In order to survive, I would tell myself it was like a sense of humor, it is just who I am. I actually convinced myself that I was happy being fat and that everyone should just accept who I was … then I grew up!

It all started when I tried out for the Biggest Loser. In order to try out I had to admit to myself I had a BIG problem. After not getting called back for TBL I decided in my head that the only why I was going to get out of this was the extreme, so that is when I decided I needed to get weight loss surgery. I started the ball rolling, met with all the doctors I needed to … After confronting the problem, came the depression, the anger and the desperation. Through my blog, and the blogging community, I found not only people who told me the truth about my situation but encouraged and offered stories and examples of success.

I am happier and healthier already. Don’t get me wrong, I am still going to be shopping at the Big N’ Tall for a while, and not because I am getting taller. I still have a long way to go, but 100lbs is within my reach and getting there by the end of this week is not crazy to think about. It is so empowering to make the decision to do it. I had heard people who have said that you just need to make the decision to do it. I thought I had made the decision many times before in my life but there is a difference between deciding you don’t want to be fat anymore and deciding to DO SOMETHING about it. Deciding you don’t want to be fat is easy. Who wants to be fat? Deciding to DO SOMETHING is different. It means YOU have made the decision for yourself. It is not someone else’s suggestion, some half-assed commitment you make after downing a whole punch bowl of ice cream. For me, it’s simple. In order to be successful loosing weight, the passion to lose the weight HAS to be greater than my passion for eating. My passion for eating will NEVER go away. Food is amazing and tasty and fun and it makes me feel happy. Loosing weight isn’t fun but stepping on the scale and realizing that I am loosing an average of 1.5 -2 lbs a day makes it worth it.

Bottom line, you will never succeed if you continue to lie to yourself. I never realized how dishonest I was with myself. How many times I told myself lies about who I was and what I should settle for. Take a long look in the mirror. Literally stand there and soak it up. It’s you. If you don’t like what you see, DO SOMETHING. Reality sucks when you are fat. But I lived sooooo long with delusions of what reality was, and it’s worse. When you start believing that what sucks about yourself is normal or “part of who I am”, you acknowledge that you suck and are living with it.

Weight, addiction, whatever it is, you deserve more than what you have chosen for yourself. You deserve TRUE happiness even joy. Not the crappy, suck fest you have settled for. The difference between successful is not amazing ability, natural talent or advanced education. Success is doing the things that EVERYONE COULD do, the things EVERYONE SHOULD do, but that FEW ACTUALLY DO. You choose each day if you are successful. What will YOU choose today?