How I Almost Died Getting In A Miata

About 5 yeas ago I worked at a car dealership. I was not at my peak fatness then but I was still not the svelte image of fitness I am striving for nowadays. No, I didn’t wear the checkered golf pants and white shoes the stereotypical “Slick Willie” car salesman wears bit I did sell cars.When you are a portly man and you sell cars, you hope customers you get are interested in conversion vans, SUVs, full size cars and the like. Let me tell you the story of how I almost died getting into a car. Yea, getting into the car not getting into a car …. accident.

Let me start this story by informing the public that all cars are not one size fits all.
Case in point, the Mazda Miata. When I was at the dealership, this guy who only stood about 4″11 walks in the door and says he wants the cheapest midlife crisis car we have. We ended up looking at tiny 2 door coupes. Everything was going great until the test drive. I attempted to enter the car, which in reality, probably weighed less than me at the time. The left foot and leg entered and I get my left butt cheek on the seat. I proceed to duck my head, as I sunk in backwards into the car. With chin tucked between my moobs (man boobs), I leaned back to sit in the seat and abruptly stop with my head lodged between my moobs and the top of the door frame. It’s interesting, the things that go through your mind when you begin suffocating while lodged in the door frame of a Miata because your too fat.
“I hope the guy doesn’t notice I’m stuck” turns into “This is embarrassing” turns into “Um, I really can’t breathe.” turns into “Holy crap I’m gonna’ die stuck in the door frame of a Miata.” I started to have visions of the fire department using the jaws of life to extract my dead, fat body from the human sardine can.

While I still have a long way to go, I am glad to say I no longer fear the small car. Yesterday we got our new car, a Honda Fit. It’s a great little car. It is actually quite big inside. I can even put on the seat belt. Now I can say I already got Fit. Why didn’t I think of this sooner. Buying the car is much easier than actually getting fit.

We wanted a Honda Pilot but this is what we could afford. Think I need to get a license plate that says something like FAT2FIT or GETNFIT or even just GET FIT.

Blog Makeover – Before and After

For a long time I have been considering the switch from Blogger to WordPress for a lot of reasons. One of the biggest motivators was that I wanted to feel like a big boy. Most the blog designs I envy are wordpress blogs. Any who, until I see more value in switching, I am sticking with what works for me. For now, I like the changes and hope you do too.

I want to get some opinions. Here is the old design:

I was going to post an “After” picture but that seemed redundantly redundant.

The new design was inspired by the RESISTANCE post. What do you think? Is it a little too tough looking for me. After all, I watch Oprah, cry when I watch Extreme Makeover and the past week I have had a Selena Gomez song stuck in my head. In my defense, I do like Ultimate Fighting, Weight Lifting and the 1969 Camero SS (my dream car).

Let me know what you think. After all, you guys are the ones that have to look at it when you check my blog 8 times a day and comment after every post. (**hint hint** wink wink)

BASS ACKWARDS: Expecting success without doing what success demands

I have been thinking a lot about financial things lately and principals of finance are in so many ways the same as the principals of fitness. The way you get into debt is the same way you get fat. Simply put, the problem is rooted in choosing something of minimal value now over something of great value in the future. The value of deciding to give into an unhealthy craving now or choosing to slump into a couch to watch T.V. is limited to the moment the eating or lounging takes place then it’s value is gone. Being fit and healthy, on the other hand, has a compounded value. Not only will you look better, feel better and live longer but because of those things every aspect of your life will be better. Good choices open doors to make more choices. Bad choices limit your ability to choose and progress.

I have never heard this quote before today but it is a new favorite:

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.”

– Margaret Young

It is the same with weight loss. Striving for what you want without doing what is required guarantees failure. Why do bogus “fad” diets and silly infomercial contraptions make up a multi-billion dollar industry? It’s because so many of us want results without doing what is necessary.

I watch Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition. It’s a program that inspires me in my weight loss journey. The second or third episode James, a morbidly obese man with a love for football meets Nate Newton & Michael Irvine, both 3 time Superbowl champs.

The first words of advice Newton gives James is:

“It’s where you are willing to go. It’s what you are willing to do.”

Irvine follows up with:

“Sometimes you have to understand this game out here and why only a few can play it. [It’s] because it demands more than most are willing to give.”

Behind every great achievement is a sacrifice equally great. With that in mind, in order to achieve success there are 2 questions I have to ask myself:

What do I want to accomplish? 
& more importantly
What am I willing to sacrifice to achieve it?

Wanting something is not enough no matter how much you want it. Wanting must turn into doing if it is ever going to change our being.

RE: “Big mom, Big kid”

On one of the blogs I frequent, the following question was posed:

“What do you think… what do you *honestly* think… when you see a very obese mother with her very obese young child? What do you think? Do you make any assumptions? How do you feel towards the mother? Towards the child?

What if they are at a buffet eating loads of fried chicken and French fries, or at McDonald’s having Big Macs?” ~Lynn’s Post~

I started writing a comment on her blog and I had just way too much to say about it. Thank you for prompting me and others to think about these questions.

If I saw an obese mom and child at the buffet a year ago, I probably would have been worried about the fried chicken being gone than I did about the health of the 2 people.

People who get angry or upset or feel like it’s child abuse … not judging… but have YOU ever been morbidly obese? I would guess not by your resentment and disassociation with those people. It’s impossible to see a situation for what it REALLY is until you have walked a mile in those people’s shoes. I used to be 524 pounds and even though I couldn’t walk a mile a year ago in anyone’s shoes, I do know what it’s like.

Why would you be angry? I don’t get mad, I want to give that person a hug and tell them there is something better for them, that they deserve it and that it IS achievable. I speaking as one who is running away from the 524 pound man I used to be. a person who has never been obese giving me advice or telling me “you can do it” is like someone who has never had children giving advice on how to raise your kids. Sorry people, but all you can give me is a theoretical point of view.

That is why I feel inclined obligated to blog about a very private issue so the world can see it. Maybe someone will read my story. Someone who doesn’t have a friend who knows what it’s like. I used to use the excuse that no one understood what I was going through or how hard it was for me to change.

How can you REALLY speak to me from a place of understanding unless you:

  • have become worried, even anxious getting fast food because you are not sure you got enough food to make me full.
  • go into every social event worrying about the structural integrity of the furniture
  • eat before you go to a dinner party, which you also eat at, because you don’t want others to know how much you really eat.
  • have been told by a Disney Land employee (who was very classy about it BTW) that you are just to big to ride Space Mountain safely
  • had to ask for a seatbelt extender on an airplane
  • had to worry about your ability to ride in a friends vehicle

 

You may have an opinion, and that is fine, but please don’t pretend to know how hard it is to be me. That doesn’t mean you can’t help me, it just means that you must realize that there are some things you just aren’t going to understand. Also, you have to realize that it doesn’t matter how much YOU want me to change, I have to want it for myself. It’s not the mechanics I lack at times, it’s the motivation.

Show me someone who is just as fat (or fatter) than me who actually did it. Don’t push me a trendy product or a fad diet. Putting ON this weight wasn’t a fad nor was it because of a trendy fattening meal. It was a long history of destructive habits and unhealthy choices. It’s ridiculous to think that doing anything but dealing with those habits and choices that got me into this mess will get me out.

I cannot force you to change nor can you me. If you want to really help someone make a change in their life for the better, it needs to start from a place of compassion. Ask yourself:

“Why do I want that person to change?”
“ Is it because they are different than me? “
“Is it because I believe I am right and they are wrong?”
“Is it because I think these people are a drain on healthcare?”
“Do I feel less respect for them as a person because the respect themselves less?”

 

If you answered yes, your motivation to help me are self centered.

Do you care about ME? Are you going to help me if I fail again?
Will you care enough to know when to NOT give advice and just listen to me figure things out?
Do you value the qualities that I DO possess even though I am fat?
When I cheer, will you cheer with me? When I cry, will you cry with me?
Will you remind me that the person I am now is not the best that I have to offer?
If so, you can make a difference in my life. You are ready to help someone like me. If not, it’s best not to bother trying to help me.

To those that have been that friend to me through my weight struggles, thank you. You have made all the difference my life. As I have seen people like this stand out in my life, I am overwhelmed.

Join the Resistance!

I am getting addicted to lifting weights. I don’t know if it’s a guy thing but picking up heavy objects makes me feel more manly. I used to be excited for the results that the gym would bring but now I am actually excited to work out. It was very apropos that the the song “Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp came on at the end of my workout. It was perfect theme music for the end of my workout.

I have been thinking about WHY I love weight lifting. It’s the resistance. When I lift, I go all out. It’s an inner strength that gets that last rep up when your muscles say no. It’s mind over body constantly. Resistance is manifested physically in exercise but even if you win the battle at the gym, the resistance war is far from over.

I am starting to think of food like I think of lifting weights. The boss brings a box of cookies to share. Eating the whole box is out of the question, easily possible, but I am far from that now. The idea of “maybe just one”, to me, is like loading a barbell with weight I know I can easily lift. It’s still better than not lifting just like one cookie is better than eating the whole box. When I see it that way, it’s easy to see that I am robbing myself of results. Deciding that I will have NO cookies, even though they look awesome, is like adding a little more weight than I think I can really do then barely getting the last rep, grunting and struggling until the end. Resistance training in food is just as, if not more, important than resistance training at the gym.

Join the resistance! Great warriors of weight loss have gone before you. These are people who are not celebrity endorsed or part of a weight loss reality show. They are people who are banding together through blogs, facebook & twitter to no longer live under the tyranny of their own apathy, excuses and fat. You are not alone! 60 million Americans, 20 years and older are obese. 9 million children and teens ages 6-19 are overweight. You are REALLY not alone!

Join the resistance! Like Alan, Allan, Zeusmeatball , and Tony. Fight your way through the excuses like Sarah, Lyn and Tiff. Laugh in the face of the struggle before you like Jack and NoMoreBacon.

These people inspire me. While I am doing this for me and my family and my life, I am proud to fight in the resistance along side them. Join us and and the MANY other people fighting the good fight. We are not better than you, we are not smarter than you, we have just chosen to FIGHT!

Anyone CAN do this. The challenge is to do what anyone COULD do … what everyone SHOULD do … but most of us DON’T do.

Nobody can MAKE you fat. No one made me shove 8 tacos in one sitting down my pie hole. I did it. I chose to sit on my couch instead of living life. I chose apathy over health.

Protein Powder: Whey Good Stuff For Muscles

BILL: I am totally bummin’ about my muscles bro.
TED: What’s the problem dude?
BILL: Well ya’ know how I have like, been, at the gym, liftin’ weights n’ all?
TED: Ya’ dude, you spend more time pumpin’ iron than I do playin’ air guitar.
BILL:I know right? But bro, you can’t even tell. I still couldn’t snag a bodacious babe with these biceps.
TED: Dude, I totally know what you need?
BILL: No way!
TED: Whey!
BILL: Okay, whatcha got bro? Lay it on me.

TED: Whey dude!

BILL: Well come on bro, spew some knowledge on me!
TED: I’m tryin’ dude. It’s Whey!

First of all, why is protein important in building muscle?
Protein is made up of the nutrients needed to support muscle growth and strength after the muscles have been overexerted beyond their common use. For a better description, there is a great summery at LiveStrong.com.

Why protein powder?
“The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day—that’s about 64 grams for a 160 pound adult. In the U.S., adults get an average of 15 percent of their calories from protein; for a person who requires a 2,000-calorie-per-day-diet, that’s about 75 grams of protein.” – Harvard School of Public Health

The idea behind protein shakes is to pack all the protein you could get from normal foods like fish, eggs & other meats without the added calories and fat content that is common in protein rich foods. Basically, it helps you build muscle effectively without destroying your caloric intake goals.

What makes up a good protein powder?
There are innumerable supplement companies that are pushing their protein shakes. In the end, here are the 3 things I am looking for in my protein shakes.

  1. Proven (hype free and highly recommended)
  2. Minimal calories for protein benefit
  3. Taste
  4. Cost

I have become familiar with EAS’s Myoplex but their prices are dumb. I just picked up some Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Hydro Whey. I suggest finding a reputable brand with a track record of quality products and a flavor you like. While there are many opinions, the overall consensus from everything I have read is that whey protein is the most effective and popular form of powder but egg or soy based powders are legitimate alternatives.

Bottom line
You will build muscle faster and repair muscles more effectively than you could with a regular diet I have been using protein shakes as part of a 1500-1600 calorie diet and I have been able to have steady gains weekly at the gym. Heal faster, gain muscle….pretty much, you get Hulk powers without the gama-rays n’ such.I have not noticed any change in how I feel other than I am able to lift more weight without getting super sore or fatigued. It’s a “whey” awesome part of my supplement routine going forward.

FYI – GNC had a special on Optimum Nutrition so I picked these up at the store for $22 each. It was as good of a deal as any I could find online but without the shipping costs.

More info on protein:
Harvard School of Public Health: How much protein do I need?
LiveStrong.com: Benefits of Drinking a Protein Drink
Protein Toxicity Info