Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Five weeks and three days remaining until July 4, and it's looking a little too close for comfort. But first, let's talk about Wilson.

Last week, while drawing water before giving the kids a bath in our master bathroom over-sized garden tub, I turned on the jets. Unfortunately, the jets were not aimed downward, and the water was not up enough yet. So a large stream of about 128 ounces (1 gallon) of water promptly shot from the tub, all the way across the bathroom, and as far as into our bedroom. It only took a second, before I shut the water spraying engine off.

Later on that evening, Lori commented about the wetness of the bathroom, and noted that my beloved digital scale was pretty soaked. I wiped it off and gave it a test. "Err," it replied back to me. After repeated tries, and even replacing the battery, I still got the same thing. Suddenly this feeling of loneliness and abandonment set in. I immediately connected with Tom Hanks' character in Castaway, when he lost his only company - Wilson - a volleyball decorated as a person. I felt like the scale and I had been through so much, and now, just about a month to go to achieve "our goal," my Wilson was gone! Sure I could buy a new scale, but would it be as accurate and dependable as Wilson?

The next morning, I fiddled with it some more. It got beyond the "Err" message and then showed me a weight of 625.7 lbs. Now we're making progress. Next, it was in the 500's. Later in the 300's, then the high 200's. Lori commented that perhaps it was wrong before and was right now. Well I kept coming back until it gave me an answer in the ball park of where it was the day before... around 245.0.

So that's where I am. Actually, at this moment, I am probably up a few from there, after 5 days of working on the deck and eating not so well and not running. So I have 5 weeks, and 3 days to drop about 6 more pounds from my low of 245. It's going to be close. I may have to plan a road race on July 4 - the Great Raleigh Road Race. That would be a fitting finale since (I think) that was my first race some 22+ years ago while a junior at NC State.

At least Wilson is ready for it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

My Top 10 Keys to Weight Loss

I spend some time thinking when I'm running. When I'm not thinking about the liklihood of stepping in a hole or tripping over something while running in the dark of my neighborhood, I'm thinking about what song is next on my iPod, or when a dog will unexpectedly appear from the shadows of their owner's picket fence and bark ferociously, scaring the living crap out of me. It's pretty much those 3 things. Lately, I've also been thinking about the key things that have made the weight loss and exercise effort of 2008 a success so far. People do ask me, "How have you done it?" So here's my Top 10 list.

  1. God: Before I started this, I knew I needed to lose weight, and I knew how to do it. I just wasn't motivated. I prayed that God would motivate me, and get me started. I think God has given me a new perspective on diet and exercise that complements my strengths, carries me through weaknesses, and encourages me like never before.

  2. Family: My family certainly pleaded with me to lose weight for many years, when I have been in my off-diet cycles. And of course they have encouraged me along the way. But I do have to give my wife Lori a lot of credit for encouraging me and never giving me any excuse to skip a run. It takes time to exercise, and she has sacrificed some longer hours with the kids so that I can go do a run or work out.

  3. Alli: This pill seems to have helped me lost about 40-50% more than I have lost in the past.

  4. Blog / humor: Writing this blog has allowed me some humor vents and self accountability. Trying to examine myself from outside of myself gives some new perspectives and motivations that were not there before.

  5. Unsweet Tea & Frozen Lunches: I buy a gallon of tea every Monday morning, and use it all week at work. I switched to unsweet, which I enjoy with Splenda and my frozen lunch from Lean Cuisine or Right Ones (Weight Watchers). I've tried Healthy Choice, but didn't find those to be as reliably good. Exchanging trips to the cafeteria for frozen diet food has had a significant impact. I still have the buffalo chicken wrap on Wednesday.

  6. iPod & Bose earbuds: Being able to run while listening to a random mix of 5000 of my favorite tunes in high-quality full range audio is a beautiful thing.
  7. Elliptical - I didn't start running on this diet until about 10 lbs into it. I think that building up my leg strength from 0 to -10 lbs really helped me in running, and has helped prevent injuries.

  8. Weather - Being able to run at night during the winter and early spring was a bit cold at times.... but it beats running in summer heat. The summer is a terrible time for a big guy to start working out outside.

  9. Goal setting - Setting a goal and measuring progress has surprisingly been a good motivator for me. "40 by the 4th!"

  10. mapmyrun.com - This is a website using the Google maps system which allows mapping of the various routes I've run around the neighborhood. It beats trying to drive it like I used to. And it's fun to use too!

So there you have it, in case you ever ask...