Friday, August 29, 2008

Now that is much better

So after getting good sound advice from other runners and from people whose advice I trust very much I took all of yesterday off.  No weights, no bike, no exercise period and boy it paid off.

This morning I rose at 5 am and hit the bricks.  I changed my route slightly to eliminate a short but extremely steep hill and that helped.  I ran 2.25 miles in 27:26.  That would be a personal best pace for me of 12:11.  So I think this new  2+ miles route is a bit better.  there are still hills, but just not that one that I dread.  Lets put it this way.  from one house to the next on the block that this hill is on I would say there is a 10 incline.  So maybe 10 ft incline over 70 ft or so.  I am sure I could figure the grade, but what I know is that it is killer for me.  But I learned something else today.

During the last 2 tenths I started to lift my knees a bit more.  This created more speed and longer strides at about the same cadence (not sure if that is a running term, but I am using it anyway).  So I get away from the straight leg shuffle and look more like I am running.  The other thing this does is keep my breathing under control because when I run things move (my excess girth) and if they to quickly breathing becomes extremely labored in a big hurry.  So I will try to lift my knees a bit more on tomorrows run of 2 miles.  then Monday will be an off day with some lifting.

Tomorrow I will do my run and weigh in to see if I made my 299.8 goal.  I will post tomorrow afternoon to let you know.  And maybe I will take a picture or two.  I think I can safely say that the progress is not going to vary to much over a few tenths of a pound if I don't make it.

Question for the runners.  You run and that conditions your legs for sure but if you lift do you ever do any strength training for your legs?  I have been just working on upper body strength training and not doing anything with my legs.  What do you guys do? 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

That was the most difficult run I have had

So I went out for a two mile run last night.  Had to stop and walk after one hill and could not make it all the way up another.  Probably walked 200 yards in all.  I just ran out of gas.  My legs felt tired from the get go.  So tonight I will rest them a bit.  I will head to the gym and I will ride the bike but at a more leisurely pace.  I will also hit the weights and do the sit ups.

Do any of you runners out there struggle with dead legs?  I thought early in the day that they felt strong, but once I started my run they just started talking back and telling me I was nuts.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Almost, but still I am pretty darn happy

OK OK, I might be just a shade disappointed, but I am going to weigh in on Saturday to see if I "officially" my personal goal.  I lost a fantastic 4.8 lbs this week. leaving me 1.8 lbs to get below 300.  For those of you just joining us, the goal was to be below 300 by the time of the first Mizzou football game that was originally noted in this post here.

Now I know that goal was / is aggressive and I know all the things about not reaching your goal, but I am seriously not upset about this one.  I might make it by Saturday, I might make it by September 30th, who knows.

I do know this, I will weigh on Saturday, take the results and have a great day regardless.  After that the goal is to run that 5k in October.  My energy will be very focused on that and I am sure weight loss will come along with that.]

Thanks for all the well wishes yesterday.  I really do appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nervous for the first time in a long time.

Well weigh in day has arrived and I am a shade nervous.  Maybe not nervous but anxious.  Hard to tell the difference.  See I got up and for the first time I ran in the morning.  Like 5:20 in the morning. 

How beautiful it was this morning.  The moon and stars were still shining.  It was even a bit cool as I stepped outside.  Today's run called for 2.25 miles and I was able to complete it without much problem.  I am noticing some trends though.  Hills kick my butt is one.  My breathing has to be controlled and I am hesitant about steep downhill runs because of knee injury.  The breathing thing is interesting I have a hard time with it with all of my bulk shaking around as I run.  I think that it is just hard for my lungs to perform normally as they are being tossed about un-naturally.  Just a thought anyway.  My run today was 2.25  for 28.35.  That is a pace of 12:42 a mile, this is my fastest pace yet and longest distance.  I very happy with my progress and will continue to keep you updated.

Now, why am I anxious?  Well I have really busted my tail this week and I want to see what the scale says.  I still think I will be short of the 6.6 lb loss I need to get below 300.   Regardless I am pretty excited and honestly if I don't get there, I might just weight in Saturday morning to see if I can get there before the first Mizzou game.  That would be pretty exciting for me.  I cannot tell you the last time I weighed 2-something.  It is almost a dream.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I find it interesting the way you can feel the tide shifting. After a couple of months of being less than enthusiastic about my weight loss efforts I am feeling more focused these days. While this is not the pinpoint focus we all feel in the early days of a program I would call this the appropriate level of focus.

This leads me to believe that this is exactly the reason so many have trouble after a few months. This had that pinpoint focus and then they just lose it. They the feel like they have failed and go back to the bad habits that got them to a place where they did not want to be in the first place. I know I felt that way after a couple of weeks of gains. Luckily I have all you guys to spur me along and this blog to look back on to figure out where I lost track.

I have also learned over the past couple of months that I have to live my life. I will not let a diet stand in the way of the occasional frozen custard. I just know that I need to make good decisions most of the time and everything will work out. I think that is really what I am figuring out. Make a good choice more often than not and you will see good results. Of course you have to exercise to.

And this weekend I flat out knocked it out of the park. Whether the scale shows it or not I was just on the ball this weekend. Friday night I went to the gym with Carrie and road the bike like I said I would. Check this thing out (Expresso Upright Bike) It makes the ride so much more fun. I was on that guy for 25 minutes and then did my standard lifting. Then Saturday and Sunday I ran 2 miles each day.

I am already feeling more energy and feeling stronger from the runs. I will follow the plan that I have that will put me at 3 miles in a few weeks, but I can tell you right now that if the race was this weekend I could finish it. I would be slow and probably lucky to finish in under 45 minutes, but right now I really do not care. I will be working towards the 5k distance and then working on time. I can however tell you that I ran the 2 miles in 25:10 on Saturday and 24:45 on Sunday. I am very pleased with my success so far and it is very tempting to get out there and run today, but as the schedule is calling for a run of 2.25 miles tomorrow I will go ahead a just hit the bike for a bit this evening and then get the run in tomorrow morning.

I have to tell you that I am excited about the race and was actually dreaming about it last night. I really only dream of passing the finish line and being congratulated by my friends and family. I am not sure what the moment will bring, whether it will be emotional or not, but I can tell you that it will the the culmination of a lot of hard work and will only prove that I can so much more than I ever thought possible.

Friday, August 22, 2008

You know what skinny people have in common?

OK OK, let me qualify that a bit. Do you know what skinny people over the age of 30 have in common? I would say the the majority of them exercise. I have posted about this before, but I think more people exercise than I realized in the past. I also believe that when we see skinny people, in particular those who appear fit, I think we need to realize that they work at it. I know what your saying. "There are just naturally skinny people". You know what you right and I have no answer for that. Superior Metabolism?

Now about this photo
I might just be turning into a runner. I am really enjoying this. Which after my first introduction to it on the treadmill, which I hated, I would have not thought possible. But get this guys, I ran 2 miles last night. Not walked part of it and ran part of it. I ran them. Now granted, I was running 13:30ish miles, but I did run them. I feel a bit sore today, but nothing bad. Running outside is just more fun. I did get heckled by some kids which brought back not so fond memories and reminded me just how cruel kids can be, but I did not say a word and pressed on.

So tonight I head to the gym for some strength and bike time and tomorrow morning I will hit the pavement again. I think 1.5 miles will be on the agenda but we shall see where the road leads us.

By the way of you have not Gmaps-pedometer you should check it out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tired, but no where near dead.

So I did indeed run last night.  I ran an entire mile.  For the first time I ran outside.  It was absolutely great.  I have no idea how fast I ran it, but I am not to concerned about time right now.  I do know that I probably could have kept going and I will be trying that tonight.  I know I should be following the whole C25K thing, but I am just not the regimented.  I am sure it would be better for me, but I just need to do this my way.

So what is my way.  Basically tonight (if the rain hold off) I will set the goal for two miles.  I will not run for time, but I will just try to complete to miles running.  Then I will see where I am at the next day.  I may not even run.  I might just head to the gym.  If it rains tonight I will be heading there tonight so you see I just need to do this my way.

All in all I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will be ready for the 5K come Oct 18th.  My goal will still be to run the entire thing.  But as my training progresses I may make a secondary goal.  We will have to wait and see on that one.  Speaking of  Oct 18th.  Check out the countdown to the right.  That should get my butt off the couch and on the streets huh.

Also a note on fitness and kids.  My son even tagged along for the run last night and I could not have been more proud.  He would walk and then sprint to catch up.  I hope that he will join me for more runs in the future.  So to those of you out there with kids, you might ask the if they want to join you the next time you go for a run or a walk.  I hope they take you up on the offer. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

To set goals or not to set goals, that is the question.

Well an update is due. I lost 1.8 lbs this week! While this was not what I was really hoping for I am still moving in the right direction. That push to get to 299.8 by the first Mizzou game is still on, it might just have to come down to a weigh in prior to the game.

This brings up an interesting topic. Goals. I set them and try to meet them. Others think goals are dangerous because of the possibility of failure. What do you think? I can tell you I think that failure is part of life and many times it is our failures that we learn from and make us stronger. So I may or may not make it to that elusive 299.8 by game day on the 30th, but if I don't I will not be dwelling on it. I will be focusing on my next goal. To run the 5K I have signed up for on October 18th. I am going to have to train my butt off to be able to run the whole thing, but I am determined to do it. Wow, I just realized that I have been letting my goal of getting under 300 hinder my progress on the 5K goal. Well no more. Tonight, I run.

So what say you blogoshpere - Goals or no goals?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dead legs and Grilled Salmon

I decided to test myself on Saturday and I paid for it a bit.  But it felt pretty good.

Allow me to elaborate.  I went to the gym and hopped on the treadmill.  I decided that I was going to run as along as I felt comfortable.  I made it .8 of a mile.  I know it is not anywhere near the 5K I am getting ready for, but it was not bad.  I did that in just about 10 minutes.  Then I walked for another 3 minutes and tried to run again and only mustered 90 seconds.  I know I pushed myself to far during the first run and my legs were just dead.  But it still felt good to know I could run that distance.  Now to add on to it.  I will be back at it tonight and attempting to get a full mile in.  My legs still feel a bit dead but I will try to power through.

In other healthy living news:  I grilled some salmon last night and I have to tell you that my first experiment grilling fish was good.  I glazed the salmon with lime juice, honey, ground red pepper, salt, garlic powder and coconut shavings.  The result was very good.  I grilled the filet skin side down first and when I went to turn it the skin stuck.  I thought I was done for.  Thankfully while the skin stuck to the grill the meat turned perfectly.  At that point I was certain that the fish would stick and I would be calling the pizza man for dinner, but it didn't.  Beautiful grill marks and and delicious finished product.

Check back tomorrow night to see how I did at the weigh in.  I will need to really buckle down and do some really good work to get to the 299.8 mark by next Tuesday but I it is doable.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Its Habitual

So I was sitting here this morning after I did not get to the gym, again, and I was thinking about the last few weeks.  I am not calling this a plateau just yet but I am ready to tell you that since I got to 320 I am finding things much more difficult.  I would like to tell you that it is the time of the year, or that I am just that busy, or a host of other excuses.  But the fact of the matter is that I am reverting back to old habits.  Habits of eating out of boredom, and making poor choices.  being habitually sedentary.  The good thing is that I am noticing it.  So that is a positive.  It is also good that I have continued to lose during the past month or 6 weeks.  I am not unhappy about my progress at all, I have just noticed a change in my habits.  That all needs to stop.

I am committing to getting in 5 workouts prior to weigh in on Tuesday and I am committing to 6 workouts the next week.  I will stop eating out of boredom and if I do I will make the right choices.  I will begin to track religiously again and right this ship.  Those are the good habits I need to keep up with.

I know I know.  You're saying, "Matt, you have come so far, you continue to lose, your doing great."  But this is the thing.  I have to replace the bad habits with good ones.  I know what I am capable of and it is certainly more than what I have been doing.  It means sacrifice and hard work.  But lets face it.  That sacrifice and hard work means years on my life, and a much more reward quality of life now and in the years to come.  I wanna be that old dude who you see and you think "man, that guy is really in shape and looks so good for his age."  I know you know the one I am talking about.

So here we go.  Breaking the bad habits and replacing them with good ones.  Part II

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A loss is a loss.

So I am down .8 this week and I am happy about it.  Particularly with the weekend that I mentioned.  It is funny though with a loss of less than a pound.  I am happy, but not real excited.

That said I am going to try to bust my butt and get a big loss this week and next to get to that 299.8 mark in 2 weeks.  I am not sure I will get there, but it is possible.  And really the goal was to be to that weight by the first Mizzou game which is not until the 30th.  So I might even fudge it a bit and weigh in on that Saturday to see if I got to my goal. 

Only time will tell.  Oh and just so you all know, once I get to that magical number (100 lb loss) I will post some new pics. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Success! Grilled Chicken Parm!

It is delicious. I might make a few modifications, but the overall idea is simple and effective. Grill some chicken and veggies, once done top you chicken with a bit of sauce and some cheese and toss it under the broiler. Chop up veggies, season to taste and throw a bit of parm cheese on top and your golden.

Here are some photos of last nights dinner:
Above we have the grill getting hot and the food ready for grilling. Note: I tend to season the crap out of my chicken and I let the grill get to at least 350 degrees before I put anything on but turn down the heat once food is on. Also: give your chicken some time to cook. trying to turn it to early will result in dry chicken, and no one wants that.
Here we have the nearly fished product. just look at those grill marks!
After some time under the broiler and some chopping of the veggies this is what I came up with. Mmm Mmm Good!

By the way (if your just joining us), the veggies are yellow and orange bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, and onions. All grilled.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not so great weekend - But a recipe idea!

So the weekend kind stunk in terms of eating right and being healthy.  I really need to curtail the snacking.  Which leads me to the question of the day.  How many points might a half a bag of doritos be?  OK so it may not have been a half bag, but they are gone now!  THANK GOODNESS.  Other than that.  Golf, beer and Chicken Lips from Tanners!  Golf is good, beer and lips not as great, but I really enjoyed them and probably stayed within points (or pretty close) yesterday.

Now for the recipe thought.  Jay and I were out on the course yesterday talking and he mentioned he had some really good chicken parm at Cascone's the other day and it got me to thinking about what I could do the make that dish halfway healthy and we came up with this idea.  Grill the chicken with some italian herbage, put a bit of sauce over it, and put a slice of provolone over that a broil to desired level of melty cheesy goodness.  But what about the pasta?  Well I think what I am gonna do is grill summer squash, zucchini, orange and red bell peppers, and onion put a rough chop on it.  Spray it with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and hit it with some parmesan cheese and call it dinner.  I will post tomorrow with a photo and let you know how it turned out but points wise it will be in the neighborhood of  8-10 I would say. 

Enjoy your Monday! 

Friday, August 8, 2008

Attitude is everything

"Why can't you be in a good mood? How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood once in a while?"
Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) - Say Anything

So how hard is it? That is the question at hand. My guess is some days are harder than others. But I think if we make it a habit of getting up in the morning and deciding that today is going to be a good day and that I am going to be in a good mood it would be a lot easier.

So what the heck does this have to do with weight loss? I believe the same principals apply. If I wake up in the morning and decide that today I am going to be on plan and think about what I eat and get some exercise in then chances are it will be a successful day. If I get up and think "I cannot wait to get to goal so I can be done thinking about what I eat" I will certainly fail.

So today and for the days to come I will rise and think about what a good day it is going to be. I will also be thankful for everything I have. Will you do the same?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Roller Coaster

I am down again. 5.2 pounds down to be precise. The last couple of months have been a complete roller coaster. Modest gains followed by incredible losses. I know that this is normal now and I will just keep moving forward. I guess the thing is that we cannot be perfect all the time. The first several months perfection was pretty easy to come by. But now perfection is more difficult. But maybe just maybe this roller coaster is perfection. Occasionally enjoying an evening of indulgence but not indulging all the time. So I will ride this roller coaster and mover forward.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Training begins

last years Kansas City Marathon Poster

I signed up today for the 5K that I have mentioned from time to time here.  I am running the 5K portion of the Kansas City Marathon on October 18th.

I started training last night by simply doing a walk / run routine on the treadmill.  I was pretty strong for the entire time but am very sore today.  I will attempt to cross train in one way or another on off days.  I am determined to run the entire 5k.  Even if I run slowly I am going to run.  I am not setting any time goals right now.  Only to try to run the entire race.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A small victory

Just thought I would pass along this little gem.  My son this morning gave me a hug and exclaimed.  "Yea!  My arms fit all the way around!"  I think he has been able to do this for a while now, but when your 9 year old notices then you know you must be doing something right. 

Friday, August 1, 2008

A good couple of days

Thought it might be useful to take a look at the past couple of days.  Both Wednesday and Thursday I have been right on track.  I did not work out Wednesday but that is primarily because I will not take away time with my son on those nights.  I did work out last night and will be back at it tonight.  Food selections have been good and snacking has been minimal.  Tonight I think grilled chicken breast with so grilled veggies and stuff.

I would like to say I am pretty driven right now to make the right choices, but I still find myself making choices that are not great.  In most cases I can get away with it, but in some cases I just need to cut back.  Case in point.  I know that snacks between meals are normal, but I am finding myself looking forward to 10:30 so I can eat my apple and banana and I am not really sure I am hungry.  It is almost as if when I eat it triggers more hunger.  That said I know the snack keep my metabolism rolling and I normally snack on fruit.  At least while I am at work.

So for those of you out there who have lost a considerable amount of weight while on WW, how did you cope with less points?  I guess my point is, I would almost prefer to go ahead and move down in points now rather have a really hard time with it.  I know it is only one point at a time, but it seems like there it could be difficult. 

Have a great weekend!