I did it…everyone knows now…

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Here’s what I posted on my blog earlier…letting everyone know about FGiaLC…wish me luck!

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[Disclaimer: This is kind of a long and serious post.]

Most of you know that Holli and I have been into blogging for a decent amount of years now. I tend to be fascinated by anything electronic, and at one point in time had strong interests in researching the Internet as a means of advancing organizational goals for my Ph.D. I still do, just maybe not as much.

Anyway, I’m digressing already…

Very few of you are probably aware of another blog I’ve been keeping since last summer, and more than likely there is a reason for it. This blog has been one of my decision to have a healthy life, to lose weight, and to start running.

Yes, I am a fat guy who runs. And I love it.

rhys-3-weeks-old-and-johns-5k-037

In fact, I ran so much from July to October last year that I lost 30 pounds. Didn’t notice? That’s okay. I didn’t really either which was the depressing part. What I did notice is that I have gained half of it back. I even ran a 5K last year that I took third place in for my age group (and yes, there were more than three of us). I don’t know why it is that I’ve been captivated by running, but I enjoy it when I get the time, and I don’t intend on quitting any time soon.

Most of the people who read this blog and know me have known me as a fat guy. Let’s dispense with the subtleties of whether or not I’ll get offended and call it what it is. I am fat. I know this, and have known this for most of my adult life. The blog, which you can view HERE, is one of the mechanisms I’ve used to keep me motivated. But, sadly, my studies and my family require significant amounts of time, and so the degree to which I need to be held accountable must be augmented. I’ve let the blog slip a bit, and have had a hard time regaining momentum. So, I am letting all of you know that this blog exists, and am allowing you to come into what was previously a private endeavor.

I am doing this primarily for my health. Today I was informed by my doctor that recent blood tests showed an exceptionally high glucose level and that I more than likely have developed Type II diabetes. Obviously, this is not good news, but I can’t say that I am altogether too surprised. My mother’s side of the family is replete with cases of diabetes…though it seems as if I am the one who was the youngest to receive the diagnosis. And obviously, the fact that I weigh in well over what I should is not helping the situation any.

This is not for vindication by any means. Yes, I was harangued, teased, ostracized, and bullied by a few people growing up in my little “Town of Friendly Neighbors” and I remember the who, what, and when of it until this day. But, I have gone on to achieve many of my life goals–mainly finding an amazing wife, starting our family and obtaining my education–without letting it ruin me. So, this is not to get back at anyone. I once heard a general authority of my church give a talk in which he stated, “You can describe a man in inches, pounds, complexion, or physique. But you measure a man by character, compassion, integrity, tenderness and principle.” My principles tell me to forgive those who embarrassed me. They didn’t know any better. And moreover, I have the best set of family and friends I could ever ask for, so it should be of no bother to me now.

I really don’t know who reads this blog any more, other than the faithful readers who leave comments on a regular basis. I do know the power of diffusion though. I know that our blog is probably linked to several others thereby spreading the knowledge that it exists. There are those of you who have never left a comment, those of you who probably haven’t spoken to us in quite some time, those of you who might not know us, and frankly those of you who might not even like me (I couldn’t say ‘us’ there because, come on, who doesn’t like Holli or Rhys?). I am sure that now that I’ve divulged the fact that I have a fat blog out there, my friends, family, spiritual leaders, colleagues, co-workers, and stalkers (ha ha) will have access to it.

That’s fine by me.

Since I started the other blog, I have found people literally from all over the world who have been exceptionally supportive and encouraging. One of these new friends even sent me some CDs full of running songs and a pair of running socks to help keep me motivated. Amazing, right? If someone who is still somewhat of a stranger is willing to lend so much support, then why not share this blog with family and friends? They have been exceptionally supportive, and I hope you will too. If you don’t comment this blog, that’s fine, but I hope you’ll feel compelled to comment on my weight-loss blog. Invent a name if you have to.

Now, I’ll be honest in letting you know that I can be quite candid on the other blog. Granted, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve in real life, but probably even more so on my weight-loss blog. This hasn’t been easy. It never has. But it’s something I have to do, and I hope the reasons why are as implicit to you as they are to me.

I did what I didn’t ever want to do.

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I came in last.

So, I am in Nevada with my wife visiting her family for the holidays. We’ve had a good time and are heading to Arizona tomorrow to visit my family for a week, and then making the trip back to Georgia where I’ll start my FINAL semester of coursework. I know things won’t get much easier in the dissertation writing, but at least I won’t have to be on campus or go to classes. I’ve grown quite tired of them.

Anyway, back to the real story…

While here, we decided to participate in a new race in my wife’s hometown–a cross-country 5k.

There were only about 30 of us who participated in the race, so, at the starting line, I resigned myself to the fact that I’d probably come in last. And that’s exactly what happened.

I could easily be upset, but I’m not. After a semester that was exceptionally lackluster in terms of running and exercise, coming in last made me realize how much I’ve been missing. A lot. So, my wife hung out with me at the back of the pack, we chatted, talked about our exercise goals, and then ran the last quarter mile for a strong finish. Everyone in the family who participated got a medal, except me. But that’s ok, because in my opinion, mediocrity doesn’t deserve reward. I have, however, realized that I need to get back on track and make my health a priority.

Now my in-laws live in a small town, and there was talk of nobody wanting to come in last for fear of embarassment. More than anything, I think they were mostly joking (but there’s also a common retort in the family, in which one responds “60/40,” meaning what you said was 60% true). Regardless, I wasn’t in it to win it. I was in it to finish it, and that’s exactly what I did.

Cross-country races are probably not for me right now…I think I’ll stick to the road races until I’m in better shape and know how to navigate courses better. Granted, it was fun, but somewhat frustrating at the same time.

In any case, onward and upward…

Wow!

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OK, so when I post my September stats tomorrow or the day after, you note that overall this month just sucked. There’s really no more eloquent term to use (although since readership is growing, I should probably try).

However, October is my re-commitment month. It’s a busy one, still, but I think it’s time to bite the bullet and do it. You’ll note from an earlier post that I still haven’t gained anything back, which is fine, but I need to keep losing if I want to reach my goal.

The rest of this semester is going to be a killer. Trips to Phoenix and Philadelphia (and one to Orlando just completed), plus deadlines for conferences, journal articles, and research advisors are on the horizon. But, I still have to reassess my goals and get in gear.

Tonight I went out for a run (3.15 mi.) and ran it in 43:38…my best to date.  I was scared at first because I haven’t run for two weeks (I know, I know), but was encouraged to keep going when I found it was my best recorded time for that distance.  But it’s getting cooler, and I’m used to my schedule now, so things should only get better (at least I hope).

In absentia

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I am alive and well, I’m happy to report. Please forgive me for the lack of posts. Truth of the matter is I’ve been ridiculously busy with school and family.  I kind of knew that this would happen, but I assure you that I will get back in the swing of things shortly.

Fatherhood has been great.  Don’t get me wrong…it’s been tiring, as well, but the benefits are all greater than the defecits. The larger downside is the fact that my workouts have more or less stopped…and this is not good. I’m happy to report that I have not gained any weight…but conversely, that means I haven’t lost any either. This will change.

I have an upcoming 5k in October, so it would really behove me to get out and working on my time. It is so much cooler now, I really should take advantage of it (though I’m fighting a nasty little sinus infection which could make it worse).

In any event, I am here and will be working my way back into the blogosphere and getting back on track with my goals.

August stats

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The month of August was eventful to say the least. My little boy arrived on the 7th and that has changed my life all for the better. In terms of personal goals, I ran my first 5k and had a great time. I also finally moved beyond my plateau weight, and am down to 346 lbs.  I still don’t really feel it or see it, but my wife say she does…so I’ll trust her on that one. I ran less and burned fewer calories in August than in July, yet I lost a little more weight. Guess I have no complaints there…6 pounds for the month is great to me.

So, for the month of August…

MILES RUN:                       24.6

TIME SPENT RUNNING:      6:05:07

DAYS I RAN:                      9 (what?!)

SHORTEST DIST.:              2.0mi (3.2k)

LONGEST DIST.:                3.11mi (5.0k)

CALORIES BURNED*:         15,244

WEIGHT LOST:                   6.1lbs.

See you in September!

*=includes cross training workouts

The First 5k

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Well, I did it, and I had a great time!  My wife and son came out to cheer me on and it was an overall great morning.  I finished in 45:29…definitely not my best, but considering the number of hills, I think it was really good for my progress. The standard 5k route I normally run has no hills really, and my best time on that route so far has been 44:33. In my own opinion, I think those hills could have slowed me down a lot more than that minute, but either way it was my first and I was in it to finish, not to win it. My real goal was to not finish last…and that, I can proudly report, did not happen.

We weren’t going to stick around for the awards initially, but it was a relatively small field and a friendly group of folks, so we decided to stay and cheer for those who won something. Surely, you would imagine there would be plenty of people in my age group, but it was relatively thin…so, I took 3rd in my age group! Crazy.  I definitely don’t expect that to happen from here on out.

Here I am with my handcrafted, butterfly award.  Pretty cool, eh? 😉

Next race is at the beginning of October…and I might add another at the end of October too.  We’ll see how crazy life is with school and our little guy at that point!

Must keep moving forward!

In a funk

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Help.

So, I knew that having a child and starting a killer semester would more than likely negatively impact my training and exercise, but throwing me into a slight paranoia wasn’t quite expected.

Friday was a busy and chaotic day.  Our little guy was beyond fussy and it was apparent that my wife needed my help, so I gave up the run to help her out. Saturday, I woke up with incredible pain in my ankles. I wanted to run, but I knew the pain was probably a bad sign. Sunday is always my day off, so no running anyway.  Yesterday chaos resumed…the boy was needing his parents, I had my econometrics class, a meeting with my advisor and a slew of work to be finished. I at least managed to get about 40 minutes on the stationary bike in. Then today wasn’t much different…no run.

I NEED TO RUN! What is my deal?  My first 5k is coming up on Saturday morning, and I’ve yet to run this week. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to give my body a bit of a rest if I’m going to go full force on Saturday, but I feel like I’m slipping a bit. Am I afraid?  What’s with me?

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