I’m failing

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**Cross posted to fitlanthropist.com**


The one thing I promised myself when I got back into this, is that no matter what happened, I would be real about my experience. So, here’s me being real: I’m failing.

While sending the check off to Free Arts was a great feeling, hoping that our small, collective effort could help, the time lapse has yielded nothing good in terms of my weight. I feel my body changing, and it sickens me. Now, I’ve always been content with who I am, and have mostly been able to carry out my life with a decent dose of confidence, but I’m feeling the great effect of doing nothing.

I’d like to get started with the next fund raiser, and in fact, I’ve got a really unique, small foundation that I have some ties to that I think is very deserving. However, in order for me to pick up where I left off, I need to lose weight.

Yes, you read correctly. I gained weight back. I suck.

I have, however, started running again, though after a few weeks, I managed to find myself in a rut. I am not much of a morning person, so I’ve not been getting runs in. It’s getting way too hot out there…and I need to find away to get up early and get motivated again.

I’m not going to tell you how much I’ve gained back (it’s not much), but I need to get back to my magic number so we can start the dang fund raiser.

It’s time to stop failing.

From FAILURE to CHANGE: A new beginning and a new site

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I would say that I have learned to fail more in the past year than any other period of my life.

It’s true. Though I don’t have time or space to tell you (and surely you don’t have the time either), this year has been one that has challenged me in nearly every facet of my life. So, where have I been?  Certainly not here, and certainly not losing weight.

I have lost the battle…but the war goes on.

I would understand if people have written me off. I would understand if people have decided to stop following my progress (or lack, thereof). However, for the handful of you who have stuck it out with me: thank you. I hope you’ll follow me into a new phase of this journey of mine.

www.fitlanthropist.com

That is where you can find me now. I know the title is a little silly…basically just adding “fit” to “philanthropy.” But what a portmanteau, eh? So, surely you have a question or two about it.

Somewhere down the line, I lost my motivation. It happens. I’m not happy that it happened, considering my wife and son should be plenty for me to get motivated. But nevertheless, it happened. I have always been a proponent of charitable giving and service, so I thought to myself, “Why not go one more step and tack on some additional motivation?” So, beyond myself, my wife and my son, I am going to challenge myself to lose weight for charity. For every pound I lose, I will pay $1 (US) and solicit others to match my amount. That’s the crux of it, but you can read more about it here. It’s a work in progress, but I’ve got to start somewhere. And for those of you who are part of the Twitter craze, I’m here too: @fitlanthropist.

It’s time to transition. I’ve slipped, yes, but given up I have not. I look forward to catching up with you!

Hey. Remember me? Yeah. I’m that guy.

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I’m not dead. Heaven forbid I should become one of those teeny-bopper rumors we all heard in high school (I think the big one that really impacted me was that Mark-Paul Gosselaar had died…if you know me at all, you probably know that I’m a huge Saved by the Bell fan. Go ahead and make fun of me, but there’s no way you’ll EVER beat me at SBTB trivia).

So, it’s been a while. A LONG while. And, frankly, I don’t have much to account for my absence other than the semester from hell. I’d tell you about it, but it would only throw me into a foaming-at-the-mouth rage witnessed by few, and only comparable in nature to the time Sarah Palin mocked community organizers at the Republic National Convention. Well, either that, or the time FOX cancelled Arrested Development.

I have, no doubt, lost readers, but I want to thank those of you who’ve kept up with me from time to time. Your support has not gone unnoticed!

However, I am back to regain my journey. I made a significant dent by losing 30 pounds. I haven’t stepped on a scale lately, but the fact that I don’t want to should tell you something. The time has come to re-engage my goals and get serious about them.

When I started this, I realized that I might fall a couple of times. In fact, of the stories I had read of really successful weightloss, many had to lose and regain several time before the true success took place. If this is one of those times, so be it. I’m ready to get back to it, and I’m ready to share my endeavors with you again.

I went for a run last week and it felt really great. I need to remember the fact that I can do it. That the despite the fact I weigh…what I do…I AM A RUNNER. I need to be grateful that I can use my legs to carry my corpulent body a few miles in under an hour…and I need to use that to get me back on track.

Who’s with me?

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

In the news: Better to Be Fat and Fit Than Skinny and Unfit

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This week’s story comes from Tara Parker-Pope’s Well blog in the Health section of The New York Times. It originally ran online August 18th…

Better to Be Fat and Fit Than Skinny and Unfit

I appreciated this article greatly, especially in light of last week’s AP story on Patrick Deuel that focused mainly on the perceptions of fat as unfit. This isn’t to say that I necessarily agree with it, but I appreciate the varying perspectives presented.

Ms. Parker-Pope poses a question all of us have surely asked ourselves, “… is a person’s weight really a reliable indicator of overall health?”

If we’ve asked ourselves that question enough, most of us have probably answered in the negative…weight is not necessarily the most reliable indicator of overall health…but I believe it’s an indicator nevertheless. I have a couple of friends who are larger than I am, and are in better health so to say. One friend in particular (let’s call him Freddy) weighs in at about 380, does not exercise regularly, and to my knowledge does not have high blood pressure or cholesterol problems. I, on the other hand, last weighed at 346, am on medication for high blood pressure, and received an e-mail from my doctor last week to “renew [my] mission to get in better shape.”  He’s a great doctor, but I hope he realizes that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do. Perhaps he hasn’t noticed my weight loss as much as I would have hoped.

But that’s just it.  I’ve dropped some pounds, and yet I’m clearly still at risk. My “comorbidities” have definitely manifested themselves in one form or another. The one thing that I think I can attribute to weight-loss and exercise is that my cholestorol has gone down considerably, and I no longer have to take medication for that.

Last week, my wife told me that weight-loss is not an exact science. I believe she’s right. No two people are the same. Parker-Pope’s story uses a lot of statistical information, and also points out that some of the data used in studies sparked the ire of many readers and bloggers. If I look at it statistically, I can’t help but think that the error term–the “unobservables” that somehow may or may not factor into our weight–is always too great to ever provide a definitive, uniform method of weight-loss.

Or, you could be like me, who after having tried every diet from here to the moon lives by the mantra “Eat better, move more.”  Some people might phrase that “eat less, move more,” but we all know that less is not always best.

Later on in her post, Parker-Pope noted a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that “fitness level, regardless of body mass index, was the strongest predictor of mortality risk.”  Of the test used for fitness, she wrote:

During the test, the treadmill moved at a brisk walking pace as the grade increased each minute. In the study, it didn’t take much to qualify as fit. For men, it meant staying on the treadmill at least 8 minutes; for women, 5.5 minutes. The people who fell below those levels, whether fat or thin, were at highest risk.

The results were adjusted to control for age, smoking and underlying heart problems and still showed that fitness, not weight, was most important in predicting mortality risk.

OK, then…so, last week I discovered I can run 20 minutes straight now. Does that mean I’m fat and fit?

And, may I just point out that these “underlying heart problems” were never specified. In my opinion, there are probably myriad threats to the validity of this study.

It’s not the most inconceivable thing to be overweight (and for all purposes intended in the article, obese) and be somewhat fit. But the vast majority of people who struggle like I do…they definitely don’t make the case.

Your thoughts?

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