Saturday, August 4, 2012

Week 41

Week 41 brings with it some really good progress in my effort to jump start my weight loss program.  Since signing up for a new gym membership on the 24th of July, I have lost 5 lbs, going from 258 lbs down to 253. I'm just 5 lbs shy of my lowest recorded weight on this program.  I'm feeling good about the results.  Right now, I'm playing catch up, so I've been giving it hell on cardio workouts, trying to melt the fat away.  I'm happy about the results so far.

In just 6 days, I'll finally get to see my family again.  I'm excited to see my wife and babies, as well as my dog.  It has felt like a very long time.  While I'm working during the week, it's not so bad because I stay busy enough not to think about them.  It's the weekends that really kill me.  Without anything that needs to be done, I find myself with a lot of thoughts that go to them, and it tends to make me feel lonely, despite the fact that I can always FaceTime with them on my iPhone.  I've been doing my best to keep my mind occupied with other things, but even I run out of things to think about.  Yes, I just wrote that.  I know it's hard to believe.  Seems I can talk about anything.  But after this week, it'll all be over.  I've set up a four-day weekend for myself next week.  I'm going bring them down.  As of right now, I'm counting down the days.

As for any other meaningful updates, I don't really have any.  I'm just doing what I'm doing and feeling better about myself.  Until next week then.

-James

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Week 40


Before I begin this entry, I am going to make a format change.  I am not going to do weekly update videos anymore, as they take a very long time to produce, and I just don't have that kind of time anymore.  With my busy job, I find myself with only 48 precious hours on the weekend to take care of personal business.  When my family finally comes down to live with me, in a couple of weeks, I'll have even less time to do them,  I think I will do monthly update videos instead because although I'm busy I think I can find at least some hours once a month to put something together.

Okay, that being said, I want to start this update entry by saying that I miss my family.  I have been away from them for about 2 months now, and I'm counting down the days and hours until I can see them again, which will be August 9th.  I especially miss my wife.  This is the longest we've been apart in over eight years, and believe me when I say it royally sucks to be separated for this long.  I have a new found respect for our service men and women because they go for far longer without seeing their spouses, kids, and pets.

I just didn't know how integral my wife was to this weight loss program until I left for Utah a couple months back.  I thought that I'd have nothing but time, so I'd slam workouts until I sweat blood.  To be truthful, I wish I had.  But as it turns out, I found myself working a lot more at my job than I expected.  I was accustomed to working just 34 or so hours a week in Washington; it's one of the reasons I chose to change jobs.  In Utah, I find myself working 50+ hours a week.  That's 16 hours more than I am used to.  It's good because working less than forty hours a week for the last year and a half was really getting old.  The unintended consequence, however, was that my workouts suffered.

Being out in the field for 10-12 hours a day meant that I was eating out more than I was used to and with the shock to my body in regards to heat (it's been in the 90's every week here as opposed to 60's in Washington), I found my energy reserves drained at the end of the day.  I still do because my company is really working me over here.  It's not bad though.  I'm getting a lot more money here than I did in Washington.

Since I was fortunate to have in laws that really care about my family and me, they opened their home so I would have a place to stay while waiting for my wife and kids.  It's been a blessing and I'm truly grateful for their kindness and generosity.  Having their daughter come home to UT might have been an incentive too, but I think it's been good for both our families.  I really do like it here.

I didn't want to sign up for any gym until I knew where we were going to live.  It's not like these memberships are cheap, and if it's one thing I've learned from having a gym 8 miles from my house, it's that if it is not convenient, I'm less likely to go.  I needed something that was very convenient and works with my schedule.  The good news is that I was able to find such a place.  After searching for the perfect gym, I figured it out.

It actually came to me when I realized that my body is still used to getting up at 5-5:30 am.  My old job started at 7 am, so I was accustomed to getting up two hours early to get ready for work and get into Seattle's worst traffic on my 25 mile commute to work on I5.  My current employer starts at 8am most days, with the occasional early start.  My body still wants to get up around 5:30 am or so.

Now, here's something I never considered before, but have taken full advantage of now.  Vision Quest opened their doors at 7 am, so a morning workout was never an option.  But I signed up for 24 Hour Fitness here in the Salt Lake valley, and wouldn't you know it, the freeway off ramp leads right to the gym, literally.  I get off the freeway, and go straight through the stop light into the parking lot!  Now that's convenience.  The best part is that it is right on my way to work.  So, with that in mind, I just get up in the morning, put on my gym clothes, stuff my street clothes into my gym bag, head to the gym, knockout a good workout for 45 minutes to an hour, and take advantage of the fact that the gym has private showers.  Now I can work out most days and not affect the time I have with my family in the afternoons.

This is where Lindsay comes back into the picture.  She is the wind beneath my wings in this endeavor to become fit and healthy again.  If it weren't for her, I would have never gotten as far as I have.  It was Lindsay that would kick me in the butt to get to the gym when I felt lazy, and it was Lindsay would would prepare wonderful meals that are healthy and tasty.  It was Lindsay who made the real sacrifice because as I would go to the gym, I'd be gone an hour or more every night while she stayed home with the kids, making sure the house wasn't a disaster and that my nutritionally dense dinner was ready for me when I got home.  All I had to do was show up.  People look at me and tell me I'm an inspiration for them because they want to have the kind of success that I've enjoyed all this time.  I've heard comments on how hard it must be to sacrifice so much to lose weight and get into shape.  But truthfully, once it becomes habit, it's no longer a sacrifice; at least for me anyway.  I actually look forward to going to the gym and leaving all those Sausage McMuffins I used to eat on the gym floor in the form of sweat.  I have actually come to enjoy the time I have there because it's just me and my dedication to myself.  It's been said that in order to get into shape, you must put yourself first, and that's exactly what I did.  Of course, I'm doing this for the benefit of my family too, but in all honesty, what I'm doing is selfish and necessary to be a better me - not only for the benefit of my wife and kids, but most of all, I'm doing this for el numero uno, me.

On the other hand, Lindsay has spent all that time I spent in the gym alone without me.  I know she missed me when I was away turning my fat into sweat and dropping lbs like they were going out of style.  If I'm at the gym, I'm not at home, and I'm not with my family.  She knows it's a necessary sacrifice on her part; she wants me to succeed.  She wants a healthy, fit, and trim husband.  She wants me to be around long enough to see my grandchildren.  She wants me to be free of preventable disease and live healthier.  She wants me to be upbeat and outgoing - not depressed and sedentary.  She wants all these things for me, and she is willing to take on the responsibility of being my conscience and my right hand in this effort.  She knows what's at stake here and she jumped in feet first like I did, without hesitation, without second thoughts, and without looking for something in return.  She did this because she loves me.

And how do I repay such devotion, such sacrifice, such love, and such kindness?  I work out.  I lose the weight.  I make the effort to eat right and not cheat my diet.  I bring results to the table - results she can see.  I do this because she loves me enough to sacrifice so much to let me do this successfully without failure.  I do it because I love her more than anything and want to see her sacrifices bear fruit.  You think it's easy for her?  I don't.

The irony is that I didn't realize just how important she is to this program until I put 900 miles between us.  It's the little things she'd do to keep me motivated.  She'd drop the hints, call me out on the carpet, tell me to hold back, say to me that I don't need that candy bar, or drink that soda.  She'd buy healthy groceries and bring home healthy foods, research nutritious meals and prepare them.  It took me a couple months to finally realize it, but I have, and I appreciate her so much more for it.

When I signed up for this new gym membership, I vowed to myself that I would make a big change in my thinking.  No longer is this about me.  I realize that now.  I'm no longer going through the motions or telling myself to take it easy at the gym today because of whatever.  Nope, every lb lost and every drop of sweat I leave behind is dedicated to the sacrifice and devotion that Lindsay has given to me selflessly and willingly so I could be a better man.

Yes, I faltered a little bit by focusing more on work than working out, and gained a few lbs.  But since signing back up and getting into the gym this last week, I've already dropped 3 lbs and am well on my way to making up for lost time.  Down to 255 lbs from the increase to 258, I'm recharged, ready to RAWK OUT, and I'm rolling like a juggernaut to drop more weight than ever before.  By the time Lindsay comes to be with me, I will be back into the full routine and making it happen.  My goal is to have most the weight left to lose gone by my birthday.  My goal is to be at final weight by Christmas!  But I'm not alone.  I truly understand that now.

My true inspiration is my wife Lindsay because I know that she is paying the real price for all this, and I am devoted to being successful, not just for myself anymore, but for her as well.

-James

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back At It

I can't believe it.  My last entry was May 6th!!!  Where does the time go?  Okay, so I haven't been updating my blog, as I should have, but a lot of things have changed since I last spoke here.  Okay, so I guess it's time for an update.

For starters, I changed jobs.  I didn't change careers, I just work for a different distributorship doing the same work I was doing before.  It's just that now, I'm living in another state in the SW somewhere.  You'll find out soon enough from hiking reports I am set to do soon. 

In the month of May, after I put my blog entry together, there was a ton of stuff that happened.  Between flights to and from my new state of residence, work, packing my stuff, organizing things, and making preparations to move, I found little time to hit the gym.  I did go a few times a week, but not as much as I was used to going.  Either way, what's done is done, and I can't change it.  The good news is I was able to get my crap together.

Then Lindsay and I took our kids on a vacation to see her parents the last week of May into June.  After the vacation, I had a week to get everything finalized and move.  I high-tailed it out of Washington the second weekend of June.  Started my new job on the 11th, and have been ass-on-fire busy ever since.  Been getting 50-55 hours consistently these last couple of months!  And the work doesn't seem to slow down.

I've spent my off hours time either recovering from working (the altitude here is much higher than WA, so it took some time to acclimate to it), looking for a house, driving around getting to know the area, or just taking care of day to day business.  I didn't want to get a gym membership right away because I didn't know where I was going to land. I have been staying with my in-law's this whole time.  Lindsay is still in WA with the kids.

Finally, we just got a rental lined up for move in on Sept 1, and I fly back to WA to meet my wife and kids, and dog and haul butt to where I'm at right now in a moving truck.  I finally decided that enough was enough.  I haven't been in a gym in almost two months now!  And it was starting to make itself apparent.  I gained a couple lbs in the meantime, which sucks, but I caught it soon and signed up for a gym membership here three days ago.  Been taking advantage of it too.  The nice thing is that my job starts an hour later than my old job did, and I was able to hit the gym this morning at 6:30 before heading to work, and this one is right on the way; a key reason I chose it.  With private showers, and a clean locker room, I was happy to use their water to take a shower. 

I'm slowly getting back into it.  With a house finally approved, and my wife and kids coming to be with me in a couple short weeks, I'm starting to feel a sense of normalcy that I haven't felt in a long time. 

I'll be back to make update videos and track my progress from here out.  We are still a couple months away from my birthday, and I plan on losing as much weight as I can until then.  I'm hoping to be near goal weight by the end of this year so I can start 2013 off right!

-James

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 27 & 28

I was getting ready to make week 28's update video when I realized I missed last week!  DOH!  With all that's been happening, it doesn't surprise me at all.  Things have been insanely busy around the house.

Two major pieces of news are that I sold my Ramcharger and then bought a 2001 Jeep Cherokee.  It's a bit more practical than the Ramcharger and it is a nice ride.  Being 11 years newer, it's in much better shape overall.  The other benefit is that Lindsay can drive it too, which makes her feel better.  I had gone over to Jeff's house to help him move and took the car.  Lindsay couldn't go anywhere because it dang near takes two people to load kids in the Ramcharger and then there's this whole thing about her not being able to see over the dash board.  So I'm happy with the Jeep, but more importantly, Lindsay is happy too.  Besides, I think this Jeep fits my smaller, lighter, faster, stronger lifestyle change anyway.

Yesterday, Lindsay and I were able to get out of the house without our kids.  Our normal sitter was able to come over and watch them on Saturday.  I am grateful.  I so needed to get away from everything for a few ours.  Lindsay and my buddy Kevin came with me to blow up some beer cans and shoot little holes in paper.  Prior to that, we met our good friends Amy and Darren at Shari's and had a nice adults only breakfast.  It was sort of odd because we didn't have kids with us.  We almost didn't know how to act.  Needless to say, it was a nice time to reconnect with friends and talk about adult stuff.

To date, I've lost 68 lbs.  I would have lost more, but I actually think I gained weight in the last couple of weeks.  Like I said, I've been stressed to the max.  Apparently, one of my ways of dealing with stress is to eat.  It's not fast food or too much food; it's candy.  It's been especially bad since Easter because there has just been a ton of it around lately.  Me + Stress + candy = you know what.  So I still need to work on that a bit.  On the flip side, I made sure to get back into good habits and pack my lunch everyday this week.  I'm sure that helped out considerably because I only ate the contents of my lunch box each day, which typically includes a couple bananas, a couple turkey sandwiches, some lite yougurt, sugar-free pudding, and crispy apple chips.  I also mix in some Crystal Light packets for my bottled water, which takes the edge off my sweet tooth.

All in all, I'm glad I broke the 250 lb barrier.  I can now say I weigh less than 250 lbs.  I'm going to do my best to get to 240 by the end of May.  It's going to be difficult, but right now I'm sort of in a holding pattern until some other people can get ahold of me.  I plan on relieving some of my stress at the gym.



-James

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Week 26

We are in the middle of our life readjustment.  Things are happening at a dizzying pace, and it's hard to keep up with everything that's going on.  I have been busy sorting stuff, getting things ready to sell, getting my Ramcharger up to snuff, and haven't seen the gym as a result.  I was also on call part of the week, which didn't help matters.

I still have lots to do, but I need to make an effort to refocus on weight loss and strength training.  My short term goal is to lose 10 lbs before the end of May.  I am going on vacation and want to be 240 lbs.  As it stands right now, I'm at 250 lbs.  It was hard to get to this point, especially with all that is going on, so I'm going to make an effort to get under 250 and hopefully keep going.  We are almost to goal weight, which is in the neighborhood of 215 lbs.  I just need to stay the course a little while longer and I can achieve this tremendous goal!

Since I'm not on call this week, it should be easier to hit the gym, provided work doesn't get insane.  I actually have some good solid work coming up this next week and the week after and I don't want to miss out on the money that we need so badly right now.  So if I have to stay late, and forego the gym a couple of days, then that's the brakes.  Refocusing our lives, and downsizing is actually an expensive proposition.  I wouldn't have believed it myself.

As for everything else insane in my life right now, I'm going to try to bring some normalcy this week.  We shall see how that goes.



-James

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 25

I can sum up last week in one word: stressful.  We have some big changes in the works and with change comes uncertainty.  With all that comes stress.  To add to it, I have been on call since last Wednesday, worked on Saturday, and some douche bag tried to break into my garage on Friday night!

I feel like I'm playing catch up.  I mean, I'm a day late on my update video and blog entry.  I haven't even started enhancing the pictures from my last mini hike, and I certainly haven't hit the gym since last Tuesday.  Well, if I may step into the excuse box for a moment: I don't like getting too involved with anything when I'm on call because the pager likes to start beeping at the most inopportune times.  Okay, out of the excuse box now.

It's gotten to the point where I must be clinching my jaw at night because my gums have been aching ever since I got home from Jeff's place on Easter.

I'm not going to get into the stress-inducing things in my life since it would not be appropriate at this point, but needless to say, change is in the air, and things are (or are about to start) happening.

Weight loss this week wasn't stellar.  I lost a lb for the week.  Considering I didn't gain anything, I'll take that small victory.  It's better than nothing.

Next week will be my 26 week update.  That will officially be the six month mark for my plan.  I'm on my way!  Hoping to be within striking distance of my goal by my birthday in September.


-James

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week 24

Finally, after nearly two weeks of feeling like I had caught the Contagion virus, I'm feeling better and I'm back in action.  The good news is that I lost 3 lbs this week and made it back to the gym.  There really isn't any bad news to speak of.  I'm just happy that I don't feel like Death.

This week wasn't terribly busy, but the weekend was.  I had the opportunity to try out Jeff's new gym in Ellensburg, so I took full advantage of it.  It was fun working out with Jeff.  He introduced me to a couple of new things to incorporate into my normal routine.  Jeff also shot some video clips that he will use as an advertisement for his business.  I can't wait to see what he can put out.

I really don't have much to report on per se.  I'm kind of scatter-brained right now because I'm preoccupied with some impending things that are very important to my family and me.  I just hope the increased stress level doesn't adversely affect my workout and weight loss.  I'd hate for that to happen.  That said, I'm going to be very busy in the upcoming months, so I'm not sure how that will affect my "52 Hikes in 52" weeks program, but I'm going to do my best to keep up with everything.  I'm just going to go with it.  In the meantime, I'm just going to roll with the punches.


-James