Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Armpocket Armband

Since its getting close to the most wonderful time of the year, I figured I would toss this one out there as a must have if you exercise with your phone.  I use an Armpocket Xtreme i-30 (there are other models).  I had to use this one due to the size of my phone (Android Galaxy Nexus).  There are 3 armband sizes small/med/large and an assortment of colors to choose from.  While this is a somewhat bulky armband, once your moving you hardly notice your wearing it.  Other than your phone, there is a small area to hold keys, slots for credit cards/id, or anything else that is about the size of your phone.  The back of the armband has memory foam which will fit snug to anyone's arm shape and tbh it works a treat.  I know there are other options out there, but since I always have my phone and sometimes jog at the local high school track this suits me perfect.  I want to say I've used mine for about 6 months now with 0 issues.  I don't think you will be disappointed if you buy anything from  If you hunt around they sometimes have free shipping coupon code.

Here is a pic of the inside.  My Nexus would fit right up in the top half with the strap plus plenty of room for other goodies behind it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

1 month - No Exercise

I didn't really plan this but it just happened.  Hurricane Sandy handed me a week of high winds and cold weather.  I figured a week off was due since I've been hard at it since June.  1 week lead into 2 with the cold weather.  I attempted to jog once when it was in the 40's which was fine was running but holy hell it got cold fast on my cool down.  I ran a 5K that weekend but other then those 2 days, that was it.  After 2 weeks of basically no exercise, I figured lets wait this out for a few more weeks.  I wanted to see if the exercise was the key in my weight loss/maintenance or the amount of calories I was eating.

I am happy to report, 4 weeks later, my weight basically remained the same.  TBH I was very pleased with the results.  It showed me that I can live this lifestyle without exercise and not balloon back to 300+ lbs.  So what does this tell me?  I can miss a day or 2 of exercise without huge repercussions.  It also shows that just diet alone you can still succeed in your weight loss (which I did in my first diet before my wedding).  I don't recommend that route (I can't wait for it to get warmer to get back out there) but missing a day isn't the end of the world.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

Just want to wish everyone a Merry Thanksgiving!  While I know this is a trying time for some, just remember this is but one small bump in the road to your goal.  This is a day of celebration when the Pilgrims ate some popcorn and watched Charlie Brown Special with the Germans.  Enjoy the day but also don't forget this isn't a free pass to go hog wild.  Everything in moderation, unless your talking about pumpkin pie. :)  Hope everyone has a safe and filling day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I have tried a handful of granola, protein, and energy bars through the years.  While on a diet or just looking for something different to eat, I've tried plenty.  We got a coupon at Krogers for $2 off a box of Cliff Granola Bars.  They were on sale and you really can't go wrong with peanut butter crunchy granola bars.  Without sounding like an add for Clif, the granola bars were hands down the best I've ever had.  The website boast about using organic ingredients but I don't really care.. they are that good!  They were not hard like Nature Valleys bars and just have a nice texture to them.  My only issue with the granola bars is that they are expensive.  $2.50 a box on sale and you get 10 bars where Nature Valley you get 12 bars for $2-2.50.  That is the main reason I stick with Kroger or Nature Valley, price.

Clif Builder's Protein Bars are not to shabby either.  Come in 8 dif flavors and tend to be priced right with other brands.  Same goes for the original Clif Bar.  They just came out with Crunchy Peanut Butter which is very yummy.  I put one of these in my pocket and just took little bites of it during my 10 mile jog a few weeks ago.  Did it work?  No idea but I did manage to jog 10 miles.  It also didn't upset my belly during the run either.  That is a double bonus for me.  These come in over 20 different flavors with a  few of them being seasonal (Peppermint Stick).  I do enjoy getting behind a company who sponsors athletes in various sports.  That and I also like the color red, so I would have no problem wearing one of their shirts.  You hear that Clif?  Im an XL or 2X now. 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I use a HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) every time I work out.  It is a Polar FT7 that uses a chest strap.  When I was walking I used it 99% of the time to see how long I've walked and how many calories I've burned.  Since I use MFP and count calories, knowing exactly how many I've burned helps.  MFP is hit and miss on estimated calories burned, so a HRM is one of the few tools you can use.   During most of my walks I was pushing my 2 boys in a stroller so there could be a 250-400 calories difference from my HRM to MFP.  While they are not 100% correct, I feel it's better then nothing.  Now, once I started to jog I used the HRM to see where my HR was when I felt winded (plus the calorie burn).  I know there is the equation for Max HR 220- Age but I've read on a few running forums that is not 100% accurate.  Since I have no other option right now, I use the formula as a base.  For me its 186 and to be honest unless I'm at full sprint I never get near it.  At least with the HRM I know where I'm at.  Since I'm doing this for my health first then to get in shape for races, I figure error on the safe side seems like a good idea. :)  I did some research on HRM before I bought mine and it seems that Polar is one of the top brands.  There are plenty to choose from and most of the base ones seem to be in the same price range.  If your into counting calories like me, I feel it's 100% worth it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Weight Loss Myths: Bob Harper's Tips To Get In Shape

Retweet: Bob Harper from Biggest Looser (that other weight loss show I'm sure you might have heard of) article in Huffington Post about weight loss.  This is a simple and to the point article that I feel some folks take these tips to the extreme.  You know who you are! :)  I am not talking about a certain friend of mine that lives near Chicago either.  **cough**cough**

Monday, October 22, 2012

Velocity Bike and Bean, Florence, KY.

This is geared more towards my local crowd.  My bike had issues and I'm sure Montgomery Cyclery would have worked but I figured I would give this new place a shot.  Its called Velocity Bike and Bean which is located on 18 across from the skate park.  Im walking my bike in and the first thing I noticed was the bean part of the place.  Yes, the front half of the store is a coffee shop and the back half is the bike shop.  It's a mom and pop type place and from what I hear it has really good coffee.  I wouldn't know, I don't drink the stuff.  No one was in there so he put my bike on the rack and took a quick peek at it.  I ended up having a gear bent that was causing issues while shifting.  Replaced the gear, bent back another piece that was slightly off and adjusted my gears.  All of this for $43!  While I haven't ever took a bike in to get fixed this sounded very cheap.  Needless to say I highly recommend Velocity Bike and Bean for your bike and coffee needs.  I would much rather deal with a place like this then a large chain.  Now I just need to ride the bike more often. :)

You can visit their website at

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm never going to say, "I can't" anymore.

2012 Ironman Kona was last weekend.  This is the Super Bowl of Ironman races.  Little over 2000 (I think) people started and it looks about only 1886 finished.  Last person to finish was Harriet Anderson from San Carlos, CA.  Why do I even mention this?  She is 77 years old and just did something I can only dream about right now.  She was the last person to finish this years Ironman Kona in 16:59:19.  Yes that is 16 hours 59 mins and 19 seconds.  "I can't" is no longer an option when this little old lady just finished an Ironman race.  Here is the video of her finishing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apps I use

Since not so smart phones and tablets are all the cray cray right now, apps are a basic part of some of our lives.  Prime example for me, My Fitness Pal app that I have logged into for 430 days in a row.  Through the past 430 days I have tried numerous fitness based apps.  Some good, some bad, some ugly.  Here is a list of what I've used so far.

1) My Fitness Pal, no need to say anything else
2) My Tracks, Googles GPS app to track where your going.  I used this on my Droid Eris and it just wasn't that good.  It could have been my location or my phone but that app just didn't work well for me.  
3) Noom CardioTrainer, I used this app for 6-8 months on my Droid Eris.  When I used the free app there wasn't much to it other then it would keep track of your workouts and total miles.  That's all I used it for.  From Google Earth and driving our street, it was by far the most accurate GPS app for me.  Simple to the point and since I was only walking when I used it got the job done.
4) Sports Tracker, only used it for 1 or 2 walks.  Like the user interface but it was way off on distance.  This was also with my Eris which wasn't the greatest phone.  
5) Endomondo Sports Tracker, I really liked its user interface and all the extra little things it did.  I did use this for a little bit but when I upgraded to my Nexus it didn't work right off the bat.  Overall this is a solid app but I fell in love with another app.
6) Map My Run, Once my brother showed me (Map My Ride) I was hooked.  Map My Walk/Run/Ride are all the same basic apps (I think) and you can change what exercise your doing before you start a workout.  This has been by far the most accurate distance wise and the calorie burn for my runs are not far off what my HRM says.  Where this app excels at is its website.  I can go on and on but its one of those you just have to check out for yourself.  One key feature of the site is that you can create a course.  It pulls up Google Maps and allows you click away on the map to create a course.  It will tell you how far you have gone and has a few options on how to create it.  I have used this to help me figure out where to go on my long runs and bike rides.  You can save the routes and even search other users submitted routes.  This is all done on  Since I started using this app, I haven't even looked into the other apps listed above or even sought out new ones.  This app seems to do everything I need and more.  
7) C25K, The Guy Hoffman Couch to 5K, This is a great app that helps you go from walking to running 30 mins straight.  While its called C25K, I have yet to run a 5K in 30 mins. lol  The idea for the app is to get your body used to running.  It slowly builds up the running over time till you are able to jog 30 mins straight.  If your new to jogging and need a little structure, hands down the best app to use.

I know there are GOBS more out there, but these are most of what I've used getting started.  The nice thing is these are all free.  Download them and try them out.  Don't like it, delete and try another.  As long as your moving, that's all that matters.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Susan G Koman 10K Race Report

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!  I posted my race report for my first 10K.  Click on the Race Reports and Goals page or just click HERE.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Loose Skin

In the forums at My Fitness Pal about once a week a post pops up about, "loose skin."  If you lose a ton of weight, it's bound to happen.  Some folks will get a little some folks will get a lot.  I read about folks doing things to prevent it, but when you carried so much weight in your belly like me, its going to happen.  My arms are not bad at all since I never really had any muscle there but my belly seems to have mud flaps now  (my belly flap can stretch out 3-3.5 inches) .  I've lost 120 lbs in 59 weeks and 140 lbs of that might have been lost from my belly.  Oddly enough, I think I've been lucky because it doesn't bother me (bouncing, rashes, etc).  I've been jogging and riding a bike with no issues.  I was a tic worried but it's not like I had much of a choice.  I searched the net far and wide for information on what I should do.  Most suggest that I just need to give it a year or two for my skin to shrink back down.  The bad part is, they also say that it depends on how long and how far your skin has been stretched.  So while it might shrink back some, it might not go 100% back to normal.  Whatever normal is.

Anyone that has lost a good chunk of weight have any success stories on their mud flaps shrinking?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My friendly running tip of the day.

Warm up, then stretch
"Try some light jogging or walking before you stretch, or stretch after you run. Stretching 'cold' muscles can cause more harm than good."
--Runner's World editors

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Scale Yo-Yo

If you are on a diet there is a good chance you have played the scale yo-yo game.  Mon morning weigh in, Mon night up 3 lbs, Tues morning lost 2 of the 3, Tues night even, Wed morning down 2 lbs, Wed night after big dinner up 5 lbs!  Then you see all the post, "HOW IN THE WORLD DID I GAIN 5 LBS IN 2 DAYS! AAAAHHHHH!!!!"  I step on the scale just about everyday, twice a day.  Once when I get up and normally right before I go to bed.  My only other time I might get on is after a long run for a laugh.  I've lost 6 lbs in an 8 mile run before. lol  Folks, our bodies like to play tricks on us.  There are to many reasons to list why our weight is always going up and down.  It's just how our bodies work.

I can go to bed at 225 and wake up 6 hours later at 223.5.  I don't know if it's my scale or I just managed to lose 1.5 lbs in my sleep.  Either or it happens all the time.  I normally can go to bed Sun night and know if I'm going to have a good weigh in or not.  I only count Mon as my weekly weigh in.  Like the day I lost 6 lbs during the run, I found 4 of that with liquids and lunch.  I've been up 6 lbs before during the week to end up losing 2 come Mon.  If you can hack it, I highly suggest to get on the scale more often (AM pref) so you can understand how your body works.  I'm sure everyone is different but you don't know till you try.  

Moral of the story, don't be freaked out if your up 2-3 lbs.  One trip to the bathroom could sort that right out. :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mark Rucker, Ironman Louisville Results

Mark Rucker, a native KY boy like myself, another member of the 100+ lb lost club, MFP member, and 2012 Ironman Louisville competitor.  Since I was unable to attend, first thing in the morning I logged on to IMLOU's website and started watching the broadcast of the transition areas.  I have watched a few bits of races on TV before but never really had a reason to seriously watch.  IMLOU site updated their stats throughout the race so at least you could follow folks even if it was a few hours between updates.  For those who don't know a full Ironman race consist of 3 short segments which total 140.6 miles.  2.4 mile swim in the crystal clear swap of the Ohio River, 112 mile bike ride, and just for a laugh 26.2 mile jog.  Everyone who puts one toe in the water, is a little mentally unstable at this point.  You have to be a little nuts to attempt such a race.  Thing is, folks keep coming back because receiving the title of "Ironman" isn't something that is given out, It's earned.

Shortly after I woke up, Mark finished the swim with a time of 2:13:42.  Since I am not avid IM fan, I'm clueless if that is good or not, just finishing in the time limit is amazing to me.  Yes, there is a time limit to each segment and the entire race.  Race starts at 7 am and finishes at midnight.  You don't finish the segment in a certain amount of time your are DQ'd, and even at midnight if you can see the finish line, your done.  Mark started the 112 mile bike with a slower pace then he wanted.  He ended up having issues with the bike (back brake was stuck on) and at the 50 mile mark had to pull out of the race.  Something like 14% of the 3000 or so who started the race DNF.

Was a shame since I was watching the live feed and ready to post a screen shot of him crossing the line.  Mark has shown me that what I thought was impossible is possible.  He is older then me, he is bigger then me, and he can smoke me in the water, running, and on the bike.  Watching the last 2 hours really changed my mind on what I want to do.  People off all ages and backgrounds, running, sprinting, and even passing out as they crossed the line.  As someone who is extremely competitive and comes from an athletic background, I know what it's like to win and lose (those who know me know I know that way to well lol).  I know what it's like to achieve a goal that you didn't think you could do.  I would love to sit here and say IMLOU 2013 here I come!  I just don't think it's financially possible at this point (over $600 to enter plus all the gear etc).  What is possible, doing a half marathon in the spring or a sprint triathlon.  What is possible is doing a marathon in the fall or even possibly a olympic triathlon.  The one thing this Fat to 5K journey as taught me, anything is possible if you want it enough.

Click HERE for the Ironman Louisville 2012 Full Circle video that Mark is in.

My most recent win, and what a great feeling it was...

Note: I'm not on the roof, I'm back by the spoiler.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Month 12, Milestone Month

I started this month with about 5 lbs to go to hit my 1 year 100 lb goal.  I weighed in July 2nd at 245.2 and on July 4th I had my first 5K. (check race reports for info)  Just starting that race was a victory for me.  I am not a runner and its hard for me to think I was about to do an actual race.  My guess the race really motivated me since I ended up losing 4.4 lbs that week.  I need .8 lbs now to hit the 100 lb mark which I did in week 49.  To see 239 on the scale was hard to imagine.  I was excited but then again I should have never let myself get that big.  When I joined Jones Brothers Racing I was probably around 290-300 lbs.  I have a chunk of friends that have never seen me like this.  Last time in the 230's was probably 1994 or 1995.  Now that I didn't have to worry about that goal, next item to tackle was another 5K.  Luck have it, there was one August 4th at the school where my brothers kids go.  My nephew wanted to run cross country this year, so I figured this would be a great way for him to find out if he had it in him.  This race we had a cheering section! (check race reports for info)  Another race, another PR crushed.  July 4th race was 41:26 with a goal of under 44 mins.  August 4th race was 36:58 with a goal of under 40 mins.  I finished the last 100 yards running with my oldest boy (it's hard to look at that pic without that proud papa tear forming).  I'm not going to mention that my 13 yr old nephew finished 1 min behind his uncle.  Nor do I ever remind him of that.  I will take the victories while I still can get them. :)  To me this month reminded me of the saying, "Good things happen to those who wait."  August 6th rolled around with my 1 year weigh in.  Tipped the scales at 231.8 for a total loss of 108.2 lbs.  That week I also logged into My Fitness Pal for 370 days in a row.  Year 1 done and what a wild year it was.  I went from 340 lbs to 231.8 with a diet I thought I would only stick to for a few months.  Year 2 will have to be a damn good one to top Year 1.

I want to thank my family and friends for their help this past year.  Without it and their not so kind words (they know what I mean lol) I wouldn't be where I am today.  What made this year even better, was other friends and family members joining me in this journey with their own.  I can't wait to see what Year 2 has in store.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Small Victory: Kentucky Speedway 2012

The location of this small victory was Kentucky Speedway.  No it wasn't because a Dodge ended up in victory lane but because something DIDN'T happen for the first time in a long time.  That would be, "chub rub", chaffing, or whatever you want to call it.  Those going whats chub rub let me explain.  It would happen to me when it was hot and I would be outside for extended periods of time.  Normally when I wore jeans or jean shorts but it could happen while wearing anything.  I would sweat, then add that I was in jeans and the inside of my thighs would get raw from rubbing together.  After the 2011 Cup race at KY, my thighs hurt for 2-3 days.   TMI probably, but most folks know exactly what I'm talking about.  Now its 2012 and we are in the garage area at KYS.  We walked from the parking lot, all around the front of the track (1.5 mile speedway), back to the car, then through the tunnel to the infield.  While inside you basically do numerous loops and my guess we do anywhere from 4-6 miles of walking.  It's very possible we did more when we walked out on the track for driver intro and the pre-race concert.  We left before the finish of the race since people were still stuck in traffic from last years race.  I sit down in the car and noticed my legs didn't hurt.  I'm down around 90 lbs compared to last years race and in extremely better shape also.  The first thing that popped in my head was, "wow, no chub rub!"  Sad but it was.  That was the first time I've been down there, (it was over 100 deg in the pit area with the track being 130+ at times) and not hurting at all.  I will take every victory I can get along the way.  My thighs also agree with me there.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Month 10 and 11, Reagan said it best.

"Tear down this wall!"  Ended Month 9 with a goose egg and started Month 10 with a gain of .4.  Was it me or was the wall getting bigger?  It was time to step it up a notch.  Added more jogging and started to go out twice a day if my early walk/jog wasn't that long.  I racked up 528 mins with 6789 calories burned that week and finally saw a loss of 2.2 lbs.  That put me at 260.8 and I knew this had to be the week to break the dreaded 260 wall.  408 mins with 2-a-days and 2 3-a-days lead to a 2.6 lb loss and finally put me in the 250's! FINALLY!!!  I graduated high school in the 250's in 1996.  It seemed that jogging was the key because the next month the losses continued.  Just as soon as I got in the 250's I was out of them.  I ended Month 11 at 246.4 and over 94 lbs lost.  Not only did I break thought the plateau, I signed up for my first 5K!  That was one goal I had in mind but one goal I wasn't planning on was 100 lbs lost in a year.  Once I hit 90 lbs that 100 lbs seemed to be achievable.  100 lbs lost sounded so much better then 80 lbs.  :)  I posted on MFP,  "My new goal, 1 year 100 lbs!"  I even made a nice logo for it.  I didn't have a lot of time but I was less then 6 lbs away.  I was on a solid run to this point and just needed to keep those feet moving.  Jogging 1 mile straight turned into 2 miles and towards the end of the month I was able to stretch out to 5K's.  All the stars seemed to be lining up for that first 5K.  At this point all I could do is go out and run.  Cue slow motion video of me training for my 5K. Minus the beach, everyone else, and moving as fast as these guys were.  Other then that, it was just like that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Intro into the Jogging World.

My name and jogging were two words that were not to be spoken out loud at the same time.  To me jogging was just some sort of medieval torture.  I knew I needed to step up my walking and jogging seemed to be the easiest option for me.  Since I am an internet geek, it wasn't to hard to find heards of sites for runners.  My biggest hurdle was to sift through all the crap out there.  I figured my first goal should be to do a 5K.  I found a few training programs for 5K's but one that I've read the most on was Couch to 5K.  It was a free app on my android phone and there was a nice group in the MFP forums.  For a couple of weeks I would add 5-10 mins of jogging (3 times a week) to my daily walks.  While I wasn't in jogging shape, all of the walking seemed to make the intro a bit easier.  About this time I joined the Runners World Beginner Forum.  Hands down the best forum I found for running advise.  They suggested even though I've been jogging for a short time, I still should start with the C25K program so my body could get used to the beating.  I have no shame in admitting I was clueless about this at first, so I took their advise and started the program that week.

Few things right off the bat they suggested: 1) take it easy, every run isn't a PR (personal record) run, 2) follow the program, 3) use the rest days, 4) don't over do it, to much to early can lead to injury, 5) use good form, foot strike and breathing is key, 6) speed will come with miles under your belt.  While some of that made sense and the speed part with miles seemed odd, they were the experienced runners.  I threw shot put and discus on the track team.  Not once did I run a race. lol  By the point I started C25K I already could jog 30 mins straight so I wasn't sure if I would gain from this.  I started with W1D1, then skipped to W2D1 and finished the next 3 weeks.  After W4D3 I decided that I was probably a tic farther then the C25K program was but I still feel it helped me concentrate on my form and breathing.  Since I wasn't going out to do 3-4 miles at time and my pace could be timed with the sun dial, I had time to make sure I wasn't looking like a total muppet.  Week in, week out, I tried to jog 3-4 times a week.  I read up on running form and saw a post talking about shorter steps can help alleviate some knee pain.  Granted I didn't have any and figured that could help make sure I didn't get any.

Every few weeks I noticed I could go a little farther, a little faster.  I wasn't going out to run farther/faster it was just happening.  My avg 15-16 min pace was now 14-15 mins and 2 miles was turning into 3 miles.  I was starting to hit 3+ miles, while I wouldn't say easily but it wasn't hard either, so I decided it was time to start thinking about that first 5K.  I like the idea of goals and knew it would keep me motivated to keep moving forward.  Once I saw the scale moving in the right direction again (plus the 20-30% more calorie burn), TBH that was all the motivation I needed.

Friday, August 17, 2012

WAIT! 20 mins...

I have read a few places and I'm fairly sure it was one of those tips from Extreme Makeover Weight Loss, that after you finish your meal if you are still hungry wait 20 mins.  The reason for this is because it takes time for your brain and stomach to text each other.  This is why at times you feel you're still hungry right after you just ate.  Also, from my understanding, it takes at least 20 mins because your stomach uses AT&T.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Month 8 and 9, The proverbial wall.

March started off a lot better then February ended and April I finally hit that ugly diet word, plateau.  End of March it seemed I had things going in the right direction.  First week of April I lost 3.6 lbs and felt confident I would be in the 250's in just a few weeks.  Last time I weighed 261 lbs was 1996 which is the year I graduated high school and started my first freshman year at NKU.  I didn't get a great week of exercise but still managed 184 mins and the scale showed 0.  It wasn't a gain and at this point I have lost almost 80 lbs.  Next week little more exercise and a .6 lb gain.  I had a bad feeling I have finally hit that proverbial wall.  Week 26 I entered the 260's and week 38 I'm still there.  Thing is, I knew this would happen.  This wasn't a big, "WTF" moment at all.  I am still proud of the 75+ lbs I've lost at this point and knew I just needed to change things up.  I've already been walking since day 1 and with the wife in school couldn't afford a gym membership yet.  Since I played football/basketball/track at this weight, I figured lets start to jog some.  I read upping the intensity of workouts helps break the plateau, so around week 33 I did just that.  Very little at first but each week added more.  I knew I needed to get used to this and going out full bore jogging would have just led to an injury.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

One Crazy Week

In the past week I've hit a few major milestones.  I've run my 2nd 5K with a PR, I hit my 1 year mark for my diet, I logged into MFP for 370 days in a row, went to family party where I basically had to re-introduce myself (not really but amuse me) and I got to scratch 3 goals off my list with one of them being jogging 6 (6.2 total) miles straight.  That is not a typo, I jogged a 10K.  Plus, I got my Facebook and Twitter pages up and running to make it easy to follow my ramblings.   Thanks to everyone at home and online for the support this past year.  I really do appreciate it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mark Rucker Story, MFP Member

I just found a post in the My Fitness Pal forum of a guy who CNN did an article on.  He was wearing a KY shirt in his profile pic, so he can't be that bad of a guy (I'm from KY).  lol  I clicked it to just read and all I could say is WOW!  I basically just read what could be my story in a few years from now.  He was 6'2 and 380 lbs.  He has lost over 120 lbs (article doesn't say exactly how much nor his MFP profile) but that is not why this article stood out for me.  Since early 2011, he has done 5K's, 10K's, half-marathon, full marathon, and he competed in an Olympic distance triathlon.  On August 26, he will compete in the Louisville Ironman competition. That is insane to me to have come that far in such short time.  This could be the first person, that I can say I would like to follow in their footsteps.  Looks like I need to step it up.  Here is the CNN article.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

TMI, Bathroom Frequency

Yes, the topic that some folks don't like to talk about and others share WAY to much info on.  I would say before and during the first 4-5 months of my diet, nothing changed in how often I went #2.  #1 wasn't an issue since I drink like a baby camel.  I don't remember if it built up or one day I just finally noticed, "I didn't go today."  I was a daily person and it was rare that I would skip a day.  Next thing you know I wouldn't go for 2-3 days at a time.  A few times 4!  EEK!!!!  Instead of consulting a doctor, I asked someone way more knowledgeable, Google.  Seems its not abnormal at all to go a few days without dropping the kids off at the pool.  It wasn't like I was constipated and it didn't hurt.  I just wasn't going anywhere near as often as I used to.  Since I am not a doctor, nor play one on TV my guess is I just wasn't shoveling food in like I used to. Since I'm taking in less food and exercising, I'm running a slightly more greener body.  Less in, more used, less waste.  Now, I have absolutely no idea if that is correct.  That is just my uneducated guess.  If I'm wrong, at least it sounds good.  If I'm right, I knew that.  :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Months 6 and 7

January and February, 2 months of poor results.  Week 22 and 23 looked promising and since our winter was very mild I managed to get a few walks in.  The scale was still going in the right direction.  Week 26 was 6 months straight with a loss.  I went back through a post on MY Fitness Pal and I said, "I've never stuck with anything this long before in my life."  Which is very true, my mind tends to wander after a few months of anything.  Week 26 rolls around and I got sick.  If I remember correctly it was the flu.  Zapped all of my energy and as you can see, the next 3 weeks I didn't even get 1 min of exercise in.  I lost 3.2 lbs on week 27 somehow but week 28 it finally happened.  I gained weight!  From being sick and not stepping a foot outside, I knew it was going to happen.  I was in the 260's so I was still pleased with my progress.  Week 29 rolled around, CRAP!  Another gain but with the weather slowly getting better I knew I would be outside walking again soon.  I only lost 5.6 lbs the first 2 months of 2012 but that still put me at a total of 71 lbs!  I'm now in the 260's which is what I graduated high school at in 1996.  I'm 9 lbs away from my 2nd goal of another 40 lbs lost.  Getting sick did set me back but I was a man on a mission.  I wanted to see 250's on the scale again.  Another small victory was that I've logged into My Fitness Pal for 205 days in a row!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


It's one of those things you really don't think about when you talk about diets.  Sometimes you need a little inspiration to keep moving forward.  Some of us can inspire ourselves where others might need outside help.  Watching Extreme Makeover inspires me to keep going.  Reading success stores on My Fitness Pal inspires me to keep going.  Every Monday when I get on the scale and see a loss, that inspires me to keep going.  For me, its the little things that keeps that fire inside me lit.  Passing on cake or any other unhealthy snack at a party, is a little victory that inspire me to stay on course.  It's all those little victories that makes the losses not hurt as much.  You will have those bad days, weeks, or like me sometimes months.  Unless your an absolute freak, there's no way around it.  Workout for hours on end to see the scale not move or even go up.  Thing is, all those past victories let you know, while you might lose a battle or two, your still going to win the war (or however that saying goes lol).

So what inspires you?

Monday, July 30, 2012


5 months in, I've started to realize I only snack on a few things.  I have a few go to snacks (pretzels, reduced fat Pringles, granola bars), but I needed something else.  Part of my problem was I could have a huge snack right after I ate a big meal.  I am a computer geek, so I tend to spend hours in front of the screen doing god knows what.  I do work on sim racing projects (3D stuff), but outside of that its games, reading, or YouTube.  YouTube is like that Lay's commercial, "I bet you can't watch just 1?"  Due to my slight computer geekyness (that's a word now, its on the internet, its true), I created an excel spreadsheet of snacks.  I was just searching the forums at MFP and a few other sites, then writing down serving size, calories, etc.  A few new snacks that I just didn't think about was grapes, raisins, fruit roll-ups, pudding, jell-o, and popcorn.  With being Mr Mom, sometimes I just want to be able to grab and go.  While I might not be going anywhere, the kids will be on me like hawks if I keep the frig or pantry door open for to long.  I started to toss in some apples, rice crispy treats, Kroger yogurts, and even some Weight Watchers frozen stuff.  The Weight Watchers Strawberry Smoothie Low Fat Frozen Yogurt is a super long name for a product, plus only 60 calories, 1g of fat/fiber/protein, and DELICIOUS!

I don't like those fancy fruits and nuts just don't agree with me.  So here is my question to you all, HELP ME FIND NEW SNACKS!  I defiantly need to broaden my horizon when it comes to snacks.  I have enough calories to eat each day if my meals are normal size.  I have walked the isles at the store and still draw a blank on healthy snacks.  It's either I don't want to see it or just overlook possible snack ideas.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Retweet with Chris Powell

TIP: Women should never eat <1200 calories & men <1500 calories. Exercise creates the deficit needed 4 weight loss.

I normally wouldn't post a tweet but I think this is very informative.  From post on MFP and a few other places, I really feel sometimes people don't get this.

Month 4 and 5, Temptation Island

I look at November and December as "Temptation Island", Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I'm sure every family has their favorite dishes and mine is the same.  We have parties for both sides of the family to attend.  Double the fun!  All you have to say is sticky rolls and ears perk up like a hunting dog in my house.  Definition of a sticky roll: basic dinner roll cooked with stuff on top that is known to cause orgasms.  While I don't think those are the exact ingredients, they are just that good.  In my prime, 6-8 rolls would suffer a quick and painful death in my belly.  Normal dinner roll is +/- 100 cals, then add in the butter, brown sugar, 7 herbs and spices, and my guess it pushes each roll to around 140-150 cals a piece.  I love these things!  I would eat one or two or six while waiting in line to get my food, then put a few more on my plate for good measure.  We have these at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That's just the rolls, please don't get my started on my Great Aunt and Uncles cream candy.  The my Aunts Heavenly Hash with green jello, dear lord that is yummy!  I am gaining weight just talking about these things.  I will attempt to hunt down pics of these delicious holiday treats.

Both of these days roll around, and I can honestly say I was proud of myself.  Thanksgiving I only had I think 4 rolls.  I had 4 because there really wasn't much else I could eat other then turkey and pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin pie is healthy?  Isn't it?  ;)  I managed the same thing at Christmas time.  It was painful to see all those rolls sit there with nowhere to go but I knew I had a bigger goal in store, another 40 lbs.

Will Power: 2
Sticky Rolls: 1

Well I did eat 4 each time so they at least scored 1 point for that.  lol  Rain and cold set in which slowed my exercise a bit.  I wasn't going to put my 2/1 yr olds in stroller in that weather.  My bike in the basement seat was so uncomfortable, that I hoped just staying under on calories would do the trick till the weather changed.  December was very mild and with the wife off school for winter break I was able to get some walks in.  Overall still pleased with the past 8 weeks results, 17.2 lbs for a total of 65.4.  Closing in on the 2nd 40 lb goal.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Portion Control

Hands down my biggest hurdle when I started.  I always thought measuring cups were for making food not to eat it.  The first few time I used them to measure my food, my jaw hit the floor.  I could not believe the size of 1 cup of mashed mashed potatoes, corn, or how much 3 oz of meat really was.  Once I wrapped my head about this concept, it was more then clear how I got to 340+ lbs, I ate WAY to much.  I still might have only had 3 meals and a few snacks a day, but each meal was prob 1000+ calories.  I would not doubt when I ate french fries, I was prob in the 150-200 calories range in ketchup alone.  I wish I was kidding but its true.  My family thought I used to drink it.  Spaghetti was the biggest surprise for me.  I remember that mound of noodles and had them swimming in sauce.  Larosa's spaghetti sauce, YUM!  Needless to say we don't have that to often.

I would say I haven't completely eliminated some foods like spaghetti and pizza due to calories per serving.  Hows the saying go, "Everything in moderation."  If I eat Papa Johns pizza, its either a special occasion or a nice treat to myself for all my hard work.  It doesn't happen often so when I do eat something like that, I've found it taste so much better!  Those days I also don't go over my calories either.  Walk/bike/jog to make sure of that.  Prime example, today we ate lunch at Gold Star Chili.  It's a Cincinnati style chili place  that we have ate at all our lives. Since we look at that place the same as Papa Johns, we haven't had it in almost a year.   I would normally get 4 cheese coneys (chili, shredded cheddar cheese, hot dog, bun, mustard) which is 310 calories a pop, plus an order of fries with ketchup.  A meal easily 1500+ calories.  Today I got a Caesar Salad and 1 cheese coney.    700 delicious calories that was well worth the wait.

I borrowed this from the website Meals Matter,
  • Woman's fist or baseball -- a serving of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist
  • A rounded handful -- about one half cup cooked or raw veggies or cut fruit, a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta – this is a good measure for a snack serving, such as chips or pretzels
  • Deck of cards -- a serving of meat, fish or poultry or the palm of your hand (don't count your fingers!) – for example, one chicken breast, ¼ pound hamburger patty or a medium pork chop
  • Golf ball or large egg -- one quarter cup of dried fruit or nuts
  • Tennis ball -- about one half cup of ice cream
  • Computer mouse -- about the size of a small baked potato
  • Compact disc -- about the size of one serving of pancake or small waffle
  • Thumb tip -- about one teaspoon of peanut butter
  • Six dice -- a serving of cheese
  • Check book -- a serving of fish (approximately 3 oz.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chris Powell, Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition

Where do you start with this guy?  I've watched most seasons of Biggest Loser and to be honest I do like his show a little better.  The competition side of BL takes away from the crazy amounts of weight these people lose.  Now, Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition is 1 person vs themselves.  Watching this show, while they are given all the tools to hit their goals, just seems a little more real.  Chris Powell, a trainer that was made famous for helping a guy go from the size of an F-150 to a Smart Car.  He helped David Smith lose 401 lbs in 26 months.  That is not a typo, 401 lbs!  If you haven't watched this show before, and since your reading this blog I highly recommend it.  You can find the first 2 seasons on

Quick rundown of the show.  He takes a morbidly obese person and moves in with them for 3 months.  Sets an outrageous goal for them, sometimes upwards up 150 lbs.  They hit the goal, they get some reward.  He moves out then real life begins.  That would be just a snippet of whats going on, but you get the idea.  So other then talking up this show, why did I bring him up specifically?  This guy is no Bob Harper.  Other then his negative body fat %, he is an EXTREMELY positive person.  At first your like, COME ON! This guy can't be real.  After watching a few episodes you get used to it and then crazy enough I started to like him.  He is kinda like Nascar driver Jimmies Johnson.  He is good at what he does and always comes off as a nice guy.  When you think about it, how often does anyone have a person like that in their life?  Someone that 110% believes that they can do this.

I started to watch this show at a perfect time. I watched a few episodes last season while it was on but missed most of them. I was just hitting month 11 and knew my 100 lb goal in a year was going to be close.  While he is motivating these folks to lose crazy amounts of weight, it was motivating me.   One of those if they can do it, so could I.  I was talking with someone who I worked with for over 10 years.  She has seen my entire range of emotions.  My funny side, my serious side, my sad side, and my I have smoke coming out of ears rage side.  I was a big guy.  At 340+ lbs I could fit all those sides on me.  She said I can tell you have changed.  I told her, I've lost 100 lbs. lol  She said no, it was more that you seem happier.

You know what?  She's right...  I just lost 100 lbs without stepping 1 foot in a gym or taking a single Tom Cruise voodoo pill.  My confidence is off the chart and oddly enough I owe a small percentage of that to him.  It was just refreshing to see.  When you believe in yourself, you can achieve goals you used to think were untouchable.  That's what he does in the show.  Chris says, "If you say I can't do something, I will prove to you that you can."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Month 2 and 3 Review

After 4 great weeks, I kept the ball rolling for 8 more.  Week 10 it rained most of it as well as week 11 and 12.  I didn't realize Kentucky had a monsoon season.  We had a stationary bike but I thought I was doing good so figured I would just wait out the rain.  By week 13 I was wrong and the scale showed it.  I never went over on calories but obviously the exercise is what was helping me along.  Still, 26.6 lbs in 9 weeks was a great feeling!  I was out of the 300's and weighed in at 292.4 lbs.  Last time I weighed 292 was probably 1997-98.  Little slip up in month 3 but that's life. Can't control the weather but can control how much exercise I do.  It just showed me for the winter months I better come up with a plan if I want to keep moving in the right direction.  13 weeks straight with a loss, couldn't be more thrilled.  I thought I would be done after a month, now I've lost 48.2 lbs!  First 40 lbs lost goal met and 2nd 40 lb goal started.  It took me 11 weeks to lose 40 lbs, how hard could the next 40 be?  ...insert evil laugh here...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I found once I had a goal, I pushed myself a little harder to hit that goal.  My first goal was 40 lbs.  I started at 340 and just wanted to get out of the 300's.  That took 11 weeks to do.  I hit that goal but still wasn't happy with where I was at so set another 40 lbs goal.  Each goal while big, wasn't extremely hard to achieve.   Hard, yes, but not over the top.  I hear so many stories about folks wanting to lose 100 lbs or more.  Their only goal is 100, nothing else.  I also hear about how this is their ump-teenth time doing it.  Some folks can set huge goals and meet them.  I feel most folks need to set small goals at first to show themselves that they can do it.  It feels great to hit goals, trust me.  When I saw that scale hit 239.6, it was like that monkey is now off my back.  If you have dieted before and can't stick with it, I suggest starting off with a smaller goal.  25-30 lbs is a good starter.  Even if that's the only goal you hit, still 30 lbs is still a nice loss.  It's just a silly game we need to play with our mind.

Once you get that taste of success, its hard to get that flavor out of your mouth.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Exercise and Heart Rate Monitors

Borrowed from the movie Field of Dreams, "If you do it, the weight loss will come."  While that's not always true, its sure not going to put weight on you.  I feel walking is the easiest thing to get started with.  No one is so busy they cant take 30 mins out of their day and go for a walk.  You only get a 15 min break at work, walk it.  Just do something to get your heart rate elevated a little.  No way I could have lost the weight I have without exercise.  If you ask any coach I've had my entire life, runner is not a word that would come out of their mouth.  I hit balls over 400 feet and still almost got thrown out.  I can honestly say I enjoy exercise.  I take my 2 boys out in the stroller and cruise the neighborhood.   Sometimes I even get to go for walks on my own!  Crazy I know!  It's just nice to get out of the house, enjoy the fresh smog, and burn off some stress.  I'm not saying go out and do a marathon, but 30 mins of walking can burn upwards of 175+ calories.  While pushing my boys when I was around 300 lbs, I could burn 300-350 calories in 30 mins.  I added a few hills in there from time to time to up the intensity.  How did I know it was 300-350?  I use a Heart Rate Monitor.

HRM for short can be a watch or a chest strap with a gizmo on it.  There are many designs but they are all intended to monitor your heart rate.  I use a Polar FT7 HRM with a chest strap.  It lets me know in real time what my current heart rate is and how many calories I'm burning (plus some other crap).  If you are serious about exercise, I highly recommend getting a HRM.  This way it takes all the guessing out of how many calories you burned.  I'm not going to go into details on them but they can get super fancy.  Some are Bluetooth ready where they can connect to your smart phone.  I purchased mine in month 2 and it made recording my burn 1000 times easier.  I purchased mine at Best Buy but I've seen them at Wal-Mart, Sears, Dicks Sporting Goods, etc.  You could probably get online and find a better deal then the store.  

Note:  I am not a doctor nor play one on TV.  These are my opinions and mine only so please use my advice with caution.  This might be the only blog that comes with a warning label.

Monday, July 16, 2012

First Month in Review

To be honest, I figured I would do this diet thing for a month or so, lose 10-15 lbs and then go back to normal life.  So when weigh in number 4 rolled around I lost 2.4 lbs.  Iin the first 4 weeks of my diet I've lost a total of 18.6 lbs!  I went from 340 to 321.4 lbs in just 4 weeks.  To me that was insane!  I figured lets give this another month or so and see where I end up.  Its been a few years since I weighed 320, I could only imagine what I would weigh in 2-3 months.  The first month was a HUGE learning experience.  It took about 2 weeks to really get a grip on what I was eating.  Bored and just wanted a snack had to go.  Self control is the name of the game.  Without it, you will struggle to succeed if you really need to lose weight.  Not saying you can't without it, but it just makes it hard when there are temptations around every corner.  You need some self control, some will power, and a little bit of confidence doesn't hurt either.  End of the day,  your losing this weight for you.  You can say its for my kids, my wife/husb, but if you weren't doing it for you then whats the point?  Here is a chart of my first month,

My goals set out were for 3x30 mins of exercise per week.  All 1347 mins of this was walking, nothing else. With 2 little ones and a tight budget, a gym membership is out of the question.  

Note to self:  If your 330 lbs, and try to jog for the first time since Moby Dick was a guppy, don't jog uphill on a huge hill.  Results will not be good.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

About My Fitness Pal

You can download MFP for your Android, I-Anything, or just use it straight from the website.  Its free and takes all of 2 mins to sign up.  Once you sign up you need to fill out some stuff about yourself to get started.  Age/sex/activity level/how much you want to lose (I'm sure there's more).  How much you can lose ranges from .5 to 2 lbs.  When I signed up I was 340 lbs, desk job (sorta), and put I wanted to lose 2 lbs per week.  That started me out at 2250 calories a day.  It also ask how much exercise do you plan to do.  Whats nice about MFP is that when you go out and burn off 400 calories, you can eat some or all of them back and still stay within your goal range.  Since your 2250 is setup for 2lbs, that 400 calories was just an extra bonus.  I tend to eat no more then 50% of my calories back.  If you think about it, you go for a walk so you can eat more.  To me that is a win win situation!

Up to this point in my life I had no idea what a serving of anything was.  A serving of Pringles was the can and however many pretzel rods I could fit in my hand worked to.  I don't remember on the first day if I just ate normal or accidentally went over by 421 calories.  Either or it was a HUGE learning curve for me.  The first month of MFP you will either have to manually enter your food in or use the barcode scanner,  We shop at Kroger's mainly and there hasn't been much that's not in MFP database.  If its not in there, just find something similar.  There is a local pizza place we love that serves food just like a chain joint.  I asked the owner about nutritional info but she said they just never got around to doing it.  Just find a similar food till you can really narrow down what your eating.  After a few weeks to a month you will notice you tend to eat the same things often.  Those things will be in your quick menu in order of your choice.  Very handy since I only snack on a few things mainly and eat the hell out of Subway.  Need help with MFP, just ask or visit the sites own forum that is very active.  Its great for ideas on food, exercise, and if the person who post above you is hot or not.

Day 1

Its my little ones 1st birthday party.  I'm about 340 lbs give or take a piece of cake.  I know I need to lose some weight and I've thought about it before, just never had the motivation to do it.  At the party my brother/sister-in-law showed me an app that helped them lose weight called  I took the hint after about the 3rd time of showing me how to use the app.  JERKS! and thanks at the same time.  lol  They had me sign up online then install the app on my android phone.  MFP (what the cool kids call it) is free!  Can't beat that price.  It's very similar to another app called Lose it.  MFP is the same concept like Weight Watchers but without all the stupid points.  I lost 50 lbs using Weight Watchers, so I'm allowed to say the points are stupid!  There I got that off my chest, I feel better now.  You put the basics age/sex/weight/how active/how much you want to lose each week (which ranges from .5 to 2 lbs) and it will spit out how many calories you can eat each day.  TBH, it's as simple as that.  They had me signed up and ready to go within 5 mins.  Now, its up to me if I really want this to work or not.  I was thinking that if I lost 15-20 lbs at least my clothes would fit better.

Leading up to Day 1.

For any journey, there has to be a day 1 with events that lead to you starting said journey.  Well for me there was a few but nothing to major.  Dec of my 8th grade year, I was 5'10 150.  I had to be 150 to make the weight limit for football.  July before the start of my freshman year at Dixie, I tipped the scales at 200 and was now 6'1.  Yes, if it wasn't tied down I ate it.  That's basically what happened all through high school.  I grad in 96 6'3 255 lbs.  Spent all of 7 days at Morehead State University after I hurt my sciatic nerve again.  It took me 6 months to a year to get over that.  Fast forward to 2002 I joined a racing team.  I was a mechanic and over the wall crew member.  Plus part time body guard (few folks know exactly what I'm talking about).  Bought a racing gokart and started to race in Middletown.  I was in the Super Heavy class which was driver/kart 400+ lbs.  By this point I was around 310-320 then with kart I was over 500 lbs on the scale.  Needless to say that was a short lived career since I ended up flipping the kart.  I opened my eyes and saw sky thinking, "hey, I shouldn't be looking at that?"  I cracked my chest with that trick.  Another 6 months and some time in rehab to fix that mistake.  By this point I'm over 330 lbs.  Crew for hire was over when a few of the members got jobs in NASCAR (teams) so I really didn't have anything to do.  Fast forward now to summer 2011.  I have 2 little kids both under the age of 3.  I have a family history that its almost easier to just say what we haven't had.  To list some majors, diabetes, high/low blood pressure, kidney failure, heart issues, and cancer to just name a few.  My father, when he hit his 58th b-day became the oldest male in our family in a direct line (his dad, g-pa, gg-pa, ggg-pa).  Issue is I'm just a bigger version of him. Finally decided, I'm tired of following in his footsteps.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Welcome to my blog, Fat to 5K!

A lot has happened to me in the past year.  Aug 8th 2011 I stepped on the scale at 340 lbs.  As of July 9th 2012 I tipped the scales at 240.8 lbs.  A total of 99.2 lbs in 340 (ish) days.  My goal is 1 year 100 lbs and if I don't get it this week, come hell or high water I will get it next.  I don't think I went about my weight loss in the traditional Weight Watchers or Nutra System kinda way.  When folks hear how much I've lost, normally the first thing out of their mouth after, "WOW" is how? I figured it would be easier for me to write about my weight loss journey.  How I went from 340 lb to running my first 5K in 11 months only after 3 months of jogging.  I also plan to go into detail about the next chapter in my life, triathlons.  If this blog helps 1 person to start their own weight loss journey, then every keystroke is worth it.

Side note: This format might change once I learn exactly what I'm doing here, so please bare with me.