Apr 25, 2011

The Journey goes to Hawaii, and then pukes.

We are in Lihue on Kauai Island! It's been a great trip. Christy and I spent two days in Waikiki before meeting up with my parents here.

The first morning in Waikiki we hiked the famous Diamond Head trial. Diamond Head is an extinct volcano crater adjacent to Waikiki. There's some old military observation bunkers on the crater rim that you can hike up to. But, it's a heck of a hike.

Elevation-wise, it's only about 720 feet. But it's almost straight up. So the trail goes up in a series of switchbacks. It was pretty strenuous, but I was making it. It was hot. Way too hot for this Alaskan boy. After the switchbacks, there's a set of 54 stairs. Then you go into a tunnel that's about 100 feet long. The trail at this point is barely wide enough for one person. So when you meet someone one coming down, you'd have to squeeze past each other.

After the tunnel was 99 steep steps. After a quick rest and a large drink of water (which we'll later see was a huge mistake...) we started up. Half way through I wanted to stop and rest, but there was people behind us & people waiting to come down, so there was no stopping.

At the top was a spot to kinda get a little out of the way, so we paused there to rest. And at that moment I realized I was going to vomit. There was a little drainage trench at the side, so at least I wouldn't puke all over the trail. After a few moments of rest, I wasn't feeling any better, but I hadn't vomited (yet) and I wasn't feeling worse so we pushed on.

After another short tunnel there was two stories of spiral stairs and then you came into the bunker. We paused there for a moment but it was hot & muggy in there, so we figured we'd get out into the open where the wind was blowing. To get out, you had crawl out through the observation slit.

From there was a trail that goes up on top of the observation post, where you have a 360 degree view of the island. Half way up the trail I paused, trying to suppress the urge to heave. From the top of the trail was one more set of steps, with about 10 steps total. Half way along those I knew at the top that I was going to lose it.

Luckily for everyone else, there was a large trash barrel at the top. I made a beeline for it and then all systems went in reverse. I had drank almost a liter a water at this point and it all came up. It came up hard and fast enough it was coming out my nose too. Christy had gotten to the top a few seconds before me and was off to the side. She couldn't see the trash can, just me bent over puking. She thought I was just letting it splash all over the ground, so she was staying away.

Once it was all over, I felt way better. I was a little lightheaded, but at least my stomach didn't hurt.

The view from on top was worth the pain though. And the sense of accomplishment. All the guide books warn that the hike can't be done by people who aren't in shape. Well, we did it. But I guarantee I couldn't have done it if I hadn't started the Journey when I did.

And here is the picture looking up the 99 steps...

Apr 22, 2011

The Journey goes on Vacation... and the scale went with us.

We are on vacation... As you read this we are enjoying Hawaii. I made my goal and was 320 the morning we left. The seat on the plane was still pretty tight though. So I'm thinking if I hadn't started the Journey when I did, I wouldn't have been able to go on a trip like this.

Today we are hiking to the top of Diamond Head and then driving to the North Shore. Tonight we'll go to a fireworks show & and a luau.

So today's post is going to be short. 'Cause I'm enjoying being 51 pounds lighter than I was before.

But I do want to point out we brought the scale with us. Some people have mocked us for that (and you know who you are...), but I don't want to get home and be surprised  by a big weight gain.

We didn't bring the scale I normally weigh in on. It's pretty heavy and we were trying to pack light. We have a second scale that we bought a while back. But it only went up to 350 pounds. When I began the Journey, I was above that so I couldn't use that. We had to get a scale that went up to 400 pounds.

So we are off to enjoy Hawaii. And to continue on the Journey...

Apr 18, 2011

The Journey: A Deeper Look

I've been asked by a few of you for some details on the Journey. So, here they are:

The Gym:
My goal is to get to the gym every day of the week. Most weeks I make it there 5 times a week. Once or twice it's been 6 times and a few times it's only been four times. Lately Christy and I have taken advantage of the beautiful spring weather to go for a walk/hike instead.

At the gym I always try to do about an hour of cardio, although sometimes it's just 40 minutes worth. I do the cardio on the elliptical machine. I get a good work out without the stress on your joints that a treadmill can cause. I keep the resistance as high as possible and push it as hard as I can.

Every other day I do the Expressway circuit work out. They use the Nautilus machines and it only takes a 1/2 hour to get a good overall strength training work out.

If I had the time, I would swim every day. But either the pool is too full for laps, or my schedule doesn't allow it. So I only swim about twice a week.

The Diet:
I'm not doing any special diet plan or program. I know there's plenty out there and I know they can work. But I'm trying to keep things simple. I'm not counting calories, but I'm certainly careful about how many calories I eat in a day.

I always eat breakfast. It's usually a bowl of cereal or a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat toast. I try and keep dinners light and not too late. I also try and keep the fast food to a minimum. Of course I still don't drink soda. I noticed I was eating a lot of potato chips, so I've try and keep that under control too. And the biggest thing is I try to drink as much water as possible. At a minimum I drink a gallon a day. It sounds like a lot, but I always keep water near me and drink it constantly. And yes, it means I pee constantly too.

I also try to each as much fiber as possible. The bread we buy has extra fiber, and I also eat Fiber Plus bars. I also try and eat at least one apple a day. I like the Pink Lady variety.

I'm not "dieting." I'm not starving myself, or just living on lettuce. So many people give up on losing weight because they get tired of denying themselves food. But this doesn't mean I eat anything and everything. I do say no to myself a lot. But I don't say no because I can't have it.

Usually my motivation for saying no is because I know what I weighed that morning. I know what I've already eaten today and how much I'm going to get to work out. And I know what I want to weigh tomorrow. And so if having a candy bar means I miss my goal for tomorrow, it's a lot easier to say no. It's more like I'm saying yes to a good number the next day.

And finally, an update. I've hit 321. I've lost 50 pounds since the beginning of the Journey. Since joining the gym in mid-February I've lost 23 pounds.

Apr 15, 2011

The Journey: Updating my progress

Time has slipped away from me this week and I wasn't able to do some of the posts that I wanted to do. Instead I will just give a quick update of my progress thus far. Lately I've started snapping pictures of the scale when I weigh and have good results. I mainly do this because I'm so groggy in the morning sometimes I forget what it says.

When I was flipping through the pictures on my phone, it was kinda cool to see the progression. Here they are below...

These aren't a daily weighing... Sometimes there was gap between when I took them.

Here's what my weight loss for April looks like so far:

I've lost 8 pounds so far in April, and 22 pounds since beginning to work out in mid-February. Since I've begun the Journey, I've lost 49 pounds. I'm one pound away from the 50 pound mark.

Thursday we leave on our first vacation in 2 1/2 years. My goal was to be at 321 before we left. I should make that. But next week I'm working a ton of hours on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday to make up for not being there Thursday & Friday. So getting to the gym will be hard. And I'm not sure how things are going to go while on vacation. Honestly, my goal for that week is to just not gain. I'll let you know how that works out.

Apr 11, 2011

The Journey: Reaching goals feels good.

There's an old saying... "Aim for nothing and you'll hit it every time." Which means for most of my life I've been a raging success. I've always aimed at nothing, and I've always accomplished nothing! But, if you are on a Journey, you have to know where you are heading and when you need to be there, or you'll never know if you are making progress.

I've had three immediate goals in front of me, and I've happy to announced that I've reached two of them. (By the way, if you are just joining us, you can go back and start reading about the Journey here and work forward.) Last week I talked about the bag full of jeans I have that got too small a few years back. Well, the jeans didn't get too small... I got too big. But it's funny how we say something got "too small." Like it's the clothing's fault....

This weekend we were Anchorage hanging out with Donnie & Joy. Before coming back to the Valley, Christy wanted to swing by Fred Meyers. I wandered over the fat boy section (they kindly call it "Big & Tall" but we all know what they are really wanting to say) and noticed they had the same Levi's 560's that I'm hoping to be able to fit into soon. I hate trying on clothes, but I decided to see if these fit. I was thinking maybe the ones I've got at home shrunk a little bit from being washed...

So I go into the fitting room and give it my best. But they just weren't going to button... But, that night when we got home, I happened to walk by the bag. On a whim I grabbed the pair on top and tried them on. And while it took some effort, they buttoned!!! Granted, they were too tight to comfortably wear, but they buttoned. So, that goal is accomplished!

On the 21st, the wife & I leave for our first vacation in over two years. We are headed to Hawaii. Flying and squeezing into the tiny seats are a pain for everyone, but even worse when you are fat. If you've ever been stuck next to the fat person on the plane, we are suffering even more than you are, so shut up and deal with it...

A while back I stated I had a goal to be 325 before going to Hawaii. Why 325? When I made that goal, it was a number that looked obtainable in the time that was available. Goals have to be obtainable or else they are just a daydream. Also, 325 represented a milestone for me... Six or seven years ago Christy & I got on a work out kick, and I remember being 325 at that time. By getting to 325, I would know it was the lightest I've been in that many years.

Here's what this morning's reading on the scale was:

That's goal #2 achieved!!

My weight loss so far in April looks like this:

The orange line represents what my progress needed to be in order to be below 325 by Hawaii. I'm way ahead of that. So I added a 3rd goal of being 321 by Hawaii, as shown by the pink line. 321 will mean that I've lost 50 pounds since starting the Journey. I have at least another 100-130 pounds still to lose but at least I'm on my way!

Apr 8, 2011

The Journey: The Bag of Hope

You are probably wondering what this bag is all about. Growing up we called them "sea bags". Dad was in the Navy years ago, and I guess these are the type of bags they carried their gear in. You can buy them from any military surplus or outdoor store. Growing up, these bags are what we used for luggage. They were easy to pack. You just shoved everything in there. Unpacking was simple too. You just dumped them out.

So, I've still got a couple of these things. My wife thinks they are ugly. And they are. That's half the fun of it. When we moved into the new house last year, this one got loaded up with my jeans. But these aren't just any jeans. They are Levi 560's. They are my favorite type of jeans. But the ones in this bag don't fit.

They used to fit. And then one summer I got to where I was wearing shorts most of the time. And I had some shorts that were way too big. They had a belt, but it wasn't the kind with notches. It was the type you could cinch up to where ever it fit. So as my waist line expanded, I never noticed. Until that fall when I went to go back to pants and almost none of them fit. And the few that did fit, did so less and less every time I put them on.

Eventually I had to buy bigger jeans. And then even bigger. Those were getting tight right around the time I started to make plans for the Journey. When the fat jeans don't fit, it's time to do something about it.

Right now I'm at a point where the fat jeans are absolutely too big. The in-between jeans (which are still for fat people) were getting too big, but I washed them in hot water & dried them on high, so they shrunk up quite a bit. When I lost ground in the Journey from September to February those started getting a little tight again. Now that I've dropped back down, they are fitting good.

The jeans in the bag still don't fit. Not yet. But they will. I have a goal, and I've got a plan to make that goal. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a day dream. And trust me... When I get to the point where they fit, I'll be celebrating it here on this blog.

And finally: An update. Since starting at the gym in late February, I've lost 17 pounds. My total weight lost since starting the journey is 44 pounds.

Apr 4, 2011

Back to the Journey

It's been more then a few days since my last post... I've fallen into the trap that sometimes catches bloggers... We'll have a theme we are excited about, so we do a plethora of posts in a short time. But then we lose steam, or we get burnt out and then stop posting altogether.

Jon Acuff, the master blogger, had a post a little while back on a better strategy. So, with that in mind, my new strategy is two posts a week, sometimes 3. I'm going to try and have a post up each Monday and Friday. If there's a bonus post, it'll be on a Wednesday or the weekend.

And, again, thanks for reading this. And thanks to those of you who have been giving me feedback. I appreciate it.

So, for today's post, an update on the Journey is due. The last time I posted, it was my birthday and I had hit my goal of 331. After that I hit 330 on a couple of days, but also had a couple of days where I went back up to 332. I'm still hitting the gym four to six days a week. On Saturday's Christy and I have joined friends and went for a walk/hike/geocaching adventure.

Here's what the last part of March looked like:

The first few days of April, I've been on a consistent losing streak:
And this illustrates a point about the Journey. Sometimes you lose ground, sometimes you plateau and sometimes you have some great progress. The thing to remember is that it's a marathon, not a sprint. You have to look at the overall picture, not just one day. And even though I lost a pound a day for three days in a row, I know that could mean there's a plateau ahead. Which means when the plateau comes, I can't get discouraged. The Journey is not about short term gains, but about long term life change.