May 29, 2011

The Journey: I drank a soda...

The month of May has been a complete waste as far as the Journey is concerned. I came home from Hawaii with my feet fried and I wasn't able to work out for three weeks. Even now, a month after getting sun burnt, the tops of my feet are still a little tender.

The last week or so I've made it to the gym a couple of times, but it was a struggle. Both mentally & physically. But I've completely lost the momentum I had before Hawaii. I've gained back the three pounds I lost while in Hawaii. Not only am I not working out, but because I've lost my focus & drive, I've been horrible about what I'm eating.

And as the title suggests, I drank a soda. But this isn't a bad thing. I didn't cave in, grab a Mountain Dew and suck it down. That would be a complete failure of the Journey. And while I've lost momentum, I haven't completely given up...

No, a friend of mine was coming through Canada and picked up a bottle of this awesome Strawberry Cream Soda Crush. It's very tasty but you can only get it in selected parts of Canada and he put some effort into hunting it down. So in honor of his kindness, I purposely enjoyed it with a great dinner.

I know someday I'll be able to go back to drinking soda again in moderation. But if I had a Mountain Dew, or Coke or Dr Pepper now, I know I would not be able to resist the desire to keep on drinking it, and it's readily available. The stuff he brought me from Canada is 581 miles away.(Yeah, I've checked. It would take me 11 hours to get there.)

May is almost gone, so I need to get my head ready to get back into the Journey in June. I've made some tweaks to my work schedule that should make it more convenient to get the gym in the evenings. And it's summer in Alaska, so there's tons of hiking that can be done. We've got some of that planned, and I'll post pictures as it happens.

So the lesson you should draw from this if you are on your own Journey? When you have momentum; don't lose it. When you lose momentum; do the hard work to get it back. It's as much mental as it physical.

And, if you haven't been following the Journey since the beginning, go to the first post here and read forward.

May 24, 2011

The Journey: One possible method...

A man was terribly overweight, so his doctor put him on a diet.

"I want you to eat regularly for two days, then skip a day. Then eat regularly again for two days, then skip a day. Repeat this procedure for two weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least five pounds."

When the man returned, he shocked the doctor by having lost nearly 60 pounds!

"Wow, that's amazing!" the doctor said. "Did you follow my instructions?"

The man nodded. "I'll tell you though, I thought I was going to drop dead on the third day."

"From the hunger, you mean?" asked the doctor.

"No, from the skipping."

From Kathleen Marion, via

May 18, 2011

The Journey: Back to the Gym

I made it back to the gym... finally.  It's been a month since I had been there. Leading up to our trip I missed a few days before because of being busy getting ready to go. And then I missed 10 days while we were on vacation. And then I came home with my feet burned to a crisp.

Monday was the first day I was able to function without constant pain. If I bump them or get my shoes tied too tight they still hurt, but nothing like they have been hurting. So, as much as I didn't want to, I knew I had to get back in the gym.

It was a short work out. Sometimes after I've been on the elliptical machine for about 20 or 30 minutes something pinches in my upper back, right between my shoulder blades. It hurts like crazy... Normally I push past it, but this time I just didn't have the mental fortitude.

At least 60% of the Journey has been more mental than physical. It was a month between when I decided to quite soda and when I actually quit. And I spent that month preparing mentally for the battle.

I've also set some more goals. I want to lose 8 to 10 pounds a month. I also want to be able climb the Butte and Lazy Mountain before the end of the summer. I've never done either, and I hear the view from the top is pretty awesome.

And, as much as I hate running, by next year I want to run in a 5K. I'm not worried about how well I do, I just want to be able to say I did it.

Stayed tuned for future updates as we get serious again about the Journey. The plan is to post every Tuesday & Saturday. Granted, this post is going up on Wednesday night, so sometimes I'll be late...

May 14, 2011

The Journey: Reincarnation

I don't really believe in reincarnation... But if it was true, I think the worst thing you could come back as is an alarm clock.

Think about it... There you are, sitting on the night stand. As your owner goes to bed they set you to go off in the morning. For the next seven or eight hours you wait in eager anticipation for the designated moment. And it finally comes! This is it; this is what you were created for.

With a loud beep, or perhaps a confident buzz you announce the morning and time to get up. And you do so with great pride. You have completed your mission, and while you were just merely doing your duty, you figure some "atta-boys" are in order.

But what happens? Instead of a thank you, your owner screams at you and starts blindly slapping you! What the...? Why are they hitting you?!? You're just waking them up like they asked you to last night. Okay... So they are little grumpy. So you figure you'll give them 5 or 10 more minutes of sleep. And when you go off again, the yelling & hitting happens again. This little scene repeats itself several times over the next half hour until they finally get up, mumbling & grumbling.

So, the next morning you decide to try something different. You weren't sure what you did wrong the day before, but obviously you made your owner mad by trying to wake them up. So this morning, you are going to let them sleep. That should make them happy, right?

Well, it doesn't. If anything they were more mad when they woke up several hours later than they should've. They yelled,  screamed & said words that can not be repeated in polite company. Yep, if you are an alarm clock, there's no way to win.

Why? Well, because people are crazy. We set our alarm clocks at night knowing we won't want to get up in the morning. We buy gym memberships and then don't go. We say we are dieting and then super size our meal at McDonald's.

Plato said that in our heads we have a rational charioteer who has to rein in an unruly horse that "barely yields to horsewhip and goad combined."  Paul said in Romans chapter 7: So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am!

 The key to my Journey, or anybody's Journey is to get both sides of our personality to work together. That is why I highly recommend the book "Switch" by Chip & Dan Heath. And if you are too cheap to buy it, you can read the first chapter for free on their website.

You can read the first chapter here...

May 13, 2011

Shifting the blog schedule

Just an update... I'm going to shift from have my blog posts up on Monday & Friday to having them up on Tuesday & Saturdays. This will work a lot better with my life right now...

My feet are still in the healing process, but we are getting closer. Working out is still on hold, but I need to get back to it as soon as possible.

I will have a full post up tomorrow. In the meantime, take a look at my first three Journey posts to see where it all began...

Introducing You to the Journey

What led to the Journey?

 What sparked the Journey?


May 9, 2011

The Journey: Post-Hawaii Update

We've been home from vacation for a week now. Unfortunately the Journey is still on hold. As I've mentioned in my last post, the top of my feet got severely sunburned on our second-to-the-last day there. I've spent the last week mostly in pain.

So, hitting the gym is out of the picture. Just walking is hard enough. I think I'm on the mend, but it may be a few more days before I can get back on track. And I need to get back on track. Both with my exercise and my eating. So far my weight has held steady at 316 pounds. Which is great considering I'm not working out and not paying too much attention to what I eat.

Not paying attention is why I'm in this situation in the first place... That's how I burnt my feet. The whole trip I was keeping myself out of the sun. There was just one hour where I lost focus, and that's the hour my feet sat in the sun. And got fried...

Leading up to the trip, I was focused on a goal weight before the trip. Now my focus is not just a number on the scale, but on getting into clothes that haven't fit, being able to work out harder, having more endurance and generally being able to enjoy life more.

I'm ready to get past being fat. At work, some of the guys are doing a softball team. They were short on players and trying to figure out who else they could get to be a part. But in all their discussion they never asked me to play. I'm not bothered that they didn't include me, and there's no way I'd have time to do it. But it is one more example of what life as a fat person is like. And it's a life I'm done with.

And for your viewing pleasure, here's a picture of my feet at their worse:

May 3, 2011

The Journey gets a sunburn...

First I must apologize for not getting a post up last Friday. My goal for this blog right now is to have a post each Monday & Friday. We kept a pretty busy schedule while on vacation, and I just didn't get to it on Friday. Today's post is later than normal too.  And the only reason I have time to do a post today is because I've stayed home from work.

I was actually looking forward to getting back home and getting back into the routine with work and the gym and church.  Vacation is nice, but usually by the last couple of days I'm ready to get home. I love my life.  I don't go on vacation to hide from my life. I go on vacation to enhance it. I refuse to be on of those people who constantly whine & complain about their life and are just living for their next escape from reality.

So why am I not at work? Because I'm an idiot. I have very fair skin, thanks to my Scandinavian heritage. Which makes the sun my natural enemy. Seriously... I can sunburn just by hearing the song "You Are My Sunshine". So why in the world would I go to Hawaii? Well, Christy & I have an agreement: She'll live with me where it's cold if I'll let her vacation where it's hot.

Because of my fair skin, I know I need to take precautions. Which means putting on sunscreen. Which I hate doing. It's greasy and slimy. But if I don't use it, I fry. I did really good for the first part of the trip. My arms got a little toasted, but nothing too serious. But then on the second to the last day we went on a snorkeling cruise. It was an awesome trip. We saw spinner & bottle-nose dolphins. We also saw humpback whales, which is rare this time of year in that area.

On the way back in is where my stupidity shines. It started out innocent enough... I was sitting on the back of the boat, talking with this guy from Chicago. He was pretty interesting to talk to and I wasn't paying attention to how much sun I was getting directly on my feet. The sunscreen applied earlier in the day had apparently worn off and after an hour or so I realized my feet were FRIED. I'm talkin' crispy red.

And if you've ever had a bad sunburn, you know that the pain and heat builds over the next day or so. They also swelled up. I couldn't get socks or shoes on. I could only barely get flip flops on a little bit and then walk in extreme pain. We spent most of the next day in water which felt great. But then Saturday evening we started the journey home.

It was a miserable trip. My feet were swollen and red and burning. I had to walk barefoot everywhere. It sucked. Most of Sunday and all of today I've had to keep my feet elevated with cold wash clothes on them. If I swing my feet to the floor the rush of blood to them is excruciating. If I'm standing I have to constantly shift my weight.

But, I'll have to go to work tomorrow. My boss has this silly policy... He only pays you if you actually work. I know.. It's crazy. Doesn't he know this is America, where people expect to get paid for doing nothing?

Other than the fried feet, we had a great trip. So I guess it was worth it. I think...

Oh... An update on the Journey: I managed to drop 3 more pounds while in Hawaii. That puts me at 317 pounds. Tomorrow's number probably won't be so good. All I've done today is sit around an eat. And at one point today I had the most intense craving for a Coke. I could taste it in my mouth, and feel it bubbling down my throat. It was crazy. It's a good thing I couldn't walk or I may have been headed to the store...

And for your viewing pleasure, below is my fried feet and a blister, which I've named Bobby.