Back in the Saddle Again

Back in the Saddle Again

Well, it’s been just about 71 days, 14 hours, 22 minutes and 37 seconds since I’ve started this little (read: EPIC) battle of Me vs. The Fat….. and in the famous words of… well…. me: “I’M WIIIIIIINING!”.

(Disclaimer: a few other people in history may have said this also.)

As of this mornings weigh-in, I’ve lost 41.1 of my first 60 pounds. My legs hurt, my taste buds miss pizza…. and this weekend, I’m sure I’ll give in and have a beer or 7, but it’s all been worth it, and I’m not even close to done yet!

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I guess I don’t really have anything super smart to say, or super inspirational to put out there…. just that this journey is about me, and your own journey needs to be about you. I’ve gotten a lot of advice and tips from people over the last few months, and honestly, I’ve followed all of it.

Maybe a better word here is “tried” all of it. Foods, juices, exercises, schedules, vitamins, you name it, I’ve given it a shot, but the good news is, SOME of it worked!! Every single body is different, each persons body is going to react and respond to things in some similar ways, but different enough that someone else’s workout plan and someone else’s diet, may not be a perfect fit for you. So, you have to try things, MANY things. Find the diets that leave you feeling full, that give you enough energy to workout, find the exercises that get that heart-rate up that don’t hurt (too much) and, in my opinion, don’t leave you feeling SO bored that just can’t handle the thought of another day doing it!

The one thing I know for sure, for me, is that I’m getting addicted to this feeling of success. With each blog comment, Facebook comment, text message, the compliments I get in person, about my looks, my drive, and especially when people tell me that reading my blog or watching my annoyingly frequent Facebook statuses and tweets come rolling by inspires them to hit the treadmill, go for a run, ride, row, whatever… and they then share that feeling of accomplishment, THAT is the diet plan that works for me.

So I’ve said it a few times now, but again, thank you, all of you, for the positive comments and encouragement. I’m not on a TV show, this isn’t a contest for me, there’s no money at the end, all I’ve is how much better I feel…. and all of you!

I went through some shaky times in the last few weeks, between my road trip, a plateau in my weight-loss and a pretty simple lack of motivation to get myself up and moving, but…. I’M BACK!

 

Damage Control, Life On The Road Isn’t Easy!

Damage Control, Life On The Road Isn’t Easy!

Route map.
My route from DC, through Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and back!

It’s been a while since the last post about my weight-loss, and I surely haven’t forgotten about it, nor do I intend to give up before even reaching my first goal of losing the first 60 pounds.

I did, however, hit a big bump there for a little over two weeks. For those of you that don’t already know, I had been on a road-trip that spanned just over 3300 miles, 15 days and about 10 cities. I even wrote some blog posts along the way: Midwestern Travel Update…. Halfway There…. ish! and The Adventure Continues… (a solid wrap up post coming soon)

What I haven’t talked about yet is the toll it took on my weight-loss efforts and the thoughts I had going into it. When I left, I knew maintaining a diet like the one I’ve been on would be extremely difficult, but I surely did pack my running shoes, my juicer, bought a cooler that fit perfectly on the floor in my front seat and juiced a good $100+ in kale, cucumbers, celery, apples and pears. I did my best to drink that, and only that right up until the wedding, stopped and did some food shopping while I was in Dyersville, Iowa and even made a second round of juice while I was out on the road. Did some running while I could, was on my feet most of the time and tried to NOT over eat, or consume totally unhealthy things when it could be avoided. It’s a lot harder to keep to a diet when you’re on the road like that, harder than I really thought actually. It’s not that there’s no healthy options out there, but when you’re 1500 miles from home on a long empty highway, the only things marked by signs are McDonald’s, Burger King, Cracker Barrel and gas stations. I almost wish there was an iPhone app that would show you where along your route there were some healthy options.

Needless to say, I was not as successful as I wanted to be, but I kept the idea at the forefront of my mind that a two-week road-trip like that one is probably not something I’m going to get to do very often and enjoying the trip, the driving, the time with friends and of course, the awesome things I saw along the way was the most important and, WOW, did see some awesome things and have some great times!!

Finally, the important part… how much damage was done!?!? Well, the day I left, I was 276 pounds, I had lost 32 of the first 60 pounds I set out for, and not surprisingly at all, when I got home, I had gained a few. The morning after I arrived home, I was up 6.2 pounds. I wasn’t thrilled about it and I immediately buckled down, started running my butt off and slowly settling back into my diet. The awesome news is, as of this morning, just before writing this post, almost all the damage has been reversed, I’m back down to 276.2 pounds, just 6 days later and I would expect by tomorrow morning, I’ll be back on track with a new low!

Weight Chart.
A quick chart from my Fitbit dashboard showing the “bump” in weight while I was traveling and the return down to the size before I left!

I guess the important lesson learned here, and the major difference between this current effort to lose weight and the others is that I’m keeping it in perspective. My last few “balls to wall, all out” attempts where I went at it with no breaks, no cheat days, no rest days, etc… really missed the point. I want to lose weight to better enjoy my life, to feel more attractive, to have more fun, and to OPEN up opportunities to do new things. NOT to lock myself in my apartment eating horrible foods and running and rowing for days on end. It’s about reconnecting with friends, moving my life forward from recent events, and improving what my future can and will be as well as making sustainable long term changes in how I manage my weight, diet and exercise.

I will surely be writing a post soon about the thoughts I had while driving these last 3300 miles, so keep your eyes peeled for that one! Just so you know now though, I’m in a better, happier place where I understand so much more about what it’s going to take to for me to turn around some bad times from the last few months and keep this run of positive experiences and days going for a very long time!

The Adventure Continues…

The Adventure Continues…

2145 miles on the road since leaving DC on October, 2nd
2145 miles on the road since leaving DC on October, 2nd

I have to say, after 12 days on the road and 2145 miles… I could get used to this. When I set out to take this “little” drive I was thinking that, instead of spending money flying in and out of Missouri followed by Chicago on back to back weekends, why not just drive and “check some stuff” out along the way. It turned out to be so much more.

Spending all this time catching up with old friends and, of course, making some awesome new ones has really highlighted a part of my personality I think I almost lost for a while. Somewhere in the stress of work, the depression of weight gain and the general funk I think I had been in for a while, I had really come close to totally forgetting how much I love hanging out with friends, meeting new people and going on these random adventures.

Greetings from Mainstream Beanery in Zeeland, MI!
Greetings from Mainstream Beanery in Zeeland, MI!

The good news is: It’s not gone. I didn’t lose all of it and somewhere out here between Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Chicago and now Zeeland, Michigan… I found it again! What a great feeling it is too. I’m not totally ready to come home, I’ve got a few more stops to make along the way, but I can already say for sure, that when I return, it will be with a greatly improved attitude, renewed commitment to my weight-loss as well as reconnecting and rekindling a lot of those friendships I had let slide for a while. So, be prepared, I will be making calls (read: “sending texts”) and making plans with a lot of you and if for some reason I’m not in touch with you as fast as you’d like, get in touch with me first!

It’s great to be back and I’m not even home yet!!

Midwestern Travel Update…. Halfway There…. ish!

The current tracker map of the route I’ve taken.

This time we’ll switch modes for a bit… it’s not that I haven’t been keeping up on my weightloss, I surely have. In fact, other than eating at the wedding and having a slice of the best homemade apple pie I’ve ever had, I’ve been juicing the whole time. While I haven’t been working out, and haven’t been on a scale in a few days, I’m confident that things are still going well, based purely on the fact that I am yet ANOTHER notch on my belt smaller! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

So what HAVE I been doing? Well, that’s pretty simple… DRIVING! Just over 1700 miles so far!

 

Hand dipping my own Maker’s Mark bottles!

I started at home in Maryland at around 4:30am last Thursday and drove straight out to the Louisville, Kentucky area to hit some of the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I didn’t have a lot of time, I was only there for about 18 hours, including some time to sleep, but I did manage to make it to Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam and Bulleit. Without a doubt one of the coolest random overnight stops I’ve ever made. Maker’s Mark was by far the best stop on my little tour. Between our kick-ass tour guide, eating the corn right out of a fermentation vat made of over 100-year-old Cyprus boards, getting to buy a few bottles of the first ever batch of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, batch 14-01, as well as getting to wax dip all of the bottles I bought myself… it was a pretty amazing afternoon. In fact, I spent WAY more time there than I thought!

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Myself and the CTSV on the bank of the Mississippi River in Canton, MO.

From Kentucky, after visiting the home of Bulleit at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery the next morning, I hopped on the road for one of the most important parts of my journey: The drive out to Union, Missouri for two of my best friends wedding, the #UnionInUnion… and what a wedding it was!! The Carter Farm, was gorgeous and the perfect setting for an amazing night. Other than, ya know…. two people getting married… there was drinking, dancing, laughing, lighting things on fire, smoking cigars and of course, a TON of picture-taking! This is a wedding I won’t soon forget. Thankfully, I had the foresight to stay in Missouri for an extra day and not drive hungover, which came in pretty handy since I wound up getting my own personal tour of the Augusta, MO area breweries, wineries and some great little local spots to get some food and have a few drinks.

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The sign at the entrance road to the Field of Dream movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.

Finally it came time to leave Missouri and kill a few days before heading to Chicago… and while doing a little Googling, I found out I was only a few hundred miles from one of the sites of one of my all time favorite movies: Field of Dreams. So, to Iowa I went. Dyersville, IA to be exact. Of course, I had to find a good spot along the way to drive out to the rivers edge since I had never actually seen the Mississippi River, and sure enough, in Canton, MO I found the perfect spot.

Just a quick overnight stay, woke up the next morning and headed out to the baseball field, snapped a few pictures, took a little video, ran around the bases and jumped back in the car. It was raining which wasn’t too cool, but hey, you can’t have everything!

After my stop over in Iowa, it was out to Milwaukee I went, checked out the Harley-Davidson Museum, found a hotel to crash in for the night, got the car washed in the morning, and sitting at at Starbucks in Wisconsin is where I’m at now. I’ll finish and post this, then it’s off to Chicago for the next few days to continue my adventure….

Let me know if you’re anywhere in Illinois, Michigan, NY, NJ, or anywhere in between… I can always be talked into another stop!! Maybe I’ll see you soon!!