Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Beginnings

Today is September 1st, 2013 and exactly four months until the New Year.  Last year at this time, I was in some of the worst shape of my life, and mentally as well as physically beat down.  Then I was chosen to be part of Covenant Health's Biggest Winner Team, coached by former Olympian Missy Kane.  Through that program I was able to reshape myself both physically as well as mentally, and came out the other side completing a 1/2 marathon and a much stronger person.

That time has come and gone.  You can always say you could have done more, worked harder, etc.  I definitely can.  But my development, both physically in my weight loss and mentally, have been long lasting, something that is significant in the life of a chronic yo-yo dieter.  I am still within 10 or so pounds of my lowest during the program (I lost over 40), and that has been with minimal effort in diet or exercise.  That, for me, is huge.  Pretty much every other time in my life, by now, I would have gained it back.  So for that I am proud. is time to complete my weight loss journey.  I am going to utilize this blog much more than I did in the past, and let everyone and anyone who cares know exactly what I am doing, what I am eating, my highs and lows, challenges and successes.

I want my New Years Resolution this year to be, for the first time in MANY YEARS, not to be to lose weight, but to live and love life in the body I have built, and go forward and achieve things I previously never thought possible.  (I have a few ideas, but I am gonna hold off on telling too much of that for now).

My plan is simple.  I am going to do everything that I know to do that supports weight loss, all at the same time.  This includes:

  • Cardio - Shea is training for the Savannah Rock n' Roll 1/2 marathon, and while I don't know if I will be competing in it at this time, I am definitely going to train with her.
  • Weight Training - with Little League football in full swing, my evenings are booked 4 nights per week.  So 5 AM is gonna come early, starting tomorrow.
  • Low Glycemic - Call it South Beach, Atkins, Nutrisystem, Paleo, whatever you want to call it.  The fact is sugars and starchy foods slow your weight loss.  I don't need anyone telling me about portions, good cards/bad cards.  Carbs are impossible to avoid, and by no means should your carbohydrate target be zero.  But having pasta every night isn't the fast track to a six pack.
  • Supplements - I am not recommending, promoting, and definitely not selling ANYTHING on this blog.  You won't hear me promoting ACE or Visalus or whatever other trendy supplement comes along.  But there are things that I feel have been proven, over many years, that I feel are legitimate weight loss supplements.  I will be integrating those as I go along, and I tell you exactly what, how much, and if I feel they are making any difference at all.

I am not going to promote this blog on Facebook or otherwise until January 2014, so if everything goes according to plan, you will be able to see all the changes I made at once.

To all those who have supported me along the way and continue to do so, all I can say is Thank You and I will not let you down.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One of my favorite inspirational videos of all time!!!!

This video speaks for itself.   Enjoy.

Mr Miyagi and other stuff

As many of you know, I suffered a pretty painful calf strain Saturday during the 2nd mile of what was intended to be an 8 mile run, which turned into a 1 1/2 mile run and a 4 mile walk.  Well Sunday I knew this was pretty serious, as I could barely walk.  More of the same on Monday, although I was able to do a 6 AM Spin class with Joe Mitchell.  So yesterday, not only was my calf still hurting but I also awoke to a severe "crick" in my neck, so much so that I could barely turn my head to the right at all, which you will find quite a disadvantage when driving, or just doing anything in life really.

So being that I am not one to seek medical treatment all that much, out of sheer misery (I was also on day 2 of no caffiene which I was trying to cut out, and have since relented until after this is mountain to climb at a time thank you very much).  I took the advice of my friend Doug Ward from a friendly Facebook suggestion and sought out the services of Dr. Bert Solomon at Performance Theraputics (www.ptknoxcom), which although I had no idea before going there, had recently been acquired by Covenant Health, our sponsor.  I have now decided to deem Dr. Bert the Mr. Miyagi of East TN for his miraculous (okay, maybe not miraculous, but seriously good) therapy on my calf and neck.

Again, for those of you who have known me for some time, know that at one time I was a pretty decent football player, but all that came to an abrupt end when I suffered a fracture to my C-5 vertebrae in my neck.  So I have been to a few Chiropractors in my day, and usually know what to expect.  Dr. Bert is in a different league.  Literally, within 20 minutes of him walking in the room, I went from barely being able to move my neck to the right, to almost able to take my chin to my shoulder before I felt pain.  In 20 minutes.  I feel like I am a pretty good judge of character, as I meet and talk with people all day long and have for several years now, so I can usually tell if somebody is engaged in what your saying, listening, and knows what they are talking about.  Dr. Bert was all of the above.

He applied a technigue on my neck and calf called ART© which I won't go into detail here, but long story short it works.  I feel a ton better.  So if you have any nagging sports injuries or other things, you just might want to go seek out someone that practices that technique, and if your in Knoxville, go see Dr. Bert.

Also, I have scheduled my Runner's Evaluation with Phil Blevins, which is a service offered at Fort Sanders where they will check you out to see how you run, any issues you have, etc.  So I am definitely excited about that.  You can see what all they do here.

Between that, meeting up with Ciara our nutritionist to further to refine my diet, Chris O'Hearns mental and physical training, and all the other support from Missy Kane, Joe Mitchell, Phil Kaplan, and Tonya Stoutt-Brown, as well as all my teammates of course, I can say that I feel really good going into this month that I am going to have a lot of success.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Injury update and a big ask of all of you...

Now that I am in month 3 of this competition, I am beginning to feel the "sense of urgency" for what lies ahead.  While 13 miles (half marathon distance) seems much more like a reality than I could even fathom just two months ago, I still have such a long way to go.  On Saturday's run, I made the mistake of not making sure I was hydrated before my run (I woke up super thirsty and tried to chug a couple glasses of water, which obviously was much too little too late).  Because I was so dehydrated, I started cramping in my left calf (horrible pain, like getting stabbed in the back of my leg with a knife).  But not wanting to relent, I tried to run through it, and I am pretty sure I made it worse.  Now I am limping around trying to figure out how I am going to burn calories.  It is times Ike these that in the past I'd say to heck with it, eat something completely bad for me and tell myself  I'll get back on the wagon when I feel better.

But I don't have that luxury now.  I am running those 13 miles in a few short months, and every pound counts.  So hopefully I will recover quickly, and I'll be hitting the bike, elliptical, and pool in the meantime.

Now for the big ask.  Any of you that know me probably know that I really enjoy coaching and being around kids in general.  So just to make this whole journey just a little bit more meaningful, I have decided to ask anyone who is willing to pledge either a "per pound" amount (ex. $1 per pound lost) or even just a flat donation after this is all over that I will combine together to make a donation the The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.  So if any of you are willing to pledge, just message me on Facebook or you can email us at  Just let us know the amount and a good way to get in touch with you in April (if we don't know already of course).

The support from all of my friends as well as people that I barely know has been amazing.  I appreciate everything, and I promise, I won't let you down.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Month 2 Results plus inside info from a former Biggest Loser contestant

So we had our month two weigh-in last month.  I lost 12 pounds, which was a couple more than I anticipated, which was good.  Still not "in the lead" in that a couple of the guys have lost more in total, but I am not displeased with my progress.  More than anything, I can feel a difference, and I am really focused, which feels great.  I am looking to make this month a "big" month, so I hope to report some great numbers 30 days from now.

So one of the many many cool things of being a part of the Covenant Health Biggest Winner Team is that one of our coaches is Joe Mitchell, a former NBC Biggest Loser contestant.  It was really neat talking with him last night about life on the ranch, and how they really go about losing all that weight so fast.  I don't think he told us anything he wouldn't mind sharing.  I got two big takeaways from Joe last night.  The first biggest takeaway I got was the insight that during there time on the ranch, the contestants are moving, basically, all day.  Literally from the time he got up in the morning, to sometimes as late as midnight, they were either walking, running, hiking, or in the gym (when they weren't eating or in the bathroom of course).  So they burn something crazy like 8000 calories per day!  With a caloric intake of roughly 1500 calories for him, so you can see why they lose big amounts of weight each week.  Those types of numbers really isn't realistic for most normal people with jobs and lives and such.  But what it does show me is what we as humans and what are bodies are really capable of, given the right circumstances.

I really wanted to join Joe this morning at Fort Sanders for a 6:00 am spin class.  Not because I like spin classes, in fact, I have only taken one and I basically hated it.  It made my rear end hurt in a way that I hope to never experience again.  But I know if I can do that spin class on those 3 days per week, thats 1000 extra calories that I burned.  Can I get up at 5:30 am?  Yes.  Did I want to?  No.  So it goes back to the mental battle.

And I will leave this post with the other big takeaway.  The Biggest Loser is on it's 14th season starting Sunday, so at this point there is a bit of an Alumni of past contestants.  Most everybody loses weight while they are on the show, whether they stay on the ranch or get sent home, and see results.  What I think is interesting is what happens after.  1 year later, 2 years later, 5 years later.  It is a mixed bag.  Some people do well and keep it off, others struggle.  Joe shared the reason that most people struggle is that they view weight loss as a Starting point, and and Ending point.  "Once I get to where I am going, I can relax and start living like I used to again."  For those of you who have known me for some time, you know I fit into that catagory, but that is info for a whole other post altogether.

This is a journey, but a unique one in that there really isn't a destination.  There are always goals, new challenges, new ways to push yourself and surprise yourself and do things that you have previously said you would not or could not ever do.  I hope my struggles and successes help inspire others to find their own new and exciting challenges.

Joe Mitchell, Biggest loser contestant and Knoxville Marathon Team Biggest Winner Coach

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year!!!

Ok, so welcome to 2013!  Today is my 2nd weigh in at Fort Sanders Fitness Center, and the start of our group training with Chris O'Hearn, our personal trainer and Life Coach.  I anticipate having lost another 10 pounds from the last 30 days, putting me to 15 total.  It definitely hasn't been a linear progression, I have fluctuated greatly mainly due to the holidays.  For goodness sakes, I had to go to 5 Christmas meals in 3 days!  So anyway, usually I'd be beating myself up for not leading the pack (there are a couple guys who have lost around 30 punds so far, so I am not doing as well as them). 

But the good part is I am 100% focused now and the holidays are behind me, so I can really look forward to the punds coming off.  I am starting to get a few comments and my belt is a little lose, so I know things are moving in the right direction.  I would love to see a 20+ pound loss in January, so I am really going to be super on point with my diet and running. 

I actually ran 7 miles with the Knoxville Track Club two Saturdays ago.  By no means was I fast, and I walked a few times, but I finished.  That is the longest run I have ever done outdoors (at this point I hardly even consider running on a treadmill as running vs running outside, as they are just so much different). 

The hardest part of this whole thing is the mental part.  When I am running, I have these urges to stop and walk, and I have to literally go through a mental checklist with myself...heart rate is ok, check...legs aren't falling off and not failing, check...breathing is ok, check...ok, I can keep running.  I do this about every 10 minutes once I get past about 3 miles it seems, but it helps me stay focused and keep running.  The mental aspect also is huge with my eating.  I still struggle with late night cravings, but I am winning that battle.  I have learned that there is no middle ground for me there right now in my life, so I avoid all after dinner foods all together.

My goal at this point is still to get under 200 pounds by race day, but it is getting tighter and tighter to make it.  By then I would have lost a total of over 100 pounds since my heaviest and about 75 pounds from here.  I thought it might be interesting to see what 75 pounds looks like, so I googled some images to see.  When I googled, I found some other persons blog, so for the sake of disclosure, these photos are from her blog, which I linked at the end.

I think about it a lot when I am running, how basically I am carrying an extra 4th grader vs someone who is "normal" weight, so I look forward to the day when I can run, unencumbered, by this extra weight.  It's funny, now that I am running so often, I don't really think about the weight from a vainity thing, it is more about a performance thing, which is much more important to me.  Nevertheless, it's alot, and it simultaneously makes me mad that I have that much to lose, yet even more motivated to get it off. 

So here are some examples of 75 pounds...

How about 75lbs of beans?

Perhaps a 75lb boat?

That's a nice fish...

75lbs of fruit too...

I've always wanted to work out with these, this one weighs 75lbs I used to carry it around on my body all the time, wonder if I could pick it up LOL

Then there's this cutie

There's always a scoreboard

This one is creepy I must say

Now THAT'S a squash!

Imagine carrying a table on your back every day? Oh wait apparently I was!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Being on TV, Updates, and everything else...

Here I am getting ready to go on Live at 5 at 4:

It was great!  Here are a couple more "behind the scenes" photos:

Ed Rupp in the Traffic Studio  : )

About to be On The Air!!!

It was a ton of fun to be a part of that.  Makes me want to be on TV all the time!  : )

So our 2nd weigh in is tomorrow.  I can't say I am super excited.  I didn't do great during Thanksgiving, and really only got "dialed in" to my diet in the last week or so.  But we shall see.  I have been hitting the weights pretty regularly, and done several runs, including one on Saturday with a big group.  We started at Eddie's Health Shoppe.  Here's a picture from Missy.

I'm in the bottom right.  Got four miles in, although I basically walked the 4th mile...

So anyway, just wanted to give an update before the big weigh in tomorow.