2014: The Year of the New Me

We are now in to February. I am in such a better place health-wise than I was even right after my half marathon. Erika and I decided that we needed to get healthy and our eating on track. After being introduced to this program by my friend Staci, we decided that starting January 1, 2014 Erika and I were going to do the Whole 30 (http://whole30.com/). I knew with that fact that my body was not responding to all the running and not losing any weight that I needed to change something. If you look at my very first blog post I started at 231.5 lbs. I will tell you that over the course of all the training for the half marathon I didn’t lose ANY weight. Not one pound.

On January 1, 2014 I weighed myself at 234.4 lbs. I was stuck in the 230’s and could not get out no matter what I did. The whole 30 does not want you to weigh yourself during the whole 30 days. I cheated once (oops) but for a good reason. It was only to calm the frustration of Erika, and it worked! In case you are wondering what the Whole 30 is, here is a brief pitch on what it means:

“I eat real food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit.  I choose foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition.  And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat, seafood and eggs come from, and buy organic local produce as often as possible.

This is not a “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight.  I aim for well-balanced nutrition, so I eat both animals and a significant amount of plants.  I’m not lacking carbohydrates – I just get them from vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal or pasta.  And my meals are probably higher in fat than you’d imagine, but fat is a healthy source of energy when it comes from high-quality foods like avocado, coconut and grass-fed beef.

Eating like this is ideal for maintaining a healthy metabolism and reducing inflammation within the body.  It’s good for body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, mental attitude and quality of life.  It helps eliminate sugar cravings and reestablishes a healthy relationship with food.  It also works to minimize your risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and autoimmune.” (http://whole9life.com/2011/09/nutrition-in-60-seconds/)

 

I ate completely clean for 30 days and I cannot tell you how amazing I feel. My energy levels are high, I don’t drag in the afternoons at work, and I’m sleeping so well! Erika and I made it to the gym only 8 times over the course of the month (not good enough). We lifted free weights (squats, overhead press, bench press, barbell rows, and deadlifts) for about 30 minutes each session. Not really a lot of exercising. Well with all of that, my weigh in on the morning of the 31st day showed me at just over 221 lbs. I had lost over 13 lbs in 30 days. That’s roughly a 1/2 pound a day. Such incredible progress with not really putting much effort into anything except eating good food. Erika lost an astonishing 11.5 lbs! As a larger guy you expect my number to be higher, but by much more than 2 lbs. She did fantastic and I am super proud of her!

Moving forward, I plan on to eat good food as much as possible with a little less restrictions than the Whole 30. However, I can tell you, I don’t even want to eat anything else. I don’t ever want to go back to guy that was 275 lbs 5 years ago. I cannot wait for this new journey in my life. I am going to continue to lift and get strong while eating clean. The weight loss will come naturally with that in a way that is sustainable. I will post periodic updates as well as progress photos. I hope you look forward to the updates as much as I am! I can change my life, I will change my life!

 

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Half-Marthon: Update

Well it certainly has been a while since my last post and I apologize for that. After my half marathon, while I’ll get to shortly, I haven’t had much motivation to continue to post. That is going to change as I continue my journey to a healthy and fit me.

So as you know from my last posts I was training for the B.A.A. Half Marathon. My last post was on October 7, 2013 which was the day after my final long run of 10 miles. My original time goal was 2 hours and 30 minutes due to the course being “closed” at that time. COme to find out, that was not the case they just wanted to start opening the main drag (Jamaica Way) back up for traffic so as long as your were back in the park around in 2:30 you would have no worries. Well I felt great the day of the race, when the race started I was consciously holding back as to not expel all my energy in the first half, even though it was ALL down hill. That turned out to be a mistake which I’ll explain later. Anyways, I kept a very consistent pace the whole race. At mile 5 and mile 10 my times were almost identical! I slowed down a little at mile 11 where I had a walk a couple of times during the uphill portion. Oh wait, miles 6-12 were all uphill….The last couple of miles were extremely tough and I had to use all my will power to move my concrete-encased legs. But when I made it onto the track where the finish line was I was able to push hard and finish strong. I’ve never ran this distance ever in my life. The 10 miles the week prior was the longest I’ve ever run to date. Remember that stress fracture I got and was out of commission for almost 2 weeks? Yeah, well even with all of that I was able to finish the race in 2 hours and 34 minutes. Took me just 4 minutes longer than my original goal. I could not be more happy about that outcome and I am very proud of myself for accomplishing that. It was so amazing to be able to get the half marathon medal AND the medley medal for completing all 3 races last year. Here is a picture of all my medals from the races:

Image

 

After the race I actually felt really good which means I probably could’ve pushed myself a little more but that’s ok. The night a few of use went out to dinner to Maggiano’s in Boston. So yummy. After sitting down to dinner I went to get up to go to the bathroom and started to feel pain in my knees. That has NEVER happened before. I attribute it to the first 6 miles of the race being all downhill and me holding back I was actually heel-striking and putting a lot of impact on my knees. Ouch. Took about a week for the soreness to go away. It’s amazing what that hilly course can do to your body.

I just wanted to thank Mary for being such an amazing friend and motivator. It was amazing to run the race with her. She was a huge factor and inspiration of getting me to sign up for races.

And I can’t thank Erika enough for being so supportive through my whole training regimen. She never let me waiver and always made sure to remind me to protect my nipples before my runs. HAHA! It was so awesome to see her and her mom at race day sporting “Go Jay” and “Go Mary” shirts for us.

I will end this post here and post a new update about what has been going on recently. Thank you for following me during my Boston Distance Medley adventure. Look forward to some great things of me changing my life. I can change my life, I will change my life.

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Final Push!!!

I know it’s been a while since I updated so I apologize for that. Yesterday I completed my last and longest long run of my training schedule. 10 miles with an average pace of 11:33 minutes per mile. So it took me a total of 1 hour 55 minutes. I am feeling mixed emotions about that run. For one, it’s such a huge milestone for me. 10 MILES!!!!!! A year ago I could barely run 1 mile. So I’m very happy with that of course! However, in order to finish the half marathon in 2 hours 30 minutes my pace needs to average 11:27 minutes/mile. Doesn’t seem like a big difference but I also need to push it another 3.1 miles. I know there is the race adrenaline to keep in mind, and I also started out way too fast (first mile was 10:40 min/mile), but I also do know I can push it a little at the end (10th mile was 10:56 min/mile). In addition, basically the last half of the race course is all up hill. So that worries me a little. Either way if I finish in under 2:30 or over I will not be disappointed. The 3 week layoff in the boot killed all my momentum and I haven’t been able to find it since. Basically I’m just running on steam now. I’m going to take care of my body the best I can this week leading up to the race. A couple more short runs this week and then a couple rest days before the big day. I’m so excited to be running the race with a few friends. Although, I should say “start” the race. All of them are going to finish before me and I can’t wait to congratulate them when I finish. Mary, Kara, and Emily, I cannot thank the three of you enough for all the encouragement along the way of this training. Thank you for running with me, pushing me, and giving me advice along the way. I could not have done this without you three. And of course, I cannot thank Erika enough for not letting me give up and being so supportive. She has been my rock this whole time. It means the world to me that she will be there cheering me on this Sunday.

No matter what happens on Sunday I will be proud of myself. I have learned so much about myself and my body this year. I actually am looking forward for the race being over so I can start concentrating on other ways of training. Stay Tuned for updates🙂. Sunday is going to be a day that I enjoy no matter how tired or sore I’m going to feel after. I can finish this race, I will finish this race.

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Back at it

So here’s an update. After being in the boot for two weeks I had a follow up doctors appointment with the podiatrist. They took another x-ray and the doctor still saw the same line on my 4th metatarsal plus an additional one on my 5th. However, in the x-ray where I rotated my foot he couldn’t see anything, the bone was solid on the outsides. He pressed on my foot without any pain and told me he didn’t think it was a stress fracture. Might be the start of something but wasn’t really sure what my pain was. He advised me not to do the race because it was a lot of mileage that most people don’t ever get to. He then looked right at me and said “you’re still going to do the race aren’t you?”…I responded with a “yup” and a smirk haha. He asked me what my training was going to look like for the next 5 weeks. So here is what my plan is for the next few weeks. One long run on Sundays, aqua jog two times a week, strength train 2-3 times a weeks, and cross-train 2 times a week. He actually liked that plan of taking my weekly runs off of the pavement and into the pool.

So since I’ve been out of the boot I went for a 2 mile run outside just for a test run. My foot felt fine but my legs have obviously lost some endurance. This past Sunday I did 7 miles in 1 hour 30 minutes. Not my fastest, but also not my slowest. I strategically walked a few times to keep myself as fresh as I could so my form didn’t suffer too much.

This morning I finally made it into the pool and it was definitely a learning curve. I’ve never swam in that kind of setting before so I wasn’t too familiar with the rules/etiquette. However, the guy running it could’ve been a little more helpful and not make me feel like an ass. So first off he’s notices the swim belt and asks me what I’m doing. I told him I was going to jog and he informed me I could not job in the lap pool because too many people would be doing laps but I could use the shallow pool. Kind of defeats the purpose of staying off my feet but it’s still better than nothing or running on pavement. I decided to actually do some laps at first. As I’m walking to enter the pool at an open lane the guy says the slow lanes are closer to him and the fast lanes are on the other end. He was like “that’s what the signs say”…The signs were on the yellow “wet floor” signs but instead of saying wet floor they said “slow”, “medium”, “fast”. My fault for not reading them, but you don’t have to be an ass. So I move back towards the slow lanes, both of which had two people in them. I did read the pool rules before and knew that two people just swam back and forth on the same side of their lane but three people circled. So I entered and about half way down the lane the guy called out to me “Sir, when you are swimming with two others you’re supposed to circle. She was coming right at you. You’re supposed to let them know you are entering.” Alright, I get it. Thanks again for calling me out. Ossem. So after feeling like an ass for the second time I went back to swimming…I probably did 6 laps and I was dying. How the crap do people swim for so long? Haha. I got out and went to the shallow pool and ran back and forth in the deepest end (4 feet). Keep in mind that this is the narrow length of the pool, the long way goes down to the shallow (2 feet) end. So I was literally running for like 10 seconds before I had to turn around. Pain in the ass. After about 10 minutes the guy said I could go into the lap pool all the way over to the fast last as long as I stayed against the edge because the pool was pretty empty. So I switched pools again and finally was able to really jog for about 20 minutes or so. I swam/yogged (the J is soft because I was in the pool) for about 40 minutes. I got out, went to work, showered and at my desk by 7:30 am. Pretty eventful morning.

Not sure how this whole aqua yogging thing will work out but it’s only a few more weeks until the race. So we will see. Regardless, I’m going to push myself so that I can finish the race. I’m throwing my time goals out but still would like to finish in under 3 hours. I can finish the race, I will finish the race!

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Your Life…And how you choose to live it

While I’m over here being injured I decided to write today about something I’ve been thinking about lately due to situations going on around me in life.

Everyone goes through some sort of struggle, whether it’s large or small, larger than yours or smaller than yours. Regardless, occasionally someone needs support from others. Whether it’s emotional support or physical support. With giving either type you have to tread lightly depending on the situation. Some people become too dependent on others always bailing them out. They continue to fail at almost everything because they know they will get a hand out. It’s mostly because they are too scared to work hard at something. They’ve probably never needed to. They’ve been set up for failure. I know that I myself have the natural instinct to just want to help everyone and solve everyone’s problems. But I know sometimes that leads to them never learning for themselves.

I do think you should allow yourself a small grace period after something bad happens (lose your job, breakups, death, etc.) However, you can’t just sit there and feel sorry for yourself all the time. You can’t expect someone to give you a handout every time something bad happens. Life happens. You just need to stop making excuses, stop wasting time and waiting for someone else to help, get off your ass and DO IT. Stop being scared of failure, stop being scared of being alone. I’ve been through some shit. More than you can ever imagine. But I don’t dwell on it. I can’t. No one can. You dwell on it and it will suck you up into a deep black hole of feeling sorry for yourself. You will not get anything in life accomplished that way. Keep pushing forward. You’ll get to where you want to be. You want to know the secret how to live life? You already are, it’s up to you to choose to enjoy it. If you stop, you’ve already lost. Think positively, believe in positivity and good things will happen. Even the things that are “bad” are just ways for you to discover what you truly want in life.

I read this link the other day (http://www.bspcn.com/2012/02/03/30-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself/)and I think it’s something we should all take to heart. We need to stop bringing ourselves down and start enjoying life that way we were supposed to. There is so many amazing things going on around you all the time. Open you eyes. To quote my favorite band, The Dear Hunter:

“Life is just a game we play that we can never win. But don’t give up, no don’t give up”

We all have the ability to get through any shit that is thrown at us. It’s up to you how you choose to deal with it. Smile. I can live life, I will live life.

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Devastation ….

Well as some of you may know I have some bad news. I was doing my long run this past Sunday and at about the 5.5 mile mark I started feeling pain in my right foot. I feel like I’ve been feeling something going on with my foot for a while but never felt anything during my runs. Well I decided to go to the urgent care clinic when I got home from vacation on Monday. They took and x-ray and I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my 4th metatarsal on my right foot. This is devastating to me. This completely stops all my training and any workouts at the moment. I am in a walking boot and it could not be more upsetting to me. The doctor showed me my x-ray and explained that where the fracture is could potentially take a while to heal because it’s in an area that does not receive a lot of blood flow which aids in the healing process. He doesn’t expect me to be able to run for at least a month. I’m not sure about other exercise at the moment. I have an appointment in 2 weeks to see if the bone is healing at all. From there I will make a plan. Honestly, I’m not giving up on the race quite yet. Even if I have to run/walk the race to finish it I will. A lot of people don’t seem to understand what this race means to me. I signed up for the Boston Distance Medley at the beginning of this year. That is the 5K, 10K, and Half-Marathon as a package. After finishing all three races you receive a special Medley medal on top of the 3 individual race medals. So, I have literally been working all year for this race. The 5K and 10K were just stepping stones for this mile stone. Maybe I could’ve done things a little different and worked in more mileage earlier so I could’ve increased more gradually than I did. I ran 14 miles last week. 14!!!!!!! I couldn’t even run a mile just over a year ago. So yes, this is very heartbreaking for me. So this is why I’m not giving up on the race yet. I want that medal. Other than drum corps, I’ve never worked harder for anything in my life. I have been working out 6 days a week, I even worked out almost everyday while on vacation.

So here’s my plan for the time being. I’m taking the next two weeks until my next appointment to allow myself to heal. Wearing the boot all the time. From there I’m going to get back into lifting and low impact cardio (bike, swimming, etc.). After a few more weeks I will get back into jogging a few miles. Come race day, I probably will plan to jog 3 miles and walk 1 until I finish. Hopefully I can finish in around 3 hours. I still think I will be able to get my medals. That’s my plan and that’s my goal. I can still do this race, I will still do this race.

My ossem boot

My ossem boot

the red mark shows where my bone is fractured

the red mark shows where my bone is fractured

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Frustration sets in

I’m frustrated. I just started week 5 of training, so I have completed 4 weeks. My very first post I listed my weight and measurements and I just weighed myself and took a couple quick measurements. My weight is up by 1.5 pounds and my measurements haven’t really changed. I have no idea what my body is doing. I work out 6 times a week, sometimes more. I eat relatively ok, I know it could be better, but its not bad. There is absolutely no way i shouldn’t be losing weight. I know what some of you will say; “You’re probably gaining muscle.” While I know this is true, I should also be losing fat which I’m not. So it’s leaving me here very frustrated. What do I do? Do I change my diet and see if that works? I’m going to invest in a body fat percent caliper to help with more accurate measurements. Ugh. I need to figure this out. I can figure this out, I will figure this out!

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