Archive for August, 2010


Whistle While You Work… Out!

August 31, 2010

I love music.  Music is my addiction.  Tuesday is one of my favorites days to wake up because it’s the day new music is released to the masses.  I listen to music over watching TV 10 times out of 10. I have over 5,500 songs on my iPod – to put that in perspective, if I put my iPod on shuffle today, it will not repeat a song for 213 days.  I have everything from Broadway shows to thrash metal that I actually ENJOY listening to… this doesn’t include the music I may not particularly like, yet still have on there as well.  However, there is a problem:

I can’t run to music.

It’s a dilemma I am really struggling with, because I started running due to the fact that I could actually listen to music while I did it.  However, what I discovered was that when I would run, I would run to the beat – my steps would actually be to the beat, no matter how slow or fast it was. 

It was normally fast – something to keep me pumped up and energized.  Bands like Disturbed, Sevendust, Killswitch Engage, etc. made up my ‘5K’ playlist with the hopes that I would be motivated by these energetic songs.  Yet all it did was burn me out.  There I was, rockin’ on the W&OD trail, Five Finger Death Punch’s “The Bleeding” getting me going, only to completely wear me out before it hit the end of the song.  The rest of my 3.2 miles was more walk than run because I was, quite simply, beat.

So after last week’s plea for running help, my favorite Chamorro (there’s your shout-out, Bro!) taught me a lot about running pace.  While this helped me by teaching me how to run the majority of a 5K as opposed to running it as fast as possible, what it also did was show me that Disturbed can no longer accompany me on my runs because I can’t control the pace I have when it’s on!

Little fact about me:  I’ve been playing the drums since I was 13.  I’ve only been behind a kit twice in the last 11 years, but still have a pad, pull out the sticks and do some syncopation a few times a week.  Why is this relevant?  Because I believe this little hobby is keeping me from listening to what I wanna listen to when I’m running.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Buble and Connick, but ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’ isn’t really pushing me that last half mile, and my running steps matching up with the 1, 2, 3, 4 of ‘Black’ by Sevendust was killing me.

So for now, I run with my thoughts and not my music.  The focus needs to be on my running and not my music.  But, it has given me another short-term goal to shoot for:

Get in good enough shape so that I CAN run to Disturbed – rhythm and all.


MY MOTIVATION – My Godchildren

August 28, 2010

Every so often I’m going to post a recurring blog entitled ‘My Motivation’.  This is going to let all of you into my life a little… give you some understanding as to what has motivated me to get healthy and stay healthy.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading the stories about these people, places and things and how they have affected me.

I have two godchildren – Eva and Toby.  They are the most amazing kids, and I love them more than anything.  I realized after choosing to be their Godfather that many people have widely different views on what a godparent is.  Some take it very seriously, while others (and in my life experience, MANY) take it as some sort of badge… something they can walk around and tell people about so they look cool, but don’t do anything other than tell people about it and take pics with their godchild when they are around.

 Let me tell you what it means to me:  I am fully expecting to take over guardianship of these children if something ever happens to their parents prematurely.  THAT is how seriously I take being a godparent.  It’s not a joke to me… it’s not something that makes me cooler than other people their parents know because they chose me to be a godparent… it’s legit.

So why would this fall under ‘My Motivation’?  To me it’s simple:  I NEED to be around to be involved in their lives as long as possible, and if I keep living the way I was, I’m gonna miss Toby’s first home run, scaring away Eva’s first 17 boyfriends (between me and my bro?  No problem…) and I’m committed to that not happening.  I ate my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Toby… I’m taking Eva to her first Yankee game next week… if I continue to let myself go the way I was, I might as well be considered an absentee Godfather b/c if I’m gone too soon due to the choices I made… what’s the difference whether or not I’m alive and not there for them?

I was home in NJ one time when Eva made a comment regarding my brother and I talking about someone we know getting ready for their 21st birthday party, and explaining to Eva that it’s a ‘super cool birthday party as opposed to just a regular birthday party.’  The comment was:

“I hope you’re at my 21st birthday and not sick anymore.”

I found out later that Eva was being just like any other 5 year old and inquired earlier about why I was so big… she assumed that me being so big meant I was much older than Daddy (he’s my older brother) and, in an effort to try and explain it nicely, she was told I was just sick – but gonna get better someday.


There’s no way in the world I’m gonna let these two down… they deserve better from a Godfather than what I’ve been giving them for the first few years of their lives.  Many people say that kids don’t remember most things from when they were young kids and, I’m not gonna lie, I hope that’s the case in this instance.

Eva… Toby… I am committed to being there with you, and for you, whenever you need me.  You’re my motivation… and I love you!



August 25, 2010

So… as part of my re-conditioning I have agreed to run a 5K, which is officially 10 days away.  At 315 lbs, this will be no small task to complete.  For the last few weeks, I have taken to doing a walk/ run program called the “Couch to 5K” running program, which is great, but the program is set up for a 90-day training plan, and I had about 50 days once I committed to the race.

So herein lies the problem… I’ve been training, and doing pretty well considering my current physical state, but I need to ensure I’m ready to roll for Labor Day Monday.  I can complete a 3.2 mile course right now in a combination of walking and running in about 43 minutes, but I don’t have anyone “pushing” me when I run at this point, well, because there’s no one around to push me.  Also, I’ve been doing this A LOT – up to, until recent advice, 2x’s a day for anywhere between 5-7 total miles depending on how I feel.

So my questions to anyone who runs are: 
Is this too much running for someone in my position (ie: completely out of shape) to be doing? 
Since I am preparing for a race, should I be just running like I have been, or should I still be mixing it up with other activities that can also help with my cardio/ endurance? 
How do you pace yourself to ensure you’re getting the most out of yourself/ your run when you’re alone? 

Keep in mind, the race is in 10 DAYS, so I’m trying to get the most bang for my buck, so to speak.  I need help people… even if you can help with something that I didn’t ask about, give it to me!

Thanks in advance… 🙂


WTF is Total Health?!?!

August 23, 2010

So… already, after only a few hours of being up, I’ve had a few people ask me “What is Total Health?”  It’s a great question, you know, since I reference it in the title. 

See… I’ve been pondering this blog for about a month – should I or shouldn’t I, do people even care, what the hell would I type about… and at one time I explained it in the intro – an intro which has changed about 15 times the last 24 hours, as well as an intro where I obviously omitted what I meant by that phrase.

Soooooo – here you go… what is Total Health!

Total health, for me, is made up of three areas: Physical, Mental and Emotional… let me explain each for you:

PHYSICAL – Probably the most obvious in my case… I’m fat.  REALLY fat.  Morbidly obese is what the doctors call it.  My weight is very likely at the center of many other small issues that have popped up and only until I lose this weight will those go away.  There are other physical issues that I will be taking care of as well… these are more cosmetic, but will make for VERY interesting blog postings… so stay tuned.

MENTAL – Sometime in the coming weeks I am going to address this further.  One of the reasons I held off on the blog for so long was trying to figure out how to handle this issue and here’s why:  Something I was told that I will NEVER forget is “losing weight will not make you happy.”  She’s right… just like you go to a gym to lose weight, you see people to work out problems you may be having inside your head.  This topic NEEDS to be talked about because I don’t want anyone thinking this is all about weight loss and ‘yaayyy I just ran through fire… I’m happy!’  It’s not.  We’ll discuss this… just not until I’m ready.

EMOTIONAL – There are events that happened which have really taken their toll on me for a myriad of reasons… and I’m gonna talk about them.  My divorce, my mom’s cancer and learning to date again (my friends love the fact that over the course of 18 years I had a grand total of 3 relationships until my divorce – the last time I “dated” I had a beeper) are just a few of these things.

Before I can tackle the hurdles on the Mudder Course, I have to tackle the hurdles in my life.  Achieving Total Health will go a long way in the healing process.


Where Am I Now?

August 23, 2010

As you read in my first post… I started this journey on July 4th weekend.  At that time I started to make some subtle diet adjustments; I eliminated soda from my diet and have only had one of these delicious heavenly beverage since then (for someone who drank 8-10/ day it’s been quite the challenge),  as well as started to find alternatives to my stress/ boredom eating such as running and drinking water.  I have made additional changes since then as well… I am beginning my 4th week on Weight Watchers (we will discuss my dieting history and why I chose WW in a later blog), doing a 90-day colon cleanse (just wait for THESE updates and pictures!) as well as prepping for my first 5K race on Labor Day weekend by using the Couch to 5K running program (also to be discussed VERY soon b/c I need some help!). 

Every Monday, I will let everyone know how I have been doing on WW with a quick blog stating my weight as well as how much I lost that week and a quick explanation as to why it was so much (I hope!) or so little (ugghhh!).  Just so everyone knows… I started WW at 332 lbs 3 weeks ago, and as of my last weigh-in was 318lbs.  This weigh-in today is particularly nerve-wracking, since I was on vacation last week… I did well, but not as well as I had been doing on either the workout OR eating front, so we’ll see how it all goes today.  Update coming later!

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