Monday, August 17, 2009

Six Pounds In Three Days!

So on my way to the cubicle this morning I stopped by the pallet scale just to find out exactly how bad these car and bike shows are for my weight. Sadly to say, I am now back up to 288 lbs. In just three days I gained six pounds. But I guess that is what a weekend of McDonalds, Burger King, Bob Evans, Guinness, Fat Tires and deep fried fair food will get you.

Granted, I could have made healthier decisions such as getting a vegetable omelet for breakfast instead of blueberry pancakes with strawberry and whipped cream topping or not getting the cheeseburger value meal and having a salad instead (I hate fast food salads), but I didn’t. All I have done is increased the challenge of hitting the current weight goal of 275 lbs with an additional six. I really didn’t set a deadline to hit the current goal, but I was really hoping to try and knock it out in a little over a week. Now that I have to lose twelve pounds instead of seven I am guessing that it will take me at least two weeks.

The strangest thing about this weekend was that since I hadn’t exercised all last week I was craving physical activity. For me, that isn’t right. We are talking about the guy who has been known to sit in front of his computer all weekend long immersed in the World of Warcraft… physical activity is just not my thing. But I have wanted to get back to the gym pretty bad lately. The only problem with that is that I am currently without a vehicle to get me there.

With my Chevy Venture, or as my good friend Garin calls it the “Blue Rajah”, still out of commission I am at the will of my loving chauffeur… I mean wife, until we get the van back up and running. The good side of that is that since she has to take me to work I can’t make any detours for breakfast as I have been known to do. So while it might be a pain to juggle both our schedules for a while, it will keep me from eating out every morning and hopefully inch closer to my goal of 275 lbs.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fat Friday: 8-14-09

I apologize for the late Friday update. Things have been crazy since last night and I am just now able to sit down and update you about my current state of fatness. Unfortunately I don’t have any visuals today. Between getting ready for a Corvette and Chevy show this weekend and having my own Chevy Venture break down on my way to work this morning, I was unable to take any front and side pictures of my sexy self for today. However, I was able to jump up on the pallet scale at work really quick and get a snapshot of this.

Scale 8-14-09

That’s right baby! I have lost 5.2 lbs. this week. Chances are that I probably actually lost eight or nine pounds and I have gained back three or four, but it is still five pounds lighter than the last weigh in.

With the triathlon over and having no other physical goals to work towards I have decided to restructure both the blog and my personal goals. Instead of training to complete another race that I probably shouldn’t be attempting, I am actually going to start working towards actual weight goals so that I can slim down and be able to participate in other things better than I can at my current weight. Because of this I will only be updating the blog a couple of days during the week instead of every weekday. I just don’t see my dieting and exercise habits being interesting enough to create a daily updates.

So since I have finally hit the goal that I set for myself at the beginning of this whole ordeal, the new goal will be 275 lbs. I thought about just setting it at 280 since I am already rather close and I will probably gain another two or three pounds this weekend at the car show, but hitting 275 will be much more rewarding. Thanks again to all of you who have been following me and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cicero Triathlon: Running

By the time I had completed the first two events, I surprisingly still had quite a bit of energy left to accomplish the run portion. My legs however, did not agree with me.

For those of you who know me, you’ve known about the fact that I have a rather messed up leg situation that has caused me to visit many physical therapists in the past along with needing prescribed custom fitted orthopedics to put in my shoes. Long story short, the bones in my legs twisted as they grew causing one of my legs to be slightly longer than the other. There is a fix for this, but I personally don’t want to have both of my legs broken and reset with me sitting in a wheel chair during the healing process and then having to go through physical therapy to train myself to walk again.

So it wasn’t surprising that my calves were hard as rocks when I started jogging down the first part of the run course. I tried to continue at a brisk jog, but every time my foot came down on the ground pain shot through my calves of steel and I couldn’t forge through. Stopping wasn’t an option and neither was giving up after I had already struggled through the first two events. Calling upon the power of the elderly mall walkers of America, I began to speed walk which still caused some discomfort, but not nearly as bad as jogging.

As I continued on my three mile speed walk I realized that there were indeed people that had not passed me during the bike portion of the race. This realization came as a surprise as they proceeded to pass me during the run portion that I was speed walking. Again they were very supportive as they bested me, which again gave me the mixed feelings of sarcastic support. However, this time the spectators sitting in their front lawns were also clapping and cheering as I passed by their houses. It is an odd day when a family sits together in their lawn chairs and gives a fat man passing by overwhelming applause as if he had done something other slowly pass by their location… but it was nice.

The whole walking thing took me what seemed to be forever to complete and as I rounded the final corner to the finish line, my good friend Alex yelled that if I thought I was going to walk across that finish line that he would proceed to beat the crap out of me… so I picked up the pace and ran towards the final goal. Even though I was one of the last people to come through, there were still spectators and other athletes lined up on each side cheering me on, slapping me on the back as I passed and reaching out to give a high five to the overweight, out of shape guy who didn’t die.

Completing the course felt wonderful, but the enthusiasm from the other athletes and spectators took that feeling to a whole other level. Never before have I experienced so much support from people that I don’t even know. As I stood at the end, my wife quickly found her way over and we embraced as she let me know how proud she was. Many others have told me the same thing either on here, trough email or face to face and I appreciate it all. For me, completing this goal let me know that I wasn’t as far gone as I and many others had thought… not that I am by any means in good shape, just not horrible.

Tomorrow is Fat Friday, though I am expecting to have gained weight since I have done no exercise at all since the triathlon and have eaten some rather terrible food… Hardee’s breakfast, bacon and pineapple pizza, homemade ice cream with brown sugar Pop Tart topping (delicious) and Chick-Fil-A breakfast just to name a few. Still, I will be weighing in and maybe even setting a new goal since the triathlon has been checked off the list.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cicero Triathlon: Biking

If my physique didn’t give away the fact that this was my first triathlon, the bike sure did. To help you visualize what I mean, imagine all the other slim and sexy triathletes dismounting their sleek street bikes off of their fancy car racks as I pulled and tugged my Huffy out of a minivan. Needless to say, as I walked my rust coated beauty over to the preparation area I got a lot of stares. In fact, I know that on several occasions that the shock of seeing my bike stopped conversations, which I found to be quite humorous.

There was no doubt going into this race that I would have the absolute worse bike on the course, but I had no idea that some of the other bikes were going to be so fancy. My basket wielding mountain bike didn’t stand a chance against some of these Tour de France contenders. Even before I mounted up and got on the course I knew that I would be near the end of the pack.

Sure enough, even though I was part of the first swim group, everybody ended up passing me or at least it felt that way. The most interesting part about being passes was how nice everybody was about it. The first couple of times that other bikers started to go around me they would shout out things such as, “Keep up the good work!” or “You’re doing great man!” Now the cynical side of me automatically assumed that these people were being sarcastic jack-asses, but there was no hiding the sincerity of their support. Throughout the entire race I experience more positive support from the other participants than I have in any other activity I have done.

Even though the other riders were being extremely supportive, it didn’t make up for the fact that I was being passed by everybody. Elderly women who were the last to start the race had caught up and surpassed me. It wasn’t until about three quarters through that I then realized I had not once changed gears and had been biking the entire course in middle gear. After I got over the next hill I quickly switched it over into high gear and I was soon flying much faster than I had been. By that point it was too late. Nobody else passed me after that, but I am pretty sure that it was because there was nobody left to pass me.

Other than not knowing the course and dying for two right turns to come up so that I knew that I was headed back to the beginning of the course, the bike event went smoothly. My old faithful bike didn’t give me any problems and the basket did a great job of holding my water bottles so that I wouldn’t have to reach out to the sidelines and spill water all over the volunteers as I clumsily grabbed at the cups they were holding out. As much as I am grateful that my sister loaned her bike to me, I think that if I decide to participate in another bike event I will simply break down and get something that might help me keep up with the rest of the pack.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cicero Triathlon: Swimming

Every time that the triathlon has been brought up in discussion, people tell me that they believe the swim would be the most difficult portion of the event. Being a fairly natural swimmer, I had always figured that it would be the easiest leg of the course. I was wrong.

It wasn’t the overall length of the swim that made things difficult, but rather all the other obstacles on the course. For starters, Morse Reservoir is the absolute dirtiest body of water I have ever set foot into. As I jumped in off the side of the dock, my world went from being bright and sunny to dingy green in seconds. The water was so thick with algae that as I held my hand in front of my face I could not see it. I now understand why they wanted to cancel the swim portion… though I am really glad they didn’t.

Another obvious obstacle was the other swimmers. I had been told stories of other triathletes who had been kicked so hard (accidentally of course) that they had to stop and get assistance from the helper boats. I had already told myself that even if I were to get kicked that I would not allow myself to call for the helper boats since those that do get their times disqualified. Of course that was before I got kicked five times in the face, side and head… but I simply just turned over to my back, caught my breath and continued forward.

Having helper boats during the swim portion of the race is clearly something that is needed to insure the safety of all the swimmers. However, between the wake created by the large motorboats and jet skis trolling back and forth along each side of the swim path and the heavy gasoline fumes that they spewed across the top of the water, there were times that they seemed to be a bigger hindrance than help. The first time that I came up out of the water to catch my breath and ended up having my lungs filled with the taste of gasoline instead, I knew that the trek across this nasty lake was not going to be easy.

Although the swim portion of the triathlon was much more difficult than I anticipated, I simply just kept moving forward and persevered around the obstructions. When I flipped over onto my back after being kicked or taking in too much gasoline flavored air I am sure there were little children who tugged on their parents shirts trying to get them to notice the manatee who had mysteriously appeared in the middle of Morse Reservoir, but I kept going. Through all of the nasty algae infested water, I completed the swim portion without stopping or needing assistance from the boats.

I plan on going through each portion of the triathlon this week and filling you in on all the details of the event. Tomorrow I will fill you in on all the exciting adventures I had during the biking portion of the race and even though there is no race to train for, Fat Friday will continue.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cicero Triathlon Complete!

I won't bore you with too many details today. Below I have listed out my times along with some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Bib number: 245
Overall Place: 331 out of 332
Division Place: 22 out of 22
Gender Place: 214 out of 215
Swim Time: 11:42
1st Transition: 3:25
Bike Time: 48:40
2nd Transition: 1:30
Run Time: 44:45
Overall Time: 1:50:00

I have been telling people that I came in 328th place out of 400 all weekend because I looked at the online results incorrectly and I thought that we had a full line of racers, but apparently sixty-eight people didn't show up on race day. Also, they rank your individual times in each event which was what I was looking at seeing that my swim time was 301st out of 332, my bike time was 331st our of 332 and my run was 328th our of 332 which was the place I was telling everybody. The bike time was my worst and I will give you all more information about that later on this week. But now, picture time!

After jumping into the lake I knew why they had considered going to a run-bike-run event... it was filthy.

Gettin' Out Of The Water
Climbing out of the water after being kicked in the face and gut the entire way over.

Get On That Bike & Ride
Getting ready to mount up and ride!

Fat Man On A Little Bike
Fat Man On A Little Bike

Run Forest, RUN!
Done with the bike portion. Now onto the run... which quickly turned into a walk.

Coming To The Finish!
Coming into the final stretch... with both feet off the ground.

Triathletes Unite!
Triathletes of the day UNITE! Taking some pics with Alex, his beautiful lady, his father and brother... all triathletes. But somebody is missing from this picture.

Where's Gary?
Where's Gary? He wasn't able to run with us as he had twisted his ankle the day before. Sorry man. There is always next year!

Banana Man!
Here I am stoically scarfing down my celebratory banana.

Checking The Stats
Checking to see if they had posted my stats yet. The answer, no. I don't think that they post the second to last place position up.

My Little Sis
My little sister took all of these photos for me. Without her there would be nothing for you all to see. Thank you Lori! Your brother loves you.

My Beautiful Woman
And of course I can't forget my loving and supportive wife. Without you Stephanie I would not have been able to complete this goal. Thank you for being there for me and letting me "train" while I should have been taking care of other responsibilities around the house. You are my everything and I will love you always and forever.

Enough of that cheese! My first goal is complete! Now if I could only hit that first weight loss goal of 285 lbs. I'll bring more detailed updates about how the triathlon went as the week goes on. Thank you all to those who have been following along. For now enjoy the pictures and help me celebrate my first victory!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Very Special Fat Friday: 8-7-09

I apologize for the lack of updates over the past two days. Again, it goes back to finding that good balance thing… but let’s not talk about the past. It’s Friday and that means that we get to see just how much progress I have made in a week.

Scale 8-7-09

Another .4 pounds down, which means that I am only 2.6 pounds from hitting the only goal that I have ever set for myself. As I am the constant procrastinator, taking a month to accomplish a goal isn’t all that bad. In fact if I ever do get down to 285 it will probably take me another month just to set my next goal.

Of course a picture of a scale and some blithering about how fat I am isn’t why you all come to visit every Friday and today is even more special than most. I mentioned some time back that I would let you all see the tri-shorts that I picked up for tomorrow’s race and I figured what better way to show them off than to showcase them here on the weekly weight in. So, without further stalling…

Weigh in 8-7-09

Man do I look good in those shorts! One would think that they would be constrictive and binding, but they are the most comfortable things I have worn in ages. In fact, if my work didn’t have a strict dress code against them, I would wear these babies with a shirt and a tie every day… the shirt would be tucked in of course.

I know that it’s difficult to see if there have been any changes from the first time that I displayed my Adonis-esque body to the world, so since today is the last Friday before the triathlon I went ahead and slapped this comparison together. Before you take a look, realize that the front view looks almost exactly the same… but you can definitely tell a difference from the side.

Weight Transformation 8-7-09

It is amazing that I have only lost three pounds from the first time I started Fat Friday and my stomach is significantly smaller. I know that one can argue that I have probably gained muscle mass since I have started working out, but I don’t think that I have gained enough to make is so that three pounds is all I have lost. The truth is that even though I am working out and trying to eat better I still sneak off to Penn Station for a medium Philly with a large fresh cut fries and fresh squeezed lemonade. So only losing three pounds seems very reasonable to me.

In triathlon news, this came to my email yesterday:
We will be swimming! Based on the overwhelming comments from participants, we will be holding the swim portion with a few added precautions made due to the warning issued by the Department of Health regarding blue/green algae. We will have hoses available for rinsing after the swim portion if you choose and the pool house showers will be available after the race. Please consider that the hoses can only rinse so many people at a time and there are limited number of showers in the pool house. We will have close to a full field of 400 on race day so if you choose to use the hose or showers, please be patient.

Woo-Hoo! I won’t have to run twice! This was the best news I have gotten in a long time. Also, for those of you wondering, I have no intention of stopping at the hoses to wash off before I hit the bike portion of the race. My body hair creates a rather protective barrier for my skin and I will more than likely sweat enough to clean anything stuck to my body off, so I see no need to stop and hose down.

Tomorrow is the big day! After all this talk and hype and haphazard training the big day has finally arrived. Since I did the mock triathlon last weekend I know that this race can be conquered. The real question is: How fast can I finish it? I am not looking to kill myself over an event that I am only trying to finish, but I do want to complete this thing as fast as I possibly can. Thank you all for your support thus far. It has been fun sharing this event in my life with you all. Come back Monday for the full results and hopefully a slew of pictures that document the big day.

Only 1 day left.
Current weather forecast: Partly Cloudy with a High of 90

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

To Be Young Again...

Recently some old photos of myself have been surfacing. These pictures feature a much younger and skinnier version of me than what this blog has been presenting. To give you an idea of where I have come from, for your consideration I present to you…

Skinny Fritz

Who’s that dude? During high school I always saw myself as overweight and fairly unattractive. But looking at this picture makes me realize that I was only a fashion makeover away from being in an N’Sync cover band. Look at that sexy guy oddly holding a Magna Doodle for some unknown reason. However, while skinny Jake is most definitely a positive of this picture, the absolute best aspect is my good friend Shane who even though was a year younger than I could already grow some seriously manly facial hair. Well played old man… well played.

So now you can see one of the major catalysts for losing weight. To help you better understand where I am coming from I have made this side by side comparison.

Skinny VS Fat

Wow… I think I just depressed myself even more than the first time I looked at that picture. Most people gain the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen” after high school. As always I went above and beyond the norm and packed on the Freshman Fifty… and then another fifty for good measure. However, while this skinny kid is well under a hundred pounds lighter than I am now, at least I’m… I now have… I’ve now got… I’m going to… Nope. I got nothing. I would absolutely love to be back at that weight again. Here’s to dreaming.

Only 4 days left.
Current weather forecast: High of 87 with a 30% chance of thunder storms

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tri Trial Complete

The mock triathlon was a success! And by success I mean that I didn’t die. In fact, I had actually set up the overall course to be slightly more than the actual race just so I made sure my body could handle it all, which I now know I can. I didn't take any pictures this time through as I am waiting for the actual event to do so.

Yesterday we headed over to my father in-law’s house to begin the swim portion of the course. This is where I got to try out my brand spankin’ new Tri-Shorts. They are as tight as a Speedo but breath as if you were wearing nothing at all… very sexy. These babies stayed snug and secure for all three legs of the course.

Since I had decided that I was going to swim a greater distance than what was required, I went ahead and shot for thirty laps as Gary had informed me previously that our sixteen laps was incorrect and we actually needed twenty-eight. It wasn’t until after I had completed the entire course that my idea of laps consisted of down and back equaling one while his was a simple one end to the other… meaning I did almost double of what I was supposed to do.

The thirty laps took me about a minute each and even after doing double the amount needed I wasn’t tired… this might have to do with the fact that one-fourth of the laps were done using the backstroke and that my fatty cushion gives me natural buoyancy, but let’s move onto the bike ride.

After I completed my laps I hopped on to my trusty Huffy Black Water that had two water bottles up front in the basket to help keep me hydrated and set off on the course I had laid out wearing only my Tri-Shorts and brand new running shoes. I did modify the bike course slightly to add an extra mile in the overall length.

Tri-Trial Revised

It wasn’t until I turned onto the first main road that I remembered it was Sunday morning. As I rode through the streets in all my topless glory that you have been privilege to seeing every Friday, I began passing churches that were either getting ready to start service or were just getting out. While at first I thought it would be awkward the fact that Christians are loving and supportive people soon came back to me and nothing compares to the support I received from the little old ladies that were standing outside. Riding by I would hear them say such things as, “Dear Lord”, “My God” and “Oh Jesus” which I can only assume was the beginning to their prayers asking the almighty to watch over this stud of a man as he traveled on his journey.

The overall bike ride was about eleven miles long and I completed the entire route in forty-five minutes. I probably would have done better if I didn’t have to stop at every light and intersection, though it also wouldn’t have hurt if I didn't coast down every hill and slow down every time I would ride through shade. As soon as I got back to my father in-law’s house I took off on my run.

The run started off as a slow jog so that I could regain my balance after being on the bike for so long. I have heard some hilarious stories of tri-athletes face planting themselves as they transition from the bike to the run and don't get their balance correct. As soon as I knew that I was good to go, I maintained my pace and it only slowed further from there. By the time I had gotten out of the subdivision and back onto the main streets my feeble jog had turned into some half-hearted power walk. I knew from the start that the run portion would be my biggest hurdle, but I did not know that my legs would be so tight that if I even tried to run everything just tensed up and made it impossible to move… so my three mile run turned into a three mile walk which took me about an hour to complete.

My overall tri-time was two and a half hours. Gary looked up the time of the person who came in last place at Cicero last year and it was two hours and fifteen minutes. Needless to say, I really don’t care as I am simply only wanting to complete the course this year. Also needless to say, I am tired and sore. Sorry for the lengthy update today, but I wanted to share the overall experience with you. I will be keeping you up to date this week as we countdown to the big day this Saturday.

Only 5 days left.
Current weather forecast: High of 84 with a 30% chance of thunder storms