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February 22, 2007

A few weeks ago, I finished my Body For Life challenge. The challenge started back in September, was put on hold for the month of October (due to my activities around Halloween) and completed while I was recovering from my back injury. Since then, I've just been maintaining my current weight. I've been working out some but nothing major...mostly I've just been enjoying being a much smaller Token Fat Guy than before.

Now it is time to start up again. Time to start a new BFL challenge and bring my weight down even more. I'm hoping to drop around 30 pounds this time. At the very least I want to get down to less than 230 pounds.

As I was preparing to start this new challenge I thought back to when I started this up in the first place. When told myself I was REALLY going to do it this time. And I thought about the people along the way that helped to keep me going.

I think it is time I did some 'shout outs'...


For my family...

My lovely wife Heather - If it had to do with my desire to loss weight, then as far as she was concerned it was something we absolutely needed. Whether it was buying a home gym or workout clothes...or just generally putting up with my obsession, she was right there providing me with encouragement, support, and love. She is simply the best person I know.

My wonderful daughter Bridget - Early on when I started the process of transformation, I thought long about how much effort it would take. I wondered if I really had that kind of dedication and strength in me. I thought about my daughter and how hard she has worked and how she has added to the world just by being in it. I thought about her and found myself filled with all the strength I would ever need.

My parents - They all support me of course (all four), but a special mention to my Dad needs to be made. When I was first creating the site, he would give me suggestions on how it should be put together.

My cousin Barb - Always supportive...even when I know she's got enough on her plate without having to bother with me. She's always got a few minutes for her favorite cousin. I wish she didn't live so far away.

For my friends/coworkers...

Kim - One day she says to me, "You look good...I...ah...mean that in a coworker to coworker sense..I...uh"
Don't worry Kim, I know you weren't trying to hit on me. But it was fun to watch you squirm.

Joseph - Probably the most brutally honest person I know. When I was at my heaviest, I could expect fat jokes from him. And when I started showing progress he was one of the first to notice. Eventually, he told me to be proud of the progress that I'd made. Always there to encourage me when I was on the right track with words like...

"You should join the Fat Ass Club"
"You don't look as FAT as you used to...I think it's because you have a NECK now."
"It's not so hard to walk around you anymore."

What a guy! Seriously, I glad I know Joseph. Because if HE says that my weight loss is noticeable, then I can take to the bank that I look different.

Mike and Mary - It seems they have been helping me out one way or another for the last 15 years or so. Whether it was the odd kind word or just listening to me go on about my progress, they have been there to support me in my goals. Also, Mike is currently helping me design the official TFG shirts.

Not to say there weren't others that helped out. There have been loads of folks that noticed the difference and dropped a kind word here or there.

End shout outs...

Now it is time for a 'clothes update'...

I had bought some cheap sweat pants a while ago from Target. That was a mistake. After only a couple months of use the material in the crotch is all worn out and has holes. So it was off to the sporting goods store to buy some name brand sweat pants. I couldn't believe it. I fit into a LARGE. Not an EXTRA LARGE...just a LARGE. That was pretty cool.

Side note on clothes, we started putting together the official Token Fat Guy shirts. It's just for fun and if I make a few bucks it will all go to keeping the website running.

Mostly it's just for fun. I will make an announcement when they are ready. Some are good to go now but I have more 'starting weights' to create.

Now go away and stop bugging me!

February 14, 2007

Website update:
We have added a second domain to strangedos.com. Now you can access the site using either http://www.strangedos.com/ or http://www.tokenfatguy.com/

Pretty sweet...huh?

NOTE: The rantings of StrangeDOS are just that...rantings. They are not to be viewed as actual medical advice...even if they are correct. StrangeDOS is not a doctor...or a nurse...or even a person that should be trusted. Follow his advice at your own risk.

After my recent back injury I felt compelled to include this in my blog...

I know that I usually keep pretty upbeat on the blog...but sometimes dieting just plain sucks. And it doesn't just suck on a small scale...it sucks on gigantic, freaky, [insert bombastic adjective here], scale.

One of the worst and most sucky times is when you suffer a setback...such as an injury. This has been an ongoing problem for me as I have a tendency to let injuries completely trash my best dieting plans. Anyone that has hurt themselves while working out knows how difficult it can be to cope with this type of setback...but I really took it to the nth degree a few times.

You might say, "StrangeDOS! What the heck are you talking about? You are doing great! I see you losing weight like a crazy person."

Well, you are right...I am a crazy person. But that's not the issue here. If you have found your way to my blog, chances are pretty good that you have also found my weight loss chart...

You might have noticed a sharp, upward spike between 9/04 and 8/06. What happened there? I got hurt...and then I got stupid...REAL STUPID.

It started when I hurt my elbow. The medical term is lateral epicondylitis...commonly known as tennis elbow. I did it with a combination of stupid weightlifting (poor form) and stupid yard work (shoveling pine bark). By the time it was all said and done, my arm was pretty messed up. And tennis elbow takes a long time to fully recover from. Sometimes it can require surgery.

But the REAL problem was in how I dealt with it. Here is a comparison of what you should do (do) and what StrangeDOS did (don't)...

Food do - Stay on the eating part of the plan. In any weight loss plan, you have three main components. They are diet, weight lifting, and cardio workouts. Their importance is listed in the same order. Contrary to popular beliefs, the dieting part of the plan is WAY more important than either weight lifting or cardio. Not to say that working out isn't important...because it is. But if you can't do it for awhile...you can still lose weight if you keep to your diet.

Food don't - Okay...I can't do any lifting with my left arm. That's going to completely mess up my routine. How can I possibly loss weight if I can't lift weight? This is MY fault for getting hurt. This is MY fault for believing I could actually do this. I need comfort food. Where is the number for Papa John's Pizza?

Doctor do - If you hurt yourself then go see a doctor. If you aren't sure if you should see a doctor...see a doctor. If you think you will be okay if you just take it easy for awhile...see a doctor...then see a doctor again to have your head examined.

Doctor don't – Screaming every 5 minutes, "OH GOD IT HURTS!" and "NO I DON'T WANT TO SEE A DOCTOR!" Doctors scare the hell out of me. Just the sight of needles can make me pass right out. It's not a matter of money (I have pretty decent insurance)...I'm just terrified of doctors. Only dentists and President Bush scare me more that doctors (that's right, I took a cheap shot at our beloved dictator).

Workout do - Check with your doctor first, but chances are if you hurt something you can design a workout around your injury. Looking back on it, I could have easily kept up with my cardio workouts...and even most of my weight lifting. Lower body workouts wouldn't have changed at all. Upper body workouts could have been done just with my right arm. And there are some exercises that would have allowed me to target muscles on the left side without using my elbow.

Workout don't - What's the point? I should just get used to being a great big fat person. Honestly, that would be easier. Yeah, I could just give up this whole working out thing and accept being a complete fat ass. Hmmm...the more I think about it the more plausible it sounds.

Get back on the horse do - Work with your doctor to figure out when the right time to begin working out again should be. Some physical therapy might even help you get started. But with a little effort you should be able to design a limited workout that will allow you to get in some exercising. The point is to get back on the horse.

Get back on the horse don't - This TV remote is getting heavier and heavier...I think this should count as weight lifting.

It actually took about a year for me to fully recover. Now you might be thinking, "Hey StrangeDOS, you say it took a year but that spike lasted nearly two years. I don't think you are telling the full story here."

Well...you'd be right to say so. I spent the greater part of two years in a carb induced funk. Walking around like a zombie...and not like those cool dancing zombies in Michael Jackson's Thriller video...more like a slow moving, ever expanding, fat collecting zombie.

So...don't do what I did. If you injure yourself...and chances are that you will...don't let it completely derail you. Adjust your plan and keep going. In the long run your injuries will heal faster if you continue to take care of yourself.

Otherwise you will just undo your progress and end up staying a fat blob

So speaks Token Fat Guy...

February 05, 2007

Token Fat Guy goes clothes shopping

I get up and rummage around my dresser drawers for something...anything to wear. I've swore off wearing sweat pants when I'm not working out. But I really only have 2 pairs of pants that I can wear now. All my old size 42s are useless...that is unless I want to add some suspenders and look like a clown.

I have one pair of size 40s and one pair of size 38s. Both a bit on the ragged side. And to be honest, the size 40s are pretty baggy on me.

In a way it's nice to have this as a problem. Historically, I've always hated people that say, "I've lost so much weight that nothing fits." Rotten bags of snot! But now that I'm the snot-bag, I guess I'll need to revise my feelings on that score.

I didn't really want to do this...but I need...to go......shopping.

So I dig a pair of pants out of the hamper (don't tell me YOU never did that). Then Heather and I load up and head to the mall.

I'm tense and a bit snippy. I really don't like shopping for clothes. With my weight being on the heavy side, it is hard to find anything that fits. As I'm driving, my mind wanders back to a day when a store clerk told me that if my neck got any bigger I'd have to get my shirts from a 'big or tall' store. Well...doesn't that just make me feel dandy?! That was probably the most creative way of telling me that I'm a complete fat ass. Snotty clerk...grrr...I should have sat on him...rude...thin...grrrrr

By the time I get to the mall I'm worked up pretty good. I don't know how my wife puts up with me sometimes.

We go into JCPenny's...locate the men's section. Let's see what we can find that fits. Heather helps me pick some things out and soon I have a nice little stack of stuff to try. We find the fitting rooms and I start the exhausting process of undressing, dressing, undressing, dressing, rinse, repeat.

With Heather's help, I find some size 38s that fit me nicely. And we find a few shirts in XXL that look good on the hanger...but they don't quite look right on me. I get a spark of excitement in me and say these words...

"Bring me the same thing...in XL"

That felt pretty good. I'm going to try to put on an XL...

It fit...not only did it fit...it looked good. I looked good. I ask Heather to bring me a few more shirts of the same style to try...and maybe some XL polo shirts and XL t-shirts.

The polos and the t-shirts fit in that I could get them on. But it was obvious that they wouldn't look good for a few more pounds...okay...they wouldn't look good for another 10 pounds...maybe 20 more...stupid love handles. So we decide to hold off on those. But the button-up XLs look good so we keep them.

At this point I'm a bit excited and a little adventurous. I say the following words...

"Let's try the pants again...bring me the size 36"

I was delighted to find that the 36 did in fact fit me. They were a bit snug but that's cool.

So I get the 38's and the 36's. I can wear the 38s at work. The 36s are a bit snug for sitting in all day...so they aren't so good for work. I can wear them when I'm on my weekend. And I should be able to wear them at work in a month or so. I'll put them at the bottom of the drawer so I have something ready for when the 38s become too baggy.

And finally I decided to keep one of the XL t-shirts. It doesn't look good on me yet...but I'll have it try on every now and then when I need to gauge my progress.

So shopping isn't so bad when you are thinner. I'm still fat but they make lots of clothes for my kind of fat. Which is good because I'm going to need to go back soon...

I forgot to buy a belt :)