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June 29, 2007

TokenFatGuy's First Law of Motion

Okay...the 'first law of motion' wasn't written by me. I'm sure that Sir Isaac Newton would have a thing or two to say about it.

Newton's First Law of Motion states:

An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

I'm finding that this also applies to fat people. So I've modified Newton's Law. Check it out...

A fat person sitting on the couch all day getting more and more fat...tends to stay on the couch all day getting more and more fat and a fat person exercising and trying to eat right tends to continue to exercise and try to eat right. In each case an unbalanced force will screw everything up.

So there I was, on my plan....and losing weight at a pretty good clip. Suddenly I was hit by an unbalanced medical force. Causing me to stop and eventually revert to my old couch potato ways. And once the unbalanced force was gone, I continued being an object at rest. So this week I have been seeking out a new unbalanced force to get me back on track. Yesterday I found it.

I went to the gym once this week to take advantage of their indoor track as it is just way too hot to walk outside in the North Carolina heat. I haven't been walking for nearly two months so I can't maintain a fast speed yet. So I'm being passed up by others. But you know it bothers me...I needed to put an end to it.

So I decided that I wouldn't let anyone pass me anymore. I was like that Gandalf character from Lord of the Rings, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
Ah...okay...you runners, you can pass. And you speed walkers...yeah...you can pass. Oh...you teenagers with your endless supply of energy...you can pass. Oh wait...

That's when I saw a fellow fat guy. He was a bit taller than me...a bit heavier...and just a bit younger. This guy I can't let pass. So it was him and me, neck and neck...fat guy vs fat guy...

After about 20 minutes of this, I could tell he was starting to wear down. He was huffing and puffing and getting all red faced. So I reached down into my reserves and started to run. I only got a few laps but it was enough to show that he couldn't catch me. Poor guy gave up and went to have a shower. I finished up my walk and went back to work.

I hope I run into this guy again. That was a pretty good walk. And I think I'm all motivated again.

Progress Report
Monday's workout was good...but I didn't eat clean
Tuesday was a complete wash
Wednesday's workout was good...I could have eaten cleaner
Thursday's workout was good...I ate cleaner than Wednesday
Friday's workout was good (enough though I wanted to blow it off when I woke up)...I'm still eating so we will see

Not a best of weeks. But at least I'm back on the plan. I will do better next week.

Oh...I did some work on the website. It's still not complete yet but it looks a bit better. I could work faster on it but I have other things I need to do too. HEY! DON'T TELL ME HOW TO RUN MY WEBSITE! HERE'S THE DOOR!

<-----American sign language for 'door'.

June 21, 2007

Assessing the Damage

I was just getting back into the swing of things when I noticed that my Body for Life challenge ends this week. For those that are coming in late, each 'challenge' lasts 3 months and I lost about 45 pounds on the first one.

The second challenge was going fine until certain medical issues completely trashed my efforts. It looks like I'm going to close the challenge at about the same weight as where I started it. However, some of that weight is muscle mass. My body fat percentage has only changed a little. This makes sense because while I was out of commission the only exercising that I could do was strength training for my arms/chest/shoulders.

So my second challenge had limited success. I could let this drive me crazy...
...but I've decided to not rake myself over the coals about this. I did what I could and I did see some progress. What I need to do now is start a fresh challenge.

Body for Life - Challenge Number 3

This is going to be sweet. I'm putting together my new workout routine today so it will be ready for me to start on Monday.

The hot group, The Bangles,
produced the cool song...
Manic Monday

Other than that, I don't have anything to report. No weight loss tips...no inspirational anecdotes...no clever puns.

Don't you look down on me! How much weight did you lose? GET OFF MY WEB SITE!!!

June 14, 2007

Token Fat Guy gets High!

After over a month of not being able to do all my normal workouts, I am starting to get back into the swing of things.

Monday was strength training. I hit the chest, biceps, abs, and gluts.

Tueday...oh...ouch. Sort of sore. But that's fine. Tried to do 30 minutes on the treadmill. I started slow at first then worked my way up as far as I thought I could. Then about 15 minutes in I concentrated hard and tried to reach down and pull out that extra little bit to force myself to go faster. I try to do this once or twice every time I'm on the treadmill. Slowly I pushed past the cobwebs...the stiffness in my legs started to ease up...and there I was. Runner’s High

Most any athlete will give his opinion on what runner's high really is. But most agree that it is that state that they occasionally enter when the body becomes more responsive, the mind becomes more focused, and previous limitations seem to melt away.

From a purely physical standpoint, it is a euphoria that is caused by a release of endorphins. They negate pain and heighten senses.

I remember the first time it happened to me. I was just a teenager and had no idea at all what was going on. It was during a work out at our martial arts dojo. I have to confess that I was pushing myself extra hard that day because I was trying to get the attention of a young female black belt. The rush was incredible. I felt unstoppable...indestructible. I actually went jogging after the workout and seriously thought about jumping off a bridge into the St Joseph river. At the time I thought I'd survive it. Looking back on it...it has become just another one of those things that amazes me that I actually LIVED long enough to become an adult.

What happened to me Tuesday wasn't the full on runner's high that I've experienced before. It was more of a mini-high. I've had enough of them to recognize it for what it is...and in this case I didn't really want to get swept up in it. I'm just starting my routine again and don't want any setbacks...and a bad high can lead to injuries.

You see while the endorphins will help to reduce pain, they can also mask injury. So you can run on a twisted ankle and not even know about it. The first clue you will get will be after the 'high' wears off and the swelling starts.

So I slowed down a bit and resisted the urge to go any faster. Next time it happens, I'll ride the wave.

That brings me to Wednesday. I'm sore today...but just sore. No injuries. Lifted weights...shoulders, quads, ham strings, calves.

Thursday morning I woke up completely sore and didn't want to move. I had a little argument with myself. It went something like this...

GoodTFG> We need to get up and go to the gym.
BadTFG> No, we need to rest. Yeah, that's the ticket! We need to rest.
GoodTFG> We need to be 'good'. We've been waiting to resume our work outs and now we can do it.
BadTFG> Dude, this bed is REALLY comfortable. And our muscles are so sore.
GoodTFG> Don't 'dude' me! If we don't get up and run I'm going to be really disappointed in us.
BadTFG> We can handle your disappointment. We don't think we can handle running. Your disappointment doesn't even make us break a sweat.
GoodTFG> Look if I could go without taking you I would. In fact it would mean a 50% drop in my overall weight if I could just leave you behind.
BadTFG> Oh...ah...alright but I'm going to complain about it the whole time.
GoodTFG> Deal. I'll just tune you out with music.

NOTE: I know talking to yourself is a form of insanity.

So I had a good run. No runner's high but still it was nice to get my leg muscles stretched some. It helps to keep the muscle pain under control.

Now I'm sure some of you are saying, "But TokenFatGuy, you haven't said anything about the eating part of your plan. How is the DIET going?"

Work keeps feeding me junk and my fat intake is completely out of control. I'll work on it next week. Until then, LEAVE ME ALONE! I DON'T WORK FOR YOU!

June 7, 2007

Oh...I'm SOOOOOO Stressed!!

Some of my loyal readers have been asking, "When are you going to return to doing your blog?"

I know life without TokenFatGuy is tough but I had to deal with a few things before I could return my life back to normal. Not all my medical issues have cleared up yet so my working out has been somewhat limited until all that is resolved. I can still do most of my lifting but all my cardio has been out of bounds.

And on top of that I have been dealing with one of the worst diet killers...stress.

As if my medical issues weren't stress enough, my Mom finally made good on her promise to come to North Carolina to visit and see the house for the first time. Don't get me wrong, I love my Mom...and my step father...and my aunt Linda...but having all three of them for a visit meant getting the house ready. While she's cooled down about it as she's gotten older, when I was growing up my Mom was the worst 'neat-freak' I ever knew. I rarely had friends over...I was terrified that one of them might spill a Coke or something and my Mom would kill them. She wasn't a tyrant...she just REALLY REALLY liked her house clean. I remember I couldn't even leave a dirty glass in the sink.

So yeah, getting my house ready was pretty stressful...and while I'm on the subject of stress. That's this week's topic!

So what happens to TokenFatGuy when he stresses out and spends weeks cleaning his house?

Well, a hormone is secreted in his body called Cortisol...nicknamed the Stress Hormone. This is a normal part of all sort of body functions like regulating blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and it is part of the immune function.

But the part that everyone thinks about is how Cortisol gets secreted in high levels during the body's 'fight or flight' response. And even then it is still a good thing. It helps by assisting in making the following happen...

Quick bursts of energy
Improved memory functions
Enhances immunity
Reduces sensitivity to pain

Sounds great! So what's the problem? Well, the problem comes from the way we as Americans live our lives. We go from one stressful event right to another...and then another. And we never let our body initiate a relaxation response.

TokenFatGuy is the perfect example. He stressed over all the time spent in doctors offices...then takes his house apart for his mother...all the while spending at least 6 hours a day for two months studying to pass his recertification tests. He just keeps going.

So what does this sort of long term stress lead to?

Chronic stress can lead to the following...

Impaired cognitive performance
Blood sugar imbalances
Decreased bone density
Decrease in muscle tissue
Higher blood pressure
Lowered immunity

And of course...

Increased abdominal fat...and the evil that brings.

So like most things, stress in moderation is fine. We just need to learn to stop every now and then.

Now you might be thinking, "Hey TokenFatGuy! What about that 'relaxation response' thingie you'd mentioned earlier? How do we make that happen?"

Nothing could be simpler!

You just need to figure out how to relax. For some people it is just listening to music, others will find yoga relaxing. Exercise is considered VERY relaxing. So is keeping a journal (or in my case a blog). Whatever you find that allows you to calm down...even if it is just for a little while. But make it something you enjoy...otherwise it just becomes another task that you have to force yourself to do. This should be something you like...the hard part is finding the time to do it. But remember it is for your health...so it's important.

Progress Report

The family visit went really well. I'm enjoying having my house back AND I have lots of nice memories of their visit. Apparently I pass inspection.

My recertification tests are complete.
I have a doctor's appointment on Friday. Hopefully, I'll be all better soon.

Unfortunately, the increased stress has trashed my weight loss efforts. I've gained a few pounds back. But I've decided not to stress about it. It's not like I gained it ALL back. Just a few pounds and I can lose them again. I know how to do it now.

And more importantly, now that I've put some of my biggest time consumers to rest, I can pick up working on my blog.

See you all next week....

TokenFatGuy...(oh and it's my birthday)