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January 29, 2008

A Perfect Moment in the Life of TFG

I wake up on a Thursday morning.  I didn't get enough sleep the night before...or the night before...or the night before...and it is starting to add up on me.    I don't have enough energy to open my eyes all the way.funnydogs03rl5

I should just reset my alarm and get the extra sleep.  Yea, that sounds good.

NO!  You are NOT going to blow off this workout.  You promised yourself you'd try to break your speed record today.  Now GET UP!!!

That was my demon.  You know...that guy inside of you that always trips you up...convinces that you aren't worth anything...tells you what you can't do....tries his best to keep you down.  You know that voice.  I call him my demon.  Lately he's been working FOR me instead of AGAINST me.  But at times like this, I think I'd like it the other way around.

Well, no sense in trying to argue with him...I should get up now.  I find my sweats...my headband...my Zune....my keys.  I'm really too tired for this.

I drive to the YMCA.  When I walk in the woman at the counter smiles and asks me why I'm not wearing my TFG shirt.  I tell her its in the wash.  Its funny that they know who I am.  They use me as an example for new clients.  They say I'm an inspiration.  I don't know about all that....but that's how life is when you are Token Fat Guy.

I pick out my treadmill and get warmed up on it.  Slowly I build up my speed.  The way I do this is that I alternate between a slow run and a fast walk....then I increase the speed as I get deeper into the workout.  Then about 2 or 3 times during the workout, I do an 'explosive force'...and sprint for about 20 seconds at top speed.  So far my top speed has been at around 8mph.  I can go faster but I can't maintain it for 20 seconds....so I don't count it.

I've been trying to break this speed record for the last two months.

After my warm up, I think back on how I couldn't do 5 minutes on the treadmill without getting completely winded.  My treadmill workouts are at 45 minutes now, so those days are behind me but I still use them to fuel me when I run.

I've got my run going...time to push it and see what if I can get some real speed today.

5.0mph yeah...let's do this

6.0mph looking good

7.0mph I feel something wrong with my shoe

I glance down and see my shoe lace coming undone.  So I jump off the treadmill belt and hit the emergency stop button.  Darn it!!!  I broke my stride. 

I doubt that I could have made it anyway.  But no reason I can't enjoy the rest of my workout.  I tie my shoe and get the treadmill started again.

The rest of my workout is uneventful...until I get to the last few minutes of the run.  The right song came on (Alice Cooper - 'Poison') and got me worked up.  

Yea...let's do this thing! 

5.0mph MORE

6.0mph MORE

7.0mph MORE

8.0mph YOU....CAN....DO....MORE....

9.0mph JUST...A...BIT....MORE....

9.1mph....now I need to hold it....

2 seconds  I can't do this....

4 seconds  I can't keep this up any longer

5 seconds ....I....

There was silence....a moment of peace.  Suddenly I could feel every muscle...and I felt them working in perfect unison...pushing me....making me part of the machine.  All my emotion, all that I am...pouring into the moment...fueling it.  There was no doubt...no pain...no fear....just a perfect moment...or was it longer...was it...

30 seconds!

I held down to the button to slow the treadmill to a normal running pace.  I'd broken my speed record.  Not bad for a Token Fat Guy.

Progress Report

Well, last week was pretty big.  I dropped 3 pounds.  That pushes me to a grand total of 66 pounds.  So I'm pretty stoked about that. 

Broke my speed record....but you know that already.

I'm really enjoying the time I'm spending on my Spark Pages.  I recommend it to anyone that wants a big support group while you are trying to lose weight.  If you want to see my page up there....


I've been working on fixing my archives.  It's taking longer than I thought it would.  I've discovered some post out of order...plus there is that other issue with the junk characters that I'm still dealing with.  But I'm getting a little more done each week.

Well...that's about it.  Get lost!

January 21, 2008

TFG Goes Under the Knife

Yes, I finally gave in and decided to have a procedure done.  HEY!  Don't look at me like that!  Its my body and I'll do what I want!

You can't talk me out of it...its a done deal.  I had it done last week.  Have you lost respect for me yet?  Well don't....I had to have a cyst removed from the bridge of my nose.  It keeps me from being able to wear my glasses as it is/was right under where the pads rest.  Bet you thought I'd gone and got lap band done...suckers

Anyway, by the time you see this my stitches (all two of them) will be removed.  Honestly, that thing was driving me crazy.  It looked like a white head (pimple) that never went away.

Once this is over with there is a mole on the back of my head I might have removed next.  Perhaps I'll come up with a way to make everyone think I'm having liposuction done.


Who's real flabby? Yes, I am!

Now it is time for the REALLY big news.  The whole thing with the cyst was just to see if you were paying attention.  Those of you that have been readers for awhile will remember me talking about the weight classes based on BMI (body mass index). 


Class BMI
Underweight < 18.5
Normal 18.5 - 24.9
Overweight 25.0 - 29.9
Obesity 30.0 - 34.9
Obesity 35.0 - 39.9
Morbid Obesity >= 40

The chart above shows the widely accepted ranges for the weight classifications.  Notice that obesity has 3 classes....

Class I 30.0 - 34.9
Class II 35.0 - 39.9
Class III (Morbid) >= 40

At my max weight my BMI was well over 40...just how far over 40 is one of the few things that I will never reveal on this site...not because it is embarrassing (which it is) but because it is just too depressing.  But anyway, that put me in the class III obesity range...commonly referred to as 'morbid obesity'.  I remember how I felt when I calculated my BMI and looked at the chart.  I was devastated....truly torn apart at my core. 

But I didn't let it stop me.  I decided that I'd try to see just how much damage I could undo before resorting to more extreme measures...like surgery.  Or just giving up and accepting my fate (when you are that far gone it is really easy to to just accept that that's the way you are just going to be).

So I set off to see what could be done.  It was back around October of '06 that I got my weight down from 292 pounds to around 269 and I realized that I'd managed to push my weight down into the range of class II obesity.  This was a MAJOR VICTORY for me.  And you better believe that I wrote about it on in my blog.  I was really doing it.

Encouraged by my progress, I checked the chart again to see just how far I'd have to go to drop to the next range.  This was a bit of a mistake on my part.  The difference between those ranges is huge.  I'd have to lose an ADDITIONAL 41 pounds to make the next range.  Again...very depressing.  That would be nearly twice what I'd already lost.  How on Earth would I be able to do that?

Again, I figured I'd just plug away at it and see just how far I could get.  Then, a few days ago, I stepped on the scales, looked down and finally saw the number I'd been waiting to see....229 pounds!  This lowered my BMI to 34.9....putting me in the lowest category of obesity....class I.  I thought I'd cry.

So what's next for me?  It goes back to a joke I used to tell people when I'd want to mess with them.  I'd say, "You know, I'm really looking forward to being overweight."  Of course I'm referring to getting my BMI down to a point where I'm JUST overweight and no longer considered obese.  But people look at me and try to figure if I just don't know that I'm fat or what the heck I'm talking about. 

The thing is that the difference in the overweight range and the class I obesity range is WAY SMALLER.  Only a 27 pound difference from where I'm currently at.  So my next really big goal is to be 'overweight' by the time my next birthday rolls around in early June.         

The Spark...that is the breath....of life...

I've discovered a new support group....actually SEVERAL new support groups.  While looking for a decent Body Bugg forum (the one that Apex does is...well...awful), I found a site called Spark People.


It is sort of like MySpace but for people that are dieting and such.  I poked around for a couple days, reading some of the posts.  Then I jumped right in!  Now I'm having a blast.  It is so easy to find like minded people on this site.  In fact some of them have been finding their way back to MY site.  Which is cool.  I like seeing more hits on the counter.  Check out my page on their site...


Pretty cool.  Every time I turn around I find another team I want to join. 

No Dogs Allowed

I found a way to keep the dogs off my blog!  Check it out....


Archives?  We don't need no stinking archives!

I'd recently gone back into the archives to look for a post for someone when I noticed that they looked AWFUL!  Something I used to do was coming back and biting me in the butt.  I used to write all my blog entries in Microsoft Word and then copy/paste them into my blog. 

The process left some weird characters all over the place....making the posts nearly impossible to read.  I don't have that problem with the newer posts as I use Windows Live Writer to do them now. 

So I went back and painstakingly fixed my archives up to April 2007.  I'll finish them up shortly...probably this weekend sometime.

Hey!  Get off my back!  I'll do it when I feel like it!  Now get off my site...go bother some other blogger.


January 15, 2008

Shout Out Over Due

Special shout out to my lovely wife, Heather. Happy Birthday!  I forgot it earlier.  I remembered her birthday...I just forgot to post it.

TFG Hits 62 Pound Mark!

With my recent weight loss brining me to a total weight loss of 62 pounds, it is time really dig deep and put that into perspective.  Really...it is a big number but how can you relate to it? 

It's been awhile since I've been able to post one of these. But it is that time again. Let's look at a few things that weigh 62 pounds...

CanoeThis Royalite Dumoine Canoe is 16 feet 4 inches and weighs 62 pounds once this thrill-seeker gets out of it.

The average Italian eats about 62 pounds of pasta a year. Apparently Italy remains untouched by low-carb diet crazes.

Freeze62 This Sunpentown upright freezer provides 3 cubic feet of storage and weighs....you guessed it....62 pounds 

The average 8 year old boy weighs in at around 62 pounds.  NOTE:  To my good friends Mike and Mary...remember what your son looked like at age 8?  Well...that much weight. 

56 pounds of ice displaces 62 pounds of water.

spacestay Back in the 80's, two Russian cosmonauts onboard the Salyut-7 space station put one of three small Amateur Radio satellites into orbit. The satellite weighed 62 pounds (while on Earth).

 FreakyBurger In 2005, in order to break the record, some cooks from Serbia created what the Guinness Book of Records will call....The World's Largest Hamburger.  This monster burger beat the old record and hit 62 pounds.

The Minuteman I NS-1OQ missile guidance system contains a D-17B computer, the associated stable platform, and power supplies. The D-17B weighs approximately 62 pounds, contains 1521 transistors, 6282 diodes, 1116 capacitors, and 504 resistors. These components are mounted on double copper-clad, engraved, gold-plated, glass fiber laminate circuit boards. There are 75 of these circuit boards and each one has been coated with a flexible polyurethane compound for moisture and vibration protection. The high degree of reliability and ruggedness of the computer are evidenced by the strict requirements of the weapons system. Use of the D-17B is especially appropriate when high reliability is necessary under extreme environmental conditions such as high shock, acceleration, or vibration that preclude the use of other computers.


One cubic foot of fresh water is about 62 pounds. So says Archimedes (don't get it? read a book!)

The weight of a space suit and backpack is around 185 pounds on Earth.....but on the moon, the whole thing with an astronaut inside would only weigh about 62 pounds.

This guide dog weighs in at 62 pounds...

Now that puts it in perspective!

January 08, 2008

New Challenge!

Its hard to believe that it has been another 3 months already.  But while I was up north, my old Body for Life challenge ran to its conclusion.  So last week I took it easy...partly because I like having a few days to a week between challenges...but mostly because I was sick as a dog.


I'm still not 100% yet, but I'm doing well enough to start my new challenge.  Chest muscle a bit sore from the new routine.  Went to the gym for treadmill today...still not 100%....but was able to do 45 minutes.  But I cut out the cool down stuff I normally do.

Talked to one of the women that runs the gym.  She's been using me as an example again..."See that guy there, he's lost a ton of weight with us".  That's so cool.  It will be even better when I'm thinner. 

Are you taking Alli?

While up north recently, my wonderful daughter, Bridget, asked me if I'd been taking Alli.  I had to confess that not only was I not taking it but I didn't even know what she was talking about.  She breathed a sigh of relief to find that I was not taking this new over-the-counter weight loss aid....then told me a little about it.  So when I got home, I had to do some research of mine own.  Apparently I've been living under a rock to not have heard about this sooner.


Alli is a supplement that affects the body's ability to absorb fat from the foods that we eat.  When food is digested, an enzyme known as Lipase breaks down fat into smaller components allowing the body to store them for later use.  What Alli does is disable Lipase so the fat doesn't get broken down and therefore can't not be stored...but instead passes out of the body.  Sounds good in theory...but let's look at the side effects:

  • Gas with an oily anal discharge
  • Loose stools or diarrhea
  • More frequent bowel movements
  • Hard to control bowel movements.

On top of this, studies have shown that a person taking Alli will, on average, only lose 6 or 7 pounds more per year than if they were to just diet and exercise.

My issue with this not-so-wonder-drug is that, like other weight loss gimmicks, is that even if it did live up to its promises, it doesn't really fix the problem.  I know I harp on this but lets do it one more time.

Let's say you are 50 pounds overweight...and some magic pill or procedure 'fixes' you and suddenly you are back to you ideal weight.  Did this fix the problem?  You might think so.  You aren't fat anymore and you have a new lease on life.

The truth is that the problem did NOT get fixed....only a symptom of the problem got fixed.  Being fat isn't the problem.  The problem is that you don't know how to feed yourself and keep your body in shape.  The weight gain is only a resultant symptom of the overall problem that you feed your body junk all the time.  That 50 pounds that vanished from you is likely to make a reappearance because you still haven't fixed the real problem.

If you want to fix the real problem, learn how to feed yourself and how to keep your body fit.  The weight loss will attend to itself.

Trust me on this.  It took me YEARS to figure this out.  But once I did, weight loss came immediately.

I give Alli a big thumbs down.  Do not put your money here...put it in a gym membership or a book on nutrition....or both.  

thumbsdown Sexy business woman in glasses also gives a thumbs down!

Bye Bye Fat-Head!

Everyone that knows me or has looked at any of my pictures on the website, knows that I like to keep my hair pretty short.  At most I'll let it get about about 1.5 - 2 inches long.  The bad thing about this type of haircut is that when you reach a certain weight, it really emphasizes how fat your head looks. 

Today I went in for my normal haircut and was pleased when I saw that I no longer had the fat-head look afterwards. 

Anyway, I suppose that's enough for this week.  You got your tip, your dog pic, and now you get your good-bye....


January 01, 2008

Dealing with the Unexpected

NOTE:  When talking about my family I change the last names to help protect their (and my) identities.  So when talking about my Dad's side of the family I use the surname, StrangeDOS.  And when talking about my Mom's horde, I use the name Who.

Recently, my uncle, Gordon Who, passed away.  While his health had been slipping steadily for the last 10 years or so...this sudden turn came as a surprise...at least to me.  Which is nothing new really.  The StrangeDOS's and the Who's all live in my home state, Michigan.  While I enjoy the warmer climates found south of the Mason-Dixon (except in the summer when I pine for my wintery homeland).  The point being, I'm usually out of the loop and don't hear about stuff unless its gone horribly wrong.

NOTE:  I think Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon would be proud to know that we still use their names after all this time. :)

Anyway, I had to make an emergency trip back home to be with my family...the Who's.  And while I did get to see some of them...I really wish they'd settle this feud they have with a certain branch of the family and stop acting like children.  I'm not going to get into any of what happened...but I'm pretty mad about it.  When some one dies everyone is supposed to pull together and support each other....not act like they are the only ones hurt by it....or by taking over the whole situation and locking out the rest of the family.  If Uncle Gordon were alive I think he'd be madder than hell at all of us.

That's the last I'm saying about the matter....except for a thank you to Edmund Who...for volunteering to let me stay at his place.  Thanks anyway Edmund...but Dad was able to make room for me.     

Anyway....with my unexpected trip, I went pretty far off my normal routine.  Only missed one workout the whole time.  But my diet went all pair shaped.  Because of all the running around to see everyone, I couldn't eat when I needed to.  Instead of eating 5-6 meals, I was lucky if I got in 2.  And when I did eat, it wasn't always healthy.  I didn't have a single protein shake the whole trip. 

On the plus side, because of the cold, my metabolism got cracked up pretty high.  I wasn't sure but I thought I might have lost some weight while I was gone.  But I wasn't sure since I had eaten so much junk.  Anyway, once I got home I did my last chance weigh-in for 2007.

I'm down 60 pounds.  I finally broke past 58 pounds and hit the 60 mark just in time for the year end!  And my body fat dropped down to 28%! 

And let me back track to my workouts.  I called my daughter and asked her if she wanted to go to the gym with me.  She's really big on fitness and this would give her an opportunity to see how I'd been progressing.  So there we were...father and daughter...working out together.  I had a blast...even though my trick knee was starting to bother me a bit (I had to throttle it back some).  But still a wonderful experience for me. 

100_5263 (Resized)

Isn't she a cutie?  Oh...and I got to spend a little time with her long time boyfriend, Patrick (picture withheld since I forgot to ask him if I could post it).  He's a nice guy...I think they make a good couple.  I was disappointed that I didn't get to talk with him more than I did.  Oh well...perhaps next time.

Unfortunately, I caught a cold somewhere along the way...and am feeling nasty right now.  But at least I got home before it really kicked in hard.  So it is chicken noodle soup and Doctor Who reruns for me.


What's Next?

Well....I'm only a few pounds to my next MAJOR milestone.  I'll announce what it is when I hit it.  I mean 60 pounds is great and all...but only because it is a nice round number.  In a couple more pounds I hit some thing really impressive.

Thanks to a few more fans that expressed their views on the idea of me hanging up the website, I'll be doing this for at least another year.  Then I'll see where that takes me. 

NOTE:  While I've considered putting ads on my site to bring in some revenue...I'm not following up with it for now.  I'll keep running the site at a loss.  But I might stick in a Pay Pal thingie so people can donate if they feel like it.  Maybe not....I'm not sure yet.

I've had a few people tell me that I'm inspirational to them.  That's pretty cool.  My old best friend, Mike, from high school got into martial arts.  He's doing well.  My cousin, Barb StrangeDOS, has a fitness group with some members of her church.  She had about a hundred questions for me when I visited.  My mom and step-dad are both looking at joining the YMCA once he retires....and he's talking about running again.  He used to be really into running...did the Boston Marathon once.  He was the real deal.  Now he's talking with my daughter and they want to shoot for doing a marathon together.  That will be something!

So for now it is 'stay the course'.  I might have some ideas bubbling around in my head but nothing I want to commit to just yet. 

Anyway...since I was traveling, here's a dog that's also traveling....