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April 28, 2008

TFG's New Shoes

I finally did it.  Now that I'm running again, I finally broke down and got some real running shoes.  The experience was educational and fun.  Of course some of that was because of the hotie salesgirl at TrySports that took such good care of me. 

Once I let them know that I was looking for a running shoe, they measured me and had me up on the treadmill, taking a look at how I step.  After a few minutes of settling into a good run, they recorded what my feet were doing so they could not only show me, but find a shoe best suited to my needs. 

Since I have low arches, I have a moderate level of 'pronation'.  This means that when my foot comes down, it rolls into my arch farther than it should.  overpro

So they fitted me with a shoe that corrects this by adding additional support to my arch and it also helps to propel me forward.

One pair of the shoes was just awful...it felt like there was a balled up sock in my arch area.  But the rest were pretty good.  I found one that was really comfortable for me...and I got to see what my running looked like in those too.

TrySport really did a great job with me.  I look forward to taking my lovely wife Heather there next week.

Now I really look forward to running.  But I need to keep a log of my running.  Apparently, a good running shoe is only good for about 300-400 miles.  After that, they've worn down to where they are not giving ample support. 

I ran about 2.5 mile the other day...I could do more but I'm still working up to it...being careful.  I don't want another setback.  I'll run more next week...just a little.

Update on the Poison Ivy

What a drag this is...it still hasn't gone away.  I've been to the doctor twice about this and it is taking forever. 

The good news about it is that the steroid that they put me on to help get rid of it, is NOT having the feared weight gain effect I thought it would.  In fact I've lost weight last week.  Two pounds...for a grand total of 81 pounds....making my new weight, 211 pounds.

I've been getting all sorts of compliments on my weight loss lately.  One of the guys at work said I don't even look like 'me' anymore.  I told him that I DO look like me...like me before I got fat.  I knew what he meant...I was just being difficult for fun.

NOTE:  Very few of my coworkers knew me before I gained the weight.  So they are just used to seeing me big.

New Segment...TFG Workout

There is something about losing weight that when you hit a certain mark, people become all curious about how you did it.  Most are looking for a magic bullet answer...but some are genuinely curious to what you are doing in your diet and/or workouts.  So in answer to the emails and posts that I get, I'm starting this new segment that will highlight some of the things that I do.  It is not meant to be an overall plan...just a window into what's going on. 

This week's highlight is on one of my chest exercises...Around the World

I do two pyramids of chest exercises on my 'chest day'.  The second is this little baby I found on bodybuilder.com


The main muscles worked are the the chest...with an assist by your shoulders

  • Pectoral - Chest
  • Deltiod - Shoulder 

The movement is like making snow angels....out and around....and back again.  When I first started doing this exercise, I could only manage about 5 pounds on each side.  I've worked up to 12 reps at 17.5 pounds (each side).  But by the time I'm done with my final set, my chest is ready for me to stop. 

Here is a link to a video on Bodybuilder that shows the full motion...

Around the World

I really like this exercise because unlike most chest exercises, it doesn't really engage the triceps too much.  So I can do my first pyramid (which DOES use the tricep), then do a pyramid of 'Around the World'...and by the time I'm done, my chest is finished and my triceps have rested enough that I can focus on them...and they are still warmed up...so I can skip my warm up sets.

Be sure you stretch your muscles...especially your shoulders....before attempting this little beauty.  And you have issues with your rotator cuff, you might want to just give it a pass.

Well...that about wraps it up for today.  Spark People, be sure to check out the home page for you fix of cartoon nonsense...

Home Page....with zombies! 


Sexy French Maid....that's just wrong....

April 21, 2008

The Good

Last week I went to my doctor to find out how my MRI looked.  The good news is that I don't have a stress fracture.  More good news is that he okayed me to try to start running again.

So for my circuit training, I did use the treadmill when I was supposed to, but I didn't go that fast...at all.

Then this Saturday came...the day I normally go in for just running.  I went to the gym and ran...slow at first...speeding up a little....taking it easy.  Worked up to 5 mph...for about 2 miles.  No problems....but it was SO VERY FUSTRATING.  I know I can go faster, but I'm taking it easy for now. 

It did feel good.  I've missed it.  However, this marks a serious lesson learned.  In the past, I've let injury or illness completely derail me.  I've finally learned the lesson that my plan doesn't have to be 100% correct for me to stay on track.

Note:  The last time I had a derailment, I gained back about 30 pounds.  The time before that, I gained about...oh it is too depressing to say.  So this is a big lesson for me.  I'm so happy I finally learned it, that I could just dance...


I had a huge compliment from one of my coworkers a few weeks back and keep forgetting to post it.  I hadn't seen him in a few weeks, so the difference in my appearance must have been pretty pronounced.  Anyway, he commented on how much better I looked.  I thought that would be the end of it.

About 15 minutes later he came to me and asked, "What is the address for that weight loss site you run?"  Later, I stopped by his workstation and found him reading my blog entries. 

It is nice when people notice the difference in the way I look but it is really cool when it leads some one to want to read my story.

The Bad

While I lost another pound last week, I may not see anymore for a couple weeks.  A new prescription from my doctor has an anabolic steroid in it...so I'm likely to gain a few pounds temporarily. 

While this is a minor set back, I know it isn't forever.  I'll continue on like it isn't happening.   

Finally had to break down and buy new underwear.  I've been putting it off because I wanted my old stuff to wear out before I replaced it.  But it is ridiculously lose on me now.  I bought it when I was a size 42, and I'm a size 34 or 33 now. 

Also, I got some new shorts for running.  I'd been wearing sweat-pants...but those wear out in the thigh so fast.  Even if I skip wearing them when I work out from home.  But that seems to upset the cats...


And the Ivy 

And why am I on a steroid?  Two words...poison ivy.  This stupid weed has popped up in my yard and I didn't even notice it when I was clearing away some of the overgrowth.  So I've got some nasty looking breakouts on both my forearms.  Luckily that is the only place I got it. 

Progress Report

Weighed in at 213 pounds....for a total loss of 79 pounds.  So very close to a nice round 80 pounds (actually I was only .2 pounds from it).  But I don't count that way.  I'll take the 1 pound loss and be happy with it.

Saw one of my friends that I haven't seen in a few weeks....she said I looked good.  I was really glad about that because I was wearing a sleeveless shirt...and was a bit nervous about my appearance. 

My two friends, Mike and Mary are doing great on their diets, having both lost a pretty good amount of weight for such a short time.  If you are curious about them, Mike runs a site kind of like mine.....

Code Pirate Ship

I'll let him explain how they are doing.  I don't want to take any of their thunder.

I've been trying to encourage them to start lifting weights.  Not too serious...just enough to offset the muscle that is lost from having a long term caloric deficit. 

Mike has a Bowflex that is similar to mine...his is actually nicer in a few aspects.  Like it has this series of pulleys that make switching exercises WAY more simple and faster.

We were over at their place for a bit yesterday, so I jumped on the Bowflex and did a few work up sets...then I loaded it up with all the weight his system is currently setup for....210 pounds (he can upgrade it by another 200 pounds).  I did a set of 12 reps while it maxed out. 

The whole thing was to get him interested in lifting again.  Of course he reads my blog and will now know what I was up to. 

He can start out small...maybe with an invisible barbell.  


Now get out of here and go do some exercises...

Oh Spark People, remember to check the home page for news about the end of the world.

Home(page) is Where the End of the World is

April 14, 2008

Recovering From a Week Off

A couple weeks ago I took a long overdue rest.  A week away from my diet and most of my workouts.  I've been promising myself this break for awhile.

A person might wonder why I'd risk completely falling off the wagon by doing an entire week outside my plan.  Well...I take a long term approach to weight loss.  I know you hear it all the time, "You didn't put the weight on all at once, you won't lose it all at once."  But I really take that to heart.  I know it will take years for me to complete my weight loss journey. 

I'm serious about my weight loss...and I put just as much work into it as I do my career.  And if I get a vacation from work...so should I get a vacation from my diet.

After a week off, however, I was ready to go back onto my plan.  For those of you that are wondering if I gained back any weight during that time...well, yes and no.

I weighed in my first day back, just to see how much damage it was.  I knew it would be up...but a 12 pound increase was higher than I was prepared for.PaNic

My first thought was panic...really, I think that a good panic was in order.  But then I reminded myself, that I'd been eating junk everyday and not only was my sodium intake high (causing me to retain a lot of water) but I probably need to 'pass' all that food. 

So I did some quick math in my head.  To really gain 12 pounds...I'd have to eat about 9000 calories a day...every day for a week.

After calming myself down, I went straight onto my plan.  Had some great workouts....and by midweek, I was only 6 pounds up.  By weekend, I was only a pound up.  And by my official weigh-in on Sunday, I was a pound down.

So I say to my readers, please remember this the next time you have a weight gain from being off your diet for a couple days.  It is likely to fall off within a week.

Upgrading the Bowflex

A few weeks ago, I wrote about maxing out my Bowflex on my bench press.  Well, the upgrade parts finally arrived.  Today was my first day using the new extra weights.  It was an awesome workout.  And it will be some time before I'm able to bench press all of it.  Although, I'm not sure what I'll do when and if that happens.  I have my free weights, but they don't go any higher than that....yet.

Oh well....like I said, it will be awhile before I need to worry about that. 

Health Issues

It has been five weeks since my doctor told me to take it easy on my shin.  I've been working around my injury...but still itching to get back on the treadmill.  So before my next appointment, I tried running again.  Not much...just a bit. 

I felt fine at the time...but my shin was bugging me all the next day.  So doctor sent me in for an MRI.  I'll be getting the results back this week.  Until then, no more treadmill...no more jumping.

Gym Fun

Now that April is here, most of the 'New Years Resolution' crowd has thinned out and the gym is back to normal.  I still see new people showing up...but the gym just isn't as busy as it was back in January. crowd

In fact I had one circuit training class where I was the only one to show up at all.  It was like having a personal trainer...without the expense. 

We had a couple of the hard core weight lifters show up for circuit training class.  The one guy was really trying to hurt himself.  Instead of following good form, he was trying to lift as much as he could...even if he had to swing the weight to get some momentum built up.

I asked the trainer about it later.  She said he was kind a scary.  She tried to correct him on his form but he didn't want to hear any of it.  We were both glad he didn't come back. 

That's about all for this week.  Most of it was just getting back into the swing of things.

The only other notable thing was that my daughter got a new dog and has taught it to do mouth-to-mouth resesitation....


Now stop browsing the web and get to the gym!

Oh...and people entering from Spark People, be sure to check out the home page to get your zombie and math pun fix... www.TokenFatGuy.com

And here's some bonus humor....

April 07, 2008

Why Diets Fail (part III)

Not understanding macronutrients - I can't name how many times some one tells me, "Yea, TFG, I'm dieting now too."  But when I ask them about the details of their diet plan, I get the 'deer in the headlights' look.


Some will mumble something about eating less or reducing fat or counting calories.  Others just hold their breath until I go away.


I don't mean to put people on the spot.  I'm just curious to what other people are doing to lose weight.  I might want to give it a try.

However, I am concerned about the number of people that diet without taking the time to learn something as basic as macronutrients.  I didn't understand it when I got started either, but I took the time to figure it out.

For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, the human body needs something in the neighborhood of 40 different types of nutrients.  The three that we need in the largest amounts are referred to as macronutrients.  They are proteins, carbs, and fats.

Oh...yeah...you know those terms.  But do you really?  Say carbs to some people and they get all insistent about carbs being bad.

Now while there are bad carbs, not all carbs are bad.  Let's look at carbs for a moment. 

Carbs are mostly used for 'right now energy'.  What we don't use, we store.  Some gets stored in the liver and our muscles...the rest is stored as fat.


To that I say, calm the heck down.  While most of our diet needs to be from carbs...they need to be spaced out so they are available when we need them....and we don't end up storing so much.  Plus, you need to choose your carbs carefully.  Sure you could eat a bowl of sugar....but I wouldn't.  The good people at Spark People did a really good article on carbohydrates that I'm not even going to try to compete with.  I'll just provide a link.

The Truth About Carbohydrates

While you are chewing on that, let's talk about fat.  You could say that 'fat' is my middle name..Token FAT Guy.

Some fat is good.  Good fats are good.  And despite what you might read elsewhere, fat is the preferred fuel source for your muscles...not carbs.  Carbs are just mobilized faster.  I know I've said it before, but this is why I take a small amount of carbs before my workouts.  It gives me something to burn until my fat stores can give up their bounty of stored up energy.

The best resource I've found on fat can be found at this link.

Understanding Fat Can Save Your Life

Which leaves us with protein.  While we have seen people over react to carbs and fats, people don't tend to freak out over protein.  Worst I've ever heard of is some unfounded fears over kidney damage.

NOTE:  People with pre-existing kidney problems need to be careful about high protein diets.  However, millions of healthy athletes enjoy the benefits of high protein...including me.

So, you think I have a decent link on protein?  You bet I do.

Understanding Protein and Its Importance

With this information you have a basic understanding of macronutrients. 

Lack of Progress Report

No progress for me this past week.  Not expecting it either.  I've been promising myself a week off from dieting and working out....and last week was it.  Normally I take a week or two off between Body For Life challenges...but the last few, I just went straight from one challenge right into the next.  So I was way overdue for a rest.

I did workout some...but to be honest, I phoned it in.  Just wanted to keep my body moving. 

This morning I knew it was time to face the music....at the weigh-in.  Did I show a gain...yep.  But it was almost all in muscle and water.  In fact my body fat percentage went down a bit.  And really, that's all I care about.  The new water weight is likely to fall off in the next few days and I'll get a true number for my end of the week weigh-in.

Those of you that have been reading my blog for the last few weeks might remember that I recently maxed out my Bowflex when doing the bench press.  So I ordered the upgrade package.  The new power rods came in last week, but didn't have any instructions on how to mount them.  After fiddling with it for about 15 minutes, I called the support line and found out that I needed the add-on box as well.  Sort of a hassle, but its only $5....so that should be showing up early this week. 

Technical Stupids

It sounds like a great idea.  External USB hard drive....yeah!  Heck they even bought a bunch of them for us at work.  I liked mine so much I bought one for my computer at home.  I've got my music collection on it, TFG backups, pictures....and still have lots of room for more. 


I had it for about 6 months or so.  Now I've hear from a number of my coworkers that their drives have all been breaking.  Still, I haven't had any problem from mine.  So I really didn't think much about it. 

Then last week, mine died.  No warning...it just stopped.  After doing some research on it, I found that what's been going wrong on these things is the controller board that allows you to connect a normal IDE drive as a USB device.  So I cracked open the case on my dead 'My Book', retrieved the IDE drive inside it, and put it in my computer as a secondary master (moving my DVD drive to secondary slave). 

Lucky me, the drive itself was fine.  My files were all there and now I have more desk space since I don't have the external box anymore. 

Did I have backups of this data?  Of course I did...but I hate to monkey with restoring data.

Anyway...if you have one of these Western Digital 'My Books'...do yourself a favor and get your data off that thing before its too late.

That's about it for this week.  Remember to drink plenty of water....


Oh...Spark People readers be sure to check out the homepage to get your zombie fix.