Archive for January, 2014


Snow Day…

me

 Well yesterday would have been weigh in day except for the fact that the roads here were still super thick with ice and snow. Now many people from up north (I am a person from the North FYI), watch the news about our schools closing and everything shutting down and laugh. Unlike the Northern states snow is not normally an issue for these parts and with that comes inexperience and lack of equipment. So to be safe most things just close down. You tell me who will get blamed if a school decided to push it and a bus load of kids goes into a ditch… the bus drive will be drug tested and his/her life strung up for the world to see… someone on the internet somewhere will wish them a slow and cruel death… an administrator will either have to resign or will be fired… there will be a “FULL SCALE INVESTIGATION” that no one ever hears of again… all of which would have been avoided by a snow day.

 

 Sooo… I said all of that to say I did not weigh in this week… I took a snow day… now as to where I think I am? I think I broke even this week… with all the days I spent in the house with limited activity and unlimited access to my pantry well let’s just say the 3 days inside evened out the 4 days of being good 🙂 so I am back on track today.

 

  I did get in a little physical activity as you can see in the link here…  my daughter was laughing as I attempted to ride my bike for all of 60 second on a ice covered and snow packed street… I almost slipped a few times so I decided to get off. The funny thing is it will be back up to 70 degrees next week.

 

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  Here are a few pictures of my bike and the snow… and I will include some awesome shots my daughter did of the dogs… she does really well with the camera.

 

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louiii

budd

loui

buddy

 

 Today I will also put in layaway a camera for my bike I have wanted for a long time!! The Garmin Virb  link to the specs here… I like it better than the Go-Pro so once I get it paid for you can expect a few videos from time to time.

 

  Well there is a lot more on my mind but I think I will end this here… because I can ramble all day about nothing and who really wants to hear all that noise.

 

 

  Smile… a snow day can be Mother Nature’s way of just saying… “Chill out man!”

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Waiting for results…

                Well it’s once again Thursday and it is my weigh in day… I am was little apprehensive about that because I really did not feel like my scale at home  or at work had moved much this week. I had picked up my activity this week… getting in about 30 min or more of walking in each day, I did some work on my bike working the overpasses only about 12 miles but It was a good work out. Then on Tuesday I did a spin class for the first time in about 4 years or more. And let me tell you something about a spin class, you will see a lot of people roll their eyes and mock it… but I have never seen anyone do it and not walk away with an all new respect. This class is as hard or as easy as you can stand… although the bike is not like a traditional bicycle meaning you cannot stop and it will “coast” you are in control of the tension yourself. the instructor will make suggestions but it is up to you to increase or decrease your tension as needed.  But it is a 55 min cardio blast… your heart rate will be going… you will be drenched… and you will walk away with a new respect for the word “hover” just trust me lol.

                So with all that said I stood there in line at the meeting going over in my head everything I had eaten and trying to figure out what I could have done differently. Getting closer to my time to weigh in and get the news… the results of the weeks choices… and there I was… down 3 lbs this week! I was truly surprised and happy to hear it.

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                My weight loss goals are rather large for the year but at this rate I know I will make it… also I have a date in May that I want to have a good bit of it gone by because of the big ride I am training for. The weight is just as important as the training at this point. So I was very happy at the results I received.

                Well it is late… so I need to get in bed but I wanted to share this news and I hope all of you have an amazing weekend and stay safe.

 

   Smile… even when you doubt yourself… as long as you have done well the results will show it! 

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   The Hound and I went out for a quick ride yesterday… and just so you know the Hound is what I call my bike. I believe it is part greyhound and part bloodhound… not the fastest dog in the hunt, but once it gets the scent it never gives up. ok ok yeah I know you just rolled your eyes but I thought it was witty. I got the idea on one of the first rides I did on my bike, I was going along in a pace line and we passed a Greyhound bus stop sign, and I thought to myself. I’ll never be that fast on a bike because I am just not built that way, I always tell people I am just too stupid to quit. That was when I thought of the name for the bike… The Hound… I use a activity tracking web site slash app called Strava  (www.Strava.com) it is great for runners and cyclists helps you keep track of how you’re doing and also how anyone else in your area is doing. It gives you weekly, monthly and even yearly challenges. Well it even goes as far as ask you which bike your using by name… that was why I was trying to think of a name.  But anyway not that any of that matters lol… So I took the hound out yesterday and we hit the over passes, the wind was pretty rough and I just felt beat up. It is what happens when you are off the bike for so long and then you put on more weight than you are used to having. But after I was done it really felt great to feel that burn again, it’s like a love hate relationship, I love feeling like I have done something even if it is just a short ride… but on the other hand I hate how out of shape it makes me feel. But there is only one way to solve that… and that is to get back on more and more and get back in shape J.

 

 Tonight I will head to a spin class, 55 min of self inflicted torture, I know people who roll their eyes when you tell them you are going to a spin class. “You mean one of those classes you just sit on that bike for an hour? No thanks I’ll get a real work out and go lift weights…” haha I always laugh at that, spin class is no joke if you do it right.

 

 

 

  So I also thought I would share with you guys some pictures I took a little while back. I was looking for inspiration for a story I was working on during NaNoWriMo, I decided to walk down by a local park for a bit and then I noticed this fog rolling in and granted these are taken with my cell phone so not even close to being great pictures. I thought they were cool enough to share.

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Smile… though the fog may roll in… know that sooner or later the sun will come out again.

 

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We are all searching for answers… I do not care who you are or where you are from, how much money you have or how content with your life you think you are, we are all searching for answers. Sometimes I feel like it is in us pre-programmed by God, or by pond slime, maybe even our monkey DNA still looking for that perfect banana. But whatever your belief or disbelief is we are all still looking…

 

  In our search we listen to music and watch TV or movies, we drink, smoke, eat, practice, push, fight, love, hate, kill, destroy, build, fix, and create new problems in our search for the answers to the questions. Searching for the answer… but if we stop and ask ourselves what exactly are the questions half of the time we won’t even know. Sometimes there are specific things we think we want until we get them then we find they are not as cool as they were when we romanticized them in our head. We think if we could change that one thing… that all the other pieces will fall into place and we will be content… I’m sorry to say there is nothing in this world outside of ourselves that will make us content. We want to change the things around us and say if I could just stop this, or have this job, make this much more money, get that new car, find that one girl, get that cute guy, make that good grade… we are too short sighted for our own good… what we fail to see is that the new job has new and different, maybe even more responsibilities… more money always brings more tax, and we always spend it and wonder where it went so shortly we are again wishing to make more… the new car as shiny as it is now comes with debt, and higher insurance, and is not so new after a time and becomes neglected just like the rest until soon when it is not so new anymore you are left trying to figure out how to make the payment, wishing you had more money, and again wanting a new car… so there is a “girl” you want, that perfect girl, who has her own life and does not revolve around you and expects things from you and needs your time and oh wait, you mean it was not like in your head when she only came out of the “closet” to do your bidding and the disappeared until you needed her again? You mean she thinks and acts for herself and has needs that might not be just like yours… and then there is that cute guy, brilliant white toothed smile makes you weak in the knees. You do not notice the mark left by his wedding band that was removed when he left the house, you do not notice he marks on his knuckles from his temper, and you do not see the pain that follows behind him, you were blinded by a smile, now it is to late… you pray at night looking at your school books wishing for that good grade, why do you even need to know how many atoms are in a cheeseburger, why do I need to know why slavery is wrong, why do I care about what happened and 1782, who the hell knows why a + b = y, what you miss is the lesson of learning and growing, thinking outside of the realm of normal thought and learning new things, what your missing is the lesson of dedication and persistence, and how learning all this stuff will in some time maybe help you get the job, make more money, get that new car and snag that cute guy or girl… or maybe it will just let you find yourself. Maybe it will show you a variety of things you would have never learned on your own, a variety of subjects and disciplines and you find that one thing you’re really good at that you never would have touched because who cares what happened in the past…

 

  We are all looking in all the wrong places for all the wrong things… says the man who still looks outside of himself to make himself happy… I have no answers, or maybe I do, maybe we all have every answer it is that we are searching for… maybe we are just to chicken shit to look inside ourselves and find it… or maybe we know it and we are too scared to say it out loud because to do so would bring about a change we are scared of.

 

  Here is a girl who has looked inside herself and found a bunch of answers… I am sure this will lean more toward the female crowd but guys if your honest with yourselves there is a lot for you to learn here to… not only is what she says powerful but the way she gets it across is also amazing. I have become a fan… I hope you enjoyed my muddled thoughts above and the video of an amazing woman below…

 

  Smile… Life is giving you the answers to your questions everyday… you just have to accept them.

  Here is a link to her own youtube channel…  http://www.youtube.com/user/holliemcnish?feature=watch

 Well Football starts in about 40 min and my heart is not into it… my team was a train wreck this year and not only that but it seems the front office all the way up to the owner really are imploding. But fear not this is not a sports blog, I would never do that to you… ok I might at some point but right not is not that “some point”.  I have just finished watching a movie and had some time to kill and thought I would write a blog. It has been a while… so first let me do a quick update:

  1. I am still breathing
  2. I am still employed
  3. weight loss is going fairly well, down 10 lbs in 2.5 weeks and it is slowing now as it should… please before I get all the “2 lbs a week” comments about being un healthy, know that I just started back on watching my food again and being much, much more strict on what I eat. So as you know the weight seems to fall off the first week or so and then levels off to a normal amount of loss per the amount you need to lose.
  4. training? well ya see here is the thing… ok really I have gotten on my bike once, it was hard, and eye opening… and yes I will be doing a lot more.  Also I have an elliptical that I will be using 3 times or so a week, when I do not ride my bike. I try to get on it first thing in the morning… kinda to jump start my metabolism… and I will be checking with the gym (YMCA) i belong to and check their classes to see what they have available. I hear yoga is really good…  Just a thought… all the exercise in the world will not have you lose weight… it is only to make you fit to make you want to move more, I am not saying it will not help but if you do not control what you put in your mouth then it will not help. Sleep is important too… but anyway…

 

  so yes this blog is about nothing and everything… maybe I will purge a little… a bit about my thoughts and feelings from things I have seen and done over the past week… well like my weigh in at Weight Watchers, it went well. Not as good as I wished but I still lost about 2.8 lbs and I am ok with that. I am still kicking myself for letting go when I was so close last time. I like the meeting because they feel like a family, I mean people are happy to see you when you come they all ask about your week and really wish for your success. They share their ideas and triumphs and are there to help you and the other with their failures.  We give each other great ideas to help with our success and not just that but we are able to support each other in a way unlike any other family unit because we all understand. When we talk about points we get it… trying to explain to other what has take us so long to learn ourselves is not easy task… and then the “other” people always seem to have a story about a cousin or uncle or even themselves… “well (insert name here) lost 45 lbs. on the fatback and Cheetos diet in 2 months….” or  ” ya know I just read on the internet there is a new elixir made from the saliva of rare cave crawling wombat… man they say doctors unlocked that you can stuff your face all you want with just a few drops of this a day. You just cannot eat (insert food here) because you might poop yourself…” hahaha yeah no thanks… I will stick with what is healthy and what works.  I mean Weight Watchers is a diet only in name… because the definition of diet is:

 a :  food and drink regularly provided or consumed

b :  habitual nourishment

c :  the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason

d :  a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight

 (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diet)

so yes Weight Watchers teaches you in a unique way how to eat properly by assigning each food or combination of food a numeric value… which can change depending on what it is paired with and how it is cooked. But yeah enough about all of that… it is working again and now that I have my food on a good path it is time for me to get back on my bike and or back into the gym.

 I made into the Freewheelers group so I am able to get signed up for the Mt. Mitchell event before the end of the month. I have talked to a lot of people about this and about my equipment and how hard it is, but really what this is going to boil down to is me… just me. And well to be honest, I will finish this no matter what. I will hate it, I will wonder why I am there, I will doubt myself and get angry… but… once I am angry then I will finish.

 

 Other things I want to work on is finishing the story I started for the NaNo Wrimo project, that book really has some good potential and I really like it. I met some pretty interesting people while doing my research for new characters and it seems even made a few new friends. I am a firm believer you can never have enough friends and supporters. That is one aspect of my life I feel truly blessed. The friend base I have, between the writers, and cyclists, and other people who just like how contagious my excitement is, I am just blessed with as much support as anyone could ask for. It also seems like the good people that read my blog also are growing in number which is a surprise to me with the limited amount I actually blog. But you guys are all amazing for taking your time to read my random thoughts… Thank you all for your time and remember to love each other.

 

 

  Smile… if today was the worst day of your life… just think… tomorrow will be better. 

Coming Down and getting back up…

Today I finally took all my Christmas stuff down, I have been a bit under the weather but the cold Meds had kicked in and I wanted to take advantage of it and get some stuff done. So with a little work I got it all done. My son came by to help me get it all put up in the attic in my garage and with that another Christmas season gone. This is a pretty down time of the year for me… going from all the beautiful lights and garlands all over the house to none… my house is just as full as it was before Christmas I know that, but it just feels empty. On a side note to top it off my work has no holidays at all from here until April… ugh…

Now for the good part of my day, I went out to meet up with some cycling friends and other cyclists in my area. We had a challenge last year where we would ride to a brewery in Alaska… well ok only virtually… we would log our miles and email them in each week so that they could be added to a spread sheet that was sent out to the group. The total miles in the end needed to add up to the distance to the brewery. Having fun hitting virtual mile stones along the way. We really do have a good group of people to cycle with in this area… and not only are they super supportive of most things cycling related, but they are also a great support group for almost anything else as well. Well there were only 3 people that actually hit that mile stone of over 4 thousand miles this year. I myself only logged just over 3,600 it was a bit more than that but I was well off the mark. This year they picked a different route as well as a few different options, the first challenge is the mileage from a local bike shop here in town to a dock in California… that is over 2900 miles which is very doable. To add to that challenge you can then go up the coast to the space needle in Seattle Washington… and if you really want to take the challenge to its limits you can then come back home to NC from there… I have a feeling at least one person in our group will push to do that this year. For me I think I will try the Seattle mile stone. If I can do that I will be more than happy.

I did happen to Join a cycling group that is closer to the mountains though… with the hope that I can get some info on training for a big ride I plan on signing up for in February. The assault on MT. Mitchell, this will single handedly be the toughest one day ride I have ever attempted in my life. I am both excited and scared… but man with the people I have around me here all I need to do is but ask and I will have all the support I need. Now time to just get back on the bike…

I also did weigh in on Friday… it was disgusting and heart breaking. I have never had so much weight on my body. This will be a huge challenge and before myself I have put a soft goal of dropping 40-45 lbs before the Mt. Mitchell ride on May 19th. So well there it is… in the year of no promises I have set quite a few challenges for myself, but I know one thing… weather I complete the ride or drop every single pound, I know I have a good deal of support around me. And that alone makes it all worth it… for a change I am doing this for me, because honestly I am worth it… I am a pretty good person I think and for a change I need to get better for me…. oh and I also have to get off my butt and earn that expensive bike I bought last year as an upgrade lol 🙂

Well folks have a great week and keep warm it’s going to be cold outside.

Smile… it’s one of the most healing things you can do… and you can just hope it catches on

Apprehension…

Apprehension…

I signed back up for Weight Watchers today and I get to go and weigh in tonight. This will be the first time I see most of these people sense I did my beard challenge and video last summer. Where I lost over 45lbs and was doing awesome. ( Beard weight loss video )

Now I get to face them… with no doubt in my mind I am heavier now than I was when I started out way back when. A few things in mind though… I have done it once… so I know I can do it again. Secondly… these are truly amazing people in these meetings who have all had their ups and downs; many are life time members and have seen it all. So my apprehension may be for not… but it is still there.

For any of you who are doing the same thing as I am… who are trying to lose weight and make a change in your life regardless of what the change is. Lend me your ear for a moment. I want to plead with you… even beg if I have to; do not make any changes for someone else. Do not change anything in your life to make someone else happy, or to hopefully see a change in them. If you do this, and that person does not change, and what you hopped for does not happen the chances are great that it will all crash back down on you, except you won’t care because you will not see a point. Do this, whatever “this” might be… maybe it is smoking… or eating… or working out… no matter what it is… make the change for you. Be the change you want to see in the world… love yourself first the way you want others to love you. But always remember there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence.

As always I cram a ton of thoughts into a short little blog… so let me leave you with something else I decided to do today with a savings account I have… it’s called the 52 week Money challenge… what you decide to do with it will be up to you… me? I will use it to pay a big chunk out of a bill. Be it a few extra car payments… an extra mortgage payment… whatever it might be… if you’re wondering what this plan is here is a simple PDF you can print off…

https://www.affinityplus.org/Portals/0/Documents/Blog/52Week.pdf

well that is all for now… wish me luck tonight… I get to go back to the meeting and face the music… but once the music plays instead of putting my head down in shame I have decided to do something different. I am going to dance!!

Smile… even in failure a smile is reassurance you have learned something… and if you learn something it is not a failure after all. You only fail when you refuse to learn from your mistakes. I am sure some smart man somewhere has said something close to that…

(side note… I know I over use “…” but I am ok with that)

2014 The year of no promises…

I will not promise to be a better person…

I will not promise to lose weight…

I will not promise to change how I interact with my family…

I will not promise to save money…

I will not promise to manage vacation time…

I will not promise…

This year I refuse to make any promises in regards to changing myself… this is not a resolution… this is just a statement. By definition as promise is a statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future.

So let me explain… I am not a wizard, nor am I omnipotent, psychic, a fortune-teller, or a god in any form. I know there are a lot of things in this life that I would “like” to happen and honestly as much as I believe we are the masters of our own fate. I know that little in this life we truly have complete control of other than how we re-act to situations around us. Our feelings and emotions though influenced by others and out surroundings… are still ours and ours alone to control.

I would love to promise to get published, ride seven thousand miles, finish all my cycling goals, lose all the weight and have a 6 pack, get father of the year award, have my personal life work out all of its kinks, give more to those who need, and learn to cook something new. But what if in this blog I promise you all of those things… and tomorrow I get hit by a truck. I know a bit drastic… but a promise is really not good for much.

What I am going to do is quietly work to do all of those things I listed above. I will not make big big goals and put a ton of pressure on myself, I will not twist people’s arms and guilt them into helping me do this or that because it is what “I” want them to do or because “I” need their help. I will share my success with my friends, family and loved ones… and I will not have any defeats… because I will constantly be trying to improve. Minor setbacks maybe… but I have made no promises so I have nothing to apologize for… if I attempt a ride that I am unable to finish, well I have learned from it, a limitation that I can use as a tool to know what I need to work on… it is not a failure in any way. But a chance to learn and grow… if I have a week or two that I gain weight instead of lose I have not promised anyone that I will, because honestly my weight has nothing to do with anyone in this world but me. It’s my weight… my food… my activity… and if I have a bad week or two… then I will know again my limitations. I will not get mad or angry, I will simply move on.

2014 is going to be my year to better myself with less stress… a promise adds stress, it forces you to perform when you just might not want to. In the past I have used it as a tool to “force” myself to do things. And honestly it has worked many many times for me. But in the end when I meet the goal I promised, I slack off and whatever I worked hard to do is quickly undone because after my promised goal I just drift… this time it will be different.

So here is to 2014 and my year of less stress and less promises… I will be healthier and happier… I will accomplish amazing things… and I will uncomplicated the things in my life that make it more complicated. There is nothing and no one in this world you must have to live… no one person or thing you cannot live without… so the people and things you have in your life need to be there for your benefit and theirs. If they are crippling you and not making you better, lose it… if something is costing you more money than you see a benefit… lose it… If a club or organization is no longer fun and you no longer enjoy it quit. You have but one life to live, and I believe we have no set paths… you chose where you go, and there is an unlimited amount of choices. So do what you love and love what you do 😉 (I read that on a coffee cup but it fits).

This is my first blog of 2014… my blog of nothing… and of no promises 🙂

Smile… it relieves stress and makes you feel better… do you really need any other reasons?