Subscribe

Stitcher

Follow

Guess Who’s Still Fat?!

Asleep At The Wheel

11 years ago I took a job that I did not enjoy. I only worked there for six months before I chose to move on to something else. The shift seemed unbearable at the time.(because what single 20 year old wants to work 5a-530p on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at a place that's 40 minutes away?)

 

I was feeling a bit drowsy on the highway, but what I saw jolted me awake.

 

A young father that worked the same shift I did had fallen asleep and his vehicle eased into the next lane over. His van was crushed beneath an 18-wheeler in said lane. He was on his way home but he never made it. The next week we had a safety meeting at work where the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and recognizing possible impairment was stressed.

 

It is unsettling to think about how many times I was potentially asleep at the wheel.

 

I remember waking up parked in my driveway more than once. I was also known to dabble in waking up at a stop light to the sound of an angry driver behind me laying on their horn. There were times where I pulled over to try and nap or I would purchase something from a gas station to boost my energy for the drive home. This was some of the fuel on the "gonna find another job" fire.

I saw what happens when your mind is taken from what matters, and how much it could cost you when it goes bad. I knew that I didn't want that to happen to me. I was fat when this happened. I am still fat now.

 

I recently weighed myself after conveniently forgetting to for 6 weeks

 

The results were the opposite of good. Yep, you guessed it, they were bad. Six weeks ago I weighed 337lbs. My weight yesterday was 347lbs. I had fallen asleep at the wheel of life, moving over into the lane of fatness. Even though it was for a short period of time, more happened than I thought could.

When you are driving on the interstate, you will travel 20 feet over the course of ONE EYE BLINK. Life moves faster than we think, so if we nod off we may be risking more than we really perceive and usually won't recognize the possible damage until after the unthinkable has occurred.

I used to plan to tell an officer that I sneezed in order to get out of a 'crossing the center line' ticket if I ever got one. It's funny to realize young Mark thought that was a valid excuse for crossing the center lane. Whether it was a sneeze, a bunch of bees, or someone else taking control of the wheel, I would be in a bad position if I crossed over the center line on the interstate.

I have 3-5 excuses I planned on laying out in this article to ease the pain of my setback but I will toss them aside into the pit of "who cares". Excuses are still excuses, even if they are good. I might even have 100lbs worth of good excuses on my body at this very moment. It does not change the fact that I am slowly killing myself with all this weight. Excuses are ineffective when it comes to progress.

Have you ever found yourself 'asleep at the wheel' in your fatness journey?

 

I have been in this situation before but what makes it different this time is I didn't let 35lbs go by before I took a peek behind the curtain. I've been working hard, doing projects, sweating, and feeling good. That's when we start to let our guard down, when it's a beautiful summer day, windows down, tunes up, feeling good and enjoying some palm-surfing out the window. When you aren't being hurt too badly by your fatness you may forget how important it is to do something about it.

Some good news is  that I'm not gonna sweat this too much because the way I see it, detaching my fatness from my feelings is of high value. It reduces the amount of power the fatness has over my emotional state. However, it is good to take an objective look at progress, maybe feel a bit of disappointment with a hint of shame, and make the necessary changes to produce a desired outcome. So I know I gotta do something different so I can be something different later.

 

What's my plan?

 

This weigh-in was my vehicle easing into the other lane. Fortunately, I am waking up early enough to do something about it... but will I? I can say "yes of course always, priority numero uno, absolutely gonna kill it, totes mcgotes torch'n this barrel of biscuits bro". However, reassuring myself and others clearly hasn't been very effective at removing the fat from my body.

I plan on weighing every single day again, making the gym a priority, and cutting the carbs back. I've become too relaxed with tracking my food so clearly I need to press the reset button and tighten it up. I am open to ideas and suggestions for being more active in a way that is fun. I've considered going keto for a bit, but for some reason I don't feel inclined to do it. Perhaps it is just me realizing that I won't be able to adhere to it as much as I'd like to think.

Regardless of all that is written above, something needs to happen for me to do what I need to do... be less fat.

 

Have you fallen asleep at the wheel? If so, what do you plan to do about it?

 

- Mark

Please follow and like us:

How to burn more calories and not be so bored during cardio sessions

Disclaimer: I am just a normal person who has read some things and done some things. I am not a doctor or a certified trainer. I just have an opinion and some experience.

Boring…

One of my major issues with working out has been how bored I would get. Doing just 10 minutes on a treadmill was mental torture to me. No matter what I was watching or listening to while doing it. So how will I be able to make it through 30 minutes without changing how my brain works. Sure I could learn to push through it but boredom is my kryptonite so it would be really tough. Getting up at 5am is the easy part walking at the same pace from 5:15 – 5:25 is the hard part.

Enter HIIT

I needed a way to get past this or I would not ever hit my goals of losing weight. Because I would lose motivation really quickly. That is when I discovered HIIT. HIIT is High Intensity Interval Training and basically, it is varying your effort in intervals. You would work at a normal pace for a certain amount of time and then ramp it up for a certain amount of time and do that until your workout is complete.

I have found this to be a life saver and it has really changed the game for me as I am not bored while doing it because you have to pay attention to the clock and just as you are done with one thing you have to prepare for another. It just makes the time fly by. It also allows me to hit highs that I could not sustain so I can push myself a little more during the sprint sessions.

My Protocol

When I hit the gym, I hop on an elliptical and do the following protocol.

  1. Normal pace for 3:59 seconds. This is the time that I use to warm up a bit and get my electronics all set (fitbit, phone, headphones, heart rate monitor). My heart rate is about 120 – 135 here.
  2. At 4:00 I sprint for 30 seconds. If I am at a 5 on a normal pace, I am at about an 8 on the sprint. I am not trying to kill myself but I am trying to get my heart pumping much faster during this time. My heart rate is about 145 – 155 here.
  3. From 4:30 – 5:59, I am at a 5 again and lowering my heart rate.
  4. I then sprint on every even minute for 30 seconds. So 6 – 6:30, 8 – 8:30…
  5. I stop when I have hit my calorie goals for that workout. Which is 500 – 600 and takes me about 45 minutes. This will take longer as I lose more weight so that is why I pay attention to calories and not time.

45 minutes just screams by while I am doing this and I feel great afterward. It is also widely accepted that you calorie burn does not end when your workout ends.

Plus, just as your body burns fat for 24-48 hours after interval training, you’ll also burn more calories during the time post HIIT as well.

https://www.12minuteathlete.com/high-intensity-interval-training/

Do I have to go to the gym?

The beauty of HIIT is that you do not have to use any equipment to do it. You can do shadow boxing, burpees, running in place, jump rope, jog outside, swim. Basically any cardio that you can safely do for 20 – 45 minutes at a slow pace and a fast pace will work.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and burn those calories!

I have placed a table below that may help you (you can end at 20 or keep going if you are feeling good:

Time Mark Action
0:00 – 3:59 Normal pace
4:00 – 4:30 Work
4:31 – 5:59 Normal Pace
6:00 – 6:30 Work
6:31 – 7:59 Normal Pace
8:00 – 8:30 Work
8:31 – 9:59 Normal Pace
10:00 – 10:30 Work
10:31 – 11:59 Normal Pace
12:00 – 12:30 Work
12:31 – 13:59 Normal Pace
14:00 – 14:30 Work
14:31 – 15:59 Normal Pace
16:00 – 16:30 Work
16:31 – 17:59 Normal Pace
18:00 – 18:30 Work
18:31 – 19:59 Normal Pace

Please follow and like us:

When the scale is not being your friend

The expectation

Last week was week 2 of my effort to lose around 80 lbs. Week 1 was great, I lost 4.5 lbs and I thought that I could probably lose another 3 lbs in week 2. I did everything correctly. I kept my calories in check and averaged about 1800 per day. I also did 2 workouts a day averaging about 800 cals burned (500 in the morning and 300 in the evening).

The math

So assuming that my TDEE (https://tdeecalculator.net) is 2312 and I am eating 1800, I should have a 3500 calorie deficit from eating alone. If we add in 800 cal workouts each day, I will be at a 9100 calorie deficit ((7 * 800) + 3500 = 9100.). We know that a 3500 calorie deficit should equal one pound of weight loss. So I should be roughly 3 pounds lighter when I hit the scale.

The reality

I stepped up on my scale after that great week of hitting it hard and found that I had only lost 1lb. I was expecting to weigh around 271.5 but saw 273.5. Sure. I was happy that I lost a pound but I will admit that I was pretty disappointed. Even 2 pounds would have been nice. What do I have to do to lose this weight?

The response

There are 3 ways that I can respond to this.

I could change my diet and try a low carb or clean eating diet. I could also lower my calories. I really can’t add too much more exercise because I am about at the time limit that I can take without sacrificing work and family life. This is something that I have done many times in the past and I think we know how that turned out.

I could just quit… Perhaps I am just destined to be fat? This is something else that I would have done in the past. But when I start all over again in a few months or next new years, I will probably wish that I just kept going.

I can push through and keep going. This is probably the last thing that any of us want to do. But it is the best thing given that the math is supposed to work out and it is something that I feel that I can stick to for a long time. I could eat healthier and I will eventually but the best diet is the one that you can stick to and this is mine, for now.

Final thoughts

The fact is that we just can’t predict how our bodies are going to respond each week to our workload and food intake. All we can control is how much and what we eat and how much we workout. 80lbs didn’t just magically appear and it will not just magically disappear. We just have to know that we are doing the right thing and keep going. I can almost guarantee that I will look back at this in a few months and be very happy that I did not give up or make any snap decisions. So we will see in a few weeks how this is going and if it doesn’t change by then I will make a decision on where to go next. But I need to give it time.

Please follow and like us:

Fat Leading The Fat: The Blame Game Is Just Plain Lame, Dane!

My daughter approached me earlier today and asked me to fix her toy. This newly acquired toy is a blonde Barbie (real original, right?) with a white horse. The horse sports a pink rubber saddle that Barbie can be placed on. The reason I was mandatorily-volunteered to 'repair' this equestrian play-thing was that Barbie would not remain seated while my daughter played with her. I was able to refrain from scolding Barbie for being so rude while I tried to decode the leg-straps I just discovered in that moment.

Hunched over, I frustratingly manipulating my own fingertips as if they were a couple of nineteenth century surgical robots. My daughter repeatedly sighed while muttering "I just don't know". She also began to pace like a mother waiting on the results of her child's surgery. FYI: I hate performing tiny tasks that aren't raised to a pleasant working height with adequate lighting. The feeling of curling over, hunching down, and having both hands work closely together undoubtedly annoys me. That being said, I did resolve the issue by placing Barbie onto the saddle with her legs snugly held by the straps.

I was feeling a bit vindictive. My daughter obviously didn't feel the gravity of the situation as intensely has she had communicated with her words, sounds, and her actions. This annoyed me during and after the 'repair'. She learns this behavior from my beautiful, wonderful, amazing, and only sometimes dramatic wife. That's not to say that my daughter doesn't exhibit bad behaviors from me, but for some reason whenever anything can be my wife's fault, I go with that option. I lovingly texted my wife the following:

I ALWAYS take advantage of the opportunity to blame someone else or something else, especially my wife.

For the record, my wife wasn't feeling well that day. She had some episodes of mild nausea and a husband who sometimes forgets to stop pointing fingers. Any disappointed noises she made that day were because of this.

People reliably look for someone or something to blame whenever there is a problem. It absolves us of responsibility and of guilt. In regards to weightloss, I have historically blamed stress, workloads, my home environment, timing, the alignment of the planets, pizza, genetics, holidays, family, commercialism, hallmark, you name it and I blamed it!

Blaming externally instead of taking responsibility steals from you your individual sovereignty and the potential for an upgrade to your internal software. Every time we fail, take responsibility, and learn from it we are essentially writing a patch for our internal software. Some of us unfortunately never make it past version 1.0.

Something I have been making a point to attempt do in the last few years is recognize what is my fault and taking responsibility for my choices and actions.

I urge all of us on this journey for self-improvement to toss blame out of the window and swallow a big heaping helping of responsibility. I am where I am because of the person I've chosen to be, and even though it is not bad it could certainly be better. My next major 'patch' needs to be a physically healthy version of me.

So I say everyone, especially in today's hyperbolic and hyper-sensitive culture, should make an effort to take personal responsibility over themselves, identify failures, and write a new patch so they can develop a better version of themselves.

....Or we could continue on, wear down our floors, and possibly die early. Who knows. I at least want to spend a some amount of time being a healthy weight to see what all of the fuss is about.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Happy Losing!

- Mark

Please follow and like us:

Fat Leading The Fat: The gadgets are optional, focus on the mind first.

I have been guilty of waiting to get a new gadget to start getting in shape. This has happened with FitBits and other items. I would think that if I had X gadget then that would be the thing that would help me lose this weight.

Well, we all know how that turned out 🙂

I think the same can be said for equipment in general. The fact is that no equipment or gadgets will make you do anything (How many treadmills have become clothes hangers?). Only your brain can make you do things and that is where your focus should be for the first few weeks.

Take this for what it is worth because this is the fat leading the fat but I have many attempts under my belt and all have failed because I was dealing with other issues. Near the end of last year, I finally addressed my issues with my doctor. They were pretty low level ADD kind of things but I realized that I was jumping from one thing to another and would get bored quickly. 10 minutes on a treadmill was torture. I have gotten some help with that and now I can go 45 minutes on the treadmill with no problem.

So if you are thinking that a device will save you, I would just think again. Start doing things without the device. Do it for a few weeks to make it a habit and then get the device to supplement your workouts or diet regimen.

I believe that this will help you stick to it much longer when you know that you control your destiny and does not rely on anything else but you.

Now stop being a fatty and work out at home with no equipment. Check youtube videos with routines in them. Do this for two weeks and be proud. Then once you know that this is your life from now on get some help with hear rate monitors  and FitBits.

-Shane

P.S. This article comes to mind: https://www.today.com/health/fitness-band-frustration-users-complain-weight-gain-trackers-t66146

Please follow and like us: