Sunday, October 31, 2010

I’ve Never Been Prouder of a Weight Gain

Weekly weigh-in: 216.1
Loss: +1.7
Total loss: -75.9
Emotion: On the rise... in more than one way.

First off… an apology.

There have been times when I’ve been less than understanding about folks’ failure to get the job done on this weight-loss journey.

In my mind, it was always just a matter of doing it or not doing it. I never had time to listen to excuses.

In case you haven’t checked in in a bit (and just where the hell do you think you’ve been?), my wife Anita suffered a detached retina on her only functional eyeball and had to undergo emergency surgery. After that, she’s been blind and bedridden for a couple of weeks, with a couple of doctor appointments (and some additional laser surgery) thrown into the mix.

Anyway, I discovered what single parents and people nursing an ill family member already know: life is tough! (I also learned that you can’t do a week’s worth of laundry in one load, even though all the clothes will “technically” fit into the machine).

Truthfully, I don’t know how some of you do it. By the time I got home from work, got everyone fed and got everything that needed done done, I barely had enough left in the tank to brush my teeth, much less contemplate a workout.

What’s worse, as my activity waned, my appetite seemed to swell. I felt the tug of old bad habits, and relearned what a miserable dining partner stress tends to be.

And to top it all off, my little activity monitor went missing. I underestimated how much logging my caloric burn kept me moving over the course of a day.

I peeked at the scale one morning and cringed when I saw that I was over 220. Clearly, things were going in the wrong direction…

Then one day, Anita called the office and told me that a friend was stopping by for lunch. She encouraged me to go get a lunchtime workout in.

I went in, even though my heart wasn’t much in it.

But a funny thing happens when the sweat starts to pour:  the headaches that may be stressing you out may still be around, but somehow managing them don’t seem so… unmanageable.

My activity monitor turned up in the dryer that night. It had survived who-knows-how-long in heavy-duty heat and spinning out of control, yet it was still okay, still working.

Same goes for me.


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Saturday, October 30, 2010

You've Got To Hide Your Lard Away

Welcome to "Same Old Sh*t" Saturday, where I used to re-post some of my best posts until I ran out of posts that were worth a crap, so I decided to invite some of my other blogging buddies to share their favorite repeats from their own blogs. Today's entry is from Shauna Reid (better known as the amazing Dietgirl). She's a fantastic communicator and a true inspiration. Check her site out.

I had this brainwave to make a wee photo album for my sister of all travels. We came to Scotland together in 2003 on a working holiday visa, where the idea is to work work work then see as much of Europe as you can before your visa and/or money runs out.

I poked through a gazillion folders trying to find pictures of us in front of famous landmarks but it was slim pickings, folks. Take the first ever trip we did, a long weekend in Paris. I was so excited to finally be off the couch and seeing the world, but wasn't bold enough to want photographic evidence of this newfound adventurousness. Every time I got the camera out I'd think, My hair sucks. I need a new bra. My head is enormous. My body is revolting. And it was hot and my face was red so I told myself, I'll just come back here some day when I'm smaller and better dressed.
 
So all I have are a few dodgy shots with my noggin lurking in a corner.

Paris
Even as I lost more weight I still kept hiding. On the rare occasions I let Rhiannon take my picture, I'd bark orders, "Make sure I'm just in the corner! Don't go below the waist! Actually, don't go below the chin!" Or I'd try to hide my body behind statues or trees or sunglasses or hats.

We went on a tour of Russia and Scandinavia in 2004 and I nearly keeled over from Photophobia. Every seven seconds in front of another church or museum someone would shout, "GROUP SHOT!" I'd fight my way to the back row and hide behind the tallest bloke. So despite having been desperate to see Russia my whole life, I only have two fuzzy, barely-recognisable pieces of photographic evidence that I ever went there.
Hiding
I would love to go back in time and kick my own arse. DUDE! Why didn't you just GET IN THE STINKING PICTURES!? These were once in a lifetime experiences! Sure I looked like hell while travelling, but most people do, especially when you're on a budget.


I know I have the memories in my head, but there's something special about having a souvenir photo on your desktop or mantelpiece. I'd kill to have a decent shot of Rhiannon and I together in Red Square or Reykjavik. We worked long and hard to afford those trips so it's sad not have captured the euphoria and relief on our faces when we finally got there. But at the time it didn't feel like I'd be collecting memories, I just thought I'd be documenting FAT FAT FAT!

My favourite picture from our travels is this one from Estonia in 2004, that Rhiannon took without my knowledge. I look like a clown but I'm clearly not thinking about the fact my jeans were a snug size 18. I'm just thinking, "WOOHOO. Life is a hoot."

Every time I look at it, my resolve is strengthened to just jump into photos then laugh if they turn out dodgy. I'd rather have a dodgy photo of a happy moment than no photo at all. Half the joy is looking back and sniggering at your bad haircuts and questionable taste in fashion. I no longer say "I'll come back another day when I'm skinny", because the moment is already happening... right then and there!

So this is a call to any fellow Photophobes out there. Don't scream! Don't hide! Don't put yourself in a  corner! After all, you don't have to post the pictures on the bloody internet. They can gather dust on your hard drive, ready to make you smile and spark your memory when you're old and grey.


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Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally... a DirectLife Winner!


A few days ago, I ran a contest giving away a Philips DirectLife activity monitor with subscription to a reader who could most passionately communicate their desire for said device. DirectLife Junior Market Intelligence Analyst Antonio Galván Puente took his own sweet time in judging the entries, however I'll cut him some slack since I didn't really tell him I was going to make him judge it.

Dear Jack,

I hope this email finds you doing well. First of all, at DirectLife we are really happy to have read all this stories.

Together with coach José (http://blog.directlife.philips.com/coach-jose/) and coach Jen we went through the posts.

Looking at the benefits of our program (http://www.directlife.philips.com/benefits/) we were really happy to see stories matching the kind of user DirectLife is designed for.

We have chosen this post for this competition, but please feel free to organize two more competitions in the remaining of 2010:

Dear Directlife Junior Market Intelligence Analyst Antonio Galvan Puente-
I am a nurse. Let me clarify I am a fat emergency room nurse. Do you know how hard it is to help someone change their life when they are looking at you thinking "Yeah I'll quit smoking those cigs when you lose some weight tubby". Plus I don't get to pee during my 12 hour shift let alone figure out how much physical activity I am doing. I know lots of nurses secretly wonder how many calories we are burning giving shots in the butt. Just think not only would you be helping me but maybe hundreds no thousands of people. They will look at at that healthy fit nurse giving them discharge instructions and think "Maybe if she can do it so can I". 

Active regards from the DirectLife team, Jack!

Antonio.
______________________________________________

Antonio Galván Puente
Junior Market Intelligence Analyst



So Jessica, email me your shipping info and claim your DirectLife activity monitor.

 

Ways Being Overweight Is Like Halloween

  • You ought to be more scared of it than you actually are

  • You keep a bunch of candy around the house “for the kids”

  • They don’t make the best clothes in your size

  • You detest folks that insist on offering you healthy treats

  • Sometimes you get creeped out when you catch your reflection in the mirror

  • Your children get a lot more exercise than you do

  • Feel as though you’re wearing a bulky costume

  • Can’t walk around the block without stopping at every house and asking for food

  • When you get dressed up, people think you look frightening

  • Insert your own “goblin” joke here
  • You often steal food from your children

  • You want to hide your face

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Send in the Pounds


video
I'm sorry, Judy Collins


Isn't it rich?
Chocolate éclair.
Sitting there right on my plate.
It’s so unfair,
That it raises the pounds.

Isn’t it bliss?
Maybe just one more bite.
Even though eating like this,
Put me in this plight?
I want to lose pounds.
Here come more pounds.

I thought I had stopped,
Thought I was strong.
Finally understanding what happens
When you eat wrong.

Snacking my stress again
With my usual snacks.
Sure is getting tight,
In the back of my slacks. 

Don't you love fudge?
I do, I fear.
I thought I’d wash it all down 
With a 6-pack of beer.

But where are the pounds?
Quick, send in the pounds.
Don’t bother… they’re here.
 
Ain’t it a b*tch?
Ain’t it a riot?
Losing my way again this
Late in my diet?

And where are the pounds?
There should be less pounds.
Well, maybe next week...



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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

I still like my blog, but I’ll be the first to admit that something’s missing these days.

Last year, I had an amazing run of weekly weigh-ins and felt as though there were some sort of magic, manic energy that infused the site.

Now that I’m thisclose to my goal weight, the intensity isn’t always there. I still want to lose weight… still want to get fit… but it doesn’t seem to be the driving force behind what I do each day.

Please don’t misunderstand me: I’m happy to no longer be obese, no longer be overweight, but…

Well, actions speak louder than words.

I want someone else to lose weight on Jack Sh*t, Gettin’ Fit.

I want someone who’s having trouble getting it done on their own to share their journey with me.

I want to be the Bodfather.

I’ve already tried it with a couple of individuals, just sharing email encouragement and support. However, it petered out in both cases because I think I made it too easy for them to blow it off.

This time… this time it’ll be a Family affair. I want to share someone’s journey with the folks that hang out over here.

Here’s how it would work: you email me at jacksh.tgettinfit(at)gmail(dot)com and express your interest. If we can agree on some basic rules, I’ll train the JSGF spotlight on you and let you share the support and encouragement of some of the most fantastic readers you could ever hope to find.

Make no mistake; it won’t be easy. I can be a very demanding goombah, and I’m gonna make you share your weight, your measurements, your photos, everything. And I'm going to stay after you like nobody's business.

We’ll celebrate with you as you reach every milestone and we will help you to your feet whenever you stumble. I don’t have any silver bullets for you, but I’ll be in your corner every round.

That’s the carrot, and here’s the stick: if you quit on me, well… if I told you what I’m going to do to you in that event, I’d have to kill you.

Weight loss is the Family business, and I’d like to be your Bodfather.




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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

At Home With Jack & Anita

For those just tuning in, Jack’s wife Anita recently suffered a detached retina in her only good eye and underwent emergency eye surgery. She’s currently wrapping up a weeklong recovery period where she must remain in bed on her side, completely blind. She’s also suffering the handicap of being married to Jack…


“Jack?” moaned Anita from the bed. “Can you get me some tea, please?”

“Just a minute,” I replied, tapping away on my laptop keyboard. “Let me finish this train of thought.”

“Last time you said that, I didn’t hear back from you for three hours.”

“What can I say?” I said, clacking away. “It was a long train.”

“Well,” sighed Anita. “What are you working on that’s so important?”

Cough blog cough…”

“You realize that you don’t get paid for that thing, don’t you?” she asked.

“Well,” I replied defensively. “Not in money…”

“What do you get paid in?”

“Ummm… ‘not money’… and plenty of it.”

“I just don’t see what you get out of all the work you put into it…”

“Ouch!” I gasped.

“What’s wrong?”

“Owwwww…” I grimaced. “Bit my lip.”

“How’d you…” started Anita. “O h, I know… you were gonna say ‘Well, you can’t see anything right now’”.

“No I wasn’t,” I declared innocently. “I was gonna say… okay, yes I was.”

“It’s a good thing you didn’t, Jack.”

“I know.”

“What do you get out of it, anyway?” she asked.

“I feel like I’m helping people, keeping their focus on their weight loss journey,” I replied. “Lightening their load a little. Providing some good, useful information.”

“Okay,” she said. “Read me what you wrote there.”

“Ummm,” I stammered. “Well, some posts are more informative than others.”

“What’s it called?” she demanded.

“Ummm… Jacksey Shore.”

“Oh no…” she sighed.

“By the way,” I said. “Could you start calling me The Sh*tuation from now on?”






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Monday, October 25, 2010

Learn from My Mistakes…

  • For some reason, almost all overweight African-American women get upset when you call them “Precious”
  • Only one person to a treadmill at the gym
  • It doesn’t help to get salad dressing on the side if you get three cups of it and use it all
  • All your clothes didn’t suddenly shrink in the wash
  • Brushing your teeth with Dr. Pepper isn’t such a good idea
  • A caramel apple a day doesn’t necessarily keep the doctor away
  • If you eat a meal replacement bar, you need to NOT eat a meal
  • There is no such thing as one bite of movie theater popcorn
  • Fun-size candy bars = No-fun-size thighs
  • A good running shoe can help you lose weight instantly… in your wallet
  • It’s not a good idea to skip breakfast… unless you’re planning on having a giant plate of s’mores
  • There is no place on the Emergency Room medical form to check off for “kettlebell knee”
  • Wheatgrass is a superfood; Laffy Taffy is not
  • Personal trainers generally don’t like to be paid with a bucket of loose change
  • Playing Bejeweled for eight hours is not the same as sleeping for eight hours
  • You’re probably supposed to eat 2,000 calories per day, not 20,000
  • Free samples aren’t necessarily free
  • Most employers don’t recognize a “Vitamin D break,” so I guess you need to take up smoking in order to get a little sunlight during the day
  • Even though it looks dorky, it’s probably better to use proper hand signals when biking than simply waving your arms around in all directions like a crazy person






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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blindsided




Weekly weigh-in: *****
Loss: ****
Total loss: -****
Emotion: < Using my "Get Out of Weigh-in Free" card >

Life.

Stupid, meddlesome, jump-up-and-bite-ya-in-the-ass life.

Don't you hate it when events conspire to send you reeling off the straight-and-narrow?

Sometime Monday night, my wife Anita suffered a detached retina and we had to rush her in for emergency eye surgery.

Sounds bad, huh? The really scary part of the story is that Anita is already blind in the other eye. She's driving without a spare, so you can imagine how high tension's were running.

After sitting around and fretting for about six hours, they finally wheeled her back and fixed her up.

The good news is that everything went as well as it could go. The bad news is that she has to lie on her side - as immobile as possible - for a week.

So... no plan this week except to get through this week. No working out, no wringing sweat, no weighing in. This week wasn't about... couldn't be about ...  me and my journey.

This is a long, long road and there will be detours a'plenty along the way. Any frustration I might feel goes up in smoke as I look out of the two good eyeballs that I so often take for granted.


Sometimes I get tunnel-visioned and think that my whole world is this fitness quest.

This week? It was... er... an eye-opener.





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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Impossible Butterfly

Welcome to "Same Old Sh*t" Saturday, which is now transitioning into a completely different kind of "Same Old Sh*t". Instead of re-posting my own older work, I'm asking some other bloggers to re-post their own favorite posts. I've always enjoyed Journey Beyond Survival's unique perspective on the struggles we're all dealing with... plus, she makes me laugh (and who doesn't appreciate a good laugh every now and again?).


"Don't step on it!" Beansprout yelled.

I just about peed my pants, but obliged. Beansprout has become the Keeper of the Catepillars. When I was out gardening in my beautiful flower bed, he just about drove me crazy. Punctuated with the occasional, "LOOK OUT" my afternoon was peaceful, getting in my last annuals and stepping back to survey the fabulousness every so often.

I even learned to capitalize on his exuberance.

"Yo Beansprout!" I point my spade. "Your friend there is eating my plants!  You better get him off my plants!"

The lovely little boy would oblige!  Worked every single time.  He never got tired of it, and I should know because I tried it a lot of times. He was vigilant in taking care of those plants catepillars.

Why am I telling you this?  I should post this on my personal blog right?  Of course. But the reason I bring that up is this:  he was vigilant!

He attempted the impossible.

You know and I know that taking care of all the catepillars everywhere is impossible. No. This is not a continuation of the philosophical questions that we talked about. This is about Beansprout attacking the insurmountable with a vengeance. You know what?

He convinced me.

Every plant of mine was stripped of every caterpillar in my sight. They probly did get scared of me and just shifted with my perspective. But, Beansprout did 90% of the impossible. Awesome, no? Nothing is impossible.

However, Beansprout became complacent. NO. I did not make my poor son sit outside all day and night plucking away the caterpillars off my flowers. He became complacent when he took ownership of one and put it in a jar. I do the exact same thing when I'm happy and confident with where I am BEFORE I've reach my goals.

I warned him. I warned Beansprout to put fresh leaves in there. Caterpillars can't eat potpourri, ya know. I tilted it speculatively each day and said, "He's gonna DIE. You gotta get him more leaves!" But he never did a thing. Just seemed happy that the darn thing wasn't getting into any trouble in there. On display and in control. I knew it was doomed. One day I didn't even move the jar. No butterfly from that dehydrated worm.

Hubbend looked at it that evening. He evaluated it. I said, "If ya hafta shake it, the odds aren't good."
So sad. Lesson learned. Do not get overconfident. Crash and burn is possible.  Poor Beansprout. Poor us 'cause we have to tell him. Poor bingeing JourneyBeyondSurvival. Can't handle real life or losing weight anymore because she is happy and satisfied at 194 pounds. Twenty eight pounds lost and I felt like a winner.

Ha ha. Funny joke's on me. I think I'll go buy another small mint oreo blizzard and a bag of 24 mini krispy kreme crueller donuts.

But you know what happened? Today, as Hubbend was heading outside to dump out the dried mess in of the jar the stinking caterpillar MOVED. That's right. It was alive. It hung out all scared and conserving strength as the world around it decayed. But when it mattered, that thing got going. Hubbend took it out reverently and dumped it in the grass.

There is no way that poor thing is going to grow up in this house. No metamorphosis in the dessert in the jar. So, we changed the situation and gave it a better chance. In a few days - I'm sure as far away from here as possible–there will be a great change taking place.

There will be the emergence of the Impossible Butterfly.

You and ME on the other side of our goals.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Do the Opposite of What I Say


I don’t know why, but it’s easier for me to write stuff that’s the absolute opposite of what you should be doing than just continue preaching to the choir.

  • Treat working out like a job; call in and pretend to be sick when you don’t feel like going.
  • When you order a piece of cake, remember to ask for the frosting on the side.
  • Try not to drink more than one beer at a time.
  • Sex can burn over 300 calories per hour, so try to have at least six hours of it a day.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the fitness equipment; the worst that can happen is that you look foolish… or the weights fall while you’re doing chest presses and you crush your larynx.
  • Interval training is a great way to build up your stamina, so run one step, walk one step, run one step, walk one step….
  • Regular kettlebells are kind of heavy, so you should probably start off with inflatable kettlebells.
  • A slice of cake is kind of high in calories, but they don’t specify how big the slice can be. Go crazy!
  • It’s important to get plenty of sleep every day… at least that’s what you should tell your boss when he catches you napping in your cubicle.
  • Calcium is important to maintain bone density so try to drink a glass of milk or blue cheese dressing every day.
  • The baristas at Starbucks will tell you the nutritional information of your favorite coffee drinks if you ask, so for God’s sake–don’t ask!
  • Each day, try to work in 3-4 servings of fresh fruit or fruit-flavored candy.
  • Drinking water is a key component to weight loss, so try to drink at least a gallon while you’re swimming laps.
  • Blogging is important to maintain accountability; if you haven’t got time to create new content, just copy and paste some from somebody else’s blog.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Uncle Sam Wants You… to Eat Some Cereal

I tend to be a “rut” eater, especially at breakfast and lunch. I don’t want to think about it, worry about it and work too hard at it. So I wind up eating the same thing over and over and over.

Then somebody offered to send me a sample box of Uncle Sam cereal. I told her to bring it on, even though I remember being freaked out by that creepy old man on the front of the box.

She assured me the box had no creepy old man on it, but I think the delivery guy shared my worries because he did a number on the box. 

As it turns out, I was thinking about King Vitamin. Man, that dude just makes me want to go check the sex offender records…


So… since I had no creepy old man issues, I decided it was okay to take Uncle Sam for a test drive.

My original idea was to do a compare-and-contrast/fight-to-the-death contest between Uncle Sam cereal and Count Chocula. How awesome would that be? Old man vs vampire; it’s the kind of bold thinking that could help this blog turn the corner and finally get the movie deal I’ve been seeking for so long.

However, I couldn’t find any Count Chocula at the store near my office. The best one I found was Honey Smacks with Dig'em the Frog, but frog versus non-vampire? Bleech!

So I’m just going to slog forward with a regular old review. Grab a pillow and be prepared to be bored out of your gourd…

Uncle Sam is low in saturated fat and sodium, and very low in cholesterol. It’s a good source of dietary fiber, niacin, Vitamin B6 and magnesium, and has loads of Vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, manganese and Celine Dion (or maybe it was selenium).
Each flake is made up of one whole grain of wheat, and it’s absolutely loaded with flaxseed. This crap is heartier than Grizzly Adams.




I read this on the box: “Individuals controlling caloric intake to promote weight loss or weight maintenance can benefit from including Uncle Sam cereal at breakfast, as a topping for yogurt or cottage cheese, or sprinkled on salads because it packs a high amount of nutrients for very few calories. Also, the high fiber, low sugar ratio, in combination with the omega-3 fatty acids, makes it very satisfying.”

Kinda wordy, Uncle Sam. If you weren’t so verbose, there’d be room on the back for a fun maze or something.

I piled my bowl up with cereal, then added milk, fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries and it made for a very filling and tasty lunch.

One note: you gotta shake, shake, shake the box or else the flaxseeds settle at the bottom. That’s okay, I like shaking stuff.



I’m really sorry I couldn’t make the Count Chocula vs. Uncle Sam thing work. I think it would have been spectacular.

Count Chocula: Curse you and your old man smell, Uncle Sam!
Uncle Sam: I’ve got the power of the United States of America coursing through my veins, you Transylvanian trashbag. Plus flaxseeds!



My rating: 1 million stars

Uncle Sam cereal is made by U.S. Mills and is available on the cereal aisle of stores that sell cereal.
 

Uncle Sh*t Giveaway: I'm thinking of a number between one and one hundred. First one to guess (in the comments) wins a free box of Uncle Sam cereal.




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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Just a Blog

video


Boy:
Wow! This sure is a crappy little waste of internet real estate. But I wonder who’s this sad little scrap of nonsense?

Blog:

I'm just a blog.


Yes, I'm only a blog.

And I'm sittin’ here like a bump on a log.

Well, it’s a long, long journey

To your weight loss goals.
It’s a long, long wait

With a bunch of other lost souls.

But I know I’ll be at goal someday.

At least I hope and pray I will, dawg,

But today I am still just a blog.


Boy: Gee, Blog, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.

Blog: Well I got this far. When I started, I didn’t even have a single follower. I was just an idea. The person that started me decided he wanted to make a positive change in his life, and said, “You know, maybe I should write a blog myself.” Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to the internet. And I became a blog, and I'll remain a blog until I get to goal… and maybe even longer.

I'm just a blog
Yes I'm only a blog,

But I’m loyal as a loyal hound dog.
But I was stuck in a body

That was way too rotund.

And found that livin’ life obese
Just ain’t any fun.
It’s time to get my bad self in check

How I pray that I will, dawg,
But keep in mind that I’m just a blog.

Boy: Look at all those encouraging comments! Is all that discussion and debate about you?

Blog: Yeah, I'm one of the lucky ones. Some blogs never attract very much attention. I hope it keeps the motivation revved up, otherwise I might diet.

Boy: Do you mean “die”?

Blog: I meant “diet”, dumbass. This is a weight-loss blog, after all.

Boy: What happens now?

Blog: Well, I weigh in, and then the whole thing starts all over again.

Boy: Oh no!

Blog: Oh yes!

I'm just a blog.

Yes, I'm only a blog.
But I’m comin’ in from outta the fog. 

Well, now I’m off for my work out

With my personal trainer.
My iPod blaring “I Will Survive”

By Gloria Gaynor.
If I keep it up,
I’ll soon be at goal.
How I hope and pray I will, dawg,

But today I am still just a blog.


Boy:
You mean even if you blog every single day, you still might not get at goal?

Blog: Yes, that's called Goofing Around. If you blog but don’t get serious about the journey you’re on, then it’s just wasting everybody’s time.

Blog: Wow, I didn’t realize there was so much to getting fit. It's not easy to get to goal, is it?

Blog: No!

But how I hope and I pray I will, dawg,

But today I am still just a blog.


Scale:
He just weighed in, Blog! Now you're at goal!

Blog: Oh yes!!!



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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Livin' the DirectLife (Pssst... Here's Your Chance to Win)


Surely you already know this (and sorry to call you Shirley), but I've been carrying around a little Philips DirectLife activity monitor in my pocket for months. It tells me if (I mean, when) I've met my daily activity goals and it allows DirectLife Coach Jen to always know exactly where I am and what I'm doing (I'm just assuming that part). Along my journey with my little DirectLife doodad, I've made a lot of friends...

Dear Jack,

I hope this email finds you doing well. This is Antonio Galván from the DirectLife marketing department. I just wanted to check in to see how you are doing and how things with your DirectLife programs are progressing?

What are your thoughts? How do you like it so far? Don’t hesitate to let me know if I can do anything to enhance your experience as a blogger participating in the DirectLife program.
 

Active regards,
Antonio.



Well, if it isn't DirectLife Junior Market Intelligence Analyst Antonio Galván Puente. Isn't it about time you got a promotion anyway? I bet all the other Market Intelligence Analysts give you the business about that “Junior” part.

Some dude wants to send me a free Gruve montior to take on a test drive, but I don't know. I'm passionately in like with DirectLife Coach Jen, and you’ve always been a good guy, too (not like that bastard DirectLife Coach José... oh, I hate him so...). What do you think I oughta do? I mean, you know I'm partial to the Philips gizmo, but you gotta admit that “Gruve” is a better name. Why didn't you guys let me name the activity monitor anyway?

I do have one question you might be able to answer for me:  I'm in the process of changing to a new laptop (it’s a long story, but suffice it to say that bathtub blogging is no longer permitted in the Sh*t household), and my new machine doesn't recognize the activity monitor when I plug it into the USB drive. Did I get a CD when I received it or did I download it from your site? Are you interested in buying my old laptop; it still works perfectly fine (except for the occasional spark or two).

I hope you’re doing well, too, Junior Market Intelligence Analyst Antonio Galván Puente. My best wishes to you and your lovely wife Rosa and your kids Petey and Joanna (I'm totally guessing on all this family stuff, but that's really something if it turns out I'm right, huh?)

Take care,

Jack


Dear Jack,

Thanks for your answer. I have forwarded the question regarding your new laptop to our Support team and I am sure they will have the right answer.

The family guess is indeed close to reality Jack ;)


Active regards,
Antonio.


Dear DirectLife Junior Market Intelligence Analyst Antonio Galván Puente,

Twenty minutes ago, the hotshots from Philips Tech Support actually busted through my skylight, rappelled down and reloaded the DirectLife software on my new laptop (they said to send you the bill for the busted skylight).

I knew I was close on the family stuff; I've been seeing a psychiatrist for a couple of years and I think it's helping me get more and more psychic.

Thanks for your help,

Jack


Dear Jack,

This is Junior Market Intelligence Analyst, Antonio Galván, with a proposal for you.


Since we first invited you, we have followed your blog and we are very impressed with the way in which you engage your friends and followers who sure see you as an inspiration for weight loss and lifestyle.

We are happy to offer you up to three DirectLife packages for three coming competitions you have in mind. We previously did something similar with Tony and it was good to see that the reward inspired some followers to run 5K.

Please let me know if you think this is an offer interesting for you and we can organize the details.

Active regards from the DirectLife team,

Antonio.


Well, Junior Market Intelligence Analyst Antonio Galván, my first thought was that I could actually use three more activity monitors myself. I was thinking that it might quadruple my own activity level knowing that my levels were being tracked by four separate devices.

But then I started thinking about selfishness... and how my selfish family would all demand that I give them one of my precious activity monitors. What good would that do me, Junior Market Intelligence Analyst Antonio Galván?

So I had a completely different idea: what if I used up to three DirectLife packages for three coming competitions I have in mind? I like it!

Let's make this happen, Junior Market Intelligence Analyst Antonio Galván!

Take care,

Jáck

Dear Jack,

Thanks a lot for your answer. Let’s do it this way: feel free to organize any three competitions in the rest of the year and announce that the price will be a DirectLife with a four-month membership.

Then, once you know who the winner is you can send us her/his email address where we will send the invitation email for registration. The winner will receive DirectLife in her/his mailbox in no later than five business days.

Thanks again and enjoy the rest of the weekend,

Antonio.


If you made it this far, then here’s your reward…

ANNOUNCING THE FIRST OF THREE CONTESTS FOR A FREE DIRECTLIFE ACTIVITY MONITOR WITH A FOUR-MONTH MEMBERSHIP… ONE COMMENT ON TODAY’S POST WILL BE RANDOMLY CHOSEN BY DIRECTLIFE JUNIOR MARKET INTELLIGENCE ANALYST ANTONIO GALVÁN PUENTE AS THE PRIZE WINNER. PLEASE ADDRESS ALL COMMENTS TO HIM, BUT BE SURE AND PASSIONATELY DESCRIBE YOUR DESIRE FOR THIS DEVICE, BECAUSE IF THERE'S ONE THING THAT JUNIOR MARKET INTELLIGENCE ANALYST ANTONIO GALVÁN PUENTE RESPONDS TO, IT IS RAW, UNBRIDLED PASSION.

I'M SORRY, MY CAPLOCK BUTTON IS STUCK AND I DON'T KNOW HOW to... oh, there it goes... good luck and may God have mercy on your souls (I just really like the way that sounds...)

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm Run Out of Clever Titles

Hardly a week goes by that I don't get a desperate email from someone 
who can't seem to turn the corner of his or her weight-loss journey.

I try to give them advice and encouragement, but the truth is that I
 don't know how much good it does. I mean, I'm not a nutritionist, not 
a life coach, not a doctor of... ummm... weightlossology. I'm just a 
boy with a blog.



Maybe you're stumbling and struggling, too. Lord knows I haven't spent
 much time "in the zone" this year. Sometimes when I get those emails,
I feel like a swim coach who only knows how to dog paddle trying to 
teach the breaststroke.

Except...



Except I have learned quite a bit on this journey, and I'm more than happy to
pass on the tips and tricks I've picked up along the way. 

If you go through my year-and-a-half's worth of posts (not that I
 recommend you actually doing that; people have hurt themselves ingesting too 
much Sh*t in one sitting), you'll come to realize that there are only 
a few basic plays in my playbook...



1. Eat a little less

2. Eat a little healthier

3. Exercise more

The rest of the program (let's call it #4) is simply finding some way to
 keep #1-3 an everyday part of our lives.



No matter how difficult this has been or how hopeless it sometimes 
seems, all that you need to succeed is the wisdom to make sound 
choices and the perseverance to stick with it even when your heart is
 not in it all the way.


If you can wrap your head around the fact that you can, indeed, do this… well, chances are you’ll find some way to achieve what you’ve set out to achieve.

And those are the emails I really like to get: the ones from folks telling me they’ve accomplished their goals.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fallure is Not An Option (And Not a Word)

Weekly weigh-in: 214.4

Loss: -2.6
Total loss: -77.6
Emotion: Back on track

Last week, I lost my footing.

I stumbled on a business trip out of town, tried to shake it off and then before I got back in step, stumbled some more.

I lost my footing, and then realized that I’d lost my way for more than just the week.

Don’t worry… I’m not planning on getting all weepy and melodramatic here today. I’m well aware that I’ve accomplished some awesome feats over the past 18 months. I’ve lost a good bit of weight. I’ve instilled some fantastic eating and exercise habits. I’ve created a blog that’s turned out to be… well… ummmm… I’ve created a blog.

This week, I got my juice back a little. Ate a little less, moved a little more. Slowed everything down and really thought about what I was doing.

There’s one thing about losing your footing…

It makes you focus on the road right in front of you for a while.

Here’s hoping your week is filled with sensible choices, wild flurries of activity and a laser-like focus on getting the job done.

And here’s hoping mine is, too. 


>

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jack Sh*t Exposed

Welcome to "Same Old Sh*t" Saturday, where I drag out and dust off something from my archives (man, there's a lot of sh*t in there now). Seeing as this week is the one-year anniversary of Michelle at Eating Journey's "Exposed" movement, I thought it only fitting to showcase my own contribution to that series. Brace yourself...


























Note: Here's the really scary part. I checked the date on that "before" photo and it the middle of May, or roughly a month (and 20 lbs or so down) into my journey. I didn't have the guts to take one earlier... well... that was a poor choice of words...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ways to Make Your Blog More Interesting

  • Shower vlogging
  • Get into a bitch-slapping fight with a celebrity
  • Institute cash-for-comments program
  • Make every post title a sexual innuendo
  • Call Old Man Google and ask him about getting preferential treatment on his computer searching machine
  • Add a “-Kardashian” to your name
  • Be provocative to the point that you regularly receive death threats
  • More kitten pix
  • Make up inventious words
  • Put a lot of photos on your site, preferably of better looking people than you
  • Take bets on every weigh-in
  • Change up your meds for a week
  • Leave clues throughout your blog that lead your readers to a magical and wonderful treasure… or some coupons
  • Overcome all odds and succeed beyond your wildest imagination, then write about how you did it
  • Accent márks
  • Stop naming every post “What I Done Did Today”

This Post Will Self Destruct in 20 Minutes

Dear Mr. Sh*t,

I’m sure that you get asked a lot of favors. You seem like the type of guy that a lot of people ask for things.  But I figured I’d give it a go. Maybe you can use it as a blog post? Cause we all know you have to be getting tired of writing posts all the time. Seriously, where does all of it come from?? I don’t need the secret to weight loss; I want the secret to your humor!!! I figure the worst you could do was say was no, right? (Oh wait, you could publicly humiliate me in front of all of your followers?  Oh well, this girl has no shame.)

My name is Coree, and I’m a 25 year old girl living in Northern California. I graduated college a couple of years ago, and quickly discovered that my 9-5 job can easily suck out my soul, somehow magically turn it into fat, and than reattach it to my a**. Needless to say, I found myself at my heaviest weight ever. I really don’t remember how I came across my first weight loss blog, but before I knew it I was hooked. They gave me the final kick in the pants that I needed to get up, eat right, and start losing. I’ve lost about thirty pounds so far, but more importantly, I learned that I love to run.


In my never-ending quest for a smaller waist to get healthy, I too decided to try out the Couch to 5k program. The only time I ever ran before was to chase the ice cream truck, but this seemed doable. I ran my first 5k in June of this year, and I discovered that I actually liked running. So I wanted more. A few of my college friends introduced me to Team In Training, and I knew I wanted to join. The program provides a four month training program with professional coaches, workout schedules, and other runners so the daily training is a bit more bearable.

In return, I am committed to raising $2,500 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), a national voluntary health agency dedicated to curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improving the quality of life for patients and their families.  Funds raised by LLS go to research, public education and patient services. It is a highly regarded nonprofit organization with 75% of all donations going directly to fund research and patient services (one of the highest percentages among charitable organizations).

It seems like a daunting amount of money. (Especially since whatever I don’t raise I have committed to donating myself. Yikes!)  I need help. I'm asking you to ask your followers to help. If every one of your followers donated $1.50 exactly I would reach $2500. A dollar and a half. How many times have we spent that on a soda that we didn’t need? How many times did you spend that in the office vending machine for that candy you just had to have? How many times have you spent that on the dollar menu because well, it’s only a dollar? (You see what I’m doing here, Jack?  I’m not only raising money for charity, I’m saving your people. It’s like I’m saving the world.) So I’m asking, instead of that candy bar, soda, or extra hamburger, you donate to LLS.

I know a lot of people will think “I don’t know Jack Sh*t about this girl! Why would I help her out?”  The thing is, it’s not about me. It’s about people living with blood cancer. It’s about the people whose loved one is living with blood cancer. It’s about the people who know someone whose loved one is living with blood cancer. Considering that once every 4 minutes someone is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer, I’d say this is a lot of people. This isn’t about me, it’s way bigger than that.

Any donation will help. Every dollar can make a difference. Donations are easily made by visiting my donation page (http://pages.teamintraining.org/sf/BigSurHM10/cjavernick)where anyone can securely contribute using a credit card. If anyone would prefer donating with a check or cash, please let me know. Finally (and most importantly), if anyone knows someone who has been afflicted with a blood-cancer, I would love to run in their honor as well. Please let me know any name(s).

A Very Humbled Reader Asking for Some Help,
Coree

P.S.  I attached a picture so you can see my face. It also has my dog in it. People like dogs right? Oh!  And babies! I attached one with my nieces as well. Psh, dogs and babies?  I so nailed this.


Note: regular Jack Sh*t programming will resume this afternoon.

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