Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Fitlosophy

I just returned home from Fitbloggin, a gathering of an odd mix of weight losers, healthy living advocates and super hardcore fitness freaks.

I enjoyed getting to meet a lot of interesting folks that I feel like I already knew and even ranalltheway in my first “official” 5K (my plan to take off into the lead and then lead the group in the wrong direction was laid to waste as some of the more accomplished runners finished the run while I was still lacing up my sneakers).

I’ll admit that I was a little bummed out as I listened to a super-fit lady (-4% body fat) discuss emerging trends in exercise. It’s a little bit technical, but here’s the breakdown: everything you’re doing is wrong.

You’d have to be a rocket scientist to really understand the whole deal (dammit… I left MIT two semesters shy of my Rocket Science degree), but it was a trifle disheartening to hear about my workout suckage.

As she droned on about HIIT and carthamasomething, I started thinking about my own Fitlosophy, and I guess it can be boiled down to this:  something is better than nothing.

For a long time, I did a whole lot of nothing. Oh, I got in some exercise from time to time, but there was no rhyme or reason to it. I didn’t work to improve my overall health and I certainly didn’t push myself to any degree.

Now I have goals, even if they’re not always well-defined or working toward specific results. I could be doing better; I’ve spent most of my life doing worse.

I want to replace some of this stubborn fat with steely muscle.

I want to break a sweat running a few miles, not climbing a flight of steps.

I want each day to start with challenge and end a sense of accomplishment (with the cling of a sweat-soaked shirt slipped in somewhere in between).

I want to wear smaller clothes and wear out running shoes.

I want to feel better and feel better about myself.

I want to live fully and age gracefully.

I may not be doing everything perfectly, may not be doing everything in the most optimal manner possible… but I am doing.

And doing > not doing.

Monday, May 30, 2011

How Do Thee Lose Weight?

(with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

How do thee lose weight?
Let me count the ways.
That Adkins diet could be the one
If you like hot dogs without the bun.
But if you think that’d drive you bonkers
Maybe you should try Weight Watchers.
They’ve started a new Points Plus program
That lets you eat stuff like roast lamb.
And what about that South Beach diet
(I have no info, but you could try it).
Counting calories is one more way to go
Just don’t let your servings overflow.
Thou can lose weight any number of ways,
From slow and steady to the latest craze.
The kind of diet just doesn’t matter,
The important thing’s to grow no fatter.
And don’t push the start to far away
How do thee lose weight?
Start today!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Go to Hell, Scale!

It’s my birthday weekend, and birthdays and weigh-ins go together like peanut butter and mayonnaise.

So… no numbers today, just some gratitude for everyone who’s sent me birthday well-wishes via blog comment, Facebook wall posting, tweet, card, singing telegram or phone call. I appreciate the love.

Next week, I’ve got a date with my scale, but tonight my wife Anita’s taking me out for my birthday dinner and we plan to celebrate in style. I’m not getting older, I’m getting better!*

*Check that… I ran the numbers and apparently I AM getting older. Sorry to put bad information out there like that…

Saturday, May 28, 2011

W.I.D.T.H. All Guns Blazing

I'm kind of a goofball on this site more days than not, but understand this: I'm passionate about this sh*t. And from the responses I've gotten (and continue to get) from my W.I.D.T.H. ("Why I Do This Here") feature, I take it that there are quite a few folks who share my passion. 
Why are you doing this? Why are you committed to losing weight or living more healthy? Have you really thought about it? Will you? And when you do, will you snap a quick pic and email it (along with a blog link if you want it included) to

Friday, May 27, 2011

My Birthday Survival Plan

Tomorrow's my birthday, so if you're planning on throwing me a surprise party (and I'm not saying that you SHOULD be planning on throwing me a surprise party because I hate surprise parties), but if you ARE thinking about throwing me a surprise party, you'd better get going. YOU'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!

Anyway, I'm too busy practicing looking surprised in the mirror to actually write something new, so here's my to-do list from my last birthday, which I'm planning on following through on again...
  • Don’t eat my age in waffles for breakfast
  • Call in “old” at work
  • Rue all the mistakes I’ve made in my life
  • Update "to-do" list with new mistakes
  • Celebrate my B25K completion this year (“Birth to 5K”)
  • Only track 1 out of every 10 calories I consume today
  • Sell whatever present my mom gets me on ebay
  • Say my prayers and take my vitamins like professional wrestler Hulk Hogan said I should
  • Work out in my birthday suit
  • Take a big bowl of fat-free ice cream, flush it down the toilet and enjoy a bowl of the good stuff
  • Drag out a pair of fat pants and thank heaven they no longer fit
  • Use my “Get Out of One Workout Free” card
  • “Afternoon delight,” if you know what I mean (yes, I mean a nap)
  • Drink plenty of water… among other beverages
  • Get 100 comments on my birthday post (*hint hint*)
  • Strip karaoke
  • Keep trying to convince myself that age is just a number
  • Eat healthy, eat less, exercise... starting tomorrow
  • Don’t even bother making a wish before blowing out the candles; they’ve all already come true
Speaking of surprises... you can get an extra helping of sh*t today by checking out my guest post at Lisa Johnson Fitness.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mister Sh*t's Neighborhood

It’s a wonderful day for a weigh-in, dude.
A wonderful day for a weigh-in.
Can you lose weight?
Will you lose weight?

You’ve been working out your booty, dude.
Working off your booty.
Can you lose weight?
Will you lose weight?

I have always wanted to have a body that’s fit and trim.
Have always wanted to look good when I hit the gym.

So, let’s make some changes and start it today.
Go get a workout in, that’s what I say.
Can you be fit?
Yeah, says Jack Sh*t.
Hope you have a good weigh-in.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Raven-ous

At the Fitbloggin panel where I was a guest speaking this past weekend, the question was asked "Did you ever have a post that you were particularly proud of that didn't get the reaction you thought it would?" This is that post; at the time, just a few weeks into my blogging start, I didn't yet realize that Saturdays were where blogs go to die. I spent a lot of time on this post and was really proud, and then 14 saw it. I promised I'd re-run it today to the folks who attended, so here she be...

Once upon a morning fleeting, I was pondering what I was eating,
Logging in my early meal’s caloric score
I was finally able to finagle, how many carbs were in that bagel,
When suddenly there came a rapping, rapping on my kitchen door.
“'Tis my wife,” I softly muttered. “Returning from the grocery store.
Only this, and nothing more.”

I put down my bread (unbuttered), “Honey, is that you?” I uttered,
“Do you need some help with the groceries that you purchased at the store?”
Then a awful chill shot through me, when it suddenly came to me
That this rapping wasn’t from my spouse returning from the store.
In the window was the blackest, fattest bird I’ve seen before,
And he chirped out: “Eat some more.”

I gazed down at my morning spread, which had not left me well-fed.
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I’m on a diet, (and it appears that you should try it),
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my kitchen door.
Are you some mysterious beast that came from mythological lore?”
Quoth the raven: “Eat some more.”

So I flung open the pantry wide, to find the delicious food inside,
I grabbed cookies, cakes and crackers, then I scoured the shelves for more
Pop-Tarts, pretzels filled my arms: half a box of Lucky Charms,
I laid it all out on the table, rich and tasty snacks galore.
And perched at the window, just beside the kitchen door,
Laughed the raven: “Eat some more.”

Then this ebony bird beguiling (I could swear that he was smiling),
As he stared upon the table laden down with foodstuffs by the score
How did my morning meal turn into something so surreal?
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me why you want me eating, why do you put my will to war?
Quoth the raven, “Eat some more.”

Well, that devil, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
Sitting patiently and waiting right beside my kitchen door;
And he wants to see me cheating, only happy when I’m eating
And he’ll always be beside me no matter how much I ignore.
But my heart and soul are stronger than they’ve ever been before
And I shall be tempted - Nevermore!

apologies to Edgar Allen Poe

Saturday, May 21, 2011

W.I.D.T.H. All Due Respect


Welcome to another W.I.D.T.H. Weekend. In case you don't know, W.I.D.T.H. stands for "Why I Do This Here". It's a group-think effort at exploring the various reasons why we're all on this weight-loss/healthy living merry-go-round. 
Hundreds of folks have sent me contributions, and if you haven't already, I can only assume one of two things: (1) you don't know how to work a camera and/or email or (2) you suck. 

If you do know how and work a camera/email and you don't suck, then get off your duff, jot down why you're doing what you're doing on a card, a scrap of paper, your hand... and find some way to electronically deliver it to

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lose Yourself (Some Weight)

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To lose all the weight you ever wanted - one chance.
Would you go on and do it or just let it slip?

Fat rolls are sweaty, knees weak, belly heavy.
Given up on his diet already, damn spaghetti.
Got frustrated and polished off the apple brown betty.
He drops F-bombs, from the Lazy-Boy where he’s lazing.
Throws down his plate, curses all the food that he ate.
He’s so irate, can’t get his life straight.
He's sighing now, thinking about crying now.
Weight’s gone up, time’s up over, bloat!

Snap - back to the dieting, time for belt-tightening.
Oh, there goes Jackie, he’s stoked.
He's so fat, but he won't give up that
Easy, no.
He won't have it, he knows his whole life he must alter
Must be strong, he can’t falter.
Be the rock of Gibralter.
He’s gotta go so he goes
‘Cause he knows how this goes, that’s when it’s
Back to the gym again.
Time to get trim again.
He's gonna go jogging and hope that some old lady don't pass him

I’m gonna lose some weight on this weigh-in, just sayin’,
Not playin’, I’m trying not to gain gain
You only get one shot, want the number to come in low
This opportunity comes once during the week, you know.

I’m gonna lose some weight on this weigh-in, just sayin’,
Not playin’, I’m trying not to gain gain
You only get one shot, want the number to come in low
This opportunity comes once during the week, you know.

His belly’s shrinking, number on the scale is sinking.
This world is mine, he’s thinking.
Make him better, as he moves forward, energy restored.
His fat pants are saggin’, got new reasons to be braggin’.
Journey’s getting easier, his food less greasier.
It’ll never be over, he knows he can’t be a quitter.
Followed worldwide, he's known as the Big Sh*tter.
Smaller clothes, always hittin’ new lows.
Now he eats and works out like he oughta.
He gets fit and now can play chase with Pisa his daughter.
He runs and he runs and drinks lots of water.
The old snacks he attacked, no mo’ it don’t hack it.
Wants a healthy lunch fo sho, and he’ll pack it .
He blogs and he blogs and he blogs some more, baby
Will he lose some more weight when they weigh me?
Well maybe, but the weigh-ins go on.
Da da dum da dum da da

I’m gonna lose some weight on this weigh-in, just sayin’,
Not playin’, I’m trying not to gain gain
You only get one shot, want the number to come in low
This opportunity comes once during the week, you know.

I’m gonna lose some weight on this weigh-in, just sayin’,
Not playin’, I’m trying not to gain gain
You only get one shot, want the number to come in low
This opportunity comes once during the week, you know.

No more gains,
I'm a change, off to a brand new start.
Tear this mother-bloggin’ diet up and break it all apart.
I was playin’ in the beginning, now I’ve had a change of heart.
Exercisin’ with abandon while I’m eatin’ extra smart.
And I’m not frettin’, now I’m out there joggin’ those kilometers.
Runnin’ til I vomit more than any other vomiters.
Every gain I post amplied by the
Fact that I gotta post my weight each week.
And I’m constantly trying to improve my physique.
Got my paddles and I’m paddlin’ up outta Sh*t creek.
And it’s no movie, I’m not Brad Pitt, just Jack Sh*t.
New spirit, tryin’ to get fit, get a better body.
Using bloggin’ and my noggin’, anything to prod me.

Keep moving forward, each day a new opportunity
Runnin’ with all I got, I’m like a cheetah.
No more dipping pita in melted Velvetta.
Wanna be around til’ I’m old and creaky with my wife Anita.
Girl, I love you, a little more than a lot.
That’s why I keep giving all I got,
Wanna be hot to trot,
And I really want not to travel to the Land that Fit Forgot.

I’m gonna lose some weight on this weigh-in, just sayin’,
Not playin’, I’m trying not to gain gain
You only get one shot, want the number to come in low
This opportunity comes once during the week, you know.

You can do anything you set your mind to, man

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Even More Weight-Loss Tips and Tricks

• One way to make yourself drink more water is to put a couple of lit sparklers in your mouth.

• Recognize that exposure to certain colors, such as blue, silver, yellow, beige, violet, gold, aquamarine, green, red, purple, orange, teal, turquoise, brown or pink, can trigger hunger. Try to avoid these colors as much as possible.

• Freeze a couple of heads of iceberg lettuce so you can have a nice refreshing salad whenever you want.

• You can make your Fry Daddy more healthy by filling it with dirt and planting some herbs in it.

• Never eat a sandwich bigger than your head.

• Remember the old saying “If you drink a Coke, I hope you choke!”

• One way to get more exercise while sitting on the sofa and watching TV is to get up and go exercise.

• Forgo your usual pre-weigh-in snack.

• It’s really not a good idea to eat an entire can of Crisco unless you’re trying to win a bet.

• Most restaurants will let you go back into the kitchen and prepare your own food exactly like you want it; some will even pay you to prepare everyone else’s food as well. 

• Try to eat fair food only when you're at the fair.

• Just because chocolate is poisonous to dogs doesn't mean you have to run around in a huff and eat all forms of chocolate in the house.

Remember: before Superman started eating healthy and working out, he was just a mild-mannered reporter. Now up, up and away you go… waitaminute… I mean, down, down and away!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Run, Jack, Run

I am a runner at heart.

I run from my problems, run from responsibilities, run from household chores, run from the IRS, run from people whom I owe money, run from telemarketers… it seems I spend half my life on the run.

Maybe that’s why I embraced this whole C25K ("Couch to 5K") business. The weather was turning Springy and the thought of squirreling myself away in the gym had lost its appeal. I want to be outside, and that means either yardwork (my wife Anita’s suggestion) or C25K.

Faulkner said “between grief and nothing, I will take grief.” Jack Sh*t said “between yardwork and running, I will take running.”

So if you’re just beginning your running program, I’m here to give you the benefit of my 20 minutes of experience with C25K…

• Invest in a heavy-duty bra (that goes for you ladies, too).

• While not entirely necessary, nothing looks cooler than a Superman cape while you’re running.

• If you can’t afford good running shoes, it’s okay to simply wrap your bare feet with duct tape.

• If you’re looking to increase your speed, it helps to have a mean dog chase you.

• If you’re going to have a heart attack while running, try to do it where there’s a neighbor out raking leaves so that he or she can call 911 quickly.

• It helps if you’re as light as possible when you run so before you start, send me all the cash out of your wallet.

• If a little old lady passes you, you will feel the urge to run up and trip her from behind. Try to fight off this urge long enough to look around and check for witnesses.

• Pretend you’re in the movie Groundhog Day and repeat Day One over and over and over until you really feel like you’ve got it or you fall in love with a supermodel.

• Don’t run if it’s rainy, or looks like rain, or if there’s a chance of rain, or if it’s too sunny, too cloudy or too plain-looking.

• Always put one foot in front of the other; never put one foot in front of the same foot!

Enjoy your C25K experience and remember my motto: “It’s not how you start, or how you finish… it’s more about the middle part” (okay, I’m no better at motto-making than I am at running).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


(with apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

If you can keep from snacking when all around you

Are donuts and pizza and big bags of chips.

If you can work out though the machines confound you,

And you keep banging kettlebells across your hips.

If you can take a little control of your eating,

And don’t let your mojo get down to empty.

If you can keep running though you’re blistered and bleeding,

And if you can make your food choices more healthy.

If you can plan – and not make meals that’re crappy.

If you can drink – and I’m not talking about soda.

If you can keep yourself positive and happy,

And not watch TV ‘til you lapse in a coma.

 If you can blog to keep your journey more relevant.

Making you accountable, liable, focused.

Maybe you feel like you’re big as an elephant,

But you’re making good progress, in case you’ve not noticed.

If you can get out and work your poor body,

And focus on getting stronger and firmin’.

If you can stick with it and not think it folly,

You’ll soon look at a mirror without squirmin’.

If you can believe that you really are worth it,

And keep moving forward with confidence growing.

The will that you’ve searched for, you’ll finally unearth it.

You’ll hear the Voice that tells you “Keep going!”

If you can take this life one day as it comes,

And truly give it your very best shot.

If you can finish each day, and hold up both thumbs.

If you really will give it all that you’ve got. 

If you can fill your day with purpose,

And keep on pushing ‘til the end
The scale will soon give back that surplus, 

And you’ll one day be at goal, my friend!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Wreck of Jack Sh*t at FitBloggin'

The legend began in the Mariott downtown,
The one that’s near Baltimore Harbor.
The place, it turns out, is without any doubt
The perfect spot for a healthy-life blogger.

When the bloggers unite, it’ll be quite a sight,
When the event called Fitbloggin’ gets started.
The folks, those who dare, will see things changing there.
They’ll be heading to waters uncharted.

Cuz Roni, the hostess, lost most of her focus,
Because pregnancy hormones were ragin’.
What made her go ruin, this event that she’s doin’,
This wonderful conference she’s stagin’?

She must’ve been hard pressed to come up with some guests,
When she agreed to let Jack Sh*t be in it.
Planning this summit, she’d probably re-thunk it.
If she’d studied on it for more than a minute.

As the days drew nearer, Roni looked in the mirror,
And realized the mistake she was makin’
Cuz Jack was the strangest guest ever invited
(With the possible exception of @nomorebacon).

Now the hour’s drawing close for all those bloggin’ pros.
The conference is practically on us .
Bag’s getting packed up and Jack’s getting jacked up.
It’ll be lots of fun, that I promise.

Come hear me babble at the Humor bloggging panel;
I’m sure that some laughs we’ll be sharin’.
With a woman named Charlie and a Fatass who’s gnarly,
There’s sure to be plenty of swearin’.

And it ought to be fun at that big 5K run,
When I put on my shoes and go joggin’.
But leave me alone if I’m typin’ on my phone
Cuz I don’t wanna get behind on my bloggin’.

Does anyone know how this train-wreck will go,
When the party rolls into the nighttime?
Will attendees complain, that Jack Sh*t’s such a pain?
Roni, please can he be banned for a lifetime?

The legend’ll live on from Baltimore on down,
To the that fitchat event where you log in.
This conference, they say, went straight to Hell the day
That Jack Sh*t joined the folks at Fitbloggin’.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Big News

Weekly weigh-in: 224.3
Loss: -0.1
Total loss: -67.6
Emotion: Filled with long-term confidence


You read that right:  point one, baby!

That sounds much better than one-tenth of a pound, doesn’t it?

If I keep things rolling at this rate, I could lose over 5 lbs. in a year.

That’s 50 lbs. in 10 years.

And 500 lbs in 100 years!

And I’m sorry, but if me losing 500 lbs doesn’t impress you, well then… what have I gotta do?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why I Do This Here - One Year Later

Just about a year ago, I asked my the people who skim my blog to help me with a little project I'd cooked up. It was called "Why I Do This Here" (or W.I.D.T.H.) and it was a pretty simple idea: send me your reason (or reasons) for why you're on this losing weight/healthy living journey. 
Turns out there’s something pretty powerful about the process of taking a big sentiment … such as “Why do I want to lose weight?” or “Why do I want to get healthy?”… and boiling it down to a note card. The response I got... and continue to get... simply blew me away.

There are no rules, guidelines or deadlines to this dealio. Just send me your note cards, with your hopes and dreams synopsized onto a 3x4 inch card (or whatever you’ve got around the home or office). Email them to JackSh.tGettinFit@gmail.com (and don't forget to include a blog link if you'd like that included).


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