Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Change of the Lighter Brigade


Half a pound, half a pound,
Half a pound downward,
Down toward their goals,
A weight has been lifted.
 “Forward, the Lighter Brigade!”
“Change for the better!” he said.
Down toward Goal Weight
With his fat kindred.


“Forward, the Lighter Brigade!”
Did you see what they all weigh'd?
Oh, how confidence grew.
No workout’s been hinder’d:
Theirs not to cause a riot,
Theirs not to simply try it,
Theirs but to do and diet:
Down towards Goal Weight
Rode the fat kindred.


Caramel to right of them,
Candy to left of them,
Buffet in front of them
They felt haggard and hunger’d
Bellies rumbled and thunder'd;
Tempt’d with snacks on shelf
Finally taking care of self
Boldly they go and well,
Into their jaws went less,
No longer feel like Hell.
Go, my fat kindred.


Flash'd all their bodies bare,
Put on some underwear!
Flesh no longer in disrepair
Changing their body, while
All the world notice'd:
Plunged into workout-mode
Cracked the healthy eating code;
Excuses and bad habits
Flush’d down the commode
To depths remotest.
Others may gain back, but
Not my fat kindred.


Salad to right of them,
Fresh fruit to left of them,
Fresh veggies in front of them
Steam’d and sauté’d;
Sprinkle'd with Mrs. Dash,
Olive oil (just a splash),
Have they’ve quit putting trash
Down thro' the jaws of theirs?
Oh yeah you bet your ash!
Little is left of them,
Left of my fat kindred.


Let us their story share
‘Bout the new slacks they wear!
‘Bout this weight lifted.
Honor the change they made,
Honor the Lighter Brigade,
Not-so-fat kindred.

With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jack Sh*t Interview with Biggest Loser Shay


I was mindlessly twittering away the other night, when I saw this tweet flash up on the screen:

shayBL: I wonder if I can get to 10,000 followers by Tues

I remembered Shay as the biggest Biggest Loser gal on Season 8 of that show where everybody tries to lose a bunch of weight. I remember liking her, so I decide to lend her a hand in her efforts to build her Twitter audience.

JackSht: I once got 100 followers by eating 15 lightning bugs. Maybe if you ate 200... RT @shayBL: I wonder if I can get to 10,000 followers by Tues

But then I thought about it some more, and frankly… I got a little ticked off, so I let her know about it…

JackSht: @shayBL It’s kinda classless to beg for Twitter followers. Plus, it’s kind of my shtick...

Then something really strange happened. I regularly shoot off quirky twitter messages to famous folks, and generally @hungrygirl is the only one who’ll ever take the bait (and then, only rarely). But Shay jumped right into the fray and started mixing it up…

@JackSht I'll keep the advice and try not to step on your toes

@shayBL Looks like it wouldn't hurt as much now as it once would. ;)

shayBL: @JackSht definitely not. You’re perceptive… thanks for noticing. LOL

JackSht: @shayBL I'm known for my perceptivity. BTW, has anybody told you look kinda like that fat chick from Biggest Loser?

shayBL: @JackSht so weird you say that? no they say I look like the smoking hot chick from the BL finale! Have they told you that you resemble an..

Well, it went on from there, enough that I now consider Shay to be one of my BFFs, and so I asked her to take part in a little interview for Jack Sh*t, Gettin’ Fit.

Jack: What’s your favorite kind of pie? 

Shay: Prior to BL? Peach cobbler. Okay, so it’s really not a pie, but my family is southern. Second best would be sweet potato back when I thought I had to have things like that to make me feel good. Now I love Larabars "apple pie" if  I MUST. 

Jack: What’s your second favorite kind of pie?

Shay: I guess this is why you should read ahead in interviews so you don't waste a perfectly good answer in the first one.

Jack: If you owned a bakery, what do you think would be your three best-selling kinds of pie?

Shay: Mud pies (real mud). Always loved making those as a kid. Wait, is this really what you want to ask me?

Jack: Since you’re a step-mom, what’s your take on childhood obesity?

Shay: It’s a HUGE problem (okay no pun intended).  Being a step mom of two stick-thin kids, I still realize the importance of healthy choices and of teaching healthy habits. We do all of the healthy stuff as a family. When we are out with friends or fam, you hear the kids “educating” others on healthy choices. It’s pretty darn cute.

Jack: Who would win a knife fight between Bob and Jillian?

Shay: Definitely Bob... it’s always the ones that smile you got to watch out for. Jillian is a yeller; you always know the biggest bark is not the biggest bite!

Jack: You have a dime and a dollar, you buy a dog and a collar, the dog is a dollar more than the collar, how much is the collar?

Shay: Whatever is left over. Sorry, I always sucked at math. It’s a learning disability and apparently it also applied to the number of pies one should eat.

Jack: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Shay: I had 1 cup steel cut oats and ¼ cup blueberries with tablespoons almond milk.

Jack: What is your position on skinny-dipping?

Shay: Clothed and on the beach. Although these days loose skin could double as clothing.

Jack: There was an airplane crash, and every single person on board died, but two people survived. How is this possible?

Shay: Umm, that’s kind of a morbid riddle. Pass.

Jack: If there were one question you wanted me to ask during this interview, what would it be? And as follow-up, what’s the answer to that question?
Shay: What’s with the morbid riddle? You're morbid? Obviously not morbidly obese though or you wouldn’t have to ask about pie…

Jack: What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?

Shay: Smurfs. Nothing like little blue people with only one chick in the village being chased and tormented by a creepy wizard.
Jack: What’s the one food that you can’t trust yourself around?

Shay: It was ice cream, but now I can’t even look in the direction. Some days it’s almond butter, but more often than not its POPCHIPS and seriously... that’s no ad… they don’t pay me… but dang, those little bags of fun make you want to shrink your head so you can stick it in the bag and get every crumb.

Jack: Can you boil down your best fitness advice in five words (and five words only!)?

Shay: Eat less move more NOW

Jack: While you were at the Biggest Loser Ranch, did you ever watch Biggest Loser? If so, was it really weird?

Shay: No, we didn't have any TV or anything else fattening. It was weird to watch it at home because I was already half a person less.

Jack: What Biggest Loser contestant do you think would be most likely to get jiggy with me?
Shay: Hmm… that Christopher Blackburn looks like a jiggy guy!

Jack: What’s the most satisfying part of losing the weight you’ve lost?

Shay: Besides not finding it… really it would be that I am not scared of living anymore. I live my life to the fullest every day, and I am healthy and happy and no pie is worth losing that.

Jack: You may not want to answer this, but what’s your deepest, darkest secret?

Shay: I already told it all on national TV!!!!



Thanks to Biggest Loser Shay for being a good sport and a fantastic Twitter pal (even if she won't follow you back). You rock, Shay!

 Answers to trick questions: The collar was a nickel and the two survivors were married.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now

“The years teach much which the days never knew.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once you’ve sprouted a few gray hairs on top, it dawns on you that you’ve made quite a few mistakes over the course of your life, only now you’re wise enough to label them as “experience” instead of “mistakes”.

True, your body doesn’t want to give up those excess pounds quite as readily when you’re older, but this depth of experience kind of levels the playing field a bit.

With that in mind, I asked some of my… um… more post-adolescent… pals to weigh in on what they know now that they wish they knew at 25.

Pat Barone @ Stop Renting Weight Loss

What I wish I had known at age 25:

1. "Fix it Later" is BS: If you gain weight, you might just have it forever... because dieting isn’t a quick fix, and sometimes doesn't work at all if you've dieted too much in your life.

2. Don't do anything to lose weight you can't continue for life; the weight will just come back and HUNT YOU DOWN!

3. Don't lose weight to get attention or please someone else. The only person involved in weight loss is you. (And anyone who treats you differently because you've lost weight isn't worth your time.)

4. Being fat doesn't mean you're defective, broken or damaged. It just means you haven't learned how to take care of yourself yet.

5. Food isn't a best friend, soother, lover or caretaker. It’s just food. Energy. Fuel.

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

So much of who I am now (who is someone I like a lot) is a result of having taken a few wrong turns in life and worked my way through them. I accept that we have to make our own mistakes to gain wisdom.

That said, there are a couple of things I do wish I had known when I was 25:

(1) That most of the things I thought were important—career, certain semi-toxic relationships, financial status, wearing a size 2—really weren’t important at all, and…

(2) Daily flossing really is essential. Doing what we love and loving who we are (no matter our
shape, size, or financial status) is life lived well.

Jody @ Truth2BeingFit

The first thing I would say is to learn to eat versus the thought process of “eating less is better”. I ate way too little and worked out hard when I was younger. You have to eat enough to sustain yourself and muscle which is oh-so important in the weight loss equation.

Another thing I did when I was younger was cut out fat.. as much as possible.... WRONG! You need a certain amount of healthy fats to keep the bod running smoothly, keep the skin, hair and nails healthy too. When I added in healthy fats, I felt better and leaned out!

Another thing I did was to NOT take rest days. Another wrong move. The bod needs rest, especially when you are training hard. Adding in rest days not only gave me a physical rest but mental as well. Nobody says you can't take a nice leisurely walk on the days off or “play”, but try to allow at least one full day away from your normal workouts.

Lastly, one thing I have done from early on but want to make sure others don't avoid.. RESISTANCE OR WEIGHT TRAINING. Important not only because is helps with weight loss (more muscle, more calories burned at rest) BUT BONE HEALTH! Young people, pay attention! Doctors are finding signs of low bone density in ladies in their 20's due to eating too little and no resistance training.

Patrick @ Responsibility 199

If I had a dime for every time I was asked, "What I wish I knew at 25 that I know now", well… I’d have a dime.

There is one word that I wish I knew at 25 that I know now (I am 45 today). One word whose power will either create or destroy depending how you use it. Had I known, I would have put it to use a long time ago in creating the me I want now.

When we eat we have a series of choices before us. Choosing to be deliberately aware of our decisions about food engages too our often disjointed physical and mental senses together into a more powerfully responsible decision machine. This deliberate awareness will have us first validate that we are in fact hungry, that our hunger is real and not just a want for more food.

Great, so we need to eat, but what? A bowl of Chocolaty Puffs would be oh-so yummy. True, some lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats would be, well… healthy. Come on, one more bowl of sugar coated sugary cereal wont destroy us, will it?

Our mind & body, now fused and in greater control, tell us the answer to that question is without doubt a big fat 'YES'. Fine, what shall we eat to fulfill our need? A fruit and yogurt parfait is a popular option, but we hate yogurt; that stuff is so gooey and gross! However we do like–no we love–green peppers. We can toss some in an egg white omelet and put that on a whole-grain english muffin. We've just taken the power of choice further, deliberately.

In consciously seeking healthy foods we like (or better yet love) to fulfill our real hunger, we've chosen to create opportunities versus destroy abilities.

Healthy foods we enjoy will energize us. When energized, we are in control of not only our food but our lives. When we give up that control and disregard our choices we then deliberately leave our happiness to chance. And poor chances at that.

CHOICE is the one word whose true power I wish I knew at 25 that I know now.

Leslie @ Something Brilliant Is Brewing

Apparently among Jack's countless followers are some young folks. Seriously young - like less than 30. Being a woman of a certain age, Jack included me in his quest to advise (“set these young fools straight”) you veritable children about what I wish I knew at your age that I know now - at a very youthful 57.

I wish I knew then (or believed it, because I WAS told) that:

1. As we age, our metabolism gradually slows down, making it harder to lose extra weight. MUCH harder. I used to be able to knock off five pounds FAST by restricting calorie intake. Allegedly this still works, but after 35+ years of bad eating habits, it's much harder to do without certain food pleasures to which I've become accustomed and have used as a coping strategy.

2. Also, it’s true that exercise really makes a difference not only in how we feel, but also how we store extra pounds. Which leads to the fact that as you age and go through life transitions like menopause (sorry guys), body shape REALLY changes and redistributes. They aren't kidding when they tell you that you get thick in the middle. I'd kill for my body's pear shape I used to curse when younger. And if I'd lost the weight much earlier, this change would not be so profound and evident. Finally - it's easier to STAY IN SHAPE THAN TO GET IN SHAPE!!!

Roxie @
Gravel and Rust

As I bear down on my 50th birthday, here are my 25 things I wish I’d known at 25…

1. If berating myself really worked, I'd be thin as a Pixie stick. It didn't. I wasn't. Stop it.
2. What other people might think of me is none of my business.
3. Fat-free is not the answer. Snackwells will expand your @ss.
4. Self-esteem is an inside job.
5. Don't let high school PE classes sour you on physical activity. Exercise is AWESOME. Those tacky gym suits are not.
6. Eat whole, real, identifiable food. If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it.
7. Ride a bike.
8. When you find yourself in a hole, put down the shovel.
9. You are enough. Just as you are. Today. Treat yourself like it.
10. Surround yourself with positivity. Kick "frenemies" to the curb.
11. Compound Interest. Learn it. Love it.
12. Prioritize your spending. A good pair of athletic shoes that you use will make you look better longer than a Brazilian blow-out.
13. If you need some professional help/coaching, get it.
14. To thine own self be true. No one else will ever care about you as much as you do.
15. Learn to deep breathe/meditate/yoga.
16. Be charitable. There is always something you can give away - be it your dollars or your time.
17. Be present in your own life. This is it. Now. Don't wish it away.
18. If you have children, be present for them. Being there and giving them your attention, care and nurture is more important than anything you can buy them. That sort of attention and involvement will more than make up for lack of “stuff” and lessons and gadgets.
19. There is life after high school/college. Don't let those successes or failures determine the course of your life. Don't rest on your laurels nor wallow in your failures.
20. Even if it is all screwed up now, it doesn't have to be that way forever.
21. Never cosign. Ever.
22. Learn boundaries - your own and others.
23. You can be happy with a lot less than you think.
24. Don't let debt take away your options.
25. Start today. And keep restarting ‘til it sticks.

Dana @
To The Best of My Ability

What I would tell my younger...Holy Crap, where do I start?  I didn't really need to think about this for long.  I think I would say be more selfish.   What I mean is I would  have put more importance on getting to know me.  What I like.  Dislike.  Learn what I was really capable of.   I would have spent less time trying to please others and trying anticipate their needs.  Never really thinking about what was good for me.  Over time I lost myself in men, drugs and food.  I would have spent more time improving me then trying to change those around me.  Trying to manipulate others to do "My Will".  It's exhausting and frustrating.  I would have more fearless.  I would have taken more risks.  Smart risks, not risks that had no chance of being good for me.  I wish I would have focused on learning about what I needed and what made me happy, even joyful.  I spent a lot of time changing to please others.  I wish I would have taken a more active role in my life.  I lived a lot by default.  By not choosing for myself, I allowed life to just happen to me.....and all the consequences.  I wish I would have been more decisive.  Not choosing is still a choice. 

I would have worried less about what others thought about me.  I would have choosen better friends.  They really do make all the difference.  Surround yourself with people that encourage and support you to be the best you can me.   If they are bring you down.  If they try to crush your dreams or your spirit, run don't walk away from them. 

I would tell you to find joy from within.  Have a Power Greater then yourself.   Study and get to know the Power.  That way you will always have a Freind to turn to.  Always. 

Thank you Jack for asking me to do this.  It all comes down to this.  I  say would have done alot of my life different, but really, I am grateful for the life I have lived.  It has brought me to the person I am today.  You can make every decision a positive.  It's all in your prespective.   However, I know this to be true.  Smart people learn from others mistakes.  If you see someone touch a hot stove, don't touch it just to make sure.

Most imporant I would have told myself that I am worthy of all good things....then given them to myself. 

NewMe @ NewMe - A Fresh Start

When I was in my twenties, little did I suspect where I would be physically thirty years later.

I was not particularly overweight. In the (dreaded) BMI terms, I was not overweight for long periods of time. I was never thin, but I was a perfectly good size. And yet I always felt fat.

So the first thing that I would have done differently would have been to appreciate my body as it was and not feel that it was so horrible. It wasn't. 

I would have never gone on any of the stupid fad diets that I tried (included fasting once a week; eating nothing but grapefruit or bananas; not eating after 5 p.m., even if I’d barely eaten a thing during the first part of the day; the dreaded two shakes a day plus one meal diet; and religiously separating carb meals from protein meals).

I would have learned that there are no bad foods and that stopping when you’re full (not stuffed) does not mean you're depriving yourself of anything. In short, I would have made intuitive eating my mantra. (Please see my recent posts on the topic).

The other huge lesson that would have benefitted me greatly would have been to never stop moving. By my mid-twenties, I already knew that my “physical architecture” was faulty. I had already ruptured a disc and had back surgery. By the time I was in my early thirties, I learnt that I was suffering from arthritis in my hips and knees (common amongst the women in my family). I had done yoga on and off since my teens, but mostly, I was “off”.

I would have started doing yoga and swimming and never stopped. My body has never been able to take high impact exercise, but there was a ton of other things that I could have done and especially done consistently.

So, regrets–I've got a few. But it's never too late to teach this old dog new tricks.

Many thanks to all my bloggin' buds that shared the benefit of their accumulated wisdom... and didn't overly mind being called "old" in the process...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Stalking the Elusive Mojo

Weekly weigh-in: 210.6
Loss: -0.5
Total loss: -81.4
Emotion: On the scent

I am a hunter.

The game I stalk these days isn’t the lynx or the wildebeest or even the hard-to-track (and even harder-to-kill) unicorn.

No… my prey has the there-and-gone speed of the cheetah, the whoops-where'd-it-go camouflage skills of the chameleon and the legendary elusiveness of the fabled cheetah-chameleon.

I hunt the Mysterious Mojo.

There was a time when my den was strewn with Mojo hides, and my freezer stocked top-to-bottom with shanks of Mojo meat. That’s because each week I went out there into the wild woods and bagged my limit.

I ate with purpose and exercised with passion, and it seemed as though there was sweet Mojo always dead within my sights.

But like the buffalo on the Western plains of yesteryear, it seems as though the herd has been thinned to the point where it’s hard to find much Mojo these days.

I still don my hunting gear and go out in search of game, but I find myself consistently coming up empty in my quest to bring home my prize. I have days when I feel like I’m thisclose to capturing some, only to see it all slip from my grasp…

I’m out of town most of this week, out on a business trip where I’m pretty sure Mojo will be an endangered species.

Still, I’ll keep my guns loaded and my eyes peeled.

And if I get my shot, I’ll take it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Am Your Bodyguard

Welcome to "Same Old Sh*t" Saturday, where I... um... just dish out a little of the same old sh*t I've posted here before (aren't you glad I cleared that up?). One of the things I like best about weight loss blogging is the way we've all got each others' backs. That's the spirit I was trying to invoke in this post.


You’re jerking open a bag of Lay’s, experiencing that singular anticipation of something salty and satisfying sliding down your gullet...

Suddenly, I appear out of nowhere and smack the bag out of your hand. Before you can do much more than release an astonished gasp, my size 13 Converse is stomping the everloving sh*t out of those chips while I laugh a decidedly evil laugh.


No, I can’t really slap that bag of chips outta your hands, even though just thinking about doing such an audacious thing puts a silly smile on my kisser.

Yes, I’m a big enough man (figuratively) to admit it: I get a sick thrill to think about following you around and forcing you to act right.

Make you think about eating right because you’re worried about my snide comment or fierce glare.

Make you think about stuffing your face because you’re worried about me getting up in your grill.

Make you keep a watchful eye on the rear-view mirror while you’re in the drive-thru lane, worried that some overprotective psycho is going to ram your vehicle from behind.

See… that made me smile again.

I’d love to be your personal Diet Nazi, your weight-loss enforcer.

A bodyguard in the truest sense of the word.

I need one, too. Someone to ride shotgun and talk me down from the ledge when I think about straying off plan. Someone to provide a little tough love when… well, when the going gets tough. Someone who loves me enough to rough me up when I need roughing up.

Unfortunately, I can’t slap you around or impose my will on you by intimidation or force. I can’t do that for you, and you can’t do that for me.

But we can watch each other’s backs as we blog our journey to a fitter life. We can help keep each other honest, help keep each other on the straight and narrow. I got your back... you got mine.

Isn’t that what a bodyguard’s for, after all?

To keep us safe.

Friday, September 24, 2010

W.I.D.T.H. Your Weight in Gold

Even when you're enjoying success on this healthy living path we're walking, it can be a day-in-and-day-out struggle. If you can't really say exactly WHY you're doing it... well, then it may be next to impossible for you to achieve your goals.

What drives you to want to lose the weight? What's your reason for getting more healthy? Quick... jot it down on a note card, the back of an envelope, a scrap of tissue paper... and email it to

Corn Sugar? We Can Do Better Than That...

The other day I caught wind that the Corn Refiner's Association had petitioned the FDA to change the name of high-fructose corn syrup to "Corn Sugar."

“Corn Sugar”? That sounds like something you’d find at the fair, along with fiddlesticks and funnel cakes.

Here’s the thing, Corn Refiner’s Association. You read my blog. You know I’m great at naming stuff. Were you just too proud to beg for my help?

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got so far…

  • Sweet Magic Corn Powder

  • UniCorn

  • Corny Corn Corn Corn

  • High Fructose Chemical Syrup

  • Love Dust

  • Elixer of Life

  • Cornballs

  • Even Higher Fructose Corn Syrup

  • Corncaine

  • Golden Corn Sparkle

  • Health Stuff

  • Cornquelia

  • A-Maize-Ment

  • Super High Fructose Corn Syrup

  • CornaUtopia

  • Friendship Sauce

  • Hug Friendship Corn Syrup

  • Cornshine

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    I'm Sorry, Wang Chung

    Take your jeans off of the shelf
    And try to slip them on your self
    Gasp as they slide o’er your butt,
    And smile as the clasp buttons shut.
Now there’s no excuse,
    With our pants all loose.
    We feel good, by Zeus. 
When I, 
You and all of our friends, too
    Could believe, do
    Just what we had to.
I said: Pants all loose now. 

    Take your jeans all from the closet,
    And marvel when you see they all fit.
    And take your blue jeans from the drawer. 
    Put ‘em on and dance some more
    We would shake our caboose
    With our Pants all loose 

    We were through with body abuse. . . .
    Cuz I, you and all of our friends, too
    Could believe and do just what we had to. 

I said: Pants all loose now.

    Pants all loose.
 Pants all loose. Now.
    Try some new jeans on for size.
    They’re no longer squeezin’ on your thighs.
    Cuz you don’t eat McD’s French fries
    You’re doing good,

    So good for you.
    You’re doing good,
    So good for you. 

    And you’re doing good,

    And good for you.

    We were happy fools,
    With our pants all loose.

    We were layin’ off booze. . . . 

    Yes, I 

    You and all of our friends, too
    Could believe and do just what we have to. 

I said: “Pants all loose” now.

    Pants all loose 
Pants all loose.
    Pants all loose, now
    Pants all loose.
    Pants all loose, now.
    Pants all loose.
. . .

    "Pisa Sh*t is Mad" Giveaway Winner!

    The other day, I ran a little giveaway in support of C.O.A.K. the Coalition of Angry Kids. COAK helps parents… well, really all adults…do their part to be healthy role models for the younger generation.

    My 11-year-old daughter Pisa and I asked folks to take the COAK pledge. COAK is making a big push by offering a 
30-day Anytime Fitness membership, a free 30-minute personal training session and a no-cost 30-day premium pass to There’s no contract and no strings attached.

    What's more, the best comment of the day (as judged by Pisa) would win a GRUVE activity and calorie-tracker device (value $180) AND a one-year premium pass to (value $50).

    We got a load of admirable entries, but Pisa is her father's child and was particularly taken with this comment:

    Lucas said...
    Oh my goodness, I want that GRUVE and I'm SO NERVOUS to be addressing the all important PISA (which by the way I hope your Dad has taught you is a beautifully historic building in Italy and NOT in fact, a precursor to a swear word!) Ok, let's see what I can do to win this $h.t, er, stuff. Childhood obesity is mad wack! What’s with these parents? Can’t stay on track! Don’t they know what they eat matters? They should put down those crispy chicken platters No one wants to be overweight Shopping for huge pants to hold your freight So listen up parents, it’s up to ya’ll The importance of your job is not small Shop smart, eat smart, cook smart too For your little ones will follow you Get outside and jump around Your healthy lifestyle will abound Lead the way with smart choices Sing vegetables praises with loud voices Drink lots of water, soda is for saps Then set off running around in laps Set the example for your rug rats Before they end up surrounded by fats Teach them young so when they grow They will already be up in the know You’ll look better, feel better, live longer too And all that fiber leads to healthy poo (this will become more important as you get older, PISA) But perhaps the biggest gift of all Is watching your kids grow strong and tall So listen to PISA and her dad Jack Cuz childhood obesity is mad wack

    Thanks to everyone who participated and to the fine folks at the Coalition of Angry Kids for helping make it happen.

    And thank you, Pisa, for being you!

    I’m Sorry, Boss

    I was big and full-figured,
    Didn’t know why I was so fat.

    I was unrecognizable to myself.
Saw my reflection in a mirror
    I didn't know my own body.
Oh brother, can’t believe I’m

    Feelin’ so shoddy.

    Need some weeks of eatin’ healthier.

    I walked the treadmill till my legs felt like jelly.
    I been doin’ situps til there’s a crease in my belly.

    At night I can hear the rumble in my stomach.
    Am I doing great? You betcha buttock,

    After weeks of eatin’ healthier.


Ain't no angel food cake gonna tempt me.
    It's just organic food, my friend.

    And my clothes don't fit me no more,
I’ve run a thousand miles

    To lose this double chin.


It’s a brand new day, I'm finally awake.
Getting’ closer and closer to my goal weight. 

    So believe me, sister: this is how it’s gonna be
    I hope you’re gonna make this trip with me,

    More weeks of eatin’ healthier.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    The "Pisa Sh*t is Mad" Giveaway

    Pisa Sh*t is mad.

    In case you’re new to these parts, Pisa is my 11-year-old daughter. She’s a pretty normal kid, but she’s been fuming ever since I filled her in on some troubling facts about childhood obesity.

    “Lemme get this straight,” she said the other day at the dinner table. “If one parent is obese, there is a 50% chance that the child will also be obese?”

    “That’s correct,” I said, dishing some salad on my plate. “But that’s not the worst…”

    “There’s more?” she frowned.

    “If both parents are obese,” I informed her. “The children have an 80% chance of being obese."

    “That’s not fair to the kids.”

    “I’ll say,” I shrugged. “Please pass the mashed potatoes.”

    “I don’t think so,” she growled. “You eat a big pile of mashed potatoes, and I’m the one who winds up shopping in the Plus Size section.”

    “Well, it’s not exactly like that…”

    “How’s it not exactly like that?” she sneered.

    “Okay, it’s exactly like that,” I admitted. “But I’d still like some mashed potatoes.”

    “How many kids are we talking about?”

    “Well, nearly one out of every three American children is clinically overweight or obese,” I told her.

    “Are you kidding me?”

    “Nope, actually I have it right here…” I explained, pulling out a copy of a report by researchers from the Stanford University of Medicine. “The factor that most puts children at risk of being overweight is having obese parents.”

    “Can I see that?” she said.

    “I’ll trade it for the mashed potatoes.”

    “Okay, hand it over.”

    “Look it’s not as desperate as it sounds…” I smiled, handing over the report.

    “This is incredible,” she growled. “We kids are getting hosed.”

    “Ummm… you forgot to hand over the spuds.”

    “There’s gotta be something we can do about this,” implored Pisa.

    “Well, there’s this organization called COAK,” I said.

    “Coke?” she asked. “Is that some kind of sick joke?”

    “C-O-A-K, the Coalition of Angry Kids,” I explained. “COAK helps parents… well, really all adults…do their part to be healthy role models for the younger gneration.”

    “How so?”

    “By asking folks to take the COAK pledge.” I said. COAK is making a big push by offering a 
30-day Anytime Fitness membership, a free 30-minute personal training session and a no-cost 30-day premium pass to There’s no contract and no strings attached.”

    “Well, you should blog about it,” Pisa told me.

    “Nah, it’s kinda boring,” I told her, straining to reach the potatoes.

    “Boring!” she yelled, banging a fist on the table. “It’s my future we’re talking about!”

    “I don’t know…”

    “DO IT!” she yelled.

    “Okay… okay… but I don’t know when I’ll…”

    “TODAY!” she demanded.

    “Okay… okay…” I said. “But I don’t know what I’ll…”

    “A GIVEAWAY!” she boomed. “Have them leave a comment about the importance of this issue and give the best one a special giveaway package.”

    “Well,” I said. “I do have some good giveaway loot in my office…”


“Give away a GRUVE activity and calorie-tracker device (value $180) AND a one-year premium pass to (value $50).”

    “How do you know the value of those giveaway items?”

    “Look, Dad,” said Pisa sternly. “This is a LOT more important than whatever silly list or stupid song you were gonna slap on your blog today.”

    “I’m not getting any potatoes, am I?”

    Pisa gets her way: leave me a compelling comment about this issue and you could win… ummm… what she said. This is her contest, so she’s picking the winner. Would-be winners should address their comments to her.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Good. Gooder. Bestest.

    GOOD: You walked a mile on the treadmill.
    GOODER: You ran a 5K on the treadmill.
    BESTEST: You made it to the end of the treadmill.

    GOOD: You buy lots of produce at the grocery store.
    GOODER: You buy organic produce at the grocery store.
    BESTEST: You grow your own vegetables in your bathtub.

    GOOD: A co-worker commented on your weight loss.
    GOODER: A friend you haven’t seen in a while is shocked how great you look.
    BESTEST: Your mother makes you show her some ID.

    GOOD: You’re taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
    GOODER: You’re biking to work instead of driving.
    BESTEST: You’re doing an Ironman triathalon instead of going to staff meeting.

    GOOD: Salad for lunch.
    GOODER: Salad for dinner.
    BESTEST: Salad for breakfast.

    GOOD: You do 50 situps every day.
    GOODER: You do 50 situps every hour.
    BESTEST: You never stop doing situps.

    GOOD: You do yoga, pilates or Zumba.
    GOODER: You do yoga, pilates and Zumba
    BESTEST: You do yoga, pilates and Zumba, all at the same time.

    GOOD: You achieved your goal rate on your heart rate monitor.
    GOODER: You exceeded your goal rate on your heart rate monitor.
    BESTEST: Your activity level melted your heart rate monitor.

    GOOD: You feel comfortable being in public in a swimsuit.
    GOODER: You feel comfortable being in public in a bikini.
    BESTEST: Hello, nude beach!

    GOOD: You’ve lost 20 lbs.
    GOODER: You’ve lost 20% of your starting weight.
    BESTEST: You’ve lost the bad habits that got you in trouble in the first place.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Failure Is Not An Option (Just a Vaguely Unsettling Possibility)

    This journey can be exhilarating, can be galvanizing, can be life-affirming, but I sometimes forget the flip side of that coin…

    This journey can be disconcerting, can be heart-wrenching , can be more than any rational person can be expected to even hope to endure.

    Kevin at Jogging Clydesdale and I just recently discovered each other’s blogs, and he’s apparently hit a really rough patch of road

    Yeah, I've been avoiding this for some time. My blog is bullshit. My "lifestyle change" is bullshit. The words I write here are as much to convinice myself as it is to convince you that I desire change. I've worked with a group of friends, my Warriors, who helped me be accountable. But in a brief insight of honesty, I realized I was trying to convince them as well rather than really put myself in their hands. I've thought I've hit bottom many times and decide from here on out it's gonna be by the book. But.... I like to eat. I like to find comfort in food. When I am stressing, it hits the spot. I've not really found the bottom.

    You know, while I was thinking about writing this today, I ate 5 oreo cookies, two slices of pizza, a "snack sized" bag of chips and two halves of a cinnamon roll? Did I mention I am supposedly on a low carb diet? I have put back on 50 of the 62 pounds I lost in 2008-2009. Yes, my life is a mess--you'll have to trust me on that one. Stress is a factor. But it is also a cop out.

    Somehow I thought this blog might help inspire me to run and gain back that health I've lost since last summer. And it has, in a way. But who really wants to read about a 40 year old man who struggles with negative self talk? How many ways can I describe the beauty of asphalt and concrete lined with perfect green lawns through suburbia?



What's more, I finally came across the blog I wish I had made. Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit is the blog I wish I could have realized. But I couldn't have because I am not Jack Sh*t. He says what needs to be said. He pulls no punches with himself or with his audience, but he does it with humor and incredible support for those with whom he is sharing his journey. In particular, one of his older posts, Just Means Well or Well, Just Mean? just really hit me over the head like a tonne of bricks. Like the blogger he is dialoging with in that post, I find it very easy to rationalize or ignore just how much I am working against myself in trying to lose this weight. Jack doesn't give him any squirm room, but is nonetheless 100% supportive of his online fitness buddy.


I need to decide soon if I really am committed or if I'm just playing games. One of Jack's regular features is to have his reader's write down why they are trying to get fit or lose weight on a note card, take a pic of them holding it, and sending it in.


I've been doing this for more than two years now. I don't know what I'd write.

    Clydesdale Jog will be taking a brief intermission as I grow a pair and get my headspace right.

    Reading his heart-felt words, what ran through my mind was this: there but for the grace of God go I.

    I mean it. I realize how lucky I am that the stars lined up in order for me to enjoy a great deal of success on both the weight loss and blogging fronts. I got some support early in the game, and that kept my enthusiasm high for both my diet/exercise plan and building up this site.

    I like to think I would have achieved success under any circumstances, but I can't say with any certainty that's the truth.

    Here’s the comment I left at Jogging Clydesdale:

    CJ, before I started this blogging adventure 18 months ago, I was as lost as you seem to be right now. It seemed as though I'd start a new diet every Monday morning and would be elbow deep in a plate of nachos by the weekend. I was out of control and nearly out of my mind. I've got a few years on you, so I understand just how hard it is to get the ball rolling.


What did it for me was a long weekend home all by my lonesome. I found a weight-loss blog called Steve version 4.6 that really resonated with me. It was a guy roughly my size, roughly my age, roughly my weight, who had lost a tremendous amount of weight doing nothing more than eating a little better and exercising a little more. Best of all, he blogged every day about his experience. 

    That was the blog I wanted to write, but we're each different. We each bring our own gifts, our own personalities to the party. Early on, I found myself gravitating to using humor to get through my everyday blogging, because if I had blogged about what I was eating, what I was doing, I'd have about six readers today. 

    Most of all, I embraced the fact that this is a lifetime commitment. I've yoyo'd too many times in my life, and just don't know if I've got any more big losses left in the tank. 

    Take a break and recharge, if you think that's what's best, but I'd tell you that turning my back on blogging would lead me back to my old ways pretty quickly. I have a blogging buddy who got down to goal weight, closed up his blogging shop and promptly gained 50 lbs in about three months. 

    But you're right about one thing: you really DO need to identify WHY you want to do this, WHAT exactly you're willing to sacrifice in order to achieve it.

It isn't easy and it won't happen overnight, but it will change your life in a real and profound way. 

    Email me anytime you want ( if you have any questions or just need a sounding board. 

    Take care, my friend.

    I hope Kevin finds his missing mojo, and I pray you find the support and encouragement you need along the way as well.

    We all, each of us, need all the help we can get along the way.

    Note: If this was just entirely too much of a Debbie Downer for you on this fine Monday morning, you can skip over to Eating Journey for a little Jack Sh*t kookiness. Mmmmm... kookies.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Mmmmmmmmm... Pie

    Weekly weigh-in: 211.1
    Loss: -0.0
    Total loss: -80.9
    Emotion: Ready to get going again

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Something a Little Different

    Welcome to "Same Old Sh*t" Saturday, where I coast into the weekend by drudging up a post from my ever-expanding archive and re-posting it while I actually spend a day not blogging, thank you very much. This was the post that started my use of note cards in JSGF, something I've used (and abused) since then.


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