Minor Setback and Motivation

This is the picture I took of myself on Monday after my run.

I felt defeated, angry, and upset. It was the first time in five years that I had to cut a run short due to pain. I was annoyed and I had negative thoughts almost all the way home. I felt like a failure.

After about a half mile of walking, I decided to try running again to see if the pain was still there; it was not. But I stopped running and continued walking that last mile home. I didn’t want to re-injure it, or make it worse. I figured I’d give it time to heal for my next run.

I thought about it a lot on that walk home, and after I let the anger and frustration go, I thought objectively about where I was in my fitness journey. I was still just weeks into getting back into it after a major surgery. I was pushing myself harder than I should again; something I told myself I wouldn’t do. I needed to dial it back a bit and allow my body time to adjust and strengthen at it’s own speed.

My next scheduled run was supposed to be yesterday, but a lack of sleep the night before kept me from exercising. I have found that every time I’ve injured myself in the gym or on the road has been after nights where I didn’t get enough sleep, so I’ve learned that it’s better to skip a day if I’m not rested than to push it and risk an injury which could set me back.

Last night, I still got to bed later than I wanted to, but I felt rested when I woke up. I feel motivated to lift weights and to run later today, and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’ve been making great progress with my pull-ups and sit-ups. I’m up to 10 assisted pull-ups and 125 sit-ups. For someone who had their abdominal muscles sewn back together just two months ago, that’s pretty good.

My strength in weightlifting has also been improving steadily and safely without discomfort. StrongLifts 5×5 really does work, and it’s a great beginner program. Coupled with my own fitness program, I will definitely be ready for WOBC in October/November.

Setbacks happen. Sometimes they’re serious, and other times, they’re minor. Either way, the hardest part is getting over the psychological damage those setbacks cause, and getting “Back up on that horse.” We’ve all heard the motivational phrases, so I’ll spare you that here. But, I do use those motivational phrases on myself. I start repeating them over and over until I believe them. I motivate myself by reminding myself how lucky I am to be able to exercise, to be able to lift weights, to be able to get out on the road and run. There are so many people who can’t do that for one reason or another, especially at my age. But here I am, suiting up, hitting the gym, and then going out in the heat and getting it done. Even if I’m slow, I’m not on the couch. I haven’t surrendered, and I never will.

I will always work to be better today than I was yesterday, whether that’s in how I deal with people, my diet, or my fitness. I just want to continue to be better. Sure, I’ll hit roadblocks and setbacks, but I’ll never quit. I may lose a battle, but I will not lose the war. I may have cut a run short this week, but that won’t be my last run. I will keep going, and I will keep running.

It’s not okay to be overweight



It’s NOT okay to be overweight.

It’s not okay to accept being fat.

It’s not okay to eat whatever you want in whatever quantity you want.

Just because you don’t want to take responsibility for your health, do what’s necessary to be healthy, and use every excuse you can think of as a crutch to remain heavy while eating all the things is not doing you or our society any favors. Why are kids obese today? Because parents let it happen. Because we say everyone is a special snowflake and should be accepted as they are.


I’m tired of hearing people tell me it’s hard to lose weight. NO SHIT IT’S HARD. You should respect your own life enough to break the sugar addiction (and yes, that’s the root of all this obesity going around).

Are you offended that I’m telling you what to do? Did I tell you what to do? Oh, telling you that you should respect yourself? That is insulting? Try this one: YOU ARE GOING TO DIE EITHER BECAUSE OF OR PARTLY BECAUSE OF YOUR FATNESS BECAUSE YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT YOURSELF TO SAVE YOURSELF FROM THAT FATE. Is that better?

There’s no nice way to say it. Being fat is not something to be proud of. It’s not something to accept as normal. It’s something we need to fight. Our country’s very existence may hinge on our health, and right now, we’re headed for disaster. When everyone is fat, who will do the work to pay for our healthcare system to care for all the weight-related health problems? Who will defend our country if everyone is too fat to meet standards in the military? Raise weight standards? Please.

Being fat is not healthy. The myth of the healthy fat person is just that; a myth. The media is trying to sell us BS because it makes them money. People don’t want to be told and don’t like to be told that they are doing something wrong. It’s not PC to say, “You’re fat and you need to change your life.” But I’m not PC. I’m not going to sugarcoat it or beat around the bush. I firmly believe that part of the problem is nobody speaking up about it. Nobody is willing to hurt feelings to get the point across.

My grandmother was famous for this. She would say, “My dear, it is not my intention to hurt your feelings, but as your grandmother, I feel it is my duty to tell you that you are fat and you need to change.” She literally said it just like that. Were my feelings hurt? Sure. Did she mean well? Absolutely. Did I listen? No, because I was too proud and I was too caught up in my own ego. She’s passed away now, but I know she’d be proud of me and this blog.

Being fat is not okay. Stop telling yourself that it is. You need to change what you eat, how much you eat, and learn to live healthier. Or you will die before you otherwise would.

This one will be a tough pill to swallow

This is for those who are overweight. If you are already at your ideal weight, you should probably skip this blog post. 

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I’m not going to say it nicely. I’m going to come right out and say what you already know: you’re fat and you need to lose weight. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you searched out this blog, and it’s why you are reading.

If you are offended, then you’re not ready to change. You are in denial, and you won’t succeed. If you don’t like that, too bad, snowflake. I’m not here to coddle you, shower you with kindness, and hold your delicate ego while you make empty gestures in an attempt to lose weight so you can say you’re working, “So hard” to lose the weight while really not doing anything that resembles work. Don’t waste my time, and more importantly, don’t waste your own.

You didn’t get fat in a day, and you won’t lose it all in a day. Or a week. Or even a month. It will take a long time, and it will take some serious effort. I’m not talking about effort in the gym. Anyone can go to a gym, and many do for years without losing weight. I’m talking about effort over your mind, over your own desires and cravings. You will have to conquer the greatest enemy you’ve ever faced: yourself.

You have to wean yourself off sugar. That means nothing with added sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and artificial sweeteners. Yes, even alcohol. If that’s too much for you, go away. You will fail, and I won’t be part of that.

You have to do it cold turkey. “Moderation” is a myth and, to be frank, complete bullshit. If you could have ever exercised moderation, you would have done so already and you wouldn’t be fat.

I don’t judge you for being fat. I was fat, and I was okay with it for a long time. Until I wasn’t. Then, I did something about it. If you’re still reading after everything I’ve said, then it seems you’re ready to do something about it too.

Feel angry? Embarrassed? Upset? USE THAT ENERGY TO DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO LOSE WEIGHT AND GET HEALTHY! Go to whole30.com. Read it. Read it again. Then, DO IT. It’s simple. I didn’t say it was easy because it’s not. The first 3-7 days will be the most hellish experience you will likely ever face. But once on the other side of it, you will feel better than you probably have in your entire life, and things will change for the better.

Got questions? Need help? Want to talk? Let me know! I’m here to help. And I promise, I’m much nicer than this post makes me sound. It’s just that breaking through the shell of denial sometimes requires blunt force (hence this post).

Sometimes, it’s hard to not scream

This is a bit of a rant. I apologize if you feel this is directed towards you. It’s not directed at anyone in particular, but it is something I experience at least weekly.

63B6771D-When I am asked questions about losing weight, eating healthy, or fitness, I always make time for people. I answer all their questions and make sure to offer myself for any additional info, motivation, or pep talks. I do this because I believe that we’ve had so much bad information for so long, someone needs to let people in on the truth about our horrible diet that the government and our education system continues to tell us is healthy.

But then, after spending time with certain people explaining it all to them, answering their questions, and even helping them plan their new diet, I see them doing the exact opposite of what we discussed. I see them continue on with the bad habits as if we’d never talked, never made plans, and they’d never resolved to change their diet.

And then, a little while later, I hear them lamenting to someone else how their new diet hasn’t done anything for them, how what I am doing just isn’t working for them, and how their body must be completely different from mine.

It’s maddening, and sometimes I want to scream.

No, it probably has nothing to do with the cinnamon rolls you had for breakfast. Probably nothing to do with the fried chicken you ate at lunch with the rolls and potato salad. Definitely nothing to do with the Big Mac you ate for dinner.

I know. People sometimes need a few starts to get going. It’s hard to quit sugar, and not everyone has the strength to get past the initial shock of leaving sugar and bad foods behind. That’s what I keep telling myself: I had a hard time in the beginning.

So, as frustrating as it can be to see you eating your unhealthy food, I’m still in your corner. I’m here hoping you find the strength to persevere and make the changes that will improve the quality of your life, and yes, even help you lose weight. I see it as if someone were bleeding to death and I handed them a tourniquet and instructions on how to use it and the person continued to sit there and watch themselves bleed out. I guess getting rid of sugar, grains, and dairy can be a pretty big shock to the system, but you have weight to lose and a whole new life to gain!

No. No, no, no, no, no!

I run. I waited until I lost 110 lbs to do it safely.

If you’re over 100 lbs overweight and want to lose weight, CHANGE YOUR DIET. Don’t try to get out there and walk for 30 minutes or go to the gym three times a week and sweat for an hour expecting weight loss without changing your diet. You will be doing a whole lot of work with very little results!

I just got done talking to a lady who worked with a personal trainer for a year, and she mentioned that she stopped exercising which meant she wouldn’t be losing any more weight. I told her this was wrong, and it was difficult for her to understand that diet accounts for 90% of weight loss with exercise making your heart stronger and your muscles stronger. Sure, you will likely lose extra weight as a result of exercise, but it’s not the main factor. DIET IS.

It’s amazing how little people know about nutrition and exercise and the role they play in our weight management and health. I use this to fuel my desire to get the word out, to teach people how important it is to eat right FIRST and exercise SECOND. If you’re 100+ lbs overweight, it’s important to eat right BEFORE exercising. I waited until I lost 110 lbs before I began running, and now seven months later, I am running sub-8 minute miles and I got here without injury.

Do yourself a favor. Check out Whole30. Check out Paleo. They will get you where you want to be without hurting yourself, without starving yourself, and in a way that your body is built for: eating good, natural, whole foods.

Kinda Paleo… Kinda Eating Right…

Pizza… my nemesis…

It’s interesting to me when I see people posting on social media that they are eating Paleo and then a few days or weeks later, I see them posting about non-Paleo foods they’re eating. I didn’t say it makes me angry or upset, because it doesn’t. I’m not disappointed or let down; it’s not my journey to judge. I don’t say anything negative. I don’t say anything at all. As I’ve said before, I’m not the Paleo Police, and what you eat is your business. Always.

It’s interesting to me because I struggled with eating non-Paleo foods, but I resisted the temptations (and boy, were there many!). I try to think about why I was successful at putting the temptations and cravings behind me when others couldn’t, and I’m not sure I have any good answers, but here are some methods I used:

  1. I put non-Paleo foods out of my diet. Completely. I never considered them because I didn’t allow myself to eat them at all. Ever. They were off-limits.
  2. I committed to Paleo completely. If it wasn’t Paleo-approved, it wasn’t on my plate or going in my mouth.
  3. I committed to success. There was no stopping me, and the last thing I was going to do is sabotage myself by eating non-Paleo foods.
  4. I wouldn’t let the scale dictate my success. I used many factors outside of the scale to include how I felt, my mobility, flexibility, how my clothes fit, and how much more awake I felt.
  5. I stayed positive and never let anything or anyone get me down. On those rare occasions when I still felt a little down, my wife would pick me up and give me the push I needed to persevere (teamwork cannot be understated).

You don’t need to be Superman or Wonder Woman to get this done. Going Paleo isn’t hard, but it does require you to use self discipline to stay away from foods that aren’t good for you. That’s why I literally broke all ties with those foods that are harmful to me and my health. Just like you cut ties with toxic people, the same must be done with foods that impact your health negatively. There’s no other way.

With all that said, I would have to say that it’s better to be kinda Paleo than not Paleo at all. At least you’re giving your body good food most of the time. Just go easy on the non-Paleo stuff, and realize that you’re sabotaging your own progress. If you’re okay with that, I’m okay with that. Just don’t tell me that you can’t achieve the same levels of success I have; you’re kidding yourself if you believe that.

Monday Weigh-Ins are Always Tough

IMG_5744(1)Every weekend, without fail, I gain about 2 lbs. Most of it is water weight, and some is honest weight. Honest weight is that weight that I put on from either eating more than I should have, or food with higher sugar or carb content than I normally do (which also adds to the water weight through water retention).

It’s always the same, and it’s always aggravating, yet it’s also comforting to know that by doing the right things again, I will be back to Friday’s weight by Wednesday morning, and typically a new low on Friday. I’m really hoping for this trend this week as I go into my first APFT and official Army Weigh In this coming Saturday. I’m already well below my max weight for my height, but I am going for a 10 lbs buffer. I’m almost there. It’s so close. Two steps forward, one step back.

Annoyed with Bad Eating and the Resulting Weight Gain


Over the past four days, I’ve eaten way too much and also ate food that is definitely not Paleo. This was due to a few things including celebrating Valentine’s early with my wife, an evening out with friends, or a special lunch with co-workers. What is unusual for me, however, is that all these events took place within a four-day period. What that has done is made me pick up about 5 lbs of weight. It makes me highly irritable and angry at myself.

I know. Treats every now and then are necessary. We have to enjoy ourselves. I get it, I understand it, and heck, I even recommend it to others. However, doing so four days in a row is really too much. Now, my body is paying for it.

If it were due to a lack of discipline or me falling off the wagon, so to speak, I guess I’d have more reason to be upset. However, this really is a case of eating foods that I normally don’t eat in circumstances I’m normally not in. So I should go easy on myself. At least that’s what Sherry says.


What makes me worry more, however, is that I have a trip to Spain coming up in two weeks. I’ll be wanting to (and will likely) eat a lot of foods for the sake of the adventure and new experiences. I worry that I will eat too much and in turn, will gain weight.

I know. It’s a vacation. You gotta live and experience everything. But I have to keep reminding myself that there is more to a vacation and a new place beyond its food and alcohol. I have to tell myself to be reasonable even as I try new foods. It’ll be tough, but I have to do it. If I’ve learned anything over the past year it’s that my body will gain weight very quickly with minimal changes in my diet. I’m fighting to get back down to my pre-weekend weight, and every day longer it takes me to get back to it is another day where I’m cranky about it.

Fortunately, I know that through eating well, getting enough sleep, and staying active, the weight will come off. It just takes time. I just hate waiting to get back down to a weight I had already reached. There’s nothing worse than having to re-do the work, but not doing it is completely unacceptable.

Follow the money: why are we not teaching people how to naturally lose weight?


I’ve heard it said many times that when you want to find the reason for something, whether its a crime, a regulation, rule, or law, follow the money. This is a cynical way of looking at things, but in today’s world, unfortunately, following the money can lead you to the motivations behind most anything that happens in our government, business, and society. It seems to me that following the money will also give you the reason that nobody is taught how to lose weight naturally and safely.

There is a huge industry around weight loss. Ironically, the companies that sell the weight loss products are the very same companies that sell the food that makes us fat. It is in their financial best interest to keep fattening us up while then selling us the illusion of a cure, or a way out of obesity. Sadly, the vast majority of these products are snake oil at best, with minimal benefits and questionable efficacy. What they all have in common: high profits and big promises.

I used to be a member of the demographic they marketed to, and I would watch with rapt attention as the promises were spewed from the mouths of shills who extolled the virtues and efficacy of these products. I would do research on them to find out the veracity of the claims only to find that all of these products would say, “Coupled with a healthy diet and exercise.” It seemed that the truth was there all along: healthy diet and exercise. Yet people think that it’s the product that is helping them lose weight and get fit.

Why am I such a cynic when it comes to the diet and fitness industry? Because I have made more progress without using a single product than many people I know, some of them close to me, who have been using these products. They place so much of their faith into the products (because they make the promises) that they allow themselves to let down their guard with their diet which erases any weight loss they could have achieved had they stuck to their eating plan.

I know that it’s hard to be disciplined when it comes to eating. You’re not telling me something I don’t know; I lived it. I still live it. My relationship with food is complicated, at best, and I will likely be recovering from my eating disorder for the rest of my life. If anything, it’s harder for me to not eat something that it is for most people. But then again, I’m honest with myself and I know that I have a problem with eating. Many people try to fix their health through dieting without addressing the real problem in the first place that got them overweight: their relationship with food and their eating habits (or disorders).

What people need to realize is that without addressing the cause of the weight gain, no product, diet, or even exercise will get you permanent weight loss. It’ll be temporary, at best (if at all). Don’t buy a solution. Find it within yourself. That’s where the problem is, anyway.

What keeps me up at night: nutrition ignorance

I was trying to fall asleep the other night, and quite literally, this kept me awake. I was thinking about how poor a job we have done in the US to educate our people properly about nutrition, and how big money has gotten in the way of that education and is now causing the largest epidemic of all time: obesity. (No, I don’t think about this EVERY night. I have my own problems to think about most of the time. lol)

I’m always surprised when people don’t know that orange juice  has roughly the same amount of sugar as the demon of the nutritional world, soda — about 5 to 8 teaspoons per cup. I watch people who are trying to lose weight switch from sodas like Coke or Dr. Pepper to orange juice or apple juice. They’ve literally traded one flavor for another.

There are many sources online that can point you to the real nutritional value of the foods you imbibe. Be careful and make sure they are neutral; there are many sites available that extol the virtues of orange juice as being healthy and good for you (it’s not bad in small amounts) as compared to sodas. A slice of pizza won’t kill you either, but a diet of pizza daily likely will.

Do the work. Look up your nutritional choices and make decisions based on fact, not on propaganda. I want you to be healthy, and to get there, you need cold, hard facts.