Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Getting ready for warmer weather...

You know when you have one of those days you needed at least one more hour of sleep? Well I had one of those days.

I got woken up by Alice just before I was headed into a deep dream. She couldn't get Reid up for school and had to call in the big guns. Reid has 6 weeks left and lets just say he's going to have to have perfect attendance to pull it off and graduate.

So then I was up. Couldn't get back to sleep and started my day of meetings.

As the day went on I started feeling worse and worse. It felt like I was hungover. My mouth felt like I smoked about 5 cigars the night before. It was the strangest feeling. After dinner I did my hypnosis and I could feel my heart palpitating. The good news was I dozed off during the hypnosis and then showered after and the shower seemed to pick me up.

Some more good news was I hit an all time low in weight this morning of 192.6 lbs. At least an all time low since last year this time. Still feeling very confident I'll drop more.

One observation I've found is the swimming was the turning point of kick starting me to drop weight and I can tell my upper body is firming up big time after only two 3.2 km swims. I realized that the perfect full body workout is an hour run and an hour swim in the same day.

Tonight I decided to replace my kegerator fridge. The original one was no longer cooling. Of course not only did I have to replace the fridge I had to replace the graphic on the fridge. Alice and I picked up the new graphic for the front and Alice put it on. She has the patience to do it right and remove all the air bubbles.

I had to remove the tap hardware from the old fridge and put it on the new fridge and while I was at it I cleaned the lines. That wasn't easy. To get the tap apart it took every muscle in my body. I guess some beer drip-age got into it and it was like super glue. I finally got it apart and the sad part was it really wasn't necessary as the lines were not dirty.

On the old kegerator I had taken the relay off to see if that was the problem a week ago. Tonight I put it back on and noticed that the old kegerator sounds exactly like the new one. The compressor is working. It got me thinking that maybe it's still got some life in it. I emailed the company and I think it could just be a thermostat issue.

If it is I figure I'll sell the old one. It's probably worth more with my fridge wrapper on it. There is no way I'm getting rid of the new one. Why? I noticed it is very cold. It gets down to 0 C or 32 F. The old one could only get down to about 34 F. It wasn't bad, but I'm one of those guys that like ice cold beer.

At one point I also realized that now that I got my Kegerator back working that I should also get my humidor up to speed. I'm been a really bad boy with the humidor. I have two humidors. One holds 500 cigars and at one time it was full and I have a smaller 50 humidor cigar.

Both humidors I've neglected and haven't keep up to the proper humidity and all the cigars are dry. They could be around 65-70% and the humidor has been about 40%.

I moved all my cigars into the small humidor and got the gave it some humidity love. Did a little research and it looks like it's going to take at least a couple of weeks to get them back. Every couple of days I need to go through the humidor and give the cigars a quarter turn. It's worth the effort. I have some relatively good and expensive cigars in there.

So here's my vision for the summer. Work hard. Get skinny. Train. Drink beer. Smoke cigars. Barbecue near every meal. Sit on deck a lot and enjoy the outdoors. Oh, and maybe do some sprint, Olympic and maybe a half Ironman.

Recovery Day
192.6 lbs

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Shocking the system...

Today was the first day I've trained since last Thursday. That's 4 days of no training. It was also the first day since Thursday I didn't have a beer.

It was just what the doctor ordered. I just didn't know it until it was over.

Let me explain.

February 22 was a bit of a turning point for me. I was 207 lbs and I decided it was the day I was going to get back on the straight and narrow, drop some weight and get back into shape.

From February 22 up until April 16th that's what I did. Other than a one night, one day punch of some fun going to the "Three Dog Night" concert last week of March I've been toeing the line and it got results. I dropped about 14 lbs and trained near every day.

It wasn't easy.

To do it I listened to hypnosis near every day and it basically became a ground hog day of sorts and the only non ground hog day was 6 days of straight juicing which was a challenge until itself.

It was basically 8 weeks of clean eating and healthy living.

Those 8 weeks were a very interesting time. The first 30 days I found to be easier than the next 30 days. It seemed like I dropped the first 10 lbs in the first month and then things slowed down. Things really started to become a bit of a grind and the routine was getting to me. All I was wishing for was to lose the next 10 lbs and get down to 185 lbs and then I could enjoy some beers.

I'm not sure what happened on Thursday and it could have went either way. Stay the course or have a beer.

It all started with an afternoon drive down to Niagara Falls to pick up my replacement fridge for my Kegerator. The compressor broke and it's easier to just replace the fridge portion than try to fix a compressor. I was actually told they don't fix compressors.

I wanted to get the kegerator fixed for summer. I want to enjoy some cool beers at my new low weight and enjoy the summer. Picking it up was getting me ready.

As we got close to home and after much debating in my mind back and forth we ended up grabbing something to eat along with some beers.

Other than our road trip in March this would be the first time we were going out for something to eat and drinks. We went to Jack Astors. I ordered a beer and that is where the journey began.

I have two personality traits that never leave me, I'm a passionate all in type and I follow my gut. My gut told me this was the right thing to do. My all in type went for it.

We had a couple beers and some food at Jacks before heading back home to the Pig & Whistle to watch the Winnipeg Jets playoff game. Their first since Winnipeg getting a team back. On the way home we picked up some beers.

It has been a long time since I had beers and it didn't take much for me to feel it. Next thing I know is Alice and I are laughing, having a great time and I forgot to lock the computer up. Like I said it's been about 8 weeks without beers.

For some reason I like to have beers and do social media. Which I did. From years of experience I have my accounts set up that if I do have this "fun" it's only to a select group of close friends.

The reality is it's been so long I forgot to lock up the laptop. For such occasions I even bought a safe for the computer and I don't have the combination lock to it, only Alice does. No joke. I have her lock up electronics and I have to wait until morning when she can open them.

There is two reasons I like to do this. The first is that when you are hanging out with 'real' people, it's kind of crappy to be inter acting with "virtual" people. It's got that rude factor and removes you from being present.

The second is that sometimes what seems like the right thing to do at the time when you are having some cocktails is not something you would think is the right thing to do when you are not having cocktails.

It was a really fun night. Alice and I had some great laughs. Of course I decided to send some fun Instagram video which got a lot of laughs and of course those laughs egged me on to do more. Which I did. Which of course I removed the following day. I totally now get why Snap Chat was invented.

The next day I didn't feel too bad. I woke up. Had a number of meetings and by mid-afternoon decided to shut it down early. It was 22 C outside and the first day we could actually sit outside and have a meal and beers.

Now at this point I remembered, turn off all electronics. Primary reason, be present with the person you are with...i.e. Alice. Before we left for lunch I had her lock up my laptop and after sending some emails from the restaurant patio, into Alice's purse went my cell phone.

So here we are. It's two days in a row and we are at a restaurant having beers. After eating at home, good home cooked and fresh meals for the last 60 days and listening to hypnosis about eating your food slowly and savoring it, I really started to realize how crappy the food is that we had ordered both the day before at Jack Astors and Friday afternoon at Shoeless Joes.

I'm not joking. It tasted dead. Jack Astors actually surprised me. It's gone down hill. It used to be good. Shoeless Joes was awful. I had a starter salad and it was warm and wilted. I've had so many great salads that Alice has made that I noticed the differences right away. I felt like I was wasting my money. It was kind of heart breaking when you get a bill and you pay it knowing you could have done so much better staying at home to eat.

I will say, both of those places we will not be going back to again.

It was such a great day and when we got back home our neighbours, Jeff and Rebbecca where hanging at their Tiki Bar. They put it up late last year and had not yet broken it in. Great weather, great beer, great neighbours and that equals a night at Jeff's Tiki bar until 2 am.

Jeff made some steaks and salad. Awesome food. Steaks were perfect and the salad was super flavorful. I used to eat salad because I thought I should and would force myself to eat it. Over these last 60 days I've learned to love eating salad. I genuinely look forward to eating salad.

Basically Thursday night was a lot of talking. Friday night was a lot of talking and it continued the exact same way into Saturday and Sunday.

We kept the party going on Saturday and went out for a couple of beers and headed home to the Pig & Whistle and on Sunday we had a family dinner to celebrate Alyssa's finishing and graduating from University. She's the first in our immediate family who got a University degree.

We went to Marciano's Pasta Bar. Her favorite and very good food.

I'm so proud of her. She worked so hard and had such amazing grades, winning many awards. Of course she says she could have done better. She, like myself, like Alice and like Reid are a family of 4 that none believe they have done well enough. Myself personally have only within the last 5 years have learned to be able to thank someone for a compliment.

Monday was back to work and most of my day was spent reviewing agreements and paperwork. Lots of signing of stuff and Alice and I drove out to Waterloo to drop off signatures at the lawyer. Of course we stopped for something to eat and some beers. We stopped at a place called Ethel's Lounge.

Interesting place. Really great food. Interesting atmosphere and just by chance we showed up on a Monday late afternoon and they were hosting a wake. Interesting atmosphere and some interesting characters.

Woke up this morning and I felt like I hadn't trained in weeks. Over these last 4 days I've been weighing myself and waiting to see this incredible gain. I've been lucky. It maxed out this morning at 195.2 lbs. Not bad all things considered. On Monday, my Weight Watchers weigh in day it was 194.6 lbs. I was down .2lb.

I've been looking at myself in the mirror each day, reluctantly. Actually on Friday morning after being dehydrated from Thursday night I looked pretty damn good. Even weighted in at 193 lbs.

So this morning I wake up. Have a number of things to do for work and today became the moment of truth. Am I going to get back to training and eating healthy? Or I'm I going to continue to slide and reverse all of my losses and start gaining weight and get out of shape?

It was the moment of truth.

Something came over me to go out for a run at 9 am and work stopped me. A couple of impromptu meetings and next thing I knew it was 12 noon and I was still in my running clothes and not really wanting to get out to run but something inside me took over and I decided to run.

Now this is were things get weird. It was the best run in at least a year, maybe longer. Speed wise that it. I threw heart rate out the window from the beginning because it was high from the last 4 days of not training and indulging.

But the run felt somewhat effortless. I started off running and it was a 5:15 pace. A 5:15 per km pace is very respectable. I got to the 5 km turnaround at it was 5:08 per km average and I ended up finishing at at 5:02 km average. Negative splits to boot.

I was amazed. I'm not going to sugar coat it. There is no doubt and has never been any doubt that beer is to me what spinach is to Popeye. It is just the best recovery drink I've ever had. My best runs and races I have carbo'd up on beer before hand.

Frankly I didn't think I had a 5:15 or less in me ever again period. To think that only 6 weeks ago I was running at a 7:22 per km average pace.

That run was the run that told my world that our little party is over and we are back on track. It did it with an exclamation mark and to think about it had I not decided to do it I would never have guessed that it would have been an awesome run.

Back to work and then at the end of the day I decided to listen to a hypnosis session. It's a new one. I listened to it last week and pretty much fell asleep and didn't know what it was saying. Today I was trying to stay awake so I could hear what she was suggesting. I managed to stay awake about 50% of the time this time which is really weird, my other program I don't fall asleep too.

When I woke up it was 5 pm and something came over me that I wanted to do a swim and not just a swim, I knew I wanted to do a 3.2 km swim.

Next thing I know I was in the pool doing laps and feeling STRONG and pounded out 3200 meters and owned it. I had not anticipated that I was going to feel so good and strong in the pool. The time also flew by.

After the swim I sat in the hot tub for near 30 minutes and went into a trance like state and reflected on the last 4.5 days on two levels. The first was from a physically level and the other was from a personal insight level.

On the training level I realized that those 4 days of non training and shocking my system with food and drink actually greatly improved my performance. I didn't even think about training over those last 4 days because my calfs were so sore from dehydration and from experience know that if you train with dehydrated calfs you will be injured and not be able to run for 4 - 6 weeks.

I shocked my system

As I was sitting in my hot tub trance I realized that break troughs never happen in a linear fashion. Think about it. In the universe at every level new levels are reached through "a big bang". Something out of the norm happens and in an instant catapults things into a different level.

Physically body builders do it and prove it time and time again. You don't get big muscles from linear workouts. You need to shock your muscles and body every once and a while to launch it into the next level.

In life, same thing. You never grow emotionally in a linear fashion. There is usually a seismic event that causes you to have to deal or cope with something that makes you stronger.

Shocking the system is taking what ever system that is out of it's comfort zone and changing the chemistry on all levels.

Aside from the physical shocking of the system that I put my body through. It's been a long time since I've had beers with Alice and talked about stuff. I find that some of my most creative ideas and insights have come when Alice and I sit around the bar at the Pig & Whistle and talk. Every problem I can remember that I've ever had that I couldn't figure out sober, I could figure out at the Pig & Whistle.

Beer shocks up the body AND mind.

I'm not going to go into the personal insight that I got over the last 4 days but I will say that it was transforming. I guess that's why in a way I figured I'd been out of my routine for 4 weeks not 4 days.

I can truthfully say that on a personal level the dial has moved dramatically. I gained insights that I never had before. It was like the "big bang" within my mind.

I shocked my system. These past 4.5 days of reflection have had a profound change on me personally.

So now I'm back, physically stronger and a vision of things to come.

Run - 50:24 / 10.04 km
Swim - 1:08 / 3.2 km
195.2 lbs

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blowing off some steam...

It was another great day today. Training wise, work wise and family wise.

Work wise I love what is happening. I'm super proud of the work that's being done and no doubt in my mind we have a tiger by the tail.

What we are spending all of our time doing is validating our assumptions.

In most cases people come up with an idea, create from their vision and go to market and hope the world beats a path to their door. In our case from our idea and vision we are working with identified early adaptors as part of the process to make sure what we deliver is valuable to them. That it's something they use everyday.

We started with app users and now we are working with the early adopter advertisers. The information and insight we are getting is super valuable. I wished I had known to do this processes when I started my career, it would have made things a lot easier.

Training wise I had my best training day in as long as I can remember. For the first time I ran a respectable speed at under 140 bpm. I ended up doing 10 km at a 5:35 per km pace.

The run was like I was in heaven. My legs felt so strong and they were like big springs. It was just an effortless run and it felt like I could have gone on forever. It was a feeling I had not had in a long time.

Food wise my diet was good up until about 6 pm. Alice and I drove down to Buffalo to pick up a replacement fridge for my kegerator and on the way home stopped at Jack Asters for something to eat. And a beer.

Then one the way home I picked up a six pack to sip on as we watched the Winnipeg Jets first playoff game since back in Winnipeg in the Pig & Whistle.

Family wise my daughter Alyssa finished her last university exam and now is officially done. All she has to do is pick up the degree. She's the first in our immediate family that has ever graduated from University. I'm super proud of her and she did it was top grades every year. Every year she was on the Dean's list and won top of class honours.

To me what she had done is more impressive than doing an Ironman. I've seen how hard she's worked for the past 4 years and she has been a machine. She has now officially got over the finish line. Amazingly awesome job.

Mental note...It had been a long time since I have had one too many beers and I need to remind Alice to hide the electronics.

Even thought the Jets lost their first playoff game it was a lot of fun last night. Lots of laughs. It was a nice break in the action. A day off the weight loss program. Some late night ice-cream before bed.

You need to do those every once and a while.

Run - 54:00 / 10 km
195.2 lbs

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Finally a real swim...

Swimming is my least favorite part. I like running and biking and I guess I consider swimming a necessary evil.

It's not that it's all bad. There is times that I can get in the zone at the pool and it's awesome. Unfortunately that's about 1 % of the time.

For the longest time I thought it was just because I was doing serious workouts with sets and all that. Then I pretty much retired from Ironman racing, or at minimum gave up the structured workouts and it really didn't get much better.

It was different for sure. I little less difficult and the mind set is not as intense but it didn't make it super wonderful or anything.

To get through these feelings I figured maybe I'd like swimming if I just did 30 minutes and had it unstructured sets. Just swim and maybe mix up with free style, then just hand paddles and then kick with the board.

It didn't make me like swimming but it did make it bearable. I also wish Einstein was alive because I'd like to let him know that I figured out a way to lengthen time. Thirty minutes in the pool can seem like a life time. Like the hands of the clock stand still.

Today was the day I decided to get back in the pool, for a real swim and by a real swim I mean for at least an hour.

My body is starting to feel a little beat up and I was on the fence about just taking a day off all together and not training. Then the more I thought of it I thought swimming would be a great recovery day. In addition to some physical benefit the water is cooler and always good for muscle recovery.

It was actually a pretty pleasant swim. Wearing my underwater iPod helps for sure. At least I have music pumping through my ears.

The swim was one of those swims where time flew by. If swimming could feel like this every time I swim I'd swim at least one day a week....let's not get too carried away, it's still swimming and swimming is not the most fun. Mind you if you were whacked out on LSD or something it might be fun.

Have never been pushed over the edge on swimming that far to try LSD but it could be fun. I have had beer and swam and that's definitely more fun now that I think about it.

What I don't get about swimming is that you can get stronger from it. In many ways I feel that doing swimming is a very slow way to get in shape. Perhaps its that I don't push it in my swimming and even when I did, I never really felt sore or a super pump of the muscles.

Yet I know it does work at building muscle. I think top swimmers have some of the best physiques in the world. Swimming is a slow burn when it comes to muscle building and body shaping.

I think I've only swam about 2 or 3 times in the past 6 or 7 months and they were all 30 minutes or less. Today I bang out a full hour that totalled 3200 meters.

As I was swimming I recognized that I'm at least now in decent shape. To go from nothing and bang out 3200 meters is pretty good, even though I'm not fast. I do remember times in the past that I got in the pool and was so out of shape that at one point I didn't think I'd be able to do more than 400 meters.

That feeling did not happen this time. In fact I felt like an athlete once again, albeit a slow one.

It was worth doing the hour long swim. It took about 45 minutes until I started feeling a slight pump in my arms and shoulders. Just getting that feeling made it all feel worth while, like I was doing something. The strange part was the time my shoulders hurt most was when I was using a kick board and wasn't even using my arms, I just had them stretched forward on the board for 700 yards of kicking.

After the swim I took a nice 25 minute hot tub in the hopes that it would aid my recovery. It was super relaxing just sitting with an open mind after an hour plus swim.

There is a downside to swimming for an hour for the first time in a long time. It's called muscle building and water retention. I know for sure tomorrow my weight will be up. All day I could feel the soreness in my arms and shoulders and the only way for the body to get rid of that is to retain water and repair the muscle. I have a feeling tomorrow's daily weigh in will not be an ego boost.

The other thing today's swim identified is I'm "soft". It's like I have this layer of fat under the skin that I'm just not used to. It's the weirdest thing in that I can feel muscle underneath the fat but it's really far underneath the fat. It's like I have this super loose skin the thickness of a cow hide above it.

When I look at my chest I swear I have boobies. I'm not sure if it's my mind playing tricks on me because they say if you have a over active thyroid you can grow man boobs or if it's just that in my head. I do know that I'm not as tight as I used to be. It's like there is me in there but there is this coating of loose skin around me.

Don't get me wrong, it's getting to become less and less skin but I'm not kidding myself, although I'm no longer rolly polly I easily have 10 lbs of fat that I need to lose. I'm not kidding myself. With 10 more pounds lost that will definitely make a big difference.

The more I think about it and think, I do see there is another 20 lbs I could lose. In a way I see myself losing weight as a symbol of me shedding my skin to show the real person inside. It's weird in that I see myself looking person from the inside than I do from the outside. In the past when I've been down to 185 or less pounds my true self in my minds eye appears.

Diet wise, everyday is ground hog day. I get up, weigh myself, I have a coffee, maybe juice, popcorn, then a meal for dinner and repeat. Then if I don't drop weight I get a little bummed and look forward to getting to sleep and seeing if I was able to lose weight today.

The weight loss is tough. It seems if I don't do something radical like juicing my weight loss is about 1 lbs per week being strict about it. In the last 30 day window looked back and it's been a 6 lb weight loss. That's it.

Even though that is what Weight Watchers recommends, 1 - 2 lbs per week, it's just not enough for me or fair. Especially when I'm training hard as well.

Today I also managed to slip out to the bike store to take in my bike to get the aero bar pads fixed. I broke them on an early indoor training ride by using them correctly. I put my upper body weight on them as I rode and they snapped. Both of them.

When I took it into the show the mechanic saw them right away and mentioned, "not again". I've been snapping these things near every year, albeit the others were the lighter version. These were the first times I snapped the heavy duty version that he assured me when he put them on were unbreakable.

Rest of the night was work and I drank a ton of water. When I went to bed I was in the 197 lb range due to the water. I know for sure my weight will be up tomorrow.

The upside was the Dairy Queen Ice Cream cakes was eyeballing me before bed and I didn't blink. I won tonight's battle with it.

Swimming 1:08 / 3.2 km
194.2 lbs

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Another first for the year...

As every morning my first task is to empty the tank and weigh myself. I know you are not supposed to, but I can't help myself.

Today I was 194.8 lbs. The exact same weight as yesterday.

Oh, and my routine also consists of me weighing myself a couple times within the first 30 minutes of waking up just to make sure the scale is right. Often I can lose another .2 lbs by just waiting a bit. I'm not sure how it works, but somehow I can lose .2 lbs from just breathing.

Big day today. For work I'm on a mission to find some research participants for our app. If anyone knows a VP or Director of marketing for a large chain store or franchise, please send them my way.

I was like a dog on a bone trying to find some of these people. It was my all encompassing work from wake until about 12:30 pm. By that time I was over doing it and a bit brain dead. Like anything I immerse myself until it hurts.

It was such as beautiful day I decided to go for a run and it was my first run of the year in short sleeves. It was very strange. It's starting to feel real that warm summer weather is coming.

This run was great. I was able to keep my heart rate under 140 bpm the entire run. That's another first. Definitely a sign of two things, the first is I'm getting in shape and the second is that adding more carbs to my diet makes a big difference.

I was checking my training log and realized that I'm now on my 7th week of near everyday training, and even before that I had a solid week and a half in February.

For the first time I'm really noticing that I'm thinning out. On Monday I had Alice help me take my body measurements and my legs were getting smaller. I think I lost about an inch in one week.

When I got back from the run I had to rush to the doctors office. I didn't even have time to shower. I had to go to get my test results about my thyroid. I went in for an ultra sound. Turns out the thyroid looks fine but my blood levels are still out of whack and he's sending me to a specialist.

I'm not sure how serious it is, I have none of the symptoms they talk about. In fact I have the anti symptoms. The one side effect I'd love it the weight loss and that is not happening.

While I was there I asked the doctor for my blood work results. I've been keeping track of them for the past 7 years. On them my Creatine is out of whack and says to monitor as it could be early kidney disease. Of course side effect of that is weight loss and nope, don't have that one either. So I'm missing the side effect of weight loss from overactive thyroid and possible kidney disease.

This was the first time my Creatine was high. It's kind of a little startling and I'm not really sure how or what I'm doing that would harm my kidneys and the more you google there is just information overload.

When I got back I did more of my hunt for research participants and around 5 pm I was brain dead again. I knew if I kept pushing through I'd pay the price.

My plan is to treat work like training. If you do too much at one time you can over train or get injured or run yourself down and get sick. My plan is to work hard and take a break and train and repeat. I think it's just a wonderfully deadly combination. It definitely works.

Tonight around 8 pm I decided to head to the gym and do some weights. I find that weight training is so important to maintain muscle. I was telling Alice tonight that if there is one exercise that people should do as they get older is weight training. I find as I've gotten older I lose muscle mass so quickly now.

Weights were good. Another good session. Mental note. DO NOT go to the gym at 8 pm it's insanely busy. Insanely busy. The best time to go is 10 am or 3 pm.

When I got home I had some Cassin Whey protein and as much as I was bored and would normally have ate something months ago I just can't be bothered. There is something inside me that is saying no it's not worth it.

I am now starting to see some real changes in the mirror. My body is getting trimmer and my face less bloated. I can just see that the next 10 lbs is going to make a big difference. I'll lose the roundness and my body will become more sharp and defined. It's a stay the course or bust mindset.

As I think about it much of my motivation is that I'm so close I can taste it. I need to stay the course. The beer this summer is going to taste so much better and guilt free when I'm 185 or less pounds.

Run - 1:00:22 / 10 km
Weights 40 minutes
194.8 lbs

What the hell am I doing...

Monday morning and it's my weekly weight watchers weigh in. Down another 1.2 lbs for the week. Not bad and not as fast as I want.

I think it must be age that is preventing me from losing weight more quickly, or something undiagnosied that is medical.

I'm following the program perfectly, I'm exercising at least an hour a day and I'm only losing about a pound a week. Not bad if I prepared to drop 10 lbs in 10 weeks. I want to drop 10 lbs in 4 weeks, max.

The positive of today was I was down again this week. There is a lot of pressure with the Monday morning weigh ins. If you are down it's a great way to start the week. If you are up then your whole last week would have felt for not. With weighing in on a Monday it even makes it harder as you are coming off a weekend of eating.

Looking back I should have put my weigh in day on a Thursday.

This past weekend in my haste to accelerate my weight loss I was thinking I was going to up my training to my near Ironman training levels. Today would be my first day doing that. It was 18 C outside and I figured I'd go for a ride.

As I got riding about 1 hour into the ride I started thinking "what am I thinking? Why do I want to put in this crazy mileage, I retired from Ironman and I have a business to build". At that point I turned right instead of going straight and headed home.

Mentally I realized that doing 1 - 2.5 hours of training is not too bad. It's a nice break in my day. But when my training becomes the focus of my day I'm in trouble and need to slow it down. I have lots to do and the training in intervals will keep me fresh and over training will make me tired.

So now I've come back down to earth and getting back to making training an activity and not some sort of challenge. Training needs to be mentally fun.

After I made that decision I felt much better. Fitness wise this was my 3rd ride in 6 days and I definitely felt the improvement.  I also was able to keep my heart rate down. I ate a breakfast and a lunch prior to riding. There is no doubt in my mind that the body needs carbs in order to function correctly. No doubt. The heart rate doesn't lie.

I'm glad I rode when I did. The ride started off beautiful. No wind and by the end of it I was near standing on my pedals into a head wind. About 2 hours later it was pouring rain. You got to love it when a plan comes together.

So for now, the priorities are to train for fun and fitness and any time it seems like a grind to stop and reassess the situation. And of course to continue to eat healthy and get down 10 more pounds.

The next 10 pound loss is going to be by far the most noticeable. I can already see my face looking different from losing and training. It's like I can see the early seeds of a major physical transformation. My shoulders and chest are getting smaller, my legs are getting smaller, even my stomach is down 3/4" this week. I just need to stay the course. It will come.

I even tried a new hypnosis tape. I'm not sure if it's good or not. I blacked out during it. I can't remember a thing. I need to listen to it again. Perhaps I was just tired and fell asleep or this person is so good she put me under.

On a personal note I messed up today and missed my doctors appointment. I had the times screwed up. Instead of checking my calendar I just went by memory and showed up 30 minutes late and now had to reschedule for tomorrow to find out about my thyroid results. Good or bad. Doh!

Another semi positive personal item is that I figured out how to fix the Kegerator. It's kind of good news bad news. The good news is I know what it is, the compressor. The bad news is it can't be fixed or better said is cheaper to get a new fridge body for $329.

Some good news was an original Kegerator is $600 plus and if I just buy the fridge, which until today I didn't realize was possible it would be a fix semi close to what it would cost if a repairman could fix it. When I calculate that I won $200 from Peter and sold my Airport Extreme for $150 it keeps it all balanced, it's not like I'm out of pocket on it. Until I buy a $280 keg of beer for it.

Bike - 1:49:22 / 50 km
194.8 lbs

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Using Strava for the first time...

Earlier this week I dropped 3 lbs in 4 days. It was after a two day layoff during Easter weekend. It was the most bizarre and welcome thing to go from 196 lbs down to 193 lbs. The only time I had that type of weight loss was when I was juicing.

Turns out it was not here to stay.

As the week went on the weight started to creep up. I did nothing different with my diet. Perhaps I drank more water and that was about it. It actually started getting almost back to where it started, 196 lbs and my optimism of losing weight turned into negativism.

Reality is I knew something was wrong. The readings on my scale was off all week with regards to body fat, visceral fat, muscle, etc.

The other major problem is I know what my body looks like at 190 lbs and at that weight I basically have no gut. If I was to predict my weight I'd say it was around 195 lbs based solely on look.

I still have a gut and it looks like it's about 5 lbs worth of gut.

Now the mental seesaw is playing in my head. I've dropped 13 lbs in about 6 weeks and it was hard and I need to drop at least another 10 lbs to get into that awesome zone that I haven't been in for near 5 years.

It's now a battle. There is parts of me that are saying that I can loosen up a bit and enjoy and crack a beer or two and there is another part of me that is saying stay the course it's only another 4 - 5 weeks of sacrifice and you will be there and be happiest because of it.

So I'm at a crossroads and I know I need to make a change. Doing the same routine is getting old and I need a power boost.

What am I going to do?

I'm going to train more. I've been doing about 6 hours per week for the past 6 weeks and now that it's getting warmer out I'm going to try and up it to 12 plus hours. Even getting in the pool.

I've actually been somewhat inspired and motivated by seeing Simon Cross pound out his first week of training at about 17 hours. He's coming off an injury and needs to also peel off some pounds.

Just goes to show you, inside near every Ironman I know is a fat man trying to get out. I can't count on my fingers and toes how many Ironman I know that at one time were fats sh#ts, myself included. And not just fat, but yo yo fat. Myself included. They lose weight, they race, they gain weight and then they do it all over again.

For those that know Ironman it's not surprising. These are people that tend to be all or nothing and once they get a goal in their mind they go for it. A side from fat guys inside, there is also alcoholics and drug users. Ironman take things to the extreme. They are excellent and over achievers at anything they set there mind to.

The only type of person that doesn't become an Ironman is a rapist, or sex offender or pedophile. At least not to my recollection. You see, these types of people are weak. They have no self discipline or control and are liars.

That's the other type of person that can't become an Ironman. A liar. The reason is you can't lie yourself into finishing an Ironman. You can't lie about your finishing times. They are all public. You either put in the training and finished, or you didn't. I don't know any Ironman that are liars either.

I guess that's why Ironman is like a cult, it's a brotherhood of sorts. I don't know what it's like to be on Seal Team Six and the comrade, but if I was to guess it would be like being part of the Ironman community.

There is just something noble about being able to train incredible hours and sacrifice and maintain discipline and to finish what you started no matter how painful.

Like I've said before, and I mean every word of it, "Ironman have issues". I know I do and after 12 Ironman I believe I've worked through those issues. Or at least to the point that I don't need to do Ironman.

To me, doing Ironmans helped shape me into the person I've become. As an adolescent I would tell lies and never finish anything I started, rarely. It could be a sport, a class or whatever, I'd start strong and then eventually quit or give up.

My first Ironman was at 19 years old and it was my coming out party in that I shed that adolescent skin and transformed into someone that would from that point on finish everything they started and never lie.

I was talking to one of my partners who is a huge contributor to the Boy Scouts, contributing time and money and I asked him why he does so. He explained that as a young person the boy scouts helped shape his life and he had the best memories of him being his true self back then. It was a magical time back then.

You see also at things like the Barrett Jackson auctions or when rich people give to their colleges. With the car auctions these older guys with lots of money buy back the cars they remembered driving in their youth. I totally get that. If I could by a 74 Ventura 4 door I'd do it. I can't find one. It was the beater I drove as a kid and would gladly buy it.

Rich guys donate to schools because it was great times for them. Probably all the partying, drinking, girls and all the college life is something they look back on fondly and donate money to keep the party going.

Ironman is that to me. I guess that's why I have Ironman tattoos on my body. I did my first 3 by the time I was 24 years old and then took a 17 year break before coming back and doing another 9 in 7 years.

The reason I came back was because when I looked back at the time of my life that I felt the best and as my true self it was when I was doing Ironmans. I basically came back because I wanted my past to become my present once again. Rarely in anything in life can you time travel back in time and relieve your past.

In a way who knew that would happen in Ironman. The training was the same, the racing was the same and shockingly the people were the same. With the people all the faces were different but the enthusiasm and support was the exact same.

The one thing that was also the same was you can trust people. No one has anything to gain by lying or bullshitting and in fact if you are that type of person I can't imagine you even being able to fit in to Ironman. Ironman for the most part is a race with yourself and as much as this may be hard to believe, among other Ironman and ego less sport.

Of course you have an ego if you do them. And you can show that ego to normal people. But to fellow Ironman ego is not part of interaction. Support and fear is. There is not greater feeling than the morning bus ride down to the start line and talking with a random Ironman stranger about the race coming up and asking how your training went, your background and the trepidation and fear about how the day will unfold. It's magical.

And the strange part is you will have a real moment and know you will never see that person again and yet never forget them.

So here I am thinking up thoughts of Ironman. I'm entitled. After 12 Ironmans I have a lifetime membership to the club. I love when I talk to guys that say they have done 5 Ironmans and they are all proud and then I say I've done 12 and the pecking order changes. Even me as a fat guy.

With 12 Ironmans, I repeat, you have a lifetime membership.

The one thing I love about doing Ironmans is the training. The one thing I don't like about doing Ironmans is the racing.

I can train all day long. I love it. 100 mile plus bike rides, no problem. 3 hour runs, no problem. Day in and day out, no problem.

Racing, nope. Don't like it. Why? Because I have to get up early and they are painful. The Ironman starts at the 13 mile mark of the run and it doesn't matter what kind of shape you are in, it hurts and 100% of the time if you are having a bad race you are guaranteed to have a "come to Jesus talk" with yourself.

So that's why I decided to change it up and do more training this week as part of my weight loss program. It's a nice break and I want to feel like a bit of an athlete again. The other cool thing is I don't have to do it week in and week out. I have no race I'm working or fearing towards. I can just go hard and then not so hard again.

Today I started. I went for a bike ride and I did it with Strava. It's an app and website that tracks you and your workouts and you can view on a map. What is super cool about it is you can see how your time compares to others that have ridden the same course. It blew my mind, virtually all my course was broken into stretches with times. It was very cool.

I also like all the data that you get from it. It's an amazing amount of data. It's a far cry from the early days when I would do a run or bike ride and then drive the course in my car to get the distance so I could write it into my log. Boy have times changed.

Food wise for the first time I had a treat. Dairy Queen Skor ice cream cake. With total portion control and made sure my weight watchers daily points were in line. This is one thing I love about weight watchers in that it really isn't a diet. It's a portion control lifestyle.

I did make some other food changes today. I ate some Quaker Oats before my ride and brought a bun with me on the ride to eat if I needed it. I did. There is nothing better than eating some bread on a ride. First time I've done it. It beats a power bar and it was a piece of French bread which is even better.

It was so nice and warm out yesterday I thought a beer would be good and instead went for the ice cream cake. I think it was for a few reasons. I didn't want to dehydrate myself and have lower readings on my weekly Monday morning weigh in. I didn't want to have one because one leads to more and I need to have a fresh mind for work. I don't want to sabotage my hard work and I know in 5 weeks I'm be a happier person for it by getting down another 10 lbs.

The big challenge with going off your diet, somewhat with the cake, is there is this part of you that now thinks you can just pig out more for the day because you ate poorly already. It's like it's some pass that allows you to just go for it and start over tomorrow.

I came close.

On the way to bed I looked at the kids candy baskets from Easter and even picked up some of the chocolate eggs and skittles bag and something came over me that these were just empty calories and not tasty. As weird as it sounds the ice cream cake felt that way too. It really wasn't as satisfying as the real food I've been eating. Fruit and other foods are so much more richer to the pallet and feel so good as if they are doing something for you. Candy and cake just felt like wasted calories.

Tomorrow is a big day. I'm retaining lots of water from my two hour bike ride today. I had the ice cream cake and been drinking lots of water. My pre-bed weight was 197.2 lbs. Last week I was 196 lbs at weigh in. I need to drop at least 2.2 lbs sleeping. Possible.

Bike - 2:12 / 57 km
195.2 lbs