Monday, July 11, 2016

I Learned About Me

Day 140: 7/11/2016

Since I started this journey, there has always been one big question in my mind.

"What makes this time different than any other time?"

Over the last 5 weeks since I began boxing at Title Boxing Club in Cottonwood Heights, UT., I haven't had a real answer to that question....... Until now.

The truth is, every time I embark on this type of journey, it's different. This time, what makes it different, is that I don't have an end goal. There isn't a magic number. There isn't a pair of jeans that I want to fit into. There isn't a race that I want to run to signify "ok, I'm healthy, now." There isn't a signifying item on any checklist that says that I can stop. That's a monolithic thing for me to realize. I've always been the type of person to have an END goal. There's a problem with that line of thinking, though.... it has the word END in it. This is not an end, this is a beginning.

It's been awhile since my last post, so let's catch up.

Week 1 - I lost 13.6 lbs and plenty of inches everywhere
Week 2 - I lost 2 lbs and plenty more inches most everywhere
Week 3 - I lost .2 lbs....... and not so many inches everywhere, including a mysterious inch added to my waist.....

My normal weigh in day is on Friday morning, however, last Friday, I had some changes to my schedule at work and I wasn't able to make my normal weigh in time. Here's the reality, every time I weigh in, I am of the belief that I'm going to have a week like week 3 and lose nothing. My mentality has mostly been that despite my unwavering discipline and hard work, I'm going to have a disappointing result. Well, when that happened in week 3, it hit me hard. I was depressed and angry about it.

Let me preface, that I follow my nutrition plan to the letter!! I don't waver. I send my food log to my nutritionist every evening. After week 3's disappointing results.... I didn't want to anymore. In fact, I took 3 days off of training last week due to the major mental and emotional junk-punch I felt.

Then, today I weighed in, and I'm another 5 lbs down equalling just over 20 lbs lost. I had a good conversation with my nutritionist to finally realize that the stress of trying to be "perfect" is only going to hurt me in this process. Then, the biggest epiphany of all, is that there isn't a perfect program. What may work for others, may not work for me. I need to be able to take the principles of what I'm learning with this program, and find a way to make this a lifelong journey. The way I've been eating and working out, isn't sustainable for any substantial period of time.

Today, is a win. It's a win because I feel like I've had the ability to see myself 1 year from now, continuing a healthy lifestyle. I feel like I don't have to change who I am to my core, in order to be healthy. I can love food, and I can love romanticizing food without gorging myself full of high caloric comfort.

Every cliche saying about perseverance rings true to me today. The journey is truly more important than the destination. It really isn't about how many times you get knocked down. They're cliche because they're true. They annoy us because it simplifies things that are the hardest to accomplish.

This week, I've received permission to not stress myself out about not being perfect about following my diet plan. That I can cut myself some slack to not be perfect, because I'm far from it.

So, to keep me honest. I weigh 365 lbs. I'm eating better than I have in a long time. I'm working out harder than I have in a long time. I'm drug free, alcohol free, and as of right now, GUILT FREE. There's enough shitty things to worry about in this world, that I shouldn't worry about if the fruit that I want to eat isn't on my menu.

So, I move forward. Punching hard, eating right, and taking it day by day.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I Did A Thing!! (Bonus: A Recipe For You)

Day 119: 6/20/2016

Progress is something that we inherently want/need to measure. If you can only run 1 mile today and are able to run 1.3 miles the following week, that's progress, right? But what if you wanted to run 1.5 miles? did you succeed? is that progress?

I've been thinking a lot about my goals in all of this. When I sat down with Dash Cox at Title three weeks ago, he asked me "what makes this time different than the lasts?". I didn't really have a good answer.... until now.

My goal, is to want to be healthier everyday. My goal is to feel like at any moment, I am physically capable of going out to do anything I want. For example, right now, I'm not capable of being comfortable on an economy seat in an airplane. I most likely won't be able to ride a rollercoaster because I wouldn't meet the weight/space requirement. I can't go skydiving. I want to be able to go out and hike with my wife and dogs without worrying about getting hurt or sick due to being so out of shape.

Now, here I am, a full 7 days into my new food plan and my new exercise routine. Holy hell it sucks in the best sort of way. It's the most tired, most hungry, and most physically and mentally challenged that I have felt in a long time. I had more success than I think I was possible for me in a 4 day period.

I lost 13.6 pounds from Monday morning to Friday morning. More than the weight, though, I proved to myself, that I could fight through my own way that got me to this heavy point, and have success and show "progress".

I'm now in the mindset of trying to define some additional goals. I'll update as I figure them out.


I promised the bonus of a recipe. Tonight, I made a "roulade". It's typically some type of meat that is rolled with veggies or cheese, or other items.

You will need:
15-18 oz piece of sirloin (london broil will work, too)
16 oz of sliced mushrooms (I used blancas in this, but portabella would be great as well)
4 cloves of garlic
1 shallot
1/2 cup of baby arugula
1 1/2 feet of butcher's twine.
Sea salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Take your piece of meat, place it in either a plastic bag, or you can use parchment paper (like I did) and pound it out with a meat mallet. Do your best to make it even all the way around.
 Once it is pounded out, rub the meat lightly with extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper on both sides.
Chop the shallot and garlic finely and set aside.

Saute the sliced mushrooms in a pan on medium heat with some olive oil and salt and pepper. When the mushrooms have started to get some color on them, place your chopped shallot and garlic in the pan with the mushrooms and stir. Make sure to stir often as to not burn the shallot/garlic. Once you have some color on the mix, place in a bowl and set aside.
(Don't judge my roll job..... I struggled on this one for some reason) place the baby arugula on the meat and then the mushroom mixture on top of that. Carefully roll the meat into itself. If you don't know how to tie meat, I learned via Food Network and Youtube. Tie it off while trying to keep the insides intact. (Pro tip, reserver some of the mushroom mixture to use as a garnish on top when you plate it)

 Sear the meat in an oven safe pan (if you have one) on all sides.
 Once it is seared on all sides, place the meat on the seam side down. Place it in a preheated oven (set to 375) on the middle rack for 25-30 min. If you want medium, use a meat thermometer and test the middle of the meat to hit a temp of 155 and take it out of the oven.
 It's important to let the meat rest for at least 10 min to allow the juices to settle. If you cut into it right out of the oven, the juices will run and you'll have a dry piece of meat.
 Cut the twine off of the meat with some scissors. Slice it it up and give it plenty of "ooh's and aaah's" and sniffs.

Plate it, and SERVE!!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Being Obese Is Cyclical... Maybe Being Me Is, Though...

Day 115: 6/16/2016

I've mentioned it before in this very blog the sick and twisted way that people like myself view food. There's no rationality... If there were, I wouldn't have gotten to 530 lbs in 2009.

The thing is, I made a life out of being the really fat guy. I mean, my nickname was "Bigern". I was celebrated for my ability to eat.... So much so that I would do "food challenges". I'm sure my buddy Kyle can remember me taking on the "One Pound Challenge" at Fuddruckers back in the day. It was a 1lb burger, a large chilli cheese fries, and a large milkshake. I did that... TWICE!! I've eaten the quadruple bypass burger at heart attack grill. I used to eat the "Colossal Pizza" at Pizza Pipeline when that was a fad here in UT. My point is, that when I'm in the middle of being fat, I make it enjoyable and take it to the absolute limit.

Fast forward to today. I'm HANGRY... I know that my actual goals are more important than my desire to eat something with cheese, grease, and bacon in it. However, those thoughts become more and more difficult to shake off. My current food plan is very restrictive. It is that way for specific reasons that I completely understand. Just because I get it, doesn't make it easy. It's easy for those who don't have the type of relationship with food that I have.

Do YOU see the cycle? I don't know where the start and/or end is. I'm currently in the "I'm trying to do something about my health" portion. In the past, I've been in this position. I'm really good at losing weight. Then, something happens. I get sick, I get hurt, life gets extra busy and poof, I run into the fluffy, tasty arms of high caloric food. Then, something happens.... I feel gross, get sick, can't do things I want to do, then I do something about being fat. I change my diet, I workout, and poof!! I feel better.

This has been the cycle for a long time. So what makes this time different? Honestly, I couldn't tell you. I feel differently about it. I'm more self aware. I have more support. I have more resources. I'm still the same me.

I weigh in tomorrow and get measured. We'll see how my vacation to San Diego last week (where I ate like fat Aaron) and this week (eating rabbit food Aaron) has changed my results.

On to tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pain... Yep!!! PAIN!!!

Day 113: 6/14/2016

The wonderful thing about being in horrible shape, is that your body tells you in the meanest and most honest way just how horrible of shape you're in.

As I stated yesterday, I started boxing, and I started my new food plan. For those of you who don't know, the reason I love boxing as an exercise, is that it is natural body movement that works muscles that I just haven't been able to work with conventional weight lifting. I'm not knocking weight lifting, or running, or crossfit. I've liked all of them at some point... BUT, every single boxing workout, works the entire body. It leaves those like me, in pain the next day.... and the next day after that.... and the next day after that.

Today, was one big test. I planned my food for my day. I had a nice array of vegetables for lunch. However, today wasn't the normal "go to work, put the lunch in the fridge" kind of day... I attended a fun conference for work today in which I didn't have a fridge for my prepped food. By the time lunch time rolled around, my vegetables were wilted and yucky. My conference, although enjoyable, also shared the same space as a bakery and a biscuit restaurant.... So I had those smells going on in my nose holes for a while.... Then, with no lunch, watched everyone else who isn't the size of a manatee (like me) enjoy some delicious catered food. None of which are on my food plan....

I stayed strong and didn't give into my enormous temptations. I almost went to the biscuit place to ask them if I could just smell a fresh biscuit.... Yeah, I'm that guy.

I drank water, ate some raw almonds, and said curse words in my head the whole time.

Then, I went to day 2 of boxing, which turned out to be kickboxing class. I'm 100% sure I looked like a newborn obese baby deer running into a punching bag.

I'm in pain, I'm sore, ALL over. For the first time in a long time, I'm ok with it. It means I am kicking my own ass. Pain isn't weakness leaving the body. Pain is strength building up every aspect of who you are as a person.

To end this post, here is my tired, sweaty face after today's kickboxing. Thanks Title Boxing!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Day 1 Of The New Program

Day 112: 6/13/2016

I started my new nutrition plan..... It's rough. I understand why my nutritionist is going this route. It's extreme, but at the same time, I also know that it's about pushing me to commit. It's less about calorie counting and more about making the most out of the calories that I DO take in. I am keeping a food log of all the things I eat/drink. Here is day one for me.

Vanilla Protein Shake
1 scoop with 10-12 ounces of water/ice


¼ cup raw, organic almonds


Vanilla Protein Shake
1 scoop w/ 10-12 ounces water/ice

Organic spring mix/bell peppers/mushrooms/cucumbers/squash (no dressing)

¼ cup raw, organic almonds

Sliced pork tenderloin medallions, fat trimmed, rubbed with cumin, garlic, paprika, ancho chile powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sea salt
6 ounces

Baby kale/arugula/bell pepper/green onion/cucumber
Dressing of apple cider vinegar/lime juice/olive oil

Water Intake120oz

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

Now, I also started boxing today. I'm beyond out of shape. Rather than try to tell you about it, I'll just give you a before and after picture journal.

Here is the before pic, not sweaty, not shaking, not ready to puke....

Here is after..... shaking, sore, sweating buckets, heart pounding.....

I'm ready for this phase. Time to kick my own ass.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wait... What Happened to Phase 2?

Day 100: 6/1/2016

I stopped blogging.... for 43 days. I didn't stop because I don't like to blog. I stopped because I felt like I was forcing content and not having anything of substance to say.

I'm going to keep this short, and to the point.

As of yesterday, I joined Title Boxing Club in Cottonwood Heights, UT. I also paid for a nutrition plan, provided by my trainer.

I've had a nutritionist before. I have probably learned enough about food and nutrition in all of my battles for a healthy weight and lifestyle, that I could be one. However, I need someone to help hold me accountable until I'm able to do it on my own. I need that push.

I'm going to hit this hard. I'm 100% all in. I'm investing and betting my money on me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Getting To Neutral

Day 57: 4/19/2016

I don't write this blog for anyone other than myself. From day one, I started to write this as a journal and a mind-vomit collection basket.

I was asked by a couple of friends if I was still getting as many views as I used to, and the answer is no. However, it is surprising to me that it doesn't bother me. In fact, it helps relieve a bit of pressure. The one and ONLY reason that I share this with anyone else, is that if my journey, has the opportunity to help even one person, then I need to share it.

I needed to write this today because I feel it is allowing me to remember the reason that I started writing about this in the first place. I need to get my gears back to neutral.

I didn't get to where I am in life on my own. It just so happens, the one person that is my constant in life, has a birthday today. My beautiful wife Alysa. I wanted to share what I wrote about her, not because I want people to ooh and awe, but I want to remember the post, because the words to express my feelings for her came freely this morning. The journey continues.