Thursday, March 31, 2016

Progress In Chaos (This One has pics, so it DID happen)

Day 38: 3/31/2016

It happened. In the middle of some crazy rollercoaster "Life-ing". Injuries, illness (suck it, kidney stones) addiction to food, cravings, whining, rambling... blah blah blah, the point is, despite all of that, I have made progress.

If you have read any of my previous posts, you know that food is a thing in my life that I struggle with. I'm finally starting to accept that this isn't really going to be something that I do for a while. I have accepted that without the pain and struggle, the progress is short lived.

I think out of all the responses I get from my writing, the one I receive the most, and the response that means a lot to me, is that there are others that struggle with the same thing I do. My dedication to sharing has been a way for others to feel like they're not the crazy one. We're all crazy.

I want to make a challenge to anyone who is reading this. Do something for a minimum of 30 days, that is difficult for you. The reward, is you will find what you are made of. You will learn what your fight or flight triggers are.

I think what I feel most is relief. I'm capable of doing this. There are thousands of you who are reading each week, now. So I know that I'm not alone.


And now, even though it's not visible on me to lose 40 lbs, I figured it was only fair to share.

Here's Day 1

Here is Today -40 lbs

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Reset Button

Day 37: 3/30/2016

Yesterday I talked about wanting to quit. It only seems fitting that I talk about the all powerful "RESET" button. This is a pinned picture on one of the fitness groups I am a part of on Facebook. If you want to check that group out, search "Geekshow Fit" and join. (Geekshow says HEY!)
This button doesn't give you power to enable your bad choices. It gives you the power to overcome guilt, shame, embarrassment, frustration, and pain.

This button doesn't take away the consequences of your bad choices. It gives you the power to choose not to make the same choices again.

This button doesn't give you all the answers. It gives you time to figure them out.

Life throws much harder things at you than curve balls. It throws grenades. No matter which way you hit it, it's going to do some damage.

I learned a valuable lesson today and that is when the opportunity comes for me to step up, I will take it. It's not out of pride. It's not out of desire to be a hero. It's out of desire to do the right thing when it's presented. I don't always succeed, but I definitely give it a shot.

This lesson isn't just applicable to this journey, but I think it fits nicely. Yesterday, was a hard day. In fact, the last month has been very hard for me. However, I know, that tomorrow has a chance to be better.

I had so many people reach out to me since last night to give their love and support. I can't thank you enough. your support keeps me motivated to FalconPUNCH the universe, and this bountiful belly in the face.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why Am I Doing This?

Day 36: 3/29/2016

I have started this post many times and deleted each one.

The truth is, I don't know what to say and I don't want to fake it. I feel like quitting this journey, today.

I don't know what happened. Nothing terrible has happened. I'm not sick. I have a wonderful wife, 2 awesome dogs that I love like hooman children. I have a great job with a great team. I have a supportive and loving family.

I think I'm burned out. I want to quit because I feel like I emotionally, and mentally don't have anything left to give to this challenge right now.

Now, with those truths out in the world, I can begin to accept that I want to quit and choose to continue. It's not going to be easy. In fact, I know it's just going to get harder.

I am keeping in mind, that the reason I'm doing this is about more than just me. It's about a wonderful wife who depends on me to be there for the life we planned together. It's about those 2 awesome pups that depend on me and give me unconditional love. It's about being well enough to cross the things off my "bucket list".

What kind of example do I set if I quit?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Accept Your Success (PSST... This post has measurement updates)

Day 35: 3/28/2016

Well, I did it. I skipped a day of blogging yesterday. It wasn't because I didn't want to. It wasn't even due to the Easter holiday. It was because I didn't have anything of value to say to myself. I was in the dumps, really.

I wasn't in the dumps because I felt unsuccessful. I was feeling down because I'm impatient. I WANT RESULTS NOW!!! For many people who go through a weight loss, or health journey, they want to see the end result immediately. I am guilty of this. I feel like if I chose not to eat the quarter pound cheeseburger, that means that I should LOSE a quarter pound. Of course this is flawed, but it's how I see things. I need to be able to accept the wins that I have, daily, weekly, and monthly. Gotham wasn't built in a day. Batman wasn't the best detective in the world in Batman Year One..... And I won't be fit and trim in the beginning either.

When I was younger, I was an athlete. I played many sports. I was good at some, and GREAT at others. If any of the readers of this blog played football with me back in the day, they may be able to vouch, I was mean, tough, and competitive. This mentality still bleeds into my life, today.

This journey has shifted and game has changed. I have been saying that I just want to be healthier and live a longer life. That's bullshit. I am not ok with just doing it. I want to kick in the naughty bits. I want bad health to be the bleeding, cancerous pulp laying on the ground, wishing that it had a hold of me, but it can't. I want to win. I want to be the one at the end of the journey, looking back and crying that I was able to accomplish something great.

In my post on 3/19/2016, I posted some measurements of myself. This was so that I could hold myself accountable for my results. Well, here are my results compared to that post.

Weight: 356 lbs (-1.5 lbs)
Neck:17.5in (-.5in)
Right Bicep: 16in (-1.5in)
Left Bicep: 16in (-1in)
Waist: 50in (-0in)
Right Thigh: 27in (-4in)
Left Thigh: 27in (-3in)

10 inches lost!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Day 33: 3/26/2016

Today, I was faced with an interesting situation. My beautiful wife, who is also on her own weight loss journey decided that she wanted to go out for Saturday brunch. I'm always up for taking her out, she's an awesome date, all the time. So, she decided on "The Original Pancake House"

We arrived, and waited for a good while to get in. When we sat down, she was so excited to choose some foods for a cheat meal for herself. I was excited for her. When the menu came, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to partake in the normal foods that I would love to have while eating there. They had ONE thing on the menu that aligned with my goal, and that was a veggie scramble with egg whites.

The internal turmoil began. What normally would have been a very negative situation, turned around for me. Not because the food was great, because it wasn't. It was egg whites, with broccoli, onions, and mushrooms. I choked it down, with some black coffee, and sat there. I finally realized, I had already given myself a cheat a couple days ago, I don't need to feel bad for making healthy choices.

I'm so glad that I have a partner in life that wants to push themselves for greater things. Alysa has been sticking to her program really well and is not only losing weight, but is starting to make healthier choices all around. I'm so proud. It makes this journey a lot easier.

I can accept that I have goals, and it will be hard. It's not about today's meal. It's about the collective meals that equal a better, longer, healthier life.

Holiday weekends tend to make it easier for me to say no to healthy and embrace all the things in food that come with celebrations, ie. sugar, high calories, comfort food.

Well, this weekend, it's vegetables and lean protein for me. I AM COMMITTED!!! In a year from now, that commitment is going to pay off in a big way.

Keep the dream alive.

I can do this.

Friday, March 25, 2016

I Got Nothin

Day 32: 3/24/2016

Seriously. Today I have nothing. Too busy of a day to plan anything of value to write.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bullet Points...

Day 31: 3/24/2016

  • I'll be doing measurements and weigh in tomorrow.
  • I am looking into getting back into boxing for my new exercise
  • I gave myself a cheat day today (Fish tacos, candy for my movie treat)
  • The outpour of support in the last 24 hours, has astounded me.
  • I'm looking for new ideas for breakfast. It needs to be easily prepped, holds well, and can be easily portable.

I saw this tonight with my beautiful wife. It was a good time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

30 Days In: Things Are Changing

Day 30: 3/23/2016

I made it 30 days into this journey and haven't dropped dead. Sure, that's a morbid way of looking at it, but that's me. This blog has maintained my interest in being healthy. I can honestly say, right behind the support of my wife, writing this blog has been the key to keeping me on point.

I have maintained the topic of my relationship with food throughout this blog. Today was a BIG eye opener in the way I see food. I actually did some research for today's post. I wanted to know how I was able to get myself from a nice 252 pounds in 2012, to an extra hefty 393 pounds in 3 years.

Below, you will find the nutritional value of some of the foods that I love to eat on the regular.

VendorItemCaloriesCal from FatFat (g)Sat Fat (g)Carbs (g)Sodium (mg)
Arby'sBeef n Cheddar Classic450180206451280
Burger KingWhopper w/cheese6004004415511260
Chik-Fil-AChicken Sandwich430150174381410
ChipotleChicken Burrito w/pinto beans, white rice, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, fajita veggies, red sauce130555461201272910
Culver'sSingle ButterBurger w/cheese460N/A251040710
DominosMedium (12") Hand tossed pizza (The Whole Pizza)172064872282004160
KFC3 piece meal (breast, drumstick, thigh) w/mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuit10405205717643320
McDonaldsBig Mac540250281047970
Olive GardenSpaghetti w/Meat Sauce640200227851050
The HabitSingle Charburger470200226431140
Wendy'sDave's Single5503003413351180

I did all of this research on each "Vendor's" website. I think what this did for me is put into perspective what I used to consume. It wasn't uncommon for me to have multiple items on this list in one day.

Prior to having gastric bypass surgery, I weighed 530 pounds at my heaviest. I had routines that I stick to. I would leave my girlfriend's (now wife") house late at night to go home, on my way home I would stop at whatever food joint would be open at the time and ravage the menu as if I hadn't eaten all day. This could equal anything from 500 calories to 3000 calories (I'm serious)

This is what I looked like right before I was being wheeled into the O.R. (mind you, I lost around 50 lbs from my heaviest, prior to this photo) (July 5th, 2011)

This surgery was no joke. It was painful, I puked all the time, my hair started to fall out, my relationship with food was down to strict survival. If you asked me to eat a bite of a cheeseburger, I would have slapped you.
Not very long after that surgery, I looked like this after doing a mud run 5k with some friends.

I lost a part of me by allowing myself to consume food at an alarming rate. 

I'm not at the end of my journey. In fact, it's just beginning. I have zero doubt in my ability to achieve my goals. The next 30 days are going to incorporate some hefty fitness goals. 

I learned today, that I have readers in Canada, Sweden, Spain, and Portugal.

Thank you SO much for your time and your support.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

In Your Head

Day 29: 3/22/2016

No, not that "The Cranberries" song.... However, their lyrics kind of work for my life right now.

Everyone's journey in life is something that we can all learn from. I've had the pleasure of hearing many amazing life stories. The online "fitness groups" that I've joined on Facebook have been awesome. I didn't think that I would learn much from others, but the truth is, I see that people struggle with the same things that I do. I see that there ARE other people that get depressed about not being able to eat what they want, when they want to eat it.

Today, I've been completely consumed by my own thoughts about life. I've said before that I'm in therapy. Today, I met with my therapist and he laid some knowledge on me (like he always does). I told him that I'm very saddened about not being able to get my tattoo that I wanted. Thinking that he was going to say "it's just a tattoo, it's going to be ok", he said "are you allowing yourself to be sad? or are trying to avoid it? You know damn well that if you avoid it, it's going to come back 10x stronger. So feel it! Swim in it. Let it be a moment, and not an event" (yeah, I have a good therapist)

One of my biggest downfalls for myself is not owning a feeling. I attempt to mask it with something else. Most of my life, that has been food. Yes, there were times when I masked it with drugs and alcohol, but for the most part, food has been my crutch.

In this new journey to understand what it means to be healthy, I need to allow myself to feel the feels. If I'm sad, upset, happy, excited, or frustrated, I need to own it, and move towards what I want.

What I want is to be the best version of me. I want to be someone that others can look up to. I want to be a superhero. Maybe not in the "Billionaire, playboy, philanthropist" sort of way......... wait... that sounds amazing, nevermind, yes, exactly like Iron Man.

Monday, March 21, 2016

You Could Do That..... OR.....

Day 28: 3/21/2016

Struggles are the thing that are motivation to many. I've talked about mine. They're not a mystery to me. I ran into some struggles the last few days. Today, I had to decide to give up something that was near, and dear to my heart. The funny thing is, it wasn't of the food variety.

I had a very personal tattoo scheduled to be put on my left inner forearm on April 1st. Due to some unforeseen financial emergencies at home, I had to cancel this appointment. Now.... what does this have to do with healthy living?

Well, healthy living is more than eating good calories, and exercising. It's about mental health and emotional stability. I believe they all go hand in hand. Being a man who runs to food when shit hits the fan, today's situation made me desire to drown myself in fresh made tagliatelle with a delicious cream sauce and a nice breaded and fried piece of chicken. Just a good 5000 calories of comfort.

The voice in my head today just kept saying "you could do that.... OR, you could choose to make a better choice in dealing with your feels"

I guess, the moral of this GI Joe episode, is that when faced with hardships, it's normal for many to want to drown in out. If I've learned anything in the last year, it's that you have to accept the way you feel and do not allow that feeling to drive your action. Move towards what you want, and what you value.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Talk To You Tomorrow

Day 27: 3/20/2016

I need a break from writing my thoughts and feelings, but at the same time, made a commitment to write everyday.

I will leave you with some cool words on top of an image of Batman.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Measurements, I Hate This Part

Day 26: 3/19/2016

In every successful weight loss journey that I've had, I was keeping track of everything. I haven't been doing that other than my weight...... until now.

I really hate keeping track of these numbers. They seem demoralizing. I don't know... In some way, seeing those numbers when you're at the beginning of your journey make it seem like a monolithic task that is completely unachievable. 

Just like everything else, I need to own it. This is me. It's not like I can HIDE that I'm obese, right? All of the other things that I do to "hide" my fat, are not for everyone else, but for me. I feel like I can hide away the truth by wearing hoodies, baggy pants, but who am I kidding?? Little kids still look at me like I'm "Barf" from Spaceballs. However, that analogy works in my favor because everyone knows that he was the best character in that movie.

I think that in order to help me achieve bigger goals, I need to accomplish some smaller ones. Here is my goal for the week. Rather than focus on the numbers, I'm going to focus on activity goals. I am going to do a new version of a routine of mine that I like to call the "wake up, warm up". It will consist of these things. You're welcome to try it out with me.
  • 25 crunches
  • 25 wall squats
  • 25 pushups
  • 60 seconds of planking via forearm/feet
  • 30 seconds of warrior pose
  • 30 seconds of cobra post
  • 30 seconds of mountain pose
Below are measurements of mine as of today. It freaks me out to have people know these things but I just have to remember to be as cool as "Barf".

Weight: 357.5
Neck: 18 in
Shoulder End to End: 20.5 in
Right Bicep: 17.5 in
Left Bicep: 17 in
Waist (actual waist, not where I wear my pants): 50.5 in
Right Thigh: 31 in
Left Thigh: 30 in

Thursday, March 17, 2016

All You Need Is Desire

Day 24: 3/17/2016

I was thinking about a lot of the things that I've accomplished in my life.

  • Sports trophies as a child athlete
  • Learning musical talents (piano, drums, bass guitar, singing)
  • Getting my first job
  • Moving to a new city on my own for a job
  • Overcoming drug addiction
  • Going to my desired trade school to learn audio engineering
  • Engineering/mixing/producing music
  • Marrying my best friend
  • Being promoted at my current job 5x in less than 5 years
  • Going from 530 lbs down to 252
  • Gaining 141 lbs from that 252....... (still a "big" accomplishment)
They are all big things to me. I was trying to find the commonality in all of them and desire is the thing that sticks out. We spend so much of our time, convincing ourselves that we want something, but we only accomplish the things that we truly desire. I won trophies as a kid because I truly wanted to win, and in order to win, I desired to be the best. I excelled in learning a trade because I truly desired to be paid to do what I love. I married my wife because I truly desire to have my happily ever after with her.

Now comes what I've been stewing over for the last few days. Do I truly desire to be healthy? I mean in my heart, in my mind, in my actions? 

The equation for losing weight is simple. The actions to accomplish what you want on the scale are well known. It is even easy to understand that anyone who drops weight won't accomplish their goal in one night. However, DO YOU DESIRE THE OUTCOME ENOUGH TO DO IT?

It's going to hurt. You're going to be tired. You're going to have food cravings that don't match "healthy". You're going to be stressed, overwhelmed, and ornery. You're going to feel alone. You're going to feel failure, and you're going to feel like you want to quit. 

The difference between those who accomplish the goal and those who don't, is in the desire to stare down those hardships, and choose to beat them. 

I am there. I am that guy. I truly desire to be healthy, thinner, happier, more active, and strong.

"Courage, Honor, Loyalty, Sacrifice. You're braver than you think." -Captain America: The Chosen

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"Do You Enjoy Being Fat And Lazy?"

Day 23: 3/16/2016

I was asked by a trainer many years ago if I enjoyed being fat and lazy. At the time, I needed something from him, and gave him the answer he wanted to hear and said "of course not". The truth is, a lot of the time, I do, it's fun!

There are enjoyable things about being a fat guy. A lot of it is about impulse control, or a lack thereof. It's about being able to choose the irresponsible thing, because you can, because it's allowed. Like I've said before, food is a necessity. Politicians aren't putting forth bills at an alarming rate to take fast food away from us. We're allowed to suck on the teet of calories and saturated fat with the world's blessing. While other people are denying themselves bacon wrapped in bacon with bacon sauce, the fat guy partakes.

However..... it's hollow and short lived. When I was younger, I was made fun of for being fat. I used to come home as a young little fat dude and would cry to my mother who would then take me through a bunch of scenarios on how I'm able to respond to bullying without losing my cool. When I would cry to her and say "They called me fat lard!"she would respond with "well.... are you fat?", as I sat in silence for a min, I would then answer "well.... yeah! but they don't have to say it!". She taught me how to own it. She taught me how to be able to accept that I was different and in no way did that make me less of a lovable person. Things got better.

When I played sports, NO ONE made fun of me, because I was big, and mean. I was blessed with natural athletic ability. Even where I'm at now, most guys my size can't push themselves physically, like I can. That's not a boast, it's just what I see when I go to a gym. I'm not in shape by any means, but I can push it.

The idea of losing weight is arbitrary and means nothing without a health goal. Sure, I have a certain amount of lbs that I want to lose, but it's less important to me than obtaining healthy habits. I want to be able to experience life when I choose to do so. If my wife wants to go to Disneyland, I don't want to say "I can't, I'm too fat for the rides, they won't let me."

This week has been rough in regards to stress. I had a friend/colleague even mention to me that my writing shows that I'm "an emotional wreck". HAHA, I'm not even offended a little bit. I AM for sure an emotional wreck. Change is hard. It's even harder when a lot of the time you feel alone. This blog has changed that feeling a lot. The responses I receive are so incredibly supportive and positive. Thank you to all who have reached out and said that they see the same struggle and that knowing that I am in the same boat helps them maintain their course.

"You only have your thoughts and dreams ahead of you. You are someone. You mean something" -Batman

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Food And The Feels... Mostly Addiction

Day 22: 3/15/2016

Over the last 3 weeks, I've talked a lot about food addiction. However, I'm not sure if many people know what that means. So I've decided to share some of my history with addiction so that it may be a bit more clear.

At a young age, I started to mask some hardships in life, with drugs and alcohol. From age 12 - 19, I put my body through a gauntlet of torture in the form of abusing whatever I could get my hands on. It started with weed, alcohol, and stupid over the counter crap like Robitussin, Coricidin, and Dextromethorphan. Eventually, it turned into cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and ultimately ending on prescription pain medication as my drug of choice for my last few years of use. My weight would fluctuate a lot during those different use cycles. When I entered a rehabilitation program in 2003, it was a time for me to learn about what addiction was.

Addiction is a mask. It gives a person who can't control anything, control of something. What I usually tell people is this; if you were in pain every minute, of every day, with no end in sight, and you found a way to make that pain disappear, even for a temporary time, that gives you god-like power. Why on earth would anyone desire to give that up?

The biggest problems with that line of thinking is that it's not sustainable for a good life. It leads to your mind and your body taking a big hit... or many. The physical addiction to those substances cause obvious damage. Physical dependencies are real. I remember coming off of opiates. Your bones are fire. Your muscles only know pain. Your skin crawls. You can't sleep. Once you can sleep, you have nightmares. You can't eat. If you do eat, you puke. There's no winning in that detox... Until, day by day, week by week, those symptoms start to leave.

Then you're left with the emotional attachment to using. Your emotions, thoughts, and body have been numb to coping with what goes on in your life. Now what?? In my case, I switched to food. It's needed to survive. It's acceptable to eat. Until it isn't.

Food addiction carries all the same symptoms, causes, and consequences that addiction to drugs or alcohol does. I'm obsessed with it. It's on my mind all the time. That's why there is a fight all the time.

I hear things like "just eat healthy foods"... "Go on walks"... "Play a sport you like"... "You can have unhealthy foods sometimes, that's ok"... "Get a trainer"... "Try Crossfit, it's perfect for people who need something new and different"... "read this book, it talks about what REAL health is"... "Go vegan, it's so much better for you"... "Gluten is what is leading to obesity, go gluten free, it will change your life"... "Have you tried paleo?"...

At this point, from all my trial and error. I'm an expert in health and fitness. I don't struggle from a lack of knowledge. So what is it, then??

Well, it could be that I have the tools, knowledge, and ability to feed an addiction to a substance that not everyone struggles with.

"If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to want some milk"

If you give Aaron a donut, he's gonna want a dozen, plus a milkshake.... and cheese fries.... and a medium rare steak.... and pastrami burger.... and carnitas tacos.... and oreos..... and the value menu at Wendy's.... That's why this journey is a battle.

When I reach my goal, you'll know that I am more stubborn and perseverant than this craziness. You'd also think that I'd be rid of the hardship.... but in my experience, that's when I allow my lbs to increase.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” – Muhammad Ali

Monday, March 14, 2016


Day 21: 3/14/2016

Normally, I LOVE to cook. I'm not your standard good cook. I'm a "radicaltastic-holy-amazeballs" cook. I guess from my desire to eat amazing food, and not having a lot of money, I needed to learn how to make things. I grew up on actual, REAL, Mexican food. None of this wannabe, bad excuse for "Tex-Mex" like Cafe Rio. It took me a while to figure out my own style of cooking. I would say that I have a fusion type of cuisine. I mix real Mexican flavors, into other types of cuisine, like "New American". This type of cuisine, doesn't always lend itself to the side of healthy. A lot of fatty meats, butter, cream, flour, frying, etc.

This brings me to my current dilemma. Even though I love to cook, and I have been learning how to cook healthy food, lately..... I don't want to. It brings me no joy anymore. Due to this, I end up skipping meals. The battle is that on one hand, I don't want to spend the time to cook healthy food. On the other, I don't want to ruin my progress by eating crappy food. That frustration takes over, and I end up not eating. Like right now, I'm sitting here, writing this, I haven't eaten since my prep'd lunch at 11:30 this morning. So all together, I've had steel cut oats for breakfast, and a roasted chicken wrap with veggies and low carb tortilla, and a greek yogurt...... All together, about 650 calories for my day.

Sigh..... I don't know what to do to get rid of this issue. It's been going on for over a week, now.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Gearing Up For Another Week

Day 20: 3/13/2016

The key is planning. Alysa and I did our grocery shopping this weekend. Many people do a weekly food plan. I used to plan every piece of food throughout any day, on Saturday. Then I would shop on Saturday, and prep on Sunday. I do mine differently this time around. We purchased all of the ingredients for me to cook ALL of the healthy dishes that we like, at any given time. What this does, is give Alysa and I the opportunity to change things up based on how a day goes. 

For example, we used to have "Taco Tuesdays"... But, we got bored of it and we felt locked into it for some reason. So now, we can have tacos (my healthy recipe, of course) on any day, because we have the ingredients on hand.

SO, here's to a new week. Here's to meeting daily and weekly goals.

I'm adding different exercise into the mix this week. I'll post about it tomorrow.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sending Food A Dear John.... For Now

Day 19: 3/12/2016

Dear Food,
   During our long, off again, on again relationship, we've been through some stuff. I said some things... You caused some gastrointestinal issues. Ultimately, I don't think we were meant to be so involved. I know... I know... I've said these things before. This time I mean it. I need a break. I need to be able to find the real me. I need to be able to discover new ways of enjoying life. I need to be able to to have a bad day, and not run into your greasy, cheese covered embraces.

Now.... just because I know you're going to ask... Yes, there is someone else, BUT, it's not what you think. It's new and exciting, you understand, right? 

Look, health is a new friend. He's trying to teach me new things. I think it could be the start of something awesome.

Here's what I am proposing. We can visit, every now and then, but it won't be like it has been. We can have good times, but with boundaries.

So......... I'll hit you up later.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Take The Good And The Bad

Day 17: 3/10/2016

Bare with me, as the noise in my brain vomits on this page.......

Life, and the universe, don't owe you a thing, no matter how hard you work. Life isn't fair, no matter how much you desire it to be. That one person that you look at, that seems to have it made, doesn't. Equality doesn't exist in the way we imagine it in our brains. No matter what, life will never measure up to our imagination.

So what do we do? Give up? Drink? Take it out on someone else? Walk around angry?

I've done all of those things. I've been in that place, where there really isn't anywhere to go, but up.
Lifestyle changes when it comes to health, seem to be pretty cut and dry. Eat better, exercise..... and presto, healthy!!! Yeah, like the old lady in that insurance commercial says "That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works!"

It's been a rough week this week, no doubt. Not only in just the normal day to day, but in my brain. You would think that seeing some success on the scale only makes it easier, but it doesn't. I struggle with feeling like I can't keep the momentum going. I feel alone in my struggles, sometimes. I have a hard time with admitting that I am not as disciplined as I want to be. I feel all those feelings like guilt, shame, embarrassment, failure, inadequacy. I even struggle with that feeling that I'm not attractive to my spouse, anymore. Those are all things that in the moment I feel them, I feel like I'm the only one. As I write this, I realize, that after seeing that I have over 1050 views on this blog since day one, from all of you who read it..... I'm not the only one. I think the keystone to having a connection with someone as a person, is to relate to them in some way. Maybe all of you who read this, see your struggles in mine.

I have to accept that I'm not going to win everyday. I can only take comfort in knowing that I get another chance at it tomorrow. Change is hard. The introverted fat man in me wants to handle it in my own way, with fatty comfort foods and my comfy couch with my Batman blankie.

Back at it again tomorrow.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." -Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Numbers, Do They Mean Anything?

Day 16: 3/9/2016

I've been wondering about all the math that is involved with losing weight. We count calories, water intake, sodium, protein, fiber, heart rate, steps, reps, miles, lbs, inches........ It's tiring.

I give my middle finger to most of it right now. It's not that I think it's unimportant, it's that it's overwhelming. I have done all of the math, and I have simplified it to these 4 things for myself.

1. Take in less than you put out. Calories ARE important.

2. Make the calories count. This means that if it's going into your mouth, what's its purpose?

3. Drink more water, move more often.

4. You need to be held accountable

I've made it a point to try and simplify this process this go around. I've spent my life trying to do advanced health calculus, and..... I suck at it. Healthy lifestyles are about making choices that help you. I'm trying to do that.

Accountability is what is helping me. It's 2016, the majority of humans have a social media account. I joined a group of individuals on Facebook called "Spring Starters". It's been great to have individuals who are on similar journeys share their struggles and their successes. In turn, I get to share mine. Helping others is what makes doing hard things, even MORE worth it. I want people to see me doing this and know that it's hard, it sucks at times, but ultimately, I want them to know that if A A RON can do it, they can do it.

January 2016. I weighed 393 lbs...

Today, March 9th, 2016. I weigh THIS!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Remember Your Motivation

Day 15: 3/8/2016

Today was rough. It was a rough day at work. It was a rough day for my noisy brain. It was a tough day for cravings. It was even a rough day for my beautiful wife. All in all, I would say that if today had genitals, I would punch it.

I struggle with food on days like this. When you feel like the tenth shade of doodoo butter, food makes you feel good. I can tell you that right now, heading to my favorite restaurant in Salt Lake City  (Eva) sounds like the ONE thing that will make the crappiness of the day go away. They make a fig and pig pizza that makes your soul wonder why there was ever even a problem in the day. SEE, my brain is weird. It's almost a pathetic feeling. When I think about it, I'm willing to ruin progress over a bad day.....

That brings me to my current state. I CHOSE not to go overboard. I still made my calorie goal for the day and I feel that tomorrow gives me a chance to feel better about today.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love comic book heroes. I see so much of myself in their characters and I'm given so much inspiration from their fight, and their words. They give me motivation to be better. Here's a partial quote from Captain America (Steve Rogers), Please note that this quote means something specific to me, but I think anyone can read this and derive their own meaning.

"When the mob, the press, and the whole world tell YOU to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world; No. You move." 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Doing Things Differently

Day 14: 3/7/2016

The journey is starting to make sense. It hasn't made sense to me for nearly 2 weeks. I've been focusing so much of my time on not eating bad food. Healthy eating isn't about avoiding unhealthy foods, it's about choosing healthier options.

I can hear advertisements over the loudspeaker right now for Whole Foods, "We have a sale on our salad bar price per pound, it is now 6.99 per pound!!"........ Then, driving home with that salad and I drive past a local burger joint "Try our triple bacon cheeseburger combo meal, just $6.99!!"...... Holy balls, are you serious?! My first desire will be to drive back to Whole Foods, and throw those greens right in Shiloh's face, crop dust the entry and run away back to the burger joint! I'm never NOT going to want unhealthy foods. I mean, come on, have you had a cheeseburger??!!!

I titled this post "Doing Things Differently" because I feel like that's what I'm doing. I'm not just eating healthy food. I'm focusing on me being ok. I'm focusing on making good choices.

I AM feeling better. I'm sleeping better. I'm not feeling so attached to the way things used to be. I'm embracing the possibilities and I'm excited for success.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Food vs Fuel

Day 13: 3/6/2016

I've noticed that the collective "we" like to play games with ourselves because for whatever reason, we as Americans, attach happiness to food in a lot of ways. Like I've said before, food is an acceptable drug to most. Most of us need rehab ;-)

Everyone knows how to lose weight. The equation is simple... (Output>intake) BUT, there are many ways to incorporate that equation into life. I've heard SO many people over the years tell me the new "IN" diet that I must try, because it's been proven. Well, I can tell every single one of them that I know the diet will work to lose weight, but.... Is it sustainable??

Here are a list of the fad diets that I've done to lose weight: Please know that I successfully lost weight on ALL of them (ok.... The juicing thing made me break out in hives, so maybe not all of them, but all the rest, yes.)

The Atkins Diet
The South Beach Diet
The Ketogenic Diet
The Paleo Diet
Juice Cleanses
The Grapefruit Diet
The Zone
Jenny Craig
Cabbage Soup Diet

All diets can work to drop the lbs. If they didn't, they wouldn't make money. However, they're not a lifestyle. They're not sustainable. They forget to address the main issues that most overweight individuals have, and that is the mind for a healthy body. Healthy living isn't about diet, it's about giving your body the best chance, and putting it in a position of most potential.

Here's the thing, when I had gastric bypass in 2011, I was ready to make the change. It was 80% mental strength. I figured, I've beaten a severe opiate addiction, I can kick this too. That's exactly what happened. I had my surgery, hated food for a while, because it only made me sick, and then, the lbs melted off. Here is what the deciding factor in my success was.. FOOD IS FUEL. My mentality had changed from trying to suck every ounce of enjoyment out of every calorie, to just fueling my body for whatever I needed at the time.

I lost that along the way. I went from 252 pounds in July of 2012, to 393 lbs at the end of January this year. Now, I'm slowly but surely getting back to the mentality that food is fuel for the most advanced biological machine ever to be on the earth, the human body.

I'm two weeks in, and 8 lbs down from day 1 of this blog series. Onward and downward.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Lazy Isn't Always Bad.... Is It?

Day 12: 3/5/2016

The problem with weekends, is that they're typically used to do the few things that you don't get to do during the week... Which is rest. My typical weekend is spent doing as little as possible, while eating non-stop snack foods.

I've decided that my weekends are going to continue to be the thing that I need, which is a recharge. The difference in them now, will be that I can maintain healthy eating habits and plan some time for activity. My wife, Alysa, is going through this journey with me. She is working her own program while I work mine. She and I get to bond over the things that we can come up with to be active. Of course, today is not that day, as we've decided to really relax and recharge.

I've been reading quotes from people who live a life of perseverance. I came across this one from Bear Grylls. Like him or not, he's had an amazing life, full of challenges.
He said: "Survival can be summed up in three words - never give up. That's the heart of it really. Just keep trying."

I would like to say, to those that have reached out to me in support, It means the world to me. I've had such an amazing show of friendship from many. You all help keep me going.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Nothing Much

Day 11: 3/4/16

Today was uneventful. Pretty much in every way. It was just a day. I ate food that was good for me, made a healthier pizza, and drank a ton of water. Honestly, if I could have more of these days, it would be awesome.
Oh, as of day 11, I've lost 5 lbs since day 1. That's something, right?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Acceptance.... It's A Beautiful Thing

Day 10: 3/3/2016

Today was a bit of a continuation of yesterday. I only felt disdain for the fact that I can't indulge my every impulse that comes into my brain. However, there was some silver lining in the day. I met with my therapist, who just has a way of putting things in perspective. Not only does he share his wisdom, he does the thing that very few people are able to do with me, and that is get me out of my own way.

My lovely wife, who I haven't mentioned much in these posts (not on purpose, I'm just self-absorbed that way) spent some time voicing my complaints to him (because I've done nothing but complain to her). He looked at me and said "Sounds like we've got an acceptance problem". What he meant, is that in any situation that we're presented, we must learn to accept what our feelings are. That doesn't mean that the feeling dictates what we do in response.

One of the things we identified is that I don't do anything half-assed. No matter what I do, I take it on at full speed. If I'm going to be happy, I'm ecstatic. If I'm going to be angry, I'll be fuming angry. The point is, I decided to take on a healthy lifestyle, therefore, I'm going to go at it 183%. I will be militant on diet. I WILL lose weight. The problem with that, is that when I don't meet a goal, or don't measure up to my own expectations, I become angry, and filled with embarrassment and shame.

So here's what I learned. I need to give myself a break. I'm not going to be perfect. The entire goal is about lifestyle change. I can't make shame and embarrassment a lifestyle. So tonight, I enjoyed a Chik-Fil-A sandwich with my beautiful wife. No shame.... No embarrassment.

Tomorrow's a new day. I get a chance at progressing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Today Is Hangry Day... And Not In A Good Way

Day 9: 3/2/2016

I knew it was going to happen. I'm pissed. Literally fuming upset. Over what? Not being able to eat what I want! YEP! Like a child who didn't get the toy they wanted when they went to the store with mom. I'm throwing a tantrum. I'm boycotting food right now because I swear, if I eat any more salad in the near future, I'm going to drop kick a baby sloth and laugh like a cartoon villain. At this point, I would settle for a microwave dinner of fettuccini alfredo, right now. That's where I'm at...

This is my life. I'm the dude, that gets physically, emotionally, and mentally upset over not being able to eat shitty food. Now, let's take that term, "shitty food"... to me, that means any food item that is not conducive to a healthy life. This is how extreme I have to be. I know some would read this and say "Hey, A A Ron... you can have a burger or pizza every once in awhile, that's totally ok." NOPE, it's not! Here's why. Right now, I am NOT capable of giving myself my drug of choice, even for just one meal. It's not that I will die due to one burger or one pizza. It's not that I will lose all progress because of one burger or one pizza. It's that I turn into Bruce from Finding Nemo when I eat high caloric foods and will continue on that path. If I can justify it today, I will justify it tomorrow. If not tomorrow, then the next day.

Food is one of those things that humans can't live without. It's socially, financially, religiously, and legally acceptable to purchase at anytime, in any quantity, and in any place in the world. Therefore, people accept that we eat food that is bad for us. Don't get me wrong, I am not a health crusader. I am the first guy at the serving counter at family dinner. I will be the first one done. I'm just saying, that there aren't restrictions on food, other than the ones you put on yourself.

Here's a fun story. Here's some background first. I am half Mexican, and half white boy. My Mexican family is very traditional in the sense that food is the one thing that brings everyone together, for every occasion. When I was younger, I'd say around 11 or 12, my Mexican Grandparents moved to UT from TX. My Grandmother, who taught me how to cook, makes THE BEST, and I do mean that, THE BEST Mexican food. Food that has been put on tables for 50+ years in her family. We would all meet at the dinner table to eat. It was a time that I can remember, being more than extremely happy. What was funny, is that my Grandfather wouldn't eat with us at the table. In fact, he would eat prior to everyone else eating. While we ate, my Grandfather would sit at the table and watch me eat. He didn't just watch me eat, he would smile ear to ear, speaking in Spanish to my dad and Grandma, saying things like "Man, look at that boy eat. That boy can put that food away." Anytime that I would finish a plate and start a new one, he would tap my dad on the arm and say "Mira, Mira!!" (which means look, look) There was joy in my ability and desire to eat.

Fast forward to today... No one is watching. No one is gleefully supporting my desire to indulge. Now, it's me... morbidly obese, and uncomfortable.... Upset that I'm not able to indulge any longer. I'm 32 years old, and I can't control myself. If I don't get this under control, I will die, and no, that's not extreme.

I know there is joy in being healthy. I lived it post operation. I was obsessed with health. I even got to a point where I no longer sympathized with individuals that have my same addiction to food. I judged obese individuals for being lazy, and without self-control. That's how obsessed I was. Slowly, and steadily, that table has been flipped, turned, and broken.

Here are the thoughts right now that are keeping me going in the right direction:

  • Put yourself in the place of most potential (thanks Mom)
  • Does this help you reach your goal? if not, is it worth making things harder for?
  • Do you want to make this a moment? or an event? (Good ol Desmond Lomax)
Anyway... I'm going to make some healthy crap that I don't want to eat, and then exercise. Tomorrow's another day, probably filled with more salad. (I don't know how you vegans do it, it's madness)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

It's Going To Hurt

Day 8: 3/1/16

Today was an interesting day. Since I'm battling this kidney stone, I woke up in pain. I knew that it was going to be a challenge to "eat healthy". What I did to combat this, was plan every meal the night before. I prepped steel cut oats for the morning, I made a low fat, lower sodium, no sugar added, chile verde for my lunch. Now, the one thing I didn't plan, were any snacks. I normally, will grab the very first thing that I can find. This is not limited to snack foods. If the nearest thing is a $1 menu at a fast food joint, THAT will be my snack. Not today, though. Today, I grabbed a cup of veggies to eat, along with a few pieces of jerky. I have kicked my water intake into gear. For dinner, I made veggie breakfast burritos with some of that chile verde on top.

My rough calculations puts my intake at about 1500 calories for the day. This is more than I anticipated. After I had gastric bypass surgery, I had to work HARD to eat 500 calories a day. Yes, 500... That is why weight melted off of me. Now, that weight is like a parasite. It is holding on for dear life, and I'm going to have to fight as hard as can be to take it off.

Today marked day one of my new exercise program. I have opted to begin my new journey with an at-home workout program. The one I chose, has the DUMBEST names for any workout. It's's "The Master's Hammer and Chisel"..... yep, that's a dumb name. However, even with a dumb name, it kicked my ass. Come tomorrow morning, my core, hams, glutes and back are going to be stiff and sore.

I found a quote by Vince Lombardi earlier today, and I felt like it defined my day.

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." -Vince Lombardi