Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Epic Gains & Epic Losses: (Fit 2) "Fat 2 Fit"

A few weeks ago a fitness fanatic friend on Facebook shared a link to an article on Yahoo! The article was about this guy, Drew, who is a fitness trainer and someone who has always been fit. Super interesting right? Aren’t those guys a dime a dozen? But this is where things are a bit different than your normal Yahoo! fitness article telling you how to “Lose the Last 10” or to “Eat These Five Foods for Better Health.” Drew started a 12 month journey where for the first 6 months he would eat whatever he wanted, no restrictions, and refrain from exercise. Then for the last 6 months he would revert back to his “old ways,” eating well and exercising regularly, in an effort to get his old body back (an come full circle). All along the way he has been documenting the changes (he is currently only days away from the start of the “Fat-2-Fit” stage). Now, in no way do I feel like this guy needs any more exposure that he’s been getting (he’s been on The Tonight Show and Good Morning America, and getting all kinds of internet love; he's doing just fine), but I am really interested in his mission and the motivations behind it so I felt that I needed to share.

On his website Drew says this of the mission:

“This is my story of how I plan on going from being obsessed with being fit, to fat in 6 months and how I plan on showing everyone how to get back to fit again in 6 more months. My diet will be unrestricted and I will refrain from any exercise during my fat stage. I plan on putting on around 50-60 pounds. After those 6 months, I will be teaching people how to get back in shape by allowing everyone to follow my specific meal plans and workout plans on this site. I will be documenting my progress every step of the way and blogging about it, from weekly pics, measurements, and even allowing people to decide what fatty foods I should partake of during my fat stage.”

There are a lot of reasons to find this experiment interesting. But what drew me in was the ability to see someone roughly my size (very similar measurements, he’s just more muscular and has a lower body fat percentage) balloon to where I used to be (I admit there is a bit of a morbid curiosity involved) and then to make the journey all the way back again. You never really get to see that process, usually it’s just before and after pictures. And, I suppose his mission/blog is very similar to mine, in a way, so it’s obviously a subject I am interested in.

But, this is where I really get interested. What I really wonder and will be waiting to see is: will he ever get back to his original fitness level? Will he be able to get rid of all of the weight he packed on? Will it only take him 6 months to lose the 75+ pounds he has already gained? It took me 2 years total to go from around 250 to 185 pounds, so I am curious to see how he fares. I am curious to see what speed bumps he will hit. After being fat for only 6 months will the transition be as daunting as it is for those of us who grew up overweight or have been for large portions of our lives? Is the emotional weight of that life experience even present in his case? How can you compare 20 years of body shame with a few months worth? Maybe you can’t.

I definitely find what Drew is doing is quite noble and applaudable. For a trainer, someone who is devoting their life to fitness and helping others achieve their fitness goals, the ability not just to empathize with an obese patient, but to be able to say, “I’ve been there, you can do it too,” is reassuring and actually priceless.

What really excites me is the “Fat 2 Fit” stage. I am looking forward to seeing what his meal plans are like. I want to see just how much (or how little) he is eating. I am looking forward to seeing his workouts and what they are composed of. Will it be tons of cardio or lots of weight training (he has lost a lot of his muscle over the last 6 months I would imagine)? And I am looking forward to seeing his emotional/psychological changes and struggles along the way. Oh, and I really want to see if he is able to get his six-pack back (because if he does it gives me hope!).

This is going to be interesting.


P.S. The "Fat Queer: Fat" pictures are not actually me at my heaviest, I plan on showing some of those but in order to do so I need to get them from my parent's house and scan them. Though the ones that I did use are still a pretty good illustration of just how large I was.

Friday, October 28, 2011

David (Gandy) vs. GOLIATH

It appears that even male super models have body image problems. The very attractive and successful David Gandy, famous for his Dolce & Gabbana ads, is just like the rest of us. I'm not going to pretend that this info is necessarily news to me (that a male model is body obsessed), come on, it's his job to look good. But, what I do find interesting is that someone who is hired to be the body and face of a company, someone who beat out hundreds of (if not more) models to fulfill that role, can still fall victim to the mischievous tricks of the mind when logic would have to argue that you're doing just fine.

In a recent interview in DETAILS he had this to say about his struggles with body image:

“I don’t particularly like much of my body. I’m very critical of myself. I think I’m pretty much a perfectionist in anything I do so I’m never going to be happy. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, believe me. People can criticise me and try to being me down but I tell them, ‘You can’t be as hard on me as I am on myself, so don’t even try.’”

That last sentence is incredibly telling and it brings forth a much larger issue: why is he so hard on himself? Is it the stress of staying relevant and competing with younger, so-called, "hotter" models? Is it linked to his childhood; is he an "ugly duckling" type who was made fun of at school? Was there an overbearing parent that subtly, or possibly not-so-subtly, informed his ideas of what a man should look like? Or, any number of other factors? 

That is where the lines tend to blur, and one of the reasons body image issues are so prevalent and difficult to locate the root cause. Often times it is not as simple as just one contributing factor (for me it was a mix of parental influence, being made fun of and shamed, the gay community's glorification of, and the medias emphasis on, what is essentially an unnatural body type). 

So who knows why Mr. Gandy is so hard on himself? Maybe that is not the real issue here. It is most likely more constructive to focus on how to get the mind to move beyond the "ideas" is subscribes to. Especially when there is strong evidence that suggests your beliefs not grounded in reality. 

We've all got bodies. We've all got issues. And it seems, we all (or a whole lot of us) have body issues.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MTV's "I Used To Be Fat"

I just came across this wonderful show, on MTV of all places, called "I Used To Be Fat," and it may be the best (and only) thing MTV has going for it right now.
Granted, for a large portion of my life MTV was "my jam." I loved Real World (I LOVED it, need to elaborate in a separate post), Road Rules, the RW/RR Challenges, True Life, and of course music videos (when they acually played them). But lately, and by that I mean over the last 5 or so years, I have felt like MTV and I had grown apart. I could no longer tolerate the people that were cast on the Real Word, am disgusted by the kids and their parents on "My Super Sweet 16," and I have no interest in anything Jersey Shore related.

So, back to IUTBF. The show follows one obese teenager per episode, and pairs them with a trainer to help them get down to a healthy weight. All of them are recent High School graduates who are heading off to college in the Fall, and looking to shed some weight and have a fesh start.

From MTV's website:
College is all about reinvention. It's a time in a teen's life where they can leave behind all of the preconceived notions people had about them in high school and start fresh. Unless they're massively overweight.

'I Used To Be Fat' is a new documentary series profiling teenagers desperate to shed their unwanted pounds before heading off to school. We'll send a weight loss guru to work with each person and they'll go through rigorous fitness regimens and work with experts to learn how to change the habits that caused them to gain so much weight.

Each one-hour episode will focus on a different student, following them from the last weeks of high school to the first crucial days of college, and giving viewers an inspirational and intimate account of their emotional and physical transformation, as they struggle to change their attitudes, eating habits, and ultimately their lives.

But this summer is about more than just losing weight for these teens -- it's also about figuring out who they are and who they want to be. It's time for them to stop leaning on mom and dad and to learn to stand on their own two feet. It's a chance for them to realize that if they don't take charge of their lives now, they never will.

Throughout each show, viewers will witness how each teen's life and view of the world starts to change as they start to lose weight, and they'll see them when they debut their new look -- and their new outlook -- on their first day of college.

At the end of each episode, we'll catch up after a few months of college to see where they are now. Have they kept the weight off or gained it back? Is college life what they'd dreamed it would be? And what will their families and friends say when they see them again?

Some will lose the weight. Others will fail. But either way, this will be the most important summer of their lives.

The episode I watched was about a kid named Josh, whose start weight was 310 pounds (I've been there) and over the course of just 3 1/2 months achieved amazing results. It is so gratifying to see someone work hard and make shit happen. At the end of the episode I was smiling right along with Josh, his trainer, and his family. Especially since I understand what he had to go through and the satisfaction of meeting (or exceeding) your goals.

Here's a sneek preview of Josh's episode. You can actually watch entire episodes on the MTV site.

Also, Josh's trainer Joey is pretty easy on the eyes. So, there's that.

Anyway, I definitely recommend checking this show out. And I give MTV props for creating a show that has the potential to help and inspire a lot of people, not just the few kids that are on it. 


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wrap-Up: How did THE PLAN go?

*I wrote most of this back in August and also last month and then became sidetracked and forgot to post. I put some finishing touches on it today.


Here I am after one month of the new plan I devised and I am actually feeling pretty good. Whether or not there has been any change I feel different. And that is change enough for me.

The last week of the month was actually spent on vacation, one of those “floating buffets” of all things. It amazes me the way people eat on these things. Yes, there is food available 24/7. Does that mean you need to be constantly shoveling it in your face? I’m pretty sure the answer to that question is NO! However, for some reason people just go crazy. It is no wonder that the  FITNESS DUDE mentioned in one of his seminars that the average cruise passenger gains 5-10 lbs. in one week. The dietary crimes I witnessed are too horrifying to recount.

Oh, and yes, of course, I spent a portion of my free time going to health and fitness seminars and hitting the gym (it’s who I am, what I find interesting, and what I enjoy). I also got a body composition test and the HEALTH DUDE did say (in his charming South African accent) that I have a very good lean muscle mass (think he said “great”) and am very well hydrated, but that it would be good to lose about 5% of my body fat. The amazing thing was, my dad was sitting right next to me when the guy mentioned my muscle mass, and I got to chide him for his harassing me about being to “slim” or “scrawny.” I felt quite vindicated.

In the last month I have done a great job of not working out too much, actually forcing myself to not go to the gym so that I can get the proper amount of rest. I have been going to the gym (or doing my training outside of the gym) 4 to 5 times each week and definitely working intervals into the mix. I’ve done some crazy cycling classes (one in which I nearly threw up because I was pushing so hard; lesson learned) and had some good sessions in the pool. What I love about that is that you can actually feel the difference when you’re swimming faster; the way the water rushes past you. I’ve also done a fair share of weight training and yoga, and of course running (my absolute favorite, NOT).

I also started monitoring (at least a little better) my calories and also my protein intake. So far those seem to be good things. I know for a fact that I am consuming enough calories to not start metabolizing my muscle mass in order to get fuel and also that I have enough protein in my system to regenerate and build new muscle after a tough workout or training session. Obviously, the last thing I want to do is lose any of my existing muscle mass. What is the point of losing weight if the weight you are losing is muscle not fat? I am actually a bit glad that my weight has increased slightly while my body fat has been pretty stable.

It has been two months since I decided to try a new modified approach to my fitness and diet regimen in hopes of making some positive changes to my body and how I feel about it. So, how did it go?

Well, August was a ridiculous month. I think I made it to the gym about 5 times. Of course I managed to eat properly still, but with an insane work schedule, very few days off, and tons of stuff to take care of before and after work there was just not enough time to get to the gym. The last week of the month was spent out in the Nevada Desert at the Burning Man festival (so, not a ton of gym time there either, just lots of bike riding and dancing!) What was fantastic about Burning Man was that I was surrounded by thousands of people who were so content just being themselves. Whether that meant wandering around completely nude or in some wonderful costume, they were who they were, and they were proud. It was a very beautiful thing to behold. While I am not quite “there” yet when it come to putting my body on display, I did break through some personal boundaries that week and am happy to say that I am forever changed by this (and many other experiences I had).

So, after two months of more or less following my plan (I definitely did a good job of working out less!) what, if any, progress did I make?

As of September 15, 2011
height: 6'0"
weight: 185 lbs.
chest @ nipples: 40.5”
under breasts: 39"
biceps: 12"
@ belly button: 35."
hips: 35.5"
butt @ widest point: 39"
thighs: 22"
calves: 15”
Body Fat: 17%

Let’s take a look at this. I apparently gained 6 pounds and my body fat increased by 1%. However, I really don’t trust my bathroom scale when it comes to body fat measurement (two measurements taken within 2 hours of each other had different results, the latter being 1% less) . Also, a number of people (my mom and a co-worker included) commented on the fact that I looked thinner or more fit. Could it be that I actually am making gains in my muscle mass? I certainly hope so. I suppose the jury is still out. All that matters is that I feel good, and look better than I ever have. And I suppose that is really what all of this has been about the whole time, my quest for self-acceptance and being comfortable in my body. While the stomach “pooch” (or saggy skin) and the smaller, but still present, breasts are a reminder that I still have a ways to go, at least I recognize that this may be the case for a while, and I’m OK with that.


P.S. I can’t lie, but my main impetus for THE PLAN was to try and get my body closer to where I would like for it to be, knowing that I would be going to Burning Man and would want to be as comfortable as possible in my skin. What I learned there (though I’ve always known this) is that being comfortable in your skin has a lot less to do with resembling a model in an underwear ad, and a lot more to do with how you feel about YOU and what you have to offer the world. Thank you, Playa.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Self-Control, Or A Lack Thereof

I recently came across this very interesting "New Yorker" article about the differences between individuals who are able to delay their gratification (essentially those who have self-control) and those who aren't. There are big differences and it interesting to see how something like self-control, which is a learned behavior, can impact so many facets of our lives and how well we do or to what extent we succeed (whatever your definition of success is). It basically comes down to the ability to distract yourself from whatever is trying to get your attention (junk food, alcohol, or any other vice you "can't" say no too).

I know that one of the big changes I had to make in my life was to finally get a grip on my self-control. I had to learn not to give in every time I wanted to eat something that was bad for me; to train myself to not go for the cookie and instead have something healthy. To not give in to emotional eating, and to recognize that was the reason I was consuming and not actual hunger. It is funny to me that when I look back I had so much self-control in some facets of my life and yet when it came to food I was at a complete loss. I cannot say for sure that I would've been like one of the children in the study who licked the filling out of the Oreo and then put it back on the plate before the researcher came back in the room, but something tells me that I probably would have been.

Anyway, check out the aritcle HERE. It's a worthwhile read.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Time for a NEW GAME PLAN

I had figured that my triathlon training would result in dramatic changes in my body composition. However, the evidence suggests that is not the case. In the last 4 moths (beginning of March through end of June) my body fat percentage has not decreased all too much, and the changes in my measurements are not as dramatic as I expected either. This is unfortunate because I really worked my ass off to prepare. I was working out 5 or 6 days a week, sometimes doing bricks (two workouts back to back, like a bike/swim or a bike/run). I was also eating really healthily, not drinking alcohol, save for a few special occasions, and getting lots of veggies and “good for me” foods.

So, I am at somewhat of a loss. I am not sure where I am going wrong. And this is why I have decided to devise a new plan. For the next two months I will follow the plan I line out in this post. I have enlisted some help, Bernard Lavallée of GAY NUTRITION (check it out, lots of good stuff to get you thinking), in this endeavor. He has agreed to check out my plan and give me some advice as well as look at the reasons/motivations behind my quest.

Here is what I can share about my motivations:

-I am still very concerned with good health (not sure if “optimal” is too strong a word). I have some diseases that run in my family (diabetes is a big one) and I would like to avoid having to deal with any of them if I can.

-I am over being fat. I was fat for approximately 25 years. I have previously stated the reasons why it sucks, and they still stand.

-I don’t feel 100% comfortable with my body. I still have a little fat on my chest and my belly and it annoys the hell out of me. Have you noticed how straight guys couldn’t care less about walking around without their shirts on (even when there is no pool or beach nearby)? Honestly, they have huge beer bellies and/or breasts and still walk around like nothing’s wrong. It’s amazing. I wish that I were that comfortable with my body but years and years of being made fun of, shame, and disdain for its appearance have scarred me. I know that I am ridiculously smaller than “the old” me but I still feel like my body is not beach ready. I don’t need to be some chiseled Adonis, I just want to get rid of the bit of flab that I am so embarrassed by. I just want to feel comfortable without my shirt on (this is very important to someone like me who loves everything ocean/beach/swimming/ etc. related).

Below is a current photo of me. You can see that there is sagginess around the waist and definitely the breasts. These are my two main areas of concern, though overall tightening up is part of the plan.

And now . . . THE PLAN!

1. I am going to work out less! That’s right, I am cutting back to 4 or 5 workouts per week. I am worried that I was overdoing it and that my body didn’t like that. So, I will not workout 6 days per week and no more than 3 days in a row.

2. I will introduce more High Intensity Interval Training into my workouts. I’ve been researching this a lot and it seems that intervals are the best way to burn fat. So I am going to incorporate this into my triathlon training (this also seems to be how you get faster and make positive gains in each of the three disciplines).

3. I will continue to mix it up. I will still do yoga, kettle bell, and other random classes (things that are not tri-specific) to shake things up, keep it interesting, and keep my body on its toes. I will also continue to do push ups, crunches, mountain climbers and other exercises that use my own body weight as resistance on a regular basis.

4. I will pay attention to how many calories I am consuming. Well, kind of. I am not going to keep a journal even though I hear it is the most effective method when trying to lose weight. However, I have come this far and feel pretty good about my eating habits. I eat a pretty damn healthy and clean diet, so for at least the 1st couple weeks I will go sans food journal/log. That being said, I will also make sure to consume enough calories to keep me alive and healthy. I am worried that I may not have been consuming enough calories (even though I feel like I eat a lot) for the last couple months. I guess being vegan makes it a little tougher to over-consume; binging on veggies just isn’t the same as cheese or meat I suppose. After lots of research I have decided on a range of 2600-3200 calories per day based on how intense my work out has been (some days as high as 4000 calories).

5. I will focus on meeting my protein requirements. I don’t think I have necessarily been under-doing it when it comes to protein I would like to actually try and hit a number range on a daily basis. The amount of protein we need is debatable, human breast milk is only about 10% protein (and babies do just fine, right?) but some trainers will recommend 1 gram per pound of body weight (for clients trying to build lots of muscle mass). 180g seems a little high and only 50g seems a tad low. Based on my findings 65-95g per day seems to be the proper amount for me.

And that’s THE PLAN!

Finally, here are the current stats (so I can track how this little experiment actually goes):
As of July 3, 2011
Height: 6'0"
weight: 179 lbs.
chest @ nipples: 40”
under breasts: 38"
biceps: 12"
@ belly button: 35.5"
hips: 35.5"
butt @ widest point: 39"
thighs: 22"
calves: 15" (down 0.5” this year)
Body Fat: 16%

I started the plan on July 5th. I will do bi-weekly check-ins. The final weigh-in/stat update will be September 5th.



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different (though not actually too different)

Today I started a new fitness/body fine tuning plan. It is a plan I've created after lots of research, and my personal experience so far, to try and finally shed the last few pounds of flab. I am hoping this is the final step on the long road that has been my weight loss journey. Details to come shortly.


P.S. Photos of model Didier Cohen by James Demitri. While I know there is only the slimmest of slim chances that my body will ever look like this guy's, if it were to happen I wouldn't mind!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

TRI Your Heart Out!

About two weeks ago I did something crazy. Something I never thought in a million years I would ever do. Something that was always on my list of things to do/accomplish but that I didn’t think I was necessarily ready for, yet. But then I threw myself into the “deep end” and forced my self to either sink or swim; and boy did I swim!

Just over two weeks ago I participated in a triathlon. It was in San Francisco and it was called the “Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.” What follows is the story of how I wound up participating and having an amazing experience.

Just after completing the registration/packet pick-up process.
Back in October or November 2010 I mentioned to my trainer (for a few moths I was working out with a trainer to try and finally achieve the body that I have been striving to have for so many years) that I had always wanted to do a triathlon. Being that I grew up swimming and never considered myself much of a runner I figured a marathon was not a good fit, but that a tri would be my best bet. We started do some tri specific training and then in March I signed up for a local tri that takes place in the fall. I signed up for the “Classic Distance” which is a 1/2 mile ocean swim, 18 mile bike, and then a 4 mile run. I figured that over 6 months to train and prepare was more than ample time.

Then, one day I walked into the gym and saw a little sign for a nation-wide competition to compete for a spot in “E.F.A.T.” I grabbed a flyer and threw it in my gym bag. Later that night I went online and registered for a spot in the qualifier contest. I saw it as an opportunity to see how prepared I was for my tri in Malibu this fall. I then had two weeks to prepare. I started going to spin/cycle classes, to try and increase my run speed and to look into ways to increase my swim speed as well. After only two or three weeks of training it was time to give it a go. I knew the finish times of the people who had won spots the previous year, and knew the time window I needed to finish within in order to get a spot this year.

I got to the gym a little early to check in. I went and warmed up on the treadmill and then did some stretching to loosen up. I got to the pool deck and waited for my time to jump in. They called my name and I swam, finishing faster than I had been doing in all my prep. I got out and jumped on the bike. Rode it like crazy and finished right around where I had planned to. Then I headed over to the treadmills, jumped on the first one and ran a quick 5K and was done. When all was said and done I had finished with a better than expected time in each event. I felt like a champ! In the end I finished in the top 20 (out of 260 people)!
So, there it was. I managed to more than qualify for one of the 75 spots in “E.F.A.T.” and had no other option than to take that spot and accept the challenge. I now had just over 2 months to prepare for a 1.5 mi. swim across the chilly San Francisco Bay, an 18 mi. bike through the hills of the city, and then an 8 mi. run along the coast, along trails, and even on the beach. 

I went out and bought a triathlon training book and started upping my workouts. I started cycling more (both in classes and out on the streets) running more (lots of short-ish treadmill runs and longer runs outdoors) and to swim (greater distance and also in open water, not just the pool anymore).

After all the build up, the prep, the training, and the acquiring of all the gear necessary to compete in a tri, race day was here. I woke up super early on the morning of June 5th and had a light breakfast (vegan energy pancakes that I made and brought with me to SF). I got my on tri shorts and tank top, threw on a pair of gym shorts and a sweatshirt, grabbed my bag and my bike and rode down to Marina Green (the epicenter of the event). As the sun was fighting its way through the clouds and rising over bay I set up my transition area. I got my bike on the rack and threw down a towel to stand on. I set out my running shoes, lined up my snacks (a must for endurance athletes is to continually take in calories) and hydration, put my wetsuit on up to my waist and grabbed my swim cap and goggles. I left the transition area and headed for the shuttle that would take us to the boat.

Once we were all on the boat and it set off toward Alcatraz the energy was insane. Everyone was so pumped. Most of us were in our own zones getting mentally prepared for the race ahead. I did some light stretching and breathing. I put my suit on the rest of the way. I got my swim cap on and my goggles on my head. I was SO ready to attack this race course. Over a loudspeaker they announced that we were 2 minutes until race start. Everyone started cheering and getting even more amped up. We all started condensing near the exits.

And then the race started. The pro athletes dove in and then they started waiving the rest of us out to take the plunge. I couldn’t even tell you if the water was cold or not. I didn’t feel a damn thing. I hit the water and the only thought going through my mind was to swim. And that is what I did. The first 5 to 10 minutes of the swim were a bit chaotic and a little stressful. There are 2000 people jumping in within a 6-minute time frame and there were lots of collisions. The visibility was pretty low, I could just barely see past my outstretched hand, so all of a sudden you would come up on a slower swimmer and have very little time to avoid contact. I fought my way past the slower racers and finally found my own bit of open water to swim in and made my way to shore. The swim was over in the blink of an eye and I was on to transition one (a 0.5 mi. run over to the bike start). I peeled off my wetsuit and threw on my cycling shoes and helmet and hit the road.

Yes. This is actually me getting ready to do the bike leg.

The bike course was beautiful. The day was clear and the sun was out (the day before was overcast and rainy, and the forecast wasn’t predicting conditions to improve) and there was a light breeze coming off the ocean. It was a very hilly course, but it was full of nice views and lots of jovial racers. As I was on about mile 4 of the bike the lead male pro was already on his was back into the transition area; all the racers cheered him on as he passed by.

Before I knew it I was back in the transition zone throwing on my running shoes and downing some coconut water hydration cocktail I made and was back out on the road. I was feeling great and ready to make the run my bitch. I was steadily passing people all along the way. We went up hills, and up stairs, and on narrow trails, and on the beach, and up a 400 stair “sand ladder” (essentially, a hillside with rail road ties and sand as steps), and back on to trails, and then back along the bay for the last 2 miles.  For about the last two miles I was running along side another racer, he and I chatting about the race and what brought each of us there that morning. I told him that I was a former fat kid and that, for me, this was the culmination of years of hard work (I told him about how I had lost over 100 lbs.) and this was my way of proving to myself that I had achieved something huge. As we reached the 7th mile marker (just one little mile left to go) we both cheered each other on and raced into the finish line, random spectators shouting and cheering us on. I saw my friends and family in the grand stands and I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face. I turned around a looked at the time clock, it registered that I had beat my projected goal finish time by more than 15 minutes. I turned toward the exit to try and go find my loved ones and I was overcome by my emotions. I was so proud of myself, so happy to have completed the race, and so full of adrenaline that I began to cry. I tried my best to stifle my tears and the sobs that I was barely managing to hold back. I finally spotted my friends, and as they gave me a huge group hug I completely lost it. And then I laughed it of. I felt like a badass!


-This is a huge FUCK YOU! to the kids who made fun of me growing up: the ones who teased me for my weight and my appearance. Sure, I was fat (not that that is any excuse for their behavior), but I have managed to change that. Odds are, they are still “ugly” on the inside.

-It’s a huge FUCK YOU! to my dad who thought that tough love and name calling was going to make me want to lose weight, and who never thought he would see me as thin as I am or do anything as athletic as a triathlon. I love my dad, but he needed to realize that no one was going to make me change my ways but me. I know he is very impressed with my accomplishment.

-It’s a huge FUCK YOU! to the doubter’s; the ones who wrote me off as a lost cause, the one’s who told me I would never do it or I should set my goals lower. Don’t fuck with me when I put my mind to something.

-But mostly, it’s a huge FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! to the inner fat kid. To the apathetic, overweight, miserable, and hopeless person I used to be. The one who allowed all the negative thoughts to bog me down, and who would quit trying to make a positive change before I had even started. To the kid who ate his emotions, then was depressed by his overeating and the excessive weight on his body. I am so far removed from that person that I can happily say, “FUCK YOU!” You will never have power over me like you once did.”


P.S. It also took a lot of courage for me to get out there and compete in a tight tank top and what are essentially underwear.  I am proud of myself for getting over my body issues and doing it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Status Update: Mid-year check-in

Oh dear. It has been a long time since I managed to update this blog and an even longer time since I have done any sort of status update. Here’s the deal:

I feel like I am basically in “Maintenance Mode” these days. I have been steadily hovering around the same weight since January (between 176 and 180 pounds). And as far as measurements go, there has been little change; just a couple halves of inches here and there. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am certainly happy to be where I am. Amazed and proud. However, I really amped up my gym routines in prep for a big event (I will go into much more detail in my next post) and was expecting to lean down quite a bit. 

Here's the updated chart:

On the flip side I have seen the changes in my body and in the way my clothes fit. I can see muscle definition in areas there was never definition before. My arms, my legs, my torso, and even my back (which actually used to have a layer of fat that I always found odd) are all more “cut.” Last time I saw my dad he made a comment, his usual type, about how lean I was. And, add to this that my roommate’s boyfriend (a personal trainer at a fancy gym) keeps commenting on how “skinny” (yes, I still cringe at that word) I am or how good I look, makes me fairly confident that the proof may not actually be in the numbers. I am thinking that I am actually replacing fat with muscle, that the muscle I am building is taking up the same space the fat was, and when I take my measurements, that is why they are essentially the same/unchanged.

Here’s to continuing on the path toward even better health and the pursuit of a body I am not ashamed of.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Are Gay Men Obsessed With How We Look? And why?

I just saw a preview for a documentary that will be airing on Logo this weekend and I made sure to set my DVR to record it. The film is called "The Adonis Factor" and is directed by Christopher Hines. Check out the trailer:

 I am completely willing to admit that I am more than slightly obsessed with how I look. However, I feel that it is mostly due to the fact that I grew up obese and am now finally reaching the point where I am healthy and fit, and not embarrassed by my weight. So yes, I check myself out in the mirror constantly, to see how far I've come and what I have left to work on (are my standards for how far I need to go unrealistic and heavily influenced by this "Adonis Factor?") . And of course I care about how I dress, and how I look when I leave the house, but is that necessarily a "gay" thing? It seems like on the whole, the gay community puts more stock into looks and appearance. But why? I really hope this doc "makes good" and sheds some light on the topic.

Once I watch it I will have to do a little write up. I have a feeling it will tie in really well with my "pros and cons of living in WeHo" post.

Here is "The Adonis Factor" official site.


HOOK-UPs & HANG-UPs: Part Deux

I’m not exactly sure why, but I thought it would be fun to reminisce about the last 6 months or so with regard to my love life (or overall lack there of, HA!). It was by far the most interesting and promiscuous year on record for me. You can check out the first half of the year if you’d like here.

I guess I can start this by just laying it all out there. I think it is really bizarre to have guys come up to you at a club, start dancing and then just start making out. Even stranger is the hand down the pants move. I’m all for getting some action, but we’ve only just met; get your damn hand off my crotch! I honestly can’t keep track of how many random make out sessions I have had in the last 6 months. I’m not sure how I feel about that fact. It’s just the way it is.

One night while at The Abbey with some friends I made eye contact with some random hot guy as we passed each other trying to make our way through the crowd on the dance floor, he was headed toward the front, we had just entered and were trying to get over to the bar in the back. I was just looking around at the mix of people taking it all in, as I usually do, when I caught his glance. We held it for a few seconds, and because we were on opposite sides of the crowd and moving in opposite directions, that was it. We got to the bar, got drinks and found a semi-vacant place where we could stand and talk. A few minutes later, out of nowhere the guy from the dance floor pops up right next to me. He asks my name. I reply. I ask his. He tells me. We immediately begin kissing. I am not sure how long this goes on for, but I do think at one point he had his hand down my pants, and this is all in front of my friends and some people next to us that we had just met and befriended. After a while we stop and he makes his way back over to the bar to get another drink. I didn’t see him again. He was an OK kisser. I got a lot of shit from my friends for that one. It was a little awkward, right there in front of them and some statue of a random saint or whatever, I have to admit.

Fourth of July weekend I went out with some friends on what ended up being an epic evening. We started out on the eastside; it was agreed that we needed to escape the “WeHo scene.” We went to Akbar but weren’t feeling it so we headed over to MJ’s. I’ve always been amused by the mixed crowd at MJ’s; there’s a little bit of every type of gay. I ran into some friends of a friend and we danced for a bit (one kept making eyes at me but nothing ever happened). We excused ourselves to the patio to get some air (and so my friend could smoke). He found a group of older gay men to bum a cigarette off of. We quickly made friends and spent who knows how long chatting with them. One of the men offered to buy me a drink, I allowed him to do so. We eventually decided to go back out to the dance floor. We met back up with the friends-of-friends and before I knew it the man who bought me a drink was all up in my business. Full Disclosure: While older, in his 50’s, he was attractive, though not my type and I was not interested in anything but having fun. So . . . we ended up making out on the dance floor (are we seeing a trend here?) and he was getting a little grope-y and putting my hand down his pants and whispering all sorts of nonsense in my ear. After a while we were over it all and decided to go meet up with some friends at a club downtown. As we were leaving the older gentleman followed us out. He expressed his desire to take me home with him. I declined by way of having to take care of my friend, and he asked that I call him. I never did.

That night we ended up at some underground rave/party and then after hours at The Factory (which was definitely not my scene). We finally made it back to my house at about 5 in the morning and crashed.

Sometime in July I was out and about in WeHo and after an evening of drinking and dancing at all the usual spots, a friend and I ended up at Mickey’s after hours. Now, so far in my experience nothing “good” has ever come out of my going to Mickey’s. We hit the dance floor and were having a great time getting down. After some time I notice a guy and his friend making their way over to us. They start dancing next to us, and then one of them moves in to dance with me. We dance and at some point one of us makes the first move. We begin to kiss. We make out. Hands are moving all over. We both lose track of our friends and don’t realize or care until it is nearing the end of the night. We exchange numbers and go our separate ways, each of us with our re-found friend, but not before kissing goodbye.

The next afternoon I resolve to be the one to call and see about setting something up. Obviously it goes to voicemail so I leave a message, straightforward and to the point. He calls back that evening while I am at the gym and leaves me a message.  We agree to meet up that week. I pick the location. We meet around 9 at one of the smaller WeHo restaurants for drinks. We have round after round, and lots of good conversation. We stay until closing. He offers to drive me home (I laugh because I am within safe walking distance). He won’t take “no” for an answer. He drives the three or so minutes to my place. I give him a kiss good night. We make out in the car for a moment. A car drives by and he gets nervous. I laugh. I put the car in park for him. We continue to kiss. I enjoy kissing him, there is something that feels “right” about it. We stop and agree that is getting late and we both have to work the next day. One more kiss and I exit the car. We text back and forth a bit. At some point in the early morning hours I get a friend request notification from Facebook.

We don’t meet up again until after the weekend because he had to go out of town (we did text a lot while he was gone). We go to a lounge-y bar and just talk. We talk about all sorts of random stuff; the conversation is good (family, friends, politics, religion, etc.). Since receiving the friend request I now know his age. He is a bit younger than myself, but he is definitely more mature than the number of years would lead me to believe. Once gain we stay until near closing. He offers to give me a ride home, and I eagerly agree to it. In front of my house history repeats itself. I tell him that I could continue kissing him all night. Unfortunately, it is a weeknight and we must go our separate ways.

We continue to text each other back and forth throughout the day for the next couple days. We meet up again later that week. He parks at my place and we walk up to the boulevard together. We start out at one bar and have a few drinks and then head elsewhere to go dancing. He harasses me about looking at one of the go-go boys. I tell him that it is impossible to ignore them, and that I don’t even find the guy attractive its just that my eyes were drawn to the movement. He half-buys it, but it is the honest truth. We dance. Some straight girl cuts in to dance with me (I don’t know what it is, straight girls love me. And I mean that in the least arrogant way possible). She comments on how cute he and I are together and apologizes to him for stealing me away. We dance more. At some point I ask him whether he wants to stay and dance or do something else. We decide to head back to my place. I show him up to my apartment. We make our way to my room. We kiss. I push him down onto the bed. I lean over him and we continue to kiss. I am on top of him and we are making out. I start to unbutton his shirt, unbuckle his belt and pull down his pants. I unbutton my own shirt. I feel very comfortable with him. I pull down my pants. We kiss for a while in just our underwear. I move down to his crotch. I tease him a bit before pulling down his underwear (at first with my teeth). I give him head for a while before coming back up for another kiss. He comments on my “talent.” We trade places. He wraps his lips around my dick and he cups my balls. He is a little rough on the squeezing of them and I have to reach down and guide his hand. After a bit he comes up. He is expecting me to fuck him. I wasn’t even planning on him actually coming back to my place, let alone wanting to fuck, and I tell him I don’t have the necessary supplies (I just didn’t think about it). He is visibly disappointed. We continue to fool around but it is different now. We both come. We lay in the bed for a bit to recuperate. We clean up and get dressed. I walk him out to his car and we kiss for a bit. He is leaving the next day to go out of town for the weekend, I say goodbye with another kiss.

I text him the next day to see that he arrived at his destination safely but don’t hear back. I send another text later that evening. No response. I am now pretty sure things are through between us. I finally hear back after a couple days. He gives the usual excuses (busy with work and can’t be in a relationship right now . . .). I tell him that I knew it was over and I was waiting for him to actually say it. I am not sure of the real reasons behind the dissolution of our burgeoning relationship but I suppose it doesn’t matter much. What really made me angry about the whole situation was how strongly he had pursued me from the start only to end things so abruptly. My pride was bruised and that is never fun.

I see him again a few weeks later while out celebrating the overturning of Prop 8. We chat and introduce each other to friends. We dance and drink and have a general good time. We go to the bar together to grab a drink. He looks at me with “that” look in his eyes. He starts to lean in. He catches himself. I smile and hand him his drink. As I am leaving the bar I say goodbye, give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I jokingly tell him to “be good.”

My friends and I decide to stop into one of the other bars on the walk back home. I run into the guy that I hooked up with a couple times last spring. He says something about me never calling him, and I tell him that the phone lines work in both directions. We chat for a bit. He asks if I want to dance. I oblige.  We dance. We kiss. He says all the right things (again). We end up back at my place. We are in my bed fooling around and having a good time. He’s fun and a bit aggressive and I like it. It is surprisingly passionate for just being a hook-up. The only problem is that every time we kiss all I can focus on is the horrible taste of tobacco. It is a huge turn off, and I resolve that this is the last time I will be kissing him, let alone any other smoker. Once we have both gotten off he gets dressed and I walk him out. I give him a kiss goodbye knowing that it will be the very last time our lips will meet.

The rest of August and September were filled with more random make out sessions. Only one was particularly memorable. I made out with a friend of a friend (the same one I had run into at MJ’s in July) who I know had been interested in me for some time. We all met up at Fiesta Cantina before heading over to Here Lounge and in the middle of the dance floor he made his move. It was really tender and nice and he made some throwaway comment about cuddling with me (which I was not opposed to). However by the end of the night he was angry with me (still not exactly sure why) and one of my friends had to spend a bit of time talking to him and calming him down (maybe it was the alcohol). It was definitely and odd situation and I haven’t seen him since.

In October I went out to celebrate my friend’s leaving the country for a couple months on a soul-searching trip to “the east.” By the end of the night he and I wound up on the dance floor at Mickey’s and before long I had an older gentleman trying to get “all up in my business.” I wanted nothing to do with him but he was extremely persistent. He moved in and kissed me. He stuck his hand down my pants. He kissed harder. And then he was leading me out of the bar. I told him that I needed to look after my friend (who had actually found himself a cute boy to pursue). He said I didn’t need to worry and that my friend could take care of himself. We walked down the street. I pulled back, honestly worried about my pal and also not really feeling it with this guy. He persisted. I gave in, figuring, “what’s the worst that could happen?” We arrived at his house. We went to the bedroom and he began to undress, and then to undress me. We made our way to the bed and fooled around for a bit. He reached over to his bedside table to grab his bottle of lube and also another smaller bottle of something. I knew what it was from watching “Queer as Folk” back in the day, but I have never been with someone who uses poppers, so this was new territory for me. He proceeded to lube himself up and then guided me to make my entrance. This was another first for me.  We all know by now that I am a late bloomer in this regard, but I gave it 110%. There was thrusting, and moaning, and position changes; to be honest things were going a lot better than I expected. However, about a half an hour into this whole experience I found myself “in my head” asking what the hell I was doing. Telling myself that I knew I should not be there and that I needed to plan my escape. Here I was F@#King a guy that I wasn’t even really attracted to, that I didn’t exactly want to go home with in the first place, and now he was just lying there moaning rhythmically but not really contributing anything. I realized there was no way I was going to get off and gave up the charade. I stopped and laid on the bed next to him to rest for a moment and “figure my shit out” but he immediately tried to top me. I had to (politely) let him know that wasn’t about to happen, and apparently the next best thing was to sidle up next to me and spoon, with his arm draped over my body. In the midst of recalculating my escape I actually ended up falling asleep for a moment. I woke up, naked and cold, to the sound of his soft snoring. I gently lifted his arm and climbed out of the bed. I crept around to where my clothes were scattered on the floor, quietly put on everything buy my shoes, wrote a “thank you” note, placed it on the bedside table and tiptoed out of the house. Then I ran like hell all the way back to Santa Monica Blvd where I proceeded to put my shoes back on and then walk home through the now deserted WeHo; the crisp autumn air enveloping my body and helping to clear my head as I tried to process the nights events.

On Halloween I met a boy at a rooftop party. He came up and started chatting with my two friends and I. We hit it off. We joked. It was great. And then we had to leave. We said we’d meet up at the next bar but that never happened. We didn’t exchange numbers or anything. Big mistake. I can’t help but wonder . . .

Sometime in November I attended a straight friend’s birthday party at a bar in Hollywood. I was just hanging out, talking with some friends and minding my own business when this guy comes over and sits right next to me. I really didn’t think anything of it and didn’t pay him much attention. He got up after playing on his phone for a few minutes. Not too long after he was back, under the guise of needing to grab something out of his jacket which just so happened to be right next to me. I still wasn’t really thinking anything of it but somehow he managed to interject himself into our conversation. Finally it clicked that he was interested; I’m a little slow, what can I say? We chatted for a bit and he offered to buy me a drink. We made our way to the bar. We made our way to the dance floor. We danced. We kissed. We went outside on the patio to chat. We made out. We danced. We made out on the dance floor. And then it was time to leave and all of our friends were very swift in their exits. It was just he and I left, and his ride was already gone. So, we walked to my car. And we stopped to make out. And he said all sorts of nice things. And he said that he’s not used to “getting the hot guy.” And I laughed at the comment. And he was kissing me and unbuttoning my shirt. And eventually we found ourselves in the car. And I was giving him a ride home. We kissed at every red light. We parked in front of his building and it was raining (it was a bit romantic). And we kissed some more. He said more flattering things. Eventually he went inside and I drove home.

He texted me like crazy. We made plans to meet up a few days later. We grabbed coffee/tea and caught a movie. He didn’t take his hands off me throughout the movie. We walked around after and talked some. He walked me to my car. We kissed in the parking lot.  We met up one other time at one of the local WeHo watering holes. He introduced me to his friends. We had fun. I ran into some friends of mine and kind of ignored him for a bit. He walked me home and we kissed for a while outside on the sidewalk. I used the excuse of having to work early the next morning (which was true) to get out of inviting him in.

In January I found myself in the middle of my most interesting hook-up to date. I was out with friends at another birthday celebration. As usual it was nice to see friends and hang out, drink and dance. However, by about 1:30 everyone was ready to leave; everyone except myself and one other friend. So we decided to head over to one of the other bars that stay open later. We snuck in without standing in line or paying cover and headed right into the center of the chaos. I was looking around, taking in the scenery, and I noticed a guy looking in my direction. I thought nothing of it and kept on dancing. A few minutes later I noticed the same guy and his friend both glancing over our way. Now, I am thinking that maybe one of them is interested. Not long after they start to head over to us. We make our introductions. We chat for a bit. Someone has the bright idea to head out to the dance floor. We are all dancing for a little bit and then my friend decides it’s time to leave. I say bye and continue to dance with my new friends. And then one moves in to kiss me (though, not the one that I am more attracted to of course). And then the other moves in and kisses me. And I am definitely more interested in this one so I continue to dance with him and to kiss him. And then he poses THE question. He asks if I would “like to get out of here.” In that split second before answering I think, “what the hell, why not?” And now we are leaving the bar and heading toward his car. And his friend is right there along with us. The three of us pile into the car and set off. It is at this point that it becomes completely clear where the night is headed. I text my friend that left early to share what is abut to happen (and also in a way to get some sort of approval for what I was not certain I was ready to do). We stopped at a drugstore to pick up some supplies and raised more than a few eyebrows. We arrived at the apartment of one of the guys and sat around for a while just talking and getting to know each other. And then the kissing started. And the clothes were coming off. And then we all moved to the bed. Hands were moving all over the place. And mouths were on penises. And then one of them was behind me trying to make his way in. And it was painful as all hell. And the other was sucking me off. And then we took a break and there was more making out and more sucking. And then the other guy wanted a turn, so I assumed the position. And we try, but he is a bit thicker and I am just not able to relax enough to let it in. So we go back to oral and hand jobs and kissing. Eventually we all get off and are exhausted. We snuggle up next to each other in the bed and go to sleep. In the morning we slowly wake up and there is some more fooling around. We shower and get dressed. We talk and hang out. They give me a ride home. I am shocked by how NOT awkward the whole situation is.

Ok so enough with the sharing all these ridiculous stories. What is more important is: WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?

- I have learned that I am attractive. Obviously, I am not hideous if I have guys that are interested in me. This is a very difficult thing for me to grasp and accept. Especially when my brain has not caught up to the changes in my body and I am still stuck with the “fat guy” mentality.

- I have learned that I don’t need to date a guy just because he shows interest in me. So far I have not been 100% attracted to any of the guys I have dated but have agreed to go out (or hook-up) purely because they are pursuing me and I am not used to that. This whole men finding me attractive thing is pretty new. And even newer is my acknowledgement of it and the fact I am even allowing myself to be open to all of it.

- I have learned that I am very good at brushing off the compliments that guys give me (I am the king of the eye roll). Honestly, I find it so awkward to be called “hot” or “sexy.” For starters, I don’t really believe they are being genuine (still struggle with self-esteem issues). And I also don’t know what the appropriate response is. Do I compliment them back? Does that then seem disingenuous and like I’m only doing it because they did first?

- I am trying to learn to go after what I want. It’s not easy.

- I have learned that I am not necessarily a fan of random hook-ups or meaningless sex.

- I am learning to love myself more and more every day.

- I have learned to be more OK with my body, to let go of my “issues,” and just enjoy the moment.

- I have learned that I am pretty talented (if you catch my drift).


P.S All photos in this post are by a wonderful photographer by the name of Milan Vukmirovic. They are from an editorial in "L'Officiel Hommes" called "Boxes."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

YEAR 3 WRAP-UP: Another Year of Decreasing the Amount of Space I Take Up

It has been three years. Already. Unbelievable. So much has happened in the three years since I made a promise to myself (and decided to share it with anyone and everyone on the internet) that I was finally going to commit to losing the weight that I had been meaning to lose for so long. I remember writing that this was not some half-assed attempt at fulfilling a New Year’s resolution, but a commitment to change my life, for good. So, how has that panned out? To make a long story short (you can read all my blog entries for the LONG version): year one burned off 27 lbs., year two 22 lbs., and last year/year three another 24 lbs. (and 4% body fat)! So, you know, only 73 measly pounds. Gosh, I’m such a slacker!

Here’s the updated stats chart:
In all seriousness, I am fucking ecstatic. Elated. Beside myself. I am really pleased with the progress I have made. I put in a lot of hard work and have definitely seen it pay off. I’ve got more muscle and less fat (which means more definition, I think I am developing back dimples!) and I feel great.

So what did I do in 2010 to drop another 20+ pounds?

In January I got my ass back in the gym. After the horrible realization that I had put on 7 pounds over the holidays, I knew I had to get my shit together. I made it to the gym (or did something active like a hike, 21 out of 31 days in January). I also got back on track with my diet. Not some stupid fad diet, my life diet (eating clean, natural, and organic whole foods and being vegan). Over the holidays I slacked off and started eating more vegetarian than vegan, which basically means lots of cheese and baked goodies. No bueno for the waistline.

February was more of the same  (18 out of 28 days). It wasn’t until mid to late March that I was able to get back down the svelte 195 lbs. I was before November of 2009. It was also in March that I added in the weight training to my gym regimen. Nothing crazy, mostly lift classes at the gym (I’m not really one to use the machines on the floor, as I tend to get bored easily). April (17 days in the gym) had me maintaining my schedule of going to the gym on a regular basis and adhering to my diet.

It was also around this time that I realized that if I was going to make any progress, or continue to, I could no longer use working as an excuse to not hit the gym that day. And so I started going to the gym after work, especially on days that were relatively easy days. I have to believe that this was a big part of my success this year. If I had just played the “I’m too tired after working 12 hours and just want to go home and crash” card I would have only made it to the gym a couple times each week.

May (15 days, but I was sick for a week), June (25 days), July (at least 15 days), and August (a lot, I stopped keeping track), more of the same. I just kept pushing through doing my mix of cardio and lifting. I feel like a broken record sometimes, but that is what determination is I suppose.

Starting in September work became crazy (and it stayed that way until the end of the year). However I was on roll, the pounds were disintegrating at a steady pace and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. I started going to the gym before work if I had to. I managed to make it to the gym about 20 days out of the month, and I worked just about 25 of them. At the end of September the local 24Hour Fitness closed for remodeling (it was WAY overdue) and after a bit of weighing out my options, I made the choice to join a new gym. With the new environment, new classes to check out, and new eye candy as motivation I managed to hit the gym quite frequently (October = 20 days, November = 25 days, and December = 19 days) all the way through until the end of the year (and have stayed on track since the start of the new one). So basically, I spent a lot of time at the gym or being active in 2010.

Along with joining the new gym I also started doing something I never thought I would do. I have never enjoyed running, in fact some people might characterize me as “anti-running.” I was the kid that took forever to “run” the mile in school because I would end up walking most of it. And to be honest I never understood how someone could enjoy the act of running; the bullshit about a “runner’s high” was something I never bought into. I can swim forever, and have actually experienced that after about 30 or 40 laps I feel like I can keep going ad nauseum (I currently do 120 laps = 3000 meters = 1.85 miles on days that I swim). However, with a little convincing I decided to train for a 5K.

At the start of November I got on the treadmill and ran for the first time. My goal was just to go until I reached that magical distance, just to make it 5K (just over 3 miles), while jogging at the very least. The crazy thing was that I did it. At a pace of 5.5 MPH (and a slight incline to make things interesting) I ran my first 5k (on a treadmill in the gym). I was shocked to realize that I had been selling myself short for so long. I decided to keep running at the gym a couple times a week to make sure that I could easily run this thing and not make a fool of myself.

On the morning of the 5K, Thanksgiving to be exact, I got up early and did some stretches, had a very light breakfast and got down to the event with just enough time to meet up with some family members and friends, and chat for a minute before the start of the race. Funny thing is, I ran the whole way, no problem there, passing slower runners the entire time, and ended up being the first in my group to finish (this was a huge surprise to me). I ran the 5K in just under 28 minutes. That was a pretty awesome feat and I felt like a million bucks!

Since then I have found a new love (okay, I don’t know that I actually LOVE running but I know that I do enjoy it) for running. I have since upped my distance and speed and am currently running 6.5 MPH on the treadmill and can easily go for an hour straight. When I run outdoors I try to do at least 5 miles and to consistently come in under my last run’s time. I was warned by one of my friends that I should be careful, as running can be addictive, and I am definitely seeing that to be true. But I like the challenge of going harder, faster, and longer.

2010 was another great year. I stuck to the commitment I made to myself and continued to move closer toward my goal. I am now dangerously close to having the body that I have desired for so many years. One that is healthy, and not too horrible to look at either.


P.S. I have had a crush on Ben Cohen for a long time. I thought I should finally add some pics of that adorable man to the blog. He is kinda perfect: cute smile, muscular but with some padding, and a little hairy. Yeah, I want one like that.