Archive for the ‘The Road’ Category

The Road: 3/21/12: Sick Sucks

Posted: March 21, 2012 in The Road

Being sick is no fun. Just last week I was going on about not breaking my routine and I’ve been thrown off this week big time. I haven’t been able to bike or lift. My eating is still good but my fitness has been put on hold until I get better. Hoping to be done with this by the weekend.

I’ve had some great conversations with people this week. Some new acquaintances at work surprised me by telling me there’s been some talk about this blog around the office from someone other than me. A co-worker started talking to me yesterday saying he found it inspirational and was motivated by my weight loss. So many people have said those same words to me over the last year and each time it lifted me up and made me work harder.

Then came transition. Family moving away. New jobs. Moving out. Break ups…and with all of that came a range of emotions and loss of time. Change in schedule. I’d eat something bad and have a friend and blog reader say…”really? I didn’t think you ever screwed up your eating”. I’m human. I know that by blogging I put myself in the public eye and because so many look to me for inspiration, I feel responsible for making sure I lead by example. Then the fact remains that I can’t be perfect 100% of the time. I can’t always be what everyone else needs me to be. I fall off the motivational horse like anyone else.

…but I climb back on. I focus in on making the transition into a new routine. Some days down to the minute. And weeks like this week…when I FINALLY get the routine into a daily repetition that doesn’t require thought…that’s when I know that there’s still a strength within me I didn’t have before in years past when I’d fail at losing weight.

I’m back on track. Biking 3 days per week. Lifting 2 days per week. I intend on getting some jogging back into the routine. I’m also eating much better for the last 12 days and am starting to feel the difference again. Then a day like yesterday comes along and a co-worker looks to me for inspiration and motivation. A friend (MarMar) tells me she’s going back into the Primal Blueprint 30-day challenge and feels great getting that routine back too.

We all have ups and downs. Some days we turn to our good friends, Jack. Or some of us seek out friends like Ben and Jerry. Some seek counsel with short Roman emperors and their pies. No one is perfect. We screw up. We fall back to our old habits. If we just tell ourselves we can turn it around, we can. The only thing stopping you from succeeding is you. Change your attitude, your mind and your life again today. Turn it around. That’s what I’m doing.

Not too much to report today. I’ve been having a busy week. Part of being so busy has included waking early to make sure I leave time for exercise. So far I’ve had one day of Primal Lifting and one day of biking to work. Today will be my day of rest. If I can, I may go walking after I get out of work for 30 minutes. Maybe I can even do that on my lunch hour then I can switch my rest day to Saturday. I plan to bike again tomorrow and lift on Friday. The important thing here is I’ve actually got a plan and this routine seems to work with my new changes.

I’ve also been eating better this week. I’ve been cooking and portioning to stay on track. I’m still up around 290 again but I’m not going to let that get me just yet.

Gotta get to work but I’ll talk to you soon!

The Road: 2/29/12: Connecting

Posted: February 29, 2012 in The Road

Just to clarify what I’m about to say…it’s not necessarily YOU that I’m talking about. In fact, in the last few months there are several people who could be YOU! Don’t be like the person Carly Simon sang about when she sang “you’re so vain”. YOU probably think this post is about YOU…you’re not the only one.

You may not find a connection to me. Regardless of what you may think about me, I’m a good man with (mostly) good intentions. I’m shy and slow to make new friends and establish relationships but once you get to know me…if you took the time…you’d know I’m easy to get along with. I’m honorable and decent.

But you won’t know if you don’t give me a chance. You didn’t give me a chance.

Moving on. Life goes on. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da.

I deserve good things, I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with…that is all I’m able to offer in this post today. I apologize for the rant.


“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darnit, people like me!”


Since I finished The Disney Half Marathon and Warrior Dash, my father and sister have been talking about doing an event with me. This past Sunday night, we all registered for that event!

I’m very excited that our team, The Sicilian Persuasion, is going to run/walk the Fiddler’s Green 5k on March 3, 2012. I never really thought I’d be healthy enough to do things like half marathons or a 5K but in my mind I thought I could try. Nowhere in my mind did I ever see my family beside me doing the same. I’m so excited for this event!

Soon there will be another family member here and she’s next! I’m so proud of my dad for turning his routine around, switching to Primal Blueprint and getting out more to exercise. This will be his first official fitness event and he’s going to cross the finish line with his son and daughter beside him. After that, we’re all having a free beer!

I’ll be taking lots of pictures that day. Can’t wait! Talk to you later!

I’m so sorry for letting two days pass this week without posts or explanation. I’ve started a new job that requires a little more time to drive to and from. It also will require a lot more of my focus. Over the coming days I’ll get a better glimpse of how to manage my time the best way possible.

I know that my Thursday Missing Link posts are definitely going away. Weekend Review will only be written when I’ve done something worth sharing. I’m not going to write Monday posts anymore to tell you about weekends where I just sat around the house cooking for the upcoming week.

I really like From the Kitchen but haven’t been real creative in that department lately. For now, I’m going to do my best to bring you The Road on Wednesday and Weekly Weigh-In on Fridays.

I’ll still post quick photos here and there of funny moments or things that are important to me.

Thanks for understanding and being a loyal reader. My current situation calls for me to focus on work and family a little more than I had been doing.

Talk to you soon!

The Road: 2/1/2012: Semper Fi

Posted: February 1, 2012 in The Road

Today’s post is written by my friend, Chad. Chad went primal/paleo a few weeks back and I asked him to write in to talk about his experiences during the transition. Just to prep you a little for this guest post, remember the post about my name? Back in high school my friends called me Vince and Chad is one of those friends. The name stuck. He starts out calling me Pasquale in the first paragraph but it doesn’t stick.

So about two and a half, maybe three weeks ago, I decide to give this Paleo thing a shot. My buddy Pasquale (aka Vinnie, Pat, and Captain Burlap) has been rocking this program out for a little over a year, with outstanding results. The program seems to fit my diet already, as my wife and I generally eat well, but don’t eat enough of the right things, or enough at all throughout the day.

A bit about myself. I am 34 years old and a no longer in service Marine (I don’t care for the term “former”). I am now a full time political science student (destined to be poor), and I work three part-time jobs. I spent eight years as a member of The Commandant’s Own, the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. Yes, we go to boot camp. Yes, we go to the school of infantry like every other Marine, and yes we can (and have been individually) deployed. As a member of that unit, you travel constantly, which means a lot of hotel food, fast food, and temptations to sit in your hotel room and do nothing. I didn’t make unhealthy choices often, in fact, fast food literally makes me feel ill. Eating a McDonald’s burger and fries makes me tired, and I get fairly good headaches. What I did not do, however, was feed my body enough. On the road, I would eat something prior to getting on the plane or bus (usually a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato, or a sausage-egg-cheese bagel from the local sandwich shop), and then destroy a full plate or two at dinner. That would be it. I knew I should have been setting an example, but I just didn’t see the light.

Any Marine must pass strict height and weight standards. Being lucky to have a lump on the top of my head, my height is 6’0 and a 1/2, effectively making me 6’1, and my maximum weight 208 pounds. Trouble was, I typically walked around at 215-220. So, come weigh-in time, you’d find me sweatin to the oldies in the gym wearing a sweat suit and starving myself to cut weight. I always did, but usually punished myself in the process. I would typically cut down from 220 to around 199-202. That meant massive cardio, and surviving on minimal food and water (though I never deprived myself if I felt ill). I was doing more harm to my body than good, all in the sake of taking the EASY way out. Sure I’d done Insanity, P90X, and everything else, but it was my diet that was out of control. If only I had seen the light…

So why go Paleo/Primal? Well, for me, the program is a no-brainer. I can eat meat, eat BACON, and drink beer…which I already do (beer in responsible and moderate amounts I might add). The reality is, I want to be healthy, I want to lose weight, and I don’t want serious health problems at 50. I want the body I had as a teenager (hahahahahahahahahahahahaha….hahahahahahahahahahahahahah). Truth be told, I was a skinny beanpole with some abs and a bird chest) I saw the results Vinnie got, so I had to try.

So, I started this program a couple weeks ago at 220 pounds. This morning, at 5am, I weighed myself in at 210 pounds. Sounds sort of drastic, right? Well, I think so too, and I did it by stuffing my face!!!! I eat all the time now, and am always snacking. Instead of grabbing that bag of chips or whatever from the candy machine, I munch on almonds, fruit, and berries. They taste good, and I know I’m fueling my body properly. I exercise more now, but not an insane amount. I’ll share that later. The point is, just by moving around a bit more, and eating a LOT more, I have dropped 10 pounds. My body is now starting to function the way it’s supposed to and is burning fat and getting rid of toxins! AND I STUFF MY FACE!!! Woo hoo!

Here’s a pretty close example of what I eat on a daily basis. First things first…always coffee. Bad habit, I know, but it kick starts my day (and metabolism)! I also drink a lot of water. Your body needs water to flush the crap out (literally). Breakfast (usually from 5am-6:30am): Eggs and turkey sausage or some type of meat. Always two eggs. Add a little S/P and either scramble them up, or throw em in the microwave for two minutes. Sometimes hard boiled too!

Later, I snack on a banana, or an apple (with almond butter…YUM!), or dried fruit mixed with almonds (double yum!). Lunch is leftover primal meals (money saving too!), then I pack a small green salad with some more dried fruit or something on it. Fast fuel! When I get home from work or school, I find something to munch on whether it be more leftovers or a salad or fruit. Anything to keep the fuel tank going. Want a really tasty superbowl snack? Put some nuts (I’m on an almond kick lately) in the microwave for 1 minute (just to warm, but not make em hot), then sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper on em. Score! My wife usually makes the primal meals and we share the leftovers for lunches.

My workouts are pretty simple. I do at least 10 minutes of cardio when I go to the gym, and some days I just do a half hour on the treadmill. On weekends, my wife and I have pledged to walk at least 2 miles every day when we wake up. It’s cool because it gives us a chance to chat and go grab coffee. I used to be scared of running because I have two bum knees. My feet are also very pronated, and I run like Trogdor, so it just intensifies knee pain. In the Marine Corps, I was always a slow runner (fastest 3 mile was 21:30 in boot camp), and typically ran the PFT (3 miles) in 25+ minutes. Not good. I never ran on a regular basis, and would just gut it out on PFT day. Not a good example for my troops! So, I went out and bought a pair of Asics Kayano-17’s. They feel great! I also got the Nike+ tracker system so I can hold myself accountable and set goals. Personal accountability. That’s the biggest challenge.

What are my goals? Goals are important, right? Well my goal is to run the Disney half-marathon with Vinnie next year in Orlando. I also want to do a Warrior Dash. I have a loooong way to run a half marathon, but I’m determined to make it happen. Also, I want to try to run three miles in 24:30 or less. On a narcissistic level, I want to look in the mirror and feel good about what I see. My target areas are my lats, my gut, and my arms. I have a spare tire that has been my annoyance for too long, and it’s time to do something about it. I want my wife to look at me and go “damn…that’s MY man!” Also, one day I want to be able to be around to play with kids, or my niece and nephews as they get a bit older. I just want to be healthy.

So, what did I give up? Well, I haven’t eaten cheese since I started, nor any dairy at all. I drink almond milk in my coffee, and we keep coconut milk in the fridge too. For dessert, we have a bit of coconut sorbet (no dairy or artificial sweeteners). We also drink a lot of very easy to make smoothies. Do yourself a favor…go buy a hand mixer. You can have 100% natural, extremely yummie smoothies in seconds. We keep frozen berries and stuff in the freezer, so its just a matter of thawing them slightly (if they stay cold you don‘t need ice) and tossing em in the cup. Here’s one I tried the other day that was about two miles south of AWESOME!

The Purple People Eater

  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen, then put in the microwave for about a minute or so to thaw em)
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of almond butter

BOOM! Amazing, fast, and satisfied my sweet tooth (I loooooove sweets)

In the end, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if I can do this, anyone can. Honest truth…I haven’t changed my diet a whole lot. I eat constantly now instead of the ole breakfast, skipping lunch, and then crush half a goat for dinner. I just made a choice to not put crap in my body that isn’t supposed to be there to begin with. Just don’t do it. Make a promise to yourself. Go for a walk at night. Even around the block to collect your daily thoughts. I find that time great to have internal conversations, and to chat with my wife. It’s soothing, it keeps you focused, and it’s keeping the machine running! Seriously…try just a 20 minute walk every day, or even every OTHER day. The point is to start small, then before you know it, BOOM you are off and running. Believe in yourself. Believe in what your body is designed to do. We aren’t supposed to be eating this crap they put in “food” products. Be aware. That doesn’t mean going high and to the right, but just be smart. Before you know it, everything will become habit and just a way of life!

I’m glad to see Chad making the change. In the beginning I didn’t have it exactly right but I learned more as I went along. I’m thrilled to see he lost 10 pounds and I can’t wait to see the results he experiences further in.

Come by tomorrow for the missing link. I’ve found some more good content from around the interwebs! Talk to you later!

The Road: 1/25/2012: What’s Next?

Posted: January 25, 2012 in The Road

This was some weekend. I’m happy with the outcome of my return to Warrior Dash. I accomplished two big events this year already with Warrior Dash and the Disney Half Marathon. Now that they’re behind me, I need time to get back to my other outdoor activities. This weekend, I plan to get on the paddleboard at some point. After that, I’m ready to start riding my bike. I’ll start training back into jogging too.

I don’t have any major goals set for right now except that I’d like to lose 100 more pounds this year and try to do a triathlon in the summer time. This triathlon has been suggested but I’d have a fair amount of training to do to get ready.

I’ve come a long way in 2011. My plan is to relax a bit now and enjoy a little down time. I need to work toward getting my routine back in order and finding a way to make it fit my current schedule the best way I can.

In an interview the other night, I had to explain how I started this blog strictly as a public journal to share my 27 days of prep leading up to my first Warrior Dash in 2011. I had no plans past that. I never thought I’d be writing five days a week to bring more content to readers that continue to ask for tips, recipes and ideas. I never thought those readers would surpass 2500 per month and as I’m nearing the end of January I’m realizing the blog is getting bigger. is on the edge of over 3000 readers in a single month. The comments are coming in. The subscribers are increasing. I’m finding myself looking for people to write guest posts. This newest trend is that fitness companies and paleo/primal food makers have started seeking me out for advertising, sponsoring and reviews of their products. It’s getting bigger than I ever anticipated…I’m just a former fat kid from Orlando that wanted people to prove life changes could be accomplished the right way.

So I’m asking, again, for your help. When a new post comes out and you see a notification on Twitter, Facebook or the Facebook Fan page, LIKE it. SHARE it. RETWEET it. Let others know how to link to the blog by passing this link along:

A big part of my focus this year is going to be the blog. Like the shirt says, tell your friends to FOLLOW ME!

Talk to you later

Every great story has a beginning. It’s hard to believe that the first anniversary of the day that changed my life is just two days away. Warrior Dash is really the place where my story began. I can honestly tell you how difficult Warrior Dash was when I was over 380 pounds. It hurt. I was waterlogged, covered in mud and climbing over and under obstacles that a guy of my size had no business trying to do. I didn’t care about the cheap medal or the fuzzy viking hat. I was at war with myself and had committed to busting my ass to do something I didn’t believe I could do. It’s a damned good thing I had friends around me pushing me because I would have quit after the first mud pit.

Just look at me! A true fatass! I had friends next to me that day. Without them, I would have quit and taken a medical cart back to the starting grounds. James and Matt insisted on staying with me shouting things like “you got this Pal” and “let’s go buddy”. They constantly checked on how I was feeling and didn’t leave my side even though it took me an hour and forty minutes to complete a three mile course. Bill came along midway through the course with one of the waves behind us. As the runners passed us by, Bill stopped running and he stood by my side and finished with me as well.

Last year, we were only four but we were mighty. This year, we have a group of over 10 people coming along as part of the Pyrates of the Carabiner (that’s our team name). We’ve got a cool shirt too.

I’m pumped that so many have stepped up and signed up to join our little team in support of each other. Some signed up because they say they were inspired by me. Some joined to conquer something within them similar to what I needed to conquer last year. Some are just along for the comradery and fun. Why am I going back? I’m going back for many reasons.

I don’t have anything to prove to myself at this point. I’ve done this before. I’ve conquered three 5k runs in 2011 and a half marathon just two weeks ago. I’m confident I can do this. There will be some obstacles I’ll need strength and help with but I believe I’ll do well. I’m doing this because there are some that have never tried something like this and they’re as nervous to do it as I was last year. Initially I told myself that I wanted to go back and complete Warrior Dash much faster than last time. I wanted to kick its ass this year. Then I realize there are some in our group that aren’t here to kick ass. They’re here to complete. Like Matt, James and Bill did for me last year, I plan to spend as much time as it takes to see each of my teammates leap the flames, crawl the barbwire mud pit and cross the finish line. No one gets left behind. We finish this together with flames of glory propelling us to the finish line. We all cross the same line that gave birth to a badass! Another finish line that isn’t really an end. It’s where the new chapter begins!

Don’t forget to give me a #GoPatGo on the social networks this weekend!

Talk to you later!


That was me about to cross the finish line in 2012. A whole year has come and gone since I started this blog. I only started to write about my days leading up to The Warrior Dash in January 2011. I never thought I’d still be journaling publicly about my life changes. A lot has happened since I completed Warrior Dash last year. I lost 100 pounds, I ran 3 5ks, worked my way up to 5 mile walk/jog intervals, 40 mile bike rides, 7 mile paddleboard excursions and completed 13.1 miles last weekend in the 2012 Disney Half Marathon. I think I’m going to be just fine at Warrior Dash this year. There are so many people in our group and I can’t wait to tackle it again being stronger and faster!

The Warrior Dash takes place on 1/21/2012 and I’m in the 10:00 a.m. wave. with my friends. It’s going to be a fun time. I’ll spend the next 10 days getting ready by strengthening upper body and climbing stairs. We return to Aiguille Rock Climbing Center this Saturday for some vertical action. I have every intention of passing my height of 17 feet last year and making it to the top of the wall this time. I’ll have updates to show on Monday.

For now, I need your help to raise support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In conjunction with Warrior Dash, I’ve pledged to raise a minimum of $250.00 for the Children’s hospital. I’m currently at $85.00. I have 10 days left to raise at least $165.00. Can you help and donate? Every bit helps. Just CLICK HERE and then click the orange DONATE NOW button. It’s a great cause so please give.

I can’t wait to start adding new fitness goals for 2012. I started the year off with the Half marathon and that will probably be the biggest thing I do this year. I’ll continue to train up for something great in 2013 but I’m happy to be starting the rest of the year off going back to the event that originally started me down the road.

Talk to you later!