Archive for the ‘Weekend Review’ Category

Weekend Review: A Magical Day

Posted: February 6, 2012 in Weekend Review



This weekend was filled with a trip to Magic Kingdom with my daughter followed by a sing-a-long, roasting Applegate organic franks over a fire and watching Toy Story 2 under the stars

I cooked a lot on Sunday and listened to people go crazy over some ball game and, what I assume is another appearance of the virgin mother. They all kept shouting “Madonna”.

That’s really all I can type about. Big job starts today and I’ve been too busy to blog. I’ll talk to you soon!


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Keeping it short and sweet today. I had a mixed weekend. I’ve been screwing up my eating this past week and going through some serious change. A new career is on the horizon and it’s one that I’ve wanted for a long time. I’m excited about the future but I believe I may have hurt others to make the recent changes without much notice. I’ve always been a family man and my responsibility is to my daughter first so this was all necessary.

Saturday I woke up and had every intention of taking my paddleboard out. I walked out the front door to attach the racks to my car and it was 55 degrees but that didn’t stop me. I knew it would get warmer as I drove toward the lake. I met up with Ned, David and Jeramie from Paddleboard Orlando at Dinky Dock. They had a first timers group going out to give paddleboarding a try and I tagged along. While I waited for them to train the group on basics, I ran in to an old friend, Pat Toland. He was heading out off the beach on his kayak. I haven’t seen Pat in a few years so we spent a few minutes catching up, learning how to stay in touch and we went our separate ways for a peaceful morning.

This ended up being a day I’ve needed for a long time. It was nice to paddle along with a group I didn’t need to work hard at keeping up with. It was just a leisurely paddle and I got to do a lot of thinking about the direction I need my life to go in.

I know that I’ve made some lifestyle mistakes since the Disney half marathon and Warrior Dash have ended and I have to get myself back on track. I also know that I got involved in things I was not ready for and need some time to just exist and get my life back in order.

So…on Sunday, that’s what I did. I spent the morning making sure I had the right foods set up for the week. I brewed some green tea so I could start laying off the office coffee every morning. I made Everyday Paleo’s recipe for Beyond Easy Pulled Pork and portioned it out for each day. I made a few other personal changes that were needed for me to get back to basics. My father and daughter arrived and I found happiness in their company.

That’s it. I’m sorry if the post comes across a little depressing. I’m really excited about the thought of moving into the career change I’ve always wanted.

I’ve got some great posts coming this week. There will be guest posts on Tuesday and Wednesday from my friend, Marissa and Chad. These two have made the switch to primal/paleo and have recipes and stories to share with you. Be sure to come by and read what they’ve got to say.

Talk to you later

EDIT: I was told the post can’t be called Back to the Beach without some connection to Avalon and Funicello. So…regretfully…here they are.
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It started out as a glorious morning! I met up with James, Jenn, Lori, Jill and Lisa at 6:30 a.m. and we hit the road to Lake Wales for Warrior Dash 2012! I’d love to tell you a story of confidence and strength…unfortunately, what I’ve got to offer still shows you the inner nervous feelings I experience. I woke up nervous and rode quietly, for the most part, to Warrior Dash this weekend. I only spoke out of shock from someone in the car sharing obscene online content with the rest of us. There was plenty of laughing too and we even experienced a flock of seagulls.

After going the wrong way for a bit, we got back on track. We arrived at Triple Canopy Ranch, parked and hoisted the Jolly Roger. This later allowed us an easy way to find the car after the event was finished.

The Vuvuzelas were blown to herald our arrival.

We gathered the team and started to walk toward registration/packet pick-up. I checked in at the St. Jude tent. There couldn’t have been a nicer group of people providing a seating area, showers, food and drink for the people that helped raise support for the children’s hospital. I met up with the team at the starting line and we waited a few minutes for the fireballs that would signal us to start our wave. After that, the whole thing was kind of a blur. Here’s what I remember. There was a lot of sand. SOFT sand that required a good deal of strength to trod through. It wore me out more than the obstacles. We got through each obstacle. As a team, we did them all and none of us skipped any. I carefully stayed to the side of one of the early mud pits to avoid injury and shoe loss but what I did after that was no small task. I leaped over four foot walls and crawled under barbed wire. I bested a 12-foot vertical wall going up one side and back down the other. I swam through ice cold waters to a floating barge. Climbed up to the barge, back in for a swim, up to the barge and back in for one more cold swim. I climbed a hill, made my way through tires and over junked cars. I maneuvered across a tightrope over a pit of thick mud, leaped flames, crawled under more barbed wire through muddy clay and crossed the finish line arm-in-arm with my friends at my side. We all finished. No one was left behind and no one cried. This year I finished in one hour and 28 minutes. That’s 12 minutes faster than last year and I know for a fact there were some obstacles that were harder and there was so much soft sand. That was really the most difficult part of the whole event. Still, at 100 pounds lighter, I felt a lot better at the end. I returned to the St. Jude tent for a quick shower and met back up with the team for beers and relaxation. Then we got back in the golden whale and drove home.

I’m extremely happy about the whole event. These are the warriors I ran with: James, Lori, Lisa, Jill, Jenn, Jenny, Autumn, Rebecca, Shawn, David, Jaime and Colleen. Some were faster than others and finished ahead of the group but in the end, we all made it. I’m going to let the pictures do the rest of the talking! Additional thanks are due. Joe helped out as Team Mule and photographer and Carrie came to cheer us on and survey the event so she knows what to expect when she runs with us in 2013.

I’m going to let these pictures do the rest of the talking! Enjoy!

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I went back to Aiguille Rock Climbing Center in Longwood for some upper body work. In 2011 we went here on January 7th and I quickly found out that getting 388 pounds in the air was not an easy task. I only managed to make it about fifteen to seventeen feet off the ground and never got to the top of the wall. This pic is from January 2011 at my highest climbing point then.

This weekend I went back with members of our Warrior Dash group to get some practice getting vertical. In just five days we’ll be crawling through mud and over walls, under barbed wire, over cargo nets and leaping over flame. It made sense to go back to Aiguille and work out again. This year was different.

It started out feeling just as difficult as the year before. I tried climbing in my Vibrams and my toes and fingertips gave out quickly. Even 100 pounds lighter and I was still only getting to about 17 feet or so. James offered a bit of advice. He said to point my toes out and step onto each hold with the inside ball of my foot. I put my fear of heights aside and tried to focus on the wall in front of me only. I didn’t look down any further than my feet. I just needed to be able to see what was beneath and around me to step to for each next step. Once I got comfortable with that and trusting the person on the ground belaying me, this happened:

That felt awesome! 30 feet to the top and I made it. I took a short break and went up a different path. Another break and tried a third path. I managed three different paths to the top. This wall has a slight slant and allows a little space between your body and the wall so you can lean back a little to see where to grab onto next. There are some walls that go straight up with no angle. I tried one of those and only got a third of the way up. It’s much more challenging. So now I’ve still got reason to go back and see if I can outdo myself next time.

Here are some pictures of our group climbing and belaying each other during our time at Aiguille.

Starting my climb.
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Two thirds of the way up…
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Close to the top…
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Closer…
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Made it to the top! The only thing left to grab from here was the bar that held the rope.
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Jenny ties her figure eight and safety knots and takes a glance upward. It’s a little intimidating.
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Lisa and Jenn making their way up.
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James, Jenny and Lisa take a moment to discuss a plan of attack.
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James helps plan out a good route for Jenny to climb.
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Lisa attempts the chimney area where you’re surrounded by three walls and they’ve all got points to grab on to. It’s pretty dark back there.
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Aiguille Rock Climbing Center Details

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  • What: Aiguille Rock Climbing Center
  • Where: 999 Charles Street; Longwood, FL 32750
  • Hours: They open each day at 10 a.m. and stay open Mon-Thurs until 10 p.m., Fri-Sat until 11p.m., Sun until 9 p.m.
  • Pricing: General admission for the day is $15.00 but there will be equipment rentals to add on to the cost. Check the website for complete pricing.
  • Website: ClimbOrlando.com

St. Jude Support Update

There are only five days left to give. I’m very close to the minimum goal in raising support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They asked if we’d raise a minimum of $250 and, while they say $500 for the max goal, I believe they won’t refuse more. As of this moment, I’m $15 away from the minimum goal. I’d love it if you could help me make that possible. I’ll be talking more about charities I’m planning to support each quarter of 2012 and how you can help. For now, let’s help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Please help if you can by clicking on this image link below:

Coming Up

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Come by throughout the week for a great pulled pork recipe this week, updates on my road BACK to Warrior Dash and links to great content around the web. Only five days remain until I return to the place where it all started! Stay with me!

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Warning: This Post Will Be Massive!

If you want the short version, just look at the next picture and move along. I’ve got a long story to tell with loads of pictures and many thanks.

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The short version is that I made it. I should say WE made it. I crossed the Finish Line of the Disney Half Marathon behind James and Lisa at 9:59 a.m. on I have so much to tell you about today. We will start with…

Thursday

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Thursday was the day that James, Lisa and I made our way over to ESPN Wide World of Sports to pick up our race packets at the Disney Marathon Weekend Expo. We got there right at 10 a.m. when the event started to avoid crowds. It wasn’t too bad when we got there.
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Hers a shot of the packet pick-up area.
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Let’s just say that Disney has got their sh!t together! We had to split up. Lisa and I went to get our race packets in one area but James had to go elsewhere for his since he was running the Goofy Marathon(1/2 on Saturday and full on Sunday). I traded in my waiver…
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…for my race packet.
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My race bib was very cool. It had a chrono-tag on the back that would provide our times and allowed you all to get text, email or facebook/twitter updates. We had to take our bibs and walk through an area of the floor to make sure our names showed up when we crossed. That all worked great so we met up with James at the expo vendor area.
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You can still see the floor in that picture. It didn’t take long before those pathways were overcrowded with people. our first stop was to get our swag bags. They were filled with lots of advertisements but we got our marathon tech shirts too.
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After that, we walked around and shopped a bit. James dropped some large coin and bought me an incredible waist belt that has two canteens for liquid, two areas to hold gel packs and a pocket for your I.D., cellphone, etc. This helped me so much during the event and I’m very thankful for a friend like him!

We took a walk over to see the medals for the event.
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The Donald one on the left is for the 1/2 marathon. The Mickey on the right is for the full marathon and the Goofy in the middle is for crazy people, like James, who decided to do both in the same weekend.

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We paused outside for a quick picture on the way out and made our way back to our homes and day jobs. We wouldn’t see each other again until…

Saturday

I awoke at 2:00 a.m. to get dressed. This was my awesome shirt for the race provided by Jennifer Morgan.
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I wanted a shirt that would briefly tell my story on the back to people that were passing me during the race. I also wanted the shirt to bring people to the blog and Twitter. It worked very well. Maybe too well but I’ll get to that later in my recollection of the 1/2 marathon.

I drove over to James and we got in his car and picked up Lisa. By 3:15 a.m. we were driving to the EPCOT parking lot staging area for the race. We hit some pretty heavy traffic entering Disney property.
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Once we parked and entered the staging area, we hit the port-o-lets. We weren’t the only ones waiting in line. I call this picture Where’s Jesus?
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Next we walked around the back of EPCOT to the corrals. James and Lisa knew I couldn’t do this alone. My corral was E. Lisa had D and James had H. We knew that we couldn’t move forward so Lisa moved back to E with me and James snuck in with us. If he hadn’t snuck in, I may not have ever found him in the crowd. We stood in the corral for about ten minutes and then we heard the announcer and Donald Duck countdown the launch of the first wave. We heard 3…2…1… and then the sky exploded!
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Note: At this point in the story, I don’t have any pictures of the actual run while it was dark. I was too focused on making it to the end and didn’t take any pictures

The first explosion was for the wheelchair racers. These guys are ridiculously fast on their recumbent bikes and wheelchairs. You’ll see how fast they were later in the post. After that, corrals A, B, C and D were launched out and then at about 6:00 a.m. We were off. Our first interval was a one minute jog followed by a two minute walk. James immediately slowed my pace down because, as I anticipated, I took off at a 13:00 per mile pace. Lisa had her Garmin set to beep every one minute and every two minutes for the intervals so we could maintain our pace. My first 5k (3 miles) went off at a 16:16 per mile pace and I held on pretty well during the jogs. I hit the 5k mark at 6:50 a.m. That about two to six minutes faster than every 5k I did in 2011 and sixty minutes faster than Warrior Dash last January. Just past mile 3 and I saw my friend, Rick Brown, chaperoning the Oviedo High School marching band and he managed to see me yelled my name. I found him on the side of the road, waved and kept running. We made it down to Magic Kingdom. As we entered on Main Street, I felt amazing. There were people lining the streets cheering for all of us. We took a right into Tomorrowland and then around through Fantasyland. We passed the carousel and ran through the middle of Cinderella’s Castle. We came down on the right side of the castle and…well…I was out of it. I thought I heard my mother yelling Pat! Pat! and I looked and it was another woman. She must have been yelling for another person named Pat. Shortly after this moment I saw Jennifer Morgan standing there with a sign she made for me that said Go Pat Go! That really lifted my spirits! We kept going through Liberty Square into Frontierland and then out the back of the Magic Kingdom cast area. It was here, in mile 7, that things started to go slightly bad. I was hurting. The pain contributed to the depression of that not being my mom outside the castle and I was choking back tears a little while staying behind James and Lisa to avoid the embarrassment of that. A moment later and I saw that James started getting concerned. He was shoving PowerAde into my hand to drink and making me eat several shot blocks. It wasn’t until after the race that he told me my lips were going white and I was a little pale at this point. We pushed on. We ran out past the Grand Floridian into mile 8 and the cramps became unbearable.

We stopped almost every mile after this for James to smash his fists into my calves to force out the lactic acid. It helped some. We kept maintaining intervals but switched to 1:30 running and 2:00 walking to get our pace up. I was slowing badly. Still no sign of the sag wagon at this point and there were lots of people around us but I was struggling badly! Mile 9. Another cramp massage. Mile 10. One more cramp massage. It was in mile 10 that we walked up the exit ramp from World Drive to the EPCOT parking area. Then…I saw it. Not the sag wagon. I was on the overpass looking down World Drive and the sight I saw helped me know I was going to make it. I saw thousands of people as far as the eye could see walking and running behind me. So many people that the sag wagon was nowhere in sight and I was just a few miles out from the end. We came down off the overpass, turned a corner and started up a hill into the EPCOT parking lot. That when I finally got my phone out to take this picture.
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Seeing Spaceship Earth from the hill was a welcoming sight. Just two miles to go and thousands of people still behind and between me and the sag wagon. At this point, I asked if we could just walk the rest of the way. My legs couldn’t handle any more jogging intervals. In addition to that, the shirt…well, the shirt did its job. It told a story and, throughout the course of the race, people would turn to me as they passed saying good job!, congratulations, I used to be like you…, Keep going. They’d turn to their run buddies and say did you see his shirt? he lost 100 pounds. Some would also pat me on the back. What a great feeling but talking to people and getting pats on the back at mile 12 starts to get a little irritating when you’re completely exhausted. We walked into EPCOT, up to the lagoon where the countries are and back to the entrance. As we came under Spaceship Earth we moved out into a cast member area between the guest area and the parking lot. Right then, we were treated to an awesome gospel choir singing either Get ‘er done or Get it boy or something that I couldn’t understand but the harmonies were awesome and I took the following video.

After we passed the choir, we rounded a corner to the right and I saw it…
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…the most amazing sight Id seen all day. The Finish Line stood only 600 feet away. Since I was absolutely sure I was finishing and getting that medal, I stopped INSIDE the finish line for the first fun picture I took all day with Donald.
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I can tell how much pain I’m in here because I tried to smile but it looks more like I’m trying to poop. Folks, if you can ever see my teeth in my smile, I’m not actually smiling normally. After the picture was taken, I turned toward the finish line and crossed.

A few more steps and the medal was placed around my neck and I met up with Lisa and James. I got handed a bagel, a banana, a PowerAde and a massage and then we rested a bit before heading home. Here are my official stats. Happily, I was not the last person to finish!
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So Many to Thank

I’m not going to tell you about Sunday since I just stayed home and recovered. My right ankle is a mess and I’m slowly walking around the house like an old woman trying to get things done. What I mostly want to do to close this blog is thank everyone that made my marathon experience possible

The Training Team
Thanks to all of those who walked, jogged and biked with me between June 2011 and today. Matt Greenwald, Jennifer Morgan, James and Lori Jessup, Lisa Pannell, Marrisa Bazemore, Jenny King and my sweet Padawan (who I continue to protect by leaving her name and face off my very public blog). She biked, jogged and walked at my side as if her daddy means the world to her.

The Monetary Sponsors
I could not have raised enough money for this on my own in 2011. I spent a good deal of the year unemployed. The following people contributed money by clicking the donate button on the left and helping me register for the event.
Special thanks to Heather and Sebastian Peralta, Maria Bisceglia, Jennifer Morgan, Keri Patterson-Nestle, Jennifer and Joe Lamy, Alicia Barger, Tony Coogler, Barbara and Chris Hochreiter, Patti Deakin, Gayle and Rob Castellucci and Bryan and Marrisa Bazemore.

Family
Thanks goes out to my family. I know you all tried to be there. Life and distance get in the way and I understand that. You tried. It was so chaotic and crowded there that I’d have been worried you might get lost. It’s interesting to have those closest to me watch me grow up increasing in obesity my whole life and then one day I hit 35 and decide to turn it around and they stand behind me 100%. They comment on the blog, they call me and check in on my eating and fitness. They even come out and exercise with me. 2011 saw my father go primal and buy two paddleboards for him and me so we could get out and enjoy life while building core strength. So, I give my love, appreciation and thanks to Vincent Palazzolo, Barbara and Chris Hochreiter, Stella and Pat Librie, Mark Librie, Kathy and Geoff Castellucci, Melissa Palazzolo and my daughter.

James and Lisa
My running buddies. I already described how these two stood by me for the event yesterday. Lisa kept the interval notifications going. James sped me up, slowed me down as needed and helped my muscles make it a few more miles to the end. Having Lisa next to me as a professional nurse didn’t hurt either. There were medical tents throughout the course but if all else failed, I knew I was in good hands. She helped me stretch out a horrible cramp in mile 12 that nearly broke me. You guys gave me strength and determination to keep going. I told James two times to go on ahead because I didn’t think I could make it. This happened somewhere around mile 8 and that’s when he decided he was going to start administering the massages to my calves to get me through the next few miles. These two were my rock yesterday.

The Fans, Facebookers, Tweeters and Texters
You know who you are but there are so many of you that I lost count. I sat down after finishing, turned my phone toward my social networks and was beaten down by a battalion of #GoPatGo, inspirational messages on Facebook, Twitter and text messages. You guys are amazing. They say the social networks make us poor conversationalists and no one can really know the current state of the world if they aren’t plugged in to the internet at some point. I kind of like to put a positive spin on it and say: how else could I have received real-time motivation from 679 friends without modern technology? Thank you for your kind words of encouragement!

The Finish Line

For all my whining and stressing, I made it. I didn’t do it alone because of all of you. At the beginning of 2011, I never saw myself doing something like this. As I huffed and puffed across the finish line of Warrior Dash, I never thought I’d run two more 5k events and then jump straight into a 1/2 marathon. But I did. So if life is telling you you can’t, take hold, say f#*@! you! and know that YOU CAN! You need to believe it and you need people that believe in you surrounding you and supporting. That the kind of push that gets you across a finish line that 13.1 miles away from the start. That the kind of push that gets you to lose 100 pounds and commit to losing 100 more in 2012.

As I sit here writing this for you, I realize I didn’t cross the finish line. I just got queued up for the next starting line. Every finish comes with a new beginning. Its 2012. Do something phenomenal for yourself this year. I did.

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…okay…fine…Sunday

This is such a busy week coming up but I promised myself I’d only take one week off from blogging during the holiday and am committed to bringing you content despite the half marathon coming up on Saturday.

Over the weekend, I committed to doing a program called The Whole 30 2012. It can be found here at Whole9life.com. I’ve been basically following this lifestyle in The Primal Blueprint but there came moments when I found out there were ways to paleofy desserts so we were making healthier cupcakes and mousses with nut flours and coconut milk. Truth be told, I was looking for an excuse to not fully lose my old way of living and I believe it’s when I started paleofying desserts and breads that I hit the plateaus in 2011. This is a 30 day challenge to get me back to a more simplistic approach toward paleo/primal living. The major difference for me is outlined on the website as follows:

In addition, no Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices! We call this “Sex With Your Pants On” (SWYPO), and it will ruin your Whole30 faster than you can say, “Paleo pizza.” Do not try to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold. This means no “Paleo-fying” desserts or junk food – no Paleo pancakes, pizza, brownies or ice cream. Trying to replicate junk food with “technically approved” ingredients misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.

That pretty much defines where I went wrong from July to December and why I stayed stuck in the 280s. That’s all about to change because…

Saturday

I spent the majority of New Year’s Even in the kitchen prepping for my first week of the whole 30. I made grab n’ go breakfasts, lunches and dinners for five full days of my work week. Here are my meals for the week:

  • Breakfasts: 2 Hard Boiled Eggs and 2 strips of bacon
  • Lunches: 3 oz. burger patty seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and allspice accompanied by one cup of Sauteed Kale with Onions
  • Dinners: 4 oz pan-seared chicken breast accompanied by one cup of Sauteed Kale with Onions
  • Snacks:Fruit, nuts, beef jerky

Yes, I know…I’m on a Kale kick. Don’t hate just because I found the one vegetable that I like. It’s incredibly versatile and I enjoy the texture and health benefits. That’s my menu for the week and I have no problem living like this. I got used to quantity cooking in culinary school and I’m pretty good at weighing and portioning uniform portions for each mealtime serving. So, that’s what I’m doing. Everything is in the freezer and gets thawed as needed to be ready to re-heat for my meals each day. This prevents the need to eat something I will regret when I’m too busy to get to the kitchen and cook a full meal. Sure, Saturday was a busy six hours in the kitchen but now I have an easy week of food preparation ahead of me. It just takes one day out of your week to do this and some decent planning

Sunday

Sunday was…well…you’re looking at it. I typed my full week’s worth of blog posts on Sunday. I also got my snacks portioned out and gallon water bottles filled. Later in the day I took a walk in my Vibrams and then got to spend the afternoon/evening with my daughter deciding what to do together on Monday.

It’s a New Year

People make and break weight loss resolutions within a week of committing to them. If I can offer a bit of advice, it’s this:

  • You’ve spent years getting to the point of being overweight. Don’t believe that you can make it all go away quickly. It will take a long time. It will take a strong mental and physical commitment.
  • Don’t believe that low-carb, low-fat grocery store items are going to fix things for you. These things are highly processed and horrible abuse for your body. Eat full fat within reason, eat natural carbs from veggies and fruits. Choose WHOLE ingredients as unprocessed as possible.
  • Don’t believe in a miracle fat-loss pill, frozen microwave dinners or a point system. Believe in yourself.
  • Brush off the negative influence. Surround yourself with people who love you and will truly motivate you to keep going. Immerse yourself in their presence. I try to interact with James, Matt, Kathy, Geoff, Mom, Dad and the positive postings of Ned Johnson on Facebook each week, if not each day.
  • You will be frustrated. You will hit points of failure. You will sneak ice cream and chocolate when things get sh!tty and depressing. Everyone…and I mean EVERYONE stumbles at something. No one is perfect. When this happens, DON’T QUIT!!! Don’t say “I’ll start again next week”. Start again with your NEXT MEAL! You’ve only screwed up one part of your day. Don’t let that be an excuse to screw up the rest of the week. Monday is not where you find your forgiveness. I learned this piece of advice from my good friend, Erik Winger.
  • Find a new activity. If there’s something out there that you’ve always wanted to do, go try it. Don’t go buying a bike and saying you’re going to bike more in 2012. Go rent or borrow one for a few weeks from a friend who isn’t using theirs and see if you like it. Once you know it’s your forte, invest in one for yourself and do it all the time. For me, 2011 brought me the love of paddleboarding and cycling. After two rentals and the love of a father, I now own my own paddleboard and plan to be on it quite often after the Disney Half Marathon and Warrior Dash.
  • Seek a daily motivation online. It can be this blog, a spiritual devotional, Mark’s Daily Apple or Primal Toad. Find something you can read every day to educate yourself and lift your spirits.

So, make the resolution. More than a stupid commitment that everyone makes at the start of the new year, make a promise to yourself and not January first. You can do this. You WILL do this! Happy New Year to my readers, friends, family and loved ones.

Talk to you later!

Weekend Review: Moving

Posted: December 19, 2011 in Weekend Review


I did a lot of moving this weekend. I went to Lakeland to carol one day and Kissimmee another. Kissimmee was very cool because I got to carol at Give Kids the World for a Christmas party.
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What an incredibly cool place. All I saw the whole night were families in need happy and enjoying themselves. They seemed to forget about the troubles for a while.

Good Luck Movin Up Cause I’m Movin Out!

I woke early on Saturday to move over to my new office. The company I’ve been temping with has included me in the move to their new location and I was given a beautiful workspace. A new chair with lumbar support too. In addition to that, I have a great window at my back where I can keep an eye on my car. It’s pretty great!
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After that, it was off to the Oviedo Mall for more caroling.
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I had another gig in the afternoon followed by meetup with my friend, James, for drinks. I haven’t really had a drink in a while and as we hung out, the beers kept coming. Six drinks later and I was a pretty fun guy. At least I felt like I was.

20 Days and Counting

On Sunday I went for a five mile jog with James. This was actually pretty good. Some of my jogs were faster than I’ve ever been to date. I’m 18 calendar days away from the Disney Half Marathon. Starting Tuesday I’m switching over to early A.M. jogs before work. You should start seeing a lot more fitness updates over the next 20 days. It’s balls to the wall time!

Stay with me!

Tomorrow: From the Kitchen: Bacon-Wrapped Blue Cheese Burgers

18 Days and Counting…

Weekend Review: Almost Normal

Posted: December 12, 2011 in Weekend Review


So close! I almost had a normal weekend! I still sang but I managed to squeeze in a trip to Islands of Adventure to enjoy Grinchmas for a few hours. Saturday I had an awesome caroling quartet to sing with and then…

Sunday

Nothing. No gigs, no leaving the house. My daughter was here and we spent some time together. We had a nice lunch of organic Applegate Farms hotdogs and then, while she napped, I got to bring you several days worth of blog posts while watching How I Met Your Mother and catching up on laundry. You give me an empty day and I can multitask my ass off!
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I also cleaned the pantry. That was long overdue. And, yes…those are Star Wars Lightsaber chopsticks. It’s how I roll.

Come on back tomorrow when I discuss a new product by Coffee-Mate that got my hopes up and almost immediately saw my hope lost again.

Another busy weekend. I sang Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I had a chance to jog twice and had a HUGE breakthrough.

Saturday I woke up and said “I’m going out to run/walk 1 mile in under 16 minutes”. You know what? I did. I set the metronome to 130 beats per minute and walked that pace for 1/4 mile. Then I jogged 1/4 mile. Then I walked 1/4 and jogged 1/4. I did it in 15 minutes and 48 seconds.

Sunday I woke up and said “Today I’m going to do two miles and each will be under 16 minutes again”! Guess what?! I managed to meet my goals again using the same pattern. I’m very excited. This weekend is the first time I got under a 16 minute mile! I added a mile and maintained pace.

Tuesday I’m planning to do three miles at this pace too. If all goes well, I’ll be doing four on Thursday and Five next Saturday. If I can pull it off, my final weeks before the half marathon should only result in faster speeds and better endurance to complete the 13.1 miles I’m hoping to do.

Top 100 Athletic Blogs

You may notice that Top 100 link in the sidebar today. Last week I was pretty frustrated and about to put the blog on hiatus until January. The same day I made the decision, I found out I was selected as one of the top 100 athletic blogs on the web due to excellence in content. Here is what I was told:

For the first time, Compressionstocking.co has spent weeks reading, analyzing, and creating a list of the Top 100 athletic sites on the internet. The sites were chosen based on content, advice, and overall reporting in the athletic blogosphere. Our team has studied your blog and we believe that you are of the best 100 of the thousands that we critiqued.

By Friday morning, I received another email stating I made the cut for the top 75 athletic blogs. This week they’ll narrow it down to 50. Next week 25 and finally the top ten blogs will receive some free stuff from the compression sock company. I’m excited to see how far I’ll make it but also happy to be in the top 100 out of thousands that were reviewed.

Stay with me! I’m on a positive streak!

This weekend was packed with stuff. I performed twice. I got to sing with the Mistletones on Saturday and with the Carolers last night.

The rest of the time was spent with my daughter. We have had some non-primal moments that I regret. We painted pottery.20111128-061827.jpg

Sunday was spent in the kitchen again prepping breakfasts for the week and then I sang with the Carolers at downtown Celebration. It was a fun time. Here’s a picture of us in our Victorian wear.
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Here are the ladies on one of our breaks.
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When I started singing with this company in 1993 we used to talk to each other on our breaks. Now we’re all sitting around texting or, in my case, writing this blog post.

That’s about all I’ve got to report this weekend. Weekend reviews in December will be slim since I’m always so busy singing and working. It’s my busiest time of year.