Back in the Saddle

Wait…give me a minute…

…..UUUUUUGH….*stretch*….UHHHHHH…..and lets just add an OOFDA in there.

You may be asking yourself what the heck all that is about.  It’s my dammed body yelling at me for jumping back into the workout saddle all of a sudden like yesterday.  Oh yeah…the body is certainly angry at me today…but there’s a number of things that I need stamina for coming up and I have multiple other reasons to do it…

The absolute most important reason is my boys.  One of them made a new years resolution to workout more.  He’s done ok, but I’m not the sort that wants to have to remind my kids of their commitments…either they want to do something or they don’t and they’ll reap the benefits or the suffer the downfall accodingly.  Life’s the best teacher of wisdom there is and they need to experience it…that being said I don’t enjoy watching my kiddo’s fail…so to inspire him I decided to dive back into working out on a regular basis and to make sure he saw it.  Lead by example Toffer…lead by example…that’s what I was chanting to myself last night trying to push through level 11 on the eliptical.

Bah…level 11…I was on level 20, 3 months ago.  Damned surgery, holiday’s, sickness, loosing my first match….ALL DAMNED EXCUSES.  The plain and simple dirty truth of it all is I knowingly slacked off my good eating habits and excercising and I’m feeling it in my belt.

Then there’s kung-fu.  As I creep ever closer to my next progression, I know Sifu wants to see even better conditioning…for a guy who hates working out, this is going to be a tough one, but the boys need to see what they’re in for once they get to where I’m at…and I want to be a better training partner for them someday so I’ll push ever onward.

I tell ya…anyone reading this thing looking for a bit of inspiration, it all comes from my kiddos…so, go have a kid.  HAH!  Anyway…just figured I’d give a long overdue update on where I’ve landed on my fitness.  I made it all the way down to 260lbs at the peak of my working out…and starting from 360, I’m extremely proud of that because I pretty much just took what was being taught to me by Sifu and the various sihing around me…and really seriously applied it, putting the work in…and the short and tall of it is it worked and will continue to work as long as I continue to stick to it.  That’s the end of the story…you want to be in shape and be healthy, you eat right and workout…that’s an AND in there, not an OR…unless you work a job where you’re burning through thousands of calories a day or you’re one of those damned lucky bastards with a metabolism that burns through anything…EVERYONE needs to do something extra to burn off calories and keep muscles in tone.  End of story…anyway…I’ve probably gained back to 275 by my guess…I’m too scared to actually step on the scale, but I can feel my belt a bit tighter and that’s enough of a kick in the ass for me to put a stop to it…so that being said…

SHUT THE HELL UP BODY…you’ll do as you’re told and just deal with.  I’m living a long and healthy life to watch all my boys grow wise beyond my years.  🙂

Back in the Saddle

That was a long journey…

Well folks…as you may know from reading my FB, I’ve reached my 265 lb goal.  I’m calling this a 95 lb weight loss, even though I only have documented proof of 80 lbs of it…I know I was around 360 when I started kungfu…and that’s what I’m using as the starting point for my weight loss journey.

I like to reflect on things whenever I get through something difficult.  For some people weight loss may not be difficult…but this time through has been the single most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do, but it was pretty much only mental.  I’ve half heartedly made attempts to loose weight in the past with some success, but not really.  As apparent, I was pretty serious about it this time…but what made it so difficult was my unending desire to binge snack.  It’s what has been my stress reliever for most of my life and I’ve been denying myself that stress relief for almost a year now.

What did I do so different this time?  Honestly I think it was when I started really paying attention to the calories I consume vs the calories I burn in a day by day basis.  When I really looked at the food I was eating and the amount of calories in it and I used a fitness band to track the calories I burned during exercise to get a good idea of how much I was really burning through…rather than just guessing…I finally understood that pizza was really some destructive nasty stuff that was invented by aliens to fatten humans up for feasting on.  Ok, not really…but I understood that if I was going eat half a large pizza, I probably just consumed 5000-8000 calories (depending on the pizza) and that I now had a debt of 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 days of calories to burn through…which often changed my mind about eating pizza because unless it’s some DAMN good stuff, no pizza is worth 2 days of working out.  😛

When I started thinking like that, that’s when I could see a major change in my weight loss pattern.  It was fairly consistent from 340 all the way down to 280…almost clockwork like.  Just about 1 lb a day was melting off as long as I stuck to my excercise and didn’t stray from eating good foods.  At 280 I hit a wall.  It took me almost a month to start loosing weight again.  I don’t know what the wall was…I was doing all the same things…there was some medical issues going on around the same time frame that I’m guessing was contributing to it but it never stopped me from doing anything so I don’t know…my body just had a stubborn spot I guess.

So the man in the mirror no longer matches the man I see in my head.  Not even close.  When I make a facial expression and I catch a glimps of myself in a mirror doing it, I don’t look at all like I imagine I do…and it’s throwing me for quite a loop.  I feel akward and not myself…which is ok because I wasn’t happy with myself before so I should be ok with not feeling like myself…but I’m kinda uneasy.

I should feel confident and victorious.  I thought the moment I hit 265 that I would scream out in celebration enough to wake the house…but what really happened was I smiled for a minute and caught a glimpse of that smile in the mirror and it looked like someone else was smiling…and it freaked me out a little.

I may have the fortitude, willpower, strength of character…the “whatever” it is to have accomplished this amazing feat of loosing all that weight naturally with no surgery or weight lose pills or crap like that.  I’m so proud of that.  However…what I realize is that I did not gain any confidence.  I think everyone still looks at me and is thinking “what a fatty”.  I suppose I need to give it time to grow…time for my minds image to catch up with my physical one…but I’m giving as honest of an accounting of what I’m thinking and feeling as I can.

So now I adjust to my new lifestyle.  It wasn’t a diet, it was a life changing and life saving adjustment in my eating habits.  It wasn’t just working out to lose weight, it’s changing myself to being an active person vs a sedentary one.  I hope someday I’ll loose the desire to snack…so far that’s been the hardest thing to swallow so to speak is that I miss binge snacking.  :-\

And also…now it’s time to start finding that confidence.  That’s going to be a longer more difficult journey…but it’s one I need to make for the EXACT same reasons I did the weight loss and why I’m doing the grappling tourneyment.  To give my children the best possible example to follow that I can…and to give them the hardest, most difficult target for them to one day surpass.

I know I said it on FB…but I’m going to say it again here…thank you to everyone who gave me even the smallest amount of encouragment.  I used it all.  You guys are all my heroes.

A special thanks goes out to:

  • My wife – she has been putting my with my determination which at times is a bitter pill to take.  I’m stubborn, thick headed, and think I know better than I do.  She weathered the storm and kept beating it into my head about eating better and watching my calories…maybe even creating a monster in the process so to speak…but I couldn’t have done it without her.  She’s very much the backbone to our family and she’s a pillar to my success.  I could not be who I am now without her.
  • My kids – nothing has inspired me to get off my butt and lose the weight until my kiddos came into my life and were there with me everyday…and I realized that I couldn’t keep up with them and I had to do something about it.  Watching how much they respond and copy the things I do is all it took to inspire me to be better so that they’ll want to be better.  I know I’m their image for how to be a man, I see them copy the things I do all the time…I’m 100% determined to be the best image I can be for them.
  • Sifu – Through my grumpiness, whining, injuries, constant questions, and general craziness…Sifu has nudged me, pushed me, and sometimes shoved me to being a better person.  He’s one of the templates I use to figure out what I want to be for my kids…he has become another pillar to my success and I will give credit where it’s due.  I never thought in a million years I’d actually get to 265…but he never had a doubt.  I’ve come to enjoy and rely on his wisdom, advice, and humor in more than just kungfu and look forward to whenever I’m heading out to his training compound.  You are a big part of what helped turn my life around.
  • The Kungfu Crew – Gabe, Tim, Jeff, Nikki, Leo, Wolf, Lexi, Vlad, Olga, Steve, Ian, Andy, Carl, the list could go on and on and on…you guys are all the best…I know I am a pain in the butt to deal with sometimes…thank you all so much for pushing me to be better, for challanging me to reach a little further, and giving me such a huge wide range of champion attitudes to draw knowledge and advice from.  You guys are an amazing group of friends and I will bust my ass to be as great of a training partner to you all as you’ve been to me…I will work to be that inspiration in you as well.

Ok…now to train for November and kick some ass!  🙂

 

That was a long journey…

So tired!

Hello all,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything…nearly 2 months I think.  It’s the usual stuff happening, I get some down time, I start writing stuff, then I get busy again and the stuff I’ve been writing gets back burnered.

Ah well…it happens.  I’ll be making an effort to keep coming back to it though instead of just quitting…it’ll be useful to someone eventually.

But today is not about learning new coding stuff…today I’m going to post about my fitness journey.

As I’ve said many times since I started the blog, I’ve been in training to do a grappling tourneyment in Novemenber 2016.  That’s only 4 months away at the time of this post.  When I decided to do this compitition I was at about 340lbs.  I’m now at 280.  I’ve been at 280 now for the last 2 weeks and I can’t seem to make myself get any lower lately.

Hitting a plateau in weight loss sucks.  It’s so demoralizing when you’ve been doing well for a few months, then it just hits a wall.  To add on top of that I’ve been training injured in my jaw, arms (it was just the right one, but now the left one is starting to have the same problems), my back, and other things I don’t want to mention.  Let it just suffice to say I’ve been in some degree of pain everyday for the last 3 months solid…now that’s demoralizing.

Probably for the last month, I’ve been dead tired all the time as well.  Sure I can still manage to summon up the will to push myself into activity, but it’s getting more difficult to do as each day passes.  I’ve even heard thoughts echo’ing in my head asking if it’s all worth it.

Well hell yeah it’s still worth it, but honestly I’ve never wanted something to be over so much in my life.  I’m in a constant state of stress and it’s exhausting.  I’m worried that I’m not getting better fast enough, that I get my ass handed to me by everyone else in grappling class lately, that my weight loss has slowed significantly, that I’m constantly injured and when I start getting close to being healed up I get reinjured…then add this being tired all the time on top of all that…it’s not a good receipe for a healthy Toffer…well…it sort of is, I mean I’m in better shape than I had been in 20 years, but that’s not the sort of health I’m talking about.  It’s stress health and the weight of it is starting to get to me.

I just need to stay focused on November, all the stress will wash away when I have my first fight in my tourney…I had been thinking I’d be sad if I didn’t win…but now I don’t think that’ll be the case.  Honestly at this point, win or lose I think I’ll just be celebrating that I had made it there still alive.

So tired!

Addicted to Eating

Hey all…still here and still thinking about things to post.  I have code experiments on the back burner waiting for work to get a little less busy so I can polish up the examples…but the bulk of my spare time goes towards working out these days.

I don’t mean I’m spending hours on end working out (well…maybe on grappling days)…but the whole process of working out really takes any extra energy out of me that I previously was using to do my coding posts…so, I’ll get around to them…but I’m trying to keep in the habit of posting something at least once a week…so this week it’ll be about my struggle with eating.

I can tell you without hesitation…of all the addictive things I’ve done in my lifetime, nothing compares to the pull eating has over me.  Time and again it has won the battle for dominance over my body…as I’m sure one day it will again defeat my resolve and determination.  If I don’t constantly watch what I’m doing I can and will mindlessly eat my way through any amount of food…entire family sized pizza’s…bags of chips…tubs of ice cream…all have fallen victim to my binges.

I’m a good streak right now.  I have good support to lean on in weak moments.  I have a powerful goal that helps keep me focused.  Even through all that the demon claws at me begging me to fill my face with endless calories.  But November is only 6-7 months away and my goal of getting to below 300 before competing is within my reach…actually getting below 280, which is what I weighed when I graduated high school, is within my reach.  That would be very weird to be in better shape at 43 than I was at 18…a good weird.

As long time readers will know I attribute most of my current weight loss to my working out.  I put a lot of effort into it.  I burn through a ton of calories.  I’m very serious about getting something out of it everytime I put effort into working out, because I HATE HATE HATE doing it…so I better get something out of it for my trouble.

What I had been doing is just eating normally while working out like crazy…and that worked for a while.  I started to stall in my weight loss though so I then cut out eating fast food.  That made a huge difference.  Apprently that stuff is bad for you, who knew.

Well…that only worked for so long as well and I began to stall once again…so now I’ve added cutting back the amount I’m eating into the whole equation…and I’ve again started to drop pounds…but the eating addiction has started rearing it’s ugly head.  Hungry or not I often think of snacking.  😦

It’s taking a lot more determination than I thought it would to resist eating…it’s even harder to do then not listen to MJK music.  Every extra second I have my mind drifts to thinking about stuffing something in my face.  Ugh…will I ever be rid of this addiction.  My whole life it’s been a monkey on my back.  I’d seriously consider having the procedure done if they knew a place in my brain to zap with a sodering iron or something to kill the eating addiction section of the brain…hmmm, maybe that’s how zombies are made.  😉

Anyway, enough complaining for now…as of the moment I’m winning the eatting addiction battle and I’m at 304 pounds (starting from an estimated 360).  That’s victory enough for today.  Hope this has inspired someone to hold the demon at bay!

Addicted to Eating

I am a MACHINE!

No intro…getting right into the post…oh crap, I guess that was an intro just now…  😛

So I’ve been told and have read things over the years about how to stay in shape.  I’m sure you all know it boils down to exercising and eating right.  If you don’t…let me save you some time…IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO EXERCISING AND EATING RIGHT.  There, now you know the secret.

Now that I’m drinking the “get in shape” coolaid so to speak, I can notice that my body is responding.  I’ve been feeling stronger…my stamina is getting better…I’m loosing weight…so I’d guess that means my body is fixing the damage.  However I still look old.

AFAIK, when you’re working out…you are actually causing damage to your muscles which is what causes them to grow back stronger and more resistent to being damaged again…which means that your body is generating new tissue and cells.

Aging is the process of your cells degrading over time as they’re being replaced…kinda like a copy of a copy of a copy of a cpy of a cpy of a cpy of a cp of a cp of a cp (see what I did there?)

One of my questions is if you body is creating new cells for your muscles…those are brand new…shouldn’t they be starting out at the “original” point instead of the “copy of a copy of a copy” point?

And that just leads me to another question about skin…as I’m loosing weight I can see more and more flab, which is skin that’s been stretched out too far and won’t shrink…what would happen if I just had all the flab cut off and let the skin grow back on it’s own (if that was even possible without dying).  Would it grow back as the stretched skin or would it came back as the “original”?

I’ve always have had the point of view that my body is just a machine…and it reflects how well I’ve taken care of it.  I would say it’s just like a car in that if you put crappy fuel in and never get it serviced…the car would die before it’s time…however in that analogy if you start putting in good fuel and servicing the car…it doesn’t magically heal that car from all wounds…the damage is done.  From what I’ve noticed in myself, that’s not entirely so for people when they let themselves go and start getting back into good health.  The damage may be done…but we heal that damage to a degree, but you just cannot heal the damage that aging does.  It’s like there some master blueprint of what it takes to make the components in your body and it’s stored somewhere out in the open where the blueprint continuously degrades from being eroded by weather…and there’s nothing that can be done about it.  Man that pisses me off!  The idea that I’m just going to keep withering away no matter how much time and effort I put into stopping it…it’s very frustrating.

But then I think of the inevitable zombie apocolypse that’s sure to take place any day now and I know I’ll be put all this working out and getting into shape to good use.  😉

Anyway…just some food for thought.  Feel free to comment or not.  Enjoy.  🙂

I am a MACHINE!

Freakin Fitness

Hello all.

My main goal for this blog was to talk about coding stuff…and I’m working on some stuff for that right now but there’s that pesky work stuff that gets in the way of me creating my examples and crafting up blog posts to go with them.  Whine whine whine…I know.  You’re all chomping at the bit for those blog posts I know…they’re coming.

In the meantime…I also have wrote about some musical thoughts to fill the gaps.  I have lots more to say about music as well, but the mood has to strike me at the right time to blog about it and I’m never in a convienent spot to blog when I’m struck with inspiration about music.  It’s usually whilie I’m driving.

Another area of my life that I spend a lot of time thinking about recently is my fitness.  And that’s what we’ve gathered here today to chat about.  I’ve generally used Facebook in the past to post any deep and meaningful thoughts about anything…I think going forward I’ll tend to use this blog for that sort of thing.  That being said…the category for today is Freakin Fitness.

So what do I mean about Freakin Fitness?  It means I hate working out…I hate sweating…I am inherintly lazy and I like to habitually snack on things.  My nature is to want to sit and hermit into a little cave and binge watch videos or play video games until there’s something else I have to do.  It’s not a healthy nature, I’ll admit…but then again nothing that can be obssessed over is healthy in the long run…so since I’m a smrt (now read that in Homer Simpson’s voice…I am so smart….S.M.R.T.) human being…I know I should fight that nature.

I promise that future posts on this topic will be shorter and more to the point, but this is kinda a history post so when I get old and alzheimery I can read this and remember…so…anyway…

I will admit I let myself go a bit over the years.  At the time of this writing I’m 6′ 4″ and 314 lbs.  I didn’t weight myself when I started kung fu…I’m estimating that I was somewhere around 350-360 lbs.  I was a much more addicted of a gamer when I was single man than I am now as a family man…however I also lost weight a lot easier in those days.  Back then really all I had to do is eat 1 less cheeseburger and take a walk aro0und the block (ok, I’m exagurating, but you get the idea…).  These days…my metabolism has slowed significantly.  Now I have to be very careful about what I eat…and I need to workout like mad to shed any weight.

One of the things I’ve come to realize as I wisen up in my family man role is that life is short.  Very short.  And if I give into my nature it would get shorter.  I want every moment I can squeeze into my life to enjoy my family.  I want to be there for them for as long as I can possibly last to help support them and raise them up to be the best they can be.  I have already exceeded every goal I have ever set for myself, so now I focus on them.  I want nothing more than for my kids to surpass me in everything I’ve managed to accomplish, but I refuse to make it an easy target for them…and I want to last as long as I can to be there with my wife to watch it all unfold.

So to that end I’ve once again found the willpower to ignore my dislike of working out and sweating…and in general getting off my lazy ass.  I found that willpower through my family in wanting to be a good role model for my boys.  Actually it manifested about 1 1/2 years ago when I got my younger boys and I into kung fu…but it wasn’t nearly as rampant as it is now.  Back then I just opened the door and peaked in…now I can confidently say I’ve taken a step through the door…but I occasionally peak back out.

When I got started in kung fu, like I said, it was to start down a path to get in shape to be a better role model.  As I attended the classes and grew to become friends with Sifu and the other students I have found other reason that have inspired me to get into shape, but honeslty when I think deeply about it…it always roots back to wanting to do it for my family.

Anyway…a couple months after I started kung fu, I started watching several of my fellow classmates do an extra “grappling” class…and then later compete in grappling tournements.  For some reason ground fighting has always seemed right up my alley.  I’m a big ol’ bear…I think it’s just another part of my nature to find it to my liking.  I got a lot of weight to throw around and I like to think I have a good feel for being able to shift it around and use it (of course Sifu and my fellow classmates often show me how much I suck at it, but that’s a post for another time).  Anyway…the story goes that I eventually worked up the nerve to ask Sifu if I could join in on the grappling fun…he asked if I was sure because it was kinda the “deep end of the pool” and as I’m typing this I can hear his words echo through my mind…”be careful what you wish for”.

I first started on just doing the Thursday night before kung fu class.  No offical style…just Sifu showing us what he’s learned about fighting on the ground over the years, which was then enhanced by Tim’s amazing jui jitsui skills…but really it’s just generic ground fighting tactics.  I love it.  So I rolled with these guys for a couple months, then I went with my younger boys and watched my fellow classmates compete in the tourney…and that’s where my life turned into Freakin Fitness.  I felt compelled to take part.  I formulated a plan to help me focus my willpower.  I decided I was going to compete in this grappling tourney.

What’s the big deal with that?  The big deal is I’ve never done any sort of sports competition before.  I’ve done some competeing in high school concert band…but I don’t think that compares…and the other thing I was 350 lbs.  I had some obvious obsticles and I ended up seeing this as an amazing oppertunity to show my kids how to perservere and accomplish a difficult goal.  I just had to…you know…do it.  Eeeek!

Now even though I’m a lazy schlub…my nature is also that of a competitor.  I want to win when I play a game.  When I loose I try harder to win the next time.  If I keep loosing I practice until I can come back and triumph…I’ve just never applied that to any actual physical competition…so I’m doing what I can to take this seriously as possible.

I’m looking to compete in Novemeber which at the moment is about 6 1/2 months away…I’m actually pretty scared about competeing but I’m going to go through with it no matter what.  As much as I’m going to want to be a winner in my match, I trying hard to remember that my goal isn’t to win, it’s just to compete…because come on…going from a lard ass 350 lbs who was huffing and puffing after climbing stairs…down to what I’m hoping is somewhere below 300 (currently at 314) and now able to grapple in class for 45 mins with a little left in the tank afterwords…that’s a victory all in itself.

To train I’ve been mostly doing my regular Thursday grappling class…and when the other students are preparing to compete I join in their extra jui jitsu classes to get extra time in on the matt.  I think all I should really be worrying about really is my cardio…but I’m hoping that some skills will stick in my head the more time I get on the matt between now and November.  Currently there’s no other training going on with fellow students so I started rolling with another school on Friday’s.  They are a great group of folks who are at the very beginings of starting a Gracie Jui Jitsu class.  I’ll gleen what I can from it…but my heart and loyalty will always belong to the Kung Fu club.

Also to help with training I’ve converted one of the rooms in my house into a workout room.  I got ahold of an eliptical and now have a heavy bag hung up to allow me to workout at home instead of only at the kung fu compound.  Any day that I don’t workout in some sort of class, I spend 20 minutes on my eliptical keeping my heart rate up around 150 beats per minutes…and then I’ll jump off and punch the bag for about 10 minutes.  That’ll pretty much have my shirt drenched in sweat when I’m done.  The next step is to add some matts on the floors.

“Be careful what you wish for”…yup…since I started my on my journey I’ve I inured myself more times that I can count…I’ve worked out so hard I’ve thrown up several times…I’ve soaked my shirt completely drenched in sweat hundreds of times…I’ve woken up sore pretty much every single day.  I have cursed this decision and have been tempted to give up many times…but giving up is not what being a family man is about.  Like I mentioned before, I’m providing a target for my boys to surpass…and I’m not making it easy…but I hope that they’ll reach for it and blow it to smithereens.

So that’s the history of what I’m talking about whenever I put up a Freakin Fitness category.  It will often be ranting and depressing to be sure…but it’s a pressure valve I’ll use to help release every once in a while so I don’t blow my top and just give up.  Enjoy the adventure.  🙂

Freakin Fitness