Archive for the 'Lifestyle' Category

Then and Now

Mike on Jul 11th 2011

It has been a couple of months since I’ve posted. Not because I’ve given up but simply because I haven’t had much to report. Training has continued like normal, but concurrently I took a significant break from the diet. As I said in my last post, I was feeling burned out and exhausted all the time, always thinking about food. A couple of months not really thinking about what I can and can’t eat has been good, plus I had a couple of weeks of vacation thrown in there. The family took two road trips back to back, and in the middle of that we found out our house flooded and are still dealing with the aftermath of that. Consequently I wasn’t able to train for three full weeks.

I ate somewhere around 49 lbs of taffy and 63 boxes of Pop Tarts on the vacation, so I have no doubt I’ve I gained some weight, but no worries. The trips are over, the house is pretty much in order (although we are still waiting on new flooring due to the water damage), and I’m just about ready to start hitting the diet fairly hard again. As of this afternoon I was able to get back in the gym with Tim and get the normal routine going again. It was a painful and exhausting workout, but that was expected after a three week break.

I’ll end this post with a couple of photos I’ve been intending on posting since Mother’s Day. The last several years we have made it a Mother’s Day tradition to go out to eat at P.F. Chang’s for dinner. I was amazed when I saw the picture we took this year and compared it to the ones from last year and the year before. It’s easy for me to forget how far I’ve come until I see a comparison picture like this. It helps encourage me and keeps me motivated.

Filed in Encouragement,Lifestyle,Motivation,Photos | 3 responses so far

Dad Strength in China

Mike on Mar 12th 2011

Since I’ve been back from China for about two weeks now and I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, I decided that it was well past time for me to post an update about what’s been going on.

Our trip to China was eventful to say the least. If you want to read about it in detail, then go to our family blog at and start from February 8th. In a nutshell, we went to adopt our second daughter and were there just under three weeks. We started off staying several days in Beijing to visit some friends and adjust to the time difference, moved on to Yinchuan in Ningxia province (where our child was waiting) for several more days, and last stayed for eight days in Guangzhou where the U.S. Consulate is located. We all got upper respiratory infections, coughed constantly because of the pollution and dust in Yinchuan (it’s on the edge of a desert), and I got an ear infection and lost most of my hearing for the last week of the trip and the last two weeks here at home.

Louanne hurt her side in Yinchuan (possibly from coughing so hard she bruised a rib or pulled some muscles), which required me to do pretty much everything for both girls the last half of the tip…including carrying them both around all the time. Fortunately I have what my trainer calls “Dad Strength,” which every father can relate to and will see you through in a pinch. In truth, if I hadn’t been training for a year with Tim then the trip would have been ten times harder than it was. The one year anniversary of starting my fitness program was actually Feb 14, the day we got our daughter. That year has made all the difference. There was one day near the end of the trip where I was carrying both girls and the stroller at the same time up several flights of steps and across a bridge and didn’t really think anything about it. I didn’t even feel winded. A year ago I probably would have passed out…or I’d have at least found out just how fast my heart can beat before cardiac arrest.

The hardest thing of all didn’t have anything to do with the trip–the workouts since getting back have made the screaming kid, jet lag, ear infection, and coughing fits seem like a walk on a spring day. Tim took it easy on me and I still felt like I was going to die…and I haven’t even done any cardio yet. I’m going to add that back in next week. I did legs Monday, for the first time in a month, and six days later they still hurt. They STILL HURT. In spite of that, I’m still glad to be back in the gym. There were actually a couple of moments (just a couple) while I was doing the bench press that I thought it felt good to press the weight up. The feel and pressure of the weight felt good. Weird, I know. I haven’t gotten back on my diet yet, but plan to do that within the next week or so as well. It has been hard enough the last two weeks just getting through the workouts…no way I was adding the diet to that stress.

My plan is to be back to my full, pre-trip regimen within the next week, and my new goal is to have lost another 40 lbs by our family vacation at the end of June. That should put me near the end of my weight loss, but I won’t know for sure until I get there. After that I’ll concentrate solely on strength building.

Filed in Exercise,Lifestyle,Photos | 2 responses so far

No New Year’s Resolution Required

Mike on Jan 4th 2011

Like most people in America, I threw my diet out the window during the last three weeks of December. I ate pretty much everything that sounded good and wasn’t nailed to the table. I’m generally not a sweets person, but for whatever reason during that time I wanted SWEETS! If it had sugar in it I was eating it. Ice cream, candy, cookies, more candy, some more ice cream, cake, more cookies, ice cream again, throw in a pumpkin pie shake, add some more candy, and don’t forget the pie!

I enjoyed it tremendously and of course gained some weight, but that didn’t bother me in the slightest. I knew that the holidays would end and then I’d be right back to normal…no New Year’s Resolution required, because that’s my lifestyle now. In fact, by last weekend I was actually starting to get tired of the sweets and other junk and was ready for good, healthy, low-calorie food again. So, as of yesterday I’m back on the strict, low-calorie/high-protein diet. I’m also being careful to do some time on the elliptical after my weight-training every day to increase the fat burning.

There was one side benefit, however, to all those calories during the holidays…I made some strength gains, which don’t come easy with a low-calorie diet. Last Thursday I did 305 lbs on my deadlifts. That was exciting considering when I started out a little under a year ago I was doing something like 95 lbs and feeling like I was going to die afterwards.

My current goal is to lose as much fat as I can before our big adoption trip to China. We could be going within the next ten days or so, but it could be as long as five or six weeks. In any case, I’ll be hitting it extra hard until then.

Filed in Diet,Exercise,Lifestyle | 3 responses so far

Wednesday Weigh-in: 257.0

Mike on Dec 8th 2010

I’m happy to say that the speedy weight loss is continuing. This morning I hit 257.0, which is 3.8 lbs for the week. As Louanne would say…”woot, woot!” I also hit a new high for deadlifts today: 285 lbs for 3 reps, the same as my squats.

My loose goal now is to drop at least another 20 lbs before we go to China in the next 1-2 months. That would put me at about 85 lbs down on the scale and over a 100 lbs of actual fat loss. I’m beginning to see the “end” in sight now…of fat loss, but not of working out. My lifestyle is different now, and for the rest of my life I’ll be working out every week and building muscle. I’ll just be glad to leave Fat Mike behind. He can go live somewhere else, and I won’t even be visiting him.

Filed in Exercise,Lifestyle,Wednesday Weigh-in,Weight loss | 4 responses so far

A small thought for the day…

Mike on Aug 12th 2010

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, stop living like a fat person on a diet and start living like a fit athletic person in training. Change your lifestyle.

Filed in Lifestyle,Motivation | No responses yet