My Absence and My Daughter

I sincerely apologize to you my faithful and incredibly supportive readers.  You see,  Winter Semester is in full swing and I have been buried under projects with tight deadlines so I have not had the extra time to update this site.  I will leave you with this one thing though.

Have you ever been blown away by one of your kids?  I mean, they do something (good) and it leaves you absolutely speechless and you are left wondering “where the heck did that come from?”  You would like to think that its your stellar parenting skills but you secretly hope that perhaps they are just that rad, their heart is really that big.  What am I rambling about?  Check this out and then ask yourself as I have…”Just where in the world does an 11-year-old get this kind of moxy and courage?”

This is my daughters site read it and check out what she is doing:  Ripples

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I Resolved To Not Make Resolutions

Are we friends?  I mean are we friends in the modern odd way that people are friends now?  I am of course speaking of the parallel universe that exists just outside the parameters of our very own physical existence….Facebook.  If we aren’t we should be and you should also do a wee search on the ol’ Facebook machine for a little page called 100poundsago and you should most definitely click “Like” on that rascal.  I threw out a dare right before New Years saying it “Would be rad if 100poundsago could get 100 fans by 2011.”  Some folks were added but not even close to 100 so get on it people!

 I have a few e-mails in my inbox asking “How was the Polar Rhino Ride?”  My immediate rebuttal has been “I guess it was fine, didn’t make it this year.  I started out the New Year puking my shoes off.”  This of course is not even in close proximity to how I actually wanted to spend News Years Day or several days following.  I wanted to go on that dang ride dangit!  I wanted to go bad too.  For crying out loud it was 45 degrees that day, which alone is a welcome respite from the winter doldrums.  Nay!  In bed I laid shivering and miserable secretly cursing everyone on the ride because I was bitter that I could not be.  So if you got a flat or some other form of cycling atrocity on the ride I apologize it was my fault.  If you have been a reader for a while you will remember on the 2010 ride I beat myself up pretty bad I opined about stagnation in weight loss among many other complaints about myself.  I was going to use the ride this year as a time to reflect over the 2010 cycling year, oh well I’m flexible reflection can be done anywhere I suppose.

 I have also more than a few E-mails asking what my “Resolutions” are or where?  Honestly I don’t make them, haven’t in years.  I use to make them, for example, “I am going to stop smoking in 1994…the same one was made in 95, and 96, 97 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02…you get the point right?  Each year it was an abysmal failure, each resolution lasted until about noon on January 1 when I would run out and buy a carton of cigarettes and chain smoke the New Years in.   It’s a societal joke really, they are expected to fail there is really no pressure to actually succeed at them.  They are in reality forgotten about and breezed by no guilt attached.  I make goals for myself and have done so for the past few years I break them down to small manageable and realistic benchmarks.  Will I be challenged to reach them, yes most definitely but therein lays the fun.   Let me give you an example:  I got it into my head not too long ago that I wanted to run a 5k.  Now if you know me you know I despise running with every thread of my being.  So what did I have to do?  I had to build up to it, I know I would have failed if I laced up some running shoes and tried to run a 5k.  I did the “Couch to 5k” program.  Each day building on the last until bingo bongo you just busted out 5k’s worth of pavement pounding which I did and I am pretty sure it was the furthest I have ever run in my life.  5k….check!  Now on to the next one.  Not resolutions….goals. 

 What are your goals today, or this week, or this month?  Leave some comments, lets discuss.

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,

I know it’s a little early to write to you and give you my Christmas list this year but I figure you would be cool with it because Target already has Christmas decorations out in their store. I don’t always subscribe to the Target stores method of seasonal changes but I have quite list this year and some really expensive stuff so I thought I would give you as much advance notice as possible so you can reward my awesome “good behavior” over the last year. I know you are going to check that list twice and each time you will see my name on the very tippy top of the “good” and nary a mark will be found on the “bad” side….ok ok fine I know there was a time or two I misbehaved…your not going to begrudge me that are you? Ok here is my list and this year just like last year you can expect some gluten free, egg free vegan cookies and some almond milk at the bottom of my chimney. I am also going to leave you the E-2 book and an American Diabetes Association cookbook, to be frank and honest with you I have some deep concerns about your health.

You will notice that everything on this list is cycling related which should not come as a surprise to anyone really.

1.  I ride to work everyday now and when I leave in the morning it is quite dark still.  I could use some new lights for my bike just like the Mininewt.700

2.  Speaking of darkness I could really use a new monster bright jacket.  Mine has seen better days and is in need of retirement.  I would like the Sugoi Helium jacket….yellow please! 

3.  While your elves are stitching the Sugoi Helium jacket together why not have them also thow the Sugoi Neo in your sleigh as well?  It looks nice and warm and since Michigan winters rival North Pole winters I am sure you can appreciate a nice warm jacket? 

4.  I could really use some nice socks for those long winter commutes by bike.  My old smartwool socks are done…finished….kaput.  I like the socks this dude has.  The crazier the style the better I say…why be normal? 

5.  I was starting to think that all jersey makers pretty much sucked until I got my ADA Tour de Cure jersey….love that thing.  So I will pretty much take anything thing from here.

6.  I am pretty sure the Giro Prolight would look really good on me while protecting my melon.

7.  You can pick which one of these you want to give me:  this one -or- this one

8.  The Chris King “Dreadset”…..this requires no explanation.

Thanks a bunch,

Gene

Doctors Need To Drop The “F” Bomb More

I was reading some things Jody was saying this morning at it set me off on a thinking tangent.  You can recognize one of my thinking tangents by the following symptoms:  deep blank stares, babbling, drooling, and possibly smoke emanating from my ears and or nose.  I tell you that so you will know I gave this somber thought. 

 Anyway…..What if we just pretend for a minute….just one minute…What if ALL doctors across the country treated and talked to their patients like mine did?  What if instead of sugar coating everything and throwing pills at symptoms they actually investigated and found the root problem of the ailment?  I had a laundry list of physical problems Diabetes, Hypertension, sky high Cholesterol, Cardiac Arrhythmias….sadly I was perfectly at ease living with these problems, actually I was perfectly at ease DYING from these because it never really dawned on me that I was in fact dying.  I had been placated by doctors for years as they threw more and more pills at me. They pacified me by pretending to be looking for a cure to my problems all the while because of a sense of not wanting to offend they let me live the life I was accustomed to.   No one ever said to me “You know Fattikins if you lost a bunch of weight most, if not all, of your problems will go away!”  There is a complacent attitude in not only the general populous but seems to be running rampant in the medical community as well.  A mind-set of absolute and total denial about just how much weight can impact and influence your overall well being.  Take me for example, I lost weight and I no longer have Diabetes, Hypertension, sky high Cholesterol, Cardiac Arrhythmias.  It was that simple lose weight, lose the problems.   

 I know exactly where I would be if he would have calmly and dismissively said to me “Cuts some pounds, try to quit smoking and eat more white meat blah blah blah” I would still be over 300 pounds, still ramming Big Macs down my gullet, chain smoking and slowly waddling my way to an oversized casket at a very young age.   It took a bit of foul language, some evil eyes, and a grotesquely painted picture of how the rest of my pathetic fat life was going to play out, or what was left of it.  Now from a monetary standpoint this doctor had an honest to cash cow (both literally and figuratively) with me as a patient.  I was looking at a lot of office visits, lots of tests, lots of misc expenditures all that where sure to pad his pockets.  Instead he set me off on the right path from the word jump.  So why is that so hard?  Why is he the only doctor I saw in nearly 2 decades of visiting physicians that took the time to bust my chops?  Denial, complacency, afraid to hurt feelings and offend?  I wish I knew but I am eternally thankful that he took the time to cuss me out.

Nearly every day I say the following quote “If I can do it anyone can” and I am being dead serious about it.  If a slovenly, morbidly obese, chain smoking, un-motivated person such as me can decide to put down the cigarettes, jump on a bike and take the reins of my own health over anyone can.

A Year

Do you remember where you where on October 3, 2009?  I do…. I’ll never forget.  It is one of those dates that will forever be an indelible mark on my heart and mind.  I stood in my living room on the phone with a Battalion Chief who was trying to tell me there was a Rescue unit at my parent’s house….”It does not look good……”

A year is approaching….a year since he died.  A year that has, at times, passed like a blink and other times has felt as if one particular day would never end so I could have a new one to start with.  That sick feeling that bored through my stomach when I was on the phone that cool autumn afternoon has yet to disappear.  It’s still there every single day reminding me I have to press on, there are places to go and things I simply must accomplish.  Just because I want the world to stop spinning for a while so I can adjust my bearings, does not mean that it will.  Life pushes you forward creating moments that you can either waste or use.  I have learned a lot about myself this year, some good things and some bad things.  I have felt the depths of despair the likes of which I had never experienced or even knew existed like it or not they are there.  I found strength in myself which I had hoped and prayed I would never need, I could have gone my whole life not coming close to having to summon that strength.  I have seen true courage in the eyes of my family members and I am proud of each and every one of them. 

This year has also showed me who my true friends are, sadly some of who I thought where friends slipped away into the periphery of my life and some others have stepped in and went to the mat for me and my family.  Such is life I suppose, some can hack it others cannot.  It has been a year of trials and tribulations which I found this quote and leave it with you.

“Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow” 
-Mary Ann Radamacher

How It Really Began

Quick show of hands, who thinks they know the real story behind the start of the 100poundsago website?  I see a few in the back there, a few more…there is a couple.  Ok well I am betting (if I actually was a betting man) that you think you know but in reality most don’t, in fact there are just 2 people that actually know the story and the gaggle of e-mails that shot back and forth that led to the birth of this site. 

It was a night just like this one….er….ok so it was over a year ago and I was trying to lose weight.  I would frequent a website and post comments about my progress or lack thereof I would complain, I would boast, but mostly I just wrote insane posts trying (mostly in vain) to be funny and poke fun at myself.  A few people who where also trying the same suggested that we exchange e-mails and “motivate” one another.  It was a lot of fun, one of the guys was a runner another was a tri-athlete.  Did I happen to mention that they both where way out of shape and their athletic prowess was years behind them, caught in a cloud of beer, Big-Macs, and cigarettes?  I had posted something about a woman doing lunges across the gym I was working out at and everyone found it hysterical.  Suggestions came in that I should perhaps think about starting a Blog of sorts and write the stuff there that I was posting.  I did and for a really long time the site had 3 or 4 visitors and then something happened, I don’t really know what but it did.  People began to visit the site and I had no clue where they where coming from?  Oddly for a very long time I would post my ranting under a fake name even in cyber space I was embarrassed about how I looked, what I was feeling and what I needed to do to get the job done.

An inspiration?  I have been called that quite a few times over the life of the 100poundsago site existence.  I am going to go on record that I am highly uncomfortable with this.  I appreciate it yes, comfortable with it, no.  I would prefer to serve as a horrible warning to people.  Gather your kids around the computer screen and show them what I use to look like regale them with the stories of what I would eat and how much I smoked, tell them about my blood pressure and my cholesterol.  Make me out to be a nasty smelly ogre of a human…and then challenge them to never turn into me!  Tell them they simply do not want to go through what I have gone through to get to the point I am right now.  Let them be warned that a sedentary life full of lavish excess in the end is a shortened life, a miserable life a life that is void of the pleasures that a healthy body can bring you.   I will however tell you of a person that I think is a treasure trove of inspiration.  I have mentioned him before and I am going to mention him again and again because I have mad respect for him.  His name is Jon and you can find his story HERE.  Jon just completed a Century ride last weekend.  Big deal you say?  Read his story and see just what a big deal it was.  I double dog…nay…..I triple dog dare you to go to his site, read his story and NOT be inspired!   Its simply not possible!

Nice day for a ride today folks, get out and ride, or walk, or jog.  I guarantee you will find something in your neighborhood or park or city that you had no idea existed.  Its amazing what you discover when you slow down.   I will say it again, you dont need a fancy bike, or lycra, or fancy shoes, or a fancy helmet….just get out and do something!

Big Macs ‘aka’ Death Bombs

I, like other mere mortals, still have certain cravings for certain food items. Now, I will tell you that two important anniversaries happened here at 100 Pounds Ago that passed by virtually un-noticed by all. First- My one year anniversary of quitting smoking, Second- My transition to Veganism. Now I will say that after well over a year I don’t crave cigarettes anymore in fact I find the mere smell of them nearly nauseating, furthermore I simply cannot be around smoke cause…well you know….I am a really awesome cyclist and we have to protect our lungs and whatnot. I do however have the occasional food craving, but not just any food I have craving for the worst food imaginable….McDonalds. Not so very long ago I pretty much lived on the confections that the Golden Arches pedaled, and not so long ago I was a train wreck of a human physically speaking and currently I pedal my ears off to maintain what I achieved as far as weight loss. If you think I am going to allow that fat nastiness to come into contact with my palate you have another thing coming!!!

Usually I just have to remind myself that Mc-D’s is evil and what it would do to me if I did partake in that food again, however, recently I have had to get drastic. I decided to look up the nutritional (quick aside here: the word “Nutrition” and “McDonalds” probably should not be mentioned in the same sentence) information on what was once my signature meal. Try not to scream folks but I am going to lay out a lunch or a dinner in my world when “Fat Gene” was in office and running the show. Now at least 4 meals in any given week would consist of: 3 Big Macs, 1 large fry, and 1 giant Coke….disgusting I know, and very embarrassing to admit to anyone I ate that. If you go to the Mc-D’s website you can actually use a tool and load up a virtual tray with some of their death bombs and it will give you a running tally on the…..ahem….so called nutritional value of the mean you designed. Here are the totals for the meal I have listed above:
2570 Calories
114 grams of fat
33 grams saturated fat
205 mg cholesterol
205% of daily trans and saturated fat

Seriously, I am never eating there as long as I live, its no wonder I was in the shape I was.

Want to see where your favorite burger stacks up in the “Unhealthy” linup?   Click HERE