Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Skinny or Fat Debate and the Aha Moment!

Recently my wife posted an image that from Pinterest that shows an illusration of a larger woman with the caption "Skinny Girls are for Wimps". It seemed to have gotten more than a couple people fairly fired up. The reason she posted it stems from what her and I have been discussing lately. Something that we have seen quite a bit of on Pinterest, and no it's not delicious looking cookies. The consensus of the debate is that no one should make another person feel ugly because of their shape...

I agree that making someone feeling bad about themselves is not a very good approach to helping them see the light or to convert their sinful ways. I do know that when a co-worker has told me that my kid would go to hell since I was not a Christian I didn't rush to the nearest church for my baptism. In fact it did the very opposite... So why would telling an obese person that what they are doing to their body will eventually kill them? Why does showing a tar filled lung of a smoker do nothing to help them quit? In my experience I was finding my happiness in things that were unhealthy for me; food, smoking, etc... 

Let's get back to the image on Pinterest before I start rambling, then the next thing you know is I'm sharing recipes or something. So Nicole and I have been talking about how so many people on Pinterest will post an image of a model, or fitness model and comment on how their ribs show and they should eat a burger. Or their muscles are ugly and that being fat is better than having that muscle. But at the same time if a person were to post an image of an overweight person and say they should cut out the donuts or maybe run a few blocks, everyone would be throwing a fit. When did it become ok to celebrate the lazy and chastise the hard working people? Well, it's not ok and not only do I know it but the people making the comments know it. The people making the comments are trying to convince everyone else that they are happy with how they look. That they are choosing to not have that body because it disgusts them. I know this because I was there, I have done it. Anyone skinnier than me needed to eat more and anyone bigger than me was fat. I did it to help myself feel better, right or wrong, it's what I did. So I understand why they do this, but how do you make the person that tries to build themself up by destroying another's image?

And secondly on this subject. Why are we telling ourselves and others that fat is beautiful? When I was big I knew this wasn't true, I hated my body. My problem was that I lacked the spark and motivation to do anything about it. I just dealt with it by medicating myself in different ways. I remember looking in the mirror and saying I would try to lose weight once I was over 250 or when my belly started to hang over my jeans. Well, neither of these two things did the trick for me. Being overweight isn't even about what is or isn't attractive. It's about what's healthy and living your life. I was having fun with the activities I was doing then, going to concerts and hanging out with friends all the time. But at the same time, life was hard to enjoy when I would literally run out of breath bending over to tie my shoes. That is one feeling I will never forget. I swim, bike, run, lift weights and do all of these active things when at one point I could barely tie my shoes without getting winded. Granted it was mostly due to my ginormous gut getting in the way. 

When you really consider the state of our nations health when it comes to weight, why is it so hard for people to see the problem? You DO NOT have to give up everything you love to eat and do to be healthy. You will have to cut back, probably by a lot, but you still get those things. I could not do this if I just couldn't have the junk food that I love. I limit it to once a week and I am able to manage just fine. If I slip up and have a little more than what I should, I get over it and move on. I don't beat myself up if I overeat I'm not going to instantly fat again. I had to change my lifestyle to become fit but I didn't have to give up everything to do it. When more people realize that you don't have to do a fad diet the rest of your life and that you can just cut back, maybe our country will get a bit more fit.

And finally the "AHA" moment. For me it was my daughter and my wife. I could see the path we were going down and I didn't see much of a future for any of us. We were doing things that would probably make our daughter embarrassed of us at some point. I want nothing more than to be a hero to just one person, and that wasn't going  to happen being fat Caleb. And I also know that I was dragging Nicole down, and she is full of potential that I was keeping her from. So to be exact, my aha moment was my family. Another aha moment was watching the 2008 Ironman World Championship on Hulu. I highly recommend you look it up and watch it. It was one of the first times in my life when I said to myself, "If they can do it, so can I". And guess what, I'm doing it!

Now to keep you up to date on my training and surgery recovery. The past couple weeks were full of breakthrough workouts. Probably mostly because I was constantly pushing myself beyond what I thought I should because I want to be back to normal. I did several double spin classes last week after 3 days of walking. The walking really screwed up my hip and foot so I couldn't have continued with that. Not sure what was going on but I was hurting from walking. Today I did an interval workout on the elliptical and followed it by a quick jog in the gym to test out the legs and see how the belly felt. Well, everything is good except for a little soreness where my 4 incisions are. So I will keep at the bike and elliptical this week and next week I think I should be right back on schedule. Lifting, running, swimming, biking, yoga, the elliptical and all of my good friends at the gym. So I'm pretty happy with how everything has worked out.

I have also been testing my digestion and it seems to be fairly close to normal. I ate some pretty horrible foods this Thanksgiving, as in bad for you, and also went out to eat and drinking this last weekend. Everything went good so I can still enjoy all the things I used to without any problems. So I'm pretty excited about that! I did try a banana again the other night with disastrous results. I had problems in the past with them but figured they were gallbladder issues. So I tried it again the other night and ended up sick all night. So bad that I skipped the gym the next morning, which never happens. No bananas or pineapple for me ever again, and maybe even sweet potatoes. But there are other things to eat that I like. Tonight I am trying Ryan Irwin and Nicole's recipe for Casein Protein and Peanut Butter Pudding. I will let you know how that goes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 11, 2011 (Surgery Recovery)

This past week was fairly stressful leading up to my surgery. Looking online for other peoples stories about having gallbladder problems and surgery is enough to scare anyone. I'd be lying if I was ever convinced leading up to the surgery that it was the right decision. At this point, I'm still not completely convinced but I don't see myself as every having a decision in the matter. I could have skipped the surgery and waited to see if it came to he point of emergency surgery or to the point of unbearable pain. My decision was based on the fact that I am in my off season training and I have time to recover. Had I waited, it's possible that my racing season next year could be blown.

I was able to continue all of my scheduled workouts last week leading up to my surgery, which was Friday. The morning of, I had Yoga scheduled. I had a hard time focusing and was only able to complete about 30 minutes worth before stopping. I just couldn't get my head into it, and I was doing a new workout that I was unprepared for so it wasn't feeling the fulfilling.

I also met with our charity last week and we have decided on a date for our indoor cycling event as well as some of the details. I'm hoping we have some major decisions made on that in the next week or two so we can really get to work on it. I really want this to be a success for them, and for my grandpa. I have been sending out a few emails regarding our fundraising and so far it's fairly discouraging who isn't responding. Some places I really counted on getting their support are not even acknowledging me. Makes it hard to want to continue being a customer of these companies, but I will give them more time and hopefully they will come around. But really, you could at least tell me know and not just ignore me. Ignoring me will not get me to go away, I promise. On the other hand I am getting responses from unexpected people that are expressing their support, which really inspires me to keep pushing on and things will work out.

Today I was able to get back to the gym. Just being at the gym made me feel like I'm getting something done. I was able to walk for about an hour which was around 3 miles or more. It wasn't what I'm used to but it felt really good. I plan on being at the gym every day now and will keep pushing it so that I don't get set too far back. I really don't expect to fall too far behind. My pain level has been fairly low, I haven't really taken any of my pain meds out of necessity. Maybe a little out of boredom though... It's surprising what drugs the doc will give you for something like this. Honestly, I could make do with Tylenol if needed. But they gave me about 50 Hydrocodone with a refill within 6 months. I can't believe that, no wonder pill addiction is such a problem. I don't plan on finishing this bottle let alone a refill. And why would they give a refill in 6 months when I should be fully recovered in a matter of weeks? Sometimes it seems like doctors are trying to keep us sick or something. I don't trust prescription drugs at all.

My nutrition has not been that great since the surgery though. Which I kind of expected so I am not beating myself up about it. I feel that today I will be getting that back on track so I am throwing out whatever junk food is left today, maybe... I have  been digging on the grilled cheese sandwiches quite a bit, forgot how much I love those. Thinking about making some stir fry tonight for dinner, maybe with egg and no chicken though.

Right now I am probably ok to return to work but I will probably hold off until Tuesday. I can't lie,  I'm not in a huge rush to get back. I left things pretty caught up so I don't think they will miss me one more day. I am super ready for Thanksgiving though. I've been daydreaming about some apple pie all week. In fact yesterday, I made Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal and then put vanilla ice cream on it. It was legit!

Anyways, sorry for the boring update but that's life. If you don't hear from me until after Thanksgiving, have a good holiday and eat as much as you can. As long as you plan on working it off!

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2012 (How far CAN you go?)

There have been countless times in my short life as a parent that I have said to myself, "If anyone ever hurts my daughter or family I will..." I know for a fact that every parent out there has said this. That's our job as parents, to protect our kids and families to the very last breath if needed. I know that if Cadence were sick and I were given the option to take all of her sickness into my own body I wouldn't think twice about it if it meant her life would continue. I would literally do ANYTHING for her.

While all of us parents have these feelings, why is it that it takes such a drastic situation for us to realize our potential as parents? Right now we have the opportunity to be the hero or heroin to our kids. Although our kids will see us as their idols, hopefully, have we really done anything to deserve that? What reason do they have to see us as not just Mom and Dad but as who the aspire to be. I often feel like my life is in a rut, like I'm maxed out with what I have in material things. I don't like my house, my job, my car and so on. In no way am I saying I live without or that I base my success on these things, because I don't. But I realize that I deal with these things because these are the things that allow me to provide and protect my family. I also realize, actually just moments ago, what it means that I never give up improving myself and moving forward. I can never say that I am satisfied with where I am at in life or with what I am doing. I need to always be improving myself so that I can be the idol to my daughter. I realize that I need to keep going to school, even if it takes the rest of my life, so that maybe I can have a better job. I need to keep applying myself in every aspect so that Cadence will see what I do for her and Nicole.

This thinking just started a few days ago while watching Rick and Dick Hoyt. Rick has Cerebral Palsy and his dad, Dick, is an endurance athlete. Since Rick can not swim, bike or run, his Dad does it all for him. They have competed in numerous different races including 6 Ironman races! Just to complete an Ironman is quite the accomplishment. But to complete it while pulling, pedaling and pushing another person is on a whole new level. Their story truly shows what the love of a parent is meant to look like. It started when Rick told his dad that he wanted to participate in a 5 mile race that was raising money for a young man that had become paralyzed. Dick agreed and he pushed his son to the finish line. Later that night Rick told his father, "When I'm running, it feels like I am not handicapped." That was in 1977, now Dick is now 70 years old and still pushing and pulling his son so that he can feel like he is no longer handicapped.

So what would it take for you to go the distance for your kids? For me, I don't know... I'm going to keep pushing myself and maybe that will be enough. But I am waiting for the day that she asks me to do something that tests my dedication to her. I am waiting for the moment I can be a hero. Until then I will just do what I feel is right. And hopefully, if my plan works, she will ask me to run a marathon with her or better yet, and Ironman.

Now to keep you up to date on what has been going on in my world the past week. Last week I had a recovery week that was pretty great. Probably not quite as much recovery as I'm suppose to have but more than I've ever had. I was letting my calf get better so I just biked about 5 or 6 times last week, 1 elliptical interval workout and 2 Yoga sessions. I really like the Yoga and plan on keeping it around for the remainder of my training. Friday we lost another co-worker to another job and so a few people brought in some junk food. I new this was going to happen so I did an extra workout the night before to help deal with the guilt of caving. Let's just say that guilt didn't hold me back from digging into the food. What can I say, I LOVE FOOD!

Saturday Nicole and I had our official free meal. We went to Jethro's BBQ with our friend Nicole Essink and had maybe the best free meal in history. We ordered, and shared with the three of us; Fried Cheese, BBQ Sliders. Nicole and I shared the Jethro which was the hugest fried tenderloin I have ever seen topped with pulled pork, smoked ham and bacon. It was actually delicious and definitely something that needs to be split. We then ordered desserts... I had an Apple Turnover Sunday, Nicole P. had a brownie sunday and Nicole E. had a Smore sunday. They were all really good and none of us could finish them. What's funny is that mine was freezer burned, which to me means that no one ever makes it to dessert here. But you don't come between a group of ex fatties and dessert at a free meal. You are likely to walk away with a few less digits.

Today I was scheduled for a run but was having an odd pain and decided to swim instead at the last minute. Just as I was about to head to the pool from the locker room I realized I forgot my goggles. This is the kind of situation that, if no one were around, I would throw a tantrum like a little baby. But instead I asked the life guard for a loaner pair. He had a couple pairs and they were made for little girls. The pair I used was bright pink and orange striped and way too small for my face. The piece that goes over my nose was cutting into my face and it was pretty painful. The goggles wouldn't get a good seal on my face so I frequently had to stop to readjust them. Needless to say, the swim was horrible and I had to cut it short but about 500m. But I plan on considering today a recovery day and taking my Yoga day this week to make up for it, so it's not too big of a deal.

And finally, my fund raising project is about to take off but I am in need of advice and help. We are going to be looking for sponsors to help us spread the word and fund an event or two the following year. Sponsorship will not  be expensive and you can guarantee that your money will be put to good use. If you or someone you know may own or be part of a company that wants their community to recognize that they care about their neighbors then get in touch with me and I can share the details. And either way, more information is on the way soon! I promise that this is going to be a successful and awesome project that will touch a lot of lives. So don't be afraid to join and help out!