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December 9th, 2013 / Sean Willson

Holiday Stomach Flu Be Gone

We’ve been plagued by the stomach flu and associated random illnesses throughout our house the past 1.5 weeks. It’s not been pretty and the post Thanksgiving weekend was far from relaxing. Despite this end of year challenge we’re on track and staying focused.

We were up at 5am this morning kicking some weight training butt with random calisthenics in during breaks for good measure. I’m bound and determined to continue on a healthy track this holiday even if a few germs decided to invade. It may not be ideal but it’s not going to be a gluttonous holiday of excessive food just because it’s the holidays.

Enjoyable meals with great good, family, and friends … yes!
Excessive food and random snacking galore … no!

I hope you made it through Thanksgiving without as many sore naps, tired faces, and Clorox as us. Let’s make this holiday a healthy one to remember!

November 22nd, 2013 / Sean Willson

Progress Despite Speedbumps

Speed Bump AheadIf you read my posting yesterday you likely know my left foot has been bothering me lately. Because of this I only managed 3 workouts this week, down from my usual 5 – 6. My ankle was sore this weekend so we took those days off and then did weights followed by a circuit workout. This resulted in more pain and more off days finally culminating in another weight workout this morning.

My hopes weren’t that high this week without the workouts and given the scale wasn’t moving much, in fact was up quite a bit on one day for no apparent reason. Despite this I still stayed focused on eating great and trusted that my body would take care of the rest … and I was happy that it did :)

To the numbers batman!

Previous Weight — 306.8 lbs (on 11.15.2013)
Current Weight — 306.2 lbs
Change In Weight-0.6 lbs

I’m really happy with that, seriously. To give you perspective, the scale was telling me 310 on Wednesday, the morning I hurt my ankle. Some people would have thrown it in and given up that day but I stuck with it, worked out that morning and continued to eat well. I took Thursday’s workout off to rest (except for planksgiving) and this morning did upper body weights to give my foot more rest.

When we think our bodies aren’t reacting to working out and eating right we need to just relax and give it a chance. Our pounds didn’t go on over night and they certainly won’t come off that fast either. Our bodies are finicky and sometimes the simplest things that seem counterintuitive (like eating more or resting) are the things they need the most to stimulate that next adaptation response.

Don’t give up, keep at it, and stay focused on the prize … a healthier, happier, more satisfied you! Have a great day today :)

November 21st, 2013 / Sean Willson

On Shoes, Pain, and Workout Suggestions

I finally got around to buying a new pair of workout shoes. My addiction to circuit workouts (and my weight) has gotten the better of me lately and I keep hurting my left foot (the bad one). So when I was out this weekend I picked up a pair of New Balance 1260v3:

New Balance 1260v3

I’ve only wore them for 1 circuit workout as we had an off weekend because we weren’t feeling 100% … have to let yourself heal sometimes. It was the first time we’ve take more than one day off since we started back so it was kinda nice.

Anyhow, with one circuit workout in I can honestly say it wasn’t just the shoes that were hurting me as my foot is still pissed. I’m limping around like a less pale zombie now … ouch!

Next Step! I’m now on the lookout for some less plyometric heavy workout DVD’s or videos we can workout to. I’m also going to get my bike rocking and rolling on the trainer which should be awesome with the big TV to watch my Sufferfest videos instead of my small iPad on a TV stand next to my bike. Anyone else try The Sufferfest yet? I highly recommend them!

If you can recommend any good non-cycling workouts that really challenge you yet don’t kill the ankles I’d love to hear about them. Ideally they’d be purchasable online on iTunes or the likes but I can manage DVD as well ;)

November 15th, 2013 / Sean Willson

On The Straight And Narrow

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote last but I wanted to put your mind at ease and tell you from the start that I’m still on track and crazy focused. I won’t say it’s been an easy road though with a few weeks of no losses and some crazy stressful things happening in life. What has stayed consistent through it all has been my determination and focus!

Amy and I have been staying accountable, eating on track cooking some great meals, and dragging our butts out of bed at 5:00 am to workout. We’ve been each other’s rock and it’s great having her there for the journey.

On to the weigh-in numbers shall we?

Previous Weight — 310.8 lbs (on 10.21.2013)
Current Weight — 306.8 lbs
Change In Weight-4.0 lbs

Not crazy numbers like the first few weeks (remember these losses are for 3 weeks) but still a great loss. I saw a ~1 pound loss last week (sorry I didn’t post) and no loss but a tiny increase the week before that (alcohol was involved which is a rarity for me). It’s been crazy stressful lately and I know don’t ever get into work things here on my blog but to say I’m happy I didn’t fall off our plan these past 2 weeks would be a huge understatement, I’m flipping ecstatic!

This weeks loss is a testament to our resolve to make this the last restart at getting heathy. We’re in it to lose it and make 2014 the year we hit our goal weights and then learn to maintain from there.

So what’s been working well since last we spoke? Workouts at 5:00 am surprisingly have went really well. Starting the day out right has been a huge motivation. Also, planning ahead and cooking our meals at home has been huge. Not only are we saving money (family of 5 eating out runs $30+ around here) but it’s better and healthier for us. Finally, I’d say getting 7 hours of sleep, random sick kids aside, has helped. Not only are we giving our bodies the rest it needs but it’s easier getting up early if we’ve been sleeping a while.

What’s not been working well? My left foot, always the trouble maker, has been painful. For people who don’t remember I’ve had 9 pins and a plate in my left foot for almost 20 years now. Doing circuits usually involving some jumping and at my weight, with my minimal shoes, it really taxes my foot. I’m going to have to buy some real shoes this weekend to workout in and skip the minimal shoes until I lose another 30 – 40 pounds.

Other than my shoes the only other thing we’re going to change is trying to find some new exercise DVD’s or shows on iTunes. We do 4-5 of our 6 workouts per week in our basement so finding new programs that aren’t crazy hard for people who are building up or who aren’t already elite athletes can be difficult. If you have any suggestions please share, we’d appreciate it.

I hope you’re programs are going well and heading into this holiday season are planning to stay healthy and motivated or get healthy soon!

October 21st, 2013 / Sean Willson

Charging Into Week 3

Finishing up week two I’ll admit I didn’t know what to expect. We’d worked out pretty consistently with only one workout day off (Tuesday) and we ate pretty good as well (ate at home all days except out that same day, though healthy). Most of our workouts were in the morning but one was at night because we could fit it into the schedule without falling off. I just wasn’t sure after last weeks big loss what to expect this week on the scale.

Second weeks are notoriously bad for people and given how far I’d fallen I didn’t have high hopes. I’ll remind folks that each week I workout and then weigh-in on weigh-in day. Given I do the same thing week to week I don’t consider it cheating since it’s accurate and consistent over time.

Anyhow, on to the weigh-in:

Previous Weight — 315.6 lbs (on 10.12.2013)
Current Weight — 310.8 lbs
Change In Weight-4.8 lbs

I’ll take that :) who wouldn’t? I feel stronger but I’ll be honest with you, the workouts are still brutal. Like physically brutal to the point that both Amy and I are wondering if they’re going to start to get even a little easier soon.

I know we’ve lost a lot of muscle when we fell off but even a little easier would be nice. I love that feeling of exhaustion after a workout but that weak feeling you sometimes get doing something new or unknown really freaks me out … plus when I’m gasping for air it’s hard to give it 100% without resting for a 5 count. When that happens a number of times during the workout it can be more than difficult, it can eat at your confidence.

We were thinking of cleaning some of our older DVD’s that were easier (they’re still covered in gunk from our house flood earlier this year) but have been to lazy too clean them. We’re just pushing through the workouts we are doing hoping that some relief will be on the horizon. It’s a dangerous move though because I don’t want any frustration in strength progress to derail our otherwise great successes to date. I’ll keep an eye on it, I promise!

This week we’re starting out strong cooking some great meals (Spaghetti Squash Mac & Cheese with Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli) and with the entire weeks food planned out it’s going to be awesome! We have green beans (fresh from the garden) and some taco salads (lettuce also from the garden) planned along with a scheduled healthy meal out. We’re going to continue with the 5am workouts as they’re very motivating and much easier than trying to muster the energy after putting the kids down.

What’s your week looking like? Lets kick week 3′s ass shall we?

October 12th, 2013 / Sean Willson

Renewed, Refocused, and Embarrassed

Much like I said a few posts ago, failure and I have been bedfellows as of late. That was back in July and yet again I failed to keep motivated. I don’t even remember why I just know a week ago things came to a head.

I was sitting there uncomfortable in my own clothes (again), out of shape again, and wondering why I couldn’t just take the first step again. Then it happened, I took that first step … onto the scale.

Previous Weight — 281.2 lbs (on 01.22.2013)
Weight on 10.06.2013 — 320.4 lbs
Change In Weight+39.2 lbs

Yes, you read that right … I not only broke the 300 mark but I broke it by a considerable amount. Back in March of 2000 I vowed to never break 300 again. It had taken me 10 years to get below 300 and yet here I was, after over 3 years keeping it off, breaking back into it. I had not just failed a little, I failed a lot.

I was embarrassed …
  Scared …
    Sad …
      Frustrated …
        Angry …
          and Motivated again!

I’m motivated to not only get below 300 again but to break my low of 249 pounds. I’m motivated to take it one day at a time and learn from past mistakes.

I’m writing this one week into being back on track and after weighing in yesterday.

Previous Weight — 320.4 lbs (on 10.06.2013)
Current Weight — 315.6 lbs
Change In Weight-4.8 lbs

I feel really great, sore, but I’m very happy with the week. Obviously it’s a lot of water loss but it’s still great to see it drop. So what did I change up?

  1. I started working out in the morning again. After taking my new job 1.5 years ago I changed to working out at night which was very difficult and hard to keep up. Being there early in the morning, I thought, meant no morning workouts for me.

    Well not any more … I don’t care if it means I have to sleep at 9:30pm it’s just time. I’d rather sleep early and workout at 5am than be over 300 pounds and unhealthy. Morning workouts keep me motivated all day and I burn a ton of calories all day with a boosted metabolism.
  2. I started using LoseIt again! I’ve been using it for years but like my workouts and food it went south. Well I’m tracking again and making sure I’m within my calorie goals each day.
  3. I’m getting healthy with my wife. Where the one goes, the other usually follows. If one person in a relationship is unhealthy the other has to work extra hard to stay or get healthy. Taking this journey with Amy is so much easier than going solo.

Well there you have it, brutal honesty … failures and all. I’m really going to try to blog as much as possible again. We’ll see how goes though, I don’t want to promise something I can’t deliver again. I know how much blogging has helped me to stay accountable in the past and the community of bloggers is not only friendly by very motivating as well.

Thanks for checking in!

July 5th, 2013 / Sean Willson

Family Gardening

I haven’t had a garden since I was a wee bit lad of around 6 or 7 years old but I remember fondly. We planted lots of vegetables and tons of strawberries. That huge patch of strawberries we had filled like 1/3 of our giant garden. My brother and I would sneak a few berries when playing outside and my mom made some amazing strawberry jelly. She’d can it and we’d eat it for months and months. Since then I’ve never had a garden nor helped with one. My produce always came off the refrigerator box trucks of my local supermarket like most of America.

Way back in January I started reading and researching gardening, raised garden beds, and permaculture. Heading into this spring I was torn because I knew we were doing some landscaping that would make a garden impractical this season yet I wanted to grow something. So instead of planting a huge garden at home we bought a small planting pot for some tomatoes and reused some of our other pots for some peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries (I know they like space but I wanted to try). We also commandeered some planting space at my in-laws in their yard as they weren’t planning on growing as many crops this year.

Here’s a shot of roughly where we started in our pots:

Tomato And Pepper Plants Soonish After Planting

And here’s where we are now:

Tomato Plants 6-8 Weeks After Planting

Tomato Plant, 6-8 Weeks, Up Close

Needless to say our tomatoes not only love their pot and the light but the trellis we picked up as well. I’m anticipating a huge tomato crop soon! Our cucumbers however, never really amounted to much.

Here’s a picture of where we started with the garden at the in-laws:

Family Garden Soon After Planting

And here’s an idea of roughly where it is now:

Family Garden After A Few Months Of Growth

Lots of progress and really not much work. Besides the rabbit attacks on our broccoli and cauliflower that required replanting and fencing in there hasn’t been much maintenance. We’ve had a crazy amount of rain lately so watering overhead has been minimal.

This garden is just what we needed right now. After having trouble getting going all year but hitting lots of snags along the way we’re finally kicking it again right in time for our first bounty to be delivered:

Our First Radish Crop Of The Season

Snappy with some bite, yumm! No, I’m not talking about my wife I’m talking about the radishes ;) Seriously though, this healthy food from the garden is going to be awesome and just what we need to compliment our workouts. Staying motivated just got a little easier and tastier as well.

I’m really looking forward to teaching the kids more about growing their own food. They’re a bit young right now to really understand it but they helped us plant and pick some of our first crop of radishes. We had to tell them a few times to not pull a few of the smaller ones and to not stand on the carrots but they have to learn somehow.

I refuse to allow my kids to be statistics who don’t know where their food comes from, how to feed themselves, and how healthy and easy it is to grow their own food.

Seriously, it really was easy and I have no idea why I waited so long to start a garden, even on a small scale. If you have a limited amount of space you really can still grow a lot of plants. The pot we used for the tomatoes can grow a number of smaller plants if you want and it really is simple to water and grow.

Look for more random gardening pictures and posts in the future. As I work to round out a healthier lifestyle, growing our own food is going to not only make this easier and healthier but fun as well!