Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Return of The Mexican Food Baby

I know that many of my posts run a bit long, so I'll try to bullet point this one.

In early April, I wrote about how I massively overate at my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary party.  I called it The Curse of the Mexican-Food-Baby.  (click the link to read).

I have not committed such atrocities since that night, but I gave it a good try last Saturday night.  Here's basically what happened since Saturday morning (ending with near-vomiting and my best personal 5K record!).

  • Weigh in at 278...my lowest in 10 years.  Go to breakfast with the fam and eat very healthy low-cal food.
  • Do errands, go to bike store with my son (Samson) to inspire him !   Mrs. Clyde scopes out the Trek Lexa's...it is nearly time for her to trade out the 8-year-old Mongoose mountain bike.
  • Samson firmly committed to ride the El Tour de Tucson 40-mile race with me on 11/20!  This will be an amazing accomplishment for my 11-year old son, who has never ridden longer than 12 miles at one stretch.  Soon, Samson will be writing some posts for this blog, giving us an update as to his training.
  • My friend, Crazy Jim and I went to see The Expendables.  We first had a dinner at a Mexican restaurant and I overindulged (was I too hungry from the low-cal days before?).  Had two beers (which is a lot for me).  Judgement impaired, which caused me to snack on red vines while I watched Sly Stallone free the villagers from the tyrannical general.
  • By bedtime, I now realize that I am once again "pregnant with a Mexican-Food-Baby".
  • Given that I was over-served on Saturday night, I ate very light on Sunday...maybe too light at about 1,200 calories.
  • No workout.
  • Felt the baby kick all throughout the day.
  • Another light day of eating...still feel the weight of the Saturday night chimichanga, blonde ale and red vines.  Guh.
  • Prior to dinnertime, I realize that my egg-white veggie omelet and "carrots-only" lunch has brought me to 408 calories for the day.  Eat a ham sandwich of 500 calories.
  • Go for a 5k neighborhood run, breaking in my new Brooks Beast shoes!  Mile 1:  10:22, Mile 2:  11:40, Mile 3.1:  13.37.  This totals to a new 5K PR of 34:59!!
  • Stumble into the house and do a #14 in the bathroom* (see below).
  • The run seemed to have upset the baby.
  • Lay on the ground, feeling like I want to vomit.
  • After my stomach feels more settled, I have some multi-grain cheerios at about 9pm.
Feeling great this morning and ate more moderately.  This was just another self-induced speed bump on this road, but I am glad to have quickly recovered (and scored another 5K PR).

Big Clyde

* A few years ago, my boys and I overheard this conversation at a restroom in Disneyland. 
A kid was waiting for his Dad, who was in one of the stalls...

Kid (calling out to his Dad): "Hey, Dad...you still in there?"

Dad (answers from the stall) "Yes, still here." 

Kid:  "Okay...how long?"

Dad (becoming frustrated at the embarrassingly public conversation):  "Soon, I'll be out soon!"

Kid (long pause):  "Are you going #1 or #2?"

Dad (yelling):  "I'm doing a #14, Kevin...alright?"

(This bathroom just became the quietest place at Disneyland, but everyone in there was smiling, except Kevin).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weigh-In Week 26 - 6 Month Milestone Today

"Hey Andre...How many pounds did Big Clyde lose this week?"

Weight Change: Lost 7 pounds!

Total Loss since 3/1/10:  47 pounds!  This is a milestone day for me.   I have been eating healthy for exactly 6 months, with some sporadic effort at times.  If I can maintain this pretty easy program, what will I weigh in the next 6 months?  I am hoping that I can lose another 3 pounds next week and be at an even 50!  (Also, I should mention that given that I lost 0 pounds last week, some of this loss is likely a holdover from the prior week).

Today, I'm feeling:  Ready to get log some miles in prep for a 5K race on Labor Day.  

Highlight of the Week: People are commenting often now.  It is very flattering and Patrick said it well last week, these comments are maybe the best non-scale victory that anyone can experience. 

Food:  This is the first week that I truly experimented with some reduced calorie days.  I think it worked well, given that I had some evening meetings, a short business trip, etc., so my workouts were limited.  I think it was just balanced.  Some days were very low 1,300 and others were 1,700 and 2,200.  Balance, balance, balance.  I think that when I am at a good weight, I will enjoy regular portions and typical yummy desserts, but then back off for the next few meals.  I wonder if I really have a handle on this now, or if am going to go back to my old ways someday. 

Monday:  Biked 7.6 miles
Wednesday:  Cardio for 30 minutes
Friday: Walked 2 miles, ran 2 miles

Weekly bike miles: 7.6 miles
Weekly walk/run miles: 4 miles

My Goals for this Week:
• Continue to pursue goal of 275 weight by September 6th for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
• Short-term goal is to be at 276 by 9/4!
• Cardio will be walking/running/cycling for at least 5 days this week.
• Maintain about 1,700 daily calories of good healthy food.

(This clydesdale just got his new Brooks Beast running shoes...time to get them dirty!)

Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Short Business Trip

My, how times have changed...

On previous business trips, after work, I would go out with my customers or co-workers and throw back a few beers or cocktails, then have a nice dinner and maybe dessert.  If I was on my own, I would get into more trouble by finding a local pizza place, grabbing one to go and heading back to the solitude of my hotel room to devour most (or all) of the pizza, maybe some candy and watch tv.

Tuesday night was different for this new Clydesdale.  Same drinks after work with the fellas at a local brewery.  Had a great amber ale (my first in weeks/months), then had the shrimp tacos with minimal guacamole. 

Back at the hotel room, I let the food and beer settle in and was too tired to work out.  On a positive note, I didn't have any candy or snacks with me...just water and diet green tea.  But I slumped into some tv watching, got more tired.  At 9:45pm, I decided turned the tv off.  I set the 5am wake-up call with the front desk.  Then, I changed my clothes...

...into my workout gear and headed to the workout room at the hotel.  I did 30 minutes of solid cardio, then stripped down to my workout shorts and hit the beautiful outdoor pool.  Flanked by palm trees, this huge pool was lit from below and otherwise was very dark.  The moon was way off to the side, just like a nightlight.  It was gorgeous and I alternated between just floating and doing some light swimming.
(not the same pool, but it looked light this, only bigger)

I'm so grateful that I have changed my life.  A recent blogger-friend recently got after someone who was reaching to God for help in their weight loss struggle.  I certainly don't blame God for my bad choices that got me to 325 pounds...I know that my choices to grab pizza, candy and a lot of tv got me there. 

But I ABSOLUTELY believe that God helped me get the discipline to make these changes in my life. 

Any fool can dig themselves into a deep hole, but they usually need some help in climbing back out.  I had help from many people (including many of you) as I have dug myself out, but I also attribute it to help from God.

Weigh-in is Saturday...it will be a good day.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

That Ticking Sound is Getting Louder (and some future goals)

There is a great benefit in setting long-term goals.  The goal might be challenging, but with a distant due date, you have time to prepare...the goal doesn't seem so overwhelming if it is months away.  Just keep working away at it, doing the small steps.

But if your goal is time-based (as all good goals should be), then that countdown clock starts ticking louder and louder!  The deadline is approaching and (hopefully), the goal is within reach.  Will he make it in time?  Will she succeed or fail?  Stay tuned.

My "big goal" of 2009 was to compete in my first cycling race, which I did (35 miles in El Tour de Tucson).   In March of 2010, I started eating better and losing weight, but I got pretty comfortable at a quick 30 pound loss and stayed there for two months.

So, my wife challenged me to pick a new goal and we decided that I should hit 275 by Labor Day.  That is 8 pounds away and 11 days away (depending upon your timezone).   That "long-term" goal is now a fast-approaching goal and I intend to make her proud and achieve this.

Several of you have agreed to join me.  Patrick affirmed it over the weekend that he also will drop 10 pounds by Labor Day (9.6.10).  Some of you already committed (but I'm not sure how you are progressing). 

The clock is ticking and the excitement is building.

My Labor Day goal has taken on more significance for me, because if I achieve it, it will mean that I have lost 50 pounds in 6 months.  Some nice symmetry there, which was totally unintentional.  If I fastforward three months to early December, I am now setting a goal for losing another 25 pounds (75 total) on my 45th birthday.  Finally, I still have that goal of running a 5k in under 30 minutes by year-end.

I recently saw a new challenge posted by Courtney and it is called the 100 Day Challenge.  Please check out her website and join us in committing to a new goal for yourself.  Syl is doing a challenge as well with a bunch of people and it revolves around the 30 Day Shred.  That won't be my program, but I may jump in with my own activities.  The point is...challenge yourself and put it out there to have others cheer you on and let's do it together.

I've said it before, but I have stumbled upon my own little formula here that works for me: 
  1. Commit (to a time-based, measurable goal)
  2. Train (for that goal)
  3. Results (which come from the training)
As for Labor Day, I CAN DO THIS (and if I miss my goal, I'll be a lot closer to it than I would be if I hadn't set the goal in the first place!).

For those of you who are new here(!), my wife challenged me in mid-June to lose 20 pounds by September 6th (Labor Day).  If I achieve that, I will be able to buy this toy I have wanted for awhile...the iPod Touch.  In reality, we have the money to purchase it, but for me it is more of an unneccesary "want", not a need.  So, I am happy to earn it (and drop 20 pounds at the same time)!  I call it Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Travelling Clydesdale

I'm away for a quick trip and back on Thursday.  I did 7.6 miles on the bike last night and have eaten very well the last several days...I will do my best to navigate the restaurants on the business trip.

And though I am all about quality, not quantity...

I am amazed that there are 98 followers for this blog!  Very exciting.  Again, I know that some of them do not check in frequently, but it is fun to see that we are so close to that big number of 100!  I am also humbled by it.  This blog has been that key ingredient that has helped me to become more healthy and it is mainly due to the comments, advice and encouragement from all of you.  Thank you. 

Choose wisely, my friends.

Big Clyde

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summoning The Beast!

I went to get an upgrade on my orthotics last weekend and asked the orthotist to evaluate my New Balance 1122's that I have had for a few years.   He checked them out and said that I am due for some new shoes, especially now that I have started to run 3-5 x week.  My NB's are still good for walking, but not running.

So, he recommended only one shoe:  The Brooks Beast!
Good for a guy my size, good for a guy with flat feet, good for a guy that needs a lot of support AND for a guy that will only increase his running levels in the future!  (Yeah, baby...Clyde's on the move!)

The bad news is that they will have to be custom-ordered, since I will wearing a size 14, EE width.  Who's the beast now? 

What shoes do you wear for running and what other running gear do you use for your training?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I Eat: 1700 Calories Per Day!

Here is my much-postponed nutritional post where I'll show what I eat to get to 1,700 calories per day.  Feel free to comment if you have suggestions, etc.

Recently, there has been a lot of helpful questions or comments regarding my plan to eat only 1,700 (or even 1,500  calories). Some have wondered if it is healthy for me to eat that little. I believe it is fine. My doctor says it's fine (he is pretty close to my height).  And many of us bloggers know that there are some pretty well-known weight-loss champions that have lost hundreds of pounds doing this over long periods of time.  (C'mon fellas...back me up on this one.  Tony, Fat Daddy, Sean, Jack, Allan, etc.?).

Yet, I also know that I am relatively new to all of this and I want to state that I really do value the advice that I receive from those of you with more experience than me.  It's all good.

For some perspective, I will always be a big guy.  Though I am still very heavy at 285 pounds, I am also quite tall at 6'4" with a large frame. I have no other medical issues and never feel hungry, etc.  My job sometimes involves sitting throughout the day, but most often, I am driving to see customers.  I do cardio workouts about 4-5 days per week (usually).

Here is what I generally will eat in a (approx) 1,700 calorie day:

Breakfast - 215 - 380 calories
4 egg whites
1 cup asparagus
half jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup mushrooms
turkey pepperoni or grilled chicken (80-100 calories)
and maybe 1 cheese stick (80 calories)

Morning Snack - 100 calories
apple or banana

Lunch - 600 calories
Foot-long Subway Ham sandwich
no cheese
tons of veggies
red vinegar dressing
(cream in morning coffee)

Afternoon Snack - 50 calories
1 cup baby carrots

Generally by dinnertime, I have consumed approximately 1,050 - 1,200 calories.  I try to eat most of my calories at lunch or at least before dinner.

Dinner - 400-500 calories
Campbell's Chunky Healthy Request Chicken Gumbo Soup
Chicken or Turkey Pepperoni (100)
String Cheese (100)
Cereal & Non-fat Milk with fruit
? (400-500 calories)

Night Snack - 100 calories
Yoplait Light Yogurt
or gelato (90 calories)

I drink approximately 3 litres of water or diet green tea every day.  I also drink a 20 ounce venti Americano each day.  If I get my hands on some Grey Goose vodka, I count those calories too (69 cals per shot).  I never have more than a double (maybe once a month). 

Though there are some variations, I tend to eat most of these foods each day.  It is rare that I eat much processed food (at least compared to most people I know).  I also am not really into cooking (other than the eggs) so I prefer foods that I can eat quickly or on-the-go.

If I have pizza, it is thin-crust Hawaiian 2-3 slices, which means I better eat a bit lighter elsewhere throughout the day.  I don't binge, but I have not always been consistent at this calorie or exercise level.

This is my sworn testimony.

Big Clyde

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weigh-In Week 25 - 10 Pounds To Go by 9/6/10

(I have been away from commenting on most blogs for the last few days, but I intend to catch up this weekend.) 

Weight Change: Lost 0 pounds.

Total Loss since 3/1/10: 40 pounds!  This is a milestone weight loss number for me. To hit Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge, I will have to be at a 50 pound loss by Labor Day.  Quite a challenge, but my lovely wife thinks I can do it...so I am still in this thing.

Today, I'm feeling:  Energized and focused...not cocky (like I might have been last week!).

Highlight of the Week:  One of my customers noticed my weight loss.  I even found myself surprised to report that it was a 40 pound loss.  By Labor Day, it should be 50 pounds!  By my birthday in December, in December, it could be 75!   That will likely be my next goal, along with the upcoming race schedule this season.

Food:  Again, I commit to a detailed list of what I eat that shows how I get to 1,700 calories (maybe on Monday's post), but it does tend to be a range.  For the first four days of this week, I didn't count calories and went above 2,000 easily (with no exercise).  To get back on track, I just ate fewer and more healthy calories and my weight went back down (with some exercise too).

Wednesday:  Ran 3.1 miles (5k)
Thursday:  Walked 3.5 miles
Friday:  Walked 3.5 miles, ran 2 miles
Weekly bike miles: 0
Weekly walk/run miles: 12.1

My Goals for this Week:
• Continue to pursue goal of 275 weight by September 6th for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
• Short-term goal is to be at 280 by 8/28!
• Start the dumbell lifting program this week.
• Cardio will be walking/running/cycling for at least 5 days this week.
• Maintain about 1,700 daily calories of good healthy food.

Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Thursday, August 19, 2010

16 Days Left in the iTouchallenge!

Walked 3.5 miles (half was uphill) in about 50 minutes early Thursday morning, then stopped at my grocery store to get fresh fruits and veggies.  According to http://www.prohealth.com/, I burned 775 calories this morning (by comparison, my 5k in 35 minutes burns 600 calories).

I ate 1,924 calories today to see how it felt to off-set the 1,500 on Wednesday.  There are good and strong opinions that some of you have on this.  My head keeps telling me that 1,500 - 1,700 calories would help weight come off fast, especially if I'm active.  I am 6'4 and 285 and seem nowhere near starving.  What am I missing?

Big Clyde

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Speed Bump

I got my groove back today... 

Here I am going over my training plan with my coach, renowned fitness expert Dr. Butch Strongwell.  The guy is a brutal fitness monster, with no tolerance for weakness!

Thanks to all of you who have commented over the past few days.  I was basically off my "plan" (which is low-cal, lots of water, and exercise) for about 4 days.  Nothing too tragic, just a sedentary speed-bump.   Though I didn't expect it, I never doubted that I would get back on plan.  It seems that you never doubted me either.  Thanks.

Here's why/how I went off plan:
  • Complacency - hit a new low weight(!) and felt I could relax for a day or two (or four).
  • Groceries - Ran out of fresh fruit and veggies, so I didn't have healthy snacks to grab.
  • Water - ...did not drink much.
  • Exercise - Some stressful stuff is still going down with my wife's work situation, so we are talking a lot and sleeping a little.  Very sad and frustrating.
  • Denial - I avoided the "scoreboard" (no scale, no counting of calories), which makes it hard to know you are losing ground.
Here's how I got back on plan:
  • Did the opposite of the things that got me off-track.  Ate well today and logged it in to sparkpeople. 
  • I'll get more detailed on my normal food plan tomorrow, but today I ate 1,500 calories and drank tons of liquids. 
  • Tonight (Wednesday), I ran 3.1 miles in 35:37.  Missed my PR by 7 seconds (but this is the first time I've worked out in one week).  I ran the first two miles (that is only my second time doing that)! 
  • Mile #1:  11:02 (ran).  Mile #2: 11:24 (ran).  Mile #3.1:  13:11 (ran and walked). 
  • I'll get good groceries tomorrow.
Thanks again everyone.  I hope your week is going well also.

Big Clyde

18 Days Left

I weighed this morning and it is not good.  A few days of eating casually and no exercise (and almost no water) has caused me to gain. 

But it was only Saturday when I was celebrating an all-time low and feeling a sense of discipline, so I am not going to emotionally fall in to some hole right now.  I think exercise and good nutrition and lots of water will get me back, though Saturday's weigh-in might not give me much to celebrate. 

So, rather than focusing on the "long road ahead" etc., I'll just do my best for today (and tomorrow) and the results will follow.  I guess I am thinking of two goals: 
  1. Make great choices today
  2. Focus on my mid-term goal of Labor Day
Thanks for sticking with me.

Big Clyde

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

19 Days Left in the iTouchallenge

Just a quick note to say that I have not done well over the past couple of days.  I don't binge, but I have been over my calorie levels just recently (so much for 1500 daily calories, huh?).
  • Felt elated with my new low weight on Saturday (but did not work out).
  • Busy day Sunday with church in the morning and then exhaustion for the rest of the day (didn't work out).
  • Trip to PHX on Monday, all day where I left early and arrived home late (yeah, didn't work out and ate poorly).
So, here it is Tuesday...I am guessing I am heavier now than I was on Saturday and feeling low on energy.  Got to eat well today and blast out a good workout tonight.  The clock is ticking and I only have 19 days left. 

Fear not...I got this.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Goals for the Week

The weekend was great, in part because I was so excited by hitting my most recent weight loss goal.  I ate well on Saturday, not as well on Sunday, but ready to get back to it for the week ahead. 

One of the things I did this weekend was to assemble the weight bench that I ordered from http://www.csn.com/.  I will work out with it over the next week or two, then do a review.  My thanks to GuinneMick for recommending this bench to me and for putting together a training plan for me.  Got to work on the guns.  Maybe some before and after pics and some measurements are in order??

GuinneMick has been following along my progress and challenging/encouraging me along the way (we work together).  He is very fit and is smart about what he eats, how he takes care of himself and working out.  He actually told me I looked skinny today (which seems impossible to really believe), but it means that I must look quite a bit different from how I used to look.

This week's goal is an aggressive one.  My friend Michael (from http://www.tucsonvelo.com/) suggested that I might be able to do well on just 1,500 daily calories, at least for awhile.  So, I will do that this week.

I'll also keep up on my cycling and 5k runs.  Goal is 281 for Saturday.  That would be 4 pounds down from last Saturday...seems tough, but I've got 5 more days.  Here we go.

Make it a great week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weigh In - Week 24: Milestone Goal Achieved

It's been a great week and I just want to thank all of you for sticking with me and encouraging me.  There is some magical combination between accountability and encouragement that somehow keeps me going and I really don't feel that I would be staying on track if it weren't for your comments, advice and challenges.  As of this morning, there are 91 followers of this blog.  I know that some of those people may have simply moved on and haven't "un-followed", but I also know that some people leave comments regularly that never show up in the "followers" section. 

If the number were 10 followers and I received encouraging and motivating comments, I'd be pleased, so it really isn't about the numbers for me, but I am so grateful for your comments.  Thank you.


Weight Change: Lost 3 pounds!

Total Loss since 3/1/10: 40 pounds!  This is a milestone weight loss number for me.  To hit Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge, I will have to be at a 50 pound loss by Labor Day!  This may be a close one, my friends. 

Today, I'm feeling:  Strong!  Like last week, I am still feeling energetic and in that rare zone of wanting to exercise and eat well. 

Highlight of the Week:  I have a new personal record for my neighborhood 5K distance: 35:30!  On a later run, I was able to run my first two miles without stopping to walk.  This is a big change for me.  I'll go again tonight and see how it plays. 

Food: I am eating about 1,700 calories per day.  Someone asked me last week how I can only eat 1700 without starving.  If anyone wants more detail, please let me know, but it comes down to an egg white scramble with veggies in the morning, several portions of fruit or veggies during the day, a nice sandwich with meat and veggies (no cheese and vinegar dressing) and even small portions of cereal with milk.  Snacks usually are fruit or yogurt. 

Drink: I still drink lots of water, but also drink Lipton's Diet Green Tea, and venti Americanos (daily).  Once a week or so, I may have one vodka and cranberry juice.  70 calories per shot.

Exercise: Biked or ran nearly every day last week. Maybe I should combine it like the guy in the pic!
Saturday: Biked 9 miles at a fast pace for me
Monday: Ran 3.1 miles, then biked 4 miles
Tuesday: Walked/ran 3.1 miles (5k)
Wednesday:  A short neighborhood bike ride of 2 miles
Thursday:  Ran 3.1 miles (5k).   This was my first time running two miles in a row without stopping!

Weekly bike miles: 15
Weekly run miles: 9.3

Confessional:  I'm going to remove this section from my weekly post because I have come to see that when I overeat, I do it only for one meal...or one snack, then I get back on plan quickly to compensate with lower calories.  So, if I do go over 1,700 calories on one day, I just go lighter the next.  I didn't always have that discipline and I am grateful for it now.  It became a habit.

My Goals for this Week:
• Continue to pursue goal of 275 weight by September 6th for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
• Short-term goal is to be at 281 by 8/21!
• Cardio will be walking/running/cycling for at least 5 days this week.
• Maintain about 1,700 daily calories of good healthy food.

Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Friday, August 13, 2010

Clyde to the Rescue...Again

As you know, I am quite modest and do not want to draw any attention to myself (as detailed in my almost daily blog posts about the trivial things in my life).  But when something amazing happens and heroic acts are witnessed, it has to be documented somewhere, right?  (Even if I am that hero!)

Danger is not my middle name, but it should be.  I wrote in an earlier post called: Yes I Saved My Family Again about how I had to put myself at risk for the safety of my loved ones.  Well, it happened again.

I came home during the day for lunch and was drinking some water, looking out my kitchen window and saw something struggling in the pool.  I ran outside and saw this:
(Arizona Desert Ground Squirrel...doing the dog paddle)

(the little monster, up-close)

(Though there was enough time for me to take some pictures), there really was no more time to waste.  I grabbed our skimming net and rescued the little monster and plopped him onto the patio.  I assume he was relieved (but did I get a thank-you??), and then he ran under the gate and back to his home to tell the story of the gentle giant who saved his life.
(home safe in his hole)

I didn't ask to be a hero and I did not wake up this morning thinking "I'm going to save a life today".  But when danger calls, the training just kicks in.  You put down your iced water, grab your blackberry phone/camera and jump into action.  Result?  Lives are saved.  Next?

But seriously, what does it take to get a thank-you these days?  Couldn't he have at least turned around to give me a nice head-nod before he scurried into his hole?  Maybe next time, I'll FINISH my glass of water before I jump into danger and rescue him.  Roll the dice, rodent, roll the dice.

Big Clyde

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hitting My Driver's License Weight!

Okay, let's be honest.  Pull out your driver's license and look at the posted weight.  How many of us tend to lie about that number when we are getting our licenses renewed?  I confess I do.  It might even be a crime.

But not any more!  As of today, I officially hit the driver's license weight that I have shown for the past 5 years (and I lied about it), yet I am also at my lowest weight since approx 2001.  If I can find my earlier expired licenses, it will be fun to see how quickly I can hit them (given that I have just slowly, but steadily gained in the past 20 years).

Feeling good about tomorrow's weigh-in.  I have been eating well and after doing some wrenching on my bike last night, I did a short ride.   I'll go for a good run or bike ride tonight as well.  Tonight, I may try for a longer distance and less focus on speed.  I wonder if that will help me with some endurance. 

Also, once the iTouchallenge is over, I think I will do a brief fashion show on the site.  I will once again be using my closet as a time machine.  It might only be amusing to me, but someone might get a kick out of it.

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Big Clyde

P.S.  Thanks, Kovas, for the help with the countdown widget.  It is exactly what I needed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

26 Days Left in Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge

Hi everyone!  I am still doing fine, although I did not workout yesterday or today...long days with commutes to PHX and back (about two hours each way)...tends to take the steam out of my schedule. 

I have a light day tomorrow, so I should get some good road work in then (running or cycling).  Going for 285 or lower this Saturday.  Thanks for the constant encouragement. 

Here's a quick heads up on some upcoming posts:
1.  GuinneMick will show us what happened when he tried to wax his own chest (with pics!).  He may eventually look okay...when the bleeding stops.  (You have been forewarned.)
2.  Neighbor Ted and I spoke tonight.  You might recall that I had to lower him in the "ranking of my friends" when he chose to move to the other side of the country.  Well, he is going to write a guest post here about his plans to be healthier at age 42 than he was at 24.  I'm intrigued, given that he has a bad leg right now and can't jog or ride a bike.  Should be interesting.

I hope that all of you are doing well, as you pursue your goals. 

Keep moving everyone!

Big Clyde

P.S.  Can anyone suggest a good widget that I can use for the countdown of my challenge event?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Who Wants Some CAKE?

It's late.

I am in a bit of shock, so this will be brief (you're welcome!),

My eating has been insanely disciplined in terms of staying at or under 1,700 calories. 

I went for a run tonight after work...my neighborhood 5K route.  I told Mrs. Clyde and the kids that I was going for my fastest time.  And I crushed it.  Previous record: 37:06 last weekend.  Tonight?  35:30! 

Oh, and then, I rode my bike to a night meeting and back...4 miles!

My goal for Saturday's weigh-in is 285...I am betting on 283 now.  We'll see.

If you are at all reading this and have that mixture of kindness and hatred for my "in-the-zone" state that I am in, I understand.  I could guess as to how this switch gets turned on and off, but I would just be guessing.  While here in this magic place of motivation, I am going to make the most of it. 

And if you are not in that place, but want to be, please consider this:
  • 10 days ago, I weighed 5 pounds more than I do today and my motivation was missing.
  • When I went out for my run last Thursday, I kept thinking "I'm too tired.  I just ate dinner.  It is too hot outside."  But like Madame Cur recently commented:   Enjoy "the zone"! I wasn't there today, but I ran any way. Guess I can fake it.  That run became my personal record...until tonight!
  • Try following my little motto for this site:  Commit.  Train.  Results.  I have some 5K races that I signed up for this fall and a huge cycling race.  I've committed to certain goals, so now I must train for them.  And the results are really showing.  This strategy just happened spontaneously, but it is working for me and I am very grateful.
I want to know your specific goals or commitments that help keep you focused.  What are you working for?  A race?  A new low weight?  Do you have a timeline?  Please leave a comment and let us know. 

Keep moving, everyone!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Coffee Artist - Karen Eland (and 28 Days Left)

Okay, let's take care of some business first!  There are a few of us on this journey right now to hit a short-term goal by Labor Day, 9/6/10!  Here's the list of people who have chimed in:
Dan (my local friend)

It is definitely more fun when we are all on this journey.  Any ideas as to how we want to check in?  My weekly weigh-ins are on Saturday.  Does that work for everyone else to drop in with a comment that states your progress toward your goal?  Anyone else want in?

As for me, I am loving this.  I got to 287 on Saturday, which is lower than I have been since I started The Clydesdale Project and the lowest I have been in about 8-9 years.  Your encouragement has helped me get to this milestone and I am going to just keep going into new record-breaking territory now.

I celebrated Saturday with low calories during the day, an intense 9-mile bike ride, and then a decent amount of Indian food, which is a rare treat for me.  I know that I went over calories on that meal, but that is why I kept it light during the day and kept it light on Sunday too.

Now, for some fun!  I stumbled upon the artwork of Karen Eland.  Her work is amazing in its detail and tone, but also for one other small reason:  she uses espresso as paint.  Let me explain that better:  She doesn't use paint...she only uses brewed coffee as her "color" and likely mixes in water or cream, etc. to get different shades.  As you might suspect, my favorite piece of hers is one that combines coffee, cycling and a vintage look.  Behold.
Karen was kind enough to give me permission to show her artwork here, but I encourage you to go to her site and see her other work.  It is amazing (and for sale at very reasonable prices!).  I am sure she would love to her what you think of her work!  http://coffee-art.com/

Have a great day everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Weigh In - Week 23: A New Personal 5K Record!

Well, we have 30 days left for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge on Labor Day.  Thanks for following along!  Some of you are even joining me to hit a new goal by Labor Day on 9/6/10.  Let's go for it!

Weight Change:  Lost 3 pounds!

Total Loss since 3/1/10: 37 pounds!

Today, I'm feeling:  Great.  Feeling energetic and in that rare zone of wanting to exercise and eat well.

Highlight of the Week:  I have a new personal record for my neighborhood 5K distance:  37:06!

Food:  I am eating about 1,730 calories per day.

Exercise:  Biked or ran nearly every day last week.  Maybe I should combine it like the guy in the pic!  

Saturday:  Biked 18 miles
Monday:  Biked 10 miles
Tuesday:  Walked/ran 3.1 miles (5k)
Wednesday:  Steps for 30 minutes
Thursday:  Ran 3.1 miles (5k).
Weekly bike miles:  28
Weekly run miles:  6.2

Confessional: Solid this week. No deviations from plan.

My Goals for this Week:
• Continue to pursue goal of 275 weight by September 6th for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
• Short-term goal is to be at 285 by 8/14!
• Cardio will be walking/running/cycling for at least 5 days this week.
• Maintain about 1,700 daily calories of good healthy food.

Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Friday, August 6, 2010

Upcoming Product Review!

Are product reviews a blogging rite of passage? 

I was contacted (like several of you) by a friendly person at CSN who encouraged me to do a product review or giveaway.  If you don't know of them, they have a huge assortment of products ranging from a Dutch Oven to fitness equipment, all kinds of cookware and much more.  I am choosing to do a product review.  Look for it soon.  I will be using this bad boy (link)!  Is it a bad sign that I am only interested in exercise equipment that sounds like furniture?   A "padded bench" just sounds comfortable.  We'll see, said the Zen Master.

Hey, GuinneMick - thanks for the recommendation!   Maybe I will finally get some definition to my arms and chest.

So, look in the near future for my review on a product (after I have given it a thorough testing)! 

Make it a great day, everyone!

Big Clyde

Thursday, August 5, 2010

32 Days Left in Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!

A quick update on activity for Tuesday, Wednesday and goals for today.

  • My big chainring wasn't working during Monday's ride, so the HUCC-B (my bike) is now in the shop.  I will get it back at the end of today.  I generally ride in the middle chainring, but read someone's blog where they commented about how they ride in the big chainring to get a better workout.   I started doing that, but maybe I damaged it somehow.  Above is a picture of the bike shop tech evaluating if I can use an even bigger chainring.  Big boys ride big bikes, right?

  • Tuesday's calories:  1,588.  Wednesday's calories:  1853.

  • Tuesday's cardio:  5K in 44 minutes  (ran the first mile in 11 minutes, but walked most of the rest.  For me, that burned about 600 calories!)

  • Wednesday's cardio: stepping on platform at home for 45 minutes (burned about 600 calories).

  • Joining me on this challenge: Al from http://losingharry.blogspot.com/ and ZeusMeatball from http://zeusmeatball.blogspot.com/.  Both of these guys are about to hit new personal lows and we get to see it happen over the next month.  Please cheer them on!  Also, my buddy Dan who just learned about this blog.  In for 20?  Nice, man!  E-mail me at bigclydesdale@gmail.com if you want to connect or call me.  J can text you the number or you can e-mail me your cell. And yesterday, http://goingfor96.wordpress.com/ joined in to drop 12-13 pounds!
Finally, I just want to assure some of you about blog writing vs. bike riding.  I like both.  I like blogging enough that there are times in the evenings and weekends that I write a few sentences for posts that will be in draft form for weeks or months.  Yes, they require some time, but it is time usually spent across several weeks, not hours.  Same for the pictures that I post.  I have many amusing pics that I have found and just saved for use on the blog someday.  So, please don't be concerned that I am sitting each night cranking out fresh posts and losing valuable workout time.  Some of this bread was put in the oven long ago.  Thanks.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

10 Things You Didn't Know About Me (Blog Awards)

Recently, I have received three blog awards from Katy (http://projectlookgoodnaked.blogspot.com/), Patrick (http://responsibility199.blogspot.com/) and Headbandlady.  Thanks for the frequent (and funny comments) on this blog and for very motivating posts on yours.

These awards, (the Versatile Blogger and the Sugar Doll award), have come in during a tough spell for us here at the Clyde house, so I have been behind in my blogging efforts recently.  So, I will do my best here to catch up and combine the two awards with a list of 10 things you didn't already know about me.  (I promise all of this is entirely true.)

  1. I've ridden in the Goodyear Blimp.

  2. I taught myself to play bass guitar when I turned 40 years old.

  3. I speak Japanese fluently and lived there in my early 20's.

  4. I was a white-water rafting guide one summer during college.  It was Pop-Tarts and beer for breakfast every day and you could pee wherever you wanted to.  Good times.

  5. I've climbed to the top of two pyramids near Mexico City.

  6. I was recruited by the CIA to be an undercover agent abroad, posing as a businessman ("commercial officer").  Mrs. Clyde was likely going to be recruited in as well after we got settled into our assignment.  We declined (or did we?!).

  7. I've eaten coffee beans (cherries) right off the tree at a coffee plantation in Kona, Hawaii.

  8. My parents had me medically tested at a university hospital in Seattle to see if I was "developmentally disabled" (though the term that was used at that time in the early 80's was "retarded").  This was due to my parents' concern that developed while they were teaching me how to drive right before my 16th birthday.  After a full day of medical testing, the results confirmed that I am not retarded.  (FYI, my mother was a Special Education teacher only a few years prior to my testing).  Thanks, Mom.

  9. I have a kind and wonderful wife (married almost 20 years) and three beautiful kids...all of whom are really better people than me.  If I never accomplish another thing in my life, I am proud of myself for just being associated with them (and for not messing them up).

  10. I am a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ.  I am nowhere near where He would like me to be, but He loves me anyway.   He loves every one of us, whether we know/believe in him, or not.  And NO ONE, not even "strong Christians" are "holy" without him.  I believe that we are all equal in terms of God's love for us...he just wants us to be in a relationship with him, through his Son.
And now, for the dirty business of awarding this to other bloggers.  Many of you who are reading this have been given awards before, so I'll offer up an open invitation:  Please feel free to write a post with some revealing things that help us get to know each other.  I'll call out three of my friends that really started blogging with me this year (that to my knowledge haven't received awards).  Christina, Al, and MM...want to play along?  For others that I am missing, please tell us more about you!

Thanks for following along, everyone!

Big Clyde

Monday, August 2, 2010

34 Days Left in Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!

Thanks for the feedback everyone!  Let's see how this goes.  I will gladly accept your suggestions and may reach out to you if I feel I am somehow challenged.   For now, I feel focused and should do well this week.  I'll do a quick update at the end of each day (at least for awhile).  Weigh-in day is Saturday for me.

Saturday - rode 18 miles on the bike, ate well.
Sunday - no cardio, ate well.

Monday (today) - 1,862 calories and logged it into sparkpeople.com. I drank lots of water.   Also, I rode 10 miles on the bike with Crazy Jim after work tonight.   We started a bit too late and it got dark, so 10 miles will have to do.   I also found out that I have some problem with my large chain ring, so I'll run it into the shop tomorrow and should get it back by the end of the day.

Here is a pic of me and Crazy Jim on our ride!

Tuesday (tomorrow's) goals:  1,700 calories.  I'll go for a run tomorrow morning and hopefully another ride tomorrow night. 

By the way, ZeusMeatball is going to join me and lose the 16 pounds as well by Labor Day.  Follow the link and watch his progress.  Anyone else want to join me as we do this?  Tailor it however you like, but I feel that this could be a pretty fun party train!   Let us know if you want to jump on!

Big Clyde

P.S.  I must say that one of my favorite things about doing this blog is using these pictures of Andre the Giant that I have collected since I started The Clydesdale Project.  How hysterical is it to see Andre on a bike?!  I love the picture and I hope it made you smile too.

35 Days Left in Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!

Okay, friends, you have inspired me!  I am encouraged by all of your great comments from my last post, where I ended another lackluster weigh-in with the question:

Is the iTouchallenge still achievable? 16 pounds in 37 days?

(By the way, if you are new here and aren't familiar with Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge, please click on the iTouchallenge "label" below for some history.)

Several of you simply said I should "Go for it!".  Others acknowledged that it really is a huge challenge that might not happen, but that any progress would still be good for the long term...I love the honesty and perspective there.  ALL of you were encouraging, which has pushed me to this place today.

I am going to go for it!  In fact, I went for an 18-mile bike ride yesterday.  Felt good.

My actions and results will speak louder than any bold statements here, so you will not read metaphors of how I am now an unstoppable force, that the race is already won, etc.  Guys like RockStar Tri put much more emphasis on miles logged than clever posts, so I'll keep it short today.

Patrick asked a very touching question that I did not expect.  He wrote "How can we help??".  Good question...I don't know, but I think I could use your help...any and all of you. 

I turn the question back to all of you...what could I do or post that could help to keep me accountable?  

Should I post daily cardio?  Daily food calories?  I have never really posted any of that detail before because it has not seemed so interesting to me, but would it help somehow in my accountability to any of you who might encourage me along through the next 35 days?   Other ideas in terms of how I post or what you would like to see along the way?  Posting daily is a bit more than usual, but would it be helpful? 
Also, RockStar Tri has offered to coach me through a weekly running plan, but I will be cycling too.   I am grateful for that.  I am trying to get back on our schedule this week, Rock.  I'll e-mail you directly.

Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated, my friends.

Big Clyde

P.S.  As for our Mrs. Clyde's issue right now, I will keep it vague, but we are all healthy and the relationships are great.  It is an external struggle that is very frustrating and emotional.  We are soldiering on through, but I know it has affected my motivation.  I intend to not let it derail my efforts and will do my best going forward .