Monday, October 15, 2012

Weigh In - More good news

I missed my weigh-in post last week, but weighed in this morning and am down 4 pounds from my last weigh-in about 10 days ago.   I have also had some tummy trouble, so that could be a part of it.  Regardless, I am happy and feeling good.  

Since my last post, my daughter left us in sunny Arizona and visited Washington DC and New York for a week.   We missed her tremendously, but were grateful that she could have this great experience.   She visited the monuments, museums, a large publishing house and much more.  She returned home last weekend and we played all weekend.

The two of us are planning on doing El Tour de Tucson's 42-mile route in late November.   We haven't begun to train, so we'd better get on that soon.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Weigh In ...and the birthday boy!

No loss or gain for me this week.  I shouldn't compare myself to several weeks of consecutive 3-pound losses, but I know that I have been deviating from my plan which has greatly slowed my progress.  But I am back on track this week and doing well again.

But today is an exciting day for me and my family!  14 years ago, our son Sam (aka Samson) was born. 

Such a happy boy!

...and patriotic too!

Sam is the Genie and his brother is the Sultan at a local production of Aladdin!
Happy Birthday!!
 Hug your loved ones, everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Late Weigh In

I get anxious every Tuesday, because Wednesday is Weigh-In Day for me.  Though I choose to weigh-in several days a week, Wednesday is the official day and affects my confidence for a few days.

Last Wednesday, I was pleased to see a 2 pound loss for the week.  That is 26 pounds down since August 9th.

Since I began eating better in August, this was my first period of going above my normal calorie target of 1,300.  I had certainly gone above (up to 2,200) on rare days, but in the last week, I had some pizza, chips, candy, nachos, ice cream, etc.   Never in a binge situation...just careless junk food eating mixed in with other low-calorie meals.

I also did not exercise this week.   I had been so pleased with some recent runs, but I know that I far surpassed that rule that you shouldn't increase your mileage more than 10% in a week.   I tend to think that those rules are overly cautious, but after 5 runs in 8 days, my right knee was constantly sore and I just backed off.   I should have jumped on the bike.

Anyway, I think I was lucky to have still dropped two.  I have not lost any weight since then, so today I did a short run/walk and will likely get on the bike this afternoon.  Also, I'm returning to healthy, hardcore eating today.  Low-fat, lots of broccoli and protein and back to drnking rivers of water.

What do you all have planned for this weekend?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Weekly Weigh In - Here it goes again

I lost another 3 pounds this week at the end of Week 6.  Total loss since August 9th is now 24 pounds.

(can you see the smile on my face?)

I may do a post or two on what I am doing, just so I can refer back to it if I ever de-rail.   But it is basically the following:

  • low-calorie of healthy food (real food, not pre-packaged weight loss stuff)
  • about 4 quarts of water
  • heavy cardio (running about 3 days per week over the last two weeks)
My body adjusted to lower-calories pretty quickly and I am not craving sweets, snacks, etc.  I guess my willpower has increased as my appetite has decreased.

Anyway, good times and I am feeling great.  More importantly, I feel like I can keep this up.

Enjoy your week my friends!

Big Clyde

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Sudden 5K

So, in solidarity with The Jogging Clydesdale, I agreed to do a 5K this weekend, eventhough we live far apart from each other.   Though I used to be somewhat comfortable with this distance, I haven't run 3.1 miles since early April and was not planning on doing this distance until I had built up to it a bit.

But several "tough love" mentors like Patrick Mahoney, RockStar Tri, Super Kate, SusieTri, Caratunk Girl and Kovas have passed on some wisdom that it is better to be aggressive when it comes to these personal challenges.  I tend to be more cautious, which has no doubt limited me in my past when it comes to athletics.

Nonetheless, I went for it and was able to run the entire time and was very pleased with my time.

And at the end, I enjoyed a great local brown ale from Nimbus Brewery.  Smooth and frothy!

What's on your weekend schedule?

Big Clyde

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In and the Sudden 5K

At the end of Week 5, I am down another 3 pounds!  This was a more challenging week because I had a business trip that could have derailed me with good food, low exercise, etc.  That is a total of 21 pounds down in the last five weeks.

A blogging friend is going to be doing a 5K this weekend, though he is not excited about it.   He is concerned about finishing slower than previous races, finishing at the end of the pack, etc.  I understand completely.   

It has been months and months since I last ran 3.1 miles.  I am out a few nights a week now, but doing shorter distances and only running half the time.   Lame.

But I received an e-mail from a local running store that is having a "Run for Beer" event this Friday.  You show up at 6pm, run their 5K route and get a ticket for a nearby microbrewery.   
Since I haven't had a beer or a 3-mile run in quite awhile, and my friend is going to be slugging it out in his race across the country, I figured I should join in!  

I may not post my time, but this clydesdale will be trotting his way to a frosty beverage this Friday.  Even if I finish in last place.

Big Clyde

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Jump Start

I've received a couple of e-mails from blogging friends who are in a plateau or dark space.   I get it...I just returned from several months of "don't care" and had to get back on plan.  Clearly, I am no expert given that I have been inconsistent.   But I will offer up the best ideas that seem to work for me.

Here is a link to the original post that I still use to help me climb out of the hole.

At one time, I called it my "Lowered Expectations Plan".  But if you are a glass is half-full person, I suppose it is a "Jump Start Plan".  Also, I know that some of the tough people out there just double-down on their exercise plan and go hardcore.  Pick whatever plan will get you back in the groove.

Finally, I was asked about my goal weight and calorie levels.   I'm 6'4" and weighed 217 when I was 22 years old and living in Japan.  I rode a bicycle everywhere and basically consumed only noodles, chicken, fish and beer.   I was broke and starving.  I think I will never see that number again.  Fine with me.

I was 235 on my wedding day in 1990.  I may never see that number again.

I'll be very pleased with 250.  That is my current goal weight.

I intend to stay at approx 1200-1300 calories per day for another few weeks.  As I increase my walking/jogging and cycling, I will allow myself to go up to 1,500.   I know that these will be weekly averages.  On occasion, I may slip or indulge and get around 2,000 cals in a day.   That means I will be firm at 1200 for the next two days.     I also choose NOT to off-set my exercise-burned calories into this equation.   I only count what I eat.   Any exercise, is just going to be a bonus.  My goal is a 3 pound loss per week.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Big Clyde

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In and the Danger Zone

I am doing well and remain very consistent in my healthy eating campaign.  I just finished my 4th week of eating well and I am down another 3 pounds.  Total loss since 8/9 is 18 pounds.

Week 1 was 7 pounds
Week 2 was 5 pounds
Week 3 was 3 pounds
Week 4 was 3 pounds

I log EVERYTHING into and about every 10 days when I "cheat", it means that I have gone to about 2,000 calories (one time up to 2,200).  My average tends to be around 1,400 calories.  Lots of veggies, light amount of daily exercise.   It is very likely that I was consuming 4,000 calories per day before this with no exercise.

I feel confident that I will keep feels different this time.  It feels like I am finally learning some balance.  Eating an occassional heavy meal means that I better have some light meals ahead of me, lots of water and some exercise.

Four weeks is a nice stretch, but I need to maintain this for four months.   Gradually, I will bring the daily goal up to 1,500, then 1,700, etc.   Once I hit a goal weight, I'll have to determine what my daily caloric goal should be.  But for awhile, I need to keep focused on reducing the weight quickly to get me out of the danger zone.

I've said this before, but here it comes again (more strongly this time).  It is ridiculous to think that a balanced diet of veggies, proteins, few fats and carbs at 1,200 or 1,300 calories is DANGEROUS for a 300+ lb pound man.  Dangerous compared to what?!?  

Let me put it another way...When you are in a danger zone, is it better to walk slowly away from the danger zone or is it better to RUN from that danger zone as fast as you can?

I hit on this because I am in that danger zone and am happy to be losing some weight now.  But I started this latest effort simply because my clothing was too tight, ignoring the much greater dangers! 

Michael Clarke Duncan was between 6'4"-6'5", near my age and weighed somewhere between 315-325 pounds.  He had a massive heart attack and never recovered.   Oh, and he had far more muscle mass and athletic history than I've ever had.  If we stood next to each other wearing suits, we would look pretty similar. 

Which one of us would be in the Danger Zone?  Both of us.

I liked this actor, but even more so, feel very sympathetic to all of the big guys and gals out there because we are all on the same path.  Every journey out of a danger zone begins with one step or one leap. 

If you're not AGGRESSIVELY getting out of that danger zone, please get moving.

Big Clyde

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Clydesdale Season!

It's Clydesdale Season.  I'm walking (with a few bits of trotting) and pulled the bike out of the garage.

It feels good to be back on the bike.  I have a great bike path near my house and many hills to keep me busy.   I just need to build back my legs and endurance after months of inactivity.

A slow bike ride does nothing for is just fun.   Instead, I'll be pushing myself to go harder to get the heart-rate up and strengthen the legs.   It will still be fun because I remember how satisfying a 20-30 mile ride feels.  This year, it looks like I'll be doing El Tour with my friend Henry.  It will be his first time.   Even if he decides not to do it, I will do it solo and push myself for a record time (which shouldn't be too hard).

And if I achieve my other goals, I will weigh about 25 pounds less on race day than I do now.  

Life is good.  I hope all of you are doing well and have a great long weekend.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fast Fifteen - DONE!

Week three of my Fast Fifteen Challenge was great.  This past week, I lost another 3 pounds.  That makes a total of 15 pounds since 8/9. 

I've also been exercising a bit with a 2.75 mile walk/run two nights ago, a bike ride and some evening walks.  More to come.

The reduced weight feels great.  Clothes already fit better, I'm more energetic and still very motivated to stay on track.  I am still very heavy, but less than I was last week, and the week before and the week before.

This is exactly the jump-start that I wanted. often has articles about the benefits of a fast-start to keep us motivated during the challenging first few days or weeks of any change.

So, if you happen to feel stuck in a rut, or embarrassed because you have lost some strength or gained back some weight, then give yourself a challenge...a TOUGH challenge.

A fellow blogger, the Great Patrick Mahoney, used to kick my tail when I would blog about a bad week.  He'd challenge me to put in "50 mile weekend".  It could be a run, walk, or bike ride...just as long as I got it done (or at least tried hard to get it done).   I don't remember if I ever actually hit that number, but I got the point.

When we set the short-term bar pretty high, we usually stretch to hit it.

So, I need to set some new goals for September.  Here are some thoughts:
  • Lose another 15 pounds by September 30th.  That is a slower pace than what I've been doing, but I knew that I would gradually increase some calories.
  • I've agreed to Alan's challenge at the Pounds Off Playoff, which is doing simply 26 minutes of fitness every day until U.S. Veteran's Day (Nov. 12th, 2012).  Seems easy, but how many people are really that consistent?!
  • ...but my cycling legs stink and our Arizona temps are going to actually become reasonable soon.   Maybe I'll do some cycling mileage challenges.   Hmm.
Do any of you have some big challenges ahead for the month of September?

Big Clyde

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Chicken, Waffles and Choices

For some reason, I have been able to stay very focused on a low-calorie diet for the past two weeks and I feel great.   I've had business lunches, eaten many meals away from home and yet continue to lose the pounds.

This morning, I met a friend for breakfast.   We met down by the University of Arizona and I had heard about a "chicken and waffles" place.   That made me smile because I remember this scene from the movie "Tapeheads" in 1988:

The place is called May's Counter and it was awesome.   My buddy Mike had the chicken and waffles.  I had a large egg-white omelette with diced ham, swiss cheese and jalapenos.   I also had half a piece of toast with jelly on it.  That totalled 359 calories.

My usual breakfast out on the road would be two McDonald's Sausage McMuffin w/Egg at 450 calories each, so 900 total for the meal. 

Making those choices is how I will continue to lose in the weeks and months ahead.

I also took a short 20-minute bike ride today (when it was 100 degrees) and my legs felt like cement.  Need to work on that too.

See you all on the way down, my friends!

Big Clyde

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fast Fifteen - Week 2 Results

I had another good weigh-in this week with a 5 pound loss!

Since August 9th, I have now lost 12 pounds.  I feel better and will keep going toward my near term goal of losing 15 by August 31st.  Each day, I am logging in my food into and am eating well, lots of water and taking my vitamins, etc. 

I recently watched a video where a woman said that a quick rule of thumb for determining how many calories you should eat (to get to your ideal weight) is to add a zero to it.  So, if your goal is 175 pounds, then you should consume 1,750 cals per day.  She was not a doctor and was not talking about offsetting those food calories with calories burned from exercise.   To lose more aggressively, bring that number downward through less food or burn more through exercise.  It seems like a pretty good method to me. 

If you count calories, what is your number?

Big Clyde

Monday, August 20, 2012

Why Couldn't You?...

About a month ago, I was talking with my wife and 16-year-old daughter.  They were playfully encouraging me to be more social with my friends (it's weird but most guys over 40 don't tend to have a lot of buddies that they go to the movies with, etc.).

Daughter & Wife:  How about Doug?

Me:  Nah, he's a beast.   He wouldn't go to the movies...he does stuff like the Tough Mudder

Daughter:  What's that?

Me:  It's a race that covers 12 miles of obstacles, electric shocks, wall climbs, barbed wire...stuff like that.  I can't do that.

Daughter:  Why couldn't you?

Me:  Well, it doesn't sound fun to me (true), but even if it did, I am way too heavy to do that.   I'd have to lose 50, maybe 75 pounds to do that.

Daughter:  (excited and smiling now)  You can do that!  Why couldn't you??

Mrs. Clyde is sitting back, smiling at this point.

Me:  (feeling embarrassed and backed into a corner...)  Sweetie, it's not just the weight...those events are for really strong guys, athletes.   I've never had much upper body strength.  I'd have to consistently get into a lifting routine to get much stronger.  That's never been my thing.

Daughter:  (nearly exasperated)  But you can do that!!  Why couldn't you?!?

And then it hit daughter was still my little girl, possibly seeing her father as someone without any limitations. 

Or maybe it is the case that she is a very smart, young woman who knows that hard work and dedication can overcome the limitations that we put ON OURSELVES. 

A good friend of our's will often say this very simple phrase:  "You can do hard things."  My daughter embodies this phrase and was now using it on me.  As Mr. Miyagi said "if done correctly, no can defense".

Mrs. Clyde was enjoying the show.  They were both just sitting there looking at me, waiting to see if I would throw up another lame obstacle...another rationalization.

Me:  Well, the Tough Mudder is of no interest to me.................................but I think it would be awesome to run a half-marathon someday (voice trailing off as I realize how far I am from ever doing that).

Daughter:  (smiling, pleased with herself)  Great!!!  Then DO that!

A few weeks later, I got my act together and started eating better.  Now, I am down 11 pounds and looking at race schedules again.

But I still want to go see The Expendables 2.

What event or goal are you reaching for?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fast Fifteen - Week 1 Results

I weighed in today and am pleased to have lost 7 pounds in the last week!  I am very happy and will hope for a 3 pound loss next week.  I know that seems extreme, but it is in line with my goal of losing 15 pounds by August 31st.  I also ate more veggies, less fat and felt no hunger in the process.

The strong start (inspired by has kept me focused so far and has caused me to eat so much better than I've eaten in many months.

I went for two walks (less than 2 miles each).  Other than that, I lost it simply due to the changes in my food choices.

Even though I am still very overweight, I feel better already.  I feel optimistic and energetic.  It's amazing what a week of better choices can do.

Thanks for the support and encouragement, everyone!

Big Clyde

Sunday, August 12, 2012

My Magic Trick

On this blog, I have written a few posts about my sporadic eating habits (click for the links):

Of course, slow and steady would be the smarter approach to weight loss or maintenance.  But if you are reading this blog, you very likely have also struggled with your weight in the past.  Childhood patterns, body type, genetics, emotional health and countless other issues play in to why we eat what we eat and how it affects our weight.

I grew up in a household where we had a sweet dessert virtually every night of my childhood.   It was either ice cream, a candy bar, or a 1/4 pound of M&M's (my parents would buy the 1 pound bag and divide it among the four of us).   In addition, I've never had any interest in athletics.  By early adulthood, I steadily gained weight each year to the present.

I eat "like an American".  Junk food is cheap, tasty and available everywhere.  Fast food restaurants offer "combo meals" and most other restaurants in America provide huge portions.   At home, packaged foods (cereal, chili, frozen foods) are pretty fattening.  And I eat it all, just as advertised.

My curse?  When I eat like an American, I gain weight.  

It is that simple.  I simply don't burn enough daily calories to burn off my intake when I eat what I want to eat.

But I know a magic trick!  A trick that catches people by surprise. 

My magic trick?  When I watch what I eat, I drop weight VERY quickly!    

How quick?  How much weight can I lose in a week?  It is all about calorie-deficits.  If I eat less than I burn, then I lose. 

I only burn about 3,000 calories per day just walking around, doing my job, etc.  So, if I choose to eat lots of veggies, some protein and very limited carbs and keep my calories below 3,000, then I will lose weight.

2,000 calories per day means a loss of approx 2 pounds per week.  1,500 calories per day means a loss of approx 3 pounds per week.

You can eat a lot of veggies, egg whites, yogurt and still have room for dairy, meat and some fats and be at 1,500 cals per day.  A foot long Subway sandwich (ham, no cheese, vinagrette dressing and veggies) is right around 500 calories and is very filling.   Is that a healthy combination of food groups and adequate volume to simply eat something like that 3x per day?  Definitely.

My doctor agrees. agrees.  It is healthy as long as you are not also doing extensive exercise.

Exercise is important, but I MUST eat each day.  So, it is more convenient to control what I eat than to instantly carve out a daily exercise regimen...that will come in time.

We all can do this same magic trick.   When we choose our meals carefully, we will lose pounds.  At my weight, I want to do it quickly because the greater health risk is not rapid-weight loss, it is obesity.

Big Clyde

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fast Fifteen

Okay, okay...maybe the half-marathon in December is a little ridiculous for me (see previous post).   It was kind of you not to say it.  My head is clear now.   But a respectable time at the El Tour de Tucson (42-mile leg) in November with my buddy Henry?   Yeah, I can definitely do that.

But first of all, I need to drop at least 15 pounds, quickly.   Just to keep my game face on (and to make my shirts fit better).

I weighed this morning.  Brutal.  I'll save my dignity here by not typing the number, but it was brutal.

So, my only short-term goal is to drop 15 pounds by August 31.   In 22 days.   Gimmicky?  Maybe a little.   But a balanced, low-cal diet of 1,500 calories for a guy of my size seems pretty healthy to me.   

I wonder if any of you know how to do the "calorie=pounds lost" formula to see if that 1,500 calories is a good target for me.   I'd appreciate any help or advice.

15 pounds lost
by the morning of August 31.
Weigh-in daily, updates on Fridays.

Feels good to be off the bench and back on the field.  Thanks for the encouragement.

Big Clyde

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Feeling Inspired

Last week, my pal Kevin sent me an e-mail, just checking in.  This morning, another pal Patrick commented on my last post from mid-May.   Finally, SusieTri left a comment this afternoon.   Very nice and much appreciated.

I know that I have been missing-in-action and it is great to know that so many of you are still out there doing so well.   I lurk from time to time and see bloggers that have consistently lost weight, signed up for races and enjoyed better lifestyles while on vacation.

I applaud you, but am not among you.  I have not been eating well and have not been working out.   I was distracted with work and family obligations and just wandered back into all of my old habits.

I have not even tried to work the dimmer switch.   I have just been in the "off" position.  (Read my last post to get that one).

However, I am ready to get back to work.  Here's a short list of things that have inspired me lately:
  • My college-buddy (spending more time together after a 25-year span) has been riding his bike a bit lately.   He consistently does a very hilly 6 mile ride.  I admire his diligence.  He wants me to help him do longer distances.  We've agreed to do El Tour de Tucson's 42-mile route this year together!  November 17.
  • In my recent prime, I could outrun my kids.   Somehow, a friendly challenge came up recently from my 13-year old son and I realized that running at any speed or distance would be VERY challenging for me now.   Got to fix that while that challenge is still in the air.
  • My friend with polio is beginning to rely more on a wheelchair and less on her crutches.   She must long to just go for a pleasant walk without pain...maybe even a run...or a bike ride.   Shame on me for neglecting that gift of being able to move with ease.
  • Most of my shirts are shrinking.  My cool leather jacket and my other cool grey/black cool jacket are probably much smaller too.   Got to fix that before autumn comes to the desert.
  • I think RockStar Tri just signed up for IMAZ.  I don't have that goal, but I have flirted with the idea of a half-marathon.  
  • The Tucson Half-Marathon is mostly downhill and is on December 9.  This is just 5 days after my 47th birthday.  The race starts at this cool place!   That might be too aggressive of a goal, but this race seems ideal for the half-mary goal and it only happens once a year.   Even if it is too aggressive, I still like to keep it on my radar.
  • Finally, my health is still great.  But at my age and weight, it is very likely that I will come down with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.  Ridiculous.   All from my love of junk food and poor will-power.   I am not a slave to my desires in other parts of my life.   So, it is time to combat these poor habits once again.
I'll get busy with better food, some activity and a short-term plan.   Back to you in a few days.  

Thanks for caring about me.

Big Clyde

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Light Switch or A Dimmer?

A simple light switch gives you two choices:  on or off.  It's binary.

A dimmer switch gives you all of the options in between light and dark.   You have many choices, not just "on" or "off".  When you hear the phrase "all things in moderation", that is someone who uses a dimmer switch on their decisions. 

In reality, we all possess both dimmer switches and light switches within our own decision-making processes.   I have friends who just decide to eat more healthy for awhile and they seem to do it with ease (dimmer).   I also have friends who cannot stop at one drink after work...walking into the bar means that they will have several drinks (light switch).  

I tend to view my Clydesdale Project as a light switch, not a dimmer switch.   And that will haunt me until I become more of a dimmer-switch guy.

It has been 5 weeks since I last posted and nearly that long since my last workout.   So, why did I go off course this time?   There is a short list of reasons, but they would sound familiar to stresses, family obligations (needing more of my time as the school year ends), and a few sad things that make me just want to be a couch potato.  Neighbor Ted has been busy as well, so our challenge has gone undocumented for weeks.   Big Clyde from 2010 is kicking my tail and I doubt I can catch him now.  

All of this leaves me thinking "is today the day that I flip that light switch to 'on' and start making egg-white omelettes, packing carrots and turkey pepperoni for my lunch and get 3 miles in tonight?"  But the items from the previous paragraph start coming to my mind and I pick up some pizzas for dinner on the way home.  Nope, that light switch has stayed in the "off" position.

I need to swallow my pride, find my inner dimmer switch and get back to my "Lowered Expectations Plan" that I wrote in July of 2010.

Returning to exercise can be so incredibly easy.   A return to running starts with a some 2-3 mile walks, 3-4 times per week.   The question "am I now too old or too heavy to run?" comes to my mind often these days, but I know that the answer to both   Within a week, I'll be back at my slow-but-steady jogging pace.   Of course, the bike is waiting for me in the garage as well.

As for the Neighbor Ted Challenge and my personal challenge to beat my own performance in 2010...I'll need to come back to that after I get a solid week of improvement behind me.

Big Clyde

P.S.  By the way, my last few weeks have had some exciting moments as well.   In future posts, I will write about staying in "Billy's Room" of The Copper Queen Hotel, filming a movie in Bisbee, and a tribute to Bill Peterson, who changed my life.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Only Athletes Get Sports Injuries

First off, let me assure you...I'll be fine.  Really.  Thank you for all of your forthcoming sympathy.

I got my toes right up in the camera, so you can see my injury for yourself.
The week started out well with a 5k virtual race against Neighbor Ted.   I finished in 40:48, which is pretty slow, but I was glad to get back after a two-week hiatus.   Then, I did a 3.5 mile run on Tuesday and a short 1.3 mile walk with my boys on Wednesday.   I was on a roll.

Except my foot started to itch.   By Thursday night, I saw that I had a blister on top of my toe.  Weird, but my running shoes are too wide, so I always wear two pairs of socks and I had been increasing my mileage.  I googled blisters and decided to do my own surgery.

By morning, my foot was swollen, hot and really angry at me.  My wife teased me in front of the kids saying that I had a "foot pimple".  Very funny.

This was a blister, due to my increased mileage.

The swelling and redness continued, so I went to the doctor.  He quickly diagnosed it as foliculitis.

"What's that?" I asked.

"It's basically a pimple on your foot...some ingrown hair caused an infection," he replied.


Mrs. Clyde was right again.

Foot pimple.   Hairy toes.  Sweaty feet.   The jokes swirl around my household.

But I am still going to call it a sports injury because I'm sure not going to call it a "foot pimple".

Antibiotics for 10 days!   I forgot to ask if I can run on it and after a day of meds, the swelling is going down.  I think I'll do my longer Sunday run regardless and see how it goes.

...because athletes can only sit on the bench for so long.

By the way, I lost 1 pound this week.  Still not close to the performance of Big Clyde in 2010, but I will get him.   I know that he stumbled at times too.

Have a good week everyone.

Big Clyde

A note to my children:   I fixed the misspelled word and I deleted the comma that seemed to be bothering you.  I also want to take a moment to apologize for "grossing you out" by writing about a foot problem on my blog.  You have made it very clear that "feet" are gross.  Please note that I didn't actually take a picture of my own foot...that should have eased your trauma a little bit.

You know how to avoid feet problems?  Spend A LOT of time on the couch.  When you must walk, stay indoors and walk on the carpet.   And DEFINITELY, avoid as little exercise as possible.  

Then again...that kind of lifestyle can lead to other "problems" in your health down the road.



Monday, April 2, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In and the Neighborhood 5K Race!

As for the weigh-in, loss and no gain.   My fault.   For various reasons, I continued to eat whatever and not exercise.   A foolish mistake, given my larger goal of getting to a specific lower weight by June 16th.

I am in a friendly competition with my ex-Neighbor Ted, who has similar goals and challenges.   We both have a running schedule we are to be following (but aren't) and our own meal plans (that we have somehow misplaced).

Nonetheless, we built a Neighborhood 5K into our training calendar to see how we would be doing on our training, to suffer for our discretions and to shame the other with our lightning speed.

But Neighbor Ted won this 5K.   He completed it in 38:45 and I was two minutes longer at 40:48.  Good for him, but I am also pleased with my time.  Given that I hadn't run in two weeks and I maintained my recent 13:05 pace, I am fine with it.   I know that continued mileage will increase my pace.

My next two races are another Neighborhood Race - a 10K against Neighbor Ted on 4/28 and a Cinco de Mayo 10K.   Two 10K races, back-to-back.   I am not going for speed really...I am just using these races as motivators to get back out there again.   If I get back on my weight loss schedule, I should be about 12 pounds lighter in a month, which will make the runs easier.

Have a good week everyone.

Big Clyde

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekly Weigh-In

A bad week for me.  I gained back two pounds.   Total loss since March 3rd is 6 pounds.  

What happened?  Just a simple lapse back into some old eating habits and no exercise.   

Why?  I know that I was a bit disappointed in only a 1 pound loss the week before, especially after a good 3-mile run the night before my weigh-in last week.   Maybe my body was just catching up with a larger loss the week before.   But I know that I allowed a small disappointment to somehow take my eye of the ball.   Shame on me.  It was also Spring Break for my wife and kids, so we had more fun together and I let the exercise slide.

I am in a challenge with Neighbor Ted (soon to be a blogger?), who also happened to gain two pounds.   We are a sorry pair right now.

Finally, I made a chart to compare my results with my own weight loss in 2010.   It is pretty interesting so far. I am slightly behind BC10 (Big Clyde in 2010), but I know that I can get back on track this week.   Within two weeks, I should be ahead of...uh, him.   At minimum, I should be able to match my own pace.

I want to give a big congrats to Alan at Pounds Off Playoff who did The Big Climb today.   Unlike me, he seems to keep his eye on the ball and stay focused.   He has trained well for this and I hope he had a great day.

Big Clyde

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Building a new spider web

I've broken my stride in terms of my healthy eating and consistent running schedule.   Officially, I've missed two runs so far and have been eating "normal" as opposed to my "low-calorie" plan for the past 5 days.  

Back on plan today.

I was talking with a co-worker who mentioned that her exercise efforts can be discouraging.   One step forward, then two steps back.  She tries to keep up at her gym class, but then suffers for it with ankle pain for the next few days, wondering if she is causing damage.   It is easy to back off at that point and go back to old eating and lifestyle habits.  She is discouraged this morning.   I know how she feels.

It reminded me of a story that I heard recently about someone who was watching a spider build a web.  The web was pretty big and was successful at catching prey, supporting the spider, etc.   The web worked great for weeks. 

Then one day, the person looked up at the web and found that it was broken.   It seemed so tragic that all of that hard work was now destroyed.   Then, the person looked to the side and found the spider building a brand new web. 

You know the morale of the story...the spider didn't fail when the web was destroyed.   The spider would have only failed if it gave up and didn't begin again.

Big Clyde

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weigh-In, Week Two

Weight loss this week:            1 pound
Weight loss since March 1st:  8 pounds

My schedule was a little off this week, but I managed to run three times.   A 2-mile, a 2.5 and a 3-mile run.

The 3-mile run was last night.   We had an early family dinner, then took the boys to practice.   My wife and daughter dropped me off with them and I ran the 3 miles home.   I felt great during the three-miler.   At one point (about halfway through), I wanted to take a break, so I started walking but that only lasted for about a minute.   It just felt better to push through and slow my pace a bit on a jog, rather than walking.

I am very grateful that I have not experienced any pain in my joints, despite my weight.   That may come as I go longer distances and if so, I can always adjust to the bike.  But I am focusing hard on landing on the outer balls of my feet, rather than heel-striking.

When I was beginning my run, I met two cyclists who pulled up to me.   They had the cyclists gear, excellent road bikes, etc.   They had both flown to Arizona from Canada to train for the AZ IronMan competition in November.   One of them was 50 years old, but in excellent shape  (I think he was the coach).   He mentioned that he did a 10-12k run this morning (6-7 miles), then hit the pool for "a longer workout", and they were finishing up the day with a quick ride, which was 36 miles.   The other guy was also fit, but less experienced and was training for his first IronMan.

I told them that those were my "epic" distances.   I started all of this wondering if I could ride 35 miles on a bike.   I ran a 10k 14 months ago, which was a major achievement for me (not a casual workout).

As you might predict, their words of encouragement were simple:   keep going.  

We enjoyed that we were out there (in the gorgeous, sunny weather), working on improving our health and having some fun along the way.   I didn't feel embarrassed to be heavier or slower, etc. than them...I just felt great to be doing something after months of being away from consistent exercise.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Big Clyde

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Pizza Run

I have been soooooo good since I started to eat healthy and run on March 1st.  

I have to be good because I am now in a weight-loss challenge with Neighbor Ted, my ex-neighbor who moved from Arizona to North Carolina (and lost his top spot in my "friend-ranking" when he did it).   We are both working to drop 12% of our weight from March 1st to June 16th.

But my wife was working late tonight.

And the kids needed dinner.

And Domino's sells a large meat-drenched pizza for $8 and it is 100 yards from my house.

So, I gave in, ordered the pizza and brought it home.

THEN, I gave it to my 3 kids.

MY DINNER was a large banana, two packets of oatmeal and some carrots.   Got to be lean for my run tonight...

...and my weigh-in against Neighbor Ted is this Saturday!

Choose well, my friends.

Big Clyde

Monday, March 12, 2012

The New Challenge

"It's on!"

Those are the words that Neighbor Ted wrote to me when I challenged him to a weight loss duel.  Actually, he stated that he intends to lose about 12% of his current weight by 6/22.   It just seemed like it would be fun to join in and see if I could match his weight loss...or beat him!   You could do it too.

We are discussing the idea a little further, but here is what we have so far:
  • We will measure weight loss by percentage only, since we are starting at different places.  This seemed the most fair way.
  • Since he is focused on an end date of 6/22 and we began talking about it in late February, we are going to put the starting date as 3/1/12.  Official end date will likely be 6/16/12.
  • We are weighing in on Saturdays, using the honor system.
  • I am counting calories and I think he is juicing.
  • Both of us are going to be running and cycling...mostly running.
For me to lose 12% of my weight, it will be well over 30 pounds.  It will not be easy, but if you are a longtime reader of this blog, you might see that I did exactly that in 2010.  

Between March 1st and May 31st of 2010, I lost 36 pounds by counting calories and light exercise.  

It will be fun to do it again (though I would have been smarter to just keep it off since 2010).

Join us!   Let me know if you are interested.  Competition can be a strong motivator.

There may be a big group of us competing.
Or it could be just me and Neighbor Ted.
But I know that my biggest opponent will be...Big Clyde from 2010.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a name for this challenge?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?

Big Clyde's purple flowery shirt is a bit roomier this week!
 That'd be "7",  Bob.

I am very pleased that I dropped 7 pounds this first week of eating healthy and exercising well.

I ran three times, lifted weights, found the produce section of my grocery store and kept the calories low this week.  

My goal for this next week will be three-fold:
1.  Lose 2 more pounds.
2.  Stay on track with my 8k and strength training.
3.  Keep being awesome.

I also want to give some encouragement this morning to Alan from Pounds Off Playoff who is running his first 5k this weekend!   It has a brutal hill climb at the beginning, but he is working toward The Big Climb soon, so he'll do well.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Big Clyde

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"The Clydesdale Runs Again!"

See?  Clydesdales CAN run...(or at least trot)!
 I realize that running twice in one week shouldn't make headlines.  But it is an improvement for me, compared to my months of inactivity. 

I ran 2 miles on Sunday, did my stretch/strengthen on Monday (lifting weights and push-ups), then ran another two miles yesterday.

About running...Last night, I ran at a pace of 13:52 per mile.   Of the 28 minutes, I walked only 60 seconds.  The "calorie calculator" estimates that I burned over 700 calories, given my weight and average heart rate of 142 bpm.   That is definitely a workout, despite the seemingly slow pace.   If you are reading this AND you run, then you get it.   If you don't run, please don't judge the pace.  

My weigh-in is Saturday and I think it will give me some nice results.

Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The March Experiment - The Plan

When I recently blogged about starting a new program for March, my good friend, Alan, commented "How are you going to make sure you stay engaged with this thing every day?".  

He was being rhetorical, since this is something that we all are challenged with in our fitness goals, but it was a solid question.

I present to you my plan for The March Experiment 2012:
  • Weigh-in weekly and chart my progress (done on Saturday mornings.)
  • Begin the Hal Higdon 8-week 8k training plan for novice runners.  Click here for the link. Week 1 begins tomorrow (3/4/12).
  • Set weekly modest weight loss goals.   Goal for next Saturday's weigh-in is 4lbs, given that it is week 1.  It will be less in future weeks, I'm sure.
  • Run virtual 5k on 3/31.
  • Run virtual 8k on 4/28...OR ride in Tour of the Tucson Mountains 27-mile bike race.   The 8k might be more challenging, but either would be good for me.  It would likely be 1 hour on foot or two hours on the bike.   Same-same, I think.
  • I will also be re-reading my own blog from the periods when I was regularly running 3, 4, or 5 miles at a time.   If I did it before, I can do it again.
My friend, Neighbor Ted, will be doing this as well.  If any of you want to join us, feel free to jump in.  

Big Clyde

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The March Experiment with Neighbor Ted

My friend Neighbor Ted called.  He is in North Carolina.  I am in Arizona.  We are about to start running together.

I need to move and exercise again.   Thanks to all of you who have stuck with this grumpy bear during the winter.  (In particular, I think that Doc's increasingly tough stance in recent posts have lit a fire under my tail!).

So, Neighbor Ted and I will both be following Hal Higdon's 8K training plan (for 8 weeks).   In reality, 8k is only 5.1 miles and I will likely get there before 8 weeks, but I am heavier now than I have been in previous running seasons. 

Officially, Week 1 starts on Sunday, but I will be doing some walking tomorrow and Saturday to get moving.

I am also going to re-listen to the Two Gomers podcast, a sometimes funny weekly podcast about two guys (in their mid-20's) that started running to prepare for their first half-marathon. 

More to come.

Big Clyde

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The March Experiment Calls to Me

It has been over three weeks since my last confession...

My good friend, Neighbor Ted, moved away almost two years ago.   When he lived next door to me, I would ocassionally ride bikes with him, but could not keep up with his speed or distance.  He also ran.  Though about 5 years younger than me, we were similar in size and habits.  

Then, he moved and I started doing this Clydesdale Project.  I began losing weight, logging decent miles each week and evenutally running.   We could have had so much fun if we were actually doing it together, but we missed that time.

He wrote to me recently and asked why I wasn't blogging much anymore.   The answer is simple:  I'm not really doing any exercise or particularly watching what I eat.   No es bueno.  Shockingly, I've gained back my weight.  What a shame, but it was of my own doing.

I think I have to get back to very small victories in my health journey.   Rather than lament how slow I am now, how the hills look steeper, how I am carrying a heavier load on my runs (can I even run anymore?)...I think I have to do what I did last year in March.  Or two years ago in March.

March has actually been a pivotal month for me in the past two years.
  • In March of 2010, I started eating very healthy foods (low-cal, but good low-cal).  I lots a lot of weight pretty fast.  I was just in the zone and stayed disciplined.
  • In March of 2011, I did this thing that I called The March Experiment.   I exercised 6 days a week.  Some of it was light, others were more impressive, but everyday was at least 20 minutes of something to break a sweat.  I followed that up with April's International 30 Days of Biking.  
So, with thanks to Neighbor Ted for waking me from my sedentary slumber, I will soon begin The March Experiment 2012. 

Maybe I'll even reach for a handful of veggies instead of M&M's.

What will you be working on in March of 2012?

Big Clyde

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pardon My Nudity

Ask the children to leave the room.  Husbands, hide your wives.  I have enclosed a naked pic of me below to show the highlighted area of my lower back pain.

I am fine, but spent much of January with limited mobility and a lot of aches, due to my compressed lower disc in my back.  During the day, I can basically stand upright and walk somewhat normally.  But if I have been sitting much, or if it is morning or night, then I am limping and in a bit of pain.  Bending is nearly impossible.  Climbing in and out of my vehicle is slow and painful work. 

It is embarassing that I let this happen again.  Too much sitting (required by work) and not enough stretching and exercise is to blame.  I often find myself thinking that my running habit of late 2010 and early 2011 is no longer possible for me.   Yes, I can still bike, but I really did enjoy the running thing.

At 46 years of age and still overweight, am I now too old to gradually begin a walking/running habit?   One year can't make that big of a difference, can it?  (Hopefully not).

So, here is the pic.  The white and red highlighted areas?  Tattoos!  My body is my canvas.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I May Have Found The Answer

Today was one of those days where many people seemed to want to vent their troubles on to me.  I was sympathetic, but tried hard not to get any on me.  It felt like I was slogging through mud all day, getting worse by the hour.

By the end of the day, I was at the grocery store picking up some items for dinner.  Naturally, I thought that I deserved an extra snack for the way home.  Or maybe even to pick up some candy for a long drive that I have tomorrow.  This is how I have grown to be a very large man.  

I needed a treat to bring me some happiness.  And it definitely would have worked for a short while. 

But then I was surprised that I started repeating the thought "Food is not a reward, Food is not a reward, Food is not the answer". 

I don't know where that came from.  Probably God.  Maybe a recent post I saw on Clive's site, where he got a right good arse-kicking by Gaz and Toby (read the post, then the comments).

So, I steered away from the junk and went home.  Believe me, it was an achievement.

Then I went home and poured a nice vodka and soda.

I feel better already.

Big Clyde

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Shark Analogy Returns

Day 3 of eating very well.  Balanced diet, lots of water and a 1,800 calorie limit.  Doing fine.  Should have good results on Sunday's weigh-in.

But I am still pretty sore in my lower back due to a slightly compressed disc and weak core muscles.  I've been sore since my very short run about two weeks ago.  Maybe I should have walked it, instead of running the 2nd mile.  How many times do I need to learn this lesson?  At least once more, I guess. 

So, once again, I am like a shark...if I don't keep moving (at least walking regularly), I'll be in deep trouble.

How are all of you doing on this third day of the new year?

Big Clyde

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Winning Season

red-shirted last year.  Maybe some of you did also.  

On 12/22/11, my wife and I were enjoying our 22nd anniversary and we agreed that 2011 was our most difficult out of the 22 years together.  Our marriage was fine, but we struggled elsewhere.  And yet, our health, faith and family were all fine.  Certainly many others have much deeper struggles and we keep that in perspective.

But I am a believer in the change of seasons, or starting a new chapter, or...(choose your metaphor).  I think that it is convenient and healthy to consider January 1st to be the embodiment of that cheesy phrase "the first day of the rest of your life".

I weighed in this morning.  It was a much higher number than I wanted to see, but that is what happens to a guy like me with an office job, no planned nutritional program and a typical sedentary lifestyle.   I eat like an American (ordering the combo meals at McDonald's, eating the entire entree at a Mexican restaurant and snacking on sweets whenever I feel like it).  Some people have enough common sense to moderate themselves naturally.  I don't when it comes to food.

So, I have to get intentional again.  I really don't even mind it, because I have counted my daily calories before and dropped a lot of weight doing it, without huge sacrifices.  It just requires me to be intentional.

That is what I am doing, starting today.

I will run this year and I will bike.  But at my current weight, I will be walking more than running and focusing on days on the bike, not speed or mileage.  Improving speed and mileage will come soon enough.  For now, I have to consistently drop pounds by eating healthy food.

My short-term goal is to lose 12 pounds in January.  My long-term goal is to lose 75 pounds.  That will not put me at "skinny" by anyone's standards, but I think that is probably my healthy range.  I'll keep you posted weekly as to how I am doing.

My head is ready and there are no obstacles ahead.  This feels like I am starting a winning season and I am excited.  Thanks for following along.

Big Clyde