Monday, May 31, 2010

Weigh In - Week 13

Weight Change:  Lost 4 pounds!

Total Loss since 3/1/10:   36 pounds

Today, I'm feeling:   As James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul" says "I Feel Good!"

Here's what happened last week:
I started out like a man on fire, with solid cardio workouts on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, rested on Thursday, and then was sick with a cold on Friday-Sunday.   Bummer.  Registered for my first 5K with the kids.  The race is one week away.

Food:   Ate well, averaging around 1,700 calories per day, but did work in some birthday treats  by backing off the calories on other meals.  Weighed daily to keep it in check.  Use sparkpeople.com everyday.

Liquids:   Same as each week...not a struggle here.  Lots of water and also had coffee each day.  By the way, I never drink diet soda.  I used to, but have been told that it is a gateway drug toward sweets, in that the sweeteners cause your pallete to want more sweets and also that the carbonation artifically expands your stomach, making you "feel" more hungry than you really are.   Also, I almost never drink alcohol anymore.  If I do (1x per month?), it might be vodka on the rocks.  Maybe a margarita as a reward sometime soon!

Exercise:
Monday:  Did my first 5K in about 45 minutes (mostly walking)
Tuesday:  30 minutes of stepping
Wednesday:   Did a 5K in my hood in exactly 44:39 exactly. 
Thursday: nothing
Friday:  getting sick
Saturday:  sick
Sunday:  sick

Confessional: NOTHING TO REPORT THIS WEEK!   No major indulging, but did have some birthday dessert, etc....I just ate light around it.

Weight Loss Highlight of the Week:   My weight over the past 26 years has steadily increased each year.   In fact, I still have every suit I have owned since high school.   Judging by what fits in my closet, I now weigh what I did in 1998.  My closet has become a time machine. 

My Goals for this Week:
• Continue to pursue goal of 280 weight by June 20 for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
• Cardio at least 5 times this week C25K (3x). Hill Climb (2x).
• Walk/Run in my first 5K race on Saturday with two of my kids.
Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weekend Update


I am hoping to be disciplined this weekend.  My wife's birthday was yesterday, but I ate well.  My son's birthday is today.  Unfortunately, his hacking cough/runny nose sickness has now infected his brother and me.  It hurts to cough, energy is low and I find myself wanting to snack.  Guh.  I was doing so well with exercise earlier in the week.  Maybe I'll rally later today and get in some good workouts.  For now, I am laying low, realizing that it might affect Monday's weigh-in.

But this exercise/weight loss journey is a marathon, not a sprint.  I found new energy last week with my increased exercise activity.  Many of you know this, but it was interesting to expericence that my energy increased, when I pushed my exercise activity.  So, when I feel better soon, I'll get back to the cycling, stepping and 5K-ing. 

And regarding the 5K, I am very excited to report that my daughter (BookGirl95) and son (Samson) are going to join me in my first official 5K race.  It is called "Meet Me Downtown" in Tucson next Saturday night.  Though I will push myself on my normal runs, I will just enjoy this race experience with them, regardless of our speed.  I don't want to be urging "let's go faster", if they are not having fun.    They still find it a bit shocking to see their couch-potato father actually exercising.  :-)

So, I'm off to find Kleenex and maybe some vapo-rub.    Have a good weekend, friends.

Big Clyde

Friday, May 28, 2010

Top 5 Friday - Drink Up!

First of all, I have received so many comments this week...each one is fun and encouraging to me and helps me to get to know so many of you.   Thanks for challenging me to go onward.

Secondly, I did another 5K run in my own neighborhood on Wednesday night.  My time was 44:39 and I ran a bit, but mostly walked as fast as I could without looking like a dork (see any 90's movie,  set in New York to see what I mean).  And yes, Massive Marcus, I did want to challenge myself to be faster than Monday's time!  Good idea.  I'll just keep it up to see how I do!

Since it is heating up here in the desert, I am getting thirsty.  So, for today's Top 5 Friday list, here are my
Top 5 Favorite Drinks:
  1.  Coffee - I love Starbucks, just because I drink it so much and they are everywhere.  I love the local coffee houses too, but they are more scarce where I live.  My drink of choice is a 4-shot Americano, but I follow close with a "red-eye" (drip coffee with an espresso shot in it), and finally a nice cappucino after dinner is like dessert to me.
  2. Grey Goose Vodka and Cranberry - sure, call it a chick-drink, but have you had it?  Really tasty, great at the New Year's Party and on a hot summer day.  
  3. Lipton Diet Green Tea with Berry-flavoring.   I know it's this mass-produced thing, but it is very good, very healthy, very convenient and inexpensive.  I drink a lot of it since I started losing weight and love it.
  4. Margarita on the rocks with salt.  No strawberry-flavoring here, no blender needed, etc.  It is perfect, as is.
  5. Water - I know it's a cliche, but I have always consumed tons of water.  Now, it is a staple for me to drink a lot each day.
Now, your turn.  I am curious to know what you all like to drink.  Cocktails, health-drinks, coffee/tea, etc.   Please tell us how you like to wet your whistle.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This Clydesdale's First (unofficial) 5K!

CLYDESDALES, according to Wikipedia:
The characteristic action of a Clydesdale is demonstrated at a trot; an animated gait with high hoof action in both the front and rear. Despite its large size, the Clydesdale presents with an energetic quality described by the Clydesdale Horse Society as "gaiety of carriage and outlook."

Do Clydesdale's run?   Not really.  Please lower your expectations.  According to the source of all internet knowledge, Clydesdales "trot", at best.  That includes this Clydesdale.  We are not built for speed...we are bred for our abilities to carry heavy loads.  We are those handsome beasts of burden that help you lift furniture and appliances when you are moving to a new house.  Got it?

For the past few weeks, I have been doing the Couch to 5K program (http://www.c25k.com/).  Though I am supposed to do the three runs every week, I am actually taking about 10 days for the three runs because I am working in cycling too.

Anyway, I am still in Week Two of the program, but will do my first official 5K race on June 5th.  I think I will get 2 of my kids to join in, but Mrs. Clyde is still sidelined until she gets a knee operation.  I imagine that we will be walking quite a bit, but as I do more of them, I'll progress toward trotting the entire route!

To prepare, I did my first 5K last night, as a training event.  There is a running/walking group that meets in downtown Tucson each week and has a walk/run on the same route as the official 5K.  Last night, there were 588 people doing this!  The event is sponsored by Maynard's Market and Kitchen in downtown Tucson.  They have a cool store, an outdoor band, refreshments, a nice restaurant and offer discounts for nearby business to the racers.  This event has been going on every Monday for over a year and it's free!  Here's the link.

My son, Samson, and I did this on Monday night.  We maintained a fast walk (am I always supposed to call it a "brisk" walk?) throughout the entire 5K, although we ran 3-4 times for about a minute.  I know that sounds lame, but as I've said, I am not a runner.  My goal was to simply walk the route that I'll be doing on race night, get us both moving and have some fun!  It took us about 45 minutes.  Just like the Clydesdales, we presented with "gaiety of carriage and outlook." (at least, I did).

Here are some pictures from the event.
The gathering before the run!  Imagine a three piece band playing in the background.

Map in hand, we are ready to start!

Big Clyde and Samson, a happy team! 

Did you know that Easter Island is now in Tucson (serving Coronas and nachos)?

I am doing this 5K race because the event forces me to get out of my comfort zone.  If I didn't sign up for it, I might be on the couch at home.  Over the past year, I have begun to change my life through "commitment first" (to a race, a goal, an event), and "training second", and "results third" as my strategy.  That may not work for everyone, but it seems to work for me.

What challenges do you have planned in the coming weeks/months that will get you out of your comfort zone?

Big Clyde

P.S.   Thanks for so many comments yesterday!  I appreciate it more than you all could know.  :) 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weigh In - Week 12



Weight Change:  Lost 4 pounds!

Total Loss since 3/1/10:  32 pounds

Today, I'm feeling:   Great!  Ready for another good week ahead.

Here's what happened last week:   A great week for me in terms of activity and food.   I see now that I need to work on the calorie-furnaces (as Massive Marcus puts it!) by increasing my exercise and being more consistent.  Maybe that is what has held me back for the past few weeks...I was eating well, but not changing exercising much and therefore, not improving my metabolism?  I wish I knew more about this stuff. 

Food:  Averaged about 1,700 calories per day last week, with almost no deviations.  Lots of fruits and veggies, yet also more grains than I had in previous weeks.  Avoiding temptations is much easier now and when I indulge (like Cheesecake Factory's Carrot Cake last week), I just eat smaller portions and make sure to work it in to my plan either that day or the next.  Then, it's not a failure.  Right?

Liquids:  Drank much more water than last week.

Exercise:
Monday:
Tuesday: 10 minutes of steps
Wednesday: Short Hill Loop (9.3 miles, 43 minutes)
Thursday: Pool exercises (30 mins, 500 cals), C25K Week 2.1
Friday:
Saturday: 45 mins of water aerobics and did the "Hill Express" ride (6.7 miles, 33 mins)
Sunday:

Confessional:  NOTHING TO REPORT THIS WEEK!

Weight Loss Highlight of the Week:   All of my belts are now on their smallest notch...may need to shop soon.  Also, I am noticing that my 3XL shirts seem strangely baggy or stretched out now.  Hmmm.  I also wore a U of A polo shirt that I bought in 2004.  It was a 2XL, but I have NEVER worn it because it was just too tight.  Now, I feel good in it. 

My Goals for this Week:

• Continue to pursue goal of 280 weight by June 20 for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
• Cardio at least 5 times this week C25K (2x). Hill Climb (3x). Weights at least 3 times this week.

Make it a good week everyone!
Big Clyde

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Fool on the Hill - 2 out of 10

I just wanted to post that I climbed the hill today in the late Tucson afternoon.  It was hot, but I knew I had to get it in.  As you might recall, I committed to riding my bike more frequently in May and in particular, to ride up some hills that have been intimidating to me.  I've called this challenge "The Fool on the Hill" and committed to climb these hills 10 times by Father's Day.  That will definitely get me on the bike and build my climbing muscles!  2 down, 8 to go.

For those keeping score (probably just me), I climbed to the hilltop in 19 min 37 seconds, which is faster than the benchmark time of 21 minutes!   It was a short ride today...only 33 minutes, covering 6.7 miles.  I also did some water aerobics.  Good times with the fam.
 
RockStar Tri gave me some advice which stated that I should try "dancing up the hill" to some disco music.  Okay, I hit my "70's" playlist on the ipod as I left my driveway. 
 
I started with "25 or 6 to 4" by Chicago...a nice start, given the guitar intros.
 
Move on to "I Can't Get Next to You" by the Temptations (might be late 60's, but close enough).
 
(Still no disco, but I am just now starting up the hill.)
 
Then, "Right Back Where We Started From" by Maxine Nightingale ...this is disco, right?  Nice little beat!
 
Then, two songs from Credence Clearwater Revival and one from Blood, Sweat & Tears...far from disco rhythms and not helping on my uphill climb.  But great music.
 
I think I remember "Mr. Big Stuff" or "Car Wash" or something disco after that...dunno, legs were working and I was breathing so hard that I can't remember the exact songs.
 
Finally, as I approach the top of the hill, I am listening to "Shaft" by Isaac Hayes.  Is it possible that I was the only person on the planet today to listen to "Shaft" while riding uphill in the 98 degrees temp?
 
At the top, I could hear the creepy harmonies of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, which was of no help in my recovery.  Seriously, are "rock operas" good for anything?
 
Next time, I'll have to create a hill-climb-dance playlist with some cheesy disco and other bouncy music to get me in gear.   Wow, this is a rambling post so I'll sign off. 
 
Have a great Sunday, everyone.  If your weigh-in is on Monday, (like mine), then I hope you do well today and have great results on Monday!
 
Keep riding everyone!
 
Big Clyde

Friday, May 21, 2010

Regarding Andre the Giant...

Sometimes I forget that I have chosen Andre the Giant as my little avatar image for this blog.  It is not totally random, though I think I spent about 5 minutes thinking about it when I first created this blog on a whim. 

Eventhough I haven't been blogging for very long, I am surprised that I have never been asked the question about why I chose Andre.  But because I have special feelings about him, I'd like to explain why I chose him to be the face of this blog.

Here are the few quick associations that come to mind about Andre the Giant:
  • His website states that he was 7'4 and weighed 500 pounds. Born in France in 1946 and died there as well in 1993.
  • I've never watched wrestling, so I never knew of that part of his career. 
  • His first acting job was in my favorite tv show as a kid:  The Six Million Dollar Man (he played BigFoot).
  • He may be most widely known as Fezzik in The Princess Bride (a man with a gift of rhyme).  This is really how I came to know of him.
  • There is a great line that Fezzik says in The Princess Bride, that I use up at the top of the header.  Some other characters are just looking at how amazingly huge he is and Fezzik responds in a very innocent way saying "It's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest, I don't even exercise."  It's as if he is surprised that he has gotten this big.  I identified with that feeling as well. 
  • I actually saw him in person, trying to get into a limo in Tokyo, Japan in about 1992.  We must have been staying at the same hotel.  He was so angry because he couldn't go in head-first (and turn-around to sit), yet he also couldn't back in.  Though he was angry, I thought that his inner emotion was more likely sadness and a feeling of isolation just because he did not fit in this world.   He didn't fit and everyone got to see it...every day of his life.  As another big man in Japan, I identified with this frustration and felt a strong compassion for him that continues to this day.
When I started this blog, I was much heavier than I am now.  I am 6'4 and weighed in at 325.  I have now lost about 28 pounds and still have a long way to go, but I am much more fit now, regardless of my weight. 

Even today, I can say with certainty that I am nearly always "the largest person in the room", almost regardless of where I go.  If I went to my grocery store right now, I would be the heaviest person there.  Same with my work, etc.  Throughout my entire life, being called a "big guy" has really meant (to me) that I am a "fat guy".  That is some messed up thinking, I know, and I am working on how I think of myself (and shrinking myself, too!).

But when I started this blog, it was a fast connection to think of Andre the Giant.  I didn't want my own picture up there (at the time) and simply thought of the biggest person I knew.  It also helped that I was sympathetic toward Andre (after Tokyo).  Finally, both he and I have been called "gentle giants", a term that I happily accept.  Andre seemed a natural choice to be the face of "Big Clyde".  I also thought it would be fun.

So, from time to time, I will use some photos of Andre that might add to a post.  Just to make it easier, I will likely refer to him as if he is Big Clyde, just another character, played by Andre the Gentle Giant.  I hope you like it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Fool on The Hill - 1 out of 10

I DON'T LIKE RIDING MY BIKE UPHILL!  At all. 

...which is weird because all of my cycling friends are fine with hills.  Oh, but they all weigh about 165 pounds.  Even their bike tires are skinny.  But do you know how some of them got to that weight?  By riding their bikes, even uphill.

I live in a valley, literally.  My "river loop" route that I normally ride is 6.5 miles of mostly flat bike path, along a river-bed.  Given that I live in the desert, I have only seen water in that river about 3-4 times over the past 6 years, but they still call it a river-bed.

So, if you live in a valley and don't want to just ride around a bunch of sand, you have to "ride hills" to get more scenery and distance, to alleviate the monotony of the same route.

The hills around me are tough (for a man of my stature), but not impossible.  I have climbed La Canada about 15 times now.  But as time passes between those climbs, it becomes more intimidating.   It's like it gets steeper somehow.  Makes a wimpy guy like me want to keep that bike in the garage and move to a flat terrain somewhere.

I was talking with new friend, Mike, recently.  He is an experienced cyclist.  We were talking about how some people are just really good at hills.  They have larger thigh muscles and can stomp up hills like mountain goats.  Mike is a mountain goat.  Neighbor Ted and my friend Weegie are mountain goats.  Good for them.

I asked Mike "So, how do you get good at riding hills?"  He laughingly responded "you ride hills".  You might have seen that one coming.  I think I did too. 

So, I will commit to a new mini-challenge for myself.  This fool will "ride hills" 10 times before Father's Day.   This also means that 'll be cycling more, which is needed for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge.  I'll post the count in the title as I get this done.  Yesterday I climbed what I will call "Short Hill loop".  It is 9.3 miles and the loop took me 43 minutes of  hard work to complete.  

Details:  From my driveway to the hill-top was 21 minutes...that was the hard part.  The rest of it was just a sprint on a more flat terrain and the quick downhill descent.  I'm including the detail here so that I can benchmark and see how I do as I progress. I'll vary the distance, but the initial hill-top climb will be the constant.  1 down, 9 to go.

(By the way, I love these old cycling posters from France.  I have been following some new sites that are really into "bicycle art" and I want to use some cool cycling images.  If any of you French-Canadians out there want to translate these posters, that could be pretty cool for the rest of us.)

Keep riding everyone!

Big Clyde

P.S.  Thanks to ALL for the encouragement after my weigh-in post.  I especially want to thank RockStar Tri who encouraged me by simply saying "less writing, more riding" and Massive Marcus and ZeusMeatball for the straight talk.  It is easier to blog, than to do the work.  Good reminders for me.  Much appreciated.

Also, RockStar:  On my ride today, I wore those bib shorts that you sent, along with my original jersey.  I love those bib shorts!  Thanks so much for the gear.  My jersey fits great now, even a little loose.  Soon, I'll offer it to an newbie Clydesdale to pay it forward.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mrs. Clyde's iTouch Challenge - update

Thanks to all for the comments on my post yesterday.  There were many words of encouragement, which really helped me.  Please know two things:
  1. I hate to lose or be defeated in my goals, especially when I am the one in control.  I can be patient and I can work on setting reasonable expectations...but I tend to get pretty focused on my goals and I hate it when I don't do my best toward those goals. 
  2. I have no intention of giving up on my plan.  But I also don't want to do the same thing every week and expect different results.  
I need to step up my activity now.   My beautiful wife gave me an aggressive goal/challenge to weigh 280 on June 20, 2010.  That means that I have 32 days to lose 17 pounds.  Maybe she wants me healthier.  Maybe she just likes guys on bikes.  Either way, I better get pedaling.

Big Clyde

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weigh In - Week 11

Weight Change:  Lost 0 pound
Total Loss since 3/1/10:  28 pounds

Today, I'm feeling:   I don't know. Grateful for the total loss, but disappointed that the same effort that lost my recent weight is now producing mediocre results at best.  Maybe I am just shape-shifting (like one of the X-Men).  I will not give up and will stay on plan, but it is confusing to me.  I have been wrestling with low-results for a few weeks now.

Here's what happened last week:  I felt great for the first several days of this week.  My stomach just began to feel flatter (if that is possible for a guy around 300 pounds!?!) and I really started working out last weekend and on through Wednesday.  Then, I got busy (or tired or cocky?) and just didn't get around to working out on Thurs-Sunday.  I wish I knew how that happened.  Also, I ate a few more heavy calorie foods on the weekend and didn't count calories.  Why did my discipline seem to go away?

Also, I went to a party on Sunday night (12 hours before weigh-in). I passed on the beer and cake, but did have 2-3 portions of grilled chicken.  
(Here is a picture of me and the fellas at last night's party. I'm the tall one in the middle.)

Food: Ate well for the most part...lots of fruits, veggies, egg whites and low-cal foods. 

Liquids: Much less water this week.  Maybe that hurt me.  Coffee everyday.

Exercise:
Monday:  weights
Tuesday:  30 minutes of steps and weights
Wednesday: C25K Week 1.3
Thursday:
Friday:
Saturday: 30 minute walk
Sunday:  20 minute walk

Confessional:   After feeling so solid about my food choices during the week, we took the kids out for breakfast on Saturday.  I thought I would be okay and ordered waffles with sausage, then had some pizza for dinner.  I knew that I was starting to lose my discipline.  Disappointing.

Weight Loss Highlight of the Week:  At church, my mother-in-law pointed out that I had been losing weight (I hadn't seen her since Easter).  An older lady looked at me and said "you look perfect at this weight, because you are tall and have big shoulders."  I loved hearing that but said "oh, I've got more to lose" and she actually said "no, don't say that...don't get too skinny".  About 10 minutes earlier, she had also told us that she was half-blind (!), but I still liked her warning for me to not get "too skinny"!  Hysterical!

My Goals for this Week:

  • Continue to pursue goal of 280 weight by June 20 for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!  
  • Changing my daily avg calorie budget to 1,800 or less.
  • Cardio at least 4 times this week (walking, cycling or stepping). (Achieved 5/7 days).  Weights at least 3 times this week.  (Only lifted weights twice).
Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Follow-Up Post on Rocky

Massive Marcus had reminded me of the Rocky theme song recently, so I wrote something about it yesterday.  But today, I wanted to share some additional thoughts on it, that came to mind when I read RockStar Tri's comments.  See the whole post here.

If you ask someone what was their favorite scene in any of the Rocky movies, they likely will say "the training scene" (or the music montage scene).  This is where we see Rocky head out into the streets in his dirty gray sweats early in the morning to begin his grueling workout, when everyone else is sleeping.  Or, when he is grunting and groaning, lifting weights as someone is screaming at him to push himself.  The music is awesome and we see our hero, Rocky, literally getting stronger, faster and more focused right before our eyes.  His effort is impressive and we are inspired.  Maybe another favorite scene would be the fight scenes when he is in there battling, fighting for his dignity and the title of being the best...because we know he has trained for himself and he is better than ever (whether he wins or loses).

BUT, if we were to somehow enter into the movie and get inside Rocky's head during those moments and ask him "Hey, Rock...how you doin'?  Are you having fun?  Would you rather be at home on the couch?  Want some nachos or ice cream?".  He would probably say that yes, he'd rather be on the couch, hanging out, munching on some tasty food, as opposed to the hurting and beating he is putting himself through.

How strange that the part of Rocky's story that we love the most, just might be the part that he hates the most?!

This was a turning point for me to realize that we need to constantly play those motivational songs or phrases in our heads as we all try to improve our health, exercise more, eat well, etc.  It IS exhilirating when we begin the transformation of our own lives...but it doesn't always feel that way in the moment.  For years, I just thought "I don't like exercise" because when I was in the middle of it, it didn't seem fun and it was hard and tiring and basically not as comfortable as NOT exercising!  That just told me that "exercise wasn't my thing".  Yet, I LOVE the results of exercising (which many of us are experiencing now). 

RockStar Tri's simple advice for us yesterday was motivational to me.  He said  "Let's just say that it would be great if all should do a little more than they think would be easy and then enjoy the results."

Thanks for that.  I will do more that I think would be easy and ignore the hurting that might come with that effort.  Then, later, I'll enjoy the results from pushing myself. 

My thanks to all of you for following along as I try to change myself.  I love reading your stories as well and you motivate me every day.

Big Clyde

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cue the "Rocky" theme song, please

Recently, I wrote about a nice Saturday bike ride where I had enjoyed some renewed strength climbing hills, increasing speed, etc.  In the comments, Massive Marcus wrote that he could hear the "Rocky" theme song playing somewhere.  Yes, the song can be cheesy, but it does stir up that same feeling in all of us, right?  Nice one, MM. 



It's time for me to press "play" on that song again.  Yes, I lost weight last week...1 pound.  I am grateful for that loss and I know that I am becoming more healthy (and smarter about my choices).  But I was on quite a roll there for awhile (losing 2-4 pounds per week) and that has slowed dramatically.   

So, I am going to be working hard to force that number downward.  I have been exercising daily with cardio (ranging from 30 min of fast walking, to jogging to cycling) and have also added in some work with weights to get ready for the GUN SHOW (somebody give me a high-5! Up Top!  Don't leave me hangin' now...anyone?!?).

I realized that it was finally time to get serious about my workout routine when the term "Last Chance Workout" would come to my mind as I headed to the bathroom, right before my weigh-in on Monday morning.   (Sorry if that's crude, but fans of The Biggest Loser might get that one.)

Also, I've decided that I'm not going to check the scale until Mondays.  Before this week, I was weighing every day for the past few weeks and it's driving me crazy.  So, we'll see how I do on Monday morning.

What are your exercise goals for this coming week?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh? CANADA !!

Wow...everybody loves Canada (except for their comedians who move to the U.S.).

It appears that my snarky comments have brought out some maple-sweetened pride from the Canadians (or as I call them:  "the other white meat"). 

(This is the part where I try to make amends.)

I found myself reading these comments about Canada and realizing I never really knew her at all (which was kind of my point).   So, despite the number of times I would read about her achievements and say "Oh?...I didn't know that", I also found myself thinking "nicely done, Canada...the world DOES need rollerskates".   Good for you!

So, let me say that I now have a newfound respect for our silent, creepy (but friendly) neighbor to the north.  Her people are proud of her hockey, her cheese and the 19-year-old legalized drinking age.

As a token of our esteem, we (America) will now give you Superman.  He officially isn't even from this planet and seems to be a bit boring anyway, but he likes the colder climates already and imagine what he could do for your curling team!  We'll keep Batman, IronMan, The Hulk, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, the Six Million Dollar Man, etc. and hope for the best.

Lovingly,

Big Duke (Clyde's cousin)

P.S.  Please welcome Clyde back tomorrow.  He has been away and has had NOTHING to do with any of these anti-Canadian rants.

P.P.S.  Big Clyde is ready to get back to cycling.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Canada: What's Going On Up There?

In the past week, I have seen a few comments about Canada.  These comments  made me realize how I have some concerns about this seemingly innocent, yet VERY mysterious country.

Let me clearly state my position:   I don't hate Canada.  I don't even have strong opinions against Canada.  I certainly don't hate the Canadian people.  I simply don't trust them.

You might be surprised to learn that I don't even know very much about Canada.  But that is my point.  Unless you live there, what do the rest of us in the world really know about Canada?  If we meet someone from Canada, we'll go "hmm...okay" because we have nothing to say because we don't know what you are all up to.

Here are a few of my questions/concerns about these people, hiding in the frigid light of day:

  1. What do they do up there all day?   I've known a few Canadians, though not very well.  They only talked about drinking beer, eating meat, playing or watching hockey and they were very funny and fun to be around.  Actually, they seemed more interested in playing hockey, than watching it (seems un-American to me).   Yet, when you step away from these alcohol-fueled good times, what did they really reveal about their interests?  Nothing...just the beer and the eating and the hockey.

  2. Let's face it, they contribute almost nothing to the rest of the world.  Quick!...name the Top 5 inventions that have come out of Canada?  (crickets) Okay, how about the Top 5 Sports invented by Canadians (okay, we'll give them hockey and curling...but is curling really a sport if a woman 5 1/2 months pregnant can do it??).   Moving on, what are the Top 5 Canadian films or Music Groups that have shown up on the world's stage (please keep your answers within the past 10 years)?    

  3. Along those lines, does Canada even have a military, ready to jump in to crises in the world?  How scary would it be if we find that they don't NEED a military?  No one robs the mafia boss' house, right?  Could it be that they are so secretly tough and scary that no country would ever take them on?

  4. As a country, they seem to embody the "fly-below-the-radar" strategy:  get along with everyone, but don't stand out...at all.  They are a part of North America and even look and sound like Americans, but they are NOT Americans.  They are not British either, but they are a constitutional monarchy serving Queen Elizabeth (so, kinda British?).  They're not French, but there is the whole Quebec thing (and even THEY don't want to really be Canadians).

  5. And the food?  I have been fortunate enough to travel around the world, visiting four different continents.  But I have NEVER seen a Canadian food restaurant.  Even here in Tucson, Arizona, we have African restaurants, Turkish, Chinese, Australian, Indian, Mexican, British, German, Russian, etc.  Has anyone ever been to a Canadian restaurant?  Okay, there is the bacon (but isn't it really just chewy ham?).

  6. This country is strangely quiet and secretive.  Even now, you are somewhat hoping that no one is looking over your shoulder as you read this.   Why is Canada never in the news?  Ever.

  7. They speak english (except in Quebec), yet they have weird pronunciation and spelling on the most random words.  They can say "house" but can't say "about"?  Really? And yes, they add that "u" in some words like "flavour", just because. WHY?!?
I realize that this might seem like I am a hater, but as I said, I am not.  I am just concerned, maybe even frightened.  I am 44 years old and I am realizing that there is this huge country right above me...all those Canadians, just looking down on us Americans, saying nothing like that creepy guy in the food court at the mall.  What do you people want from us?  What are you all doing up there?   Do you mean us harm?!?

By the way, no hard feelings okay, Canada?   I always heard you guys were nice.  So, we're cool, right?

Big Duke (Clyde's cousin)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weigh In - Week 10

Weight Change:  Lost 1 pound
Total Loss since 3/1/10:  28 pounds

Today, I'm feeling:  Content with my plan, feeling much healthier (but still looking for more rapid weight loss, based on my effort). 
Here's what happened last week:   Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge (see earlier post here)!

Food:   Ate well, lots of fruits, veggies, egg whites and low-cal foods.

Liquids: Tons of water, quite a bit of the Lipton Diet Green Tea with BERRIES (new flavor)! This keeps it all moving and energy levels up. Coffee everyday.

Exercise:
  • Tuesday:  30 minutes of stair-stepping and lifted weights. 
  • Wednesday:  30 minutes after-dinner walk.  (Thanks, Tricia!).  2 sets of bicep curls.
  • Thursday:  C25K Week 1.1 (30 minutes...2.18 miles.)  Walking and jogging.
  • Saturday:  Rode 13.7 miles to go to the movies.  2 sets of bicep curls.
  • Sunday:  C25K Week 1.2 and lifted weights
Confessional: Nothing major here this week.  Good news.

Weight Loss Highlight of the Week:  Felt a lot more energy this week and found myself looking forward to exercise.  Also, on Saturday, I saw that there are now over 50 followers to this blog!  That is very cool.  Whether there are 50 people following, 500 followers or only 5, I can assure you that I am grateful for your encourging words, advice and even the kick-in-the-tail that I get from you.  Please keep at it.  I'll work hard to keep the posts interesting and honest.

My Goals for this Week:
  • Continue to pursue goal of 280 weight by June 20 for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
  • Changing my daily avg calorie budget to 1,800 or less
  • Cardio at least 4 times this week (walking, cycling or stepping). (Thanks for the challenge, Mike).  Weights at least 3 times this week. 
  • Working toward a big loss for next week.  My weight loss pace has slowed over the past few weeks and I hope increased exercise will cause a dramatic change.
Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Today's Ride: 13.7 miles

Today is Saturday and Crazy Jim and I rode our bikes 13.7 miles with a movie in between.  We tackled the La Canada hill, then settled in for a mostly flat and eventually downhill return home.  Have I mentioned lately that I am exceptional at going downhill?  Big guys always feel good on the bike, when going downhill.  I even reached 30 mph, while pedalling like a crazy person!  Good times.

 It felt great being on the bike again and I can tell that my weight loss is definitely improving my comfort, speed and fun on the bike.  When I wanted to climb the hill more aggressively, I could pour it on.  We also challenged ourselves to sprint a few sections near the end of the route and I was happy that I could put some power behind it. 

Iron Man 2 was a big disappointment to me.  I LOVED the first one, but found this one a bit boring and tedious.

I have been increasing my workout (from "almost nothing" to "something" every day).   This activity (and sticking on my food plan) should finally help me on the scale.  We'll see at Monday's weigh-in.

Keep Riding everyone!

Big Clyde

Friday, May 7, 2010

Iron Man 2...on a bicycle

So, Crazy Jim and I rode in the Tour of the Tucson Mountains (28 mile route) about two weeks ago.  The more time passes, I seem to forget that I got some good exercise in with my friend and focus instead on the fact that I really screwed up my eating for this race.  My lack of bike-nutrition caused horrible performance in the last 6-7 miles, rubbery legs when I got off my bike and (honestly) flickering "I'm-going-to-pass-out" vision.  Until I ate a ham sammich and finally felt better.  Good times with a friend, yeah okay kinda...but I wasted a good opportunity to really do well in this race.  I thought I would crush this thing and ended up feeling like a total spaz.

Time to get back on that bike and put in more distance...with hills this time.  Crazy Jim and I are going to see IronMan2 this weekend (because it is awesome).    First, we'll have to ride up La Canada (3 miles and 450 feet in elevation), then ride for a few more miles to the theatre.  Watch the flick, then IronMan-it back home.   I think it will be about 12.5 miles..

I am now looking for reasons to get on the bike to blast past my plateau (and to beat Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge)!  That woman really knows how to get to me.

Keep Riding Everyone!

Big Clyde


P.S.  By the way, when did everyone start hating Gwyneth Paltrow?  Does she stab puppies or something?  Did I miss the memo?  I'm still on-board with her!  Gwynnie, come over and have dinner with the fam.  You look hungry.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Wise Person Once Said...



"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."

 --- Winston Churchill




I am having to keep this in mind lately my friends, because I seem stuck.  I am still hovering around the same weight.  No change in meal plans, but a slight increase in cardio.  I know that I am not destined to be stuck at 300 lbs, but I can't seem to move the dial...very frustrating.  Following Churchill's advice, I'll keep at it, but I am bummed that I am not getting results right now.

Continuing the effort,

Big Clyde

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mrs. Clyde's iTouch Challenge

The lovely Mrs. Clyde issued a challenge to your's truly last night. 

It began with me hinting for awhile that I would like to buy an iTouch...just because.  I mentioned how it would be more handy for me to check the blog, check your blogs!, log in my calories, track my...whatever, blah, blah, benefit, blah, convenience, blah, "more time with the family", blah, etc.  I think I ended it with "it's not like I buy a bunch of toys for myself", which was the wrong thing to say given that I bought a new bike in October (the much-loved HUCC-B!), then spent even more money to trick it out to my liking.
She was too classy to point out that her birthday and Mother's Day are this month, which will mark the one-year anniversary from the time when I told her that her gift was that we would go out together and buy her a new road bike!  Which would have been really nice, except we never did it.  She still has the butch 8-year-old Mongoose mountain bike that is built for off-roading...she never really wanted that present either.  Consequently, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde don't really ride bikes together.  It is what marriage counselors call a "strain on the relationship" that is not really healing.  I need to get on that...

But let's get back to me.  She does love me and loves me less now, thanks to my recent weight loss.  She said "okay big boy, if you can get to 280 pounds by Father's Day, then it is yours...you can get the iTouch".  She didn't have to add that if I fail, that request will go on that long-term, neglected wish list, probably for a long while and DEFINITELY behind her road bike! 

As for the goal, this might seem easy for some people.  But my exercise has been spotty lately.  My weight loss has been through better food choices, not a lot of sweat involved.  To increase my loss per week and make sure that I don't plateau, I'll really need to step it up.  This will be a serious stretch for me, because it will definitely get me out of my comfort zone and get me moving.

So, to get the iTouch, I will need to drop approx 20 pounds by Father's Day.  That is about 6 1/2 weeks away, or about 3 pounds per week.  Any advice or kick-in-the-tail accountability you want to throw my way would be much appreciated.

(Twon:  so, here is my goal for your challenge!  Thanks for firing us all up.)

Time to get busy.

Big Clyde

P.S.  I did a platform-stepping thing tonight for 30 minutes.  I haven't done that for awhile.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beware of Biker Gangs

I went for a nice ride on Saturday, but ran into these four outlaws, looking for some trouble.  Don't they look mean?


Rather than fight this gang, I offered to buy them lunch, on one condition...we would have to RIDE there.  They liked the idea of free lunch and become much less scary and much more happy!


With some desert miles behind us, we ran across this little taco stand and chowed down.   We didn't cause any trouble, but they made us eat outside. 


We agreed to join up and ride together for a few more miles (about 8 for the entire trip).  All in all, it was a perfect ride and they let me join their biker gang.  If you live in the desert, don't be surprised if you see us tearing up the bike paths.  I'll be the big one, with a huge smile on his face.

Eat our dust!

Big Clyde

Monday, May 3, 2010

Weigh In - Week 9 - Milestone Goal Achieved!

Weight Change:  Lost 6 pounds

Total Loss since 3/1/10:  27 pounds

Today, I'm feeling:  Great!  Seeing progress and below my "milestone" number!

Here's what happened last week:
I learn something new each week.  This week, I learned a bit about pre-race eating.  I posted a weight gain last Monday, because I basically overate proteins before my race, then under-ate during the race.  It left me feeling terrible for the next few days.  I felt better by mid-week.  By the weekend, I felt great.  I also learned that my new veg/fruit heavy diet is extremely low in fiber.  That can cause...problems. 

Food: I guess I've already written about this in previous weigh-in posts...refer to them or let me know.  Essentially, this junk and fast-food junkie now eats about 1,700 calories per day...mostly fresh food, not much from a box.  It's easier than it sounds.  Will add black beans, some "double-fiber" bread and metamucil to improve that.

 Liquids: Tons of water, quite a bit of the Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus. This keeps it all moving and energy levels up. Coffee everyday.

Exercise: I went with my kids and their friend on a short Saturday ride of about 8 miles.  I tried to run at a higher cadence to make it more of a workout and was pleased that they pushed themselves this distance.

Confessional: Nothing major here.  At my company conference, I did enjoy some cake and in a weak moment, had several of those little Hershey's chocolate bite-size bars.  But then I got right back on plan at my next meal and ate lighter for the next day.  I think that these things will happen and are even normal.  The trick that I am learning is to enjoy what I eat in smaller portions, and when I exceed calories at any given meal, just dial it back fast on the next meal.

Weight Loss Highlight of the Week:  I now weigh 298 pounds.  Getting below 300 (from my starting weight of 325) was a milestone goal for me.  I haven't weighed this much since a brief period in 2004, when I was on this crazy diet plan involving pills and shots.  That lasted about 6 weeks.

I've never really stated my weight on this blog, just because I've felt embarassed about it.  But it feels better now, knowing that I am working on it.  A new friend, Mike from http://www.tucsonvelo.com/, recently told me that if I am eating healthy foods, losing weight and exercising, that puts me (us!) in a small group of people on this planet that are headed in the right direction...most are headed slowly in the wrong direction.  So, I guess I don't feel so badly about my current weight, as long as I am working on it. 

I am grateful to all of you for the encouragement and wanted to especially thank Mike from TucsonVelo.com.  More on that in a future post.  He has an amazing story to tell.
My Goals for this Week:
  • Establish new goals for May.
  • Maintain an avg daily calorie budget of 1,700 or less
  • Exercise at least 3 times this week (walking, cycling or stepping).  (Thanks for the challenge, Mike).  Also, do some weights.  I will start logging my exercise soon.
Have a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, May 1, 2010

MayDay Challenge - DAY OF RECKONING !!!


Well, well, well...

Today is May 1st or MayDay.  When we started this challenge, I noted how the term "mayday" is the distress call that ships call out to others when they are in need of a rescue.  Four weeks ago, I had just lost 13 pounds in the previous month, but was wondering if I had just gotten rid of some early weight and then would level off.  It was one thing to have a few good weeks going on my new program, but could I do it for two months in a row? 

I knew that I would need help and encouragement.  I made that "mayday" call out to all of you and asked for you to join in.   Click here for the list of players that signed up at the beginning...others joined in along the way.  We haven't heard from some people and that is fine.  We are all on our own path and people are busy.  I hope everyone did well.  I also want to say that all of our goals are very individualized.  If you set the bar high (for you) and missed, do not be disappointed.  My question is:  would you have achieved as much if you set the bar lower?

I am so grateful to all of you for joining me in this.  It means so much more than you could possibly know. 

So, please jump in and comment and let us all know how you did.  Be wordy...we want to hear it! 

(I'll post a comment on my progress sometime Saturday, when I return from being out of town).

Big Clyde