Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weigh in - Week 22: The Clyde, The Bad and The Ugly

Weight Change in the past two weeks:  Gained 2 pounds!

Total Loss since 3/1/10: 34 pounds
Today, I'm feeling:  Exhausted.  Looking forward to getting some sleep and exercise this weekend.

Here's what happened last week:
Worked probably 70 hours this past week, which is very unusual.  I rode my bike just a few times to turn some pedals, but only went a few miles at a time.  Also, Mrs. Clyde is going through this very stressful time, so we are staying close and talking a lot to work through it.  She absolutely would not want her situation to by a de-motivator for me, yet her well-being is much more important to me than exercising.

Highlight of the Week:  (crickets chirping)

Food:  Food has been moderate...probably about 2,100 calories per day.  I've been mostly sticking to my normal low-cal foods, with occasional deviations, but nothing extreme.

Liquids:  Not much water lately.

Exercise:  Cruised the neighborhood on my bike a few times.  It really doesn't count as cardio, but each time, I was reminded how much I like being on the bike.

My Goals for this Week:
  • Get back on my plan!
  • Continue to pursue goal of 275 weight by September 6th for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
  • Next short-term goal is to be at 288 by 8/7.
  • Cardio will be walking/running/cycling for at least 5 days this week.
  • Maintain about 1,700 daily calories of good healthy food.

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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Top 5 Friday - Heroes!

Hi everyone!  It is Friday and time for our Top 5 Friday list.  Our heroes reveal our own aspirations and values.  Tell me who you consider to be your heroes and I will learn something about you.  

Two guidelines: 
1.  They don't have to be living today, but I ask that you choose people that lived during the last 50 years, so that their influence is somewhat recent.  Got it?  Abraham Lincoln doesn't get on the list this time.   
2.  I encourage you to consider people that are somewhat famous, just to help the rest of us understand.  That means that Mom, Dad and your track coach wouldn't make this list. 

Let's begin.  Here is my list of people whom I consider to be my personal heroes.

Top 5 Friday - My Heroes!
  1. Bono (justice) - I like U2 (but I just started listening about two years ago).  But I LOVE Bono's passion for working with all levels of society (and music fans) to work together toward assisting the poor.  He is a man of God and is doing the Lord's work (in a leather jacket no less!).
  2. Billy Graham (faith) - He describes himself as a simple preacher, who taught the same message for his entire life.  He has been scandal-free, an advisor to so many Presidents and a very humble man from what I have read.  He shows that faith can be simple, but incredibly strong and impactful to others.
  3. Ray Charles (soul) - He is called "The Genius" and I believe that is a fitting nickname.  He had several challenges that could have stopped him along the way.  Yet, he excelled in several different music genres and brought blacks and whites together through his music and actions.  His music is incredibly soulful and I think that he is the most "iconic American musician" in our nation's history.
  4. Winston Churchill (perserverance) - Though ridiculed by his peers, he continued to present his opinions and eventually woke his country up to the threat of Adolph Hitler.  He is a model of dignity, selflessness and perserverance.
  5. Lance Armstrong (body) - I am not an avid road cyclist, didn't watch much of Tour de France and haven't read his books (yet).  But I am a sucker for guys like Lance (and Bono) that use their fame in one area (music or sports) to benefit a cause that helps others.  Lance not only survived cancer and consequently won the TdF many times, but he used his fame to spread awareness of cancer and to promote cancer research. 
Okay, now it is your turn!  Who you got?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Belgium Bike Giveaway

No, I am not giving a New Belgium Bike away, sorry.  I want to win one!  I have been filling out their online form for a few weeks now here.  They even let me take a picture of what I'll look like on their odd, but cool bike.  I think I'd look good on it, don't you?
I would like to say I'm a fan of New Belgium Brewery and their Fat Tire Ale.  But I haven't enjoyed one of their beers in a long while, because I've been watching the calories.  Maybe that's why I haven't won the bike yet.

But they are into bikes and have a bike & beer event in Phoenix in a few months that I will go to.  Looks like my calories might be over budget that day, so I'll try to go under for a few days surrounding that.

I am doing well this week with my food, but have not worked out in a few days.  Mrs. Clyde has a very stressful situation that she is slogging through and it is a struggle for us.  As of today, she is at the "beginning of the end" phase of this struggle.  No details here, but we are circling the wagons around the Clyde house as much as we can right now and looking forward to happier times in a month or so.   We'll be fine (and I think, we'll even start cycling together!).

I still have Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge weight goal to work toward by Labor Day.   I missed it once before and don't want to fail again.  The iPod Touch still seems so cool, given that I pretty much always have my old iPod Nano with me, but with the Touch, I could track some mileage, log in food to sparkpeople.com, and even catch up on the blog.  Good times.  Guess I better get my tail in gear.

If you have an iTouch, can you tell me how you use it?

Keep moving, everyone!

Big Clyde

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Fall of Man...and other weighty topics

Please forgive the attempt at a clever title, but it so perfectly fit my feelings for today.  This goes a bit long here, my friends.  If you have been struggling lately with your motivation or mistakes, this might be helpful.  Here goes.

The Fall of Man, version #1 (the literal version):  I fell today while strapped into my pedals on my bike.  I fell hard!  I was coming to a stop and could not get my foot free in time.  The skin came off just below my knee and I'll have decent bruises on my elbows (the bike is fine).  Cuppa Joe was with me and saw that falling off a bike can hurt, but is not fatal and we just have to get back up and ride.  My fall did not mean I am a bad cyclist or a failure.  It was just a simple fall, nothing more...I am not going to have to "start over" as a cyclist.  EVERY cyclist falls sometimes, then they get back up.  (Hint:  Do you see how this is building to a larger message here?).

("Will this apple exceed your daily calorie count?")

The Fall of Man, version #2 (from The Bible and Wikipedia):  The Fall of Man or simply the Fall refers in Christian doctrine to the transition of the first humans from a state of innocent obedience to God, to a state of guilty disobedience to God.  After doing so they become ashamed...  I am a Christian guy, which means that I believe that Adam and Eve really were the first humans and I also see that they could not stick to a prescribed eating plan, just like me.  Were they disobedient to God?  Definitely!  Did He give up on them, or tell them that they were no longer loved?  No.  Adam and Eve were basically told that they were going to have to work a bit harder in life now.  Their work, including gathering food to eat, would now be more difficult for them.  Just like we tell our kids...you were disobedient.  But I still love you.  Try to do better from now on.  God is all about forgiveness and moving forward. (That's another hint.)

The Fall of Man, version #3 (the Lance Armstrong version):  The Tour de France ended today and Lance Armstrong did not win...exactly.  One could argue that he had nothing to prove, given that he had already one this race 7 times AFTER surviving cancer.  If you have won the race more times than anyone else, I think you are classified as a winner.  But he fell during this year's Tour de France and he struggled and finished 23rd, far below the expectations of his fans.  I bet he'll be upset for a little while, but not long.  No one likes losing, but Lance is more than a 2010 TdF cyclist.  He is a record-breaker, he is a father, he is a living example of winning the fight against cancer.  Amidst all of these things, will his standing in this one race really get him down?  I doubt it.

Where is all of this going?  I am coming to terms with my own successes and challenges in my efforts to lose weight and become more healthy.  I started this blog because I am somewhat expressive and wanted to voice what I was going through.  I also wanted to learn and be encouraged by others (and encourage them in return). 

Some of you have had tremendous success stories with amazing perserverance and obedience to your plan.  I admire your discipline and celebrate your success.  There are even times, when I am a bit envious.  

All of our stories are different and I can tell you that I am very pleased with my results so far, but I am not nearly done.  And yet, I have other things in life that I hold higher than The Clydesdale Project.  I am a father, a husband, an employee, a volunteer, etc.  If my poor health were about to kill me, then yes, counting calories and dropping pounds each week would likely be my highest priority...but I am healthy, (Thank You God).  I have lost over 10% of my weight in the past few months and my health metrics are excellent.  My clothes are loose, I am aware of my goals and of what I need to keep doing to become even more healthy.  I am confident.

This weight loss/exercise thing is mostly a mental game and this is where non-athletes get very easily defeated.  If we fall or stumble, then we can quickly tell ourselves that we "just aren't good at this" or "have no discipline", so we limp off the race course and crawl back to the couch and our old bad habits. 

Or maybe, we sign up for "the race" again and tell ourselves that we are "starting over", hoping that "this time, things are going to be different".    Cyclists never do that.  When they fall, they don't sit and pout and they absolutely don't walk their bike back to the starting line to "start over".  They get up, dust themselves off, and get back to it, even if their friends are now much further ahead.  The crowd cheers only for those who don't give up.

A fellow blogger (someone I consider a friend and mentor) recently responded to my question where I asked if he ever went days or weeks off his plan.  His response was that he didn't allow that to happen.  He wrote "The attitude of "Oh well---I'll do better tomorrow, or next week, or soon" is exactly the kind of excuses and rationalizations I write so much about....they're deadly."

Now, feel free to take these next words with a grain of salt, but I think his philosophy on that is not for everyone.  True, he has achieved amazing results and therefore, we should all learn from his dedication.  But for some of us, a more moderate approach might not be deadly at all.  It might actually be a better plan for some of us.  Falling off the bike is not deadly, if you are the type of person who knows that you will get back on.  Falling is not the failure (even if you stop for a "break")...you only fail at your goals when you choose to give up entirely.

I guess I am writing this to myself (as usual) and also to some of you out there that DO NOT have near-perfect discipline.  Don't feel like a failure if you stop for awhile along your journey, or if you aren't showing any progress.  Seek advice from others if that is helpful to you, there are plenty of wise people out there who can help.  But if work, relationships, stresses or even happiness(!) comes along and becomes more important than posting a number at your weekly weigh-in, then so be it.  If you ever feel like you are becoming a slave to your own plans, then you are doing it wrong, in my opinion.

One final note, I won't reference my blogger friend here, because he has done so well for himself and helped so many people that I would not want anyone to think this is a battle between me and him.   It is not that way at all.  I am just coming around to my own perspective, which I think is different from his.   If you know who he is, then feel free to disregard my opinion and follow his advice.  After all, his weight loss results are tremendous.

As always, I welcome any feedback you might have.  Thanks.

Big Clyde

Friday, July 23, 2010

Weigh-In Week 21 - The Private Weigh-In

I choose not to post my weigh-in tomorrow.  It will be a gain...of several pounds I'm sure.  I don't really care and because I have come to know some of you, I really wouldn't want to alarm you with a number.

My boy and I had a great Dude's Week together.  We saw a good friend, bought some bike stuff, went to a bike shop for fun, saw a movie, exercised some, colored some pictures and just played.  We also had waffles, some pizza, some turkey jerky, and some gummi bears.  No regrets. 

My bride and 2/3 of my kids arrive late tonight and our lives will settle back in to normal.  Then tomorrow, we'll celebrate being together again as a family and I will get back to work on my healthy eating, running and cycling that makes up The Clydesdale Project.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dude's Week - Choices, choices

If you're just joining The Clydesdale Project, my wife and 2/3 of my kids are away for the week.  That leaves me and my 9-year old to have our own Dude's Week.  Yes, he has eaten fruit and is not glued to the tv, he brushes his teeth (sometimes) and has showered (once).  He's made forts out of the pillows and cushions and spends a lot of time wearing only his underwear.  With the rest of the family gone, he seems to be transforming into something more primal, yet with more energy.


Tonight, we did a short bike ride.  Not a workout, but a fun time for the two of us.


Tuesday night, I got a very short RUN in on my own.  I intended to do my neighborhood 5k route, but started at about 5pm when it was still over 100 degrees.  I felt great (initially) and started to run without a warm-up walk.  I ran the first mile, walked a bit back up the hill, then ran about 3/4 mile and finished with a short cool down walk.  2.25 miles in about 28 minutes.  I know, short run, but I was running more than I have lately and it just got so bloody hot.  Next time, I'll bring water along (should've known better).

My son and I are still missing the rest of the family, who are returning Friday night.  I am eating decently this week, but definitely above my 1700 calorie limit.  With the rest of the family gone, it is hard for me to stick to my low-cal stuff and make the boy eat his regular food on his own.  So, we are compromising a bit.  He is sad that the family is apart and a meal of asparagus and egg whites is not a great time in his book.  My goal is to make this a fun week for him, so I am not going to be too concerned about the discipline of my 1700 calories.  It's all a balancing act. 

I am guessing that my limited exercise and food choices will result in a flat or slight weight gain.  So be it.  The weight loss/cycling/fitness journey is important to me and I'll continue to pursue my goals.  But this week, the priority is to be a great father to my son.   The Clydesdale Project is a work in progress...a long work in progress.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Race Calendar - 2010

Prior to May of 2009, I was never an athlete.  I never played little league or hoops.  I had a few periods in my youth when I would go jogging with a friend, etc. and I did play on the tennis team for two seasons and swim team for one season.  I was never a performer.

In May of 2009, I talked with a friend who is a cycling coach.  He (and many other friends) always ride in a big race in our city each November.  I firmly committed to ride in that race, with the simple goal of crossing the finish line before they called the race at sunset. 

One year later, I have a lot of great experiences behind me and a brighter future ahead.  Who would have thought that a 44-year-old, pizza and candy loving, non-athletic guy would actually have a race calendar?  So, as we are midway through this year, I am going to do a quick look backward at races from this past 6-7 months and do some planning ahead.

11.2009  El Tour de Tucson 35 miles - my first cycling race!  I trained for this since May, '09 and it changed my life, giving me confidence that I should keep going.
1.2010  Casa Grande Century 34 miles - my second cycling race with several friends joining along.
3.2010  Tour de Cure - my first race with one of my kids!  We only got to 12+ miles, due to strong headwinds and rain, but it was a great race for us!
4.2010 Tour of the Tucson Mountains - I bonked on this 28 mile race, but learned a good lesson about eating before and during a race.
6.2010  Meet Me Downtown 5K - my first walk/run race.  I went with my two older kids and we walked it.  57 minutes.  It was a great experience on a very hot, summer night.
6.2010  Bike The Bluff 17 miles - A fun and challenging race.

Just to get it on record, here is a list of the races I'm intending to do for the remainder of the year.

9/6 (Mon)  TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day 5K or 8-mile Run/Walk
9/18 (Sat)  El Tour de Tucson Adventure Run/Walk 5K or 10K
10/3 (Sun)  Jim Click's Run-N-Roll 8K and 3K Run
10/9 (Sat)  Tour de Fat - cycling/beer event
11/6 (Sat)  CatWalk 5K or 10K
11/20 (Sat) El Tour de Tucson 35-Mile cycling route
11/25 (Thurs)  Thanksgiving Cross-Country Classic 5K
12/12 (Sun)  Winterhaven Run Through The Lights 5K

My goal?  Complete a 5K under 35 minutes for the first few races, then try to get it done under 30 minutes by year-end (whether it is an official race, or just a timed event in my own neighborhood).

What are your goals for the second half of this year?

Dude's Week: Meet Me At Maynards 5K

So, Cuppa Joe and I went down to Maynards in Downtown Tucson last night and did their informal 5K.  There were about 350 people out there with us.  Good times.

We walked, we ran, we dripped with sweat.  It was fun, but oh so hot!  Add to this a 2-mile walk during lunchtime and I fear that Cuppa Joe was getting a bit dehydrated or just plain old worn out by the end of the day.  Took the smile off his face at least, so we will be a bit more measured throughout the week.  (Keep in mind that the temp during the 5K was approx 104 degrees F). 

Cuppa Joe suggested that we dress alike (because that's cool!) and we looked very handsome, I must say.  Here are some pics:
This is a confident boy!


A strange solar-powered donut! 

The Mighty Duo!

Keep moving, everyone!

Big Clyde

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dude's Week

My wife and two of my kids left this morning on a week-long trip to a church camp.   They will love it and my youngest son and I are going to make the most of this time together.

The upside for me and Cuppa Joe (the now running 9-year-old) is that we have a "Dude's Week" ahead of us...time for me to spend with my boy and let him know how special he is to me.  Last week, Cuppa Joe and I walked/ran our 5k in 49 minutes.  Monday night, we will do the 5k event downtown called Meet Me At Maynards.  We intend to do some form of workout nearly every night this week.  We'll see how it goes.

Make it a great week, everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weigh-In Week 20 and The Unnecessary Bike Purchase

Weight Change:  Lost 1 pound!

Total Loss since 3/1/10:  36 pounds (my lowest since I started this project!).

Today, I'm feeling:  Happy with my loss, despite a tough week.

Here's what happened last week:
I worked out only twice and had a long work week with excessive hours.  My eating was great, despite the strain of the work and the travel.  This coming week will be much better due to workload, family schedule, etc.

My Goals for this Week:
• Continue to pursue goal of 275 weight by September 6th for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
• Short-term goal is to be at 285 by 7/31...four pounds in two weeks should be easy, if I stay focused.
• Cardio will be walking/running/cycling for at least 5 days this week.
• Maintain about 1,700 daily calories of good healthy food.

After reaching a semi-agreement from Mrs. Clyde, I went back to the pawn shop this morning, to purchase the bike that I posted about yesterday.   But it was gone...someone bought it yesterday after I'd been there.  Whoever got it must be happy now.  A great bike at a great price. (On a side note, my friend, GuinneMick,  knows nothing about bikes, but kept calling this a "pedophile-bike" or a "Pee-Wee Herman" bike.)  He just doesn't get it.

I am bummed because this was going to be my "fun" bike...my cool bike that looked vintage and retro, but rode beautifully.  This bike caused me to do some research and learn about Electra Bikes.  I was going to (kinda) fix it up, very much clean it up, and love it.  All for $75 (with upgrades soon to follow).  In a strange and obsessive way, I feel like someone stole "my" bike.  
I LOVE that you guys jumped in and gave me your feedback about the bike.   Thanks for helping me out with great feedback and advice.  Someday, I'll find another fun project bike.  For now, I'll get back to focusing on my goals and enjoying my normal bike.

Keep moving, everyone!

Big Clyde

Friday, July 16, 2010

Advice Needed ASAP Please - The Unneccesary Bike Purchase

I have inexplicably fallen in love with the Electra Classic Cruiser (2003) that I saw at a pawn shop, next to my customer's business.  First time at a pawn shop and I think I just found a diamond-in-the-rough. 



It looks exactly like this, only dirty and slightly scratched here and there.  It has a pricey, but worn Brooks leather seat (value about $100?), a goofy flat handlebar and it needs new grips.  Also, tires are low in pressure (may need replacing, but could be fine).


Actual bike.  Price is $75. 

I don't need it.  Mrs. Clyde doesn't want it and wonders why I need another bike.

And yet, is it too good to pass up?  Would it be so much more fun to ride around the hood?

What say you?  I think I need to act fast.

Should I buy it? 

2XL

I went to Sports Authority last weekend to get some running shorts (the kind with the little "manties" inside).   It's not like I am running great distances yet, but I have been out enough over the past two months to know that running in tighty-whiteys is not a great idea (unless you are being chased by something!).
I have never had running shorts before, because I haven't seen them in regular stores in my 3XL size.   Most stores max out at 2XL.

But that is my size now!  All season, I have been wearing casual shorts that have been really baggy, cinching them up with my shrinking belt notches.  But for these new running shorts, I fit perfectly into a 2XL.

There were some running shirts nearby that were also 2XL...and they fit perfectly!  I feel awesome in this new running outfit.  I look like some of you jock tri-bloggers out there.  The shirt has no sleeves, which should make running more comfortable.  Guess it's time to work on the guns!

Just another little milestone for this Clydesdale Project.

Keep moving everyone.

Big Clyde

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cuppa Joe To Go!...on a Wednesday Night

* (See update below)
Last week (on Wednesday), my 5th-grade son and I went for a 5k run in our neighborhood.  By the way, he likes his code name that I gave him:  Cuppa Joe!  

He did so well and enjoyed it so much, that we agreed to do this weekly.  So, tonight Cuppa Joe and Big Clyde will once again be out on the mean streets of our hood, putting down 3.1 miles!

On Monday, Crazy Jim and I did our third weekly long walk:  5.7 miles in 90 minutes.  He got some new shoes and we may even be running sometime soon...for now, the walks are great and they are a good start-up program for him and great maintenance for me.

I've eaten well this week and think that I will do well on Saturday's weigh-in.   My calories are right around 1,700 and I am doing it pretty easily right now.   I have other training scheduled for Thursday through the weekend.  I'll post on that this weekend.

My thanks to my friend, RockStar Tri, who is advising me on a weekly training plan.  I should also point out that Christina was a key influence for me to actually start running...she went from just starting a few months ago to running many miles now and training for a half-marathon.  Her consistency is amazing.

* Update:  My son and I went out tonight, and my daughter joined in too.  Good times being together while my other son and wife were at church.  We chose to just walk tonight, because it was incredibly muggy and I haven't been sleeping much.  Still, I burned 534 calories doing it.  Tomorrow night, I will go out on my own and push myself.    Thanks for the comments everyone!

Keep moving, everyone!

Big Clyde

Monday, July 12, 2010

In a Slump? Try My "Lowered Expectations Plan"

As some of you know, I am coming out of a period where I have been inconsistent in my focus.  Outsiders might call it a slump.  Fair enough.  A few things put that in motion, but once I got into that place, well, I stayed there for awhile (for about five weeks).  No gains, no losses...but no progress on This Clydesdale Project of mine.  I still have pounds to lose, muscles to strengthen, and a new healthier lifestyle to build. 

But, now I feel like I am back in the zone!  And it feels good.  I have been trying to understand what got me back on my plan and I think that there are a few key elements that I would like to share in hopes that it could be useful to others (or to help me when this happens again in the future).  I am calling it the "Lowered Expectations Plan".  These are the steps I took to help me get back on track:
  1. Go the grocery store! - I stocked up on good, healthy foods.  I know, it's very simple.  But simply going to the grocery store to get those very healthy low-cal foods helped me to get back on track and avoid fast food and comfort foods.
  2. Walk, Very Far! - Okay, exercise is my weakness.  I don't usually care for it and if I have been away from it, I really dread moving again.  That just leads to more procrastination.  So, I recently decided that if I have been away from exercise for awhile (a week or two), then I will get back to it by setting very low expectations for the workout.  Used to run?  Then commit to a walk, a looonnnnggggg walk.  For me, that is 5-7 miles.  Sure, I might only get a light sweat going, but this is a lot more appealing than a strenuous workout.  The beauty of it is this:  my legs just know that it is time to get moving again.  Within several days of long walks, I found that I WANTED to jog/run again.  This is the most valuable of these steps for me. 
  3. Commit to Something! - If I could figure out how to add a tag line to my blog heading, my motto would be "Commit.  Train.  Results."   That has basically become my philosophy of The Clydesdale Project.  It could work for you as well.  Try committing to a near-term goal like losing 4 pounds over the next two weeks.  Or walking X miles, X minutes, or X times per week.  Commit to a race or event taking place a few months from now, so you have something to train for.  That is exactly how I started my journey about a year ago.
  4. Tell Someone! - The commitment, the effort, or the plan may not stick for you, if you easily let yourself off the hook.  Batman trains alone, but most of us don't have that discipline.  (In fact, has anyone seen Batman's blog lately?  Maybe he's in a slump too!).  Find another blogger (like me) that you will partner up with for a short while to help keep you accountable.  Maybe you post your goal on your blog.  Maybe you write to someone directly via e-mail and ask them to hold you accountable daily...just for a week or two, until you are back on track.    
I know that this tends to be common-sense stuff, but let's face it, this isn't a game of knowledge.  We all KNOW that the McDonald's Value Meal #4 is bad for us and that hope is not found on the couch, yet we like the comfortable life.  So, I believe that most of us have to be very intentional about making these healthy choices.   That means we have to work on our psychology.

If I have been in a slump, I may not be have the mental toughness to start instantly running again or going for an aggressive workout.  For me, that means lowering my expectations of my next workout and healthy choices, just so I can begin to walk out of my slump.

I hope this might be helpful to someone out there.  I am no expert.  These are just a few tips that seem to work, based on my recent experiences.  And I may need them again someday.

What tips do you have to help you out of a slump?

Big Clyde

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weigh In - Week 19 and A New Personal Best!

Somebody give me a High-5!

Weight Change:  Lost 5 pounds!
Total Loss since 3/1/10:  35 pounds

Today, I'm feeling:  Awesome, like I felt when I was steadily losing, (until I stopped in June).

Here's what happened last week:
After a brief weekend stay at a resort (eating decently), I went back to my disciplined steps of counting calories on sparkpeople.com and exercising often. 

Highlight of the Week:  Friday morning, I went out early to exercise, which I haven't done in a long time...I hate it.  So, I just told myself that it would not be strenuous, just long.  I walked 5.5 miles in 90 minutes.  Time consuming, but not difficult.  Then, at the end of my workday, I was so energized (and it had just rained, so it was cool) so I ran my 5k loop.  I did a 2-minute walking warm-up, then ran most of the distance with a few walk-breaks.  I did it in 38:38!  A personal-best for me!  My previous time was just above 40 minutes.

Food:  Since Tuesday morning, I have eaten about 1,730 calories per day.

Liquids:  Lots of water and green tea.

Exercise:  Walked/ran about 17 miles in the past 5 days. 

Confessional:  Solid this week.  No deviations from plan (well, since I went back on plan on Tuesday).

My Goals for this Week:
• Continue to pursue goal of 275 weight by September 6th for Mrs. Clyde's iTouchallenge!
Short-term goal is to be at 285 by 7/31...I know I can hit that!
• Cardio will be walking/running/cycling for at least 5 days this week.
• Maintain about 1,700 daily calories of good healthy food.

Question:  Should I keep track of my weekly mileage, or set goals for it...or should I just make sure I am doing something each day?  What works for you?

Make it a good week everyone!

Big Clyde

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Wise Person Once Said...

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."

~ Helen Keller

I am keeping this is mind, as I try to keep my mind off of the long path ahead and instead, am just focusing on doing well today and tomorrow. 

Big Clyde

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Belly Sweat Rorschach Test

Last night, my 9-year-old son (Cuppa Joe) and I walked/ran 5k in our neighborhood.  This was his first time doing it and we did it in 49 minutes!  Some running, more walking.  I could not be more proud of him!    As a running team, we must have looked funny because we wore nearly matching clothes (by accident) and are opposites in size.  I am 6'4" tall and he is, well, half of that.  This means that for every one of my steps, he took two...do the math on that one!

Just as Crazy Jim and I will try to do long Monday night walks (5+ miles), Cuppa Joe and I will now try to do this once a week.  

And now, I will switch the topic to something stupid and definitely gross.  Condolences. 

When we were near the end of our run, I looked down at my shirt because the last time I ran, my belly sweat actually formed an arrow on my shirt.  I know, right?  Awesome!  But when we got home, I saw this instead:

(belly sweat)

...and for the bonus round, this is the shot of the other side:
(back sweat)

Doesn't look like an arrow to me...or does it?  And so we begin...the Belly Sweat Rorscach Test!.  If you are unfamiliar with this test, here's the definition from http://www.dictionary.com/:

Rorschach test [(rawr-shahk)]

A test for personality traits that relies on a person's interpretations of a series of inkblots.  The test was developed by Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss psychiatrist of the twentieth century.


Now, pretend that there are no inkblots...just my belly/back sweat.  What do YOU see in these "creative" images?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jesse Scanlon - Adventurer, Cyclist

On our recent trip, we stopped in at a Subway.  As we were waiting in line, a customer, sitting by himself, gave us a tip about a special low-priced sandwich deal, "but you have to ask for it...they won't offer it up to you".  I thought he was nice to be looking out for some other customers, telling us about a good deal.

When we were sitting outside, my wife noticed a road bike that was loaded down with some bags and a small Florida license plate.  Mrs. Clyde said "I bet that is the guy who gave us the tip and he is riding his bike across the country".   Yes, Mrs. Clyde is a beauty with brains.

I went inside and met him.  He is Jesse Scanlon and he is in fact, riding his bike across the country, just for the adventure of it.  He has a blog http://www.americaiscashed.blogspot.com/ and is on twitter, facebook, etc...but I am a caveman, so I can't follow him on those...just the blog, which he admits he doesn't update very regularly from the road.

He was a soft-spoken guy, but very friendly.  He is trying to do this with no more goal than to get the most out of the adventure without a ton of planning, funding, etc.  He said that he gets by pretty well, staying with friends and cyclists that he meets along the way.  He has been on the road for the past 45 days or so and was south of Phoenix, AZ, heading for San Diego (I think).

When I offered that I am a cyclist as well, working on losing weight and becoming more healthy, his eyes lit up!  He was so encouraging.  He wanted to know how much I'd lost and quickly answered that he's lost 50 pounds since he started cycling (maybe a year ago).

So, please check out his blog and find him on facebook, etc. and give him some encouragement along the way.  If you reference this at all, mention that we saw him at the Subway in Casa Grande last Saturday.

As for me, I ate very well yesterday (1,736 calories) and have started well this morning.  My son, Cuppa Joe(!) and I will do a 5K tonight on our neighborhood path.  This will be his first time going that distance and I wonder how his shorter 9-year-old legs will do. 

Big Clyde

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weekend Update

The family and I just returned from three days at a resort that had a lazy-river pool that allows you to float along in inner tubes in a big, winding circle.  We played, swam, threw the ball around, had some s'mores, rode down the water slide (all of us!), my daughter won the hula hoop contest and we unplugged for three days.  It was great.  I ate pretty well and didn't gain or lose weight during the trip. 

When we got home last night, Crazy Jim and I did our second Monday Night Walk.  Last week, we went 7+ miles.  Last night, we went 5.5 miles.  Given that he doesn't have the right shoes (or knees) for jogging, we will be walking at least once a week and the distance is good enough to burn about 700  calories.

This morning, I ate well and logged my food choice in to Sparkpeople.com.  I will be diligent with this during the week and I think it will help me to stay focused.  I have no races ahead of me until September, so this will be the time for me to get in some training for the 5K's and cycling races in the fall.  I intend to run at least 3x by next Monday and bike at least once.

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your good comments and advice on my last couple of posts.  Much appreciated.

Keep moving, everyone!

Big Clyde

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Weigh In, Reflections, and Another Lazy River

It has been about one month since my last official weigh-in and I have lost 1 pound over the past month.  I am now at 294.  For a variety of reasons I have mentioned earlier, I have just not been as hardcore as I was in previous months.  It seems a bit depressing, but there are times, like today when I feel okay about it.   As The Big Lebowski himself said "The Dude abides".


I attended a funeral yesterday.  One of my closest friend's father passed away.  He was a great man and I was around him many times over the past year.  The funeral was very moving and had its joyous moments, but this is my third July funeral in three years and I find that they hit me pretty hard emotionally (maybe I am finally becoming a softie).   I sat there with my wife, daughter and two boys and just felt a tremendous amount of gratitude for my life, my family and friends, my health, and God. 

I didn't consciously think of my weight/fitness improvements during this time, but after the service, I saw some people that I hadn't seen since April.  Paul said "my gosh, you have lost a ton of weight!?...how did you do this so fast?  I saw you in April and you look so different!".   My friend Alesha has been in Italy for the past month and she felt I looked different since before her trip.

So, I won't go into depression about a measly 1 pound loss over the last month, eventhough I had gotten used to losses of 12-13 pounds per month.  As some of you have suggested, if this a stressful time (and I am very healthy otherwise), then I should just let it be for now and abide (one of my favorite words)

My goal for this 3-day weekend is to just enjoy myself and time with the family.  We got a great deal on a weekend stay at a lazy river resort.  This is our fourth stay at a place like this and it seems a great way for us to hang out with the kids in our hot desert sun...away from the computer and blackberry and ipods, keeping cool as we float along on innertubes, talking and splashing along under the palm trees.  I know not everyone can do this either and we are grateful for the brief luxury of it all.

I am also grateful to everyone of you that encourages and advises me.  Some of you I have known in person for years, and some of you are my new and valuable friends in this odd blogging world.  But I thank you all for caring enough about me to float along with me on this journey I'm on. 

Have a great weekend everyone, and I hope that you can experience some peace and fun this weekend.

Big Clyde

Friday, July 2, 2010

Top 5 Friday - Coolest Inventions I Want!

It's Friday, so time for a new list.  Today, I listed the Top 5 Coolest Inventions I Want!  I am going to be a little playful here and choose all of my wish-list inventions from the SkyMall catalog that I stole from a recent flight.

Top 5 Inventions I Want:
1.  The Only Underwater Pogo Stick ($59.95)  Because it's awesome!

2.  Indoor Pet Potty Grass ($69.50) But why couldn't humans use it too?

3.  Telekinetic Obstacle Course ($99.95) This would help in my training for world domination.

4.  The Only Digital Camera Swim Mask ($99.95)  I don't know why I want it...I just do.

5.  Bigfoot, the Garden Yeti Statue ($98.95)  Kinda looks like me, coming out of the shower...but it's only 2 feet tall!

Okay, now it is your turn!  Please tell us what is the coolest, most fun or crazy invention that might be on your wish list!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Need Some Patience...NOW!

Short post today, then I will do a Top 5 Friday post tomorrow and will be away over the long weekend.

Once again, I am feeling a bit frustrated about my lack of progress, as shown on the scale.  I am exercising pretty well and eating pretty well (though not as disciplined as I was in recent months).  But I look for those daily signs of progress on the scale and when I don't see it, I get discouraged.  Then, this Clyde wants to turn to happy-food to make him feel better.  Those times have been few, but they still occur.  I'm not gaining, but not losing. 

I should disclose that there are some stressful things going on that affect our family, but we will be fine.  It is beyond our control and we are soldiering through it.  All are healthy, but we have a daily emotional stress thing that we are dealing with that will end in about 60 days.  Until then, it is heavy on our minds. 

I've got to remember remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint.  I need to remember that I still will do the 35-mile El Tour de Tucson race this year, only this time, I'll do it with at least one of my kids and Crazy Jim and maybe, Mrs. Clyde.  I'll also do several 5K races this Fall and maybe an 8K or 10K.  My goal is to do a 35-minute 5K. 

Should I stick my depression-inducing scale in the closet for a month?