Bowing Out

by JP on December 16, 2011

It’s hard…this blogging thing.

A little over a year ago I decided that I really truly needed to make a change in my life. I was unemployed for months, unhealthy, and was really looking for an outlet. I decided to begin blogging again. It wa

s exactly what I needed. I could fuel my fire by putting my thoughts on screen. It was the beginning of an investment in . . . . Me. I needed work, I went back to school. I could see an end to my unemployment benefits looming thanks to a congress of tea partiers. I was lucky enough to find a new job very similar to my prior work. My wife and discussed adding to our family, and several weeks ago we welcomed our second son! I found a great community of people interested in changing their lives though discovering healthier living, and they inspired me to run in public. Not once, not twice, but thrice including a mile down Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. All things I am extremely proud of.

The truth of the matter is that I am in an extremely different place right now that I was a year ago. I haven’t had a work week less than 50 hours since May, most were closer to 60, and a couple hit 70. This puts a hell of a strain on a guy. . . a family. . . a five year old. . . a wife. I have also continued to pursue my education. The construction industry let me down twice over the last three and a half years. I need something to fall back on. I need that magic piece of paper that says to employers, “This person has debt and needs better work now that he has attended college.” So on top of the hellish work weeks I separated even more time away from my family in hopes of an ultimate gain in the end. This summer was beyond tough. The money has been great and hopefully someday I can get out of the industry and work some regular hours. Maybe even coach my boy’s baseball teams?

I mentioned adding to the family, and here he is. A second pride and joy joins the family. After having so many people via blogosphere and close to me having difficulties with pregnancies I was so relieved to see my healthy baby boy. Ten fingers, ten toes, and he smiles when he farts. I couldn’t ask for more.

My new little guy

I’m not giving up my shot at a healthier lifestyle, but I can’t fit an honest week of blogging in right now. I fully expected to be laid off at work, but (thankfully) it is still going strong. The tool of blogging is not helping me right now. It is actually a hindrance. It is pressure that I can’t keep up with, and it is no longer a priority. My family, work, and school are. I’m not going away. I’ll be tweeting. I’ll be finding ways to help Jen and the rest of the PriorFatGirl family when I can. Thanks to Jen for allowing my a chance to blog here at PriorFatGuy. Thanks to all of you for following along. I really do appreciate it. Even you Kevin. See you around!

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Fire Safety

by JP on September 29, 2011

My uncle Bob will walk up to you and ask, “ya know what really burns my ass?” He gives the chance for any sort of reply, yet follows it up by putting his hand near his hip and replying, “A flame about this high”. I bring it up because every fla

me has a spark. Each journey has a flame. Mine had been flickering in the breezy commotion that life these days. That was until last week. I got my baby back. My little gadget. My little fitness measuring buddy. My fitbit.

It’s sparked that inner flame in me again. I can see what I am doing again. I can tell that I had a slow morning of dragging tail around the plant or jobsite. I can tell that I am having a truly kick ass day. It’s set up with the idea that a person should average 10,000 steps for a fairly active lifestyle. This week I am averaging over 9,300 steps a day, and this includes not wearing on the first half of Sunday which would have easily put me over that magic number.

Yesterdays 15,000 stepper!

Based on all your basic vitals it sets up your active score. Mine is 1000, and I blew that out of the water. I am seriously pumped guys. Now if that magic food fairy could just please have a prepared healthy lunch, with snacks, for me each morning I’d really appreciate it. I am still relying too heavily on my eat this not that diet, and gas station lunches. I have days where I feel “processed”. I am also going back to my tried and true trick for cutting out the diet pop again. Begin day with coffee (it’s at least a natural caffeine), then each amount of diet Mt. Dew I consume needs to be matched with water. Typically this has been a 2o oz. bottle, but I have also snuck in an occasional one liter bottle. For shame, I know. It’s better than a two liter though. . . right?

For those of you who have stuck though the lull here I thank you. I am really battling to keep this going. ALL OF IT. This part is important to me too. It’s sanity. It’s community. It’s a tool. It’s knowing that there are plenty of other people going though it. It’s knowing that if this is as bad as I have it right now . . . it’s really not that bad. So thank you.

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My uncle Bob will walk up to you and ask, “ya know what really burns my ass?” He gives the chance for any sort of reply, yet follows it up by putting his hand near his hip and replying, “A flame about this high”. I bring it up because every flame has a spark. Each journey has a flame. Mine had been flickering in the breezy commotion that life these days. That was until last week. I got my baby back. My little gadget. My little fitness measuring buddy. My fitbit.
It’s sparked that inner flame in me again. I can see what I am doing again. I can tell that I had a slow morning of dragging tail around the plant or jobsite. I can tell that I am having a truly kick ass day. It’s set up with the idea that a person should average 10,000 steps for a fairly active lifestyle. This week I am averaging over 9,300 steps a day, and this includes not wearing on the first half of Sunday which would have easily put me over that magic number.

Yesterdays 15,000 stepper!Based on all your basic vitals it sets up your active score. Mine is 1000, and I blew that out of the water. I am seriously pumped guys. Now if that magic food fairy could just please have a prepared healthy lunch, with snacks, for me each morning I’d really appreciate it. I am still relying too heavily on my eat this not that diet, and gas station lunches. I have days where I feel “processed”. I am also going back to my tried and true trick for cutting out the diet pop again. Begin day with coffee (it’s at least a natural caffeine), then each amount of diet Mt. Dew I consume needs to be matched with water. Typically this has been a 2o oz. bottle, but I have also snuck in an occasional one liter bottle. For shame, I know. It’s better than a two liter though. . . right?
For those of you who have stuck though the lull here I thank you. I am really battling to keep this going. ALL OF IT. This part is important to me too. It’s sanity. It’s community. It’s a tool. It’s knowing that there are plenty of other people going though it. It’s knowing that if this is as bad as I have it right now . . . it’s really not that bad. So thank you.
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365

by JP on September 16, 2011

September 15th sticks in my mind. It was the day last year that I decided to return to blogging about my health. It was me finding the time with my son in preschool to bust my butt and see what I could do. It soon morphed into something just

a bit more for me. I’ve mentioned the fact that I decided to make a full investment in myself. Health, career, education, and now family have all been added to and enhanced.

I was a beaten man. Being unemployed for nearly a year can push on that shame button really hard! I decided that there was likely no chance of me returning to the construction industry (I was wrong), and went back to school. I am currently still enrolled despite now having a pretty solid job as a concrete QC technician. It’s a job I’ve had since the beginning of May, and it’s a good fit for me. I’ve now run three races. . . in public! Two 5k’s and a mile run down Nicollet Mall have found me in several defining moments on this path of mine.

I’ve tried my best though out the process to step outside of the box, and do things that I don’t or wouldn’t normally do. The first big step was being a guy and entering a contest to be the next PriorFatGirl! I was picked along with Elle to join the family, and I even got this fancy site that you guys now know me as. Blogging has opened up a community of people I never knew existed. Though Jen I’ve met so many great people that help inspire and drive me each day. It’s still something I am trying to wedge into an already full day/week.

The deconstruction and reconstruction of JP is a constant work in progress. While after reflecting on the last year, I am happy at where I am in life. My wife is a beaming 30 weeks pregnant with our second little boy. My son is now a kindergartner! My fitbit is in the mail, and if there were another 30 hours in a week this whole health and wellness thing would be a lot easier!

A good blogging buddy of mine posted the other day on twitter that the only way to be successful with her healthiness journey was to plan out each and every moment of her life. I agree. Now I just have to learn how to plan, because I’m not where I wanted to be at this point health wise. It is the first thing to go out the window when time starts to get pinched. Not knowing my next days work until 6pm the night before makes things hard, but not impossible. I also have to decide how much sleep I can really function on. Cause I can tell ya what it’s only gonna get harder once baby gets here!

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A Fair Memory

by JP on September 1, 2011

Holy Hanna, this summer is flying by. September is already here! We attended my sons first open house, the preparations for baby are going full throttle, third trimester is upon us, and it still feels like I was an unemployed drag on the eco

nomy just last week.

This last weekend my family hit the Minnesota state fair. This has always been such binge-fest for me. I would routinely consume thousands of calories a trip in my twenties. The cheese curds, french fries, and Sweet Marthas cookie bucket are likely guilty for 37 pounds of my current weight. I’d go with a group friends, and I’d see people sharing their mini feasts. I was in the mindset “get your own, and ya mooch!” It’s sad now to think about friends trying different foods as we traversed the grounds, and I tried everything. There were no breaks in the action for me.

Well that was until we made our way to the midway. I knew I was a rapidly expanding man, but this was the first gut punch as young big adult.

We bought out ticket for some rides and made our way to some poorly constructed instrument of fear. It looked to tumble, spin, and shake like a mother, so we all decided it was a perfect starting point. We waited in line, made stupid jokes, used bad pick up lines, and finally began loading.

The seats were fastened from above so they appeared to hover over the ground. I hopped up and was met with a screech of sweaty back fat meeting molded plastic as my shirt rode up. I knew there was some space behind me too so I began to wiggle my butt deeper into the seat. The carnies were going around and pulling the shoulder harnesses down. I thought nothing of it. I pulled mine down and held it firm to my not so firm chest. I waited for them to lock it in to place, but my group was already immobile. “They’re self locking! What the hell?”, I remember thinking.

The carnies met at the front of the ride and started talking. In my mind I could see a red light flashing on the operator’s dashboard, “TOO FAT, TOO FAT, TOO FAT, TOO FAT”. I’m surprised I couldn’t instantaneously pull that shoulder harnesses into place because I was cowering from fear and shame. I felt like I was six inches tall. Then they looked in my direction and started walking my way. Time slowed down. The lights of the midway began to blur. I began to panic. I pulled as hard as I could and heard a click. They were on top of me just as it happened. I pushed up on it, as if to show them that fatty got it fastened. The leader looked at me, gestured to a light above my head, and told me that the light has to be green. He put a shoulder into me. Five inches tall. It didn’t move. He called for help. Four inches tall. Two guys bear hugged my seat trying to make a light blink green. Three inches tall. All the harnesses in my group raised in unison. Eff word. Two inches tall. “You don’t fit chief, grab your tickets up front”. One inch tall.

I skipped the refund. I bolted off the deck of cards ride in to the open arms of some funnel cake. That was the first and only time I’ve been kicked off the a ride for being too big. Despite loving the thrill I haven’t stepped within the confines of an adult midway or amusement park since. Sure I’ve been around them for my kiddo, but never for me.

Sunday morning as we made our way through the fair I looked down the midway and felt that rush of fear, shame, and anxiety.

I’m not exactly setting the weight loss world on fire right now, but I someday I am going to walk down that midway. I will purchase my tickets. And with my boy by my side, I will find that stupid ride. I’ll wait in line, and I’ll ride that damned thing if it’s the last thing I do.

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What would you do. . .

by JP on August 15, 2011


. . . If you knew you could not fail?

It’s one of those questions that usually comes up between friends after a 12 pack around the fire pit. By the way, I really miss those days. I digress though. What wo

uld you do if you knew you could not fail? Cure disease? Fix the economy? Feed the hungry?

No matter what you think of, there is currently somebody out there trying to do it. It probably started as a dream for them too, but they decided to make it a passion. Somewhere deep inside of me is a passion for getting healthy. Seriously, it’s there. I am still working on myself. Just when I think I can pick a schedule to work with it’s shot. I’ve tried incorporating more into my daily routine at work besides just taking an extra long walk up some really high stairs. I am repeating to myself “squeeze the core” as I push wheel barrows of concrete around. I am up and down ladders adjusting trucks during the day as well.

Good Morning. Time to climb!

So now back to your passion peoples. The ones who are out there doing what they always wanted. They are also likely failing like crazy most of the time, and in the end . . . it’s why they will succeed. Micheal Jordan tells me so.

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Best Man

by JP on August 9, 2011

First I couldn’t be happier that the heat has finally broken here in the Northland. A high of 73 degrees had me bouncing around my little corner of the world. There is no love from me when it comes to anything over 85, especially with dew point

s over 60.

I had an outstanding weekend as I stood up for my long time friend. We grew up together from the age of four. He was like the brother I wanted instead of the middle brother I got. It was an honor for me to be his best man. He is as loyal a friend that a person could ever hope for. The bride is one lucky gal.

At some point I will he some of pictures of me in the tux. Despite my loathing of formal wear, I think I wore it well. I dislike how hot and sweaty they can make you feel. Our pictures outside were rough. The sweat was rolling down our website heads. I brought along some paper towels for blotting but it was a lost cause. The church wasn’t like any of the Catholic ones I grew up in. They had AC and knew how to use it. I was nearly forced to do a happy dance.

My eating wasn’t great. I stayed away from cake, but I had a fair share fully leaded sodas. The grooms diner was Italian, and I ate like my tux was too big. The heart burn from tomato sauce was a bummer that night too. Wedding night was buffet style and I was single at that point. The shame. I toasted the newlyweds and then proceeded to dance off as many calories as possible.

Today I read many of the recaps of the latest one breath, one step event. I really missed not being able to attend. The group of people is amazing and I’m glad everybody enjoyed it. I hope to see many of you soon!

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Circles

by JP on August 1, 2011

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Not quite a month ago I left a comment on a fellow bloggers post. I believe every word of it, yet I can’t seem to practice what I preach. It was in regards to feeling like a failure, and it went like this:
_

I first came to know about the 33 different kinds of awesome that is Tara after reading this post “How much do you weigh emotionally?″ No matter where we end up physically there is still the emotional weight that won’t be shed, disposed of, or set aside. It is coped with. It is treated with careful hands, as not to be dropped and broken. We use it to learn from past mistakes.

My favorite part about the world of you is the fact that you share your emotion. What was once buried under cheeseburgers and WOW is now brought to the front lines. It is exposed, it’s examined, and it is dealt with. So as you transition wanker, lest not forget that with out getting out and living life we aren’t able to make mistakes, learn, and be happy. Fear of failure is what stops so many of us dead in our tracks. If you don’t fail you’ll never scratch the surface of your limits or what you’re truly capable of. And sister you’re capable of plenty!

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It was the last time I truly sat down to read anything health related. It was two days after my last post. It was a message I wish I could use more in my own journey. I’ve sat down several times to start writing a new post over the last month. The thing is . . . I haven’t the foggiest what to write about. When my emotions get the best of me I can build a wall with the best of em. Consider this post a wrecking ball. I am still dealing with the loss of my grandma. It sucks. Just writing that I start to blubber. I have transitioned from an unemployed drag on the economy to 6o hours a week. I’ve decided to keep going to school as well(ya know, just in case). I have no idea what i’m thinking. I managed to get my “A” once again in summer session Geology lab. I studied a total of three hours, over eight weeks, of a condensed class that is normally seventeen weeks. I am standing up for my best friend from the age of 4 this upcoming Saturday. My third fitbit crapped out on my due to firmware issues AGAIN last month. My wife is 24 weeks currently. The clock is ticking quick. Before I know it I’ll be going from 5-7 hours of sleep to 3-5 hours of bad sleep.
_
It’s not that I’ve given up. It’s not that I’ve forgotten about my journey. I’ve been walking around in circles. The big picture is still there. It’s always in the back of my mind, and occasionally in the front of my mind too. I still choose to climb up five stories to talk to the batchman instead of using the two way radios. My belt loop is the same as it was 2 months ago, but I’m walking around in circles.
My birthday is Thursday. It was around then last year that I decided to come back to blogging and really hit it hard to shed my tonnage. It took me a month to get the guts to come back though. Despite not really doing anything failure related, like putting on all the weight I’ve lost, I still have felt like a failure. I don’t know why. Perhaps I started measuring myself against others again. Who knows? What I do know is that it’s taken me darned near a month, and a call from a friend to get the gumption to come back. The feeling of failure stopped me. My still strong Catholic guilt pulsates though these veins. So I am working on finding where that man in the mirror can improve. I am establishing some boundaries. I am working on not walking around in circles. And now I need to work on getting to sleep. The 4:30 am wake up call is just around the corner.

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Family 5k

by JP on July 8, 2011

During the first 5k this past March the discussion of a family run came up. Different ideas have been bandied about over the last couple months, but tomorrow is the day. The truth is I nearly forgot that my aunt (who can be seen crossing the f

inish line of the Medtronic mile with me) set this up.

I am hoping it goes well because I’d like to make it a monthly get together. I think at this point there are a dozen of us. If you’re the short term planing genius type and can join let me know. I will certainly pass the details on to whomever would like a nice trip around a beautiful Minneapolis lake.

One of these days I’ll make it back to my computer and put together a slightly more substantial post. For now I have been using the WordPress app for android. I like it. Wondering how many others blog from a mobile device? It works great for coffee break or lunch break.

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The Hotness

by JP on July 6, 2011

Still waiting to sign up for a race here in priorfatland. I have a couple in sight for the month of August, but weather is scaring me off a bit. I am a spring and fall kind of guy. The fact that I suffer through days outside at work lead me

to seek AC for long periods of time when not working.

The baseball practice with lil D isn’t exactly a good workout. My goal for the rest of the week is at least a mile walk each night. I messed around with mapmyrun and have a course mapped out. I have one month till I step up as best man at my friends wedding. Pardon me while I toss this muffin in the garbage.

In other news my wife had her 19 week ultrasound this past Friday. There is infact a baby in there, and its a healthy little one. After following my blogging buddy Fatlittlelegs’ pregnancy it’s all I hope for. I’ve had nightmares, and we peppered the ultrasound tech with questions. My heart goes out to anybody who has to deal with unknowns and pregnancy. The fact that you can see so much more these days is almost worse. You can see enough to be worried but not enough to know for sure. So the health is there and its all I asked for. We did find out the sex, but that’s one thing we will be keeping private. . . For now.

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Perspective

by JP on June 29, 2011

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As cheek met pillow last night I couldn’t help bit continue the reflectio

ns of the last few weeks. Yesterday we celebrated the 5th birthday of Lil D. My little bud is growing up so darned fast. People told me a long time ago that I should enjoy every minute because it goes quick. To be honest it goes quicker than anybody tells ya.

My thoughts led me back to his birth. I can remember looking into a mirror in the delivery room. The disappointment in my appearance and transformation was quickly pushed to the side by the emotion of welcoming my child. Over my wife’s pregnancy I gained 80 pounds. A baggy xxl coat was unable to button at the time he was born.

Then in my funk here I thought about the fact that my lovely wife is currently 19 weeks. My belt loop hasn’t moved. The good way or the bad way. I’m much more comfortable with the Guy looking at me in the mirror.

Its not usually hard for me to find some perspective. The last few weeks have been though. I feel better thinking about my stall/funk/plateau in terms of last time. I’ve learned a little bit about a little bit since then.

So happy birthday D. Though i tell you everyday, you mean more to me than you’ll likely ever understand. That is until you have one of your own.

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