From the monthly archives:

December 2010

Best of – 5

by JP on December 31, 2010

This was the first time I could tell anybody I had actually been chosen to join Elle at the PriorFatGirl family.  I was so geeked out that finally spill my guts about winning something.  It was top 10 for coolest moments of the year for me.  It wasn’t necessarily validation for my hard work because I see that in the clothes I wear and how my son looks at “Heldy stuff”.  It was another new start though.  We all succeed in the beginning.  Things run smooth.  There is a plan.  This is a post about a guy who listened to the lyrics, stopped dreaming, and started anew.  Happy New Year everybody!

Start Something


Best of – 4

by JP on December 30, 2010

So I do have some people who didn’t know that I had come from a different site previous.  I like that!  It means new readers are surfing though and finding me.  The story of how this whole thing came to be is in my bio page.  The post that lead me this site is here.

Future PriorFatGuy – Nomination #5

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Best of – 3

by JP on December 29, 2010

I know what its like to sit there and wonder how or where to even start.  Wondering where to begin this so called journey.  I’ve done it so many times. 

“How should I try it this time?”

“Atkins always seems to work . . . well until I gain it back”

“Maybe if I only eat watermelon for the next 6 months?”

“What in the hell can I do to even lose 200 pounds?”

The last time was here with this “best of” post.  I just sat down at my computer, pulled up my old blog, typed in my old user name and password . . . holy crap they still work!  Then I just posted this.  It was from my sad, fat, heart.  I was at the end of my rope, but I could see a light.  There is an ever changing flow to this battle.  I see people come and go.  I see new virtual friends hit goals that they too once thought impossible.  I am inspired by all who I meet in the blogosphere.  Moms, dads, foodies, runners, mental cases, bad asses, and some days I feel like every single one of them.  I came back to blogging to try and give a voice to the angel on my shoulder.  Little did I know that there are hundreds of you out there willing to help silence a fat guys demon.

The Devil On My Shoulder


Best of Day 2

by JP on December 28, 2010

When I started looking for support and inspiration as I began my latest and final conquest to get healthy, I stumbled upon Mr Jack Sh*t, Gettin Fit.  It seems like everybody out there has something that is “That thing they do”.  Jack has a lot.  Songs, lists, and W.I.D.T.H.  This was mine.  It was the first time people other than my friends and family read my blog.  Now you awesome strangers far outnumber my friends and family.   This was also the first major step outside of my box.  I broke out of my comfort zone a bit doing this one. 

I give you  W.I.D.T.H.


Best of?

by JP on December 27, 2010

This is gonna be a really busy week.  My wee one is off from school and my gym time will be early in the morning.  That also just so happens to be blogging time for me.  So much like my favorite local sports talk radio station, I’ll be running some “Best Of” this week.  

I’m still new here, but have 40 or so older posts from my old blog that were carried over.  So I’ve picked some favorites for your viewing pleasure.  Feel free to click the link and head on over.  Today I present you with:

An Evening With Yoda


Twas the night before christmas

by JP on December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I love being a dad on days like this.  I floated though my late teens into my twenties with a severe lack of holiday cheer.  There wasn’t a special somebody to share with, and I was a somewhat jaded fat guy.  The birth of my son four and a half years ago reminded me that this is all about the kids.  I find myself lost is some conversations with family at these get-togethers as my eyes dart through the room to find D.  The smiles and joy associated with holidays brings me back to some really great memories.  Today I get to help make new memories for somebody.  It warms my chubby over worked heart.  I can only hope that someday he looks back with the same fondness that I do.  Judging from the stack of presents. . . that won’t be hard.

The 2011 Stuff

So yesterdays post was  “to be continued”.  I’ve tried to come up with a game plan for the next year.  Things that will help me be where I want to be in 356 days.  These aren’t resolutions.  I suck at those.  Instead they are tweaks, enhancements, reminders, or pledges to myself.  Sure I plan on running my first 5k in the spring, and I want to lose a crap-ton of weight.  These are thoughts and ideas to help mold that big picture though. 

  • Making positives out of negatives – I’m pretty good at this.  I’ve turned unemployment into a new education and unhealthiness into whatever it is I have here.  I like it!  I like you!  Thanks!
  • Be a leader- I’ve always leaned toward a leadership position despite my previous bouts with crappy self-esteem.  I wore the “C” on my hockey jerseys.  I followed my grandfathers lead and started coaching hockey right out of high school.  When it comes to the weight loss group at my gym, I feel the need to lead by words and example.  I love that role.  It keeps me motivated.
  • Enhance my self-awareness -  I’ve come a long way to see myself how others see me.  I actually asked my wife to take a picture while we were on our train ride.  I also have seen how my unhealthy decisions have affected others around me.  I am at my best as a person when I am in a state of acceptance, joy, and/or jolly like Santa. 
  • Embracing the moment -  I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t mourn this process.  When I look at my life, or that of somebody else whose situation mirrors my own, I can see its not really that bad.  I could hate myself, beat myself up, and punish myself for past decisions.  I could also celebrate the fun, chunky, loving guy who I already am.    I know where I am headed . . . for the most part.  I can look in the mirror and love the guy looking back at me.  Each moment, step, or exercise is enhancing the man I already was. 

So here is a genuine wish to you for a happy holiday.  Be safe.  Be happy.  Cherish the time with the people who have generally driven you all kinds of nuts for the last decade.  Remember those who aren’t there to celebrate with you any longer.  Make your hugs a little tighter and a little longer.  If you feel the stress and anxiousness building . . . find the kids.  Every family has the wee ones running around somewhere.  Embrace those little tykes and remember what its like to use your imagination.  Help make their memories priceless.


Reflecting on 2010

by JP on December 23, 2010

Half Full?
Half Empty?


I'm a half full kinda guy

Many could say that the year 2010 was as absolute abomination.  I’m in that camp.   Some could say that 2010 was an amazing 365 days, and wish it would never stop.  I’m in that camp too!


Same as anything in life, it all comes down to . . . how you want to see what you have.   This past year I ballooned to the heaviest weight I’ve ever been.  368 pounds.  Three. Hundred. Sixty. Eight. Effing. Pounds.  I lost my job nearly a year ago, and  I’ve been collecting a check from Uncle Sam ever since. 


I decided with my wife that it was time for me to go back to school.  I enrolled last semester in a two year program at a local community college.  I’m saying goodbye to my old profession.  It served me well for a decade, but its hard to be a construction tester/inspector when there isn’t anything to construct.  I was able to rededicate myself to finding a way to live healthier.  My gym owners saw something in me and invited me to be part of our kick butt group of people with a BMI over 39.  I’ve learned more in three months from them in all my other weight loss attempts combined.  I discovered the Mayo Clinic website.  If you need to learn about what you need to to in your life to be healthy . . . go there!  I decided a long time ago that there is no Biggest Loser ranch for me.  I needed to make my own weight loss ranch situation.  I started blogging again.  I did it for me, and to focus on what I needed to do.   I started taking some more chances and living outside of my own little box.  I submitted an entry to start blogging at Priorfatgirl.  Holy crap I was a co-winner!  I’ve found a ton of new support and role models here in the weight-loss/healthiness/food blogging community.  I’m grateful beyond anything I could ever say for the kind words and gentle nudging I receive from you guys. 


I’ve always been an optimist.  I am in such a great place right now.  I realize now there is no end in this battle for my own health.  It will be an ever evolving journey that I will follow for the rest of my life.  It makes the short term ups and downs so much easier to deal with knowing that.   I’ve become much more self aware.  I can look in the mirror – see the good and the bad.  I’ve found things that are limitations and have made steps to change them.  Seeing the big picture lets me enjoy the journey.  I’m a happy jolly fat guy again.  Soon I’ll just be jolly and happy!


So a year that could have been a disastrous, depression inducing, food stuffing roller coaster turned out pretty good.  I’m not nearly as far along as I would like to be, but I’m ok with that.  I’ve got the big picture in mind.  You won’t get much complaining from me.  I know that no matter how bad I feel and discouraged I am . . . there is a guy out there reading about me who would chop off his hand to be in my position.   Who knows what 2011 holds for us, but I do know what I want to do to get it off to a good start and I’ll be sure to let you know about it right after this 24 hour break . . . TO BE CONTINUTED.


29 Years to Date

by JP on December 21, 2010


It was 29 years to the day that the Minnesota Vikings last played outdoors.  I’m also thinking it was the last game (hopefully) that Brett Favre will have ever played in.  The cool part was that my good friend, whom I’ve known since the age of three, asked me to join him there.  So I bundled up and drove though yet another Minnesota blizzard to get to the game.

Minnesota Psychos

I was dressed for success

Note to CSC security.  When somebody has a pair of choppers that big, that might be where they’re hiding the flask.  Suckers!

Preparing for the game

The actual game was a total dud.  It was a blast to be in the stands though.  I made some temporary friends from Iowa, did enough dancing to stay warm to burn some calories, and got some awesome news from my friend Joe.  More on that on a later date, but I’m gonna have to get dressed up in a penguin suit in the not too distant future!


Weekend Wrap-Up

by JP on December 20, 2010

Ya know for an unemployed drag on the economy, I sure am a busy guy.   I’m glad that I sign up for so many pointless emails from Groupon, Savy Saver, Living Social, and so on because every once in a while we find a gem.  Saturday Morning the family headed out to the Minnesota Transportation Museum.  A family of seven (or three with two temporary adoptions of cousin and family friend) were admitted for twenty bucks.  The Jackson Street Roundhouse was decorated for Christmas and was a ton of fun.  We even got our own train ride!

They had scale some model trains . . .

They had a half dozen real trains from years gone by

They had a half dozen real trains from years gone by. . .

Some amazing ornate wood work.

Future Engineer?

Side note to this picture.  The entry into this old diesel engine was tiny.  I was able to make it in, but there were several people larger than I who didn’t.   I felt bad for them.  I was happy for me.  Who knows if they’re trying to lose or if they’re still on the way up?    Something like not being able to join in with your child’s fun and development is one of my many driving forces.

Captain Handsome on our real train ride.

They even had a creepy Santa!

After our adventure the kids got to go home, and we replayed our Christmas party that was supposed to happen last weekend.  Things like this are hard for me to avoid.  I should have went to the gym.  It’s really hard to turn down a cookie when lil D brings it to me and with all the joy in the world says, “Daddy I made this for you.”  I reminded him of my new eating habits but only got, “No this cookie is good.  You can have this one.  I say so.”   So if my at home trainer says so, then I must eat one. He brought me three more in the same fashion.  I ate them.  F-word!  Looks like somebody earned an extra Elliptical time this week.

I was able to avoid a lot of other stuff though.  We had more sugar cookies decorated and then on Sunday night we had to try out my wife’s new spritz cookie machine.  Luckily I’m not a huge fan of the spritz so I could just fold laundry in peace as D and her made up a huge batch.

Daddies Cookie!

A little dab'll do ya. . . not in our house!

Cousin B's cookies.

Oh oh. Need to hide these ones!

It was a good weekend.  As I was taking a break from folding socks, I had a friend post this on facebook yesterday.

There’s something about this time of year that always makes me think: if only it was as easy to hide people in real life as it is on Facebook.

While it may be true, and possibly a sweet way to weed out the bad eggs, I hope you can swallow your pride this holiday season.  If you have people that are hard to deal with  . . . kill them with kindness.   Find the kids in the group.  Focus on them.  Make sure they are having as good a time as you had as a kid.  Their contageious innocence and pure joy are perfect reminders of what this season is really all about for me.  Seeing everything though my son’s eyes again brings back a joy for Christmas that left me in my twenties.   I really hope you all have a great week!


Sweet Relief

by JP on December 17, 2010

Some may already know that I am part of a small healthiness group at my gym.  The first week of November we took some measurements in addition to our heaping weights.  I’m so pleased to report that I’ve gotten my first month of results. 

Tool of the trade.

  • My chubby Man-hip is down from 53.5 to 50.5    (-3)
  • My chest/moobs are down 58.5 to 57.5             (-1)
  • Waist  is down 59.5 to 58                                (-1.5)
  • Arm is down 18.5 to 18                                     (-.5)      
  • Thigh stayed the same.


So that was a total of 6 inches gone.  See ya!  Hit the bricks!  I finally also broke my streak with just a single pound of weight lost.  I stepped on the scale and dropped from 337 to 334.  It was the first week in a long time I haven’t felt the effects of my chest cold in a while.  Hopefully this week will see the same results.  My short term goal is to try and break though the 320′s before the new year.  Thats two full weeks to kick some serious butt!