Category Archives: Square One

A New Quest and a New Accountability Tool

Last time we talked, I laid down some embarrassing truth about my  lifestyle. “Coming out” was like taking a massive emotional dump, and I’ve gotta say…I feel better now. And while this has all been very humbling, a lot of positive things have happened because of it.

It seems I’m not alone in this dietary fall from grace, as  I’ve gotten emails from several people in similar situations. As the people around them are rising to meet new challenges, they find  themselves  spiraling  into an isolating, sedentary existence. These email exchanges have gotten me really motivated.  Just knowing that other people are dealing with this same bullshit  has been very uplifting. In one man’s words, “Sometimes the easiest way to inspire people is to let them know they’re not alone.” 

So now that we’re all motivated, it’s time to set some goals, (mine is to run at least 50 miles by August 15th.), and with goal-setting comes the issue of accountability. How do we keep ourselves focused? Follow-through has always been a struggle of mine, so I was excited to hear from Silky about a website/app called Beeminder.  Beeminder is basically a way to break your long-term goals down into a more focused, daily “path” leading to success. Stay on the path and all is well..leave the path and they’ll start taking money from your checking account. Yeah, that’s serious motivation. They also collect your data and put it on a really cool graph that shows you how you’re doing. Check it out:

I'm totally kicking ass right now.

I’m totally kicking ass right now.

50 miles may not seem like a lofty goal to some people, but it’s a big deal to me. I’ve been at this for 13 days now and logged just over 18 miles. I’ve had LOTS of foot pain, knee pain, back pain, chapped butt cheeks and sweat in my eyes, but I can promise you that it’s getting just a little bit easier every day. about a 4th of July run tomorrow morning at Binder?

Super Duper Inspirational Post–A Day in the Life

A dull headache and a ringing alarm start my day. The alarm was set for 6 am with the intent of a morning jog before work. It’s 7:45, and if I don’t get outta bed now I’ll be late for work.

I take a quick pee and step on the scale. It reads 266 pounds and that little part of me dies again.. the same part that died yesterday and the day before. It’ll grow back as the day continues..only to die again tomorrow and the day after that.

I’m finally up and moving, but it’s too late for a morning run and definitely too late for a bike commute. Coffee in hand, I notice the trash can is full of empty beer bottles and some fried chicken boxes.

A quiet drive to work while my running clothes ride shotgun, gathering dust.  Again.  Maybe tomorrow morning I can wake up early. I’ll just hit the trails for a nice run after work… yeah, I’ll do that.

Then  it’s 10-11 hours of (mostly) sitting at a desk before I’m on my way home. A last minute influx of clientele keeps us about an hour past quitting time, so I decide to skip the evening jog… again.

We’re going out with friends tonight, so I rummage around looking for my “nice” clothes. It’s strange… I know I bought these pants, but they seem to belong to a much smaller person. Sucking in my belly fat, I try desperately to buckle a belt that no longer wraps around my body. It’s hard not to laugh about it. Eventually, I give up and wear the shirt untucked.


2 hours later, I’m at a wedding reception with about 100 other people. Leaving the photo booth, I notice a draft circulating through my pants, and look down to see that they’ve ripped open from the crotch past my right knee.  We take the drive of shame back home so I can change into my “good jeans”. I dig through stacks of 36 and 34 inch waistline jeans, (from back in the glory days), in search of my 42’s. It takes a moment, but I find them clean and folded, which is a huge relief since these are the only pants I have left that still fit.

Back at the reception, there’s an endless supply of hotwings, fried shrimp and mixed drinks. These are the obvious source of my obesity, but like a fool I embrace the short-term pleasure they provide. We eat, drink and dance into the night, all while I’m quietly fearful my shirt-buttons could pop off at any moment. Aside from that, it was a wonderful evening with my wife and friends.


See what I mean? Those buttons are begging for mercy

The next morning, I open the world of Facebook and am promptly bombarded with the typical barrage of motivational quotes and inspirational wisdom… you know, the general menu of bullshit associated with the internet.

Quotes like this are just ridiculous.

I ask myself why reposts like this are so trendy. Doesn’t anyone have an original thought anymore? Reposts like these nothing to motivate me, and I have to wonder if they truly motivate anyone. Seriously, you think  puking, fainting and dying are good for your health? I’d rather be fat, thanks.

At long last, I stumble across a really great race report. An Australian recounts his awesome experience during an ultramarathon. This guy’s report is full of honesty, cool Aussie-words.. and even a bit of inspiration. I read it twice, then did something I haven’t done in a long time…I went for a trail run.


the Edgewood trail

There was just as much walking as there was running, but I was out there and it was a good time. I’m pretty sure a new PR was set for most ticks on my body at one time, but other than that it was a very positive experience.


It was more challenging than I would’ve liked. The pace was slow, and every step was an un-subtle reminder that there’s a big, fat belly and a pair of man-tits attached to the front of my body. Today, my back hurts and I’ve got some soreness in the old legs..  but that soreness is a happy reminder that my running clothes aren’t in the passenger seat of my truck anymore. They’re in a sweaty pile on the laundry-room floor. I’m gonna let them sit there until tomorrow when I run again:)

I’ve decided to run at least twice a week for the rest of the summer. I don’t have any kind of training plan, I just want to get outside and do something to make myself feel less like a fat piece of shit. Running, prancercise, biking… whatever. Let’s just get some people together and do something. I’ll post details in the Virtuesday column or Facebook. Anyone who wants to join me, regardless of your athletic ability or fitness level, is more than welcome.


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