40 and I remember why I am doing this

Its been a damn near perfect weekend (4 days off actually).  Starting with my 40th birthday and ending with some Guinness, Corned Beef and Cabbage today.

Yesterday the family spent the afternoon at Valley of Fire State Park, NV.  It is about 50 miles north of Las Vegas and for those that live here and have never been, I encourage you to go.  We spend the time driving and walking around looking at the amazing rock pieces.  Amanda got a chance to practice her growing skill at photography.  And since she is the family shutterbug, she will not let me post pics yet.  Once she has approved them all, I will post them here.

There were two reasons I really wanted to go out there.  About 4 years ago my ex wife and I went out there when I was at my unhealthiest, she took a photo of me in the drainage pipe near the Clark Memorial on the east end of the park.  I was fat, unhealthy and suicidal.  It was my darkest point, but it still took me one year, a divorce and a good look at how far I had fallen before I lost weight – and yes, I was successful.  However, I was successful for the wrong reasons.  Alcoholics in the program call it a Dry Drunk; when you put in the work, but you are one step away from your next bender – well that is where I was, anger can only carry you so far.

Since then my life has turned 180 degrees as you already know.  I am happier than I have been in a long time but yes, gained A LOT of the weight back so part of my 40 while 40 project is to  get out, lose the weight and learn a little about myself along the way.  So it was important also for me to have Amanda take my photo in the same place.

The photo is shockingly embarrassing, because we do not see the damage we are doing to ourselves without really scrutinizing.  For example, I had NO clue my calves had gotten so fat again.  No wonder I breath heavy when I walk.  It is sad, but it is also part of the goal to be a triathlete in 2014.  Hopefully this year I will run one Sprint or so as a Clydesdale, but next year I want to be competitive.

So, here are the photo’s,  I have linked them to my Flickr account because I did not want to insult you by throwing my lump of clay in your face; but like clay I am going to sculpt.  In 1 year I will post the sister pictures proudly.  Until then, you have to click to see.

Thanks for stopping in.

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Week One and Done

There are very few things that can replenish your soul and are more gratifying to instant self-esteem boost than a good haircut.  Hopefully later today I am the recipient of said haircut.

The first week of the new year has been a good one.  I am coming a long way from where I was the last week of 2012 mentally and emotionally and that is a good thing.  I know that for those of us with addictive personalities anyway, it is hard to find balance.  People who have never dealt with addiction have no bar of comprehension to the spiral insanity that one goes down.  I have found in my 39 years that there are many things that you can be addicted to; booze, porn, food.  Some less obvious like hurt, shame and pain.  Lately, and for the last couple of years I have had less of a problem with the obvious addictions but have found myself hurting inside more than when I was.  Luckily, I have had the most beautiful family and most supportive friends surrounding me and carrying my weight for the last year.  I know I say it a lot, but that is why 2013 is going to be Epic, because I am really going to try to show these folks that their faith in me was well placed.  I am lucky.  In his own way, my boss even is supportive.  I am lucky indeed.

quick interjection from Mike’s asshole psyche – I have read several tweets, posts, status updates, etc. which proclaim that 2013 has already been amazing and cannot get any better.  Really?  I feel very bad for you, since there are still 359 more days this year.  You thought High Scholl was also the best time of your life too, didn’t you? 

One quirk that I’d like to get a handle on is my ability to build things up in my mind, good and bad.  I know that a lot of people build up events like parties or the holidays to epic proportions (see statement in second paragraph about making 2013 epic, I guess I am one of these too) then are a little let down when they fail to meet the standards.  I do this somewhat, but I do it on the opposite side.

Take for example, my Facebook post from yesterday.  I know the sarcasm is subtle, but try to read between the lines:

“GREATEST DAY EVER! I get to spend hours at the mall. On Saturday.  With teen, preteen and baby. Rock the EFF on!”

Amanda Before cut, this is one year ago - no haircut between

Amanda Before cut, this is one year ago – no haircut between

GORGEOUS!  she takes good photos, watch for her new blog coming soon

GORGEOUS! she takes good photos, watch for her new blog coming soon

OK, so maybe it wasn’t as subtle that I did not look forward to this event.  However, I had a good time. Amanda was donating her hair to Wigs for Kids (A really amazing event hosted graciously by Galleria Mall on sunset and with cuts and style donated by MasterCuts), Autumn and I got to spend some time talking, as did Anthony  and I.  The baby was very good.  We all shared cookies and had a nice lunch at MiMi’s Cafe.  So, shame on me for thinking I was going to have a bad time.  I am becoming my mother’s child more and more.  My mother does not like to leave her house, more on that another time.

The one thing I did not think through last week was that my workout schedule may have been  a little aggressive.  I think I was picking up right where I left off 100 pounds ago.  Nope, starting over a-hole.  As much as I am inspired by my blog-friends, I am not in the same place yet as they are. Someday, but not yet.  So last week, I made some gains, but not as many as my addictive mind thought I should but in an effort to understand better healing; I know that I am in a better place than I was one week ago and when I plan my workout this week, I realized I am going to have to take a few weeks to get back into shape in order to get back into shape, so I am slowing it down.  First, reducing the frequency and second reducing the intensity / duration.

For now, I guess that is as good as a weekly update as I can provide, and for those not entertained yet, hang with me – I am getting a book on becoming a better blogger, so have faith.

Ciao!

 Workout Week #2 all with my good friends at Fitness19 in Henderson

M – 30 minute bike, 5 minute cool down / 10 minute stretching

T – 2 Circuit resistance training / 10 minutes stretching

W – 30 minute bike, 5 minute cool down / 10 minute stretching

TH – 2 Circuit resistance training / 10 minutes stretching

F – 30 minute bike, 5 minute cool down / 10 minute stretching

Sa – 45 Minute bike

Su – Active Rest with family