Random Thoughts of the Dork King

Weak as week 4

Weak as week 4

So, here it is, Week 4. Holla at yo boy for keeping up on a weekly blog; other than that, I am not tracking well. But I have a little secret I am going to share a little later in this blog. Let’s say it was an awakening moment, ok? OK. So, first, lets get to the numbers.

Weight:  Hovering around 348 still
Letters / Thank you’s written to date:  4
Gym Visits (PTD – Project To Date): 5.75 (stalled)
Items Crossed off of 40 while 40 list: 2
Days without Smartphone: 28 (more on that)

Alright, I am going to break out the numbers.  I have not been to the gym in a couple of weeks faithfully.  Excuses, excuses, excuses (my asthma, too tired, busy at work, my vagina hurts).  OK, the asthma thing may be the only truly viable option.  I mean, busy at work?   I go to 24 HOUR FITNESS, they are always open.   This is where the weight and gym to date visits fall off the radar.  I am on week four, which is 8% done with the entire project, but still ahead of the Zulu hour of week 10.  Week 1o is where the rubber hits the road so to say.

Leaving the physical behind, I had an amazing mental win.  Suffice it to say, Amanda and I have been in a rut for a few weeks months (I got her permission to talk about it); and it all centers on learned behavior.  My behavior has been out of character for me for some time.  I am going to get help for this.  Admittedly, there has been A LOT on my mind (how am I going to continue to make finances work?  Is Amanda going back to work?  Do I want to stay at Credit One?) and instead of bringing my partner in on some of this, I was just sucking it up, and letting it continue to get to me, and it wore me down to the point where I had become defensive, and snappy at home.  This is not the happy, healthy relationship either of us wanted – we spoke, and shared, and it is going to get better we both know.

The other side to this mental victory is that speaking with a few folks that have either worked with me or still do, I am inspired to change what I am becoming into becoming what I want.  I WANT to get back on the rock, I WANT to triathlon, I WANT to ride my bike to work.  Well, what is stopping me?  Only my own assitude folks, I am the only one in control of what I can and what I cannot do.  Me.  Mike.  So, what is Mike doing tomorrow evening with son #3?  Riding a bike and lifting weights at the gym peeps.

Let’s Talk Smartphone, I have my EVO back, so I can officially kill the calendar there.

I want to share briefly an amazing place only 40 minutes from my house, called Techatticup Ghost Town in El Dorado Canyon Nevada (between Lake Mead and Lake Mojave).  Pretty amazing place, an old desert mining town just pat Nelson, NV.  lot’s of old buildings, weathered and beaten by the sun.  And when i think old mining town, I think of old busses, bombers plowed into the ground and trucks.  OK, for some reason there are a lot of old mechanical pieces, mining and what have you, on display – so if you are into Ghost Towns being visited by pickers, this is the place for you.  Take a look at my gallery below, and when Amanda approves her “A” roll of film, I will link you over to it.

Finally, what is on tap this week:
1. Start the stop drinking soda of my 40 while 40
2. Write 3 thank you notes / letters
3.  4 visits (at least) to the gym
4. Finish my book
5. Give 110% at work to finish up a few projects before handing some stuff off.
6. Take the 5 week picture (no change, right?)

That is it for today amigo’s, I will talk to you mid-week.  Love and peace.

Weekly Roundup: Week 3

download (1)Week 3 will live in infamy. I promised an update weekly, and that is what I am doing. I am not proud of myself, and I am not even going to countdown the numbers. BUT, I have hope. I spoke to Alex for 30 minutes this morning, which was way awesome. It makes me sure of my intent and desire in that ONE area. I think Amanda is behind me, now we just have to, well, make it happen and do it.

I had a good weekend of reflection, a friend of mine who use to work at C1B just completed his first Sprint Tri (Congrats Mike S.), and it got my energy re-invested. I am going to try something this coming week 4 which I have not tried before. Two-a-days on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. Kind of funny since I am goose-egged for this week. My big goal, the Pumpkin Man on October 19th. I am re-motivated to do a tri this year. I will still be GROSSLY overweight, but I will compete none-the-less. By my math, I will be between 260-250 pounds and that is about where I was when I fell apart. Even if it takes me two hours, I am going to participate.

The one thing that happened this week more than anything was the number of people who reminded me why I want to be thin. Some because of what and how they said it, and some because of how and what they have been saying. Here are some of the words I heard this week, some to me, about me and some not even related to me, but full of a reminder. You tell me which ones motivate:

 “Man, you use to ride the bike to work even when it was 112 degrees outside, we saw”

“You looked really good”

“You can do this man, you are too strong”

“I love you no matter how you are”

“I am tired of fat people thinking they are healthy, they aren’t…”

“Slow and Steady…”

“I am behind you, whatever you need”

Wow, some powerful messages; 6 of loving support and 1 of stupidity from a someone who equates skinny with healthy – Sorry, but fit is healthy, skinny is a measure of size. Words are magic, man, seriously.  Your tongue has no bones but can break many hearts.  This week I am dedicated to a) not saying anything negative and b) really trying to empathize and listen for anyone who really needs it.

Again, I am so lucky to have love behind me, and it kind of embarrasses me to have wasted 1 week when I only have 52 to get all 40 things done on my list. I won’t squander another, and that is a promise.

And in closing, and my weekly promise, the one thing I found that I liked about myself was that my resume is up to date. And it shines.

Talk to you mid-week.

I want it all, but I want it now

I am not the worlds best blogger, nor am I the best reader of blogs.  I believe exponentially, if I read more blogs and commented more and liked more, I would probably attract more readers as my style would improve and my name would be out there, getting friends in the electronic world; friends I would probably never meet.  then my white papers discussing the attractiveness of big data as it relates to social media, politics and used car buying would spread the doctrine of Mike Hildebrand as you followed me on my journey in weight loss.

But I am probably too lazy for that.

Week 2

Week 2

So without further ado, it is time to give the 40 while 40 week 2 recap.  Are you as excited as me?  It has been an up and down week for me.  It is true that, like my mid-week post stated (late) that I had hit the gym more and harder, I feel that I am still not giving 100% which makes me just a touch sad.  Before I get to that, let’s get to the numbers:

Weight:  Hovering around 348 (damn, up that much?)
Letters / Thank you’s written to date:  3
Gym Visits (PTD – Project To Date): 5.75
Items Crossed off of 40 while 40 list: 2
Days without Smartphone: 21
Biological fathers written: 1

OK first things first.  2 things are crossed of my list; take my picture at Valley of Fire (and for those interested, last blog I mentioned I’d have some awesome pix?  instead of me posting here, go over to Southern Fried in Vegas, who was recently Freshly Pressed by the way, and read her post with the pix in them), and I have begun my family tree.

It is not much, but I found a great website, www.familyecho.com, which is easier to use API wise than Ancestry, and much easier to navigate.  No research tools that I find useful, but a great mapper of the tree – go take a look, I will update it as it grows.

The other item to address from the numbers is that I have not yet mailed the letter to my bio-dad.  I have been trying to decide if that is really a good idea and what my motives are for wanting to reach out to a man who doesn’t know I exist, or more importantly, doesn’t care.  I have to think on this one still.

I swear, there is no odor!

I swear, there is no odor!

OK, back to the task at hand.  Take a look at these shoes.  These are the first pair of running shoes I bought since I was a “Real Adult“.  surprisingly, they do not smell.  I bought them while I decided to live or kill myself.  that was 2010, so obviously….but a lot changes in 3 years.  I have ridden the roller coaster of massive weight loss to gain, and now I am on the precipice of facing nearly the exact same hurdle, and I find that even though I have “been trying”, I have not given myself 100% to this.  Why not?  I don’t know.  These shoes sure have, they are full of holes with no traction.  They canter to the inside, so does that mean I pronate or not?  I can tell you I do heel strike, that is for sure.

I am not ready to give up these shoes, first I am too fat for the pair I bought to replace them 50 pounds ago and second, my life as I know it today was born in these shoes.  They have run, biked, hiked, swam, and walked miles.  They look it, full of holes and all used up.  But their character still shines.  You can see the logo that they are new balance and there is a quiet dignity left in these shoes.  maybe a little spark left?  maybe.  A little one.  I commit right now to honor these shoes (sounds goofy), by giving them the same 100% they have given me.  You don’t die working out, you are reborn with each bead of seat, burpee completed, yoga pose mastered.  You become the 100%.

Sand, sand, sand

Sand, sand, sand

I want to live a life transparent and full, like the sand in this jar.  This my jar full of sand I have collected from Red Rock.  there is no room in this jar for anything else.  I want to live in such the same way, so full, so contained and transparent.  I want to be the beacon to my kids and neighbors as much as they have told me I had been.  This sand, in the year I have vowed to keep it, will not change,  The wind and the air and the water will not impact it.  The only way it will change is if I make that change.

Not unlike myself.  There will be days I am totally unmotivated.  There will be setbacks, I just have to remember, the sand does not change, unless I let it.

See you in a few days.

I knew a guy who dated Shauna Lake

I have been struggling with my mid-week blog, well, blogging in general and I should not be.  I mean, I am a funny son of a bitch, I’ve lived in Texas and I think the gays should marry.  Right there, bam, that is a blog that should write itself, right?

You would think so, but it takes a lot of energy.  Energy fueled by Chinese food, hummus and sushi – and the occasional trifecta of stomach indulgence called the gut bomb (it was easier when I lived by El Taco Feliz, but now I have to go to two restaurants to get this gourmet treat of chicken fingers, enchilada as chip dip and deep fried bar food).

With an intro like that you can probably guess the tone that this blog will take, but you would be wrong faithful reader.  Lets start off with the numbers (something I am lifting from Kai Rizdall on NPR)

Weight:  Hovering around 342-343
Letters / Thank you’s written:  3
Gym Visits (PTD – Project To Date): 4.75
Items Crossed off of 40 while 40 list: 2 (more on that next blog)
Days without Smartphone: 16
Biological fathers written: 1 (more on that next blog)

So what I wanted to talk about was why I want to lose the weight; I have mentioned my first journey out of FatAsserville was because of anger, this time I have 6 better reasons:

Sexy people!

Sexy people!

Yes, that is Matthew McConaughey and you are asking why?  Well, shit, its Matthew “the shirtless God” McConaughey.  Friends with Lance Armstrong and pot aficianado.  If I can’t earn his respect, well then, shit.  Also, he says things like “Cool, its Cool” and “Alright, alright!”  Also, also, Amanda does a pretty good impression.

OK that was a joke, here is the real photo and why:

SEXIEST People!

SEXIEST People!

Starting from the lower left:

1 – Amanda:  The love of my life, the partner, my BFF and better half.  I want need to be there for her when we get old.  And also, it will help if her friends think I am sexy.  She will get the esteem of having a hot husband in his forties.

2 – Alex:  That is a picture from a few years ago when his hair was longer, I liked him more back then, he was around. Though I still love him, I never hear from him.  I use to not think this would bother me, but maybe I feel my own mortality. And I want to be there, when he is ready to come back to me.  And he will, I promise.

3 – Anthony:  That is the ciggy pop pose I got him to do.  The kid does everything shirtless.  Anthony is rough; he hasn’t had a real good father figure and I don’t want him to think it is OK to be lazy and fat. I want him, like my other boys, to go hiking and fishing and camping and run and play and love me as much as I love him.

4 – Ayden:  Like I mentioned before, I get her for only about 35-50 years somewhere in there.  I want to see her graduate, marry and hopefully have a baby before I fucking die.  I want the rest of my life dedicated to making sure that the vision she has of men is one that we can be proud of and keeps her off the fucking pole.

5 – Adam:  (see #2) Like Alex, I kind of have lost Adam.  He would rather play his WiiStationbox 4 with his friend than come down to see me or spend a lot of time talking to me. But I still love the bugger.  I was his age once, but again, don’t want the short times we spend together wasted cause I am fat.  I want to paintball and shoot him in the face.

6 – Autumn:  I may have already lost Autumn to the pole at 10 years.  She is ten going on thirty.  I love autumn tremendously, she is so intelligent and creative and at the same time makes me want to bash my own damn head in.  She is going to be a heart-breaker at 16 and I need t o be ready to beat some young man’s ass.  Also, I need to show her it is cool to run and play and be fit, and like yourself.

That kind of explains it.  I included my wedding picture because even on January 7th, 2012, I knew I had backslid and was going the wrong way and had already gained back thirty pounds by then.  That was sixty-five pounds ago; but that is the past.  I am working hard, and working smart and I will get down to 175 in a little over a year; one fucking pound at a time.

Some other folks I’d like to thank for their motivation and part in my weight loss for reasons personal and public:

24 Hour Fitness – Wigwam and the good people working there, Mike B (for believing in me almost as much as my wife and just patiently waiting until I kick his ass at climbing), David G (for both motivating me with kindness as well as annoyance), my parents who have both had their own success with weight this year – way to go mom and dad, and of course all my blog friends who I read and for some reason don’t get read back 9but your stories always inspire me to be the athlete you are and that I can be).

Thanks for stopping by

Dark Secrets of a Wanna-Be Executive (aka creepy corporate culture)

An honest life is a hard life to live; that is a piece of what my 40 while 40 is about – really discovering the man I am and the man I am still to be.  But it is also about having fun, a lot of fun growing with my family and my friends and myself.  It is very hard to be honest with yourself.  I think it is actually easier to be honest with others, unless of course they are asking about you.

You like?

You like?

“Doing great, thanks!”
“We are all good!”
“Out of sight!”I probably said each of those once over the last week, the last one is a little weird, I agree.  Stuff it, I said it and I probably thought I meant it.  But the truth is, no, I am probably NOT at 100%.  I do not see myself the way other see me. I cannot for some reason, but I am trying.  And that is my week one item I like about myself.  I like that I can always try to be a best version of myself, and try to see myself the way others do.  I may not always show it, but I do; and often I like what they see. Sometimes, I see the truth of what they see and it inspires me.

Back to honesty, I had gone into this week with the utter intention of working out 7 days this week, working on the walking, moving toward running, etc. But the truth of the matter is that I have had one mediocre workout as it got interrupted by two of the beautiful girls in my life.  I REALLY need to get into the gym; for my health, love and family as well as my own enjoyment of riding the bike and lifting the weights.

Left, their idea of yoga; right, what it looks like for me (hell, I wish I was that flexible)

Left, their idea of yoga; right, what it looks like for me (hell, I wish I was that flexible)

There is a darker side too, to the weight loss.  I work in a corporate culture that rewards folks that are more fit.  I look at the executives at my company and for right or wrong, those that are “going somewhere” within company are runners, cyclists, athletes all.  I am regaled with stories of seeing the CEO at hot yoga (hey, for me, any yoga is hot and sweaty), or the AVP in Human Resources that is running the half marathon and so on. It is painfully obvious what I need to do to get ahead at work.  Fuck the fact that I have basically taught myself Business Intelligence Applications development, SQL Server and SRSS while employed and underpaid there, now I got to lose 140 pounds too.

**DISCLAIMER – I work for a great company, with great people under me, peers and leadership; I am fortunate to have great mentors and friends there, I just hate the fact that is sometimes is surface over substance in some views.  The company itself is a caring, community minded leader on the cutting edge of what or mission, vision and values are, and am proud of the work I do and for who, truly I am.  I also  know who reads my blog **Truly, I need to lose the weight anyway, but I digress.  Pardon my venting.

Basically then week one of 40 while 40 saw some highs and lows, I went and got the photo of myself at valley of Fire like I wanted and posted last time, so I can cross that off my list.  I wrote a couple of thank you notes to some colleagues. That made me feel good, to foster a thankful attitude.  I also wrote the rough draft of the letter to bio dad.  So yes, I did not work out, but I can cross three things off and am on track with two others.

What to do now?  I am headed to the gym with my wife who was just Freshly Pressed (awesome, baby!) where I will put in some work on the bike and some abs.  Then a steam.  This week, I plan on really focusing on getting back into the gym and getting ready for a couple of events that fall on the same day 35 days from today.  My mid-week blog will be about the events, hold your breath.

Thanks for stopping by.

FACTS Week One:
Weight: 345
Letters / Thank Yous written:  3
Gym Visits: .75
Items crossed of 40 while 4 list to date:  1
Days without SmartPhone:  11

Thoughts of a wannabe loser, a blog post

Trying to lose weight is very difficult. Its easy to stutter and have to start many times over. Its also very easy to get trapped into trying things to speed up the process, motivate you or just do out of some level of self-loathing.

I find myself over the last two to fifteen months in that hamster wheel where you start, stop and gain. The SSG principal a lot of dieters get into. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this and have decided there are some rules you have to live by. Some of them are not new, most in fact, but it is a new observation for me.

1. It is not a diet–This is the most important thing to remember. If you diet, you WILL lose weight, I promise, but I also know from years of experience that you will gain it back. The only successful way to keep weight off is to make long-term (life) changes to the choices you make regarding the food you eat and your activity level. They don’t have to be terrifically theatrical like a juice fast, going vegan, eating only non-processed free range organic duck liver; but they do have to be different than what you are doing now. And for the love of all that is holy, drink more water. If you think you drink enough, double it.
2. Do not keep up with the Jones’–I have a good friend, like a brother to me actually, and I have only known him a few years; but he inspires me so much but that can be dangerous too. You cannot chose to live vicariously through someone else. This friend is turning 30, he is a decade younger than I (I am literally 33% older than he) so his body acts and reacts different to stress, fatigue and activity. I cannot be him. In fact, as much as he inspires me, and we have similar interests, I don’t want to be him (sometimes I feel like our overlord does). I want to be the best me that I can and that includes doing some of the stuff he does like biking or hot Pilates, because they sound amazing and they are fantastically healthy. Let him be him, you be you and I will be the me; we will just be the best we can.
3. It is going to hurt, sometimes a lot, but find your inner super hero–I didn’t know I had inspired anyone. See, I yo-yo’d because I lost focus, reason, clarity and goals. I had gone from nearly 400 pounds down to 250-245, in a little more than a year. How? Hard fucking work. So much so that I was about to get those words tattooed on my knuckles. I started running, and it hurt. I biked to work, and some days it hurt. I actually became the bike guy. I did not have car, and I rode my bike everywhere. My son and I would go to the grocery store, ride the strip, I’d ride to work – hell, my wife fell in love with the bike guy (it is awfully hard an embarrassing to tell your first date, guess what I have no car; you become afraid she will be singing “No Scrub”). Somewhere I become the boyfriend guy, then the engaged guy, then the father to be guy then the truck guy, then the mini-van guy and then the 330 pound guy again. I forgot my superhero alter identity, Bike Guy – until recently. One of my employees who is new to my team, said that Bike Guy had inspired him and a lot of people. It made me feel good. I felt like Superman in Superman 3 when he is a drunk bum; or any movie where the hero got a gut and then a montage later, he was svelte again. I really need a montage, but I am willing to put in the hard, heavy work. And hurt from time to time.
4. You have to have a reason–Originally my reason to lose the weight was hatred, raw and burning loathing for the woman who told me it was impossible for me to change. I wanted to prove to my ex she was wrong. After 50 pounds, I realized it was really about me, then it became about wanting to run a triathlon. Then, well, I just forgot. It became easy for me to eat doughnuts again or skip workouts. But here I am at the nexus of turning forty, and it is going to get harder, and I have SO much I still want to be able to do like play soccer, climb, canoe and yes run triathlon. But the biggest reason is that I have a beautiful family that I need to be around to take care of, and to do that right, I have to put my health needs first.
5. You have to have the most amazing support structure–I mean the most amazing. Loved ones and friends that are willing to not roll your eyes when you say, “I swear, in the morning, no more hot dogs”, or when you come home “hone, I am not eating solid foods for ten days”. Hell, they not only cannot roll their eyes, they have to go out and buy you the veggies to juice. Your support system is there to listen and love you no matter what. That being said, they are not responsible for your weight loss and lifestyle and you cannot ask them to change to meet your needs. Remember that, let them be the best they can, but you be the best you can. That being said, if you can find a fitness or accountability buddy – do it, you chances for success are that much better.

Anyway, these are just some of the things I had been thinking over the last week and realizing where I had forgotten my path, especially the superhero alter ego. It is time for me to bring back Bike Man I think and do battle with the jack asses in their car.

Go move today.

Joe Cool Rocks the Westfront Auditorium this Saturday

I am pretty inconsistent in my writing and for that, I am just lame. I don’t even have a great excuse like I have school and work and family. I estimate there is about 2 hours of my day that I waste doing stuff like scratching myself, hanging out in bathroom stalls trying to get a few moments of privacy, or just staring at my PC that I could dedicate to blogging more. But if I write it, will they come?

What makes a blog magical? I have read some blogs that are fantastic, well written and put together well and I read them; even if the subject isn’t necessarily in my arena. Now, that being said, I know that I am more tempted to read new blogs based on searches of things I am interested in, so I have tried using tags that were specific to my blogs like porn, sex, babies, shirtless men and broad wired big data analytics but I still struggle to find my blog niche. Maybe if I just keep writing, I will get a narrative thread, get better at writing and finally break through. Maybe.

Or maybe someday my kids will find my blog and just think what a douche there dad was. Maybe.

In recent news, I am not now or in the near future moving to Utah. There is happiness and sadness about this. I can focus on the betterment of Mike now (spending more time with friends, making new friends, fitness, recipes, making beer and just all around becoming the dude you want to hang out with this summer). I miss my boys, but maybe the little shits should visit here?

Amanda and I are participating in the 12-week Henderson Lighten Up event, which is a free city sponsored weight loss and fitness awareness program. We are mid week two right now. Both of us had a great first week, Amanda would kill me if I posted her weight, but she tore it up and crushed a 2.36 % overall weight loss. Fucking amazing! She had thought that .75% would be a lot. Admittedly, it will get harder, but what a start. She is now at Zumba working off our cheat night of AYCE Sushi.

As for me, I came in at 2.26%. Way above the 1.25% I had guessed, but well below what I am capable of. I will take it more seriously and crush the next ten weeks. I have been watching Nike Commercials all morning, and reading my fitness blogs. I follow Power of Run, who truly inspired me to get over my fear of starting to run on her post here, go check it out, very worth the read.

That’s about it, I am writing a creative blog entry for next time called 25 Hour Fitness and the power of Combat Yoga, but I am still ironing it up and polishing it off.

Big props and shouts to my friends and those that inspired, motivated, or were just there for me this past 7 days. Mahalo and love to you all. Go find your greatness this week, I am getting ready to go ride a bike, talk to you soon.