Week 5.5

I missed my weekly check in, sorry about that. Last week was kind of rough and I have had a lot on my mind, so consider this myUntitled weekly check in and mid-week update. Quickly, not a lot has changed. I have had the joy of taking Anthony to the gym with me since last week; he has shown interest in weight lifting so we have gone every other day since last Monday. I really enjoy going with him, as he is 13 and new to the gym. It has also re-lit within me, the weightlifting spark. When I lost weight before, I was a cardio machine and did not take time to lift any weights. This week though, it has been the opposite, all weights, no cardio. I need to find that balance.

By the numbers:

Weight – Still, damnit, right around 350

Gym Visits to date – 9.75 (awesome)

Items Crossed of of 40 while 40 list – 2

I mentioned it has been a rough week; work really stunk it up with what has been going down there. Again, I cannot say a lot, but without any control of my own my reputation, as well as others, has been tarnished and that blows like a five dollar whore at Fleet Week, I lost focus for about the last ten days on my 40 while 40.

I have been spending more time on Instagram and have realized how motivating some people are. They aren’t trying, they just are. They put in work, they don’t do anything other than put in the work, show up and let people know. I am going to really take that to heart as I become a better blogger (lesson 1: Yes, you want to hear about what I am going to do, but more importantly, you want to read and see what I have DONE).

gpaOK, now that I have sucked you in, I want to talk to you about someone very important to me, my grandpa Jim (James L. Hildebrand) born 9/20/1929. Grandpa is in the hospital, and he probably is not coming out and this is breaking my heart. Until George came along, Grandpa was THE male role model in my life. He was a scrappy bricklayer with arms of steel, lots of love but a hard attitude at times (shit, I have met his kids, I do not fault the man). I haven’t seen Grandpa much lately, and the last time I did, I didn’t spend as much time with him as I should. He will probably never meet Ayden, and all this has me all emotional and shit right now. Suffice it to say, that you know on my 40 while 40, I am building my family tree. I just want to warn each of you, coming up sooner than I hoped, there will be a full post dedicated to this great man. I love you Grandpa.

I didn’t mean to end this so soon, but me heart has fallen out of it and I am getting all emotion. alI think that is all I have in me right now. Talk soon.


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.

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.

Untitled Masterpiece

“Here is to good friends, tonight is kind of special” – Lowenbrau Beer Ad


It just so happens that my second oldest child has been visiting for the Christmas holiday this past week, and is going home tomorrow.  But for the short time he has been with me, I am reminded of his keen wit and sense of humor; of which, I feel a great responsibility for shaping, sometimes wrongly.  I am fortunate enough now to share my grandiose and often blue sense of humor with Anthony, Autumn and Ayden.

 As most families do, we were playing a game of “If Mom Died”, over dinner, we began to discuss the succession of the presidency of our house; this is a fun and educational experience where you learn a lot about who really rules the roost.  I decided if mom dies, that I as vice president would take over.  I said it would be a lot more fun, because I am more like Uncle Joe Bidden, out looking for poontang.  Immediately regretting this in front of my current audience ranging from 15 years to 7 months; I pushed on with the subject.

 I told the kids that Alex, as the oldest, would then be next as Speaker of the House, followed by Adam as the President Pro Tempe of the Senate (I likened him to Harry Reid for an inside joke, but he did not get it), and then Anthony as the Secretary of State.  At this point, I could not remember the succession, I told the family it would go to Autumn as secretary of something.  As I tried to remember if it was Secretary of Interior or Defense, she blurted out to nobody in particular, “I know, I am the Secretary of Poontang”.  To which we all tried to hide our laughter.  Me, I tried to hide my disappointment; I wanted to be Secretary of Poontang.

 This conversation for me sums up 2012.  It has been a year of highs and lows, mostly highs – but the lows run deep.  Both Amanda and I have had to fight back from a dark spot of the blues, and I think we are doing a fine job.  Some of our other remarkable achievements in this year of change include getting married, becoming a one income family, saying hello to a new baby, saying goodbye to the truck, welcoming in Mark with his marriage to Mimi, getting and losing an iPhone and finally, realizing maybe what we thought we had always wanted is not necessarily what we want or need any more, for both of us.

 A lot of 2012 for me was awfully sedentary and I have paid a huge price for it; mentally, emotionally and physically but luckily, ours is a house of love and happiness, for the most part; I will be working on some of the small pieces (see my last post) as will Amanda.  But in our house, all are welcome, and all are invited.  I am the most fortunate man to have married the woman I did and have the kids and family I do.  That is why my resolution list was short.  I summed it up to Amanda perfectly the other day, 2013 will be the year I become the man I want to hang out with today.  Easy, right?

 I see A LOT of changes coming in 2013; possibilities that two years ago I would not have thought, but it will amaze and excite.  I wrap up the last 16 hours of 2012 with a heart not heavy of things I left undone, but with the warmth of my family, the love of my life and the excitement to create 2013 in my view, and probably lots more events like the one at the start of the post.

 I raise my coffee to you, yours and all; here is to old friends, new friends and those I have not yet met.  Good journey and happy, blessed,  New Year

I hate this

I hate being fat.  I hate that I have to work so damn hard at losing weight.  I hate that I look in the mirror and see someone that I hate.  I hate that there has been more than one relationship in my life that has been ruined by my weight and self-deprecation.  I hate that I can’t breathe when I walk.  I hate that I lost 125 pounds and then gained 50 of it back.  I hate that I cannot wake up to go to the gym.  I hate that the fact that I am fat impacts my ability to earn income at my work more than my lack of a four year degree.  I hate the look I get from people.  I hate that sometimes the only happiness I feel is when I am eating.  I hate the shame after getting happiness from eating.  I hate that I can’t climb, run, bike, swim or even just play with my damn kids.  I hate that I use terms like flip the switch or turn it around.  I hate diabetes.  I hate that I have diabetes and high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  I hate lying to myself thinking I am going to start, tomorrow.  I hate tomorrow.  I hate the alarm at 5 AM.  I hate my ratty tennis shoes that have holes in them and are barely hanging on.  I hate my new tennis shoes that I haven’t worn because I gained weight too fast at first and they do not fit.  I hate that I cannot sleep at night.  I hate the insanity creeping up in the middle of the night waking me in a cold sweat and keeping me asleep.  I hate that sometimes I fall asleep on the toilet in the middle of the night because I am so tired.  I hate pretending.  I hate that I know what to do and don’t do it.  I hate people telling me they love me anyway.  I hate it when my kids when they say “you aren’t fat”, I hate liars. I hate that my wife has to love me.  I hate it when my wife tells me go to the gym.  I hate when my boss tells me go to the gym.  I hate when my friends tell me go to the gym.  I hate society when it tells me go to the gym.

 I hate that they are right.

 Time to do something tonight, right now.  Not tomorrow.  Flip the switch and turn this around.

 I love my wife.  I love my kids.  I love to run, swim, climb, and bike.  I love to play with my kids.  I love going to the gym.  I love the look in people’s eyes when they see me at the gym.  I love the way my clothes fit after a few weeks even.  I love being tired after a long ride.  I love that I can get healthier and battle these symptoms. 

 I am learning to love me.  That is a hard process.

 I love that I hate that it is totally worth it.

Hola mi nombre es mike y yo soy un alcohólico

“Yeah, but are you gettin’ it? – Armageddon it!
Ooh, really gettin’ it? – Yes, Armaggedon it!”

I truly have no idea why that song popped into my head today.  Maybe, I’m Armaggedonning it?  I don’t know it that is a verb or not.  But that is not the point.  I have not blogged in a little more than a week, baby and I and son #2, and mom I guess, are all fighting what must be the Bubonic Plague, but is probably just a cold; so I have been sidelined at the gym and in my creativity, but that has allowed me to sincerely think about things.

So, as I like to say, let me clear my attic.

I am and always will be an alcoholic.  No, I am no longer a problem drinker, but I am one really bad day away from a really good bender.  I mean, it would have to be the mother of all bad days, but still.  These days I am able to imbibe with my friends or on my own without fear, it is if the alcohol dependency has been switched off.  I am grateful to Alcoholics Anonymous and the many good men and women I met in the program that helped me stay sober while I needed.

I bring up my experience both with alcohol and AA to muster a point.  One of the ways I was able to beat my addiction to booze was because I was able to be honest with myself.  with the help of the program and working the steps, I was clean and sober for years, until I made the choice to allow myself to be OK as a drinker.  This switch is one I need to throw on my weight.  Today, now.

In the steps they speak of Half Measures availing us nothing.  It took me about a year in AA to get this.  And even now I have forgotten it.  What does it mean?  It means you cannot live in both worlds.  Those closest to me know I want to be an athlete, a TRIathlete to be specific and yes, this is a lofty but totally achievable goal.  What is wrong is that I am not living as if I want to be.

A moral inventory, fearless, is needed.  I needed it then and I need it now.  I have to be able to look at myself in the mirror and ask, who am I hurting by weighing 300 pounds and not being a triathlete?  Some may say I am only killing myself, but I disagree.  I am being unfair or even hurting those around me.  Take for example:

  • My wife–Why should she have to deal with my self-loathing? Why should I worry if she is attracted to me?  Have I prepared enough for her to be taken care of when my poor lifestyle choices kill me?
  • My kids–Growing up, it wasn’t my parents that took me fishing or camping or hiking, it was the Boy Scouts.  I want to be the dad that the kids remember taking them to do all this amazing shit, or have stories to tell their kids one day about grandpa and me hiking the tallest summits in each state.  It may be too late to fix this with one of my kids, though, and it makes me sad.
  • My Employer–Is my weight holding me back?  Am I really ABLE to give 100%?
  • My Friends–OK, you guys, I know your sick of me talking about what I want to do.  You are sick of me living in both worlds.

What do I mean living in both worlds?  i have said it twice, I should probably elaborate.  Internally, I have been living a lie for the greater part of my life;  it lead to Alcoholism, divorce and a shit load of missed opportunities, burned friends and shitty stories.  But in May 2010 I began living truthfully to myself.  I was 370+ pounds, and was dying.  i decided right there to change this.  To live a certain way and make those changes, and i did it for the better part of a year.  in that time I met, married and got pregnant with the most amazing person.  I had the best year at my job, EVER and I was out doing amazing shit.

Sometime in the last year, I began lying to myself again.  I let the ills of my world (jealousy of my friends, hatred of myself, the hatred of an ex-wife, etc) get the best of me and I started bragging on and talking about all the amazing shit I was going to do.  I began living in two worlds.  the world where I was training to be a triathlete and the other where I was eating pizza and junk.  I cannot continue to live a lie, and live in both worlds.  it can, will and is killing the things in me others love.  Slowly and in front of my eyes.

This sickness over the last week, really opened my eyes to my own deceit.  AND it confirmed in me that I want three things in my life, from a purely physical health standpoint:

  • I will become a Ironman Triathlete
  • I will lead a 99.98% Paleo lifestyle (I cannot eat Paleo pancakes, truly, they have not invented one I like yet)
  • I will live the lifestyle that my family and friends will be joyous at knowing me in

I am totally selfish and this is all for me, I get the win on all three of these.  I truly hope over the next 12 months I can get ahead of this thing, but it may take years to become a triathlete, let alone an Ironman.  I have to be brutally and completely honest.  Here are the biggest fear/lies/hurdles keeping me back (I document so I can kill them, one at a time):

  • Age–I turn 40 soon, I know it is never too late, but the truth is, sometimes it is
  • Weight–I weigh 306 pounds today, right now.  I have to be sub 250 tp even consider myself working toward a triathlon (I am in the base of my base phase?)
  • Knowledge does not equal results
  • Talking about it does not get it done
  • Willpower–Wow, I am known for taking the easy path
  • Support–I have the most amazing wife who supports me 100% in all my schemes, but I need more.  I need trust, workout buddies that show, etc.  That is not your fault, it is still mine.  I have to surround myself, again, with positive goal oriented people.

I have so much to live and to be thankful for, that I sometimes forget to say that to you and all.  I have the perfect partner in my life, 5 beautiful kids, a great job and some of the most amazing friends a person could ask for.

I can conquer this foolishness, I just have to take smaller steps (Thank you CW for that reminder, a month ago!).  I am going to focus on one day at a time, or one week at a time or hell, one moment at a time.  I can and will do this.  Truthfully, and we will talk about it here.  This is my 12 step program to kick my own ass.

So, in closing, Hi, my names Mike and I am a quitter.

Each day tell someone special that they are and why.