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.

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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

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.

Just Plain Sick

I am a firm believer that there is a higher power out there. Maybe more than one. A lot of folks don’t know this about me, but almost ten years ago to the day, I had decided I wanted to be a Lutheran Pastor. I was going to go to parochial school, I started looking and planning on moving to Colorado where the nearest ELCA ministry college was. I was 29 and on the fast track with God; but then I stopped hearing his voice, then I stopped even listening. Then, even I stopped caring. That was ten years ago, and in that time, I have come to grips with that loss of faith and the empirical worship I have now. I follow a greener, more pagan fellowship with my God and Goddess now. And I am happy, if not a little lackadaisical in my worship. Remedy needed.

My point is not about religion and whether my God is better than your God (he kind of is, but later on that – Just kidding, same god, different belief structure). But my point is rather about hearing the voice of God or the Goddess. I believe you can hear or see or feel the power of that which is outside of you if you listen. I believe that every day we are getting messages from powers greater than ourselves, we just are not in tune with them.

So this week, when I have read or heard on NPR, three stories of men no older than 42 at my weight dying of heart failure, it grabbed my attention. By the balls.

Look, I procrastinate, I get caught up, I want and need and desire things right damned now. And sadly, I know that doesn’t work. Sometimes I pontificate just to pontificate because I like to read my own words. This is not one of those times. I have sucked the joy out of being a jolly fat guy, and am tired of people calling me big guy. But, not unlike 2010, I find it hard to just get off the couch.

Granted this week the typhoon that is a bad spring cold has run through our house but-raping everyone as it goes. So, I have a VIABLE reason not to work out the last three days, But what about the week before that, or before that, or….You get the point, right?

Amanda and I started the Henderson Lighten up determined to crush the competition, and the first week we totally did, that was 5 weeks ago, and I am now as heavy if not slightly heavier than when we started (my scale only goes to 335, and my reckoning, that puts me at 337-342).

I am going to start small, I have already realized that if I am going to lose this weight, I have to be realistic. I probably will not be a competitive triathlete by October, But 2013 can always be the year where I turned this shit around for good and got the fam involved and we lived healthier ever after right? Right. So I am going to start my goal off small. Our next weigh in for the Henderson Lighten Up is next Wednesday, I am determined to be able to read my own weight on my own scale, and then we can get a new goal right? Right.

I overheard another message this week, maybe not from a higher power, but maybe from all the Nike YouTube I have been watching, ‘Stop chasing your dream, go make your dream’ and I loved it.  Amanda asked me this week, which was the biggest motivation ever, if I was going to do the C25K training again, as she was thinking of joining me.  WOW!  How much of a message from your higher power is that?  Your spouse wants to run with you?  I always have excuses for not running again, but I am done with them.  After a couple weeks maintenance and to get my endurance where it needs to be, I am going to start this amazing program over again, with my wife!

Anyhoo, I don’t have much more to say than that.  I will post again next week, let you know about the weigh in, running plans and maybe talk about the difference between healthy porn obsession and unhealthy addiction.