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.

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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.

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