MainPain Challenge – Complete and Utter Meltdown


For those of you wonderful people who so graciously followed my weight loss endeavors, I thank you very much. I regret to admit, I haven’t done so well on my MainPain Challenge of maintaining my weight and building muscle. I allowed a couple of injuries to push me over a ledge of failure. I’ve been going down a dark path of bad habits returning to my life. I’ve been eating bad, working out nearly never, and overall, just sitting around doing nothing to keep up with my challenge.

One of the saving graces for me is that last night was my first night back on the hockey rink. I play once a week in the fall and winter and last night was the first since March. Now everyone on the ice for the most part was out of step, slower and just overall we were not very good. I’m typically the worst on the ice and last night was not likely an exception. The one positive I can take out of this was that I skated the entire hour and 15 minutes. There were times I thought I might throw up, but I made it, and I managed to take a puck to the head (kids, wear your helmets, I did and just came out of it with a minor headache) and I scored a pretty sweet goal (I don’t score many so I have to brag about every one I make).

By the middle of my first shift my legs burned and so did my lungs. I was sucking air and could barely crawl over the boards at the end of my shift. Last nights outing was a bit of a wake up call for me. If I don’t want to be terrible again for an entire season of hockey, I need to do something. And there it is, motivation. Yup, I think I just needed something to work for beyond just a little bit of muscle definition in my biceps or a static reading on my scale. I need something to be proud of. I need to score more goals, but more importantly, I need to feel I’m getting better on that big old sheet of frozen water. Last year was a disaster for me on the ice. I seemingly got worse from week to week and then near the end of the season I hurt my back. Big surprise. This year has to be different, and it will.

Over the last 3 weeks I’ve been stretching nearly on a daily basis. This hasn’t been some 10 minute brushing of my shins while I’m actually just creepily watching all the other people who really are working out. Nope, I was actually stretching for 30-45 minutes each time and doing 10-20 different stretches hitting nearly my entire body every time. I’ve noticed big differences in my flexibility already. I can reach my toes, and on some days, past them. Whoah! You mean I could possibly tie my shoes someday without having to kneel down on one knee? Yup. Sweet! Let’s have some of that.

So, yeah, I’ve gained some weight. More than I’d like to admit, and probably more than I even realize, since I haven’t weighed myself in a couple of weeks, but I’ve got that fire under me again. No, I’m not going to do a big challenge. I’m just going to post my progress in whatever way seems appropriate for the day. I’m hoping to keep things real and be honest about how I’m doing. The biggest thing is doing it right?

Ok, so who else out there plays a seasonal sport? What do you do to get ready before the season starts? Is day one usually as bad for you as it is for me?

Have a great day everyone.

Microsoft Ignite Activity Overload


I am so excited. On Sunday I get to hop on a plane headed for Chicago for the Microsoft Ignite conference May 4th-8th. Of all the nerd inspired things one could do, going to a Microsoft technology conference has got to be at the top of the list.

I’m learning pretty quickly, though that nerds apparently know how to party, or at least to appear to know how to party. I’ve not been to a conference of this size, so having to pick and choose my after-hours entertainment from the slew of options available to me is a bit daunting, but a nice problem to have.

I, and my employer are hoping I’ll come away from this 5 day experience with some valuable knowledge, skills, and contacts regarding SharePoint, Office 365, OneDrive for Business, Skype for Business, Windows PowerShell and so many other technologies.

I’m not sure if I have any readers that are also going to Ignite, but if you are, what sessions are you looking forward too and what after-hours stuff are you hoping to do? I’m really hoping I’ll bump elbows with someone important who has extra tickets to one of the Wild vs. Blackhawks playoff games as I’d love to see my team when I’m in Chicago.

For those of you not a member of the nerd world of enterprise technologies, what are your recommendations for things to do in the great Windy City of Chicago USA next week? Any great restaurants you can recommend? We’re going to be downtown in the Michigan ave area so I’m looking for great ideas there?

If any of you are going, I’d say we should meet up and have a drink, but let’s be honest, are we really going to do that? Do you really want to meet me? Of all the people out there, I’ll be honest, it’s not going to be that awesome meeting me… ha ha or is it? If you’re willing to go to a midnight viewing of the new Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) movie with me, then I’ll meet up with pretty much anybody, or you have tickets to the Hawks game, just don’t plan on murdering me please, that would be a pretty big downer.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 118 | Playing Through the Pain


Yesterday was weigh in day again. Let’s see how I did.

Weight Loss this week: 2.2 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 38 lbs

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That was awesome! The best part is my workouts for the week were not as long as I would have liked. It’s pretty obvious that having a good eating plan is all you really need to consistently lose weight. Workouts are important, but not as critical as eating better.

With all that good news, I have some bad news to talk about as well. One of the primary motivators for losing weight was due to my back problems. I’ve found as my weight goes up, so does the frequency of me throwing out my back. Well, it’s not entirely related to my weight I guess.

Last night was hockey night. Right at the end of warm-ups I took my last shot on the goalie and as I shot… POP!! My back instantly seized and pain shot every direction throughout my lower back and into my legs.

Luckily, it didn’t put me to the ice, so I glided to the bench. For those who have experienced back pain like this, you know that moving in any way can be excruciating. Here’s my dilemma. With me, there were a total of 6 forwards. Three on the ice and three on the bench. If I leave, that means one guy cannot change until one of the first guys on the ice with him is rested. The other dilemma, I know that if I go home, my back is going to stiffen up like a hunk of bread left out overnight. So, I decided I needed to suck it up and play. That’s right, I played through it.

My first test came and I had to get over the boards. For those familiar with hockey, there are 2 doors that you can use to get onto the ice. Usually, you do not use those doors, you simply hop over the boards and onto the ice. Yeah… that was extremely painful. My first shift was one of the more painful shifts I’ve ever endured. Then to top it off, near the end of my shift, someone backed right into me and as I tried to minimize the impact, somehow our skates tangled and I went down… Hard. I got up gingerly and skated to the bench.

The remainder of the game I started getting more confidence back. My back started feeling slightly better each shift, to the point I was comfortable enough to skate at about 75%. This equates to about 10% of what everyone else was playing (I’m not very good even at 100%).

I scored no goals last night (I usually don’t anyway) but I scored big on pride and I think I scored on recovery. Yes, my back still hurts, but I can walk. That’s what’s important. This brings me back losing weight and workouts. The most positive thing I can take from this, is that I don’t need to be working out tons to be able to still lose weight. If I can’t workout this entire week, I can still lose some weight. It may not be a significant amount, but I can still do it.

What do you guys do if/when you injure yourselves? Do you play through it (probably not advised)?

Good luck everyone this week, and be careful.

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 104 | Super Monday


Another Sunday has come and gone and now it’s Monday. The day I get to reveal the results of my Sunday weigh in. Let’s just jump right in.

Weight Loss this week: 2.0 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 34.0 lbs

Whoo Hoo!!! I couldn’t have been more excited to see those numbers on Sunday morning. I’m down to 187 lbs from a starting weight of 221 lbs. I’m so excited about the progress I’ve seen. There have definitely be struggles and setbacks over the last 104 days, but with results like these, I can only focus on the positives.

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Since I had such a great weigh in, I decided to treat myself and the kids to giant Great Harvest Cinnamon Rolls. Well, I ate about half of one, then another 1/4 once my daughters realized they didn’t like the frosting (I didn’t care for it either, but I still ate it). I had to eat what my girls did right? (I hate throwing food away, which has been a big reason why I’m doing this challenge in the first place).

It was Super Bowl Sunday yesterday and the first year in quite some time we didn’t have plans to go to my Mother & Father In-Laws house for the game, so I still wanted to have a “party” for my family. Namely because they love football so much (said with extreme sarcasm). Here’s what I wound up making the family. A giant pan of nachos and my daughters loved them. Well, my oldest did. The younger one (Emma) just wanted plain chips and proceeded to dip them in Ketchup, then BBQ sauce and then she created a BBQ Fruit Punch sauce (that’ll help anyone lose weight).

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So, eating a bunch of junk food on the day you weigh yourself and find you’ve lost 2 lbs for the week seems a bit counter productive, but the thing is, Sundays are my “free” day. Namely because I play hockey so I burn the most calories on Sundays. I ate more than I should have and it was great.

My advice: Allow yourself one controlled “free” day to eat more calories, perhaps even more calories than your maintenance intake would allow for. This is a mental strategy. It gives you that happiness everyone misses when they’re on a diet. Make sure you track the calories still so you don’t wind up eating 10k calories that day, but even 1k over your maintenance number won’t kill your diet, so long as it was planned. Then ensure the next day is back to your regularly scheduled pittance of a menu.

I hope Monday finds everyone else as happy as it does me. I’m happy I didn’t care who won the Super Bowl, how could I since I left after half-time to go play hockey. What a great Super Bowl Party. Oh, and how could anyone not love watching the half-time show around my kids. After Perry was done, my oldest said, “I liked her singing, I think I’ll be a fan of hers.” A lot better than when Beyonce gyrated around and my daughter said, “Why is she moving weird like that?”

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 74 – 76 | -12


It’s a great day. It’s day 76, it’s -12 degrees out (feels like -29) and the baby finally slept through the night. I would have been happy had he just slept 3 hours without us having to hold him the whole time. I think our house is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the cold going around. So I’m extremely happy. It doesn’t even bother me that much that my hip is killing me. I had an amazingly hard fall last night playing hockey.

Anyway, it’s Monday, so that means… It was weigh in day yesterday. Here’s how I did.

Weight Loss this week: 1.4 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 26.8 lbs

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Honestly, I’m a little disappointed, though totally not surprised by those numbers. The holidays have been taking a toll on my will power. I’m so hungry all the time. I just want to eat everything. If I thought the couch might taste good, I’d probably give it a go. I know I shouldn’t be down about this weeks loss, though. I just wish I could use my “after hockey” weight. Even weighing in this morning I was still clocking in around a pound lighter than my official weigh in numbers. But, my original goal was to do weigh-ins on Sundays, so that’s what I’m going to do. Plus, all that extra weight loss is just from the water I lost. So, I don’t want to document fake weight loss. It’ll come back to haunt me one week when I can’t play hockey. Then I’ll be writing about how sad I am that I didn’t lose any weight.

So, my goal this week is again 2 lbs. I think this week should be a little easier to make that goal since there is finally no holiday to muck things up. I’m starting the week off well with some yogurt and Life cereal at my desk while I write. Then lunch is some Shredded BBQ Beef on a bun with carrots and a tangerine. Who knows what I’ll do for supper, but I’m sure it’ll be good (we finally went grocery shopping).

I hope this week finds everyone in the highest of spirits. Have a great day and stay motivated and show this cold weather we can take it. I need to go find an ice pack for my hip (I sound like an 80 year old geriatric I think).

Weight Loss Challenge – Day 69 | A Great Weekend


I had a great weekend. I was sick, but it was still great. Had some fun with the kids, the wife and friends. To top it all off, I played hockey last night, and was not as horrible as usual. Don’t get me wrong, I was still horrible, but just not AS horrible. I came out of it with a bruised thumb which is kindof cool too. I’ve never seen the fleshy part of a thumb get so black and blue. Luckily, it doesn’t hurt. Unfortunately, I can’t get a good picture of it, though, who really wants to see a stupid little thumb boo boo?

The best part, I decided to weigh myself this morning (unofficially) and I was down 3 pounds. Of course, I played 70 minutes of hockey which is pretty intense, though I thought I drank enough water to replenish my lost water, but to see 193 on the scale, even if that isn’t what my weigh in number is, is pretty nice to see. What it does do for me, is give me motivation for this week. Initially, my goal for this week was 2 lbs. Yesterday morning I wasn’t too optimistic, but now, I know I can get there. Just getting to 195, that’d put me on the low end of the 190’s. I haven’t seen those numbers in ages.

So, with a great weekend comes a great week. I’m still on the 1,600 calories per day and that is going well. I stuck to it both Saturday and Sunday, which isn’t that hard when you have nearly nothing in the house to eat. We’re at the end of our budget for December, which means, eat all the crappy stuff in the pantry you’ve been putting off eating. We had cereal last night for supper. That’s how bad it’s gotten. We don’t even have cans of soup (usually the last thing to go).

Today is the start of a great week, and I hope you all are feeling it too. How is everyone feeling this week? I know New Years Eve is coming up. Does that put you on the positive or negative? Usually, I’m pretty indifferent, but knowing we start our budget over, I’m totally in the positive. Have a great day everyone.

Weight Loss Challenge – Days 19 & 20


What a weekend. Or more so, what a Sunday. As the title shows, I neglected to post my Day 19 journal entry. It wasn’t because I was lazy though. The complete opposite really. So, today you all, my wonderful readers (I like to pretend there are more of you and you wake up every day excited to see what I have to say) get two days worth for the price of one. SCORE!

My wife invited some old high school friends over for dinner Sunday night. She offered to order pizza from the local pizza place, but I, in my infinite wisdom said:

“No honey, why don’t we do a build your own pizza night? I could make all the dough… blah… blah… blah.”

Oh, I’m just the smartest cat in the world. So, as soon as we got home from church, I spent the entire day, rolling dough, prepping veggies, feeding the kids, etc etc etc. My wife, who normally is the most helpful person in the world, needed to sleep. She has Fibromyalgia and thus was having a bad day, bad weekend really. I certainly am not complaining that she got to sleep. It was my recommendation that she do so.

Back to the story, I got no lunch. Not for a lack of trying though. I had my food almost ready, then the baby needed to eat. Again, almost ready to eat, and the kids started fighting. So, I gave up on that notion.

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Neither of these was my pizza (I forgot to take a pic) but these are two of the creations made last night. They all looked delicious.

Anyway, the build your own pizza night went great and I ate like a pig. It was so freaking good. I don’t mean to praise myself, but.. scratch that… I do mean to praise myself. I made probably the best pizza in the world last night. Garlic, Basil crust, with diced tomatoes with oregano and garlic, then a handful of pepperoni and some peppers and onions all tucked in nicely with a bed of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Then, as a side I had 3 delectable bread sticks (again, homemade). To top it all off, one of our friends brought ice cream and cupcakes, and yes… I partook. Oh it was heaven. And I felt zero guilt. ZERO! Why? Because I knew two things. 1. I hadn’t eaten lunch 2. I had to go play hockey at 8:30pm.

I didn’t really stuff myself, I didn’t eat my entire pizza. Yes, I had 3 bread sticks, but I didn’t really eat any of the chips that were brought or the dip, though it looked extra yummy. I felt I ate a reasonable amount. (I’m still trying to calculate and log just how poorly I actually did)

UPDATE: I finished calculating my intake from last night. Here are the results.

Grand Totals

  • 36 – Points
  • 1961 – Calories
  • 102.8 – Fat
  • 12 – Dietary Fiber
  • 88 – Carbohydrates
  • 77 – Protein

Not awesome by any means, but also, not horrible. Had I crested 2,000 calories I’d have been nervous. The Fat is pretty high and the Carbs are getting higher than they should be, but Protein isn’t too bad. I’ll count this as a successful BAD Day.

Now then, I shouldn’t forget to mention Sunday was Weigh In Day. How did I do?

2.8 Pounds Down

BOOOOO!!!

For a Total Weight Loss to Date of 14.4 Pounds!!!

YAY!!!

Not very good for the week, but you know what, I know why it wasn’t so great, so I just need to make some minor changes, and I’m sure I’ll be back on track. Part of keeping this up, is keeping a positive attitude.

So, Day 20 is today, what do I have in store for me today? Well, I need to go swimming, and I’m a little nervous about how my shoulder is going to hold up. Hockey took a bit of a toll on my shoulder and I’m having a tough time raising my arm. Took some meds for it, so we’ll see. I may just be drowning instead of swimming if that shoulder doesn’t start feeling better soon.

My lunch has a little more fruit and veggies and some more protein then I’ve been eating lately, so hopefully that helps. This week is supposed to be a little more predictable work-wise so I think I should be able to pull at least a 3 or 4 pound loss this week. We shall see won’t we. Have a great week everyone.