Weight Loss Ultimatum – Day 15 | Yearning for Something Lost


After 15 days of my new challenge I’ve found two things. The first is that there are tons of people out there that are in the same boat as me and they’re eager to support me in my efforts to live a healthy life. This is such a great time to be alive. The world is truly so much smaller now and like minded folks have so many more opportunities to share their stories and help each other out.

The second, and the one that fueled the title of this article, is I’ve lost something incredibly important in my life. Well over a decade ago I started my journey to a healthier me by lacing up a pair of running shoes and entering myself into the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth, MN (USA). I weighed just over 260lbs when I signed up and had no idea if I could actually run 13.1 miles. Since then I’ve run several half marathons and even one full marathon. I relied heavily on my running to keep my weight in check.

About two years ago I noticed my right foot starting to hurt more and more in the heel and arch. I didn’t do anything much about it and kept running. Sure enough, I wound up with full blown Plantar Faciitis. Fast forward to today and I’m still feeling the effects of the poor decisions of years ago. I can barely run more than a mile at a go and when I do, my foot will throb for days. Just walking can be painful.

I miss running so much and I haven’t been able to find anything to replace it while I work on rehabilitating my foot. I play hockey in the winter, but that’s just once per week for just a few months. I could play more, but with 3 small kids, a wife, and full time job, it’s just not as easy as running was.

I had a love hate relationship with running. I hated doing it, but I loved what it did for me. Hopefully that makes sense. I never fully felt like I belonged with all the other runners come race day, but they always made me feel like one of them. I was the guy who didn’t quite have all the gear everyone else had. I wasn’t laden in spandex, but it didn’t matter to anybody. We were all there for one reason, yet we all had so many different reasons that got us there. I miss that. I yearn to be able to run again.

Starting this ultimatum has brought me back to my blog more regularly, and brought me to go read more articles everyone else has been writing. I do it to find support. To find camaraderie. I often have a sense of yearning when I see post after post of people who are chronicling their first marathon, their 21st marathon, or just a random training run. I miss it so much. This must be one of my top goals now. I need to get my body back to running shape so I can run again.

I WILL RUN AGAIN!

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Day 45 Workout


I had an awesome workout today. Still not at 100%, but very close. I still kept my lifts below where I left off, and they were starting to feel a little too easy on some of them. My back also didn’t have that little reminder feeling I get that tells me, “Hey, I’m still here, and I’m still really weak and might go at anytime so be careful.”

Here’s how my workout went down. It was arms and chest today.

  • Curl Bar (Sitting)
    • 12 @ 45 lbs
    • 8 @ 65 lbs
    • 8 @ 75 lbs
  • Curl Bar (Standing)
    • 8 @ 65 lbs
    • 6 @ 75 lbs
  • Triceps (Dumbell)
    • 12 @ 35 lbs
    • 8 @ 45 lbs
    • 7 @ 50 lbs
  • Bench Press
    • 10 @ 95 lbs (25’s)
    • 8 @ 115 lbs (35’s)
    • 8 @ 135 lbs (45’s)
  • Incline Press
    • 8 @ 65 (10’s)
    • 8 @ 95 (25’s)
    • 6 @ 115 (35’s)
  • Decline Press
    • 10 @ 95 lbs (25’s)
    • 8 @ 115 lbs (35’s)
    • 8 @ 135 lbs (45’s)
  • Arm Saw
    • 12 @ 35 lbs Right
    • 12 @ 35 lbs Left
    • 8 @ 40 lbs Right
    • 8 @ 40 lbs Left
  • Lat Pull Down
    • 10 @ 90 lbs
    • 8 @ 110 lbs
    • 6 @ 130 lbs
  • Push Ups
    • 25
    • 15
    • 10

Day 44 Workout


Today was supposed to be a leg day workout. I did do some legs, but not nearly as much as I used to. I needed to cut a few lifts out because of my back, not that it was hurting, but I’m just being careful right now, but also because some of the areas were completely full of people. I went after lunch thinking nobody would be there between 2pm and 3pm. I was way wrong. I still got a pretty good workout in. Here’s how it went.

  • Leg Extension*
    • 12 @ 100 lbs
    • 8 @ 120 lbs
    • 8 @ 140 lbs
  • Leg Curl
    • 12 @ 80 lbs
    • 8 @ 90 lbs
    • 8 @ 90 lbs
  • Push Ups
    • 20
    • 20
    • 10
  • Calf Dip
    • 12 @ Individual
    • 12 @ Individual
    • 12 @ Individual
  • Elliptical
    • 1.9 miles @ 15 minutes

I’ve also begun using a foam roller on my hips and quads. My chiropractor recommended I start doing that to try to loosen up my hips. Every time I go in for my adjustment he points out just how stiff my hips are. Yeah, I know, I need to do something about that. Yesterday I did my first foam roller session. It was not fun. I didn’t feel good at all, but I did it and I expect it should help over time.

Day 43 Workout


Today was another step forward, another step towards 100%. My back felt pretty good throughout my workout, though there were a few times I could tell I needed to back off just a bit so I wouldn’t overwork my back. Here’s how my workout went.

  • Curl Bar (Sitting)
    • 12 @ 45 lbs
    • 8 @ 65 lbs
    • 5 @ 75 lbs
  • Curl Bar (Standing)
    • 8 @ 45 lbs
    • 8 @ 65 lbs
  • Triceps (Dumbell)
    • 12 @ 30 lbs
    • 8 @ 40 lbs
  • Bench Press
    • 10 @ 95 lbs (25’s)
    • 8 @ 115 lbs (35’s)
    • 4 @ 135 lbs (45’s)
  • Decline Press
    • 10 @ 95 lbs (25’s)
    • 8 @ 115 lbs (35’s)
  • Lat Pull Down
    • 12 @ 80 lbs
    • 8 @ 100 lbs
    • 8 @ 110 lbs
  • Push Ups
    • 20
    • 15
    • 10
  • Elliptical
    • 1.8 Miles @ 15 minutes

Day 40 Workout


I finally made it to the gym, and actually worked out. Wednesday I checked into the gym, got dressed, went out onto the floor, walked around the track a few times and then said “Meh” and left. Today, I actually worked out. I worked up a sweat even. By no means am I 100%. Everything is still quite stiff.

My chiropractor, who by the way, works with quite a few local athletes, recommended I get back in the gym and start getting my muscles moving which should help with both strengthening and loosening my muscles. I did find I felt a slight twinge in my back when I’d bend over, so that got my anxiety up, but nothing bad happened. It felt so nice getting back in there and feeling my muscles firm up during my couple of lifts I did. Yeah, I didn’t do much, I lowered my weight considerably, but it was still a huge success.

I have a pressing need to get back into the swing of things with this challenge. Yes, I’m coming up on day 50 soon, but also, I’ve promised my wife I will start (and complete) a landscape project in the backyard. I’m hoping to do it the weekend of the 25th of July, so, I need to be back up to near 100% in order to do that sort of work. Luckily, there isn’t any big rocks that need to be moved and we’re doing mulch instead of landscape rock, but still, pulling the sod up and installing the landscape edging are pretty hard jobs. I know better than to think I can sit around doing nothing after this injury and then just one day pick up a shovel and start digging without causing more damage. So, I’m giving myself a week.

Here’s how the “workout” went today. I put that in quotes because it wasn’t much of a workout as it was a tentative review of where my body is at.

  • Bicep Curl (Cable) – Together
    • 12 @ 25 lbs
    • 8 @ 30 lbs
    • 8 @ 35 lbs
  • Triceps (Cable) – Together
    • 12 @ 25 lbs
    • 8 @ 30 lbs
    • 8 @ 35 lbs
  • Bench Press
    • 12 @ 65 lbs (10’s)
    • 8 @ 95 lbs (25’s)
    • 8 @ 115 lbs (35’s)
  • Elliptical
    • 1.5 miles @ 15 minutes

MainPain Challenge – Day 37 | Getting There


This challenge has been railroaded badly by my back injury that happened near the end of June. The positive side of this is I haven’t gained too much weight. Just a couple pounds really, which isn’t too bad.

I’ve been going to the chiropractor which I think is helping. It’s not causing me more issues, so that’s at least good. I think I’m actually ready to start back on my workouts again. Possibly this evening I’ll so a small workout. We shall see. No matter what, I’m going to do a workout on Wednesday.

There’s a good possibility because of the lost time, I may extend this challenge from 100 days to 150 or even 200 as it seems the first 40 or so days are almost cancelled out because of my back. Anyway, there’s no need to dwell on the negative. Wish me luck. Hopefully in a week or so, I’ll be fully back in the swing of things and then on day 50 I’ll do a full measurement update to see where I’m at. Until then, have a great day and stay safe.

MainPain Challenge – Day 30 | Chiropractor Scheduled


It seems every other day, my back will feel like I’m over the hump and getting better, then the very next day, my back just hurts like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t think I’m doing anything different on those good days. I’m still icing and heating my back. Still taking my meds (I’m down to just Tylenol and Ibuprofen) and I’m still wearing my back brace.

Since I’m having these swings back and forth, I’ve finally succumbed to my wife’s continued efforts to convince me to go to the chiropractor. I hate going to the chiro. It’s not that I don’t think it helps, well, actually, if I’m being honest, I’m skeptical. I know I’m going to take some heat for this, but I look at chiropractic as being similar to medicine. It’s not a cure, it’s simply managing symptoms. I’ll say that loosely, because I do think medicine is often much more damaging than say an adjustment. I’m also not basing it on any scientific proof and some of this is my own ignorance and probably laziness in scheduling an appointment, yadda yadda yadda.

Skepticism aside, I’ve got an appointment for tomorrow morning. Perhaps they’ll tell me something that will help that I haven’t already been doing to expedite my recovery.

As far as the challenge goes, I’m working now on the Maintain part of the challenge rather than the Weight Lifting portion. Yesterday was my first day back tracking my food. It went great. I set my daily calorie intake goal back down to 1,800 and managed to end the day at 1,772 total. I even had 139 exercise/activity calories I could have eaten if I wanted, though I didn’t feel like eating anything more. That’s a huge success.

Today I’m on target with my breakfast and lunch should be pretty easy. We’re having dinner with friends tonight, so that may pose a bit of a test for my will power. We’ll see.

That’s what I’ve got so far. Things are looking good diet wise, but are pretty lame on the fitness side of things. Oh well right? I guess I just gotta keep on keepin’ on. Have a great Tuesday everyone.

MainPain Challenge – Day 29 | Back Pain Update


It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my challenge. I threw out my back on June 26th while doing the Leg Press I felt my lower back pop. That’s never, ever a good sign.

I thought I was getting better and by Friday July 3rd, I was going without my back brace. Unfortunately, Friday night nearly put me in the ER. The pain was unbearable at about 4am. I couldn’t move and it felt like someone was pushing a knife into my spine. Yeah, that’s not so good. I had some Flexiril left so my wife gave me one and luckily, that started to help. No trip to the ER. I even managed to start feeling a little better on Saturday evening.

Today, Monday my back is still feeling pain, but I feel like I have it under control. I even feel like I may be able to start working out again (lightly). I’ll probably give it one more day, just in case though. Something else super not awesome was because of the pain, I found myself eating more. I didn’t track any of the food I ate over the holiday weekend nor did I really track much what I ate during the week before the holiday. So I wound up gaining a little weight. I think I’ll reduce my calorie intake for the week back to 1,800 to try to make up for the extra eating I did. That should take care of things even if I’m not able to work out too much.

I cannot stand having wasted over a week of my challenge on this stupid back injury, but such is life. Not to mention my push up challenge got hosed as well because of it. I may start another push up challenge once I’m back to 100% though.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July if you’re in the US, if you’re not, I hope you enjoyed your weekend all the same. Later.

MainPain Challenge – Day 23 | Recovering


On Friday I posted in my Day 19 Workout that I had hurt my back doing the leg press. Well, I hurt it pretty bad. Friday wasn’t the worst of the pain, that was reserved for Saturday. I was basically stuck in bed the entire day. I had to have my mother-in-law come watch the kids on Saturday while my wife was at work. Then on Sunday I had to have the neighbor watch the baby while my wife worked. What a great neighbor and mother-in-law I have.

Monday I was able to work from home and I didn’t need any of my prescription drugs during the day (though they would have been helpful). I took one Flexeril last night to help me sleep through the pain and today I’m back at it in the office.

I feel my recovery is progressing quite nicely, considering Saturday morning I couldn’t stand, at all. Now I’m able to bend down and (with much pain) put my socks on. I can stand up without enormous amounts of pain, so that’s pretty awesome in my book. I’d like to think the exercising and strengthening I’ve been doing for my back has helped the pace of my recovery. I fully expect by the end of the week I should be pain free, or at least as pain free as I usually am, which is usually just a dull pain all the time in my back.

Lesson learned, take it easy on the Leg Press. I may eliminate that machine from my workouts, at least for a while once I can get back into the gym. I’m hoping Thursday I can do a light upper body workout.

The worst part about the weekend was I ate, a lot. I didn’t track anything I ate and I know I ate more than I should have. Not only am I a stress eater, but apparently I’m a pain eater. Good to know I guess. Today I’m back on the dietary tracking and all is going fairly well with it. Let’s hope for more rapid recovery.

Day 19 Workout


NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOO!!!!

I was nearly half-way done with my workout today and on my last set of Leg Press lifts, I tweaked my back. Well, the pain is bad enough that I can legitimately say I threw my back out. So upset about it because I knew better than to try 280 lbs again. I think the issue, however, was how far down I adjusted the seat. Essentially I dropped it down a notch so I could get a bigger range of motion. The hard part is that puts a lot more stress on the lower back on the initial start of the lift, which is when the back “Popped.” Dumb, just absolutely dumb. I thought I had it in the bag and I got too confident.

So that’s going to push me back a bit on the ‘ol challenge I guess. I pretty much had to stop lifting and walked the track a couple laps and then tried doing some stretches, but the pain started getting to be too much so I had to go get some ice and meds.

Here’s what I did manage to get done in my workout.

Legs/Abs/Back (Supposed to be anyway)

  • Push Ups
    • 20
    • 20
    • 15
  • Leg Extension*
    • 12 @ 100 lbs
    • 8 @ 140 lbs
    • 8 @ 200 lbs
  • Leg Curl
    • 8 @ 100 lbs
    • 8 @ 120 lbs
    • 8 @ 140 lbs
  • Push Ups
    • 25
    • 25
  • Leg Press
    • 8 @ 180 lbs
    • 8 @ 240 lbs
    • 0 @ 280 lbs (Hurt Back)
  • Total Abdominal Machine **CANCELLED**
  • Back Extensions **CANCELLED**
  • Gluteus Extension **CANCELLED**
  • Ab Wheel **CANCELLED**
  • Push Ups **CANCELLED**
  • Calf Dip **CANCELLED**
  • Push Ups **CANCELLED**