*It has taken me a few days to write this post, each time I come back to it I end up crying and have to walk away. *

As I sit here at the computer both boys are napping, and with my wife out of town till tonight it has been interesting. The weather wasn’t nice yesterday so I didn’t even leave the house. I have been feeling depressed a lot lately and having a hard time keeping my “head in the game”. Since this blog is about my journey, I always promote honesty. I feel like quitting. Not because of the couple of gains I had, but because I feel tired. I have been not minding my points(but always tracking) and not using my anchors ( link to anchors ). I simply have been eating food in the amount I feel like eating. I am not eating though because I am hungry, I am eating because I am sad. Why is this going on?

It didn’t hit me until yesterday when I saw what the date was, it was 6 days till the 6th anniversary of my mothers death. It always hits me hard as I was/am a mama’s boy. I think of her often and even have some nightmares about her being buried alive(and it being my fault). When she first died I would wake wondering if it was real or not, that she was dead. I digress though, every time I get close to this part of the year my mood changes. It becomes harder for me to stay “in control” with more than just my eating. I have a very bad temper, but 99% of the time I keep it controlled(using some techniques I learned in my teens). I find my self snapping at my wife/kids about little things and just being in a bad mood (NEVER Violent though). I know it was a traumatic event, but I feel like this far out I should be coping with it better. I have talked to a therapist about it in the past but didn’t get a lot of help. I have finally realized why it still hits me so hard. I have guilt about her death.

My mother was pretty much in a coma before she died. Her blood pressure kept dropping very low and the drugs the were using to raise it was also hurting her. As some of you may not know, my mother was over 700 pounds, and bed ridden most my life. She often would go to the hospital with “life threatening” things only to find out she exaggerated it. This though wasn’t one of those times. She lived in Florida and I was living in Wisconsin at the time. I had gone down to see her in the hospital a couple of months before hand. She was released and re-admitted a few times since that visit. So when I got the call to come down, I made the decision to stay. I felt I had already said my goodbyes and the last time I had spoke to her on the phone I made damn well sure she knew how much I loved her. So in the middle of the night I got the call, but I didn’t answer the phone. I thought it was just my brother calling to say he had made it to the hospital. I wish I had picked up that phone call, I wish I had gone down, and I wish I could have stopped it. I felt like I let my mother down, that I didn’t protect her like a son should. I was at home sleeping as she took her last breath, and didn’t even think to answer the phone.

My mother, gone but NEVER forgotten!

My mother, gone but NEVER forgotten!

Guilt, guilt, GUILT. I feel guilty, and I shouldn’t. Going down to the funeral all I could think about was how I should have saved her. I know I couldn’t but I SHOULD have, and that means I KILLED HER. So imagine you are going to your mother’s funeral and what keeps going in the back of your mind is that you were responsible for this happening. Compound this with the sadness, depression, and other feelings that come with such an event. Now every year it pops back up, that same guilty feeling. I let her down, and it was all my fault.

So I decided to write it out, and show myself how it wasn’t my fault and that I shouldn’t feel guilty. First, there was NOTHING I could have done to save her life at the hospital. NOTHING. I am not a doctor nor miracle worker.

Second, I am not the one who made her eat, just as she isn’t the one who made me eat. We all make our own food choices in the end. She, like myself, dealt with a food addition, it is just as strong as any other addiction, accept you HAVE to still eat food. You don’t have to drink or smoke to live, but you do have to eat. Imagine telling an Alcoholic you have to have one drink a day but NO MORE! That addiction though was hers and she is the one who made the choice to ignore it. I sound like a jerk right now(at least to myself), I shouldn’t be so hard on someone who was going through something like that, right? I am dealing with my own food addiction, and I understand the struggle. It is easier to give in than to fight it, but I firmly believe that we can learn to “control” it. I am not saying there won’t be ups and downs, many people with addictions relapse. It is what happens after those relapses that shows what you are made of.

Finally, at the root of all this is the fact that I have anger towards her, that I never really knew. Why should I be angry? I am angry for the childhood I had(I sound like a stereotypical person blaming their parents for their problems), and the fact that her addiction became mine. Little addicts come from big addicts. She wasn’t able to do anything, she couldn’t come out and play, make sure I did my homework and a host of other things. I am pissed off at her about all of it! She placed her drug of choice above her children, and that is a hard thing for a child. She also took away memories, like the ones I am building with my sons. My sons will never get to know her personally, and give her big hugs. She missed everything! This problem though is my own, and it is up to me to move past it. I can’t hold her responsible for my feelings of anger, and resentment. In an effort to start the healting I will put it here in writing. While I don’t 100% mean it(but know someday I will), it is a first step.

I Forgive you!

When I look at those three things, I realize it wasn’t my fault. I realize the guilt I was feeling is coming from so many other places. My mind doesn’t want to think negative things about my mother, I love her very much. I think my brain said “it is better we feel guilty than to have bad thoughts about her.” Every time this part of the year arrives, and my mind starts to go towards the thoughts of her, my brain tells the same lie. Now, just as I was typing this all out is when the realization of the anger came out. It is a relief, a physical and emotional release even. I know how to tackle this, and what needs to be done.

I know my thoughts don’t always come together how I want them to on here, but I know I got a lot out of writing this.

GUILT

Keep on Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

So this has been an interesting week for me! First off we have moved from my beloved state of south west Wisconsin, to northwest Indiana. I was surprised by how different things are over here, from the weather to the terrain. Where we lived we got some wind but out here it has been horrible, sending me almost toppling over on my first bike ride(more about that shortly). Eating has been tough, and I don’t know if I made the healthiest of choices. Fine, I know for a fact I did not make the healthiest of choices, but I did track it all(track it and go! Yo ho! Yo ho!).

Before I go into the fun part of this post I wanted to share a bit of a brag of sorts, I conquered a fear. When I found out we were going to need a 26′ truck with a full car carrier I freaked out. I HATE driving, and honestly am not the best at it. Big Boned BIKER not TRUCKER! After some encouragement from my wife though I decided I would give it a try. That and U-Haul(NEVER EVER WANT TO USE THEM AGAIN!!!!) moved my reservation from in Platteville to Dubuque Iowa. This meant I was going to have to drive it around a town and on the interstate anyways. Thus I said I would brave it and drive to NWI(Northwest Indiana), after all it was some easy driving and I would be going around Chicago. For the record, I want to kill my GPS, why? Simple, it sent me through Chicago with a 26′ truck and a trailer. Did I mention we got a late start and it got dark right before Chicago? Also, the headlights on my truck were pretty much useless. However, I simply found a lane to stick to and only moved if it was completely necessary. Did you know that when your driving a large truck and trailer people tend to give you more room? They also didn’t care that I was only driving 45-55 the majority of the trip. Long story short, we arrived safe and I pushed past a fear.

moved03302014

*happy dance *

Are you interested in hearing about my first bike ride in the area? Maybe I should make you wait a big longer? Hmmmmmmm..fine I will tell you. We got a lot of unpacking done so I decided I would go for a short ride when my oldest went down for a nap(my wife was home of course). I head out the garage and dig poor Katrina out, I can tell she didn’t like the ride in the truck. I fix her mirror and pump up the tires, load up my pannier for a half hour ride. I head out and realize I am in a brand new area, with no clue where ANYTHING is, including home. So I decided to let myself get lost, I find it is a great way to learn your way home. As I am biking around I notice just how flat everything is, even the “hills” are short and flattish. I start wondering if switching out the gears was actually a bad idea, however every time the wind gusts in my face I realize that those lower gears are going to be nice. I pedal around the area and can’t help but notice how bad the roads are here. Full of potholes and uneven/bumpy blacktop, which jars my entire body as I ride over it. I swing past a residential area and decide to try it out, I want to get a bit lost after all. I look up ahead, noticing a small path with a cement pole sitting in the middle of it. Oh ya, there is a MUP here(Multi-Use Path)! I hop on it and go merrily on my way, with a happy little ditty on my lips as I fly down the path.

I realized quickly that I had no clue how long this trail was, nor where I even picked it up. I found some folks up ahead and ask how long it is to the end. He tells me it is about 2 miles to the next parking lot area. I keep flying down the path, I don’t know how fast because I didn’t put my cyclo-computer on before I left, nor did I turn on my MapMyRun app. I find myself at the “end” of the trail and get a chance to look at a map. The trail continues on for a bit in to a shady type of town(Gary, In which was the Murder Capital of the USA until recently). I decide it would be a good spot to turn around at, I asked some other folks how long it was to the other end of the trail. They tell me 5 miles at the most, MAYBE 7. LIARS! I should have known better than to trust people on April 1st, right?

I find myself riding along though enjoying the crisp spring day, I come across “the big hill”, which is leading up to a bridge that goes over a major road. I don’t even switch gears, things are just so flat around here. I should mention that before I turned around I finally turned on my app to keep track of my speed/mileage. I found out that I was hitting up to 20mph at times, which was awesome. So after the first 5 miles I started wondering why I didn’t reach the end, and by the second I realized that the lied to me. What was suppose to be a 30min ride turned into a 3 hours ride, and I was not prepared for it. I hadn’t even filled my water bottles, the water in them was left over from the last time I filled them. I had no food, and had eaten a light lunch, leaving me in a bad state on the way home. Did I mention the wind before? Well turns out I had a great tail wind on the way down but coming home it turned into a head wind(funny how that works). It was strong enough that going around one corner it almost knocked me over. I loved the lower gearing that I had and used it with no shame. I limped home on running on empty and drank some of the water from my bottles(which I realized was left from the fall). I got home and I found myself sick to my stomach. I think it was the water, lack of food, and just over doing it. BTW Best wife in the world award goes again to my wife! Not only did she let me go out while she wrangled the kids, did some unpacking, etc. She let me hide in the bedroom till I felt better a few hours later.
best-wife-ever

I don’t know for sure how far I went, but I know I ride and average of 10mph. I was gone 3 hours so it figures out to be about 30 miles or so. So what did I learn? A few things
1. That there is an awesome bike trail near my house!!
2. Fill my water bottles even on short rides
3. Always bring some sort of food with me
4. I STILL love bike riding!

Not going to lie, I already knew number 4. The other big change is that I am moving my Weigh In day from Wednesday to Saturday. Going to be nice though having a WI in the morning, but I won’t be able to get my last chance workouts in lol.

Going to call it a night,

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

This is one of me favorite days of the entire year! It is “proof” day! I can’t believe I have had Katrina this long, it seems like only yesterday I was just toying with the idea of buying a bike. This last year has been one of vast growth for me. The first year I had Katrina I did what, 60 miles? This last year I hit 1k miles! I learned that I can push myself harder than I thought I could. I learned that I have more power over my choices than I ever wanted to admit. I learned that I have terrible grammar and spelling(well I knew that one already). The most important thing I have learned though, is that I can love myself. I can admit, I am not perfect at it, but I can look at myself in the mirror and not hate the person staring back.

I get a lot of people who write me and tell me how much of an inspiration I have been. I do enjoy getting those messages, but I encourage people to realize something: True inspiration has to come from within! When I took that first step forward, I felt “inspired” by some postings online, but I quickly realized that was a fading feeling. In the end I have had to find the inspiration in my own works(sounds coincided I am sure). I look back on some of those first “goals” that I hit, 1 mile, 5 miles, 20 miles, ect, and even some of my smaller ones like weighing in every week(even if I don’t want to)! After I think/read about it, I am inspired! It makes me want to push further and harder. I hope those of you who read this, get that first shot of inspiration and then learn to be inspired by your own accomplishments! Even the smallest victory is STILL a victory!

I could write out a lengthy post but I am going to end it here. I have to go finish packing up the house for our upcoming move.

Here is to another year, and inspiring myself to new heights!

Another Year on Katrina

Another Year on Katrina

I am sexy and I know it!

I am sexy and I know it!

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

Shimano FC-M410 Alivio 8-Speed Square Taper Crank Set (170mm, 22/32/42, Black)
FC-M410

So I had this bad boy installed on Katrina a week or so ago, and I wanted to talk a bit about it!

Every one keeps asking me, why would I install this? For those that aren’t aware a 22 tooth gives very little power but lets you keep “spinning” up those tough hills. When I am asked my first response is “I am fat and those hills are nothing but a bunch of fat shamers!” This always bring about a chuckle, and while it seems silly it is true. Sometimes those hills are tough, add-on to it a kid(and soon to be 2 kids) riding in back, my panniers which get loaded with stuff, and it makes for a nice cocktail of gravitational forces! My hope with this new gearing is that I can keep my cadence up while hitting those BBBEH. So here is a review of Katrina’s boob job…

Here is my review:

Price: Felt like this was a great price( use this link, it helps me keep on rolling! ), it gave me the gearing without breaking the bank.

Easy of Install: I wouldn’t know, I didn’t install it. However, according to my LBS it was very straight forward.

Positives: Pedaling feels smooth, I kept the crank length the same so not much changed on that end. Price as mentioned before was a good deal, and I feel like this crank set will hold up nicely to my riding style.

Negative: It did take some re-adjustment of the derailleurs to get it to shift properly. At first I ran into an issue where the gears were “slipping” but my LBS had it fixed quickly. I still have one issue where it is slow to shift from my mid-range gear to the lower/higher on the front end. I think with a bit of tweaking I should be able to get this fixed.

Overall thoughts: This is a great crank set for people who need it! While it isn’t high up on the Shimano lineup, it still falls into the mid range. If you need to climb some big hills, pull gear, tour, drag kids around ect, this could be the crank set for you! If you find that you’re often on your top end and wanting more “power” from your bike, this is NOT the crank for you. You will go slower, but it lets you keep on going.

I hope you enjoyed this review, if you have your own thoughts on this great crank set feel free to leave comments!

Does this look familiar _____________________________________________________________?

It is a plateau, when your weight loss seems to stall out and you just kinda sit there for awhile. I have been going through one for a bit though still relativity loosing, my losses amount to an average of .8 a week. Sick and tired of it, but I know what causes it. I just didn’t have the fight in me. I have been pretty emotionally drained lately, with the new baby, upcoming move, and a waaaaaay to long winter. I just lost the fire for awhile.

Two weeks ago I got sick, and it was ugly. I was in bed for about 2 ½ days which also meant I wasn’t eating much. That weeks weigh in was one of my best in awhile a 4.6 pound loss! I can’t really count it though right? It came from being sick, and I know it won’t last. Going into the next week I was pretty sure I was going to have a gain. I realized though, I don’t HAVE to have a gain. What a novel idea eh? I could still have a loss, but it means I would need to knuckle down.

I hit the gym for 6 hours a day everyday, eating nothing but carrots and beef jerky! Fine, I didn’t do that, but I can imagine I did right? I actually didn’t make it to the gym at all, but I did find time to do some activity at home. It is amazing the little things that you can do, that add up to big things. I decided to write out a list of things I can do at home, that may not seem like much by themselves.

Push-ups(ten at a time, done 10 times through out the day)
Laundry lunge(taking the laundry basket and making BIG steps with it around the house a few times)
Stairs(up and down the stairs 5x in a row spread, continue throughout the day)
Toddler lifts(picking up my son from the ground and swinging him up into the air, and back down again..go until you think he might puke)
Clean the floor(take a sponge and wash the floor by hand)
Be a horse(have my toddler ride me around the house while I get some exercise in)
Packing(moving boxes as you pack)

This isn’t an all inclusive list, but just some ideas. The nice part about this list is that I can do them on days I can’t get to the gym. Also, my son loves doing some of them with me, though he tends to more mock me as I try for the push-ups. Activity is all around us if we choose to find it.

Lecture over, moving right along…

I got to ride Katrina the other day!!!!!! It was a very short 4 mile ride, I took her back to the bike shop to get a few adjustments done. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but I had a new crankset installed. For those that wish to know it is a 22/32/42 from a 28/38/48. In human speak it means less “power” but easier to spin, useful on those BBBEH(big bad biker eating hills). As many of you know, I hate driving my car, hate hate hate it. So when I have a fully loaded trailer with me, this will make those hills manageable. It also means I loose some of my “top end speed”, but a brick ain’t made to go fast right? I plan to put up a review on it next month when I get to try it out a bit more..

I am still trying to raise money for my bike tour(you can donate here), though with the upcoming move and my wife’s new job, I may have to put it off one more year. I will still be trying to get a short weekend tour in though, and it will be awesome none the less!

In a final note here, as I am sure this seems more like a jumbled mess than a blog post, I have some awesome news. As of last week I, the Big Boned Biker, am no longer Morbidly Obese…yup I just be severely Obese(or still fat to the layperson). I didn’t even notice it until I went to enter in my weight for my BMI chart that I keep, kind of a cool feeling. I should also add I was able to pull out a loss this week, taking me over the 50# hump. I don’t remember the last time I was this small, and onederland seems so much closer now. My yearly photo is coming up in 7 days, and I can’t wait to see the side by side! I even found a pair of my old pants, I think a 58” waist!

40pounds This photo is for my Weight Watchers leader..this was at about 40# loss :)

Forgive me if I don’t post much in the interim, but with this move I will be a bit lacking in the time area. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear about some of the exercises you are finding to do around the house/office, please share in the comment section!

Keep on rolling,

Big Boned Biker

After the day I had yesterday, I feel vindicated. I looked in the face of a “failure” and showed it that I AM THE BOSS. What am I talking about? Well for the best answer we need to look back to a dark and sad day ( http://bigbonedbiker.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/an-update/ ). It is a day I have not forgotten about, and one that I never wanted to repeat.

Here we are though, the date was 03-06-2014, and I found myself at Chestnut Mountain Ski Resort. This was the same place that it happened last year, and I was already feeling worried as we drove up to the resort. What if they don’t fit? Can I deal with this kind of stress? I had a small gain last week, if they don’t fit will I end up with another one? I told myself that I have lost over 100# since the last time I tried to ski, my cankles surly must have gone down, right?

The air was crisp as I walked into the lodge, I was tempted to just go try on the boots before I even got ready. I made myself get ready though, I wanted to think positive! I would go in with my head held high, and proclaim for all that I, the BIG BONED BIKER, has arrived. However, after changing into my snow gear(thanks to my BIL for loaning me some snow pants as mine are 4 sizes to large), I could feel the butterflies turning into a feeding frenzy. As I traversed the short distance between the lodge and the rental area, I thought about turning around and not even trying. I could simply call my wife and wait for her to come rescue me again. No, I needed to do this, I needed to face my fear of disappointment. As I paid my money I still asked about getting a refund, the nice lady behind the counter suggested I go try the boots first. Good advice, but I wanted to stay positive and said “nah, I am sure they will fit”. It was a bold face lie! I knew they wouldn’t fit, after all I am a fatty, so I should just already know that it would be a fail.

Sweat glistened on my face, as I walked up to the rental counter. I swallowed hard and gave the man my shoe size. He promptly hands me some boots and I go sit down. This is it, the moment of truth, will this be act 2 of my tragic story? I loosened up the straps as far as they could go, and took a deep breath. I knew what was coming, so why put it off. With a loud battle cry, I dove my foot into the nemesis before me! Well maybe not a loud battle cry, but a silent plea to heaven for some help.

It didn’t fit, I couldn’t get my foot in the boot. I sat back down, tears(manly tears of course) began to form around my eyes. I was defeated, 175# lost, and I still couldn’t go skiing. I looked down, at the boot, still half way on my foot, and noticed the strap was closed. WHAT? Could this really be the only obstacle standing between me and the frosty cold breeze that I would feel as I soared down the slopes! I quickly undo the strap, standing up and feel it, a gentle “thump”. My foot was in the boot, I go down to strap it in and it tightened. Well last time I did eventually get this far, but it was with extreme pain. This time however, the boots could tell who was in charge! No pain, and what is more, I had to tighten them some more when I went out side.

So, there you have it, proof that this entire journey is paying off. I quickly found my snow legs and was able to ski for about 6 hours that day. I did some greens and blue routes(so east and medium), and even tried some smaller jumps.

Big Boned Biker being epic and skiing

Big Boned Biker being epic and skiing

Big Boned Biker Skiing!

Big Boned Biker Skiing!

Another amazing part of all this is that I get to cross off another thing from my freedom list!

ski030614c

Here is a video I tried to take while skiing down one of the hills..

Remember, your dreams are just points in your life you haven’t gotten to yet. I was so discouraged when I couldn’t go the last time, I knew that I couldn’t let it happen again. It was a dream and I made it a reality. Go and make your dreams a reality! You got this!

Sunset on a wonderful day of skiing

Sunset on a wonderful day of skiing

This is the Big Boned SKIER,

Keep on Rolling!

So life has been keeping me busy, and is throwing some big changes at my family.

1. Birth of second son
2. New Job for my Wife
3. New job is 2 states away
4. See 1-3

My youngest son has been proving to be a handful, in a rather literal sense. My oldest was sleeping through the night on his on by this point, but his brother doesn’t want to follow suit. So we are having to hold him while sleeping on the couch in the living room(taking turns every other night right now). This is leaving me very tired throughout the day, making working out much tougher. I used the word “tougher” with some apprehension, but decided that it was the best way to describe it! After 30 min I feel drained to the core. I came close to passing out the other day after 20 min of using the gym bike. I am sure that would have been a funny sight though, as I was clipped in with my bike shoes.

Not only is my body exhausted, my mind is as well. Sleep deprivation doesn’t do good things to you when you want to loose weight! I am drinking a 80:20 ratio of soda/coffee to water, which doesn’t help your body keep things moving. I find myself faced with choices and my mind is screaming “just pick the easy choice already!”. I have tracked every meal I have eaten, but I have had to track a few things I wish I didn’t need to.

Lets take both of those things going on and add a dash of upset! My wife has been offered an amazing new job, but it is 2 states away! So, we have spent the last week or so trying to find a place to live! With a family of 4 and 2 small dogs it isn’t an easy task! One of the most annoying parts was dealing with realtors that NEVER CALLED YOU BACK! We mainly used the Zillow app, but tried a few others as well. The other annoying part, scammers! We saw about 3 “perfect” places, amazing stats, amazing locations, amazing price….and they all turned out to be scammers. Here is how they work(in hopes you can avoid the home scammers as well).

They take a house for sale, copy the photos and information and re-list it on craigslist, zillow, and others as being for rent. You contact them and they say something like “hey I am not in the area right now but go ahead, look in the windows! You do that, and say “I LOVE IT”, they tell you that they will send you the keys to go look in it, but need some money from you first “to make sure we get the key back”. You send the money, and never hear back! Another variation is they send you a fake lease and you send in your information and security deposit…and never hear from them again.

So we lined up 4 real places to see, 2 apts and 2 houses. We pack up the family at 5:30am and hit the road for a day of fun, adventure, and amazing places! HA! Ok, the ride out wasn’t bad, full of excitement about what we were going to see. The first place was one we were really wanting, a 3 bedroom 2 bath townhouse. We arrive and find it is at a huge apt. complex, but that’s fine, lets just see the place. We meet with the manager who first tells us about rules/deposits, which are pretty straightforward except for the following: $200 non refundable pet fee plus $100 refundable pet fee PER PET! We have 2 dogs, so $600 in extra fees, on top of rent and security deposit. Ok, lets just go see the place, we can deal with this later.

As we pull up to the place we realize this isn’t going to work, walking inside the place is TINY. The manager turns to us and tells us “most people say this place is to small, so I doubt it will work for you”. Maybe, in the future, when someone says they are a family of 4 with 2 dogs, tell them that it is a small place before they drive 5 hours to see it? Needless to say, that would not be the future home of the Big Boned Biker.

So we drive out to go see the next place, and our moods are starting to go downhill. The next place was a 2 bedroom 2 bath, but suppose to be “open and roomy”. As we meet with the landlord she lets us know the fees, much more reasonable and not per pet. This perks us up a bit, maybe this one will work out. As we follow her out to the unit things go south quickly. The building is a 3 story building, and the unit, as I am sure you already guessed, is on the 3rd floor. Ok, lets get into the elevator and take…what do you mean there is no elevator? While I enjoy nice work out, 3 flights of steps with 2 dogs and 2 kids does not a happy memory make. We decide to see the place anyways, after all we already are there, and it too disappoints. The kids room would lead right out onto a third story balcony, or into a bathroom. Scratch this one off the list!

We get a text before we leave, it is from the next house on the list, “Hey the power got turned out in the house. I can’t meet you till after dark, but feel free to go take a look.” He sends us the code to get into it, and we drive out. Not feeling very positive about this place after the first two were such flops. As we pull up to the slightly run down 3 bedroom 2 bath house our hopes are not raised. As my wife and I go inside to explore we are left with a feeling of “meh”. No central air, no basement, no dishwasher, and the second “bath” is a shower stall and a toilet in the garage. Yes, in the garage, and not a “finished” garage, just a regular garage. The back yard is a nice size but has an old ragged fence that I am sure a mouse might knock down. On the plus side, bigger, has a 3 ¾ season porch, wood fireplace, and quite neighborhood. It is at least a contender, considering we only have one other place to view.

So as we head to house number four, our stress level is through the roof. As you can imagine we have two little boys in back not enjoying the trip very much, and happy to let us know about it. The final house is a 3 bedroom 1 bath place, and it is being completely remodeled ! WOW OH WOW! It is beautiful, hard wood floors, central air, brand new dishwasher, laundry room! The back yard is big and fenced in, with a sturdy fence! There is a lovely wood deck and while the place lacks a garage, it has a big shed for storage. Ok, so the place is rather small, but we COULD make it work, and the price was one of the cheapest we have seen. As we head out to the car, we both quickly agree this will be our new home, the new home of the Big Boned Biker!

I admittedly get hold of the listing agent, “WE WANT THIS PLACE! Lets get the ball rolling!”, I was excited to say the least. However, as often seems to happen, there was a catch…the owner is looking to flip the house. What does that mean? Well he may sell it while your living in it and you have to move(but he might give you 1k for helping him sell it). With the thought of having to go through this all over again, we told him that perhaps this won’t work out after all. So with a sad, stressed, tired, and exhausted heart, I hang up the phone.

So what are we going to do? Where are we going to live? We have to move in 30 days, and we can’t afford to keep driving out to see places. At that time the landlord from the house we saw before gets hold of me. He wants to know how we liked the place and if it would work? I let him know it “might work”, but really both my wife and I, felt it was to high priced. However we arrange to meet him at his office to at least talk with him about the place.

I go into meet with him, my wife stays in the car with the kids, we don’t see a point in her even coming in because we aren’t getting this place. I sit down to meet with the landlord, a nice looking guy and friendly. I tell him about myself/family, and explain what we didn’t like about the place. I ask him “would you be willing to drop the price to X?” not really expecting it to happen. While he doesn’t give me x, he says he thinks he could do Y instead. Ok, I am perked up a bit, Y isn’t to bad a price! Ok, but what about the dogs? No extra, not even an extra security deposit. We talk for a bit more and I take an application, with a promise to let him know what we decide in the morning.

We had already got some advice from a helpful source(thanks mom and a dad!), so we head to the hotel. What should we do? Should we keep looking? Take it? Try and get him to lower the price more? Take the other houses? Play Blackjack? Drive Ms. Daisy? So many options! UGH!

In the end we make a choice, if we ended up not finding a house, thus having to stay in one of those apts, we would be pissed, very pissed. As you have likely gathered at this point, we are taking the house. It might be run down, but so am I, it just needs some TLC(so do I). It is also only a rental, so in a few years we can leave and maybe find a house of our very own. It will WORK, and in the end that is all that matters.

So now that the stress is all gone, I feel better..yes that was a bold face lie. My eating on the trip was not the best, some of which was in direct relation to the stress. From pizza and taco bell to fries and mozzarella sticks, it ran the gauntlet! However, they were not all regrettable choices, just most of them. I actually thought I made a good choice that following morning for breakfast, but it ended up costing me half of my daily points! That lunch I made an amazing choice, a nice chopped salad(no cheese,eggs or croutons) with a balsamic vinaigrette, and a portabella mushroom roll-up(with a herb flavored flat bread roll) with a bit of balsamic dressing. YUM YUM YUM! It was amazingly good, and amazingly unsatisfying. This lead me to eating some of my wife’s meal, and using up all but 4 of my daily points.

We stop at a wayside to feed Lil BBB 2, and I go in and grab a coffee…and a pretzel. This leaves me 5 points in the hole for the day. It also left me feeling very sick and I was not able to even eat dinner tonight. This trip was not filled with positive choices, but at the same point, I have taken accountability for every bite I made! I also did my best to drink more water today, and got in about 3 glasses.

So, still stressed, still tired, and still not making the best choices..I am though: Happy(we have some new adventures ahead of us!), Healthy(I may not have made the best choices, but I stayed accountable to them), Loved(I know that no matter what, we 4 have each other and that is ALL that matters).

On a side note, thank you to every one who has been letting me know that you are reading this blog, it is nice to know that my journey is helping you on yours!

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

BTW I am on facebook as well http://www.facebook.com/BigBonedBiker