My Journey into a new and Healthier lifestyle

What is that smell?

“What is that horrible smell?” I said out loud. It was the pork chops I just opened for dinner! Time for a plan B! Normally in the past this would mean pizza or a dinner out, but now i’ve started to learn to keep a few extra meals on hand. I looked through my cabinets and figured out 2 meals I could make.

Stuffed pepper soup and Spinach lasagna rolls.

I was still craving pizza, and my resolve was starting to wain as the kids started to whine/cry about some toy they both wanted. I thought about it and the rolls I figured were pretty close to pizza, they should hopefully “hit the spot”.

Here is the recipe for those that are interested, it is from Skinny Taste!

Skinnytaste.com

Recipe

Servings: 9 • Serving Size: 1 roll    • Points+: 6 pts • Smart Points: 6
Calories: 224.9 • Fat: 5.1 g • Fiber: 3.4 g • Protein: 13.0 g • Carbs: 31.5

Ingredients:

  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 cups Pompadour sauce
  • 9 tbsp part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of the 9 x 12 baking dish, enough to cover it.

Place some wax paper and lay out lasagna noodles on it. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly using the back side of a spoon. Roll carefully and place seam side down, Repeat  until done.

Pour some of the sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over each one(just a pinch should do it). Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.

My way of making it is a little different though, I get 8 rolls(use about 1/4 cup per roll), and use prego light smart sauce. I also cook it in my oven at 400 for about 30 mins. Sometimes I add fresh garlic and scallions, finely chopped to the mixture! Another variation I have made, and it was very yummy, was to add fresh diced eggplant(remember to let it sweat out before using).

Dinner was a bit later than we would normally eat it, but I must say it really hit the spot! Better still, I made a better food choice!

So to close off this short post, a little “pro-tip” is to always have a few extra meals available for those times that Murphy hits you.

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

Determination

Today was a day where I woke up feeling defeated. No energy, not even 2 cups of DeathWish coffee could wake me up! Despite this, I really wanted to get in a workout this morning, and the best time was after dropping my oldest off at pre-k. One of the most awesome things about my gym is the free daycare! I love the fact that it allows me to work out during the day time, and not having to wait till the kids go to bed. My youngest loves it so much, he practically runs the entire way once we get inside.

After getting him settled in I went to the locker room to get changed. While in the locker room I felt like I could lay down on the bench and sleep right there. I honestly wasn’t sure how I would make it through a workout, let alone off the damn bench. Yet, I managed to get dressed and found that the gym was happily dead. I picked a treadmill, with a buffer on each side because my heart rate monitor will get picked up by the machines next to me as well. While loading up my Couch to 5k app, I really wondered if I could actually get through the entire 30 mins. I had no get up and go, no energy to speak of, and I was pretty sure I would start walking and quit 5 min. into it. Ever felt this way? What did you do? Here’s how it went for me.

I did the warm up and realized this was crazy and quit. I went next door to the pizza place and ate an entire large pizza, with 4 full calorie sodas. Not really though, after the warm up I decided I would just walk the entire thing, but when the “ding, start running!” sounded, I found myself turning it up and running. When it finished I swore that I was going to walk the next one, because I am beat. “Ding, start running” and again I turned it up to run. This went on for awhile and each time I would finish running I would tell myself “next time we walk”. I was defeated but I refused to give up, I ended up running all of them and finished out the full 30 mins! I ended up earning a badge, and I must say it was highly appropriate.

Determination

Determination? Even though I swore I was quitting at every chance, when it came time to make a choice, I picked pushing through it. It wasn’t an easy choice, and I instantly regretted it as I gasped for air like a fish out of water. But the regret I would have felt by giving up would have been even worse. Remember, when the road gets rough up ahead, just take it one step at a time. When you do, you will find yourself getting through the rough patch before you know it! YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Keep on Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

Gym Bag

As I looked through my bag I made out a mental checklist
Diapers check

wipes Check

HRM Strap Check

Shirt Check

Pants Check

Water Check

Headphones Check

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I grabbed the bag and headed to drop my oldest off at school, but today was going to be different! Today I was meeting with a trainer. I arrived about 15 min early and brought my youngest into the daycare and went to change. The locker room is always a scary place for me, I hate the idea of changing in front of a bunch of other people. Even more so when I am the very fat guy and they are all body builders! I wear my workout shorts under my pants and find a corner to myself as best I can. Still, I feel like an outcast and like everyone is wondering what this guy is doing in their gym.

As I head out I ran into Jon, my trainer ,and we begin what would I was sure would be an hour of pure uncomfortableness. You see, I was very excited up until this moment, which changed when the realization of what I was doing hit me. I was about to deal with a person one on one who trains body builders and athletes. I get out of breath tying my shoes some days! He began with getting some basic background and I explained how I had lost heading towards 200# but had gained #100 back. His response is what made me realize that this wouldn’t be all bad. “but you didn’t gain it all back!”. I knew that I could work with him now, he wasn’t just going to judge me and blow me off.

I figured he would just run me through the machines real quick, right a few things down and then spend 30 min on a sales pitch on why I should hire him. Instead, he showed me the machines but the first things we used were free weights. This scared me! On a machine I could sorta hide how little I was lifting but with barbells and dumbbells etc, everyone could see how weak I really am. We started out with bench pressing, moved to dumbbells, and finally did head to a few machines. The only downside was that we only covered the upper body and didn’t have enough time to really show me a lower body workout. Oh well, I figured I could wing it.

After the workout we talked for a bit more, he explained how he likes people to track their food. I laughed a little and told him I track every bite, every meal, every day. He seemed excited about that, and we talked a bit more about how he would help me achieve my goals etc. Overall it was a great experience, and much better than I had expected. One big thing he told me though, and one that is I guess a common mistake, I have been doing to much cardio. If you do all your cardio now, then when you get to a point you stop loosing, you don’t have it to fall back on. Your body gets use to doing it and it becomes easier for it to do it (in other words burns less calories). Better is to work on strength a do cardio in short amounts on your non lifting days. It seemed so backwards from what I had always been told, that I actually checked with a few other people first and turns out he was correct. I am looking forward to signing up with him and hoping that this will give me the knowledge I have been lacking for strength training.

Fast forward to the last few workouts, I do my warm up, 15-30min cardio, and then I look at the weight lifting area with fear. I am still to scared to use the machines or free weights(right term?), because everyone will laugh at me. In fact, the will point and laugh, horns will grow out of their heads, and the entire world will turn into a grainy black and white! Look at this guy struggle to lift 15 pound weights! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! So the first time I walked right by it and went to the locker room to leave. As I reached my locker I realized that I can’t let this fear rule me. I need to go out and do what I need to do! I go and start my workout, minus the bench presses(because they were being used). Turns out, no body laughed, no one had horns growing from their heads, and the world still stayed in color. I pushed past the fear and anxiety, feeling all the stronger for just doing that! I didn’t let other people become my excuse. The most important thing we bring with us to the gym is the willingness to push past our excuses!

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Keep On Rolling,
Big Boned Biker

Bike Ride- Platteville WI Trek Crossrip Elite

Trek Crossrip I apologize for the music not matching up the best. Did this ride in 2015 in Platteville WI, riding on Tallulah 2014 Trek Crossrip Elite.

Missed you guys..

How has everyone been doing? I have been ok, I tried starting a new blog only to realize that I missed having this one! So Big Boned Biker is back again, and I have some new things going on in my life to share.

First, for those that don’t know I suffer (hate this term) live with  Bipolar with OCD, and am finally getting my meds changed around. Night and day difference! What this means for me is that I am finally feeling good about myself again, and focusing on my weight. I have re-joined a gym,  getting a personal trainer, and am back on track with weight watchers! So far I have lost close to 30 pounds on the new weight watchers plan, and already planning some bike rides for this year!

For Christmas I got my oldest son a new bike! Presenting Green Bean Heat-bot Troll! It is a tag-along type bike and I think he will enjoy it more than the cramped trailer. It will also allow him to pull the trailer and we will have a really cool/long “bike train”. I might even have to find a train whistle to use!

PLEASE IGNORE THE MESS

Tag along, green bike, sons new bike

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I hope all is going well with those of you who read this, and I look forward to some more in-depth type posts soon.

Sincerely

Big Boned Biker

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Type R when you’re ready!

So now it is time for a new challenge! This one is inspired by some recent self-discovery which I will get into in a bit.

From Today Sunday August 23rd until September 24th the challenge is to exercise for 30 min. every day. The intensity and what you do is dealers choice, and if you already work out daily, add an extra 30 min.

Many of you might be thinking that it is impossible/impractical for you to exercise EVERY day for 30 min, but I guarantee you it is not. Exercising is more than just hitting the gym or jogging for 5 miles! It can be playing with your kids, walking around the mall, building a life size replica of the Star Ship Enterprise (letter of your choosing) out of Popsicle sticks! Ok maybe not that last one, but you get the point. Though, when will you find the time? Do I really need to say it? Do I? As a character on the big bang theory might say “if you have time to lean, you have time to exercise!”, it’s about prioritizing our time. The other thing is, if you can’t do 30 min at once, can you do two 15 min or three 10 min? It’s ok to do it that way too! I know when I first started 30min wouldn’t have been do able, and if that’s the case, break it up to what ever amount you need to in order to get through the 30.

Here is my before picture(Taken after my first 30 min work out):

before1

before2

Take your own and if you want to share it feel free to post on my Facebook!

gw135

What brought this about? As I wrote before I was doing really well, empowered and on top of the world. I quickly found myself laying face first in the mud (cake?) and struggling again. Why did I do so well the previous weeks, and do so poorly now? There is ONE thing that stood out to me, and it’s something I have been dealing with along time. I am a computer gaming addict.

I have been getting on my computer the moment my kids are in bed, sometimes even before, and I won’t get up (outside needing to take a Bio break for bathroom/food/drink) till 12-1am. 7:00ish-1am I am on the computer. That is a part time job. If it’s the weekend and we aren’t busy, I’ll be on it all day as well. I can easily put in 40 hours a week of gaming, and when I am not gaming, all I think about is gaming. Building a new design in Space Engineers, or what quest should I run next in Guild War and so on. If left to my own devices I would, and have, game non-stop. It is effecting my health and my relationships, as I don’t want to do things with others when it might take up gaming time. I worry/freak out if I won’t be able to log on to get my “daily” reward on GW2. There is an upcoming trip to Raleigh NC for the National At-Home Dad Network annual convention, and I almost wasn’t going to go. Reason being? I won’t be able to log in for my daily reward. A trip I have been looking forward to since last year, missed, all over a stupid game. About a month or so ago, I felt the game was taking up to much of my time and I deleted it. I said goodbye to my guild mates, and in less than 24 hours I was back on again. It is addicting being someone else, in a world that you “control”.

What does this have to do with my challenge? For about 2 weeks I wasn’t playing my game very much, just logged on and got my daily, putzed around, and done. Not only did I feel focused, I felt happy and alive. I was wanting to do things, and be with people! I started playing again, and the more I played the more those happy thoughts disappeared. Spending time with my wife or working out on my bike seemed less enjoyable than slaying centaur or mining some ore on a distant asteroid. My hope is to try and find a balance between the different areas of my life. I made my personal goal to workout after the kids go down for the night and before I do any gaming. 30 min on my trainer and perhaps add in some running during the week when my oldest is in preschool.

I am focusing on my after picture, how amazing I will feel when I get to take it and say that I accomplished this small goal!

Big Boned Biker

PS
Sorry if this post seems scattered brained, I am starting to come down with a cold, but that won’t stop me :)

WHAM Ride 2015

WHAM 2015

Whiting Hammond After-Midnight Ride 2015

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Man, I can’t believe it has already been an entire year since the 2014 WHAM ride! Last nights ride was just as epic as last years too.

I arrived with my friend Kool-Aid at about 10:45 this year, since we knew what to expect as far as entertainment is concerned. Sure enough, it was the same as last year, a DJ and not much else going on. I was looking forward to meeting up with a couple of folks from last year and as we make our way from the parking lot to the pavilion we run into “Sierra Nevada” from last years ride! I wasn’t expecting him to make it, so it was an awesome surprise. He was riding his 1975 Schwinn road bike, nearly all original if I remember correctly. Fun fact, someone had almost the exact same bike as him on the ride too!

I was a bit worried about getting a swag bag this year, as I forgot to sign up, and they have limited amounts. As I roll up to the tent I am told the have exactly one bag left. I ask the size and it’s my size too, woot! As I was heading back to the car to drop off a few things who do I come across? “Red” from last year. Though this year he was wearing a kit from a local bike shop Michigan City Bike Shop, and also riding a different bike. I forgot to mention that Kool-Aid was also riding another bike, as his main bikes frame cracked on him. That meant I was the only one of the 4 of us who was riding the same bike as last year. I also brought with me my kitty litter panniers, which have sort of become my signature/branding. Here we are before the ride:

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I haven’t been out riding as much this year, and my average speed has typically been around 10-11 without the kids. I also haven’t even done a 30 mile ride this year, so I was a bit nervous about keeping up and finishing.

stickman-310590_1280

The weather outside was perfect again, not to hot or cold, and just a beautiful evening. Again, they separated the riders by 3 groups: Fast, Normal-Long, and Short. Last year we decided to ride the Normal-Long group but this year we figured it would be smarter to ride at the tail end of the fast group. This had me worried, would I really be able to keep up? As we took off, every peddle stroke felt like my feet were made of lead. I was keeping up, though sustaining it was getting iffy. Suddenly I realized , I was doing well. The real realization came to me when we hit the first “hill” (bridge); where instead of slowing down, I was actually passing people (on the up hill even). I soon found myself near the head of our portion of the faster riders (so the back half of the fast section). I was feeling like an animal, and just having a blast!

I was up near the front, feeling like a winner and Mr. Murphy comes to say hello. My chain came off, and after stopping to fix it, I was no longer near the front. I decided that was ok though, this ride is about fun, and I sink back into my groove. I look behind me a bit later and realize I wasn’t near anyone anymore. I could see the tail lights of others up ahead of me and I just keep on rolling. I was able to actually catch back up to where I was! What really made me feel amazing is when I heard “wow, he caught back up! You’re an animal man!”. So I am flying along and Mr. Murphy says hello again. This time it is my water bottle that goes flying off my bike. By the time I stop go back and find it, I figure I may as well grab a quick bite of my power bar as I still had a ways to go till Cabela’s ( which I was NOT going to miss this year). When I finally get back on, the rest of my friends had caught back up to me and so we ride along till we get to the sag stop. Would you believe we missed it again this year? Yup, well almost. The turn was so poorly marked that we actually had to turn around a bit and go over the curb to get to it. It was a welcomed break, and I was very appreciative that they had the bathrooms open. Here are some photos:

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“What do you have in that bucket?”, everyone was wanting to know just what I was carrying. My first response was to joke and say “cocaine”, which I realized was not a good thing to joke about with all the cops around (they blocked the roads so we could ride through). Some of the guesses ranged from explosives to smuggling babies. I will say I am surprised no body put rocks or other heavy objects in it when I wasn’t looking. Sierra Nevada decided to make it his mission to try and touch my bucket while we were riding. It made for some interesting off-color banter back and forth for sure.

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As I was leaving the sag stop, Mr. Murphy paid me one last visit. Again, my chain came off, and this time my rear break decided to start acting up again. I found myself in the back of our group again, but like last time I didn’t let it stop me. I dug in deep and was able to catch back up with everyone again. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, and I completed the ride in 2 hours 10 min. and an average speed of 14.5mph! It was a freaking awesome ride!

The food this year sucked though, went through the line received 2 small pancakes, 2 sausage links…that was it. I burned 3200 calories riding and I was starving. They also ran out of food for a bit and a few people just left rather than waited.

NOW for some “feed back” to the folks running it:
1. LIVE music, I am positive you could find some local bands willing to play.

2.The food this year sucked. It wasn’t near enough and Kool-Aid’s pancakes were crunchy.

3. Consider a beer tent.
4. Maybe have a bike mechanic at the Cabela stop.
5. More stuff going on, maybe add some vendors/food vendors.

Hung out with some good friends, made some new ones, and had a fantastic time.

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Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker


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