What to get a father for Father’s Day

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The day started like any great day should, with a lovely breakfast in bed (I had already eaten some of it before I thought to take the picture). Much better than the oatmeal I had been planing on having hands down. Looking outside, the weather was cloudy and looked like it could turn to rain. There went my plans for a bike ride with the family, I had been really looking forward to it too. We spent the morning just chilling out around the house, watched a movie, my oldest helped me switch out the pedals on Katrina (I decided to put the original ones back on her), and had a quick-lunch. Fun times, fun times.

I decided at this point to check the weather report and it said it was supposed to clear up and be sunny. Sure enough, having stepped outside to check, the weather was getting nice! It’s at this point when I asked my wife if she REALLY wanted to go for the ride I had planned. Surprisingly she was still up for it, and so I began the laborious process of getting ready. In case you don’t have kids, getting ready for anything isn’t a 1. 2. 3. task. It’s more like:

1.
a.
b.
c.
d.
2.
a.
b.
c.
d.
3.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.

You get the idea I think at this point. Add into this I need to get the bikes/trailer all ready too, we worked up a sweat before we even left. The fun part of that is my landlord is fixing up our house, and is storing the supplies in my garage. The very front of the garage, and it’s a PITA to get the bike and trailer out of there now. Mind you, when you asked I thought it would be a couple of buckets of paint, not 3 ladders, a door, lumber, plywood, and a few things that I don’t know what they are. Our back porch/playroom is also filled with windows too, so can’t store them there either. I digress though, and after getting the tires all pumped, the trailer hooked up, and helmets all rounded up, it was time to get going. Oops, wait, someone needs to go potty. Ok now it’s time to go!

A few key points to remember, this is my wife’s second time on a bike since middle school, my wife has a medical condition that can cause her to faint during an intense workout, and finally her first ride was a total of about 4 miles. We decided to take the bike trail up to Chesterton, IN, which is only about 10 miles each way. Ya, that’s about 20 miles! We were set for a fun-filled time, and our adventure started early. We were heading to the trail head on some quiet suburban roads and we had a left hand turn to make into the park where we would meet the prairie dune land trail. A truck was behind me and I signal very clearly that I would be making a left hand turn. I begin to make my turn when half way through it I realize the truck had tried passing us! Had I been 2 seconds slower I think I would have been hit. I brushed it off, I was pulling the kids and didn’t need them to get upset. Truth be told though, I was rather rattled by this, with a flash back to a news article I read a few weeks ago. One of the folks I rode with on the tri-state bike ride was hit by a car and died! This happened about 15 miles from my home, this is one of my biggest fears with cycling.

Every made a promise to a kid, and instantly regret it? Ya, I sorta promised we would stop at a park on the ride. In the mind of a 4.5 year old that means we will stop at the first park we see, as well as every subsequent park that we pass. I knew that if we stopped this early we would never get anywhere! I did the reasonable thing though, I told him that the park was full. It had 2 kids playing in it, and someday if he reads this, I’m sorry, sorta. Something that you should know about this route, is that we pass by about 5 parks. That isn’t counting the fact that when we turn around we pass them again. To make it up to him though, I told him we would stop at the dragon park on the way home. It’s the nicer of them and its about 2 miles from home. This seemed to work better than I had expected, leaving me to solve the next problem.

“THAT’S MY TRANSFORMER! HE WON’T STOP TAKING IT! STOP IT!” is what I heard from behind me. A 4.5 year old trying to reason with an 18 month old doesn’t typically get the result that he would like. Just for the record, we brought 2 toys for them to play with. This went on for about 20 min, finally ending when one of them zonked out. This was followed shortly by the next one, this lasted until Chesterton.

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I loved the fact that this gave my wife and I a chance to just chat. It reminded me of when we dated, those ideal conversations that had nothing to do with anything important. We made it all the way to the end of the trail without stopping for a break. When we did stop for a quick 10 min break before turning around the boys woke up, a bit crankily unfortunately. It was getting hot out and my they both looked very warm. We decided to give them a quick cool down with some water, and they both seemed to be in great spirits afterwords. A happy child, is a happy daddy.

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The ride home was uneventful until we got to the park, the dragon park. When we arrived it was empty and the boys were having fun playing. My youngest ,just happy to be free from the restraints of the bike trailer, was just running around with no real objective. About 10 minutes into it a family shows up with their kids, about 6 of them (I think it was 2 families together). It was quickly apparent that it would be best if we just left. If you ever are looking for something fun to do, I suggest you try to get a toddler and a preschooler to leave a park after 15 minutes! We finally got them wrangled, my youngest being exceptionally fast for having little legs! We headed home, where everyone decided to enjoy a nice summer time snack of peaches and watermelon. Before I could enjoy my snack though, I put the bikes away. Katrina first, followed by bulls-eye (the trailer), finally Tallulah. As I lifted her up to carry over the mound of supplies in the garage, the back wheel came right off! Sometime during the ride it had come completely loose, while hooked up to the trailer filled with 66 pounds of kids and diaper bag(not sure which weighed more). To say I was shocked is an understatement, because I had checked them the last time I rode. Moral of that story, you can’t check your bolts/screws to often.

So, for father’s day, I didn’t get a card, I didn’t get a present, I didn’t get a little trinket to sit on my desk. I got the best damn gift I could ever ask for, a memory!

Big Boned Biker

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You can’t keep a good dog down…

Self-empowerment

 

Working out is hard to do, and for many of us it is hard to find time to do it. As some of you know I am a S@HD, and with only having one car that really seems to mean stay at home during these winter months. I started to think about it though, should I join a gym? Budget is tight and not sure I could justify it(since when spring comes I am hitting the road). I could buy some work out stuff equipment; though I already have my bicycle trainer which is fine but I want to do other things. I had to come up with something, so I came up with a blog post.

I bet you didn’t know this, and promise you won’t tell, but I have an indoor jogging track, weight lifting area, spa, and yoga studio in my house. I bet you do as well, but it might be hidden!

indoor jogging track, using my hall for jogging

Please ignore the mess! This is my jogging track, yoga studio, and weight lifting center! The spa is at the end of the hall filled with rubber duckies and Octonauts. 32 steps from the front door to the end of the hallways and back. I make a daily goal to get 15k steps in a day, even if it means just running back and forth through that hallway. Weight lifting? I have some kettle bells but if I didn’t gallon milk jugs filled with sand or water can work well. Bench pressing? Well I am sorta weak so my two kids work for that. Think it will just be boring, don’t you? It’s ok, I can under stand that.

exercise, workout, stick figure workouts

We make games of it through out the day, lets race to pick up toys! Who can jump over the most Lego blocks? I bet you can’t do 15 laps without stopping! Do you think daddy can lift you up 25 times? Sit on daddy’s leg and he will lift you up. Hop on daddy while he does pushups, STOP TICKLING ME! All great things, but if you don’t have kids? Make it fun still, fill a jar full of marbles and have an empty one at the other end. The idea is to see how long it takes you to empty/fill the opposite side! Now see if you can beat that time? Have a dog? Throw a toy, and race him! Or if you are more adventurous head outside, maybe try some snowshoeing or skiing? Really, I bet you if you take a minute to think about it, you can find something to do.

The other issue, is when? You know when, YOU KNOW WHEN. We all have that time, even just 10 minutes, when we could do something. Watch TV at night? See how many laps you can do between commercials? Football? When the other team scores how about some push ups(Don’t attempt if you’re a bears fan, don’t want you to get to exhausted)? Movie, every time someone says muggle during harry potter do 5 burpies! I would wager that someone is reading this saying “Big Boned Biker, I am exhausted when I come home, and just want to sit down to relax”! I will sound like a giant A-hole right now but, so? Do you want to loose weight? Sometimes we have to push ourselves more than we are comfortable with, because I know for me comfortable was eating everything in sight. Inspiration comes from outside, but motivation only comes from within. There is no one to far gone to make changes, but those changes aren’t always easy. I think here is where I make a plug about selling motivational 12 week course?

To end this, I don’t exercise, and I refuse to ever do it! I love doing activities though, even if it is just running up and down my hallway looking like a goofball! Find what works, and do it! The only real excuse to not find something, is that you are at your own funeral (well not true there are others but let’s not be super literal). I would love to hear about what types of things you are doing, so please comment!

 

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

12

Day 8/30

Today was a tough one, dealt with some cranky kids and really just wanted to snack! I did well though, I stayed within my points. I had a doctor’s appoitment tonight and on the way home stopped for a soda. While I was there I remembered I had some poitns left over from dinner..CANDY TIME! I spent some time going through and finally settled on some sour gummy worms. As I walked up to pay for my prize, I thought “Am I hungry, and if so will this help”? Yes, I was hungry, but no gummy worms wouldn’t help. I put down the gummy worms, with reverence I hung them back on their shelf. Instead, I ate some leftovers from dinner for the same amount of points.

Overall I would call that a good day!

weight watchers log challenge
Day 8/30

Day 7/30

I have been on weight watchers for a long time now, yet sometimes I still find little “surprises” in my tracker. Here is how I thought my day would be today :

weight watchers food logging
What I thought it was…

Nice and sensible, I even talked my wife into getting one! I must say I love the Egg White Veggie Wrap, and for 4 points I usually get two of them. A few hours later my wife texts me, turns out I was ordering the FLATBREAD not the wrap. CRAP! UGH! ARGH!  How could I be so idiotic? I have been eating this for 6 months now and never made sure I was tracking the right freaking thing. My wife told me to not worry, learn from it and move on. I DON’T WANT TO JUST MOVE ON! I wanna go cry in my pillow and scream out my frustration. I have been saying “track it and move on” to much lately and the scale is showing me. After a bit though I calmed down, looked at my tracker, and started to learn.

The reason this had me so pissed off though, is because  I had  my day worked out already! I had even earned about 6 activity points. My goal for the week is to use no weeklies/Activity points, but that was becoming a bust on day one. You see, I am a creature of habit, every Wednesday I order the same meal, I order it the same way, and even tend to sit in the same spot. However, I had to change it today and drop the chips, and still digging 3 points into my weeklies. *argh* I will not let this get me down though, and will just keep pushing forward! I won’t be weighing in officially for the rest of this year due to schedule but will still be doing it at home. Based on that I was down #3.4!

So here is how my day ended up:

Showing my food log as a way of sharing my experince.
…what it really was!

Weight Watchers- Am I a Fraud?

Ever have one of those times where you look at something, and even though it is right in front of your eyes, physically, you can’t believe it is real? As I looked down at my picture glaring back at me, it just didn’t seem that it could be ME. Wanna guess what this picture was? Not a before picture, not really an after picture. It was a picture that my wife took in front of our fireplace, that was now printed in the Weight Watchers Weekly!

My weight watchers leader was asked if she had any members that would fit a specific article, a sort of “fake it till you make it” type piece. After speaking to me, she contacted weight watchers, and was told that they had everyone they needed. Being the awesome leader that she is, they were informed that no really wasn’t the answer she was looking for. “This guy has done amazing! You have to use him somehow and in something” is more or less what she said. After hearing more about my story their interest was peaked, they contacted me and asked me to write up a piece.

That is when it happened, no one knows this, accept my wife, but I almost backed out. 750+ days of non-stop tracking, yet my weight has been out of control. I felt like a hypocrite, how could I write about doing well, when I was sliding down head first in to candy land castle? It was a tough struggle, I wrote up my bit, put my best smile on for a picture, and submitted it. I thought I felt bad before, after hitting send the real pain began. Fraud, I am a fraud, I AM A FRAUD.

I felt such an inner turmoil! On one hand, everything I wrote was true, I haven’t missed tracking a meal yet. On the other hand, can I really say I am even on plan? When I have weeks where I am -250 points, does it really matter that I tracked it? ARGH! I did eventually come to peace with it though, I was NOT a fraud. I only shared what was true, and I know that if I help even ONE person, it is worth it.

That is what it was really about after all. I was looking at it wrong the entire time, it isn’t about me, it is about others! Words can be a gift, that continue well beyond what they were intended. While on a bus ride from Seattle to Wisconsin, I once gave my opinion about something to a woman. I never though anything of it till about 4 years later, I received an e-mail from her! She told me that the advice I gave her changed her entire life, she married the man of her dreams, 3 kids, house, etc. all from the tiny bit of advice I gave her. As I read this back to myself I realize this whole paragraph seems very narcissistic, but that is not my intent. I know the power that words can have, for good and evil, they can be a gift or a curse. Which, will be left up to you.

Here is the snip of the part I am in. It is still an unreal feeling to see myself listed in those pages, it makes me feel very proud about my achievements(regardless of my failures).weeklyb

Thank you Weight Watchers, for giving me the tools to change my life!

 

www.weightwatchers.com

Am I Crazy?

My son’s first camping trip or I am crazy

To start off the day I first had to go to weight watchers to WI, and because I have my new bike I decided to pedal my way to the meeting. It was only 14 miles and it was a nice cool morning, I put the bike rack in the back of the car so I could head back home with my wife. The trip was pretty uneventful except for two things. I took a wrong turn and ended up on a very busy road and adding about 4 miles to my trip. Second as I was preparing to make my turn into the strip mall where the Weight Watchers meeting is held, a guy in a white truck lays on the horn, calls me an A-hole, and runs me off the road(where I ended up hitting a huge pothole). Luckily, both Tallulah and myself were ok, though I was shaking very badly when I dismounted. I was down almost a pound though, which makes two losses in row for the first time since mid March!

So we grab an early lunch of subway and head over to the local big box store for a few last minute supplies. Glow sticks, hot dog roasters, lighter, and some swim diapers. The excitement is already growing inside of me, I have not been camping in years! I still haven’t told my son yet, with plans to wait until the last moment to spring it on him. I had packed 90% of the stuff the night before in my panniers ( learn more here ), and after adding the last few items I started setting up Katrina for her big ride. My pack list was a bit more than I would have brought for just myself but it is roughly as follows:

Tent (Eureka! Apex 2)

Small Stove w/iso butane fuel (Ultra Light Stove)

Sons Thomas the tank engine sleeping bag(stuff inside itself to a small throw pillow size)

Snuggie (used instead of sleeping bag since I don’t own one)

Towel

Wash cloth

Long sleeve

Short sleeve t-shirt

Extra clothes for my son

4 Diapers w/ wipes

2 swim diapers

Cooking pot (cheap 5 dollar one from wal-mart)

Bug Spray

Spray on Sun Block

4 Water bottles(Two on Katrina, one in the back of the trailer and one for my son)

2 collapsible hotdog/marshmallow cookers
Bike tools(tire levers, patch kit [with more tire levers], bike specific multi-tool, some cash,spare tube, and Advil)

Chargers for phone and ipad

Ipad

Special bedtime book (Just me and my Dad)

Lighters x2

Food:

Marshmallows big

Marshmallow small

Hebrew national hotdogs (only one point per dog up to 4)

Hot dog buns

Mac-N-Cheese

Pancake mix (in a packet)

Small Maple Syrup

Chocolate chips/peanut butter chocolate chips

Bananas

As you can see I was able to fit a lot inside the panniers! The only items that didn’t go in them were the bananas(which did NOT survive the trip) and an extra water bottle, both of which went into the trailer. One thing that surprised me is that I actually didn’t pack anything I didn’t use, and in fact found that I was needing a few more items. One thing I plan to do is mark a water bottle with ¼, ½, and full cup marks for measuring water amounts.

Kitty Litter Panniers, Kitty bucket bike, Bicycle tour hybrid

After loading Katrina down with her load, hitching her up to the “wagon” and double checking tire pressure I wheeled her out to the front of the house. I walked in and told my son I had a surprise for him out front! He rushed to the door and saw the bike, his face started to light up and when he noticed the tent!

“daddy, your tent is on tent on the bike” he says to me

“Yes, what do you think we are going to do with the tent?”

“Camping!” he exclaims

Do yourself a favor turn up your speakers and hit play while you read the rest of this(maybe even hit replay if you want) 😀

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8PrTzLaLHc

I go to put on his helmet and he freaks out at me about not wanting to wear it, I remember thinking “great what am I getting myself into?”. After I get him his helmet on we pose for the mandatory “heading out” pictures. That formality done, we load up and hit the road! Ahh the smell of a fresh summery day with the world out in front of us! Life doesn’t get better than this, does it?

Getting ready for our bike camping trip, bicycle tour with hybrid

We ride for awhile, the load is actually more comfortable to pull than I thought it would be, thought when I corner I have to be careful as the load makes me skid a bit if I go to fast. I get up to where I know that we will be crossing the railroad tracks and am greeted by construction signs! The track crossing is closed, and there is no way for me to get the bike over the tracks. I swore a little bit in my head and proceed to find a way around this issue. I go into a little community only to find it is full of dead ends. UGH! As luck would have it though, I found an couple of folks cleaning up their garage sale and after a few minutes of them arguing between themselves about which way to go; only to find they both were essentially telling me the same thing, I get the directions I need. It does take a bit of back tracking but I was eventually able to get going again

I am going along for awhile, and not coming across the trail intersection like they said I would. This is starting to piss me off a bit and I am wondering if I am going to have to go home to get the car. For those that know me in person though, I don’t like to give up and I am very stubborn. I keep pushing on and after about 4 miles I finally hit the trail right next to the big bridge. One issue though, I got a bit turned around and am not sure which way I need to turn. I make the best guess though that I can and luckily it was the correct one. The ride is uneventful as we pull into Chesterton, IN. and I make the first turn from my cue sheet.

Is this the right road???? I wasn’t coming across the next turn and I was beginning to wonder if I had A. Missed my turn B. Taken the wrong turn C. just not gone far enough. I spotted 3 people sitting on their lawn and decided to pull over and ask for directions (See us men CAN do that sometimes). As I pull up an older lady asks, “do we know this guy?”. I chuckle a little and say no, explaining my predicament. One of them, a guy about 45 I would guess, explains that he had just showed up after 15 years of being away and thus the reason the woman had asked jokingly if she knew me. He tells me I simply need to keep going, and double checks the rest of my directions(point out a few landmarks for me to look for ahead). I wave goodbye and keep pushing on, suddenly I find myself in a VERY busy down town area that I didn’t know existed. I thought that little historic area was the”downtown” but I was very wrong.

I spotted my “rest stop” up ahead though, a Dairy Queen! One of the best parts of bike touring/camping is that you burn a LOT of calories, calories which you get to replace. So we go inside the wonderfully cool and refreshing air conditioning, and order up a couple of ice cream cones. Already, I feel that special bonding moment happening! Here we were, father and son, enjoying an ice cream cone on a hot day, while heading out for a camping trip. It is a memory I will continue to cherish.

bicycle campout, eating ice cream, bike tour with hybrid

The lady at DQ though was very annoyed with me asking to fill my water bottle(they have to go and do it as they don’t have it on the self-fill station). So I I decided to just leave it as it was, at least she had put lots of ice into it. As we head out of town, my chain ends up coming off at a traffic light, but I was surprised to find that the driver behind me was understanding as I hopped off to move the bike out of the way. They didn’t honk or pull out fast around me, so thank you random unknown person for being kind to a cyclist! It was only 10 miles from DQ to the campground, but that was one of the longest 10 miles I have dealt with in awhile. Hauling 30 pounds of gear + 30 pound of kid with a little wind thrown in of course, makes a nice recipe for getting tired out. I went through 2.5 water bottles on that final section. The sun was brutal and I was worried as I was on some rather deserted county roads. The kind of road where if something happened I don’t know how long I would be laying in the ditch. The ice water that melted though was a life saver, it was the last bottle I hit and it was beyond refreshing!

YOU CAN’T CARRY TO MUCH WATER ON A HOT DAY!

YOU CAN’T CARRY TO MUCH WATER ON A HOT DAY WHILE PULLING A KID AND CAMPING GEAR!

To get to the campground the last turn was onto a a major hwy for .5 mile. It was scary, as cars whizzed past me at seeming light speed! It was downhill, and with all that weight on the back wheel, the bike would get wobbly if I went about 13ish mph. I may or may not have been repeating, please don’t kill me, over and over again till I arrived. We arrive at the site and it is time to get to work!

camping with a bike, Michigan City Campground, bicycle tour with hybrid

One thing I really liked about our spot here is that we were right next to an awesome playground area! After setting up camp, we change into our swim shorts and go for a quick dip into the pool. It felt amazing, my feet were very swollen at this point and it did wonders to just let them soak for a bit. After our swim, he goes to play at the park for a bit until dinner. Dinner was hotdogs and marshmallows, score 5+ daddy points! The rest of the afternoon was filled with playing at the playground, going for a walk(where we met a rather interesting duck). Just spending some quality time together, it was nice to just spend time with out the stress of home. Not once did I have to yell at him to stop doing something, or send him to a time out. It was a wonderful gift that we both received.

Towards the evening we end up getting some “neighbors” a woman, her daughter, and he boyfriend. We made quick friends, as did my son. Her daughter I think was about 5 but her and my son got along amazingly, spending the rest of the night playing together. I enjoyed getting some “adult time”, visiting with someone how doesn’t need me to change their diaper was a blessing.

I let him stay up till about 10:30 and I finally ended up calling it a night an hour later. Here is one of the things I want to get for next time, a sleeping pad! Did you know; and this is scientific fact; that the older you become the hard the ground gets? I use to be able to sleep on the bare ground no problem, but not any more! It sucked, it sucked bad! I finally passed out at I would guess about midnight, and woke up a few times trying to get comfortable or to throw my snuggie back on. I was finally woken up the last time with a scary feeling of a heavy chest. I was finding it hard to breath, and quickly started to freak out, when I hear from above me “WAKE UP DADDY!”. He had climbed on my back and was sitting on top of me. We get up and he goes to play in the park again with his new friend as I fix us breakfast. This is where that water bottle marking would have been nice as I try to guess how much 1 cup of water is for the pancakes. Another camper comes up, who I had met the day before as well, and offers me a dozen eggs, cheese, and some sausages! So we ended up with a yummy feast for breakfast, need to fuel my legs for the ride home.

5

We lay around for about an 30 min before packing up the site, and checking out. Right before I go my kickstand comes loose, and it takes me a good half an hour to get it fixed. I HATE this kickstand and really want to replace it, but not an option right now. The bolt is tough to reach and my wrench just barely fit the spot to hold it. Also, when you pack up your panniers, make sure you don’t put your tools at the bottom, was annoying to have to dig them out. I should add that at this point my wife is questioning if I want to ride home or have her pick us up. I was still feeling exhausted from the day before(and late night), but again I am to stubborn for that. The ride home was very pleasant, though the wind was worse today and that trailer acts like a giant sail sometimes.

On the way home though, I decided to stop in Chesterton again, and have something nice a cool/refreshing. So we talked it over and decided to go and get a nice cold “beer” together. So here is my son and I enjoying a post-campout “beer” float.

Root beer floats, campout, Bicycle tour with hybrid

We both decided to get ours as floats, and after that it was a quick ride to get home, luckily I knew to take that other detour path this time. We arrived home, with smiles and exhaustion on our faces. After we a quick bath for him it was snooze time, and after my shower I followed his lead! I think I slept for close to 3 hours! Man did I need it though, and am thinking of heading to bed here after I am done with all of this.

So, there you have it, our adventure, maybe not of epic proportions but an adventure none the less. I learned a few things on this trip:

I am not ready for that 80 mile ride

I love camping with my son(and can’t wait till my other son is old enough to go as well)

Check for constructive before you leave on a bike camping trip

That I love my son, and need to treasure all of these moments we get to spend together.

I hope to make this a tradition for us, and look forward to more campouts together 🙂

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker

Guest Blogger: Becky- Life on the struggle bus

Life on the struggle bus

Hello Big boned Biker readers! My name is Becky. I want to thank BBB for asking me to guest post and allowing me the graciousness to be late with it….as I am with everything in my life. Ok so a little about myself……………….I’m a 38 year old single mother of a wonderful daughter who has battled many obstacles in life but my weight has been the most difficult for me to overcome….seems I’m constantly riding the struggle bus. I’ve been on every diet known to mankind, even considered weight loss surgeries such as Lapland and gastric bypass. In 2010 when my daughter was about 2, I decided that I wanted to be a good role model for my daughter and be healthy so that I could make sure I was around for her. For the last four years I have gained and lost the same 50 of my total 80 pound weight loss over and over.

A friend of mine posting on facebook the other day that she was on the struggle bus and it got me to thinking. In her reference it was getting up and getting ready for work on a beautiful Saturday that she would have rather just stayed in bed a little while longer and then go out and enjoy one of the first pretty days we had after a long out of the ordinary winter here in East Tennessee. This struck a chord with me. I thought to myself, man I’m always on the struggle bus. I have been on it for years. I’m beginning to think I’ve moved from passenger of the struggle bus to the driver.

Life is a struggle in of itself…we struggle to pay our bills, have families, buy a house, get to work each day, get every item completed on our perpetual to-do lists…it goes on and on. However struggle doesn’t have to be seen in a negative way…does it? Yes I have been the same weight for 2 years, despite my best efforts to exercise myself to death, but I’m still struggling with my diet. Still struggling means to me I’m still fighting. We can either choose to struggle or we can lie down and die. This is not an option I am willing to entertain. If I’m still struggling surely I’ll eventually get there someday.

SOME OF THE STRUGGLES I HAVE OVERCOME:

  • Early on in my weight loss journey I really “struggled” with exercising in public because of my size. Most especially when it came to running. Amazingly, my friend and I actually started being encouraged by the people that basically wouldn’t make eye contact with us for months while we walked at our local park. They started speaking to us and say “way to go” “keep up the good work” its like we had crossed over some sort of invisible barrier. So many people have messaged me over the years saying “how do you run, I can’t run I’m too big” I’m quick to remind them that I started running at over 300 pounds and continue to run at my current weight of 285. Overcoming this struggle has led to others overcoming theirs.

  • For years I only exercised at a local park, where as I mentioned before we became very friendly with people seeing the same ones day in and day out. Being known and accepted is just such a basic building block of needs we all have. However the weather does put quite a damper on things and led me to yet another struggle. I had to seek out an alternative for the rainy days and the winter seasons. I did DVDs, but lets get real about it for me that didn’t work…to easy to just sit down on the couch and play on facebook….or I’d say oh ill do it after my daughter went to bed….hmmm not! This led me to Zumba class! Friends let me tell you I was hooked from day one. It was at a local church and an acquaintance of mine was the instructor. I didn’t have as much of a struggle going to this as I did running but those old negative Nelly thoughts still ran through my mind….will someone make fun of my size, will they make fun of my loose skin going the opposite direction the rest of my body it….on and on and on. There again had numerous people say that my going encouraged them to go.

  • Another struggle I have had to overcome is the gym. I wish I could do two Public service announcements in regards to the gym….one for the gym rats who are the uber fit of the community asking them, begging them to include us overweight members in their clichés, not to give us the “look”, to make us feel like we belong and not invading “their” space. Then the second one would be to the overweight less confident members….to remind them that they pay their dues just like anyone else at the gym, to go try new things no matter what looks you get, and that once you lose the weight please don’t resort to fat shaming. Feeling and believing I deserve to be at the gym is still something I struggle with. I feel like I’m taking the place of fit person….how ridiculous is that!!! Matter of fact, just typing this out is making me really think about how often I’m letting the struggle get the best of me on this one…maybe I’m still in the process of overcoming this one.

So in conclusion, being on the struggle bus isn’t all that bad as long as you don’t let the struggle get the best of you. You have to look at why you are struggling, what you are struggling for, and how you can overcome that struggle. You never know who is watching and you could change their lives forever. At weight watchers we are encouraged to have an anchor…..my daughter is my anchor. The picture I’m including is of us yesterday at a local amusement park. We are in a ride that I couldn’t have gotten into at my biggest and before I lost weight couldn’t have walked around all day long. I actually wore her out! So keep struggling so you live to struggle another day!

Guest Blogger Becky

Much love and blessings,

Becky