My Journey into a new and Healthier lifestyle

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From the Desk of the Big Boned Biker:

Still going strong here! I haven’t posted in awhile, life has gotten in the way, and maybe a touch of laziness. I have been doing great with my workouts; consistently on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. I have found my time lifting at the gym almost as relaxing as well as fulfilling as riding my bike. It helps me focus and really centers my mind. Here are a few pictures from the gym, though they might not be the most “flattering” I am still proud of them.

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I have also been training for my up coming ride with Le Tour De Shore! Day one will be the toughest day as it will be a bit over 60 miles, though I was able to do 60 last month it was still a struggle to complete it. I really need to work on my food intake, as I think I bonked at the end(ran out of “fuel”).

The ride started out well, it was a cooler day and I wore some gym pants and a light jacket. I wish it had been a touch warmer as I felt a bit overheated wearing the coat. I did try taking it off a few times but the wind from riding made it a bit to cold still. I had originally planned to ride to Michiana MI. but decided the night before to ride to La Porte instead. It looked like a nice easy ride, mainly on calm country roads, in other words some of my favorite riding.

I took off around mid morning and quickly made my way down the Prairie Duneland trail that runs near my house. That took me to Chesterton, and even though a couple people have shown me a route around the downtown, I couldn’t remember it for the life of me. I HATE riding through the busy intersection that is there, and I am pretty sure the cars behind me hate it too. I continued along the roads, I knew them pretty well as it is the same route I take to get to the campground. When I reached the point where I normally turn left, I continued straight. This was my first break, and about 20 miles in!

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I was feeling strong and had only about another 10 miles to go before I turned around. Piece of cake! I take off and am riding along with a big grin on my face. There is something about being on a bike to make you feel alive! Wait, what was that up ahead? Ahh @#$@ a hill. Yeah, I didn’t know about the hills on this route! I ended up having to walk up one of them and this was waiting for me at the top.
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So apparently I wasn’t the only one who felt this way! Despite the hills though I enjoyed the country scenery. I even stopped for a couple of pictures, or at least that is what I told myself the reason for stopping was.

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Now my wife and I have a deal of sorts, when I go riding she wont come get me. If I got myself somewhere, I can get myself back. Now this isn’t serious, and it is more of a joke than anything, but it is a mentality that helps me push through some tough spots. This ride though, she had said that if I needed a ride she would come and get me. As I pulled into La Porte, I stopped for another couple of photos.

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I was half way, I was tired, I was drained, I was feeling like quitting. I called her up, and told her how I felt. Those hills had wiped me out, and there wasn’t even that many of them. I also was getting over a bad cold and would go into minute long coughing fits, which didn’t help the matter. I told her though that I wasn’t 100% sure I was ready to give up, and decided to rest for about a half hour before heading home.

One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. I counted a cadence in my head as I cycled slowly along the road. Through a bit of luck I took a wrong turn and ended up missing a couple of the hills, but I still was feeling like I was running on fumes. When I made it back to where the campground turn was though, I knew I could make it home. I called my wife and said to cancel the red alert, I would be biking home today! 4 miles later I was on the side of the road coughing, sore, tired, and wishing I hadn’t made that call. One positive note though, I did figure out the alternative way to go, so i was able to skip the busy area!Still, all the way home, about every couple of miles I was having to stop to rest my legs. I was finished. I couldn’t go one bit more. I stopped on the side of the trail, sat down and felt like crying. How could I have let myself get this far our of shape! I had done harder rides with ease in the past, even at heavier weights! The ride to Dodgeville was a tougher ride and I don’t think I could do that right now. However, I gathered my strength and pushed on. I just kept pushing myself, on pedal stroke at a time. I eventually made it home and I remember saying out loud “I f’ing made it”. It was a hair over 60 miles, but it felt like I had ridden a century.
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I learned for my June ride that, I can make it if I push myself(at least I won’t be riding alone hopefully) and that I really need to get my food intake figured out. The power bars I brought just weren’t enough fuel for my body. I further learned that, when you do a big ride on Tuesday, make sure Wednesday isn’t leg day! Ouch!

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Keep on Rolling,

Big Boned Biker


Gym

Really proud of myself today! Not only did I go to the gym, despite my having to reschedule with my trainer, but I also stepped outside my personal comfort zone.

When I first started working out at the gym, my biggest fear was being noticed by people. The first time I had to do squats and lunges on my own, I was so scared I was shaking! I pushed past that however, and have finally gotten to the point where I feel comfortable doing my workout. I realized that everyone was to busy looking at themselves in the mirror to notice my reflection. I could workout in peace, and now don’t even need to headphones when I lift(I used them to drown out the room as opposed to listening to music). I saw my fear, faced it and moved on.

So here I am, mid workout, just finishing my sets of lunges, when a man walks up to me. Not only does he walk up to me, but he asks me to come spot him. Inside I am freaking out, my mind races and thinks about all the times I have been the butt of jokes, but I reply “no problem happy to help”. As I am walking over I remember that he had briefly introduced himself a week or so ago when I was working with the dumbbells. This made me feel slightly better but inside I was still feeling very self-conscious, my belling showing slightly due to the cut of my workout shirt(it is made for biking so it is shorter in the front and longer in the back). It sorta came to me at this time that I really didn’t know how to “spot” someone actually. I knew the idea behind it, but having never done it, I wasn’t sure the etiquette of doing it. Would I help him lift to soon? To Late? Was I about to get someone killed because the weight was higher than I could handle? Anxiety makes you think of these types of things.

“I’ve never spotted anyone before, what would you like me to do?” I asked, because despite not wanting to look like an idiot, I didn’t want to do this wrong.

He explained what he wanted me to do, but my thoughts were still galloping around in my head. Filling me with doubt. Would I be able to handle this weight? No, because you are just a fat weakling. Is this some cruel joke that someone is playing on me? YES, because why else would they ask for your help! Are you going to just mess this up and look like an idiot? Of course you will. These were the type of thoughts that were going on in my brain.

He didn’t get hurt, he didn’t laugh at me, he didn’t do anything besides lift weights and say thank you. Afterwords we talked for a few a couple of minutes and I came to the realization that he probably was having the same self-conscious feelings that I was. Turns out, we are both humans, both new to this, and both just trying to get our “burn” on. As I went back to my workout I felt a sense of pride in myself, a few weeks ago I would have just said no, and just the fact that someone noticed me, I may never have wanted to step foot in the gym again. I did it though, I proved that I was stronger than I believed. Physically, but even more so emotionally.

I read somewhere that the best thing to do with anxiety, is to do the thing you are anxious about. Every time you don’t, you are reinforcing that negativity behavior, making it more difficult next time to push through it. I know next time, I won’t feel like I did, or I should say, I won’t feel AS bad as I did. I am a stronger person, I am a healthier person, and I am learning to enjoy to workout physically and emotionally.

Finally starting to see some progress again(and time for a haircut again I think)!

Starting to see some progress

Starting to see some progress

Mid workout

Mid workout

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker


It was a wonderful day out, and I had plans to go bike riding! I love days like this, feels like spring has come(though in 2 days we are suppose to get a snow storm), birds are chirping and the pedals are moving. At drop off for LB 1’s preschool, I saw my friend Brian, and he made the mistake of mentioning that he didn’t have any plans this morning. Instantly I pounced on the chance, and invited him for a short bike ride. I promised to take it easy and we would just do a short little ride, and he believed me. Muwhahahaha.

I rushed home, got my youngest ready and went out to the stable(some might call it a garage). I started the process of getting everything ready. Brakes, check! Tire pressure, check! No weird rattling noises, check! All systems go and prepare for launch.

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After hooking up the trailer, and making sure I had everything ready to go, Brian arrived. He seemed both excited and apprehensive. I knew though, deep down inside, that once we got going he would love it. I know in the past he had joked he could only bike a mile or so, I figured we would go out and be back real quick. That’s ok, we all have to start somewhere and I didn’t want him to over do it, never wanting to go out again.

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We started out and I could quickly see that he wasn’t enjoying it. Did I mention this was a windy day? Like 50 mph gust type windy day? We went about a half mile and he asked to pull over, and I figured we would be turning around. I took that moment though to mention a few “pointers” for riding, sitting on the pelvic bone not the tail bone, don’t ride using your heel as you want to use the ball of your foot, I think I also mentioned posture and keep the shoulders relaxed. As we started back up again I also realized I had forgotten to tell him something important, how to switch gears! He was in a high gear as the bike was last used on my trainer, and with this head wind it must be killing his legs. He switched gears, sat right, moved his foot, and instantly I could tell he was enjoying himself more. We rode past the park and finally made it to the bike trail. What was nice is that with all the trees and the position of the trail, it really cut out the wind! I saw a smile on his face and was pretty sure I had him hooked.

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As we went along I told him when we hit mile marks, and how fast he was going. I could tell that he found that encouraging and that he was surprising himself with what he could do. There was even a few times I had to catch up with him as we hit some decent speeds(I think at one point 15mph). We reached a shelter area and decided to take a quick rest, we had ridden over 3 miles and had to get back in time to pick up the kids. The way home was very smooth and when we did get hit by the wind, it was luckily at our backs. As we got back I could tell, I could see the look in his eyes, he was hooked. If we hadn’t been on such a time crunch, I think he could have done the full ride to Chesterton and back. I also look forward to having a new riding buddy, because you can never have to many of those!

Keep On Rolling,

Big Boned Biker


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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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):

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before2

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

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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 🙂


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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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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

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