Biking For love, Checkin’ In #9

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My girlfriend’s birthday is tomorrow. She’ll be 27, and I’ve known her a long time. So long, that she hardly ever expects me to get a gift right. lol. It’s true, I’m a shitty gift giver. There are no two ways about it. Anyway, I’ve been trying to get better at it over the last few years, and think I’ve done it.

She’s been obsessing about a diamond/leather bracelet that was featured in a magazine months ago, where proceeds benefit Haiti relief or starving kids, or some sort of benefit. I’m so aloof, I really didn’t pay attention to which cause it was for.

I’ve had employment issues for more than a year, so whenever I get some money, I try to be frugal with it. Spend it with brains, essentially. I came into an extra bit a few months ago and sprang for the bracelet through the right website to ensure the benefiting organization got their share. I’ve been sitting on it since. I thought about giving it to her without an excuse, but then pretty much forgot about it after putting it in a place she wouldn’t find it.

She loves coffee. She literally has 8 travel mugs for the coffee I make for her every morning. She only has one travel cup for her iced coffee…which is the leftover coffee from the various mornings that end up in the fridge. I decided to get her another one.

This new travel coffee cup(w/ straw!) was located at a store that was said to be 9 miles away. I found a nice easy bike route to follow almost the entire way, and had the tailwind off the ocean for my entire trip. I was a bit tired when I turned around, and it was entirely because I was dealing with a brisk headwind.

I made it back to a pier before looking at my bike map to find a new route home. I couldn’t battle the headwind for 9 miles. I found a winding route that unknown to me(until I got home) added a few miles. Instead of an 18-19 mile trip, I pulled off a 25 mile trip.

It felt good though. For the first time, I actually felt tired by the time I got home. Maybe too tired. I’m planning on biking nearly 20 miles tomorrow w/ the girlfriend as part of her birthday celebrations.  However, she’s a leisure rider, so I think it’ll be okay. I’ve been abusing myself quite a bit by biking. Pushing further each time.  I’m not overextending myself, just forcing myself to get up and get out. This is the first time I may have overextended myself.

And here are a few pics of my journey.

Lots of my journeys start here.

NYC has great bike route markers.

Resting at a pier while rerouting my way home.

I’m not sure about my posting for the next 4-5 days. I may end up on a little mini-vacation, but I’m not quite sure yet. I may be on the twittery space, so look for me there. Have no fear though, I’m not dropping off the map, just unplugging from the internets for a bit. May have another blog update before I really unplug.

Have a great week, a better weekend, and keep on keepin’ on.

2 Trips 1 Bike, Checkin’ In #8

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I started my day off with a bike ride, but pretty much turned around after half way, finishing with a 3 mile trip. It was my first early bike ride since I started biking again, and I didn’t feel right. I didn’t have the intensity to keep biking. So I didn’t.

I arbitrarily decided around 6pm to give the bike another whirl. For the first time ever, I did a second bike ride on the same day. This one was about 10 miles, and felt great. I weighed myself afterward and got a new low, after a few days of weight increases. Yes, I probably should’ve listed the increases, but screw that. I don’t feel like doing that. haha! Anyway, I’m still trying to determine which day will become my ‘official’ weigh in. I’m guessing I will settle on Wednesday or Thursday mornings.

I biked to the ocean again, and took a few minutes to relax there. Here’s a pic.

Walk To The Ocean

It was a good trip. It looks like Thursday will be the day that I bike the 20 mile round tripper with the girlfriend. We’re going to a lobster shack, so that should be great fun.

I think I’ll plan on doing a trip tomorrow, probably a little shorter since I’ll have the 20 miles on Thursday. We’ve really been lucking out with the weather. I hope it stays this way for weeks!

Where Are They Now?

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The Anti-Jared’s latest post about everybody being perfect got me thinking. Actually, his earlier post this week entitled Members With Infants initially put the bug in my ear.

In both, he’s referenced bloggers who have departed the blogosphere for whatever reasons. He even suggested that the life expectancy of a male blogger is 5 months. I’m not sure if that’s accurate or not, but I would put the general life expectancy of a weight loss blogger…or any type of blogger, at roughly three years.  I think within three years, a person has to evolve, if they haven’t already, or consider changing their blogging style or writing future. I think a writer evolves, whether or not they want to. Once you’ve written everything you can think of, and rehashed things and considered new and different blog post ideas…you reach a stalemate. Something’s gotta give.

Sometimes it means scrapping a blog and starting over. Sometimes it means writing about something else. Sometimes it’s just moving a blog and creating a different setup so there’s more focus on interacting with readers. Guest posts, prizes, giveaways, and other assorted ideas to mix things up might work too.

I think it happens because weight loss bloggers are kind of pigeonholed into a scope they can write about. I know I felt that way. I tried to break it by blending my weight loss blog with my regular writing. That didn’t work out well, and I’m back into separating my writings.

Is that the absolute truth? No. Are there exceptions? Of course. However, when you look at any  current blogger, anyone at all, you are extremely unlikely to find articles from say, 2005.

What I think is important, and The Anti-Jared does this really well, is to remember you’re writing for yourself ultimately. You’re trying to lose your own weight. You’re not necessarily trying to help someone else drop 60,70,100 pounds. Yes, you motivate and inspire, but the reason you’re here..the reason *I* am here..is to lose weight. If you can accept you’re gonna write about the same stuff over and over, then you can succeed. To succeed, you’ll need to overcome the same shit time & again. At least I know I do. It’s an endless battle.

It just takes writing about it differently. I’ve taken to writing semi-responses to other people’s blog posts. This is sort of a response to TAJ’s last few posts…but not really. He inspired the idea to write today.  And it was coupled with a poor day eating-wise. I decided that I don’t want to become a vanished blogger because I’m struggling.

I’ve found bloggers who haven’t been around for a long time. Some just glaring absences…others with farewell speeches. They’re just as motivating as the bloggers who post every day….because we could be them. We could be the next defunct inactive blogger. I’m not trying to pick on anyone because they’re struggling. It’s honestly a mode to inspire myself. Remind myself that I’m not a quitter. I’m going places, and I’m losing weight.

So. Where have they gone?

Plans Are For Fools hasn’t blogged since March 10th, and overall only a few times this year. He achieved great success and lost about a hundred pounds. In his most recent posts, he lamented about struggling find a point where he feels good about himself.  Where have you gone, Brian?

Melissa’s Journey: Flab to Fab hasn’t blogged since November of 2008.

Shirt Off At 40 is gone. Literally, no blog. Did they get the shirt off? Heather’s A Loser is gone too.

One Step At A Time was last seen in August, 2009.

Wanting A Healthier Life admitted that he wasn’t struggling with weight, but was struggling with blogging, and we haven’t seen him since late August, 2009.

The Best Me was trying to find his way in October of 2009. What happened?

No More Excuses hasn’t been around since November, after posting fairly regularly for 10 months.

Fat Fitness Food had the perfect blog. It existed for exactly a year. She decided to stop blogging about weight loss because it wasn’t fun anymore.

Waste The Waist shut it down because the blog was getting to him.

The Pursuit of Balance has been MIA since September, 2008.

Focus, Action, Change hasn’t blogged about any of those things since March, 2008.

The Journey hasn’t been heard from since March.

Cruising And Losing hit a new low on June 1st, 2008 and hasn’t posted since.

Walk This Way, Checkin’ In #7

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I felt great today, as far as my legs are concerned, after riding 19 miles last night. However, it was brutally hot and humid all day. I opted to walk around my block 6 times for a change. I ended up walking 2.2 miles, which is nice. It only took 30 minutes.

I’ve brought my iPod once on a bike ride, but prefer the noise of the street and have a basic fear that the music would distract me at a moment where making a crucial turn on the bike would save my life. Today I brought the iPod on my walk. Here were the songs I listened to:

I have a playlist entitled ‘Pumped’, with 14 hours of music. I put it on shuffle and Trick Daddy’s ‘Let’s Go’ was the first song. Not too shabby.

The Spin Docto’s “Two Princes” have been automatic additions to any workout mix I’ve made for as long as I can remember. It’s not that I love the Spin Doctors. It’s that they just have an unobtrusive sound. I don’t mind it, and it keeps me moving. Though, I’d say this was my least favorite song on the list.

Social Distortion’s “It Coulda Been Me” is another long time favorite. This song is a decent example of different musical option that I consider upbeat. I was rocking out to this around the block.

Queen’s “I Want To Break Free” is awesome. If you just consider the chorus, then this is a great workout song. This video is pretty silly, though. I had never seen it before today! I love this song though, and hope it makes a return in future shuffled workouts!

50 Cent’s “Shake That Ass” made me realize something on my walk. Rap music gets me going more than anything else. I enjoy everything, but rap music is awesome. This song is awesome.

The Wolfe Tones’ “On The One Road” is another song that only *I* would have on a playlist entitled “Pumped”. I don’t apologize for this. I truly love Irish rebel music, and it fires me up.

Third Eye Blind’s “Graduate” fits into the same category as the Spin Doctors. I don’t usually listen to Third Eye Blind on purpose, but don’t mind their sound. Sometimes I’m even in the mood for them. This is a great song for walking. I bet runners like it too. Just a hunch!

Nelly’s “Air Force Ones” is another favorite. Nelly is hilariously awesome. I don’t mean that in a mean way. I mean that in a way that he’s a fun rap artist. I hope “Pimp Juice” pops up in a workout soon.

My weight has fluctuated a bit this week, for good and bad reasons. I think I will wait until Thursday to give a formal weigh in. Maybe Wednesday.

I Am A Beast, Checkin’ In #6

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Three posts during the same day. Two check ins! That’s a bit excessive, but hey, might as well if I’m feeling like it.

I went biking today. I went 19 miles in a giant loop around my community. It was really great. It wasn’t too hard, save for a few uphills. They were located throughout, so it wasn’t bad overall. Good stuff. It was around 90 degrees with high humidity, so it wasn’t the most enjoyable ride, either. I would call it mildly abusive, but in a good way. It wasn’t leisurely, but I didn’t need to nap when I got home, either!!

Here’s a few shots:

View of the bridge I rode under later

I rode along the shore, and then shot up along a major road that has bike paths on both sides. It’s about 5 miles along. At one point, I saw a guy wearing a t-shirt on a bench that read, “I Am A Beast”. I thought it was funny, because I immediately thought to myself, “You’re goddamn right. I AM A BEAST!”. I was only about half way through my journey, so it was a nice message, however intentional.

Further along, I passed a telephone pole that had the words, “Back Fat” on it. I don’t have back fat, but I thought it was funny too. I’m riding to prevent future worries like back fat! Why the hell did someone write Back Fat on a pole? It’s New York City, so it could be the name of a punk band for all I know.

One problem I encountered during the 19 mile trip was the water situation. Basically, I need to invest in a second water bottle to be attached to the bike. I managed this time, but mostly because I banked on the hot dog vendor to be at the pier when I looped around. No, I did not have a hot dog!

I bought a Blue Gatorade and an extra bottle of water. Apparently the Blue Gatorade is the one that’s promoted as the one you drink while working out. I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but I sucked it down in about a second. The remaining 4 miles went easy, but I don’t know if the Gatorade had anything to do with it. I hope it wasn’t a waste of calories. Perhaps I’ll do some investigative work on it. Good or not? Hmmm.

I may do a small ride tomorrow, but it really depends on how my body responds to this 19 mile monster. I’m stiffening a little already, but trying to make sure I’m drinking lots of liquid tonight to stay hydrated. I’m riding with the gf on Wednesday, so that should be a lot of fun. May take the next two days off riding if I’m feeling a bit sore tomorrow. Nearly 30 miles in two days is quite a bit.

Great weather lined up for the next week though, so there’s no reason I can’t get a few more miles in before next weekend.

I did consider something during my ride, something that I’ll have to address as the seasons change.

I ride a lot in the evening, between 4-8. Right now, that’s fine. In a few months, that won’t be so fine. The streets will be tougher at night, and some neighborhoods I ride through are neighborhoods I may not want to ride through at night. Food for thought, I guess. May have to consider an alternative workout for the winter. Walking could be that option. I hate walking/running currently..but perhaps when I shed some poundage, it’ll be a real option. Walking would be easier to do in a smaller area just by looping repeatedly. I’m okay with repetitiveness as well, so it’d be an option….but I hate doing it. lol. So, we’ll see.

You Don’t Look Like A Guy Who Eats Tofu

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Yesterday, I was told I don’t look like a guy who eats tofu.Believe it or not, that comment made me feel good about my renewed journey.

Last night I went out to dinner with my girlfriend’s family to a nice Thai restaurant. I had biked 8.44 miles earlier in the day in the heat, and was feeling pretty good overall.  And why not? I have biked 30+ miles in the last 10 days and didn’t feel any noticeable pains that might stop me from biking again very soon.

Anyway. I was feeling good, and upon looking at the menu decided to mix things up a bit.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been considering attempting a ‘meat free’ week.  Basically avoiding beef, chicken, turkey, pork and the like for an entire week. I know, they’re not all bad and there are certain benefits of eating them all in a balanced meal.  The thing is, I need to break the cycle that my eating habits are in.  To do that, I need to get out of the mode where I will go with meat based meals. This attempt started impromptu last night. It wasn’t my plan, it just sort of happened that way.

Yesterday I had a pork sausage with breakfast, but I think it’s a forgivable offense, because eggs and toast were the main part of the meal. Besides, I didn’t know I would consider my attempt at the time!!

So, back to dinner. I noticed on the menu that each meal was offered with a choice of chicken, beef or tofu. I had tofu a few days ago in a salad, and didn’t mind the texture. Texture is huge for me. Slimey never goes well, for me. I had no idea what tofu’s texture was before then. Turns out, after a little investigative work, that tofu can have a varying degree of textures.

I decided I was in the mood for some Thai curry. I went with a panang curry dish with peppers and chunks of tofu. With the help of wikipedia, I learned a great deal about tofu.

You know what? It was delicious. I compare the texture of tofu to the corner of a piece of french toast. Crispy, crunchy on the outside, and a lil squishy in the middle. I could see why this might turn some people away from it. I liked it though. The nutritional value is unbelievable. I don’t know how the points system works for Weight Watchers, but my guess is they’d consider Tofu to be a pile of awesome points. Maybe I should create a point system.

Did you go biking? 10 awesome points

Did you eat healthy today? 10 awesome points

Did you think before eating? 10 awesome points

Did you consider NOT WORKING OUT, and then change your mind? You just earned eleventy bajillion awesome points.

All it takes is one day of deciding to do something you normally wouldn’t, to get the ball rolling.

Okay, so back to the tofu thing.

My girlfriend’s grandmother said to me, after hearing that I ordered the tofu  panang curry, “You don’t look like a guy who eats tofu”. It wasn’t said in a snarky tone, nor was it said to be mean. She’s a great woman, and it was simply an observation. I really don’t look like a guy who eats tofu, ever. As she put it, I look like a guy who eats hamburgers, and steaks, and chicken, and whatever else that has a focus on the meat and not the rest of the meal.

I made me feel awesome about my choice. It made me feel awesome about making this change. I responded to her by saying, “I hope to someday look like a guy who does eat tofu.” And that’s the truth. Well, it’s more that I’d like to look like a regular guy who may or may not eat tofu or hamburgers. I’d rather not be defined as a guy who eats, period.

It will take time. It will take a whole lotta time.  You know what, though? It took a whole lotta time to realize what I need to do to lose it and set myself up for continued success.

It’s another beautiful day. Get out and enjoy it!

Late Night, Checkin’ In, #5

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Not a lot to say late night, but had a few photos I wanted to share.

Sunset Ride, 6/23

I took this as I crossed over a foot bridge and embarked on my near 10 mile ride. I actually rode in the opposite direction of the bridge, but loved the view. The photo below was taken when I did actually ride towards the bridge a few days later. Like I had said before, the headwind sucked!

Hangin' at the pier, 6/26

Amazing to think both photos were taken with my cell phone. The bike is mine, and the buildings in the distance  make up the only skyline that can look like that. Yep,  Manhattan of New York City. Not sure if you can tell, but the Statue of Liberty is on the left side.

Yeah, I realize I’ve given away my location on this anonymous blog…except there are 8 million people living in NYC. I’m not worried about my identity. There are several million living in my borough alone.

I’ve also realized that I need another water bottle for my bike. 1 isn’t enough, especially if I end up doing a big loop on a hot day.

Another thing I’ve thought about is the benefits of cycling shorts. To be blunt, I’m curious if it’ll be more comfortable to keep the boys close together, ifyaknowhatimsayin’.  This was the first time I thought of a ‘reward’ for any weight loss.

I decided that if I can get 30 pounds lost, then that would justify my purchasing of cycling pants. I haven’t weighed that low in 5 or 6 years. So, if I lose 30 pounds,…cycling pants are mine. Fun times!

That’s all I have for right now. I’m going to bed, and sleeping in late.

I may do a sunset trip tomorrow evening.

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