Hiking Into 2017

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On November 5th, 2016, I hiked my first 4,000 foot mountain in New Hampshire. I only have 47 more to go before I complete them all!

It was a really challenging hike for me, even though roundtrip it was only about 6 miles. My friends and I go on one or two hikes a year, often during the colder months, almost always in the Franconia Notch area of New Hampshire. We’ve traveled to a few of the Appalachian Mount Club’s huts, and I am a huge fan of the AMC’s huts. They’re run by dedicated staff, but some are closed or have limited availability during the winter.  I am partial to the Lonesome Lake Hut, as the hike in the winter is well worn, and you shave off some the hike length when you walk across the lake(when and if it’s safe!).

When we hiked up to Cannon Mountain, we took the Hi-Cannon Trail, which is less traveled than the trail to the Lonesome Lake Hut. At 4,100 feet, Cannon Mountain is the 12th lowest mountain of the 48. However, the weather still changes drastically as you get to the higher elevation. There’s also a ladder that you need to crawl up at one point.

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At the top of this ladder there is a cliff. You need to stand, turn, and continue on the hike. There’s no railing, so you might feel a little vertigo as you turn to keep hiking.

I’m telling this story because I’m hoping to hike more in 2017 than I have in any recent year. As a teenager, I hiked more often with the boy scouts. I’m hoping that 2017 proves to be the kickstarter to a true attempt at reaching the peaks of all 48 4,000 foot peaks in New Hampshire. If I can reach 3 in 2017, that would be a huge accomplishment.

I may go back to this hike again, to talk about preparing for it, and the challenges I’ll face physically.

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I may post again this year, but I’m not sure. If not, happy holidays!

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Try To Lose Hope

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A wise man commented on the last blog entry that I WILL lose 50 pounds, and that it’s not about trying. It’s kind of funny, because I had the same conversation with my sister via text this morning.

My sister & I battle the bulge differently, but we always find great ways to encourage each other. It might be a text that says ‘What was for lunch?’ or ‘I’m down 2 lbs from last week!’. This morning we exchanged stats, and she said “I’m going to try to get to the gym 3 times this week.”. I responded with, “We’re removing ‘try’ from our vocabulary.”.

I do believe the best way to actually do something you set your mind to is by removing the option to quit. “I hope to lose 50 pounds” isn’t as good as “I will lose 50 pounds.”, just like “I’ll try to eat better” isn’t as good as “I will eat better”.

In the rare instances of life, trying and hoping are negatives here. It’s about being affirmative in decisions.

In another news, I biked 5.22 miles tonight! On this day last year, I biked 2.18 miles in the morning. I’m hoping to bike tomorrow, too!

Jonah Hill!

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“It’s not fun,” Hill told the LA Times, referring to his weight loss efforts. “I wouldn’t say it’s the most fun endeavor I’ve ever took on in my life — but it’s important. And I’m enjoying it. If I eat something unhealthy now, I kind of feel a little weird and my body hurts.”

I love that quote. It was taken during an interview on the red carpet of an event, and it just came out in a 3 second span when asked about his weight loss. I’m not sure I’ve heard of a celebrity discuss their weight loss in such a way. I’d be really interested in knowing more about his weight loss, but I doubt there’s much more about it.

I was watching Jonah Hill in Accepted yesterday, actually, and couldn’t help but notice how large he was. In that movie, he was only 22 or 23 years old. That is unreal. So tonight, while watching the MTV Video Music Awards(don’t judge!), he appeared to announce an award. The dude has lost A TON OF WEIGHT. He claims he doesn’t know how much weight exactly, but I think it’s more than the 40 pounds that are estimated. I also think he’s full of shit when he says he doesn’t know how much he’s lost. I only say that because I know when I had some success, I jumped on that scale every day! That’s an aside, though, because it’s really great. It’s an inspiration. I’m not inspired by a lot, but Jonah Hill kicked ass here.

Speaking of inspiration, please help get Tony of The Anti-Jared to the top of the list for Top 50 Most Inspirational Healthy Tweeps.

It’s one thing to be a male blogger. It’s another thing to be a male blogger who blogs about stuff that doesn’t include sports, politics, history, cars, or anything traditionally manly. It’s also another thing to blog about weight loss without having work out charts, sponsored diets, and a support system that knows exactly what might help you, motivate, and guide you. Tony’s my MVP of weight loss bloggers. MVP doesn’t mean the best. It means the Most Valuable Player.  He’s a one man support system in a crowd of weight loss bloggers where men, by and large, aren’t there or don’t stick around.  This isn’t to say women can’t help and aren’t incredible. Everybody I link is fantastic in some way. In this instance, it’s just another voice that rings loud and clear and true.

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Thursday starts the 4th 30 Days of Biking challenge. I did it last year, and will try to get it done this year as well. It’s kind of hard to believe it’s been a year. I’m traveling a LOT of weekends in September, but I will do my damnedest to bike every day. Money’s tight, so fixing my bike has had to wait. I’m hoping tomorrow to finally get it taken in.

You Can!

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Why not?

I’m planning on biking every day until I can’t…and for the foreseeable future, I don’t see any reason why I can’t go more than 2 months riding.

There could certainly be exceptions. There might be a day I go without riding…but I’m going to do whatever humanly possible to avoid that. If it means I only ride around the block, then so be it. I’m still riding. Distance isn’t important, the action is.

I’m also going to start running. Maybe it’ll start with jogging. Maybe I’ll jog 20 yards and then walk 60 yards. Doesn’t matter the distance, it matters that I’m pushing myself. It might start out as just twice a week.

I’m going to get into a habit of doing sit ups and pushups. I have never done either with any regularity, but I’ve always thought about it. I’m hoping to start tomorrow. It might be Tuesday.

Why not?

In my head, I’m thinking the first one is the easiest, the second is the toughest, and third is the least likely to be followed through. I’ve had each of these conversations in my head hundreds of times. Hasn’t anyone, looking to make permanent changes to their lifestyle, done the same?

It’s not a diet. It’s not working out, either. It’s just what I do. I’m a biker. I will be a runner. I will be a guy who does sit ups, pushups, and eventually other exercises that I’ve never heard of or don’t know how to do yet.

Why not?

There’s no good answer to ‘Why not?’.

Putting It Out There, Checkin’ In #62

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Patrick posted a questionnaire  he first saw at All The Weigh..and I’m taking a stab at it. I’ve been MIA for a week, seems like a good way to return.

1. What was your highest weight, what do you weigh right now and what is your goal weight?

My highest weight was 270…my current weight is 239(maybe 240ish,honestly)…my goal weight is 210ish,but I want to reach 199 to say I’ve been there. I think 200-210 will be my optimum weight range.

2. What is your #1 motivation for losing weight?

I seriously want to live until I’m 100 years old. How many fat 100 year olds do you know?

3. Have you always been overweight?

Yes. I never developed ‘man boobs’ because I’ve always been fat.Just kept getting fatter.

4. When you want to give up what inspires you to keep going?

How good I feel when I’m eating right, sleeping well, and a reality that lower weight means so, so, so many things beyond simply ‘looking’ good.

5. What is the #1 thing you look forward to when you hit your goal weight?

I have a few medium size shirts that will look loose on me at 199 pounds. I can’t wear them right now.

6. Do you have support on your weight loss journey?

Of course. In the blogosphere & in real life. Reinforcement is a key component.

7. What is your favorite exercise?

Cycling. I want to bike from Brooklyn, NY to Boston, MA next summer.

8. What is the most important thing you have learned on your weight loss journey?

The mind is a powerful part of weight loss. Controlling your temptations, following through with food plans and work out regimen is as important as eating and working out. Follow through is 99% mental.

9. What is one thing you have given up that you miss the most?

I don’t miss any of it. I can’t. Life isn’t worth thinking about what I once thought were great things when they were actually killing me.

10. What is your strategy for losing weight?

Last month it seemed to be ‘move every day’. This month, it seems to be ‘mind over matter’. The fight will evolve over time, so strategy will too.

My Big Six

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On the heels on my tirade about blogging and the community that makes it up, I thought I’d refocus myself.

Though I don’t participate greatly in the give & take of the blogosphere, it is a critical part of my weight loss. This blog is critical in my weight loss. My ability to look at my daily success and failure has a big impact on losing 30 pounds and reaching my ultimate goal.

Believe it or not, before my tirade I was going to turn my words about the ‘Big Six’ into something more personal, something I didn’t consider before but absolutely is a positive.

Mainly because I think the best way to utilize your own weight loss blogosphere is not by what kind of ‘persona’ you create within it, or how many followers you have on twitter and facebook. It has less to do with how many friends you find, and everything to do with how utilizing this new technological world changes your individual life.

Where do you look when things are shitty? Who do you look to when you aren’t sure about your own self confidence? Self control? Self esteem? Who do you want to read when you’re looking for like-minded individuals?

Marie Claire might have a larger readership than ol’ G96, but The Big Six is arbitrary.  The ‘best’, ‘most popular’ and ‘smartest’ list of weight loss bloggers is wholly decided by a smaller group of people than you might think. Take my extensive list of bloggers. I found the majority of them through other bloggers listing them on their own blogs. Everybody lists everybody. Everybody has a gigantic list of blogs. It’s one of the Codes of Weight Loss Blogging. List me and I’ll list you. Comment on mine and I’ll comment on yours. Give & Take. Makes sense.

Well, here are six that I take much more from than I could ever give. This isn’t an ‘award’. This is a list of weight loss folks I really feel I can relate to. Maybe they’re not a great fit for you, or for others. Doesn’t matter, not to me, who else reads them, as long as they keep writing.  I check them in the morning, evening, middle of the night. Whenever I need a pick me up.

Responsibility 199 – At this point, I consider Patrick a blogging friend. He’s a little older than I am, but his outlook on weight loss is ageless.

Clydesdale Project – I discovered Clyde around the same time I found Patrick, and consider him a friend as well.  I guess I’m using ‘friend’ in a weird way, since I don’t personally know any of these guys. He’s older than me as well.

For the record, fellas, I’ll be 30 in March.

The Anti-Jared – This guy, everybody in my blogosphere knows him. I’ve followed him a very long time. I think Tony should write his story, from the early days to today. I met his brother Joe at a book reading Brooklyn when his book about the Big Red Machine(Cincy Reds) came out, and you can absolutely tell these guys are cut from the same cloth. They’re different writers with different personalities, but they share a common theme. They really engage their readers, and you get a sense that their personalities bleed into their writing. So, Tony, write the book.  You know it’s waiting to be done. Then do a reading in Brooklyn. That would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

Zues Meatball – The most entertaining writer I read regularly. Nothing against any of the other guys, seriously. Zues writes like my brother speaks, and my brother is my hero. No nonsense, straight to the point, unintentionally hilarious, and motherfuckin’ driven.

Who Ate My Blog? – Stephen is a champion that I have mentioned before. I guess I’ve mentioned everyone on this list before. That’s okay too.

Anonymous Fat Girl – I wish I had found Bonnie sooner. She’s pissed off about weight loss in a good way. She constantly reminds me that this is a war we must be angry about.

I realized after considering my every day reads, that these are folks I’d love to have a beer with to pick their brains. Just to see what they’re thinking about on random ideas.

If any of you end up in the NYC area, first pint is on me. If you don’t drink, I’ll pay for your free water. 😉

Everybody has their own Big Six, even if they don’t realize it. Marie Claire doesn’t decide who the Big Six are.

We do.

 

*Edited to add a great song from James. off their new album The Morning After The Night Before

Epic Manly Award

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Alan at Pounds Off Playoff gave me an award!

I don’t think he named the award, but ‘Epic Manly Award’ seems to fit the bill, so I’m running with it.

Following the Geneva Convention protocols for blog awards, I will:
1.       Thank the person who gave me the award.

2.       Answer some kind of question or produce some kind of list.

3.       Identify one, or six, or ten, or whatever new blogs to pass the award onto.

1. Thanks Alan!

Alan, and maybe a lot of people don’t realize this, but I’m a HUGE baseball fan. I eat,sleep,dream, shit baseball. Alan has a great Pounds Off Profile series, including one about one of my favorite ballplayers of all time, Matt Stairs.

2. Random Facts About The Guy Who Writes Going For 96

1. I’ve toyed with the idea of emerging from the shadows of blogging anonymity. I may also wait until I reach some substantial weight loss number(say, 50 pounds).

2. I love Twitter(started on there ’08), Facebook(started ’06), Blogging(started ’02), stuff like MapMyRide.com(’07), Pandora.com(’06), and AddictingGames.com(no idea.long time). I have no use for an iPhone, iPad, Kindle(or any e-reader), Mafia Wars, or a PlayStation 3. I basically consider myself a selective early adapter.

3. I prefer going on a vacation than receiving a big priced gift.

4. I own maybe 15 DVDs,and only a few are of movies I consider my all-time favorites.

5. I’ve been drunk in Canada, England, Ireland, Spain, Thailand, France, and Germany.

6. I’ve pooped in Japan, but never officially entered the country.(layover)

3. Identify Blogs For This Award

1.  Anonymous Fat Girl – Bobbie has been a constant source of inspiration for me. Her intensity is fantastic.

2. Fatman Getting Skinny – John likewise is great inspiration. He reached 100 lbs loss, but I hasn’t been heard from since. I hope he returns. His video blogs are great!

3. Discipline Or Reget – one of the best blogs out there. I’ve watched this guy transition to a personal trainer. It’s been a fun ride!

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