View From Strange (Wo)Men, Volume 1, Issue 7

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When you’re falling off your new found ways of life towards healthy living, what do you look for?

For some, they look to music…I do, but not always.

For others, they look to other bloggers who are always succeeding, kicking ass, taking names and being all around awesome. I obviously do that as well, since my Extensive List of Weight Loss Blogs grows and grows.

For me though? When I’m at the bottom of the well with a bag of cheesy poofs, fudge rounds and a liter of coca cola?

I look for the people who have left and hope they’ll return. Sometimes they vanish forever. Sometimes, though, they return.

100 Pounds In A Year

What I like about Andrew is he sometimes goes away for a week, maybe two, but he always returns. Life sometimes literally gets too busy to blog, I get that, and appreciate that he returns. The point is though, he doesn’t really use his disappearance as an excuse to slide back. Too often we read about bloggers doing exactly that. No blogging, just eating shitty, and blaming it on ‘life happening’. I really like that he has his goals set at 5 pound increments. That’s never a bad way to go about things. Lots of small goal add up to the big goal that is where he wants to be.

Stages of Change

I’ve had a rough week, and I’ve checked this blogger from Idaho every day. He hasn’t blogged in over a month, but he’s returned before. Read his history, read his entries since he returned. You can tell he has the desire. I’m hoping he’ll return with great news, and really I just hope he returns in general.I’ve already left words of encouragement. Come back, my friend!

I don’t know any of the bloggers I read personally, but I like to think we want nothing but success for anyone who desires to lose weight and be in a better place mentally and physically.  We’re here for ourselves, but it seems we end up being there for everybody else. Pulling that same rope.

Previous Issues of Views From Strange (Wo)Men

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Views From Strange (Wo)Men, Volume 1, Issue 6

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Nearly every Saturday, I hope to highlight a writer or two that has made an impression on me in some way.  The title of the series is simply a reference to the fact that I am a stranger to the people I’m reading. I’ve never met them, so they’re strangers. Strangers are strange!

Every weight loss blogger has a series of blogs they follow religiously, and others that are just as important but might require dedicating some time to for fully reading and digesting.

100 Days In Bed

100DIB is a great example of this.  Her blend of describing her highs and lows and the everyday challenge of making better changes in life is chronicled in her blog.  I think she writes with female readers in mind, but since weight loss is asexual, I think she’s very much worth reading regardless of whether or not you are a woman.

Her blog existed for a while, and then she vanished. Like so many other blogs that up & go, she left. Then, one day this year she returned. She has resumed her quest to make changes, and I think it’s something we can all relate to. I think it’s great she’s back. Her journey is something worth reading.

Another blog that’s worth reading is one that I’ve followed for a very long time. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t already mentioned him in this feature. A man who has lost 229 pounds to date.

One Man’s Trip To The Half

Zeusmeatball is a fantastic blogger who pulls no punches and simply writes from a no-frills point of view.  He writes from the view of a guy who sometimes can’t believe he once weighed in at 534 pounds.  Early on in his journey, he used photos of motorcycles to show his weight. He’ll show a bike of his weight, the weight he lost, and a third photo of something weighing the amount of weight he needs to lose to reach his goal. A fun example is from October of 2008.

His comparisons made me think of my own. Sometimes I google things that weigh 15-17 pounds to give myself a visual of what I’ve lost. Sometimes I google other things because Zeusmeatball made me think about things differently. He is no doubt a must read for anyone looking for motivation.

Previous Issues of Views From Strange (Wo)Men

Blub Blub Blub, Checkin’ In #27

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13 years ago and a week, I wrapped up my open water scuba diving certification.  In the fall of that year, I dove off the shores of Newport, Rhode Island twice.  This past weekend was the first venture back into the cool green waters of the Atlantic Ocean since then. The training this time took place at Back Beach in beautiful Rockport, MA. It is near Gloucester, MA, and it’s one of several communities in the area that have tons of great diving locations.

A good friend of mine has logged 200 dives, and put over 100 hours under water. He has spent nearly a week under the ocean. Along the way, he’s climbed the ranks of scuba and is now an instructor. My girlfriend expressed an interest a month ago, and my buddy offered to teach her and give me a refresher. I never forgot my initial certification, so my refresher was real easy.

My girlfriend isn’t like me, in the sense she doesn’t have issues with her weight or food. She attacks whatever she likes, and throws herself into anything she’s doing. She hardly ever shows fear.

She was scared after the first day, when we just learned about the equipment and did a short dive to experience breathing under water. On the second morning of training, I wasn’t sure if she was going to get back in the water. We went over some more of the training and practiced the safety techniques before heading for the shore.

We entered the shallow water, and decided to just breathe under the sea. When she was okay, she’d give the OK sign. For a few minutes she stared straight, with her hand on the air pump that would fill her jacket(known as a BC) and send her up the 2 feet to the surface. The day before, I had tried to point out the fish, crabs, and lobsters that were crawling along the floor of the sea, but she was too nervous to look around. After about 5 minutes under water on the second day, something clicked. Maybe she realized she had been under the water for a little while and relaxed. She started looking around, and pointed to the tiny grabs that were crawling by her fins.

It was like a switch had gone on. Her entire view of scuba diving changed. She attacked everything, absorbed every bit of the training like a sponge. She had conquered her fear of the new system, the new sport, and overcome the very basic reality of breathing differently.  Why is that worth mentioning? For me, it’s the same way I need to attack weight loss. I’ve maintained my loss, but I haven’t lost any more in a week.

She climbed out of her funk regarding the scuba equipment and wants to go diving again soon.  With weight loss, the ‘light’ went on, but I need to refocus myself this week. I’ve made a permanent change because I’m not gaining, but I need to step it up. Climb the proverbial ‘rocks’.

So, to help me with breaking the mini-funk(I’m not calling it a full blown funk because I’m not gaining), I’m joining the challenge laid out by Big Clyde. He’s looking to lose 16 pounds by Labor Day. Before I got rid of my ‘due dates’, Goal #2 was set for Labor Day. So, keeping with that, I’m going to get back on that wagon for this challenge. I’m going to see if I can shed the 12 pounds I have between now and Labor Day.

That would put me at 240 pounds. 30 pounds from my highest weight.  12 pounds in about 4-5 weeks. I think with a little effort, it’s entirely possible.

I’m ready to fight for it. Here’s my superhero pose. If you actually recognize me, shoot me an email. ha!

Let’s do it!

Top 5 Heroes

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Inspired by The Clydesdale Project’s ‘Top 5 Friday’ post.

Two guidelines:
1.  They don’t have to be living today, but I ask that you choose people that lived during the last 50 years, so that their influence is somewhat recent.  Got it?  Abraham Lincoln doesn’t get on the list this time.
2.  I encourage you to consider people that are somewhat famous, just to help the rest of us understand.  That means that Mom, Dad and your track coach wouldn’t make this list.

Jon Lester, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox(health):  Entering his mid-20s, he diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a treatable cancer. He bounced back and less than 2 years later pitched in the winning game of the 2007 World Series. His story is undoubtedly touched millions of cancer patients. An inspiration, in my opinion, to keep fighting whatever ails you.

Jimmy Santiago Baca (education): Read his autobiography. He is a great example of not using excuses to better yourself and following through with whatever dreams you have. Cheesy? Yeah, maybe, but this guy is living proof of making things happen for yourself.

Ted Kennedy(perseverance): Flawed, rough around the edges, unrelenting, polarizing, dominating, inspiring, and many other things defined Ted Kennedy. Regardless of how you felt about him politically, it’s hard to argue that Massachusetts wasn’t properly represented by him. Even in death, he stirs mixed emotions. Responsible for the death of a young woman, he saw both of his brothers(arguably more talented than he at the time) die and then died himself of a debilitating brain cancer and found his seat filled by a Republican. Either you laugh or cry at the last line, but no way does this guy not stir something; because he fought for what he believed, unapologetically.

Jackie Robinson, Dodgers(dedication): It’s been said no man has endured as much as Jackie Robinson did when he broke the color barrier of Major League Baseball. He died young, but his impact on the sport and the country as a whole will never be the same. He was dedicated to his sport, and his part in changing things. There’s a big reason that #42 is retired by all teams. Nobody, ever, will endure what he did.

Nick Vujicic, motivational speaker(attitude): Read about this man. Google him. Find him on YouTube. Then, come back and tell me a few good reasons why you can’t work out, or can’t eat healthy, or make any major life changes. You won’t be able to, because it’s nothing compared to this guy.

Views From Strange (Wo)Men, Volume 1, Issue 5

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Nearly every Saturday, I hope to highlight a writer or two that has made an impression on me in some way.  The title of the series is simply a reference to the fact that I am a stranger to the people I’m reading. I’ve never met them, so they’re strangers. Strangers are strange!

One of the bloggers profiled this week is relatively new to G96, but it’s someone who’s about to reach a major milestone in their weight loss journey.

Fatman Getting Skinny

John Parkins is a weight loss vlogger. It’s an interesting approach, using a video blog instead writing, that I think is incredibly effective for inspiring others. John’s closing in on his goal of losing 100 pounds, and he has been vlogging every day along the journey. You cannot help but go back and see where he started. He literally transforms before your eyes. It’s like a live action ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos.

He twitters and he facebooks, and I highly encourage you to follow along as he closes in on his journey. He’s open to questions from readers, and even responded via twitter when I asked what his ‘go to’ snack is. Turns out, he loves bananas.

Steve v4.9

I’ve been reading Steve’s weight loss blog for years. I think I first discovered him when he was Steve v4.7, and I’ve been following along ever since. He has lost close to 150 pounds!

I enjoy his blog because he switches things up from seriously thinking about his weight loss journey to posting hilarious video clips that he has run into.  He’s a fair example of the kind of blogger I aspire to be like. He talks about his own journey, and the overall scope of losing weight in a way that is engaging.

Previous Issues of Views From Strange (Wo)Men

Views From Strange (Wo)Men, Volume 1, Issue 4

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Nearly every Saturday, I hope to highlight a writer or two that has made an impression on me in some way.  The title of the entry is simply a reference to the fact that I am a stranger to the people I’m reading. I’ve never met them, so they’re strangers. Strangers are strange!

This week, the view from a strange man comes from someone I really admire. It comes from someone looking to lose four hundred pounds. If you read his blog, you’ll quickly realize that Stephen Vinson is a man on a mission.

Who Ate My Blog?

Stephen’s blog is great because he’s continually finding ways to improve his everyday life in a way that transforms himself fully.

For example, over the last few weeks he has worked out and couldn’t figure out why he was so damn tired all the time afterward. It’s something that I think a lot of people battling weight loss would’ve handled by stopping their workouts.

Not Stephen. He discovered his CPAP machine wasn’t working properly, and eventually fixed the problem. He’s now more rested during the day and as his blog indicates he’s looking to take on more physical activity.

Stephen is on Twitter and Facebook, and I encourage everyone to follow him on both social networks.  He’s very active with his blog, and you’ll find that you can’t help but follow along with his journey.

Previous Issues of Views From Strange (Wo)Men

Versatile Blogger Award

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Patrick, over at Responsibility 199, nominated me and 14 other bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Here are the guidelines:

Rules

The rules for the award are as follows:
1. Thank the person giving the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.
4. Let your nominees know about the award.

So here I go!

1. Thanks, Patrick!

In my newest and final version of my weight loss blogging, Patrick has been following from near the beginning and I’ve very much appreciated his commentary and his own blog is super. I highly recommend you read along with him. He’s great!

2. Share 7 things about yourself:

  • I was a perennial winner of a local community road race when I was a kid. Between the ages of 7-11, I finished first in my age group 3 times, and third place 2 other times.
  • I once bought a bag of Fritos, and they had a promotion where you scratch a card inside and could win another bag. I proceeded to win 6 times and had 6 opened bags of Fritos to deal with!
  • I weighed 220 pounds in 9th grade.
  • I was awarded the ‘Mile Swim’ Award during a trip to Boy Scout Camp, and a friend & I sang the whole way. Breast stroke with our heads up made it possible.
  • I didn’t start eating fish for dinner until very recently. Mahi Mahi & Tuna are great when marinated!
  • I didn’t go to high school with most of my closest friends, but the majority of us attended the same college.
  • I had plastic surgery when I was a few months old.

3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.  It takes a great writer to draw me in, so I don’t have 15 newly discovered blogs. Instead, I’m going to nominate writers that I love, but don’t think they’ve been given the Versatile Blogger Award.

  1. 100 Pounds In A Year – I’ve been following Andrew since nearly the beginning of his journey. He’s had ups and downs and sometimes goes a bit of time between blog posts. However, he has returned and looks to be battling the bulge once again.
  2. Andrew Is Getting Fit – I’ve read Andrew’s blog through several versions of my own blogging. He’s great to read if you have any hesitation to get out of the house for a workout, because he gets out rain or shine, heat or cold.
  3. Discipline Or Regret – The third Andrew on the list! This Andrew has done a helluva job transforming himself, and his video blogs are great to watch.. He’s a motivational weight loss blogger that I enjoy very much.
  4. 344 Pounds – Shawn is a relatively new find, and I’m glad I found his blog.  A recent post can summarize why I enjoy his writing. It’s titled ‘Willpower to Lose Weight‘ and it’s something I can relate to easily.
  5. Losing Harry – Al is a blogger who is going to lose 250 pounds, the weight of the average adult man. He named that weight Harry, and he’s looking to lose him. He’s biking 2555 miles on  his stationary bike to help him reach Las Vegas and his weight loss goal!
  6. Stages of Change – A blogger that has returned from an absence and a renewed sense of determination. I eagerly await his posts all the time.
  7. The Anti-Jared – I feel like there is no way this guy hasn’t been given this award by someone else yet. I will say this about Tony Posnanski; When someone reaches a certain point in their weight loss life, they stop ‘hoping’ for success. They start getting angry, fired up, determined and then blow the doors off the hinges that have held them back.  He has an incredible talent, and I look forward to seeing how his blog and his life transition.
  8. The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser – Sean is a bit like Tony, as they’ve both dropped a ton of weight.  His blog is entertaining, and he really touches upon many aspects of the mental battle that I can relate to.
  9. One Man’s Trip To The Half – Zeusmeatball is another 200 pound loser, and I believe I’ve been reading him longer than any other blogger that has lost that much weight. He’s a great writer, and his style is unlike any other you’ll find in the blogosphere.
  10. Thick To Thin In Fredericton – William is going to lose 100 pounds, and I like that he lists his food every day. It gives me ideas when I’m not sure what I want, but I’m hungry and want something isn’t bad!
  11. Who Ate My Blog? – Stephen is on a great journey, and he is going to lose 400 pounds. He’s a great guy, and I’m certain someone else has given him this award…but I don’t see it on his blog, so I’m giving it to him again!
  12. Steve V4.9 – I’ve followed Steve through a few versions of his blog, and thoroughly enjoy checking in on the guy who has lost 150 pounds.
  13. One day at a time… – A recent find, I like Alan’s commentary because he’s very similar to me in where he is and where he wants to be.
  14. Go Fat Kid – One of the regular bloggers I check in with, always worth the read.
  15. Fat Daddy Rants – FDR hasn’t blogged in more than a month, but I check in every few days to see if maybe he has returned. When he does, it’ll be a sure sign of a versatile blogger.

I apologize to the female readers that this was an all-male award nomination, but sometimes I think it’s good to put a focus on men in the weight loss blogging community, because there’s a bit less support with men that women can find relatively easily.

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