Fitness Journey

Running progress 2

Runscott5 months ago I posted that I was trying to get back to being able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill. Then, a funny thing happened. I had to run outside for a screen shot for my latest book (which I'll blog about later), and it wasn't awful.

I've shifted to running outside almost exclusively now (though it is rough in the summer, so I still hit the treadmill from time to time.. I plan to tonight!). I haven't hit a consistent 10 minute mile outside yet, in fact, I'm pretty far from it. However, I have been concentrating on distance over time. What does that mean?

It means I ran 7 flipping miles on Sunday! Which is crazy.

Even crazier? It didn't totally suck.


330.jpgYou may recall that before I got married I realized that I needed to get back on the bandwagon and shed some weight. The good news is that I did, in fact, lose some weight (enough to look good in my wedding photos) but the bad news is that we had lots of great food during the honeymoon.

That, in and of itself, wouldn't have been a problem if I had gone back to the gym after returning home. I didn't. I also didn't stop eating like a mad man, and now I've gained all the weight I lost before the wedding back (and then some!).

loseitorloseit.jpgWhat is a fat guy to do? Why, turn to a webapp that a smart Philly area developer just launched called Lose It or Lose It. The idea is simple: you decide on a goal (mine is to lose 30 pounds in 10 weeks) and the app lets you decide how much money you're willing to lose should you not meet that goal ($200 in my case). You weigh in every week, and if you don't hit your goal you are penalized a small bit. At the end of the 10 week period you get back all the money you put up if you meet your goal. If you don't meet your goal you get back the money you put up minus any penalties.

Fairly simple, I think. Check out my profile here. I'm certain that by mid-January I will be at least 30 pounds lighter (and I'll fit into more of my Hawaiian shirts!).

Sour Cream & Onion Quakes

sourcreamquakes.jpg Thanks to the whole Scott Gets Fit thing I've had to rethink my snacking behavior. Gone are the days when I would get 14 donuts and a pint of ice cream (that's a slight exaggeration, I would eat 2 donuts and a pint of ice cream max). However, it is silly to think that since you're trying to lose weight you can't have a snack.

Today I was at the store getting some salad dressing for dinner (well, to put on the salad that I was having for dinner) and I saw these Sour Cream & Onion Quake sitting on the shelf. I enjoy rice cakes, and I enjoy sour cream and onion so I thought it was prudent to give them a shot.

10 cakes is 70 calories, which isn't bad I suppose, but the important thing is that they are super tasty. I might be in love with the Quaker Oats dude (or is that Barbara Bush?).

A note to Philadelphia's street population

I don't want to make light of the homeless situation here in Philadelphia. There are lots of homeless people in this fine city, and I am sure there are a myriad of reasons why this is the case. As you might expect, some of Philadelphia's homeless population ask passersby for change for food (or what have you).

I've live in Philly for awhile now, but at heart I'm still a New Yorker and as such I have no problem ignoring/saying no to panhandlers. However, I guess I have a kind face or look like a sucker as most panhandlers see me as an easy mark, so I often get many requests for money.

A good tactic for begging is trying to create some sort of a bond, either real or imagined. Someone who looks kindly upon you will have a harder time saying no. I get this. Sadly, most people who ask me for money often take the wrong tact.

Picture this: It is a spring day in Philadelphia. Our hero Scott (that's me!) is walking across Rittenhouse Square with a song in his heart and a spring in his step. As he meanders across the square a fellow makes eye contact and initiates conversation. It is clear to Scott that the man wants money.

'Hey, big guy! Have any spare change?'

And there you have it. Panhandlers of all types call me 'big guy' in the hopes that I will look upon this nickname with fondness and take out my big guy wallet with a grin on my big guy face and give them all my big guy money and be on my big guy way (no doubt to a big guy destination).

Here's a tip, Philly homeless people, drawing my attention to the fact that I am a 'big guy' isn't a service I consider worth paying for. Generally speaking, pointing out someone's shortcomings isn't the path to riches (Dr. Phil is an outlier here). When you see a short guy do you call out, 'Hey! Short stuff! Gimme money!'

I bet you don't.

In conclusion, if you want me to give you money don't call me fat. And you can take that to the big guy bank.

Calvert DeForest, a.k.a Larry 'Bud' Melman, is no more

caldeforest.jpgCalvert DeForest died today. You might remember him from David Letterman's show where he played the character Larry 'Bud' Melman. He always got a laugh from me, what with his odd delivery of pretty random stuff (my favorite kind of humor).

Death has been in my thoughts a lot as of late. Well, perhaps not a lot, but more than usual. A friend of mine recently died due to complications from surgery and I don't think he was much older than I am. Not to mention the sudden, and entirely unexpected, death of Star. It really makes you think about what you're doing with your life.

Death is also a great motivator, at least for me. It is the main reason I have managed to shed 75 pounds in recent months. Death is a constant thought in the back of my mind as I go about my day. I really don't want to be another person who dies because they didn't take care of themselves (though heart disease does run in my family. Hurrah!). I'm not afraid of dying, really, so much as not willing to miss out on everything that will happen after I'm gone. I don't believe in an afterlife, or reincarnation, or anything along those lines. This life is the only one I get, and I damn well better enjoy it.

Heavy stuff, huh? I promise I'm not depressed! I'm a pragmatist when it comes to my own death (cremation, I think, is what'll happen to my body since I doubt any of my organs are harvestable... but the doctors should check. If they can use it, they can have it!) but I am against it happening to other people.

The benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone


Just so you know that all that comfort zone bellyaching is all that isn't the only thing going on in my pretty little head, here's something more upbeat.

As you may, or may not, know I'm a fat guy. 6 months ago I decided to do something about it (mostly because my doctor was like, ' You do want to live past 50, right? Because at the rate you're going that ain't going to happen.' The fear of death is a powerful thing). I catapulted out of my comfort zone and started going to the gym at work. Now, keep in mind that I work on the campus of a University. That means that there are lots of good looking people in the prime of their lives all over the frickin' place, and the most fit of them seem to gather at the gym to judge the less fit (and older) patrons.

The gym wasn't a comfortable place for me.

A few months into it though, I stopped caring about what the slim, goodlooking people might think of this fat geek getting all sweaty in their gym and started to enjoy the impact that regularly working out had on my life. If I hadn't crossed the border of my comfort zone I wouldn't have lost 71 pounds (and counting) AND (this is the reason for the picture) I wouldn't be wearing this shirt today.

I bought this shirt a few years ago, and when I got home I realized that it didn't fit me. It was a little tight, so I put it in my closet thinking I would be able to wear it shortly. A couple of years (and probably 50 pounds) later, there was no hope that this shirt would fit me.

After several months outside of my comfort zone (and being covered in sweat), the shirt fits and I look pretty darned good in it.

The moral of the story? Umm, always hang onto shirts that don't fit you... or something.

What a difference eight months makes

Now I see it

Friday evening I was making my way to D&D when I came across Tim (he's the DM) on his way to pick up pizza for the night (many a D&D adventurer is fueled by pizza). I offered my assistance in getting the grub, and we got to chatting. Tim told me that he could really see a difference in me, especially in my face, and not just from when I started this whole fitness thing, but even from a few weeks ago.

As many of you know I have been losing weight (44 pounds so far), but I really don't see a difference in my appearance. I notice clothes that didn't fit before are fitting now (for example I am wearing a 2XL polo shirt right now, I haven't been able to do that in a long time). I explained this to Tim, and he suggested that I just look at a picture of myself from a little while ago and compare it to a recent one. This had occurred to me, and in fact I have done it but I didn't notice anything. Then Tim's genius was revealed, he said to compare close ups of my face. Brilliant!

I promptly forgot about the idea, until I put on my shirt today. I realized that I had taken a picture of myself sitting in my chair wearing this shirt months ago. Why not take another picture of myself wearing this shirt today and compare it to the other?

So I did, and that's what you see above. I really can see a difference (though ignore the different coloring as I adjusted the levels on the new pic, not so much on the old one).

Is it possible that I lost 44 pounds of face fat? I suppose not, but goodness me I wasn't looking too hot there, though my collar was popped. The real kicker, of course, is that the changes in my lifestyle which resulted in this weight loss were very simple. I mean, I don't really even miss much of anything (other than sweet, sweet Pepsi).

To recap: I have have gone from sexy to sexier in a mere 3 months, at this rate I'll be the sexiest man on the planet in under 5 months. Ladies, now is the time to get on the ground-floor of super sexy Scott. I'm just saying.

Scott Gets Fit

Scott Gets Fit Everyone gather round and welcome the newest member of the Blankbaby Media Empire: Scott Gets Fit. That's right, I'm finally going to lose some weight and I'm going to blog about the process. I can't really imagine anyone wanting to read about me exercising, but who am I to judge what you're interested in. I explain why I started Scott Gets Fit here, so check it out and wish me luck!

Philebrity Fit Club

phillyfitclublogo.gifI have come to the conclusion that Philebrity is brilliant. They are having a Philebrity Fit Club (as I found out via Philly Sucks. I do subscribe to Philebrity, but I tend to skim).

So, dear readers, should I enter this contest that will no doubt humiliate me (good thing I am used to that)?

I mean, I am Philadelphia's Influential Blogger™, and I would wager I am also Philly's fattest blogger. It seems like a marriage made in heaven. Plus I would get some sweet 'kicks,' as the kids call them.

I'm finally doing it!

That's right, I'm getting serious about dieting.  My friend Joe forwarded a link to SparkPeople to me.  It is an online dieting site that creates a diet for you according to your goals.  It also plans your meals for me (which is super cool).  Best of all?  It is free!

My goals for this first step of my diet are as follows (I am supposed to do each of these things daily):

  • Drink 8 8oz cups of water
  • Get 10 minutes of cardio exercise
  • Write in a journal

Not too bad, and in keeping with the third listed goal I am creating a new category called 'Fitness Journey.'  You all get to watch as I diet (and most likely ultimately fail).  It is all about the journey, not the destination.