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  1. First of all I would like to express my extreme gratitude to L.L. Bean. I've worked for the outdoor retailer for about three years now and in that time I've utilized their employee programs to lose weight and get in touch with the outdoors. They've recently launched a new program called the Employee Outdoor Club. The EOC organizes trips for cyclists, hikers, paddlers, skiers, and anyone else wanting to participate in an active outdoor pursuit. This weekend was my first trip and it was slated as a Fall foliage hike in one of the most beautiful places Maine has to offer; Camden Hills State Park.

    I left home before the sun came up in order to get to Camden a little early. I wanted to grab a few caches on the way. Prior to meeting the group I bagged three geocaches. GC169M9 - A LITTLE PAGE was a simple park and grab found on the drive up. It overlooks Damariscotta which I find to be one of the loveliest little towns in mid-coast Maine. GC1K927 - Old Carriage Road Cache and GCVVW - Shirt tail? are found in Camden. The former is on the edge of the park on a trail the connects Route 52 to the hiking path to Mount Battie. It's a great alternative to driving to the top of the mountain. The latter is in a small park on the opposite side of Megunticook Lake. The cache page describes it as "...a little known municipal park with a playground, picnic area and is a pleasing place to take your family". I agree. A hidden gem that's so quiet you could easily forget you're so close to downtown.

    After killing time around Camden, grabbing myself a soy latte from Zoot Coffee in the process, I headed over to the parking area at the trail head to meet my group. There would be eight of us total; all employees of L.L. Bean. We started at about 10:00 AM on our way to Maiden Cliff which overlooks Megunticook Lake. Maiden Cliff is a memorial site to Elenora French, a young girl who fell to her death from this spot when trying to catch her hat, blown by the wind, in 1864. A haunting story for sure, but the views are awe inspiring. It's also the site of the days first cache in the park. GCWX3K - At the Edge of Life aka "Life At the Edge" is just a few steps off the trail and is easily one of the most organized cache pages I've seen. The hider doesn't want you to go home empty handed so they have provided photo clues. You can go into this cache with as much of as little information as you want in order to find it.

    Our group proceeded to Ocean Lookout via the Ridge Trail. This was the longest leg of our journey at about 3 miles over some pretty gnarly trails. I use the term trail loosely since at times it seems we were mostly walking uphill through small streams. This was my first encounter with this kind of terrain and I'm glad I had waterproof shoes. One of the members of our party had a pretty worn our pair of Nike running shoes with a sizable hole in the forefoot. I think "breathable" was the word he used. At the Lookout you are rewarded to stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and Camden's picturesque downtown, as well as the finest foliage we had seen all day. Peregrine falcons flew close to the cliffs over deciduous growth at 70% peak. It was beautiful.

    Close to the Lookout is GC176YH - Juliebug's Cache. The cache is about 30 feet off the trail and was a fairly easy find. What I found rewarding about this cache was not the find, but the interaction of my fellow Bean hikers who seemed more enthused about this one than the first. I think I may have converted a few folks. There were questions to which I gladly shared my version of answers. I'm not the authority on caching by any means. There are others with far more finds, and anyone with even one hide has more than I, but it was great to be able to share what I know with an excited audience.

    From there it was all downhill. It's pretty deceptive. You would think going downhill is easier than up. By the end of the 2.5 mile trek back my knees were yelling at me and my quads will probably be echoing the same tomorrow. It was an intensely gratifying trip. I feel more connected to those I work with, I found a decent handful of caches, and got to visit one of Maine's most beautiful places during it's most beautiful season. It was the best time I've had in recent memory and I can't wait to repeat the experience with my new friends in the Employee Outdoor Club.

  2. The End of the Trail?

    Oct 3, 2009

    Is there some kind of penance that is standard issue for bloggers who ignore their readership for far too long? It was the kind of words of vegan blogger Laloofah of Mehitable Days that made me realize I need to get off my ass and start giving something back to those who have supported me through my journey.

    It's pretty fair to say that my weight-loss journey is over. I've essentially reached my goal. Since the last post I've been somewhat inactive having fallen off a bicycle at a fairly high rate of speed and needed to head to the emergency room. I required 12 stitches to my knee, and yes, it was the same knee I injured over the Summer training for my half. I managed my calories effectively though and ended up having lost over eight pounds since the last time I checked in. This is probably the first time since my early teens that I've weighed less than 200 pounds. It's a sobering realization. To look back and face that I was that unhealthy as an adolescent. I've turned my life around though and want to help others to the same. This is likely the last time you'll see an update pertaining to weight loss, so here it is:

    Starting Weight : 315 lbs. Last post : 205 lbs. This week : 196.8 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -8.2 lbs. Total weight loss : 118.2 lbs

    While weight loss is no longer an issue, I of course realize that maintaining positive health is key. I have plans to train for a marathon in 2010. I also have the lofty hope of hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2012. I hope that amounts to more than a pipe dream. It would be an amazing personal accomplishment but I realize I have a long way to go before I could ever make such a dream a reality.

    Going forward I intend to continue to post on my commitment to the path I've chosen as a vegan. I'll talk about it's role as part of a healthful, peace-promoting lifestyle. How it can be a rich life lived outdoors as an active and conscientious individual. Let's continue to hike, bike, run, cache, discuss, encourage, and attain together. Your feedback is greatly appreciated as always. I look forward to continuing with SlimCache in whatever form it should take next. Let me know what you think. Thank you.

  3. Week 59

    Jul 13, 2009

    Miss me? I've missed you. Really there is little excuse for being gone so long. Hopefully some have been getting my updates via Twitter or Facebook. To those who have continued to offer their support through those avenues, thank you!

    There have been some major milestones accomplished in the last two months. I may have mentioned that I was planning on doing a half-marathon in the Fall. Approximately two months ago I realized that with the mileage I was doing I was essentially already in half-marathon training. With that in mind I pushed up the date and chose the Friends of the Kennebec River Rail Trail Half-Marathon on June 27th. I adopted a structured plan by Hal Higdon that was available on Buckeye Outdoors. Unfortunately I over-trained and ended up with runner's knee. I recognized the signs though, and took the proper therapeutic measures to be able to run the race comfortably finishing in 2:04:18. Right on the mark for the 9:29 pace I trained for.

    In an effort to bounce back from that injury I've taken it quite easy on myself in the weeks following the race. The injury was caused by an imbalance of muscle development, leaving certain muscle groups in my legs under-developed. The solution lies in cross-training. Something I've woefully ignored for a long time, opting instead to only run and strengthen my aerobic conditioning. I've recently started cycling. A too good to miss type opportunity just kind of dropped in my lap so I find myself with a well maintained 2006 Masi Vincere at a steal. All the gear talk and cycle culture is a little intimidating but I felt that way about running too when I started so I guess I'll get acclimated eventually.

    Likely the most impactful change I've decided to make is that I've decided to no longer consume any animal meat or by-products. While the decision is primarily based on the positive effects on health through consumption of a plant based diet, many other issues have presented themselves. I'm not going to get preachy but feel it's important to let you my friends know that I feel as though I've awakened. My body is operating cleaner and I feel worlds better. Thanks so much to Megan aka veganrunningmom for offering her help in making the right decision. Check out her podcast here.

    One more thing. I'll be sitting at the Runners Round Table for the second time tomorrow, July 14th at 4 PM EST, while we discuss weight loss. It would seem that Toni thinks I have some type of insight to offer on the subject so I'll be more than happy to offer up what I've learned in the last year. Thanks everyone for hanging in there so long. Look forward again to weekly updates on my weight and fitness.

    Starting Weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 206.6 lbs. This week : 205 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -1.6 lbs. Total weight loss : 110 lbs

  4. Week 50

    May 10, 2009

    Hi all! Great update this week. I was a little disappointed at having to post a gain last week. Thankfully the cloud had a bright enough silver lining that I wasn't sweating it that much. This week however, there were some expectations. I've never posted 2 weeks of gain back to back, and I wasn't about to start now. I knew there was some work to be done. Hopefully I would be able to at least break even with week 48's weight.

    I did better than that! I've managed to get back down to week 48's weight and then some. I would say that last week's gain was due largely in part to it being my first year wedding anniversary. My wife and I went out to a lavish dinner at the same restaurant we dined at the night we were engaged. Champagne was poured, brulee was consumed. The weight that I posted last week was accounted for by the volume of food that was kicking around undigested in my system and not actually from fat unburned that week.

    Thank you to all my supporters who spoke up mid-week right when I needed it. I got a lot of great feedback at a point when I was experiencing some motivation drain. It's quite a community here who've got my back. Thanks to Onesville and Wireman, GoWagon Rich and a new Twitter friend, downeastrunning. I also got a very well timed shout out from one of my staple podcasts that I listen to, Fat 2 Fit Radio, who linked my before and after photos into their Twitter feed. Hope I provided some positive motivation to their followers. Thanks everyone. Your support is always appreciated.

    Starting Weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 208.8 lbs. This week : 205.4 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -3.4 lbs. Total weight loss : 109.6 lbs

  5. Week 49

    May 6, 2009

    It sure has been a while. As I get closer to my goal I find my journaling is falling off. Unfortunately so is my motivation. I'm beginning to wonder if there is any correlation between the two. I've moved back out to camp, as I did last summer when I started this blog. Hopefully that will give me a little bit more time to put my thoughts down. I'll be more free from the car horns and neon distractions of downtown Old Orchard. I look forward to getting more involved again in the online community that has brought me so far.

    Not the greatest news to report this week. I didn't post week 48's numbers but they were good. For the week of April 19-25 I posted a loss of 1.8 pounds. I promptly squandered that the following week. Not that all was lost. There were a few noteworthy accomplishments that did not pertain to the number on the scale. Body fat percentage is going to become a new part of my weekly report as I fine tune my weight. This week was I registered at 19.4%. That's a whopping difference from my 34.3% starting point. Huge! 15% loss of body fat HUGE! So I'm not really going to get too hung up about weight at this point. I'm going for overall health after all, not some magic number on the scale.

    The other major accomplishment would be the advancement of my running. I'm becoming more comfortable with pacing, my heart rate has continued to come down, and I'm putting in longer distances. Last week I did a total of 36 miles. It's possible that this is a completely foolish course of action though, as it took me 2 or 3 days to feel recovered from my most recent run, an eleven miler on Saturday. The 405 has helped immensely as I'm now tracking my progress with the software provided by Garmin as well as Sport Tracks. I'm more passionate now than ever about running and thankfully all is going well and I'm still injury free.

    So even though I have to post a gain for this week, I'm not going to feel too bad about it. The weight itself is only part of the picture. That will come in time. The most important this is that my health continues to improve.

    Starting Weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 206.6 lbs. This week : 208.8 lbs. Since previous weigh in : +2.2 lbs. Total weight loss : 106.2 lbs

  6. Caching from the Couch

    Apr 22, 2009

    Sometimes when it's cats and dogs out I wish I could just search for the cache from the comfort of my own home. Thanks to Erika Jean's Self Titled Nonsense Blog I can do that. Her concept is an interactive geocache hunt in her backyard. You'll be given several options. Use your geosenses and don't forget to sign the log. Be warned, it's more tricky than it would seem. It took me over 6 tries to find it. There are lots of great hiding spots so go with your gut. And be sure to let her know you appreciate the cache. It's a whole new kind of find.

  7. Week 47

    Apr 19, 2009

    Things seem to be gathering steam. More than likely the calorie allotment I've given myself is starting to gel with the goals I have in place. It's rather conservative, but I've been going on 300 calories six times a day. Maybe it's the 25 miles I ran this week. Anyway, I'm thinking it should be harder than this. It would seem that weight loss for me now is just a given. I don't mean that to sound overconfident. Maybe I've just hit my stride and avoid plateau points. Whatever I'm doing it seems to be going right.

    It would be fair to say that I've embraced the running lifestyle. I'm planning on doing my first double digit run tomorrow. I could not be more excited. I'm not officially in any type of training cycle right now, I just want to push myself to go that much farther. Maybe it's my homage to those running the 113th annual Boston Marathon. My 10 seems pretty measly to those competing, but it's the level to which I've pushed myself up to this point. All those great runners competing tomorrow started at this same point. It makes me feel as though I could be part of something greater. I am, as well as you are, capable of great feats. I'll be watching and cheering on my friends Steve Runner, Chris Russell, and Dennis the Early Morning Runner from the running podcast community. Cheers to all those who are running this weekend, in Boston or otherwise.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 210.6 lbs. This week : 208.4 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -2.2 lbs. Total weight loss : 106.6 lbs

  8. Thank You GoWagon

    Apr 16, 2009

    It was my pleasure to speak with SuperHeroBen a few weeks back on The Runners Round Table. He's behind the tremendous training site BuckeyeOutdoors. At the time of our interview he announced a new project just coming out called GoWagon. Since then I've used the hell out of both Buckeye and GoWagon. I've synced my new birthday toy using the handy Buckeye plugin with Sport Tracks and it's made my life loads easier when it comes to entering workout data. Integration of Garmin products is another feature that will soon rock the site so I'm looking forward to that as well.

    Craig of the GoWagon team just messaged to send me a birthday greeting! How's that for customer service? They offer a really personal experience there so please go check it out. They've recently also published a video showcasing all the great things already going on and more great things to come. Thanks to the GoWagon team for bringing together a community that I'm prouder to be part of every day.

  9. I'm not very good at accepting complements. Maybe it's still the fat kid in me with low self-esteem. It's also possible that I'm just that humble, although pointing out my humility is not especially self-effacing. Either way, it's hard for me to hear someone say they found my story inspirational. Too often people simply use that as a way of flattering someone. Have I really inspired you? Are you moved to do something about your current situation, no matter what it takes?

    That's why I took it to heart when I received a message today regarding a new blog called Onesville. The author, also going by the same Onesville moniker, had written to inform me that this blog here had inspired him start his own blog, a weight loss journal similar to SlimCache. He launched the project on Sunday with the stated mission that by Easter of next year he intends to weigh 199 pounds or less. He starts at 270 pounds and has set a completely reasonable goal of losing 1.3 pounds per week. I'm so excited for you Onesville. I hope to be cruising into town very soon myself.

    So, an inspiration? Maybe so. It's for sure this guy's not just blowing smoke. I'm very touched that my story has helped another person. My advice is to keep with the blog. Facing up to the online community has an inherent amount of accountability and that alone has often been enough to keep me going. There are some great people out here with a lot of support to lend. Plus you might just inspire another yourself.

  10. Week 46

    Apr 13, 2009

    In the shuffle yesterday, my weigh in blog post got lost. This was too important of a post to miss too. April 12th was the goal I set to have lost 100 pounds total. All weight loss goals that I've set so far have been met, often times early, on the date they were projected. The 50 pound goal was October 12th, 2008. Met it. January 4th's goal was 75 pounds. I came in 2.4 pounds beyond that goal at the time. I then projected April 12th, my birthday, as the next goal. Again, I've nailed it. I weighed in 4.4 pounds beyond the mark I set for myself 13 weeks ago!

    So yesterday I got a three-fer deal. Three holidays in one! April 12th was my birthday, Easter, and my hundred pound goal day. Such an occasion calls for a pretty massive gift right? I've had my eye set on a Garmin Forerunner 405. It's an eye-catching toy that all of my runner friends have already jumped on the bandwagon for. Envy inspiring. Well, my wife saw fit to treat me to my dream training watch. The pride she and our kids have expressed in me has kept me going during the most difficult times of this process. I'm extremely thankful that I have this support system, and that they expressed their esteem with a kick ass gift. They also made me a crown that, with congratulatory flattering phrases all over it amongst stickers of trophies and race medals, made me cry. Thanks guys. I love you.

    So that goal is in the bag. Next up is July 26th, the ultimate end goal. I will weigh 190 pounds on that day. My track record speaks for itself. I'm sure if I put my mind too it, that goal will fall just as the others have. Thanks to everyone who has kept me accountable and urged me along. I can't do it without you.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 215 lbs. This week : 210.6 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -4.4 lbs. Total weight loss : 104.4 lbs

  11. Family Weekend Cache

    Apr 7, 2009

    GCA6B8 - Kimee #1
    I've been way too long without talking about geocaching, on this, my geocaching blog. The extremely snowy winter brought on a bit of a forced hiatus from the sport. The caches that I prefer are always out in the woods and for the most part, have been buried and inaccessible. Trust me, I tried. I know now that I will need snowshoes next winter. I learned that in the first week of March when I attempted caching at Bradbury Mountain State Park and ended up sinking into the snow up to my mid-thigh.

    Thankfully all that mess is starting to break up now. Sunday was an especially gorgeous day and it was also the end of a very enjoyable weekend visiting Boston with the family. We went to the New England Aquarium, the Boston Children's Museum, and on the way home, Stone Zoo. I had programmed some caches and routes for our time in Boston and even though I got some great running time in, hadn't really gotten a chance to grab a cache. This was unfortunate since I've only logged caches in Maine I really wanted to get one across state lines this weekend.

    Then it dawned on me. Perhaps I had a cache close to the zoo already in my GPS. We could go check it out after we looked at the black bears, meerkats, and my favorite, the coatis. As luck would have it there was a cache across the street in Greenwood Park. Even better it appeared to be family friendly. The difficulty rating was low. On a scale of 1-5, both the terrain and hide rating were 1. The cache location is just over 1/10 of a mile away from the playground. This cache was just screaming at me to take the kids there.

    My son was the scout, and my daughter played the role of navigator, meaning she held my GPS unit for me and relayed distances to the rest of the group. Nice park. It's part of the 2,575 acre Middlesex Fells Reservation. I found this to be an absolutely beautiful area and wish I had a little bit more time to explore the area. There's another cache here too; GCMA1E - Not Crystal Clear. Didn't have a chance to check this one out but if others in the area have please feel free to share. I would love to go back.

  12. Week 45

    Apr 6, 2009

    Many, many apologies for not having posted much recently. I was wrapped up in what was to be the greatest family trip I've ever taken. More explanation on that in a post to come tomorrow. But briefly, my wife and I took the kids to Boston. Very exciting family togetherness time. Also a really exciting time for me personally as I know the place is runner central. I'll tell you a little about the routes I took and the sights I saw, including a random mass pillow fight, later.

    Many of you have probably also struggled with trying to maintain a weight loss plan while on vacation. This trip was hard for me. Great food was nearby at Local Sea Foods. Sam Adams tastes great at the source too btw. So you could say I slipped a little. Thankfully as I had accomplished my birthday goal 2 weeks early, there was a little bit of room for error. An 8 mile run, my longest to date, Saturday morning also helped keep me on track. Unfortunately my efforts couldn't save me from a 1 pound gain.

    So at this time I'm back up to 215 even. So long as I keep it there for another week I'll be happy. After my birthday it's time to tackle another goal. I'm 3 for 3 so far. I've projected the next one into July. The 26th to be exact. This is to be my final weight target. From there I should only have to do maintenance. I never thought I would get to this point but I've put some research into my recommended healthy weight for my height and build. That number is 190. I'm confident that I can achieve that. I've nailed every other goal I set before myself. I'll personally testify to the fact that setting goals and holding yourself accountable for them is possibly the strongest tool you can have in your weight loss effort as well.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 213.8 lbs. This week : 215 lbs. Since previous weigh in : +1.2 lbs. Total weight loss : 100 lbs

  13. Week 44

    Mar 29, 2009

    Today was Christmas. You know the type of Christmas you had as a kid where you were at least 98% sure that the grand, shiny gift you wanted was waiting for you? When I woke this morning my eyes snapped open, and I stole downstairs before anyone else had risen. When I stepped on the scale it was confirmed. The big, shiny gift was had. I have crossed the 100 pound mark!

    It was impossible to hold in my excitement. I tried not to wake anyone else up. I went back up to my bedroom and waited with my guts bursting for my family to wake up. As soon as I saw the vaguest semblance of wakefulness enter my wife's face, I nudged her to speed the process along, and greeted her with a bright beaming smile and tears in my eyes.

    It's still 2 weeks early for my goal too! I hesitate to bag it and tag it though. If I still maintain less than 215 pounds until April 12th, I will then call the goal achieved and project a new goal. This goal should ultimately be the final goal. If I were to lose 25 more pounds I would be at my recommended healthy body weight for my size and frame, and at that point all workouts would be maintenance. I'm very excited to be so near that point. The end is in sight.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 216.2 lbs. This week : 213.8 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -2.4 lbs. Total weight loss : 101.2 lbs

  14. Week 43

    Mar 22, 2009

    Home stretch! I was unfortunately unable to get as much time out on the road this week as I would have liked, but thankfully strep throat came along to save my butt. I'm not sure it's the best way to lose weight but when your throat feels like everything you're trying to swallow is composed of gravel, it tends to slow your appetite a little. Thursday and Friday found me shivering under a blankey with no real explanation, not even much of a fever. Then the white spots came. I found them today. Not a professional diagnosis, but I think it's a pretty fair assumption. I'm sick. Thank goodness I have some antibiotic left over from an ear infection just over a month ago.

    Since last week's race my legs have been pretty sore too. I opted to go low impact for most of the week spending more time on the elliptical than usual. Maybe this slight change in routine was beneficial in jogging my system. Whatever it was, I'm pretty happy with the results. I've lost another two and a half pounds. I'm now just over 1 pound away from my 100 pound goal with 3 weigh-ins still remaining.

    Thanks go out to the hosts of Runners Round Table. I had a blast talking to Ben of BuckeyeOutdoors about the site changes going on. I've been pretty hush about it cuz it wasn't to be mentioned until after the podcast but now I can't help but shout it out. Go to GoWagon! It's training logs, it's social networking, it's mapping and events! I'm really excited about this project. If you're already on BuckeyeOutdoors your info is already on GoWagon, just use the same login. Thanks again to Steve, Toni, Joe, and Ben for making my first time at the Table such an enjoyable one.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 218.8 lbs. This week : 216.2 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -2.6 lbs. Total weight loss : 98.8 lbs

  15. The Runners Roundtable

    Mar 18, 2009

    Join me today at the Table! I'll be co-hosting today's show with Steve Runner of Phedippidations and Toni from London to talk about where we run, and topics on selecting and plotting routes with Ben from BuckeyeOutdoors. We will be recording live at 4PM EST on TalkShoe. Please join us! There's always room at the Table.

  16. Kerrymen Pub Road Race

    Mar 17, 2009

    Thought I might hammer out a little race report on Sunday's 5K. Going into it I was feeling really good knowing that Sunday's weigh-in had brought a weight loss of 1.2 pounds. Way to start the morning off right. I was also quite confident that I would pull a PR since I've only done two other races, one of which was WWFoR. Being that that's a virtual race I went with my previous record set of 33:43 which was last fall. I've been running quite a bit since then and was pretty sure I had this one nailed but didn't want to get overconfident. Honestly I was still a little nervous but not sure why.

    Electric atmosphere. More people than I've seen in one place. I guess that's primarily because I haven't run that many races. That could also explain how I can still manage to feel completely alone in a large crowd of people. I know running is a social sport but really just haven't gotten into that aspect of it yet. Maybe I should pin a sign to my back saying 'Portions of this race will be recorded and posted on RuncastTV' just to start conversations.

    Starting out I was quite sure I was pulling out too fast. It's a short race though, and I should be able to sustain this pace for 3 miles right? I decided to rein it in slightly. Somehow a race atmosphere gets the best of me, just like most other runners I've talked to. First mile was done in 8:43. That's an unheard of pace for me. Wasn't sure I could keep that up. Until the 2nd mile marker. I didn't track my own splits but my time at mile 2 was 17:33. I was sustaining! Incredible! The second mile was the real slog out of all of them too. I hardly even remember mile 3. Maybe it was just the buzz. It felt pretty nice being the one to do the passing rather than being passed for a change. Yup, I've climbed the ranks from the waaaayyyy back of the middle of the pack to a bona fide midpacker.

    I even managed to muster up a sprint at the end. I wondered about the couthe of this. Aren't you supposed to pour it on at the end? I saw no one else attempting the hard push that I did. I wondered what the other racers would think of this display. Would they think I think myself flashy? No, it's just that I've been integrating strides into the end of every workout lately.

    I dragged my tired butt across the line in 26:52. My best practice run recently was 28:06 so honestly I was just hoping to come up with a time comparable to that. A PR is a great feeling. I wasn't really competing against anyone out there in particular except myself. That's evident in the final results where I placed 47th out of 60 in my age group, and 340th overall. How can I feel so satisfied having come in 340th? It's pretty easy actually.

  17. Check it out! New video posted over at Runcast.TV. Please head over there and support. I love this community.

    Find more videos like this on RuncastTV

  18. Week 42

    Mar 16, 2009

    Is it possible I could actually pull this mission off? It was starting to look pretty bleak there for a minute. Now I feel as though I'm back on track. I'm writing this on Monday as Sunday was a really busy, exciting, and positive day. More on that in my other post about the race.

    I now only have 4 pounds to go with four weeks remaining until my birthday. I think it's achievable. I'm holding myself up to a pretty high standard, as I've hit every goal I put in front of myself so far. Unfortunately that has meant being too hard on myself at times. Last week's setback taught me a lesson I needed to address. Now I'm back on top with a fresh outlook.

    This week brings another new challenge. I'll be co-hosting The Runners Round Table this Wednesday at 4 PM EST with guest Ben Deutschle of We'll talk about choosing and plotting routes and integrating GPS data into our workouts. I'm really excited about the topic and I think it's truly in the spirit of this blog, endorsing the blend of tech and fit. Ben will also be revealing some site changes that lend themselves toward community interaction, something none of us seem to be able to get enough of. Check it out!

    I also need to say thank you to the community at large for all your support. Integrating my Twitter and this blog to my Facebook account has done great things for gathering the support I need from all my family and friends. Thanks so much for your support.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 220 lbs. This week : 218.8 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -1.2 lbs. Total weight loss : 96.2 lbs

  19. Thanks, Guy!

    Mar 14, 2009

    I don't know your name or occupation. I don't know your hair or eye color either thanks to your helmet and sunglasses. I know I was just happy to see you today, guy on recumbent bike who passed me a few times on my six mile run.

    The first time you passed me it was just general pleasantries.
    You : "How's it goin'?"
    Me : "Good, thanks. You?"
    You : "Great."
    And you were right. It was great out today. We couldn't have picked a better day to get out and enjoy our respective healthful outdoor pursuits. It finally feels like spring around here and everyone is taking advantage, us included.

    You must have stopped somewhere along the way because a few minutes later I was surprised to see you pass me again. I didn't have time to gauge a response.
    You : "Wow, you're really flyin'."
    Me : *huff puff grunt inaudible*
    But that comment is probably what powered me through today. It's almost impossible to get someone to even crack a smile out there, let alone interact with you. Here you come with a glowing complement like that for someone like me who, at best, is at the rear end of the middle of the pack. You and your bright yellow jersey just made my day. But it wasn't the last time I would see you.

    It was about 100 meters from the end of my run so I was kicking into strides when you pull up alongside again. How did I keep getting past you?
    You : "Wow. Look at you. You've run a long way today."
    Me : "Yeah, and I think I'm finally petering out."
    It was a front. I petered out about a mile ago. I was just running sprinting at the end because I had to. It just happened to be a convenient time for you too spot me for the fourth time today.

    So thanks complete stranger on funny looking bike. You completely made my day. You couldn't have possibly known that I was having a crummy couple of weeks regarding my fitness but your words of encouragement couldn't have come at a better time. Keep ridin'!

  20. Week 41

    Mar 8, 2009

    Oh, the cost of hubris. I felt like my weight loss goal for April was in the bag just because, as of last week's weigh-in, I was only 3 pounds away. My celebration comes after the touchdown though, not at the 5 yard line. I already described in depth the sins I committed earlier this week so I'll skip it here. Those actions had unfortunate consequences. I'm up 2 pounds this week.

    Thankfully though talking those issues out earlier this week has provided some different perspective. Thanks to Charles and Drusy for their encouraging posts. They meant a lot. My wife also deserves a big thanks for helping too. She dug up a list pros and cons I wrote out during my last slump. At that point I was depressed because I had only lost 42 pounds! That really made me take a step back and assess the situation, realizing that this is not the end of the world. I'm stronger than I give myself credit for often.

    So I took a closer look at the positives that came out of this week. This morning my body fat % read at 22% even. This is amazing. I started at more than 34% body fat! I also think this may be what's leading to my stalled loss. I'm still losing the fat but gaining stronger leg muscles. This leads me to the other positive I experienced this week. I thought I needed to catch up during the second half of the week so I vowed to take my frustrations out on the road. I ended up logging just shy of 20 miles in three days. That's one long run for some I know, but it's a big deal for me. This week I logged the most miles I've done in one week since starting running, and I enjoyed every step of them.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 218.2 lbs. This week : 220 lbs. Since previous weigh in : +1.8 lbs. Total weight loss : 95 lbs

  21. Emotional Recovery

    Mar 5, 2009

    I've found myself a little in the dumps this week. I was really happy with my three pound loss during the last weigh in. You may even say I got a little overconfident. I've only got three pounds left to go in six weeks, so it's in the bag right? That was my thought when I went out to lunch Sunday afternoon. So I ordered myself a big beer or three, and even though I opted for a veggie wrap at lunch, those veggies were tempura fried and served w/ Thai peanut sauce and fries. After that I proceeded to the my favorite local craft beer store and picked up a 4 pack of Dogfish Head's Palo Santo Marron of which I had 3 when I got home. Dark, delicious, decadent, calorie laden Palo Santo. I was really living.

    That seems to have opened the floodgates. I started emotionally eating at the beginning of this week, and by Wednesday found myself up 11 pounds from Sunday's weight. Shame spiral ensued. I've spent the better part of this week beating myself up. It took me a long time to realize that this likely wasn't the end of the world. I'm incredibly lucky to have such a supportive spouse who knows me well enough to know just what to say to put these things in perspective and get me back on course.

    With that in mind I headed into the gym today, understanding that it was time to knuckle down. If I'm to lose weight this week, maybe even just break even, I can't continue to lay down. I wallowed enough earlier this week and this was my first workout since Saturday. I need to make them count. I've decided that it's possible for me to get over 15 miles in before the end of the week. It starts now. 6 miles done on the treadmill today plus some time on the elliptical. No more excuses. I've not got much farther to go. It's crunch time.

  22. Week 40

    Mar 1, 2009

    I was absolutely elated this morning. Seriously, tears of joy. I'm about to absolutely murder the goal I set for April. I've only got three pounds and six weeks left to accomplish it. This week brought me three pounds closer.

    I've been putting in a lot more miles running. That coupled with an extremely ill advised trip out into the woods coupled for a remarkable weight loss this week. I'm still kind of surprised that I can put down three pounds at a time this late in the game. Evidently I'm still doing something right.

    So if I reach the 100 pound mark 5 weeks early what do I do in the meantime? Chill and eat bon bons until April 12th comes around? I'm looking into more long term goals like improving body fat % and preparing for my half marathon in the fall. I was thinking even a hike through the 100 Mile Wilderness of Maine, so called because it's the longest stretch of the Appalachian Trail without intersection with real civilization.

    Where do I go from here? Time can only tell. I'll see you when I get there.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 221.2 lbs. This week : 218.2 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -3 lbs. Total weight loss : 96.8 lbs

  23. Vernal Pools

    Feb 25, 2009

    A little something new. For the blog and for me personally. I've not paid all that much attention to the natural world in my life. But since becoming more active in outdoor pursuits I've started making efforts toward learning about my surroundings. The first shock to my system was an experience in North Yarmouth in July of last year. It was impossible to overlook the sheer quantity of wild mushrooms along the trail, and with a little research I found out more about the peak mushroom season, foraging, and the mushroom 'guru' the trail was named after, Sam Ristich.

    An opportunity to continue my growth as a naturalist presented itself midweek last week when my company posted a volunteering opportunity to it's internal web page. It was somewhat vague, mentioning that it was a study on vernal pools, and that the volunteers should be good with a map and comfortable in the woods. What could this possibly lead to? I had to check it out. Turns out several towns in Maine are working with some University of Maine professors and Maine Audubon to research potential vernal pools, either confirming them as such by cataloging the presence of indicator species, or de-listing them so the landowner may use that space for development without stepping on a local habitat. The indicator species are the wood frog (pictured), blue spotted and spotted salamanders, and the very rare fairy shrimp.

    I learned all this at my first training Monday night. The talk was extremely thorough and I feel energized about going into this project. One of the towns participating in the research is only a few miles from home so that's a big plus. I think I will mostly be counting egg sacs. (Really when they pitched it they made it sound more interesting then when I say it.) I'll be required to provide digital photo documentation. Also, one of the organizers said these towns really love GPS data so my Vista HCx should come in handy.

    The next training session is a little ways off but I'll keep you updated as I hear more. I'm just really excited for the opportunity to get out there, get a little dirty, and learn from some of the most qualified people I can learn from. I don't know how often opportunities like this come up, but I would like to work on more projects like this in the future. If you ever have the chance to do so, I highly recommend it. More to come.

  24. Week 39

    Feb 22, 2009

    Maybe I'm onto something. I'm not into the idea of completely giving up beer and those of you who know me well know that fine crafted beer is somewhat of a passion of mine. But maybe exercising more moderation would enable me to lose more weight. I've not had any beer for a week and a half and this week's weigh-in yielded a three and a half pound loss. Coincidence?

    I would also like to refer back to Some Basics, posted in June of 2008. That post was to be a marker for my starting point regarding statistics on overall health, not just weight, including blood pressure readings, fat percentages, and BMI. At the time I said that I would update you on some of those numbers as I went along. My body fat percentage then was 34.3. Yowza! This could be considered a more accurate representation of overall health as relying on the number on the scale only is somewhat misinformed. I'm glad to say I'm down about 10% body fat now, clocking in at 24.7% this morning. BMI is also a somewhat inaccurate representation as it's a ratio of weight to height but at that time I also recorded my BMI for reference. It was 40.8. It's now down to 30 even. I've gone from being scientifically classified as obese, to very overweight, to simply overweight. It feels great to break through those walls.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 224.6 lbs. This week : 221.2 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -3.4 lbs. Total weight loss : 93.8 lbs

  25. Feeling Fine

    Feb 21, 2009

    It's been a strong week. I'm pretty proud of the fact that I ran the most miles I've run in one week to date last week. 17.1 miles is one long run for the marathoners I follow, but for me it's a pretty big deal. I'm really enjoying logging my workouts on Buckeye Outdoors. There are some handy features there including my full week in summary which I'm consulting while writing this. In looking at previous months I'm seeing an improvement in my average pace by about 30 seconds per mile in the last month. The tools over at Buckeye are helping immensely, and I can't wait to talk to Ben on Runners Round Table. Should be fun.

    I'm also real excited about tomorrow's weigh-in. Nothing's official yet of course, but I stepped on the scale this evening to see where I stand going in. I'm down 2 pounds from last week's numbers, and I'm not going to gain weight overnight, so I figure I'm golden for tomorrow morning. No stall this week. Maybe I'm onto something by forgoing the celebratory beers every Sunday evening. I was likely doing myself a disservice. Well let's not get crazy. Maybe just one beer tomorrow night instead of five.

  26. Week 38

    Feb 15, 2009

    *Shrug* Oh wells. At least it's not a gain. I can definitely pinpoint some things I did wrong this week, or even the last few. Every week lately when I get on the scale and see a loss I feel it's a reason to celebrate. Since I've always heard that most successful diets include one indulgent day, I've been celebrating on the evenings after my weigh in. Call it a reward for the previous week's hard efforts. I tend to go overboard though. Last week it was Victory's Golden Monkey Tripel and Thai food. It seems to put me at a disadvantage going into the next week though, and so I think I've decided to lay off the beer this week and see where that gets me. I'd rather not spend the better part of the week bailing out from the damage I did over the weekend.

    There is some good news to share though. Even with this weeks stall, I'm 3 pounds ahead of my goal set for this week, and I have 8 more weigh ins to lose 9.6 pounds. That's not an unreasonable goal. I just have to plan and execute, something I haven't been doing lately. I only put in two workouts this week as a raging cold tore through my house leaving the crumpled forms of my family members in it's wake. It caught up with me at the beginning of this weekend, though not as severe thankfully.

    I mentioned in last week's post that I would be putting in some time with The Runners Round Table. It's confirmed. I'll be contributing to an episode in mid-March on creating, sharing, and selecting routes by GPS and sites like BuckeyeOutdoors. Creator of Buckeye, superheroben, will be joining the Round Table discussion. Should be fun. See you there.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 224.6 lbs. This week : 224.6 lbs. Since previous weigh in : 0 lbs. Total weight loss : 90.4 lbs

  27. Week 37

    Feb 8, 2009

    Sorry I missed last week's posting. An unreliable connection had me floundering to find the support I've come to rely on from the running, outdoor, health, and nutrition communities. Though not posted I managed a really great loss last week. I updated it to Twitter so those who follow me there know that I lost 3.4 pounds last week.

    I' m back. And I have some really good news from this week's weigh in. I've broken the 90 pound mark. I absolutely wasn't anticipating such a solid loss for this week. It was, frankly, a big surprise.I'm in the second week of fairly strictly adhering to an 1,800 calorie per day daily intake. This plan has yielded such positive results that I plan to continue on the same track for some time.

    Look out for my upcoming participation on The Runners Round Table. Nothing is set in stone yet on when I'll be popping in, but after hearing their requests for more community members to join the panel, I signed on. Please check out their next episode live on the TalkShoe network February 11th at 5:30 PM EST.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 229.2 lbs. This week : 224.6 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -4.6 lbs. Total weight loss : 90.4 lbs

  28. It's Snow New Thing

    Feb 5, 2009

    Snowshoeing is certainly nothing new, but new to me. Today I tried it for the first time and found that I absolutely love it. Thanks to my company's wonderful health and wellness department I attended an hour long workshop of sorts introducing me to the sport. Afterward I had to fight off the urge to go out and buy a new set of shoes on the spot.

    It was a relatively short jaunt, probably only about a mile, behind our warehouse. We wound around a short walking path, across the train tracks, and into a nearby field where clay shooting and other outdoor discovery programs are held. The snow was deep and untouched along the path. I felt terribly awkward as I clumsily punched through the crusty snow. My form needs work. A few of the attendees were experienced in the sport, and were a massive help to this noob. They told me to shorten my stride, widen my stance, lift my knees more, and brace for my footfall thereby softening my impact. It's a somewhat different motion to get accustomed to, but I think with more experience I could get it down.

    I realized that this could be extremely liberating. I knew there was a trail there, somewhere underneath the foot of snow, but the trail no longer mattered. The trail is now everywhere. The idea of a trail somehow now seems limiting. With this new tool I can blaze my own trail.

    Average heart rate : 111 bpm Maximum heart rate : 130
    Percentage of cals burned from fat : 60% Kcals burned : 221

  29. Week 35

    Jan 25, 2009

    That's a little more like it. A week of breaking even got me a little demoralized earlier this week. Down but not out is a more appropriate credo now though. I realized that last week's lack of progress could be blamed on poor eating habits. I simply did not eat enough to continue losing weight. This week I came back with a new strategy to eat 1,800 calories a day. I did so by eating six times at about 300 calories each. Adhering to this gave me the appropriate fuel to lose this week rather than allowing my body to think it was starving.

    FatBlogger Charles has suggested that I don't smile enough in my weigh in photos. He's right. I've got a lot to be happy about. My plan is working well and I've experienced weight loss every week except one since June. I would also like to announce my intention to participate in a half marathon in September. I've got my sights set on the Bar Harbor Bank & Trust - Mount Desert Island YMCA Half Marathon. It's a little hilly but I think I can train for that. It's just another goal to work toward, one that I hope to achieve with flying colors just like I've done with the others I've set. Number one reason to smile : I've lost another 2.4 pounds this week!

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 235 lbs. This week : 232.6 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -2.4 lbs. Total weight loss : 82.4 lbs.

  30. I guess I'm over my little downer from earlier this week. Some poor decisions over the past weekend and early this week just got me depressed a little, but I'm feeling optimistic. It's amazing the emotional roller coaster an undertaking like this can put you on. Thankfully I've felt more up than down and this week I'm feeling strong for weigh in and getting 'back on the horse' so to speak.

    A really great run yesterday afternoon lifted my spirits. I took off down the beach and ran until I hit a wall. I headed north up Old Orchard Beach and ran until I hit a literal barricade. A pile of stones marks the end of the beach, actually in Scarborough, and the outlet of the Nonesuch River. I then turned around and ran straight back up the beach into a headwind and the crazy glare of the sunset. All in all I ended up doing about 6.4 miles. Running is a fantastic way to clear out the cobwebs inside one's brain. If you're considering taking up running for fitness benefits please also consider not only the physical effect, but the amazing peace of mind it can bring as well. Your mental fitness is important too.

    Having already taken three days off this week I figured it was pretty important to get a workout in today as well. Into the gym again, and while I do regularly find the place excruciatingly dull, today wasn't bad. I took it a little easy. I figure I'll hit up another run tomorrow and set my mind on a race on Sunday. I'm not sure I've mentioned the Jimmy the Greek's Frozen Four Miler. The race is to benefit the Old Orchard Beach Summer Camp Scholarship program and runs right past my home. Figured I would be a fool for not running a race that ran right past my house, so I'm game.

    Details from today's workout are available below thanks to Buckeye Outdoor's embedder. I spent some time on the elliptical today as well as the recumbent bike. I've heard reference to being in 'bike shape'. I figured being a runner would put me in the optimal shape to take on anything but damned if biking still doesn't take it out of me. Great lower intensity cardio workout today though.

  31. Week 34

    Jan 20, 2009

    Am writing this one a little late. Also didn't include a picture. I'm such a slacker. Actually that slacker feel has permeated my whole mentality as of late. I've hit a bit of a roadblock. I've come to a few of these so far in the journey. There have been days that I've just wanted to give up. Thankfully I've learned that those obstacles can be overcome. It's just a little hard to put down that feeling in the moment.

    I think a lot of it has to do with the current lack of variety in my routine. I've been limited by the weather slightly in that it's more difficult to run in the snow, especially since the snow has been so frequent lately, and the treadmill and elliptical provide so little inspiration. Getting into the gym is a chore. I really wish I could hit the trails again. It's indeed possible to continue hiking in the winter with the right gear, but that's gear I don't got. I want desperately to try snowshoeing and x-country skiing, but again, funds run a little dry to be spending on sporting goods right now.

    So is this an impasse? Do I ditch the whole effort? Of course the answer is no. It's also inappropriate for me to berate myself for stalling this week when I've come so far. I call on you the community to help me light a fire under my ass. You've been so supportive thus far and your cheers have often kept me going. Creative ideas on how to keep active during the winter also welcome. Thanks all.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 235 lbs. This week : 235 lbs. Since previous weigh in : 0 lbs. Total weight loss : 80 lbs.

  32. Brrrrrrrrrr! Absolutely brutal today. As of yet unconfirmed reports say that Maine hit an all time record low of -50 degrees F today. Not here in my neighborhood though. We only saw about -15. I wasn't really sure I would be able to get a run in today but thankfully by the time I got home this evening it had warmed up to about 12 degrees F. I've run when the temp was sitting in the teens before so with a bit of time spent on preparation I wasn't really scared. I was looking forward to getting a few good miles in to share with my new friends.

    While interacting with The Runners Round Table I met cewtwo, a member of What's a Few Miles Among Friends?. He told me a little about their group and then graciously asked me if I would like to participate. A few tweets later and I'm on board. The concept is to post the longest of your weekend runs to the group board. It's a bit of a virtual running club.

    I love the idea. The group seems extremely supportive. The page has been in place since Summer of '07 and is going strong. Many of it's members participated in the recent Walt Disney World Marathon. I think this could really be a place for me to learn and be encouraged by the successes shared by others. I'm on the brink of networking overload but dammit, it's just so much fun to meet new people, especially runners. I'm really starting to feel like I'm part of something special.

  33. It's in the Beans

    Jan 12, 2009

    I'm fairly new to the idea of sports nutrition and the need to fuel during exertion, cuz well, I never exerted before now. My wife dropped some Jelly Belly Sport Beans in my stocking this year so I figured I would give them a try when I went out this evening. I was feeling pretty sluggish when I got home so I thought they may just provide the lift I was looking for.

    I don't have much basis for comparison since I'm not all that schooled in endurance yet but I think it's fair to say they worked pretty well. I felt compelled to do a tempo run with a few intervals thrown in for good measure. I can't help but wonder if I would have found the motivation to do so without that blood sugar spike to help me along. My time was pretty good too @ 30:21 over 3 miles. I'm quickening. It feels great.

    I've posted to my log at Buckeye Outdoors, the training page I'm using pretty consistently right now. This will most definitely streamline the way I've logged my workouts here on the blog. Going forward I will be embedding my training logs to future blog posts. Thanks Buckeye!

  34. Week 33

    Jan 11, 2009

    Ahhhh, yes. Another great weigh in. Thankfully I've bucked the trend of ~1 pound weight losses I experienced just over a month ago. I'm back to 2 pounds a week or more. Going with 2 pounds per week, I'm actually 3 pounds ahead of my goal weight for this week. This has gotta slow down at some point. I have to prepare myself mentally for the point when losses are lesser and harder to obtain. I've always heard that those last 10 pounds are a bitch.

    As I continue to lose the weight, I have to wonder what the endgame actually is. Do I have a target weight? Possibly it's a different number like BMI or fat percentage. At what point do I stop worrying about losing weight and just maintaining a core level of fitness? These are all things that I will be thinking about going ahead as the idea of living life as a trimmer, fitter, and just plain healthier person becomes a reality.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 237.6 lbs. This week : 235 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -2.6 lbs. Total weight loss : -80 lbs.

  35. Gym 3.1

    Jan 10, 2009

    It's been a super long time since I've posted something from the fitness room. Actually today is a bit of a jumble of a lot of information since I haven't posted for a bit and wanted to catch up a little. I've had a lot of things on my mind lately regarding running, resolutions, and the online community.

    First lemme say, I'm quite proud of myself today. I managed to do my quickest 5K today and while it was on the treadmill rather than the road, I'm happy I finally broke 30 minutes with 29:49. It's not as much of an effort to rock those faster paces now. In addition I also hit the cross trainer for 40 minutes. Coincidentally that distance was also 3.1 miles, hence the hokey title of this post. I needed to get something in today. I've been feeling very lazy lately since I can't get outside. I COULD get outside but am a little weary of it since SteveRunner's recent mishap on icy roads, which are the same icy New England roads I run on. I'm sticking to the treadmill a little more. I just couldn't face 7 miles on that dreaded machine today so I decided to make it a fast cardio burn instead w/ a tempo run. That worked out great I think. Consider it a 'last chance workout' a la Biggest Loser. Looking forward to weigh in tomorrow. Here's today's workout:

    29:49 5K on Treadmill, 0% incline
    40 minutes Cross Trainer, Cross Training setting #2, Resistance 12, 120 strides per minute

    Average heart rate : 147 bpm Maximum heart rate : 178 Percentage of cals burned from fat : 45% Kcals burned : 750

    A little on the running community. You're aware that I'm on Twitter, Facebook, and Map My Run, but I found a couple other social networking and media pages to waste my time on. I've signed up for Buckeye Outdoors, a training site that I'm now logging my workouts on. The page also features training plans for every need. I am thinking about possibly doing a half marathon this fall and plan on utilizing Buckeye to plan my attack. The other is the Running Blogs Superfeed, a feed aggregator put forth by Nigel of Running From the Reaper to which I've submitted this blog for inclusion. Please visit both sites to show your support.

    Good luck to all those running the Walt Disney World Marathon tomorrow. I'll be following Gordon of Running to Disney via tweets, but wish all the best to everyone else participating. Well wishes are reciprocal you know, and I hope some of you runners will be thinking of me and my weigh-in tomorrow with your fingers crossed. See you all then.

  36. Week 32

    Jan 4, 2009

    May I please refer back to October 13th's post Goals, in which I stated :

    "With the success of my previous goal, I've decided it may be in my best interest to set another. I've set my eyes on 240 pounds, or 75 pounds total. At two pounds per week that puts me at the first weigh-in of 2009, January 4th."

    Well, it's the first weigh-in of '09 and I'm EXTREMELY proud to say that I did it. I succeeded in achieving the exact goal I projected two and a half months ago! That's two goals I've nailed straight. I feel unstoppable. This is the lowest number I've seen on the scale in my entire adult life. I would like to remain humble but I feel if there's anything worthy of patting myself on the back for it's this.

    It's been crunch time for the last week or two but now I finally feel like I can relax slightly. Don't get me wrong, there's still work to do. I'm not talking about a 4 day Dominos binge. I think I'll celebrate with a artfully crafted fine ale tonight. I've earned it.

    Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me get this far. I'll be looking to you for your continued support in 2009. The next goal is April 12th, which I hope will bring 215 pounds to the scale, a total loss of 100 pounds. That date also happens to be my birthday, and so I see this date as potentially being my rebirth. I'm elated right now. I'm spilling tears of joy. Again, thank you all!

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 240.8 lbs. This week : 237.6 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -3.2 lbs. Total weight loss : -77.4 lbs.

  37. I've come to the end of the most productive year of my life thus far. I feel fantastic. I got married in May, and what was that other thing? Oh yeah! I lost about 75 pounds. Both events have shown me that I have far more dedication than I ever knew. 2008 was the year I finally learned to love myself, and in turn, allow myself to be loved. I've learned much about myself. I've grown while I've shrunk.

    So where does that leave me going forward? My resolve has so far proven fairly strong, but like everyone else I'm thinking about my shortcomings in the last few days and looking ahead at how to change those issues. My resolutions for 2009 are as follows:

    Give more time to my grandmother. - That's an important one.

    Run a 10K - I plan to get a few more 5Ks under my belt this year and tackle at least one 10K. Probably mid-year.

    Quit smoking - I've mentioned this here before, and it's probably the demon I tangle with the most. I've not given up though.

    Post to the blog more frequently - 'Nuff said.

    Continued weight loss - April 12th is the projected date for me to have lost 100 pounds total. Projecting out a little further, June 14th is a 115 pound goal. This depends to some degree on if 2 pounds per week continues to be an attainable goal. These goals may have to be tweaked as time goes on.

    New Year's resolutions are a dime a dozen, and so few who resolve actually follow through. I think I've formed a solid enough base so far that these goals going forward are completely attainable. I've shown resolve in 2008 and I've got no one to prove anything to but myself. I've kinda become a pretty harsh critic of myself though, and I DO feel as though I still have something to prove to ME. Here's to '09.