Forgive Me MFP for I have sinned it has been 43 year and I have yet to Marathon.
i'm humbled by those of you on my friend list and what you have accomplished in the last year. Those of you I have met are incredible people, and those I have yet to meet have offered me so much love and support.
in January last year I was 378 pounds and headed to an early grave, I couldn't walk around the block. Since then with your support my life has radically changed. I started with logging in February 2012 and added walking in March 2012.
Sunday will mark my attempt at my personal Mt. Everest summit. Frankly I'm scared as hell. You see on Sunday I'm entered in my first full marathon. I'm nervous and excited, and did I mention scared as hell.
i shouldn't be. Even making the attempt was inconceivable this time last year. But I'm afraid I will fail, and afraid I will let myself and you down. I know that is dumb, but that is how I feel today. My concern isn't so much that my body won't do it. My concern is I'm not mentally tough enough to push through.
i wasn't going to put this out there until Monday but I have been honest with you guys from the very start. My goal is to finish in under 6 hours. Not exactly Olympic speed but given where I started still a feat to be proud of.
i can't promise you I will finish, but I can promise that if the race starts I will too. And I give you my word that finish or not I will give this my all.
One step at a time, just like my quest for health, as far as my body and mind will carry me.
i love you guys, finish or not I know you are running with me in spirt.
So come Sunday expect a report, and Monday or Tuesday I'll blog again about the experience.
Thanks for letting me share my anxiety. I wanted to share my gratitude for all you have done for me this last year.
Posted on 2013-05-03 by cbeutler
For all those who feel the pressure of a long winter.
I was delayed, delayed but wouldn't be denied. This adventure started as they often do with a few strokes and a crash.
Get up I said to myself it is only your pride that is hurt. There is no longer any time for a leisurely ride. No foreplay at all. I'm going to have to go hard or go home.
Snick, snick went the shoes. Push stroke, push, stroke go the legs. My emotions are a jumble. Months and months pent up inside. This rage is going to blow. The safety valve is jammed and I'm starting to boil.
No this ride is for the rage, pent up all winter. No idyllic romp like I had planned, no easing back into the saddle.
My quads are starting to heat. Blood starting to flow. Out into light traffic. Up and down the rolling hills. My baby is feeling the strain of my stronger legs. The power the new shoes and peddles allow me to generate.
I feel the weak spring sun. Stroke, push, stroke push. Finding a rhythm now, breath coming faster. My nose starts to run. I knew it would, no time for that now.
A quick right onto the trail head, under the expressway, wow how did I get here. Stroke, push, stroke, push.
Wow I'm moving along, passing those unfortunates not lucky enough to merge man and machine.
No time for ducks and creeks, I have to bleed down this pressure. There is no stopping now.
Another damn road, How dare they put this across my path. Stroke, push, stroke push.
The dog barks, I bark back. A bull pushing the pedals. Stroke, push, stroke, push snort. Yes a bull full of anger and rage at being hemmed in all winter.
Now a family, kindred spirits. Boy and machine. But they see the bull and move quickly to the side. Stroke, push, stroke push.
A left along the river, more pedestrian traffic. It is coming too quickly. Stroke, push, stroke, push.
Aphelion a quick stop for water at modern Alexandria's prize. What could they learn here that can't be found on the trail?
But contemplation will have to wait the bull still rages. Stroke, push, stroke, push.
Right, then the expressway again. Already? Stroke, push, stroke, push the breathing is heavy now.
Stroke, push, stroke push the rolling hills, a couple quick rights. Origin.
Spent, but not satisfied.
Posted on 2013-03-30 by cbeutler
People talk about their inner child. That small petulant part of themselves often hurt and sometimes fearful. That isn't me! I have always had what I've come to think of as an inner Barbarian. He is 12 feet tall, fearless, strong as a grizzly bear, and completely crazy!
Needless to say I've been terrified of him my whole life. What will happen if he gets loose? What if I can't reign him back in? Will I hurt someone? Crush their inner child? Become all those things that overwhelmed me as a small boy?
As you can imagine living your life, pretending to be something you are not is incredibly frustrating. One "solution" that I tried was to imprison this beast in a body weighed down with fat and weak from inactivity.
Ultimately, you cannot deny what you are. Eventually, as they say, your true colors show through.
Over the last year, one small step at a time I have gotten to know this barbarian. He has layers and sophistication that I never imagined existed. Inside his fearsome exterior there is a subtle mind, behind the savage countenance is generous man. In short, I've discovered that those parts of me that I have always considered my finest parts came from him.
I've spent most of my life denying this Barbarian, well no more. This Barbarian is ME, I may not be 12 feet tall, but I'm strong, fearsome, confident, and not to be trifled with. I've come to trust myself over the last year, I no longer live my life chained by self doubt and fear.
Much more valuable than this new body I've been blessed with, this sense of being one complete man is worth all the sweat, blood, and tears.
My sincere hope for you is that somewhere along this quest for health you discover your true self, learn to love them, and release them from the chains you have placed upon them! It will scare the hell out of you, but enjoy the ride.
CRAIG SMASH and Last Barbarian over the wall cleans the head!
Posted on 2013-02-10 by cbeutler
After almost 1 year of consistently logging food, regular exercise, and staying close to my calorie target I'm getting close to my goal body.
This morning I weighed in as overweight for the first time. Over the last year I have learned:
1 food is not the enemy
2 I enjoy exercise more when I train for an event
3 Going over is not an excuse to blow the rest of the day
4 Friends make this journey much easier
While I look and feel much better I haven't achieved all my goals for health or fitness. Because of this I have committed to improving my diet. I am excited to be working with a nutritional therapist and hopefully as I come closer to the end of my weight loss journey can enjoy the process of learning to eat clean, nutritious foods that will help me feel as good as I want.
This journey has been lots of fun and really much easier than I had any right to expect. Remember you can do almost anything for one day. So just follow your plan for today. If you are out of calories stop eating, go for a walk, or go to bed a little hungry. It won't kill you.
As you string these one days into weeks then into months you will be amazed by the results.
One note I have on not seeing "it" you won't and then you will. At the beginning the scale moved but I didn't look any different to myself. That first 100 pounds just didn't show. Then one day I saw "it". After another 50 pounds it was undeniable. Finally after another 15 I was starting to be happy with what I saw in the mirror.
Early in my loss my health improved, in the middle my performance and life improved, it wasn't until near the end my appearance improved. Keep the faith, enjoy every win along the way. I promise you can get what you want if you consistently do the right things.
Good luck and joyous journey. Don't fight the process. Everything I have gotten has been worth so much more than the trivial things I gave up along the way.
Posted on 2013-01-11 by cbeutler
Here starts the shortest blog ever. By observation of others and personal experience, consistently following my food plan is the primary key to weight loss.
By food plan I simply mean get those calories in range, and do it 99 days out of 100.
Posted on 2012-11-26 by cbeutler
I love my numbers, but they are only indicators of results not the results themselves. Body Fat %, BMI, Weight, Cholesterol all the rest, they indicate where I am and the changes show where I'm going. But they are not the results in and of themselves.
Results, that is fitting into smaller pants. Running a race, sitting in a booth for the the first time in years. Having the courage to tell a crush I think she is fantastic, Running a Half Marathon, then another, then another. Those things are the results.
Each day I eat under or workout or both those things move me towards better and better results. That is the key to me. The really surprising thing is I have gotten lots of great results far sooner than the numbers say I should have. So next time I'm down about the numbers, please remind me to check out the results.
Have a wonderful day, go make some results of your own!
Posted on 2012-11-01 by cbeutler
Yesterday I ate like a pig. I had plenty of calories to eat from the half marathon I ran in the morning. But I was stuffed all day long.
Looking at the day I find it funny that I used to eat this way nearly everyday. On top of it I would have washed everything down with soda and added candy into the mix.
That was my old reality, on average I would have eaten 4000 plus calories a day and not thought twice about it.
Today I'm feeling very sluggish, yes I have some muscle soreness, yes I slept longer than I should have, but I can't help thinking that the high fat, high sugar choices are contributing to the sluggish way I feel today.
My diet has evolved slowly as I have stayed on MFP for the last nine months. This slow evolution has worked well for me. I don't like rules and restrictions, they get me compulsively thinking of food. That has lead to the demise of every plan of eating that I have ever tried in the past. It is frankly a risk I am not willing to take.
I never want to go back to living the way I did pre MFP. The cost is just too high. Part of this current struggle is adapting to being a semi-normal size for the first time in my adult life. I'm now the size I was as a sophmore in college.
In a very real way I feel that I'm being born again creating myself as an adult for the first time. In many ways I feel like my life is a blank sheet of paper and I'm uncertain of exactly what I want to draw on that paper.
I know many of the things that I don't want to put on there but I seem to be missing the inspiration of what to put on that sheet called life. Needless to say this is both exciting and scary to me. Both emotions I would have squashed with food in my pre MFP days. So this blog is one way I'm trying to deal without resorting to food.
I'm sure this feeling will pass. My history in the last nine months has taught me that. In a day or two I will be back to battery. I suspect my struggle is one anyone who has lost over 100 pounds goes through.
As I stay the course for a few days, I'll be looking for that next baby step to spur me on. I'm thinking it will be beginning to pay more attention to my macros, or making sure I eat vegetables at every meal. Be sure I will let you know what works for me and what didn't.
The take away here for me is that small changes worked for me where large changes ALWAYS failed me. Good luck to you in your quest for health and fitness, I'm so honored and happy you are making this quest with me. Thank you all for your help, support, and inspiration.
Posted on 2012-10-01 by cbeutler
I credit running as one of the keys to any success that I have had so far in this quest for better health. This may not seem novel to many of my smaller friends but I started this weightless/fitness journey at close to 400 pounds.
I'm not a Doctor or an exercise specialist but I want to share the resources that have worked for me. Please take this as possible resources not as advice.
First, I started by walking. Over the course of several months I did nothing but walk and weight train. I found a fitbit to be highly motivational during this stage. I started with just a few thousand steps a day and worked up to 10000 or 12000 steps each day. The fitbit motivated me some evenings to walk up and down the driveway just to hit 10000 steps.
After a month of consistently walking 4 to 5 miles each day a friend of mine introduced me to my running coach. Through a local meetup I met a great group of people and introduced a social aspect to my cardio workouts. At first I would just show up and walk while the others would run. I was about 320 pounds at this time. One day, inspired or ashamed I made an attempt to run the last 200 yards. My coach looked at me and told me to STOP and not attempt to run until he could show me some better form.
Matt worked with me, showing me the elements of form posture, cadence, mid foot strike, and lean that would keep me from injuring myself.
This program is based on the New Balance Good Form Running Clinic and is available on New Balances website as well as through many of the corporate stores.
In addition, Matt taught me how to stretch, and I had a trainer teach me how to foam roll my legs for relief.
I'm slow but the second phase started with run/walk intervals I started run/walking 3-4 miles three days a week running for 1 minute walking for 2 minutes over the next several months I GRADUALLY increased the run interval one week and distance the next. Paying lots of attention to that form I learned.
To keep my motivation I started doing a 5k about every three weeks and as the months went by did a 10k then another then finally a 10 mile race.
During this period I ran about 3 days a week,weight trained 3 days a week and added some bike riding to increase my cardiovascular strenght without the pounding on my joints.
A great tool is a Gym Boss timer you can set two different intervals. The clock counts down then beeps. At each beep you change from run to walk or walk to run. I really like this because I don't need to break form to decide when to change. Form is the key to staying healthy.
I also went to the local running shop and got fitted for proper shoes. This took 45 minutes, they watched me run barefoot, examined my gait then had me try on different brands or shoes, one on the left a different on the right until I settled on the best brand for me. A tip here is to go in the afternoon. My feet swell during the day, so I got a better fitting in the afternoon.
A couple of random tools, KT Tape from KTTape.com was very helpful in healing minor pain. Use the pro grade because it sticks the standard grade peeled almost immediately. They have great videos on their website showing proper application of the product. The second was elastic shoe laces, the tops of me feet were getting sore from the swelling. Finally, a good reusable ice bag for post run recovery.
I completed a 5k a few weeks ago and ran the entire distance, my weight is down to 251 and I'm planning my first half marathon next Sunday. Don't let being heavy stop you from running if you want to run.
Easy Schedule with a good walking base
Gradual increases in duration or distance never both
Don't never, ever run through pain
Motivate with friends and races
Weight train to strengthen your legs and core
Crosstrain on a bike, in the pool, or on cardio equipment.
As a final note, don't compare yourself to other runners. I am still often dead last. I have been in races where they have taken the course down before I finished. But I did finish.
There is nothing to compare to putting on that shirt after a race and having it actually fit.
Best of luck to you,
Posted on 2012-09-08 by cbeutler
If you stick with this long enough you may come up against what I have termed the grind. By this point you have had that initial blush of success, just like having a new love for a person or a hobby. You have been excited, had things little or big that have spurred you on.
But now those things just don’t seem to excite you anymore. You have adjusted your diet and exercise, you are still making progress but things are not new and exciting like they were in the beginning. You may be too far from the goal for it to be a strong motivator.
This ,my friends, is the Grind. This is that crucial time where you make the transition from this being a diet, or a plan, to where all the changes you have made become the way you live your life (in MFP speak a lifestyle).
These are the training runs you make in the heat and humidity of late July and August preparing for that race in October. Those that have been here before me have told me it is these runs, that you grind out in the heat and humidity that make the big race fun and easy. But I have never had that experience so I have to take it on Faith.
I’ve been watching the Olympics in London this last week and thinking about it. I’m awestruck by the things that they can make their bodies do. But I keep picturing them in the gym, or in the pool two years ago lifting, running, swimming while the rest of the world doesn’t have clue that the next Olympics are only 700 days away.
This time, the Grind, is the crucible through which we all must pass to achieve that ultimate goal we have set for ourselves.
I could blather on about finding motivation, or visualizing the future and if these things help by all means make use of them. For me this time is about acceptance. I refuse to fight the Grind, I struggle to accept it. At this time I am looking for the joy in the journey. That homemade meal where I am completely satisfied or training run where I feel free, that is the feeling that will fuel me for another week. Elusive as it is sometimes I have learned that if I just keep at it I will find the feeling again, usually stronger than the last time.
Acceptance that every day won’t be the best ever, acceptance that some runs will just suck, but knowing that one day soon I will feel free, those thoughts keeps me going.
My wish for you and for myself, is that you find the joy in the Grind. This is the time where you are forging the future you so desperately wanted at the start. Enjoy the Grind, accept it as part of your journey, find joy in the little victories and achieve the success that motivated you at the start.
I look forward to your comments, let me know what has worked for you.
Joy of the journey to you all, Craig
Posted on 2012-08-06 by cbeutler
I started using MFP in February this year as a tool to help lose weight, no big surprise there. I wanted my life back, I wanted to get off the couch, turn off the TV and start living. I fully expected this to happen when I reached a “normal” size.
But to steal someone else’s punch line, “A funny thing happened on the way to the forum.” I have realized over the last week the actualization of that dream. When I started this it was all I could do to drag my 378lbs around the block. My goal is to someday reach 167lbs if I can do that without harming myself.
But looking back with every pound I lost I came closer to that dream, and sooner than I ever hoped was possible that dream has become a reality.
As of today I have lost 93 pounds for those of you that don’t want to do the math I currently weigh 285lbs. So by anyone’s standards I am still classified as morbidly obese possibly even super obese. However, I have started to fully live my life.
I have made great friends here on MFP and in real life. I have earned the respect of my friends and family who have seen me fail on every diet known to man for the last 22 years. I have completed three 5k races and will participate in my first 10k in two weeks. Today I rode the bicycle I bought 2 weeks ago 30 miles, and next weekend my friends and I have a 46 mile ride planned. I couldn’t tell you anything that has happened on TV in the last two months. My calendar is too full of events with friends, planned vacations, training and work (which I love) to spend time on the TV.
I offer you this blog not to brag but as a message of hope to those of you just starting or still struggling. If you will be honest and consistent in following your plan, if you will honestly address your habits and emotions, you will begin to achieve your dreams long before you reach your weight loss goal.
I wish you all the best, and hope that you find as much happiness as I have.
Posted on 2012-07-08 by cbeutler
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