San Antonio Finish Line

San Antonio Finish Line
Jeremy, Jen and I rocked it!

Fraternity Centennial Celebration

Fraternity Centennial Celebration

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dive 2 Survive Charity Event

Hello Readers!

I have been very diligent in keeping everyone up to date on my Relay for Life Team, Team TJ. Here is the scoop, the team has had all three of its key fundraisers and we did very well with the first two, I have not heard the results of the washers tournament from the team captain but I believe it probably went over very well as the weather was perfect that day for people to be outside drinking beer and playing washers. As a team I am sure we have hit our goal. Loyal followers, friends and family have helped me raise over $300 for the team and I thank everyone who assisted greatly. The actual event is still two weeks away so if you haven't and want to donate still I have included my personal link: this is a great team of people and the money goes to an incredible cause.

A second Relay for Life team has asked for me to participate with them as well Team NightCrawlers. This is a team based out of my home base Kansas City. Many of my exceptional co-workers are on this team. Sandy Berry is the captain and I want to mention that American Cancer Society is an incredible part in her life, her daughter Kristen Luder was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer, with the help of many great doctors she was able to survive this disease, other teammates on the team have survived breast cancer so I am very happy to lend my support to all of them. I am an avid supporter of this charity and believe that we will see cancer end in our lifetimes. One of the teams key fundraisers is coming up and I am going to mention it below.

Dive 2 Survive is a charity volleyball tournament for Team NightCrawlers. This is an extremely fun event and plays along with my excercise blog perfectly! Dive 2 Survive is on July 31st this year. There are three divisions, division A is extremely competitive, division B is for very competitive, and division C is for those of us who want to drink and have fun and get some great exercise. FYI this is the division I compete in as my volleyball skills are like my dancing skills not the best in the world. I am putting the events website out here, it explains the details better, but basically the teams are 4-6 players that have to be co-ed. The teams must have equal number of women as men or more women then men. The site shows pictures of last year, by the way I am the one with the backwards Mizzou cap on if you don't know me. That picture was me 35 pounds ago. Sand Volleyball is an extremely tiring and difficult workout which really burns the calves if you have never played before. Please check this site out and sign up a team, it is one of the most fun events I have attended. The site is

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Handling Adversity Positively and Negatively

Hello Readers!

Adversity is something that comes at us all in life. I have learned through trials and tribulations there are positive and negative ways to handle adversity. Adversity plays a pivotal part in how we feel about ourselves and how we shape ourselves.

In my younger years in life adversity was a nightmare for me in my struggles with weight. I began my way to being overweight early in life, when I was seven I lost a parent which was my first real dealing with adversity. This instance would be tough on anyone, from an emotional standpoint it helped shape me into the person I am today. From a weight perspective this was the beginning of me being fat. I chose to handle this adversity by eating. I decided that instead of eating normal size portions that I would eat as an adult. This bad habit continued through my college years except that I added beer into the mix. If I struggled with a class, if I was rejected by ladies (which happened often) my best recourse was to drink heavily and eat a fourth meal at college favorites Taco Bell or Burger King. This trend continued until the moments mentioned in former posts of shear embarrassment. This is where self control took over.

More recently when adversity strikes I have learned to handle myself in a much better manner. This is something I want to put out there for those of you who are going through weight loss struggles of your own. Do NOT let adversity take you off course, it is something we will deal with more often than not in our lives. For me adversity is still not welcomed, but when it strikes it is much easier for me to deal with. I dealt with some severe adversity last week at work, without getting into details of the situation I will explain how I was able to deal with it in a positive manner, EXERCISE! Exercise is very important in dealing with adversity, it allows you to take your frustrations out on sports equipment whether that be a bike in spin class or a punching bag in a boxing class exercise is extremely therapeutic. Running or Biking allow one to think and assess the situation. For me I was able to look at what happened, ask myself questions about it and vent all of my hurt and anger in a positive manner. My spin and boot camp instructors mentioned how focused I was and how hard I worked, all it took was some serious adversity.

In an extremely positive note, I have been wearing my size 40 pants and feel very good. I have had about 25 people including my sister-in-law Jessica (which I should drop the in-law as she is truly a sister to me) mention how good I am looking. It is truly amazing what wearing clothes that fit does for a person and their confidence.

I am going to leave everyone with slogan on life: Life is hard, Live it strong!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Self Realization

Hello Readers!

I have been asked several times what caused me to go on the weight loss journey. I have mentioned who inspires me, but beginning a weight loss journey all begins with self realization. The next few comments are things only select people know, but in order to truly inspire others everyone should hear the story. Three distinct moments led to my self realization that my life needed to change: first, I went to an amusement park with my brother, and two best friends I had reached such a size the ride operator made me get off the ride in front of everyone. The embarrassment in that moment cannot be imagined. Secondly, my brother and I were skiing in Aspen which is one of my favorite places in Colorado, I could not ski one full run without being winded and having to take a break. Those who know me realize that this crushed me as skiing is one of my favorite activities. Again the embarrassment was unimaginable. Lastly, one night I was laying on my couch and suddenly had issues breathing, my chest hurt I have never been as scared as in that moment, I felt like I had a heart attack. Luckily it was just a panic attack. These three life altering moments are what started this journey. I tell people this in the hopes they will look at their lives and come to a realization without having to experience the embarrassment and fear I was forced to experience.

On a lighter note hear self realization is something that should never end for any of us. This last weekend I was at a club in Columbia with several friends and my girlfriend Dana. Those of you reading this know I like to dance, back in college I was a dancing fool. If you have seen me dance you realize I look like the gopher in Caddyshack! It is funny but has no rhythm. Picture someone not moving their feet and just shaking their butt and arms, this is me. This night I was a dancing fool as well, working my gopher move to the extreme. The self realization moment came when people were trying to critique my moves on the dance floor. This has inspired me to now take Zumba class. For those not familiar with Zumba, it is a dancing class offered at your local gyms. Basically it is a workout that teaches you to dance. I will say I felt like a fool when I attended, I hang out in the corner by myself so as few people see me as possible, but this will improve my skills on the dance floor for future more enjoyable experiences. To all you men out there who think you have rhythm and probably don't you might consider this class. For all you women who do have rhythm I still recommend the class as you burn a ton of calories and lets face it we all could use to brush up on our moves.

The last bit of self realization for me today is that I cannot go a week without going to my classes at the YMCA. Last week I was not able to attend do to work conflict, my exercise was limited to walking my dog Coco in the mornings, this did not make me my same happy go luck self last week. I found myself slightly snippy with people, I am sorry for this. Exercise makes me happy, I was once told that sunshine and exercise release something in your body which makes you happy, well I fully believe this now as this week getting back and hitting the gym again has brought back my normal cheerful attitude.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Milestone Achievement

Hello Readers,

This week brings a very happy post for me. This week I went shopping, those of you who know me know how much I hate shopping for myself. For so many years shopping was no fun as I spent my time in the big and tall section. Dana, my mother and several co-workers continually pressured me to find some pants that fit. Apparently the baggy look is not in for 35 year old men. Monday, Dana went with me to go shopping, the surprise that awaited me at the store was incredible. I am down to a size 40 waist. When the journey began I wore a size 54 waist. That is over a foot that has been lost from my waist.This week marked me no longer shopping in the big and tall. I walked to my normal section looking for jeans and Dana informed me I will not need to look in that section anymore. I didn't believe her until I tried on the size 40's and they actually fit. This is an incredible feeling. I walked with a new swagger today at work.

I was questioned while on the shopping trip, why I hated shopping so much, I always used the excuse of I don't like spending money on myself. This was me hiding behind the embarassment of shopping in big and tall sections. This also was me hiding behind the comfort of wearing clothes that didn't fit. This was me having fear of relapse. For me I truly enjoy food and beer, these are things that are things that could lead to relapse so it was me being overly cautious. Thanks to all the people who pushed me to overcome my fear and gain the confidence in myself to enjoy this transformation. I will promise the readers right now I do not intend to relapse, if you see me faltering in my conviction please let me know.

I had a request from a reader to mention more about nutrition in my posts. I am going to discuss what helped me from a nutrition standpoint, but honestly I am not the best person for this. I still eat everything you are not supposed to. I eat pizza, Mexican, Italian and I drink beer. What has been the real strong points for me is not drinking soda. I gave up soda 5 years ago and have stuck to my guns with this. I eat French Fries twice a month as a treat for myself, and most importantly I have cut back on my portions. Meals for me used to be about scarfing down a ridiculously large portion, I probably ate enough for two maybe three people, now I truly do eat a one person portion. I will try to research and give people better tips on nutrition, but in reality do what works for you. I don't believe in fad diets, for me it is more about self control.

Lastly this week I will shout out to they followed through on their promise and donated to my Relay for Life team. The relay is now about a month away so please visit Team TJ's site and donate as this is a great cause. Help us remeber Twila O'Loughlin and others who have lost their lives to cancer. Please contact me at or and I will provide you a link.