Let’s bring everyone up to speed!

November 7, 2009

OK, this is a great time to catch up on what has happened so far in my exercise extravaganza…

So we are jumping from the start of week 2 to the end of week 8.  Here is a synopsis of what we missed.

Week 2 – No spin bike.  They substituted stairs and lots of them.  Very hard workouts but no further ass damage so it was good.

Week 3 – back on the spin bike for Mondays and Wednesdays.  I sucked it up though and fought my most ingrained ass instincts.

Week 4 – More of the same.  You can see why I haven’t been doing daily updates, a lot of the same stuff…

Week 5 – I have to admit that my ass is getting used to it a bit and the gel seat definitely helps.  Now the big thing with the bike is when we do lengthy “standing and pedaling” sessions my feet literally go numb.  That can’t be good.  It’s like the bike is learning and adapting to cause me problems.  [Schwarzenegger voice] “At 5:23 PM, the spinning bike became self aware… at 5:24 PM, it fired it’s ass missles… finding them less effective, it began to attack the feet.”

I’ve also started to track what I eat on http://www.sparkpeople.com and I’ve found that I actually don’t eat enough food (seriously).  We don’t buy bread anymore, just whole grain tortillas, we have been eating many more vegtables and have not had a noodle based dish in weeks… that’s a big turnaround… especially for my son who basically lived on the CBAD diet (Chef Boy Ar Dee)… is that how you spell it?… if only I had access to some sort of engine that searched for answers for me… oh well.

Anyway… back to the synopsis

I also had an “Intro to the Nautilus Equipment” with a personal trainer who gave me one on one instruction and a lifting plan.  This makes a huge difference.  Even when I was in shape (long long ago) I would just randomly wander around the gym jumping onto any random piece of equipment, not adjusting the seat or other settings and doing as many reps as I could as fast as I could.  You either are or you see these people all of the time in the gym.  They wander around with no idea of what to do until they see an open machine and just sit down and start ‘working out’.  Hahaha fools!  I now work out with Nautilus on Tuesday’s and Saturdays.  This seems to have helped my metabolism a lot.

Week 6 – Arthur is sick, then I get sick so I only made it to Monday on this week.  Not the swine flu, just some sort of sinus infection that made me feel dizzy.  I had a dream where I passed out and fell off the spin bike but my feet were still strapped in and my legs snapped.  So no workouts until Friday night when I did some barbell stuff while I watched the Penguins play.  Will this set us back?  Oh no!!

Week 7- Water week!  We are in the pool this week.  We are on the bikes on Monday, with the kids in the pool, then everyone in the pool on Tuesday (switched from Thursday because Trick or Treat was on Thursday here), then just adults in the pool on Wednesday.  The substitute instructor for the Tuesday workout was weak and let the kids control the action so it was a very light workout.  The Wednesday workout in he pool with our regular crazy lady was very hard.  45 minutes straight of running and jumping and other wacky crap.  Strangely, the pool day was the hardest ‘high impact’ day for my knees.  Then Thursday was Trick or Treat which was about a 2 mile walk on steep hills canceled out by candy.  The groups nutritionist said to only have 2 pieces a day but our crazy instructor said we could have a handful… so we all went with the crazy instructor.  Then on Saturday, I walked in the local Halloween parade handing out shiny Trick or Treat bags.

Week 8 – Back to the bike with a vengence.  Holy crap… Crazy lady decided that we needed to start to do more “standing and cycling” which is good for the ass… but your quads and feet are doomed.  3 minutes straight of standing and cycling has you begging for ass pain.  Some weirdos pay money for this sort of treatment… anyway, from week 7 to week 8, my weight dropped 4 pounds… and I just ran to weigh myself and it says I weigh 330 so that is what… 8 lbs?  a pound a week is a good number especially when I am adding muscle at the same time.  I am down one belt notch which is a good measurement.   This isn’t biggest loser where they get paid to spend all day every day working out and obsessing about their weight with a fully stocked and staffed health kitchen.  My son has dropped 6 pounds… he has improved his food choices and works out on the elliptical and treadmill too.  My wife has dropped 10 pounds as of today and she hasn’t even been to most of the workouts… (she gains and loses 5 pounds a day all of the time… but still, she hasn’t been this low for a long time)

So what we’ve learned so far:  1. Exercise more.  2. Stop eating noodles. 3. ??? 4. Profit.

I will try to keep up with at least a once a week update.  I also plan on adding other categories so I can “blog” about other things… possibly using it as a weapon.  “I am so going to blog about this” can get you out of a ticket I hear.


Uh oh… I cheesed off the scary spinning instructor lady

November 7, 2009

OK…. so I started this long ago and then… stuff happened.  So this if from week 2.

So, week 2 begins and I was dreading today. My tailbone is still in pain and there is no way it is just ‘soreness’, it definitely has to be damage. I bought a gel seat cover on Saturday because I do want to give it one more try with the seat cover once I can sit on anything without pain again. I did some research and learned that tailbone injuries can take “months or even years” to get better. So that’s good. I walked into the “spinning room” with my “My ass hurts too much, I’ll be upstairs on the elliptical machine” speech ready to go but the instructor (I will learn her name someday) just says she understands and that she couldn’t sit for 2 and a half weeks when she first started the spinning bikes.

This brings the question up again as to who thought it would be a good idea to throw the fatties onto these bikes on day one… but my childlike ass-related whining did not fall on deaf ears and apparently a long discussion took place and we weren’t going to be on the bikes… at least for today… the threat still hangs in the air and I can tell the instructor is a little miffed about it but there is no way I was the only one with problems. I could tell from the reception the news got that the only ones who wanted to ride the spinning bikes were the two women who had been working out all along and the instructor. I forgot to mention that the instructor is a little bit scary… a little bit insane… but she is a very good instructor in my opinion.  Just, you know… a little wackadoodle in her noodle as the kids say.  (actually the kids don’t say that… and if they did, they would deserve a beating… they say stuff like “Yo yo yo, that bish is wack ya’ll” and so on apparently in an attempt to make you think they have brain damage.)

So anyway… we did other stuff like the “make yourself look ridiculous” pelvic randomizers where it looks like you are trying to hump invisible ghosts that are randomly darting around you and the “Squatting knee bombs” where you keep doing deep knee squats in an attempt to have your knee ligaments explode off of your skeletal system so you can’t walk anymore.  If you can’t walk, you can’t get to the refrigerator can you?  I know that this is part of their plan.

Day Three Report: The Cardio Room – A House of Lies!

September 19, 2009

Well, the ass is feeling slightly better but it is still a level 5 on the pain scale when I sit and stand.  I’ll try to not complain too much about the spinning bikes from now on so I will just include these pictures illustrating how the modern spinning bike came to be and move on:

Spinning Bike Design #1:


This was the first “test run” for the spinning bike by it’s inventor D.R. Mengele but it was changed because it was too labor intensive with all of the people required to haul you up and balance you on the pyramid like top.

Spinning Bike Design #2:


This one was much better because you could get on, be strapped in, and the class could begin.  I think they still have some at a few Bally’s around the nation but they were discontinued because the seats were too big.

Spinning Bike Design #3


There you have it.  The modern spinning bike.  It is essentially Design #1 with pedals and a metal wheel attached.

Anyway, on to the day.  The first part of the program day was “nutrition counseling”.  A dietitian (greek for: someone with good genes who frowns at your plate.) handed out health folders for the kids and went through some activities designed to teach the kids about proper nutrition with the various food groups and the proportions you should have of each.  Protein, Dairy, Vegetable/Fruits, Grains, and ‘sometimes’ foods.

Now, I know all about the proper way to eat… stop looking at me like that… knowing and ‘doing’ are two different things you know… shut up!

Actually, this was a very good thing because my son is one to take what I or his mother says about nutrition, nod, then demand more mac and cheese.  It was also apparently a very good thing for several of the participants as some of the parents came up with questions like: “If I ‘bake’ my french fries… is that a vegetable?” and the heaviest kid in the class asked my favorite: “Are Pop-tarts considered a Fruit or a Grain?”  I was with him there.  It should be ‘both’ and then you can have extra… but no.  They are a ‘sometimes’ food…. but not in the ‘sometimes I have Pop-Tarts and sometimes I have a Choco-Sugar Creme Doughnut and I alternate” sense, but in a “Sometimes you can have them but the dietitian will be frowning over your shoulder in your mind.” sense.

We got our blood test results in too.

My official starting numbers are:

Weight: 336.8 lb  (Recommended: 166lb)  I looked too thin at 180lbs when I was younger so I think they are a little off here, but let’s worry about that last disputed 20-30 lbs when we get there.

BMI: 50.5% (Recommended: 17%) I think this falls into the “awesomely obese” catagory.  Oh the huge Manatee!

Blood Pressure: 137 / 82   (Recommended: 120/80)  not too bad for a big chunk of fat.

Cholesterol: 178 (Recommended: <200)  Whoo hoo!  I passed one!

LDL (bad Cholesterol) 116 (Recommended: <100)  Damn!  Just when the momentum was swinging my way.

HDL (good Cholesterol) 34 (Recommended: >40)  Damn again!  So my overall is OK but my types of Cholesterol are out of proportion.  Not enough fruits and grains. <heads to toaster>

Triglycerides: 144 (Recommended: <150)  Back in the winning column!

Glucose: 89 (Recommended: 70-110) Allright!

A1c: 5.5 (Recommended Value 4.5-5.7)  Cutting this one close.  This is something that tells your risk of diabetes or something, I will learn more about that later… and my son was at 5.8 (everything else other than weight was good for him) so I am concerned about this more than anything as my father developed type II Diabetes.

Good thing we’re in some sort of program to help!

So we get to the exercise portion of the day and a burly male instructor takes the adults into the Cardio Room while the kids went to the gym to do some kind of kid exercises.  The Cardio room is filled with various things like treadmills, elliptical machines and exercise bikes (normal ones, recombinant, and cool ones hooked up to video games where you race and chase dragons and stuff ).  We were immediately told to not use the cool ones with the video games as they would kill us (something about our heart rates spiking).  No big deal as I will not be sitting on anything at all resembling a bike seat anytime soon.  We were given a quick tutorial on the machines, told what to enter as a ‘max’ target heart rate (mine was 141) and said to go for 20 minutes today to start.  We could choose any one or switch to another machine at 10 minutes to see which one we liked best.  This instructor understood the importance of actually liking your exercise and not impaling yourself on a damn broomstick.  OK, I said I would stop, but I lied.

While explaining the machine settings he brought something to my attention that I never realized or thought about.

You know that handy ‘calories burned’ number those machines throw out at you as you exercise and when you are done so that you say: “Wow, I burned 30 calories!” right before glugging down a 190 calorie bottle of Gatorade?  Well it is a lie.

“What?” you say?  “The machine cannot lie!”

“But it is a lie.” I reply.

“But it cannot lie!” you say again.

I reply with this:


“Go ahead and believe the machine if you want to end up like this.”

You see, not only is it impossible for the machine to know how many calories you and your unique metabolism is burning, all of those machines represent a company.  A company that wants more and more of their machines to be purchased or leased.  They know that if you burn “more calories” in 30 minutes on their machine as opposed to 30 minutes on that hapless treadmill over there, you are more likely to use THEIR machine in the future, thus causing angry sweaty lines and cursing as their machines are just soooo popular that the club will have no choice but  to put more of their machines in and hopefully get rid of their competitors machines all together.  So, you see, the Cardio Room is a House of Lies!

Anyway, I went first to the fancy treadmill next to the open window and the TV.  It also had a faulty heart monitor that made me think I was dying.   It went from 89 then worked up to 99 and then just stayed there so I kept increasing the incline and the speed but it just stayed.  Then it jumped up to 136 right away and it just stayed there and stayed there and I was working up a sweat and thinking that my heart-rate just HAD to be higher… as I was considering passing out it dropped to 90 in one second.  I thought it meant my heart skipped or I had had a heart attack… but then the instructor told me there was something wrong with the heart monitor.  Great.  They told me how important it was to stay in my “target range” and not go above my max level for too long then let my fat ass loose on a faulty machine.  I could be ready to pop at any time for all anyone knows!


Potentially me.

But luckily I survived to 10 minutes and then switched to an elliptical machine from the ‘advanced shapes’ series of machines for another 10 minutes… someday I hope to work my way up to the ‘Rhombus Machine’.  The heart-rate monitor of that worked well so I was safe from exploding and using up all of their little ‘wiping towels’.

I forgot to mention that my wife actually was able to make it for this session so that was good.  I want to get her on that spinning cycle so she can ‘feel my pain’ and stop wondering why I spent all week holding my ass and whimpering like a puppy… but nothing good can come out of that.  Either she will completely destroy her mommy bits or I will have to start bringing  heavy power equipment to bed.

Wow, over 1300 words… TL/DR

We start up again next Monday!  I will post more!

Day Two Report: There isn’t much room for pride in the Zoomba Room

September 17, 2009

OK.  After a day off to tend to our swollen asses, we get back at it with what was I think was supposed to be ‘strength training’ but the instructor for that couldn’t make it (I think that’s what happened, I am always late to start since I work until 5 and it starts at 5 and I have to get my son from Daycare across town first)  My ass pain was down to a dull throb so I could limp much faster than yesterday and I was ready to go.

Anyway, they changed things up and put us in the “Zoomba” room.  I was immediately wary of this as “Zoomba” is much like “Spinning” in that only women go to the classes so I was sure it would involve intense groin violence…. but we didn’t do “Zoomba” as far as I know so it was OK.  Maybe we did do Zoomba… nobody ever defines Zoomba if you ask.  They always just say “it’s a blast!” or “it’s so fun!”  “But what IS it?” you can ask but they will reply “You’ll love it!”  Even the posters advertising it are vauge.  They just say:  ZOOMBA!  – Join the PARTY!!    So basically it could be a codeword for “Meth” or “Swinger Party” but nobody is sure if they aren’t in it.

Anyway, the kids and the parents were all in the same room for this one.  When I say ‘parents’, I mean me, another dude and the rest either single mothers or they have husbands who are surely in perfect shape (or they heard about the spinning bikes). 

We got there late and they were just finishing their warm-ups.  Great, now I’m at great risk to pull a hammy (my hamstring, not a delicious sandwich)because I haven’t warmed up. 

Luckily we start out slow with “The Hokey Pokey”.  OK.  Fine.  I can put things in and out of undefined areas and shake them all about then mince around in a circle.  In fact, that’s how I spend most of my day. 

Then we move on to “The Bunny Hop”.  Great.  More childrens level exercise.  I can hang with this all day.  But wait… this Bunny Hop stuff seems easier on paper than in practice.  Sure, the first five go well, but it wasn’t stopping.  “Hopping” is easy for bunnies because they are very small.  You don’t see many 340 lb bunnies around unless you are a delusional psychopath or a childrens song writer.  If there were huge bunnies, they sure as hell wouldn’t hop.  They would ride in scooters around the mall.  After what seemed like hop number 85 we finally stopped and looked around the room at each other looking for fellow fat folk sympathy.  Our shins were screaming to each other on a frequency we couldn’t hear, but we knew. 

Now we rolled out big mats and lined up tallest to shortest to pair up for big bouncy ball time!  I am the third tallest in the class.  The other guy is the tallest, then a large, imposing woman, and then me.  I was paired with the big guy’s wife who really is not in bad shape at all, especially compared to almost everyone else.   Wait.. my wife will probably read this… 

Anyway,  this hideous thing and I have to share the bouncy ball, taking turns bouncing on the ball (yeah… there isn’t much room for pride in the Zoomba Room… too much Zoomba I suppose).  When the, uh, ugly, despicable, woman was in front of me in short shorts bouncing up and down on a big ball all I could think about was… “her husband is looking right at me so I will look around the room in complete disinterest.”  That’s when I discovered that my son didn’t share my sense of tact or fear of getting his ass kicked.  He was just STARING.  The sort of confused/intense stare of a nine year old boy that says : “I don’t know what I’m looking at exactly, but for some reason, I can’t look away!”  Here is where parents differ.  A mother would probably reprimand the boy for being rude.  But a fathers instict kicks in and he says… nothing.  We’re just happy that they aren’t staring at the dude bouncing on a ball so we say: Go ahead and stare son.  We’ll just have to teach you how to do it while not being so obvious about it, but that will come in time. 

So then we did this “partner ball leg push” game where we pushed the giant ball back and forth with our legs as we laid on our backs.  That one hurt but in a good “using the muscles” hurt, not the “I’m injuring myself” hurt.  (stupid spinning bikes… it’s been four days and my ass feels worse than yesterday)

Then we did some sort of Yoga stuff where we tried to dislocate our hips and tear our knee ligaments in a calm and peaceful manner. 

Then we did some other kind of kids song dance where you listen to some MC Hammer wanna-be with poor diction skills tell you to slide to the left and then to the right then you stomp your foot and more hopping and then you “do the Charlie Brown” which wasn’t clearly defined at all so I ended up just getting depressed about my kite being eaten by the kite eating tree.

Then we were done.  So the 2nd day was much better in terms of causing injury and it was fun to work with the kids.  Tomorrow (actually today) is “Counseling” and “Cardio” which should be good as long as a bike seat isn’t involved.

Day One: Debilitating Ass Pain

September 16, 2009

They put this group of “non-exercisers” into a spinning class.  Yeah…

I would like to see the program’s  outline for this “Health Program” if possible.

You see, my working theory right now is that it states

Problem: Fat people sit too much.

Solution: Have them “exercise” on an apparatus that requires them to balance their hugely fat bodies on a 2 inch by 4 inch hardened seat so that all of their clumsily shifting tonnage is focused on their vulnerable tailbone rendering them unable to sit or lay down without debilitating ass pain.  This will force them to stand and burn more calories throughout the day.

Side effects:  They will walk like Fred Sanford with their arms stuck out at a backward angle as they limp forward at 1.5 miles per hour towards the nearest source of ibuprofen but instead of talking to their dead ex-wife Elizabeth, they will be cursing their ass nerves and begging for death.

This will obviously encourage them to adopt a healthier lifestyle.  History’s greats tell the tale:

“If one wishes to succeed in tuning in the souls of men, Buttocks Floggery shall be as a beacon of light in the fog of darkness.” – Aristotle

“A chicken in every pot and a boot in every derriere.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“There is only one way we will win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people:  Ass Torture.” – Dick Cheney

Seriously though… my ass hurts a lot… All I’m saying is that encouraging people to adopt the habit of regular exercise by putting them on the most painful apparatus possible on the 1st day may not have the desired effect.  We didn’t even work out hard.  It was a good starting level workout and the instructor did a great job but those seats are just insanely painful.   The ass pain was bad enough but the wonderful testicle squishins add a lot to the experience.

I’ve done some a lot of ass related research in my day and even people who regularly work out and are in great shape won’t go on the spinning bikes because of those seats.

Seriously, for those of you who don’t know what a “spinning” bike is, just imagine a regular exercise bike but instead of a regular tire, there is a big heavy weighted wheel that doesn’t stop even if you want to! Sure they said something about some sort of brake button but I was too busy trying to keep from passing out due to the traumatic taint assault that was occurring. I couldn’t spare a hand that I might need to catch one of my testicles that was surely millimeters away from popping out of my body and across the room.  The other key to the Spinning bike is it’s trademark “Saddle” which is basically a slimmer version of a  regular uncomfortable bike seat (the better to sexually assault you with) and instead of cushioning, they make them out of solid blocks of heavy gauge wrought iron which are then honed down to razor sharpness.

Seriously, if you know some woman who tells you how much they LOVE their spinning class (it will always be a woman, or a eunich , possibly because of the bike.) you are free to make the following conclusions about them:  either 1) They have no feeling in their crotch at all which explains their husbands looks of frustration and despair. or  2) They enjoy ass pain… Ass-Masochists.  Which explains their husbands look of joyful exhaustion.

Anyway, we will see how this continues in the future.

Commander Blogface is on the air… or something.

September 16, 2009

I recently started a ‘family exercize and guided nutrition’ program started by the local YMCA and out local hospital with a grant by Highmark Insurance and I’ve decided to chronicle my ‘progress’ with my son.   My wife is sort of in it, but she work’s late and will miss most of the workouts and thinks sugar free drinks are bad for you (because the internet said it) so she isn’t ‘officially’ entered as a contestant.

They wanted to start a ‘test’ group of families that have children who are a little overweight but are still active for this program.  My son fits the bill perfectly so they ‘recruited’ us and 7 other families to take part.  We actually get paid a small amount of money for participating for 12 weeks.

The family with the best attendance, biggest improvement in cholesterol and weight loss etc. at the end of nine months gets a “prize”.  We don’t know what that prize is… but I’m going to win it!  I’m the uh…  “largest” adult (I’m the kind of big fat slob who is the ‘biggest threat’ on the biggest loser but they can’t vote me off).  While my son is probably the 2nd ‘least heavy’ kid… he is just a little bit chubby and is very active and a very good athlete so he will benefit most from the nutrition counciling and changes we make.  Anyway, we started testing last Wednesday and our first “workout day” was Monday.

On Wednesday, the first thing we did was fast for 12 hours and get up at 5:30 AM  to go be measured and jabbed with needles and have our life giving blood drained into tubes and sequestered away to parts unknown to be experimented on in unknown ways by unknown people.  (I know, it sounds great so far)  This whole thing could be the secret plan of some madman who wants to clone his own “Army of the Fat” that he can control with the promise of skittles and pie… just like my mother.

When we entered the testing facility we were warmly greeted and told we were ‘special’ and had been chosen and that they were going to ‘make us feel good about ourselves’.  They then proceeded to weigh and measure us where I found out I am an inch and a half shorter than I was in high school yet I have a greater circumference and weigh more than I ever have in my life.  Good job lab workers… well done.  I feel great about myself now.  Way to shatter my self delusions.   I was getting along just fine living in ignorance of my actual measurements, they could have been anything.  I was living with Schrödinger’s Waistline so to speak.  Everything’s worse when you measure it!

I guess what they meant by ‘make you feel good about yourselves’ was code for : “We won’t rub butter on your stomach and watch you roll around trying to lick it off”.

Anyway, I will post my starting numbers here as I get them. (I don’t have my blood test results yet)

Weight: 338  lbs   (only 148 lbs heavier than when I was 24.  Good stuff)

Waistline: 58 inches (that’s how I roll… literally)

They didn’t take our vertical leap and 40 times even though I tried to explain that that was all I had been training for… they didn’t believe me.

My first report after the first day of workouts will follow:

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