Orracle and Family

Orracle and Family

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunday, October 28, 2012


We must find discipline.  Those of us on a weight loss journey may have a tougher time than others and I do not mean only in the eating department.

I was at my other gym last week in South Florida.  I go to a YouFit gym which I posted about in this post right here.  Despite what my main guy and coach Jeff Ford says in this post he made today, I still do the long runs.  In my defense, he and I have had conversations about this and I do the long runs for the extra calorie burn that I get.  I definitely do more Crossfit work now though than ever.  Back to my topic and observations.... 

I was on one of those longer runs on a treadmill last week and observed people working out.  Like any gym, there were people of all shapes, sizes and physical abilities.  Congrats to ALL of them for being there.  As I looked at those that were sitting, idle between sets, I noticed something.  All but 1 of the 6 people I saw using their cell phones in the workout were moderately to grossly overweight.  This brought me to checking out the clock when they finished a set.  The least amount of time I counted between sets for a cell phone user was 2 minutes.  The longest was over 5. 

Yes, some that are not using their cell phones tend to rest too long between sets as well.  I hear you cluckin' but I do not think I have witnessed anyone take 5 minutes between sets just sitting there.

To go into a gym it takes some discipline in the first place.  To really push yourself takes more. This does not differ from when you are running or when you are lifting.  It takes discipline to really go out of your comfort zone consciously.  I am usually the only one on a treadmill that might make a OOF or a ARGH grunt from time to time.  But when it comes time for speed intervals or hill intervals with some running on them, I push myself.  People sometimes stare at me when I do.  I must be some kind of freak!

I am trying to make a few points here.

1) Leave the cell phone in the car.  You can live without it for 30-60 minutes.  I am certain of it.  It will only be a distraction that keeps you from your best workout. 
2) Have a plan when you go into the gym.  Write it down if you have to.  Know the weight you plan to lift, on what machines, for how many reps and sets.  Know how long you will rest between sets and watch the clock (not the one on your cell).  If you are running, know how long and at what pace.  Decide ahead of time what intervals or challenges you might throw yourself into the run and execute them.
3) Push yourself.  Yes, you may sweat.  You might even grunt.  The best part is, you might work harder than you though you could and leave with an extra high feeling at the end knowing you just crushed whatever you decided to do.

With that success will come more discipline.  That discipline will carry you outside of the gym into the other places in your life where you did not have it.  The kitchen.  The restaurant.  The car.  At work.  Discipline is the key to success.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Changing It Up and Making a Mental Connection

This week I realized that with my achilles healed up, I am back to running on a regular schedule and it feels great.  My stamina is better than ever and my distances keep increasing at faster paces.  My first sub 30 minute 5K is right around the corner. 

I have known for a while that I need to change things up.  I lift from time to time but not enough. 

After my run Monday night, I was pretty tired but as I walked out of the gym, the medicine balls caught my eye.  Hmpf, what harm could a few Wall-balls do? 

I proceeded to do 3 sets of 25 Wall-balls with just 45 seconds of rest between (video below).

That was 2 days ago.  My legs are destroyed!  It reminds me of the last time I did them with Jeff at Crossfit Hilton Head.  Same result. 

It is hurting me bad but the pain reminds me of why we need to change things up.  Go to something new.  Go to something old, just do something different.  For those of you that do not have any exposure to Crossfit, most of their drills are simple exercises like this.  Nothing complex, no big machines.  Just you and a few moves....and you can feel that burn.

It was great to see Jeff in August in Louisville, September at Hilton Head Health and again down in Miami.  While it would be great to hang out once a month with him, I can always just do some of these Wall-balls and every step I take makes me think of how he pushed me every step in every class and every training session. 

Reach into your memory of a fitness session or even if it is not fitness related and make a connection with someone by doing something they would want to do right next to you.  You will be channeling their energy and in this case, a little pain!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fountain of Youth

This weekend, I had the priveldge to return for my 3rd stay at Hilton Head Health and my 4th overall visit.  Even though my first visit will always be the best for it was the stay that was the beginning of my new healthy lifestyle and involved what will always be the most memorable group of friends of any stay there, this stay certainly ranks up there as a topper!

Besides being asked to speak at the TEDx event, I ran another 5K, this my second Devin's Dash and actually the first time I have ran a race course a second time.  As I downloaded my Garmin, I realized that I did set a PR for a 5K on Saturday and beat my inaugural Devin's Dash time by roughly 9 minutes!  BOOM!  If that does not make you smile as a runner to see such improvement, nothing will.  Perseverence, determination and positive proof that this life change is continually evolving.  It was also nice to have the IN MEMORY bib to remember those in my life lost to that awful cancer.

I also want to put a note into this post about some of the guests I met this time at H3.  I met so many people that are just starting.  Some were very positive and some were not as positive.  It is probably better said that they were a little overwhelmed at what lies before them as they leave H3 to do this on their own.  I hope that I have been able to provide some sense of hope and confidence that they CAN do it!  It may not always be easy or ever for some, but it certainly is possible and when I say it is worth it, I cannot emphasize it enough.

To any of you that were guests of H3 or just at the TEDx event, thank you for your support back to me.  I felt like a celebrity this week and while I hope that turns into inspiration for others, it definitely does back to me.  Sometimes I feel bad for accepting kudos for having lost so much weight because I am the one that put myself into the position to weigh 373 pounds. 

If any of you that I had the great benefit of meeting or speaking to in the TED Talk ever need to chat, reach out.....The ORRACLE is here!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hitting The Big Time!

Tonight, The Orracle was asked to speak at a TEDx event.  If you have never heard of TED Talks, they are found right here.  There are lots of NEAT videos from the Talks held around the world.  A TEDx event is an independently sponsored talk. 

Adam Martin of Hilton Head Health coordinated and hosted a talk for tonight and asked me to speak.  I was thrilled at the opportunity.  Ted Talks have a rule that your presentation must be 20 minutes or less. 

I had a great time delivering my talk as well as watching the others.  I hope those in attendance found the evening as enjoyable as I did. 

Obviously, my talk would be centered on weight loss and my incredible journey to wellness. I also fulfilled some of a dream I have had....to do more public speaking.  I really enjoy it and would love to have more opportunities like this one tonight!  What a fun experience!

If the video is selected for inclusion on the TED website, I will be sure to post a link here for you all to see!

Monday, August 27, 2012


I had the pleasure of attending my first Ironman competition this weekend in Louisville, KY.  I have so much to say yet am having a difficult time putting it to words.

To catch people up to speed that may not know Jeff, he was my coach during and after my 4 week stay at Hilton Head Health in 2011.  I found a close bond with him on so many levels.  We just 'clicked'.

When someone supports you as much as he has supported me, I could not turn down an opportunity to support him on what would be the biggest endurance challenge for him to date. 

First, let's talk about Ironman competitions.  There were more than 2500 participants yesterday,  To take on a full Ironman which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and finishes up with a full marathon, you must prepare.  Physically and mentally.  You don't just decide one day to do an Ironman without having some experience in triathlons or even endurance events such as marathons under your belt.  Or, maybe you do just decide to do it.  Those were possibly the people I saw getting carted away on stretchers at the end of the race.

I was worried about Jeff.  Nervous.  The best athletes in the world break down on these events.  Missing critical nutrition along the way or unforseen accidents and injuries are common.  I know in my heart that Jeff is a top-notch athlete.  But....STILL....this is a frigging 140.6 mile event.  Oh, and it was forecasted to be 94° and humid!

The field of bikes in the transiton area was unbelievable to see.  The line of participants that we strolled past to find Jeff was mind boggling.  I was so happy that we found him and he was feeling good going in. 

Away he went on the swim.  We waited for him at the first transition.  The atmosphere was electric.  Competetors of all ages, shapes and sizes.  Some were shapes that I could not believe I was seeing but I won't go there.

Then onto the bike.  A gruelling 112 miles in hilly terrain.  I heard stories today at breakfast of a ride that stopped to kiss his wife and was hit by another rider.  These guys go 18-25 MPH so that collission had to be bad.  Another rider dropped a bottle and it somehow hit his spokes of the front tire.  He was launched and crashed badly.  This is a very dangerous phase of the race.

After so many hours on the bike, you get to try your legs out on a 26.2 mile run.  BRUTAL!

We saw Jeff at miles 1, 3, 14 and the finish.  My nervousness for him waned as he always was cruising along and all smiles as he passed us. 

I will let you read his blog which you can find here on this link as I am sure he will tell his side of the story and about his actual times.  I don't want to steal his thunder on any of that.

I will talk about what I took away from this.  No, I don't have any goals to be an Ironman.  They would not fit within the SMART goals system which include the words ATTAINABLE and REALISTIC.  At least not now.  What I took away from the event was seeing someone go for a new level of achievement no differently than if you have never done a 5K and finally decide to get your butt off of the couch and just do it.  From a goal perspective, they are no different.  They require dedication and planning. 

I also had my inner fire renewed to keep pushing myself.  I have become very complacent lately.  This is partly because I needed a break from such an intense focus of losing weight but also to show myself that I can maintain at a level and not gain even though I am not losing for a while.  I managed to do that.  Now, I have such a renewed vigor to get nasty in the gym and work harder than I have in the past 16 months. 

I know Jeff appreciated us all being there.  What he does not realize is what that event did for me as well.  I am completely in awe and inspired by his achievement and success at the Ironman.  I am so lucky to have a guy like Jeff in my life as well as the other H3 alumni that were there.  You are all family to me.  I never knew when I walked into Hilton Head Health that the connections and bonds I would make in those 4 weeks would have such a profound impact in me so long after my stay.

Congrats Jeff.  You are an absolute IRONMAN both athletically and as a man, friend and mentor.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Summer Games Are Unhealthy

If you are like me, you are spending more time in front of the TV lately because of the Olympics.  It seems odd that something that is possible because of some of the most awesome athletes and healthy people in the world could drive the rest of us to endless hours on the couch. 

As a "new" athlete, I find absolute joy in watching the tough endurance events such as swimming and track & field.  I am also looking forward to the Triathlon and Marathon events! 

I understand that it costs money to broadcast the Olympics covering hundreds of events with cameras and commentators (not that we see even 1/3 of them).  Money means sponsors and commercials. 

The two biggest sponsors for the Olympics are McDonald's and Coca-Cola.  Think about it.  How much soda of any kind does Michael Phelps drink?  How many trips to McDonald's does Gabby make after working out with her gymnastics coach?  I bet the marathoners skip the whole Paleo eating idea and just have a Big Mac when they need a snack.  My hunch is that Jeff Ford has no idea what he is talking about.  That is probably why he is doing Ironman Triathlons and not going to the olympics, right?

OK, I am officially talking out of my bum as they might say in London.

The truth is, while I thank the big, unhealthy sponsors for paying NBC millions of dollars, it is like advertising down jackets and winter wear on local Aruba TV.  One has nothing to do with the other. 

Coca-Cola was the premiere sponsor for the torch relay.  I assume they threw in mandatory stops for insulin for their athletes that carried the torch? 

McDonald's actually has the world's larget McDonald's within the Olympic village.  Who is eating here?

The reality here is that WE made them the gigantic companies they are.  We drove through their drive thrus and bought too much of their food.  We have had too much of "A Coke and a Smile" for far too long.  We have created the monster.

Well, I think an event is coming on....I need to get to McDonald's and get a Coke and a few sandwiches before it starts.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Still Lost?

I was out for a bike ride down here in Miramar, FL last week and as I cruised through a business park, I saw a guy in a delivery truck clearly lost.  He was trying to find a business within a maze of buildings and offices.  Furthermore, the roads are all names similarly like Commerce Way, Commerce Parkway, Commerce Drive, etc. 

As a frequent business traveler, when I visit a new area, I am sure to bring my GPS with me.  Most people have them either as portable units, in-dash units or on smartphones.  It is cheap, accessible technology.  How can a delivery truck not have this technology?  It baffles me.

Similarly, as people navigate the complex pathways before them to get to a healthy weight or even maintain a health weight and lifestyle, you do not have to do this with blindfolds on.  Besides the obstacles out in the real world to deal with, we all have to deal with the multi-billion dollar diet and weight loss industry which is clouded with sometimes ineffective information such as fad diets and schemes that those of us that fell to their lure in the past know are not long term solutions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Much like people without a GPS to find their way in a car, it baffles me that people do not use the resources available to them to navigate this route! 

Tools exist to take away that feeling of being lost or going in circles.  Know your RMR!  Go to a good calculator and figure it out!  Use tools such as a Fitbit!  Use online or smartphone tools like Calorieking and My Fitness Pal to track activity and intake. 

If you need that support from a professional to help navigate the upcoming challenges, you might want to enroll in a coaching program such as H3@Home which is one that I have a very positive experience with. 

Don't be lost.  Find a set of effective tools and navigation devices to lead you to your goal. 
You must have a good roadmap. 
You must know where you are going or like the delivery driver, you sit and look around, lost.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

No Frills Fitness

Like so many Americans, I have paid health club fees pretty much all of my married years.  For most of those years, it was 100% profit for the club as we rarely if ever went.  That of course is different for me now.  I can remember being members of different YMCAs and of course being from the Minneapolis area, Lifetime Fitness was 'THE place' to be.  We have not been members of Lifetime since we moved to New Richmond, WI over 6 years ago but I know our dues were over $100 a month then.  My buddy Spiff just told me he is cancelling now as well because their dues were even higher at Lifetime.  It just is not worth it.

I think even today if I went into a Lifetime, the idea of such a big club would woo me back into thinking I wanted to be there again.  They sell it well and you look around at the amenities and cannot help but think of it as kind of a country club atmosphere.  You want to enjoy all of those amenities.  You want  to sit around after a workout and chat with friends, sipping a drink, enjoying life.  OK, a little bit over the top.  The truth is, when you go there, you change, workout and leave.  Time is short for these activities and the last thing you have time to do is lounge around just to be there.

Enter 2012.  A new breed of fitness is on the market.  No frills.  No gymnasium.  Few or no classes.  Just equipment, a few TVs, some loud music and sweat.

Since I belong to a community run and owned fitness center in  New Richmond, it obviously has no reciprocity elsewhere in the US where I travel.  The hotel I frequent in Miramar has crappy treadmills and so I needed a club down there.  I found YouFit Health Clubs.  $10 a month for single membership and for $20, you can bring a friend whenever you want and get free skin cancer, err, tanning.  I chose the $10 package.

On this season's Biggest Loser, they changed their sponsor from 24 Hour Fitness to Planet Fitness. Here also you get a customized if not completely arrogant color scheme on all of the equipment for just $10 per month.  Like YouFit, $19.99 gets you guest access, tanning and access to all locations.

Last night I saw yet another new strip mall fitness club.  This one is Blast Fitness.  Again for $10, you get access to their club.  Here for the big plan, you get group fitness, tanning and spinning classes in addition to the bring a friend deal.  They offer babysitting as well which might be in both plans.  Lastly, this club has a women's only area available.
I think all of these might be $10 for just the introductory period of one year (I know YouFit is that way) so it is best to check before you expect that rate forever.  The bottom line is that for less than I used to spend on a fast food stop, you can have a month of health club access.  Cost should no longer be an issue for anyone.  Everyone has $10.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I am a little late bringing this to the blog, but I finally finished watching The Weight of the Nation on HBO.  As my earlier post suggested, I was worried.  There were many government agencies sourced in this documentary and while I am not one to point every finger at government for the obesity issues in our country, there certainly have been instances in the past where the government’s idea of healthy meals might have contributed.  Some might say that the old food pyramid was built to support our grain industry in this country but in reality, those foods are not in our best interest from a health perspective.  I felt this series could go either way.  One thing in the film that surprised me was how they did in fact go after the grain and farm subsidies and their special interest groups.  They illustrate how grain farmers and companies that have the stronghold in this industry such as Cargill get subsidies when their crops do well and when they fail.  There is really not any disincentive for the grain farmers to convert farmland into vegetable farms.  For the small vegetable farms that exist, there are no incentives at all.  This is why processed pasta is so much cheaper than broccoli. 

By the time I was halfway through the second part, I was ecstatic.  It was as if they went to Hilton Head Health and stole the curriculum.  From the portion control class to the basic concept of calories in vs. calories out, it was right down the middle.  It addressed what I felt it should address!  While watching the first 3, I was scribbling down statistics and notes but lost my paper somewhere between episode 3 and 4.  If I track it down, I will come back out and post some of the notable numbers I found.

Some reviews suggest that the series was a little heavy on scare tactics.  Yes, the series does imply that we are at a very bad place and the impacts to the US and employer’s ability to compete in the global market is at risk because of the rising health care costs.  I like this approach.  The curve of the line over time is moving to a more vertical direction.  The impacts of obesity are beginning to snowball.  We should be scared and concerned.

I only have one main issue with the series.  It tends to be a pattern in the film to blame everyone for the obesity problem in the US.  Blame the soda companies, the junk food companies, etc.  These companies play a role in what we eat and how we are marketed to, no doubt.  I would leave this in the series but they needed to stress that people need to be responsible for what they eat.  In past posts, I came clean.  What I ate was the key driver in my obesity.  Sure, it was marketed to me but the commercial did not shove it in my mouth.  We need to be people that take ownership for where we are whether we are talking about our own health, finance or any other aspect of our life that we have any control over.

If you do not have HBO, you can still watch these films for free online at http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/  I would encourage you to watch as they were very informative.

They also posted some neat themes and summary level pages at http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/themes

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Something's Fishy

I stumbled on this story on CNN about a man that is upset with a local bar for cutting him off from the AYCE fish fry (that is shorthand for those of us that have a tendency to look for All You Can Eat foods). 

Maybe I should rewind a little for those not local.  In Wisconsin and certainly neighboring states, the Friday Fish Fry is not just a Lent thing.  This is a year around tradition.  Some are ACYE but not all.  Usually they are 2-3 big pieces of fish with slaw and fries (slightly more calories than you should eat regularly).  You can ask anyone who has the best fish fry in any community and the answer is usually unanimous.  Around New Richmond where I live, it is the 4 Corners Bar just outside of town on the way to Amery. 

This guy has decided to take on his local place because they cut him off.  Now, I get his point....AYCE should mean that.  That is where my solidarity for this guy ends. 

If he looked like 105 pound Sonya Thomas, a.k.a. The Black Widow, I might even have to stop writing now.  This guy does not look healthy at all. 

When I was eating too much, all the time, I did not look very healthy either.  When I visited an AYCE plated restaurant, even I filled up and certainly would not keep eating even when I still had 'room'.  It was a visual stigma that I felt everyone had towards me.  Even at Old Country Buffet I overate like crazy but always felt like I needed to hold back a little.  In short, I was very self conscious about what I looked like and how I was perpetuating that look.

I would be SO embarrased to be on CNN, front and center with this story.  It is gluttony at its worst and unfortunately it is happening in my state. 

See the news video here:  http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/151468665.html

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Big Buzz

It seems that the nation is becoming consumed with obesity.  This is good.  I can recall when I was at my unhealthiest and stories on being obese or overweight felt like a personal attack.  Not in the story iteself but when someone around me talked about the story or the headline in my presence, I felt like they were indirectly speaking to me.  When you know you have a problem but are not ready to confront it and take it on, any reference to it hits home even more.

Lately, it has been the buzz.  In fact, I nearly titled this post, "A Big FAT Buzz" but it felt a little bit derrogatory to me.

This week and not coincidentally close to the debut of the HBO Documentary, "The Weight Of The Nation",  a story was released with the obesity rates in the USA to all of the major news outlets.  The story goes on about the obesity rate predicted to crescendo at 42% of Americans.  I linked to it but you could not have been anywhere on the web this week without seeing that story.

Another story talks about the obesity rates being doubled globally since 1980.  The Weight of the Nation

How do I feel about this now given the big changes in my life over th last year?  Guarded, actually. 

Will this be the real deal and share the right information or will it be heavily geared toward some political agenda?  There is so much "information" available to people and yet so little of it really contributes to a solution.  I don't want it to be just a crusade against sugar based drinks. Yes, they are bad.  Yes, a good portion of the country is obese because they drink Coke and Mountain Dew.  Is cracking down on the soda the problem or should they explain how the calories impact your body whether it is soda, cookies, a big mac or a banana? 

I am hopeful that this series is working in the right direction.  I guess we'll know in a week!

Friday, April 27, 2012

What An Industry!

It is estimated that the weight loss industry was worth $390 billion in 2010 and will be something in the area of $671 billion  by 2015.  The saying should be, "The only guarantees in life are death, taxes and being bombarded with information on how to lose weight!"

This week in USA Today, they posted some new books hitting the shelves.  These are big books.  Big money too.  I looked over them and wonder what it could be that they write so much about. 

I have lost weight and I don't think I would need much more than a chapter or two to go over what my silver-bullet secret is in depth.  My "secret" was learned at H3

I like to refer to Bob Wright at Hilton Head Health when I think about how to navigate all of the sure-fire solutions and diets out there.  I call it my "Wright Wradar".  In short, it just means to use a good common sense filter when considering some of these books and strategies out there.

I scanned the article from USA Today but it just did not turn out good, however that is not stopping me from posting them for some filler on this blog ;-)

Looking them over, the synopsis of each gives me some direction on which books I find to be a complete waste of money and which books might be just a long read with some OK information in them.  The only one I would buy straight out is the book on the Volumetrics Diet.  I prefer to not call it a diet because it is what I practice everyday at home.  This is basically the concept of taking everyday meals and making the portions bigger by using other, low calorie ingredients (usually veggies) to bulk them up.  In a nutshell, don't eat like a bird when you feel like you need to cut calories.

My thoughts based on the synopsis of each book is below.  DISCLAIMER - I am truly judging these books by their cover and 2 sentence synopsis:

  • S.A.S.S. Yourself Thin - 4 meals a day with whole foods, and mandatory dark chocolate.  Hmmmm....sounds like a long book to tell you to eat good veggies and treat yourself a little.
  • The Dash Diet - Pick foods you enjoy, don't set unrealistic goals, blah, blah, blah.  Same book, different title.  I have actually read the concept of this (Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension).  It was wordy and complex.  Just long enough and complex enough for people to say 'Forget it!".  It does not need to be.  Save your time and money.
  • The Starch Solution - Eat rice, starches, rice, corn, etc.  Avoid fats and oils.  This is a new one....the opposite of the Atkins essentially.  I would be curious to see what the calories on this thing suggests.  Either way, it is NOT sustainable long term much like Atkins and therefore just another gimmick diet, not a lifestyle change.
  • Ultimate Volumetrics Diet - Again, I prefer this one but just call it 'How to cook with volumetrics' and leave it at that!
  • The Blood Sugar Solution - A six week plan to reverse Type II Diabetes and obesity renamed as Diabesity avoiding processed food, blah, blah, blah regurgitated.  Brilliant.  Then what the heck are you supposed to eat after the 6 weeks?  This guy says one of the the biggest mistake dieters make is counting calories.  Uh, really?  This guy is a chip off of the PT Barnum block!
  • Weight Loss Boss - Written by the CEO of Weight Watchers (intriguing).  This does focus on habits you can maintain for life and not just  2 month period of deprivation.  Did we need a book to tell us that?

Don't get suckered in here folks.  Follow these rules at no charge and you still have the rest of the night to read a good book.

  • Know what your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) is.  You can calculate this at the Hilton Head Health daily blog under nutrition.
  • Track your meals.  Eat what you want, but be accountable for every calorie.  I think the need to eat bigger meals will win out over just eating what you want.
  • Get 50 minutes of exercise 4-5 times a week doing exercises you enjoy.  Exercise means 'increased heart rate'.
  • Wash, rinse, repeat.

There you have it!  The SECRET IS OUT and I am not going to make a dime of that $671 billion.  Oh well, maybe Al will give me a loan (had to do it....been a long time since he got a mention).

Sorry for the bad scans....you can probably find this article out on USA Today if you want to read it for yourself.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Year Later...

Today is a very special day for me.  One year ago, I began the most amazing, life changing and body transforming journey.  I thought today about how I felt as I went through that first day at Hilton Head Health

First was the blood work.  Bob threatened to use dull, dirty needles on me because he is a Braves fan and I am a Twins fan.  He still is not quite over the 1991 World Series I guess.  I liked him from the first meeting even as he poked me and delivered some bad news to me.  My cholesterol was OK by number but the HDL was so low, he could not get a reading.  All of my cholesterol was bad, LDL.  My blood sugar revealed that I was a walking type II diabetic.  I work in this data every day and knowing the number of comorbidities that accomodate diabetes, it was a dose of reality that really hurt.  It reinforced why I was there yet was devastating news.  Hopefully the damage was not too far along and I would get better.

I remember struggling to do pretty much anything fitness related as one might expect for someone nearing 400 pounds.  The staff were all amazing though with their encouragement and faith that I would get stronger.  Even riding my bike the 1.5 mile ride from my condo to H3 was hard and bring me to pant uncontrolled. 

The days were long but the weeks were short.  Before I knew it, I was on that flight to MSP with a renewed sense of drive and some goals set.  Could this really be the solution to being overweight?  Did they tell me the secrets that I had searched for? 

It was so simple.  It was too simple.  I had tried everything!  Body for Life challenges, Redux, Atkins, South Beach, and anything else that looked like it was the silver bullet. 

I found an incredible bond with all of the employees at Hilton Head Health.  From the instructors to the fitness team.  You even gain bonds with the interns and culinary staff.  They all play a key part in that well rounded recipe for success.  While everyone was special, I found a bond with Jeff Ford that still exists today.  A day does not pass where I don't think of him or some memory of being at H3 getting rowdy with him in treading or ultra-circuit.  He became my @home coach and I consider him a great friend. 

An unexpected connection was with the other guests while I was there.  Many are still good friends and connections yet today. 

So tonight as I ran 5 miles in celebration of a great year and went out for a nice light dinner with a certain 'Pals' of mine, I took pride that I was still eating healthy and still losing weight a year later...something I have never done before on any 'diet'.  This is my life now.  I can celebrate the good times and treat myself but always go looking back to the healthy meals.  As my dinner companion tonight realized, the couple next to us were talking about how they were too full, and feeling like they could not move.  We had a GREAT meal and felt like a million bucks.  It is SO AWESOME to feel like this.

This trip would not have been as easy as it has been though if not for my friends from H3, trainers like Jeff, Karla, Adam and Amber and the tips from the culinary staff like Jen and Karla.  This change would certainly not have been possible without great support from my immediate family and my extended family.  They helped make my trip possible.  I only want to make them proud.  I also have to thank my coworkers from the guys I work with every day to the HR department and senior management that supported my leave of absence.  I feel that I am 100x the employee I was a year ago. 

I now look forward to this new year. I can only imagine how fantastic it will be. To the people that had the room next to me at the Oakland Hilton that put the note about my snoring keeping them awake all night and told me that I needed to get help. Well, I did. I found the best place on earth to get help! Anyone can do this. Just start today. Before you know it, a year will pass.
The last time we'll have to see all of this guy....March 2011

My Awesome Family After a 7K Race! 

Andy and Jim with me before the start...looking ready to RUN!

Celebrating an awesome finish to the Get Lucky 7K with awesome coworkers!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Confessions Of A Fruity Salad Guy

INTRO: Hello, my name is The Orracle and I eat salads that are fruity.

RESPONSE: Welcome, Orracle.

I feel like I need to join FSA….Fruity Salads Anonymous…..or is that sal-anon?  I know that The Rube may have a heyday with the 'Fruity Salad Guy' title.  I had no choice but to go with it!

I have always liked salads. I like them with lots of toppings but those toppings were always manly toppings like onions, peppers and most importantly, blue cheese dressing. We’re not talking low fat blue cheese. We’re talking home-made or really bad for you dressing like Maries. My first changes after Hilton Head Health were to move to the Dip and Spear methodology. That has allowed me to maintain the heavier dressings but just use very little of it. Two containers at a restaurant was barely enough before where now I can get by with ¼ of a single container/cup.

One day, I did not have any ‘good’ dressing. Ashlie had some raspberry vinaigrette. I decided to try it and why not throw some strawberries on it. I was instantly hooked. Then we found a better raspberry dressing from Panera that Target carries. It looks like raspberry jam it is so red! This dressing is 20 calories per 2 TBSP. Pouring this one on is safer and easier since it is a little bit thin to dip and spear. There is a Kraft version of this dressing that is an OK runner-up if you cannot find the Panera version.

The salad pictured below is the current favorite recipe.

• Salad greens of your choice
• Cut up strawberries
• Fresh blueberries
• Fresh blackberries
• Grape tomatoes
• Crushed, unsalted pecans (approx 10 pecans)
• Small amount of reduced fat crumbled feta cheese
• Panera Bread Raspberry Vinaigrette

I still love blue cheese but this is right up there and in this concoction, very healthy and as low in fat and calories as you can get!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Justification

Justification. I am the king of justification. Whether it is justifying on how badly I need something and the money used for it to be legitimate or whether it is an occasion to go overboard on food. It seemed that even before I changed my lifestyle, I looked forward to those occasions. When you feel badly about how you eat or how you do not take care of yourself, those days are your days to say that you deserve it. The only happens once a year, right? I used to eat Super Bowl quantities of food EVERY day….but on Super Sunday, it was OK in my mind.

So many people use the Super Bowl to go crazy. Bob Wright of Hilton Head Health gave statistics on their daily blog about how many tons of chicken wings would be eaten on Super Sunday.

Does a lifestyle change mean no more wings? Does it mean no more indulgences at all? Of course not. If you deny yourself completely, you will be setting yourself up for binges and situations you will later regret. I do think that a lifestyle change means you should moderate yourself even on those days. Find some healthy alternatives to take up some of the bulk but still enjoy those favorite items.

If you are like the guy below, I hope you planned for it. I hope you do not find yourself in a situation where you regret where you allowed yourself to go. No matter if it is an event like a Super Bowl party, a holiday with family or just a comfort food day, plan for it. When you plan for it, you have an understanding of what you will allow yourself and can govern your behavior on that. It should be no different than a goal when you hop onto a treadmill. You get on knowing what you want to accomplish from a time, speed and distance perspective. When you reach that goal, you are done. Treat these special events the same way but know what ‘done’ is before you get into the situation and have a pile of bones 8” high on your plate. Plan, regulate and move on. If you follow that, you will not be where you beat yourself up. You will not put yourself into a mental hole. You are living the change.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I am looking to challenge YOU!  Everyone wants to start the year off with wellness and we all know that the gyms are just a little bit busier right now.  Sometimes, we get in a rut though.  Maybe we just don't want to do the same workout.  Maybe we do not want to go at all!  We need a push or a shove in some cases.  I know that I respond to support and people around me.  I have a perfectly good treadmill in my basement in front of a 92" ceiling projection movie theater.  I rarely use it.  Instead, I drag my butt to our local gym (I live in a small town).  I go to the New Richmond Centre which is a GREAT facility!  It has more of a community feel than many of the big box, corporate owned fitness centers.  Why do I go to the Centre?  I am more likely to push myself on that treadmill when someone is right next to me or behind me.  I am more likely to run longer and faster.  I assume they are all comparing themselves to me....which is probably just a bad case of narcissism but it works.  I love it when someone gets onto a tread next to me after I have started and hangs it up long before I am done.  YES!  I WIN.....it is just unfortunate that they did not realize it was a contest!

That push or goal can come in many formats.    If we set our own goals and have nobody to watch us or cheer us on, some of us might struggle to maintain them especially when the excitement of the new year has passed and we could lose sight of that resolution.

Back on 12/30, I posted about a site called FLEETLY.  I am currently doing the Winter 100 Mile Challenge.  For this one, I need to run 100 miles between January 1 and March 31.  It tracks your progress and gives medals for so many different milestones.

I think the neatest thing about this site is that you can link to friends.  That is a great way to hold each other accountable! 

I am asking for YOU....right NOW.....to go and join Fleetly and sign up for a challenge.  It could be a full year long challenge or something more immediately measurable and attainable to follow our SMART goal direction.

If you are a local here in New Richmond, sign up for a contest and tell me when you are headed to the Centre and I will do whatever workout you choose.  Possibly even Zumba at which I would struggle not physically but with coordination.  I will do whatever you choose. 

Even if you are not here in New Richmond with me, sign up and link to me.  Challenge me to a challenge with you!  We do not need to be together....we do not need to be at Hilton Head Health and we do not need Jeff, Adam, Amy or Amber to be there.  We can own this!

What are you waiting for?

Sign up 
Link to me (Lyle Orr) 

Let the games begin!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Exclusive....Before and After Pictures at 8 Months!

If you are starting a journey this week with the ringing in of 2012 or part way through a journey much like I am, let these pictures show you how much you can really do in a short period of time.  I am not done with my transformation.  I have some pounds to lose still as you can see in the pictures.  Still, looking at the difference of where I was in 2009, 2010 and early 2011 compared with today, I cannot help but be just a little bit proud of myself!  More importantly, I want YOU to know that you can make small changes that over a short period of time (8 months) like I have that will in turn, make a MAJOR difference for YOU too! 

I am excited to know where I will be on my 1 year anniversary of visiting Hilton Head Health on April 24.

An Unhealthy Man On a Cruise - April 2008 

 An Unhealthy Man With Dr. Opheim (College Choir Conductor) - May 2010

An Unhealthy Father with Ashlie...
Black's BBQ in Lockhart, TX - November 2010 (yummy though!)

A Sick Puppy....(not the dog....ME).  Christmas 2010

March 2011....A Throwback...Just About Rock Bottom!

March 2011...Last You'll See This Guy!  DJing a Party 
1 Week Before Leaving for Hilton Head Health...373 Pounds

The Beginning....Feeling GREAT After 1 Hour With Karla Doing Some Cardio Boxing at H3!

Finishing My First 5K With A Co-Worker....down 100 Pounds That Day!

Celebrating With A GREAT GUY at H3 After Devin's Dash - My 2nd 5K with Hardware!

January 3, 2012 - Wearing My Pre-H3 Pants and Shirt

 Just a Little Extra Room...

Old Clothes...54" Waist (worn below belly) and a 5XL Shirt!

My Pre-H3 Belt....I Was On The LAST Hole!

The NEW and IMPROVED Orracle! 
Now 120 Pounds Less
38" Waist (Still below the belly!) 
XL Shirt Size

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year, New Goals To Keep You Motivated

I have to say that I have hit my major goals that I have been pushing for since my visit to Hilton Head Health in April/May 2011.  I have never really stopped pushing and certainly have not regressed in any manner.  Lately though, I have found myself with some distance goals in mind but that was it.  Something has been missing.

Tonight I was at a sporting goods store which actually is dangerous for me now since so many things are appealing and fit my new body that I could easily spend $500 and not break a sweat.  I saw ski boots and thought I'd look at them.

Some of you know that in high school, I was an avid downhill skier with my buddies.  I found that after college as I gained weight, I could barely get ski boots buckled around my legs until the point where it was completely impossible.  I have wanted to ski with my kids for years but have not been able to.

I tried on a few boots tonight and unfortunately, none would close around my legs.  It is good though because I would not be tempted to spend the $300+ on them right away.  It is a little disheartening since I really wanted to ski this winter.  The best thing about it is that I now have a new goal to reach!  I needed this!

Now as we move towards 2012, it is time for you to find your goals.  Call them resolutions or whatever you want but make them.  Make them SMART goals! 


I think most importantly, they need to be behavior based goals.  This was one of the most critical things I took away from Adam Martin's goal setting class at H3.  Don't think about numbers or sizes.  Think about things you want to be doing as a goal. For me, skiiing is a behavior based goal.

Think about using a website to help you reach your goals.  A while ago on www.h3daily.com, Amy Kelderhouse posted about a goal setting website called STIKK.com.  I like the idea behind this site!

One that a co-worker showed me today is one to track your activity where you can join challenges of various levels and where you earn points for activities.  These points drive your 'fitness level'.  I really like this site for creative workout ideas for when you are having less time, traveling or just need a change of pace from your normal routine.  Here is the link to this site which is called Fleetly and free to use as well.  I like the ability to link yourself with friends on this site.  Accountability is KING!

When you are standing at the bottom of a giant hill, the climb looks daunting. You know you can do it but it will be such a long, hard task.  That is how I felt in March of this year before I started this journey.  Now, it has been 8 months since the day I checked into H3 and time has flown by.  That day, looking up at the hill seems like just yesterday.  It has been easier to climb this hill than I ever could have imagined while standing at the bottom looking up.  Don't let your mind get in the way of you taking that first step!  This is YOUR YEAR!  YOU have ALL the tools you need to start right now!

To everyone that has cheered me on this year and supported me, whether from work, home, New Richmond or someone I have met along the way, I am truly grateful for you and your support.  I cherish each and every one of you for what you have brought to my life and I only wish I could repay every one of you back for the support you have shown me.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Beat The Resolution Rush!

Here we are in the middle of December, officially in Christmas mode (only allowable AFTER The ORRacle's birthday on the 8th).  Those of you out there that have been giving yourself the, "I am going to start eating right and exercising on Monday" talk are probably now shifting to the, "I am going to kick my butt in gear when the New Year comes" talk. 

I know.  I have been there. 

Why not start now?  Does it mean you cannot have a nice Christmas dinner?  Does it mean you cannot have fun on New Year's?  Absolutely not!  There is no reason to wait!  Just think how much better you will feel at your health club having pushed through the beginning workouts BEFORE the newbie rush at the club on January 3.  You will already be on the ground running!

This year has been the best of my life.  I feel better than I can ever remember and love my new lifestyle.  I have one regret about the whole thing.  That regret is that I waited until April of this year to make the change.  I have had amazing success but just imagine where I would be now if I had started last December at this time.  My everyday life is so much easier and especially my work life.  As I type this post, I am flying back from a business trip, sitting in an exit row seat.  This is something I could have not done last December because I had to use a seatbelt extender.  Back then, I could only imagine how freeing it would be to not have to worry about not getting an upgrade or sitting next to someone on a full flight.  It stressed me out beyond belief.

Whether you just have a few pounds of 200 to lose, take that step today.  Don't wait.....you will be glad you did it!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

First Ever Thanksgiving Post

I have been blogging for a few years but this will be my first Thanksgiving post.  Sure, I think we're all thankful for our family, friends and our life we get to live in this country.  I think many of us say they are most thankful for the day or two off from work and maybe the Tryptophan coma they put themselves into.

This year as you may suppose, my thoughts are running high on the thankful chart.  I look back on the year that started rough for me with the end of a long, gruelling project at work in March.  Then I realized I was at rock-bottom with my health and needed to make changes.  I found Hilton Head Health.  From that point on April 24, my life would be forever changed and it is something that I cannot express enough thanks for.

I need to start with my employer for granting me the leave of absence and work accomodations.  Then add in my sister for helping me financially with the cost of going to H3.  My wife and kids had to sacrifice as well with me gone for 28 days straight.  Traveling for work has me home on the weekends at least but this was a full month of absence.

Now we come to the H3 staff.  EVERYONE needs to get a mention.  Bob for his wisdom and understanding, Beth for her good ear to hear my story, Adam for the fitness leadership and knowledge, Amber for being tough on us sick guys, Katie for being so awesome as a trainer in and out of the pool, Kat and Kelia for their awesomeness in keeping us happy while onsite.  Christie and John at the front desk to help out with anything or just chat with when you are too sore to go to another workout.  Karla gets a special nod because she is sweet, can cook up a storm and then kick your butt in Cardio Boxing which is my most favorite thing at H3!  Louise for being so kind to chat with and also as a trainer...I miss doing step with her!  Chef Jen for showing me that you can eat different food for 28 days that is healthy and tasty without any exception.  Plus, she is a former Minnesotan...special in my heart.  She understands us from up north!  Alicia for her chat the day I made my testimonial....you made that easy and are a great asset to H3!

Jeff gets his own paragraph.  When I went to H3 if you would have told me that my closest friend leaving would be a 22 year old guy that does ironman competitions, I would have laughed you off.  Jeff is that guy.  We hit it off in class with our mutual love of the challenge but also in how we enjoy the energy and dare I say cutting it up in class.  I fed off of his energy and I think that is mutual.  Then add in the @home coaching.  I looked forward to our sessions which at first were keeping me stable and eliminating the risks of my upcoming weeks.  In the latter meetings, it was more about success and just chatting about what he and I had going on in training and life in general.  I could go on forever about Jeff but I will save something for later/

Now, we come to the amazing people I met at H3,  Lifelong friends.  Dale B, Kelly B, James W, Big Daddy, John, the man that showed me what a metabo-oyster is, my lady friends from North Carolina and Lousiana Lisa, Liz F, John D., Maglio C, Cari D, Chemain, the new friends I made from the cast of Heavy like Stacia, Julia, Johnny and Debbie plus so many others I know I am forgetting.  Throw in the new crew that was there for Devin's Dash that knew me before I got there.  Keep reading these posts and keep working hard!  You inspire me knowing I may have inspired you! 

This year with 118 pounds lost to date has been my best year.  I feel amazing and can do amazing things.  Thankful does not even begin to cut it.  I look forward to the next year and the challenges I have before me such as losing an additional 60 pounds, transitioning to 10Ks, 10 milers and an eventual 1/2 marathon.  Yes Jeff, a spring tri is in there too. I look forward to having amazing health as I turn 41 in a couple of weeks. 

Thank you all for helping me make this monumental change in my life.  Thank you for SAVING my life.  That is something worth being thankful for.

I should save something for a New Year's post but I want to wish you all on a quest to get healthy and lose weight the courage, stamina and strength to beat your demons and kick obesity's butt!  You have all the tools you need to do it. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why A Pill For Everything?

USAToday ran this story recently on rasining good cholesterol (HDL).  We all know we need to keep our HDL higher and our LDL lower....well, we (I) know this now.  When I got to Hilton Head Health (H3), I was surprised that the day I arrived, my HDL was 7.  Just....7.  Despite my total cholesterol being in a decent range, the fact that I had all bad LDL was not good news.  To quote Bob Wright, I had lots of garbage (LDL) but no garbage trucks (HDL) to take it away.

Over the course of my stay at H3 for 28 days, I managed to raise my HDL significantly through diet and exercise.  This is not something that is necessarily a common outcome at H3 since their nutrition limits us to 1200 calories a day.  Given my starting point of 7, I guess even with those dietary restrictions, mine had nowhere to go but up!

When I read the story, I found myself with mixed feelings about it.  Another drug is possibly coming available to help raise your HDL.  That is just what America does NOT need....another pill to help accomodate their bad eating and fitness habits.  Have Type II Diabetes....we have pumps, pills and shots.  If you have bad cholesterol, we have pills that lower and soon pills that raise the good. 

The piece that nobody seems to pay attention to in drugs like this is the risk of taking it.  The story points out that an earlier CETP inhibitor actually raised the risk of heart problems. 

Now, like obesity, I believe some people are just not blessed with the right genetics to fend it off.  Same goes for limited diabetics.  If your pancreas just does not do what it is supposed to, that is when the meds are a GREAT innovention in our lives.  The problem with having a pill for everything is that it is far too easy to swallow compared to putting in some effort of eating right and moving your body.

Before jumping into a lap band, pill or medicine to address your cholesterol, weight or diabetes, give yourself one seriously honest effort at fixing it through diet and exercise.  If that does not work after a truly devoted effort, then turn the page to medicine.  You can do this like I have and feel so much better about it down the line!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finding Pillars In Your Life

Last week, I learned that my college choral conductor, Dr. Vernon Opheim passed at the age of 79.  It the big picture of things, I was only with Doc for a few years in college and saw him a few times after college; the most recent being in May 2010 at his home in Tucson, AZ.  Still, I think to how much I learned from Doc about music, about myself and saw how I wanted to live as a man.  Doc was a pillar in my life.  It breaks my heart to know I will never get to see and chat with him again. 

I also look at the time I spent at Hilton Head Health.  So many people there are top notch, loving caring people.  The entire crew there represents a pillar in my life but especially Jeff.  We connected and we celebrated making the change in my life together.  Jeff is a pillar in my life.  I continually look forward to the next race we might be a part of together or the next visit I make to H3. 

My parents are also pillars in my life.  I look at how they started their family at 16 and managed to build an awesome life for us through nothing but hard work and dedication to their work.  There is so much I take from that kind of mentality every day. 

My very own family represents a pillar for me.  Jess for how hard she works and manages things while I am on the road.  Ashlie for her talents and having the best parts of me in her character.  Jake for being the guy that keeps us honest...always being real and honest about everything he says and does. 

Obviously, we have these people in our lives that have touched us.  Some by a lifetime of knowing them and some for brief periods of time recent or not.  These pillars need to be our foundation of strength when times are tough.  As I continue down my weightloss and wellness journey, I find myself looking inward and continually find these pillars holding me up...keeping me strong.  I am doing this for me but I also do it for them. 

Don't let these pillars collect dust in your memory.  Keep them to the front of your mind whenever you find challenges or rough spots.  Keep them to the front when you are succeeding too!  Use them and the values they have brought to you personally to keep you strong. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Go Forward With What You Have Available

I had a conversation with someone on my flight from MSP-FLL today about technology and how tethered we are to it.  I need to come clean that for The Orracle, if not for technology, he could not pay the bills...but hang with me on this one.  As I talked, it dawned on me on how much we concern ourselves with purchases around technology.

For example, those of you that know me understand how much I really dislike (cr)apple products.  I would never buy an iPad.  I still do desire a tablet.  I really like the new Kindle Fire that is coming out for just $200 but with a smaller screen and just 8 GB of memory.  Listen again...just 8 GIGABYTES of memory

Go back to when we were in a space race.  Our brilliant minds in this country used slide rules and their mind.  Nowhere did they stop and say they could not do something or could not get by without bigger slide rules or slide rules with bigger numbers let alone calculators and 1/2" thick computers with Gigabytes of memory.  No, they used the technology they had and made amazing things happen around them day after day. 

In my case, I am consumed with possibly waiting for the 2nd generation Kindle fire to come out that will most likely have a bigger screen and 16 GB of memory.  We are just not willing to get by with what is available apparently.

I think we can take the same analogy to healthy living and eating.  Sometimes when we do not have the best food available or access to a top notch gym or even any gym, we just cannot make it happen.  We are tied mentally to looking for that easier way to do it when a simple 'slide rule' will do.  Unfortunately, there are wolves lurking on every TV station to sell you today's version of the Thigh Master or .  They know what your mindset is!  You have EVERYTHING you need to do whatever those gimmick items suggest they can do for you within your house already but it looks easier.  It looks like you can have more success if you buy it, right?

Tomorrow, take what tools you have for dinner and for exercise and make them work.  Don't wait until you have the perfect tool set to take your next step.  Don't assume you need the gym.  Make a slide-rule change tomorrow because what you have is exactly enough to do what you need to do tomorrow. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Finding a New Way to Think or React

An interesting theme has developed with my day today. First, I was reading an article in the NY Times while my flight was boarding and landed on a business article about a guy named Dan Schneider, founder of SIB. He is a high school dropout that founded his first business when he was 16 and had his first store at 18. Since then, he has built other companies which brings me to his most recent. What the company is does not matter. He has some work practices that I find absolutely excellent.
1) Unless it is a dire emergency, nobody is allowed to bring bad news to him after 3 PM. It provokes a culture where people are motivated to leave good situations to share at the end of the day which is what will be on your mind when you go home to your family and friends.

2) When someone makes a mistake that costs them time or money, rather than rant, rave and swear (like he said he used to), he makes that person go buy everyone ice cream complete with toppings which they all sit around and eat as a team. Like he describes, "Even when a little league team loses, they get ice cream!" It changes the culture about how we handle mistakes and ties a positive to it. He said errors have dropped significantly which is the desired outcome. They have only had ice cream 3 or 4 times since the first time.

3) Lastly, he handles employee retention by rewarding employees that stay 5 years with $50,000 and again after each additional 5 years! WOW! This keeps retraining costs down as well as a positive motivation to keep employees engaged, doing their best job they can. In my line of work, ramping up new employees is difficult and then when they bolt after 1-2 years, you really lose more money and productivity than a company realizes.

Then, I jumped on the Gogo Inflight and saw that my buddy Jeff Ford posted a new blog about one of his recent half marathons. He talked about running with the outright women's champion and her awesome sportsmanship. I'd tell you about it but I think you should read it for yourself by following this link!

While I spent 4 weeks at Hilton Head Health, the piece of the journey that I did not expect was the 'SELF' piece. We respond to the condition of our mind. If our mind is not in a good place, we will have a tendency to treat ourselves or others near us poorly. Positivity counts. Find a new way of thinking like the examples above. It will pay back to you ten-fold. Wellness is a multi-faceted task to embrace!

How will you change the way you think or react starting today?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beginning My Next Chapter

Since finding my way to Hilton Head Health in April, my life has not been better.  It was the beginning of this incredible journey towards personal wellness.  We will call that chapter 1.  My stay of 28 days at H3 was great and was very difficult to leave.  I wondered how great it would have been to have been able to do a stay of 3 months or even 6 months as others have done.  My success at home was just as great despite not being able to do it in a 'bubble' having classes with Jeff, Bob, Amber, Karla, Louise and others. 

My leaving H3 had 2 key goals for the upcoming months. 
1) No more use of a seatbelt extender on ANY airplane.    I still carry the old extender with...more as a reminder of where I was.
2) Return to H3 to run Devin's Dash on 10/8/11 without walking   Not only did I complete this but I did one on September 17th in Minneapolis.  Placing 2nd in my age group at H3 was so uplifting and will push me to do more races and get faster! 

Now with the goals met, it is time to start the next chapter in this journey.  I have not yet decided on the goals which surprisingly is the most difficult thing for me to do.  Keep in mind that the goals are behavior or activity based and not based on a number such as pounds lost or size clothing to be in.  The weight lost and clothing changes are just the beautiful by-product of reaching for the behavior goals.

I know that my future goals will include involving others at work and my great friends that I met at H3, especially those that were on the TV show filmed there, HEAVY. 

As I returned to H3 this week, I realized how many people are reading this blog or have watched my now very old H3 testimonial video on YouTube.  I felt like a celebrity!  A big thanks to Jeff for talking me up and using me as an example.  I am so glad that Jeff is my at home coach.  I want to thank everyone at H3, at work, in my hometown and my family for the support. 

You all inspire me to continue this trek!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

9-28-11 Red Road Rush Hour Rage by orr333 at Garmin Connect - Details

9-28-11 Red Road Rush Hour Rage by orr333 at Garmin Connect - Details

Testing the autopost feature from my Garmin Connect to my blog. This is my ride today in Miramar. Ended up missing a turn onto 37th and had to ride the very busy Red Road for a while in rush hour. A little scary for a small town Wisconsin Boy like me! Times are bad because of too many streets to cross. I most likely will not ride this route again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Find A Way To Stay Inspired

Since my visit to Hilton Head Health, I have not had much of a problem staying motivated.  I have had terrific success in weight loss now over 100 pounds.  I can honestly say that most of that can be accounted for by my steadfast focus on what I eat.  Bob tells us that it is 80% diet but I did not believe it was so true.  Truth is, I have had patterns of good weeks and bad when it comes to working out.  My travel schedule has been crazy and the hotel I stay at has really bad treadmills.  I now have a bike in Florida so that will certainly help me get more workouts in. 

For you, it may be that you have lost the inspiration you need to push through a workout or even start one.  Last week before my first ever 5K, I purchased a Garmin GPS Watch.(Garmin 405CX).  Since my purchase, I have used it on the race and 2 bike rides here in Florida. 

For those that do not know me, I am a geek.  Specifically, I am a data geek.....and I love toys.  This is the coolest thing!  It tracks your route, speed and split times between miles.  I have not used the heartrate monitor yet, but am excited to add that component to it so I can not only see my speed, pace and elevation changes over time but my heartrate as well.

If you go to this link, you can see my bike ride from this morning.  This link goes to my first ever 5K

I have had a few rides/workouts when I was just struggling to keep the pace or intensity.  This has given me that added new inspiration to push through.  Go fast.  Work a little harder.  I don't want to look at those stats later on and see proof that I was dogging it!  Maybe that is just my competetive nature mixed with a little OCD. 

Whatever it takes, mix it up and find the tools or methods that make you push it and keep the inspiration!  Do this whether you are fit and staying that way, or on a journey like me. 

The ORRacle!

The ORRacle!