Steps in the right direction

Dec 28th, 2012

Today is my 3rd anniversary of the day I start my journey.  I posted a before/after picture on FB with the hopes of motivating others.  I got a couple questions in my inbox today that I felt were blog worthy.  I’m sure there were others who thought about these questions, but didn’t have the nerve to ask, THAT’S OK!  I hope that by sharing this we might reach another person or two.

Here is one of the questions that I have paraphrased.  The other question was basically the same question, different words, different sex, but same basic content.

“Jerome, hey, it’s __________. How did you get yourself motivated to get started on your healthful journey? I have become obese and have zero motivation. I have no energy to even play with my kids.. All I want to do is stay at home and self medicate with food. Its been a rough road……. Got any words of encouragement for someone who can’t even face the day because they can’t fit into anything? Lol. Thanks.”

HOW can I NOT respond to that?!?!?!

Hey there – great to hear from you, you are honestly the second person to ask nearly the same question today. I’ll do the best I can to answer. IF I don’t answer….PLEASE ask again….keep coming back…use me to help you, that is my passion and drive in life really.

I was nearly morbidly obese, couldn’t walk up stairs, slept all the time at home, no energy, grumpy, useless is how I felt. Sound familiar?  The decision is very personal for everybody and sometimes I think we nearly have to hit bottom before we are ‘ready’ for the change.

First thing I would ask you to try and do is simply narrow your picture a little bit. Right now you are seeing EVERYTHING…life…children….divorce…bills…ALL of it is totally overwhelming to you. Just like the thought of you getting up and going for a walk, overwhelming to you. (I’m hitting the nail on the head, right?) Narrow your scope a little, try to change the way you look at things so that picture is not so big and overwhelming. Easier said then done and some days will be better than others I know, but that is a huge step in the right direction.

Now that we may have narrowed the picture and broken LIFE down into smaller segments, you can start to think about other areas. Your relationship with food can and will kill you, if it’s not healthy.  Our relationship with food is meant to be a healthy relationship, FUELING our body, NOT filling our body. Using food to medicate as you said is a huge problem across the country and is a very difficult battle to fight, I’m not gonna lie. It’s an addiction, right? It’s really no different than drugs. I would ask you to make ONE small change in your diet. ONE small change in how you treat and look at food. Do you plan a weekly menu or eat off the cuff? How long do you think it would take to plan a menu and only purchase the items you needed for THAT menu only? Do you buy ‘junk food’ and have it in the house? What about Soda’s? Do you drink soda? How much, is it in the house? I ask that you pick ONE item and change it. Again, not thinking BIG picture yet, think about ONE small change that you CAN do to create success. Do ONE thing that you can feel GOOD ABOUT not only for you, but for your family

Lastly – go look at your daughter….then go look in the mirror.
THOSE ARE TWO GOOD REASONS TO CHANGE!!!

  • You deserve to be healthy
  • your children deserve a healthy parent
  • your children deserve to have a parent who is ALIVE
  • YOU deserve to be HAPPY
  • YOU deserve to have a body that is treated as God INTENDED…… to live, FULLY ALIVE….not abused

Sorry if this went off the deep end for you. it’s SCARY…I know…I’ve been there!

How can I help?

Excited/Scared all at the same time

December 26th, 2012

I started a new job today with DR Horton Homes.  Really it’s the same job I’ve done for more than a decade, on steroids.  I’ve been primarily an email engineer, until now.  Now I get to put my hands in all sorts of servers, apps, platforms, etc and get my hands as dirty as I want……………..well, as dirty as my keyboard will get them anyway.

On my way home tonight I got to thinking about my day.  I was SO excited to start this job, there are many reasons why.  I was also very nervous and honestly still am a little bit about what lies ahead.  The unknown sort of nervous, can I learn it all, can I keep motivated to learn it all, will I want to give up or keep moving forward with this adventure?

HOW ironic is it that this is EXACTLY like the journey I’ve been on for almost three years now.  When I took my health back I was excited, scared, worried, freaked out, cool, calm, collected and all of the above happened in the first hour.  🙂  HOW is it that both the journey from FAT to FIT and the journey of a new job are so relate-able?  Because both of these involve change.  Let’s face it, people don’t like change.  Change is scary.  Scared that we will fail…..scared we might not make it, just scared.

How do we know IF WE DO NOT TRY??  If we don’t try in LIFE….WORK…..FAMILY…..RELATIONSHIPS…..whatever is might be, how do we know what we can and can’t do??

Don’t be scared….just go forth and DO, you might surprise yourself at what you are really capable of.

 

Christmas Day 2012

Christmas Day 2012

What a great day!

Sydney was up at 4am telling us that Santa had been here. After a quick peek at the goodies, we put her back in bed for a while without too much fight. Lol. We woke up to thunder, lightening and pouring rain. The temps were dropping steadily.

We opened our gifts one at a time per our tradition and took our time. I would have to say that we are so Blessed! The girls were so excited with each gift they opened and had smiles for hours. Chelle and I had lots of good stuff as well.

Emily with her new ukulele

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Sydneys American Doll bed

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Just a few pics

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I’ve never gone for a run in the snow. So today I made that happen. Felt good! Not fast, just a nice wet snowy run. I met my running buddy David for a few miles together.

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Did I mention it was fun?’

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Yes, Christmas 2012 was excellent!

A CELEBRATION Video

December 10th, 2012 was a big day for me!

That was my anniversary of the day I hit 100 pounds LOST!  That is still incredible for me to say that, it’s even more incredible that I can say that I’ve maintained that loss for two years now!  TWO YEARS of dedication, commitment, planning, sweating, etc etc etc.

No matter where you are in your journey, I hope this video can show you what’s possible.  It’s a very scary thing when I look at my before pictures and wonder, what if?  What if I’d never taken the step, where would I be now???  Friends, TAKE THE STEP, ask for help if you need it, YOU are worth the effort, the sweat and yes even the tears that can come with this journey!

I hope you enjoy the video.

2012 Dallas Marathon Review

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December 9th, 2012
Dallas, Texas

This weekend didn’t quite start the way I’d planned my 2nd marathon, I was thrown a curve ball as I call it, but that’s ok.  Thursday, December 6th, 2012 I had an issue at work and was awake and working for 27 hours or so, that just flat drained my body.  The adrenaline I had running through my veins kept me moving though.  I managed to sleep off and on  all day Friday, but just kept getting sicker, beat down, but that’s ok.  I was excited for the marathon and nothing was going to get in the way!

Saturday Morning the 8th, I went to Expressions Chiropractic for a tune up as I call it.  These guys take great care of me and I’m grateful for the work they did over the last two months of training.  I had weekly adjustments as well as active release which really helped.  After my appointment, Emily and I went to the Expo to get my packet and see what trouble we could get into.  We tried nearly all the samples they were giving (except Gatorade) got some free stuff and I even got a new hat from RockTape.  This was funny actually.  I showed them that I was already taped with RockTape and he offered me a hat saying, “that’s not just any hat, that’s a truckers hat”….and he was right.  Lol

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We walked and talked to vendors for several hours, then headed to the house.

My wife made a killer homemade pasta sauce and angel hair pasta for dinner Saturday night, which is tradition before I run anything over a 10K.  We were watching Facing the Giants as we had dinner, what a GREAT movie!  Then I watched part of a UFC fight in which a friend of ours is the trainer, that was fun.

I slept like a ROCK!  Something I don’t normally do before races.  I think I was the exhausting from the end of the week.  My brother Nicholas had arrived at the house after I went to bed so I had the pleasure of seeing him and waking him up at 4am on marathon day!

4am, Marathon day, wide awake and ready to roll.  Put the dogs out, woke Nicholas and took a quick shower.  Out the door by 4:45 to go pick up Lynette and Derrek.  I’ve never been to Lynette’s house and well, it’s sort of in the sticks and in the dark, I’m thankful I had my phone to map it!  After picking up the rest of the group, we were off to Downtown Dallas and found a great parking lot to park in.  This is a new venue for the race and parking was set to be an issue, thankfully we were downtown by 5:30 and beat most of the rush.  Temperatures were in the low 60s and felt great.  We made our way into the convention center to chill and relax.  Nicholas pointed out that all the ‘happy full of energy’ runners were all wearing the half marathon bib, the full marathoners were more somber.  Lol

Hanging out before race
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The starting corrals were about 3 blocks north of us literally on the Main Street in downtown Dallas.  We started that way to find our places, etc.  They were very strict about who could enter each corral, your bib didn’t say Corral A or B, you didn’t get it, period.  Police Academy cadets everywhere checking bibs.  Lynette and I were in Corral A while Nicholas was in B, Derrek had ran off and left us behind at this point.  After entering the Corrals we went to find a bathroom, uh that was a mistake.  The line was way too long.  Making our way toward the back of the corral we ran into a group of runners who also ran the Capital to Coast.  They were from Rockwall and it was fun to talk with them.  There was music blasting, people dancing, etc.  Lynette and I had decided to run together and I told her to leave me behind when she needed to make her move so to speak.  We took this picture just before we took off.
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After the national anthem, the race started. It took us nearly 5 minutes to get to the actual startline.  Music blasting, ticker tape floating in the air(all little shapes of Texas) and we were off!  Heading west out of downtown Dallas right past the grassy null where JFK was killed. Four months of training, over 400 miles all for THIS MOMENT!

The course ran straight under interstate 35 into west Dallas and through area’s I’ve not seen before I don’t think.  Somewhere between mile 3 and 4 we crossed the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.  This was pretty cool to run across and honestly it’s part of the reason they changed the venue for the race.

Between miles 4 and 5 we ran right past Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, which is where my family was.  TSRH is the beneficiary of the marathon so it was special to get to run past the hospital and see so many faces that I knew from being around the hospital so much.  My wife and daughters were there to cheer me (and every other runner) on.  My wife snapped this photo:ScottishRitepic

I was having technical difficulties at this point with my runmeter, so I stopped it, turned my phone off and started again.  This was going on just past the hospital, while standing in line at the port a pots! WHEW, just in time cause both of us had to go!  Off and running again we are only about 6 miles in at this point, the half marathon runners had not yet split off.

Around mile 9, I began to experience major pain in my right knee, actually just above the knee.  I believe it was my IT Band.  I had to slow up a little and told Lynette to run on without me, I didn’t want to hold her back.  She asked if I was OK and I told her yes, I knew I was in trouble though.  I slowed to about a 10:30 per mile average at this point.  Much slower than I am capable of, but best I could do at the time.  Around mile 11, I ran into Mimi and Karen and it was good to see them,  Karen snapped a few pictures.
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I was already hurting at this point and their encouragement was nice to hear.

I maintained about 10:30 pace through half way, then I really started having doubts.  Self doubt was getting the best of me and I texted my wife that I was hurt and I wasn’t happy.  I had to finish, that’s all that mattered.  Somewhere along here I ran into our friend Derrek who has having trouble also. When I saw him I naturally stopped to check on him, he’s a 17 year old kid and I felt like I needed to check.   The humidity was unusually high for this time of the year and his asthma was getting the best of him.  He and I ran off and on together for quite a while, even got a few photo ops together.  🙂

If I’m being perfectly honest, by mile 16 or so, I really didn’t want to go on.  My knee hurt so bad at this point every step hurt.  I’m not a quitter and wasn’t about to let that happen.  I ran as much as I could and was up to about a 12:00min per mile pace.  By now my right calf muscle was cramping as well as the knee and I quite frankly was a mess!  I took the opportunity to visit with other runners.  There were many runners around me having issues with cramps.  I visited with one man who like me was having IT Band issues and was going to quit.  This was around mile 18, I encouraged him along to do what he could.  At mile 19, I took a little break to rest the legs a little, I actually sat down for a few minutes.  This is a great stop along the race because they have a new ‘start’ line and everything to boost ya to the end.  I took some oranges, gel shots(which I didn’t use) and water and started out again.  I was chewing on gel shots about every two miles the entire race so I was good to go there.  I was taking orange slices at every stop sucking out every bit of juice I could as well.  Then came mile 19.5, a beer stop.  Yes, a group was passing out beer, and I took one, lol.  I had nothing to lose, I took a cup and took two sips out of it and threw it away, eww, I don’t like beer much anyway.  LOL!  The next kid I met was a young man running his first marathon who trained partly in the high mountains of Colorado; he said the humidity was seriously getting to him.  He also told me that he was having more trouble today then he did when running at high altitude.   He also  shared that he’d lost about 25 pounds during his training. Of course I passed along congratulations, shook his hand and off he went, I couldn’t keep up with him at that point.  This was on the part of the course called the Dolly Parton hills, what does that tell ya.  Then came the men dressed a women passing out jello shots, no I didn’t take one.  LOL.  I did admire the older gentleman in front of me announcing he was single though, too funny!

Somewhere around mile 22 I ran into my friend Paul.  Paul also has a great weight loss story who runs marathons now.  He told me he was also struggling with cramps and offered me a salt tablet which I accepted gladly.  He and I ran together off and off until mile 24 or so.  He’d leave me, then I’d pass him, then we would run together etc.  It was nice to have the support of a familiar face.  There were people all along the route calling out our names encouraging all the runners along.  There were even people in the street offering words of encouragement that it was all downhill from that point, HA.  Sure it was.  lol  Miles 18-22 were my slowest miles of the race.  I think the tablet that Paul gave me helped as I was able to run under 12:30 miles from that point on.  At mile 24, I saw a gentlemen wearing a shirt that said something about learning the meaning of life.  I ran up next to him and said “Sir, you’ve had 24 miles, have you found the meaning of life?”  This man looked at me, smiled and said ‘I have’.  I told him how awesome that was and congratulated him.  He went on to share that he has run 31 Dallas marathons (White Rock marathons) in a row.  31 annual marathons in a row!!  WOW.  He also said he wanted to make 50 in a row, but the heat and humidity that day were getting the best of him.  I congratulated him again and ran on ahead of him.  By this time we were coming back into the downtown area so there were more and more people cheering.

As we came down Young street less than one mile from the finish line, there was a man down, right in the middle of the street.  There were police and fire officials attending to this man, who looked like he was one big cramp to me.  Making the turn onto Griffin Street toward the finish was an awesome feeling.  Then I hear Mimi and Karen yelling my name, love these gals.  Photog Karen always gets great pics of me and here is another example.
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After crossing the finish line, one of the greeters walked with me for a while because I was a little off, I mean more than normal.  Lol.  I told him why I ran, that I was celebrating 2 years of maintenance with every step, every step that hurt!  He walked with me to the water,  then I told him I was ok.  I had my photo taken and walked on to find the food.  That was the longest walk of my life I think, not to mention I had to walk up two flights of stairs, ugh.  I found my family even before I found the food and hugged each of them.  Hearing them say they were proud of me was reward enough for me.  My family was there for me to hold me up and I needed it!  We sat and talked a while before they headed to the house to finish dinner.

My official time was 5:01:22 chip time.

This was not the race I wanted to run, not the race I trained for, but that’s OK!  I know I did exactly what I was supposed to do by encouraging others along the way.  I mentioned a few stories here, but here were many more I didn’t share.  I learned to share stories and help others out from Nicholas.   Inspiring others, helping with a kind word or two is important.  This is exactly what Nicholas was doing today during the last 9 or so miles, helping a fellow runner out. (besides, this was only a training run for Nicholas…dude is a beast, so impressed)

After we finished, we started to the car, Lynette, Nicholas and I that is.  In the end we were all satisfied with our runs and what the day had brought us.  The temperature had dropped several degrees since we started and was quite chilly….but not too chilly for ONE LAST photo op!
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FINALY PIC!!!!
IMG_3017Proud to call myself a TWO TIME MARATHON FINISHER!

To all my friends who posted on my FB wall during this race, THANK YOU!  You will never know fully how much that helped me get through this race!!

2 years in maintenance….and going strong!

Today is December 10th, 2010

Today marks two years since I hit the 100 pounds lost mark and I have maintained that within my 7 pound allowance either way.

I continue to care about the foods that go in my body.
I continue to challenge myself physically.
I continue to challenge others to take their life back!

To those who struggle, I say, YOU CAN DO IT! One meal at a time, one BITE at a time if that’s what it requires. Is it difficult, yes, but it’s worth every tiny little struggle we go through on this journey. NOTHING is more important than your health.

This has been an amazing two year maintenance journey to say the least. Have I been perfect, NOPE. I screw up all the time with my nutrition. The difference is that I now know how to curb those moments and get back on track. It’s a learning process, right. What are your triggers that push you to food, we all have them, we just need to learn to deal with them. There is NO short cut to a healthy lifestyle, there’s not. You achieve a healthy lifestyle by working hard at it, learning from your failures and moving forward, not giving up. What do we learn from giving up, nothing, that’s what.

The one thing that is constant in my life is fitness. I workout alot, I run alot because I LOVE that way it makes me feel. Are there mornings I have to ‘talk’ myself into getting out of bed and run, yep. Do I always feel GREAT after that run, YEP, THAT is why i keep doing it. 🙂

It’s been a fun journey, an educational journey and an inspired journey.

I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring, I have faith there are big things in the future!

2 Years Maintenance

2 Years Maintenance

WARRIOR CHALLENGE GROUP

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Hey guys!! I teamed up with one of my awesome fellow coaches, Carin, over at Jockinaskirtfitness. Actually, there will be at least 3 coaches teaming up together to make this one big virtual Combat party!!!

We will push each other, support each other, challenge each other for 60 days to a changed body! YES…YOU need to be a part of this. You have NOTHING to lose. Call, text, email, tweet, FB … you get the idea! Let me help you with your fears.

What can training with LES MILLS COMBAT do for you?

• Build lean muscle mass, increase endurance, condition—and incinerate fat—all at the same time
• Develop the coordination, agility, and muscle speed of a mixed martial arts warrior
• Maximize calorie burn during and after your workout
• Improve posture, core strength, and stability
• Build self-confidence, strength, and power

Challenge starts January 2. Spots close on December 23! Spots are going fast!  Watch for more info SOON. Facebook group is already created and we will be sending out more details very soon.

Get your LES MILLS COMBAT program HERE


warrior