So I’m Still Alive

2015/02/04 at 10:01 pm | Posted in Cycling, Discipline, Exercise, Health, lifestyle change, Motivation, Running, weight loss, weight loss blog | 2 Comments
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If there are any readers of this blog left, I’d like to take a moment to let them all know that yes, I am still alive. I just got a little sidetracked with a lot of things.

First, unemployment. At the time of my last post, I was still not working which for all intents and purposes would mean I’d have time to post even more. True, but I didn’t feel the need to since there hasn’t been a lot going on. I’m happy to report that I’ve since been employed part-time and will be starting a second job very soon.

But because of my unemployment and part-time minimum-wage job, making ends meet has been difficult. As a result, I’ve decided that I will not participate in any events in 2015. Even though my second job will provide additional income, I just want to take a break from them and focus on getting in better shape.

Why better shape? Oh. That.

I made some really bad choices during the holidays last year and as a result, my weight soared to its highest level in a long time: 231 pounds. On average, I’ll add a few pounds during the holidays but never this much. I wasn’t happy with myself and decided to start over in January.

And I did. By participating in the 30 Day Plank Challenge, doing routine exercises, and logging my meals with MyFitnessPal, I’m pleased to report that I shed 10 pounds in January. I’m getting older and while running is still part of my routine, I’m also walking when I go out so as not to apply too much strain on my knees. Recovery takes longer but I’m still happy to get out and break a good sweat.

During my last outing, I decided to add another challenge: running up the inclined walls of the local river/channel. I did about 10 reps the first time and will add more as I see fit.

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This is a still captured from a video I shot of me sprinting up and down the walls. At this point I was at about 5 miles of combined waking and running so I figured that 10 reps would be my maximum. I was right — it was enough, but it felt great.

Speaking of events, here are some pictures from the ones I did last year. I only did a few because of my limited income so I had to choose wisely.

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February: Chinatown Firecracker 30-Mile Bike Ride. They changed the course and it killed me! But I finished and had a great time as usual. It’s a fantastic event.

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March: The Coaster Run. I only did the 5k but it was still a lot of fun, especially running in the rain. Yes, it rained! I can’t recall the last time I smiled so much while running.

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October: Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour and 5k. For the second year in a row, I rode 20 miles then transitioned over to running and ran the 5k. The difference last year from previous years was that you could enter both under the “combo” option and not have to pay for the ride and run separately; both events got official times; and as you can see, a third medal was awarded to all finishers. It’s a great incentive for those who want to do their first duathlon.

So that’s it. I’ll continue to focus on losing what I gained and then some, and work on my goal to be 200 pounds again — maybe less.

Thanks again for reading! Don’t lose sight of your goal and stay committed!

Wet&Wild 5k is Done!

2011/08/27 at 10:03 am | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, lifestyle change, Motivation, Photos, Victory, weight loss, weight loss blog | Comments Off on Wet&Wild 5k is Done!
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This was taken before the run and will post a few more taken with an actual camera (not phone) later.

Summary: finished in about 42:00 or so but I’ll post my official time when I get home. Right now I’m relaxing with the family at Wild Rivers where we had to run through a wading pool of sorts.

Had a great time and looking forward to doing it again!

UPDATE 8/28/11: Alright, since I’ve got some time to do it, here are some highlights/memorable events from the run.

The day started at 5am since I had planned on leaving by 6am to get there in plenty of time for the start at 8am. Irvine isn’t exactly a long drive but when you go to events like this, you just never know what the traffic will be like so it’s always best to plan for any unexpected delays.

We did get there in plenty of time so we checked out the few exhibitor booths that were there. I tried a sample of a drink called Body Armour and it wasn’t too bad so I need to look for that the next time I’m shopping. We sat around for about 30 minutes before I had to get in line according to my anticipated finishing time, do some pre-race stretching, listen to some of the rules, etc.

This is a shot of the field from where I was standing, in the “29:00 – ???” group:

After the National Anthem and a prayer (more people seemed attentive to the former than the latter), the horn sounded and we were off. We trudged along through the parking lot of Wild Rivers and out onto the sidewalk the made a u-turn, where the first water station was. It was poorly manned and most of us had to wait for our water to be poured which is not good.

Despite that, I have to admit that I felt pretty good as I started on my way and at about the first mile, I was in my zone as I usually am. The run came back into the parking lot and started to wind through Wild Rivers itself for the first of two laps. During the second lap, we had to run/walk/wade through this (photo was taken after the run):

This was a most welcomed break from the rest of the course which at times was rather narrow and definitely blocked with walkers and people with strollers, who should have been kept at the rear of the field. Not only that, the wait to get into this Lazy River was just ridiculous as some people removed their shoes before entering.

Up until this point, according to my Endomondo app, I was averaging 11:30 per mile but my lap time for the last mile dropped dramatically as I “ran” through the river: 16:40. If not for that, I could have finished in about 34 minutes or so but considering the wait time and the conditions (but especially the wait time), this was not unexpected.

I crossed the finish line at 42:29 with an average pace of 13:14 according to my chip results. And in case you’re wondering what 5k looks like, here’s the course as recorded by Endomondo:

That seems like a good distance but once you’re up and running, it’s really not. Here’s the portion of the course known as the Lazy River, as noted by the dark blue line:

And although I didn’t finish anywhere near the Top 3 in my age group, that didn’t stop me from pretending I did:

So despite the event’s flaws, I had a good time participating as well as hanging out at Wild Rivers afterward. Next event: the Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour on October 9, 2011. I started my preparation by buying new tires today so I’m ready for that one.

Oh, and those Asics running shoes I’m wearing? I bought them at Savers a few months back for a mere $3.50. They were practically new and half price on the day we were shopping, so that saved me some money for sure 🙂

By the way, part of the run is a challenge to “Beat the Cow” or someone running in a cow costume since the Chick-Fil-A is a huge sponsor. And if you do beat the cow, you get a free meal.

Did I beat the cow?

No, I didn’t. I got beat by a dude in a cow costume. But at least I wasn’t a sore loser about it:

I told the bovine I was disappointed for not beating them but there’s no shame in that. The cow consoled me with a friendly pat on the back. We’re cool.

I’m done for the night. My legs are starting to feel the effects of the run and I need to relax!

This Is How It’s Done

2011/06/24 at 11:16 pm | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, lifestyle change, Motivation, weight loss | Comments Off on This Is How It’s Done
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I had been meaning to post this article from the moment I read it but since I seem to be addicted to Facebook like the rest of civilization, I just posted it there. But I truly think it needs a lot more attention.

Shannon Davis lost an incredible 300 pounds by doing something most people never think about doing: moving. No, not geographically relocating herself from one part of the world to the other, but just by getting up and exercising, weightlifting, etc.

Can you imagine that? Someone had the wherewithal to do a little research and realize that hey, this is possible without having to resort to gimmicky fad diets or some kind of risky surgery. Quite simply, Shannon Davis got it and boy, did she run with it.

While I will link to the original article here, I’ll go ahead and post the text below for future reference (and in case the link dies). And do yourself a favor and watch the video – you will be inspired. It’s also worth nothing that the food she ate wasn’t something ridiculous, either. It was simply about portion control and eating the right foods, not something funky like a can of diet drink or a single carrot and broccoli. She ate regular meals and stuck to it.

Again, imagine that!

What struck me about Shannon’s story was that it was not entirely unlike my own. While never the same weight she was, I know exactly about the intimidation, the stress, the downright depressing nature of being overweight and feeling helpless about it. But when her friends started to tell her she was going to die from her obesity (almost the way my doctor hinted at it with me), she turned the switch on and never looked back which is exactly what I’ve done.

So go ahead and read the article, courtesy ABC News. Oh, one more thing. I’ve removed all the links from the original article as they were an injustice to anybody who has ever lost weight through hard work. It seems ABC was trying to push their own agenda by advertising weight loss gimmicks within the article, to which I said, “Uh, no thanks.”

I was especially displeased to see a link to weight loss advice from “Dr.” Oz. whom I wouldn’t trust if my life depended on him. Why? Because any doctor that thinks it’s okay to promote trashy garbage like this…

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…is only interested in a paycheck from the studios and tabloids, not the health of his patients.

So please, America, stop watching this guy and lose weight the right way: through hard work and exercise.

Me and Shannon Davis did 🙂


Amazing Weight Loss: Woman Sheds 300 Pounds on Her Own

By RYAN OWENS, JAMES SCHOLZ and NATASHA SINGH

June 10, 2011

For every pound you want to drop, there’s a diet plan, surgery, high-tech gadget or reality-TV show promising to get you to your goal, faster, cheaper and easier than the rest.

But what happens if you strip away the conveniences of today’s high-tech, “we want it now” world, and try to lose the weight the hard way?

One Colorado woman did just that and succeeded, losing 300 pounds in nearly three years all on her own, with no surgery or gimmicky diet to take credit.

“There is no magic bullet,” Shannon Davis told “Good Morning America.”“You cannot lose weight without putting in the time and effort.

“It’s not easy. It’s simple sweat equity.”

And sweat is certainly something that Davis — a 39-year-old master’s degree student who also works full time and cares for her mother — knows something about.

She is now committed to a seven-days-per-week workout routine that consists of an hour of cardio for four days and weightlifting with her trainer the other three.

That is a far cry from where Davis found herself three years ago — a 589 pound woman unable to leave her Broomfield, Colo., home, much less jump on a treadmill.

PHOTO: Shannon Davis lost 300 pounds all on her own, without surgery or a gimmicky diet.

“I was afraid to go out,” Davis told “GMA.” “I knew people would stare, judge me and make comments about me.”

Comments from her friends made her say enough was enough. They warned her she was going to die if she didn’t change.

So she got off the couch and headed for a local gym, but couldn’t even make it one step on the treadmill.

“There was no way I could walk on the treadmill at 589 pounds,” she said.

But she kept moving.

“I’d go back to the pool and walk back-and-forth for an hour,” Davis recalled of the first days in her weight-loss journey. “I didn’t want people to see me. I wanted to be invisible.

“Things have changed a little bit,” she said.

Gaining While Losing

Changes for Davis have come not just on the outside — she now stands as literally half the woman she used to be — but on the inside as well.

She no longer beats herself up over food cravings and has learned to enjoy an indulgence, in balance with her everyday, healthy diet.

“Everybody messes up,” Davis said. “That’s the thing about dieting everyone needs to learn: Everyone makes mistakes.”

Davis says she follows a healthy diet of three simple meals per day, and stays satisfied with the reduced intake compared to her previous daily calories by focusing on the quality of the food, not the quantity.

“I eat quality food,” she said. “Lots of greens, lots of vegetables, lots of lean meats. I love apples.”

But that doesn’t mean she’s immune to cravings. She has learned, over a long, hard three years, how to handle them.

“If there’s a cookie around, I want the cookie,” Davis said of her favorite treat. “You have to forgive yourself and you have to indulge on occasion.”

But indulging for Davis now means celebrating with friends, not food, something she would have never even considered three years ago when she spent her days alone in her home.

This weekend Davis will host a “300 Pound Down Party,” bringing together the network of friends from across the country she’s assembled along her journey down the scale.

Each friend is on a path similar to Davis’, an element she sees as crucial to her weight-loss success.

“It’s so important to surround yourself with the best people — people who won’t sabotage you, won’t say, ‘I don’t think you’re going to make it today, won’t put you down,'” she said.

Davis’ journey has led her now to want to give to others the tools she used to succeed on her own.

Davis says her next step, far from that first step she took to the gym so many years, and pounds, ago, is to start a nonprofit organization to pay for gym memberships and personal trainers for obese people.

Asked if she was proud of her body, she replied, “I’m getting there.”

“I’ve got some work to do still, but it’s been a long journey,” she said. “I know where I started from and I know how I looked then, and I know how I look now and it’s a lot different now.”

Courtesy and copyright 2011 ABC News

Thank You, Everybody

2009/02/14 at 8:00 am | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Food, Health, Inspiration, Life, lifestyle change, Milestone, Motivation, Photos, Progress Photos, Victory, weight loss, weight loss blog, weight watchers | 2 Comments
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<< BTW, this is NOT the best picture of me. My face looks…well, deformed or something.

This is a goodbye of sorts.

As you may well know, I started 200by40.com with the intent of tracking my weight loss progress as I tried to reach my goal of weighing 200 lbs. by my 40th birthday.

Today is February 14th, which is also happens to be my 40th birthday and, as you may also know, I reached my goal of 200 lbs. on September 27, 2008—way ahead of schedule.

I have decided that, while I have derived great pleasure in blogging about everything having to do with [my] weight loss, it’s time to put things into perspective and temporarily walk away from the blog.

While this may not be the final post here, it may well be the last one for a long time as I will now concentrate on training for the Disneyland 5k—my first one ever—taking place this September. In between now and then I will do a few 5k walks and, should I have a camera with me, I will post pictures of the events. And don’t worry—all posts will remain intact as will the domain, meaning anything you may have bookmarked will still be in the same place.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who left comments, e-mailed me, or simply came by to visit (except for you spammers who try and get past Askimet’s death grip–you’re fools for trying!). I do find it a bit humbling and amazing that a normal guy like me would inspire many, many people to get motivated into losing weight. What started out as a simple goal turned out to be something life changing to those who recognized that it’s entirely possible to lose weight if they put their minds to it.

Before I sign off here, I would like to wish all of you good luck with your weight loss program. Regular visitors know that it wasn’t uncommon for me to say things like “You can do it!” or “Never give up!” in my posts. What many don’t realize is that those weren’t just words; I meant them from the bottom of my heart. If I can do this, I have no doubt that anybody can.

Why? Unlike those trying to push diet pills, I’ve been there. I can relate to and understand the struggles of weight loss and being overweight. I know what it’s like to wear size 48 pants, run out of breath when playing with my son, have clothes get smaller and smaller, be ridiculed about my size, be stared at when going to fast food joints, barely fit into the seats on the train, look in the mirror and not like what I see, be intimidated when entering a gym.

But I chose to change all that. I challenged myself to get busy and change my lifestyle and here it is, my 40th birthday and I weigh 197 lbs. I went from a sloth to someone who is going to run in a 5k. Think you can’t lose weight? I beg to differ. (By the way, at today’s weight I have finally reached the golden 100 lbs. lost level.)

While I could go on forever, I want to share with everybody some things I learned about weight loss since starting this blog. In no particular order, here is that list.

Continue Reading Thank You, Everybody…

Don’t Be Lazy

2008/06/20 at 11:47 am | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health, Life, lifestyle change, Motivation, Today's Tip, weight loss, weight watchers | Comments Off on Don’t Be Lazy
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In what could possibly something new to 200by40, I present a series of tips that have helped me change the way I feel about losing weight and keeping it off. Now I may have already said some of what you will read on the About page, but each of these posts will go a little further than that.

There’s an adage that goes something like, “Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die.” Religious beliefs aside, that rings true for just about anything—and especially weight loss. You can’t get where you want to be without giving up something in return.

So today’s tip is simple: Don’t be lazy. I know it sounds obvious and laziness is a habit that’s terribly easy to fall into. But hopefully, by the end of this post, I will have kicked your butt out of it.

Think about it. Why do you wake up and go to work each morning? Why do you do laundry? Why do you do anything? Chances are you do those things because you either a) choose to do them or b) have to do them.

And what happens if you don’t? Bills go unpaid, clothes get dirty, things fall apart. That’s not exactly Heaven if you ask me.

When it comes to weight loss, I’ve learned that there’s no amount of carrot sticks or low-fat foods that by themselves will help you reach your goal. To realize maximum benefits, a proper diet—eating right, not following a magazine’s weight loss fad—must work in conjunction with a daily exercise routine which, if you think about it, can be of anything you choose.

Who likes to exercise? Lord knows I don’t, and there are days when I simply don’t feel like walking during lunch. If I don’t, what would I do? I’d sit at my desk for 50 minutes and not burn a single calorie. Talk about a waste of time!

But if you want to lose the weight and keep it off, you have to shift your thinking. You have to look at any kind of physical activity as forms of exercise: laundry, yard work, walking, etc. You should never think of them as being dreadful because you’ll never get them done. If you think of them as being ways to move, stretch and sweat, they instantly become alternate ways of exercising as opposed to going to the gym or whatnot. Not only that, you need to start thinking that with each move you make, whether you’re mowing the lawn or painting the walls of your bedroom, you are burning calories and are getting closer to your goal.

I’m in no way preaching that cutting the grass should replace normal exercises; I’m just offering an alternate view of what some consider arduous tasks. The reality is that you need to make daily exercise a part of your routine for life. Sure, a day off is fine now and then but in order to keep the weight off, nothing’s better than sweating off those calories on a regular basis.

To summarize today’s tip: eat less, move more. It just doesn’t get any easier than that!

By the way, I’m taking a blog break for the weekend. Hope you have a good one and keep things under control 🙂


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