You guys.  You GUYS.  I did something.  Instead of sitting on my couch, or sitting at my desk, or lamenting about my weight, or buying and consuming yet ANOTHER Home Run Inn Sausage and Pepperoni Classic Pizza (that stuff is the work of the gods, btw), I made a choice.  I signed up and paid for a spot in my gym’s Summer Body Weight Loss Challenge.  6 weeks, three weigh-ins, 3x/week gym visits, and I could win $1,000.


Chris Timmons loop money cash make it rain GIF

Now, I’m not a big advocate of the “Summer Body” idea because, no matter what type of body you have or how it looks, it will ALWAYS be a summer body.  Hell, I wore a bikini for the first time all last summer at a weight of 220-230 lbs and I felt mother-effin’ fabulous.  There is no STANDARD for a summer/beach/bikini/speedo body and if you hear of one, it’s a social construct and is what I like to call a LOAD OF BUULLLLLSSSHIIITTTT.

 rainbow david bowie muppets bullshit labyrinth GIF

But I digress.  There are a few reasons I joined this challenge, and each of them is vital to its success.

  1. I enjoy pushing myself and seeing how hard/far I can go while maintaining reasonable amounts of happiness, i.e. my 2016 triathlon.  This does not mean I will starve myself or do 2-a-days, but I would like to take the next 6 weeks to push myself past my comfort zone and see what happens.  I bet the result is pretty cool.
  2. I am incredibly competitive and love to win and can’t wait to kick everyone’s ass.  In fact, my manfriend’s brother is doing the challenge at HIS gym, and even though we’re not competing against each other I’m still planning on rubbing my victory in his face (unless he also wins then we will buy amazing new things with our winnings and laugh at everyone.)  (I’m horrible.)
  3. I need a jump-start to kick my butt into high gear for my next triathlon.  Unfortunately, I’m not the type of person to willingly start living a healthy lifestyle out of nowhere.  I wish I was, but alas that is not my fate.  However, with this challenge, I plan on ramping up my workouts and my eating plan so that when I am in the midst of training I’m not starting over completely.  Plus, it’s a lot easier to run when you’ve abandoned a bunch of excess weight.
  4. I could win $1,000.  That pays a lot of bills.  And buys a LOT of cheap Target dresses.  And funds a few nice date nights.  And maybe pays for a flight or two.  SO YEAH I’D LIKE THAT PLZ.

So here comes the hard part: accountability.  WARNING: If real numbers and metrics bother you, I advise you look away.  I’m not here to brag (obviously that will come later when I’ve WON) and I’m not looking for sympathy.  In fact, I don’t expect many if ANY people to read this.  But I DO need to hold myself accountable for the weight I am at now so that I can look forward and know that it can only get better.  Ugh.  I hate this.

Starting Weight: 242.7 lbs

Starting Body Fat %: 40.7%

Body Measurements to come…

I don’t have a goal weight for this challenge, as I’m trying not to focus on a number and more on how I feel, how my clothes fit, my muscle mass increase, and, obviously, my change in body fat %.  Ultimately I’d like to be around 150-175 lbs long-term but that’s a ways off.  For now, I need to take this one day at a time and focus on my food and exercise.  SPEAKING OF… (this is the boring part where I talk about the food I’m eating and the workouts I’m doing.  If this interests you, read ahead.  If it bores you to tears, there is a small “x” at the top right corner of your screen.  Go ahead and click it, and then give yourself a good, HARD look in the mirror and ask yourself why you CAN’T SUPPORT YOUR FRIENDS.)

 food hungry hamster lunch hangry GIF

I’m greatly increasing my protein and vegetables, decreasing my sugar (minus fruit, which I’m eating but not in excess) and carbs (still eating whole grains with lots of fiber cuz that stuff makes you regular), cutting out Diet Coke (NOOOOOOOOOOO) and drinking WAY more water/tea/soda water.  So far, it’s not bad.  But I know the detox headaches will come and I’ll be cranky and irritable and unfriendly and for that, I am very sorry.

I did a major haul at my local produce market yesterday (for Andersonvillians, head to Edgewater Produce.  It’s fresh, cheap, quiet, and the people are delightful) and prepped over 30oz of chicken breast, made some Loaded Baked Omelet Muffins and Tuna Salad Wraps (both from SkinnyTaste, recipe links at the bottom).  Tomorrow I’ll be prepping some cauliflower rice, cut raw veggies for snacks, and figure out if Halo Top is gonna fuck me up or help me out (I’m hoping the latter, assuming the former).

 baby excited ice cream dessert overjoyed GIF

WORKOUT!  I actually WOKE UP this morning (mostly because I had to weigh-in at 6:35am), threw on my laid-out workout clothes, grabbed my pre-made backpack and lunch, and headed to Lincoln Square Athletic Club. (Guys.  Preplan your morning.  Set out your clothes.  Pack your bag ahead of time with all your shower shit, change of clothes, and have your lunch ready to go.  It saves you SO MUCH TIME and you will thank your smart past self for treating present-self so lovingly. Plus, it allows you to sleep in for another 20 minutes and that is HEAVENLY).

I hit the elliptical for 30 minutes.  It sucked.  I was sweaty and tired and hurting, mostly because I haven’t worked out HARD in a while.  And then I had some time so I rowed for 10 minutes straight, which is unusual because I usually give up after 4.  2000km, under 10 minutes.  Not too shabby!

 parks and recreation aziz ansari tom haverford brush shoulders dust your shoulders off GIF

WHEW. I needed to get all of that out.  If it helped you, great.  If you stopped at the first sentence, why did you skip all the way down here? Dumbass.

Listen here, I’m doing this for me and my health, no one else.  Writing it out helps me process the journey and my emotions attached to it.  I am very open about my struggles and would love to talk about yours if you feel so inclined.  For now, I’m trying to keep myself accountable.

Okay, that’s enough.  Until next time (probably tomorrow because of course)…


(FRIENDS. Right after I typed that last sentence I had the urge to poop so so so bad that I had to practically bolt from my desk and run to avoid anything horrible happening.  The walk took at least 2 minutes.  I did not think I could make it.  Luckily, I did. I’m sorry to my coworkers who read this as now it will be difficult for you to look me in the eye.

This is going to be a very interesting 6 weeks.)





Unmotivated Days

I don’t know why I feel compelled to write about this, especially since I haven’t done a post in a while.  But I’m wanting to expel some feelings, and this is probably the best place for it.  Sorry, no GIFs this time.

I’ve gained weight.  A bunch of it.  Since my triathlon.  Over the holidays.  Since the new year.  Since vacation.  Every new “this is my Day 1!” has come and gone.  And I keep eating poorly.  I keep over-eating.  I don’t go to WW meetings because 1. the new leader bugs me 2. I know I won’t like my numbers 3. I usually leave feeling annoyed and frustrated with my lack of trying. I don’t have the motivation to work out.  I don’t have the energy.  The drive.  The want.  And I don’t know if it’s because of some underlying potential depression, the shitty weather we’ve been having, my current PMS, or all of the above.  Or something else!  I don’t know what it is.  And that’s the mystery of being human.  We have these feelings, these emotions, and so many of them are inexplicable and yet we feel the pressure to PUSH past them, to to “get over it”, to be more than our emotions and feelings.  To succeed despite them.  To leave them unexplored and invalidated.

Well, for now, I want to just accept them and let them sit.  Even invite them.  Because if I continually ignore these difficult feelings, they only grow and fester and push back even harder and make it worse.  If I reach out and say “Hey, I notice you, I feel you.  Come in, present yourself, make it hurt, and then leave when you’re done.  Because I’d like to get on with my life.”

I know myself.  I’ll bounce back.  I’ll get into triathlon training, and eating healthy, and sleeping better, and being more present in life.  And the small steps I’m taking towards that are already visible.  Things like drinking more water, showing up to obligations and activities.  Giving myself a break.  Accepting that I cannot be “on” all the time.  Maybe I’ll go for a really long walk with Wrigley today and listen to some good music.  I’ll reach out to a friend I haven’t talked to in a while.  I’ll finish a book I’ve been putting off.  It’s not perfection, and I won’t lose any weight or accomplish any major life goals during it, but I’ll hopefully sleep better.

I’d like to share this response to a post on Reddit I read recently that was dubbed “Non-Zero Days”.  it’s incredibly inspirational and gives me a great pep in my step on my toughest days.  Original Poster Max had been talking about how he didn’t feel any motivation lately, sometimes to even get out of bed.  While I may not be at that point, what Ryan says in response is really wonderful.  Here’s the link to the actual post:

And here is Ryan’s amazing response and follow-up: Ouch. Sounds like you’re having a tough time max. That sucks. I’ve been there, so I kinda know what you’re talking about. I’ve been in the ever circling vortex of self doubt, frustration, and loathing. It’s no bueno. I know. If you don’t mind lemme tell you a couple things. You can read em if you want, read em again later if you feel like it. But honestly man, if I spend all this time typing this out to you and you don’t let it be a little tinder for your fire, well, you’re just letting us both down. And you don’t HAVE to do that. You don’t HAVE to do anything. But you get to choose.

(Who am I? My name’s Ryan and I live in Canada. Just moved to a new city for a dream job that I got because of the rules below. I owe a lot of my success to people much cooler, kinder, more loving and greater than me. When I get the chance to maybe let a little bit of help out, it’s a way of thanking them. )

Rule numero uno – There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros. I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didnt’ do anything all fucking day and it’s 11:58 PM? Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter. One. Because one is non zero. You feel me? When you’re in the super vortex of being bummed your pattern of behaviour is keeping the vortex goin, that’s what you’re used to. Turning into productivity ultimate master of the universe doesn’t happen from the vortex. It happens from a massive string of CONSISTENT NON ZEROS. That’s rule number one. Do not forget.

La deuxieme regle – yeah i learnt french. its a canadian thing. please excuse the lack of accent graves, but lemme get into rule number 2. BE GRATEFUL TO THE 3 YOU’S. Uh what? 3 me’s? That sounds like mumbo jumbo bullshit. News flash, there are three you’s homeslice. There’s the past you, the present you, and the future you. If you wanna love someone and have someone love you back, you gotta learn to love yourself, and the 3 you’s are the key. Be GRATEFUL to the past you for the positive things you’ve done. And do favours for the future you like you would for your best bro. Feeling like shit today? Stop a second, think of a good decision you made yesterday. Salad and tuna instead of Big Mac? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Was yesterday a nonzero day because you wrote 200 words (hey, that’s all you could muster)? THANK YOU YOUNGER ME. Saved up some coin over time to buy that sweet thing you wanted? THANK YOU. Second part of the 3 me’s is you gotta do your future self a favour, just like you would for your best fucking friend (no best friend? you do now. You got 2. It’s future and past you). Tired as hell and can’t get off reddit/videogames/interwebs? fuck you present self, this one’s for future me, i’m gonna rock out p90x Ab Ripper X for 17 minutes. I’m doing this one for future me. Alarm clock goes off and bed is too comfy? fuck you present self, this one’s for my best friend, the future me. I’m up and going for a 5 km run (or 25 meter run, it’s gotta be non zero). MAKE SURE YOU THANK YOUR OLD SELF for rocking out at the end of every.single.thing. that makes your life better. The cycle of doing something for someone else (future you) and thanking someone for the good in your life (past you) is key to building gratitude and productivity. Do not doubt me. Over time you should spread the gratitude to others who help you on your path.

Rule number 3- don’t worry i’m gonna too long didnt’ read this bad boy at the bottom (get a pencil and piece of paper to write it down. seriously. you physically need to scratch marks on paper) FORGIVE YOURSELF. I mean it. Maybe you got all the know-how, money, ability, strength and talent to do whatever is you wanna do. But lets say you still didn’t do it. Now you’re giving yourself shit for not doing what you need to, to be who you want to. Heads up champion, being dissapointed in yourself causes you to be less productive. Tried your best to have a nonzero day yesterday and it failed? so what. I forgive you previous self. I forgive you. But today? Today is a nonzero masterpiece to the best of my ability for future self. This one’s for you future homes. Forgiveness man, use it. I forgive you. Say it out loud.

Last rule. Rule number 4, is the easiest and its three words. exercise and books. that’s it. Pretty standard advice but when you exercise daily you actually get smarter. when you exercise you get high from endorphins (thanks body). when you exercise you clear your mind. when you exercise you are doing your future self a huge favour. Exercise is a leg on a three legged stool. Feel me? As for books, almost every fucking thing we’ve all ever thought of, or felt, or gone through, or wanted, or wanted to know how to do, or whatever, has been figured out by someone else. Get some books max. Post to reddit about not caring about yourself? Good first step! (nonzero day, thanks younger me for typing it out) You know what else you could do? Read 7 habits of highly successful people. Read “emotional intelligence”. Read “From good to great”. Read “thinking fast and slow”. Read books that will help you understand. Read the bodyweight fitness reddit and incorporate it into your workouts. (how’s them pullups coming?) Reading is the fucking warp whistle from Super Mario 3. It gets you to the next level that much faster.

That’s about it man. There’s so much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days, but that’s not your mission right now. Your mission is nonzero and forgiveness and favours. You got 36 essays due in 24 minutes and its impossible to pull off? Your past self let you down big time, but hey… I forgive you. Do as much as you can in those 24 minutes and then move on.

I hope I helped a little bit max. I could write about this forever, but I promised myself I would go do a 15 minute run while listening to A. Skillz Beats Working Vol. 3. Gotta jet. One last piece of advice though. Regardless of whether or not reading this for the first time helps make your day better, if you wake up tomorrow, and you can’t remember the 4 rules I just laid out, please, please. Read this again.

Have an awesome fucking day ☺

tldr; 1. Nonzero days as much as you can. 2. The three you’s, gratitude and favours. 3. Forgiveness 4. Exercise and books (which is a sneaky way of saying self improvement, both physical, emotional and mental)

Edit2: Someone asked what I meant by “much more when it comes to how to turn nonzero days into hugely nonzero days”. The long and short of it is a simple truth, but it’s tough to TOTALLY UNDERSTAND AND PRACTICE. It’s this: you become what you think. This doesnt mean if I think of a tree, I’ll be oakin’ it by august. It means that the WAY you think, the THINGS you think of, and the IDEAS YOU HOLD IN YOUR MIND defines the sum total that is you. You procrastinate all the time and got fear and worry goin on for something? You are becoming a procrastinator. You keep thinking about how much you want to run that 5 k race in the spring and finish a champion? Are ya keeping it in mind all the time? Is it something that is defining your ACTIONS and influencing you DECISIONS? If it is, then you’re becoming the champion you’re dreaming about. Dreaming about it makes it. Think and it shall be. But do not forget that action is thought’s son. Thoughts without actions are nothing. Have faith in whatever it is you’ve steeled your mind to. Have faith and follow through with action.

Ok, Ryan that’s a bunch of nice words n shit, but how does that help me turn slightly nonzero days into hugely nonzero days. Do you believe all these words you just read? Does it makes sense to you that you BECOME WHAT YOU THINK OF? Ask yourself: What do I think of? When you get home and walk in the door. (how quickly did you turn that laptop on? Did turning it on make you closer to your dreams? What would?) At the bus stop. Lunch break. What direction are you focusing your intentions on? If you’re like I was a few years ago, the answer was either No direction, or whatever caught my eye at the moment. But no stress, forgive yourself. You know the truth now. And knowing the truth means you can watch your habits, read books on how you think and act, and finally start changing your behaviour. Heres an example: Feeling like bunk cause you had zero days or barely nonzero days? THINK ABOUT WHAT YOURE DOING. and change just a little bit more. in whatever positive direction you are choosing to go.


Something to think about.

Until next time,


Okay, fine.  Here’s an excited corgi GIF:

 dance dog animals corgi GIF