Monthly Archives: November 2017


What if things go wrong.  You can count on things going wrong actually.  They’re very consistent.  You have a plan, you execute the plan, the plan goes off the rails, you throw the plan out.  Those are Captain Cold’s rules.  He then gets trapped in a room with a giant shark/man mutant from another dimension (Demention?  from crazy town?)  He does get rescued in time though.

I am on this weird journey to make Measurable progress in getting fit.  My 1st entry in this blog was March 6, 2014.  OMG.  I was 208 pounds then.  I’m 218 now.  Since that 1st entry, I have looked for the right combination of exercise and diet that would get me down to about 140 pounds which I haven’t weighed since my youngest was born…143 pounds plus or minus.  I remember that weight because I was 143 pounds going into the hospital as a pregnant lady, and came out weighing 143 pounds AFTER the child was born.  How is that possible?  He was 7# 4 oz.  I should have weighed at least 7 pounds less coming out!  That was the beginning of this strange journey into obesity.  Hahaha!  I can blame my boy!  Nope, that won’t work.

I cut myself down to 1200 calories a day.  I have been at 1200 calories a day for 3 years.  I have tried cutting out chocolate, then bread, then carbs in general, then colas, and at one time I existed on soup for a week.  Of course that was because I had a terrible respiratory virus that precluded me from eating solid food.  I couldn’t keep anything down but soup.  I do not recommend it.  I have exercised cardio and strength training 5 days a week with a trainer 3 days of those days, and I have exercised on my own taking occasional walks and going to the gym to work on the tread mill once a week.  I have been told I’m eating too little.  I have been told that to really lose the weight, I have to go on an 800 calorie diet and take supplements.  I have been told that all I need to do was portion control.  I have been told that all I need to do is start a running regimen.

In the course of this journey, I have had a 1/2″ kidney stone, I have broken my hip, and I have suffered all sorts of indignities that go with being too big.  I especially hate shopping for clothes.  “Here, try this tent on, the circus won’t be back until spring.”  I cannot physically get into a swimsuit because I cannot bend over to get both my feet in.  It doesn’t work like underwear.  I used to love swimming.  I used to love dancing.  I’m winded going up to the sidewalk of the gym.  I watch all the weight loss commercials and think to myself, well they wouldn’t work for me.  I think the laws of physics and biology bend around me.  I think I have ranted on this before…if you eat less and exercise more, you use more calories than you take in and you lose weight.  Unless you’re not eating enough, then they pile on.  If you are awake really late at night because you have something on your mind, and you’re moving, you’re using more calories, right?  But if you don’t get enough sleep, you gain weight.  So the laws of physics apply to every situation except when they don’t.

I HAVE NO VICES!  I do not overeat.  I do not smoke.  I do not drink.  I do not commit adultery.  I do not gamble.  I might be addicted to Longmire, but I don’t think that’s a vice since it has a definite ending point.  And yet…  I cannot find the energy to clean, or cook, or garden, or walk or dance or swim because I am so big and it takes so much effort.  I get depressed because I know I DO have 6-pack abs, but they’re so insulated that no one can see them.  I used to dance 5 hours a day.  I used to hike 10 miles.  I used to go on bike rides all over.  I used to march and play a horn for an hour a day.  I used to chase 5 kids around.  I used to be a pit pop who moved the percussion instruments on and off the field and in and out of the trucks.  I used to set field props for band contests.  I couldn’t do any of that now, even at gunpoint.

And now, I have another physical issue.  I don’t want to be in a state of always having to do something to fix something.  I don’t want to take medicine for the rest of my life.  I want it fixed.  When the light bulb goes out, you replace it.  You don’t have to monitor it every stinking day to see if there is something that MIGHT go wrong with it.  When you replace a broken window, you do it and it’s fixed.  There is no daily activity you have to do to make sure the fixed window hasn’t degraded into a broken window.  When you break a bone and they reset it, it heals and then EVERY FREAKING DAY you have to exercise the muscles around it so you can continue to use it for the rest of your life.  Because once it’s broken, it’s ruined.  Nothing will ever be right about it from that point on.  If you have a kidney stone, EVEN AFTER YOU’VE PASSED IT, you’re likely to have more.  The kidney is ruined and nothing will ever be right about it from that point on.  If you’ve gained weight, by whatever means it has happened, your metabolism is ruined and it will never be right again.  Every day, you start from 0.  It’s like Forrest Gump if he were in the Outer Limits. He starts his cross country run, runs for 25-30 miles.  He goes to sleep and wakes up the next morning in his bedroom.

As a good friend of mine says, “Oh Well.”


I hate training that is mandatory.  I especially hate mandatory training that only deals with cursory, shallow, general information.  Reiterating self evident information is not training.  Our presenter does not have an electric personality.  He reads the slides, he speaks extremely slowly and wanders all over the speaking area without purpose.  He moves just quick enough to indicate he’s not dead, but not fast enough to discourage jr. high kids from seeing him as a moving target.

He isn’t tailoring his message to his audience.  He and his presentation have no impact on the people he’s training. What is the point he’s trying to make?  He is trying to teach experienced people how and why to run an event.  They already know this stuff, and have done successful events multiple times.  Yet they are making this training mandatory.  I would venture to say he’s never actually run an upper level event–one that involves multiple districts and multiple activities.  Am I dumping on this guy because I don’t like him?  My goodness no! He’s a lovely man—kind, caring, and with a genuine wish to help his fellows.  He’s not an experienced trainer.

I was watching “This is Us” last night, and there was this scene where the rather large character is at a weight watching type of meeting.  It looked like a 12-step program.  The leader was going on about how much the program had done for her and how she now wanted to help others achieve the success she’d had.  This leader was enormous.  One might postulate that she had not, as yet, achieved the success she was purporting to pass on to her participants.  I go to lots of seminars.  There are times when I think to myself, “Why am I here?  This guy doesn’t know as much about the subject as I do!  Why did I pay for a ticket?”  There was one that spoke about talking to oneself.  I thought that after listening for 30 min he might have made a point that I could actually write down in my notes.  My paper was blank.  My first thought, “Amateur…”  There was another talking about leadership and my first thoughts, “Amateur, and he’s supposed to be a trained speaker?”  There was another expert talking about teaching and training.  He didn’t get 5 minutes into his spiel when I wanted to stop him and ask him how long he’d taught in the public school system.  What he was saying would have gotten him booed out of the classroom.  He would have had nothing but low-level rioting every day.  Why are unqualified people allowed to stand up and posture in front of real experts?  Why are they hired?  I read their books, and they’re shallow and the  conclusions they make do not follow any type of logic.  Their experiences are glossed over or unmentioned.  “Gentlemen, if you want to keep the interest of your junior high science class, wear a different tie–one with cartoon characters on it.”  Junior High?  Hands in laps?  In a science class?  Really?  Where did you find out this nugget?  Now I had one science teacher that lit his tie on fire and it didn’t burn.  (Combination of isopropyl alcohol and water.) That got my attention, but I was in high school then.

If you are going to train me, you need to know more than I do or know how to ask the questions that allow me to discover the answer.  I was in a seminar where we broke into groups and had to teach each other how to juggle.  No one in my group knew how to juggle.  The purpose of the exercise was in coaching people.  The coach in our group didn’t have to KNOW how to juggle, he just had to ask the right questions.  And believe it or not, when the coach asked the questions and the juggler responded and thought things through, suddenly non-jugglers became jugglers!  But that’s not what happened in this mandatory training.  This well-meaning but ineffective speaker was talking to us as if we had never run an event before.  He didn’t assess his audience before he started his presentation.  There wasn’t a person in the room that didn’t have at least 5 years doing events under their belts.

When one of the participants (who happened to be the leader of the group this guy was addressing) started making things interesting by asking questions from the floor, the speaker tried to rein the conversation in so he could finish his ineffective slideshow.  If you find yourself in a situation where you know there is a wealth of information in the audience that you don’t currently have, learn to approach it like a coach instead of a teacher/trainer.  Ask insightful questions and allow the audience to participate.  You can bet your audience members will be taking notes like crazy.

I guess I’m getting too old to maintain my patience level.  I don’t suffer fools.  I have sudden urges to start heckling from the floor.  I have to fight for self control to keep from launching projectiles from my seat in the back of the room.  I try to avoid mandatory training when I see who’s running it and I don’t recognize any talent or special knowledge they can offer.

Get help.  Don’t get in front of an audience if you’re not having more success than they are.