Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mission 2 Mission 2008

Well. It's another day in the life of this journey and a good one at that.
The week started off not too great with Frances being sick and eventaully diagnosed with pnumonia. This left me with not one full day at work this week and not many chances to ride unless I put a sick 3 year old on the handle bars. On top of that, what was going to be a family outing with me riding and the rest of the family walking the Mission to Mission tour was halted by sickness with Frances, then Julia, then Claudia plus Claudia all of a sudden had a school project on the same day. John stayed healthy (thank God) and my throat has been a bit scratchy with some coughing.

Not to let all of this stop me. I got up good and early and drove to the start site at Mission Park. Not really knowing the way, I just followed someone with a bike in the back of their vehicle. Once there I realized that I forgot my camera. No biggie. Next, I made the most embarrassing fall. Coming up to the start, not really crowded and coming to a stop, my left foot just was not coming out of the clip and down on my left side I went. I made the typical comment to cover it up..."Whew glad that's over, no more for the day". Few seconds later I realized that the fall broke my cycle computer. Repairable with some Epoxy or JB Weld so I tied up my loose wire and forgot about it. This ride was very good and the people were friendly enough. Lots of loners like me and many groups also. Tearing my number 29 (Great number I'll explain later) getting up on my seat some one kindly re-pinned it for me and off we were for the next 34 miles. That was the last of any type of bad day. The rest was very good. A couple of funny things I saw were the one guy riding with his no more than 2 year old son in a kids seat on his bike. Another was a little girl maybe 8 riding tandem with her dad only using one foot and giving me the "keep it a secret" finger over her lips as I went by. Later I saw the little boy in his bike chair sound asleep with dad still peddling away.
I felt that I rode pretty strong for most of the way. Reading a friends blog about his rides (a lot longer and much faster than mine) I remember him saying to eat three hours before, so I did and I also remember him feeling not so energized until he "slammed a coca cola" so my back pack water pouch was coke and water mixed. I like that taste and there are worse tasting things out there. There was only one real rest stop and on the way out I stopped for a little bit. Talked with one guy then rode out. On the way back I just bypassed the rest stop and kept on going. I guess around mile 25 or so I started feeling sluggish but once I got to the park again my energy picked up and I rode in without that glad to be done feeling.

Weighing myself when I left the house this morning I was at 193 or so. I really carbbed up last night and had a breakfast burrito, tater tots and juice this morning. I drank well during the ride but when I got home I was at 186 or so. Some of you will read this and exclaim "I need a bike". You probably do but I don't recommend going 34 miles on the first outing.

Now about number 29...I WON! I didn't know it but there was a little raffle going on and I won a free bike helmet, and I do need one. Thank God yet again!

What could have been a totally cancelled day because of a little sore throat and the family not coming turned out to be a good day after all. I had no idea how I was going to do or feel afterwards but I feel great.
Since I won something I want to give my thank you acceptance speach...

Thanks go to God for His favor over my life. Thanks to Greg Amicone who although was not there got me started doing these rides with the Tour de Greune. Thanks to Kevin, Johnny, & Mark for very encouraging words although Johnny needs to supplement the trails with some road riding. Thanks to Chris Aarhus for much needed advice and encouragement...Maybe one day it will be a triathlon. Thanks to the race coordinators and all of your support and poining me in the right direction. Thanks to Lydia Kelly for being the bikers voice in San Antonio. Thanks to the rapper LL Cool J who said..."If you feel good, Work out. If you feel bad, Work out. If you feel sick, Work out. If you don't feel like it, Work out."
In other words Just Do It

God bless all that read this and double that blessing if you leave a "KIND" comment. CS
Pictures to follow so check back.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Early 1 Year Celebration

Well, I could not change the day of the ride to November 5th so I celebrated early. Ride you ask? Let me explain. About a little over a month ago I started cycling to work on Thursdays. All of the other days I have to take kiddies to school and since they can't ride safely on the handle bars I stick to Thursdays when the wife is off and she does the kid taxi service. My Friday rides are now on Saturdays which is just an out and back 16 miler or double my work commute. A friend in our choir (I work in music ministry) asked me to join him and another rider to go on a 32 mile ride along the path of the Tour de Gruene in Gruene TX. This would be double the miles that I have recently done. I said yes and we went about 2 weeks ago. I did ok and we only stopped once for a food stop and once for a "PIT STOP". The Tour has 3 catagories at 17, 30 & 40 miles. I signed up for the 30 knowing that I have already rode the path and could do it again. The morning of the ride? Flat front tire. Called one of my buddies packed up the van, and went. Got to our meeting site and put in a new tube and it was off to the starting line. Less than a mile into the ride? Flat front tire. My buddies stopped and we used yet another new tube and I was back on tour. Few more miles down the road? Flat front tire. One of the sponsoring bike stores van stopped (BIKE WORLD, Greg, great guy) and kindly and for free really repaired the tire. Then I was back on tour. We got to the 30 mile turn around and I thought it was much further up the road and felt great...SO??? I went ahead and did the 40 miles instead. No more flats and with the extra riding to and from our vehicles to the starting/finishing point I actually did 44.5 miles. I know some of you have done a lot more a lot sooner but I first had to crawl and over come myself which I am still doing. What does this mean? Well so far I have lost 65 pounds. This is the overcoming myself I am talking about. If you think you will not be active after a Resurfacing, think again. Between the better eating, cycling, racquetballing, treadmilling, hiking, swimming, weight lifting, playing with the kids, yard projects and more. I stay active. Thank you Dr Evans for the precise knife, and thank you Surface Hippies for your advice and encouragement leading up to the surgery and after, and thanks to every friend that has read and sent encouraging words through this blog.
Oh, I am also celebrating my birthday early. 44 years active on Monday Nov 3rd. God bless you all. CS
One more thing...189 pounds. If you have been keeping count that is 65 pounds lost.
More pictures to follow. The one here is after the ride a little while after Igot home. YES! I Need to lear to smile.

This response from a friend, elite cyclist/triathlete/runner, and awesome personal trainer.
His response is simular to my view. Patience, determination, not letting fear be the negative motivator, and an understanding that it takes time to complete the goal. I have had weeks where I have not lost a pound but no week has gone by since I've started that I have decided to stop. The hardest part???
It's really difficult to find a comfortable chair. No more "natural chair padding". Read the below comment from Chris Aarhus. CS

Great job Chris! See, I wish others would just be patient and stick with it through the ups and downs that come with getting/staying in shape. It takes time. Plus people's fears hold em back I think and they never really know their full potentials or want to take the time to get there.

Chris Aarhus Blog
Coaching with
Expose Yourself to your Full Athletic Potential

Rhoose Massage Therapy
210 -601-3935/

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Happy Plateau

Hello everyone. These two shots are from about two weeks ago just after riding to work. I leave a set of clothes at work and ride in on Thursdays. Mon - Wed I am taking two or three littlins to school in the morning and the handle bars is just not a good place for them to ride. Mainly I think they would block my bike light. This time of year it is dark in the morning so I have a head light (literally it's strapped to my head) so wherever I turn my head there is light. I Have front bright bike light and a rear flasher that sits under my seat. As the temp's drop, I just layer a few more clothes under my windbreaker jacket and go for it. One good thing is that we do have a place to take a shower here at work and lockers. I keep the toiletries I need here (always wondered why they are called TOILETries) so I can shave and brush my teeth and get ready for the day. Usually on Thursdays I also play racquetball during my lunch time, finish my work day then ride home. 8 miles each way so I am not breaking any records on distance. I am just happy that I can do it since the hip surgery back in November

I have been very stagnant in my weight loss actually up or down about 2 pounds but centered on 195. I will say though that this is a good thing. I have seen a place in my eating & exercise habits that I can be comfortable. As for now. I need to get back on the sacrificial horse and continue to lose some more weight.

I keep getting asked, as recent as today "What are you doing?" Folks there is no secret. You have to burn more calories than you take in. Now there are tricks or tips to doing this. What do you do everyday or 5 days a week, (you're not going to like this part) what can you do to make that task more difficult? Me? I park farther away from the office than usual and do the same at most stores. You may say "WOW, you burn a whole extra 5 calories by walking an extra 100 feet" I am glad you said that and think that way, lets do the math. 365 days in the year minus 104 (two days off every week) equals 782.5 calories, about a 1/4 of a pound a year. Mulitply that by how ever many times you can do that like stores and so on and you can effectively lose an extra pound or two not including your workouts or limited food intake. One place that most people almost fight over parking close to a facility is...THE HEALTH CLUB. People go there to run miles on treadmills and so on then complain to high heaven over where they have to park. I also do this with task around the house. Mowing the lawn, cleaning and so on. The house gets cleaner, the lawn gets greener and I burn a few extra calories in the process and it all adds up.
The best tip I can say about food is don't go drastic all at once. One or two good habits every other week or so and sooner or later you will be onto a health lifestyle. God bless you all and remember...Just Do It! CS

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Milestone reached

Yes folks. That number 2 is no longer the beginning number when it comes to me weighing myself. This shot here shows just about 198. Since this (which was about a week ago) I have seen from 196-just over 200, but the 198-199 has been the average. A little closer watch on the food intake and before you know it, the 190's will also be in the past and I will be giving a welcomed hello to the 180's.
I have stepped up one day a week and gone to 2 good workouts a day on Wednesdays one in the after noon and one after our choir rehearsal in the evening. Still trying to not take that Sunday nap between church services is difficult but I did so yesterday and took the kids outside to make a "MUD" project making a mini mud oven.
Lots of lifting and moving around to get everything set up and whenever you are dealing with a 3 & 5 year old, kid wrangling is also part of the project...Oh, and one other thing this involes is a lot of stepping (yes bare foot) in a mixture of kitty litter (unused), sand and water to mix the right consistency of mud. After that we added dry grass to the same ingredients, then cow manure for the finish layer. Not manure in the raw but store bought aroma free (or De-funked) cow manure.

My loving wife decided that I have been "swimmin in my pants" so she went to Old Navy to get me some new pants.

Here is my profile and straight on shots in my new pants. If you look closely at the shot on the right you will see that this belt is also on its last hole. I will either have to break out the hole punch or get a smaller belt.

Finally I have a pair of pants that fit...Guess what Honey...They are actually a little loose BUT A GOOD loose. At a size 36 waist for these pants, I am predicting if I get another 10-12 pounds gone (and I will) I will be able to get into a size 34waist pants. I feel like a kid in reverse. Usually as your kids grow, you are buying larger clothes every other month or so. With me it's sinching the belt and needing smaller clothes every other month or so. Because of the cost, sinching the belt will just have to work untill I feel I am at a size that I will be at for a while. I think what I will ultimately do is to go to a 2nd hand store and get some inexpensive clothes to clothe me along this journey.

If you continue to scroll down to some of my earlier post, you will see many a before and along the journey photo's to see the difference of then and now.
Then? 254 Pounds
Now? 198
Time? About 6 months
Monthly? About 9.something pounds a month
Weekly? About 2.something pounds a week
If any of my math magician friends out there want to give me exact numbers I will include your name for the credit.
When I started? On the treadmill 2 miles an hour? HURT!
Now? 2 miles an hour is not even a warmup.
When I started? I had no gym membership. Just some home equipment, and a local park to hike in.
Now? The home gym and local park gave me enough weight loss on my own to WIN a three month gym membership (last day is tomorrow...trying to keep it together and not cry...sniff sniff)
Then? 3months after a hip replacement surgery and very limited in what I could do physically.
Now? Even my doctor has eased my limitations because the weight loss has enabled me to do much more then just sitting around saying "woe is me"
Then? Putting my hands up to say STOP! when my son wanted to do some rough play.
Now? I initiate the rough play, and taking him for bike rides, walks in the park and more along with his sister.
Then? I ate BBQ, Pizza, and all things fried to excess.
Now? Get this...I eat BBQ, Pizza, and some things fried but nothing to excess.

Here it is folks. My big secret. I do eat few and I mean very few low cal meals and I have cut a lot of sugar and carbs out of my lifestyle. All I have done in a nutshell is cut my food intake but still eat a lot of the things I have always enjoyed, just not to excess. Two slices of pizza is enough. One piece of fried chicken is enough. Two BBQ ribs is enough "Beleive it, Or not"
Water has become one of my favorite drinks as well as some very good tasting low cal drinks but mostly water. All this plus exercising got me 56 pounds gone and cast as far as the east is from the west. I was told not to say I weight "lost", so no one else would find it.
What else has helped to get me here? ALL OF YOU THAT HAVE SENT WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT!!!!
Please continue to do so. God bless you all. CS
"If it's not a lifestyle change, it's only temorary"

Monday, August 4, 2008

50 Pounds

Well it has been quite a journey so far and still more roads to exlore are before me as I want to continue losing. Some where in last week I hit 50 pounds lost. I have seen my scale around 203-205 but mainly around that 204 area. I started out at 254, so minus 50 (Pounds that is) I am now at 204 and still losing. One thing I did not do was to celebrate with a big ole pile of food. We did do burgers at a restaurant last week but I had half of mine on Friday and the other half on Saturday night. I haven't really change much since my last posting except my weight of course but I will soon have to. My membership at the health club ends on the 19th of this month (Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! Snif snif snif....Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!) and I will have to go to another plan at that time for my workouts. With three kids I really can't justify the monthly fee just for me to go to the health club so I will be working out at home, and doing more hiking again and now that we are averaging in the upper 90's outside the extra sweat will be ok. I lost 30 pounds before the gym so I know I will be ok without it, but I will shed a tear or two on that last day. The machines are great, and the use of the pool is one thing I know I will miss since I have been upto 30 minutes of non stop laps in the pool.
Well I did hit a few road blocks since my last post. I seemed to have gotten stuck around 210 or so and to truly admit it to myself, I had a couple of weeks of slipping in the food catagory. Even when the workouts were going great, I got a little lazy in preparing the right stuff. The good side of that is I know what happened and I learned from it. As for pictures??? here is the infamous scale pic. As you can see in this pic, I am around 203.5 which is actually 50.5 pounds not lost but just gone into never never land. I was recently taught not to say lost on the risk of someone else finding those pounds. S0 let's just say those 50 pounds are cast away as far as the east is from the west. What do I look like now? See below.

In this shot those were one of my pairs of skinny pants. A goal I had to try to get to. NOW??? If it weren't for that belt even those would fall down. Pretty much right now I do not have one pair of pants that does not fit me too big. Side shot below.

Yes, I am getting smaller and the proof is there. Till next time. God bless you all. CS

Sunday, June 29, 2008


This entry will have more and more photos added along the journey. So please come back to this particular entry from time to time. CS

This was actually day one of the journey. 254 pounds of handsome yet not so happy man. This was Febuary 24/08

Now at 251. Still not smiling much but on the way. Three pounds ain't a lot but it all eventually adds up.

Now around 247 even though the picture doesn't show it...Yes I do have something to smile about.

This is around 232 with 22 pounds lost. Look!
I am starting to smile and I have extra room in my pants. To put it in full perspective, I had to lose a little weight just to squeeze into these pants, but at 22 pounds lost, I have room to spare...I also am no longer scared to show my feet.

Skipping over many photos of foot and scale...In this shot with Ted, I am around two hundred something teen pounds. The shirt I am wearing I have had for YEARS. My favorite print but could not get it over the belly. I think you can see some progression in these shots, especially the love luggage that has finally turned into love handles. Still on the journey and losing and taking more and more photos.

This current shot below is a blurry 209. I know my feet don't show it but I am smiling much more these days.

You know for years many friends of mine would offer me food as a good jesture or favor, more than likely to get a good response, do something nice and get a smile out of me. All this time it was losing weight not offering everything fried, dipped in chocolate, or drowned in butter that does it. Growing up I was a plate finisher to the point of using a slice of bread to get the the last bits of gravy, butter of what ever else was there. You know that phrase..."Girl you look so good I could sop you up with a biscuit"? Well I think the person that originated that was probably watching me eat...Or maybe I originated it.
Now friends...I am not saying to stop taking me to lunch, and so on. Just understand that "if" I go I will not do like I did in the past and finish mine, yours and the strangers food at the table next to us. Also understand that "if" I go, I have taken that meal into account and will make adjustments in the rest of my day food and workout wise. So "if" I go, I will make that sacrifice for any of you who wish to buy me lunch.
To the right is my most recent pic now at 50 pounds gone. I still need to work on my smile some but beleive me...I am smiling on the inside.
God bless you and look for updates on this post. CS

Count Down to Under 200

Today I stepped on the scale and I was under 210 "Less Hips!" "Less Hips!" "HOORAY!"
I had a real good week of exercise and eating right and of course that is key. I was unable to swim as much because of time and I've changed my lifting workout (which is very good to do from time to time) to no free weights but all machines. Also instead of a few body parts a day, I am now working the whole body a few times a week. I also have a few no lifting days with just cardio for about an hour per session plus some ab work. I have found out that using the machines is much more comfortable and no plates to load. The only problem is that you never really know the true weight you are able to lift. BUT! Since I am 43 and not intending to enter a power lifting competition any time soon, I don't need to know that I can actually bench 400 as long as I am still (and I am) workin my muscles to fatigue. Also I have notice my shoulder pain is less and less using the machines and because I don't have the fear of dropping a weight on myself I am getting a better range of motion and more repetitions even when the muscles are fatigued.
Yard work is staying in my repertoire of things to do for exercise and over the weekend I did quite a bit. Lawn mowing, planting, finishing my compost box, shredding old branches, raking leaves, and setting rocks are all the things I did outside this weekend and right now we are hitting about 99 degrees daily. This keeps the sweat going so a lot of water drinking is a must and I like my cold H2O. This week I also have cut more carbs but not totally. Two taco's mid week, a PB&J for lunch one day, and carbs from some of the sugars in my juice have been there but no days where I can say I overdid it. This brought me from around 214 in the beginning of the week to around ("LOOK AT IT") 208 at my best scale reading for the week. The picture I am posting may say 209-210 (Sorry for the blurryness...and the ugly feet) but I am happy to no longer see the 200 teens. So now the count down is on to get below 200.

To let you all know why this is imortant...
I have not been below 200 since my Navy days and even then staying below 200 was a real struggle. At one time the struggle was 170 or below, then 180 or below I think I skipped over 190 then all of a sudden I just could not get below 200. I was over 200 through most of high school, then some where in 1984 I had to lose 40 pounds to get into the Navy. I lost 75 by my entry date then during my time in the Navy I started slowly creeping up in weight and the struggles were on. I read about 5 years ago that it is very unlikely that a person over 40 will lose weight to a good level if they enter their forty's over weight. I have a word for that. "BULL" If you set your mind to it to have a better life style, you will start doing the things you need to do to get there. For me this is probably my biggest self made monster, the monster of overeating and I feel that I have it conquered. Losing the weight is the results of having it conquered. Most will think that nothing is conquered untill the goal is reached. I like to think that reaching the goal is the result of a conquering journey.
Well it is Sunday and I am soon to be back at church. Will write more later as the countdown to 200 continues. God bless you. CS