Go to hell, Wii

I was in Saint Louis last week. In and of itself, that’s unremarkable. A few days spent out by the airport meeting with annoying college administrators is about as exciting as it sounds. What was remarkable about it was that, while away, I missed my 500th day on the Wii Fit.

Today was day 509 and I’m going to take time to look back and remark about how awesome I am.

We started on the Wii on December 26, 2010. I weighed in at an appalling 188lbs. The Wii told me I was overweight and suggested I either kill myself or lose some weight. 2 days later, I weighed 190lbs. The Wii spat at me, told me I was fat, and stormed off. I agreed with it. I had been watching my weight creep up consistently for a while. I exercised regularly but could not keep the pounds off. I knew that the jump from 190 to 200 would not be a hard one to make. 200 was NOT going to happen.

After the Wii got done telling me I was fat, it casually mentioned that my optimal weight was 162.5lbs. Holy Fuck. When had I ever weighed 162.5lbs? It probably was my senior year of high school. I know I was in the 150s during swimming season, and I also know that I tended to gain weight after the season ended and I wasn’t burning 14-bilion calories per day in the pool. So, I probably weighed about that much at graduation. Yikes.

I set my first goal; lose 5lbs. Wham…it came off. It wasn’t hard.
I set another goal: lose another 5. Thank you, stomach virus. Off it came.
Having lost 10lbs, I decided to rest a while. I let myself settle in at 180 for a few weeks to make sure I could hold it.
5 more came off with relative ease.
The next 5 were a pain in the ass. I had started running and immediately suffered foot injuries. All I could do to lose weight was watch what I ate. That’s not easy in this house when I know, at the start of every day, that I’m staring an extra 500-600 calories in wine intake per day.

Do the math. 500-600 calories per day / 100 calories per glass = NoGoodDaddy is an alcoholic

Finally, my feet got better and I could run. It took a while, but I eventually hit 170. I had lost 20lbs. As a bonus, none of my clothes fit. FUCK!

I sat there for a while, knowing the next 5 would be the hardest. Fortunately, it was now the summer of 2011 and we were eating lighter meals. It’s just too hot to eat anything heavy during an NC summer. I stayed right around 170 for a while and then I made the push to 165. I hit it in early September. I’d lost 25lbs. The clothes I bought at 170 were now hanging off of me. Double FUCK!

The Wii kept pestering me about 162.5. “You know, dickweed…your optimal weight is 162.5lbs”

Meanwhile, JewelrySlut was telling me that I looked fine. Of course, she was 10lbs below what the Wii told her she should weigh. She’s lost 20lbs in the same timeframe. As a couple, we’d lost 45lbs. But, 162.5 kept laughing at me. I was never gonna make it.

In April, JewelrySlut and I were able to go away for a week…just the 2 of us. Despite the many miles biking around Emerald Isle, we both managed to put on a few pounds. That daily 500-600 calories from wine probably was over 1000. Hey…the kids were in Raleigh. Leave us alone.

Since mid-April, I’d been staring 167 in the face every damn day. And, keeping it at 167 was not easy. I could feel myself wanting to start creeping back. And I had told myself that I would NOT lose all this weight just to gain it back. Plus…I had NOTHING that fit at this point and was not about to go buy size 34 pants again.

So, last week I was in Saint Louis. And, I was traveling with someone who really didn’t drink. When I got home on Friday, the Wii scolded me for having missed 3 days (It really can be an asshole when it wants to be one).

Then it scolded me for my weight.

I’d done it…I’d blown through its imaginary number and found myself at 161lbs. Now the damn thing wants me to gain weight. And, this week, try as I might, I’m still dropping pounds. I just weighed in at 160lbs and change. I’m a skinny little shit.

There really is no moral to this story. If you care to know, this is how we lost weight:
Exercise
Salad

That’s it. We still cook all of our own food and eat well. We just eat a little less with every meal and finish dinner off with a salad. It takes up that remaining space in your stomach and does so with next to no calories. Since I can’t eat dairy products without getting sick, I don’t have to worry about being tempted by many desserts. That’s not to say that, on a Saturday night, we won’t blow through half of a chocolate cake. Cuz we do. But, by the following Wednesday, it’s gone. I can’t say that we’ve given up any food that we love. We just eat a little less of it. That 3rd helping of pasta is now a salad. The 2nd helping of potatoes; salad.

I also run between 17 – 20 miles per week. I now consider myself a runner…not just an asshole who runs. There’s a difference. Look at my feet, you’ll see it. I’ve not yet been told that I look like a runner, but JewelrySlut has. Despite hating what I’ve done to her, she was proud of herself. Just the other night, she announced “I have the split!” Her calves had “finally” split and you could see both heads of the gastroc muscle.

Do we stand around in our underwear and pose for each other?

We might

Did we earn it?

We did.

You can lose 20lbs too. You don’t need a pill or some magic diet. All you need to do is burn more than you take in. Run, bike, dance, masturbate vigorously. Do something. And, at dinner, finish it off with a salad.

So, get out there and get sexy!

More useless words

So, I’m having a discussion of sorts with an internet pal about something that probably will never happen; the construction of a mega-resort on St John. I know…shocking. I’m discussing St John again. Sorry…it’s what I do.

He commented that he and his wife are probably done with the island. It doesn’t give them what they’re looking for anymore. And, we’re starting to feel the same way.

We’re getting priced out of paradise. And, to be honest, I think I’m OK with that. What’s the purpose of taking a trip if you either need to scrimp and save so much beforehand that you end up spending the week pinching pennies or worrying that you’re having enough fun for your dollar? And, that’s what our jaunts to the islands have become. “To get what we need” is starting to cost more for one week than I can possibly spend in 2 years on other trips. I’ll trade that one week for 4 weeks somewhere else.

Of course, I say all this while, out on the horizon of 2013, the mouse looms. Damn the mouse. But, we’ve been very successful in only having to visit WDW for one day with Shmuppie in her nearly 10 years. She went with my parents last December, but the full trip is due. Moo will be old enough to enjoy it by then. That’s going to be painful.

For now, we’re keeping it simple. Staying closer to home and enjoying the NC coast suits us. There’s no need to complicate vacation. It’s supposed to be enjoyed, not fretted over. And, trust me, that’s a HUGE step towards sanity for me.

Speaking of insanity…we’ve tacked a day onto our upcoming quickie March trip. JewelrySlut joined the Ikea Family Club and now she’s seriously jonesing for some Ikea. Since the Great Wolf Lodge and Ikea are more or less close to each other, we’ve decided to do a day of furniture shopping, stay in Charlotte for a night and then go to the lodge. The parents get to play at Ikea and the kids get to play in the pool the following day. Everybody wins.

We really need some bedroom furniture. We sold our set when we moved here and have been using odds and ends for going on 7 years now. We haven’t bought a new set because it’s damn expensive and we hate everything we’ve looked at. We needed to justify a trip to Ikea to go shop there. I think I found enough furniture to fill the bedroom for under $1000. That would be nice. Having drawers that open and close properly would also be nice. So, maybe we’ll go buy some furniture. It beats the alternative; having to go to a local unfinished furniture store and have me buy like 47 gallons of varnish and an acre of sandpaper. I don’t mind finishing g the occasional piece, but not a bedroom set.

Until then, I’m eyeballing the house we want to rent in April. It went down in price recently and that makes me happy. We’ll be getting a house for a week for less than the price of 1 1/2 plane tickets to the islands.

And you wonder why St John is currently off of our radar screen.

With problems like this…

Because I’m me, I always have to be obsessed with something. It’s in my blood to be insane I guess. I can’t help it.

My recent insanity, now that we’re in a New Year and work has slowed down, is travel. Shocking…I know. Because it’s so seldom that I think of such things.

I have a full year to fill with things and 136 vacation hours to burn. What to do?

Last year was my first with 3 weeks…finally lasted at a job past the 5 year mark. We took 2 trips to the beach and I ended up in FLA 3 times. Twice for fun, once for not so fun. I also managed to be off from December 21-January 3. That was fun and re-entry remains difficult.

2012 is posing challenges. It’s supposed to be a St. John year, but it’s just not gonna happen. There are too many boundaries.
1: What to do with the kids. We’d leave Moo at home, that’s a given. She’s NOT coming to St. John until she’s older. That’s a no-brainer. Plenty of people take little ones down there but we are so NOT those people. The thought of it makes me want to poke my eyes out. Shmuppie poses another challenge. We’d have to go in June or September because of her schedule. And, to be frank, we don’t even want to bring her. I know families should vacation as families, but don’t Mom and Dad (and MerlotMan and ChurchBomber) get a little time to themselves? My mother, in a stunning reversal, says we should leave both kids with her and just go.

2: Putting aside the hellbeast that Shmuppie would become, it’s too damned expensive. Delta and US Air seem convinced that we have unlimited funds. Couple that with the jeep, house cost, beer money and planning and St. John suddenly became more task than vacation. I know…cry me a fucking river…it’s too hard to plan a trip to the Caribbean.

3: ChurchBomber and MerlotMan also aren’t sold on St. John this year. They’re going to Ireland for a while and it’s just not meshing on calendars. Until it sinks, St. John will always be there. We’ll be back.

What to do now? My schedule is free.

Here are my plans:
Shmuppie is off for 3 weeks in March. We’ll need to do something to appease her but we don’t want to take a full vacation. We’re thinking of The Great Wolf Lodge. She went last September with my mother for a night and had fun. Moo would have fun splashing around in the kiddie pools and we could limit ourselves to one night there. Add in some coupons and it’s not a bad deal. But, the reviews are mixed at best on it. So, because I’m crazy, I had an idea while running yesterday. I was bundled up from head to toe and had a thought… SNOW! We could go snow tubing somewhere. Moo would have to stay home, but the 3 of us could take a trip to a mountain somewhere and go tubing. 15 minutes of research told me that was a shitty idea if I wanted to stay in state. Yikes…PRICEY! “Hey…West Virginia says they have snow!” I found a resort that offers free lift tickets and has a pool and bowling alley. That could work for a night. Let’s consider March closed; one night somewhere; Great Wolf Lodge for water slides or WV for tubing. 8 vacation hours gone.

April: JewelrySlut and I are convinced that we’re going to take an “us-only” trip this year and April seems to be the time. I found a cute little sound-front house in Emerald Isle that appears to suit our needs. I, obviously, looked everywhere for this trip. I found all-inclusives that would cost like $800 for the 2 of us for the whole week. Then I checked air. I’m not paying $600 to fly ANYWHERE that keeps me in the same time zone. Hell…I’d need to cross many time zones to rationalize such a flight. In the end, EI is close and easy. I’m not booking shit until I see how the next few weeks go. Things could change with my parents in a heartbeat and I don’t need to eat a house deposit because I piss them off by blinking inappropriately. If we go, there go 40 more hours.

June: Shmuppie is off again; for 5 weeks this time. My mother is taking her on their annual “Spoil the Child Cruise”. But that leaves 4 weeks. Last year we went to FLA for the 4th of July. I’m not in the mood to do that again. ChurchBomber and MerlotMan want us to come up to visit. I’m trying to figure out how to get up there while minimizing time off and travel time. We’re not buying 4 plane tickets just to go to NJ. Look at that! $1200 to fly 500 miles. “Sorry kids…put on your seatbelts…we’re going for a ride”. But the fucking ride to NJ sucks such balls. Pretty much the entire trip above Richmond is one potential disaster after another. There’s not a single mile of road between Richmond and Morris County NJ that’s not a potential traffic disaster. 500 miles could easily take 20 hours. Even if I route us west through WV and PA, it’s still a drive. I need to chew on this one. Let’s deduct another 24 hours here.

So far, it’s June and I’m down 9 of my 17 days.

September: I can’t see us all not going back to EI. Shmuppie is off again and we had a great trip last year. The weather is not too hot and the ocean is still warm. I just need to convince myself that I don’t need to go on a full house search. The house we rented in March was great, but, it was a duplex and the main deck isn’t divided. The thought of having to look at people we don’t know does not appeal to us. The one in September would work for us but the stairs were odd. You had to go outside to access the ground level. Said ground level housed the foosball table and laundry. Dock me another 5 days.

That leaves me 3 (maybe 4) days left. I can use them around the holidays and be off again from Dec 22-Jan 2.

I will now argue with myself about all of this. Because, in all this madness, I don’t have a trip to FLA planned. JewelrySlut and Moo will probably take at least one trip. Possibly 2 if Gram gets her knee replaced. But I don’t know when I could make it there AND get to NJ AND get a week with my Beach Baby in April. Because, let’s be honest; that’s the only trip I care about at this point. We have grand plans for the week in April. We plan to DO NOTHING! Sleep, read, eat, have sexy time. That’s it.

Of course, I’ll spend the next several weeks pounding the assorted sites hoping that, somehow, airfares will come down and April will land my ass on an island. But, we all know that’s not gonna happen. And that’s OK…I’ll just need something new to obsess about.

Hmmm…now about that closet of mine I need to reorganize.

2011 can eat a bag of dicks

January: We started the shitstorm of 2011 poorly. I weighed in at 190 and immediately became sickened with myself. My mother had her back surgery. Since I spent the day before and day of said surgery in the bathroom puking up my guts, I didn’t call her. After she got home, I was “sent for”. She lectured me about not calling her “What if I had died?” I told her we both knew she wasn’t going to die and if I hadn’t called then I’d have to live with it (whatever that meant), not her; she’d be dead. I then went on the assault. We didn’t speak again for months. Work sucked. It was cold. I started running

February: JewelrySlut turned 40 and I managed to make a nice mid-week dinner for her. Our planned trip to Asheville was scuttled because of my mother’s back, Shmuppie’ s inability to stay at their house without freaking out and my mother and I and the whole not speaking thing. I’m sure Moo did something cute. Work sucked even more. My feet hurt. I needed new sneakers and some $400 inserts. My feet still hurt. I got under 180.

March: Shmuppie was tracked out for 3 weeks. Grr…having her at home for all that time was evil. On a positive note, we took a vacation at the end of the month. We went to WEI and promptly walked into horrid weather. The Wii saved us from certain insanity. We won’t complain about a week off from life, but it could have been better. My feet hurt. I kept running. I got into the low 170s. On a positive note, UConn went on its run through postseason basketball. From a fan’s perspective, it was a joy to behold.

April: Pollen, tornadoes and more suck from work. It really was a horrible year at work. My main account was just terrible; both the clients and my coworkers. I worked way too much in 2011 and am hoping to not be so stressed out from work in 2012. I kept running. I didn’t like it but it was getting somewhat easier. I was up to about 2.5 miles at a time. I stayed in the low 170s.

May: Shmuppie turned 9. I don’t remember anything else happening other than that I’m sure I hated work. I ran some more. IN convinced someone else to run. She became angry with me. She was down nearly 20lbs by now too. I was in the high 160s.

June: It was hot. We had swimming. Swimming sucked. Shmuppie did not take it seriously and lollygagged through the summer. She also tracked out for 5 weeks. My mother took her on another cruise. My parents and I were barely speaking. I was fine with it. Work was awful. Running became infinitely less fun as the temperatures went up. Life was madness. Swimming 2X per week and Saturday meets. It was all a blur of trips to the Y and working on my blackberry late into the night.

July: We went to FLA for July 4th. JewelrySlut’s father was moved to a hospice facility for a “respite”. He was to stay there for a month. S was at home, mostly trying to regain her sanity and life. She’d been caring for him 24/7 for 2 years and it had taken its toll on her. We had a nice visit, ate shrimp, set off fireworks and drive home in storms. Work, as expected, was beyond bad.

August: Happy Birthday to me. I celebrated by running 3 miles. I was in the mid 160′s, having lost 25lbs and had managed to keep it off. JewelrySlut was also running and was cursing me with every step. Work was…you know.

September: Shmuppie tracked out again and we went back to EI. MerlotMan, ChurchBomber, and us all decided that we needed a good trip down there after March’s misadventures. We got it. The weather was wonderful and we had a great time in our oceanfront house. We played in the sand, ate well, and had a wonderful time. Moo really enjoyed the beach. By now, she was more than a handful. She’s developed quite the personality. Watching her play in the sand or stand in the waves with her mother was among the highlights of the year for me. Work… I went to Cleveland for a few days. I hit 162.

October: I got back from vacation and walked into a tsunami wrapped in a tornado, glazed with a forest fire. I spent the first week back waiting to get fired. My team had fallen apart in my absence and everything went to shit. I realized that there was nothing I could do to save things. I was going to have to accept that I was considered a failure and take my beatings that continue to come on a daily basis. I rode the worst of it for 2 weeks.

Then, one fine Wednesday, JewelrySlut walked into my office with red eyes. “Dad’s dying”. FUCK! We had her and Moo no a plane the following morning. We hoped that they could race Death to Florida. They made it in time. Did they ever. By Saturday, he was still alive and I had gone insane. I jumped on a plane, sending Shmuppie to my parents’ house. In typical NoGoodFamily fashion, we put the shit behind us and rallied. They took Shmuppie for a few days. I got to FLA for long enough to realize that my father in law didn’t plan on dying on our schedule. He was waiting until he was ready. I put us all on a plane and brought us home. We needed to restore some sanity.

The running continued.

November: My father in law passed away early in the month. This time, JewelrySlut, Shmuppie and I all went down to FLA for the services. My brother in law and his fat derelict family showed up. We spent 4 days not talking to one another. A year of calls from their debt collectors had soured us all on each other. The services were what they were. My mother-in-law’s family and kids all came down to FLA and it was good to spend time with our new family. Some people don’t get our decision to keep her in our lives; she is, after all, just a step-mother. We don’t see it that way and are happy our kids have another grandmother…a bonus grandmother.

I went to Lima OH for work.

There was a rash of un-friending on Facebook. Apparently, I’m a tad too much of an asshole for some.

We ran a 5K. JewelrySlut won her age group. We ran WAY too fast.

Thanksgiving was its usual bout of wine-induced fun.

December: Work started sucking a little less. Shmuppie tracked out again but spent a week at my parent’s house. The 3 of us sat around the house and relaxed. We went back to FLA for Christmas. IT was a good trip; filled with the usual insanity, but done while in shorts.

I guess we’re back to normal with my family. We talk now and think we’ve reached another level of d‚tente. It is what it is with us. We’ll never be normal or storybook-looking. Too many bridges have been blown up to ever have that. I gained a few pounds at the end of the year and finished 2011 at 168. I also finished it with a 3.5 mile jog with JewelrySlut. I don’t know who these 2 skinny runners are who live in my house, but I think we like them.

2012:
I need to lose 5lbs.
We will run another race or 2.
JewelrySlut and I are taking a vacation in the spring; just us. We need it and my parents are pushing us to do it.
It’s supposed to be a St. John year, but I don’t see it happening. It’s too much money and hassle. I prefer EI and its simplicity.
Shmuppie turns 10. Good lord.
Moo will turn 3.

I hope 2012 is better than 2011. 2011 goes down in the books as a very bad year around here. The only thing I can say about it is that we got fit. That’s good, but not good enough.

The First Step:

I could always walk and would walk at a good pace. Somewhere in the 4+ miles per hour range. It was a good clip and I’d work up a good sweat. I’d walk when I didn’t have time for the gym.

This year, I never seemed to have time to go to the gym unless I was also going to swim practice. Between not having time and the damn Wii, I knew what was coming. I wasn’t happy about it.

The First Step was coming.

I was gonna have to run if I wanted to exercise. If you don’t run and never have, you have no idea how hard it is to take that first step. You know going in that it’s the first step in a descent towards inevitable madness. There’s no avoiding it. Once you start, you can’t stop. I was pained when I thought of taking The First Step. I didn’t want to do it. I knew where it would lead; new shoes, shorts, hats. I’d have to set insane goals, meet them beat them and keep moving onward.

I took The First Step.

I remember the first mile. Out the driveway, hang a left, run to the end of the street, hang a right, run to Port Royal.

1 mile. I felt as if my inner organs had liquefied and reformed into an angry she-beast. My body, heaving and panting, asked me “What the hell was that?”

I walked home.

The next day, I did it again.

It was easier.

Crap.

I was thinking about this today as I put on my $100 sneakers with the $400 inserts (thanks for the bad feet Mon and Dad!), my lame-ass running shirt, new warm-up pants, silly yellow windbreaker, Nike hat (Quick Dry FTW!), running gloves, strapped my BB to my arm and set my pedometer/pulse reading watch.

What have I become?

I’ve become a runner.

Never have I loathed doing something so much. Never have I thanked myself every day for starting something. It has helped. I haven’t weighed this little or been (what I think to be) this fit since a Bush was President (and I mean the old one…not toe goofy one).

I ran a leisurely 3 miles today. It was the 5th day this week I’d run and the shortest distance by a good half-mile. I was just out for a little jaunt.

You see, the Last Step of The First Step happens on Sunday. My first 5K race is Sunday. I have a goal. I’m gonna beat it.

I fear The Next Step. Running is a series of gateways. 5Ks become 10Ks. They become halves. They become wholes.

It’s got to stop. I’ve been told that we’ll only run one race longer than a 5K, and we’ll only do it because the scenery is nice.

I’m not allowed to buy a bike. She knows me well enough. She sees me eyeballing TheKid’s purple bike (the one with the streamers) and just says “No”. Because she knows. Because now she’s hooked too. And fears the madness.

We’ll be taking this Last Step together.

This doesn’t end well.