Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My blog just got Rooked!

So, for those of you who know me, or have thoroughly enjoyed  my amazing and inspirational blog...You know my weigh-in day is Saturday.  Every Saturday, I wake up at 6:30 (yes, IN THE MORNING) to make it to my 7:30 Weight Watchers meeting.  Just imagine...a bleary-eyed Eric in ratty gym shorts (left in my apartment by a guy I was seeing...HIS LOSS)...and a ratty grey v-neck tee...slowly trudging his way across the parking lot to meet his fate.  Makes sense in the summer, but I wear the same damn thing during the winter.  Talk about shrinkage.

Now, there's also another part of my Saturday ritual that I need to come clean about it.  For the past few months, after weigh-in, I've gone to my favorite coffee roastery to indulge.  I'd stop in at the Rook and get my Big Guatemala with cream and sugar and a bagel flat with fig butter.

I am not being paid for this endorsement...
...although a free v-neck t-shirt would be cool.

 And I would track it. 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  That's totally a lie.

See, I unfortunately, since I've been a Weight Watchers member, more often than not, I've treated my weigh-in day as a blackhole.  I'd eat whatever the hell I wanted...with no regard to its points plus value.  In fact, one of my most horrific blackholes involved a dinner at Houlihan's, a pint of Edy's Dreamery, and then a entire bottle of red Yellowtail.  I don't think the Redwood bathroom will ever be the same.

And let me tell you a little about the Rook before I bring it all together.  I love this place!  It is legitimately a small shed that sells damn good coffee.  The beans are roasted by the owners...they are grinded by the owners...and then you get it made nice and fresh by the staff when you order it.  And let me tell you a little thing about the staff.  They are friggin' AH-Mazing.

Actually, one day, their back curtain was open, and on one of the many chalkboards they have throughout, it had the rules to being a good Rook employee.  I remember 3...one, serve quality coffee (CHECK!)...two, have fun (CHECK!)...three, incredible customer service (CHECK!). 

I have started to look at the Saturday crew in Oakhurst as my post-weigh in buddies.  They ask how I'm doing...we're friends on Facebook...in fact, in a perfect world, I could work there with all those amazing people. 

Now, they have such amazing customer service, that these people all know me by name...However, You know it's bad that when you walk into the Rook on a Saturday and the people behind the counter rais their hands in triumph and announce "IT'S FAT DAY!"

So, after the strugfest of a month that was May...I made a decision recently that I was going to take ownership of my Lifetime membership and make more positive changes to make the journey a little easier on me...

...but I wasn't about to give up my bagel flat.  However, I knew that I needed to get rid of the fig butter...the oh so delicious fig butter...and my coffee order is now a regular with skim and Truvia. 

I mean, might as well mainline this stuff right into my veins -

My name is Eric...and I'm addicted to caffeine.

But...still...the bagel flat.  What to do?!

Well, I got the answer and inspiration of what to do from one of my favorite bloggers...BITCHAKES!!!!!!  A few weeks ago she blogged about how she had been guessing the Points Plus of a bagel for a few weeks but finally decided to weigh it to figure out the accurate Points Plus value.  Let's just say she was underestimating it...

...and I was worse.  I wasn't even underestimating it...I wasn't esti-anything.  I just wasn't tracking the damn thing and allowed it to dictate the rest of my Saturday.  "Oh, well, you didn't track your fig butter drenched bagel...or your fat in a cup...why start tracking the Medium Pepperoni Pizza or the cupcakes?!?!?!?!"  Yeah, seriously...this was my life.

And you think...well, it's a flatter bagel, so it MUST be less points.  That is ERRONEOUS logic.  It has all the density of a bagel, just...flatter...and more surface area, apparently.

So, this past Saturday...2 things happened that BLEW.MY.MIND!  First, I was told by one of Rook buddies that "I didn't need Weight Watchers because I was so thin."

Can we please talk about how awesome it is when someone else calls me thin?!  This is the second or third time this has happened in recent history, and I guess it's really starting to sink in.  I think for most people who have struggled with weight...it takes a long time for your self-image to catch up to your weight loss and fitness successes.

But...thanks Andrea for making me feel great.

(I also had to explain that although I am thin now, I need to make sure I stay that way...otherwise, they'd be rolling me through the Rook door every Saturday...and washing fig butter out of my fat folds with a rag on a stick)

And that was why I was getting my bagel flat plain...and I was going to take it home and weigh it so 1) I could enjoy it without guilt...and 2) I could track it accurately.


...drumroll please...

...a Rook bagel flat is...

8 Points Plus!!!!  So, I toasted it, threw a wedge of Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream Cheese on it...and enjoyed the heck out of it.  I can still enjoy one of my favorite things without any guilt...All I gotta do is just be accurate and honest...and write it down...

So, my Saturday Rook ritual will continue...and I won't feel any guilt about it because I'm being honest...I'm being accurate...and I'm tracking it. 

...and I haven't ordered a pepperoni pizza for myself in weeks!

Happy Tracking!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

What the hell did I sign up for?

Why does it feel like the only time I have time to sit down and update this is after my monthly weigh-in?  Every other weekend or weeknight, I feel like I'm going somewhere or working on something or just going right to bed.  I have accepted that I'm officially old.

But, I really won't bore you with the details of this month's weigh-in.  Honestly, May was incredibly difficult.  But, I made it through...and with some focus, AFTER a weekend of eating at CU Boulder's Dining Hall for all three meals for three days...Because let's be honest, when you're eating at a Dining Hall with 2,500 other people, as much as the goal is make smart choices, the true goal is finding the shortest line just so you can have some sustenance to make it through to the next roll call...and if the shortest line involves hash browns and French Toast covered in blueberry compote, who am I to say no?!

But thank God, I got in right under the wire for my employee weigh-in. I mean, had I not farted before weigh-in, I probably would've been in trouble.

Like I said, May was tough.  I know I don't want another month like May.  I'm recommitted...and I know this a lifestyle that I want and need.  I think I made that call after Thai dinner, a bottle and a half of wine, 5 Blue Moons...and the incredibly bloated feeling and the headache I had the morning after...

Yes, I went to CU Boulder for a conference.  It was awesome.  You step outside...and oh, look, it's the Rocky Mountains.  I also had the genius idea of running in the morning.  So after being up for way too many hours the day before (damn you time change!), I got up at 5:15 and ran three miles.  Let me tell you, altitude is a bitch.  However, I did it...who can really say they've run with the Rockies in the background!?  Well, besides any CU student who runs on campus...and I guess anyone else who runs in Colorado on a regular basis.  So, maybe for Colorado residents, the novelty has worn off, but not for me.  It was pretty damn amazing.

So, apparently, I'm a glutton for punishment.  Oh, Eric, what did you do now?!

I guess I got into my head that it was time to set new goals for myself...to challenge myself.  Famous last words, for sure.

For one, I will be going to Chicago at the end of July for Basic Leader Skills training for Weight Watchers.  Yep, I bucked all convention (apparently), and told my Territory Manager it is something I want to pursue.  I can pretty much guarantee you 2 things - I will be the youngest person at BLS...and will most likely be the only guy. If there are other guys, I can pretty much guarantee I will be the youngest guy there.  Unless there is some late 20something male Weight Watchers population I know nothing about it.

Me...in front of a group...talking about me...and then having others talk about themselves and one of the hardest journeys they will undertage in their lives?!  Oh, no sweat...none at all...no need to be nervous, mortified, scared within an inch of your life.  What the hell was I thinking?!?!

All I know, is the first time I get in front of an actual group, I'm going to need a stiff drink...and probably three different shirts, because I'll sweat through'em.  

And as if I wasn't busy enough...

...I am running the NY Marathon.

WHAT.THE.HELL?!?!  Yeah, I still can't believe the words whenever I type them out.

At least once a day, when I am sitting on my couch and having a pensive moment, I ask myself "Why the hell did I sign up to run 26.2 miles...and raise $3,000 for the privilege."

It's so cute when everyone asks me if I qualified for it.  That's really cute.  I don't think I would ever qualify if I tried.  Remember, the whole peeing debacle of Long Branch Half 2012?!?!?

So, how did I swing this insanity?!

Well, I will be running for Team Boomer - Fighting Cystic Fibrosis.  With my commitment to run 26.2 miles, I also have committed to raise $3,000.00 for Team Boomer.

Finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis has been a cause of mine for about 7 years now.  It started as an invite from my cousin Meg to walk and raise some money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation during their Great Strides Walk.  My nephew Aidan was born with CF...but I knew very little about it.  I just did the walk because it seemed like the right thing to do. 

As Aidan as grown up, and I've learned more about Cystic Fibrosis and the treatments I associated with it, it's become a cause that I believe in.  Now that I understand CF a little more, it's a cause I do feel a passion for, especially since Dan, Meg are constantly fighting to let Aidan have a longer life. 

I've also had some great opportunities to just sit and hang out with Aidan...play Bay Blades, Angry Birds and other iPad games...and his energy is contagious.  Every now and then, Meg will post a video of him during one of his treatments, and he has such a positive outlook towards it...and he has such hope about the future.  He wants a cure for CF, and the least I can do is contribute my two talents...running for some distance and shamelessly asking people for money as I talk about myself...to do something about it.

So, in a moment of sheer and utter weakness...My cousins Matt, Michelle, Lauren and Tina convinced me that I should run the NY Marathon for Team Boomer...

...and shockingly, I applied.  Even more shockingly, Team Boomer accepted me. 

So, here I am...realizing that I need to start training for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler...which will also double as my NY Marathon training.  (In a related note...what the HELL is a Magic Mile?!  Disney has posted a training schedule for ToT...and Galloway constantly mentions a MM...and I clearly am just too stupid to understand what the hell he is talking about.  I also have a feeling it isn't as magical as the name makes it seem...Because for me, a Magic Mile is a mile where I don't want to kick myself for becoming a runner...)

As always, I'm sure if even 3 years ago, if you had asked me if I would be running the NY Marathon, I would've laughed and laughed and laughed...and then vomited all over myself in fear.

But as you all know, life changes.  When you put yourself first...and when you take control of your life and your health...insurmountable obstacles merely become challenges that you are willing to overcome. 

And really, after November, I'll be able to say that I my first marathon is the NY Marathon!!!!  That will just prep me for the Disney Marathon in January.  I mean, WHO AM I?!?!?  I plan my vacation time around MARATHONS?!?!

And, for those of you who know me...I like my Summer Shandys and my girly martinis...as I start pursuing this training...and to show how serious I am about getting into fighting shape (and not eating my weight in Dive! chicken nachos)...I have given up drinking.  For a lot of reasons...but I don't anticipate having an alcoholic beverage until my (ahem...30th...ahem) birthday.  After that, we'll see where I'm at and move on from there...But for now, Eric's going sober..

So, here comes the whole shameless plug part.  In order to achieve a newly set goal of running the NY Marathon, I will need to raise $3,000.00.  A a very generous donor has already started me on the road with $500, plus, my $75 registration fee also goes to my total.  If you, faithful reader, could spare even $5.00, that would help in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis.  If you have any friends who are looking for a tax deduction or you work for an incredibly wealthy individual looking to throw his money at someone, please consider sharing the link with them...

If have have 3 friends who can spare $1,000...or 30 friends who can spare $100...or 300 friends who can spare $10...I'm in business.


(Sorry for the generic text on the page...I haven't had a chance to really update it. Hopefully, in reading this, I have done justice to Aidan's awesome and helped you understand why I'm doing this...)

As much as this is about an ex-fat kid facing a challenge and running a marathon, it's more about giving millions of people (including my nephew) a chance at living a full life that sometimes even I take for granted.  Either way, though, I have my mind set on finishing this race and Aidan and my family have our mind set on finding a cure.  I control whether I finish or not...I can't control finding a cure.  I can only ask for the support and generosity of others to help in that cause.

Thank you!

Happy Tracking!