A Fat Man's Journey (Working my way back…)

An Attempt to Journey from Fat to Fit in a Lifetime. Eat right, Eat less, Move more


A few Thoughts in the Aftermath

Just a thought, something to think about:

16996455_10154384967016593_6380890565890889414_nI was not in an accident. “Accident” implies something unpreventable, unavoidable.

I was in a crash, a collision.

Everything about what happened on Friday was 100% preventable.

I was traveling at nearly 23 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. There was no reason for the vehicle to pass me.

I clocked it on the video. Seven seconds elapsed from the time she began to pass me until the point we collided.

In no more than two more seconds, had we not collided, I would have passed the entrance to the parking lot. Had she waited behind me instead of passing me she would have reached the parking lot entrance three seconds later than she did by passing me.

She risked my life to try to save three seconds.

If I had been in a car traveling 23 miles per hour, two miles per hour under the limit, she would not have even considered passing me.

Fact is, I am not aware of any Bike/Car collisions that were not preventable if either the motorist, the cyclist, or both had exercised a little more care, attention and consideration.

Is the life of a cyclist really not worth three seconds of your time?

Mental Changes

The collision occurred at about noon on this past Friday.  It is Wednesday morning as I write this.

In the five days since the collision I have run through every imaginable emotion.

In the immediate aftermath I tried to make the people around me more comfortable.  I was joking with the police officers and EMTs.  I was lighthearted and casual on the phone with Missus.  I was trying to reassure them and myself that I was ok.

Then I was frightened.  I was in pain.  More pain, covering more of my body than I can remember ever experiencing before.  I was starting to feel the effects of the concussion and that frightened me.

in waves came despair, anger, fear and more anger.  I was confused, felt guilty for getting hit, worried in turns about getting on the bike again, worried about missing work….

I really don’t know how I will feel when I am able to ride again and I get on a bike for that first ride.

I do know how Missus will feel.

She watched her husband get on his bike and ride off.  She fully expected that she would see me in about two hours, tired but smiling and ready for a shower.  If she got a call during the ride it would be a mechanical problem I couldn’t fix on the road and a “please come get me”.

Now when I go out the door and she watches me go down the road she will fear an entirely different phone call.

I won’t forgive the motorist for that.

On The Grand Scale.

This is not all that bad.  I am alive.  I should be grateful and move on I suppose.  I get that sense from some of the comments I hear.

A friend and cycling buddy suffered a far worse collection of injuries from a car/bicycle collision.  EJ was hit when a driver turned in front of him from the left.  It was also a t-bone but where my bike and I were pushed sideways, EJ hit straight on.  The results were nearly fatal.

I know of others who had it worse than me.

I know this but this is me.  This is my trauma.  Make no mistake.  This is a trauma.

My head is feeling the effects of the concussion and will for months.  My left leg is in constant pain.  The damage to the skin will take weeks to heal, months to fully heal. My right shoulder is in steady pain and I face weeks of physical therapy to get the shoulder moving right.   My arms, hands and fingers are all dealing with some sort of physical issue.

And I feel fear about riding again.

SO I get it.  I know that on the GRAND SCALE I am alive, all my injuries will heal, I will be able to ride again and I get to go on with my life.  I know.

But I am hurting.  Physically and emotionally.  I always trusted my riding skills.  I always trusted my decision making skills out of the road.  I believed that my awareness of everything around me would help protect me.  Maybe it did.  Maybe this was the one I could not have prevented.  Maybe this one required the driver to care enough about me as she did about saving three seconds.


Peace.  And be safe.


That didn’t go as Planned (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)


Friday, February 24, 2017

What a beautiful day it was going to be! The weather forecasts for the New York City area promised a late spring day in February: Seventy-two degrees, clear blue skies and nearly no wind. To a cyclist that is as perfect as it gets.

I decided on Thursday that Friday would be a vacation day. I would do a little work on the house in the morning and go on a 25-30 mile bike ride at midday. The temperature would be perfect, the roads less heavily traveled.

I was excited. I would take my brand new bike on its maiden voyage. A Cannondale Synapse Black Inc.  Like a Porsche for the cycling world.   The local bike shop had built it up over the winter and it stayed in my living room until the weather and road conditions were favorable. Friday was the day.


Cannondale Synapse Black Inc Edition

At 11:30 AM I changed into my cycling gear, put the GPS and video camera on the handlebars, filled my water bottles, pumped up the tires, kissed The missus and my older boy and at 11:50 I turned on the GPS and rode out down the street.


Less than 5 minutes later my first ride of the year was over.

1.34 miles from my front door I was lying semi-conscious on the roadway. I could hear people running towards me and I heard them yelling to me not to move. I was face down but my face was not touching the road surface. I remember taking inventory. I could feel my toes. They wiggled when I told them too. I knew I was in pain. A great deal of pain. People were now at my side and I felt hands on me. Very gentle hands. I remember someone asking me if I could hear him. I remember mumbling yes. He asked if I could feel everything and again I said yes. I heard sirens and very soon I recognized that EMTs were at my side. I could hear people talking about me. Someone said I was hit by an SUV, another said I went flying. My brain was starting to assemble disconnected fragments.

As my wits came back to me I started to remember what happened. I remembered the red Chevy SUV passing me on my left, slowing and then turning right directly in front of me. I remembered the realization that I was about to crash. The next thing I remember is people running towards me and telling me not to move.

A police officer on routine patrol was already near the collision scene when it occurred. He later told me he saw my bike flipping in the air though he did not see the actual impact. As soon as he saw the bike flipping he turned on his lights and accelerated to the scene. It was his gentle touch I felt on my back and his was the voice I heard asking if I could hear him and feel his touch.

Soon I was on a gurney and in an ambulance. My bike was in the back of the police car. I was on my way to the hospital. My sense of humor was still there. Video after the crash picks up my laughter and me cracking jokes with the EMTs and the police. From the ambulance I called Missus and told her as gently as I could what happened and asked her to please come to the hospital.

Once at the hospital my wounds were cleaned and examined and bandaged.


Let Leg Road Rash

I was a bloody mess. Both hands were bleeding; my left leg was raw from my lower shin/calf to my knee. My right leg was also bleeding, as were both elbows. I suffered a head concussion and a strained neck. It hurt to swallow. My left shoulder ached. My right shoulder was agony.


I was given a cat scan of my shoulders, neck and head and x-rays from my ankles to my shoulders. The left shoulder was only bruised. The right shoulder was separated.

By the grace of genetics, luck, and a great deal of milk as a kid, I had no broken bones.

By 4:30 PM I was back at home, trying to rest, my right arm in a sling, my head feeling like thousands of tiny bubbles were floating around inside.


I ride with a Garmin Edge 810 Cycling GPS unit on my bike. It records all sorts of information about the ride. It records every inch of the ride, speed, altitude, distance and so forth. I have a surprising amount of data from this four minute and thirty-four second ride. I know I traveled 1.34 miles and my moving time was 4 minutes and 34 seconds and my average speed since leaving my home was 18.2 miles per hour.


The blue graph shows the sudden stop

I know I went from 22.9 miles per hour to zero in less than 3 seconds. It is that last bit that tells me how violent the stop was.


How do I feel today?

Compared to Friday after the collision I feel much better. Compared to Friday before the collision I feel like hell. The good new is the right shoulder is feeling a little better with not nearly as much pain. It is still very messed up, it feels weak and disconnected and I can feel all sorts of pops and snaps when I move it. I can lift my right arm higher than shoulder height now. Saturday I could barely lift it at all. The bruises and the road rash are painful and raw and stinging.

My head still feels “not right” and it will take days, maybe even weeks for that to resolve. Concentrating on a task is difficult. It is taking me forever to write this post! This is my fourth or fifth concussion over the course of my near 56 years. I know the drill at this point. I really shouldn’t even be working at a computer screen…

What’s Next

I am not working. I cannot drive. I hope to return to work by Wednesday if I am feeling head clear and able to function.

I have to get the police report and file claims with insurance. To make sure I am not missing anything, I am contacting a lawyer we have worked with. I want to make certain I cross all T’s and dot all I’s.


Closeup of the cracked seat tube

The bike is wrecked. First ride on the bike. It lived all of 1.34 miles. I will work with insurance to replace the bike. Mostly I am focused on getting healthy. This was quite a shock to the system, proof that it is the sudden stop that gets ya.



As a cyclist and as someone who works at a local bike shop on weekends I get to hear a great number of comments about helmets.

  • “I never wore one as a kid, I’m fine”
  • “Helmets are just marketing to get you to spend money”
  • “I hear they are more dangerous than not wearing one”
  • “My friend wore one and he got hurt because of the helmet”

My helmet died a hero.


The road surface imprinted on the front of the helmet


Some of the cracks from the impact


My head tattooed with the pattern of the ribs inside the helmet

The front of the helmet clearly shows the imprint of the road surface when my head hit. The inside of the helmet is cracked from absorbing the impact. The top of my head showed the imprint of the ribs inside the helmet where they pressed into my head on impact. I have no doubt that without a helmet my injuries would have been severe, even life threatening. It would have been my face that impacted the road, not the helmet. It would have been my skull that cracked, not the helmet.

Remember in the first part of this post I mentioned I was face down but my face wasn’t touching the road? My helmet was toughing the road. It was my helmet keeping my face off the road surface.

The helmet didn’t prevent the concussion. It did prevent much worse.

I implore you: wear a helmet if you ride.


I have received well over two hundred good wishes from friends, family and people in the cycling community. So many people imploring me to take the time I need to heal properly, not push it and to count my blessing. Many people reminded me how much worse it could have been and to look at my family and realize that I am at least still here for them. I could not agree more.

As a cyclist I know how risky this sport can be. I know that when a 20-pound bike and 200-pound rider meet a 5000-pound SUV the results are always worse for the rider than the driver. I know that, considering the violence of the collision, I came away in pretty good shape. I’m walking, talking and laughing and crying. I am hugging my children and kissing my wife. I am texting and talking to friends.

At 2:00 AM on Saturday, I awoke with a start. Sleep was fitful at best but I must have finally dozed. My eyes popped open and I realized I was shaking. I had the clear realization that I was lucky to be alive. It was suddenly clear to me in the dark bedroom at 2:00 in the morning that I could have been killed. I knew it intellectually. I knew it when it happened. At 2:00 in the morning on Saturday, 14 hours or so after the collision, I understood it at an emotional level. The adrenaline had worn off. Now I was just lying in bed with my aches and pains and the certain knowledge that I could have died. Not the intellectual knowledge that tells you “it could have been worse”. This was the emotional knowledge, the sudden gripping, gut wrenching, wide eyed, suddenly ill to my stomach knowledge that hits when you don’t expect it.

In a few weeks I expect I will be healed enough to get on a bike.

I will wheel my All-City Mr. Pink (my other road bike) out of the living room and on to the street out front of my house. I will throw a leg over the bike and I will snap into the pedals and I will start down the road. I have no idea how I will feel. I don’t know if I will feel the exhilaration I have always felt getting on a bike or if I will feel a new found trepidation.


Mr. Pink becomes the primary bike for a bit

I know I will ride. I have to ride. It’s in my DNA. It is who I am. I can’t let this change that.



Peace and Stay Safe

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Sorry I was Missing in Action….

Life is Busy

HI, sorry I have been missing in action. Life suddenly got busy. Working around the house, working on projects at work and so forth.

Ready to Ride

The weather this month has been kinda crazy. We had our first real snow fall of the season, about 10 inches, and then we had days in the 60’s and 70’s. Riding weather. I didn’t ride.   Head cold and knee issues…

I am over the head cold and I am taking anti-inflammatory meds for the knee. I will ride this Friday. Weather is forecast to be in the high 50’s and sunny and I am taking a vacation day. Mostly I am taking the day to work on some projects in the house but I will get in an hour or so on the bike just to say I finally rode. I am not concerned about the knee so much…

This isn’t any easier…

My weight is fighting me. I find myself eating a cookie, having a second serving… BAD. The weight is coming down. I am 16 pounds down from my recent peak, but I want it to come down FASTER. It is bothering me. I am angry with myself for allowing the weight to come back and I am angry with myself for not getting back to the plan properly and sticking to it…

I am human. I hate that.

More later



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February? ALREADY?


febHow Did That Happen?

I am trying to wrap my little brain around the idea that it is already February. January went by so quickly and I feel like I have done NOTHING. No hikes, no long walks, haven’t been on the trainer… The only thing I have done is a walk at lunchtime two of the last three days. Nothing to brag about. 20-minutes each.

As soon as I am done writing this I am getting the bike mounted on the trainer. That’s step one. Actually getting on it is the rough part…

The year goes by too quickly.

Falling in Love Again

I work at a local bike shop on Sundays. At one time I worked both Saturday and Sunday but that was too hard on me with a full time job the rest of the week. It was taking too much time from family and from actually riding a bike…

Working at the shop has always been enjoyable for me. Talking bikes all day with people who want to talk about bikes. It was great.

Then about a month ago something strange happened. Instead of waking up on Sunday morning and thinking “OH BOY, OFF TO THE SHOP!” I was waking up on Sundays and thinking “Oh damn, off to the shop”.

It reached a point that I was considering talking to the owner and, in essence, resigning from the shop, maybe just staying available if he was really shorthanded. I even discussed it with a co-worker.

I don’t really know why this happened and I really struggled with it. I discussed it with Missus, a friend or two, and really was ready to have that talk with the owners of the shop. Maybe I was burned out from too much work and not enough play? Maybe I had simply run my course there and it was time to step away?

I worked last Sunday and really entered it with sort of a fatalistic feeling. If I didn’t enjoy work that day I would speak to the owners that week. They deserve better than a salesperson whose heart is not in it.

The day started slowly. Winter is quiet time in the bike world and it is expected that it will be a slow day.

Mid-day things picked up and I sold a bike to a nine year-old just a day or two from his tenth birthday. He was a tall youngster, ready for his first Adult sized bike. Discussing options with the young fellow and his dad we soon came to a narrow selection and the boy picked out the bike he wanted. The smile. The enormous smile.

About an hour later a young man of about twenty-two or so came in with a friend. He was looking for his first “good” mountain bike.   I showed him a few options, discussed what the various features on the bikes added to the experience, what justified the price on bike A versus bike B. His friend was doing a good job of egging his buddy into buying a bike and pretty soon that selection was made and a young man was ready to go flying through the woods on the local trails.

As the day began to wind down a father and son came in. It was the son’s birthday, turning 14. Time for his first adult sized bike. Again we discussed options and choices and dad encouraged his son to consider this versus that. Soon decisions were made and another young man had his dream bike.

Three sales in the cold of winter, three young men, ages 9 through 22, leaving with big grins and good bikes.

I now remembered why I used to wake up on a Sunday morning excited to go to the shop.

Suddenly I felt the passion again. I remembered what it felt like in May of 2013 when I sold my very first bike on my very first day at the shop. IT is an interesting thing. Yes, you are happy that you closed a sale. That is a part of our jobs after all. There is more to it I think, at least there is for me. Selling bikes is selling passion. We are all there, at least in part, because we have a passion for the sport. When we have sold a bike it is tangible evidence that we have shared that passion.

Maybe it was just the winter doldrums. Maybe it is just being tired. I’m not sure. I am sure that this past Sunday I rediscovered that part of the passion, the passion for sharing this sport. It felt like falling in love again.

Weight Loss

I have hit a small plateau. The weight has stabilized briefly at 12 pounds down. Up a pound down a pound but averaging the 12 pounds down. I expected this and I am ok with it. All the more reason to get the bike on the trainer and kick up the activity a little bit. Or a lot.

I am down a waist size and that makes me grin. Shirts are starting to hang a little more. More smiles.

I like being thin. On my way back there.



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Wandering Thoughts & How I get lost in my Mind…




A view out across a frozen Swan Lake, Rockefeller Preserve, Sleepy Hollow, NY

I want to walk. Hike. Wander around the woods and forests. I am experiencing wanderlust, I feel antsy, I need the outside activity.

Cycling and Hiking have much in common for me.

I can do both either solo or with friends and the experience and the mental profit changes with each. When I hike/walk or cycle solo I can get lost in my mind. I travel great distances without realizing it. The effort is there in the moment, the focus, watching where I step or watching for the cars around me but I am lost within my mind. No one moment sticks with me, rather the entirety of the trip, the feeling, the sounds, the sights all blend into one all encompassing experience.

When I ride or hike with friends it has a different but often equally positive effect on me.   I will remember smaller moments more clearly; I recall the event in more detail. I am less within myself, more involved in the moment.

With the solo experience I feel a greater sense of being at ease and relaxed, cleansed of stress. With the group experience I feel more energized and focused.

Both good. Both needed.

Small Victories

My weight continues to come down slowly but surely. I am down 12 pounds. This past weekend I had a large dinner. Went out to a Thai Restaurant with 8 friends. We chatted and ate, ate and chatted. I allowed myself the pleasure of truly enjoying the meal and not worrying to much about the calorie count. One of the reasons the Thai restaurant was selected was for the large vegetarian section of the menu. Vegetarian Tom Yum soup, vegetarian spring roll, vegetarian Spicy Noodles… And mango ice cream with friend banana for dessert.

The small victory? Because I was cautious during the day I was able to bring the entire day in under budget on calories. A small victory.

The penalty? Lying in bed with the feeling that I had swallowed a bowling ball. I am not accustomed to large meals any longer. That is another small victory.

The Knee

In a recent post I mentioned that I expected I would make an appointment with the Dr as the knee was still aching. Nope. I have been pain free in the knee for the last several days. I was on my feet all day on Sunday working at the bike shop and experienced no pain or discomfort. I am beginning to believe I have turned a corner. I can do a one-leg deep knee bend on that knee without pain. This is very good.

Time to start riding the trainer.


doorwayA friend has just started writing a blog. I read the first post and it is a good one. Deals with fear. I encourage you to read it. My experience with this friend is she seems fearless, strong, out there and ready. Her blog serves as a doorway in to see another aspect of her person.

Blogs of this type, my Journey to fitness and health, her ruminations on life, the blogs of others who expose that raw nerve of their lives, are really doorways we choose to leave open for you, the reader. We choose, sometimes with great trepidation, to open the door and let you peak in. This leaves us open to you. You can read the blog and make no comment, click the like button, make a comment. The comments can be supportive, derisive, insulting, friendly… I have had them all.

As you read this I hope you will find some value in it. I hope you will have a chuckle or a smile will pass across your face. I hope you will perhps see yourself or a friend in the struggles and victories.
I hope you will stop long enough at the doorway to see the person within.

A Bit of Prose to Share

This is a bit of prose I wrote two years ago.  I like it.  I like the feel of it and I like what it says about the quest for perfection.
I hope you like it as well.

The Photograph of the Moment


Sitting on the hill, waiting to take photographs in old style with film, sitting on the ledge looking out to the valley with a camera ready in hand.  Looking for that moment when the light would be just right, the perfection realized, sitting still up on the hill waiting for the sun to set.

Sitting in the special quiet and looking out to the distance where a bird is gliding. Sitting waiting for that perfect moment in old style with film, when the moment would be just right, nearly perfect, sky and earth one.

Sitting, now watching as the sun begins to set, sitting on that ledge, sitting as the slight chill sends a shudder along the arms.  Sitting on that ledge as the sky begins to glow a softer light, nearly perfect, nearly right.  Sitting on that hill with the old camera in hand, film is wound and shutter cocked and the light is nearly there.

Sitting on the hill with the camera at the ready, sitting watching for that moment coming soon, with the sky now orange and the clouds now fringed with light, sitting on the ledge, feet near the edge, watching for that perfect moment, that perfect light. The sun now setting in amber, the sky now perfect, the moment is now and then nothing.

Sitting on the hill, the moment passes, camera hanging from the hand, the sky was perfect, too perfect to photograph in old style on film.  The moment committed to memory where it will stay in perfect light. Now standing, now walking away from the ledge.  



Update and Stuff

How’s The Knee?


The knee is not making the progress I wish it was… Yesterday, while working at the Bike Shop, I turned on the knee and experienced eye-crossing pain in the area of the Lateral Collateral Ligament, one of the two that have minor tearing from my injury in 2012.

In general terms the knee doesn’t feel right. The bone bruise still hurts, I was told it would hurt for a couple of months, but more than that is the pain I feel in the areas of the MCL and LCL.

Time for me to schedule another appointment I think…

How is the Weight Loss coming along?


Not badly at all! I am glad to say that I am down 12-13 pounds (depending on whether or not I have had a cup of coffee) and I am pleased with that.

I am on the second to last hole on my belt. This is a belt from my days over 300 pounds. I started wearing it again when I gained back some weight to remind me that I had come along way and I could get back to where I was, either for the good or the bad. It was entirely within my control. I could work towards the short end of the belt, meaning I was gaining weight, or I could work towards the long end, meaning I was taking weight off. I am moving in the right direction. I have moved four holes on the belt. One more and I can move to the shorter belt.

I have also dropped a pants size, back to 38-inch waist. Soon a 36… Then back to the 34-inch waist. That is where I belong…

How is the Eating Right part of this going?


Two eggs, a slice of toast, grits with cherries, a glass of OJ and a cup-a’    Such a good and nutritious breakfast.  This is what I mean by eating right.

It is going well. I am still struggling a little bit with portion control but I have the right foods in the plan. When I started this Journey, Missus and I changed the way we cooked. Not just the foods we cooked but how. Instead of making large quantities, we changed to making just two servings of whatever the meal was to be. In other words we moved away from family-style cooking to portion based. Two pieces of fish, two servings of vegetable, two salads… You get the idea I am sure. We cooked separate foods for our boys. Missus made meatloaf or mac and cheese and so forth for them but for us we made fish or vegetable dishes in two-portion quantities.

For some reason, we started to drift from that and started to make extra. We have gotten back to portion controlled cooking.

I am also counting calories actively again. Every single thing I eat is recorded and tracked so I know if I am getting away from my plan…

Working… 12 pounds or so down. Happy with that.

And the Move More part?


One of my favorite places to walk, The Rockefeller Preserve in Sleepy Hollow, NY.  It is also a really good place to trail run….

This is the challenge with the aching knee…   I went for a long walk with a friend through a neighboring town this past Saturday. The town is known for its steep hills and quiet neighborhoods. We started just off Main Street and walked to the highest point in town, known as Sheep Hill. From there, on a clear day, you have some beautiful views of the surrounding town and can see New York City, some 35 miles away. Saturday was not a clear day. The views were restricted to the surrounding towns. All told we walked a hair over five miles. Felt good at the time for the most part. Some minor knee aches but certainly tolerable.

It was later that night when the knee really let me know it was unhappy with my efforts. Ibuprofen and rest.

So I am moving but not as much as I would like. The cold has kept me off the roads on my bike so I am uncertain how the knee will behave when tasked with pedaling. I can do deep knee bends without increased pain. I am hopeful that this will mean pedaling is not going to hurt….

If I find the knee can take the stress of running, I plan to do some trail running in the spring. I used to trail run as a teen-ager and I enjoyed it a great deal. I still did some in college and even in my early twenties. I haven’t done any type of running with any serious intent since then. I have done a few laps of the track just to see if I could but that is it.

I think some trail running would be fun and maybe a little easier on the knees than road running.

Of course there is the cycling and I have already talked about those plans. I truly love being on a bike.

The knee is the key. I think it will be OK.



FRIDAY!!! Oh, and my Blogging Anniversary


So, Friday!

It was short week, Monday off for the holiday, but it felt longer with the head cold slowing me down. A good night’s sleep tonight will help. I hope.

Weekend plans include starting work on a new bedroom for the Older Son. He has developed a fear of steps and so we are dividing off a part of the family room to make a bedroom for him on the first floor. The challenges of parenting a learning-disabled child…

Sunday is a workday. Sort of. I am scheduled to work at the bike shop. A great gig. I work with fantastic people and I get paid to talk about bikes all day. This is not hard living. My only regret is I can’t do it full-time…

Also plan to get the bike set up on the trainer. I had it set up but then I had to move it to work on the living room and….

Holiday weight is off

I took the holiday weight gain back off. Glad of that. Of course it means I had to re-lose three pounds.. That’s ok. Progress nonetheless.

Scaled back the calorie allotment. Now back to 1500 a day. Body ain’t happy but that’s how it goes. I want the weight back off. This is how I lost it to begin with. This is how I will lose it again. Then the challenge, as always, is to keep it off.

Really fighting the rationalizations. You know what I mean? The ok, just this once I will have that cookie… It’s ok to have this extra serving, I’ll work it off tomorrow…

That’s how I gained some of the weight back. Now I have to really work hard at getting it back off.

Interesting thing is people say “go ahead and indulge once in a while…” Truth is there is no such thing as a harmless indulgence when your body has grown accustomed to being fat. When you force the body to become un-fat the brain tries very hard to get you fat again. Give in once, twice, and the brain starts to win the argument and pretty soon…..

The metabolism slows down and fights to put weight back on. The mechanisms of the body and the brain fight you. It really is a conscious struggle to win the battle. You never win the war. You just have to win each day, each battle. That is the only way I have found that works. Fight each day.

My blogging anniversary (plus one day).

310 day of cookout


I started this blog on January 5, 2012. Doesn’t hardly seem possible but it is. I really had no idea what I was going to say. In the rough draft for my first post I actually wrote “HI, I’m Mark and I’m fat.” Thought better of it.

I didn’t expect anyone outside of my family and a few friends to ever actually read this. I was stunned when on April 9, 2012 a blog I wrote on April 6, 20012 was picked as a featured blog on WordPress “Freshly Pressed”, highlighting interesting and well written blog posts. Here is the link that won me that honor. Four-thousand people visited the blog that day.

More than fifteen thousand have visited this blog. Various posts have been read tens of thousands of times. Kinda neat.


My favorite picture of me.  I plan to get back to that weight soon

I still enjoy writing this blog. I have opened up and been pretty out there with the emotions. Sometimes it has left me rather raw and exposed and I have had more than a few rather insulting and belittling comments made. I delete them because I want this blog to be a positive place for me.

I’ll keep doing this. It is a good therapy for me. Like writing a diary that I leave open on my


Hi ya

desk for the entire world to see and comment on. When I drifted from writing it I started to gain the weight back. I lost my support structure. I gave in to the little voice saying “go ahead, have the pizza”. Not listening to that voice now. Writing the blog helps me silence the voice.

Here are a few links to other anniversary posts and a few I think are meaningful as I go along the Journey.








The Moving More part is becoming a problem

Have to call the Ortho again. This knee of mine is not making life easy on me. I find if I turn on the right knee that I have eye-crossing pain. It passes quickly but it is a shock each time it happens. Not really what I want to deal with right now.

The weather isn’t helping. Rain. Rain. Rain. Walking the track in the rain? Um. No.

I would have tried to hike with MT and PGB this weekend but I had company on New Year Day. Not sure about the knee in any case. Also worried that my brain will try to use the knee as an excuse. I will set the bike on the trainer and start to ride. See how the knee feels….


I have been called an inspiration a few times since I started writing this blog. I like it but I am not totally comfortable with it. Fact is I get that big to begin with. There are many reasons but the fact remains…

I lost the weight and have, for the better part of it, kept it off. This is good. I am pretty open book about it all and this is also a good thing even if I do sometimes feel like I showed up for school in my skivvies.

Through all this I have had many people inspire me. One of them is following my blog and I am following in return.


Check it out. It is a well-written and heartfelt blog.

Diving off the Deep End

I am becoming more and more public about my plans to run a half marathon and to ride three 100-mile rides. I guess the more I talk about it the more pressure I put on myself to make it happen. Looking for training partners if you are in North Jersey….

After the Holidays….

Gained back three pounds. Holiday Chub. Ok. Back to eating right, eating less, moving more. It has to be that way. Discovered a new food. A noodle made with soy. It is very low in calories and yet very filling. Tasty with vegetables and such. Tonight’s dinner with a pound of this stuff and a punch of sautéed veggies came to less than 300 calories. Not bad at all. And now three hours after dinner I am still not hungry.  Today I am at about 1200 calories. A light snack before bed will take me to 1400 calories. Not a bad day at all. This is what I have been working towards.




January 2, 2017

The New Year Starts

I woke this morning with hope of a long walk at the track. Freezing rain changed my mind. Instead I watched the Bowl Games, played a little on the computer, went to the Home Improvement store for a few things. In other words, I lay around all day….

I haven’t stepped on a scale in two day. I know I was bad… It’s OK. Back at it today. Watched what I ate. Ate less.

My Emotional State.

This time of year can be hard.  People who fight depression have it hard at this time of year.  What should be a joyous season is, for many, a time when the fight becomes more difficult.  This is true for me.  This time of year has always been difficult and this year is not any easier.

I am missing my friend KEB. She moved to California from South Carolina and this distance, and the time difference makes contact harder. KEB is my longest suffering friend. We have known each other since I was 13 and she was 11. We have been through a great deal together and I miss her. This time of year is always an emotional roller coaster. Missing friends Like KEB, missing my mother, who loved this time of year. I am missing Joe, my closest friend, who dressed as Santa every year and visited his friends dropping off small gifts and pastries to celebrate the holidays.

The longer nights and shorter days, driving to and from work in the dark, rarely seeing sunlight…  It all conspires to make this a difficult time of year.

The tough thing for me is to avoid feeding the emotions with food.

Doing OK this year on that front.  But it isn’t easy to stay upbeat when I find myself missing people dear to me.

Plans and more Plans..

I have mentioned my desire to ride 4,500 miles and to ride in several key rides this year. There is another plan and I have decided to make it public but first some background.

I am not a runner. I am not built for running. Unlike my brothers who have long legs for their heights, I have very short legs for my height. My 73” frame has legs that are only 32 inches long. That is about 2-3 inches short of correct for my torso. Put another way, I should be 75-76 inches tall.

The issue is that these short legs make me top-heavy. I look like a stumbling drunk when I run and I am slower than a snail on ice.

Never much liked running for those reasons.

That said, in my high school years I did some trail running and really enjoyed it.

Ok, enough background and back to the plan.

I have asked my friend JL to work with me and help me train for a half marathon. I want to be ready to do it in the fall. Yes, Me. A half Marathon. On purpose.

So I have put it out there and now I am committed to doing it.

Happy New Year

To all who take the time to read this blog, I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year. I hope your plans and goals are all realized and achieved.




Five Years on the Journey and No Closer to the End

Happy Anniversary

fat mark

August 14, 2011 310 Pounds

It was five years ago today.

I struggled to sit up in bed, getting my 300+ pounds moving in an upward trajectory was not easy.  I sat there and pondered getting up to walk to the bathroom.  Pushed myself to standing and turned to Missus and told her that I was starting that day to get healthy.

I was 50 years old and I felt much older.  I felt weak all the time.  Tired and out of breath all the time. I took my two blood pressure meds every morning.  I got winded on the flight and a half from the first floor of our home to the second.

Bending over to tie my shoes was exhausting because I couldn’t breathe when bent over

310 with Santa

It’s bad when Santa thinks you are chubby…..

like that. I had any number of adaptations to my size. All of which only slightly mitigated the difficulties caused by a 48-inch waist and 52-inch chest.

Finally, on December 27, 2011, I reached the breaking point. I finally had enough of being
fat, being physically unfit and being tired all the time.

I finally got tired of waiting to have the heart attack and decided it was time to start living.

Trust me, I am not being overly dramatic here.

Considering the Reasons

Over the five years since I started on my Journey I have thought about this many times,

thought about it deeply and in detail and I have come to the conclusion that I had simply accepted that I would have a heart attack one day and it would take my life and I would be the latest member of the family to succumb to the family curse of heart disease.  Having accepted that, I gave myself permission to eat like a ravenous hog and to eat anything I desired.  And I desired a lot.

On December 27, 2011 I made a different decision.  I decided I would fight against the family curse.  I would do what my father and his father and his grandfather before him didn’t do.

I would eat right, I would eat less and I would move more.

I still don’t know what triggered it that morning. I know that a few days before, on Christmas Eve, I had caught my reflection in a floor to ceiling window and I was aghast at what I saw, but that had happened before and it never triggered such a life-change before.

Whatever it was that happened in my head that morning in late December, it stuck.  I started to walk, to eat less, to eat right.  I learned to cut out snacking, decrease portion size, stay away from fast food, watch my calories and balance my diet.

I had many issues to work through. I still didn’t know what caused me to be the family


At the Start Line at 6:40 AM and ready to ride. Trim. Fit. Ready.  200 Pounds, Summer of 2013

member who got fat, why I used food as comfort and security, why I needed food from an emotional level. All of that self exploration and discovery was ahead of me as I sat on that bed that December morning. I had made the decision. I was going to lose the weight. I was going to live a healthier lifestyle. I didn’t know where the Journey would take me. That was many painful lessons to come.

Progress was rapid.

By March I was back on my bike for short rides.  I gave up red meat in April. By June I was riding 50 miles at a clip. In November I gave up poultry.

And I kept walking and riding and hiking. In October of 2012 I bought a new bike, in November I climbed a mountain with PGB and MT and there is a picture of me exultant at the top.

And I have kept doing it.

I kept walking right through a torn meniscus in the summer of 2012.  I couldn’t ride but I could walk.

I kept riding (foolishly) through a broken clavicle in 2014.

Through the holidays and cookouts, parties and celebrations I kept eating right and I ate less even when confronted with favorite foods.

Where I am Now.

Yes, I have gained a bit of the weight back.  35+ pounds. It is coming off again.  I look at 12359861_10153295089061593_7166576622616161929_nthat as a step back, not a failure.  I am beating the odds.  The Odds say I should have gained back ALL of the weight I have lost.  I lost 120 from my absolute peak.  I have gained back 35.  I think that is a victory all by itself but I am not sitting back and basking in the glory. I understand the risk.

I still do not eat red meat or poultry.  I do eat some fish.  My preference is to stay with a vegetarian diet but sometimes fish enters the equation.  When at a restaurant with friends and no true vegetarian dish is on the menu and faced with making a dinner of vegetable side dishes or a piece of fish, I will have the fish.


May, 2016 with my friend & riding partner, NI.  I am about 245 pounds here, nearly five years into the Journey.



Last year I only rode about 1200 miles on my bike.  Next year I am aiming for 4,500.  I may not get there but I have set the goal and I am determined to give it all I have.

I also plan to get back to 210 pounds.  I am certain I will do that.

I am determined to continue to, Eat right, Eat less, Move more.

I will continue to write this blog.

I am 55 years old now.  I started this Journey at 50.  I said then that this was an effort to get lean and fit for a lifetime.  Not for the High School Reunion or a nephew’s wedding.  Not so I would look good on the beach (that ship sailed a long time ago).  This is to stay alive as long as I possibly can.

And there are no dramatics there.  Just fact.

Thank you for joining me on the Journey.  Your encouragement has kept me going more often than I can tell you.