Fitness, JavaScript, BronyCon, Life...
Hardcore, like George Washington

A Biggest Loser Moment

I don’t know how many of you watch or have watched The Biggest Loser on ABC, but for those of you who don’t…

The Biggest Loser, in the few seasons I have caught, has always had a “switch up” moment. This is the moment where one or more people who was working with a specific trainer suddenly finds themselves having to work with a completely different trainer. It’s one of those things that is probably really good for ratings, and the people who have to go to different trainers always have an anxiety attack. By and large, I always assumed this was for the cameras; why would this have such a large impact on them? Well…today I found out!

Since I started actively working out in 2011 I have had the same personal trainer. I’ve seen him, on average, twice a week in those…Jesus, three years. I’ve come a long long way with his help (though I will claim most of the credit and glory). Recently he took on a different job at my Snap Fitness and had to unload all of his clients onto a new trainer in order to make it work…save three: a woman I don’t know, my mom, and myself. Three clients he wanted to keep for himself; however, with me he decided he wanted to try having me workout with the new trainer to see how that would workout.

…today was the first day trying out the new trainer. On my way to the gym after work, suddenly all the anxiety that Biggest Loser contestants express made a lot of sense. There’s something extremely SCARY about working out with someone different, someone new. Everything is different, you don’t know anything about this person, they don’t know anything about you, your body’s needs, etc. It’s very unnerving.

Lucky me, it wasn’t as anxiety filled as I thought it would be. The new trainer has been working at my Snap Fitness for a while and he has a very similar training style to my current trainer.

…plus he doesn’t screw around when it comes to leg day.

The First Weigh-in of 2014

While I won’t be writing posts like this every time I weigh myself (because that would be weekly and ridiculous), I figured the first weigh-in of the year was worth while mentioning.

296.6 lbs

Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be; honestly, I assumed I would be at 310 lbs after Christmas and New Years. But it’s a good starting point. I’m 36 lbs away from where I want to be, at minimum, by August 1st and 60 lbs away from where I want to be at New Years.

I’ve done this before, and I will do it again. Thankfully I don’t weigh 370 lbs like I did in 2011.

2013 Experiences & 2014 Hopes

About a month ago, I realized I didn’t touch my tumblr for the better part of a year or so. When I actually came to check it, I realized that it was longer than that…good grief! I decided that come the New Year I would get back to doing these posts partially because I think it is fun to reflect on life, but more because I like to keep myself accountable to myself. The reason I do it publicly, say, via tumblr is because I feel as though there is a little bit more pressure to keep at it. I may just lie to myself if I kept something like a journal.

Anyway, it’s just past New Years and for me that is a time for reflection and resolution: not only looking back on the good and bad of the last year but looking forward to the next and setting personal goals to better myself.

Looking Back: Health

2013 was a whirlwind year for me, and it zoomed by quicker than any year I can remember. I made myself a lot of health and physical promises to myself this year that I didn’t accomplish, much to my dismay. I told myself I would go to the gym more, but I didn’t. I told myself I would run more, but I didn’t do any 5Ks or 10Ks this year. Worst of all, I told myself I would finally get out of the weight loss slump I was in; not only did I not do that, I gained a portion of my weight back, and I am back up to about 300lbs. In short, this year I took considerably less care of myself. With the stresses of working my convention and my paid work being in flux a lot due to shifting clients, I spent more time on everything else and it shows. My clothes are tighter, my suits don’t fit as well, and my eating habits took a turn for the worse.

Thankfully, it isn’t quite as grim as I make it out to be. I DID keep going to the gym and I kept my trainer. At the very least, I was at the gym twice a week and sometimes three times; that is two to three times more than not going at all. Unfortunately, that is about the most I can say about my health that in a positive tone. 2013 wasn’t the best for me in this category, but that’s alright because…

Looking Forward: Health

The fact that I can recognize where I failed so tremendously in 2013 puts me at an advantage for 2014. I will be taking better care of myself this coming year. The smaller goals are quite simple:

  • Work out at least 15 times a month
  • Eat out less than once a week
  • Continue to cook healthy, if not healthier
  • Do at least three 5Ks this year

My plan is to keep a calendar handy and track both the amount of times I go to the gym in a day, but also the amount of times I eat out a day. This should help me keep myself accountable and lets me keep track of how I am doing. All of this should help me reach my overarching goal: weigh 260lbs by the time I walk on stage of opening ceremonies at BronyCon and weight 230lbs by the time I ring in the New Year, 2015.

Looking Back: Travel

In the span of a year, I hit both coasts and many places in between. I’ve been to Vegas, Anaheim, San Francisco, New Orleans, Seattle, Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, Raleigh, and Chicago and in each place I experienced new things, new people, and made new friends. I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything in the world. I love to travel, and I am truly grateful that I get the opportunity to do it as much as I do.

Looking Forward: Travel

With that said…I travelled a LOT in 2013, perhaps too much. It really put a strain on my relationship with my girlfriend at times and wasn’t very helpful to my health. While I still want to and plan to travel in 2014, I think I might take it down a notch. I will probably still make my annual trek out to Seattle, obviously I will be back in Baltimore, and I will continue to drive down to Chicago for business and pleasure…but I might only do two or three personal trips outside of that. I’m contemplating a weekend in San Francisco with some friends in late Spring, but I’m not too sure outside of that.

Looking Back & Forward: My Relationship

What can I really say, here? I have a wonderful girlfriend, Krystal, and by all respects I probably don’t deserve her. She puts up with a lot for me; between traveling for work, for conventions, and just for going to see friends an hour away, I’ve done my fair share of being gone. Still, being able to always come back and know she is there is a comforting thought. Indeed, she is my rock. I owe it to her to try and travel a little bit less this year, and just continue trying to be a good boyfriend. Yay, relationships!

Looking Back: BronyCon

BronyCon has become a very large part of my life in 2013, so I would be remiss not to look back on it by itself. What can I really say…it’s been a whirlwind the entire way. I signed up to make their website, and now I am their con chair…it doesn’t get any more “rags to riches” than that (if you count “loads of responsibility” as riches, I am a billionaire). I’ve met so many people who tell me “BronyCon changed my life” and it is amazing to be part of such a life altering experience. I’ve met and become friends or acquaintances from so many walks of life: artists, musicians, programmers, CEOs, and so many more. Probably most importantly, at least to me, BronyCon solidified myself as a leader, and the ability to organize, delegate, and manage. I’ve had many experiences in my life where I have had to lead small things, trivial things. While you could call a convention trivial, and you might be right, at the very least…it’s my trivial thing that affects tens of thousands of people.

Looking Forward: BronyCon

I suppose it’s obvious: stay the course. Continue leading my team that makes the largest convention of it’s kind. Perhaps more than that, I have to start thinking about 2015…2016…2017, and I would like to make sure that a road map is set for us so we don’t have to worry. That said, while I have to keep an eye out for the distant future, I also have plenty to worry about in the present. 2013 proved to be a turbulent but great year for BronyCon, and I’m doing everything in my power to make sure that everything is as good if not better than the previous year. I don’t want to sound like an advertisement for my convention, but people have a lot to look forward to this coming August. I am a funny mixture of nervous and excited to walk on stage and welcome everyone on the first day.

Looking Back & Looking Forward: The Rest

Of course, health, travel, my relationship, and BronyCon are only the biggest highlights; however, there is so much more. In 2013 I had a lot more things I regretted. I still didn’t learn how to ride a bike, and I didn’t learn how to swim. I didn’t save enough money, and I didn’t relax enough. In 2014, I hope to tackle all of that. I want to learn how to ride a bike when it starts to get warmer, something that I told myself I would do two years ago, but just kept putting off. The same goes for swimming, of course, as I just kept putting it off.

I’m trying to be more organized this year, trying to read more, play games more, relax more, and trying to be more social. It’s funny, typing these out, because I know somewhere down the road SOMETHING will have to fall to the wayside. That’s just life, we get busy and there aren’t enough hours in the day. I just hope that I can keep those things that fall to the wayside to a minimum.

Every year is the year we tell ourselves that we are going to change ourselves for the better. And many times we say “fuck it” and give up. We don’t hold ourselves accountable to ourselves or anyone else. But maybe, just maybe, this year will be different. I’ve done this dance before and improved myself so greatly in 2011 and 2012, but in 2013 I said “fuck it.” So, here’s to 2014, here’s to going through with it once more.

Life’s Been Good To Me So Far

It has been sitting in the back of my mind that I have not updated this in a very, very, very long time. Last year I updated it at least once a month about the various amazing or not so amazing goings-on in my life as retrospectives. I haven’t done one since December.

Frankly, my life has been, for lack of a better word, awesome. I have done many amazing things, and changed my life in many different ways. I’ve met new people, started new jobs, and done new things. I wouldn’t change a single thing that has happened this year, nor do I think I can fit almost an entire years events in a single post. So, instead, have a list (that is in no particular order)!

  1. Quit my job at Ascedia as a general web developer, and started my job at Bitovi as a JavaScript developer
  2. Traveled to many amazing locations across America:
    • Scottsdale, AZ
    • San Francisco, CA
    • Seattle, WA
    • Secaucus, NJ
  3. Continued to run an ever expanding meetup group. What started as only 10 people has grown to nearly 100.
  4. Drove from Milwaukee, WI to Secaucus, NJ in 16 hours straight to go to Bronycon for one amazing weekend.
  5. Drove from Secaucus, NJ to Milwaukee, WI in just 12 hours flexing those speed demon muscles in me.
  6. Ran a one year anniversary meetup for two different groups with over 70 people showing up and enjoying themselves (this being one of my favorite things this year).
  7. Started a second job on the public relations team of Bronycon as their webmaster. Meeting even more extrodinary people, and doing very fun things.
  8. Got my own apartment, finally, and am in the process of furnishing it.
  9. Ran a marathon relay with some of the people I ran the Vegas half-marathon with.
  10. Didn’t really LOSE much or any weight this year, but I maintained the weight I did lose, while still trying to lose weight, and never giving up. That is the important part.
  11. Helped a group of abandoned redditors who were travelling across America from Seattle get to where they needed to be, in their time of need. Then was treated to some amazing hospitality by them when I went to Seattle as thanks.

That’s just a small list of some of the events of the past year. I’m sure I’m forgetting important one and not-so-important ones alike. But the general concensous is…well, life’s been pretty great. I owe many thanks to many people, because I would not be where I am today on my own. It took the help of many great friends and family. Thank you all.

Simply put: I am with you…you are going to change the world.

— John de Lancie

How I feel after drinking that second cup of coffee at 8:00pm at night.

How I feel after drinking that second cup of coffee at 8:00pm at night.

2011: Living The New Year’s Resolution

I did this around the same time last year. I wrote a blog post reflecting on 2010. After rereading it, that was truly a bittersweet year. As much as I would like to say that this year was all sweet, no bitter, I can’t. There was good and bad, like all things in life.

This year was attributed to four great things and one terrible one, as follows.

  1. Achieving physical fitness
  2. Crossing the finish line
  3. First adult vacation
  4. My Little Pony
  5. Losing my grandfather

Last year I made the resolution everyone makes: start going to the gym, lose weight. I wanted to try new and interesting forms of activity that were not available to me at the time. I made certain that I knew I wanted to become physically fit and didn’t concentrate on “losing weight,” because I knew that would come with it. With the help of having a personal trainer, working out 3-4 times a week, and eating right, I have achieved a level of physical fitness I have never known and, as of 1/1/2011, lost about 90lbs weighing in at 277lbs. I have rock climbed discovering that, while I have no issues with flying, being 10 feet off the ground scares the shit out of me. And more importantly…

In May I ran my first 5k, after training using the Couch to 5k program, finishing in just under 40 minutes. It was hard as hell, but it was an accomplishment no one can take away from me.

It later prompted me to want a bigger challenge; I needed a new dragon to chase. I wanted something that, by the end of the year, would be such a big jump in progress that it would feel like I bit off more than I could chew. In August, I joined Team Challenge, a group of people who train and run half marathons in order to raise money and awareness for Crohn’s and Colitis. Every week I trained with an amazing group of people, made new friends, and constantly achieved personal records in distance running. I even got my first athletic injury, spraining my ankle.

(note: I WAS going to add a picture of said sprain, but I opted against it, you can see it on my Facebook page here)

This went on until December when we flew to Vegas and proceeded to run 13.1 miles at night along the Vegas strip. This was an amazing experience regardless of the flaws with the course. If you ever get the opportunity to do this, I highly recommend you don’t pass it up. I achieved three personal records that night:

  1. Fastest mile: 9:38 at mile 2
  2. Furthest distance ran straight: 7.5 miles
  3. Fastest half marathon: 2:51:06

I will never be able to completely describe how it felt to cross that finish line, but suffice it to say, it might have been the happiest moment of 2011 for me.

Coming in a close second would be my first adult vacation to Seattle, Washington at the end of August. I was invited to stay with a few college friends and go to PAX (Penny Arcade eXpo, a video game convention) Prime. Instead of going just for the weekend, I decided to make a full vacation out of it, staying for a week.

I immediately fell in love with the area. My friends live about 20 minutes away from Seattle in Redmond, which has many spectacular views, and is quite peaceful; it is easy to get lost in the landscape. As amazing as Redmond was, Seattle was that much better for me. I love big cities, the amount of life and energy in them feeds my senses. I spent a lot of time near Pike Place near their Publish Market, taking as many tours as I could. I have never had better seafood, and am extremely jealous of all the amazingly fresh local produce they get.

Seattle seemed like it was going to make me like it or die trying. I ran into Conan O’Brien on my first day and made a new friend, from Boson, the second. I got to go to PAX and play and view some amazing video games third and tour Valve the fourth. It was an amazing time, and am considering going back this August. I could easily see myself living there in 3 or so years.

The last one is perhaps the strangest…or, at least, a year ago I would have thought so. While at PAX, I was introduced to the 4th generation of My Little Pony, called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic which is written by Lauren Faust, known for her other amazing works from when I was growing up such as Powderpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. This show’s intended demographic is girls from 8-10; however, picked up an interesting and unforeseen demographic: men and women from 18-32 years old. Myself included.

While I won’t go into complete detail as to why this show affected me in the ways that it did (if you’re really interested, I wrote a detailed post here), let it suffice to say that it did drastically influence me. I’ve reconnected with an ex because of, met my current girlfriend and new friends through, and gotten through the roughest part of this year in small part by the help of this show and it’s amazingly artistic and creative community.

For every positive, there is a negative. For every sweetness, there is a bitterness. For every light, a shadow. The week of September 12th was the shadow of a bright and amazing year. This was the week I experienced my first death of a family member, before my eyes. This was the week my grandfather died after battling with Burkitt’s lymphoma for almost a year. While I am glad I was able to spends his last moments with him, I am still occasionally haunted by them from time to time, but I’ve spent plenty of time writing about this already this year, so I won’t do anymore. Instead I will leave it to this quote:

"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant."

That was my 2011, and I wouldn’t change it, given the chance.

November Retrospective: You Can

I meant to write a blog post before going off to Vegas, but never got around to it, so my November retrospective is a little different.

As most of you know, I have been training since August to run a half marathon: the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas half marathon: the largest half marathon (this year with 44,000 participants). Well, during the month of November I did my longest training ever of 12 miles, and felt well prepared for what laid ahead.

Spoiler, spoiler, I completed the race, and in a better time than I set for myself: 2:50. I won’t go into a rant here, but I was on track to go sub 2:30; however regardless of circumstances, I am happy to have done as well as I did. I achieved many great personal records: I ran the furthest I’ve every ran in a single blow, 7.5 miles. I’ve ran my fastest mile, mile two 9 minutes 39 seconds. Most importantly: I have finished a half marathon.

To truly understand why this is so important to me, I have to tell you a little story. When I was twelve (I think EDIT: I was eight, thanks, mom), I got my very first bike for my birthday. My aunt took me outside to teach me how to ride. I fell on my first go around…and I never got back on. It set a very negative precedent for my life: if you’re not good at it at the first go, it’s beneath you, and there’s no point in doing it. I’ve missed out on a lot because of that.

This whole year, I have been reversing that train of thought; the moment I crossed the finish line, I pounded the final nail in the coffin. There is nothing I can’t do; really, there is nothing any of us can’t do. Every time someone tells me “A half marathon, wow, I could never do that!” I want to take them by the shoulders and say “yes, yes you can!”

Because you can; with the time, training, support, and force of will, you can.

DOCTOR, WHY ARE YOU IN GLEE??

accidentaldoctor:

The Tenth Doctor makes a background appearance in Glee. The Internet subsequently explodes.
submitted by sonicscribblings
DOCTOR, WHY ARE YOU IN GLEE??

accidentaldoctor:

The Tenth Doctor makes a background appearance in Glee. The Internet subsequently explodes.

submitted by sonicscribblings

279.5, or Here Be Dragons…

So, on the wings of a 2.4lbs weight GAIN last week, my highest gain since starting my fitness and health lifestyle change, I decided to behave extra good. It paid off big time. After my 9 mile run I weighed myself to find that I lost 5.9lbs; this is, on the other side of the coin, my largest weight LOSS since starting (previously it was 5lbs). So why is this such a big deal?

I dropped below 280lbs, my next milestone, to 279.5lbs!

The reason 280lbs was my next milestone was simple: in all my time of cracking the whip to lose weight in college, I never got below 280lbs. I don’t remember what it is like to weigh under 280lbs.

Between here and 365lbs, I knew what I looked like, the weight, as a number, was nothing I hadn’t experienced before. Now that has changed. Everything from here on in is new… inexperienced by myself for a VERY long time; what’s more, the amount of muscle gain I have in comparison to previous attempts is several times higher (I never did strength training before January).

So here we are, I’ve lost 21.5% body weight from my heaviest, and made my 280lbs milestone. Next stop, 250lbs milestone.

From this point on: here be dragons.