Jason Moran
Monday, September 26, 2005
  Brunswick House Hunting
After two weeks of looking for houses in Strongsville, Kelly and I decided to look in another city: Brunswick (alternate pronunciation is "Brunstucky"). Brunswick is at the opposite side of the spectrum as Parma and Berea. Whereas Parma and Berea are very old communities without very much new housing development going on, Brunswick is where Strongsville was for the past 10 years. It's where North Olmsted was 20 years ago. It's one of the new up-and-coming areas.

So, you still have to consider that this place was Brunstucky and hillbillies are around almost every corner. However, if you make a turn down the right street you can also find half million dollar or more mansions. One street will have 14 cars strewn across the front lawn on every housing plot, and the next is full of yuppy young couples in houses built last year. What this means is that if you can get into the area now (well, 2-3 years ago would have been the best) you should be able to make above and beyond the normal housing appreciation on a house.

So far we have looked inside 4 Brunswick homes. Two of them have been "hillbilly". One of them was a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 3 car garage, 2 acres of land, brand new EVERYTHING, new pool, new $12,000 kitchen, etc. But the neighbors on either side were "uber-hillbillies". We are talking missing teeth, ripped off jean shorts, no-joking 10 rusted out cars on the front lawn, in probably hand-built shacks. These neighbors could probably not even make $100K on their 2-acre property. That is probably why that amazing house in between the white trash is listing at $179,000. I loved the house, but man somebody needs to shoot the neighbors and all 37 of their dogs.

Anyway, to end the day we drove around and accidentally drove into a new development in Brunswick Hills. Kelly talked about how it was out of our price range, but I wanted to check anyway. These were new houses (Ryan Homes), so basically you pick what you want out of a catalog and choose your plot of land. Somewhere around 8 months later you move into a brand new house. I never considered such a thing, but it sounds like a cool idea since everything in your home will be brand spanking new. The only things to worry about are furniture and appliances (and some painting). This new variable in the house-buying equation is making things even harder to decide upon.
Friday, September 23, 2005
  Indians Game On Wednesday
It has been determined. I am going to be going to the Wednesday, September 28th Indians game against Tampa Bay. TB has been turning up the heat and playing well, and those games are must wins for the Tribe. So far John Sammon has bought tickets for all kinds of games next week. Kelly and I are going with Ben and Lyndsey, and Andy and Bek. I also have a few friends from Beta that are probably going to the game (Alex and Doug). I need to buy the tickets tonight before they run out of them.

Also, Kelly and I have been looking for houses and we are getting further down the road with that. Thus far we have only browsed houses online and hit up a couple of open houses. Pretty soon we will probably get a real estate agent and start hitting new cities. We've looked at Strongsville so far. I think we are going to check out Brunswick and re-check out a few houses we liked in Strongsville. Since there aren't very many houses in a reasonable price range we will probably spend the next week sweeping through Independence, Valley View, Broadview Heights, and Brecksville in one fell swoop.

The cities we've crossed off of our list are (we are factoring in the fact that I will probably be contracting all over town yet have a "home base" in the middle of the west side): I refuse to knock Hinkley off of the list because I think an affordable house might just show up for us.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
  Do Stuff With Me
I have just decided on two things:

I am going camping, and it will be the Class A camping at East Harbor on September 30th, October 1st, and October 2nd.

I am going to an Indians game next week, and since they are in town from Tuesday until Sunday and I am doing Alpha (Tuesdays) and camping (Friday - Sunday), that leaves Wednesday and Thursday. So, the Indians are playing Tampa Bay, the Idians are the hottest team in the league, and they are trying to get a playoff spot...so these should be exciting games.

I need to decide by tomorrow which game I am going to because the tickets might sell out. I'm holding off because I want to give everybody an opportunity to go to the game and have a good time watching the Indians. If anybody is "in" let me know so we can get tickets in the same area. Oh, and now that we are doing the September 30th camping we want to try to steal campers from the October 8th trip. Anybody who has been "on the fence" is now officially going on September 30th, okay?
Monday, September 19, 2005
  Evil Food
I spent 8 hours of Sunday in the emergency room (I'll call it the ER from here on out). Why? During the first quarter of the Browns game Dan Laguardia offered me a couple of Geppettoes ribs. I took a few bites and started to notice a little bit of it stuck in my throat. Next thing you know I had a choking feeling, yet I could still breath fine. I found a large glass of water and tried to force it down with large gulps of water. That water and plenty of spit came right back out the way it went in. So, I tried it again. And again. I watched the browns because they intercepted the ball. Then I tried to force down the rib meat again. After puking out snot and spit and gallons of water OVER 30 TIMES, I got fed up and Kelly and I went to the ER at Fairview Hospital. Before I went I tried stuffing my fingers down my throat to dislodge the meat, but I just couldn't quite reach it.

While watching the 4th quarter of the Browns/Packers game, I decided to try again. I dumped out my spit cup (remember, I couldn't swallow anything, including water or my own spit). I'm sure my spitting into a cup constantly looked gross, but why would I care about something as trivial as that?

After that we got the run around. This room to that room. Go to the "Fast Track" area. Go to this area. Go to Endoscopy. They had almost no communication because they repeatedly asked me if I was a smoker and how much I weighed and all of those useless questions at each of the various rooms I kept getting moved to. Finally they called a Gastro-Intestinal MD in from home. After the "cute" nurse guy (according to Kelly) stuck a needle though a vein and quietly switched to a different one after his mistake they gave me stuff which actually made me fall asleep while they poked around in my throat. I woke up a few minutes later and groggily fumbled my way into the car for my ride home.

Thinking back, the last time I was at the ER was food related. And the time before that. I almost never have any problems with me that don't originate from eating food. Food is out to get me, I swear! Anyway, now that I spit up 5 gallons of saliva I'm very dehydrated today. I just keep on drinking water and looking at the huge bruise on my arm caused by the oh-so-dextrous cute man-nurse.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
  Day 1-14: The Results
After undertaking 14 days of rigor and pain what do I have to show for it? After a few weeks of healthy eating and a stringent workout regiment, what has happened? Or, what didn't happen?

In summary I worked out for a minimum of an hour a day for the first 13 out of 14 days. That included some sort of running, elliptical, biking, DDR, or something to get the heart rate up every day.

For the first 6 days I ate very well and stuck to the plan very closely. Labor day weekend did a number on me for days 7 and 8. I got back on track during the second week. However, it looks to be weekends which are my downfall. The second weekend (days 12, 13, and 14) were pretty bad days for eating as well.

So my total time spent working out for those 13 days was:
19 hours and 15 minutes.

My real weight change was:
Days (-7) to 0 fluctuated between 184.5 and 186.5
Day 01: 185
Day 02: 185
Day 03: 184
Day 04: 184
Day 05: 183
Day 06: 183
Day 07: 183
Day 08: ???
Day 09: 186
Day 10: 185
Day 11: 184
Day 12: 183
Day 13: 183
Day 14: 184
Day 15: 183

So, it looks like I have dropped 2 pounds...inaccurate science that it is. It also looks like I would have lost 4 or 5 pounds if Labor Day weekend never happened.

After visiting 10 websites utilizing various methods (like the U.S. Navy method, etc) for determining Body Fat %, I have determined that my IDEAL body weight is 180 pounds. That means I have three more pounds to drop to be ideal. Yes that weight takes into account how much I workout and muscle mass. Before I added in the muscle mass figure it said I was way overweight and I should be at 167 pounds. As it is I have approxiamately 14% body fat...much better than the American average. As a comparison Michael Jordan had 3% body fat in his prime, and the average American has 27.5% body fat.

Overall this has definitely been a success. Any loss of weight is a success. More importantly, I am doing a bit better at paying attention to portion size, time of day, eating breakfast, burning more calories, and generally staying healthy.
Monday, September 12, 2005
  Day 13, 14: I'm Done
I guess I really finished sometime on Saturday afternoon (day 13), because I didn't even try after that. I'm glad I can eat what I want now without feeling like I'm letting my "faithful readers" down. I guess that never happened anyway since everybody wanted to see me eat 8 fried-fish patties in one sitting again (yes...I did that once).

As planned I will celebrate today by eating a Chipotle burrito for lunch. I was also supposed to have a beer tonight to celebrate...but that already happened during the OSU Texas debacle on Saturday night. I wish I could explain to Kelly the intrinsic value of sport-watching, but she just doesn't understand why one might consider "wasting" their time watching sweaty guys play games. This weekend wasn't a great example to her as I continually barked at the moving picture box such that those selected players might feel my wrath and torpedo backwards in time to catch that pass or make that looked-so-easy tackle opportunity. Both OSU and the Cleveland Browns lost. The Browns loss was expected, although it was against the Bungles. The OSU-Texas game was supposed to be a close game and it was, although after watching it OSU should have blown Texas out by 20+ points instead of losing by 3.

Anyway, I'll give the final 14 days o' pain numbers and summary tomorrow.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
  Day 12: The Home Stretch
I am starting to develop a pattern here. The two major halves of this journey are working out and eating right. Well, I have accomplished at least 1 out of 2. I have managed to workout for at least an hour every single one of the days so far. Eating is a different story. I made it my first week with almost no mistakes, but I give in here and there ever since day 7.

Yesterday I ran on the elliptical (with no moving arms) for 50 minutes followed by a treadmill for 10. I don't like those ellipticals without the moving arms as much. On the treadmill I ran at an 8.5 MPH pace...which is killer fast for me.

I followed that up at the Fox and Hound with a pile of wings and chips...and a little bit later with pizza at Josh's...and a little bit later with an Oriental chicken wrap and onion peels at Applebees after midnight. I guess I suck at this whole eating right thing (although I'm doing better with eating than my usual deep-fried-sugar-coated-double-portion-of-fat style eating I usually partake of).
Friday, September 09, 2005
  Day 11: Onward and Upward
I'll keep this one short and sweet (I'm only really posting because I've been trying to make an update every day).

Yesterday was arm day (biceps, triceps). After that I was on a bike for a half hour. Those things suck. I burn more calories farting than I do cycling.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
  Day 10: Making the Grooves Deeper
Commenters on Day 9 were suggesting that my two weeks was short and that the real challenge is to incorporate these types of changes as a lifestyle.

I won't try to recreate 4th grade for you too much, but, DUH! Of course this is supposed to be a lifestyle. Read comments I made on the last blog:

The thing is that have been trying to eat healthy and control portions for months now and I haven't been able to do it.

Bode knows from college that when I actually sit down to get something done I can be tenacious and hard-working for a short duration. I decided to apply the same principle to eating and running (the two things I can't normally convince myself to do).

My hope is that two full weeks of intensity will wear off on my every day life.

So that is the plan behind the scenes...the real motivation for these 14 days. I'm back down to 184 pounds, so it's a net loss of a pound since the beginnning of this journey. I ran on the elliptical for an hour last night (7.05 miles, 1028 calories, maintaining a 170 to 180 heart rate for that hour). I'm nearing the end, and I really can't wait to celebrate with Chipotle for lunch and a beer or two with some friends once I reach the finish line.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
  Day 9: Back In The Saddle
I've decided to give this another try and get back with the program. Maybe I won't have the results I would have if I hadn't imploded, but I might have some good progress by the end anyway.

Shoulders and 23 minutes of running was the regiment for today. I had to hurry up so Kelly and I could go see a movie. I already feel like I've gone from a derailed train to being back on the tracks...but I think I've already lost all gain. Maybe I should mark today as Day 1: The Restart and do this for 6 days instead.
  Day 7, 8: Sin City
My downfall began shortly after church on Sunday. What started as a small "Okay, just this once" became an uncontrollable monster by the end of the holiday weekend.

It all started with this thought:
Free hotdogs? And there are still HUNDREDS left? I've got to do my part. And I did. I ate a hotdog, in a white bun, despite knowing that I shouldn't. My cravings have been getting out of control, and I thought that would calm those uneasy seas. I immediately followed that up with some fat-filled (but yummy) pasta salad. To top things off I had a chocolate covered pretzel. To make up for things I ran on the elliptical for 45 minutes and burned 775 calories.

It didn't stop there.

Sunday night I ate my subway sangwich. Without hesitation I also ate almost all of Kelly's subway sangwich. Before Kelly was able to look I ate three full handfuls of Sun Chips. I drank some wine. I had more chips. I downed a container of pudding. More chips. We were freezing cold, so I also drank almost all of Kelly's hot chocolate. After this event, at Tab and Keiths, I had a bunch of nacho cheese and chips -- right before bed time, too!

All of this is nothing compared to Monday.

I lost all sense of portion control. I ate until I was full and then I crammed in at least two extra platefuls on top of that. Lots of potato salad. Smothered vegetable dip on stuff. All kinds of flavored sausage from Gibbs. Dessert not once, not twice, not thrice, but dessert 4 times over the course of the day. That ooey gooey strawberry pretzel stuff, icecream sangwich, and much more.

I knew I mest up, so instead of stopping once I realized it, instead I embraced my screw up and went all out in a fat eating contest against myself. The end result is that I have not only not lost weight, but GAINED an undisclosed amount. I am a failure. Alas, can I start anew today?
Sunday, September 04, 2005
  Day 6, 7: Here Comes The Holiday Weekend
Let's see, the cravings are growing in magnitude every day. Kelly was snacking and I grabbed a postage-stamp-size piece of cheese and gobbled it up before she could stop me. On Saturday I had some cream of wheat for breakfast and I put both butter AND brown sugar in it. I'm falling to pieces. I'm starting to justify things. "It's okay, your worst meal of the day is supposed to be breakfast since you have the longest time to process it." Last night (Saturday) I also ate at like 10:15, which is clearly too late to allow my body to fully break down a deer steak (although it was very good and VERY lean - thanks Curt).

Friday was a back workout day plus a little bit of running. I was beat the whole time and barely made it through the workout. I'm getting bored of those treadmills/ellipticals! So, on Saturday I spiced it up and Kelly and I played Dance Dance Revolution for an hour as my cardio workout. Afterwards I went up to Ballys and lifted on my legs. Since I usually do cardio AFTER lifting, my legs were unusually tired for my leg workout, but I made it through it (except I forgot to do calves). I squatted 285 ten times as a fifth set, even with tired legs, so I'm probably ready to increase to 305 pounds for squatting soon.

Wish me luck since today has three picnics scheduled and tomorrow is Labor Day. If there are any days chock full of tempation, these are the days. I have run out of things to lift on, so today needs to have an hour long workout without a major muscle to lift on...
Friday, September 02, 2005
  Day 5: My Good vs. My Evil
A coworker of mine convinced me of the health benefits of coffee, so I broke a rule yesterday. Last night Kelly and I went to Starbucks and I ordered a soy mocha no whip. At least I ordered a healthy version of a mocha! Also, I think this evil is a fine reward for my day of good.

If you believe the readout on the elliptical then I burned 900 calories plus whatever I burned lifting. I lifted my triceps and lazily filled time until my signed-up-for elliptical time with some chest exercises. I ran for a continuous hour on the elliptical for a total of 7 miles, 900 calories, and a sustained heart rate of 170 for the entire time. Add to that the 100 or so calories I burned during my 55 minutes of VERY casual lifting and I burned over 1000 calories during my workout yesterday (1:55 total workout time).

I still don't know if I trust the calorie count of the elliptical, because I get far more tired on a treadmill and it doesn't think I burn nearly as many calories as these ellipticals do. Tonight I get to weigh myself on what is usually my heaviest day of the week. If I am still less than my starting weight then I think I might actually be making some slight progress.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
  Day 4: A Little Trouble
Yesterday I got stuck in a situation that was almost disastrous...a coworkers last day of work. What do you do on these days? Everybody goes out to lunch together. We ended up at Chilis, and I have never been able to resist those giant southwestern eggrolls as an appetizer before a big, greasy meal. I *barely*, and I mean barely made it. I ordered from their lean lunch menu. It was some boring chicken sandwhich with steamed vegetables. At least it was sort of healthy.

Also, being that this was Dan's last day of work we ran into some problems just as he was getting ready to leave. He stuck around to help us fix them, but that turned it into a 10 and a half hour work day. Normally I would have skipped lifting, but that's a rule breaker. I started out on my biceps before realizing that I was really tired and it was getting late. So I cut that workout a little bit short and ran another gruesome 23 minutes. I swear my heart almost exploded and I almost collapsed with fatigue this time around. I was watching the clock to keep with another one of my rules - total workout time: 1:00. I left for work at 6-something and got back at 8-something. I don't like these 14 hour days.
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