Three Weeks of Crazy Town

OK...for the three people that read this on a regular basis...I apologize for the irregularity. The last 3 weeks have been batshit crazy. Seriously.


3 weeks ago started a 2 week stint back in Baltimore to work on network terminations for our newest store in Towson, MD. To say there were obstacles that we hadn't anticipated is an understatement. To say there were long days for those 2 weeks is also quite a light recounting of the situation. But it's all good. It's going to work out...the store's going to open on time...and there's going to be quite a bit of my blood sweat and tears in certain areas of the store. I'm hoping to get to go visit it after it's opened...maybe on a future visit to the in-laws, we can pop down and look around.

In between trips, I had a couple of photo shoots. (I apologize if this is a re-run...I haven't been back to look what I've posted about).

Oops. Nevermind. I just looked. Yeah. I was about to re-hash some isht.

So...up to speed. The SECOND week in Baltimore was even crazier than the first. But like the first trip out of town (back in August), I think I wound up losing a couple of pounds the second week. So...the journey to NoMoreFatTodd is still on target.

Which is a pretty awesome thing.

The last 3 weeks, though, have seriously been crazy.


I'll update more later, just wanted to let you know I'm alive.



Not A Lazy Sunday in Sight

I have been running on adrenaline and Advocare Spark this past week. I was in Baltimore (or rather, Towson, a suburb) working on getting things in place for our new store that's opening on November 1st. I won't bore you with the details of how the week went (mostly because a) they're probably boring unless you're in the retail biz and have helped open stores, and b)I'm not sure if I'm even allowed to talk about what went on. Just seems in bad form for a job I really actually like.

Suffice to say that it was a long week...I didn't get as much done as I had planned, and my flight back to Baltimore leaves in 7 1/2 hours. I've got another week of fun ahead of me. I guess I better get packed.

I took some pix last week that I'll try to get up this week. And the pix this week will go up next week. Or something like that.

Today marks the 11month point since I started the NoMoreFatTodd journey. One month to go for the anniversary. S'pose I should plan something special.

It was an awesome weekend...can I just say that? I got in Friday night about 1030. Got to my car and was at Brew-Stirs shortly after 11. Hey--It doesn't really feel like the weekend to me unless I stop in there at least once. I make no apologies for that fact. Left Brew-Stirs early and was in bed by about 2AM.

Up at 8 on Saturday to make sure I was all ready for a photo shoot at Inniswood. This was the family who purchased my portrait session at the All About Autism Car and Truck Show. A young couple with a 4yr. old. It was a blast to shoot. Made me remember how much fun it is shooting the family portraits. And of course, Inniswood is about as beautiful and eclectic location as I have found. One park has so many looks it's insane. Of course, don't take my word for it...you can ask any of the 20 other shutterbugs I saw there at the same time.

And a funny thing happened on the way to the car. I was walking by a Grandma, Mom, and 2 daughters (one college, the other high school), and the mom and grandma were trying to get the daughters to cooperate and pose in front of some flowers so they could snap some pix with their iPhones. The intent presumably was to use them for Christmas cards. As I'm approaching I hear "Well ask him. That man is obviously a professional." And from there I was asked to settle a dispute on which posed worked. So, I posed the young ladies. "Well, do you mind taking a pic? We'll pay you for it." Nope. Don't mind at all. I love taking pix. So I snapped a few frames and the next thing I know, I've been hired on the spot for shooting the young ladies for the Christmas card. Back in to Inniswood we go and walking around almost the same route I had just taken my family on, we got another couple hundred frames.

Headed back home after that. Chilled for a bit. I seem to recall doing something else...oh, yeah, I hit MicroCenter and got a kick ass blutooth boombox.  I love employee discount.

Watched the game Saturday night (well, most of it. The Buckeyes seem to be working on that whole 'give the game away and then pull a win out of our asses' thing. And they're doing a damn fine job of it).

Sunday AM (earrrrrrrrly) brought another photoshoot.

This time was for the Autism Speaks walk at Huntington Park. I am blown away by how amazing it was. The estimate was that over 20,000 were on hand for that historic even. And I was one of the volunteer photographers. It was truly a blessing.

And now I need to check on my laundry, get packed and get a couple hours sleeps. A couple hours is better than no hours as a wise former co-worker once said.

OK peeps, peace outside.


Stark Raven Mad

Ok, ok. I'm not really mad. I just needed a way to lead in to the fact that I'm once again in Baltimore, home of the Ravens. I'll be here until Friday and then back out again Monday for the whole of next week. Our new store is opening November 1st (come Hell or High Water, I'm told)...so it's kind of a last-ditch effort to make sure everything is in place.

I like it. It's a lot of long days, and I'm exhausted by the end of them, but I love the job.

I'm really kind of wiped at the moment. The reason I'm not in bed yet is that the hotel has free laundromat, so I only pack enough for 3 days, then do laundry. It's kind of win-win. But because of the whole exhausted thing, I'm having issues forming complete sentences.

Here's a few random images from the trip so far.


The above shot was taken at our very own Port Columbus in long term parking. Now...I'm no genius...(well...maybe I am, but for the sake of this comment, I'm not)....but here's the thing...a BIG RED BUTTON to push in the event of an emergency is about a GAZILLION times easier than digging out your phone and hoping like hell Mothra gives you a head start to dial that phone before destroying downtown Tokyo.

Sorry...I digress...

That was my view out of the plane Sunday night.

And clouds. I like clouds.

OK. I'm officially wiped out. I'll continue this when I'm not falling asleep in the laundry room.





The "Secret" to my Success is No Secret

So...yes, I'm back on Facebook.
And yes, every English teacher I ever had just cringed by me starting this post with the word 'So.' But that's not really the issue.

Here's the thing...I started my journey to be healthy (alternately called "no more fat Todd" or "the end to the Lard Ass") back in November of 2011.

Since then I've lost 66 pounds. I'm getting in shape, and would honestly have to say that I'm the healthiest I've been in easily 20 years. People have asked what my 'secret' is. How have I lost I all this weight!?!?!

Well, hang on boys and girls. I'm about to tell you my secret.

First off. It's not just one secret....but many. Stacked on top of each other like a superglued Jenga puzzle that you know just can't fall over no matter how high you stack it.

Secondly....it's not a secret.

I'm not holding any magical mystical key. And regardless of what you may think...this journey hasn't always been as easy as it might seem.  I still struggle. Some weeks it's daily. I walk by the snack machine in the break room and see all of the things I used to eat and not think twice about.

Which leads to "secret" number 1.
Be intentional.
The first thing I had to do when I started on this journey was think. Think about what I was eating. Think about how it would affect my body. Think about everything. I could no longer assume things were healthy just because they packaged it in green. I could no longer eat on autopilot. This really was a huge step for me.

The next key element is a support network.
I had a good friend (who has since become one of my best friends) come to me and tell me that she knew I was in pain and that she knew I didn't want to be 'Fat Todd' any more (those weren't her exact words, but she was brutally honest, as all good friends should be). Without her prod, I doubt I would be where I am today. Not only did she offer me support (which was crucial), but she offered me a system of tools that she had used and that had worked for her to start her on her healthy journey. Which brings me to the next key factor.

Get a set of Tools that works for your ultimate goal.
I have tried Weight Watchers. I have tried the Adkins Diet. Both worked for the short term, but neither was something I could maintain. Both had too many 'diety' elements to them. And it pretty much just turned me off. I couldn't get behind them because it didn't seem like I was actually changing my lifestyle...it seemed too much like I was on a 'diet' and that if I stopped, I'd gain weight again. Which, ironically, is what happened in both cases.  My friend Katie (the one from the previous step) told me about a sports, nutrition, and wellness company called Advocare. She said they had a 24Day Challenge that was designed to help kick start the journey to health and happiness. And it wasn't a diet. It was 24 days of educating your body in to eating the foods it needs in order to be healthy. I decided to give it a try. I lost something like 14lbs in the initial 24 days.

The thing that makes this key...and this is important (or at least it was for me) is the fact that the 24 Day Challenge IS NOT A DIET. Let me give that one a second to sink in. No, it's not a diet. Are there vitamins and supplements to take? Yes. Primarily because they are vitamins and nutrients that aren't in the foods that our society eats on a daily basis.

But it's a lifestyle change. I didn't go on a diet. I'm still not on a diet. I have made a shift in what I eat, how I eat and the activity I do.

You see....that's why I can still have pizza and beers when I want. I'm not on a diet. I'm not cheating on a diet. I'm choosing every now and then to have things that I don't normally eat. I'm not making a habit out of it. But I don't feel guilty about it in the least.

And that's how I know it's the right path. No internal warnings have gone off since I started on the Advocare products.

I've lost 66 pounds so far. Which, when you put the number out like that, it seems like a big number (and overall it is)...but let me break it down for you.
That is, on average, 6 pounds a month.
Which is, on average, 1.5 pounds a week.

1.5 pounds a week is VERY doable for most people.

Don't rush it...listen to your body. It will tell you what you need.

Here is the final secret. This is the thing that I cannot give you or tell you where to buy it.

The reason I'm succeeding and why I know that I will hit my goal of 103lbs lost is
I have no Plan B.

I have made no contingency plan in the event that this doesn't work. There's a great reveal in the movie Gattica that always comes to mind. It's where Ethan Hawke's character (who is supposed to be a physically inferior person..not very athletic) reveals to his brother (the genetically superior, non-asthmatic athletic type) how he was able to beat him when they would race out to the buoys as children. He said ....I was able to beat you because I never held anything back for the swim home.

He had no plan B.

And neither do I. This is going to work. This is working. And in the threads of time somewhere in the elusive (and completely fictional concept of a) "future" I have already hit my goal, and then some.

Hope that helps clear things up.



Digging Deep

About 4 weeks ago, my neighbor asked if I wanted to try the Kickboxing with her at Koguryo. It's a martial arts studio about 2 blocks from our house. They offer cardio kickboxing, Tang Su Do, Hap Ki Do, Zumba and a few other classes.

There was a special...$30 for 5 classes and the boxing gloves were free.

Sure. Why not?

What I found was I loved it. And it rekindled my long love for martial arts.

I joined the academy as a full-fledged member and started on Hap Ki Do as well as the kick boxing.

And because I think I'm a little crazy...it made sense for me to double up my classes--three nights a week, the kickboxing and martial arts are back to back. So..I'm here 3 times a week, for 2 hours a pop.

That's where the digging deep comes in to play.

It was easy for me to get up every day and ride the stationary bike for 30-45 minutes. Seriously. It required no thought. Oh sure...there was a burn...and there were calories burned. But I never had to really truly dig deep. I mean, yeah...some days I had to give myself a pep talk...and at the time I thought I was really pulling from the core.

Not even close.

In the few weeks that I've been doubling up classes, I have learned one thing.

I now know what it truly means to dig deep.

You see...on Wednesdays and Fridays, the class order is Hap Ki Do and then Kickboxing. And that's fine. I can do that. It's not always easy, but the kickboxing is where I just release it all. I push myself and just go balls to the wall.

And that's the problem.

On Mondays, the kickboxing is before the Hap Ki Do. But it's still the same release...the same balls to the wall.

By the time I got to the Hap Ki Do class last night I was already tired. I thought about going home. But I changed in to my do boke and got on the mat.

Kickboxing is something I can do on autopilot. I don't have to remember a whole lot from week to week.

The Hap Ki Do not so much.

I have forms to learn. I have a curriculum. And I'm expected to be practicing between sessions (which I need to get better about)....but more importantly, I'm expected to give 100% every session. Practice hard.

And that's where I have to dig deep.

I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing this because I (a) don't want to be fat....EVER again...and (b) because I know that I can bring about a sense of inner balance by seeing this journey through.

I'm pushing my body and my mind to places it hasn't been in quite some time, if ever. And I don't know that I can accurately convey what a mindjob that's doing on me.

That is a good thing.  Resetting all expectations and pushing myself to places I never thought I could go.

That's a very good thing.

Now if I only I could get that roundhouse kick down. :-)

Have a fantastic Tuesday!



Holycrapsicles what a weekend!

This was a fantastic weekend! I mean, one of those epic weekends in which the epicness just sneaks up on ya and bops you on the head as though you were a field mouse and it was little bunny Fou Fou. Yes, THAT kind of epicness.

Friday's Hapkido class wore me out. That class continues to challenge me. There is a lot to learn and I really need to practice more in the off-class time. But man is it awesome. Kickboxing on Friday really wore me out. There were only 3 people there, plus the 2 instructors. So the workout seemed to be kicked up a notch from normal (maybe because the 3 of us were also Tang So Do/Hap Ki Do students?). Not sure. Either way I left Friday thoroughly wiped out.

Showered and from there headed over to the folks for a bit. Had some chicken and rice (one of my staple meals) and then headed to Brewstirs to meet some friends for drinks and, as it turned out, quite a fun night of playing pool. AND yours truly won a tidy little sum at KENO.

I was lazy Saturday. I spent the day chilling. I gave the wife some of the KENO winnings (enough to buy her new phone), and then went to Wally World to get my glasses repaired (they got damaged in Hap Ki Do). $2.01 later, the nosepads were fixed. And I did something I rarely do...I wandered back to the media section of Wal*Mart. About 25minutes later, I walked out with a stack of Blu-Ray movies. The rest of Saturday was spent watching Blu-Rayee goodness. I mean, afterall, that's what KENO winnin's is about...getting something shiny and pretty that the 'practical' you wouldn't get.

I think the Buckeyes played. I didn't watch the game. Didn't care. I was down the BR rabbit hole.

Later that evening, I got a call from a friend to come take some pix of her band at practice....they needed candids or something for their web site. Turns out practice got cancelled and turned in to a party around a firepit. And it was epic. So epic, in fact, that I did NOT go to Brew-Stirs on Saturday night and wound up crashing at the party place because driving was just NOT going to happen.

Sunday was more chill. Met a friend over at MicroCenter and caught up (something that seems weird doing in real life now, but was oh so easy on Facebook). Chilled with my daughter a bit then drove her back to her mom's. There were no NCIS marathons on (shame on you USA Network)...so a DVR'd episode of Grimm and a football I didn't really care about became the eye-candy of the evening.

And that's how the epic weekend of awesomeness ended. I'm sure there will actually be a few more epic weekends on deck. We shall see. Right now, I'm mostly focused on getting stuff in balance....the crazy weekends definitely help let off some steam though...and that's a gooooooooood thing.


Alright...off to write a NoMoreFatTodd post. Hope you all had rockin' weekends as well!

Peace Out!



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