This is not over yet

I can’t believe this blog just turned three. When I look back on the past three years, I’m so impressed by all we have accomplished here at 2 Fat Nerds, as a community. We all participated in motivating each other to get moving, feel better about ourselves, and are now healthier as a result. Everyone has made tremendous progress, and I’m excited to see where we go this year.

When I look back to where I was three years ago, I am kind of shocked by how much has changed. Three years ago I was getting ready to graduate from college, I was thirty pounds heavier, and I lacked all motivation to get healthy. I was working at a spa and salon in Boston, and I was spending the majority of my nights out eating nachos, drinking beer, and then regretting it later. When Jon started running and writing daily posts here on 2FNS I was not only proud of him, but I was embarrassed by how unhealthy I had gotten.

A year ago I started a Couch-to-5k program and signed up to run the Boston Athletic Association’s Distance Medley. The first time I ran 2 miles without walking I cried, and was so excited because I knew it was going to be the start to a healthier rest of my life. When I ran 2.5 miles in Montreal in the 45-degree pouring rain because my schedule said I had to, I knew I was changing. When I finished the B.A.A. 5k in April after a 10-day stomach flu, I was excited to keep training. After the 10k in June, I had never felt better in my life, and it is all thanks to the contributors and supporters of this blog. I ran the 10k, with my dad by my side, and although I wasn’t speedy, I never had to walk. I was ecstatic.

When I went to the doctor two weeks ago and he told me I had fractured my foot and would have to wear a walking boot for the next few weeks, I was devastated. The Half Marathon, the race that was to put a nice cap on my year, is in a week and a half, and I can’t run it. It’s so upsetting to learn what “can’t” actually means. When I was starting out and a run wasn’t going well, I would think to myself, “I can’t do this.” But that’s not true. I could do it, and I did do it. While I am very upset that I will not be running with my dad and Gracie on October 12th, I am choosing to take something from my broken foot. When this thing heals, I know I will have a new perspective on running. My friend Andrew once wrote a post here on 2 Fat Nerds about how each run is a gift. Every time you have the opportunity to go out for a run, to use your able-legs, and breathe fresh air, you are receiving a gift from yourself and from the universe. I will never take that for granted. Getting healthy isn’t really a choice, it’s something that each and every person owes themselves to do, and it is a gift that we are able to.

I took my boot off this weekend, and am now walking OK without it. I think it is a really good sign that I can stand all day at work and have little pain. It is not completely pain-free, and I should probably try going for a walk before I try going for a run, but I know that it’s getting better. I will be signing up for another Half Marathon, because this isn’t over yet.

2 Fat Nerds Turns Three!

Three years ago, on September 28, 2011, our fist post went live. What started out as a simple idea between Brian and I to get a handle on our waistlines turned out to be a major game changer for ourselves, friends, and families.

Since starting the blog, collectively we have run:

  • the B.A.A 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon (2012, 2013, 2014),
  • the Utica Boilermaker (2013, 2014),
  • the Buffalo Half Marathon (2013),
  • the Fairfield Half Marathon (2014),
  • the Hudson Crossing Triathlon (2014),
  • the Old Forge Triathlon (2013),
  • the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5k (2012, 2013)
  • the Schenectady Stockade-athon (2012, 2013),
  • the Buffalo Corporate Challenges (2013, 2014),
  • and countless local 5k races.

And that list is just what I’ve been able to keep track of. Hundreds of hours worth of training and countless discussions with so many of you have made this whole thing worth while. Seeing photos of post-race smiling faces is absolutely awesome.

Some Fun Stats

  • Total number of workouts submitted:  11,573 
  • The total number of pounds lost to date: 577.2 lbs
  • Total number of blog views: 101,304 (!!)
  • Top number of unique visitors in a day : 601
  • Top number of unique visitors in a month: 4,511
  • Top Post: Eat Fit Not Fat – Spaghetti Squash Primavera : 11,861
  • Total number of posts: 755

Total-AFP

Many people have made this whole thing possible, and I wanted to take a quick second to give a shout out to thank them. First and foremost to Brian Dollard, the wind beneath my wings . . . err, or something. You convinced me to get Vibrams three years ago, and for that, I owe you a beer. And to Ellie, who has spent hours of her life being my idea board, for both good and bad ideas, for editing my horrific grammar when she has a spare second and for being the best partner both in life and in training I could have ever asked for. Did I mention she was the initial instigator for me getting in shape? I would never have started running if she hadn’t been running already.

To Adrienne and Suz,  who draft great ideas for the blog, for writing and keeping it all going when I am too busy at work. You guys have brought much-needed energy into the mix when I needed you too. Also to Mike for helping stage the photography for Eat Fit Not Fat, which is by far my (and, really, everyone’s) favorite segment this blog has.

To Dave, Pat, Mom, and Dad who hear endless amounts of ideas and changes, and for really getting involved early and encouraging the whole tracking system in its early stages. And lastly, to all of our weekly submitters, who make it incredibly rewarding.  I love seeing everyones progress over time, and to see people maintain such an active lifestyle over many months—and even years, at this point. It is absolutely awesome. Without you guys, this blog wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun.

I am excited for some changes coming in year three and to progress through the weight some of us have put back on over this time. I think now more than ever I understand what weight loss really involves and how difficult it really is to both lose the weight, and keep it off for good.

Thanks.

Milk Based Lactose Free Ice Cream!!!

Just a short post today, as I am dealing with an existential big-data crisis. To sum that up, we got a big grant to do some cool research and that means we have an absurd amount of data (5 petabytes…) going to be produced over the next few years… cool.

Lactose Free Ice Cream

I was shopping at America’s favorite grocery store Wegmans on Monday when I came across an absolutely life-altering thing. Lactose-Free Vanilla Ice Cream. It wasn’t lactose free in the sense it was a soy based, coconut based, almond based, crap based, taste-less based product. It was legit milk-based. This probably means some sort of chemical reaction took place to remove the levels of lactose down to a negligible level . . . but who cares it tasted good.

Ellie was awesome, and bought it for me by surprise, while she was making the absolutely fabulous Eat Fit Not Fat – Unfried Ice Cream. It once again turned out awesome, and was absolutely delightful to eat while brewing a Heffeweizen with friends.

It just made my day, so I thought I would share!

Weigh-In Wednesday September 24th: Cinnamon

Here at 2 Fat Nerds each Wednesday is a Weigh-In day, where all of the data from the previous week is collected, displayed, and analyzed. If anyone is interested in taking part in weekly tracking, leave a comment!

Weight Loss

Each week, members who have opted to have their weights publicly displayed for the world to see have them graphed on the main blog. It is a great way to keep track over time, and it gives a bit more accountability to your workouts. If you are interested, leave a comment!

Adrienne Update!!

adn

team-weight

Anti-Fat Points

Anti-fat points (AFP) is a system designed to give some sort of value to each and every workout, regardless of type. It is based on metabolic-equivalent values out of the compendium of physical activities. Submit a workout, get AFP. Each week we post the totals for each person for the week. In addition, you may see the monthly AFP leader-board on the right-hand sidebar. This is meant to be a fun way to encourage competition to see who can earn the most points!

Weekly Points

afp

The threshold is back to 100 AFP, Green is over and Red is under. Try to get 100 AFP and turn your bar green!

The Chain-Game

To put more emphasis on current progress and current streaks, I am now only displaying the current active streak for each player. It is calculated the same as before, minimum three days a week. Each consecutive week you gain a link.

chain

The Return of Weight Charts

Formerly on Weigh-in Wednesdays we provided a chart with several people tracking their weight. We discontinued it some time ago in favor of the percentage lost-chart, because it was a bit easier to visualize, and the data table was much more manageable.

Unfortunately, I feel like it was quite a bit easier to hide week to week changes, in whatever padded percentages you had. Honestly, if you are at 5%  total lost, does 4.8% sound bad? No . . . but what does 5% even mean. Not really the clarity that I need.

Tomorrow I will be bringing back the weight-loss graph in the style similar to Adrienne’s, for more people. I think having the cold, raw values for the world to see added a certain amount of accountability that the percentage chart doesn’t bring.  My plan is to start with last weeks weight, and let whatever was in the past be the past. A fresh start for anyone and everyone who wants to get in on the game.

An example of what this would look like is the following:

2fns-weight

 

For anyone who wants to join in on this graph, please leave a comment so I know who would like to take part. A couple of you will be included because of your previously expressed interest.

I think seeing your trend line go down week after week is a huge motivating force, and one that really helped me succeed. I am looking forward to having it reinstated!

It’s Been A Long Time

I’ll be the first to admit, I have not been behaving myself. I haven’t been on the bandwagon really much at all since January . . . and boy has it shown. 11 pounds later, and woof, I can’t believe how much worse I feel!

Despite having had success, it never ceases to amaze me how my weight will slowly, but surely, creep back up the chart. Since January, I have  bounced back up into the low 190s, a place I swore I would never return to.

There is no place for arrogance or complacency in racing because you are up there one minute and on your backside the next.
– Tony McCoy

I grew complacent. I was satisfied with where I was at. I ate what I wanted, and boy did it taste good. Free donuts in the breakroom? Sure, i’ll take two. Especially if they are Paula’s peanut donuts (at ~600 a pop)…

fitness-pal
Screw you MyFitnessPal

Back to the world of calorie counting and exercise I go, to rebuild my chain and to put forward an honest effort. At least I know how to do all of these things, and I know I can do it.  But boy, are those donuts good.

We are closing in on our third anniversary of the blog, and I think it is time to recommit my own efforts, back into the weekly weigh-in grind. I encourage everyone to think about where they want to be, and if you want to get back in on the tracking game, let me know. I’ve been hearing from many people that they have rebounded a little bit too, so it would be fun to get it all really going again!