Marching On


As promised in my last post – here’s my weekend update. This weekend has been productive and very helpful overall. I have all the furniture gone except for the Ikea Desk and Filing Cabinet. I’m hoping those will be gone before Friday.

I’m really looking forward to turning my keys in next week and being done with the apartment. There’s just something about being able to close that chapter of my life and not have to be driving across town almost daily to pick up something or to move things will be such a relief.

This weekend though not productive for my fitness has been productive for my emotional well-being. A Saturday that I thought would be filled with mind numbing moving and doing my best to stay warm in the crazy cold turned into one filled with friends, old and new. All of the meetings really unplanned but gave me a chance to laugh and share life with some awesome people. As I sat down to write this blog post I found myself smiling.

Tomorrow I plan to return to my Couch to 5k program and will have some make-up runs next week to keep on track. A friend of mine also offered to come with me to the gym and help me build some strength routines to supplement my cardio. I’m also going to focus this week on getting a meal plan together for February.

I’ve managed to drop to 236! Officially down 10 pounds from January 2. While this is great progress – my diet needs a ton of work. I’m challenging myself to go strict Paleo on February 1. I’m also making a commitment to myself to not skip any more workouts. No excuses.

It’s amazing how many people actually pay attention to my blog. As much as this blogs serves for others to read – it’s also my space for release. I find it therapeutic to write what I’m feeling and many times it allows me to move on. The continuous support through comments on Facebook, Twitter, texts, emails and conversations is so awesome. It really does mean the world to me and when things get tough – I often think of all the kind words you all have offered me and it gives me the strength to march on.

In life, I’ve always had a connection with music. When things felt pretty bleak on Friday and I found myself spiraling into a pit of sadness – this song came on the radio and really gave me some encouragement… It’s going to be my theme song this week!

Until next time!

and then sadness


It’s been a long week.

So far I’ve been fairly upbeat about life but I guess part of this accountability thing means I gotta share the good, bad and ugly.

So here’s the not so great side…

I’m still getting down the whole meal planning right now. With the move, busy with work and other things in life – I just haven’t made time to make a good menu (which I hope to do this weekend). I find myself putting together random combinations that cause me to get bored/tired of what I’m eating.

Twice now this week I’ve accidentally had food with gluten resulting in a less than awesome stomach pain. I’ve also ate out at lunch three times and will eat out again tomorrow (work meetings). This is such a struggle for me that I don’t know how to resolve as two of these meals are necessary for what I do.

As far as my workouts go – I did make it to a spin class and one run this week but with other obligations I’ve had I am now behind two days on my Couch to 5k program. I cannot give up on this and I have to move forward.

Weight wise I’m holding around 240 depending on the day.

I cannot wait for this whole moving thing to be over and finished. I’m hoping that I can get rid of the last of my excess furniture this weekend so I can clean and be out and done.

January 14 came and went. It’s so hard to believe that this world lost Katy three years ago. I’ve been missing her hard this week and the other stressors in my life haven’t made it any easier. I would think that after three years I wouldn’t get shaken like this. Tonight it hit me harder for some reason. Maybe it was because as I cleaned out one of the last boxes I found the bookmark from her memorial service. Maybe it’s because I always coincide my work anniversary with her death and my three year anniversary there is tomorrow. Maybe because we’ve already started talking Pelotonia 2014. Who knows. All I know is that I miss her.

My goal this weekend is to not get discouraged and let this bout of sadness rule my life. I have got to push through. So I will keep you all posted as the weekend progresses. Thank you to everyone who has said encouraging words and supported me thus far – it means a great deal to me.


from life’s first cry to final breath


Ever had one of those days where everything was just “off”? Like something happens and then the whole trajectory of your day is thrown off? That was today for me.

It all started at 5:00 AM when I was jolted awake by this horrible noise. As I laid there trying to figure out what it was, my head was spinning. Less than a week into a new place you don’t know all the noises. Co2? Fire? Security? It finally occurred to me that if it was any of the aforementioned things that I should probably get out of bed and do something about it. Turned out to be a false security alarm and everything was ok but it was enough to startle me to the point that sleeping wasn’t much an option after this.

When I did get up to start my day, I had to go through my routine and I’m still trying to get that down in a new place. Everything is in a different place, multiple floors to deal with, and to top it off I’m spinning tonight so I had to gather biking stuff too.

As I’m heading out to my first meeting at 8AM I get a notification that it’s been cancelled… so then I turn around to head to my office and was greeted by tons of traffic due to accidents/snow.

By 9AM I was frazzled and this feeling carried onto lunch.

I sat down to listen to one of my favorite worship CDs that I got for my birthday this year from my friend Jen L. I hit track 14 and suddenly the rest of the world grew dim and these words resonated deep within me,

“No guilt in life, no fear in death. This is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand.
Till He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand.”

Suddenly, my crappy morning didn’t matter. This song served as a reminder that God is in control and that no matter what I face in life that I’ll always be within the arms of my savior and nothing or no one can take that from me.

Just thought I’d take a few minutes out of my lunch to share this with you.


Jeni Was a Friend of Mine


Let me tell you about my recent break up with Jeni.

It was Monday night and I found myself standing in the rain with my friend Jamie. We had just risked our lives to run across a road in downtown Dublin to see a passing cyclist that Jamie swore was our friend Roy. Well, it wasn’t Roy so instead we had this awkward exchange of hellos and he went along his way.

We walked up to the corner and there before us was Jeni’s Ice Cream.

Jeni’s, a local ice cream shop, is by far one of my favorite place to go for Ice Cream. I’ve had every single flavor she offers, subscribe to her mailing list, follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and can describe to you just about anything on the menu. Prior to all these life changes I started making in 2014 – I was either in the store or buying the pints at the grocery store on a weekly basis. Many of said pints did not last but a day or two. We won’t talk about how many bad days I had and I let Jeni comfort me. I’d say, Jeni and I were pretty close.

I blinked and found myself walking into Jeni’s without even thinking. What about the Paleo diet? What about everything I had worked for? What was this going to do to my weigh in tomorrow? Instead of running and denying myself – I gave in. I had two small scoops in a bowl. Goat Cheese with Cherries and Yazoo Sue with Rosemary Bar Nuts. I savored each bite of that ice cream.

As I left – I was actually proud. I managed to go into Jeni’s without ordering a triple in a waffle cone or eating a pint. I walked in, had a reasonable amount, left and now I’m not craving it anymore. This is a post to just say – it’s ok to fall off the wagon from time to time. You just have to get back up and make sure one bad move doesn’t spiral into you completely falling off the wagon never to be seen again.

I can’t say that I’ll never see Jeni again but I know I won’t be seeing her for quite some time. So for now when you talk to me about her you’re just going to hear me talk about how Jeni, was a friend of mine.

(The song has NOTHING to do with ice cream and all to do with the title being the inspiration for the post. Well, that and the fact I like The Killers.)

The Pile


The PileI’d say I developed my love of shopping from my mom. I have vivid memories as a child being pushed around in a cart at the Westerville, OH Kmart and my mom rushing across the store to check out the blue light special of the moment. Oh and the countless hours we spent in line at the Layaway counter (I liked this part the least). We spent a lot of time at Kmart come to think of it. I also remember my reward for putting up with my mom’s blue light special obsession was a frozen coke Icee from the concession stand (way before Kmart had Little Caesars or anything of the like).

Long gone are the days of blue light specials but the bargain hunter is pretty strong in me. I frequent outlet malls, clearance racks and am the king of coupons. This has resulted in my adult life with me having a ton of clothes. If I find a deal and it’s in the budget, I buy it. I’d say for a guy – I’m probably above the norm when it comes to clothing. I currently occupy a walk-in-closet and a full six drawer dresser from Ikea.

One of my biggest issues, like a typical guy, I don’t like trying on clothes. So the deal hunter and “hates-trying-on-clothes” are two traits that don’t end up working well together when you don’t wear “normal sizes”. This resulted in a lot of clothes that I wore once when I had a minute where I was down 10 pounds and some – never at all because when I went to go wear them they didn’t fit.

So as I condense and compact to move to my new place I decided to go through my clothes and start putting things in a pile that didn’t fit (aka were too small for me). It started with a few pieces and then it grew… and grew… and grew… Next thing you know, I have a pile of clothes that almost reaches my waist. Sad to say that more than 10 items still have their tags on them . (Ha, actually if you look closely at the picture you can see one of the said tags hanging there).

As I placed the last item on a pile I felt it was a tad depressing thinking about how much money I had effectively “wasted” on these clothes. Then I quickly reminded myself that this is just one more thing to motivate me and effectively will give me a whole new wardrobe that I’ve already paid for and obviously like!

Random, I know, but just was something I wanted to post for reference for myself.

Wish me luck! It’s officially moving week for me!

– JM

Week 1!


January 9 - 242.1

Thursday marked one week from the day that I decided to make all these crazy changes in my life. So I was a bit apprehensive as I stepped on the scale this Thursday morning. Now, I’ve been getting weighed in every day to make sure I was heading in the right direction but something inside of me was just worried that somehow I would shoot up on this day and my hard work and dedication would be in vain.

I was relived when I saw the numbers staring back at me – 242.2. I was down 4.5 pounds from the week prior.

I know that 4.5 pounds is a little drop in the huge bucket that is my weight loss but it’s a start. It’s proving that this three days of running and me eating Paleo is doing something positive in my life.

This week ahead is a bit more challenging because I’m packing up my life and moving across town. I’ve planned to cook a week’s worth of food on Sunday so I can pack the kitchen and use disposable items for the rest of the week so the moving weekend will go smoothly.

My couch to 5k series is going well – Week 2, Day 2 is tomorrow and I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. The intervals are super challenging but I push forward. I don’t want to let anyone down! As additional motivation I registered for three races! ACK!

March 9th: 5k Shamrock Run in Ann Arbor, MI with some of my friends
March 22nd: Scioto Miles Series by Fleet Feet 5k
April 6th: Scioto Miles Series by Feet Feet 10k (yeah – I’m crazy)

There is no turning back now! I’m sure before I know it March will be here but thankfully right now it seems so far away.

Thanks again for all the support everyone – I really appreciate it!


The Long Road Ahead


So it’s January 5th – I’ve made it through day 4 of my get fit changes! I took a quick trip to Chicago (I was there for less than 24 hours) and managed to keep everything fairly paleo-esque. Today I did splurge and take myself to Scrambler Marie’s (one of my all time favorite breakfast places) but I kept it all Paleo!

This afternoon I sat down and did something I haven’t done in ages – I made a menu for the week. I learned that last week I was not going to be able to eat grilled chicken and veggies for two meals a day, every day. If I was going to do this – I needed to get creative. So where else would I turn but Pinterest.

I used it as inspiration to build a menu that will put some variety in my diet all while staying Paleo (and fairly strict Paleo at that). I then decided to fight the crowds at the store who think the weather is going to keep them trapped in their homes for weeks and purchased all the items to make my menu a reality this week!

It was costly but many items will be used for multiple meals so in the long run – it shouldn’t be this bad every time.

I also fit in a trip to the gym today to complete Couch to 5k – Week 1 – Day 2. Yes, I know I’m behind since Day 1 was last Thursday but with my quick overnight trip to Chicago on Friday/Saturday there just wasn’t time. I noticed today when running that I was recovering faster and was able to do the “run” sections of the program at 5.0MPH and 6.0MPH and consistently walk at 3.0MPH. Progress over the first session.

Depending on how bad the weather is tomorrow will determine if I make it to the gym since I don’t live near it (yet). I for sure will be there on Tuesday to complete Week 1 – Day 3 of C25k. I’ll be adding in weights later this week on my “off” days from running.

Sometimes it is daunting when I look at how far I have to go but I remind myself that I’m just getting started. I just remind myself of my cycling training that I started three years ago – I didn’t start Day 1 riding 180 Miles in two days. It took four months of continuous dedication and riding to achieve that goal. This is going to be no different.

I wanted to say a big thank you to all of my readers, Facebook friends and Twitter followers. The outpouring of support has been phenomenal and very motivational to keep going! All the support makes the changes just a bit easier to make.

This week I’ll be sharing some of my meals and the recipes in case you’d like to try out some of my “primal living”.

Are you also working on some fitness goals and using online tools? Add me!


Thanks again!

and so it begins


New Years Eve I decided to do something that later, I would realize, would finally give me the wake up call I needed to get my health in check. I went to go get a BodPod assessment.

Not familiar with BodPod? (I’m going to assume by the questions on Facebook/Twitter that most are not). It’s a device that you strip down to your skivvies, put on a sexy shower cap and then sit in this egg shaped device while it painlessly measures your body composition (lean mass vs body fat).

So, I went up to Baseline Fitness in Worthington who was recommended to me by one of my Twitter followers (Thanks @MissyFitGleason) and had this procedure done.

Now, my scale at home uses impedance to measure body fat percentage and has frequently told me I was between 30%-33%. I’ve also heard this can be inaccurate so I wanted to verify the numbers using the BodPod.

To be perfectly honest being over 30% body fat is bad. One would think that would be enough to get you to wake up and start making some changes.

So back to New Years Eve. I go through the whole procedure in just minutes and then was told that we’d go over my results once I got dressed.

As I got dressed I figured they’d confirm what my FitBit scale had told me and I’d be on my way. Instead, what I found was 44% body fat. Yes, that’s right folks – I’m carrying 108.2 lbs of fat around (total I’m 245.86). To be perfectly honest – I wanted to cry right there in front of God and everyone as  this personal trainer is explaining to me the health risks of being that far above 30%. I had reached a whole new level of embarrassment when the chart he shows me doesn’t even register 40% and here I’m 44%.

I will admit though – Chris at Baseline Fitness was very nice about the whole thing and didn’t try and push me into any program or to even join their facility. He set some great goals for me and encouraged me to focus on increasing my lean mass while decreasing my body fat and to come back and get tested because the scale is only a part of the story and to not get hung up on my weight number as a whole. I really appreciated how the interaction went down and will definitely continue to refer people there as well and return to get subsequent BodPod measurements.

Talk about rocking your world – I couldn’t shake this feeling of shame and the horror that you’ve let yourself get *that* unhealthy. I was ashamed – it’s why I’m posting this today and not yesterday, I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. I’m moving across town later this month so I drove to a Planet Fitness in Dublin, OH that I’ve been shopping online to check out the gym. I have several family members and friends that belong to various Planet Fitness locations and love them. After seeing the gym in person and the recommendations of my family and friends – I walked out a member.

I’m sharing this with the world because I need accountability. I need people in my life who will support me. I’m just like anyone else who’s starting on this journey of becoming healthy and I want to share my experiences that maybe I can help encourage someone else to take control of their health and make positive changes in an effort to change their life. I also hope that by posting this publicly that the fact that anyone can read this will be its own form of accountability.

2014 – I’m ready for you. I’ve decided to turn the page and start a new chapter in my life.

Happy New Year!