Weight Loss

For the entirety of 2013 I have weighed in comfortably below 200 lbs (as low as 189).  I’ve been running (maybe more like leisurely paced jogging, but still) since sometime last summer, when I realized I could make the entire 2+ mile trip to my parents without stopping.  I eat… well, not healthily.  Healthy food is often not cheap, and the lack of space for preparation and my tolerance for the tedious work involved make it difficult even for relatively simple salads.  However, I usually eat the usually-not-as-healthy-as-I’d-like food in an relatively controlled way.  My body tends to back up on me and my stomach turns into an atomic fireball of horrible pain until sufficiently unloaded if I gorge too much.  Even aside from that though, I learned that I don’t particularly enjoy eating anyway.  I despise the feeling of not being able to control myself when I eat.  Something to do with all that time on the bad med combo that made me constantly, desperately hungry and ballooned me up to around 300 lbs made, I’d imagine.

As for the physical improvements elevating my activity level and not pigging out that often have caused, well, my posture seems to have noticeably improved.  I feel taller in certain situations anyway.  My thighs are still rather spindly, but they are noticeably more solid and less flabby.  My bootay is a little smaller and less gelatinous too (my apologies for that mental image).  I can pretty comfortably fit into all my 38″ waist shorts & pants, and my 42s are almost too big to wear anymore at all, even with belts.  My calves, which have always been the only part of my body with any noticeable muscle, thanks to being relatively active in my youth I guess, almost seem a little smaller, but they are unquestionably sturdier & stronger as well.  Last, but certainly not least, it seems the more I run, the less my ever creaky (due to being naturally misaligned) knees seem to bother me.  This is undoubtedly due to less weight being put on them, and perhaps also the overall increase in the strength of the rest of my legs.

193 lbs..

Me at approximately 193 lbs.  Unfortunately I have no real “before” pics to show the difference, but you wouldn’t have needed to see me shirtless to know how far I’ve come along anyway..

As you can see, my upper half is still very much on doughy side, but despite not doing a much work on my upper body, there’s an awful lot less dough behind that gut than there used to be.  I had started working my upper body a bit by dancing/flailing around with light, 5 lbs weights for 20-30 minutes at a time recently, but that got derailed for awhile after I tripped while running and landed awkwardly on my wrist & elbow.  My wrist & forearm are feeling about right again though, so immediately after I post this, I’m going to start back up with it, though I’ll probably need to ease myself back into the flow of things.

Make no mistake, I am not strong yet, and I am not slim yet.  But, for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m finally on my way.  To know I’m making noticeable strides… That is a pretty damn cool feeling.

So take heart if you yourself are struggling to get in better shape.  It has literally taken me years of little tweaks just to get to this level of small personal victory, and I think that is the probably best way to go for most people.  I think sometimes it’s just best to forget the specific regimen/goals, and just try to change one little thing for the better here & there, where and when you can.  It’s also much easier to bounce back from setbacks, and there will be setbacks, when you aren’t putting a huge amount of pressure on yourself as well.  I guess what I’m saying is, that idea of just trying to be a little better every day… I think there might be something to it. 😉

So I guess that’s all for this one, folks.  We’ll probably get back to cards, or at least art, in the coming days.  Thanks for dropping by!


I haven’t peaked yet, not even close.  I have barely even started climbing the mountain…

Why We Do

So I happened across The Real DFG‘s blog earlier tonight.  It’s a nice blog, I hope to trade with him sometime.  My cards of Pittsburgh teams need a good home.  Anyway, he happened across a random card-related blog post far beyond the reaches of our known card blogging universe.  It read pretty negative and bitter, regardless of the intended tone.  It bothered me, so I signed up there just to leave a comment.  It turned out to be pretty long, long enough to be it’s own blog post.  So here is my response, in it’s entirety.  What do you think?  Am I on point or no?:

Wow, way to miss the point there, dude.  However one collects, it’s supposed to be about HAVING FUN.  Period.  You sound bitter over sinking so much money into this HOBBY and not getting a return on it.  That’s fine and I won’t begrudge you for being upset with that mindset, but there’s no reason to crap all over us that do enjoy collecting cards, and it still remains a respectable number.  There are many active forums and hundreds of blogs dedicated to collecting, so calling what we do “dead” is woefully inaccurate.  It may not be what it once was, but I’d argue the boom is the anomaly, and where we’re at now is pretty similar to where we were before things blew up, just with adults making up a considerably larger percentage of the market.

The thing is, most of us aren’t deluded enough to think we will actually make any money on it at this point, and when we can make a bit of cash back on a big pull, it’s just a little bonus.  We collect what we collect because, first and foremost, WE ENJOY IT.  And those that are in it for the money have to be hella dedicated and lucky to actually be profitable, so I imagine they must derive some degree of enjoyment from it as well.  After all, there are much easier ways to squeak by than buying and selling baseball cards, even (or perhaps especially) in this crap economy.

So things don’t look good at all compared to where they were at it’s peak, but duh, things never look good compared to the absolute highest of highs.  So don’t look down on us, don’t mock us or pity us.  We don’t care that business isn’t booming right now, mocking is just rude in any situation, and we don’t need pitied for our choice of hobby.  We know who we are, we know what we have gotten into, we understand it and we are fine with it.  We collect because we enjoy it.  You don’t seem to understand that the only destination, whether it’s collecting cards or any other hobby, is the amount of enjoyment you get out of it.  That is the entire point of a hobby.  However you go about it, it’s supposed to be about doing something you enjoy.  And if you can’t find the fun in it, then maybe it’s not the right hobby for you.

It’s a shame you weren’t able to enjoy this hobby, that somehow it rolled you bad enough to feel this bitter over it all these years later.  Like virtually everything in life, it can be a frustrating hobby at times, no collector would deny that.  But there is enough good in it for us to keep at it, and as long as that is the case, who are you or anyone else to judge?

Until our next…


I am pretty open about my problems online.  It makes me have a hard time… respecting people who don’t.  Well no, not really.  I respect people’s privacy.  I have no problem talking about my problems, but I don’t give out any personally information.  Nobody I converse with on the web has more than a general idea of my whereabouts and only the my closest of close net friends know my real name.  The problem is people being vague about their issues.

It’s not when someone isn’t open about something that seems trivial (to me at least) that bothers me.  It’s this: If you hold back your reasoning for something when you are trying to prove a point, it’s pretty dang annoying.  This is somehow made worse on what are ultimately pointless subjects.  This kills a person’s cred with me when they spout their opinions on other, more significant things.  If you can’t, or won’t explain, but say you do have a really good reason for why you feel like you do about something, you are asking a helluva lot of my faith to believe what your saying.  And most of the time saying that makes you come off as a douchebag in my eyes, because there are very few people I can stretch for like that, and odds are you are not one of those people.

Granted, I am probably more open-minded than the average bear, so I’m less likely to be bothered by your issues if you talk about it.  But to me, if you won’t go there, you’re better off not even mentioning you have a reason at all.  You’re not asking me to trust you or your judgment that your hidden reason really is a good one, and it doesn’t doesn’t make me wonder just what your deal is.  Just say why and let me gauge for myself, or don’t and prevent unnecessary complication and, in the case of this post’s origins, drama.

Like it or not, the effects go beyond the statement itself.  Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with most of what you have to say, how can I even quantify your other opinions?  If you are a blogger with a lot of opinions on things a large number of people to care about to at least some degree, people have to stop and think about the validity of the PERSON making the opinion, not just of the opinion itself.  If the blog isn’t that personal, and those opinions on things people care about are a significant part of the blog, that’s not good business.  A specialized blog that gets approximately a good number of hits is gonna have an affect on the more casual or less experienced people that read it, and if they wonder WTF like me, well… WTF yo?

Maybe it’s just me that feels this way.  It may even be for the best, to force me to question what’s what.  I dunno, but this is how I feel.  Apologies if coherence is lacking.  My attention is obviously divided with the game on.  What do you think?  Am I way out of line in my thinking?  Does anything like this ever bother or put you off?  Discuss.

6-0 Dodgers with two outs in the bottom of the 5th.