2012 Year in Review

I’m publishing my Year in Review a couple days early this year since I’m going to be busy this weekend through New Years and may not get a chance to publish before then.  2012 was an amazing year as I grabbed the bull by the horns with both my running and my weight loss and made some dramatic changes in my life.  It will be a year I won’t soon forget.


2012 was certainly the year of the race.  This year I completed 15 races including 6 5Ks (3.1 miles), 1 trail 5K, 2 8Ks (5 miles), 3 10Ks (6.2 miles) and my first 3 half marathons (13.1 miles).  If you want to check out the recaps of these races with pictures you can click the Races tab at the top of the page which will take you to the race recap page.  Here’s the list in Chronological order of what I accomplished this year on the race circuit.

Jan 1 (Midnight) – Running the Lights 5K -Clemmons, NC
Feb 4 – Winter Flight 8K – Salisbury, NC (First race longer than 5K)
Feb 18 – Fitness, Friendship and Fun 5K – Kannapolis, NC
March 4 – Rock and Roll New Orleans Half Marathon – NO, LA (First Half Marathon)
March 17 – St. Leo’s 10K – Winston Salem, NC
April 28 – Law Enforcement Memorial 5K – Winston Salem, NC
May 12 – Shelton Vineyards Running the Vines 10K – Dobson, NC
May 26 – Spring Folly 5K – Kernersville, NC
June 16 – Rhythm and Run 5K – Kannapolis, NC
July 21 – Beat the Heat 5K – Winston Salem, NC
Aug 4 – Vineyard Stomp Trail 5K – Stoney Knoll Vineyards – Dobson, NC
Sept 15 – Run 4 the Greenway 8K – Greensboro, NC
Oct 20 – RHABA Fast and Flat 10K – Rural Hall, NC
Nov 4 – Rex Healthcare (City of Oaks) Half Marathon – Raleigh, NC
Dec 1 – Mistletoe Half Marathon – Winston Salem, NC

All this came on the heels of only running one race (a 5K) in 2011.  The race bug bit me and bit me hard.

Along with all these races was a whole lot of training mileage.  I logged about 100 miles of training for each of my three half marathons, as well as maintenance mileage to just keep me going.  Keeping a new race on the horizon, even a short one like a 5K, made sure that I could not stop what I was doing and to push me onward.  I set a goal for myself this year of 732 miles (2 miles per day X 366 days).  I’m not going to reach that, my injury riddled December knocking my mileage down to almost zero, but I’m going to get pretty damn close.  Depending on what kind of mileage I get this weekend, I should hit somewhere between 690-700 miles.  This is an astonishing increase after only logging 115 miles in 2011 (Granted, it was only from Aug-Dec).  I don’t know what my goal for 2013 will be, probably not a number/mile goal. Maybe a race goal.  3 more Half Marathons.  More than 3? We’ll have to see.

Weight Loss:

Of course the purpose of all this running was to lose weight.  Although, I got to the point where I enjoyed it and it was no longer a chore.  I also had to adjust my eating habits, which I began in the later part of 2011 when I joined MyFitnessPal in October.

On Jan 6, 2012, my first weigh-in of the new year, I weighed 282.2 pounds.  This matched the weight I had achieved before joining MFP and before gaining back 20 pounds to 302.  This, at that time, was my lowest adult weight.  I had been over 300 pounds dating all the way back to High School.

This past Sunday (Dec 23rd) I weighed in at 237.4 pounds.  That’s a loss (for the year) of 44.8 pounds.  That’s an average of 0.86 pounds a week.  This is much less than the “2 pounds a week” MFP proclaims you can lose using their calorie counting system, but it’s also nothing to sneeze at.

From my highest weight of 355 pounds in the fall/winter of 2009, I have lost a mind boggling 118 pounds. This continues to astonish me.

Fitness Endeavors:

Along with running I’ve picked up a few other fitness related items based on the availability at the YMCA of which I am a member.

I started practicing Yoga in December of last year at the insistence of several of my running friends (notably, all female) who swore by it for the stretching which is vital for preventing injuries.  I’ve now been practicing for a year, and I’ve noticed huge differences in my flexability, but Yoga has also been an amazing stress release and taught me to control my thoughts, control my breath and calm myself when things get crazy.  The deep breathing exercises (similar to the ones we used to do in marching band) has also greatly increased my lung capacity and endurance.  I barely breath heavy at all when I run anymore, much less the frantic huffing and puffing I used to do when I first started.

If Yoga exposed a weakness, so to speak, it was a lack of upper body strength.  I struggled with what are supposed to be some of the easier poses like Downward Facing Dog, and Plank.  I don’t remember exactly when I started, but I began a once a week, light weight lifting routine using the weight machines at the Y.  I’ve noticed a marked change in my arms, shoulders, neck and chest.  I’ve also noticed recently, that while it did take a while to see a result, I now can hold poses like Down Dog longer than I used to be able to, so definite progress there!

One of my friends from Yoga class nagged me for a while (in a good way) and convinced me to finally come to a spin class with her.  I had done spinning once at my old Y and absolutely hated it, and was hesitant to try it again.  I finally gave in and started it around April, after my first half marathon training was complete and I had time for some cross-training.  The spin class at my new Y is the Les Miles RPM class which uses an enthusiastic instructor and loud music to rev you up and give you a “beat” to follow.  I fell in love right away, and even though the class completely whipped me, I loved every minute of it and have continued to come back for more “punishment” weekly.


After getting over the nervousness of group exercise classes and embracing the social aspect of gym life, as well as the social aspect of fitness websites DailyMile and MyFitnessPal, I’ve been able to break out of my shell and become much more social than I’ve ever been in my life, including joining the local running club, the Twin City Track Club.  A large part of this shift is also the increased confidence in myself from losing weight and becoming more physically (and mentally) fit.

Big shout out to my old friends Tim and Amanda (who got me into running and got me on MFP), and to my new friends Jen (my first running buddy), Cathy (who dragged me from Yoga to spin), Heather (who cheered me on in New Orleans), The running family of Landis’s Kathi, Brian, Briana and Caramia (who are always open for dinner and a run anytime I’m in Kannapolis), Lisa (who shares my love of running and all things Disney) Rob, Robert, Jill, Emily, Steve, Carmen, Lesha, Hernan and everyone else in the Twin City Track Club.

And thank you to all you out there who read my blog, whether I know you or not, have met you or not, you keep me going with your encouragement!


I was hesitant to mention this on the blog, but it is relevant.  Some of you who have read my blog for a while know I was married, with several references to my wife, her family and particularly the painful death of my father-in-law that marred my 2010 year in review.  My wife and I are no longer together having separated in September of 2011 and after the required one year waiting period our divorce was finalized in November of this year.

I mention this for two reasons… the first is that her leaving me (she literally walked out, came home from work one day and she was gone, despite the fact that I knew she was leaving, it was still sudden) was the spark that started this whole snowball rolling.  I realized after years of trying to help and “fix” other people I had neglected myself to the point of serious unhealthiness.  I decided to take care of ME before I started worrying about others.  I joined MFP, took up my running again which had fallen by the wayside, and started this journey to where I am now.  I’m not ashamed to say that a little bit of “How do you like me now?” is the flame that burns for my motivation to keep going.

The second reason is that for those of you who did know I was married, or thought perhaps I still was, I didn’t want there to be any confusion or scandal when in the next couple of days I introduce you all to my new girlfriend.  She’s coming to visit me and run a race with me on New Years (same midnight race as last year) so I’m sure she will be making her blog debut shortly.

Looking Ahead:

2013 looks to get started the same was 2012 did with the midnight New Years race, so hopefully that will be a sign of good things to come as I follow on the heels of this amazing 2012.  I still have some work to do, and a little bit of weight still to lose.  I’m also going to be running my 4th Half Marathon, in Disney in January which I’m very excited.  There’s also another fairly exciting adventure in the works for 2013 but you’ll just have to stay tuned for that.

Happy New Year!

Christmas Fruit Salad

I love canned fruit cocktail, the peaches, pears, apples, grapes and cherries.  But I’m really trying to get away from canned fruits and veggies with all the added salt and/or sugar.  Plus raw fruit is different than cooked fruit.  So I made a fruit salad on Saturday to take to my sister’s house on Sunday for our family Christmas dinner.  It was the simplest thing you could imagine, hardly any work involved at all, in fact after I started it took less time then I had even anticipated.











Raw ingredients – Apples, grapes and clementines.  This is very similar to the Chick-Fil-A fruit bowl which includes these three, and strawberries, but strawberries are not in season right now.

First came the “hard part”. Peeling the clementines and separating the wedges.  Turns out this wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be since my batch of clementines turned out to be very easy to peel.











Toss the clementine wedges in a bowl, reserving a few of the wedges for a later use.

Next, rinse the grapes, pull them off the stems and toss them in the bowl.  You could cut them in half if you wanted to I suppose, but there’s really no reason too.

The last part, and this could be the “hard part” depending on how you feel about big kitchen knives is to cut up the apples into bite size cubes and add them to the bowl.  Leave the skins on, no reason to peel them, just give them a rinse in the sink and you are good to go.

Take the reserve orange slices and squeeze the juice onto the apples.  The ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the oranges will help prevent the apples from turning brown from oxidation.  If they do turn brown it’s not harmful, they aren’t “spoiled” it just doesn’t look as good.  Also, putting the lid on the container and tossing it to mix will help release some of the orange juice as well.  Refrigerate overnight or serve immediately.

















Simple, easy fruit salad, and if you happen to snack on some of the grapes and orange slices while you’re making it (guilty) no problems!

Weekly Recap 12-17-12 to 12-23-12

I wasn’t really going to do a recap this week, but then it turned out I did have a couple of things to talk about.  Another week of good intentions got shattered by long days at work and other obligations.  I had an errand to run on Tuesday night so I didn’t get my run in that day, then stayed late Thursday after a crazy day at work and didn’t even attempt to run on my tired sore legs.  Got in a short run on Friday.  Celebrated the winter solstice with a 90 minute yoga session on Saturday morning, and then my long run plans for Sunday morning were dashed by a lack of sleep the night before and sub-freezing temps that morning.  Any evening running plans were laid to bed after a delicious Christmas dinner at my sisters house.

Starting weight – 238.4
Monday – REST
Tuesday – REST/Busy
Wednesday – Spinning – 50 minutes + Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – REST/Busy/Tired
Friday – Run – 3 miles
Saturday – Yoga – 90 minutes
Sunday – REST/Christmas
Total Mileage – 3 miles
Ending Weight – 237.4

Somehow I managed to lose a pound this week, which I’m certainly not going to complain about.  My only goal from now til Disney is to try to keep it under 240.

I came home from yoga Saturday to find this in the mailbox.










My finishers medal for the Hot for the Holidays Virtual Half Marathon.  I “earned” the medal by completing the Mistletoe Half Marathon, so I was getting double points for my 13.1 that day.  Pretty exciting and a very nice medal for such a low price event (20$) and for such a great cause.  The race organizer posted on Facebook she made a $1,200 donation to the Covenant House in Florida (her goal was $600) and that any money left over after paying to ship the medals would also be donated.  I’m sure she earned her ticket to run in the Disney half as well so awesome job!

Runner Claus also brought me what I asked for which was a gift card to Fleet Feet to get a new pair of running shoes, as well as a really nice RunDisney tech shirt to wear for the race! (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season with friends and family!

Merry Christmas!

Weekly recap 12-10-12 to 12-16-12

This week was supposed to be a pretty normal week but it ended up going pretty sideways.  I had some tightness in my right quad while I was running on the treadmill on Thursday, and it didn’t seem too bad but I shortened my run down to 3 miles instead of the planned 4, stopped and stretched and tried to be gentle on it.  By Saturday morning it had flared up into some pretty severe pain.  It hurt to bend it, hurt going up and down the stairs and pretty much wiped out any plans I had for running any kind of distance this weekend.  I felt a good bit better this morning, but I didn’t want to risk it since it was still  a little tender, so more forced rest.  Planned rest day tomorrow, and then maybe can run again hopefully on Tuesday.  The good news is the pain in my right foot is now completely gone, but all I did was replace one injury with another, although thankfully both are very minor.

Starting weight – 235.4
Monday – Run – 3 miles
Tuesday – REST (Work Dinner)
Wednesday – Spinning – 50 minutes + Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 3 miles
Friday – REST (Company Christmas Party)
Saturday – Weightlifting – 30 minutes
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 6 miles
Ending Weight – 238.4 (3 pound gain)

Pretty big gain this week, but honestly I’m not surprised.  Between a work dinner and a work christmas party there was some seriously bad eating, and then losing most of my weekend workouts, as well as my normal yo-yo act of “follow a big loss with a gain”.  I’m actually not upset about the gain.  I didn’t gain back the whole six from last week (meaning that wasn’t a fluke), and I’m still under 240, so to me that’s a win, especially this time of year which is “Oh someone brought cookies… again?” time at work.

Trader Joes

We finally got a Trader Joe’s in Winston Salem.  I’ve been wanting to go there for a while after hearing great things about it, but the closest one was in Charlotte.

I’ve written on this blog before about Organic and Whole Foods and the debate about whether they are “better” or “healthier” etc, but one thing that is not debatable is they are more expensive.  Anything with Organic/Natural/etc on the label carries a heavy premium.

Trader Joe’s is a lot like Aldi’s in that a lot of their products are private label, and they only carry a limited amount of name brand stuff.   Because of that their stuff is cheaper.  Whether or not the organic is “better” I don’t mind buying it if it’s the same price or cheaper.

I was killing time before a company dinner in the same shopping center, so I didn’t have a whole lot of time, but I glanced around at a couple of things stood out to me, one was frozen organic sweet corn (frozen corn has become my veggie of choice) for 1.99 a bag.  Which is similar in price to the Lowes Food brand I’ve been buying.  Some of the produce prices looked good as well, like a 2 pound bag of apples for 2.99.  1.50$ a pound is great for apples of any description, much less organic honeycrisps. The bananas were priced individually, and I’d have to do some math to see what kind of deal 19 cents each is… but I guess if they weight about a half pound each, then 38 cents a pound is about on par with other stores.  The organic bananas were slightly higher, maybe 24 cents each, but still cheap (as bananas always are).

I ended up buying a couple things to take home.  I got a box of TJ’s brand “golden crackers” which have no artificial colors or preservatives.. and surprisingly are cheaper than Ritz.  I got a small hunk of cheese to go with those crackers, which wasn’t too bad, pretty normal cheese price, 4.49 a pound.  I also go two bottles of Charles Shaw wine, the famous “two-buck Chuck”, (which now costs 2.99, but still a steal).  I learned on the website the Trader Joe’s labeled wines (they have more than just Chuck) are wines from large scale wineries who either have extra, or a contract falls through or other things happen and they need to offload some wine (or juice) without having their name on it, so this is actually GOOD wine, but since it’s “no-name”.. it’s cheap.  It’s not just “cheap wine”.  I look forward to trying them.

Hopefully I’ll get to explore more when I go back.  I may get turned on a little bit more to this wholesome stuff if I don’t have to go bankrupt on it.

Weekly Recap 12-3-12 to 12-9-12

I purposefully took this week off from running, both to relax my legs after the hard back to back of Raleigh and then Mistletoe (since I have a longer break now until Disney) and also to rehab a nagging right foot injury that is finally starting to feel better.  I did my “non-impact” exercises, yoga and weightlifting, and one slow 4 mile run with Jen on Saturday morning that was more just an excuse to hang out with her.  We were run/walking at a 15:00 mile pace, as she’s rebuilding after her long injury forced hiatus as well.

Starting weight – 241.6
Monday – REST
Tuesday – REST
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – REST
Friday – Weightlifting – 30 minutes
Saturday – Run – 4 miles easy
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 4 miles
Ending weight – 235.4 (6.2 pounds lost)

I hate the low mileage this week is probably going to knock me off my goal of 732 miles for the year, although I should still break 700, but I obviously needed the time off.  I can’t blame this week, but rather blame April and May when my mileage dropped WAY down as the weather got hot and I had nothing to train for and I lost my motivation for a while.

WOW.. a huge weight loss on a week I did hardly any exercise.  Well they say that shaking things up and changing your routine is a good thing every now and then, and obviously it worked! I had to lower my eating calories by a lot to make up for no exercise, but I wasn’t starving myself, I was still eating 1600-1700 calories a day.  I think some of this also had to be water retention in the muscles from all those long hard pounding miles.. the inflammation finally letting go and releasing the fluid buildup probably has a lot to do with it as well.  Which probably means I should expect a small gain next week as I get back into the hard high impact exercises again, but that’s OK as long as I don’t gain back the whole 6 pounds.  A 1 pound gain would not be a bad thing.

Weekly Recap 11-26-12 to 12-2-12

Another pretty normal week leading up to my third half marathon.  Got my taper runs in and rested on the days I needed to rest.  Skipped spin on Wednesday to let my legs recover but hit everything else.

Starting weight – 240.0
Monday – REST
Tuesday – Run – 4 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 3 miles
Friday – REST
Saturday – Race – Mistletoe Run Half Marathon
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 20.1 miles
Ending Weight – 241.6 (1.6 pound gain)

Another post half marathon weight gain, but I can’t say I’m surprised.  With the huge holiday lunch at work on Thursday and then the Track Club christmas party (where I heavily rewarded myself with food and drink) I was expecting this.  It’s actually not as bad as it could have been and not as bad as the week after Raleigh where I gained over three.  But at this rate, I’m not going to lose anymore weight until after New Years.

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.