Friday, January 28, 2011

Vegas, baby!! (plus a BIG birthday & a light-up pig and ducks)

So this week I finally got word that a research paper that I wrote a while ago got accepted to the BEA (Broadcast Education Association) convention in Las Vegas in April!! I am SO excited!! I know what you're thinking: "Didn't he go to this last year? What's the big deal?" Well, the big deal (to me at least) is that last year the paper I helped present was one that I was the 3rd author on. This year's paper is one that I researched and wrote all by myself!!! It's about the Showtime series Dexter. I'm nervous about it because I'll be presenting by myself, but I now that it will be a good experience for me. So far, everyone that's either read the paper or seen my presentation has been very positive and receptive (and probably too kind).
The title slide of my PowerPoint presentation

Me in Vegas last April!
Me with the one of the Blue Man Group...well, a statue.

This is where I will earn some big bucks! LOL
Last year when I went, it was by myself. Jackie is planning on coming with me this year! I'm so excited! Vegas is one of the few places in the US that she hasn't been to, and I'm excited about sharing this trip with her! Now I'm just waiting to see how much money UA will give me to help pay my way.

In other news, Jackie and I are also planning our trip to Louisiana to celebrate Mardi Gras with her family down there. We are so excited! We had a blast last year, and we know that this year will be even better!

I love getting to travel, so this week has been very exciting for me!

In other news this week, we celebrated Dad's 60th Birthday this week! We went out to lunch and had a party for him at church. We really had a great time, and Dad really seemed to enjoyed all the festivities. (He also got an iPhone, so that really made him happy. My awesome wife Jackie bought me a new iPhone 4.)

Dad on the b'day saddle at Texas Roadhouse

The Old Man's cake

Notice Zach in the background doing the "cheerleader" pose

 Jackie was also in Texas this week for work. She brought home some funny souvenirs home.

Well, that's about it for this update. I will admit that I haven't been working out like I should have, but I have been eating better. I do plan on having a date with the treadmill tomorrow after watching the latest episode of "I Used to be Fat" on MTV. The guy started out weighing what I did, and he got down to 205, which is about where I want to be. It really inspired me because not only was he the same size as me, but he also ended up buzzing his hair and growing a beard like me during his weight loss transformation. It was almost like watching myself. Now I really want to get this weight off!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My "Lobster"

Taken the other night before we went out to dinner.
Today on my way home from Tuscaloosa, I was listening to the Dr. Laura Berman show on XM radio. I began listening to Dr. Berman last semester. I enjoy her insights on raising children and on having healthy relationships. Often times, the show topics are about relationships. Today's wasn't, but she start talking about giving 100% in 2011. The challenge she and her producers are undertaking is exercising 6 days a week. She also talked about giving 100% in your relationships...and that got me thinking.

I started thinking about the whirlwind love story I've had over the past year and a half. It was unforeseen, unplanned for, and entirely wonderful. I couldn't imagine my life without Jackie. She's my best friend, my soul mate, my "lobster" (as Pheobe on Friends would say). I can't believe that I married such an amazing woman. God certainly knew what He was doing when He put us together. I look forward to the life we will build together. I know it won't always be easy, but it will always be worth it.
A little something I wrote on our honeymoon.

As I was thinking in the car, I looked down and realized I was wearing the t-shirt I bought on our honeymoon. I smiled. I thought about the fun we had on that week together at the beach. It was our first grand adventure together...our first of many.

On Seagrove Beach

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"A couple, 2, 3's colder than a midget in a 'fridgerator."

I hope y'all enjoy this. It is hilarious!!!

Getting back on the wagon...again

Well, after a week of working out like there's no tomorrow, we promptly fell off the wagon. (Thus, the lack of blogging lately. I didn't really want to get on here and admit to doing...well...nothing.) Tonight, Jackie and I got back on. It was like starting over again...again.

Tonight when we got to the gym, there was a guy on one of the treadmills. (Oh, by the way, they got the broken one, that I wrote about before, working again!!) So while Jackie got on the torture machine treadmill, I did a circuit workout. It felt really good to feel my muscles working and pushing and pulling and not giving out completely on me. I got on the bike (still stuck on manual and level 6, just in case you were wondering) and started watching Wolverine on my iPhone. While I know that I'll never have a body like Hugh Jackman's, he motivated me to push on with the evil bike. Luckily after a couple of minutes, the guy on the treadmill finished, and so I began my prison sentence time on the treadmill. After I was done, we were so glad that we'd dragged ourselves back to the gym.

On the way back home, Jackie and I talked about trying to create a better workout schedule. So hopefully, we won't fall of the wagon again and again.

(And if in the near future if you notice that that I haven't blogged about working out, start hounding me about it! Keep me accountable!!)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Anything you can do I can do better..."

Tonight's adventure to the gym started on a sour note. As I've mentioned previously, the gym here at the apartment complex leaves much to be desired...and now we are adding a treadmill to that list of desire. It looks like someone stepped on the power cord on one of the treadmills, ripping it out of the machine. Because tonight was a cardio night for us, I told Jackie that she could have the treadmill and that I would hop on the bike.

When I got on the bike, I discovered that it, too, is broken. Well, "broken" isn't truly accurate. The bike is stuck in manual mode on level six. You can't change the program or intensity, and you can't enter a time. It will only let you pedal. And just for the record, level six is pretty tough. Luckily, I was so pissed that the other treadmill was broken I used that as motivation to push on. So that's what I did until Jackie finished the weight loss routine on the treadmill; then we swapped out. At this point I was already drenched in sweat and my legs were on fire. Jackie suggested that I try the weight loss routine. So, not wanting to be shown up by a girl, that's exactly what I did.

I was good to go for about the first 20 minutes, but I hit a wall with about 10 minutes to go. It was at this point that I kept telling myself that I wouldn't let Jackie beat me at this. My pride and ego provided enough fuel to finally finish. My calves felt like they were going to burst and my butt was sore.

So overall being pissed and prideful got me through my hour of cardio. Jackie not only is a great accountability partner, she is pretty good motivation!

(And no, I don't really think I did better than she did, as the title of this entry would imply. I just started thinking of that old song when I started writing this.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Near-Death Experience with Zumba

Let me begin by saying that I have never wanted to quit a workout like I wanted to quit doing Zumba. I thought I was going to die. Ok, maybe I didn't think I was really going to die, but I was afraid of passing out.

The Zumba instructors (aka hoochies)
Jackie borrowed some Zumba DVDs from a coworker, and tonight we finally popped it in the Blu-Ray player. We slid the coffee table out of the way and pressed play. Since we were both Zumba virgins, we began with the basic tutorial of all the Zumba moves. It starts with three strippers instructors thrusting and gyrating around on the stage. They showed us each of their dance moves one at a time. We learned the booty circle, crotch thrust, hoochie hips, booby shake, and a bunch of other moves. (Disclaimer: "booty circle" is the only real name of a move we learned. I made up the other names because I can't remember their real names, but they are anatomically descriptive to what we were actually doing.)

This tutorial kept going and going and going. I was beginning to think that it would never end, but we kept stomping, jiggling, and thrusting our way around the living room. We busted out laughing with every new move. The instructors kept saying, "Now add some flavor!!" as they would gyrate and wiggle. I kept exclaiming, "I don't have enough flavor or rhythm! I'm too white for this!" By the time the hour-long tutorial was over, I was huffing and puffing and sweating like it was going out of style. Then the actual workout began. This is when I really wanted to quit, but Jackie wasn't giving up, so I pressed on. Fortunately this 20 minute flew by and actually seemed easier than the tutorial. I've never been so glad to be done with a workout. In the end, we both agreed that Zumba kicked our butts and was a good workout. My abs, butt, and calves were burning!

So I guess we're going to stick with it. Hopefully, not only will it make us skinny, but we'll learn some sexy dance moves, too!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Philosopher LL Cool J once said...

The other day Jackie suggested that we raid our magazine basket and cut out any sayings or pictures that would inspire us to get healthy. Then we had some arts and crafts time and glued everything to a piece of poster board. So here's a picture of my motivation poster:

One of my favorite quotes that I found was from the philosopher LL Cool J. He said, "You cannot be strong in body without being strong in mind and spirit." Something in that quote really stuck out to me. I know that many of my issues with food and weight are in my mind. Mind over matter!! And I know that the spirit to change is there. It has burned bright within me once before when I lost the weight before. Now it's burning bright again, and I'm so thankful for that.

Tonight, Jackie and I both went to the small gym at our apartment complex. It's not much, and a lot of the equipment is busted up. But we found a way to work out with what we had. It wasn't easy for either of us, and I was definitely huffing and puffing when I got finished on the treadmill. (I would much rather use an elliptical machine, but both of the ones in our gym are in really bad shape and in need of some serious repair.) When we got back to the apartment, I told Jackie that I had fun. She looked at me like I'd sprouted a third arm. But I had meant it; it was fun for me.

We've also been debating about joining a gym because the apartment's gym is so small and doesn't have the equipment that we really want. We've talked about the Snap Fitness that just opened in Columbiana, but we want to stick with working out on our own for a couple of weeks to prove our commitment to working out before we commit to a gym membership. So for now, we're going to stick with what we've got. Tomorrow is another day, and I'll be back at it again.

A Blast from the Past

Here are just a few of the pictures that I'm using for motivation for my weight loss journey. It's so hard to believe that I was ever this skinny!

Clearwater, FL in the summer of 2004 with Tray, Tommy, Ryan, and JP

Me and Tommy in Clearwater. He helped me learn how to work out and get in shape.

Me and Ryan at Clearwater. He is the most ridiculously fit person I know. He makes me sick. ;)

Super skinny at Christmas 2004
 Jackie and I have also created "Motivation Posters" to help inspire us. I'll post a picture of mine soon.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Let's begin at the beginning...

I never really thought about starting a blog until my wife said that she wanted to blog about our weight loss. Then she said that we should each have our own blogs about it. So... here we are.

We're just a few days into 2011, and both Jackie and I have decided that this year we will get healthy. We are both overweight. Right now I weigh more than I ever have in my life. I haven't always been this big. The summer after I graduated from high school in 2003, I began working out and eating better. Within a few months, I had lost 55 pounds and was in the best shape of my life. With the support of great friends and my family, I kept the weight off for several years. However, slowly the weight began to creep back. A pound here...two pounds there...another pound or two. It was always just a few pounds, and I always thought that I'd lose them again.

But I didn't lose them. And now I am a prisoner in my own body. Before when I was heavy, I never knew how miserable I was. It wasn't until I lost the weight that I realized how it literally and figuratively was weighing me down. And now I am miserable again. Going back through old pictures has really made me want to lose the weight again. I saw how good I looked then, and when I look in the mirror now, the person staring back at me isn't who I want to see.

So 2011 will be a year of transformation...well re-transformation. Today I literally took the first steps on that journey. I went for my first jog of the year. It was not pretty. I jogged in the subdivision behind our apartment complex. It was cold, and my body was screaming at me to to stop. It has been a long time since I tried to jog outside. Before when I lost weight, I did it with an elliptical machine; however, the two in the gym at our apartment complex are busted. So I jogged as much as a could, but ended up walking for a good bit of it. I'll try it again tomorrow, and hopefully I'll make it a little further.

I hope that this blog will help me be accountable. And it's not only going to be about weight loss. I hope to post some fun stuff on here, too. So here's to beginning of the end of the old Bruce!!