Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I want to talk for a moment on expectations. "Fairly ironic," you might say, "for someone that stopped writing in the blog two years ago." And while you might be correct if you had indeed said that, since it's my blog, I totally get to pick the topic regardless of your hypothetical snarky comment. 

Expectations can be a difficult thing to deal with. On the one hand, it means someone thinks highly enough of you to anticipate a specific result from your actions. On the other hand, there is also an added pressure on you to meet those expectations, which can cause emotional damage if we fall short. This can be even more detrimental if the failure happens when the expectation is placed on us by ourselves.

Two weeks ago, I was in a pretty severe accident. I was hit hard enough to the head that I don't actually remember anything that happened, but let me set up the situation first. My name is Brett and I've been an overweight guy all my life. It goes back as far as Grade school, where my nickname was Big G. It's just always been part of who I was. Through the years, I had become emotionally equipped to handle it, but it was always a deeply affecting subject  for me.

At the beginning of June, though, after a particularly unpleasant dating experience (it wasn't even a date, weirdly), something possessed me. I had attempted losing weight in the past (see previous entries in this very blog), but this was different. It happened at a time that I felt I had very little power over what was happening in my life and I needed to get things under control somehow. So, with my brother Blaine in full support, we started doing the Power 90 workouts (which are the precursor to P90X, the famous hardcore workout) every night. But this wasn't enough for me. I was done being overweight.  I've never really known what it was like to not be embarrassed of my body, and I was going to find out. I was, to put it dramatically, driven. So, when we decided to do this, I set my goal; an expectation. I was going to be under 300 pounds by July. 9 pounds in 4 weeks was not going to be easy, but that was my goal. To achieve this, I was not only going to work out every night with my brother, but I was also going to alternate between running and biking every morning around the lake near my house (about 4 miles around) as well as stay to a 2,200 calorie a day diet. I knew weighing my self every week was one of my weaknesses in the past (any time that I would not lose an amount equal to the effort that I put in that week, I would get really bummed out and stop working out). To compensate for this, after I weighed myself to start out (309 lbs), I put the scale in the closet and wasn't going to use it until the end of the first month.

So, away I went with three sheets to the wind, switching between running and bicycling in the mornings, doing Power 90 in the evenings, and focusing completely on weight loss. Working out twice a day was certainly rough, but it felt right. I wasn't sure if I was losing any weight, but I had a lot more energy, my pants fit a little looser, I was noticeably improving my stamina each day, and I actually started looking forward to my workouts. I had been doing this for just over two weeks and was feeling really good about where I was. So I went out the next morning for my daily bike ride with enthusiasm. I got on my bike, left my garage, and that is the last thing that I remember.

I woke up in the Emergency Room surrounded by 12 doctors, more confused that I have ever felt in my life. My head hurt, it was painful to breathe, and I couldn't form words. Over the next few hours, I'm told I came in and out of consciousnesses, but I don't remember anything. I had fractured ribs, a broken collar bone, a metric ton of stitches in my head, and road rash over a significant portion of my body. Apparently, from reading the accident report some weeks later, someone found me on the paved bike trail around the lake and called 911. No one, it seems, saw the accident happen, they just found me on the sidewalk. To this day I still have no idea what actually happened. I'm just going to assume ninjas.

As terrifying as this experience has been, I don't know if I can ever properly express how grateful I am to my family and friends during this time. I have seriously been blessed to know some of the best caliber of people on the planet. Even a simple, quick note on Facebook from someone I haven't spoken with since High School did more to lift my spirit than I can say. It was a tough time that was made easy because of amazing people.

While I was in the hospital, I had a lot of time to think. All things considered, I am incredibly grateful that it happened. Life was suddenly put into stark perspective. I was beyond lucky to even be alive. I met many incredible people that I might not have otherwise had the chance to meet and every one of them, whether they knew it or not, taught me things about myself and the amazing resilience of the human spirit. I was able to reevaluate what my goals (both in fitness and in life), had been, and what they should be. All that plus I got a sweet cane out of it.

Once I got out of the hospital, I was told it would take about 6 weeks to fully recover. Though I was recovering, I still had this end of the month weigh in over my head. A silly thought, I know, considering what had happened. But, truth be told, what I was really afraid of losing what taken me years to gain: desire. Everything that I was had been focused on a goal that now, due to circumstances beyond my control, was out of reach. It was disheartening, and my expectations for what I could accomplish fell. I did everything that was within my control over the next week to aid in the weight loss (which was limited to sticking to the diet and walking for a maximum of 10 min each day due to the injuries), but I did not expect to get anywhere near the 300 pound mark.

So, with the beginning of July here, it was with much trepidation that I stepped on the scale. My expectations  were set very low. I actually assumed that I had gained weight, due to how limited my movement had been these past few weeks. While the scale calculated my weight, I looked up at the mirror, resigned my self to my low expectations, and with a sigh, looked back down. I weighed 293 lbs.

Wait, that didn't sound right. I stepped off, reset the scale, and checked again. 293. It took a moment for this to process for me. This not only meant a 16 pound weight loss for the month, but it marked for me a much more important point. This is the first time since High School that I weighed less that 300 pounds, and I even though that was the goal all along, I wasn't really prepared for the possibility of success. As stupid as it sounds, I weighed myself twice more, just to make sure, smiling the whole time. Even through the excruciating pain (I don't know if you've ever sneezed with a broken collar bone and several cracked ribs, but I would say "pass" on that experience, if at all possible), I couldn't wipe that stupid grin off my face all day. Though in the grand scheme of things I still have a long way to go, it's the proudest I've been in a long time, made ever better because of the people I was able to share it with, both new friends and old.

So, what's the plan now? Aside from continuing to heal over the next few weeks (I'm still rather sore in place that I didn't know I had), I'm going to keep up what I can of my healthy lifestyle, transitioning back into exercising once I'm able to. If my time in the hospital taught me anything, it's that I need to be grateful for everything I have and to express that as often as I can. I also hope to, should I heal quickly, participate in my first 5k at the beginning of August (Link here, for anyone interested). Finally, I plan to, as my new friend from the hospital John taught me, smile as much as I can because hey, why not? And that, I feel, is a pretty good expectation to have.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I need to apologize. I promised, when I started this blog, that I would write at least once a week as part of being accountable for my own weight loss. As you can easily tell, I did not follow through on this. So what happened? The short answer is pretty straight forward. I stopped exercising, stopped eating properly, and stopped losing weight. In fact, I gained back much of the weight that I had lost, I'm ashamed to say.

These past few weeks, I have been working hard to get back to where I was when I left off. As of last Monday, May 24th, I’m back to 322.2. I’m going to keep my weigh in day on Monday, since I’ll be less likely to mess up over the weekend. So, tomorrow, we'll see just how "back into the swing" of things I really am. I aiming for 1-2 lbs per week. Any more than that is pretty unrealistic, in my opinion. Yeah, I've had weeks in the past that I lost much more than that, but I never expected to lose that much. If I can lose 1.5 lbs per week, then by this time next year, I'll be down to 244. And I'm more than OK with that.

Three sheets to the wind, right?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday, Rainy Monday

It took me longer than I thought it would to get back to this, and while my "Apology for not writing in so long/What I've been up to" post is still coming, I wanted to write a quick note about what a great day I had today.

A little background. I've been running (well, walking/jogging, if we're all being honest) at least 5 times a week around a lake nearby my house for the past few weeks. I figured that from my front door, around the lake, and back to my front door was about 4 miles. When I first started, it took 1 hour and 25 minutes. Slow, I know, but if I was fit, I wouldn't be writing a blog about losing weight, would I? Over the past two weeks, I had gotten it down to 1 hour and 2 minutes, with my next goal to get it under one hour.

Today, like most Mondays, was a rough day at work and by the time I got home, it was really gray and slightly drizzling. I had no desire to go running at all, ready to just sit down and watch something that required zero brain power. After some internal debate, I decided that I needed to go. If I said no today, I would have an excuse next time to not exercise. And excuses was one of the reasons I am already the size that I am. So, I changed into my shorts and a hoodie (it was still drizzling a bit) and put on my running shoes. Fully planning on it being miserable, I decided that I was just going to walk the route today.

Stepping out into the dusk, my mood switched almost instantly. I immediately felt good. The air was crisp and the misting rain beaded on my face. Feeling a slight boost in energy, I decided to put in a little effort as I started the 4 mile trek. As I went on, I felt better and better, pushing just a little more every few minutes. Then, about a third of the way around the lake, it started to rain like the dickens. Out of nowhere, it was suddenly as close to a downpour as you could get without actually calling it a downpour. The few brave souls that were also out at the lake scattered like rabbits. I was about to turn around myself when I remembered the reason I came out. If I stopped then, I would have an excuse to stop next time. So I kept going through the pouring rain.

There I was. The lone soldier. My hoodie weighed about 30 lbs more due to soaking in the water. AC/DC blasting through my iPod. Muscles rippling in the cold wind. Focus beyond what mortal men are capable of. One Man. One Desire. Coming this summer from Paramount Pictures.

I'm done.

Anyway, everything about the situation said that I should be miserable, but as weird as this sounds, I realized that I was not just enjoying it, but that I was having the time of my life. I just felt GOOD to be out there, soaked through all my clothing, and running my tired, out of shape heart out. I stopped to enjoy the scene, rain falling on the lake with Flogging Molly playing quite loudly in my earphones (Within a Mile of Home - Currently the most played song on my iPod). I felt better than I had in a long time. I pushed hard the rest of the way home, loving every step. By the time I got back to my house, the rain had pulled back into a drizzle.

End of the day, it's amazing how a quick exercise can change your mood. I ending up finishing at 55:34, completing my goal under the hour mark as well as beating my previous record by 7 minutes. But the best part about this whole thing is that next time, I won't have an excuse to not go exercise.

Monday, April 12, 2010


What's that, you say? This blog is starting up again? Even I don't believe it. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Alright, so it's no secret that I've been somewhat...stagnant in my weight loss recently. No one is more aware of this than I am, so this past week I really put in a solid effort. I had a small goal to try to hit 321 this week, losing three pounds and getting back to keeping that shiny graph to the right moving south. So, feeling pretty optimistic that I just might hit that loss of three pounds, imagine my shock when I step up and see this:



Wait, what? I stepped back on the scale, thinking that can't be right. 316.6. Seriously?! 7.4 pounds lost last week?! That's more than a pound a day! Woohoo! Gotta admit, it's bee a while since I've felt this good. As a matter of fact, I think I'm feeling good enough to take on one of my goals. No, not the ricecake. Stop kidding yourself. I'm going to go hike to the top of Timpanogos Mountain either this week or next (probably next since this week in nuts at work. 60 hour work weeks are fun.) Let's keep this rolling stone moving, so that it can get the early worm! Or wait, that's not it. Umm..Two in the bird is worth ...uhh...three in the...umm... You know what? I think I'll just try and stay away from the motivation catchphrases. There's a reason why I don't work for Hallmark.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Car Shopping = The Devil

I finally, FINALLY found my car and bought it! Words cannot begin to express how happy I am. And not because I love my new car (which I do), but because I don't have to keep shopping for cars. That right there is worth the price of admission. Life...is good.

So, immediately after I purchased my car, we (Me, my brother Blaine, and my two cousins, Tyler and Jordan) took it for a quick test drive down to San Diego (we all live in the Salt Lake City, Utah area). Though it was an incredibly fun weekend (I got far too much sun, which is fine if you like your Brett extra crispy), I unsurprisingly ate nothing but foods that are normally associated with road trips: Fast food, sodas, burgers, all sorts of sugary junk food that comes in a pouch, ect. I had a perfect opportunity to show that you can even eat healthy on a road trip, but I blew it, and paid for it. Stepping onto the scale this morning I got another ugly number:


Ugh. This car shopping thing (and subsequent vacation) really messed up my momentum. Alright, no more excuses. Time to refocus my attention and get back to work.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Wow. I can't believe how long it's been since I posted. One of my goals when starting this blog was to write at least once a week, and there has been some serious failure on that front. Can I change the past? Not without a flux capacitor, and since I can't seem to find one on sale anywhere (they're fairly expensive), it seems that all I can do is offer an apology. I'm sorry and I will do my best to make sure that there are no further weeks without an update.

As to my weigh ins and what I have been up to, they correlate quite a bit. Let me show you:

6/22/09: 321.0

6/29/09: 323.0

7/6/09: 322.4

Not pretty, I know. Not to use this as an excuse (I've been making excuses about my weight for some time now), but these past few weeks have been an incredible stress roller coaster, one in which you get nauseous on the first turn and throw up, but the ride operator thinks it's funny to keep sending you though over and over again without giving you the chance to get off. Kind of. You see, I've been shopping for a new car. This sounds like a good idea initially. When you first decide to go car shopping, you will think to yourself, "Hey Self! This is going to be so fun, picking a new car! It'll be way easy and people will be nice to you and you can test drive a bunch of different cars to see what you like and the tooth fairy exists and you can even pick whatever color you want!" Do not listen to yourself when you say this because you are a liar. Shopping for a new car will destroy your soul; your very will to live. Everyday I got off work, I would stare at the computer for hours, HOURS, trying to find something that fit what I needed out of my new car. I looked at so many cars that I have the basic Craigslist page outline permanently burned into my retinas. Have you ever stared at a computer screen for so long that you can actually feel your eyes internally bleeding? I now have. On the upside, I think I finally found the car and we are in the process of getting everything signed. It's almost too much to hope for to think that this nightmare will soon be over. If it does all go through, I'll post some pics for you, even though it has nothing to do with weight loss. Try and stop me! You totally can't!

So, to review: Flux Capacitor, vomit, Tooth Fairy, soul stealing, Craigslist, internal bleeding. Did I miss anything?