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Christopher's Blog

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:22 pm
by Christopher
In the General Discussions forum, Robert mentioned the blog section on the site, so I figured why not?

I already have a blog, but having a place to discuss more health-related things sounds nice. Everybody here is incredibly supportive and cool, and the forums have really helped me out.

About me:

I'm 38 and in the process of losing some weight (I used to weigh over 400 lbs.--I'm now around 290). Most of my adulthood, I felt like crap, but no doctor could figure out what was wrong with me. I was told I was a hypochondriac by one doctor.

In 2004, I was diagnosed with a 2 cm brain tumor (pituitary tumor). It's benign, but it messed up my hormone balance for years. The tumor caused prolactin levels to skyrocket (yeah, prolactin...the hormone that makes women lactate when pregnant...nothing more fun than a guy built like a defensive tackle with the prolactin level of several pregnant women!).

With elevated prolactin, testosterone levels dropped to the point I barely had testosterone in my body. It kinda makes ya nutty, but I got better.

Last year, I went through a bit of a relapse, and I really got mad about the whole thing. My legs hurt, but instead of letting it get to me, I started lifting weights last February. It hurt like hell at first, but in the six months of lifting, I've never felt better. Reading the VB forum really helped me with the whole lifting thing, and everyday--even though testosterone is still low--I'm getting stronger.

And I'm slowly getting back to doing things I really love doing.

I've been a juggler since I was twelve, and haven't juggled nearly enough in recent years. I'm wanting to change that. I'm playing tennis with a co-worker on Sunday mornings. For the longest time, tennis just wiped my legs out, but I'm able to get through an entire match again and still get through the day. I've been walking a lot more, and hoping to get back to hiking and biking.

I've been married for 15 years. My wife and I went vegetarian eight years ago, and totally eliminated all animal products from our diet seven years ago.

I'm sure this blog will kind of double at a training journal. I really don't track what I'm eating and what I'm lifting; I'm just going by the way I feel and seeing results.

I definitely see myself healthier than I've ever been as an adult by this time next year, if not sooner...and one of the big things motivating me is reading what everybody here has to say.

Know that even if people are silent, you guys really are doing something cool, here. What may seem like a simple post or reply can really affect people. Reading Robert's post about climbing (and falling :lol: ) on South Sister and seeing the pics from the walk up the mountain is the kind of thing that inspires others to want to get out and do similar things.

I still have a little way to go with things, but a hike like that is definitely in my future...

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:32 pm
by Zack
Way to go! What are your weight loss goals? You are doing great! Keep it up.

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:23 pm
by davidmNY
Congrats on your incredible progress. Both my parents took over a year to lose close to 100 pounds each so, I know how tough that can be.

Best of luck and welcome to the blogs!

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:38 am
by DV
Thanks for sharing, Christopher! It's great that you've been able to battle your weight gain. Even better to have a supportive partner. :)

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:43 am
by BJJVegan
That really is great. Good Luck in your journey!

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:54 am
by Christopher
Thanks, guys.


I really don't know what my weight loss goals are. Even with lower testosterone, I'm gaining some muscle mass finally, and if the testosterone comes up naturally (I've been offered a prescription to bring it up, but I'd rather try avoiding it), I'm not sure how bulky I can get.

Right now I'm just focused on feeling better. As long as I'm either seeing progress from lifting, or slow loss on the scale, I'm happy. I don't know what my ideal weight is. I'm almost 6' 4" with a big frame, so even lean, I'll probably tip the scale more than most. I can tell I'm losing body fat and gaining some muscle, and as long as that keeps happening, I'm content.

I'm interested to see where I bottom out at, but I'm not in a big hurry to get there as long as I keep seeing results and continue being able to do more activities.


I read a bit about your parents changing the way they eat on your blog; that's really cool. Shortly after my wife and I went vegan, my mom did, too. It's great being able to have thing like a vegan Thanksgiving.

I also listened to some of your music. When I met my wife, she was listening to a steady diet of Erasure and Depeche Mode, so what you're doing brought back some great memories. I like that your stuff isn't just a knockoff of other stuff--it's definitely you--and I hope you're able to keep going and doing what you want :D

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:19 pm
by davidmNY
Christopher wrote:Thanks, guys.

I read a bit about your parents changing the way they eat on your blog; that's really cool. Shortly after my wife and I went vegan, my mom did, too. It's great being able to have thing like a vegan Thanksgiving.

I also listened to some of your music. When I met my wife, she was listening to a steady diet of Erasure and Depeche Mode, so what you're doing brought back some great memories. I like that your stuff isn't just a knockoff of other stuff--it's definitely you--and I hope you're able to keep going and doing what you want :D

Christopher - Thanks for listening and for the kind words. The music will always be in the back of my mind. I wish I had the resources to just do that full time but, I have other creative passions too - as I mentioned in my latest blog. I love all media production so - as they say - it's all good.


Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:02 am
by Christopher
I've been playing tennis with a co worker on weekends for the last month. We're very evenly matched and that keeps me getting better. The guy I play with has nine years on me, and if I'm in half the shape he's in when I'm 47, I'll be happy.

In recent years, tennis has wiped me out. Now that I'm getting back into better shape and getting the edge on a health issue, playing a match isn't too tough, even in the heat and humidity. I bought Brendan Brazier's THE THRIVE DIET last month, and the suggestions for pre and post workout foods have really been helping me.

The humidity did sap me a bit this morning, and I'm not sure I'd have lasted another long set (we warmed up and the match only lasted two sets), but it feels good getting out every weekend this past month and getting back to playing a game I love.

I've never been a great player, but it's my favorite game to play, and I'm definitely lucky to have a friend who's evenly matched and up for starting the weekend off with an early match.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 1:35 pm
by Christopher
I did something this morning I haven't done for awhile: I juggled.

I taught myself how to juggle when I was 12. When I met my wife fifteen years ago, I was very shy--too shy to talk with her. When she found out I juggled, she told me she was taught how to juggle in elementary school, but never did much with it. She told me she wanted to learn more stuff, and any shyness I had went away.

Most of our early dates were getting together to juggle. As things developed, we kept juggling. A lot has happened in recent years (a family member's long illnness, and a wacky brain tumor in my head for who knows how long), and we haven't been juggling as much as we used to. We haven't been juggling as much as we need to.

So we dragged out the juggling props, found a shady spot in a park away from the snakes and spiders, and juggled. We had the park to ourselves and it was a great morning. I tend to rebound fairly well after a long time away from juggling, and this morning was no different. There was one thing different this morning, though...I've been lifting weights regularly.

This morning I had a great run with four clubs--my best run ever! I had some decent runs with five clubs. When it came to five balls...I could juggle until I decided to stop. Usually when juggling five balls, I reach a point where my arms can't keep up. With clubs, balls, and anything else, there was a lot more endurance, which makes numbers juggling even better. I've never been one to get into numbers juggling as a way to say, "Look how many things I can juggle!" Numbers juggling makes you realize how much time there is for cool tricks with lower numbers, and it really conditions your hands and arms for compensating for bad throws. I've always viewed it as a vital part of doing cool tricks with lower numbers, and weight lifting seems to have really helped even more.

It felt great getting out with my wife and juggling. It's been too long since the two of us hit a park with the props, found a shady little spot in the back, and juggled for awhile. It was like the early part of our relationship when we just hung out and did something we both loved.

I've said it a lot over the past decade, but we really need to juggle a lot more. I've been doing it since 1981, and I hope to be juggling with my wife when we're 81 and beyond...

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:58 pm
by Christopher
Deleted - Double Post

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:59 pm
by the Asocial Ape
Christopher wrote:...I juggled.


Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:12 pm
by Christopher
I played tennis for the first time in several weeks. It's still too hot to be October in Texas, but the co-worker I play tennis with gets up early, too, so the sun doesn't come up until we're close to wrapping up.

It was a great match this morning--a great way to begin the day.

After tennis, my wife and I went to a park and juggled for awhile. I don't know why I go through periods where I don't juggle for a long time, only to get back into juggling and struggle to get back in the hang of things.

This time around, I haven't had any real catching up to do. Runs with four clubs have been great, and I know with some srious practice, I'll have five clubs again. Lifting weights has helped with endurance while juggling numbers.

I think the coolest thing this morning, though, was just getting out and juggling with my wife. She figured out a trick that's stumped her for a long time, and while passing clubs, her passes were much more accurate than mine. She did some great recoveries from my stinky passes and was throwing some tricks. She also caught some different tricks from me she's never had thrown her way.

It was great seeing her figuring some cool stuff out, and it felt good feeling confidence while juggling again.

It was a mighty fine Sunday!

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:59 pm
by Christopher
I jogged a mile this evening.

I know for so many people, that's nothing.

It's something I've never been able to do.

I don't get along with running. When I was a hyper, scrawny kid--sure, I ran around, but I could never run any kind of distance.

When I played football in high school and worked out regularly, I could never make it around a 1/4 mile track even once without having to walk.

When I was biking 20 miles a day when I went vegetarian on a dare in my early twenties, I tried running around a track and couldn't.

Lately I've been playing tennis almost weekly with an evenly matched partner and upping the distance and intensity of my evening walks. The guy I play tennis with used to be a personal trainer and his goal is to get me into a 5K sometime in 2008.

Last week after playing the best tennis match we've played yet, we hit the track. Walking to the track, my friend said we were going to do a light jog, and he told me we'd do half a mile. Having never been able to go 1/4 mile, I thought 1/2 mile would be out of the question, but I did it and could have kept going.

Tonight I jogged a mile.

It may not be much for many, but for me it's something I've only dreamed about...

And I know it will only get better...

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:00 am
by Zack
Long time no see! Glad to have you back :)

How is the weight loss coming?

Keep up the effort.

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:02 am
by veganpotter
Great work. I remember being able to play ice hockey for hours on end but for some reason I couldn't run a 1/4 mile either. Once I could it was've just gotta get over that hump. Just make sure you keep trying before the high is gone...otherwise you'll feel like you felt before you realized you could do it.