Friday, June 29, 2012


No these are not my legs. 
Here's the link they came from though.
Periodically I've been approached about how I was able to lose the weight without what some thought was a lot of residual flabby skin. 

Generally my first response is, well, I actually dress quite modestly so the biggest trouble areas are masked. My triceps area is the most visible trouble spot I have where you can actually see skin. 

However, I have a trick up my sleeve. This effort has aided in weight loss, however the biggest effects were actually in reducing the stretch marks and tightening skin.

The stretch marks were a result of simply being overweight for the majority of my life, as well as adding to the mess with additional rapid weight gain. 

The stretch marks changed from a mass of very angry red crevices, to being closer to matching my actual skin tone, with a significantly reduced appearance of scarring. Over time the skin has tightened by breaking up the cottage cheese pockets of my super cellulite collection. 

Hydration, strength training and conditioning definitely speed up this tightening process. Hydration makes the skin more willing to let go of stubborn cellulite pockets. 

Muscle aids in the rapid consumption of burning the loosened cellulite that's now ready to burn. In order make the skin ready to let go of the fat, hydration is extremely important. 

Excess coffee, soda, energy drinks, alcohol, etcetera are your worst enemy here. In fact, this is where most people sabotage themselves. Why? Because these products dehydrate you. 

So without further adieu, the method I use is Dry Skin Brushing. There are many resources available to for reading about "the benefits" and the "how to" of Skin Brushing, but to simplify, I'll share just one via you've got both sets of instructions on one page. 

If you decide to try this, I'm telling you now, you will have better results if you: hydrate, strength train, be consistent. By the way, don't expect to see changes overnight, the effects are cumulative. I personally didn't start noticing things until about two or three weeks after I started the process. Consistency is key!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Results: Ragnar 2012

"Thank you!" to all those that had me and other Ragnar participants and volunteers in their heart, mind, and prayers. I know I received many blessings from this.
Thank you!
So how did the Wasatch Back Ragnar turn out? Our team raised well over seventeen thousand dollars for cancer research. We had some cancer survivor as well as cancer previvor runners join our team and they did just fabulous! Here's a glimpse at the side of our van, which was a dedication to who the six in our van were running for. Also, here is a quick video recap of the event happenings.
In my last blog entry I made a plea. I would like to let you know how the run turned out for me.

All of my anticipated running distances seemed to have been extended for some reason. For one reason or another the time of day in which I was running was delayed some as well. 

In short I ran 19.72 miles in a combined time of four hours, seven minutes. Depending on the run my elevation was between four thousand, seven hundred six and six thousand, seven hundred fourty-four feet; mostly moving up. 

The way I left it with those in my van was that in efforts to save my foot and be able to do all three runs I would take it slow. Come to find out, I couldn't have gone any faster if I had tried. The heat and combined total of maybe four hours of sleep in thirty-five hours kept me humble.

Leg Three - My distance ended up at 6.91 miles (run time 1:19:16). I started running around nine-forty in the morning. The heat was too much for me on this one. At about four miles my right ear started ringing, by five miles my arms were tingling, right eye hurting, left leg weakening, and there was a pinch at the nape of my neck that means a migraine is brewing. 

All of this meant finish quick or I'm in trouble. This is the run that made me realize I need to stop putting off buying a cooling vest, if I intend to continue running in temperatures above seventy degrees. Good thing was that my foot never hurt; this was a surprise. 
Wearing my cooling scarf and catching my breath.
Just finished Leg #3 - Hyrum to Paradise, UT.
Leg Fifteen - My distance ended up at 5.06 miles (run time 59:09). I started running around eight at night. Thank heavens for whatever delays made my start for this leg an hour later than scheduled. 

At seven o'clock, it was still too warm for me as I was still sensitive from the earlier run. This was a nice and very beautiful run. I had some nice conversations with myself, God, and my father-in-law Don. I learned a lot in this run. I love these silent conversations with good company.
In the middle of Leg #15, running through Morgan, UT.
Leg Twenty-seven  - My distance ended up at 7.75 miles (run time 1:41:34). I started running around eight-thirty in the morning. This run made me say a very bad word at the end. 

When I started this run, I had a little reserve and I was hoping that somewhere along the way I would find the strength to finish. I never did. I can honestly say that during the majority of this run I was carried by someone else and in between was raw nerve. 

I had nothing left. In facing this run I was mentally prepared to run a 1fifteen-minute mile or slower, but somehow I was at an average of twelve and a half to thirteen minutes. How? I do not know. 

About a mile after the picture below was taken I was yelling at Don, telling him that in last nights' run we had an agreement that he was going to push my rump up the darn hill. At that point I swear I could hear his little sinister chuckle and the words, "then get going". Then I just got angry. Don knew that would get me going; the little snot.

I used my arm to push (paddle) me forward. I leaned further into the hill to let gravity pull me up. I was so concentrated I never noticed that my van (that wasn't permitted to support me on this leg) was watching and cheering me on. 

I'm certain their cheers and thoughts were accepted as prayers to support me through this run. I know there were family and friends devoting energy and well wishes for me during this time. I received all of those blessings in this run as well as my first. 

Here too, all the ear ringing, nape of neck pinching, eye pain, arm tingling, leg weakening returned. By the time I crested the big hill I felt like someone else took over. Then came the downhill... 

It was a blur. I should have fallen. I couldn't feel much of anything in either leg than just pressure and tingling - not true, my right leg was still semi-present. I threw water over me again and kept going. I climbed the last hill and saw the exchange - which meant my finish line. 

I could see the runner (Stephanie) that I was to pass the wristband off to, I could see one of my teammates - as it turns out there were two. I yelled ahead for Stephanie to be ready because I wasn't stopping. 

I yelled again to my teammates Casey and Aaron, to be ready because once I stopped, I didn't know if my legs would be there. Snap! Stephanie was off on her last run. 

Plop! Casey and Aaron caught me. I couldn't feel much of anything from just above my knees down. Then I said a very bad word. Somehow, I made it. I wanted to cry. I don't even know if I did. Via help from Casey and Aaron, I got to the van. It also helped that some hot guy in a Tarzan outfit walked by; that was sure motivating.
Starting up the initial hill near Jordanelle Reservoir
for an overall 840 ft elevation gain.
Thank you to all who had me in their thoughts and prayers. You helped me finish. This medal belongs to you.

My biggest take home message from this run is that: 
Life is tough, but if we keep moving 
just one foot in front of the other (figuratively), 
even relying on others with each step, we will finish. 
And we'll finish with big rewards.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In Three Days and I'll Find Out

In three short days I will find out what it's like to be a person with Multiple Sclerosis running the Wasatch Back Ragnar (June 15 and 16). To read more about what this is and why the heck I am doing it, click here read and watch me talk about it in our team video.

At this point I'm making a plea to all who are willing. I need the prayers of whoever is willing to offer them. I should be running leg #3 (6.8miles) on Friday morning around 9:45am MST; leg #15 (4.9miles) on Friday night around 7pm MST; leg #27 (7.7miles) by about 6:30am MST on Saturday.

These are my concerns and my personal prayers:

  • Please may my body be able to handle any heat that I may be in. 
  • Please let the resting I've done be enough for my right foot. 
  • Please let the never-ending lack of sensation in my left knee not be an issue, especially in the two big descents at the beginning and then the end of leg twenty-seven when I'm especially worn out.
  • Please let there be a headwind as I descend the big hills in leg twenty-seven.
  • Please let my mind be strong and focused.
I am so very thankful for the blessings I've been given to get to this point. It's not by talent. It's by making a decision, committing to the details and then submitting myself to God; who has given me so much. To Don, thank you for helping me find my courage without being afraid to act on it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's My Hips Isn't It?!

Use your assets to reach new heights. You might dislike some of those assets, but they are yours, so why not make the most of them?

My hips and saddlebags have always been a trial in my life. I buy bigger pants specifically to get them up and over my hips; however to keep from showing crack I need to wear a belt. 

My hips and saddle bags sometimes make me feel like I should be yelling giddy-up while walking up the stairs at work though. It takes a lot of energy to move those things! 

However, while playing basketball, my hips are highly sought after. I have command over the area around me, because my hips are powerful, immovable, and nearly unstoppable. On the court, my hips are coveted. Here we are again, back at "perspective".

The other night I started a new course at the local community college on Body Image. I'm really excited and nervous about the content and conversations we'll be having over the next eight weeks. 

In this introductory course I heard something that I know I've heard before, but this time I understood it. 

My instructor said that "body image isn't inherent, rather it is cultivated; it is learned"... this resonated and all of the sudden I felt physically and mentally light; for just a brief moment. 

I felt light because I knew that just like other things that can be learned, if not practiced it can be lost, but with appropriate effort it can be rewritten. 

I've been actively engaged in trying to view myself differently for the past few years. This change in perspective has come via hard work, as previously described in several posts (such as in Mirror Therapy, Digging Deep, It's About Visualization, Doing Most Everything, The Power of Experience, Get In My Belly Parts 1, 2, & 3, Worth The Effort, and My Road Back). 

It's been a work in progress to walk away with the realization that what I felt as a socially awkward and over-indulged kid, doesn't have to continue. 

The frustration I feel over my darn gut, triceps area, hips and thighs can be reduced, simply by changing my perspective about them. I'm sure over the next few weeks I will come to understand even more about creating an even more positive body image. 

I believe good things will come of this course that I'm in, because I'm already in a receptive state of mind. I owe it to myself to continually create a better understanding. 

After all the weight I've lost I was bound to have some residual effects of loose skin. The skin is pulling tight over time though. It just takes time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Darn Good Stuff!!!

There is nothing more important that I could do or say today, than to share with you these important truths from Napoleon Hill and the Dalai Lama.

  • Napoleon Hill on What the mind can conceive & believe, the mind can achieve. (click here)
  • Napoleon Hill on Applied Faith. (click here)
  • Dalai Lama on Finding A Purpose In Life. (click here)
It is our mind that is the one of the most neglected muscles, talents, and powers that we have within our possession. God bless you in all your good efforts to become the best person you can be. This is my greatest desire for everyone, everywhere.