Monday, November 29, 2010

You'll always be Shirley to us

RIP Leslie Nielsen.

Watching "Airplane" on a regular basis was something of a ritual with my dad, my sister and me after my folks got divorced. We were able to quote chapter and verse at the drop of a hat. Even now, 30 years later, my sister and I can't let the question "what can you make of this?" go by without responding "well, I could make a hat, a brooch, or a pterodactyl." Likewise, Leslie Nielsen's deadpan answers to frantic questions get me every time.

I enjoyed Nielsen in "Forbidden Planet" (aka Shakespeare's "The Tempest" for the sci-fi set) and generally ignored the juvenile Naked Gun series. However, it's in "Airplane!", the movie against which all other movie spoofs are measured and found lacking, that Nielsen gained screen immortality along with the thanks of a kid who definitely needed the laughs when he was 15 and 16.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

50 Lost, 50 Gained

A list of 50 things I've gained while losing 50 lbs (and counting) since early August:
  1. A new selection of pants after my original pants started falling off followed by another set of new pants when the first replacement selection also became too large and the recognition that my newest pants are already just a touch loose
  2. The ability to walk from a conference room on the second floor to my office on the third floor without being out of breath
  3. A serious affinity for spinning
  4. A comment from a senior exec at my company that "I'm melting away"
  5. The MVP award for my team during our recent fitness challenge (of course, there were only two people on my team but my wife can be a cutthroat competitor LOL)
  6. An appreciation for the fact that I'm no longer carrying around the added weight of an average 7-year old boy every day
  7. The satisfaction of running (and completing) my first 5K in about 20 years
  8. A liking for low-fat, low-sugar homemade almond-jam bars
  9. A larger bank balance because we're no longer going to restaurants to eat or ordering take-out any more
  10. A correspondingly smaller bank balance because of all the new clothes I keep needing to buy
  11. The achievement of running a mile 20% faster than I did 9 weeks ago (I'm still no Roger Bannister but I'm chugging along)
  12. Odd looks from people at my office as I carry my massive lunchbox filled with healthy food in Rubbermaid containers into work every day
  13. The observation from my favorite spin instructor that I couldn't possibly be old enough to know the songs from the 70s and early 80s on a recent class playlist because I couldn't possibly be older than 30 or 31 based on my appearance
  14. The pleasure hearing that losing weight has apparently shaved 10-11 years off my appearance
  15. The hope that that weight loss is also adding years to however long I'm wandering this planet
  16. A serious chuckle when I tried on one of my suits at the tailor today and felt like David Byrne
  17. An appreciation for my personal trainer, who has kept me injury-free and on track with my workouts and shoulder-strengthening regime for the last 13 weeks, especially with my long history of chronic shoulder injuries (thanks, D!)
  18. The opportunity a few weeks ago to purchase shirts with sizes that didn't start with "XX"
  19. Profound pleasure in seeing my wife succeeding so well in her mutual effort to lose weight and get in shape (read more on her excellent 80 Sticks of Butter blog)
  20. A fun (if challenging) experience with the 10-week fitness challenge conducted at our gym
  21. The confidence that the next time we're in the White Mountains and hike up Mt. Battie Willard, the mountain won't kick our ass so completely
  22. The willpower to not stop and pick up a pizza or candy bar because I need a nibble
  23. The opportunity to pull a jet for charity (ok, me and 19 other people but it was a 727, which you have to admit is pretty cool)
  24. A ring guard because my wedding ring was too large and kept falling off my thinner finger 
  25. A selection of new belts because my old ones didn't have enough holes for my smaller waistline
  26. The ego boost that comes with people constantly telling me "wow, you look great!"
  27. A huge (and growing) pile of clothing to donate to my company's December clothing drive
  28. Skinned knees from diving around while playing volleyball during one of the fitness challenge's team events
  29. The regret that comes with knowing how much time I wasted by being complacent and not doing something about this previously
  30. The satisfaction that I finally got off my butt and did something about it
  31. Great support, encouragement, and not a few laughs from the other participants and trainers in the fitness challenge (thanks, guys!)
  32. An understanding of how to make healthy choices when eating
  33. The occasional feeling that if I eat one more tossed salad for lunch that I'm going to have the change the meaning of the "R" in my middle name from "Robin" to "Ruminant"
  34. Which is immediately followed by the realization that I really like tossed salad so really, it's OK
  35. A large, well-used selection of new gym clothing
  36. The knowledge that my good choices are making it easier for my wife to meet her goals as well by reducing temptation, eating healthy, and getting to the gym
  37. The realization earlier this week that I could purchase and wear some styles of shirts with a size that begins and ends with "L"
  38. An expanding set of new photos of the thinner us to replace the adoption profile photos of the heavier us
  39. The opportunity to play kickball for the first time since elementary school
  40. Anticipation for next summer when I can go to the beach and feel pretty good about walking around with my shirt off
  41. Potentially trademarkable phrase for life pre- and post-weight loss...2010 BP and 2010 AP (before pizza and after pizza)
  42. A reminder that, when I was in shape, I was a good athlete and enjoyed it, and that I'm getting back into shape, which means that I'll be able to do more sports
  43. Relief that healthy eating and weight loss doesn't have to involve bland food and fanatic counting of calories
  44. A sense of amazement that I'm sometimes the one at 5:30 AM saying "No, you can't go back to sleep. C'mon, you're already awake. Let's go to the gym." (I sometimes think I've been replaced by a pod person...I never got up that early before. I still don't like it but I do it.)
  45. The pleasure that comes from seeing my friends and family feeling so happy (not to mention relieved) that I've lost so much weight
  46. A slick new leather jacket (70% off at Wilson's Leather...woohoo!) because my old one was huge
  47. The rather embarrassing vanity boost that came today as I walked by a mirror wearing new, smaller jeans, a tshirt, and my new leather jacket and thought "damn, I look good!"
  48. The relief that I've gone from looking like this
     to this 
  49. The commitment to keep at it because I'm not where I want to be weight-wise yet
  50. The confidence that I'll get there