The Suite Life


200x200_LAD_DDS_logoAs my readers know, I started my weight loss blog when I was about 250 lbs. to chronicle my progress on my way to my goal of 200 lbs. By then, I had already lost 50 lbs. but wasn’t blogging yet. I did this not only for my own motivation but also as a way to inspire others to do the same thing.

And I have to admit that making such a commitment put a bit of pressure on me. I set my goal and so as not to look the fool, had to ensure myself that I would make it. Of course you know the results of my hard work and hopefully my readers have achieved their own success.

Most of you also know I’m also a Dodger fan and up until the All-Star break, was so happy to see them doing so well. As of today, well, things are sort of not going their way but that’s fine. There’s lots of baseball left.

While watching a game a few weeks ago, I saw a promo for their Dodger Digital Series which is touted as a “one-of-a-kind social media experience built to create a Dodger experience tailored to fans’ hobbies, interests, and / or passions.” I decided to give it a better look by visiting the website and that’s when I saw there was a category for Fitness Influencers.

So I thought I’d take a shot in the dark and see what it got me. I filled out the form, submitted it, and pretty much forgot about it.

That is until I got an email today from the Dodgers.

In the email, it stated that I was chosen to be part of a select group of 20 other fitness influencers to attend the Dodgers’ July 31st game which is also Kirk Gibson Bobblehead Night. As if that wasn’t enough, we get to watch the game from the Dodger Digital Suite, get free VIP parking, and watch the Dodgers take batting practice – a rarity indeed since they do it well before game time.

So not only has my weight loss scored me some free samples and an iPod nano (which I have since sold), I now get to see my Dodgers from a suite at baseball’s most beautiful stadium and watch them take batting practice on the field.

The suite life indeed!

Naturally, I will take lots of photos and post them when I get home or, as is the case these days, post them as they happen. Should you wish to see the events unfold as they happen, follow me on Twitter @aeromat since that is the one connected to my Instagram account (my username there is also aeromat). I’d like to keep the images on one account rather than spread them all over the place.

It’s going to be a good time!

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Bilbo Was Right


It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.

– Bilbo Baggins

I had been debating whether or not to go for a run tonight and when you reach that point—the point of doubt—you really should pack it in and save whatever you can’t decide on for some other time or simply walk away from it.

That’s exactly what I should have done. But instead, I took a chance and at about 9:20pm I discovered what a bad decision it was.

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Wet&Wild 5k is Done!


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This was taken before the run and will post a few more taken with an actual camera (not phone) later.

Summary: finished in about 42:00 or so but I’ll post my official time when I get home. Right now I’m relaxing with the family at Wild Rivers where we had to run through a wading pool of sorts.

Had a great time and looking forward to doing it again!

UPDATE 8/28/11: Alright, since I’ve got some time to do it, here are some highlights/memorable events from the run.

The day started at 5am since I had planned on leaving by 6am to get there in plenty of time for the start at 8am. Irvine isn’t exactly a long drive but when you go to events like this, you just never know what the traffic will be like so it’s always best to plan for any unexpected delays.

We did get there in plenty of time so we checked out the few exhibitor booths that were there. I tried a sample of a drink called Body Armour and it wasn’t too bad so I need to look for that the next time I’m shopping. We sat around for about 30 minutes before I had to get in line according to my anticipated finishing time, do some pre-race stretching, listen to some of the rules, etc.

This is a shot of the field from where I was standing, in the “29:00 – ???” group:

After the National Anthem and a prayer (more people seemed attentive to the former than the latter), the horn sounded and we were off. We trudged along through the parking lot of Wild Rivers and out onto the sidewalk the made a u-turn, where the first water station was. It was poorly manned and most of us had to wait for our water to be poured which is not good.

Despite that, I have to admit that I felt pretty good as I started on my way and at about the first mile, I was in my zone as I usually am. The run came back into the parking lot and started to wind through Wild Rivers itself for the first of two laps. During the second lap, we had to run/walk/wade through this (photo was taken after the run):

This was a most welcomed break from the rest of the course which at times was rather narrow and definitely blocked with walkers and people with strollers, who should have been kept at the rear of the field. Not only that, the wait to get into this Lazy River was just ridiculous as some people removed their shoes before entering.

Up until this point, according to my Endomondo app, I was averaging 11:30 per mile but my lap time for the last mile dropped dramatically as I “ran” through the river: 16:40. If not for that, I could have finished in about 34 minutes or so but considering the wait time and the conditions (but especially the wait time), this was not unexpected.

I crossed the finish line at 42:29 with an average pace of 13:14 according to my chip results. And in case you’re wondering what 5k looks like, here’s the course as recorded by Endomondo:

That seems like a good distance but once you’re up and running, it’s really not. Here’s the portion of the course known as the Lazy River, as noted by the dark blue line:

And although I didn’t finish anywhere near the Top 3 in my age group, that didn’t stop me from pretending I did:

So despite the event’s flaws, I had a good time participating as well as hanging out at Wild Rivers afterward. Next event: the Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour on October 9, 2011. I started my preparation by buying new tires today so I’m ready for that one.

Oh, and those Asics running shoes I’m wearing? I bought them at Savers a few months back for a mere $3.50. They were practically new and half price on the day we were shopping, so that saved me some money for sure 🙂

By the way, part of the run is a challenge to “Beat the Cow” or someone running in a cow costume since the Chick-Fil-A is a huge sponsor. And if you do beat the cow, you get a free meal.

Did I beat the cow?

No, I didn’t. I got beat by a dude in a cow costume. But at least I wasn’t a sore loser about it:

I told the bovine I was disappointed for not beating them but there’s no shame in that. The cow consoled me with a friendly pat on the back. We’re cool.

I’m done for the night. My legs are starting to feel the effects of the run and I need to relax!

P90X Photoshop Fail


First, if you happened to find this post after searching for anything related to P90X, know that this is a personal blog and not one of those awful sites made to look like an honest review of the product that was actually made by someone pushing the product they are criticizing. That said, I’m free to say whatever the Hell I want or need to say about it because nobody is giving me one red cent to say it.

This leads up to last night when I was scouring the Web for information on said workout program. I decided to give it a look since I felt slightly emasculated while doing my nightly routine of sit-ups on a balance ball and other low-impact exercises that involve the use of 5-pound, pink neoprene dumbbells. All I needed was a headband with the word “Physical” silk-screened across it to make the outfit complete. Well, that and a leotard and tights.

You still with me? I know that’s not a visual you needed.

Anyway, I came across the official site of the program and began clicking on links. And yes, the site is literally filled with testimonials from users who went from wimp to pimp in no time flat. There are plenty of pictures and videos to prove the point.

And as I continued to educate myself on the product, it occurred to me that there was not one fat person in the bunch which lead me to believe that the product is by no means meant for any of you corpulent cowboys out there but rather, people who appear to be in shape and want to more of a bodybuilding thing rather than a weight loss program.

So those of you that have a lot of weight to lose and plan on making that your New Year’s resolution might want to reconsider this program because, as is indicated on the site, results will vary from individual to individual. The people you see on the site are freaks since there’s a good chance that they are the few that have achieved success with the program. (Remember, too, that P90X is part of Beachbody LLC, a company that specializes in selling nutritional supplements so one hand washes the other here.)

Okay, with all of that out of the way, I continued to view the video testimonials. I came across one by Jill W. and watched it just to see if she was like all of the others: a real woman with some real curves.

But after about 35 seconds into the clip, I had to rewind it and watch it again.

Why, you ask? Here’s what you will see at 0:20 of the clip:

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Hey, look! It’s Jill W.’s before and after pictures! She looks pretty good, doesn’t she? And check out the amazing craftsmanship on those doors behind her. I bet they were made by the Amish or something because man, they look fuckin’ sweet. And don’t you love how no shadows are cast on either shot and how, even though taken from the same vantage point, the lighting appears to be way different on both?

Also, do all of the “before” shots need to be straight-on and unflattering while the “after” shots require standing at an angle?

Okay, maybe I’m looking too much into the image and overlooking the obviously sexy results that one Jill W. achieved while on the program. Probably so, huh?

Or am I? Check out her before picture at 0:28 of the clip:

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Here’s Jill W. again only this time looking pretty down about things. Maybe it’s because she had to pose with that tacky picture of ducks in flight just to the right of her (or on the left of the image for you smarties out there), or maybe it was before she had those awesomely Amish doors installed in her home. Maybe she just wasn’t happy that the photographer chose to get all artsy-fartsy and use C-41 process black-and-white film this time around.

Either way, there she was then and here she is at 0:31 of the clip:

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Shapely Jill W.? Check (and rawrrrr!). Tacky ducks-in-flight picture? Check.

Amish door? Che…wait, what? Holy Hell! What the fuck is going on here? Why is only half of the Amish door floating behind Jill W.? It’s because it’s a MOTHERFUGGING GHOST DOOR THAT LEADS TO ANOTHER DIMENSION like that episode of The Twilight Zone!

Okay, now I’m not knocking Jill W. for any results she may or may not have achieved by using (or not using) the P90X program. Everybody is free to come to their own conclusion about the product. Personally, I’m always a bit wary of any program such as this and would opt for something recommended by my doctor but hey, what the Hell do I know, right?

The point I’m trying to make here is that if a company is going to go through such lengths to get you to buy their product by having their (hopefully now unemployed) graphic artists do such a half-assed Photoshop job on the “before” and “after” pictures, it might be saying something about the product’s credibility.

Definitely a caveat emptor situation if I’ve ever seen one.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with my tacky ‘80s workout attire.

And you think I’m kidding…

Fitness Pays Off in More Ways Than One


You might recall this post in which I tell the tale of my purchasing of an iPod every two years, or so it seems. This time, it was a 64GB iPod Touch which I thought for sure would be the last one I’d get in a long time.

But if you read that entire post, you would have seen that the Touch also keeps track of my runs on the NikeRunning site. Cool, yes. Also mentioned in that post are the two challenges that I entered, with the St. Paddy’s Lucky Runner Challenge offering a prize of a brand-spanking-new iPod nano to five random participants.

Anybody wanna guess who one of those five lucky bastards was?

Me. Yes, I actually won something! Okay, so it isn’t the first time I’ve won something and mentioned it here but damn, this prize may very well take the proverbial cake. This will be the…(counts fingers)…7th iPod in the house:

  • 30GB Video
  • 8GB Touch (1st & 2nd generation, mine and Ann’s respectively)
  • 64GB Touch (3rd generation)
  • 4GB nano (2nd generation)
  • 1GB Shuffle (2nd generation)
  • 8GB nano (my prize)

Yeah, there are quite a few around here but I just can’t seem to part with any of them, especially the Shuffle since Apple seemed to take a step backward with their 3rd-gen model.

Anyhoo, it’s been shipped already and should be here any day. Who knew that losing weight and taking up exercising would not only make you healthy but also shower you with gifts?

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