BRADMILL2922   35,831
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18 Years Later...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

When I last left you fine people of Sparkville, it was the day of my first basketball game in nearly 18 years! I was a Sophomore in high school and just finished my one year of JV basketball. I mean, who wouldn't be a little apprehensive about trying something like that again for the first time in 18 years? Let's get a bit of historical perspective to see just how long ago 1995 was...

-I was 16 but hadn't gotten my driver's license yet

-Bill Clinton was President and still in his 1st term

-Boyz II Men "On Bended Knee" was the #1 song

-Dumb and Dumber was the #1 movie

-Seinfeld was the #1 TV show

-Justin Bieber wasn't even 1 year old yet

Maybe some of that explains the bit of angst I was feeling leading up to the game? Was I ready to do this? Was I going to embarrass myself? What had I gotten myself into? Yes I have lost a lot of weight and yes I have been working out for nearly 7 months but I am not 16 years old like I was then and I still have work to do as far as losing weight!

It's funny. All of that stuff went away once the game started. It felt normal. I didn't find myself particularly winded. I felt good. I have never been the fleetest of foot anyways even when I was younger and playing baseball in college. Running has never been a strength or something i've liked. Running was always the punishment for doing wrong when playing sports. But, those guys weren't running circles around me or anything. I held my own.

Ok, so we lost the game, but it wasn't really about that. It was about getting out and doing something that I really enjoy. It was about being part of a team which I had kind of forgotten about in the decade plus now in which I haven't been part of a team. It was about the competition. I had forgotten how much fun that is!

I did pretty good. I played in about 25 minutes of the 40 minute game. Ok, I only scored 2 points but I did have 11 rebounds! Hey, like I said in my last blog, it tends to be a good thing in basketball to be 6'7"!

All in all, it was a positive experience! Really positive! Thinking about it now, it really puts it into perspective how far I have come since May 5, 2012. There is NO WAY I would have been able to play basketball in the shape I was in. Thinking back over the last 10 years, there is NO WAY I could have done it! I have come a long ways in 8 months plus, and I still have a good ways to go before I am done, but this really showed me the progress I have made. It showed me something that I can really be proud of! I found myself wishing there were a couple games a week and I can't wait for the next game on Thursday the 17th!

Just embracing the possibilities Sparkville!

Good Day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONELITTLEPILL 1/18/2013 1:58AM

    Awesome! I hope tonight's game went as well or even better. What an amazing thing to really be able to see how far you have come!!! I had a similar experience last week. First time in 7 years that I have not been reduced to tears in a dressing room. Makes one feel proud! emoticon emoticon

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KETTLEBURN 1/14/2013 8:04AM

    one word: AWESOME!
it's great that you went out and did it despite your reservations. if you spend all your time avoiding things because you may not be good at them, well, you miss out on a ton of opportunities. am i right? of course! and you showed it. glad you had fun :)

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HAPPYERIN 1/13/2013 10:29PM

    Awesome! Forget if you lost the game, because you WON so much more! Congrats for getting out there and finding out how much you love the game again! Can't wait to hear how the rest of them go over the next few weeks!

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SYCAMOREROSE1 1/13/2013 4:27PM

    This is amazing!! Way to go! emoticon

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SPARKLINGHOPE 1/13/2013 2:20PM

    Best wishes!!

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    How exciting! Just one door that is now available for you to walk through any time you wish. Your exercise regime has really whipped you into shape. Congratulations on this breakthrough! Now you have another way to increase your fitness that is actually FUN!

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LISAMG1220 1/13/2013 1:19PM

    You never know what you can accomplish until you try! As always you have inspired me. Kelp up the awesome work! :)

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/13/2013 12:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DIXIECAP79 1/13/2013 11:48AM


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Hmm...This Should Be Interesting!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Guess what I gone done did?

My buddy Jonathan has been talking about us joining a basketball league for a couple of years now. I kept saying that I would join up once I lost weight and got in shape. Now that I have lost a significant amount of weight and have been working out for 6 1/2 months, he came a callin' for the basketball I joined!

Yep, I am a proud member of the Beargrass Rukkus lol. Hey, I didn't pick the name! The league is at Beargrass Christian Church which explains the Beargrass name but I am not sure where the Rukkus part comes from. I'll have to ask since neither I, nor Jonathan put the team together and is in charge of that decision. But I am curious.

Regardless of the name, I am on the team and ready to play some ball! I grew up playing a lot of basketball as a kid and even into high school. But, the last year I played was JV ball in high school when I was a 1995! After that I quit playing to concentrate on baseball and haven't played any organized basketball since!

But I do have a couple things working for me. One, I am in pretty good shape and plan on getting in even better shape as the 9 game season progresses (1 game a week). Two, I have been down at the gym at 3am for a couple of months now shooting baskets as part of my workout on break at work so I am not completely rusty. Three, and one that is quite helpful, I am 6'7". I hear height can be a positive in basketball at times so that shouldn't hurt!

Did I mention that the first game is TODAY?!? Well, it is! Tonight at 6pm! I have to admit that I am both a bit nervous and excited! It should be really interesting. Let us hope that this goes well and I am not sitting at home tonight after the game thinking, what I have I gotten myself into?

Embracing the possibilities!

Good Day Sparkville

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYERIN 1/11/2013 4:09PM

    Love it! It's always best when you can find ways to have fun and get exercise at the same time! Can't wait to hear all about it!

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EMMAEKAY 1/11/2013 2:58PM

    My god, you're tall! You're gonna have so much FUN! I'm excited to hear all about your victory.

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PUNKY100 1/11/2013 2:02PM

    You're 6 7? Holy toledo!!! You will be able to pick it up again quickly, I'm sure!

The last time I remember playing basketball for fun, I was in middle school and playing with my brother and sister...I got hit in the face and had a bloody nose. So I don't think your first game back can go much worse. :-P

Just have fun and I hope you win! :-)

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    How great!! That's what this is all about, isn't it? Being in great shape so that you can play hard and have a fabulous time doing it? Your limitations are falling away. emoticon

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FRENCHIFAL 1/11/2013 12:14PM

    Good for you!! Organized sports are a great way to stay active and give yourself that little extra was an adult softball league that got me started on my weight loss, and I still miss it!!

Good luck at your game tonight!!

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REVIVED 1/11/2013 10:08AM

    Go team!

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LISAMG1220 1/11/2013 9:01AM

    Wow! Way to go Brad! Have fun tonight and score big!!! :)

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/11/2013 8:31AM

    WooHoo! More cardio minutes!

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ONELITTLEPILL 1/11/2013 8:18AM

    Sounds like fun! I meant to ask you before what you do that you work overnight? Just curious; I work 3rd shift, too, as a hospital pharmacist. How lucky that you get a break to work out a little during your shift- we don't. I hope you have a lot of fun with this basketball thing! You'll do great!

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JASI27 1/11/2013 8:16AM

    Oh how much fun!!! What a great way to exercise. Anything that is fun is right up my alley. Added bonus is the excited nervousness, good for your overall mood. Have a great time.

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MERETONI 1/11/2013 7:40AM

    Ever fun! Sounds like you are excited. I would be too, I love doing workouts that don't feel like it. Have a great time!

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Ending 2012 & Starting 2013 With A Bang? Plus Pictures...

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

I have to admit that I was a tad bit worried about the holiday season. Why you ask?

First, I appreciate you asking! Second, because of all the holiday food that is available and doesn't fit all that nicely in my neat little Spark Ranges that have helped me so far in this healthy lifestyle journey!

Since I try to do my menu ideas ahead of time so I know what I am doing when I get that point in the day, I am no stranger to moving things around or even deleting them off the list completely to try and fit in a little something in a day. You know, a cookie here or some chips there. It happens and it has worked so far!

But with that being said, there aren't big enough Spark ranges for the amount of things I would like to consume at Christmas time! I mean from the peanut butter cookies with a Hershey Kiss to the egg nog, it is ALL GOOD and at that same time NOT GOOD AT ALL! I think you all know what I mean when I say that?

Not to mention working on a school schedule which means I was not working from December 21st till January 6th! That is 16 days of having a lot more time on my hands! Sounds good until I think of the fact that I was what you would call a "bored" eater. Nothing else to do? How bout a snack? Like I said before, NOT GOOD AT ALL!

I was determined to make this time different! This time, I would not grab the first available food in sight! NOPE! This time I would not be lazy and skip my workouts! NOPE! This time would be different!

I had a plan. I would weigh-in on my last day at work. I did. Total weight loss of 110.3 lbs. since May! Then I was going to keep my self accountable. I was going to keep my mantra of, why do I have to have that food? I can go without it! I don't have to have it! Then, I would weigh myself in on my first day back at work on January 7th! I know what you are thinking...heck of a plan, right? RIGHT!

January 7th weigh-in down 118.7 which means I LOST 8.4 lbs. over the holidays!

It wasn't easy! It was a struggle and I wasn't perfect! I did have the occasional cookie and glass of egg nog but I was smart about it. I did adjust my meal planning to fit in those things. I also did P90x every day! Yes, I did P90x on Christmas Eve! Yes, I did P90x on Christmas! Yes, I did P90x on New Year's Eve! Yes, I went to the gym as a second workout to get in some strength training and elliptical time on 10 of the 16 days! Yes, I EARNED THAT 8.4 lb loss over the Holiday season!

Oh, I had fun too! How can you not have fun with these adorable faces around?

Waiting To See Santa

Calli, Dad, Sydni, & Evan on Christmas Day

Think they are ready for presents?

Fun in the snow on the trampoline!

Me, my crew, and my Dad

Oh, and one more thing! This is what I told good 'ol Nick before Christmas, and i'll tell him the same in 2013...

Good Day Sparkville!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISAMG1220 1/9/2013 11:37AM

    I am impressed! :) You have definately inspired me for this year!! I unfortunately did not fair as well but I am back on track for sure!!!! You rock by the way!

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KETTLEBURN 1/9/2013 8:24AM

    holy geeze! LOSING 8.4 lbs over Christmas break? FANTASTIC JOB! and hey, working out on those holiday days that are supposed to be all about being lazy, good for you! keep it up :)

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MERETONI 1/9/2013 7:29AM

    Holidays are so hard and you did so very well! Congrats on the loss! I wish I could say I was as strong as you! lol.

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    Yeah, you perfectly nailed the reasons to be freaked about the holidays. Despite those reasons you made excellent choices throught the season, which helped you get closer to your goal. Congratulations!

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MCAFEE34 1/9/2013 12:28AM

  I enjoyed reading your blog

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BYEPOUNDS 1/9/2013 12:24AM


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Day 240: Grading My 2012 Progress...

Monday, December 31, 2012

What kind of grade would I give myself since I started this journey 240 days ago? Hmm...

Has it really been 240 days since I started? It seems hard to believe to me, but it has indeed been 240 days! 240 days of aches, joy, pain, relief, angst, worry, guilt, joy...I could go on and on and on, but I will spare you. I will simply sum up 2012 for me (as far as diet & exercise goes) in one phrase: SO FAR, SO GOOD. I suppose I could use the phrase "work in progress" as well because as much progress as I have made, I am not done! In fact, I am excited for the possibilities of 2013 as far as my fitness and health can go. It would be easy to rest on my success so far, and perhaps pre 2012 Brad would have but not 2012 and beyond Brad!

Back when I started this on May 5th, I titled my Spark page, 'My Odd-yssey'. But now looking back over the nearly 8 months of diet and exercising, there really hasn't been much "odd" about. I really wondered to myself if I could climb that hill all the way to my goal. I set a goal of losing 166.6 lbs. When I started, it seemed an even more enormous number than it actually is! How long would I be willing to stick to this process? Could I do it?

Well, 110.3 lbs. far, so good.

It has been a long and hard process that has tested me at every turn. It is a process that has tested my will and character. Just how hard am I willing to push? Just how much discipline am I willing to enforce upon myself? Could I be mentally & physically strong enough to do what I needed to do?

Well, 110.3 lbs. far, so good.

If I sit back and give myself an honest appraisal, an honest grade, I would give myself an A-. I think that is fair. I know I haven't been perfect as far as diet and exercise go so I do not deserve an A+. Anyways, there is always room for improvement. I think an A- is fair and gives me room to move up in 2013! But for my 2012 evaluation, I have learned that I can push myself! I can stick to this process! I can enforce discipline upon myself! I am mentally and physically strong enough to make this happen! I can do this! I am doing this!

A large part of my 2012 success has be due to you Sparkville! You guys have been great friends to me through the year. I have met some truly great & inspirational people along this journey! I am fortunate! I am fortunate to have you all along this ride! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

So let's welcome in 2013 with open arms and embrace the new start! Its a new start for us to all work towards an A+ in 2013!




Happy New Year Sparkville!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRENCHIFAL 1/3/2013 11:07AM

    Great job! I'd say it definitely deserves an A of some kind...and you can't be perfect every single minute of every single day, there is always SOMETHING you could have done better in hindsight, but being down over 100're doing it right!!

Congrats, and good luck in 2013!

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HAPPYERIN 1/2/2013 7:58PM

    Congrats! Incredible progress this year!! And still more to come!

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LISAMG1220 1/2/2013 9:11AM

    Love it! You are such and inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing and you are right....Be the change.......EVERY DAMN DAY. Hugs!!!!

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Worth All Of The Pain

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I was sitting at home the other day, kind of lost in thought about life. You all know how that is, right? You have a plan to do something and you get that "thousand yard stare" and you don't really do anything because you are just lost in thought. Well, that happened the other day when I was getting (trying to at least) motivated to do my workout. I really wanted to do it but I got in that "state" and just sat there and thought about this whole journey. This whole journey that I started again the first week of May. This journey that has brought me to 107.7 lbs. lost since that start in May. This LONG journey. Has it really been 7+ months? Really? How do I keep doing this day after day after day after day...

I thought about the fact that I have worked out 164 of the last 169 days with the 5 days I missed with a double ear infection. Other than that, I have NOT missed a single day! I thought that I have finished Insanity & Tap Out XT & am almost 1/4 way done with P90x now! Most of you don't know that for the last nearly 2 months now, when I have a break at work (2:30am to 3:30am) I head down to the gym on campus here and play basketball for 30 minutes and lift weights for 30 minutes alternating days between upper and lower body. So basically, I have been doing 2-a-days for almost 2 months now!

The hardest thing to believe is that I WANT to do this! I don't feel right if I go to long in a day without doing my workouts! Wait...what? I have NEVER been that person! I played sports in high school and baseball in college and HATED working out! HATED!!! Thus the weight gain over the years since my competitive athletic days ended. If I don't have to do it, then I won't! Simple.

But that has all changed and I do not ever want it to change back! People tell me to take some time off or enjoy the holidays a little more and give your self a break. I say F' that! Why should I? This has become my life. This has become my routine. Do I hurt? Absolutely! I have had pain in both knees, my left hip, both shoulders, and both feet through this journey. But guess what? I'M NOT GOING TO QUIT! I have had enough of the excuses! We all know the excuses...I'll just start tomorrow, it's only one day, it's only this, it's only that, blah blah blah BLAH! No more, that is not me anymore! If that is not me anymore, than I know anyone who actually reads this, it can NOT be you too! We all have the strength within us! This isn't an easy journey or there would be no reason for Spark. There would be none of this. It is hard, so why not embrace it? Be the change!

So as the title of this blog says, Worth All Of The Pain! Why? Because it is! If it isn't worth the pain, maybe it's not worth it. Well, this is worth the pain and I will keep pushing EVERY DAMN DAY!

I have lost 107.7 lbs but I will not quit until I reach my goal of 166.6 lbs! At that point, I may even go a little farther but one big goal at a time!

You guys are the best and I don't think I could do this without my Spark friends...Spark family! Thank you for your continued support on this long journey!

Good Day Sparkville!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMMAEKAY 12/19/2012 5:22PM

    It's so important to just sit back and appreciate how far we've come. It really is fuel for the rest of the journey. Look at how you've changed! Not just physically, but all over.

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HAPPYERIN 12/19/2012 3:37PM

    Great blog! I think it's important for all of us to stop and remember what we've accomplished, and that it can be done and is worth it -- especially during those times where we don't feel like it! Great blog!

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STEELKICKIN 12/18/2012 11:48PM

    Omg. Okay, so I know we are texting right now and I am reading your blog as we are texting so you are going to have to wait on your reply to your last text while I reply to this, lol! Does that make sense???? Anyways, I've got tears in my eyes as I read this because I have never met anyone more determined. You are right, it is worth the pain, and it is worth the fight! Every damn day, my dear friend, you get up and fight the fight and you show us what strength looks like. I am whining about 3.5 pounds....this is very humbling.

Wow. That is really all I can say because you are SUCH AN INSPIRATION to me!!!! You are one of those people who makes others feel good about themselves and makes others feel like they can do anything! We can...we just have to stop making excuses and just DO IT. I've got a friend that says "Shut up and sweat!" So we just gotta shut and sweat every damn day!

I love you. Thank you, once again, for just saying it like it is and showing us that we are all worth it. You are worth it. I am worth it. He is worth it. She is worth it. And that's just how it is. The biggest hugs of all. To you.
emoticon emoticon

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MISSCUS 12/18/2012 8:10PM

    I know many people who exercise that of their choice EVERY day, I know a couple people who go to the gym EVERY day. I accept that and think it is GREAT that they have learned what will keeep them young and fit and able to fully enjoy an active life. As an RN, daily I meet up with people who haven't done exercise as a part of their life. And it isn't pretty nor are they healthy. Just keep your motivation and resolve, keep the habit, learn to listen to your body, because pain is designed to tell a person that damage is being done. Light pain is okay. Stay strong, you won't be sorry.

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LISAMG1220 12/18/2012 11:51AM

    Thank you for sharing this, I needed to read it. I felt that way until stress took over my rational mind and then I started struggling for a couple of months.... but I am done letting stress rule my life. I lost my mojo for a little bit, but it is back!!! Thanks for always being so supportive and for putting yourself out there. :)

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/18/2012 9:56AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 12/18/2012 9:35AM

    You are "in the zone." As long as you are there, maintain it at all costs. If your workout schedule becomes too much for you, your body will let you know. And you should listen to your body. This journey is about moderation in all things. But it is also about creating new habits--a new lifestyle. You have successfully done this. Wanting to exercise every damn day is huge. I have never reached that level of exercise excitement, but I have learned to make exercise a regular part of my routine, which is its own miracle.

Stay in the zone Brad. You can still "take a break" without sacrificing your routines. When we vacation we DON'T say, "Hey, I'm on vacation. I don't need to shower or brush my teeth or eat or care for my kids." Some things are non-negotiable. We each have to decide what constitutes a non-negotiable habit. I respect and admire your determination to make your new lifestyle non-negotiable. Hard habits are hard to establish and oh-so-easy easy to break.

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PUNKY100 12/18/2012 9:08AM

    Wow...I I am just now starting two a days, but they are not nearly as intense as P90X, although few things are lol.

Sometimes that is the best thing, to just zone out and think about life. We don't get many chances to just sit down and think, and I'm glad you did! It sounds like it was a very productive thinking session. :-)

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SANDYCRANE 12/18/2012 7:28AM

    WOW, you are really committed to working out, especially when working the night shift. Good luck to you, just don't burn yourself out. I feel the same way you do, I am never going back to my previous lifestyle. Keep up the good work.

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MERETONI 12/18/2012 7:20AM

    Great blog! I used to get the 'take a day off' talk too, but anyone who doesn't workout or live this lifestyle, they don't know the sacrifices we already made, the pain and sweat we have, and still continue to go through. Best thing is to do what works for you. I personally like to take at least 1 day off each week, although usually that day is full of running errands and cleaning, etc so it isn't really a rest day. :p

So congrats on your progress, your will power and your determination! Keep up the awesomeness!

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JULIA_211 12/18/2012 5:40AM

    emoticon emoticon The best to you! emoticon

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CASEYSAUER 12/18/2012 4:56AM

    Congrats on your journey! You are an inspiration! emoticon

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