Archive for the Weigh-In Category

life is a choice

Posted in Personal, Weigh-In | 3 Comments

What a long but fun weekend I just had. I hopped in my car Friday night after work with my friend Tami and headed to Fayetteville, NC to get some new ink at Sacred Heart Tattoo shop near Fort Bragg by artist Jenni “The Wild Yenni” and while I do have to go back in a few weeks to finish it up (and will share those final shots with you) I wanted to share the progress thus far because this tattoo is simply amazing.

The tattoo to remind me that life is a choice, one I have willingly made instead of giving up and the dates under the tattoo (which will be tied in when I have the piece finished in a few weeks) each have a meaning:

12.09.1977 – day I was born and I chose to take my first breathe

09.04.2011 – day i quit smoking and started breathing again

11.09.2012 – day my doctor told me I would not live another year

04.01.2013 – day I had my weight loss surgery

As you all know by now I started my journey at a staggering 555 pounds and this weekend I not only got some new ink I also lost another few pounds so the icing on this proverbial cake was stepping on my scale at 5:30am when I woke up to read the numbers TWO HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN (297) meaning that I can officially kiss the 300s good bye and if I’m being honest, which I do try to be, I cried for a moment after stepping off the scale and sitting down, because for the first time in quite literally more than a decade I’ve not had the number TWO (2) lead off my weight read out on a scale and even though I knew this number was approaching and I thought I was ready for it, I actually wasn’t.

So as I seriously contemplate the next phase of my life in doing far more than I ever thought I would with this weight loss journey I find I am truly rediscovering myself, and in ways I’d not anticipated even in the slightest. I’m working on a podcast network which I’ve mentioned already, but I’m also thinking about getting back in you comedy which while I’ve talked about for years haven’t done in more than ten and in the background I’m also writing a drum cover for an up coming YouTube video on my personal channel that I’ll share once I do it…

I’m rediscovering things that make me happy, I’m re-examining things that make me smile, laugh, cry, relate, want, and love. I’m not even done with my journey and as I approach now being literally half the man I used to be (which is only 20 pounds away) I’ve started to find that I wasn’t prepared for how my life would feel at this point. I knew my taste in food would change and I was as ready as I could be for how to approach eating and exercise, but nothing has prepared me for what I can only describe as my rebirth into the person I am becoming. While I know at my core I am still very much the me that was over 500 pounds I also know that I am a very different person in how I interact now, and I’m learning slowly how to take a compliment when someone say’s I’m attractive instead of just seeing the fat guy in the mirror, and this isn’t a negative post, this is a positive one so when  I say these words I say them not to you, but to myself to remind myself that life is a choice and I chose to live it, I chose to embrace it, and I chose to take it for everything I can. And while I’m still trying to figure out the next phase of my life I do know whatever it is, or how ever long it will be, it’s gonna be freggin awesome because I chose it to be, PERIOD.

And with that I do hope you will al continue to follow this journey with me as I try now not to simply find my lean, but also find myself in ways I can’t even describe, know or imagine.

~rev (297 pounds)


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Posted in Health, Personal, Weigh-In | 5 Comments

As I approach the 300 pound mark for the first time in I can’t even remember, and I am getting closer by the day, I wanted to stop and take a moment to talk about some of the personal trials I’ve endured over this journey because I don’t want it to seem like things are always perfect. So sit back and bare with me as I ramble on for a moment or ten.

Starting all the way back in April of 2013 (and FYI this will like be a Pulp Fiction timeline) having just had my surgery and still taking Morphine Sulphate at the rate of 90mg per day it should be needless to say, but pain management is not an easy thing for me. You all know by know my ability to walk more than 100 feet prior to starting this journey was non-existent but what you may not know is entirely why. It’s true the obvious nature of my size made it difficult to walk, but my lower back problems which I’ve had most all of my life, my two bad knees and over all poor health had in general put me past Tylenol and Advil..beyond the reach of Hydrocodone and even OxyContin and was soon going to go beyond the ability for Morphone Sulphate to ease my pain which by the way leaves pretty much only diacetylmorphine out there as an option, which for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a very science-y way of saying Heroin.

And while it is true I’m saying this in part for the dramatic effect I’m also saying it because to be honest that’s pretty much where I was headed. and not due to addiction to pain killers. I was still in pain much of my day even on that much morphine. So much pain in fact when I took a shower I had to then sit for nearly an hour just to recuperate form the pain that even eating morphine pills like skittles didn’t seem to keep enough at bay.

This brings me back to April 2013 and my issues with pain management meant that I was put on a hydromorphine drip post surgery, you may know it by it’s more formal name “Dilaudid” and even that wasn’t entirely enough to ease my pain to the point it didn’t hurt, which I was fine with as I’d accepted I’d always be in some amount of pain my entire life. What I was not however ready for was what happened after and this is the point. Once discharged from the hospital I was obviously no longer on my IV Drip meaning that what little Dilaudid I still had in my system was wearing itself off, And when that happened, and I mean the second that happened I went form mild discomfort to earth shattering pain like I’d never felt in my life. I rarely cry due to pain, and it’s not because I’m macho, it’s simply because that for the most part when you’ve lived with pain like I have you’re whole adult life it tends to not hurt that deeply. This however was not my normal pain, and no amount of tolerance to pain prepared me for what happened. It felt literally like my insides were being pulled apart and I swore something had ruptured. In the end nothing was torn, no stiches undone, it was all completely just my problems with pain management finally catching up to me as I was readmitted to the hospital to basically suffer for an entire day with the bare minimum amount of pain killers they would offer as I’m sure they assumed I was an addict or something. And while it’s now been approximately 8 months since I’ve taken any pain medication (and even then I was all the way back down to Hydrocodone) I will never take for granted what little amount of relief I do get form the medication I take when I need it, ever, ever again.

Moving from Surgery pain (which BTW is not the norm) to something we can all relate to whether you’ve had surgery to help you lose weight or you’re doing the diet and exercise methods…I would like to take a second and remind you that even as good as I’ve done and as much weight as I’ve lost since October 2012 when my journey began the weight loss plateau is a struggle that I’ve had to overcome a few times and am at the time of writing this in the last states of one. I’m not here to offer advice on how to get past one because honestly I‘m still figuring that out. But I am here to say that it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia and sometimes I need to make sure I remind the reader that my journey is just as trying at times as is yours because I don’t want to be the person who talks about the good. And with the weight loss plateau comes the pretzels and yes that wasn’t a typo. I can eat them but I now know I should likely never buy another bag of them again as long as I live because for the first time since surgery I found a food that I’ve struggled stopping eating to the point I felt sick because of it. Granted for me that’s a lot less in volume now than it used to be because for me to feel sick it only takes me eating about two cups of pretzels in a short period of time to accomplish that, but it can and has happened and if I buy another bag will happen again.

I talk about it because I don’t just want you to know I also want to remind myself that as good as I’m doing I’m NOT superhuman in the effort to lose weight and if I am not careful and I fail to identify these issues I can and will end up back to where I was before starting this journey or worse. And by worse I mean dead, because as morbid as it sounds that is the only direction I was headed in and in all likelihood could very well be dead now instead of writing this article reflecting on my journey thus far and contemplating what the next step in that journey is.

The last thing I wanted to mention is that no matter how motivated I get keeping up with my gym time is hard at best. I work out three days a week for the most part but more often that I care to admit I fail to do so because I still fall prey to the predator that is my inner excuse machine. And while it does seem to get a little easier to go to the gym it’s still very very easy not to go at all and to find a reason why that is just okay and that I shouldn’t feel bad about not going, but I do, deep down I know better and I know I need to push myself more to do better.

1601250_10152850867452366_473942457_nSo all in all while I know in my heart my journey has gone better than most in a lot of cases I admit I still sometimes feel defeated, I sometimes look in the mirror and see this guy –> no matter how much weight I’ve lost and while I joke sometimes about the fact I still can’t look at a pair of pants, that according to the size inscribed on its tag I know in my head will fit me perfectly or even loosely, without my heart telling me there is no way in hell you’re getting your giant fat ass in those. and Even though I do honestly have as I put it to a friend earlier charisma oozing out my pores I must admit to myself, and please don’t mistake this for a self-deprecating pity party because I promise it honestly is not. I’m simply not used to being what other people may find as attractive, I’m not used to being someone who is as I put it to another friend just today the “sought after” type and before I start sounding brag-y about how hawt I think I am, I honestly don’t. I still don’t if I’m being entirely open. And the notion that anyone finds me physical attractive is for lack of a better word, odd to me.

I don’t say any of this do be self doubting/loathing, because I have self confidence to spare and I am comfortable in my own skin…all of it, even the extra baggy bits, I’m honestly just saying it as a matter of fact. It’s just how I feel, wrong, right or indifferent it is what it is, and I don’t let it stop me from being social or active now either which is why I say I don’t say any of that in a negative connotation, or at least not purposefully so.

Lastly I wanted to share something that both made me giggle but admittedly is a nice stroke to my ego, and that is with regard to recent conversations I’ve had with friends about a topic I don’t feel like going into here, but the over all consensus from my friends is that I’m too nice…am I really too nice? I mean really? I only mention this because for those who know me personally and those who have been able to glean this particular trait about me through these posts know that I basically don’t put stock into what people think about me, but having people call me nice kinda touched my hearts (both of them).

And with that I choose to end this on a positive note and remind you that I’m training for my first 5k and that I have lost now a total of 253 pounds and hopefully my next message on this site will be about how my scale dropped below the 300 pound mark, or and one last thing….I’m getting a new tattoo very soon and I don’t want to talk about it just yet, but will post pictures and talk about it’s meaning once I’ve had it done, so be on the look out for that.

~rev (302 pounds)


Happy New Year….

Posted in Health, News, Personal, vlog, Weigh-In | 3 Comments

I talk about my weight loss over Christmas, my New Year’s Resolutions, and more. Sorry about the rambled tangent.

~rev (311 pounds)


230 lbs 40 inches and some personal reflection…

Posted in Health, News, Personal, Weigh-In | 3 Comments

Yes I said 40. So I’m down to a size 48 and at the rate I’m moving again after a small plateau I’m very likely to see 44 or even 42 by the end of January but I don’t want to get ahead of myself I do however want to push a small update about the last couple weeks as I likely wont post here again until after the new year. So here goes…

1461409_10151956768540914_947493076_nI’m down to 220 pounds so while I’ve only lost a couple pounds since my December 3rd update I’ve lost as many inches from my waist, actually more perhaps. I’m down an astonishing 36 inches  since this journey began…and even this morning as I put on my now size 48 pants I held them in front of me and simply could not believe I’d get then on let alone button and zip them up..but the truth is I’m a loose 48 and can put on a size 46 though they are too tight to wear at the moment. And I just can’t believe it. I bought these jeans at a thrift store as I’ve either been buying them at goodwill or thrift shops for a while now because I can’t wear them for too long. (6 weeks is the longest so far) and I have 3 pair of size 54’s to either take to goodwill or at some point when I’m near Nashville again I can drop them off at Vanderbilt @ 100 Oaks for the clothing drive for other pre or post surgery candidates who might need them.

I mentioned already I’m working out 3 days a week, well I’ve recently started adding some Yoga to the mix though I’d hardly call what I’m doing yoga I have been doing the plank challenge and so far I’m up to about 30 seconds. Each day I honestly feel better than the last and my heart rate when doing cardio is staying around 145bpm which for me is pretty fantastic. But my journey isn’t over, it’s only just getting started.

So shifting focus from health and weigh-ins to something more personal. I’ve been quite social again over the last few months (increasingly so as time goes on) but I recently started dating..and while I’m not really in a point in my life for anything serious it has been quite nice to just go out, be social and be…well me again I guess. I’ve also launched a podcast network and we shot our first podcast last weekend (the episode is live so go check it out) though I must warn you it’s not entirely safe for work as my co-host and I dropped one or two f-bombs. The podcast we started is around geek culture and I’m working to launch a political podcast as well to pick up where one of my old blogs left off years ago as well as many others. I’m really working to build an entire network of podcasts, some of which will hopefully last. and while it took much longer than I wanted it to is finally launched and under way.

On a more personal note and I’ve really not been very personal lately I wanted to just ramble on about a few things so bare with me… I recently turned 36 (or as many of my girl type friends might call it 29) and for the first time in about 8 years or so I feel blessed. Coming from someone who suffers form depression my weight has always been somewhere in my thoughts, either up front and obvious or hidden pushed away and repressed, but always there. For the (honestly) first time in my entire life that I can remember my weight is in the front of my mind but not in a negative connotation, No instead I’m feeling liberated and confident about who I am and how I look. Am I still over 300 pounds? Sure but it doesn’t bother me anymore because I know it’s moving in the right direction and I feel great and I don’t even care about the actual number. While I’m using it as a way to pave milestones in my journey, and I’ve said this in the past, the end game if you will…that “final magical weight” loss number is completely irrelevant to me. I’m already happy and I’m already in a good place and sure I know I’ll need surgery again, this time to get rid of all the extra fleshy fun bits hanging under my arms legs and stomach it doesn’t matter because those are good problems to have (my 48 is more likely a 44 already if you removed the sagging skin).

I’ve also pretty much decided to just go with the flow for a while. I’m just excited to see where life takes me on this roller coaster of a journey and as I turn the page I welcome the next chapters of my life with an open mind and enthusiastic optimism. That said my life does have very little room for what the kids simply refer to as “drama” have added that to my very small list of things I will not spend any of my short precious time on this earth tolerating. And when I say my list is small I mean it…

The things I will not tolerate are:

  • infidelity
  • that thing the kids call “drama”
  • domestic violence
  • bigotry of any sort

And before you smirk, yes I’m well aware not tolerating bigotry is itself a paradoxical irony that cannot be undone, but it is what it is. And in the end I am who I am after all. This reminds me of a friend’s recent facebook status which simply asked a question about flaws in how they relate to how you relate and that really got me thinking. And as I sat for a moment trying to work up my usually off the cuff quip I discovered something about myself or rediscovered something I should say. I remembered for the first time in quite a few years I simply have no flaws….and that’s not to say I’m flawless (far from it) but this one innocent facebook status reminded me of an old blog serious I wrote (on greymatter if that tells you how long ago this was) titled “Back to the Basics.” It was a short mini blog series I wrote about on along defunct blog where I talked about my simple philosophies for life and while people to change over time, myself included, these simple philosophes have not. Below is that facebook status…


Maybe someday I’ll rewrite those “Back to the Basics” blog entries that deal with my views on everything from regret to soul mates to basic human equality, but for now I really must bid this already rather lengthy entry adieu.

rev (320 pounds)


The tale of turkey and weight loss

Posted in Cooking, Health, Personal, Weigh-In | 1 Comment

It’s been a while since I posted an update because I’ve been a bit busy and while I meant to do a video for this post if I didn’t write something today it would be another week before I posted so I wanted to share some updates with you all.

So I seem to have misplaced some weight, 5 pounds to be exact. I had it before Thanksgiving Weekend, but now it’s gone…So not only did I manage to enjoy my Thanksgiving Weekend with family but I also managed to lose weight doing it. I even had a bite (and I mean one bite) of apple pie on Thursday and one bit of Pumpkin Pie on Friday.

So where does that leave us? Well it means that soon I’ll drop below 300 pounds (maybe even before my next checkup) and it means my waist has dropped another couple inches or so and my 54” jeans are now baggy and falling off me as I’ve dipped down well into the upper 40s.

It also means I’ve started working out about 3 days a week.image Monday/Wednesday/Friday I get up at 4:45am and get ready for the gym. I do 10 minutes on the elliptical followed by a “30 Minute Express Circuit Workout” which is basically 60 seconds of cardio (stepping stations) every other minute with a weight machine sandwiched in the middle. I work pretty much every muscle group this way (seated row, leg press, leg curl, ab curl, biceps curl, leg extension, chest press, shoulder press, lat pull down, and triceps extension). Once done I do a “cool down” 5-10 minute elliptical session and then I’m out. For the more serious workout types this will seem rather tame, but for someone who couldn’t walk a year ago or so this is pretty damn good.

1467291_10151935122370914_2038150135_nWhich brings me to my missing 5 pounds and my holiday weekend. Last week while working out I was chatting up a friend and he said, “oh man I feel bad for you this year for Thanksgiving.” When I asked why he talked about the how much he loved eating until his pants button popped off, etc. I told him it didn’t bother me because I’ve had 30+ years of doing that which is how I ended up in the predicament I’m in now, but the truth is..I wasn’t honestly sure how’d I feel about the food aspect of the holiday and as I drove the 5ish hours to my sister’s house Thanksgiving morning this thought stuck with me most of the way there.

1424280_10151935127395914_801547576_nI ate two (what would be considered) thanksgiving meals at my sisters house. Once on the day of and again a whole new dinner on Friday. And I sampled pretty much every dish. I ate turkey of course, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce (not the can shaped crap) sweet potatoes, quiche, apple and pumpkin pie, and the list continues. And I enjoyed every single solitary bite. The food was amazing even if the entirety of my two days of eating was still less than an average person’s dinner off holiday I came out of my experience not feeling left out, not feeling like I’d been deprived of some ritualistic eating right of passage, and in the end smaller…5 pounds smaller in fact.

I made gingerbread cookies1474431_10151935098565914_470925001_n (didn’t eat any) with my niece and nephew. I chased around the house and generally had a great time. I met some of my sister and brother-in-law’s friends and enjoyed their company, especially when Keoko (I’m likely spelling that wrong) read my tattoo from across the room perfectly (validating I managed to pick the right characters) and talking to her husband Chuck and on and on….so no, this Thanksgiving was not ruled by food or my addiction to it, it was ruled by joy companionship and family. Do I feel I missed out this year? No, not even in the slightest.

~rev (322 pounds)


The Costume the “Doctor” & the weight loss.

Posted in Health, Personal, Weigh-In | 8 Comments

I went to a Halloween party over the weekend. It’s a party I used to go to every year but haven’t really been but once in the last 4 or 5 years I’d guess. This is as you may have guess entirely due to my weight and my inability to walk much. Sometimes when you’re in that mode you don’t realize just how much affect weight like that can have on your social life, never mind the obvious health issues. But I went and this year I went all out (or as much all out as I could) but doing two customs. I went as Dr. Evil dressed up as Heisenberg. I even made some Raspberry flavored rock candy (though I didn’t eat any) for the party to go along with my theme. I took several pictures of this Doctor themed party and put them over on my new site if you’d like to see them.

I recently hit a bit of a plateau on the weight loss front but that seems to have passed as I’ve dropped several pounds since my last post and I put on a par of my old pants that I forgot to donate (so I’ll do that soon) because sometimes I still see myself as much larger than I actually am. Now I won’t say I’m small by any definition at 335 pounds, but that’s 220image pounds less than I was barely more than a year ago I have to remind myself that as one number goes up and the other number goes down I am smaller…a lot smaller. In fact the pair of pants I put on were too small for me a year ago by a long shot. The pant’s waist size was 64” and by my account, my actual waist size last October was around 82” or more than a FOOT bigger than the pants. Needless to say sweats and lounge pants were my clothing option of choice back then. Well today I’m wearing 54” pants that are too big and if it were not for the extra skin I’d likely be well under the 50” mark. In fact I put on a pair of 46” Shorts and was able to button them, though wearing them at this point would be nearly impossible because I could not breathe. But this means I’m down to roughly a 48” waist or nearly HALF the man I used to be so to speak. So back to those 64” Levi’s I put on…look at this image, as I think it says a whole lot more than I could ever say at this point. Oh and I’m drilling another hole in my belt today.

So all in all I must say I’m feeling a bit surreal after looking at myself in those ridiculously large pants and more to the point remembering those pants were too small for my big fat ass not all that long ago. Now while I know I’ve got a long road ahead still I’m less than 60 pounds of weight loss from literally being HALF the man I used to be, and trust me when I say a party will be had when my weight hits image277 pounds because not only has it been more than a decade since I weighed that amount but I dropping half of my total body weight will be (no matter how much else I lose) the single biggest accomplishment in this already incredible journey I’ve been on thus far. And to be honest that list of accomplishments is growing more and more every single day. So I’d like to end this post with my weight loss list. They say you should make goals, and they don’t need to be lofty either, just things in life you want to do as you lose weight. I’ve taken that to heart and I’d like to share with you my list and it’s progress thus far. And while I have no end goal weight in mind the picture above is me at around 230 pounds if I remember correctly, so I think I’d be more than happy to see that number again, but honestly at this point I’m already so far ahead of the game I’m already happy with where I’m at and every single pound lost moving forward is just icing on the cake I can’t eat any more. ; )


Stop taking so many medications

I no longer take 3 of them

Stop emotional eating.

I’ve Stopped

Stop board eating.

I’ve Stopped


Go to a tech conference again

I’m going to TechEd 2014

Buy a motorcycle & ride

I plan to do this in 2015

Take a trip to Ireland or Germany

I plan to do this in 2015


Take a shower without pain.

Every single day!

Be active with niece and nephew

Done and will do again.

No longer need to plan my steps

I walk 3 or more miles a day!
Fit and drive my car comfortably Or in my case even a smaller one!
Mow my own yard As soon as spring hits I’ll do it.
Clean my own house Done
Be more social with friends I go out 3 or more times a week
Take day trips (Nashville, etc.) I do this as often as I can now


Oh and Happy Halloween everyone. I’m going trick-or-treating with my friends Stacy & Richard and their daughter Emma. While it won’t be my normal walking night it’s still exercise and more importantly it’s me getting out and being social, which is never a bad thing.

~rev (335 Pounds)


One year, 30 inches, 18 holes & 207 pounds

Posted in Health, Personal, Weigh-In | 8 Comments

One year ago today (approximately) I started my journey to finding my lean…now while I will be the first one to tell you I’ve not found it yet, not completely anyway, the journey thus far has been nothing short of amazing. This time last year I couldn’t walk 100 feet and in just 4 days I’ll be walking in my first official event. I will be at the 3K Walk at the Unicoi County Apple Festival and while I’m not even concerned where I finish in the numbers I’m just super excited to be able to do it at all.

30 inches ago my waist size was around an 82..yes I said 82 which means I was bigger around than I was tall, in fact stretched out I was bigger around than many NBA basketball players are tall. now I’m down to about a 52” waist which is still big mind you but it means that in all likelihood if I can keep up the weight loss I’ll be in the 40s by the end of the year and that’s simply fantastic.

image18 is the number of holes currently in the belt I’m wearing right now as I write this having just drilled out the newest hole only moments ago. I couldn’t even wear this belt a year ago as I was too big for it…and most of my clothes for that matter. This belt will be with me to the end. The picture to the right was taken less than a year ago…I had already lost 30-40 pounds but that was still more than 160 pounds ago. (Oh and yes I was at a Tea Party with my best friend’s daughter…don’t judge)

And finally 207 pounds…that’s the total amount of weight I’ve lost in the last 12 months. That number is astonishing, and yet I still have more to lose, how much more I honestly can’t tell you. I only know that I’m going the right direction and I feel better right now than I have in years and I will know what my end game weight will be when I get there.

So one year down, and hopefully many more years to go, but I must admit I’m excited and nervous about year two. I bought a recumbent bike for the winter and a treadmill and a set of those elastic weight bands to exercise with, and I can’t believe I’m even saying this out loud, but I’ve also started to look into yoga classes…though I’ve not gone to any yet. So here’s to another year of weight loss, exercise and healthy living!


~rev (348 pounds)