The words of J. Chance

The goings-on of a 25-year old, perpetual Purdue student (and alum), former Glee Clubber and camp counselor at a weight loss and fitness camp for kids!

Posting Soon, I Promise

Hey everyone!

Wow, where has my time gone?? This semester is almost over, and I literally haven’t posted in almost four months. I have some major updates to write about, I just haven’t had the time with classes and working 30 hours a week almost every week.

I’ll need to get back to blogging soon, because I’m going to really need to this summer! I’ll be working at Wellspring Adventure Camp in North Carolina. It’s a weight loss and fitness camp for boys and girls ages 11-18.

Hopefully soon I can write a lot more about how the semester has gone, and the summer I’m about to experience. Thanks for your patience, though! Soon, I promise!

 

J. Chance.

Semester Number 13

I feel like every new entry has to start with the obligatory “sorry for not posting in a while.” This post will be no different. The last post was at the beginning of August.

I had every intention of posting more throughout the semester, especially with it being my first in a new degree program. So much for this being my fitness blog, right? Hopefully I can get back into it a little bit over break, and once the semester starts, hopefully I can establish a habit of posting once a week or something like that.

It really is my intention to keep updating those who follow this blog, and I really did want to use it as a fitness/nutrition/weight loss blog.

So here goes the recap on the past 4, almost 5 months:

As I mentioned, this semester was my first in the new degree program, applied exercise and health, and I have to admit, it really feels like where I’m supposed to be. The very first day of one of my classes, the instructor was going over all of the different opportunities we’d have in the field with this degree, and I just got really excited about the future and the impact I’m going to have on someone’s life.

I think of all thirteen semesters I’ve been at Purdue, this may have been one of the most difficult ones I’ve had academically. It was difficult in a very different way than other semesters have been. All joke’s aside from my engineering friends, the communication degree was difficult in one kind of way. This semester has included a lot of biology and sciencey kind of stuff, something I haven’t had in a while, for starters, and definitely haven’t been very good at.

My anatomy and physiology class was probably the hardest class I have ever taken. While I was taking the exams, I was wishing my body could somehow just tell me the way it works; the exams would’ve been a lot easier if that was the case. Unfortunately that is one way the body does not work. I should end up with a B, and that was probably the hardest B I’ve ever worked for. It’s definitely a B I’ll be happy with. I would’ve been stoked with a C, but knowing I worked my butt off the last third of the semester to earn a B is pretty gratifying. Now I know how hard I need to work in 204 next semester.

I feel like now, because of this class, and this semester really, I finally possess knowledge that I can use in a conversation and sound like I have some kind of specialization or expertise. Let me try to explain this. I’ve never necessarily possessed knowledge that would allow me to “be an expert” in any given field, despite having earned a degree. For example, my friend Kevin Norman earned his degree in entomology and agronomy, and he’s definitely an expert on that topic. Any of my engineering friends could talk about all of these different concepts and theories and all this stuff, and sound very intelligent.

That’s it. I’ve never really had the level of knowledge to sound “very intelligent,” at least in the sense that I feel when I listen to some of my friends talk about their respective fields. There were numerous occasions we’d be out at a bar and it’d be Jason, Josh, David, Josh’s girlfriend Liz, all engineering majors, Kevin and his expertise. You want to talk about not fitting into a conversation??? I love them all and couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends, but it was a personal thing for me, never really having a level of expertise about any one topic the way they do in their respective fields.

Now, that’s not to say I have any mastery on any level of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Trust me, because I do not. But the information I’ve learned this semester makes me feel like I could be a source of “expertise.” As a matter of fact, there have already been a few occasions where I’ve been turned to for help. Granted both have been by family members, but still. My mom asked for help with leg cramps she was having, and my sister has asked for training tips.

And I didn’t intend that to sound like a pity party for the COM major or anything like that, nor an indictment on my more intelligent friends. I hope it doesn’t come across that way. I am fortunate to have very intelligent friends!

I won’t update all of my classes. I tend to go on little tangents about each of them, and that would take up unnecessary space here. Grades come out in a couple days, and I think I should end up with 3 As and 2 Bs. One of the Bs is that anatomy and physiology class, so I’ll take that B for sure. The other B is a class that there’s no reason I shouldn’t have gotten an A in, so I’m a little upset with myself for not keeping up with the work, making it to class on time, and other crap that has prevented me from getting an A, most likely. Overall though, I’ll definitely take these grades this semester. Beats my fall semester from last year.

The beginning of the semester I had a bit of a hard time adjusting my workout schedule to my academic and work schedules, so there were quite a few weeks earlier in the semester where I’d only make it to the gym once a week. Now, to most people, sad to say but, this would be an improvement. But coming from working out 6 days a week most weeks since February, it was a little difficult to adjust to. I would say maybe a bit past the midway part of the semester I finally got back into a pretty good routine, and I really think that’s when my attitude about everything shifted back toward the positive end.

And Kelsey has started to work out with me a lot. She wanted me to be her personal trainer. I haven’t quite learned enough to necessarily consider myself a personal trainer, so I’ve just been having her do what I do. The benefits of this though is she’s really keeping me accountable and pushing me. Working out by myself is great, but now that I’ve started working out with her, I’ve changed the routines up a bit and really tried new things, and I think we’re both starting to see the effects of this, even after a couple weeks for her. I’ve gotten my weight down to 190, and I’m really starting to see some of the more physical results I’ve been pushing for.

Right now I’m at the 10-month mark for this lifestyle change, and I’m pretty happy with where I’m at. I’ve lost nearly 80 pounds. I feel good about the way I look. I feel good about the way I feel (what???). Today I actually came across a picture of me from 2009, and woof!! Looking back at pictures like that really makes me thankful that I made the lifestyle adjustments I have, and beyond blessed that I’ve been as successful with the weight loss as I have been. It’ll be really cool to see in two months, when I hit that one-year mark, how far I’ve really come and to see the actual physical transformation. Sometimes I wish other aspects of my life would transform as positively as this aspect has…but that’s not for here.

There have been so many different things I’ve been wanting to write about, I’m hoping to use these three weeks of semester break where marginally little will be going on to write some of those things. I guess as kind of a teaser, I’ll post potential topics I’d like to write about:

  • My admiration for those who have lost a parent at a “young” age; a number of close friends have lost a parent, and I just don’t know how I’d personally do it, so I’d like to write about my admiration for those who have had to deal with it
  • My best friend Shawn Dildine; in the past couple years, the man has entered the career-world, gotten married, has a child on the way, and bought a house; I think he deserves a blog post
  • This song “Do I Make You Proud;” WARNING: not meant to be a pity post; my reflection on making people proud, but not just those on earth, those who truly can see everything we as individuals
  • Life post-Glee Club; my observations of my first semester post-Glee Club

Who knows if I’ll actually find the time to write these. I’ll be working quite a bit over the next three weeks of my semester break.

I guess you’ll just have to keep your fingers crossed that you’ll hear from me soon! 😉

Take care!!

Runners in Song

Hey all! It’s been a little over two weeks since the 5k, and I’ve been meaning to write a post about the race…here it goes

Running this 5k was so much better knowing I had friends running with me. Shawn, Steve Dewitte and John Foerster also ran the 5k.

Well, we didn’t necessarily run together. The four of us are at different running levels, and I don’t think there was ever an actual time when any of us ran together. But knowing my guys are out there running made it a little easier to prepare for, to stay motivated and to cross that finish line as quickly as possible.

The really cool part was having someone who was, more or less, there for me waiting at the finish line. John finished first, and I heard a little “Yeah Jeremy!” as I was crossing the finish line. Darcy, who was obviously there for Shawn, was also waiting at the finish line, so it was great to see her waiting there too.

When I ran “The Challenge” 5k back in April, I was under the impression I was doing the whole thing by myself. Turns out after the race was over I knew a good handful of people, so it was nice seeing people after running the 3.1 miles.

And, it was really cool to stand there at the finish line waiting for Shawn and Steve to finish. Here’s what I’ve learned from running the two 5ks that I have: 3.1 miles is not just a short run! It’s hard work! To be able to stand at the finish line and watch people cross the line and accomplishment a pretty cool physical feat, especially my friends, it’s pretty cool!

As I mentioned, I had two goals: 1.) To improve on my Challenge 5k time and run under 25:00, and 2.) Don’t stop running.

At the Challenge, I ran that 5k in 28:08, and I stopped on two separate occasions to walk for a little bit. At that point I had been working out for just a couple of months, and with it being my first 5k, I just wanted to do it to gauge where I was at. Running it in under 30 minutes, especially with the large uphill climb that is McCormick Road, I was pretty satisfied.

With this 5k being three months or so later, and I had been hard at work in the gym and on the treadmill, there was no reason I couldn’t improve my performance.

I am glad to report that I accomplished both goals. My time was 23:34, and I didn’t stop to walk.

I will say this though, I wasn’t even 30 seconds into the 5k that I wanted to stop. As soon as I started running, I literally said to myself, “I don’t want to do this.” I don’t know what the deal was, but most of the race I was in my head, and I kind of didn’t want to be there. But, I pushed through it and was able to run it pretty well.

I’ve actually already signed up to another 5k in September. The Chicago Blackhawks, the Mad Dash to Madison are hosting this training camp fan fun day thing, and it includes a 5k run and 10k skate. As appealing as a 10k skate sounded, I decided to just stick with the running. Participants get to stay for training camp event, plus a Patrick Sharp bobble head. Sharpie’s my boy, so I was pretty stoked.

I figured it would be an excuse to head home and see my mom and the family with a trip into the city to top the cake. Now I’m just working on getting my brothers and others to run with me, and hopefully get Mom to walk! I think Brian and Nicole are going to run too, so I’m really excited about this one. My fitness has kind of been something I take care of down here, and I don’t think a lot of people up home are all that aware of what I’ve been doing, so I’m hoping that people will want to run this one with me and see the transformation that I’ve made.

If you would’ve told me that running and working out would kind of be my thing a couple years ago, I probably would have laughed in your face. But, I have to admit, it feels pretty cool to be getting fit. I don’t think I’ve ever really been in this good of shape, even in high school.

I’m not there yet though. I still have areas I want to improve, and I’m trying really hard not to become obsessive about the way I look and the number on the scale.

I also need to take my own advice sometimes.

I weigh myself twice a week, Mondays and Fridays, although it has been thrown off while I was in the hotel and now trying to adjust while being back in my almost-finished place. This week I weighed myself on Thursday and was pretty pleased with where I was at. Then on Saturday, I had a really good workout, and I got a bit greedy. I was thinking I was finally going to crack 200 pounds, especially with the great workout. So despite my normal weigh-in schedule, I weighed myself, and wasn’t happy with the number. I got upset. But why?

When I talk to people about losing weight, I tell them it’s not necessarily about the number, it’s about the way you feel. So after this workout, I felt great. Why should I be upset that the number isn’t exactly what I wanted it to be?

I shouldn’t, and it hit me on my drive to work. I’m really happy with the progress that I’ve made in the 5+ months I’ve really been working out, and I’m looking forward to continuing to improve my fitness.

That’s all I really have for right now! This one should be a little shorter than the others. Feel free to leave comments…they’re not just reserved for my mom. 🙂

Take care!

When I Grow Up…

As a precursor to this post, I want to inform you all I’ve had this screen open for about 2 weeks now, as I’ve been wanting to give the update post…just hadn’t gotten around to it. Here we go.

For starters, I’m writing this post from the luxurious University Plaza. Three weeks ago we had a pretty crazy storm early in the morning, and when I woke up, I looked around and realized there was about and inch or so of water in my room, as well as the rest our basement. A little bit later my sister called me and asked if our place had flooded too. Apparently about 60 units had flooded due to the storm.

So, they offered to put anyone living in the downstairs of a place that was affected in a hotel. Fortunately I didn’t have anything of significant value that was damaged, and I’m pretty lucky. Sometimes I’ll occasionally set my laptop on the floor or my phone to charge, and those would’ve been screwed. I did have to throw out some things, but when I think about what could’ve been ruined, I’m pretty thankful.

I checked in at the hotel the Wednesday after the flood, and that was three weeks ago. I’m very thankful that Copper Beech offered to put me up; I wouldn’t want to sleep on the couch for three weeks. However, this has really become a huge inconvenience.

I will say this, when compared to situations other people are in in other parts of the world with disasters and whatnot, I am blessed that it was just a little bit of water.

But I really miss my bed. I miss my room. All of my stuff from my room is piled in the kitchen. I feel bad for Mike because he’s basically living there by himself. It’s just an inconvenient situation to be in, and it’s throwing off the “routine” I had gotten myself in. It’s hard to eat as well as I was when I don’t have a refrigerator, freezer, microwave, etc. I’ve just been eating a lot of Subway.

And I haven’t been working out as regularly as before. I was working out six days a week. It was helpful being at home because I was able to just wash my workout clothes every other day and always have them ready. Because I haven’t really been able to wash everything as frequently as before, I haven’t been able to stay in that workout routine. I’ve still been working out, just I’ve had to motivate myself a significant more to get over there.

Speaking of working out, that’s been going pretty well. Once I reached my initial goal of 215 pounds (and thoroughly enjoyed my celebratory Hot Box Pizza), I re-set my weight goal to 200 pounds. Once I get there, I will really work on sculpting and refining my body.

Here’s the personal dilemma I find myself in, and unfortunately I think I might be turning into “that person” who won’t be happy with the way I look. On one hand, I’m totally proud of all the hard work I’ve done. I currently weigh 206 pounds, a weight loss of 62 pounds. On the other hand, I look in the mirror and I’m still not completely happy with the way I look. I still have a belly. I still have some fat that I’m not happy with. I know, I know…nobody wants to hear about how I’ve lost 62 pounds and still think I’m fat. I get it. I’m just saying, I’m still not quite happy with where I’m at, but I don’t want to get too skinny. I’ve already heard that.

We’ll have to see. I’m pleased, but I’m a work in progress.

And I’m running another 5k this Saturday. My goal is to run it in under 25 minutes, which would beat my time from the first 5k. I’ll keep you all posted on the time. A couple of other friends are running as well, so it’ll be fun (hopefully Steve’s ankle heals by then!).

On entirely related note, this is the post for life updates, and I have a pretty big one.

Quick review: Graduated in 2010 with a communication degree. Started another major in professional writing to establish Glee Club eligibility. Got denied for the second time to communication grad school at Purdue. Plans? Stop school and focus on work. Working out a lot.

I’ve always regretted not going into a field that was more helpful to people, like nursing, teaching, any of the services, etc. I’ve always wanted to help people. Not that I don’t think I could help people in a communication position, but it’s not the same thing. Back in high school, my recently-married best friend Megan (Barta) Virostko and I had always joked about being motivational speakers, and I guess part of me has really always wanted to do something like that.

As I’ve been working out, I’ve really developed a passion for health and fitness and gained an appreciation for the personal trainers.

Then it hit me.

This is my opportunity to help people. I’m a “success story.” I’ve seen the way hard work and dedication can pay off, and I want to motivate people to physically better themselves. The satisfaction of working with people to achieve their goals and feel better about themselves, this is what I want to do.

So, I’ve had a number of meetings with a number of different people, and am ready to register for classes for the fall. I have to wait a couple weeks to register while the incoming students register, but my schedule looks pretty cool.

Go ahead and take a moment to get the jokes out of the way now. Yes, next fall will start my seventh year of college. Yes, I’ll be in school for another three years. Yes, this will the fourth different major I’ve had.

Okay, done with the jokes?

I have to be honest though, when this idea hit me, I did feel like a little kid with these outrageous plans for “what I want to when I grow up.” When you’re a kid, one day you want to be a fireman, the next a doctor, and the next a pro baseball player. There have been so many different occupations I’ve thought I’ve wanted in college, let alone over my whole life. I started as wanting to be an engineer, then a journalist, then a PR guy, thought about law school, thought about grad school, and now this.

But I think this is really it this time. I think this is a great fit. Being a personal trainer would allow me help people achieve their personal goals and better themselves physically, and maybe even be someone’s “life coach.” I just think I have a good story to tell and have the ability use it to motivate people to better themselves.

So there’s the “big update.” I know it’s probably not as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be, but I’m really excited about it. Let’s just hope I make it through the summer and nothing prevents it from happening.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Wish me luck!!

Update Coming Soon

Hey everyone!!

It’s been a bit too long since I’ve posted, per usual. My apologies.

This post isn’t going to be too lengthy. It’s just to let you know I’m still around and a bigger, more information-filled post will be coming shortly. I should have some exciting news to come after tomorrow. Well, exciting for me anyway.

Good news though. It hit me today that the weight on my drivers license is wrong. It says 215, and as of Monday I’m at 211. 🙂

I’ll post more hopefully later this week!

Every Time We Say Goodbye

This weekend marked the end of a time of my life filled with countless hours of rehearsals, hundreds of performances, frantically memorizing new music, meeting dozens of amazing people and making lifelong friends.

My time with the Purdue Varsity Glee Club and Purdue Musical Organizations came to an end this weekend with our End of Season concert and commencement ceremonies, and I do have to say it was very bittersweet. This has been one of the most up-and-down years I’ve had in college, with Glee Club, school and other aspects of my life, so for this school year to come to an end, the only word that adequately describes it is bittersweet.

Now, I have always been very honest here on my blog and have always been open with my readers. This post will be no different. I’m going to talk about my experience with the Glee Club this year, but I’m not going to use this space to air all of my beef or anything like that. Despite the fact that this blog is an open and honest forum, I don’t think it would be appropriate to rant, rave and vent about my negative experience this year.

To clarify, that does not mean I had a completely poor experience as a member of the Glee Club this year. Like I said, the year was filled with a lot of ups and downs, though it seemed if there was more down than up.

That’s not what this post is about. This post is about capping off four amazing years with close to 100 Glee Club brothers performing all over the country and the world, culminating in my final End of Season performance.

Any of you have followed my blog and read my posts know that I’ve been unable to perform with the Glee Club this past semester due to my academic status. In that regard, it’s been pretty rough semester. For starters, the performance schedule was comparable to what it used to be back in the day, and I missed that.

The “opportunities” the guys had while I was sitting on the sidelines really made me jealous. I missed out on most of the senior lavalieres. I missed out on the John Deere Headquarters. I missed out on the IU collaboration. I missed a National Anthem at another Pacers game. I missed a lot of amazing performances, and that absolutely killed me. To hear Bill repeatedly say “best show of the year” or “great performance” and knowing I had nothing to do with that really bothered me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for the success the guys had this year, but I think I speak for all of the guys who have ever been on academic probation when I say that sitting on the sidelines really sucked.

Each show has significance to it, no matter how big or small, and the probation guys were able to join the rest of the group for the Munster show, which actually for the first time was two shows this year. For me, Munster acts as a home show. The Glee Club hardly performs up in Northwest Indiana very often, so it’s nice to be able to perform for family.

As appears to be the theme of this post, this year’s Munster performance was bittersweet. As it’s always great to perform near home, it made me remember the people who always came to this show who weren’t here. My grandma who passed away two Octobers ago always used to come to the Munster show, as did Papa, who passed away this past November. I know they were both watching from above, with Nana, but events like that always serve as a reminder of the people who are gone.

The Munster shows were pretty solid; it was nice to get back up on stage and perform with the guys again. But End of Season was the show I had really been looking forward to once learning I was on probation. Being able to perform at Munster was a bonus. In the past probation guys weren’t able to perform at these shows. However, End of Season is what I had built my mindset up for: one last show, one more performance with my guys, leaving it all out on the stage.

I have to admit, it was a little harder than I had anticipated. I came in with my less than positive attitude, kind of looking to just get it over with. Then it hit me at some point that it was all about to be over. I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to stand on stage with those group of guys I had grown close with, especially my seniors. I wasn’t going to be able to throw on the tails and feel untouchable because I was performing with the Glee Club. Sure it’s cliche, but you never appreciate what you have until it’s gone, and I’m sure Glee Club will be no different.

As for the show, I really don’t think it could have gone any better. The song selection was surprisingly spot on, with an exception or two. The quality of our singing was top quality. The crowd was great. John and Josh’s lavaliers were moving. The feeling of that performance with those guys at that moment is a feeling I don’t know I can even describe in words, and I fancy myself a pretty decent wordsmith.

For those of you who attended End of Season, I hope you were touched and moved and could feel the passion coming from the stage, and you thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

This past weekend was also filled with five commencement performances. It reminded me of how proud I am to be a Boilermaker alum. I look at my degree, which hangs over my bed, everyday, and it’s an amazing accomplishment. A lot of amazing people graduated this weekend, a lot of people I’ve been privileged to be friends with. I’m very happy for all of those who graduated this weekend, but especially my PMO family. Congratulations!!

Two last quick updates:

All I have going for me right now is my job at the grocery store. My plan was to continue working at the store, move up within the store and eventually work my way up to a store manager position. I planned to work full time over the summer, do this for a while and then eventually look for a job more so related to my studies at Purdue.

However, after only getting 18 hours at the store this week, my search may have to start sooner than later. I’m going to give it a couple of weeks. I know our department hours are down, so I’m not going to jump to hasty conclusions just yet. But, if hours continue to stay under 30, I’m going to either have to start looking for a second job, or look for a career sooner than I planned. I’ll keep you updated.

Lastly, I’m still doing work in the gym. With no school and no Glee Club, work and working out are really I have to focus on right now. My body is starting to feel all the hard work I’ve been doing. I’ve been having some foot/leg issues, and my back is actually kind of sore today. However, I’m 10 pounds away from my initial goal weight of 215 pounds (weight loss of 43 pounds since mid February), so I can’t really complain too much.

Once I get to 215, I will celebrate the achievement of a goal, but I intend to get closer to 200, 205. Once I do reach 215, I will be celebrating with some kind of celebratory meal or something. I asked for suggestions on Twitter and got some good responses: Five Guys, an Italian beef sandwich from AJ’s Burgers and Beef, Chicago-style deep dish pizza, fried chicken. My initial thought was movie theater popcorn. If anyone else has any suggestions, please leave a comment or tweet at me, @Jeremy_Chance.

I’m really excited to be getting close to my goal, but like I’ve said before, I still look in the mirror and am not happy with what I see. I see a lot that’s keeping me motivated.

I was talking to someone about why I’m working out so hard, and I’m actually very surprised with the response I gave. With everything that goes on in our lives, especially in mine, there’s a lot going on that is entirely out of my control at the current moment in time. My body is one of those things that I actually have some control over, and that’s what I’m doing.

Maybe I should post more often…then I wouldn’t have a nearly 1500 word post. Hope you all made it this far!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Obsession with Numbers

I think innately as human beings, we are all obsessed with numbers. They’re so readily available for us. Statistics. Grades. Money. Time. And most relevant to me right now:  Calorie consumption. Miles. Cardio time. Reps. Weight.

This week I just finished my tenth consecutive week of working out six days a week. Thanks to my Lose It! app on my phone and account online, I’ve been able to track my calorie consumption. I’ve only gone over my daily amount once in 8 weeks of using the app.

I’ve ran more miles in this 10-week period than I have ever in my life. On the treadmill I can run comfortably at 8 mph (7.5 minute mile), up from the 5 mph when I started. I live on the elliptical.

I’ve also lifted weights pretty religiously. I haven’t lifted this rigorously since baseball conditioning in high school.

But the most important number of all right now is 35.6.

In 10 weeks, I have lost 35.6 pounds and am currently weighing in at 232.4 pounds. Last week, just for fun, I tried on a pair of jeans from my freshman year (before my “Freshman 30”), and there’s some room to spare. I tried on some vintage fit (though it should say “not for fat people”) shirts that didn’t fit before, and now they do. The problem is, and I use the word problem loosely because it’s a problem I’m okay with, now all of my dress clothes and other clothes are starting to not fit.

I don’t want this post to be one where I sit here and brag about how hard I’ve worked and how much weight I’ve lost. I mentioned that I want this space to partially serve as a resource for other people who want to lose weight, and that’s what I’m going to do.

The reason I’ve been so successful with this weight loss is because I’ve worked so unbelievably hard at. There’s nothing else I can really say other than that. Working out six of seven days of week is a pretty rigorous routine I’ve gotten myself into.

Here’s what a standard workout week looks like for me:

  • Monday: 30 minutes on the elliptical, arms workout (chest press, flys, curls and triceps), finish up with 5 minutes on the treadmill
  • Tuesday: 45 minutes on the elliptical OR 10 minutes at 7.5 mph, 10 minutes at 7 mph and 5 minutes at 8 mph on the treadmill
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes on the elliptical, arms workout (chest press, flys, curls and triceps), finish up with 5 minutes on the treadmill
  • Thursday: 45 minutes on the elliptical OR 10 minutes at 7.5 mph, 10 minutes at 7 mph and 5 minutes at 8 mph on the treadmill
  • Friday: 30 minutes on the elliptical, arms workout (chest press, flys, curls and triceps), finish up with 5 minutes on the treadmill
  • Saturday: 45 minutes on the elliptical
  • Sunday: a day of rest

In addition to putting in so many hours at the gym, I’ve really been watching what and when I eat. For starters, I’ve really tried to cut out eating out as much. I’ll admit, I think the fall semester I ate out 4 of 5 days a week on campus, and that’s how this semester started out too. Now? I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate McDonald’s. I had Burger King as a “celebratory meal” for running the 5k. I’ve only occasionally eaten at Qdoba, and all you PMO people out there now how difficult that is.

Those days I would forget to bring a turkey sandwich to campus, I’d order Jimmy John’s or grab Subway. The only time I would allow myself the option of eating fast food would be Tuesday’s when my little brother, little sister and I would grab lunch and would occasionally go to Arby’s. Even going out to restaurant’s I’d watch what I eat. Anytime I’m home there’s generally one trip to Applebee’s and one trip to Rodney’s, but I still try and eat really well. Those 100 ouncers of beer may not be the best, but I run a little extra after partaking in those.

I’ve almost completely cut out pop. I allow myself to drink pop once a day, but most days I don’t at all. I drink a lot of water, lots of milk, and have recently started drinking both SoBe Life Water and Vitamin Water.

To make a long story short, my obsession with a number has developed through hard work and eating smart.

I’ve been fortunate to have as much success with this as I have, but I still look in the mirror and am not satisfied. I still have to stay motivated, and looking in the mirror gives me that motivation.

If any of you have any questions or want to leave any encouraging words, go ahead and leave a comment.

Until the next time, I’m still going to be working hard to get my life together and keep it that way.

28:08

Challenge: Complete!

This morning was the Purdue Center for Cancer Research 5k Challenge, and I am currently writing this from my bed recovering!!

It’s really hard to describe how the whole thing felt. I’ve never really done anything to that extent. I’ve definitely never run that distance in one running.

As I mentioned in my last post, my decision to do this was partially based on the fact that I wanted a tangible test to show to myself that all of my hard work working out is paying off. But another reason I wanted to do this particular run was the cause. I think most people in one way or another have been affected by cancer. I know my nana had cancer. I’m pretty confident my other grandma had cancer. My old third grade teach died from cancer. I don’t know what else really to say other than cancer sucks! So to be able to participate in an event that all the proceeds go directly to the cancer research center, it was really an awesome opportunity.

I woke up early this morning, and I had to eat my Wheaties! Breakfast of champs…obviously. I walked out of my place and it looked pretty crappy outside. It was actually pretty chilly too! I drove over to the stadium, and I guess I wasn’t thinking how big of a deal it would be because I was not expecting the parking lot to be packed! There were so many people there!

I was still pretty nervous about running it. It was over 3 miles, and it was also in a hilly stretch of campus. The first mile was relatively flat, but mile 2 was mostly uphill.

I really had two main goals for the run. The first was to finish in under a half hour, and the second was to run the whole time. I’ll tell you what though, after that big up hill on McCormick, I had to stop and walk for a hundred feet or so. I was a little disappointed.

However, I legitimately felt like a real runner right at the start of mile 3. There were people handing out little cups of water. So while I was running, I grabbed a cup, drank it and threw it on the ground, just like I’ve seen legit runners do. I know it’s silly, but I felt pretty cool.

The last mile plus was pretty rough. There was another little uphill, and I again walked for another hundred feet or so, but I was so close to being finished.

When I turned back into the stadium and had the rest of the parking lot left, I got the chills, and I couldn’t help myself from smiling. I’ve realized that running/working out is one of those things that, facially, no one looks attractive. I don’t think most people necessarily smile while running. But while I was running up that last straight away, I literally couldn’t help myself from smiling. I knew I was about to accomplish something that was really cool, something I never even considered I would do.

As I got close to the finish, I saw the clock was just past 28 minutes, and that’s when I really started to grin. I knew I was about to accomplish the time goal that I had set for myself. My official time was 28:08!

I can’t believe that I’m going to admit this, but I’m generally pretty honest and open with you all, and I think most of you enjoy reading that kind of writing. After I crossed the finish line and I was walking it out, amidst the sweat on my face, I realized that I was crying a little bit. I have no idea why exactly I was crying. Now, I wasn’t bawling; tears weren’t streaming down my face.

But I could just feel myself get really emotional. I’m not sure if it’s because I accomplished something positive when I often times have negativity running through my head. I’m not sure if it’s because it really hit me the cause of the run. I’m not sure if it’s simply because that’s all I had left to do. I don’t know. It’s kind of silly thinking about it now, but after it was over and I was stretching out and cooling down I just had this overwhelming sense of emotion.

I think the coolest things I saw while I was running was watching people wearing “survivor” shirts actually running in this event. Participants got white t-shirts, but if you were a cancer survivor, you got a special yellow shirt that had “SURVIVOR” on the back. While I was running there were just a number of people wearing these shirts, and it was so cool to see that. Cancer isn’t impossible to beat. It doesn’t have to be a crippling, life-altering thing. Sure, it’s probably the toughest thing to go through. I don’t doubt that at all. It was just really cool to see people not let it change who they are or hinder what they are able to do.

It was humbling, honestly, and it made me realize how truly blessed I am.

Thanks for reading about my 5k experience. I hope you can all gain something from what I write about. I write what I feel and think and experience, and I can only hope that those of you who take the time to read what I have to say really gain something…anything..from what I have to say.

Have a wonderful day! I’m probably going to take a nap! 🙂

New Ink and a 5k

Hey everyone!

Although I’ve closed the gap between latest posts, I still haven’t posted as frequently as I would like.

After a long while of thinking about it, I finally made the move to get a second tattoo. The funny thing is though that it’s not necessarily what I thought my second tattoo would be. After my grandfather passed away last November, I had every intention of my tattoo being for him. I still have that plan. I’m going to get the exact same thing on my left shoulder blade that I have on my right, only with a different verse of the song.

But last Monday I woke up and decided I was finally going to make the move and get it done. I went to New Breed Tattoo after class, explained what I want (which I’ll get to in a sec), and got ready to get it done. I had pumped myself up all day for it, only to have to wait until Friday until my artist was ready for me. I scheduled an appointment for 4:30 on Friday, and once again had the week to get excited for the new tattoo.

So the week goes by, and 4:30 Friday rolls around. I head on over, and Ben tells me he’s not quite as ready for me as he was hoping and needed me to come back at 9:30. MORE WAITING!

It was finally time for the tattoo, and I was really pumped. Here is what I told him I wanted. I wanted the words “Thank God for another day” on my chest, but I wanted it tattooed backwards so when I look in the mirror I could read it. Initially I wasn’t sure if I just wanted it to one side of my chest, across, big, small. When he sketched it out small and in simple script, I realized that is exactly what I want. Here’s a few hours after he was done:

And here’s how it looks in the mirror:

After I took the bandage off it and really looked at it more in the mirror, I realized it was perfectly what I wanted. It’s small and simple.

The reason I wanted to get this was because sometimes I get overwhelmed and forget that my life could be worse and to be thankful for what I do have. This serves as a daily reminder for me that I need to be thankful for being alive. Every morning when I look in the mirror I see it, and I’m reminded. Sure, I shouldn’t need a tattoo to remind me to be thankful. But I think we all understand how crazy our day to day lives can be and sometimes we forget…I know I do.

It just reminds me that despite how difficult or complicated my life is, I’m going to get through it, and I need to be thankful for the life that I have.

I love it!

In other news, working out is still going pretty well. As of Monday, the last time I weighed myself, I’ve lost 25 pounds. Today’s another weigh-in day, so hopefully the weight loss has continues. I’m heading to work out in a little bit, so hopefully I’ll have good news.

Tomorrow is kind of an exciting day for me though. I think I mentioned it last post. When I initially started working out, it was just to be healthier and try to get fit and be a physically better person. I realized along the way I wanted a tangible goal, something that I could do to prove to myself that I’m getting healthier and fit. I decided to participate in the Purdue Center for Cancer Research’s 5k run, The Challenge. Tomorrow is finally the day. I’ve definitely been busting my butt for the past month and a half, almost two months, and tomorrow I’ll have the chance to show myself exactly where I am.

I’m not going to lie though, I’m kind of nervous though. Every time I drive along the roads in which the the 5k course is, the only thing I can think to myself is, “Wow, this stretch of road is REALLY long!” I’m sure I’ll be thinking the same thing while I’m running it too.

That’s all I really have. I’ll have to post shortly after the race.

Hopefully all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Getting Fit

It has once again been a little bit longer than I planned since my last blog post. There have been too many times I’ve said to myself “I haven’t blogged in a while, I should do that,” and then I kind of forget about it. My apologies.

Not too much has been going on in my life. Being on academic probation from Glee Club sucks pretty hard, especially with all of the opportunities they’ve had this semester. I was hoping to sure up somethings with my grades and have the opportunity to rejoin the guys this semester, but it didn’t quite work out.

All I can really say is this: after being given the chance to finish up some work and eventually receiving a grade that should’ve reestablished my eligibility, the university couldn’t change my academic status, and I was not given the opportunity to join the guys mid-semester. As much as I normally look forward End of Season, I can’t even express, in writing or spoken words, how much I can’t wait to get back with my brothers on stage.

Until then, I’ll bust my butt in rehearsal, try and focus as much as possible on my academics, work at the store, and work on me (more on this later).

School is just kind of school right now. The latter part of the semester is going as they normally do, and that’s slow. We’ve had some teaser warm weather here and there, and I think everyone’s just ready for the summer. My plan to pursue this second undergraduate degree has no doubt been questionable at best. I don’t particularly enjoy what I’m doing. Not shockingly at all, my favorite class is my communication class, an advertising class. I miss having those communication classes.

I’ve decided that if grad school isn’t in the cards for me for next semester, as I’ve reapplied for next fall, I’m going to take some time away from school. Grad school at Purdue may just not be for me. There are other programs out there that I may consider in the future. I just think for right now, if I’m not admitted to grad school for the fall, I need some time away from school. I’ll come back some other time and finish up those handful of classes, but I’ve already earned my one degree, and I’m proud of that.

This semester I’ve had the opportunity to work a bit more without weekend performances and obligations, and that’s been kind of refreshing. I am excited though for the summer because I’ll be able to work full time, and hopefully in a more advanced position. Yes, even in the meat department at your local grocery stores we have levels within departments. I’m hoping eventually work my way up into store management, and I think this is just another step.

I think one way this blog will change a bit is with a new endeavor/hobby I’ve taken on in my life. Just down the street from where we live, they put in a gym called Snap Fitness. One day I decided to go check out it and get a membership. They had a membership $20 a month (no long-term contract), and the facility is open 24/7. I figured I’d give it a shot.

That was about a month and a half ago. Since then, I’ve probably worked out literally just about everyday since then. I can’t even explain why it’s happened. Maybe it’s because I want to be healthier. Maybe it’s because I might as work on my physical health when my mental “health” is questionable. Maybe I just needed something to fill my lack of Glee Club obligations. I don’t know. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons, conscious and subconscious.

Regardless, I’ve started working out 5-6 days a week, and I’ve also started eating better, significantly better. I’ve basically cut out all fast food, with the only legit exception being Tuesdays when I get lunch with Joe and Kels, though I do try to eat well when we do. I’ve tried to bring my lunch with me to campus instead of getting food on campus. I’ve shopped better, buying better and healthier food, and I’ve started cooking a little bit better. I’ve tried to limit all eating to before 8 PM. And, I think most importantly, I’ve substantially cut out the amount of pop I drink. I allow myself one a day, although many days I don’t drink it at all. I’ve started to drink milk: I think I’ve drank more milk in the past month and a half than I have in the five and a half years I’ve been in college.

Now, unfortunately I did not weigh myself before I started working out, and that was probably a mistake. I have an application on my phone that allows me to track my weight, my calorie intake, my workouts, etc. By putting in my goal weight, it creates a daily calorie plan for me to reach my goal. I had to take a guess at my starting weight which, and there’s not a chance it was under 265. I guessed my starting weight to be 268. As of today, I’m at 247.4, and I’m pretty proud of that. My goal is to get to 215. I’m just trying to live a healthier life, get fit and feel better about myself.

I think I may turn this blog into a workout/weight loss blog. I’m not necessarily looking for feedback, but I just think this will be a good way for me to stay accountable, and maybe “inspire” other people to give it a try.

Thanks for reading. I’m hoping to update it a little more frequently and keep up with the weight loss. Have a good day!!

-J. Chance