5 Minutes in a Dad’s Head

This morning as I perused my Facebook feed I noticed my wife posted a link to this article, ‘5 Minutes in a Mom’s Head’.  I thought it would be interesting to see the flip side…from one man’s perspective.  I’ve often said…my wife’s job as a stay-at-home-mom is way more difficult and grueling than my day job at the office…and she does it all for free…this is by no means meant to slight all you mom’s out there.

What time is it?  What day is it?  Dang…if I don’t roll out of this bed and into the shower I’m going to be late for work.  It’d be nice if I could take a day off sometime.  I should have gone to bed earlier last night…stupid Netflix and YouTube…those Jimmy Fallon Lip Flip’s were pretty hilarious though…and then falling asleep to the stupid soft glow of Facebook.  If I would’ve gone to bed at a decent hour I could’ve gotten up early and exercised…but this bed feels so good.  Maybe I’ll start next Monday…because this week is already shot…and it’s Father’s Day weekend.

It’s raining again…I sure wish it would stop raining…the yard is like a jungle…I’m going to have to mow it twice.  The weedeater didn’t start last week and I need to trim the yard more often…I wonder if we need a new weedeater.  I wish I was better at small engine repair where I could fix it…it is 10 years old though…things don’t last anymore.  I don’t see the point in sending it in for service because that will probably cost more that just heading over to Lowes and picking up a new one.  Maybe I’ll get one of those units with the detachable implements for edging and blowing off yard debris.  Maybe while I’m at Lowes I can price out the materials for that hammock stand…that hammock stand the kids will enjoy more than me.

Crap…it’s 6:40 and I need to be out the door in 5 minutes.  I need to be quiet getting ready so I don’t wake everyone up…I’ll put my shoes on in the garage.  Seems like only one member of our family sleeps well anymore…the 6 year old.  The 9 year old wants to stay up late…the 1 year old may be teething again.  I’d love to be six again sometime…Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers…Little Debbie’s…that’s all I had to worry about.

What do I need to do today?  I’ve got to wrap up those plans today…then get started on three other projects. I need to schedule a follow-up with one of our clients.  I hope my inbox isn’t full of last minute questions from consultants…still gunning for Inbox Zero...I need to finish reading ‘Getting Things Done’.  Our family could probably benefit from having an organized husband/dad…maybe it would bleed over into projects at home…heck maybe into all of our lives.  I need to clean out this garage already.  We moved here over 2 months ago and it’s half full of unpacked boxes…I see the kids have made a fort out here…that looks like fun.  I should stay home and play with them in the garage…maybe go through these boxes.  Hey…there’s that cool hunk of 100 year old beam just laying there…I should use that for a lamp base or something.

I wonder how much longer this Honda is going to last…I guess I’ll drive it until the wheels fall off.  It’d be fun to have a Jeep…the kids would like riding around in a Jeep…an adventure mobile!  I need to get new tags for the cars…and check to see if we’re violating some law by not having them registered yet…surely there’s a 6-month window for this?  Maybe I could take the kids with me and teach them about the process…that should pass for a Civics lesson…I should be more involved in their homeschool.  Glad it’s summertime…wish we could go on a vacation or something.  Maybe a day trip somewhere close by.  It’d be fun just to take a husband wife trip though…or a date for that matter.

Okay…if I don’t get going I’m going to be late.  Oh man…I need to stop for gas…I’m on empty…but not really empty because there’s gotta be at least 3 gallons in the tank when the light comes on.  At 24 miles per gallon I can get 2-3 more days out of this tank!



Don’t let the title fool you…it’s not the new “planking” so to speak…I’m no trendsetter by any means.

After having some remarkable success in dropping some pounds November and December I’ve tapered off quite a bit.  To date I’m down a total of 40 lbs…but January and most of February have been sort of a let down…a plateau.  No movement on the needle of the dial…meaning I haven’t lost any weight but I haven’t gained any either.  And no…I haven’t fallen off the wagon completely…well…perhaps a little here and there.  I like to imagine myself as Indiana Jones holding desperately onto a rope being pulled along the dusty earth…I’m gripping the rope still but life has been insane since Christmas.


You’d think with New Years coming and going I would have some boost of sheer will…but it didn’t happen.  I’ve been working some unreal hours trying to wrap up a project with a team at work…it’s been stressful and grueling…a lot of long nights at the office.  One of the casualties of this schedule has been the rotation diet…and food planning…and sleep…and family time.  I’m still adhering strictly to eating gluten-free.  However, I’m relying too much on Qdoba and  Chipotle as my go-to fast food meal replacement.qdoba-logo  chipotle-mexican-grill  Seems as though there’s not enough time in the day anymore…and it’s all I can do to try and maintain new eating habits.  I guess when you come up against a wall like this you just power through right?

I think now is when the real work begins…and I know what needs to be done.  The great news in all of this is…the project just went out to bid…so I can cut back on hours and get everything back where it belongs.

To start…I need to implement more exercise and stress relieving activities.  Up until now my exercise has been rolling around on the floor with the kids.  Stress relief has come in the form of playing with my son’s Go! Go! Smart wheels…we have the Train Set and Airport…seriously…they’re fun!  I’ve been curious about running…but if you know me…you know I’ve never liked to run…like never…like since they made us run a mile in middle school.  I hear stories that there’s a high associated with it and you get into a zone and  before you know it you’re hooked.  Others have suggested krav maga or some sort of full body contact sport.

Sleep is another area that needs much improvement.  I’ve been staying up way too late…a lot of the time at the office…but since my schedule was messed up I resorted to staying up at too…Netflix and all.  Netflix MemeThey keep putting up awesome binge watching material and I’m a documentary junkie…have you seen Blackfish? Ride the Divide?  Suffice to say, I need more sleep and get into a habit of putting devices away…there are many things that affect quality of sleep which I’d like to share here.

Lastly, I plan on writing more in the coming weeks…just to keep myself in check I think…but more importantly…I’ve found some great information to share anything I think will be beneficial to others.  It’s a reconstruction process…whatever course of action I need to take…the time is now!

What moves have you made when you’ve been stuck…in a rut…etc?

Holiday Hiatus…Over!

So…it’s been a few weeks since the last time I’ve written anything on Fat Dad Camp.  I’ve been on a holiday hiatus of sorts…there’s been literally no time to write as our time has been filled with non-stop action including a long road trip with my family to Disney World, then Christmastime hustle and bustle, and now New Year’s Day is upon us!  Seems like just yesterday it was Thanksgiving.

Just in case you may have wondered how this recovering food-a-holic made it through the holiday season…I can tell you about it first hand…it was a little tough.  I gave it a good try to stay in bounds from a food standpoint.  The good news is…I didn’t gain any weight…which is  great I guess when I consider that I did indulge a bit here and there.  There was only one real episode of overkill though…I practically made myself sick eating ribs and gluten-free brownies at Disney World one night then proceeded to ride a boat shortly thereafter!

Now it’s time to get back into the swing of things…rubber…meet road.

Here are some upcoming topics I plan on writing about soon…

  • Food Allergies…how our entire family life has been altered due to food allergies
  • Dining at Disney World…dealing with special dietary requirements in a world of decadent food choices
  • Implementing Exercise…launching phase two of health reconstruction

Please stand by…and Happy New Year!


It’s A Small World After All

Short post tonight…

Tomorrow my family and I are embarking on an incredible journey to Walt Disney World in Florida. We’re all pretty excited to say the least! It will be our first major vacation as a party of five…prayers are appreciated! The kids and I have never been to Disney World…my wife went when she was younger…so it should be quite an adventure for us!

We were able to get the Disney Dining Plan added onto our reservation during our stay. It makes your stay pretty all inclusive with one “quick service meal”, one “table service meal” and one snack per person per day. The Disney Dining Plan is designed to take the hassle out of the never ending “what to eat?” questions on a typical vacation. Our helpful Disney Planner made reservations at some fabulous restaurants and from what we’ve read, Disney makes great effort to accommodate food allergies, sensitivities, and dietary restrictions…which in our family is gluten, dairy, peanuts, and egg…good times huh?!?!

My goal is to stay the course…not over do it but perhaps enjoy a thing or two within reason. Hopefully there will not be any inadvertent allergic reactions while we’re there. I hope to follow up with good news after the trip!


Post Thanksgiving Update

HolidayHamRyanIt’s been a short while since I’ve blogged…you may have been wondering whether or not the Thanksgiving Holiday did me in.  Several folks have ask how it went for me…the eating plan…the temptations faced…successes and failures…etc. Honestly, I think it went rather well…I may have eaten too much ham but if you could have seen, smelled, and tasted the ham you wouldn’t blame me one bit…at least it’s protein, right?  I can’t stress to you how important it was to have a plan…a manageable plan.  Having a plan took a lot of the guesswork out of eating…and knowing ahead of time what food would be available truly helped me stay the course (not over-eating) during the holiday. It was also beneficial that my wife and I have become meticulous food planners since the beginning of this new way of life…so in the run-up we had some good practice.


Gluten Free Coconut Pie



Thanksgiving day started out great…I woke up and found my wife preparing the coconut crusted pecan pie I mentioned. While not exactly healthy due to the sugar content…it was wonderful to have a gluten free option later that day. When she finished the pie, I began cooking the ham.  Let me back up just a bit…the night before I went to the grocery store to buy the ham…ended up spending a good bit of time reading and comparing labels on every one of them in the store. I ended up choosing the one with the least amount of additives…cured with water, salt, and some nitrates (gasp)…many of the others had a lot of additives so I think I chose the best of the ones available.  I cooked the ham for several hours and then added a glaze consisting of brown sugar and Dijon mustard…perhaps not the best choice…but have you had candied meat? It’s hard to resist.

When we arrived at the in-laws, my mother-in-law had baked some sweet potatoes, made the green bean bundles, spinach salad, and even went through the trouble of modifying her rice dressing recipe.  Everyone has been really supportive to all the food issues with our family (which is another part of the story I should write about). Aside from those foods, the standards were all in attendance…turkey, giblet gravy, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, coconut pie, pecan pie…but with all the great choices available these were easy to pass up.


The Thanksgiving Plate of 2013

I was also able to eat on a smaller plate than the giant oval ones…it threw my mother-in-law for a loop…but it worked!  One plate (filled a little more than normal) and I was done…let that settle for a while before I tackled the special pie.  More about the gluten free coconut pie…it was nothing short of a slice of heaven to a dude who’s sworn off sweets and such for a little over five weeks now.  The shredded coconut had a nice crisp on the outside of the crust…the dark chocolate and pecan mixture inside was sinful…having one slice was enough…plus I was able to save several slices in the freezer to enjoy at Christmas!

All in all…compared to past holiday glutton fests…I think we did fairly well…onward to Christmas…and resisting all the office treats!  The lesson here is HAVE A PLAN…a manageable one…and everything will work out.

One last photo of the pie!

One last photo of the pie!

Breaking Eating Habits

cold-turkeyIn the spirit of Thanksgiving…this post is vaguely relevant regarding turkey…hence the classic image to the left.  I recently read a blurb from someone I follow on Twitter (one of the godfathers of the paleo/primal eating lifestyle) regarding how one changes habits…specifically when moving to a healthier lifestyle. The takeaway was something along the lines of “when making a change…do you take baby steps or go cold turkey?”

This time around (and hopefully for good) I’ve selected the “cold turkey” route…and when I say “cold turkey”…I literally haven’t touched a morsel of poultry since starting the reconstruction.  This isn’t because I believe poultry is bad for you…it’s just one of those foods I must avoid for a few months based on the food sensitivity test.  Don’t worry though…I still cook it for the other four members of my family…so that everyone doesn’t have to suffer from Dad’s food sensitivities.

It’s been said that it takes about three weeks to either break a bad habit or develop a good habit.  Finally…I’m a firm believer in this old adage.  I have on numerous occasions now successfully walked past the break room at the office…come face to face with a table full of donuts…pies…cakes…pizza…anything from Rick’s Bakery…and been able to resist the temptation.  Sometimes I get really close to these former food options and smell them…remember them…and move on…before I would have completely indulged…and felt like crap the remainder of the day. Being able to do avoid these temptations has hardened my resolve somewhat…it’s difficult…but getting easier every day.  With it being the holiday season and all…our office will be innundated with holiday treats sent over from contractors, consultants, and vendors…needless to say…I’m up for the challenge!

In my past efforts to “get healthy” I had taken the baby steps approach…sometimes having success…and perhaps if I would have stuck to it I could have made remarkable changes in my health.  The thing is…I was always a sucker for unhealthy foods and would easily gave into temptation.  I’d go a few days eating “moderately healthy”…I use that term loosely because it is laughable thinking about what I used to consider healthy…but I would feel like I deserved some sort of reward for eating well. So I would undo any progress with a little 4-piece Popeye’s here…a little up-sized Arby’s there…and hey…did you know hey have Greek froyo at TCBY now? While mildly nutritious…when you mix Greek froyo with Reese’s cups it sorta defeats the purpose. The point is…I would always find myself back where I began…unmotivated and feeling like a failure.

What’s been the game changer this time?

KnowingIsHalfTheBattleI would have to say knowledge. Making this abrupt change is partly due to the revelation that for a vast majority of my life I’ve participated in stuffing my maw with a pro-inflammatory diet.  Like I’ve said before…I was a little oblivious…not knowing or caring that certain foods were either chronically keeping me sick or contributing to the many issues I was trying to live with day-to-day.  This time…I’m learning a ton more about the foods I should be eating (reading labels and ingredients) and actually enjoying them (in correct portions)…which in turn has made everything…well…extremely doable.  Knowing is half the battle!

How have you been able to change any bad habits or develop new good habits in your life?  Baby steps?  Cold turkey?  I’d like to know!

One Month Progress Report

OneMonthSo here I am…one month into this journey through health reconstruction…and I’m here to brief you on current progress.  For starters…and I hate saying this because it is bound to bite me later…but this has not been as difficult as I thought it would be going in.  Have there been hard times?  Heck to the yes.  Temptation reared it’s head?  Almost every day.  Have I stuck to the eating plan?  Certainly…except for earlier this week I was in a jamb at an out of town meeting…pizza was delivered…I resisted…then at some Wendy’s chili afterwards…it was the nearest gluten-free option available…sue me.  Any big payoffs yet?  I’m getting to that…

When I started…I weighed in at a paltry 300 pounds.  I’m now at 270.  If you can’t do the math that’s 30 pounds.  That’s almost two of my one year old son…or 3.75 gallons of water…a flat tire on a car…or $596,448.00 worth of gold!  I’m pretty stoked about it as you can tell.  Here’s a fun fact:  I haven’t weighed less that 270 in my entire almost 14 years of marriage to my awesome wife!

ButtonPopMy clothes are loose…I’ve lost a few inches around my waist…I began wearing 46’s.  I’ve had to add a notch in my belt to accommodate this.  It feels good.  My shirts no longer feel like the buttons will pop off and hurt someone.

I’ve lost the need to make excuses to eat fast food.  We haven’t eaten out that much as a family (I feel bad for them)…but seriously…what we’ve saved in restaurant costs has been absorbed by eating tasty fresh foods.  It’s a little bit of a bummer because it should’t cost more to eat healthy food…but that’s another discussion.  The fun bi-product though is that everyone in the family is eating better…I’m lovin’ it!

I’ve also lost the need to manage pain…I use to take tylenol on almost a daily basis…for headaches and back pain.  Part of the problem was the pro-inflammatory diet I use to eat.  I haven’t had one in a month…like I said before…I feel a lot better.

So what have I gained?

I have more energy…by eating healthier foods and getting regular sleep…it truly works.  I haven’t had a cup of coffee in over a month now…whereas I use to be an all day drinker of the stuff…with cream and artificial sweeteners.  Now I have black tea…every other day.

Just look at it!

Just look at it!

I have much more confidence to resist temptation…I guess having good results is a great motivator…and get this…a consultant just dropped off three boxes of Rick’s Bakery sausage rolls…plain ones…spicy ones…and the extra special ones with cheese on top.  I got real close and smelled them…it smelled like heaven.

I have more hope that this time will be it…that I can persevere until I’m at a healthy weight (the research I’ve found says 174-194 pounds).  I want to become more active…and live a more vibrant life with my family.  I’m still trying to figure out some activities to do for exercise.

Lastly…I’ve gained a rad beard…it has a lot of gray in it…makes me look wise…at least that’s what I tell myself.

PS:  I’ve got a few posts I’m working on…including subjects like…temptation…habits…and holiday eating (insert sad trombone).  Stay tuned.