Bad News and Good News and One Brief Shitty Moment at the Gym.

This post will be a combination of many things. There’s good news. Yay! There’s bad newsBoo! There’s more bad news. Double Boo! And there’s a lot to catch up on. Let’s not waste any time!

First and foremost, I’m back to exercising…. for now. (Cue foreboding music. That ‘for now’ will be explained later.) My bruised rib sidelined me last week, and it was painful and frustrating. When I last wrote about it, I mentioned that I might try something low-impact, like a recumbent bike, just so I could get some activity in. But I decided to hold off until I was sure I was ready for exercise. I have a tendency to jump the gun when it comes to letting injuries heal, and I didn’t want to aggravate anything or prolong the healing process.

Ultimately, I went 6 days in a row without working out. Unfortunately, I ended up lapsing with my eating during that time, too. Food was comforting when I was in pain. I did things I rarely do anymore. I swung through a drive-thru and upsized a combo meal – and it was at Chick-fil-A, which means that not only was I putting junk food into my body, I was also being a bad gay.

One night I ate so much junk food – nachos and candy and honey-roasted peanuts (Fun Fact: these are actually deep-fried in addition to being roasted) and more candy  – that I actually got sick to my stomach. I can’t recall the last time I ate until I got sick. I can’t recall ever eating until I got sick. Like most of us, I grew up hearing that too much Halloween candy, for example, would make you sick, but I never ever experienced that. I’ve had a black hole of a stomach all of my life – it’s no wonder I ended weighing over 400 pounds.

That night was a relapse into bad habits that I indulged in for years and years. I wish I could say binging on sweets and chips and cheese and chocolate felt foreign or unnatural, but even though I’ve resisted doing it for almost four years, that night proved it’s still second nature. Even though I’ve lost a ton of weight, there’s still a fat guy part of my brain, and I suspect there always will be.

One single food item triggered that monstrous binge. A candy called Goetze’s Caramel Creams. They’re caramels with a cream center, and they are delicious.


I’d never had them before, even though a quick search of the interwebs shows that they’ve been around for nearly 100 years. Towards the beginning of my exercise-free week, I saw packages of them at the dollar store, and bought a box. I ended up eating all of them (maybe 10 or 12) during my drive home.

Isn’t it funny how once you’re introduced to something new, you see them everywhere? I saw them at the supermarket, where I resisted buying them. I saw them at the drug store when I ran in to quickly buy some shaving cream. And they were on sale if you bought 2 bags. So… I bought two bags. And that’s when my mind went into “fuck it” mode, where I started thinking “Well, David, you’ve derailed the train just by buying the candy. So what’s the big deal if you swung through the snack aisle and see what else catches your eye?”  Long story short, that’s how I ended up, hours later, feeling like I was going to barf.

So… It wasn’t the greatest week. But… I’m ready to share some good news now. Are you still with me?

On Sunday, I realized that my chest was hardly bothering me at all, and it hadn’t for about 24 hours. It was the 1-week anniversary of the run where I took a nasty tumble and bruised my rib, and I was antsy to exercise. Time to get back to the gym!

My goal for the first day was simple: low-impact cardio, and see how it felt. I’m a big fan of an iPhone game called “Tapped Out” (based on “The Simpsons,” one of my all-time favorite shows), so I told myself if I completed 45 minutes on the elliptical, I could play the game a little bit while cooling down on a recumbent bike.  (See that? Incentivizing exercise with more exercise!)

I ended up kicking ass on the elliptical: 727 calories in 47 minutes! AND, my average heart rate was above 150 – that might be a first!


Then, I got wrapped up in my game, and ended up spending another 26 minutes on the bike, burning another 287 calories:


One hour, 13 minutes of cardio (and 1,013 calories) – pretty damn good!

With a successful Sunday workout under my belt, I was ready to up the ante. Once a week I do a double workout – both cardio and weightlifting – so I decided that Monday’s workout would be both upper body and cardio. The plan was to split up the 45 minutes of cardio, and lift weights in the middle.

The first part of cardio went wonderfully. I used a Cybex Arc Trainer for 25 minutes, burning 660 calories.


Then I headed upstairs to the weight room, and sat down at an inclined bench press. Here’s where my cockiness and stupidity got the better of me. I assumed I was ready – and my chest was ready – to resume lifting weights, but I wasn’t. I placed my hands on the bar and started to push up. It only took one brief second – I hadn’t even lifted the bar off its cradle – when I felt a shooting pain in my chest. Despite me thinking otherwise, my bruised rib was not healed. And it was pissed at me.

Man, it hurt like crazy. It still does. It wasn’t quite as bad as it was when it first happened, but it was pretty bad. Plus, I was angry at myself for being so foolish and thinking that I was ready for such an activity. I quickly gave up any ideas that I would be lifting weights that night, and headed back to the cardio area. Arc Trainers are low-impact, so I soldiered on for another 20 minutes – I wasn’t going to leave the gym without at least a full cardio workout! I burned another 466 calories.


Even though the weights was a pain-inducing bust (I’m already feeling much better, thank you Aleve), 1,126 calories is nothing to shake a stick at.

I’m going to be cautious and play it by ear over the next few days. I’d like to do some activity – even if it’s more recumbent bike – but if this rib aggravation doesn’t go away quickly, than I’ll have to play it safe.

In the meantime, I’m pledging to stay away from the Caramel Creams.

Keep it up, David!

11 Responses to Bad News and Good News and One Brief Shitty Moment at the Gym.

  1. Jen says:

    I love your honesty and humor here (“being a bad gay”). I will run the other direction if I see those Caramel Cremes.

    Congrats on your quick bounce-back!

  2. Jeff Dinkin says:

    Careful with that rib injury. Maybe give it another week, but go easy when you attempt to lift again. As far as the “relapse” goes, forgive yourself and move on. At least you know you have it under control. It’s just a reminder that you’re human, and will slip up from time to time…..

    Keep up the great work, David!

  3. john says:

    After all your hard work David you are allowed to to have a treat
    enjoy mate.

  4. john says:

    Merry Christmas/ happy holidays from john down under.

  5. Angie V says:

    Oh my word, those Caramel Cremes are EVIL in plastic sleeves! I can eat a bag of them in nothing flat and wonder where they all went. I don’t ever, ever buy them because I know I can’t control myself. Hope the urge to eat the junk is gone now and you’re back on track. Working on that myself. Thanks for your honesty with your readers. It’s nice to know we aren’t alone in our struggles. Can’t wait to see what you (and I) accomplish in 2014!

  6. Nurse Karen says:

    You’re still a Success! You may over-do it with the “More is Better” first response, and glad you know to be gentle with yourself now. You are still an Inspiration because you reveal even the most committed to health, can “back-slide” once in a while. It’s the human condition. Isn’t it nifty how the body revolted at your self-abuse? It was saying, “Dude–where’s my Whole Foods?!!”. You’ll remember being sick for a long time. As for being a “bad gay”, it’s a free country. You are *not* bad! At least they use white meat & non-trans fats {so they say}. Have you seen what Willam Belli, our sometimes Slimmons classmate, & his band, did in parody? It’s hilarious. {Coming from your Christian friend here in WA. ^_^}
    Merry Christmas. Hee Hee!

    • David says:

      Thanks, Karen. My use of ‘bad gay’ was more of a joke than anything else. And yea, I’ve seen Willam’s video – pretty funny. Hope you’re well, Merry Christmas!

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