A Little LEGO Present… For Myself

January 23, 2015

Despite the mixed feelings I’ve been having about my 5-year weight loss anniversary, I did splurge on a little special something as a present to myself. A little special something… made of little LEGO bricks!
Read the rest of this entry »

I Met Richard Simmons Five Years Ago This Month…

January 19, 2015

…so some sort of celebration is in order, right?

Left: Richard and me in January, 2010. I was 402 pounds. Right: Richard with me weighing well over 10 pounds less.

Left: Richard and me in January, 2010. I was 402 pounds. Right: Richard with me weighing well over 100 pounds less.

I don’t really feel like celebrating, though. I don’t know what I’m feeling, to be quite honest, and, to paraphrase a song lyric, I don’t know how I feel about that.

There’s a lot to celebrate, and muddled emotions aside, I am still very Read the rest of this entry »

Keep It Up, David… Now in YEAR FIVE!

September 15, 2014

Saturday was a great, big, awesome day.

Happy-Anniversary-To-Me-Graphic Four years ago, on September 13, 2010, I launched this website and published my very first post. Holy guacamole: FOUR YEARS! Since then, I’ve written 875 posts (this is #876) about my efforts to be healthy, eat well, keep active, stay positive, work towards my goals and better myself. I’ve celebrated my accomplishments, been truthful about Read the rest of this entry »

St. Andrews Stairway (x4) PLUS Weigh-In Update

February 6, 2013

My legs are still sore from last night’s workout. It was the best workout I’ve had in a while, partly because I pushed myself, and partly because it happened in a very cool new location. That location is called the St. Andrews Stairway, and it’s actually not very new at all.

Back in the 1920s, a public stairway was built up the side of the Hollywood Hills, to allow residents on higher streets an easy way to come down to catch the streetcars that used to zip around Los Angeles (hard to believe, but back in the day LA used to have one of the largest public transportation networks in the country). The stairway is cleverly called the St. Andrews Stairway, as it starts at the end of St. Andrews road. Despite it being there for nearly 100 years, I didn’t know it existed, even though last fall, I ran right past it during an evening run. It didn’t catch my eye during that run because it wasn’t lit at night, but that changed last month.

I read online a few weeks ago that some 8 or 9 decades after initial construction, the city of Los Angeles finally made good on their promise to install streetlights on the St. Andrews Stairway, and I realized that it was relatively close to my office. So last night, I laced up my running shoes and went for a run. And even though I’ve only been twice (once last night, and again today to take some photos to share here), I’ll come out and say it: I love the St. Andrews Stairway!

There are 153 stairs (I counted myself). That’s basically a 10-story building! Here’s what they look like from the bottom. The arrow is pointing to the wall at the very top of the stairs, all the way up on Tryon Drive.

Steps Arrow

Read the rest of this entry »

Year Three

January 23, 2012

This post completely snuck up on me. For some reason, I had it set in my head that I would be writing this post later in the week. And then yesterday, I realized that it was January 22nd. Which means that today is January 23rd. Today is my anniversary.

Two years ago, on January 23rd, 2010, I met with Richard Simmons, who offered to help me lose weight. He had me start keeping a food log that he looked over every week, keeping me accountable for what I put in my mouth. It was the beginning of my effort to lose weight.

January 23rd, 2010 marks a number of of other important beginnings: the beginning of my friendship with Richard, the beginning of a focus on health and wellness unparalleled by any other period in my life, the beginning of an attitude shift towards confidence and self-appreciation. I can see this date whenever I want, because it’s at the start of my weight loss chart – the very chart that shows that since January 23rd, 2010, I have lost 166 pounds.

I was recently thinking about some big hypothetical what ifs. What if I hadn’t taken Richard Simmons up on his offer? What if I had continued to believe that my body was never going to change? What if I hadn’t challenged my own engrained notions that I could never successfully lose weight?

These what ifs led to a depressing series of visions: me, heavier than ever, sitting around, surrounded by junk food wrappers. Me, walking into a big & tall store for the umpteenth time, seeing all the same clothes over and over again, knowing exactly what I’ve already tried on. Me, continuing to slowly isolate myself from the people that love me, continuing to convince myself that I wasn’t worthy of their attention.

But you know what? They’re just visions. There is no alternate universe where I’m lounging on the couch, chocolate smeared on my face, screening my calls. And you know why? Because I took those first steps, on January 23rd, 2010, and it was hard and I was scared, but I kept looking forward. I kept moving forward, finding new ways to be healthier and implementing them, continuing to exercise and push myself like I’ve never done before.

And look where I am now. It’s the beginning of my third year on this track, and I look and feel like a completely different person. One of the things I’ve heard on multiple occasions, from the people in my life that have known me for years and years, is that they don’t recognize me in old photos anymore. They don’t remember the 400-pound body I used to have.

What I find exciting is that the same thing is beginning to happen to me. That guy, in those photos, is starting to seem foreign. The memories of struggling to get in and out of a low-riding car or feeling winded after walking up a hill are fainter, and evaporating more and more each month. It’s exhilarating, because it means that all this effort and determination is really sticking. I’m proving to myself, with every passing day, that this isn’t some fluke or some miraculous spurt of good health. It’s evidence that I’ve changed my life.

That change began on one day: January 23rd, 2010. Today is January 23rd, 2012, and I challenge you to make today a new beginning. It doesn’t matter if this is Year 1 of trying to lose weight, or Year 3, or Year 33 – take this opportunity to start making changes. They can be small at first, or you can dive right in – but either way, make a change. You deserve more.

We’re only three weeks into this new year, but it doesn’t need to be January 1st to make a resolution. My resolution, that I reaffirm on every post of this blog all year long, is to keep it up.  I need to keep it up, because I love shopping for new clothes in increasingly smaller sizes. I need to keep it up, because I want as much time with my family and friends as I can get. I need to keep it up, because I know that the love of my life is out there somewhere, and I won’t find him if I’m holed up in my room feeling sorry for myself. I need to keep it up, because my life depends on it.

So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. What about you?

Happy Anniversary, David. And…


Saturday Hodge-Podge

December 17, 2011

A few eclectic thoughts for your Saturday (and mine):

1) Enlightened. I’ve been watching “Enlightened” on HBO, and I love it. Have you watched? I’m waaaay behind – they aired the finale last week, but I’ve been TiVo-ing and I just watched the fourth episode. The show, about a woman (Laura Dern) rebuilding her life after a nervous-breakdown-esque incident, is touching, honest and isn’t afraid of awkward or uncomfortable situations, which provide a good deal of the humor. (I know, I know, this review is coming weeks and weeks late, but if you subscribe to HBO, you can watch full episodes online here.)

In the episode I just watched, Amy realizes that her relationship with her ex-husband has forever changed, and the events that led to their splitting up can’t be undone. The episode ends with Amy summing up what she’s learned, in a voice-over:

“You can try to escape the story of your life, but you can’t. It happened… Mine isn’t the one I would have chosen in the beginning, but I’ll take it. It is my story. Only mine. And it’s not over. There’s time. There is time. There’s so much time.”

I disagree in the sense that I probably wouldn’t choose a different story of my life, but I connected to all the rest, especially the idea that the only direction worth facing is forward. Whether it’s a relatively small infraction, like eating too many cookies at a holiday party, or a major life decision that didn’t turn out the way you wanted, it’s in the past, and there is time (so much time!) to keep writing your story, adding pages and chapters that will get you closer to the ending that you want and deserve. I try not to live in the past (which is often easier said than done), and “Enlightened” helped remind me, tonight, to keep that up.

2) A Little Holiday Humor. Check out this music video for a song called “Drink My Way Through Christmas.” Karen Kilgariff, a friend that I used to work with a few years back, is the singer and songwriter, and the video looks awesome, and makes me laugh every time I watch it.

Hear more of Karen Kilgariff’s music here.

3) Encouragement. A few days ago marked the one-year anniversary of me reaching a major weight-related goal: weighing under 250 pounds for the first time in my adult life. What’s completely awesome is that I’ve kept off the 153 pounds that I lost to reach that goal, and since then, I’ve lost 13 more. I’m still 16 pounds away from my next weight-loss goal, but I’ll get there.

The blog post that I wrote about reaching that goal (which you can read here) ended up being one of my all-time favorites, and I just re-read it for the first time in months. What I love about that post is that is captures an enthusiasm and energy that, to be honest, has since fizzled. My pride hasn’t diminished – I’ll always be nothing but proud of my weight loss and all the related successes – but my enthusiasm about it has. The moments where I get lost in my own sense of accomplishment come less frequently now, and that should probably change, and that sensation has, in the past, been a huge motivator. Starting each day with, at minimum, a celebratory glance in the mirror and pat on the back would be a good thing.

Keep it up, David.

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

September 14, 2011

This has turned out to quite the week of celebrations.  On Saturday, I traveled back to Cedar Point for the first time in a decade.  Then, yesterday, I was able to update my weight loss chart for the first time in 3 weeks (and was quite happy with the results).  Plus, I’ve been plugging away trying to spread the word about my first-ever public speaking gig (It’s next week at a Whole Foods in LA – get info here).

In all the commotion, I completely forgot a big huge anniversary!  (I’m such a typical guy, forgetting an anniversary.)


On September 13, 2010, I published my very first post on Keep it up, David.  Like Monday’s post, it was all about roller coasters, although not the ones at Cedar Point, the ones at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

When I started this blog, I had already lost 131 pounds, and I weighed 271 pounds.  Now, I weigh 232.  That’s 39 pounds I’ve lost since I started Keep it up, David!

Here are some more fun facts about this blog in the past year:

  • I’ve published 369 posts in the past year, including this one.
  • There have been over 2,600 comments.
  • I averaged 69 hits a day in September 2010.  So far in September 2011, I’ve averaged 360.
  • In total, Keep it up, David has had over 110,000 hits in the past year!

I started Keep it up, David as a way to keep myself motivated.  Before this, I’ve never kept a journal or a diary, or shared so much about myself on a regular basis.  As a motivational tool, blogging works!

Above and beyond that, though, is appears as though this blog has become a resource for so many other people who are at various points in their own weight loss journeys, and that’s something I never expected, and something that astounds me on a near-daily basis.  The messages I get from all of you make me think, make me smile, make me laugh, and warm my heart, and I value them.  More than all that, they help keep me going.  At the end of the day, it will always be me who will make the choices every time I pick up a fork or tie on my gym shoes, but knowing there are people all over the world (literally) who are rooting for me, cheering me on, and who will be there to listen and provide support…  well, I’m a lucky guy.  A really lucky guy.  Thank you.


So, um…

Keep it up, David!


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