Three Awesome Stair Workouts… and TWO Were at Theme Parks!

September 12, 2018

My new puppy JJ is a now a stair climber!

Climbing stairs with JJ is one of the three workouts I’m covering in this post. I’m going to start with my workout at Universal Studios Hollywood, which may seem like déjà vu if you’ve been a long-time reader. Read the rest of this entry »

A Much Deserved Break… and Crunching Some Numbers at Six Flags Magic Mountain

May 1, 2017

I’m so excited to be on a break from racing. I’m not doing any races in May, and I’m going to enjoy that. I’ll still be exercising, but with a little more freedom, as there are no looming stair races in the near future.

I’ve earned this reprieve. I competed in seven races during a nine-weekend span, so, yeah, I’m pooped! (Six of them were stair races, and the seventh was Read the rest of this entry »

Running Among the Giants (Coaster Run 10K Race Recap)

April 3, 2017

I’ve competed in four stair races in the past five weeks. I have two more scheduled in April. I need another race like a hole in my head, right? Wrong. I recently heard about a race that was too good to pass up, happening at one of my favorite places.

I hate when my bib is crooked!

SIX FLAGS! It’s called the Read the rest of this entry »

October Weigh-In and Workout Progress Report and SIX FLAGS!

October 9, 2016

My recent race and trip to New York made for exciting blog posts, but it also delayed my monthly weigh-in update. And I’m going to delay it a few paragraphs longer, so I can share a couple photos from Six Flags!


The first post on the blog, in 2010, was about going to Six Flags Magic Mountain. It was my first time at a theme park in about a decade, ever since Read the rest of this entry »

Six Flags Great America!

June 21, 2013

Wednesday turned out to be a fantastic day. I can sum up why in two words: Roller Coasters!


I do love roller coasters, and on Wednesday I went to a theme park I’d never been to before: Six Flags Great America, outside Chicago. It was a blast. I went with my sister Laura and one of her friends that Laura dubbed “Incognito Friend X” for her own protection, since Incognito Friend X didn’t tell her boss where she was going.  So shhhhhh… don’t spill the beans!

My history with roller coasters, and my love of them, has been very well documented on this blog. I spent a good solid decade avoiding theme parks because I was simply too fat to ride them – I couldn’t fit in the restraints. My very first blog post chronicled a trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain, which was a reward to myself for losing my first 100 pounds. I got to ride coasters for the first time since college. I wrote, in that post: “There were moments during the day where I felt like crying when that harness clicked into place.” Read the whole thing here. It was a powerful day.

Even more powerful was Read the rest of this entry »

Magic Mountain 2 – The Sequel!

September 17, 2012

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME! A few days ago, I reached a big milestone: my two-year blogging anniversary. On September 13, 2010, I started a new venture of chronicling my weight loss efforts, and I’d say so far so good! This is my 639th (!) post, and I’ve now lost and kept off 160+ pounds for over a year. At the moment, I’ve lost 164 pounds, but I’m also due for a weigh-in that I should’ve had the other morning but I completely forgot.

I think my weigh-in slipped my mind because I had something much more exciting to do this weekend: a return trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain! I think there’s a few of you out there that have been blog readers since the very beginning (I’m looking at you, Mom), so you might remember that my very first blog post was about my inaugural visit to Magic Mountain. If you’ve never read it, or want a refresher, check it out hereThat trip was a reward I gave myself for losing 100 pounds, and it was my first time on a roller coaster in eight years, thanks to my obesity, which prevented me from fitting within most coasters’ harnesses.

That first trip was nearly tear-inducing – it felt so incredibly awesome to fit on rides that I used to not be able to fit on. What was most eye-opening about this trip was how much of a non-issue my weight was. This is partly because I’ve made theme park outings a semi-regular affair since I started blogging, having been to Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Cedar Point, the Ohio park where I was once kicked off a ride for being too fat. But more importantly, it’s because I’m no longer a stranger to being at this weight. I walked in the door after a long day of riding coasters and realized I never once thought about my weight all day long. I’m proud of that.

Wanna see some pictures?

I went to Magic Mountain with my friend Greg, who I’ve known most of my life. Here we are waiting in line for Superman:

Read the rest of this entry »

Magic Mountain!

September 13, 2010

What a day!  I’m beat and ready for bed.  I thought I’d share some photos first, though – because today I went on my 1st big reward trip, to Six Flags Magic Mountain!  A little background:  months and months ago, I decided that my first weight loss goal would be 100 pounds.  I chose it because it was more than I’d ever lost on a diet before, and because, well, it’s a nice round number and I like nice round numbers.  I also decided that I should motivate myself with some sort of reward once I read that goal, and it took me a little while to figure out what that goal should be.  It seemed wrong to reward myself with food (“I’ve lost 100 pounds, I’m gonna buy me some FUDGE!”), so I went with roller coasters.  I love Love LOVE roller coasters, and because I was so overweight (or, in theme park parlance, a ‘guest of exceptional size’), I haven’t really been able to ride them my entire adult life.  In fact, the last roller coaster I had ridden before today (excluding 2 kiddie ones at Legoland in June) was the one that goes around New York New York in Las Vegas in July of 2002, and it was a tight fit.  I had to suck in my gut and hold my breath to get that harness to click into place, and once I did, there was no room for me to exhale completely.  Good times.

That, however, was a better experience than the time before: maybe a year prior, I had an awful experience with friends at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio (the park I grew up going to, America’s Roller Coast, my all-time favorite park), where I was kicked off Raptor because I didn’t fit, in front of everyone in the station, by a thin (naturally) ride operator who really couldn’t have been ruder about the whole thing.  Now that’s a walk of shame – holding up a train full of people who have waited an hour or more, while a punk-ass guy scolds me, then tells me I have to leave, then getting up out of the train while trying to laugh it off and fight back a tear then shouting to your friends over your shoulder, ‘I’ll wait for you by the exit!’ as if I had any choice in the matter.

But I digress.  It’s all in the past now, because damn it, I’m skinny enough to ride roller coasters again!  I actually reached that 100 pound milestone in July, much faster than I anticipated, actually.  I decided to hold off on the Magic Mountain trip until now, just so it wouldn’t be so crowded.  Man, was that a good idea!  The park was not busy at all.  We waited 10 minutes or less for about 8 different coasters, and the most we waited was about 50 minutes, once, for X2.  In total, we went on 12 different coasters (all of them except the 2 that were closed for maintenance or whatever), and we went on 5 of them twice, for a total of 17 coaster experiences, plus 5 non-coaster rides (“carnie rides” as my friend Jen, who came with me, called them) – 22 rides total.  In 8.5 hours.  A great day!

Here’s some pics of Jen and me in front of our favorite rides:

X2. The favorite ride for both of us.  The seats are on either side of the track, and they rotate in a complete circle, so at any point on the ride, you don’t know what direction you’ll be facing.  Craziness.  You go up the lift hill backwards, then you’re rotated so you go down the first hill face first, and so on.  It’s fast and smooth and unpredictable (the first time you go on it).  Amazing.   Oh – the loop in the picture in the top right isn’t actually X2, it’s Viper, which is right next to it, and my least favorite coaster, because I am a little too tall.  I’m 6’4″, and the over-the-shoulder harness dug into the tops of my shoulders.  Plus it was jerky.  Jerky + Painful = Bottom of the list.

Tatsu. This is the flying coaster, where you’re in the train lying on your stomach, head first, with the track above you so you have no idea where you’re going.  Lots of big hills and swoopy curves and inversions.  It was the only coaster we did twice in a row – we loved it so much we did it again, in the front row the second time.  It helped that we waited, like, 10 minutes combined for the two rides – we got there pretty much just as the park opened.  Jen’s head kept getting cropped in these pics – whoops!  I was taking the pics myself, and it was hard to get me, her, and the sign all in the frame!

Colossus. I got all of Jen’s head in this pic!  Colossus is their big, older wooden coaster with twin tracks so 2 trains could race each other.  But when the park isn’t so busy, like today, they only run 1 train.  That’s ok, though, because the ride is awesome.  It’s everything you want a wooden coaster to be:  Loud, clackety, steep drops, lots of air time.  Reminded me a lot of Gemini, Cedar Point’s twin wooden coaster.

Goliath. I finally enlisted a stranger to take a picture, since their entry sign is so huge (huge enough to not even fit entirely in the frame).  One of the park’s tallest coasters with a first drop of 255 feet (into an underground tunnel!).  It doesn’t go upside down, but it’s super fast and only has a lap bar, so your butt rises off the seat at the tops of the hills.

Jen and I also loved Scream, where your feet dangle beneath you, and I loved Riddler’s Revenge, which is their stand-up coaster, but Jen didn’t like it nearly as much.

Since this is (or will be, as this is my first post) a blog about weight loss and food, I thought I’d mention what we ate there, since there’s so many unhealthy choices, and I didn’t want to go off my diet, especially since I had decided I wasn’t going to reward myself with food.  Around 1pm, we started looking for a healthy lunch, and decided upon the “family-size” salads at Papa Johns.  Here’s a photo:Lettuce, 2 cherry tomatos, 2 pepperoncinis (but Jen gave me hers, so I had 4) and dressing – I had a couple tablespoons of Ranch.  A few hours later, we stopped and got big turkey sandwiches (bread, turkey, lettuce, tomato, relish, mustard – we both removed the cheese), and I had half a single-size bag of potato chips – about 3/4 of an ounce.  Add in a good breakfast beforehand of fruit and eggs, and a good dinner at home after of carrots, celery, leftover cauliflower mash (cauliflower, yogurt, scallion, herbs), and strawberries, and a ton of water, and that’s my food log for the day.  More on food logs in future posts.

One final picture:  The last moments of daylight behind the coasters as we walked to the car:The wooden one in front is Colossus, and Goliath is behind it, and the vertical tower is Superman The Escape, which was closed today.

It’s just after midnight as I type this, and as I think back about the day, there’s one highlight that I will remember most of all.  It’s not the short lines, or seeing employees on 2 different rides cleaning up other riders’ puke, or the wonderful people-watching (theme parks are great places to see lots of what-were-they-thinking tattoos).  The best highlight of all is that I fit.  I worked hard, and as a result, I fit on rides that 8 months ago I couldn’t go on.  There were moments during the day where I felt like crying when that harness clicked into place, and I didn’t, because the excitement about the coaster itself was overwhelming as well.  But what a feeling!  My determination and willpower brought me to Magic Mountain, and sent me flying along miles of track and through countless inversions.  What am I gonna be able to do next?  That journey really is the most exciting ride of all.

Keep it up, David!