Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sir, Do you like Jeans?

There I was shopping trying to find some clothes for my trip to NYC. Mainly I was looking for a jacket and some sport pants. The sales lady came to check on me.

Sales Lady: Sir are you finding everything ok?

Me: Yes, Thank you.

Sales Lady: Have you seen our jeans? They are on sale.

Me: Hmm I don't wear jeans.

Sales Lady: Why not?

Me: Honestly I have always felt like I was too big for jeans, they just don't fit me right.

Sales Lady: I think I have a pair you will like, just try them on.

Me: Ok

So she gave me a couple pairs and said one of these should fit you. I run of to the dressing room preparing myself for the same disappointment I have felt over the years. I try on the first pair….. Too tight in the butt (#FirstWorldBigButtProblems). I tried on the second pair not really expecting them to fit. I slide them on and kind of stood there dumbfounded for a second….. These kinda feel good. Dressing room was kind of dark so I thought let me step outside into the light. I walked around looking at myself in the mirrors kind of in shock…. They FIT and they felt good. It was like I was on my very own episode of SAY YES TO THE JEANS.

End of the Story: I own a pair of jeans now, it's only been 15 plus years since that has been true.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I Mustache You Some Questions

First yes, I am still alive! :)

I was tagged by Krysten From The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail to answer the questions below:

1. Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  • Aloosh
  • Mack (Long Story)
  • Superman
  • Alooah
2. Four jobs I have had:
  • Grocery Store Bagger
  • Pizza Maker
  • Dry Cleaning Attendant
  • Construction Project Engineer
3. Four movies I have watched more than once:
  • The Notebook
  • The Vow
  • Rocky 1-5
  • Wedding Crashers
4. Two Books I recommend:
  • The Alchemist
  • The Kiterunner
5. Four places I have lived:
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Chicago, IL
  • Raleigh, NC
6. Four Places I have been:
  • NYC
  • Toronto
  • Las Vegas
  • Portland
7. Four places I would rather be right now:
  • Toronto
  • NYC
  • Somewhere tropical
  • Having coffee with my Dad
8. Four things I don't eat:
  • Pork
  • Okra
  • Tofu
  • Tilapia
9. Four of my favorite foods:
  • Pizza
  • Ice Cream
  • Oreos
  • Burgers
10. Four TV Shows I watch:
  • Sharktank
  • The Profit
  • 20/20
  • Walking Dead
11. Four things I am looking forward to next year:
  • Raleigh Half Ironman
  • Traveling to Toronto & NYC to see friends
  • Hitting some weight loss goals
  • I can't share this one, its a secret.
12. Four things I am always saying:
  • Dude
  • Never give up
  • Whens your next race
  • Hi
13. Tag 4 people

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I am not qualified!

I get a lot of messages and email from people, some just want to say hello, some want to vent, some want support, and some want meals plans. I try to help everyone and anyone who reaches out to me in any way I can but there is one thing I will not do….. Create meals plans.

It’s not because I don’t care or don’t want to help you, it’s because I am simply NOT qualified to make legally and morally make meals plans for anyone. Yes I could easily start putting together plans for people based on what I believe they should be eating, I could even charge them money for this service and make a nice side business, I know MANY people who would pay. BUT I also enjoy a clear conscience and being able to rest easy at night. I could not live with myself knowing that I was doing a disservice to people and possible putting their lives and health at risk.

Look at this this way when your car needs service do you take it to the local hardware store? When are feeling sick do you call your hair dresser? So why are people all over the interest paying unqualified people to create meals plans for them? Just because someone has lost a lot of weight, has a six pack, or competes on stage does not mean they are qualified to take control of your health. In fact most of these people are just recycling meals plans they find online or got from someone else and selling them as their own. If you are getting a meal plan from someone is should be designed for YOU and YOUR lifestyle and YOUR Body. I am not saying everyone selling fitness advice is out to get you but please make sure you are dealing with qualified individuals. Ask for references, proof of certifications, search the internet on them. And also if you do end up working with someone and somewhere along the way your gut instinct tells you something is wrong here then don't be afraid to speak up or walk away! Remember they work for YOU. 

So please be careful out there. If I want my opinion on something you’re doing I have no issues with giving it, just remember at the end of the day it’s an opinion.

 Don’t think because I won’t create a meal plan for you that I don’t care, the reason I won’t is because I do care, I care more than most people. 


Monday, August 4, 2014

I got the FOMO

FOMO….. it stands for "Fear Of Missing Out"

I will admit I have never heard of this acronym until I heard someone mention it at Fitbloggin this year. I kind of mentally noted it and didn’t really think much about it until this past week.

About 4 weeks ago I got sick. Doctors originally thought it was bronchitis but turned out It was the early stages of pneumonia.

And I thought whyyyyyyyyyyyyy, not nowwwww!

I took my few moments of self pity and got over it. I am not one to complain too much when it comes to things like this because honestly most of us have SO MUCH to be thankful for. People around the world are suffering and I have nothing to complain about.

But anyways so I took 3 weeks off from the gym as my Doctor mandated and during that time I started eating freely. For the first 2 weeks of my recover I really wasn’t eating much as I still felt horrible and really didn’t have an appetite. I basically was living off of PB&J sandwiches, soup, and gatorade. Moving into the 3rd week I started feeling better and my appetite came back roaring…. Quickly! And with that I started to eat freely!

Friends and family started to invite me to eat out…..often…. and I start going. Not that there is anything wrong with enjoying a meal out with your family or friends but I definitely do not need to be eating out for every meal . This was also around the time of our religious celebration that comes at the end of Ramadan which didn’t help….. foods and sweets galore….. Everywhere!

I was having a hard time getting back into my normal routine of making my own food. All the invitations to eat out kept coming and I started to suffer from FOMO. I remember having these feelings in the past, it’s a very hard cycle to break out of.

 Luckily last week I was able to start going back to the gym. Usually when I work out eating right comes very easy to me, not sure how that works mentally but that’s just how I feel when I work out. I still struggled last week though. My first day in the gym felt like Day 1 from a few years ago but I finished my work out anyway. I did end up getting all my workouts in but again FOMO got to me and I ate out almost all week.  I can tell I have gained some weight in the past 3 weeks as I can feel it in my pants.

So you see I have been fighting to get out of this FOMO cycle! It hard to break but something happened yesterday that helped me. A friend reached out to me, she needed someone to vent to about her struggles with her weight.  So we skyped yesterday evening and talked about things going on with her and I ended up talking about a few things going on with me and I started to feel better. It’s like I saw a small door in my FOMO cycle opened up and I had the opportunity to jump out and so I did. Not saying this week is going to be easy but I just feel a lot better after our talk.

It gave me some hope... :-)


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Losing my mind.... just a little bit.

You see about a week and a half ago I started feeling ill at work, you know the chills and body aches, all the fun stuff. So I went to the doctor and they said it's probably bronchitis, that was on a Friday. They gave me my meds and I went home to rest for the weekend. The next day I felt worse, and on Sunday I felt like death! Monday rolled around and I called the Doctor and said I feel really bad, I need to come back in. The nurse said you know lets just prescribe some more meds and see how you feel..... UM NO, how about I come back in and get reevaluated?  seriously I hate being on meds in general!

So I go back in and badda bing badda boom I am in the early stages of pneumonia! Honestly I had no idea what it was other than I remember my Mama getting it when I was really young and she had to be hospitalized. So I get a steroid treatment, new meds, and an inhaler. Oh and by the way you will need 2-3 weeks to fully recover and you can't workout until then.

Insert my wth face.

Then I remembered I had a Triathlon a week way which I was going to have to pull out of. I had organically planned to do the whole race but then switched to a relay team since the race was in the middle of Ramadan but I still wanted to experience my first open water swim. Honestly what I am most frustrated about is the forced inactivity. It's not even about weight loss it's just that working has become part of my life. I enjoy it and it helps keep me grounded in life. On top of that I have been eating horribly for the last week and half. Real talk here, sorry but when I am sick the last thing I am thinking about is eating sensibly.

At the same time all this laying around has given me a lot of time to think about my life and where it is headed. There are just a lot of things I am not happy about it in my life. I don't complain about them on Facebook or anything like that because that's just not my style. I share a lot about my life to the online world but there is another huge part of me that I keep to myself because that is just how I am wired. I have a hard time asking for help or reaching out to others because there were so many times when all I had was myself to rely on and I just had to deal with it.

Anyways I am just rambling now. My Doctor actually just called me a few minutes ago to check up on me and I told her I was losing it. I asked her if I could just do some light walking? She said yes as long as I was feeling ok. I have the rest of this week to finish my meds and then I need 4-5 days of being off of them before I can resume my normal type activity.

Did I mention I have a Tough Mudder Race in Canada in 24 days?! More on that later!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fitbloggin...The Magic Never Stops!

Well my friends another year has passed and Fitbloggin 2014 has come and gone. I am not great at recaps and after last years recap disaster I don't think I can muster the energy to attempt another so I will just share some random thoughts.

 What disaster? Well you see last year I had this beautifully gorgeous mother of all recap that I had been working on for 2-3 weeks and then it magically disappeared, gone, never to be seen again! I literally felt sick to my stomach and I almost puked I was so upset! So this is why we aren't going that route again!

My Tribe!
This conference means so much more than what people see on the surface. You can easily see the selection of sessions you can attend, list of sponsors, the SWAG is very visible, and possibly the list of guest appearances by big name people. Believe me those are all great things but this conference for me is about the relationships, this is why I keep coming back year after year.

 I have never in my life met so many amazing people in one setting. Things happen at Fitbloggin that change the course of people lives FOREVER, and one of the most beautiful things about it is that it just happens naturally! It's amazing to be sitting there and hear somebody say something and then notice a light bulb go off across the room in someones head. It amazing to just sit back and watch people connect and share their struggle, failures and realize that they aren't alone!

I have said this before and I will keep saying it, this conference, community, tribe, whatever you want you call it has changed my life. I showed up at this conference 2011 with a fear of not being accepted. I had a hard time looking people in the eye and I just wanted to be there without really being there. This year was the most comfortable I have ever felt, not because past years gave me a reason to be uncomfortable but because I am slowly evolving into who I want to be and that just takes times.

I wont even lie..... I love having a mic in my hand lol 

Fitbloggin 2014 is over but the magic that it creates NEVER stops. My challenge to all of you is to privately reach out to at least 3 people from the conference who in some way made an impression on you. I do this every year because I feel it's important to let people know how they made you feel. You never know what someone is going through and hearing something like that can also help them. No need to share with us who they are or why you chose them (unless you really want to).

Thank you all for letting me be a part of your lives. I will forever pay it forward as best I can.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sampson County Super Sprint Triathlon - Recap

The day I became a Triathlete had finally arrived and all I could think was "oh my god why did I sign up for this?!" But the day had come and there was no turning back. I woke up  at 4 am the day of the race, mind you I only slept 4 hours that night as the jitters the night before kept me up. I checked the weather and as it had said the night before it was going to rain basically all day, fun right?! Racing in the rain! Anyways I jumped out of bed, showered, ate something, and hit the road towards my Uncles house. He was also racing (I made him sign up lol) and we were riding to the race together which was about an hour and half away, plenty of time to freak out right?

We pulled into the parking lot and things started to get real. I'll be honest I was nervous! Not because I thought I couldn't do the race but because I was worried I wouldn't fit into the triathlon culture. It was all new to me. I was worried about wearing my tight race singlet in public, I was worried about people wondering why I was there. I was worried my nerves would get the best of me. I got out of the car anyways, I knew what I was feeling was normal and I also knew that I wasn't going to let it stop me from racing that day. We headed to the check in area to get our race packets. Then back to the car to unload and set up our transition area. It was raining so I had to place everything in trash bags to keep them dry so it was kind of a pain.

Transition Area Selfie 
After I set my transition area up I headed to the lockers room to change into my race suit. I had a very big (to me) decision to make in there after putting my suit on. I could either put my sweat pants back on over them OR I could walk around with the tight bottoms on. Why was this big to me? Well truthfully I am very self conscious about my legs. It's not that I don't like them but they just aren't where I want them to be. Which is why I rarely ever wear shorts outside or in public. Hey we all have our insecurities, even us guys! I decided to not cover them up.I knew I would be uncomfortable walking around but I have learned along my journey that sometimes uncomfortable is where I need to be. I left the locker room and headed to the body marking station to get my numbers written on my body. Yeah, I was right, I was uncomfortable but I toughed it out.

Ok transition area was set up, I was marked up and dressed, now the wait until the race started. There was a pre race meeting for all the racers before the race so I headed to that area to wait. This part of the day is probably where I felt the most anxiety. I felt like everyone in the room was staring at me (of course this was all in my head). I just stood there and looked of into space waiting for the feeling to go away and then I saw something out of the corner of my eye, he looked familiar, he got closer… it was HANK HANNA! I was so damn happy to see him! You see Hank who himself is a triathlete had promised me that when I did my first triathlon he would be there to cheer me on, and he was. I instantly felt better once Hank got there, I was still nervous but it was the first time I had felt comfortable all morning.

After the meeting was over it was time to race! I headed over to the transition area for one last check and to drop my rain jacket off. Grabbed my swim cap and goggles and headed to the pool to line up. As I was walking over there my other buddies Joe and Greg showed up to cheer me on!

My Uncle and Me waiting in line to start our swim!
It seemed like it took forever to get into the pool but I was feeling good while waiting. Slowly my turn creeped up and before I knew it I was in the water waiting for the official to tell me go. He gave me the signal and I was off! I did my best to not get too excited and start swimming too hard, not sure if I listened to myself!

The swim felt ok, not great, just ok. It was a short swim so before I could really get into a rhythm it was over. Out of the pool and onto T1!

Yeah…. No comments lol

T1 seemed hectic! It was raining, everything was in bags, I was trying to rush but also make sure I didn't forget anything! I was having fun though!

Heading to the bike portion! 
I was looking forward to the bike ride, its my best sport out of the three. The course wasn't too bad, mostly flat with a few hills. The worse part was this long flat portion where the road was a little rough, I didn't enjoy those vibrations but other than that no issues. I don't think I stoped peddling the whole time which probably wasn't the best idea but I was in race mode and I just wanted to go go go!

Coming into T2
T2 was pretty seamless. Racked my bike, kicked off cycle shoes, threw on my running shoes, grabbed my race bib and out of the gates I went! 

So my first thought on the run was OMG whats wrong with my legs! Hence why peddling like crazy during the whole bike portion was not the best idea. I started off the run running out of T2 but I quickly had to start walking. There was a water stop at the beginning of the run so I stopped and hydrated real quick. I tried to start running but again my legs were not having it. I started walking and I told myself ok at some point you need to start running. I convinced myself that I would do intervals, run for 1 minute then walk for 1 minute. I took off running again and looked down at my watching expecting to see that a minute had gone by……. nope 10 seconds had gone by! Again I started walking, my feet felt like cinder blocks. Get it together Alan I screamed at myself! Since the 1 minute intervals were a no go I decided to try 30 second intervals. I took off running again and it seemed to work. Finally I found a groove, it was a slow one but that's ok.  A guy that I had passed on the bike portion caught up to me and passed me which turned out to be a good thing because I used him as my pace keeper during most of the run. Thanks buddy! 

As I approached the finish line one of the race volunteers started jogging with me. I wish I had gotten her name and a picture with her after the race, she was freaking amazing. As I made the last turn I told her I am about to take off, thank you for running with me! She high fived me and I took off towards the finish! The last few seconds of the race were a blur, my feet didn't feel heavy for a few seconds, I had my sights on the finish line and I wanted to finish strong!

What an amazing feeling!
Crossing the finish line felt amazing! I was officially a TRIATHLETE! My friends and Uncle were there waiting for me and I was happy to see them all! I was so thankful my buddies Hank, Joe, and Greg came out to cheer me on, they truly made my race day and I don't think I would have such an amazing experience without them there.

Hank and me
My Uncle and Me
Joe, Greg, and Me
My official results.
My closing thoughts are that I LOVED the race. I pretty much officially have been bitten by the Triathlon bug. I really had no time expectations so I am happy with my race results, can only get faster from here! I faced a few fears head on that day, I was uncomfortable but I made it through. Also at the end of the day I felt like I belonged there which was probably the best feeling of the day for me, the triathlon culture was so awesome and supportive. Something I have learned on my journey is that being an athlete is a state mind more than a state of physical appearance. Maybe I don't look like a typical triathlete but really it doesn't matter. We all cross the same start and finish line, if you show up and race…. YOU ARE A TRIATHLETE!

My next race is June 22nd…… can't wait to get out there!