Why is Working Out and Eating Healthy so Difficult?

Cocaine

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Heroin

heroine

Mary Jane

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Alcohol

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Cigarettes

Cigarettes

I think we can all agree that all of the above are addictive. That does not mean that everyone who does any of the above is addicted to it. Some folks are recreational substance, legal and illegal, users.  But what it does mean is that people love all of the above, but why?

The answer is very simple. All of the above make people feel good. Actually, they make people feel great! It is called getting high, or catching a buzz.

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It might sound like I am encouraging you to do or try some of the substances I pictured above, but I don’t have to. Statistically, almost every adult reading this has tried at least one of the above. And if you have only drank alcohol in your life, and you think that it is much different then the other substances in consequences and addiction, statistics tell a different story. There are an average of 85,000 alcohol related deaths a year in the U.S. of A., and we all know at least one person who can’t put down the “feel good juice”.

I am not hear to preach though, because I have indulged in adult drinks many times as an adult and probably will do so on a few more occasions, minimum.

But who are we trying to fool? Humans love to feel good. That is why we do drugs, legal and illegal, abuse prescription pills, eat crap, watch TV instead of do the other 100 or so more productive things that we should be doing. Wait, let me get my dictionary. Oh yeah, it’s called procrastination (good word). Remember, my first language is El Espanol, so I know very few words over 10 letters long.

The other long word I know is “supercalifragilisticaspialidocious”. But I found out in grade school that supercal…whatever was not really a word when my teacher asked me to describe my summer vacation and I went on to say it was supercali…whatever out loud, in front of all the other kids. They laughed out loud, but then I laughed back, internally, during math, when I whipped everyone and received an award for “Arithmetic Excellence”. (true story)

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Ok, so far I have established that drugs, crappy foods, and inactive activities feel great! and are supercali…whateverBut what does that have to do with weight loss? It has everything to do with weight loss. Humans seek activities, chemicals, foods, and drinks that release the feel good chemicals dopamine or serotonin, or both. On the hierarchy (nice word Hector, but it’s one letter short of ten) of things you want to do, and not have to do, like work, eating vegetables and clean protein, and working out, is very low.

Think about it. Who wants to eat vegetables, a tiny bit of rice, and a piece of protein the size of a deck of cards, when you can have a fat cheeseburger with fries and a milkshake instead?

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Who wants to go workout, when you can watch others be tortured on TV instead?

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Who wants to take Zumba or go to an aerobics class, when you can just sit home and watch others dance?

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Who wants to participate in a grueling boot-camp, hosted by me, a prior Marine thank you very much, that will make you sore as hell the next day, when you can just sit at home and watch some TV special about Marines or Navy Seal training?

Below, those are called Marine log drills because they are all sharing in holding up a big ass log the size of a telephone pole. Everyone has to do their part, so their fellow soldier doesn’t have to pick up the slack. The dude in the yellow that looks like a real life pit-bull is a drill instructor. He is making sure no one slacks off, and if you do slack off, well let’s just say you will be exercising for a very long time AFTER you’re done with the log drills.

marine log drills.

It is simple, and I don’t believe I am about to write the following, but working out and eating clean much of the time is no fun and sucks, compared to other stuff we can be doing and eating. That is why losing weight and being fit is such a challenge. It is more mentally challenging than physically challenging. Everything we do starts with a thought.

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And if your thoughts don’t view exercise and clean eating as beneficial, and no feel good chemicals are released when you think about weight loss activities, losing weight will be a challenge.

Here’s a simple experiment that I made up in college. My degree is from UOL, University of Life. (Tuition at UOL is practically free, but you are not guaranteed employment).

Think about exercising, eating vegetables and clean protein, and drinking water. Now close your eyes and really focus on it. How do you feel? If negative feelings were released, there is part of the problem. Your body doesn’t relate exercising and eating healthy to feeling good. And why should it, when we already have established that there are so many other things we rather do than workout and eat healthy.

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Now think about pizza, burgers, other fast foods, alcohol, and any other chemicals you enjoy. You sense that good feeling you get just from thinking about certain foods and chemicals, that’s the challenge and hold up in your weight loss battle. You, like many others, enjoy foods and activities that are counter productive to weight loss.

People who lose weight, like 50 pounds or more, at some point start relating unhealthy and calorie dense foods to being overweight, and they also relate being overweight to being unhappy physically and emotionally. The relating of being overweight to being unhappy is a difficult realization to achieve, or even stumble upon. And reversing it, shedding pounds in the name of physical and emotional joy, is even more difficult. If it was easy, people would be losing weight left and right. But as we all know, this is not the case.

So what is the solution? The following is from UOL too. First you have to find an emotional or physical reason to lose weight, and hang on to it like a toddler does his favorite toy, with all your might. You have to have a reason. Here are some examples of reasons that I have received from clients and friends that have lost 20 pounds or more.

1. They lost weight for their kids. They want to set the example to their children and be a healthy parent as their children age.

2. They had a health scare. (This one works very well by the way). Either high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetic, fatty liver, or some other reason that could be assigned a medical measurement, lit a fire under their ass and pushed them in the right direction.

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3. They woke up one day and couldn’t believe they weighed what they weighed.

4. They saw a picture or video of themselves and couldn’t believe how they looked.

5. They got out of a relationship that was sabotaging their weight loss efforts.

6. And some people were just tired of being overweight.

I am sure there are other reasons for weight loss, but the above are the most common.

After you find your reason or reasons for weight loss, you must take action by eating less and moving more. I know, I know, it’s not fun. But remember, you have some powerful reasons now. Give yourself some time and realize that weight isn’t gained over night and weight isn’t lost overnight either, unless you cut off your leg or something. DO NOT CUT YOUR LEG OFF.

And finally, after a few months or so, when you have lost 20 or 30 pounds or more, you will start to release dopamine when you workout. Why? Because your body, and more specifically your brain, will begin to relate exercising with weight loss. And ALL clients that I have had, especially women, who have lost 30 or more pounds become extremely happy  with themselves and view exercise as something that helps them feel good (dopamine).

Find your reasons for weight loss and hang on to them for dear life. Bust your ass and lose weight. As a result of your weight loss, your body will view busting your ass as a good thing and begin to enjoy exercise.

The hard part is losing the initial 20 to 30 pounds. Good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts on Food and Exercise

Have you every woke up with a racing brain? Muy rapido. Of course you have. That’s why many of you couldn’t sleep last night, because of the racing, jumpy, thinking of this and that, for no apparent reason, brain. In honor of Monkey Brain that jumps from branch to branch and accomplishes nothing but noise, I will blog from thought to random thought, and we must KISS. No, not this KISS…

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or this kiss…

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I am talking about Keeping It Simple…Silly. Now get your head out of the gutter. Well, thinking about kissing isn’t exactly gutter thoughts, but they might be gateway thoughts to gutter thoughts.

Ok, thought numero uno.

When I exercise, and I see people walking and exercising  with a not so sugar-free energy drink like Red Bull in their hand as they exercise, or any other drink that clever advertisers have convinced us we need to re-hydrate and replace electrolytes, yeah right, it bothers me more than driving texters wearing dark sunglasses. DO NOT DRINK CALORIES WHILE YOU EXERCISE IF YOU ARE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT. Please drink water. And do not text and drive. And if the sun has gone down, take your shades off.

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If you walk a mile and drink a super charged, neon colored, electrolyte filled, vitamin laden, energy enhancing drink that your favorite athlete is being paid millions to swear he or she drinks, and that drink has 150 calories, guess what happened during your mile walk? You simply drank the calories you were trying to burn during your walk. More water benefits below.

water-man

Next thought. Do steroids work? Hello! McFly, of course they do. Why do you think professional athletes use them, risking careers and reputations? Average folks use them too, like exhibit A below.

before and after cycle

I believe I read that dude above  accomplished his body transformation in a 3 month cycle of Anabolic Steroids! The above transformation, without roids, would take about 1 year to complete, at least.

tony on roids

Tony, in the picture above, definitely used something for his transformation, and so did tough guy below. By the way, I got these pictures off websites where dudes brag about what they accomplished with this and that stack. A stack, in the weight lifting world, is a combination of supplements and hormones (roids) that a person uses to gain muscles and burn fat.

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Women use steroids too.

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Yes, she’s a woman, and so is the specimen below.

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Ok, next thought. If someone asked me, well they actually do all the time, what are the best exercises for building strength? Let’s start with the upper body, and you don’t need equipment for this one. Push-ups are a great upper body builder. Below, some of my Marine Corps brothers doing Marine push-ups. Do not try this at home.

marine push ups

The next exercise for building upper body strength is the pull-up, also a Marine favorite. That is Healthy Homeboy below, and a former Marine.

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Front view now, so you don’t think I just took a picture of a guy who was doing pull-ups  at a local park and just happened to be wearing sneakers, shorts, and an L.A. Dodger hat, just like mine. These two pictures of me are about a month old. I guess the saying “Once a Marine, always a Marine” is true, except for the machine guns, tanks, and blowing shit up part. I gave that up a long time ago. My great aim and perfect vision are available upon demand or request.

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Now, for the lower body. Nothing comes close to the squat for strengthening and building legs.

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Now ladies, do not be afraid of squats. Don’t worry, you won’t build incredibly muscular legs, but you might build  a butt that looks like the one on the right.

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Below is a diagram of muscles worked during squats for men and women.

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Next thought. If you are trying to lose weight, under no circumstances should you ever go to a buffet. Yes, even if you’re starving. Because guess what, you probably aren’t. Starving definitions: to die or perish from lack of food or nourishment. To be in the process of perishing or suffering severely from hunger. To suffer from extreme poverty and need.

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If after reading the definitions for “starving”, you decide that you are starving, go ahead and go to a buffet, eat as much as you can, and stuff your pockets with as much food as possible because they don’t allow take home boxes.

And for my final thought. In fairness, I will turn the looking-glass towards me. Since you read my blog, thank you, and I am always telling you what to do for fitness and weight loss, let’s look at what I eat and drink that is good and not so good.

I drink water with almost everything I eat, and I have no idea how much water I drink, so don’t ask. I drink about 1 glass of milk a day. I love chips ahoy cookies and for that reason I don’t keep them in the house. I have never used roids, and if you think I do because at 41 years of age I have a decent looking body, get a life, LOSER! I workout with weights about 3 times per week, mostly Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I rarely, if ever, do ab exercises, sorry. I love bacon cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries, and ice cream, and have many times ate them all in the same day. I eat red meat about 3 times per week. I love sushi. I eat eggs everyday scrambled in butter. Don’t worry, my cholesterol levels are fine. I just had a physical. Most of my carbohydrates come from brown rice, fruits, and oatmeal. I don’t eat much flour products like pasta, bread, pizza, etc. I am 5’11’. In the Marines I weighed about 185. Today I weigh 183. So much for the slow down of my metabolism. What slows down is activity levels and the ability to recover from exercise as we age, more than anything. When I indulge in adult drinks, tequila or vodka is my preference. Beer makes me burp. When I go to those frozen yogurt establishments that seemed to have popped up EVERYWHERE, I get the small container, that looks like a large to me, and half fill it with vanilla and Oreo flavored frozen yogurt, YO! As toppings for my yogurt I use yogurt covered pretzels, chips ahoy cookies, and pound cake. I don’t have a desk job, and that helps me stay lean. I don’t count calories. The mirror tells me if I am eating too much of this or that. And remember, if you are having a difficult time getting through to someone about something that seems so simple and easy to you, but not so much for the person you are trying to enlighten, just K.I.S.S. And if you really like the person, aren’t in a serious relationship with someone else, and K.I.S.S. didn’t work, pop a Tic-Tac and give them a big ole smackaroo on the lips and tell them how much they mean to you.

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Please tell me how the kiss worked out.

“No Excuses” Walking/Exercise Group

“It’s too hot to walk outside” is the most common excuse I hear from clients, and people in general, when I ask them to M.Y.A (move your ass) outside to lose weight. “I don’t like sweating” is another excuse I get.

Man sweating very badly under armpit

Well, guess what? Unless you live in San Diego, California or some other beautiful city where it is almost never humid and rarely over 100 degrees, you are  going to have to walk outside and sweat when it’s hot, if you’re going to lose weight.

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Yesterday, here in the Silver Spring, Maryland area the temperature was about 97 degrees, but with the humidity it felt more like 105. Damn! Muy caliente. Because it was so hot yesterday, I wondered if my walkers in my “Walkers for Weight Loss” walking group would be M.I.A. instead of M.Y.A. this morning.

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As you can see in the picture above, they showed up, and the temperature was already in the 80’s and it was humid as two steam rooms in hell. We walked about 2 miles, if not more, and did calisthenics and weights. Sweat was dripping, and there was some huffing and puffing, but no complaining. All the ladies were motivated and very supportive of each other. Good job ladies, and great job detoxifying (sweating) and burning some calories on a hot and humid Saturday morning.

Hey walking group, I just talked to Michelle to invite her to the walking group next week. She said she appreciates the invitation but she she’s busy doing some other things so she can’t attend. I can’t believe she turned my walking group down. What can she possibly have to do that is more important than our kick ass group? She said she told her husband about our group, and he gave her a message to pass on to me so I could pass on to you.

THUMBS UP!!

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Don’t Eat at Wendy’s. Instead, Do Like Wendie.

So, you want real life results? You want me to stop giving you advice, I will never stop, and show you pictures of and introduce you to real people who have achieved real life weight loss through increased movement and reduced food consumption. Ladies and gentlemen, we the jury find George Zimmerman not…

Oops, wrong thought. Let’s try that again. All please rise, the honorable Healthy Homeboy is now presiding. “I Healthy Homeboy find my home-girl, Wendie, guilty of changing her diet and exercising in order to lose weight. I find her guilty of taking charge of her life. I find her guilty of training with Healthy Homeboy 3 times per week and participating in a walking group every Saturday morning no matter how tired she feels. I find her guilty of not making excuses because she is over 40, and maybe her metabolism has slowed down and maybe her hormones have changed, but she does not focus on the inevitable and the negative. I find her guilty of working 40 hours a week, at least, and still finding time to exercise. I find her guilty of setting an example to all women who want to lose weight.” You may sit down now.

Wendie is the third one in from the left, doing squat-and-press during our Saturday morning workout at MLK Park with the rest of the crew.

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Wendie, orange stripe on shorts, on the floor doing chest press alternated with lower abs. All the other ladies are working out hard too.

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Wendie and the rest of the posse doing overhead presses.

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Wendie does not eat the chips below. At least not when I’m around…lol. On a side note, do we really need potato chips that taste like baby-back ribs? Why not just eat the ribs? What’s next, stuffing cheese in pizza’s crust and doubling the stuffing in Oreo cookies? Oh, I forgot. They do that already.

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That is Wendie below, and those are her old pantalones she’s proudly displaying. The size of her old pants was “bigger”, the new size is “smaller”. That is what matters. She is 40 pounds lighter now and is a workout maniac. I am not kidding. On Saturdays, AFTER we do our 1 hour walking and exercise group, I train her for another 45 minutes with weights. Fourth of July weekend I wasn’t here for our walking group, and she did the walking group with the other girls, good job ladies, and then Wendie stayed and did the whole routine again. Translation: On a Saturday morning when people are waiting impatiently in McDonald’s drive thru’s or in Starbuck’s lines, or simply lying in bed when they could be benefiting from exercise, she is working out, FOR TWO HOURS!

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This is my home-girl Wendie and me. (I’m suppose to write “Wendie and I”, but that looks and sounds incorrect to me, I mean I, oh, whatever…) I had to post the picture below so people don’t think I am just finding random pictures on the internet, or the cloud, of people who have lost weight and taking credit for it. Wendie deserves all the credit for her transformation. She is the one working out no matter how tired she is, how hot it is, or has something better to do. Don’t we all have better things to do than workout? She is also the one who makes the right food choices when no one is looking. You go girl!

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Above Wendie’s head it says “INSPIRATION”. I hope she does that to some of you who are trying to lose weight.

Hollywood’s Weight Loss Secret and Beauty Secrets

The new weight loss super supplement is here. Sensa. It requires no diet or exercise, the sellers of Sensa claim. You just sprinkle some magic Sensa dust on your food and your brain will think you are full and you will eat less. By the way, I thought they said no dieting. Isn’t eating less dieting? The Sensa commercial even claims it is one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets. When they say “Secrets”, I think they are talking about one of those secret tools that stars have, especially the ladies, to keep them looking so perfect. I browsed the internet, or is it the cloud now, for some other movie star secrets. I want to know how some of these ladies look so perfect all the time, because I think it is unfair that they may have beauty secrets that my female amigas don’t.

My investigative efforts found some other secretos.

I don’t know who the heck that is on the left, but if she is and was transformed into Sofia Vergara on the right, that is one hell of a Hollywood secret and capability.

sofia vergara no make up

Holy Carrot Top batman. Quien es esta mujer?

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GOD DAMN!!! Tell me that is not Tori Spelling on the left.

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Holy caterpillar like beauty that few people would even look twice at…

Jennifer Hudson No Makeup

transformed  into a woman with the simple and effortless beauty of a butterfly that only nature can provide, and a ton of makeup. She must be a Dream Girl, because girls can only dream of this transformation.

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Ay-ay-ay, caramba, que es esto?

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I think I just heard Tony Parker rant “I married the girl below. Who the hell is the woman above?”. (In my best Spanish language accent, which comes to me very easily, thank you very much.) I preeesent tu joo Eva Longoria. The 80’s looking chick in the the pic above is pretty, but DAMN, the one below is Rockin!!!!

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Before any woman says “Oh Healthy Homeboy, that is so mean and tasteless. The way you are lifting the veil of deception off of these ladies faces”, may I remind you that society is always throwing in your beautiful face how glamorous and perfect Hollywood women are. Women have tons of pressure on them to look a certain way, and that is not cool.

Ladies, I beg you to fashion yourself with your desires, wishes, hopes, and likes. Wear what you want to wear. Life is too short. If you want straight hair? Girl, wear that hair as straight as you want, like a horses tail even. You want to wear make up? Wear it because YOU want to wear it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to look a certain way or like a certain movie star who belongs on FakeBook or FacadeBook, instead of FaceBook. Curly hair is awesome. Straight hair is awesome. Wavy hair is awesome. Every color hair is fugging awesome. All eye colors look great and could be transformed into “intense and piercing” with the right make up amount, but more importantly, with the right amount of confident attitude that I know you have.

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My lady friends, today you have my permission to wear what you want to wear because you like it. YOU ARE LIBERATED!! If you have a shortened Achilles tendon, or plantar fashionitis because you wear high heels that not even the Flying Wallendas could balance on, throw them shits away, and wear flip-flops today. But if you are going to church on this beautiful Sunday, put on your flip-flops after you purify yourself at your weekly soul cleansing event, and you’re back in your car cursing at the parking lot traffic and going home to watch an R rated movie.

Live it up ladies. Pick up some of your girlfriends in your minivan today, and tell the one who is on the Sensa non-diet, diet, to bring a few packs of Sensa with her. Have your Sensa friend sit shotgun so she could hand you those Sensa packs when you’re driving over a bridge on the way to your favorite burger joint. Have her hand you the whole box of Sensa if possible. Roll down your window, with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper playing, and your friends singing along off key and loud as hell, and fling the Sensa out the damn window. Now haul ass as fast as your turbo charged mini van can to the burger joint. Go through the drive thru because you want to listen to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” as you eat in the parking lot.  Order bacon cheeseburgers and fries for everyone, and for the lactose tolerant, a big ass milkshake.

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Now eat, laugh, and smile, and look at each other and realize that you are having a great time. Makeup is optional. No one is judging anyone. A few of you even burp loud as hell. One of you takes the teenage like entertainment a bit too far and even farts. It is great though. The fart stinks, because women’s farts stink too, and you roll up the and lock the windows so everyone has to smell the stinky fart.

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A few years from now you will all get together for this or that social occasion. You will drink some wine and loosen up, and one of you will begin to laugh uncontrollably. One of you will ask “What’s so funny?” The one laughing will respond “Remember that time, after my second child was born, I was on that Sensa diet and you came and picked me up in your minivan and let me sit shotgun. It was me, Sofia, Eva, Tori, Jennifer, and that red-head friend of yours. Remember we drove over a bridge and threw the Sensa box out the window on the way to ‘Healthy Homeboy Hamburgers’. Remember I said I wasn’t lactose intolerant, but I was and still am, and had a big ass milk shake. I farted really loud and you rolled up the windows…” We remember the good times. Live it up, dress how you like, but don’t fart around me.

Oh yeah, before I forget. If you do use Sensa for a few months and you eat less, you probably will lose weight. Eating less helps people lose weight.

 

 

 

Think Before You Ink!

Just a few years ago, if you misspelled something, you could get a pass. But now, with computers and smart phones, which are really just computers disguised as phones, everywhere, you have no excuse for misplaced or omitted letters when writing. And if you are a tattoo artist, you better have a dictionary, computer, or smart phone on you at all times. If you don’t, some of the following might happen.

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And too lazy to go to school.

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And your tattoo artist doesn’t know how to spell.

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This guy was dealt the hand of not being able to spell, and he played his hand horribly.

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After seeing this tattoo, anything is “possbile”.

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Yes, I agree with his feelings because the scholastic system has failed him.

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The above tattoo is comedy and tragedy.

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While others keep laughing.

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Actually, I bleed to know I am injured. You’re a menso.

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This tattoo just might prove that consumption of meat is important for the development of the part of the brain that helps humans spell.

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But God did forget to teach your tattoo artist how to spell and write legibly.

And finally, the girl below sleeps with both eyes open.

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If you lyke my blog, your welcome. I have no regerts. I belive I am providing a  grate service to socitey. I can make fun of peeple becuz I know how to spell and I never mispell words. I am blest to have you as a friend. Thanks for you’re support. If you need help writing an es-ay or report for scool, I will help you for free. But I warn you, the es-ay you hand in mite be so well writen that your teachor mite think you cheeted.

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Regarding plagiarism, I have been asked, several times now, if I really do write everything that is on my blog. Yes I do. I do not have a ghost writer, and I do not cut and paste paragraphs or even sentences, for that matter. If I re-blog information from another blog, which I have not yet, I will give full credit to the blog and blogger. Up to now, everything on Healthy Homeboy has been written by Hector Vargas. I take being asked “Do you really write everything on your blog?” as a compliment. Yes, I write errything on my blog. By the way, my first language is Spanish, but I can’t write in Spanish. Weird, I know. (I just noticed in the picture above that one of my nostrils is bigger than the other. That is so cool.)

 

How to Burn 4,000 Calories in 1 Week

You can make plans for your life, but many times life has its own plans for you. You don’t believe me? Think of all the unexpected turns your life has taken for you to be exactly where you are today.

On June 30, 2013, I rode my mountain bike with a friend for about 10 miles. My friend, I will call him Sam, is older than 45 but younger than 5 decades. He has a wife and 3 boys.

Men love to brag, especially about accomplishments that are physical in nature. So on the evening of the day of our bike ride, as we were hanging out at a friend’s house by the pool, with Sam and his familia and mi esposa, we bragged about our 10 mile morning mountain-bike trek. In the midst of our bragging I opened my big fat mouth. First, I opened my boca grande to have some Cheetos that were well deserved after a 10 mile bike ride, and then to say “I was thinking of riding my bike from my house to the Lincoln Memorial sometime this summer”.  My mouth and ego had just written a check I would have to cash. As Sam was throwing the football to his kids in the pool he said with grand excitement “Let’s do it tomorrow”.  With my best Gary Coleman face I asked “Whatchutalkinaboutwillis?”

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He responded “Let’s ride from here to the Lincoln Memorial”. I immediately thought “He can’t be serious, and if he is, el es loco“. I told him that the ride from my house to the Lincoln Memorial is almost 20 miles. And as I was explaining to him that it might be a bit far for 2 men in their forties, that don’t ride bikes often, to just try to do that type of bike journey he interjected and said “Don’t tell me you’re going to let an almost 50-year-old White-Boy beat Healthy Homeboy in a bike challenge”. I took the bait. (By the way, Sam called himself “White-Boy”. I never have called him that, and never will, because now he’s “Crazy White-Boy” to me.)

So on July 2nd, 2013, at 10am, the inaugural “Healthy Homeboy Bike Ride to DC” was born and completed. As you can see, there were only 2 participants, but it’s a start. Yes, that is sweat all over our shirts. On a side note, how about those not so inconspicuous bushes on the right side of the White House roof. Can you say “Snipers”?

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I look like I have boobs in the picture below. I just went and checked, I don’t.

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On July 3rd I flew to Tampa, Florida to visit my sister, my brother-in-law, and my best amigo who would be flying in from California. Being that I am not an avid bike rider, my legs were tired and a bit sore from my bike ride the day before. July 4th we hung out and lit some fireworks in front of my sister’s house. Don’t worry, fireworks are legal where my sister lives so I did not break the law, and I never have broken the law, oh no, not me.

July 5th, I woke up feeling good, but I didn’t exercise and I reintroduced my stomach to gluttony.

July 6th, Saturday, I woke up feeling really good and energetic. Maybe the gluttony fed my muscles. I borrowed my brother-in-laws mountain bike and went for a ride that morning. I returned home about 1 hour and a half later having logged another 18 miles bike riding. My legs were tired, and all of me was sweaty and stinky. My deodorant had stopped working around mile 10. I think the Tampa humidity had melted my deodorant right off. When I got back to my sister’s house bragging about what I had just done, the first thing she said was “Take a shower because you’re all sweaty and probably stink”. I threatened her with a bear hug. She said I better not, and I didn’t because she had made me breakfast. Never bite the hand that feeds you, and never work up a stinky sweat and bear hug the person who cooks for you. We had a great day, and I fell asleep early that evening because I was dog-tired.

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I woke up early on Sunday morning, July 7th and I was energetic again. My sister’s cooking and the sweet agave juice I had consumed the night before had my muscles primed and relaxed for the day. I thought “Fuck it! Today is my last day here. I leave early tomorrow morning. I should ride my bike from my sisters house to the beach. It’s barely 6am. I could leave at 7am and be at the beach by 9am”. I did it! I began my bike ride at 7am and I arrived at Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill on the Beach in the Gulf of Mexico at about 8:30am. It was about 19 miles total. I texted a picture to my sister and company to show them where I was. They thought I was crazy. They are correct.

I took the picture below right before I crossed the bridge to get to Clear Water Beach. This bridge kicked my ass. My legs were cramping and my rear end was sore. Either bicycle seats have shrunk since I was young or my butt has grown, but either way my ass was sore. I think the week’s bike riding was catching up to me. From here I could see the finish line, and nothing was going to stop me, not even sore legs and a sore butt. That’s my shadow below.

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I needed a ride back to my sister’ casa, so my sister and company asked if I could wait til 11am so we could eat at Frenchy’s together and celebrate my bike ride. I had no choice. I wasn’t about to ride back home, so I waited. I found a nice seat on the boardwalk, sat, Pandora kept me company, and I just relaxed. Beach goers started to show up slowly, with coffee in hand, and kids were being restrained from sprinting towards the ocean. I sipped on some agua.

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I burned off the extra time and any excess calories I had, waiting for them, by riding my bike up and down the boardwalk. It was great sightseeing. The temperature climbs quickly in Tampa, and even quicker at the beach because the sun rays bounce of the water and onto your body, or maybe it just feels like that after a 20 mile bike ride. I got my sexy on and took of my tanktop to ride my bike. It felt great, or as modern people would say “It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g”. Some women even checked me out to boost my ego. I could see them peering through their “cover my puffy eyes and disguise a person’s true age” shades. I checked them out in return. (My wife has the same rules for me looking at women as art exhibits have for me looking at their art. I can look, but I can’t touch. That’s a deal). You’ve heard of Sleepless In Seattle? Below is Shirtless In Clear Water, sporting my bling, of course.

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My family finally arrived and I ate grouper fillet and drank 2 tequila sunrises. By the time they arrived my bike mileage had reached about 25.

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So there you have it. A little more than a week ago I had absolutely no plans of bike riding this past week. In total I rode 10 miles last Sunday, then 20 on Tuesday, another 18 on Saturday, and about 25 Sunday, July 7th. That is a total of 73 miles in one week and about 4,000 calories burned, if not more! All because Sam, aka “Crazy White-Boy” asked me to ride with him last Sunday, and then to the Lincoln Memorial last Tuesday. Gracias Sam. Below is Sam at the Lincoln Memorial talking to his son who happened to call just as Sam and I arrived at the Memorial. His son asked “Dad did you make it?”, and obviously he did. Great job Samuel.

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