Monthly Archives: January 2012

Baldaufs vs Genetics: 10 Weeks Left

Time for another weigh-in. We’ve moved weigh-ins to Fridays for the rest of the challenge.  We aren’t weighing in after a potentially rough weekend this way. Also, I will hopefully be able to get them up on the following Monday (clearly worked this time). This week is pretty busy, so I’ve been lacking the time to get internet access (I will be adding it at home next week though! Get excited!)

Anyways, questions are:

  1. How are things going? Starting the new year off well or struggling?
  2. What’s your least favorite thing about working out?
  3. If you could make one food healthy magically, what would it be?


The Bob(father)

1. “The new year is going alright. Started dropping back down slowly.”

2. “Finding/making time to work out is really the hardest part. Once I’m doing something it’s not too bad.”

3. “I would have to say pizza, only because we seem to resort to pizza most often for an easy meal.”


Starting Weight: 223 lbs
Current Weight: 217.2 lbs
Overall % Change: -2.60%


The Dan (Uncle)

1. “Shitty. Struggling.”

2. “Working out?? What the hell is that?”

3. “ White bread, homemade. Great, now I need to have some bread.”


Starting Weight: 268.8
Current Weight: 261
Overall % Change: -2.90%



1. “New year is starting off okay. Ran a few times, but have kind of kind of tailed off now that winter has finally arrived. I need to get back after it or go to the gym, but this week is pretty busy and not really helping with that.”

2. “Worst part about working out is probably the time I attach to it. It might only take me 45 minutes to work out, but I stretch the time around it to almost 2 hours. I need to change, set up a playlist, go to the gym (which can add over half an hour…fuuuuck), come back, and shower. Just hard to block off that much time. Either that, or the motivation required to work out after working all day.”

3. “ I would say pizza, but I can enjoy a healthy pizza. Big fan of flatbread pizzas. Maybe bagels and cream cheese. Or ranch. Or fruit dip—but that leads to eating fruit. But I probably have to say…cookies. Especially if they include my mom’s cutout cookies frosting. Damn sweet tooth.”


Starting weight: 195 lbs
Current weight: 193.6
Overall % Change: -0.72%



The Bob comes back pretty strong, while I take a small step in the right direction and Dan plateaus. Even though Dan’s struggling, he’s still in the lead. There are 5 more weigh-ins left (ending on March 23rd) so only 10 more weeks to go. I think all of us would agree that we haven’t made as much progress as any of us would like. We all need to pick it up going forward if any of us want to meet our goals.

Pretty quick and dirty. Hopefully be back with at least one more post before the end of the week.


Should Anyone Play Football?

If you have played football, or know anyone who does play football, read this! “The Fragile Teenage Brain”

It is a great piece talking about the concussion problems in the sport, and more specifically, high school football. I played high school football. For four years, it was a huge part of my life and one of my main focuses. After high school, I worked as an equipment manager for the Wisconsin Badgers for another four and a half years. So I have quite a bit of experience and time around the game of football.

Obviously, concussion awareness has shot up over the last few years. Going back to when I was in high school, I definitely fell into the camp of “shake it off and get back out there”. There was nothing that was going to keep me off the field. I played through many injuries, but thankfully no concussions. I did, however, have problems during my junior year with terrible headaches by the end of most games.

As the science continues to progress and more info comes out, I find myself completely changing my views on concussions and football. I love football. I’m a huge fan, ask anyone who knows me. But I’m starting to wonder if there should be a place for football in the future.The more we learn about concussions, the worse it seems. And there’s no good way to deal with it. We expect helmets to fix things, but they aren’t made for that kind of protection. We can keep changing the rules, but so far things haven’t changed in terms of concussions. And if things change too much, the sport will cease to be football anymore.

Far worse, though, is the culture within football. Way too many players underestimate the damage they are doing. I know I did. And I watched countless collegiate athletes adamantly oppose switching to a safer helmet because of the way they looked. (They’ve since made the newer helmets better looking, but the concern over how gear looks will continue to be a ridiculous barrier to protection. Also, concussions haven’t decreased with safer helmets.) Even with all the science coming out, too many kids (also coaches and parents) are ignoring the risks or plain don’t know about them.

Another problem is that far too many kids don’t realize that their football careers aren’t going much further than high school. Positive thinking is fine, but a little realism might help kids realize that they shouldn’t be risking permanent brain damage for something they most likely won’t achieve.

Plus, the damage is hard to see physically afterwards. Players sitting out look okay, prompting people to question if their milking their injury or not dedicated to the team. Concussion education has increased, but the entire culture around football needs to change. There are plenty of injuries that people can fight through. Concussions aren’t one of them.

I love football, both watching and playing. But maybe football should die out. The cost is too high for the players, and too many don’t even realize what it is costing them. Sure, getting paid millions of dollars is quite an incentive to play, but those millions can’t do anything for the brain damage. And that’s only the select few that make it all the way to the NFL. What about the millions of kids who don’t make it, who don’t have millions of dollars to show for their concussions?

I have three younger brothers. I never tried to get them to follow my lead, but after I finished my high school football career, I thought at least one of them would end up playing football too. After all, we had all played football together for years growing up. None of them ended up playing football. I wasn’t disappointed or let down by this. But I never thought that I would be thankful that they didn’t some day. I worry about those headaches from high school ball and what they could have meant. When I’m older, I know don’t want my kids playing. And that’s what the article is all about. (Seriously, read it.)

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Shane Starts Running! A Retro-Diary

As I mentioned in my resolutions post, I’m starting to run outside! And it’s horrible! But I thought I’d make it more enjoyable for myself by chronicling my attempts to start running, retro-diary style. If you haven’t heard of a retro-diary, I’m borrowing it mostly from Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy and Grantland editor). Basically, after I run, I’m going to go back and breakdown my run. So here we go.

9:30 AM: I inform Olive that we are going to go for a run. This leads to non-stop whining from her as I try to explain that I need half an hour to take care of some stuff first. She fails to understand the concept of patience.

9:45 AM: New running playlist, finished. Keeping it fairly short. Lot of new Black Keys, little bit of Josh Ritter/Avett Brothers. Trying to keep it light and not too fast paced.

10:00 AM: Angry Birds

10:20 AM: Finish playing Angry Birds as Olive continues to angrily pester me.

10:30 AM: Do the dishes. I might be stalling at this point.

10:33 AM: Olive tries looking pitifully at me as a reminder to run. I tell once again that we ARE going to go. Soon.

Like this, without the crazy eyes

10:34 AM: My body seems to realize that we are for real about this running business. Every time I’m about to run, I swear my body freaks out and kicks in the running allergies to remind me why I hate it. Airways are already getting blocked and I haven’t even stepped outside. Somewhere in my body, cells are running around, screaming, “Holy shit!! This might actually happen! Quick! Emergency evasive actions! AHHH!!!!”

10:48 AM: Dishes are finished. Time to actually get ready.

10:54 AM: Running outfit on, including the vital gray hoodie. You better believe that I’m going for the Rocky look if I’m going to start running outside in the cold.

10:58 AM: Outside stretching. I realize that my gloves are too cold to work the touchscreen on my ipod nano. Looks like I’m going to have to use the nose.

11:00 AM: Now I have a minor headache from spending two minutes cross-eyed trying to work an ipod with my nose. But the music is on and I’m all stretched.

11:02 AM: I’m trying to keep the pace under control to start out. Olive didn’t get the memo. She’s tearing along, literally pulling me faster. Two strange looks so far as I yell “Slower, please!” to my dog. I’m not really sure why I’m more polite with my dog when we’re running than normal, but the pleases don’t seem to be working. Olive is also confused about why we’re moving away from the dog park at this point.

11:04 AM: We’re now onto the longer, uninterrupted stretch of the bike path, so no more streets to stop at and catch my breath under the guise of teaching Olive to sit at every street.

11:05 AM: Oh yeah, Apple headphones don’t stay in my ears. That’s why I kept buying Sony headphones. Ear bud is out. Gloves make it difficult to keep in.

11:06 AM: Okay, pretty tired now. Could really use a street. The dog is settling into our run a little better now, pulling me a little less.

11:08 AM: Street. Thank god. Time to walk a block. (It’s important to accept where you’re at and work your way back into things, as a side note.) Partially because I’m tired and partially because there are three streets to cross in the next 50 feet. Hardly seems worth running.

11:09 AM: Back at it. Feeling much better than I expected for running. Airways–shockingly clear.

11:09.53 AM: Ear bud is out.

11:12 AM: At the stadium and feeling strong still. I decide to extend the run around the stadium. Getting crazy now. Is this what a runner’s high feels like?

11:14 AM: I always forget how much I hate the Breese St. side of the stadium when I try to run it. More of an incline than I expect, and longer than it seems. Calves starting to hurt. Probably should have remembered to stretch them.

11:14.15 AM: Ear bud is out again.

11:15 AM: Ran hard to the steep decline on the other side of the stadium. Walking down it. I don’t like running downhill and I could use a slight breather.

11:15.30 AM: Olive has other plans. She knows going downhill is her best chance to really pull me. Gravity is in her favor. Looks like we’re running a little earlier than planned.

11:20 AM: Things are still going much better than I expected. More streets during the last stretch though, so I had a few breaks. Walking out this last block before Park St. Calves–hurting pretty bad.

11:21 AM: Run hard up the hill. I like attacking hills, always feels better than struggling at the same pace. Can’t let the hill win. Pretty winded but still feeling good.

11:22 AM: See myself running down the hill in the reflective glass. Turns out my dad’s description of my running form is true. I do look like a three-legged turtle hauling a trailer behind it when I run. Awesome.

11:22.43 AM: Ear bud is out. Again.

11:23 AM: Olive has settled into a good pace with me. This is going much better than I thought. Kind of expected her to be dashing place to place and then making me drag her away from each one. Trying to finish out the rest of the run without any breaks.

11:24 AM: Yes, person giving me a funny look. I realize that you are supposed to breath while running. I’m just not very good at it.

11:26 AM: Okay, going to walk this last half block and then wait for the light. Then, it’s just two more blocks.

11:29 AM: We hold up one corner from home so I can give Ollie a pep talk about how we’re going to sprint the last block. She keeps trying to pull away. I think she sees through the pep talk as a way for me to catch my breath before the sprint.

11:29.30 AM: And we’re off! Olive gets out to an early lead. I gain slightly as Olive eases up to make me feel better. As I near her, she takes off even faster.

11:30 AM: And we’re done. Good thing it’s not a long block. Have definitely felt worse after a run. Probably could have ran a little more, but I’d rather finish the first run on a high note. Olive seems unfazed. Was really hoping this would wear her out too. Additionally, calves really hurting. (Stretch first!)

Now I just have to do this 2 more times a week. And probably a little bit longer/harder runs. Have to say, the weather has been really great so far this winter (in terms of running outside, not for any of you skiers out there). Hopefully it holds up for awhile, so I can get a jump on getting back into shape before it gets too cold.

Run turned out to be about 3.19 miles. Not too bad. Maybe this running stuff isn’t so bad.

(As the person writing this in retrospect–yes, yes it is. My calves and shins are KILLING me today. Seriously, don’t forget to stretch EVERYTHING. I cannot stress this enough.)


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Baldaufs Vs. Genetics — Post-Holidays

We’re back for the first weigh-ins after the holidays. I did skip posting a weigh-in so I’ll do a quick re-cap. Before the holidays, our weights were: 215.4 lbs (Bob), 260 lbs (Dan), and 195 lbs (Me). Over the missed weigh-in, we all went up a little bit more.

Anyways, on to the new year of “Baldaufs vs. Genetics”. The questions for this week were:

  1. How’d the holidays go? What was the biggest struggle?
  2. Any plans for the new year?
  3. Any revisions of goals going forward here in terms of weight/etc.?

The Bob(father)

1. “The holidays were tough, food and sweets everywhere and I had time off from work to enjoy them.”

2. “I think if the first couple of weeks go well, I’ll stick with moderation and exercise, otherwise I may try Atkins again.”

3. “At this point I just want to get below 200. 190 might be impossible.”

Starting Weight: 223 lbs
Current Weight: 223 lbs
Overall Change: 0%

The Dan (Uncle)

1. “Not too bad considering the holidays were all about eating! Leftover Crab legs and Prime rib from New Years are gone, some Salsa and Chips left to get rid of and no more sweats should set me in the right direction again. My biggest struggle for the holidays was more about not getting out and doing anything like walking, hunting, etc than it was about overeating. Actually I overdrank more than I overate. Diet coke and rum.”

2. “New year, for me, has to bring some changes as I am feeling like shit often. Need the freedom and energy level of before! I am eating healthy cereal for breakfast, mini sub or salad for lunch and a sensable dinner, which will also include a veggie only day as this intrigues me.”

3. “There is no set goal anymore, it is about making the right choices and trying my best to stick with it. When I feel good enough, I will continue..”

Starting Weight: 268.8 lbs
Current Weight: 261 lbs
Overall Change:  -2.90%

Me (Shane)

1. “The holidays didn’t go too bad. I did pretty good in terms of not overeating around Christmas but really kind of failed on that around New Years. My biggest struggle, besides not destroying all sweets in sight, was probably the lack of working out without a gym membership.”

2. “A talked about this a little bit in my post yesterday, but my main plan is to eat smaller portions, add a veggie meal once a week, and to force myself to work out at least 3 times a week.”

3. “My goal is to get at least around 185, maybe closer to 180 depending on how it goes.”

Starting Weight: 195 lbs
Current Weight: 196 lbs
Overall Change: +.51%

(Note: I would like to take this opportunity to mention the importance of having your scale on a level surface. My first weigh-in for this week read 191.6, which I greeted with shock and more than just a little joy at having thrown myself back near the lead. Unfortunately, my disbelief won out and my next weigh-in at a different spot read 194.6. After using my iphone level app, I came out at 196. Sad.)


Dan made out pretty good over the holidays, staying right around even, while Bob slid back to his starting point. My father and I have a lot of ground to make up on Dan now, but we are through the worst of it. As for me, I’m not too disappointed being at 196. I can definitely work off of that and didn’t gain too much over the holidays. It’s all about getting back into the swing of things now, so we’ll see who can do that the quickest.


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Some New Year’s Resolutions

I’m back! For now. I am hoping to keep up with things a little better (the internet situation is in the works). For those of you interested in Baldaufs vs. Genetics, we’ll be all caught up at the end of this week and I will definitely be on top of that.

Anyways, with New Year’s going on, I figured I’d share a few of my resolutions. Normally, I’m not a fan of resolutions. They kind of fall into the same category as diets for me–destined to fail. They tend to be too general, too short-term, and not planned out enough. People also tend to try to make drastic changes instead of gradual, progressive change. It’s a setup for failure. Weight loss and healthy living isn’t about short-term fixes (like diets). It’s about changing lifestyles.

But, I could use a few new goals and it happens to line up with New Year’s. So this year, I’m making resolutions. And I’m also making plans for them.

Continue reading

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