•March 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A setback is defined as a “reversal or check in progress”.  And let me tell you, I’ve had a reversal in my momentum since last Thursday!  I went in for my weekly doctor visit to get checked for blood pressure, weight, etc. and as my name was getting called to go see him, I felt a very sharp pain as I stood up from the chair.  Oh, I knew that familiar feeling.  Once that pain is activated, it plagues me for days to come.  And sure enough, it has!  At this point, I am having issues putting on my socks right after getting out of bed.  It has consistently been hurting.  How can I describe the pain?  A FAST, SHARP, and STABBING feeling that brings a person down to their knees, literally.  Not to mention my mood.  The #1 reason I began the weight loss journey was to help fix my back but apparently, it hasn’t been doing the trick despite all the positive things from it.  I will say, however, that the last 3-4 weeks prior to this setback, had been the best I’ve had in almost 4 years.  With that, I’ve made an appointment to see a spine specialist at USC.  I have nothing to lose to get another opinion, besides the “You need to lose weight” message.  Could there be a new treatment out there for my condition?  For those that may not know, MRI’s have shown a desiccated L3/L4 disc (dried up) with annular tears.  There is about a 3.5mm protrusion into the area where the nerve roots travel down, however, there is no stenosis.  I don’t get leg pain at all which makes sense since my nerve roots are not compromised.  The last doctor to see me suggested I may have discogenic pain, which simply means that the source of pain is coming from the disc itself.  There are small nerve fibers that are around the disc and they may be getting irritated.  Anyway, here is a sample image of my MRI of the spine, side view:

You can see the “black disc”.  We’ll see what the doctor says on Monday, April 2nd.  As for the target 100-lb drop by Monday (April 2nd), it might be a stretch at this point (no pun intended).  I haven’t been getting my regular exercise due to the pain.  I have been pretty good with my low caloric intake, making sure I keep creating that deficit to lose weight.

I’m almost there.


The “Juan-Hundred”…Just Around the Corner!

•March 20, 2012 • 2 Comments

Now that I think about it, I should have started a blog last summer when I started on my weight loss journey.  I guess I could have used it as a journal to chronicle how things were working out.  In the beginning, I weight in officially at 260lbs but what many family and friends don’t know is that I topped out at 278 lbs.  I am pretty ashamed to even admit it because I had let myself go in regards to my health.  I began seeing weight issues when I was in the 3rd/4th grade.  I didn’t really think it was a big issue because I was eating what I was told to eat.  For the most part, my mom cooked healthy meals.  The issue arose when I was going for 2nds and even 3rds at times.  In middle school, I was really plump and wore lose fitting sweats to feel comfortable and hide the fat.  However, when I entered into high school, I began getting fit.  I joined the ROTC program along with the marching band in my freshman year.  With PE and ROTC together, I was getting trim and feeling better.  ROTC added the physical activity that regular PE provided.  But even then, I was overweight for my height and age.  When I attended Cal Poly, SLO right out of high school, wow, the weight began to climb.  The infamous “Freshman 15” did not apply to me because I earned the “Freshman 25”.  I remember I entered Cal Poly with a waist 34” and weighing 185lbs.  After graduating, I ballooned up to 247lbs!  I had enjoyed the “eating, sleeping, and studying” lifestyle that eventually took a toll on my health.  Two months before graduating with an engineering degree, I experience dizziness for days.  I visited the campus doctor for the first time there and was told for the first time I had “high blood pressure”.  What?  Really?  At age 23 and already dealing with a disease like this?  No way!  I thought high blood pressure was for the elderly.  Nope!

After graduating college, I went to the gym with my uncle and I was able to shed off 25lbs.  I was still considered obese by the BMI index chart and felt good.  However, I still had issues with hypertension.  I figured blood pressure drugs was my answer despite the doctors telling me to lose weight.  After meeting Beatriz and getting married, I ballooned up again but to the 250’s!  I still had the bad habits I acquired from college of getting fast food (In-N-Out being one of my favorites).  I brought it home and eventually it affected Beatriz, my wife.  When we were dating, she was super active and eating healthy.  I, unfortunately, rubbed off my bad habit of eating bad and it affected her.

In 2008, I began having chronic low back pain.  After visiting numerous physicians (family physician, neurosurgeon, neurologist, interventional neuro-radiologist, physical therapist, and chiropractors), I received the same message from them:  LOSE WEIGHT.  After four MRI scans, the results show a “black disc” on the L3/L4 level.  Black means it is desiccated or “dried up”.  The docs believe the pain is actually originating from the disc itself since I don’t have stenosis which usually causes leg pain.

Fast forward to 2011, I started a new diet program (July 2011) which taught me specifically how calories affected my body weight and how exercising is a vital part of losing/maintaining weight.  These new habits have rubbed off to my wife in a positive way because I no longer bring fast food home like I used to.  Just with that, she has managed to lose a good amount of weight that I helped contribute in the past.  She fortunately did not gain the amount I did.  I am assisting her with my new lifestyle to help her meet her goals.  Presently, this is where I am at:

–          From 260lbs to 169lbs (goal is 160lbs)

–          From three Hypertension Drugs to 0

–          From Cholesterol Medication to 0 (Total Cholesterol went from 252 to 147)

–          Glucose from 94 to 74 (never had an issue with diabetes)

–          Waist from 44” to 34”

–          Snoring resolved

–          Heartburn resolved

–          Back pain is still present but has been feeling better the last three weeks.

Like I stated on an earlier post, I have dedicated this weight loss to my Aunt Teresa.  She passed away on April 2, 2007 and I was targeting the 100-lb drop by April 2, 2012.  I will accept where ever I arrive because I feel she has been with me every step of the way.  I know she would have been proud of me especially since she always took good care of herself.  Wow, it seemed like yesterday she was a lifeguard at the local YMCA teaching my brother and I how to swim.  Well, we’ll see what I weigh in on April 2nd in the morning.  At 91lbs down right now, I am pretty stoked already!  I’ll be implementing weight resistance training as well.  My friend Nick Guerrero has really done well with bulking up in a healthy way.  My other friends, Justin & Allison Mann, are also great role models who have shared healthy eating recipes and are successful pro-cycling individuals.

Here are my final thoughts with this weight loss:  I feel like a kid all over again 🙂

Choosing a Color on the Chevy Fleetline…

•March 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I dunno, what do you think of this color?  I was originally aiming to go with one solid color but I really like this two-tone color combo on my friend’s former ’48 Chevy Fleetline Aerosedan.  Any thoughts?

Almost there…

•March 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

April 2nd, 2012 marks the 5th anniversary of my Aunt Teresa’s death after battling breast cancer for 7 years. I have been on this weight loss journey for almost 9 months and I have dedicated it to her. I am targeting April 2nd to have reached my 100-lb drop in weight.

Where am I at presently? Won’t say 🙂

We’ll see how close I get!

What I will tell you is that I have re-evaluated my calories in and calories out – yep, had to make an adjustment! Last week, I backed off on calories and increased physical activity. It has certainly paid off as it’s showing on the scale. I have 20 days left and hope to optimize the weight loss. I’m also about to begin weight resistance training to build lean mass and bulk up. Beatriz is loving it! I know this wasn’t much of a detailed post but I wanted to check in and keep this updated.

Hydraulic Cross Member Bridge

•February 27, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I had the opportunity to spin the frame around out of the garage and slide it under the body to check for clearance issues in the rear.  As expected, the hydraulic bridge, which is 7-inches in depth, is too big.  With the current set-up, the rear portion of the bridge will interfere with the bolt/hardware that holds the gas tank on the ’47 Chevy Fleetline.  What this means is I’d have to get my cutting torch and hack it off!  Boo!  No worries; I’d rather get it right the first time before cutting into the trunk of the car and mounting the body on the frame only to find out that the bridge would hit the rear seat AND the bolts holding the gas tank.  I’ve also decided to change from Red’s 1/2 ton coils to 250-lb coils for the rear.  This should provide a softer ride on the ’47.  I am debating about using shocks versus accumulators in the rear.  What do you think?

No More Facebook!

•February 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

You read that right!  I have decided to lay completely off Facebook during the Lent season (~40 days).  During this time, I plan on focusing my efforts around the home and car projects.  I officially started yesterday on Ash Wednesday and didn’t have an issue not checking into it.

I found myself spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME on Facebook and basically not getting anything done.  After I got the Droid X phone last year, I have been living on the site.  I figured these next 40 days will serve a time to focus on my wife, weight loss, the ’47 Chevy project, and every thing else.  I figured after the 40 days, I would be able to log on to Facebook and check it occasionally instead of living on it.

So, my current weight loss in the month of February has been horrible.  I have either plateaued or gained a bit.  Many factors are to blame but the two obvious ones are my lack of caloric burn and adding in more calories than I used to.  I have these “Benefit Bars” I use to keep me from getting hungry but they are loaded with calories compared to the shakes I regularly drink.  So I am backing off those completely.  Also, since I am lighter in weight, I need to do more intense exercise or perform it longer to get the same amount of calories burned I used to when I was 260-lbs.  So, for example, I would burn 300-calories in 30 minutes when I was 260-lbs.  Now, I have to do the same exercise (walking) for 50-minutes to achieve the same 300 calories burned.  Writing my daily eating and exercise activity has been fundamental because I can predict how the week will be and improve on areas that need to be fixed.  I am targeting a total weight loss of 100-lbs by April 2, 2012.  That would mark the 5th anniversary of my Aunt Teresa’s death who was an advocate for good health.  The least I could do for her memory is better my health since I was the biggest guy in the family.  We’ll see what the next 5-weeks go!

More to come…


Media Blaster is Set Up

•February 11, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Wow, after purchasing the bigger sandblaster back in 2008, I’ve finally taken it out of the box and set it up. Beatriz, my lovely assistant, helped me tremendously getting it all set-up. I just need to get the airline hooked up and add the media to get blasting. I also added the external dust collector to make easier to see what I’m blasting. This should serve as a great tool to blast rims, bracketry, and other large objects prior to paint, plating, or powder coating. Blaster is shown below.

I just need organize my hand tools to their respective tool boxes and I am good to go on molding/casting & ’47 Chevy restoration.

Speaking of ’47 Chevy restoration, I will be removing the hydraulic bridge and replacing it with a better fitting one that will accept the 250-lb coil springs. I plan on running Parker accumulators to soften the ride.


More to come…