Archive for fitness

Posted in real life with tags , on October 16, 2017 by sethdellinger

I did a thing.


Fall Work, Ashcan, 5k, and Sandra Bland

Posted in real life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2017 by sethdellinger


Winter is coming and I hate winter.  But I am coming around a little more to the idea of liking fall.  For most of my life, I’ve been staunchly against fall, citing the fact that it is a sad harbinger of winter, and the end of summer, and the season where everything dies.  But the past few years I’ve started to feel I’ve just been repeating what I’ve always said, instead of being honest about my changing views.  Fall is kind of nice.  I like wearing longer pants and hoodies.  I like crunchy yellow leaves.  So yeah, another example of allowing myself to evolve here.  Granted not on any sort of major topic, but I wanted to make it public: sure, I like fall.


Work is going terrific!!! I am back to working in Harrisburg and no longer doing my crazy commute.  I work (approximately) 8am-4pm Monday-Friday.  I’m having a blast!  I’ll have a more detailed password-protected blog about it within the next week, but I wanted to give that quick update.


My favorite painting of all time is John Sloan’s “Sixth Avenue and Thirtieth Street”.  The reasons are many.  First, Sloan is my favorite painter overall: his pioneering “ashcan” style–which denotes his muted color pallet, a brush technique that was representational but bordered on abstract, and choice of subject matter–speaks to me and to my view of the world.  This painting in particular (which I’ve included below) hits me on a gut level.  The titular streets are in the “tenderloin” district of New York City, which is another way of saying the poor or “slum” area.  In this work, Sloan chooses to show us this area in broad daylight at a busy intersection.  We are looking at a corner business that is perhaps of some disrepute–a brothel or perhaps a burlesque theater?  There are some finely dressed folks around, but they are not the same kind you’d find down by Central Park.  The focus of the scene is on a woman in distress; she is in nightclothes and carries a pail, is obviously upset.  Most scholars of this painting suggest this woman is drunk and is emotional.  The passersby–especially the two finely-clad young women nearby who could not be more different than the drunk woman–look on with judgement and perhaps even amusement, but no one in the scene seems to have empathy or concern for this woman.

There is a lot more that could be discussed about the painting.  Sloan did not waste a centimeter of the canvas (a quick for instance–Sloan’s decision to place the drunk woman at the bottom of the canvas, rather than center her, leaving him space to paint lots of sky, whereas he could have provided more surrounding context of the city instead; an interesting topic of discussion, that one).




I have made some mention on Facebook that I have begun running, and even signed up for my first 5k (this coming Saturday)! I’m super excited but also currently undergoing a substantial amount of worry as, just 3 days ago I did my longest outdoor run yet and have had some very minor signs of some stress fractures in my shins the past few nights.  Now, these symptoms are very minor and it is 100% possible I am inventing them.  Any way you slice it, I am running the 5K this Saturday and will keep training this week on elliptical machines to avoid high impact work, and should probably know after the 5k (because my body will tell me) if I have to take a break from running and maybe evaluate my running style, etc, moving forward.  But I want to be a runner super bad so even if I have to take a significant break and make some adjustments, I’m on it.  On a side note, the running has really been a key factor in helping me get close to my goal weight: before the weekend I was 144 (goal is 140)…the weekend saw a lot of eating so I’ll know where I’m at when the dust clears on Tuesday :)


Police kill innocent black people with an alarming frequency.  You don’t have to eat animals or their secretions in this day and age.  America should be a country that welcomes immigrants.  Respect women’s reproductive rights and the rights of their bodies.  Resist any and all attempts to make our culture white, male-oriented–including the language you use.  Climate change is real. There is no need to wear wool or leather in this day and age.  Do whatever you want when The Star-Spangled Banner is playing, including eating food, walking to the bathroom, keeping your hat on (I mean really) or sitting or kneeling.  Fund art programs, NPR, Meals on Wheels, and Planned Parenthood.  Oh, and in Major League Baseball, the designated hitter rule continues to be an absolute scourge.

Seven Parts Blog, One Part Turducken

Posted in Photography, Rant/ Rave, Snippet with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2012 by sethdellinger

1.  My Diet Update

I guess it’s been awhile since I updated everyone on the status of my diet.  And I’m sure you are all just dying to know how it’s going.

When last I left you, I had just made it to 150 pounds—ten pounds shy of my goal of 140.  And, interestingly, that is exactly where I still am.

Now, I suppose in some undeniable ways, this is a setback.  But I quite honestly don’t feel like it is.  Out of the gates, I just went at an unbelievable pace.  It required a level of obsession and single-mindedness that even I could not sustain.  The diet was too extreme and the exercise regimen too punishing.  I’m glad I did it like that, so that I could get to this more comfortable point and then settle in here, but there’s just no way I could keep that up.

Please don’t misunderstand me:  I am still, like, all about fitness.  I still go to the gym five times a week, sometimes more, depending on if I get out on my bike much, which I often count as a workout if I go hard enough on the bike.  I’m still eating about a thousand times more healthy than I did from 2003-2011.  But I do allow myself a reasonable caloric intake now, and have had a couple stretches of all-out “off the wagon” eating (not binges, just ending up at the wrong restaurants two days in a row) which I quickly correct; my experience with substance addiction recovery comes in handy when I fall off the wagon—I’m already very familiar with my psyche’s tendency to reason with itself thusly:  well, you’ve already fucked up, you might as well just keep going.  Just like I eventually found out that this thinking with alcohol or cigarettes would end up taking me down the black hole, I know this thinking with food will make me fat again.  And while I may have this belly for a long time, to varying degrees, I swear, I am never going to be that fat again.  I’m not trying to get married, be in magazines, or pick up one-night stands, but I prefer to be able to tie my shoes without falling over and being out of breath.  Also, almost more than anything (perhaps unreasonably) I really hate the double chin.  So, any of you who might see me in the immediate future, you will not be seeing “skinny” Seth, but you will definitely not be seeing “fat” Seth.

In addition, another of the major reasons I’m not shedding the pounds as quickly is I have really thrown myself full-on into weight training.  Like, the kind of lifting designed to gain mass.  Stretching back to my teen years, this has always been the kind of “working out” I most enjoy.  I like how it makes me feel physically, I like how it makes me feel psychologically.  I like seeing the results, and I like planning out the strategy of the whole thing (which day you’ll do which muscle groups, how long to wait until you go back to a muscle group, what to eat after a workout, etc).  So, while the belly is still hanging around, if I were to take my shirt off and suck my belly in, you’d be all like, Dang, Seth, if you had any formal training or even the most remote inclination toward physical violence, you’d totally Steven Segal my ass right now, wouldn’t you?  Because above the belly, I am fucking stacked.

2.  Questions

Do you own stuff or does stuff own you?  Why are we afraid to ask for help?  What have you left behind?  How important is it that you are liked?  Are you openly admitting your addictions?  Is there a cause you would actually die for?  How much of our lives do we imagine?  How do you find calm in a hectic world?  What is beautiful about life?  Are you thanking the right people?  When was the last time you did something for the first time?  Who is the most loyal person you know?  What was the last thing fear stopped you from doing?  What are you a product of?  What makes you relevant?

3.  Oil Creek State Park

4.  Speak For Yourself

There’s a common punchline on Facebook, or on other platforms where people might be referring to Facebook and our generally lived-online lives:  folks claiming everybody is living much more boring lives than they pretend to live online.  There is always some meme floating around or someone cracking wise about “yeah, like their lives are as interesting as they say they are!”  Well speak for yourself, Buttafuoco.  The ones throwing that unoriginal nugget around are probably the bored ones, waiting to see their favorite television commercial.  Believe it or not—and you probably won’t—but (to my standards, at least) I actually live a more interesting life than I present online.  I worry about clogging people’s newsfeeds, I struggle with the idea that what I find interesting others might find boring, and most ironically, I think if I documented every thing I actually do, folks would probably start to suspect I’m lying about it. (you may claim I have more fun because I’ve moved somewhere that I feel like a tourist, but I’m confident if you went back to old Facebook posts of mine in Carlisle, you’d find the same guy).

But I don’t bring this up just to point out that I personally am really enjoying life (well, maybe that is why I brought it up; our own motives are sometimes hidden from us) but rather, to highlight the uncontrolled cynicism that online life breeds.  Granted, I’ve been known to throw around my own share of cynicism, but I try to reserve it for artists or cultural movements I deem unworthy of praise (a cultural guardianship that some of us actually take seriously, despite how it makes us look like pompous jackasses.  We’re taking one for the team).  The wide sweeping cynicism that life in general sucks and is boring and wherever you happen to live, well, there’s just nothing to do there, so hopefully everyone else is just as damned bored as I am…well, I just kinda hate that kind of cynicism.  There’s nothing I can do about it.  I just wanted to point out that it sucks.  (is it ironic to say cynicism sucks?)

5.  wtf

Sports history seems to have largely forgotten Mike Schmidt.  Wtf?

6.  August, a Wood Path

This is “August, a Wood Path” by Sanford Robinson Gifford:

7.  Sometimes When We Touch, the Honesty’s Too Much

You may have noticed, for good or ill, a slightly more…honest…tone to my blog lately (and you will notice even more of it in The Rub and Tug Capital of the World, a little booky-wook you are about to get in the mail from me, if you haven’t got it yet).  I do apologize if this more straightforward approach has stepped on anyone’s toes or generally made me seem like an asshole.  Apart from the fact that I actually am an asshole, I also had gotten bored and a little frustrated trying to censor everything I wanted to say by first thinking of everyone who might be reading it and trying to figure out if they might think I am talking about them or calling their lifestyle or hobbies or commercial-watching into question.  It is way too hard to think about all of those things and still write anything interesting.  And I humbly think I have some unique and important things to say, most of which I always feel compelled to not say.  Well, I’m just gonna start saying it.  Allow me to take this little moment to say, I don’t ever write about people I know in veiled references.  If I’m bitching about “people”, well, that’s really what I’m talking about:  people in general.  If there’s something you do that I just can’t stand, you either already know I can’t stand it, or it’s something I can’t stand about hundreds of people, so I am most assuredly not writing about you.  OK.  Disclaimer over.

8.  I Drink Your Milkshake

So, I just lost 32 pounds in 87 days.

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Uncategorized with tags , on January 4, 2012 by sethdellinger

I wanted to wait until I’d gotten all the way to my goal (a loss of 50 pounds) to spring this on everybody, but I just got too impatient, not to mention that at my heaviest, I had actually gotten so fat (that’s right, I said fat) I feared some of my loved ones were worried about my health (rightfully so) and some women were considering never sleeping with me again, so I figured I should put it out there.  I’ve just lost 32 pounds in 87 days!

Like I said, my goal is a loss of 50 pounds, which means I’m still 18 away from my goal, although I have decided to slow the loss down so as to not freak my body out too much.  I anticipate it being 3 more months to the goal (which, for the record, is 140 pounds, which is still the heaviest it is recommended for me to be at my height, but at least it’s within my range) and then after that the real fun begins of not just being lighter and skinnier but getting in shape.  And I mean that:  that part will be fun.  Plain-old weight loss is not fun. 

Now, I’ve sorta kinda done this before.  I’ve been known to lose all my weight and then have tons of fun gaining it back.  But I have a good feeling this time is actually the dawning of the all-important “new lifestyle”.  This is the first time I’ve lost weight since I quit smoking, hence it is the first time since I was a wee lad that I’ve been able to couple dieting with an effective work out plan (dear smokers who are contemplating commenting “I smoke a pack a day and work out all the time!”…just don’t bother.  I don’t give a shit).  This is how this weight came off so quickly.  I remember very clearly how to exercise like crazy; I just wasn’t ever able to do it as a smoker.  I haven’t used any fancy fad diets.  That is way too much thinking for me.  I’m an old-fashioned calorie-counter.  Burn more of them than you consume—every day—and you’ll lose weight.  Not that I’m pretending to be some freaking weight loss expert.  This is what has worked for me.  Remember:  I was a mediocre (at best) wrestler in high school for two years before I quit because the coaches questioned my masculinity.  Really.  So I know a thing or two about weight loss.

So yes, I go to a gym.  Planet Fitness, to be exact.  I would love to go to a better gym with things like a swimming pool, squash courts, etc, but the first and most vital characteristic I am looking for in a gym is that it be open 24-hours, and here in Erie, Planet Fitness was the only option, despite there being roughly one million gyms.  But my work schedule and lifestyle requires the ability to go to the gym at 3am sometimes.  It’s really quite lovely.  On at least a dozen occasions, I have had the gym entirely to myself.

As I said earlier, I’m hoping and I sincerely believe this is actually the start of a kind of new lifestyle for me.  It makes sense with the way I already like to live—bicycling, hiking, kayaking, urban exploration.  I’ve been a pretty active guy for a long time, but I just happened to be various stages of fat most of the time.  I was using my recovery from my old addictions as crutches for being fat.  But there’s only so long one can use those excuses.  Nearly 9 years after quitting drinking and over two years after quitting smoking, I was no longer eating to fill a hole.  I was just…eating.

But do allow me to take a moment to talk to you about the eating I’ve done over the past two years.  I was already overweight when I moved to Erie.  Once I got here, I really made a conscious decision to go to town on the food.  I didn’t know anybody here; there was never a possibility of running into people I knew, old girlfriends, people I went to high school with.  Likewise, I was taking a self-imposed hiatus from women, so I had no desire to attract the opposite sex.  What I did want to do was eat.  And boy-howdy! did I ever.  Literally anything I wanted, as often as I wanted, for almost two straight years.  I can’t imagine very many people other than the chronically overweight have experienced this.  I saw myself gaining weight quite quickly, probably in the first month after moving here.  I told a lot of people at the time, and I stand by this notion even now, that getting fat was actually rather fun.  I’d been overweight for a long time, but this utter ballooning was new.  There was something fascinating about seeing what this body became as it expanded; what I was no longer capable of, where I could no longer reach, what I could no longer see.  It was like I was living inside someone else’s body.  Laying in the bathtub, looking down at this mass, this flesh mound in front of me, not even wet, not even touching the water.  In a perverse way, it gave a sense of accomplishment not unlike the feeling I get from losing weight.  Sure, it’s easy to gain weight and anyone can do it, but would anyone do it like I just had, on purpose, preventably, almost for a lark?  It seemed evidence that I was living differently, just the way I wanted to, convention be damned.

Of course, after awhile, it turns out that you’re just fat, regardless of your big ideas.  You get sick of not being able to wipe properly or scratch the back of your knee without pulling a muscle in your back.  And I figured, OK, I’ve now experienced total fatness (190 pounds at my heaviest, which is a lot when you’re 5’2”) and there’s really no reason to continue with it.  I still love eating but even unbridled consumption can get old.  Nobody likes being hungry, but how many BK Stackers or buckets of KFC chicken can one eat until it all becomes a sort of caloric wash, one long, changeless memory of uninteresting satisfaction.  Time for me to try something different yet again.

I know what you’re all saying.  “Seth, how can you be so vain to write this long of a blog entry about losing 32 pounds?”  But then after that, you might also be saying, “We want a picture!”  Well, I will give you one.  Bear in mind, I am far from a finished product.  I have lost almost all the fat from my face but I still have some belly to lose, although I’ve definitely lost at least half of the belly already.

First, a “before” picture.  This is from my sister’s wedding a few months ago (still a little but before I hit 190)…I was probably sucking it in as much as possible here, too:


And look at the size of my head here:


Here are two I took this morning showing my progress.  I look like a total doof in both of them but “posing” for pictures has never been my strong suit:




Oh, and here’s one I took by accident when I forgot to set the self-timer.  Everyone tell me how amazing I am!



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