Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's go to the Ridge

You call me a mountain
And I call you the sea
I'll stand tall and certain, and watch you swallow me
You can move me, if you want to
You can move a mountain
You can move a mountain
You can move me, if you want to
You can move everything
You can move everything
Ingrid Michaelson
Greetings from Vegas. Sunday will mark my fourth trip to Fitness ridge in the last 18 months. It will be my longest stay and I am looking to kickoff a really productive year. At the sunday night orientation people usually stand up and introduce themselves and tell where they are from. Veterans give a little talk and advice to the newbies. I pretty much always tell one of two stories. The first story tells how I was so excited to have lost 50lbs in my first trip to the ridge. I couldn't wait to get home and show off to everyone. However, much to my chagrin the only thing people noticed was just how tan I was. And how I thought hell if it was a tan I was after I could gone a really fabulous cruise for less money. But I'm back now and really hoping to come home with a reallybitchin tan to impress my friends this time.

More recently I have preferred to talk about the reasons people are at the ridge. Everyone is there for a reason, be it to lose weight, try to get fitter, work on food issues, because they love hiking, or just because their idea of fun is a really active vacation and I stress that no matter why you are there you are there for the right reason. And that in no way should you have any shame that you choose to spend time at the ridge. And how the people there are a resource to help you when you need someone to lean on but more importantly your friends and family at home want to be there for you. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Be proud of what you're doing and the people that love you will embrace your philosophy and be a huge asset to you when you get back into the real world.

So why do I tell this story to you guys today? I want this to be a great year for me, and I need my friends to help me and motivate me and push me and stop me when I am making mistakes. I want you to work out with me, I want you ask how I am doing and I want you to continue to be such an important part of my life. But you guys know me I would never ask for something without offering something back. So I want to make this offer to anyone who reads the blog, anyone who knows me, anyone who has ever been to the ridge, or basically anyone who wants to take a shot.
My goal for the next year is to lose 100lbs. I have had such an outpouring of support from my friends and from the people at the ridge that I want to thank you and keep you on my back so here we go:
I am going to pay for one of you to go to Fitness ridge next year for a week. And I am going to hold a contest to see who it's going to be. All you need to do is guess who much weight you think I am going to lose or God forbid gain :) between Sunday August 30th when I weigh in and my birthday September 10th, 2010. You can email me your selection ( , you can leave it in a comment, you can text it, you can phone it in. I don't care how you make your selection.

The person who comes closest without going over (price is right rules) gets the week. You're on your own for travel. If you win and don't really want to go or you want to donate it someone who can use it, let me know and I will see that your week is awarded to the camper that I have met and whom I think is most deserving. I have had a lot of people step up to help me and it's time for me to pay it forward. No one can have a duplicate number, so that the first person in gets that number and I will move the next person to the closest available number up or down from their original choice. And because it's Price is Right rules I will be very disappointed if someone doesn't bid a dollar. You're not going to humiliate me by picking a low number, and for goodness sakes don't flatter me by picking high because you're throwing away your pick. In fact since I am in Vegas I asked the sportsbook to set a line and he made the under 100 a 4-1 favorite to win. I realize 99% of the people that start with this type of goal don't get there and that is why I am asking for your help. You have until September 10th to submit your pick. Good Luck to everybody. I am giving my blog readers first shot at their numbers before I pass this on to my facebook friends and email buddies.
Now before you make your choice let me give you some stuff to think about:
1) I love food
2) I will be at the ridge for 7 weeks and then most likely a month in the spring
3) When winter comes and it snows for the first time I tend to get so depressed that I hook a few pizzas up to an IV drip and watch sports on my couch til the thaw.
4) I have a really good workout partner and I will be playing a bunch of volleyball indoors this winter
5) I'll be in Vegas for March Madness this year and that is usually good for about a pound for every white stiff on the end of Duke's bench and that's a big number.
6) Did I mention I love food?
7) I have started running and jumping and jogging and doing things I wasn't sure I would be doing again
8) I don't do well under pressure and by doing this I am ratcheting up the pressure tenfold
9) I would like to delude myself into believing I thrive under pressure on the Volleyball sand where my teams won the regular season Monday, Wednesday and Sunday and picked up the tournament win on Sunday and Wednesday as well.
10) Have I mentioned I have this love affair with food?
11) I have an amazing group of friends whom I love dearly and the support I receive from them and the Ridge is so valuable to me.
12) According to the USA Today there is like a 97% chance I get Swine Flu and die this winter in which case the person picking the highest number would win but have a damn hard time collecting.
So choose wisely and best of Luck to all of you.

I know that the management at Fitness Ridge checks in on this blog and they are such wonderful, giving people that I just know that they would offer to sponsor this, but that's not what I want. I want this to come out of my pocket. I want this to be a gift from me to my friends. I will, however, let that match it if they want :) and will, of course, let anyone match it if they want. But I am no way fishing for that.... Maybe a little :)

Since this will be one of my most read entries let me remind everyone that Sunshine Daydream is hosting an amazing weekend of music and fun October 23rd and 24th. The highlight being the Ingrid Michaelson show we are sponsoring on the 24th. We have a fabulous party on the 23rd to raise money for a cool old theater in Madison and have two fun bands to showcase that night. We will have an auction and raffle for lots of fun prizes. And we also have Ingrid Michaelson coming to the store to do an appearance and sing some songs.I really encourage everyone to come out that weekend. When I posted the event on facebook my wife asked me if I was insane and did I really just invite all my out of town friends to crash with us? I said sorry honey. So when she asks me if I just invited all my blog readers to crash with us that weekend. I'll just smile and say hell yeah the more the merrier. Peace, love, and I lose you win, Jim


Kerry said...

Hey Jim - As someone who goes to the Ridge and struggles to lose weight, I'd say it's less about the weight, and more about the size. And I'm saying that as a woman who weighs over 200 pounds, so I'm not that skinny minny saying crap.

That said, I'm always up for a week at the Ridge (and might see you there in the spring). So, I'll say you're going to lose 89 pounds. Not the 100 you'd love to lose, but a darn good number nonetheless.

Good luck, and kick it up a notch! Cause you know it's just funner that way!

caroline said...


I'll be feeding you the pizzas if you're doing too well (kidding) and kicking your &^% up the mountain next year if you're lagging (not kidding)

Good luck - I hope I can be the sort of support you need!

Wendy said...

You know I am 100% behind you.

My guess is 83 lbs. Just say no to the chips. :)

Kristin said...

92 pounds.

I think all your time at FR will have a great impact on your success. This is your time!

I know all too well about that love of food. I could use a couple of weeks at the Ridge.

Looking forward to reading about your success!!

Denise Berard said...

Jim- Your blog continues to be a source of inspiration for me, over a year since we met at the Ridge. I'll never forget the day you made your first triumphant end at stop sign- I thought I'd never get there myself, but I did, the beginning of my second week.

I continue to struggle with weight issues at home, and may just return in the spring to get that famous 'jump start' they're so great at!

Kick butt at the Ridge this time, and I predict you'll do 85 easy (!) this year!

Jeff Durham said...

You are an amazing person. What a great inspiration. I continue to share your story with my friends and am hopefully returning to the Ridge soon. Its always good to get slapped around and reminded of how things can and should be. Did I tell you I have a love affair with food?!

As we progress, it gets harder. I can easily justify and rationalize my slip ups, sleeping in and over eating. So, with that in mind I say 70 lbs. Best of luck. Because no matter what you are losing! Enjoy the running, I love it!

Jeff Durham said...

FYI - Stella says keep up the good work!

Pam R. said...

Hi Jim, my guess is going to be 101 lbs. and I'll tell you why: 1) with all of us pulling for you, every bite of pizza over one slice will give you heartburn, 2) I'm calling Sharon and having her slip a little monitor on you when you aren't looking and once you hit 1,400 kcals per day it will lock you jaw shut, only kidding, sort of!

I have total faith in you and look how far you have come already. Tell everyone at FR "hello" for me and that I still love my elliptical and hopefully I'll see you in October. Pam Rush

PS, I'm in Egg Harbour where the high tomorrow is going to be 60. Saw where it has been 105 to 110 in Mesquite.

Sarah Marie said...

Count me in on the contest for 76 lbs. You're such an inspiration!! I don't know if we can make it that weekend in October, but we'll try. BTW - I need to put on a sweatshirt now, it's chilly here :)

BobbyC said...

I am a believer... I have 102 and I will be in Vegas for March Madness. Would be willing to take my winnings around the Vegas trip.

Amy W. said...

I'm in for 91 pounds. I might die if I win and have to follow your exercise regime, but I'll give it my best shot. I'd love to get a first-hand look at Fitness Ridge. Good luck!!

Sabine said...

Hello Jim,
Welcome to "hell" My bes to all my friends at th Ridge. I am unusaully late reading your blog (busy, busy)and Kerry, my canadian FR buddy beat everyody to the punch.
Anyway, my number is 94 pounds.
You ralize that from now on forward you have to report your weight loss weekly!
Have a wonderful stay, wish I could be there. We are having a wonderful late October day today!
It's freezing (relatively speeking).

Sherif said...

Hello,My namme is Sherif and I am Sabine's husband. SHe told me so much about you (and I am reminded daily by the bumper stickers on our cars) that I thought I give it a "shot". May be I will actually go with her the next time.... I am betting that you will lose 115
Good luck and all the best.

Sabine said...

One day was the weigh in? Any surprises?
Please forgive my husban, while he is a computer guru in one way, he has never replied to (or looked at for what I know) a blog.
Only 48 more days.....

Jim Plamondon said...


I'm amazed and impressed. I'm trying to figure out if you recruited Vinodh to draft such an eloquent blog.

In any event, I'm bidding 75 (rationale: it's between 50 and 75). I wish you luck and will be thinking about you over the next weeks.


Christina McGill said...

Going to go with 105 (if it's not too late to weigh in). If you are anywhere near that, but have not quite reached that I am going to find you and force you to Utah for some pool aerobics and sauna time in 100 degree weather. Go red! - Tina

Anonymous said...

My husband & I were at Fitness Ridge in was an incredible experience!!! Loved every minute there (okay, maybe not treading but you know...)
: )

My vote is 78 pounds! Go Jim!!!!

Chrissy Doherty

Kristin said...

Hello dear Jim,

I have been off the radar for a bit my apologies, but I am super excited for you. I'm not sure of all guesses but I have a ton of faith in you that no matter what you are going to rock it and by over my guess but price is right rules and go with 81! Rock Jim and let me win b/c then we could go together and have a week of awesome-ness

Betsey said...

Hey Jim! You have no idea who I am but when I was preparing for my 6 week journey to FR back in Feb, your blog helped me get a feel for what I was getting myself into! And, while I was there, I met your wife Jackie and sis-in-law Pamela! I'm very jealous that you get to go back for 7 weeks! I beg my dad all the time to give me more time off work! Anyway, my guess for your weight loss is 69!

Best of Luck!
Betsey Emerick

N. said...

Hey Jim, I am guessing you are kind, loving and supportive man who doesn't let anything get in his way. I say that because you share my 87 year old Dad's birthday and that is the kind of man he is so here is to your sign!
Good luck on your journey. I am contemplating visiting the Ridge mostly to get motivated to get my happy butt in gear and get moving plus lose a few pounds. Here's to you losing 132 by next September. Thoughts and prayers go out to you. Stay motivated. Nancy

Andrea Ledbetter said...

I just found your blog today. What a wonderful read! I'm going to say you will lose 85 pounds. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

87 lbs

Good luck!

jenb said...

I'm heading to FR summer 2010 so I've been checking out all the blogs I can find and stumbled onto your story! Congrats on everything you've done so far!

OK, so my guess is 72 pounds. I hope you lose more than that, but I know it's so hard to do (especially with your love-affair with food and all)! :) Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

I will also be there this coming July and Jim I think you'll do great and come in at 97lbs.

Lisa Cooper

lvscrapper said...

I would absolutely love to go the ridge and probably never be able to afford it. I'm going to go with 105lbs. I think with all your effort you will see great results.

apple said...

Hi Jim,

I just found your blog - I don't know if we can still sign up for this but I'd love to see you lose 86 lbs! Thanks for posting about your experience and its great to see someone paying it forward. Good luck!