Weight Loss Ticker

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Self-Respect and Easter

After writing the previous post, I realized something else. I had planned for Easter to be a free-day sticking to healthy foods. I was planning to indulge in all the deliscious foods at local Easter buffet. Then perhapsh, I would have a few of my favorite Easter candies, like jelly beans, chocolate covered, peanut butter eggs, and Russel Stover nests (a coconut, chocolate thingy).

But now that I think about it, that would be a complete disrespect of myself. What would be the point of such over-indulgence? Would it help me continue eating healthy by taking a break from it? Probably not. Instead, it might make me think about eating that kinda garbage even more.

So here is my plan of attack. I will only get one plate of food. I might take something not so healthy, like a saugage link, but I will only take one. I will keep everything to small portions, but first I will take up a large part of the plate with salad and fruit. I can live without the dessert and candy. I can respect myself enough not to eat that junk.

Introspection is a good thing.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!


I know an overweight lady who belongs to Curves. This is a fitness center for women only. Every once in a while they have diet challenge. They last a few weeks. I noticed that she was eating salads every day. She rolled her eyes one day and said she was on a diet challenge.

The other day, we were at a community potluck. I was able to find some nice vegetable soup, a whole wheat roll, and a salad. This lady found some other things that I am sure were not on the diet challenge. She got the dessert table and announced that this was on the diet but she HAD to have one. She picked up some cheesecake.

At that moment, I discovered something about myself. Whenever I choose to eat unhealthy food, I disrespect myself and cause others to do so as well. When this lady said she HAD to have a piece of cheesecake, I thought, "That's exactly what you don't need to have." At that moment, she became the fat person stereotype to everyone there. She had no self-control. She had no respect for herself. In turn, no one else respected her either.

I am not trying to denigrate her, nor do I think myself better than her. I had been taking the desserts for years (sans announcement). Only now, I realize what it said about myself and caused others to think of me. I had no respect for my body. My body is a gift from God, but I have shown it little respect. How can I expect others to respect me, if I don't respect myself.

This lady later quipped that she could not wait until the diet challenge was over. I thought, it already was. Even if she stuck to it perfectly, she was not looking at it as a positive step for her health. She looked at it as a drudgery. She was like a criminal waiting to be released from jail. Yesterday, she brought a heaping plate of nachos for lunch, filled with sour cream, liquid cheese, and greasy meat.

I hope this lesson sticks so that the next time I am tempted to eat that way again, I don't. When I was living such an unfit lifestyle, I wanted people to respect for who I was, not how much I weighed. I realize that I did not even respect myself.

Now, I respect myself even though I have a long ways to go to get to a healthy weight. Even though others assume I am eating nachos and desserts and being lazy, I still respect myself and this body. I know what I am doing even if others don't. One day, the respect I have for myself will reflect on how I look, how I act, and how I feel.

This leads me to the motto I finally came up with: Living fit is my #1 job. I know. It's not very catchy, but I realized that I have been saying this to myself daily to keep me motivated. This dovetails into my newly discovered priorities. I will talk about these in an upcoming post.

Living fit is my #1 job.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Week 8 Weigh In

Monday morning I weighed 345.4 lbs. This was a loss of 3.2 lbs. since last week. Not too shabby since I was sick and missed several days of my exercise routine. The ear feels much, much better.

I must admit that the weight has been coming off fast. The last time I tried getting my eating and exercise habits in control, I was 340 lbs. I got down to 265 lbs. So it's a little frustrating that after 2 months, I still weigh more than I did when I started last time.

To keep myself going, I focus on the fact that (1) I am losing, (2) my eating habit are have changed for good, (3) I have an exercise routine, and (4) I am living a fit lifestyle.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bubba & Goonies

If there is one thing I hate, it is shopping for clothes. "Bubba & Goonies" is my nickname for "Big & Tall." I hate going to that section in a store. What is really embarrassing is that I got to the point where the clothes there were not big enough. Talk about depressing. I had to start shopping at specialty stores.

Last year, my mother passed away, and I needed to get a sports coat for the funeral (No time for a suit to get tailored). Well, the Bubba & Goonies store didn't have anything dignified in my size. They recommended another store which specialized in suits and sports coats and such. I bought a nice looking one there, but it was the largest size they had in stock. Honestly, it was still a little tight. Each store I went into, I made my family wait in the car. I did not want to be humiliated in front of them. The whole experience was quite demeaning.

I started to order clothes through a catalog, but of course, you don't get to try them on before you buy them. I found that the most affordable clothing were low in quality, and the clothing wore out too quickly.

I even hate the fact that mailperson sees that I get the catalog in the mail.

Speaking of those catalogs, how come none of the models are fat? They are big, like football player big, but not fat. I would rather see what the clothes look like on a fat person. I have no delusions that I will look like the football player if I buy those clothes.

For now, I am looking forward to the day when I can go into a regular clothing store and buy clothes that fit from the regular section. I want to buy a couple of nice suits. I want to buy a few nice pairs of jeans. I have not worn jeans in years. Perhaps by the one year mark January 28, 2008, I will be able to. Whether or not I do, I will continue to live a fit lifestyle.

I need to come up with some sort of motto for myself. I will have to put some thought into it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

3rd Day of Spring

AAAAAAH, I FEEL GOOD!!! {insert James Brown music here} Well, at least I feel much better than I have felt the last couple of days. I saw my doctor yesterday and he decided to start me on a second antibiotic. I only woke up with pain once last night, I don't feel like there is as much pressure in my ear. It's still blocked up, but I felt good enough to do some weight training this morning. It felt great. Doctor said that it must be a resistant strain of something or other. It looks like the double whammy is doing it in.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

2nd Day of Spring


It's warmer here, but that means it's in the 40's rather than the 30's. My ear is still killing me. This ear infection really stinks! I haven't been able to keep my exercise routine this week because of it. I am in pain most of the time. I never had an ear infection until last summer. That one was painful too, but I don't remember it lasting as long.

On the good side, my eating habits have been good. If anything, I have eaten less. I only skipped a couple of meals because of the pain. I have not thrown myself into comforts foods or anything which is so easy to do when you feel miserable. But then again, I have not been tempted. The pain is a real appetite buster. I have made sure that I do eat even when I don't feel like it. I know my body needs the fuel and nutrients to fight the infection.

I am just frustrated that the progress I was making is going to be stalled by this infection. I am very determined to get back in my exercise routine, but I am also concerned about what the scale will read next Monday. Yesterday, I maintained. I didn't weigh today. But what really counts is Mondays anyhow. Well, I am going to stick to my new lifestyle despite this minor set back.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

Week 7 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 348.6 lbs. I am 4.2 lbs. down from last week. I am quite happy.

I am a little concerned because I have an awful ear infection. I have not done much the last couple of days but lay around in pain. I hope the antibiotics kick in soon, so I can get back to my exercise routine.

Finally, the job opportunity I hoped would come through did not. I am looking at some hard choices coming up in the next few months. I may need to completely change careers which would not be such a problem if I did not have a family to support. I do, so I cannot just leave my current position without something else already lined up. On the other hand, I will have a hard time lining something up without my current employer finding out too far in advance of my leaving.

The nature of my current career would make it quite awkward to continue if my employer discovered I would be leaving, especially for another different career. I don't feel comfortable at this time revealing what my current career is.

I think the idea of job searching would be much easier if I were at least 100 lbs. less than I am now. That cannot be helped. I am on the right track now. I just hope that I can find an employer who can look past the weight issue.

I know I hit the next 10 lbs. so it is supposed to be picture time, but I don't feel well today. Maybe if I feel a little better I will take pictures. If not today, then I will post them tomorrow. Although, I still don't think there will be any noticeable difference. I can tell in the way my clothes feel, but not how I look in the mirror.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I Hate the Scale!!!! And Other Self-Psycho-Analysis

I know that I am only supposed to weigh myself once a week, but I can't bring myself to do it. I wonder why my weight fluctuates so much during the week. Is it me, or is it everyone? I did skip weighing myself yesterday. The day before I weighed 350. Today, I weighed 352. Grrrr!!!

I know, I know. I should only weigh once a week. I am just too curious. When I see that I am losing weight during the week, it is quite a boost. If don't see the numbers going in the right direction, I get upset. Yet, it seems to motivate me to keep working. Monday is the real day for weigh ins.

The other issue is fat loss vs. muscle gain. With the weight training, I should be gaining muscle which will offset fat loss. I mentioned before that I should get calipers to measure fat. The problem is that they are not sold at any stores in my area. I could order them over the internet, but the shipping costs seem to equal the cost of the calipers. I am too cheap spend my money that way. I am headed to Detroit this weekend. Maybe I can find some there.

Of course, I find nothing more embarrassing than a being a fat man buying health and fitness stuff. I know it should not bother me, but I imagine that it calls more attention to how fat I am. I imagine that people will be even more judgmental. I dread the idea of someone saying to me, "I can see you really need this aerobics video, but you need to lay off the wings and mash potatoes too pal."

Of course, no one has ever said those things to me. Sometimes my imagination is worse than reality. If I really think about it, I am probably projecting my judgmentalism on others. In other words, I have been judgmental of others. I have been judgmental of myself. I am probably just projecting my feelings on others and resenting them for it. My resentment should really be directed toward myself. I should learn to be less judgmental. Then perhaps, I will not worry so much about how others are judging me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Clothing Size

The last couple of days, I noticed that my clothes fit better. I tend to buy clothing that is a bit too small. When I would gain weight, I tried to pretend that my clothing still fit. When it was too painfully obvious they did not, I really needed a couple of sized bigger than I was wearing. None the less, I would just buy the next size, saying to myself, "You'll lose the weight, so I don't want to buy clothes that will be too big in a couple of weeks." Talk about fooling myself.

Now that it has been over 6 weeks since I started living a fit lifestyle, I finally have noticed a difference. Mind you, my clothes are still too small, but the buttons do not strain as much, the belt does not cut in as much, and I don't feel quite so uncomfortable in my clothes.

It used to be that when the days activities were over and I was in for the night, I would hurry to change into some sweat pants and an oversized sweatshirt. That was the only time I felt comfortable. I still find them comfortable, but I no longer rush to change because I am so miserable in my regular clothing.

This time as I lose weight, I am going to wait until it is painfully (joyfully) obvious that they are just way too big for me. I am not sure how long that will take, but I will sure enjoy the first time I need to get some new clothes. It will happen, I just need to be patient.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Week 6 Weigh-In

Today the scale read 352.8 lbs. I lost 4.8 lbs. this week. I believe cutting out the nuts and all the exercise is working out. Now if I lose at least 2.8 lbs., it will be time for another disgusting picture.

Despite the stress and emotional anguish I have felt from my job situation, I have enjoyed feeling energetic at times. I have not felt energetic in a long time. Even though, it is not constant, it feels great. I am happy I started living a fit lifestyle. Seeing the difficulty I have had in my life lately, I dread to think how much worse I would have handled it. I also wish I had done this sooner because I would be able to handle this much better.

This is the beginning of another great fitness week. I know I will not be losing that much weight every week. In fact, that much weight loss will become rare if existent at all in the future. The point is that I am becoming more fit each day.

I did not put whether or not I met my goal for this week. I am sure I met my goal, but honestly, I do not remember what it is. I have it my journal in my office. When I realized that I did not know my target, I thought that I was being lazy. How could I not know my goal? Then, I changed my mind. I reminded myself that my ultimate goal is not weight loss, but fitness.

Don't get me wrong. I still want to see lots of weight loss. I want to lose it all tomorrow. So I keep reminding myself that fitness is my goal which inlcudes weight loss at this point. It seems like a psychological game at this point, but I hope it will eventually sink in.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Burn Fat Fast! Lose 30 lbs. in 3 weeks!

I hate saying all these adds promising quick, fast, easy, long-term weight loss. If it were that easy and that fast, who would be fat?

I know I have set some high weight loss goal for myself, but they are just a guide. Should I not meet those goals, I won't quit. I will adjust them to be a little more realistic.

My ultimate goal is not weight loss, but living a fit lifestyle. Losing the weight is only one component. Actually, it's an outcome. Okay, maybe it's both. Eating healthy and an exercise routine are the two key components to living a fit lifestyle. As a result, I am losing weight. Losing weight is making me more fit as well.

If make losing weight my goal, that means there is end; a time when what I am doing stops. I could then switch and make keeping the weight off my goal. In mind, I don't think that will work for me.

I don't just want a number on the scale, I want to be able to scale the rock climb at the mall. I don't just want a certain waist size, I want to waste an oponent in raquetball. I don't just want to encourage my kids to be active, I want to be active with them.

Sure I would like to step on the scale Monday and be at me goal weight. I know that won't happen. It will be a looooong time before that happens. What I can do right now is live a fit lifestyle. I can do that right now. I will do it for the rest of my life.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Avoiding Temptation

It seems like temptation is everywhere. Yet as I look back, I have not had all that many temptations. Here are a few things that I think have helped curb temptations:

1) Eating mandatory healthy snacks keeps me from feeling empty
2) Never shopping on an empty stomach
3) Never shoppping without a meal plan and a list (no wandering up and down aisles thinking this would be good for a dinner)
4) Keeping active. Commit to a hobby in place of TV.
5) Exercise helps me to get to sleep faster. This helps those late night cravings. If a I feel hungry, I think that I might as well go to bed so I can eat in the morning.
6) I normally drink some water or tea while winding down for the night. This helps curb late night cravings, as it keeps my stomach from feeling empty.
6) Thinking. Before I give in to an urge to eat unhealthy or a larger portion or at night, I take a moment to think it through. Is it worth it? Am I truly hungry? Will I still want that after I drink a cup of water and eat some carrots?

We purchase sugar-free fudgicles. Often one of these is my after dinner snack. They are low calorie. They take while to eat. They curb sweet and chocolate cravings. Anyhow, one night I had a meeting so I did not get this after dinner snack. I got home around 9PM and said to myself, "You didn't get your snack and even though I am past my eating time (7PM-3 hours before bedtime), I deserve my snack. I did not feel guilty. After all it was low calorie.

I pulled it out of the fridge and set it down at the computer. I grabbed a cup of water and returned to putz on the computer and enjoy my fudgicle. I took a sip of water and was going to open the fudgicle when I stopped to think about it. My first question to myself was "Did I really want to eat this late?" My answer was I want something sweet and chocolate. After all this was not Ben & Jerry's or a batch of cookies. Before I proceeded, I asked myself if I was hungry. I thought about it. I was not hungry. At that point I realized that I wanted to eat out of a sense of entitlement. That sounded like a stupid reason to eat especially for someone in my shape. I put that fudgicle back and was happy that I did not eat for such a dumb reason.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mid-week winter blues

It's Wednesday and I had a terrible night's sleep. I felt like I was awake all night mulling over work problems. I thought with the exercise routine, I would go out like a flash every night. Mostly, I have. Last night, I did not. I might have a new job offer in a week and a half. I am not sure if I would take it even if I got it. However, the winters here in northern Michigan have really got me down. That combined with work problems and the issue that my wife and I never felt that we fit into this community. After 6 years, we have made no close friends. Certainly, there are nice people here, but there seems to be even more that seem cold.

Perhaps, I am just suffering from the mid-winter blues. Lack of sunshine and outdoor activities can do that to you. Although, I had hoped that my healthy eating habits and exercise routine would help by now. Maybe I need a few more weeks. Maybe it is working and I would be comotose from depression if not for my living fit lifestyle.

I hate this feeling, and I wish it would go away.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Weigh In

Today I weighed 357.6 lbs. I lost 2.4 lbs since last Monday.

I was a little disappointed. I had hoped to lose at least 1 more pound, but I will take any weight loss. Having started my exercise routine. I thought I would lose weight quicker. There could be a number of reasons I did not 1) I should not expect to sustain the amount of weight loss that I saw in the first few weeks, 2) I may have lost more in fat, but it was offset by muscle gain, 3) I think I have been letting my portion sizes get bigger, 4) I have been eating nuts as snacks, 5) I ate out 3 days in a row (Friday-Sunday). While I did not make horrible choices, I could have done better.

My plan for this week is to 1) maintain my exercise routine, 2) Look into buying calipers to measure fat, 3) watch my portion sizes, 4) replace the nuts with low fat popcorn 100 calorie packs, 5) not eat out, 6) be thankful that I am living fit no matter what the scale says.

NUTS: I read that walnuts, pistachios, and peanuts have the omega3 fats which increases the "good" cholesterol. I think that this triggered in my mind the idea that eating nuts was healthy. But I was wrong. Despite the benefits of nuts, they are still high in fat and calories. If you buy them in cans, many of them add peanut oil to boot. Perhaps if I could eat just a few they would be fine, but I find myself eating a handful here and there throughout the day. Instead, I will have lowfat microwave popcorn. I found a brand that makes a 100 calorie pack. They are more filling than nuts. I think they are a whole grain, so they are not completely wasted calories like the snack pack cookies.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Motivating Factors

1) I want to be a good example for my kids
2) I want to actively play with my kids rather than sit and watch them
3) I don't want to die and leave my wife without her husband and my kids without their father
4) I don't want to go through surgery like gastric bypass or the bands. From what I understand, they are not fool-proof. Besides, why should I pay for and expensive surgery to force me to do what I could do for free. In addition, if I don't start living a healthy lifestyle, the affects of the surgery can be undone. So if I need to live that lifestyle with the surgery, I might as well do so without it.
5) I want to be fit. I enjoy being active.
6) I want to buy clothes at a normal store and from a the normal section
7) I want to look good for my wife
8) I want more energy

These are not ranked in any particular order

A Little Fitness Background

My first vivid memories of poor eating habits where from my childhood. I remember being over to a friends house. They kept a ton of junk food around. One day, my friends told to eat whatever I wanted. Hah! I was like a kid in a candy factory, only it included cookies, chips, and pop. From then on, I always tried to mooch stuff when I went over.

At home, there was sugary cereals. I liked to sneak into them and eat all the marshmellow bits. I would get in trouble, but I still did it.

My activity level was normal. I played outdoor games with the neighbors like kick the can, hide and go seek, and tag. I rode my bike everywhere. None the less, I got fat.

By the time I reached 4th grade, I was the butt of jokes and quite porky. I might ask if my parents were to blame. To some extent, they probably were. But only for then. I don't blame them for my current condition. That 4th grade year, we moved. Where we moved, I saw a flyer for midget football. So, the summer preceding 5th grade, I joined the football team.

There was a problem though. I guess for safety reasons, there were weight limits. In order to play a game with those in my age group, I had to be under a certain weight. Guess what? I was too heavy. My mother put me on a diet and I exercised hard with the team. Eventually, I lost enough weight to play. From then on, I continued to play sports through my sophomore year in high school. I was never skinny, but I was physically fit.

Then came college. I lived on campus. The dorm meals were all you can eat. I played a little volley ball. I can't remember what these sports were called, but they were just teams that competed against other teams at the college. No coaches or anything. I also played raquetball. None the less, I packed on the weight with terrible foods I chose to eat in abundance.

While at college, I became engaged. During the summer I got married, I went on a "diet" and lost quite a bit of weight. It was one of those weigh the food, count exchanges type diets. I tried to keep it up after the wedding. I sort of did for a while. I also made a habit of going to the gym to workout. Once, I went to graduate school that all stopped. Over the next few years my weight went up and down. The problem was that each time the weight never went down as much as the previous time and always went higher than the previous.

About 5 years ago, I went gung ho on an exercise and eating program for a good 9 months. Then I got strep throat which through my routine out of wack. I never quite went back to the routine I had before I got sick, though I tried. From time to time, I would allow myself some indulgences which I would not have done previously. Soon, the cookies, ice cream, and candy became more regular and the exercise less regular. Some where in there, I just gave up the healthy lifestyle I previously enjoyed. I kept telling myself I would go back to it, but it did not happen until about 1 month ago.