Weight Loss Ticker

Monday, July 30, 2007

Week 26 Weigh-In 6 Months

Yesterday marked the six month point on my journey of fitness. I celebrated by taking a 14 mile bike ride.

Today, I weighed 301 lbs. (Drat!) which is a 1.4 lb. loss since last week. So I guess I didn't make my goal to get under 300 by the end of July. I know, PATIENCE GRASSHOPPER. Hopefully, I will get there next week. This is a total of 79 lbs. lost. My body fat is 32.1% giving me 204.4 lbs.(+0.6) of lean and 96.6 lbs.(-2) of fat. I have lost a total 21% of my body weight. So I guess I am currently 4/5ths Man, lol.

My waist measures 54.5 inches (-0.25). The waist issue really bugs me. It's not the size so much, but the difference between what it measures and the size of the pants I wear. Size 50's are starting to get loose on me, so I have started wearing size 48's which are a little tight, but not too bad. I would think that this meant my waist was somewhere between 49 and 50 inches. I guess the two numbers will get closer as I lose more fat.

Speaking of my waist. Yesterday, my oldest daughter was hugging me and told me she knew I was getting smaller because she could almost get her hands all the way around me. I am looking forward to the day when she discovers she can easily get her arms around me.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Friday, July 27, 2007

And So It Begins...

My in-laws have stayed with us Wednesday night. I thought I would do an aerobics video before they got up. When I came down stairs at 6:30 AM, they were both up and about. There was no way that I was going to do the video with my in-laws watching me. No way! Uh Uh! No How!!! I don't mind my wife and kids, but NOBODY else.

I didn't feel like getting on the stationary bike or ski machine. That is too monotonous so early in the day. Soooo...I decided it was a good day to start jogging. I put on some ace bandages on my ankles (I have a history of spraining ankles) and off I went. I don't know how far I went, but I went for 30 minutes. I was going at a snails pace, and I looked rather ridiculous. Today, I did the same.

It wasn't as miserable as I thought it was going to be. At 300+ lbs., I thought I wouldn't make it 5 minutes, but I guess all the other exercising I have done prepared me for jogging. It's a nice surprise to enjoy a benefit of increased fitness. I plan to ditch the videos while the weather is nice.

This means that I have (Drum roll please) reached another fitness goal (Da da da daaaa!). I think this, more than anything else has shown me that I am much more fit than I have been in a few years. A friend of mine who has become a little chubby in the last few years decided he was going to start jogging. He was a cross country runner in high school. He began by walking. His plan was to walk at least an hour a day, every day, for a month. Then, he was going run for at least 15 minutes of that for a couple of weeks. He would increase the running time by 15 minutes every couple of weeks until he was running for an hour every day. Last time I talked to him, he gave up on the walking. No, he didn't go right to running. He went right to the couch.

Now, he probably weighs around 200 lbs. He is overweight, but not obese. Even though he weighs a lot less than me, has a BMI far lower than mine, and a lower percentage of body fat, I am much more fit while I am still in the category of severely obese. I am not gloating over him and I really do wish that he would start running. I am sure he could get in great shape in no time. It's just that being so fat, I don't think of myself as all that fit. Jogging has shown me that I have achieved a level of fitness I thought impossible at my weight.

Speaking of achieving, I have now earned the Presidential Champions Bronze medal. I achieved this so quickly because all the exercising for the Active Lifestyle Award counted towards the Champions category. It will be a couple of month before I earn the silver.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Meet Little Half Man

My lovely bride gave birth to our fifth child and our first son. He was born at 11:15 AM est, weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz, and is 20 inches long. He has black hair and blue eyes. The girls are at my in-laws and will get to see their new brother tomorrow. Mom and baby are doing well.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Week 25 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 302.4 lbs. This is a 1.2 lb. loss from last week bringing me to a total 77.6 lbs. lost. My fat ratio is 32.6% (-0.3) giving me a lean weight of 203.8 lbs. (+0.1) and a fat weight of 9836 lbs. (-1.3). I lost 0.25 inches in my waist (54.75).

I set a mini-goal to get under 300 lbs. by the end of the month. This means I need to lose 2.5 lbs. by next week. That will also mark 6 months on my journey of fitness. I am not sure if I will lose that much by next week, but it would me nice leave the 300's behind. I am going to try to kick everything up a notch this week.

Also, I earned the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award by completing weeks of exercising at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. I will get a certificate, patch, lapel pin, and a t-shirt. I have now switched to the President's Champions program. This program converts your exercising into points. Once you reach 20,000 points you get the bronze medal. They say that takes about 6 weeks running 5 miles every day. The good news is that all the work I did for the Active Lifestyle Award counts toward the Champions. Therefore, I will probably earn the bronze medal this week, but the silver will probably take another 8-10 weeks. This is all part of the President's Challenge to make activity a part of our lifestyle.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Emotional Eating

What is an emotional eater? Show me a person who is not an emotional eater, and I will show you the dead eating!

It's one of the axioms that roll off the tips of peoples mouths like sweat rolling off my nose while on the ski machine. Now, I don't have anything against the notion of emotional eating. My problem is that the definition is so broad that everyone should be tipping the scales because everyone falls under the category of emotional eating.

If the definition is that we have emotional attachments and feelings toward food then I humbly suggest that this is a worthless definition that will do nothing to help those truly seeking to get at the root of their problems which lead them to over eat unhealthy foods. To say that I have an emotional attachment to food begs the question. Everyone does. How do we celebrate holidays? How do we celebrate birthdays? What do we do after a funeral? What do we do for family reunions? The list could go on and on and on. Yet, many people still manage to live a healthy lifestyle. In fact, I suggest that if you have no emotions regarding food then you are dead.

On the other hand, I like the Mayo clinic's definition of emotional eating:

But emotional eating — eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, anxiety, boredom, sadness and loneliness — can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Often, emotional eating leads to eating too much food, especially high-calorie, sweet, salty and fatty foods.

Eating to suppress or soothe negative emotions makes a lot of sense to me. I can buy this definition. Thinking about this, I am not so sure that what happened the other day was actually emotional eating. It was simply a myopia resulting from stress. I was not eating to suppress anything. It was still a learning moment and a problem and yes very emotional, but in a different sense.

However, I can admit to having eaten out of boredom, but not enough to account for the weight I reached. If I have been trying to suppress other emotions, I have not figured out what they are. Maybe I need a shrink to help out. Certainly, I have felt a lot of depression, but that was only recent and could not account for it. I didn't eat any worse after the feelings as before.

Actually, I have come up with some issues I believe are related to the weight gain. I believe that one of the issues is control. I know that sounds strange because it seems like a lack of control is what got me that way. I think that I have felt that things in my life have been out of my control. I couldn't change people. I couldn't change my circumstances. I couldn't change this or that. Some I realize was just perceived and some I truly couldn't do anything about. Instead of dealing with my feeling of not being in control, I turned to food. If I wanted it, I could eat it. If I wanted this or that, I could eat this or that. If I wanted to eat half a pie or a dozen cookies, I could. I was in control of what I put in my body. I was in control of how much I put in body.

In reality, I was out of control...WAY OUT OF CONTROL. As I look back as to why I started this journey of fitness, I think I knew that I was out of control. Now, I believe that I am learning to control what I can, and learning to confront my feelings where I have no control.

In addition to the control issue, I believe I had an issue of self-respect. My lack of self-respect was passive rather than active. I simply didn't consider respecting myself. I didn't consider what I was doing to my body or how I was affecting myself and the people around me when I didn't eat healthy nor exercise. Now, I am trying to respect myself and to respect this body God gave me. This is where one of my greatest revelations came. When I respect myself, I show respect for every other aspect of my life. I show more respect for my wife and kids, my friends, my work, and everything else.

So I have discovered two main issues: Control and Self-Respect. I don't see how I was eating to suppress anything by these. Perhaps, I was and just don't realize it. In the broad sense of the term, I will always be an emotional eater. In the Mayo Clinic sense, I am still uncertain whether I fit the definition.

I am very thankful that I have come this far. I give credit to all you bloggers and commenters. You have been a tremendous help and motivation. I am looking forward continuing this journey for the rest of my life.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Week 24 Weigh-In

Busy actually this will be a busy week. For now I will just give my stats. If I can I will add some thoughts later today.

I weighed 303.6 lbs. this morning which is a 1.4 lb. loss from last week bringing my total wieght loss to 76.4 lbs. My body fat is 32.9%(-0) giving me a total lean mass of 203.7 lbs.(-1.0)and a fat mass of 99.9(-0.4). My waist measured 55 inches (-0).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Learning Moment

If you have been reading this blog, you know about some of the things going on in my life. On Thursday, I spent the day with my father (he's staying with my sister until the end of the summer) while contemplating the interview I was going to have on Friday morning, and praying that my wife didn't go into labor while I was 3 hours away from home. My father and I were walking around Dick's Sporting Goods when I get a phone call. It was my brother in Florida. He had been arrested for DUI the night before, and his van with all his worldly possessions in it was impounded. Without getting into all the details of my brother's life, suffice it to say that he has drug and alcohol problems. The gist of the phone call was that he wanted me to send him money to get his van out of the impound.


I just sent him some money a couple of weeks ago for another issue. I told him then that there be no more money to send him after that. So this time I told him that I had no money to send him. I told him to call around to the Salvation Army and other churches to find some help. If they couldn't help, they would be able to direct him to people that could. Even if they didn't get his car for him, they would give him food, clothing, and maybe even some shelter. He didn't want to do that. He said that as soon as they heard he was arrested for DUI they wouldn't help him. I told him that he didn't know that. They certainly won't help him if he doesn't ask, but they might if he does. He didn't like that suggestion. Eventually, he hung up on me.

You might think that I am heartless and cruel to my brother. But 1) I do not have any money especially with a fifth child on the way, 2) Even though, I could send him money from dad, it wouldn't help him because 3) a few years back, he had his truck impounded after he rear ended a cop car, and last year he had his previous van impounded, 4) he would call again in a couple of months because he would need money for something else, 5) he is almost 46 years old and has not learned to make it on his own.

Anyhow, the phone call upset me. I am a little worried that he might end up doing something criminal or end up dead. He is on methadone so he will get sick pretty quickly without any money.

After the phone call, my father and I went to a restaraunt for dinner. I had a nice salad and talapia. This was where my learning moment came. I was thinking about my brother throughout the meal which for me lasted about 0.5 seconds. I wolfed down my entire meal with incredible speed. However, I did not realize it until I was done. In fact, I don't even remember eating. I remember sitting there looking at my dad who had barely made a dent in his meal when I realized my entire dinner had disappeared.

As I have examined my past eating habits, I never found any evidence that I was an emotional overeater. Now, it popped up at that dinner. I imagine if I had an entire pizza in front of me, bag of cookies, or half gallon of ice cream, I would have done the same thing. Thankfully, I had something good for me. None the less, now I know that I must be conscience of my eating when I find myself aggitated and upset like that.

BTW, the interview went well. I interviewed with the recruiter so after they do some background checks, they will give me a call back so that I can interview with regional director. I am confident that I can get the job if I want it. I am going to look at a few other possibilities, but this looks promising.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pictures In Photo Album

I have been taking pictures for every time I hit the next 10 lb. marker to give me a visual incentive. I had been posting them right in the blog, but I started a photo album for the pictures. I am terrible at taking pictures in the mirror. I have to turn the flash off, but I can't get the lighting right, so the pictures are dark and/or grainy. The best were the first ones, but I have no clue what I did back then. Warning! They are disgusting pictures that show my progress from morbid obesity down to severe obesity.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Week 23 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 305 lbs. which is 5.4 lbs. less than last week. Wow!!! This gives me a total of 75 lbs. lost, the average weight of an eleven year old boy. My body fat measures 32.9% (-0.2) giving me 100.3 lbs of fat (-2.4 lbs) and 204.7 lbs. of lean (-3 lbs.). My waist measures 55 inches which is down 0.25.

Breaking 300 lbs. is now in sight. I hope to do so by the end of the month if not sooner. Of all the weight milestones, this will be a huge deal. Psychologically, 300+ lbs. is very depressing. When I think I have lost 75 lbs., but am still over 300, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I know it shouldn't and I should be proud of the weight I lost, but that's how I feel. So when I break 300, it should be a huge psychological boost for me.

This week I have a job interview which sounds promising. But it makes me sick. It would mean a complete career change. I have invested the last 16 years of my life into my current profession. I have thought about leaving it many times. Now that it looks like it will happen, I am not so sure I want to leave. Actually, I wouldn't if something had materialized near my dad's house. At this point, I know it's the right thing to do logically, but my heart isn't quite there yet. I don't know what has happened to me. When I was younger, I would have loved such a challenge in my life. Oh well, what will be will be.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I Wish Everyone Was Fatter than Me!

I have been overweight and obese most of my life. When I was a kid, I remember wishing everyone was fatter than me, or wishing I could go to some alternate universe where I was considered the perfect specimen as I was.

Ahh, who am I kidding? I have had these thoughts throughout my adult life. I think this comes from an attitude of entitlement.

I have a friend who has an entitlement complex. He believes that everything should happen the way he want when he wants. As a consequence (IMHO), he has a lot of problems. He has trouble dealing with the fact that super models aren't swooning over him and people aren't throwing money at him for his wonderful work. He is a very angry person.

I used to think to myself, "How can anyone think that they are entitled to everything in life?" After all, I knew that things were not handed to you on a silver platter. You have to work hard to get what you want, and even then, you usually need a little extra help.

Now, it strikes me that I have had the same attitude towards my obesity. I figured that if everyone were just fatter than me or I lived in some bizarro universe, everyone would think I looked good, and I would be considered healthy. You see, I had an entitlement attitude. I thought it would be great if I didn't need to work hard and still be considered comely. In some strange way, I thought the world owed it to me to consider me good looking.

I hate introspection. I always end up discovering something bad about myself, lol. But, the good thing is that it is a chance to learn and grow.

I would like to say that I no longer give a crap what other think about me or the way I look, but that would be FALSE modesty. I am trying to live fit and be fit. Certainly, I hope that that will lead to looking good. But, fitness is more important than looks.

My wife's cousin just died of a massive heart attack at age 33. I am 38. Who gives a rat's pitootee (sp?) about looks compared to leaving my wife and soon to be 5 kids without a husband and father? Who cares about looks if cannot get my fat rump off the bench to play with my kids? Who cares about looks if I have to inject myself with insulin, go blind, and lose my limbs?

I still care about looks, but this journey is not about looks, and it's about much more than weight loss. Hopefully, those will side-effects. More important, I want to be fit for my family and for myself.

I don't wish everyone was fatter than me. I wish to be fit. I wish for everyone to be fit. I know that it takes hard work. I pray for the strength to continue this journey of fitness for the rest of my life.

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Week 22 Weigh-In

This morning the scale read 310.4 lbs. This is 2.4 lbs. less than last week for a total of 69.6 lbs. lost. My body fat measurement is 33.1% which is the same as last week. This means I have 207.7 lbs of lean (-1.6) and 102.7 lbs of fat (-0.8). My waist is the same at 55.25 inches.

BooYah! I hit another goal. My BMI is now 39.9 which means I am severely obese rather than morbidly obese. Once I get down below 35 BMI I will be just plain old obese. That will happen when I reach 272 lbs. or when I lose 48.4 more lbs. However, "obese" is not a nice sounding word no matter the abdjective in front of it or lack thereof.

My mood is not much better, but I think that it's mostly anxiety about trying to take care of my dad's stuff while trying to take care of things here for the upcoming child (less than a month away) AND trying to arrange things to move down to my dad's house. On the other hand, I am still highly motivated to continue my journey of fitness.

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little. - Plutarch

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!