My Progress

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I find that when I get into something I tend to go at it extremely hard and in great depth.

When I used to play World of Warcraft, I was constantly striving to be the best I could be as a healer, guildmate, raider, etc. I min-maxed my stats as much as possible, made plans for what gear uprades I wanted, put in 8 or more hours every day and rarely missed a raid.

When I became a fan of LOST, I downloaded and watched every episode in sequence, then watched them again, then watched them in random order, then bought the DVDs and shared them with my girlfriend. I posted on a LOST forum, contributing to easter egg finds, theories, and when it's in season, I watch each episode live while DVRing, watch it again immediately after and tend to watch it one or two more times before the next episode airs.

When I became a fan of Biggest Loser, I spent a lot of time reading forums and scouring the net for back-info on the contestants. I downloaded season 5 and am working my way through it. I frequently check for syndicated episodes on tv and recently watched all of season 4 when there was a marathon on Style. I'm looking forward to the upcoming season 3 marathon on Bravo this week and I'm already reading up on some of the contestants for season 6, which starts 1 week from today (go green team!).

So yeah, I have a bit of an all-or-none attitude with some things. Weight loss, on the other hand, I never really got that into in my previous efforts. Of course, as I've pointed out before, I've really come to realize that I never really tried until this time. When I decided this past spring that I was going to get my ass into shape once and for all, I don't know that I really took myself all that seriously because I've made that same statement a dozen times before. That said, I've really gotten there this time. I'm glad that I've finally let weight loss become one of my obsessions. I rarely go a day without hopping on the Weight Watchers website and always use the online tracker to plan my meals for the day. I've found my way into the blogosphere and now follow half a dozen other weight loss blogs. I asked for a water bottle for Christmas from my girlfriend for crying out loud!

It's nice to know that I'm finally obsessed with something that will actually carry me to a lifetime of health.

Monday, December 29, 2008


The whirlwind 6-city Christmas eat-a-thon is over! Ugh, that was tiring, but so fun. I really enjoyed seeing my family and my girlfriend's family this holiday season. It was a lot of driving and a lot more eating, but I told myself ahead of time I was going to indulge (reasonably) and I wasn't going to guilt myself over any of it. I gave my online tracker a break and enjoyed all the tasty seasonal fare from which I had abstained on thanksgiving. I tried to practice a little restraint and managed to continue getting my veggies, dairy and more than 80oz water in daily, but there was definitely some damage done (particularly without being able to work out all week).

Now, because I was on the road this whole time, I didn't manage to make it to a meeting the entire week. This isn't ideal since there is a new program to which we're all trying to get accustomed, but it is nice that I don't have to face the official scale until I've had a week to recover. That's not to say that I don't know where I stand. I hopped on the Wii Fit when we got back. It was an evening weigh-in after a big meal at my aunt's house, so I took this with a grain of salt, but it was a bit hard to see +7.8 pounds show up.

I nodded, followed through on my guilt-free promise, and told myself it'd all be gone by next weigh-in. This is the second morning since that evening. I've had one full OP day and I'm happy to say that (although I'm trying not to weigh so much) I checked again today and I'm only 1.8 up from last official weigh-in now.

So there's the past week. Now it's time to look to the future. We have a new year on our hands, which to me means a couple of things:
  • I'm gonna have trouble finding a parking spot at the gym
  • The WW meetings are gonna be full of new faces
  • 4-6 weeks from now, everything will be back to normal
I hate to sound like such a curmudgeon because I really do respect anyone who is willing to face this struggle head-on. It isn't easy, and those newcomers will need all the support they can get. I'm just saying a lot of people do this resolution business and I know a lot of them aren't going to stick with it.

So I'm not going to make some sort of resolution to improve myself in 2009. I made that decision on May 3, 2008 and I think I've already demonstrated my resolve. I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing because I know this shit works. If nothing else, this year has definitely brought that into resolution.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I guess I should trust myself

Or at least cut myself some slack...

Today, in our meeting, we were discussing how some of us had slip ups here and there especially during this holiday season, and two things came into perspective for me. First, this is a way of life. Even once I lose all this weight and become a lifetime member, I'll always have to be conscious of my eating habits in order to maintain. In other words, I have to know how to live my life in the real world without losing control of what I eat and how I stay active, and in the real world, there are holidays and barbecues and parties and get-togethers. To think that I'll never have a slip up is just asinine. Not only that, but I have to give myself permission that if I do give in to a temptation or two this holiday that I not dwell on it because really, whats the point of indulging once in a while if I can't even enjoy it.

Secondly, what I consider a slip-up nowadays is nothing compared to some of the shit I considered normal eating habits before. So I had some fries and 4 wings. How bad was it really? like 20 or so points. That's a huge chunk, but seriously, before I started this journey, I used to eat 18 wings and probably twice as many fries as a normal meal, wash it down with a quart or two of lemonade and maybe even follow that up with a 1000 calorie ice cream.

That's perspective for you. What I think is a serious transgression today would have been less than half a meal a year ago. I really am in a completely different mindset now. Point in fact: not only did I avoid a gain this week, not only did I make that .4 I needed for the 65 pound star, I pulled enough to pass that half-way hump I was looking at last week. Seriously, could I already be halfway there? I can almost certainly maintain my current rate of loss (2 pounds a week) even with a few slip-ups here and there and be at my goal weight this July. That'd be incredible. 2009 is going to be a fantastic year.

Weight loss so far: 67.4 pounds.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Having doubts about this week

I've mentioned before how I had slipped into a habit of weighing myself every day, and truth be told, I do that rather frequently. Last week I was monitoring my weight changes as much as three times a day on three different scales (in the bathroom, on the Wii Fit, at the gym...). I've come to feel comfort when the end-of-day weight is low enough that I know the following morning will register a loss from the previous morning. I've experienced frustration when my weight doesn't drop from one day to the next, or worse, rises. This week I've decided to break myself of the habit, so I haven't seen my weight since Saturday's weigh-in.

Unfortunately, rather than finding this liberating, I've allowed myself not only to become doubtful, but to actually slip in my focus. I've had two slips this week. On Monday, after my final test (which, admittedly, I over-studied and lost too much sleep the night before) didn't go as well as I'd hoped, I went for take-out, which I haven't done in months, and got hot wings and french fries. I am ashamed to say that I ate all the fries and managed to munch on 4 wings before I realized what a huge mistake I had made. I tossed the remaining 6 wings in the trash, but the damage was done. I also skipped the gym that day, opting to relax and protect myself from the frigid cold and wallow in my post-wing shame.

Yesterday should have been a better day after such a slip, but I didn't bring enough in my lunch bag and wound up getting a doughnut at the QuickTrip while I was getting gas. I tried to make excuses that the roads were too bad for me to be driving to the gym, so I skipped again. I got home and started heating up leftover chili, but convinced myself it wasn't enough and made a quesadilla as well. I've now had two days in a row where I was too embarassed of my choices and didn't track my eating.

The only good thing is that while we were watching the finale of The Biggest Loser, I found a touch of inspiration. Once the show had ended, I warmed up the car, grabbed my bag, and drove to the gym. It was very quiet there as I've never been at such a late hour. I didn't want to stay out too terribly late, so I didn't even get in my full hour workout, cutting short 20 minutes, but at least I worked out.

I'm back on the wagon and determined to make this a good week in the end. I'll be happy if I don't register a gain, but it would be nice to hit the 65 pound mark at least. That one was only .4 away last time. I guess all I can do is stick with it and hope for the best.

At least through all this self-doubt, I've still managed to keep my ass off the scales.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nearing the half-way point

I started this journey 7 months and 10 days ago. In that time, I've learned a lot about myself. For example, I've learned that all those years I failed numerous times at losing weight, I really wasn't trying. I've learned what willpower really is when I'm staring down a department Christmas party lunch and instead reach into the fridge and grab my healthy lunch I've brought with me. I've learned the determination it takes to go to the gym 5 or 6 days a week. I've learned to push myself every time I go to the gym to improve a little bit on my last workout. I've learned to respect myself and take control of my life.

I especially love what I've gained (or, more appropriately, lost) from having a gym membership. Certainly, I couldn't have accomplished what I have without the proven system established by Weight Watchers, but working out has really supercharged my weight loss.

This week marks my 6th since getting back on the wagon after I faltered in October. In that 6 weeks, I've lost almost twenty pounds. Today was another 4.2, just .4 shy of my third week in a row to earn a 5-pound star. I am thrilled to be back at it with such renewed energy and success rivaling that which I was seeing only in the first two months of this journey. I am almost halfway to my original goal of 225 pounds. I am enjoying the process as I see myself emerge as a healthy individual reflected in what I eat, my level of activity, and especially how I look. I feel--now, more than ever--that I will definitely succeed in this. I've already lost twice the weight I've ever lost in any previous weight loss "attempt," and I'll lose twice this much when I'm done.

Weight loss so far: 64.6.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

There's only so much a belt can do...

As predicted, I made my first steps into the 200s at this week's weigh-in. It was very satisfying to see that 2 in front of my weight, but obviously not overly surprising. I also received yet another star for losing my 60th pound (rather impressive since I had to dip a full pound to reach 300 and another two in order to get to that 60th), and as usual my leader asked me to speak about my success and what I thought about the program made it happen. Well, considering this is now the 12th time I've been asked that, I am really starting to run out of different ways of saying "e-tools, the meetings, everything..." but I managed to rattle something off about how the little goals make it easy to see the light at the end of the tunnel, segueing me into alerting the group to my tercentenary barrier triumph. I may be a sucker for it, but I do enjoy feeling the support of my fellow WWers as they applaud my successes at our weekly meetings. I do find myself worrying about how many different ways I can answer that question if I know I'll be asked it at least another 14 times on my way to goal...

In other news, my father managed to find some old clothes I might be able to use. I should explain that when she was alive, my mother used to buy me clothes without my input. It was very generous and sweet, but she must have been a bit deluded, because 9 times out of 10 the clothes she bought were too small. At the time, it was easy to shrug, put them away and state "I'll fit into these after I lose a few pounds," but alas, my weight rarely did anything but rise, making those ill-fitting clothes simply fall further out of reach.

It turns out to be quite a blessing that these clothes remain stashed away at my father's house all these years because I've recently come to the realization that although belts are lovely in that I can pull them in to the next eyelet each time they feel a bit loose (I'm about to transition to the next size down for the second time since I started this journey; I'm currently floating on the last eyelet of this belt), this causes the material of my out-of-size bluejeans to bunch up or fall below the belt in at the fly, which is neither fashionable nor comfortable. I've come to concession that my 48s have outlived their purpose and must be retired, only to show up at the end of my weight loss journey in that cliche picture where the skinny me hides behind them outstretched, dropping them like a curtain or pulls them on and extends the waistline to demonstrate the inches that have been shed.

Anyhow, long story short, I've come to find that I fit quite comfortably in a pair of 42s now. This is especially exciting since I distinctly remember in high school lamenting as I grew too heavy to fit into my beloved size 40 black wide-legs. That was around the same time I was no longer able to stretch my XL shirts to fit around my frame comfortably. I guess this all means that I'm almost back to my high school weight. I love counting my weight loss in terms of history. I haven't weighed this little in 6 years.

So I've accomplished my 299.9 goal. I've set my new goal at 280. That's what my driver's license says. I have to renew this coming March, so I look forward to being able to report a lower weight than that when they ask. Perhaps I'll even tell the truth this time as I am fairly certain I didn't the last two times.

Progress so far: 60.4 pounds.