My Progress

Thursday, December 10, 2009


As promised. I was very pleased to see I was a bit under on my estimate. Down 4.2 for the week!

Progress so far: 115.2 pounds.

Where am I?

I'm still here. I'm still alive. I'm still pushing my way through the summer's gain to get back where I was in July. I'm still sucking serious ass at updating my blog.

Since I last checked in, over 2 months ago, I struggled with my weightlifting and wound up falling back to my cardio routine. I had another slipup and gained a few, so I took advantage of what was going to be an ugly gain anyhow and switched from weighing in workout clothes to weighing in street clothes. That added about 3 pounds to that and all subsequent weigh-ins. I'll switch back to workout clothes when spring returns, but in the meantime, I'm tracking what the scale says.

What it has said to me recently has been very encouraging. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving were solid food-wise, but a bit sucky workout-wise, and the losses were pretty skeezy (for me) at about 1 pound per week. I decided to get through the holidays this year just like I did last year. I got back into a consistent gym regimen (even working out Thanksgiving day), I planned ahead for the three Thanksgiving dinners my fiancee and I attended, followed through on those plans and continued to show discipline and focus in my eating and tracking. With a canceled meeting on Thanksgiving, I was fully two weeks into my re-focused weight loss before I had to face the scale again last week. The scale must have heard about all my hard work because it rewarded me with a 7.2 pound loss. Today, I anticipate another solid loss in the neighborhood of 3 pounds.

After this weigh-in, I'll face a holiday party this weekend, the beginning of another round of holiday eating challenges. After that, we'll head out of town to visit my father and friends in my old home town next weekend. Next is the Christmas gauntlet, which will include visits to her family on Christmas eve followed by lunch with my paternal grandmother and family on Christmas day and maternal grandparents and family that evening. This is going to be slightly more challenging than Thanksgiving was, but I am confident that my success so far will carry me through the rest of the year. My goal is to not miss a meeting between now and January 7th without showing a gain at any of them. Since the meeting will be once again canceled on Christmas eve, I'll have a pad to help me through all of that. It won't be easy, but it'll be totally worth it.

This is where I apologize like I have in my last 10 posts about how lame I've been about updating this blog. It's all just empty promises at this point isn't it? I'm sure I've lost a lot of followers thanks to my weak-ass blogging for the past 6 months. I won't entertain any notion that I'll be back to where I was, updating every day, but I'll definitely try to be a little more consistent for those of you who stuck it out for me. Cool? Tell ya what. If you trust me, I guarantee I'll post again tonight with my official weigh-in results. Till then, thanks!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Just finished my workout. Today, I went back to weight training after months of being out of it. Like... lots of months.

I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and then headed to the upper body circuit. After doing 2 of my intended three trips around the circuit, my arms were dead. Like... started at 10 reps of 130 on the bench and ended not being able to push half that. Dead.

Since I still had 10 minutes left on the full hour workout I'd intended, I hopped on the stairmaster for 10 minutes, which I've never done before and found to also be quite challenging.

Eesh. After I got home, I found it difficult to even shampoo my hair. I just couldn't lift my arms up that high for more than a few seconds.

Seriously, ow.

That said, I still feel absolutely fantastic about being back at this thing full force. I'm confident that another week or two of this and I'll be seriously rockin the workouts.

Monday, October 5, 2009

True to form

As I promised you, myself and the rest of the world yesterday, I am striving to make this a solid month of weight loss. To me, that means staying on top of my nutrition, working it in the gym to get back to the proper level of training and updating this blog much more regularly than I have these past few months.

I just finished my workout and had my afternoon snack. I feel fantastic. Since I got back on the wagon, I think my workouts have been pretty poor. Not working out for so long seems to have knocked me back a few pegs. Today, I was determined to show myself what I can do on the elliptical. I feel very good about the hour I did today. I never felt like I was overexerting myself, but I pushed myself and am very satisfied with the 175bpm average and 1200 calories burned I got out of it.

My post-workout snack consisted of a small banana, 3½ oz of strawberries, some yogurt and a banana nut fiberone muffin. Absolutely delicious and very refreshing. I really love how good I'm feeling on my nutrition and I feel like my fitness will be on the same level very soon.

Tomorrow, I get back into weights training.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A year ago...

Last year, I fell off the wagon in October. I spent a majority of the month not working out, not tracking, and gaining unknown amounts of weight before I got my butt back in gear. I pushed myself for the final week of the month before going back to weigh in on November 1st. I had gained a pound. It wasn't devastating, but I was disappointed to have lost a month of weightloss.

That month-long slip motivated me to get back in the gym (I even worked out on Thanksgiving morning) and track my food so militantly that I managed to pull losses over both Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays despite visiting both my and my fiancee's family on both occasions. That streak of motivation wound up carried me through 30 pounds of loss over the course of 2 ½ months, an average of more than 2.5 pounds per week. During that time, I had not a single gaining week. I saw myself through some very significant milestones, particularly my final goodbye to the 300s and entry into the 200s.

Having another month like last October would have been a bad enough setback, but the one I had this summer, culminating in a ridiculous 42-pound gain was just crazy. I'm still fighting to get back to where I was in the middle of July at 241.8 pounds. Similar to last time, I let the gain motivate me to get back in the game. While my workouts are still not where I'd like them to be, I have been very good about my tracking. These past two weeks (apologies for not updating sooner), I've lost another 1.8 and 2.0 pounds respectively.

I'm now down 27.4 pounds since I ended the binging 6 weeks ago -- an average of 4/week that seems to be settling out to a more reasonable 2/week. In less than 13 pounds, I'll be back where I was. I intend to reach that 241.8 and let my momentum carry me on through the holidays, perhaps even reaching that original 225 goal before year.

Right now, I'm feeling very empowered and enthusiastic about my weight loss journey. I could sit here and lament over the fact that I'm still re-losing weight I had already once lost or that I should already be below 225 if not for that gain, but instead, I choose to hold my head high and recognize that I'm human and these things will happen. I'm just glad I caught myself before I'd done more damage.

So here's to a new October, one that'll be much better than last October. Here's to getting back to where I think I should be with my workouts. Here's to life.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pressing on

Just finished my delicious and reasonable spaghetti and meatballs dinner and it's time to share my weekly reflection. I didn't indulge at the wedding, just as planned, but I slept in the following morning and skipped breakfast (something I never do). I was so hungry by lunch-time that I talked myself into going to the Chinese buffet.

I knew I was walking into danger territory, but it has been a long time since I've had Chinese and I personally think the buffet there has the best chicken teriyaki and spare ribs of any other place I've been. I kept my head, ate slowly and listened to my hunger signals. When I decided I was satisfied, I stopped. I didn't go back and get some donuts, cream puffs and ice cream like I previously had so many times. I just put down my fork, paid my bill and left. In fact, I only had one plate of a small portion of each of my favorite dishes. I didn't go back 4 times or fill up the plate to overflowing proportions. My body knew it, too.

Whereas I normally would have walked away stuffed to the gills, almost feeling sick to my stomach and sluggish for the remainder of the day, I just felt like I'd satisfied a craving without overdoing it. I was really happy with that experience. I did my best to track my points for the day and determined that I didn't have more than 30 points (1500 Calories) at that meal. Awesome.

After the weekend, I got back to the gym. I won't lie, it was ridiculously challenging after being out of it for so long. I had a stitch in my side and a pain in my shoulder that were very distracting, but I pressed on and did a full hour on the elliptical, burning about 1000 Calories. Then, I climbed on the recumbent bike for an additional 30 minutes. The next day, things got easier, but by no means back to the level I was out say... 4 months ago. Wednesday, I couldn't find the motivation to go and today I rationalized that working out would have negatively influenced weigh-in. Altogether, I am nowhere near where I need to be with the exercise, but my food continues to be very solid, enough so to pick up the slack.

The scale was kind, showing 3.8 for the week, bringing me to 99.8 overall. Just shy of that hundie I fought so hard to get last spring. I'm now 23.6 down since the big gain. Just 16.6 to go before I'm back in the black.

This week: continue rocking the food choices and put in no less than 6 hours at the gym. Starting tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Climbing out of the muck

Weigh-in last night was solid. I felt really good all week and the scale actually followed through on that feeling. After losing 13.2 a couple of weeks ago, I still had 27 to go to break even with where I was in July before my massive wipeout. Now, I'm down another 6.6, leaving me with 20.4 to go. I'm halfway back to where I should never have left. Yeah, I've lost a lot of ground and wasted a lot of time. I probably should have been down to 225 and below by now, but what's done is done. All I can do is claw my way back.

Now, I don't expect the other half of this added weight to just drop off like the first 20 did. That said, I managed to drop that much without getting back on the workout bus, something I am determined to do starting today and carrying on through to goal.

Speaking of goals, gaining all this weight was particularly painful to me because it erased my triple digit accomplishment I was so proud to hit last May. Now, I'm just 4 pounds from hitting that goal again. How fitting, I lost my 100 pound charm sometime in the last 3 weeks, so when I get it back at my meeting where I weigh in below 258.2 again. That's just a little bit more motivation that I need.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Checking in

Hey guys. I obviously failed another week of posting, but I'm still here and I'm still going to try my hardest not to fall back into a habit of not posting. So today, I'm going to give some much needed updates.

I've been a little remiss in not telling yall what's been happening since August 29th, but I just realized I never told ya a big piece of news that also came while I was off the wagon. On Tuesday, July 28th, I popped the question to my girlfriend of 2 years. We're still reeling in that reality and just getting started on the wedding planning. It's going to be December, 2010, so we've got plenty of time to plan and save, but that also gives us 16 months to get into the best shape of our lives. Hot-ass bride and groom incoming!

So I missed weigh-in last Thursday. I have no excuse. We just didn't go. Fear not. I'll have an update tomorrow evening. Promise. I have been really failing the workouts. I still don't have the motivation to get there. I did mow the lawn on Labor day, which is a pretty serious workout with the size of lot I have, but I just haven't found the urge to march my ass into the gym. That's pretty sad considering A) I have a metric shitton of free time seeing as I've been unemployed for a week and a half and B) I seriously need to work all this gained weight back off so I can be back to where I was just 2 months ago. That said, I've been rocking the OP-osity on tracking, and that feels really good. I know I won't work out today and I don't want to mess up myself with some water-retention before weigh-in so I won't tomorrow either. I'm going to really try to motivate myself to go Friday and M-W of next week.

This weekend, I visit my old home-town to attend a wedding. Those are always fun eat-and-drink-a-thons. I think I'll set a precedent for myself to the contrary.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Dining Out Test

I'm making a real effort to get back into the daily posting habit, so while I'm still lacking in the muse factor, these may be boring or brief. Or both! Either way, I really believe this blogging thing helps me stay on track, so I'm gonna try.

Yesterday was a pretty bittersweet half-day of work. I finished up all my notes, reports and binders and handed those to my supervisor. I showed one of the associates where all my cold stores, frozen stocks and cultures were. I handed in my badge and I left. It's sad knowing that after 7 months of interning they have no positions available, but I gained a lot of valuable experience there and I will come away with two really good letters of recommendation. I'll put those to use over the coming weeks as I search for employment.

I had my standard breakfast of cereal and a FiberOne muffin, I didn't have my usual mid-morning snack as we were out of bananas, and before I left the lab, I heated up some leftover chicken marsala and whole wheat couscous and had those with a light yogurt, an orange and some baby carrots for lunch. Once I got home, I just kind of vegged out for a while. I can definitely tell I'm going to get very bored of unemployment very quickly. Around 4 or so, I grabbed some hummus, an ounce of pita chips, 2 green onions and some more baby carrots for a quick and easy snack to tide me over until dinner at 7.

Dinner was planned about a week ago when we invited another couple to go to a cajun restaurant with us. Dining out is frequently a challenge for me, especially when it's a social occasion with friends. I've remarked before that my family and friends have no idea how healthy I eat because whenever I'm with them I revert to poor choices and bigger portions than normal. Seeing as I've only been on the wagon for a week, though, I really wanted to stay within reason. I left myself with 17 points, so it's not like I had no room to enjoy myself, but I could easily eat double that with just a po' boy. Instead, I only had one of the gator bites we ordered for the table and one slice of bread from the basket and for my entree, instead of getting something fried like I normally would have, I got a bowl of gumbo. It was really tasty and filling, but best of all, I felt rather accomplished to have passed this little field test for myself.

We had discussed the possibility of hitting up the drive-in after dinner because both features were flicks I wanted to see (Halloween 2 and Inglourious Basterds), but everyone was too tired. I think the little lady and I will be going tonight instead. Maybe I'll bring some microwaved popcorn. Have a good Saturday.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Time and dedication

So I've been pretty busy since I last checked in. I started going back to meetings. My first was last week, Thursday evening. What used to be my fall back, "gonna be out of town this weekend" meeting has quickly become my favorite meeting (and not just because it means I can sleep in on Saturday mornings now, but that is a nice perk). The leader there is closer to my age (come to think of it, so is the entirety of that meeting's attendees) and the meetings in general seem to have a more driven vibe. While there aren't as many life-timers at this meeting, I think this is the one for me now.

So I walked in, unprepared for the bad weigh-in, but willing to accept what it said. I say unprepared because I didn't have my weigh-in clothes and had to hop on the scale in my street clothes. There's an instant +1 or 2 pounds right there. Add to that I usually weigh in the mornings and my weight can fluctuate by 3 or 4 pounds from morning to evening and also water retention from the weeks of bad eating and blah blah blah....

It was bad, OK? Worse than I thought, but at least I stopped it before I gained it all back. So +40.2 was a bit devastating, but again, very artificially high. Cest la vie. I'm back on the wagon, there's nowhere to go from here but down.

As it turned out, I picked a very appropriate week to get back at it. The topic of conversation was dealing with failures and slipups in one's weight loss journey. A bit apropos, eh?

I had intended to get back into the swing of things with some aggressive workouts, but alas my internship was not as finished as I'd expected. I spent this entire week coming in and making revisions to my submission for the assay I've been designing in order to get it up to presentation state and to get my assay approved for commercial use. So I didn't get any workouts in this last week. What I did manage to do was track. Militantly. Without forgiveness. Everything I ate.

The weight gain gave me 4 extra points per day and I managed to eat all of them several of the days. I even used a few weeklies. I felt very solid all week and expected it to show on the scale.

It did. Last night, I came in at 268.8 (in my usual weigh-in clothes), down 13.2 from the "reset" point. I've still got a lot of ground to cover before I'm back to where I was before, but at least I've got myself to a state where I know this is what I weigh and I don't have to wonder how accurate that number is.

So now I'm officially +27 from my lowest weight. That's still pretty painful to see, but I am confident I'll get that all off and continue on from there. It'll just take time and dedication. Two things I should have in abundance as I finish my internship today (for real) and proceed into the ruthless job hunt market. Monday, I'll be back to working out. Until then, I will continue to track and make sure I'm following the program.

I think I'll feel a lot better when I'm down to 258.2 again. I don't feel right having less than triple digits lost up there.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hitting the reset button

It's been a month since I went to a weigh-in. It's been more than that since I worked out. I haven't just fallen off the wagon, I've failed myself bigtime. I've backslided. A lot. I ate some ridiculous stuff from day to day. I didn't even dare to track that garbage, but rest assured I had a few 100-150 point days in the past 31 days.

So great, I've erased a ton of progress. I don't have an official weigh-in and I really hope this looks worse than it is, but this morning, the home scale said somewhere in the range of +30. A pound a day. I've really shot myself in the foot here, but whatever, I caught it, I've recognized that I'm nowhere near ready to do this on my own and I'm ready to get back on track.

I have today and 2 more days left on my internship, then I'm unemployed (and yes, I realize that reality may have contributed to my backsliding). I still have a membership at 24hour fitness and I'm obviously going to have a lot of free time on my hands while I continue the job hunt. I think I'm going to get back to the workout routine slowly and begin incorporating some weights, core training and group-x classes as I ease myself into 3-hour-a-day workouts.

Today, I'm back to tracking 101 (a bit apropos, this is my 101st post). I even measured my cereal and milk. Tonight, I'll read through my week 1 material and tomorrow, I'm going back to meetings. I'll go Saturday morning as well for my official morning weigh-in. I keep telling myself I can't do this without meetings and without blogging, so I really can't blame anyone but myself for failing so hard when I stopped doing both. I don't know if I've rediscovered my motivation or not, but we'll see.

It took me a month to put all this on, it'll take me probably 3 to get it back off, but I'm going to try as hard as I can.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The power of determination

I'm kinda misfiring a lot here on the workouts. I didn't do yoga last night. I worked right through it. I got to bed and fast asleep by 10 last night, but I still couldn't get out of bed for my morning workout. I'm having some severe sleep issues. I should not be needing as much sleep as I'm getting and it still feels like not enough. I really can't imagine I'm still knocked back from the strep seeing as I've been symptom free for almost a week and on antibiotics for more than that.

Regardless, I'm determined to have a good weigh-in as evidenced by my extremely disciplined tracking, planning and follow-through on eating. I've been on point with that all week and feel absolutely no inkling that cart will sway me this evening. I will not be denied. Will I work out tonight? I don't know. I really want to, but given my track record this week I honestly don't know. I owe it to myself, though because it's just retarded to be working so hard on the nutrition side and be so neglectful on the activity side. So, here's to getting back on the horse. Er... elliptical.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

...or not

Hopped on the elliptical and plugged away for about twenty minutes before I was feeling some serious burning in my throat that I'm not used to. I really wanted to press through it, but coming off strep, I managed to convince myself that it may be something I shouldn't ignore. I probably could have, but oh well. What's done is done. I still had the morning workout to look forward to, right? Nope! Slept in. I got in bed by 9.30 last night, probably fell asleep around 10.30 and still didn't manage to wake up refreshed and ready to go at 6.00 like I'd hoped. Lame.

Tonight is yoga, I know I'll be able to get through that no problem and it's a pretty decent workout. Tomorrow morning will be my next attempt at restarting my 30-day EA Sports Active challenge. I'm hoping a nice solid 90+ minutes of exercise tonight will help me get some rest and help me wake up early enough to get on it tomorrow.

In other news, I forgot to mention that I've finally built up enough of a well-fitting wardrobe to finally toss every single remnant of my 3X life out of the rotation. I now have a lot of stuff that needs to be donated or sold at garage sale. It's so nice to never have to wear clothes that big again. It feels incredible to wear clothing that actually fits and I'm getting used to being in a more snug top. Today, I'm rockin the argyle T. I'm also down to a size 36 pants, which is just phenomenal considering I started in a tight pair of 48s. That belt I bought in April is now either on the 4th or the 5th hole depending on what pants I'm in. *flex*

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back to working out

So the strep diet is over (I'll be done with my antibiotics on Thursday) and I'm ready to get back to working out. Last night didn't happen. I was in the lab till 7pm, so no elliptical for me. Last night I got to sleep by 10, but I still didn't manage to drag ass out of bed early enough to get back on the EA Sports Active morning workouts that I was doing so well on before. I really need to get this early-morning lack of energy thing nipped in the bud.

So, I'm committing myself to getting in an hour on the elliptical tonight. Tomorrow, I really want to get back on the 30-day challenge, so I'm going to do my best to be in bed and asleep by 10 tonight, preferably settled by 9.30 so I have some time to fall asleep. Tomorrow is also yoga, so I'm going to try my hardest to be done with work by 4.30 so I can get in half an hour on the elliptical before that.

Aside from (or in spite of) the lack of workouts, I feel like my progress from Saturday's weigh-in is pretty solid. I know it's awfully early to be making a prediction, but I think this week is going to be another big loss. With 3½ days to go, that remains to be seen. I have cart to contend with still and my track record of late isn't too hot with that. For the past 6 weeks, I've either worked through it, been home sick, or indulged very heavily in its snacky goodness. Worse than that, I've developed a habit of grabbing extra bars of chocolate and bags of reese's pieces to bring home and either devour myself or tempt my girlfriend. That has got to stop.

So here goes. I have 3 hours of work to get through, then it's time to hit the elliptical, a friend I haven't seen in a week and a half.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back on the tracks

Quick flyby here. I have a lot of nothin to do today and I wanna get an early start. The little lady and I are taking a break after too many busy weekends in a row, so we've made plans to cook a nice little finger-food dinner for ourselves, lay around, play some games and watch some movies. I started the day with a nice meeting and WI. I lost 9.6 since that 7.0 gain 2 weeks ago. A large part of that can be attributed to the strep, but I'll take it. I'm keeping the points reasonable today (rather than my usual 15-20 weeklies in addition to my daily allotment), I'll carry this energy forward through the week, get back on the old workout wagon and ride the wave of recovery through the rest of the summer and hopefully to that 225 goal.

Good to be back. Good to see some movement on the scale in the right direction. Good to be not sick. Good to be alive.

Progress so far: 113.8 pounds

Friday, July 10, 2009

Not doing so well on my reunion tour, huh?

I guess I hadn't really anticipated how busy the holiday weekend and following week would be for me. I was hoping to get in more blog posts this week, but unfortunately, I got thumped pretty hard with strep. On Monday, I woke with a twinge in my throat and by that afternoon, I was shivering at my desk, counting the minutes until I could pile into my car, drive home and climb into bed. When I finally did just that, I first found that the summer heat, which had brought my car's interior up to well over 100° wasn't enough to make me feel comfortable. I continued to shiver the whole drive home with the windows up and the A/C off. Once home, I wrapped myself in a couple of layers, a sheet and a blanket and left the fan off. I never once broke a sweat, despite all this heat I was pumping into myself, a sure indication something was up. My girlfriend came home to find me in my pathetic state and popped a thermometer in my mouth, followed shortly thereafter by the last of our acetaminophen. My fever was 102°. My throat was as raw as can be. I refused to let that stop me from enjoying the pulled pork we'd planned. I managed to eat a small serving of dinner, but I was still feeling pretty miserable.

In fact, I was out of commission for the next several days. I would wake up each morning with a slightly lower fever from the night before, 100.5 on Tuesday morning, 102.7 that night, 99.9 Wednesday morning, then it finally broke Wednesday afternoon around the same time I had finally gotten my script filled from my doctor's appointment that morning. Oh, and I apparently have a pretty bad ear infection on the right side as well. "You don't feel that?" "No, my pounding headache, swollen, raw throat and throbbing adenoids must be distracting me."

So I've been on antibiotics for 36 hours at this point. I'm back into the land of the living. Yay for completely knocking me off my "back to working out" kick. I got a whole bunch of nothin done this week. Luckily, the lack of appetite and huge caloric demand garnered from immune defense have made up for it. I'm down... a lot. I guess we'll see tomorrow morning just how much.

Now that I'm back on my feet, I'm going to take the loss (unhealthily achieved though it may be) and run with it. I intend to get in a light workout tomorrow morning, weigh in, forgo the usual excess that is high-point Saturday and press on with a solid week. I'm determined to keep my ass in gear and I will not be denied.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Prodigal blah blah blah....

I really appreciate all the well wishes and emails encouraging me to come back. I really wish I hadn't lost so much motivation. It turned out to be a lot more than just blogging. I slipped a bit here and there on my weight loss, then wound up completely jumping ship (literally) when I went for a trip to the lake with some friends the weekend before last. Beginning two days before that and extending the entire following week, I just didn't track. I made poor choices, I got ridiculously intoxicated on that Friday, I stopped working out altogether. My mood and sleep schedule both began to go to shit and my work in the lab started to suffer as well. I know a lot of that is caused by the lack of exercise. I've come to rely on the boost it gives me and I truly missed it when I fell out of the habit.

Until then, although the losses were coming slowly, I was seeing some pretty decent progress in the way clothes fit and the way I was feeling in terms of fitness. I was actually doing really well in getting in daily workouts on both EA Sports Active (30 minutes M, Tu and Th-Sa mornings) as well as my usual elliptical workouts and Wednesday yoga. I felt really good about the progress I made on EA Sports and while I still haven't done my comprehensive review, I can tell you it's coming and it's going to be really positive. My falling off the wagon caused me to miss my final 5 workouts that would have completed the 30-day challenge, but I've hopped back on the wagon as of last Saturday and restarted the 30-day challenge yesterday. This time, I'm determined to stick with it.

The last time I fell off the wagon was in October and that time, I stopped going to the gym, I stopped going to WW meetings and I stopped tracking. When I came back to my senses, I spent a week getting my butt in gear, then went back to my meeting on November 1st and found myself up one pound. It would have been a lot more if not for the determination I'd had the week prior to reverse the damage. Last Saturday, I found myself in a similar situation. I weighed in at +7.0 for the two weeks (missed the previous week while I was at the lake), which after coming in at +1.2 at the weigh-in before that was quit a punch to the gut. That's just what I needed to see too because I've been pretty militant with my tracking since then. Even Saturday, being my usual high-point indulgence day was fairly reserved.

I won't see where I stand for another week and a half since my WW site is closed on the 4th. That's probably for the best because it gives me a full 7 days extra to take off all I've gained and try to make some forward progress on the scale. I hope I react to this bad month like I did in November. After coming off the October slump, I got on a big roll of tracking, exercising and attending meetings with renewed vigor and those efforts showed up on the scale with big losses. I know I'm slowing down and that's ok, but it'd be really nice to see another 3-4 pound loss for a few weeks. I want to go sky diving while the weather is still nice, and with almost 30 to go now, that's no small task.

I think now that I'm back on the wagon and a new month is here, now is as good a time as any to get back to blogging. I'll make every effort to get back into the habit of daily posts for this month. I'm serious when I say I couldn't do this without yall and I think this past blogless month has proven that quite well. Thanks for being there for me, everyone.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Update, yo"

Those words spoke more to me than all the inward reflection I've done this last week combined. Well, here it comes, and this one is a long one too.

I really wish I was more motivated to blog recently, I honestly do. I'm just not feelin it of late. I'm in a place where I just can't find the urge to post, read, comment or anything. I've actually had quite a lot going on that would have been great blogging material, but the desire to share just hasn't been there. I haven't fallen off the weight loss wagon. I'm still chuggin along. I weighed in yesterday at 248, just 0.8 lost from 2 weeks prior, but that one was right after a 5k, so it was artificially low. Yesterday's may have been artificially high as well. I was feeling pretty sore -- especially in the quads, hams and gluts -- thanks to this weeks workouts. More on that in a bit.

Regardless of where I actually am, it'll all even out in the end. I was hoping to be 245 at this point for a Memorial Day challenge on the WW Guys on a Diet forum. I didn't make it, but considering I started at 271.8, I made a good show of it. I guess technically I'll get one more weigh-in to make weight, so I may have made it after all. I guess we'll see.

I got a lawnmower last weekend. Used it once already and I have to say I grossly overestimated the amount of time it would take to mow my lot with a push mower. Up until last week I was paying a kid to mow it for me. $30 for the area around my house and an extra 10 for the lot to the south. He used two of those very fast stand-up riders to get it done and it took him about 15-20 minutes to do the whole thing. I guessed with one less mower, a smaller deck and having to push it, I'd take 3-4 hours to mow it. I got it done in about 2½ (60 minutes by my girl and 90 by me). I'd imagine we could get it done in 2. That was a good feeling knowing that I was taking care of my own property finally and getting a decent workout in doing it.

Speaking of workouts, I've got a new tool in my little arsenal now. Back when the buzz was starting to get some momentum going, I was reading up about EA SPORTS Active, an "interactive and customized home fitness product for the Nintendo Wii that gives you the benefit of a 'personal trainer in a box.'" I got really interested in the product. It was being advertised as a more Western approach to fitness in response to the Eastern approach of Wii Fit. Whereas Wii Fit focuses on balance and yoga, EA Sports Active promises a more active workout that'll get you sweating. I was intrigued, so I sent an email to EA's PR department expressing an interest in reviewing their promising new addition to the slew of Wii fitness games. I was a bit surprised when I got a response a week later. I was told that a copy of the game would be sent on the 19th (its official US release date). I got my package on Thursday and dove headfirst into it. With only 30 minutes of use under my belt, here's my first impression of the game.

I opened up the box and found everything I was expecting to find based on the previews and advertising I'd read. There was the game itself, a neoprene leg strap and a red resistance band. I popped the game in and put on the strap, ready to rock. I was first asked to set up an avatar in the game to represent myself. I was able to adjust the hair, accessories, clothes, shoes and apparent body shape of my pixelated self. The Wii Fit me is a tubby little guy that while cartoony looks a lot like me. The EA SPORTS Active me, on the other hand, doesn't look all that much like me at all. The hair is right, but the face and body shape aren't very accurate. I set it to the biggest body the game had available, but that isn't very big at all. Nevermind the fact that I was over 100 pounds bigger than this. I'm still too big to be well represented here. But that's not why I was interested in the game, so I could honestly care less. I pressed on. I opted to start the 30 day challenge, a guided tour of the game that introduces the player to all the 20+ exercises targetting upper body, lower body and cardio.

I was given the option for a high, medium or low intensity workout. I set it to "high" while I thought in the back of my mind "yeah, right..." See, I've always thought that Wii Fit was kind of a joke in terms of workout. Granted rhythm boxing, hula hooping, advanced step and island running will work up a sweat, but not like this. With the constant feedback and rapid succession of different workouts, I was sweating in 3 minutes and didn't stop until the end. I got much better feedback on the running activities than I EVER got from Wii Fit. The instructional videos made everything very clear. The trainer was unapologetic when it came time to correct my mistakes and didn't let me have more than a few moments' rest between exercises. I like that this game focuses less on BMI/weight progress or time spent "playing" and more on calories consumed and perceived exertion.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sore as all hell for the next two days thanks to this game. I used muscles I haven't engaged in quite a while. I like it. I'll definitely be putting this game to good use as I progress through the 30 day challenge. I'll bring you more updates as I find my way back into blogging.

Pushups are doing well too. I finished week 2 a ways behind schedule, but I made it. I did a new exhaustion test Wednesday evening and was right where I'd hoped to be at this point. I managed 25 good form pushups before I felt pretty spent. I'll be pressing on with week three tomorrow.

So there ya go. I updated. I dunno if I'll be posting more this week or if it'll be another 7 days before you hear from me again. Time will tell. Rest assured, though, I'll be back and I'll continue losing the weight like it's my job. Later.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I'm feeling a bit lost in terms of blogging right now. I haven't quit or anything, but I've definitely been lacking in the motivation to post for the past week. I missed weigh-in yesterday morning and truth be told I have no idea where I am right now. Between my grandparents' 60th anniversary dinner, my girlfriend's classmates' graduation party and my own graduation celebration, I had a pretty rough week as far as weight loss is concerned. I missed a couple of workouts and had a few less than healthy meals.

I also had an appointment with my physician, who was happy to confirm that my labs are all in range. She approved of my decision to ditch my blood pressure meds and she dropped my metformin dose a touch. I should be off that one pretty soon.

What else? Oh, I hit up Old Navy this past week. I have never bought any clothes from there before mainly because they don't carry fat man stuff, but their prices are pretty hard to ignore when I'm living on a budget, plus they have some pretty decent coupons if you can get to them quick enough. I picked up a new button up shirt that I wore to my graduation and I snagged a pair of board shorts for our trip to the lake next month. I was impressed when the XL shorts were too big. I'll be the happy, sunburned dude in the size L black-on-white Hawaiian print board shorts if you happen to be at the Lake of the Ozarks in June.

That's all I got. I'll try to post more this week. Thanks for checkin in on me, yall.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Farewell to Harm

If you can't stand bad poetry, please stop reading here.

Spring is finally here
With summer on its way,
Our last season together
And I just have this to say:

I'm not going to miss you
Not even a little bit.
You dragged me down throughout my life,
And made me feel like shit.

You've clung to my body
For almost all my life,
Caused me to doubt myself
And brought me too much strife.

You've got to go now.
You're leaving piece by piece,
Dropping off my body
As my Calories decrease.

As I've liberated myself
From your painful grasp of weight,
I find myself rewriting
My once dismal fate.

So don't cry for me
As we say our last goodbyes.
I'll keep a small piece of you
At a fraction of your size.

I'll still feed you wings
Beer and pizza too,
But not in the amounts
You'd grown accustomed to.

I'm sure you've seen it coming,
As your mass has contracted.
I've worked my ass off at the gym,
And in turn you've reacted.

I should have done this years ago,
And truth be told I tried.
I'm sure when I started this time last year
You just rolled your eyes and sighed.

"He's never done it before," you thought
"He's not going to now."
But now that you see it's working
You've got some sweat upon your brow.

109 pounds of your brethren have left,
And few of your still remain.
By healthy eating habits
And elliptical they've been slain.

So goodbye to my dwindling fat
Auf wiedersehen, adieu.
You've overstayed your welcome
I'll be a better man without you.

Happy Mothers day to all you moms out there! Have a good Sunday.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I'm 70% the man I used to be

I should do 5ks before every weigh-in because I was down another 3.2 from only 36 hours earlier at my Thursday meeting. That puts me past my 30% lost mark, just shy of my 22nd 5-pound star and inside 25 pounds to go for my "final" goal. As I inch closer and closer, I realize I'll go lower, but I set that goal when I started and I'm keeping it as my goal on my ticker. I'll get there this summer, reward myself with some skydiving, then get back on my horse and press onward to 210, 200, or who knows, I may even go for that desirable 25.0 "normal" bmi at 179 pounds. That's just weird thinking I could get there. It seemed so foreign and strange to me 110 pounds ago, but I've never weighed this little in my entire adult life, so I have no idea what any of these lower weights will look like on me. I'll know when I get to my maintenance weight. My body will tell me. I'm not going to stress about it. I'll just keep chugging along like I have been.

So the 5k was an interesting experience. I am not a runner. I can book it on the elliptical, getting as much as 7 miles in 1 hour at a resistance of 6, but that is nothing like really beating feet to street. I really wanted to run the whole thing, but I had no expectation for it. It was fine for the first mile, but I had to drop down to walking for the second mile and the first half of the third. The last half-mile was entirely uphill and I was not going very fast. I ended up finishing at 44 minutes. That's not terribly impressive, but it's a starting point. I'll definitely need to start practicing running. I want to improve my form. Right now it's terribly uncomfortable feeling the impacts reverberate through my body, my guts bouncing around. Part of that is weight and will improve as I move on, but a lot of it could be alleviated with good shoes (my workout-only shoes are getting old) and good form.

I'll definitely be doing more 5ks in the future, so I may just set small goals. Next time, I want to finish in 40 or less. We'll see how that goes. Eventually, I'll be in good enough shape and well-trained enough to do a half-marathon. I've tentatively planned to do one with my cousin in October. That's all I got. Have a good Saturday!

Progress so far: 109.4 pounds.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Progression (man boob warning)

I found some old pics from my cell phone that I took in May of 07, just before I was starting another failed weight loss attempt. It motivated me to post some more progress picture updates. So here you go. Back then, I was 325, a full 33 pounds less than when I started this weight loss journey almost exactly 1 year later. I've definitely got a ways to go, but my god, how far I've come....
Tomorrow is my 5k for corporate challenge, just before weigh-in. I had an early weigh-in last night just in case I don't make it to my Saturday meeting in time and I was down 2 from last time, but I think I'll probably make it for the official, regular weigh-in. I'll have an update tomorrow morning either way. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How soon we forget...

So... I didn't do week 1, day 3 of my training program last Friday, but to be fair, I was wrist deep in grilled foods and nursing my fourth beer when it should have been happening, so... you know... priorities!

Seriously, though, I guess it kind of slipped my mind because I really do want to do this thing, but it's so early on, I haven't really established enough of a routine to notice when I forget it. I obviously didn't do week 2 day 1 on Monday either. It didn't even occur to me until last night. I was debating what I should do to get back into it and wound up deciding to pick up where I left off. So, I did W1D3 last night. The first four sets were 8, 10, 7 and 7, then the max (minimum 10) with 2 minute breaks between sets. I was surprised how much easier it was to get in 10 reps this time (as opposed to just 10 days prior, when 10 was my absolute limit on the exhaustion test). I whipped through all 4 sets without any trouble at all, but I think I can mostly chalk that up to the extra 4 days of rest I got. Anyhow, the max last night was 12. Thursday I'll do W2D1, which looks like a bit more of a challenge, but very doable considering how I managed last night.

After I finish this week on Saturday, I'll give myself a couple of days' rest and then it's time to do a new exhaustion test. That is when I'll see how I've really progressed because while it's nice to see that I can do 12 pushups whereas before I could only do 10, the progress is much more than that because I did those 12 pushups within moments of doing 32. I wouldn't be surprised if my max on a fresh set would be closer to 20 or 25 by then. I guess we'll see.

BTW, today is Nurse's Day, so if you know a nurse, give her a smack on the butt. They love that. By the way, did you know that if you slap a female coworker on the ass it's considered sexual harassment, but if you add in a little "HEEYAAW!" productivity goes up 10%. No shit.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

365 days ago, I was on day three of this weight loss journey. My girlfriend and I went out to her favorite restaurant of all time, Margarita's. I was completely lost trying to fit it into my points, so I just took a couple of bites here and there, took a huge box of leftovers and pretty much wasn't satisfied with my experience at all.

Flash forward to today. I planned out last night how I was going to fit it into my points. I was going to have a taco salad sans guac/sour cream/cheese/tostada shell. So as soon as I got home, we hopped in her car and headed over. By then, it was 1830 and the place was ridiculously busy. We couldn't even find a place to park. So a wrench got thrown in my plans. We hemmed and hawed about where we wanted to go, concluding that most every downtown Mexican joint was going to be pretty packed, then I suggested Chipotle. I know, I know. Fast food isn't the same, but the place is delicious. I tried my best to lighten up my favorite, a steak burrito, so I had them use very little rice, black beans, no sour cream, no cheese and a heaping pile of lettuce. I probably could have done without the tortilla and gotten a bowl instead, but meh. We came home and I added some fat free sour cream and a pinch of 2% shredded cheddar. The burrito was awesome and came in under the points I'd budgeted. Awesome!

This week has been phenomenal for me. I am determined to erase my poor choices last weekend. Now that I'm back on the elliptical, I've upped my time up to a full hour. I think I'm going to start putting in a half our on the Wii Fit in the mornings as well. It's not much, but it's a great way to start the day and all those APs add up. Oh, speaking of, I've still got two days of workouts (plus a 5k Saturday morning for the KC Corporate Challenge) before weigh-in and I'm already at 39 activity points (that's 3900 calories burned for those of you who don't do WW). I am really riding the rush. I guess those indulgences gave me the kick in the ass I needed, huh? Here's to finishing out this week strong.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Standing Up

Thanks to all of you for your comments on my last post. I felt pretty defeated on that one. You're right, too. It became far too easy for me to see a couple days of poor food choices as more significant than a year of continued success and more than 100 pounds lost. Well... sorta.

So I had the pizza, I hit the bbq and had a brat, some chips, a burger, a brownie, a slice of cake and 3 beers. The following day, I just couldn't find the nerve to face the scale, so I skipped my meeting (I hate doing that) and tried to do damage control throughout the day. Evening came, friends arrived and we had a buffet of finger foods and booze. I planned out ahead of time with what I was going to sample and how much. That didn't happen. I ate way more than I'd planned on having and I even made queso, which was never in the plan but oh so delicious. Everything was. I also made baked mozzarella sticks (I'll try that one again; very reasonable recipe and only 1 point per stick), baked jalapeno poppers with light cream cheese and turkey sausage and the queso. One of the guests brought some ham salad sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches as well as a strawberry sorbet. Another brought jerk seasoned chicken strips that were to die for. We also had beer and vodka. I drank less than I could have, I smoked more than my girlfriend would have liked (to wit, at all), I didn't win at any of the games we played, but I had a great time. I think everyone did. We'll definitely be doing this more regularly in the future.

So after 36 hours of bad food choices, I woke up at early on Sunday morning. I jumped out of bed and faced the music on the Wii Fit. Traditionally, it has been very precise in terms of agreement with the Tanita scales at my WW meetings, so I've come to trust its readings. I hopped on and was a bit pained, but not overly surprised to see +5 pounds show up. I had gained enough to put me below the 100 lost mark I'd fought so hard to reach. Blech. I told myself to let it go and get back at it. I'm not quitting this. Not now, not ever. I redoubled my efforts right there starting with a nutritious breakfast followed shortly thereafter with an hour and a half on Wii Fit.

Now, in the past I've discounted the level of intensity one can achieve on this particular game, but I've also never really given the strength or yoga games a chance. I've pretty much always done the aerobics (which can work up a sweat somewhat) and the balance games (which for the most part cannot). Yesterday I did a circuit through all the strength training games. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling after that, especially the plank, which had me holding my weight on my forarms and toes while keeping my body rigid for 60 seconds. Great core workout. I still put in a good half hour on the less-than-intense balance games, but I got a pretty decent hour workout prior to that.

After that, I got myself cleaned up, had a modest lunch and headed to my first event in the KC Corporate Challenge, disc golf. Much like traditional golf, it's not an incredibly intense workout, but 2 hours of physical activity, regardless of how light, is nothing to sneeze at. We did pretty well, too, tying for 5th out of 22 in our division. Considering I have only played one time in the past 4 years, that's pretty respectable, and I think I'm going to pick the game back up. It's a lot of fun, a decent workout and I can see myself improving pretty quickly. I feel like I already throw better than I did when I played between 02 and 04.

Dinner was light, reasonable and tasty. Overall, yesterday was a great day to be a Weight Watcher. I stayed within mypoints, got in over 3 hours of activity and felt good about myself. I hopped on the Wii Fit this morning and it agreed, showing a 1.5 pound loss from the previous morning. I've still got some ground to cover to make up for the gains, but I'm back on my feet and I hit the ground running this time. It's good to be back.

Friday, May 1, 2009


down the slide that breaks the will. ♪♫

Hopped on the Wii Fit for a sneak preview of tomorrow's weigh-in. Saw +2.6. Got disappointed. Went into the lab, ready to put it behind me, buckle down and take what the scale has to say tomorrow. Lunch time came. Went into the kitchen to retrieve the stuffed pepper leftovers I had brought. The lab had ordered pizza from Godfather's in celebration of the KC Corporate Challenge, which kicks off today (there's a bbq tonight I'll be going to as well). I cave dand grabbed three slices. Finished those far too fast to enjoy. Went back for 2 more. And a cookie. And another cookie. Feel pretty disgusting right now. Still have a BBQ to face tonight. Have a get together planned for tomorrow night. Will be getting drunk. Might do so tonight as well. Don't even know if I'll go to weigh-in tomorrow morning. Going to get worse before it gets better.


Thursday, April 30, 2009


The rain is pattering and muffled rumbles of thunder are rolling through the hills. Today is my favorite kind of day as far as weather is concerned. Unfortunately, it's the kind of day that I just want to curl up and read a good book or goof off on the computer, not do work like I should. I have to leave for the lab in a few minutes, but I wish I could stay here. Sometimes I envy my dog. She's not the kind to be afraid of thunder. She's just relaxing on the couch, occasionally glancing up at the window when a report of thunder rumbles through.

Yeah, that'd be my kind of day. It's a lot like my workouts recently. With my foot still torn up a touch from the MS walk trenchfoot, I just don't feel comfortable hitting the elliptical. This week is going to be a break even or fractional loss. I hope I can get it back in gear next week.

Pushups went well last night. I did 6, 8, 6, 6, then max. I got 90 seconds of rest between sets, and I was feeling the burn during the third set. Oddly, the fourth set went better and when it came time to do the final, I was pretty much exhausted. I managed 9 on my max which is improvement of a single pushup from day 1, but considering I did 6 fewer pushups in my first four sets on Monday, it's an even stronger improvement. I took a glance at Friday's test. It's going to call for a set of 10 right off the bat and the final set (where I do as many as I can) calls for a minimum of 10. Am I ready? I hope so.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tss Ahh Shh Push It!

Last night I did week 1, day 1 of the 100 pushups challenge. My girlfriend was excited to watch me be all manly and do six pushups in my first set. She got up and went to bed before I even managed to rest 60 seconds and start my second set. Obviously, I have to start somewhere, but my somewhere is less than impressive. Anyhow, I followed the instructions on the site, and based on my initial test result of 10 consecutive pushups, I was directed to do 5 sets with 60 seconds of rest between each set. Sets one and two were six pushups. Easy enough. Sets three and four were four pushups. Not bad. I was starting to feel it in my shoulders at that point, but I was hopeful for the final set: do as many as I could without stopping with a minimum of 5 to be considered a success. I pulled the first 7 without too much pain, but that 8th push was rough. I couldn't even lower myself to do half of the 9th.

So that's where I stand, my max is now 8. But... I did 28 pushups yesterday. That's pretty good. I look forward to seeing how long I stay on course with the curve. If I fall behind, I have to repeat a week, so it's very possible that I won't be done on 6-6.

In other news, I'm having good food days, but my workouts are sucking. My foot is still pretty torn up from the MS walk and I just don't feel comfortable hopping on the elliptical. If I can't do it again tomorrow, I'm gonna do the recumbent bastard and hope my package doesn't take a beating like last time. Luckily, tomorrow being Wednesday, there will be a group class (I think pilates) so I have that for an option as well.

No deep emotional insights this time, kiddies. I'm just chillin on the couch, gearing up for the new episode of Biggest Loser. See yas tomorrow!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fitting In

Friday was my first chance to try out the "new" threads since I didn't have to come into the lab that day. I went to my last class of the semester dressed in a pair of 42W faded blue jeans shorts, a black 2X tee from my high school days with the words "Got Metal?" printed on it and my old black-on-black Converse All-Stars. The ensemble was a bit younger than someone my age should be dressing probably, but I don't care. I feel like a kid again and I wanna dress like it sometimes. My classmates rolled their eyes and asked me not to dress like that for commencement next month. I just smiled.

The following day, after my meeting and all that bidness I posted about most recently, I fixed a nice omelet to split with the little lady, grilled up some turkey bacon and heated up a few low-fat Nutrigrain waffles. Nice breakfast if I do say so myself. Then, we picked up a friend and hit city market. We've been meaning to try making sushi at home some time, but we're still lacking in a few ingredients, so we dropped by the Asian market. We picked up some rice wine vinegar and perused the bags of sushi rice but decided they were all too much for us to justify buying for a first try (the smallest was 4 pounds).

We also picked up some strawberries that I'm sad to say were not as good as they seemed. So far, I've found more squishy than not. All the green peppers looked a bit too anemic for my taste, so we skipped on them, but we did get a couple tasty zucchini, several roma tomatoes and my go-to fruit, bananas. After that, we dropped by this little bakery that specializes in high quality (ie 2.50 ea) cupcakes. I wolfed down a banana flavored one with vanilla frosting. It was delish.

From there, we drove to Westport to check out a used bookstore, but also wound up walking through World Market where I found some bottles for a couple of spices I bought several weeks ago and never gave permanent residence to, so I'm sure they were happy to be out of their little plastic bags. I used a third bottle to prepare a couple ounces of my dry rub I typically make a teaspoon at a time for grilling chicken breasts. I didn't find any books at the book store that I wanted, but finally picked up a copy of the Matrix. Just in time for the 10th anniversary, too. Sad, I know. It's a shame they never made any sequels, isn't it?

We made plans with some friends I haven't seen in months and I'm looking forward to another game/finger food get-together night. We tentatively made plans for it to go down this Saturday. I think I'm going to hit up my aunt for her jalapeno popper recipe; she had some last Thanksgiving that were delicious. I'm also going to attempt a baked mozzarella stick recipe if I can remember on what tv show I saw it.

Today, I'm wearing another set of "new old" clothes: a pair of 40W relaxed fit black silvertab jeans, an XL sleeveless shirt with an XL button up. I have to say that wearing clothes that actually fit is an incredible feeling I haven't had in a while. these 40s feel just right, maybe a touch loose and it's great to finally wear a shirt I don't feel billowing out all over. God, I need to get out of those 3Xs. I'll always take too loose over too tight, but neither is a very flattering feeling. Finally being in something that fits "just right" makes me feel like a new man.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

One Hundred Reasons I'm a Loser

Lord Kelvin knows what's up. That's right, friends. Cue the fireworks and throw the confetti. We all knew it was coming, but as of 0800 CDT this morning, it's official. I am down over one hundred pounds. Next week marks my first anniversary of this weight loss journey. If you told that 358.2 pound guy when he walked into that Weight Watchers meeting last year he'd be 100 pounds lighter, 100 times more self-confident and 100 steps closer to a healthy life in just one year's time, he'd have laughed in your face. As much as I really wanted it back then, I don't think in my wildest dreams I could have imagined this would actually work this time.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your support that got me where I am today. I've only got 30 pounds to go to reach my goal of 225. Will I stop there? I doubt it, but it's the goal I set for myself last year and I'm going to reward it as such.I promised a surprise in light of the milestone and here it is. I'm participating in a challenge. Starting today, I'm doing the 100 pushups training program. If this works, I'll be able to do 100 consecutive pushups in six weeks regardless of where I start. I did the initial test this morning and was able to do 10 good form push ups consecutively, so that's my starting point. I'll post updates as I progress through the program and when I hit the end of the sixth week on June 6 (6-6 is the 6th week? Nice!), we'll see how I did.

Progress so far: 104.2 pounds.

Friday, April 24, 2009

MS Walk pictures

I just got the pictures back from our official photographer and team captain so I thought I'd share some with yas.

Here I am buttering up the President of HR (and his daughter) for a job. She seemed interested. Don't our team shirts look cool and professional? Here's the back.
Turnout was decent in spite of the weather. Our lab had more participants and raised more money than any other team. I'm in the center, bib 193, flashin the horns \m/. Directly behind me is our CEO.
And they're off!I got wet, but I had a good time. My feet are all better now!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Closet Shopping

Last night, I finished sorting through all those clothes I got from my pop. I realize three things now, having taken a trip back to see my old high school wardrobe. First, I donated a lot of blood and got a lot of free t-shirts back then. Secondly, I went to a lot of concerts. Lastly, I waited to do this for TOO LONG. All the XL shirts are fitting (with the exception of a few that shrunk), but I can't wear most of them throughout the week since they won't make the biz-caz dress code at the lab. The pants? No go on the shorts obviously. The jeans WOULD work into the dress code and some fit better than my 44s I'm wearing now, but I thought I'd have some smaller jeans considering I was wearing them more than 11 years ago.

Sadly, no. I had a few 46 and 48 slacks (yeesh!), several 44 and 46 jeans, a few 42s and only TWO 40s. I was really hoping for some 38s since the 40s were a bit loose, but beggars can't be choosers. Sadly, none of these are designer labels, so I seriously doubt any consignment shops would take any of this stuff. So, I'm gonna donate 2 boxes of clothes to salvation army this weekend. I don't know when I'll have the disposable income to go clothes shopping, but I'm not in a huge rush considering I've got another 6-8 waist sizes to go down before I'm done.

Oh, by the way, belt update, I'm in one from my starting point, so #3 now. I bet if I wore jeans that didn't bunch up under it, I'd probably be on #4. Wicked, huh?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The end is nigh! Right?

As I get closer and closer to that arbitrary goal weight of 225 pounds I picked almost a year ago, I'm beginning to realize a couple of things. One, I'm going to make it. I don't know if it'll be by late Summer like I'm hoping, but it's definitely gonna happen this year. Two, rather than feeling like I'm almost done, I now realize that I'm just getting started. The weight loss wasn't the story; it was the prologue. I have no idea what my new healthy life has in store for me, but I know I'm not going to waste it by going back to that 358.2 pound prison again.

This is very unfamiliar territory for me. I've never had to worry about maintaining my weight because I've never been at a weight that was appropriate for maintenance. MizFit's post today got me thinking about it. That's not to say I haven't thought about it before, but when it was on my list of blogs to read this morning, I couldn't help but give it some serious reflection. I've had nightmares about weight loss frequently in the past few months. Sometimes it's that I can't lose any more. Sometimes it's that I fail and gain it all back. Once it was that I couldn't put the breaks on and kept going to an extremely unhealthily low weight. The first is not a concern really (nor is the last) because I know I have the system and the support to keep chugging along, no matter the pace. The second scenario, however, is an ever-looming concern.

I hear tons of stories about people who lost it all, then slowly gained it all back. There are dozens of threads on WW forums every day about people that are back and starting over despite having already made it to goal once before. That CANNOT be me. I have never lost this much weight before. I want this to be the one and only time I lost it all. If I woke up tomorrow back at 358.2 pounds, I would feel so defeated that I don’t think I could continue. No, that WILL NOT be me.

There is some solace in knowing just how bad I’d have to be out of whack to fail that hardcore. I even made a post two months ago. I calculated how many calories I’d have to eat above and beyond my BMR to reverse all the progress I had made at that time and it was over 300,000 calories. That number goes up by 3500 for every additional pound I’ve lost, and by next weigh-in, it'll be over 350,000.

I like to believe that I'll be able to relax a bit and not be so mindful of my calorie counting once I get there. In reality, maintenance will require constant awareness and at least monthly check-ins to see how I'm doing. It’s going to be a balancing act for sure, but I think I’ll be taking advantage of this weight loss community and WW meetings for years to come in order to keep myself from relapsing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My biggest fan will never see the payoff

I say it like 4 times a week, but I seriously value each and every one of you for reading, commenting, emailing and encouraging me to succeed. I get a lot of support from this blog, my girlfriend, father, friends and from my weekly (now twice weekly) Weight Watchers meetings, but no matter how much support I get from all of these, none will ever match that of my mom. She was my biggest cheerleader throughout my life. Whether I was trying to lose weight, make first string on the football team or get into medical school, she was always there, rooting me on. I love my mother very much and rarely go a day without thinking about her and missing her (especially this time of year when so much advertising is geared toward showing your mom how much you care). Although she did not approve of any of my tattoos, I felt compelled to get one in her memory over my heart. Somehow, I think she would understand.

I spent almost my entire life overweight. I was a pretty chunky kid throughout my grade school years, then a lineman on the 7th through 9th grade football teams. I ballooned up through high school and undergrad, and continued to get bigger and bigger until last year I peaked at 358. Through all those years, I tried numerous times to lose the weight and always with the love and support (financial, emotional and otherwise) of my mom. When she was dying 3½ years ago, she still expressed her concern for me before even herself. She told me not to become discouraged by her inevitable death and to stay the course I had planned: continuing my education in graduate school and improving my health. Both of those efforts almost collapsed in the months following her funeral, but I got back on track with school and although it didn't work, I tried once again to lose some weight the following Spring and Summer.

Now that I'm finishing up my final year of graduate school and closing in on my goal weight, I can't help but reflect on how she has always been the strongest voice among everyone that wanted me to succeed. She hasn't been around to see a stitch of this, my most -- to wit, only -- successful weight loss effort. I'm well on my way to getting to the shape I always should have been but never once in my life was, and despite all the personal pride and satisfaction in that, there is a piece of me that truly regrets that I took this long to get my ass in gear. She'll never see the fit, handsome, self-confident me she always assured me was inside.

It's all a touch bittersweet.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Re: Knowing

I put out the call for questions and yall threw me some good ones. Yall ready for a long post? This is one of my longest.

FLG thinks he's special and gets three questions. Well... he's right because he is the man.
What's the best thing about your life now compared to 98 lbs ago? Ever watched a game of rugby? Who are 3 (or more if you have them) of your heroes and why?
The best thing about my life is the feelin of freedom I've gained. Before the weight loss, I felt almost imprisoned in my body, shackled to a 100 pound ball and chain. Now, I can do more than I had ever imagined and with another 30-50 to go, the sky is the limit, mate. I have never watched a live game, but I've seen games on TV from time to time and I once went on a couple of dates with a girl that played and coached rugby. Great sport; very violent, looks like a lot of fun. I'll totally join yall when I come to visit in 201X. Two of my heroes are my friends John and Barrett, both of whom are US army rangers. It may sound hokey, but I could not have more respect for what these two went through over in that sandbox. My third hero is my dad (again, hokey, I know). His work ethic, his devotion to his family and his total man's man personality make him the perfect model for me. If I turn out to be half the man he is, I'll be thrilled.

Amber is one of the most persistent, supportive commentors I've ever seen in this little community.
What was it, exactly, that brought you to your WL journey?
I don't have any one thing that turned the key for me, but I guess the primary trigger that brought me into the door at weight watchers this time was a mailer they sent to "resident" alerting me to the impending end to free registration. In actuality, I don't think I know what made this one different than all my previous weight loss efforts. I guess I was just in the right place in my life this time.

Tony is practically my little brother. He is one of only two bloggers I have on my cell phone. The other is a first cousin (no, really).
Lost or Wow?
Asking me to choose between two of my addictions? Man, that's rough, but I must admit they both have their appeal. LOST is an incredibly intricate and debate-provoking show that keeps me entertained and on my seat for the next episode better than any show I've followed. World of Warcraft, on the other hand, offers me everything that Everquest did in fantasy, drive to succeed and sense of accomplishment, but more than that, it had great support and constant revision keeping the game fun and adding challenging, entertaining content. I've made some great friends through WoW that I meet at least twice a year. These aren't just casual friends. These are guys I'll invite to my wedding. That said, I haven't been playing WoW for months, so I guess while it's still in season LOST wins.

Asandir is a new-comer around here. Welcome aboard, brah!
How did you manage to get into the heavy aerobic exercise?
Personally, I don't really care what people think while I'm working out. I'm so in the zone, I scarcely notice anyone around me. If you feel like people are staring at you, you should remind yourself that if anything they are probably showing you some admiration. There's an overweight guy that is changing himself; he's doing something about it.

Tricia is... not on my blogroll and I don't know why. I'm fixing that tout suite.
When you get really rank, what do your armpits smell like?Mine are always like rubber band-ish. It's wild.
I smell like a man. I think it gets pretty rank, but there's nothing particularly unique or recognizable about the scent of my pits. My urine, on the other hand, sometimes smells like popcorn. *boggle*

MizFit is a damn rock star. Period.
How did you even START? that is the question I always want to ask bloggers. what was your THIS IS IT IM DOING IT. IT'S NOW OR NEVER moment?
I think it was a few months into it, after I'd already lost 30 pounds and had been working out for a month, I realized suddenly "Holy shit; I'm doing this; for the first time in my life I'm actually doing this." It's weird. There was no click. No defining moment. It's like you've been trying to teach your kid to say "mama" for weeks and then one morning she says, " hey Mom, what's for breakfast?"

Well, that's it for this little experiment. I hope You know me a little better now. I do. I also count myself lucky to have so many friendly, helpful supporters in this community. It means a lot to me and I am not exaggerating when I say I couldn't do this without yall.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

SAD's got nothin on me

Today I did a lot of inward reflection. I started watching the marathon for Biggest Loser season 2 on Style the other day, but they were only playing episodes here and there, so I downloaded and watched the rest of the episodes today. There was a lot less drama than the recent seasons I've been watching live, but more than anything, I recognized that there were a lot more guys near my size in season 2. I watched Mark and Matt especially closely because they are 5'11 and 5'10 respectively and I'm right between the two. More than that, Mark has the exact same starting weight as I and Matt won the whole thing. When I project myself next to these two guys, I really see how my journey, although significantly slower than theirs, is very similar.

I'm thrilled with the progress I've made so far and I can't wait to see what I'll look like in the future. I've said before that I've never been this small before in my adult life. I can't emphasize enough what that means to me, especially when I catch sight of myself in the mirror or see recent pictures of myself. I'm healthier, I'm better looking, I'm fitting in clothes I haven't touched in well over a decade, but more than any of these things, I'm happier.

I struggled with depression a couple of times throughout my life, especially when my mother passed away and when my engagement ended. Both of these events sent me into a dark place for months and both happened during Winter. I began to realize that I'd experienced a lot of bad Winters last year and it hit me. I've suffered from seasonal affective disorder every year since I lost Mom in 2005. I came to this realization a year ago when the season changed and I suddenly bounced back. Determined not to let it consume me for another year, I spoke with a counselor at my school several times in order to get a "base-line reading" so she could recognize when the change happened during the upcoming Winter and we could treat the condition.

The depression never came this year. There were a lot of things about my life that made this Winter much better than last, but I am confident that the most important factor was the improvement I've made in my health and fitness. Now that the weather is finally changing, I am looking forward to continuing on and entering the following Winter with something I've never had before: a full, rewarding, healthy life ahead of me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Out of energy

It's not even1700 hours (5pm) and I could fall asleep right now. What a day!

This morning I climbed out of bed at 0600, a full hour later than I would on a weigh-in day, but I needed that extra rest. After a hearty breakfast, I climbed in the car and headed to the MS walk at about 0730. As soon as I closed the door to the house, the deluge began. The roads all the way there were flooded with the sudden and rapid downpour. I saw 3 or 4 accidents on the way there, mostly people hydroplaning off the road I suspect. I was coming off the road for a while, so I decided to take a major street at 45mph rather than the 65mph highway. I bet I got there faster than I would have otherwise too.

Once I arrived and checked in, I was given bib #193 and picked up my free t-shirt. I met up with a few members of my team from my lab and chatted for an hour or so, during which time the rain completely stopped. I was probably the 5th person to show up and thanks to the weather, only about 50 of the 93 we'd had signed up actually showed for the walk.

At 0900, the walk was on. We left the parking lot of a church and headed down a 3' wide sidewalk for about ½ mile. That was not an easy task for the 1000+ people we had walking. The going was slow until we turned off the main street into some residential areas where we could walk on the streets. I got tired of the slow pace on the sidewalk and wound up walking past hundreds of people by trotting along in the wet grass next to them. About 200 yards into it, the rain started up again at a light drizzle. It wouldn't let up for the remainder of the walk.

Around the 2 mile marker or so, there was a split in the path and a decision to be made. Do I go left on the 6 mile (just shy of a 10k) course or bear right and be done in just one more mile? I had said for the longest time that I'd be doing the 6 mile since that's less than I average on an elliptical workout, so I know I can do it. I have to admit, I was tempted to take the shorter, wimpier way out, but I sacked up and headed left. As it turns out, I was in short company. There were probably less than 100 people that decided to take the 6 mile course and I was the only person from my lab as far as I know.

The rain picked up at some point. I don't remember when. Around the 4th mile, my shoes started to get some water in them either from too much rain falling on them and finally soaking through the material or from me stepping into a few puddles that were deeper than they seemed. There was a lot of standing water and deeper areas of running water on a few curves and downhill areas, and as hard as I tried to avoid them all, I know I hit a few.

By the 5th mile, the soles of my feet were finally wet and within minutes, I felt the blisters coming along. Trench foot, baby. Just on the fronts of the pads, behind the second and third toes on each foot and about the size of a quarter. It coulda been a lot worse, but they are not pleasant at all.

After that, I came home, took a shower and shuffled the girlfriend and dog into the car so I could take the former to lunch and the latter to the vet. With our tummies full and the dog updated on shots and heartworm meds, we picked up a few other things at Petsmart, then finally got home just an hour or so ago. There were a few more errands I had hoped to run today, but I just don't see that happening. Maybe tomorrow. I'll have some pictures for you from the event later. Until then, good night!

Friday, April 17, 2009

40 things to do before I turn 40

I sat down yesterday and put together a list I've been thinking about doing for a while now. There are a lot of things I want to achieve by the time I've aged another 11 years, but I put the particularly big milestones, achievements and life-experiences in this list. I can't put them all here because some are private, but here's a sampling:

reach and maintain at whatever weight I feel comfortable
run a half (or full) marathon
ride a motorcycle across at least one state
go camping and cook a real meal outdoors
send a secret to post secret
participate in the planning, preparing, raising and tending of a garden
get a career I enjoy and earn no less than $60,000 gross in a year
build a house to my specifications
sink the 8 on a break
go on a cruise
visit Rome and Venice
visit New York City at New Years and count it down in Time Square
visit Chicago and scale the stairs in the Sears Tower
visit Hawaii and take a LOST tour
visit New Zealand and take a LotR tour
visit Las Vegas and gamble $1000 on a single hand of black jack
visit NOLA during Mardi Gras and go on a 3 day bender
attend a pro football game
attend a KU final four game
call in and get on the air with a radio talk show
SCUBA dive
go water and snow skiing
go horseback riding again
attempt to finish the Big Texan 72oz steak in Amarillo
learn Krav Maga
fly Virgin Galactic
Will I be able to cross all of these off the list? I don't know. There's a lot of expensive stuff on that list (including a house that would probably cost over 150k and a jet flight that could push 250k), but there's also a potential for more than $660,000 in earnings (plus another 2000 if I win that hand of blackjack ;) ) so maybe. The important thing is with my weight nearing its lowest of my adult life and my fitness almost at the peak of my life, I can see opportunities opening up for me that I may have never thought possible a year ago. The changes that are happening to my body, my mind and my personality are myriad. I'm a much better man now thanks to a seemingly simple decision that I made early in the morning on May 3rd, 2008.

Some of those I know I'll achieve. Some of them I'm relying on yall to help me (Brandi, Carlos and FLG, I'm lookin at all yall). Some of them I'm using as a reward for when I reach goal. One of them is reaching goal (duh), but you'll notice I also specified maintenance as well. I'm serious. I can't cross that one off the list until the day I hit 40. If I can get to my goal this year, that's just fantastic, but that's when the real challenge begins. If after 10 years I'm still at (or, to be fair, within 10 or so pounds of) that weight, I'll count it as a success.

Tomorrow is my Walk MS event. I won't make it to WI, but I'll have an update and some pics from that for yas. I'm really looking forward to it, and if the forecast is right, it's gonna be a beautiful event.

Thanks everyone who sent in some questions. If you haven't yet, check out yesterday's post. I've gotten some great questions so far and I've just started thinking about the answers; I'll post them on Monday.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


In light of FLG's recent circulation of Q&A, I got a little inspired to answer any questions yall might have for me. I know, I'm all sorts of candid on here and don't really have any secrets, but if there is anything you'd like to know about me that you don't yet, please feel free to ask in a comment or email, and let me know if you'd rather I keep the answer confined to email because otherwise, I'll answer questions in a blog post (sorry, no fancy video productions like FLG).

So go for it, yall. I'll be interested to see what I found out about myself in this little experiment.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sticking it out

This morning I hopped on the Wii Fit to see how I've done since getting back at it on Monday. After gaining 5.1 from Friday to Monday and another 0.4 on Tuesday, I was kind of itching for a little give (particularly since I was confident that a decent amount of that was water retention). This morning I was pleased to see -4.8 from yesterday (making it a net of +0.7 since last Friday). Being a slave to the scale is never fun, but I really wanted to track the trend this week and see how the weekend affected me and how I bounced back afterward. I'm pleased with my recovery and am really looking forward to my next official WI on the 25th. We may have that celebration after all! Here's to that.

In other news, I got some interesting information this afternoon about the assay I'm developing that is going to make my job a bit easier. I'm really hoping I rock this one out the park by my end date which is ever looming and just 4 weeks away now. I really feel like I fit in well here and hope I can find my way into employ here, but if that isn't possible, I count myself lucky for the experience I've gained here this semester.

My charity walk for MS is this Saturday, it'll be the first of many run/walk events I hope to participate in this year and for years to come.

I also signed up to participate in the KC Corporate Challenge. I'll be representing my lab in the disc golf and weightlifting (ie bench press) events. I'm way out of practice in both of these and don't know how poorly I'll be doing, but I've started working on my bench and I'm going to practice with my teammate on the disc golf course this weekend, so hopefully I won't make a total ass of myself.

Today was our last day on yoga. Next week we switch to pilates I think. I'm definitely going to have to start doing this more often. I'll find a class I like at the gym or something. I also got in a pretty solid pre-yoga workout on the elliptical. I'm pretty pleased with my progress on it as well. It's a shame there wasn't an elliptical even in the challenge. I could totally rock that shit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Getting back into the game (and the 90s)

I didn't do as well as I'd like yesterday. I missed the workout due to working late and needing to come home and cook dinner (it was my turn). Then, I had already planned my day out, following my "shaved point" plan I've been following for weeks, wherein I get what WW recommends minus 3-8 points depending on what day it is (and plus 10-15 on Saturdays). Monday is my -4 day, and I had it planned perfectly... until I reached into the Easter basket.

So a bunny brings this junk, but who comes and takes it away? Seriously, I can't be facing whoppers, mini snickers, kitkats, reese's pb eggs and starburst jelly beans while I'm trying to stay on track. I wound up eating 4 points of candy last night (which put me right at WW's recommended 39 for the day). This wasn't a huge slipup, but I've found that my weight loss pretty much halts if I don't shave points, and with a handful of gained pounds from last weekend under my belt, I need to be ramping it up as much as I can.

Speaking of belts, I picked up a new one this last weekend, in Dollar General of all places. The quality is slightly less than my usual brand, which I used to get from Casual Male XL, but it's still pretty nice and less than ½ the price. Also, it has holes all the way around, making it capable of being my final belt on this weight loss journey. I'm already on the second hole, which is a little bit better fit than my previous belt was on the final hole. I'll keep you posted as it gets cinched in.

In addition to the Easter basket, my father also brought me 4 boxes of old clothes. I've just started going through them and was disappointed to see a lot more 40s, 42s and 44s and none of the 36s or 38s I had hoped to see. Luckily I can still wear a 42 without it looking too terribly ridiculous, but I'd much rather be wearing 38s right now. The 40s will have to do. Also, there were quite a few old scrubs, which I hope I'll never need again (who knows where I'll be working in a month), but my girlfriend might be able to use them. Lastly, a ton of 2X and XL shirts from my high school days, which if you'll remember, wasn't the most stylish wardrobe even back in the 90s when I last wore it. I'm about half way through the boxes, and I'm making a pile of can wear now, can wear soon and too big or too geeky to be worn (ie to be consigned or donated to charity). I have about 3 pairs of shorts, a pair of swim trunks and a dozen shirts that'll be perfect for Spring and Summer, a couple of pairs of jeans I can rotate in right now but probably won't be able to wear next fall and even a dress shirt or two.

Sadly, a majority is going to charity or consignment, but it's nice to see just how much stuff I was wearing over 10 years ago that I'm just now getting back into. I was still growing upward (in addition to outward) back then, so I think I can safely say that I'm getting very close to the thinnest I've been my entire adult life. That feels fantastic