My Progress

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Two words

Bullshit Gain.

I guess I'm goin back to my daily points deficits and constant weighing. That is all. Feh.

Edit: OK, I need to get the negativity out. It wasn't that bad. This has just been a bad weekend between fighting with the girlfriend about stupid financial bullshit for 24 hours to being caught droppin a couple tears at fucking Marley and Me. We talked it out, it was a sad movie, and I'm not gonna let this crap ruin my whole weekend.

I didn't get an official weigh-in because I was too bitter over the 2lb gain that the Wii Fit showed, compounded with the fact that I forgot my weight tracking book and add to that we through a couple more stupid things to fight about before and on the way to the meeting, I was pretty much fed up with the world (hence the post up there). I'm not going to update my stats on WW boards, the weight tracker, the ticker or anything else this week. I know part of it was my out of the ordinary eating yesterdau and water retention from the excess sodium and part of it was the inevitable plateau that I've been due after losing 33 pounds since Halloween.

I'm bouncing back from the funk. We're gonna enjoy the 60 degree gift we've been given and spend some quality time together while we stock up for our little superbowl party tomorrow (chili + queso... it's tradition!). I'll stick to the plan today, try to be reasonable with the snackin tomorrow (chili's low points, chips and queso not so much), and rock out a killer week. I'm still 278.2 on paper anyhow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What you don't know...

One of the many things that constant trips to the scale throughout the week did to me (aside from frustration when the old weight ticked up a couple tenths a day) was spoil the official weigh-in. Granted, I still looked at it like a kid does Christmas despite having already found all his presents hidden in his parents' closet, but I pretty much always knew ahead of time if it was going to be a loss and how much it was probably going to be. This is the first time in a long time that I'll have no clue what happens. Even if I lose nothing this week, I'm proud of myself for following through on my determination to stay the hell off the scale.

I can't predict how I'll do. I really haven't the slightest idea. I've been on course all week, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything (especially in light of my two big losses last week and the week prior).

By the way, today was my second experience with cart. I did much better this time, but they had better options this time as well. Carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes (or grape, I dunno... tiny tomatoes), and broccoli florets. I did reach into the candy cart and pulled out a mini twix (not a bad way to spend a point) and a pack of orange tic-tacs. I rock.

I have never done so well about eating all my dailies as I have this week. I still haven't managed to eat all of them every day, but I've gotten very close several days, and I've not had a 10 point deficit like I have frequently in the past. This is huge for me because sometimes I am really stuck in the mentality that id I end the day with less than 5 unused points I've failed. I should learn to trust the program more, but I don't get my healthy oils in like... ever, so I feel like I will always struggle to become an exemplary watcher of the weight.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Scaling back

I've mentioned at least a couple of times that I have a serious scale dependence. The last time I tried to free myself from it, I felt like I had given up my security blanket, resulting in some self-doubt and poor choices. Since then, I've slipped back into multiple trips to the scale every day again. This week, I decided to back off again. All the way. I haven't stepped foot on a scale since Saturday's weigh-in.

This time, for one reason or another, I feel much better about it. I am sticking to the program, even planning out my day of eating the night before, which always makes me feel more in control. My girl put together a new recipe this past weekend, pasta e fagioli. It is made up entirely of filling foods. I can't even eat a whole (2C) serving of it, and it is absolutely delicious.

So I'm looking forward to this Saturday's weigh-in (what else is new?). I feel like my momentum is gonna keep going and if this is another 2.5-4 pound loss, I think I will have completely freed myself from dependence on the scale outside of WI day. Also, I realized this afternoon that I am just 7 weeks from my birthday, and at a 3 pound a week average I've been skirting since November, I could very well start my 29th birthday with a gift of the centennial variety. That'd be tremendous. I won't beat myself up if I don't make it because I realize it's a pretty steep challenge, but hey, aim for the stars, right?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snack time

I post about food here a lot, but it's almost never about the normal food I eat day to day. I've come to realize that if I talk (or even think) about food, it's pretty much always the delicious, unhealthy indulgent foods that I either used to eat and therefor miss or that I have slipped up by consuming in a moment of weakness. So this morning I wanted to share some of my favorite snacky foods.

My newest find was a three pack of jars of hummus (which I used to have a lot more when I lived with someone who didn't mind the messy food processor cleanup) that come in original, garlic and sun-dried tomato flavors and a big bag of whole grain pita chips, both from CostCo (I've been a member for a week now... so awesome). 4 tbsp and 1-2oz respectively is quite a snack and only 3-5 points total. I like to have these with a couple green onions and a dill pickle (for no additional points) and it's fantastic. Maybe it's the newness of it, but this is my favorite snack at the moment.

Some other favorites are:
  • Cheez-Its: especially cheddar jack, parmesan garlic and the seemingly defunct sour cream and onion flavors. I also saw a new pepper jack flavor yesterday that I've picked up but not tried yet. These are a bit pricier in terms of points than most people care, but I still get like 37 a day, so its nothing for me to drop 3 points for 23 'zits.
  • Yoplait: there are so many flavors of the light yogurt and they are all like 90-110 calories (2 points for 6oz). My personal favorites are banana cream pie, very cherry, key lime pie, apple turnover, pineapple upside down cake and the old standby, very vanilla. I'd still like to try strawberry shortcake and cherry cobbler some time. These are also a decent way to get in a dairy serving (although the cups are a couple ounces short of a full serving).
  • String cheese: I realize it's easier to just chomp down on the end, but some times I enjoy pulling off little strips and eating little bites at a time. It lasts longer and brings out the kid in me to some degree. These are also a decent way to get in half a dairy serving, and at only a point or two per stick, they're a very "affordable," filling snack.
  • Fruit: grapes, bananas, apples, oranges, berries... I love fruit. I could probably get all 5 of my fruit/veggie servings in daily solely on fruit, but I know I need the vegetables as well, so they typically show up at lunch and dinner. My breakfast and both snacks, however, are all about the fruit. I rarely go a day without eating a banana, and while I don't try them often enough, I'm developing a taste for blue, rasp, black, and strawberries (none of which I was crazy about before). Sadly, I've never and possibly never will care for of melons, pears, or peaches. I'd love to keep trying new fruits like mango, kiwi, pomegranate, papaya and so forth.
  • Water: yeah, I know, it's not really a snack, but I just want to emphasize what a big part of my day this really is. I drink almost nothing but water and milk. I was never a fan of pop since I quit drinking caffeine in high school, and I don't really miss the Fresca and Welch's grape that I used to buy from time to time. I was going through a pitcher of Crystal Light every day or 2 for a few months after I started WW, but I cut that out as well eventually. Weight Watchers recommends you get in 48 ounces of water a day and recently with the Momentum plan they expanded the term to include a lot of other liquids. Personally, I think the old standy is still number one, but beyond that, I also feel like 48oz (especially for someone my size) isn't nearly enough. I set my personal goal for 1-1.5 gallons (128-192oz), which since I got the water bottle I asked my girlfriend to get me for Christmas, that ain't no thing. I won't pimp it out since I've done enough product placement today, but I drink a lot more water with it than I did when I just used a cup. Oh, and I should mention that I'm also big on the ice water.... Hey, it's gotta take extra energy for the body to bring that 32º stuff up to 98.6º right?
So what are your favorite go-to snacks? I'm always on the lookout for new ideas.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Not gonna make a long one today, but I will mention that in spite of my earlier transgressions this week, I've managed to pull yet another great loss at this morning's weigh-in. I definitely wasn't expecting to hit another round number, but I got it on the nose with a 3.2 loss that brought me to exactly 80 lost so far. When it was announced at the meeting, my leader asked me how I handle my emotional triggers for eating. I couldn't help but plug our weight loss community. I really feel like all the posts I make about my struggles are cathartic, and the honesty and sense of accountability I have to yall helps me stay the course. On the other hand, reading all yalls posts about similar struggles and successes give me a sense of camaraderie that constantly reminds me I am not alone in all this, and I never will be.

So this is my official thank you to all my readers, especially to Brandi, Matt, twinkelydots, LTer4ever, CJ, Karen, Jeff, Carlos, Tony, MizFit and everyone else that leaves a comment. Your accolades, support and encouragement mean more to me than I could ever express.

Progress so far: 80 pounds.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New challenges to face with my weight loss

I'm currently on my final internship of my graduate career at the best lab I've ever seen. It is an absolutely incredible environment, full of friendly people, an extremely laid-back culture, and you really get to see your research come to fruition as a practical application. This is without a doubt the most ideal job I could ever dream to get. I really hope I get a good foot in the door this semester and get a chance at coming on as an employee.

Every Thursday at 3pm, the CEO hops on his Segway and drives around the office area, letting everyone know it's time for cart. That's when everyone is invited to come to the break area, socialize, and enjoy treats from this little street cart. It's packed with candy, sweets, and stuff. Bags of popcorn, sometimes cookies and other snacky things are also available. Today's extra treat was a load of soft pretzels with nacho cheese or yellow mustard.

So today was my first experience with cart and I have to admit, I could have done worse, but I also could have done much better in the face of such temptation. I grabbed a bag of popcorn at first. No big deal, it was only a couple of cups worth. Then, I grabbed a pretzel and some mustard as well. I schmoozed for a bit, meeting some people I hadn't gotten a chance to meet yet (it's not a huge company, there's maybe 300 people total), then I headed back to my office lest I fall prey to the temptations of snickers, skittles, butterfingers and kit-kats. I'll try to do better next week.

I'm here till May 8th, and then I pray I get a chance to get hired on because I'll have finished my masters by then. So I'll be facing these temptations for a further 3 1/2 months at the least, hopefully for the next 40 years. ;) To do a little damage control, I took advantage of another amenity at this incredible company: I headed to the warehouse and did an hour on the treadmill, stationary bike, and elliptical (all of which have their own tv and sattelite tuner).

I am seriously enamored with this lab. Did I mention they also have free vending machines, a free pinball machine and arcade game, free coffee and cappucino and even free slushies in the break area? As if all this wasn't enough, they also frequently receive tickets to events in the KC area (like last night's AC/DC concert at the Sprint Center) and give away door prizes at company events like iPod touches.

I won't even get into how fantastic, bleeding edge and satisfying the science we're doing is....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Give me the skinny on this weight loss bid-ness

Sunday morning. Day two of a 3-day weekend (thank you, Dr. King!). I'm chillin on the lappy with the dog curled up and Guy Fieri on the tube, reading some blogs. I read each and every blog on that list over thataway (-->) on a daily basis. I never talk about them in my own blog, and I have no idea why, but today one post really got me thinking and as I was typing a comment that got longer and longer, a blog post emerged.

One of the most popular, likable and successful weight-loss bloggers in this little community (whom I know almost all of my readers also follow) is Tony "The Anti-Jared" Posnanski. His post today was about a subject that I think hits home to a lot of us, dignity. I know that when I was one of the heaviest guys in my high school class, I really didn't stick up for myself much, and I think part of me thought I brought this on myself , I deserve every degrading word. I think it's rather important to find your self-respect and self-worth in order to be a success story. We aren't just shedding pounds of the fat variety. We're dropping off bags of guilt and self-doubt along the way.

That's not what really got me thinking about Tony's post this morning, though. No, what really got me thinking is the story of the customer that approached him ostensibly to help him lose weight. Clearly, the guy had the wrong motivation for doing so since he was just looking for an endorsement for his product, but if not for that, I think the message would have been a genuine, thoughtful gesture. It reminded me of a manager I saw yesterday at BestBuy that looked a bit like myself when I was at the peak of my unhealthiness. I wanted to walk up to him and tell him where I've come from, what I've done, and how doable this weight loss stuff truly is.

I mulled it over in my head and thought about how I'd wished someone had told me that sooner. I came to a couple of conclusions:
  1. several people on numerous occasions tried to encourage me to lose some weight throughout my life
  2. I never took it very seriously
  3. I always acted like I was
The truth is you have to be ready to do it yourself before any information out there is worth anything to you. Besides, what if someone had given me a speech like that on day 2 of this weight loss journey? Who am I to assume he hasn't already started and is down 100 pounds from where he used to be?

As much as we all share our stories -- our successes and failures -- to a lot of people, weight loss is a much more private matter. As I've said before, I respect anyone that wants to lose weight and share it with their peers, but I've come to realize that I also respect anyone who isn't ready to start or doesn't want to discuss it. Epidemic or no, the first step begins with the individual making the decision.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Confessions of a cheat day recoverer

I used to always give myself Saturday morning breakfast as a bit of a cheat where I'd get something unhealthy like McDonald's, a diner, or even some pancakes, bacon and fried potatoes at home. I stopped doing it a while ago because I found my weight loss slowing down and my budget shrinking (I actually went without dining out the last three months of 08). I know it's wrong and I know even moreso that I always drag my girlfriend down with me when I do it. Whereas I could bounce back throughout the rest of the week, it has never been as easy for her to rebound from the cheating.

Well, today we decided to hit up Denny's for breakfast after weight watchers. She had a very reasonable vegetarian omelet, I had a fried ham, sausage and egg sandwhich. That should have been the end of it, but we've been talking for a while about how we never do dates anymore. Since we can afford it now and it's not something we can do at home, we decided to go out for sushi this evening.

I know what you're thinking. Big deal. Sushi is healthy. Well, that's true if you a) pick the healthy dishes and b) do so in moderation. I did not. We decided that since it was a special first date in a long time and that we don't go to this particular restaurant often, rather than sit at the sushi bar, we'd order a couple of options (las vegas rolls and fried philly rolls are so good....) but then go to the hibachi steakhouse section of the restaurant. It was all so delicious and extravagant. We haven't had a meal like that since our anniversary at The Melting Pot.

So there you have it. I hit a milestone, took some pictures, then threw the whole program out the window. I'm not feeling remorseful or guilting myself about it; I taught myself a while ago that there is no point in indulging in food you rarely get if you don't even let yourself enjoy it. I'm just documenting the facts, owning up to it to the community to whom I feel I owe it, and moving on. I'll bounce back just like I did after Christmas vacation. I won't even begin to guess how I do points-wise. I never use my weeklies or activity points, and it would mostly be conjecture anyhow. I'll just stay on track the rest of the week and accept whatever the scale has to say to me next Saturday.

Milestones and progress updates abound!

Ah, Saturday... My favorite day of the week for so many reasons. I hope I never lose the enthusiasm for weigh-in day that I've found these past few months. I still can't put my finger on why I need the meetings, but I find them really helpful. Without the meetings I don't think I could achieve the success that I do. Believe me, I wish this wasn't the case. I could save 24 bucks a month if I just did weightwatchers online. I guess part of it is the accountability and part of it is the support of the community, my sisters-in-arms that are there in the trenches, fighting the good fight with me. In truth, it's the same reason I blog and post on the WW forums.

What do I get from the meetings that I can't get from reading and posting blogs and forums? Well, for one, there's this little sucker to the right. Yep, I knew it was coming soon. I had another solid week and wound up with a 3.8 pound loss at today's weigh-in, which puts me at 76.8 lost overall. I was also happy to bring my girlfriend with me this week. She's hopping back on the wagon, and I hope she finds the success I and so many others have enjoyed with the program. Truth be told, the meeting was primarily new people. A lot of the regular (I dare not use the word "old") faces were missing this week.

Since I've passed another nice round number, I thought it'd be an appropriate time to update the progress pics.I think the pose from last time may have something to do with it, but doesn't it look like not much change from 307 to 281? No big deal, I know the changes are happening. My clothes fit much differently now than they did just a couple months ago, I'm told I haven't snored in months (and last time, alcohol was to blame), and I feel like I'm in better shape than I can remember.

Appropriately enough, I don't remember the last time I weighed this little. The last time I had any success at weight loss (and until now the most successful) I went from 315 to 285 over the course of a few months in 2002. Prior to that, my weights are kind of a blur. I either blocked them out or avoided the scale enough to not really know exactly what I weighed at any given time. I know that the last time I renewed my license, I said I weighed 280. I lied. A lot. Soon, I'll weigh less than my license says. That's pretty satisfying.

Progress so far: 76.8 pounds.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Adulthood rears its ugly head

I have had some time to chill out since this past week's stress, although I'm not completely calmed down. I still feel some pressure. I have a few things I still need to complete for my practicum including a paper detailing all my methods, results, and a discussion of them which is due Monday. I also need to prepare a powerpoint and present it on Friday afternoon. Before that, I begin my scientific writing course, which requires me to bring a central hypothesis for the grant proposal I'll be preparing over the course of this semester.

That said, I have done fantastic on my exam revisions, the initial cause of all that stress, and I'll be handing that in this afternoon. Also, my car got returned to me on Monday evening, and while there were brake rotor and transmission line issues in addition to the power steering line, a lot of it was covered by my warranty. It wasn't great to have to be without a car all weekend, but my girlfriend was happy to drive me around to run some errands (and to practicum Monday), I got a ride from a friend to and from my Weight Watchers meeting, and aside from that, I didn't really need to do a whole lot else.

I haven't had a chance to really do much with my friends in a while, some I hadn't even seen since the wedding in October, so I made some calls on Friday and put together a little party at my house (something I've never done at this house). My girlfriend and I did a massive cleaning, and the place looked better than it ever has. We had some reasonable finger foods like pigs in a blanket made with light hot dog and reduced fat crescent rolls, crudités, and light dill dip in a loaf of pumpernickel. It all went over very well. I feel so domestic now, though. A few years ago my friends and I would have just gone to a bar and enjoyed greasy bar food, a few pitchers of beer, some mixed drinks and a few rounds of pool. On Friday night, we sat around my living room, chatting away, and eventually busted out some board games.... and it was really fun!

Oh well, there was still some alcohol (I abstained), and I had Star Wars playing on spiketv in the background, so I didn't feel extremely adult. It is interesting to see how we've all settled down now. Heck, a year ago none of us were even married, and now three of them are and my brother and I are both in long term relationships that look like they're headed that way.

Oh, and since I know you're all sitting on the edge of your seats: yes, my bowels are back to normal. God, I'm getting old. Blogging about stress, board games, marriage, and gastrointestinal health. Feh.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stress Fractured

This has been a stressful week. I won't go into the details, but school stuff has been pretty heavy considering I should really be on vacation at the moment. I'm wrapping up my current practicum and getting ready to jump into my final semester of grad school, which will include some industry experience at my new practicum site and a scientific writing course that will culminate with my thesis, a mock grant proposal. As if this wasn't enough weighing on my mind, my power steering line has developed a leak that wound up sending my car to the shop for the weekend. I've been sans wheels since Thursday and won't have it back till Monday. Feh.

The stress has definitely had an effect on my body and my mind. For starters (and again, not to go too terribly deeply into the details), I feel kind of backed up, which may or may not have affected my weigh-in -- 1.6 lost, btw, I'm glad I still made progress regardless -- and obviously that can easily be caused by stress. In addition to that, I didn't find the time or motivation to go to the gym all week. I hate falling off the workout wagon, but between the stress and the overcrowding at the gym right now, it just didn't happen. Next week doesn't look too much more promising, but I'm hoping things even out soon because as much as I am grateful for any loss on the scale, I hate to lose my momentum I had built up since redoubling my efforts in November.

To look on the bright side, I passed the milestone I was anticipating last week, but seriously at 0.2 pounds off, I would have had to have done pretty poorly not to have gotten it. That's a good way to look at it too, because with all this going on I could have easily said "fuck it" and stopped tracking for the week. I had already taken a hit from the lack of workout, though, so I wouldn't let myself fall there too.

I'm now 80% the man I used to be. By the time I reach my 30% goal, I'll have lost over 100 pounds, which in my opinion is when a weight watcher crosses a threshold from "you're doing really good" to "holy shit, that's an incredible change." I'm exactly 2 pounds shy of my 75-pound trinket now. I'd love to hit that next week, but if I don't, I'll handle it. I learned a long time ago that putting deadlines on goals does nothing for me. I'll get there when I get there.

Progress so far: 73 pounds.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shrits aren't the only things that shrink around here

I haven't had a big NSV in a bit, so I thought I'd share this. Today I was talking to the GF about LOST, and I brought up how a couple seasons ago, the forum I go to held a T-shirt design contest that I entered and ultimately won. The prize was a free shirt with my design. I asked for a 2X even though I was between 2 and 3 at the time. The shirt shrunk and I couldn't wear it anymore, so it got tucked away somewhere when I moved to my house a year and a half ago.

Anyhow, she asked if she could see it, so I started digging through my closets and finally found it. I'm wearing it right now, and although it is a bit short, it does fit a bit loosely. So I guess I'm now between XL and XXL.

I'm particularly excited about this because my father still has a stash of my old high school clothes. My style back then was almost entirely black concert tees, but I have one shirt in particular that I bought at a department store and never got a chance to wear because I didn't try it on. It's an XL, but I must have gotten it during my senior year when I was growing out of XL and in denial about it. I'm looking forward to wearing that shirt in public. My girlfriend isn't. I don't have an image of it at the moment, but if I remember, I'll post one some day, but I will say it is an anime style shot of this.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year, New Blog, New Me

Happy 2009 blogosphere folks! 2008 was a pretty decent year for me, although the economy hit me in the jublies, I'm pleased with all the things that happened, particularly over the last 8 months. This journey began exactly 8 months ago today. I have made a lot of changes in my outlook on health, fitness, nutrition, and dedication and although I've had some slip-ups here and there, I've still managed to do remarkably well in my opinion.

Today was our first meeting of the year and our first meeting at the new site. The location isn't any farther away or particularly different in size. It is a brilliant paint job, with walls of bright blue, yellow, and green straight out of the crayola 8-pack. Of course, as predicted, there were tons of new people. It was SRO and there was a long-ass line to weigh-in (compounded by the fact that there was only one receptionist to log weights aside from the leader). Luckily, I came in 5 minutes before they even started weighing people in (35 minutes before the meeting starts) and beat the crowd.

I saw all my favorite 8.30 meeting friends, some of whom I hadn't seen in a while (likely recommitting for the new year) and a lot of them were complimenting me on the visible changes. I have to be honest, I really didn't see it for the first 50 or so pounds, but these last 20 have been very evident to me, especially in the face and gut.

Next week will be another milestone. I'm only .2 away from 20% lost, and if I can drop another big number, I may even get my 75-pound trinket. That'd be fantastic. Here's to another year of success. This will be the year I reach my goal weight, finish my graduate degree, begin my career, and who knows what else.... Regardless, it's gonna be a fantastic 2009.

Weight loss so far: 71.4 pounds.