My Progress

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Morning Quicky

Yeah, baby! 3 lost this week. This puts me at 89.4 overall, just shy of my 90 pound star. I'm definitely not going to make my (admittedly lofty) goal of 100 lost by my 29th birthday since I have just 2 WIs to go, but I'll be out of town and unable to WI that day anyhow.

I'll have some birthday/St. Patty's celebration with some friends in DFW the weekend after next, which may knock me back a few notches on my weight loss efforts, but I've definitely earned it and I'll do as much damage control the following week as possible. I've asked my meeting leader for permission and got the go ahead. I'm gonna grab the floor for 5 or so minutes and present a before picture from my 28th birthday to compare with how far I've come over the course of these last 10 months I'll take a new picture at my birthday stuff too and share it with yall when I get back in town. I'm gonna enjoy showing off my progress to the meeting. Even though a lot of people there have seen me make this journey from my very first day/meeting, it's such a gradual change that I'm sure a lof of them won't remember how I used to look until I share the before pic (plus a lot of newer folks didn't know me 90 pounds ago). I'm really thrilled to have all the support there, on the WW forums and here. I couldn't have done it without people like you. Thank you, everyone!

Progress so far: 89.4 pounds.

Friday, February 27, 2009

"Do or do not...

...there is no try."

Everything I ever needed to know in life I learned from Yoda. Yeah, that's right, the entirety of my philosophy about life, the universe and everything was taught to me by a green 2½ foot muppet. So what? I don't think there's much argument against such wisdom as the opening phrase to this post. If ya wanna lose weight, stop trying and start doing. That became evident to me when I started enjoying success with this. I did a whole lotta trying throughout my life, but not much doing when it comes to weight loss. Some other equally brilliant axioms include:
Named must your fear be before banish it you can.
Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is.
Always in motion is the future.
When 900 years you reach, look as good, you will not.
These words all mean something to me in a very real way. They speak to my struggles, fears and questions about myriad facets of my life, especially my weight loss. It's no wonder, then, that Indians (dot, not feather) named the traditional practice of mental and physical self-discipline after such a brilliant and powerful Jedi. Yep, I'm talking about yoga.

Seriously, though. If you haven't tried it before out of fear of how your body would respond or how difficult it would be, I urge you to shed those fears and give it a try. Yesterday was my last experience with Zumba (for now) because the rotation goes on to yoga for the next 2 months. I'm looking forward to it. I've done it a couple of times by following the Namaste show on FitTV, but I think having a real class with an instructor will be a much better experience. I can say that there are a lot of benefits to yoga including flexibility, focus and control over your breathing, not to mention the benefits that Will Ferrel discovered in a famous (not work-safe) SNL sketch:

Wish me luck! ;)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Zumba: mark 2

Not nearly as bad as last time. No moments where I thought I'd die, no stumbles, not once did I stop just to stare at the leader's feet in amazement wondering how a human can maneuver like that. There were two non-dance portions, both of which I liked a lot better than the deltoid workout from last week that left me wondering if I'd need a fire extinguisher. That's not to say they weren't hard, just more enjoyable. The first was a boxing routine, which I am a bit of a novice boxer (no I'm not; I play Wii sports boxing and Wii Fit rhythm boxing). The second was a pilates-style core workout. It hurt a bit to use my legs as weights to control with my obliques, but I managed to keep up through both routines without stopping.

Altogether, between the 20 minute warmup on the elliptical and the hour of Zumba, I burned over 1700 Calories (almost half a pound *flex*). Not bad at all. I'm about to call it a day here in the lab and get in another hour on the elliptical, then tomorrow is the traditional day-before-weigh-in-no-workout day. I'm feeling really good about this week. I think I'm gonna turn in a good number. I've been known to be completely mistaken about these things, though, so don't point n laugh when I gain a pound Saturday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

302,400 Calories

I hate to disappoint those of you who saw the title of this post and came to read about the most ridiculous out of control binge in the history of the world, but that isn't the number of Calories I ate yesterday. I was OP all day (again, aside from the oils. feh.) and I got in another kickass workout.

So what does "302,400 Calories" mean to me? That is how much I have burned (between exercise and BMR in excess of my caloric intake) in the past 10 months. More importantly, that is how much I would have to eat above and beyond my BMR (which at this point is just under 2500) to reverse all the progress I've made so far. If I did nothing but sit around and eat 5000 Calories a day, it would take me 4 months to do that much damage.

I'm not one to fall into binging, but I have fallen off the wagon before, so it is comforting to know just how far I've come and how hard I'd have to try to go back to where I was. I know I'm in this for the long haul at this point. I've got family, friends, a girlfriend and a puppy rooting for me to find a level of health and fitness I've never known before. I've got a future that depends on it. I've got 302,400 reasons I've come too far not to, and I'm coming up with more reasons with every breath I take.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday

Another holiday specifically about eating rich foods and drinking to excess? Really? *sigh* Whatever. People here at the lab are celebrating today by bringing in lots of decadent, colorful desserts and crock pots full of spicy deliciocity. I must admit, they make my poor little lunch of cheezits, fruit, yogurt, string cheese, pickles and baby carrots look kind of sad, but I don't care. I've tasted that kind of stuff before. Many times. I have never once in my entire adult life tasted what life could be like as a thin, fit me. That's the kind of perspective it takes me to exercise some willpower and self-control.

Speaking of exercise, yesterday was interesting. I seem to have lost my telemetry strap, so I worked out for 55 minutes (5 more than usual; I'm a month or so away from 1-hour non-stop ellippin') with no warnings to slow down to decrease my heartrate. It was strangely liberating. I am kind of obsessive about numbers, particularly when it comes to my weight loss, so it was interesting to see how I responded to the situation (subconsciously and otherwise). I ran harder than I normally do, maintaining a 7.0mph pace the entire time. I was pretty impressed with myself when I finished my workout at just shy of 6 ½ miles. That's faster than a 9-minute mile pace. When I was on the 7th grade football team, I couldn't run a 9-minute mile (let alone 6 consecutive miles). Of course, this was on the elliptical, master of low impact running. I doubt I could do anywhere near this well in a real-world scenario, but the point is I am improving.

I'm not looking forward to my workout today. My mp3 player was warning me about low batteries near the end of my run yesterday, and I forgot to charge it last night. I'll have TV, so it won't be mind-numbingly boring, but I draw a lot of motivation and pace-setting from my music. Tomorrow is take two at Zumba (I think; they said she's rotating to pilates or yoga soon). That'll be another solid workout for sure. If you don't hear from me again in a while, I may be dead from tempting the beast that is Zumba again. Don't be worried, though. There is an AED just a few feet from me when I do it.

And don't worry about me falling prey to temptation on this dubious holiday. I've had enough fat Tuesdays (and Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, etc) to last a lifetime.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gotta eat em ALL!

Since my girlfriend and I have decided to start doing a date night (which we stopped doing when money got tight at the end of 2008), we've been taking turns planning out fun dates. She did two really good ones including the hibachi grill surprise at our favorite sushi place and Valentine's day (to be fair, I planned out the Friday night pizza/gift exchange), but I've put together some nice dates myself. Last Saturday was my turn and I think I had a pretty original idea.

We went to a portrait studio and got our pictures taken in some nice casual/dressy outfits, ordered a set that would be enough to share with our families and put up a nice one in our own home as well. I'll get the photos in a week or so. Maybe if she doesn't mind me putting her face on blog I'll share em with yall.

After that, we went to Olive Garden, which we haven't done in a long time (between the money crunch and weight watching, it just wasn't brought up), but since the company recently disclosed its full menu nutrition information, I planned it out and made it work while still enjoying one of my favorites, chicken parm. After that, we got some quick CostCo love since I had some contacts that were ready for pickup. Also, I had already gone through a 3-lb bag of sugar snap peas in 3 weeks and since these are my favorite vegetable at the moment, I just had to get more. We also needed milk, other veggies and fruits and another massive tub of cottage cheese.

Finally, we went home, curled up in bed together and watched a movie I recently bought, Zack and Miri make a porno. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. We've enjoyed a lot of Seth Rogan's movies together since I gave her Knocked Up as a Valentine's day gift last year (I know, I know but I wasn't trying to say anything). I was surprised to find out this one didn't have Apatow's hand in it. Even better, it was a Kevin Smith, who seems to have gotten some of his touch back (I wasn't terribly impressed with Chasing Amy, Jersey Girl or Jay or Silent Bob Strike Back (the best of those 3); I didn't even give Clerks 2 a chance). The movie was hilarious, surprisingly cute and romantic and pretty much everything I've come to expect from Rogan. I know some of you aren't down with the raunchy humor (I'm lookin at you, Carlos), but I'm sure if the word porno is in the title, you know what you're gettin into. That said, be warned: this isn't for the kiddies or fundies.

I've admitted to intentionally reserving deficit dailies for months now. While I know it is NOT recommended and I can't TRULY consider myself OP until I correct this, I've tried and become discouraged by mediocre losses or even gains when I try to do this, always reverting to my bad habit of daily deficits. To be clear, I'm not crash dieting or starving (truth be told, I'm not even hungry 95% of the time because I eat 5 or 6 times per day), but it's not unusual for me to finish a day with 2 to 10 unspent points.

I really want to give it another go just so that I can say I'm really following the program and not just doing my own thing, and I'm going to try to use at least half of my weeklies as well (I still won't delve into the APs). So, this is my real attempt.

Saturday I used 48.5 of my 40 dailies
Sunday I used 39.5
I've planned my day out today and should finish at 41 if I eat everything.

Here goes nothin!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


This morning's meeting was interesting. We were talking about success, failure and the tools you need to separate one from the other. Our leader had a list of little factoids about Abraham Lincoln and some of the struggles and setbacks he had throughout his life. As the old chicks talked about him like they knew him personally (which, to be fair, they may very well have), the topic of conversation started to get veered toward the point of the meeting: Helpful Habits.

She asked people to discuss which habit they felt was most important to them. I wasn't really paying attention to what was being said because I started thinking about it to myself and reading the list:
  • Ask for help
  • Learn from experience
  • Manage your environment
  • Manage your feelings
  • Manage your thoughts
  • Monitor yourself
  • Prepare yourself
  • Take care of yourself
Before I realized it, I had raised my hand, heard my name called and started talking. I said something like this, "I think one of the most important aspects of weight loss that so few programs really emphasize is managing your feelings. There are some important psychological and emotional aspects in both gaining and losing weight. This may not be true for everyone, but for someone like me that managed to become grossly overweight there are some deep-seeded psychological issues at play. You don't gain almost 150 pounds above a healthy weight just by snacking here and there, and you can't just lose the weight and move on. You have to be aware of why you gained it in the first place and stay on top of it for the rest of your life. That is why I'll be a success with Weight Watchers."

I felt my eyes glazing over as the words just poured out of me. I guess I made a good impression on the room because once I finished, there was some applause. I love my meetings. People congratulate you on your successes, help suggest how to manage the struggles and pitfalls and pay attention to you when you go off on some psychobabble rant. There are a lot of success stories in those meetings. Probably close to 10 of our regulars are lifetimers that have been there since well before I started last May. I'm looking forward to being another one of those lifetimers that continues to come to meetings week after week.

It's gonna take a while longer to get there (especially since it slows down at the end), but it's gonna be one hell of a ride.

Progress so far: 86.4 pounds.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Last night, I prepared my lunch for the following day like I normally do every night. I tossed a banana, an orange and a granola bar in the lunch bag, poured some pita chips in a ziplock and tossed them in, put some baby carrots in another ziplock and tossed them in, put a couple pickles in another ziplock and tossed them in (I go through a lot of ziplocks), spooned up a few Ts of hummus into a rubbermaid and tossed it in, assembled a turkey wrap (I love these): flatout, 6 slices of thin honey roasted turkey, a slice of low-fat provalone, a T of light miracle whip, a t of brown mustard, a handful of baby spinach leaves, 2 green onions snapped in half and laid across the length, then roll'er up and wrap'er in seran.

Then, I made the fatal mistake: I left it out. Normally, this bag of deliciocity would sit in my fridge, waiting to be transported to my lab where it'd sit in another fridge all day and supply my 3-4 little meals throughout the workday. Unfortunately, without the wrap, the bulk of my lunch was lost. Damn mayo; it woulda been fine otherwise, I'd wager. So I tossed the wrap and pondered struggling through the day with what I had.

I decided it wouldn't be sufficient to keep me satisfied and with the challenge of cart lingering in front of me, I wasn't willing to risk going into it hungry. When one of the researchers came into the office and asked us if we had plans for lunch, I said I'd tag along. This surprised all parties in the room since I've been invited at least 10 times now and turned them down every time thanks to my previously unfaltering lunch-packing skills. I went to Planet Sub without a chance to peruse the NI menu and plan ahead.

When we got there I started studying the menu. I saw a lot of alarming options and started picking my way through, trying to find a balance between healthy and tasty. I could have grabbed a salad, but that's the easy way out. Plus I just made one for dinner last night. Instead, I opted for one of their soups of the day, spicy black bean, and a chicken BBQ sandwich. I opted for the wrap instead of the roll since the menu actually recommended it if you're trying to "cut carbs," which, while I'm not particularly concerned about my carb intake, I knew also meant less calories and more fiber.

Between the multigrain wrap and the black beans? Key word fiber.

Seriously, though, they were both pretty tasty and while a little more than I'd normally eat at a single meal, I wound up finishing both anyhow and skipped my afternoon snack. When I got back to the lab, I looked up what I ate and calculated the meal at 12 points. Not bad considering how much food I got for those 12 points, and considering I was going to have an 11 point lunch and a 3 point afternoon snack, I came out ahead in the end.

And when cart came rollin up? I had one reese's mini peanut butter cup, a tootsie roll midget and grabbed another thing of orange tic tacs (it actually took me 3 weeks to eat all of my last thing) for a grand total of 1 point (all of which was the little teeny tiny peanut butter cup because the midget was 0... what a rip).

The workout was also good and I'm looking forward to putting in another light one tommorow. It's been a while since I worked out within 24 hour of a weigh-in, but I owe myself a few more drops of sweat.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Zumba, Zumba, ZumbOH MY GOD!

Every Wednesday evening at this lab, a lady comes and leads a Zumba class in the commons area. I've seen em doing it these last few weeks as I go to fill up my water bottle for my workout, which recently has been almost 100% elliptical. This is mostly because I hate the recumbent bike (or rather the bike hates my package) and I am still not quite comfortable enough with the treadmill to up the speed/incline enough to get my heart going like the elliptical can. So, since I stopped going to 24hr Fitness on weekdays and those are my only three options here, I'm now working out 4 days a week, 1 hour per session on the elliptical. Thats not a bad thing -- I love the elliptical -- but it is a bit monotonous (both in terms of keeping it interesting for me and keeping it challenging for my body).

So, I was talking to my supervisor today about health/fitness/weightloss stuff, which she brought it up because she noticed I've been losing weight (seriously? After knowing me for only 4 weeks now? That's a sharp eye), and she mentioned the Zumba class, which she apparently does every week. I told her I don't think I'd do it because a) I'm probably not coordinated enough and b) it probably isn't as intense as my cardio tends/needs to be. She convinced me to try it anyhow, so after a 20 minute warmup on the elliptical, I hopped over to the commons to join in and ohmygodmylegsmybackmysidesmyheart I think I'm gonna die. Wow. I don't know if I'll do that again. I don't know if I'll do anything again. Seriously, I went from the the workout straight to my desk to share this post with yall, and I am struggling to muster the energy needed to type these words.

In other news, I did wind up getting out of jury duty (obviously since I'm talking about being at the lab today), but rather than go to the lab yesterday, I took care of some other errands that needed me in that part of town.

I changed my voter registration (finally). Despite considering myself a libertarian for the last 10 years, I'm now officially one (previously unaffiliated).

I renewed my driver's license. This one was big for me. When we got to the part where the lady asked my weight, I was going to emphatically pronounce my real weight for the first time since I first started carrying ID. My old DL says 280, which at the time was a lie by at least 20 pounds. I now weight 273, but that isn't going to last. Instead, I decided to announce my weight as a nice round 250. I'm looking forward to making that correct.

And then wrong again.

In the other direction.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Precedents Day

So I hear today is some kind of holiday. I know because I tried to talk to someone at my bank and was asked to try back some other time. Well here's to you government employees who have the day off! Tomorrow, I'll be a government employee (I think). I've been selected for jury duty for the first time in the 11 (almost) years that I've been eligible. I submitted the paperwork requesting that I be excused seeing as I'm a full-time grad student and don't have time, but since they never contacted me to let me know what the status of that request was, I'm just gonna have to show up tomorrow morning and see if they'll let me go to my lab instead. I'd hate to try to get out of my civic responsibility, but I've to focus on my practicum. I'm almost done!

Aside from that, I'm finding myself somewhat introspective today. I know I'm going to achieve that goal of 225 pounds this year. I don't know when it's coming, but at less than 50 to go, it's definitely coming. At that point, I'll be in the best shape of my entire life, and I'm not confident that I'll be done with this journey either. I'm pretty sure I'll be pressing on to 210, 200, hell, maybe even 190 (I doubt that, but we'll see). I set that goal of 225 arbitrarily based on my very realistic conclusion that I will never be the 179 pound man that some 19th century sociologist thinks I should be.

I was recently looking at my before photos and realized something. I don't recognize that guy. I had fallen into some serious denial about how far I had gone when I started losing weight last May. More than anything else, I had lost my facial personality. Now, I look in the mirror and I'm just now getting to know the guy that I see, but he's still changing every day. It kind of makes me wish I'd started one of those picture-a-day projects when I started because it really is a dramatic change. Alas, I don't think I have the attention span to spare.

I've said before I don't know when I last weighed 225. I don't even really know when I last weighed what I now weigh. The numbers are all very blurred together between the 185 lb 5'5" 13 year old offensive right guard and the previously most successful weight watcher that finally hit 285 at 22 years old. I'm in uncharted territory, folks and setting new precedents every morning.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

V-day Love: That's What I'm TALKIN About!

What a great week. I was really happy with my food and my workouts, I stayed off the scale for a full 7 days, and I really felt like my body was responding well this week. I asked more of it than I ever have before and it gave a firm "sir, yes, sir" in response. Way to go, body! So imagine the smile on my face when the receptionist handed me my book and I saw that I had lost 4.2 pounds (well, actually, it said -3.2 but that's because she's bad at math; I double checked and it really was 4.2). That puts me exactly 0.2 pounds shy of my 85-pound star, and I only came in 2.6 shy of losing 20 pounds for the Valentine's day challenge I joined on the WW boards. Awesome!

Speaking of V-day, this has been one of the best. I'm such a sappy sentimental fool.... I had already bought my girlfriend 2 presents (a pedipaws since she wants to clip the dog's nails but is afraid to use clippers and a cute pink water bottle because she hates her old one and it'll help her get in her daily water), a bag of lindt chocolates, a card that I wrote a VERY heartfelt message in, and a gift bag with froofy tissue paper earlier this week. We exchanged gifts, she read my card and cried. I got a new high quality chef's knife and a new beard trimmer, both of which I've been in need for quite a while.

Then Thursday I was driving by a store advertising 2 dozen roses for 20 bucks. I went in and found out they were selling them unarranged, so I spent an extra 25 and got a nice arrangement of 12 pinks instead. I got home, put them in a vase and put them on display. She loved em.

So you'd think between the gifts last night and the flowers Thursday that I'd be pretty much done right? Nope. I dropped by Papa Murphy's yesterday after class. It is her favorite pizza of all time, but she never gets because I don't care for it and we really don't eat anything we don't cook ourselves as of late. Anyhow, I picked up a heart-shaped pizza from there too. It was actually pretty good, and I even let myself enjoy having a couple of slices of normal pizza the night before weigh-in.

Then, after weigh-in, we came home and had heart-shaped pancakes (thanks for the idea Lyn!) and omelets. We'll spend the rest of the day doing lunch at a Mongolian BBQ (yum, been cravin that for weeks), hittin up the theater for a matinee, some Costco love, then relaxin at home, watchin a movie curled up in bed with a loving girlfriend, some leftover heart-shaped pizza and some V-day themed chocolate chip cookies.

I'm so romantic it even makes ME sick.

Progress so far: 84.8 pounds.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Did you know that ellipticals stop your workout program...

... if your heartrate hits 200 bpm? Yeah, neither did I before this evening's workout.
Story time! So I was doing my thing as usual, plotting along, listening to my tunes, nodding to people as they left (the equipment is by the back door nearest where most of the research and sales people park) when I noticed I was keeping a faster pace than I normally would. Typically I start out at about 7.5 mph until my heartrate reaches my low target (155 bpm), then slow down to between 6 and 6.5 mph for the remainder of the ride, which is a 45 minute workout and a 5 minute cooldown. I guess I was pushing closer to 6.5-7 because at the 44 minute mark, I was already at 4.85 miles (whereas I'd normally only be at 4.7 miles at 45 minutes).

As I was doing the math in my head to figure out how far ahead I was and how close I was to pulling 5 miles in 45 minutes, this song came on. I immediately fell into stride with the song, pumped up by my success for the workout and the energy of the song. For the record, that song is 158 beats per minute, so I was doing 79 rpm on the elliptical at that time, which, for that stride length, is almost exactly 10mph. I've never gone that fast on the elliptical before and today I was doing it for the last minute of my workout.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see if I made it to that 5 mile mark before the workout hit 45 minutes. As soon as I hit 10 mph, my heartrate started ramping up from my usual 165. I watched it tick up to the 190s almost immediately. I was wrapped up in the moment and didn't feel strained at all. My eyes were moving from one readout to the next: speed, 10mph; time, 44.28; pulse, 191; speed 10.1; time, 44.31; pulse, 192. 192I thought to myself that's my maximal heartrate!Well, it was when I first determined it a couple of years ago by running up a hill as hard and as fast as I could (and when I did it back then, I thought I was about to die). Well, I guess it's not my maximal heartrate anymore, because it kept going up: 193, 194, 196, 197, 199... Sweet! I'm gonna break 2--beeeeeyooooooop.

OK, it didn't actually make a sound (not that I'd have heard it over the music), but it makes for a good story. It just shut off. No timer, no speed, no pulse readout, no calories burned.... I slowed down my stride and pressed enter; it prompted me to select a workout. I set it to "cooldown" and watched my heartrate go back to sane levels.

Don't worry, I'm pretty sure I didn't cause any lasting damage. It wasn't even that high for a full minute. I never felt like I was in pain, just excited, driven, on an endorphin/adrenaline high. Any fitness experts know if your maximal increases as you improve your health and fitness? I'd like to think so... I just hope Carla doesn't scold me. ;)

Please help me support MS research

The lab I'm at now, which I've mentioned several times on this blog, has participated for several years now in a fundraiser for the National MS Society: walk MS. When they announced today at the town hall meeting that signups are now open for this event, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 18 in my area (there are hundreds of events all over the nation for this), I immediately knew it was for me. I've been meaning to get involved in some fundraising like this and I've been meaning to participate in some walking/running events. This is definitely a good start for both of those.

I'm happy to say I was the first person in line for signups after town hall ended. Granted, almost everyone else could just email them and say "use my registration from last year, please," but that's beside the point. So I'm officially participating, which means I'm officially asking you, my readers to help me fight MS, a disease that stops people from moving.
I've joined the movement to create a world free of multiple sclerosis. By making a donation on my behalf, you help the Mid America Chapter provide local programs and services to more than 25,000 of our friends and neighbors who live with the daily effects of this disease. While the MS Society works to end MS, I will be helping people with MS move ahead.

Every penny I raise will be matched by my lab, so if you can spare a couple, please donate to a worthy cause that also makes me work my butt off. Whatever you can give will help! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tomorrow the day I gave myself to check in when I decided to give it another shot at scaling back. I've been doing really well this week, and I feel like my body has responded well. I've also impressed myself with with my resolve to stay off any and all scales (and I face a few every day several times a day). I'd be thrilled to get a sneak peak at what is to come on Saturday, but I am confident that I can handle waiting until Saturday morning.

I original gave myself the check in for the sake of keeping myself from spazzing out like I have in the past when I cut myself free of the safety net that is daily weighing. I honestly don't think I'll need it, though. So, I'm gonna keep doin what I'm doin, rock out the next of this week and give myself a genuine surprise as my own Valentine's day gift to myself. And why not? I could use a little self-love, right?

Wish me luck, I'm hoping I've bypassed that looming plateau. Actually, in reality, I should have acknowledged that I didn't lose just 0.6 last weigh-in. That was my official loss, but if I factor in my ~2 pound unofficial gain, I lost somewhere in the range of 2.6 for the week.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Riding the Waves

Today was another incredible day. I feel like I got a lot done in the lab. In fact, I kind of lost track of time and wound up working about 45 minutes longer than I'd intended; it seems really easy for me to get wrapped up in the work and forget to watch the clock because it really doesn't feel like work. Today completes my training, so from here on, I'll have help and direction if I need it, but the project is mine to do as I wish. That autonomy and responsibility is very satisfying. I am looking forward to knocking this one out of the park and give them no alternative but to hire me. I really think I would have a very happy life if I worked here for the next 50 years.

On the nutrition side of things, I made some really good choices, and although I'm still looking at a points deficit for the day once again, I just don't feel hungry enough to try to force myself to use them all up. I think I'm OK with that now. In spite of all the people on the 100 pounds to lose board disagreeing with me, I think if I was starving myself, I would feel starved or at the very least, hungry. No, I'm not gonna get hung up on points anymore. As long as I'm satisfied and not constantly feeling hungry, I'll stick with the same plan I've had these past 4 months. I'll try to avoid being under more than 8 by the end of the day and shoot for the full 40, but if I can't get there without stuffing myself, so be it.

The workout was pretty strong as well. I feel like I pushed myself a little bit harder than last week and my body responded well to it. By the time I was finished, the sweat was flowin and I was riding the endorphin high the whole drive home.

Once I got home, I was greeted by an excited puppy, a delivery from amazon (my Valentine's presents for her) and a loving girlfriend. After a warm shower and a change of clothes I felt like a new man, so I sat down to read some blogs. I gotta tell you, a wave just washed over me. It's an incredible feeling. The only way I can describe it is an overwhelming sense of well-being and happiness. Life is great, and to borrow the phrase from Karen, I am crazy-ass happy. Are you crazy ass happy too?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Yesterday was a fantastic day. Seriously, I don't think I could have enjoyed it more. Seeing my father was so very enjoyable for my girlfriend and me. He has always been very receptive to my girlfriends in the past, never one to disapprove, but I feel like he knows there is something special about this one. I can tell by the way he asks about her when we talk on the phone and the way he interacts with her that he loves her just as much as I do. That means a lot to me.

Lunch was fantastic and although I burned through several more points than I normally would at a single meal, I left myself with enough to have a salad in the evening and a few drinks later that night when a few of the guys hit up a pool hall. In addition to my friend's wife being on leave from overseas, another friend who works as a military contractor was back from the sandbox. It was fun to sit down with all my friends and just talk for a couple of hours.

The pool? Well, lets just say I'm a better shot once a get a couple drinks in me. The later the night went the better I played (although I never won, I ended up having two games where I had a nice run of shots, one of which culminated with a scratch on the 8-ball).

So here I am, just sitting around and reminiscing on what a nice day yesterday was, with the little lady napping on the couch and the dog doing the same on the floor. I can't help but think what a great place I am in my life right now.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Blast from the past

For today's post, I could pretty much reuse this post from July, long before most of yall were hanging on my every word putting up with my bullshit reading this blog, because everything I said there is entirely applicable (down to the amount I lost). I'm thrilled to be heading in the right direction again. I'm going to keep trying to stay off the scale, but in the spirit of weening myself off slowly, I'm going to check in on Wednesday morning. Aside from that and official weigh-in Saturday, no scaling. Scout's honor. I was never a scout, so that means jack, but I held my left hand on the Weight Watchers week 7 book when I said that. Cool?

Aight, back to the grind. Today's gonna be a good day. We're doing some cleaning up since we let the living room and bedroom fall into disarray. Then, I'm gonna get a haircut, we'll hit up Costco and the grocery store. My father called to say he and his wife are going to be in town, so we may be meeting them for lunch. One of my friends' wife is back from Iraq, so we're gonna be doing something with them this evening as well.

It may be a challenging day for keeping track of points if we wind up going out to eat twice, but I am confident I'll make good decisions. I'm thinking salad for lunch wherever we go and I'm guessing we'll either go to Caspian Bistro or Mongolian BBQ for dinner, so that'll take a bit more planning. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Next Time

In the spirit of keeping stuff positive, I'm not even going to address the recent subject of these posts aside from saying that I've managed to keep my promise today and stay the hell off the scales. I have no idea what's in store for me tomorrow morning, and I'm OK with that.

I've been thinking recently, and I've made a lot of changes in my life. I'm truly starting to appreciate the differences in what I can do physically, how I look, how my clothes fit and how I feel about myself. What is really exciting is that there are still many things I did as a larger person that I haven't had the opportunity to do since I've lost so much weight (and will continue to lose more).

Here's a short list:
The next time I fly, I won't feel squished in by the armrests or need to use a seat belt extender.
The next time I go swimming, I won't avoid the diving board in fear of it snapping in twain while I bounce up and down.
The next time I go to an amusement park, I won't need to suck it in as the kid working there tries to force the restraint in far enough to latch.
The next time I go shopping for clothes, it won't be at Casual Male XL.
The next time I need my lawn mowed, I'll do it myself rather than pay a kid 30 bucks to do it for me.
The next time I'm invited to a class reunion, I'm not gonna skip, and no one is going to recognize my svelte ass.

Oh, and since Carlos asked: I didn't make it to cart yesterday. I was too busy setting up some stuff in the lab and worked right through it. I guess that's one way to avoid temptation, eh?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stay the course

OK, enough negativity. You're all right, and thank you all for the comments. I... am weak. I let one little gain throw me off my attempts to stay off the scale. This is my second time I've tried to "scale back" and my second failure at it. I'm gonna have to do this baby steps style.

So, I've already hopped on the Wii Fit this morning, but I promise I will not step on the scale again until weigh-in. I've already found my weight tracking book and put it back in my car where it belongs, so no excuses there either. Saturday morning I will face the official scale. I'll come home and update all my shizz regardless of what it says. I stress accountability all the time and last week I curled up in a corner and gave accountability the finger. No more of that.

Onward and updard. Yesterday was a really good day in terms of nutrition. I was pleased with my choices, especially the extremely filling 5 point salad I had for lunch (quite an improvement from the 15 point one I made myself a month ago), and although the little lady and I both found ourselves lacking the motivation to start cooking the dinner at 6.30 when I got home, I managed to take care of my hunger without deviating from the points plan at all. For the first time in a while, I got in all my checks (not that I actually check em off), even healthy oils. She wound up baking a batch of the Fiber One apple cinnamon muffins (linky to a review I didn't write, but fully concur) we got from Costco a couple of weekends ago (the sample was that good), and I was very pleased to see (taste?) they were just as good last night as the Costco sample lady made em. Very good, 2 points, thumbs up!

Yesterday was also enjoyable because I finalized all my gift plans for V-day. I dropped by Wally world to return some toothpaste and contacts, both of which we'd purchased on the same day we first joined Costco and wound up finding significantly cheaper there. While I was there I got a card and a couple other things (I won't specify; I know she reads this sometimes), and I also confirmed with Amazon that my order from there will arrive in time. I guess I'm a bit of a softy, but I'm looking forward to this holiday.

Today is gonna be a great day too. I made a kickass turkey wrap on Flatout with scallions, grape tomatoes and some mixed greens, which I'll have with some pita chips and hummus (yum!). Tonight, I think we're having GF's delicious smothered burrito recipe. I browned up and seasoned some taco beef for them on Sunday (when I made the queso, all of which is gone now, btw), so I can't say I haven't been looking forward to them all week.

Thanks again for sticking with me through the funk. I'm much better now, and I promise I'll accept whatever my body has to tell me these coming weeks. I've said before that deadlines do nothing for me, so I've decided that regardless of where I am by my birthday (even if it's exactly where I am today), I'll be happy. It's taken me 9 months to come this far. If it takes me another 9 years to get the rest of the way, so be it. Some times it's not nearly as much about the destination as it is the journey.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


OK, I know, I know.... *deep breath* but seriously....

Since Saturday and the unofficial gain, I've been meticulous on my "weight watchering" and despite going a little overboard on Superbowl Sunday, I SHOULD be seeing a steady decline. I peeked this morning and am down 0.2 from Saturday's unofficial number, which is still up almost 2 pounds from the week prior to that.

I know what you're thinking, but for someone who had gotten used to 2.5-3 pounds just falling off every week since November, I feel like I am in a serious setback right now. So I'm on another friggin plateau. I've switched some stuff up in the workout, I've alternated high and low point days this week:
Sa= -6; Su= +5; M= -5; T= -2; W (today's already planned out)= -6

I seriously don't know what else to do. My body just doesn't want to give up any more weight. I hate plateaus. Feh.

Oh, and I feel like I should apologize to yall. I know this blog has been pretty negative ever since this started happening, but I feel like no matter what I do, I'm just gonna have to suffer through this plateau. It's a shame, really, because I was really hoping to hit -20 for the new year by Valentine's and -100 overall by my birthday 4 weeks after that.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Superbowl Survival

I planned ahead for the Superbowl tradition of chili, queso and chips like I mentioned Saturday. I'll be honest, I planned way ahead, and it still wasn't enough. I am going to have to put tortilla strips on my mental list of trigger foods. Let's just say I went into game time having only consumed 11 of my daily 40 points with a plan to eat a bowl (2c) of chili, 4 saltines, 3 ounces of Mission tortilla strips, 2 servings (1c) of queso and a no pudge brownie to finish it all off.

I kept dipping and chipping outside of my carefully measured portions until I hit the old "gorger's remorse" wall. I still had my brownie because I'd never tried the no pudge and was curious how they were. I guess they were pretty decent because I went back for another one (in my opinion, though, they aren't worth the extra money for the measly points reduction below reduced fat generic brownie mix).

When the smoke cleared, I tried my best to assess the damage and came up with about 45 points consumed for the whole day. That's not bad. I only dipped 5 deep into my weeklies, but considering I consumed 34 of those points in a 2 hour time span, that's just bananas. I regret breaking my no guilting the indulgences rule because I really don't get queso that often anymore.

I still really enjoyed the day. The game was exciting, I cleaned up the kitchen as I cooked, so there was no huge pile of shit to wash at the end, and best of all, I drank a gallon and a half of water over the course of the day. That's pretty impressive to me considering I could have drank another 24-ounce refill if I didn't limit myself to 1.5gal a day and I did that without working up a sweat at all. I'm probably gonna need it too for all that salt.

Today was another good water day (I'm up for another 3 hours and already at 120oz), I worked out for an hour after work, and I'm about to enjoy some leftover rotisserie chicken, mashers and sugar snap peas... yum!

BTW, anyone got a suggestion on how to get rid of the leftover 2.5c of queso and 2.5 pounds of tortilla strips? Damn Costco....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

TBL Casting Call

For those of you brave enough to let Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper kick your ass around the gym while America judges from its couches, The Biggest Loser is now casting for season 8. Details in the linky. I personally won't be trying out because
  1. I don't think I'd make a very compelling story;
  2. I doubt I'd be what they want for TV personality;
  3. I'm not in a position to just stop school during my final semester of graduate work and be on a TV show for a few months; and
  4. I've kinda shot myself in the foot by already losing this much anyhow. This season's casting (in comparison with the past couple) clearly demonstrates that the producers are looking for people with much more extremely dire need to lose weight.
That said, if any of you out there are struggling with this weight loss business and want to share your story with a national audience, by all means, give it a shot. Be aware, though, that the past 2 casting calls have drawn more than half a million applicants each.

Good luck! I'll be watchin for ya!