My Progress

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

Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Open Letter

Dear Self,

The next time you are faced with indulgences at family events (especially multiple back-to-back, holiday-based events) remember how you felt last night at 10pm, or 12am or 1.30, 2.45, 4, or 7. Remember how all that greasy food wrecked your system that is so used to being nourished with healthy foods in moderate, reasonable portions. Remember how excited everyone was for your continued success and the way their eyes opened up when your reply to "how much have you lost so far?" was "99 pounds." Remember how ridiculous you thought you sounded as you rationalized to your relatives that you normally wouldn't eat like this, but this is a special occasion. Remember that you already give yourself a high-calorie day. A. One. Not three. Remember how close you were to 100 lost before you shot yourself in the foot and that you have no one to blame but yourself if you don't make it at next weigh-in. Remember why you're doing this. Remember how much all those rich foods just aren't worth it.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cram it in there!

Today is a crazy day. I've already done a day's worth of work in the lab and it's only 1.30 in the afternoon. I also dropped by my school this morning and purchased tickets for a baseball game later this month. Today was the last day they were being offered to students at a reduced rate and my girlfriend, a friend and his wife were all for it, so I picked up 4 tickets. I'm looking forward to it. It's Friday, the 24th (aka the day before my next WI) and its on buck night, so I'll be contending with $1 hot dogs, peanuts and mini pretzels too. Wish me luck!

While I was on campus I also dropped by financial aid and the registrar to square myself away for another semester of fun at ye olde KUMed Center. Exciting!

My program director dropped by today for a project update and performance evaluation. I was pleased to hear how well my supervisor here feels I've been doing and how much I've "evolved" since January. I feel really strong about my experience and project here and I'm absolutely thrilled to hear my mentors agree. I was given a couple of suggestions on areas I can improve my performance as an intern and I gave some feedback on hers as a supervisor (this is her first time in a supervisory role).

I have to get done on time today, no joke. I need to get in my workout from 1630 to 1730, then I have to book it to a WW meeting 45 minutes away that starts at 1830. Then I need to hit the library and get some research goin on my grant, come home and have dinner, get some more work done on the grant, hit the sack and rest well because tomorrow I meet with my program director again to discuss my grant, then I'm coming into the lab (although I'm not scheduled to do Fridays) so that I can get my bugs growing, head back home in the afternoon, pack up the car and hit the road for a full weekend of Easter family time. That said, I may not be checking in with yall before Sunday, but we shall see. Cool? Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

They can't all have creative titles...

I don't think I've had a comment on here about a Biggest Loser episode before, but tonight's episode kind of had me pissed off enough to bring it up. I'm so sick of hearing Ron tell people how it's gonna be and threatening Filipe and Sione for going "against the pack." These people have no clue what an opportunity they've been given. That could not have been more clear when people were eating thousands upon thousands of calories for the sake of gameplay. Granted, nothing this season is nearly as offensive to me as last season, but these assholes just need to worry about losing and stop whining at each other like bitchy little kids.

I have to agree with Carlos on this one. Ron is an annoying lobster mutant, and while I will admit he cries too much, Sione seemed like someone who really knew what he was there for. I was disappointed to see him get sent home, but it was pretty clear it doesn't matter where he is because the guy isn't in it for the cash. He's also only an inch taller than me, so it was pretty cool seeing how in shape he was at 235, a full 10 pounds more than I'm aiming for at the moment.

I'm starting to catch my profile in the mirror from time to time and I just can't believe how much different I'm looking now. I caught a look last week while I was wearing a new sweatshirt and I saw someone I wouldn't even consider fat. I can only imagine what I'll look like in another 30-40 pounds.

Today was my first attempt at a new workout program on the elliptical. I didn't feel overly challenged, but my heart and legs were feelin it. I decided to set it to manual and up the resistance from level 3 (the default for fat burn program) to 6. This wound up slowing my pace a bit such that I only did 6½ miles in the 55 minute workout, but my heartrate hit the target zone much more quickly than yesterday and averaged about 5bpm higher too. Me likey. Next week I may toy around with running backwards too. I used to do it from time to time so I could wake up some lesser used muscles, but I haven't in weeks now.

In other news, I received a couple of deliveries from amazon today. These were basically birthday gifts from my dad since he gave me cash, and I'm proud to say that I spent half of it on bills and half of it on weightloss stuffs! First, I got a yoga mat (finally) so I can stop borrowing one from the instructor. Also, I got an EatSmart digital kitchen scale. This was a particularly good buy because I struggle with estimating portion sizes with pretty much anything that isn't volumetric. It also came recommended twice over: once by Lyn about 3 weeks ago and then again the following week by great a friend of mine that has been very instrumental in my weight loss efforts, and rightly so, she paved the way by losing over 50 pounds with WW herself. Thanks, Mels!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Scales only spit out a number

Today was a good day. I got a lot of nothing done in the lab, but I put together a rather lovely presentation encompassing some background on my bug, relevant specimen sources for my assay and all the references I've used to develop it. It's surprising how easily some old school paperwork can eat up a whole day. I actually had it done with 90 minutes to go, and did a couple of things in the lab, but my results were inconclusive and called for a repeat tomorrow morning. It's all good though. I feel really strong about my project, and I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into phase 3 of the develpment process.

I had a really delicious salad for lunch. I've had dozens of salads in the past year, but this is the first one I've prepared the night before. It turned out perfect. I'll definitely make these more often. This revelation couldn't have come at a better time too because I just bought 3 bags of mixed salad because they were on sale for 77 cents and a bag of fresh spinach because it's friggin awesome in a salad.

The workout was interesting too. I found myself having a difficult time getting my heartrate up to my minimum of 155. Normally I'd rock it at ~8.5mph for about 4 or so minutes and reach my target before dropping to 7-8mph for the remainder of the workout. This time, it took almost 10 minutes and closer to 9mph before I finally got there. I think it's time to change the workout program on the elliptical from fat burn to something more exciting. It's good to know that my fitness continues to improve, but I really need to branch out to weight training, interval training and core training soon. I'm looking forward to that for sure. It's probably the kick start I need.

This morning, I was putting on my jeans, fresh out of the dryer and after I belted myself up, and I started adjusting the bunches of material caused by having a pair of pants a couple of sizes to big when I realized I was in a notch. The last notch actually. I've now finished off my third belt since this whole crazy carnival ride started almost exactly 11 months ago.

These non-scale victories are so much more tangible than anything a scale could ever give me. I love it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Lesson Learned

Yesterday was a good decompression day. I definitely needed that. I went over my points by about 15 or so, but that's not a failure. Saturdays are my high point day partially to take out cravings head on and partially to ramp up my metabolism for a week's worth of losing. So I bet you're wondering just how much stuff I ate, amirite? I wish I'd taken pictures, but as I've pointed out before, I never think to do so until after the food is gone.

Anyhow, I gave a brief list yesterday, but here's my breakfast in all its glory yesterday: it consisted of 6 small pancakes, prepared from mix, 4 slices of turkey bacon (cooked em in the oven to get extra crispy, much better that way), about ½ cup home fries (courtesy of a loving girlfriend) and a 2 egg omelet prepared from egg beaters with sauteed mushrooms, onions, jalapenos spinach and some 2% shredded cheddar. I topped it off with some peanut butter and syrup on the 'cakes and some ketchup and tobasco on the taters and eggs. I wasn't kidding when I said yesterday it was a rich meal...

Dinner? Oh my god, I pity those of you who don't live in and have never visited Kansas City. I'm not kidding when I tell you we have the best BBQ on the planet. Oklahoma Joe's is without a doubt my favorite barbecue joint in the metro. There's something satisfying to me knowing that it stands head and shoulders above high-class joints like Arthur Bryant's, Gates and Jack Stack and that it does so operating out of a gas station. If it's any indication of how good the food is, we waited in line during the first game last night and it took an hour to get through the line and put in our order. I got one of their specials for the evening, the Cowboy dinner: a few ounces of beef brisket, 3 ribs, a couple ounces of sausage and 2 sides. My girlfriend and I split a side of fries, a side of onion rings and a side of baked beans. I couldn't finish 2 of the ribs, half the sausage or a third of my share of the fries. It was probably the biggest meal I've had in the last 6 months, quite possibly since I started this weight loss journey. Before, though, I could have easily eaten the whole thing without stopping short or sharing my sides and I probably still would have had room for some sort of dessert...

That said, it was a 53-point day (assuming I didn't short myself on anything, which is very possible), and I loved every minute of it... up until about an hour after dinner. I felt bloated, greasy, over-salted and a wee bit regretful for going so overboard. If I had it to do over again, I may have ordered something smaller, but I still enjoyed the meal thoroughly. I woke up around 2 and finished off my water bottle, filled it back up and drank the whole 24-oz volume again before I woke up this morning. I may be retaining some water for a bit. Thems was salty fries! I know my capacity for indulgence isn't what it used to be. Next time I'll be a little more reasonable.

Between the big 'ol breakfast mess and the remnants of takeout barbecue dinner, I woke up this morning to an absolutely trashed kitchen. I plowed through the piles of dishes, skillets, tupperware and a 6sqft griddle (a new addition to my kitchen arsenal, thanks to my pop). I will never be able to explain why I enjoy cleaning it up so much, but that satisfying feeling I get when I see a pristine kitchen is rather significant. No other room in the house can do that quite as well.

Today, I'm back in the realm of reasonable Weight Watchering. We're making pasta e fagioli for dinner, which is a 100% filling foods 2-point recipe, and since it makes 20 8-oz servings, we're gonna have it a lot this week and a stockpile in the freezer as well. Oh, btw, I'm not going to have weigh-in updates for the next two weeks. I don't want to get my award at a different meeting and I'll be out of town this Saturday for family stuff and the following Saturday is my Walk MS thing, which has registration at 0800. I can pretty much promise I'll have a big-ol blog party when I hit 100 lost at my next WI on the 25th, and I'll have a surprise announcement in light (and highly appropriate) of the accomplishment as well.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sedentary Saturday

As usual, I woke up ridiculously early this morning. I was out of bed by 0430, waiting anxiously for my 0830 meeting. I hopped on the internet and read a few blogs and threads on the WW forums, I rewatched last week's episodes of Biggest Loser and LOST, hopped in the shower and took a sneak peak on the Wii Fit. Then I put on my usual weigh-in clothes (the same ultra-light wicking material I wear for my workouts) and drove to the meeting.

I lost 2.0 today, putting me just 2.4 away from that goal of goals, something I'd be thrilled to say I could have in a week, but with this recent trend, I really don't know. Don't get me wrong, I'll always be thrilled with anything that isn't a gain, but I'm now floating at less than 1.5/week average over the last month and that is half the average I was enjoying between the beginning of November and mid-January. I'm in kind of a weird place with my eating right now. I'm confident that I'm tracking everything, but the scale isn't moving as enthusiastically as I'd expect. I have to wonder how much of an impact the missed workouts, the illness and the school stress could be having. What I do know is I'm not going to stop here. I'm going to redouble my efforts on tracking every bite and getting in the workouts. I think the slacking on posting is either a byproduct or a contribution to the lackluster scale performance of late, so maybe I should get back to where I was in February, missing less than 6 days in the whole month.

After I got back from weigh-in, I made some pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon for our breakfast. It was rather tasty, but between the rich meal and the lack of sleep last night, I was out within an our of finishing it. I took a two hour nap on the couch and now that I'm back up and around, I have no intention of leaving the house. I'm going to chill for another hour or so, then it's Final Four time for the remainder of the day. There was some discussion of grabbing some bbq for dinner. I'm looking forward to some Oklahoma Joe's tonight.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fuel

Sorry I missed an update yesterday. I had intended to, but I've been lacking in the motivation factor when I get home in the evenings recently. So anyhow, I'm really back, I swear. I'm making fantastic progress on my research. Monday also marked my return to working out after a 2½ week dry spell due to Spring break and the horrible plague that had me at death's door last week. So you can imagine my hesitance when I climbed on that elliptical. I briefly debated taking it easier than usual or not going the full 55 minutes that I was doing prior to my break. I thought better of it, though and pushed myself just as hard as I was 3 weeks ago. I'll be honest, it wasn't as easy as it used to be. I had a stitch in my right side after 10 minutes that I normally wouldn't get throughout the whole workout. I kept having to fight back that voice in my head telling me lies like it's been weeks, you can back off a bit; just drop down to 6½ mph; oh look, you're at 30 minutes, that's enough; 5 miles is plenty....

I kept pushing myself, though, and made it through the 55 minute workout without slowing my 7mph average pace. I even fit a couple 9mph sprints in there. It's good to be back! Or... it was. Sadly, my desire to catch up on my research has introduced me to some particularly long hours in the lab. I've missed my last two workouts now. Fear not, though, because I won't miss tomorrow's. If I have to be there until 8pm, I'll get it done.

BTW, I made it to weigh-in dispite still being a bit sick. I didn't have my weigh-in clothes, so my weight was a bit artificially high. That said, I did register a loss: six-tenths of a pound. We'll see what happens this Saturday...

That's all I got. Graized out!