My Progress

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fly By

Not a lot to say. I miss my meeting leader. Work is good. Memorial Day Weekend was a breeze to avoid temptations and very productive. My gym is closed until Monday. WI went really well. I wasn't sure I was gonna lose hardly anything, then I dropped a 2.8. That's 142.4 overall, leaving me just 0.8 from an "overweight" BMI. I hope I hit that next week. Considering my recent momentum, I can't say I'd be surprised.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rambling, winding roads ahead

I haven't got a clue what I'm going to talk about today, but I feel the urge to blog, so I'm gonna take it and go. Hopefully, this isn't too disorganized and annoying, but I'm not making any promises? Ready? No you're not. Put on your seatbelt. Ooh, look at how loose it is on you. High-five!

So, I guess I'll start with the usual. A Thursday has come and gone since my last post. I had a fantastic weigh-in, although I skipped the meeting. I went to a different WW center since I was headed out of town to meet my brother, his girlfriend, my father and his wife at a BBQ joint in Lawrence (Jayhawk country!) to celebrate brobro's birthday.

I planned ahead and tracked everything I'd intended to eat, which I'm sure many of you are well aware is quite a challenge when eating BBQ, which is just as much about quantity as it is quality. I planned to have half a sandwich, baked beans and fries. My plan was quickly foiled when the table ordered two appetizers: jalapeno poppers and spinach and artichoke dip with french bread and tortilla chips. I also ordered a lemonade instead of the water I'd intended to get. So yeah, not exactly sticking with the plan, but I didn't get too out of control. I paid attention to my hunger, I tried not to dip too much into the apps, I stuck with the half-a-sammich plan, and fortuitously enough, was not happy with the baked beans -- which either got messed up or recently changed, because I bit into a black olive, which is one of my least favorite foods. I was so turned off, I didn't take another bite of them.

I'd estimate I went over my plan by about 10-15 points, but that's ok. I had a really good time seeing my brother (for the first time since Christmas), and I think he really liked the Clint Eastwood 35-disc boxed set my father and I got him. We discussed how everyone is doing, a cousin's upcoming wedding next month and new developments in one another's houses. I love my family so much. :)

Also, I accepted the offer and completed all the new hire paperwork at my job and they made my first day retroactively May 24th. My boss and I made a request that they review my qualifications and consider me for a slightly higher wage, and they agreed to do so along with their future across-the-board competitive compensation review for the area. After all those months of unemployment and stress, the negative impact it had on my weight-loss twice, the uncertainty that I'll be able to make ends meet and worst of all, the full year of going without health insurance, I am so grateful to my company for the position I've been given. My benefits, by the way, are fantastic. Health is only $15 per pay period and I opted into the buy-up for an additional $12.50, which reduces the coinsurance from 20 to 10%, the copay from $25 to 15 and the deductible from $500 to 0. It also includes eye and dental. I can't wait to go to the doctor in a couple of weeks. She hasn't seen me in a year, and I really want to see how my numbers have improved since then. I could also really use some allergy meds. ugh.

So this is Memorial Day weekend. So far, I've had a busy Saturday that involved a trip to the vet, some browsing at a few clothing stores, a pointless drive to the dealership for what was supposed to be an oil change (and yes, I called ahead on Wednesday and confirmed they were going to be open Saturday morning, the lying sack...) and a few other random errands here and there. Today, I've already fixed and eaten a tasty bagel breakfast sandwich, showered myself and the dog and dived into the laundry. I'd like to get the rest of my shopping done, including groceries, clean up the bathroom, finish up the laundry, spray some weeds outside and prepare my chicken teriyaki and stir fry dinner for the week.

Tomorrow, I finally stop running errands and chores so I can chill out with some friends, visit the WWI memorial and enjoy Memorial Day. Nothin like a good, relaxing Monday off after a very productive Saturday and Sunday. Hope yall are enjoying it as well!

Progress so far: 139.6 pounds.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rider on the Storm

I just got in from mowing about 30 minutes ago. It was pretty much 10 minutes past sundown. I could barely see, but I got it done. It started yesterday, when I started mowing in the early afternoon and finished everything around the house in about 90 minutes, leaving myself with just 70 more minutes of mowing in the field to the south of my house.

I didn't have time, however, because my father had just called me before I went out to mow asking if I'd like to meet him since he'd be in Kansas City in a couple of hours to do some shopping. So, I grabbed a shower and rushed off to meet him. I love spending time with my pop. We had a somewhat distant relationship when I was growing up. Not bad, just not as close as my mother and I were, but when she passed away, he made a real effort to be there for me in her absence.

Anyhow, I spent a few hours with my father, then came home and prepared dinner: chicken and turkey sausage jambalaya (from scratch! I didn't even use Zatarain's) with roasted zucchini, snap beans and asparagus. It was very tasty, but it took a lot longer to prep than I thought. By the time I got done, I only had about 30 minutes before the finale of LOST was going to start, so I had no time to finish the lawn. I was disappointed because I knew I only had until Tuesday before a 3 day thunderstorm would start, and mowing would discourage me from working out tonight.

Add to that the fact that it was ridiculously hot today (I know, in a couple months, I'll think low 90s is pretty mild), and I just did not want to do it. I was hoping to borrow my neighbor's riding mower, but he wasn't home! I cursed my unfortunate set of circumstances and debated letting the field go until after the storms, which would almost guarantee a very rough mow. I decided I'd wait for my neighbor to come back, so I heated up some leftovers (just as delicious on day two!) and turned on the A/C (I wanted to last till later in June, but it was 97° in here).

Finished dinner, washed the dishes and neighbor still wasn't home. By then, it was 7.15 and I just barely had enough time to finish with my push mower before sunset. Yeah, I know, I spoiled the surprise, but here's where this story fits in a weight loss blog. Granted, it was lazy of me to wait that long for the possibility of using a rider to finish the job in 20 minutes, but fat me wouldn't have thought twice about just saying "fuck it" and skipped out on the lawn mowing duty. The fact that I did it tonight gives me a real sense of accomplishment. I'm really enjoying the person I'm becoming.

Oh, and also, I got an offer at my job for my permanent position since my temp appointment ends this week. It was a good day. Now, to enjoy the slight cool-off and thunderstorms on the horizon for the next few days, back to the gym tomorrow, WI on Thursday is looking pretty good. Lates!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Below "goal"

So, I made it. I'm below 225. The weight loss ticker I use on forums says... well, I'll just show ya:

1.8 below target weight. Awesome. I feel like I'm on a really good roll right now. That usually means I'm due for a big slip, but I'm gonna be positive and tell myself I won't let that happen. I have planned out my meals for the next 6 days. I really enjoyed my workout today and am looking forward to another tomorrow. I really think I'm gonna hit that 220 I need in order to be able to skydive. Then, once my friend gets back from overseas, we can start planning the jump. I have been looking forward to this for years so I think that in itself, along with being only 3.2 pounds from the weight limit, will serve to keep me motivated and on track.

I am looking forward to updating this blog with pictures and video from the jump.

So, in the meantime, I can't just keep saying my goal is 225 (although it is a bit comical to see that ticker). I've decided to set my next goal (which is also a temporary one and not my anticipated end-game weight) at 215. That is the weight at which my BMI drops to 29.98 and I'm officially considered "overweight."

I realize a lot of people going through weight loss have cheered for the same thing in sardonic fashion, but it really is a touch ironic to be excited about being overweight, isn't it? Yeah....

Progress so far: 135.0 pounds.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A closer look, or, how NOT to give up

I thought it'd be fun to discuss the obvious today: I've had a pretty rocky year. A lot has changed in my life, for sure. Some of those changes have negatively affected my weight loss, some of those changes are my weight loss. I would like to take a moment to look at my weight loss chart from last night and the one I posted a year prior.

Says a lot, doesn't it? My first year of losing weight was pretty smooth. I stalled out through October, but even that month off yielded only a 1 pound gain. From May 3, 2008 to May 9, 2009, I managed to lose a total of 106.2 pounds. During that time, I posted 6 official gains on the scale at my weigh-ins. Those 6 gains added up to a grand total of 10.8 pounds. Not bad. Then we look at the year following that. From May 9, 2009 to May 13, 2010, I managed to lose another 26.6 pounds, bringing my total for the 2 years to 132.8. That's pretty good, but why have things slowed down so much? I lost 4 times that amount of weight in the first 52 weeks. Has my weight loss slowed down as I got closer to goal? I mean, I am only 0.4 away from goal, right?

Seriously, though. I think it's pretty clear what the problem was this past year, but for the sake of throwing brevity out the window and filling this post with lots of statistical, well-illustrated goodness, let's point it out. Literally.

Four times this last year, I've had some pretty crazy gains. In the first year, my biggest gain was 3.6 pounds, which happened over Memorial Day weekend when I spent some time with my friends in Dallas, boozing it up and eating whatever I wanted. I enjoyed myself, I accepted the gain for what it was, I got back on the wagon right away and made that gain disappear (along with 5.4 more pounds) the very next week. Just a few weeks into my second year of weight loss, I hit a snag. I gained 8.2 pounds over the course of two consecutive weigh-ins. It was a pretty sharp kick to the groin, but I pulled up my skivvies and worked that weight back off only to lose focus as it became all too clear to me that my internship was going to be ending in a month and I had absolutely no job prospects on the horizon, in spite of dozens upon dozens of job applications and resume forwards I'd done over the previous 6 months. Not a single callback. So, I did what any weak-willed weight-loser would do. I stopped giving a shit about my eating, I stopped working out and I started falling back into my old habits.

And why not? I deserved to have a little pity party, didn't I? My internship was half a mile away from Buffalo Wild Wings and they were running their yearly all-you-can-eat wings and fries for 10 bucks from 11a-2p special. I happily munched away at hundreds of points worth of wings, fries, lemonade and ranch dressing in a single sitting as often as three times per week. One day, I remember getting 30 wings, 3 baskets of fries and half a cup of ranch dressing and walking out of the restaurant still craving some sort of sweet to balance out all the salty I'd just eaten. So, I drove across the street to Target and bought a box of Little Debbie swiss cake rolls. I ate half the box on the drive back to work. I shit you not, that day, I ate over 200 points of food (which is somewhere in the range of 10,000 calories).

I guess it's no surprise that by the time I pulled my head out of my ass, tucked my tail between my legs and walked back into my Weight Watchers meeting that the scale gut-punched me 40.2 times over. 40 pounds in 30 days is just... retarded. Seriously. I slogged my way back into eating healthy, working out religiously and tracking both habitually and, in spite of another 12-pound slip a couple of months later, managed to work all of those 40.2 pounds off just before Christmas. I even managed to stay on track over Thanksgiving and pulled out a 7-pound 2-week loss. Hah! I guess I'm not such a fuckup after all... So, fast forward to the end of January and I had reached my lowest weight of all time without a single gain since mid-October. Then, I just fell off the wagon again.

I don't want to go into details of all the horrible deliciocity I was eating, but suffice it to say, I wasn't in a healthy frame of mind. I'd been unemployed for 5 months by then and although I had all the free time in the world, I was just getting burnt out on working out and eating right. I slipped into some fairly self-destructive tendencies and my weight-loss suffered heavily. So that's the last peak there and my biggest break from WW in 2 years. I crawled back into my meeting after finally landing a decent job and finding myself single once again. Something amazing happened. The last time I took only one month off, I'd gained 40 pounds and it took me almost 4 months to work it back off. This time, I'd been off the wagon for twice as long and I'd only gained half as much. Then, I worked off all that gained weight in just over 3 weeks. Moral victory!

This past year has been crazy. I could have thrown in the towel at any one of those 4 massive gains, but I chose to stick it out. Yeah, I only lost a net of 26.6 pounds this year, but considering there were an additional 81 pounds gained in that time, I'd say I've done pretty fucking well.

I wish I could say the massive gains are forever behind me, but my weight fluctuates like the Dow at the mercy of a fat-fingered Citigroup trader. What I can say is that with all this experience, I know I'll never stop. I will get to my final goal of reaching a weight I want to maintain. I'll get there and I'll learn how to keep my life in balance. I'll maintain that weight for the rest of my life. I'll do it because I have the support I need to get it done. I'll do it because I have the drive, the determination and the knowledge that I can do it. I'll do it because I owe it to myself. I'll do it because I deserve it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Today, I had a surprise at my meeting. My leader, who I feel very comfortable around and confident that I can share anything with, is taking a hiatus for the summer. For the next three months, I don't get to see her. So lame. I'm gonna miss her for sure. I know she's read my blog in the past, so if you're reading this, I miss you!

Anyhow, I weighed in today. I knew I wasn't going to hit that 225, but I sure did come close. 225.4. Now I have got to stay focused and avoid a gain this week because I promised to hit that 225 by next week. 0.4 is pretty easy for me to pull off, but I've had enough slip-ups in the past to know that no loss is guaranteed. I'm gonna earn this one.

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by and having faith that I'll be a good blogger. I'm really enjoying it again and hope to stick with it for a long time.

Progress so far: 132.8 pounds.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Tomorrow is weigh-in. I love weigh-in. It is either a reward for my week of hard work or a wake-up call for my week of slipping up. After weigh-in, my points reset and I get to indulge myself a little. Generally, I spend all week acknowledging my cravings and telling myself that I can enjoy it come Thursday evening. Tomorrow, it's going to be a 15-point Chipotle burrito. I am really looking forward to it.

So this is gonna be a short post. How will I do tomorrow? I really don't know. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a loss, but not much. I doubt I'll make it to 225, but I have every intention of keeping the focus I've had this week (solid eating, great 1-hour workouts every day Sun-today) and knocking that 225 out of the park next week.

I'll check in tomorrow with some number-love.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weight Watcher? Make that Weight Warrior!

Hey, sorry I didn't update yesterday. I was... lazy. Well, as far as blogging is concerned. In reality, I went grocery shopping, cleaned up the house, did some yardwork, hit the gym and cooked a delicious and healthy dinner. Today, after work, I got in a great workout. I'm still rockin the elliptical. After all this time, I still seem to struggle with entering the realm of weightlifting, but I am confident that I'll get there when I'm ready. What I did manage to do today, was ramp up the intensity on the elliptical by ramping up the resistance on the machine, which helped to keep my heartrate a little more steady without having to focus on my speed. I like it.

OK, so last time, I mentioned in passing a little 3.5-mile obstacle course race that I completed recently. The event is called Warrior Dash. I ran it in Forney, Texas, a suburb in Southeast Dallas, which just happens to be a city where a lot of my friends live. I got off work early on Friday the 30th and drove the 500-some mile trip, arriving at a friend's house around midnight. The following morning, we got up, had a nutritious Chick-Fil-A lunch and drove down to Cousins Paintball, where the course was laid out. The course winded around the paintball grounds, through a creekbed, a small bog, the woods and some fields. Along the way, there were obstacles such as a huge wind machine, a steep, 15-foot muddy incline with little more than some slippery footholds in the mud and a rope to climb it, some large cable spools to hurdle over, a 20-foot cargo net, a line of fire to jump over and a long pool of thick mud with barbed wire overhead to crawl under. Here I am taking on those last two obstacles (which were the final two, less than 100 yards from the finish line):I really enjoyed running this race with my friends. The weather was perfect, the energy was palpable... I finished the race in 45:13.60, which is a 14:35-minute mile pace. That's not terrible, but considering someone finished it in under 18 minutes, I'd say it's not amazingly good either. That said, it's only about 30 seconds slower and 0.4 miles longer than the 5k I ran last summer (not to mention being slowed down by the obstacles)... I'm getting better. My primary frustrations were that the course was very muddy and slippery in some spots which made it difficult to run, and I'm still very bad at running in a full-impact setting. I really need to train myself to run somewhere other than the elliptical, because my 9-minute mile pace there doesn't translate to real running in any stretch of the imagination.

Anyhow, Warrior Dash was awesome. I can say with confidence that it was the most insane race I've ever run, and I'll definitely be running again next year. I know that by that time I'll be at my goal weight, I'll be in much better shape and better trained for real running. I hope to improve my time by at least 10 minutes.

Oh, and if any of you are tempted to run this race (which how couldn't you with my fantastic retelling of the event and inspiring pictures of me triumphing over it?), fear not, for there are 7 more Warrior Dash events throughout the states over the next several months:
5/22 & 5/23/2010 - Southeast
6/19 & 6/20/2010 - Midwest
7/10/2010 - Northwest
8/21/2010 - Rockies
9/18 & 9/19/2010 - Northeast
10/9/2010 - Mid-Atlantic
10/30/2010 - NorCal

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Two years ago...

Two years ago, I stepped into Weight Watchers and signed up for the 5th or 6th time in my life. I had every hope that this time would be different than all those other failed attempts, but no real reason to actually believe it'd happen this time. The program works, I knew that walking in; I just struggled in the past with sticking with it. I'd get bored or frustrated or just fed up with being mindful of what I was eating and I'd quit. I was ready to give it another shot and anxious to see where I had gotten myself, having avoided scales for a full year since my last time quitting Weight Watchers. I knew I was going to be higher than the 325 I was at last time, but I was shocked to see 358.2 pounds: by far, I was in the worst shape of my life at 28 years old.

After the meeting, I sat down with my leader to discuss my goals and was told that, according to the BMI scale, I should be at maximum 179 pounds. That is exactly half the weight I was when I started this weight loss journey. I shook my head and frankly said "I'll never be able to get that low." She told me not to worry about it, that I should set smaller goals (like 10%, a whopping 35.8 pounds, 5 more than I'd ever lost in my life), that my doctor could sign a note if I wanted to maintain a weight higher than 179. I felt a bit overwhelmed, but wound up choosing 225 as my goal weight. I've never in my adult life been that low. By the time I finished growing up to the 5'11" (really? I couldn't have just grown that one last inch?) that I am today, I was already over 250 pounds.

There are commercials on the radio from time to time hocking some diet drug that ends with the tag line "get high school skinny." Well, fuck you fad diet advertisers. I've never been skinny. Not in college, not in high school, not in middle school, not even in grade school.

Two years ago, I was a completely different man. I snored heavily. I had severe back pain just trying to turn over in bed. I was wearing size 3X shirts and size 48 jeans, both of which were fairly tight and unflattering. I was a hot mess, but I was willing to do something about it. That was two years ago.

I don't recognize that guy anymore. I've lost over 130 pounds. I'm now just 2.6 pounds away from hitting that final goal of 225 pounds I'd set for myself on day 1. I'm not where I want to be yet, but the fact that I'm almost there is just incredible. I've come a long way in 2 years. I'll hit it, celebrate casually, go skydiving with some friends later this summer, then press on until I find the weight I intend to maintain.

I know I haven't posted in a while. I know a lot of you have been commenting on my last post asking where I am, how I'm doing, assuring me that no matter how bad it's gotten, I've got support in this community. I want you all to know those comments haven't fallen on deaf ears. I appreciate all of the encouragement, truly (especially the comment I got from BornSquishy).

So what's been happening? Well, I struggled with my eating and my exercise and gained about 20 pounds in 2 months. I went through some rough realizations about my relationship with my fiancee and parted ways with her. I finally broke out of the ranks of the unemployed; I've been working in my field now for 2 months. I got back on the wagon and lost all 20 of those pounds I'd gained in less than half the time it'd taken me to gain them. I ran a 3.51-mile obstacle course race with some friends in Texas (more on that tomorrow).

I'm on track to hit that 225-pound goal within the next couple of weeks, depending on how things go this coming week. I can't wait to share that success with yall.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just shy of the new milestone...

but I'm celebrating it anyhow.

I lost 3.4 at WI today after 2 weeks of really solid workouts and tracking. Recently, I've added 30 minutes of recumbent bike to my workout. It seems to have helped me along, and I'm happy with my progress on the elliptical as well, where I've been pushing my intensity ever so slightly.

To reach 125 lost, I needed to lose 3.6. I was seriously 0.2 shy. Oh well.... Enjoy!

Progress so far: 124.8 pounds.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Really wasn't expecting this one

Wow. Just... wow. I know I kicked it into overdrive after the slip-up last Friday, but I completely surprised myself at weigh-in today.

Down 3.2 since last weigh-in (4 weeks ago). Just 6 days ago, I was fully prepared to face a gain. Color me impressed. Now To prove this is for real. Time for another week of solid focus and determination.

Progress so far: 121.4 pounds.

I should be committed

Yesterday, during another energizing elliptical workout, I got a little bug in my ear that I should really thank my gym for all the help and support I've gotten in my weight loss journey. Letting my mind wander like that and think about what I'd say really helped me blast through the rest of my workout at a slightly higher-than-normal intensity without even really noticing.

When I climbed off, I wandered over to the trainers' desks and asked one if she had a moment. She's definitely one of my favorite staff at my gym, particularly when I lost my membership card and asked her if I could get another, she told me they would normally charge $15 for a replacement, but then she saw I was sporting an "I voted today" sticker (this was super Tuesday 08) she said she couldn't charge someone who had done their civil service.

Truth be told, everyone working at my gym is like that. From the moment I walk in the door and hear "have a good workout" from the person at the reception desk, to the knowing, encouraging nods I get from trainers as they walk by me sweating it out on the elliptical, to the "have a great day" as I head out the door, I just know I'm in my gym.

Anyhow, I sat down and told her how my journey started 20 months ago, and I didn't step foot in the gym until I was already 2 months and 30 pounds into it. I told her how grateful I am for my gym and the supportive staff there, how I couldn't have lost the additional 90 pounds without them and how I am confident that I will continue on to goal, maintenance and a lifetime of improving my fitness as long as I have such a strong system behind me. I could see in her eyes how much it meant for her to hear that. She pulled the GM of the club over to hear me tell him the same thing and he encouraged me to send in an email. He told me that more often than not, the people who speak up are the people who are unhappy with something because the majority that are pleased with their experience don't really feel the need to give feedback. I could just tell that sharing my story with them really brightened their day.

I was also handed this t-shirt, which I'm told is a very limited edition prize that only the most dedicated individuals earn. ;) So I sent my email. I hope it helps those trainers realize they are appreciated.

This morning, I hopped on the scale for a sneak peak and I may not be showing a gain after all. I still have 7 hours to go till WI, but right now, it's looking like I may maintain or even lose a little bit. Awesome! If I lose even a hair of weight, I'll be in the 230s for the first time, barely there, but there nonetheless. I'll just have to keep working it this next week and get a more solid grip on the new weight decade next week. It's gonna be a challenge this weekend, too. Tomorrow night, we are headed to a French bistro with some friends. Saturday, we head to the KU game and will be grabbing dinner at a BBQ joint, then it's make-up Christmas at my dad's Sunday.

I'll update this evening with the official result. Lates.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I feel so incredible

Today has been one of the best days I can remember recently. I woke up feeling fresh and ready to face the day. I started cleaning up some dishes and for one reason or another I got a fire lit under my ass. I spent 2 and a half hours cleaning behind, around and inside the oven, the kitchen counter, sink and floor, the bathroom sink, toilet, floor and (with a lot of tilex and bleach) the bath tub.

After a great lunch and some more cleaning, I added 50 songs to my workout playlist, which I must admit has been getting a bit old after a year and a half of the same 36 songs. I headed to the gym later than usual. I got there smack in the middle of the evening rush. It took me 5 minutes to find a parking spot. Not a nearby space, just any space. By the time I was ready to work out, it was 5.30 and there wasn't a single Lifefitness elliptical open. None of the 18 treadmills were available either. I grudgingly climbed on a Precor elliptical and got to work. It was different, not too difficult, just awkward and unfamiliar. I kept glancing over my shoulder to see if anyone was leaving my preferred machines, and a couple of times I spotted an open machine, but didn't bother heading over to it because I could see someone headed for it already.

Finally, 11 minutes in on my slightly clumsy workout, one opened up right behind me and I lept on it right away. The rest of my workout was familiar and focused. I really enjoyed my new playlist tracks as well.

After I got home, I took advantage of my freshly-cleaned tub and took a nice, long, extremely steamy shower. I reheated some delicious steak tips and peppered mushroom gravy (courtesy of my fiancee's new Cooking Light subscription), curled up and started watching Biggest Loser.

I had this feeling just wash over me. I don't know if it was the housework accomplishment, the solid workout, the comforting shower or the delicious dinner (most likely the whole day coming together), but I just felt extremely good. The only way I can describe it is the polar opposite of a wave of nausea. What a fantastic day.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Sometimes, my weight loss is in a zone where nothing could derail me. It is during those times that I will lose fierce amounts of weight and my motivation will soar. So why, if the weight loss is a strong cycle of effort, reward and drive do I so frequently halt that solid progress and lapse into a period of negligible loss (or worse, gain)? I have a compulsive need to celebrate and reward those periods of focused loss with a short (sometimes just a single meal) relaxed grip on the program.

Most recently, I gave myself permission to indulge on Christmas. I knew it was going to slow down my solid progress, but it hit me hard. I worked my butt off and was hoping to weigh in on the 8th with at least a maintain from my previous weigh in on the 17th. Well, that didn't happen. I was facing a gain and let myself get talked out of going to weigh-in. Weather, gain, first meeting of the new year... blah blah blah. Instead, I went to a buffet and indulged again.

The following morning, I felt that all-too-familiar remorse and was certain I was going to get back on the wagon full force and post a loss at the next upcoming weigh-in. Well, then an email arrived that delivered some bad news on a job that I thought for sure I was going to get. That would have been the end to a four-and-a-half-month stretch of unemployment. I responded by devouring the remains of a bag of tortilla chips and half a frozen pizza, then a burrito from chipotle. Had I not felt stuffed to the point of pain, I would have eaten 800 Calories worth of monkey bread as well.

I know I'm still an emotional eater, but I also know that I've fallen 142 times in this weight loss journey. I've stood back up and dusted myself off 142 times too. That's all I can ask of myself. I know I'll never be able to be the perfect loser that can go from huge to tiny without a single hiccup along the way. Instead, I have to be the loser that can recognize his mistakes and continue the process.

So here I am, freshly back on the wagon and determined to succeed. I'll likely post a gain this Thursday, but so what? At least it won't be a 40 pound gain, right?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My first trip to the gym all year

It's January. Everyone is ready to lose some weight. It makes it a lot harder to find a open parking spot, an open locker or an open machine, but letting that stop me would just be an excuse. I've got a bag full of those, so I really don't need another. Yesterday, I stepped back into the gym for the first time since last year (ie last Tuesday), and got the stare-down from my old buddy, the elliptical.
I respectfully climbed on and got to work. I haven't changed my routine up for a while now. I was briefly doing interval training last fall. This routine had me warming up with a 75rpm sprint for 8 minutes, then dropping to a 60rpm jog for 2 minutes. After that, I'd just go from 70 for 3 minutes to 60 for 2 minutes back and forth for an hour, but I kept increasing the duration of the sprint until I had worked my way up to my current workout, which is an 80rpm sprint long enough to get my heartrate up to 180, then drop down to 71-73rpm for the rest of the one-hour workout (with random bursts of 77-80rpm charged by whatever song happens to come on the mp3 player).

The workout was pretty brutal after my lack of consistency over the Christmas season, but I survived it at full force and am very happy with that. I'm still sucking at incorporating weights into my regimen and am starting to think I may just need some trainer assistance on that front. That may need to wait until I have a job. In the meantime, I think I'll just keep doing what I'm doing on the elliptical and start increasing intensity in one way or another, possibly by adding 5 minutes to the duration over the next few months like I did when I first started. That is, after all, how I worked my way up from 30 to 60 minutes.

I'm really happy with where I am in the weight loss arena right now. My eating and tracking are spot on. My workout intensity is right where I want it. My motivation in general is at an all-time high, and my urge to binge is reasonably low. I'm thinkin TwentyTen is gonna be a good'n.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Another New Year

What does the new year mean to me? Remotivation toward my weightloss? The beginning of something new and exciting? The start of the year I reach my goal/get married? All of those, to be sure, but unfortunately, I'm a curmudgeon and the first thing that enters my head is the rush of people with resolutions cramming themselves into my gym and my meetings. It's crazy. It's going to be crazy until Valentine's Day. Ugh. But then, I'm repeating myself.

When I posted at this time last year, I was 8 months and 72 pounds into this weight loss journey. Now, another year later, I've learned a lot about myself and my weight loss. I've slipped heavily and recovered from it. I didn't hit my goal last year like I thought I was going to as 2009 began, but I have managed to lose another 46 pounds. Considering I gained back 40 pounds in the middle of the year, I'm very happy with how I handled myself with the whole thing. Do I regret letting myself get that out of control? Certainly, but in the scheme of things, I am going to have to learn how to live in the real world and maintain my weight for the rest of my life.

I know it's going to be a very big challenge. It's going to take a lot of education and feeling it out for this whole thing to become intuitive. I have a lot of tools at my disposal. Some of those, I've taken for granted these past several months. That's the past. This is a new year. I'm going to put a real effort into keeping this blog more active. If nothing else, I'd really like to update weekly.

Speaking of updates, I survived the holidays and am still working off a little bit of Christmas gain, but it really wasn't that bad and I think it will be all gone by my next weigh-in on the 8th. I may even post a loss, which would be fantastic. I'm just 1.8 from hitting 120, another 5 from my 5th trinket and just 8 more from there to the "final goal" I set for myself 20 months ago when I started this journey. That's incredible.

I'll be interested to see how this year pans out for me. I'm definitely ready for it.