Losing It For The Family

Losing It For The Family

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Reality Check

I was tasked with bringing cookies into work this morning. Kathy made them for my co-workers as a thank you for not killing me for my antics. Honest and truly, I wanted to drop them on the kitchen table and never look at them. But not being that self-disciplined, I broke into them. That was a great opportunity for me to do the "quittin' thang" again. But I decided that the 5 cookies I just ate didn't knock me off the train tracks, it just slowed the train down. I can keep on those tracks, but the speed the train goes is up to me and my choices. 5 cookies means I went from 35 mph to 15 mph. But I can start putting the better fuel in my body, and get back to 35 mph, then 55mph if I keep avoiding the crappy fuel! That is the reality, one bump is not the end. 5 bumps are not the end. The goal shouldn't ever be to have no bumps, but to make the bumps further and further apart each time!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Make This Journey A Conscious Part Of My Day

I have come to find that I am good at either sub-consciously letting myself go into what I called "float mode" or I am just too lazy to keep on track. I am not sure which it is, but I know it is lethal to my progress. So without getting too much into this, I have decided that perhaps one of the reasons I did well before is because I blogged my rear-end off. I said something about this journey each and every day, which kept it at the forefront of my mind.

So one of my new goals is to find a time, even if it is five minutes, to come on here and more or less just journal something about my journey. Doesn't have to be an epiphany, doesn't have to be profound. I just need to address it in some form of concrete form, and not just in a phantasmic way.

For example, I had to fight a small battle this morning, but I won it this morning. I have gotten into a bit of a habit of having two eggs and some cheese for breakfast at home. Then, I reason that since I ate at 5 a.m. this morning, it makes sense to get a mid morning breakfast too, because (insert some excuse here). Ok, maybe on the days I have no idea how long court is going to go, that isn't the worse plan (I can't bring food into court obviously) but for all the other days, that is ignorant. So it took some real self-control, but I did manage to pass all my usual breakfast spots.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Reset The Goals, Reset The Focus, Avoid A Non-Starter Maybe?

I want to run a half marathon. So in my planning, one of the staples is that I want to lose pounds. So I work on that first. The driving force behind my motivation is to see the scale say I am making progress. If I fail there, then my half marathon is a non-starter. So starting today, I am going to search out a half marathon for next year. I am going to put all my focus into training for that half marathon. And if I happen to lose a few pounds a long the way, then so be it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I Walked, I Was Honest, And I Got Lucky

So yesterday was basically another Day 1 in the search for my groove. I was pretty excited that the day wound up with quite a few positives. First off, I walked. I often gripe about wanting to be able to run. And I often get a wild hair and take off running every once in awhile. But who am I kidding. I am almost always setting myself up for failure when I do that. I wind up not being happy with my speed, my distance, or both. But still, I keep doing it over and over. So yesterday, I banned myself from running. I left the office and headed out on my running route, but walked the entire thing. I made myself do it. Even when I got good and warmed up and all I could think was I want to just run the next mile or so, I stopped myself. I still weigh 265 pounds, I have old knees and fragile ankles. At this point in time, I need to cast aside my pride and my go get'em attitude and be smart. I need to walk consistently and get my muscles in shape, my joints tightened back up, and my weight down.

I was honest on the My Fitness Pal app. I had clicked the button for "I'm done for the day" option, but it turned out I woke up hungry and had a piece of bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter on it. In the past, that would have fell in the no man's land region and never made it to MFP. I put that bad boy in there this time. Complete honesty, every day, regardless.

I also had the good fortune of Kathy fixing me a very healthy and low cal supper! Tilapia and corn baby!! That left me room at the end of the night to make myself a protein shake with frozen cherries. My new favorite end of day snack I do believe!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The RAAAAAAAAWWWWWWRRRRR Doesn't Work, I Need To Practice the HMMMMMMM

So this morning as I am getting ready, I had one of my commonly held session with myself which usually takes place on Mondays. I am not doing what I know I need to be doing. I need to find that discipline I had in 2010-11. I need to quit being stupid and get to getting!! Basically, I am trying to pump myself up and get the adrenaline going, like I did for football games and track meets. But here is what I came to realize suddenly. That is something you do for a short term challenge. You get psyched up and you go and perform and then the game is over. I am good at that, but history shows that once the "game" is over, I go back to terrible habits. I need to quit trying to get the raaaaaaawwwwwrrrrr feeling of getting ready for the game. But what is the alternative? As any athlete of any organized sport will tell you, the practice is the part that everybody hates. It is the same thing, over and over and over. And it is boring! But anybody that has been an athlete long enough will tell you that while practice is the hmmmmmmmmmmm of competition, that it is also where games are won and lost. Nobody gets up for practice, you just put your time in. It is somewhat anticlimactic, and I think that in this effort to change forever, that is exactly what one needs. Anti-climactic. There is no big finale, you just keep doing it. It is no longer practice, it is just doing.

So I am shifting gears once again (and that is fine, I have to find my "thing" that will lead to long term success) and making a few changes. I am going to get back to blogging, and not worry about how many people comment or have viewed it. My blogging is for me. I want to get a conscious handle on what is going on at all times. I want to stop letting myself go into float mode. The diet and exercise I need to be engaging in need to get my attention every day. Only then will I be able to have a good "practice."

I am a little on the fence on the next change, but I am going to try it and see how it works. Pictures will be taken of every bite I take during the day. I want to not subconsciously or instinctually eat any longer. I want eating to be a real thing with real consequences, rather than some harmless act, undertaken with no conscious thought to the act. And to go along with that, I am going to track the food too. And to get rid of a dirty little secret, I am going to do it in complete honesty. I have fudged my MFP before, and that will no longer be an option. I want to see that I did a bad job if I did a bad job. Evidence of the truth is part of my job, and now it will be part of my lifestyle.

Despite how many times I have said this before, a new chapter starts today. It doesn't matter how many times we fall, it matters how many times we get up. Cliche? Maybe, but also true.

Monday, October 5, 2015

I Want To Be Where I Want To Be Now!

Last night, I had a long talk with my wife. I am a very driven person, and I have high expectations of myself. I am never satisfied right where I am. I have to be progressing. That causes me much angst in my life when I am evaluating where I am at this moment. Because I am never where I want to be at that moment. I always have aspirations. I never ever live in the moment of triumph and enjoy it. That's done, what's next? I was thinking about this,and how that can be such a roadblock to so many areas of my life. I know that we have many different characters we play in life. And it seems like my unhappiness lies in almost every character's life right now.

As a husband, I want to provide my wife with the finer things in life that she didn't get to enjoy growing up. I want her to be able to walk out the door and say I'm going to browse the mall a bit and maybe do some shopping, without my accountant character having bells and whistles go off, and run to the bank account to see how big of a hit we could take. As a father, I want my kids to never incur debt to get an education. I would love to write a check for tuition each semester and get them going in life without the saddle of student loan debt. As an attorney, I would love to never have to stop and think about how to handle this issue or that issue with a case. You get the idea. And my reality is that I am not anywhere I want to be, and I am not appreciating that I made it to many of my where I was trying to get to's a while back. I want to be where I want to be, and I want to be there RIGHT NOW!

Kathy has had the unfortunate task of having to talk me off the ledge a few times here lately. I was back to beating myself up for the fact that I haven't taken my family anywhere cool for a year and some months now. I feel as though I have failed my family miserably because I don't make a ton of money and take them cool places and to experience cool things. And in reality, wanting to do those things serves another purpose. I have a lot of pressure on me a lot of the time. I make so many decisions and work out so many situations on a daily basis. I take each one very seriously. I don't make offers to defendants off the cuff, I think each one through. I don't take my position as the family accountant lightly. I try to make the best decisions possible every day. I am especially sensitive to trying to spend quality time with the kids because as a kid, no one gave a rip about me, and I don't want them to know what that feels like. To sum up, I put a lot of pressure on me. And referring back to that problem I mentioned earlier, I don't make a ton of money, so I don't really get to have many blowing off steam opportunities. You see, the one thing I do know about me is that as long as I am at home, I am not ever going to relax. There are things that need to be getting done around the house or house business. There are kids who require attention and have needs. There is always just SOMETHING. When I leave the house, at least SOME of it is left there. But I am caught in this weird situation where I can't even really afford to go fishing for a day or go camping for weekend without some planning a month ahead. So I guess what my real gripe is is that I can't take a spontaneous trip. And frankly, I need some spontaneity!

But here is the thing, if I take all that griping above out, I would see that wow, I am blessed. God has done some wonderful things in my life, and I need to appreciate them. I spent most of my youth going from no relationships to bad relationships to substance abuse to wasting my potential in a factory (nothing against factory work, I just was never happy and it turns out, because I could do more than that). And now, I have two college degrees, a law degree, a wife that I don't really deserve, three kids that ultimately love me, thought sometimes I can't tell! haha. And here is the answer to the I don't make enough money gripe. I DO MAKE ENOUGH MONEY. My family has seen it's share of shut off notices and collections letters and phone calls, and eaten ramen 4 nights a week, etc. etc. And none of that is true now. All bills are paid, all meals have meat, and all kids are enrolled in some type of extra curricular activities. I have a mini van (not sure if I am bragging or hanging my head on this one) that runs well and gets the kids where they have to be, and a paid for truck that I love to drive. I actually have a few bills on auto draft, and that never happened. I had to have the flexibility to not pay it one month if need be! I can now go to my bank and get a loan if it came to me needing that. I have come a long way. I really need to recognize that.

How does that relate to my lifestyle change? I think my angst about my position in life plays a role in my poor diet habits. I am not satisfied or settled in where I am and that underlying unhappiness is being filled with food. Fix one, fix the other, right? The question being, how do I fix it? I am who I am, and I don't know how to change that!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Shift In Perspective

I am a type A personality for the most part. And as a type A, I am not one to go at things lightly. It is full force ahead if I am undertaking it. I am that guy that will never take a break because if I am done with the project, that is the break. But to go along with my type A personality, I have the flaw of thinking that if I am not 100% succeeding, I am 100% failing. Perhaps I am not progressing fast enough, perhaps I am not meeting my progressive goals I set for myself, or perhaps I am being an idiot because at some point, I didn't use my brain and now feel like it set me back from making my goal and that is unrecoverable time for me. Basically, I am really hard on myself. I do recognize this, but I can't seem to beat it out of me. And I feel like that has become a stumbling block on my road to a healthy lifestyle.

So I am writing this down, making it real and telling all of you too, so that if you see me slipping, you can call me out on it. I am not going to be mad at myself for not being Mr. 100 mph. I am not going to decide that being 150 calories over budget is a blight on my character. I am not going to believe that a loss of 20 pounds over 6 months is a joke because last time I lost 20 pounds in 2 months. My hard charging may have gotten me ahead in some facets of my life, but I think that it has only sabotaged me in my quest to eat healthier, and lose weight at a healthy pace. I told someone the other day, the worst thing that has ever happened to me is having been so super successful at my last effort to gain a healthy lifestyle (well relative success, being as I didn't stay at my healthier weight)

So I want to list what I have done here and recognize that despite what I may believe, these are significant accomplishments from where I started to where I am now. For example, I never, even on the weekends, eat a big, fat laden, calorie dense, unhealthy breakfast. It is some combination of 2 oz of spicy sausage, 2 eggs, oatmeal, and some fruit, usually an apple. I don't eat much for lunch, if I eat an actual lunch at all. Most of my snacking is protein bars or shakes, some almonds or a pumpkin seed and other grains snack bar. 2-3 days a week, I have some form of left over chicken breast for lunch. The weekends are a little less certain lunchwise, but not too far off. I have cut waaaaaaay down on sodas. I used to buy a 6 pack of the 20 oz bottle twice a week. Now I have the fountain drink version every other day or so. And even in the fountain drink soda realm, I have made progress. I used to get the 44 oz cup, then I graduated to the 32 oz cup. I am currently on the 20 oz cup and eyeballing the 16 oz cup next! I did that because I am trying to retrain my brain to not believe I need the biggest everything. I can't help but realize that has also been the biggest issue in my life. If I like it, give me the biggest one, or fill up the plate, or go back for seconds! Now I am working on no seconds at supper, which isn't as big a problem as it used to be, but I am trying to make it be never an issue.

Long story short, I am working at being ok with being consistent but not kicking ass. I am trying to be ok with a medium pace and not expecting that I excel in pounds/inches lost like I did previously. I am retraining my brain with respect to my journey to a healthy lifestyle. I think that if I can take the pressure I feel to excel off of this aspect of my life, then my disappointments, deserved or not, will not be able to derail my efforts.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

What You Didn't Do

So often in life we, mark success by what we did. Finished high school. Check. Got married to your soul mate. Check. Built a life that makes you happy. Check. But I think we as a group have just as much to be proud of in the check list of things we didn't do.

When you struggle through many false starts in an effort to get to a healthier weight and a healthier lifestyle, there are lots of chances to do the easy thing, to let life get to you and just give up and give in. If you are reading this, then you didn't do many things:

1. You didn't look at the last "failed attempt" (which I am now considering a tutorial on what doesn't work) as the end of the dream. It was a speed bump, but in reality, it was just a lesson in algebra where you got the wrong answer, but got to work with the formula that will get you the right answer eventually.

2. You didn't let yourself, your friends, or your situation convince you that this is a pointless endeavor. You recognize deep within yourself that this is about changing a situation that you don't like and will continue to not like until you fix it.

3. You didn't walk away. Most of us retreated, we went to a dark or a safe place and holed up for a minute or two, but we came back. Retreat often gets treated as a battle lost. But if you read about war tactics, battles have been won by retreating, using that retreat to regroup, and coming back with a new strategy!!

4. You didn't lose all hope that you can do this. You clearly picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, and got back on that horse.

5. You didn't go quietly into the night. You are making noise yet again. This time will be different that all the rest, and you believe that!!

Be proud of all that you have done, but never forget that almost all of those things would never have come to fruition except for all the things you didn't do.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

This Plan Is My Plan, That Plan Is Your Plan, Each Plan Was Made Individually!

First off, I want to give a shout out to Sean Anderson and Gerri Helms. I really appreciate the opportunity to join the support group and the benefit that inures from it. I can honestly say I feel like I have found another gear in my efforts. It is great to have a safe and friendly group that you can come to with the things that rattle around in your head about your fears, concerns, worries, etc. and also a place to come and share you success stories with those who get that they are a big deal!

So on to business. One thing that I have found I am having trouble with is that I have this plan for myself. I want to stay under 2100 calories gross, not net. I want to get organized activity in 3-5 times a week. I want to not plant my butt on the couch all the time at the end of the day. I want to at minimum keep my diet soda consumption to 1-2 a week. Long term, maybe get rid of them all together. Anyway, you get the idea. The one problem I have with a group dynamic, is that I suddenly start seeing one guy who is so dedicated that he researches whether something has sugar in it before he will eat it. I have one girl who can plan her meals out long term and know what is coming down the pipe calorie wise. I have another guy that is similarly situated to me age and weight wise who is getting by on 1600-1800 calories a day. In a nutshell, I am feeling like my plan is inadequate compared to the other plans and goals I see. That is the first step in failing to continue on for no good reason. I really need to get ahold of this and nip it in the bud. We didn't come off the assembly line, and what each of us requires to get where we are going, which also varies wildly from one person to the next, means that we can't compare plans and think we are worse off, or even better off for that matter, than our comrades in arms. I don't have an issue with sugar, so I don't need to guard against that. Most people don't have the issue with diet soda, so they don't have to guard against that. Some folks don't get hungry on 1600-1800 calories a day, so they can do that. I am not them. They are not me. My plan is my plan, their plan is their plan. And comparison is not needed.

What is needed is to focus in on your plan. Ask yourself, is this working? Did I drop weight/inches this week? Is my energy level higher than it has been historically? Am I able to be true to my plan without excessive struggles? If the answer to these are all yes, then there is nothing wrong with your plan. But that line of questioning has to be examined regularly, because as we all know, the journey changes with your progress. My 2100 calorie goal may have to go up or down, my exercise goal may have to change based on a plateau. But no matter what, the only plan that matters is your plan.

Monday, August 3, 2015

That Day

As a veteran in the losing weight and getting in shape only to back track, there is one thing I always remember from each initial success that later turned to failure. There was always that one day that I knew the tide was turning. Whether it be that I had a great work out and it didn't kill me like it used to, or that the shirt I love so much is now far far too big on me to be wearing in public, or that I sat in a booth at a restaurant and my belly didn't touch the table.

Today was the "That Day" for me. I got up this morning and put on my favorite red shirt. As I started to button it, I noticed that there was a bit more room than usual. I then went on to work where I was met with several stressful situations all at once. And rather than biding my time thinking about what to go get for lunch that would allegedly make me feel less stress (but create new stress after, am I right?), I was fascinated with getting to my gym and getting a good workout in to bust the stress. When I got there, I almost had a milestone. As I talked about here while back, I have an obsession with pull ups, and I bought a assist band to help me get going on them. I was just a foot away from doing 10 pull ups on my first set!! I also had bigger than usual numbers on my successive sets!

Once a week, I do one workout where I lift weights, and in between each set, I go run on the treadmill for 1 minute at 5 mph. Today, I actually toyed with the idea of turning up the speed, because that speed was no longer challenging me like it had historically!! I mean I knew I had run, but I was not fatigued or breathing nearly as hard as usual.

So here is the challenge. Keep working, keep persisting in whatever your personal fitness endeavor may be. Strive for your "That Day" and when it gets here, know that from that point forward, it is largely a down hill race. I am NOT saying there will never be challenges after that, but the road is paved after That Day and the potholes are not nearly as rough as the gravel road you just came off of.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

No More Fiction

In the law, there is a thing called a legal fiction. So for example, if there is an accident that a husband and a wife are involved in, and one dies immediately and another a few days later, for the purposes of an estate, in certain situations, the law creates a legal fiction that they both died at the same time, despite the reality of a time lapse.

I have been previously trying to pretend like this journey after my relapse/regain is a fresh effort, and I am a newbie just trying to find my way. I am done with that. I know what to do to get where I want to go. What I don't know (yet) is how to get where I am trying to go without a return trip. I need to stop focusing on the map, I know the directions. I need to start focusing on what I am going to do when I get to my new hometown of Healthyville. Am I looking too far ahead and in danger of running off the road because I became a distracted driver? I don't think so. I have had at LEAST 4 successful significant weight losses. History says I can get down to a healthy weight, what it doesn't show is that I can stay there. I need to put in place tools that will help me stay thinner, and will keep me from heading back to OhCrapville. I don't have that yet, but with a minimum of 70 pounds to go before I get to Healthyville, I have time to work that out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Broken Record Maybe, But I Think It Is A Critical Concept

If you were so inclined, you could go back through this blog and my social media and other such forms of communications I use, and the one thing I have said ad nauseum, I truly believe to be a key component to a successful lifestyle change. I think that no matter what progress you make, you have to embrace that and treat it as a reason to celebrate (and I don't mean by going to grab a Snickers bar, I just mean rejoice in the moment! haha).

For example, and here is another thing that if you would look, I have droned on about as well, I have a night time eating problem. I can be spot on nailed it, holy crap he is good all day. But come 6 o'clock, Katie Bar the Door!! I will devour anything that comes into my sight! So for the last 3 evenings, I have had a yogurt after supper, and that is it. Is that a huge deal? Nope. But I got to bed each night overjoyed that tonight, I did not fall off the wagon and go binge like I wanted to! That first night, that was the cornerstone of something big to come, but really, was it a hooping and hollering event? YES, YES IT MOST CERTAINLY WAS!! Will it be an even bigger event when I have done that a week straight, or a month straight? Sure, but never ever take away the gravity of a small victory. 1,000 small victories in battles, lead to wars being won.

Secondly, never ever let a goal you didn't reach in the time frame you set out erase whatever progress you did make. Ever. Progress is to be celebrated no matter what! I have a weird fascination with doing pull ups right now. In February, I bought myself a pull up assist band so that I could get started doing them properly, and eventually wean my self off the band. My goal was to be doing 4 sets of 10 with the band by the end of this month. That was not to be though. However, on day one with the band, I could do two sets of 3, and then for my last two sets, I could do 1 pull up, then I jumped up to a finished position and lowered myself down slowly as I could. Yesterday, I did 1st set 7 pull ups, second set 5 pull ups, third set found 7 more in me, and final set was 5 again. I will not have reached goal by weeks end obviously, but man, yesterday I was much much better than I was starting out. I walked out feeling pretty dang studly!

This is kinda unrelated, but I want to put it out there. I have known that I have had insulin resistance for quite sometime. It went away when I lost weight in 2010-2011. But when I started gaining again, I did the ostrich move of putting my head in the sand and choosing not to see how well my blood sugar was doing. I have pulled my head out (of what you can use your imagination as needed) and started tracking my blood sugar again. I can tell you this, I am much more motivated to eat right and exercise based on seeing those blood sugar numbers. If you suspect that you may have insulin resistance, my suggestion to you is to go buy a meter and the test strips, and begin to track your blood sugar and how the foods you eat affect it. I learned yesterday, I do not need to be eating bananas. I learned last week that eating that "diet soup" that was the rage in the late 90s actually lowers my blood sugar. It is a great tool and will fascinate you, which in turn keeps your mind focused on the task at hand of losing weight and getting healthier!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Not Too Fast, But Not Really Slow

I ran in another organized 5k this weekend. I set out with a goal of getting my minutes per mile down, and finishing below 40 minutes. I managed to do both!

I have been in a groove here lately with the help of some friends. I have been running 3 days a week and lifting weights 2 days a week. The other days I just stay active around the house. Quite frankly, I was getting a bit perplexed with my running for awhile. My first 5k I ran in, finished in 40 minutes 58 seconds. I ran one two weeks later and actually got slower, I think like 41 minutes 25 seconds. I was also having terrible times in my training runs! And I can't explain exactly what happened, but last Thursday, out of nowhere, my legs suddenly got froggy, and I had a great training run! I think I averaged 12 minutes and 24 seconds a mile. By Saturday I was feeling pretty good about getting my best 5k time on this pass. I pushed and pushed and by the time I crossed the finish line, I had finished with a time of 38 minutes 25 seconds! That put my miles per minute at 12:15!! Now that is not fast, but it also isn't slow. At my worst, I was running a 14:01 minutes per mile. That is pretty slow, at least in my eyes.

I think that this Saturday's race is a bit representative of my current lifestyle change. It isn't going real fast (I ain't losing tons of mass quickly) but it also isn't going slow ( I can run, I can fit into a few new shirts I had put back to work towards). And frankly, that is where I want to be. I am convinced I just went to fast and worked too hard at weight loss last time, and ultimately that was not a plan for success for me. I think not being Type A personality in this aspect of my life will ultimately lead to success. I think going slow and changing things gradually will be what makes the lifestyle change stick on this go around. It lets me learn new things, it lets my body get used to the changes and not go into freak out mode, and the changes I make are more ingrained in me.

I like where I am right now. And just like in my running, I plan to keep on training to get better, but not overtraining and risking injury(failure). I will get my distance and speeds back up in running by training sensibly and I will make this lifestyle change stick, by making small changes a little at a time, and making them my norm rather than a change.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Too Long Between Posts

I decided I needed to get a post put up. Like I said, I don't know who is still reading me, but I just don't want any of those folks to think I have submarined. Quite the opposite, I am thriving and happy with the direction I am going. I have had so much happens since the last time I put a post up that I can't even really recall it all.

As I have said over and over, I am not scale number guy anymore, I am clothes size guy now. Well I am in 3 new shirts I was waiting on. I have no clue what I weigh, but I know a size 18 dress shirt fits me now.

I actually have quit writing my calories down, and have become really good at just knowing I am under my calorie goal, or over it if that be the case. But whatever the calorie count for the day, I am not fascinated/obsessed/crazy about it. I have waaaaay more good days than bad.

I can run 3 miles again! I left the office yesterday and ran out a mile and a half and ran back. I did it in 39 minutes! I am getting there again!

I have more pecs and less boobs.

What I refer to as my whale hump in my belly (I have the weirdest looking stomach, right in the middle sticks out in a V shape) is disappearing.

I can't seem to sit still at home anymore. If the sky is somewhat clear, I am outside doing SOMETHING!

And most proudly of all, my wife is kicking my butt in getting in shape, and I am doing pretty good, so imagine how good she is doing! Today, we are going to get her fitted for her first pair of RUNNING SHOES!!

I could probably keep going, but it would sound a lot like bragging, and I am not that guy. I am just so thankful that God saw fit to give me the turn around I have been praying for over the last 2 years!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hodge Podge Post

I don't really have anything earth shaking to say. If anybody has even noticed I haven't been posting and thought "there he goes again", that is not the case. Apart from a 2-3 day stretch last week where I ate crappily and I did it with style, I am actually in a really good place right now. I have come to accept that I am not using the "Incredible Shrinking Man" method this time, opting for the "Credible Shrinking Man" routine instead. I have come to find that one thing that calorie tracking does for me is that it keeps my imagination from running away about how many calories I had today. I have come to find that if I am not able to get to a paper and write down my calories, I start imagining that I am probably at 3,000 calories!! The tracking has really helped me begin to understand that realistically, I would have to go on a full on binge to get there, especially with the food I have been eating. Nice segue there to my next point. I think healthy eating really is starting to be my lifestyle, not my lifestyle change I am making. I love veggies and fruits now. I had cale chips the other day and LOVED them! I also have been putting away the almonds pretty regular. Kathy is still doing a great job with dinner prep for me, and also keeping the junk out of the house.

I think the thing that I am most proud of is the fact that my physical fitness level is getting noticabaly better. Silly little things like it doesn't feel like I am dragging a plow around behind me when I walk in Wal Mart, and great big things like how I am getting more and more pull ups (disclaimer: using an assist band on them) and I have gone up significantly on my weights in the resistance training part of my workout. Also, my cardio is improving!! I finished a program on the Arc Trainer today that was killing me, and now it isn't easy, but by the time I was done today, I was thinking it may be time to go to level 4! Also, I decided I was being a chicken sh*t about running a 5k and I was worried about the time I would put up. I gave up hanging on to the fact I ran on in 27 minutes in my peak, and decided I am going out, doing my best and starting to whittle away at that time to get it better.

I guess all in all, my point is that it has been a good few weeks. I can't wait until all this crappy winter weather is gone. I went out in the back yard during a break in the snow the other day and spotted a few projects I want to undertake when the weather improves. I sure hope that all of us are moving forward and seeing little bits of success and big bits of success! I really am excited to be feeling like this change is the one that takes!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Perfect Storm

I have to tell you, I hate that I decided to take up the gauntlet once again during the winter. If I was writing this post on Friday afternoon, it would probably have been a different tone. I have been clicking along pretty good for the most part, but starting Friday night, I just kinda got a low tire and was not quite as good for the weekend. And it may be excuse making, I don't know, but I attribute it to the fact that our weather is being crappy. Now that I am starting to get more energy, I hate it when I can't get out and do stuff on the weekend. I get all angst-y and that is a recipe for disaster. Like I said before, there isn't any crappy food in our house nowadays, but there was a perfect storm that blew in on Saturday night. My daughter is a Girl Scout, and she went and picked up her cookies that day and brought them in the house. We of course did the usual buying a few from her, but this year we decided to buy them for the purpose of donating them to the local food bank. Well by Saturday night, my angst was at its peak, I was tired of being shut in, and I broke into the Samoas we bought in our name. Of course the logic path you expected happened. I bought them, I should get to eat SOME right? So I had 3, logged them. Went on about my business. Fast forward to yesterday after church, the box is gone......

The one redeeming quality I have had thus far is that I track everything! I am completely honest on the notepad. But this particular instance, I ignored most of those cookies I ate. This is a slippery slope I find myself on. I chose to write about it so I can fight about it (with myself of course). I woke up today with a newly renewed vigor, and without ANY GUILT!! Before I probably would have ruminated about that for days, but it seems I have given myself some wiggle room, and a pass on days past. I can only control what I do from now on, that is the past.

On a good news note, I am signed up for a 5K. It is not this Saturday but next. I KNOW I can run two miles, but 3 miles may be a stretch. I have two weeks to see if I can get there! Here we go!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Why Can't I Believe?

I had the craziest week. I had some kind of meeting 3 days this week and on one day I had 3 meetings. All of these meetings were out of office meetings, and all but one offered free food. I set out hoping to just avoid eating at all of them, but realized that is an unrealistic expectation for me. I changed the idea to be reasonable in my eating, be ok with one serving and leaving some on the plate if they portions are prepared for me. I am not going to lie, on each of those days I thought I had tanked my calorie bank before I made it home to actually log my caloric intake for the day. I am not going to lie that each one of those days, I was shocked to find I had done a great job staying in the bank!

This made me think about a couple of things. First, why did I presume failure when I was off my routine? I was using my good judgment, getting small portions, getting the healthiest options. But with no time to actually get calorie counts on the fly, I drove home presuming if I wanted to stay within the calorie goal, I would have to ask Kathy for smaaaaallll portions for supper. On all three days I was just fine when I got home. In fact, I was in the area of calories taken in for the day that I normally was in by the time I get home. You would think day 1, it is reasonable to believe that I was over, day 2 a little less believable, and by day 3, I would KNOW that I had done a good job making decision outside of my routine. Why can't I believe in me?

The other thing I was thinking about is why do I not have the ability to believe that my healthier choices are less caloric than my old choices? I may go over 2000 calories once or twice a week nowadays and never by more than 100 or so calories. But without fail, and even with the numbers written down in black and white, I believe I ate more calories than I really did. Another thing I believe is that despite the quality of food being better and less caloric, if I didn't end the day starving a little, I got fatter over night. I kid you not, I wake up each day and do this one weird thing. I get both my pillows out from under my head, lay flat on the bed, and check to see if after I place my hand on my sternum and run it down my belly, there is a drop off after the sternum. I started off with a rise after my sternum, and I now have a noticeable drop off after my sternum. But I check it every day presuming that the drop off will be gone and the uphill will be back.

I tell you what, the more I think, the more I worry about how broken I am.......

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pulling In The Reins On Second Guessing

I hesitate to write this post because I fear is sounds more like bragging than dealing with an issue. But trust me, if you knew me personally, I am the last person that would be a braggart.

The issue I am facing is a tough one because it doesn't involve me struggling, it actually involves me succeeding. I have been clipping along pretty good the last couple of weeks. As I have talked about before, I am mostly counting on non-scale indicators as to where I am in this trip. I have these 3 shirts that I bought for wearing at the office and to court a while back. I bought them knowing they were a tad small and that I planned on working into them. I have been trying them on periodically, the last time being last Friday. Man they were really close, but not quite where I want them to be before I wear them out in public. Well that alone would probably be ok, but then I started noticing that even on the newly acquired 3rd notch of my belt, I am getting some breathing room, and I have some shirts and pants that are starting to drape on me a little. Add to that that my last weigh in had me down 3 pounds, and this all seems like a "good job, you are doing what you set out to do" situation, right? One would think, but for me, it is a possible trap situation. I am literally chomping at the bit to cut my calorie count and add an evening workout, even if it is just walking. Why? I want to speed up the weight loss because I am seeing results with what I am doing. Doing more is better right?

As I type this, I am sitting at 900 calories net for the day (probably really more than that, I overestimate calories a lot and under value the exercise deduction) and I am thinking about just letting it be. That seems like it would be ok, but if I get to thinking hey last night I got by on 900, then I will start shooting for that number all the time in an effort to speed it up. How frikkin' broken can I possibly be? I know what pitfall awaits me if I do the 100 pounds in 10 months, but here I am second guessing my new basics of lose slow, learn new habits, don't go bat crap crazy.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, I really appreciate the opportunity to have a forum to get the stuff out of my head and onto paper. Now I can deal with it better.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Guest Blogger- Meet My Motivator

Hi, I'm Shane's wife. The one that has changed the food choices around the house. Not everyone is happy about it all the time but, that's life.

My journey has changed since I have started and stopped dieting for as long as I can remember. This time I started with all hopes of having surgery. Lets just leave it at that did not pan out. I have known my whole life I have a weight problem. A depression problem comes with that. I would get defeated when the scale wouldn't move. I would bring others down with me. I would say isn't this so yummy. It's only one time. Those are all lies.

Now Shane tells everyone about my No Excuses mantra, and I mean it! But, What comes from that is so much more. As, I'm working hard at it saying "God thank you for all these new tools I have learned about how I can do this" Then I hear the lie you can't do this. You can't keep this up all the time. But, I am still pushing forward. No excuses!

The lady that owns our gym said you are starting my class this Friday. I said "ummm not sure." Don't sign this girl up for something called Combat Cardio. Well, we started; me, my daughter, and my bestie. We now get up at 4:35 and at the gym by 5. I like to be a little early. (not a morning person) So, we have started and it took the whole weekend for me to want to move my body again. It's Monday and we have to do this again! By the end of that week I thought if my body is going to be this sore I better start eating better or this just ain't worth it.

Back to not having the surgery. I had to see a nutritionist to get approved for surgery. So, I know what I should be eating and how much water I need to be drinking. About week two I am praying; I need more to help me with this. I just need something. Well, something shows up in form of a book called Made to Crave. This was handed to me from my smiling, ready to encourage you workout leader. So, I thought I can dedicate myself to 15 minutes of reading a day. I did that. This book has shown me so much truth in my life. It's not a diet book. Or a self help book. It did help me admit my sin. I have found so much freedom in that. I gave it to God. He gave me this body and this life. I'm going to live it! God gets me out of bed in the morning, some days I say we get out of bed (God and me). I thank him as I workout when I don't want to move anymore. Now when we bless our food for the nourishment of our bodies I truly mean it. I want nourishment. My journey like I said earlier has changed. It's a faith journey. Thanks for reading my guest blog on Shane's blog form.

His wife Kathy

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Type A Personality Trying To Do A Type B Personality Life Style Change Plan

I am who I am. I see a problem and when I get revved up about it, I want to kill it right now! I want results and I want them 30 seconds ago. I would say that I am probably the quintessential Type A personality in most aspects of life. The problem is, I was able to identify that I believe that the last and all other weight loss successes likely were unsuccessful because I attacked them, conquered them, then made no actual changes that stuck. My thought for this go around: Lose it slow doing things that will be sustainable and will be my norm when I am in maintenance mode.

Wow does that sound like a genius plan? Yup. But it is also a Type B personality plan. Take it slow and steady and be consistent in small changes. Yeah that is a problem for me. Yesterday I had the opportunity to go visit the State Capital with a group I am affilliated with here in the County. We toured lots of places and lots of pictures were taken by many of my colleagues. Inevitably, I was in a few of them. I was on Facebook and saw that I was tagged a lot, so I went and looked at the pictures. I almost immediately had the thought go through my head "how is it that 2 months into doing this, I am still looking that bad?!?!" I had the minor freak out, then centered myself back to an important realization. My whole stated goal is to not lose weight fast, but to lose it slow and in a manner that I can maintain at the time I go into maintenance phase. I am needing to adopt a Type B personality for that plan. Man it is going to be hard! Especially knowing I have the ability to go all Type A and be where I want in less than a year.

Here's to making a major change while trying to make a major change!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Name It and Claim It

I have to get this out and on paper so that I don't let it get power over me. I name the fear, I can fight it. I make the battle plan, I stick to it. I have a crazy stupid week this week. I have been on a pretty good roll lately with a routine that allows my workouts to be at the same time on set days, but this week, we find out if I can overcome when the routine is going to be shot. Add to the equation I took a day from being super strict on food intake both Friday and Sunday nights, and I have the potential to lose all I have worked for if I am not vigilant.

So here is my plan. I think I can still squeeze in a workout today, although much later in the day than usual. It is going to be a workout that involves running in the treadmill and today I up the speed to 5.2 mph. I will do a good back workout too.

Tomorrow, I have zero chance of a workout. I am traveling at 5:30 a.m. and won't be back until 7:30 p.m. or so.

Wednesday, I should be good to go on routine and that will be leg day.

Thursday is my usual day off, so I will have to break that up and make Thursday a workout day this week. Chest and Arc Trainer that day.

And Friday, I am going to do either run again or a bike workout, and then a shoulder workout.

I am done "coasting with good instincts" on eating. This week we are back to eat it up, I write it down. No more coasting days until February 20th.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Yeah, I'll Be The One To Say It......

I bet money I am not the only one to deal with this, I am just the only one who is crazy enough to talk about it. The Ol' Number Two and how the lifestyle change can cause the roller coaster ride with regards to the regularity. Why am I talking about it? Yesterday morning, I got up for weigh day and I was not greeted with a loss. In fact, I got to see a gain. Not that it mattered to me since I had about 5 other indicators of success. But I of course thought about it for a few minutes. It occurred to me, I hadn't taken a decent deuce in about a week. Which is weird based on how many grains and veggies I eat now. Plus I take Metformin, which is supposed to be the devil when it comes to making you poop a lot. So anyway, I packed it away and decided to let it go until next week's weigh in.

Fade to Sunday morning..... Let's just say that had this morning's activities taken place about 24 hours ago, I have to believe I would be down 2 pounds rather than up 3. And quite frankly, that is not the first time I have been struck by the day after weigh day curse of the deuce! I think God definitely has a sense of humor about Him! haha.

Ok, I am out. I am going to the store to buy some All Bran cereal.... haha.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

More Measuring Sticks, Less Danger

One of the things I had always wished I did in my last weight loss journey was to have taken progress pictures. I do have pictures in every day life from back then, but I mean pictures where I posed with no shirt on so that I could see the progressions. I decided this go around that I will be doing the pictures, so I had Kathy take some pictures here while back, and then this past Monday, I had her do it again. I have to be honest, I almost jumped the tracks when I saw the two side by side, because frankly, I couldn't tell there was any difference. Luckily, I had to be at work pretty quickly, so I didn't really have time to stew on it and really get aggravated.

So here is why the fact that I don't tie my progression in this journey to any one thing is so key to my doing well. That very well could have been a trigger to relapse, for at leas a couple of days, but instead I was able to make some key realizations over the next two days. First and foremost, I recalled that I had just weighed Saturday, and since January 1, 2015 I had lost 9 pounds. I realized I was busy pedaling away on the recumbent bike at the gym on a level 2 levels above where I started not too long ago. I continued to think about it while I was doing a back workout where I was doing assisted pull ups in three sets, 5 first set, 4 second set, and 3 third set when I started out doing 3-3-1. I added weight on every lift that day also. I continued to think about those pictures while I was getting dressed back in my office clothes and was buckling up my belt on not the first notch where I started out, or the second notch I had worked my way to not too long ago, but the third notch which I had discovered I had to have that morning when my pants were not staying up on the way in the door to the office. On Tuesday, I realized I had no reason to be down on myself based on those pictures as I doing my interval jogging/walking workout and the jogging intervals were being done at 5.0 mph, and I was not really struggling at the end of the workout (I started out in December with my run interval speed being 4.2 mph) which means my next run workout, the run intervals will be 5.2 mph.

This was not a post to brag about me and my progress. Not one bit. It was a reminder to me that in this tender stage of reboot, I cannot let the mistakes I made last time and in all my reboot attempts keep me from soldiering on. The mental gymnastics in this game are crazy, and you have to find a way to create successes to beat out the dangers of perceiving you are failing. The more measuring sticks you use, the less danger there is you are going to not find some kind of success to keep the momentum going. This time around, I had to find success in a scale number and fitness sign posts. Next time around, I may have to find success in the fit of my clothes or my energy level. Another time I may have to find success in the fact I have been consistent with 4-5 days a week working out for a whole month (which come this Friday, will be the case). ABC's of lifestyle change baby. Alway Be Conscious!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Living In The Matrix

I will not pretend like I am a Matrix Trilogy junkie. I have probably seen all 3, but not multiple times. Anyway, the one thing I remember is when Neo began to see what was really going on around him after taking the blue pill. It took awhile, but then he became who he was supposed to be. The last month and a half or so, I am starting to to feel like I am starting to see things how they really are. I have this clarity of mind, solid will, and a forgiving heart for myself. With these in place, I have to admit my journey continues on with less stress or urgency than the one before.

I first became aware of my presence in the Matrix this past Saturday. We were in Sam's Club, and there were about a billion samples being offered. We had just come from Chick Fil A for lunch, so I had already eaten. I was not at all tempted by all the samples being offered, despite the dangerous classification of "free food" that has screwed me quite often. I then started noticing other things. When I looked at the junk food that was packaged up pretty and looking so yummy, I saw it for what it was. It was junk. It was terrible fuel for my body, and it was an obstacle to where I am headed if I gave in and bought that stuff. It held no appeal to me whatsoever. Now I am not saying that it will NEVER hold any appeal, but that day, I didn't feel like I was depriving myself by not buying the junk food we usually stock up on.

I also am getting much better at being able to play it by ear when my work schedule conflicts with my workout schedule, so that I don't wind up missing a day I intended to workout. It isn't as hard as I workout at the gym, but when I had to work through lunch, I am no longer the guy that just crashes after supper and hopes that I can make it up one day this week. I go straight from the table to the bedroom, lace them up, and go walk a couple of miles around the block, but I make sure I am at just shy of jogging speed when I do it.

I have also learned that this journey has to have some flexibility, and the one thing you cannot expect is that you will meet every single goal exactly as you planned it. Sometimes you will exceed your hopes, and sometimes you will fall short. As I stated before, I am shooting for 2,000 NET calories a day. Over the past 9 days, I have actually gone over that amount twice. Prior to being in the Matrix, that would have been full on meltdown, let's analyze this to death, but not before I gave in for the rest of the day and binged on whatever sounded good at the moment. On both of the days I went over the calorie budget, I took the position, "eh, it is what it is, which is one day in thousands to come. I know that most of those thousands of days, I will be successful, so why sweat this one?"

And finally, and probably most importantly, I no longer feel I have to be a member of the clean plate club. I have in the last three days, left one plate with food left on it, and two bowls of oatmeal unfinished. Now I switched to the traditional oatmeal from the quick oats, so that may have been the difference. All I know, I didn't pull out the "starving kids in Africa" rationalization to make myself keep eating despite being full.

Also, I am no longer beating myself up for the re-gain. As my buddy Sean said, it is not a failure, it was a step in the bigger picture, and a necessary one at that. And when I go over on calories, I no longer decide I ama bad person who doesn't love my wife and kids enough to be disciplined and perfect in this journey. Like I said, it was a day in a journey of thousands of days. And as Divad said, the strive for perfection will lead to failure. We are after all human and admittedly broken, or we wouldn't be here in this blogosphere.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Consistent Not Crazy

As some here may know, I am on the rebound from a successful weight loss in 2010-2011. Although how successful was it if I gained back? But anyway, I lost 100 pounds in 10 months and I was quite pleased with myself. I look back at the pictures from those days (I was ok with being photographed back then) and I wonder what happened and what can I do to keep that from happening yet AGAIN? And I think I have put into place something that will help me from a relapse once I get the weight back off this time.

I did not start off the last journey looking to lose 100 pounds in 10 months. I really just wanted to be a 1-2 pounds a week loser. But I had some crazy success early on, and that got into my head. I remember my first two or three weigh ins, I lost 4-8 pounds each week. Well that was a bad bad thing. Suddenly, only that level of weight loss was acceptable. I always chased that. So I adjusted my diet and exercise routines to get that. I went from a plan that had me getting 2200 gross calories, to 1500-1800 calories gross calories. I went from I want to work out 1 time a day 4-5 days a week, to two workouts a day M-F and then loooooong workouts on the weekend. I was both consistent AND crazy. I don't KNOW this, but I think the reason I was so susceptible to weight gain once I wasn't able to keep up the routine is because my body saw its chance to put some of that weight I just lost really really quickly back on. Now at first I was still eating within reason, but once the weight started to come back on despite that, it stood to reason, why bother to attempt to eat right? So during law school, I abandoned all attempts to eat well and voila, here we are today.

So here is what I do now, and so far it seems to be working really well. I have settled on 2000 NET calories a day, not GROSS. I have an app that gives me an idea how many calories my workouts burn, then I round that down to the nearest whole 100 number. I only workout once a day 4-5 days a week. And I don't have any LOOOOONG workouts. I may step up my workouts later as I lose weight and get in better physical condition, but for now, I will not get CRAZY, but I will be CONSISTENT. And the last thing is that I am not doing anything TODAY that I can't keep up realistically after getting the weight back off. I used a lot of mental energy up keeping myself psyched up to do all that work in 2010-2011, and that led me to go into a "intuitive eating phase" so I could take a break and catch my breath. No more of that either. now that I am only being consistent rather than crazy, I foresee no more "burn out" once I get to where I am going.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I Have Terrible News

I know I am guilty of this, and I bet most if not all of you are too. I have in past weight loss journeys had the idea that when I got skinny, I would magically be happy. Like it was a magical spell or a wish from a genie, and POOF all will be fixed in your life. I have been the guy with the big weight loss. Trust me when I tell you, your life is still your life when you get skinny. If you were frustrated in your job, friendships, family life, etc. it doesn't just go away. Life goes on as it always does, just now, you have a physical transformation.

But it isn't all bad news. Once you get skinny, the problems may still be there, but two things have changed. First of all, you may not have fixed ALL your problems, but you did fix ONE issue in your life that likely has been giving your grief for a long time. At the very least, when you have reached a weight or fitness goal, you dropped off one of the things that keeps you awake at night. Another thing you have done is to equip yourself with a tool to deal with the rest of life's troubles that can wear on you. Had a bad day at work? Rather than coming home and binge eating on junk as a coping mechanism, now you have the option to strap on the running shoes and go run off the crazy, or hit the gym and get a good weight work out on. Because we all know how the binge eating solution ends up.... you having had a bad day AND and bad evening in the end. None of us have ever said "I really regret that great workout" but we have all said, "I can't believe I at the whole thing" (you may or may not get that joke).

Monday, January 19, 2015

Be Specific

As this journey goes along, I am learning that one of the keys to success is to never leave yourself in an open-ended goal. Never say I want to or I hope to. That leaves the possibility of failure open, and those easy outs are dangerous. Also, when you are doing your planning for the day or the week, never be general, be specific. I am getting very good at this. I don't say I want to work out 4-5 days this week, I say I am going to work out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I always decide what workout I am going to do the day before. I am very specific and goal oriented now. I am a to do lister, so when I make the list, it gives me great satisfaction to get the list done.

I also discovered that my night eating problem is an easy fix. I am very specific about what can be eaten after supper. I can have either or both a piece of bread with peanut butter on it and one packet of meat with a cheese stick rolled up inside of it. Those are the only options, and I am very specific about it.

On a very important side note, I am in such a good place. My wife Kathy has been charging ahead in getting fit and eating healthy. If the truth is told, the reason I started back going strong is that she has been getting up every day and walking out the door to the gym at 4:50 a.m. and she has adopted the mantra "No Excuses" so that she doesn't talk herself out of it like she used to. She has also made it impossible to get an unhealthy snack around the joint. I was rummaging the other day trying to find something to eat that I shouldn't be eating, and there is NOTHING! I wound up eating carrots and hummus and some peanut butter that day! It is a great problem to have though!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Stuff I Missed

As much as I try to let this journey be its own, I often think about my success from 2010-11 and what I did and the crazy awesome results. I have stated before that I really didn't start off with the idea that I would lose 100 pounds in 10-11 months. that Literally just came out of nowhere. Now I worked hard, but when I set out, my hope was to lose that much in say a year and half or two years. But I kid you not, the weight just kept coming off, even on the weeks I had terrible eating habits. I was a hard worker in the exercise department, but at least once or twice a month, I would have a day or two that I just didn't do that well on the diet.

So awhile back, I decided it was time to be taking my blood sugar and working on my diet based off those numbers. My first time out I think my blood sugar was like 287 or somewhere in that range. I know, that is pretty bad. But over the course of the last few weeks, my eating has been for the most part really good. I have been tracking calories and getting 4-5 good workouts in a week. Also, the quality of food I take in has improved dramatically. Lean meats like chicken, shrimp and fish, lots of salads with yummy vegetables, fresh veggies as sides, beans galore! I have noticed that over the last week or so, my blood sugar has started to nosedive. I just took my blood sugar before starting this post and it was 143!! And that is after supper! So anyway, back to my point. I remember a loooong time ago, I was diagnosed diabetic and was told to take metformin and exercise, eat less, etc. and that if I did that, the weight would fall off of me when I got my blood sugar back right. I took the pills........ the rest, meh. Anyway, it occurred to me that I probably missed that the first time around, and that is likely why I lost weight so fast. My blood sugar was under control for the first time in years, and as the doctor predicted, the weight fell off. So now, I am adding the tracking of my blood sugar to my daily routine so that I can learn what foods do what to my blood sugar and tailor a diet around that. How did I miss that?

Also, there is a solution to a problem I had that I apparently just wasn't bright enough to figure out until 3 days ago. I know by now you all have to be tired of hearing me gripe about my after supper eating. And I don't blame you, I am tired of it too! So in a sudden epiphany ( I am sure it was Divine Intervention) it occurred to me that the solution was simple. I now have a menu for what I can have after supper. Rather than leave it to subjective decisions each night, which we all know is a slippery slope, I went with the decision to make the after meal snacks set in stone. I get one piece of bread with whatever the name of the small spoon is full of peanut butter and a glass of milk for one snack, and the other snack is a packet of Carl Buddhig lunch meat with a pepper jack cheese stick inside of it. That is it. Those are my only options. The first two nights it was like a load was lifted off my shoulders when I knew that I wasn't in for a debate about what, when and how much to eat. How frikkin' simple is that, and how did I miss that solution?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Where Does The Common Sense Go?

If you are reading this, the odds are you, like me, are trying to effect a life style change. You are unhappy with your current weight and physical fitness. It also stands to reason that if you are in this subset of the blogging world, you are at least average, if not above average intelligence and looking for not only support, but to broaden your knowledge of what works and doesn't work by gleaning ideas from your peers. So to recap, we are smart but overweight/out of shape folks here.

Despite what all the fad diets and special drinks/food/supplements would have you believe, I think we all know that weight loss is by far the simplest math equation possible. Eat less calories + burn more calories= burn off excess fat/build lean muscle. Seriously, how much easier can it get? But how many times have we sat around, hacked off because we just upsized our shirt size, or got winded tying our shoes, but continued to stare at a tv/ipad/video game screen for hours? The most activity we got was getting up to go to the bathroom or get something to eat. How many times have we had something delicious to eat, and though we aren't hungry, we go get more? Because it was just that good. How many times have we had an hour to burn before some event, and made the decision that the only viable option was to stop for some food somewhere? All the while, our self loathing brewing beneath the surface.

I say all this, because this morning, I made me a sausage patty for breakfast. My wife used to make fun of me because I made hamburger sized sausage patties. I have managed to downsize them quite a bit in the past couple of months. But anyway, after I finished my sausage patty this morning, I thought man that was good! I SHOULD COOK ME ANOTHER! Now it is important to note that after eating, I wasn't hungry, not in the least. I just WANTED another couple hundred calories that would serve no purpose but to up my calorie count for the day! Granted, it was a fleeting thought, and I never acted on it because my common sense took over. I want to be thinner, and I won't get there by eating seconds when I am not even hungry!

But the question stands, when we are making terrible choices after deciding we are tired of being overweight and out of shape, where does our common sense go? How do we reason that sitting here rather than cleaning the house or doing yard work is the best course of action? How do we rationalize that I am not happy with where I am physically, but I will still have that second slice of cake or 5th piece of pizza when we know the math doesn't add up to what we state our goal is? Where does the common sense go?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Bow on Top

I have to admit, overall it has been a pretty great week. I talked in my last post about the things I have noticed that weren't necessarily any of my goals, but were sign posts. Since that post I have added a couple of things, one of which I am calling the bow on top of the present.

First, I have had a hectic week. This go around, both divisions of the circuit court are having their pre-trial hearings within 3 days of each other. And in division 2, we didn't have pre-trials until yesterday and trial week is next week, meaning that we weren't going to find out if we had trials next week until yesterday. As luck would have it, it looks like I have a trial on Thursday. But I digress. So anyway, preparing for court left me a bit haggard this week. And Thursday was one of those days I really needed a workout. I was not able to get one at lunch like I usually do and that had me worried. I am on a pretty good streak and didn't want to start the downfall. Good news is, unlike any other time, I decided that since i was not able to get to the gym at lunch, I was going to walk that night. AND I DID!! Not only did I walk that night, I went a half mile further in that walk than I have been going recently!!

The one of the goals I have not met so far is the goal shirt. I am so close, but I am not calling it yet. BUT.... I have a pea coat that has both a zipper, then a row of buttons I can button up to make sure the wind doesn't get in. Recently I have declined to use the zipper because it would go, but it was a bit uncomfortable on my belly to zip it up. Friday, I zipped it up, and while it isn't all the way comfortable yet, it was considerably closer to being comfortable!!

Now all that is great, but today, the bow on top of the present came along. I decided that weigh day would be Saturday here while back and so today I got on the scales first thing this morning. I was down 2 pounds from last week!!! I was completely shocked to see that number because I had two days in a row where I struggled to keep the calorie count for the day below 2,000. It goes to show that hard work pays off! I now have a second wind that will help fight off tough days for the next couple of weeks. After weigh in this morning, I just keep thinking "get to 269, get to 269" I bet I can get there by mid February!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The ABCs of Life Style Change= Always Be Conscious

I am starting to see some pretty decent benefits of having been "on" for the past month, give or take. Now I say that to say this. One of those benefits does not happen to be any scale victory, nor have I managed to get into my next goal shirt as of this writing. That COULD lead me to some moments of frustration and possibly to a "why bother?" attitude. But it hasn't. And that is because I have a talent for seeing little improvements and recognizing them for the blessings they are. That is because I am practice the Always Be Conscious method of Life Style Change. It applies to all sorts of things, but the most useful one to me is recognizing that there is more to this than what the scale says or the tag of my shirt says.

Take for example my exploits at the gym. I have been doing three different forms of cardio, rotating them each visit. I do the arc trainer (think eliptical but a little harder), the stationary bike, and then I have taken to jogging in interval training on the treadmill. I run 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes for 1/2 hour. Since I started working out and eating better, I have gone from jogging at 4 mph on the treadmill to 4.7 mph on the jogging intervals. On the arc trainer, I moved up a level on the program I am using, and I can do the whole half hour at speed, rather than slowing down for a little bit on occasions. And on the bike, I am up 2 levels on the program I have been using. Add to that that I have gone up in weight on every single strength training exercise I do and I am having a heck of a lot of stuff to be thankful for! But I have to be conscious of those things as being just as good as lbs or XLs, and they are all sign posts on the road to my goals.

I also have been conscious of my success in the eating realm. And I credit that to my return to the legal pad! I am once again logging my calories on a legal pad. This helps me stay conscious of how much I have eaten today, and more importantly, I can look back at the days prior to today and see how well I have been doing!

The last thing I use to keep my conscious on track is my whiteboard. It is in the entry way of my bedroom, and it is immediately across from the restroom door. I see it first thing when I wake up each morning, and it reminds me that I am on this journey first thing in the morning, helping me get the right mindset before i have a chance to start thinking about what all I have to do today.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Hunger Struggle Redux

One of the things I hated about my last journey is that while I was very good at being strict with my calorie counts, and I set my limit at 1800 a day. Back then I did not do net calories, I did gross calories. So my thought for this time around was I will go ahead and do net calories. I take off my exercise calories, then I allow myself to get to 2,000 calories net a day. The reason was I was CONSTANTLY hungry before. I don't mean like a nagging kind of discomfort hungry, I mean I was so starving, it felt like I hadn't eaten in days! So for the past 2-3 weeks, I have been doing a good job keeping myself in the calorie budget, and up until a couple of days ago, I wasn't having the hunger problems. Now, after 2-3 weeks of consistent dieting and exercise, the starving is coming back. I am typing this right now having had 3 scrambled eggs at 5:30 a.m., a cup of cereal with 1% milk, and a handful of almonds. My calorie count is 510 at 10:00 a.m. I feel like I haven't eaten since supper last night!

Does anybody else have this problem? My thinking is I may have to add some calories to my diet, but that seems like a counter-intuitive action. Thoughts?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

There Is Always That One Thing, Right?

First off, let me say that overall, I am happy with the direction my health and fitness are trending, and I feel overall I am successful. However, there always has to be that one thing that nags you, that you can't help but think "I really have to figure THIS out or there will be problems later." I am absolutely keeping within my calorie goal each day. The problem is, I am worried about the fact that I am only at 1,000 net calories after supper, and so to get my calorie count up, I am eating at night. Make no mistake, it is healthy foods, but as I have chronicled and whined about over the years, it is my night time eating that gets me in trouble most often.

At this point, I am not sure whether to go ahead and address this and try to move more calories to earlier in the day, or if I am just being a worry wart. I guess the real problem is that I am not sure how I would move the calories around. My day is front end loaded, so that is pretty much the reason I get fewer calories during the daytime. I have a good breakfast every morning, a good snack sometime mid-morning, and then a small lunch after the gym at lunch. Kathy has been cooking healthy suppers and so the calorie count on those has been around 500 lately. Like I said, after I take my workout calories off the calories I have had throughout the day, I am pretty low in the calorie count. So my "I can talk myself into anything" self says I NEED to get the count up because if I don't eat enough, then my metabolism will slow down.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Day #10 of Being Intentional

I talked about my plan to diet 10 days at a time last post. I am currently on Day 10 of the first rotation. In those 10 days, I have been INTENTIONAL in my efforts. I wake each day and come up with a plan, rather than a "play it by ear" strategy. I have planned a daily calorie limit, I have decided to work out or not, and what workout I would do that day. I have tracked my calories all day every day. I have associated Bible verses with my efforts and memorized them as I headed into each day. And I have to admit, I have come away from the last 10 days with some very positive things.

1. I don't know what it was that wore me out about tracking calories last time. I find it very satisfying to see the numbers and know that I have done a good job today. Another unexpected realization I had was that when I was not really thinking about calorie counts, I was always thinking I ate way too many calories. Now that I am putting numbers to paper, I see that I was eating more calories that I should have maybe, but not as overeating as I thought. I assumed I was getting like 4-5,000 calories a day. I was probably really only getting 2500 to 3000 a day. Still too much to lose weight for my activity level, but not as much as I thought.

2. I have always known this, but I had a reawakening to the realization that when I work out, I make big gains quickly. Example, day 1 I did a workout that included doing pull ups with an assist band. I think i did like 3 pullups one set, 3 the next, and 1 the last set. Yesterday, I did 5, 4, then 3 pull ups!! I also have been gaining quickly in all of the cardio workouts I do. My stamina and leg strength have been markedly better each day.

3. I have dedicated myself to drinking lots more water and little to no diet soda. I have to be honest, I braced myself for a couple of days of being dead tired, but the reality is I never had that happen. I was reading some material after I started to research why that would be. I guess being dehydrated has a lot of negative side effects, sluggishness being one. Once I became property hydrated, I guess my body became a more efficient machine? Plus I got extra exercise going to the bathroom a lot!!

4. When my blood sugar isn't high, I am a stuff accomplishing machine!! Today, I have cleaned up my desk and organized what didn't get thrown away. I cleaned off the catch all kitchen table, and am fixing to head to the gym for a Saturday workout!

5. I like to be sore. I used to hate it. But let's think about this for a second. We all want to be more active as part of our fantasy. That involves us using our muscles. Well being sore means two things. You have muscles, and you USED THEM!! Being sore for an extended amount of time means that you have kept working out and using them!! You were more active and you have proof!!

Here's to the next 10 days!!