Losing It For The Family

Losing It For The Family

Monday, May 15, 2017

What Works, Works

As I have said before and probably will again, this journey cannot be based off or tied to in any way the one I had 2010-2011. This is its own living entity, and I can't try to muddy it with being mad about not holding on to the success I had previous. However, if something works, you don't have to ignore it just because of its affiliation right?

I have been trying to get going on blogging better, and it hasn't really took. I think some of the issue is I tried to do it during the morning hours. I am going nuts then, so it was getting squeezed in. But the second part of that equation is that while I was thinking about my spotty blogging habits, I remembered one thing about 2010-2011 blogging that I had forgotten. I did it at night ALWAYS. And I think that is significant for a few reasons. First, I am finally wound down for the day and can devote some open ended time to it. Second, I require myself to think and focus to blog. I have severe self control issues at night, so I think at least to some signficant degree, the blogging at night helped me with my snacking in the evening issues. I have always been good for the first half of the day and the early part of the afternoon. But at night, it is a different story.

I am going to start blogging at night again. I am even going to set an alarm on my phone to get myself in the habit for a couple of weeks. I think if nothing else, it can't hurt.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

WIP (Work in Progress)

I made it through Thursday last week. But Friday, I derailed myself. Is that a good reason to call the whole thing off? Nope. One of the things I am coming to realize, I can't ever think I am done. I am always a WIP or a work in progress. I have unique challenges to face and I will always face them. There is no "getting well" when you treat food like I do. There is only remission and the effort to keep it that way. Friday was really bad, Saturday wasn't too great, and Sunday was slightly better. I am now back on track, but this week, I plan to make it at LEAST 5 days with no "oops" moments, or days for that matter.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Day 4 What Will Thursday Hold?

Today is Thursday. So what you say? Well to me, Thursdays hold a lot of sway when I am once again trying to swing my leg over the side and get back on the wagon of health and fitness. Anybody can kick butt for 3 days straight, I am pretty sure. But day 4, otherwise known as Thursday, is generally where the leg starts slipping off the side of the wagon. So today, I am going to not sit around dreading the inevitable quietly in the back of my mind. Today, I talk about the fact that Thursday is a waypoint for me. If I make it to bed tonight, and I have worked out (done with that part) and kept myself honest in a calorie budget, then I will have a reason to let out a victory cry. Stacking up four good days, how can you possibly beat that?

But another battle has started today already. As I was driving back from the gym, I began to feel hunger pangs. Now in non-health and fitness seeking mode, I am never hungry in the morning. Afternoons, oh yeah, but not morning. So I whipped up a protein shake the minute I stepped through the door and it filled me up pretty quick. Now the question is, will it keep me until mid-morning snack? Where is the battle you say? Well, back to it being Thursday. If I turn out to be hungry as a bear before the right time to have a snack, then I have the tendency to eat A LOT instead of a reasonable mid-morning snack. And once that happens, we all know the next step. Well, I am off track for this day already, may as well just do what I want, and start again tomorrow. And once again, we all know that is a risky proposition. Will you start again tomorrow? Maybe, but you already knocked down a block off the stack of good things you have been doing all week. Once you knock one down, what are the chances you put two or three more in its place? I hope to learn that skill, but I think the stack has to be a bit higher and more stable before I try myself right now.

I am also debating about seeing dietician, to find out how to battle another issue I face when counting calories and working out at the same time. Severe hunger. I don't mean I get kinda hungry, I mean sometimes I feel completely hollow. I know that sounds weird but it is the best way I know to describe it. I feel like if you put that famous 72 oz steak in front of me, I would eat it and see if there was any more in the back. I am guessing maybe that would be an indicator that I need to maybe up my calorie bank, but I would like someone smarter than me to tell me that so I am not just being a rationalizer.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Day 3 Committing and Gilgal

I am who I am. And based on that, I am going to have to make some committments. One of those being to actually track my food intake. I have two problems. One, I like to eat too much. Therefore, my calories for the day can get away from me real quick. Two, if I do happen to be conscientious and trying to eat moderately, I still feel like I ate too much. So it looks like I just committed to a lifetime of keeping up with my calories. That does a lot of things for me. For example, there have been days where I thought I was doing great, and I was actually over 2,000 calories by a good bit. But, there have also been days where I plugged my food in at the end of the day and found out I was spot on.

So basically, if I am committing to the numbers, the first and foremost I need to focus on is my calorie count. Which brings me to the second part of the equation. I need a tool to maintain focus. I have talked a lot about not looking at my past success because this is a new journey. But the reality is, there were parts of that journey I need to bring here. One of the things I was so good at was keeping up with my calorie count all day. I was borderline obsessive, which may have contributed to my burn out and choosing to quit tracking. What I do know is that to a degree that it doesn't interfere with my life, I have to be hyper-focused on calorie count to keep me from eating poorly or binging.

One of the other things I have to commit to is refocusing on the why factor. My blog title says it all about my first go around. I was trying to insure my family's future by being around longer. In no way am I saying that shouldn't be ONE of the main focuses. However, I left a couple of important folks out of that consideration last time. First, God should be the center of all we do. He gave me this wonderful life complete with the vessel I navigate through it with. He also gave me the gift of the Holy Spirit, who lives in me. My body is His temple. And I have it all junked up! Also kinda important is me. I need to recognize that all the benefits that come with a thinner body will make me happier and more able to be a better husband, father and Christian. And I can use this struggle to help others to learn.

I started getting excited about this journey a few weeks back when the pastor did a lesson and defined the old word "gilgal", used in the old testament. God told the Isrealites he was fixing to deliver them their land of milk and honey, and so where they were camped, they called it Gilgal. Literally translated, it means the place something awesome started. I feel like after all these years of whining, crying, sputtering and stopping, I finally have reached my gilgal spot. I don't know why it took so long, other than it was His plan for the greater good. And I can't wait to see what He is going to do through me and for others!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Day 2 This Blog

This blog is something. It was born of an article I read about a guy that was losing weight and was down 200 or so pounds based on a calorie budget and a blog. I went to that blog and I liked what I saw. This guy dealt with things I dealt with, but he didn't hide it in the deep dark crevices of his mind. He was dealing with it out front for all to see. It was raw and real and it made me feel like I wasn't alone in all the things that I was struggling with as far as food and exercise and life and family. It all plays a separate roles but on one stage. And we must be able to deal with it in a cathartic way, or it will overcome us. And hey, I like to write anyway, so the blog made sense.

So I started this blog, and I started a calorie bank and man did that work out for me. In around 10-11 months, I lost down to 196 pound from 308 I think. And to top it all off, I was running! That was a lifelong dream of mine, and I was doing it!. But then I got a little burned out from concentrating so hard on losing weight and sticking to my calorie budget. I decided I had learned a lot about how to properly eat, so I was just going to go intuitive eating rather than tracking. And about that same time, I was accepted into law school, and was going to be driving 100 miles a day 5 days a week, with classes spread out all through the day. Next to fall was my workout schedule. Then come the real struggle. Balancing law school, my family, my faith, and my finances was so frikkin' hard. And as we all know, eating can sooth the pain for a minute. But as we all also know, once that minute passes, then the guilt sets in. So now I get to deal with all the above, and the guilt of using food as a salve. And that guilt is bad enough if you are fat and always have been, but try that guilt after having finally realized so many of your dreams just a short while ago, only to give it all up to the food demons again. That guilt multiplies exponentially.

I graduated law school in 2013, and passed the bar in April 2014. I also landed the job I wanted from before law school even started. But a law degree wasn't the only thing I picked up in those 2 1/2 years. Kathy and I became foster parents to two beautiful children, adding to our already wonderful daughter Lauren. These were toddlers though, and man were they a handful. And it took all of us some adjusting. We adopted Jackie and Havic in 2015, and we are all cruising along fine. But I find myself every once in awhile a little overwhelmed. I spent many years as a bachelor and so this flurry of activity with 3 children couldn't be any more of a 180 degree turn if it tried. I am just now starting to embrace it as the blessing it is.

So now I get to the point of this post. I have let this blog languish over the years, and I think that was a mistake. I think there was a tool for me to deal with all the new and crazy and wild and stressful but oh so wonderful life Kathy and I have built together. I feel like this is essentially a cheaper version of a psychiatrist. I can come here and write about what I am dealing with. And rather than any stress I am feeling festering and causing me to engage in less than healthy behavior, I can vent here. I can "hash it out" and feel better. But even more than that, I can also use it to memorialize when I have fruitful thoughts and when I do succeed. It is kinda fun and kinda sad to go back and read my old posts from 2010 and 2011. It shows that I have the potential to work this out and become a better husband, father and Christian. I have a tool that I just haven't been using. That tool can help me stay focused on the goal and it can help me workout the hurdles between the goal and today. I just need to turn to it.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Day 1 Take It Where You Can Get It

I hate to do this. I know that in the long run, the goal for losing weight and getting healthy needs to be it. But at the moment, I am in crunch time, and I intend to use that as a kindling for a big push to get going for real in the health chase. We leave for Universal Orlando on June 11. I want to be able to walk all the miles it will take while there and I also want to be sure I fit in most if not all of the rides. That is a fight and a worry I am tired of having. I love amusement park rides, and I need to be able to stop worrying about the fit.

So here is the deal. I have been doing great with the consistent workouts the last couple of weeks. I actually got 5 in this past week. But it is time to both ratchet up the workouts and also begin to concentrate much harder on the quality of my nutrition. So my new add on goals are that I will not only get my cardio in on the early morning weekdays, but twice to three times a week, I lift weights at lunch or I go to the boxing class I have been attending sporadically lately. Next, I am going to start eating better quality than I have been lately. I have been in a bit of a rut in stopping at the convenience store and getting crappy food like mini pizzas or baked sub sandwiches. I am also going to start having protein shakes for breakfast with fruit in them, and healthy snacks in the office.

Next, I am going to start focusing more on numbers. I weighed this morning and I hadn't lost any or gained any since the last weigh in. I am going to weight Monday, Wednesday and Friday to sharpen my focus on the goal of dropping lbs. I will also start measuring around my belly on Mondays and Fridays. Sometimes winning shows up in different ways, and I want to be sure to have every chance to be happy about winning. I also want to start keeing tabs on my blood sugar way better than I have been. I know it is important, and I need to treat it as such.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Deprivation v. Overcoming

This morning, I was driving to work, and I faced a familiar struggle. The little store I stop at a lot has excellent breakfast sandwiches and burritos, but on a scale of 1-5, they rank about 2 on the healthy side. This morning, I had a protein bar for breakfast, and I am in court all morning, so I started a familiar line of thinking. I need to grab a little more to tide me over until I can eat after court, a protein bar isn't much. I know in my logical mind I am just trying to have something I want but don't need. But any food addict knows, rationalization is strong in us. So I make the smart call, drive past the store, and as I go past, I feel kinda deprived. It sucks I can't eat like I want AND achieve my goals, said Shane with the pouty lips and everything. But then as I put the distance between me and the store, I started thinking. Rather than feel like I just deprived myself of something, why can't I just be proud that I overcame and urge? And suddenly, perspectives change. I made a good decision, and I am kinda proud about that. And if I keep making those good decisions, well then I will achieve my goals. It is odd how we complicate such simple things isn't it?

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Couple Of Nice Surprises

It's Monday, and usually, I am not a fan. But today is a little different. I kinda half assed my fitness journey last week, so I prayed for a better week this week. I have a plan in place and I think it is a good one. I am going to start getting my butt up for the alarm and getting my cardio in. Today, it was the gym because it is raining, but I am looking forward to actually getting to walk outside when the weather permits. Cardio in the morning makes sense to me, because that is when I sweat the most. I can then come home and take a shower and head to work. I am going to lift weights at lunch at least 3 days a week. I would shoot for all 5 workdays, but the reality is I have to admit that isn't always possible, and when I fail to meet the goal, it would mess with me a little. Why set myself up for failure? So for this week, the plan looks like this. Every weekday but Friday, cardio at 5 a.m. Saturday, I get out of bed and do some form of cardio. Monday Tuesday and Thursday, weights at lunch. Every day 1,900 calories for the day, and finally, only my high fiber cereal for a snack at night.

Now on to my surprises. First, I got up and weighed first thing this morning. I usually do that on a Friday, but I did it this morning because I wanted to get over something I have been doing. I have been hiding from the scale here lately. Sometimes subconsciously, sometimes on purpose, but the hiding has to stop. So today, I got on the scale and it turns out that I was right, the one medicine was putting the fat on me. Even with half assing it lately, I have dropped 3 pounds. So my first thought is, if I dropped 3 lbs without real effort, what if I go ahead and just do the danged thing? Stay tuned.

Second surprise was that I went up a resistance level on the bike and it definitely does hurt, but I didn't feel the big hurt until 26 minutes in. Last week, the big hurt started at 23 minutes in! I am feeling good guys! Can't wait till friday now!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Next Up

So far, I haven't done a diving off the cliff into the ocean approach for this version of weight loss. I am making changes here and there, and adding changes as I get better at the initial changes. For example, I choose the smallest of everything I can. Historically, I want MORE of everything. There is a store that has fountain drinks with additives. I get the Diet Mountain Dew, then get the energy additive in it. I originally ALWAYS got the 44 ounce cup. Then I cut it down to the 32 ounce. Now, I get the 20 ounce cup. We have black cereal bowls at home that are pretty good size. I used to always use them for my night time cereal snack (and if you haven't tried it, get the Kashi GoLean cereals, they are chock full of good stuff and taste good too!), but now, I used the little small clear glass bowls. It may not seem like those are big things, but they are steps in the right direction and are helping me change my mindset. I have often gone in full bore, did okay for awhile, then flamed out from trying to do so much so fast.

The last week was about getting in at least 4 workouts, and I did. So this week, I am adding calorie tracking with MyFitnessPal. I have it set up for a 1900 calories per day goal, which is very doable. The key to this step is going to be to be completely honest and transparent in my logging. No pulling the "I'll have an apple and not put it on the MFP, it won't hurt nothing" kind of thinking. It ALL goes in and if I go over, well then do better tomorrow.

It is weird, but I seem to have a phenomenal change in attitude here lately. I am not trying to give it the "Lose weight or die trying" all out approach. I seem to have settled down and started to understand the marathon not a sprint aspect this time. I do want results fast, but the reality is that fast has never been good for me. I just go right back to old behaviors because "I am done" takes over my behavior. And I truly feel that I can attribute the new attitude to the wisdom I prayed for. I finally admit, I can't just power through this myself. I believe I honestly have an addiction to food. And that addiction to food has caused my desire to get physically fit to suffer, thereby knocking me off the path to working out. But now, I will weigh and I will track numbers, but I will continually pray that if I don't like the outcome, I don't take my eyes off the bigger picture of a year from now, 5 year from now, if I stay the course that will be the pay off. I may not lose 3 pounds this week. I may have to figure out what foods least affect my blood sugar. I may will be working on all this for the rest of my life, which is why I can't "go hard". I need to pace myself. Slow methodical and consistent change.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Surprise!

Kathy, Lauren and I have been going to a class at our gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is a boxing class but it is a circuit, and you do all sorts of core exercises and shoulder and back as well. I got the greatest surprises last night. There were two stations that as he was explaining them, all I could think is I won't be able to do those two. One of the few traits I have that I like is I will always always always try. I never, within reason at least, determine I just can't and won't even give it a shot. So when I got the first station, I was absolutely shocked that I could do it! And pretty good too! So the second one I was worried about was 3 stations down the rotation and by the time I got to it, I was pretty gassed. I was even more certain I was not going to be able to do it now. But like I said, I will ALWAYS try. I once again not only was able to do it, I was pretty good at it!! All in all, Tuesday was a great day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Numbers

Tomorrow, I start tracking some numbers I've been ignoring lately. I had a BP issue at the doctors office on Tuesday, but I hadn't had my meds for a week either. And my blood sugar is going to start being more of a priority.

I'm seriously stoked to get going back at this again with that one med gone!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Decisions

There are many aspects of my ife where I depend on others, so I don't have complete control of the total equation. But the one thing that I always have control over is the decisions I make.

One of the things that I do have complete control over is the decisions I make with regards to my health and nutrition. I decide what goes in my body, I decide how committed I am to working out and staying generally active. That's really all getting shape is,  series of good decisions. Put down the fast food, fire up the stove. Quit buying Little Debbie and start buying protein bars. Quit hitting up the peanut butter and jelly for an evening snack and hit the Kashi GoLean cereal. Stop reading the Facebook on iPad in the morning and evening and hit the gym or walk the block. Don't send the kids after things for you, walk and get them yourself. Decisions, decisions.

For the last 3 days, I've been concentrating on a theme. I'm stacking up good decisions one on top of the other. This weekend alone, I have taken food off my plate when Kathy made it, I've skipped cookies at church, I had a child's burger at BK instead of a double whopper. I set the alarm on my phone for 4:40 in the morning.

I'm off one of my blood sugar meds now, and by all rights, I should start seeing the results of working out now as as I eat reasonably.

Mental Preparation

This week has been about mental preparation. I have addressed some habits and mental states that I have been dealing with by basically praying for help and stacking up good choices on top of each other. But tomorrow starts the physical aspect of the journey. I'm setting my alarm for 4:40 again and starting to add up days in a row working out. Even though I hate selfies, I am going back to posting those. I'm also going to start physically writing down my plan for the week and crossing the days off as I complete them. I had a friend give me that idea last week and he is kicking butt, so it must work!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Stop Talking About It

I'm done talking about what I've done and what I want to do. From now on, I'm doing it then I will talk about it. #shutupandance

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Starting With Hope, And Keeping The Hope Alive

I just came off a really good three months of eating well, exercising often, and being more active generally. And all that got me was 3 pounds lost and no inches lost. Granted, I was in better shape, but that ceiling is coming pretty quick if I can't start getting weight off I think.

So I was just sitting here in another re-boot phase and thinking. Hope is not so hard to come by. I think the idea of a better you is enough to get any endeavor off the ground. But man, keeping hope alive is a delicate balance. For example, take my situation now compared to my situation in 2010-11. I had hope, and I took off with exercising and eating right,etc. I saw weight coming off, and that bred more hope. Each pound gone, every shirt size you go down, it builds on itself. But how do you build hope on nothing?

I am working on new hope. I am going to the doctor next week and attempting to see if the medicines I am on are holding me back maybe? Maybe seeing if they can send me somewhere to get the process jumpstarted. That is my newest hope. I don't need to lose 3 pounds a week, but I need to see some kind of noticable progress to keep hope alive.