Losing It For The Family

Losing It For The Family

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Walk Back

If you are reading this, it is likely we share a few things in common, one of them being a health journey that has been stopped and started several times. And we probably have both had bouts of extreme success followed by no follow up. So what is it that keeps us from starting back on track when we see results slipping away? What is it that gets us back in that pit from whence we just escaped? I know there are lots of things, but today, I am burning about something very specific. The false narratives and realities that we let ourselves believe.

When I knocked off the 100+ pounds in 2010 and 2011, I was on top of the world! I was in the best physical shape of my life, I was a runner, I was very active. I remember once I had some friends I was helping move furniture, and the girl was marveling at the fact that I wasn't even breathing hard, at which point, I noticed and marveled myself. I had literally achieved my dream and in my mind, I was never going back. I should have been aware of the dangers that lie ahead, as I had also worked my way into phenomenal shape in 2000 and 2001, and let that go. But I was cocky, and I didn't put a good plan in place. Not to mention, my life exploded in 2011, so I really really needed something to keep ahold of my progress, but I didn't have a thing.

So here is how the whole thing unraveled. Step 1 was that I had worked really hard and dedicated a crap ton of energy to losing the weight and getting in better shape in 2010-2011. The reality is, it was pervasive in my life. I tracked every calorie and I worked out excessively. I had a formal workout first thing out of bed, then on the way to work, I would do laps around Walmart. If I was at any event that the opportunity was available, I would do laps around the area to get a little more in. I blogged EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail. I poured all my heart and soul with every ounce of energy I could muster, every day. So when I first hit below the 200 pound mark on the scale, it was a huge victory. I pressed pretty hard for a few more weeks, but in my head, I was tired and I started to play like the game was won, and I was not required to protect the endzone anymore. I made a conscious decision to "start eating intuitively" which was the worst decision I could have made. I did however keep working out for a bit. But here comes the part where I really needed a plan. in July of 2011, I was accepted into law school. I was excited, to be sure, but the big problem I didn't have a way to combat was the school was 55 miles one way trip. I had a family and a mortgage and wasn't going to be able to work for 3 years, so getting a place near school wasn't an option. I was going to have to drive and 2 hours a day, on top of class and homework. In my mind, I simply ran out of hours in the day (false, I just didn't want to put the work in). So at that point, I had quit tracking my food, thinking I was smart enough to eat sensibly without supervising myself ( false, that has never worked for me) , and now, the exercise I was keeping up was going away too. This is all setting up for the obvious conclusion. I didn't protect my endzone, and I was going to lose it.

I think every failed section of a health journey has a moment in which you could have turned things around before you lost all the ground you just gained. I remember the one from 2011 very vividly. I had started law school and was about a month or so in. I recall I had a shirt that I put on and it was snug, so I decided to weigh real quick and see what the deal was. My absolute lowest scale reading was 196 lbs I think. On that day, I weighed 214 lbs. A thousand times or more, I have thought about the fact that had I said "holy crap, it's time to do something right now!" and decided to get a plan together, I wouldn't have gained back 80 lbs. Hell, if I could have just held the line at 214 for the duration of law school, I'd be in a better position now. But I didn't do anything. I believed everything would be fine, I just put a little on because I can't exercise as much now ( was doing zero). Oh to have that day to do over again.....

I am a huge believer in one thing. Every "failure" is only a failure if you don't learn something from it. I am old enough and aware enough now that once I am successful getting to a healthier weight (I am presuming success, another thing I have learned) I will protect that with all I have to give. If I have to track food and blog and say daily prayers from now to the end of my days on earth, so be it. I will never have to walk back down the road again.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ch-ch-ch-ch- changing!

I'm only 2 weeks in, but I have to admit, I have done some changing. And ultimately, that is what I set out to do. The physical transformation that happens will be nice. But the reality it, it would only be temporary if all I was aiming for was to get to a number on a scale, or a shirt size or any other solely physical goal. Only when I am able to change myself, as in my habits, my thoughts, my attitudes or my emotional responses will any physical transformtion be a permanent one.

So far, I would say the biggest change I have made is the ability to not feel the need to finish all my food, or my family's food. In my world, food is king! And it is not to be ignored or wasted. If it is on my plate, I ain't leaving until I'm done. If it is on my family's plate, I'm not letting it be thrown away. It is perfectly good food. There are starving kids in Africa! However, in the last two weeks, I have not finished my kids food, and I have actually left food on the plate in a couple of restaurants. I also only finished part of the lunch I had yesterday, and put it back. I am truly turning a corner here, and I love it!

I also have stopped thinking about food constantly. The reality is, I started to think about the next meal immediately after the meal I just finished. And that is just sad. Food was my life, and it was just as important as my family is. And that is a high level of importance! But here lately, it seems that God has seen fit to change me and now this health journey has taken food's place. I track my intake, with the goal of beating the calorie goal (as in staying under) being my day's goal, rather than the next meal. I have given the gym much more importance these last 2 weeks.

My favorite thing about this journey so far though? I have energy to do stuff. I got up yesterday morning, after my 3 mile walk, I was sitting around on one of my devices, but it wasn't really fulfilling as it had been historically. I just wanted to get outside and work on some stuff that, quite frankly, I had been ignoring for a good while. I spent the whole morning working on cleaning off my deck and back yard, I trimmed a tree that needed desperately, and I moved my "garden" to a better spot. I went school clothes shopping and grocery shopping with the fam. We didn't get back until about 5, and then Kathy started on supper. Usually, supper signifies the end of the day for me. I then sit mindlessly scrolling Facebook and other sites until bedtime. But last night, I started on getting the front yard cleaned up and organized. Then, after that, Kathy and I left the house and went looking for good clearance deals on patio furniture. We didn't make it home until after 8 for sure, but maybe closer to 9.

I know all this seems incredibly superficial outside my personal context, but trust me when I say, yesterday and the past two was pretty huge in terms of change for me. And I like the trend!I look forward to continuing the changes, and to a lesser degree, the physical benefits that come from it.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

It's Too Hard

Comfort Zones. They suck as a general rule. How do you think I got where I am healthwise? I got in a comfort zone, and packed on the pounds. It easier to eat junk food than prepare a healthy meal. It's easier to sit around playing on your devices all morning than to get out and walk or run the block, or go to the gym. It's just too hard! I don't want to choose the steamed vegetables over the fried jalapeños! I would be swapping out something I love and have a toxic relationship with for something that is good for me but brings me no immediate gratification! That's too hard!

And you know what, there is an argument to be made for it actually being too hard. The human will is resistant to wholesale change all at once. Do you know how many health pursuits I have dropped because it was just too hard to get up and cook a healthy breakfast, or head to the gym at lunch every day? I couldn't even begin to imagine the count.

It seems counterintuitive, but the reality is, for your very first steps into a journey to health, it may be wise to build a cheat day in. I have. Come Fridays, I let My Fitness Pal go, and I don't shame myself for a bigger and less healthy breakfast, or the fried jalapeños at lunch (in case it isn't obvious, I had fried jalapeños at lunch yesterday). But that is a slippery slope! To have the cheat day will require you to honor the fact is ONE DAY out of 7, and you must NAIL the other 6 days. I hesiateted to write this post because I know cheat days are a big temptation to go back to the comfort zone. But I am two weeks in to having Friday as a cheat day, and it has been both reasonably easy, and beneficial as all get out. Why does it benefit me? I am a big picture guy , so I am not caught in the moment all the time. I can see past the end of my nose. And I find it is much easier to kick ass outside my comfort zone if I KNOW there is a break coming. I have been so overwhelmed by the idea that I "can't have crappy food ever again" before that I just quit right then out of sheer panic and frustration.

Now let me say this. I have a plan even for my cheat days. The last two, I have just taken the leash off Friday morning, and had the whole day to eat whatever. But middle of next month, I am changing that up, and it will be that I take the leash off at noon on Friday. And who knows, maybe at some point I move it to 4 pm on Friday. But for now,I think it will keep me on track and headed in the right direction.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Crappy Workout

I swear, if I have ever had a worse workout than I did this morning. I struggled to go ahead and get up when the alarm went off. I was sore and still tired and my feet hurt pretty bad. But I want to make that change, I want to turn that corner an become the much healthier version of me. I desperately want it because I have so much more life to live and my kids are young and need a dad to Shepard them through childhood and early adulthood. I want to spend the golden years with my wife able to actually go places an do things and enjoy each other one on one.

I really debated about quitting after my 2nd set on the cable machine this morning.I felt weak and unmotivated. But I finished out all the sets on that exercise, then all the sets on the next one, and all the sets on the last one. And in between each set, i walked laps around the gym. And I feel like I learned a pretty important things about me today. I am able to not quit just because it's hard. I am a finisher. I am strong even when I am not physically strong. And I proved to myself that the paragraph above is not just words, but it is the truth. I am no longer seeking happiness or solace from something I stick in my pie hole. I want my happiness ad solace to come from my love of my family and all the extra years I will get to spend with them when I have my head completely pulled from my ass and get back in good shape. I think the last two weeks have been a significant step in the right direction. Now He and I will finish this!!

A Little This, A Little That

I don't really have an overarching theme for this post today. I guess I will just spout of a few things on my mind.

I am really glad that this newly revived effort has made it longer than any other newly revived effort in the not so distant past has. I was thinking about that, and I came up with a somewhat random thought. The last time I was able to put together a string fo success and lose 100+ pounds, it also started in July. July 2010 to be exact. Maybe July is just my month? Haha. Anyway,Tomorrow will mark 2 weeks of tracking my intake and getting in 4 workouts a week.

Today is Thursday. As I said last week, this is the day I usually take a turn for the worst. Last week, I turned to some support from a friend, and checked in throughout the day, and I prayed and found ways to keep myself focused on the benefit of no failing off the wagon. Today, I will make it a point to do the same.

I have started Plexus,and I have to say, I think it is helping. I am experiencing less cravings, I am experiencing less hunger, and I do have an improved energy level. I realize that Plexus isn't the only factor in all that, but I feel like it is a factor. I am thinking of adding probiotics to my list of supplements and see if they offer the benefits they claim.

Tomorrow is weigh and measure day. I feel like the scale and the tape are going to be good to me tomorrow! I haven't talked about it anywhere else, but I wore a pair of jeans I haven't been able to wear in awhile. Now in the interest of full disclosure, they were a big effort to get on, but as recently as 2 months ago, I could even button them or do the button first, then pull over my hips move. So woo hoo!

If anybody is actually reading this,I apologize for being so random! I just didn't have a theme readily available today!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Don't Ignore The Little Things, They Make The End Result

I have talked about this before, but I don't think you can talk about it too much. We are a "I want it NOW" society. Immediate and amazing results are the only acceptable results, otherwise, you failed. But the truth is, even if I don't always stay conscious of it, it's the little things you need to hold on to. I thinks that is especially true if you are on a healthier lifestyle journey. You won't lose 40 pounds this month (or at least not in any healthy and sustainable manner.) It's the little this and thats along the way that make a successful journey.

Today, I was reminded of that when I pulled on my shirt before heading to the gym this morning. This particular shirt is a fairly new addition to the workout shirt rotation. It is a 2x, but the day I bought it and came home and put it on, I was not happy with the fit. It hugged the middle section a bit tighter than I liked. But if I am being honest, many of my shirts, workout and otherwise, were starting to hug my middle section a bit tighter than I liked. But that shirt this morning was not quite as snug as it was last time around. In fact, it almost had a little space between me and it. And I am hesitant to say this, but my belt may be fixing to get taken down a notch. I was on my normal notch yesterday, and by gosh if I wasn't hiking my pants up every 2 seconds. And finally, I went to a function last night, and despite there being free and quite frankly delicious food there, I only had one half of a wrap and one fancy piece of rolled up meat. There were cookies and cake and cheeses and all sort of deliciousness, but God saw fit to give me some self control here recently, and you don't scoff at a gift from God!

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Importace Water Plays For Me

I am not a fan of just water. If I am going to like water at all, it has to be really cold. But generally, I drink flavored drinks. So I had this epiphany last night that water is important for me because it trains me to get over the lack of flavor in something I am consuming. Because at least part of my poor eating habits has to do with the fact that I only eat what I like the taste of, and almost all my absolute favorite foods are completely horrible for a healthy lifestyle. Pizza, Taco Bell, greasy burgers, Chinese food with all the sauce!! I love them all! But the fact that I love them all sets off an unhealthy mindset. If I like a piece of pizza, I will love the whole thing!! If I order tacos, order 6! Or my favorite lack of logic, can't have just the burger, you gottta get the fries too!!

I have been drinking tons of water here lately. I have a cup of coffee at the house, one at the office, and one diet Mountain Dew sometime in the afternoon. But the rest is water water water. I bet I am drinking at least 96 oounces a day if not more. It doesn't bring me he buzz I get when I drink a flavored drink and my taste buds smile. What it does bring me is the knowledge that water while not delicious to me, it is healthy for me. Now, I am able to use that logic with food. I have changed the menu up with the help of my wife, and my foods are quite a bit different now. I eat lots of vegetables and less meats, I drink almond milk with my new not crappy cereal for breakfast. I have a small lunch now rather than going all out and the lunch is a wrap with lean meat and vegetables.

The tide is turning, and I like the way it is playing out. Thanks goes up to the Man Above for getting my head screwed on straight finally and for making this effort stick!!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Market Is Falling

I wrote earlier this week that a miracle had taken place. I had left food on the plate and walked away from it. Well, since that entry, I have actually thrown food away and also not finished my kids food at Burger King! I know that it is likely to not be a big deal to most, but that is huge to me. I place an inordinately high value on food, or at least I used to. If I order food at a restaurant, I am going to either finish it now, or I am going to take it back to the office, and scarf it down there. If I or my wife make a plate for me at supper time, I am going to finish it even if I am full. But here is the part that brings me the most embarrassment. I have always hovered near my kids to see if they are going to finish their food. It is my intent to finish what they don't want, even ifI am full.

But this last week has been a shift in paradigm for me. I left my lunch on the plate and at the restaurant on Monday. I didn't take any of my kids' leftovers at supper all week. And I threw away a box of cookies Friday night, so I wouldn't finish it. Food seems to be losing its hold over me. Strike that. It makes it sound like I have no power over food. It makes me sound like a victim. I am not a victim. I am making bad choices. It is all me, and I will own it. So what has really happened this week is I have started to let go of my obsession/addictive behaviors towards food. I am gaining strength in decision making skills.

My final thought is one more brag. Today, we went to La Fiesta after church. Historically,it is nothing for me to leave there feeling miserable. Bring on the chips and salsa, the big bowl of queso and the big plate of carbs and fat. Today, on the way there, I made a decision. I was not going to cave like so many times before. I was going to actually leave there holding my head high and proud of the choices I made. So when we arrived, I took out 10 chips from the basket. That was going to be the end of my chip eating. Then I ordered 1 soft taco and a side of pico de gallo. No cheese dip, appetizers, nothing extra. And that was all I ate. I didn't scoop off the kids plate, I didn't resume chips and salsa eating. I walked out, with my head held high.

I honestly am so happy to be back on fire and in the groove again. I believe it is God's will that this has taken off as well as it has. I don't always understand His plan, but I do appreciate it when it comes together!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Wagon Has Steps

So yesterday, I was not really proud of myself. I didn't handle the first part of the day well, and blew a large portion of my calories on breakfast. I was hungry on the way to work, so that was part of it. And I didn't finish the day well either. I guess you could say Friday was a day of falling off the wagon. The good news? That wagon has steps. You can easily get back on it.

Today was everything yesterday wasn't. I have been spot on with the calorie budget, I have remained active and productive today which probably is the biggest help to a good Saturday. I was also dealing with the fact my wife is out of town. I don't know why but historically, my wife's absence has brought on binge tendencies. Not today though!

I think that those steps on the wagon, they get a little bigger every time I do something I am proud of. Yesterday, for the second time in a week, I threw food away!! I know to most, that is a so what deal. But for me, it is huge! Part of my obsession with food is that when I pay for it, I want to clean that plate or finish that container. If I at a buffet, it is about getting plenty of food for the money I paid!

I have one other bit of news. I am do a trial run on Plexus for this month. I am not generally a gimmick guy, but I will spend a $100 to see if it may help me along my journey. If it does, great. If not, I tried.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Over the Hump

I'm pretty sure that everybody who has ever taken up the challenge of turning around their unhealthy eating and lack of exercise lifestyle, there was always a huge hump to finally get over after the excitement of it all wore down. For me, a Monday starter, it is almost always Thursday. I begin the week gung ho and its all new. I'm all revved up from sitting down and planning, researching and whatever else I have done to make sure "this is the time, this is when I get it right!"

Today is Thursday, and I took action early on to make sure that I took that knowledge and went to war with the Thursday Curse. I texted a friend, I posted it on my Twitter and talked about in a Facebook group I am in. I prayed on it, and I started writing 273 randomly through out the day. That is the number I hope to see on the scale tomorrow.

More than once throughout the day, I almost gave in and had crap for lunch, or I almost decided to binge and get rid of that hungry feeling late afternoon. The Good Lord and some planning were looking over me, and I have made it past the danger zone I do breve. Before I started typing this, I had an apple with peanut butter. That will still leave me under my calorie goal for the day. And it will also signify me "getting over the hump" today. Challenge number one accepted and successfully completed. I don't think anybody who contributed to my success today reads this, but if you do,thank you!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pay Day

I have a 15 year old daughter, and she drives me nuts! I can't get her to do her chores she has had since she was 9 for nothing in the world. And here is the thing, I keep telling her that once she does a good job for a couple of weeks and shows me she is now choosing to be responsible, I will begin to give her money for doing those chores correctly. She literally has refused for 6 or so years now! Will even tell you, it isn't fun, and it is worth it to her to not do it and not get paid. Here is the thing, it isn't a power struggle thing, it is me trying to teach her both responsibility and the fact that when you do good work, it pays off in the end.

Today, I realized that to some degree, I am being a hypocrite to her. Because look at my physical health and my eating habits, and you can see, I am neither doing good work or being responsible. I am doing exactly what she is doing that drives me mad.I know I could benefit from working out, eating better, and changing my attitude towards food, but I am just choosing not to, it isn't fun.

I was getting dressed after my workout today, and when I put my pants on, I noticed that they buttoned a little easier, and when I did up my belt, I noticed the pants still fit looser even with my belt. That to me is what I would characterize as pay day. I have been good for 4 days straight, and already, the benefits, or pay day, have started to show up. The best part of it all, is that my realization today, had nothing to do with a number the scale gave me! Historically, I have lived and died by the scale. I have been able to jog, and went up 30 pounds on my bench press, able to do pull ups even though I never have in my life, but when I went to weigh, the number wasn't what where I wanted it, and I quit on me. Today, it shows I know what pay day really means, and that am growing in my long standing and stop and start journey towards better health.

I work out at the Police Department's gym because as a prosecutor, we work hand in hand with them and they granted us access to it. I was leaving and stopped to talk to the evidence tech about some stuff. We veered into weight loss and she said something that I liked. She said she is not longer looking to be the beach body hottie who is able to admire herself in the mirror naked. She just wants to feel good about herself when she looks in the mirror fully clothed. And that is fair. I know you can be healthy at a higher weight, but when you are as big as I am, you kinda want to look somewhat more normal. If I can put on a shirt and shorts and not look pregnant anymore, I am good! Plus it is more likely that I will not have a heart attack if I get rid of the bulge in the belly!

So to close, losing weight is just like a job, you work and work and eventually you get paid. But if you decide to be absent from work, well, you don't get paid.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hide and Seek

Total honesty. In my dealings with others, I am always honest, even if it isn't to my benefit. So I guess the biggest question I have is why aren't I honest with myself? Why do I lie or hide the truth from myself?

I have both in the distant past, and recent past, played hide and seek with the truth. For example, after i lost the 100+ pounds but then I started law school. I noticed at some point that I was starting to put weight on. But I didn't do the right thing at 18 pounds gained. No, I decided that I would just eat better even if I couldn't exercise more. But I didn't, even though I tried to convince myself I was. I have envisioned that time I stepped on the scale and saw 214 up from 196 at least a thousand times. And I ask myself every time, whydidn't you just stope the bleeding there? Why didnt you get back on the horse right then? But that is the past. I have to move on.

Or today, when I almost made the conscious decision to not track the bottle of Mountain Dew I had with lunch. Why would I do that? My thought was to keep me from going over on calories on my budget for the day. Luckily, God spoke to my conscious and told me that was not gaining me anything but a first class ticket to failing again. So I traced it. And guess what. God fixed my numbers dilemma. My wife made a delicious dish for dinner tonight as she is wont to do. And the calorie count was so low on it, the soda didn't matter!

So this is the vow. Even if it isn't to my benefit, I will be honest with myself everyday. In my workout, in my food tracking, in my goal of getting more in the Word to help Him help me.

Oh and I also want to brag on Him and me again. I was in my office and one of the guys from the Juvenile Department made me aware tat there were cupcakes from the awesomeest cupcake place in town! I passed them on the way out and had that 30 seconds of looking at them trying to figure out which one I could convince myself was the least unhealthy. Suddenly, I disengaged, and walked out ! Granted, I am not a huge sweets fan. But this was a conscious decision that would have never took place last week.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Miracles Abound

Today had a lot of good stuff. I would even dare say a bit of a miracle of sorts.

The day started off with me getting the scale out so I can see where I am starting from. I kinda dreaded it, because I haven't been eating particularly well and definitely haven't been active either. The last time I weighed like a month ago, I weighed 279 pounds. When I weighed this morning,I expected to see 280 something. However, I was at 275! I have been eating well since Saturday morning,but I didn't expect that. I should also mention I had been given some Plexus samples from my cousin. I have been taking those those since Friday morning too. I decided today that I am going go ahead and order a 30day supply and see if that is really a game changer, while also eating more healthy and getting regular exercise.

But the scale was not the miracle. Me and a friend of mine made a lunch plan for today last week before I got all gung ho about changing things up, so I kept it. But what happened next is amazing. I ordered my usual, but today, I only ate half of the plate, and I even left the leftovers at the restaurant. I know to most folks, that is nothing. But the reality is I have a food obsession and addiction that is crazy. For me to leave food on a plate and leave the food behind was an intentional act on my part ,but I fully expected to fail. I would actually characterize my food obsession/addiction more or less an instinct. I have always cleaned my plate and if I couldn't, I boxed it up. Now the reality is that I always said it was for lunch tomorrow or dinner tonight. But instinct became to just finish it off when I got back to the office. I had lots of rationalizing that helped me throughout the years. I paid money for that, and I don't want to waste it. There are starving kids in Africa, etc etc. But they were really like te lies drug addicts tell folks to cover up their addiction. It was a way to keep up chasing the next fix. Was that half plate of food left over and not taken a cure all, will I never struggle again? No, but this is a start. No skyscraper was ever built in one day.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Focus

Since I posted earlier today, I'm just using this post to respond to my phone reminder to post to my blog. Keeping the healthy lifestyle pursuit at the forefront. That will be the key.

The Next 10 Years

Kathy and I just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We went to a very nice restaurant and had a very good and large steak. But at te end of the meal, we both lamented that we have spent our first ten years together out of shape and mostly unhealthy. So we have decided to set some goals for ourselves for the next 10 years. Doing better in the kitchen as well as in the gym, we are all set to actually support each other in our journey to better health. We want to set a better example for our younger two children than we did with Lauren and we hope that at some point in time, Lauren will be able to reach the mindset that better for you is an option that actually beats what is easier or more tasty.

One of the tools I intend on using is to start back dealin with my journey by writing. I dont' intend to publish it anywhere but here ,but if some folks happen to find my blog and want to follow it or interact with me, I'd be glad to do that as well. I had a previous entry in which I said I would set an alarm on my phone about blogging. And like many of my efforts before, I didn't follow through. So before I even started typing this, I set the alarm to remind me.

I also fired up the My Fitness Pal app, and have tracked every calorie so far today. I plan on also setting various alarms on my phone so that I will check when I am calories wise so far for the day, and that can remain at the forefront of my mind for a few weeks. Because I truly believe that is the biggest difference between the first days of this blog, and the recent days. I gave my weight loss and health gain efforts much more priority back then. It was constantly on my mind. Now, with my life so much bigger than it used to be, It barely even gets in here some days at all.

That's all I can think to write at the moment. It is early afternoon, and my alarm is set for 7 to write in the blog. I may type up a quick little blurb just to get the habit started again.