* Code to improve Google search: Frank's Weight Loss Blog: 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Day 6 (12/31/08) -- 226 Pounds

After losing 3.5 pounds in one day, I expected a bounce back especially since I was eating dinner with friends last night. Still, after 5 complete days of dieting, I down 5 pounds. That's good isn't it? That shows I'm on the right track and doing the right things, doesn't it? Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

The only thing I've really done different is (1) changed the name of the blog for about the 5th time, and (2) run out of occasions where I have the opportunity to eat way too much food. In general, I've gone back to the loose dieting pattern that maintains a weight but doesn't create any weight loss. The plan of really focusing for 4 weeks just hasn't taken hold yet and I only have 23 days of dieting yet.

You would think I'd have notes up at work and at the house: Must Get to 215 Pounds by January ?? (you see, I'm not even certain of what day is the last day of this 4 week diet). You would think I'd be walking all the time, even if it was in small stretches that add up to a nice total by the end of the day. You would think that I'd totally refrain from any remaining goodies at the office. And you would think that I'd have gone back to the one tool that works the best, keeping a food journal.

Those are the things I need to do for the next 23 days of dieting. I've got 11 pounds to go and it's going to take a maximum effort from me if I want a passing grade for this 4 weeks. I need to start doing all the thinks in the above paragraph that you would think I've been doing for the last 5 days. I've given myself no room for error.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Day 5 (12/30/08) -- 224 Pounds

If you look at the posts under the December archives you'll see that I was doing okay through the morning of December 16th. That was the day of our office party, followed by various activities for my birthday, and then lots of eating for Christmas. Today's weight simply represents my body trying to get back to where it was comfortable before 10 days of feasting.

Now my friend becomes my foe. My body wanted to get back to the 222-224 range which was great after I had ballooned up to 231. The internal mechanisms that control my set point are now happy and they aren't going to like this idea of trying to get 9 more pounds off over the next 3 weeks. The one thing I have going for me is momentum, and I need to keep that going today and for the rest of the week.

Todd, I know that illness ranks way towards the bottom on the list of preferred diet plans. Hope you're feeling better and maybe the silver lining of being sick is that some of the weight will stay off. I have a supper invitation tonight and maybe something will come up regarding New Year's festivities, but I'm basically passed the minefields of the holidays. It will be very disappointing if I'm not into the lower 200's by the start of March.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Day 4 (12/29/08) -- 227.5 Pounds

Same weight as yesterday which is okay, especially since that's leaves me with 3.5 pounds lost after 3 days of dieting. On the other hand, that still leaves 12.5 pounds to go in only 25 days of dieting, meaning that I need to see a fairly decent drop over the 4-5 days if I'm going to have a shot at reaching my goal.

On paper, I could make it sound like yesterday was fairly good. I walked to the store yesterday morning to buy a newspaper. I did one more pushup, situp, and one more minute of stretching than the beginning numbers from Saturday. The eating wasn't great and it wasn't bad. It was a day with one too many bags of popcorn as I sat at the computer most of the day, but overall it was a fairly healthy 2,200-2,500 calorie day.

In reality, there was something wrong with yesterday. The idea of this 4 week diet is to get myself fired up and focused on losing weight. I'm not really fired up like I need to be. I've got plenty of excuses like the bad hip, my recent fatigue from not being able to sleep well, computer time that was needed to process the Christmas photos, etc. Those excuses are legitimate realities, but I can do more and I need to do more. I could have walked around the block when I needed a computer break. I could have cut back some on the food. I could have exercised and stretched at least twice yesterday.

Fortunately, today is a new day. It's going to be a long day since I got up at 4 this morning to work on a couple of things (things I should be doing now instead of blogging). Works going to be hectic since it is both the end of the month and the end of the year accounting. What I need to do is stay too busy to eat, not think about eating because I need a break from being busy. That's the one goal that needs to be accomplished today.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day 3 (12/28/08) -- 227.5 Pounds

Today's weight reminds me of the way we tend to look at gasoline prices. Gas that cost $2.75 per gallon is great after a stretch of paying more than $4.00 per gallon. However, that same $2.75 price will cause heartaches the next time we reach it because now we are getting accustomed to prices around $1.50 in the Jackson area. In that same manner, I'm glad to see 227.5 after a recent day at 230 pounds followed by a day at 231. On the flip side, there's not a lot to be happy about when you have 227.5 pounds dragging down a 5'10" frame.

Well, as a lot of sports figures have started saying of late, "It is what it is." I can learn from the mistakes of the past, but I also have to live with them. One beautiful thing about sports is that you get a new beginning every season. The football team that finished 2-9 this year gets to start back at 0-0 next year along with all the teams that were 9-2. Wouldn't it be great if we could go back to a more optimistic starting point each year? If New Year's Day would hit and suddenly I could roll my weight back to 185 with a fresh opportunity to maintain that weight or even drop it down to those glory years of being 165.

The good news is that I did all of the right things yesterday. I walked 4 miles with Boty in the morning, I kept the eating down, and I even did pushups, situps, and stretching. The last 3 items were mostly symbolic efforts--symbolic of just how pitiful I've become in the area of physical fitness. I did the shortened pushups, using my knees instead of my toes as the support for half my weight. On the situps, it was like my stomach muscles had absolutely no muscle memory involving that movement--it felt like I was attempting a situp for the first time in my life. My efforts were both appalling and encouraging.

I'll choose to focus on the encouraging. I am in a position where I can totally revamp my life and move to a wildly improved quality of living. Think how fantastic it would be to remove a 50 pound backpack that you were having to carry 24 hours a day. I have that opportunity. Think how great it would be to feel strong and athletic after years of being a spectator. I have that opportunity.

Yesterday I realized that I had totally forgotten what it feels like to do a situp. I think I've also totally forgotten what it feels like to be fit and healthy. I had a glimpse of it when I lost 35 pounds and reached the 190 pound range, but I didn't appreciate that success or build on that success. I can live a physical life that is so much better than what I'm living today--THAT'S WHAT I HAVE TO FOCUS ON EACH AND EVERY DAY.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Day 2 (12/27/08) -- 228.5 Pounds

It's 2 a.m. Saturday morning and Hillary asked me to stay up and cover for her if the phone rings. Okay, her ad said 3 a.m. but we have to assume that it was the time in Washington D.C. so I'm right on the button if we go by the Eastern time zone.

Actually, after a very busy Friday that involved computer work that stretched into Saturday, I now find myself unable to get to sleep. I'll try again in a few minutes. Boty and I are going to meet for a walk at 7 and I'll probably come home from that and crash for the rest of the morning.

Day 1 of the 4-week diet went fairly well for a first day. I did walk to the store and I did eat healthy throughout the day. I didn't stretch or do any pushups or situps. Those will definitely get done on Day 2. Not surprisingly, it was a day spent mostly indoors right where I'm sitting at the moment. At least I accomplished a lot on the computer, editing and posting all of my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day photos, creating a posting a Youtube video, and I even finished the 1st book in the Mitford series.

Now I've gotten sleepy trying to think of something to write. I guess I'll give sleep another try, hopefully getting in 3 or 4 hours of rest before getting up to meet Boty.

6:30 Update: I did get some sleep but I'm going to need that nap sometime today, probably sooner rather than later. Sometime before falling to sleep I realized that Day 1 wasn't as acceptable as I had thought when I wrote the above. It was acceptable for the old method of dieting, a long range approach that allowed for days that had lapses. I need to get my mind in focus for the new approach, a diet of just 28 days which means that every day has to be as close to a great day as I can get. There's really no excuse for yesterday's lack of exercise and that's a mistake I don't need to make over the next 27 days.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day 1 (12/26/08) -- 231 Pounds

A new approach doesn't have to wait for the start of a New Year. When I wrote my very first blog entry ever back on February 23, 2006, it showed that I weighed 225 pounds. I actually had been as high as 230 pounds earlier in 2006, but I dieted a little before starting the blog because I didn't want to admit to such a high weight. While I hate to admit to it now, this is the reality I currently face and I might as well face it head on.

The new header for the blog says it all. When I think about wanting to get to 175 or 185 pounds, I know I'm talking about months of dieting. When I'm talking about months of dieting, I know there will be many special occasions and an inevitable number of "bad" days, so I allow these diet killers into my life. The big picture and the big goal is just too fuzzy for me to stay on course. I can stay on course for a shorter trip and a more reachable goal. I can do really well for something like 28 days and that's what I plan to do.

MY GOAL FOR THIS DIET IS TO GET DOWN TO 215 POUNDS: Wow, 16 pounds in 28 days is a lot to shoot for in a diet. Normally that would be true. In this case, I'm counting on the body wanting to get rid of about 6 pounds that have jumped on over the last 10 days thanks to: the office Christmas supper, the office party for December birthdays, a big birthday lunch with Boty, the big party at the Schimmel's, big meals for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, plus fattening goodies in reach no matter which way I turn. It was like going on a cruise without ever getting on a boat.

How will I achieve this goal? I'll achieve it by doing all the things that I've written about over the last 3 years. I usually failed to do those things consistently because the project has been too big for my concentration level. I can start and stick with some stretching if it's just a 28 day project. I can get out and walk each day if it's just a 28 day project. Who knows, I might even get on the floor and at least try to do one set of push-ups and sit-ups--I'll have my cell phone by my side in case I need to call for help if I can't get up!

I can diet for 28 days. I can get to 215 pounds and that would be a nice improvement in my life. I will not think about anything beyond that time frame. And now, I think I'll walk up to the store and buy a newspaper and some fruit for breakfast.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25, 2008--??? Pounds

Here's the story. That "??? Pounds" means that I know the number and you'll just have to guess because I'm not telling. Let's just say that the stock market could use a few days of sharp increases like what I saw over the last 24 hours.

Seriously, today's weight is a tainted number. I'm eating Christmas lunch today at Fred and Virginia's house and then after that it will be back to my own means of eating. While it might not be as healthy, it is definitely less fattening than what I've been tempted with over the last two weeks.

I plan on posting for the next week, but I might not post my weight even as it drops as I'm certain it will. I plan on making a fresh start with a new approach on January 1st, and I want to break off all of the sputters and missteps of 2008 instead of simply continuing on into a new year. Not posting a weight from December 25-31 is one way of creating that gap. It's not a way of going nuts for one last fling--I'll be disappointed if I start 2009 at anything over 225 pounds. I'll be disappointed if I ever see anything higher than 190 pounds after May 1, 2009, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008 -- 227 Pounds

When it comes to the weigh-in each morning, the result often hinges more on when I eat and when I weigh rather than what I ate. I didn't intend for yesterday to be a late eating night. I took off work at noon with the intentions of making the two batches of Christmas brownies in the afternoon. I got home and decided to read a little first. Then I took a nap. Then I went to get batteries for Mother's camera, a task I had put off for too long. On the way from the store to Mother's house, I saw some pretty Christmas lights. Realizing that Mother doesn't drive after dark, I offered to take her out riding to look at the lights--an enjoyable and different visit but we didn't find much in the way of impressive light displays. The bottom line is that I didn't start working on brownies until well after 8 and I got to bed at 11:30.

So in the short term, I was up late scraping the bowls of brownie mix and caramels as my nutritional supper while guzzling diet sodas to stay awake AND I got up early to cut some of the brownies to take to work. That's why my weight is up this morning. In the long term, I was eating brownie mix and caramels for supper which is the reason my weight will be up in the future. There's no question that I'm letting everything slide in anticipation of really, really doing well starting with January 1. I think I can do well from December 26 through the 31st and maybe that will keep my weight from becoming a runaway train.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 23, 2008 -- 226 Pounds

A little late in posting today and I've got work that needs to get done. Yesterday was more of the same with more snacking than I'd like to admit. I must admit that my first 25 minutes at the office hasn't reversed yesterday's trend--too many sweet treats and too little discipline.

Todd, that 222 range looks pretty good considering the circumstances. Good luck with the next couple of days and then the leftovers that follow. I have a new plan for 2009. Actually, it's more of a new approach that I think will make a difference in the way I deal with my dieting. It's nothing that will rock the world and get me on Oprah, but I think it will make a difference to me. Those details will be coming January 1st.

Monday, December 22, 2008

December 22, 2008 -- 225.5 Pounds

Over the last 7 days I've had the office Christmas party, an office birthday party, a birthday lunch, and a big Christmas party at the home of friends. Ideally, I would have shown dieting perfection during the times between all of those events. Rarely do we meet our ideals, and this last week was not one of those rare occasions.

This week should be better. There will probably be goodies at work that I'm mostly avoid. There's the Christmas Eve family celebration and then a family meal on Christmas Day. I can get below 225 this week if I really make an effort.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 21, 2008 -- 227 Pounds

--Saturday, 6:30 PM--225 Pounds as I prepare to go to a Christmas Party.

--Saturday, 11:30 PM--228.5 Pounds after getting back from the Christmas Party.

--Sunday, 6:30 AM--227 Pounds as I get up to work on photos from Christmas Party.

--With a little luck and a lot of discipline today, I may find that 225 pounds for tomorrow's weigh-in.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

December 20, 2008 -- 226 Pounds

I tried to cut back yesterday and it's nice to be rewarded with a weight loss. That's not always the case for good behavior.

Good behavior is what I need until this evening so I can enjoy some moderately bad behavior at a party this evening. It's an annual party at the home of a friend and I'll know lots of folks there. My contribution to the party for the last few years is to do what I do best at a party--take photos. I'm glad to do it and it actually keeps me busy and away from constant grazing (wasn't that a KD Lang song). It would be nice if I got out sometime during the day and did a little walking. We'll see if I can manage to get away from the computer and a book that I started reading and I can't put down.

Friday, December 19, 2008

December 19, 2008 -- 227 Pounds

Todd, let's look at dieting as a sport and the 12 months as the 12 games on the schedule. Here's my recap of the year and the way I need to look at the few remaining days:

I started off the year at 220 pounds and with high hopes that I would rebound to 2006 form after a fairly dismal 2007. For a variety of reasons, I never put it together during the year. I got off to a decent start and then it became mundane at best. There was some hope that I could salvage the season with a big effort against December, the toughest opponent on the schedule. That hasn't come to pass and this month has actually given me quite a beating. It now looks certain that I won't get back to the 220 pound starting point for the year. I'm at a point where I could just tank the rest of December and look forward to next season, or I could start now to try and get on the right path for 2009. I know I'm not going to lose 7 pounds in 11 days, but maybe I can get back 2 of those pounds and start off at 225 next year and going in the right direction.

The reality is that 2007 and 2008 have been two bad years in a row. I need to focus in 2009 on "winning" every month. I need more consistency and even a small 2-3 pound improvement every month will add up to a great 2009. I can't afford to go another year without having significant success.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008 -- 226 Pounds

The Wednesday night get together didn't allow for much dieting, nor will some belated birthday activities today. It's not impossible to diet at this point in time, but it is very difficult and I'm not meeting the task.

Not much else to report. One potential dangerous development is that I'm in the New Year's Resolution mode. That's good in a way. On the other hand, when one starts thinking of all the changes they are going to make in 2009, there is the opportunity to just forget about the remainder of 2008 and let things slide. I'm sure I can slide all the way to 230 if I'm not careful.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 17, 2008 -- I'm 57 and 226 Pounds!!!

Today's my 57th birthday and I've gained just shy of 200 pounds since coming into this world on December 17, 1951. About 3 of those pounds are the result of a fantastic office Christmas supper at Shapley's resturant last night. I hope those three pounds are just passing through instead of taking up permanent residence.

Todd said something in his comment yesterday that got me thinking. He was at a celebration, a family event I believe, and he ended up with the same sort of spike in weight. As he pointed out, he could have told everyone that he wasn't eating much because of his diet, but he didn't want to dampen the spirits of the party. The question arises: is this a legitimate excuse or just one of those things that overweight people like to tell themselves so they don't feel guilty about eating too much?

I think it's legitimate unless a person goes way overboard. Think back to all the ancient stories from literature and religious writings. When there was a time of joy and celebration, there seems to be some sort of feast involved with the proceedings. There is a connection deep inside of us that links good food with good times, and nothing dampens such an occasion more than the person who doesn't join in at least to some extent. I could have simply had the salad last night and skipped the meal, sitting at the table while everyone else enjoyed some fantastic steaks. It would have been the right thing to do for a diet, and the wrong thing to do for the occasion.

After last night, I'm starting to think that 225 by the end of the year is a good goal. I don't want to keep raising that year end number and I don't want to give myself a blank check for gorging over the next two weeks. I need to combine moderation with celebration and hopefully that will allow me to stay at a reasonable weight during this season of food. Come January 1st, the celebrations end and there will no longer be excuses for my lack of success. I need to recreate the success of 2006 in 2009.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

I'm not surprised by the bounce up. I had hoped for something a little more like 221 or 221.5 pounds. Maybe the 222.5 was because I ate like a normal person yesterday, not overeating, but also not using a lot of willpower on the little things. My excuse for that behavior is that I was tired and sometimes it seems like the only way to get through one of those days is with food breaks that are for both an energy boost and also a bit of mental relief.

The being tired comes from being so productive over the weekend. I really got a lot done and it often meant staying up late and getting up early. That's fine for the weekend because you work on whatever cycle feels comfortable, knowing that you can always go take a nap if you overdo it a little. Things change on a Monday. You have to get up when the alarm goes off. You have to spend most of your time at a desk. And on this particular Monday, I had to get a whole mess of things done from start to finish. Things were stacking up like airplanes waiting to land at a busy airport.

One thing regarding the 222.5 weigh-in is that I think I'd take it as my starting weight for 2009. The next 2 weeks will have plenty of pitfalls. There's the office Christmas party tonight, lunch with Boty on Thursday, an office birthday party this week, a friend's party on Saturday, and then there's Christmas next week and New Year's activities after that. It's a two week stretch where maintaining isn't such a bad thing, but a person has to realize that maintaining involves some effort and willpower. Without effort and willpower, I could be starting 2009 at somewhere closer to 227.5 pounds and I don't want to backtrack that far.

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008 -- 220 Pounds

First off, I feel great mentally about the prospects of staying on track this time and getting some serious dieting done. Some of that comes from the boost that Todd has created by adding comments about his own effort to the blog. I'm not very good and staying motivated on an individual project, but I usually do pretty good if I'm involved in some sort of team effort.

The second part of my mental uplifting is the decision to give up television. It's one of those things where I didn't realize what a drag it was on my life until I unplugged the antenna on each TV. I've gotten things done this weekend that had been put off for months. When you have success in various areas of your life, it gives you motivation to have success in other areas--such as in the area of losing weight.

I did go up a little on the calories Sunday, allowing myself to splurge and get a small combo at Wendy's for lunch followed by a Milky Way at the basketball game. It's 7:40 Sunday evening as I type and I anticipate that I'll have a bag of popcorn later this evening. That would put Sunday's food journal at: pineapple(300)--popcorn(250)--Wendy's small combo(1,000)--Milky Way(270)--pineapple(300)--popcorn(250) = 2,370 calories (I did walk some while at Millsaps but I vetoed the idea of walking to the campus.)

(Note on today's weight: I put this at the bottom because it would have been a poor way to start off the post. I've been doing a lot of sitting at the computer lately. It has been productive, but my activity level has dropped to zero. Yesterday I took the time to walk for about 30 minutes that was broken down into three short walks at halftimes and between games. I hate to be so graphic, but those walks seemed to push some food in process on through the system and I was in the bathroom several times yesterday evening. It just goes to show that even getting out for a few short walks has to be good for you along the lines of helping the body function like it should. Now that I'm not watching television, I need to take some of those walking breaks at home after I've been sitting at the computer for a couple of hours.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

I'm writing this Saturday evening at the end of a productive day. I wish I had thrown in some exercise but the best I did was wash clothes at the Laundromat, iron about a zillion shirts and pants, cleaned up the kitchen, and washed all of the hummingbird feeders that I had sitting in a basket on the porch. None of that burned a lot of calories but it was better than sitting in a chair while eating ice cream and watching the television.

The calorie count was good while the menu items still need to be expanded. I totalled up 1,850 calories with 2 cans of pineapples, 3 bags of popcorn, a serving of chili, and a light beer. I do have some canned vegetables at the house and I do know how to heat them up. I should make a better effort on the nutritional side of the equation.

Millsaps plays both a men's and women's basketball game Sunday afternoon. If I walk to the campus and walk during both halftimes and the break between games, it would easy to put in at least 4 miles of walking. That's something I need to do and I can do it since I'll be leaving the camera at home. I've got to stick to the plan of not feeling a need to photograph every game. Tomorrow I'll be on campus as a fan.

Todd, I hope your travels this weekend were productive and/or fun. Good luck with your diet as you travel this week. Just remember that staying at a place with a free breakfast bar is not an excuse for sampling everything--I tend to fall into that mode whenever there's free food around. I'll have my own set of challenges which means I have to really focus if I want to get below 220 over the next week.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

(Saturday morning update: I wrote most of this post Friday evening when I didn't know what my weigh-in would reveal. It's great to be at 222, especially since it is the result of staying on the food journal program for a few days. The theory of "do the right thing and you'll get the right result" is one that rarely fails in life. Now I need to stay on course, especially over the weekend since I have a lot of special occasions coming up next week.)

There's a fine line between that one needs to walk when trying to lose weight. I don't see a diet as some sort of punishment that needs to be painful. I don't see a dieter as a person who has to become a martyr for months on end, missing out on every special occasion or being a wet blanket if they do attend.

The hard part is to indulge a little without letting everything go to "Hell in a hand basket" (whatever that means). The hard part is to limit the times that are designated as special occasions, and to try and bracket those special days with really good dieting days. At this time of the year, managing the special occasions is especially important.

Todd wrote yesterday about playing in a band about once a week and having to go on the road. My big days aren't quite as glamorous but they will be somewhat numerous over the next two weeks. My 57th birthday is next Wednesday. Boty wants to take me to lunch for my birthday, we will have an office party for the December birthdays, plus an office supper for our annual Christmas get together. Then there's the party at the Schimmel's next Saturday and of course there's Christmas Eve. Let's just say that I need a lot of very good dieting days to offset these special occasions.

Here's my food list from Friday: yogurt(100)--2 cereal bars(340)--hot pockets(600)--yogurt(100)--cereal bar(170)--cereal bar(170)--pineapple(300)--popcorn(250)--light beer(100) = 2,130 calories. I should have done better.

Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008 --- 223.5 Pounds

Todd, I think I might be regaining some of the motivation that has been missing for such a long time. Keeping the food journal isn't hard if you truly want to forgo short term pleasures for a more lofty long term goal. Thursday I found it easy to keep the food journal--that's a change from most of the times when I tried to get back on the wagon.

For the record, the food on Thursday was: yogurt(100)--hot pockets(530)--hot pockets(530)--pineapple(300)--soup(380)--light beer(100) = 1,940 calories.

We'll know I'm super motivated when those hot pockets get changed over to fruits and vegetables. I don't want to shock my system with too much, too fast. I had sort of forgotten or given up on the 215 by the end of the month, but I'm kind of fired up to see if I can get to that level. I might have a few hard-and-fast set points that are blocking the way, but I don't know how set they really are since I never stick with my food journal long enough to press the issue. I'll stick with it this time.

Have a great weekend Todd and we both need to remember that a diet isn't broken into work days and weekends--every day is a diet day and every day is a chance to move a little closer to a healthier life.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11, 2008 -- Back to February 23, 2006

I weighed in at 224.5 pounds this morning. Todd recently mentioned how he and I both seemed to have had our one shot at easy weight loss back about three years ago and now it wasn't going nearly as well the second time around. I do think there is some science behind that comment, that the body gets wise to the tricks of dieters and it doesn't drop weight as easily time after time. HOWEVER, with me the problem is mostly that I just haven't been as committed to the process even though I know the process will work. Back in 2006 I had these results:

Start on 2/23/2006--225 Pounds
3/23/2006--215.5 Pounds
4/23/2006--206.5 Pounds
5/23/2006--199.0 Pounds
6/23/2006--196.0 Pounds
7/23/2006--191.0 Pounds

I was extremely busy with photos, I didn't exercise much besides exercising some willpower, and I didn't starve myself. All I did was follow the extremely simple plan that was laid out in the very first blog entry I ever made:

One thing I've learned is that I will keep my eating under control if I force myself to keep a list of everything I eat during the day. That is just enough of an impulse stopper to keep me from getting that afternoon candy bar or stopping at a fast food place for a Combo Meal. The hard part for me is to keep up the Food Journal. So, I go into this knowing that I may lose steam very quickly on this project. We shall see.

Food Journal:
1 can Campbell Steak & Potato soup -- 260 calories
Peanut butter crackers -- 200 calories
Peas -- 210 calories
Santa Fe Corn -- 240 calories
Tuna -- 250 calories

That's it for day 1. Certainly not typical of the volume or quality of the food that I normally eat. At least the blog worked for one day.

Clearly, I need to get back to my roots and keep the food journal. All this other BS that I write about is unnecessary if I'll go back to the one thing that takes less than 5 minutes a day and has worked 100% of the time. I need to go back to being responsible for my actions.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December 10, 2008 -- 225 Pounds

I hate it when I wake up in the morning and I'm already exhausted. That's how I feel this morning so I came downstairs to get a pick-me-up diet soda before going through the bathroom routine. Of course it all comes back to the photos, just as most things in my life come back to the photos.

The good news is that I've finished the men's basketball photos from last Saturday and I've started on the photos for the women. Then I'll have the photos for the cheerleaders at the game and that should finish me up for the rest of the year. They do have one more home game next Sunday and I may just go as a fan or I may skip it all together.

One plan I have is to go back and start reading my entries from the early days of the first blog. I was certainly motivated then and that translated into success. I can't quite find that spark at the moment and I don't have any big event like an upcoming wedding to spur me on. Maybe I can vow that I will post shirtless photos of myself by a certain date, but why risk running off the few blog readers that I have at either site. I think I can find motivation without such a desperate move.

Todd, please do continue to post. Your success will motivate me, not discourage me. If you struggle, then it will probably motivate me to do better so you will be encouraged. Mostly it just helps to know that there's someone else going through the same process with all of the pluses and minuses. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December 9, 2008 -- 225.5 Pounds

I'll admit that I'm getting fairly disgusted with myself--and that's a good thing. I need something to get me going and it was disgusted with myself back in Feb, 2006 that was a huge motivating factor. I'll get back to this post later. Right now I have to leave home early for work so I can stop at Walmart and buy more yogurt to store in the office refrigerator.

...I made it to Walmart and then to work on time. Something Todd wrote yesterday really hit home with me. He was talking about the workout being difficult but better than last week and then he added that he felt like an athlete for the first time in 10 years. How long has it been since I felt like an athlete? Maybe I felt a little like an athlete when I had lost weight and could actually move on a tennis court. I felt more like an athlete when I was playing somewhat decent racquetball about 5 years ago. But to be honest, I really haven't been an athlete for a long time. There was a time when I was in the upper percentile of fitness for my age group, back in the days of 10% body fat and 10-mile runs. I need to get back to those days of being fit for my age. I need to get back to the idea of being an athlete--not capable of the things I could do 30 years ago, but an athlete none the less.

I have a lot of work to do to reach that goal. I can't do it all today. I can take the first step which is the step that tends to be the hardest.

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 8, 2008 -- 223 Pounds

There was a time when I played tennis just about every Sunday and I would complain because not because we played 4 and sometimes 5 sets of doubles, but because one of the guys would draw out the process into a 3-4 hour event. It wasn't the amount of tennis, it was the slow pace cause by the breaks during the changing of sides. Now this once slow paced tennis would be a high energy day in my life.

I spent about 12 hours Sunday right where I am at this moment, sitting in my living room in the black chair in front of my PC. I got up at 7 Sunday morning and went back to bed after 9 Sunday evening, and the only time I wasn't in front of the PC was a mid-morning nap that I took. Some of the time I swiveled 90 degrees to the left so I could work on labeling the DVDs, some of the time I was working on photo on the PC, some time went towards writing a blog entry, I wrote an email, and the list goes on. What I didn't do was leave the house other than to walk out on the porch a couple of times. Is it any wonder that I have so much trouble with my weight? I've got to do better.

(As an aside to Todd, I'm sorry to hear about your band member's untimely passing. That just doesn't fit right in the flow of life. Good luck this week on your workouts. They may be tougher workouts on paper but hopefully they'll be easier because you are better acclimated to the process. I need to at least get out and walk this week--it is a drop in the bucket compared to what you are putting in but at least it will be something more strenuous than sitting in a chair.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

December 6, 2008 -- 224 pounds

A few questions/comments for you Todd. (1) Your comment yesterday had 219 but based on the rest of the comment I'm guessing it was 229. It sounds like you are doing the right things and that's going to lead to the right results. (2) Based on the lack of activity with the MySpace page for Dragline, it looks like that band is inactive. Are you playing in any bands right now? (3) And if memory serves me correctly, you got married in 2008. If that is so, then congratulations. If that is not so, then it won't be the first time that my memory didn't serve me correctly.

As for my day-to-day struggles with the weight, I guess the biggest thing is that I'm not struggling too much. Ideally, trying to lose weight shouldn't be a struggle at all. There should be a strong motivation to be healthier, feel better, live longer, and yes, to look better. This motivation should result in making it easy to make the right choices over and over again. Thanks to the laws of nature, a string of right choices will eventually lead to right results. It is so simple and straight forward--there should be no difficulty and struggling involved. It should be as easy as selecting a temperature on the thermostat and dialing it up, except that it involves a longer time period for the results to show up.

Maybe it works like that in Camelot, but in the real world it isn't so simplistic and easy. There are times when making the right choice isn't the choice we want to make--such as going out with a group to a bar and drinking tea all night. Those are the moments where I have to struggle against the short term desires. I have to fight for the part of me that wants the long term changes and right now I haven't been much of an advocate for that section of my brain. I can do better than this and I will do better at least for this 2-day weekend.

Friday, December 5, 2008

December 5, 2008 -- 223.5 Pounds

I had put off giving blood since before Thanksgiving so yesterday I decided to give blood on the way home from work (I took off most of the afternoon to work on photos). That meant cookies and juice at the blood center, an extra 500 calories that they really want you to eat so they don't have any liability if you pass out on the drive home and crash into a telephone pole. I had eaten a good meal before giving blood and then I had the snack, so I ignored the instructions about eating a good meal afterwards. I just didn't want to see 225 pounds again.

My life is a wreck, but what else is new. It's not necessarily a bad wreck, just a life that I allow to get so totally out of whack. I'll take off this afternoon to continue working on the football DVDs. That's going to be a huge part of the weekend as I try to get those ready to deliver Monday morning. Then there's a set of basketball photos that I need to edit and Saturday afternoon the men and women have their only conference basketball game that will be played before the start of 2009. I need to somehow get the Strong Family Reunion photos burned on CDs and mailed out to a bunch of families in time for Christmas. The projects that would have been nice for my family for this, both the photos and some family history that I'm trying to get into a word file, those projects will have to go to the back burner.

Add in the part about absolutely having to so a major spring cleaning at my apartment, nearing to get caught up on financial paperwork, and who knows what else. It's a life out of control and trying to add in dieting and exercise is difficult. Not impossible, but it's just one more layer of less pleasure in an attempt to accomplish something productive.

As you can see, I'm not in a great mood this morning. I didn't intend to write all this when I sat down to post but it all came out. Logically, a person should be able to diet regardless of how busy they are. Maybe it should even make things easier if they take less time to eat. Psychologically, I think that stress, pressure and impending deadlines make dieting far more difficult. I know it's a trap, me thinking that I'll give myself a treat as I take a break from all the work, but I'm actually giving myself one more burden to deal with. I'll see what I can do to avoid that trap today and over the weekend.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 4, 2008 -- 224.5 Pounds

It was a day that started odd and I ended up using that as an excuse to do poorly all day. I picked up Mother for a doctor's appointment at 7 so I had to eat early and I ate more than usual because I didn't know if we'd be stuck in the waiting room. This threw me off stride for when I did get to work and I nibbled on junk food while getting caught up on a variety of jobs. And of course, Wednesday nights with the guys at the bar is my big night of the week so that involved too many calories and a trip through the Wendy's drive thru for even more calories. It was a wall-to-wall day of bad decisions.

That's the key. It was a day of bad decisions. There was a time when I would have still come in under 2,000 calories on a day like yesterday and now I use it as an excuse to go wild. It's like a kid seeing an opportunity to "get away" with something which might be a some part of immature human nature, but in this case I'm getting away with something over myself. That make no sense on several levels. Anyway, I will make up for it today. Yogurt will be first on the menu and 2,000 calories won't be reached today. I've got to get some control over myself.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 3, 2008 --- 222 Pounds

Today's weight puts me back to my level prior to the Thanksgiving week of feasting. Once again I am finding that eating between 1,500 and 2,000 calories in a day is something that requires a little planning and very little backsliding, but it is enough to keep a person from feeling hungry. The fact that a person can drastically cut back on their calories and still avoid the feeling of hunger is good news. The bad news is that hunger is rarely the motivation behind our eating.

We eat because it is "time to eat". We eat because there's a party or a special occasion. We eat because we are sad. We eat because we are happy. The list goes on and on and most of us find a reason to eat before the hunger mechanism in our body gets to the point of telling us that we actually need to eat. The hard part about dieting is not the physical part of suffering with hunger. It is the mental part of having to avoid eating when you get a signal or temptation that has very little or nothing to do with hunger. Lately there have been more and more researchers and doctors who want to label obesity as a disease and/or a disability. What they should be telling us is that obesity is a lifestyle choice. That's what people need to hear over and over instead of excuses of why their obesity is not really their fault.

Food today:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 2, 2008 -- 223 Pounds

Coach Frank was proud of me yesterday. Maybe I could have done a little better by expanding past my traditional food choices--yogurt, crackers, hot pockets, and popcorn--but at least I kept the calories under 2,000 and I did remember to take my vitamins. Lack of exercise was a problem unless there is some fat burning magic associated with clicking a mouse and burning DVDs on a PC. Truth be told, if those activities had a magical fat burning power then I would never have to worry about dieting.

Todd, I hope you stuck to your workout plan. It's a little easier to fit eating less into a schedule rather than working out vigorously, but the more exercise route is the better path to follow. It's the path I would prefer and I need to do a little more even if I can't do a lot more. In the meantime, I can continue to stay below that 2,000 calorie mark. That will at least get me back below 220 and then we'll have to see if my body needs more motivation to drop below that difficult 215 mark.

Food today: yogurt(100)--crackers(200)--hot pocket(530)--crackers(200)--soup(360)--popcorn(250) = 1,640 calories

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008 -- 225.5 Pounds

Eleven months gone and nothing to show for it regarding my diet in 2008. I was never much into alcohol, tobacco or drugs so trying to break an addiction hasn't been something that I've had to worry about in my life. Now I better understand why people struggle with these things.

Beating an addiction seems so simplistic. To quote Nancy Reagan or whoever, "Just say no." Obviously that advice is easier said than done for most people and I fall into that majority. What I have to do is continue to stay in the game until something clicks for me. I guess it's time to see if the food journal is what's clicking, so here we go again with the method that worked so well when it was combined with a little motivation and determination.

Food today: yogurt(100)--crackers(200)--hot pocket(570)--candy(50)--yogurt(100)--popcorn(250)--soup(380) = 1,650 calories

Saturday, November 29, 2008

November 29, 2008 -- 225 Pounds

At least it is a step in the right direction. Considering that almost the entire day was spent right where I am at this moment, a loss of any type is a good thing. I tried very hard to keep food out of my break times, those moments when I had to get up and do something besides typing some words and clicking a mouse.

Today will be a lot of the same with one big exception. It's before 5 AM and I'll see what I can do this morning to get a women's basketball game edited and posted and at least make a dent in editing yesterday's mens basketball game. I can put in about 5 hours on that before going up to Millsaps for the playoff game. Fortunately, my right leg is doing better this morning. I'm not so sure that this will be the case by the time I get home at 4 PM and then sit down at my computer for 6-7 hours of work. What a relaxing weekend I've lined up for myself.

Friday, November 28, 2008

November 28, 2008 -- 226 Pounds

There's bad news and good news. The bad news is in the title of this post: 226 pounds!!! The good news is that some of that weight is just passing through (if you know what I mean) and the really good news is that Coach Frank is back on the job.

I need to go back to almost zero tolerance on my diet. The last quarter of every year has the triple whammy of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, three occasions where food temptations are abnormally high. I didn't do very well with Halloween and Thanksgiving this year so I need to redeem myself during the days running up to Christmas. That means a combination of Coach Frank and the 3 rule diet: (1) Eat when you are hungry; (2) Don't eat unless you are hungry; and (3) When you eat, eat half of what you think you need.

On a very serious note, I think time is running out on this weight loss thing. A person can get away with excessive weight for a portion of their life, but eventually there will be a price to pay. I find myself at that time when I either need to get the job done or pay up. This morning I was doing something simple that involved bending over just a little. I had a sudden, sharp pain that ran from my hip to my knee, causing my leg to buckle just a little. It was the same pain highway that has been running up and down my right leg for quite a while, but the pain has always been slow and dull. This was something I hadn't felt before and it makes me think that I either must take pressure off of my right hip by losing weight and stretching, or a hip operation is not too far away. I'm running out of time to get things back in order.

It seems fairly simple. Get rid of 50 pounds of unused weight that I tote around every waking minute of my life. Stretch to take pressure off of my hip. Do some exercises to build up the area around my hip and just to get back into decent shape as I deal with early old age (birthday number 57 is less than a month away). At this point in time, there really is nothing more important on my list of things to do than to take care of myself. I can't put it off any longer.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

November 27, 2008 -- 224.5 Pounds

Coach Frank has obviously been given a red card and is no longer around to control his player. The pre-Thanksgiving has been a wonderful array of food. It started with the office party this past Monday and the leftovers that were just as good on Tuesday. Wednesday evening was spent enjoying a wonderful supper at Fred and Virginia's house, and today I'll be at Will and Linda's house for a huge Thanksgiving spread. Friday, Saturday and Sunday need to be days of fasting.

I know that the recent feasting has been an anti-diet and I could have done much better. Maybe I should have done much better, but you all know how I eat when there's no special event going on. These festive meals are a rarity for me and I don't see the need to sit and drool on special occasions. In theory, I'm suppose to do well enough on the normal days that I can enjoy the big occasions. Days like Thanksgiving and Christmas aren't my failures, it's all the days in between the big events where I'll either sink or swim when it comes to my diet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November 26, 2008 -- 224 Pounds

I suspect that most major disasters start out small:

--The person who embezzles $100,000 starts out by "borrowing" $100 from petty cash until the next payday.
--The three year affair that breaks up a marriage starts out as just 30 minutes to have a drink with a co-worker after work.
--The Vietnam conflict started out with just a couple of hundred United States observers.

Those are disasters on a larger scale than my current weight, but the process of growth was the same. A person gains 5 pounds and that's not good, but they'll work it off after the holidays or when the weather gets warmer or when there's more free time in the schedule. Before too long, that extra 5 pounds is the norm and something comes along that adds 5 more pounds. Eventually there are more gains, more excuses, more diet plans that never come to fruition, and a person has become obese. That's where I am today.

Lately the move is being made to classify obesity as a disease and or a disability. I disagree with these classifications, but let's accept these new ideas for a moment. Isn't it great that I have the power in my hand to cure myself of a disease and to correct a disability! Wouldn't those with a true illness or an actual disability love to have such power, and yet I fail to exercise control over my situation. That's tragic. I don't understand why I won't do such a simple thing as showing restraint long enough to make myself healthier and happier, but I'm going to keep hammering away at myself until something clicks. While it seems like "Just do it" should be all of the instructions that I need, it appears to be more complicated than that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

(Office Thanksgiving meal) + (Sitting at PC all day and evening) = Poor diet plan

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

For a strong person, I'm not sure if there is an excuse for letting other things get in the way of dieting. Most people who have that kind of focus are people who don't allow themselves to get overweight.

I spent all day sitting in front of a PC yesterday editing photos. I didn't go wild with my eating, I just didn't cut back on my eating. I poured down a string of diet sodas, I popped bags of popcorn, I ate pineapples several times, and I think the only other thing I had was a can of chili and some crackers. There was no consulting Coach Frank about eating or anything else, it was just a mind numbing day of working on photos and using food as an excuse to take a break.

There have been times over the last few years when I've thought about simply quitting everything in my life and regrouping. That includes the photographs and even work. There are times when I wish I could simply withdraw from everything and totally focus on me. I would like to get physically fit once again--down to a healthy weight--totally organized with my life--have a chance to reconnect with friends--have a chance to reconnect with myself. A strong person could work on those self projects while dealing with a busy schedule and right now my only realistic option is to try and become that stronger person.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22, 2008 -- 219 Pounds

I need to stay below 220 pounds over the weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2008

November 21, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds

Not much to report from yesterday. Last night the businesses district in my neighborhood was having a big Christmas promotion, "Fondren Unwrapped", and I walked up the hill to the stores and spent a couple of hours at the event. That included about an hour at a restuarant where "Passenger Jones" was playing and I had a few beers. Not exactly what Coach Frank would advise but he realizes that I need to have a life.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008 -- 221 Pounds

Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th light beer last night, Coach Frank got kicked to the curb. I should mention that the 4th beer was the last beer and these drinks were spread out over almost 2 hours. Also, the bowl was just about empty by the time I broke down and had some peanuts and while I did get a combo at Wendy's for supper, it was the small combo.

If I were looking for an excuse for such behavior, I wouldn't blame the alcohol. I would blame my friends at the bar last night for being such good friends. All 8 of us made it last night, one leaving early and the other arriving late, and it was a fun night of some serious talk, a lot of humor, and just a good feeling of being with good people. It really was a party/special occasion for me and I decided to celebrate instead of worrying about dieting. Admittedly, that 4th beer made the decision to celebrate a little easier. Now it's Thursday morning and Coach Frank is once again back on the job so I'll work hard to make up for last night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008 -- 219 Pounds

I consider this to be 3 pounds lost since I started listening to Coach Frank. It seems like I first started applying this concept last Tuesday or Wednesday. I remember last Wednesday well because this was the first diet method I've used that kept me out of the snack nuts at the bar.

I have a general goal of getting my weight down to the 175-185 range. I think the difference on where I fall in that range will depend on my level of daily activity. I do not have a timetable for getting to the 175-185 range. I firmly believe that doing the right thing day after day by following the Coach Frank advice will virtually guarantee that I reach my target. It seems like that will take at least 4 months and quite possibly longer. It really doesn't matter. What I've found is that I'll never be able to stop thinking about my diet if I want to keep the weight off, so I'll really need to continue to coach myself for the rest of my life. There will be a point where that coaching switches from losing weight to maintaining a weight. In the big picture of life, it won't matter if that point comes in 4 months or 8 months, just as long as it comes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds

There really isn't anything to write about regarding the diet. At work I've totally stopped the habit of grabbing candy out of the community bowls situated around the office. I've stopped going to fast food places for lunch. I'm drinking less diet sodas. I'm not snacking as much at home when I spend several hours in front of the PC. All in all, I'm simply following the advice I would give to someone else if they wanted my ideas on how to lose weight. It has really been simple up to this point.

I added a post last night with the text for a story I saw on Yahoo. I'm not sure that I agree with all of the story, especially the last part where it says that 38 police officers followed a diet for 5 years where they burned more calories than they ate and they all gained body fat--that sounds like a stretch in logic to me. Still, it is a reminder that the type of foods we eat are important and that's something I should work on improving with my food intake.

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Interesting Weight Loss Article

I saw this article on Yahoo Monday night. I could have provided a link to the story but Yahoo doesn't keep the stories out there forever. I thought this was informative enough that I needed to cut and paste the entire text:


Overlooked Fat Loss Factors

Losing weight is about more than reducing calorie intake. Fitness expert Joel Marion lets us in on some overlooked fat loss factors.

Overlooked Fat Loss Factors

These overlooked fat loss factors need to be addressed. We're often told that losing weight is a simple mathematical equation of calories in, calories out. Burn more calories than you eat and you’ll lose fat. However, is it really that simple? The truth is that the actual “number” of calories you consume is not the only factor that affects your fat-loss efforts. In this article, we’ll discuss five other things that should be considered when determining the effect of your diet on your waistline, primarily overlooked fat loss factors. Incorporate this knowledge into your workout and nutrition routines and soon you'll be ripped like Ryan Reynolds -- and attracting looks from fitness babes like Amy Weber and Jamie Eason for it.

1- The thermic effect of the food you eat:
The thermic effect of food (TEF) measures the amount of energy that is required to support the processes of digesting, absorbing and assimilating food nutrients as well as the energy expended as a result of the central nervous system's stimulatory effect on metabolism when food is ingested. Of the three macronutrients, protein carries the highest thermic effect. Eat more protein; burn more calories.

2- The fiber content of the food you eat:
Due to its chemical makeup, fiber is classified as a carbohydrate; however, it is unlike other carbohydrates in that it is an indigestible nutrient. Even though each gram of fiber contains four calories, these calories will remain undigested and will not be absorbed. Therefore, if you were to consume 300 calories of red beans (a food in which nearly 1/3 of the caloric content is from fiber), approximately 100 of these calories would pass through your intestinal tract undigested.

3- The glycemic and insulin indices of the food you eat:
The glycemic and insulin indices are scaled numbers that refer to how quickly a particular carbohydrate source enters the bloodstream as sugar and how much insulin is needed to rid that sugar from the bloodstream, respectively. Generally speaking, there is a positive relationship between the two; the quicker sugar enters the bloodstream, the more insulin is needed to rid that sugar from the bloodstream. When high levels of insulin are present within the blood, fat burning is brought to a screeching halt, which is anything but desirable for those whose goal it is to obtain a lean, muscular physique. Don't let this be an overlooked fat loss factor.

4- The different macronutrients present in the food you eat:
Although insulin's primary function is to shuttle glucose (sugar) into skeletal muscle, it also carries many other nutrients to their respective storage sites -- this includes lipids (fat). Since carbohydrate ingestion stimulates a large insulin response and fat ingestion gives rise to blood lipid levels, when the two are consumed together, they promote the greatest fat storage.

5- The size, frequency and time of the meals you eat:
Large, infrequent meals tend to promote storage of the ingested nutrients, as the body is unsure as to when the next feeding will take place. Conversely, consuming smaller, more frequent meals will result in an increase in metabolism and utilization of the ingested nutrients. Also, ingesting a large amount of carbohydrates before bed spikes insulin, deters nocturnal thermogenesis and increases fat storage during sleep. On the contrary, consuming a great deal of calories early in the day does not bring about this problem; rather, these calories are likely to be used as energy to support daily activities.
-------------------

As you can see, someone could be eating a relatively small amount of calories daily, but at the same time be promoting a great deal of fat storage by: 1) Making poor food choices; 2) Combining macronutrients in a nonproductive fashion and; 3) Consuming food infrequently and at inopportune times. To illustrate this further, let's take a look at a recent study that analyzed the diets of 38 police officers. This study discovered that although the officers were consuming a hypocaloric diet (fewer calories than they burn), they all had unhealthy levels of body fat and had been gaining fat mass over the past five years. If all you had to do to lose fat was consume fewer calories than you burned, then these individuals would be losing fat, not gaining it.To confirm the importance of the factors that I previously mentioned, let's take a look at some of the other things this study noted:

---Only 15% of their diet consisted of protein, the macronutrient with the greatest TEF.
---Their diet contained very little fiber.
---Over 50% of their carbohydrate intake was derived from simple sugars, which have very high glycemic and insulin indices.
---They didn't note this, but I'm willing to bet that they didn't avoid the fat-carb combo.
---They ate infrequently -- only 10% of their caloric intake was consumed at breakfast and over 50% was consumed right before bed.

By now, it should be obvious that fat loss isn't just a matter of calories in, calories out. And while it’s a little more complex than that, you can easily use the tips in this article to ensure you’re getting the most from your dieting efforts.Joel Marion is an internationally recognized fitness expert and the author of The Cheat to Lose Diet (Random House, 2007). To learn more about Joel’s top-rated Body Transformation Coaching program and to download a free copy of his latest fat loss report, The Secret Fat Loss Hormone, visit http://www.joelmarioncoaching.com/

November 17, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

It's 3:15 and I'm up with Hillary ready to answer the phone if it rings. Okay, I'm up because old people have this problem about waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to sleep. I thought I write a post and then try to take a nap until 5:20.

Don't let the 222 pound weigh-in fool you. I had a great weekend and I feel better about this dieting method than anything I've tried over the 33 months that I've been blogging about trying to lose weight. I'm making the right choices when it comes to eating, or actually when it comes to not eating. I could make better choices when I do eat, opting for more fruits and vegetables, but I don't want to get too crazy right away.

If someone asked me about exactly what I've been eating and the daily caloric intake, I would be unable to give an accurate answer. In the past my dieting has been all about keeping an accurate account of calories in an attempt to maintain accountability for my actions. Now I leave the accountability up to Coach Frank and I don't have to worry about it.

I should be able to explain this better but thinking is hard at this early morning hour. In the past the food diary was mostly about making me think before I ate. The value was mostly in keeping me from eating things, not in keeping up with what I was eating. Now I run all of my eating decisions past my alter ego. It's a different method of making me think before I eat. It's all about making the right decision over and over again, something that Coach Frank will do without me having to keep up with anything. He has me avoiding the bowls of candy at work, the bowl of nuts at the bar, the temptations of fast food restaurants, etc, because these things aren't the right decisions. There's no need to keep up with anything if I just make the right decision time after time. It is refreshingly simple and effective for the person willing to follow the good advice of their personal coach, even if that personal coach is some odd figment of their imagination.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008 -- 221 Pounds

Much like the surface of the earth, the human body is composed of a trenendous amount of fluid. Considering that fact, I don't get too worried about a 1% gain in weight as long as I know that I'm doing the right things in regarded to how I eat. Over the last few days I have been doing the right things more consistently than just about any time in 2008.

When I thought about trying this coach yourself approach it wasn't one of those things where I got super motivated and pumped about sticking with the program no matter how difficult. It was just a new approach to try that sounded reasonable, much like all of the other approaches I've tried have sounded reasonable and would be successful if I stuck to the plan. WHAT SETS THIS APPROACH APART FROM THE OTHER PLANS is that it is simple to do, it is a plan that has to work if you stick with it, and IT DOESN'T TAKE A LOT OF MOTIVATION TO STICK WITH THIS PLAN.

Maybe this plan is perfect for me and not for others because I've coached a lot in the past. In coaching you have a person who says this is what we need to do and the other people accept the plan and go out an execute. That's all I'm doing. When it's time for a meal, I check in with Coach Frank to see what he would suggest for a person who is trying to lose weight and then I follow his plan. When I'm passing by a bowl of candy at work, I check with Coach Frank to see if he thinks it's okay for a person who is trying to lose weight to stopped for candy--he always seems to say no so I don't stop, but I think he would say yes to candy if I was truly hungry and didn't have any better options available. Coach Frank makes smart, rational decisions while I react based on impulse and emotions instead of need. I'm starting to feel like losing weight is going to be a breeze if I'll simply continue to follow the advice of my new coach.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 15, 2008 -- 219 Pounds (3 pounds lost)

It has been a hectic day with not enough time to blog. The bottom line is that this new method continues to work well. It's working so well that I'm starting to question if it could really be this simple.

Friday, November 14, 2008

November 14, 2008 -- 221 Pounds

I am cautiously hopeful that I've found the key to my diet success. I've thought in the past that being accountable was the key to diet success and that's not quite right. The key to diet success is finding a way to consistently stay accountable.

The difference is both minor and huge. With all of my methods in the past I would be accountable to some degree, maybe for two-thirds of a day, or for two out of three days, or maybe for two out of three weeks. On those rare occasions when I was so motivated that I stayed consistently accountable for my actions, and therefore I did the right thing time after time, I always succeeded with my diet.

The key thought in that last paragraph is motivation. You give a person enough motivation and they will succeed at just about anything. Almost every obese person in the world could and would lose back to a healthy weight if you offered them a million dollars as their reward. That's good news that everyone has this ability to succeed. The bad news is that rarely does a person find themselves with such a high motivation. Even the idea of living extra years in the future isn't much motivation for people to stop eating extra now.

I've been trying various methods that all rely on me being highly motivated and I've found it very hard to stay that motivated. Following the instructions of the mythical "Coach Frank" doesn't rely on motivation. I know that sounds like some sort of mental hocus-pocus, but when I run all of my decisions through this idea of "What Would Coach Frank Say", all I have to do is following the resulting advice. Maybe it works for me because I'm very geared to the coach-player relationship. You take a coach giving good advice and a player willing to apply that advice, and you will end up with a player reaching close to their full potential. If I stop for a moment and think like a diet coach, and then if I will follow that advice, it is a certainty that I will successfully lose weight.

Again, this is something I've been trying for only a couple of days so I don't want to get too carried away. Let's see if it works for a week or for a month. Let's see if it works all the way down to 175 pounds. I think it will work and I think it will work in other areas of my life as well. A person who makes and takes the right decision consistently is a person who is highly likely to succeed. My split personality of Coach Frank is going to make the right decision just about every time. All I need to do to guarantee success in my life is to be a good player and follow the instructions of the coach.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 13, 2008 -- 223 Pounds

I once thought professional athletes were crazy or egomaniacs when they did interviews in the third person (Yesterday Terrell Owens told a press conference, "Terrell Owens thinks all of you reporters should kiss Terrell Owens' ###".) Now I'm not so sure about my assessment of these athletes.

Yesterday I did much better on my diet because I was listening to Coach Frank instead of myself. When I wanted crackers to procrastinate on starting a project, Coach Frank wouldn't let me have the crackers. When I wanted a diet Pepsi, Coach Frank made me drink a glass of water in between each diet drink. When I was checking my brother's warehouse yesterday afternoon I had to walk by several bowls of leftover Halloween candy--Monday and Tuesday I helped myself to plenty and yesterday Coach Frank told me I didn't need any candy. When leaving from work Coach Frank let me have a diet drink and crackers on the condition that I didn't eat any nuts at the bar--I really wanted those nuts at the bar and I almost got some, but I had a deal with Coach Frank so I held off. Then for supper, I wanted to stop and buy a frozen pizza but Coach Frank thought I should stick with the lower calories of a can of chili.

It turns out that Coach Frank is a little bit more of a jerk than I realized. It's not that he was wrong about any of his decisions, it's just that I would have preferred to do the wrong things. I'm sure he'll have me drinking more water and less diet sodas today and I doubt that I'll be able to get my my snack box 3 or 4 times today to get a pack of crackers. He'll make me eat more of the yogurt that is better for me and only half of the calories. I understand that all of this is good for me in the long run, but it seems like having Coach Frank around all the time is going to be a real drag.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November 12, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

The "what would Coach Frank say" was modestly successful yesterday. I didn't do a great job in the role of Coach Frank and therefore I didn't do a good job of improving in the role of player Frank. Some of that can be attributed to being in front of the PC so much yesterday working on photos--that's always a difficult time when it comes to wanting to eat a snack in order to take a break. I believe I'll do better today.

I want to thank Todd for the comment on yesterday's post regarding the book "The Now Habit". It's a book that is aimed at procrastinators and I'm sure a million jokes have been written about people buying the book and then they plan to start on it tomorrow, or the next day, or next week, etc. It is a good question to ask: How do you get procrastinators to start reading a book about how to quit procrastinating? It sounds like a Catch-22 to me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A New Title, A New Approach

It took Thomas Edison 10,000 failed experiments to invent the electric light so I don't think there's anything wrong with me changing my weight loss approach every now and then. Actually, Edison said that none of those 10,000 experiments was a failure because each one showed him what wouldn't work. In my case, I don't think that my previous approaches have been ones that wouldn't work, I think my approaches didn't work because I didn't follow the plan.

If I had a coach with me 24 hours a day helping me make the right decisions, or maybe forcing me to make the right decisions, then getting back in shape would be a snap. Obviously the only way I can afford a 24-hour coach is to coach myself. I know that sounds a little simplistic and even stupid, but I need to take somewhat of a split personality approach to losing weight. There's an element somewhere inside of me that seems to always be pushing for experiencing the eating pleasure now and dealing with the consequences later. That's no different from all the kids I've coached in the past who had ability, but didn't have the drive to develop that ability--it took a coach staying on them to do the drills and to do the right things in order for them to reach their potential.

I'm going to try and go through the coming days and weeks with this "What Would Coach Frank Say" attitude about my eating and my actions. It's really the way that I need to approach everything in my life and it's not any different from that old saying about "practicing what you preach". I know I'm qualified for this coaching job and now I need to prove that I have the discipline to respond to good coaching. It's never too late to work on turning potential into reality, and one theme of my life has been undeveloped potential. This old dog needs to learn some new tricks.

Weight today: 222.5 Pounds

Monday, November 10, 2008

Is It Child Abuse to Have Obese Children?

While thinking about my own weight problems, the thought hit me that carrying this extra 50 pounds of fat is really a case of me abusing me. I was thinking about how it would be abusive if I had a boss at work who made me carry an extra 50 pounds of extra weight that served no purpose other than to make my work and my life more difficult. That would be an easy 50 pounds to shed, plus the resulting settlement from my lawsuit would allow me to go ahead and retire right now.

As an adult, I'm the person responsible for my being overweight, but what about parents and their kids? Is it unfair to say that a parent is abusing their child when they allow that child to suffer from childhood obesity? Certainly that's a harsh statement and one that is easy for me to make since I have no children to raise, but isn't there an element of truth to the charge.

Current knowledge says that humans develop the number of fat cells they will have in their lifetime by the age of two. If an infant develops more fat cells, then that infant will be more likely to struggle with being overweight later in life. We know that being overweight later in life is one thing that raises risks for all types of ailments. We are starting to learn that being overweight in life also raises rises for childhood diseases like diabetes and even heart disease in children. While there are emotional issues that come with being obese as a child, just the health questions alone are enough to conclude that an obese child is suffering from higher risks and often a lower quality of life.

There's no doubt that starving a child is child abuse because it harms the welfare of the child. Welfare services will go in and remove a child from a situation where that child is not getting enough food because it is child endangerment and the parents might go to jail for such actions. To a lesser degree, isn't overfeeding a child a different form of child endangerment? It's something to think about.

My weight today: 223 pounds

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds

A quick post to let people know that I haven't blown up like the Goodyear Blimp. I also haven't done a very good job of cutting calories, actually going so far in the opposite direction that I have to be thankful for my setpoint keeping me at this 220 level.

October has been a hectic month of photography. I started back with some Millsaps shots but I was in catchup mode and I took photos of volleyball, men's and women's soccer, and one football game. Then I added in the Rocky Horror Show, Jacktoberfest, and Chad's comedy show. Compared to my old routine this looks like a piece of cake, but that's at least 11 seperate events that I photographed and processed this month--I have been spending a lot of time in front of my home PC and I have been doing what it takes to stay up late while trying to finish a project. That doing what I can usually involves some sort of eating.

Things might slow down in November and while there's Thanksgiving to think about, we will also be passed the Halloween candy at work. That has been tempting. At this point I can still make 200 pounds by the end of the year in theory, but I don't think I have the mindset at the moment to shoot for that goal. I'd like to be less than I am now, not a bad goal with the holidays coming up, and then make another big push in 2009.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 23, 2008 -- 220 Pounds

Considering my lack of effort of late and that Thursday morning is always the worst weigh-in of the week, I'm a little surprised to be as low as 220 pounds this morning. At best, I've only been following 1 rule of my 3 rule diet. As you would suspect, that would be rule #1 which says, "Always eat when you are hungry". I actually haven't followed that rule very often because I don't allow myself to get to the hungry stage.

The other two rules are so simple: (2) Never eat unless you are hungry, and (3) Eat half of what you think you should eat. When you have an intelligent adult unable to stick with something so simple you have to wonder if they really do want to lose weight. Since I'm that supposedly intelligent adult, I'll answer that I think I do want to lose weight and if I don't then it must be some deep, deep subconscious desire that is side tracking my efforts.

There was a time when I would have speculated that the deep subconscious desire theory might be valid. When I was a kid I think that being fat was a way to explain away any failures on my part. If I wasn't good in sports, it wasn't because I was a good athlete, it was because I was just too fat. If I wasn't popular in school, it wasn't because I was a bad person but it was because I was fat. In looking back, I realize that I wasn't unpopular, I just wasn't that cool kid that I wanted to be, a situation that probably describes 90% of school age kids.

Right now the problem seems to be that thinking I want to lose weight falls into the same vague category as things like: thinking I want to learn a foreign language; thinking that I should learn to play a musical instrument; thinking that I need to do a major organization job on all the photos and memorabilia things I have at my house; thinking that I need to read more; thinking I need to get out more; etc. It's easy to think you want to do something but that doesn't mean that you have to willpower to actually follow through. That seems to be where I'm at on too many days, thinking that I want to lose weight but then deciding that I want that piece of candy a little more, that extra hot pocket a little more, that 2nd bad of popcorn a little more, and on and on and on.

Today I can stick with my 3 rule diet. It means cutting down on temporary pleasures. It means fighting with old habits and subconscious patterns. The good news is that it doesn't really mean any sacrificing on my part--I get to eat whenever I'm hungry so how can that be sacrificing? It's all about making the right choice throughout the day and 4 out of 5 times the right choice is to not eat that offering of food because I not hungry. I'm an intelligent person with a weight problem--I should be able to make these right choices.

Friday, October 17, 2008

October 17, 2008

No weight to report today since I have the scales put away again. In theory, it would help if I just followed the plan without worrying from day-to-day about the results. In a surprise to no one, I find that rarely am I following the plan.

What is so difficult about a diet where the number one rule says to eat whenever you get hungry? If I called it the "Never Go Hungry" diet there would be a lot of people thinking that it's the plan they need to follow. Then they would eventually realize that hunger is not the main reason that they eat. I've certainly discovered that it is rarely the reason that I eat.

I eat because someone has candy out on their desk and I have a sweet tooth. I eat because it is a certain time of the day and I have trained myself to eat on a schedule. I eat because I'm bored. I eat because I want to put off some job that needs to be done. I eat as a reward. I eat for a lot of reasons and because of this, I almost never need to eat because I'm hungry. I never give myself the chance to be hungry.

Today will be a day that I get hungry, not just once, but several times. I'll eat when I get hungry, I won't eat until I'm hungry, and I'll fix small portions when I eat. It's all about breaking the habits and if I can do that then I'll be down to 175 in a hurry. I can do this and at some point I will do this. It might as well start today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 14, 2008 -- 215.5 Pounds

I need to put the scale up for another week and just focus on doing those 3 steps that will work, but I still had it out this morning so I weighed myself and was pleased to see a small drop in weight.

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13, 2008 -- 216.5 Pounds (41.5 Pounds to Go)

It seemed like a good idea to post something here every once in a while so it won't look like I fell off the wagon and gained 30 pounds.

The good news is that I haven't gone wild with my eating as indicated by today's weigh-in. The bad news is that I also haven't done a very good job of following my 3 step plan:

1) Always eat when you are hungry; 2) Only eat when you are hungry; and 3) Eat half of what you think you need to eat.

When I follow those three rules I find that I hardly eat. I give my body the chance to use some of the stored up energy. In a lot of ways my eating and my current overweight condition is like the Republican mantra of "Drill here--Drill now--Pay less". I have all of this stored energy and if I would tap into that energy I would eventually weigh less. What's keeping me from tapping into that energy is my insistence on bringing in foreign sources of energy in the form of my daily eating. If I would just eat less, my body would have a reason to use some of the stored energy that I have in great abundance.

I'm going to keep working on making the 3 step diet plan more of a habit. Old habits are hard to break, new habits are hard to form, but it can be done. I can do this.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The New Plan Has Worked for a Day

I don't plan to post here every day like in the past since I'm not doing a daily weigh-in or a food list. I will say that the new plan worked well for the first day even though I didn't actually stick to the plan.

The plan says to (1) Eat when you are hungry, and (2) Don't eat until you are hungry. The problem is that I really didn't get hungry in the morning so I finally ate some crackers at 10 and a hot pocket for lunch. I probably would have been under 1,000 calories for the day if I had followed the 3 rules. I'm not sure if I want to push it that hard, especially on the first day. I still stayed easily under 1,500 calories and I avoided the mindless eating that goes with evenings spent at the computer.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

October 9, 2008 -- Taking a Break!?!?!?!?

I know this is dangerous. In a very disjointed, slow and limited way, this blog and my current method is working. Past history has shown that when I move away from a list and posting on the blog, bad results are sure to follow. Is there any reason to think that this time will be any different?

Probably not. Still, I feel like I have to find something or some way to get things under control without it including the prospect of blogging for the next 20-25 years. The key is to change my mindset about food and eating to the point where food is seen as fuel and not all of the other things that cause most of the overeating. That gets back to the 3 simple rules that are guaranteed to get a person back to a healthy weight and keep them there:

1) Always eat when you are hungry.
2) Never eat unless you are hungry.
3) When you eat, eat half of what you think you need.

I shouldn't need a list of food eaten if I'm following those 3 rules. I shouldn't need a blog to force myself to follow 3 simple rules. If I will follow these three steps then I'll actually eat less than what I've been eating over the last couple of months. Every day will automatically become a "Very_good" day if I will just follow these three simple steps. I need to make this a mindset that isn't dependent on the fear of public shame from posting on a blog.

I had a recent post on the other blog with the Einstein quote about making everything as simple as possible. These 3 rules are as simple as possible. If I follow them I will get to 175 pounds without any difficulty. If I don't follow them then I'll be back to the food list and the daily blogging. I don't want that to be a part of my life forever but I'll do it if there is no other way. This is a chance for another way.

One last thing that I'm going to try as a way of going all in on this approach. I'm putting the scale away so that I can't weigh every day. I'll get it out around the first of the month and get a result to see how things are going. I'll get it out sooner if I find that I'm not following the 3 simple rules, but I want to focus on the rules without worrying about how much or how fast weight it coming off. Follow the rules and it will come off and it will come off faster than what I've been seeing. Focus on the rules, follow the rules--make things as simple as possible. I'm excited about the prospect of giving it a try.

Weigh-in List: July 14, 2008 thru Today

Losing weight is an ebb and flow and not a straight line event. I know there will be days when my weight shoots up. I just need to make sure that those are the exceptions and most of my days need to be losses or at least no gain. Here's my list of weigh-ins since July 14, 2008:

July 14, 2008 -- 225.5 Pounds (50.5 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
July 15, 2008 -- 223 Pounds (48 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
July 16, 2008 -- 221.5 Pounds (46.5 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
July 17, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds (47.5 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
July 18, 2008 -- 221.5 Pounds (46.5 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
July 19, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds (45.5 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
July 20, 2008 -- 220 Pounds (45 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
July 21, 2008 -- 223 Pounds (48 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
July 22, 2008 -- 221.5 Pounds (46.5 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
July 23, 2008 -- 221 Pounds (46 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
July 24, 2008 -- 222 Pounds (47 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
July 25, 2008 -- 221.5 Pounds (46.5 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
July 26, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds (45.5 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
July 27, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds (45.5 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
July 28, 2008 -- 221 Pounds (46 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
July 29, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds (47.5 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
July 30, 2008 -- 220 Pounds (45 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
July 31, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds (45.5 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
August 1, 2008 -- 220 Pounds (45 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
August 2, 2008 -- 219 Pounds (44 Pounds to Go) (Saturday) (***First time below 220)
August 3, 2008 -- 220 Pounds (45 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
August 4, 2008 -- 221.5 Pounds (46.5 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
August 5, 2008 -- 220 Pounds (45 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
August 6, 2008 -- 221.5 Pounds (46.5 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
August 7, 2008 -- 221.5 Pounds (46.5 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
August 8, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds (45.5 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
August 9, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds (44.5 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
August 10, 2008 -- 221 Pounds (46 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
August 11, 2008 -- 221 Pounds (46 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
August 12, 2008 -- 221 Pounds (46 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
August 13, 2008 -- 220 Pounds (45 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
August 14, 2008 -- 221 Pounds (46 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
August 15, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds (44.5 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
August 16, 2008 -- 218 Pounds (43 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
August 17, 2008 -- 218.5 Pounds (43.5 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
August 18, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds (44.5 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
August 19, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
August 20, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
August 21, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds (44.5 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
August 22, 2008 -- 219 Pounds (44 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
August 23, 2008 -- 218.5 Pounds (43.5 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
August 24, 2008 -- 216.5 Pounds (41.5 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
August 25, 2008 -- 217 Pounds (42 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
August 26, 2008 -- 218 Pounds (43 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
August 27, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
August 28, 2008 -- 218.5 Pounds (43.5 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
August 29, 2008 -- 217 Pounds (42 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
August 30, 2008 -- 216 Pounds (41 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
August 31, 2008 -- 216.5 Pounds (41.5 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
September 1, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
September 2, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
September 3, 2008 -- 218 Pounds (43 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
September 4, 2008 -- 218 Pounds (43 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
September 5, 2008 -- 218.5 Pounds (43.5 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
September 6, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
September 7, 2008 -- 216.5 Pounds (41.5 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
September 8, 2008 -- 215.5 Pounds (40.5 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
September 9, 2008 -- 216 Pounds (41 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
September 10, 2008 -- 216 Pounds (41 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
September 11, 2008 -- 218 Pounds (43 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
September 12, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
September 13, 2008 -- 217 Pounds (42 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
September 14, 2008 -- 217 Pounds (42 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
September 15, 2008 -- 218 Pounds (43 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
September 16, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
September 17, 2008 -- 219 Pounds (44 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
September 18, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds (44.5 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
September 19, 2008 -- 218.5 Pounds (43.5 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
September 20, 2008 -- 219 Pounds (44 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
September 21, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds (44.5 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
September 22, 2008 -- 218.5 Pounds (43.5 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
September 23, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
September 24, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
September 25, 2008 -- 218.5 Pounds (43.5 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
September 26, 2008 -- 218.5 Pounds (43.5 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
September 27, 2008 -- 218.5 Pounds (43.5 Pounds to Go) (Saturday)
September 28, 2008 -- 218 Pounds (43 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
September 29, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds (44.5 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
September 30, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds (44.5 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
October 1, 2008 -- 217 Pounds (42 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)
October 2, 2008 -- 215 Pounds (40 Pounds to Go) (Thursday)
October 3, 2008 -- 215 Pounds (40 Pounds to Go) (Friday)
October 4, 2008 -- 214.5 Pounds (39.5 Pounds to Go) (Saturday) (***First time below 215)
October 5, 2008 -- 214.5 Pounds (39.5 Pounds to Go) (Sunday)
October 6, 2008 -- 216.5 Pounds (41.5 Pounds to Go) (Monday)
October 7, 2008 -- 216 Pounds (41 Pounds to Go) (Tuesday)
October 8, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go) (Wednesday)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 8, 2008 -- 217.5 Pounds (42.5 Pounds to Go)

I went to the MS State Fair yesterday and I had a large hamburger at the Cattleman Association Booth. Not knowing the calories for that hamburger was enough for me to decide to take a diet break yesterday. It didn't take much arm twisting for me to take that break.

While knowing that I have a good life and I have far more to be thankful for than to complain about, I must admit that I'm in a funk at the moment. It's a lot of things all piled together. The political scene has been depressing as has the falling of the stock market. Work has been a real drag lately with no signs of improvement between now and my retirement date at some point in the distant future. The difficulty of creating and maintaining any success with this diet is "weighing" on me, and the inability to really do much exercise because of various aches and pains seems to be a constant in my life.

I guess my life right now is like an optomist might describe the economy. It is fundamentally sound but obviously going through a rough spot. Things will get better but it might take time. I suspect that quitting the diet might seem like a quick fix for my blue funk, but then the resulting weight gains would make my life worse so I guess I need to keep trying. It's too bad that I'm not one of those persons who stops eating when I get depressed because would make this diet thing a lot easier right about now.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October 7, 2008 -- 216 Pounds (41 Pounds to Go)



One thing this diet has taught me is why people will fall for just about any plan that promises quick and easy weight loss. Trying to lose weight by cutting back drastically is painfully slow and discouraging.

Monday, October 6, 2008

October 6, 2008 -- 216.5 Pounds (41.5 Pounds to Go)

I did not keep an index card yesterday and I also did not go wild. It was another day of photography at Millsaps and that dictated my behaviour for the day.

As best as I can remember, all I had in the morning was some popcorn before getting an early 700 calorie meal at Wendy's. I got extra because I was going to be at the soccer field for over 4 hours. In between games I did get a candy bar. After the game I stopped at the store to buy a pizza for supper (700 calories) and I had popcorn again before going to bed. That's only 2,000 calories for the day.

Today I'll get back on the index cards and the three steps to losing weight: (1) Eat when you are hungry; (2) Don't eat unless you are hungry; and (3) Eat half of what you think you need.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

October 5, 2008 -- 214.5 Pounds (39.5 Pounds to Go)



Yesterday was one of those days where my eating was greatly influenced by my surroundings. I was at Millsaps for a football game followed by two volleyball games and the food choices were primarily in the candy, chips, and nachos area of the food pyramid. I'll do better today even though I'll be up at Millsaps for two soccer games.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

October 4, 2008 -- 214.5 Pounds (39.5 Pounds to Go)



Thanks for the encouragement Rusty! It's amazing how doing the right actions will almost always lead to the right results. The problem is that often when we think we are doing the right actions, we are really doing less than what is needed or we are mistakenly doing things that won't really work. I feel like I have the right plan at the moment and now I have to be persistently aggressive in following the plan. There are times when persistent patience is the route to chipping away at a problem but I seem to fall off target when trying a long, slow diet. I'm discovering that aggressively attacking the weight feels like the right route for my current situation.

Friday, October 3, 2008

October 3, 2008 -- 215 Pounds (40 Pounds to Go)



I started to label this as a "Good" day and I changed it to "Very Good". Considering that it was a day that included a trip at lunch to the MS State Fair and an evening out with friends, staying under 2,000 calories was very good indeed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October 1, 2008 -- 217 Pounds (42 Pounds to Go)



Instead of keeping my food list on something the size of a business card, I plan to keep it on a 3 x 5 index card so I'll have room to add small pep talks during the day. I can do this and I believe I will do this.

(Added note after weighing in on Wednesday morning: Big drops are normal when you hardly put food in your body for a day. I'm still 10 pounds from that level that seperates me from obesity and just being classified as overweight. That's a mark I can pass by the end of October if I make every day a good day--even on Wednesdays when I meet with my friends.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September 30, 2008 -- 219.5 Pounds (44.5 Pounds to Go)

This is what happens when I think I can take a break from dieting. I don't go nuts and binge on candy every night, but I start a slow creep back to my starting point or higher. There is no question that I NEED to diet for the rest of my life when one defines dieting as closely monitoring the foods you eat. Of course, needing to do something and carrying through are two totally different things.

If you have dieted in the past, maybe you can relate to getting to the point where you get a mental block against dieting. For example, I like yogurt and when I'm dieting I have no problem starting off the day with one thing of yogurt that will last me until the 10 o'clock break. In recent weeks I have had a real aversion to eating yogurt. It's not the taste. It's more of the fact that yogurt represents dieting, and dieting represents depriving myself of things that I would enjoy, and the rewards of dieting are so far down the road that they seem minuscule. That's not exactly a conscious thought process I go through each morning, but it is sort of halfway between my conscious and sub-conscious.

I guess today I'll force myself to start off with yogurt. I know what I should do and I guess it is time to get back to doing those things.