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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Day 11--215 Pounds--5 Pounds Lost

My Windows XP has an assistant feature turned on that I don't know exactly how to turn off. When I start typing in the title field for a post, it will display previous entries that match the words I'm typing. So today when I typed "Day 11", displayed below my entry was the entry I had made on "Day 11" in mid-January. That entry showed that I weighed 216.5 pounds, not much different from what I entered today.

For whatever reason, that second diet, the one that lasted from January 1st till mid-February, never made any progress after that. I would hit 216.5 periodically and always bounce back up. The progress on this restart hasn't been much when compared to the low of the previous diet, but it is progress after a long stretch when the pounds would not drop. The goal of this third diet is to get to 207 pounds, the boundry between overweight and obesity for me. It would be nice to reach that goal by the end of March or mid-April at the latest. Then I'll start the counter again with the goal being a sub-200 pound weight. It sure seems easier to look at things in smaller steps than to have a final number as a goal that is many months away.

Food today: Lemon cream pie yogurt(100)--Sprite(150)--yogurt(100)--Sprite(150)--rice and beans(310)--lasagna(300) = 1,110 calories subtotal --popcorn(250)--popcorn & beer(350)--fruit(320)--another popcorn(250)--yogurt(100) = 2,380 calories + 320 for a can of pineapple that I had in the middle of the night.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Day 10--215.5 Pounds--4.5 Pounds lost

I'm writing this Wednesday evening, not knowing what the weigh-in will be Thursday morning. I would expect it to be up after the beers at Nick's and the meal at Wendy, but I'm having a little trouble predicting my weight with the lowered fluid intake. I once could guess the next day's weight within a half pound. Now I have no clue if the weight tomorrow will be 214 or 217.

For those few who will ever read this, I know it doesn't seem like I'm dieting at all. I guess I'm not dieting in the traditional sense, but the traditional method of dieting doesn't seem to have made much of a dent in the obesity problem in America. I have to give myself the option to have lunch with a friend like I did on Tuesday. I also have to allow myself some leeway on days like Tuesday when I spend so much time at work. And, I need to have the freedom to go out with friends and enjoy some social time without feeling like I'm a spectator instead of a participant. The best diet a person can have is to become accountable for their actions. If you weigh too much, then you have to cut your intake below your needs until your weight gets to the right spot. It's really not that complicated and you have to have a method you can follow for years, not for months. Losing weight is pointless if you aren't going to keep the weight off.

So when it comes to dieting, use your head and come up with the diet that works for you. You don't have to browse through a book store for the plan that fits your needs because that perfect book for you does not exist. You need to create your own plan that keeps your weight under control, just as you have found a method to keep you financial life under control. You can do it and it doesn't mean that you have to suffer. You just need to be accountable and cut out the pointless stuff.

Food today: yogurt(100, it's probably good that the vending machine is gone because now I have to bring and eat the yogurt every day)--pineapple(320)--Sprite(140)--Wendy's(680) = subtotal of 1,240 calories--yogurt(100)--chili and a beer(550)--fruit(320) = 2,210 calories

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Day 9--214.5 Pounds--5.5 Pounds Lost

Maybe the researchers are right and the key to losing weight is to drink regular sodas instead of diet sodas! I don't think that I'll continue to test that theory--can you imagine how I would balloon up if I started drinking regular sodas and gradually increased to 12 a day? Any you know I would start drinking more and more until I reached that point.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am being more consistent on keeping my calories in check. Even the bad days like yesterday aren't so bad. I don't know where the removing of diet sodas from my diet is fitting in with the weight loss. I drink water during the day, just not to the extent of the previous fluid intake. The final factor is more movement with all of the preparation for the move. It's not regulated exercise, but I rarely find myself sitting behind my desk during recent work day.

It's 6:35 now. I have to fix my snack bag of yogurt and fill up the bird feeder so the damn squirrels can come empty them during the day. Squirrels are cute little critters until you get a bird feeder, and then they become varmits on the level of furry rats.

Food today: yogurt(100)--canned fruit(320)--rice, beans, and chicken(600)--yogurt(100)--yogurt(100)--Coke(150)--3 light beers(300)--nuts at the bar(???)--Wendy's(700) = 2,370 + unknown for the nuts

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day 8--215 Pounds--5 Pounds Lost

It's nice to get to some weights lower than what I have seen since Thanksgiving. Pinpointing the reason for recent success isn't as easy as pointing to the lack of soft drinks. I've been somewhat better on my eating, I've been on my feet more often with the photography and the cleanup at work, and it's possible that I was somewhat due for a drop after a long plateau on the previous diet. Whatever the reason, it's nice to see some progress.

When I saw 215 on the scale this morning my first thought was an odd one. I realized that I'm 25 pounds heavier than the weight I reached and held for several months in 2006. That's depressing to think that I let such a good effort go to waste, but it is also educational. I know that I have to be a weight watcher for the rest of my life or else I'll have pockets of success surrounded by obesity. Gone are the days when I can eat whatever I want and as much as I want because I'm playing 3 or 4 sports at any given period of time. If I want to get to 165 or even 175, I have to take a different approach, and since burning massive amounts of calories and a youthful metabolism seem to be a non-option, that leaves me with cutting down on calories and doing a little more activity. I've already shown that this approach will work as long as I keep my focus.

Food today: yogurt(100)--Snickers(280)--child's catfish plate with lemonade(800?)--real Coke(150-they took out our vending machine so there is no food to eat)--misc candy(100) = 1,380 subtotal--combo meal at Wendy's1,030--another Coke(150) = 2,560 calories. A bad day for a lot of reasons--went to eat lunch with a friend, the vending machine was taken out of the building unexpectantly, I worked till 9 so I splurged with a combo. It's amazing that the whole day was as low as it ended up.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Day 7--215.5 Pounds--4.5 Pounds Lost

This is my 91st post to the blog which makes sense since I started the blog right after Thanksgiving, 2007. I was 225 pounds then so this is close enough to saying that I've lost 10 pounds in 3 months. It doesn't sound like much and there have been times when my eating has hardly seemed like that of a person on a diet. When there is a party, I eat. When I find myself away from home most of the day, I eat what I can find and I don't worry too much about the calories. When I really get tired of dieting, I let it slide for a few days. And still I've lost 10 pounds.

I certainly want to do better than my current effort and improve on my rate of weight loss. On the other hand, suppose I keep the same rate for a year and it takes me till next Thanksgiving to get to 185 pounds. Would that be so bad to lose 40 pounds in one year, especially when I haven't held myself to strict dieting rules? As everyone who has been on a successful diet knows, the key is not the rate of loss and the key is not really how much you lost. The key is if you can maintain that weight loss. I lost 35 pounds in 5-6 months in 2006, but I gained it all back. I would have been better off if I had lost 25 pounds in 12 months and kept it off.

I'm not going to kill myself or make huge sacrifices to try and race towards a set goal. I need to do a little better in my efforts. I can really help myself by cutting out the one or two items of junk that keep a good day from becoming a great day, and I can really help myself with a little more exercise. I'll be working on those things, but in the meantime, I'll take slow and steady if I develop eating habits that help me keep the weight off for many years to come. The short term success is a wasted effort if it doesn't turn into a long term success.

Food today: yogurt(100)--Nekot cookies(240)--Twix(280, a little bit of a caffine headache)--rice and beans(310)--yogurt(100)--big cookie(250?)--Snickers(280)--lasagna(300)--yogurt(100) = 1,960 calories (not exactly the healthiest food choices)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day 6--217 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

Yesterday was one of those days that is hard to control since I was up at Millsaps for such a long stretch. Sometimes a person gets in situations where there aren't a lot of great food choices available and they have to just do the best they can. That describes my day yesterday.

Today won't be much different. The Millsaps tennis teams play Sewanee this morning at 9. That sounds odd, but small college teams travel on the road, not in the air, so by playing so early in the day the Sewanee team can get home at some sort of reasonable time for the players to get to class on Monday. Playing small college sports really is about the love of the sport, not the glory of being a star. As soon as that is over, I'll be heading to Clinton to photograph the Millsaps softball team for the first time this season. I might not be able to work on these photos for about two weeks because of our company move, but at least I'll have them for the DVD the players get at the end of the year.

Food today: yogurt(100)--yogurt(100)--this ended up being another day on the run and I didn't bother to keep up with my food, but I also didn't use that as a chance to eat a lot of junk. It was probably a 2,500 calorie day. If that's wrong, it's more likely that I was a little lower than a little higher.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Day 5--216.5 Pounds--3.5 Pounds Lost

The next 10 days are going to be hectic. This weekend I'll be taking sports photos both days, but then they will be put aside for the monster project coming up. Our company is moving from the Jackson location to Madison, a small community on the outskirts of Jackson. We've been doing a lot to get ready and we still have a lot to go. I think it will be a mess. Maybe an unavoidable mess, but still a mess.

When things get hectic, I tend to eat extra. It's usually in the form of trips to the vending machine or rewards at Wendy's because I need something extra to pick me up. I really need to concentrate on keeping that to a minimum. One interesting aspect about the move is the plan to go without vending machines at the new building. We are the largest tennant at this new building, a two story structure with my company taking up the entire second floor. The idea behind no vending machines is that it will keep the first floor people from coming up to our office area. Maybe that's a good thing and time will tell if it offsets the inconvenience this brings to the employees of our company.

Food today: yogurt(100)--canned fruit(320)--lasagna(300)--at this point I lost track with some free ice cream at the Millsaps game and then a small supper at a ceremony for the men's basketball team--the day became a normal eating day, not a diet day and not an excessive day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Day 4--215 Pounds--5 Pounds Lost

Okay, let's don't get too excited. I did drink several bottles of water yesterday afternoon and evening, but the fluid volume was several pounds less than my typical consumption of diet sodas for the same period. I think this drop is a one time loss from less fluids being processed, not a miracle reaction that will have me thin by the end of March.

If anyone is reading here then I assume they are reading the other blog. In 1986 when today's blog photo was taken, I weighed 170 or less. That puts me at 45 to 50 pounds heavier than that weight in 1986, the equivalent of a 5 gallon jug of water. Think about the added stress on a body to have to deal with that much extra weight 24 hours a day. How on earth do people deal with 100 or more extra pounds, something that I see quite often throughout the day?

Just got back from my 4 mile jog/walk with Boty, something that was pushed from Thursday to Friday this week because of rain. We were talking about the photos with Boty correctly pointing out that it doesn't do me any good to give so much to that project that I don't leave enough time and energy for myself. I was thinking about that conversation on the way home, about not taking time to exercise and eat properly, and I'm thinking that now is the time to really make an effort on all fronts. Try to correct all of the flaws at one time and see just how much of a difference that makes.

What would happen if I stopped the diet drinks, started up the exercise, and upgraded my food choices all at one time? After the initial shock by my body from this good behavior, maybe I'd rediscover a level of energy that I once had and have now forgotten. When things change gradually, we have trouble remembering how things were in the beginning. Do I have 85% or 75% or 50% of the energy that I once had? I don't know because it is one of those things that is hard to compare over the course of time. Am I living at 85% or 75% or 50% of my potential good health level? I don't know because I've never tried to straighten out all of my negatives.

I've talked about how living better is just a matter of making a lot of small, positive choices throughout each day. Talk is cheap and maybe it's time that I actually put my theory into practice. Who knows, I may be stunned to find out that my theory is right!

Food today: yogurt(100)--breakfast casserole(400?)--Wendy's small chili(220) and small fries(330)--M&Ms(200)--Butterfinger(270)--pineapple(320)--chicken & rice(290)--regular beer(150)--popcorn(250) = 2,530 calories

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 3--216.5 Pounds--3.5 Pounds Lost

I feel like an Enron executive cooking the books. The success of this diet so far is actually the success of the last diet since I had hit this 216.5 pound mark several times before that last week of bad behavior. The success of this diet really starts at this point when it comes to losing weight.

I do think it helped to start the day count over, giving myself the feeling of a fresh start. I know it helped yesterday to get back to the practice of writing down my food intake as it occurred, not hours later when I was posting to the blog. It certainly kept my Wednesday under control and traditionally it has been Wednesday that has given me the most trouble.

Yesterday I drank the last of my diet sodas at work. This morning I have 4 left in the home frig. I'll take them all to work, drinking one along the way. I might as well get rid of the bunch and start this effort to kick the habit. Besides, if I have withdrawal DTs, I'd rather get them in the privacy of my own home rather than throughout the work day!!!

Food today: Nekot cookies(240)--yogurt(100)--Wendy's(680)--M&M's(200)--fruit(320)--beer(150)--popcorn(250)--yogurt(100) = 2,040 calories

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Day 2--217 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

This new diet is taking advantage of the work done by the previous diet. While it was slow going, I had lowered my set point from 220 to about 217 from January 1st till early February. Over the last week or so I had a bad spell that allowed my weight to sneak up temporarily to 220 and that's when I decided to start the day count over. What I've seen over the last couple of days is the result of my body wanting to get back to the set point and I've cut back enough to let that happen.

If you take the consequences out of the equation, I would rather eat 4,000-5,000 calories a day instead of 2,000 calories. I would also prefer that most of those calories come from the "junk food" category. I would like to start off the day with donuts or maybe a couple of sausage biscuits and jelly from a fast food place, something to the tune of 1,000 to 1,200 calories. I would follow that up with snacking throughout the morning, either with multiple trips to the vending machine or by grazing through the available choices of free food brought in by co-workers. After a nice lunch of something like pizza or a combo meal that included both fries and a frosty, I would snack through the afternoon, have some sort of supper, and then have some snacks while watching television or working on photos.

Obviously, there is a huge gap between how I should eat and how I would like to eat, which is why I have to stay constantly accountable. There is a pleasure seeking part of me that constantly wants all of this junk. It behaves like a small child, always asking "can I have this" throughout the day and needing to be told "no" over and over, day after day. When the accountable, adult portion of my mind takes a break, you can be sure that this childish pleasure seeking portion is going to get into trouble. This blog motivates me to keep a closer watch on the food loving part of my brain.

The blog helps, but I realized yesterday why my dieting isn't as effective as it once was. Two years ago there was a step that came between my eating and the blog. I had to actually write down the food I was going to eat on a list before I ate the food. That made me think before I ate. Now I've gotten to the point where I don't use the list, just the blog, and so my accountability comes after the fact. Today I start the list again with the simple rule that I have to write down the food item and calories BEFORE I eat the food. That will keep me under control and it will get me back to losing weight like I did in 2006. It also should put an end to days like yesterday where I start listing my food for the day and then I just quit in the middle of the day--a sure sign of bad behavior.

Food today: crackers(200)--yogurt(100)--soup(400)--yogurt(100)--Snickers(280)--2 Bud Lights(220)--Wendy's(680) = 1,980 calories. I can live with that total, especially on a Wednesday night.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Day 1--218.5 Pounds--1.5 Pounds Lost

My third diet since last Thanksgiving has gotten off to a good start. Just to recap, my first diet went between the end of Thanksgiving and the end of 2007 and I lost 5 pounds (from 225 to 220), a great number considering the temptations of the holiday season. The second diet went from the first of 2008 until yesterday and it ended up with 0 pounds lost. There were times when I got down to 216.5 and I did seem to move my set point lower, but it was a period of inconsistent dieting and maybe the biggest accomplishment is that I didn't regain the weight that was lost at the end of 2007.

This new diet isn't really anything much more than rolling back the counter to start at Day 1. It seems easier and more encouraging to look at diets in small chunks. It gives an opportunity for a fresh start, something that usually provides a motivation uplift. For example, doesn't "Day 1--218.5 Pounds--1.5 Pounds Lost" look a lot better than "Day 49--218.5 Pounds--1.5 Pounds Lost"? Everything's the same except the counter, but the first one seems to be much more promising and hopeful.

I'll probably continue to reset the counter every now and then, even if my dieting starts to become much more successful. It goes back to the Henry Ford saying that all jobs are possible if you break them down into small enough pieces. Why not break dieting into smaller pieces? I've had a successful piece that lost 5 pounds. I've had a piece where I didn't backslide. Now I need to get focused and put in a nice piece that will get me to the level of being just overweight and not obese. That's a nice goal to shoot for and I believe the mark for that is 207 pounds so it will take some doing. After that I can try to put in a piece that gets me to 200 pounds. It seems like a much easier way to go than to try and get to 190 or below in one big project.

Food today--crackers(190)--yogurt(100)--Nekot cookie snack(240)--Chunky Soup(380)--crackers(100)--chocolate(180) = 1,190 calories subtotal.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 48--220 Pounds--0 Pounds Lost

I'm usually a guy who looks at the glass as half full so many I should praise me feat of going 48 days without gaining weight. That would be a stretch even by my standards.

The reality is that I've quit trying and it shows. That doesn't mean that I've given up and it doesn't mean that I've been a total failure, it just means that I have nothing to show for all the times over the last 48 days that I have made an effort. Trust me, there has been some effort and will power. Like going to the store this weekend and seeing all the Valentine's Day candy at half price--to pass up a deal like that takes a tremendous amount of effort on my part. I also had an ice cream craving this past weekend that I had to resist. I know that a tub of ice cream in my house never last more than a day as it becomes the only thing I want to eat until it is all gone.

Unfortunately, my efforts have been like only rolling up 3 of the car windows on a cold winter day. You leave that 4th window down and it makes rolling the other 3 windows up rather pointless. I won't lose weight if I only make the right choice 3 out of 4 times. I have to seal up the leaks in my diet efforts and the first place that starts is in the accountability area. Afterall, that's the point of this blog, for me to list my food intake publicly so I'll force myself to be accountable. When I stop keeping the list on the blog, you can be sure that the overall diet effort is going poorly.

Today I try again. I need to keep the food list as the absolute step #1. I need to try and follow the simple steps that I listed a couple of posts ago. And in a measure of desperation, I may take the drastic step of not replinishing my diet sodas once I run out. This is a move I've always resisted, thinking that the 1 calorie per soft drink helps me lose weight because I get a soda instead of a snack. Now there is a study out indicating that the artificial sweetener in a diet soda makes the body think that something sweet is on the way down to the stomach and that causes some reactions that may make dieting more difficult. I don't understand the science behind it all. The study discovered that just one diet soda a day is enough to trigger this effect so you can imagine what my chain drinking might do.

And since I'm back to zero and since this is my diet, I think I'll start the numbering of the days back at 1 again. Afterall, these last 48 days have been the second diet since I started the blog with the first diet going about 40 days and resulting in 5 pounds lost. I'll be running out of diet sodas in a few days so trying to cut those out of my system will be a totally new approach to dieting.

Food today: crackers(190)--yogurt(100)--crackers(190)--Wendy's(680--I find the 400 calorie thing difficult at lunch)--yogurt(100) --pizza(720)--popcorn(250) = 2,230 calories

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day 47--220.5 Pounds--.5 Pounds GAINED

This result wasn't unexpected after at least a week of no real effort and then a late supper party last night. I'm posting this on Monday morning and back dating it to Sunday's date--it was a little too depressing to post on the day of the weigh-in.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day 46--219.5 Pounds--.5 Pounds Lost

I appear to be out of diet mode and into a period of "just don't get fatter until your motivation returns". I say, I think, and I even know that I want to lose weight. What overweight person doesn't know that they would be better off if they could get rid of some of the excess? I'm just having trouble right now choosing a path that will reward me greatly years down the road, over a path that rewards me right away, a short term reward that only last minutes, but a reward that is "in the now".

I can lose weight without having to exercise and without going hungry. I proved that 2 years ago. It would be better to exercise if I could find the time, something that might happen in the summer months. In the meantime, I could easily be under 200 pounds by the start of June if I'll just do the things that I did at this same time of the year in 2006. I seem to think that I deserve a reward for all the time I spend on my special projects. Maybe I do deserve a reward, but what kind of reward is something that hurts you in the long run?

I know the right things to do:
1) Hold the meals and snacks down to about 400 calories maximum.
2) Eat the yogurt. Even if the study about calcium and weight loss is wrong, yogurt seems to be the most filling 100 calorie snack on the market.
3) Don't eat as a reward or because you feel sorry for yourself.
4) Don't eat just because it is a certain time of the day. Eat because you feel the need for food.
5) Document my food intake to make sure that I follow the 4 previous rules.

Those are 5 simple rules. All I have to do is follow those 5 simple rules and I'll lose weight. Why do I and so many other people have so much trouble with a process that is completely under our control? No one can force me to eat, so my problems with overeating are completely my responsibility. I need to start being responsible.

Food list up until I go to eat supper at a friend's house: yogurt(100)--

Friday, February 15, 2008

Day 45--218.5 Pounds--1.5 Pounds Lost

It was nice to take a break and now I'm ready to get back on track. I'm not sure about the jogging and how to carve out enough time to make it a habit. I can talk all I want about needing to make time for myself, but there is no time if I don't drop some of the things I'm doing. I don't want to drop any of those things other than work, the one thing that I can't drop. I don't hate my job, I just hate that I'm not independently wealthy and therefore I don't have control of all 24 hours of my day. Anyone who reads my other blog knows that I won't lack for things to do in my retirement years. I just need to get to that retirement so I can have some free time to go along with all of my non-paying jobs.

Food today: yogurt(100)--

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Day 44--217.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

If there was a direct relationship between weight and attitude, then I should be 225 pounds this morning. Yesterday was somewhat of a revolt against the diet. I'm tired of trying without much in the way of results. I'm tired of my life being jammed packed with things that are geared to the happiness of others with no time left for me. I'm just tired.

Odds are that I'll get some rest this weekend and I'll be fine in a couple of days. It just seems like life closes in on me at times and I need some relief. As is the case for so many Americans, sometimes the only practical relief is the joy that comes from overeating. That's easier than quitting my job, walking away from my photography, and just retreating to a couple of months of reading, music and relaxing. That would be nice, but I don't see that happening until I retire and retirement will have to wait until I'm at least 62, a very distant 6 years from now.

Okay, I feel better already after bitching a little bit. Today we have a birthday party at work. I'll try to eat reasonably and then I'll get back to listing my food intake tomorrow. Over eating my be a nice release valve every once in a while, but being overweight is a permanant drag on my life and I need to continue my efforts to get rid of this anchor on my life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Day 43--217.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

This is a day that started out hectic and promises to stay that way. I'm afraid that this description will apply to the entire week and for weeks to come. Between fall sports, the company I work for moving at the end of this month, and everything else going on, it is just an overload of things to do. Somehow they will get done if they are critical enough.

I didn't keep my food list yesterday and I probably won't keep it for the rest of the week. That's because I know I'll be doing less than my best and I don't want to admit it to myself or the public. I will continue to post my weight each day and I don't want this period to be one of backtracking. We'll see how it goes, but for now, I need to get back to my hectic day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Day 42--216.5 Pounds--3.5 Pounds Lost

Yesterday, with a sub-2,000 calorie day easily at hand, I went for the popcorn instead of the yogurt and that put me slightly over the mark. I can live with that.

I didn't get up and jog this morning, just as I didn't jog over the weekend. I'm not exactly pleased with that, but it looks like most of my nights will involve working on photos till 11 or 12 and I have to cut back somewhere. Getting up at 4:30 to go jogging is the place that will get cut at the moment, with the exception to that being the Thursday morning jogs with Boty. I'm not real happy with that development in my life, having to cut out the jogging, but I don't see any other way to do things at the moment. I have photos from a baseball game and two basketball games to finish and tennis season opens this weekend. This is one of those things where getting behind too far is not an option, so for now I'll have to rely on diet for weight loss instead of diet and exercise.

Food today:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Day 41--217 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

Yesterday was another day of normal eating instead of diet eating. Maybe I've moved my set point down to 217, an improvement over the 220 of a few weeks ago. I know I can do better than what I'm doing. Holding steady at this weight and waiting till the summer when my life is less hectic isn't a very good option. I need to keep working to lose weight now and maybe the final big push will have to come in the summer. One thing I've learned is that when I suspend my efforts to lose weight, I tend to go too far in the other direction and I gain pounds. My plan is to start today with a string of sub-2,000 calorie days (excpet for maybe the 14th, the day of our office birthday party for people born in February). We'll see how long that plan lasts this time.

Food today: crackers(190)--yogurt(100)--crackers(190)--lasagna(300)--Zero bar(240)--pineapple(320)--popcorn(250)--rice and chicken(310)--popcorn(250) = 2,150 calories.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day 40--218 Pounds--2 Pounds Lost

For a normal eating day, yesterday wasn't too bad. It wasn't a day that would help anyone lose weight and I doubt that today will be a very good diet day. It almost seems like I'm wasting my time doing all this. That is not the case.

In the middle of 2006 I had gotten my weight down to 190 pounds and I felt great. I hit a plateau at that point and I'm not sure if I would have ever gotten much below that weight with more exercise. It's worth noting that I did get to that point with just dieting alone, with my only exercise being a bit of doubles tennis that was more social than athletic. I was undoubtably more dedicated on that diet, but I also was rewarded more for my efforts. I've had some good stretches on this current diet that seem to bring no results. It does get frustrating at times, frustrating enough to make it more likely that I'll break the diet. Counter productive behavior to be sure, and also human nature.

As I said, I'm not wasting my time. If I had kept my original blog focused on my weight and diet since back in mid-2006, I would still be 190 pounds today. Who knows, maybe I would have realized that jogging was the key to getting lower and maybe I would be 180 pounds today and feeling great. There's a lot to be said for maintaining the success you have already achieved and I wish I had maintained that pervious success. I was 225 pounds after Thanksgiving, 2007 and I got that to 220 pounds by the end of 2007. That was a huge achievement considering the tempations of that time of year. Now I've maintained that weight loss while getting just a little more off. That's no small feat. It's less than I would like and far more than I would have achieved without the blog. It tells me that I can't affort to quit the blog. If I'm having difficulty now, how bad would it be if I let accountability go completely out of my life?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Day 39--217.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

If weight was a daily reflection of the good or bad done the previous day, then I'd be back to 220 today. Millsaps had a baseball game at 2:30 and then basketball at 6 and 8. It makes it hard to eat a decent meal when you spend 8 straight hours at sporting events, and it makes it easy to justify bad behavior. I justified it last night while I was snacking non-stop on junk food but there really is no justification for the extent of my snacking.

This morning I got up early to go to the Laundromat and that led to breakfast at a convience story--a nutritional bag of chips and later a regular Pepsi since the vending machine at the Laundromat didn't have a diet soda. My next stop is a baseball game at 11:30 and then I'll be sitting in front of the PC till midnight working on photos. I'm going to skip the food listing today and hope that I can muster up some self-restraint. I might even get in my weekend jog this afternoon to try to push tomorrow's weight down a little. I definitely need to get to the point where I jogging 6 miles at a time--I think that would signal my body that there's a need to get rid of some excess fat.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Day 38--217 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

Not much time today to post. Not much to write about as I stay at the "217 pounds, 3 pounds lost" stage. Someday that will be "207 pounds, 13 pounds lost" and then "197 pounds, 23 pounds lost" and then "187 pounds, 33 pounds lost". I just have to hang in there for as long as it takes, and then I have to stay with the process so I don't have to retrace a successful diet. That's the shame of this diet--I was down to 187 in 2006 and I let it all slip away.

Food today--fruit(320)--yogurt(100)--

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Day 37--217 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

Considering the 3 beers and the meal at Wendy's last night, I'm not surprised by a slight increase this morning. I'm meeting Boty in just a few minutes for a 4 mile jog/walk and then I don't have any excuses on the horizon for doing poorly on the diet for the rest of the week. I know that the difference between my current diet and the really successful diet at the start of 2006 is in my consistency. In 2006, I wasn't exercising much but I was stringing together 10 days or longer with no day over 2,000 calories. As you know, I'm rarely doing that for 3 or more days now. I need to bite the bullet and put together 2-3 really good weeks of dieting and I think that would move me closer to the 212-213 range. Today would be a good day to start.

(About the jog/walk--We did the 1:30 of walking/4:00 of jogging method, the same as last Thursday. Last week that was difficult and we took an extended walking break in the middle. This week it was much easier and we only walked the last jogging section as a cooldown, not because we needed the break. It's obvious that my efforts to get more fit are succeeding and that's going to help with the weight loss. I wish the weight loss was going a little faster, but that disappointment is no justification for quitting. Everyone can lose weight if they really try--those people who say they can't lose weight are the one who let short term satisfaction rule over long term health. I was in that group for a long time so I understand the alure. I just can't afford to go back to that life.)

Food today: crackers(190)--yogurt(100)--Zero bar(240)--chili(460)--peanut M&M(250)--lasagna(720) = 1,960 calories (2 candy items in one day--I was just tired and trying to get through the day. The getting up at 4:20 mixed in a few late nights on the photos is going to be a tough mix to get use to.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 36--216.5 Pounds--3.5 Pounds Lost

We've been here before. I hit 216.5 on day 11, 27, 28 and 29. I just can't seem to get out of the upper teens, always getting a bounce up when I get close to finding my way back to the 215 mark. I really thought the second run at 216.5, when I hit that weight 3 days in a row, was the prelude to a nice drop, but it was followed by 6 days of higher weight. Maybe this third trip to 216.5 will be the charm.

Today is a big day. It's the Wednesday night out with the guys and I only do well on about 50% of my Wednesdays. This needs to be one of the good days. I feel a real need to get to 215, something that would show some progress, and several low calorie days in a row coupled with running tomorrow and once again on the weekend should do the trip. I feel like I'm right on the edge of a weight loss plateau and I'll get the drop if I just don't send a mixed signal. Going for about 2,500-3,000 calories today would be one of those mixed signals.

Food today: crackers(190)--yogurt(100)--crackers(190)--pineapple(320)--popcorn(250)--yogurt(100)--Zero candy bar(240)--3 light beers(300)--Wendy's(680) = 2,370 calories (I don't expect applause, but this isn't bad for a Wednesday) and (there's not a nutritionist in America that would approve of my day-to-day food choices. Thank goodness for multi-vitamins.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Day 35--217 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

It's 4:40 and I'm getting ready to go out the door for my 4 mile jog/walk. When the alarm went off at 4:20, I really didn't want to get out of bed. It did take me till 4:25 to get out of bed and finally turn off the alarm clock--I wisely keep my alarm clock on the desk and not by the bed.

If I can just get through the first 10 minutes of getting up and getting dressed, then I'm okay. I can't say that I'm excited about going out the door, but I'm not tempted to go back upstairs and get in bed. From past experience I know that by 6:00 this morning I'll be really glad that I got up and jogged. Why do I have to go through this battle each time I get up early to jog? I know that I'll be glad I jogged so why do I have such a struggle to get up? I wonder if I'll ever get to the point where I'm excited to hear the alarm at 4:20 because it means that it is one of my 3 running days--probably not. I guess I had better go and take advantage of the 70 degree morning and being able to jog in shorts and a t-shirt.

Now's it almost 7 and I made it through the 4 miles in better fashion than last Tuesday. One of the things about being in poor shape is that improvement is easy to see. Like last Tuesday, I discovered that I was comfortable with longer stretches of jogging. After the first mile mark I actually thought I might break 50 minutes, still slow but a vast improvement. The second mile went well and then the third mile got a little shaky. I wasn't going to push too hard in an effort to beat a time, but I got a little bit of a second wind on the difficult 4th mile and I thought that I might at least come close to 50 minutes. I didn't want to be tempted into breaking into a sprint (which means about an 8 minute mile pace), so I didn't look at my watch till the end and I was surprised to finish in 48:20, a really big improvement on last week. It's not a reflection of speed, but of more jogging and less walking. I think my days of running with any speed are well behind me.

With such a good start to the day, I need to follow up with a disciplined day of eating. I would really like to break through my current weight level and get down to 214-215 in the next week or so.

Food today: yogurt(100)--crackers(190)--lasagna(390)--chocolate(370)--lasagna(390)--pineapple(320)--yogurt(100) = 1,860 calories

Monday, February 4, 2008

Day 34--217 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

It's amazing how the weight will drop if you only eat one meal the previous day. I got home from the Sunday basketball games, started working on the photos while watching the Super Bowl, and I just didn't want to fool with fixing anything more complicated than microwave popcorn.

At the first of last year I had a physical exam and my cholesterol was around 250, about the same as it had been the year before. My doctor wanted to put me on drugs to lower that number and I asked for 3 months to change the number with exercise and better diet. During those three months I was swamped like I am now and I did almost nothing different in an effort to lower the cholesterol. After the 3 months I went in for another cholesterol test, ready to concede that I needed the drugs. I was somewhat shocked when I received a letter saying I had lowered the number to 222 so just keep doing whatever I was doing.

I was only doing one thing different. At the beginning of those 3 months I switched over from a compulsion for cereal bars as a snack to microwave popcorn. Popcorn equals fiber, fiber equals lower cholesterol, and the formula sure seemed to work for me. I have a physical coming up at the end of March and once again I've really done nothing to improve my diet, increase my fitness, or lower my weight. I've just eaten a lot of popcorn since my last checkup. If it turns out that my cholesterol has dropped below 200 then I should be in line for a lucrative popcorn commercial deal like Jarrad has with subway.

Food today: yogurt(100)--crackers(190)--soup(280)--yogurt(100)--crackers(190)--fruit(320) = 1,180 subtotal

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Day 33--219 Pounds--1 Pound Lost

I couldn't tell you exactly what I ate yesterday. In a move that was certainly "subconsciously intentional", I forgot to keep up with my food. Heck, it probably was consciously intentional that I did keep up with my food. I started working on photos at 6 in the morning and worked till midnight with only a 3-4 hours break in the middle. The food as a reward wasn't too bad, but I definitely hit about 2,500 instead of staying below 2,000.

Food today: yogurt(100)--Wendy's(680)--Twix(280)--popcorn(250)--popcorn(250) = 1,560 calories

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Day 32--218.5 Pounds--1.5 Pounds

At least the weight is starting back down. I need to jog once this weekend and I think it is suppose to rain tomorrow. I don't feel like jogging today, too much to do and tired from working on photos last night, but I guess I have to get out today at some point.

Just the simple little jogging that I do takes more time than I have to give. It takes 15 minutes to get ready, 50-55 minutes to jog, 10-15 minutes to cool down, then a shower and getting back into clean clothes--it becomes close to a two-hour commitment. I know I should be able to find 6 hours in a week to get this done, but finding 6 hours extra in my life is impossible. To get that time, you have to cut out something somewhere else. That is hard to do, especially since I have a backlog of tasks that are clamoring for time (I'm sure I spelled that wrong--spell checker has been down for a few days on blogger).

Food today: popcorn(250)--

Friday, February 1, 2008

Day 31--219.5 Pounds--.5 Pounds Lost

Disappointing. I understand how the daily weight can flucuate, but it is still disappointing to have my weight go up 3 pounds in 2 days when I haven't been THAT bad. Believe me, I could have done much worse at the Wednesday party and during the day yesterday.

Anyone who is reading this is probably aware of my addiction to diet sodas. I tell people that I drink 12 diet sodas a day, something that usually brings a shocked reaction, so I stick with the number 12 even though there are days when it is probably higher. I know it is a bad habit and I've tried to switch over to water, but at least all the diet drinks combined only amount to the number of calories in one lifesaver or a stick of gum. I could have worse habits. Plus, just as people who quit smoking often turn to food as a substitute, I'm afraid that I would snack far more if I didn't have the diet drinks.

I bring that up because it means that I'm putting 10 pounds of fluid into my body every day. Most of that fluid doesn't stay very long, but it gives the potential for short term weight fluctuations that aren't really connected to calories. Just as I gained 3 pounds in two days, I might very well find my weight 3 or 4 pounds two days from now.

Food today: crackers along with a diet soda (190)--yogurt(100)--crackers(190)--Butterfinger(270, working through lunch)--popcorn(250)--pizza(720)--popcorn(250)--pineapple(320) = 2,290 calories