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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 6--221 Pounds--2 Pounds Gained

So how does one gain 4.5 pounds in one day? I don't know. Maybe some is a carry over from Saturday and it didn't show up then because I was out all day and I had some fluid loss. Maybe my internal settings have become just as mixed up and scrambled as my day to day life.

I suspect that most of this weight will come off during the work week as I get back to my diet plan. I doubt that I'll see any significant change in my health and weight until I can get on a consistent exercise program, something that just isn't going to happen until I have finished all of the Millsaps photos. There are people in this world who can take on multiple monumental tasks at the same time and they thrive. I'm not one of those people. I get focused on one thing and everything else goes fuzzy. I keep thinking that I can get it all under control if I can ever get everything completely caught up. I'm not sure if that theory is right or if I'll ever get to the point where I can test that theory.

Food today:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Day 5--216.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

Today I just have a baseball game to photograph and I hope to get back to a more normal eating situation. There are times when I think that dieting and exercising should be things that I can do regardless of the photos at Millsaps. Days like yesterday make me see where the difficulties come into play. Not the impossibility, but the difficulty.

It was great that I went jogging Friday morning but I woke up Saturday morning with a slightly sore hip and back. After hours and hours of standing up and peering through a viewfinder all day yesterday, I will be a candidate for many, many Advils over the next few days. I'm reminded of the impression people have of professional golfers. Those who don't play golf, or who just get out and play a round a week while riding in a cart and drinking beer, are often guilty of underestimating the physical difficulty of being a professional golfer. Likewise, those who just take a photo here or there don't realize how taxing it can be both mentally and physically to try and photograph an entire game or several games. Being overweight and out of shape like I am at the moment, it would be very difficult for my body to deal with the stress and strains of the photography plus trying to get back into shape. That's why I really have to work hard to get into shape this summer and to lose most of this excess weight.

With the food, I guess I could pack an ice chest and go back to the car for snacks. It is not impossible, but it makes things more difficult. It falls into the category of things being more difficult when you get out of a normal routine. It is much easier to control what I eat when I have the normal routine of a typical work day. I guess I just need to focus on planning a little better when it comes to the weekends.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day 4--216.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

What a day. Outside of one meal, my normal order at Wendy's for supper, there was nothing normal or healthy about Saturday's eating. I took photos at a baseball game Friday night and ate late, part of the reason for Saturday morning's increase, and I stayed up a little late working on those photos. That led to me getting up around 7:30 Saturday morning and then things went non-stop for about 12 hours.

I had to hurry and get a shower before going out to work to get a ladder. The ladder would be needed to photograph softball at Millsaps since the field is surrounded by a 7' fence. After picking up the ladder, it was off to Millsaps to photograph a tennis match that started around 8:30, then a tennis ceremony that started at noon, and a softball doubleheader that started at noon, and a baseball doubleheader that started at 1. I obviously didn't cover all of this, but I also didn't have a moment to rest and my food intake included crackers, mini-Milky Ways, and Sugar Babies that I had grabbed at the office, plus some cookies I picked up at the tennis ceremony. I'm sure I got tons of good photos out of the nearly 2,000 that I took, but it is a difficult day all around when I'm trying to capture so much.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Day 3--215.5 Pounds--3.5 Pounds Lost

Good news, bad news, good news:

-----It's good that I've gotten down to 215.5 this morning. I consider it my starting point of real weight loss because I've been able to get to 215 or so for several months and seemingly unable to get lower. It will be a huge breakthrough if I can see something in the range of 212 over the next 7-10 days.

-----The bad news is that Boty's phone call at 4:30 this morning was to tell me that he can't go jogging. One of his daughters is a top-notch goalkeeper in soccer and she plays for a team in Hattiesburg. That's about a 90 mile drive one way from Boty's house. They practiced last night so Boty got in late and he stayed up even later getting ready for the team's trip to Memphis this weekend. I do not miss all of the lost weekends and travel miles that come with select soccer.

-----The last bit of good news is that I'm going jogging anyway. I need the extra 90 minutes of sleep that I could get by going back to bed, but I need the exercise more. Today is Friday and the weekends usually allow me to catch up on my sleep. I'll need to do that this weekend.

And now, with the small hand on the clock about to touch 5, I'm going out the door to walk/jog for the first time in weeks. It needs to become somewhat of a habit if I want to reach my health and weight loss goals.

(Note: I made the 4 miles circuit without any trouble, mostly doing a slow jog and then taking slow walking breaks when needed. There's nothing fast about any of my treks, but I did make the loop in less that 51 minutes. While the US Olympic committee won't be beating a path to my door, it's not bad for an obese 56-year old who has hardly exercised in a very long time. I'd like to see that time get under 40 minutes with 4 miles of non-stop jogging. That won't be hard to achieve IF I find some consistency in my training.)

Food: yogurt(100)--crackers(200)--diet Coke--vitamins--

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Day 2--216 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

I usually start my Thursday post off by explaining how my diet fell apart at the Wednesday night guy's get-together. I don't have that to write about this morning since I skipped last night, but it is a weekly event that I'll have to work into my diet plan. It might require some changes in my behavior in order to help keep the calories under control.

The modifying my behavior is a little bit more than just drinking and eating less at the bar. It is really more about me not feeling the responsibility for keeping the group together. The idea when we started this group was that we would all meet at 6 on Wednesday for a couple of drinks and an hour or so of good conversation with friends. It worked that way for a while and then the meeting time got blurred. Some people now come to the bar straight from work, getting there before 5:30. Some people work late, knowing that they'll still catch most of the group if they show up at 6:30. Also, with the novelty worn off, some folks don't do much better than showing up about twice a month.

With just 8 in the group, I find myself as the person who is trying to keep it all together. I get off work at 4 and I don't have a wife waiting for me at home, so I'm the one guy who can consistently come early and stay late. Also, I can be there just about every week. This showing up early and staying late usually leads to eating from the bowl of nuts at the table and 3 beers instead of 2. The extra beer usually makes me feel like I need to eat a bigger supper to "absorb the alcohol", so the entire evening becomes a diet disaster. My dieting would be much easier if I went back to the 6 o'clock meeting time.

I suspect that everyone with a weight problem has these things in their life where situations make it more difficult to keep the calories down. I need to look at the problem areas in my weekly routine and make changes that will make it easier to keep the calories down. Not leaving the office for lunch might be another area to look at--I can't go through the Wendy's drive-thru if I'm not in my car. I need to take a harder look at the situations surrounding all of my eating.

Food: yogurt(100)--crackers(200)--diet Pepsi--vitamins--yogurt(100)--chili(400)--Tootsie Roll(50)--vitamins--cracker(200)--diet Coke--pineapple(320)--lasagna(350)--lt beer(100)--yogurt(100) = 1,920 calories

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 1--216.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

We all wish it were so easy. Would there be any obesity in America if one could consistently lose 2.5 pounds a day by simply eating a little less? Since I've been bouncing around between 215 and 219 so much in recent weeks, the first real weight that I'll be losing with this new effort will be the pounds below 215.

There's nothing special to report about yesterday. That's a good thing because any diet that requires much of a special effort is probably a diet that will fail in the long term. The rule about only eating food that I bring to the office was much needed yesterday. One of my co-workers brought in several bags of left over Easter candy, most of that candy being pure chocolate. How many Hersey's kisses and mini-bars would I have eating without my new rule? It would have been a double-digit number for sure, enough to make yesterday's calorie total closer to 3,000 instead of the final tally just below 2,000.

I've said many times over the last couple of years that most diets are overly complicated because you can't sell a diet book if your plan is too simple. While my diet is slightly more complicated than the tried and true diet plan of "Eat less, move more", it is important to only have a few rules to follow. I have 6 rules and one of those is just a reminder to take my vitamins. I can follow a plan that has 6 rules, especially one that allows so much flexibility in my food choices. I can eat anything I want with the limitation being the 2,000 calories per day. I don't have to combine foods in a specific manner, cut sugar, eat high protein, do special preparations, etc. It is something that fits into the reality of my life, much unlike all of those special plans that have you so locked into a particular way of eating.

I really think this plan is the one that will get me all the way back to 175 (I'm not sure that the 165 of my 20's and 30's is possible). It will take the addition of physical activity to get those last 15 pounds off. That's something that I plan to do and my belief is that I'll keep up the activity even when I start getting so busy next fall. It is much easier to stay active when you are in shape than it is to stay active when you are in desperate need of activity. But for now, my main goal is to get through today without breaking any of my 6 rules. One day at a time, 6 simple rules--that's all it will take to greatly improve my health and my quality of living.

Food today: yogurt(100)--vitamins--diet coke--crackers(200)--Wendy's Jr. CB Deluxe and small vanilla frosty(680)--vitamins--mini-Butterfinger(80)--yogurt(100)--Tootsie Roll(50)--lasagna(350)--light beer(100)--yogurt(100) = 1,760 calories

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 0--219 Pounds--A True Beginning

I've been doing piecemeal dieting since Thanksgiving. That has resulted in 6 pounds lost with the number getting as high as 10 pounds at times. I've been somewhat following guidelines during that time period instead of rules, which means I've been somewhat accountable instead of totally accountable. Starting today, I have a list of rules to follow. I need to be perfect in following rule 1, and then I need to be as close to perfect in following the rest. Here's the list:

1) Write down ALL calorie items BEFORE you eat them.
2) Hold daily caloric intake to less than 2,000.
3) At the office, only eat the food I brought to the building.
4) Eat 3 yogurts/calcium products each day.
5) I can have 2 diet sodas a day, none at home.
6) Don't skip days on taking my vitamins.

Some may look at the list and think it is too short. There's nothing about eating more fruits and vegetables. There's nothing about exercise. There's nothing about not eating after a certain time at night. Plus, I've made a rule that actually lets me go back to drinking diet sodas. All of these are good rules and I hope to incorporate them in my daily living, but they make the list too cumbersome and difficult to follow.

The reality is that the list is too long. If I had stopped at number 1, and if I will faithfully follow number 1, then the list would work in regards to losing weight. The rest is just a small bit of fine tuning. Rule 2 gives me a reasonable goal to shoot for each day. Rule 3 takes away one of the greatest temptations I have when dieting, the goodies that co-workers bring to the office. Rule 4 is because I believe there might be something to the calcium/losing fat connection, and because yogurt is the most filling 100 calories that I can eat. Rule 5 is to keep me from going back to massive diet soda consumption, and to give me an option when I want something at work but I don't need the extra calories. And finally, rule 6 is just to remind me each day to take my vitamins, something that I occasionally forget.

Food today: yogurt(100)--diet Pepsi--morning vitamins--crackers(200)--Whopper Jr(410)--Tootsie Roll(50)--afternoon vitamins--diet Pepsi--yogurt(100)--pineapple(320)--lasagna(350)--light beer(100)--yogurt(100)--popcorn(250) = 1,980 calories.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 35--219 Pounds--1 Pound Lost

Sunday was much like Saturday. I had a good opportunity to get out and exercise this past weekend and/or a good opportunity to get a lot of photo work done. I decided to concentrate on the photos. I feel good about the progress that I made even though I didn't totally catch up. I also feel good about the work load remaining till the end of the school year. Of course it will be a busy time for me, but it looks like I'm through with the periods of being totally overwhelmed.

With that in mind, I know I should really start now on seriously dieting instead of waiting for 5 more weeks. I was going to make a list of absolute rules to follow a couple of weeks ago and that list never made it to paper. I'll have that short list of rules in tomorrow's post. It will not be a painful or difficult list to follow, just the same old things that have been successful in the past. What has been woefully lacking over the last year has been my willingness to follow those simple rules. With summer coming and the knowledge that I'll soon have time to be more active, I believe I'll be able to do a much better job of sticking with the rules from this point forward.

Food today: crackers(200)--Tootsie Roll(50)--

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Day 34--219.5 Pounds--.5 Pounds Lost

What can I say. Yesterday was another day of mostly sitting at the computer. At one time the weekend was the portion of the week devoted to getting out and doing things. Now it seems like the weekend brings me more sitting and computer time than my job as a programmer/operator in a computer department. It doesn't have to be that way but it is the path I'm choosing at the moment. Things will change in the summer months and then I hope to do a better job of bringing balance to my life when the photography starts again for the 2008-09 school year.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 33--218.5 Pounds--1.5 Pounds Lost

While yesterday was somewhat of a relaxed day, I spent at least 12 hours at the computer working on photos. That didn't help the weight loss process even though I didn't go overboard with the eating. I decided to get everything about the 2008 Mal's St. Paddy's Parade photos done and it took quite a bit of time. The good news about all that time spent is the satisfaction of having completed a project, and the parade photos have become an annual project for me.

I think I mentioned on my other blog that I really didn't have a lot of enthusiasm about taking the photos this year and I wasn't initially impressed with my results. Now that I've gotten everything finished, I'm glad I kept my 5 year string of parade photos going and the photos did turn out pretty good. There are two ways to approach life: You can wait for some sort of compensation before you do anything or you can do something and see if it results in some sort of compensation. My photo work falls into the second category. At some point down the road, all of these photos I take may open some interesting doors, possibilities that would never come up if I didn't do all of this work in advance. Fortunately, I get pleasure from the creative process right now so this is not wasted energy if it doesn't lead to other possibilities.

Here are some links to the photos I posted yesterday:

YouTube video of the 2008 Parade

Hal and Mal's Photo Gallery: I seem to be the only person who takes up the Hal and Mal offer to have people post their photos to the website. Even in the "On Stage" section, all of the photos are mine except for the first 3. This summer when I have some time, I might see if I can take some more on stage photos--there might even be a way to make a little money by being their "house photographer".

My Photobucket Photos of the Parade: I need to remember this summer to go back and load the 2007 photos. Right now I'm in the process of loading the videos from past years in the "F_L_E/Videos" section.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 32--217.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

My company is closed today for Good Friday and I enjoyed sleeping past 7 this morning. I feel like there is such luxury in having 3 days in a row without work and without a Millsaps sporting event. There's a great urge to just relax, but those weekends will come in about a month. What I need to do is systematically get things done. I don't need to rush, I don't need to stay at the computer for 6 hours at a time, but I do need to keep moving from one productive thing to another.

As far as the diet goes, I may not bother to keep up with food today or for the rest of the weekend. In most cases that means I'm planning a full scale weekend of overeating. That's not the case this weekend. I'll eat reasonably and I'll keep up with my weight each day, hopefully lowering that weight by getting out and walking or jogging a couple of times. I've just about come to the conclusion that losing weight is going to have to be a summertime project. I need the exercise to push things along and there is no time for a consistent exercise routine until I finish with the Millsaps photos. The key at this time is to do the best I can to lose a few pounds, and to 100% make sure that I don't gain weight.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day 31--217.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

Instead of posting before going to work, I got to work early and started some backups and got a couple of other things done. I'm taking off today at 11, then we have Good Friday off, so it will be a wonderful block of time that I can use to get caught up. It's Spring Break at Millsaps so there are no sports to worry about and I think I can get totally caught up on the photos and hopefully have time to get a few other things done. That might not seem like it has anything to do with dieting but it does. When I'm super busy and way behind, that seems to be the period where it is hardest to stick to my diet.

Not much to post today except that I totally disregarded the diet last night. I went and had a few beers with the guys, enjoyed the bowl of nuts that the bar provides, and then I had a meal at Wendy's. It might not be a big night out for many folks, but it was just what I needed. With that behind me, I'm ready to get back on track over the next few days. I might even get out and jog a time or two, a much needed ingredient in this plan that has been missing in recent weeks.

Food today: crackers(200)--yogurt(100)--yogurt(100)--apple(150)--beans and rice(310)--apple(150)--popcorn and light beer(350)--1,360 subtotal--

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Day 30--216.5 Pounds--3.5 Pounds Lost

The stock market went up and my weight went down--Tuesday was a good day. It was also a good day because I took a break from the photos, going up to Millsaps to watch some softball and baseball, all winning efforts by Millsaps. It was a nice break and I may not work on photos until Friday, resting up a little before making a big effort over the 3-day weekend for Easter.

I still find the 1,500-1,600 calorie barrior as really limiting. It doesn't allow for much of anything unless you really plan the routine. The yogurt is the best food/calories on my menu and I guess I need to go back to having oatmeal in the mornings. I could physically get through the entire morning with a yogurt and oatmeal, just 260 calories, but it is difficult to get through the morning mentally with so little. The problem I'm having now is that in the past I suplemented the yogurt and oatmeal with about 5 diet sodas. It made me feel like I was getting more even though the calorie total was basically unchanged. Drinking several bottles of water doesn't give the same feeling, but I plan on sticking with the water.

Food today--oatmeal(scratch the oatmeal, it blew up all over the microwave. What a mess)--crackers(200)--vitamins--4 Hersey's Kisses(100?)--yogurt(100)--Tootsie Rolls(100)--Wendy's(680)--dark chocolate(100) = subtotal of 1,280 calories--after this it sort of fell apart with it being the Wednesday night get together. While the calories were too much, it was a much needed night of fun.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Day 29--218.5 Pounds--1.5 Pounds Lost

One thing I discovered yesterday is that it is much harder to stick to 1,500-1,600 calories when you don't have diet sodas as a crutch to lean on. Getting a bottle of water doesn't do much to satisfy the physical or mental desire to have a snack. Without this zero calorie option, I find that any snacking at all makes it tough to stay under 1,600 calories.

The ideal solution would be to bump my calories up to 2,000 calories and to burn 300-500 calories each day with exercise. That involves time that I don't have, whether it is time spent in short bursts of exercise or one longer walk/jog. For now, cutting food intake is the only practical route I have towards losing weight and I'll just have to stick with it as best I can.

One thing that helps on cutting back the food is to get plenty of sleep so I don't feel a need for a "pick-me-up" to help me get through the day. I thought I was going to get 8 hours of sleep last night, but I woke up and thought of a plan to get one of our printers back up and going at work. It's on an old system and it's a little complicated to explain about the printer problems on that system, but the bottom line is I need to get to work early so I can shut down the system and change the hook ups of some devices. That means getting in at 6 this morning, not what I really need for dieting. Longer hours at work make me eat more unless I'm very disciplined--and being very disciplined is not my strong suit.

Food today: yogurt(100)--Tootsie Roll(50)--crackers(200)--rice and beans(310)--yogurt(100) = 760 subtotal. At this point things didn't get bad, but they got a little uncountable. I had some chocolate, maybe 300 calories all total, some fruit at 320 calories, and then a big bag of peanuts at a baseball game where I went as a fan, not a photographer. It may have been under 2,000 calories but I'm not sure about the peanuts. (Oops, add a bag of popcorn that I ate while doing a blog entry.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day 28--219.5 Pounds--.5 Pounds Lost

I admittedly let things slide over the weekend, thinking that it was the last few days of freedom before I clamped down on the food intake. Clamped down might be too harsh a term since I just want to go back to the way I was eating when my dieting was successful. That was a time when I was never hungry and I didn't really suffer in any way by cutting way back on my food intake. I was able to cap off my day at about 1,500-1,600 calories, a rarity for me over the last year.

I will come up with a set of rules to follow on food and on time usage. I tend to do better when I'm in a routine with short term goals to meet, seeing my life one day at a time instead of hopelessly behind in everything. The number one rule will have to be: "Do your absolute best to meet the following rules on the list." I've had tons of good plans for my life over the last two years, plans that haven't really worked because I haven't followed the rules. I'll try to come up with my list of rules today and then I'll post them here and all over my daily locations--home, work, and the car.

Food today: yogurt(100)--small tootsie roll(50)--crackers(200)--soup(360)--Tootsie Roll(50)--yogurt(100)--Tootsie Roll(50)--3 small pickles(90)--lasagna(350)--popcorn(250) = 1,600 calories

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Day 27--219 Pounds--1 Pound Lost

Today's weigh-in number is a result of working on photos late last night and eating while working on those photos. It is also the result of excessive eating that has been going on for the last several weeks. AND, I do believe it is the result of quitting the diet drinks.

In the past when I was working late, many of my trips to the kitchen were for a diet soda instead of a food item. That's just one calorie instead of many calories per trip. It's something that I can keep under control if I'm keeping my food journal, but it gets a little out of control when I stop being accountable. That's why I'm going to definitely get back on the food journal on Monday.

I hope that by the end of this upcoming week I'll be able to distribute the basketball DVDs at Millsaps. This has been a tough overlapping period with basketball and the spring sports at Millsaps, plus the move at work. I could have successfully dieted during this time frame, but I think that deep down I felt like allowing a little excessive food was the only thing I had left as a fun thing in my life. I wish I could see food as strictly a fuel for the body and I could regulate it like turning a thermostat higher or lower, but for most of us food is a more complicated element in our daily living. I'm not proud of all my supposed efforts resulting in not much weight loss, but it could be worse. I think the next few weeks will see it get better.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day 26--217.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

The Millsaps photos can wait for a while as I've been spending this morning working on the format of my other blog, putting out a hummingbird feeder just in case I get one of the early birds, and then I'm going to take some time to straighten up the duplex. This afternoon I'll take photos at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Jackson. I've been taking photos of the parade ever since using digital photography and I'd hate to break the string. Here are some links to those photos:

Hal and Mal's Photo Page: You'll see that the last 5 albums are photos that I took. I also have some photos in the "On Stage" album.

I was going to add a link to my videos on Photobucket but then I found that I haven't posted them there nor have I even posted the 2007 parade photos on my "F_L_E" album. It just goes to show how far behind I get with my own stuff while trying to do all these other things. In the comment section of each photo album on the Hal and Mal page is a link to the YouTube video of those photos so you can see the video via that option. I'm going to really have a lot of work to do this summer to get my family and personal Photobucket sites up to date.

(Note: No mention of dieting today because there isn't much to talk about. I have to start back on Monday with the food list. Too many things going on this weekend to start today.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Day 25--217.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

This is exactly where I was on Day 25 of the last diet. In a way, holding steady is somewhat of an accomplishment. Some people get so busy that they forget to eat, while others get busy and they end up eating more food, especially junk food. As you know, I'm in the second group and I will be until summer comes. Here's my schedule for the weekend:

Friday--work till about 1--photograph a Millsaps softball game at 2 and again at 4--leave the softball in time to get home to listen to the Millsaps basketball game on the internet while trying to keep up with the Millsaps baseball game on the radio while working on photos--work as late into the night as I physically can.

Saturday--allow myself to wake up without an alarm clock, an incredible luxury in my life--work on photos--go take photos of the St. Patrick's Day Parade, one of the few times I switch over to photographing for myself--come home and work on photo and hopefully listen to Millsaps basketball on the internet.

Sunday--softball game at 9--probably skip the other game that day so I can go home and work on photos for the rest of the weekend.

Somewhere in all of this I need to start organizing my basketball and cheerleader photos so I can burn those DVDs and get them to the students, coaches, and media department. I also have some tennis photos that have been untouched for several weeks. I also have to start thinking about tax returns, going through piles of mail, organizing my home, and there are still things that need to be done at work that I should stay late and do.

Is it any wonder that I reach for candy bars and junk throughout the day for a little comfort?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Day 24--217 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

A late post this morning as I still try to figure out the timing of my new routine. I ended up coming to work early and getting some backups started instead of doing my normal post before I left the house.

It's amazing how we get zoned into routines so that we almost run on automatic pilot. Even at work I find that the tasks that I do in the morning seem out of sync just because everything is in a new location. Much of what I do on the backups and other early morning jobs is mundane so I've done these things without much thinking--go to server 1, do this task--go to server 2, do this task--it was almost like a delivery route. I knew the route from machine to machine and I knew what to do once I got to each machine. Now I've changed the route and I have to think instead of just go by second nature.

I think things are starting to fall into place and soon I will find some sort of rhythm. It will help if I take a weekend away from this place, even though that time will all be spent on photography. I'm starting to get antsy like a schoolkid waiting for summer to arrive so I'll have free time on my hands.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day 23--216 Pounds--4 Pounds Lost

Outside of posting my weight, I can't think of anything much to say this morning. I've been totally thrown off my routine by the move and the new situation at work, that situation being no food or drinks available unless you thought to bring them that morning and limitations on what you can eat in your office area.

I need to take a stash of food and bottled water to the building but that's a tricky thing when it comes to the food part. If I have things like crackers or cereal bars anywhere near my office, then I'll tend to overeat those items. If I have something that takes a little time to prepare, such as oatmeal and popcorn, then I have to eat those things in the lounge and I'm trying to avoid eating in the lounge for a couple of reasons. It was so much easier in the past with the vending machine. Having to buy the item usually slowed down the compulsive eating, but when I did buy something I could take it back to my work area.

I'll find a routine and it will probably be a healthier routine. Maybe I'll get back to the food list next Monday when things start to find a pattern. In the meantime, I had better go fix my food supply for today's trip to the office. I can't be late today because I have the key to the elevator and it won't work until I get there. I don't have a key to the building so I hope they have our card reader system working so I can get inside--we are still working out some kinks at the new place.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Day 22--215 Pounds--5 Pounds Lost

I couldn't even guess what my calorie count was close to yesterday or for the last 4 or 5 days. Everything has run together to the point that I don't know without looking if this is Tuesday or Thursday. Oh how I wish it were Thursday.

I was finally able to get by the grocery store yesterday to buy some things for making sandwiches. With returning home for lunch no longer an option in my life, I guess I'll be fixing picnic baskets for work just about every day. You have to think of everything since out company did away with the vending machines and at the moment there isn't even a machine for bottled water. And while we get breaks in the morning and afternoon, there isn't a convenience store that I've seen within a mile radius of our building so there's no going out for a snack. Besides, even a nearby store would be a pain to drive to when compared to the old convenience of having a vending machine.

I guess I'd better go fix and pack my lunch. The day might come when I see the unavailability of food options at work as a big plus in losing and keeping off weight. For now, it is a big hassle to have to get up even earlier to gather up the food for the day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Day 21--217 Pounds--3 Pounds Lost

This is one of those days where I have so much to do but I have to remind myself to slow down. Mentally, I'm so exhausted that if I try to rush through things then I'm sure to make a ton of mistakes. The quickest way to get things done will be to slow down and do things right the first time--that's going to be easier said than done today.

I have to go pack some food for work. One more burden to go along with moving to this new location. It really has been a negative for me and many others in the company for us to have moved. The building looks very nice on the surface, but there are so many negatives. Last night when I left the building, I was actually more afraid of going to my car in this isolated wooded area than I would have been in downtown Jackson. If you run into trouble in this new location, you are on your own with no chance of help coming by.

Anyway, I'll do the food list when my life gets back into a routine. That will happen eventually.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Day 20--217.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

What a hectic last few days. Millsaps won again last night, hitting a 3-pointer with under 3 seconds to go to take a 1-point lead, their only lead of the game. That puts them into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament and the next opponent is a good draw on paper. It is St. Mary's College of Maryland, a team that is unranked and I think they are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Of course, they have won two games in the tournament so they obviously can play some basketball.

Between the office move, the basketball games, working to get photos done after the game--it has been chaotic. Today I have to go to the office and get my area prepared for work tomorrow and I have to get some printers working. We have an old Unix operating system that we still use for our accounting and there are 3 printers on that system that are critical. In an ideal world, I'll have no trouble making a couple of new connectors and getting them to work. In the real world, I may be pulling out my hair and cursing a lot this afternoon.

In addition, I need to get something done on the photos. These weren't typical games where I can fall behind by two weeks. These were games that need to be done in a very timely manner as if the photography is my main job. I could get it done with a day or two off from work, but tomorrow and the next day will be filled with responding to computer and phone questions and problems throughout the company.

I'm not going to keep a food list until things settle back down. At this point I may be resorting to candy bars as a way to get through another two hours before crashing. I'll crash eventually, but maybe I can get to midweek before that happens. I will continue to post a weight each day and maybe even a thought, and I will continue to be conscious of what I eat even if it isn't exactly what I should be eating.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Day 19--Weight Unknown

Here's how the last 26 hours have gone since my previous weigh-in:

--Got to work around 6:30 yesterday.
--Worked almost non-stop all day on packing, moving, labeling, etc. Had some crackers and such to eat and actually had a real meal around 2:30.
--Worked till 5:00 and by that time my back was bothering me a lot and I was afraid it would be a wreck for the evening ballgame.
--Got to the first ballgame for the opening tip at 6, shot photos of the second game which Millsaps won.
--Went home, worked on photos till 1 o'clock, then had to run a software filtering procedure that takes about two hours, so I slept till 3.
--Got up and worked on photos till 6:30.
--Took a one hour nap.
--Typed this up before heading out the door to our old building, then our new building, then hopefully home to finish photos in time to put them on the Millsaps display computer at the gym, then take photos at tonight's ball game.
--I didn't think that a weight this morning would be reflective of anything, plus I took my one hour nap fully clothed and I didn't want to strip down to weigh. The whole weekend is going to be very non-typical.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Day 18--216.5 Pounds--3.5 Pounds Lost

If people only ate because of hunger, then their would be no obesity problem. I ate here and there all day yesterday, and rarely did I eat because of hunger. Some of the birthday cake at the office was still available, and I have cake so seldom that it seemed a shame to pass up a chance at free cake. Things were hectic at the office, and sometimes you just need a short break to let things settle, a break that works better if food is involved. And then you throw in our food shortage situation at work with the vending machines gone, the refrigerator cleaned out, and all office materials basically packed away, and one gets the feeling that they had better eat what they can and when they can.

That's not to say that I couldn't diet during all of this mess. Let someone offer me $100 to stay below 1,500 calories today and that would be easy money. Offer me $1,000 if I can stay below 1,500 calories every day for a week and I could go ahead and start shopping for a new camera lens because I would get your money. I know, I know--the reward I'm shooting for is extra years of life, something much more valuable than monetary offerings. However, that reward is so very far in the future and today is so much in the present. The gap in time tends to throw the effort/reward formula way out of perspective.

All in all, I know I could do much better and my hope is to hang on for the next couple of months without letting things get worse. Ideally, I'll still find ways to lose some weight along the way. That's a very possible thing to do and I shouldn't dismiss that as a goal. I doubt that today will be one of those days where I move closer to that goal, unless it is so hectic that there is no time to eat. We have the move, the basketball game, and now they are saying 1-3 inches of snow in Jackson. It seems like the forecast last night showed Jackson as slightly below the probable snow line. I hope the weather people were right yesterday and are just being over cautious this morning. Fasten you seat belts, today could be a very bumpy ride.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Day 17--216 Pounds--4 Pounds Lost

The drop of a half pound is not a reflection of how yesterday's eating went. It was a day of junk food from start to finish. That was a result of poor planning on my part, a ton of birthday party food at work, and the disorganization of things with the impending move--plus a total lack of willpower. I even broke down and had some diet sodas yesterday because there really isn't anything else to drink at the office. The folks who provided our bottled water took the machine out earlier this week and the Jackson drinking water isn't a great option. Our company should have sent someone to the grocery store to buy about 8 cases of drinking water to get us through the week, but no one thought about that option.

I've got my ice chest on the counter this morning and I'll be putting 4-6 bottles of water in it before I leave for work. I will also add a yogurt or two and a couple of other snacks. My plan yesterday was to go by the grocery store and get the fixings for sandwiches to take to work. That plan got sidetracked by other productive things. My first plan for the new building will be to fix lunch each day. That might not work since it involves planning ahead, but I think I'd rather do that than venture out to a fast food place every day. The option of going home to eat will be off the table.

If you read my other blog today, you know that I'm looking to make some changes in my life. I feel like I'm accepting far less than the best in my life and one of the areas where I really fall short is health and fitness. It is ridiculous that I've let myself digress into such a sad state, so very far from my potential. I don't want to do anything radical like get into body building and enter a competition, or run 50 miles a week and start running marathons. I just want to get back to the healthy and fit person that I was for so many years. Am I just blowing smoke or is this serious? I think it is serious, but actions speak louder than words.

Food today: yogurt(100)--

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Day 16--216.5 Pounds--3.5 Pounds Lost

I knew the weight would start dropping once I got away from spending my entire weekend seated in front of a computer. Rusty, your comment is right on target about how I could do simple things in very short time periods that would make a difference in both the short term and the long term. I'm not sure if I'll do any of those things, but I do appreciate the suggestion.

Going out on a tangent, there really are a lot of things that people could achieve in the spare cracks of time that are available during the day. Want to improve your vocabulary? How hard would it be to learn 2 new words a day? That would increase your vocabulary by 700 words in a year, a huge leap for any person. If you wanted to learn a foreign language you could learn quite a bit if you just added 2 new words a day. As Rusty pointed out, exercise and stretching can be done in small segments throughout the day. For the messy person like myself, just taking 5 minutes every hour to put a few items back in their proper place would go a long way in cleaning up the clutter. We get back to that theory of breaking big jobs into numerous small jobs.

Today is a birthday party at work, our last one in the current building. I'm not sure if I'll eat anything or if I'll eat a little. I know I need to resist from going hog wild. It's 6:25 now and I have to get out of here so I can stop at a store and get diet drinks for the party. At one time it seemed like the natural contribution for me to bring to the party, now it seems ironic that I'm bringing the one item that I'm trying the hardest to keep out of my food intake.

Food today: Well, I never really ate a meal today, opting for grazing on small things and party food. Not a great way to go through the day even if it results in a weight loss tomorrow morning because I didn't eat anything very solid.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Day 15--218 Pounds--2 Pounds Lost

Exactly how does a person "lose track of the food they ate" when they supposedly are writing down the food before they eat it? I could sit at this keyboard all day without coming up with a decent answer for that question. There really is no excuse for not keeping up with the food. Maybe there is an excuse for eating too much, something like a party or a special event, but writing down the food would take 3 minutes for the entire day. I'm not so busy that I can't take that time.

If I may offer a sliver of an excuse, it seems that I lose focus on things when I try to do too much at one time. That's a logical excuse when talking about time consuming things, such as not doing some chores around the house because I'm so far behind with the photos. It's not quite as logical when comparing time consuming things with dieting. It would actually take less time if I would eat less food.

It's not really about the time when it comes to the diet. When I get busy, when I have too many irons in the fire, dieting becomes one more thing that I'm doing that feels like a burden. I fully recognize all the benefits in the long term, but in the short term dieting is not what I want to do. I want to take a break from all of the other pressing things by getting a candy bar, or a burger plus fries plus a Frosty, or by eating the entire pizza instead of a half. Food becomes a mental outlet to relieve some of the physical pressure in my life. Fortunately, because of this blog, I don't let it get out of control. That's not a great excuse, just the reality of the situation.

Now that I've admitted this to myself, it brings a little more focus to the eating situation and I will try very hard to actually do the one thing that makes my dieting successful. Namely, to truly be accountable for my food intake. I say this over and over because that really is all that it takes. It's the willpower to stay accountable that is such a problem.

Food today: yogurt(100)--Sprite(150)--yogurt(100)--Wendy's(680)--cake and Sprite(500)--pizza(750)--light beer(100) = 2,380 calories. Not a great day of dieting but at least I kept the list.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Day 14--219 Pounds--1 Pound Lost

My Sunday went like this: wake up, take shower, sit at computer, go to bed. There were a few other things in the mix like going to the store to buy a newspaper, but it was a day of sitting. I didn't bother to keep my list which would have included two frozen pizzas at about 750 calories each, one yogurt, one thing of fruit, one light beer, and I think two bags of popcorn. Ideally, I would have had half a pizza for lunch and the other half for supper. That's what I would have done two years ago when I was successfully losing weight.

For the weekend I had 4 pounds gained without the reward of going totally wild on the eating. I didn't go back to chain drinking diet sodas. I didn't get that tub of ice cream or the cinnamon rolls that I would have loved. I didn't even go to a fast food place, much less go to a fast food place and splurge by ordering a combo meal. It is frustrating to see such a loss of progress when I didn't really do so bad. I do expect this weight to come off over the next 4 or 5 days, hopefully all the way back to 215 pounds. It is easy to see why some people start a diet and just give up even if they show some patience. I just can't afford to give up at this point in my life.

Food today: yogurt(100)--

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Day 13--217.5 Pounds--2.5 Pounds Lost

Today's weight is partially a fluke and partially a warning. Starting Friday afternoon, I have basically sat in front of my computer working on photos, listening to Millsaps baseball on the radio, and listening to and watching video of separate broadcast of the Millsaps basketball team at the conference tournament. I have been inactive except for more walks than needed to the kitchen, hardly an aerobic activity since the computer and kitchen are only four steps apart.

Yesterday I conveniently "forgot" to keep up with my food intake. That's blog code for deciding not to be responsible for my actions. I guarantee that I don't forget on any days that total less than 2,000 calories. So far, these forgotten days are a case of eating the same basic things with a little more quantity than normal. I doubt that I ever hit 3,000 calories, a number that is really very easy to reach. There have been cravings to buy a half gallon of cookie dough ice cream and just eat it one evening. If memory serves me right, that's about 3,200 calories right there. I would love to go up to the store right now and get one of those tins of cinnamon rolls and have that for breakfast. That's somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 calories if you eat all six, something I would do with joy. And for sitting at the computer, I would really love a pack of Oreo cookies or a big bag of those Reisen chocolates, things that wouldn't last till sundown if I bought them with the cinnamon rolls.

The gap between how I want to eat and how I am eating is huge. The gap between how I am eating and how I was eating when I steadily lost weight is less, but in ways it is just as huge. It's those extra 500 calories that I slip in each day that are making the process so slow. That, plus the lack of activity. I hope to change that with daylight savings kicking in soon and the new move for work. I have thoughts about going jogging directly after work and the new location offers plenty of opportunities, either from the building or from running trails that are nearby. When I was motivated by the joy of running and being in great shape, jogging in the morning was ideal. Now that I am so far removed from the habit, I think that jogging some in the afternoon is the only way I'll get back on the fitness trail.

Food today (I will not forget anything today): yogurt(100)--

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Day 12--215 Pounds--5 Pounds Lost

I was thinking last night about small changes I could make to help the weight loss process. I came up with 2 things that might make a real difference:

1) On my snacks of popcorn and canned fruit, I need to turn one snack into two. I'm usually not real hungry when I get one of those snacks and I could stretch out the calories by only eating half and saving the other half for later.

They now have a variety of snack packs available which offer servings of 100 calories per pack. My guess is that most people buy those and then eat 3 at a time, defeating the purpose of the packaging. Physically, these small snack packs are all a person needs, but mentally, it is hard to look at such a small portion and think that it will be enough. The vast majority of us need to be retrained on the proper portion sizes that are needed by the human body.

I've seen the 100 calorie popcorn packs and they are about the same cost as the regular packs. Instead of buying those small packs, I'm going to pop a regular bag, pour it into a bowl that will only hold half, and then I'll have the other half later. It's possible that later will come right away, but in most cases I think I can turn one snack into two. The same idea will work with the fruit.

2) The second thing I need to do is eat more vegetables. It doesn't take much longer to open a couple of cans, heat up some vegetables, and then wash the pans. That's not nearly as easy as opening a package, putting it in the microwave, and then later throwing away the package, but heating up items on the stove isn't a major operation. Another possibility is vegetables packaged for the microwave--I'll look into that. My impression is that you usually get less food for far more cost and that makes going to the stove a better option.

One of the reasons I keep this blog is so I'll think about my food choices. I'm doing a fairly good job with my choices at the moment, or at least my calorie totals. I believe I'll be greatly rewarded by finding ways to do just a little bit better. Getting my calories from the 2,000-2,500 range to the 1,600-2,000 range would do wonders.

Food today: yogurt(100)--popcorn(250)--rice(440)--fruit(320) = subtotal 1,110 calories--