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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

November 29, 2008 -- 225 Pounds

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

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

Friday, November 28, 2008

November 28, 2008 -- 226 Pounds

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 27, 2008

November 27, 2008 -- 224.5 Pounds

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

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November 26, 2008 -- 224 Pounds

I suspect that most major disasters start out small:

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

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

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 24, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

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

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

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

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22, 2008 -- 219 Pounds

I need to stay below 220 pounds over the weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2008

November 21, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds

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

Thursday, November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008 -- 221 Pounds

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

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008 -- 219 Pounds

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

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008 -- 220.5 Pounds

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

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

Monday, November 17, 2008

An Interesting Weight Loss Article

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

Overlooked Fat Loss Factors

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

Overlooked Fat Loss Factors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 17, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008 -- 221 Pounds

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

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

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

Saturday, November 15, 2008

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

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

Friday, November 14, 2008

November 14, 2008 -- 221 Pounds

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 13, 2008 -- 223 Pounds

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November 12, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

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

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A New Title, A New Approach

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

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

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

Weight today: 222.5 Pounds

Monday, November 10, 2008

Is It Child Abuse to Have Obese Children?

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

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

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

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

My weight today: 223 pounds