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

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 26, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25, 2008--??? Pounds

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008 -- 227 Pounds

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

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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 23, 2008 -- 226 Pounds

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

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

Monday, December 22, 2008

December 22, 2008 -- 225.5 Pounds

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

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

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 21, 2008 -- 227 Pounds

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 20, 2008

December 20, 2008 -- 226 Pounds

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

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

Friday, December 19, 2008

December 19, 2008 -- 227 Pounds

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

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

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

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008 -- 226 Pounds

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

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

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

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

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

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008 -- 220 Pounds

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14, 2008 -- 222.5 Pounds

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13, 2008 -- 222 Pounds

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008 --- 223.5 Pounds

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 11, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December 10, 2008 -- 225 Pounds

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December 9, 2008 -- 225.5 Pounds

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

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

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

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 8, 2008 -- 223 Pounds

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

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

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

Saturday, December 6, 2008

December 6, 2008 -- 224 pounds

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

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

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

Friday, December 5, 2008

December 5, 2008 -- 223.5 Pounds

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 4, 2008 -- 224.5 Pounds

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

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

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 3, 2008 --- 222 Pounds

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

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

Food today:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 2, 2008 -- 223 Pounds

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

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

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

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008 -- 225.5 Pounds

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

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

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