* Code to improve Google search: Frank's Weight Loss Blog: June 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 26, 2009--I'm Still Alive

I'm still alive and I'm still at that 221-222 mark. While shaving this morning, the thought hit me that what my life needs right now is moderation. No grand exercise plan, no strict diet, no 2,000+ photos in one day. Just do things moderately and relax for a while.

In a way, this becomes my "different approach #xxx", sort of trying to sneak up on some weight loss by saying that I'm not really dieting. In another way, this is an approach that is successful when trying to work a difficult Sudoku puzzle. I'm sort of hooked on the Sudoku, that 81-square puzzle where you have to fill in rows, columns, and squares of numbers. It's amazing how I can work on a puzzle, get it half done, and then just get stuck so that 10-minutes of staring and recalculating gets me nothing. If I'll put it aside for an hour or two, long enough to forget all the angles that didn't work, then when I pick it up again with a fresh approach the solution is often found in just a few minutes.

This diet thing has been going on for over 3 years. Not strict dieting, but saying that I'm on a diet has been going on since February, 2006. What I need is to take a break and just go with moderation for a bit to clear out all of the angles that haven't worked. Still weighing every day, still blogging here and there, but not saying I'm dieting when it's obvious that I'm not.

I'd rather be taking a break and maintaining 220-222 pounds instead of doing a poor job of dieting and failing to break out of the 220-222 pound range. It's a mental thing that might let me recharge for a real diet. Or maybe, just maybe, relaxing and honestly doing things in moderation might start a long slow drop in weight that will be like taking the back roads instead of the interstate to get to my destination. I'm not counting on that, but it would be a nice surprise.

So, check in about once a week and there should be something new here. Even if a miracle happens and my weight starts to drop, my plan will be to not diet for a while and I'll stick with that plan. Moderation--it's an approach that works well with a lot of things in life.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22, 2009--220 pounds (-1.5 in June)

On the big blog today there is something about living a quality life. My life is a quality life. There would be more quality with less weight. Some of that would simply be feeling better about myself, most of it would be about feeling better physically.

I plant lots of seeds on this blog, plans that are designed to grow into big achievements. Rarely does anything get much past the surface before it dies of neglect. Today, with no big hoopla or lofty goals, I plant a new seed of quiet determination. It's time for me to turn this thing around. It really comes back to the most basis plan I've talked about, the one that anyone should be able to follow with no pain and almost a certainty of losing weight: (1) Eat when you are hungry; (2) Don't eat until you are hungry; (3) When you eat, only eat half of what you think you need.

There could be a lot of sub-rules about eating better quality food, no candy, chew 20 times before you swallow, exercise every day, put your fork or spoon down between every bite--the list could go on forever and there are extra things that I will do. However, the key to losing weight ultimately comes down to eating more for need instead of for gluttonous pleasure, and not overeating just because plenty of food is available. Do that and the body will gladly return to a weight that makes day-to-day living easier.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19, 2009--221.5 (-0 pounds in June)

This was an early weigh-in since Friday is the day I walk with Boty. One of us got our signals crossed up and he didn't show up. I walked two on my own, a triumph over what I've done in the past when I would go back home and nap for 30 extra minutes.

Speaking of naps, I didn't need one yesterday or the day before. The key word is need. When I come home from work and immediately take a nap, it's because there's no way for me to function that evening until a normal bedtime. It's an abnormal fatigue that may be a symtom of something abnormal. I've been sleeping better so maybe that's been the bulk of the problem, the inability to sleep at night. This weekend will be dedicated to getting plenty of rest and then we'll see if the fatigue problem lingers on into next week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 18, 2009--221 (-.5 in June)

Nothing much to write about today. I still find myself exhausted at the end of each work day, to the point of having to take a nap once I reach home. Outside of times when I've been killing myself working on photos, I've never had a stretch like this. Over this past weekend I bought and drank a bunch of Diet Cokes, wanting to see if the decision to drastically cut back on the sodas was the source of my energy drain. The Diet Cokes didn't help.

Outside of that, the only thing that has significantly changed is my doctor has me taking Vytorin 10/40 instead of 10/20. I've even stopped taking that for a while to see if it's the problem and it doesn't look like there's much difference either way. Something has changed to leave me so worn out all the time. Whatever it is, one of the side results isn't rapid weight loss.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 17, 2009--220 Pounds (-1.5 in June)

Much better this morning, still a long way to go. I don't have any thoughts to go along with the weigh-in and I need to stop at Walmart for yogurt and a few other things so this will be short.

It's Wednesday but I'm skipping the gathering at Nick's tonight. It throws off my week in so many ways--diet, getting some of the backlog of work out of the way, finding a rhythm to my sleep. I need to view the gatherings like most of the others and only show up half the time, not because I don't enjoy seeing everyone, but because like everyone else, my life is packed with things that need to be done.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16, 2009--222 Pounds (+.5 in June)

We had a retirement party at work yesterday. Not a great day to diet, but a day and event that I wanted to enjoy. The only thing I ate before the lunch party was two yogurts. The only thing I ate for supper was a can of pineapple. Lunch was really the only meal of the day and while I ate big, it wasn't like a food eating contest at the State Fair. The result was a 1.5 pound gain.

It's frustrating. It's reality. It's something that I have to accept and as long as my body won't hold up to much exercise, or my scheduling process won't make time for much exercise, then there's really no way to lose weight without dropping down to about 1,500 calories a day with no exceptions. That's reality that's hard to accept and hard to follow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15, 2009--220.5 (-1 in June)

Always a different angle. Maybe I need to look at this weight loss thing month-to-month. Just losing a little every month is all anyone needs to do and it sure breaks things into manageable segments. If I had lost 1 pound per month since starting the original weight loss blog, today's weight would be 185 pounds. Last year at the time I would have been under 200. Both of those would be far better than the reality of my life for the last 12-24 months.

I'd naturally prefer to lose more than 1 pound per month, but maybe where most of us fail is that we want a relatively quick fix for a problem that has been long in the making. We want a body remake and recalibration when our internal system has been geared by years of messages saying "I'm eating more than needed so that tells you to store more than needed".

So what would be a good number for weight to lose per month. Most people would be disappointed at "only" losing 5 pounds per month. That seems so small compared to the promises we hear advertised by products and people who claim to have the answers about losing weight. I'd love to be here at less than 200 pounds because of a 5 pound per month weight loss starting in January, 2009. That would be great, but instead I've sputtered around, trying this and that, making big plans and achieving none. Maybe small plans are what I need--and in reality, losing 5 pounds in a month AND KEEPING IT OFF is not a small plan.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 14, 2009--219.5 Pounds (4 pounds lost)

Most of Saturday was spent taking photographs of musical acts at Ridgeland. It was brutally hot for the performer and those in the uncovered viewing area. I don't know if sweating and being miserable equates to any sort of weight loss, but it was effective for at least one day. Maybe by tomorrow the weight will bounce back up as I work on replacing the fluids.

Friday, June 12, 2009

June 12, 2009--220 Pounds (3.5 pounds lost)

Not much to report. I'm eating better of late, now I need to eat just a little less and walk just a little more.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 11, 2009--219.5 Pounds (4 pounds lost)

No Wednesday night get together yesterday and I gave a pint of blood with my free time--this is one of the few Thursdays that has shown a weight loss. If I'll stay away from the bad days and chip away at the problem a half pound at a time, then success will come by the end of the summer.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 10, 2009--220 Pounds (3.5 pounds lost)

I think the 40 pounds in 4 months idea is shot. Maybe that was too unrealistic from the start, even though it still seems like it was achievable. Between work, my photography, 3 blogs, and the other things that come up in life, there isn't much time left for exercise. With the warmer weather, even the walking at work has been put on hold.

This doesn't mean that all hope is lost. The diet sodas are still cut out of my diet and that has to be good despite the headache I'm experiencing right now. The health story yesterday has me trying to make better food choices and that has to be good. The 3-4 day setback from last Friday's pizza supper has me better understanding that there is no room for a splurge day, especially now that my exercise is so limited.

To be honest, my dieting would be going pretty good now if I'd just eliminate the splurge days. Wednesday night can be limited to 300 calories of light beer. I could have limited myself last Friday and still had a good time. The office birthday party didn't have to turn into a dessert tasting derby. Without those things over the last 6 weeks, I'd be at 215 or lower. It making progress and then giving it all up that's killing this diet. I need to start by not giving up any progress this evening at Nick's.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June 9, 2009--220.5 Pounds (3 pounds lost)

I saw this article yesterday about "Simple Ways to Slim Down (Without Really Trying)". I'm always leery of short stories with big promises. In this case, a lot of what it says are things that would make a difference in my life since it is primarily talking about better food choices and more moderation. My focus has always been on how many calories I eat, thinking that 2,000 calories of processed foods is the same as 2,000 calories of more natural foods. It isn't.

There's a lot in the above article that needs to be incorporated in my life. Like everything else I've tried in my dieting, these changes do sound simple when you read them in a Yahoo article. That doesn't make them simple in reality, but I'm going to make an effort to get back to more fruits and vegetables in my diet. It sure can't hurt.

Monday, June 8, 2009

June 8, 2009--221.5 Pounds (2 pounds lost)

My hip and right leg hurt when I try to do a lot of walking. My head hurts from cutting out the diet sodas. My body seems determined to hang on to 220 pounds or above. Basically, everything sucks.

At the same time, I must admit that my efforts could be better. On my good days when I'm at about 2,000 calories, it would be possible to really cut back to 1,500. Even if it meant a certain amount of discomfort, I could walk more. Stretching and some light weight training wouldn't hurt. Better food choices would be a good idea. I'm even considering a break from the Vytorin I'm taking to see if that's part of the problem with the pain in my leg.

There's more that I can do, but my worry is that even if I lived like a monk and lost the weight, it would just come back once my life returned to something close to normal. Friday evening I joined Fred and Virginia and friends for a beer and pizza supper at a local spot. I ate about like the others, and then the next morning when I weighed it showed a 3 pound gain or somewhere in that range. It was a number that vanished from my mind before it could make a permanent memory. Sunday's number wasn't much better. It seems like what little success I achieve is unraveled by any misstep. It's frustrating.

I'll keep trying because the trying seems to be the only thing that's keeping me from ballooning to 240 pounds or higher. It seems like what I view as dieting needs to be my normal way of living. Therefore, what I should really do to lose weight is to cut back my food intake to the point of suffering. I'm not sure if suffering is something I want to do.

Friday, June 5, 2009

June 5, 2009--220.5 Pounds (3 pounds lost)

It was a very good birthday party. Actually, while I did eat too much junk at the party, my big problem is that rain, working on photos, and blogging have all combined to keep me from walking for about a week. Also, with the summer heat starting to build up, we've cut out the walking at work so even those 15 to 30 minutes a day are gone.

The good news--I'm going walking with Boty this morning and it looks like a pretty weekend with no excuse for not doing at least two long walks. Got to go or I'll be late meeting Boty.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 4, 2009--219 Pounds (4.5 pounds lost)

Wednesday was a great day sandwiched around too much snacking at Nick's. I'll do better today at the office birthday party this morning.

Now I need to end the post and go buy diet Cokes and regular Sprites for the party--that's become my traditional contribution each month. It's nice that we have these parties but the cost does add up when you spend about $10 each month for drinks and ice. I know it's the same for others who fix an item. There cost is probably greater when you factor in the ingredients and the time spent in preparation.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 3, 2009--219.5 Pounds (4 pounds lost)

Not much to say except that yesterday there were no snacks at work other than fruit and today there will be nothing to drink except water. Those two things represent a huge change in my eating habits and we'll see what that does to my weight loss, my energy, and my sleeping patterns. It is almost certain that this will be change for the better once I get over the withdrawal symptoms.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 2, 2009--219 Pounds (4.5 pounds lost)

(Note to Todd: I forgot to respond to your recent comment. Keep hanging in there on the effort even if you are switching to some other plan. The good news is that so many plans to lose weight actually will work. The bad news is that they only work when we stick to the plan, a difficult thing to do with all the temptations of our modern society so close at hand.)

June has started out well. My snack tub at work that has been stocked with crackers and cereal bars in the past, is now stocked with apples. I'm out of diet drinks at the house and there's just a one day supply left at work. The freezer at work now has several boxes of Smart Meals instead of Hot Pockets. I even have strawberries in the work refrigerator to snack on when I feel the need to get a bite.

Eating healthy isn't my preferred choice of foods. Fortunately, I do like a lot of healthy foods so it's not a miserable experience to eat healthy. There's just a lot of retraining that needs to go on in my head so that I'll bypass the impulse to buy the highly processed, calorie dense items. More fruits and vegetables is a plan that I can live with and it really takes little extra time over what I'm doing now.

I need another good day today before the double whammy of Wednesday night with the guys and then a birthday party at work Thursday. I can attend both of those events and participate responsibly without blowing the diet. That would be a nice change from how I behaved during the end of May.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1, 2009--221.5 Pounds (2 pounds lost)

Did you expect a change of the blog title to "Losing 30 Pounds in 3 Months" or even the more realistic "Losing 8 Pounds in 4 Months"? I thought about those things, even considered just giving up the blog altogether. It is a source of embarrassment at times, setting goals that are within my ability and then failing to achieve because of failing to follow through.

The good news is that 40 months after starting the blog, I haven't gained any weight. That's far better than the 40 months prior to starting the blog and better than just about any 40 month period since 1990. That's a positive of sorts, just not anywhere near what I've been hoping to achieve.

The big problem is focus. You've read this all before, but back in 2006 the goal to lose weight was the primary thing in my life. The Millsaps project was much smaller and I wasn't writing multiple blogs. Also, in 2006 this was my first venture into the world of blogging. I really thought that my weight loss success would attract others to the blog, motivate them to start a food journal blog, and therefore my success would help a lot of people succeed with their weight problem. Now I understand that while blogging gives everyone a voice, just about everyone still goes unheard when everyone talks at once. Having this dream of helping others succeed is the thing that fueled my success in the beginning. As that dream has faded away and this has become only about success for myself, results have suffered greatly.

So how do I get refocused? I'm thinking about a novel approach that will keep me thinking about the need to lose weight every waking hour of the day. I'm thinking about giving up diet sodas. Not because they are bad for me, or they might be causing fluid retention, or because they are costly. Those would all be good reasons, just not as good as knowing that by connecting the craving for a diet soda with dieting, I'm assured of thinking about dieting all day, every day. When I lose the 40 pounds, then I'll be free to go back to diet sodas. Hopefully I'll have weened myself from this addiction by then, but the point right now it to ween myself from the excessive weight that is slowly killing me.

It's a new plan and eventually one of this new plans will team up with an uptick in motivation to provide success. As is always the case, I feel good about this new approach--let's see how I still feel at the end of the week or the end of the month.