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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009--220 Pounds

A surprising drop and here are 3 theories/reasons for the lower weight today:

1) Instead of a real supper last night, I got by on 2 bags of popcorn. That's still 500 calories, not too much different from even a 1,000 calorie small combo from Wendy's, but it doesn't have the bulk so it doesn't produce much weight in the area of food being processed.

2) I've been reading the book "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Dr. Joseph Murphy. This book has been around for a long time. I've owned several copies over the last 35 years, and every once in a while I get the book out and try to apply the principle ideas to my life. I believe the ideas work but I'm not sold on exactly why. It could be that by trying to unlease the power of the subconscious, what you are really doing is keeping an idea at the top of the stack in your conscious mind. We've all seen how the success and failure of my dieting efforts ebb and flow with how much my mind is on dieting or on other things.

3) I was at 220 pounds a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes in dieting, somewhat like with the stock market, a specific number is hit and then things fall back to a more normal range. But having hit that number once, it suddenly becomes a number that's in the realm of possibilities and it is easier to hit that number a second time. This weigh-in today may be a reflection of some better dieting days a few weeks ago.

I believe there's merit to all three of the above. In a way, I hope that the power of my subconscious mind is the biggest factor because that would be the thing most promising for quick success. I do believe in the power of positive thinking, something that most of you probably believe as well. It's just that for most of us, our positive thinking in day to day living is about like a 20 watt bulb in a refrigerator. It's not that strong and we don't use it very often.

What if your positive thinking was like a 100 watt bulb that was on all the time? I've tried that at times in my life and it seems to make a huge difference in my productivity, my energy, my outlook on life. And then for some reason I get too busy doing day-to-day living to keep up my focus on positive thinking. It seems like I turn to the positive thinking concept when looking for a solution or a jump start, but then it gets put aside when things are going okay. Maybe I'll keep the motor running this time--not that I'm Born to Be Wild or anything, but I think there's more that I can squeeze out of life.

Let's see how it goes on the weight loss project and then we can try applying this positive thinking to other areas of my life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 29, 2009--222.5 Pounds

Probably won't get back to post anything today. It is end of month at work and that means a non-stop string of running and printing reports. In general, all is well and I'm feeling like my mental approach may be strengthen for a better attempt at losing weight than the on and off again days, weeks and months of the recent past.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

September 28, 2009--222 Pounds

Don't start expecting photos on this blog, but these actually have something to do with "Losing Weight in America", which someone might remember as the original title of this blog.

I was at Millsaps taking photos of two soccer games Sunday, then ended up at the Wendy's drive-thru for my first meal of the day at about 4:30. These two ladies were crossing the street near Wendy's, heading towards the "Battle of the Bands" at Memorial Stadium. It was a big competition featuring high school and college marching bands, plus they had some professional music acts performing at the "halftime" of the band competition.

The woman in the high heels could hardly walk--not exactly the ideal shoes for a long walk from the car to the football stadium, nor the best shoes for climbing steps. As for her "pants", I'm sure they will be a big hit as she climbs up or down those steps.

The connection with dieting is that society seems to have changed a lot in recent years regarding the concept of "being fat". People no longer seem to care about being overweight or at least in regards to how they look. Is this a bad thing or a good thing? People who are overweight shouldn't feel like they are inferior to those who are thin, but at the same time, we know that being overweight is an invitation for health problems. Would a little embarrassment about being overweight be a good thing if it gave extra motivation to a person to get healthier?

I kind of think we've gone too far in not wanting anyone to feel bad about anything (such as the removal of any stigma regarding unwed mothers, but that's another topic). Speaking only for myself as a person who falls into the obese category, I wouldn't mind if my health premiums at work were higher than a non-obese person (likewise, I wouldn't mind if my premiums were lower than those for a smoker, heavy drinker, etc). Sometimes a little extra motivation is just what a person needs to succeed in improving their life and I'm afraid that our enlightened society might be doing more harm than good by being afraid to label any behavior as negative. That's just my opinion.

Part 2: It's Monday morning and to no one's surprise, I start the week at 222 pounds. There's about a 2 week stretch here where Millsaps has no home sporting events. That should give me more time to think about dieting even though I need to stay extremely busy during this break. Catching up on Millsaps photos is something to be done, but also catching up on all the Frank things that have fallen behind during September. Exercise and more focus on the diet is one of those Frank things that has fallen behind.

Speaking of "behind", I think you can guess which of the two ladies pictured above was the one that motivated me to quickly pull out my camera and take a few shots. If you guessed the butt crack lady who could barely walk in her fancy high heels, then give yourself a gold star. To be fair, she isn't the one with a severe weight problem, just the one with the most severe fashion sense problem.

I could have used these photos to once again talk about the fashions women wear that make them look their worst. It's something I deal with at Millsaps all the time and the cheerleaders, dance team, and several of the women sports teams wear outfits that reveal every ounce of fat. The outfits might look good on a super model, a professional athlete, or an aerobics instructor on an infomercial, but few "normal" people look their best in skin tight attire. That goes for men and women. Most men realize this and avoid such a revealing style and I don't know why women think the skin tight or something like the "low jeans/muffin top" look is a good look for them. The trends in women's fashions sometimes makes it very difficult for me when trying to decide if I should keep or delete some of the Millsaps photos. I always delete photos that seem unflattering to the individuals, but maybe I'm deleting photos that these young ladies think look great.

September 27, 2009--223 Pounds

I guess 222 pounds isn't the worst that could happen.

Let me start this by saying Mom is okay and she is back home from the hospital. The reason I've missed the last couple of days is because she was at the hospital and I spent most of Friday up there including spending the night. Posting to the blog and worrying about diet weren't my primary thoughts during that time.

The short version of this story is that I got a call at 4 Friday morning from the tenant who rents part of Mother's house. Mother had felt numbness on her right side around midnight, she woke up the tenant who is a 2nd year med student, and the tenant took Mother to the ER. Mother has all of our family phone numbers in her purse and the tenant tried calling my cell phone, which was downstairs by the computer, and that was the only attempt to call anyone until they tried calling my home phone at 4. Very strange, but I think Mother "didn't want to bother anyone".

By 4 a.m., most of the numbness had gone away, but Mother was in the system and naturally they wanted to run tests. They had already done a CAT scan, blood work, and maybe other things and all tests were normal. Still, then wanted to check her into the hospital for an MRI and more monitoring. I can't say that this was unwise, but it's just that once you get in the system, it's hard to get out and go home unless they do $20,000-30,000 worth of tests--and I fully expect that to be the total for the 36 hours she spent there. Naturally insurance will cover most of this and naturally I could write a lot here about the experience and how it might apply to the current health care national debate, but I don't have all day for that.

The bottom line is that all test turned out fine. She has some blockage in the main blood vessels in her neck, not surprising since she is 85, and her cholesterol is very high which it has always been. The doctor who saw her wants to put her on medication for the cholesterol and I think my siblings and I will suggest that she not bother. She's 85 with no history of heart problems and my gut feeling is that side effects offer more potential problems than the cholesterol. I think her primary doctor who has seen her for many years also feels no need for lowering her cholesterol.

As for the numbness, the doctor suggested that she had something called a TIA (google TIA stroke for more information). I'm not so sure. Outside of the numbness, she had none of the other signs for a TIA. No confusion, no blurry vision, no weakness, no slurred speech, no nothing besides numbness. Could she have just fallen asleep in bed while propped up and watching TV and gotten in a position where she had the sensation of both her arm and leg "falling asleep". That's a possibility, but better safe than sorry I guess. Besides, if I were in the position of the young lady living next door I think the only possible option would be to rush to the hospital.

Anyway, my eating and sleeping and everything else was a mess for the last 2 days. I went from the hospital to a Millsaps football game. Then I naturally spent time last night working on photos. Not surprisingly, I'll be leaving home soon to photograph two soccer games at Millsaps. The good news is that after that there will be about a 2 week break before the next home event for any of the fall sports. I'll have time to get caught up and maybe even time to focus on dieting and walking again.

Got to go get a few things done before going to take photos. Oh wait--Brant left a comment about weighing every day. It's a habit I've had from way back in the days when the weight was always in the 164-166 range--and that was a long time ago. Since I've been in this habit for so long, I'm not surprised by any change from day to day, not getting too depressed if the scales show a gain of 2 pounds and likewise not getting too excited about a 2 pound loss in 24 hours. In general, I think this suggestion is all about getting people to focus on doing the right thing and trusting that the weight loss will follow. That's the way it does work in the long run even though it may not look that way if you are charting the gains and losses every day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

September 24, 2009--222 Pounds

Not much good to report from yesterday except this morning's weight--it was definitely a day where I would have expected a weight gain. What saved me was skipping supper instead of piling on more food to the beer and nuts consumed at Nick's.

Instead of supper, I went to bed. One of those rare nights when I actually did get 8 hours of sleep. That was a combination of being in bed by 9 and also taking 2 of those PM pain relievers that are suppose to help you sleep. Now I need some AM pain relievers to wake me up. I'm more tired at 7:15 than even on the days after very little sleep. I hope the drugs will wear off soon--I can barely keep my eyes open to type this entry. Despite the 8+ hours of sleep, this is starting off like one of those days where I just hope to make it till noon so I can take off the afternoon hours and get a long nap.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 23, 2009--222 Pounds

Last night it was taking photos of volleyball, then getting home and finishing up the editing and posting of some volleyball photos taken way back on September 4. The cheerleader mom will have to wait at least another day to see photos of her child. The photos of the dancers also need to be done, as well as the JV football photos taken on Monday and last night's volleyball.

That's the way my life works right now. Always something waiting in the wings, things that might get done in a few days or it might be a few weeks. It's a compromise that allows me to mostly stay in the tired to very tired zone, trying to pace myself in order to avoid the exhausted level that was more the norm a couple of years ago.

This constant state of being tired is at least something I can manage. My gut feeling is that most of the people I know are in a constant state of being tired because of work, family, outside commitments, and all the things in today's society that nibble into the time that should be used for rest. And I also suspect that many of those people use food as an energy boost, a break, a treat--as a way to get from day-to-day in search of that time when life won't be quite so busy. It doesn't seem like that not so busy stretch will ever come.

I know the need to lose weight is great for me. I know it would do wonders for me in several ways to get my weight down below 180 or 190 or 200. It just that so many days like today start off with me being tired at 7 a.m. Not the kind of tired that's temporary, one that will lift by mid-morning like a fog being burned off by the sun. It's the kind of tired that is settled in for a long stay, one that I'll fight with extra food, a nap when I get home, maybe one night of going to be a 7 instead of staying up till 10:30 working on photos. Just getting from day-to-day until that time comes when life won't be quite so busy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 22, 2009--222 Pounds

Hello old friend.

Not that I should be surprised and it's not like I fought tooth and nail to prevent it. The weekend left me somewhat exhausted so yesterday was about getting through the day. Breakfast, break and lunch wasn't too bad, totalling 1,100 calories. There was the issue of maybe 400-500 calories of candy corn from the Agency Department next to the computer room.

I took off after lunch in order to go home and take a nap before the JV football game. I was dragging at the game and started considering the pros and cons of supper at Wendy's by the 4th quarter. I ended up getting a small combo, thinking that it might give me a boost to stay up and work on photos. I don't know if it provided a boost, or if the popcorn around 9 helped at all. Either way, I got some volleyball photos edited and was able to stay up till 10:30.

Food for short term energy, or as motivation, or as a reward--it's not something that helps a diet and yet it sometimes is the only way I can get through a day mentally or physically. Plus, I halfway suspect that I'd be 222 pounds this morning or at some point later in the week even if I had gone home and had soup. I also suspect that just giving up would get me to 230 pounds in a hurry.

------------------- Blogging Below the Line ----------------------

Someone sent me an email last night. I had requested feedback on the photo album with pictures of the football game with Belhaven. In the description field I wrote: "HEY VIEWERS: Are there too many photos--should the fan photos be included--do you have suggestions? Let me know at frankezelle@yahoo.com -- I may not always take your suggestion but I'll always listen to and consider input from others."

I had posted all of the football photos plus the fan photos, ending up with 410 photos. That's a lot for people to look through and in the past I've only posted the best photos from the game and the fan photos were in a different section. Posting too much seems better than cutting out photos, but I wanted to know what the viewers thought. It's not surprising that after several days there has only been one response and it was a complaint:

"Cheerleaders?? 410 photos from the Belhaven game and not a single cheerleader. Fans and various crew, but no cheerleaders."

Not surprisingly, this was from the parent of a cheerleader. I wrote her back that there are a handful of cheerleader photos that still need to be posted but it was always hard for me to get good photos of them because they turn their back to the field. Also, they are in this narrow little area between the team and in front of the stands. It's really, really hard to get photos of the cheerleaders unless I totally disregard taking photos of the game for a while.

She did respond to my email and was understanding, just as I understand her reason for writing. The cheerleaders are a part of the game and this mom had just looked through 400+ photos without a single cheerleader sighting. She should have written--that's not the problem. The problem is that her legitimate complaint should have been offset by at least a handful of thanks or with some positive comments. Unfortunately, I've received exactly the number of those that I expected to receive, namely zero.

One last thing and it actually ties into the blogging. In blogging, I have mixed feelings about the hit counters that one can put on a blog. It's a plus because it tells you that at least someone is reading your work. On the other hand, it's a negative after a while when it turns out that only a few people are reading your work. That negative was really the key factor in my discontinuing the Civil Rights and Photos from Fondren blogs, and maybe a small factor on the Slice blog. Sometimes I think it's better not to know the hit count, and that's why I've refrained from adding a hit counter here.

With the Millsaps photos, I tried an experiment a couple of years ago. The athletes all get DVD's at the end of their sports season and I've always included a note with the DVD, a combination of congratulations, positive feedback, explanation about the photos files, etc. I also included my email address with the explanation to please email me if they had a problem with reading the DVD. I quit adding that line to the note after about a year and a half. It was depressing to know that every athlete had my email address and only one or two bothered to use it to write a note of thanks. Maybe more would have written if I had added a line saying here's my email address so you can do the right thing and send a note of thanks. Maybe not.

Well, I got a little wound up. The bottom line is that I've discovered with society that most of us operate within the norm and it appears that normal these days is to not bother with saying thank you. My awareness of this is probably the only reason I take the time to go out of my way and say thanks, something I do more than most but not enough. How about you? Are you that 1 in a 100 or 1 in 300 who takes the time to do that little extra to say thank you? The odds say that you aren't. Think about it the next time you appreciate something that someone does, and then make their day by following through with a note, a phone call, or an email. It will be well worth the effort.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September 21, 2009--221.5 Pounds


That's right. I've been driven to cursing about this inability to escape the setpoint established near the 222 pound mark. Not that I should be cursing since there was a failure to do the things that seem to be needed to break away from this black hole.

The calorie totals over the weekend were okay and they needed to be great. I walked once over the weekend and it needed to be three long walks as the minimum. You would think that getting down below 220 pounds and then holding the calories to 2,500 per day would at least maintain the sub-220. That's not the way it works. It seems like more work is needed to maintain a weight loss than to create the initial drop in weight.

So what's my excuse for not really giving it my all this weekend. What's my excuse for everything--the photos of course. All day Saturday and Sunday it was all about the photos. That's a slight exaggeration since there were breaks for other things--I went to the grocery store, checked on Fred's warehouse twice, took some hummingbird photos, ironed clothes, washed dishes, worked on the blog, sent some emails, and there was one decent walk of about 40 minutes. These things were what I did while taking a break from the photos. These things are the bare necessities I do in between editing photos in an attempt to keep my life from collapsing.

"Keep my life from collapsing" might be a little strong. It depends on your definition of a life. At times I choose to not have much of a life in order to create something that seems to be more and more what my life is all about. At least I've gotten past those days of staying up all night to get photos done ASAP, or the weekends when my sleep on Friday, Saturday and Sunday didn't combine to reach double digits. I'm no longer physically or mentally capable of that type of big push, but spreading things out over a longer stretch of time means that I always have something that needs to be done.

At 11:45 last night, when finally going upstairs to bed, my belief was that my long weekend had caught me up with the editing of the Millsaps photos. Before I fell asleep it occurred to me that the photos of the cheerleaders and dance team needed editing. This morning I was copying files to a jump drive and found a folder with an entire volleyball match that needed editing. In the back of my mind it seemed like there were photographs from three matches with these lost photos being the third match. It gets to the point where I can't remember for sure what I've photographed. To be honest, I've gotten to the point where I can never tell you much about my activities over the past few days. It all runs together and it all is so repetitive--it's an assembly line.

You thought the silver lining about the end of the "Slice" blog was not having to read my moaning about the photography. You were wrong. At least it's Monday and things will be back close to normal. That's wrong as well. I'm taking off this afternoon with plans of taking a nap and then taking photos at the JV Football game. I was up in the air about taking the football photos. Then I realized that JV Football is the second largest sport at Millsaps based on participants and they only play 4 games. I'll take more than 4 games of each soccer team and the volleyball team this fall and the combined rosters of those three sports are about the same as the junior varsity football. It makes sense that I try to take photos at all 4 of the junior varsity games considering the number of athletes involved--and so I will.

As if anything I do makes sense any more.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 20, 2009--221.5 Pounds

Let me start with a tangent. I've been on this earth about 21,000 days with plans of staying another 10,000 or so. You can calculate the days, hours and minutes more exactly if you'd like, but I come up with about 30,240,000 minutes. Out of those millions of minutes, it is safe to say that never have two consecutive minutes passed where I was totally deprived of oxygen.

Don't you find that amazing? Deprive a human of oxygen for 2-3 minutes and they die. How do we ever make it to old age? We count of always having air to breathe and a heart that keeps pumping--now somewhere over 2 billion beats and still ticking for me. Then we get in metal containers and drive at high speeds all over the place, sharing space with thousands of others and counting on them to consistently follow the same rules of safety as everyone else. We get in airplanes. We get in boats or even the water itself even though breathing isn't possible if we go under the water without special equipment. We are surrounded by germs. We eat food without knowing who prepared it or how. We take drugs because a man or woman in a white coat prescribed it. The list goes on but it all comes down to this:

It's incredible that the human body can be both so fragile and yet so durable, with most of us fully expecting to live for decades with good health.

The above was part of my train of thought brought on by returning to that 222 setpoint this morning. I ate about 2,500 calories yesterday, the usual food groups of popcorn, hot pockets, rice and pineapple, and did get out for a 40 minute walk in the evening as well as some walking while checking up on Fred's warehouse. There's no reason for a 2 pound weight gain other than my body wanting to be 2 pounds heavier, wanting to get back to the most comfortable of comfort zones.

It's just part of the process. This setpoint phenomenon is one of those many marvelous things that allows humans to live for decades on this earth. It stabilizes the body, protects us when food is scarce. In modern day society, it is more about protecting us when food is abundant with most of us getting far more benefits from the body refusing to move up every time we overeat. Continue to overeat and eventually the setpoint gets moved up, but I suspect we would have a lot of 400-500 pound people if the human body didn't work so hard to avoid weight gains.

And now my body is working hard to avoid a weight loss. It will change if I'm persistent enough. Once I can get it to move a little, I think it will be somewhat acceptable to moving a lot. My gut feeling is that walking every day will be the key to making this happen. The body has acclimated to days of 2,000 calories or less. It going to take something different in addition to the low calories to prompt a change, and that difference will be the walking.

I can do this and I will do this.

--------------Blogging below the line-----------------------

In this difficult economic time, even a high paid photographer has to pay attention to his purchases. One good tip to keep from spending too much is to make a list before you go to the grocery store. Itemize the things you truly need and then don't deviate and fall prey to the temptations at the store.

I used that method Saturday when shopping at the grocery store. It was just a trip to pick up a few items: ice, deodorant, toothpaste, soft drinks, popcorn, and a couple of hot pockets. There were temptations but I stuck to my list. That's why I thought it was an error when the total exceeded the $50 mark. I hardly bought anything so it was obviously an error--then I did some quick calculating in my head:

ice = about $2
deodorant = about $7 for two because I couldn't decide on the fragrance
toothpaste = about $6 because it was cheaper per unit to buy the 2-pack
hot pockets = only $4 for 2 boxes
drinks = $10 for 5 x 6-packs of 16-oz drinks, a bargain at this price
popcorn = $20 for 5 boxes at $4 each. They were on sale and you know how I like popcorn.

Throw in 7% sales tax and there you have it. Not really much of anything adds up to a $50 credit card charge. I don't know how you folks who shop for families can afford to go to the grocery store. I guess that also goes for those of you who shop for higher quality food that what gets thrown in my shopping cart.

September 19, 2009--219.5 Pounds

You would not believe the minefield I had to navigate in order to stay below 220. I'm lucky not only to have a "21_" weight this morning, but there was the very real possibility of my body reestablishing the 222 beachhead.

I'm talking about the office birthday party. There was a chocolate cake there that was straight from the pages of some magazine like "Rich Food for Rich People" (is that a magazine--it should be even though we have less rich people lately). Likewise with a coconut cake. Then the second string included another cake that might have been equally as rich, some brownies, cookies, chips and dip, a melted cheese deal, a fantastic tray of slices of a subway sandwich, and maybe a few other things. I had two of the small sandwiches, a few crackers, and at the end of the day, I indulged with 3 Chips-Ahoy type cookies. Not too bad since I ate light at all the meals.

And here's the deal. Now that it's Saturday morning, I feel no different and certainly no worse for having passed on those extra 2,000 calories. I can't say that I feel better physically, but it feels much better mentally to see that 219.5 instead of 222. But that's just day one of a critical 3-day stretch and it was both the most difficult and the easiest.

The most difficult in that great food was available for free and everyone around me was partaking and loving it. The easiest because it was a very clear challenge that had the potential to do major damage. Today and tomorrow are tricky. There's no cake, but there's popcorn. And there's Wendy's with a combo meal just 5 minutes away. The McDade's grocery store with frozen pizzas is even closer than Wendy's. It would be easy to think, "I was so good yesterday, I've earned a treat". Wrong, wrong, wrong. That's like running a quarter mile in a marathon and thinking you've earned a rest break. Worse, it would be like walking back towards the start line and losing ground.

I'll be good today. I absolutely will find a way to get out and walk today, even if it's just 30 minutes. And of course I'll be here much of the other hours, editing photos, ironing clothes and watching the webcast of the Millsaps football game, etc. It doesn't sound like the most exciting Saturday in the world, but it's one that could be very productive in many ways.

------------------Blogging Below the Line-----------------------------

Two tales from Millsaps last night:

1) Instead of editing or taking photos last night, I went to the Millsaps Women's soccer game against Belhaven College. It's one of those rare times of getting to actually watch a sporting event. It would have been more fun watching the game with someone, but I didn't see any coaches or parents that I knew and when it comes to sitting with students, I'm not going to impose on them. It's great when one or more comes over and visits with me, but following the rules my father always maintained, I'm not going to interfere with kids sitting and having a good time with their friends. Having a 57 year old join a group of college kids is like a priest wearing a collar walking into a fun filled bar--it's a buzz killer.

Regarding the game, after 90 minutes of play and 20 minutes of overtime, the teams went home with a 0-0 tie. That's why soccer will never really catch on with the masses in America. Think about it--every possession for both teams ended with a turnover of a missed shot (or the period ending). What would you think of an NFL game if every possession ended with a fumble, interception, failure to convert a 4th down, missed field goal, or the clock ran out? You would think these are the two most inept teams you've every seen. Same if it was two NBA teams, or two baseball teams who finally quit because no one could score. In big time soccer, 0-0 isn't a great rarity. It's not a rarity for a team to go into a game hoping for a 0-0 tie. It's just not right.

Keep in mind that I played soccer for over 20 years. Coached for over 20 years as well if you included the YMCA kids leagues, something that often was closer to babysitting and daycare in the early years--not that I'm complaining about those early years--they were some of the best years of coaching. Soccer is a great game to play and coach, and some soccer games are great to watch. But hey, there's a reason soccer fans sing, chant, dance, play musical instruments and even fight--they are trying to entertain themselves instead of counting on the action from the game. Come on soccer fans--deep down you know that's true.

2) To get from the soccer field to the parking lot at Millsaps, you have to go up a flight of stairs. These stairs take you to the area with a long wall of built in trophy cases. My computer that displays the Millsaps sports photos is in one of the trophy cases, one that's in view when you near the top of the stairs.

I'm climbing the stairs after the game and I see that a group of 7 or 8 are crowded around and looking at the sports photos. Belhaven fans in awe of this great feature at Millsaps? That was my first thought because there's no reason for a crowd of Millsaps students to gather around a computer that they can see 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Besides, these are all the photos from last year so they are old to Millsaps fans.

However, I quickly recognized the group as Millsaps baseball players and it only took me a second to guess what they were doing, a guess that was confirmed about 10 seconds later when there was a spontaneous reaction from the group. They were having a competition, waiting to see which one would "win" by having a photo of themselves displayed on the computer first. I don't know if they had been there 30 seconds or 5 minutes, but they at least got a good laugh and some good ribbing out of their endeavor.

Going back to item 1, I realize that 57 is not the same as college age. It's probably a little on the old side for a parent of a college student. Still, there's a part of me that never matured much past the college level and that's a good thing. It's the part of me that still enjoys searching for new music, still finds interest in the opinions and conversations with these "kids" at Millsaps, still likes going to hear a local band play enthusiastic if not great rock music. I knew what those baseball players were up to right away because it's exactly what I would have done. Hanging around with friends, watching a computer screen and making snerky comments about the photos that were displayed, and then having a big laugh when someone finally "won".

Now here comes one of those sentences with a BUT in it. I am fortunate to have great friends and I love spending time with all of them, BUT I wish there was a group of friends that had more of this college side still in them. People I could go to a sporting event with and we could make comments like that sci-fi TV show where the odd little robots comment on the movie being shown (you know the one I mean, something like Science Fiction Theatre 3000--I haven't had cable in a very long time). People who would enjoy an evening of playing ping-pong and listening to music. People who are very smart and don't mind being very silly. Those ways of thinking and living fade away with marriage, children, responsibilities--all things that haven't cropped up in my life to sweep away the college mentality.

I can't go back and be a college student even if I went back and took college courses. There's a world of difference between being young with your entire life ahead of you and being old and wanting to recapture youth. It is fun though to observe the Millsaps students being college kids--things really haven't changed much at all since my days on campus and the wild times at the Pike house and everywhere else.

Friday, September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009--219.5 Pounds

Perfect timing on getting below that 220 mark for one of the few times in all of 2009. Today we have the party for the September birthdays at the office and now I can eat like there's no tomorrow.

Whoa, whoa, whoa--that's the old Frank and the old theory of dieting. I have to go back to the 2006 theory about not eating at the birthday parties. Think about it. I can keep my diet on track in exchange for a few hours of fighting off temptation. OR, I could stuff myself with junk food and any pleasure found through food would be totally gone within minutes of consumption, leaving me with no lasting pleasure and a diet setback. It really shouldn't be hard at all to skip the junk when one looks at the pros and cons of the situation.

Now here's the key deal looking forward. I've got to really work hard this weekend to break this desire by my body to stay in the 220's. Once my body moves off that point and gets into a change mode, there will be an opportunity to really see some big changes--I just have to keep from faltering and really make a big push to break this setpoint that has become so comfortable. It needs to be a weekend of 1,500 calorie days which include a lot of walking. Do that, and the potential for something dramatic is very strong.

-----------------Blogging Below the Line------------------

A little music stuff today:

---Jim Carroll and Mary Travers, those are people who died, died. (I guess you only get that if you know Jim Carroll's biggest musical hit was "People Who Died" and that died was repeated in the lyrics.)

Two of my favorite singers died in the last few days and these two reflect the diversity of my music taste. First was the poet/cult figure/punk rocker Jim Carroll. Second was the folk legend Mary Travers, the Mary in "Peter, Paul and Mary". Both are really icons of the 1960's and/or 1970's, but I still like their music and they both made a mark in America's music history.

My guess is that 50 years from now it will be the music of Mary Travers that is remembered the best--not much of a long shot since it is remembered best by far at this point in history. "Peter, Paul and Mary" will always have an important spot in the telling of the history of music. They came at a time when folk music became big, they came at a time when music was bursting on the scene as a form of protest against government policies, and they had longevity and a strong commitment to their cause. Oh yeah, they were also really good.

Jim Carroll will probably be a footnote of history at best, known mostly for his teenage coming of age book about life as a young teenage heroin addict/basketball star who was supporting his habit partially via sexual encounters with older men. You know, a feel good story for the ages (you might remember the 1995 movie based on the book, "The Basketball Diaries" starting Leonardo DiCaprio). It's just the kind of grimy, sleazy tale that insures it won't be totally forgotten, especially since it fits into that New York scene with Andy Warhol and all that was going on in the 1960's era.

Personally, I like Jim Carroll's music more than his poetry and writings. It was very punk, starting out as basically Jim shouting his poetry with an angry band backing him up at a high volume. For some reason this worked for me way back then and it still does now to some degree.

I guess the bottom line is that Mary Travers and Jim Carroll are not only people who died but they are also people who will be remembered. Deep down, isn't that something we all want, at least to be remembered in a positive way by friends and family? At least to have made some mark on this world to show that we wrote something on our blank slate between the time of our birth and the time of our death? My photos will be part of my mark, even if most people forget the name of the person who took the photos.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 17, 2009--221 Pounds

Yes I Can!

That's the answer to the question, "Can I get below 200 pounds for my 58th birthday which is 3 months from today?". Maybe even lose 30 pounds by my next birthday, but let's not get carried away. Based on the past couple of years, getting to 215 again would be a big milestone, getting out of the 210's would be huge, going from obesity to overweight (somewhere around 207) would be exceptional; and seeing a weight that starts with "1" would be totally outstanding. Those are things that need to be achieved before thinking about 195, 190, 185 and either 180 or 175.

What's it going to take? A lot more than what I've been giving. The calories have to go down to around 1,600 every day without all of the "bad" days from week to week. With the cooler weather, I've got to exercise at a moderate level. That's really all that it will take--that's all it took when I did drop 30 pounds in 3 months. I've just got to get the ball rolling again and then stick with it so the momentum isn't lost.

-----------------Blogging Below the Line-----------------------

One little thing today and it is simply an observation about me. It seems like I mentioned on an earlier post that at last Saturday's football game I saw two Jackson photographers that I know. One was getting paid to take photos for Belhaven College, the other getting paid to take photos for the MetroMix website. Hold that thought for a minute.

On the Millsaps Athletic Department Website, they do a great job of writing up stories about all of the sporting events. These stories are always accompanied by a photo and I get a tiny photo credit which is nice. Sometimes I see a photo that isn't familiar, and when I look at the credit it turns out to be a photo by another photographer.

There's a part of me that I don't like, maybe the human nature part of me, where I get a small negative sensation in both of these cases--seeing photographers actually doing less work than I do and they are getting paid, and then seeing someone else's photos where I expect to see my own. Keep in mind that when it comes to the pay, I'm the one who insists on doing the work for free. Also keep in mind that more photographers taking photos means more photos for the student-athletes. I should feel joy that other good photos are being taken and made available.

Still, I find myself with these initial impulses that are hard to describe, but they are on the negative side, not the positive. That's my flaw, not a situation of anyone else doing something wrong. Like all other humans, I'm going to always be a work in progress and this is one area that still needs some work.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 16, 2009--220 Pounds

This weigh-in surprised me even more than the 224 of yesterday. I held the line at about 1,600 calories yesterday, but still had a few too many diet sodas after getting home from work, didn't go out walking--and if you pardon me for being too graphic, didn't have any extraordinary bodily functions that would make me think today would be 4 pounds less than yesterday.

But hey, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Instead, I need to really do well during the day today and then be really smart when the guys meet at Nick's the evening for a few drinks. I can hold the total down to 1,600 or 1,700 calories with some planning and willpower. Notice that the total wasn't 2,000 calories. I'm thinking that the 2,000 calories is fine for maintaining, just not good enough for losing weight. I suspect the daily total should be 1,600 or less for any real attempt at losing weight.

------------Blogging Below the Line-------------------------

(This was written Tuesday evening--there's more below that was added Wednesday morning that is totally different and equally disturbing): I consider myself a moderate independent in politics, which means that I generally vote for the Republican candidate. It's not a matter of voting for a party but of voting for policies, and at the moment there are more policies of the Democrats that I really can't support.

That being said, there's no joy at all in seeing the Democrats imploding because they are setting this country back to the 1970's or 1980's when it comes to race relations. Wasn't there talk when Obama was elected President about how we could now have an honest discussion about race in this country? Instead, when the opposing party disagrees with the policies of the party in charge, just as happened with Bush, Clinton, Bush, Ford, Nixon, Reagan, etc, the reason for this disagreement is suddenly because of the color of the President, not his policies.

In case you missed it, here's a story where Jimmy Carter throws a log on the fire. Carter's viewpoint is summed up in the assessment that "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president." There's nothing that builds a higher, thicker, stronger wall between people than false accusations. While I personally have hopes that my best days are still ahead of me, I have fears that the best days of this country are behind us.

(Added Wednesday morning): When taking a shower and shaving each morning, I usually have a CD playing or the radio on in the bathroom. If it's the radio, I like to pick up the "Mike and Mike" sports show but the reception is a little spotty. That was the case this morning so I switched over to the "John Boy and Billy Show". As you can guess by the title, it's a "good old boys" show. I believe it's out of North Carolina and has quite a large syndication. The show is a blend of classic rock, banter between the on air personalities, skits, odd news, sometimes serious commentary, etc. Somewhat silly at times, but today was something totally different.

Today there was a segment that went under some heading like "ask Ike". Maybe it was suppose to be Ike Turner, I don't know, but it was a fairly long segment where "Ike" as a black person was talking about President Obama. Was it funny--the on air personalities laughed enough times to make me believe they thought it was funny. I found it incredibly racist, enough so that I won't be listening to "John Boy and Billy" in the future.

I've heard this blatant racist broadcasting before, but in the past it was on black radio programs and the offending person was speaking as a white person spewing out more hate than humor. It was offensive on those programs, and what I heard today was offensive. It also is an indication of just how far down the road we are towards the deterioration of race relations in America. I've listened to "John Boy and Billy" in the past and while they have never worried about being politically correct, they have never been over the line anywhere near what I heard this morning. If they feel like this is acceptable humor, and especially if they feel like this is something their audience will find humorous, then this country is in worse shape than I thought.

Maybe it will turn out that most of their audience was offended. Or maybe it will turn out that most of their audience thought it was funny and they are glad that whites are now free to be racist on radio programs like some of the black radio personalities have been for years. My gut feeling tells me that this bring of race to the forefront of talk in America is going to be bad. Make that very bad and something that isn't going to be healed for a very long time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

September 15, 2009--224 Pounds

2 p.m. update--made it this far through the day at about 900 calories with 100 calories coming up at break time. It could be a really good day with a little will power after work. I'll spend most of that time at the computer working on football photos--that doesn't mean that break times have to add to the calorie total. Maybe I could actually walk around the block when a break is needed--that would be a good example of walking instead of talking.


Thought I would have dropped a little this morning, having been good on my eating choices yesterday and then sweating at the Millsaps JV football game in the afternoon. It's a tricky thing trying to guess the next day's weight, but over time a person gets pretty good at sifting through all the factors and this seemed like a morning that would give a good reading.

At the football game Monday I talked to two of the Millsaps trainers, both guys. Last year I had to be careful about which photos I kept of them because both had a physique that didn't look great due to excessive weight--I can relate to that. One of these trainers lost about 30 pounds over the summer and he looks great and must feel much better doing his job in the hot Mississippi weather. The other trainer has lost 80 pounds since the end of May on a special liquid diet that is supervised by a local hospital. The result is stunning and he still is on the diet with hopes of losing 40 more pounds--I don't see where he has 40 more pounds to lose.

The bottom line is that losing weight can be done and certainly I'm capable of doing it. BUT IT TAKE SOME EFFORT. That's been my problem. I want this weight loss to happen while being kept on the back burner. The photos come first. Instead of focusing on losing weight, I'm blogging about everything else in the world. My hip hurts when I walk but I don't want to stretch in hopes of easing the pain. Let's face it, most of my weight loss effort has been talking the talk and very little has been walking the walk. That's literally and figuratively. I've got to start making a better effort each day. A much better effort if I want to get 30-40 pounds off and make my life much easier.


Blogging below the line--I'm still having blogging withdrawals. This is what would have been on the Slice of Frank's Life blog if I were still doing that blog:

Here's a link to my October 9, 2008 post. Amongst other things, it included these paragraphs:

---"I know that some people think that Obama as a candidate and Obama as a president would do wonders for improving race relations in America. I've been saying for months that it will make race relations in America worse. It would take a lot of writing to explain my feelings on this, but let me at least attempt to scratch the surface."

---"I am not voting for Barack Obama and that doesn't make me a racist. In the eyes of some, any one who doesn't vote for Obama is racist. If America doesn't elect Obama then it is because it is a racist country--never mind the fact that Americans overwhelmingly agree that McCain is far more experienced than his rival. If Obama gets elected president as I fully expect to happen, then any criticism of his actions will be racist. Any failures of his policies will be because whites worked against him because they are racist. If you think I'm crazy then just wait and see and go and look at the comments by the guys on CNN. And believe me, I hope that a year or two from now everyone can tell me that I was 100% wrong on this subject--this is one time when I'm hoping that I'm full of BS."

Unfortunately I wasn't full of BS as now the race card is being pulled out more frequently for anyone who disagrees with the Obama programs. This "Democrats See Race Factor for Barack Obama Foes" on Politico.com is a good example. And now that this theme is being picked up more and more by commentators and news programs, people are starting to look at everything with race and racism at the forefront--the end of the Serena Williams match and the Kanye West award show escapades are two good examples.

Admittedly, all of the above was easy to predict and anyone who didn't see it coming just had their eyes closed, especially if you live in someplace like Jackson where Kenneth Stokes throws the race card around like he's a dealer at one of the Mississippi casinos. What is coming next is easy to see as well:

The race card works when you play it on an individual or small groups--a politician, a swim club, a business, etc. It's hard for the small group to defend themselves and no one is anxious to come to the rescue. Now that the Democrats are playing the card on millions at a time, its going to blow up in their face. Polls show that the majority of Americans oppose the current health care proposal, so now there's subtle and not so subtle charges that the majority of Americans are secretly racists. Or not so secretive since they willingly come out to rallies in large numbers to protest against the health plan. This will become a case of crying wolf one too many times because so many people are being falsely charge, and many in America are going to turn a blind eye to future charges of racism.

It really feels like the Democrats are going down a very dangerous road, pulling out the wild card that has always worked, and this time it's going to be a losing hand for America and especially for the black community in America. Once again I hope I'm full of BS, but unfortunately, I'm fairly certain that I'm not.

September 14, 2009--224 Pounds

A deserved weigh-in this morning. A poor last 36 hours. Started with picking up Mother from her day trip Saturday evening and asking if she wanted to get supper at Wendy's. Of course she did and I ended up getting a combo. When dining in with Mother, you know she is going to take her time eating so it becomes an excuse for me to get a bigger meal, know that I have to have something to occupy my time.

Then Sunday was soccer photos and NFL football. Started editing photos in the morning, then listened to 3 time slots of NFL games before finishing right before Jay Cutler threw his 4 TD--is it any wonder that Denver actually had looked at bringing in another QB last year. That was the event that led to his temper tantrum and eventually his trade to Chicago. Good luck Bears with your newest questionable quarterback.

With all the photo editing, there would have been no time to write a blog post. That in itself is a good example of why the decision had to be made to pull the plus on the blog. Instead of starting on a post at 10:30, I was waiting for the effect of 2 Excedrin PM's to kick in--I don't like taking those but I did sleep through the night so the pills might become a habit. Still, there is a withdrawal effect so let me touch on what I might have written to relieve the pressure of having something to say and no real means to say it:

-----Serena Williams. She tanked that last point that got her defaulted from the match. Like a soccer player with a yellow card, she knew that such an outburst would bring the next phase of the penalty system and that would be the loss of a point. She knew she was a point away from being bounced by a player who had just recently come out of retirement. Somewhere in her mind, probably before the match started, she knew that a loss to Kim Clijster would make people wonder if Serena's victories over the last couple of years was mostly because Kim and Justine Hennin (spelling) had retired while at their prime.

-----More Serena. I can hear the talk now from uninformed people about how "they" didn't want a black player to win the tournament. How many other players have broken rackets in the past and yelled at lines officials without being defaulted. Two things on that: (A) I'm sure others have deservedly lost points for their outburst, it's just that they make sure something like that doesn't happen on match point in the semifinals of a major event. (B) The broken racket which gave her the warning was a given. She hit the racket hard on the ground and it didn't break, so she smashed it hard again with obvious intention of breaking the racket. The tirade towards the officials was the worst I've seen in tennis. Even McEnroe never got to the point where he threatened to come over and do bodily harm to an officials. Serene was so far over the line that it makes me think she was intentionally forcing the official to dock her the final point--either that or she has terrible, terrible anger issues.

-----One last thing to get this blogging fever out of my system today. Saw two photographers I know at the Belhaven vs. Millsaps football game. One is a guy who does good work, probably better than mine considering his experience and equipment, though the difference isn't very great. He was there because Belhaven has hired him to photograph their sports teams. That probably means team photo, individual photos, etc, but you know it always causes a brainwave spike when I hear that someone is getting paid for things that I do for free. I don't want money, I just hope people appreciate the value of my gift.

On the other hand, literally, I saw a photographer named Kip and his work was discussed on the old blog. He woke up 7 weeks ago and had totally lost use of his left arm. Doctors don't know why and 7 weeks of rest and some anti-biotics have have only brought him back to 30% usage, still not even enough to handle working with a big lens attached to his camera. Far from worrying about others getting paid for what I give away, I should be thankful that I'm able to get out and take photos. It's a gift that I'm in a position to give these gifts.

OKAY--I feel better. And that didn't take long. The problem is that adding a photo would have taken time and I would have expanded all of the above into something that would take time, and when writing on a subject in the news it would require links, cut-and-paste, etc. All things that were fine when I wasn't looking at 12 hours of editing photos on a Sunday just to keep my head above water.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September 12, 2009--222.5 Pounds

Discontinuing posts to the "Slice of Frank's Life" blog might have the silver lining of allowing me to focus much more on the task of losing weight. It will help if my thoughts throughout the day and my writings are centered around ways of losing this strait jacket that I've been wearing for years.

I have some thoughts for this morning that will have to wait. I'm up early because Mother is going on a day tour to Holly Springs for the Hummingbird Festival--almost too late in the year for Hummingbirds except that this might be the weekend where they focus mostly on tanking up for their big flight across the Gulf of Mexico. Anyway, I need to pick her up in 10 minutes to take her to the departure point, so this will be continued in an hour or so.....

.....back from dropping off Mother and making a trip to the grocery store. While driving around I had some new thoughts about dieting, ones that I will use today instead of what was originally planned.

There's been talk over the last few years trying to paint obesity as a "disease". I've rejected this idea for two reasons. First, go back 100 years and obesity was hardly a problem in America--did all of us get infected with something since then that caused half of us to balloon up? And second, this calling it a disease seemed like another example of allowing people to shirk responsibility for their action, a very popular thing to do in the modern world.

Is obesity a disease? Maybe yes and maybe no, but it seems like the best way to deal with it is to treat it like a disease. That's something I've never considered. Suppose you have some sort of heart disease. The doctor's going to tell you to change your diet, get some exercise, make some changes in your lifestyle, etc. The doctor will also tell you that failure to make these changes will quite possibly lead to a shorter life, a lower quality of life, higher medical bills in the future, etc. Couldn't we plug in "obesity" for "heart disease" and it would be exactly the same?

So maybe I need to look at obesity as a disease. Carrying around 40-50 extra pounds certainly makes my life more difficult. Studies show that it makes me more likely to have other health problems. Studies show that it's likely that obesity will cut years from my life. For all practical purposes, I have an illness that has slowed me down for years without me or anyone else finding the cure. It seems like now would be a good time to work on finding a cure.

I'll write more on this in the future I'm sure. For now, I need to get back in bed and rest--after all, I'm sick. Also, I have a long day today and a little more sleep would be very nice before editing some photos, going to the Belhaven at Millsaps football game, checking the warehouse for Fred who is out of town, picking up Mother from her trip, and then returning home to edit photos. A nap to prepare for this is definitely needed.

OH--one last thing before I go. Alan, I hate to tell you this but from the symptoms you described (saying you need to lose 30+ pounds), it appears that you are also sick. Isn't it about time that we both started working on treatment? I started today with bananas and yogurt for breakfast, far healthier than a sausage biscuit for breakfast and amazingly tasty.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009--222 Pounds

What a familiar weight. I guess there's a need to still keep this blog going as a tool to lose weight--that need certainly hasn't passed from my life. Plus, there's not much research involved in this one, just reporting a weight, maybe a food list, and trying to motivate myself to do better.

As for giving up the main blog, there are no regrets. I enjoyed doing the Civil Rights blog and the Photos from Fondren blog, but there came a time when it was obvious to me that pushing on just wasn't practical. That's what happen with the Slice of Frank's Life blog. Taking the time to write a good post was making life difficult, and doing a quick post just to be blogging wasn't a satisfactory solution, so bringing it all to a close was the logical thing to do.

I'll confess that on the way to work today I stopped at Burger King and got not one, but TWO sausage biscuits for breakfast. It was a special meal to mark the end of the blog, not a celebration but more of a recognition of a job well done. That main blog represents a lot of work, a lot of thought, and something that I'm proud of creating. It seems like a nice breakfast just this once isn't going to hurt the weight loss efforts too much, but now I have one less excuse for staying in the obese category. This is a great opportunity to get change moving in the right direction.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009--220.5 Pounds

It would be nice if progress is being made but this drop might just be a result of taking photos at a soccer game yesterday from 5-7. It was hot so this might just be some fluid loss. My weight definitely was lower than if I had spent from 5-7 at Nick's bar drinking beer.

My walking and exercise has come to a standstill. Maybe some of that is lack of motivation, most of it is simply lack of time. And some of it is pain. Standing for 2-3 hours at a volleyball, soccer or football event takes a toll on my body. When several of these events take place over a weekend, my body needs rest for a few days, not several miles of walking. I guess it's a Catch-22. If I would walk and stretch, lose some weight, then maybe taking photos at sporting events wouldn't be a physically difficult.

Last night I spent a lot of time thinking instead of sleeping. I've about concluded that something has to give, and since that something isn't going to be the photos at Millsaps, the only other significant thing left is the blogging. Tomorrow will probably be the last day of "A Slice of Frank's Life", but you know how I change my mind on decisions like that. There are a lot of factors that go into a decision this big. After all, I've been blogging consistently for about 3.5 years. It gives me an outlet to express myself, something I don't have much of in my real life because the photography keeps me so isolated. In reality, I probably should quit the photography altogether, or at least get rid of the big camera and and all the lenses. I'm afraid to make that big a change in my life while recognizing that it probably is by far the best thing I could do to improve my life.

What this means regarding the future of this blog is uncertain. It will probably bite the dust as well. I don't know. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9/9/9 = 222

At least my weight is symmetrical like the date.

If my boss said that the company wanted to reward healthier living by the employees and they would give me a $10,000 raise for losing 10 pounds in a month, I'm at least 99.5% sure that 10 pounds would be lost in a month. If they added the stipulation that failure to lose 10 pounds would result in a $10,000 pay cut, them I'm 100% sure that the weight would be lost.

Losing weight is not impossible. With the right motivation, losing weight is actually very easy. Maybe not very easy, but certainly doable just as a person addicted to smoking or alcohol can stop if the motivation is strong enough. In all three of these cases--weight, smoking, and alcohol--you would think that a better life style and a healthier life would be motivation enough to cause a person to change. In reality, the prospect of better health doesn't seem to be much motivation.

The inspiration will come to me eventually. In the meantime, I'll keep thinking that I'm working hard towards losing weight. The results seem to dispute that notion, but I'll keep trying. At least I've stopped things from getting worse and that's somewhat of a positive.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8, 2009--221 Pounds

Back over here for the diet stuff. There are some days where to other blog is too long to begin with and adding in the diet information isn't really practical. That was true all last week with the Civil Rights stuff.

I'm trying not to eat much, back to the old idea of only eating when you are hungry and then only eating half of what you think you need. It's a system that works great if you can get past the psychological aspect of feeling like it's just not enough food.

Even though my weight isn't climbing and my pants still fit, I look in the mirror each morning and feel like I'm getting fatter with the passing months. With my lack of exercise, I may be losing muscle and gaining fat. I really do think that going to having hunger discomforts several times a day is the only way I'll lose weight and then it will probably be the only way I keep it off.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7, 2009--221 Pounds

Labor Day and I need to be laboring over photos. Despite what the number in the title says, the last few days have been poor. You know the reasons. When my life gets under the influence of photography every bit of reasonable thinking seems to go out of my dieting. I won't bore you with the details.

I've just about decided that the only way to get weight off is starvation which fortunately doesn't mean starvation like the crisis seen in too many parts of the world. I need to stop eating until my stomach hunger forces me to eat. Maybe see if I can hold off the eating with a diet soda. It's almost 10 this morning and so far no calories have been consumed. Maybe I can swig on the 2-liter Diet Coke for the rest of the morning. When hunger comes, maybe 300 calories of something will hold it at bay for a while.

Sometimes it seems like the only way for me to stop making poor decisions is to take away most of the decision making.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009--221 Pounds

Food yesterday: bagel(330)--Sugar Babies(50)--2 hot pockets(520)--yogurt(100)--pineapple(320)--Whopper Jr.(410)--4 light beers(400)--popcorn(250) = 2,380 calories

Doesn't seem like much of a diet. What I'm doing is really about cutting down on calories and a list like this doesn't show the calories that were cut out: the banana bread brought by a co-worker--the bowl of candy at the switchboard (I got one item because a bagel wasn't enough to get me from 7 to 12)--the fries available at the Burger King drive-thru--the bowl of mixed nuts at the bar--the temptation to go to Wendy's or stop and get a frozen pizza on the way home from the bar-- fixing popcorn when waking up at 3 and spending about 90 minutes editing photos.

I would prefer to keep the calories down to 2,000 or a little less. At the same time, I don't want to cut out things like the Wednesday night gathering with the guys and I also don't want this cut back to feel like it is all about being deprived. Maybe there should have been one less beer, a yogurt instead of the pineapples, and I could have only eaten half of the popcorn. That would have put me below 2,000 without feeling deprived. If it looks like that's what it will take to lose weight, then that's what I'll do.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 2, 2009--221 Pounds

Food Tuesday: bagel(330)--hot pockets(520)--yogurt(100)--yogurt(100)--rice(600)--lt beer(100)--popcorn(250) = 2,000 calories

Still hanging in there, not killing myself by trying to hold the calories down to 1,400 or so per day. That could be done without too much trouble--take out one hot pocket and the light beer and the popcorn and that's 610 calories saved. It also would mean certain periods of real hunger during the day, and probably being starved the next morning. That starting off the day really craving food is usually a sign that the day is going to be really bad.

I'll stick to the 2,000 calorie range for now. It could be used for healthier choices, but there are no calories going to candy. There aren't any going to crackers or chips. It could be worse.

September 1, 2009--220.5 Pounds

Food yesterday: bagel(330)--cinnamon roll(200)--cinnamon roll(200)--2 hot pockets(520)--pineapple(320)--2 Whopper Jr. (700)--popcorn(250) = 2,520 calories

(I woke up at 2 Monday morning and never went back to bed. Therefore was exhausted from the very beginning of the day and ate a little extra to "get some energy". The good news is that I totally stayed away from the candy bowls at work and we did start back walking during breaks with a 15 minute walk in the morning.)

Remember the previous blog title, "Losing 40 pounds in 4 Months"? Well, here we are with exactly 4 months left in 2009. Can I get down to 180 pounds to start the new year? I think so, but it's not entirely under my control. What I can do is keep the food journal for the next 4 months, making sure that most days stay around 2,000 calories and that more walking is done as the weather cools off. What I can do is more exercise and stretching, partially with hopes that jogging 3-4 miles a few times a week can take the place of some walking. I have 4 months left to make this year a great success. Today needs to get me going in the right direction.