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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29, 2009--223 Pounds

Being accountable over the last 2 days has been like patching up all the holes in a lifeboat. A diet with lots of small "exceptions" might keep one from gaining a lot of weight but it really works much better when all of these holes in the diet are patched up.

Still have no idea when I'll make real progress. Going to Dallas this weekend and should be able to keep things under control fairly well. After that there will be 2-3 weeks solid of nothing but work on finishing photos and getting DVDs burned for over 200 athletes and coaches. Maybe by November 20 the fall sports will be complete--hopefully a little later if it is because the football team makes it to the NCAA Playoffs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27, 2009--225.5 Pounds

Really haven't had much to write about or any concern about my weight for the last couple of weeks. Sometimes a person gets in a mode of short term pleasures being more important than any long term goals.

Can't say that my motivation is much stronger this morning but an extremely simple thought hit me like a ton of bricks when I was dressing for work:

What happen to the food journal concept?

You can read all of the diet books, internet stories, and magazine articles until your eyes cross from exhaustion and there's really only one tip a person needs to lose weight. Faithfully keep a food journal where you write down what you are going to eat before you eat it. That's it. One simple rule. Follow it for a month and you will see success in your dieting, or at the very least you will see exactly what is keeping you from success.

I've got my index card with me today. Broke the rule right from the start by eating my 260 calorie ham and cheese hot pocket and then listing it on the card. In this case, writing down the food item first wouldn't have made a difference, but it does make a difference on the between meal snacks or when ordering at Wendy's, etc. Writing down the item first gives you a chance to consider your choices and make good ones. Writing down food items after the fact can often been just a confession of guilt.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21, 2009--224.5 Pounds

Not much to write. I seem to be settled in at the 224-225 area right now, spending so much time sitting and editing at the computer. Out of 14 work days in October, I've taken off 10 afternoon in an effort to stay close to caught up. Haven't caught up and it might take 3 more afternoons and evenings this week to be caught up before a busy Homecoming weekend.

Yeah, I could take some time for walking and stretching and all that stuff. Yeah, I could eat less even when I'm bored out of my mind from opening, cropping, enhancing, saving, then repeat the process hundreds of times. Right now at this moment, I wonder why I don't do these things, but when I'm mentally and physically beaten down by the time involved and the often tedious nature of the work, it is really difficult to find the strength to take on another big project.

Maybe after the fall sports are over. Maybe not. When there is a break in the photos, it's always nice to have down time instead of moving on to another big project. It's also a time when I need to do a hundred other things that have piled up. This losing weight thing isn't hopeless. It's just more difficult that it appears to be. I'm having trouble finding the solution.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15, 2009--225.5 Pounds

Went to Nick's last night and ate supper afterwards. I did that knowing/thinking that there would be big changes starting today. Basically a plan of just not eating much. What's that? Hasn't that been the plan for over 3 years. Well, yes and no. I'm talking about saying no to just about all food other than some small things at meals and small snacks when I'm really hungry.

For example, I had my hot pocket this morning as usual. I'll pass on the 4 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts a co-worker just left in the lounge for the rest of us. I'll eat a yogurt only if there is a hunger during the morning, not simply because the clock says 10:00. At lunch it will be something small and I'll hold off on any thoughts about topping off the lunch so I don't get hungry in the afternoon.

Candy around the building--all is totally off limits. Sometimes I think it's okay to limit myself to just a little. That never works. Mostly I have to take the approach that there will be no eating unless the stomach insists on something. I have plenty of stored energy to take care of eating less for a long time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14, 2009--224 Pounds

One more pound down while doing the exact same lifestyle that won't drop a pound in a week once my weight gets down to 222 pounds.

Here's a thought that hit me yesterday. Some of you first knew me when I was a young adult, let's say between the ages of 21 and 36. To that group of friends, you first knew me as an athletic 165 pound guy. Sometimes I forget that there are those who got that initial impression of me. Having been the short, fat kid who was always one of the worst or the worst player on youth sports teams, that is the norm that sticks in my mind.

However, I was a 165 pound adult for well over a decade, eating all I wanted and burning off the excess with running, soccer, tennis, racquetball, basketball, and other things. The YMCA offered a body fat test at that time and my body fat was in the 9% range. You hear about all these people who claim a body fat range of 2-3% and that seems to be a lie. The body does need some level of stored fat to properly function and my understanding is that 5% is about the minimum. It seems like a permanent state of half that minimum would be seriously unhealthy.

Anyway, it seems that my body weight broke down at that time to about 150 pounds of muscle, bones, and whatever and 15 pounds of fat. Let's be generous and say that the 150 pounds of muscle, bones, etc, is still the baseline even though my muscle mass is less. Even with that kind overstatement, my weight from fat would now be about 75 pounds. That's a third of my body weight. That's 500% of the amount of fat I had when starting out my adult life. That's incredible.

It makes me wonder why I'm bothering to eat at all when there is this extra 200,000 calories of energy packed all over my body.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13, 2009--225 Pounds

Lost a pound thanks to the natural process of the body wanting to return to its favorite weight. Been thinking about doing the food journal again and just don't want to do it. Keep wanting to think I can succeed by simply making good decisions throughout the day, counting on being responsible without accountability. That's probably not going to happen. Deep down, I think it comes down to just not wanting to put another limitation on my life. Goodness knows, over the last few years I have stripped away my life of pre-2005 and turned things into something totally different. There are lots of times when I want my old life back, if not forever, then at least for a few months or a year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009--226 Pounds

As heavy as I've been in a while and not surprised. Prior to the weekend it was 223.5 and then the weekend was the routine of eating to take a break, eating as some form of reward, eating whatever was available (namely fast food). To go along with the eating was hours of sitting.

Sticking with the dieting is not impossible, it's just hard. And if I was good at making the hard decisions on dieting, then I would never had gotten in a position where I needed to diet in the first place.

This week I'll try to really watch the food intake and I think we will see 223 pounds by Friday. I've already resisted some banana muffins brought by a co-worker and the big bowl of candy corn put out by the department next to the computer room. That was all done before 7:15. Food, food, food. No matter where you are or what you are doing, it seems like there is constant temptation. It's easy to see why obesity is such a problem in America with food woven so much into the daily fabric of life.

I just have to work harder and be stronger mentally. Easier said than done these days.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October 8, 2009--222.5 Pounds

Yesterday was 222 pounds. I've been busy with the new blog and really uninvolved in anything regarding diet. There's not much to post over here. Maybe what I should do is reset my diet goal to the task of maintaining a weight of 222 pounds. I'm seem to be fairly good at reaching that goal.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October 6, 2009--221.5 Pounds

Successfully navigated past the huge batch of huge homemade chocolate chip cookie brought in by a co-worker yesterday. Suppose I had not been thinking about trying to lose weight, not posting my weight here on close to a daily basis? Let's see--2 cookies in the morning even though I had eaten breakfast--a cookie at break time for sure--2 more while watching "All My Children" at lunch--at least 2 more here and there in the afternoon. That's probably 7 cookies from grazing all day and at a minimum of 300 calories each, an extra 2,000+ calories for the day.

An extreme example of what makes obesity such a problem in America? Not that extreme. It's not much different that sitting down to watch television and somehow a bag of Oreo cookies gets mindlessly consumed. Or a big bag of chips washed down by several soft drinks or beers. Or maybe the pizza guy dropped off supper and you got the large instead of the medium because you had a coupon.

We all need a tote board that follows us around during the day, something like what they use on the telethons, and we need it to tally up the calories consumed as we go through the day. It could also subtract the calories burned. That would be an eye-opener. Get out and walk 2 miles in about 30 minutes and see the calories go down. Come back in and wolf down one of those chocolate chip cookies in 30 seconds and replace all the calories burned during the walk. It would make a person think or maybe cry. Probably both.

So all in all, getting back to how my diet is going, yesterday was a good day. It could have been better with some walking and if I hadn't gotten a few small pieces of candy here and there. Today needs to be at least as good. I'll probably take off in the afternoon to do some work around the house and on the photos, but that doesn't have to mean mindless eating even if there are long hours in front of the PC. Instead of mindless eating, it would be nice to get out for some brisk walking. That would be a win-win thing to do.

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5, 2009--222.5 Pounds

Got off to a late start this morning, writing an email about the new blog rather than posting here. For those who are interested, I've started what is somewhat of a spinoff from the "Slice of Frank's Life" blog and it is at this link:


Naturally it will have photos, including a good hummingbird photo already there and at least one more to follow. The writing will be a little less about my life--most people reading the blog have heard it all before when it comes to the Millsaps photos, how far behind I am in my life, etc. In theory there will be more short posts with more variety. In reality, short posts are not my specialty.

I'll keep this one short. Yesterday I wrote that it was hard to eat less and diet when one is as busy as I've been lately. In reflecting on that, it's hard to find a compelling argument to back up that statement. An argument about not having time to exercise might be made, but eating less is certainly something I can do. That's something I'll be working on this week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 4, 2009--223 Pounds

Thought I'd add some bird photos for Alan. These were taken September 29, and I thought they were fairly good until even better ones were taken in the last couple of days. Why didn't I post any of those? Because if the best were posted, then these become insignificant and I thought these were good enough that they deserved their day in the sun.

Todd, great start and I hope it continues. You and I have both been stymied at the 220ish level. As you can see by the title of the post, it still has me stymied.

Ever since I set the reasonable goal last Thursday of losing 5 pounds in October, I have been parked in front of a computer. There was a time in my life when depression was a possibility. Now it seems like my emotional range doesn't extend that low which is a very good thing. Not that I should be complaining at all since I truthfully have so much control over my life, but at times my life seems so out of control that it really weighs on me.

In reality, the idea that my life is depressing is a ridiculous notion. There are billions in the world who would love to have my lifestyle. They probably wouldn't think the hours were long at all, and they would certainly think that working indoors at a computer is a lot easier than the physical labor that many have to exert in order to survive. As for standard of living, my middle class income in America would make me a rich man to be envied in many places.

It's just that my life is a mess. Sometimes a good mess, sometimes a bad mess. My viewpoint varies from day to day. Remember that decision I made in the summer of 2008 to end the Millsaps photo project. If I had followed through on that it might have very well been one of the worst decisions of my life. On the other hand, starting back up with the project after breaking free might have very well been one of the worst decisions of my life. It all depends on what I want from my life.

Mostly I want to feel helpful, to feel like my life is making a difference. For most of you reading this, there are things you get from being married and having children that a single person just doesn't get in life. Some of those things are tremendous blessings and some are extra layers of worry and stress. But it is something. You love and support your spouse and children, hopefully they love and support you. You take great pride and joy in the achievements of these family members, console them when things don't work out. It's a wide range of things that aren't in my day-to-day living.

Like the church work and coaching I did in an earlier life, the photos add something to my life that is vital. They add to the value of my life while also adding to the difficulties of my life--from what I've seen, that's something most parents could say about raising children. Not to say that my photos are my children, that sounds a little creepy, but you see the parallel.

This is a long, drawn out way of saying that there are moments like last Thursday when my motivation perks up about seriously working to get this weight off. Then reality sets in and I see just how much work is piled up in front of me. Not just the Millsaps photos, but clothes that have been waiting two weeks to be ironed, mail that hasn't been sorted in a month, the eternal need to clean up around the duplex, working on the non-Millsaps photos, taking a breather for myself. In theory, since a diet can be as simple as simply not eating as much, there should be no problem with dieting no matter how busy my life. In reality, it doesn't seem to work that way.

Well now. I've got that writing out of my system, something that I do miss since ending the "Slice of Frank's Life" blog. If you look in my profile you'll see that I actually set up a new blog yesterday, the framework of a blog but no posts. The current title would be "fle-pics (and fle-thoughts)". My initials are "fle" and I've used that "fle-pics" on the Smugmug account that should be full of photos of family, friends, nature shots, etc, but updating that site is one of those many things that can always wait till tomorrow.

Like me thinking last Thursday that I positively was going to make room for dieting and exercise in my schedule, yesterday I was fairly certain that I'd make room for blogging in a more abbreviated form that what went into the "Slice" blog. A day later, the reality has set in that there's no time for blogging. There's no time for me to write a post this long here. There's just no time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1, 2009--220 Pounds

A new beginning always brings new hope--and in this case a new blog title with a new approach. Today is the 1st of the month, my weight ends with a "0", and I was thinking about how my brother Fred has recently lost a lot of weight by focusing on 5 pounds at a time. The way he tells it is that whenever he got to or below a weight that ended with "0" or "5", he figured that with a little work and willpower, he could get down to the next lower weight that ends with "0" or "5".

That seems achievable. I can talk all I want about getting to 175 as my goal, but that number is so far away. It's like being outside the gravitational pull of a planet or star. Getting from 220 pounds to 215, that has proven to big a big task when looking at the loss as simply a stepping stone to bigger things. Maybe it will be easier if 215 is my final destination--I can do that--it's only 5 pounds away so you know I can do that.

Achieve that goal in a reasonable time period like one month, and then I can look at setting another goal like getting my weight down to 210 pounds. I could do that, going from 215 to 210, but let's not dream about future diets. Right now there's only one diet, the goal of getting my weight down to 215 pounds. Achieve that and then we can dream for more.