Wednesday, April 29, 2015

To Fat 2

It's amazing. The final weigh in for my competition was on a Saturday. It took until exactly the following Monday for me to start the backslide.

I deserve it, I thought. I have worked hard, I can eat some crappy food today. Easy. I'll be fine after that.

I hadn't even gone to the closing ceremony for the competition yet. That is how pathetic my attempt at maintaining my weight was. Just over 50 hours.

That was the end of June.

We had a trip planned to Hawaii over Pearl Harbor Day. By the time December came around, so many of my bad habits returned that I was already at 260 pounds.

By the time January rolled around, I was at 275. It was very embarrassing to stand in front of the new group of people starting the weight loss competition to try to "motivate" them. I apparently did a great job - I still looked OK, especially with a compression shirt on. And when you compared that to the before pictures that I put on my first blog post - it was actually not too bad.

But I knew.

And here we are. It is now the end of April, and I am sitting here at about 288 pounds again. This is after going up and down a couple of times. I'm back up.

I feel at a bit of a loss. I sit here, right now, feeling rather full. Every day like today I sit and think to myself that tomorrow - tomorrow morning is going to be the moment that I do better. It is going to work this time.

And when tomorrow morning comes around, I will be in the same place as I was this morning...

Just one more day. I'll start tomorrow.

Because addictions are like that.

I am in trouble.

I need help.

Anyone know where to start?


Thursday, April 23, 2015

To Fit 2

I've heard someone say before that quitting smoking is easy - he does it three or four times a week. Well, dieting is the same for me. I have done it over and over again. And as I have written before, it WORKS.

Case in point...

In November of 2013, I saw a notice for a weight-loss competition at my local rec center. I had crept back up - going up and down for a while, but mostly up - and I was getting desperate for something to give me a kick in the rear end. Back into all of my bad habits, I was only on the way up.

I decided to go for it. The entrance fee was $250. I had to commit to 6 months of working out with a team and a trainer, with monthly weigh-ins. I also had to agree to let my picture and measurements get put anywhere they want to put it.

The initial weigh-in was 302. I actually thought it was going to be higher, but it was plenty high. I STILL think that the body composition measurements - the body fat percentage - was full of crap - it said that I was 22% fat at 302 pounds. A quick calculation meant that I had 235 pounds of lean mass. I suppose that it was possible, but the fact that it never really budged over the 6 months, even after losing a ton of weight, meant that I think that for some reason their machine just couldn't read my correct body fat percentage.

Anyway, the experience was great. I decided from the beginning that I was going to go all in. Anything that the trainer said, I would do. She was great. Everything that she said made complete sense. None of the junk science about "detoxing," no liquid diets, no supplements other than standard vitamins. Lots of exercise to strengthen the core and help with balance, lots of cardio, and a significant change in food.

The first thing was to CUT OUT CARBS. OK - not completely, but all refined carbohydrates. This meant no bread, no potatoes, no white rice, absolutely no sugar. My carbs came from quinoa and fruits/vegetables. 

I have to say that I was a little skeptical of this - I don't like low carb diets - but this was just for the first month. After that I was to start adding some things back in.

Well, it was VERY bad for the first few weeks. It is HARD to cut out sugar and as many carbs as I did. But I did it. And you know, after the initial hard part was done, it got easier. Much easier. A lot of my cravings went away. I was able to start saying no to things that I had just eaten in the past.

But after that, it got significantly better. As I ate better, I dropped some weight. Quickly. And as I listened to the trainer and started doing what she asked me to do with my workouts, I got leaner and stronger.

It was to the point that even at scout camp - of all places - I was not eating the desserts, eating tons of salad (though there was plenty of that to go, eating the best that I could.

At the end of 6 months, I had dropped over 84 pounds, ending up at 217.8. And I felt AMAZING. I ended up winning the competition.

As I may have mentioned before...when I do what I know I should do, this just works.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

To Fat 1

Weight Watchers is a great program. I don't think that they have enough emphasis on exercise, but in reality, weight loss is probably 80-85% (or even more) about the food that you eat. So it's a great program.

If you do it right, basically you eat a lot of whole foods, a lot of fresh foods, low fat, high know, all of the stuff that you know you should be eating.

If you go off of the program, it doesn't work anymore.

It took a little while, but slowly the bad habits came back. Eating crap whenever it came up, drinking sugared soda, not really caring about what I was eating. And then I did start caring, but in the wrong way.

Weight has a way of starting to creep back on. And remember what I wrote about having an un-diagnosed eating disorder? Well, a few years of that, and I gained back about 90% of what I lost.


Over the ensuing years, I went up and down some. I ended up doing fairly well for a while, and got down to 250 or so before a trip to Hawaii. I SHOULD have been down to 230, but for the month before the trip I relaxed again.

If there's one thing that I know, it is that I can lose weight. When I follow a program, it WORKS. When I exercise 5-6 days a week, I love it. But it is HARD. It really is.

I'm not complaining. The fact that I CAN lose weight is a comfort. I know people that no matter how hard they try it just doesn't work. But I am also not going to minimize what it is that I get to deal with. This. Is. Hard.

So in the end, I end up at around 300 pounds again, losing and gaining the same 10 pounds or so. But always a slight upward trend.

Friday, April 3, 2015

To Fit 1

There comes a time when you get sick of being fat. If I remember correctly, that time was when I saw the picture that I put in my last post - the one where I was pushing the stroller. It was hard to see - it still is.

I also had a CPAP machine to treat my Sleep Apnea. I had a VERY severe case, and without treatment, I was having trouble staying awake driving to my college classes in the morning. So that sucked.

I knew that I had to do something. It was sometime around spring of 2004, I think, that I first walked into a Weight Watchers building. That's how I know exactly how much I weighed - that was my initial weigh in. 336.4 pounds.

It was kind of liberating. The plan was fairly simple. The stupid slider for points calculation was weird, but it was not rocket science. And once I got to know how many points everything was, I started cruising along.

I had talked with my doctor about what my goal weight should be, because the height/weight proportion thing will NEVER work for me. He told me that 210 would be a very healthy weight.

I don't know why, but for some reason my eating disorder took a back seat to correct eating. I really was able to follow the plan. For about 10 months. I started playing basketball with some friends in the neighborhood three mornings a week. At first it was tough, but once I got down below about 290, something switched, and it got much easier, and a lot of fun.

Then came the day that I jumped up and landed on another guy's foot. Turns out that's a bad thing. I had what's called an evulsion fracture on my ankle - one of the tendons (I think?) in my ankle pulled a chunk of bone off. It's better than the tendon stretching or snapping, but it was painful.

As a part of the physical therapy after it got better, they told me that I should take up running, that it would be good for my ankle.

Who would have known that I would enjoy it. Somehow, after thinking for all of my life that I hated running, that it would turn out to be my favorite form of exercise.

Well, I continued running and playing basketball. In the end, I bottomed out at about 203 pounds. I was thin and healthy, I was in shape, I was happy. This was around February of 2005. It was awesome.

Then I learned some things about what happens when you lose a lot of weight...

Thursday, April 2, 2015


I have an un-diagnosed eating disorder and food addiction (especially sugar). I am 100% sure of it. I am not making an excuse. I am trying to think things through so that I am able to analyze enough to make some real, lasting changes.

Why do I think I have an eating disorder? I eat way too much crap. Pretty much anything that I can get my hands on and stuff into the cake-hole.

Sugar, carbs, fat, liquid sugar...I am not sure that I care. I do know that no matter how many times I tell myself at the end of the day when I'm feeling fat, bloated and gross, that tomorrow I am going to do better...EVERY TIME I make another justification why it's not going to happen today. Just one more day. It won't make a difference.

Bull crap.

Why do I think it's an eating disorder? First of all is the sheer volume of crap that I put down on a daily basis when I'm not in the right place.

So where did I end up?

I started off getting married probably at about 235. I'm a tall, muscled guy, but I was still a bit overweight. Not a ton - it didn't show too much in the wedding pics, but it was there if you know what to look for.

Weird. The train of thought just took me to think about our engagement photos vs. our wedding photos. Our engagement photo, I was small. I looked great! Thinking about the wedding photo, like I said, it is there, if you know what to look for.

Being me, I know what to look for.

Side note off...

Well, that was in the spring of 1997. In the spring of 2003, I believe, I topped out at 336.4 pounds. Yes, that's 100 pounds in 6 years. Frankly, that is NOT tough to do. Basically if you eat 100 extra calories per day for 6 years...BAM. 100 pounds.

We were not ready to be on our own. I never learned how to eat, what to eat, how to be healthy. All I learned is that now that we are on our own, and cooking can be tiring, and Little Caesars is cheap...well, in the end, I took the easy route, time and time again.

And then add to that the un-diagnosed eating disorder. I started getting chips, soda, and candy to eat all day long. If you read my last post, you know that I'm a geek. Well, I sit at a desk all day for work. These two combinations are NOT good.

So that is how I got to be where I am.

Coming Up Next..."To Fit."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Initialization Started...

Where to start?

I really don't know where to start.

The title of the post tells you a lot about me. I'm an unapologetic geek, through and through. I always will be. Software Engineer by trade, husband and father by choice.

Let's talk about some other choices, while we're at it.

I have a very seriously screwed up relationship with food. From my early life, I didn't learn to eat healthy food. I put the blame squarely on my own shoulders. As a kid, when I had the chance, I would take the box of Captain Crunch to my room and just eat the entire box.

Or after doing my paper route, I would sometimes stop by the grocery store on the way home to pick up apple fritters and cold milk.

Still, as a kid, you have a pretty good metabolism. I never really good too overweight. I struggled with it some, but when I hit high school and my growth spurt, everything was OK.

After high school, I found that a roommate in college and I could each get a medium pizza for $2.50 each. Also, I found out that Ramen Noodles were VERY cheap. And I could eat a lot of them.

Getting married, I wasn't very overweight. I am now. Very overweight. What happened?

Well, that is to come.

Right now, all I know is that I have to recommit. All over again. Re-recommit? Well, if that's how we're going to do it, it would have to be a (re-)^n commit. And if you get that, you are also a geek. I'm just sayin'.

For now, I need to go back to basics. There is something that I need to do, most of all - and that is simply to drive straight to work. My biggest thing is stopping to get food on the way to work. And I use the word "food" loosely.

Second most important thing, and this goes hand in hand with the first, is to drive to the gym instead. I haven't been going to the gym.

Why am I going to do this? I miss some things. I miss feeling strong. I miss the endorphins when I do a long workout. I miss fitting in clothes again.

As of this morning, I weigh 288 pounds.

That sucks.

I have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. This might as well be it.

Upcoming blog posts...

To Fit 1
To Fat 1
To Fit 2
To Fat 2
To Fit?
Disneyland! Or, How to Lose Weight Over a Week of Birthdays and Vacation

Not necessarily in that order.