Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Days without diverging from the plan: 0.

Didn't want to post.

But no excuses. I did not make good choices this afternoon. Back to old habits, yet again.

Time for more introspection. I need to analyze what happened, how it happened, and what I can do to hopefully keep it from happening again.

I will be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Tuesday

I am a Scoutmaster of a local troop. With Scout Camp coming up, I needed to get a physical. So I went to my doctor's this morning.

Turns out I'm super healthy, I just happen to be *gasp!* overweight.

So there's that.

It has been easy to stay within my calorie range so far today. I had to fast until the appointment so that they could get the correct blood work results. So not much food yet today.

I'll see how today goes. I won't like - I'm struggling a bit with cravings. That happens when I don't eat enough. I'll have to see if I can find some food that will fit within my calories.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Lunch went well.

Weird. I have a non-zero pageview count. That means that at least one person is reading this. That's kind of strange. But welcome. :)

The lunch today with my brother was fun. We went to a sandwich shop. Had a ham sandwich, buffalo dressing, no cheese, tons of veggies. 5 inch. Totally worth it. And no, it wasn't THAT sandwich shop. Yes, it was 5 inches. Somehow - they do 5 inch increments instead of 6.

After that, we went to a large open grassy field and ran my new truck around for a while. It was fantastic. A little chilly, as a storm is blowing in.

But so far so good today. I'm feeling pretty happy about things, all things considered.

And two blog updates in one day!

I'll most likely be offline until Monday. See you on the flip side...


More struggles, and happily, success.

The ups and downs are normal. I get that. Yesterday it was much easier to say no to the things that I knew I shouldn't eat.

This morning? Wow. I had to remind myself that actually yes, just giving in this morning WILL hurt me. That if I give in today, it's not like I'm going to magically not want to eat incredible amounts of high calorie food tomorrow. And if I give in today, then tomorrow will suck. So will Sunday. And Monday morning, I'd be right back at the grocery store, buying more chips and donuts.

It is truly a never-ending cycle. I have to somehow learn to just stay OFF of it. Today I have been able to do that once again.

I'm going to lunch with my brother. It should be a good time. I told him I'd like to go get a sandwich. Something under 500 calories, and I'll be just fine.

Until then - well, I've had a small breakfast again, and I need to keep everything else away. I should be able to do it.

Exercise wise - well, I'm not where I should be yet. One step at a time. I think that my next project is going to be working on getting to the gym again.

Have I mentioned how much I love/hate going to the gym?

I love working out, when my knees don't hurt. After I get past a certain point - there are many of you who understand - I really do get the endorphins. It's an amazing feeling.

However, this is also the same gym where I won the weight-loss competition. There are some of the trainers who are rather constantly there (go figure). I know this is probably rather narcissistic, but I really hate walking by when they are there. I know they know who I am. I know they wonder what has happened.

Or maybe they don't wonder. Maybe they've seen it all too often.

Regardless, I am always completely mortified. Yes, I know I should just get over it. But I am very truly ashamed of what has happened over the past 10 months. I have gone from very lean, very fit, to out of control again.

I feel a great amount of shame at what I have done to myself. The fact that it is so very visible makes it impossible to hide. Even though I want to so very bad.

I don't know if anyone recognizes me. I really don't. But it always feels like it. Maybe deep down inside I'm one of those people who judges others. I don't know - if so, it's buried somewhere in my subconscious. I try not to.

But it would explain why also, deep down inside, I feel judged for my weight and my struggles.

I don't know. But I think that this is something that I need to find out.

Well - this post has taken a very different turn from where it started, but I feel that it has been the right way to go. I need a lot more honest introspection. I need to figure out what is going on inside of me, making me tick, so that I can make some longer-term changes.

The struggle is real.

Anyway, there were some things last week that I posted, one of which was a list of "daily" things that absolutely has to be done daily. I've sort of let that go, what with being sick and a hurt knee.

I think it's time to bring it back up again.

I'm here. I'm fighting. And sometimes, I'm even winning.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day off yesterday!

I spent the entire day with my wife yesterday as an anniversary celebration. Since our actual anniversary was busy, we wanted another day to just spend hanging out. It was fun!

Doesn't do well, though, for updating the blog.

Still, I'm feeling very good, and very calm about everything. Food yesterday was probably a wash - I don't know how much of a deficit I had, but I certainly didn't have a surplus, so there's that. This morning I didn't have any ill effects from it. I had the normal tug towards going and buying the crap - but it was not overly hard to dissuade myself. I really count that as a win.

So far today feeling good about things and motivation is medium to high.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Harder before it gets easier.

I've been here before. I know this drill. I know how it works. This morning was the roughest yet. I had to very specifically tell myself not to drive into any parking lots except for my work. It would have been so very easy to just drive into the grocery store. Just some fruits and veggies. And a sandwich for lunch. Also that bag of chips, and...

Well, you get the point. I actually changed lanes so that I would have to cut across traffic.

This is the addiction brain talking, folks. I am at the point right now where I need to do things like this. I felt the "zombie" coming on. I felt the lack of control start to settle in. It's almost a haze, a stupor. I had to specifically shake myself out of it.

But I did it.

This morning was a battle. But for now, I have won.

1 banana, 3/4 C granola, 3/4 C milk. That's all until lunch, except for possibly some free berries when the 9:00 hour hits. Wait, free berries? Drop the possibly.

What helped me out this morning was, frankly, what I had posted yesterday - I am looking to get some rewards for losing some weight, and knowing that they were dangled in front of me, I told myself that it was worth it to me to make better decisions.

And it's true. But here's the catch - there is not always going to be the carrot to dangle in front of myself. I know that sometime I'm going to have to do this for much different reasons - because it's the right food to eat, because I want to care for myself. But right now, those motivations are simply not enough to overcome whatever pathways have been burned into my brain.

For now, it is going to get harder before it gets easier. And my motivations have to be enough to get me over the proverbial hump.

I am working on it.

But for today, I have conquered.

And that is enough.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Anniversary weekend

Happy Monday Morning!

Last weekend was a land mine of food. I went on an overnight campout with my two boys (and about 50 other people from my neighborhood). A couple of friends talked me into doing some dutch oven cooking with them. The food was good, but after a single serving, we offered all of the food to our friends. That's the kind of thing that I can do. What with all of the work that you do getting ready/setting up camp/running around the hills, I ended up with a pretty good calorie deficit.

My 18th Anniversary was over the weekend as well. Go us! It was a good time. We had a nice roast for dinner, didn't overdo it (especially since I'm really not that into gravy.) The kids made some brownies, I also didn't overdo them. For an anniversary weekend, I felt pretty good about it.

On the knee front - it is starting to feel significantly better. This is fantastic news. I am finally going to be able to start doing squats tonight. The last time I did any serious workouts, that is what I believe strengthened the muscles around my knees enough that they were able to stand up to the pounding that running puts them through.

So while I won't be running a ton in the next couple of weeks, I WILL be strengthening my knees. And walking a LOT.

Today's food so far - 1/2 C Granola, 3/4 C milk, 1 apple. Lunch today looks to be grilled chicken with green beans. Maybe I'll do the salad...

On a PERSONAL note, on Saturday I bought a truck for the first time in my life...

It's a 1/10 scale 4x4 RC monster truck. I've been wanting a new hobby for a while now - my old one was the aforementioned dutch oven cooking. While being a lot of fun, this does not lend itself to weight loss.

So for the new hobby - I wanted to get into something that had absolutely nothing to do with food. A nice RC truck seemed like it would fit the bill quite nicely. :) The irony was that the moment I purchased it, it started raining. And has rained for a lot of my free time since. But hey, they waterproof the electronics in these things for a reason.

I've turned it over a few times already, getting it scuffed a bit, but that's par for the course. It cruises through even the jungle that has become my lawn. (Have I mentioned the rain? It keeps me from mowing). I think that I am going to have a blast. And at any rate, while it's going, I am not eating.

This is the type of hobby, however, that can really start to become pricey. So - since I'm thinking I need some accessories, I may just have to see what I can to to have this help me lose weight. I'm thinking that for every 10 pounds lost I can get another accessory.

5 lbs - a second NiCd battery (for general crusing) - to kick-start me
10 lbs - a LiPo battery (they are more powerful)
20 lbs - the charger for the aforementioned battery (it will finally be useful)
30 lbs - another LiPo battery
40 lbs - the dual battery attachment kit

I'll see where I go from there.

I'm liking the idea of rewarding myself with non-food items that will make me more and more excited to not eat crap.

As a side note - this has already worked. This morning, when getting up, my brain was telling me to go back to the store again to buy crap. That hey, one more day won't hurt, and I can just start tomorrow.

I actually chuckled out loud. I was finally able to see the addiction brain for what it was. And I drove straight in to work.

So a good weekend, and an even better week in store.


Thursday, May 14, 2015


Today has been so much better than the previous two. I am finally feeling like myself again.

I had hoped that some of my knee soreness was from the sickness - all the rest of my joints were aching - but it appears that my knee is just plain sore.

That sucks.

In happier news - it looks like this stupidness just as I recommit hasn't screwed up everything that I was wanting to do. It did make me lose some weight, as expected, although most likely it is a lot of water weight. Water weight or not, it's a movement in the right direction, and one that I can get behind.

Still - today I am doing fantastic. Ate what I should have for breakfast. Nothing more. Ate what I should have for lunch. Nothing more.

I need some healthy snacks, but in keeping with what I've committed to, I need to go later today with the family for some good fruits/veggies/etc.

I am NOT doing well with water - that's what I'm going to work on for tomorrow.

But for today? Doing well, feeling good. Now I just need to find a way to get some calories burned while waiting for this knee to feel better.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It never fails...

The moment I attempt to start becoming the healthy person that I want to be, there is always a curve ball.

I was hammered yesterday by some sort of sickness. I won't bore you with the details, but it was severely unpleasant. I'm just happy to be on the other side of it.

Still - feeling queasy all day makes it easy to not eat all day long. There's that.

Not a recommended weight loss solution.


Monday, May 11, 2015

I commit...

I commit to doing these things. Every. Day.

  1. I must ALWAYS stay within my calorie budget.
  2. I must NEVER go to the grocery store alone.
  3. I must reflect, daily, on my attitudes towards food an exercise. 
  4. I must drink all of my water.
  5. I will do my baseline exercise.


1. My daily calorie budget will currently be set, for everyday, to 1750 +/- 100 calories. No more, no less. For every 500 calories I burn, I may add up to 250 calories. (This is to keep my metabolism up, and keep me from getting too hungry. A big trigger) Until further notice, there will be no exceptions. (Revisit this...)
2. This one is non-negotiable. It is my achilles heel. It is the thing that begins the downfall of every single day.
3. This will be done first thing in the morning. Either when I get up, or the moment I get to work.
4. For the moment, the water I am going for is 96 oz. Every day.
5. Baseline exercise, for right now, are the "pyramids" that my trainer gave me. Pyramids are defined below.

More notes...

Food Thoughts:
For the moment, I am not going to put any extra restrictions on what to eat, with these exceptions...
No sugar drinks. Zero soda, zero juice. Zero.
I must have at least 3 servings of fruits and 4 servings of vegetables. I can pretty much eat this as will, but this is a bare minimum.
I must cut treats down. I am not yet ready to admit that I have to be done with them...but there must be guidelines. This means that any "treat" is not a regular thing. In general, have a frickin' apple. When treats come up, they must be under 150 calories, no more than once per week.

I am going to examine how this works for sugar. If I cannot make this change work, then I will revisit. So - 4 weeks from today I will be revisiting this topic.

I will basically be following the eating that my trainer had given me - 1/2 of my food should be leafy and green. 1/4 some sort of good carb, 1/4 lean protein. And that is an estimate - but in general, WAY fewer carbs, most of those the "good" kind, more lean protein, and lots of non-processed plants.

Exercise thoughts...

In general, I am going to be shooting for some kind of strenuous exercise at least 30 minutes at least 5 times per week. And 6 (7?) days per week I want to hit the 10,000 step mark. I need to be careful with my exercise, as I don't want any injuries. But I also need to stop making excuses.

Still - there are days when I just know that this won't work. Deadline at work, sickness at home, the kids' school concert - these things will trip me up. But barring sickness, I have no excuse to not do pyramids every day.


25 squats, 5 pushups
20 squats, 10 pushups
5 squats, 25 pushups

Basically, you start with 25 squats and 5 pushups, and every subsequent set you subtract 5 squats and add 5 pushups.

There are different types of squats - Sideways, forwards, wall sits, etc.

There are different types of pushups - standard, spider-man, plank, etc.

It doesn't take very long. And I truly believe that this is what allowed me to run as much as I did last year without having knee problems.

So there you go.

Or there I go, depending on how you look at it. I am kicking this off first thing in the morning.

Wish me luck...


Zen, and the art of calmness.

There have been several times in my life that I have had weight loss well in hand. Everything seemed to be going well, I knew what to do, I loved the idea of doing it, and life was good.

I want that. So very badly.

I am struggling getting there, however. I did a pretty good workout on Saturday - didn't push it too hard, but got some sweat going. I ended up doing 3 miles on a treadmill, with a healthy mix of walking/jogging. More walking that jogging right now, but it was there.

As of yesterday, my knee hurts. Makes me want to quote Yosemite Sam for a while.

I know why this is. When I started working with the trainer, she gave me some exercises to do to strengthen the muscles around my knee. That made walking/running way more comfortable, and I was way less prone to injury.

Have I been doing that? Nope.

Do I need to? Yep.

Maybe the exercises need to be a part of the "must do" daily. At least for a while...

Food continues to be a struggle. I know what I should eat, but there is something in my brain that is craving things I should NOT be eating. I know that this is a dopamine thing. I know that I'm basically an addict, just that my craving is for food, not for heroin. And I do anything about it?

I continue to mull things over. Which, I have just realized today, appears to be code for "delaying and denying the truth." I need to make changes. And I can't delay any further. Any more mulling, thinking, pondering, or ruminating, needs to be done AFTER starting my change. This means that I will likely have to continue to tweak and change what I'm doing. But for now, a "pretty close" plan is way better than no plan at all.

As of right now, I commit to the following:

  1. By the end of today, May 11, 2015, I will have my short list of things that MUST be complied with every day.
  2. This list will be adhered to starting Tuesday, May 12, 2015.
  3. I will post daily accountability about the list that I commit to.
  4. Before the end of day on May 18, 2015, I will have my blog layout updated to reflect the list of daily adherence.
This has to be done. If this is not done, then I am going to continue on the path upon which I find myself. And I don't like the destination.

So...look back later today for my list.

It's time.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Early morning workout

Well, early for a Saturday...

It's 8:00 am, and I am sitting outside of my gym, waiting for my Fitbit to charge enough for the workout. Oh, it's probably enough already, but I am neurotic enough to want to keep charging for a few more minutes. 

After stealing the idea from a guy whose blog is here:

...I am trying to come up with a list of non-negotiable things. Things that, no matter what, I MUST adhere to, or I have not done what I need to do that day. 

First pass...

1) I must ALWAYS stay within my calorie budget.
2) I must NEVER go to the grocery store alone.
3) I must reflect, daily, on my attitudes towards food an exercise. 
4) I must drink enough water. 

I am going to refine those. But for now, they will have to do. 

I am going to draw up a list of secondaries as well, things that should be done almost without exception, but those four must be done with ZERO exceptions. 

More thought-work needs to be done. And then converted into work-work. But it is a start. 

Thanks Sean, for the kick in the mental rear. If that makes sense. 


Friday, May 8, 2015

Tired, late, but thoughtful.

It has been a good day and a bad day. Work was good, got to go to a magic show with my first grader, and hung out with my family in general. But food choices were, shall we say, sub-optimal.

I stumbled across a blog today that really resonated with me. I will post links later. For now, I have a ton to ponder. The good news is that I think I might have some answers to the questions I have been asking in another post. 

Time to sleep. Gym in the morning. 


The struggle is real.

I'm looking for something. What that something is, I do not yet know. But that something is the thing that makes the difference between the times when I do well and lose weight and the times when I gain weight.

Isn't it odd that there isn't a middle ground? Any maintenance is just going up and down the same 10 pounds, repeatedly, over a period of time. It isn't maintenance. It's serial gaining and losing.

I used to have another blog. This is during the time when I was first losing weight with Weight Watchers. It went so well - it was so much fun to watch the weight come off.

When I was nearing my goal, I wrote a blog post entitled "What makes the difference?" I was trying to figure out what the difference was between people who lose weight and regain, and people who lose weight and keep it off.

I spouted so very much wisdom. None of which appeared to mean anything.

There was a rather great debate with some great ideas. None of which I have appeared to have followed.

So what makes the difference?

What is the something that I am looking for?

I don't know. I do know that I read a few articles yesterday. Most articles on the internet are just stupid opinions by stupid people. (Case in point - this very blog.) But this one has resonated just a little bit inside, set off some things rattling around in the cranium. (Language warning - a couple of pretty bad words.)

I don't yet know what this article means to me. But I do know that the ideas contained therein make me think.

What is a positive feedback loop? To tell you the truth, I think that it is different for every single person. What is it for me?

Good question. I remember starting off on the weight loss competition. At first I did well because I didn't want to be embarrassed at the weigh-ins. Gradually I started noticing changes - looser fitting clothing, more energy, more strength. That made it easier.

And weigh-in after weigh-in I was out in front. It is even easier when you are winning. I think this is the feedback loop that the guys was talking about.

And then I started getting paranoid.

I think that may be where everything went South. I started eating even less and exercising even more to make sure that I stayed out in front.

One thing that the article talks about is making sure that what you do is something that you can do for the long haul. Don't like running? Don't do it - find something else to do. Can't give up pizza? Don't give up pizza. Find a way to stick it in.

Whatever it is that you do has to be done for good.

So there are my ramblings for the morning. I think I will sum up this way...

1) I need to find my feedback loop.
2) I need to find the plan that will stick forever
3) I need to do this now.

Because remember - tomorrow doesn't exist. Tomorrow never comes. There is only the now.