Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Weigh Day...

I told myself (and anyone reading) that this week was not going to be as good of a week as last week - partially because last week was way over-inflated. Well, I was correct. This week was significantly less. But it was down. I'm at 307.3 right now. Based on how the week went, and my calorie deficit, and considering last's actually pretty darned good. I'm at a total of 11.3 pounds down in 2 weeks.

So about 1.6 pounds down this week. After a sort of sad initial reaction (who wouldn't be disappointed with 1.6 after 9.7?) I'm actually quite OK with it.

The reason behind that is that I'm trying for a much slower, gradual weight loss this time. I really do believe that this may help it to be more long-term.

So happy this morning, and getting ready for the next week! Here's to being the top person on my fitbit friends this week again...


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Almost weigh in!

Funny how just two weeks ago I was dreading the weigh-in. Now I am wanting to jump on the scale every day! But I think that at least for the short term, weekly weigh-ins may be better for me. If I do well but the scale doesn't budge (through my normal weight fluctuations) then it becomes harder to keep motivated. As it is, though, I keep my motivation through weekly weigh-ins.

There's the little part of me hoping that this week will be like last week, and I'll drop below 300 again. (This time for the LAST last time.) I'm nearly 100% sure that won't be the case, but I am also 100% sure that it will be down again from last week.

That's what I'm looking for - a steady, consistent downward trend. I'm changing things up to help this out for the long term, I hope.

Last time I lost weight I made some drastic changes - basically no treats of any sort for about 6 months. I ate very well - it was all healthy - but I'm still thinking that for me this is not a long-term solution. As evidenced by the fact that as soon as I relaxed a little I relaxed a LOT. Like completely.

So this is what I'm working towards. I need to find a way to NOT do the complete let down. Right now my working theory is that I need to make consistent long-term changes to the way I eat, while allowing something "splurge-y" now and again. It's a subtle thing - I am not going to cut all sugar, but it needs to be a very tiny minority of what I eat.

Kind of like the food pyramid from way back when I was a kid, no? Did that thing actually have some good information? Go figure.

Basically no matter what I eat it needs to all stay within a calorie budget. One thing that I do know is that while I AM sticking within the budget that I have set (for 12 going on 13 days now) I am NOT eating enough fruits and vegetables. Especially vegetables. I think that's the next point of emphasis.

It's on my spreadsheet, but I'm not doing well enough in that way.

But I am doing well.

Gotta keep thinking through this...


Monday, August 22, 2016


I'm hoping that doing the same thing over and over is going to help start burning new paths in my synapses. I know that this is needed. I still have problems - there are a lot of things that my brain/body still crave that I am having to specifically and consciously turn away. An entire bag of salty snacks - yep, that's where I actually want to go.

Did you know that in the "small" bag of chips from the gas station can have over 600 calories? Each serving has about 180 calories, and there are 3.5 servings.

I guess a single 180 calorie serving must be 2 chips.

Still moving forward. Still doing what I want to be doing. And still actually WANTING to be doing it. That makes a difference.

Last week's loss was great. I expect this one to be pretty good as well. Oh, not nearly as much as last week, but I will be down. Any time the number goes down from where I am is a good thing.

Either way, time to keep on keepin' on.


Friday, August 19, 2016

It's all the snacking.

Really. I think that is about 90% of my problems with weight. On a given day I would be able to eat probably twice my daily calorie needs in snacks. OH how I wish I were joking.

Remove all of that and what's left? Meals. And as long as I keep exercising I'll keep losing weight, unless I binge at a buffet - which is pretty much easy to avoid.

I know that I'm oversimplifying again - there is actually a lot more than that - but for right now I think that keeping myself from eating salty/sweet snacks ALL DAY LONG is kind of the most important thing I can be doing right now.

I've got some ideas about that. More to come.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wish I had something interesting to say.

I think I have now found why so many blogs such as this don't last too's kind of hard to write something every day without feeling very redundant. "Doing well today." "Did well with food." "Made good choices." "Had a stumble, but didn't let it derail me." "Decided to eat food x, it fit within my plan."

Not sure what else to say here but pretty much those types of things.

But yesterday DID go well. It wasn't until after 9:00 that I actually had some time to exercise a bit. Went for a walk. Ended up doing about 8,000 steps until about 9:30.  Ended up with just over 10,000.

I really can't for the life of me figure out what's the difference between right now and a couple of weeks ago. Seriously - I was pretty much incapable of going to work without stopping by the store to buy a bunch of sugar and fat. Now, if it's around, I can figure out a little bit to eat and what will fit within calories, but I don't binge anymore.

I have talked before about having an undiagnosed eating disorder. Seriously, I really think that I do have binge eating disorder. When I'm in the wrong mindset, it feels out of control. Days like today I've got things reigned in, but I know how quickly it can blow up.

There are some scattered thoughts for you (me?) this morning.

Turns out it was more interesting than I had thought.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wednesday weigh-in

Wednesday has rolled around, and it's time to see if all of my efforts have paid off! My weight this morning was:


For those keeping track (read: me) that's 9.7 pounds this past week. So yeah, a good week. :)

This means a few things, to me.

1) Last week's weigh-in was a bit over-inflated.
2) Next week's weigh-in will be a bit understated.

I have to remember these things when the weight loss is way less.

But for today...

Today I'm happy with it.

I think I've learned something. Yesterday was a birthday party for my son. There ended up being food that was not so great for me - of course a big group of teenage boys wants pizza.

Still - I didn't go nuts.

Lunch wasn't too great either - but I also didn't go nuts.

So what have I learned?

Occasionally, and I mean occasionally, it is OK to have a food that isn't so healthy. As long as I stick with a sane portion.

And I think the other issue that I used to have was the constant all-day-long grazing and munching. If that stops, then about 50% or more of my calories are gone.

Whatever works. Seriously.

For now, I'm jumping back into week 2 with a vengeance...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Keep on keepin' on.

Yesterday was one of those weird days where nothing went as planned. But I was able to get my step goal in, to the point where I think I might just do a should be doable. But it did take some extra effort that I wouldn't have done otherwise.

Another small change that I would not have done - instead of fried potatoes for lunch with my sandwich, I opted for the melon. Pretty good.

Time will tell if these are the sorts of changes that I can make long-term, or if I even NEED to make them long term. But regardless I'm happy that for the first time in a while I'm feeling on track.

The spreadsheet really appears to be working. I've done WAY more stepping than I would have. I've eaten fewer calories (by far!) than I would have. I'm making plans to do even better in the near future, to gain back some of my fitness that I've lost.

I know, I know - it's easy to talk the talk. But for now, the walk is happening as well.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday update

The weekend was just crazy - camping overnight with my daughters, then coming home to a birthday party at which I was asked to make three dutch oven desserts...

Well, in the end it all turned out fine, I think. For the first time in a while I didn't go overboard with eating. Yes, the desserts were good. But no, I didn't just go crazy.

Today has been good as well - instead of fried sides at lunch I ate a bunch of cantaloupe and honeydew.

I'm trying to find out what causes my mindless eating. That's the one semi-bad thing from the weekend. I didn't have enough fresh food around, so I did eat some crackers. And then some more. And one more time. I logged all of it, and what with the exercise that I was able to do I was very much within the calorie deficit that I wanted, but it's not as good as I wished that it would have been.

Figuring things out. Hopefully this Wednesday will be a good weigh-in.

We'll see...


Friday, August 12, 2016

Lots of steps yesterday.

After walking a bit at work and coming home and walking for about three miles I remembered that I had to mow the lawn. Then go shopping. The upshot of that is that I ended up with over 20,000 steps yesterday. It was a good day. :)

So far this whole experiment is a success. I haven't been perfect in food choices, but then I'm trying to discover what perfection in food choices means. I haven't done wretched either - pretty much avoiding sugar completely. So I'm considering this a rousing success.

Another thing recently decided - I'm going to do official weigh-ins on Wednesdays. If I remember I will try to take a picture of the scale, just for accountability's sake.

Tonight I'm going camping with my daughters. It should be a good time. I'm expecting to have quite a few steps this afternoon between getting everything ready, setting up camp, and just having a good time.

This may be the last entry until Monday, though, as weekends I'm not sitting at my computer. So until then...


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blog time.

Well, day one was a success. Got up, did my thing, went to bed. Gross oversimplification, but there it is.

I've decided on a few things. First - I am NOT going to be posting pictures of everything I eat and every time I work out.. Somehow I thought it might help - but turns out it's more of a hassle than I am willing to deal with right now. Maybe someday I'll streamline things, but for now this isn't going to work.

Second - I really think that this plan is going to work. I am going to be thinking about positive long-term changes, and how to keep them both positive and long-term. I'll be tweaking things, for sure, but for now I'm feeling good about things.

Third - when you drastically up your water and fiber intake all of a sudden...there are gastrointestinal consequences. I'll just leave that there.

As for yesterday...

I ate just shy of 2000 calories yesterday while burning almost 3700. That's good - but I am wondering about tweaking that number a bit. While it's awesome to lose weight quickly, I am worried about what happens to the body's metabolism when calories are cut too drastically. (Go google the article about Biggest Loser contestants and metabolism. Eye opening, sad, and frightening all at the same time.)

I did a 45 minute workout in the afternoon. Nothing huge, but I did get myself moving. This was a big positive for me.

I drank over 64 ounces of water. I don't know exactly how much - as near the end of the day I forgot to measure, but I think it was probably around 80-90. But I'll give myself credit for 64.

I have a few things this weekend that should make everything marginally harder, but I am very hopeful that this new plan will keep me on track. I've got a campout (shouldn't be TOO bad) and a birthday party for my daughter who wants me to cook desserts in dutch ovens. That one will be a bit tough. But I can do it...


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

And so it begins.

Quick notes...

I've decided against the DietBet for now. I may end up changing my mind tomorrow even, but for today, it's not happening.

I am still tweaking my spreadsheet, but it's in a pretty good state right now. I'm happy with what I have, and with where I think I can be headed.

I'm at work, have eaten nothing, and have brought my workout clothes. It's a blank slate today for me to start with.


For absolute total beginning...

I weighed this morning. Not as good as I had hoped. Not as bad as I had feared. But it's bad enough. Starting weight:


Interesting how it's very nearly exactly 100 pounds up from when I won the weight loss competition just over two years ago. Basically I'm up 1 pound a week. It's amazing how easy that is to do.

Doesn't matter. I know two things right now. Where I am, and where I want to go. Those are the two most important right now.

I am going to have two new goals starting today:

1) See how fast I can get to 1,000,000 steps. I want to try to do it in under 3 months. For those who are counting, that's just under 11,000 steps per day. That is VERY doable.

2) Start my long-term countdown to 100 pounds lost. Since that was what was gained, I think that it's only fair that this is my goal for what will be lost.

I'm not in a hurry to lose the weight. Yes, the sooner it comes off the better. But I am going to attempt something that I haven't done in the past, which is a slower, more methodical, and theoretically permanent life changing weight loss. The point of this mindset is so that I don't have any sort of let-down at the end. No changing back to bad habits. Or more accurately no ditching of new short-term habits for long term sloth and gluttony.

I guess we will see where this goes. But the good news is that I haven't felt this good about my direction in a while now. I know it's easy to lose this feeling. But at least it's here.

For the moment, anyway.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

There's always a good reason

I've spent the weekend (and yesterday) working through what I am hoping is going to be a good motivational tool. I've set up a way for me to track my progress and efforts, along with putting actual value to the efforts and successes. I may need to tweak it a bit over the next while, but the program is solid, I think.

To make things even more interesting, I'm planning on joining a dietbet as well. If I'm going to be paying myself for doing well, I might as well add in others doing some of the paying. Oh, I'm not going to be spending thousands of dollars on myself or anything, but if I am doing hundreds, it makes sense to do the dietbet to see how much I can get others to do.

Today I'm at a developer conference for work. I can't really control the food. Can I?

There's always an excuse. There is always a reason to start later. There's always another day, another activity, another reason to NOT do what I know that I need to do.

But what are my reasons for doing WELL?

That's what I'm pondering today. I need to come up with, and write down, the reasons that I am going to do well. My excuses for treating myself as I deserve to be treated.

To continue these rambling semi-incoherent thoughts...

I was talking with my daughter yesterday about positive self talk. I think that I need to take some of my own advice. I have been down on myself for a while. Not treating myself well.

Time for that to stop. Those "good reasons" that I can always come up with? They are starting to fall by the wayside again.

So it really is T-minus 1 day right now. I'm going to get everything in order today to be ready for tomorrow. I'm going to plan things out, get everything ready, and write my goals down. I'm going to post my progress/reward sheet on google docs so that I can access it anywhere.

I really do know what to do. Right now, the biggest things is to be a bit like AA - I need to take this thing one day at a time.

We'll see how it goes...

But this JUST might work. All i know is that I can't give up.


Friday, August 5, 2016

I'm not above a little bribery.

I'm a Scoutmaster. It's one of the things that I do. Anyone who has been around Boy Scouts for any length of time knows that the average 12-13 year old boy (my age group) is sometimes only marginally interested in doing Scouting things.

Everyone LOVES going camping. They love when we go swimming, rifle shooting, playing games, and any number of activities. Elective merit badges are awesome.

Required ones, however, are a lot harder to get them to work on. Citizenship badges, while VERY useful and informative, are - let's face it - boring compared to the Game Design merit badge.

So sometimes I bribe them. If they complete this badge, we'll have an activity of some sort. A lot of times it's just making popcorn at my house while I let them play Mario Kart, something like that. We don't do this a lot, but it really does help.


I have now decided that I am not above bribing myself. I know what it is that I need to do to lose weight. I really do. It's just getting the motivation to get things done. So how am I going to bribe myself?

Obviously food is out. A task that I have, which is something that I'm going to be working on for the next several years, I expect, is to come to a much healthier relationship when it comes to food. This is going to have to be an ongoing thing - not something that I think I can come up with quickly.

So food is NOT a reward that is going to work for me.


I don't buy a lot of extra things. It's really hard to justify spending money on myself except for when I get money for a birthday or Christmas. Oh, I'll buy a book if I need something to read, I'll buy a movie, small things...

But larger purchases - $250 for RC car upgrades, $1000 for a vacation, $3000 on a musical instrument...

That's the kind of thing that I don't spend money on. Just can't justify it.

This is the sort of thing that intrigues me. I think that bribing myself with the thought of a larger purchase can possibly work. The last time I lost 85 pounds, it was in a Weight Loss competition where the prize was a $1500 travel voucher. My wife and I used it to go to Hawaii. It was amazing.

But just saying "someday in the future you can buy something big" isn't immediate enough. I need something way closer to the moment.

So I've decided to put together of a way that I can "earn" money. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Activity How much
First 10000 steps $0.00005/step
Calorie deficit $0.0002/cal
Workout (strenuous cardio) $0.0005/min
Workout (pyramids, other) $0.20/day
Veggies $0.10/serving
Fruits $0.05/serving

This means that a calorie deficit of 500 will give me $0.10 per day. Strenuous cardio is $0.30 per hour. Steps - this is $0.50 per 10000 steps.

This doesn't really seem like much. But if I do 10,000 steps per day, have a 1500 calorie deficit per day, do a 30 minute workout, do my pyramids 5 days out of 7, and eat 5 servings of veggies and 3 fruits per day, that would work out to around $13 per week.

I know...I know...this isn't a lot. But for me this is about LONG TERM changes.

I'm going to tweak this. Maybe have some "boosters" for pounds lost, for certain milestones, etc.

In the end, after a year of doing this, there is a chance at this becoming some serious money. Well, serious for a middle-class income type guy - but enough to buy something nice for myself.

Time to consider for this. I believe that this will start on Sunday.

I will be back. Something has to change, and I'm feeling positive about this one.