The Ghost Of Christmas Past

Posted on Dec 28, 2009 in Challenges, Thoughts | 3 comments

The last twenty days mark the longest I’ve gone without posting on this site in the 35 weeks since I’ve started all this. Twenty days – that’s a long time.

Long enough for me to see my biggest jump up on the scale since I started weighing in everyday. Long enough to gather a few questionable glances from friends when eating a holiday cookie, as if to say “Are you even paying attention to what you’re eating anymore?” Long enough for me to start craving soda with certain foods again. Basically, it was long enough to illustrate that I’m still much farther away from my goal than I am from the 325 pounds I used to be.

I’ve been catching up with the sites on my blog roll and I’m definitely not the only one who’s posted a gain this holiday season, so I’m definitely in good company. However, I am the only one who was more or less stalled headed into the month of December. And I’m definitely the only to have hit this long a plateau so far removed from their goal. It’d be a real disservice to myself to try and pretend that the gears weren’t in motion well before the holiday temptations crept into the picture.

Luckily I’ve got some great support to help me get back on the wagon. A coworker of mine has challenged me to run a 5k with him this April. South Beach Steve has a great new challenge to follow up the Hot 100. And Daria’s comments (more specifically, the email I get on my phone telling me I have new comments) kept reminding me the site was sitting here, begging for my attention.

I spent the better part of 2009 trying to undo years worth of bad habits. While I certainly haven’t finished that process yet, I saw more success than failure, and that’s a victory in my book. For 2010 I plan to continue that work, but it’s also time I started to replace those old poor habits with some new, healthy ones. I’ve got until the 1st to put my list together for The Perfect Ten – Any Suggestions?

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Body By Pizza FTW

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 in Challenges, Thoughts | 7 comments

I haven’t been updating the site the last week or so, other than to enter my decidedly underwhelming daily weigh-in’s. For a couple of days now I’ve intended to write a post dedicated to why I’ve been so lax in my posting, and so unfocused in my diet, but it seemed I couldn’t muster the interest to even do that.

Enter Rachel’s post over at Body By Pizza detailing her trip to NYC, which contains the following call to action:

Seriously, if you’re still fat (in that ‘I can’t even bend over to tie my shoes’ way), the time has come to get un-fat. All logic aside, it’s just something you need to do. Sure, counting calories isn’t glamorous and setting aside a few hours each week to exercise won’t always be your first choice (at least at the beginning), but doing these things is so fucking worth it. Not only will you prevent your heart from giving out at a ridiculously young age, but you will feel amazing from sunrise to sunset — guaranteed. If I’m saying this as a 5’2″, 185-lb individual, you can only imagine how good this shit is going to get! It’s time to grow up, cut the crap, get to work, and come join me as a permanent resident of Cloud Nine.

It sounds alittle hokey but, for whatever reason, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now. After reading that, instead of writing a post about why I haven’t been updating the site or going to the gym, I packed my gym bag and brought it to work this morning.

Cloud Nine, here I come.

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The Hot 100 (Or, In This Case, 93) & Real Challenges

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 in Challenges, Thoughts | 6 comments

There’s no doubt I’m a stress eater – I can attribute at least 50 of the pounds I need to lose to specific traumatic events. Since starting this site, I’ve made some poor food choices, and I’ve given in to cravings on more than one occasion, but today is the first time I’ve really faced the challenge of eating to placate negative emotions.

Last week, ‘South Beach’ Steve over at Log My Loss launched the “Hot 100 Challenge” to get people to set weight-loss goals for the last 100 days of 2009. It’s a great idea and, knowing that working out has been a key factor missing from my current regimen, I decided my goal was going to be a minimum of 30 minutes in the gym, 3 days a week. The very next morning, I broke my toe 🙁

“Oh well,” I thought to myself “I guess I won’t be participating after all.” And I’ve been limping around in sort of a funk ever since (not just from the toe mind you, it just seems to be icing on the maelstrom-of-problems cake I’ve been served recently).

So, today ended up being a terrible day at work, and on the drive home I was incredibly tempted to call up a friend of mine and hit up the local Claim Jumper to throw down one of the ridiculous meals we used to eat (a couple of years ago, I would easily take in 3500-4000 calories at such a meal). I wanted it real bad – I swear I could taste the bacon on the potato skins and the whip cream on the chocolate shake. I didn’t want to just cheat, or go over my calorie limit for the day, I wanted to gorge myself until I felt as bad physically as I did emotionally.

In the end, I stopped at the local deli and got a roast beef wrap. I’m really happy with the decision I made, and, in large part, it’s due to the accountability this site provides that I made it. So if you’re reading this, I want to say thank you.

I also want to announce my (revised) goal for the Hot 100 Challenge*: 3 pounds a week.

Just because I can’t get into the gym right away, doesn’t mean I don’t have other room for improvement. In the last 22 weeks I’ve lost 34.3, which averages out to 1.56 pounds per week, and for the next 93 days intend to double that figure. While not astronomical, it’s going to be a challenge, particularly while I’m kept inactive due to my toe, but I’m going to pull it off.

*While it’s technically too late to enter, it’s really the thought that counts.
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A Man Can Change His Stars

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 in Challenges, Thoughts | 3 comments

For those of you who weren’t aware, about 2 months ago I bet my friend Russ that I would lose 15 pounds faster than he would. Today I officially won, losing 15 pounds compared to Russ’ 10.1.

At first glance, neither seems like a huge number over the course of 2 months, but that’s a pace of 60-90 pounds a year. Imagine if someone you knew went away for a while (say off to college) and when you saw them 6 months later they’d put on 30-40 pounds. It would be shocking. The difference would be obvious and you’d be amazed they could have changed so much, so quickly.

For some reason, the social impression of losing weight at that same rate doesn’t seem to have the same ‘wow’ factor. However, the truth is, gaining or losing 90 pounds is a truly life changing event, and Russ and I are in the midst of it. It’s actually kind of exciting when I stop to appreciate it.

In the end, I’m really proud of all the work Russ and I put in. Losing 10 pounds in 2 weeks is difficult, but losing 10 pounds in two months is commitment.

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Tougher Than Expected

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 in Challenges, Thoughts | 0 comments

Getting back into the habit of tracking my food intake has been alittle more challenging than I anticipated. Unless you’re really conscious of it, it’s easy to forget that extra piece of bread you ate waiting for food, or to dive into a shared appetizer at lunch before thinking about the calories involved. Even just taking the time to update the site every day is something you’ve got to actively plan for, otherwise it just doesn’t get done. It’s just too easy to say “I’ll catch up tomorrow.”

The fact that my weigh-in’s have steadily risen since I returned, despite the fact that I’ve been eating pretty well, hasn’t helped my motivation either. I’m sure it’s all still residual effects from my vacation eating, and I expected something along these lines, but I’m ready for the numbers on the scale to stop rising now. If my body isn’t willing to cooperate, I see alot of gym time in the near future.

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The Master Cleanse

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 in Challenges, Thoughts | 0 comments

From Wikipedia:

  • “The Master Cleanse, also known as the Lemon Cleanse and the Maple Syrup Diet, is a dieting program created by Stanley Burroughs in 1941…The Master Cleanse claims to be a way to cleanse the body of toxins and remove the cravings associated with drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and eating junk food.The cleanse involves drinking only lemonade made from fresh lemon or lime juice, maple syrup, water and Cayenne pepper. No solid food is eaten for the entire cleanse.

    In 2006, the cleanse received media attention as a result of being embraced by some celebrities. The singer/actress Beyoncé did it for 14 days and lost 22 lb (9 kg) for her role in the 2006 movie Dreamgirls. Other celebrities include rapper Trina who did this liquid diet for 13 days and Howard Stern’s co-host Robin Quivers claims to have lost 73 lb using the Master Cleanse. Similarly, Jared Leto says he lost the weight he gained to play ‘Mark David Chapman’ (he gained 62 lb) all from the master cleanse.”

It has all the elements of a fad diet as it makes outrageous health claims, contains anecdotal evidence, and was supposedly used by celebrities as some sort of secret trick. It really just sounds like a gimmick to me (the exact kind of gimmick I want no part of in my quest to create a stable, healthy lifestyle). Of course, this is where the plot thickens.

My brother is a huge proponent of this cleanse. Having previously done it himself, he’s convinced that following the 10 day regimen will do wonders for my health, kick starting my metabolism and giving me a healthier lifestyle. For the last month he has been set on our setting the next 10 days aside to “cleanse”, and I’ve been really torn on whether I should try and participate. On one hand, I have my commitment to do this the right way. I set certain goals, and I’ve been meeting them without the aid of some diet fad. On the other hand I have the sincerest intentions of my brother, who absolutely believes this isn’t a gimmick at all.

In the end, my love and respect for my brother win. His concern for my health was one of the primary forces that led me to create this site to begin with. I reached out to my family for their help and support, and this is what Johnny brought to me. I owe it to him to set aside my skepticism and give it a shot.

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One can only presume that people who say that their favorite record of all time reminds them of their honeymoon in Corsica, or of their family Chihuahua, don’t actually like music very much.

- Nick Hornby, Songbook