Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nervous about Superbowl

So far this week I've done pretty good, staying true to the diet and getting some exercise. Yesterday on the way home from work I stopped out at Kendrick Lake out west, it's got a trail that's an exact mile. I did the first two laps in 34 minutes, not too bad. It was kinda fun because for the most part I've walked in the past with silence but I remembered to bring along the headphones to my cellphone, so there were some pretty good tunes to walk to.

Audio Adrenelaine is probably the newest of the music. There was a bit of Degarmo and Key, some Whiteheart, some older Third Day. In all I did 3 miles, which felt pretty good. Today I did an 11 mile bike ride, just down the Platte River, stopping at REI downtown across from Elitch Gardens, and then back. I didn't do the big climb out of the river valley though, wimped out and drove to the trail. Which was probably a good thing, it's been a week and a half since I've ridden, and I could feel it. Still, all that said I thought I did pretty well.

And tomorrow, Superbowl. Some friends are having us over... it's the kind of snacking situation that can be kinda perilous, you know? I think I'll do okay, right now there's this sense that I don't want to lose the progress I've been making.

Oh, yes, end of month, so I'll do some measurements:
Chest: 60 inches.
Waist: 59.5 inches
Hips: 54 inches.

So, instead of losing inches from the initial measurements, I gain a bit in the hips and chest? Hmmmm.... Leaves me suspicious of my initial measurements, but it's not like it's anything huge so I'll stick with where it is. Here's to a better February!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25, Finally

It seems like it took forever, but I finally, finally, broke through the 370's and into the 360's, in fact made some decent headway into the 360's. This morning the scale read 367.6. I wasn't sure that was right because it was so significantly lower than before, so I ended up trying it a few different times in a few different spots, and it looks like that's pretty much about it. So that puts me over the 25 pounds lost part. That's a pretty good feeling.

I'm starting to notice some difference too. Last night was our men's bible study again, and I had time to kill before the study started, so I stopped at Washington Park across from the church and set out for a walk. I found it so much easier to walk at a pretty brisk pace than I've felt before. I don't really know how to explain the difference. I think it surprised me because to this point I wouldn't say that it was difficult to walk or walk at a brisk pace. But sometimes I think that's how it is with things like that, where you think you're okay and doing good but then when you find something better you're amazed because you didn't think it was so bad before.

I think maybe the best analogy I can think of is prior to meeting Janiece. I thought I was coming along okay and such with life that I didn't really think I could complain. But life in this past year has been really, really good, in a way that before her I'm not sure I could have imagined without having known before her how good it could be.

I think as my health and condition continue to improve, I find myself rediscovering how good feeling good can be. This is something where I thought in the past I felt pretty good, but it was like I didn't know (or had forgotten) what feeling good really was.

I think that's why we have so much trouble understanding or explaining heaven. It's not possible to find the terminology or explain it eloquently enough. We could get glimpses or ideas, but it's impossible to describe. This is not a failure or shortcoming of whoever is trying to describe or whoever is trying to understand. It's more that we don't have a point of reference. The very best we can think of or imagine falls so short of what it really is that, without having a comparable point of reference it's something we can't begin to comprehend.

After finally discovering how much better good can feel that what i've known it to feel (if that phrase didn't lose anyone i'm not sure what will)... I'm looking that much more forward to discovering what that really really good really is...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Big Loser and Monkeythumbs

Last night was the 2nd meeting for the Biggest Loser thing that I wrote about earlier. According to their scale, I'm down 9.6 pounds from a week ago. Cool huh?

Now, to be fair, I'm not sure it's legit. Just my other weighins at home, it hasn't added up to 9 pounds. Maybe closer to 5 or 6. I'm suspecting the initial weigh in was a bit high.

But either way, I got a water bottle as the prize! woohooo!!! Okay, with all the kids in our house and as many of them that lug around waterbottles to school, that's never a bad thing.

So the other cool thing yesterday was at work, the sales manager asked me what size I wear. I'm thinking, this is a bit personal, dude. He's got this windbreaker from Qwest that he picked up at a tradeshow that's a 2X and he said the sleeves were way too long for him, so did I think it would fit me? And then he says, if i keep losing weight like i'm doing it will soon if it doesn't now. Now that in itself was a day maker, just because I wasn't sure if it was very noticable.

So yeah, two things yesterday that were major encouragements. And to think a couple nights ago after walking better than 6 miles in about a 24 hour period I'm starting to wonder if I'm just stalled and doing something wrong because nothing seemed to be changing much. This morning the scale was 370.2. Jusssssssst about past that 370 barrier.

And yes, the jacket fit. Sort of. I can zip it up easily and it's comfortable, so that's definitely a fit thing, right? But I guess I find myself downplaying that a little because the material's kinda stretchy and it did need some stretching to zip, but not uncomfortably so. And the pockets have these kinda gaps to them that wouldn't be there if it were hanging normally. So it's not ready to be worn a lot in public, at least not zipped, because I'm afraid of it having the same kind of look as, oh, say a pair of regular bike shorts? Some forms are not really designed for form fitting, you know? But it's a pretty cool jacket, and I did wear it today for one simple reason... It's honkin cold out there!!!!! It makes a nice added layer to go under my coat.

And the coolest thing about it? It has monkey thumbs!!! I've never heard of such a thing, Janiece pointed it out to me. Holes in the sleeves you can put your thumbs through so it goes up around your palms, and I guess they call them monkey thumbs.

You learn something new every day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Catching Up

Something about doing the single dad thing with 6 kids around keeps a person busy. Not that I can say I've stayed busy with just that, there was some loafing time playing online Risk. But anyway, need to catch up some here.

Friday I got a bit ambitious with the walking. I took the couch potato out for a 1 mile walk on Friday. And then after bringing him back, I set out again for a walk on my own that wasn't constantly interrupted by sniff and pee breaks. I didn't think it was that far, but it still came out 2.65 miles, so a total of 3.65 that night. Not bad, though it's hard to say if i was overdoing it. I've read enough about exercise and such about taking time off, so yesterday seemed like a good day to take a break. Although now I'm wishing I'd done the break today instead of yesterday because it gog COLD outside. I worry about cold weather keeping me from walking like before, but maybe it's because I've got my weigh in tomorrow night, I'm motivated now!!! Today was a bit more, a walk to the Dollar Tree and back, still a good 2 and a half miles.

One thing I HAVE to do is put the scale away and just do infrequent weigh ins. I was getting bummed out last night because I thought, why isn't this going any better? I've been really good the past few days about eating good foods, moderating myself on portions, and exercising, and it just seems like I've been so steady. I weighed in last night and I was about the same place I've been a few days. But at least this morning was a bit encouraging as I came in at 371.6. I find myself thinking that's still not enough, that's 1 pound in 2 days, wayyyyy too slow, right? That's where perspective is important. If i stretch that out, a pound every 2 days would put me at ideal weight in just over a year. For where I'm at, that's pretty fantastic. The thing is I know that at this point the weight will come off more easily now than when I'm getting closer to where I should be. But yeah, you end up wanting instant results.

But that's where it's so easy to get discouraged. If I look back to the start of this blog I've lost a total of 3 pounds in 18 days? Now that's still 60 pounds a year, so even that isn't THAT bad. I know that they say the healthiest weight loss is slow like that. I think it's because years ago I was able to lose weight so much more easily, and without the whole exercise part.

I do know that exercise can actually slow the weight loss to begin with, but at a certain point it does start to make a lot of difference. I have to just keep reminding myself that.

I looked back and wondered if my totals were correct on walking because it just didn't seem so much. But that's one good thing about the blogging is I can actually do that. So here's how it totals up:
January 2: 0.0 Walk, 10.1 bike
January 7: 2.15 Walk
January 9: 2.5 Walk
January 10: 1.0 Walk, 12.4 Bike
January 17: 0.0 Walk, 8.7 Bike
January 18: 0.0 Walk, 8.5 Bike
January 20: 1.6 Walk, 12.5 Bike
January 21: 1.85 Walk,
January 22: 1.0 Walk
January 23: 3.65 Walk
January 25: 2.5 Walk

Monthly: 52.2 miles on the bike, 16.25 walking.

10.6 miles this past week so far looks a lot better than the monthly total. There were too many days off. I'm wondering if 50 miles a month is a reasonable goal? I know time is the biggest constraint, as it's kinda crazy getting everyone ready in the morning, and often a lot going on at night. But that's an excuse because I find enough time to waste.

The biking... right now that's tougher to set goals on. Weather has more of an affect right now on biking than walking, and time maybe as well. I'd love to get to where I could somewhat regularly commute to work on my bike once it's getting nice enough out. But, the commute is at least 15 miles one way, and I still have to get myself into condition to do the hills and complete that kind of ride and still be functional. I wonder how 30 miles a day biking would help the whole overall fitness thing eh?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Missing her already

Tomorrow Janiece leaves for a 4 day trip to take her son to college in Wisconsin.

I miss her already.

Okay, I'm questioning my pedometer. I took Jager for a walk tonight, and when it was done it told me we went 2.8 miles. I thought that didn't seem quite right, so I went to and checked it out... I was right. 2 miles on the dot. Okay, there are a lot of extra steps just for puppy potty stops, but.. that's 30%. Kinda bums me out that maybe all those steps I did the last 2 days just probably weren't as many as I thought....

But hey, 2 more miles still is good eh?

And woohooo, I broke the 373 barrier, finally! 372.4 this morning.

Did I mention I miss my wife already? *sigh*

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Motivation Improvement

I think that going to the biggest loser group thing was a good thing for me. A little more sense of accountability definitely helps. And something more to shoot for, that's good too. A week of not exercising so much and not being as devoted to the diet didn't result in a lot of gain, but a little, and the plateau can take you back a little. So the past few days have been really a lot better for me.

I pulled out an old pedometer for one thing. I was curious how much walking I do through the day and it's something else to measure and journal on. Yesterday, I totaled 8511 steps. Today I was at 7600 when I took it off to head off to a Bible Study on my bike. I keep hearing about the health benefits of 10000 steps. But If I do a good walk of a mile and a half, that's like 3000, how's the rest look? So yesterday, I came not that far off, and today I feel like that added to a bike ride add up to a good healthy day.

Eating wise, I'm also seeing a big difference. Portion sizes have always been a big drawback for me. I'm finding myself satisfied after smaller and smaller meals. They're probably still larger than the average, but it's a great improvement.

The nutritionist talked about the benefits of keeping a food diary on Monday. Now I can see that being defeating in some ways, and I don't know if i'm adding too many little details, though maybe it's good to look back later on? I don't know, I'll see.

One thing I really enjoyed today was the Bible Study. It's a group at church called Band of Brothers, usually about 10-15 guys that get together, and right now we're looking at the book of Romans. It's interesting to see the reactions of some of the guys as you read the first couple of chapters. There's some pretty harsh wording in there and if you just stop with that first part of the book, it looks like we're all going to hell in a handbasket, although actually the ride is probably much less comfortable than a handbasket would be. Okay, bad joke... annnnnyway... the thing is, the reason it looks so harsh to begin with isn't to say we're all condemned... well, okay, it IS, but it's basically setting the rest of the book up. It's saying look, if you want to focus so much on the legalism and stuff, that's not a good road to go down cuz you'll never make it. Then it gets into God's grace.

I think where that applies to this journey I'm on right now is, it's so easy to get discouraged when you make a mistake, or don't exercise enough. You can focus on the negatives and the shortcomings, instead of the hope ahead. I think I'm back on that hope road now, and thus... the motivation improvement.

Yesterday I started the day out doing a 1.6 mile walk. That's part of the whole 8511 steps. It makes a nice start to the day to get out and walk, though it's not always easy to do when the schedule gets so full. Anyway, this morning I went a bit further, 1.85. Then the bike ride to bible study tonight was 12.5 miles. Sooooo....

Walking Total: 10.1 miles
Bike Total: 52.2 miles.

And now... I must go collapse. That ride home was good, refreshing... exhausting....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Biggest Loser, Part Deaux

Okay, I'm in trouble because I don't know my french, so I'll have to come up with a new name for any further reports on this rather than keep trying to count in french.

Anyway, I mentioned seeing that there was a group doing this program, so I went to check it out. It's a group of probably 15 people who started meeting last week. It's a contest of sorts, where everyone weighs in each week, and after 8 weeks the winner is determined by the percentage of their weight that they lost. But I suppose it's as much as anything a motivation and accountability thing, and if you're serious about shedding some pounds, you could do worse than having a good dose of either.

Okay, so basically I have to do better in 7 weeks than everyone else did in 8. Think I'm up to the task?

Now, the girl who was this week's leader... I have to say she did really well because, she didn't really have that much to lose. At least not compared to some of the rest of us, but still managed to shed a few pounds and is in a good start at 3%. For me... wow, that's like 11 pounds I'd have to lose to be at the same pace. My weigh in there was 385.7, a good 10 pounds higher than what I'm weighing in the mornings, (been stalled this week). Some of that is, it's a different scale, it's in the evenings, and I was wearing clothes, and while knowing all that, I still don't get a lot of warm fuzzies seeing it's 10 pounds more.

They had a nutritionist speaking, and basically she boiled it down to you eat less calories than you burn. Which I suppose it's as simple as that, but I guess what I think would be helpful would be more taking some time saying, okay, WHY are the calories important, how do the calories and carbs and proteins and blood sugar and fats and all of that work together.

I think this is where I have to be careful. I've read a couple of books on weight loss that treated some of this stuff pretty well and really kinda opened my eyes to how certain kinds of foods work in different ways, and a light went off in my head. But this is where I think I have to be careful and realize that having read some books doesn't make me smarter about this stuff than someone who's gone to college several years studying nutrition. I do have my biases that I'm sure are very influenced by what I've read and because of those biases I do think that sometimes the approach of saying just keep your calories down probably isn't the best approach.

There was somethign that I really appreciated in her approach. She said it well that there's no one good diet, no one kind of food that is key. You have to find the approach that works for you. It depends a lot on your own physical makeup and your own susceptibilities. For me, I'm pretty sure that large amounts of processed sugars and flours in my diet are my worst enemy because of how my body responds to those things, and the approach of the South Beach diet which pays more attention to eating good carbs vs bad carbs, good fats vs bad fats, is going to be much better for me than a typical low calorie diet. Because that's my perspective on what works, it's real easy to say the same has to be true of everyone, but I think other people will have other things that work much better.

And probably once 193 are down and there are 0 to go, maybe I can speak with even more authority about what works.

All of that said, I'm looking forward to the next few weeks just to see how it all goes.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The biggest loser

This morning in church there's a sheet about another church that's having a "Biggest Loser" fundraiser. "8 weeks of motivation and fun" plus prizes and such. Winner determined by highest percentage of weight loss. Just for the added motivation and encouragement, it might be fun.

I've never watched the TV show. Right now I think it's a couples thing, and Janiece would definitely hold us back here, considering she's really got nothing to lose, so my biggest loser glory might just have to be something small eh?

I did 8 and a half miles today on the bike. It feels... very good. Hills are getting more manageable. Very slow, but... manageable.

Bike: 8.5 miles today, 39.7 total.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Great American West

A memory that has haunted me is part of what has me wanting to do something about these extra pounds.

A few years ago I took 2 of my girls out to an amusement park. Some stuff kept them from going to camp so we did this trip instead, and it was a really great time. There was one ride though that, it looked like fun, so we decided to do it together, as we could sit 3 across.

We waited in line, and the girls were both excited and scared. It looked like fun, but it looked scary too. The ride was called The Great American West. The line moved along, and we passed these signs saying things like "Westward Ho" and "Go West Young Man." Cheesy stuff, but it did add to the anticipation of the ride. The time came where we could board the ride. The girls got in and were all set to go, but... for me it was a different story. I couldn't fit into the seat. I tried pushing and stuffing and squeezing and everything to get into the seat so they could close the safety device. Finally the attendant shook his head, and I had to get out and let the girls ride on their own. They looked so sad as they pulled away, and I was humiliated.

As I walked away, the attendant says, "Sorry Dude. No West for the Reary."

(pause for dramatic effect)

Okay, there was no ride called the West and no zinger line like that. But it did happen with a standup rollercoaster at Elitch's (back then it was a 6 Flags), where they couldn't close the safety hatch around me. It WAS embarrasing.

When you get this big, you get a lot of those moments. It's good to have a sense of humor, that's for sure....

So this past week wasn't a great one. I lost the momentum on exercising with the snowstorm last week, and wasn't always real good on the diet. But today was just too great out, and was a good chance to get back into action. My bike ride was shorter today, mostly because I had to take less time so I could take my daughter to her basketball tournament this morning way across in Parker. I rode 6 and a half miles then did a shorter 2 mile ride, but the part I liked about it was, I rode down to the Platte River trail, and then coming back was actually able to ride up the hill coming out of the valley without getting off and walking. For me, that's a good accomplishment.

My goal is to get to a point that when it's a bit warmer I can start commuting to work on my bike. It's about 15 miles, and there are some logistics to work out to make that work, but the best way I can see at least for now is to follow some trails so there's not the complete killer hills, except coming off the trail near home, so this was actually a good exercise because it was away to find out for sure that I can do this, especially once I'm really up to speed... So.... the future is bright. I did a couple miles later just to the store and back, and then took the 40 mph couch potato out for a walk, so overall it was a pretty decent day.

Hoping the scale starts to show that progress again soon....

Bike: 8.7 miles today, 31.2 total
Walking: 1.0 miles today, 6.65 total

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The 40 MPH Couch Potato

The regular walks are a good thing for at least one member of the family. That would be Jager, our greyhound. I've never seen a dog get so excited the moment you touch his leash. Puppy's got some amazing hearing, because there's times where you pick that thing up as quietly as possible and he's barreling into the kitchen, jumping up and down on his hind legs trying to push his nose into the collar.

Now, Jager can be great and awful all at the same time for taking on walks if you want to get a good brisk walk in. He'll start out full steam ahead and will do an awesome job of setting a great pace. So then you're cruising along, heart rate is going great, and then boom, Jager's stopped to sniff a bush or a tree and you're tumbling over him.

Jager is a retired race hound. They retired him at 2 years old... now the dog is amazingly fast. When he gets a chance to run, look out. Usually from what I understand greyhounds are quite a bit older when they get retired. But I think I'm getting clues as to why. Walking through the park I see all these other dogs straining at the least to chase the geese or the rabbits. Jager pays them no mind. Which actually makes him a great dog to walk, but... somehow I wonder if lack of interest in rabbits was part of his undoing? If anyone remembers Santa's Little Helper from the Simpsons, well I found one dog that would lose to him. "And here we come around the bend, it's Santa's Little Helper. Santa's Little Helper pulls ahead and Jager.... is off sniffing the fence posts...

Now the truth is, greyounds are awesome pets. He doesn't get into things, he doesn't shed, he doesn't bark, he doesn't do any of those things 'bad dogs' do. In fact, he sleeps a lot. He'll plop down anywhere for a nap, which is why my wife calls him the 40 mph couch potato. Greyhounds are not llike other dogs that curl up into this nice little ball either. Because they're all skin, bone and muscle (and very short hair) something about laying down just looks.... awkward. About a month after we were married I heard a bark and wondered if a neighbor's dog got into our house. Nope, that was Jager. He maybe barks once every 2 months -- I'm thinking of tracking his barks to see if there's a pattern but it's hard to get a pattern out of 3 barks. He's a tall, menacing looking dog, which made him ideal for going with my wife when she'd go out running, one look at that dog and bad guys are like, okay, I'm keeping my distance.

But he does whimper a lot. Especially at 3 in the morning when he's gotta go outside...

So I got thinking today when taking him along while out on my walk. Man's best friend? Really?? who's really who's best friend? After all, I'm the one following HIM carrying a bag of HIS poop... I grew up watching Lassie and seeing movies like Old Yeller where the dog would run out and risk his life to fight off a cougar or a grizzly bear. Jager's best shot would be to whimper the attacker to death. And then take a nap. It's a good thing we live in the city, cuz at least he looks mean. Grizzlies and cougars probably aren't fooled by the looks, but hopefully any potential thugs are.

Although next time he plops his feet up on the table and reaches over and takes a whole roast and wolfs it down before we can stop him, we just might go looking for a grizzly...

Okay, so enough about the couch potato. Today was much warmer than the 20 last Sunday. Okay, still only 45 or so but it was a great day for a bike ride. I stuck to the trails today, no killer hills. G0t in 12.4 miles today and felt really, really good. And then a mile with the couch potato on foot, so that made a pretty good day. Okay, i did munch down one of my daughter's chocolate chip cookies (but it was made with whole grain flour!!!)... though I think that's one thing I like about this diet compared to when I did Atkins, it really allows room for things like that, it's not nearly as strict about stuff.

Okay, on the scale side, I was actually up .4 pounds from yesterday. I know that's one of the reasons not to weigh every day because that kind of thing just happens from time to time. But if I'm weighing once a week, you get a better measure.

Anyway, the totals are:

Walking: 1.0 miles today, 5.65 total.
Biking: 12.4 miles today, 22.5 miles total

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bike Hunting

I posted at length about starting the diet, but the other big part of this whole plan is to start getting more exercise. A lot of that is walking, but I also want to get back into doing a lot of bike riding.

Way back in High School I didn't have enough money to buy a car, so I decided instead to get a good quality bike, and that was my mode of transportation. I worked on the opposite end of town (Lincoln) and rode my bike to work most nights. In college I rode that thing all over. And then again about 10 years ago I started riding a lot again, even riding in an MS-150 bike ride, a two day ride, 75 miles each day. I've always enjoyed riding, so I figured this would be a good thing to get back into.

Bike shopping is an experience. I got to a few stores, even took a look at some bikes at the big box stores and all. My experience in the past though is, if you want something you can depend on get it at a bike shop. The big differentiator is the support you get there, where if you have a problem with a Walmart bike, you're pretty much on your own. Some stores you walk into, and they have you right away at the 4-figure bikes. While I understand the value of a good quality bike, I'm still not quite ready for a bike that has a comma in the price tag, you know? While that day may come, it's certainly not here right now.

From my experiences, I would say this much. If you're in the Denver area, I would highly recommend Wheat Ridge Cyclery. I would say the difference comes down to how they approached things when I came in. Everywhere else, I got asked what kind of bike I wanted and what my price range was. When I went in there, I was asked what kind of riding I was planning on doing, how often, all of that. Then they pulled out a handful of bikes and had me try them out to see how they felt. When it was all said and done I came away feeling like I had the right bike for what I wanted to do.

I ended up getting a Trek 7100, a hybrid. It's got the build of a mountain bike, which is actually important considering it's gotta hold a guy in his upper 300's, but there is a lot of road functionality. The price is pretty good as well -- okay, not compared to a Walmart bike, but it's right in the range where I feel like I have a quality bike that's going to do the job quite well.

I'd love to outgrow the bike some day, and graduate up to something higher end. That would mean that I'm really getting somewhere with it.

So this was last Saturday. Weather wasn't so great then, in fact it wasn't too great Sunday either, with temps in the 20's, but I couldn't wait any longer. I had to get out and try some of the trails near by. The Platte River trail is only a couple miles from my home, if that, so that made sense.... I'm glad no one got a picture of me in my coat, ski mask, and bike helmet. The only thing that would have been worse is if i was still wearing glasses.

Probably the biggest thing that stood out in my thoughts about that bike ride is... one thing about the platte river is it's in a valley. Which is great for getting to it. Coming back is a killer. It may be awhile before I'm ready for those 100 foot climbs in 2 blocks. But at least that's not too far to walk a bike, eh?

When I got back, I google earthed my route, it was 10.1 miles that first day out. Not bad, and I didn't feel shot. So that's one more thing to keep on my tally. I haven't ridden since, just as hectic as the day gets (and the fact that I didn't get myself a light for the bike yet). But I'm looking forward to getting some riding in in weather somewhat warmer.

Okay, enough of that novel. I got in some more walking tonight, so my tally would be:

Biking: 0 miles today, 10.1 total
Walking: 2.5 miles today, 4.65 total
I mentioned the 273 earlier -- that makes 20 pounds lost total, 12 since December 24.

And the important thing is... I feel good!

Big Daddy Weave

Okay, someone beat me to the whole blogging through weightloss thing. Okay, probably thousands have done so, but I heard on K-Love about Mike Weaver of Big Daddy Weave doing his 90 in 09, working on losing 90 pounds this year. He's doing it up a bit more impressively with a website,, and he's got a couple heavy hitters in the diet and exercise world (no pun intended) working with him.

So 90 in 09 will probably get more attention than 193 at 5420. But that's okay. Mike, I'm praying for you.

Weight check this morning: 373.0. No measurements - just going to do those once a week. I probably should only do the weight check once a week too, just for those days nothing happens or even (gasp) there's a slight gain. Anyway, woohoo!!! 20 pounds gone already.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Getting Started. November 21, 2008

I'm not sure what it was that finally got this resolve going again. I'm not sure if it was looking at pictures of me that were more profile and realizing.... I'm HUGE... I think part of it also was coming to this realization that I could have been fooling myself all this time about how my weight wasn't THAT big a health issue. After all, my blood pressure, my cholesterol, all that was always in good shape. Maybe it was getting tired of worrying about whether a chair was going to hold up under me, but somewhere, I finally got some of that resolve back that... there has to be less of me.

Okay, I'm pretty sure that's not what John the Baptist meant when he said 'he must increase, i must decrease.' Of course, now that I bring it up I know that when I look at my life as a whole, there probably is some real truth to that statement on a more spiritual level. Self has been too big an emphasis in my life, so yeah, in that regard, there has to be less of me as well.

But I digress. (If you read much of this at all, you'll find I do that a lot. So beware the digress.)

Years ago I was really resolved to lose weight and went on the Atkins diet. I did great, for awhile. Somewhere along the line, I stalled after losing about 80 some pounds, stayed steady for awhile, (still needing to lose a lot) and eventually, started gaining it back. Eventually turned to rapidly, to where I'm back where I started all those years ago. Plus a wee bit more. :-( I know I was always asking myself, whatever happened to that resolve. I'm not sure I know the answer to that, but... at least for now it's back.

So, my wife and I were talking about diets, and a doctor friend of hers had said the South Beach diet's a good one to try, it was developed by a cardiologist, and in my mind it had enough similarities to what worked well for me in the past, so... November 21 it began.

Holy cow vegetables are expensive!!!!

So then, we get to the 193 part of the name of this blog. I set a goal of 200, that's my ideal weight. But... what is my current weight? That was a tough one cuz, (and this part has always been hard to say anywhere publically cuz it's just plain embarassing) well... the scale in the house wouldn't weigh me. I got a new scale, one that goes to 385 pounds, that should work. I KNOW I'm not THAT heavy. It wouldn't weigh me either.

That in itself added a bit of resolve. That's just hard to swallow, you know?

So I needed to know a starting point, so I wandered into one of those walkin clinics and asked to borrow their scale. I don't know if you can imagine doing that... until I did, I couldn't. Ummm, yeah, I'm too fat for my scale, can I use yours?

Anyway, I weighed 396 pounds. Another of those hard to swallow things, but at least I hadn't cracked 400 yet? I've always been able to get away with saying I'm 350 or even less because I'm tall enough that it's maybe not that obvious, but still. 396? So, at the time I figured that clothes and shoes took up 3 of those, and because I have this thing about not wanting to overstate how much I did lose once it's lost, I figured that means I'm really about 393. So, 193 to go.

Now the 5420 part of the title. I just moved to Denver this summer when my wife Janiece and I were married. It made more sense to move here, where she's from, than back to Nebraska where I'm from, so here I am. I'm loving it. I can remember back to the first time I ever got out to Colorado deeply envying people who lived in Colorado. My first girlfriend in college was from Colorado. Hmmm..... come to think of it there were a number of girls that were from Colorado I ended up liking, which really is making me wonder about myself right now. If there are any psychologists reading this right now, I really hope you don't know me.... Annnnnnnnnnnnyway... each day I find myself loving it more and more out here. Now one thing I noticed is people love that 5280 thing, 5,280 feet above sea level, one mile... magazines, restaurants, businesses, all naming themselves 5280. So I was gonna do 5280 in the title, but the geek in me had to look up in Google Earth, and we're actually at 5420. So there you have it.

Geez I ramble a lot, don't I?

Anyway, fast forward several weeks. I actually made it through Christmas week losing weight that week, so I was pretty proud of myself. You probably cannot imagine the jubilation I felt when I could actually use my new scale. I committed myself to getting out more, getting more exercise, all of that. I stalled after a couple weeks, was in this limbo through mid december, and then it's been really great these last 2 weeks or so. This morning, I broke the 375 barrier. Okay, 374.8, but still.... 18.2 down, 174.8 to go. (this kind of thing challenges my math skills)

Then this past weekend, as part of my Christmas present from my wife, we went out and got me fitted for a new bike. I used to ride a lot in the past but that's another thing I let slip. I've been ecstatic to see all the bike trails around here and chomping at the bit to get back on a bike, so... here's my chance.

So, in the end, when it's all said and done, what this blog is about is... well it will probably be more like a kind of rambling stuff here and there, so maybe about everything? Life, work, play, faith, kids, pets, sports, who knows?

But what I wanted to do more than anything was use this as a way to journal this journey... hey, that's kinda catchy, isn't it? Remind me sometime to tell the story of how I named my Creative Writing journal 'Earl' back in High School.... (see what I mean about digressing?). So, some of it is for my own sake, so I can look back and see how I've been doing, what I was feeling, all that kind of stuff. I want to put emphasis on whether this diet is working, and how the whole bike thing is going, because I'd like to be able to see the progress. Part of it I'm sure is a blatant search for encouragement, a chance to shout out LOOK AT ME!!! (Which as there's less fear of having people look at me). But there's another part too, and that's the fact that I know I can do this, and I'm confident it's going to happen. I want this to be something where maybe there's someone out there who isn't so sure about themself, so... I'm hoping it can be something that says hey, if I can do this, we know it's possible.

That confidence hasn't always been there for me. Some past success has helped. The love and encouragement of my wife has been a tremendous help in this. There are just enough of the right things happening at the right time for me lately that I'm in a place I don't know I've been in for a long time, maybe never, but... well anyway, that would be digression number 243 I think... (I start to wonder if I'm A.D.D.) but I'm so encouraged and so thankful for the support I've had, and maybe this is a way to offer support for someone else.

Or maybe it's just a LOOK AT ME kinda thing like I was saying before, who knows?

So before I get into digression number 244, I want to finish this up with some daily stuff:

Weigh in this morning: 374.8 Lost: 18.2
Measurements (this morning was the first time I measured):
Chest: 59 3/4 inches Lost: 0
Waist: 59 3/4 inches Lost: 0
Hips: 52 1/2 inches Lost: 0

Walking: 2.15 miles. Accumulated: 2.15 miles
Biking: 0 miles. Accumulated: 0

(now I can cut and paste this to future posts. Cool huh?)

Okay, so that concludes this post. I think. Though I am starting to rethink the 5420 thing, cuz... my bedroom's in the basement, 7 feet below ground level, so, 5413?

Really am starting to wonder about that whole ADD thing......