Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm Down to Overweight!


My goal for the end of February was 220, and today I am 219 pounds, which means that I am now officially OVERWEIGHT instead of Obese. Time to celebrate. But not with a cheesburger.

I will never be Obese again. You heard it here first, folks. Never. Ever. I'm done with it. Been there. Done that. Not as much fun as I had heard.

From now on, I'm going to be overweight or less. Which brings me to my March goal. 213. By the end of March, I intend to be 213 pounds or less.

213 is equally significant for me as 220. 220 was my Body Mass Indes threshhold between Obese and Overweight. 213...the last time I was 213 was in 2003. And I had FALLEN to 213 because I had had my wisdom teeth removed and could only eat a liquid diet for several days.

WHEN I get down to 213 by the end of March, I will weigh less than I have in about a decade. And I am currently a mere six pounds away from 213. SIX POUNDS. I can do this. I can totally lose six pounds by the end of March.

Here I go.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

El Weightloss Photo Update

It's that time again. Time to update my picture and compare with the original pic. I've lost about 30 pounds, now.

Old Picture:

And this is today's picture:

One thing you may notice right off the bat is that the angle of the photo has changed. I no longer have to obscure my jowl and neck and all the jowlish-neckishness that used to go with it. Though there's still much work to be done.

And as promised, a full body pic, fully clothed so as to protect the innocent and the guilty. This one is the first in the series, taken by my 7 year old son. He did a pretty good job. I have quite a bit more work to do on that belly of mine. Belly belly belly. But I'm more than halfway to my goal of 50 pounds of fatlessness.

And that's...the way it is.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Body Mass Index, JUST on the Line Between Obese and Overweight

I'm on the edge. RIGHT on the edge. I'm less than a pound away from being merely overweight. I've lost over 29 pounds since last October and a sight breeze could push me down to my End-Of-February target weight of 220. And then....I shall have a party.

Why did I pick 220?

Cuz I'm six feet tall. And at 220 pounds and at around 24% body fat, my body mass is officially, clinically Overweight rather then Obese. For me, the body mass threshold of obesity is at 220 pounds. You can check out your own body mass index here.

Today my Body Mass Index at around 221 is 30, which puts me JUST at the lower threshold of Obese. At 220, my Body Mass Index will be 29.8 which puts me JUST at the top threshold for Overweight.

This is pretty exciting.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Making and Avoiding Delicious Homemade Bread

Back in late 2008 it occurred to me that I had never made bread in my life. Here I was in my mid 30s and I'd never made the most basic dietary staple of post nomadic civilization. Say what you want about carbs and breads...but bread and grains made civilization possible. And I do enjoy me some civilization, from space travel to Pokemon cards.

I had always heard bread was very hard to make. So I buckled down and actually Read a Reipe all the way through rather than just looking at the list of ingredients. That's very hard for an ADD person like me. You have to realize. Very hard. But I did it. And shortly after, I had bread.

I thought "Damn. That wasn't so hard." And I've been making bread ever since. For just about four years. Below is some bread I made today. And now that I look at the picture you can see other evidence of my Semi-Crazed Survivalist ways (canning jars and starter pots for my heirloom seeds. Don't look at meeee! I'm a freak). My deep dark secret: I am, in fact, preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. I'm also stocking up on old yodeling records in case we see an alien invasion like in Mars Attacks and only yodeling can defeat the invaders.

I still make bread just about every week. But I've cut down on my carbs. It's kind of a pity. I love ripping off a chunk of bread, smearing it with butter or honey or both and eating it. Now I make the bread and the house smells like fresh baked bread and I have to observe extreme restraing and moderation.

Mostly I still make bread out of habit, and beause my family loves it. But I sure do miss it. I still have a little bit now and then. Oddly, it helps aleviate the cravings to watch my children eat the bread. I admit I do get some satisfaction from making food that my children eat and enjoy.

In other news, I expect to meet my February goal of 220 some time next week. And I just noticed my reasting heartbeat is down in the 60 beats per minute range now, rather than my usual high 70s low 80s Beats Per Minute. That's probably a Really Good Thing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Magical Thinking and Weightloss.

Magical Thinking: The feeling that thoughts or actions have the ability to cause actions or effects which would defy the normal laws of cause and effect.

Well, I'm back to losing weight again. It's uncanny. When I actually burn more calories than I eat, I lose weight just like that. Just like THAT. A little exercise. Sane portions of food and the weight just comes off.

For the first ten days of the month, though, my schedule was interrupted and I ate out a lot and ate too much when I did eat and my weight stayed static the whole time.

I think I actually lapsed into some Magical Thinking during that time. I'd think "Well...yeah...I MAY have eaten a lot, BUT...." and then I'd throw in some mythical reason why I should still be losing weight. Like I walked up the stairs once (you know, exercise) or I had to run a short distance to stop my son from heading into the parking lot...or worse, I'd reason that the magical powers of capcaisin might actually make up the difference in Putting Too Many Things in my Mouth.

Magical thinking.

I think there tends to be a lot more of that going on in my head than I care to admit. My mind, it tries to trick me. It's all like "Mmm...hey...hey, you. Check out the fried chicken. You know, that fried chicken is mostly fat and meat. It's PRACTICALLY low carb except for that tiny bit of breading. TINY. It's like having a slice of toast with ham and eggs. Come on now. Just do it...DO it..JUST DO IT you FOOL! Eat the CHICKEN!!!!"

There's tons of rationalization going on up there. Tons of magical thinking.
The thought that somehow, some way I can do an end run around the Laws of Physics so that I can have the result I want, but still engage in the same behaviors that have worked against the result I want.

I don't think the mind is terribly happy about losing weight. I think it works against millions of years of evolution. So the brain is going to create as many alternate realities as possible to make it seem like a really good idea to stay fat. Not just a good idea, but a GREAT idea.

Even as I write this my brain is saying "Oh....remember those little buttery cardamonm cookies your friend Karen makes? Those are so good. They're SO GOOD aren't they? And SO SMALL! SO SO small."

Stupid brain.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

4:30 AM. Couldn't' Sleep. Did some push ups. Felt Relaxed. Slept.


This morning I got up at 4:30 AM and couldn't get back to sleep. Normally I would have spent that time blogging and wasting time on Facebook, but instead I did some push ups. I went into my "Weight Room" by which I mean the "Basement" next to the "Furnace" and I lifed some of the weights I got for Christmas several years ago.

After the pushups and the weights, I felt great! I felt wonderful. I felt relaxed. I fell asleep easily and slept great for the next four hours until my sweet little boys started climbing on me.

You'd think that since lifting weights makes me feel so good and since I have them at my disposal I'd be using them all the time, right? Well...you'd think wrong. I have traditionally only used them only a few times per year. I moved them upstairs last year thinking the problem was that they were in the basement...I used them even LESS...AND I had to get all nervous because my kids were climbing on and around large chunks of steel (**crack** WAAAAAHHHH...**911**).

So I eventually moved them back into the basement.

The problem wasn't one of location. It was just a problem of using the damn things. I've been getting down into the basement at least once a week now. I'm going to try to step that up to three times per week, in addition to my usual diet.

I haven't been able to breat 224 all month, and that's my own damn fault. I've come too far to give up, now. All I need to do is lose 5 more pounds and I have my weight goal for February. That's still well within the realm of possibility.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Two Week Odyssey of Stress and Restaurant Food

Blarg.....so a couple weeks ago my parents went to Florida for two weeks to visit family who are having health issues, and my wife went out of town for a week to a vendor show for her store. The confluence of these events left me alone with my two boys for a week, and without much in the way of child care during my daily work schledule for two weeks.....

...hence my long term blogging absence, by the way.

While the lady was gone, I got it in my mind that a good way to keep my boys from missing their mother and grandparents was to live it up in the evenings which usually meant going out to eat in the evenings: hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza....whatever food suited them. And let me tell you...such a lifestyle is NOT diet friendly. I'm lucky I made it out of the past two weeks in a state of stasis. I did not lose weight. On the bright side...I also did not GAIN weight.

I think there are three morals of the story:

1. Eating out is not diet friendly. Ya gotta really know what you're eating. Even the salads aren't safe.

2. Fish is amazingly low calorie compared to beef. I think what saved me is my love of lake perch. Even FRIED lake perch is better than ground beef in a patty on a bun. I'm a huuge Lake Perch fiend and if it's on the menu, like it is in most local West Michigan restaurants...if it's on the menu, it's as good as ordered and in my mouth. I love fried lake perch.


3. Stress and a change in routine is also terrible for the diet. A person really has to look out for that. When you're stressed your will power is severely compromised. There's like a gagillion research findings to support this. Avoid stress.

So that's what I learned earlier this month.

Now if I can just lose 6 more pounds I'll weigh less than I have in over five years.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting Sucked Back into the Fatness Vortex

Hmmm.....I had a good week of weight loss. After a long period of very slow progress, all of a sudden the weight came off. BOOM. Like in a week. Boom.

Now, it's back to a crawl again. I've been about 224 pounds for most of a week. Maybe these peaks and valleys are just something I need to get used do.

Or...or maybe I'm a sleep eater. Or maybe my body pulls some alien abduction mojo on me. It blanks out my mind and takes control while I stuff random things into my mouth, then clears all memory. I guess it didn't clear my memory yesterday. Yesterday I definitely jumped into a pizza and kettle chips with abandon. And beer. Don't forget the beer. That didn't add up well at the end of the day. Set myself back maybe 900 calories, which is almost 1/3 of a pound of fat.

At times I think "Wow! this weightloss stuff is EASY!" And at other times it seems like I'll never really change my dietary habits long-term.

As something special I took the kids down to Crazy Bounce. It's these massive, 30 foot tall inflatable bounce structures. AWESOME. Heh... I ran around on 'em too to burn off the energy. Anyway, there was one thing where you attached a bunjie cord around your waist and ran as far and as fast as you could.....but eventually you couldn't pull the cord anymore and it would yank you back hard. You'd go flying back into a massive inflatable wall. Whee!

That's what dieting feels like at times. Like you're gonna get sucked back into the vortex of fatness. Like you can feel your will to make your goals fading.

So far it's helped a lot to talk about this stuff. If you're in the same dietary fix...I highly recommend opening a twitter account and finding other dieters there. Or blogging. Or finding some other diet community. Even Facebook. Folks are generally very supportive. Talk about the challenge honestly...maybe you can talk yourself through the hard parts, and with words of encouragement from supportive folks.

But we trudge on, eh? Moving forward.

This is gonna be a good month. This month I can set my new weightloss goal. I'm GOING TO be below 220 by the end of this month. That's a big landmark for me. I've been 220 for years. I'm around 224 to 225 now.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

AVAST! My old nemesis...water weight! Curse you for ruining my weightloss goals!

Well, here we are. February 1st. And I'm sad, but not TOO sad, to say that I did not reach my 10 pound weight loss goal for January. I did, however, lose 9 pounds. And that's fantastic.

I started January at 233 pounds and ended January at 224 pounds. For whatever reason, though, that very last 2/3 of a pound I needed to shed in the last few days just wouldn't go away no matter my calorie deficit or the exercise. From a very simple standpoint of 3500 calories being 1 pound of fat, I should have lost at leat a pound over ht past few days. But I didn't. In fact, my weight went a little bit up or stayed the same from day to day. Frustrating...which leads me to my weighloss topic du jour:

That freain' water weight, again, and inherant problem of weighing yourself every single day.

As it turns out, we're not just looking at a simple equation of fat loss = weight loss. Alas, we have so much other Stuff in our bodies that happens to have its own weight. The biggest one, of course, is water. 1 pint of water up of water is 1 pound, and you can easily down a pint of water. Just two cups. Cup of coffee from McDonalds, BAM... about 1 pound.

And if you've had more salt than usual, your body is going to hold onto that water. Another thing that holds onto the water...glycogen. There are two basic types of energy storage in your body: fat and glycogen. The glycogen is your body's rapid response energy boost. It's the first energy store your body taps when you're running low on energy. And holy smokes does it hold onto the water. So your day to day glycogen stores are going to fluctuate the amount of water your body is holding.

So, basically...just as part of the body's normal routine of, like, LIVING...it's going to see weight gain and weight loss from day to day. I just need to remind myself that it's normal and not get disouraged.