Archive for November 2010
It’s confession time. No weigh in. (Won’t lie – weight is up a bit.) And I won’t be weighing in until December 7th.
Let me tell you a story.
I used to weigh 403 pounds. I’ve mentioned that before. I lost weight on Weight Watchers.
What I don’t mention…
I once weighed 260 pounds. This is me at 260 pounds, almost five years ago.
I am amazed at how thin, healthy, and happy I look there. I’m still quite overweight in this picture, probably even obese, but with my height and large frame, I’ve always carried my weight extremely well. In this photo, I am probably forty to fifty pounds away from goal weight here.
So why am I now 350ish pounds? Why am I now well over one hundred pounds (150?) away from goal weight? (FYI – Except for Tina, the following names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved, just in case.)
In March 2006, I met a girl. Her name was Maya. I fell hard, fast. I didn’t fall in love. I am not someone who throws the word “love” around lightly. I didn’t “fall in love” with Tina until we had been together for six months and I was absolutely, 100% certain that it was love. Tina felt similarly, and she, likewise, didn’t use the L word until she was sure she meant it. We both believe WAY too many people “fall in love” before they can even know and fully trust their partner, but that’s a topic for a different day. I’m talking about my past here.
As I said, I fell HARD for Maya.
Maya was my first girlfriend. I had had other firsts, but as far as someone to hold hands in public with and actually introduce as a girlfriend, she was the first. (And yes, for those of you doing the math, I didn’t have my first real girlfriend until I was 27 years old.) Maya used the L word on me after about three weeks. That was the first red flag. Thank God I did not say it back. I wouldn’t have meant it.
There were other red flags. We just weren’t compatible. We lasted about a month. The break up was pretty spectacular. Maya was not a good match for me in so many ways. I so desperately wanted a girlfriend, and I was truly, utterly devastated that Maya was not going to fill that role.
But at the time, 280 pound me, who was well on his way to goal weight, freaked out. Apparently, in some corner of my mind, I thought Maya was the only girl in the world.
How did I decide to respond?
For about four months.
Every single day, I would eat until I was sick. I ate just to feel something. In those four months, I gained about thirty pounds.
About four months after Maya, I met Gertrude. Unlike Maya, who was trim and fit, Gertrude was obese. Bigger than me, in fact. I didn’t care. I had somebody. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t a freak.
Gertrude was an even worse girlfriend than Maya. Unlike Maya, who was just damaged in her own way, Gertrude was a hateful, spiteful, unpleasant person. Yet I let her rule my life for about two months. Just so I wouldn’t be alone. And the weight kept creeping up.
Do you ever look back at the people you dated in the past and wonder how horrifyingly awful your life would be if you had stayed with them? These are just two out of a list of “Good Lord, What Was I Thinking” people.
In January 2008, I met Tina at Barnes and Noble. In October 2010, I made her my wife.
I don’t want to sound like a Hallmark card when I say this, but Tina truly completes me. She is my perfect match in every possible way. My family and friends adore her. Heck, I think my family likes her better than they like me. I can’t imagine my life without her. I love her with all of my heart, and she makes me a better person by being in my life.
Our relationship had a few, minor, rocky places in the beginning, but I know we are stronger for having weathered them. We have never fought; we have never really even argued, unless it’s something stupid like “which tv show is better,” and for some reason, she thinks “Gilmore Girls” is better than “Buffy.”
So Tina makes my life complete. I can’t wait to have babies with her and grow old with her and… okay, I actually CAN wait to have babies with her and grow old with her, because I love being with her right now. But my main point – I am excited about being her husband.
In fact, there is only one thing wrong with the whole picture.
If I am so happy (and I truly am), why aren’t I magically thin?
You know, the me who dated Maya and Gertrude both expected happiness to automatically equal goal weight. It took Tina to show me that I can be happy anywhere.
But at the same time, Tina has also shown me that I can be so much better than I am. So why aren’t I losing weight?
I’ll be more honest – I’ve done the therapy route. It helped. A lot. I finally separated my self-worth from my weight. For the most part. I won’t lie and say I don’t still have tinges, but it’s been a long time since I truly binged.
Yet my weight is also at a standstill. I pretty much weigh today what I weighed two years ago. I have been working out, so I have way more muscle, and I have lost a LITTLE in clothing sizes, but by and large, the last two years have shown me no progress.
I’ve considered going back to Weight Watchers several times. After all, I lost 145 pounds on it in about a year’s time.
Why haven’t I gone back?
I finally realized the answer to that one recently, and there are two reasons.
One, I’m ashamed to. I’m ashamed to admit defeat. I’m ashamed to admit that I came from a great place of having lost 145 pounds to saying, “Yes, I gained back almost ninety. Here I am again.”
And two, I’ve read on so many blogs about how people do it without any help other than their blog and loved ones. I’ve read on more than one blog how paying to go to Weight Watchers is stupid. (Not all, admittedly, but I’ve definitely seen that attitude on more than one.) I’ll be honest; I think I felt a bit shamed into going back. I don’t know why, because it isn’t like I automatically believe everything every other blogger believes, but it seems that several people were so against it – that you can lose weight for free, therefore paying for a support group and program is stupid – that I started to believe that, too.
You know what? Screw those people. Weight Watchers worked for me once, and I’m going back.
Oh, and I do believe that people can lose weight for free. I’m just going to choose to pay for the service that Weight Watchers offers.
There is a Weight Watchers support group starting at my workplace here in about two weeks. Our first official weigh-in is December 7th. By joining there, I’ll be able to both weigh-in at work and attend community meetings as I wish.
I want to make one thing clear – I am not treating November 24th thru December 7th as a pig-out fest. I do not plan to put on twenty pounds between now and then. If anything, I’d like to be two or three pounds lighter.
I hope you’ll stick with me on my journey as I go through Weight Watchers again. If I respond as well as I did the first time through, it will be quite the fun journey.
I lost 145 pounds on Weight Watchers in 2005-6, and I’m going to do it again in 2010-11.
This is what my weight loss view looked like before.
A bleak road with nothing enjoyable on it.
This is what it looks like now.
An exciting, exhilarating, scary world is rising before me. And I’m going back to that world. Join me?
Well, it’s been over a month, and I still haven’t written about the wedding. This blog post is all about the wedding, and it is crammed full of pictures (and the video of our ceremony) and has nothing whatsoever to do with weight loss. So if you aren’t interested in the wedding, you can go ahead and skip this post, because it’s all wedding. But if you are at all interested in what was one of the best days of my life, then please, continue reading.
Tina had spent the night before with her mother, working on the flowers for the centerpieces. She wanted to have the dress out of the house as well, so she planned to get ready elsewhere. We somewhat strayed away from tradition in this respect. I wasn’t allowed to see the dress, but we weren’t worried about seeing each other before the walk down the aisle. She was basically spending the night elsewhere because we didn’t want to have to deal with cat hair on the wedding dress and any of our animals being too nosey about the flowers.
I woke up early and headed to the cave where we were going to get married. If you hadn’t already read that here, we got married in the 1920s night club at Lost River Cave. So basically, as I write this post, you may hear me repeatedly say “and then the cave…” So yeah, we got married in a cave, but it’s not as hillbilly as it sounds. I promise.
Anyway, I was taking the first load of things to the cave (i.e. – wine, beer, glasses, decorations, et cetera). I got a text at around 8 a.m. that said Tina had been bitten on the foot by some unknown spider.
Okay, I immediately get a little worried, because Tina had several hundred flowers from South America around her, and for all I know, she just got bit a Amazonian Foot Melting Monster Spider. Fortunately, her mother is a nurse, she got Tina in to see a doctor at about 7 a.m., and it was agreed that it was probably nothing, we’d monitor it, and continue our day. (Fortunately, it ended up just being a regular Kentucky spider, and Tina was fine. Whew.)
But the entire morning consisted of helping set things up. We had a wedding coordinator, (which ended up being a huge waste of money because she did not do her job nearly as well as she had said – seriously, Leona from Lasting Impressions sucks hose water – please email me if you are in the Nashville/Bowling Green/Louisville area and are considering using her services), but my best man Annie, her husband (and one of my groomsmen Kevin), and I ended up doing quite a bit of the set up ourselves. I’m going to refrain from bashing Leona for this entire post, as she is truly just one tiny insignificant unpleasant blip on what ended up being the best day of my life, so the bashing is now over. Only good things from here on out.
Around one o’clock, I headed home to shower, eat lunch, put on my tux, and go to Van Meter Hall at Western Kentucky University (my alma mater and employer) to meet Tina and our photographers (Brie at BGB Photos, who was AWESOME!).
By 2:30, I was standing in front of Van Meter Hall, waiting to meet my bride.
She was beautiful.
I truly felt (and still feel) like I’m one of the luckiest men in the entire world. I’m not going to talk about how our wedding was the most awesome wedding ever or anything similar, because hopefully, everyone feels their wedding was perfect for them. Our entire wedding day was US, and that was what we wanted.
We took a lot of photos on WKU’s campus. I have three degrees from there, Tina is about to graduate from there, and I currently work there. Plus, it is a beautiful campus, and we wanted to take some of our wedding pics there, just the two of us.
Funny side note – someone had used Sidewalk Chalk to propose to someone beneath the Kissing Bridge, where we took many of our photos. (I proposed IN Mammoth Cave to Tina, because we had already decided we would be married at Lost River before the actual proposal, and I thought having a proposal in a cave would be a nice cave-y bookends to the wedding. However, caves are dark, and although we looked at Tina’s ring in lantern light, she didn’t really get to appreciate the engagement ring until we were outside. Still, it was the best (and only) proposal I’ve ever made.)
After WKU photos, we went to Barnes and Noble for a few more, as that was where Tina and I met. We attracted a lot of attention in B&N, and one of the managers even came up to us and asked about our story. We were definitely the hit of that particular barista that afternoon, and our awesome photographer even got us each a frappucino for a photo op. (Seriously – we loved our photographer!)
Also, in the foreground of the frappucino shot, you can see some golden wedding bands. My mom let me borrow those. They are my grandparents’ wedding bands, who were married for 49 years and 10 months when my grandfather passed away. Neither of my grandparents are with us anymore, but I thought it was a wonderful thing to be able to carry the wedding bands of two people who were in love for so many years in my pocket while I got married.
You know, just hanging out at Barnes and Noble in a tuxedo and a wedding dress, drinking frappucinos… and hey, I just realized Tina is standing in the wedding section and I’m standing in Regional Cookbooks… hmm…
Following Barnes and Noble, we headed to the cave. The next two hours were a blur of friends, family, photos, and anticipation. I’m just going to show a deluge of photos here, but before I do, let me introduce you to our wedding party.
From left to right, Groomsman Kevin Holt, Groomsman Dana Markwell, Best Man/Lady Annie Holt, The Groom & Bride, Jeremy and Tina, Maid (technically Matron) of Honor Tina Perry, Bridesmaid Amanda Thomas, and Bridesmaid Patti Markwell.
Patti actually started off on my side with me, but when one of Tina’s attendants flaked on her, Patti agreed to be on Tina’s side, I added Kevin, and we were back where we should have been with three and three.
Not in this photo are our flower girls, my niece Cailynn and Tina’s cousin Kaile.
Also, this is one of my close friends and our officiant, Gregg Hussey. (Tina and I are both six feet tall. Gregg is a giant at 6’5″.)
We asked Gregg to preside over our ceremony because we don’t have a church here that we attend regularly yet, and we both HATE, HATE, HATE the tradition of having a friend who is not a man of God get ordained on the internet to conduct the ceremony. I know some people feel it is perfect for them, and for them, it is perfect, but for us, we needed an actual man of God. Despite living three hours away, Gregg made the drive and was the perfect pastor for us.
Let’s start in with many more pics of the pre-wedding, BEFORE we get to the video and the fun reception pictures.
Tina wearing my suspenders, after I decided they were jacking the crotch of my pants up too high…
Standing around at the River Walk…
Decorations at the River Walk…
Sign at the Cave
Tina’s mother and us
My parents and us
Tina’s dad and step-mom and us
Tina and her brother
Dana being pinned…
What time is it?
Practicing for our first dance…
Tina and her girls…
Me and the guys…
“I don’t know what to do with my hands…”
The Night Club Floor (where the ceremony and reception were held)…
The Program (designed by Tina)
The Flower Girl Baskets…
The guests are arriving…
Tina peeking out before the ceremony…
My parents down the aisle…
And our attendants down the aisle…
Here comes the bride…
At the altar…
Happier than I’ve ever been…
I’ll post more photos after this video, but right now, the video! We couldn’t afford a videographer, so I just asked my thirteen year old nephew to record it with my camcorder. (Unfortunately, I forgot to turn the camcorder on for the reception, so this is the only video we have of the night. At least we have this much, right?) It isn’t the greatest quality, but I am just very thankful that Ethan was able to record it for us at all. For someone who had just learned how to use the camcorder about five minutes before, I think he did a great job. Our ceremony was VERY short – seriously, less than fifteen minutes. That was also important to us.
And yes, I’ll go ahead and own up to this because you may not be able to tell in the video.
I cried like a big old baby. But they were tears of joy. I was pledging to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier.
Oh, yeah, and Tina, who cries to the point of dehydration every time she watches Steel Magnolias, did not shed a tear. My boss says women have a tear shut off valve when mascara is involved. I just know that I cried and Tina just looked happy.
It won’t show up very well in the video, but the spotlight (that Tina designed) that shone on the aisle made Tina looked like she was glowing as she walked down the aisle. I’m surprised I didn’t start crying then.
(If it isn’t embedded above, you can watch it here.) [Also, you can somewhat see in the video, my best man/lady Annie and Tina’s maid of honor, Tina, had our rings stored in their respective bras. How many weddings have you been to where both the maid of honor AND best man pulled the ring out of their bra? Probably not many.)
I’ll tell you about the reception, and then all of the photos will be at the very end, because honestly, the night was such a wonderful, fun, exciting, blurry event, I’m not even entirely sure of the order of things. All I know is that we had several guests who told us that our wedding was the first fun wedding they had ever been to; many people agreed that it was truly a magical night.
We had a great reception. Our caterer was a local restaurant called Mariah’s. We had to supply alcoholic drinks, but they took care of everything else for a really low price. We went with a heavy appetizer dinner, which may not have been the greatest idea since our guests were clearly starved. There was still enough food, but just barely.
I’ve always heard that people don’t get to eat at their own wedding. Well, I can definitely testify that Tina and I did not. We got a few bites, but we were so busy speaking to our guests and so forth that we didn’t really get to eat. We even had a mashed potato bar, which sadly… I only got to look at. *sigh*
Our band was the hit of the evening. They were City Lights from Nashville, and they were amazing. (They played the music during the ceremony as well.) I really wish I had set the camcorder up to record, even if it had just been facing a blank wall, to have gotten to save their music. They even learned a few songs that we requested before hand that was not in their repertoire, just to make the night perfect for us.
We requested Michael Buble’s “Everything” for our first dance. We also choreographed our first dance. People applauded. It was great.
I also wanted Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Their main female vocalist has a gorgeous voice.
Also on the request list, which they played perfectly – “At Last” by Etta James and “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry, among others. I can’t even imagine our reception without our band. Their bandleader, Sam Levine, was an amazing MC. He was fun, clever, and a nice touch to the evening.
Two of the traditions that we tossed were the bouquet toss and garter toss. Tina and I both agree that every wedding we have ever been to, these two tosses are usually… at best, awkward, and at worst, painful. I’ve never been to a wedding that these have truly been a fun part of the night. I’m sure there have been; I’m just saying that the two of us have never seen it happen. So we decided to do away with that tradition entirely.
Instead, to give away the bouquet, we decided to do an Anniversary Dance. This is a tradition where all of the married couples get on the floor. After about a minute of dancing, the MC said, “Now, all couples who have been married for less than twenty-four hours must go sit down.” And of course, Tina and I had to sit down. A bit after that, “All couples married less than a year,” and then “less than five years,” and so on and so forth until only one married couple, the couple married the longest, is left dancing. The married couple left dancing at our wedding was my mom’s best friend, Doris, and her husband, Claudie, who have been married for 46 years. It was an especially emotional time for Doris, as she almost lost Claudie last year to heart disease, but he’s still here and they are still going strong. I could not have been happier with our last couple standing.
Our cake was also tasty. Or rather, I’ve been told it was tasty. The only bite we got was when we served each other. I’ll also point out we did NOT smash it in each other’s faces. We both hate that tradition. I mean, I REALLY hate it. As in… I hate people who set small animals on fire and the cake-smashing tradition about equally. So just a loving bite fed to each other, and then our guests got to eat cake and we get to hear later about how yummy it was, and if we think back, we can vaguely remember, “Yeah, I think that one bite of cake was exceptional.”
Tina made my groom’s cake, which was Super Mario themed! Super Mario and Princess Peach were our only cake toppers for the entire wedding, and they are currently sitting on our piano in the living room. Yes, I am that much of a geek, but it’s also sentimental, as we dressed up as Mario and Peach last Halloween at our engagement party.
Oh, and also… totally not a cake. The bottom layer was brownie, the middle layer was cookie, and the top layer was S’mores. The dampness from the cave made it a bit droopy, but it still looked awesome, and I loved that Tina made it for me.
For table numbers, Tina made books with the number on it. Each book had empty pages in it that our guests could fill out. For instance, one page might say “Predictions for the Bride and Groom.” (Apparently, everyone expects us to have tons of babies.) Another might say “Advice for the Groom” or “The Most Romantic Love Song.” Table Eleven, which consisted of some of my friends from Tae Kwon Do, especially had fun with the “Advice for the Groom” page. Let’s just say that Table Eleven’s Book is one that I won’t let my kids see until they’re of legal, adult age.
The night couldn’t have been more perfect. My jeep was just barely defaced (courtesy of my groomsman Dana).
But for as perfect as the night was, it was just a wedding. My marriage to Tina is what it was all about, and I have never been as happy as I am with her.
The Mario and Peach Cake…
The Wedding Cake…
Quotes from our favorite t.v. shows and movies at each Place Setting…
Glasses for the Mashed Potato Bar…
Cutest kid ever, but I swear I have no idea who this little girl is…
My Sister Jessica and her family…
I swear I am not evil… Really, promise, not evil…
Reception Floor Set Up…
Candles (also made by Tina)…
Centerpieces (again, made by Tina)…
My defaced jeep, found at the end of the night. Boy, this could have been SO much worse…
Relaxing before our entrance…
Our awesome band, City Lights…
Our first dance…
Alex & Cailynn Dancing…
Funniest, sweetest Best Man Toast ever…
I should have worn bigger socks…
The Anniversary Dance…
And the winners, Doris and Claudie, married 46 years…
We were warned to practice this part… we found it pretty easy… but we’re awesome like that, I guess…
Signing the marriage license…
My sister, Rhonda, and her husband, Larry Wayne…
My mom, Betty Ann, and her best friend, Doris…
My parents, married for 34 years…
Dancing the night away…
And lastly, thank you. Thank you to those of you who were able to go, those of you would have gone if you lived close enough, and those of you who sent Tina and I many messages of support and love. Thank you.
My weight is 346. I am pleased with my weight, as it has been steadily lowering.
But wait a minute, you may say. Didn’t you just weigh like 343 about a week and a half ago? What happened? Did you lose your mind and eat a concrete block over the weekend and didn’t share that weigh in?
No. No concrete block eating for me.
But I have had a few weight fluctuations, especially now that I’m back hitting the gym. My workout routine consists of weights on day one, weights on day two, cardio on day three, and pretty much repeat. It’s a lot more complex than that; I don’t just go in the weight room and try random machines. I visit a personal trainer who gives me a very particular order and set of exercises, divided up by body type and other fun factors. But the gist of it is – I do weights two days, cardio one day, and then repeat.
I’ve been finding that my weight is higher on my weight days, and then the day after my cardio day, it drops. Plummets, even, sometimes by as much as four or five pounds.
I know this is temporary, even though I find myself really excited for about thirty seconds. But no, then reality sets in, and I remember that I didn’t actually burn 17,500 calories on the elliptical at the gym last night. (I don’t even think it goes that high.) It’s just that lifting weights causes your muscles to engorge with blood (heh heh, engorge) and that makes you retain fluids. Heavier weight.
Conversely, if I eat popcorn (which is always air popped with just a little salt, no butter, pretty healthy), I can expect to gain weight. Same if I eat any meal with high sodium. It isn’t REAL fat gain; it’s just water gain.
So I’m still weighing in regularly, every day in fact, but my regular weigh-ins will be different. I will no longer weigh in once a week. Instead, I will weigh in every time my Physics Diet Fitness Chart tells me that my AVERAGE weight has dropped another pound.
Right now, I am at 346. The Physics Diet method of reporting my weight does have the added fact that my weight, as recorded there, will be a few pounds heavier than it is on my scale at home, but I’m okay with that. This way, I don’t have to worry about day-to-day fluctuations and potentially getting stressed out by them. As soon as I am at 345 (which may be a few days), I’ll post another weigh-in.
So rather than once a week, I’ll post every time I truly LOSE a pound.
So why is this a Bazinga weigh-in?
Well… physics diet… one of my favorite t.v. shows, The Big Bang Theory, is about physics… Sheldon is my favorite character… and Bazinga is his catchphrase.
I thought it was obvious.
Fact for 402
That’s right; I started this over a month ago, and I’m just now getting around to my second fact. Oh well. It’s been a long time since I’ve weighed 402, and I’m going to memorialize that pound lost with this fact.
I have something to share that have made people hate me.
I wish I was joking, but I’ve honestly had people curse at me (for real) when I tell you what I am about to tell you.
Upon revealing this fact, those who have not wished utter pain and wretched happenings upon me will then express shock and amazement.
Strangely, no one has accused me of lying. But almost everyone has expressed envy.
And outside of my family, I have never known ANYONE who can boast this claim or anything close to it. (If you are out there, please email me and we’ll start a support group.)
I’ve never had a headache.
That’s right; I am currently 32 years old, and I have not one day in my life ever had a headache. Even if I bump my head or do something that other people say will trigger headaches, I’ve never gotten a headache. I have friends who have regular migraines; I can offer sympathy, but they usually don’t like it when I even do that, because then they just remember that I don’t get headaches and apparently, that knowledge makes the migraine worse.
I’ve had the flu, and while it sucked, I’ve been told it sucks even worse with a headache. I wouldn’t know.
I’ve never had a hangover, despite drinking enough on a few occasions to warrant one. I suspect I don’t get hangovers for whatever reason allows me to not get headaches. (Isn’t a hangover just basically a headache caused by drinking?)
I have two male relatives who can boast having had very few headaches, but I’ve never met anyone else who has had ZERO.
Please don’t hate me for it. I can’t control it. And if I could teach this skill, I would. I would completely teach people how to live headache free. For a nominal fee, of course.
Am I truly alone? Am I the only person in the world who has never had a headache?