Archive for September 2011

I know where I was…

I was working in mental health at the time as a Therapeutic Child Support worker. It was kind of like a paid Big Brother who also covered therapeutic topics during outings with my clients.

The night before, a client’s mother had called and for various reasons, we were going to be unable to keep the appointment. I don’t remember the conversation we had, exactly, but I do know that it was pretty light-heart. As a result of the call, I was going to have September 11, 2011 off from work.

I woke up around 8 a.m. or so, and I was eating breakfast and my mother (I still lived at home at the time) called me into the living room. She told me that apparently there was a terrorist attack on American soil. I was watching Good Morning America live when the second tower was struck. I was still watching when the towers finally fell. I remember discussing with various people what we were afraid the death toll would be.

I received a call from work that our children’s therapist had found the day too troubling and chose not to come in to work. Well, we were all troubled, but I knew my clients would be especially troubled. I went in to the office. If the children’s therapist wasn’t going to be there to take calls and see clients, I at least needed to be there if one of our kids needed to talk to someone. There were therapists that day who were attempting to see clients, but it was chaotic. We were all sitting in the front office watching live footage from ABC News via rabbit ear antennas. One of my clients was having a crisis at school because of the events of the day. I went and comforted him, and I called all of my clients before the day was over.

I’ll never forget what one of my clients said to me. “It’s like World War III. Is it going to happen here in Kentucky?” He was concerned we would have loss of life in rural Kentucky. Just one country over from Fort Knox, Kentucky. I couldn’t promise him that he would be safe, so I just said, “All we can do is focus on what we have control over, and all we can do is be as strong as we can today.” I still don’t know if that was the right or wrong thing to say, but that’s what I said.

The world is a different place today because of those actions that occurred on 9-11-01. I’m extremely lucky; none of my immediate family was impacted by any deaths on those planes or elsewhere that day. Many of my clients, often just 10 to 12 year old boys, pledged they would join the army as soon as they were old enough to go fight the terrorists. That thought still makes me sad, that pre-pubescent boys, boys who still thought girls had cooties, whose thoughts typically weren’t far from Pokemon or Nintendo, were making plans to defend our country.

I sometimes still remember that call that I had with that parent on September 10, 2011. We had not a care in the world, no idea that the world would be a very different place just twelve hours later.

I just want to say that I am extremely grateful for our armed forces and our allies. Thank you for sacrificing so much to keep us safe.

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Pre-Holiday Trifecta Weigh-In

It’s the Pre-Holiday Trifecta Weigh-in!

What do I mean by that? I’ll explain below. But first… the weigh-in!

September 9, 2011
Weight: 374.0
Change from Last Week: -1.8 pounds
Change from Highest: -28.8 pounds
Waist: 53.5”
Change of ½” since 9-2-11

Woo hoo! I definitely feel like I am on the right track now.

I’ll be honest – I had two pretty splurgy days this week. We had labor day at both my parents’ house and Tina’s mom’s. While I didn’t eat AWFUL, I did eat quite a bit, too. Lots of meat. Quite a bit of desserts. More than a few brats. And a few handfuls of chips. I feel confident in saying I didn’t binge, but I did eat WAY over my points.

However, and this is where I’m really proud of myself, I got back on track Tuesday morning. I didn’t say, “Eh, I’ll just wait ‘til Friday and start over.” I actually counted my points beginning Tuesday and just finished out my week.

I don’t know if I can stress how big a deal this is for me, because it’s HUGE! I am the King of the Delayed Start. “Well, it’s Sunday… and Mondays are better days to start a diet.” Or “I’ve heard that people who start a diet on Wednesday or more successful…” I seriously read that in the Weekly World News when I was about ten, and it’s been in my head ever since.

And who wouldn't believe such top-notch reporting...

And who wouldn't believe such top-notch reporting...

But I did it. I stuck to it. I’ve been running. I’ve been counting my points. I’ve been eating a spinach salad every day for lunch. I’m doing this.

Why didn’t I do it sooner? I dunno. Doesn’t really matter, though, does it? I’m doing it now.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to drop big numbers like I did when I lost weight the first time in my mid-to-late twenties. I’m 33, and honestly, even at 33, my metabolism is slower than it was five years ago.

But it doesn’t matter. The weight is coming off.

Why the holiday trifecta? In the past, I could have easily made an excuse for just waiting until New Years to start a diet. After all, we have Halloween (candy!), Thanksgiving (turkey!), and Christmas (everything!) coming up. Oh, and Tina and I are going to Vegas (Buffets!) in December, too. Not this year. I’ll diet hard until then. I’ll indulge a bit on and around each holiday. I’ll keep track of my points. In Vegas, we’ll do some running on the strip every day. I’ll exercise. I may not lose weight over Christmas, but I’ll at least gain less than I have in years past. I’ll enjoy my life. I’ll keep getting smaller.

The holiday trifecta will be here next year, too. It isn’t like this magical food only happens once in a while. It happens all the time. And I’ll enjoy it. In moderation.

I realize I have not lost enough weight this time to truly say, “You can do it! Don’t give up! We can do this together!” Except I’m going to. We can do this together! If you are struggling with your weight, join me, and we’ll be thirty to forty pounds lighter by the end of the year. If we don’t… well, then what?

Do you have a survival plan for the upcoming holidays?

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Stellar Review: Perky Turkey Jerky!

A few weeks back, I entered a giveaway at Business of Losing Weight. (All entrants were required to write a haiku for entry. Awesome.)

I don’t remember my entry, but it wasn’t as awesome as that Godzilla haiku.

However, I was one of the winners! The only stipulation was that, as a winner, I had to give a review. I wasn’t required to give a good or bad review, just a review. No prob, Bob. Er, Hank.

I have to share this picture. This jerky was so good it glowed. Okay, not really, but unlike some jerky that is sliced so thick you could dislocate a jaw chewing it, this one was actually so thin that light shone through it.

Because I’m a good husband, I decided to share the jerky with Tina. She reached into the pouch and almost ate that little Do Not Eat packet.

So what’s the verdict?

Holy cow.

As soon as we polished off the bag (which took about thirty seconds, max), Tina instantly asked, “Where did you get this? Get more!”

It was tender, but it still had a jerky texture. It was somehow both sweet and savory. It had a peppery kick and a little soy mellowness, too. Delicious. If I EVER find a place that carries this locally, I will definitely be a regular consumer.

(For what it’s worth, if the Perky Jerky people want me to be an advocate for their jerky, I’ll happily sign up. My price is jerky.)

To sum up, if you get the chance… get it! Thanks to Hank for providing this giveaway. (And Hank, would you send me some more jerky?)

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Another Castle Weigh-In & The Scale Winner!

Before I get into this week’s weigh in, let me reveal the winner of the EatSmart Giveaway!

First of all, I am extremely thrilled with the number of entrants in this giveaway! This is, by far, the biggest giveaway Stellar Path has ever hosted.

I went to random.org to determine the winner, and the winner is…

Entry #30! Amy Rouse! Congratulations Amy! I hope you enjoy your scale as much as I do. Amy, please contact me at jeremy@stellarpath.net with your mailing address and I will forward your contact information to EatSmart.

Again, I do hope to continue hosting more giveaways here at Stellar Path. For those of you who did not win, I will again say that I am extremely impressed with this scale and I am happy to have them as a sponsor. Consider purchasing one of their products; I feel confident you won’t be disappointed.

And now, on to the weigh-in…

I’m labeling this one Another Castle Weigh-In. If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, I’m sure you get the reference. If you don’t, then I’ll explain in a bit.

September 2, 2011
Weight: 375.8
Change from Highest: -27 pounds
Waist: 54”

As can be evidenced from the picture, I have lost 3.2 pounds since my last weigh-in with my EatSmart Scale. Due to the discrepancy between scales, I’m going to restart my running total at my highest again (402.8, from several years ago), but I decided I am also going to start measuring my waist again.

No, it isn’t my true waist where non-fat men where their pants. This is basically below my gut where my pants actually sit. In addition to weight, I want to track my inches lost as well.

Also, I am switching my weigh-ins to Friday again. I believe in being fluid with my weigh-in schedule to match my life, not the other way around. Now that the fall semester has started (and I’m teaching five sections), I’m busy on most days except Friday. Therefore, Friday is now a good weigh-in day again.

And on the plus side… Weight loss is clicking! I’ve had losses pretty consistently for a few weeks now, and I feel success is going to stick around.

The course I teach at WKU is called Analysis and Critical Reading. It’s a literacy course designed to help students be successful in college reading. Most high schools have grossly unprepared our graduating seniors for the rigors of college, and this course exists to help bridge that gap. (Trust me – it’s extremely needed.)

This is my point. One of the textbooks we use in my class is about the human brain. In chapter one, there was a section about how our brain does and believes that it experiences over and over. In other words, if we spend all of our time eating brownies and watching “How I Met Your Mother,” we are training our brain to be excellent at eating brownies and watching reruns of “How I Met Your Mother.”

It’ll be legen- wait for it…

It’ll be legen- wait for it…

However, our brain can be retrained. Even if I have spent several of the past few years NOT eating healthy and learning bad habits, I can get out of it. I obviously knew this, but seeing it in print… It was like a message from God.

I am doing this. I feel extremely confident that I have this in the bag. I expect there will be momentary setbacks here and there. I’ll continue to eat brownies and watch “How I Met Your Mother” reruns in moderation. But I’m also going to keep tracking all of my points. I’m going to stick to my workouts.

I’m training my brain to be a weight loss machine.

Dary!  Wait, that’s not right.

Dary! Wait, that’s not right.

I feel so amazingly good right now, I can’t even express it fully. I literally have my whole healthy future ahead of me. I’m going to continue fueling my body with real food and doing workouts (and God help me, even running, which I’m starting to enjoy a tiny bit) and turning this body into the temple God meant for it to be.

I built my temple (aka castle – see what I did there) once before. Almost finished building it, in fact. I was within sixty pounds of the finish line. I got stupid after a break up about five years ago and gained most of it back. My princess wasn’t in that castle.

I’ve found my princess. Now it’s time to build the healthier, permanent castle and live happily ever after.

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)