Day by Day

Day by Day #001, April 23rd

It took me a while, but I’m on track.

Not gonna lie. I’ve been struggling. I always feel the need to say, “with my eating” and “not my life,” because my life is awesome. Great wife, awesome kid, good house, wonderful job. Life is great.

My eating plan… Meh. It comes and goes.

On a bad day, this is what my day looks like.

Breakfast is healthy! Off to a great start!
Lunch is also healthy (because I packed it at home)! Still doing good.
Long day of teaching. Tired.
Forgot to thaw out something for dinner. Eh, let’s hit the drive-thru. Tomorrow will be better.

I have to stop this, for so many reasons. One, my wife is trying to lose weight, too, and I am clearly her stumbling block. Two, I want to be a personal trainer. No one is hiring a fat personal trainer. And three… this little guy. I don’t want him to have a fat daddy.

moonpie7months

But words are cheap. I’ve spun them before, and I’ve continued making slow progress.

My weight yesterday? 362.0.

Up a bit. Still down from the first of the year, but up from my lowest in the 350s.

I tracked my food yesterday. I only ate four meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a small after-work pre-workout snack). I exercised, albeit lightly. (Just a walk – I’m doing more tonight.)

All of this was clean. No chemicals, just real food.

Breakfast – lean sausage, 1 slice of bacon, 2 eggs, homemade hash browns

Lunch – ground turkey taco meat, quinoa, cheese, sour cream, salsa, baked potato, 3 clementines, baby carrots & zima tomatoes with hummus

After-work snack – cereal with milk

Dinner – ground turkey meatloaf, sweet potato fries, 1 clean cookie with raw milk

I also drank a crap ton of water. Seriously. Plant Nanny says I need to drink 233 ounces a day. So I did. I will be lowering my Plant Nanny requirements. That was so much water, I felt like crap. I’m going to drink for thirst and shoot for roughly a gallon a day. Ish. Ugh, I was too bloated last night. And I peed roughly eighteen times between ten p.m. and six a.m.

For the next week, I am posting every day, my food, weight, and exercise.

After all, I can’t look like Ryan Reynolds if I don’t put in the work.

ryanreynolds

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Mojo?

Have you ever suddenly realized that you haven’t even looked at your blog in about two weeks?

Yeah, me too.

Gotta get my mojo back. I have to run from zombies in what is quickly becoming just a few weeks.

Lost it. Don’t know where it went.

Weight is stable. That’s good, right? Hovering around the 372 mark.

Not rising. Not dropping either, though.

Will weigh in very briefly tomorrow.

I think I might have found my mojo, but I don’t want to jinx it.

I found it on my wife’s blog. She wants to lose weight, too. She doesn’t have nearly as much to lose as me.

I can’t help but feel responsible. I know that I am frequently her stumbling block.

I want us to have a healthy family together, and to do that, I’ve got to put down the chips and get back in the gym.

Wanna know something real funny?

I’m taking the test to become a personal trainer on August 13th. Seriously. I’ll certainly let you know how it goes!

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32 Weeks to Go and Counting: A Run For Your Lives Update

I’m really starting to enjoy jogging. In fact, I am enjoying it so much that I’ve had to back off a little bit.

Did you know when you are just starting out and still weigh over 350 pounds, it isn’t a good idea to do a 5K on the treadmill EVERY day? Whoda thunk it? I’m aiming for about three 5Ks a week right now (all currently on the treadmill). I’m still not jogging a straight 5K yet, but you know what? It can take people a while to actually do that. But I know I’ll get there, and hopefully, by October 22nd. My fastest time right now is 51:23. I’m slowly building up to jogging longer and longer sections of time without quitting.

The 5K bug has bit me. When Tina and I signed up for Run For Your Lives (takes place October 22, 2011), we knew that would not be our first 5K. Last week, I talked about signing up for the Buffalo Crossing 5K in my hometown of Munfordville. We picked it because it had the benefit of offering a walking 5K in addition to the running. Given that I don’t quite run yet, that was perfect.

And then I had a thought… Bear with me here, it may get a bit circuitous.

I used to weigh 403 pounds. I’m going to brag on me here for a minute. The guy who weighed 403 pounds NEVER would have expected his slimmer self in the future (if such a slimmer self even existed) would ever become a runner. So kudos to me for taking this first step, even if it is a walking/jogging 5K I’m doing first.

My ultimate goal weight is 180 pounds. That’s a LONG way away. I may get to 220 and decide, “Hey, this is perfect for me,” and that’s great. But I could also get to 180 and say, “You know, I could stand to lose five or ten more pounds.” (Unlikely because I already have a fair amount of muscle from lifting weights for the past three years, but you never know.) So for the sake of simplicity, let’s say that my goal weight, the weight I’ll want to stay at, is 180.

That means I’ll have lost 223 pounds by the time I get there. There are some obese people who start out their journey at 223 pounds.

That’s a big number. I want to do something with it to celebrate that number… getting it off of my body. Despite the fact that I have one already, I’m not a tattoo guy and don’t want it on my skin… (although that would be a cool tattoo)…

And this weekend, it came to me.

I’m going to celebrate every pound lost with a 5K. Not on the treadmill, an actual here’s-money-for-charity-where’s-my-free-t-shirt 5K. Two hundred and twenty-three different 5Ks. And besides, if I decide 180 isn’t my right goal weight, then the number will change. I’m just sticking to 223 for now as a place to start. That number may change.

I know it’ll take me years. I’m totally cool with that. Best case scenario – I’ve got a good two years ahead of me to lose the rest of this weight. So I better get cracking, right?

My rules – it can be a walking, running, or mix 5K. At some point during these 223 5Ks, I must do a Krispy Kreme Challenge. (The University of Kentucky actually offers a 5K version of this for charity. And this one will occur AFTER I have reached goal weight. I’m not doing that kind of damage to my body while I’m still losing weight.) Obstacle Course 5Ks are allowed. And I must get the t-shirt, and even if it doesn’t fit, I’m taking a picture of me wearing it to post here on the blog. That means you’ll probably see me in a few skintight t-shirts here in the beginning, but that’s okay. This is about celebrating me and the weight I’ve lost and am still losing, man boobs (which will someday be gone, yay!) and all.

Why 5Ks? Why not 10Ks? Why not Fun Runs? Why not marathons? Because 5Ks are held EVERYWHERE and they are held all the time. Literally year round. It’s a nice short distance (although I’m still in training, so 3.1 miles still seems like a long way to me) but it requires enough of an effort for me that I’ve had to train for it. I’m sure by the time I’ve done 223 of these, I’ll think they are easy. But I’ll always remember how it felt the first time I did one at the gym. That 5K did not feel easy at all. But it’s still easier than every excess pound that I used to (and still do, albeit not QUITE as many) haul around every day.

Oh, and another benefit? Tina and I are always talking about how we should give more to charities. We usually don’t. This way, I will be. (And incidentally, if you would be interested in sponsoring me for a 5K, please drop me a line at jeremy@stellarpath.net and let me know.)

This isn’t something I’m going to start working on later. I’m doing this NOW. After all, 223 5Ks aren’t going to run themselves. This is what I’ve already signed up for. (As in, filled out the registration form and mailed in the checks. [Note: Some are just listed on my local road runner’s webpage, so I technically haven’t registered yet.])

1. March 26th – Total Fitness Connection’s Run and Walk for Children, Bowling Green, KY
2. April 2nd – Buffalo Crossing 5K, Munfordville, KY
3. April 9th – Goose Creek 5K, at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, KY (1st of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
4. April 16th – Butterflies for Maddie, Glasgow, KY
5. May 14th – Barren River 5K, at Barren River State Park in Glasgow, KY (2nd of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
June 11th – Possum Ridge 5K, at Taylorsville Lake State Park in Taylorsville, KY (3rd of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
6. June 24th – Huskers 5K, East Prairie, Missouri (maybe – not registered for this one yet, but I may be in Sikeston, MO, this weekend, and if I am, I’m going to get a 5K in, too.)
7. July 9th – Rough River 5K, at Rough River State Park in Falls of Rough, KY (4th of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
8. September 5th – Run for Sight 5K, Bowling Green, KY
9. September 24th – RooBear 5K, Bowling Green, KY
10. October 15th – The Medical Center Classic, 5K, Bowling Green, KY
11. October 22nd – Run For Your Lives Zombie-Infested 5K Obstacle Course, Darlington, MD (the 5K that started it all for me)

More will be added as I come across them. I hope to cover as many different races in as many states as I possibly can. I know I’m undertaking a HUGE, multi-year task, but I honestly can’t wait. And this means that someday, I’ll have a tote (or two) in my garage filled with 223 5K t-shirts. But those totes of t-shirts will still weigh less than the 223 pounds I used to haul around every day with every step.

Okay, back to zombie 5K news. Next time I’m in the gym, I’m going to up my running time. I was doing 1:15 of running to 1:45 of walking. I’m about to increase to two minutes of running to three minutes of walking. Let’s see how it goes!

Zombie movie of the week?

Let’s watch a good one this week. I loved the original, but honestly, I thought the 1990 remake was better. (Mostly because this Barbara was a kick-ass heroine and wasn’t catatonic for 95% of the movie.)

Night of the Living Dead, the 1990 Remake.

Also yoga, for stretching. And I have a theory that stretchy muscles won’t be as tasty, so hopefully, the zombies won’t go back for a second bite if they do catch me.

How are you training for the upcoming zombie apocalypse?

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My Attempt at Blood Donation

I like to give blood. The American Red Cross has gotten about two gallons from me since I started donating regularly. No, I’m not a masochist. I do enjoy the fact that it makes me feel better physically. In the days after I’ve given blood, I have a LOT of energy. It lowers the blood pressure and it kind of forces the body to get rid of the old (literally) and build up some new. And there is the added benefit of getting to save three lives with every donation.

And if you don’t know what I look like, no, that photo above is not of me.

I’ll readily admit that it is extremely easy for me to donate blood. If I was needle-phobic, I doubt I would be as willing. As it is, needles don’t scare me at all. I have veins the size of pencils. I’ve seen other people give blood and I’ve watched the phlebotomist literally search and stab, trying to find a vein. With me, that NEVER happens. My veins are huge and right at the surface.

The only down side? I can’t work out on the day that I give. I don’t workout in the morning, ever, (that’s probably a topic for another post), and you aren’t supposed to work out afterward at all. Therefore, days where I give blood are also forced days away from the gym. Once every eight weeks (or so) isn’t a big deal, so I don’t worry about that negative.

Now that I work on a college campus, I am pretty exposed to multiple blood drives on a regular basis. I’m always happy to give, even if I usually have to give up a workout for it.

So, as soon as my class ended, I went to the building where they were collecting that red gold, rolled up my sleeves, answered the requisite questions about my sex life and travel habits, and then was asked my weight.

No biggie. I’ve never been afraid of a number. My logic is – people can tell I’m fat by looking at me. What does it matter if there is a number to go with it?

The guy who was working on me paused, looked kinda sheepish, and then mumbled something along the lines of, “Uhm… our tables only have a weight limit of 350, and I’m afraid I can’t let you donate today.”

I jokingly asked , “How about if I tell you I weigh 350?”

Because I have donated on those very tables since I weighed over 400 pounds. Never once had an issue, so I seriously thought that perhaps there was a problem with just the number. I’m okay lying about ten pounds. No biggie.

No go. He said he had to go by the first number I gave him.

What number did I give him? The same thing I weighed in with today at my Weight Watchers @Work meeting. 358. I was eight pounds over the table’s limit. Too much to keep me from giving blood and saving three people’s lives.

I can’t even be upset by this one. It’s almost too funny to be upset by. I won’t lie – my ego was a tiny bit bruised as I walked out of the collection area with my “I Save Lives” Sympathy T-Shirt for at least trying to donate. (Which never fits, by the way, because it doesn’t come in 3X.)

When I weighed over 400 pounds, this might have been a deal breaker for me. I would have probably sworn off donating blood forever, and probably gone home and binged about it.

Today, what do I do?

I shrug my shoulders and I don’t worry about it. The Red Cross will be back here again in about a month, and I’ll weigh less than 350 pounds by then. And besides, I’m going to lie. I’m going to tell them I weigh 110, just to see how they react.

Oh, and since I didn’t give blood today, I’m going to get some exercise in. I have a late meeting tonight at work that won’t let out until after 9, so I can’t go to the gym. (Our gym closes at 9.) Instead, I’m going to walk up and down the stairs of my building. I’ll make my workout happen here.

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An I’m Struggling Weigh In

Every time I think I have it, something happens that proves to me I do not. It’s always time to reevaulate, and that is what I’m doing this week.

Yesterday, I posted this picture and said that this represents my weight loss journey this week.

Why is that?

Because as I see that photo, the person is struggling. Yes, they are trying to reach a mighty goal, and they might succeed…

…but at the moment, they are dangling off of a rock. In my mind, they are closer to utterly falling to failure than making it to success.

Am I being too bitter and pessimistic?

Yeah, probably. I need to get it out of my system for a minute. Don’t worry; as soon as I post my weigh-in results for this week, I’ll let you know my game plan.

February 18, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 356.6
Today’s Weight: 359.0
Change from All-Time High: -43.8 pounds
Change from Last Week: +2.4 pounds

I’ve been counting my points. Weight Watchers emphasizes making healthy choices.

I’ve only been counting my points. I have not been making healthy choices. That is the ONLY thing that I can see I am doing wrong here, so therefore, that is what I must change.

Some people say that a calorie is a calorie.

I call crap on that statement. When I was in my mid-twenties, it did work that way. As I am getting older, my metabolism changes. If you can lose weight eating fast food several times a week and just keeping your calories under control, then good for you. You have the benefit of youth and a faster metabolism than most on your side. For those of us in our thirties, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. We have to watch our calories AND be mindful of what we fuel our bodies with.

Experience on MULTIPLE occasions has shown that, for me, this is not the case. I can keep my calories (or points – same diff) under tight control, but if I have made poor food choices, I will not lose weight.

Craig recently posted a NINE pound weight loss, and he did it by watching what he ate and cleaning up his diet.

So, how have I been eating?

I have a little confession to make. I’m a Mystery Shopper. Usually two or three times a week, I go to a fast food restaurant, order a certain meal, time how long it takes for the food to come to me, eat said meal to evaluate the food, and then go home, report my results, and I get reimbursed for my meal and usually an extra $5 to $30. It has been decent money for doing something that is pretty easy.

And it’s wreaking havoc on my health.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t pretend that these calories don’t count. I have been counting every single bite that goes in my mouth, and I am not overeating otherwise.

I’m finding that if I eat three or four fast food hamburgers a week, even counting those calories, I can’t lose weight.

A friend recommend that I try eating very healthy and clean, just to give me more energy to train for the Run For Your Lives 5K in October. What do I have to lose?

I’m putting Mystery Shopping on the back burner for a while. Yes, that extra $200 a month or so is amazingly good money for a job that doesn’t even really take much time, but my health is worth far more to me than $200 a month. I’ll try and find another way to make some extra income to help pay the bills. Anyone need a copywriter? My wife knits – want to buy a baby blanket?

But seriously, money isn’t everything. Tina and I talked about this last night. What good is it making an extra $200 a month to help pay down some credit card debt if I’m going to die in my forties because I can’t get my obesity under control?

I know that I won’t eat clean for every meal for the rest of my life. It isn’t possible. Holidays and parties will come up. I’ll feel the urge to have a Papa Johns Pizza sometimes.

I’m going to shoot for 90% healthy and 10% whatever. Somedays will be 100% healthy. I’m going to try and use the next week for a cleanse as much as possible, so I’m hoping to be 100% for the next week.

There are TONS of great meals we can make that are going to be 100% clean and healthy for us. I don’t even have to give up homemade pizza. Tina is making a crust tonight out of whole wheat flour. I just have to limit my indulgences and always go for the healthier option.

This is my body. My vehicle. I have to give it the best fuel I possibly can. Why should I cram a fast food hamburger down my gullet when I can create a similar food masterpiece at home that might even taste better that will be better for me in all possible ways?

Let me return to my photo. I’ve been struggling. I don’t deny that. I don’t apologize for it, and I’m not saying this for sympathy. Every weight loss blogger I’ve ever known who has had any degree of success as has struggled to some degree or another. I’m certainly no different.

So yes, that rock climber is struggling. How else does that photo match my experience?

He has equipment to help him succeed. I have Weight Watchers, I have people reading my blog who offer tons of support (seriously – I love you people!), I have family and friends who want to see me do well, and I currently have a kitchen stocked full of healthy, clean, nourishing foods.

He clearly isn’t climbing alone, or there wouldn’t have been anyone to take the picture. I’ve got the aforementioned people, and I’m certainly not the only fat person in the world struggling to lose weight.

He has a beautiful destination ahead of him, and he’s going to reach it soon.

So am I.

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