I have, for so long, wanted to be a blogger, and frankly… I just find myself falling farther and farther away from that world.
I’m not closing this blog, but I think I am formally announcing today what it has unofficially been for years now. This is basically my tiny little corner of the internet and it’s not much more than a slightly-public personal journal.
I still welcome comments, but I’m not going to say that I’ll blog more than once a month or make any bold proclamations that I’m about to revitalize and start blogging regularly! We’ll see what happens. I’ll try to update my weight at least once a month.
In September, I weighed in at 399.8. On October 1st, I got on the scale and it said:
That’s a loss of 7.2 pounds in a month. Not great, but I don’t consider that terrible by any means. I am down 32.8 pounds from my heaviest. Woo hoo!
My weight loss is slow, but at least I am actually losing, for the first time in what feels like forever.
My doctoral work is keeping me so much busier than I ever would have expected.
I am anticipating graduating in December 2016. While that sounds like forever away, I know (in doc school terms), it’s right around the corner. I’m lucky in that my 2nd Master’s degree is letting me count 12 hours toward my program requirements. (And let me also say – thank goodness for free tuition. While the doc program fees aren’t covered by my tuition waiver, the tuition itself is. I can’t complain about getting this degree for roughly $35,000 cheaper than most.)
I’m not exercising as much as I’d like, but thank God for my lovely wife Tina who has become quite the expert paleo chef! Before this semester (Research I, y’all… it’s no joke), I was the family chef, but she has happily taken that task over for me and is doing an amazing job of it.
While we are not 100% primal or paleo, I do have to admit – it’s not as hard as I thought it would be once I got into it.
I hate when I read on paleo websites people say things like, “And I haven’t craved bread or sugar since!”
No, I still want sugar, but the difference for me now is… the cravings are bearable and beatable. I can overcome them, much more easily than I used to.
I also have no delusions that this is anything other than a calorie trick. I’m sure we’re feeling much more satisfied eating protein and fats than we were more carbs, but either way, we’re dropping. (And we’re also eating WAY more veggies than ever before, so that has to be good for us. I still hate Brussels sprouts, though. I’m pretty sure they’re poison.) And incidentally, Tina is also losing weight as well.
It’s funny; we’re feeding our son pretty much the same thing we eat, although he’s pretty small, and we’re trying to get him to gain weight. (He’s 85% percentile for height but only 20% percentile for weight. How I had a skinny kid… I’ll never know.) The doctor isn’t concerned with his weight, though, because he is healthy and well proportioned. It’s funny, though, and it kind of shocks me at how ridiculously obvious this is.
He eats whatever we eat. A few nights ago, we had roasted broccoli with dinner. He was chowing down like it was candy, and I strongly suspect it was because he saw his mom and dad eating it.
I have to eat well and lose weight to keep my kid healthy, if for no other reason.
I need to force in more time for exercise. But I’m also trying to keep some fun time in, too. Last night, after class (the class I’m in meets once Saturday a month from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), we had a big bonfire in the backyard.
No roasted marshmallows to go with it; we just enjoyed each other’s company by the fire in the backyard.
While I’m not a big fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I do love the fall.
‘Til my next post, whenever that may be (early November at the latest)…
I feel very weird about this post; it’s simultaneously very transparent and very obtuse.
I am tired of being fat. I’ve been fat LITERALLY my entire life. I didn’t gain weight after high school. Well, I did, actually, but I was already fat to begin with. I just got fatter in college.
I’ve lost weight before. I got down to 250, in fact, in my mid-20s. I am currently in the 410s, at least, down from a high of 422 earlier this year.
I’m always looking for the magic bullet, the trick that will end it all.
That trick doesn’t exist.
I read something online this morning that really spoke to me. Basically, it stated that in order to lose weight, don’t worry about losing weight. Fix your eating disorder.
That’s overly simplified, and it’s not that simple, of course. Eating disorders can be dealt with, buried, examined, explored… but I don’t know if they can be fixed.
But regardless, I am going to try.
There have been periods of time here at Stellar Path that I’ve been on fire. They have been few and far between, but that they have happened at all gives me the confidence that if I could do it once, I can do it again.
I am going to blog daily for the next 100 days. I will blog about my day. Stellar Path will be my journal. I’ll talk about my workouts, my food choices (good and bad), and how ridiculously busy I now am as a doctoral student with a full-time job. (Seriously – doctoral work is BUSY. I thought it would be harder, and it is and should be, but I did not count on it being five times harder than my Master’s.)
I’m going to weigh in once a week, on Wednesdays. I’m not going to weigh daily, like I have been, because it makes me obsess. I see the scale drop, and I either celebrate with food, get arrogant and eat food, or think of how I can make it drop even faster. (Note to self: It doesn’t work that way.) And if it goes up, I think, “Eh, screw it,” and I eat whatever.
Food has me in a strong grip. I would love to do OA, but none exist around here, and frankly, the online chat versions of OA didn’t do much for me.
I’ll try and exorcise my demons here. But regardless, I am going to strive to live a healthy life, regardless of what I weigh. I’m not turning Stellar Path into a fat acceptance blog. My thinking is that if I live healthy, regardless of my weight, then losing weight will be a nice side effect.
So why the Ranger project?
This is going to be a chronicle of my journey to becoming a Power Ranger.
I never said I’d stop being a dork. I’m just trying to focus on living a healthy life, no matter what the scale says.
My last blog post was pretty direct. I’ve felt like a failure. Sometimes, I still do.
Isn’t one definition of insanity “doing the same thing and expecting different results?” Well, I’ve certainly done that before.
I’m doing better.
I’m eating much cleaner. I’ve found that soda is no longer appealing. Sometimes I still crave it, but I just remind myself of the horrible bloated feeling I had last time I drank a Sprite, so I just drink water. (I haven’t touched artificial sweeteners in over a year, which, weight-loss issues aside, is one of the best decisions I have ever made. My joints thank me for it.)
I’m down 9.8 pounds in a little over three weeks. I think that’s pretty decent.
All that said, words are cheap. I find I don’t have much to say until I’m clearly walking the walk, and three weeks of eating right is not enough.
I miss blogging, though.
Blogging is not a job for me; I do have advertisements on the blog, but that is literally just an attempt to recoup my hosting costs. (Most months, I make less than a $1 in ad revenue, so I’m not even getting close to making my money back. However, I have stellarpath.net for more reasons than just this blog, so I remain self-hosted instead of going the free blogger route.)
I’ve been trying to decide what to blog about until I get my weight loss mojo back. I don’t want to be a “weight loss blogger” who keeps losing the same few pounds over and over. That’s just embarrassing.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I need to do, and quite frankly, a lot of it is some mental work. I still have fat people issues. I’ve read several good books over the past few years that give advice, but I haven’t taken as much action as I could.
So today, I’m going to start doing that. Some things I’ll leave off because they are too personal, but for those that I feel comfortable sharing, I will share.
I am writing my List of Advantages. This is, quite literally, a list of things that will be BETTER once I have lost weight.
This isn’t just a list that I write once and forget. I am writing them in three places. One, they are going here, on the blog. Two, they are going in my Weight Loss Journal (more on that later). And three, they’ll be going on a small card in my wallet that I must pull out and read at least twice a day.
And one last reminder – this is MY list. The things on this list may or may not apply to you. And be warned – this may be more blunt than you are used to from me.
1. I will look better.
I will never be a fat acceptance blogger. I do agree that everyone should love themselves at whatever size they are, but I am in the 370s. I am super morbidly obese. I am NOT going to accept that, and even if I am not a fitness model when I get to goal weight, I’ll still look better there than I do now.
2. I will be healthier.
Quite frankly, I don’t even think I agree that you can be obese and healthy. Healthier, sure. There’s always a worse case of health no matter what your size, but in my opinion, obesity and healthy do not go together. However healthy I can be at 370, it is clearly a mere shade of the health I can have at 180.
3. I will look good in a tucked-in shirt.
I dread getting dressed up for this reason – I hate tucking in a shirt. It is uncomfortable and does not look good on a big belly. With no belly, this wouldn’t be an issue.
4. I will not sweat as much.
Sweat may be genetic, and I may sweat more than the average person at 180, but right now, I’m wearing a 190 pound fat suit. That thing is hot.
5. I will be around to take care of my son.
I recently heard the term Death Fat, and I’m clearly it. I was denied life insurance coverage earlier because I am too fat. My son deserves a father to live as long as possible for him, and more than that, he deserves a father who can be active WITH him, not merely sitting around as set dressing.
6. I will feel like I am in control of my life.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think I’m wildly out of control now. But the fact remains, food still controls me. If it didn’t, I would have gained 20 plus pounds this year. I want to be the one in charge, not fast food, junk food, or even healthy food in excess quantities.
7. I’ll be secure taking my shirt off in public.
This one may require skin removal surgery, too, but I know that’s in my future. Regardless, I don’t take my shirt off in public. I avoid situations where I would need to, and if I’m in a place where it is culturally acceptable to do so, I simply don’t. It will be nice to go to the beach, take off my shirt, and not think about sticking out like a sore, fat thumb.
8. I won’t be as self-concious.
See many of the above. I’m extremely aware of my weight, my size, and my limitations. It will be nice not to have to worry about those things anymore. I know losing weight isn’t a quick fix, but it’s still part of the solution.
9. My entire body will feel better.
I already feel TONS better from giving up artificial sweeteners. My knees, hips, and back used to ache horrible. I gave them up (and after a horrible three month detox), they’ve stopped hurting. That said, my feet still ache sometimes. My body is carrying an extra 190 pounds it is not meant to carry. Losing that weight will literally lighten the load.
10. I will be able to consistently clothing shop in stores.
Sometimes, I luck out. I’ve bought shirts off the rack at Kohl’s and J.C. Penney and been excited that they fit. However, that’s the exception. It will be nice to consistently find clothing in my size; to go in a store and KNOW that they’ll have my shirt on the rack. I even suspect I might like buying clothes if it wasn’t such an all-encompassing ordeal.
11. I will be a better martial artist.
I don’t mention this very often, mostly because I’m a little embarrassed, but I actually have a senior 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo. I got it about five years ago, not eons ago as a little kid. I haven’t been to class in a long time, and I don’t think I’ll be going back until I’ve gotten rid of some of this extra fat. I would be embarrassed to put on my dobok and be a fat black belt. And yet… I can’t wait to do it again!
12. I will be able to run.
I may find that running sucks. And for this one, I at least don’t have to wait until I get to goal weight, but I am waiting until some of the mass is gone before I start pounding the pavement. I don’t want to risk doing irreversible harm (I’ve heard of people blowing out joints and vertebrae from running while obese). And yet… someday… running may not just as easy as taking a walk.
I got a letter in the mail last week.
It was a small envelope, so I immediately knew what it was. I was hoping for a thick packet, but this was just a simple #10 business envelope. Without even opening it, I knew what it said.
It wasn’t a rejection letter from a writing submission. I get those all the time. I’m used to those. (In fact, the real rejection in writing comes from not receiving a rejection letter, but that is another story for another day.)
No, this was from SunLife Insurance.
I have never had any Life Insurance other than what my employer gives me automatically. I think it’s $25,000.
When my son was born, I knew I had to take out an insurance policy on myself. After all, if something happens to me, I want to make sure he is cared for. When annual open enrollment at my workplace came around, I signed up for $200,000 worth of life insurance. It was going to cost me $11 a month. Sounded like a good deal.
I thought that was the end of it. I expected it to be a simple process like signing up for medical insurance when you started a job. You just get it. The end.
And I thought that, until about two days before school let out for Christmas break. I got an email from HR that said I needed to fill out a form. Standard; everyone who takes out life insurance has to fill out such a form.
Still, I was not panicked.
Until I opened the form. It was extremely short.
Name. Social. Birthdate. Do I smoke or drink? Height. Weight.
April 19, 1978.
I never smoke, never have. I virtually never drink (maybe twice per year).
Six feet tall.
I didn’t lie. I sure thought about shaving one hundred pounds off that number, but what if I had to actually take a medical exam? The form even stated that all information must be accurate and may be checked for veracity. So, I entered the information and hit submit.
I was hopeful. I hoped that it was just a formality. Enter your info and get life insurance! Take care of your family after you die!
But nope. Not for me. That thin letter said I could not take care of my family after I die. If I die, Tina and Moon Pie get nothing but burial expenses.
I was rejected.
No life insurance policy.
And truthfully, I understand why, and it scares me.
I am a death risk. The chances of me dying are far too high in the next year.
This is unacceptable.
I refuse to be a death risk any longer.
All year, I am going to hit my weight loss as hard as I can. I will count points. I will watch what I eat. I will limit unclean foods. I will move my body. I will put on muscle and lose fat.
I will not die.
Next November, I will sign up for life insurance again.
I will be approved this time.