Welcome to my blog. The purpose here is simple: to chronicle my thoughts, actions, plans, and goals in getting healthy in the year 2017. Feel free to look around and offer encouragement or suggestions.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Making Peace

So I literally just finished watching a documentary entitled "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" that I found to be incredibly inspiring. Basically it is about an Australian businessman who found himself overweight with an immune disorder that was caused by his obesity. In order to correct the wrong he'd done to himself through years of poor eating and lack of exercise, he went on a 60 day juice fast. This means that for two months the man ate, or drank rather, nothing but a variety of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables that had been run through a juicer. Every meal, every snack, every day. He also traveled around the US sharing his experiences, his goals, and generally asking people's opinion on the whole idea of fasting. Not surprisingly the general populace by and large thought he was nuts. What really caught my attention, though, was the number of people who flat out knew they had terrible habits, but had convinced themselves that they could not, or didn't want to, change. The reasoning ranged anywhere from "they make me crave it" to "when God says it's time for me to go, who am I to argue" to "if I'm dying anyway, I want to be happy." And although Joe, said Australian businessman, was never pushing his agenda or trying to convince anyone to do this but himself, he was met with some downright belligerence. It makes me wonder if, as a society, or as human beings even, we're really as okay with being fat and unhealthy as we claim. Everyone he spoke to seemed to have no qualms in admitting that they were the root of their own poor diet. Most had no problem admitting that a few simple changes would make them healthier, perhaps even extend their lives. But then, invariably, everyone had an excuse. If it wasn't "I have no will power" it was "there are challenges with my social/work/family schedule." Funnily enough, the one thing I never heard was "I eat this way because I like it, healthy or not." Everyone seemed more content to make peace with the consequences of their choices than to try to make any changes moving forward. It left me with the feeling that America knows our diet is killing us, but nobody has the gumption to even try a change. Well, maybe not nobody. Joe convinced two people to try his "reboot" for just ten days to see how they felt. You know what? Both stuck with it and both benefited from it.

I guess this resonated with me because of all the changes I've chosen to make. I, too, have heard things like "oh, I couldn't do it" from people who wouldn't even try. Now that the benefits of may changes are becoming more and more prevalent, I get asked a lot what I've been doing. And nearly every time there is a refusal to jump on board. Not that that is why I made the changes I made. I did it for me, no one else. And really that is the only way it works. I guess I just wonder why people seem to hold a few life changes so in awe when all it is is a matter of sucking it up and changing. If you want to change, do it. If you're unhappy, don't make peace with the way things are just because you're afraid it may be hard, or that you may fail, or that you'd feel left out or isolated. Is maintaining an unsatisfactory status quo worth that? I don't know, maybe this is just me thinking.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Incredible Shrinking Stomach

Today, my friends, I was defeated by a single slice of pizza. It wasn't even one of those gargantuan slices you get at NY style pizzerias. I got it at Whole Foods since I was about to fall over, having not eaten since 8am, and the slice was really appealing. It was a Pesto Chicken pizza and it was very delicious. So you can imagine my chagrin when I got about 3/4 of the way through and was full. Not I could probably finish this and my garlic knot and be okay but I know I shouldn't full. I was if I finish this and even look at my garlic knot I may possibly throw up in my moving vehicle full. We all know the difference. But I was surprised. Very surprised. Now, I've never been one of those who could demolish a half a pizza in one setting. Two slices has pretty much always been my limit, three if I was really hungry. But I have never in recollection been satisfied with a single slice, and for sure haven't been full from less than one. I consider this, in spite of being made to put down something so yummy before I was finished with it, a very good sign. You don't know this, since I haven't posted in a good while, but my scale and I are having a fight. It persists in showing me a number I do not accept. It doesn't seem to be mattering what I do this month: gym or no gym, doughnuts or no doughnuts, six small meals or two big ones. That scale isn't budging. I haven't written about it because I'm not a huge fan of admitting failure. Hell, I'm not a fan of failing, period. I don't do it often and I'm no good at it. But this is supposed to be a learning opportunity, a growth opportunity. So here I am telling you my scale isn't cooperating with my weight loss plan. But I take heart in a few encouraging indications that let me know I'm on the right track. First being, my kangaroo pouch is making its first visible retreat. You can't imagine how happy that made me, even if it is lopsided. I sorted my jeans a few weeks ago into on-the-way-to-too-big, just-right/slightly-snug, and keep-trying-maybe-later. My slightly-snugs are now solidly just-rights. I'm wearing them, quite comfortably thank you, as I type. I take this as a sign of improvement. And finally, I'm getting more compliments on my progress than ever. SO I'm trying not to take my scale's defection personally. I'm trying to keep on the right path and not give up. I'm trying very, very hard to climb over every hurdle put in my path. I could use the encouragement, though.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Feed Me, I'm Bored.

You hear a lot about emotional eaters. You know, the people who swallow their feelings of sorrow, or inadequacy, or rage, or whatever with a Big Mac and fries. In fact, I believe that there is a tacit implication that every fat person on earth eats their feelings. Why else would they possibly be fat? For some people, it's an accurate assumption. Some people have serious issues coping with, well, issues. I've watched myself closely and I can honestly say I am not an emotional eater. In fact, intense emotion completely kills my appetite. What I am may be much more insidious. I eat out of boredom. I find this a lot harder to a)identify and b)combat. The difficulty identifying this issue comes in that it is inconsistent. I don't always graze. I don't always overeat. I don't always even eat consistently. So how did I figure myself out? I'm on doctor's orders to do as little as possible. On Wednesday I underwent a very minor surgical procedure. The stitches I received meant that I was put on biological restriction at work, meaning they sent me home. I've been bored out of my mind and I found myself finishing an entire canister of mixed nuts. I couldn't bring myself to put them down. Being on Vicodin didn't particularly strengthen my resolve to put the damn nuts down. In fact I remember reaching for them and trying to talk myself out of it, telling me I wasn't hungry, I had just put them away, and I didn't need them. I ate them anyway. It wasn't until this morning when I was rattling aimlessly around my living room and peeked in my fridge for the third time (thank goodness I don't keep a steady supply of snacks) that I realized I was only looking for something to eat out of a total lack of anything to do. Having spent the past few days sleeping pretty much all day I didn't want to lie in bed and read. My doctor advised against serious exercise for at least a week...plus I'm scared of pulling my stitches or sweating in them. I was pretty much reduced to pacing my living room. And since I didn't particularly think narcotics and kitchens mix, I haven't made anything more strenuous than a sandwich since Wednesday.  I can't help but think that this isn't helping my weight loss cause. Of course, I don't keep unhealthy things, so I'm mindlessly munching on things like peaches and mixed nuts. There are many worse things that I could be eating, but I guess I'm more concerned about not exercising. I'm so inert without it. I really don't do much. But then again, what can I do? I'm under very specific instructions. I'm pretty much tired all day anyway, even without the drugs, which I now only take when I absolutely feel the need of them. I just feel like such a lump lying in bed all day.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

June in Summary

I'll be honest. I don't want to write this one. I am pretty much totally disgusted with myself this month, mostly because I can't pinpoint exactly what went wrong. I began June at 279 and ended at 280. That's right. Not only did I not lose, I gained. What makes it worse is the fact that I did lose. About mid-month I weighed myself at 272. Exciting, right? Not when you stop and consider that that means I didn't just gain one pound. I gained 8 pounds. In two weeks. Perversely, I've been getting more complements than ever. 

I can't bring myself to attributing this solely to eating wretchedly. The reason being that I didn't eat any differently than I had before I started this mission. If eating that way alone caused 8 pounds of gain every two weeks can you imagine how huge I would have been? I would have been my own planet. Don't get me wrong. Eating poorly sure helped this phenomenal backslide along. I have no doubt about that. I'm even okay with it. I wouldn't have traded anything I ate or drank over my birthday weekend or father's day because it brought me joy and I never deny my joy. But if it isn't just the eating, then what was the difference this week? Because, frankly, we're looking at six days, at most, where I threw my good habits out the window. In the grand scheme of things, I've screwed up more often and more seriously in previous months without the same results. Here's the difference as I see it: I hurt myself. A lot. On three separate instances in the last couple of months I strained a few muscle groups, some more severely than others, but all notable. You may recall in one of my recent blogs that I mentioned returning to the weights. Well I did that. The trouble is that I tried to pick up where I left off and improve on that. It was not a high quality plan. So I killed my legs, particularly my adductors and gluts. I was walking funny for about three days. Then I got on the ab machine, lost count, and decided I'd just go until I felt the burn and then do about 25 more. Let's just say I never got to 25. Turns out, the burn means "I'm done." But the most severe injury I inflicted on myself was with my arms. I made the mistake of working my arms after having seen that horrible flappy fat swing around. I can't remember what I did, but I think I probably pointed at something and my arm waved at whoever I was talking to all on its own. So I had a little devil telling me to handle that. Long story short, I couldn't straighten either of my arms for four days. That was when I first noticed a difference where the scale was concerned. So I wonder if the muscle gained from my little misadventures may have made the difference. I know it's cliched, saying it's muscle gain and not fat, but that is honestly the only thing I can think of that really set June apart from all the months that came before. Of course, it could just be denial talking. Occam's Razor pretty much says the simplest explanation is most likely the truest. The simplest explanation is that I ate horribly and now I'm paying for it on the scale. Frankly, as disappointing as it is, it really doesn't matter. I'm not letting this setback get in my way. 

As it is July, I'm beginning a new quarter, and thus raising the stakes. I'm adding more water. It will be hard, as I just got into the habit, really, of drinking my two liters. I'll definitely need to incorporate water into my work meals in order to get it all in. My portion sizes need to decrease. Honestly I don't feel like I did that at all last quarter, but this quarter might actually be easier. I should be eating half of what I used to, so if I have to I'll take what I normally would and put half back. I'm adding Thursday as a vegetarian day. I admit to being reluctant to give up my third meat day, but there can be no success without sacrifice. Sorry, meat, I love you, but I have goals. I'm supposed to do 30 minutes of weights daily and an hour of the gym daily. The gym I've already been doing, but we all know I struggle with weight lifting. I understand that it is important, but I still really really really dislike it. My restaurant outings should be reduced to once a week. I admit, I've been lacking diligence on this point. It was something I thought I'd be better at, but now that I recognize my weakness, I can build upon it. As for soda, it's down to once every other week. I really don't see this as a challenge. Giving up the soda has been a lot easier than I anticipated. But really, with all the water, who has time to drink soda?

So that is where I am. I'm a little lost, admittedly, but I have faith that I'll find my way back to the right road.