Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Time to start the "Rocky" music....

I have had a fantastic summer...the best of my whole life. I've had some injuries that kept me on the shelf for several weeks and kept me from doing what I've wanted.  The heat hasn't cooperated either.  But now it is cooling down.

I'm ready.  I'm tired of my obesity ruling my life.  Now it's time for me to rule it.  Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for the final push.  It's time to get into that weight loss elevator and push the "200 pounds" button.  It is time to lose the rest of this weight the only way I know how: the hard way.

So fire up the "Rocky" theme....the alarm clock goes off at 4am tomorrow....

Monday, August 29, 2011

On the Jazz

In the 1980's TV series "A-Team" the lead character John "Hannibal" Smith was said to be "on the jazz" when he was in the zone, experiencing an adrenaline rush and ready to take on the world.

This is the way I'm going to describe that feeling when I'm 100% in control of my weight loss regimen.  My eating is very structured.  The amount of food I have planned to eat that day is enough.  I'm exercising right on schedule. I feel indestructible...like I am cured of my obesity forever.  I'm never going back.  I have found the answer.

In short, I am "on the jazz."  I'm fired up and ready to go.

But then there are those days where I can't seem to get enough to eat.  Where the workouts are more difficult than they should be.  Where I start to second-guess everything.  I start to worry that I am going to eat an extra apple and gain all 230 pounds back at once.  The mind runs wild.  Paranoia sets in.

I had one of those days today.  But you know what?  Even though I wasn't on the jazz today, I at least managed to get through my normal workout and eat the same amount of food I have been eating every day for a long time.

In short, I am still losing weight and everything is fine.  But days like today....it's difficult.

So all you can do is fight, fight, fight, fight.....and never give up.  Nobody ever said this was going to be easy, that's for sure.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This week's weigh-in: 346.5

I weighed yesterday and came in at 346.5 pounds. That's a 3 1/2 pound loss in 2 weeks.

Do I want it to be more? Absolutely.  If I let my mind run wild, I will convince myself this is a total failure because I didn't lose more than 5 pounds. But I can't look at it that way.

So far this summer, I've lost 30 pounds. That includes times of low physical activity due to injuries, which I have battled back from.

And hey...at least I didn't gain anything! And I also have to remind myself that the longer this takes, the more likely it is to stay off. But like everyone else (yes, even me) I get impatient.

So to try and jump-start the cardio this week, I walked 6 miles today. My ultimate goal is 10 pounds a month lost. I'd like to be at my goal a year from now.  But does it really matter if it takes 2 years? Or even 3?

Not at all. I am trying to maintain a healthy weight. Not win a weight-loss contest. And I have to remind myself of this once in awhile.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What I think about exercise

It's been 14 months now since I started this weight loss journey and it has been filled with ups and downs. Mostly ups, some downs.

I recently overcame 2 injuries, 1 to my knee and another to my rib cage.  How did this happen?  I overdid it. I tried to do too much. So I had to sit for almost 2 weeks and watch my weight loss slow down and my muscles I had worked so hard to develop weaken.

I've been back at it for a few weeks and I wanted to make a blog posting about exercise as part of a weight loss program.

I think people have it all wrong.  I think people overdo it. Bad.

But can you blame them?  Every message people get through the media, health club commercials and exercise machine commercials is the same: you have to go kill yourself non-stop to get results.  I see it all the time in the gym.  Somebody joins up, comes twice a day for 10 days in a row, then you never see them again.

I think the answer really is in the old adage that "slow and steady wins the race."  I think to be successful, people should start out very slow and consistent.  Thinking back, when I started out at over 500 pounds last summer, I couldn't walk very far at all.  My exercise was pushing a grocery cart around Walmart a few times a week.

Then, I increased it to walking about a half mile twice a week, then up to 3 times a week.  And so on.

I realize that everyone wants instant results and therein lies the problem.  But over time, if you consistently exercise, there will be greater benefits and rewards than if you burn yourself out.

And finally: if you're going to work out, seek out professional help.  Find a trainer.  Somebody that knows what they're doing.  Because it is very easy to hurt yourself.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One of the best documentaries on eating right...ever.

I ran across Joe Cross' "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" on Netflix streaming and I was blown away.

The film follows Cross across the US as he undergoes a juice fast to lose weight.  I've never tried juicing and to be honest, don't really care to.  But the more interesting part of the film for me is the second half which follows a 400+ pound truck driver as he works on losing weight.

What makes his journey so powerful is you see him starting out swimming in a lake at the beginning, still at 400 something pounds.  It's easy to think "he'll never lose all that weight, look how far he has to go!"  But that's exactly what he does.  By the end of the film, he's jogging down the street at 200 pounds.

There's also a lot of interviews with doctors and nutritionists.  Just a fascinating film.  Anyone with Netflix streaming should check it out.  It's also on Amazon for a one-time rental of $2.99.

The physical DVD comes out October 11. Check it out!

Getting your sleep right

One of these days when I write my best-selling diet book, chapter one is going to be entitled:

Step one: Get your sleep right.

I am learning as time goes on that my sleeping patterns rule everything.

If I don't get enough sleep, here's what happens:

-I eat more because my body is starved for energy

-My workouts suffer. When I am tired, I have nowhere near the energy to be able to workout effectively.

-Lifting weights becomes very difficult.  I can't lift as much, do as many reps, etc.  It just is much, much harder.

-Getting through the day is hard.  Since I had to give up caffeine a year ago, if I don't get enough sleep....I am dead in the water.

Never mind the fact that a lack of sleep causes a generally bad attitude and the people around you suffer.

How much sleep?  Hard to say.  I suppose everyone is different.  I'm no expert, but I've discovered I need at least 7 hours.  6 isn't enough.  I always read 8 hours is the normal.

Some people get by with less.  Whatever that amount is, be sure to get enough!

Monday, August 8, 2011


OK, so let's face a few facts about the food that's widely available.  Vending machine "food."  Restaurant food.  A lot of grocery store food.  Food on television commercials. Food prepared on the Food Network. 

The food sucks. And it sucks bad.

If it's high in sodium, your food sucks.  I have not busted my hump for over a year and slowly worked my way off of several medications just so I can eat something that has thousands of milligrams of sodium in it.

If your food is super-high in fat, it sucks.  And I am not a fat nazi. There is such a thing as healthy fats.  There is such a thing as reasonableness. But really? Some of these fast food meals are OUTRAGEOUS.  It's not food, it's slow-acting poison.

Or how about the food in the vending machines. 600 calories for a honey bun? Are you serious? That's as many calories as in my entire breakfast. And I get a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, scrambled egg whites. Sausage patties.  What are you eating?  Garbage.

And delivery pizzas? More slow-acting poison.  It all sucks.

It's not so much that the food is bad for you or that it is high in fat, calories and sodium...it's just that YOUR FOOD SUCKS. 

The quality is bad. You're not getting anything in return for the hit on your waistline.  The food just sucks.

There is better food to be had, but you're going to have to make it yourself.  At least you'll know what you put in it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Righting a Wrong

For the past 11 years or so, my driver's licenses in both Ohio and South Carolina have shown my weight as "350."

Like a lot of people, the weight on my driver's license was a lie.

I decided awhile back, I would go to the DMV and have a new picture taken and get a new license when I actually hit 350 pounds.  So here it is...the "before and after" driver's license pictures.  The new license has all sorts of security features, so the pictures didn't show up too well when I scanned it in.  So I added my own.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eating healthy costs more? Nope!

I came across a news story that talks about how eating healthy costs more and since the economy is so bad, darn it, some people just won't be able to afford the extra cost.  So I guess I should just give up, crawl back into my cave and go back to eating cheeseburgers, Little Debbie snack cakes and ramen noodles every 5 minutes.

Are you kidding me? Really? What nonsense. The reason this is a complete lie is because the article does not address the #1 cause of unhealthy eating:

Eating out all the time.

Even if you accept the premise that healthy grocery shopping costs more than unhealthy grocery shopping (which I don't, by the way) it's still cheaper to eat healthy than not if you stay out of the restaurants. Let's look at the math:

According to this link, the average American spends $2,736 a year in restaurants and bars.  That's an average of about $50 a week.  For most people I know, it's more. But whatever.

The article says eating healthy costs an extra $7.28 a week.  I think if you quit eating out, you can afford the $7.28.

And what about other sources of unhealthy eating?  How about the vending machines?  Your daily drive-thru latte purchase? It all adds up.

Say nothing of the impact on your health.  What about the financial consequences of an unhealthy diet, such as more doctor visits and more medications?  How much does that cost?

Eating healthy does NOT cost more.  Unhealthy eating does.