Wednesday, September 25, 2013
So, that was a reality check. Not that I really needed one; my weight isn't any more surprising to me than it would be to anyone that's been following me around for the last five months (don't think I haven't seen you hiding in the bushes). But it's still sobering.
May 8th, I weighed 239.4 pounds. It was my first, and last, day in the 'Overweight' range. Then I just stopped...everything, really. I had some things happening in my personal life, but even when I got my life back on track I couldn't get the healthy habits back on track. It was too much good food, good wine, good beer, good booze. I made a few half-hearted efforts to start running again (and a decent three-quarter-hearted effort), but the last month or so has really been a slog.
I'm humbled, which isn't such a terrible thing. I lost 130 pounds in seven months last year and it gave me a feeling of invincibility. But I'm not invincible. I'm good at losing weight, sure - in fact, I've got one hell of an ability to both gain and lose weight. But I'm clearly not great at maintaining. I'm a lot like a recovering addict (despite my distaste for analogizing weight loss). I can kick the stuff, but I have to be vigilant and keep an eye on what I do or else BAM!, full relapse.
So now what? I go back to what worked. I track everything I eat. I exercise 5-6 days a week. I COME ON SPARKPEOPLE AND TALK TO YOU FINE PEOPLE. I know, I pushing three bills again, but I said I'd never see that number again, and I'd hate to be a liar. Plus, the one bonus of going completely on the rails is that those first few weeks are just going to be losing pounds hand over fist (what does that even mean?). So, yeah, sorry other BLC23 teams.
Friday, August 30, 2013
This won't be an exceedingly long blog entry, but I just wanted to kind of announce my return and talk about where I've been.
The last few months have been kind of a lost summer for me. I stopped eating right - in fact, I started actively eating wrong - I stopped exercising and, SURPRISE!, I gained weight. A lot of weight. 35 pounds, in fact. I've got a pretty amazing ability to gain and lose weight really quickly. Usually, that's been a bad thing, because most of my life has been spent gaining weight. Lately, it's been bad again.
But fear not! I'm back on the wagon and getting back in shape. I'm almost two weeks into my restart and it's not taking me nearly as long to catch up as I'd thought, which is a relief. I've run a 10K (albeit REALLY slowly) and I've got my 3-mile pace back under 10 minutes, though it's just killer. But it's time to get back where I was. I ran a half-marathon in March, damn it. Speaking of the M-word, I've got plans for three half-marathons and a full marathon just in the next 10 months, because I'm a masochist. Still, I went from never running more than a mile in my life to running a half-marathon in less than four months, so I think I can hack it.
I'll write another blog post soon, but for now, I just want to say that I love youse guys and I've missed you and it's great to be back!
Thursday, March 07, 2013
So after much deliberation (all right, a little deliberation), Iíve decided to go back to daily weigh-ins. The last month has not been particularly kind to me, weight-loss-wise. I think that I just have a personality that wants to game the system. In other words, I like to take the easy way out. When I only weigh in on Wednesdays, I have a habit of overdoing things on, say, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and occasionally Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays, because I have time to ďmake it up.Ē Then, of course, I spend Monday and Tuesday scrambling to lose the weight I gained in the last few days. Sometimes I can, sometimes I canít.
But even if I was losing weight every week, it would still be a bad policy. Itís not a terrible thing that Iíve started relaxing a little bit about my diet; eating 1800 calories a day instead of 1500 a day is going to make things easier to maintain. But when thatís combined with several 3000-3500 calorie days, itís no good. And I need that accountability to help me eat right, and keep going to the gym even when I donít want to, and to push my workouts from mediocre to good. I hopped on the elliptical for an hour yesterday, and Iíve done the elliptical many times in the last 10 months. But yesterday, I pushed it to a new level. By the end, I had sweaty spots within the sweaty spots on my shirt. It felt great to kick my ass again.
Iím also getting excited about the weather turning and the clocks changing. That first week is always rough, because waking up before dawn is depressing and awful. But being able to run outside after work again is a huge relief. Itís been great having a gym membership but having nothing to see but Fox News is not great motivation to hit the gym. Even if Iím running on the same path Iíve run on a hundred times before, just being outside is enjoyable.
Speaking of running outside, Iím excited for the Urban Adventure Run Iím going on tonight. Basically, you start at a running store, and youíre given a map with a bunch of local businesses that are handing out raffle tickets, from ľ mile to 3 miles away, then you get an hour to hit as many of them as possible and get back for the raffle, where thereís food and beer. Seriously, what more motivation do you need to get out and run?
Finally, Iím 17 days away from my second half-marathon, and the first that Iím going to attempt to run. Iím not supremely confident, if only because a combination of laziness and a nasty flu has set back my training. Still, Iím going to go 13.1 miles, whether I have to run it or walk it. I probably wonít make the pace I was hoping for when I first signed up, but Iíll have gone 13.1 miles further than I did on the last March 24th, and thatís a win.
Monday, February 04, 2013
I think I won the Super Bowl of eating yesterday.
All joking aside, yesterday was not a good day, eating-wise, for me. I went to a Super Bowl party, and this party included a Super Bowl cookoff. And people cooked it off, thatís for sure. There was a ton of amazing food, and I ate all of it. Maybe not all of it, but my share and your share and a few other peopleís shares too. And there was no good reason for it. Not that the food wasnít good; there were some amazing things there. And I wanted to try all the dishes, but that wasnít really the problem either.
The problem was that I just kept going. I packed myself so damn full that I felt sick, and then I kept eating. I could easily have tried every dish, had some snacks and treats, and still have avoided Fatmageddon. But I didnít. I actively chose not to eat the way I should. Now, of course, I have to really think about the answer to why that is.
I know what I should be doing. I spent seven months doing exactly what I should and I had the results to prove it. Since then, though, Iíve been in a holding pattern. Iím not doing all the things that got me to 400 pounds, but Iím also not doing all the things that got me to 270. So whatís changed? Why donít I seem to have the strength that I had in the beginning?
Really, Iím finding that Iím not challenging myself the way that I did before. I could have held back yesterday, tried everything there was to try, indulge just enough to satisfy myself, and I could have felt good about it at the end of the day. But I wanted to eat a pigs in a blanket two at a time more than I wanted to lose weight this week. That would be fine if I felt like Iím where I want to be, but Iím definitely not. Iím getting complacent and self-satisfied, and thatís not OK with me.
This has extended to my workouts too. I spent about a week and a half doing very little Ė first because I was on a trip and I was lazy, and then because I had a nasty flu that forced me to take it easy Ė and itís taking a long time to get back. I had plans for a six-mile run on Saturday and that didnít happen. Oh, I started running intending to run six miles, but at the two-mile mark I started walking. In the end, it turned into a relatively good workout; I alternated walking and running, walking around a quarter mile followed by running a half-mile or a mile. But I was running six and seven miles before and to pull up at a third of that is frustrating.
The worst part is that I can do it. I believe that I could have pushed through if I wanted to. Part of the problem is that it only took a couple of weeks for my body to completely forget how to regulate its speed. I can run at a ten-minute pace fairly comfortably, but for some reason when I started running on Saturday, I was pushing up to a 9:15-9:30 pace. So I canít say Iím too surprised that I sputtered out after two miles.
So whatís the solution? Iíve lost 140 pounds, and I have at least 50 to go. To do this, I have to work out a lot, eat things that arenít terrible for me and eat a normal amount of them, andÖwell yeah, thatís it. Like my favorite refrain, ďSimple, not easy.Ē I just need to do it.
Anyway, there is one bit of positive news to report. I bought myself a new pair of jeans this weekend, size 38x32, which is my first pair of jeans in the 30s in at least ten years. This is all well and good, but if I donít get my ass in gear Iím going to be back in the 40s, and I have no interest in that. What I want is to be closer to 200 pounds than 300 pounds. I want to feel like Iím pushing myself, not like Iím giving less than my best. Thatís going to come down to me.
Monday, January 28, 2013
What would I tell my 16-year-old self? See, thatís tough, because I didnít have the stereotypical high school fat kid experience. I always was fighting with my weight, but I wasnít teased much, I was fairly popular, and I was a successful athlete. Thatís not to toot my own horn, just that I donít so much need to give myself a pep talk as tough love:
So, 16-year-old me, I know you think you have this thing down. You pig out all spring and summer, sitting on your ass, and then you lose it in the fall and the winter when football and wrestling rolls around. Hell, youíre actually in pretty good shape by the time the spring comes. Then you start the cycle over again. Well, hereís the thing. In a couple years, thereís not going to be football or wrestling coming up. I know, I know, you think that youíre going to find some small college that wants you to play, but no, youíre not.
Basically, youíre going to have eleven straight years of spring. You know how you completely go to sh*t in the spring and summer? Donít try to lie; youíre going to gain fifty pounds in six months when youíre a senior, and trust me, Iím in a position to know. You think that 300 pounds is a lot? Try 400. And let me tell you, it happens without you even knowing it. How often do you weigh yourself once wrestling ends? And remember, donít try to lie, because Iíll know. Thatís right, you weigh yourself once, at the beginning of football season, so they can put your weight in the football program.
Well hereís the thing: when you never weigh yourself, it lets you deny what youíre really doing to your body. Then one day you take a deep breath, step on the scale and youíre 403 pounds. You donít even tell anyone how much you weigh now, and youíre only 205 pounds. One day youíre going to tell everyone you know, right out there on the internet, your weight. Every day. The day you start doing that? Youíll be 379.4 pounds. Not only that, thatís going to be after youíve already lost about 24 pounds. Yeah, youíre going to be that fat. No, itís not going to be pretty. Youíll buy all your clothes at one of two stores because those will literally be your only options. Youíll grow a beard because your face will be too fat to keep clean-shaven. Everything you do will make you sweat.
So hereís what you have to do: Work out, like almost every day. I know, it sucks now, going to wrestling practice every day, and all you want to do is finish the season so you can go do stupid stuff with your friends. But go do it anyway. Eventually, it will suck a lot less. In fact, youíll even enjoy it sometimes. But still, a lot of the time youíll just want to stay home and watch TV. I wonít lie to you, watching TV is a lot easier than working out. But you know what doesnít suck? Looking good in your clothes. Not sweating all the time. Not dreading walking half a mile to a restaurant with your friends. Finishing a half-marathon. Thatís my next goal. I havenít done it yet, but Iíve run seven miles. Whatís the farthest youíve run? Oh, a mile? Just as an FYI, thatís going to be the case for the next thirteen years.
So thatís what I have to tell you, 16-year-old me. Basically, eat vegetables, stop stuffing yourself, work out when you can. Itís not easy, trust me; Iím the one thatís been on both sides of it. Take care of yourself now, buddy; if you donít, youíll wish you had when youíre me.
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