Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More Treadmill (day 75)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 20 minutes on the treadmill.

Two big things to talk about today really. First with the group I was working with today we stopped for lunch- at Pizza Hut. I in the past could not resist pizza hut. When I was on the road; at least once while on the road I would order a pizza, bread-sticks and soda and eat all of it in one sitting. My wife came to dread pizza hut commercials because I was always want pizza after that. Pizza was my thing. Today- Nothing. I sat in the pizza hut for lunch, ate my bar, and did not even crave the pizza. In fact it really didn't look all that good to me. 40 days ago or so the smell of pizza made me think about ditching this plan and eating. The thought not eating pizza as my last meal before this diet haunted me. Pizza knew my name, knew what I wanted and gave it to me- and I gave myself to it. Pizza no longer holds power over me. I know how ridiculous this must sound to some one who has not be addicted to over eating- but this is not me joking around.

Second big thing- today I ran on the treadmill again. And today I was able to knock out 10 straight minutes. TEN STRAIGHT MINUTES. Sure it was slow, but I am not worried about speed. I am excited beyond belief that I did that. It really gave me that light at the end of the tunnel feeling. I can get better at running. I still look forward to running with a group, and learning more about how to run well- but I know I can do it.

Do I commit to completing a triathlon  I think I might- I am just not ready to say I will. Part of it is I will need a different bike and since I have to save all off budget money to do that I can't commit to getting that done this year. Part of it is that I can't train hard do to calorie restrictions on the diet. And part of it is I just don't know yet in my heart that I can do it. It is still something I think I might be able to do.. maybe. I can lose the weight  I can change myself to keep it off- I can do those things.

A treadmill (day 74)

Key Stat: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 20 minutes on the treadmill.

Today was a travel day as I find myself in Virginia again. Since I am in the hotel and they have a selection of exercise equipment I don't have I planned to and got on the treadmill. Wow, having that thing pace me makes running so much easier. This firmly cements in my mind that I need group running to help me. I was able to run for much longer periods of time than I can with no pacing help. I plan to run on the treadmill as many times as I can this week while I am out here. I hope some form of muscle memory starts to take effect.

I also video chatted with my wife and son. I don't know why seeing a picture of my face or a video of my face makes me notice the weight loss so much more than looking in a mirror. But wow did I notice the difference. It was amazing. I am so proud of myself for how far I have come and how far I know I can still go. I know I can keep this weight off after I am done with the loss phase of this journey. I know I can find a way to make exercise part of my life. I know I can do this- and I honestly never thought I could 74 days ago.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Making exercise part of my life (day 73)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 45 minute bike ride (7.8 miles)

My family had a lot to do today. It would normally be a swim day for me, but because of plans in the afternoon that was just not going to work out. So I sat down and talked it out with my wife for how to fit my exercise in today. It is hard being a good husband and a good father, while also working on being active every day. Sure I did the grocery shopping (and I volunteer to do that just so I get to walking in while doing it. When I go by myself I walk every isle just to get in more walking), but I really like getting in the "real" exercise. So we figured out that biking could fit in during my son's nap. But we had to fit it in. This is going to be hard to maintain. It was easy at first, my family just fit life around me starting to lose weight.. but I can't expect that to happen forever. At some point I have to find a way to fit the exercise around my family. But what order of importance do I put it? How much should I expect my family to work around what I need to do for myself? Is it unreasonable to take 60 minutes each day as I have set as my goal?

On similar note I really love getting out on my bike. I took a longer ride today than I have taken before. I also tackled a HUGE hill. I loved it. The rush of going downhill, the pride in going up that big hill. Getting to see parts of the city I have not seen before. I can not wait until I have save up enough money to get a good bike to go out on. I can not wait until I can ride for hours at a time (see above for fitting it in). I want to do a long distance ride. I certainly need a few parts of my body to toughen up first though... my legs and butt are sore today. But it is that good kind of sore. Pain is just weakness leaving the body. That is what my company commander used to tell us. I can't remember what movie he got it from, but I heard it all the time. I am shocked at myself, enjoying exercise. Sure I did it at the beginning because I had to- but I really do enjoy it now. I did not think that I had that in me. I can do this.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Doing what I could not do before (day 72)

Key Stats: No BG checks. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minute bike ride for exercise, 10 minute bike ride with family.

Today I found at a garage sale a bike trailer. I got it cheap. 15 dollars. Sure it needs some TLC, and is in not the nicest shape, but it rolled well. With my bike back fresh from the repair shop I knew I had to start incorporating active life with family life, and this thing is the key. So after my exercise bike ride as a shake down I planned a biking family outing. My son love it, I loved it and I think my wife also enjoyed it. She needs a better bike but I doubt I will be able to convince her to spend the money for it.

I also really enjoyed my ride. There is a really nice bike path near my house that gives a wonderful view of our neighborhood, and offers a really nice hill climb. In all of the beginners biking stuff that I have read they recommend getting out and seeing areas you have not seen yet, and now I really understand why. I never knew such nice paths are around us. I look forward to bringing my stamina up some and really starting to explore. As it is I think I could have ridden longer, but I still was really doing a shake down ride. I'll have to get some gloves though, my hands where killing me. Also very glad I got the biking shorts that butt pad helps a ton. I am sure the areas that are sore today will toughen up over time but no reason to suffer while I wait for them to get tougher.

I ate lunch today with my mom, brother and my family. Desert was ordered, normally I join right in on that idea. But as I looked at what they ordered none of it look appealing. I remarked that each of those deserts is likely more calories that I am currently eating in a day, oh and this was after they all had large lunches. Watching my mom and brother I can see where I got my bad habits from. My brother is on the same path as I was on. I can only hope that seeing me and the changes I have made could inspire him to make the changes he has to make. I know he wants to live to see his daughter grow up the same as I wanted to live to see my son grow up. It is hard to make the changes, but they have to be made. I know he can do it, after I know I can do it.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Getting Rid of clothes (day 71)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. No formal exercise today.

I hate writing that- no formal exercise. I just ran out of time today. I was going to swim in the morning so I didn't wake up early to exercise before my son wakes up. It took me longer to get out of the house than it should have, so I felt like I didn't have time to get a swim in. In stead of walking during lunch I used lunch time to get a few new t-shirts since I have none now. When I got home I took my son to get him the flashlight he earned by going in the potty every time. Then it was family dinner time. Then bed time, then I ran to the bike store to pick my bike up. So yah, I could have moved priorities around and fit the exercise in better, but I didn't. I guess I am ok with that. Everyone needs to take a day and rest anyways- and now I just plan to hit it during the weekend.

The time at lunch to get a few shirts was prompted by taking all of my old clothes and donating them. My closet is empty of my fat clothes, except for a few shirts  that have sentimental value (my Team Powvens March of Dimes shirt,  my US Coast Guard shirt, and a green shirt that I was wearing for a picture when I was at my largest size). I also still have my suits, I am holding out hope that I can get them tailored to make them fit me again, but I some how doubt that will happen. It was a big leap to get rid of all of those clothes, but I am happy I did it. I joked all day that some fat dude is going to hit the jackpot when my clothes get put out.

It just feels so good to wear clothes that fit me. I keep having to check my shirt because I am not used to feeling the shirt in so many places. For so long I just wore baggy clothes. I never did it with the thought of hiding my body, but I can see now that I was. I still have a way to go before I am ready to "show off" my body (if ever) but I can wear shirts that show my shape quite a bit better now. Hell when I picked up my bike I also purchased some spandex bike shorts. I figure if I am going to ride I need to have the proper clothes to do it in, and I found out everyone wears those shorts because of the padding built into the butt on them. I don't care that I am still a bit too big to be in spandex, or even that I used to think the people doing it looked stupid- I am doing what I need to do to take care of myself and exercise, and I am going to wear the proper clothes to do it in. I am looking forward to rocking my new shorts on the bike ride tomorrow. I have to plan out a path yet, but I am aiming for a 30 minute ride. I can do it.

Today is the start of week 11 of this program. That for some reason feels very significant. I am so glad I started this. I am so proud of myself for how far I have gotten. I am so excited to keep going. I have thought about wishing I had done a before picture when I started this program. But that would lead me to a after picture. Now I am just not comfortable with the idea of an after picture. Maybe a "in progress" picture. But after implies that when I hit a certain weight I am done- Mission accomplished. It just can not be that way. It is a milestone for certain, but the mission will be accomplished when I reach an old age without any comorbid conditions of being over weight. The mission is to live a healthy life. By the time I get to after I hope that everyone who looks at the over weight picture of me wonders who that fat person is, the Jon they have known for decades was a healthy guy who ate good and always exercised. I can do that- I know I can.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Big donation (day 70)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minutes on the elliptical in the moring. All afternoon on my feet working at a local food pantry.

I bagged up my old fat clothes. It makes for 2 very large yard waste bags each weighing well over 40 pounds. My closet now consists of 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of shorts, 6 button up shirts, 2 polos, and a hand full of 3XL T-shirts. I plan to replace the t-shirts shortly, and to pick up a pair of jeans at a good will store. I'll have to live with the limited amount of clothes for awhile until I start to stabalize on my size. What ever that ends up being.

Today was a good day at class. I rang in with another 6 pounds lost, and since I was wearing my new properly sized clothes everyone was noticing me. I understand now how people say they feel better is clothes. I feel great in my 38/30 pants and my XL shirts. I love this good feeling. I love the feeling of being smaller. I am going to keep working hard to get smaller, and healthier. Other than sore muscles from over doing some exercise I have never felt better in my life. I am never going to let these good feelings go. I am going to keep working to not just loose this weight, but to keep it off. I know I can do it.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Looking good (day 69)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 35 minute walk for lunch.

Today was mostly a rest day. I had run, and swam, and walked a ton in the last couple of days and was feeling very sore. I still got a nice walk in for lunch though. I enjoy my longer path that I have found. I am getting to explore the area around me a bunch.

Today I wore to work some new clothes. I shopped yesterday to get some clothes that don't look silly on me. I got a ton of positive comments. The clothes really do make the man. I felt smaller wearing smaller clothes. I felt like I looked good. I look forward to feeling that way every day.

Back to the full work out schedule tomorrow. And back to class to learn more about how to eat, and how to keep all this weight off. I also get to record an official weight, which is always fun. I am guessing it will be in the 5 to 6 pound range. But I would be happy with anything above 2. At the end of the day, a loss is a loss. I love getting smaller. Each day brings me closer to when I can't just rely on shakes and bars, but each day gets me more confident that I can do this.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

100 Gone (day 68)

Key Stats:All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 20 minutes in the bike in the morning, 45 minutes in the pool in the evening.

100 pounds down. 100 pounds down. I just had to repeat that it sounds so good. I weighed in this morning at 255 pounds. It has been 2 year and 12 days since I weighed in at 355 pounds. That works out to just about 1 pound a week lost. Though I didn't really do 1 pound a week (these last 68 days have been closer to 1 pound a day) I still accomplished a lot.

Many people who read this blog, or who listen to me might think that the hard part has been these last 68 days and 70 some pounds. But to be honest the hardest part, the part I had to work on myself the most for was getting from 355 to 337. Not just because it took me that much longer, but I think you have to see it more like getting a train moving. I was slow at first, and I even stopped and backed up a few times. But once I got on the tracks so to speak, and decided I needed to start going I was then able to pick up speed. This VLCD diet is EASY. Weight just falls off. Deciding to call and start a program that from the outside looks extreme was HARD. Getting to the point of noticing I needed help was hard. Finding a way to say that I needed help, and I needed help in a major way was hard. Much much harder than these last 68 days.

Often times I have looked back at myself and thought what poor self control I had, and how weak I really was. But getting to this 100 pound milestone really just showed me that I just didn't have direction yet. I know back that I wasn't happy as big as I was- I just didn't think I could do anything about it. I could not have written back that what I write every day on this blog- I can do this. I just didn't know back then that I could do this.

On a different topic. I purchased new clothes today. Size 38/30 pants, and XL shirts. I looked awesome in them and I can't wait to wear them to work tomorrow. I don't know how much smaller I will get but my guess is that XL shirts will end up a bit big and I will possible get to wear L shirts, and my pants will get to 34. That is just a guess though... I am in completely un-charted territory. Also today I swam my first 500 Meter ladder. That is a 100 meter swim, then a 90 second break. Follow by 200 meter and a break, 300 meters and a break... and up to 500 meters. Now normal I would swim back down the ladder but I ran out of gas to do it. The last 100 meters of my 500 was killer. I am super proud of myself for doing it though. Tomorrow is my run- weather permitting. I am not going to feel bad for saying this, but I hope the weather is crappy. If it isn't I know I can do it. After I lost 100 pounds- I can do this.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Footsteps (day 67)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minutes on the bike in the morning, 35 minute walk for lunch, and a 33 minute run/walk in the evening.

In total today I walked/ran over 5 miles. I don't know how many miles a person walks in a year, but I am willing to be I didn't walk much more than 5 miles last year. The running as made me fairly sore, but I rocked it out. Now I am not going to win any races, and I certainly did more walking than running... but today was part of the start.

I miss my bike. I really wanted to go for a ride today. I saw at the park that we took my son to a guy towing his child in a trailer to the park. I want to do that for my son. I want him to learn about a healthy active father. I want him to learn from me what a healthy and active life can be. That is really one of the biggest motivators for me to do this. I did not want my son to follow in the footsteps I was leaving for him. I am getting close to having footsteps I would be proud for him to follow. The footsteps of a healthy man. The footsteps of an active father. The footsteps of some one who takes care of himself, his family, and his life. I can do this.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Silly in spandex? (day 66)

Key Stats: No BG checks. 4 shakes, 1 bar no off eating. 10 minute walk with my son in tow, 20 minute bike ride, 45 minutes in the pool.

I hit a weird feeling today. My energy level is just through the roof. So I started out my day by getting dress warm and trying to take my son for a walk/run in the stroller. About .2 miles into he wanted to go home because he was tired. So we turned around and I took him home. Since I was dressed warm I decided I would get on the bike. I am finding that I really enjoy riding. So off I went, this time the course was 2.3 miles. Because of the cold I decided not to push it further than that, but I could have ridden much further if I had wanted to. Next time I ride will have to be a longer path.

Next time I ride though is going to be almost a week away. I took my bike in to get it tuned up. I was having some problems with the front derailleur, and I am ashamed to say that every attempt I made at fixing it just made it worse. Since it was in getting fixed up, and since it is a mountain bike and I have no plans on riding on a mountain, I had them also put some road tires on it. Now the rims are still a smaller 26" rim, and not the popular 700c you find on the real road bikes, but going from a knobby tire to a road tire is going to help my rides quite a bit.

So after my ride I went home played with my son, did some shopping, and relaxed a bit. I headed off to the pool to do some swimming. I sucked it up and got some swimming attire that is a bit more suited for lap swimming. I felt a bit like a fat man in a little coat in my speedo jammer shorts, but screw it. I'll look better in it every day, and as my wife puts it "You are always going to look silly in spandex to me."

After the swim I found I had this extra pool of energy. I think I found that thing people who exercise talk about all the time. The HIGH you get from exercising. It was amazing. I could have gone for a ride again, swam another 45 minutes- I danced like a crazy man with my son. I can't recall every feeling this way ever in my life. I am so happy I was able to take this extra energy and use it to have fun with my son. After it is not just for me that I am doing all of this- I am doing it for my family. I am getting healthy to be able to be the dad I want to be. I am getting healthy to be the husband I want to be. I am doing this to be what I need to be for my family. I can do this, not just for me, not just for them, but for all of us.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

I ride my bicycle (day 65)

Key Stats: No BG checks. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 2 mile bike ride.

You read that right, I road my bike. I figured what better thing to do. So I got the dust off a bike I purchased a few years ago that I thought didn't work for me and went for a ride. All the time in the basement riding my bike paid off well today. I had mapped out a two mike ride thinking it would take me a good bit to do... well it didn't From leaving the house to getting back home was between 5 and 10 minutes. And I did not push hard. I guess I am going to need to find about a 10 mile ride to make it a good work out. I am surprised how much I enjoyed the ride.

So yesterday was a run, today was a ride and tomorrow I will be swimming. So should I try a triathlon  The running part of it scares me the most. But damn that would be cool to accomplish  At 355 pounds I thought I would never do something like that. If I stick with this, I am betting I will be able to do it. Can I stick with it? Lets see how the running goes. I know I am going to try my hardest, and either way I am going to end up healthier than I was before I got started. I can't say I know I can do a triathlon, but I can say I know I can do this- get healthier.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Running (day 64)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 20 minute run.

Today was a big day in two ways. I had been toying with getting a bike so that I could take up riding, but the cost of a bike kind of put a halt to that idea. So I stopped at Fleet Feet in Madison to check out getting shoes to start running. I have had running in the back of my mind for a few weeks now, and wanted to see what it was all about. I really only stopped with the idea to make sure the store had what I wanted, find out the costs, and get a feel for if I thought I could do it. A bunch of my fears about running are injury related so I knew getting the right pair of shoes was going to be important. Well the stopping to check things out turned into getting shoes, inserts, socks, and shorts. I can say after going through the process that I have never been fitted for shoes before. And the short amount of time I spent on a treadmill made it clear to me that shoes where the cause of a bunch of my running problems in the past.

So home I went with new shoes on. It was a cold and crappy day today but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I downloaded a couch to 5k program for my phone, and off I went. The first couple of intervals went great, and then I just ran out of energy. It was then I realized I had planned to have one of my shakes before I ran but never did. So I really did run out of energy. Good news to report on the running front. My legs are tired from the running I did, but not sore. During boot camp I would get shin splints like crazy that I just had to run through, nothing like that happened this time. I don't know were running is going to take me, but I think I am going to make it a goal to finish a 5k race.

The second way today was big is possibly even bigger than starting to run. For dinner tonight we went over to a friends house for dinner and a movie. As the kids were eating dinner, and everyone but me as also eating dinner I noticed something very strange. I was sitting next to pizza, and not craving it. I could smell the pizza, see the pizza, and I could have touched the pizza if I wanted to... but I didn't want it. I didn't feel hungry, and I didn't have a craving for it. Honestly it didn't seem all that appealing. This is PIZZA we are talking about. I used to think pizza hut held meetings in my head to figure out how to advertise, as each advertisement made me want to order what ever it was that was on the TV. A month ago the smell of pizza drove me crazy because I could not have it. Today- Meh. The changes are becoming more and more evident. I can do this.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Afraid of food (day 63)

Key Stats: all BGs normal, 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 20 minute ride, 30 minute walk.

So first I lost nearly 7 pounds this week. This far into the program the weight loss should be slowing down a bit more but this was one of my bigger weeks since I started. I am proud of the hard work I have done, and the results I have earned because of that.

In class today we talked about food quite a bit, and eating habits. I admitted in class that I am truly afraid of food. I am worried that while I am learning a lot about myself that I will just go back to my old habits. I don't want to gain back the weight that I have lost. So how do I start to eat again? I want to stay on the shakes for as long as I can. The further I get away from the food I used to eat, the more I think I can avoid going back to them. I have always told people that the shakes are the easy part of this. Life after is going to be the hard part. I wish I could just type what I type at the end of every blog post, that I know I can do this; but I would be lying if I said that right now. I am worried about doing that. I have 30 years of unhealthy eating habits to get past. I know I will put the work in. I know I am putting the work in. Can I figure this out, will I let slip ups become set backs? I have not seen much of the transition plan yet, but I hope the transition plan gives me the tools I need to bring food back in. I know I will be 100% in, and if that is enough- well then I can do this.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hitting 260 (day 62)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes, 1 bar no off eating. 20 minutes on the bike.

Today turned into kind of an off day for exercise. I got very little sleep last night due to my son getting up throughout the night, and I know tonight is going to be more of the same. While my ability to exercise has gotten much better than it was, but I still worry about burn out.

This morning when I stepped on the scale I got greeted by a great number. I number I have worked hard for, and a number I have earned. I got to see 260. Sure it was 260.8 so if we are rounding it is 261, but forget that I truncated it. Than means 95 pounds gone since I first recorded my weight. That means 74 pounds since this recent try to lose weight started. That also means I am getting into the 250's shortly- which is my lowest weight ever as an adult. 62 days in, and a life time to go.

I need to find an active hobby. I get 30+ views on my blog every day now, does anyone have recommendations. Has anyone who is reading this gone from a non-active life to a active life? What worked for you? Why did it work? Biking sounds like a great thing to get into, but the costs of buying a bike scare me. I don't want to get the wrong bike after all.

Tomorrow is official weigh in day. Again I am looking forward to both the class and getting to record my official weight loss number. I also have a lot to learn, and the class does a great job of teaching. Like I said above, I have a life time to go still. I can do this.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Inspiration (day 61)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar, no off eating. 20 minute on the bike, and 30 minutes of swimming.

I am not going to take full credit for all of this, but I know of one person who has started the VLCD program because of me, and today I had another person reach out and ask about the program and more information. That means because people are seeing how much good I am doing for myself and thinking they can do it to. I am an inspiration. That feels really good. To top that off today I went to lunch with two friends that I have not seen since before I started to lose weight. My friends where shocked by how much I had changed. Seeing people notice the amount of change I have gone through makes me really happy. It just isn't enough for me to see the changes in the mirror, or feeling the clothes get loser doesn't feel real; but people who don't know that I am trying notice it makes it feel real.

Maybe that is part of the problem that I have. When I was over weight I would look in the mirror and see a normal weight person. I would see the fat person in pictures when I would look at them, but the mirror not at all. Now when I look in the mirror I still see a fat person, but I see a skinny person in pictures. I'll need to find a way to see the real me in the mirror. Or just look at more pictures of myself I guess.

The pool keeps getting easier. My energy level is higher than I can remember it ever being. I am still sore quiet often from years of letting my muscles do nothing. But that is getting better. It is not a popular thought with my wife, but the thought of running keeps coming to my mind. I think just doing a 5k one time in my life would feel like such an accomplishment. I'll keep that thought to the back of my mind for awhile though. I am really making progress and I am really doing good. I know that I can do this.


Monday, April 15, 2013

2 full months (day 60)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes, 1 bar no off eating. 20 minutes on the bike, and a 20 minute walk.

I have been at this now for 2 months. At least if you count a month as 30 days. I think it is good at this point to look at how far I have gone in that short of a time.

1.) I have lost 66 pounds.
2.) I have come within 11 pounds of my initial goal of 260.
3.) I have not eaten off a single time.
4.) I have gone far down the road to make exercise part of my life.
5.) None of my clothes fit, and even clothes I purchased a month ago no longer fit.
6.) I have more energy than I can remember having.
7.) I have stuck to writing my blog posting and examining myself.
8.) I have found out that I can resist temptation- something I didn't know was in me.

I was going for 10, but ended up with 8. I am ok with that though, that is a huge list even if it is 2 short of 10.

Oddly enough today was a day when I found cravings showing up again. While I was out shopping at the grocery store tonight I found myself really thinking about eating off. While at work today I couldn't stop thinking about the block of cheese in the fridge at home. Funny how those thoughts brought on what felt like physical hunger. I would have eaten in the past. I would have finished that entire block of cheese. I would have gotten the gummy worms I wanted. I even had to stop and smell the gummy worms at the store. I can just imagine what that looked like to people walking by. I still look like a fat guy, so they saw a fat guy smelling candy in a store. I am sure I would tell that story to people if I saw that, but I am fine with it. I dealt with my craving in a healthy way.

Getting through these 60 days, and days like today prove to me that I am doing what I need to do. That I have strength I never thought I had. I can keep doing this, and keep figuring out what I need to figure out in order to fix this. I can do this.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Over doing it just a bit (day 59)

Key Stats: No BG checks. 4 shakes, 1 bar no off eating. No formal exercise.

So I did over do it in the pool yesterday. I have had sore legs and arms all day. I don't like feeling this sore, but I know I have to keep pushing starting tomorrow. I'll have to go a bit lighter, but I can't stop just because I am a bit sore. Next time I will try to remember to not push it.

I have not kept a detailed log of measurements, but I do check things from time to time. My neck is now down to 19 inches. This allows me to shop for dress shirts without having to first find the big and tall section. To prove it I tried on the dress shirt I purchased for my Vegas trip back in the 2nd week of March (just a hair over a month ago). That shirt was a 19. At the time I needed two half inch button extenders to be able to button the neck. Today, I could button it no problem. So 1 month in I have lost an inch off of my neck. Bolstered by that and having time to kill while getting an oil change at Farm and Fleet I decided to try on some clothes to see what I fit in. My starting size was a 44/30 pants and a 3XLT shirt. I needed the tall part to help from the shirt showing my stomach off when I lifted my arms, not because I was tall. Both the pants and the shirts were honestly getting a bit tight on me, and I really could have moved up to the next size in both. Today what fit was 38/30 pants and a XL shirt. So 6 inches gone from where I wear my pants (which my wife always reminds me is not my waist, and 2 shirt sizes down. Now to be honest the shirt was a bit more snug that I would normally buy. But I thought I looked good in it. Maybe that brand of shirt XL was a bit too snug, but that means there are likely other brands that and XL would be a good fit. I wonder if I will get to the point where I can wear just a Large? How small will my neck get? I look forward to finding out. Here is the picture I took of myself. This just makes me so proud to see myself looking good. It is moments like today in that dressing room that really affirm for me that I can do this.  -Jon

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Standing on the slippery slope (day 58)

Key Stats: No BG checks (meter at work), 4 shakes 1 bar, no off eating. 45 minutes in the pool.

Today I went with my son to a birthday party. It was a prince/princess party for a little 3 year old girl. The mom of the girl hosting the party went all out. Decorations, games, costumes and food. Dear lord the food. Many of my favorite treats and cravings. I knew it was going to be that, which is why it was important that I went.

I get to live in the bubble right now. I feel no hunger, and I have a very strict plan to follow. So parties like these are really not all that hard to go to. Sure I have to deal with the temptation, but saying no is fairly easy. Once I am off the program, things get much harder. Once out of the bubble and not having a strict plan I have to figure out how to eat at events like this. So I scanned the food looking at what I would take. Instead of saying some foods are bad, or some foods are good I look at portions. I had the plate I would have taken all mapped out. There was lots of treats, but there was a good balance of "good" food also. Off the plan today would have been a not great eating day, but I will have those. It is keeping things in balance that counts. I am glad to be learning that. Also at the end of the day I am proud of myself for today. I certainly could have eaten off, I could have had any of the food and most likely would not have even been noticed. I didn't though. I don't have to indulge just because the food is there, I never knew I could do that before. That is why it is important to stand on the slope some times and look down. You can see where you could be going, and know you don't have to. Today taught me how far I have come in just a short 58 days. Today re-affirmed for me that I can do this.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Over half way to my goal (day 57)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 20 minutes on the bike in the morning.

Today marked 3 days in a row of not getting much sleep. Between the storms, and my son waking early I have been not getting as much sleep as I would like. I hope he doesn't get up at 4:30 in the morning again. So this will be a short post, I want to get to bed as soon as I can.

I noticed today that I am really well over the half way mark for my weight loss goal. I am down 66 pounds and I have 36 pounds to go. When I started 260 seemed like a pipe dream, and now I worry that I won't get a full 6 months on shakes. I really want as long as a time as possible away from food. I really want that food reset button that I know takes a long time to start working. I have to completely change how I used to eat, expand my food choices and get rid of the emotional tie to eating. It is getting better, but I worry that I have a long ways to go. Each day away from food weakens the bond to food. Even if I don't get the full 6 months I know that I can find a way, I truly know that I can do this.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

20% (day 56)

Key stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar, no off eating. 20 min on the bike, 30 min in the pool.

Total weight loss is now 19.58%. That is starting from December of 2012. Even further that is 23.66% since the first time I recorded my weight with the thought to lose weight. A 1/5th smaller than I was. Those aren't number that can win the biggest loser but I'll take them, and I'll be proud of them.

Tonight in the pool I cranked out 500 meters with no break. It wasn't all the same stroke but I got it done. I ended up with 200 meters of front crawl, then 200 meters of breaststroke, than 100 meters of front crawl again. Now it took me over 12 minutes to do, but I did it. I don't fancy myself to be a competitive swimmer again, but I do plan to get that time faster, and eventually finish it only using one stroke.

Today I did my official weigh in, the official weight is now 271. With the goal weight being 235 I still have a long ways to go, but it feels very reachable. I think I will end up closer to 220 but that is really more of a stretch goal. The good thing is that I know no matter what final weight I end up with I am significantly more healthy that I was before I started. I am so proud of what I have done for myself and for my family. I know I can do this.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dodging the rain(day 55)

Key Stats: BG's all normal. 4 shakes, 1 bar, no off eating. 20 min on the bike, 20 min walk, 30 min on the elliptical.

It has been raining here all week. But all week I have gotten my walks in. How? Easy I watch the radar and when it looks like we are going to get a break in the rain I go for my walk. I have been lucky that most of the time this has lined up well with when I would normally walk (+/- 1 hour) so it has not been at too weird of times. But I get it done. At this point I think I would start to feel weird if I didn't get this walk in.

I noticed today that my arms need some help. I really have to start rebuilding some muscle. If for no other reason to firm up the skin. So tomorrow morning I am going to start alternating the bike with strength training. I have tried strength training once before a few weeks ago and over did it so I will need to be more careful this time. For some reason changing my routine is scaring me, but I'll just have to get over that.

Tomorrow is class. I look forward to Thursday nights all week. Not just for my weigh in, but as a time to learn more about how to keep all of this weight that I am losing off. I am so happy that I decided to start on this journey, and that I knew I needed to be 100% committed to it. I am getting healthier every day. I feel better every day. I have been doing this for 55 days and I know that I can do this.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Things I can do now (day 54)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 20 minutes on the bike, 20 minute walk, and 30 minutes in the pool.

I feel like my son must have felt when he was learning about what his body could do. I can do all sorts of things I was not able to do 54 days ago. I can make the number 3 with both hands by trapping my pinkie with my thumb. That might sound odd but I could not control my hand enough to do that before. I can sit crossed legged with one knee on top of the other. Don't know why I couldn't do that before, but now I can. I wonder what other new things I will be able to do?

In the exercise world the new things I can do are fairly amazing. I can ride hard for 20 minutes. I can do the elliptical without having to give my arms a rest for 24 minutes. Tonight only the second time in the pool I was able to swim 200 meters without taking a rest. Now I am not swimming fast, or even able to do the same stroke for the entire 200 meters, but I can do it. My walk that I do at lunch used to take me almost exactly 20 minutes, I don't try to walk fast, and now that walk takes me 17 minutes. I'll have to find a new route.

On the walking note, I know I must be going crazy. It was raining hard here almost all day, but when I saw a break in the storm I decided I had better go get my walk in. Now I didn't do that because I wanted to exercise, and I didn't do it because I wanted to lose more weight. I did it because I knew I wouldn't feel right for the rest of the day if I didn't get a walk in. I still have moments in the morning were it is hard to get out of bed. I still fight finishing the time I set on the machine. I still have an internal dialogue and struggle to go do what I need to be doing... but I am winning. It is getting easier to win. More and more it is becoming not just words I say to give myself motivation, instead they are words on conviction- I CAN DO THIS.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Doctor visit (day 53)

Key Stats: All BG normal, 4 shakes 1 bar, no off eating. 20 minutes on the bike in the morning, 20 minute walk for lunch, and 30 minutes on the elliptical in the evening.

I had my doctors appointment this afternoon. My doctor was so happy with the results of my blood tests, and my weight loss that she was literally giggling.  And I don't mean literally in the way people who don't understand what the word literally means. I mean literally and I know the definition of the word. Even if you know the definition of that word you should click on the link. It is great.

I thought I would post a picture for everyone to look at. It show a picture of me on my birthday in 2010 and a picture I took of myself today. I don't always see the changes in me as I am losing weight, but this is really hard not to notice.
How awesome is that. It is almost like it is two different people. In the picture on the left I am around 355 pounds. I was dealing with back pain that made it impossible for me to walk for more than a few minutes. To be honest it looks like I really have no neck. In the picture on the right I can exercise more than an hour a day. I go for walks just because I want to, and I no longer have to take medicine for diabetes. The guy on the left wasn't going to make it too much past his 50's if even past his 50's. The guy on the right has a much better chance of making it to old age. The guy on the left made his wife cry because she is worried she is going to lose him, the guy on the right makes his wife cry because she is so proud of him. 

In a couple of months I am going to add to this photo. It will be before, during, and after. After really isn't the correct term, but I am tired and I don't feel like coming up with a better word for it. The picture I add will be at my goal weight of 235. I have almost 40 more pounds to go to get to it, and I am sure the weight loss is going to slow down, but if there is one simple thing going through this VLCD program has taught me it is that I can do this.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Over doing it (day 52)

Key Stats: No BG checks, 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. No formal exercise (but a TON of walking around)

Today we went to a birthday party that was at a park near the zoo. I ran around with my son. I walked around the zoo. I stood and talked to people. I ran around the play ground. I was on my feet for at least 3 hours straight. I also did all of the shopping, and ran a bunch of errands. And I am paying for it right now.

It appears with my foot getting smaller I won't have ingrown toe nail problems as much. A ingrown toe nail popped out of the skin in my big toe. Every step hurts like hell. My quads are burning constantly. My hips hurt. With no back pain telling me when to stop I guess my new limiter for now is going to be my legs. I guess I am glad it is not my back, but I hope to get rid of this limit also.

I see my primary care doctor tomorrow. I am betting it is going to be one of the best appointments I have ever had with a doctor. I look forward to hearing good job, and not about what I am doing to hurt myself. I still have a long ways to go, but I really am on the road and making progress. I can do this.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

A family walk(day 51)

Key Stats: No BG checks (left meter at work again), 4 shakes 1 bar, chick broth, no off eating. 20 minute walk.

I had not gotten to exercise today like I had planned. I was all set to go to the pool and get some swimming in when I got to be super helpful husband. I enjoy moments like that when I can take the stress of something going wrong from my wife and help out. So that is what I did. I will get to the pool tomorrow though. But since the pool was out I still wanted to get some exercise in. So after I got back I said "Lets take a family walk"

My son exploded off the couch yelling happily about taking a family walk. Have I been depriving him of that his whole life? I hope that is not the case. In any case we had a bunch of fun. I didn't walk fast, or really walk with the thought of exercising, but I walked with my family. I enjoyed the fact that I could walk and then hang around outside after and not get lower back pain. In fact I didn't really notice that pain didn't come on until just now. Before all the walks we would take would bring on pain so much that I really did avoid them. I still find myself sitting down when ever possible just to avoid pain coming on, but the pain doesn't come. How trained am I to avoid pain? I look forward to reversing that training. I look forward to more family walks. I look forward to running with my son more when he asks me too (I couldn't today, still recovering from muscle soreness from swimming Thursday night). But soon I will. More and more I am feeling the health that I am gaining. If the 270's feel this good, I can't wait to find out what the 230's feel like. I can do this.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Date night (day 50)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar, no off eating. 30 minutes on the bike in the morning, 20 minute walk for lunch.

This will be a short post, tonight is date night. It is still weird to think about date night and not be planning what treat I will get to have. I even almost got a treat for my wife to have just so it felt right. But like I said in an earlier post, these nights can not be about treats. Of course as I say that I see my wife has gotten out some icecream and is enjoying that while I write this. I love that she can be eating the ice cream and I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. I have my water, I'll drink that.

Ok on to date night. I hope everyone reading this finds a person to hold the hand off while enjoying time together tonight. I know it makes my whole week when I get to hold my wife. I also love that my wife can hug me and touch her hands behind my back. She has never been able to do that. It is the little stuff that lets me know that what I am doing is the right thing to do, and that I can do this.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gaining? (day 49)

Key Stats: All BG's normal, 4 shakes 1 bar, no off eating. 30 minutes on the bike, 20 minute walk, and 30 minutes in the pool.

You read that right, gaining. But not weight! No what I am gaining is health. On Monday of this week I did a blood draw to get labs done for my up coming doctors appointment. They did a check of my A1c or more accurately stated my Hemoglobin A1c. You can click on the link if you want a detailed explaination of what this test is, but it boils down to it is basically a check of your average BG or blood glucose, or blood sugar for the past 3 months. Now I have been on this program for 49 days. I stopped taking medicine for my BG around 4 days into the program. So I have been off medicine for 45 days roughly. My A1c prior to starting my weight loss journey was 7.4. 7.4 is a crappy A1c, that meant that my average blood sugar was around 186. A normal person or when I say normal BG up above has a blood sugar between 70-100, or a diabetic person should keep their BG between 80-120 (for the record I don't know why the levels are different, but what ever).  So my A1c this time... 5.7. Damn right 5.7. That means my average blood sugar over the past 3 months has been 126. Now I KNOW that the next time I get an A1c done it is going to be even lower. I test in the 70-90 range every time I test. That should put me between 4.2 and 4.7. That means I got a GREAT A1c with over half of the time being measured when I was eating crappy food and not taking care of myself. I am going to add the label to this post right now... WINNING.

So what am I winning? What health am I gaining? Diabetes is a disease of aging. It makes your body get old faster. Plain and simple. Unchecked you can lose limbs from poor circulation. You can lose your eye site, lose feeling in your extremities. It is bad for your kidneys, bad for your heart. It is bad for just about every part of you. It is a shitty disease. The first time I was told I had it I put my head in the sand about it for over a year. I stopped going to that doctor, and didn't do a damned thing. I was in shock over it. I am the guy who didn't get cavities, has never broken a bone, didn't get sick often, and felt that I was invincible. But then, not so much. Then when I finally excepted it, I planned to drop weight and go into remission as fast as I could. That was not what happened. Sure at first I dropped some weight, but I gained it back. Slowly the amount of medicine I needed to stay in decent control climbed and climbed. Until just a few months ago when even on the max dose of Metformin my blood sugar was staying high nearly all the time. I was suppose to get better, but I was not I was getting worse. A few months ago my routine blood screening also said that my kidneys were showing signs of stress. I had to do something. I guess that blood test is the reason I am here. Sure the doctor said it wasn't too high yet, but it was something we needed to keep an eye on.  But my body was in the start of falling apart. I am 32 years old, my only living son is 2.5 years old and I felt like at the pace I was going I wouldn't get to see him graduate high school. At his young age he already knows about death because of his twin and his big brother and sister. I didn't want him to know about death because of his dad dying. Not at this age at least. I want to watch him grow up, and get married. I want to be a grandfather. Today I got the confirmation that I am doing what I need to do to make sure that happens. I am going to do everything in my power to never have to take diabetes medicine again. Next to get off my list I hope is blood pressure medicine.

On a some what lighter note, 4 more pounds this week. It is really closer to 6 pounds, but the official scale at the official measuring time gives 4 pounds so that is what I record. That means I am down to 276. Nearly 50 pounds down. I also got in the pool today. My arms are killing me, my abs can feel it, but it felt great. I have always love the feeling of swimming and today was no different. Of course when I was swimming every day  I didn't remember muscles feeling this sore. But it will get better. My goal is to start getting into the pool 3 times a week.

The more I go through this program, the more I learn about myself. I have learned that I am able to say no to food. I have learned that I was not always hungry, I just had lots of cravings. I have learned that I can become a "normal" eater. I can do this.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lookin' good(day 48)

Key stats: all BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar, no off eating. 20 minute walk at lunch, 30 minutes on the elliptical in the evening.

More and more people are starting to comment that I am looking good. My belt stretches more than a quarter of the way around me. My clothes are getting looser and looser. My wedding ring is loose enough to take another half size out of it. When I wear dress socks I don't get elastic marks in my skin from where they were too tight. All in all the real effects on my size and what people notice are really starting to kick in. I almost can't wait to see how people who have not seen me in months are going to react. It will be even better since many of them won't know I am doing this. I doubt I will ever tire of being noticed for being smaller.

Tomorrow is a weigh in day. I doubt I will have a big number to post on here. My last weigh in was a morning weigh in and this one will be in the evening. My downstairs scale has only shown about a 2 pound weight loss for the week. All in all it will be a let down I am sure. But.. I will not let it keep me down. I restarted my exercise program this week, so my body might be holding onto water more than normal. I don't think I have put myself into starvation mode or anything but the added might have been enough to change things. Either way the weight HAS to come off. If not this week, then it will be next week. Already I have seen that happen while I was on the road. And with all the plus side of things that I am seeing how can I not just stick with it. As I have told people who have asked me about the weight loss and when they hear how I am doing it, this is really quite easy. You drink shakes and eat a bar, hunger goes away, and you lose weight. Really it is that simple. It is going to be keeping it off that is hard. But I know that I can do it.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Minefield (day 47)

Key Stats: All normal BG's, 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 min on the bike in the morning, 20 min walk for lunch, 30 min on the bike in the evening.

I was suppose to go swimming today, I am very sad that it didn't work out. I made too many assumptions about what would be ready, and it turns out I was not ready enough to get there on time. I will get to the pool Thursday night. I didn't let that stop me from getting some exercise in tonight though and I rode. It feels good to have exercise be part of the routine and not having to drag myself to do it. I have to find a way to make this part of my life.

The break-room at work has turned into a mine field. We have so much junk food that the table and multiple counters are being used to hold it all. It is down right silly. But I can walk into that room, look at the food, smile about how silly it is, and make my shake or get my water with no internal struggle about eating the food. I can not believe I have been able to get to a point like that were NOT grabbing the junk food and eating feels more normal than the thought of eating the food. And all that in just 47 days. Now I know that this is not a permanent change and I still have a lot to work through to be a "normal" eater, but I am going to put up the winning flag and enjoy it. Sure I still have a long way to go, a lot of work to do, and none of this is going to be easy, but I can do this.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter treats (day 46)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minutes exercise on the bike in the morning.

Why cookies? Work must have made some company with stock in a a cookie company very happy. We have cookies in the break room, a seemingly never ending supply of cookies. Just when it looks like they are almost gone, another email goes out from the same person saying that MORE cookies are in the break room. Right now with the stock that is in there I am fairly certain I could put back all of the weight I have lost in one afternoon. If that is not enough the common thing to do is to bring in treats from holidays that you did not eat. So the break room has cookies, and all sorts of chocolates, candies, and assorted treats. Fat me would have been very happy. 

I am finishing up the Rules to eating "normal" book. The last chapter is on body issues which I thought I didn't have any problems with. But the more I read the chapter the more I am seeing I just didn't realize how much I was hiding from my body issues. I have lower confidence because of being overweight that took me a LONG time to overcome and is honestly something I have to actively work at. It made me a shy person who was afraid to be made fun of, which I still also have to work at to overcome. I think all things considered I do fine in public and I think most people would never even know this was an issue with me. I hide my shyness well, and my lack of self confidence... but these are real issues for me. In some ways I really over compensate because of these issues. I know that losing weight will help me with the body issues, but at the end of the day I need to find a way to be comfortable in my body regardless of what I think it looks like.

I was suppose to exercise tonight. I decided that I was too tired to do it. I have to find the balance between pushing my self to exercise, and pushing too hard and burning out. That is really why I allow myself to decide that the exercise would be too much sometimes. I try not to let it keep me in bed in the morning as a general rule, but if the day was long I feel fine saying I am too tired to exercise this night. It is not an excuse every night but for tonight I am ok with it. Tomorrow night I hit the pool to swim laps. This will be the first time I have swam laps in a few years. I know Wednesday morning I am going to wake up sore, but that is how it goes the first time. Swimming is going to be Tuesday and Thursday night activities for me (unless some one wants to purchase a health club membership for me heh). I hope I find the same joy in swimming as I used to find. I know I can do it, I just hope I can enjoy it.