Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting closer to transition (day 106)

Key Stats: 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minutes in the pool, 30 minute walk, mowing the lawn, and riding on the bike to park with the kid in the trailer.

I think I over did it. It is 8:30 and I am dragging ass really bad right now. I think for this reason more than any other I am looking forward to starting in on real food. No more crashes like this. I probaly should add a shake in today but it is already so late in the day that I don't want to eat again.

With that in mind, I have decided that no matter what weight I get to, I start to transition next week after class. So my first real food will be Friday June 7th for dinner. It is going to be chicken on a bed of greens. The hard part starts in just under a week. I have never been this nervous about eating in my life. I have to learn all over again how to eat. I have to teach myself to eat foods I have never eaten before. I watched online how to cook fish; something I have never done.

It all feels a bit overwhelming at this point, but I have confidence. I have a plan, and I have a goal. I am going to keep to the plan the same as I have in the past. I am going to keep working on my goals. I can find a way to stay healthy for the rest of my life- I CAN DO THIS!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

6 more pounds (day 104 and 105)

Key Stats: 4 shakes and 1 bar each day, no off eating. 30 minutes walking, 30 minutes on the exercise bike each day.

Well I am back home. Sorry for not writing yesterday, but being on the road takes me out of my routine and I forgot to write. All is good though- I stayed on routine for food.

I lost 6 pounds last week. That takes me within 9 pounds of my transition goal weight. That really means that I think this will be my last week on full VLCD. I have the materials for transition and I am really looking forward to starting that.

With that in mind- I need food cooking ideas. Please if you are reading this post some healthy recipes that you know about. Or link me to some websites with good ideas. The first week of transition is one meal per day of 4oz of lean protein and 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables. In the first week I can't add much to the food in the way of seasonings, but I'll listen to ideas. As the weeks go in for transition I get to add more stuff slowly. It is a 5 week process, and it is important to go slow with it for 2 reasons. 1.) My digestive system has not had much to do for the past 105 days 2.) Putting myself onto the slippery slope of food slowly.

I look forward to hopefully reading some ideas from people that I can incorporate into my diet. One more week of shakes and bars then I start easing back into the real world. I can do it.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On the road again (day 103)

Key Stats: 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minute walk, 30 minute bike ride.

Wow, food food food. Free food, good food, desert food. All for the taking, all things I would have indulged in 104 days ago. All things that I need to learn how to eat like a normal person. But all things I am avoiding for now. I still have too much to learn, and too far to go.

On Thursday I start my appointments with the dietitian. This is really the part I have been looking forward to for awhile. I need to learn food again, and learn from scratch. The biggest part in learning is to know what you don't know. How strange it is to think back to before this program, I would not take an appointment with a dietitian because "I know how to eat, I just don't bother to do it, they have nothing to teach me." With the little bit we have talked about food so far in class I know for sure that I am wrong about that. I really know nothing about how to eat and what things I should eat to feed myself in a healthy way. I have to learn, I have to get good at that- I can do it.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day (day 102)

Key Stats: 4 shakes 1 bar, no off eating. 60 minutes on the bike, and a TON of walking around.

Today is memorial day. I didn't grill out, I didn't do any of the things most people would consider normal memorial day things. I did the same thing we do every memorial day- I spent time with my family and remembered members of my family who are not with us. You see memorial day has taken on a whole new meaning for my family, and since I am also a veteran I get to change the meaning of this holiday if I want to. Confused yet? Well here is a post from another blog I wrote some time ago that explains what I mean. In honor of my family this will be my memorial blog post today.

From "My Story" at

I guess it all starts at age 2 for me. That is how old I was when my father left, and that is the start of molding me into the man I have become today. As I look back on it not having a father has made me into the father that I am today.

I met my wife while on leave from the Coast Guard. I was at a friends wedding and she was a guest of another friend of mine. That night started a wonderful relationship, from our first date which was 27 hours long, to our crazy long phone calls, we "hit it off" from the start. That is why after only 5 months of dating, even though I was in Florida and she was in Wisconsin I asked her to marry me. 4 months later we were married.

We decided to wait at least 2 years before we would talk about having children. That way we would have time to just be a couple. After the 2 years we knew we wanted to have kids. It took another year or so to get my wife's diabetes under control enough to start trying. Pregnancy did not come easy.  I never missed an appointment with the doctors. There was nothing that I could do to help and I felt it was my duty to be there to hold my wife's hand and make sure she didn't have to go through any of it alone. I swear I could run the ultra-sound machine and measure the follicles myself. With the help of the fertility clinic we did finally get pregnant.

I danced when I saw the positive test. I was so happy, not just because of what it meant for me, but also for what it meant to my wife. We had worked so hard to get pregnant. I had always watched my wife struggle with blaming her body for failing us, and tried everything I could to encourage her, and now her body had worked. We were pregnant.

We conceived four.

Being pregnant with four is not easy, even more so if you are type 1 diabetic. I went minivan shopping. I have a standing agreement with a high school friend that if he ever sees me owning a minivan he is honor bound to shot me on the spot. However four did not last, after a short time we were only pregnant with two. Twins are not normally considered high risk, but with diabetes in the mix we where high risk from the start.

The pregnancy was not easy, my wife had "morning" sickness all day. There was a time when the only food she would eat was Campbell's Chunky Soup Sirloin Burger. One day I went to get more at the store. My heart sank when I got to the aisle and I saw they had none. I was going to go home with no soup for my wife to eat. I think the stock boy might still tell the story of the large man who yelled out "YES, THANK GOD" when I saw he had a case of the soup on his cart. I was not going to go home empty handed.

We made it past 12 weeks, the only thing I knew was that we were ok now.

We went in on a Tuesday morning. I never missed an appointment, or an unplanned trip. My wife had not been feeling good, and found something not normal while using the bathroom. I figured we would get checked out, find out everything was ok and then go home. We did a non-stress test, and then was going to have a quick cervix check. I will always dislike the doctor who did that check. She did nothing wrong, but she told me the worst news I have ever been told.

After that it was up to a hospital room to wait. One day with no infection was the goal. The next morning we had a whole team of doctors and nurses come into the room. I didn't want to get in the way so into the corner I went. After the news that we would likely not be pregnant by the weekend was delivered I could not hold back the tears. I am not sure if my wife cried, but in front of a room of strangers I lost it and broke down. We where 17 weeks pregnant, and my children had no hope of survival. I have never felt weaker.

The day my first-born son and first born daughter, Oscar and Bella, were born changed me forever. I became a softer person that day.

That day I yelled at a doctor, cried my eyes out, made jokes, smiled, and felt my heart melt. How anyone can look at the pictures of my children and not see beautiful human beings I will never be able to understand. Looking back at the pictures has helped me in ways I can never explain. The time I got to spend with my children was so short, but we have memories that will last forever.

The next day I lost the car. I walked the entire parking ramp 3 times, horrified the entire time that my wife was sitting in a wheel chair holding Oscar Bear and Bella Bear waiting for me.  She should have been holding our twins.

I don't really remember much of the next few days, weeks, and months. I went back to work too soon, and was worthless at work for quite a while. I remember breaking down on the stairs of our house about a month afterwards, the first time I had really cried since the day Oscar and Bella were born.

After about 4 months we decided to get pregnant again. I wanted to say it was a hard decision, but honestly it was an easy one now that I look back on it. I had gotten to the point were my want to have children here with me on earth was greater than my fear of another loss. I also knew that my fear was never going to be less than it was. To this day pregnancy equals fear, and I think it always will.

We got pregnant on our first cycle of infertility treatments. Again I never missed an appointment.

We conceived twins, twins again.

It was supposed to be only one. My wife bonded to the idea of twins much faster than I did. I have struggled with that possibly more than anything. She had a love for both of them that I just did not have right away. I was certainly excited to be pregnant again but I think I was too scared to bond like she did. That love did come, even if it was after it should have. We nick named the kids Dot and Tittle. Tittle, our little hummingbird, is sneaky though, and early on we lost him. I was scared that we would soon lose Dot.

The pregnancy was not easy again. Trips to the ER, and labor and delivery, while not frequent, happened more than either of us wanted. In the end my fourth child was born, alive, and healthy. He peed on me in his first  minutes of life and I could not have been happier.

So here I am today. It has been over 2 years since Oscar and Bella were born and died. This January will be 2 years since Tittle died. We see our children everywhere. From giraffes and hummingbirds to stars and hearts they show themselves to us. My wife and I are active in a grief group where once a month one of us gets to represent the kids everyone else forgets about. We take turns getting the honor of doing that. We talk about our kids, all of them, whenever we get the chance. Every night we read to my son Gus, and tell him "Mommy loves you, Daddy loves you, Oscar loves you, Bella loves you, Tittle loves you, We all love you"

I am the proud father of 4 children. I swore a long time ago that I would be the father I never had. I will never forget about my children (all four of them), or leave my children like my father did.

-Father of 4: Oscar, Bella, Tittle, and Gus

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Not being a fat dad (day 101)

Key Stats: 4 shakes, 1 bar no off eating. 60 minute bike ride.

Today I went to see my mom for lunch. Now I am not going to sit here and blame others for what I had control of myself, but to say me being fat had nothing to do with her would be lying. Again I was an adult, and in control of my food for longer than that and could have done something about it, so it is not her fault, but she had a part in it. It was amazing to watch her bad habits and how easy she tried to pass them onto my son. I had to stop her a number of times and also explain to her what we are doing differently.

I guess that is one of the big reason why I decided it was time to lose weight- I don't want my son to learn fat from me. I watched him look at me and repeat what I was doing in so many different areas. I don't want him to grow up having to feel like I felt being the fat kid. I don't want him to know the sadness of being picked on for eating the only way you know how to eat, and not even knowing how or what to change.

I am happy that I made these changes while he is still so little. He will never remember a fat dad. Some day we will be looking at pictures from when he was born, and before he was born and he will wonder how his dad could have ever looked like that. He will know his dad as a healthy active father. He will know his dad as the man that teaches him to be healthy and active. He will grow up- and know his dad. If for no other reason than that last sentence I know that I can do this.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 100!

Today is day 100. Lets cover how far I have come.

My starting weight for this program was 324 pounds. On the official scale I am now at 235. That is 89 pounds in less than 100 days (since the official weight is from Thursday night). Fairly amazing if you ask me.

I am an active person now. I exercise nearly every day, at least an hour and I love it. I love the feeling of getting out on my bike. I love pulling laps in the pool. I love my daily walks. I have never in my life enjoyed exercise, and now I love it.

Today I tried on clothes since I thought after 100 days it would be great to know what size I was at. 100 days ago I wore size XXXL shirts. In many brands I needed to get XXXLT just to keep the shirt from pulling up and showing my stomach. My pants were size 44/30, and I wore the waist below my stomach. I did this so that I could feel like I wasn't that large (heck 44 waist is bad, but not horrible) and I would never tuck my shirt in anyways since I was so self conscious about how I looked with such a large stomach. Today is an entirely different story. I tried on size 34/40 pants that fit great. And for my shirt, size Medium fit. MEDIUM! I am not sure, but I bet you have to go back to middle school to find a time when Medium fit me. So that is 10 inches off the pants- and more if I knew how large it was where I wear my pants now. And  4 shirt sizes smaller. Amazing.

Health wise the story gets even better. My blood pressure is much better. I don't need to take any medication for Type II diabetes any more- and my last A1c drawn on Tuesday last week was a 5.0. A 5.0 on A1c is about as normal of a reading as you can possibly get.

Food habits have been reset. If I go back to eating crap food I would have to go out of my way to do it. Right now on TV is a show about BBQ grilling. That should make me want BBQ right? Well I don't. Seeing food like this on TV used to make me want it, and now it doesn't. Right now I am craving a salad. I have never in my life eaten a salad. Just let that sink in- 32 years old and I have never eaten a salad. I am looking forward to eating a salad so bad it is really the only thing that I think I might fail on and eat off with. And I would only do that because as long as I put the right veggies on it, and used the right dressing it would technically fit with the plan. A salad will be the first food I eat when I start my transition, and I am still surprised how much i want one.

So there it is 100 days in a row. That means 400 shakes, and 100 bars. At 750 calories a day I have taken in 75,000 calories. I wish I knew how much time the old me needed to take in 75,000 calories. I will never go back to the old ways, and become the old me. I like this new me too much. I can do this.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Back at it (day 99)

Key Stats: 4 shakes 2 bar, no off eating. 30 minute bike ride, 35 minute walk, and a ton of yard work.

Today I felt good for the first time in nearly a week. I think part of that is feeling better physically, the other part is I said I was going to exercise no matter what. And I did exercise, I don't know what made me feel better but I am sure it is a combination of both of them.

Tomorrow is day 100. I am going to have to come up with something special tomorrow. With that in mind I am going to keep today short. Tune in tomorrow for my special 100 days post- maybe 100 days of  I can do it.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

A plan (day 98)

Key Stats: 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. No formal exercise (again).

I swear- I am going to start feeling better or I am going to just exercise while being sick. I miss the exercise.

Well down to 235 on the official scale. That means I met my last goal officially today. We set a new goal. I will be on the shakes and bars until 220, then start the transition with a goal of getting to 205 during transition. I feel ready for this, and I am excited.

In the last 98 days I have learned so much about myself and my eating. I have learned about triggers, and unhealthy habits. I have taken the time to examine myself as much as I can. I wrote nearly everyday, and stayed honest with myself and everyone who reads this. I promised my wife 100%, I promised myself 100% and I can say with all honestly that I have given it 100% and it worked. So I just have to keep giving it 100% and everything should be fine right? I don't yet know what the future is going to hold with food and what my meals will look like. Next week I begin meeting with the dietitian on a regular basis to start to really plan that out. I know that the plate method is going to be a part of it. I also know that my old eating has to truly be just that, only my old eating. And really, I know one other important thing- I know I can do it.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Practicing my cooking skills (day 97)

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

Still feeling a bit under the weather so no exercise again today. Hope to be feeling good enough for it tomorrow.

I have the goal of trying to eat with the plate method for meals when I start eating normal food again, so I thought it would be best to start practicing making the types of meals that would fit with that. Tonight was my first real try at that. I took 4oz of chicken and a teaspoon of olive oil with some Soy Sauce and cooked the chicken on the stove top. I made the mushrooms with a bit of olive oil and soy sauce, and put those on top of some steamed green beans. Then because my son loves them and I figured he wouldn't eat this meal all that well I peeled some clementines. I had planned to also make some corn, but forgot the corn. Here is what the plate looked like.

I didn't get to taste any of it of course, but my wife tells me it was not too bad. I will need to find more ways to bring flavor in without adding a bunch of salt as it was a bit too bland but I am sure I can get that figured out. What surprised me the most was how much chicken 4 oz was, and how full a plate can be and still be a healthy plate. 

Tomorrow is class. I hope to have my lab test results back before class so that I can talk about how happy I am with my A1c results. I also think a new goal weight is going to get set, I am curious to find out what that will be. I am enjoying this journey, and I can't wait to keep moving along it. The hard part is getting closer so now my concentration has to start switching to how to keep all this weight I have lost off. I will be so much harder that what I have done so far, but I know that I can do this.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sick (day 96)

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

Well what ever bug my son had has gone over to me. I spent half the night with the shivers, and half the night hot. I woke up at 2AM and then could not fall back asleep again until nearly 4:30. When the alarm went off at 5:15 I groaned and wanted badly to just go back to sleep.

Since I didn't sleep well, and since today I was doing a fasting blood draw I knew exercise in the morning was out. So no exercise then. No lunch walk because I needed to work straight through lunch because of a client meeting and the pile of work that I have to get done still. And now that I am home I still feel like crap, am over tired, and really do not think exercise would be a good idea considering my energy level. So no exercise today. I hate missing out on my exercise but I do have to be realistic and make sure I get my energy level back up.

Following on with the size large yesterday I really started to notice my XL shirts that I purchased for work are getting to be too big. It feels like I am swimming in them. So when I get a chance I am going to go try on some size large shirts and see how that goes. I never thought when starting this program that I would get smaller than a size XL. I would have told you that just wasn't possible. I have done so much that I didn't think was possible in the last 96 days. I have done so much that I know there is so much more that I can do. I know that I can do this.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Size Large (day 95)

Key Stats: 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minutes bike, 35 minute walk.

Along with my new bike I needed to get some better riding clothes. So we went to the store this weekend to pick some up. I purchased, and fit in size large. I didn't even grab a large to start with, there was just no thought process in my head that said I could fit in a size large. But while wearing the XL my wife said it looked big on me... XL looked big on me. I was blown away. So back to the rack, and size large it was. I am shocked that it fits. Sure it is cycling clothes and they should be tight, but it fit. Now I just have to relearn how to put shirts on, my old method of head first arms second doesn't work so well in my new size. I am used to having much more room to move my arms around in.  Unbelievable. Here is a picture of me in my size large cycling clothes. Spandex be damned it is just more comfortable to ride in. The white part sticking up is not my stomach, it is part of the bibs, I wish that had not gotten in to the picture.

I was thinking about how much exercise has become part of my life. Before I started this I was addicted to many different foods. Now instead of wanting food to make myself feel better I want exercise to make myself feel better. I have thought about speeding up when I transition just so I am not so calorie limited and can exercise more. I decided against it, but the thought was tempting. I feel like I need more time away from the foods I was eating every day. I need more time to break relationships and bad habits. I still have more weight to lose. But I also need to learn how to eat all over again. If I had a complaint about my program it would be that we spend so much time talking about over eating, but hardly any time talking how to eat. I don't understand why that is. But I will work on it, and I am working on it. I will get it figured out, I will learn. I will be the person I need to be to stay here and be here for my family. I can do this.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Finding time (day 93 and 94)

Key Stats: 4 shakes 1 bar each day, no off eating. 1 hour bike ride Saturday, 30 minutes in the pool Sunday.

Sorry for the missed post, but getting things ready for 3 kids coming over stopped me from posting Saturday night.

So Saturday taught me an important lesson, one I am sure my wife will not let me forget. Earlier in the week I purchased a new bike. A bike that is much more suited for the type of riding I am doing, and one that will I hope let me train for and ride in a 100 mile bike ride. I had planned to take it out Saturday for a long ride since I had been able to get out for short rides to make sure I knew how to ride it well. But time and energy became an issue. My wife wanted to go for a family bike ride, which I was hesitant to do- a family ride just didn't feel like it was going to be the type of exercise I wanted, plus since I pull the trailer I couldn't really take the new bike. But after understanding what type of ride my wife wanted to go on (not a short ride to a park, but a long bike ride) I said ok. I still was ready to be disappointed in how much exercise I got, and knew getting exercise in later in the day was going to be a problem. I was wrong. We rode nearly 8 miles and with having to pull the weight of the trailer and the weight of my son I was beat. We never rode as fast as I ride, and the 8 miles took way longer than it normally takes me, but I got my work out in plus some. In fact the unofficial scale is telling me I over did it since I didn't lose any weight. I really should add an extra shake in on days when I worry that I over did it.

Sunday was fun. We had some of my son's friends come over the house for a movie and lunch. I made a bunch of food for it, and got to watch my son have fun. It is days like today that make me know I am doing the right thing. I want to keep seeing days like today. I want to watch him grow older. I want to watch him with a real girlfriend and not just another toddler girl we joke is his girlfriend. I am doing all of this for those reasons. I grew up with no father, and I promised myself at an early age I would never put a child through that. So when I ride my bike, or swim, or turn down food I shouldn't eat... I am doing it to make sure I keep that promise. A promise I was not doing what I needed to do to keep in the past. A promise that I will from this day forward make sure I am always doing what I can to keep. I can do this, I can keep that promise to myself.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Making time for everything (day 92)

Key Stats: 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 35 minute walk, 30 minutes in the pool.

Today did not go the way I wanted it to. It was suppose to be a morning swim day, a afternoon walk, and hopefully a evening bike ride. Instead it was nothing in the morning, a walk, and swim in the evening. I don't feel bad about it though- things changed because of family obligations.

When I over ate I got to spend more time with my family, but in reality I was being much more selfish than I am going away from the family to exercise. My family used to have to follow my eating patterns, and my cravings. My family had to watch me getting more and more unhealthy. My family had to worry about what to do if and when I died an early death, a path I was no doubt on. But I didn't care, all I wanted was to eat and be happy. It didn't feel selfish, but it was.

Now when I have to leave to go exercise it feels very selfish, but really it isn't. Sure the family is still going to have to follow my new eating patterns, at least to some extent- but those eating patterns are what they really should be eating this time. My family won't have me controlling our entertainment budget with going out to eat. My family gets to watch me get healthier and healthier. My family doesn't have to worry about an early death for me- I have stepped off that path. Sure, I will miss out on time with my family while I am exercising, but being healthy is going to make the time spent with them that much better. That is something worth working for- that is something I can do.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

All or nothing (day 91)

Key Stats: 20 minute bike ride, 35 minute walk. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. Official scale at 239- 8 pounds off for the week.

Today was a good day at class, we learned basically why the diet mentality is harmful. But I found myself in a very strange position- you see one of my core tenets is that I am an all or nothing person when it comes to weight loss. That really didn't sit well with me during class. All or nothing is who I am, when I get into something I get immersed in it, it is one of the things that makes me a geek (a geek is compliment and how I make my living is because of that). It is what makes me well... me. So hearing that is what can hurt you, well hurt me. But I did a lot of thinking about that since class ended and I started writing this. I was all or nothing on diets before- but this time is different.

You see this time I went all in. There was no or nothing, nothing was not an option I gave myself. So this diet is working. But it won't work long term. I think I have learned that that in this part of life it doesn't have to be all or nothing. I don't have to be perfect- I can't explain why it feels so much different than it did before, but I just don't have to be. I am still going to strive for it. Damn right I am going to try and have a "perfect" diet what ever that means. Damn right I am going to avoid the foods that are not the best choices. Damn right I am going to avoid slippery slopes. And damn right if I slip and fall and eat what I should not it is not going to become nothing. All has to include slips, all has to include not being perfect. That is the all or nothing, and the all in I can make work. All is doing the best you can all the time and being ok with yourself when you are not.  All doesn't have to be perfection, and I am not going to strive for perfection. Hell in baseball you can get into the hall of fame if you get a hit 40% of the time, I certainly can eat right better than percentage. I can be all, I just have to figure out what that all needs to be. A set of rules that I can make work. I can do it.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

90 days (day 90)

No key stats to post- it is 5:30 in the morning. I normally post at the end of the day, not the beginning but it feels right to post this now.

I had a nightmare last night- woke up feeling horrible because of it. The dream started simple enough, I was at work and it was a mix of people I used to work with, people I went to high school with, people I currently work with, and it was at my current job. Some one brought in treats, small chocolate chip cookies and brownies with mint frosting. Those little cookies were always so easy to over eat on. Since there was a bunch of them in a container you could eat a bunch of them and never have it stand out. They were small so no one would see you eating them for long. I could put a bunch of them down and never feel like I was being seen eating a bunch. And in this dream- I did. I ate and ate and ate. Then during the dream it occurred to me that this ruined all the hard work I had been doing. I wanted to cry, I felt a a sadness and a disappointment in myself that I never wanted to feel. It felt so real, the eating, the taste, and then the feelings of failure. I never want to feel that.

I am so happy to say that after 90 days on this plan the only off eating I can talk about is eating that happened in a dream. I have come so far and have so far to go still. But I can do it.

Before this all started my wife and I talked a lot about what to do and how to do it. I didn't think the shakes or bars were going to work for me. I just could not see how eating so little each day would keep me from eating what I should not eat. I didn't think I would have the will power to eat what I was supposed to. After all, I had never been able to in the past. So in my head I thought the only route for me was surgery. I honestly thought I would never be able to change my thought process and I would need my physical body changed if I was ever going to lose weight and keep it off. My wife was against this plan. She wanted me to not have the surgery, and believed I could make the changes I needed to. I promised her I would give this plan 100%, and if it failed (and I thought when it failed not if) then we could look into the surgery. To make sure I was doing it 100%, and I promised my wife 100% I decided to write, and exercise, and work my hardest to always eat what I should. I really never thought I would be here 90 days out as happy as I am. 90 days out this successful, and this changed. I always end these blogs with I can do it- but I have to be honest, I couldn't have done it, and I can't do it without my wife and all of the help she give me. Thank you Brianna for pushing me to do this 100%, encouraging me the whole way, and supporting me in all the exercise and the time away that means. I really can do this, but not without you.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

1200 meters (day 89)

Key Stats: 4 shakes 1 bar, no off eating. 20 minutes on the bike, 35 minute walk, and 40 minutes in the pool.

I rocked out 1200 meters with no rest in the pool. Keep in mind my previous best was 500 meters. My stroke is smoothing out, my breathing is getting better, and the largest part is my arm strength is building. I am going to need to find more money some how because I will want to take the masters swimming class soon... but how do I pay for all this stuff I want to do?

Tomorrow is a day off for me. I plan to do some grocery shopping for my sons play date on the weekend, mow the lawn- and research bikes. Not going to lie- really looking forward to getting on some nice road bikes and seeing what I like and don't like. I feel like I have read everything I can find to read about what to look for in purchasing, so it really is time to put my feet in the pedals and really find out what works for me. I have said it before, but I am so glad I have found an active hobby that gets the geek in me excited too.

Tomorrow is 90 days. 90 days since I ate anything other than the shakes, bars, chicken broth, and one sugar free jello egg. Oh and a piece of sugar free gum that ended up not being sugar free and I am still pissed about that. It doesn't really pay to look back on the 90 days other than to celebrate what I have accomplished. But I feel like after the 90 days I better start really looking forward. I can keep this weight off- I have to. I can do this.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Breaking 240 (day 88)

Key Stats: No BG checks. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minutes on the bike 35 minute walk at lunch.

I have decided to stop checking my blood sugar until I start eating "normal" food again. Honestly I do not gain any useful information from doing it and I should get a reward for losing this weight and not needing to do it any more. So I won't be putting BG checks into the key stats any more.

My new belt, the one I purchased just over a month ago that only just barely fit when I purchased it-well I am on the last hole now. So I will either need to drill a new hole, or get a new belt already. The pants I purchased are starting to show signs of being too big. I love losing the weight, but I am not going to lie, I wanted the clothes to last a bit longer. At least I got them as cheap as I could find.

I have not done any running for awhile. My toe that I thought was broken was not getting better very fast, and I decided it was best to rest it a bit and just let it heal. I think I am about a week away from that still, but since I have started resting it the healing is starting. I also try and ice it twice a day which I think helps.

Oh, the title of the blog- this morning on the scale at home I weighed in at 239. I am no longer over 240. Which means I can do my sky dive at any time since nearly every place will take a person over 240. I just have to decide to spend the money to do it, and of course talk my wife into letting me spend the money. I don't know what the bottom of the weight loss is going to be but every 10 pound mark makes me so happy to see.

I think this week I will do a body compositon again. And I want to do a full blood work up again. I want to see changes in A1C the most, but the other numbers are important too. I wanted to wait until I passed the 90 days with no meds mark to check my A1C again as this would be the full no high blood sugars A1C I have ever paid attention too, and certainly the first since my diagnosis. I am going to keep this weight off, I am going to stay healthy. I am going to stay active. I have done it so far, and I know I can keep on doing it.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day (day 87)

Key Stats: No BG checks. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 45 minutes swim.

Today being mothers day meant I did a bunch around the house today. It all started with getting up early with my son (who always get up early) and going grocery shopping. We got items both for the food this week, and for the special mothers day breakfast. My son and I made french toast, bacon, strawberries, and sparkling grape juice. Oh and my son insisted on getting his mommy a doughnut (and one for him too). For lunch my wife and son had cereal. And for dinner I made fried chicken tenders with green beans. I know this type of food is what my family likes to eat, and the breakfast was a special breakfast- but this type of food can not be what I eat when I go back to normal eating. I have to find a way to start converting my family to better and healthier meals- I just don't know how to.

The pool felt great today. I swam 2000 meters doing 100 meter swims with <1 min rest between the swims. I would just look at the pace clock and rest until the new minute started. Some time I got nearly 0 rest, and one time I got almost a full minute. It felt good doing swims like that, and was a nice change up from my normal "swim as much as you can" type swimming. I am finely getting to the point that I should start looking at endurance building swim set instead of just basic getting my swimming up to a 500 meter swim.

I am obsessed with looking at bikes. The geek in me just loves sucking up all of the information I can find to read on them. I can't afford the electronic Dura Ace Di2 type system but damn do I want to. So instead I am reading up on frame sets, and wheel sets, and the difference between Ultegra vs 105 vs SRAM. It is like the car guy in me finally gets to work with the tech guy in me on a healthy thing. That makes me happy. The more I read about it, and the more I do it on my bike, the more I know that biking is going to become my main thing. I am going to do a century bike ride, likely next year. I am going to do a triathalon (also next year). I am excited to train for these things and learn more about how to be  a active healthy person. I need to learn exercise and food- but I can do it.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

March of Dimes (day 86)

Key Stats: No BG checks. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. No formal exercise- but lots of walking today.

Today was the March of Dimes. We didn't do the full walk do to swimming lessons for my son, and the weather being fairly crappy- but we got a bunch of walking in. I wish we would have had some better weather, and no conflicts since it would have been a great family event- but I am still glad we did what we did.

I raise just under $1400 which got me a t-shirt. I decided to get a XL even though in the long run I hope to get to a large. I am shocked that I had to think about rather or not to get the smaller size, last year they didn't have shirts big enough for me. I wore my Team Powvens shirt that I had made for the March of Dimes the first year we walked. It is so big on me that it is just silly. I have a hard time believing I was ever this large.

I have said it out loud now, but have not put it on this blog- next year I am going to do a triatholon. It will be a sprint distance once with a run no longer than 5k, but I am going to do it. I figure I have more than a year to get ready for it, and I think that is how long I will need. Years of no exercise or physical activity is going to take a bit of time to over come. But I say it here every day so this should come as no surprise- I know I can do it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Morning swimming (day 85)

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

I went to the pool this morning as my morning exercise. Morning swimming used to be something that I did quite often while losing weight to join the coast guard. I also used to life guard the early morning lap swim in High School. To be honest I enjoy the early morning swim. Today was no different. I am going to have to make a point of getting to the pool more mornings. It was just a great start to my day.

I was able to get out of work a bit early today so I went over to a bike shop. I have been reading everything I can find to read about bikes but I needed to put what I had read into action. I am surprised by a few things- the seat being the biggest thing. The seat on my bike is uncomfortable, and it is a big padded seat and I wear bike shorts with padding while riding it. I thought the tiny seats on road bikes were going to kill me. I could not be more wrong. Wearing normal pants and going for a ride on the tiny seats felt so much better than padded and big seat. I can imagine how much pedal power I am losing on the mountain bike I am riding. The road bike felt like it was jumping out every time I turned the pedals. It was amazing how much speed I could get going that quickly, and how easily the bike held the speed. Last but certainly not least is comfort in general. I tried three different bikes with different geometries. One bike didn't fit me well at all, one was ok, and one felt like a glove. The bike that didn't fit me well me well feels like the bike I am currently riding- it just feels wrong. Too bad the money is just not in place right now to replace my current bike. I would not have purchased this bike today- there are many bikes to still test ride- but I know I want to buy a bike as soon as possible. The second I know it will work with the budget my current bike will become the bike trailer hauler and nothing else. I look forward to cranking out my first 100 mile bike ride but it will have to wait until I can get a good bike.

I am getting happier and happier with the look of myself, and the way I feel. I am feeling better about having this figured out for the long term. I have always known that I can lose this weight, and I am really starting to know that I can keep it off. I can do this.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Looking at how far I have come (day 84)

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

Today in class we had 4 new people. Each of these new people had been on the shakes for a week or less. Watching the new people reminded me just how far I had really come. So I thought it would be a good idea to look back on things that have changed.

1.) The smell of food no longer triggers a craving.
2.) I can identify head hunger vs. Real hunger
3.) I have learned that I will need to be a thoughtful eater- and what that really means.
4.) I have found that I really do have the ability to resist treats and not particiapate in social eating- while being out in the social setting.
5.) I enjoy exercise and look forward to it each day.
6.) I have learned so much about eating.
7.) I have learned to deal with craving triggers, and what many of those triggers are.
8.) I can impress myself with what I am able to do.
9.) Food no longer has power over me.
10.) I really can do this.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fat Pills (day 83)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minute bike ride, 30 minute walk.

Today a co-worker hit his 5 year anniversary  For some reason as we have never done this before they had a informal celebration and donuts were brought in. Really good donuts from Greenbush Bakery. If you have never had donuts from Greenbush you are missing out. I didn't have a single one though. Wasn't even tempted. I have also renamed donuts fat pills- maybe that helped a bit. They did look good though. I am really proud of myself.

I have over done exercise this week. My legs are sore. Tomorrow is a day off. The bad part about that is that I really enjoy the exercise. My bike ride this morning while a bit cold was really peaceful. Other than fighting the gears while trying to climb a big hill (the gearing on the bike drives me insane the shifts are really clunky when hill climbing) it was really nice. I didn't even feel too ridiculous wearing my bike shorts.

Today when I stepped on the scale (my unofficial weight scale) I hit 245. That makes a total of 110 pounds since I started my weight loss journey. This journey has not been smooth or easy. But I am down 110. I am impressed and proud- and still a bit scared of the future to be honest. But after this far traveled I have to find the way to keep traveling down the healthy life path. I can do this.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Balancing Life (day 82)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 20 minutes on the bike, 34 minute walk, 30 minutes in the pool.

I cranked out a full 500 meters of front crawl with no rests. I had been alternating front crawl with breast stroke because my arm strength would give out after about 100 meters. I am really proud of doing this. I hated that I had faded so far that 500 meters was not possible without switching strokes. I am proud of my ability to swim, and having it fade that far from what I used to be able to do really made me feel bad. I feel like I am getting back a piece of my 14 year old in great shape good swimmer self. Just a part though, I am sure my 14 year old self would kick my butt in the pool right now- but I'll get it back.

Cravings, and the want to eat was less today. Not once did I feel like I wanted to eat off, or binge, or fall back into old habits. Maybe just writing about it and acknowledging it was what I needed to do. I know all of the writing I have been doing has to be helping me in the long run. I might not be the most interesting blog to read- but I doubt any other writer is getting as much out of it as I am. Maybe the same- but it can't really be more.

I am still looking for the way to balance life. I have to my a father, a husband, an engineer, and now an active person. I am adding a piece to my life that has to be in the top 4 of my priorities. Maybe I am just looking at it the wrong way. Some days being active will be number 1, most days it will likely be number 4 (at least if I want to keep my family and job happy). But making sure that number 4 stays important needs to be done. I am sure I can figure it out- and I know my family is going to help as much as they can. After all, I can do this, but I can not do this alone.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Still a lot to figure out (day 81)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minute run/walk.

I feel bad. Life is getting in the way of me getting my 60 minutes of exercise in. My son is being difficult, and I feel bad for leaving my wife home with a difficult son all last week so I think I am over compensating by making sure my wife doesn't have to deal with him alone. Of course as I look at the clock and he is staying in bed and it is only 8PM I figure I could still get some exercise in. I also think that since I mowed the lawn tonight maybe I should call today good enough. Lets see how I feel after I get writing this blog. Maybe I'll just get to bed early so that I can wake up early for my bike ride tomorrow. I plan to get up a half hour early to make sure I have time to ride before work.

Onto the topic of this post. While making dinner for the family tonight I had many bad thoughts going through my head. I wanted to eat- and keep eating. I wanted to feel stuffed. I thought about eating a pile of the bars, drinking a bunch of shakes- or having a bunch of chicken broth. I didn't feel stressed, or bored, or sad, or really any emotion I can find. I just wanted food. I just wanted to feel full. I have been dealing with that and thinking about over eating for about a week now. It started while on the road and  I thought it was just to do with being bored, but now that I am home I think it might be deeper than that. I am allowed to eat a real meal once or twice a month at this stage but had decided not to do that... maybe I should? It would let me try what salad tastes like, which is a weird thing for me to be thinking about eating. Anyone reading- have you gone through something similar? No matter what I am not going to do anything about it until after Thursday. I hope that I can figure out what is triggering this want and deal with that. Honestly now that I typed that out it would be much better for me in the long run to figure this out than it would be to eat something- no matter how healthy.

It really hit home for today, with all of the celebration of being smaller, and all of the exercise I am adding in- I still feel like I am not closer to figuring out why I ate the way I did- and how to not eat that way after this is done. For all of the times I have written that I can do this when it comes down to it I really don't know how I am going to do it. Will I always have to fight temptation? Can I find a healthy way to give into temptation? Do non-over-eaters have to think about dealing with temptation? I know from the past that just losing weight doesn't mean I will keep the weight off. I have to figure this out. I have to "fix" what is broken in me. It is just hard to get to the root when the broken part is what I need working to figure out how to fix it. And maybe fix it isn't the right way to go about this- but that is what I do I fix. I used to do it for a living. Not having anything to fix is really the part of my current job that I miss the most. So I have to fix me. I have to fix nearly 30 years of bad habits. I have to fix nearly 30 years of being fat. Why am I surprised that I don't have it figured out 81 days in? I guess when you look at it that way it is kind of silly to be stressing out over.

For my benefit here is what I know now that I never knew before I started this. I really can say no to treats. My stomach really will tell me when to eat, and when not to eat. Most of the time in the past when I felt hungry it was really a craving. Not being fat feels great. I don't have to live with a disease that will age me faster than I should. I can be healthy. I can be a person who is happy in his own body. I can be a person who looks in the mirror and sees his true self. I can do this.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gaining even more confidence (day 80)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating. 30 minutes in the pool and a bike ride to the park for a picnic.

I got back in the pool today for the first time in over a week. It felt great. First- my spandex suit fits really well over my waist. The last time I wore it it didn't fit as well as it should but it did today. I am shrinking. Second I was able to crank out a 500 meter ladder again today- and it didn't kill me nearly as much as it did the last time I did it.

Going for the bike ride with my family for a dinner picnic was another thing I have gained since starting this journey. We got my wife a new bike so that she doesn't have to ride her hold unsafe bike any more. I think she really likes it, and I really picked it out for her. So that makes me feel good. Plus it makes for a perfect Bereaved Mothers day/ Mothers Day present for her. I love being able to become an active family.

I took a good form running class today. I found the source of my pain in running- now I just have to completely change the way I run- no big deal. I mean what is 31 years of muscle memory compared to a 90 minute class- no problem. Well ok, I guess it is going to be a bunch of hard work but I have my starting point. The running class gave me a huge boast in my belief in being able to run. I really am starting to think I can do that.

Oh and I went out a purchased that large coat that fit me. I own and can wear a large coat. LARGE. That just needed to be said again. I wonder if I am going to get to start buying large shirts? I am still feeling a bit big in XL shirts so who knows. I can do this.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

A broken toe? (day 78 and 79)

Key Stats: All BG's normal. 4 shakes 1 bar no off eating- a day of travel and a day of rest (no formal exercise)

Sorry for missing the post yesterday. I got in late from my travels and was too tired and forgot to post.

I am so glad this long week on the road is over. Back to routine should have started today, but a trip to Urgent care stopped that. On Monday while trying to leave the house as quiet as I could I ended up slipping on the stairs in the dark (and making a bunch of noise). This slip left my big toe in sad shape. I never really had pain after the first day unless the toe got touched. But after 5 days of the toe not getting better, and in some ways getting worse I thought I better look into what it means to break a toe. Well after reading that having a broken big toe heal bad could make you need surgery I thought I had better get this looked at. Of course the only time I could really go was during my swimming time- so no swimming. Happy to report that my toe is not broken! It is just sore :(.

Tomorrow I go to good form running at Fleet Feet in Madison. I hope to pick up some good information on running form, and maybe come away with some people to run with. I really hope I am not the worst runner in the class. I know I shouldn't be but I am still very self conscious about being over weight. I find that when I tell people about my weight loss I always add "I still have a long way to go" and that statement is true- but not in the way people hear it. In truth the weight I need to lose isn't all that much compared to where I came from. If this was my starting weight I wouldn't be allowed into the VLCD program. But I do have a long way to go because I have a life time of food habits to over come. I have a life of not exercising to change. I am on the path, and there is light at the end of the tunnel- it is just still a very small light and some days it does not seem to get any bigger no matter how hard it feels like I am running at it. So I feel like I really do have a long way to go.

I had to go to the store tonight and get some pants. I had dress pants, and shorts, but no casual pants. I love being able to shop at normal stores and not have to find the big and tall section. While there I saw some spring/fall jackets and decided to try a few on to see where I stand with jackets. To my surprise the XL jackets were just too loose. XL was too big... So I tried on a L- dear god a large fit me. Now I am used to being LARGE not fitting in Large clothes. I almost purchased it just because it fit. But I still think I have inches to lose- many of them in fact so I decided against it.

So I am learning more about running, I read about biking nearly every chance I get, and I love swimming.. I guess I should just own up to it and say I am going to do a triathlon  The running just scares me. I am sure I can build up the biking, I know I can do the swimming- but running just has never been my thing. I always said I just don't have the frame for running- it worked as a good excuse. Well I am not ready to give that excuse up yet- lets see if I can run a mile before I commit to running. I can do that- I will set that as my goal- I am going to run a mile. I can do that. I can lose this weight, I can keep it off. I can get healthy. I can do this.


Friday, May 3, 2013

A delayed post (day 77)

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

I think the lack of sleep while on the road is catching up with me. I never sleep well on the road and this trip has been no exception. I went to exercise last night and for lack of a better term "bonked". I couldn't get much running in, so I just walked for most of the time. And I didn't get the blog written last night like I should have I just wanted to go to sleep.

This would have been a big eating day for me in the past. I felt hungry nearly all night. I think lack of energy is another eating trigger for me. I am glad to go through days like yesterday though, it lets me examine all sorts of different triggers. Dealing with the triggers inside of this ketosis bubble should give me tools to deal with them outside of the bubble.... I hope. No I hope is not right, it has to give me the tools- I know.

I am looking forward to getting home, even if it is going to be a long day for me to get home. Tomorrow I get to take my son to swimming lessons, get to kiss my wife (and take the single parent load off of her shoulders), and get back to my routine. I can not recommend enough for anyone who wants to do a VLCD diet- be boring. Get into a routine, add the exercise on day one, and do not deviate. It makes this plan so much easier. And for me it lets me really identify the triggers that come when I get off of routine. I never thought I could do something like this. I thought I would fall apart the first time I had to deal with temptation- just like I had every other time. But I am doing it and learning so much about myself. If I can do this- and I can - you can do this too.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stress triggers (day 76)

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

I found out today that instead of coming home tomorrow or even Friday I am going to be stuck on the road until the weekend. That puts a ton of stress on my home life. It puts a ton of stress on my wife who has to be home alone with our son. I have to be away from my son and my wife. And it triggered hunger. Hunger like I have not had to deal with in a long time. I didn't eat off but I hated having to fight it. I guess learning to fight unneeded hunger is a big lesson so I should count this as a win really. 

So why didn't I eat? Well I have accomplished a lot so far, and I am not going to let crappy news sink my progress. I am trying so hard to let real hunger dictate when I eat. Every time i resist head hunger I get stronger. And today made me stronger. Of course I didn't feel strong when it was going on. But I did it. If I can win today, I can win tomorrow. If I can not let stress dictate my eating today, I can do the same tomorrow. I can do this.