Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pumping Irony

Why is it that getting started back in the exercise groove feels so bad? I know this initial soreness will wear off and I’ll be feeling better soon, but right now I can barely lift my arms. I almost careened into my mailbox because I could barely move my steering wheel enough to make the turn.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mindless Eating

One of the bad habits I’m attempting to break is eating while doing anything else… watching TV, reading a magazine, working, driving. It really is more of a diversion than a need to do anything about hunger. It’s the easiest way I know to overdo it as well.

I don't want to start over-analyzing ever morsel that drops down my gullet, but gratuitous gobbling just shouldn't be part of the plan.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Weight-Loss Mystery

I’ve noticed this every time I’ve lost weight, and this time is no exception. Why, oh why, do I lose weight in my fingers? I’ve got enough of a spare tire to outfit an 18-wheeler, but my body–in it’s infinite wisdom–sees fit to take the excess weight from my fingers. I can’t tell, but I’d bet $$$ that my appendix has shed a few ounces, too. And maybe my ears.

I know it’s coming off the right places, as well. Already, pants that were try-to-ignore-it snug are more in just-right territory. I’m looking forward to pulling out the first of my too-tight trousers and seeing if we’re really making any progress.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Goodbye Chug-a-Lug Charlie, Hello Nurse Nancy

True story: I was at a business social meeting on the Left Coast at a loud and raucous spot called Dick’s Last Resort. I had just joined the group, which was about to start a “Who Can Drink the Most of their 40 oz. Beer at One Time” contest. Most of the table had already knocked back a third (or more) of their glass, and offered me the chance to catch up to make it more fair. I told them I’d spot them the difference, and proceeded to chug down the entire glass of golden nectar in one crazy gulping motion. It so impressed the rest of the table that I had to repeat the performance two more times.

Today I often find myself at gatherings where it just feels natural to have a cold one in my hand. I’m teaching myself the fine art of nursing a beer, still managing to enjoy it but get away from the feeling that I’ve got to see how much I can put away as quickly as I can. I know they’re empty calories, so I’ll just s-t-r-e-e-e-e-e-e-t-c-h each one out as far as I can and go from there. If you see me at a party, just don’t challenge me to a chug-off, okay?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Something Fishy About This Weigh-In

Weigh-in for end of Week Two: 270.5
Total loss: 20 lbs. (or a very nice-sized carp)

Okay, I know I’m not going to keep it rolling at this pace, but it is nice to see the weight coming off so quickly. The weight loss/gain curse of being a “big guy” is that I can loss or gain what looks to be huge numbers in a short span of time. A bad weekend can easily put five pounds on my frame.

Still, I’m thankful for whatever the scale will give me, but I know that if I continue doing the right things, I’ll see positive results. We all know that; it’s the “doing” part of the equation that gets tripped up sometimes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Excess Is Okay… in Moderation

If we deny ourselves of what we truly enjoy, then we’ll feel… well… denied. I enjoy beer, but I was drinking more than I should, and then I was drinking more than that. Not so good. I also enjoy going out to a good restaurant for dinner. I just need to readjust myself to the idea that a beer is okay every once in awhile; six beers every evening is not okay. Treating yourself to a dinner out can be a nice thing, but it can’t be an everyday occurrence. All things in moderation.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Working Out a Workout Schedule

Life gets in the way, but in order to do this right, you’ve got to make taking care of yourself a priority. For me, going to the gym has got to be part of the equation. When I get into a good rhythm of working out, I start eating better. Maybe it’s because I somehow equate a slice of pie with a hundred sit-ups and it’s just not worth the sweat.

Whether it’s the gym, walking, swimming, running, yardwork or whatever, I think the key to success is move it, move it, move it. I know that staying active pays dividends.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Got My Bad Side

Bigger-than-we-should-be people seldom photograph well. I can look in the mirror at the right angle and convince myself I’m not in that bad of shape. Then somebody will snap a picture and I’ll go “Whoa. Who let Shamuu out of SeaWorld for the weekend?”

Cameras don’t lie, and seeing some recent photos was one of the reasons I got serious about this. I don’t look good, and I don’t look particularly happy… and somehow I think those two often go along side-by-side.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wardrobe Malfunction

Whenever I lose weight, I’m always quick to throw away the “fat” clothes; however, as I gain it, I never toss the skinny clothes. The back of my closet is filled with better-looking clothes than anything I wear these days. They’re just a couple of sizes (or more) too snug.

In order to motivate myself, I’ve sorted all these pants into size groups and put the next-size-up ones on a shelf I have easy access to. I plan on making part of my Sunday ritual (besides weighing in) trying on these clothes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Way the World Works

More people will step up and compliment you when you lose weight then will step up and show concern for you when you gain it. Oh, they’ll notice it. They’ll just comment about it to friends and co-workers instead of you. Why is that?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bright Shiny Sunday

My first week in and I’ve gotten over those hard hurdles of my body adjusting to change. My midsection is still rumbling and grumbling, but the voices in my head are doing a good job or drowning out the distractions from down under.

Weighed in at 277, which (for those keeping score) is 13.5 pounds down in one week.

Tip for getting started: do your initial weigh-in wearing shoes. It gives you a head start and–believe me–seeing a big number drop of the scale does worlds of good in the motivation department.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Longest Journey Begins with a Single Misstep

I’m sure there are worse feelings than going from happy-go-lucky eating-whatever-you-want clueless bliss to staying on the path of right-eating, hitting-the-gym self-control? Those first couple of days when you’re stomach is screaming to get your attention: “Yo! How’s about a little something down here?”

I’m powering through my first week, but I feel like I’m slogging through waist-deep mud wearing iron boots and a backpack filled with sand.

This shouldn’t be this hard.

The No-No’s

Here’s some of the changes I’m making in my life:

• Eat nothing from a vending machine
• Eat nothing purchased or prepared at a gas station
• Don’t eat in the car
• Don’t skip breakfast
• Go at least a month without drinking a diet soda

That last one doesn’t really have anything to do with weight loss, but I’m a little disheartened that I seem to be completely addicted to diet sodas. I didn’t really realize it until somebody asked me if I was addicted and I had to truthfully say that I guess I was.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Why Is Everything So Delicious?

Let’s face it: food is simply too important to us. I don’t know why, but it is. Skinny people don’t fret and worry about calories and portion control. They have this miraculous ability to leave food on their plates. They eat when they’re hungry and quit eating when they’re no longer hungry. What’s wrong with them?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Secret Plan for Losing Weight

1. Eat less.
2. Exercise more.

I’m thinking about writing a book.

An “Ah-ha” Moment

“Wow,” I mention to my wife. “We just about polished off an entire large pizza tonight.”

“Wow, yourself,” she replied. “I didn’t have any.”


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You Can’t Spell “Diet” Without “Die”

I hate the term “diet.” A diet is something you start and don’t finish. It’s something that generally ends in failure. After nearly 50 years on this earth, I know enough about how everything works to understand that this has to be more about a lifestyle change than dieting.

I weighed in on Day One at 290.5 and grimaced like I’d just sucked a slice of lemon. The scale was just reaffirming what my pants were already telling me: “You’re fat, Jack. That’s a fact!”

Truthfully, I was a little bit relieved that I wasn’t at the 300 lb. mark. I’ve flirted with the big 3-Oh-Ohhhhh several times in my life, but I’ve always managed to steer clear. But here I am, within spitting distance of it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Not-So-Terrible Parable

An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life…

This is what he said to them:

“A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf is evil — he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.

The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied: “The one you feed”.

For too, too long I have been feeding the bad wolf. I did it with the full and complete understanding that it was foolish, misguided and self-destructive, but feed him I did.

On Easter Sunday in the Year of Our Lord 2009, I decided it was time to start starving the bad wolf and letting the good wolf strap on his feedbag for a while.


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