Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reasons NOT to Lose Weight (Plus a Couple of Guest Posts)

Welcome to "Same Old Sh*t Saturday" where I rerun some of the older posts that mean something extra to me. It's my special way of getting out of a little work, which doesn't explain why in the hell I'm guest posting today for Michelle at Eating Journey as well as Ashley at A Daily Dose of Dieting.

Anyway, what makes this particular post special to me is that it's where this space quit being a daily diary/commentary and started really being Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit. It's the one that made me realize I could be completely ridiculous and it was okay. Maybe even better than okay...

Reasons NOT to Lose Weight

  • Shame to waste all my “fat” pants
  • 25-lb. bags of potato chips at Costco make unhealthy lifestyle extremely affordable
  • Time spent weight loss blogging could easily be filled with TV watching
  • Less sweaty gym clothes = less laundry
  • Might miss out on playing Santa Claus at holiday parties
  • Easier to maintain casual friendships with all those fast food drive-thru workers
  • Don’t have to answer that embarrassing “Are you losing weight?” question
  • Good excuse to wear sweatpants in public
  • Don’t have to worry about a lot of leftovers cluttering up fridge
  • Get more for your money at “all-you-can-eat” buffet
  • Answer to all life’s problems? Gravy
  • Have kick-*ss health insurance to deal with any weight-related problems
  • Have gotten good at punching new holes in belt with screwdriver
  • Guy that owns the local Ben & Jerry’s franchise really wants me back
I dunno. I make a pretty compelling argument, but I think I’m gonna stick with the plan.


Friday, October 30, 2009

I’m Sorry, Snoop Dogg

With so much drama in the b-l-o-g,
It's kinda hard bein’ Jack S-h-*-t.
But I, somehow, some way
Keep comin’ up with funky diet tips like every single day.
May I kick a little something for the ol’ fat Ts,
And, make a few jokes as I breeze through.
Two in the mornin’ and my blog’s unwritten
'Cause my three kids ain’t home,
Me and Anita in the living room gettin’ it on.
Don’t gotta be at work ‘til eight in the mornin’.
So what am I gonna do, sheeeit
I got a notebook full of ideas and a poem or two.
So fire up the laptop and close the doors.
Gotta get myself back to them weight-loss wars, yeah!
So I open a document and blow a kiss
And hope I get a good blog post outta this.

Rollin ‘round the net, makin’ wordplay, tappin’ my creative juices.
Losin’ weight [with my mind on my bloggin’ and my bloggin’ on my mind]
Rollin ‘round the net, makin’ wordplay, tappin’ my creative juices.
Losin’ weight [with my mind on my bloggin’ and my bloggin’ on my mind]

Now, I got me some Bigelow green tea,
And put on my “Best of ABBA” CD.
Get out that laptop, sit in my favorite chair.
Gonna start soon as I finish a game of solitaire.
Every subject I ponder just hits a dead end.
I’m suffering from a lil’ writer’s block, girlfriend.
Keep bangin’ my head, now I’m getting’ pissed.
Can’t even fart out another silly list.
Yeah, this cold snap is making me feel extra meek,
Looks like I’m gonna mess up my six-month streak.
But you think I’m gonna gain weight? Bitch please!
Gimme a cheese sammich, hold the bread and hold the cheese.
I’m more committed to my journey than Thelma and Louise.
Sh*t, I’m just…

Rollin ‘round the net, makin’ wordplay, tappin’ my creative juices.
Losin’ weight [with my mind on my bloggin’ and my bloggin’ on my mind]
Rollin ‘round the net, makin’ wordplay, tappin’ my creative juices.
Losin’ weight [with my mind on my bloggin’ and my bloggin’ on my mind]

Later on that day
My homey Dr. Geoff comes over and we watch “Top Chef”
By ourselves, drink some produce juice that makes me choke
Sh*t, this ain’t no joke.
Tried another swallow but I finally had to quit.
Carrot juice cocktail made me throw up just a bit.
But there ain’t no stoppin, I gotta get bloggin’.
Throw Geoff out cuz it’s time to get rockin’.
I’m at my desk, just bouncin’ along merrily.
Knock out a super-quick Snoop Dogg parody.
Got it done, girl, that’s just how it goes.
Hittin’ those lows, and going shopping for new clothes.
And I’ll be…

Rollin ‘round the net, makin wordplay, tappin my creative juices.
Losin’ weight [with my mind on my bloggin’ and my bloggin’ on my mind]
Rollin ‘round the net, makin wordplay, tappin my creative juices.
Losin’ weight [with my mind on my bloggin’ and my bloggin’ on my mind]


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Green Monster Mash

Yes, I’m sorry whoever sang “Monster Mash”

I was piddling in the kitchen early one morn,
When from my blender, a new concoction was born.
I mixed spinach and fruit, from my supplies,
And suddenly to my surprise…

I made a smoothie.
I made a Green Monster smoothie.
A monster smoothie.
It was an emerald beauty.
I made a smoothie.
It was all green and fruity.
I made a smoothie.
I made a Green monster smoothie.

From their bedrooms right up the stairs,
All my kids rushed down to get theirs’.
Cuz this beat any smoothie that they mighta fixed.
They came to get a jolt from my VitaMix.

They drank my smoothie.
They drank my Green Monster smoothie.
My monster smoothie.
It was an emerald beauty.
They stole my smoothie.
It was all green and fruity.
They drank my smoothie.
They drank my Green monster smoothie.

I whipped up one more batch.
Was ready to drink it down the hatch.
But suddenly my wife Anita,
Snatched it before I see’d her.
The scene was rockin', all were digging the taste,
Suckin’ on straws, not a drop to waste.
The glasses were piled up in the sink.
The whole family chanting, “We love this drink.”

They love my smoothie.
They love my Green Monster smoothie.
My monster smoothie.
It was an emerald beauty.
They love my smoothie.
It was all green and fruity.
They love my smoothie.
They love my monster smoothie.

Now my family they had had their fill,
So I made one more smoothie still.
I turned my head and said “Sumb*tch!”
“Whatever happened to my smoothie filled with spinach?”

Who took my smoothie?
Who took my Green Monster smoothie?
My monster smoothie.
It was an emerald beauty.
Who took my smoothie?
It was all green and fruity.
Who took my smoothie?
Who took my monster smoothie?

It turns out that I began my celebration prematurely,
Cuz my smoothie was taken by my own mother Shirley.
The recipe’s below, but give credit where credit is due.
When they ask where it came from, tell ‘em Jack Sh*t sent it to you.

You can make my smoothie.
You can make my Green Monster smoothie.
My monster smoothie.
It is an emerald beauty.
You can make my smoothie.
It was all green and fruity.
You can make my smoothie.
You can make my monster smoothie.
And have my monster smoothie.



2 large handfuls fresh spinach
1 large frozen banana, cut into chunks
1 T almond butter
1 c Almond Breeze or soymilk
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
6 ice cubes


Place spinach and milk in blender. Start on low and move up to high. Add almond butter, cocoa powder and banana and blend on medium, shifting to high when it starts to come together. Add ice cubes and pulse a few times, then blending until thick.


Number of Servings: 1

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Regrets, I Have a Few…

But then again, too few to mention.


Well, as I’ve been scrounging through my closet of memories about weight-loss issues, I come back time and time again to the months before my marriage to my wife Anita. We had been dating since we were toddlers, and I had just started my career as a worker bee when we planned our nuptuals.

I guess the stress of getting up every morning and going to sit in a cubicle was starting to get to me, because I plumped up pretty impressively. Rarely if ever over the course of our marriage has Anita been critical of my weight. She’s been concerned for me, and I’m sure she’s wished that I’d take better care of myself, but she’s loved me for who I am, no matter my size.


In the months leading up to our wedding, she asked me point-blank to lose weight. Pleaded with me to at least try. Just twenty pounds. I think we had a little argument, but I’m pretty sure that my heart wasn’t in the fight.

Unfortunately, my heart wasn’t in the idea of losing any weight either.

Why could that possibly be? Why wouldn’t I want to drop a few pounds for the most important day of my life? Why wouldn’t I want to honor the request of the woman that meant the most to me in the world? To this day, it still boggles my mind.

I’d like to go back in time, grab that chubby young man by the collar and really blast him with both barrels. I don’t know what it would have taken to get through his thick skull; I’m not sure there’s anything I could have said to him. It was selfish and lazy and unconscionable.

To this day, I grimace when I see the wedding photos. I simply can’t watch the video that was taken that day. It stings worse than looking at all the other photographs where I look… well… not at my best. It hurts more because I should have been stronger… I should have done what my wife asked me to do.

English writer and clergyman Sydney Smith once said “Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”

I let my glowing bride down a long time ago, but the future? I plan to live my future without the weight, without the pain and without regret.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two for Tuesday

Here at WSHT, the voice of weight-loss blogdom, we believe in “More Rock, Less Lunch.” So here’s your “Two for Tuesday” rock block…

I’m Sorry, Chumbawamba

We'll be bloggin’.
While we're losing.
We'll be bloggin’.

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
I’m never gonna let it get back up.

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
I really need to keep it down.

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
Why can't I keep it down?

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
This time I'm gonna keep it down.

Losing the weight today.
Losing the weight today.

He drinks an aqua drink.
He drinks Dasani drink.
He drinks a water drink.
He drinks an H2O drink.
He reads the blogs that remind him
Of the fatter times.
He reads the blogs that remind him
There’ll be better times.

Oh Jackie Boy,
Jackie Boy,
Jackie Boy...

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
I’m never gonna let it get back up.

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
I really need to keep it down.

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
Why can't I keep it down?

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
This time I'm gonna keep it down.

Losing the weight today.
Losing the weight today.

He drinks a green tea drink.
He drinks a skim milk drink.
He drinks a juice drink.
He drinks a smoothie drink.
He reads the blogs that remind him
Of the fatter times.
He reads the blogs that remind him
There’ll be better times.

Don't eat too much
Next door neighbour...

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
I’m never gonna let it get back up.

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
I really need to keep it down.

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
Why can't I keep it down?

I gain a pound.
I get it down again.
This time I'm gonna keep it down.

I'm Sorry, J-Lo

Let’s get light.

(Here we go)
Let's get light, let's get light.
I’m here–I’m gonna tell ya
What you gotta do

If you wanna be more fit
Live life all the way and don't wanna waste it.
Watchin’ what you eat
Can be so very sweet, you gotta taste it (mm- hm)
You gotta do it, (you gotta do it) you gotta do it your way
You gotta prove it (you gotta prove it)
Prove it every day
You gotta do it (do it) you gotta mean what you say
You gotta prove it (prove it)
You gotta step up and weigh

Let's get light, let's get light
Push the tempo up, let's do it
C'mon people
Let's get light, let's get light
You know that your pants are too tight

Life's a bitch, but you can do it,
Don’t you ever stop, find your rhythm.
Use your brains and your body
And make sure you do something with 'em.
('cause I'm-a lose my weight)
You gotta do it, (you gotta do it) you gotta do it your way.
You gotta move it.
You gotta mean what you say.
You gotta do it (do it) you gotta ban the buffet.
You can improve it,
You gotta do it every day.

Let's get light, let's get light.
So your future can be very bright.
Let's get light, let's get light.
Ain't nobody gotta tell you
What you gotta do, no no
(Make you hot)
(AY Jackie)

Let’s get light.
Let’s get light.
Let’s get light.
Let’s get light (It’s your life, baby, c’mon)
Let’s get light.
Let’s get light.
Let’s get light (pump it up)
Aaaa hey hey hey….

Droppin weight can be big fun.
Who can do it? Anyone!
C’mon, let’s lose it.
Losing pounds can set you free.
Be what you wanna be.
It’s yours' to choose it.
You gotta do it, (do what you gotta do)
You gotta do it some way.
You gotta move it (say what you wanna say)
Exercise every day.
You gotta do it, (go where you wanna go)
Don’t wanna weigh what you weigh?
You can improve it (just do it)
C’mon and try it my way.

Let's get light, let's get light.
Soon those pants won’t be quite so tight.
Let's get light, let's get light.
Ain't nobody gotta tell you
You know what you gotta do.

Let's get light.
Let's get light.
Let's get light.
Let's get light.

Let's get light, let's get light.
Everything is gonna be alright.
Let's get light, let's get light.
Jack Sh*t’s gonna tell you
What you gotta do.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Where the Wide Things Are

The night Jax wore his sweat pants and ate snacks of one kind and another. His wife called him “WIDE THING!” and Jax said “I’LL EAT THIS UP!” so he was sent to bed without getting any.

That very night in Jax’s room a fitness center grew and grew and grew until his ceiling hung with exercise equipment and the walls had mirrors all around and an opportunity tumbled by with a private trainer for Jax.

And he started exercising through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to get away from where the wide things are.

And when he came back to the place where the wide things are they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible bellies and showed their terrible appetites… ‘til Jax said “QUIT OVEREATING!” and tamed them with a magic trick of making them laugh while imparting valuable weight loss information to them.

And they called him the most wild wide thing of all and made him king of all wide things.

“And now,” cried Jax, “let the Wide Rump-Less start!”

“Now stop!” Jax said and sent the wide things off to bed with only 850 calories worth of supper.

And Jax the king of all wide things was tired of being so wide and wanted to be fittest and healthiest of all.

Then all around from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat so he gave up being king of where the wide things are.

But the wide things cried, “Oh please don’t go… we like you being as fat as we are!”

And Jax said, “No!”

The wide things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Jax just waved good-bye and began eating less and working out over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day…

…and into the night of his very own room where he found his wife waiting for him.

And she was still hot.

Okay, so I knock off work early Friday and took my daughter Pisa and one of her buddies to see Where the Wild Things Are. It was an enchanting little film, but I spent a lot of time writing this on my phone during the slow parts. Between three daughters, I’ve probably read this book a thousand times. It’s actually one of those books that we’ve had to replace because we absolutely wore it out. I know this doesn't make a whole lotta sense, but I was impressed with myself for being able to recall so much of the actual book from memory. I can't remember my PIN number for my bank card, but my brain holds on to the important stuff...

This week, I’ve got to survive trick-or-treating and a wild Halloween party Friday night.

Let the wild rumpus start!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So This Is How It’s Gonna Be…

Weekly weigh-in: 214.5
Weekly weigh-in: 214.6
Loss: +0.1
Total loss: 76.9 lbs.
Emotion: Under Less Pressure

Trying to put this whole weight loss/maintenance deal on auto-pilot, just attempting to eat right without stressing out about every little thing and exercise with intensity that might be high, yet not dialed all the way up. I’m slowly wrapping my head around the idea that this doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” proposition… and that I’m in it for the long haul so I’d better get comfortable with what I’m eating and what I’m doing.

This has been one of the few weeks where I’ve eaten well, exercised often and enthusiastically, not had any setbacks whatsoever… and gained weight (even if it was only a speck). More than anything else, that tells me that I’m probably not going to lose much more. I’m not complaining or fretting; like I said before: if I could lock it down right here, I’d be good to go. Keeping this whole thing in check is a whole new kind of pressure.

Speaking of pressure, I had a nice moment the other day. I was picking up a few things at the grocery store and ran across one of those blood-pressure checking stations. At my heavier weight, I was always hovering between borderline high blood pressure and your-veins-are-about-to-explode blood pressure. Just like I step on a scale with a new sense of confidence, I wasn’t stressing a bit as I slipped my arm into the cuff of the machine and pressed the “Start” button.

As I grimaced through the unpleasant squeeze on my bicep, I thought back about times when I’d checked myself on similar machines, trying to relax and mentally will my numbers to be low. With my diet how it’s been and my exercise level as high as it’s been, I simply wasn’t worried this go-round.

“Normal” blood pressure is 120/80 or below. And keep in mind that blood pressure tends to climb some as you get older, and that rise carries with it an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, as well as other complications.

My numbers? 88 over 65

Are you kidding me? I should put a faucet on my arm because there’s ice water in my veins. Actually, that’s now borderline too low, but in the range that athletes generally show.

Many of us focus on the “looking better” aspect of this weight-loss journey, but it’s hard not to appreciate the tremendous health advantages living lighter brings us. Whether it’s medications you no longer have to take, less pressure on your joints or simply having the energy to live a vital and active life, being successful with this is simply going to change you for the better.

And there’s nothing that feels quite as good as “better”…

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Cat in the Fat

Note: After six months of producing original content for this blog each and every day, I’ve finally decided to knock off one day a week. Chris at A Deliberate Life suggested that I re-run some of my favorite posts, so I decided to make Saturdays a “Same Old Sh*t” day. This well-received piece was one of my first forays into the little-mined field of weight-loss parody poetry.

The Cat in the Fat

The sun did not shine,
Hadn’t shined in a bit,
For the fellow the blogging world
Knows as Jack Sh*t.

He sat there so sadly.
He sat there unhappily.
And he said, “How I wish
I didn’t eat quite so crappily.”

Too big to go out
And too fat to play ball.
So he sat at his desk
And did nothing at all.

And all he could do was to
And it left him feeling
Like a big lump of sh*t.

And then
Something went bump!
How that bump made him jump!

He looked!
Then he saw it pop onto his screen.
A web site
On weight loss and low-fat cuisine.
And it said to Jack,
"C’mon, let’s break this routine.”

"I know you are chubby.
And there’s work to be done
But you can drop poundage
And still have some fun."

"Have no fear!" said the site.
"I will not let you fail.
I will give you new confidence
When you stand on that scale."

"In order to lose weight,
There’s two things you must do.
And I call these two things
Thing One and Thing Two."

"Thing One is 'eat less.'
Stuff less food in your mouth.
Cuz what goes in up North
Often winds up down South."

"'Exercise more' is Thing Two
And please don’t forget.
You won’t dump the plump
Without sweating some sweat."

"Follow Thing 1 and Thing 2
And you won’t stay a fat hog.
Why, if you wanted to you could
Write your own blog."

"Chronicle your journey
As you step away from the abyss
Fill it with wisdom
(And a few stupid lists)."

So I vowed to eat right,
I started to move.
And soon I was in my own
Little weight-losing groove.

And my blog’s doing great.
I may never get rich,
But it seems to have found
Its own special niche.

So this cat’s on his way,
He just won’t ever quit.
You can follow his story
(Jack Sh*t, Gettin’ Fit).

I hope you enjoyed this,
All silly and Seuss-y.
But I may need a lawyer,
When somebody sues me.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Motivational Tips & Tricks

“How do you stay motivated?”

It was pointed out to me recently that much of the advice I dole out is of the “big picture” variety. I rarely get into the specifics of how to stoke the fires of motivation, how I’ve managed to keep my head in the game while I’ve made my way along the perpetual grind that is a weight-loss journey.

What follows is just a random group of tips and tricks that I’ve found to be helpful. They may be impractical or ill-suited for your personal use, but maybe there’s something here that could help you tweak your current plan or better find your own place in your own way. I apologize in advance for the low-entertainment value, but I’m trying to build up some good karma points to apply to my next weigh-in…

  • Pack a bag. I don’t know if mornings at your house are as hectic as mornings at my house, but I’ve found that packing a gym bag the night before increases the likelihood that I’ll actually make it to the gym by roughly 10,000%.
  • Downsize the wardrobe. Occasionally wear pants that are borderline too-tight in the waist. That constant pressure all day will help keep your mission on the front burner. If that’s unworkable, keep a stack of too-tight pants in your closet and try them on once a week. The scale’s one way to keep track, but finally zipping up some pants that you couldn’t wear earlier is the kind of victory that can propel your progress (and motivation) in a big way.
  • Don’t hide the number. I follow quite a few blogs where the writer doesn’t seem to want anyone to know their weight. Putting those numbers front and center keeps me motivated to do well each and every day. I absolutely hate posting gains and am annoyed at the very idea of busting up good streaks of losing weeks. Don’t be ashamed of a number. It’s going down anyway…
  • Try something crazy. Nothing else working to keep you on track? Write a check for $100 to whatever organization you despise the most; stick it in a stamped envelope and give it to a friend to mail if you don’t reach your short-term goal. Now that’s motivating!
  • Get the whole family involved. It’s hard to stay sharp if you feel like you’re rowing the boat all by yourself. Even if they’re not overweight, your family will benefit from eating healthier and being more active.
  • Don’t let setbacks set you back. You had an idiot moment and had drive-thru fast food for lunch (did you have to eat it in the parking lot?). It’s nothing to be proud of, but it’s also no reason to let it wreck your entire week. Put it behind you. Better yet, use it as the impetus to get in an extra-effort workout. The pendulum swings both ways, you know.
  • Exercise your “no thank you” muscle. I was in a staff meeting this week where a couple of boxes of fresh donuts were being passed around. I took a donut, just to be like everyone else. But I watched as the boxes went around the room. Several people said “no thanks” and guess what? It wasn’t a big deal. I had one bite of the pastry, and folded the rest up in my napkin. Again, nobody cared. I think we believe we’re calling unwanted attention to ourselves when we say “no thanks,” but the truth of the matter is that nobody’s really paying attention. Whether or not we have a donut just isn’t all that important.
  • TV or not TV. I’ve made one rule about TV for myself. If you’re going to watch something with commercials, DVR it first. The Biggest Loser takes about 20 minutes to watch when you FF past the product placement segments, cliffhanger endings and commercials. All that extra time can be better spent exercising, laundry, blogging, working… basically doing anything else…
  • Get a handle on weekends. Easier said than done, but I think this is one of the biggest problem areas people have. The first step to getting past it is the realization that it’s something that’s going to take extra planning and more of a commitment to your program. Weekends take us out of our routine and put us in more social situations where saying “no” seems to be denying ourselves our well-earned fun. I’m not saying shut yourself in during the weekends, but success means that you’ve got to make some tough choices if you want to get through the weekend unscathed.
  • Find what drives you. Is it the worst photo you ever took? The best one? A picture of your children? A high school reunion that’s scheduled for next summer? That favorite pair of jeans that’s languishing in your closet? Whatever it is, keep it out where you can see it. Let it help you keep that fire inside burning hot.
  • S-l-o-o-o-o-w down. The eating, that is. You’ll be amazed at how much more food it will seem as though you’re eating if you actually let the fork hit the table every once in a while. Even if you eat the same amount that you would have wolfed down, you’ll feel fuller and more satisfied.
  • Understand that it’s all interconnected. When I blow off a workout, it affects my mood, my sleep, even my appetite. I’ve come to realize that this trek’s about more than just managing my diet, more than just making sure I exercise X times a week. Those things are important components, but managing it all… stress, family, work, sleep… is the key to dropping the pounds.

Most of this is the common sense stuff you already know, but just the act of writing it all down has helped me realize where I’ve started dropping the ball in some areas. It’s difficult to keep the focus on all the time, but it’s sure hard to make any serious headway when you’re flailing around without a real sense of purpose.

Good luck on keeping your game face on and here’s hoping you (and I) have a kick-ass weigh-in this week.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lite Lit

With sincere and profuse apologies
to Robert Frost and Joyce Kilmer.

Stopping By a Blog on a Boring Afternoon

Whose blog this is I do not know,
But I think I’ll leave a comment though.
So she will see I stopped by here,
To watch where this weight-loss tale will go.

This blog’s owner must think it queer,
To find such a kooky comment here,
Between the words of other friends
Who provide good wishes most sincere.

But still this comment I shall make,
And, no, this is not some mistake.
I just hope she will not weep,
To read such words from such a flake.

This journey’s lonely, says Jack Sh*t,
But you can do this, I’ll admit.
You’ve miles to go before you quit,
And lots of comments yet to get.

• • •

Cake And Chips

Some say this diet will end in cake,
Some say in chips.
From the feel of my sweet-tooth ache,
I hold with those who favour cake.
But if my hunger should eclipse,
That sweetness of what bakers’ bake,
I say that for diet destruction, chips
Are also great
With lots of dips.

• • •


I think that I shall never cross
A poem as lovely as a loss.
A loss where weight is coming down
Will entertain more than a clown;
A loss that God was sent my way,
Will fill my heart and make my day;
A loss of just a single pound
Will make me emit a joyous sound.
A poem can be a lovely serenade,
But ultimately cannot be made
By any fool you come across.
But each of us can make a loss.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It’s Time to Look Inside

You’ve spent a lot of time gazing at that too-fat frame in the mirror, frowning at the double chins and loathing those love handles. You’ve stared hard, trying to locate that thin, healthy person that wants so desperately to get out, wants so badly to take his or her place in this bright shiny world.

You know, I really do want this for you, but at the end of the day, that really matters not a whit. You’ve got to want it for yourself. And when I say you’ve got to want it, I mean something entirely different than “Gee, it sure would be nice if I dropped a few pounds one of these days.” You know as well as I do that one of these days is none of these days. In my mind, wanting it equates to resolution and responsibility, it equates to strength and sacrifice.

I have no doubt that you’ve got fortitude you didn’t even know you had. In fact, we all do. It’s just a matter of finding that reservoir of purpose and persistence that exists deep inside you and tapping into it. Find the strength to embrace healthy life-choices and do what you have to do to push away traps and temptations.

What’s stopping you? Your job? Your family? The stresses of your daunting and difficult life? Puh-leeeze! Don’t tell me it’s too hard, because there’s no damn way this is too hard for you. Too hard is losing a child or being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Too hard is becoming the victim of random violence or facing financial ruin. No matter how dire this weight problem seems, it is something that you can overcome. It is something you are going to overpower.

So again I ask, what’s stopping you? Or let me rephrase the question: why aren’t you doing it today? Six months ago I was in a bad place, feeling (at nearly 300 lbs) both as large as I’ve ever been and, at the same time, as small as I’ve ever been. A small amount of self-confidence, a small amount of pride.

The changes I made in my life were miniscule, in retrospect. They were the common sense corrections that each of us understand is the game plan for successful weight loss… eating less, eating healthier, exercising more. It really doesn’t have to be any more complex than that, but you’ve got to feel it somewhere deeper than your head or your heart. You’ve gotta reach down and find the “want-to” that’s going to power you past every roadblock, every hurdle, every barricade that stands between you and your goals.

If you’re here, reading these words, then chances are you’ve been talking this over with yourself for quite some time, debating your future with your full-figured reflection. Maybe even talking with others about this journey you know in your heart you need to make. Talking’s all well and good, my friend, but I invite you to start walking the walk. Start owning up to the challenge that’s right there in front of you. Start putting your health and happiness as the #1 priority on your to-do list.

When you’re down in a dark hole gripping tightly to a shovel, there’s an illogical, unreasonable temptation to dig, even though digging can’t get you back to safety and can only make a perilous predicament even worse. Now’s the time for you to set aside the spade, take a deep, cleansing breath and start making that long climb back into the sunshine. Climbing is hard work, to be sure, but you know what?

So is digging.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Welcome to Corn Dog Warehouse...

“Welcome to Corn Dog Warehouse, home of King Corng, the World’s Largest Man-Made Corn Dog. May I take your order?”

“Wow, that’s a mouthful. Do you have to say that to everyone?”

“Yes sir. Can I interest you a Colossal Corny Corn Dog Combo, it’s just $3.99.”

“Actually, I’m looking for something a little lighter…”

“How about our Junior Corndog Classic? It’s four feet of meat-and-cornmeal value meal deal.”

“Tempting… but I’m watching my diet.”

“Well, there’s our Crispy Cod Dog with a Candied Corn-on-the-Cob.”

“I don’t know…”

“It comes with our Bottomless Tub o’ Tartar.”

“That’s a no-go. Ummm, can you get the Whirly Curly Chili Cheese Fries without cheese?”

“No sir.”

“Why not?”

“Well, the fries are made of cheese.”

“Okay, do the Awesomely OuttaSite Onion Rings have onions in them?”

“Duh, they’re called Onion Rings…”

“But do they have onions in them?”

“Sir, they’re onion rings…”

“But if I cut off the crusty coating, will I find a ring of onion inside?”

“No sir.”

“What’s your soup de jour?”

“That’s our soup of the day.”

“Okay, what is it?”

“Today’s soup is Cornball Classic.”

“I get the ‘corn,’ but what’s the ‘ball’?”

“Ummmm… a ball of lard.”

“Pass. Do you have anything even halfway healthy?”

“Sure, we’ve got the Corndog Warehouse Halfway Healthy Menu.”

“What’s on it?

“Wait, lemme check. Nobody’s ever ordered from it before. Okay… here we go. Salad-on-a-Stick.”

“That sounds tempting. What’s on it?”

“A lettuce leaf, cherry tomato, six croutons, four cheddar cheese chunks and two strips of crispy bacon, all arranged on a stick and then dipped in tangy ranch dressing.”

“Pass. What else’s on the Halfway Healthy menu?”

“Hmmmmm… Yogurt-on-a-Stick…”

“Sounds messy.”

“Yeah, I don’t recommend that one, even though it is non-dairy, ummmm…”

“What’s the Tofu-oot Long Special?”

“We discontinued that after that report that our tofu was actually made of tripe.”


“But we have started offering Fried Tripe Strips.”

“That’s it then, that’s everything that’s halfway healthy?”

“Well, we still offer our Meatless, Wheatless Eat Less Special.”

“That’s just a corn dog stick, isn’t it?”


“All right. Give me two. To go.”

“Would you like fries with that?”

Monday, October 19, 2009

No Reason to be Misérable

I ate ice cream in time gone by,
When weight was high.
To eat was living.
I dreamed that I would never diet.
I dreamed the scale would be forgiving.

Then I was young and not too bright,
And pants were made to be full-waisted.
There were no shirts that weren’t too tight,
And no dessert that went untasted.

Soon the tighter clothes wouldn’t fit.
And with a sound as loud as thunder,
My sweat pants... oh, they ripped apart,
And turned my job interview to shame.

I worked all summer on my weight.
I blogged about the endless wonder
Of putting less food on my plate,
And grew proud of each loss I’d claim.

And now ice cream, it comes to me,
But I can live my life without it.
There’re more important things, you see.
I will stay fit–I do not doubt it.

I have a dream my life will be,
So different from that hell I was living.
So different now from what it seemed,
Now that I don’t scream for ice cream.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bloggin' On My Noggin

Weekly weigh-in: 214.5
Loss: -.7
Total loss: 77.0 lbs.
Emotion: Steady As She Goes

I don’t have a whole lotta pontificating to do about this week. I ate well. I exercised every day. My glass was half full… of awesomeness.

And speaking of awesome, Jack Sh*t, Gettin’ Fit tripped 500 followers this weekend. I’m totally blown away by the support you people give me for what I do. The fact that you visit as frequently as you do, that you often share a link to my blog with your readers and the fact that so many of you leave such witty, heartfelt and supportive comments… well, it makes me happier than a tornado in a trailer park.

I write this blog as much to amuse myself as to amuse you, as much to make me think as to make you think. But I’ve been doing some hard thinking about this space over the past couple of weeks, trying to decide exactly where I want to go with this blog now that the heavy lifting has been done on the weight-loss front. I would proclaim that I’ve said everything I know to say about this journey, but truthfully… I did that during my first few weeks. All I’ve been doing is saying the same things over and over…
  • Eat less.
  • Eat healthier.
  • Exercise more.
If you go back over my blog, you’ll find those same themes repeated ad nauseum. I try to find new and different ways of saying the same things, but make no mistake about it, I pretty much say the same thing over and over. That’s okay though, they’re pretty important things that bear repeating.

One of the things I’ve given a great deal of thought to recently is the mix of posts. Right now, I do some serious, some goofy, some really goofy and some really incredibly goofy. You’d think that the positive feedback I receive from the serious posts I write would make me shift the tone of this blog to a more no-nonsense one. The truth of the matter is that those posts can just wipe me out. They take five times longer to write and they just drain me emotionally sometimes.

I also like to think that most of my readers come back so often because… dammit, this journey is hard enough without being all mopey about it all the time. It’s okay to laugh a little as we try to improve ourselves. It’s okay for us to call ourselves “lardass,” even if we don’t appreciate it from others.

Anyway, I’d be curious to hear any thoughts you might have on the subject. I realize that this is “my” blog and I can do whatever the hell I want to do, but I’m writing this crapola for you too, so I want you to show a little ownership.

Where do I go from here?


Saturday, October 17, 2009

You Arrrrre Gettttting Verrrrrrry Sleeeeeeeepy…

Your eyelids are gettttttinng verrrrrry heeeeeavvvvvvy…

Now take a deep breath ... exhale ... and relax .... you have no place else to be ... nothing else to do ... just sit back, relax and let go completely ... you are here to lose weight… to become healthier ... so just relx... sit back ... relax ... and allow yourself to accept all these suggestions ...
  • From this very moment on, you no longer have the urge to overeat or to endlessly snack between meals. Healthy, well-balanced meals satisfy your appetite ....
  • Rich, creamy foods, sweet treats, sugary drinks… they simply no longer appeal to you. Healthy foods taste better, and better yet, they fill you up.
  • You have an insatiable thirst for water, moreso than you have ever had before… you find yourself downing a glass before each meal. Clear, refreshing water tastes great to you now... you find yourself craving it more and more as each day passes ...
  • You will s-l-o-o-o-o-w down with your eating… you will chew your food thoroughly, perhaps even putting your fork down every once in a while. And once you quit eating like a speed demon, you find that you’re digesting your food more efficiently and you’re becoming full, even though you have eaten much less than before.
  • From now on, when you do snack it will be on healthy items ... no longer will sweets or unhealthy highly processed foods appeal to you. You will search out healthy foods and allow them to satisfy your cravings.
  • You will lose your weight slowly and steadily, not in such a rapid-fire fashion as it will do your body harm. You will find that you have more energy, a pep in your step, in you will. And you will put that extra energy to good use by increasing your exercise when and where you can. Everything you do will become easier … and you will want to do more each and every day to keep this ball rolling.
  • You will no longer eat due to stress, due to boredom, due to the desire to be entertained. No longer will you eat because you are tense, nervous, out of sorts or frustrated. You are done with negative eating.
  • It’s time to imagine yourself at your goal weight, calm, cool and confident. You are wearing clothes that flatter your improved physique, standing up straight and tall. You feel like a new person and have a new-found swagger about you. Get that image clear in your head, because this is the “goal” you. How much do you weigh? It’s not a huge concern, to tell the truth. You feel wonderful, you look fantastic. You can reach this weight comfortably, you can make this life happen for yourself. This is you, this is your goal ... this is what you will become if you follow all of these instructions, exactly as I have given them to you ...
  • Oh yeah… and when you hear a train whistle, you will hoot like a monkey and have an uncontrollable desire to remove your shoes and socks and draw on the soles of your feet with a Sharpee.
When I snap my fingers you will wake up, and won’t remember having come to my blog today.

Oh yeah… and you will leave me a witty comment.



Friday, October 16, 2009

I’m Sorry, Eminem

Hi! My name is.. (what?) My name is.. (who?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty.
Hi! My name is.. (huh?) My name is.. (what?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty.

Ahem.. excuse me!
Can you please put down that bagel for one second?

Hi kids! Do you like parodies?
Wanna see me take weight loss and Eminem and marry these?
Wanna copy me and do exactly like I did?
Get rid of yo fatted-up ass? Stick with me, kid.
You can drop this weight, get your life and head straight,
But you gotta figure out how to spice up this fat life you hate.
And Dr. Geoff said, “Slim Sh*tty you just aced it.”
Uh-uhhh! “You made it happen, man. You didn’t waste it!”

Well, since this spring, I've felt like I'm someone else.
No longer my original self, the big-ass with the too-small belt.
Finally got pissed off enough to work my man-tits off.
Put on my swim clothes and stroked it like Hasselhoff.
I eat a half-pound of wheat grass and work my ass.
Do I really want this? Hey, does the Pope pass gas?

C'mere, chub! (Sh*tty, wait a minute, that's mean, dawg!)
I don't give a f*ck, God wants me to get this weight off!

Hi! My name is.. (what?) My name is.. (who?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty
Hi! My name is.. (huh?) My name is.. (what?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty
Hi! My name is.. (what?) My name is.. (who?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty
Hi! My name is.. (huh?) My name is.. (what?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty

You tell me I’m done, but you just don’t understand.
Me? I’m planning my Spring Break trip to Onederland.
Yeah, I still wanna lose the most, sir. Clothes get a lil looser
Before I get off this weight-loss roller coaster (Wheeeeeeeee!)
Walk into Eddie Bauer, try on pants for half an hour,
Show my wife Anita all my new clothes and wow her.
It’s unbelievable, virtually inconceivable.
If I can do this, I tell ya, anything’s achievable.
Ninety-nine percent of my life I was too wide, too.
But now nobody wants good health more than I do.

Now my goal’s to be a fit and famous blogger.
Maybe even run a 5K one day…yeah, I’ll be a jogger.
And this blog’ll blow up and attract even more followers,
And we’ll try to turn around a few more donut swallowers.
So I’ll keep bringin’ it, keep trying to raise the roof, ya’ll
You do your part and support your favorite fitness goofball.

Hi! My name is.. (what?) My name is.. (who?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty
Hi! My name is.. (huh?) My name is.. (what?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty.
Hi! My name is.. (what?) My name is.. (who?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty.
Hi! My name is.. (huh?) My name is.. (what?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty.

Stop the tape! Fat kid needs the snacks locked away!
Dr. Geoff, don't just email me, COOPERATE!
Not ready to start yet, is it too scary to diet?
Haven’t got much to say, but I’m too noisy to stay quiet.
Give folks advice? Hell, yeah–I’ll try it.
Feel like you're flounderin’, seem like you’re strayin’?
No clue at all on your next weigh-in?
It’s time to get serious, if you know what I’m sayin’
I’m screamin’ at you like Glenn Beck at Obama.
You don’t like me yellin’ but somebody’s gotta stop the drama.
I may use laughter, too, but I’m gonna stay after you.
We’re gonna get you fit. And if you think I’m gonna quit,
I lay awake and write blog posts in my head,
Hoping you get something outta the words I’ve said.
I'm steaming mad (Arrrggghhh!)
And by the way, when you see my dad, Horace?
Tell him I’m the one that backed into his Ford Taurus.

Hi! My name is.. (what?) My name is.. (who?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty
Hi! My name is.. (huh?) My name is.. (what?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty.
Hi! My name is.. (what?) My name is.. (who?)
My name is.. [chicachica] Slim Sh*tty.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Heart-to-Art Talk

About six months ago, I was dragging my hefty self down the home stretch of a mile-and-a half walk around the block when my portly, nearly deaf neighbor Art Deco waved me down (that’s not his real name, by the way; his real name is Arthur Deco).

“JACKIE,” he bellowed over the droning of his leaf blower (Art’s got a thing about leaves touching his lawn, so he blows them over to my yard). “YOU TRYIN’ TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT?”

“Geez, Art,” I frowned, putting my index finger up to my mouth. “We don’t need to announce it to the entire neighborhood…”

“I NEED TO DROP A FEW POUNDS, TOO,” he exclaimed, patting his own extended mid-section.

“Great,” I told him. “We can be dieting buddies and help each other out. When I feel the urge to drive out and get a burger and fries, I'll call you first.”

“GREAT!” smiled Art. “I’LL RIDE WITH YOU.”

In the days that followed, I invited him on walks, told him about all the wild and crazy smoothies I was making and clued him in on a senior special the gym I had just joined was offering, but Art wasn’t interested in any of that.

“I’M NOT PAYING FOR SOME FANCY-SCHMANCY GYM,” Art told me one afternoon.

A couple of months passed and Art stopped me on the street again.


“Yeah,” I smiled. “That was kind of the idea, Art. Except I thought that you were gonna do this with me.”


“THAT DOESN’T SOUND RIGHT,” I said, before catching myself. “I mean, that doesn’t sound right.”


“Ahhhhhh,” I nodded. “I think I may see the problem. Well, c’mon. We’ll try again. I’ll help…”


I shrugged and returned home. Things got kind of busy, and I didn’t talk to Art for a couple of months.


“Yeah, Art,” I told him. “This program I’m on is really working. The sooner we get you started, the sooner you can drop those pounds, too.”


So here I am, 75 pounds down and believing in my own future. What Art doesn’t understand is that this journey isn’t easy for me, isn’t easy for anybody I know. It’s day after day of dedication, of good choices, of hard work.

For people who believe in themselves, the hard road becomes less difficult. For the ones who don’t believe, the difficult road becomes impossible.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Six Months Down, Forever To Go

After revealing my before-and-after pics last week, I’ve had quite a few people inform me that “you’re done.” My mom Shirley started singing this refrain ten pounds ago actually.




That might actually be the truth, too. This week marks six full, life-changing months for me, and I’ll admit that I may really be done with the serious weight-loss portion of this program. However…

History (and keep in mind, all I have to go by here is history) tells me that the moment I drop the ball, the minute I shift my focus to other things, the weight is going to slowly creep back on. It’ll start with small things, small choices.

I’ll skip this week’s weigh-in because I went out and had a few too many last night.

I’ll quietly put away a pair of jeans that’ve gotten too snug (I never throw them away though; after all, hope springs eternal).

I’ll grab a donut from the break room because, hey, free donuts!

It may take weeks or it may take months, but I’ll essentially wind up inexplicably sabatoging all the good work I’ve done here.

That’s not me talking, by the way. That’s history.

But here’s the thing: my approach this time has been so radically different than it’s ever been before. I’ve never felt like I was on a diet, and that’s part of the reason that I’m not so sure I’m through losing.

I’ve never counted calories, though I have a good idea of what I consume over the course of a day. It’s not that I don’t think counting calories or tallying points or tracking food aren’t all workable ideas. It’s just not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and that’s what I was looking for: something I could honestly and truly live with.

What I did early on was formulate a set of rules that would guide me on this trek. At the beginning, they were stricter, more specific. The “Don’ts”, if you will…
  • Don’t eat anything purchased from a vending machine.
  • Don’t eat while you’re driving.
  • Don’t eat while you’re watching TV.
  • Don’t buy food at gas stations.
  • Don’t eat fast food.
  • Don’t eat chips.
  • Don’t drink sodas.
  • Don’t eat after dinner.
The strictness of these rules helped me stay on the straight and narrow when my determination was wavering and my will was weak. As I became smaller, these guidelines became bigger, broader, more complex yet more flexible. The “Don’ts” were replaced with grander ideas that reflected the bigger picture.
  • Think about what you’re eating and why you’re eating it.
  • Slow down… appreciate your meal.
  • Prepare it yourself and control what you consume.
  • Eating out should be the exception to the rule instead of the rule.
  • Sometimes you need to listen to your body… and sometimes your body needs to listen to you.
If you really, honest-to-God commit yourself to this weight-loss journey, I think you’ll find that it changes over time. And it changes you over time. Yes, yes, you lose some pounds and some inches, but you gain something substantial along the way as well.

I have a deeper appreciation for my own capabilities these days, a deeper pride in myself and what I can accomplish in the future. Escaping from that fat suit made me realize that I can really go places if I don’t hold myself back.

This weight can be… check that… this weight is an anchor that will pull you down, make you less than you can be. Even if your friends and family all lovingly accept you just the way you are, you’ll never really and truly accept yourself (at least most of us can’t or won’t). It’s simple: you can be better, and you know you can be better.

I hope you’ll embrace this idea that you’re on the path to a better life. Whatever tools you use… low carb, calorie counting, long-distance running, lap band… whatever the tools, remember that the real key to the deal is to find a lifestyle that you can live with and start living with it.

Start living with it.

Me? I’m just getting started.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Still More Regrettable Comments I’ve Left on Weight Loss Blogs

  • “Honey, you put the ‘moo’ in ‘mumu’.”
  • “Stranger things have happened. Hey, I dated my first cousin for two years.”
  • “I’ve going to be honest with you: you’re ugly.”
  • “Welcome to Fatville. Population: You.”
  • “Do what I do: steal office supplies and sell them on Ebay.”
  • “Well, it’s obvious to me your son is gay.”
  • “VISA 0045875893838430 Expires 7/10. Security code 424.”
  • “Your stupid.”
  • “Well, as it says in the Bible, ‘Show me the money!’”
  • “Next time, why don’t you try ordering the McCelery?”
  • “I’m not going to sugar-coat my comments, because then you’d probably lick the computer screen and short the whole thing out.”
  • “Don’t worry about it. Some women find impotence to be a real turn-on.”
  • “What you need to do is just calm down, take a deep breath and relax. Plus, shut the f*ck up.”
  • “10,000 calories a day sounds about right…”
  • “Maybe your husband is just a lot smarter than you.”
  • “I’m just gonna type “dumbass x 12” to save myself some typing…”
  • “If you feel chest pains while you're working out, you know you're on the right track.”
  • “That last comment I made was supposed to be ‘anonymous’.”
  • “They say if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. So, about your picture: ___________________________________.”
  • “ROTFLMAO at your pain and suffering.”
  • “If you can’t beat ‘em, out eat ‘em.”
  • “Yes, cannibalism is ‘wrong’, but all I’m saying is I have some really tasty recipes if you want ‘em.”

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Time Dieter's Wife

Monday, October 12, 2009 (Anita is 41, Jack is 43 and 46)

ANITA: Sometimes it feels as though I am married to a man of the sea. He leaves me often, falls out of my world and across time itself. Like a submarine, he travels through unknown places where I cannot go. And there is no way of knowing when and where he will emerge next.

You see, he suffers from Swine Time Flu, a rare and exotic malady that pulls him this way and that across his own timeline, leaving me alone and wistful as a young woman married to a traveling seaman. I miss my Jack when he goes. For one thing, he would have made a hilarious “seamen” joke right there.

Oh he’s not gone right now. Well, not in the technical sense anyway. He’s in the other room, zoning out in front of Monday Night Football. Oh, he doesn’t watch it every Monday night. Only if it’s one of his favorite teams playing. Or one of the rival teams to his favorite teams. Or a team that ever plays one of his favorite teams. Or…

“Anita!” comes a gravelly voice, and you can almost hear the pizza crumbs being spit out of his mouth. “Can you grab me a cold one? My leg’s fallen asleep.”

I sigh pensively. I can understand his appetite little more than I can his chronic time-traveling. What makes a man eat himself into a virtual stupor, to drink alcohol as if it were life-giving water? It is a mystery to me how…

“Anita!” he interrupts my contemplative soul-searching. “Could you bring me some more of that Chex Mix with the beer? You’re wonderfu…owww, my leg! Ow, ow, ow!”

I move toward the kitchen and am surprised by a stranger standing there, turned away so that he does not see me enter. He has a broad back, and his shirt is soaked with sweat. He’s dressed in workout clothes, and his legs are rippled with muscle. My first instinct is to yell for Jack to come from the other room, yet I pause. There is something so familiar about this fit visitor.

“Hey, Anita,” says the stranger. “When am I?”

I rush to him and hold him tight. “Oh Jack, you look terrific. Look at you!”

Future Jack glanced at the newspaper on the table. “Wow, I bet Present-Day Me is a big, fat slob, huh?”

Mmmm” I say, moving closer to him. “You smell good.”

“Yeah, I wasn’t working out at all during this period,” says Future Jack. “I bet you forgot what my sweat smells like.”

“Ummmmm, not exactly,” I tell him. “Present-Day Jack breaks a sweat riding on an escalator. It’s pretty gross actually.”

“Speaking of working up a sweat,” smiled Future Jack. “Why don’t we take this conversation to the bedroom?”

“We’ll need protection,” I tell him, and swinging open the refrigerator door and reaching inside. “A six-pack ought to buy us 45 minutes or so.”

“Grab a twelve-pack,” winked Future Jack.

“Aniiiiiiiiita!” came the hoarse voice from the TV room. “Beer me!”

“By the way, Anita,” said Future Jack, taking my hand and leading me away. “What’s long and smooth and filled with seamen?”

“A submarine,” I laugh. “A submarine.”


Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Large" And In Charge

Weekly weigh-in: 217.0
Weekly weigh-in: 215.2
Loss: -1.8
Total loss: 76.3 lbs.
Emotion: Large/In Charge

So there I was, in a place completely foreign to me: a fitting room.

As a guy, I’ve always had a pretty simplistic approach to shopping. I saw something I liked, I grabbed my size and made my purchase. Sometimes, it turned out that the size (always either XL or–preferably–XXL) was a little too snug, but usually it was okay. The fashion industry seemed to be embracing my former fat-assedness by making just about everything in double wide-load.

Now it seems all my shirts are too big, and I didn’t know what to go grab. So I actually went shopping and tried sh*t on. “Large” seems to be the size that looks least like a mistake on me right now, and I’m still not completely comfortable with the idea.

Speaking of “large,” I’d like to thank everyone for the XXL-sized reaction to my finally posting some before-and-after photos. I knew that I needed to do it, because I do want readers to take the “weight loss” part of this blog seriously, even if I seldom do. But I wasn’t expecting the outpouring of compliments and well-wishes that I received. Honestly, I was expecting a weight gain this week just from my swollen head.

Speaking of gaining, Chris at Chris’ Challenge thought that I hadn’t won enough feminine weight-loss blogging awards or told enough embarrassing secrets about myself, so he slapped me with the Gorgeous Blogger award, which has the same sort of blah-blah and rules as all the other awards. I’m supposed to tell you six things you don’t know about me, so strap in…

1) I once spent $120 on an antique G.I.Joe doll, even though I’m not a toy collector. It just looked exactly like me. I mean, exactly. It was freaky.

2) The first time I went snow skiing was with Anita and her family, who were all pretty experienced skiers. I took one lesson and then was let loose on the mountain. During the lesson, I just learned “The Snowplow,” which is basically just putting the tips of your skis together in kind of a pizza-slice shape and pressing outwards to slow down to a gentle stop. Easy peasy, huh? Anyway, our condo was at the end of one of the mountain's longest runs, and you had to take a lift to the top to get over to our side. “You sure you can do this?” Anita asked as we sat at the lodge and I drank beer after beer to steel my courage. “You can take the bus around and meet us there.” I shook my head, “I’ve got this.” As we were riding up the lift, I was sitting there in the cold, biting wind and wondering what exactly I had gotten myself into. Things started off okay, with everyone racing down the mountain and me trying to do my back-and-forth snowplow nonsense. But then a funny thing happened. I started picking up speed. I passed the other beginner skiers. I passed the intermediate skiers. I passed Anita and her family, who cheered me on. I passed dudes who were bent over in perfect form, their poles tucked beneath their arms (mine were flailing around like I was even drunker than I was). It wasn’t like I wasn’t trying to slow down; I was in full snow-plow, and blowing snow behind me like… well, a snow blower. I was digging in so hard that I was leaving a trail of bare earth behind me… and still I was gaining speed. And then, out of nowhere, I was airborne. “This isn’t so bad,” I said, and then a split second later, my mouth was full of snow and I was cartwheeling down the mountain, a giant snowball with arms and legs (the skiis and poles went who knows where). Anita said it was the most spectacular thing she’d ever seen. Who knows? It may have been what sealed the deal with us.

3) When I was young, my mother Shirley was a typist for a court reporter, so she had a sleek IBM Selectric typewriter that I learned to type on when I was very young. It was pretty sweet, let me tell you. You just brushed a key and it typed. By the time I was in high school, I was typing over 150 words a minute, so I decided to take Typing for a no-brainer “A”. Two problems: the school had just bricked up all the windows in that classroom because they were converting the building to central air, but the system wasn’t working right yet and (b) it was the last year before the school changed over to electric typewriters. Yes, it was manual typewriters (geez, that makes me feel really old just to type that). Anyway, the very first speed test, I took off and was flying through the assignment, just absolutely tearing it up. When I finished, I looked up and realized that I hadn’t made a single impression on the page. I basically had to re-learn to type in a sweat box. Worst. Class. Ever.

4) One of the most harrowing three months of my life began when I noticed a lump on the side of my neck. I thought I had slept on it funny, so went to the doctor to see about getting a muscle relaxant. “That’s cancer,” the doctor told me. “I’m 80% sure of it.” I made an appointment with an oncologist and they confirmed my worst fears: “It appears to be Hodgkin’s Disease,” he told me. They did a biopsy, and I got the call later in the week from a nurse: “The test came back negative. Please get in touch with the doctor.” With a deep sense of relief, I made the call. “Oh, you misunderstood,” he told me. “The test was negative. We couldn’t get any information from it.” I saw several more doctors and finally went in to have them cut me up and look around. Once they sliced me up, they quickly realized that it was simply an infection that was pushing the muscle up, which explained why the lump was so hard. Everything was A-OK, and I got a tough-guy neck scar that was extremely intimidating (“I got in a knife fight with some gang-bangers.”)

5) In junior high, my formidable juggling skills landed me a roll in the big school play, some crazy circus story. My best friend Van and I had to wear gold sequined Tarzan outfits and stand in front of the stage juggling in the big finale. Van and I had a bet on which one of us was going to mess up first, so we were both working really hard not to let any balls hit the ground. During most of the rehearsals, I was the one who’d flub up, and Van would laugh and laugh. So finally during the big performance before the entire school, there was Van and I out in front of the stage, doing our thing. I glance over for a quick look-see, and spot Van scrambling around. Turns out he dropped a ball and it hit his foot and took a wicked bounce out toward the audience. Well, I busted out laughing, but managed to keep juggling because that's what kind of trooper I am. What I didn’t realize was that I had backed up a couple of steps and was guffawing almost directly into the microphone that was on the piano accompanying the song. Anyway, my laughter basically drowned out thirty people singing on stage, and the entire audience just busted a gut laughing.

6) I’m sitting here watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with my daughter Pisa as I write this, which really isn’t a secret, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have guessed it (okay, you might have guessed it).

The next part of the deal is that I’m supposed to name 7 other blogs that should get an award.

I’m going to pull the old bait-and-switch here, and instead award seven individuals with my own “Really Sh*tty Weight Loss Blog” award which recognizes those weight loss blogs that have… well, their own special aroma about them.

Mommy2Joe at Did I Just Eat That Out Loud?
Karen at *Fitcetera*
Lucas at Petite Flower
TJ Renee at TJ's Weight or the Highway
Anne at Carb Tripper
Chris at A Deliberate Life
Candice at Life According to Candice

Allow me to quote the rules for the Really Sh*tty Weight Loss Blog Award:

First off, there’s no passing it on to five, ten, fifteen bloggers. You don’t see Kate Winslet get handed an Oscar and then having to go give duplicate statues to Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron and Phyllis Diller. If there’s somebody you really want to recognize for their sh*tty contributions to the weight loss community, please feel free to do so. But it’s not a requirement.

Speaking of requirements, you must (like the Oscars) write an eloquent acceptance speech in which you name five… no ten… no seven things you admire about the person that gave you the award. That may sound self-serving, but… well, now that I think about it, it’s incredibly self-serving. My award, my rules.

Congrats to the worthy recipients, and thanks again one and all for your over-the-top sentiments about the pics. And as Caractacus Pott so eloquently put it in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, "You'll find a slight squeeze on the hooter an excellent safety precaution, Miss Scrumptious."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Bad Weight

I’ve always thought that “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas was a poem that could easily (with a few subtle word changes) be applied to our weight loss journey. Written for his dying father, the message is one of not giving up, even when the odds look insurmountable.

Do not go gentle into that bad weight,
Our blog should burn and rave at close of meal;
Rage, rage against the piling of the plate.
Though wise men know that fat is not our fate,
Because dying large is not part of the deal.
Do not go gentle into that bad weight.

Good men, the last wave by, they do not wait.
Good men, the last wave by, good meals create.
A healthy dinner might have been consumed today.
Rage, rage against the piling of the plate.

Wild men who snacked and watched TV ‘til late,
And learn, at last, they put on pounds this way.
Do not go gentle into that bad weight.

Grave men, obese, yet won’t get their diets straight.
Blind eyes that lead them towards the buffet.
Rage, rage against the piling of the plate.

And you, my friends, there with your fat fate.
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray
Do not go gentle into that bad weight.
Rage, rage against the piling of the plate.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I’m Sorry, Billy Idol

Hey too-big sister, look what you’ve done.
Hey too-big mister, you’ve had your fun.
Hey too-big mister, ease up on supper, man.
Hey too-big sister, you know that you can.
Hey too-big sister, show me!

It's a nice day to start again.
It's a nice day for a “wow” weigh-in.
It's a nice day to lose again.

Hey too-big sister, you're just too wide.
Hey too-big mister, you’re commitin’ suicide.
You’ve wanted this for so long.
You’ve deserved this for so long.
Tell your fat ass: “So long!”
It’s a nice day to start again.
It’s a nice day for a “wow” weigh-in.
It’s a nice day to lose again.

(Pick it up)

Take me down a pound.
There is nothin' fair on this scale.
Just say a prayer on this scale.
And there's nothin' sane on this scale.
And there's nothin' to gain on this scale.
Start again.
Come on.

It's a nice day for a “wow” weigh-in.
It's a nice day to start again.
It's a nice day to lose again.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Back of the Blog

The Fountain of Youth

Imagine, if you will, that somewhere in this big, wide world, somebody actually discovered an honest-to-God Fountain of Youth, a well that magically restores the youth and vitality of anyone who drinks of its miraculous waters.

How much would that well’s owner be able to charge for a visit? $10,000? $100,000? One million? I can tell you right now that you or I would never be able to afford it, would never get within sniffing distance of being able to afford it. Super-rich sheiks and LA billionaires would snap up the magic waters for their own personal indulgence. For you, it would be worse than the Fountain of Youth never having been found, because you would know that it was out there, yet would never have access to its recuperative gifts.

But today I come bearing remarkable news: you do have access to the Fountain of Youth. In fact, you’re on your way to lapping up those transcendental waters even as you read this, because this weight-loss journey you’re on is also a trip back in time as far as your body goes. You are on your way to luxuriously soaking in that enchanted pool and drinking in its extraordinary power.

Check out the before and after pics of anyone that’s ever dropped a great deal of weight. In almost every instance, besides looking thinner and fitter, those individuals look healthier, happier and years younger. I’ve started getting those comments, too, especially from folks I haven’t seen in quite some time.

“Wow, you look good.”

“You’re lookin’ fit.”

“You look ten years younger.”

My point? It’s simple: if a real Fountain of Youth existed, you would move heaven and earth… beg, borrow and steal in all likelihood… in an attempt to acquire its magical offering, yet you would almost certainly be denied access to its life-changing qualities.

However, you have it within yourself to unlock the gate to your own personal Fountain of Youth. Be successful on this weight loss journey and you will feel years younger. Conquer your battle with the scale and people will tell you that it looks as though Father Time has hit the “rewind” button.

This isn’t an uncertain quest for a mythical monolith; it’s a virtual certainty, and it’s something that each and every one of us has in their power to achieve.

You have the roadmap. You know exactly what it will take in order to be successful. There is nothing or no one holding you back. And the reward… health, youth, vitality… would seem to be worth whatever effort or hardship you must endure to attain it.

The Fountain of Youth.

It’s waiting there for you to uncover.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An Over-the-Top Challenge

Chris at A Deliberate Life recently singled me out for an “Over the Top” award with the specific challenge that I had to find a way to make the one-word answers to this somewhat pedestrian questionnaire halfway interesting (actually, a few others tagged me with this one as well, but Chris had to go and make a big to-do about it with the big challenge and all). After struggling with it for almost a minute, I decided to handle this the same way my credit card company would: say anything I want and add a sh*tload of asterisks and disclaimers.*

1. Where is your cell phone? off*
2. Your hair? haircut*
3. Your mother? birthday*
4. Your father? four*
5. Your favorite food? sushi*
6. Your dream last night? mazes*
7. Your favorite drink? Macchiato*
8. Your dream/goal? no*
9. What room are you in? spicy*
10. Your hobby? writing*
11. Your fear? kids*
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? fit*
13. Where were you last night? basketball*
14. Something that you aren't? flexible*
15. Muffins? dentist*
16. Wish list item? robots*
17. Where did you grow up? Memphis*
18. Last thing you did? multitasked*
19. What are you wearing? jeans*
20. Your TV? three*
21.Your pets? numerous*
22. Friends? competitive*
23. Your life? busy*
24. Your mood? pretty*
25. Missing someone? robust*
26. Vehicle? Batmobile*
27. Something you’re not wearing? Sinatra*
28. Your favorite store? Costco*
29. Your favorite color? black*
30. When was the last time you laughed? this*
31. Last time you cried? movie*
32. Your best friend? Anita*
33. One place that I go to over and over? gym*
34. One person who emails me regularly? Geoff*
35. Favorite place to eat? home*

1. *Where is your cell phone? It’s probably in my car, turned off. I’m not a big cell phone guy. I looked all over for one that only make outgoing calls–wouldn’t even accept incoming calls. I probably wouldn’t even have one if it wasn’t the tether I use to keep track of my kids. And I’m still not sure I believe my 17-year-old’s explanation that “sexting” stands for “study texting” and that she has to do it for school.
2. *Your hair? Luckily, I think I got my grandfather’s hair. He got a haircut every two weeks until he died (after which, he went down to once a month). I got mine cut last weekend, and the stylist always stops in the middle and kinda makes a face. “Don’t try to make any sense out of it,” I tell her. “Just go for low maintenance and try to make me not look like a psycho hillbilly.”
3. *Your mother? Shirley still gives me a lot of grief because I forgot her birthday a couple of years ago. I didn’t forget to call her. I just forgot that it was her birthday when I called her. She was waiting for the birthday greeting and I was complaining about the kids or work or something. Finally, she realized that I had no idea what day it was. My advice to you? Don’t ever do that.
4. *Your father? Horace doesn’t care if I forget his birthday or not, but I never do because it’s four days after Shirley’s.
5. *Your favorite food? I love Indian and Thai food (not mixed together, stupid), but based on how much of it I eat, I’d probably have to say that sushi tops the ranking right now. There’s nothing quite like riding the Wasabi Express… Woooo wooooooo!
6. *Your dream last night? I seem to dream a lot about mazes, big buildings were I get turned around and can’t find my way. Can’t imagine what that might possibly mean…
7. *Your favorite drink? Before I ditched my coffee habit, my favorite drink was a Starbuck’s Caramel Macchiato, which was basically a cup of coffee with a Milky Way bar melted inside and whipped cream on top. I know, it’s hard to imagine that I was ever obese.
8. *Your dream/goal? I’m pretty adamant that I have no set goal in mind on the weight-loss front. I honestly believe I’ll know it when I see it. But I will say that I’m lighter today than I’ve been in probably 25 years… and I’m still having consistently good losses.
9. *What room are you in? My daughter Pisa and her friend had set up a tent in the backyard and had adorned it with all kinds of decorations. When I poked my head in to look, Pisa said “Welcome to our Spicy Crib.” When we converted an old guest room into a media center with big-screen TV and big comfy chairs, we dubbed it The Spicy Crib and even put a plaque on the door proclaiming it as such. It’s where I do some of my best work.
10. *Your hobby? I have always enjoyed writing, in all kinds of platforms and all kinds of different styles. I like writing dialogue, I like rhyming, I like experimenting with language. I just generally like playing with words. The positive feedback I get on this blog only makes me want to push the boundaries even farther. If I’ve never thanked you for that… well, thank you for that.
11. *Your fear? I think I have every parent’s overriding fear: that something is going to happen to their kids. I once read that they don’t let the Coca-cola executives who know the secret Coke recipe to ride on an airplane together, I don’t particularly like all my daughters riding together in cars (unless I’m driving). Is that morbid?
12. *Where do you want to be in 6 years? I don’t particularly care where I am, but I do hope that I’m still fit and healthy, still happy and productive. That’s all any of us can ask for, isn’t it?
13. *Where were you last night? I was playing basketball, which still has my family on pins and needles because I was lying on the bathroom floor writhing in pain with a pinched nerve in my back a couple of weeks ago.
14. *Something that you aren't? Even when I’ve been at my fittest, I have never been very flexible. During my assessment with the personal trainer, she wrote 2 times 4 under “Flexibility.” I asked what that meant and she replied “It means you’re about as flexible as a two-by-four.”
15. *Muffins? I think my dentist pulled my sweet tooth when I was younger, because I’ve always had a take-‘em-or-leave-‘em attitude toward cakes, ice cream and candy. At my fattest, I ate them, but not as much as the salty crap-foods.
16. *Wish list item? I spent ten years of my life scouring the earth for an original set of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. I thought my life would be complete if I ever found them. Then Ebay came along, and I discovered that I could fill my house with Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots if I wanted to. Sometimes the chase is more fun that the aquisition, I think.
17. *Where did you grow up? I was born in Memphis, but when I was young we moved to Memphis. I went to high school in Memphis, but wound up in college in Memphis. I married and raised my family in Memphis, but now we’re in Memphis.
18. *Last thing you did? I multitasked. I’m used to having multiple balls up in the air at one time. I’m uncomfortable unless my world is spinning, apparently.
19. *What are you wearing? I love wearing jeans, and am happy that I can wear ‘em most every day. I have started wearing more fashionable trousers since I’ve dropped the weight. Last time I was this size, I apparently got a little pants-happy for a spell.
20. *Your TV? I finally splurged last year and bought a big-screen TV. It’s great, even though it takes three remotes and an advanced electronics degree to watch a DVD.
21. *Your pets? Since we moved into our current home, my family has had numerous pets, including horses, chickens, dogs, gerbils, cats, a parrot, hamsters, mice, snakes, fishies and a rabbit named Elvis Parsley.
22. *Friends? All my friends that I’ve played basketball with all my life are breaking down physically and are all transitioning to golf. I like golf okay, but only on weekdays during work hours. And I hate playing with them because they’re all so competitive and going “You gotta play the ball where it lies” and “Five feet outside the hole is not a gimme.”
23. *Your life? Hectic as all get out. Things are extremely busy for me, but it’s a whole lotta fun.
24. *Your mood? Feeling pretty bombastic, especially since I have so much more energy after dropping this weight.
25. *Missing someone? I’m missing my old friend Robust E. Conomy. He blew outta town a couple of years ago and I haven’t seen him around these parts in quite some time.
26. *Vehicle? I like my cars like I like my James Bond movies, heavy on the gadgets. If I could get attractive leasing options, I’d drive the Batmobile.
27. *Something you’re not wearing? I’m not wearing a hat, but I sure like the idea of wearing a hat. I see Frank Sinatra wearing a chapeau and it looks so damn cool, but whenever I try one on it just doesn’t work. It looks like I’m trying to hide a big bald spot like every other guy wearing a hat. Either that or a hipster geek (probably with a bald spot).
28. *Your favorite store? I want to say Whole Foods because I really like that place, but I find myself at Costco about once a week, dropping about half a paycheck. I think it’s because they’re always adding new stuff that I tell myself that I can’t live without, such as heated foot massagers or a half gallon of Mediterranean sea salt.
29. *Your favorite color? Black, so black that it couldn't be any blacker even if you spilled ink all over it.
30. *When was the last time you laughed? I laugh at myself all the time. Actually the only thing that makes me laugh more than myself is this (I know, I know... don't give me grief–it just makes me laugh, okay?).
31. *Last time you cried? I took Pisa to see the movie Marley & Me and we both cried like little girls (at least she had the excuse of being a little girl… I had to pretend that my appendix had just burst).
32. *Your best friend? My wife Anita, the only person I know who’s funnier than me. I mean, the only person I know who thinks they’re funnier than me.
33. *One place that I go to over and over? I go to the gym around the corner just about every day. I’ve really got this workout thing down to a great routine now.
34. *One person who emails me regularly? Dr. Geoff, from the Wellsphere Healthblogger Network, loves him some Jack Sh*t, let me tell you. He hits me up regularly, trying to get me to give him my hard-earned work for nothing. He’s a pretty shrewd negotiator; since we began talking, he’s upped his offer from nothing to nada, then from nada to doodley-squat. I’m wavering… I’m wavering.
35. *Favorite place to eat? I had a few restaurants that used to be my favs, but now I truly appreciate eating at home. I get what I want, how much I need and I seldom if ever feel like bloated crap the next morning.

*Note to credit card companies. Just kidding, my friends. Please don’t slash my credit rating.


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