Friday, July 31, 2015

Not Another Article Offering Weight Loss Advice

It never fails. As the winter turns into spring and summer begins to creep up on the horizon, the inevitable "Look your Best for Summer!" or "Lose those Winter Pounds" articles start to appear everywhere. These are in addition to the regularly run "How to Lose and Keep off the Weight" articles that fill up screen space on many media sites. Now I know why they exist and I really don't mind them overall but my problem with them is that they are usually posted by people who have never had a legitimate weight problem in their lives.

These articles offer the most basic of advice: get some exercise, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more water, cut down on your meat intake, add more fibre, blah blah blah. Great advice for those who don't have food issues but they don't address those of us who do and can't follow such simplistic advice. And it's not just these bloggers and such who spew such prattle, I hear it from my doctor, my pharmacist, co-workers, family and just about any other person who thinks they are offering pearls of wisdom because obviously I must not have gotten the memo. It's not that they are being disingenuous with their council, it's just that it's not very practical.

I don't think I know of anyone who has been battling weight issues all their lives who doesn't already know these things. In fact, I would dare say most of them probably know more about food, diets and exercise than the majority. And that is because we've been hearing about it all our lives. We've been on diets, many times popular fad diets, we've taken pills, joined gyms and hired trainers, read articles and other literature explaining how calories work and how to make lifestyle changes to ensure life long success, you name it we've done it. Sometimes I hear people around the office talk about trying to lose weight and what they're doing. Oftentimes, they'll repeat debunked myths like cleanses, spot training and different other types of diets that offer only short term solutions. Some of them aren't even fat! They're just consumed with bringing their body fat or weight down to some unrealistic level. Others you can tell are suffering from middle aged weight gain; they were slim during their younger years but are now finding that paunch catching up to them. I've seen some people I knew back in high school who were quite slim and attractive now ballooned up. I try not to be vindictive but sometimes it's really hard when you remember how rotten some of these people were back in the day. These people do not really understand the battle like we lifelong fatties do and therefore, maybe some of this simplistic advice is appropriate and helpful.

But for the rest of us, it just isn't. These health bloggers, I can't refer to them as weight loss experts, are generally fit and look like fitness models. None of them look like they've ever had an issue with food and weight gain so what's it to them to regurgitate a 1000 word article offering basic health advice? They work in the industry and it's easy. But what would happen if you pressed them on the issue? Could they offer something a little more helpful? I've read a few articles dealing with how to cope with cravings, eating out, vacation and so forth and it seems reasonable, for many. But when you have been fighting your weight all your life, it isn't that simple. There's a lot of guilt, resentment and anger to deal with. Those feelings of failure and inadequacy. You want to live like a regular person but you don't know how. It's not that you can't, you don't know how. And all those articles aren't going to change your thinking.

For people who don't understand the battle, they will never get it. It isn't as easy as just "eat less" or "get some exercise" or "eat smaller portions". We understand that. It's something else; something normal people will never get. I've said before that most people have coping mechanisms be it nail biting, drinking, smoking or overeating. Something drives that behaviour, something deep inside of you. Until that is dealt with, you may never see success.

Friday, June 6, 2014

One of the Last Acceptable Prejudices?

Growing up as the fat kid, I was accustomed to being mocked by other kids and bullied by a few during my high school years. Even after high school, there was the odd jerk who would make a snide comment about me in reference to my weight but generally this mocking ended by my early 20's. I assume it was because we grew up and this openly derisive behaviour became passé. Or it might have been because I have a natural frown and with my bigger size I looked like I might thump somebody who would dare challenge me. Either way, by that time the only real reminder I had of how society viewed me was that I couldn't find a girlfriend. Or at least a girlfriend I was interested in. I wasn't naive about how people viewed me though, the difference really was that instead of mocking me openly, it was done in hushed tones. Whether that was better or not is debatable.

The mocking of fat people has always existed, in fact, it's very common for fat people to ridicule themselves, to be the clown, as a defence mechanism and as a way to fit in. I know I did this and I know many others who did as well. Fat comedians use their weight for material to great effect, God knows what they would do if they ever lost the weight. Many black comedians like to use their race for material, in fact, comedians of different races tend to go that route in the quest for laughs. Women use female issues, people with disabilities or other physical issues draw from that, the list goes on and on. It gives us insight into their lives and the permission to laugh with them about it.

But outside of this realm, the only issue that isn't really covered by so-called politically correctness is obesity. You are not allowed to make light of women's issues, you cannot say "retard" anymore or use the "N" word. And all of this makes sense for the most part. But somehow, mocking fat people continues to this day. I bring this up because of some recent stories in the news discussing obesity. I mentioned in my last post the story about the demand for bariatric surgery rising as the numbers of obese people grow, and now there is another story detailing a study that has determined that those who lose weight are destined to put it back on again. Now everybody who has ever battled their weight knows this is a very distinct possibility. Most of us who have spent our lives trying to control this demon have been up and down the scale causing much frustration and stress. Most times, it's because you have reverted back to old habits; maybe you stopped going to the gym as much or at all or gave yourself permission to have that extra helping too many times. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that you did not sufficiently conquer those bad habits and now you are right back where you started, often, in a worse place.

As bad as that is, it is disheartening to read the comments section of stories like these. You can't have a story on obesity without the resident peanut gallery chiming in with their ignorant hateful comments and simplified pronouncements about what you're doing wrong and how to fix it. Comments such as "put down the candy bar", "get off the couch and get some exercise", "its simple math, calories in equals calories out" or "fat people just don't care enough" are not helpful and show just how ignorant and spiteful they are. Of course, the fatties show up to defend themselves but it's really just a waste of time. These commentators do not care why some people are obese, nor do they care to understand the underlying issues often involved. It is easier to just assume you're lazy, unclean and do not understand the concept of a vegetable. But its not that simple. And it truly is one of the last acceptable prejudices.

People are fat for a variety of reasons. Some of them are emotional, some are due to lifestyle choices and a very few are medically related. By lifestyle choices, I mean those who choose not to cook or make time to prepare healthy options, instead reaching for take out or the highly processed crap from the grocery store. These folks can make the necessary changes as they usually aren't damaged in some way which is feeding their habits. It's the emotional ones who have the most trouble.  These people are feeding an unmet need somewhere in their lives, they've learned to cope with stresses, abuse, insecurities or whatever with food. For them, it's not as easy as not snacking or taking a smaller more reasonable portion. I know this because this is me. Did I learn bad eating habits from my parents? Yes. There was always junk in the house and take out was fairly common. Vegetables and fruit were not the norm and processed food reigned supreme. But there was more. I never felt supported, loved or secure. I was always being barked at for something, was never hugged or told I was loved and after their divorce, my parents spent too much time expressing their hatred of one another. My father, while being a provider, was not a loving or expressive person. My mother was the same, so my sister and I grew up never having that close bond with either. It is something that affects us to this day.

Is this why I'm fat? It's part of the reason. There's more to my story but my point is that people who mock have no understanding of what is going on with us. And it's like that with anything. Don't judge a book by its cover. You don't know until you've walked a mile in someone else's shoes. How do you handle stress? What are your coping mechanisms? Some people bite their nails, some cut themselves, some drink or do drugs; we all have our thing. Can you honestly say you are any better than us? Just because you don't overeat doesn't make you the better person. I'm sure you have your thing whatever that thing may be. And I'm sure it's just as ugly in its own way.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Thinking about Religion and Overeaters Anonymous

One of the ideas I've toyed with over the years to help get me sorted out with this food thing is joining Overeaters Anonymous or OA for short. I've often thought that talking out my issues with food, listening to others relate their stories of success and failure and having some kind of support system in place might be useful as most of the people around me really don't understand or have nothing helpful to offer other than pointless platitudes and clichéd advice (yes, I have thought about putting down the candy bar thank you very much).

The idea of having a support buddy in times of temptation kind of appeals to me, the ability to call somebody and talk out what is going on with me at that particular moment might actually yield some benefit. However, the other side of the coin is having your support buddy calling you at some inopportune time when you really don't feel like listening to it. This give and take thing could be dicey, especially for someone like me who is, admittedly, a little selfish with his time. Don't get me wrong, I'm a great listener and I'm interested in people; why they do the things they do, how they think, why they think that. But I really don't have an interest in being available 24/7 to listen to someone have a crisis over a slice of pizza late at night after being out at the bar. I probably wouldn't make the best support buddy.

The other problem I'm having with OA is the religion thing. They've modeled their program on the 12 steps program created by Alcoholics Anonymous. I'm going to list the 12 steps here as presented on OA's website.

The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

  1. We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs,
Notice the overarching religious slant? If you are Christian, this is probably not an issue for you. But what if you are not? Say you are Muslim? Or Buddhist? Or *gasp* atheist? You can see how this program and its religious overtones were created back when America (and Canada for that matter) were primarily christian. With our global community now firmly entrenched, this program seems horribly outdated. And what's this crap about turning our will and our lives over to God so that He can save us from the double bacon cheeseburgers we so crave? 

Going over them, I'm okay with the fist one. I do feel powerless over food, it has a strange hold over me. It's the ultimate love/hate relationship. I love food and eating brings me so much pleasure but I feel such self loathing when I eat. The back and forth that goes on in my head when it comes to food is maddening. Numbers two and three begin the surrender and acceptance of God where Him and only Him can save us from the terrible food demons that haunt us. A problem if you don't buy into theistic thinking. Number four is fine, making a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves makes sense. Five, six and seven take us back into God country where we ask for salvation from our shortcomings and defects of character (defects of character???). Admitting to others our wrongs? I'm sorry, did we kill and eat babies in some hunger lust? Try to eat a spouse during sleep?  Steal slices of pizza meant for orphans?

Eight, nine and ten are ridiculous in this context. Make a list of people we harmed and make amends? I can see how some alcoholics may need to do this as they may have actually harmed others in a drunken stupor or rage. But fat people? Who did they harm? Too much cheese on that pizza send them into a gooey psychotic episode where lives were endangered? Was the garbage man injured on the job while collecting that enormous pile of pizza boxes stacked at the end of your driveway? Silliness. Finally, eleven and twelve return to the God thing and again, if you are not a believer in such things, well...

I did a little research (I cannot stress enough the word "little") and found out that the religious thing does play a large role in meetings with many members being quite militant in their beliefs about the 12 steps and how God is central to their success. This flies in the face of what OA itself proclaims on its website about not being a religious organization. Sure, they are not advocating a particular religion but you can't deny the Christian slant to everything they do. Some former participants reported the heavy handedness of religion and prayers ending each meeting which made them uncomfortable and they did not return. As an atheist, I know I couldn't sit there and listen to them talk about surrendering themselves to some imaginary being in the sky because they can't find the will power to make it happen on their own. A better approach might be to help people find that will power, to encourage them and teach them how to tear down their toxic relationship with food and rebuild that relationship in a healthy productive manner. Showing them that they aren't defective people with terrible shortcomings who need to apologize to others for being fat. 

I don't know what kind of success rates an organization like this actually has. I've read that AA doesn't really have that great of a success rate either, I guess it depends who you ask. I'm still curious about OA and whether it might be of some benefit to me, but I have too many questions and concerns at this time. And from what I've read about it, I'm not sure I want to find out.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bariatric Surgery On The Rise

I watched a news report this evening on the CBC about the huge leap in bariatric surgeries over the past few years and was rather alarmed at the attitudes of the doctors they spoke to. Now I have documented my experiences with this invasive procedure here, here, here and here. If you haven't read it and you are considering this operation or just want to know what it's really all about, you need to do so now.

The good folks over at the CBC added the story to their website which gave me an opportunity to look it over again and I have to say I'm disappointed in the medical establishments attitude towards this particular "fix". The prevailing attitude seems to be that since we have the technology to perform this surgery, then why not? People are fat and getting fatter and surgery has become the go to fix for just about everything that is wrong with people so why not this? I do understand that some people are in seriously bad condition due to their weight and surgery may be necessary to save their lives, but you can be sure there are others who are viewing it as an easy fix to their weight problems, much like liposuction. The medical community is supposed to have qualifiers before they okay this procedure and I hope they are followed diligently but somehow I doubt this is happening.

Bariatric surgery should be a last resort, one made after all other avenues have been exhausted. There are simply too many risks and complications and often, the underlying problems are not resolved so the patient will continue their eating patterns despite the fact that this will be met with severe consequences by the body itself. Intense vomiting, which among other complications, wears the enamel off your teeth, excessive scarring, which causes blockages in your abdomen and could result in life threatening situations (like I suffered), and painful gallstones requiring the removal of your gall bladder are some of the very real ramifications many will face. Some don't make it beyond a month or so before being readmitted to hospital with a variety of other complications and the need to perform a reversal. Some die although that number is very low.

Surgery should always be a last resort for anything. Once you open up the body you risk infection and the beginnings of other problems you probably never would have suffered from had you not gone under the knife. The fact that this surgery continues to increase in popularity as an obesity fix is frightening. Back in 1990 when I had mine done, I knew of nobody else who had experienced it. I was given no support or therapy to help me adjust to the new reality I was about to be exposed to and certainly no information or insight into what to expect. They just gutted me like a fish, stapled off most of my stomach and sent me on my way. I know the technology is supposed to be better now but is the support there? Are they treating the underlying issues? Twenty four years after my surgery and reversal, my issues remain and I'm no further ahead in getting them under control than I was when I eagerly agreed to the operation. My fear is that this is becoming just another routine procedure like lipo or botox injections. And that is sad.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Complete and Utter Failure

I can't believe it's been over 4 years since I last wrote in this blog. At the time, I had gotten bored with it and felt like I was just starting to piss and moan all the time, plus I was busier at work and and was planning a wedding and didn't really make time to write. I often thought about starting up again in the years since but could never quite pull the trigger. But a lot has happened in the past few years, most of it bad, and it seems like as good a time as any to put it into perspective and maybe find my way forward.

First off, I'm fat again. Anyone who has read my other posts knows of my endless battles of the bulge and how much I've struggled with it. While I was able to basically keep the weight off, sometimes more successfully than not, it was always like walking a tightrope. My bad habits had not changed all that much, but I was able to temporarily find the discipline most weeks, and hit gym regularly, to offset my sins. However, by the end of September 09, all that went out the window. All it took was the loss of my job.

I had set a weight goal for myself in the months leading up to my wedding but due to the stresses of planning that wedding, plus some additional stresses from work, I actually came into the wedding a full 20 lbs heavier than I wanted. After a beautiful honeymoon in Italy (I highly recommend it) I returned to work and was promptly laid off due to restructuring thanks to the economic meltdown of 2008-09. Now, I knew that at some point I could lose my job; after all, it wasn't an important job nor could it be considered a full time job. It was only a matter of time before the bean counters decided they could save the $38600 a year in salary they were paying me. At least they waited for me to get married; they could have just as easily ruined our wedding. As it was, they just ruined the honeymoon phase.

I was trained in high tech, programming to be specific, but I hadn't used those skills in over 5 years. The job I had, while at a software company, was non-technical and the skill set required to work there in a technical setting was beyond mine. So when I lost my job, I had little to sell a new employer, especially one who was most likely feeling the pinch of tough economic times themselves. I had discussed this inevitability with my wife a few times prior and we considered sending me back to school in the event that the worst happened. I did attend an IT workshop to get a lay of the land and discovered that I would have to basically retrain if I wanted to re-enter the IT industry. But sitting there with quite a number of experienced laid off IT folks who couldn't find work either didn't exactly offer a lot of promise. So I went in another direction: business administration with a major in Human Resources.

Now I didn't want to go back to school so soon after having graduated with my programming diploma, but I didn't feel like I had a choice. So the combination of being laid off with no real job prospects, a looming return to higher education yet again and a very real concern for my future put me into a funk. And when I go into a funk, I eat. My entire gym schedule went out the window; I did go once in a while but my eating was offsetting any good it was doing. Stress, depression, anxiety, my life became a mess. I became quite sedentary, I was sitting all day in a classroom, sitting all evening doing homework, going to bed and then doing it all over again the next day. As a result, the weight starting piling on.

You know what the worst part was? I could see it happening and I couldn't stop it. I felt powerless. It was like my inner fat guy had been lying in wait for just the right moment to strike and completely take over my life. And once he emerged, that was it. The guy who spent countless hours in a gym, struggling with not snacking and trying to eat properly, who took pride in the way he looked in clothes, was gone.  Everything I had worked for had disappeared. Now, not only was I fat again, I was also unemployed with no job prospects. A loser.

I look back on some of my previous posts and I see myself fretting over 5 lbs, or over some bad weekend. I would trade that for where I am now in a New York minute. It was very real back then, those few pounds either way really bothered me, consumed me. But they're nothing to where I'm at now. If I want to be normal sized again, I have a long road ahead of me. A long, hard road. When I did it before, I was focused, driven. It didn't really seem like work. I ate well and lightly and went to the gym daily for 2-3 hours. I can't find that drive anymore. I still go to the gym, but its not the same effort. 35 minutes at a mid range tension on the elliptical and another 30 minutes on a treadmill. I used to do close to an hour on the elliptical and another 30 on a bike. Then I'd hit the weights for strength training. My diet is horrible. I eat salad but not daily, I eat way too much bread and cheese. And I do buy some snacking foods here and there which are promptly devoured. Yes, I am one sad puppy. Oh, and I'm still unemployed and there are no half decent jobs out there so I'm stressed out beyond belief. And you know what I said about me and stress: munch munch munch.

So there you have it; a brief update on what's been going on. But wait! It gets better! There's a little issue of a mild ischemia that has developed. If you want to know what ischemia is about, see this. I'll talk more about this later and how it's impacted me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Big Surprise

Remember me saying something about being vigilant and good this past weekend at the Bar Mitzvah? Guess how well that went?

I can't say it was horrible, but it could have been better. When we arrived in Kingston, we got checked in at the hotel and went to Swiss Chalet for dinner figuring it was quick and easy and relatively decent compared to what we could have ordered. I had this chicken wrap thing with fries and we got an appetizer, which is something I don't usually do, these chicken stuffed spring rolls. They were quite good but obviously deep fried. Probably could have avoided that. Afterwards, we hit my mother's place for a visit and threw back a few beers, I managed to not snack which was nice for a change. But Red was having a chocolate craving and we agreed to hit the local Timmys for a donut and some cookies, which I had been wanting for a while now. On the way out, I looked at the bag and said to Red, "What the hell are we doing?" She reasoned that we weren't going to eat all the cookies that night and while she was technically correct, we could have done without any of it. For the record, I did have 2 or 3 cookies and finished them up Saturday night on the way home. Oy vey!

Saturday was the Bar Mitvah, a long (2 hours) and painful event which I thought was never going to end followed by a Kiddash lunch. The lunch was basically bread, something called Kugel which at first glance looked like a nice pasta dish, but was a gross mix of noodles and raisins and whatever else, various desserts, what I think was tuna salad, and some green salads. Not having the expanded pallet of my better half, I chose to ignore the Kugel, which Red did try and disliked, and ate bread and desserts. I know, not a good way to go but I was hungry and dinner wasn't going to be until after 6pm. I did enjoy these things that looked like toast points which I believe was for the tuna salad, if that's what it was, but they were greasy as if basted in butter or something so they probably weren't the best thing to eat either. I almost tried the tuna, but to be honest, if they could turn something that looked good at first glance like the Kugel into something grotesque, I didn't want to know what they'd do with the tuna, and I wasn't even sure it was tuna!

Dinner was good, chicken with veggies, dessert was sorbet and there were lots of other desserts available which I didn't take part in, instead spying some cheese pizza slices that were set out, probably for the kids. Add in a few more beers and another day that didn't go exactly as hoped.

Sunday we were basically back to normal and I made italian meatballs in mushroom soup with egg noodles for dinner. It was good and filling but we still ended up hitting the Baskin Robbins for a treat that night, another hurdle in the road. Monday I wasn't feeling great, not sick really, just no gas in the tank, so i chose to skip work and stay home. This is always bad as I'm a compulsive eater when sitting around the house and I managed to snack most of the day. For dinner, neither of us felt like cooking and both were wanting pizza, so guess what happened? Long story short, the past 3 days weren't an example of good choices but like I said, it could have been worse.

Today, I'm still feeling empty, my morning cardio was long and hard, my legs just felt like they were in cement. Tonight is Cardio Attack at the gym and we're going so hopefully the class atmosphere will pick me up. Mentally I'm down. I'm stressed about my job, unsure of my future, and feeling like I just want to roll over and die. I was feeling so good Friday after stepping on the scale and seeing 213lb, a full 7 down from almost 2 weeks before, but the weekend got the better of me and I still feel like I'd like to indulge in something. Thing is, I don't have anything in mind. I don't really want anything, I think its just my state of mind and old habits die hard.

Its Red's birthday Monday and we're busy this weekend. Friday we're visiting one of her aunts for the evening, normally an enjoyable experience as these people are fun and nice, but right now, I'm not in the mood. Saturday is the day I chose to celebrate her birthday by taking her out zip lining and for dinner at a restaurant she's been wanting to visit for a while now. But the weather looks like its going to be rainy and zip lining is probably going to suck if its coming down with any force. We had hoped that after dinner, we might hit the market for a couple of drinks but even that is up in the air now. So my enthusiasm for this event is being dimmed thanks to Mother Nature. Maybe we'll get lucky and it won't be too bad. Sunday her family is throwing her a party, so much for taking it easy and relaxing at all.

I thought I'd miss my grapes after not having them the last couple of weeks but I don't. Keeping busier in the evenings with these cardio classes has been helpful as by the time we're done and home ready to eat, there's not really any time to munch afterwards before its bedtime. I do find myself haunting the kitchen looking for something to munch on more than I'd like, but its been slim pickings and I prefer it that way. I just wish I felt better, makes keeping myself motivated a lot easier.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

RIP triple triple

I had a rude awakening the other day when Red and I were discussing calories and the problems with losing weight. I have a habit of not counting my coffee or tea in my daily calories because I thought coffee and tea were basically free with the exception of the sugar and cream or milk used in them. Since I don't use sugar in my hot beverage and the amount of cream I would use is what I considered negligible, I figured it wasn't hurting me. Boy was i wrong!

Half and half cream is a killer in the calories department, approximately 20 calories per tablespoon. And I know I use more than that in a cup of coffee or tea, probably the equivalent of 3 or 4 anyway raising the calorie count to 60 or 80 in addition to the few calories already existing in the beverage itself. So imagine my shock, and Reds, when we googled the calorie count of an extra large triple triple from Tim Hortons, God of all that is coffee in Canada, and realized it comes in at about 420! That's way more than 3 tablespoons of sugar and cream each in one cup. Go figure that a fast food place would find a way to increase the calorie count of something as simple as a cup of coffee. I guess if McDonalds and the like can make a salad upwards of a thousand calories then anything is possible.

Thinking about it, it makes sense. Replace the cream with milk and the coffee takes on a whole different taste, same when you cut or replace the sugar. Tim Hortons coffee is highly addictive and people who drink it love it. No wonder when it basically tastes like dessert, so sweet and rich. People are always saying they put something in the coffee to make it addictive, to me its just all the cream and sugar that makes it so good. I've had Timmys with Splenda and milk and its quite a different experience.

While i was sick a couple of years ago, I lost my taste for coffee and switched to tea with sweetener and milk. At work, I'd use cream in my tea because I do love the richness of it, but when I'd order a tea, I'd get milk. It has only been recently that i rediscovered my love of the triple triple and thankfully after only a couple of weeks, I've realized the truth about its calorie content. This would help explain some of Red's problems losing weight and mine for that matter. I was enjoying about 2 of these drinks a day so that's an additional 800 calories I wasn't accounting for! That's more than a pound a week! Now at work, I've switched to 1% milk in my tea, I'd prefer 2% at least, but the cafeteria doesn't seem to offer any middle ground here, its either half and half, 1% or skim.

So this change should yield results in the coming days. I stepped on the scale this morning just for a look and it read 215, the same as last Friday. I'm not concerned really, as I did drop 5lb last week and until Tuesday was still enjoying those 400 calorie coffees. I'm still in the gym first thing in the mornings and taking a cardio class roughly 4x a week in the evenings so things have to keep going down I'd think. I did screw up a bit last night at dinner, we had a couple pieces of steak leftover from the weekend that needed to be eaten so I enjoyed those which wasn't a problem except that Red cooked up some Kraft dinner for her dinner as she's sick and wanted something soft and easy, so I shared in that too. Add in some roasted veggies and it was a bit more than I required. Of course I did drink one of my banana smoothies later on which I certainly didn't need, so while the day wasn't a write off by any means, it probably didn't help my weight loss goals.

Tonight I am taking a cardio attack class at the gym and I'll be enjoying some roasted veggies for dinner in addition to some leftover roast chicken so today will be good. This weekend we are heading home for a Bar Mitzvah and they're serving both lunch and dinner in addition to a dance so we'll have to remain vigilant and not blow the good work we've accomplished. I, for one, plan on being good.