Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday ye old fat guy, Happy Birthday to me!

Yep, I'm 42 today and about 210lb according to last Friday's weigh in. Am I worried? Kinda, sorta, no, well....yes, no.....bah.....I don't look fatter than I did a month ago so all i can assume is that my weight lifting regime is building muscle. However, I don't look thinner either so I have to assume the fat is staying. Pity, as I had hoped by now that my body would start purging fat while it grows muscle. My clothes don't fit any differently aside from a couple tee shirts i don't usually wear feel a bit tighter, something that does concern me. I do see some differences in my chest and shoulder area and in my legs and buttocks. They're subtle but they're there. I just wish my belly would shrink down some.

But that's asking a lot when I haven't exactly been great with my diet. I haven't followed through with my plan to purge bread from my diet, something I know would make a world of difference, and my water intake has slowed down again. I've allowed myself some Xmas treats at work and some chocolate and cookies at home. Mostly, it's just making me sick. I never thought I'd see the day when treats would make me ill but that day has come. Eating real food has forever changed my life, sugary foods and overly salted and greasy fare feels like poison in my body. My body craves grapes, pineapple, apples, bananas, veggies...anything else just doesn't sit right. I usually buy cereals like Cheerios, Special K, Corn Flakes and others like them, but the other day I bought a box of an old favourite, Cap'n Crunch, as a treat. What a mistake! I had a bowl, admittedly a large bowl, and threw up half of it. It was gross. Too sweet and fake tasting. What has become of me?

And despite all of these changes, all this good food entering my body, I'm still battling my weight! Maybe once the bread is gone, things will settle down. Doesn't help that I've made a few trips to the store for pizza slices the last couple of weeks. Nor has helping myself to Red's cookie stash. What's interesting is that I'm having no real cravings. In fact, I don't even want any of this stuff. I could do without the pizza, the cookies and the chocolate. It's not like I'm feeling any sense of satisfaction afterward. About the only thing I'm eating (which I shouldn't be) that does bring me satisfaction are the sandwiches and the bread! The rest of the bad stuff is doing nothing for me.

But real food is what I crave. I like it when we cook dinner. I enjoy fruit as a snack. I'm tired of salad every day for lunch so I've started to cut back on it, but I've replaced it with soup: chicken noodle, vegetable, beef vegetable. A few more calories but good stuff overall I think. But I think I'm eating out of stress. Work has me worried, as usual. I need a new job, something I enjoy or at least don't mind doing. I hate my job, I hate talking about my job. When asked how my day was, I can't lie. It was horrible, like every other day I'm there. Why bother asking? Oh sure, you could say, well at least you have a job. Whatever. Doesn't mean I have to like it. Nor does it mean I can't bitch about it.

I think i've finally gotten over the scale. It just isn't a reliable source of information anymore. And it depresses me. I still get on it just to see where I'm at, but that's about it. Need to up the ante after the New Year. Only 9 more months until the wedding. Have to be in shape to wear the tuxedo and look good. I don't want to look fat in my wedding photos.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday and the scale reads 206.5lb. Don't know what to think about that but it is what it is. I'm still trying to keep the scale in perspective, using my body shape, measurements and clothes as a better indicator. I managed to get a full 5 days in at the gym and my body is exhausted, and a bit sore. That should clear up over the weekend though. Been suffering through a headache the past couple of weeks that is on and off. I think its just stress.

There's a Yoga group at work that might be interesting to get involved with. Apparently the teacher comes in every Wednesday at lunch and i hear he's quite good. I've never bought into the whole Yoga thing, but I understand it's good stretching and core strengthening so I might sign up for the next set of classes whenever that is. They just started their winter session a couple of weeks ago so it might not be for a while. I believe i was told it was 8 weeks for $35 which is not bad. So we'll see come February?

We've decided to take a season off from Volleyball. We'll be taking the second series of classes in Rock and jive dancing and starting the ballroom dance at the same time. So that'll make up for missing one activity and its something we both enjoy. Instead I think I might sign up for floor hockey, I've been wanting to do that for a while now. Come spring, we'll get into softball again and probably leave volleyball behind for the summer season since it seems nobody shows up for the beach volleyball games and after 2 lackluster seasons of that, we've had enough. We'll get back at it come next fall.

Still feeling pretty good about my diet. Cravings still non-existent. I decided to grab a clubhouse for breakfast this morning since i ran out of fruit at home to bring and i was hungry. At lunch, i did hit the grocery store for some apples and grapes to munch on at work and home but decided the pizza slices at the take out counter looked too good to pass up so i grabbed one for lunch. I'm a bit disappointed for caving, but that'll be my food for the day, sans fruits, as I want to enjoy a few beers tonight to unwind after a hard week. So all in all, I'm okay with it. Could be worse, i could be enjoying the sweet treats floating around my workplace this week and next until Xmas holidays.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I wouldn't have thought that 2 weeks would make that much of a difference when it came to weight lifting. After all, it's only been 2 weeks. But my legs and buttocks are sore again after a couple of days back at it, almost like before when I began this workout. Granted I'm not as bad, basic mobility is still there, but I am tender. I chose not to do my leg work this morning as a day off from that might be just what the doctor ordered.

Instead I went straight to the weights; today was chest and back. I've dropped my chest press weight by 5lb and I'm struggling with that. Today was a bit better but it's hard. Again, only 2 weeks! I know you lose some of what you've gained when you don't keep up with it, but this was not a lot of time. Hopefully there won't be another crisis in the near future and I won't miss anymore time.

I'm anxious to see how this weight lifting regime is going to work out. I know it'll take some time; my weight hasn't dropped like I had hoped, but I think I'm making gains, the good kind. I'll know better after about 3 months I figure. That means first of February. With any luck, I'll see a definite difference in my physique and weight, enough to feel that I should continue with this course of action. I need to have a good idea of what I'll look like physically when I go shopping for a tux for the wedding. I'm not sure when I'm going to do that, the wedding is in September and I doubt you need to book a tux too far ahead, so I'm thinking late spring, unless someone knows better.

Foodwise, I'm doing well. I probably could stand to slow down on the fruits in the evening, even grapes add up calorie wise. But it could be worse, could be chips. And Red has some leftover nacho chips and salsa in the fridge which looks mighty tempting. Not to mention that chocolate almond bar that cries out to me daily. But the urges just aren't that strong these days and I'm happy about that. Nothing worse than having to deal with cravings that won't go away despite your best efforts. I seem to get enough from the grapes and pineapple I munch on while watching TV. Of course, if I could break THAT habit, I'd be gold!

I haven't bought any bagged salad for lunches this week. I'm a bit tired of it every day and I do get some veggies at dinner when we roast them. I know fresh is best but I've been eating salad almost daily for about a year and a half now, and I'm about done. I'm bringing soup, which is good, sometimes Chunky, sometimes just the Campbells stuff. I've still got my apples to munch on, they get me through the morning after my workout. I do feel hungry during the day, but I'm busier at work so it's a little easier to handle.

There's lots of Xmas treats around the office, some of it looking very good. But I've been good, aside from that cake and brownies I won last week, I haven't touched anything. My sister's family Xmas party was cancelled this year so I won't have to deal with her baked goods and we're not scheduled to attend any other functions that I know of. So it'll just be getting through the actual days of Xmas which should be easier. Xmas for me is a bad time diet wise, I know I'm not the only one, but I'm feeling pretty confident this year that it won't be a disaster like other years.

I like to think I'm focused and overall I guess I am. I have fallen off the wagon and then allowed that to spiral into something more (this past weekend was an example), but I haven't beaten myself up over it for a change. Maybe I do feel that I'm more in control now and that I'm not going to lose it outright. I can't trust the scale anymore, with my workout routine, it just doesn't register like it did before. It'll come down to how my body looks and feels, how my clothes fit, and ultimately that's what's important. We put too much emphasis on the scale and numbers, and when you are active, you naturally build muscle which weighs more than fat. It's hard to break that habit, but you'll never be happy if you don't. I'm still working on it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Back to the grind

I didn't write last week and it was intentional. I was busier than normal at work where I normally take the time (I know, slacker) and my evenings were spent in a tired funk, a combination of feeling exhausted and down. I did get on the scale on both Tuesday and Friday, my weights were 207 and 208 respectively.

Due to recurring car troubles and a late night last Sunday thanks to a Neil Diamond concert and some overnight guests, I missed the gym until last Thursday so that didn't help matters. When I did get back, I focused on cardio making it about 2 weeks since I'd done any weights. I decided that today I'd get back to my regular workout and get back on track. I did get some more positive feedback last week though which, while I don't really see it, made me feel a bit better. A guy I talk to at the gym mentioned that I looked leaner, that my body was changing somewhat, especially in the chest area. Now leaner might be a stretch, I'm heavier than I was when I began lifting, and I'll be damned if I can see any changes in my physique. So this makes 3 people in the last couple of weeks who've mentioned how I looked thinner: Red, her sister, and this guy at the gym. Now on the flip side, my mother was up for the concert last weekend and she hasn't seen me since about August. She asked me if I was still going to the gym which made me think she thought I looked heavier without saying it. Since I am heavier than I was the last time she saw me, by a good 8-10lbs, I'm more inclined to believe she thinks I've gained, and she would be right. If that's what she was getting at. But that's 3 to 1 in favour of me looking thinner and my vote doesn't count so I don't know what to think.

On the plus side, I'm having no cravings, no desire to take advantage of the treats that are being brought in to work this Xmas season, although I did buy some tickets to our company's cake walk last week and won a Snickers cake and a tray of brownies. Both were delicious although the cake was too sweet. After enjoying a couple of slices this weekend, I'm done with it. The brownies were awesome and didn't stand a chance of lasting too long. I polished them off so at least I begin this week without temptations. Aside from that, I did enjoy some nachos and salsa, pizza for dinner on Saturday and because we'd been talking about it for what seemed like forever, A&W on Sunday. But that's done now, we've had our fill and I'm ready to climb back on the horse.

Getting back to the weights this morning was exhausting. I switched things up a bit by mixing my chest and arm exercises together with the intention of doing my back and shoulders tomorrow. Normally i do chest and back, then arms and shoulders the next day and now I know why. The arm workouts take too much out of me and it makes doing the chest work too hard as after a few sets, my arms are rubber. So I'm going to revert back to what I was doing out of necessity. Lunges felt okay, that sharp pain in my rump is gone, now I just have to avoid a repeat of that. My right shoulder feels good, I'm thinking maybe building up some muscle around it has helped. We'll see how things go tomorrow as that's when it'll be tested.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Despite having what I think was a good week eating wise, my weight went up to 209.5lb. I did cardio all week instead of weights, kept out of the junk, even started drinking water! Now I know last weekend wasn't superb, but I've done worse. So I can't even begin to explain this one. It certainly didn't help my already fragile psyche and depressed mood.

I'm starting to wonder why I am even bothering?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

week from Hell

So the past week has been one of stress and anxiety. The clutch on my car gave up the ghost last Wednesday after a few weeks of rough driving. I had originally taken it in a week earlier but the problem had mysteriously vanished upon arrival at the garage. Kind of like when you're really sick and by the time you get in to see the doctor, you're feeling better.

Well, the clutch started acting up again and left me no choice but to take it in since my car had become undriveable. Of course, it was one of those things that takes down a bunch of other stuff with it, so I ended up needing a few other items fixed which blew the bill up to $2600, over half of it labour. I felt absolutely sick when I was told the amount, after all, I drive a 2002 Ford Focus, the bottom line of their vehicles. Just a couple of weeks before that, Red had bought winter tires for it as a birthday gift so that was another $500 give or take (no rims), and I had just had it in for a tune up and service that cost over $800. So that puts the total amount of money pumped into this thing in the last month or so at about $3900. I doubt it's even worth that much if I traded it. I seem to recall seeing the resale value at around the $5000 mark a while back when looking it up online, so at least I know if I sold it privately, I'd hopefully get enough to cover the remainder of my car loan. But Jesus Christ!

It just hasn't been our month, or last couple of months; a wedding out west we originally decided to attend but later thought the better of (too late of course, you can't refund airline tickets), so we ended up spending a lot of money travelling out there to attend that, the garage door was falling apart and needed to be replaced, the hot water heater and furnace both quit (though thankfully a few weeks apart), Red's taxes were reassessed for the umpteenth time and she allegedly owes more, my car issues, and I'm sure there's more that I'm missing. It hasn't been a good run and I'm bummed out. Christmas is fast approaching and while we've agreed to scale back the expenses, it's still going to be costly. You can't avoid it. A hundred bucks here, another hundred there, fifty here, twenty there, it adds up.

And my ability to save has gone down since the summer and we have a wedding to pay for. Plus with all the restructuring going on in the wake of the economic crisis, who knows how long I may have a job for? I work in the private sector and jobs are going south fast. My job can be easily erased and I know it. With the looming recession, I don't know how long it would take to find another job, at least one that pays a reasonable salary. I've got my name out there but nothing's happening. It's very stressful.

On the diet side, my weight remained unchanged from weeks previous so that sucks. Because of my car issues and no loaner or rental available, I missed a couple days of work and the gym. I did get back Monday and decided to go for some cardio this week just to burn calories and give my muscles a break. My glute is feeling better, not perfect but better, so that's good. I did miss most of my workout yesterday as my car developed power issues on the way to the gym and I thought it best to run it over to the garage right away, so another lost day. I've been okay diet wise, the weekend was not good at all as I let myself eat and drink some of my stress away, but aside from that, I'm fine. No real cravings or desires haunting me which is nice.

Red's sister was over last Thursday and mentioned that I looked thinner that I had in September when she last seen me. So did an older woman who works out at the gym and sees me almost daily. I have to admit I think them, and Red who mentioned it last week, are on crack since I'm up about 5lb since the first of September so how can I possibly look thinner? And besides, I see a not so flat belly protruding these days whereas in late August when I was below 200lb, I did not.

Maybe the weight lifting is making some physical changes in me that I'm not seeing? I wouldn't think so since it has only been 4 weeks and my weight has gone up, not down. But I am my own worst critic so maybe i'm just blind to it. I don't know. This week I'm doing cardio in an effort to kill some calories and see if I can move my weight. Plus, I want to give my glute a chance to heal up more and give my body a break overall, I'll go back to the weights next week.

Red's plotting a trip to Cuba for late February, she must not be feeling the money crunch like I am. I'm not a beach person, with this body, taking off my shirt and strutting around isn't something I'm comfortable doing. I don't care if others are doing it, I'm sensitive about my body and have no desire to show it off. I haven't been anywhere like this before so I don't know what to expect. It's not exactly my idea of a fun vacation, but it's something she likes to do and it's her turn to pick.

Maybe i'll like it, but with how I'm feeling these days, I can't get into it. I get home and just want to sit quietly. Volleyball isn't much fun, dancing is over for now and the snow is falling. I'm worried about cash, my job and my diet. There's a concert we're going to this weekend with her parents, my mom and my sister, but I'm not into it. I chose not to go to another one I might have enjoyed for next week and our Christmas plans have yet to be firmed up.

Truth is, I resent all the travelling I have to do at Xmas. Everyone expects us to attend their Xmas meal but we simply cannot do that. And my birthday falls 2 days before Xmas so we have to figure out how to deal with that as well. We only have 4 days to work with and none of the options appeals to me. I hate Christmas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My ass hurts. I'm serious. Whatever is going on down there is making my life miserable. I can feel a dull pain in my right glute when i'm sitting, when i stand it hurts, and i can't do lunges anymore leaving me to do squats, which for some reason I can still do painfree. A couple of other exercises aggravate it too, 3-point barbell lift, leg and knee lifts, steps. So how long did it take me to hurt myself? Well, I've been doing this new routine for 4 weeks now and this started last week so......

I was worried about pulling a muscle in my back, or my shoulder, not my ass. I'm taking ibuprofen but it hasn't done anything. I'm not in horrible pain, just a sharp pain when i try and do anything that aggravates it. Pain in the ass....literally.

I don't know why, but something the other day reminded me of a certain bully I had in the ninth grade. What's funny, is that I didn't just have one bully in ninth grade, I had two! I think many fatties have bullies at some point in their lives, some all their lives. I hadn't experienced bullying unti the fifth grade when I transferred from a public school to a catholic school for reasons I still don't understand. I think mom has said it had to do with our parish priest badgering her about it but I don't remember us ever spending any time talking to priests. We went to service on Sunday morning and that was it. But I digress....

I went to catholic school until the beginning of high school, grade nine, when we moved into a new house which happened to be in the neighbourhood right behind a public high school. And not just any public high school, QECVI, which bordered on the north end of town where the riff raff lived. The north end of Kingston, the city where I grew up, is the welfare end of town where crime runs rampant. It's an endless cycle of people growing up in the social assistance system and then repeating the pattern. It is truly a foolish soul who wanders through that neighbourhood after dark as random violence runs amuck. The north end is bordered by an overpass, on the south side of the overpass, is a nice neighbourhood where we lived.

Anyway, QECVI was the only high school serving that area so all the riff raff went there. There's another high school on the other side of town that while not as bad, certainly rivalled it for scum, and the two schools frequently traded expelled students since none of the other schools would have them. This is where I ended up going. I thought I'd be going to Regi, the catholic high school in town, where all my friends were going. It was just several blocks away and accessible by bus. But my mom reasoned that why should I go to Regi when there's a high school right across the street? Besides, she wouldn't spring for the uniform. Sometimes I think had I gone to Regi, I might have gotten a better education, some focus in life and ended up better off altogether instead of attending a barely functioning school where the teachers just didn't care and many students wandered around wasted.

Being the fat kid, I was used to taunts and did, in fact, have a bully in grades 5 and 6, but he was nothing like what I endured in grade 9. I met bully #1, Brad C, in art class. It was the last class of the day and he apparently had nothing better to do than bother me, ruin whatever it was I was working on, and demand money, which i had none of making my situation a bit more precarious. Bully #2, Brad S, was from shop class. This guy had a nasty habit of punching me in the arm regularly leaving my upper arm bruised and swollen. He never seemed to want anything from me, he just delighted in terrorizing me. I guess since I was the fat kid, and a quiet, innocent looking kid at that, both figured I was an easy target. And I was.

Brad C just harrassed me daily, wanted money but never physically punished me for it. I remember one day him following me down the street after school trying to antagonize me and when I just kept on walking, he eventually pushed me down into some brush and ordered me to stay there until he left. Kind of dumb but that was about the extent of it. He did manage to turn an old friend of mine against me, causing a bit of a fist fight between us one day, but his annoyance never amounted to much more than threats and taunts.

Brad S, on the other hand, regularly punched me in the arm, and when he got tired of bruising one, he worked on the other. I don't know why I didn't stop him or call for help, maybe I was trying to show I could take it. When my mother eventually seen the bruises, she lost her shit. But my mother is all bark and no bite so nothing ever came of it. My first year in grade 9 was long and painful and it couldn't have ended soon enough. For whatever reason, in grade 10, both Brads must have found better things to do, or another victim. I don't think either of them knew what the other was up to, I can't recall ever seeing them together. If I had of been smart, I might have found a way to manipulate them into fighting each other over domination rights. But I'm not that smart.

Anyway, it was a good 10 or so years after high school and i was coming back from a house party on Wolfe Island on the ferry when who do i see sitting in the cabin, but Brad S! We recognized each other right away since neither of us appeared to have changed much and I wasn't too concerned about him anymore. I was bigger than him, mostly because I was still fat, and I figured we had grown up and left that kid stuff behind. He was reasonably pleasant and we talked about what we were doing these days and I didn't really feel any animosity towards him. But then he noticed the plastic bag i was carrying, it was full of beer bottles. Unopened beer bottles I was bringing home.

With a sly grin, he motioned towards them asking what they were for. I told him and he asked if he could have one. Sure, I said, I'm a nice guy and so what? Right? Well, after I said yes, he suggested I give him 2. Right away I could see he was not much different than he had been at 14. But I still didn't have the testicular fortitude at that time to say no, funny how a bully's power over you can trancend time, so I gave him another. Of course he asked for a third which I gave him and that seemed to make him content.

When the ferry arrived at the dock, we parted ways never to see each other again. I remember feeling angry that I let him get away with that, but I didn't stop him. Inside I was still the quiet, insecure fat kid afraid of being beaten up by some bully. It wasn't that I couldn't have picked him up and deposited him over the side of the boat, I was big and had learned how to use my weight to move stuff, and people if necessary, but I wasn't assertive. So he won, again.

I didn't become more assertive and short of patience for idiots until i was in my early 30's and finally grew a spine. I'm still a nice guy and I always have a nice word for people, but don't piss me off. And especially don't try and bully me. I have no qualms about throwing people over the sides of boats now. Sometimes I wish Brad S would cross my path again.....SPLASH!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Back to basics

Monday. Cold bitter Monday. I'm not a fan of Monday, in fact, I don't think I know of anyone who is. But as my coffee lady told me this morning, "You can't have Friday without Monday." So true.

I must have a tear or pull in my right glute muscle as lunges have become quite painful. The pain begins in the glute and when stressed, runs down my thigh. I can still do squats without pain, but lunges are another issue. I got to about the fifth one when I dropped to one knee, I simply couldn't support the weight. So I'll try and not push it, and hopefully it'll settle down in a couple of days. I'm glad it isn't my lower back, at least it doesn't feel like my lower back, so I'm happy about that. I'm not having much of a problem with the bum shoulder, in fact, I think I'm feeling less pain although I'm still having some. Maybe all I needed was to build up the muscle a bit?

I'm back on track diet-wise too. I really felt I needed to cut myself some slack last week and I'm feeling better mentally as result. I upped my dumbell chest presses by 5lbs like I said I would to an even 40lbs. Now when I'm working my chest, I feel like I'm pushing up some real weight. I don't think I've ever pushed up more than 45lbs though in my entire life. It isn't that I couldn't push more, it becomes more a problem of getting the weight up in the air so that I can press it. To explain, you start in a seated position on the bench with the dumbells in your hands. You have to lie back on the bench and get those dumbells above you at the same time so that your arms are outstretched above you. Then you can start doing the presses.

The problem with this is that the heavier the dumbells, the harder it is to get them up in the air in the first place while lying back. At least with a barbell press, the bar is already sitting on the stand above you. Once you lay down, you can reach up, grab it and start doing your presses. With the dumbells, you have to get them up there in the first place and fifty plus pounds in one hand is a lot of weight to lug around. So I've never gotten past 45lbs and even then, it gets tricky. This is where a spotter comes in handy. They can help you get the weight up and steady you as you lay back without you worrying about dropping a dumbell on your head. I'm probably a good month away from getting to this point and to be honest, I'm not worried too much about it since I've been there a hundred times already and worse comes to worst, I'll just start concentrating on doing barbell presses.

I've never been strong at bench pressing, I've seen guys push tons of weight but I'm not one of them. I think I actually bench press less than when I was a teenager. This lack of chest strength is probably linked to my man boobs. For years, when I've decided to lift, I've always spent more time working my chest in an effort to build it up and lose the mams. But despite my efforts, I've never seen a difference either in size or shape. And the man boobs always remained. Of course, I'm hoping to change that this time, but you'll forgive me if I have my doubts. See, I know my body and I know the efforts i've put in before and the results I have or haven't seen. What I wouldn't give to have a nice set of pecs, or at least a flat chest!

Red said that she can see some difference in my mid section, especially around my rib cage. She says that there's some definition happening and I'd like to believe her, but I think it's a little early to be seeing any real changes, especially when my weight has gone up in recent weeks and my mid section is the first place (aside from my face) where excess weight goes. But its nice of her to notice and make the effort. She's my biggest fan. In fact, I think she's my only fan.......

I also increased the intensity of my elliptical workout, albeit only by one setting, but it was a start. It is a bit easy still so I think tomorrow I'm going to set it higher. Maybe go for 9 or 10. There isn't a whole lot of difference between one setting and another, it isn't until you jump a couple that you notice it. But I'm long overdue so it'll be fine. Just wish my ass would stop hurting.......

Friday, November 14, 2008

End of week musings

Weigh in today: 207lbs. Same as last week. Same as the week before that. Same as.....ah forget it. At least this time I'm not whining about it. As mentioned before, I gave myself a break this week dietwise. I didn't go nuts, but I didn't worry about enjoying something i might have wanted. Like last night, we had Subway for dinner, not unusual, but i bought 6 cookies with it that Red and I shared. And they were pretty good if I might say so myself. Funny thing, Red bought a package of cookies from the grocery store too. Oh well.....

I noticed something this week. As I gave myself license to have something if I wanted it, I found there was nothing I was really craving. Which was odd because when I'm trying to stick to my diet and not partake in these little sins, I find myself wanting all sorts of stuff. But after having some pizza, KFC, doughnuts, Harveys and cookies this week, I'm finding myself not wanting it anymore. And to be honest, I didn't enjoy it as much as I usually would have.

I wonder if the absence of guilt has something to do with this? Perhaps my mindset of feeling deprived makes me want these things more than when I don't have restrictions. I have to say, it's an odd feeling knowing that I can enjoy something yet not really wanting anything. I find myself still reaching for the grapes and clementines we bought, there's something unmatched about their cool freshness that keeps me coming back. Unlike some of the other items i've enjoyed in recent days. Maybe it's over. The wanting. The craving. I hope so, that would be a great thing.

I'm still hitting the gym doing the whole routine. I've started to add weight to the reps as my body gets stronger. I don't want to push it and risk hurting myself (again), but when you aren't struggling to get those last couple of reps up, it's time to add. In the past 4 weeks, I've added 10lbs to my dumbell chest presses, on Monday I'll add another 5lbs bringing it up to 40lbs from a start of 25. My arms and shoulders are holding steady, I haven't increased them as yet. I've also added weight to my lats and back work so I'm making progress in the strength department.

As for my floor work, the pain in my legs and ass from lunges seems to be on and off, but its not too bad. Adding dumbells to the routine seems to cause more stress and thus, pain. But eventually your legs get accustomed to lifting your own body weight and you need to add to it. I'm at this point. Besides everyone else I see doing lunges uses dumbells so I should too. It's been a month, it's time. Most of my problem here, and with exercise in general, is that I find a comfort zone and I don't step out of it. This is not conducive to increasing my fitness level.

Take the elliptical for example: I've been doing this thing for about 9 years and I don't increase the intensity which would work my legs harder. In fact, a few months ago, I actually decreased the intensity from "8" which was a decent workout, to a "7". I believe this particular elliptical has intensity levels ranging from 0 to 15. So I'm working in the middle of the pack, not bad, but let's admit it: lazy. There's no reason for me not to increase the level 1 or 2 notches for the extra burn and an "8" isn't really a hard ride. Again, lazy.

The stationary bike is another one. Since its usually my last stop before hitting the showers, I look upon it as a "cooling down" exercise so I go easy. Too easy I think. It wouldn't hurt me to increase the intensity of that machine so that i at least work up or keep up a sweat. But alas, I peddle easy and read a magazine, old habits die hard.

I read somewhere online a while back something a trainer was saying about how people go to the gym, do their routines, but don't see results then whine about it. He said if they put in some real effort when they do their work, instead of sitting on a bike reading a magazine or watching the TV, they would notice a difference. And it's true. I've always noticed people lallygagging along at the gym, more interested in reading or watching the tube when biking, walking the treadmill, or using the elliptical than focusing on the exercise at hand. And to be honest, I can't recall ever seeing any of them improve body wise. It takes more than just showing up and running thru a half assed routine. It takes focus and effort. And I'm just a guilty of it as anyone. I may spend more time at the gym than some of them, and I may work a little harder since sometimes it appears they've set the intensity at its lowest setting, but I could work harder.

With lifting, i do work hard, but I probably don't put enough effort in. But in my defence, I am worried about hurting myself. And I don't have a spotter. You can only lift so much until you require someone standing there watching in case your muscles fail and you can't get that bar up that one last time. But I do try. Really I do. My laziness is mostly in cardio. I really should put more effort into it.

As I reflect upon the past week, I'm looking forward to getting back to normalcy in my diet. Truth is, i'm just not enjoying the sins. And if I'm not going to enjoy them, then what's the point? And I have to give the diet and new exercise routine an honest chance to work before I declare it an abysmal failure. As stated in the past, I've got to get rid of the bread. I think that's the biggest issue facing me. The junk I can take or leave so that's not a problem as I'm about done with it. And I think I will add some intensity to my cardio workout next week. I'm way overdue there and anything more will only burn more calories.

I was talking to a guy in the locker room I've gotten to know a bit and he said something I've often said myself, "I just have no gas in the tank this week." I reminded him that while sometimes it truly is physical and your body just needing a break, many times it's mental and it's important to work through that, to get your head in the game. He agreed and said his trainer says the same thing. So working out is a mental game as much as it is a physical one. I've always known this, my headspace is my greatest nemesis. Always has been. I need to gear up again and take this thing to the next level. And I will. I will see 190lbs or less by summer, if not before. I will NOT be bloaty for my wedding pics. NO CHANCE IN HELL!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What? Me Worry?

Mid week and I'm in a weird mood. The weekend wasn't too bad until we got to Sunday. That's when it all went to Hell in a handbag. We had ribs for dinner which was a good start, but afterwards we both were craving dessert. I suggested ice cream and Red was game so off we went for a cone. That wouldn't have been too bad on its own but i popped some corn after that so the day was a wash. Interesting note on Sunday morning; i got on the scale just out of curiousity (i don't know why i do that to myself) and weighed 203. Unbelieveable considering i was out drinking Saturday night so it was probably just dehydration, but the loss of about 4lbs since Friday kind of reaffirmed the bloating argument for me. Sadly, i doubt I'm 203 now.

Red was out to dinner on Monday with her mom so i was left to my own devices. I grabbed a sub on the way home and then cooked up a frozen calzone we bought over the weekend. I don't know why i cooked it up, i wasn't hungry, i just wanted it. And they aren't very good anyway, too much dough, not enough sauce and stuffings. So another bad one.

Tuesday I missed the gym due to Remembrance Day and the gym opening later in the day and I grabbed a couple of slices for lunch instead of eating the salad and soup i brought. For dinner, Red cooked a pork loin with veggies, but after that, we ended up visiting the local Tim Hortons for doughnuts and cookies. Why did we do that?

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm in a weird mood. Yesterday I thought i was slipping into one of my bad moods, they don't just happen, they build over a couple of days then last for however long. These moods are dangerous foodwise. Like any stress, they tend to make me want to eat. This morning my clutch seemed like it was giving up the ghost so i decided to take it into the garage for a look. Oddly enough, it started functioning again normally about halfway there so i went straight to work. I did take it in at lunch to get some advice on what to do and they said just to wait and see what it does. It might be okay now so we'll see. Either way, it added to this weird mood and i ended up ordering some KFC for lunch instead of eating my soup and salad. Dinner at this point is still to be decided.

I'm wondering if maybe i'm getting frustrated at my perceived lack of successes lately and am lashing out. The guilt, the cravings, the frustrations, it's all bothering me. I've sort of decided to just let it go this week and while not go crazy, at least cut myself a break. I'm still going to the gym so all is not lost. Maybe i just need to get it out of my system. Sometimes you have to do that, just get it out. I enjoyed that doughnut and cookies last night without guilt and it felt good. I didn't enjoy the KFC today as much as i'd hoped but that's a good thing. It means i won't want it again. I do want a hamburger, perhaps one from Harveys. Red's been talking Harvey's lately too. Maybe one of these evenings for dinner.......

I'm not sure when to go tuxedo shopping for the wedding. I was thinking the spring since the wedding is on September 5 and wedding season will still be in full swing. My concern is being the size i want to be for it. I will make it, I'm determined to do so. But I think this week, I'm not going to fret, I seem to do enough of that. I need a vacation.....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Not seeing the end yet....

I think maybe I should give up on the scale. I just don't think that lifting weights with a side of cardio is very conducive to weight loss despite what you see on TV. Today I was 207lbs which is a half pound gain from last week. That makes about 4 weeks of gains in a row. I knew there would be a gain at first, but i thought it would start to taper off by now. It hasn't. And there's no way I have gained 4lbs of muscle in 3 weeks, it just doesn't happen. I realize its not new fat so its not like it was before when i'd gain, but it's demoralizing. I've been good, for the most part, I'm working hard at the gym, but still the scale defies me. What am I doing that these people on those weight loss shows aren't? They lift weights. I lift weights. They do cardio, I do cardio. They eat better, I eat better. Yet they lose pounds and I gain! I'm about ready to load the gun.

Now that I have my measurements, I can use that too, but its too early to measure again. Maybe in another week, but I think once a month would be best. Your body just doesn't change that fast unless you're on some radical diet. And I know that you don't see changes in your body lifting weights for a while. So I wait.....not so patiently.

I'm starting to develop some aches and pains and not the normal ones like those i had when I began this new regimen. For one, my glutes are hurting (that's my ass to those not in the know), and it started a few days ago. I think it's the lunges as squats aren't quite as risky. I really feel it when i step out to make the lunge, feels like my glute is on fire. I usually do my lunges without weights in hand as is normally done. I tried it on day one and it was friggin' hard. I figured I'd just use my body weight for now until my legs were strong enough to endure the extra that will come with holding 2 dumbells. Well yesterday, i decided that maybe i was taking the wuss' way out since i've been doing lunges for almost 3 weeks now and i should be able to do more than just my own weight.

I grabbed a pair of 20lb dumbells and went at it. My God! What a difference! With the first step, it felt like i had a small child on my back it was that much heavier. In retrospect I guess it was since I was carrying an extra 40lbs. (What does a small child weigh now anyways?) I barely got 5 done before i put down the weights and finished with my hands on my waist as per usual. For the last set, I grabbed a pair of 10lb dumbells and it was easier, but still, it made a big difference. Today I didn't use weights during the lunges, the pain in my ass was uncomfortable and I didn't want to exacberate and already touchy situation. I only managed to get 3 sets of lunges done as i suffered a pain shooting down my leg when i began the last set so i quit.

Also, I've developed an ache in my lower back, right about where my back went out last spring. It's not as bad as then and i've been doing my back strengthening exercises daily to prevent a reoccurence of this injury, but it's definitely there. Again, I think it's the lunges. My shoulder hates me too, certain lifts at certain angles make it cry out in pain, but I'm determined to suffer thru it. I do try to minimize the efforts i make at these angles but the truth is, no matter what i do, it hurts. It's been this way for months and it doesn't appear to want to heal up anytime soon, and damned if i'm going to wait another year for it. Aside from that, I'm fine.

So what to do? Well, I can't just give up the new program yet, it's only been 3 weeks. I need the muscle growth and the core strength and you don't get that from cardio. I admit to not being as good as i could be with my diet, or rather, lifestyle, but everyone's entitled to something sometimes. And I eat well overall, I should be able to enjoy a transgression here and there without being penalized horribly for it. I'm going to give it a couple of months and if things don't improve, i might be forced to return to all cardio all of the time to burn off the fat. It's not what I want to do, but i have a wedding next September to trim down for and I need to make sure I accomplish this goal. It pisses me off to no end that that I've been stuck at this 200-207lbs weight span for the past almost year. I was this weight at the beginning of December.....last year!! And I was 196 in late August! This has gotten ridiculous! I need to see something soon before I really start to lose it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We watched "Half Ton Man" on TLC last night. It isn't hard to catch one of these obesity shows as TLC seems to have become a one stop haven for human freak shows; everything from obesity to midgets, odd diseases, steroid freaks, lottery winners, you name it you can find it on TLC. We've seen this one before, it centers on Patrick Dueul who weighed more than a 1000lbs before being rescued from his home and treated at hospital, where he's managed to lose something like 500lbs with help from a gastric bypass surgery. It also featured another man, Michael Hebranko, known as the human who has lost the most amount of weight ever, over 700lbs, with help from Richard Simmons.

Dueul was in terrible shape, at his worst, he was just a big blob of humanity, a small head sticking out from the top, no neck in sight. He was bedridden and hadn't left the house in years, his wife Edie caring for him constantly. Apparently, he suffered some sort of medical crisis, I missed the first few minutes, and he had to be rescued from his home to be taken to hospital. This rescue involved cutting a massive hole into the side of his house to retrieve him and special equipment and vehicle to transport him.

Now I've seen this footage before and it boggles my mind that someone can allow themselves to get so out of control that it comes to this. But what really made my head spin was the surprise his wife and family had when this medical crisis occured. They were dumbfounded! "You mean he could die?" was one's remarks.

It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some people can be. When looking at Dueul's childhood, his parents maintained that Patrick never ate more than anybody else, he just grew faster than others. Then, later, they say he was always eating, that he never seemed full. Dueul himself maintains that he doesn't eat more than others, that it's genetics. There's a scene where the interviewer is questioning his wife about his diet and Patrick angrily fires back,"It's genetics!" as his wife just sits there like a good girl. The camera then panned their home and kitchen and there's junk food everywhere. Pizza boxes stacked up in the corner, chip bags, soda pop cases, all the signs of poor food choices. They then watch as Edie goes grocery shopping, God forbid she buy fruits and veggies, nope, she's buying frozen pizzas, pop, chips, etc. because this is what he likes. How's that for denial? Even while he's in the hospital, she brings him KFC!! Ya, genetics...whatever.

Midway through this horror show, they bring out Michael Hebranko. Apparently this guy lost a lot of weight through diet and exercise and Richard Simmons back in the early 80s and became somewhat of a minor celebrity. Sadly, he regained all the weight plus some and is once again super obese. However, unlike Mr. Dueul who is convinced his obesity is due to genes and not his poor eating habits, thanks to mommy and daddy and his enabling wife, who herself looks to be about a hundred pounds overweight, Hebranko knows he did it to himself. He admits at one point that after he lost the weight and was doing well, he decided to have a Nathaniels hotdog. That turned into 2, then 3, then 4, and so on. Then came fries, and of course fries need cheese sauce and there we go! It's like a snowball rolling down the hill getting bigger and bigger and more out of control. But at least he understands that he did it to himself, that he makes bad choices and caves to his cravings.

This brought a disagreement between Red and me, who look at this whole issue rather differently. For Red, it's changing the behaviour, it's all cognitive. If you feel the craving, talk yourself out of it. Ask yourself why you want it, how do you feel at that moment, try and understand what is causing it and beat it; thinking about food all the time is the problem, you have to change that. While I agreed with her to a degree, if I, and anybody else with an eating disorder, had to spend all that time thinking about why we want something in addition to the time we are already spending thinking about food, we'll do nothing else BUT think of food. The constant battle that rages inside us will escalate and makes us more miserable than we already are. But it isn't like Red doesn't know the subject.

She was fat for most of her life too. It wasn't until she was in her late 20's that she decided to do something about it. So she made better food choices to lose the weight. She cut out all the junk and fast food, she's always been a one meal a day person so she made that a good meal, and over the course of a few years, she lost the weight. No, she didn't exercise so yes it took longer than it should, but the result was basically the same.

But how is it that Red was able to change her eating habits virtually overnight and stay with it and most of us, including me, cannot? She watches me struggle with it daily; I'm a muncher, always have been, and she isn't. Thanks to my influence, she has taken to some munching, but nothing like me. I think she also has OCD so once she gets something in her head, it's pretty much stuck there which probably helps greatly. Red is very bright and informed but I just don't think she gets it. She didn't get fat by eating all the time, she just ate the wrong foods and lots of it when she ate her lone meal of the day. Plus, she's essentially a couch potato so she wasn't burning any of these extra calories off. But I've always been a muncher, I like to eat so I do it often. Even if its grapes or pineapple, I'm still eating. I grew up like this, she didn't. So she can't possibly know what its like to not eat. It's an addiction and I believe it's much like any other addiction: one is too many, and one is not enough.

Red can open a candy bar and have a couple of pieces, I have to eat the whole bar. When I was miserable over not having popcorn at the movies anymore, Red suggested getting a small, to me that was ludicrous! A small will only feed the craving. My mom says I eat things "to death". If I like something and get into a craze for it, I eat lots of it and often. It doesn't last long, but a few weeks usually. But I've always been this way. I can't just change the way I'm wired. Sure, it'd be great if I could be satisfied with just a taste of something, but I'm not. When we order pizza, we get a medium. That gives each of us 3 slices and we usually get something with lots of toppings so it's filling. But a part of me wants to order the large so that I can have more. But that's dumb because I'm full by the time I'm done with my 3 slices. Sometimes Red doesn't finish her 3rd slice and I'll eat it and that makes me quite full. But yet, I still want the large size. Why? I know I couldn't eat another bite, yet I'll buy garlic bread with cheese to go with it and end up feeling sick after.

I'm a logical guy so why do I do this to myself? Why does Michael Hebranko do it? Or Patrick Dueul? Addiction. Eating is a pleasant experience, one that I enjoy very much. I eat when I'm not hungry, I eat when I'm stressed out. I feel good when I eat, it makes me happy. Yet it makes me miserable. It only makes me miserable because of what it does to my body, if I was one of those lucky people who have lightning fast metabolisms, I'd be so happy. But I don't. I have to work hard to lose and maintain a decent weight and that means not eating all the time. And this is the problem.

I have the inner dialogue, in fact, I talk to myself all the time about my eating and my weight. While I've made huge changes in what I munch on and the choices I make, I'm still eating all the time. Even if I'm eating a handful of grapes or some pineapple, think of the calories I could be saving if I didn't reach into the fridge for them. I've done that and I spend all my time focusing on what it is I'm trying to avoid. It's maddening! I don't want to think about food anymore, I'm tired of counting calories and thinking about what side I can have with my chicken breast. Or what I should have for dinner because I ate a certain something for lunch. But this is my reality for better or worse. I wish I was more like Red.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Up again

Neglected to write on Friday after weigh in and didn't find the time to do it over the weekend either. Actually, I probably could have written something but the whole thing has been kind of depressing so my desire to write has diminished. For the record, the scale read: 206.5lbs.

Now I know I said I needed to give it time. And I know how this all works when you start lifting weights. But ferchrissakes, it's demoralizing! And what kind of effect did it have on me? Well, Friday was Halloween so there were trays of goodies placed around the office. Did I partake? Well of course! Friday is also the day our Marketing department has donuts and while I normally ignore them, this time I decided not to. So put me down for 2. Friday was also the day our group was supposed to go for lunch to celebrate the launch of our new platform, but it was delayed until Tuesday as some last minutes things came up and people were too busy. We were told early morning of this change and since I didn't bring a lunch, I decided to hit the cafeteria and get a club sandwich, after all I was hungry from my workout and figured it would carry me through the day. It didn't.

Towards the tail end of lunch hour, I was feeling hungry again so I decided to grab a couple slices of pizza. Finally the day ended and I headed home where I drank several beers in anticipation of going out to a Halloween bash at a bar. So in terms of actual food, I only ate a couple slices of pizza and a club sandwich, but in terms of junk, I went way over my quota. Not good.

Saturday first thing, we had to pick up our engagement pics and we ended up going for breakfast. For dinner was pizza and garlic bread with cheese. To be honest, I was physically sick after this. Too much food. I don't know why i get the garlic bread, greedy I guess. Sunday we made a shepherds pie which was really good. I did have a bowl of Special K for breakfast, a tuna sandwich for lunch and some fruit throughout the day and evening, but again, I can't help but feel I overate.

Monday I woke up ready to resume my regimen and give up the junk. I hope it sticks this time. There was a large shopping bag of Halloween candies left in the office that I was able to ignore so I 'm pleased about that. Today, the group went for that lunch and I had spaghetti and meatballs. For dinner, I might finish the shepherds pie, but I'll see how I feel. As I write this, I'm about an hour or so from eating lunch and I'm quite full. I'm sure I'll feel better later but I can't help but feel that maybe I should go light considering. And this is where it gets hard.

Should I eat a normal dinner or just find something lighter to munch on? It wasn't a huge plate of spaghetti, just a lunch size with 3 big meatballs. There was bread, of which I had a couple of pieces. I drank water so no extra calories there. I brought a couple of apples and a pear for the day so how much room do i have left in the calorie counter? It's harder to tell now because my workout is so different. How many calories am I burning off lifting weights? I know you don't burn a lot, so I have to compensate for that. However, you can't lift weights and eat like a bird either. Your body needs sustenance to build muscle and grow strong. On the other side, you can't eat like a pig either, its not like I'm training for several hours a day.

There's a part of me that is tempted to return to the mind numbing weariness of cardio for an hour and a half, but another part telling me to stick it out and be patient. Thing is, I think I look fat these days. I see a much thicker midsection than was there only a couple of months ago and it has me worried. But I can't go back to straight cardio, it's too painful. I like the feeling of my body being worked to almost exhaustion and I don't get that from cardio. I want to build muscle and be strong, again, something I won't get from cardio. Is the 25 minutes of cardio at the end of my workout enough? I know the calithstenics I do must be worth something, they leave me winded.

I watch others working, trying to pick up tips and strategies. I seem to be in line with most of them. We all do floor work, squats, lunges, weights, cardio. If it works for them, surely it'll work for me? Right? Right?

I finally took my body measurements on Saturday so now I have something else to measure against. I'll take them again in a month. That should tell me a different story if the scale doesn't start to drop. But I'm sure it will. I'm just bitching. I'm used to immediate results, patience is not one of my virtues. I'll give it till Christmas, then re-evaluate.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I stepped on the scale today, mostly out of curiousity, although I am due for my weekly weigh-in tomorrow and it read: 205lbs. So no change from last week. Can't say I'm surprised since I have no idea when my body will give up the retained water or when my new workout will begin to show results on the scale. I think it's going to be awhile so I need to accept that and not let it get me down. I still haven't gotten my measurements done, I did mention it to Red the other day and she was game but it hasn't happened yet. Hopefully by the weekend.

I'm wondering if I'm getting enough cardio now that weight lifting and other calithstenics are the biggest part of my workout. I'm in the gym for approximately 2 hours; only about 25 minutes of that is dedicated to cardio and that's at the end of the workout. I've been alternating between the stationary bike and the elliptical but I'm wondering if maybe I should be just doing the elliptical because it burns more calories.

Another thing I've been wondering is whether or not I should alternate between weights and cardio throughout the week. Maybe do weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday and cardio the other two days. It would increase the amount of cardio i get in a week but I would have to compress my weight workout into that 2 hour window and I don't think it can be done without speeding things up. I have tried cutting the resting time between exercises down so as to keep up a good pace, but it really tires me out after a couple of sets. I think this is referred to as increasing the intensity of your workout, but I don't know if I can cut any more rest time out without just going from one exercise to the next without a break. I'm already pretty quick moving from one to another and I just don't know. Plus, if I'm not careful, I could hurt myself and then I'm screwed.

I'm not sure what to do, I know I need both, but how to do it without spending 3 or more hours in a gym every day? I'm only concerned about it because of the great calorie burn I'm getting from the cardio which is unmatched with other exercises. But on the other hand, as I grow muscle, that will burn more calories in a resting state which is a good thing too. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism works to burn calories. Maybe I'm just getting impatient with my weight. Not so much with the last two weeks since the change, but overall and this inability I have to shed the 200lb threshold. I know I can do it by going back to straight cardio, but that workout is severly lacking and I need more strength. Plus, I really want to grow some muscle and fill out better. I hate the way my body looks and I know I can affect some changes to it, not all I'd like, but maybe enough to make me content. Then again, maybe not.

I thought losing 170lbs would make me happy, it didn't. But i think most of that was because of how I ended up looking with loose flabby skin hanging off me and man-boobs that won't go away. These things are so stubborn that when I was sick with issues from my stapling surgery, they were the last remnants of fat to disappear after just about every other ounce of fat had melted away. It wasn't until I was about 140lbs that I finally had a flat chest! And guess what came back first when I was healthy again? 3 guesses and your first 2 are wrong! There's a medical term for them: gynecomastia. Among the causes of them: low testosterone, drugs, medical disorders, and of course obesity. Now since I'm not obese anymore, I shouldn't have them, right? Wrong. Maybe I'm low in testosterone? Never had a doctor tell me so, so who knows?

When I had my tummy tuck done in '03, I asked the surgeon to perform lipo on them hoping that would solve the issue. It didn't. He sucked out some fat but without correcting the hanging skin, they remained and while they were somewhat softer (this is starting to sound like a soft core porn blog), the manboobs remained. He did tell me that time would solve it since he had sucked the fat out, the skin would retract. It never did. So I'm trying, once again, to do something I've tried in the past: do enough chest exercises to encourage muscle growth and hopefully fill out the boobs with muscle and make them more natural looking for a male. In all the years I've worked with weights, it's never happened and I'm pessimistic it will this time, but I might as well try again. Guess we'll see.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's average?

I find myself looking into the mirror often, searching for changes in my body as I navigate this thing called weightloss. Sometimes, I look bloaty, my belly fuller and rounder than normal, other times it seems deflated which makes my whole body look droopy and out of shape. My face seems to go from looking round to more angular, or about as angular as my face gets, then seems puffy again. About the only thing that never seems to change is my ass and legs. Even at my biggest, I never had big legs and a flat ass seems to be a family trait.

I really noticed a flatter tummy last December when I was first around 207lbs. At that time, I had lost about 20lbs since September and it really showed. I thought I looked "thinner" and so did Red, who before all this professed to have not noticed my round belly (funny how losing some weight can change someone's perspective, of course so is being blinded by love). But these days, being about 203-205lbs, I seem bigger than that. Somedays my body seems deflated and I look to be down a few pounds, other times, I'm bloaty. But the thing is, I'm actually lighter than I was in December and yet, I think I look bigger.

I can remember feeling really great about my loss then, showing myself off to family and feeling confident about my looks. A couple of people at work even commented on my loss. But now, almost a year later, I don't see it. Is it possible that you get so used to seeing yourself that you no longer see what's really there? Can your perspective be lost over time? How can I be lighter than I was before yet see myself as bigger? Could it be because I've been almost 10lbs lighter since then and my perspective has adjusted to seeing anything over 200lbs as fat?

I'm notorious for checking myself out in a mirror, windows when walking around outside, anywhere I can get a reflection. It's something I inherited from my dad, some kind of insecurity I'm sure, and I'm always judging myself. And I know I'm harder on myself than anyone else could possibly be, it seems nobody else sees the fat guy I do. And the engagement photos from a couple of weeks ago? Proof positive I'm pudgy. Now come on, nobody in their right mind could possibly look at me and not see a small weight problem. I'm hardly thin or thin looking, you can't miss the roll around my waist nor my wonderful man-boobs depending on the shirt I'm wearing ( I don't go shirtless in public for this very reason). Depending on what I'm wearing, I look fairly average, but to say I don't have a weight problem? Nonsense! I mean if you are talking about obesity and people who are obviously very overweight, then no, I don't have a problem anymore. But to deny I am a good 20lbs overweight? Sorry, but you'd be wrong.

I get this from various people in my life. My sister wonders why I'm still trying to lose weight. She's known me forever and has seen me at my biggest and my thinnest. She thinks I'm about right. Red sees me as about right too although she understands that need to lose that nagging 10lbs that seems to keep you in its devious grip. Her mom, a nurse and therefore should know better, thinks I'm crazy for thinking I'm overweight. Has being 20lbs overweight as the average for many people become that normal that its no longer considered fat? Have we become so conditioned to seeing people with a roll hanging over their belts like a muffintop, or a round face, that we think that's what we're supposed to look like?

I've always thought it was ironic that as I was finally losing weight to look normal, the population was actually becoming fatter, like a role reversal. Back in the day when I was obese and going out, you didn't see many fat chicks at the clubs, they all seemed thin and sexy, same too with many guys. But now, the club is full of fat chicks. And not just the middle aged women, the young ones are just as bad, stuffed into shiny or cut off tops that only exaggerate their fat midsections and rolls. When I was online dating, many women were overweight yet in their descriptions of themselves, they declared themselves "average". Average? Of course, the excuse is "the average dress size has gone up to a 12 or 14 and since I'm a 12 or 14, that makes me average." Guess it depends on what side of the coin you're on.

I know I'll never be thin looking and my body will never be "buff" looking due to all the loose skin hanging off me, but my hope is that by working out with weights, I'll grow enough muscle to help fill out my upper body and minimize the flabby look I've cultivated. It should help with the way my shirts and leather jacket fit too which would be nice since when my body looks deflated, I kind of look pathetic really (shirtless). Of course, my dad looks like this too, except that he's never been fat, so he doesn't have the hanging skin and roll. I suppose its just a family body trait that I should accept, and maybe if I looked like my dad more bodywise, I might feel better about it. But for now, it's demoralizing. I haven't approached the scale since Friday, somehow I'm afraid of what I might see. I've been good for the most part and I've worked hard at the gym. It would be nice to see something positive.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The hardest to lose

It's Monday and my pain is gone. Well, the muscle aches I had from switching things up last week are gone, my right shoulder is still hurting and i don't forsee an end to that anytime soon. Maybe as the muscles around it grow stronger, it'll sort itself out.

Did a full workout this morning and it felt good. While I know I'm not burning as many calories as I used to doing cardio for 70 minutes, my body feels like its been worked and I like that. I know I'm getting stronger and the payoff in the end will be good. Once my body settles into the routine and my muscles start to grow, the calories will burn off again. Or at least that's the hope.

The weekend wasn't too great, but not too bad I suppose. Shouldn't have had so many tacos Saturday and definitely shouldn't have done popcorn either. At least not until I see how things are going with my routine. As long as I'm about 185-190lbs by summer, I'll be happy. That's 15-20lbs, a weight so many people would love to have as their goal instead of the 40-50+ so many actually do.

Red said something the other day that rang quite true. She said that back in the day when we were big, it was nothing to drop 20lbs, you didn't even have to think too much about it. And that when you're trying to drop a measly 10lbs, it's the hardest thing to do. God, I can remember when I signed up with the Weight Loss Clinic, I lost 12.3lbs over the first weekend I was on their program. They were all ecstatic, there was this chalkboard they used in the lobby where people could write down their losses, sort of a badge of honour. Someone said they didn't think anyone had lost that much over a two day span at the clinic, so my loss was a big deal. At least they made it out to be one.

But when you're heavier, dropping 10 or 20 is as easy as not making that trip to the McDonalds for a couple of days, maybe drinking water instead of pop or juice and not wolfing down a bag of chips. In short, it's mostly bloat. And the bigger you are, the more bloated you are. When you're only 20lbs from your goal weight, it's real fat you're trying to lose and it's not going without a fight. This is very common and it's incredibly frustrating. Red has been trying to shed 10lbs for what seems like months now. She seems to make some progress, maybe 3-4lbs, then it goes back up. Sometimes its monthly and there's nothing she can do about it, but other times, it's like me: she makes a few bad decisions and voila! An extra few pounds she has to re-lose.

My issues have been this inability to get below 200 and stay there. If you recall, I reached 207 last December before the Christmas goodies started coming out. Since then, I've been losing and regaining 10lbs and to be quite honest, I'm starting to lose my shit with this. At end of August, I was 196 and thought I had left 200 behind. But a week off work, then an inability to get things under control again led me back to 203. On Friday I was 205, but some of that is water retention from my new workout, so I'm probably still 202-203. If it weren't for the missteps I seem to keep making, I would have reached my goal of 185-190 by last summer. Instead, I'm stuck in a whirlwind from which I cannot escape.

I wonder sometimes if maybe 200 is where my body wants to be. That maybe my lifestyle suits 200. Back in the early 2000's when i was in college and still under the control of my stomach stapling, I floated between 204-207. But there are similarities between then and now. For the most part, I was sitting for the day, then in a classroom, now in a cubicle. I went to the gym 4-5 times a week then and now. I ate junk back then, juices, basically no fruit or veggies, real pop, popcorn at the movies, etc. Now I eat healthier, no junk, diet pop, lots of fruit and veggies and I'm still stuck around 200. When I graduated in 2004, while waiting for my first job out of college, i worked full time in a paint store and within a few months, I had dropped to a nice 180lbs. So it's pretty obvious the extra mobility and exercise I was getting in that job was beneficial to me.

So how to rectify that now? We try to take walks during the evening when we can although we've been remiss lately. Both of us do take walks during our lunch hours if the weather's decent so that helps a bit. On the other hand, we do play volleyball on Wednesday nights, softball on Thursdays during the spring and summer, and currently we're in a rock and jive dance class so we're getting some exercise a couple of nights a week in addition to my going to the gym and Red's Nintendo Wii workout. Frankly, I don't know what else I can do without giving up even more food.

Sure, I could avoid grabbing a slice or two of pizza once in a while during lunch, or not make a trip to the cafeteria at work for a turkey sandwich. But when all you bring to work for lunch is a bag of salad and some apples and pears, a sandwich shouldn't be such an issue. Or I could see about not having those grapes or pineapple in the evening and instead have some cucumber or other veg if anything at all. But i just don't want that. Most times, I do eat out of boredom and not hunger so I probably should find a way to occupy myself better.

All I know is that I'm tired of watching what I eat. I hate not being able to grab a bag of chips and just enjoy them without all the guilt. We've been talking about ordering up some KFC for a change but I haven't been able to pull the trigger on that one yet. I'd love to order a bag of popcorn at the movies once in a while and not think too much about it, or even grab a pretzel or two (because they're small and sooooo good), but i won't. I know the gym is a life sentence and I can't afford to not go so I grit my teeth and bear this cross. The truth is, this is my life for better or for worse. I haven't mastered the art of only enjoying a small sampling of something i crave, to me, if you can't just indulge and enjoy it, what's the point. A taste is just a tease. And I hate to be teased. But when you're unlucky enough to be one of those people who gain weight just by looking at food, you really don't have a choice. If you care at all.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I added a couple of items to this blog: subscription, newsreel and list of readers or followers of it. If you would like, add your name to the follower's list, it's located on the left side, I'd be curious to see who's reading this thing anymore.


First week done

So I didn't get lucky like i had hoped but it was what I expected so I can't be too down about it. The scale read 205.5lbs. This happens every time i start to lift weights as part of my workout routine. So now that I've seen the gain, the hope is that it will reverse within the next couple of weeks and I can start to feel good about what i'm doing, scalewise.

I googled this phenomenon and while there is no clear concensus, it would appear to be normal. Some people said that you shouldn't experience any weight gain and if you do, it must be because you're taking in too many calories still. That you feel that since you are working out, you feel you can eat more. Well, that's not what I'm doing. Others said it was normal and that most people experience it. It's bloat, your body is retaining water for the muscles while they adjust to this new routine. Once the body adjusts, it will no longer retain water and you will lose fat. The scale won't drop like it used to I know, after all, I'm building muscle while losing fat so i'll notice most of the changes in my clothes and in my measurements which I've never taken. Maybe I should ask Red to help me out with that this weekend, get out the tape measure and take some measurements, that would be a good indicator of my progress over the next couple of months since i won't be able to count on the scale anymore for validation.

The pain after 5 days of this new routine is lessening, I can walk without wincing, sitting down has gotten easier and my overall mobility is better. I'm still sore somewhat, but I expected a week of pain. Lunges, which caused most of my lower body pain I'm sure, are getting better, steadier. I can do my 4 sets of 10 much easier now and I've still got enough strength left in my legs after to do other leg exercises, which was not the case earlier this week. I attempted to do a step on/step off bench exercise again after a disasterous attempt on Monday and while it looked sloppy and unsteady, I was able to do some. So I'm making progress again, not unusual for me as I tend to adapt to weight lifting fairly easily, the trick will be not hurting myself this time. In that, I cannot guarantee success.

I don't feel that it was ever something I did that, in the past, caused these injuries. I've always paid attention to proper form and I've never been one to push myself that hard as to tear and pull things. I really do feel that my body just isn't built for weight lifting. And its usually the same spots that hurt, right shoulder, left shoulder blade, lower back. I know my lower back is weak so I'm hoping the exercises I learned at physio will aid in keeping it well. As for my shoulders, I can't do much else there. I'll go slow and try to find a way to stop any potential injuries but its the same old story.

I watch other guys work out and I've seen so many ways of doing things that i don't think there is a standard technique for any exercises. It could be that this is how these guys learned how to do it so I'm sure there are bad habits being passed down. I try to avoid things i know are wrong, I watch the trainers instruct their clients about good form, I read up on it too. So i feel well versed in how to do things correctly. Still, my shouler issues would tell another story.

Anyhow, today was the last day for this week, Monday is a new week and hopefully next Friday I'll see something pleasant on the scale.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Still alive....

So it's Thursday and the pain remains, well most of it. It has subsided a bit, at least I can walk a little easier now and volleyball last night went okay. Tonight is dance class so i hope to be somewhat nimble by then. Overall, I'm still stiff and sore and sitting all day doesn't help matters any but I expected it. I hope to be mostly pain free by end of weekend if not before.

The shift to weightlifting has really taken a toll on me. By the time I'm almost done, i'm truly almost done. My muscles are exhausted, I just want to lie down at the end. But I know I need to finish, to push myself to the finish line and know that I did a good job and didn't cop out. I'm almost afraid of what i'm going to see on the scale tomorrow morning despite having a good week foodwise so far, but I am expecting to be up a couple of pounds due to the reaction of my body to lifting. It would be so great if I stepped on that scale and it read less than or equal to 202 which is what i was last Friday. So we'll see. After that, as my body settles into this new regimen, the pounds will come off, albeit slower than I'm used to, but I know I'm building lean muscle mass which i need.

I've been doing a 20 minute session on the bike or elliptical on alternating days after my workout, just to loosen up and burn up some more calories. From what I've read, weight lifting doesn't burn up many calories but has other benefits, so I'm thinking the scale may not be a good source anymore to measure my progress. I've always believed that your clothing is the ultimate measure of where you stand bodywise so I'll keep that in mind when the scale isn't being friendly but my clothes are feeling looser. I have to admit, I'm feeling like I'm getting a good workout after i'm done, more so than when I just did cardio. My body is tired and sore and feels like I've laboured all day in a busy physical job. I feel thick in body right now but I think i'm a bit bloated too.

I made a bit of a faux pas yesterday. Red's tuna casserole turned out to be really, really good and i had two portions on Tuesday night. I brought the rest to work for lunch, it was a decent sized portion and enjoyed it immensely again, but later on decided that I needed something else and picked up a turkey sandwich from the cafeteria. So I managed to ingest an extra 400-500 calories I didn't need and could have avoided had I just used a little more will power. Last night was Subway and grapes. Tonight is roasted veggies I believe but we haven't settled on a main dish as yet. Maybe chicken.

Looking forward to my last workout tomorrow and taking the weekend off to recuperate. Also, just to get out of this work place, God i hate my job.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Pain!!

Oh my god is my body sore. Yesterday was the first day of my new direction at the gym and boy, am i paying for it today. There is a huge difference between using a cardio machine that supports your body and movements, and lifting weights, doing lunges and squats. Today I can barely walk. Each step feels like my legs are on fire. My chest and shoulders are sore, my arms somewhat, but they will be tomorrow as today was arm and shoulder day. Hopefully my legs will loosen up a bit as I cannot imagine doing lunges and squats in this kind of pain. I was barely able to do them today after yesterday's workout. There's a step exercise done with a bench that I attempted but my legs had no strength left in them to do it. Maybe tommorow.

The diet was good overall I think. I had fruit and salad during the day, we were supposed to have a McCain Slow Cookers meal but for some reason it burned in the slow cooker. No idea why. I've never seen something burn in a slow cooker so its a mystery. We ended up having chicken fingers and one of those pasta sidedishes. Not the best choice but it was chicken and they were oven baked, not deep fried. Snacks consisted of fruit.

Today, in addition to my salad and fruit, I brought along a Chunky soup for lunch. With lifting weights, I feel the need for something more substantial to get me through the day. It won't be a regular thing but I wanted it today. What I didn't expect to see were leftovers from a HSBC meeting held at work over the lunch hour. There were finger sandwiches, cheeses, fruit and small pieces of cake. Of course I had a couple pieces of cake and 4 finger sandwiches, I know i should have chosen the fruit but it looked and tasted wonderful. Tonight Red is making her tuna casserole. I haven't had tuna casserole in, oh.......gee, I can't recall if I've ever had tuna casserole so it should be interesting. She says she makes a good one so I have faith.

I bought a pair of leather type sports gloves for weight lifting at lunch. The gnarled bar on the dumbells and barbells is hard on my delicate hands and they're sore. I used to have a pair when I first began working out a few years ago but I lost them and never got around to replacing them. Probably because I spent most of my time doing cardio. I saw a pedometer for $6 and considered buying two, one for me and one for Red, because we were curious at one point this summer about how many steps we were taking in a day, especially when we went for walks. But the cost of them at the sports stores we visited seemed too high so we passed. Maybe we'll reconsider now that i know where i can get them cheap.

I need a massage. I should call my massage therapist but I'd rather have Red's hands on me. We'll see how she's feeling. I can barter.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Episode 358 - A New Hope

Today was the first workout of my new routine. Not knowing how much time I'd need to get everything I wanted done, I chose to get out of bed a half hour earlier than normal (so 5:45am) and be on the gym floor by 6:15 at the latest. Waking up earlier didn't present much of a problem although my first thought was to go back to sleep for that half hour I missed, but like the trooper I am, I climbed out of a nice warm cozy bed beside a nice warm cozy woman and got dressed.

The gym was busier than i expected, a lot busier. There must have been a dozen or so people doing their thing, when I was arriving at 6:45, i might see half a dozen, sometimes a few more, but to my surprise, there were more people at this early hour. With notepad in hand, I set about this new plan of attack; first would be floorwork: stretching, situps, side planks, front planks, pushups, leg extensions, squats, lunges, etc.

Next up was the weights. This was the moment of truth: would my aching shoulder hold up? How much strength did I still have after months and months of cardio? How much weight could i push without pushing my body too far. I didn't want to hurt myself and my goal was to pump weight quickly: do faster reps and more sets for a good burn. The first thing I noticed was that my legs were exhausted from the lunges and squats. There's a big difference between riding an elliptical for miles where your body is supported and the pressure of your body weight isn't impacting your legs and actually allowing your legs to support your body as you move. This is why trainers generally don't like elliptical machines. Your muscles just don't get the same workout, sure you burn more calories which I'm a fan of, but you don't build core strength and you notice it when you run upstairs and feel the burn in your thighs. Not in as great of shape as you thought now are you?

My shoulder reacted painfully to incline presses with dumbells, it was worse with butterflies. But this is how you build your chest, through bench presses. I gritted my teeth and powered through it, the warrior that I am :-) I worked my back too, my plan was to spend every other day working a different section of my body. The floor work will be daily, but the weight lifting will be chest and back one day, arms and shoulders the next. This will give my body a day to recover before I attack it again. And I went moderate with the weight, enough to make the last couple of reps harder but not enough to risk injury, and I did them quickly.

I was finished by 7:45 which surprised me a bit. But I also cut out a couple of sets due to fatigue so once they're back in, I should be done closer to 8. That'll give me a chance to do 20 minutes of cardio as a cooldown (and a calorie burner) before I shower and head off to work. For the first time in a while, I felt like I had a workout. Sure I was sweaty after doing 70 minutes of cardio, but there's something more exhausting about lifting weights and pushing your body harder. Showering was a bit of a chore as it was hard lifting my arms above my head to wash my hair but I felt a sense of satisfaction in the job I did.

Knowing my body, the pain will set in overnight. I should be sore and slow tomorrow when I crawl out of bed (literally) but I'm looking forward to working my arms and seeing what my shoulder can handle. I'm also going to try and add in the sets I missed today, it was all floorwork, lunges and squats that I cut back on today so I'll see about finishing it properly.

Today's also the day I return to my regular eating patterns, the "lifestyle" change as I call it. Gone again is the bread that vexed me the past month, as well as the junk that crept into my life. I know Red is frustrated too and is wanting to get back to normal; we received our engagement photos on Friday and while there were some cute pics of us in them, we could see the puffiness in our faces and bodies from the past month's debauchery. I think it was a good wake up call. Sometimes you need that. I know we did.

Friday, October 17, 2008

new approach

202lbs. I was expecting much worse but somehow I've managed to duck a bullet this week. Who know, maybe I'll step on the scale tomorrow and it'll read 204? Either way, it's official weigh in day and i'm basically where i was last week at this time so all things considered, i'll take it.

I missed the gym yesterday due to an appointment with my mechanic first thing so I figured I'd just go today knowing that I had a dental appointment almost first thing this morning. As mentioned before, I've been thinking about changing up my gym workout and this morning I made the decision to do so. So instead of actually working out, I took the time at the gym to work out a new regimen. I brought along my handy little notebook and pen and wrote down all the exercises, both floor and weight lifting, that I have done in the past and wish to do again. Also, I added some new exercises that i've spied others doing under the tutelage of their trainers. Since I cannot afford to hire a trainer myself, I might just as well steal their routines since there's usually one or more there training someone when I'm there.

Unfortunately, this left me with only 1 workout this week but it set me up with a new plan for next week, and I think that's more important. My biggest concern is the expected weight gain I'll experience when i begin lifting weights again. Its not that i'm going to lift heavy, I'm going more for moderate-weight and quicker reps which should build lean muscle mass and give me strength, plus I'm hoping to burn some calories in the process. But my body reacts violently to weight lifting and bloats. So I'm expecting a good 3-5lb increase by this time next week unless i get really lucky. I'm still going to do some cardio, probably a session on the elliptical at the end of my routine but most of my workout is going to be on core strengthening. From what I understand, the lean muscle mass I'll build will aid in burning calories and well, make me stronger which I need.

This isn't the first time I've done this so I already have certain assumptions about how its all going to turn out but maybe with the extra things i've added, it may make enough of a difference to benefit me in the long run. Plus, with a better overall diet, I should see the changes I'll need to see on the scale and in the mirror to keep me motivated to continue this path. If not, I'll be back to boring cardio for an hour and a half wishing I were dead.

On the plus side and ironically enough, after all the bitching i did about needing new music for my MP3 to make those cardio sessions seem easier, I managed to download a bunch of new songs but with this new approach to the gym, I won't be listening to it as much. I don't use my MP3 when i'm lifting, i find the earphone cord just gets in the way but at least i'll have newer music to listen to when i do my (much) shorter cardio blast. Funny how life works.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why am I eating?

Why do we eat when we're not hungry? I've been cognizant of this habit for a long time but until I read what I had written yesterday about all of the eating I had done over this past weekend despite not feeling hungry, I hadn't given it much thought. I knew that I munched often, that most times I wasn't hungry at all, that I have associations between certain activities and food, and that I'm an emotional eater. But why would you continue to shovel food into your mouth and make yourself uncomfortably full if you're not hungry?

I do this constantly. I'm like an eating machine, thank God I'm eating lots of fruits these days instead of chips, cheezies or other junk foods, but its still extra calories. And I'm not entirely clean from the junk; Red keeps chocolate around, we have Ritz crackers in the house, Fibre1 bars, sometimes ice cream. Of these, its the chocolate and crackers I have the biggest problem with. Ice cream is not really an issue, I only crave it once in a blue moon so I'm not concerned with having it in the house. Sometimes, most times actually, I'm good with the chocolate. It's only those times, like the past month, when I've been struggling with control that I eat it. But overall, it's not bad.

But even if I'm snacking on fruit, there's only so much of that you can ingest before you're blowing your calorie count for the day. An apple contains 65-75 calories on average, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, just about any other fruit besides bananas are about the same for a cup. But when you eat 2-3 apples, a banana or 2, handfuls of grapes that at best guess might be equal to maybe 5-7 cups, 2-3 cups of pineapple or whatever combination of the above might happen during the day, you're looking at 700-800 calories in just fruit! Add that to your normal meals and weight loss suddenly becomes a bit harder.

One way to solve this is to switch some of that fruit to vegetables, which contain, on average, half the calories. Unfortunately, after my big bag of Dole salad mix, I'm done with veggies. That bag contains more than enough of my daily intake of veggies and I don't like them enough to eat more, with the exception of our roasted veggies which we love so much. Now like I said, it could be alot worse than eating fruit. However, even too much of a good thing isn't good. And it speaks directly to the insanity of constantly eating which many fatties do, I just choose to eat healthier these days.

But does this make it less of a problem? No. To beat this, I need to find another way of using my time, of diverting my attention away from the kitchen and breaking those associations that are ultimately my undoing. So what are the usual suspects? Well, there's TV. That's the big one without a doubt. I grew up eating in front of the tube so that association is very strong. And it's one we all can agree on. I don't know too many people who don't munch in front of the TV. It's too easy and its comfortable.

Another big one for me is the movie theatre. I've been a regular movie goer for years and my usual routine was to order the large special: large popcorn with topping, large drink and candy treat, the popcorn and drink coming with free refill, not helpful. I did this for years and it showed. The popcorn is easily 2000 calories and that may or may not include the topping, my google searches for the calorie count never indicates topping or butter added. A large pop will set you back about 400 calories and then you have the small candy, so figure about 250 for that. Add in the refills, which I usually did as well, and there's a 5000 calorie visit to the movies. Add that to the rest of my day and....well, you get the picture.

When I began my current regime of diet and exercise last September, one of the first things I did was cut out the concession stand and boy, was it hard. The smell of freshly popped corn is intoxicating and not having it really impacted my enjoyment of the movie and soured my mood greatly. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? How can not having some popcorn ruin your movie going experience if the movie is still great? Because of the association; popcorn and movies go together like peanut butter and jam, Abbott and Costello, teenagers and drama, etc. It's just the way it should be. And I hated being denied. Now nobody did this to me, I made the decision. To quote that scholar President Bush," I'm the decider." But it impacted me nevertheless and made Red's life miserable for a while too until I came to terms with it.

I started bringing diet coke and rice cakes, sometimes a couple pieces of fruit, something that allowed me to munch but wouldn't hurt me. It wasn't the same. For the most part, I stopped bringing anything except the diet coke, but then I started ordering fries once in a while, sometimes I'd bring in a bag of M&Ms or some other candy. Other times, we'd grab a pretzel, or 2, from the pretzel place inside the theatre. This continues to this day, after doing so well I've allowed the association to return, albeit in another form. I need to end this.

I find when I'm busy, I don't munch. So boredom is obviously an issue. And I get bored very easily. I'm one of those people who need constant stimulation, it's sad. While Red is perfectly content sitting on the couch reading or watching TV, I need to get out. I need something going on around me otherwise I feel like I'm wasting my time. Playing volleyball, softball and taking dance lessons has helped fill in time, but I need to find ways of occupying the rest of my time. We enjoy our Wii but haven't played in a while for some reason. I have video hockey I like too, but don't take the time to play. Same with my guitar. So it's not that I don't have stuff I could be doing, and therefore not be eating, I just don't do them. I really need to prioritize this.

I think I've covered the why I eat question. I think more than anything, it's boredom and less about emotion. It's about associations that don't need to be there. Clearly, I need to do some work on this if I hope to ever conquer my demons and be happy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanksgiving aftermath

There was pie, lots of pie. There was turkey, lots of turkey. There was gravy, rivers of gravy. There was dressing, not alot but it was there. There were potatoes, salad and buns, cranberries, it was everything Thanksgiving dinner was supposed to be. And it was good. Too good I think.

Overall, the weekend was nighmarish if you care about your weight. Our wonderful wedding photog forgot about our engagement shoot Saturday morning so we ended up rebooking for Monday morning and went to breakfast. I had an omelete and some fried potatoes and toast. Not too bad, but I could have done without the toast. We made hamburgers for dinner, then sat down to a couple of dvds and snacks for the evening.

Sunday was turkey day so I enjoyed a bowl of Shreddies for breakfast before departing to Red's parents house for the day. There were crackers with pate and shrimp to munch on, fortunately I do not care for fancy crackers and pate nor will I ever eat shrimp so i settled for beer. Dinner was good, I ate well and then devoured most of a pumpkin pie, not to mention having a slice of a coconut cream pie as well. Her mom made 3 pumpkin pies, all different, so I sampled 2 of them. One of them came home with us along with the usual leftovers. Once home, I did have a turkey sandwich despite the fact I wasn't hungry. I just wanted it. How sad.

Monday we finally got our engagement shots done and headed home for breakfast. This time we made a kind of Denny's scramble with eggs, cheese and veggies with toast and bacon. Not the smartest move but it was damn good. Since just about everything was closed and we didn't have much to do, we hit the movies for an afternoon flick and after first deciding not to get anything to snack on, I ended up buying a bag of M&Ms and Oh Henry chunks. Big mistake as neither did anything for me, it was more just the habit. Afterwards, we decided to head downtown to the Rideau Centre which is always open on holidays. There, we passed a sandwich type shop and I couldn't resist this pizza croissant thing in the window. It was pretty good, but I mean let's be honest, I didn't need it nor was I really hungry either. Another one of those just wanted it things. Dinner was leftovers and more pie. i made a point of finishing the pies as I wanted Tuesday to return to normal. It did, sort of.

I woke up and decided that since we didn't really get a chance to sleep in during the weekend thanks to having our engagement shots booked for 8:30 two mornings, and the fact that neither of us slept well, I wasn't going to the gym. Instead I was going to salvage whatever I could of a fairly sleepless night and get up a bit later. As it turned out, I barely slept during that time and ended up wishing I had of gone to the gym. No, I didn't hop on the scale and I didn't want to. I knew what i had done, I didn't need to see it. Last night for dinner was a hot turkey sandwich and some of Red's moms turkey rice casserole that she had sent home with us. It was good and quite filling. I munched on fruit the rest of the night but in reality, I could have just passed. I wasn't hungry.

So this morning, I'm back to my usual routine. I hit the gym, did the full cardio workout and today I'll munch on my fruit and salad. Dinner is a mystery as Red is displaying flu like symptoms and might not be able to eat. No worries there though, if she's not hungry, I'll just enjoy some pea soup. Usually we'd do Subway as it's volleyball night but there's no point in that if she's on the shelf so to speak. It can always wait.

I've been thinking quite a bit about changing up my workout. Since forever, I've been doing the cardio thing: 2 25 minute sessions on the elliptical and 1 15-20 minute stretch on the stationary bike. Needless to say, I'm bored with it. Cardio is mind numbing and the only thing that gets me through it is my music. But as I stated before, I'm bored with the same tunes day after day. However, I can't find anything new that I want to listen to so I'm stuck. One way to fix that is to switch to lifting weights again, which is where my concerns lie.

I go on weight lifting spurts, lifting for a couple of months, then backing off and doing straight cardio. I do this for a couple of reasons. First, I lose much more weight faster doing only cardio. But I know i'm also burning muscle tissue so I'm probably not getting the full benefit. Plus, I'm not building core strength which is important to keeping your body strong over a life time.

Second, my body hates lifting weights. While I know how to lift properly and not overdo it, I still manage to tear or pull something and suddenly I can't lift for a while. It's frustrating but its the same thing every time. And I want results, results I can see. But even when I've gone full out for months, I never really see a difference in my body. Sure, I'm lifting more but no bulging muscles. It's disheartening.

And third, my shoulder is still aching. Its been like this for months and its being stubborn about healing. I used up my yearly physio alottment with my insurance provider fixing a back problem in the spring so any physio I receive now will come out of my pocket and I'm just not down with that. I know it'll heal eventually, but its a pain in the ass for now. Besides, its not the first time I've had stubborn aches and pains that refuse to heal quickly and it won't be the last. Besides, I'm almost 42, the body just doesn't respond like it used to.

So i need to come up with a plan; something that takes both cardio and weight lifting and gives me a workout that benefits me in a way I need to see, and doesn't bore me. I'll give it some more thought this weekend.