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.