Sunday, March 22, 2009


Yesterday, I found out something that made my day. I had avoided the scale since my vacation for reasons stated in my last post. I felt that I had gained a lot of weight recently and was feeling pretty down about this set back and having to once again lose weight I had thought long gone. But I decided that I should know where I stood just so that I had a reference point to work from. So with that mind, I reluctantly stepped on the scale expecting the worst.

What I saw made me smile: 213lb, the weight I was before I left for Cuba. How did this little miracle happen? I haven't a clue. As stated before, I ate and ate with little to no activity. I saw how big and hard my belly was, I knew how tighter my shirts felt, to me there was no doubt I had messed up big time. But lo and behold, there it was: 213lb. It was as if time had stopped for those 3 weeks and none of my transgressions had come to pass. I was elated.

As I said, I have no idea what happened. One week back on the diet, or lifestyle change, and some gym time should have not been enough to fix what I thought had happened. So how to explain? Red said she thought I had overshot my estimates on my weight and that I was bloated, but nowhere near what I thought. Turns out she was right. So again, what happened? I haven't a clue and I'm not going to spend too much time worrying about it. All I know is that I'm not as much of a cow as I thought and I haven't set myself back as far as I feared. And that makes me feel really good.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Back at it

So Cuba is a memory and I'm back to my real life.....super. Cuba was better than what I expected and once we actually ate there and found out the food wasn't all that great, there was hope that without all the food calories, I might escape my vacation with no real damage. But alas, after a couple of days of wandering around the resort, we discovered a small convenience store on site filled with all kinds of chocolates and cookies. I don't know why I did it, but I ended up buying some of this junk and it was all downhill from there.

While there were 5 restaurants on site, only one, the buffet style one, didn't require reservations so we ended up eating there most days. First was breakfast, something neither of us do as a rule, but there it was every morning beckoning us. Fortunately, the bacon was horribly undercooked making it a rare treat and the french toast was left in a heating tray to get soggy and gross. There was lots of veggies and fruit available, but no apples, grapes or good pineapple for me to indulge in. Unfortunately, the bread was good making toast an obvious choice, eggs are eggs, there was a pancake and waffle station that was very good too, and lots of cheese. They had no sweetnener so my coffee contained sugar for the first time in ages. You can see where this is going.

We skipped lunch but dinner was much the same. A lot of not so great food, lots of veggies and fruits, but the one bright spot for me was the pizza and pasta station. The good part was that the pizzas were really good, the pasta was good enough but the lineup for it was ridiculous. The bad part was that the pizza was really good and while the lineup for it wasn't bad at all, it took a good 10-15 minutes to get it prepared and cooked so I spent much time standing at the station instead of seated with my girl. And since they were small thin crust with not much on them, it required more than one to make a meal (at least in my opinion). Oh, and pizza is high in calories, I'm sure even these thin ones had more than I needed to ingest, so an almost daily diet of these isn't doing me much good. You can see where this is going.

And the drinks. Of course you can't go to Cuba and not drink. After all, that's most of what you end up doing while lying in the sun not moving, getting no physical activity. For most of the trip, I never saw a diet cola, only the regular. So i was drinking rum and colas, beer, and the odd dacquiri. Let's add up those calories. Better yet, let's not.

There is a gym on site and I did bring my gym clothes with the intention of spending a few hours there, and while we did talk a bit about it, it never happened. There was just too much lying in the sun to be done, or sitting in the lounge drinking. The most exercise we got was the day we spent walking around Havana. It's weird how your body settles back into a sedentary state so quickly; the walking about was tiring and my back, which hasn't been right for a while, started acting up. You can see where this is going.

We were there for 7 days and I woke up on the sixth day with a very painful and stiff neck. The bed and pillow sucked, even Red was suffering, and it appeared my neck could take no more. I got through the last couple of days and we headed home. With my bad neck, I was unable to return to the gym and after a few more days of intense pain, finally went to emerg for a look. Turns out it was inflammation so I was given an anti-imflammatory and some percocet and ordered to a week of bed rest. Now, I'm no good when I'm just sitting idle at home. I get bored easily and I munch. You can see where this is going.

I was finally able to return to work and the gym this past Monday. Now after 3 weeks of little to no activity, lots of food, both regular and junk, and drink, you can imagine the shape I was in. There was no doubt I had gained weight. A lot of weight. My belly was hard and protruding further than it had since I got serious again in September of 2007 and changed my diet and exercise regime. All that hard work, all those pounds lost, gone. I haven't stepped on the scale but I don't have to. I can see the damage and so can Red. My shirts are tighter, my face rounder. When I left for Cuba, I was about 213lb. Though I wasn't happy about that, I attributed much of it to my weight lifting regime and the muscle I had gained. When I began the weights in November, I weighed about 203, up from a low of 196 in late August, but nothing to be overly concerned about. Almost immediately, I put on 5lb which I expected. But it kept coming on. While my body was changing to reflect the new workout, my weight stopped going down. I did worry at first, but was reassured by a few people that I was looking good so I stopped being too concerned.

However, now I am back to where I started I'm sure. Not back to the start start when I weighed 370lb, but to where I was that September morning when I began this latest crusade. The morning workouts have been brutal; I'm not doing weights right now, my neck and back are still not in great shape and I don't want to aggravate whatever is going on there, but I'm back to cardio full time. Two 20-30 minute stretches on the elliptical and a further 20 on a stationary bike along with some back stretches i learned in physio and some lunges to keep my thighs and hamstrings strong. I think I'm going to continue this for another week or two, it'll really depend on how my body feels. Right now I'm just draggin my ass through the workouts, usually after having some time away from the gym, I'm ready and raring to go but not this time. I feel like I'm running in mud, my energy level is just not that high. It should get better as I go, but goddamn this week hasn't been easy.

I'm not worried about losing the extra weight, my diet is under control for the most part and I'm back to doing what burns the calories and works for me at the gym, it's just the having to start over again. Why am I such an idiot? Why, after all this time, can i not learn and exercise some self control when I'm off? I know what I'm doing but it doesn't seem to matter. Once I've made that internal decision to do something, I do it and in this context, that's not a good thing. I knew I couldn't hit the gym last week yet I ate and ate and ate. I knew the pizzas, chocolates and cookies in Cuba weren't in my best interests yet I ate and ate and ate them. I can't say I suffered from any real cravings, I haven't had cravings in quite a while now. Truth is, I can't be idle for when I'm idle I eat. It drives Red crazy at times with my need for stimulation but this is the result when I get none. I get fat.

We've been watching The Biggest Loser and Red made the comment about a couple of the younger contestants that accomplishing something as huge as massive weight loss early in life gives you confidence to be successful in other things as well. I have to agree. I'm very proud of my weight loss and being able to remain, for the most part, a regular sized man. But it's such a struggle. I'm up and down on the scale, I'm prone to binging, self loathing and frustration. While I feel I have everything in place to keep things under control for the most part, it's still a daily battle. I think about everything I eat, mentally tallying up the calories, I count the calories and time spent at the gym and feel guilty as all hell when I don't go or work as hard. I'm always looking in the mirror for hints about my actual size; how badly is my belly hanging over my pants? How round is my face? Will that shirt I like fit when I want to wear it?'s all too much.

My relationship with food is not healthy and I don't know if I can change it. I know I'm not the only one but what I wouldn't give for some inner peace on this subject. The wedding is little more than 5 months away and I'm not even close to being ready bodywise. I have my work cut out for me but I'm not worried. Just pissed off that I allowed myself to get here again. I'll lose it, I have no doubt about that, but I just shake my head..........