Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another late one

As the end of the month draws nearer, I've been trying to balance packing my current apartment for the move, extra gym visits, spending time with The Gal, spending time with my friends, work and sleep. Last night I had a buddy hit me up, wanting to do something. I had intended on throwing some clothes in the washer then heading to the gym then coming home to fill more boxes, but instead I agreed to watch a movie and score a bit of buddy time.

Unfortunately, the time scale means that as one thing gets more time, other things get less. Last night, along with the gym and the packing, sleep lost out. I was up until 1 am, doing a whole lot of nothing. BTW - I found myself watching a movie on AMC. It started at 9:30 and ended at 12. That's 2 1/2 hours, but the movie is only 90 minutes long. Two minutes of commercials for every three minutes of content? Insanity. No wonder people want to DVR stuff, watch on Hulu, get Netflix or rent DVDs. I can't wait to not watch TV again -- I only got cable this past January to watch Lost, and when I move I don't know that I'm necessarily inclined to get cable again. I'll have wifi and can just watch Hulu and Netflix via my Xbox 360 or PS3.

I did really well tracking and eating yesterday, but the 4.5 hours of sleep is clearly having an effect. Yesterday I weighed in at 256.0, but today I was 256.5 -- this is with decent eating and two gym visits. Grrr, argh.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Post #200

Huh, looks like this is my 200th post. Not too sure what that means, outside of the fact that there's a bit of longevity in writing about weight loss. Of course, it comes on the heels of me not writing for a week and a half, so perhaps I shouldn't be tooting my horn too much regarding my propensity for scrawling "you're fat" notes to myself.

In any event, I'm back.

So I've been wrestling some with this whole I've-only-lost-5-pounds-this-month thing, and thought about it from a few different angles. Maybe I need to change the routine? Less food? More water? More cardio? Less weight, more reps? No weightlifting? Only weightlifting?

For no real good reason, I thought back to the first time I found out what my BMR was. BMR stands for basal metabolic rate, and it is how many calories you would need to maintain your current weight if you were to lay in bed all day.

I first found out about the BMR back in my heaviest days. I was amused at how many calories I needed just to maintain my then-current status: 2825. Wasn't an average guy's diet only 2000 calories? And that assumes that the average guy, you know, like, did stuff. Throughout the day. Like... get out of bed. I'd estimate that I was eating roughly 3k at that time, which is why I kept rising in weight. I also had little muscle as I wasn't active in the least. So I decided to dial back my caloric intake.

Well, I just punched my numbers in again. This time it turns out I need 2325 - 500 less calories a day. Even though I dialed my caloric intake down from the start of my program, I haven't been rechecking myself every 10 pounds like I probably should have been. So I realize that while I've been eating almost exactly what my current BMR is - not the best way to drop pounds kids, even with the whole getting out of bed fairly regularly thing.

So this week I'll be tracking my calories fairly religiously to see 1) what nonsense I'm really up to these days, and 2) where I can cut calories to up my caloric deficit and get the weight loss that I want. And because I can fall prey to gimmicky bullshit from time-to-time, I'll be doing it with a bit of help from an iPhone application called Lose It!, which seems to have a ton of different food types and portion sizes in it's database. Pretty cool little toy, and it can add in workouts against your day too, so you can see recommended calories, total caloric intake, and total bonus exercise expenditure.

Anyone out there using Lose It! or similar calorie-tracking, weight-loss software or applications? I'm curious as to who else is doing this and what sort of success you're having.


Friday, May 08, 2009

A non-scale victory

Last year at this time, I was in pain. My stomach hurt very badly. I was wearing a belt that I'd bought at Casual Male XL, that was very, very long, with a notch every inch that was wrapped in a bit of metal. I'd needed a new belt as the ones I'd owned had become stretched to the point that the belt buckle was ripping itself free of the binding to the leather and the leather itself wasn't as high as it once was, instead being pulled longer than it was made to go.

The reason I was in pain was because my stomach was so heavy and hung so far over my belt buckle that when I was seated the buckle would dig into my skin, leaving a large impression on my belly. Sometimes after a big lunch I would just unbuckle the thing and let the gut hang over the waistline of the pants to avoid the pain.

Also, and this is so very attractive an image, my stomach would sweat. With the shirt, undershirt, underwear, pants and belt, there was too much going on down there for me. The little metal rings around each notch of the belt started rusting from the stomach sweat. Eventually three or four of the metal rings fell off as the rusted metal was being pulled and stretched from my shifting fat and they couldn't take the pressure. Just not a high enough tensile strength put into those bits of metal I guess.

I'm reminded of this, because yesterday as I stood at the urinal at work, peeing out my two liters of consumed water, I had unbuckled my current belt. I'd purchased this belt back in December, as the really long one had now become silly-looking since I'd lost enough inches that the remainder of the belt once buckled hung halfway down my thigh. When I went to rebuckle the belt, I pulled it in, then cinched the buckle. My fingers absentmindedly straightened the position of the buckle to be in the center of my body, and as I did so I realized that the remainder of the belt felt a bit longer. I traced my fingers down and across the notches, and realized that as of yesterday I'm now on the last hole of this new belt. There's no more holes to go, so if I lose more I'll be forced to make a new new belt purchase.

Even though I'm still weighing in at 257 today, I'm pretty pleased to see that while the scale's numbers aren't dropping, my body is clearly reconstituting itself and changing. I guess I've put more muscle on again (I can see rounded shoulder caps while wearing my shirt in the gym when I catch myself in the mirror, and - and this is kind of funny - my buddy looked at me the other day and said, "you don't have fat-guy hands or forearms any longer.")

So yay - a bit of validation that just because I'm not losing weight doesn't mean that I'm not losing fat. I'm just building muscle and changing at the moment. And that makes me feel pretty good. When I do hit my goal, I should look much better than many of the men who weight what I do. My body fat percentage will be much lower and my lean muscle mass much higher. I'm sure if you put me next to the old version of me that was 257 but fat, lazy and on my way up the scale's dial that my current body would look much better and healthier.

Not that I'm even close to satisfied.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


What up my fatty peeps? I'm a bit low on hot topics at the moment here. Just doing the gym thing, working on the eating better thing (focusing on minimizing soda intake -- how'd that creep back into the daily diet?), and working on building up some positive momentum and building a better me.

By the way, today? Pretty much perfect outside. Wish I were free of responsibilities and could go out and play!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I'm feeling better today. I slept pill-less last night, though I still didn't even go into the bedroom until close to twelve. I slept hard and dreamless, which is my norm. Even more exciting, I literally dropped 2.5 pounds overnight. See? Not real weight. Stress weight.

This morning I had a great chest workout and run on the elliptical. I gotta say though - I don't think I'll ever have a great looking chest. I'd like to, but my muscle structure for my pec muscles just isn't super-sweet. Such are my woes...

In other news... no other news. I packed more last night. I watched Biggest Loser and was happy for Ron as he crossed the finish line for the marathon, even if it took him 13 hours to complete. Pretty amazing force of will out of him. I sometimes feel watching that show like I could cry for the amazing achievements of these people, and how much they've grown during the course of the show, but then I remember that real men don't cry and so I don't. But my heart still goes out to each and every one of the people on that show. Plus Allison Sweeny is hot, even if her overly-empathetic delivery rings false most times. Isn't she an actress by trade? No wonder she's still doing daytime soaps...

Tonight is the penultimate Lost for this season, though as I'm from Minnesota we don't actually use words like penultimate, we use phrases like second-to-last instead. So I'm looking forward to watching the second-to-last Lost of the season. It's gotten to be pretty damn trippy this year, but I really like it. I just hope I don't drink too many sodas or eat too many chips as I watch.

Oh, my place looks like a dump as I try to pack. I've got stuff strewn all about the joint, and it drives me nuts. A year and a half ago (is there a bigger vocabulary word that encompasses that amount of time? If there was would my Midwestern roots allow me to use it?) my friend Dan came over to help me. My place was a total, and I mean TOTAL disaster area. My front closet was bursting with junk (it's a storage closet and stretches some 15 feet back and is 3 feet wide), there were giant piles of trash everywhere. You literally could not walk from the front door to the couch only on carpet. You had to step on clothes and garbage and trash and whatever else was littering my place. But that day that Dan came over, we worked on the apartment for eight straight hours. I think I filled up 8 grocery CARTS with bags of garbage, big pieces of furniture, and whatever else I wanted gone. Looking back, I can honestly say that that day was the first day of healing for me. I'd decided that I just could not allow myself to live like that any longer. The level of cleanliness was an emotional barometer for how I was feeling. So now I do my best to clean up my place every week. I tend to take my car to get washed weekly too now. My standard may not be up to some others' standards, but I'm okay with that. I still put the effort in, because it makes me feel so much better living in a place that's clean. That's treated with respect. It's a sign that I respect myself. So to have stuff strewn all about now as I'm deconstructing my apartment and putting it into boxes is kind of tough. I see the huge mess and I start feeling a little nutty. Like, if I accept that the place is a bit of a dump, then I could start backsliding into that place I fought and still fight daily to free myself from.

Wow... that became somewhat rambly. I should really think about rereading this post and editing it to make it tighter and more readable. At the same time, this chick thinks I'm funny and raw, so perhaps leaving this post raw is a better reflection of who I am? Not that I put too many jokes in here today.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Better Living through Chemistry?

Lately I've been feeling anxious. See, I've decided to move to be closer to my girlfriend. The choice itself was a no-brainer, but at the same time, as the time until the move draws closer, my anxiety levels are rising. It's a very weird feeling for me as typically I'm so go-with-the-flow and can deal with just about any situation I'm put into, but there are just so many unknowns here. I'm planning on keeping my job as I really like it and they're flexible enough that if I need to I can work from home a day or two each week, and I can get in early/leave early if need be, but there could still be issues there. I won't really see my friends too often anymore and don't have any of my own friends in the town I'm moving to, so that's a place of stress for me.

After reaching a low of 255.3 two weeks ago, I started seeing my weight slowly creep up. I've still been going to the gym daily, but I've found myself eating a bit more. Cookies from the office cafeteria. Chips from my cupboard. Bigger meals in the evening, like a footlong meatball sub over a six-inch club. More soda.

I've also been sleeping less. My typically sleep routine is this: walk into the room, set the alarm for the morning, turn out the lights, begin snoring within thirty seconds of laying my head on the pillow, recall no dreams, sleep hard. Now I find that I'm not even headed into the bedroom until 11:30, and I lay in bed, unable to quiet my mind. It's just racing through scenario after scenario, and seems to always be some new potential pitfall or issue that I've made up. I'll get up after 30-45 minutes and wander into the living room, fire up the xbox or playstation and absentmindedly play whatever game is in the machine. Or watch a movie. Or pace.

This has, as you may have guess, impacted the scale. This morning I stepped onto it and saw 260.1. I'm up five pounds in the last two weeks.

Last week, in an effort to install a quick fix for what I feel are temporary problems, I did something stupid. I went to GNC and purchased a bottle of Hydroxycut Hardcore. I'd read some reviews, and while some people said it was junk, or that it lead to a racing heart or insomnia (piling it on, aren't you guy?) or just didn't work, I was just feeling like I needed *something* quickly to stop the slide.

Two days later the makers of the pill recalled it due to one user's death and several ruined livers as a direct result of the stuff.

I actually said a little prayer of thanks as I *knew* I'd made a bad choice, then went to the bathroom with the big bottle and poured them into the toilet, flushing them away.

Last night on my way home from work I picked up some Simply Sleep pills to help remedy my sleeping issues. I took two pills, and laid in bed for 10~15 minutes. I felt my body become "heavy", if you will, and soon I did drift off to sleep. My dreams were vivid, which was insane to me as I *never* remember my dream. They weren't pleasant and were very clearly an extension of my anxiety. When the alarm went off I couldn't even get up. I reset it for two hours later, then rolled over and went back to sleep - though I was restless and it was broken up with fits of waking every 20-30 minutes or so. When I finally got up, I was terribly groggy. I tried to shake it off with a cold shower, but to no avail. I ordered a coffee with an extra shot of espresso, but that left me feeling a bit jittery in addition to my grogginess.

Better living through chemistry, right?

I really dislike using pills to regulate myself. I'd much prefer to just face my issues and deal with them or accept them, rather than hide my mind with chemicals. But until the move comes and goes at the end of the month, I realize that there's no resolution. There's just anticipation.

I don't mean to sound negative - I'm *really* excited for the move, and for the next chapter of my life to begin. It's a choice that I readily made, and I don't regret it for an instant. I just wish that I could compress time and be done with this...


Friday, May 01, 2009

Can I get a Forty???

Last time I asked that question in regards to a fifty, I woke up on the other side of the weekend down four pounds and into the 250s. Now I'm hoping that the Weight Gods show their mercy and grant me entry into the 240s. Or even, like, the really low 250s. I've been stuck in the middle of the 250s for a couple weeks I think, and it's slowly been going up...

I'm not sleeping well. At all. I need to work on that. I went to bed by 11 last night, but couldn't fall asleep. I got up and milled about, finally playing Guitar Hero Metallica until I couldn't keep up with the strumming and my eyes glazed over. I'm no James Hetfield, though my past guitar teachers could have probably told you that. Point being, I went back to bed at 12:30, but wasn't alseep until sometime after 1am. Don't know what to do about that.

Bah. I feel like I'm stuck in a bit of a rut - and I also feel like I've felt this many times before. Grrr!

Where I've Been and Where I'm Going