Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two Things

This morning I weighed in at 254.2 - a new low for me. I believe that I can attribute this success to two things: diet and exercise.

I've been tracking my calories using the LoseIt! application on my iPhone. It's a very handy and slick application, but I think that there may be a flaw. You see, I entered all my relevant data and it said that if I'm to lose two pounds a week, I need to be eating 2087 calories daily. However, any calories burned via exercise is then added to that total. So if I burn out 500 calories on the elliptical, that allows me 2587 calories to eat for the day.

I think that this caloric add-back may actually be bullshit.

I've been maintaining between 256 and 260 for roughly the last month using this system, but I've recently made the decision to forgo entering my exercise calories burned, instead just focusing only on eating 2087 for the whole day. It meant that last night I skipped having a beer after work, opting for water instead. I also only had one sloppy joe (made w/ lean turkey, not beef) and 1/4 of a potato. That's it. I also skipped desert. It got me in under my caloric goal for the evening, so that was good.

Also, I switched up my workout. I'd been doing roughly the same workout for six months, so the change (and it was a big one) has been a real boost. Though I won't lie - doing cardio for 45 minutes is both mind-numbing, and in the case of the stationary bike, ass numbing as well. However, the big thing is that I've been finding myself quite sore the next day since this new program, so I think it's doing some good things for me physically.

I think it's just about time to pull out those 35" waist closet pants I've got hanging in the back corner of my room, just to get a sense of where I'm at with that progress. I'm also adding another fitness component later this week. I'll get to that update on Friday, schedule permitting.


Monday, June 29, 2009

A Reminder

Sometimes I think I'm in denial regarding how fat I really am. Like, losing 80 pounds has given me some sort of fat-pass, and that I now get to wear a label other than that. Then I'm reminded on how wrong I am.

Yesterday after church and breakfast, I was changing to get ready to go to a parade and a waterski show. As I walked into the family room, my girlfriend's son came up to me. "You're fat," he said.

"I know," I replied quickly, feeling the heat of embarassment as my face lit up bright red.

"WHAAAAT?!?" his aunt called from the other room.

"He's fat," came the reply.


I walked upstairs and sat on the couch. Moments later, my girlfriend came over, kneeled low next to me and said, "I think you should grab a sturdier lawn chair. I don't think these collapsible fabric ones will hold you."

"Okay," I said, the warmth on my face returning.

I guess I'd been feeling so good this past month that I forgot, but yesterday served as a reminder that despite the efforts of the past year, I'm not thin. I'm not trim. I'm not good-looking. I'm not chubby. I'm not husky. I'm not overweight. I am fat. And despite how I may see myself, this is how the world sees me.

I won't forget again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quick check-in

Wow - this article completely hits many of my day-to-day feelings right on the head.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Workout Switchup

This week marks the next big shift in my workout routine. Instead of mixing in 20 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of lifting, I'm going to a 3 days a week full body lifting schedule, with two days of 50 minutes of cardio (and whatever I can get in on a Saturday, which so far is *nil*).

Today's emphasis was the back. Note that all the exercises are comprised of three sets of 15 reps, with a consistent weight. We did the deadlift (Dan confessed afterward that it's his least-favorite lift out of all of them - eat a big bowl of dick Big D, it's my favorite!), then the t-bar row. After that we tossed in a new exercise, the Arnold Press, for our shoulders. It's named after some California politican - I guess he used to lift weights or something. Then we did standing reverse curls for the arms, and finally we ended with a superset of chest flys and leg extensions. In the locker room after, Dan said he almost vomited. Twice.

I was soaked from the workout and was still sweating once I'd showered and changed into my work clothes. I stepped out into the humid Twin Cities air, and the sweat kept running. When I got to work, I could feel that my back was totally drenched, and the women coming up the stairs behind me were looking at that. Eh, what do you do?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shopping Like a Grown Up

Seems like I'm built for injury these days.

Last night The Gal and I hit the local grocer. I can't recall the last time I actually went grocery shopping - I mean, I'll stop in there and pick up a specific item or two, but last night we actually went shopping shopping, like how my Mom goes to the store. Bizarre.

Fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses all filled the cart. Bottles of water, ready to stock the fridge as a nice alternative to diet sodas and beers are now in my posession, as are boxes and cans of foodstuffs which line my pantry. That's right kiddos, I have a pantry. And that fucker is stocked.

Of course, a trip just isn't a trip without a healthy dose of injury, so I made sure to jam the palm of my hand into the side of the cart in such a way so as to tear deep into my skin. I immediately began to apply saliva as a natural salve, but we quickly made our way to the pharmacy area, where I was given a pre-medicated band-aid.

This morning at the gym I did squats, then Dan the Workout Partner and I went to do lat pulldowns. Quick side note - I read a post from Jillan Michaels, describing how she separates the body's muscle groups into top/bottom, then front/back. I'll put her post below:

Did you know that doing a lower-body workout is one of the most effective ways to elevate your heart rate and burn calories? Well, it's true! In fact, it's why your daily routines are designed to work your lower body during each and every training session.

I like to divide muscle groups into the categories "front" and "back." You should work the front of your chest one day, and your upper back the next. This breakdown allows you to combine exercises for your upper body and lower body in a swift sequence called a super set. This drives the blood back and forth between your upper and lower body, allowing you to burn about twice as many calories! The extra calorie burn results from something called peripheral heart action, or PHA.

PHA is at the heart of my program (no pun intended), and it's one of the reasons I get such great results. As if burning more calories weren't enough, following this kind of routine also reduces the formation of lactic acid, which is the cause of muscle fatigue.

So today we mixed squats and lat pulldowns, but as I did the pulldowns, I continually reinjured my palm, twisting and ripping the skin. Eh, I'll survive.

Unfortunately I'm still husky this morning, despite drinking 3.5 liters of water yesterday and staying under my daily calorie count. I'll just keep working to flush the system of sodium today, while eating right and working out.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Ghetto Fab

I awoke Saturday morning and weighed in - 256.1. Almost back! Of course, since I was close, it was clearly time to eff it up, right? Ugh.

I was low on food supplies, and was facing the reality that payday is Monday morning. That meant that I was at the mercy of my Target gift cards - $40 to be exact. So The Gal and I went shopping and decided that it would be fun to have a White Trash Weekend for our dinner. As such, we had Kraft macaroni and cheese, Spaghetti-Os with sliced franks (so delicious!!!) and for desert, Jello. How trashy! But more importantly, how sodium-rich!

Then yesterday we decided to walk over to a pub for a spot of lunch and a beer. It was probably around half-a-mile, maybe a bit more. I wore my flip-flops, and wouldn't you know it, my pinkie toes developed some nice baby blisters by the time we arrived. Blargh. After lunch we ambled back, and this time I just went barefoot, looking to avoid making things worse. Unfortunately for me, I'm an idiot. Not only was barefoot walking rough on the soles of my apparently-coddled feet, but along the balls of BOTH feet I scored myself some nice heat blisters!

There I am, trying to soak them in the tub and clean the feet off, then propping them up on the ottoman while The Gal went to work with a pair of tweezers and a paper towel to wipe up the goop.

So very unsweet.

The rest of the night I alternated between walking as though I'd had my ass roughed up by some prison lifers, and doing my best to walk normally in a pair of sneakers while biting down to hide the pain from The Gal's folks when we went to dinner.

This morning at the gym I put the flip flops back on to take a shower, and yikes - not my best idea. Furthermore, my work shoes and their decidedly lacking padding have me hobbling about like an arthritic geriatric.

And yet, all in all, a great weekend was had. Well, until I stepped on the scale this morning.


We're done being white trash.

Oh, and fuck you sodium.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Overall, this week has been great. I've been within my calories every day so far, I've exercised HARD every day by increasing my elliptical level and going up in weights on my lifts, and tracking EVERYTHING with my LoseIt! application.

This morning I weighed in at 256.8 - that's down three pounds for the week. Huzzah!

Looking forward to the weekend in a big way right now. I've got sleep, cable and internet hookup, and couch repair on my schedule for certain, with other activities TBA. Hope you're doing well and looking forward to a great weekend yourself. See you Monday!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Hey - too busy at work to post anything other than that I'm down a bit today. Yay.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009


According to my LoseIt! reporting (which for the first time I was perfect with yesterday), I achieved a 59 calorie deficit against my 2079 daily calorie budget. Yay! Now, I could be slightly off as I don't know *exactly* how many calories were in the spaghetti & meatballs (I assumed I ate 2 cups), nor in the chips/cheese I had as a snack, but I tracked everything and this is what I ended up with. I think even if I'm slightly off, the big thing is that I managed to track, and I wasn't way over.

Today I got to the gym earlier, but still a bit late. I went way up on my pulldowns, going from three sets of fifteen at 110 pounds to 140 pounds instead. Then I did the t-bar row and did three sets of fifteen at 70 pounds. Dan and I mixed in doing reverse situps (working the lower back instead of the abs), doing a set of 15 while the other guy did his set of t-bar. That *really* got the sweat going, which felt great. So, another day of working the back is now complete!

Yesterday I did do one big whoops... I noticed by about 3pm that I had a killer headache. Now, I don't normally *get* headaches, so something was clearly off. I thought about it, then realized that I'd only had a Diet Coke for caffeine in the morning. I was going through some serious withdrawal. On my way home, I stopped at a gas station and saw a can of Diet Coke. Then I saw a can of Mountain Dew. Then I saw a BOTTLE of Mountain Dew. Guess which one your brave hero purchased? Yeah... 340 calories worth of idiocy there, and another 200 in the form of a candy bar. Fuck me.

Anyway, that's the report from here today.

Oh, I did step on the scale this morning - 260.0 on the nuts. I do have to remember that this is prior to working out and not my normal weigh-in, so I'd normally clock in somwhere around 258 if I were still on my old weigh-in schedule. But I'm not. So I'm officially now stating that even though every weigh-in I've had on this blog for the past year is post-workout, going forward they won't be. That's okay. I know that I'm not up 5 pounds from my lowest, I'm only up 3, but at this point I'm just going to officially say 5 and work from there. It'll just be easier than the stupid mental recalibration.

So there you are. I'm doing well, I feel like I'm starting to regain control of my life as my apartment is being put back together, I'm spending lots more time with my favorite person (she had dinner ready and waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday - how cool is that?!?), and I'm hitting the gym regularly again, along with tracking and blogging. I think I'm back on track, but I must must MUST remain ever vigilant against the dreaded backslide.

Be well friends.


Monday, June 08, 2009

Another Monday

This morning the alarm went off at 4:45. As I awoke, I heard the rain pouring down from outside my window. I hit the snooze button, then nine minutes later I hit the snooze again. I didn't allow for the full 9 minutes a second time, instead forcing myself up and out to face the dark and dreary day.

I brushed my teeth, grabbed my bag, then decided to skip the scale. I didn't want to know. Instead, I grabbed a morning bar and some caffeine in the form of a Diet Coke, then went outside in the wet to my car, starting up the drive.

It was pouring. Hard. I couldn't go my normal speed, and even with the reduced speed I still felt the car get away from me twice, hydroplaning briefly before I eased off the accelerator and got it under control. I can't use the cruise control when it's pouring, as I cannot just hit the brakes when the car gets loose - I need to be in control of it all the time.

I got to the gym, though late. I did a quick 5 minute warm-up on the elliptical, then went to the weight room. I upped my front and side lateral raises from 10 to 12 pounds, doing 3 sets of 15 reps each there, then did 3 sets of 15 at 100 pounds on the upright rows.

Shoulders flaring, I went back to the locker room, where I realized that I'd left my towel at home. Thankful I was late and didn't work up too much of a sweat with cardio for once in my life, I put on my work clothes and headed in.

I'm hopeful for positive change on the scale this week, though I realize that it's not up to wishes and hopes, it's up to me. I need to do better. I need to work out harder, I need to watch what goes in my mouth more carefully. I need to eliminate alcohol from my nightly TV watching. I need to get more focused.

Over the weekend I received more compliments on the weight loss from people who hadn't seen me in awhile. I humbly accepted the well-wishes with a thanks, but inside I felt like a phony. I should be doing much better than I am. I need to do much better than I am. I cannot be on auto-pilot, allowing another month to slip away while just maintaining. I'm still somewhere between 255 and 260, and I have to find a way to improve that. I have to be losing again.

The recent months of not losing? It's killing me.

Monday, June 01, 2009


This past weekend was full of excitement as I finally packed up the moving truck and went South, moving to be closer to my special lady friend. I've been really anxious about this thing actually happening, so I'm pleased that it's finally come and past now.

Leading up to the move, I hadn't been sleeping well for weeks. Last week I was up until 2, 2, 3, 4, then Friday night I didn't sleep a minute. She showed up around 9am, and I was ready to go - everything all boxed up. The movers came around 11am, and it took 2.5 hours to pack up the truck. A bit of cleaning later (thanks honey!), and we were on the road. Of course there was some issue with taking posession of the apartment, but it all worked out in the end and I'm probably 35% unpacked and set up.

This morning I was up at 4:45, drove to the gym, and I'm now at work. I'm ready to not have to think about Will The Move Actually Happen? and the associated potential pitfalls that accompany this line of thinking. Now I'm ready to once again blog and focus on my weight-loss issues.

I find that while I can multi-task to a degree, I can really only handle one Big Issue at a time. Whereas it was weight loss, it had switched to relationship/move in the past month. Ergo, less blogging, less thinking about how to improve, etc. But now I'm ready to switch back, read more, work out harder, do all the things I need to do to make my weight loss my #1 Big Issue again.

While I went to the gym a bit last week, I didn't go often enough, nor did I lift weights when I went - only did the stationary bike. This morning saw me pounding out upright rows, front raises and lateral raises, plus a couple miles on the elliptical. I worked up a bit of a sweat, but not a huge deluge, which is indicitive of too much sodium in my system. Not surprising, as last night I had a pork sandwich and french fries with ranch dressing and some potato salad and a couple beers from a delivery place. It was good, and I knew I was making that decision when I ordered it, but that's the last order like that. Next time we get BBQ, I'll just get the grilled chicken sandwich and water.

I stepped on the scale and saw 259 this morning. Now, normally I weigh-in after getting home from the gym (shut up - it maximizes my low number, but since I always am consistent like that the number of pounds lost is *always* accurate!), but I guess I'm going to have to weigh in earlier now. Which means that I'll be a pound up on what I used to weigh in. Eh, I'll figure it out. I always do.


Where I've Been and Where I'm Going