One Month in and doing alright.

moon design studio co. presents

I missed a week.

If it’s any consolation I only missed posting a blog, not eating right and exercising.  I am officially through one month (technically one month and one week). As it stands I am down 25 lbs. (technically 25.2).  I am also enjoying the added benefit of fitting into clothes that I previously couldn’t wear (technically I wore them but I shouldn’t have).  I have a couple of work shirts that I wear twice a week and while I have worn them since receiving them, I taxed them far beyond the abilities of mortal clothing.  I am happy to report that they now fit comfortably.  I am also down two notches on my belt-something else that was taxed beyond normal standards.  I am feeling better and if I may be so bold, I am looking better.

That’s not to say that this first month has been without its trials.  There have been several nights after work where going to the gym has been a struggle.  I’ve had to talk myself out of the comfort of my car like a hostage negotiator.  “C’mon, you have to work with me here. You go inside and I’ll make sure you get the large pizza, helicopter and $1,000,000 in small, unmarked, non-sequential bills.” Fortunately, just like on TV I fall for it every time even though I know I can’t fulfill  any of my demands.

It has also occurred on two occasions that I have missed the gym in the morning before work.  The first day was the day after labor day in which I had played baseball and swam(?) swimmed(?)-had swummed(?) (At any rate I was in a pool doing that thing were you move your arms and legs so as not to die).  The second was just this last Tuesday when I woke up at the sound of my alarm and turned it off and then was awakened 20 minutes later by my 4 year old crawling into bed.  But despite that I just made it up later in the week and haven’t missed going to the gym 5 times in a week, yet.

Eating right has not been as challenging, YET, as I thought it would be.  My wife has been doing some amazing, “clean eating” recipes which she posts on her blog at 365ish Days of Pinterest (Nothing wrong with a little cross promotion, right?). We’ve eaten well.  We have a cheat day once a week in which we are allowed one sweet treat.  So when I have a craving for something I just talk myself into waiting for cheat day.  When cheat day comes I find that I am not willing to over do it on the sweet treat because I don’t want to undo all the hard work it took to get to the cheat day.  Side note: once I reach my desired weight I plan on tearing through a carton of  Bear Claw ice cream. Trust me, 2017 can’t get here fast enough.

I am enjoying my gym membership.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been waiting to try the elliptical machine as it protested loudly the first time I tried to use it.  Well, today I gave it another shot.  It still protested although not as loudly and since there were plenty of other people using the protesting machines I felt confident enough to carry on.  I joined the chorus of elliptical machines, mine, of course, singing lead.  Just after I had passed one mile (yeah me!) there came a loud CU-CHUNK from my machine (which I’m pretty sure is elliptical for “Okay, fat boy, this is as far as I take you.“) so I quickly stopped, wiped it down and walked away like I had never been there.  I am dreading the return trip tomorrow morning where I expect to see that particular machine replaced with a grave stone which reads “RIP-elliptical #3-You gave more than was asked-and that last guy was asking a lot!”

I have made a new friend at the gym whose name aptly enough is Jim.  He is an older gentleman who could exercise circles around me and most of the people there.  He took time one day to tell me how much he admired us “big guys” who find a way to get to the gym and exercise on a regular basis.  He didn’t say it with any pity or sarcasm. It was pure compassion and encouragement.  We see each other on Mondays and Tuesdays and now we talk regularly.

That is one thing I have appreciated through the beginning of this process.  I have received encouragement from so many people: My family, my church family, friends, co-workers, customers, complete strangers.  It is a blessing to have you all supporting me.  I’ll be honest (as I mentioned in the first post) I probably would have quit already if I was just trying to do this for myself.  Knowing that you all are supporting me and encouraging me, the people-pleaser in me just doesn’t want to let you down.  So thank you for your month long support.  I looked forward to rejoicing in victory with you all at the end.  The ice cream will be on me.

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My Goals

HOW MUCH I AM

Ever since I was a kid I have loved to play sports.  I would play almost anything-even soccer. I remember summer days spent outside until the street lights came on playing baseball with a handful of kids, a bat and an old tennis ball. It didn’t matter what we were playing, I wanted to be the best and I wanted to win.

I still have that competitive fire in my belly (there’s ample room for that now). I still have a love for sports and will, given the opportunity, play anything I can (even soccer-but only if there’s absolutely nothing else to do). As my weight has climbed those ventures have become more difficult and fewer and farther between.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to play a friendly game of softball (friendly meaning one in which my deteriorating skills will go largely unnoticed). I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  After loading up on Ibuprofen I began to think about the fat skinny guy inside me and pictured what he would be saying.

The fat fat guy was exhausted and trying to figure out why we went outside instead of staying home and watching a Psych marathon on TV. But the fat skinny guy (who I am happy to report is feeling trimmer these days having lost a full 15 lbs) was ecstatic.  He was all geeked out about playing sports again and started listing all of the things we’re going to do once our body is cooperative. So I thought I would share some of those things with you in the form of goals.

GOAL #1:

Run a race by my 40th birthday.

I shared this one with my wife the other day. I was a little tentative about sharing this goal with her as the last one I shared with her (my dream to own an Audi) was not only laughed at but she shot it to pieces and lit the tattered remains on fire. However I know my wife loves me and am confident she would support a realistic goal (even one as unrealistic as me running a race). Instead she insisted that I could do it well before my 40th birthday which is still a little over three years away.

I have to be honest, I really don’t enjoy running at all. Even back when it was easy to do. Unless I was running whilst carrying a football or rounding the bases I didn’t really do it.  So I have no desire to become a runner. I don’t even want to run a marathon (the thought of which makes me chuckle to myself) or a half. I might be able to tolerate a 5k or a 10k if it’s like a mud run or something. So as a compromise to my wife’s insistence that I not wait until I’m 40 I have recorded as a goal to run a race by my 40th birthday. That gives me three years to find something that will interest me. And also gives me some time to get to a weight that won’t engender chortles at the starting line.

GOAL #2:

Fit comfortably in a seat at a baseball game.

I love baseball and I have a young boy who is super interested in sports. I am currently waging a battle against his mother and all of Southern California for his fandom. I am a Giants fan! Since I was 9 I have loved the orange and black.  I even named our first dog after the Giants then skipper Dusty Baker. My wife will insist that it was because of the dusty looking spots under her fur but it was my name and I know its true inspiration.  I want my boy to like the Giants too. I want to take him to a Giants home game and go early so we can get an autograph or two. I know this would seal the deal for him and make him a Giant for life. But as it stands right now those chairs are extremely uncomfortable for me to sit in for three hours.  So I have officially made this a goal for which I will strive.

GOAL #3:

Play on a rec-league softball team. 

Have I mentioned I love baseball? I want to play it again without being a detriment to the team.  I am an infielder.  Even as a kid I was far too slow for the outfield. I have in the past played third base and short stop.  I would love to return to the diamond but right now I have a hard enough time getting to a ball let alone bending over and picking it up.  My batting has also suffered greatly.  It’s hard to get around on an inside pitch when the inside is crowded by a considerable amount of body.

GOAL #4:

Fit comfortably in an airline seat.

I love my wife.  I made a promise to her a few years ago that I have not been able to keep as of yet.  That promise was to take her on a really great vacation.  There are several reasons we haven’t done this yet, not the least of which is financial.  That being said one major deterrent  is any really great vacation will require air travel (I’m so not a driving vacation kind of guy).  The last few times I’ve flown I’ve needed a seat belt extender.  I hate asking for one because the flight attendant always looks disdainfully at me, I’m sure wondering why I bother to fly in the first place.  It’s embarrassing but I’ve endured it.

The real reason I don’t want to fly is because those airline seats are not built for such a load as this.  I have never had to buy a second seat for myself but I am sure I would be mortified to do so.  I want to fly to the east coast with my wife and take a Caribbean cruise. I would like to sit next to her on a plane without adding any burden to her seat or (as has happened in the past) forcing her out into the aisle to get a little space.  I want to have my own seat, be able to put the arm rest down and use only the one seat belt.  Oh, and maybe be able to get the tray table to lay flat in front of me so I don’t have to use the one next to me to place my drink and bag of peanuts.

I have many other goals to be sure.  I will not belabor you with them at this point but I will share more with you as I progress. I will also share when I have reached these goals. If you haven’t already heard me shouting about it in exuberance.

Crossing the Starting Line

imageWeek one is in the books.  I have to say it was a good week.  The fat skinny guy inside me is happy–a little tired but happy nonetheless. I took my “before” picture (above) and after one week of faithfully exercising, a bout with stomach flu and eating properly I have lost 13 lbs.

This is when I would normally celebrate with a large bowl of Bear Claw Ice Cream and chocolate chip cookies (Great, now I really want that).  Thankfully, the fat skinny guy inside is in control and wants to keep the momentum rolling.

I joined a gym.  It is in the same parking lot as the restaurant I manage.  I have gone 5 times in the past week.  I have worked mostly on the exercise bike.  I like the elliptic glider as it allows me to run without putting too much pressure on my knees.  I fear, however that I may be a little too heavy for them yet. They have a tendency to cry out in protest with every revolution of the wheel announcing loudly to all around, “A fat guy is exercising”.  So for now I am content to bike and use the treadmill for my cool down time.

I haven’t gotten into the weights yet.  That seems a little daunting as that portion of the gym is largely populated by overly muscular men and women grunting with each rep.  I may venture over there someday but it’ll have to be later on when I don’t feel like a kid trying to join an adult conversation.

As far as food goes I have made good choices this week (yeah me).  One of my cooks is very excited for me and has vowed to only make me healthy food while at work (even if I order something unhealthy).  I downloaded an app to my phone which allows me to track what I’m eating.  I think that having to type it in my phone (and post here) has helped me.  I don’t want to have to post something bad so I’m not eating it.

I did struggle a little at times. Wednesday night after work I did not want to exercise at all.   I was tired and I wanted to go home and sleep. I sat in the car for and extra five minutes but I finally found the will power (knowing that I would have to record my failure here helped a lot). On the way home I was starving as it had been about 7 hours since I’d eaten and I worked hard and then exercised.  I pulled into the only place open at 4:00 am.  Jeff in the Cube (names have been changed to avoid any legal trouble)!

I pulled out my phone and looked at the calorie count.  I quickly realized that not only was there nothing on the menu under 600 calories but I didn’t want to eat that many.  Did you read that?  “I DIDN’T want to”. This is a first for me. I always WANT to. But thankfully all that dieting and exercise seems to have started to change my “want to”.

So I’m off to a good start.  Thanks to all those at work and home who have pushed me and encouraged me this week. I appreciate you.

Confessions

MY FAT

It is often said that confession is good for the soul. It is, however, pretty rough on the ego.

The purpose of my blog is to hold me accountable during my journey to not just lose weight but change my lifestyle as it pertains to food and exercise.  In order to do that I need to be transparent (not one of my strengths). The overall tone of this blog will be decidedly light-hearted. So I thought I would start off with the heavy stuff (no pun intended) and get that out of the way.

Confession #1:

I weigh in excess of 400 lbs. (yikes!).  Even as I write that it’s hard to believe.  In my mind I’m an average sized guy. When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror it surprises me at times. I am large. I mean “little kids staring with mouths agape when I pick up my boys from school” large. The problem is I just don’t see myself like that at all.  My brain is like that overly compassionate friend who is willing to convincingly lie to your face when you ask their opinion about something you know is bad, but you ask them anyway because you know they will find a way to make you feel better about the horrible decision you just made. So I’m cutting it off. Well, not completely. I’m partial to my brain but I’m not listening to its platitudes anymore. Brain, I’m fat! Let’s fix it!

Confession #2:

I’m a boredom eater. One of my many bad choices when it comes to food involved my very long commute. It was a boring and sometimes unending ride home.  It could take me anywhere from an hour and a half to 3 hours. My go-to move was to grab a bag of chips or two and a big cup of lemonade. I rationalized that it was dinner time, I was hungry and it would help pass the time. If I’m being honest (which is the whole point of this) both bags of chips and the drink were gone in 15 minutes-not really helping pass the time.

At home if I have some down time I tend to migrate toward the pantry and eat my way through a tv show or sporting event. When I was a kid it was a mistake to utter the words, “I’m bored” anywhere near my mother. She would immediate set out to resolve our boredom and more often then not it was through chores. Keeping up with this blog should help alleviate some of the boredom. I’ve seen my wife keep hers running at 365ish days of pinterest and there is certainly no shortage of work there.

Confession #3:

I am a people pleaser. I’m not entirely sure that is the most accurate description of me but I’ll explain. Ever since I was a kid I was a ham. I love to make people laugh and be the center of attention.  I crave it sometimes.  I could never survive as a hermit.  The fault in this is that it makes me a glory hound as well.  I enjoy (and sometimes need) the praise of other people. It’s far too often what motivates me.  It has probably gotten me into more trouble than I care to admit.

My desire through this blog is to utilize that weakness and transform it into a strength. By using my (often obnoxious) need to be the center of attention to motivate me to do something positive, which in this case is lose weight.   Now I need to make this understood:  It is not my only motivation or I would just post positive things all the time and bask in the compliments. 

I hope that you will help me as I try to become a better, smaller version of me.  If I need encouragement I would hope you would provide it. If I need admonition I also hope you would be quick to dole that out. If so, I thank you in advance for your support. I look forward to what the future holds.