Visual Proof

meTwo weeks ago I promised embarrassing photos. Well here they are. I had the opportunity to have two more taken tonight. I do better in the daylight I think. I wanted to post these photos to prove that what I have been doing the past six months has been working and that the change has been dramatic. The next set of pictures will be taken when I reach my goal weight of 190 pounds.

I have not seen 203 pounds and me on a scale at the same time since some time in 2010. I have not been under 200 since 2008. I had a cup of coffee at 200 in 2010 but spent quite a bit of time at 205.

I seriously can see my goal weight. A few folks have told me recently that it’s not about the number on the scale. It’s just a number. Or it’s about losing fat. Or it’s all about losing inches. I disagree and agree all at the same time.

It’s about all those things for me. But most importantly it’s about what I want and what I need. My body was never meant to carry more than 200 pounds.

I’m starting to see some definition and other aspects to my body I have not seen in years. My jawline is coming back, I see veins in my arms and I have muscle tone reappearing.

As you can tell from the photos there is a major change from 236 to 221. But the most drastic change has been from 221-206. The difference is shocking.

I am not at the point where I can purchase a whole new wardrobe. I need to go shopping in my own closet. When I was at 236 I wore pants with a 40-inch waist and they were snug. Those same pants now literally fall off me. I got one pair of 38-inch pants during this and they are already loose. A pair of 36-inch pants I got some time ago now fit comfortably. I now fit into a pair of 38-inch waist skinny jeans. Last summer I wore XXL shirts. Now I am fitting into L again.

I switched up the weight lifting routine two weeks ago and I think I might switch back to the Daniel Craig 007 routine. I liked my shape better two weeks ago. Switching things up got me off the mini-plateau I was experiencing.

So much has changed. My strength is increasing for one thing. I have noticed just in the past week or so that my core strength is much improved.

I still have such a long way to go. I am two-thirds of the way there. It boggles my mind that I have lost 33 pounds and that I have just 13 to go to reach my goal weight. The thought of losing 46 pounds once sounded impossible.

I am quite upset over the fact that the American Medical Association has declared obesity a disease. The council that decided this says, “it would reduce the stigma of obesity that stems from the widespread perception that it is simply the result of eating too much or exercising too little. Some doctors say that people do not have full control over their weight. “WIDESPREAD PERCEPTION?!?” How about fact? Truth? How about the fact that classifying obesity as a disease benefits the medical profession and pharmaceutical companies and not the people who need the help most.

I am living proof that overeating and lack of exercise turns you into a fat ass. That before picture at 236 pounds shows the product of stuffing a sleeve of cookies or can of Pringles in one sitting and not burning one calorie through exercise.

I keep reading about food conspiracies, high fructose corn syrup, corn, Monsato and Lord knows what else when it comes to food.

I can’t believe I am actually going to write this but all natural, fresh foods are the way to go. And get off your ass and exercise. If you spend all day on the couch eating nothing but crap and eschewing exercise for Judge Judy you don’t have a disease.

I have taken responsibility for my condition and I’m doing something about it. No diet pills, no magic diets. Hard work and sensible eating habits, boom goes the dynamite.

Disease my ass. STFU.

Staying the Course and Shaking Things Up

So much for that idea. I was going to create a cool graphic with pictures of myself at 236, 221, 215 and 205.8 pounds. But I recently needed hard drive space so I dumped everything to an external hard drive and I don’t have the pictures handy. Next blog.

Last week was an interesting week as far as exercise and weight fluctuation are concerned. Last Saturday I weighed 206 pounds even. By Tuesday I was up to 209 and getting angry. I weighed in at 205.8 this morning. The only things I can think of are I retained water after running last Saturday because I was probably dehydrated and I ate too much last weekend. I definitely ate lighter this weekend and I spent quite a bit of time in the pool. A DIY wall repair job also kept me moving.

I’ve been trying to remember how I felt the last time I lost weight and weighed what I weigh now. It’s only been three years but I’m having trouble recalling what it felt like. All my friends at the time said exercise would give me more energy. It didn’t. Seems like I was more tired. That part I have figured out. I didn’t change my diet three years ago. What I can tell you about this experience is that I feel better and I have more energy. My chronic back problem is still a pain but internally I feel better, my knees don’t ache like they used to and I have some measure of flexibility back.

As much as the Daniel Craig weight-lifting regimen has been a big help, I am going to switch things up starting tomorrow night and go back to a routine that I used three years ago. I get so much out of the Wednesday leg lifts I have been doing I need to do that more than one night a week. I need to do a core routine every night, not just Monday and Friday.

I have been attacking this weight loss problem one challenge at a time. It’s funny that this journey started with a surgery caused by getting off to a bad start. That unfortunate set of circumstances kick-started this whole thing.  I know I am not there yet, I have close to 16 pounds still to go to reach goal #1 of 190 pounds. But I have started to think about what happens when I get there.

I told my closest coworkers that I can’t wait until I can eat like a normal person again and they practically said in unison that I can never eat like a normal person again. That got me thinking. As difficult as it has been trying to figure out my body, my metabolism and what it takes for me to lose weight, I have no idea what it’s going to take to achieve balance. It’s simple math, right? Burn as many calories as you consume and you’ll stay the same weight.

I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. It’ll be a nice problem to have. I would discuss the graphic I was going to make tonight, how different I look, blah, blah, blah. It’s pointless without the images, so I’ll save it for the next entry. It’ll be worth the wait. Not quite as exciting as the next season on Game of Thrones will be, but I hope seeing progress will drive home the point my words have been trying to make for five months.

Unfortunately, this blog is not a fitting follow up the last week’s “Red Wedding” episode of Game of Thrones, but I am more than happy to be the lead-in to tonight’s season finale.

Major Milestone

The first week of January I weighed 236 pounds. Yesterday I weighed in at 206. I have lost 30 pounds through diet, exercise and dogged determination. I have fought pain and my schedule, frustration and plateaus. I am nowhere near finished. I have 16 pounds to go to reach goal #1 which is 190 pounds. I want to be under 200 by my birthday at the end of this month and for the first time I really think I can get there.

However, the real purpose of tonight’s entry is not to crow about this milestone even though I am quite proud of myself. The theme of tonight’s blog is individuality.

Every human being is different. It’s what makes us an amazing species. Not that we don’t have our faults. Our ingenuity may end up costing us the planet we live on but our diversity, ability to create and curiosity are what make us the dominant species on this world.

The reason I mention it is this. What works for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for me. Yes, we have the same common building blocks for our very existence and there is some commonality in how our bodies work. But we are products of our upbringing and environment and genetics play a major role in our health and physique.

My hope here is that I may have inspired some of you to eat healthier and exercise. There are some basic truths to nutrition and body maintenance. You are what you eat and exercise is very important. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one is going to do it for you.

Life gets in the way, I get it. Mine got in the way. It’s still in the way when it comes to certain things I still need to address. I need a sleep study and reevaluation for my sleep apnea, the colonoscopy is on the horizon, I need dental work. I have been putting all kinds of things off because I was under the mistaken impression that I am indestructible.

Well, my pocket full of kryptonite has proven otherwise. Develop a chronic back problem, apnea and have the surgery I had and you realize that by the time your 40, your body will rebel against you if you don’t take care of it.

I have gotten so much unsolicited advice the past five months. As much as I appreciate folks wanting to help, I do have a wealth of resources at my fingertips. I am happy to say, I think I finally got this.

I’m sure I’ll get frustrated, I’m sure I’ll get angry. I do like the fact that there seems to be a community of people online who are legitimately trying to change their lifestyles, lose weight and get in shape.

My point? I have had no idea what I am doing. I am making this up as I go along. That’s why I can’t stay off the scale. What I do know is that I am finding things that work for me. That’s what you should do. Find what works for you, develop a routine and stick to it.  A little trial and error doesn’t hurt. It might piss you off but you’ll learn.

Step 1: Make a decision.
Step 2: Get motivated
Step 3: The rest is up to you

If I can rework my schedule and fit it into my life so can you. It’s not easy, don’t let anyone tell you it is. But anything worth having is worth working for. If anything or anyone is worth fighting for it’s you.

Life’s hard, wear a freaking helmet.