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December 30, 2006

The Path Less Traveled and Token Fat Guy gets the EYE

I was asked awhile ago what I meant by 'The Path Less Traveled'. "What does that mean, StrangeDOS? Seriously...what is it?"

Okay...it is a frame of mind or a way of life depending on how you look at it.

For example...let's say you are just a kid and you grow up in a house where drinking alcohol was considered a normal thing. I'm not talking about an entire house full of drunks. I'm just talking about your average social drinkers. No more or less than what is average. Now...let's look at the society that encourages this sort of behavior. Commercials...movies...TV...everyone expecting you to grow up and drink. I'm not saying that drinking is bad. I'm just saying that we expect everyone to do it. You work hard during the week and darn it you are going to treat yourself to a couple of cold ones. Or you are going to go out on a date with your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife and have some wine with your meal. The wine list is given to you...if you ask for it or not. It is normal in our society...to the point of being expected.

If you think we don't expect people to drink...try this someday when you get the chance. At ANY gathering of people where there is social drinking going on...don't drink. Then while you are talking to a group of people that don't know you that well, steer the conversation to alcohol. Wait for people to start in about 'the last time they got drunk' or 'how they can drink you under the table'. At that point just announce that you don't drink anymore. Spin some tale about how you never really liked drinking and finally stopped doing it. Watch how quickly people will back peddle...saying, "oh...I really cut down on my drinking too" or "I just have a little wine with dinner". I have done this over and over again and am still amazed at the way people will act.

Anyway, think back to that little kid, who for whatever reason, decides not to run with the pack. He doesn't develop a taste for alcoholic beverages. When at a party or bar, he is always the designated driver. When on a date, he let's his significant other enjoy some mixed drinks knowing they will both be safe with him driving afterwards. He doesn't like beer, he doesn't bother learning about wines, he gives mixed drinks a pass. Sure, he drank some while in high school and while in the Navy but only because it was expected of him. And he promptly quit on his 21st birthday.

He's on a road less traveled.

He doesn't think he's better...he just knows he's different.

It sounds a bit preachy...it isn't meant to be. Most of us walk a path less traveled...we just don't tend to think about it. You might be the only person at work that likes to dress nice on Fridays. Or perhaps you are the only person in North Carolina that actually uses his turn signals when changing lanes. It doesn't have to be a big thing. It doesn't have to be an important thing.

So you might wonder how that fits into weight loss. Well, our society is setup to help make us fat. Our food is plentiful, cheap, and largely bad for us. After High Fructose Corn Syrup was discovered back in the 70s, we've been stuffing into our foods as a cheap sweetener. You can't watch TV without a PapaJohns commercial tempting you with (but not telling you about the 410 calories per slice on their pan crust sausage pizza). Fast food chains answer the call of "I'm too busy to cook"...with foods like Jack in The Box's Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger...with a heart stopping 1090 calories!!

To lose weight one MUST walk a path less traveled.

Enough soapbox preaching...I'm sure some of you want to know about how Token Fat Guy is doing...

Okay...I had to go to the doctor. I messed up my shoulder doing something (probably weight lifting) and now it hurts. I'm at the age where I need to be careful about rotator cuff injuries...so off to the doctor I go. I get to the doctor's office and I feel some one watching me again (I've always had that sense...sort of like Spiderman). Anyway, I quick turn around and I see some woman standing next to her SUV. She's checking me out! And I don't mean a "I happen to be looking your way" type of look. This is a "I wouldn't mind having a baby with you" type of look. It's been awhile since I got one of those. Token Fat Guy gets the EYE!

Later at home I was telling my lovely wife Heather about the 'parking lot peeper' when I realized that I didn't have on my wedding ring. I take it off when I'm lifting weights and often forget to put it back on. It isn't my original wedding ring. It is one that I got to wear in its place after I had gained all my weight.

So I walk over to the Bowflex, pick up my ring and put it on. It is cold so shake my hand a bit. The ring goes flying off my finger and hits the floor with a loud PING.

Ah...my wedding ring doesn't fit anymore and women are noticing me again. And to top it all off...Token Fat Guy hits 254 lbs

Total weight lost...38 lbs.

December 27, 2006

The Polarity of the Token Fat Guy

I get up and get my gear together for my trip to the gym. I have my Zune for music...car keys...ready to go. I'm so looking forward to it because after the pig out that was Christmas day, I need to get back on track as quickly as possible.

I arrive at the gym and look for a recumbent bike to use. I see my favorite one is free, so I mount up. As I get settled in, I do a quick scan of the people there. Pretty good crowd for the day after Christmas. I guess I'm not the only one with this idea. HEY WAIT A MOMENT!!!

I feel an cold icy stare...some one is watching me. Who...oh there he is. What's his problem? What does he want? I see...he's big like me...perhaps bigger. He's a fat guy. I realize what he wants...he wants my title. He wants to be Token Fat Guy.

You would think that fat guys would stick together...perhaps form a friendly competition. But that's not how it tends to work. It is TOTALLY illogical...but for some reason we don't want to be around each other. It could be because we don't want to be reminded of ourselves...or that we want to believe that if we do the same thing that thin people are doing then we will get thin too (and thus don't want to have other fat people blocking our view).

Some of it has to do with the size of the gym I go to. It is rather small...so it can't really support too many Token Fat People. I've seen large gyms with 3 or 4. The Harris YMCA can probably hold the most. This is mostly due to the way it is split up. One main lifting area...with some cardio machines, then an overflow area with more cardio machines, upstairs there is an inside track with another lifting area at one end and cardio at the other, there is an outdoor track, and so on. It really splits people up so the Token Fat People can have a nice comfort area...or Neutral Zone. Just like in Star Trek.

Why is this necessary? Who knows. But I do know that the Balentine YMCA is MINE. I'm the Token Fat Guy there. And if that lard ass tries to flex on me, I'll take him right down.

So how bad was Christmas on the diet? Right Awful...

I switched my cheat day around so it would land on that day...that helped...but it was still a disaster. Just for grins I wrote down everything I ate so I can see how much damage I was doing. I didn't eat any less. This was just to satisfy my curiosity. I won't get into the specifics but I consumed TWICE the calories of a normal day. So my weekly caloric intake is trashed.

On a better note, I switched my upper body exercises today. Actually, I changed them last week in preparation for today. This is something I started doing awhile ago. Appearently, if you do an exercise enough, your body will eventually get used to it and you will not get the same benefit that you originally got. So they say you should change your lifting exercises about once every 4 - 6 weeks. I used to think this was sounded stupid. I finally get used to a workout routine and then I have to change it? How will I ever get good at the exercises? But I was wrong.

Even if I think something is wrong, I'm willing to give it a try to see if there is anything to it. So I started changing my exercises about once every 6 weeks. And you know what? It works.

Once I got past my ego (wanting to try to lift 'heavier' weights) and started lifting 'smarter', I've noticed more definition in my arms and chest...something I just wasn't getting using the same exercises over and over.

Now I actually look forward to switching stuff around. So give that 'bench press' a rest and try something else for a bit. You will end up better off in the long run.

So speaks the Token Fat Guy.

December 22, 2006

The website is starting to pickup. I had a couple people at work walk up to me and say, "Hey StrangeDOS! Love the site!" Afterwards I'm walk away thinking, "Who the heck was that?"

But I've had some 'clever' people say, "What a minute StrangeDOS! Why haven't you posted your progress this week? By now you are bragging about how you dropped another pound or two. And your weight chart shows you just jumping around 260 - 258 lbs. What's up with that?"
Well, you caught me. I hit 258 lbs and haven't lost an ounce since. But the week is still young. My official weekly check-in is on Sunday morning. However, I'm not going to have a meltdown if I don't drop anything this week. I know what's going on and I'm cool with it.

"Cool with it?!" you might be asking. Well, let me tell you. I had a scare the week of 12/11. Nothing major...but something I need to deal with. I dropped about 5 lbs of muscle mass in a week. You might have seen the posting I made when it happened. So I decided my caloric intake was too low and as a result I was beginning to burn muscle instead of fat. So I added a protein shake to my morning routine. The following week my muscle weight jumped up bit...but not back to where it was. However, while this is going on, I don't seem to be getting past 258 lbs.

It's kind of an unintended balance. I'm gaining back muscle mass, but I'm losing fat at a rate that allows my overall weight to remain pretty steady.

You might wonder why I'm so concerned with my muscle mass. It's not like I'm trying to become a body builder. I'm just trying to lose some weight. So why should I care if I drop a bit of muscle mass in the process? The answer is simple...

Muscle burns fat

A pound of muscle will burn approximately 50 calories in a day...and that's if it is just sitting there. The more muscle you have, the more calories you use in a day. So guard your muscle mass. It is your friend...your fat burning, secret weapon.

Does this mean I plan on becoming a muscle head? Hardly. But I have a threshold where I don't want my muscle weight to get below. So occasionally I will allow my weight loss to back-off so I can build a bit of muscle back. Then I can continue.

Is all this really necessary? Not really. If I paid more attention to my caloric intake in the first place, I wouldn't have these problems. Once I get all that down pat, the rest should take care of itself. Either that or I'm completely delusional...which is possible. Some weight loss gurus will tell you that you can't build muscle and lose fat at the same time. I say "up yours guru-nerd-boys". I might not be able to do both at the exact same moment. But I can do it over a period of time.

Now back to progress... You want to see progress. Well how about this for progress...

1. When I first started walking as part of my schedule, when I looked down, I would see the tips of my shoes poking out when I took a stride forward. One day I noticed my shoe laces. Then my ankles and shins became visible. Most recently I have discovered my knees and the lower part of my quadriceps.



2. While on the subject of walking, my last few walks at work I have actually been jogging a bit on one of the hills. I have to take it slow...protect my knees...but I am jogging. Well sort of...if I were a horse, I call it more of a 'trot'. Those of you that ride know what I'm talking about. I tried it at the gym today when I was on the treadmill. My speed varies between 3.0 and 3.5. Today I jacked it up to 4.0 and got a bit of a jog going. By the time I was getting off the thing, my calves were on fire and my shirt was wet and nasty. It was a good workout. And to my surprise, my knees aren't complaining.

3. Back in 2005...when my weight was getting really high, a bunch of my coworkers had their pictures taken on Hawaiian shirt day. I'm the token fat guy on the left. Damn I look upset.


I actually stopped wearing this shirt after this picture was taken. This morning it caught my attention as I was dressing. I put it on and...

Wanna see that again?


Notice the neck
Notice the slope of the shoulder in the older picture
Notice my big fat head
Try not to notice that the one on the right as a bit more white in his beard

NOTE: Thanks to Adam for resizing the images so I'm the same height. And props to Leonard for taking today's picture for me.

That enough progress for you?

NOW GET OFF MY BACK!

Seriously, have a Merry Christmas. :)

December 20, 2006

Why does it all take so long? It is SO VERY FRUSTRATING sometimes. I KNOW...I absolutely KNOW that I am losing weight. The scales say it...my changing pants sizes say it, people are finally starting to say it. Why does it take so long to really notice it?

Well, the easy answer is because you LIVE inside your skin. So you see yourself all the time. If you were to ignore your body for a week, then you'd notice a difference. Knowing this, you can go visit friends that you haven't seen in a week or two and let them notice the difference for you. Like one of my coworkers, Leonard. He took a week of vacation. When he came back, he noticed that I had lost weight while he had been gone.

The second reason, and I read this on a website sometime ago, is the paper towel theory. I wish I remembered where I read this from so I could give them props but it was years ago. Here is the deal...

Take a FULL roll of paper towels. Remove about 15 sheets from the roll. Now look at the roll. You won't see much of a difference.

Now take a roll of paper towels that is about 3/4th of the way used. Then remove the same 15 sheets from the roll. Can you see a difference? Damn straight you see a difference.

It's all about percentages. Both examples actually lose the same amount of sheets...but it is more noticeable on the smaller roll because the percentage of total roll is higher.

292 lb Robert drops 10 lbs...he just lost approximately 3.4% of his body weight
258 lb Robert drops 10 lbs...he just lost approximately 3.9% of his body weight
230 lb Robert drops 10 lbs...he just lost approximately 4.3% of his body weight

292 Robert will cry because no one will notice his weight change
258 Robert will be slightly encouraged at the couple people that notice his weight change
230 Robert will be snotty and flaunt his obvious weight lose in the faces of ANYONE that he comes in contact with




Now the last reason that weight loss is hard to notice is that there are different types of fat. The first type is intramuscular fat. Which is the fat in your muscles (duh). Check out this cut of meat. See all the fat? Yeah...some of OUR fat is like that...YUM...




Next you have nasty deposits of fat around your organs and in the abdomen known as visceral fat. This is probably the most dangerous type of fat as it is linked to heart disease. And even more disturbing than the intramuscular fat...

{Picture of Visceral fat removed to keep you from barfing on my blog}

Then you have the fat that everyone sees because it is just under the skin...subcutaneous fat.

Now here is the rub...you tend to lose them in order listed...

Intramuscular fat
Visceral fat
Subcutaneous fat

So when your diet plan first starts and your scales tell you that you are losing weight but you just CAN'T see it. You are probably still working on intramuscular fat. It takes FOREVER to get to the visceral fat. But be patient...it will come. And in the meantime you are repairing some of the damage you've done to your insides. Muscles will get stronger, your organs will function better...you will FEEL better. I'm telling you after dropping 34 pounds, I feel 5 years younger.

The point is 'buck up...just keep working your plan'. Weight loss is difficult and our bodies are designed to cleverly store fat all over the place. Try not to focus too much on if anyone notices or not. And the general rule of thumb is most people will not notice weight loss unless it is about 15% - 20% of your body weight.

December 17, 2006

Well...I ended the week with another major victory. Official weigh-in at 258 lbs. That's down 34 from my start point.

Now you might say, "Robert, I know you think EVERY pound lost is a victory. So what makes this so special?"

Although, my first thought would be to tell you to mind your own damn business and stop trying to bring me down... What I really should say is something about how it feels. Do you have any idea what 34 pounds is?

34 lbs of cocaine has a street value of roughly $1 million

A bag of 5000 wheat pennies weighs 34 lbs

In the 2001 semifinal round of the EverStart series competition, Rick Kazmierczak of Orchard Park, N.Y, in the Co-Angler Division, retained the top spot with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 34 lbs.

The PAL ramps, which were said to have caused the downing of the space shuttle Columbia, were removed from the space shuttle Discovery. This resulted in a foam reduction of 34 lbs.

The Invacare IVC Tracer SX5 Wheelchair, which sells for under $300, weighs 34 lbs.



An agricultural laborer in the mid fifteenth century could buy 23 pounds of bread with a day's wages. In fact, he was frequently fed for free by the proprietor, and the meals were not charged against his wages, so his purchasing power was even higher. The more skilled artisan could buy 34 pounds of bread.

The Huggies Disney Mega Pull-Up Training Pants fit boys with weight between 18 and 34 lbs.



I think you get the picture now.

December 15, 2006

Today's blog entry is in memory of Marc. He was a kind friend that left us before his time. May he find his way in the after-life.

December 14, 2006

The Birth of Token Fat Guy

I put on my work out gear and drive to the gym. When I get inside I run my ID under the bar code reader. The pretty attendant glances at the screen and says, "Welcome back Mr StrangeDOS. How are you doing today?"

I look at her slender frame and wonder if she knows how lucky she is to have it. I reply, "I'm down 33 lbs...so I'm doing very well thank you." I have to put real effort into not sounding like a snot. We smile and I walk over to the treadmills. I could pick one of the ones in back but I don't. I go for the one in the front row. Let 'em all see me. I know what they are thinking. Oh...it's him...the token fat guy.

Every gym has at least one. He's the guy that makes everyone feel better about themselves. No matter how bad your day is going, if you go into the gym you might see the token fat guy. That will make you feel better. See him work so hard...what a lard ass!

Yeah, that's me...token fat guy. But I don't let it bother me. I know most of them aren't aware of the herculean effort it took me to drop over 30 lbs. Like the guy on the treadmill next to me today. He was running while I was walking. I could let that bother me. But I know why it is the way it is. He may think less of me because I'm not running like him. But I know why. I weigh 259 lbs. I have to be VERY careful of knee injuries. I have to take things slowly...build up strength. I get a good workout walking...and my knees aren't at risk. How much does he weigh? Probably around 210...maybe 200. Let him pick up 60 lbs and see if he can run with it safely. Besides, I'm token fat guy. I'll do as I please...and to heck with what everyone else is doing.

Yes, that's the type of thing that goes on in my head. Logically I know that most people in the gym don't even notice me. Most of them are so focused on their own workouts that they couldn't be bothered to give me a thought. Sure there is always that oddball person that makes himself (or herself) feel good by rating how much better off they are than me. But I have two reasons that I don't let it bug me...

1. He's a complete jack ass.
2. I'm the token fat guy. And everyone loves the token fat guy.

So take a hint from token fat guy. Don't let gyms be intimidating. If you need to workout, don't let anyone or anything stand in your way. It is YOUR life and only YOU can live it.

End tirade

If you didn't notice earlier, I weighed in at 259 lbs. I'm in the 250s again! Only 7 more lbs and I will be at my absolute low point for the journey. I'm so excited to be this far along. And I got some more good news. For the Fat Boy challenge at work, I am the biggest loser, having dropped more actual weight than anyone else in the challenge.

I rule

December 13, 2006

I've been noticing that my strength has decreased over the class couple weeks...not a lot but some. And the 'Fat Boy' weigh-in shows that I have dropped some muscle mass. So I was thinking that maybe I'm not consuming enough protein. I started adding some in the mornings but I ONLY do it after my upper body lifting workouts. So I might get one or two extra high protein meals per week. That's probably not enough. Then I went back and reviewed what I have been eating lately and I'm not getting near enough protein.

So starting today I'm adding a protein shake to my morning routine (post workout). I'll do this on ALL workout days, even cardio days. I have a big tub of 'Complete Protein', a bunch of bananas, and a blender...and I'm not afraid to use them.

Took my GPS with me on my walk to see just how far I was going...5 miles. I thought it was longer. But still, not bad.

December 12, 2006

Here is the chart for BMI...

So I need to lose 24 more pounds to get down into the 'class 1' obesity range. And I need to drop 60 pounds to reach 'overweight'.

It's weird to be talking open about obesity after treating it as a dirty word for so long. But I got to tell you it is very liberating. I'm no longer haunted by it...because I'm doing something about it.

If you want to know more about obesity and how it affects those inflicted, I highly recommend the following site...

http://www.obesityinamerica.org/

You will find lots of information on statistics, support groups, related diseases, and more. Its a pretty good site.

I went to a party this weekend. Saw some people that hadn't seen in awhile. I got some comments about my appearance. That was nice. I wore a shirt that I haven't been able to wear since I bought it. It was one of those "I know it is too small but if I get it then I'll lose weight" shirts. And for once, it worked...but lets be honest here. The shirt sat in my closest for a year before I could wear it.

Speaking of shirts that I can wear, I have a bunch of shirts that I got from a promo at work. I gave out a bunch of shirts as a prize for a project that we did. This was back when I was in the 230 lb range. Anyway, we had a few large people on the team so I had to special order some shirts that would fit them. Sizes 4x and 5x. Since I had to order a batch of them just to get the 4 that I needed, I was left with a stack of them. I passed them out to some of my heftier coworkers and the rest ended up following me home. I used them as night shirts.

As my weight crept up, I found that I was wearing these shirts more often. Around the house, while doing yard work, I even started wearing them to work. The progression was so gradual that I never really noticed. I just thought of them as really comfy shirts. I really didn't notice that I was washing them every week. Then I started wearing ONLY these shirts. They were the only thing I really could fit in anymore.

But now, I never wear them. I'm still a 2x...but just a 2x. Someday I'll be an XL again...but I don't need those 4x's anymore. I think...maybe...yes...it IS time to get rid of them. I will exercise them from my dresser. I'll do it as soon as I get back from my workout.

December 9, 2006

Weighed in at 260 lbs :) Sweet! Only 8 more pounds until I catch up with the lowest point I was ever at since all this started. Yes, if you look at my old entries for September 2004 you can see it.
http://www.strangedos.com/2004_09_01_archive.html

I need to post a chart with my weight changes. I keep one on my thumb drive. I'll see where it would look right on the site and post it there.

Did cardio today. Arms still a bit sore from yesterday. Took my normal walk during lunch today. Thanks to my Zune I really look forward to my daily walks. And it is making a real difference in my progress. I know walking is all 'low intensity', but I'm not using it as my cardio workout. I'm using it to help keep my metabolism up while at work. I want it to offset the fact that I sit on my butt all day. And I believe it is doing that and more. I really enjoy the alone time while I'm listening to music. I helps me to unwind.

I have some great news. Well...maybe you all won't think of it as great but I'm pretty excited about it. I recalculated my BMI (body mass index) based on my new weight….and I am NO LONGER considered to be in the 'morbid obese' category. I'm just plan old, regular obese now! This is huge (pardon the pun)!! I can't wait until I'm just 'overweight'. But that's a long way off from now.

December 8, 2006

DONE! I got all my journal entries posted on the new web site. Now I just need to post the new one when I create it. I hope this is worth it. I'm going to get really pissed off if I did all this and I don't get any hits on the site. HEY! I just realized I need a counter on the site so I can see if anyone hits it. DUH

Holding steady at 262 lbs

Did upper body today. The extra set of 3 reps is killer. It really pushes me to a higher intensity level.

I'm running into a problem that I had before...sleep. I'm not getting enough of it. I'm getting about 6 - 7 hours of sleep when I should be getting 8 - 9 hours. Need to work on that.

I've been walking nearly everyday for the past couple weeks. I can tell a difference in my legs. I've noticed that my thighs aren't carrying as much fat as before. The other place I seem to be losing fat from is my belly. It still sticks out a bit but the sides are hollowing out. It looks weird really. Like some one scooped fat out of me. Sort of gross when you say it that way.

December 7, 2006

BIG NEWS!!

Weighed in at 262 lbs! That's down 30 lbs from my fat ass max of 292 lbs.

Next time I go to the gym I need to pick up 30 lbs and carry it around for a bit. Just to get some perspective. I should have done it today while I was there doing my treadmill.

My body fat percentage is dancing around the 42%-38% range. Weird to think of 40% of me is fat. Mostly my head, I'll bet.

Also, according to my chart, I'm at the weight that I was in 2002. So I have undone 4 YEARS OF WEIGHT GAIN.

Next major milestone is at 252 lbs...which I'm hoping to hit sometime around mid-to-late January.

December 6, 2006

Weighed in at 263 lbs! Hey, that means I'm down 29 lbs...10% of my body weight. And only 1 pound away from the 30 pound mark!

I did lower body today. I stepped up the weight on the leg extensions. I'll probably feel that later.

My journal entries have been taking a backseat to my attempts to get my web site running. I'm thinking the site might need to undergo a move. I'm not happy with the hosting that I get from work.

December 4, 2006

267 lbs - Typical day after cheat day.

Did upper body today. I'm trying out something new. I decided to add a extra set of reps on to my pyramid. Before I would lift doing 12 repetitions, then increase weight and do 10 reps, then increase weight and do 8 reps, increase weight and do 6 reps. Then do my super sets of 12 reps and then another 12 reps but of a different exercise that targets the same muscle group. So it looked like this...

20 lbs - 12 reps
25 lbs - 10 reps
30 lbs - 8 reps
35 lbs - 6 reps
30 lbs - 12 reps
30 lbs - 12 reps (but with a different exercise for the same muscle group)

Anyway, I added a mini set of 3 reps at a higher weight. So it looks like this...

20 lbs - 12 reps
25 lbs - 10 reps
30 lbs - 8 reps
35 lbs - 6 reps
40 lbs - 3 reps
30 lbs - 12 reps
30 lbs - 12 reps (but with a different exercise for the same muscle group)

I want to push the muscle as far I can so the extra set is there to tell me just how much I can lift once my muscle is primed. I'm only going to do it on upper body for now. I got a pretty good workout with it today.

This evening I took a long walk. This is the first time I got to use the Zune. It was a good walk. I went way farther than I normally do. I even made a call to Dad to catch up with him while I was walking.

My eating was messed up today, however. I just wasn't hungry so I didn't eat much. I did do a protein shake after my workout. So I at least fed my muscles.

I'll eat better tomorrow. And I need to get some meals made up or I'm going to run out this week.

I got some work done on the website today. Still getting my journal parsed out so I can post it. I'm caught up to around September of this year. I'll try to get some more down tomorrow. Some of the links are busted and the year is wrong on some of the entries. Oh, I put up a graph showing my weight loss (and gain). I want to put up some links so people can comment on the different entries. I'm not sure how to do that yet. I might need to consult some web dev sites. I'll get it figured out.

Anyway, its getting late and I'm starting to get sleepy.

December 3, 2006

My depression was very short lived. Once I realized what was bothering me I was able to deal with it and move on.

Week ended at 264 lbs...which is down 28 lbs from my max. Looked in the mirror today and felt a bit more human. The walks during lunch and the changes in my workout are really doing the trick. I did hit a snag though.

I use a RIO MP3 player so I can listen to music while I work out. I got it a few years back and it has performed well for me. However, the last few weeks it has been acting up. The display won't show what's playing and sometimes the mouse would get stuck. When I went for my walk on Saturday, it completely froze up the mouse. I couldn't flip through my collection at all. And once I got it to start playing I couldn't stop it. So I let it play until my walk was over and started shopping for a new player.

Now I have a Microsoft Zune. And WOW is it cool! It just got released a few weeks ago. I was worried because I had heard some bad press about it. People were trash talking it pretty bad. But I did some homework and found that they were mostly idiots and Microsoft haters...so they weren't going to like it anyway. Then I found a blog that was done up by a long time iPod fan. He did a side-by-side comparison of the iPod and the Zune. And he liked the Zune more. Also, he addressed all the trash talk that had been going around. This guy did a really good job of it.

I love my Zune. I got the brown one. Everyone says that the brown one doesn't look as cool. And while that might be true, I like my brown Zune better because I'm not likely to bump into anyone else that has one. Everyone is going for the black. I say be different. Mine is the Zune Less Traveled.

Anyway, I also made a big decision today. I have decided to post my journal on my new web site. So now I need to break up this big doc file into a bunch of little HTML files so I can get them arranged the way I want. I'm pretty excited about this. I might even put some pictures up there and maybe a chart tracking my progress.

Anyway, its late and I need some sleep.

December 1, 2006

Weighed in at 265. I've come full circle. When I started this journey back in January '04 I logged my max weight at 265. Since then I've been on a rollercoaster of weight gain and weight loss. I've been all over the place while learning some pretty hard lessons. So I'm back to the beginning. I could look at it as having not gained any ground in nearly 3 years. Or I could look at it as undoing the damage of the last 3 years. That last one sounded pretty good. I'll go with that.

NOTE: Just a reminder that during this journey, I did once make it down to 252.

Okay...I might as well admit it. I'm discouraged. Not overly so, but I am a bit. It's like I work so hard and just when I start to get somewhere, I blow it and end up worse off than when I started. Sure, I learn something each time I fail...but they are expensive lessons. I mean look at me. My max weight was 292lbs. What sort of terrible fat ass am I to let myself get that out of control? I was a gymnast...damn it...a gymnast. I did my workout routines 5 times a week. I did martial arts...blue belt in Tae Kwon Do. I could bike 50 miles without really giving much thought to it.

Now look at me. I'm a complete fat ass. I'm an awful person.

Where did all this come from? I think I know. I found an old picture of myself. Wow...I was thin. REALLY THIN. That's the thing...really. It's like that bit from the movie "Breakfast Club". "There are two kinds of fat people. Those that were born fat and those that were born thin...and then became fat."

That's me….the thin guy that got fat. I've done so much damage to myself, I wonder if I'll ever really undo it. Or will I just screw it up again and end up worse off than when I started?

Sure, I'm down 27 lbs...but that's after gaining 27 lbs from my start point. All this work...and I'm right back to where I started. What the hell? Seriously...what the hell? I'm so very tired of looking like this. I've been at this for 3 years and I have nothing to show for it.

I need to find a way to cheer myself up...something that DOESN'T involve pizza.

Hmmm...okay...I think I'm done feeling sorry for myself. I re-read the blood letter, 'Hack Yourself'...it helps. Here, I recommend it to anyone that feels sorry for themselves...

http://www.bloodletters.com/hackyourself.shtml

Okay...I think I feel a bit better now. Hey, I'm wearing size 40 pants again! How bad can it be?! Yeah, I think I'll be alright now. I'll take a walk during my lunch hour. That always helps me get focused.

NOTE: Stay away from Leonard for a few days. He's sick. I don't need to catch it.

Okay...back from walking. I feel tons better. Walking really helps give me time to think or unwind or just plain daydream. I have a route here that takes me about 15 minutes to complete. I've started doing 4 laps walking during my lunch hour. Then I grab lunch when I get back.

One of the things I thought about while I was out was that just because I'm the same weight as I was 3 years ago, that doesn't make me the same person. All lessons learned aside, I'm stronger than I was 3 years ago. More muscle will help me break out of this fat suit. This is completely different than it was back then. I think I was just due for a quick bout of depression.

I guess its best to just let it run its course and get it over with.