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September 26, 2007

Happy 100th posting!

Yep...its hard to believe but this is the 100th posting to the blog.  So many postings....so few ever read.   One of my coworkers wore a shirt the other day that said "Nobody Reads My Blog".  I ordered one for myself.  Woe is the life of a blogger.



And to celebrate my 100th post, I got to make an emergency trip to the dentist and get a new crown.  Boy, this just keeps getting better.  NOTE:  My tooth came apart on my cheat day while I was watching a movie and eating a Starburst Fruit Chew.  Little bits of tooth and filling got all gummed up in the candy and I had to pick it out in the dark...Hey I waited forever for Resident Evil to release and I wasn't getting up from my seat unless the place was on FIRE.

So I got to make an emergency trip to the dentist to get a crown.  Oh this weekend has sucked.  Happy 100th posting?  BAH...AND HUMBUG!!

And here we go....

I decided to put together a list of unintended pluses that have come out of my weight loss.

  1. More energy!  This didn't happen right away.  In fact the short term affect of dieting was that I was more tired than ever.  But gradually I found that changing.  I'd get up from my couch intending to unload the dishwasher and instead I'd unload/reload the dishwasher, fold a load of clothes, take out the trash, vacuum the stairs....and so on.  I really didn't want to sit back down right away. 
  2. Lower blood pressure!  My blood pressure wasn't really all that high but its not something I'd want to mess around with.  After I lost the first 20 pounds I dropped down into the 'average' range.
  3. Joint pain / Mobility!  The pain in my knees and ankles was awful.  Some of the time I was considering using my cane to help take the pressure off....maybe even get one of those handicapped tags for my car so I wouldn't have to walk so much.  Now, my right knee still bothers me from time to time but it isn't anything like it was.
  4. Cholesterol is under control!  With all the junk I was eating my cholesterol was really high.  That's what the Jumbo-Jack-a-Day diet will get you.  Once I started eating sensibly, that dropped back down to normal without having to resort to taking prescription drugs.
  5. More clothes!  Clothes shopping was...let's be honest here...it was hell.  My shirt size was around a 3x, heading for 4x.  I had a bunch of shirts that came from a work function we did some years ago.  We had to special order shirts for some of our larger participants.  There were a bunch of shirts left over that I ended up keeping.   Eventually, I ended up fitting into them.  I'm sure people at work thought I was just wearing the same shirt over and over.  For awhile there they were the only things that fit me.  Now I own lots of shirts and pants that fit.
  6. Heather hugged me yesterday and told me that she could now get her arms all the way around me (and overlap her hands).  And getting hugs from my wife is worth every second I spend in the gym.

New Adventure of Token Fat Guy

This isn't an adventure as much as it is an observation.  I was at the gym the other day, walking the indoor track, and I came across this person.  He was a bit older than me...looked in relatively good shape...but I couldn't fathom what he was doing.  He'd run around the track once, stop at the chin-up bar, do chin-ups until he hit a failure, then back around the track again...lather/rinse/repeat.  I got a closer look at this guy.  His forearms were huge....to the point of being grotess.  Seriously, they were way out of proportion with the rest of him.  He looked like Popeye.


It really reminded me of a guy I met while I was in the Navy.  He over trained his back muscles (especially the trapezius) to the point of looking like a freak.  The rest of his body was slim and had a very lean look to it. 

But his back muscles were so overdeveloped that they made him look like Quasimoto.  It was really disturbing....not that I have issues with the unfortunate people that were born with defects.  This was so disturbing because he did it to himself.  And watching him doing it was like watching some one cut themselves...over and over and over.

Anyway, back to our new friend, Popeye.  I'm looking at this guy and while he's hanging on the bar, I see his calves...each looked like a stick with a bit of yarn stretched from end to end.  Really...if this guy wanted to focus on something it should have been his calves.  YIKES!

Don't get me wrong....I'm not really that judgmental of others.  I'm just passing the time while I workout by watching others wondering what these people are up to.  Sometimes you come across some one that makes you say..."What the heck are they doing?!"  Like when I see people walking the track in flip-flops.

Anyway...I'm all talked out.  GET OFF MY SITE!

September 18, 2007

Tech Stuff...Oh Boy!

Well, here we are again.  But for me it is different this time.  I found a new editor for my blog (Windows Live Writer) and it makes posting this thing SO much easier.  Before I was doing this...

  1. Write the blog in Microsoft Word
  2. Insert the pictures I liked
  3. Sign on to Blogger
  4. Copy/Paste the text from Word to Blogger
  5. Upload the pictures to my web site
  6. Put the pictures on Blogger
  7. Move the pictures and text around to get it the way I like
  8. Publish the post

This new editor does most of that for me.  I just write the entry and add in the pictures the way I like, then hit PUBLISH.  The program handles the rest.  Plus, it is a free download from Microsoft. 

For those of you that like to blog, you might want to give it a shot.  It is compatible with Windows Live Spaces, SharePoint, WordPress, Blogger (which is the service I use), LiveJournal, TypePad, Moveable Type, Community Server, and many other weblog services.  It is still in beta...but it seems pretty stable.


My only issues with it are:

1.  The install is sort of funky.  It tries to get you to install some extras like Live Search and MSN Home.  You can choose not to install them.  Also, when it is installing, it seems to take a long time.  Part of that is because it is downloading the new version of the Windows IM client...even if you already have it.

2.  The other issue I have with it is that it assumes that you need a photo service to handle your pictures.  Since I own my own space on the web, I don't use anything like that.  I just open a new directory and put my photos in there.  The first time you publish to your blog it prompts you to start a new photo service.  When I ran into that I had to go back and change the setup so it would just FTP to the directory that I had setup.  It is cool that it does that, but that should have been covered during the installation.

Another cool thing it does is it posts my drafts to the site as well.  So I can finish it later at another computer if I want....even it that other computer doesn't have Live Writer on it.  I don't have to carry drafts around on my USB thumb drive anymore. 

All and all...a very nice little program.

And the big news on the tech side is the new format for the blog.  I finally got the blog template to match up with the template I use for the rest of the site.  It isn't EXACTLY what I want yet....but it is pretty darn close.  And the look is seamless.  Before when you clicked on the blog link it looked like you were leaving the site and going to another one.  I'd expect that if my blog was stored by a free service but I store it locally on my site...so it should I can make it look however I want.

Progress report

As you can see from the number 6 on the home page, I'm now only up 6 pounds from my low point.  I'm starting to kick it into gear now that I'm in this competition at work.

My biking cardio is up to 30 minutes.  I think next week I'm going to start swimming again.  I was just starting to do before I completely went off my plan because of the mysterious 'medical issues'.  But I think I'm back to a point where I can try again.

NOTE:  The reason I had to take some time off had nothing to do with my weight loss or exercising.  A couple people have asked me about that.  They were under the impression I'd hurt myself working out.  Nope...and no I won't tell you what really happened.

I've changed my last meal of the day.  Think of it as a salad with no dressing....just raw veggies...carrots, cucumbers, celery...that sort of thing.  Just a few carbs...and a few proteins...and zero fat.  Lots of fiber...which is good. 

Its not that my gastro-gizmos are having any issues...and I intend Gastro to keep it that way.  Also, on cardio days, I'm adding back in that additional protein shake I started using in the evenings to protect my lean muscle mass while I sleep. 

The reason for the change is I want some clean calories in the evening to help me from being hungry while I sleep and as stated, to keep my lean muscle mass from breaking down during my long 9 -10 hour fast (sleepy time). 

There's lots of debate on what you should eat before bedtime.  Unfortunately, most of it is antidotal information put together by actual bodybuilders.  And while it is probably accurate for them, if you are more interested in weight loss than you are muscle increases, then you have to take most of what they say with a grain of salt.

NOTE:  Only a GRAIN of salt.  Too much salt in the diet can make you retain water and cause the body to bloat.  

salt <---- An actual GRAIN OF SALT

I finally updated the weight chart.  I know I've been lax about it lately but until my weight started going down again it was just too depressing to keep up with.  HEY!  I have to keep my depression levels in check just like everyone else!  If you don't like it then GET OFF MY WEB SITE!

September 11, 2007

Since the show began I've been approached by people that either wanted to talk to me about it or wanted to ask if I used anything from it.

To be honest I didn't watch the show for the longest time. I hate reality TV. Survivor just seemed mind numbingly dull. And I figured anything based off that idea would probably be just more of the same. But after awhile I got curious and decided to have a look see.

So I keyed up the 'Session Pass Manager' on my TiVo and set it up to record a few episodes. I figured I'd watch a few, get bored with it and probably complain about it on my blog. But I was pleasantly surprised.

The show really pulls you in and it is hard not to feel connected to the contestants …. especially those of us that have struggled with our weight issues. And the transformations are nothing short of amazing.

Of course the first thing I was concerned about was the lack of weight training that I saw. But later I learned that the first couple episodes that I had watched just happened to not show the weight training that was being done.

All in all I thought it was a pretty good show. And while it does show people working out and making great progress on their weight loss goals, don't expect that you are going to pick-up any good tips from the show. Mostly they just show you the workouts highlights and the weekly weigh-ins. If you are looking for tips and such, you could get some from their web site… http://www.nbc.com/The_Biggest_Loser/

They even have an online community of fat asses that you can join. I'll probably end up joining myself when ever I get a few minutes free.

NOTE: If you are thinking about watching the show and haven't already….keep in mind that it is fat guys without shirts and fat women in spandex. I don't know why they make the poor women wear spandex. Even after they lose weight, it makes their hips look huge.

Progress report

I was bad this week. I had a couple of cheat meals outside my cheat day….and I had some of my movie candy. So I canceled my cheat day this weekend to make up for it. The surprising thing was that I didn't actually gain any weight. And I'm down to just being 7 pounds from my low point.

Some of my coworkers started a new weight loss challenge so I joined in and got my official starting weigh-in.

Kim, the person running our new challenge, sent us a pep talk and some tips. With her permission, I'm including them on this week's blog.

Notes from Kim

(edited to remove personal information and insert humor)

Don't start this tomorrow. Start today. I've lost 65lbs in the last 18 months and people have asked me how it I did it. Well you have read StrangeDOS's blog (http://www.blogger.com/www.tokenfatguy.com) on his take on that question, it is pretty much the same as mine. Besides all the tips and trick and things to do… it comes down to … you just have to want it. I'm not talking about the I wanna be an astronaut when I grow up 'Want.' Or a Where do you want to be in 5 years 'Want.' I'm talking the Want that takes discipline and determination. The thing that keeps you on the treadmill or bike for an extra 30 mins.

The D&D (discipline and determination…not Dungeons and Dragons)that has you pedaling at 5 RPM faster, that keeps you from getting seconds at the dinner table…. Etc etc.

It isn't an easy state of mind to get into. You need to practice it and keep it at the forefront of your thoughts every day – Esp around Jeff's candy bowl and the pizza bar downstairs. It takes 21 days to change\break\create a habit… funny there are 21 days until the next weigh in…hmmm

The Tips:

I did every single one of the things listed here (maybe not as much of #4 and 5 as I should have – but definitely #1,2,6,7):


Also check out sites like http://www.calorieking.com/ and download their trial software to keep a diary of what you eat. You'll be amazed at how Taco Bell adds up… Plus it will give you an idea of where you're intake is and how much you can cut out. Remember – it is easier to cut 500 Cals from your diet than to bike 500 Cals off at the gym. And 1 lb of weight lost is 3500 Cals burnt… So to lose 2 lbs a week for 12 weeks ( to hit the 20 lbs goal) you need to burn or remove 7000Cals from your 'normal' routine…

Thanks for the info Kim ... and for those of you that wonder why I don't quote YOU on my blog…well first you need to say something worth my time. Now get lost!