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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One Week Update

Hard to believe a week has already passed.
  • In that time I have reduced my caloric intake by 50%
  • In the last three days I have walked 3.8 miles
  • I have left work every day by 6pm
Tomorrow morning I visit my doctor for a three month checkup and while this past week has been great, he won't be impressed since I had such a good head start way back when.  We'll see how it goes.  

I don't have alot of things on my mind tonight, just bragging.  I don't like to toot my own horn but..Beep Beep!   More charts and graphs because I'm an uber nerd.  

Weekly Progress

Calories:2,000 - 2,5004,2062,3383,4563,0502,3212,6281,966
Fat:103 - 18014011114716511712199
Carbohydrates:521 - 752444220278188204261159
Protein:116 - 4051941538814278136118
Potassium, K:4,500 - 6,0005931,7811,8091,4812,1871,9631,368
Sodium, Na:0 - 2,30013,0675,2166,0265,3232,6705,2331,581

Anyway, the validation I've received has been great, it makes me happy that I did this, glad that I opened up and shared my life.  As I mentioned to someone very dear to my heart: if I'm going to change my life, I need to change all of it.  I've tried the diet without anyone knowing or helping and it was a failure.  And while some of you might think I'm trying to be a drama queen or attention whore, you're right.  But if I don't I'll be the first person to arrive at my funeral and that shit ain't going down like that.  Here's my new long term goal:  My 20-year high school reunion (2017) - you won't even recognize me, and I'm going to be wearing a tux, without having it specially made like at my wedding.   Put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!!!

And since everyone loved the earrings, here's me with my stunna shades!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You offered, I'm asking...

Maybe daily posting is too much for you people.  Luckily, I don't care about your needs, this is all about me.  If I skip a day on here, how much easier will it be for me to grab a burger on the way to work tomorrow?  It shouldn't surprise anyone that I'm a closet eater.  When alone, when I think no one is watching, I will eat.  I've skipped meals at parties, nibbling on a tiny piece of cake at a birthday party then hit the drive thru on the way home.  Yes, it was shame.  I was ashamed of being seen eating, the only thing going thru my head is what everyone would think as I bring fork to mouth.

Retraining myself is going to be hard, I have to do several things to make this happen and I need your help.  I do not need to be discouraged when my choices are not to your standards.  So what if I eat a sandwich for lunch instead of a tofu puree?  Have you stopped to realize that a week ago I ate three sandwiches for lunch, AND chips, AND more chips?  I'm trying, I really am, but your recriminations are going to drive me to hiding again.  I'm like the fat Anne Frank and you're the food Nazi.  I know WHAT I eat is important, not trying to avoid that but right now, I'd like to prove to myself that I can control it, without hearing about all the new high protein, low carb blah-fucking blah.

I'm intimidated.  I know how much white bread, hamburger meat, ramen noodles, and chips I can afford on my budget.  I don't know how much fresh veggies, fruit and lean meat I can buy.  This whole thing scares the shit out of me, to the point where sometimes I want to give up.  Did you know that if I was hospitalized with a life-threatening illness to the point where I lost my job, got on medicare and disability, that the government would pay for gastric bypass?  Does you know how tempting that is?  The the only thing keeping me from that is pride, the pride that I have been told life is one of my biggest flaws.  Right now, I'm happy for that flaw.

I'm not going to give up, I'm going to win this but I need a support team, not a "you should" team.  I know what I "should" do:  eat right, exercise, drink more water.  Sounds easy but if it was, you wouldn't have to tell me to do it.  I have alot of people saying they will help anyway they can yet my pride is going to prevent me from asking for help.  I'm going to need you to force me to accept help.  One thing I need is activities.  All I do is work, sleep, watch TV.  I need to get out more but I don't know what there is to do for someone like me.  I walked another 17 minutes tonight after work (damn it was hot) but then I drove straight home.

What do you do after work and on the weekends?  And do you want someone to join you?

In a moment of levity, I was rocking these earrings!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I walked a mile in my shoes today

Today I did what I thought I couldn't.  Instead of going straight home to sit on the couch, I left work on time and went to the park.  With a friend we started around.  We joked and laughed while swapping stories of how we got to where we are.  He had promised me we would stop when needed, that he wouldn't push me too hard, too fast.  

The park we went to was close to work, with a walking path surrounding a couple of baseball fields and meanders next to a small lake.  Not a lot of trees but it was cloudy today so the 100 degree heat didn't feel too bad.  I started out very confident, smiling and ready.  Within the first seven minutes, that all disappeared.  My leg pain flared up and bit me in the ass and my thigh felt like someone was stabbing me.  At that time, I was ready to quit.  Time to turnaround and go home.  So did I?

Hell no.  I focused on what was ahead of me.  No, not the path.   What was in front of me was the future.  In my future, I do not wear clothes from any store for "Big & Tall".  In my future I have to make time for TV because normally I spend too much time outside.  In my future, I don't have a spare bedroom, I have kid's bedrooms.  In my future, people describe me as that guy with the dark hair, not "The big guy".  

That got me through another seven minutes.  At this point, we're halfway done and have just turned next to the lake.  Now I was experiencing pain beyond measure from my ankles to my shoulders (why do my neck and shoulders hurt from walking?)  I asked to quit and was told "Yes".  Little did I know that that only meant we now had to walk all the way back to the truck.  Now, I know what you must be thinking, "He's been walking for 15 minutes, what a loser."  And you know what, you're half right, I am a loser, of old habits and this excess weight.   For the past 10 years, my job has been confined to an office chair.  For the past 10 years, I have gone from home to work to home, etc etc.  Now I am retraining myself; I am learning what I can do, and what I should do.  

Where was I?  Oh yeah, the lake and half a mile from salvation.  Did I mention that the lake is a breeding ground for several species of waterfowl?  Yep, ducks, geese, swans and other unidentified swimming birds.  The reason I mention this is that path next to the lake is littered with...scat.  Have you ever tried to think about your pain while dodging a thousand piles of poo?   Before I knew it, we had crossed half way and the truck was the finish line.  

We left the path and cut across a small wooded area and this was the worst part, for a split second I thought about quitting, "Someone can come get me" but there is something in me that won't allow it which I'll touch on in subsequent posts.  I would not let myself stop, I would not let myself be another failure.  I did it.  I finished, walking for a full 26 minutes, at what I would consider a "brisk pace".  My face was red, I was sweaty, I could feel my heart-rate increase.  That's exercise and I'll take it.  

What did I learn?  I learned that my pain can be ignored.  I learned that I can push past my own self-imposed limits.  I learned that I won't die from walking an ungodly distance for fun.  I am going to be doing this daily; rearranging my work calendar to ensure I can take off every evening with enough time to get in a walk before driving home.  If I wait til I get home, there is a greater chance, almost guaranteed, that I won't do it.  I'm excited for myself and what this means for my future.  Let's see what else happens when I don't tell myself I can't do it!!!

For tracking purposes, I counted my meals again today and have consumed about 2,100 calories, a record I believe.  Instead of the normal tracker, below is a breakdown of how much of my daily consumption each item was.  This is a great view because it lists the food.  Can you believe I ate all this today and it was still barely two thousand calories?  I'm totally psyched and cannot wait until tomorrow when I get to do it all over again.  Thank you for joining me.  Follow the blog if you're as interested as me to see how far I can go.  

Why I Eat (too much)

So with this new, improved me, I have been more open and honest about things than ever before in my life. Tonight I figure, why stop there?  Let's go ahead and lay bare the rest of it.  In many people, overeating is an addiction; it's how they cope with stuff.  Some people drink, some do drugs, some indulge in porn, others are addicted to gambling or violence.  But us?  We eat, but why?  Is it because we're hungry, are we fattening up for the winter?  Perhaps we're bored or grabbing a bag of chips instead of a cigarette.   The most important thing to remember is that overeating is a symptom of a bigger, and deeper psychological issue, not the underlying cause.
Each of us has to determine our own issues but I'll list some of the most common and let you guess which one is mine:
  • Self Esteem:  Rather than believing a high self-esteem stems from feeling good about the way we look, the low self-esteem fat person is unhappy with himself and shows it outwardly thru a poor or shabby exterior.
  • Emotional Suppression:  Many people use drugs to dull their senses or to self-medicate; food is often viewed as the "drug of the poor".  According to Reginald B. Humphreys; “What are the feelings that people commonly suppress through overeating? Anxiety and nervousness are common reasons...Many eat to suppress anger or frustration, and food is often a dear friend to those who are alone and lonely. Unwanted or unfulfilled sexual feelings may be the target of suppression by overeating, as well as feelings of career or relationship unfulfillment. Suppression of any feeling or conflict that has been chronically present, for a period of years or even over the course of one's entire lifetime, may be the cause of chronic overweight or obesity."
  • Social/Cultural Norms:  Some cultures heavily emphasize eating large, drawn out, extravagant meals (ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding?), thus, for many men, having second, a third or even fourth helping is the norm -- and even a sign of respect for the cook.
  • To Please Women:  For many men, this starts off as trying to please their mom, and show her that they enjoy her cooking. Guys are often urged to take a second helping, and many do, just to avoid insulting the chef.  When it comes to their own relationships, many men want to please the women who cook for them by eating very heartily, so the women in question won't feel that their efforts have gone unappreciated.

As you can see, I've only listed a few here and the interwebs are rife with more examples and discussions.  The fact that there is $30 billion dollars spent every year on weight loss products and solutions in this country is evident that this is growing problem and I'm glad you're joining me on my quest to be shut of it.  This is going to be like an epic saga, a LOTR trilogy, maybe I'll even have time for a prequel but regardless, I'm going to beat it, or I will have to look each and every one of you in the eye and explain why not. 

Speaking off, I have joined www.sparkpeople.com, a free website with a nutrition and fitness tracker, meal planners, recipes, forums, lots of great info and motivation to be shared with others.  Look me up on there with the username of "Thimecules".  Anyway, on the nutrition tracker, you enter everything you eat for the day, and it counts calories for you, it also shows other nutrient information that's handy and I'm not ashamed to share my progress. 

 So my first day on the website is the day I cracked, the day that I knew something was going to have to change or I'd be soon beseech a ride towards Night's Plutonian shore.  I think I did OK the next day but this weekend has been a bear.  To much time on my hands is my only excuse, I need to get into a pattern.  I spent today cooking and preparing meals for the rest of the week.  I broke out the scale measured serving sizes (did you know one serving size of chips is about nine of them?  I used to eat those SOB's by the bag...).  

That's all for tonight, I have a big week coming up, have to prove myself worthy of myself.   

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day One

The first 24 hours of the new me has passed yet I don't feel different.  How long before I stop hating myself when I look in a mirror?  Today I heard comments made about my previous posts, a lot of shock and a little awe.  I'm not going to apologize for ruining your perception of me, the one that I built, the one that hides who I am and what I really feel.  I'm not doing this for you and if no one read or cared about this, I would gladly continue it.  For Me.  

I was also asked why a blog, why share everything?  To be honest, I didn't think about it much, I made a hasty decision and now that genie isn't going back in the lamp.  And I'm glad.  I already experience shame when people glance at me, what's wrong with adding a little disgust and pity?  These first couple of entries are going to be morose, they are going to be self-indulgent, I have to get it out.  Then I can move on.  

Today I started on a website to track my food intake, something that I should have done years ago, something that many of people advised me to do but I kept pushing against it.  There isn't a reason, there is a thousand reasons.  All of them suck.  Anyway, according to this website, I had over 4,000 calories yesterday.  enough for two or three grown men, which is pretty apropos, since I am as large as three men.  Looking at the list of food is enough to make you vomit, if you didn't feel like it anyway.  

Today I ate smaller meals, several times.  Tuna salad, handful of almonds, baked chicken, unsweetened applesauce, etc etc and my intake was cut in half. Still not great but I'll take it.  A lot of GUYs have told me not to count calories but pay more attention to WHAT I eat and I'm sure it's great advice but for now, I'm afraid it's more about how much, plus I can do that without spending lots of time looking for dirt-flavored food items.  

So I'm now going to start tracking my weights, this is going to shock you, considering that I don't like to tell people any personal information and I'm going to throw out the big one but if I don't, no one will hold me accountable.  When I tried this earlier in the year, I didn't advertise it so it was natural for me to have nachos for lunch everyday, no one knew every chip was killing me inside. 

So here you go, all you nosy bastards:  This week I weighed in at 680 pounds.  Three less than during my hospital stay but 15 more than two months ago.  That means I have lost and regained 33 pounds in six months.  What would have happened if I didn't backslide, a full 33 pound loss maybe?  I'd accept five.  Anything to keep me away from larger clothes.  

Here's my commitment to you:  I will post here at least once a day, with notes about what I'm doing to stay motivated and updates on my progress.  And here's where you come in:  if you see me eating McDonald's, slap that shit out of my mouth.  I can do this and you're going to watch me.  Cause I know you like to watch. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Goals

Everyone says to start small, take one day at a time but I also think you need something to look forward to.  Here's my list.  Some of these things many of you take for granted and by all means, judge me, call me a fat ass, whatever.  It's my damn list.
  1. I want to take a bath.  Imagine you have a basketball and want to clean it; you can either submerge it or rinse it off.  Now suppose you want to submerge it but all you have is a cereal bowl.  Yeah, it's kinda like that.
  2. Someday, I'm going to ride a horse.  The last time I rode a horse, I was 10 years old and had to use a five gallon bucket to get up there. When I'm at my In-Laws and petting their horses, I can see their look of fear, as if to say, "OH GOD NO".
  3. I would like to enjoy a play or live music at a theater.  You just sit down and get comfy, huh?  I'm happy for you but when your ass is wider than car tire it's slightly more difficult.  
  4. Have you ever had a kid point at you and ask his parents, "Why is that man so fat?"  I have never wanted to shake a toddler so much in my life.  
That's only some of the things I want to do or not do in the future.  Soon I'm going to determine my short-term goals and share those.  I also expect to be 100% honest in this thing, I'll probably offend some of you but I don't care.  I've spent too many years hiding my issues and even if no one reads this, it's public, it's out there and I have to account for it and myself. 

Why I'm doing this

I wish that I had a down and out story to plead for help from or a great success to share but I’m in the middle of the road.  I work in call centers, a sedentary job, and have for 10 years.  I have progressed to the point of being a Director for many sites across the country.  I would say I have a satisfying career; I’m not on disability, Medicare, anything like that. 

My problem is that it’s not going to last, because of my weight.  I saw an episode of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition with a young man who lost several hundred pounds and when I saw it, I broke down into tears.  I am that young man, now going thru what I expect is a mid-life crisis since I doubt I will live past 50.  I weigh in excess of 650 pounds, have been hospitalized twice with blood clots in my legs, have hypertension, sleep apnea, and nerve damage in my legs, all caused by my weight. 

In my job, I’m truly dedicated, getting promoted on average, once a year.  I cannot translate this to my personal life.  I cannot walk more than 10 minutes without being out of breath and having massive leg pain so I use that an excuse for not exercising.  I work on average 70 hours a week so I use that as an excuse for not eating healthy.  I make excuses for a lot of things in my home life.

My job requires Business Casual dress so that means I have to wear slacks and a collared shirt.  Did you know they make 10X shirts and size 90 pants?  I guess I’m lucky but they sure don’t make an 11Xx so I don’t know how much longer I can go.  I am expected to travel to my sites once a year but I can barely fit thru an airplane door on the commuter planes that go in and out of Abilene.  When I do get on, I rub both seats walking down the aisle and need two seatbelt extenders and have to buy both seats. 

I’m scared.  I’m scared of losing my job due to my weight.  If that happens, I will lose my truck, my home, my wife.  Oh did I forget to mention I was married?  A beautiful girl I met at work, also overweight, she has some of the same struggles I do with clothes and health.  But if I lose my job and cannot support us, I’ll lose it all.  And the sad thing is, I KNOW all this, it’s like going swimming with a chum belt in shark infested waters.  It’s inevitable, I’m going to get bit, and I just cannot stop myself.  I know that I have to exercise; I know that I have to change my lifestyle and I’ve tried.  I stopped smoking in February, cold turkey, have eliminated almost all soft drinks from my diet and saw an weight loss from 683 in my last hospital stay to 665 in less than a month.  But I could not stay motivated, work picked up, I got another promotion and late night pizza and cheeseburgers came rumbling back.

I don’t know what I’m expecting from this blog, maybe just some kind words and another “Get up and Active” speech that my doctors and family give me.  I wouldn’t expect anything more, since I cannot expect anything more from myself. 

I am supposed to be relocating for work to Fort Lauderdale, FL soon.  I expect it will get better there, right?  
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