Thursday, May 11, 2006

Life Intervenes (269#)

I've suddenly and happily gotten a lot busier lately, so I've been remiss in keeping you up to date. Here's the ten-minute special:

  • Here's something I never thought I'd say: the dieteer ran a road race late last month. On the one hand, it was only 4.2 miles; on the other hand, I've never done anything like that before. It was for a cause I believe in, I was fairly happy I completed the race in under 45 minutes after about two weeks of mild jogging prep, and I'll be back next year looking to vastly improve my time. I'll be signing up for 5Ks to start with, and moving up from there.

    Running voluntarily is just one of the things that makes me feel like I'm caught in an episode of the Twilight Zone. I get rid of these accursed manboobs and I think I'll be a terror on the running track.

  • I used to get clothes from family members for holidays, and since nobody seemed to know what size I was, they'd generally get me the largest size a major department store would carry. I've had many very nice XXL polo shirts hanging unused and never worn in my closet for years. I recently busted them out, washed them all, and am wearing them regularly. It feels really, really good to do that; I always hoped I'd get to this point, but I never really thought it'd be possible.

    Plus, it's less expensive than buying clothes, and my family has better taste than I do.

  • The dieteer has gotten himself a girlfriend. She's hot, she's smart, she's funny, she's educated, and I'm totally dating above my station. I'm also happy to report that sex minus nearly 200 lbs is everything I'd anticipated.

    As an added bonus, she's very fit and active. We're going on hikes, we're going to start running together, and she's got all these good ideas about diet--some of which I might let her convince me about. I don't think that's something I *need* in my life to get where I want to go physically, but I can't imagine it hurting.

I was 269# this morning.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Triple Digits (278#)

Unfortunately, I've been really busy lately, so I've been unable to post as much as I like here. I did want to post another quick update, though--today I reached 100# lost since September 1, 2005.

I celebrated by having dim sum with a buddy of mine, a former co-worker of his he's semi-trying to hook me up with, and some other people. Hadn't had that in years, and I'm certainly not used to eating stuff like that. I'll make up for it with a delicious protein shake and vigorous racketball game tonight.

I was 278# this morning.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Crunch Time (281#)

Man, it's getting a lot tougher to lose as I get closer to my goal.

Had a nutritional detour the weekend of April 1, and spent last week making up for it. I'm chugging along now.

The girl isn't going to the wedding with me, but I'll probably be seeing her in early May nonetheless.

I was 281# this morning.

Monday, March 20, 2006

On A Mission

A lot of weight loss guides I've read over the years place a very high value on having goals. The theory there, I gather, is that the road to Fatland is paved with good diet and exercise intentions which, because of the lack of a concrete outcome in one's mind, remain nothing more than intentions.

That seems a little backwards to me. If it takes a goal to motivate you, what happens when you reach that goal? Is your motivation gone? Can you live a happy, successful life at goal weight without backsliding into bad habits now that there's nothing to strive for? "Lifestyle change" is a term thrown around weight-loss programs in a relationship as tumultuous and dysfunctional as Ike and Tina. The inconsistency of demanding both a lifestyle change and a concrete goal has always bothered me. If one can make the lifestyle change they need to, who cares whether their eyes are on a specific date to be a specific weight, or fitting into a treasured pair of pants, or whatever a goal might be? No artificial motivators should be required if one has made the changes to their diet and exercise habits that they needed to.

I've thought that throughout this process, where I've only half-assedly set goals, if at all, and drawn no motivation from them. It seems to be working well. It sure works a lot better than my old self's diet and exercise plan did, where I'd set lofty, long-term goals one week and have utterly given up on them a couple of weeks later. I'd consistently overestimate my stick-to-it-iveness; my mild desire for self-improvement rampantly overwhelmed my reserve of gumption, and I ended up a few pounds heavier and wondering if I'd ever be strong enough to avoid the behavior that had me so heavy I didn't fit on a scale.

Now that things seem to be going swimmingly, and despite my not believing they're at all useful motivational parts of the process, of course I'm going to set my first goal.

From now through the middle of May, I'm going to be a robot. I'll eat whatever my trainer tells me to--even eschewing my beloved McDonald's breakfast burrito in favour of a doubtless seaweed-tasting meal replacement shake I can pound post-workout. Lean meat for protein, lots of veggies for filler, and few carbs after noon are the order of the day. Workout-wise, I'm not going to miss a session or the 2.25 miles of treadmill work beforehand unless I'm out of town. I'm planning on playing racketball at least three times a week and lifting with my brother three times a week as well. My goal is to be around 250# at the end of this period, which long-time readers know basically marks the end of my journey.

Why am I setting a goal for myself when I've gotten this far without one? While I don't believe goals of this type make sense for purely motivational reasons, there are certainly good external reasons to set them. I've got a function to attend in May, and I'm hoping the person I mentioned at the end of last post will be joining me. It is every bit my intention to show up in the best shape of my life, wearing the smartest tux I can find, and sweep her off her feet.

Prevailing circumstances between the two of us dictate I probably get one good shot at this, and I might not get even that. If that's not important enough to set a target for, I don't know what is.

(If you've been thinking of dropping some weight, I invite you to give a couple of months of healthy living a try along with me. I can't promise a bunch of one-on-one interaction, but I'd love to hear about someone else's success story, and if I can do it, you sure can too.)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Travelling Man (283#)

Apologies for the length of time between posts again, but I've been in the Bay Area on business for much of the last week, and was pretty busy preparing for the trip before then. I've got some pressing server issues I need to attend to, though, and if that won't drive me to post on this here blog I don't know what will.

Today, let's talk about travelling.

Before last week, I hadn't been on an airplane for quite a while--not since I went to London in late 2004. That trip doesn't really count, because I had one of those crazy-ass Virgin Atlantic first-class seats, in which my ample posterior would almost fit right.

Other than that circumstance, I positively dreaded flying, and would do quite a bit--including driving very long distances--to avoid it. You see, flight as a very fat person is not just a pain in the ass, it's downright undignified. I needed the extension belt--that demonstration belt with a little strap the flight attendants use during their safety schpiel at the start of every flight--in order to wear a seat belt. Asking for that extend-a-belt every time I boarded a plane was one of the most humiliating experiences I recall as a 400+ pounder, and I've really got a lot to choose from.

An even bigger problem is the full flight--like your average Southwest cattle call--where I'm seated right next to someone. Spilling over the armrest would be bad enough, but I simply wouldn't fit between the armrests, and they had to be raised. One time back sometime in 2002 I boarded a flight with assigned seating and found I was seated in the aisle seat of a row where the middle and window seats were already occupied by an older couple. Hoping against hope that I'd be able to get my much-needed buffer seat by sitting in the back of the plane, I tried that, but eventually the people actually assigned to that row showed and I had to go sit in my assigned seat. The husband, who was sitting in the middle seat and making good use of the armrest, was plainly annoyed when I had to move it to sit down and take some of his seat in the process. He gave me nasty looks most of the flight, and while I know it's the Jerry Springer thing to turn to him and say 'The fuck are you looking at? There just more of me to love and that makes you jealous!', I couldn't really blame him. If I were him, I'd probably be annoyed at this fat guy taking up a quarter of my already tightly rationed seat space too.

Flying up to San Jose was great. I sat down, stretched out a little, fastened the belt easily and with plenty of slack to spare, and felt completely at ease. In a way, flying back was even better, because someone was sitting right next to me, and we didn't have any problems coexisting without invading one another's personal space.

That's an important step for me. I'm at a time in my life where I've got the free time and disposable income for a long weekend trip a month for the rest of the year if I like, and I've got plenty of people that have gone too long without seeing. It's just totally freeing to think I can walk onto a crowded plane and sit next to pretty much anyone other than my former self without making their lives any more irritating. I let the difficulty I had flying coach keep me from seeing a lot of people I'd like to see more of, and I'm looking forward to changing that.

Last time, I talked a little about buying clothes. That's another reason this trip was so great. You see, I'm an idiot, and I didn't think to bring a jacket along on the trip. I'm really not used to being cold, and I also don't have anything that really fits me. I've gotten rid of all my old jackets ages ago, and I haven't gone crazy with the clothes buying because I'm still not at my goal weight, so I hadn't gotten a new one. After work my first night in San Jose, I was freezing at my hotel and decided to walk around the surrounding mall to find something to wear.

In my former life, this would have been a chore. I could only shop at big and tall stores, for one thing, which means I would have had to figure out the closest one in an unfamiliar town and find my way there. Once I get there, I'll be faced with mediocre selection. There'd be racks of merchandise labelled stuff like "Big Daddy", which I loathed, because I wasn't exactly proud of being huge and didn't feel like my clothing should indicate otherwise--especially in garish colours and idiotic taglines. Then there's the stuff like on this page, where you get bent over and pay at least twice as much as a similar garment in normal sizes because it's got cybersalesman George Foreman's name on it and is sold to a very limited market size. I mean, what are we talking about here, a few inches more fabric? The bastards wanted $50 per fairly unfashionable polo shirt, and I had little choice but to pay it, because Marshall's doesn't carry 5x-6x clothing.

So when I saw a Marshall's in the mall on Wednesday, I got excited. Bargain clothes--now that's my kind of scene. I went in, found a pretty reasonable selection of XXL merchandise, and got myself a light jacket, two snazz name-brand T-shirts, one of those great wicking workout shirts, and a totally awesome Terrell Owens Eagles jersey for less than I'd have paid for a jacket by itself at Casual Male.

F U, George Foreman.

My 44" Levis are feeling pretty loose. If it weren't so late, I'd go out to a Ross or Marshall's right now and try those 42"ers on.

One other thing happened on the trip--the dieteer was able to confirm in person that he is head-over-heels, totally-swooning in love. Problem is, she's living with some dude. If any of my readers would care to give me some advice on that front, leave me a comment and I'd be happy to post the soap opera-ish details.

Not now, though--I think I'll try to find an open Ross after all. It's only 8:15.

update: picked up some sweet slate cords at Ross tonight. 42"-30" and they fit great... maybe even a little loose.

I was 283# this morning.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sports (294#)

Hola amigos. I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I fell into a vast plate of fried chicken.

Actually, I've been hearing something strange from people lately.

"You don't need to lose any more weight."

I've gotten that from mom. She's just really excited that I've lost so much weight. I think I was probably my parents biggest worry, no pun intended, and I can understand why--it must be awful to contemplate burying one's own child, and I was certainly heavy enough for long enough to make that seem like a likelihood for a worrying parent. Plus I was wearing slimmifying black at the time.

I've gotten that from a friend of mine. Weird story, we communicate nearly exclusively through instant messaging, and the other day I was getting ready to leave for Vega$ and I was trying to decide if this new shirt I got (XXL. I can shop at normal stores and don't have to wear shit with "George Foreman" on it anymore. I'll have plenty more to say about that, trust me.) fit me. So I sent her a picture of me in it, and she said she'd guess I was 180 or something from it--and that the shirt fit. I'll see if I can figure out how to post a picture of it, and you can tell me what you think.

It's brown with pineapples.

Then, while in Vegas, Persia said I didn't need to lose any more weight while we were in post-lap-dance cuddle, or whatever the hell that is. And while I'm intuitively sure she's full of it--I mean, come on, either I'm the most special mother fucker that ever entered Sapphire, or she's making something up--I have to say, it was fun to hear.

I've also heard it from my racketball partners off and on since I resumed playing the sport in 2006, which brings me to the topic of this post.

I've played racketball for about 15 years, in very on-and-off fashion towards the end of that time--I'd play regularly for weeks or months on end, and then take a year or two off. I started playing with my mom, but that didn't last long--she wasn't very good. (Sorry, mom.) I graduated to dad when I was in junior high, and he always kicked my ass, but I gradually learned, and was beating him every so often by high school. Most of my friends throughout high school were into racketball to some degree or another, and I played with them a lot too. I'd probably played regularly about two years since 2000, and I'm certainly not rusty at present.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I'm pretty good at racketball. I probably would have been a C level tournament player when I was up there in weight. I would have gotten abused by passing shots and such, but I've got a solid backhand, you can't lob me, and my ball control is good enough that a C player wouldn't be able to coast.

But of course my stamina was mediocre at best, and the only reason it was that good was because I was lazy as hell on the court. I'd let close shots go more often than not, because I had to conserve my energy for the sure things, or so I'll rationalize. I'd catch myself actually thinking about whether going for a shot was worth it before reacting, considering how hard I'd have to work, and I kind of despised myself for thinking that way. Sure, it actually *was* hard work getting around the court, but I didn't like thinking like that because I thought if I really wanted to get around easier, I'd lose weight. That kind of thinking makes a man feel pretty ineffective.

Now I'm a bolt of greased lightning out there. That little hesitation of consideration never happens. I take a couple of plays off per game, but that's something I can work on not being so lazy about. I'm never tired enough that it's a physical neccessity. I'm quite hard to get a passing shot by, and I can go frontcourt to backcourt and back easily and expeditiously. About a dozen times a game, I'll make a play that I never would have made just three months ago. The racketball I remember playing in late 2004 and early 2005 makes me think of that underwater shootout scene, with all the cartoonish slow-mo implied, in Top Secret!

Since I've started playing racketball again, I think I've rediscovered what makes a sport fun. For the first time since my junior year of high school, I'm both reasonably effective on the racketball court and my limitations stem from my skill level, not a pathetic state of physical fitness. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to lose a point--if I have to lose a point--because I was out of position or fell victim to a kill shot Sudsy Monchick himself couldn't return, not because I'm a mastadon.

Thanks, mom and Persia and the rest of you, for your kind words on how I'm looking these days. But I think I've still got a little ways to go. When people who aren't trying to get my money or make me feel good or both are saying I don't need to lose any more, that's something I might listen to.

I was 294# this evening.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Indicators Positive (299#)

I had a good weekend, with activity and without ridiculous overconsumption of foodstuffs, and as of this morning, I'm back under 300#.

I had a minor procedure done that required a couple of stitches in late January, so I made another visit to my GP to have her remove the stitches this morning. While I was there, we went over the differences in my results from my Dec 2004 physical and my Dec 2005 physical. If you are looking to lose some weight and/or get in better physical shape, these might be of some interest.

I'm again glad I'm running this blog anonymously, as I'd be very unlikely to provide this information using my real name, which may or may not be unreasonable paranoia on my part.

Age3031+1 (duh.)
Body Weight*420321-99
Blood Pressure
Cholesterol (mg/dL)144126-18
HDL ("good") (mg/dL)3741+4
LDL ("bad") (mg/dL)10474-30
Triglycerides (mg/dL)4353+10
Insulin (IU/mL)33**4-29
Glucose (mg/dL)104**93-11

* wearing clothes and shoes. My doctor also tells me that their office scale's a few pounds heavy, which it seems to be. All told, I'm about 6# heavier on the doctor's office scale than I am at home. These are what I remember weighing during my physicals, and they're surely close, but both numbers might be off by a pound or three. BFD, I know, but since I'm making notes...

** prediabetic

Everything's moving in the right direction except the triglycerides, and those are still very, very low. To recap for first-time readers, this is all the result of lifestyle change--eating less, eating more health-consciously, and exercising vigorously and often. I'm not on any sort of medication, nor am I following any externally-planned or -administered diet program. This isn't a full year of progress--I didn't get serious until September 2005.

If I haven't lost interest in this entire endeavour by Dec 2006, I'll post another update then.

I was 299# this morning.