Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 77 Burgers, Fries, and Ice Cream Oh Yeah!

Day 77

Burgers, Fries, and Ice Cream Oh Yeah!

Another day is coming to an end. Amber is headed back to school, and although I know she's coming back home on the 26th, I still hate to let her go! Now we'll sit back and worry for the next three hours while she drives all the way back. Before Amber and KL (her boy-man-friend) left, we all enjoyed dinner together at Braums. I shot down the Chinese buffet idea when I proclaimed that I wouldn't be eating there. I would just drink water and visit, then have something later at home. Now Braums can still be a tricky choice, after all their name is Braums Ice Cream and Dairy Store. They have amazing hamburgers there, and I have to say their ice cream is incredible. We all had burgers and fries and ice cream. You read that right, we all did! Of course my burger was a junior size loaded up with veggies. And I didn't order fries for myself, I just stole a few from every one else at the table. It was a very satisfying 550 calories. I really didn't know the calorie count of the burger, because Braums doesn't provide nutritional information on anything from behind the counter except the frozen yogurt. So I compared it to the Whopper Jr and added 60 calories to it, the fries were probably less than 200 calories, but I counted them 200 anyway. I'd rather over estimate than under estimate. Of course a meal at Braums doesn't end when the last bite of burger or the last fry is consumed, you have to do desert, it's Braums. Kind of like the Thanksgiving over eating excuse... “But it's Thanksgiving!” I selected a small Frozen Yogurt Twist on a regular cake cone. “Cake” cone sounds really loaded, but it's not! The sugar and waffle cones are the ones you have to watch out for. The cake cones are really low in calories. Pick up a box at the grocery store and read the calories on the box, it's like 15 calories for one cone. Then look at the Sugar Cone calories. Anyway, Braums has the best soft serve in the world. It's creamy goodness is slightly higher in calories over McDonalds soft serve, but McDonalds doesn't have live enzymes in theirs. I really don't know what they do for me, if it's good or bad, but it sure is creamy. A small cone at Braums is about 210. They list it with a waffle cone at 230, so I subtract 20 because of the cake cone. I always drink water when we go out to eat, I didn't always, but get this: Now that I don't drink pop out, Braums finally has changed to free refills! They were just waiting for me to stop drinking pop out! Braums was one of the last to offer free refills, I use to dislike that, but now that I'm losing weight and relearning how to eat and drink, my attitude has changed. A listener of mine recognized me and asked “are you still on your weight loss thing.” I guess seeing me at Braums maybe made him wonder if he was about to witness a meltdown. I told him yes, then showed him my food and explained how I was doing it in such a tempting place. While we were there I looked at the Braums Pecan Pie in the freezer section, one piece of that pie is 490! I'm still not over the pecan pie calorie sticker shock from Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow will be the first day I add weight training to the workout menu. I'm not lifting to gain muscle right now, I'm just doing it to burn fat. That'll be a nice addition to what we're already doing. I'd love to add swimming eventually. Swimming is an amazing calorie burner. If I can get over the embarrassment of wearing a bathing suit, then I think I would enjoy it. I may have lost 67 pounds so far, but I'm not in swim suit shape just yet. I wonder if I could find one of those old time full body bathing suits. You know, the kind that basically covers you from head to toe. Not a wet suit, a full body bathing suit. Big difference! I'll still wear a “swimming shirt”, probably will until I reach my goal and get a full body tuck. I haven't a clue how much or how we'll afford the body tuck, but with as much skin as I'll have to remove, it's gonna get done! We'll figure it out later! I do need to check with the burn centers across this region and see if they take donations, and if so, will the body tuck to harvest the donation still cost me? OK, enough of that talk. I will need one...OK enough of that.

I was thinking about how much I use to love riding my bike as a kid and how I haven't been on one since I was a kid. I'd like to get a bike in a few months and actually ride. Maybe we could all get one and ride around just like the Brady Bunch. In the Living XL catalog they have bicycle seats that are extra wide and can support 700 pounds. Is this really necessary? Are there any 700 pound people riding bikes? Anyway, they have smaller versions too, like the 500 pound capacity model. Good thing they have these. I've never broken a bicycle seat, but I imagine it could be very painful. Of course I haven't been on a bike since I was, wow...uh, maybe 12 or 13? Something like that. At 13 I had a little moped scooter. I was a really big kid, probably too big for that moped, but I rode it, much to the amusement of passers by, and I never burned calories on a bike again! I'll add recreational bicycling to my list of things to do when I lose enough weight. Wait a second, I think I already put it on the list. Cool.

I talked to my mom today about staying focused. I told her that the rewards are just too great to pass up. If you really stop and think about all the positives to staying true to the mission, then it really becomes very clear. The rewards are so tremendous, too numerous and far reaching to even count or list, that's what you have to focus on. And we concluded our conversation with the old cliché, “Nothing worth having comes easy”, it is work, it is a job to learn how to function with food in a healthy way and to exercise and take care of ourselves...but the rewards are “beyond our imagination” great. I'm keeping my eye on the prizes my friend. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 76 Being A Good Example and A Real Ice Cream Buffet

Day 76

Being A Good Example and A Real Ice Cream Buffet

This Saturday started much like the last one. I didn't allow myself any time to have something for breakfast before leaving for my broadcast. This time I picked some fresh fruit instead of the King Size Rice Crispy Treat. And this time I wasn't verbally attacked by a complete stranger. What could they say? “Hey, you gonna sit there and eat healthy stuff all day?” That wouldn't have been so mean. It was a nice broadcast, I skipped lunch at the store for a lunch at home. I fixed turkey melt triangles. It was a 260 calorie sandwich, not the best calorie-wise sandwich I've ever made, but it was leftover turkey at it's finest!

A little while later it was off to the YMCA for some treadmill and racquetball court action. Courtney and I had a really good workout. When Courtney finished on the elliptical, I was still in the racquetball court. She was watching me, so I turned it up about 8 notches. I was trying to show off for my daughter. That's right Court, that was your Dad that almost crashed into the wall head first chasing that little ball. Impressed? Of course, Daddy is Superman in there! I quickly winded myself to the point of exhaustion, I was a very unimpressive mess! And we called it a workout. Setting a good example for my daughters is so important. I've set such a horrible example for so long and it's left them both overweight. Kids just follow the leader you know? I lead them straight into obesity and I'm going to lead them out. Before we left Courtney had to weigh, she had forgot to do it earlier in the week, so today was her weigh day. She lost another 8 pounds! She was so happy to discover the results and I was so thrilled to see that look in her eye. She clearly had a major boost of confidence with that weigh-in. She was glowing!

If I can lead my family out of a life of obesity it would be the greatest thing I've ever done. It's the most important thing to me. That's why I'm so strict on myself. Because I'm not messing this up. I've come up short so many times, and I feel like this time, failure is not an option. I'm taking this one all the way. How many days will it take? Who knows? Doesn't matter. I'm getting there. With everyday that passes, I'm getting closer to my ultimate goal. Every time Amber tells me she's walked another 5K, every time she has positive results on the scale, every time Courtney experiences success, every time Irene fits into a size smaller jeans, I smile, I feel good. Because we're all doing it. We'll never forget this time in our lives, we will always refer to it as a critical turning point, we will always remember these days as the ones that turned everything around. And I mean everything. Losing weight and feeling and looking good creates massive amounts of confidence, and confidence breeds success in everything we do. I think I've written about this before. I know that my weight has held me back professionally. I'm very lucky to be working for a broadcast company that took the time to look past the 500 pound body and realize the talent and ability that I have in what I do. Wow, I just sounded totally full of myself. You know what I mean. Many stations will not take that time. Many stations just see a big sloppy fat guy, and that's not what they want out there in the public representing their station. You can read about a perfect example of this on Day 13's blog titled “Big Fat Memories.” So I recognize my blessings, and give thanks, but I also know that if I would have lost the weight years ago, I probably would have been much more successful career wise by now. I don't worry or waste a lot of time thinking about that because we've had major success raising these two beautiful and smart daughters, and that's the best most meaningful kind of success.

Tomorrow will round out the holiday weekend and before Amber goes home Irene has mentioned maybe going out to dinner. And if everyone takes a vote, I bet I know what restaurant they'll choose. The China King Buffet. I'll visit and enjoy everyone, but I may not eat there. I have no use for any buffet, especially this buffet. You know why? Because the buffet at China King is also an all you can eat Blue Bell Ice Cream buffet. That's right, they have giant five gallon buckets of Blue Bell in all of the best flavors. No soft serve here. You could pay one low price and eat Blue Bell until you were sick. I've always called it the Ice Cream Buffet place. It's certainly a brilliant idea for a buffet restaurant, but I don't wanna face it. I know I could and would come out victorious, but why put myself through the internal drama? I plan on suggesting a place where we can all order something a little more calorie friendly. My favorite thing to order is a marinated chicken breast smothered in grilled onions and mushrooms. It's the tastiest 350 calories around. And yes 350, it's always extra big chicken breast at one of our favorite places. I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow night. I'm off to pick up Courtney, she's been running the OU football broadcast tonight, and doing a great job. Until next time good night and...

Good Choices,

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day 75 My Name Is Sean and I'm A Cheeseaholic

Day 75

My Name Is Sean and I'm A Cheeseaholic

My weight loss plan has survived the biggest eating holiday around! Now, getting through the day after has been a little tricky. I've dealt with severe temptation today from the leftovers. To give you an idea, I started the day with a piece of pumpkin pie! It was only a couple a hundred calories, but come on! I don't eat pie for breakfast! I did today. And the cheese, oh the cheese. As I write this I'm completely out of calories. I haven't gone over, but I'm right there on the line. Why? Because I can't seem to keep my hands off the mild cheddar. I love that stuff. Cheese is awesome. It's right up there with ice cream on my list of favorite things to eat. Oh, I also had another egg nog ice cream sandwich. I'm tellin' ya, I've slung around my calorie choices today with reckless abandon. And the consequence? I was out of calories by 7:30pm. No late night snack for me. But I made the choices, so I have to accept the consequences right? The great thing about calorie counting, tomorrow I get another 1500. Maybe then I can try to eat just a ¼ of an eight ounce block of Wisconsin Cheddar, instead of almost half. I'll manage them a little better, I'm sure.

Tomorrow I have another Wal-Mart broadcast from 9am to 1pm. Maybe I'll start my day with some Twinkies. I'll be the fat guy sitting in the middle of Wal-Mart eating Twinkies, maybe that will bring out the idiot that'll say “Hey, you gonna sit there all day and eat those?” I'm kidding. I'm not getting Twinkies, and I really am completely over that nutty guy from last Saturday. I made a trip to Wal-Mart today and had to park almost to Murphy Oil again. I don't really mind, but I'll tell ya, prior to 9/15/2008, that would have been a serious problem. Parking that far away back then, I probably would have tried to hitch a ride up to the doors. No problem at all now, I walk and breath so much easier. I use to dread the Wal-Mart trip, I don't anymore. It's amazing how much difference 67 pounds makes. Night and day.

The progress so far has been tremendous, and it makes me so excited about the future. When I finally reach a point were I can honestly say I'm not over weight, wow, I'll probably break down and cry! I've had so many doubts in the past that I could ever do this. I've felt trapped by my obesity. As if my obesity was holding me against my will, but it was far easier to comply with my captor instead of fighting back. Obesity will not beat me, it's had a nice long run of controlling everything in my life, but I've taken that power and control away. Obesity now knows who's boss and who's in control. And it knows that it's days in my life are numbered. It's a battle some days, and when I'm feeling especially weak, and the cheese in the fridge becomes too tempting to ignore, I get knocked down a little. But I have the number on that cheese, 110 per ounce...And obesity will have to do better than that to knock me down all the way. If I opened the freezer and found it full of Blue Bell half gallons, well, I would, OK, I don't know what I would do, I know I wouldn't give in, but I would be tempted. Being strong and staying on track doesn't mean that I never get tempted. I do everyday, but I find a way to get past it without allowing too much damage. If I were perfect I wouldn't have had 600 calories worth of pie and cheese today. At least it wasn't worse, I'm still below 1500, by 10 calories! Whew! That was close.

I set a personal record yesterday. It had to be the least calories I've ever consumed on Thanksgiving as an adult. Seriously, I've probably had nearly two thousand calories before in just pecan pie! I still can't get over the calories in that stuff. Some of my love for pecan pie died yesterday when I learned the horrible truth about it's calories. Well, now I know. On the other hand, my love of sugar free apple pie went through the roof yesterday. Anytime you can eat a piece of pie for only 100 calories, I say go for it. Eat pie and be happy!

The girls recently found some before pictures taken on 3/15/2004...I weigh 500 pounds on that day, only 5 pounds less than my starting weight this time. Since there are tons of fat pictures of me, I really didn't make the before pictures a big deal this time. I wanna see the after pictures! That's what excites me. Below I've posted that 500 pound head shot next to me tonight at 438. There's a difference, and like everything else along this journey, it'll just keep getting better. Good night and...

Good Choices,


Day 74 Thanksgiving Day My Way

Day 74

Thanksgiving Day My Way

The most challenging part of today was keeping my hands out of the food as I cooked. It wasn't until I sampled my stuffing that I remembered the Trident, I immediately grabbed a piece of gum, and after that I was fine. You can't nibble if you're chewing gum! Instead of carving the turkey at the table, I always de-bone the entire turkey first, then arrange the meat on a platter, pouring the turkey broth over for added flavor and moisture. I de-boned two turkeys and didn't sneak one bite. Normally Irene and I share in the cooking duties, but this time she had worked all night long and needed to sleep for at least a couple of hours before dinner. So I didn't have Irene over my shoulder monitoring me for potential “nibbling violations”, I really had to police myself and of course the Trident helped tremendously.

In all my years of enjoying Thanksgiving I never bothered to check the calorie count in my all-time favorite holiday desert. Pecan pie with a dollop of Cool Whip is so good, but after today I'll never look at pecan pie the same. I knew it was expensive calorie wise but I didn't expect it to be over the top loaded. One 1/8 piece had a calorie count of 470! The pumpkin was much easier to take, coming in at 270 for a 1/6 (bigger) piece. I modified my pie consumption plan. I had a 1/16th piece of pecan and i cut the pumpkin pie into eight pieces instead of the recommended six. A piece of pumpkin pie then became a very manageable 202.5 calories. I'm telling ya, I love me some pee-can pie, but I don't love it that much! 470 for an eighth of the pie? That's crazy calories. Forget that! I enjoyed my sliver of pecan pie very slowly because I wasn't having another, not today. Absent from our holiday meal was egg nog. If I have anything to say about it, we'll skip the egg nog on Christmas too. An eight ounce serving of egg nog has 375 calories. Those little 16 ounce individual bottles of egg nog at your local convenience store: 750. And that quart of egg nog will set you back 1,500 calories. A half-gallon? 3000. I made sure to have a 140 calorie egg nog ice cream sandwich before I finished off my calorie allotment tonight, that satisfies my egg nog craving very nicely without blowing several hundred calories. My sister in law made the most wonderful sugar free apple pie. After quizzing her on the calories and the ingredients, we looked at some ingredient labels and discovered such a wonderful thing. A piece came in at a really low 100 calories. “Give me two!”, I exclaimed. So in case you're keeping score, that's four pieces of pie today. I honestly could have kept with the everyday plan of 1,500 calories, but in the name of “but it's Thanksgiving!”, i stuck with the original plan of adding 1,000 calories, for a total of 2,500. I've posted my Thanksgiving food diary in a seperate blog titled Day 74 Bonus Feature-The Food Diary. As you can see it's fairly complete. I had chocolate, three kinds of pie, a cookie, cheese, crackers, summer sausage, ice cream, and the traditional late night leftover turkey sandwich on white with that tangy zip of Miracle Whip all in the same day. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with everyone today. More so than I ever have in the past. Thanksgivings past, I was always too busy eating to really focus on anything but my next plate. It was nice to stay in control on this holiday. If you're a regular reader of this blog you have read about how much Thanksgiving has tripped me up on some very deep runs of weight loss. It didn't this time because instead of just saying “ah the heck with it, eat whatever today”, I was ready with a plan! And it worked to perfection!

Instead of heading straight for the sofa or recliner for a little after dinner snooze, we hit the trail! Our schedule ended up not meshing with Candi's schedule and Irene got sick, so heading out to do the 1st Annual Anderson Family Thanksgiving Day 5K was Amber, KL, Courtney, Uncle Keith, and me. I had forgotten how many inclines Boomer Lake trail had! It was a very challenging walk. I was surprised at how many people had the same idea. It wasn't packed by any stretch, but we encountered at least a dozen other Thanksgiving Day exercisers out there. I was so happy to accomplish the 5K today. I really needed that workout to counter any bad feelings I might endure for increasing my holiday calorie allotment.

Tomorrow it's back to the regular routine, except of course I plan on sleeping until at least 10am. No show for me in the morning, and good thing, because it's late my friend! I hope you too had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I gave special thanks today for all the incredible support I receive everyday through my friends, family, and daily readers of this blog. Traffic to my blogspot version of this blog has really picked up lately too. My network of support has increased significantly because of this blog. Thank you for reading, good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 74 Bonus Feature: The Food Diary

Here's a list of everything I put in my mouth today!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 73 Food "Picking" and "The Chubby Chuck"

Day 73

Food “Picking” and “The Chubby Chuck”

Well here we are, Thanksgiving Eve. Tonight I'm heading to Wal-Mart to pick up some last minute items for the big dinner at mom's house. I'll start cooking the turkeys tonight, then in the morning I'll cook the ham and everything else. It'll be fun and a major accomplishment to get through unscathed. One of the biggest problems most people have is “picking” while they cook. I've been so guilty of “testing” the food while I cook. Well, you have to see if it's seasoned properly, and if it's done, or thick enough, or sweet enough, or juicy enough right? “Picking” or “tasting” or whatever you call it isn't something that a strict calorie counter can do. I plan on chewing Trident while I cook. I'll have 2500 calories to use tomorrow, and each calorie will be calculated, even the “tasting” calories. You might think this sounds a little extreme, but like I've said before I can't allow myself to cheat, not even a little bit. It's a good thing, but a little crazy thing about me. I can't count how many times I've completely self destructed because I cheated just a little bit on my calories. The honesty, the 100% solid integrity of this journey must never be compromised, because that would be the beginning of the end. I know this about myself and that's why I can't go over my calorie limit, not even on Thanksgiving! Since I'm allowing 2500 calories, it shouldn't be too hard.

I've heard a couple of people say today how they plan on stuffing themselves tomorrow. It's completely accepted, always has been. Thanksgiving is the one day a year you can absolutely pig out and nobody thinks anything of it because “it's Thanksgiving.” It's like the national over-eating holiday. I've had so much to eat on Thanksgiving before that I was literally sick. I just couldn't stop, because “it was Thanksgiving.” In fact, tomorrow will be the first Thanksgiving where I've ever practiced any self control. And I will not be deprived. I'll have stuffing and potatoes with gravy, Turkey, a roll, two kinds of pie with cool whip, and who knows what else. Have I mentioned that we're having two Thanksgiving dinners? I think I did, yep, after our dinner in Stillwater we're walking a 5k, then we're headed back home to Irene's sister's house for another big meal. Very careful calorie management is paramount to my success tomorrow. To keep track of 2500 calories, I may write everything down. I'm not a big fan of keeping calorie journals, because I just don't see the need on 1500, less paperwork the better! But 2500 is another story. Plus, if I write everything down it will be easier to recall everything tomorrow night while writing this blog. OK, I've convinced myself, I'm writing everything down tomorrow.

I was so proud of the 10 pound loss yesterday. It really felt good. Have I mentioned I weigh 438 now? I did didn't I? OK, I remember. I know that soon I will be below 400 again. That'll be a big day, then crossing into the 380's will be another big day, and I can't even imagine what it will be like to cross over into the 300's, and eventually 200's. I love this journey! After 73 days, I sometimes ask myself why I took so long to get in the right mindset. I always knew that the positive effects and rewards were part of the journey, but convincing me to claim them once and for all was nearly impossible.

Today was a great day. I finally tried a bite of a “Chubby Chuck Burger.” Recently we had to do a radio commercial for this burger, so we thought we should at least try it and see what all the hype was about. It was really good. It's a half pound, hand formed hamburger, on a toasted bun, served with a half pound of fresh cut french fries. I had Gayle cut me off a sliver of hers, and indeed it was something great! I opted for a fried chicken breast for 340 calories and a 200 calorie handful of Gayle's fries. Gayle offered to cut her Chubby Chuck in half and share, but I just didn't trust that I could make an accurate educated guess on the calories. So if you hear me raving about the Chubby Chuck on the air, you will know that I've actually tried a sliver. I sometimes wonder about what people think when they hear me talking about this weight loss blog and my results, then they hear me going on and on about Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake, or they hear me salivating over the Philly Cheesesteak Pizza from Dominos, or a giant one pound Ribeye dinner. Most know that I'm just doing my job! But it certainly sounds contradictory on the highest level!

Courtney is really wanting some cheesecake for Thanksgiving, I guess I'll let her have it. She's not really nuts about pecan pie, or any pie for that matter, but cheesecake, well that's an absolute passion with her. We'll probably pick up one of those single serving packages in the Wal-Mart bakery. I'll save my calories for the pecan pie! I love pecan pie loaded with whipped topping.

The real important thing for me to remember is that Thanksgiving doesn't have to be all about the pigging out. I'm going to make it more about the togetherness, the family, the visiting, and the giving thanks part. Lord knows I have a bunch of things to be thankful for, although some days I make the mistake of letting my daily stresses blind me from them. But at the end of the night, when all else is quiet, and it's just me and my thoughts, I can't help but to recognize them and be thankful. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 72 Weigh Day Already?

Day 72

Weigh Day Already?

Weigh day is something I look forward to with nervous anticipation. I've heard so much about plateaus, and I know that eventually I will have a weigh day where the scale doesn't move or moves just a little bit. I really think it's too early to hit one of those right now. Maybe during the second 100 pounds it will happen. When it does, I know exactly what I'll do. I'll eat a half gallon of—Uh I mean, I'll continue doing what I've been doing. Because what I've been doing is working very well. Today the scale read 438! I've lost a grand total of sixty-seven pounds in seventy-two days. 438! Another 10 pound loss!!! 4 3 8...sorry, I just like the way that looks. At 505, 438 looked a million miles away. But I'm here and I feel great! I sent out the mass text message with the update, and thank you to everyone that replied! Your encouragement is like a high octane fuel. My cousin Travis sent me some numbers based on my success so far. Did you know that I'm only 86% of the man I once was? My goal is to be 43% of the giant I once was...and he added that I was 25% of the way there! I really like those numbers! I'll tell you what I'm really looking forward to, crossing the 115 pounds lost mark. As if I haven't mentioned the 2004 attempt enough, here I go again. 115 pounds is how much I lost in the spring/summer of 2004, before we crashed it to pieces on a family vacation. In a way I didn't come back from that vacation until September 15th, 2008. That's why 115 is such a big deal to me, because every pound after that will be a new personal weight loss record! I can't think about it too long, because it just makes me upset with myself all over again. I could say that all of that progress was wasted back then, but it wasn't really. I believe that the lessons I learned from 2004 will help me succeed all the way to my goal in 2009. So 2004 was just a test run. This is the real deal. Many successful people have credited their failures for giving them what they needed to succeed. And when I really get below the surface of those upset feelings of 2004, I have to admit, I needed to fail. I needed to experience that monumental failed attempt to fully understand the complexities and psychological changes I needed to succeed. I'm not saying that I have it all figured out, I don't, but this time when I hit a bump, I ask myself questions. I stop long enough to analyze the situation and determine why I'm feeling weak. I never did that before, I'd eat first, ask questions later, questions that I couldn't answer, like: Why did I do that? Today the question is a little different: Why do I feel like doing that? This journey has demanded that I be very self-aware of my emotions and the potential effects of them at all times. It can really sound complicated, but after I made the iron-clad decision that I wasn't going to let stressful triggers set me off, and I decided to actually try to learn about and practice proper portion control, the only thing left is simple math and moving my body on a regular basis. Counting calories and exercising. No pills, no ordering special plans off an infomercial, no special foods, just a very basic approach that works...eating less and exercising. It definitely works, because I've lost sixty-seven pounds in seventy-two days.

Irene and the girls decided they would weigh at the YMCA and soon I'll be able to join them on those scales. It will be so nice to know I can weigh on any normal scale. I really look forward to that day! The girls dug out some old scrapbooks and family photos today. They discovered some before pictures taken on Day 1 of the 2004 attempt. I weighed exactly 500 pounds on that day. In the coming days I'll post some before and now pictures. There is a big difference so far! It's really a fun ride.

The next few days should produce some interesting editions to this blog. Can't wait! I never felt this confident going into Thanksgiving. I do now because I've decided I will win. My plan is solid, allows plenty of room, and takes the power away from the food forces that have always moved during this holiday. Good night and...

Good choices,

Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 71 Too Much Food and A New Attitude


Too Much Food and A New Attitude

I guess I've been too busy lately to notice that tomorrow is weigh day! I've tried really hard to not set a number in my head, it honestly disappointed me last time. I'm working hard on this and I'm impatient sometimes. I want it all off now! But I know that's not how it works. Slow and steady gets it done. One day at a time is all we can do, and as long as we know that we are doing everything we can do, giving 100%, then we will arrive at our goals one by one. I'm excited to have Amber home tomorrow night for the Thanksgiving Holiday! Amber and KL are coming and they will be here when we return from our bi-weekly weigh-in trip.

I talked to my mom tonight. Her and Aunt Kelli were at the store buying several items for the feast. Since Irene and I get Turkeys from our jobs, we'll bring them, plus a ham. I think we'll have wayyyy too much food, but maybe it can be processed into leftovers for the next three months. We'll have eight to ten people at my mom's house and: Two turkeys, a ham, 24 rolls, two pecan pies, two pumpkin pies, a big pot of mashed potatoes, another big pot of stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans with cheese, and who knows what else! We certainly must give thanks for our many blessings, we've never known a day without food. I feel kind of guilty preparing a feast like this for so few people. I guess as long as we feed off the leftovers in the coming days, I won't feel so bad. Then after our 5K walk on Thanksgiving we're heading back home for another feast at my sister and brother in-laws. I'm really going to have to pace myself. I know I'm adding 1000 calories to my 1500, but still I need to come up with a plan on how to navigate two dinners in one day and stay within my 2500. I'm really not that worried about it, I'll be fine.

Irene pointed out that I wasn't really honest the other day when I said that the mean/rude guy in Wal-Mart the other day only bothered me for about an hour. I was talking about the incident again yesterday, when she commented that I still wasn't really over it. She's right, I guess I'm not. I'm an extremely sensitive person, and that guy really hurt my feelings. I don't want to sound like a big baby here, but I've let it bother me way more than I ever should have. That guy obviously has some serious issues of his own, to lash out at a total stranger like that, I'm really focusing too much on this huh? OK, so maybe when I said that it only bothered me for an hour, maybe it was because I knew that even an hour was about 59 and a half minutes too long to let it bother me. New paragraph!

I've never been comfortable playing the role of the fat guy. Even at over 500 pounds, I don't think I ever saw myself as a big giant out of control fat guy. I was, but my mind wouldn't let me accept that image. Because after all, I've always heard “You carry it well” and “You don't really look your weight” or “I would have never guessed you weighed that much.” These were all things that I loved to hear, because it would encourage this false image I had of what I was. It wasn't until I started worrying for my life that I really started to admit being my true self with all of my faults and addictions. It wasn't until I saw the very tired look in Irene's eyes when the subject of my weight would come up. I would never want her to lose faith in me, but I'm afraid I pushed her real close to accepting some grim eventual realities. My eyes were opened by these things, then a giant pale of water was thrown in my face when a medical doctor told me that I could collapse at anytime, and it wouldn't surprise anyone in that doctors office one bit. It took me a while even after all that to really get my mind in the place it needed to be, but I'm here now, and it feels real good. Come Thursday I'll give thanks for many things, mainly thanks for the strength I've been blessed with to fully see what I had been ignoring for so long. I'll give thanks for all the second chances I've been given. And I'll give thanks for all the loving support that surrounds me everyday.

I'll send out another weigh day mass text tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon after 5pm. If you're not on the list, but would like the update, just send me a private message with your cell phone number. If you've received the update before, then you're on the list already. I know I've said it many times, but allow me to say it again, I sincerely appreciate you reading this blog everyday. Your support makes this journey so much easier. This evening we worked out at the Y after Courtney was finished with her duties at the radio station. I had 350 calories left, so I grabbed a soft serve vanilla cone, and I've snacked on a 110 calorie bag of Funyuns while writing. Sometimes it really doesn't seem like I'm on a “diet”, and I guess I'm not really, I'm on a complete lifestyle transformation. That sounds much better. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 70 Setting The Pace and "Wanna Bet?"

Day 70

Setting The Pace and “Wanna Bet?”

I changed the title of the blog from last night. “Popcorn Rage” didn't make sense really. It rhymed with “stage”, but that's about it. I don't feel any rage against popcorn. I like popcorn, I just don't trust popcorn, unless I prepare it or at least witness the preparation. If coconut oil is involved count me out! If a bunch of butter is involved count me out. There's a short list of foods you will rarely see me eat. After all my talk about eating whatever I want, this might be confusing, but let me explain. Counting calories does allow me to eat anything. But it also forces me to make wise calorie choices. I can use the 1500 a day any way I want, but if I use them too fast and all at once then I'm really making it hard on myself the rest of the day. That's why I steer clear of: Movie popcorn, peanut butter, real mayonnaise, deep dish or “pan” pizza, egg nog, real pop, vitamin water (I'm still upset about that!), alcohol, butter, garlic butter dipping sauce, ranch dressing, bacon, cookies, A bowl of ice cream, and several more that I can't think of right now. I do enjoy Miracle Whip, thin crust pizza, and ice cream in controlled portions. The list of foods I do eat is much longer, just re-read day 50 of the foods I have enjoyed on this mission.

We had planned to workout at the YMCA today, but since they close at 5pm, and our schedules didn't fit, we ended up pounding out the steps on the Hutchins Trail. It was a great workout. It's all about the pace. If I push the pace up a mile feels like much more. I'm very happy about my progress, especially when it comes to exercise. It gets easier and easier and then I have to make it harder and harder to feel like I've had a workout. The added mobility and easier breathing is such an amazing thing. Speaking of exercise, Candi has decided to join us on our Thanksgiving Day 5k walk around Boomer Lake in Stillwater. If you plan on being in the Stillwater area on Thanksgiving and you want to join us, then let us know! It'll be a fun way to work off the stuffing and gravy!

I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. When Thanksgiving would approach on past weight loss attempts I feared it. But my plan is solid. I'll have 1,000 extra calories that day, I'll walk a 5k in the afternoon, then at least another mile later that evening. So bring on the pie! I believe you have to have a plan going into the holidays because it's way too easy to throw your rhythm into a tailspin. Everybody has the cookies and fudge and pies and cakes and wow, it can be a real tight rope, but if you have a plan and stick to it, you'll get through it without falling. I can't wait to write the Thanksgiving Day blog Thursday night. I'll tell you all about it!

After the show last night the producer/director suggested some different wardrobe ideas for next season. I told him that I was losing weight and I'll have many new wardrobe choices come March. I'll have lost well over 100 pounds by then, probably close to 150, so I'll be able to wear just about anything I want by then I'm sure! That's really exciting. Clothes and I have had a love/hate relationship my entire life. I've never dressed the way I really want to, I just wear what fits. Often times I cling on to whatever I think makes me look smaller. When I was in school and it was coat weather, I use to wear my coat all day, because I thought it made me look better. I'm pretty sure I invented the fashion trend of wearing an “over shirt”, you know a t-shirt underneath with a button down collared shirt un-buttoned over. I use to get ribbed about that, and now guys all over the planet do it, and they're welcome. Weird, I know. I think I did that because it covered up my boy boobs. But now even men without excessive chest fat wear the “over-shirt.” I've always been self conscious about my chest. I do have nice pectoral muscles buried under the fat, I can flex and feel them. I'm doing it right now. I also have six pack abs hiding under my belly fat. I've almost felt them before. So losing this weight is like slowly opening up a bunch of presents, say over the course of a year or so... with every month that passes, I discover new feelings, new abilities, new muscles, and new looks staring back at me in the mirror. It's a wonderful bunch of presents!

I ran into a long lost friend of mine the other day and when I told them about my current weight loss they quickly reminded me of the weight loss disaster of 2004 (read Day 6 for an account of that meltdown), they said “I thought you were doing it a few years ago”...and they said it with a very skeptical tone. I understand this reaction, it's a kind of “I'll believe it when I see it” type of attitude. If anyone deserves to feel this way about my weight loss it would be Irene. She's been by my side for 21 years total, and she's witnessed first hand all of the failed attempts. But ask her today if this time is for real. She'll tell you yes. It is for real because I'm breaking down all the barriers, I'm blowing through the psychological roadblocks, I'm leaving excuses in the dust, and I'm writing about the experience every night. Everything is different about this time. I'm discovering and confronting my eating triggers, I'm learning how to handle the challenging days (just go back and read Days...uh, too many to list—But there have been some really challenging days!), I'm realizing the changes in me daily, and I'm encouraged by all of the positive feedback from my wife, my kids, my family members, my co-workers, my friends, and everyone that reads this blog. There are even complete strangers in different parts of the world that read this blog everyday, and when I look at the numbers of readers everyday that really becomes a huge motivating factor. I'm for real this time. And if anyone doesn't believe me, let's put a little money down on it. If I fail you win, when I reach 230 I win. You first might want to go back and read every blog entry starting with day one, and if you still want to bet, we'll do it, you name the price to play! I doubt I'll have any takers. You know I'm for real this time. I must turn in for the night. It's been a very busy but fun weekend. Nice workout tonight, perfect on my calories too, I think it's a nice time to call it a day. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 69 Differences On Stage and Popcorn Advice

Day 69

Differences On Stage and Popcorn Advice

This evening I hosted The Poncan Opry Branson style variety show at the historic Poncan Theatre. The last time I performed on that stage was June, and I weighed over 500 pounds for that one. What a huge difference it was tonight. The weight I've lost allows me to breath properly, to walk normally, to really get into my performance. I remember back in June how hard it was to focus on my set and delivery because I was consumed with my breathing and mobility. The excess weight was finally having a profound effect on my stage presence, but not tonight. Sure, I can't wait to dress better, and that too will send me and my performance skills up a few levels, but I can't complain about how wonderful I felt tonight on that stage. Lifting 60 plus pounds off my body makes a huge difference in everything I do, and I mean everything. When I think about how far I've come in the last 69 days, and how far I have to go, I get really excited. Because, and I've said this before, if I feel this good now, how will I feel at 230? How will my performance skills and confidence improve at a normal weight? It'll be really fun to find out!
At the Poncan Theatre, the dressing rooms are down stairs under the stage. The stairs are steep too, I can remember being completely winded after climbing those things, but not tonight. I'm not saying I flew up them with the greatest of ease, I just went up and down several times through the night without looking and feeling like I needed immediate medical attention. I was really surprised about the food and drinks in the dressing room. There wasn't any. I'm not complaining, that worked great for me, but I really thought I would have something to report about a spread of food for the entertainers. The only food down there were a few fast food bags brought in by the performers. I could have had some popcorn, but I stuck with water all night, then treated myself to a Diet Dr. Pepper from the Poncan fountain after the show. I turned down the popcorn for one reason: It's a complete caloric wild-card. You can take a normal medium sized tub of popcorn, and depending on how it's prepared it can be anywhere from 200 calories to 1,200 calories. Unless you personally prepare it, you can't be positive about the calories. I occasionally enjoy some microwaved kettle corn. It's only 40 calories a cup popped. I'll measure out three cups popped and it really is a decent sized portion and it's only 120 calories. The same amount from the theatre is probably over 500 at the very least! The lowest calorie popcorn is hot-air popped. And if you add some salt and pepper and maybe some Mrs. Dash, you start talking flavor minus the calories! Getting popcorn at the movies is a giant calorie counting no-no. I'll never do it, it's just too loaded. I know I talk about eating anything and everything on this plan, but in order to keep the calories low, I would only be able to eat a few handfuls of popcorn. It's just not a good calorie value at all. So many calorie counters calculate the calories wrong in popcorn, but not you and me, not now! Always remember: All popcorn is not popped equally calorie wise.

I enjoyed a 250 calorie McDonalds hamburger for lunch today. I had Irene order it for me while I was busy with the Wal-Mart broadcast. I had her add extra pickles and onions for added flavor and calorie value. It's a trick I've developed rather quickly in the last 69 days. If you can add as much low cal veggies to your burger, or taco, or whatever, you significantly increase your satisfaction. I took my time on that little hamburger today, maybe about 25 or 30 minutes. I can remember one time when I was a kid McDonalds had a 29cent burger promotion. I must have downed four to six burgers at one time back then.

I'm so ready to relax tomorrow. What a busy weekend! Courtney and I plan on attending the YMCA for the most intense workout yet. I'm going to see if I can go two miles straight on the treadmill. Remember I said that I think walking for one mile on the treadmill can be just as tough a workout as a 5K on the trail. We'll see what two straight feels like. It'll be great! Until tomorrow night, good night and...

Good Choices,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 68 The Thrilling Conclusion Of "Not Yet Titled"

Day 68

The Thrilling Conclusion of “Not Yet Titled”

The wedding I attended tonight was probably one of the most unique I've ever attended. It was baseball themed. Everything was all about the Cubs. The grooms cake was shaped like a Cubs hat. It was really cool. All of the food at the reception was ballpark fare. Each table was supplied peanuts, popcorn, and pretzels. The main course? Hot dogs and nachos! It was really simple staying within my calories. I had a hot dog with mustard, six tortilla chips with a little cheese sauce, and a few peanuts. I stayed clear of the cake! It looked really good, but I didn't want to push my calories to the limit and cake really has never made me that weak, so it was easy to pass up. I wasn't the only one either, several people I noticed passed on the cake. I got out of there on less than 450 calories. I was allowing for six hundred, but decided to enjoy a late night snack later instead of cake.
I'll finish this days blog in the morning. I'm falling asleep here at the computer!! It's been a long but successful Day 68. To be continued!

OK! It is now nearly twelve hours later. I had planned on finishing up the Day 68 edition early this morning but my snooze alarm convinced me otherwise. Wow, I needed some rest. Yesterday was a really long and tiring day. I knew I was too tired to write when I almost mistook a super glue stick for lip balm. That could have been hilariously tragic! Last night at the wedding, Bill commented on how slow I was eating my hot dog and nachos. I never slowed down before Day 1, but when you start taking the focus off the food, and start focusing on the things and people around you, it's real easy. I was visiting and talking, and you can't talk with your mouth full right? My food wasn't going anywhere, so I finished in about twenty minutes or so, had no desire for more, and was very satisfied with my calorie performance. Another really cool experience was all of the people that took the time to notice my weight loss so far, and a few even talked about this blog. These are the experiences that make it so easy to continue on strong and confident. It was very nice! I took the time to enjoy the conversation and appreciate the grandeur of the Marland Mansion. The home is so magnificent. As the bride and groom danced along the ballroom floor, I couldn't help but imagine the many formal events that must have been held in that very room during the days of the Marlands. It must have been some kind of amazing experience being a successful oil man in early day Oklahoma!

Today was the morning for the YMCA Turkey Trot 5K. I really wanted to be there but I had a live broadcast to do at Wal-Mart. I know that this is suppose to be about Day 68, but don't worry, this busy Saturday will produce plenty to ponder late tonight for the day 69 entry. I really didn't give myself time for breakfast this morning before leaving early for the 9am broadcast, so I picked something up at Wal-Mart. Doing a live broadcast from Wal-Mart is really cool for many reasons, one being you get to park the station vehicle right up on the sidewalk next to the building! That's right, like I owned the place! You would think, being in Wal-Mart, that I would make the absolute best choice for a quick breakfast. I didn't really. I found a king size Rice Crispy treat for 320 calories and a Vitamin Water. I consumed about a third of the Vitamin Water when I discovered something that floored me! That little 20 ounce bottle of Vitamin Water had a whopping 150 calories! What? Are you kidding? Am I on candid camera? 150 calories for some flavored and fortified water? No thank you! I'm sure it's loaded with all things good for you, but for me, well, I just don't like spending a bunch of calories on drinks. There are too many zero calorie drink choices, it's just a waste to spend them on liquids. I was totally reeled in by the Vitamin Water bottle,and the word “water.” I didn't even look at the calories prior to opening, I was just sure it was zero. I quickly threw it in the trash and did without! I wasted 50 calories on that thing! It just served as a reminder to always read the labels! I wonder how many more bottles Coke would sell if they started calling it “Coke Water.” I would buy it once at least, then read the label and throw it away. A customer at Wal-Mart and a stranger to me said something very mean to me during the broadcast. It was really weird. Usually adults behave like adults. I stopped being hurtfully teased about my weight around the 9th grade, so this guy really surprised me. I was eating my rice crispy treat breakfast when he walked by my booth and said in a very hateful and negative tone “so, are you just gonna sit there and eat those all day long?” No he didn't! Yes he did!!! I responded with a confused glare and a mouthful of rice crispy treat. I glared at him as he walked away, eventually disappearing into the depths of the store, but it bugged me for the next hour or so. That guy didn't know me at all. He didn't know how committed I am to this journey, he doesn't know the network of fantastic support this blog has created for me, he doesn't even know about this mission at all! All he could see was a morbidly obese man sitting in the middle of Wal-Mart eating a rice crispy treat, and the sight completely overloaded his small mind, and he blurted out something hateful. What a miserable existence he must endure, bless his hateful heart. It really bothered me, but like I said, only for an hour or so. I really wanted to track him down in the store and tell him my story and all about what I'm doing, but I decided he wasn't worth my time and energy, besides Wal-Mart was paying for me to be there to promote specials and give away turkeys, not explain my entire life to some crazy customer who is an “inappropriate talker” and has never learned how to conduct himself in public.

If you want to reunite with long lost friends or colleagues, just hang out at Wal-Mart for four hours. I enjoyed seeing a few people I hadn't seen in years. I gave them the address to this blog and glowingly expressed my excitement over the changes I'm experiencing. It was cool to catch up with old friends. So remember, before you hire a private eye to search for long lost people from your past, hang out at Wal-Mart first! I've got to do better about staying in touch with people!

I'm scheduled to host the show at the Poncan Opry tonight. It's a Branson type variety show live on the historic Poncan Theatre Stage. I'm very excited and honored that they asked me to be a part of it! I can't wait to tell you all about the wonderful array of goodies I'm sure to dodge in the greenroom and backstage! If you're in the Ponca City, Oklahoma area, the show starts at 7:30 tonight, tickets are only $12 for adults, $6 for children under twelve. Would love to see you there! Until later tonight, good afternoon and...

Good Choices,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 67 They Do and The Big Ball Of Potential Embarrassment

Day 67

They Do and The Big Ball Of Potential Embarrassment

Today was interesting. In the early evening I got snack happy. I had some chips and salsa and an egg nog ice cream sandwich, leaving me only 430 calories for dinner. That's OK, but I usually like to save some snack calories for a little while after dinner. I don't know what got into me, I just felt the urge to snack, and I did. As long as I'm at or under 1500 I don't really care. But it did make for a lean dinner. I really have to be extra careful with my calorie budgeting tomorrow because I have a wedding to attend. The morning guy down the hall at KPNC, Ryan Diamond, is getting married. They're having a Chicago Cubs themed wedding. At the reception tomorrow evening “vendors” will be passing out hotdogs, nachos, and peanuts. And of course wedding cake! Wedding cake is really special. Is it just me or does it taste so much better than any other cake you've ever had? Is there a special “wedding cake” recipe? And if so, then why don't people just use that recipe every time. I'll have a little piece, I mean really, I don't want to be rude! If I blow through my calories early that reception will be difficult. But I will be fine because I'm planning my strategy for the day now. That's a wonderful benefit of this blog, it forces me to think about tomorrow. In the past, I didn't face this computer every night, I didn't think ahead and plan my calorie and exercise strategy. I do now and it makes a big difference!

The Monday after Thanksgiving I plan on requesting a tutorial from one of the trainers at the Y on the weight machines. I really want to understand how to properly use the equipment. I'm not really concerned right now about building muscle, I just want to lose fat! I'll get to the muscle building phase of this plan later down the road. Some of those machines look really complicated, but I'm sure they're not with some simple instructions. I don't like it that some of them face a large wall mirror, but hey, I guess that's alright. I don't mind looking in the mirror as much as I did 67 days ago. I can see and feel results and that's a wonderful feeling! The music is really good in there too. They take normal songs and set them to a really fast rhythmic beat. I swear they can make any song a workout song with that hyper beat underneath! One workout tool they have that I will probably steer clear of for a while is the big ball. It's just a big ball. I think you balance your back on it and do different exercises. For me, it looks like a really embarrassing moment waiting to happen. If I get on the ball and then roll off into the floor, someone might get hurt from laughing too hard while running on the treadmill. I generally try to avoid potentially embarrassing situations. I always have. Sometimes we can't avoid it. Have you ever fallen in public? Embarrassing for anyone, now add 300 pounds, and it turns embarrassingly funny and potentially life threatening! I've only done it a few times and every time I've popped back up with cat like reflexes. I popped back up on my feet so fast one time I thought Irene was going to laugh herself into a heart attack. Me falling wasn't the funny part, the part where I sprang up quickly to minimize embarrassment, that was the knee slapper. And oh boy, walking on ice! Now that's a tough one. At 6'3 and really big, my center of gravity is taller than some adults. And of course the heavier you are the easier it is to slide. How did I veer off on this topic? Oh yeah, the exercise ball, right. I wonder if they have one with a handle that you can sit on? Ride it like one of those toys that I can't remember the name of. You know what I mean, you sit down and bounce. That's good exercise!

Speaking of good exercise, someday I want to get into the adult dodge ball league. They have one at the YMCA. I was always the worst dodge ball player. My lethal combination of size and slowness made me the first to be “out” in countless dodge ball games from my youth. But when I get all the weight off, I think I could be a contender, ya know? I'll dodge the balls for exercise. Can't wait. I also want to play softball. I've talked about this list before, it's really long! And I keep adding more and more stuff I could never do as a 505 pound man. It's all added motivation!
I have to help Courtney memorize 132 Spanish words and the English translation of every single one for a big test she's taking tomorrow so I better sign off. Take care, gracias for reading, good night and...

Bueno Choices,

Day 66 Hadley Springs Well Water and The Wild Meatloaf

Day 66

Hadley Springs Well Water and The Wild Meatloaf

Today was a wonderful day, although I could have done a little better on my water consumption. I usually do real well, but recently I discovered Diet Mt. Dew, and it's really good. Eventually I would like to totally cut out all pop completely. I did give up coffee, what has it been? A couple of weeks now? Haven't missed it really. OK, maybe I've missed it a little, and on some mornings, a lot. But I haven't had one sip since I gave it up! I drink hot green tea, and some days I just stick with flavored water, and then days like today I take the 2 liter of Diet Mt. Dew to work. I need to stop that! Water, water, water! That's what I need! Maybe if I say that over and over it'll actually stick in my head. I need to drink more water! I know about all of the benefits of drinking water, how it helps speed your metabolism, how it cleanses your body, how it keeps you hydrated. I know it's good stuff, I just have to convince my taste buds that it doesn't always have to be flavored. I fell in love with water when I was a kid, the only problem was it wasn't our water I was so in love with. It was my Great Grandpa Hadley's water. He had a well, and it produced the cleanest, best tasting water ever! Someone in the family should have bottled that stuff years ago, could've called it Hadley Springs Well Water. One taste and everyone would've been hooked. Every time we had a get together, which was at least once a month back then, sometimes more, I would make sure I had a big tall glass of that water straight from the tap-no ice. It was that good. I have never had a bottle of water that has duplicated that well water. Of course cold water always taste good when we're hot and sweaty. The Y's ice cold water fountain is awesome after a hard workout. I guess you could say I have a circumstantial love of water. If the circumstances are right, I love it, If I'm lounging around watching TV, can't stand it. Right now I'm drinking ice tea with Splenda, see! I can't even drink it when I'm writing about how much I need it! Tea is water based, so there, that's how I justify my two gallon a week habit. At least I'm not justifying, manipulating, or rationalizing my food intake, because you know that ice cream is loaded with essential calcium and Vitamin D. I'm kidding.

OH! Speaking of Ice Cream, tonight we found the most amazing little treat in the ice cream section. Just perfect for the holidays and it's only 140 calories! Are you ready for this? Egg Nog flavored ice cream sandwiches! Blue Bunny makes them, you too can find them in your grocers freezer section. We like to keep treats like this handy for those calories left over at the end of the day. It's a controlled way to have a taste of indulgence without the giant calorie tab. The great thing is, a box last way longer than it use to around our house. If the old Sean were in command, that box would be almost gone already, I guar-ron-tee!

Tonight for dinner I tried something exotic. Yes exotic! I made a venison and wild hog meat loaf. A good friend of mine is a real outdoors type of guy. He processes his own deer, and when a friend of his shot a wild hog, he processed that little piggy too. He brought me some really lean ground venison and some surprisingly lean “hog burger.” I knew Irene would be almost impossible to convince, but I was going to give it my best shot. So I cooked some diced onions and green peppers and turned that wild meat into a “wildly” delicious meatloaf. A meatloaf that had about 35% less calories than beef according to one calorie database I found on the internet. Some garlic herb mashed potatoes and mixed veggies rounded out the meal. I set it all up on the table, hot and ready to go, then I rung the dinner bell and yelled “come and get it!” OK, there's no dinner bell, and I didn't yell that, but I did say “dinner is ready and on the table!” Irene was resting before her all night shift and Courtney was with me admiring how much it really looked like a big delicious meat loaf. Irene sat down and started putting food on her plate, potatoes first, then veggies, then she reached for the meatloaf. At that moment I had to make a decision. Do I not tell her? Maybe I'll wait 'til she's finished and complimenting the meal before I tell her she just had a bambi/porky pig loaf. It was just too risky, she might have freaked out, so I told her what the beautiful meatloaf was made of. She made a disgusted face and refused to eat the loaf. Her dinner consisted of potatoes and veggies. Courtney and I enjoyed the wild game loaf, and after dinner we gave the leftovers to some relatives down the street who were really excited to try it! I can't hold it against Irene. As a little kid she ate exotic wild animals all the time and hated it. One time she stayed a few days with an uncle of hers who killed and cooked her pet rabbit, then put it on a plate in front of her and insisted she eat it, when she refused, he would put it back in front of her the next meal, after refusing to eat her pet over and over, and missing several meals along the way, little Irene resorted to eating dog food. How horrifying! My heart broke when I first learned of that story from her childhood. So I have to cut my buddy some major slack when it comes to trying anything exotic and wild. Just recalling that story makes me want to give her a big hug. I love you buddy!

Our workout at the YMCA tonight was intense. I'm convinced that a mile on the treadmill gives me about the same workout as two miles on the open trail. That treadmill makes me wanna quit early! But I can't! I have to do at least a mile on that thing when I'm there. And that racquetball court is another animal all together. It really felt great in there! If it wasn't so challenging then it wouldn't feel as good right? And the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a hard workout is right up there on my list of awesome feelings.

I'm really looking forward to next week and Thanksgiving, seeing Amber and KL, being with family, and cooking some great food...and eating an extra 1000 calories that day, and I'm really looking forward to tackling Boomer Lake Trail, all three miles plus of it, but we'll talk more about that as it gets closer. Until tomorrow evening, good night and...

Good Choices,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 65 Butter? No? Are You Sure? How About Some Butter?

Day 65

Butter? No? Are You Sure? How About Some Butter?

For some reason the days seem to be flying by lately. Maybe it's because it's a busy time of year. I'm not complaining, because when you're making progress one day at a time, you want the days to fly by as quickly as possible! It is a one day at a time kind of journey. Every day is different. Some days are really easy and some days are very challenging. If you've been a regular reader of this blog you know that I've had my share of both. Today was fairly simple. It had all the potential in the world to be a really challenging day, but I had a plan, and I stuck with the plan well. Planning daily strategy is one thing I never did before and it's certainly one of the keys to my success so far. I had a solid plan going in to our visit with friends at the barbecue restaurant. The plan was to not order the all you can eat ribs. No problem. My plan was simple really, order a chicken breast or maybe turkey, be careful with the sides, and watch the appetizer closely. And I did. We ordered some chips and salsa with some cheese dip. The chips were small, so I had to make an educated guess on the calories. By comparing these chips to the calorie count of Tostitos, I determined that I could safely call my eight or nine small chips and dip 200 calories. I ordered the chicken breast with a baked potato plus sour cream. Yes, sour cream! Two tablespoons of the stuff is only 60 calories, and well worth it if you ask me! When I asked for the potato, the waitress went down the list of items for topping the spud. She even asked me if I wanted butter twice. I said no to the butter two times. What about cheese? No. What about butter? I said no already. What about bacon? No. So just sour cream? Yes. Wow...was the waitress drinking or something? The answer to that question was yes by the way...I'm totally serious, after an intoxicated friend of the waitress groped Rachel, she came over to apologize for the behavior, and after looking around to make sure no other co-workers could hear, she admitted that she had several mixed drinks right before her shift. We were all wondering if she acted so hyper-happy all the time, or what, because she was really loud and smiley. Anyway, Neal ordered the AYCE Ribs, and he gave it a good go, but stopped short of the record. We all had a fun time, and the intoxicated waitress and intoxicated groper friend of the waitress made it even more interesting, and perhaps a little uncomfortable a few times. When Irene and Rachel went to the bathroom, I told Neal to watch out, the intoxicated groper would be coming over any second, and sure enough just as I said it, here she came bumping up against Neal, then sitting down and apologizing to us for her behavior. It was very funny. We'll never forget this restaurant visit! Oh, and one perk of having an intoxicated server, to-go boxes for the AYCE Ribs!?! That can't be normal policy for an all you can eat deal. Rachel also gave me a calorie count book, thanks Rach! I will admit, I did look over the desert menu with a weak thought or two crossing my mind. They had some amazing looking deserts that were so big, you would have to share with someone. But I was good. I knew that I had spent 800 calories on my entire meal and there just wasn't room in the calorie budget for a double fudge pecan brownie sundae with real whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top. It looked really good! But hey, I know what that taste like, I've had something similar before, and I'll have something like that again someday, just not tonight. Not enough calories left! After we left the restaurant we visited with my mom, grandma, and Kelli for a few minutes, then headed back home. On the way out of town I used the last of my calories on a soft serve cone from McDonalds. It may not have been a Quadruple Fudge Deathly Sinful Brownie Sundae with nuts, real whipped cream, and a cherry on top, but it was really good and creamy and satisfying. It was a good evening!

The best thing about counting calories is this: Nothing is off limits completely. I know that I can have just about anything depending on the amount. So I never feel deprived. And I never get that “want something you can't have” kind of effect. Because I can have it if my calorie budget for the day will allow and I decide to invest the calories. Again, it's all about good choices. I decided against having the ribs tonight because I felt it was a bad calorie value. I probably could have had the same calories with a two rib plate had I dropped the chips, salsa, and cheese dip. I budgeted my calories early in the day to allow for plenty of calories at dinner, and it worked perfectly.

I just talked to Amber, can you believe that girl just walked another 5K tonight! She's doing amazing! She definitely is dedicated, and I'm so proud of her! Keep up the good work Amber! I better retire for the evening, Day 66 is fast approaching! Good night and...

Good Choices,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 64 KO ing My First 5K

Day 64

KO ing My First 5K

Amber, my oldest, told me she was excited to do the Anderson Family Thanksgiving Day 5k, and while chatting with her this evening I learned that she was busy training for it today! She did it! 3.1 miles, a whole 5K...and just think baby how much easier it will be when you have your I-Pod working! Irene had to go to work tonight were she'll easily do a 5K plus on the floor of the largest casino in the area. So that left Courtney and Me. We had planned to go a little earlier, say 5:30, but again schedules didn't work right, but we knew we were doing it tonight regardless of the time or temperature! We bundled up real good, or so we thought, and we headed down to the old walking trail. I looked at this first 5K walk like it was a mini version of the big journey we're on. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and sure enough at the ¾ mile mark we had trouble. From about ½ mile I had noticed my right sock had dropped down below the shoe line causing some rubbing. I tried to ignore it, but at the ¾ mile mark I had to stop, take off the shoe, have Courtney help her big old daddy adjust it, then put back on the shoe. I can handle my own shoes and socks if I have somewhere to sit down, but I'm not at the point of being able to adjust it solo standing up. Courtney was a heel saver! A nasty blister was the last thing I needed, and it was heading there fast. We continued on at a really nice pace, our first mile clocked in under 20 minutes, so we were doing a little better than three miles per hour. The second mile seemed to grow colder, the wind started to pick up a little more, and that's when we realized that maybe we should have bundled up a little better. Courtney's face and legs were becoming numb, and her legs starting cramping. She plowed through the rest of the second mile before I made her get in the vehicle out of the cold. She did an amazing job setting a very nice pace. I was trying to keep pace with her the entire two miles and that really helped me get a better workout. For a moment I thought about stopping too. I really did. The first two miles really zapped me. My heart rate was way up, I was sweating and really cold at the same time, and my heel didn't feel that great. But I told Courtney to wait for me, because I had to beat this. I proclaimed in this blog I would do it, and by golly I was going to get it done tonight. So on I went, my pace may have dropped a little, but I was still trucking right along. My heel was hurting from the droopy sock problem on mile one, but I just kept thinking about how good I would feel when I finished. I wanted to win this 5K! Even though I wasn't competing against anyone but myself. At a little more than 2 and ¾ of a mile I started feeling really confident. I actually tried to start a little jog, but I lasted only about ten or twelve steps before I realized I really wasn't ready for jogging. At that point I could see the vehicle, I was close. When I was even with the vehicle I knew I had only a tenth of a mile left 'till victory. Making the turn back to the vehicle at 3.05 miles was really nice. As I approached the vehicle Courtney jumped out and gave me the biggest hug. I did it! I completed a 5K Walk/Run, uh, minus the running. Courtney and I reminisced about Day 1 when I could barely make it a quarter mile. I just did over twelve of those! I felt like I accomplished something special. Talk about stepping up the workouts, this was stepping it way up! And now I'm pretty confident that come Thanksgiving, I'll be able to get around Boomer Lake without having to have Irene pick me up on the other side when they finish. That's the thing about walking Boomer Lake, it's a 5K just walking around it once. So if you make it half way, you pretty much have to go all the way if you want to get back to your vehicle. Unless you're with someone, then you can have them pick you up after they finish. But I will not have that problem, I did it tonight and I'll do it Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow evening we will be surrounded by thousands of calories worth of barbecue ribs. We're going out with our friends Rachel and Neil Bell. Neil has laid claim to downing nearly 25 ribs at one sitting before, or in caloric terms, over 10,000 calories worth of barbecue pork ribs. Better eat a light lunch Neil, because I'm looking forward to rooting you on to a record 26 ribs! Irene and I will probably go for a smoked chicken type thing, or grilled chicken breast, and Rachel is watching the calories too. It'll be a fun little get together, and I'm not even worried a little bit about those tempting, mouth watering, slow cooked to perfection, dripping with sticky sweet sauce barbecue ribs. I guess I could have the ribs, a couple of small ones, but I really think the better calorie value will be a chicken choice of some kind.

Today was a very busy and very fabulous day! I cruised in at about 70 calories under my allotted 1500, that's OK, it's too late to eat them now, and I did my first ever 5K walk. That may have been the longest I've ever walked in one stretch. I know we did 3 miles before back in 2004 when I lost that 115, but this was 3.1 miles! Wait, I think I remember walking nearly five miles when I was a very young child. Say maybe 7 or 8 years old. But I think I set a record tonight for distance walked as an adult. Now that I've done it, I look forward to doing it again. Great job today Amber, Courtney, Irene, and everybody else that is out there doing it with us! Feels good doesn't it? Good night and...

Good Choices,

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 63 The "Fat Guy" List and The Habit Exchange

Day 63

The “Fat Guy” List and The Habit Exchange

Sometimes plans don't exactly go as planned! Anyway, we didn't do the 5K today, we're planning on doing it Monday evening about 5:30pm. I'm excited about it! I'm a little disappointed that the scheduling didn't work right tonight, but that's OK! Staying upbeat and positive is very important to anything, especially losing a dramatic amount of weight. And it has to be a genuine positive attitude. It's easy to fake one, but I sincerely try to condition my thoughts to be upbeat most of the time, despite circumstances that may exist.

We're just 48 hours from the great barbecue rib showdown of 2008. We're meeting friends for ribs on Tuesday night. The special at the restaurant we're going to is “all you can eat”, but the great thing is you don't have to select that option. I will not! Ribs are loaded with calories. One single rib, depending on size, can have as much as 477 calories! Ouch. I may opt for a chicken choice. Or request really small ribs, more along the lines of 250 a piece. I wonder if they've ever had someone request “small” ribs. “Uh, excuse me, these ribs are way too meaty, could you take them back and give me some small ribs, ya know, mostly bone if you could.” And by the way, that calorie count is without any sauce. Oh my word, ribs are scary to a calorie counter! I'm sure they have some excellent alternatives. I'll be just fine!

I just received a new big and tall catalog in the mail. I don't really know how this one found me, I've never bought anything from them before. Maybe I'm on some kind of “fat guy list”, I don't know. Is there such a list? Probably. Actually I bet the other big and tall store I have done business with, sold their list of big people, or maybe this new catalog is a division of the bigger company. All of their stuff in this new catalog is less expensive. Most of it is “on clearance”...Great, maybe I made the “Fat poor guy” list. Hey, that's just fine by me, I'm all about saving money! Of course sometimes saving money can backfire. The last time I bought jeans at the big and tall store I learned that lesson. Irene was trying to convince me to buy the Levis. I wouldn't do it, because they were sixty-five bucks. And the store had a no name brand on sale two for seventy. I went with the cheaper jeans and boy was I sorry I did. When a person is as large as me, they have to be aware that they are much harder on clothes than a normal size person. I didn't think about that in opting for the less expensive no-name brand. Within a week and a half, both pairs had ripped out beyond repair. The denim used to make these things were nearly paper thin. That's why they were so cheap! You get what you pay for huh? I was so upset, and Irene tried to get me to take them back and complain, but the closest I came to driving all the way back to Tulsa with my ripped out britches was an angry voice-mail to the manufacturer, and they never called me back. Probably too busy counting their money and making sure their denim supply was the worst quality possible. It'll be so nice to wear normal sized clothes. To be a 2X or even just a plain old 1X would be so nice. I've been a 6X for so long! I wont know how to act.

My goal for the next weigh day is to be into the 430's. It may be too early to talk about, since it's over a week away, but it shouldn't be that hard of a goal to hit. 439 would be a nine pound loss. That's completely do-able. That weigh day is the 25th so I'll be patient! It feels so good to be on my way down. I've discovered that I can sleep longer. It's weird, but even with my C-PAP machine, I could never sleep more than about six hours at a time. Now, on some weekends I'll sleep nine or ten no problem. And I know that even slender people can have sleep apnea, I'm really beginning to think that I'll be one of those big people that lose the weight and the sleep apnea. I'm completely conditioned to use it every night, I can't imagine sleeping without it, but I look forward to not having to mess with it anymore! I certainly hope that's the case when I get down there to 230 or 250, or where ever I should be. I've also noticed that there really isn't a walking problem at all anymore. What I mean is, before at 505 lbs, just walking across the parking lot would wind me, not now. I can walk fast without breathing hard at all. Feels great I'll tell ya!

It's funny how when you start doing the things you need to do, other habits just fade away naturally. I use to play poker on the internet for fun every night. I mean every night. I spent hours upon hours playing poker, sometimes on multiple sites at the same time. I would be in a Poker After Dark freeroll on Full Tilt, while playing a $500 dollar freeroll on Poker Stars, while playing another free tourney on NLOP. And if we deposited ten bucks on Poker Stars, then I'd be in a dollar tournament of some kind too. I was poker crazy! But that all changed on September 15th, 2008. I have played a couple of “play money” tournaments on Full Tilt, using Irene's free chips, but that's about it. I've replaced my poker playing with working out and writing this blog. I think that was a great substitution! I exchanged a time consuming, some might say bad habit, with a couple of great habits. And I did it without meaning to really, I didn't come right out and say, “I'm going to severly limit the number of poker tournaments I play”...It has just happened naturally. There's only so much time in a day right? Speaking of time, it's late and the 4:45 am alarm is set for another Monday. Thank you for reading, good night and...

Good Choices,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 62 The 5K Plan and A Suggestion From "The Man"

Day 62

The 5K Plan and A Suggestion From “The Man”

I was planning on doing a YMCA sponsored 5K walk/run next Saturday, but as it turns out, I'm scheduled to do a broadcast that morning. Does that sound a little ambitious? Probably. But you don't have to run at all. You can walk the entire way. I'm pretty sure I would walk the entire way. I plan on doing my own 5k tomorrow. That's right, a 5k. Bring it on! It sounds much further than 3.1 miles, but that's all it is. I've made it two miles before, surely I can make it another 1.1 miles! It'll be fun, of course I will not get a t-shirt and an official time, but still, it's a 5k. Anybody want to do it with me? If you live close enough to me and you want to do it with me tomorrow, just send me a message, I'll contact you and we'll coordinate the time. This could be fun! If it goes well maybe we'll make it a weekly event! I'm excited. I'll certainly report on the event tomorrow night in this blog.

I ran into one of my sister and brother in laws this evening. I haven't seen them since I started this journey, and it was great, they immediately noticed the weight loss. That's cool. It feels really good when people notice the difference. It fuels my desire to keep it up! I feel like I've really made a breakthrough in the last few days. Day 60 was exactly what I needed to remind me that I wasn't invincible. And so I continue on with a lesson learned and a little stronger defense against “bad days.” I'm really looking forward to the coming weeks and months. The holidays are right around the corner, and I'm looking forward to them too. I have my plan ready to go for Thanksgiving! If you remember from previous blogs, I plan to add 1,000 calories on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is enough to enjoy some pie and whipped cream and gravy over the stuffing and potatoes. And perhaps we'll do a 5k on Thanksgiving too. We'll be in Stillwater, so all we have to do is walk completely around Boomer Lake once. That's a 5K right there. Amber. KL, Courtney, Irene, are you all game? Anyone else in Stillwater on Thanksgiving is more than welcome to join us! Gee, uh maybe I should see how tomorrows 5k attempt goes before I commit to the Anderson Family Turkey Day 5k. Oh, I'm sure I'll be fine.

I still have nearly 250 calories left for the day. I need to hurry up and use 'em or lose 'em. I don't like to eat so close to bedtime. But 250 shouldn't be so bad. A full meal? NO. A snack like a cheesy tortilla wrap, or some kettle corn, no problem. Speaking of food choices, a good friend of mine suggested that I list everything I eat everyday at the bottom of each blog. I've never kept a food diary, and I really don't want to start. I just keep a running total in my head. My friend said that if I did that, then the next day he could just duplicate what I had the day before. I appreciated the suggestion, and if you knew who it came from, you might tell me to do it because he suggested it, but I must respectively decline. What I'm doing is all about choices. If you just duplicated what I had everyday, then you wouldn't be learning how to deal with your lifestyle, and the foods and choices that surround you in everyday life. I feel a little bad, because his suggestion came with a compliment on the blog, and the suggestion that this addition could really make the blog explode in popularity, and help it's chances of becoming a book someday. I really was tickled that he felt it could be that good. But again, the fundamentals of this plan is exercising and making good choices about portions and food selection in everyday life situations. You wouldn't want to duck out of a dinner party to pick up a few tacos from Taco Bell, just because I had that for dinner. What's funny about me talking about this here is, I'll be able to tell if my friend has read it or not on Monday. He'll tell me about it if he has. Hopefully I'll still be employed come Monday night! ;)

I will tell you what I had today. I got up late today and decided to combine breakfast and lunch. I had two party tacos and a party bean burrito From Taco Bueno for 530 calories. Courtney had lunch at Dylans, so Irene and I enjoyed lunch for two for only five bucks! That's another plus of cutting down, you save money! I could not have prepared this lunch at home for less. And from Taco Bueno you can add as much salsa, jalapeños, and onions you want at no extra charge! I got busy and didn't have an afternoon snack. I usually do, but I wasn't hungry at all, probably because I consumed a bunch of water this afternoon. For dinner Irene and Courtney were having a mommy/daughter dinner out so I had a frozen chicken noodle dish with peas and carrots in a creamy sauce with green beans and I boiled two half ears of corn. Wow, I just realized I had four vegetables at dinner! What in the world! That must be a personal record! The dinner was 480 calories, I also made the rare exception to my “no pop” rule. We were out of diet soft drinks and water flavorings when I got home, the girls were planning on a Wal-Mart trip to replenish our supply, but having consumed plain water all afternoon, I decided to have a small serving of regular Pepsi. Before I let it touch my lips, I got out the measuring cup and measured an exact 8 ounce serving for 100 calories. So not worth it! But I wanted something besides water! After all that my total was 1110. Leaving me with 390 calories. I then took a few bites of Courtney's left over grilled chicken sandwich. I calculated that to be about 140 and that leaves me with 250. I'm going to go pop some kettle corn, pour me some newly purchased Sugar Free Red Diamond Tea, sweetened with Splenda, and play some Texas Hold 'Em poker on Full Tilt. Have you tried the Red Diamond Tea sweetened with Splenda? It's amazing! It taste so good, it'll make you feel guilty! But don't fret, it's zero calories! Another thing we love to drink is the Great Value Cranberry/Apple flavor water packets, we have some of those too now!

Take care and thank you for reading. Remember, if you live close enough to us, and you want to get together for the unofficial 5k I plan on doing tomorrow, send me a message and we'll decide when to meet. I just realized that today is the 15th, the official two month anniversary of this journey! Very cool. Good night and...

Good Choices,

Day 61 Over Confidence and "Super Sized" Dominance

Day 61

Over Confidence and “Super Sized” Dominance

Part of this process is learning important things about myself and about what I need to do to stay focused. Yesterday I learned that even when I'm feeling unstoppable, I'm still vulnerable to my emotions. I needed yesterday to show me that. I needed to have my confidence tested. It was indeed. I think I was getting over confident. Over confidence can sometimes make us drop our defenses a little. I was so confident about my will, that I didn't even see the weakness coming that engulfed me last evening. When it hit I panicked and decided the best thing for me to do was go to bed immediately. I did, and I'll tell you, it was the best decision I could have made. I woke up today feeling much better about things. I went in the bathroom to brush my teeth and I noticed something on the wall I hadn't noticed before. Oh I'm very familiar with it, I just had never noticed it was on my own bathroom wall! How could I have missed it? I don't know, but it really caught my attention this morning. It was a framed prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...Courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” It's easy to get so wrapped up in something, so focused, that you don't even notice things around you that may need your attention. These things can be a variety of different subjects, from very dear loved ones, to an inspirational prayer framed on the bathroom wall of your own house. Staying focused is extremely important, but not with blinders blocking out everything else around you. It goes back to what I know and what I've talked about before...You know you're on track for the long haul when the calories and exercise are doing well in the background while you live your life in the foreground. Not letting stressful situations and everyday happenings derail you is one thing, refusing to deal with them at all is another. I hope I'm communicating this correctly. This blog is all about my daily experiences along the way from 505 lbs to below 250 lbs, and that includes what I learn about myself and the process as the days go by.

Today was a busy day, a stressful day, but a great day. I feel wonderful. I've stayed within my calories and I had a great workout! Earlier, a report on one of the news channels caught my attention. It was a familiar story about a study on obesity in America. It really got me to thinking about the differences between 30 years ago and today. While everything looks bigger when you are a kid, everything was smaller when we were young. There was no such thing as a “super size” or “going big” or “King Size” anything. A large drink at McDonalds was 22 ounces, the same size as a medium today. There was no such thing as “free refills.” Thirty years ago you ordered one drink, you enjoyed it, and when you finished you threw away the cup. The idea of having a fountain in the lobby of your favorite fast food establishment would be absurd. “You mean I just serve myself? And, uh, I can drink as much sugary soda as I want at no extra charge?” The concept didn't exist back then, so we didn't miss it, it was normal to have just one fill of the pop. Two liter bottles didn't exist either. A family size bottle was the glass one liter bottles...remember them? Those were what we kept cold in the fridge when somebody wanted a Coke. It wasn't a personal bottle, it was the family bottle. If you wanted some, grab a glass and pour it. Today, the one liter is a plastic bottle sold mainly at convenience stores, and designed for personal consumption. Remember when Squarts were introduced? Those big 32 ounce bottles with the big hard plastic straw. Everybody seemed to get one, full of there favorite fountain drink. I had one! An 8 ounce “serving” or even a 12 ounce can of pop was laughable compared to these things. And today, it's common to see people carrying around 64 ounce jugs of soft drink. And many still wonder why obesity in America has ballooned to epidemic proportions? Way back when, a personal bag of chips was just that, made for one. And although they still have the single serving bags in multi-packs and singles in some grocery stores, the big sellers in the C-stores is the “Big Grab.” There wasn't as many buffets when I was a kid. I remember going to the Sirloin Stockade on the Strip in Stillwater for Sunday dinner, there was no buffet line. You ordered one plate of food. That was it, and everyone was satisfied. I think we became so focused on getting the biggest value for our dollar, many people lost sight of their waistlines. But they got a great deal and that made them happy. I've learned bigger isn't always better. And in the age of video games and computers, kids have no reason to go outside and use their imaginations. Who needs a plain old stick, when you can have a virtual identity wielding a shiny sword inside a game? Drive down the street in most neighborhoods and you'll notice a much calmer sound. Hardly anyone out playing. They're inside drinking one liter Cokes, eating “Big Grabs”, and playing video games. When I was a kid I would often be the only obese child in my entire class. Ask any teacher how many obese children are in class these days. I feel bad as a parent who got swept up in this super sized obese revolution and allowed it to effect my children. I'm so happy that they are following us out of that way of consuming and re-learning what really is a serving. I've been a bad example for my kids for so many years and now it's most important to me to lead by a good example.

Wow, that was kind of a social commentary rant huh? Pardon me, please. I feel really good about today, and what I accomplished after the weakness I showed last night. I've never claimed to be absolutely perfect and I've said many times, I'm not a doctor and I don't know everything, but I know one thing...I'm doing my best to be a good student along this journey. I'm trying to understand my behaviors and learn from them and correct them as I go. If I can do this one day at a time, I'll get to my goal for sure. I'm headed there! Thanks for reading about my journey along the way. Your support and all the wonderful comments and advice are greatly appreciated. And to my number one supporter, cheerleader, and soul mate Irene...I love you and thank you for standing by me for all of these years and the countless times I told you “someday.” Well buddy, that “someday” is now. And there's no turning back! We're doing it! Until tomorrow night, good night and...

Good Choices,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 60 Convincing Myself To Be Strong

Day 60

Convincing Myself To Be Strong

Sometimes it's easy to forget the very important reasons why I'm doing this. For me it's a desire to have a better life. I want to have a longer, healthier life. I want to feel freedom from obesity. I want to experience the things in life that being extremely overweight prohibits. I don't ever want to be scared about a little twinge in my chest, wondering if I'm about to have a heart attack. I want to be active with my family, do things that we've never done, because it wasn't what fat people do. I want to swim. I want to run. I want to free my family and my mind of worry over my weight. These are the reasons I must continue this mission faithfully, honestly, and with a determined spirit.

Today has been real tough. The toughest so far. I have somehow dodged every urge to cheat today. But I swear, it's taking every bit of will power I can muster. I've allowed a few different personal issues to weaken my resolve this evening. I feel defeated even though I'm not defeated. I'm having horrendous cravings right now that I can't satisfy. I honestly feel the best thing for me to do at this very moment is to go to bed and sleep. I need to renew my spirit with a good nights rest. Tomorrow will be a new and better day. It will find me stronger. My commitment to myself, my family, this mission, and this blog is too strong to give in to temporary frustrations and desires. But I'll tell ya, I really need Day 60 to be over now. I'm going to go sleep. Good night and...

Good Choices,


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 59 Weigh Day Number Four

Day 59

Weigh Day Number Four

Today was weigh day. I made the very unusual move to workout on my lunch hour today. I normally wait until the evening, but I wanted to get in a big push before the weigh in. You know I said I didn't want to guess this time. But even still I had expectations. I fully expected at least 10 or 12 pounds to be gone, but it was a little less. A very nice 7 pounds. OK, I'm fine with that. I'll tell you, this journey is full of peaks and valleys! Irene lost 2 more pounds, and Courtney “one-upped” her dear old Dad with an 8 pound loss! I'm very proud of both of them. Courtney was so happy to see those results. She's been working just as hard as I have, and I've told her several times “you keep doing what we're doing, and it will come off” and she's seeing that progress and feeling that rush of accomplishment euphoria! Irene has actually lost over 100 pounds in the last year and a half. Everyone sees the change in her, but still some are surprised by the total number she has lost so far. She's done it by becoming extremely active. She's quietly dropped the weight ever since she started her job with Southwind Casino. I have to hand it to her, because this was her plan from the beginning. She left her old job sitting behind a desk at a computer all day to take on a new job that she knew would work her body every night. And despite the regular pop she has enjoyed she's managed to lose over 100 pounds and counting. She is looking incredible! She is turning it up a notch now because she has some big goals to hit by Christmas, and in not long she'll be at her ultimate goal weight! The more weight I lose the more I learn about the body and how it works and reacts to our daily routine. Was my last weigh day 20 pound loss full of water weight? It had to be at least 40% water weight you would think. I mean really, 20 pounds? Was the 7 pound loss today 7 pounds of solid fat? Who knows, maybe I gained back some water, but lost say 10 pounds of fat, giving me a 7 pound net loss? You know what? It doesn't matter. I'm going to keep on doing what I've been doing so well, because the bottom line is simple: 57 pounds in 59 days. That's amazing progress pure and simple. I think I will step up my workout and see where that leads me. Honestly it's time to bump it up a little. I was doing my normal 2.9 mph on the treadmill today, the same 2.9 that sent my heart rate up to over 160 three weeks ago was now barely getting me to 110. I pushed it to 3.4 mph and I got it up there for a good cardio workout. And I could handle 3.4 mph! The progress has been really steady, so it's definitely time to go up a level!

I certainly don't want you to think that I'm upset or down about the 7 pound loss. I'm really not, especially after I thought about all the different variables in play. I know that what I'm doing is working and will continue to work. I just have to remember, one day at a time. I'm going to get to where I want to be, but it's not going to happen overnight. I didn't become a 505 pound man overnight, and it takes consistent and dedicated work everyday to get it off for good. I'm headed in the right direction. I talked with Dana and Steve tonight after I got home. They both offered encouragement and some valuable advice. I felt really good after that. Dana reminded me that I had plenty of time to “experiment” with different routines. And she's right. And Deb mentioned in her blog comment about “shocking” the system with something out of the ordinary, it was advice given to her by a dietary specialist at a hospital on how to shake a plateau. Dana gave me the same advice tonight. Give the body a little kick, something extra out of the normal routine, and watch how it reacts. Of course nobody has suggested that I'm even on any kind of plateau, I mean I still lost 7 pounds, but I'm willing to give the old metabolism a little “shake and bake” just to keep it on it's toes! It does make perfect sense. My plan is to increase the value of my workouts everyday for the next two weeks. Weigh day number five is Tuesday November 25th, we'll see what the scales say then!

What happened to me today is the same thing that derails so many people trying to lose weight. My expectations were higher than my actual loss. I promised myself I wouldn't guess, but I still couldn't control my mind enough to not expect 10 or 12 pounds. Expectations are completely normal when you're in the zone mentally and working it everyday physically. When the scale showed a smaller loss, I was honestly disappointed. And even though it was still a very nice loss I can be proud of, my expectations wanted a little more. The big difference for me? I didn't let it end my journey. I can't tell you how many of my past weight loss attempts have ended in a binge triggered by less than expected weigh day results. I was totally on guard when it happened today. I refuse to quit. Not now...Oh no! I'm doing this. I've lost 57 pounds in 59 days and that's actually ahead of schedule for my first 100 pound goal. I go to bed tonight feeling positive about this day and how it was handled. Tomorrow is Day 60, can you believe that? I'm very happy! Good night and...

Good Choices,

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