Bragging a bit.

Today I am going to brag a bit. Actually, I am going to brag a lot. Deal with it. However before the bragging, I need to share a bit of my personal history and thought processes.

There are a lot of things that I dislike doing; lots of activities that make up part of life in the modern world that are necessary, but not articularly enjoyable. Not for me anyway. One of those activities is shopping for new clothes. If I am being totally honest I would say that my feelings about shopping for clothes is more of a hatred than a mere dislike. The experience has never been enjoyable, and often has been downright miserable.

However, because my recent success in losing weight (73 pounds, 6 oz.  as of this morning) it had become very necessary to get some new clothes. As much as I hate shopping for clothes, I hate having my pants fall down around my ankles as I walk across a parking lot even more. Something had to be done.

Now, as it happens, the day I returned from my very enjoyable vacation I had received the newest KingSize Direct catalog in the mail. I have ordered all my clothes from their for the last several years. The timing of the catalogs arrival was particularly good because I had received my commission check the same day. After paying some bills that had been delayed by vacation I even had a few bucks left over. So, I sat down and paged through the catalog. After about twenty minutes I reached for my phone and called them to make the order: twenty minutes later 7 pairs underwear, 7 pairs of socks, two pairs of slacks, and four shirts were on the way to me.

The order arrived yesterday. All the items fit. Now for the bragging part, all of the items, with the exception of the socks, were two sizes SMALLER than my previous order. Yeah, I’m kind of proud of that.

Wants vs Needs

Let’s talk about the difference between “wants” and “needs”. It is a subject that one often has to deal with when on a diet. Specifically it is something I have been dealing with a lot the last two days.

You see, since about lunch time on Thursday afternoon I have wanted a large serving of cheep chinese food from the Panda Buffet. I want it so bad I can picture the different foods I would load on my plate, I can almost smell them. Almost taste the General Tsu’s chicken or the wontons, etc.

Yeah, I want that serving, or preferably two servings of that food. But I don’t need them. In fact, if I gave in to my wants, I would not only damage my diet, and set back my weight loss goals, but I would also damage myself in other ways.

I would, for instance damage my sense of self control, and sense of self discipline. Building that feeling of self control and self discipline has been on going effort for even longer than the diet has been. In many ways the diet has been successful so far because I have reached a point where I had built up a sense of self discipline and self control. Not nearly enough discipline or control; I’ve still got a lot of work to do in those projects, but I have made a lot of progress. I don’t want to lose that progress, which is why, I have not gone to my favorite restaurant, The Panda, and gorged myself.

No. Despite my wants, I didn’t do that. Because my needs are so much more important than my wants. I need to get healthy, and losing the weight is a big, if not the biggest part of doing so. I need to continue to develop my sense of Self Control and Self Discipline. I need to take joy in resisting the temptations of my wants.

So, that is what I have been dealing with the last couple of days. It has not been particularly easy, but I have not gone off to gorge at the Panda. I have eaten a bit more than I should have, but it has been healthy food that is actually on my diet plan. Some would say it is not much of a victory, but by all gods great and small, it is a victory. It is my victory.


Midweek Thoughts

Once again  it is Wednesday morning. Odd how the week passes by so quickly.

I am fully back in the real world now; the vacation world of last week is fading into nothing but pleasant memories. Yeah, back in the real world, and I’ve been doing some thinking; that is always a dangerous activity for me.

I started this diet, this journey on my birthday; on December 19, 2010. To the best of my calculation that was 96 days ago. Now, I will freely admit that I do not know my starting weight; I didn’t have a scale capable of weighing me until the first week of January. So, I base my record of weight loss from that time.

When I started this journey my only goal was to lose 225 pounds and to reduce my waist measurement by 20 inches. I had not really thought about what I was trying to accomplish more than that. I had not thought about what kind of changes working toward those goals, let alone meeting them,would make in my life.

I had not thought about how much of my self esteem, self image, and perception of self, indeed of the word, was influenced by my weight. You see, I have been overweight my entire life. I do not have any memories of a time when I was not fat.I have never been able to look in a mirror and not see a fat man looking back at me.

Indeed, often when I look in a mirror what I see is a man that is far fatter than I actually am. When I was in college I would see a man that is seemed to be hideously large, but when I now look at pictures of myself from that time in my life I realize that I was not nearly as large as I thought I was.

I mention this because it was not until I returned from vacation that I could actually see changes when I look in the mirror. I knew I was making progress, knew I was loosing weight because of the changes I could feel in the fit of my clothes. I knew I was making progress because of how good I felt physically. I knew I was losing weight because I could see the lower numbers on the scale everyday. I knew all this, but I couldn’t see any changes when I looked in the mirror.

However, when I returned from vacation I could see the changes. I now see a man that has made definite progress, yet still has a long way to go.  I see a man that is changing from what he was into something, someone else. I am looking forward to seeing, indeed to meeting that man.

Back In The Real World

I have been back in the real world, as opposed the vacation world, for three days now. I will be returning to work this afternoon. I am ready to get back to work. Ready to get back to work at my job, and at my diet.

I was rather pleased to see that I did not really gain back any weight while on vacation. The first day back the scale showed a gain of three pounds, but I think that was more a time of day thing. The next step on the scale, yesterday at my normal time, actually showed a loss. So, when I say that I am ready to get back to work on my diet, it is not because I feel that I have lost ground. No, I just mainly want find ways to be more….well successful. I want to find ways to take advantage of the great feelings, the great motivation, I brought back from my vacation. That will be what I work on, what I think about this coming week.

Vacation This Year

No posts last week because I was on vacation; I spent the week with about 3000 or so of my closest friends. To be just as plainspoken as possible, I had a GREAT week.

Now, before I go any further in describing the incredible things that happened last week I do need to admit that I did not follow my diet plan exactly. I was camping for the week, and it was simply not possible to follow the plan exactly. However I did follow it as closely as I could. I did not over indulge, I did not revert to any bad habits, etc. I just did not hydrate properly, and I did eat more bread than I had in months.

With that said, I felt great. The positive comments from literally dozens of people were great motivation for continuing with the program, but a much greater motivation was the simple fact that I felt good physically. In years past I would have felt awful after walking around that huge site all day. I would have sweated so much that my clothes would have been soaked through. That did not happen this year.

This year I was able to walk the site all day and at the end of the day my ankles, knees and hips did not hurt. Well, my feet did hurt a bit the second day, but that was due to some blisters caused by a new pair of sandals, not by the exercise.

This year I was able to help set up the 3 Dragon Camp, and engage in other strenuous exercise, and while I did sweat, I did not sweat enough to soak through my clothes. The sweat was not flowing like the Mississippi River.

This year, in short, I spent the entire time, doing all the things I always do, and I felt great. The fact that I was not carrying around 70 pounds made it possible to do all those things. I cannot wait to see what I will be able to do next year.

Oh, I did do one thing this year that I have never done before at Gulf Wars: I bought a teeshirt. I have been going to this event for years, and was never able to buy a teeshirt because the largest size the merchant carried was a 4x, and I was wearing 5x or 6x. This year I plunked down my 20.00 and bought the shirt on the first day. Damn, that was a good feeling.

Pre-Vacation Thoughts

In slightly over 12 hours I will be leaving for a week: Going on vacation. Gods, I am ready for the prep work to be over, and the vacation to actually start. Most of my time the last few days has been spent in preparing for the next week, but I have had a chance to do a little thinking about this journey I am currently on.

My ultimate goal is to reach a goal weight of 225 pounds by December 19, 2012. That is two years, and I think that is a realistic goal. Realistic and healthy; and the whole point of this journey is to reach a state of health.
OK, in a spirit of all honesty, the main goal is to get healthy, but being able to by clothes from a normal store is also a bit of a goal  as well. Oh, and to be able to fit into seats at theaters and concert halls. Those are goals, but the MAIN goal is to get healthy.

So, other than losing a great deal of weight, but are the other things I need to do to get healthy? That is  the question I have been thinking about a lot the last couple of days.

Hold on, there is a mini rant coming: You know, when I finally stand in judgment before my Creator, one of the many questions that Creator, whoever or whatever it is, has to answer for is why the food that is good for you does not taste as good as the food that is bad for you. Another one is why are all the activities that make for good health not as pleasant as the ones that do not lead to health?

OK, rant over; back to the question at hand: what else do I have to do to get healthy?
Obviously I need to start exercising; really exercising, not the penny ante exercising I have been doing. Both with cardio type exercising and conditioning or toning type exercises.
I also need to quit smoking. I think the great FBG smoke out is going to occur on April 16. That is the day after the contest at work ends. Time to pick up another challenge.

And that is all for the night.  I will post again when I get back from vacation.




What I Have Learned.

Tuesday evening already. I am running out of week quickly, and I still have quite a bit to do. I really should not spend time writing this post tonight, but I honestly think I would feel worse if I did not take the time. Tonight I am going to spend some time thinking about what I have learned in the 81 days since I started this current journey. There will be no particular order to these thoughts, I am just going to post what comes across my mind. Here goes:

* I have learned that it is much easier to stay on plan, on track, the more people you tell what about your goal; this is not something that can be , or should be, done in isolation.

* I have learned that people will be incredibly supportive when they know you are working toward a goal. This support will come not only from family and friends, but also from from people you would have never expected to be supportive. Hell, even complete strangers will be supportive. It almost restores my faith in the human race.

* I have learned that I cannot keep easily consumed food available. If there is something I can just go grab out of the fridge, or out of cupboard, I will eat far to much of it. Even if it is healthy food. I use food as a drug: I eat when I am upset or angry, or, especially, when I am bored. However, if the food I have is something I actually have to do some work to before I can eat it, I  will not eat except at meal times. If it is easy to eat, I will eat to much. If I have to work at it before getting a quick bite when I am eating for the wrong reasons I will find something else to do. Something easier.

* I have learned that I have to pay attention.

* I have learned that attitude is important; far more important than I have ever before believed.

* I have learned that I have to let go of the failures of the past. The past, my past, does not define you.

* I have learned that no matter how much of it I drink, no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise, I still think water, plain water, is bland, tasteless, and should be flavored, caffeinated, and preferably carbonated.

Strangely Liberating

Another short post tonight. I had a rather amazing, liberating experience today: I threw away a bunch of clothes.Not real exciting, I guess, but it damn sure made me feel good.

You see, these were all clothes I have been keeping for months , or years in some cases. They were all clothes that no longer fit because I had gained to much weight to be able to wear them. I kept them because I always had a hope that I would someday lose enough weight to be able to wear them again.

So, this afternoon when I was dragging out my garb tubbies from my closet I  saw those clothes in the “currently to small but may wear again someday” section of my closet, and a switch just flipped in my mind. Yeah,  at the rate I am losing weight I may be able to wear those again, but I do not think I want to. So, into the trash they went. Hell, one was a suit I haven’t worn in 17 years (though to be honest I am not a guy that wears suits often anyway).

I know I will have to buy some new clothes soon. I have never, EVER, enjoyed shopping for clothes, and I do not expect to ever enjoy it, but I am going to enjoy buying smaller sizes than I had to buy the last time I actually bought any.

Throwing away those old clothes was, in a very strange way, liberating. It felt like I was throwing away unpleasant memories of my past. I doubt that makes sense to anyone but me, but it was a good, GOOD feeling.



I Feel Good.

It’s Sunday morning and I feel fine!  I have definitely passed over, or through, the plateau, and I find that the scale is moving again. Not as fast as it had been doing, but it is definitely moving again, and that is a VERY good feeling. I know this is not much of a post, but, frankly, I just do not have a great deal to say this morning. I just wanted report that I feel good.


On my mind tonight

Since I started this current weight loss plan I have significantly changed  my food intake considerably, and one of the biggest changes is the fact that I have practically eliminated the amount of food I eat from restaurants. Before starting this project I used to eat the majority of my meals from restaurants. While I did not , usually, go to fast food places, it would not have been unusual for me to eat at some kind of buffet place three or four times a week. Not healthy, because EVERYONE tends to overeat at buffet style restaurants, and bloody expensive as well. I particularly like Chinese Food buffets; the staff at Panda Buffet in Bartlett knew me by name, and new what table I prefered.

Now, in the last 76 days (yeah, I am counting) I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have eaten at restaurants. I have become quite proficient at preparing clean meals at home. My skill at packing lunches to take to work with me has grown significantly as well. In developing these skills I have learned quite a bit about myself, and I will discuss that in a different post. What I am concerned about tonight is my vacation.

You seen, one week from today I am leaving Memphvegas to spend a week with about 3000 of my closest friends at a week  long SCA event; yeah, it is time for Gulf Wars again.  In years past I would just march down to the food merchants for meals each day. Of course there will also be food at the Gleann Abhann social. Hell, a person would actually have to work hard to starve at Gulf Wars.

Unfortunately, the food at the vendors, and most of the food that would be available from the other people attending the war, will not be the type of food I have been eating as part of my project. So, I am trying to figure out what I can make ahead of time and pack in a cooler for the week.

I know I can make meals ahead of time and freeze them. That’s what I do for the majority of my meals now: make it, package in single serving containers, freeze , and when needed reheat in the microwave. No, the question is going to be how to keep the pre-prepared meals frozen for the week, and how to reheat them when necessary. I do not really have any answers at this point, but I am thinking about the subject.