Top of the 3rd Quarter

Thank goodness it’s Friday!

This week Jenny and I were both uncertain about how the weigh-in was going to go. For her it was because she used more Weekly Points than she has in quite a while, so she was pretty sure she was going to end up with a small gain. She didn’t eat more than her points allowed, she just ate more than she’s used to eating. For me, it was all about that stinking Château d’Plateau that I’d been stuck on for so long regardless of how good or bad I was in regards to eating, tracking, and exercise.

Jenny: -1.6 lbs, Total 52.6 lbs
Jason: -3.0 lbs, Total 76.2 lbs

That brings our combined total up to 128.8 lbs!

I know that picture up at the top there can be pretty hard to read, but that’s my 75 lbs medallion that I got last night for reaching that milestone!

Lifetime Toolkit
Last night’s meeting was about developing a “Lifetime Toolkit” which is basically collecting all the little bits of information and habits and things that you find during your journey that you will need to succeed in weight loss long term. So everybody shared the different things that they have found works best for them, and that they consider to be the “tools” that will help them succeed.

Our leader gave a few examples, the first of which was the scale at the meeting. I forget how long she said she’s been a member, but I think it was around 5 years, and in those 5 years she’s missed no more than 5 meetings because that scale at the meeting is her primary source of accountability and the first time she tried Weight Watchers and eventually gave up, she gave up because she had stopped coming to the meetings regularly which soon led to not coming to the meetings at all.

Another member mentioned that even though she has e-tools and the ability to track on her phone or computer, that she still tracks using a journal or notebook and that each day when she tracks she also puts stickers on the pages so that when she’s struggling or needing ideas she can go back through that journal and see those stickers while she’s turning the pages and they help her stay in a positive mood and want to stay on plan.

My contribution to the discussion was the buddy system, that being able to go to the meetings with Jenny is a significant benefit, and even though we do occasionally sabotage each other the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. I pointed out that doing things alone is often something we consider a strength, “I can do this on my own! /flex” but not accepting help when it’s right there waiting for you is actually a weakness. There’s nothing at all wrong with getting help from other people whether it’s something intangible like having someone there to cheer you on, or something more tangible like someone there to slap your wrist when you reach for those donuts you don’t really have the points for.

One of Jenny’s contributions to the discussion was that having the blog gives her a chance to channel her frustrations into writing the posts, and since she doesn’t like leaving her posts on a negative note she always likes to find the good in the situation and share that at the end. As I write my posts, Jenny likes to sneak in and take a preview of the post to see what kinds of things I’m saying, and this time she said that today’s post was focused too much on negative things and not enough celebration. So I deleted about 1,300 words from the post and added the section below.

Other ideas that people had included pre-planning and pre-tracking meals, E-tools particularly referencing the recipe builder and recipe database for finding ideas for new things to eat so that they didn’t get bored, and drinking water both because it’s crucial to weight loss in general and also because drinking water can sometimes satisfy a feeling of hunger or a desire to snack just as well as actually eating something can.

Positivity
I couldn’t help but have a little chuckle as I wrote the section title “Positivity” and saw that Word Press didn’t recognize the word and made me add it to the dictionary. It seems Word Press and I have even more in common than I thought.

After Jenny’s contribution of putting a positive spin on her blog posts, our leader pointed out that keeping a positive attitude plays a big role in success as well, and that we’re always critical of ourselves instead of talking to ourselves like we do our friends. If you have a gain you tend to beat yourself up about it, but if your friend has a gain then you’re always happy to offer them some encouragement. Being self critical is human nature, and something I think just about everyone on the planet struggles with to some degree.

As I’ve said before, I’m not big of feelings. I don’t feel things the same way other people do and I’m not easily excited by things. So when I start to write, I tend to focus on details and in analyzing my own feelings the negative ones are there for me to focus on all the time where the positive ones come and go based on the events. It makes it easy to stay negative…kind of like I am right now. Moving right along then.

Let’s jump back a second to last night when I saw them write down my results. I took my glasses off for the weigh in (because every little bit helps, right?) so I couldn’t see for sure what was written down. I thought I saw a loss, but I had to get all my stuff gathered back up and my glasses on before I could verify. I was feeling pretty good and a touch nervous to see what the result really was at that point, and when I got them on I was happy to see that I had not only broken the plateau, not only pushed into the 260’s which hasn’t happened since high school, but that I had also achieved the 75 lbs milestone.

It was three moments of greatness all wrapped into one.

Jenny was super excited of course, and the leader who had weighed me in was happy for me as well. I have wanted to bring in the s’mores cups treats that we like to make out home to the meeting for a while, and we just kept putting it off, forgetting about it, or remembering only when we didn’t have the time or ingredients to make them. This time we checked with the leader in advance to make sure it was alright to bring them and we had everything planned well in advance so that we wouldn’t have any problems. It was a good thing we did too, because we did have a problem in that we had margarine but not butter. We used it any way and the first batch just fell apart and didn’t taste very good at all, so we had to toss those and hit it again. It worked out well though, as everyone enjoyed them and we had a fun time sharing them with the other members.

I felt really good as the leader announced my achievement to the group and handed me my medallion, and as soon as I got it I took it out of the little bag that it comes in and took that picture up at the top of the page so that I could share it with you all today. No matter how long the journey has been so far or how long we have left to go in the future, seventy-five pounds is a number worth celebrating.

When Jenny pulled me over to a coworkers office this morning because she was so excited on my behalf that she had to show me off, the coworker said, “that’s about the same as a 5th grader you’ve been carrying around.” A quick search on Google for things that weight 75 pounds yielded this list:

  1. $34,019 US dollar bills (around $453 per pound)
  2. Average Alaskan Malamute Husky Dog
  3. Average Weight of 11 year old boy
  4. 100 cans of Beer
  5. 2 1/2 cinder blocks
  6. 12 1/2 red bricks
  7. 300 apples
  8. 37,500 plain M&Ms
  9. 5 High Performance Racing Bicycles
  10. 247.5 Wigs
  11. 960 Matchbox cars
  12. 300 average weight kittens
  13. 1,440 AA Batteries
  14. 3,600 comic books
  15. Around 54 bibles
  16. 4,037 gum balls
  17. 300 Sticks of Butter
  18. 5-10 Large Hams
  19. 262,500 Bees

Being 75 pounds lighter doesn’t feel a whole lot different than before until you really stop to think about the differences between now and then. There are definitely things that I can do now that I couldn’t do back then, or that maybe I could do but would have wanted to die after finishing. I can spend 45 minutes on a treadmill and feel just fine. I can take my dogs to the park and race them from one side of the field to the other (I lose that race horribly, but they have four legs so I say they’re cheating). I can climb stairs, do yard work, go for a walk or run and not be winded for the next four hours.

It’s easy to look back on your life and say things like, “You know, back in high school I could do [Something], but these days there’s just no way.” That’s a natural part of life, as you grow older you lose that massive reserve of energy that you have when you’re young; it happens. But I can look back on my life at even just the recent history of it and say, “You know, a few years ago I couldn’t finish a 5k if my life depended on it, but now I can do that twice a day for a week.”

A couple of days ago I took my mother-in-law to a couple of doctor’s appointments in Amarillo. During the first visit I sat in the waiting room because that doctor might take 20 minutes or he might take 2 hours, you never know. The second doctor though has always taken a while, and he happens to be in a little community of doctors that have six buildings that make up the facility. When we went inside I saw that the waiting room was packed and there was only 1 seat open, so I had her take a seat and I went outside for a walk. I was in my clothes from work, and I didn’t want her to have to smell me for post-run for the hour it takes to get back home, so I just walked the whole time. During the 1 hour 17 minutes she was in there I managed to walk 3.92 miles. I know this doctor takes longer, and while he has nice comfy couches compared to the previous doctor’s hard wooden chairs, I enjoy walking out there and weaving in between the various buildings in some odd pattern just because I can. You can click the image below to see the details of my walk.

Would I have walked almost 4 miles just because I can 75 pounds ago? Not a chance. But today? Why not?

Post-Publish Update
I also never got around to explaining the title of the post. According to “the people”, a person of my age, weight, sex, etc, etc, should weigh 185 lbs to be considered healthy. I can tell you right now, that’s never going to happen for me. I’m a big guy with a large frame, and while I haven’t spent a ton of time in the gym in the years since high school, I’ve got a lot of muscle too. Unless I let my muscle deteriorate, it’s physically impossible for me to get down to 185. The goal that I have set for myself in the Weight Watchers plan right now is 230 because I do know that that’s something that I can definitely achieve. I think the lowest weight I can actually get to is going to be somewhere closer to 215-220, but I need to get closer to that weight before I can say for sure how low I can go.

With the goal as it is right now though, I’ve lost 75 lbs of the 113 lbs that I need to reach my current goal weight of 230. Obviously 75 is not actually 75% of 113 lbs, but it’s close enough for me to say that if my weight loss journey were an American football game, we’d be in the third quarter. We’d technically be more like in the middle/end of the 3rd quarter, but that didn’t sound as nice for a blog title.

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