Overload Mode

Sometimes life happens.

This last week was one of those weeks. Things got out of whack early and there was so much going on that it just stayed that way all week long. We did some grocery shopping with only half a meal plan, Jenny got sick, being short on time and energy meant we went out to eat instead of cooking things at home, and everything just snowballed from there.

In short, we weren’t on plan at all during this last week. We didn’t do Simple Start, Simply Filling, or PointsPlus, we just threw it all out the window and did whatever came to mind when meal times came around.

We were both positive that we were going to have a gain last night, and since the temperature had just dropped yesterday and the snow started and everything we were primed with a great little excuse to not bother showing up to the meeting at all. People were talking about the roads being slick on their way back from lunch, so we had a great little fake reason for not going and we were planning to use it, too.

But as we left work and headed towards the house with every intention of climbing onto the couch with blankets, hot chocolate and puppy snuggles for a night of television, we saw that the roads weren’t slick at all. It was 15 degrees outside so it was definitely cold, but not something we couldn’t deal with. I started getting the urge to go and face it all, and Jenny was mostly with me (puppy snuggles and hot chocolate are her weakness after all). So we made a bit of a compromise and decided that we would go ahead and weigh in, but then skip the meeting itself and head home early.

Jenny: +0.4 lbs
Jason: -0.6 lbs

Once we stepped on the scale, we were both surprised to see that Jenny had only gained 0.4 lbs, and even more shocked that I managed a loss. Happy with the results not being as disastrous as we had imagined they would be, we went ahead and stayed for the whole meeting after all.

Even though we didn’t stick to any kind of plan at all during this week, you can’t help but recognize the influence that Weight Watchers has when you treat it as the lifestyle change that it’s meant to be. Even when we’re not following all the rules, the things we’ve learned still stick with us. When we went out to eat all those times, we weren’t counting points at all. But, we were making decisions of what to eat based on knowledge that we gained from going to those meetings and being familiar with the plan. The foods we ate while we were out certainly weren’t the best for us, but we still made educated choices that helped us out in the long run.

We’ve developed habits from being on Weight Watchers that help us make good(ish) choices, even when we’re being bad. There were only two meals during the week where I would say that we really ate things that we shouldn’t have. I started to share them with you, but I’d rather not toss a temptation out there for anyone that might be struggling while they read this, so we’ll just leave it at that. Overall, I’m more concerned about the amount of money we threw away by eating out for all those meals than I am with what I actually ate.

We’re going to do our best to get everything back on track this week. We don’t have a meal plan put together yet, so we’re going to have to go out to eat again for lunch today, but hopefully I’ll have the time and opportunity today to put a plan together and keep us on track. Jenny’s been doing a fantastic job with the meal planning for the last several months, but she’s getting a little burned out from doing it all so I need to step up and take over for a while. I’ve failed at the meal planning before, but I’m going to do my best to stay on top of it this time.

As always, we’ll be back next week to let you know how it turned out.


I’d Say It Works…

Three weeks ago, the day right after Christmas, Jason and I got right back to work losing weight. As you know, because he’s been writing the last few blog posts, Jason’s been kicking my butt on weekly loss since then. This isn’t to say I haven’t been losing a decent amount of weight. He’s just been losing so much more!

  • Jason -0.8; -86.6 total; -8.2 since Christmas
  • Jenny -2.6; -62 total; -7.8 since Christmas

As you can see, Jason didn’t lose as much this week, but he’s still kicking my butt! In fact, when you average out the last three weeks, Jason has a -2.7 average to my -2.6. And I’m not complaining. Before the holidays, my weekly average had settled in around -1.4. It wasn’t bad. It was consistent and I was working hard to get back to where I had been two years ago.

What’s significant this time around? Simple Start. The first week getting back to healthy eating, a decent loss is kind of expected. For the last two out of three weeks, though, we’ve been doing the new Simple Start introduction to Weight Watchers that Jason has already talked about.

So, I’m going to talk about what happens after your two week Simple Start.

After the two weeks, you basically have a choice to make. You can:

  • Continue with a similar program by doing Simply Filling, which includes more food choices than Simple Start (basically anything that is a Power Food, designated in their literature and apps with a green triangle)
  • You can switch to tracking, which doesn’t limit what kinds of food you eat, but you have to weigh/measure and track everything (which Weight Watchers can teach you about)
  • Get the best of both worlds by doing a combination! This is what we’re going to do, so it’s what I’m going to talk about most.

Back in the day when Jason and I first joined Weight Watchers, they had the Points program (tracking) and something called Core (eat specific foods until satisfied). The trick was, while you could change from one to the other, they wanted you to do so one full week at a time. Not the case anymore. The current versions of these programs are Points Plus and Simply Filling. The awesome part is that you can switch between these day to day during the same week!

Something that Jason and I noticed is that while we did really well five days out of seven, two days each week, we were just so done with the limited food list. I needed real cheese & sugar and we went off plan. Not terrible, but enough that I wonder if we might have done even better than the over 5 lbs we each lost during the two weeks of Simple Start. I need to get back in control. I need to get back to solid meal planning that we can stick with.

So this week? My meal plan is going to include mostly Simply Filling meals, because it really has helped us get off to a great start this year! Instead of getting tired of my meal plan, though, we’re also going to plan at least two days where we’ll switch to tracking, so that we can work in some meals that, while not unhealthy, don’t work as well for Simply Filling, to keep things fresh and interesting. This way, I still get to enjoy the things that Simply Filling doesn’t like, but I get to be in control, instead of feeling like I “broke my diet” by eating forbidden foods.

This is why Weight Watchers works. It gives you the flexibility you need to find a way that is sustainable so that it can become a lifestyle NOT a diet. It’s about finding what works for you over the long haul, not just to get to goal. In my life, I need to eat mainly healthy foods. But life happens and I need to know how to handle it by tracking when needed in order to make the plan work around my life, so I don’t get frustrated and go completely off-plan.

So what do I think about Simple Start? It works! We lost weight! But I am so glad that Weight Watchers isn’t only Simple Start. I’m glad they have a plan I can adjust to fit my life.

Simple Start Results: Week 1

We started the new year off by trying Weight Watchers’ new addition to the plan, called Simple Start. I’ve already talked about it a couple of times before, so I won’t get too much into the plan today, but basically it’s a simplified version of their Simply Filling technique that already exists within the plan and they tried to take as much of the “work” out of it as possible to give you about 40 different quick and easy meals that you can just throw together and eat as much as you need to and go on. They’ve really tried to make a simplified version of Weight Watchers so that even the people who don’t like doing the math required to use Points.

This was our first week of doing Simple Start, but I do need to throw a disclaimer out there that there were two days that we did not follow Simple Start, so basically we were doing Simply Filling instead since Simple Start is a two week program without any interruptions in the plan. But, we did Simply Filling using the tools of Simple Start.

Jenny: -3.0 lbs
Jason: -4.2 lbs

So, I would say that so far Simple Start has been a great success for us!

The only problem we’ve had with it so far is that it completely changed how we pre-plan our meals, which threw us off a bit. The first day that we went back to PointsPlus was because we had to go out of town to get our car repaired and we were there for the whole day and didn’t want to bother with trying to find restaurants that would work, so instead of stressing about that on top of the $2,500 we were spending on the car, we just went back to PointsPlus and rolled with it. The second day that we went off plan though was when we realized that we handled the meal planning wrong when we switched to Simple Start.

We had decided that instead of planning meals we would just buy all the things we needed to make Simple Start recipes and then just make things for each meal that we felt like eating. That was totally the wrong move for us. We cut out the planning mostly because Jenny’s planning method requires her to set portions and weights and all that, which Simple Start doesn’t use because you eat as much of the food as you need to in order to feel satisfied. You’re not counting points, so there’s no reason to weigh and measure your food to know the points values, and if you’re not doing that then tracking is nothing more than saying “I at chicken.”

Our problem wasn’t with the plan at all, it was all in how our process had been set up before, and how we choose to (not) address it when we first made the switch. To solve the problem, this week we’ve changed it up so that we are planning our meals, we’re just leaving out all of the weighing and measuring from the tracking as well. We got the meal plan together, and we did the shopping we needed for it last night, so we’re ready to put it all into motion now. We missed our scheduled breakfast this morning because we slept in and didn’t have time to cook anything, so we fell back to just having fruit at work instead. I’m going to do my best to keep us on track for the rest of the meals, though.

The first week turned out pretty well, so now to see what the second week has in store for us!

Holiday Maintenance Mode

In years past we’ve taken “Holiday Hiatuses” and learned to regret them. In fact the last “Holiday Hiatus” we took was the trigger that began our year and a half of being off-plan. It was really difficult to get our momentum going again and I am literally back down to losing the weight I had gained over that six week period of indulgence. I’ve managed to lose most of the subsequent weight I had gained following the hiatus, but I’m still working on the last 7lbs of the 11.6 I gained during the holidays two years ago.

This year? We’re not gaining. Just not gonna happen.

Our first holiday season on Weight Watchers, we did really well, even managing to lose weight. We would love to continue to lose weight this holiday season as well. So far, we’ve managed to avoid any weight gains, and just now encountered our first plateau (a swear word as far as Jason is concerned).

This week:

  • Jason 0.0 (-82.6)
  • Jenny -0.8 (-58.0)

Yep. I managed a small loss, which is why I’m blogging today. Jason stayed the same, which he hates so he’s not exactly in the right frame of mind to write an inspiring blog post. But I think that it’s not a good idea to stay in that mindset. This isn’t a plateau. This is holiday maintenance. So many people believe it’s impossible to avoid gaining weight over the holidays. We’re proof that if you don’t watch it, that’s exactly what will happen. Most people believe it’s impossible to lose weight over the holidays.

And we are doing just that.

True, Jason didn’t have a loss this week, but he sure did last week. We had two holiday dinners and he had a business trip this last week. We weren’t really on plan. But I managed to lose and Jason maintained. That’s good this time of year. This coming week is relatively free of holiday events for us (besides a ladies get together for me, during which there will be treat/recipe exchange – wish me luck, or even better share some of your healthy treats recipes with me!) so it’s a great week for us to focus on staying on our meal plan, hitting the gym (and our dumbbell sets at home) hard, and finding non-food ways to get in the holiday spirit.

We’ve got this – and so do you.

What are your plans for staying on track? Also, I was serious about sharing healthy treat recipes. Give ’em to me!

TGIF: Results

Last night’s Weight Watchers meeting was about the same as it is every year on the week before Thanksgiving, focusing on trying to get everyone to think about what they’re going to eat ahead of time so that the feast doesn’t overwhelm your waistline as well as your senses. There were some really good suggestions there at the meeting though, so I’ll talk about that a little bit.

I’m also going to talk a little bit more about the lifting program that I’m on now that I’ve been doing it for three weeks, and how I’ve used some of what I’ve learned from that to help design workouts for Jenny to do at home with the dumbbells that we picked up for here recently. I’m also going to touch quickly on Fitocracy and some of the things we’ve got going on there, a 5K that’s coming up here in my hometown of Pampa in a couple of week, and as always we’ll cover the results from our weigh-in last night.

If you have any tips you’d like to share for how to make it through Thanksgiving without going overboard, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Jenny: -1.0 lbs (Total Loss: 55.8 lbs)
Jason: -2.4 lbs (Total Loss: 80.4 lbs)

I was kind of surprised and not surprised at my number at the same time. On the one hand, I was surprised to see that I lost that much considering the lifting plan that I’m using is focused pretty heavily on building muscle which of course adds weight to your body. On the other hand, I’m hitting these weights pretty hard and doing my best to keep up a good pace and minimize my downtime while I’m there as much as possible. I knew I had worked hard enough to earn a loss, but at the same time I wasn’t sure how much bulk I was adding from the lifting and how they would counter each other. I’m more than happy to have that loss, though.

Thanksgiving Tips
Here in the US, Thanksgiving is a time for hanging out with family and friends and stuffing as much food in your face as you can before the day is through (or the turkey-coma hits you and sends you into unconsciousness). Social events in America are almost always based primarily around food and socialization. Occasionally, we even take a moment to think about whatever the event itself was supposedly built on in the first place, but usually it’s just those two things that actually matter. When’s the last time you really spent time on Thanksgiving focusing on anything other than food? Food is the big thing here, so it’s important to think about how you’re going to handle that monstrous feast without packing on some monstrous pounds to go with it.

One of the tips that our leader shared with us is to avoid eating things on Thanksgiving that you eat throughout the year anyway and instead focus on the things that are actually special to you. If your grandmother makes the best pumpkin pie in the world but she only makes it twice a year, then that’s something special worth eating. If your sister makes a killer casserole, but she makes it at her house for dinner every couple of weeks, then that’s something you can skip on Thanksgiving and enjoy it another time throughout the year instead. Things that you can probably get your hands on pretty easily throughout the year include things like mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, biscuits/rolls/breads that are store-bought rather than homemade, cheese & crackers and other similar finger foods.

Other tips included drinking water or diet soda with your actual food and saving things like alcohol, juices, and other things that do actually have calories or PointsPlus values for after the meal while you’re socializing or to simply avoid them all together. I know water’s not thrilling, but would you rather spend points on a drink that’s just washing your food down, or would you rather spend it on food that actually tastes good?

And remember that your stomach takes time to communicate to your brain that it’s full, so remember to take your time while you’re eating rather than rushing through it to fix another plate. Remember to be social, and have a conversation with the people around you while you eat so that you’re giving your body time to realize its full so you’re not overeating. In the long run, you’re going to remember the people you spent the time with and the things that you did more so than you will the food that you ate, so don’t get caught up too much in the food.

There are more things I could discuss here, but this post is already getting long and I’d rather see if we can spark up some conversation in the comments than for me to try to set up an exhaustive list in the post.

Fitness & Fitocracy
As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been following a lifting routine called “Get Swole” which focuses on lifting a lot of big weights and taking minimal breaks. Some of the lifts I can do just fine, some of them I have to do modified versions of because I’m not strong enough yet, and some I’m so weak that I have to use the smallest weights I can find. After three weeks following this routine, I have to admit that I’m pretty happy with it. I’m not following the nutrition part of the program as I’ve said before, because I’m using Weight Watchers for my nutrition. The lifting though has been really good for me, and I’ve been able to see the results from it already.

Getting back into the habit of lifting weights has also had an impact on the things that I want to do. For example, a good morning workout at the gym makes me feel like doing things throughout the day. As a programmer, my job is to sit in front of a computer all day wiggling my fingers around to make computer magic happen. Yesterday though, when I got to work I didn’t want to be in my office at all, I hated that I was supposed to sit here hour after hour flexing nothing but my fingers when I could be somewhere else doing physical things. Heck, I would have been happy taking the day off and going back to the gym for a few hours for even more lifting and maybe some cardio thrown in just to do it.

Having a plan to follow has been a tremendous benefit. Before I started Get Swole, I’d go to the gym each morning and try to figure out whether I was going to lift that day or if I was just going to use the treadmill. If I decided it was lifting, then I’d wander around the gym looking for something that appealed to me, then I’d do however many reps felt good before moving on to something else. I had no plan, no strategy, no nothing. And the results that I got were just as unfulfilling. Having a plan and sticking to it is just as important for exercising as it is for eating. If you’re looking to start an exercise routine, I strongly suggest you find a plan online or get one from your doctor, trainer, or other certified professional rather than playing the guessing game. You, and your waistline, will thank me later.

When we got Jenny started on her dumbbell exercises at home, we weren’t following a strict plan. I did put it together with knowledge and experience, but at the time we didn’t know how often she was going to use them or whether or not she would even be interested in doing it more than once. After we got over that initial hurdle of her not being able to walk very well for a few days, we found that she really enjoyed it and she’s done a workout almost every night since then. So instead of the initial workout which was sort of a full body split, she’s now doing a different set of exercises every night to focus on different parts of her body much like I do with my routine.

We’re tracking our exercise on a site called Fitocracy which rewards your workouts with different points values based on the workout and a few other calculations that go on in the background and allows you to “level up” as you earn more points. Other people on the site can then go around and give you “Props” for things you do and say, and they can leave comments to encourage and inspire you to keep going. It’s a great community full of people at all different levels of fitness from absolute beginners to people who compete professionally in lifting competitions. The site is really great for encouragement, socialization, inspiration, and learning about fitness.

Local 5K
For the handful of our readers who are locals to the Texas panhandle, there is a holiday 5K coming up on Saturday, December 7th sponsored by Habitat for Humanity. You can click on the image below to see the flyer with the rest of the information. My assumption is that it is taking place in the afternoon rather than 5:30 AM. I’ve tried to contact the person listed on the flyer but haven’t gotten a clear response yet.

Squats Are Evil


Wanting some more competitive scores on Fitocracy (points are skewed very heavily towards weight training vs cardio), Jason picked up a couple of weight sets at the store. Mine is a 3, 5, 8lb set and we got to work Saturday morning. If you’d like to see the details of my first strength workout, you can click here. I basically did up to 10 reps each of squats (10, 6, 6), bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder presses, one-arm rows in each of the three weights.

It felt good and I was confident in what I accomplished, so I told him we should do another workout. But not just another workout, we should do MOAR! We shouldn’t just step up the weight, but add two more sets of each to step back down. That workout is detailed here. I rocked it for a newb!

Until I woke up the next morning.

You see, the most recent experience I had had with squats was freshman P.E. in high school. I remembered nothing about pain. Of course, I also hadn’t done 72 weighted squats in one day in my life ever before that either. I died. My legs wouldn’t work. The most frustrating and disconcerting thing was that not only did it hurt to walk, but my legs kept trying to go out from underneath me. My thigh muscles were revolting to such a degree that they just refused to help my knees go the right direction. I hated feeling like I had traded one successful day for what would end up being four days of hardly being able to function.

I drank water, I stretched, I rested my legs and worked my arms, I whimpered and hobbled a lot.

I knew I was retaining water while I healed, so I was starting to get worried about this week’s weigh-in,  especially since I knew it had also impacted the amount of cardio I had just gotten used to doing. I just put my head down, focused on healing and getting in the activity I could do (dumbbells work on arms/shoulders).

Turns out I didn’t need to worry.

  • Jenny -1.8 (-54.8 total)
  • Jason -1.2 (-78 total)

I have exactly 10 more pounds to lose before I’m back to where I was before everything went haywire in our lives two years ago. It’s my goal to lose it by the end of the year. If I work hard, don’t get too caught up in the holidays and make sure I can focus, I feel like I can meet that goal.

I am happy to say that although I still think squats are evil, I haven’t sworn them off entirely. I’ve started working some body weight squats into my evening strength training (6 last night!) and my muscles have healed enough that I was able to complete my usual morning walk at pretty close to my normal pace. This is very good news, as I am starting to train to participate in a local Holiday 5K Fun Run/Walk (as a walker) to benefit Habitat for Humanity in three weeks. This means starting to get up earlier to increase my walk by 50% since I don’t have time to increase distance where my alarm is currently set to go off. But you know what? I can do this.

What goals do you have for the holiday season?

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.

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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