Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weigh in 2:42

I think halloween took a week to catch up.  I know I can do better, and I already am this week.  This shit is getting old.

Current Weight: 297.2 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -12 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 143 lbs

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weigh in 2:41

Oh, Halloween.  Candy and beer.  This could have been SO much worse.

Current Weight: 295.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -0.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -10.6 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 144.4 lbs

Hovering.  I have 12 weeks until the start of year 3.  If I can lose 1% a week on average I will be right between 260 and 265.  This is going to take commitment, but even if I do 0.5% a week I am looking at getting back down to 280.  I can do this.

This past week was much better on the actor side.  I had a fantastic audition for a big Equity company in the area.  Stylistically the songs required were WAY out of my comfort zone, and I know 2 years ago I would have just let this audition go by.  I do not know if I will book it, but I do know I did well enough to earn the job, and that is all I can do.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weigh in 2:40

Current Weight: 295.4 lbss
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 0.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -10.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 144.8 lbs

Well, it is a move in the right direction.  Some of my habits were better this week, but I am still fighting to get back into a good groove.  I was better about logging calories, but could be even better.  More accountability is in order, and I need to post a bit more, but I am moving down.  It is a (re)start.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weigh in 2:39

I had to do a little math today to figure out what the title of this weigh in is  6 missed weeks.  Here is the damage:

Current Weight: 295.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -6.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -10.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 144.6 lbs

I went back and looked at my weigh in from this week last year and I was at 293.8, so the past year has been a wash.  I will say this:  I have maintained a reasonably healthy lifestyle, I have not backtracked, I have had a couple of good gigs, and I think I have finally pushed through the burnout I have been dealing with.  The past six weeks have been "the deep breath before the plunge" to quote Tolkien.  I  feel the need not to rationalize my actions, but to "jujitsu" the admitted failures into a springboard for positive action moving forward. I think I can do that.  I had 4 great days this week, and I probably salvaged 3 or 4 pounds by getting back on track earlier in the week.  My show closes Sunday, and the rental season is slowing, so a re-commitment to the principals that succeeded last year should be within my power.  A renewed focus on physical health needs to be there as well, so walks and workouts need to pick up.  I know that very quickly I can get back to my low water mark and beyond.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back From Over The Edge

Oh boy.  September 9th was the last time I posted on the blog.  In the last 5 1/2 weeks I have not really been living the lifestyle I set up for myself over the past year and a half.  In a way that was nice.  Between my show and work the mental break was welcome.  Devoting the time, effort, and energy needed to focus on losing weight was proving a bit much for me in that environment.  Needless to say I have been regressing a bit.  My clothes are fitting a bit tighter, my belly and face are a bit rounder, and a few of the minor issues I hadn't experienced in a while came back, like a bit of heartburn in the evenings.  At this point rationalizing and excusing this, or trying to, does very little.  I am not happy about it, but I shouldn't be.  Every day away from this blog and from good habits made it a bit easier to forget about them on the next day as well.  As the consequences of my inaction started to add up though I found myself really wanting to get back on track.  I am not where I want to be yet.  So I'm back!

Here is the lesson I will take the most heed of from the past few weeks: It did not take long for the process of living healthy to seem incredibly daunting after falling off the wagon, despite a year and a half's worth of evidence proving I could do this.  Its amazing.  Some bad habits came back pretty fast, and to be honest I expected some of that.  I am addicted to sugar.  I know that.  I have compulsive urges to go buy candy.  I was not ridiculously unhealthy either, but I did overeat and the lack of discipline got me into trouble with meal scheduling, and those things really add up.  I'm back now though.  I know what I need to do.  Last night I cooked up a bunch of chicken that I have to eat over the next 5 or 6 days.  I have Brussels Sprouts, peppers, and lettuce in the house, so I have the ingredients to capitalize on the rest of the week.  I will be logging my calories for the foreseeable future, and I think that posting them here is not a bad idea to keep me honest.  Without rationalizing this I would really like to use the "break" as a positive.  My show is about to close and work is slowing down.  The excuses are falling away.  They are even building a Subway on my block so that I can have a great meal option when I don't feel like cooking.  I need to take advantage of this time, and I plan to.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weigh in 2:33

Positive progress!  This week has been so exhausting that I haven't had too much time to make bad decisions.  I have been trying to get back into a good pattern and had some success.  During the day I wasn't all that hungry this week so I was able to be really diligent about portion sizes and meal times.  After rehearsal was the real challenge for me this week.  Coming home late after the biggest energy expenditure of the day and having leftovers and snacks readily available has been very difficult, because I am genuinely hungry.  I am eating dinner at the latest around 6:45 and coming home around midnight.  I don't think it would be possible to not eat something, but I have tried to be smart about what I eat.  It seems to have worked, at least in part.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 289.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 2.2lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -4.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 150.8 lbs

Back on the right side of 290.  Well on my way to being under 280 by October 1st.  I also feel a lot better this week.  I didn't realize that I was feeling less than my best until I started eating a bit better.

One of my successes this week was turning a holiday cookout into a chance to make a really good choice.  I decided I would make turkey burgers, which are perfectly acceptable, but leave some things to be desired.  Burgers are hard because they never really have a ton of veggies.  I took inspiration from meatloaf and decided to make a turkey veggie pattie.  It turned out incredible.  Not only did it shave off calories and create a more balanced meal, it kept the burgers very moist, which if you've ever made turkey burgers you know can be a big issue.  I went freehand, but here is the recipe to the best of my recollection.

Turkey Veggie Burgers:

20 oz low fat ground turkey
1 Red bell pepper - diced finely
1 Green bell pepper - diced finely
1 half standard package cremini mushrooms chopped finely
One medium onion - diced finely
Half Zuchini - Diced very finely
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced very finely
1T Worcestershire Sauce
Dried Rosemary to taste
1/2 t poultry seasoning
2 T milk or water soaked bread
Garlic powder
Black pepper

Saute onions, salted heavily, over medium low in butter or oil until lightly brown and sweet, 8-10 minutes.

Add other vegetables and mushrooms, Worcestershire Sauce, and seasonings.  Increase heat to medium and saute until soft and the mushrooms have soaked up most of the liquid.

Remove mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool completely. Once cool reserve 1/4 of mixture.

Add ground turkey, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and wet bread.  Mix by hand until homogeneous.  Try to make sure the bread is very evenly distributed. 

Form into patties, I made 6.  If the burgers do not have trouble holding together you can add the rest of the veggie mixture, and mine were fine with all of it in.  They are very delicate, so refrigerate until just before cooking.

Grill over medium heat until cooked through, at least 5 minutes per side, but these are hard to overcook, so go as long as you like.  DO NOT COOK LESS THAN WELL DONE.

Serve on your preferred burger vessel.  Very good with mustard, or unadorned.

If anybody tries these out let me know what you think.  My favorite thing about these burgers after the flavor, which is great, is the fact that the mixture stretches the turkey so that a good sized pattie has about 3 1/3 oz.  Two patties is a very filling meal but really only has one serving worth of turkey.  With a sensible side and low calorie buns (like the sandwich thins from Arnold/Orowheat) you're very balanced and not blowing your calorie totals.

I also realize this recipe sounds like a lot of work.  If you like, process all the veggies but the onions together in a food processor until finely chopped.  The onions need to be separate or they won't brown properly.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weigh in 2:32

If I have gotten any lesson from the past few weeks it is that bad habits are a lot easier to slip back into than they were to kick in the first place.  Snacking, sugar, and poor planning have been my downfall over the past few weeks.  Yesterday I once again started calorie tracking so I can at least have a little bit of instant accountability.  I forgot how much easier it was to say no to that extra serving or mindless snack if you have to put it in the log.  With tech starting for my show I do not know how much planning  I will be able to do, but at least I can keep myself on the straight and narrow.  I have not felt well at all over the past few days because of the crappy diet I have been feeding myself for the past couple weeks, and that has to stop.  Here are the numbers, and my commitment this week is that this is as high as it goes.

Current Weight: 291.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -6.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 148.6 lbs

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weigh in 2:31

I am really picking up some bad habits in the past few weeks.  I am ok with just about anything I do as long as it is a choice.  I feel like I am slipping into things that are not good habits to have and I am not giving them their proper thought.  Tomorrow I need to start fresh.  It will not be easy with work and the show, but I have done it before, and I know I can do better than this.  My goal for september is 10-15 pounds.  I want to get back below 280 and I know I can do it if I buckle down and do the work.  I have backtracked too far now.  It is time to get to work.

Current Weight: 290.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -2lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -3.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 149.6 lbs

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weigh in 2:30

Getting back into the swing of things.  Adjusting to a very full schedule after a few slower weeks has been a bit trying.   I think I allowed the added stress on my time to affect my choices.  I did not plan well enough and made some poor choices. With the job and a show it is part of the deal, but I know I can do better.

Current Weight: 288.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -2lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -3.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 151.6 lbs

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weigh in 2:29

I probably should have learned by now that the rational component of this journey is vastly overrated.  There are so many variables that the minute I think I have a grasp on a pattern, the minute I think I have it all figured out, is the day I am proved to be wrong.  Sometimes this is frustrating.  Sometimes it is great.  Today I was more than happy to be proved wrong.  I was expecting a big jump in my weight.  I was not particularly good over my vacation.  I ate what I felt like, I went out carousing, and I did not get in much exercise. What I did do was have a fantastic, relaxing, rejuvenating week.  When I got back to Chicago I made a concerted effort to get back into a good pattern.  I ate nothing but salad with grilled chicken for lunch and dinner for two days, and after barbecue, cake, and beer for a week this was nicely cleansing.  In my internal algebra I thought that a week of hedonism would outweight 4 days of austerity.  I was gloriously wrong.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 286.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 0.4lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -1.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 153.6 lbs

Is it a big weight loss? No.  am I OK with that.  Absolutely!  I think what I have failed to equate, and what is impossible to quantify, is happiness.  I had been counting on good results to act as reinforcement.  The converse was that when I had less than ideal results I was a bit down, and that fed on itself.  By doing things to just have fun and not really thinking about it I reduced my stress, enjoyed my life a lot more, and still got good results, which has only served to reinforce the effects pf a good vacation.  How do I hold on to this?  I have no idea, and I think worrying about it too much is counterproductive.  What I will take from this is to stop trying so hard to be perfect, to give myself a little more of what I need psychologically, and enjoy things as they come along.  If I get back to focusing on doing the best I can in the moment I think I will enjoy this journey a lot more.  It doesn't hurt that I have had several people think I was 20-30 pounds lighter than I am this week.  I'll take that any day.

(Note that week 28 was skipped because of vacation)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Weigh in 2:27

I am officially more than half way through the year and I wish I could say I was happier with the results, but as I was reminded I have not backtracked significantly, and that is an accomplishment in and of itself.  Starting tomorrow I go on vacation.  It may prove a bit stressful since I will be staying at my parent's house and my sister is getting married, but getting to step away for a good while should be very nice.  I will not be taking my scale with me, so week 29 will be my next weigh in.  Catch you on the flip side.

Current Weight: 287 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -1.8 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 153.2 lbs

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weigh in 2:26

Ok, so Im a bit late.  I weighed Friday morning, I just haven't recorded it until now.  I am crazy busy trying to get everything possible done in the remaining days I have before going to Texas for a full week.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 286 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -0.6 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -0.8 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 154.2 lbs

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weigh in 2:25

Well, I am not moving in the right direction.  In discussing some things with a friend this week I came to a realization.  I have found life frustrating recently.  I have no doubt that this frustration has been evident to those around me.  By all rights I really should be pretty happy.  I am in the best health I have ever been.  I have a job that I am pretty good at.  What it comes down to is a lack of balance.  I am good at my job, and the degree of autonomy I have fosters a nice sense of personal responsibility, and the fact that in general the harder I work the more I make is lovely.  I also get to drive all over this great city.  But I frequently put in several hours of work on my "off" days, and on days I work I can get stuck going so hard that I don't get lunch until 3 or 4 o'clock.  The relative mindlessness that made my last job barely tolerable was exactly the sort of thing that allowed me to be successful in my weight loss journey.  I could plan meals almost to the minute, and since I was in a supervisory position I could take my lunch practically the second I was hungry for it.  I never got into the kind of situation that I have regularly now: I am so late on a meal that I binge eat.  It is not purposeful, but I grab something quick and eat it too fast.  I am not eating bad stuff, but I am not setting myself up for success.  And I haven't figured out how to make that work with my current responsibilities.  I spend so much time on work that not only do I fall short on my health, but I do not have time to work on the tertiary things I want for myself.  It is going to take some serious discipline, and that has been in short supply recently.  Summer is too much fun, and I have not made the best choices. Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 285.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -0.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 154.8 lbs

Friday, July 8, 2011

Weigh in 2:24

Holiday weeks are hard.  They are like a minefield of delicious barbecue, beer, and deserts.  I feel I did pretty well this week, and considering I hit the weights a bit more than I had previously I do not mind maintaining.  I have gotten a few comments that I look a bit slimmer, so I will take that to mean that though the scale isn't changing, my body composition is.  That too is a step in the right direction.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 284.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -0.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: .8 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 155.8 lbs

Friday, July 1, 2011

Weigh in 2:23

Well, not good results this week.  I was far from perfect, but I have to think that some of this was bounce back from my weeks off.  By Sunday my weight had leapt up over 5 pounds inexplicably, and the rest of the week was trying to play catch up.  Stress at work probably has something to do with that, but like I said, I wasn't perfect.  Some weeks I get away with it and some weeks it bites me.  I still have a few weeks to hit a new milestone, and while this makes it harder I am going to push for it all the same

Current Weight: 284.2 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 1 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 156 lbs

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weigh in 2:22

Back in the saddle again.  I did not drop as much as I wanted, but I am definitely back on track.  I have six more Fridays until my sister's wedding (which in and of itself is baffling to me) and at this kind of a pace I should hit my goal of 270 or below by the day. It is nice to have a more immediate goal towards which I can work.  I had been missing the milestones that I had earlier in the process.  Now that I have a few goals to look forward to I think I can make some more consistent progress.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 283 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 2.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 2.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 157.2 lbs

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weigh in 2:21

I'm back!  Today is my first day back on the wagon after a bit of a vacation.  I think the time away did me good, although it did set me back a bit.  To be expected.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 285.2 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -3.6 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 0 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 155 lbs

It seems only fitting that my reset vacation also reset me for the year.  The ledger is even.  Let's see what kind of progress I can make.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Week 2:20

I consciously took this week off.  I wasn't planning on it until about Sunday, and I value the accountability of weekly weigh ins, but I am burned out and need a week to gather myself.  I feel I am doing this for the right reasons.  I'll be back next week.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Weigh in 2:19

Results were not great this week, but between illness and working through the malaise I have been in I will take anything less than skyrocketing numbers.  Thanks to those of you who posted a bit of support or encouragement and those who offered it in person.  I work very hard sometimes to solve everything myself when putting it out in the world and getting a hand makes it so much easier.  Of course, those who know me are not surprised I did something the hard way.  One variable in the equation of my "case of the twenty-somethings", as Amy aptly put it in last weeks comments, has been solved.  I booked a gig!  Even better, it is one I have been targeting for a few months.  I had wanted to move away from musicals for a bit because I have felt my acting get a bit "hammy", but a well regarded company in town, Circle Theatre, is doing Urinetown, one of my all time favorites and a show I fit into quite well.  I targeted it a few months back and got the role I was gunning for.  Rehearsals don't start for another month+, but it is nice to have a real professionally fulfilling gig to look forward to.  I am working on reorganizing my priorities and devoting my energies in a more healthy way, so I hope to have a nice bounce back in the coming weeks.  Here are the numbers for the past week:

Current Weight: 281.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -.6 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 3.6 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 158.6 lbs

Friday, May 27, 2011

Weigh in 2:18

There used to be a lot of joy in this process, but lately that has not been the case.  When I committed to this journey I knew rationally that the only things that would change would be my weight and my appearance.  Neither of these is insignificant, but losing weight and getting healthier are not some magic bullet that will get me all of my hopes and dreams in life.  I don't know where along the way this happened, but I must have at some point invested this journey with much more responsibility than it ever had any right to carry, because I am incredibly unsatisfied.  I take no pleasure in the sheer fact that I am thinner.  I refuse to judge myself by my weight. Don't get me wrong, I have an objective sense of accomplishment over how far I have come, but some of my friends talk about how proud they are or how proud I should be and that is simply not how I feel.  I understand that impulse, but for me it is like I got the right answer on a test.  It is what I should do.  How much pride is there to take in substituting stupid self-destructive behavior with what I should have been doing in the first place.

So I am in a funk.  I have been trying to rationalize myself out of it for four months and it is just not happening.  Part if it is that I haven't had a show for a while and my job, though more interesting than my old day job, is fairly unfulfilling.  I have felt at times that my whole life has revolved around this journey, and knowing the level of energy it takes to make the kind of progress I have it is understandable, but I hate it.  I hate feeling obsessed by my weight, like every choice I make revolves around Friday morning weigh ins.  I have retaliated by having weeks like this one.  I just didn't feel like it this week.  It is not something I am particularly proud of, but I need to own it.  I am terrified of being the kind of person that bases all of my self-worth on the number I see on the scale, so to prove I don't think that way I don't make any progress.  Because that's rational.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 281 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 4.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 159.2 lbs

This whole post is not some fishing trip for sympathy or comments.  It helps to put some of it down so I can process.  Sorry for the pity party, but hopefully I can work through what I am feeling a bit better this way.  I want to be happy and not satisfied, and not because I am thinner, but because I am respecting myself more.  I just have to figure out how to accept that for what it is and not judge it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weigh in 2:17

Meh.  The results are lackluster this week, but the journey through the week felt pretty good.  I certainly wasn't perfect, but I kept fairly good track of my intake and got in 4 workouts this week.  I have done a lot of speculating in the last weeks when my weight loss has been stalled that has attributed my lack of movement to something that makes me look good, like gaining muscle.  It has been a convenient excuse, but this week I actually think that might be true.  My clothes are fitting a bit more loosely and for the first time in a while my reflection in the mirror looks a bit more svelte.  If I am in fact making that kind of progress then it was a good week, but as I said I was less than perfect.  I know where my mistakes were for the most part, but the victories I can build on for the coming week were:

-Cooked more than I have in a while.  Good, cheap meals at a reasonable nutritional level were the key to my quick progress in the 1st 10 months and regardless of the time I have lost to my new job I need to get back to that.
-4 workouts.  The elliptical broke again, so this week might be difficult for really good cardio, but I can still do something, and something is better than nothing.  I am also pondering getting a bike to enjoy the summer with.  Suggestions from friends who bike would be appreciated.
-Smarter snacking.  I wasn't great this week, but I was better, and I need to keep that progress going.  Bad snacks and my sweet tooth are still my biggest hurdles nutritionally.
-Less coffee.  I know I have been retaining water, and the caffeine hasn't helped.  Coffee is also a carrier for sugar and milk, which are alright in moderation, but I have been less than moderate.  I am cutting back a bit.

Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 280 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -0.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 5.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 160.2 lbs

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mid Week Update

Well, I haven't been perfect, but i feel a decent week coming on.  I may not lose much, but I have already gotten 3 really solid workouts in, and I can see real differences in the mirror.  I have been lifting a bit to try to build muscle mass to raise my resting metabolism, and then getting in the aerobics.  Another cold snap has forced me back indoors, but that has gotten me to know the elliptical a lot better.  Until recently the machine had been broken, but my last three workouts have been able to incorporate it and that is a very good thing.  I imagine the elliptical was designed by an East Texas mother.  I say that because it is very gentle while kicking my ass.  I can almost hear it asking, "How's your mom n'them?" while menacing me with a wooden spoon.  The low impact nature allows me to workout at a much higher level for longer, and today's session was the longest yet.  I spent 40 minutes at what I would call a fairly vigorous pace, especially considering I was using one of the built in programs that adds resistance to the pedals at varying intervals.  According to the elliptical and my calorie counting app that is good for 800 calories.  My sweat agrees, but my head doesn't.  Whatever.  Honestly it was a good workout and is another step in the right direction.

It being my day off I was also able to get in a little kitchen time to prep for the week.  I had been using a new Thai Basil Chicken recipe taken from America's Test Kitchen on PBS.  I adapted the recipe, mixed it with a little brown rice, and used it to stuff a nice large green pepper.  This is honestly one of my best yet.

The red is a little bit of sriracha hot chili sauce as a garnish.  I am pleased to say I have three more servings left.  Oh, and the whole meal is less than 400 calories (it's on a salad plate, so it is not as big as it looks, but that is part of the trick).  That'll do.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weigh in 2:16

Finally!  I little bit more discipline and a little bit more exercise and a lot less snacking have paid off.  I was a bit worried because I had 2 celebratory evenings this week where I had quite a few beers, but my planning and work in the rest of the week more than offset the indulgences.  I think being well again for the first time in a couple weeks helps as well.  Getting off of the DayQuil and sinus meds has helped me retain far less water.  I am finding that in the moment exercise has become less onerous and the resulting feeling after working out is well worth the effort.  My clothes are fitting a bit differently and I hope soon to be down another pants size and fit in the shorts that I just bought that are a bit too snug.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 279.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 4.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 5.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 160.4 lbs

I love to see that middle number change, and I have been waiting to break into the 270s for a solid 4 months or more.  Considering how stalled I had been previously I do not mind that I have lost more the last two weeks than I'd really like.  2.5-3 pounds per week is a healthy pace at my weight and I lost 7.6 pounds over the last two, or an average of 3.8.  I think that it is well within the realm of the possible to hope to break 275 by the last weigh in of May.  I think the 3 workout a week goal is a good minimum as well.  I am relishing the stress relief properties of sweating it out a bit, and lately I have really needed a positive distraction.  Any excuse to use an excuse for a positive reason is a good one, I suppose.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Weigh in 2:15

Back on track.  I got some solid results with some increased discipline.  Tracking calories has definitely helped.  Having a tangible indication that I have eaten enough helps me tremendously because I have a rational counter to any lingering cravings or hunger.  I know that if I give it a few minutes those feelings will pass.  In the moment without that rational trigger it is hard to fight those things.  This week I did not exercise nearly as much as I wanted due to illness.  I did a lot of sleeping this week.  That makes me worry at least a portion of my weight loss was muscle loss, but there isn't a whole lot I can do about that this week.  I know I did what I could.  The next step is to string together a couple more good weeks and break some new ground.  As an immediate goal I would love to be at or below 275 by the last weigh in of May.  I also want at least 3 solid combined cardio and lifting workouts a week.  Here are the numbers for my first week back on track:

Current Weight: 284 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 3.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 1.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 156.2 lbs

Calorie Totals:

Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2423
Calorie Consumption: 2549
Calories Burned in Exercise: 0
Net Calories: 2549

Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2423
Calorie Consumption: 2462
Calories Burned in Exercise: 0
Net Calories: 2462

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tracking 3

A couple of decent days back to back.  I've been home sick since mid-day Monday, and boredom has pushed me into some mindless eating, but the quick accountability has kept some of it in check.  Here are the numbers:

Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2435
Calorie Consumption: 2623
Calories Burned in Exercise: 0
Net Calories: 2623

Tuesday: Calories adjusted after morning weight check.
Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2423
Calorie Consumption: 2596
Calories Burned in Exercise: 0
Net Calories: 2596

Both days I was over target, but the target is already 1000 calories or so below my maintenance level calories, so I am still on the path to weight loss.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tracking 2

Well, Saturday night was a bit of a step backward, but yesterday I kept pretty good track of things.  Here are the numbers:

Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2435
Calorie Consumption: 2573
Calories Burned in Exercise: 224
Net Calories: 2349

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tracking 1

Tracking consumption.  Calories in/Calories out.  It is not all of the equation, but it is something I can control, and something I need to take more control of.  Today I played it smart, had a day off and did a little cooking, and had enough spare calories that I had a well deserved beer at the end of the day and still came in under budget before factoring in exercise.  Speaking of exercise I got out for a jog and did some work on the weights.  Here are the totals:

Calorie Target (For 2 lb a week weight loss): 2435
Calorie Consumption: 2388
Calories Burned in Exercise: 519
Net Calories: 1869

String together a few weeks of days like this and I should be back on track.

Weigh in 2:14

Current Weight: 287.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -5 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -2.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 152.8 lbs

Anger and frustration.  That is the only way to describe my feelings after this week.  I am going to be honest about this week's entry and let you know right now this one is for me.  I am going to be hard on myself and just know that I know I can take it.  Looking back I find it hard to see where I slipped up so badly.  But that is the thing about this process.  The very littlest things add up.  A beer here, a cocktail there, miss a meal, double up later, overeat on snacks, go to town on some Easter candy.  10 seconds can push me back a week.  Work has been incredibly busy trying to get all of our May 1st clients taken care of and I have not been planning and working with my diet the way I should.  I was working on a staged reading this week, so I gave up the time when I had been working out, so I only got 1 workout in this week.  So, there are the excuses, now on to the stuff that actually matters.

I wasn't as careful with my diet even on my off days because of the holiday and spending time with friends.  By yesterday I knew this weigh in would be disappointing, and I found myself in a "why me?" kind of mood.  That made me angry because I hate thinking that way.  I don't think I am being lazy, but I do think that I am fatigued of this process and ready to be done with it.  I am burned out.  I am fine doing the things that keep me where I am, and for the past 20 or so weeks I have been within about a 12 pound range.  It is the effort of breaking the plateau that I haven't committed to.  Every time I think I am about to make some strides I fall back.  The funny thing about self sabotage is that it is very easy to convince yourself you aren't doing it.  But I know.  I get to a point where I am about to make a big stride forward and then say to myself "I'm doing OK now, I can get away with _____".  And of course I can't. I cant make a pint of guacamole and not eat it.  I can't keep Cadbury eggs in the house, period.  After I do those things I feel dumb and out of control.  "You know better" I tell myself, and then I have a snack because in my disappointment I suddenly feel hungry.

I didn't know that quarter life crises existed, as a term, until this week, but I am reasonably sure I have hit mine.  With all of the changes I have affected in my life in the past 2 years I have probably been in mine for a while, just in a very structured and rational way, which should surprise no one who knows me even passingly well.  I am not an impatient fellow by nature, but lately I have been trying to find the balance between my impatience and my motivation.  How much can I reasonably do to get the things I want for my life in as short a time as possible?  And because I am not afraid to look at my self from a third party perspective I see how much I have to do.  And that is a paralyzing thing.  I may be back to the kind of holding pattern I had before I started getting healthy.  I shouldn't be there.  The problems are so much smaller now.  I know intuitively that I cannot rationalize myself to action.  I just need to act.  Suggestions are welcome.  Kick-starters, support, admonishments, and commiserations would all help too.  have you ever found yourself in this kind of rut?  What did you do, if anything, to drag yourself out?  I think it is time for another couple weeks of hyper-accountability.  Daily postings of calories and exercise totals.  And I am not putting an end line on this time. I am going to do it until it sticks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weigh in 2:13

Building on the successes.  That has been the focus of the week.  My diet has been mediocre, but I got in a few good workouts and I am feeling the difference.  My endurance on the treadmill and with the weights has gone up, and I am hoping the positive work will compound and boost my metabolism, help tighten up my trunk where I am noticing some sagging skin, and allow me to work even harder in future workouts.  I am not particularly worried that I did not lose much weight this week because I can tell in the mirror that I have replaced some fat with muscle.  What I need moving forward is a little bit warmer weather.  I have gotten to the point where I can lightly jog at approximately 5-5.5 mph for a good amount of time, but doing this on the treadmill is proving difficult because my stance is as wide as the track, causing me to frequently lose my balance and my legs are fatiguing faster than they normally would because of the way I have to jog to stay upright on the narrow platform.  Our elliptical machine is broken in our building fitness room and it is 40 degrees outside, so for cardio I have limited options.  Once I can get outside I can jog in a bit more natural way, and boredom will not be as big of an issue because my surroundings will change.

I think a good goal this week is to do what I can in regards to fitness work and combine that with a bit more discipline in the kitchen.  I am headed to my favorite produce shop after I finish up this post and I will be spending a good portion of my off day today cooking up some really healthy things for the week.  On the menu are mashed cauliflower, chili flake and Parmesan Brussels Sprouts, mustard tarragon chicken breasts, and maybe my NEW thai basil chicken recipe (cribbed from America's Test Kitchen and fortified with extra veggies).  This week I break into the 270's come hell or high water.  Or not if I don't.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 282.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 1.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 2.8 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 157.8 lbs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


This will be a quick update and voicing of my frustrations.  I don't feel like I have had a very good week so far.  I went out a couple times and I have not exercised as much as I would like.  I say this to own these choices.  Work has been stressful and long hours and I have not had the mental will to devote energy to making progress.  I think once winter releases her icy grip on Chicago I will get a push in the right direction and get outside a bit more, but I need to work on some better habits.  In particular I need to work on lunch.  I have been eating out far too much.  Not bad stuff, but I could be doing better.  The nature of my job is inconsistent lunch times and quick meals.  It is the kind of thing that I can be a huge challenge.  I need to work on mastering that.  I suppose discussing the roadblocks helps me get a grasp on them, but I am so ready to move forward.  I can feel it coming.  If I cannot have an acting job I need something to keep my mind occupied outside of work.  Mastering myself and putting in the work required to get where I want to go is a good task.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weigh in 2:12

Another week treading water.  I am not disappointed at all this week, though.  I got in 4 legit workouts, including 2 4+ mile walks, and two all around workouts.  The all around work outs involved the weight tower in my building's gym and then a jog or a go on the elliptical.  I am still figuring out what I am doing, particularly with the weights, but something is absolutely better than nothing.  I can see and feel a difference, too, and so can those around me.  I am OK not losing a whole bunch of weight if I am replacing fat with muscle.  My hope is that more muscle mass will boost my metabolism and help me break this plateau.  We shall see.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 283.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 0.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 1.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 156.4 lbs

It is also worth mentioning that this is my sesquicentennial  post.  Unfortunately I will be celebrating by working on my day off.  Fun!  It should only take an hour or two though, and then I can enjoy the weather here in Chicago.  It is still a bit chilly, but buds are forming and the sun is out more frequently, which qualifies as full on spring up here.  I got some new running shoes to help motivate me, and they actually make a huge difference.

Asics GT-2160.  Plenty light, and great support.  My biggest fear when working out is re-injuring my ankles, and these shoes help me feel a bit more stable.
Next week will mark the quarter pole for year 2.  I would really like to smash this plateau to start quarter 2, so please provide your suggestions.  So far my plans are at least 4 solid workouts and a lot of salad.  Other, more interesting ideas are welcome.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Weigh in 2:11

I think I have come to a point I knew I would reach at some point, but was hoping would come later rather than sooner.  I don't think diet with a minimum of exercise is going to cut it anymore.  My diet hasn't been bad lately, though there are better choices to be made always.  I am just not losing weight, and I am not happy with where I am right now as a finishing point.  I did get 3 walks in and some weight work this week, and the results on my appearance are not insignificant.  Some folks who I see on a semi-regular basis have told me I appear to be thinner, and the way my clothes have been fitting do indicate I have been toning up.  That is more my goal right now, so the time has come to really buckle down in the gym.  Walks probably aren't going to cut it anymore either.  The elliptical, treadmill, and weight tower in my building will certainly help, but some lakefront jogs will probably be good too.  I still find running and jogging to be kind of painful in the knees, though.  Perhaps I need to build up some endurance, or perhaps my joints just took too much of a beating from being so large my whole life that running may not be the best option.  Here are this week's numbers and you'll see where some of the frustration has come from:

Current Weight: 284 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 1.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 156.2 lbs


I think part of the issue lately has been second guessing my my motives.  I have spoken before about my restlessness with the progress of certain portions of my life.  I know it is normal at this point to have these things, but that restlessness has gotten combined with this journey and I haven't always liked where my thoughts have turned.  "I won't get such-and-such if I don't lose more weight," or "I'm being held back by my size"  both have elements of truth to them, but are too close to attaching my self-worth to my size, which I have struggled with and I hate doing.  I know that the people I want in my life see me for who I am and not for the number on the scale, and those that place too much emphasis on that are not the kind of people I want in my life, but I think any of you reading this can understand where I am coming from.  As much as I try some times I cannot rationalize away my feelings, whether those feelings are irrational or not.  With all of that having been said I sense a bit of self sabotage going on.  I am surprised by how much of my motivation comes from feeling like I am doing this for the right reasons, and when I feel like I am not how fast I get off track.  Am I just kvetching?  Maybe, but I think it is a big part of my journey right now.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Weigh in 2:10

Stalled.  Again.  Here's the deal about this week, though.  I made some choices that I thoroughly enjoyed that were not geared to weight loss.  I went to all you can eat sushi with a colleague.  I had a big batch of guac in the house and I ate it.  When I feel in control and make these choices I don't feel bad about it.  It is when I eat compulsively, or don't stay on top of my hunger that I am disappointed.  So the results are not what I wanted this week, but I was able to enjoy myself and stay at the same weight, which is OK too.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 282 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 0 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 3.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 158.2 lbs

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Snack Time

For quite a while I have been looking for a new snack food to satisfy my inevitable after work hunger without breaking my calorie budget.  Not too long ago I had the chance to try edamame for the first time and discovered I quite like them.  On my next trip to Trader Joe's I got some frozen pods and have been enjoying them on a somewhat regular basis.  The combination of high fiber and great nutty taste really satisfies me and fills me up on 150-200 calories, which is the perfect snack size for me.  I have taken to dressing them with a bit of rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and salt when I want a flavored snack.  Do you have any ideas for other healthy snacks?  Burnout is always a risk when I find a healthy item I really like, because I lean on it for a big portion of my diet.  Extra avenues to explore would be great.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weigh in 2:9

It is amazing to me how slow time seemed to pass as a child and how much faster it seems to fly by now.  In the context of my health this is relevant because I have gone 4 solid months now with very little progress.  I trace this back to when I started my new job.  It is certainly more stressful, and I am working much harder now than I ever have before at my day job.  This week I reached the true burn out point in my weight loss process.  I am just done with it.  I didn't realize, until that energy went elsewhere, how much energy I was expending on this process.  More mental than physical energy, since my willingness to work out on a regular basis has never been that high, but even the mental commitment can be draining, and now that I am committing more of my thought other places I find the weight is a lot more stubborn to come off.  The great thing I have discovered is that my default is now maintenance.  There are now vegetables that I like.  I make healthy food.  I order out far less frequently than before I started.  Even at my most lackadaisical I hovered around the same weight.  That is something that I am proud of and that indicates a permanent change.  In that regard I have done one of the things I set out to do. 

This week was a bit of a bounce back week.  If I can string a few of these weeks together here I can get down to 275, which is my next goal.  I think physical appearance of weight loss is another good goal to have.  Even though I have been in maintenance for a few months, my shape has still been adjusting to the weight I lost in months previous.  Toning and muscle building are things I have been devoting a little bit of time to recently, and I think I've had some progress there.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 282 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 3 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 3.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 158.2 lbs

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weigh in 2:8

Harumph.  Not a positive week for my weight.  St. Matty's day (as we are now calling it since it is my friend Matt's birthday) was a definite cheat day, but I feel I could have been more disciplined the rest of the week to offset.  I am really tired of treading water.  A positive aspect is that spring is making an appearance in Chicago, so I should be able to get outside a bit more and work off some calories.  Maybe that boost to my metabolism will help kick start some real progress.  I am ready to be out of the 280s, and while I think I need more than one week to do it I know I can get there.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 285 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -3.8 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: .2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 155.2 lbs

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Deep Breaths

What a difference a few days make.  My jerk client from Friday came back and applied, meaning since they have already been accepted I will get paid for my work after all.  My weight is still up, but I have been exercising a bit more, so I feel better, and I think once the work settles in that I will drop a few more lbs.  I got out with some friends this weekend and I think that was very much needed.  They are a little bit older and were able to put in perspective for me the frustrations and restlessness I have been feeling lately.  I am out of the entry level stage of life.  I am starting to want and expect those things that come with maturity, and that I committed to this process for.  I want a relationship, I want more success in my acting, and I want more stability.  I guess it is all part of being a twenty-something.  I still feel like I can be doing more for my health, but with all of the changes and steps of the past year it is understandable that the percentage of my focus on this process is less than it was when I had a job I didn't care about and a few shows in the bank.  I find myself asking why I am writing this particular post, and the answer is purely to counterbalance the frustration of Friday.  I'm ok now.  I guess I just want it in writing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weigh in 2:7

Today has been an incredibly frustrating day.  My weight went up, I woke up sick and missed an exam for work which will result in my suspension, and a client had me come in on my day off to change their mind at the last minute and not take the apartment, meaning I don't get paid at all for working with them.  Here's to hoping the coming week is better.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 281.2 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -0.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 159 lbs

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weigh in 2:6, Keeping Tabs Day 12

First things first.  Last night's calorie total was 2412.

I had a solid week all things considered.  After last week's stupendous results I settled in a bit and had more moderate results.  It being the end of the month things were also much busier at work, so I did not have the time or inclination to exercise much.  I felt good about my food choices, minus a bit of indulgence at the Oscars party I went to.  Once a week is ok though.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 280.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 1.8 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 4.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 159.4 lbs

I am averaging a weight loss of less than a pound a week this year.  The last two weeks have been a good step back into the right habits, but I need to string together a few more to feel like I am back on the way.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Keeping Tabs Day 11

Total Calorie Intake: 2440

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Keeping Tabs Days 8, 9, and 10

I fell off the wagon the past couple of days.  I didn't do too badly, but Sunday I didn't log very carefully so the best I can do is an estimate of around 3000 calories.  Oscars festivities were in the cards

Yesterday and today I didn't indulge too much.  Here are the numbers:

Yesterday's Calorie Total: 2274
Today's Calorie Total: 2614

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Keeping Tabs Day 7

Not a bad day.  I worked hard today and didn't really have time to overeat.  So there is one technique for moderation.  Here are the numbers:

Total Calorie Consumption: 2187

Friday, February 25, 2011

Keeping Tabs Day 6

Another positive day.  I was able to focus a lot of my time and energy on my health today.  I got out for a walk, the first real outdoor walk of the year.  It was pretty cold out, but the snow had almost completely melted off, so it was a pretty easy walk.  I got in probably about 4-4.5 miles and walked to my favorite picture spot with my new camera, which I got for work, but I can use for myself as well.  Here are the numbers, and a few shots of the scenery.

Total Calorie Consumption: 2473
Exercise Calories Burned: 464
Net Balance: 2009 calories

Weigh in 2:5

Yet again I am switching things up.  Sundays really were not working for me as weigh in days.  I need to keep those on off days so I can be in the right frame of mind and have the time I need to write.  This also serves as a jumping off point for the following week and a time to collect my thoughts on the previous week so I can assess areas of improvement.  I could not do that when, on Sundays I had to weigh myself, go work for a full day, come home, prepare for work the next day, and then find a few minutes to throw together my blog post.  It took me a few weeks to figure out that the ritual of making my whole morning about my health was a really good, and ultimately indispensable thing.

5 days of tracking my calories like I did last year has proven immediately successful.  I want to be at maintenance, but I have not reached my goals.  Constant awareness can be fatiguing, so I shouldn't be surprised that I fell off the wagon for a while.  I am sure it seems ridiculous to the outside observer seeing as I lost over 150 lbs in a year, but I have been thinking about this for so long that it feels like I have been at this forever.  Sometimes.  There are those moments when I see a not so old picture of myself and see the tangible proof of how far I have come.  Just this week I went to change my address on my driver's license and decided to ask for a picture change as well.  A supervisor had to approve it, but all they said was "congratulations, good job".  That is a great feeling.  Plus my new picture actually looks good, so that was $30 well spent.  Another frustration is that the more I lose the more unsure I become as to the end point.  I have no idea what my ideal weight is.  According to the actuarial tables and BMI measurements I should weigh no more than about 205.  That seems impossibly low to me.  Looking at my waist to hip ratio and estimated body fat percentages I am quite a bit closer to my goal.  Both my bath scale and estimates based on my body measurements peg my body fat percentage at about 29%.  That means to be at the max healthy range I would need to lose about 30 pounds of body fat.  Splitting the difference between the two metrics puts me at about 230, which seems about right to me.  I just don't know, though, and not having a steady target to shoot for is sapping some motivation.  I try to focus on health and happiness, but the scale is always there, and is the biggest indicator I have.  It is hard not to get tunnel vision. Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 282.6 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 4.8 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 2.6 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 157.6 lbs

Like I said, I know what works.  i just have to stay disciplined and do it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Keeping Tabs Day 5

Total Calorie Consumption: ~2550 (I lost track of an item amount, so this is my best guess).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Keeping Tabs Day 4

Another hungry day, but I stayed within myself.  I also got in a little exercise to offset a few of those calories.  I know exercise doesn't do much for weight loss unless you are on "The Biggest Loser" or a professional athlete and have hours to work out daily, but every little bit helps.  Exercise will also help me tone and look healthier, and will build muscle mass which increases basal metabolism.  Here are the numbers for today:

Total Calorie Consumption: 2380
Exercise Calories Burned: 343
Net Balance: 2037 calories

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Keeping Tabs Day 3

All I can say is that I was pretty hungry today.  It was good, balanced stuff, and still in line with my weight loss pace.  My maintenance calorie total is 3412 per day according to the app I am using (dubious, but a baseline number to work with), so this is still pretty good.

Today's Calorie Consumption: 2483

Monday, February 21, 2011

Keeping Tabs Day 2

It seems counter-intuitive,  but I will be doing 14 consecutive days of blog posts that I don't particularly care if anyone reads.  I need an accountability boost.  Having to post my calories means I have to count my calories, and that is going to be key to getting back on track.  There will be a time for a more relaxed attitude with my diet.  That time is not now.  I am not where I want to be yet.  I have come a long way with my baseline habits, which is why even when I was not paying as close attention to my intake I still maintained and did not really gain weight.  It is nice to know that maintenance will not be all that difficult, given the evidence of the past couple of months, but I am not there.  Here are today's totals:

Today's Calorie Intake: 2149

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weigh in 2:4

There are consequences for going out partying the night before a weigh in.  I don't want to rationalize, excuse, or explain.  I am not particularly happy about this, so here come the numbers, followed shortly by what I plan to do about it:

Current Weight: 287.4 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -2.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: -2.2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 152.8 lbs

That won't work.  I have gotten lazy about this.  This week I made a choice to work on some good habits, and one of the habits I want to get back into is logging my calories again.  Instant accountability is indispensable. To reinforce this I will be posting my calorie totals at the end of every day for the next two weeks, since that is how long I have heard it takes to build a habit.  I will do this at night so that I will have an end point every day.  Snacking and mindless eating have been problems, far more so than bad choices with my meals.  I am eating mostly the right things at meals, but I am snacking on things that are too calorie dense.  So goodbye to hummus, guacamole, and salsa.  At least for a while.  None of these are particularly bad, but they lead me to eat less than ideal things, like chips.  I need to avoid those triggers for a while.

Today's Calorie Consumption: 2129

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weigh in 2:3

Stress.  If I can describe my week in one word that would be it.  Frustration, stress, disappointment, and anger.  It got better as the week went on.  i made a few sales this weekend that make my pocketbook look better if they get approved and go through.  What it boils down to for my health is that I ate the pain away so to speak this week.  I had a few danger items in the house which when I am on my game do not cause me too much trouble, but when I am in my darker moments it is best I not have around.  I need to be more aware of that, because that is a good reason to not ever have them around.  I'd love to say I can separate emotion from eating, but I know myself well enough to know that that physical manifestation of distress is unlikely to go away, so I have to set things up so that I cannot cause myself too much harm in those times I am compromised.  This week was a lesson learned.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 285 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -1.2 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: .2 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 155.2 lbs

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weigh in 2:2

Working on weigh in days makes a timely blog entry difficult.  This week I did have a few setbacks and a few really good points.  I feel like my day to day diet has gotten closer to where it was when I was having consistent success, but being stuck in the house for a few days made good choices that much more difficult.  Access to food, be it good or bad, was too easy, so it was hard to maintain discipline.  With all of that said I still had decent results.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 283.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 1.4 lbs
Weight Loss in Year 2: 1.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 156.4 lbs

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Blizzard's Effect On My Weight Loss

For those of you readers outside of Chicago you may have heard we had a little bit of snow.  By the time all was said and done the official total was the third highest in recorded history in Chicago at just shy of 21", but being by the lake my totals were a bit higher.  I had been chafing at the fact I could do very little out of doors recently, so I took this as an opportunity to get a very good outdoor workout by digging my car out.  I was determined to do a masterful job, frankly for the purposes of impressing my neighbors.  Here are before and after pictures of my car, and my get up which caused profuse sweating.

You can see how I ended up a little sweaty after an hour and a half of shoveling.

Before the dig out.  Luckily the wind kept the drifts away from the side panels, so I was able to dig out comparatively easily.

I personally find this to be a thing of beauty.

Much to my pleasure my neighbors were impressed, and asked me to help them do the same.  This is where I got in trouble.  Most of my neighbors were well on their way and I just got them the last bit out, but one less than intelligent neighbor came out expecting to just drive away, walking up to her car and exclaiming, "they didn't dig me out!".  I had an extra shovel (of course she didn't have one) and we got started.  Towards the end of the process I got a shovelfull of snow a bit too far off center and threw out my back, but we finished.  I asked her why her boss was making her come in today and she said "I'm going to the grocery store".  I could only laugh.  One, because she should have gone Monday, which I had no qualms telling her, and two, because we happen to have a little grocery store, which was open, IN OUR BUILDING.  All you have to do is walk around to the side entrance.  She was unaware of this, and by "this" I mean the store's existence, and walked over.  Her car has yet to move.  So, I have not been doing any working out since Wednesday, but on the plus side the trip from couch to pantry/fridge is less than pleasant, so snacking has been kept in check.  Always a silver lining.

Oh, and just as an indicator of the kind of snow we got for the "that doesn't look like that much crowd", here you are:

That is about halfway up the drift, so a fair indication of what I was digging through.

Monday, January 31, 2011


I have mentioned before that I do not like using food as a reward.  I think it sets a bad precedent because what can be used to reward can be used/withheld for punishment, and that is completely antithetical to my methodology for a healthy relationship with food.  I am not above rewarding myself with stuff though, or asking for things that will help my weight loss as gifts.  Just before my birthday I visited my little brother in Georgia and his family gave me a couple pans as gifts.  I then used a gift certificate for another pan as a reward for my 1 year.  These are my new beauties:

Bottom right is an anodized aluminum non stick pan.  Non stick is great for low fat cooking because oil is a choice, not a necessity.  This one is oven safe to 350, and not scratched, which is more than I can say for the non stick skillet I have been using for 6 years.  The old one had lived a good life, but the even heat and versatility of this pan, even though it doesn't have a lid, is worth it.

The top pan is interesting.  It is a 12 inch "everyday pan"  by Calphalon.  It is stainless tri-ply with an aluminum core.  The pan is oven and broiler safe and the lid is good to 450.  The shape is interesting.  It is a cross between skillet, saucier, and omelet pan, but heats very evenly and sears like a dream.  both of those pans were from the Baquets, and they have gotten good use, so thank you very much Peter, Ashley, Jude, and Julien.

The bottom left pan is also by Calphalon, with the same construction as the other pan.  It is a 2.5 quart standard shallow sauce pan, but the shape makes it flexible enough to use as a smaller saute pan in a pinch.  I look forward to some small batch soups and chilis from that baby.

One thing that I have discovered is that, although my Walmart pans have done me great service over the years, there were a few things they could never do, being cheap non-stick.  One was go into the oven, and another was true searing.  Searing is so important to me, because brown food tastes good, and proper searing means I have more flavor with less sauce or other fatty toppings.  Oven safe allows me to sear and bake for even, tasty foods and only one pan to clean.  One dish I have wanted to try for a while was frittata.  Now I have the pan to do it, and here are the results.

Picture one is just before the trip into the oven, and picture two is the finished product.  I caramelized some onions and threw in some frozen (and thawed) asparagus and peppers.  I also shredded up a little left over chicken and topped with a variety of shredded cheeses I had little bits of left over from breakfasts.  This thing cooks up so fast, is dirt cheap, and is stupid easy.  It is an incredibly filling breakfast that is good for a week in the fridge, so you can expect this to become a staple in my kitchen.  I don't like eggs very much, and I love this.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weigh in 2:1

One year ago today I stepped on the scale for the first time.  To that point I had been able to convince myself of a lot of things, but the truth wasn't in there.  The quantifiable reality of the situation did what friends, colleagues, and doctors could not.  I had started this blog for accountability from the outside, but now I had personal accountability, and though you, my friends, may cheer for me in the good times and bad, none of you are as hard on me as I am on myself when I do not work hard enough.  I am okay with failure after a good effort, but too often I let failure come without really trying.  Stepping on the scale the first time was a refusal to behave in that way any more.  Weigh in #1 may have been the hardest part of this process to date.  It is a stark thing to see 25 years of bad habits boiled down to a number.

In the year since I truly started down this road I have gotten on the scale many times.  I actually had a friend suggest I weigh myself less frequently to avoid becoming obsessive.  Funnily enough that was never going to be a problem for me.  I crave information, it is probably the #1 feature of my personality, so after the first weigh in the scale simply became a source of information.  I treated it like checking the balance on my bank account.  I have overdrawn before, but never because I checked my bank balance too often.  Weighing myself helped me recognize patterns and respond quickly to poor choices.  I got away from that in the last couple of months, along with some other things, and my results suffered.

Today I check my balance sheet for the last year.  I am interested to see how the numbers stack up, and since I am doing this as I write, you will get my first impressions.  Here are the numbers as of today:

Current Weight: 285.2 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 155 lbs

Great week.  This makes up for some of the slip ups of the last month, and is a great springboard into the new year.  I am a bit off of where I wanted to be.  In November I was thinking I would be down around 260 at this point, but the winter is a hard time to lose weight, and a small weigh loss with steady maintenance of the good results of the previous 10 months is nothing to sneeze at.  Here is a break down of the year:

Weight Loss Total (Year 1): 155 lbs
Weight Loss Per Week:  2.98 lbs/wk
Weight Loss Per Day:  0.425 lbs, or 6.8oz per day
Percentage Of Total Body Weight Lost: 35.21%

I must admit I am at a loss.  I have been disappointed with my progress for the last couple of months, but the totals and percentages are a real eye opener as to just what I've accomplished.  Losing 6.8 ounces a day may be the number that shocks me the most.  To put that in perspective that is 1 2/3 sticks of butter...a day.  Over the course of the year that equals 155 boxes, or 620 sticks, of butter.  Now not all of that is fat.  My body is handling less mass, so it necessarily uses less muscle, but if the body fat monitor on my scale is even close, then at least 2/3 of my weight loss has been body fat.  That seems like a pretty good percentage.

At the pace for the last year my original weight loss goal is about 22 weeks away.  That is unrealistic.  Weigh ins will now become progress checks, but now that I am down to a more manageable weight there will be a much broader set of metrics and goals.  Waist size, stamina, toning, and over all health are now more important than that "number".  I think I am really entering a new phase of my health journey.  I will not change what has gotten me here, but there are certainly things to add.

(Please read the title as "year 2, #1".  This will be the new title scheme on weigh in days.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Milestone Week

Today is the first of several milestones I will celebrate this week.  A year ago today I gave up sodas.  Other than one sugar free mixer I used I have kept that promise.  Soda is fine in moderation, but I cannot be moderate with it, so it had to go.  Starting out I thought this might be one of the most difficult things, but I feel so much better, and that one change had such a massive effect on my health, that I have never once been tempted to go back.  I miss the occasional Dr. Pepper, but only briefly every once in a blue moon.  The hardest part was the day after.  Tomorrow I will "celebrate" the anniversary of the worst headache I have ever had.    I think I will honor the occasion with a tall, frosty water.

This week has been positive so far, though my scale is on the fritz, so weighing myself has been a bit more of a pain.  I continue to be amazed, even a year on, that I am more full and satisfied when I eat appropriately portioned, well balanced meals, than when I have a larger, poorly balanced meal.  It is easy to forget with the breadth of expression available to us as thinking, feeling beings, that our more primitive bodies have only a few ways to tell us what we/they need.  If I miss out on something vital, say fiber, then even though my stomach is full the only way my body can ask for that missing piece is with hunger.  It can be as frustrating to satisfy what my body is asking for as it is to placate a crying baby.  It needs SOMETHING, but the language isn't there.  Of course, I may be talking out of my ass here, but in the last year of paying more and better attention to these things this seems to explain what I have encountered.

Sunday will mark one year since my first weigh in, so expect an in depth breakdown of my results, and of course, weigh in #1 of year 2.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weigh in #52

No there was no "true" weigh in 51, but I want to keep things on pace.  I have not done well over the past couple of weeks, but I did get some much needed rest and a mental and physical vacation.  The time has now come to recommit and start again as if it is the first time.  Next Sunday will mark exactly one year since weigh in #1.  I have been blogging almost one year now, the 26th will mark that milestone.  This will be a week of hard work.  I have been living for about 2 months in maintenance mode.  I do not know whether this is just a comfortable weight for my body, if I changed so much and took so much for granted that I got off track, or if the winter put me into storage mode, but a new push begins today.  It will be hard to get back into the habit, but I will be logging every single thing I eat from tomorrow onward.  It was easier not to, but the past 2 months have shown me what that gets me.  I am much healthier now, but I am not where I need or want to be.  Here are the numbers, and my jumping off point for the coming year:

Current Weight: 289.2 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: -2.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 151 lbs

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I'm back.  I went out of town and decided to take a little bit of a vacation from everything, including the blog.  Complacency was starting to set in, and I felt a reboot was in order.  Luckily, today is a very good day to start again.  Today I turn 26, and I cannot help but reflect upon the last year of my life.  So much has changed for the better that, though I am another year older I probably have more years ahead of me now than I did at this time last year.  As for my missed weigh in, I will weigh in as usual this weekend, probably Sunday.  As an unofficial update, a pseudo weigh in #51, I will say that I have hovered around 290 the past week or so, so not great, but considering the lack of thought or effort on my "vacation" I didn't do too badly.  I am trying hard to get to 285 for the weigh in, so austerity measures are in effect.  The time off from work and thinking about my weight constantly is going to be a very good thing for me.  Since August I had been going with one or maybe two days off in a row, and rarely one without travel or rehearsal.  Having 5 days without work or theater, and 3 of those consecutively without any travel as well was much needed.  I was getting a bit burned out.  Now I feel more capable of buckling down and pushing through the last 50 or so pounds of weight loss I'd like to achieve.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weigh in #50

Sorry about being a day late, but either Sundays or Fridays will have to be my new weigh in day.  I now work Saturday and Sunday, but Saturday is 8:45am to 6pm, and Sundays are only 10am to 5pm, so of the two I am much more likely to write and get an accurate weigh in on Sunday.  Fridays I am off of work, so that is a possibility as well.  I am going with Sundays for now.  Good results in the past 8 days.  Here are the numbers:

Current Weight: 286.8 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 2.4 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 153.4 lbs

I am now just .2 lbs from my overall low water mark and excited to forge into new territory.  Another 16 pounds in 3 weeks is not going to happen, so my original goal of 170 total weight loss is out the window, but if I can break into the 270s by the end of the month I will feel good about that.  That means in just about three weeks I need to drop 7 pounds.  2 1/3 pounds a week is no mean feat, but it is doable.  Now to do it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I am a little disappointed in myself.  I missed the last of my twelve days of Christmas.  Yes work has been busy, and I have an excuse, but I don't want to use one.  It just goes to reinforce my need for constant vigilance.  5 out of 6 is good, but not really good enough to get where I want to be.  To tell the truth the well of inspiration is a bit low at the moment.  I am sure by Saturday I will have a bit more to say, but for now that's all I've got.

Now for some planning.  My birthday is the 20th and the one year anniversary of my weight loss is the 30th.  On the 30th to celebrate both I want to go play laser tag at the whirlyball stadium on Fullerton.  Please comment if you would like to come.  We will have to walk in because a reservation is just too expensive (who knew an hour of laser tag cost $500+).  But I would love to have you all there to celebrate and get a little fun exercise with me.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lords Leaping, Or Some Such

Today was fun.  I did pretty well with my intake, saw a fun movie, and got some good work done in my actor life.  I have been in voice lessons for a while now and have been building up my book for musical auditions.  My voice lesson went well and I have far more songs from which to chose than when I started up.  It was also very nice to get away from the frustrations of the day job, as I only had two very minor intrusions to think about today and I got to turn my mind off for a large portion of the day.  Rest is important, and today I got some.

Monday, January 3, 2011

10th Day

I am really running out of stuff to write about.  Epiphany needs to hurry up.  Tomorrow is an off day, so I plan to work out a bit and get in my meatless day, which wasn't today due to time constraints.  I am still struggling with mindless snacking and not doing the things I need, particularly eating fruit.  My culinary hero, Alton Brown, recently lost 50 pounds and he has done it by doing much of what I have done.  One of his go to breakfasts is a fruit smoothie, and I am going to try it out.  It is based on frozen fruit mostly and should be pretty easy.  We'll see how it tastes.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

9th Day Of Christmas

Now it is time to buckle down.  This weekend has been fun, but I haven't been that disciplined and the problem is that the few calculated choices to indulge make it easier to slip up later.  Well, the holidays are over and I have 4 weeks until my 1 year anniversary.  I don't think 3 pounds a week is unattainable, but it will be very difficult.  This week has to lay the groundwork.  One more resolution is to eat slower.  This is something I can start immediately and should make a big difference for me.  My show closed today, so my time constraints should be lessened.  I can cook more, and the fact that my current job does not require me to order, eat, and return from lunch in less than 30 minutes should help me slow down and know when I am full before I have overshot it.  I also need to get back on the stick with exercise.  December was really bad for that, and building up a bit more muscle mass and getting some aerobic work will give me a little leeway with my intake and give me a little more of an edge with recovery.

For the events this weekend I did my part by bringing some snacks, and I tried to keep them a bit healthier than your usual gameday fare.  I brought my ubiquitous hummus, and lately I have been making rosemary hummus with fresh rosemary and rosemary olive oil, which has been a big hit, both to my palate and at the two parties I have taken it to.  I also made guacamole.  I love tex mex food and avocado, when eaten in moderation, is incredibly healthful and satisfying.  Yes it is fatty, but it is the right kind of fat, the kind that keeps your body moving.  The only problem with good fat is that it is calorie dense, so care is needed.  Lucky for me the guac was such a huge hit that 4 avocados worth disappeared so quickly I wasn't tempted to get seconds because there weren't any.  Other than the 4 avocados I included finely diced onion, a brunoised jalapeno, the juice of 1 lime, a good handful of finely chopped cilantro, 4 cloves minced garlic, and a couple spoons full of some homemade salsa I had around.  I don't usually like tomatoes in guacamole, but I used more the flavorful liquid of the salsa for some extra brightness.  I also seasoned it with ground chipotle, cumin, and salt and pepper.  Here are pics of the process, and I used my new camera which has a food setting, so tell me what you think:

You can see to the far left the onions.  They are soaking in water with a little vinegar, which takes some of the bite and bitterness out and makes the raw onion much more friendly.

You can see I diced the avocado in the skin and then I scooped it out with a spoon to keep a nice texture.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Weigh in #49 - 8th day of Christmas. Happy New Year!

Happy new year!  December has come and gone.  I have 30 days left until the 1 year anniversary of my first weigh in. 2010 is the second year in a row I kept my resolution.  In 2009 I resolved to stop smoking, and I have not had a cigarette since August of that year.  In 2010 I resolved to take control of my health, and though I continue to work I feel that I have taken that resolution to heart.  Before I announce my concrete resolution for the coming year here are the numbers for this week:

Current Weight: 289.2 lbs
Starting Weight: 440.2 lbs
Weight Loss This Week: 1.8 lbs
Weight Loss Total: 151 lbs

Not too bad, especially considering I polished off an entire bottle of sparkling wine myself last night (I brought a second to share).  One fun side effect of my weight loss is that I am a little bit cheaper date than I used to be.  Considering how much trouble I have with moderation in most things it is a very lucky chance that I have no problems being moderate with alcohol.  I just happen to enjoy a little bit of a buzz at a celebration with friends and it takes far less alcohol, and therefore calories, than it used to.    As for the week's results I was a bit shy of my goal, but chop off last night, which was a calculated indulgence at a celebration, and I'm right where I wanted to be, in 6 days no less since my last weigh in was on a Sunday.  From the last weigh in of November to now I only gained .4 pounds, which I feel is a very successful December.  It was a very nice way to end the year, and is going to be a great springboard into 2011.

Resolve and thou art free. 

I have posted previously that my ultimate resolution for the coming year, though a bit trite, is "Better than yesterday".  Over 11 months of, if not hard, then constant work I have found that taking too long a view or focusing too much on the length of the whole journey is crippling.  All I can do is try to be better than I was the day before.  This applies in all aspects of my life.  There are so many things I want, and I now firmly believe they will come in their due time, but only if I am ready for them.  If I work an being a better actor, a healthier person, and a better man than I was yesterday, then the success, health, and relationships I am looking to build will come.  I have to believe that and do that which is in my control to achieve them.  So much relies on the chances of life that for someone who needs a rational and logical progression of events to make sense of things it can be maddening.  So I'll do what I can do and try to accept the rest.

As for a more concrete resolution I do want something specific towards which I can work.  Long ago this blog became about more than just my weight loss, so I feel comfortable posting that I resolve to be more accepting of the foibles of my fellow man, and of myself.  To be more concise I suppose I could say I resolve to accept imperfection with good humor.  I admit to judging myself and others too readily, so that is something I would like to work on this year.  Feel free to post your resolution as a comment.  I have found that public accountability is the surest way for me to maintain a goal,and if you would like to try that with your goals for the coming year please do so and we can keep each other on track.