A Fat Man's Journey (Working my way back…)

An Attempt to Journey from Fat to Fit in a Lifetime. Eat right, Eat less, Move more


A Feeling of Fear.

Last weekend I twisted my knee and had to end a ride early. By the next day the swelling was gone and in a couple of days the pain was gone as well. I was doing deep knee bends without any discomfort. I figured I had every reason to believe that the issue with the knee was no issue at all. With all this in mind I planned a nice 35 mile ride for today. The bike is back from the shop, the shifters replaced. The bike was all ready to go and so was I. OR so I thought.

Eight miles in to the ride this morning I was thinking that the knee was a non-issue. I felt no pain at all. I was riding very well, averaging just over 18 mile per hour for that first 8-mile stretch. Then, just as I allowed myself to think that the knee was fine, I felt it. First a twinge and then a sharp pain and suddenly the knee felt exactly the way it did as I rode the last few miles of last weekend’s ride.

My Bagel stop on the ride. Good Bagels and a nice little table outside to enjoy the warmth

At ten miles I took a break, had a cup of coffee and a bagel at a local shop and relaxed and tried to not think about the knee. It felt a little better and I started to ride again. And the pain came back again. I decided it would be smart to cut the ride short and I passed on the two hills that I was looking forward to climbing and headed back towards home. I was still riding well, averaging about 15 on the last ten miles of the ride but the hill to home was a bear.

I thought maybe I needed to make a couple of adjustments on the bike. I removed the pedal extension and adjusted the cleat on the right shoe (the right knee is the one hurting) and took a test ride. BIG MISTAKE. Missus had to come fetch me when the pain became too much for me to pedal.

So now it is time to see the Doctor. I have to acknowledge that this is more than a mere twisted knee, or at the very least, it MAY be more than a twisted knee.

SO what do I do now? How do I keep the fitness up when stair climbing and bike riding are not on the agenda?

I will know more of course after I get in to see the doctor. I have to be aggressive about this because the activity is a critical part of the plan for reaching my goals.

Few years back I had Patella Tendinitis in both knees. It caused me to stop riding and on occasion I needed a cane to walk. That lack of activity was a part of why I gained weight and formed the bad habits that lead to obesity. Stairs were a major challenge. Over time that cleared up.

What I am feeling now does not feel like the sort of thing that clears up……

SO I am feeling fear right now. I am afraid of what the potential inactivity will do to my plans. I am fearful of the prospect of not being able to ride or hike. I am afraid that I will miss out on my plans for this year: the ride in Boston, the rides I want to do around here, the century ride I planned on doing in the autumn, making my goal weight by the end of July.

This is a really hard thing for me to face right now. I am able to walk OK, not much discomfort. I will see if I can walk a couple of miles tomorrow without pain…

I need time to absorb all this and I am not sure what I am absorbing yet.

Trying to take a positive out of what right now feels very negative: I was riding very well just before the knee started back in with me. I was also riding on a hot day and was able to deal well with the heat. All this is a testament to how much my fitness has improved.

Have to find the positives…

Here is a positive: 38 inch waist pants are loose on me and it looks like I am drifting closer and closer to a 36. I am at 221 pounds now. SO CLOSE to the two-teens…

There was big, delicious Pizzeria Uno pepperoni pizza on my kitchen island tonight and I had absolutely no desire to have it.

I made salmon on cedar plank for dinner tonight. It was so good. Fresh pineapple for late snack. Very good. A guilty pleasure that I don’t have to feel too guilty about.

Trying hard to find positives tonight.


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Scattered Thoughts

I ate today at a restaurant that is part of a national chain of Italian eateries. It was the choice of my co-worker and I had no real objection. I was surprised that I was able to find something reasonable to eat and I enjoyed the pasta made with crushed tomatoes and basil very much. I had half a bread stick and a little bit of the salad. A nice lunch and I didn’t over eat. I have a weakness for things like fresh bread and bread sticks so keeping it to half a bread stick was an accomplishment for me and it really spoke to me of the commitment I have made to this Journey.

I suppose it should be self-evident shouldn’t it? I mean I have lost 80+ pounds in six months and I have improved my fitness tenfold (my seat of the pants estimate) and I have not even strayed from the course one time. So why am I still surprised when I find myself easily controlling my eating? History? Probably. I have so often in my life started off with good intentions and ended up eating every piece of bread in the basket. It is a good feeling to know that I can trust myself.

Of course the neat thing was being able to check the calories on what I was ordering by going to the restaurant web site on my iPhone…

Then logging the calories through the Loseit.com website with the app on my phone.

I was thinking about what I used to look like and how I look now. I was so large. I cannot even understand it. I look at pictures of me then and I am trying to understand how I was able to function. I was not as large as many to be sure and I know that most people are surprised when they are told how much I weighed, never really guessing I was that large. But it was such an uncomfortable existence. Looking at the pictures I am just amazed I am looking at me. That was not the image I had of myself and I am not sure what I think I look like now. I only know that I am not fat any more.

I have a 16 inch neck now. It was 19 inches when I started to lose the weight.. I had a 16 inch neck when I bought my good set of clothes for college (sports coat, good shirt and slacks for all of those semi-formal occasions my parent thought I would go to in college..)

Today was a vegetarian day, not vegan, I did have dairy in the form of milk in my coffee and cereal and a small amount of cheese on the pasta. No fish, no poultry… Squash and mixed veggie sauté for dinner. The aforementioned cereal and pasta for breakfast and lunch respectively. The slide in to becoming a vegetarian continues…

The summer cookout is in 4 weeks. The preparations are coming together. Soon we start to buy the meats as we can get them on sale. In to the freezer they go until a few days before the cookout. The day before I spend all day at the smoker making the ribs, the pork shoulder, the brisket, the smoked turkey, the smoked chicken… Then they are reheated in the oven the day of the cookout. All is delicious. I will be eating light that day. I will make the most of the veggie burgers, the smoked turkey… Oh, I spend the morning of the cookout making sandwich rolls… 5 dozen of them.

The cookout is one day where, no matter how much I eat, I lose weight. Standing a the grills all day…I will still be very careful with what I eat. I don’t want to slip even that one day. My joy comes from others enjoying the food.

Not sure I will get in a ride on Saturday. I may have to work. I will be on the road Sunday if at all possible. I am thinking a 45 mile ride, maybe a 50. We will see. Maybe SA will join me. We seem quite compatible as riders. Should be a good day in any case.

I got in my walking and climbing tonight. I mowed the lawn. That is a work out. I am teaching the younger one to mow the lawn but I am thinking that I like the walking… Still, it is important that he take on some of these chores..

Not this coming, but the next week I am planning to see the Doctor. I figure it is a good idea to have a checkup. I have not been to him since March. It should be a good reaction. I have gone to this doctor for more than 15 years. I am thinking he will be surprised and pleased.

Early to sleep for me tonight, long day ahead on Thursday.



Going it Alone

FITBIT Guiding me along

I thought (again) that I had lost my FITBIT. For those who are not familiar with the FITBIT or my dependence on it, the FITBIT is a little electronic gizmo that is sort of like a supercharged pedometer. I bout one in January and it has not left my side since. I sleep with it, I wear it all day, I ride with it, walk with it… You get the point. It tracks all my activities and calculates the calorie burn and the activity level. I am quite dependent on it and it has become something of a security blanket for me.

After coming home from work I realized that it was not attached to my pocket any more. A frantic search of the car and the home turned up nothing. I was certain that I had lost it in the parking lot of the grocery store I shopped in on the way home from work.

It was suggested that maybe I should go it alone. That I am ready to not have the security blanket. I demurred. I am not ready, in my mind anyway, to do without the FITBIT and put at risk the discipline it helps me maintain. I also log everything I eat in to a website so I can track the calories. And yes I do mean everything. If I eat a piece of sun-dried tomato, that goes in. If I have a 4 inch pretzel stick at work, that goes in. And I compare the calories in to the calories out every day to make certain that I am on track. It is this discipline, the regular entry of everything I eat and the recording of my activity level on the FITBIT, that has enabled me to get past the weight stagnation so quickly and maintain a nearly ½ pound a day weight loss. I am currently averaging 0.46 pounds per day.

I am not saying I would fail if I stopped using the FITBIT. I just don’t want to change the routine. I am comfortable with this routine. I am successful with this routine. I will stay with this routine.

Don’t mess with success.

As I said, I THOUGHT I had lost it. After realizing that the information on the FITBIT page included today’s activities I realized that the FITBIT had to have made it home with me (it sync’s wirelessly) and that meant it was in the house somewhere. On hands and knees we scoured the first floor of the house. I found it on the floor of the entry hall, under the baseboard. I must had dropped it carrying in the groceries… Crisis averted. Return to your regularly scheduled life…

But now I am thinking. When will I feel the confidence needed to go it alone? Right now I am comfortable relying on the FITBIT and the Loseit website to help me stay the course. Will I really want to do this a year from now, two?

What will I need to feel that I am ready to move to the next level, sustaining it without the assistance of the gizmo and the websites? Sounds like a new age techno band doesn’t it?

Right now I need the imposed discipline. Moving forward I would hope this will become habit and I will be able to self regulate effectively without the help of the this all.

I expect that time will come. I have thought I had it beaten before but gained the weight again. I am not taking any chance this time.

Riding on my own

My knee feels fine. I did some one-leg deep-knee bends on that injured gam and felt no pain at all. Not even a dull ache to remind me of how it felt Saturday. The bike SHOULD be ready on Friday. I can’t wait until Friday to exercise so I plan to walk the track tomorrow night. I will test the knee doing some bleacher climbs. If all goes well, I want to do a 30 mile ride on Saturday if I don’t have to work finishing up the fiscal year-end inventory. Sunday, if all goes well on Saturday, I plan to do the ride I had to quite last week. It is a matter of pride for me at this point. I do not like being defeated. I will probably ride alone. I don’t mind really but I do like a cycling partner. This ride I want to do alone. I want to take my time and conquer the hill I had to walk and I want to stop at the same deli and I want to attack the hills I limped up. It is a quest.

I need to do it.

I also find that when I ride alone I am able to find a comfortable pace more easily than when riding in a group. Not sure how to reconcile the two issues: wanting to ride with a group, being more comfortable not riding in a group

Stop Telling Me I Have Lost Enough Weight

In the last couple of weeks several people have told me that I have lost enough weight, that I am too skinny… I realize that it is all a matter of perception and all that but when I look in the mirror I still see the flab of being fat. I also know that at 222 pounds I am STILL medically overweight. I know that 210 is the right weight for me. This is based on conversation with my Doctor, research on-line, a recognition that I am not as muscular as I was when I last weighed 210 pounds (I was 18) and so at my age, 210 will be a good weight for me.

When I am told that I am already too skinny, it undermines, to a small degree anyway, my focus on the goal. I need to keep the focus. Simple as that. I appreciate your encouragement and compliments and I understand that it is probably the contrast between how I look in person and your mental image of me that causes the comments about being too skinny. Still, I know that I have a long way to go.I have 12-13 pounds to go. And then more after that as I work to get to my ultimate goal of 200 pounds. If you think I look skinny NOW…..

Thank you for all the kind words about being an inspiration. That I have inspired anyone to work towards their goals, to know that the goals can be reached… This means a great deal to me.