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

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If it was Easy….

This thing with the knee is just killing me. After walking on Saturday and taking an easy stroll with Missus last night I spent today in pain. Unfortunately I had to work and that entails walking around on a concrete floor and that simply did not help matters.

I am happy to report that my weight has dropped below 215 pounds. Not much below, I am at 214.8 just before dinner tonight, but I am willing to take it. I am just shy of 91 pounds down.

Still dealing with naysayers. Even just 4+ pounds from my goal I am listening to people tell me that 210 was too aggressive a goal…


Well meaning.

Have a little faith folks….

I have to say. I am tired. The stress from the knee pain and the lack of really comfortable sleep is wearing me out. To find comfort I am finding myself fighting worse than typical urges to eat. There was a delicious looking apple cake at work and I was sorely tempted. I didn’t have any but it looked so good…

Lunch today was unusually light. I had just one package of tuna, 70 calories, instead of my typical two. I just wasn’t hungry but I knew I should have something..

I am really pushing now to get to the goal weight. I can see it, it is so close. I want to get there before the middle of August. Then the task is to keep it there. I am beginning to understand the dynamics of that so I am growing in my confidence that I can maintain the weight at the goal.

I was again giving some thought to how I would observe reaching the weight loss goal.

It is hard not to think about it when nearly everyone asks me that question.

Mostly they want to know what food I am going to go nuts with once I hit the goal. I find that an odd question. Sort of like asking an alcoholic what liquor he will drink when he hits a year sober.

I may have a special dinner. Maybe some shrimp cooked on the grill, a little rice and vegetables on the side. I may allow myself a 2000 calorie day. I won’t go hog-wild. I won’t have cake, or pie. Maybe I will defrost one of the Linzer Torte cookies….

See, here is the thing… This is how I eat now. I don’t splurge, indulge, overeat, gorge…. I eat. I eat well. I eat fish and vegetables and sometimes poultry and I have fruit and I eat the occasional bagel or English muffin… I love the way I eat. I don’t feel cheated, denied, deprived… I am not eating a monastic diet.

I indulged. For 50 years I indulged. For 50 years I was the one who angled to get the last slice, the last cup, the last of everything. If there were a few slices of London Broil left, no need to wrap them. I would eat them. A slice of cake left? I was the one that ate it. I was the one that cleaned the plate and went looking for more. Bagel day? I had two maybe three… Every off-site meeting at work had my mind thinking about where we would eat lunch every customer visit had me thinking about the lunch we would bring in. Dinner with friends? I was the one that knocked off the last of the appetizers…

I indulged and I got to be 310 pounds. I don’t need to indulge now. I need to not indulge.

I will be ecstatic when I get to my goal weight. Certainly 7 or 8 months is not a very long time to lose 95 or 96 pounds. It is fast all things considered. It feels like it has been a long time. To reach the goal…. To get to my target weight and to do it the way I have… This is a wonderful feeling and I know that I will get emotional when I hit the weight.

I know only what this Journey has been like for me. I do not know what others faced with a similar Journey might feel. Everyone is faced with their own demons, their own challenges. I do think that some things translate across.

  • I have not accepted any excuses from myself or adopted the excuses others have offered me for use.
  • I do this every day. I do not take days off because one becomes two and two becomes three and soon you find yourself restarting at the beginning…
  • I exercise. I make sure of it.
  • I do not blame anyone or anything for my weight that I do not see when I am alone looking in the mirror.
  • I had to get my mind right at the same time I got my weight and fitness right or I would be back where I started from in no time at all.

Just my thoughts on the subject.



Notes and Thoughts and a Gentle Request.


Some notes from today

I went for a walk in the woods today. I went to the Rockefeller Preserve in New Your State and walked some of the gentler trails, the smallest hills, the least challenging terrain, in a park known for its easy trails.

I walked maybe three, maybe three and half miles at a very relaxed pace to spare my knee. It went well but at the end of the walk the knee was hurting. It feels better now. It will be fine moving forward. It is disappointing that even easy hills cause my knee pain.

August 6th I find out exactly what the Doctor thinks is best.. I wish it would get here….

I had a really nice dinner tonight. My nephew is a chef and he made some fish soup for Missus and me. My brother brought it up with him last week (frozen) and it has been in our freezer waiting for us. Tonight we made it. EXCELLENT. Very proud of my nephew.

The rest of the meal was a quarter of a Kabocha squash stuffed with sun-dried tomato and yellow squash roasted in the oven, roasted beets (first time for me, WOW are they GOOD), and corn on the cob. A very good and filling meal and it comes in at 700 calories… Very pleased, very full.

So walking and careful eating and I am continuing to make progress on the fitness and the weight loss. So, so, so close to my goal weight…

An example of how my approach and attitude towards food has changed: my Mother-In-Law is a wonderful lady and a very good baker. She makes a cookie called a Linzer Torte that is simply WONDERFUL and are my favorite cookie (in a tie with chocolate chip cookies), Every year for my cookout she brings a tin of orange cookies (Missus favorite) and a tub of Linzer Tortes. I hide the Linzer Tortes because I cherish them and I selfishly do not want to share.

In past years that tub of cookies would last a week. Each evening I would sit down with a tall glass of milk and a plate full of cookies….

This year I have had two cookies.

That is it.

Just two.

The tub remains mostly full.

Missus has had one.

Hard to fathom but my boys don’t like them. They LOVE the orange cookies…

I only remembered they were there because I opened the cabinet above the stove to get a measuring cup and had to move the tub of cookies…

As I said…. My approach to food has changed.

A few Thoughts for a Friend

I met CR my freshmen year of college, probably the first day or two at one of the incoming freshmen events on campus or at the home of the Theater Department head. I can’t tell you exactly where, or exactly when. Those first few days where a whirlwind. I can tell you my impression. I was impressed with her intelligence, her wit and her remarkable smile, and I was immediately intimidated.

A few weeks later, we were cast in the same show. I played Noah and CR played one of my daughters-in-law, Leah. As I came to know CR, I realized she was not intimidating, she was fantastic. Funny, caring, witty, talented, smart as all hell and most of all, she was a friend.

As college went on we stayed friendly. We worked on a couple of more shows together I think and we would see each other in class and on campus and it was always friendly. My life was spinning out of control at the time so I really didn’t get close to many people.

After college as I got my life in order and I came out of whatever silly fog I was in, I would think about some people from school and who I might enjoy getting back in touch with. CR was nearly always in my mind at those times.

I had no idea where she was, if she would even remember me…

Then along came Facebook.

There she was. There was CR. I friended and she accepted and we chatted on-line and then on a trip to New England that brought she and her wonderful husband, MOF, through my state, we met up and it was as though it had been only yesterday that we had last seen each other. Her voice was exactly as my mind remembered it, her smile unchanged.

Speaking for me, it was instant lifelong friendship, slightly delayed…

We have hosted CR and MOF for weekends at our home, The Younger One and I have visited with them in their home state and we have had many long conversations on the phone and on-line. She is very much my dear friend.

Right now CR is facing a challenge. She will have her wonderful husband by her side. She will have the love of her family and her friends. She will face this challenge and she will defeat her foe. This I know for fact. This is a very strong and determined lady.

Whatever your leanings, whether you are religious, spiritual, agnostic, atheist, if you wouldn’t mind giving a little positive thought to my friend today, I would appreciate it.

Instant lifelong friendships are rare. I would like this one to last a very long time.



A Little of This and That

To steal from Start Wars…..

“Try not. Do or do not!! There is no try”

I didn’t start this Journey of mine to try to lose weight. I started the Journey to lose weight. PERIOD.

By any objective measure I have, thus far at least, succeeded.

I was thinking about this today because a co-worker told me she is going to try to lose weight. I started to ponder the ramifications of that particular sentence.

Try to lose weight.

I never thought of it as trying to lose weight. Not once I had started what I call my Journey.

Try to lose weight.

I am thinking the when we say “try” we are failing to really set a goal. To me that is how it feels. When I was still quite fat, before I started on the Journey, I would talk about trying to lose weight. “I need to try to lose weight”. That was a common subtext to my conversations about my weight a year ago or more. Trying to lose weight.

Once I set the goal, when I awoke on December 27th and told Missus that I was starting right then and I wanted to lose 70 pounds, I no longer thought of it as trying. I was set on my path and I was working to accomplish the task. There was no more TRY, now it was DO.

Don’t try. DO. That is the mind-set I have dedicated myself to.

The Games the Mind Plays

I almost fell in to an old trap today. Overeat on “healthy foods”. Went for sushi for lunch with a coworker from another plant. A nice young fellow (bemoaning turning 30) who comes to my plant a couple of times a year and so we head out for sushi when he visits.

I know that sushi is one of the better restaurant foods for me to eat but as with even good and healthy foods, one can go overboard and over eat and…. I nearly did but I reminded myself of the goal and the plan and the Journey and I restricted myself to a reasonable plate of sushi and finished with a salad. 800 calories. A very big lunch for me but I was able to adjust at dinner and I came in at under 2000 calories for the day. Sitting there I found myself wrestling with the mind. The mind telling me go get more food while I knew I was sated and comfortable and certainly not in need of more food. It came down to need versus want. I wanted more food. I certainly didn’t need it. I won. Today. I expect I will fight that battle quite a bit in the years to come.

It is very important that I beat the mind at its games.

A love of the spicy

I love spicy food. Hot and spicy, thick with Chilies… Sigh… Heaven for me.

I have some friends that know me more as “Spice” than as Mark….

After searching on the internet for cycling clothing with a Chili theme, I found a fellow that would make me a custom cycling cap in a hot pepper themed cloth. The cap came today.

The New Cap, side view!
On the other side they embroidered my nickname, Spice

I just wanted to share it with you.

I can’t wait for the knee to get fixed and heal so I can ride again and pop on my new Chili Cap at the first deli stop!

Got to get in the Walking.

Thunderstorms kept me from walking tonight. Very disappointed in that. I have to walk to replace the calorie burn I was getting from cycling. I walked two miles yesterday before the knee began to signal a desire to rest. I had walked several miles at work during the day on concrete floors so it was not surprising that the knee was in pain.

Today was mostly a desk-bound day.

I will have to make up for the lack of walking this weekend. I think maybe 5 miles on each day this weekend…

Yes, I really do plan most everything…

Looking forward to a quiet weekend with nothing much today.

Well, a long day awaits me tomorrow….