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

Where Have I Been


I have been around I promise. I haven’t fallen off the path or abandoned the Journey. I have been working long hours and far from home and I just have had little time to sit down and write. Not happy about that. Sharing my Journey is an important part of maintaining the progress on the Journey and so, not writing is a bad thing. Not to mention that I really enjoy writing and I get a certain boost from the venting of the fear and trials of this trip I am on.

I have been living in a hotel room for most of the past three weeks. I have gained 2 pounds in that time and now I have taken one of them off. Tomorrow, if the weather is as nice as I have heard it will be, I will jump on the bike and go for what may be the last ride of the year. As we move further in to November the opportunities dwindle as the days grow shorter and colder. Mid-day on Sunday may be it.

I am having a hard time eating right while living in a hotel… I know that I could get one of those rooms with a small cook top and fridge sort of thing but I really hate cooking on a strange stove without my pots and pans and the spices and so forth that I need. I am not about to fully stock and un-stock a kitchen each week….

So it is restaurants…. I try to order carefully and I often leave food on the plate. I am eating breakfast in the hotel room. Microwave breakfast sandwiches at 290 calories each and a yoghurt at 140 calories makes for a good breakfast. I am still skipping lunch but I have to stop snacking on the trail mix bars… They add up no matter how natural and nutritious they might be.

Self portrait in the fitness room

I have been doing a fair job of getting to the fitness room most nights but last week was tough. I worked out Monday and Tuesday but on Wednesday I worked until 11:45 PM and on Thursday I had dinner with an old friend. Last night I drove back home. Today I drove back with the family to our new city to look at homes and now… well, back home… Long day but not a lick of work on fitness in the day.

Hard to focus the camera on the elliptical

So I am giving the bike a ride tomorrow if the weather will favor me with some sunshine and minimal wind. I now have a healthy knee and my fitness level is good. I am ready for a 30 mile ride… I will give it my best shot.

Next week will be a good week at work I think. I am getting up to speed now on all that I am expected to do and I am feeling good about it all. I am moving to a new hotel because of issues with room condition at the old hotel. The new one seems to have a better fitness center so I am excited about that. I can also walk to the plant from the new hotel and I may do that as a means of getting a little more exercise in.

Here is something I think about all the time now: Just how good it feels to no longer be fat. I feel so good about this. Under 200 pounds and wearing a 34 inch waist. A medium-Tall shirt. Sitting comfortably in almost any chair..

I am not going to give up this feeling. Staying on the Journey is not voluntary. It is mandatory. Staying lean is everything. It is required of me. There is no if, there is no maybe, there is no relaxing, quitting, suspending or delaying. I am continuing to fight the fight and I will stay under 200 pounds. I am no longer working to lose weight. I am now working to stay fit and trim. I am working to stay in the healthy range and fit. I will stay at or below a 34 waist. I will stay at a medium-tall shirt size. I will because I will not gain the weight.

I may struggle to find the right foods to eat while in the hotel and away from my family but I will not eat WRONG. That is to say I will not over eat, eat the foods I know I need to avoid. I am not going to the fast food death traps. I am not chowing down on pizza. I am not gorging on prime rib or rashers of bacon…

It is just a bit extra work to make sure I watch the calories and eat the well-rounded meals.

The work on the fitness is the most important thing for me now. I am not yet as fit as I need to be. I took a test on a “calibrated testing treadmill thing” and found that I am above average fitness for a man of my age. Considering the woeful condition of most men my age this feels like damning with faint praise. The test itself was sort of neat. The treadmill asked a series of questions: Age, weight, gender. Then it put you through a preprogrammed series on the treadmill. Faster, slower, incline, flat… All the while taking the pulse. After 20 minutes it slowed to a walking pace and after 10 more minutes the screen showed the fitness level based on the information put in at the start. As mentioned: I was above normal for fitness..

I don’t take the elevator at the hotel. Only when I check in and when I check out. I get a room on the third or higher floor and I walk up and I walk down. A cheap and easy way to get in a small workout…

I am determined to reach another level of fitness. I don’t know what is next on the scale… I plan to find out.

My latest obsession: taking my blood pressure every day. I am determined to get off the BP meds. Tracking my BP will go a long way towards convincing my doctor that I am fit enough to do this. He has reduced them by half so far. BP is staying at 115/70 on average so that is a very good sign…

10 months ago I was so proud of myself for walking a mile and a quarter…

I still sometimes think I am fat and out of shape.

I wonder if my brother remembers going to a Yankee playoff game with me in 2001. We had seats behind home plate on the third deck about three rows from the top. You would be hard pressed to sit higher above the field of play or have more steps to climb to get to your seats than we had that night. I was winded and exhausted just getting to those seats and my heart was pounding so hard that I kept checking my pulse. That was 11 years ago.

I sometimes forget I am no longer that person. I will get to the bottom of a long set of stairs and take a deep breath and plunge ahead. I am shocked when about half way up I recognize that I am not at all tired…

I hope I grow accustomed to the new reality while never forgetting how real the past was…

For me this Journey is changing but the goal has not. I am working now to stay below 200 pounds while continuing to improve the fitness.

I have new landmarks I am working towards.

  • I will run a 5-K in the spring.
  • I will run a 10-K by the fall
  • I will ride a Century by summer
  • I will do High Point-Cape May by the fall.

The challenges are a motivator: doing that which a year ago I would have told you I would never be able to do….

Doing that which a year ago other told me I would never be able to do.

I will be 195 on December 27th. That is a target I am aiming at. I am between 195 and 202 steadily now and I will push to get to 195 for that day. For the first anniversary of the day I decided I had reached my limit. The day I decided that being fat and out of shape was no longer acceptable. The day I decided that I wanted my life to change and to improve. The day I said enough.

I am still on my Journey. Still on this path. I am still here. I am still learning, growing while shrinking, discovering more each day…


6 thoughts on “Where Have I Been

  1. Glad you’re back. I can only imagine how difficult it is to live out of a hotel room, start a new job, be away from your family and try to find a new place to live. Taking all these factors into consideration, not to mention healing from knee surgery you’re doing really well.

  2. For an easy in-room meal or snack, you might like to try PB2, its a peanut powder (with only three ingredients, peanuts, sugar, salt and 45 calories for 2 TBSP). Its dried and powdered peanuts with all of the flavor and none of the fat. You just mix 2 TBSP of powder with 1 TBSP of water and it taste like the real thing (creamy not crunchy); it’s about $5 for a jar that contains 15 servings, like a real jar of peanut butter. Easy to make a quick, lowfat PBJ on the go. Whole Foods is supposed to sell it, and you can also buy it online at Vitacost.com…yummy!

  3. Nice landmarks. Achievable yet challenging.

    You look so different now to when I first starting following your blog. It’s inspiring.

    My partner has been instructed by her doctor to lose 20kg (45lbs) in the next 12 months. She started a month ago and has lost 2kg. She’s doing it like you – sensibly. She has a nutritionist and is doing walking for exercise. It’s going to be an interesting journey and at times it will be difficult for us both … but knowing others have been there before is a good inspiration.

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