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


Thoughts on the last day of the year

2012 is about to end. For some of the readers of this blog it has already ended as I write this.

The view of Swan Lake at the Rockefeller Preserve I see my walks there as emblematic of the Journey I am on

The view of Swan Lake at the Rockefeller Preserve
I see my walks there as emblematic of the Journey I am on

What a year it has been for me. I have shed 100 plus pounds, gotten myself fit and trim, reinvented my daily diet, broken old destructive habits and found a new me under the old.

Not bad for 365 days.

Tonight our friend MR will join us and we will watch the bowl games and enjoy some snacks, some conversation, some laughter. At midnight we will say good-bye to 2012 and make wishes that 2013 will be a safe and happy year for all our friends and family.

I hope to see my west coast siblings this coming year. It has been too long. I have not seen my sister in at least three years. Far too long.

I have many plans for the coming year. Foremost among them is moving the family to Eastern Pennsylvania, about 95 miles from where we  live currently. Simplifying life is high on the list. A smaller home, easier to maintain, less time working on the house, more playing with the family.

I have about eight or nine planned bikes rides on my calendar and many weekend rides ahead. I hope we find a nice place to live within cycling distance of work. I would like to ride 2-3 days a week to work in the nicer weather.

I plan to maintain the weight loss. That is very high on the list. Pushing my fitness level is high on the list as well. Regaining the weight is not going to happen. I will not let it.

Hiking some of the Huts in New Hampshire is on the list. I have to figure out how to make that happen. Riding from High Point to Cape May is a goal as well. I plan to do it over three days, not the one day death march on wheels that some do. Still it will be quite an accomplishment to do it. 240 miles or so….

I am continuing my slow evolution to vegetarian. I don’t know if I will ever be 100% vegetarian. I will continue to move in that direction because I just feel better when I eat less meats. I will never be Vegan. I treasure eggs and dairy too much to give them up completely… If in December of 2011 you had told me I would be moving towards vegetarian I would have stared at you as if you were visiting from Mars… I guess I should never say never….

Foods I miss

I have stopped eating a pretty wide range of foods and I am asked often if I miss certain foods. Here is a list:

  • Meatloaf. I love Missus meatloaf and I do miss it. Missus makes it for the boys and I sit and stare at it…
  • Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches. My ultimate comfort food and the single food I have least control around. Once I have one I have a second and the next day and the next day…. Love it but must avoid….
  • Pizza. The food I have the second least amount of control around. I will eat a slice and then 5 more… I have had pizza once in the last year, with my good friend PB. We went for pizza at the Reservoir Tavern. Among the best you will have…. I was very good, two slices and no more but the temptation that day and for days after…. Best to avoid…
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie. I just love them with a tall cold glass of milk…

    That is about it…

Foods I really Don’t miss much at all

  • Red Meat. Thought I would but I don’t. I simply do not miss a burger or a steak. Meatloaf yes, the rest no.
  • Doughnuts. I thought this would be really difficult but I don’t miss them. I had half a doughnut a couple of weeks ago and it felt greasy in my mouth. Hated the texture and the taste. I was stunned (and pleased).
  • Cake and Pie. No desire…..
  • Diet Coke. I used to consume 4-6 cans a day and now I never drink any soda at all. Simply do not miss it.

Enjoying Life

Went to the local warehouse club today and while I was picking up some hot sauce a lady struck up conversation about how I must love hot sauces and that is probably why I am so lean… Unsolicited. Out of the blue. These moments are so wonderful. To lose the weight and look better and feel better and to know that others, strangers, see you as lean and fit… It feels great.

Life has become so much more enjoyable. I do not need to eat and eat and eat to have a good time. I can just live. Life is good. I am enjoying it.

That is the biggest change in 2012. I went from unhappy, uncomfortable, and embarrassed to comfortable, healthy, happy, proud to be me.

I hope 2013 brings you all comfort love and joy.



Starting the Second year

Now What?

For many people the weight loss is the goal. Once the target weight is met the diet goes, the exercise goes, the fitness goes and the weight starts to come back. The challenge is to make it a life style choice and not a diet. That is what I have been doing all along.

Today snow is in the forecast so I am not hiking as I had hoped to. I will go for a walk shortly. Walk to the high school, walk a few laps, do a few bleacher-sets and then walk back home. Yes, it is cold. Yes it is gray… This is the weather I faced when I started this Journey.

Much less drama in my life right now. I am at my goal weight, a little below 200 pounds, a little above 195. I am feeling good. The knee is OK, not great, it will never be great, but good. I am able to do things now that I couldn’t a year ago. I get anxious when the weather or my schedule prevents me from hiking or cycling or walking…

Life changes, people change. I can’t say I will never be fat again. I can tell you, I think I have developed the tools to not be fat again…

My mental image of myself is still that of a fat man. Not sure if that will ever change or if it should. If I continue to think of myself as fat I will continue to fight the battle… At least that is how I think about it right now.

I find that I still have so much to learn and to understand about how to do this. The losing part was easy: eat less, move more. The maintaining part is scary. It is uncharted territory. Look on-line: much advice about taking it off. Precious little about keeping it off.

Acorn Squash with roasted vegetables.The way I eat now

Acorn Squash with roasted vegetables.
The way I eat now

I know that I cannot go back to the way I used to eat and that will not be an issue. Commercials for fast-food restaurants make me ill. I am not going back to being Wendy’s best customer…

The most important thing for me is to avoid snacking and nibbling.

So now what? Keep doing what I am doing and react to any weight gain aggressively and to stay active…

Still have the Nightmares

A couple of days ago Missus (who has lost 74 pounds) told me she had a nightmare where she had gained all the weight back in one day and her clothes were so tight that she shouldn’t take them off.

I have similar nightmares. I dream that all of this, the Journey, the blog, the fitness, the weight loss, have all been part of a long dream and I awaken (in the dream) to find that not only have I not lost weight but I have in fact gotten heavier overnight.

Are these dream common for people who have lost a great deal of weight?

I think as long as I am having the nightmares I may as well use them as motivation and that is what I try to do. Everything for me is about staying focused, staying motivated. It is all about the goal of staying fit.

Maybe the nightmares are good things.

Dear Negative Jackass

I had just met this fellow. The new boyfriend of a friend. His girlfriend, a woman my age, the widow of a childhood friend, hadn’t seen me since I started the Journey, hadn’t seen me since the day I saw my reflection. She exclaimed how great I looked and then explained to her new fellow that I had lost a great deal of weight and the usual conversation followed. Then he said, very matter of fact, that I would gain it back. He had lost 25 pounds (he was not a heavy man) and he had gained it all back. Everyone does (he explained to me).

Where do these people come from and why do they think they need to tell me I will ultimately fail?

So here is a letter to all the Negative Jackasses:

Can I tell you I will not gain the weight back? No, but I can tell you that I will continue to work this plan and continue to work towards the goal because I am determined to prevent failure. I do not need your negativity. I do not need your cautionary tales.

What I need is your congratulations, your pat on the pack. Your understanding of just how hard this fight is would be nice. If you can offer nothing else I would appreciate the smile of understanding.

Your failure will not be mine any more than my success or failure can be yours. I embarked on my Journey for my reasons and I got where I am through my focus and my determination to make a better life for myself and my family and I hope, by some extension, my friends.

I have moved mountains to get here. I changed 50+ years of bad habits, attitudes, ideas, understandings. I had to overcome fears the likes of which I cannot help you understand because I do not understand them myself. One of those fears is the fear of failure.

I went hiking with friends when I knew that I would be in pain and exhausted and embarrassed because they would have to slow down and wait for me. I have stood at the bottom of the mountain and fought the panic rising in me and taken that step up the hill, and then the second and then the third…

I have sat in my home office and cried because my belly got in the way of riding my bike. I have pushed away plates of food and I have given up foods I love. I have fought impulses and closed the refrigerator when all I wanted in life at that moment was a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich. I have fought against failure all the way along. Negativity I can generate on my own. I have generated plenty during this Journey.

Don’t tell me I WILL fail or MAY fail. I know that. I have failed before. I have lost it and gained it and lost it and gained it again. Everyone who has ever lost weight knows the risk of failure, the likelihood of failure. We need, we want, are positives as we go along this Journey. If you can’t offer support please just shut up.

There, I feel better now.

Fear and Anxiety

Along with the nightmares, I do have the same fears and anxieties I have battled all along. I fear gaining weight and now that I am on my maintenance mode I am even more fearful. I am anxious about everything I eat and this is no way to live. I am working my way through it but it is difficult. How do you get past this?

I plan.

On the Croton Bridge

On the Croton Bridge

Here are my planned rides for the coming year (more to be added as they pop up)

  • Five-Boro Bike Tour (May 2013)
  • Tour of Montreal (June 2013)
  • Ride 4 Autism (June 2013)
  • Revolutionary Ramble (June 2013)
  • Ramapo Rally (August 2013, possibly just Volunteer)
  • North-Fork Century (August 2013)
  • Hub On Wheels (September 2013)
  • Ashford (CT) Metric Century (September 2013)

I hope there will be more but we will see. Come ride along….