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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This Short Week

Monday in NYC

Monday I went into what everyone around here refers to simply as “The City”. The purpose of the excursion was to meet up with a friend from a past working life. CP and her son were up from The South for a winter visit to New York to see the sights. WE met up at the Museum of Modern art and then wondered around looking for a place for lunch. We settled on “Hunan House” on West 56 and had good conversation and good food. It was a last minute plan that came together the night before thanks to Facebook. Always good when things like that happen.

Working the plan.

Tonight’s diner was Vegan “Mac and Cheese”.  No cheese, just delicious.  Made with pureed squash, green peas and such, it has no actual dairy in it and yet it does have a hint of cheese flavor to it and it definitely gets the texture right.  We enjoy it.  I am not a vegan, not even all the way vegetarian but we do make an effort to eat a primarily plant based diet.  Recipes like this make it easier to do so. mac and cheese

The eating is going well. I am back to the pattern that worked so well for so long. Light breakfast. Very light lunch (just enough to get me to the end of the work day) and a medium sized dinner. I follow that with a light snack at around 8:00 PM and then we star tall over in the morning. It works. I am not uncomfortable, I am not overfull and I lose the weight.

The hard part was the maintenance. I will have to work more diligently at that when I get back to my goal weight of 210 pounds. No doubt that I will get back there. Working the plan.

The thing I am having trouble with is the exercise but I am spending a great deal of time on my feet at work and today I walked 5 miles at work. Not bad. I do need to get in more walking and so I need to get on the treadmill.

My great excitement right now is that Christmas Day is expected to be warm by Northeast standards and that means I may be able to get in a short ride. Maybe I can stretch it out to 20 miles and see how the shoulder holds up. The roads should be less busy than even a typical Sunday. Could be a good day to ride even with the late afternoon forecast for rain…

Working the plan… Eat Right, Eat Less, Move More…

Christmas Eve: When and Where this all Began

If you have been reading this blog for a while you have read the story.

It was Christmas Eve 2011 and we were at the party at the home of dear friends, really more Aunt and Uncle than anything. One full wall of their kitchen is all French doors and in the blackness of the night, the doors acted as full length mirrors.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a fellow. HUGE guy. For a fleeting moment I thought to myself: look at the size of that guy… Oh. Wait. Reflection in the windows…

Yeah. Well. The huge guy was me.

Three days later I started this journey.

On Thursday we will be at that party again.

I am a much different person than I was in 2011.

Each year when I go back I feel as though I am returning in triumph. Strange right?

It feels good.



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A Lazy Sunday, a Lazy Weekend


I didn’t do much of anything yesterday. I went to breakfast with the Younger One and bummed around the bike shop for an hour. Otherwise I was sedentary….

It’s alright, I needed the rest after a particularly long hard week at work.

I relaxed, puttered around the house, chatted with Missus, watched some Bowl Games, and did a little work on the computer.

All good.

Sometimes one needs a day like that. I did. And I feel good about it.


veggie soupI am cooking today; a big pot of “Everything in the pot” veggie soup. I clean out the frozen and canned veggies, toss in what ever fresh veggies we have and make a huge pot of soup that will carry us for a couple of weeks.

It is low in calories, high in nutrition and, most importantly, delicious.

I was thinking of a hike today but decided another day of rest would be a good idea. I am taking a vacation day tomorrow and perhaps I will take a hike in the nearby county park.

The Shoulder

I had no pain while riding last weekend on my short ride and less stiffness than I anticipated afterwards. The next day was painful as I moved the shoulder in a way it didn’t want to be moved and it let me know that was a bad idea. Tuesday or Wednesday I hurt it again when I pushed off on the arm. Have to learn not to do those things. Just the shoulder’s way of saying I am not quite “there” yet. The good news though is that riding did not seem to really cause any issues.

With that in mind I ordered a new trainer for my bike. It replaces the trainer I bought 29 years ago. It was time… Because I sell trainers I had a pretty good idea what I wanted. I did a little extra research, confirmed my opinion with some really strong online reviews from various reputable sources and placed an order for the CyleOps Fluid2. I figured it was time to retire the old trainer.

I will set the trainer up in the den and get in some time in the saddle and start to build back some fitness. Riding a trainer can be as boring as watching grass die but it is a necessary evil if I am going to build back fitness and cycling leg strength.

Planning for the New Year (assuming I will be healthy)

It will be a challenge to get in all the riding I would like to do. There is no way to know if the early spring will have favorable weather, if my schedule will permit the weekend charity rides I love, if my shoulder will be healthy enough for me to ride on Saturday and Sunday…

The plan is to get back to 3000 miles. I last did that in 2013. In 2014 I rode about 2700 mile and in 2015 a mere 850 as the shoulder made riding hell.

I can do it. It will take dedication and longer rides and more frequent rides.

Maybe I can get to where I can lead rides at the shop again. That would be sweet.

I also hope to keep hiking and maybe do what I have not done in years: an overnight hike.

I am optimistic.



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The Company Holiday Lunch….

Temptation and giving in on my terms

Every year we hold a holiday lunch at the plant for all employees. Well, actually we hold four lunches, one for each of the three shifts and one for the remote location warehouse.

Be that as it may…

A local Portuguese-Spanish restaurant caters the meal. The food is fantastic. Paella with Spanish sausage and seafood, chicken with artichokes and lemon sauce, grilled vegetables, parsley potatoes, saffron rice, pasta in cream sauce, flan, etc. etc.

We could have easily feed twice as many people…

Knowing that today was the lunch, I gave a great deal of thought to the risks. Much of the food I wouldn’t eat because it is red meat or poultry. I will on occasion east seafood by the paella had red meat in it so I knew I would pass on that.

The plan was this: a super light breakfast.

For lunch, some of the grilled vegetables, a bit of rice, a taste of the pasta, some potato and one of the incredible Portuguese rolls.

A light dinner and evening snack.

And then: Hope it comes in on target for calories.

And the plan worked.

Well, I did have two of the rolls.

Dinner was sweet potato and cabbage soup. SO So So good.

And I come in at 400 calories below the target for today.

Planning the day works.


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Tales from the day….

Don’t ya love Insurance Crooks… I mean companies….

Before the insurance company would approve my shoulder surgery they required that I have six weeks of physical therapy, twice per week.

The PT didn’t work and so eventually the surgery was approved.

Then, of course, after the surgery I needed physical therapy.

Six weeks, twice per week.

Except the insurance wouldn’t pay for the full six weeks. PT is capped at 20 sessions per year.

Today I learned I am at 21 sessions.

No more PT.

I will have to continue to do the work on the shoulder on my own. I hope I don’t screw something up.

Had they not insisted on PT for a condition the Doctors told them would not be helped by PT I would still have sessions yet to go.

Great system we have.

 Eat Right, Eat Less, Move More.

This has been my mantra since I first started this journey. Still is. Today I had a vegan muffin for breakfast and two packages of tuna for lunch (still not all the way to vegetarian) and a reasonable dinner of whole wheat pasta with vegan pasta sauce.

Calories are right where I want them to be.

Healthy. Low in calories.

Eat Right, Eat Less

I also walked six miles at work today.

Move More.

I am down 8 pounds.

It is a start.

 I never said I wouldn’t fail. Not even once.

Ever since I started this blog, more as a diary than as a blog, I have always said the risk of failure would always be present. I always knew that I could fall back to old habits and bad practices and I could fall in to the trap of rationalizing the indulgences and little snacks and tastes that in the course of the day would add the calories that would equal weight gain.

Gaining back 50 pounds is not a good thing. Not getting back after it is worse.

I am not happy that I gained back so much of the weight. I am pretty upset with myself.

I am quite pleased that I haven’t forgotten how I got to 200 pounds. I am quite pleased that I am able to keep my focus as I get back at it.

It isn’t falling that equals failure. It is not getting back up that equals failure.

I got back up. Now lets see if I can stay on my feet.




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Exhaustion and Temptation and Being able to say no to Myself

I am tired today. Very tired.

I had a poor night of sleep and a stressful day. I sometimes wonder why I didn’t go after that job as a cannonball catcher….

I had more to do today than I could fit in the day and yet I somehow got most everything done.

In the past when exhausted and stressed I would feed the exhaustion and comfort the stress with more food.

Not a good recipe if you plan to return to a lean and fit state.

And then there were the temptations.

A coworker brought in doughnuts from a local bakery. The looked so good and I had only a vegan muffin (160 calories) for breakfast… Surely I could afford a doughnut….

No, I didn’t have one. Somehow, I am really not sure how, I was able to tell myself no and it stuck. I didn’t overrule myself. I did not have the doughnut.

Lunch rolled around and a vendor offered to take the buyer-planner for my plant and I out to lunch. I agreed to go. We went to a sushi buffet. I had one medium sized plate of food, some fruit and salad. That’s all.   I didn’t indulge. I didn’t overeat.

Light dinner tonight, a sweet potato and bean veggie burger on a half a pocket pita, some vegetable stir-fry. Stayed within my calorie limits and combined with the eight miles I walked at the plant today, I am in good shape for the day.

But it was hard.

And I am tired.


I Don’t do Endorsements

I don’t do endorsements. I have been asked on several occasions, particularly after this blog was picked as a “Freshly Pressed” blog. No money mind you (though I would have still said no) but free samples for a favorable mention in the blog: weight loss products (which I abhor), diet foods (yuck) and so forth. I simply don’t do endorsements.

With that said, I want you to know about a cookbook I bought (emphasis on I BOUGHT).

It is a vegan cookbook and the recipes are fantastic. Many of the meals we now eat are prepared with recipes from this cookbook. With nothing to gain from this, I just wanted to share it with you:

Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease.

Missus has fallen in love with the cookbook and has made close to a dozen of the recipes now. We have some favorites of course but none that we have not liked.

Here are pictures of three of the dishes Missus has made form the recipes in the book:  Pasta with Arugula, green beans and tomato, Hungry Man veggie burger, and White bean and Kale soup with Carrot and Pasta shells.

Just wanted to share it with you. If you are interested in a vegetarian or vegan diet this book is a good place to start.


New Bike

It has been hard to stay focused through the injury and the surgery and now the rehab. Work has caused me to miss a few of the PT sessions and the shoulder is really hurting tonight.


To give me inspiration and to help me focus on fixing the shoulder and getting back to a good level of fitness I decided to build a new bike. I bought a frame from All-City Cycles and I am selecting and buying the components to build it up to a bike. It was fun talking parts with the bike shop owner and the mechanics and other customer advisors. The parts are coming in now and soon I will have all the parts I need to build up the bike. Staying focused on this project and knowing what I need to do to be able to ride is keeping me motivated through the rehab and the weight-loss.


Rode my bike, took a hike.

I know I wrote about this but I wanted to write a little more.


On Saturday I was able to ride. It was a short ride, 11 miles, and it wasn’t a fast ride, average speed a little under 15 miles per hour, but it was a ride and the shoulder didn’t hurt during the ride. It was very stiff later than night. It hurts right now but I think that was from doing something stupid Sunday night. The point is that it is progress and I feel great about it. Soon I will put the bike on the trainer and I will start to pedal a few nights each week. This will help get me fit. I am getting more and more excited about spring. I am starting to believe that I can ride my bike again. Not sure if I can explain how concerning it has been for me, the prospect that the shoulder would not let me ride often or well. Or at all.


On Sunday, with tired legs, I went for a short hike with a friend and his father. We had steep climbs, steep descents, beautiful views and good company. I truly enjoy hiking. It is a different thing for me than riding and I enjoy the difference. The best part is I can do it without worrying much about the shoulder. Just have to get the legs in motion and take it as whatever pace the body would like that day.


With the unusually warm December we are enjoying, I am able to get out and hike a little more than I might otherwise.


It is all good right now. Cycling looks like it will be there for me, hiking is there for me, they both help ease the stresses of life and work.


It’s all good





It Wasn’t Hard Today


So back to work on a dreary Monday and I was able to stay focused on work while staying focused on The Plan with a very light breakfast and lunch and a medium dinner. I feel good.

The weight is starting to move. The body is starting to yell at me to feed it more.   To be expected from the spoiled child that is my body.

The secret is to stay focused on The Plan.

Seven pounds are gone. Forty-Three to go. Having succeeded in the past I know I will succeed now. Just really ticked at myself for allowing the weight to come back.

I walked six miles at the plant today. I spend most of the day on my feet. This helps of course. Avoiding the temptations of the Indian and Chinese Buffets near work is the hard part.

I am counting every calorie again. I am weighing myself every day again. This is what worked. I stopped. The weight came back. Lesson learned.

I will keep going at this because I know it is what I MUST do to get lean again and then stay there.

There is a devil on the shoulder: it is well meaning friends who tell you to allow “the occasional indulgence”. Said to often it sounds too tempting. Slowly the weight climbs back, the good practices are replaced by bad habits.

Back on the plan. The weight is moving and so am I. Eat Right, Eat Less, Move More.




And Today? A Hike

Yesterday was a success

I had a short ride yesterday. This was my first ride since September 13. It was just 11 miles. 14.9 miles per hour average. This is a very short and slow ride for me. I am good with that. The point is I was able to ride. The best news is that I had no pain in my shoulder and only minor stiffness after the ride.

All that said I am smart enough not to push it. Though the weather here is truly magnificent for mid-December, I know better than to try to ride two days in a row at this point. Risking damage to the shoulder is not a good plan so I am taking this victory and savoring it. The shoulder gets to rest until Tuesday at my next PT session.

The ride did point out just how far my fitness has fallen. Much work to do…

The Plan for Today

I sent a text to a friend asking if he was up for a hike and I am glad to say he is available and ready to go. Early afternoon we will meet at a local park and get in a few miles.

This is not my first hike since the surgery. Fact is I have gotten a couple in since the surgery. One was easy and the other one was technically difficult. Both went well.

I now feel I am ready to hike with MT and PGB again. Good and fit hikers. I wanted to make sure the shoulder would not be any sort of issue and I am now confident it will not hinder me hiking. Only my deteriorated fitness will hold us back but I can push on through that…

Not sure how many miles MT has planned.


12359861_10153295089061593_7166576622616161929_nBack to what Worked

I had to go back on my blog posts and my other writings to remind myself how I was able to take off the weight and keep it off for the better part of three years. I needed the reminder of what worked.

I am back on plan now. I am counting the calories, doing the daily weight checks, watching the activity level, counting the calories burned. I reset up my weight tracking spreadsheet. Have it always opened on the desktop, got the app working on the phone again, recording everything I eat.

It is what worked. I thought I could “live a normal life” but I have to recognize that simple fact that when I let down my guard, when I stopped doing the work, stopped watching every little things, started to allow for indulgences the weight started to climb again. I can easily imagine ballooning up to the 300+ pounds I was. That cannot happen. I cannot allow that. Back to what worked.

Much to do, much to undo.