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


The Black Dog Won

Not the Weekend I Wanted

This was the weekend of the Five-Boro Bike Tour.

I look forward to this ride for one reason: Riding with my friend NI.

The rest of it is OK.  Thirty-two thousand riders make for quite the spectacle.

The ride was Sunday.  I had a good time on Saturday.  I met up with NI and a friend of his and we traipsed around the city, had a good lunch, did the registration thing…

It was Sunday that The Black Dog took his bite and I couldn’t, or didn’t, fight back.

I awoke at 4:00 AM, got ready for the ride, loaded up the car and drove in the New York City.  By 5:30, I was approaching the area where I would meet NI.  Then it happened.  The stress?  A stomach bug?  I am not sure.  I pulled over to the curb on a side street in lower Manhattan.  There and then, I lost what little breakfast I had.

I contemplated this.  Thought about what it was all about.  What caused this?  I turned around, went home and went to sleep.  I didn’t do the ride.

I never really felt any better yesterday.  I thought I would ride in the afternoon if I did but I didn’t  I didn’t feel much better and I didn’t ride.  Riding might have been the best thing for me.  Doing the tour might have been the best thing for me.

I simply couldn’t fight The Black Dog.

I sat on the sofa speaking to no one, doing nothing.  I wanted to climb into a hole and pull the earth back over me.

I don’t like when this happens (no kidding, right?) and I am not sure why it does.  I wish I could understand what is happening in my head a little better.

If I did understand it better, then maybe this would have been the weekend I wanted.


I am not living the life I imagined I would have when I was a teen and well in to my twenties and even my early thirties.

I didn’t expect to need two jobs.  I didn’t expect not to be able to afford a vacation once a year or to have the difficulties I have.  This is not what I expected at all.  I really don’t like my career.  I am good at it.  I just don’t like it.  I don’t have time to do the things I like.  I work seven days a week.  I take off a weekend and I feel guilty.  I am taking money out of the family pot and I am leaving the shop shorthanded.  I don’t get to do the activities I so enjoy: hiking, cycling, spending time with my family and friends.

It is the guilt that cripples me.  If I work all seven days, I feel guilty for taking time away from the family.  If I don’t work the weekend, I feel guilt over not making the money.

This is not a way to live.  This is a way to die.

At this time there is little I can do to change all this.  I have to keep pushing.  I am not sure where this pushing will get me but I have to.  There is no other choice.

So I deal with the guilt.

My weight

I am the heaviest I have been since the middle of the summer of 2012.  I am up to 217.  This is not a good thing.  I have no excuses.  I have given in to the depression and the stress and I have over-eaten.  I have not pushed past the depression to get on the bike.  I have walked.  HUGE amounts of walking.  I have set a course in the factory and I make sure I walk it throughout the day.  It is great for fitness.  I am fit.  But I have out-eaten the calories I am burning and that is no one’s fault or responsibility but my own.

217-pounds. Pants are getting a little snug.  T-shirts are getting a little tight.

I have to get back to what I know works and I need to stay there.  I have indulged.  Cookies.  Buffet.  Not what, who or where I want to be.

It will not stand.

Getting it back together

I will take some days off work in the next couple of weeks. Take a few vacation days.  I will get on my bike and ride.  I will get out and hike.  PGB is sometimes available mid-week.  Perhaps he will be able to join me for a hike in Harriman.

If I don’t get my mind cleared and my heart right I will surely end up either insane or fat.  Insane I can accept.  Fat I cannot.

I understand the expression “a life lived in quiet desperation” now.  I didn’t always.  I do now.

Things have to change.  I need to make them change.  I need to get my heart and mind back on the same page, focused on the same goals, the same life plan.

I cannot accept what I am doing to myself with food, with stress, with life in general.

Getting it back together is must happen.  It has to start happening now.

Is life a constant battle for everyone? So many people I see seem to have it together.  I sometimes feel I am a single step away from the abyss.  Stepping back from that fall is the hardest thing to do when the Black Dog seems to be standing behind me baring teeth and growling.

Cycling, and time with friends, has been my escape from The Black Dog.  This weekend I didn’t fight hard enough.  I let the Black Dog win.

I have to find a way to fight harder. Or maybe I just need to be smarter than The Black Dog…



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A short post tonight

Bubble Head.

A short post tonight because I am tired. This concussion has taken and continues to take quite a bit out of me. I was told to expect this but we all like to think we are special and I wanted to think I would somehow NOT suffer the consequences to the degree I was told to expect.

concussionI am not special.

It is always a crushing blow when I realize that.

I worked at the shop yesterday and today and I HOPE I didn’t mess up the transaction much. I did sell a few bikes but I keep forgetting how many.

It was all in all a normal weekend if I felt anything close to normal.

The best I can describe it is a I feel like a bubble head. It feels like my head is light and unfocused. You should see just how badly I am typing. If not for spell check and the backspace key this would be utterly unreadable.

If I was sane I would have taken a few days off from both jobs, gotten a Doctor’s note … I am not sane.

The plusses: my balance is slowly returning. I went up and down a 6-foot step-ladder today without falling. This is a plus. I shouldn’t’ have done it but I was lucky in that the customer helped me as I took a bike down from the upper rack. Normally I would never pass the bike off to the customer. I did this time.. Then I realized just how dumb going up the ladder was.

Yesterday and today were passable cycling days and I did no cycling. I don’t trust my balance that much yet.

I am fine driving. I feel ok behind the wheel of the car and I am ok sitting here and typing but, as mentioned, my typing is worse than normal.

A week to ten days my doctor told me.

Today is the 8th day. If I don’t feel much better on Tuesday I will go back to the doctor.

Still Behaving

My weight is stable at 214 right now. Still being good, still behaving. I did have a couple of light days the last two so that is good. I expect it will start to move down again soon. I will be glad to see the low-end of 210 again.

I will be so glad to supplement the eating with exercise. Wish it would warm up

Snow predicted for Tuesday night.

I am off to sleep.




I Crashed HARD

In the words of my oldest brother, the one who played Rugby into his late forties despite being half the size and twice the age of the other players, “that good health stuff is going to kill you.”

I do try to stay active. Despite the snowy and cold winter to which we have been subjected, I have tried to keep moving. Not always have managed but I have tried.

I have not ridden a single foot outside on my bike this year. Too much snow, too narrow and icy roads….

I did, however, have an opportunity to get in some cross-country skiing.

The Monument in the distance from the Patio at the Lodge

The Monument in the distance from the Patio at the Lodge

High Point State Park is, as the name implies, the highest point in the state of New Jersey. A mere 1803 feet above sea-level, it does not impress people from New England and it is barely a foot hill to people from the west. It is ours and we love it. The state runs cross-country ski trails around the park when the snow fall will allow and this year the snow fall allows…

I asked the owner of the Bike shop if I could start and hour late on Sunday, he said yes and so early on Sunday morning I drove the 45 minutes from my home to High Point, paid my $18.00 for a trail pass (which is ridiculous…) and off I went.

I was the first person out on the trails! Fresh snow! I was having a blast! About 1 km from the lodge I had to cross an asphalt paved road. Now here is where we come to the part of the story where I say “I knew better” because I did. I do. I know and I knew better than to do what I did.

You see, though I have been cross-country skiing since 1990 (there was a ten-year period when I didn’t at all) I have never been “Good” at it. Truth be told I am pretty bad at it. I am clumsy, not at all smooth, never get in to that nice rhythm that “good” skiers get in to. I consider it a great day on the trails if I only fall 4 or 5 times. I know it will happen and so I have become quite good at falling. Despite this I really enjoy the skiing and I love the feel of the cold air and the special quiet of the woods after a snow fall.

So I came upon this asphalt paved road. Covered in snow. Sloping down across the level trail.

I knew better.

I knew I should take off my skis and walk across. It is exactly what I did when I skied the same trail last year.

I didn’t do that. I got stupid.

I tried to ski across the road.

If it had not been snow-covered I would have walked across because I would not have wanted to damage my skis on the road surface.

It was snow-covered.

I got stupid.

I tried to ski across.

Now to understand this you need to understand what I mentioned above. The trail was level. The road crossed it at 90 degrees and sloped down to the left.

If I had entered the road left ski first this probably would not have happened the way it did. I would have ended up sitting on my rump, questioning my sanity. I would have kicked the skis off, stood up, walked across the rest of the way and reminded myself to walk across on the way back. It would have been an amusing little story to tell on myself.

I entered right ski first.

There was ice under that snow.

The right ski slid left and before I could even think about the fact that I was falling I hit the road HARD. Damned HARD. Painfully hard.

I landed on my right side. My shoulder taking most of the impact. That drove my arm in to my ribs. My head snapped violently to the right and hit the road. I rolled on to my back and laid still for a moment, assessing the situation, hoping the stars would clear out of my eyes, trying to determine just how bad this fall was.

It was not good.

After a moment I figured out nothing was broken (as far as I could tell) and I could probably get up OK. I popped off the skis and I did get up just before the plow truck came through. Despite the ringing in my ears and the pain on my right side that started at my lower rib cage and continued unabated to the top of my right ear, I crossed the road and continued skiing. For about 200 yards. At that point the pain in my right side and the ringing in my head convinced me I should start back towards the lodge.

Here is the kicker: I was still having fun. I was hurting. I was hurting a great deal but I was enjoying being outside, skiing and feeling the cold and that special quiet after a new snow.

At some Point I noticed that I had broken my left ski pole and I was having trouble controlling the left ski due to problem with the binding. I actually skied past the lodge and went up a side trail when I finally gave in to the broken equipment and the aching body and I went home.

I showered and dressed and I drove to the bike shop to work, arriving on time for work despite it all.

All day long it sounded like I had my head in a bucket. I felt light-headed and I needed to sit down often. My neck was now tightening up and I was exhausted.

I went to work on Monday and after not sleeping well Sunday night I was really feeling it all over. I couldn’t turn my neck to the right, my shoulder wouldn’t let me lift my arm over my head and my head was still not feeling right.

Missus made an appointment with the Doctor for me and after the usual tests and such he declared that I had suffered a head concussion. He sent me for x-rays on my neck and told me to get a few days of bed rest and be prepared to not feel right for a week to ten days, go to the emergency room if I start to vomit or lose consciousness….



I rested all day yesterday. Really had no choice. I would not have been good behind the wheel of a car. I went to work today but came home early. Too light-headed and out of balance when I was standing. It is the tiredness that really bothers me. And the Nausea. Well Ok, most everything about this bothers me: neck pain, rib pain, arm pain, headache, dizziness… Crashing is not fun at all.

I have to work tomorrow and Friday. I am conducting the monthly safety training. The Topic is “Slips, Trips and Falls”. I couldn’t make this up.

I wish I could say I have learned some sort of lesson beyond “don’t try to cross a road on your skis”. I haven’t. At least none that comes to mind right now. I am only disappointed that I won’t be able to get out and ski again next weekend.

Maybe the lesson is to listen to the owner of the bike shop and take up snow shoeing.

The Journey and a Detour

I wish I could report that my weight has held steady and I have been keeping my eating in check as this cold winter has moved along. I can’t. I am over 215 pounds right now. I am not happy with myself at all. I can think of many excuses for this slip but they are just that, excuses. The simple fact is I have slipped. I have been eating more than I have been burning. I have been finding reasons to eat more than I have been and I am paying the price with a climb in my weight.

Today I got back to the plan: Light breakfast, light lunch, light afternoon snack (an orange today) and a good dinner. Later I will have a simple light snack of a slice of bread and a slice of cheese. This is what got me to 200 pounds. This is what will get me back there.

I will write daily again. Even if I think I have nothing to say. That focus of reporting on the Journey helped me get there. I slipped away from it and I have paid the price.

I suppose we all have slips and trips and falls.

The real problem isn’t that you slipped or tripped or fell on your Journey. The real problem is failing to get back up.

I am getting back up.


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Thoughts on a Cold Tuesday Night

This is getting to me

Winter is getting to me.

It feels like it is never ending. Bitter cold. Wind. Snow.

It seems like a bad dream…

I can’t get outside and enjoy. Time is a constraint. I can’t take the time to go cross country skiing. The weather won’t let me ride. I am not enjoying this one little bit

I am feeling the winter blues.

Vegetarian (almost)

Tonights dinner.  Fairly typical.  Vegan Chili, stir fried veggies, naan and chutney

Tonights dinner. Fairly typical. Vegan Chili, stir fried veggies, naan and chutney

I have been drifting this way for two years. It started with the decision in March 2012 to no longer eat red meats. Slowly I drifted away from eating poultry. There was no decision in this case. I just drifted away from it. I cannot remember the last time I had poultry….

Slowly vegetarian dishes replaced the fish dishes and now I have fish only once a week or so.

I have never been healthier. Blood pressure, cholesterol, hear rate… All my blood numbers are great.

So why not go all the way? The only dairy I consume is the milk in my coffee and on my cereal and cream cheese on my bagel. Once in a while I have some cheese on my veggie burger….

I could go all the way to vegetarian. Fact is it would not be hard for me to go vegan. I really don’t want to give up cream cheese and lox. Yep. That is it. The only reason I have not gone vegetarian is lox and the reason I don’t go vegan is lox and cream cheese.

Strange reasons to not do it but I am not ready to give up those two foods.

Maybe someday….

I am Still a fat man.

I have taken some heat for this but I will say it again anyway:

Being obese is like being an alcoholic.

Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.

Once a fat man, always a fat man.

I am not longer medically obese. Not at 210 pounds and 73 inches. Not medically. Not officially. Not on the insurance forms…

But I am inside. In the makeup of my body and my brain I am still Obese. My body, my brain still craves much more food than I eat. I am still prone to overeat if I don’t pay strict attention. I am still sorely tempted to eat that donut, have that pizza, eat 10 cookies…

I know very well how easily the weight comes back. Much faster than it comes off.

I can’t for a minute stop thinking about it. I sit down to a meal and I have to plan it out. Every bit that I order. Every morsel that I eat. I have to plan it.

If I don’t I gain weight. Simple as that.

With this winter, with the inter blues and the lack of exercise, and all the other reasons, excuses, explanations, causes….

I gained 8 pounds. It happened FAST.

I looked away for a moment and the moment was 8 pounds on me.

I drifted up slowly from 205 to 208 and suddenly I was looking at 216.

I am now back to 212.

It is going the right way again.

It happened so fast.

I have no excuses. I simply lost sight for a brief moment. I stopped thinking, focusing, watching…

Back at it.

My goal is to be 205 on my birthday in March.

This is never going to end, this Journey of mine.

I’m Ok with that.



Scared Myself

Weight Gain and Fear

I know, always have known, that my weight will vary. Swings up and down are normal and expected and I don’t have any issues when my weight goes up a pound or two and I don’t celebrate a pound or two down…

This is my greatest fear

This is my greatest fear

The last week or so I drifted. I am not sure why but I drifted from the plan. No excuses. I simply was overeating. I was still eating the same; no red meats, little fish, no poultry, plenty of vegetables. Just more than I had been eating.

Suddenly the weight jumped. I saw the wrong side of 209 pounds. I hit 210 even.

I cannot say I handled this very well from the emotional side of me. I could suddenly imagine myself fat again. I could suddenly see a path back to obesity. I could picture slipping back to the bad habits, the uncontrolled eating, the snacking, the large meals, and the fat me coming back to life.

My gut reaction was to scale the eating back to bare minimum, 1200 calories a day or less. I knew that was not the way to go about it. I had to stop and think about this. I had to understand why this was happening.

I looked at the things going on in my life.

My primary job has been stress filled the last two weeks at a level far greater than typical. Getting out of the office for a little bit at lunch time has been a welcomed respite from the stress. Of course that doesn’t mean I had to eat large lunches but that is what I was doing. I was slipping back to the habit of feeding the stress. Chinese buffet. Indian Buffet….

I had disciplined myself to eat lightly in the morning and then at dinner if I was going to eat a larger than typical lunch. I fell away from that discipline.

The weight was coming back. First two pounds and then three, soon four and there it was on the scale one morning: 210.0.

My chart showed the gain. The slow climb as the weight went up from 203 pounds to 210. I had a gain of seven pounds in a little more than two weeks.

Discipline. Deal with the stress. Understand the motivations. Get back to the plan.

I got back to the smart breakfast of 1 cup of fruit, one cup of cereal, half a cup of low-fat milk. I got back to the pouch f tuna for lunch and the light dinner of vegetables followed by a light snack. I got back to the 1500-1800 calories a day.

The weight is coming back down.

I was 204.0 this morning. Six pounds came back off. I am not going to allow myself to stray from the plan. The indulgences I allowed myself in recent weeks are not allowed. The cold weather is here. Cycling is winding down and I cannot count on that large a calorie burn to keep the weight in check. Walking, hiking and riding the rollers will not replace it.

I slipped. I allowed myself to stray from the plan that has worked so well for me.

This is who I am and who I will stay

This is who I am and who I will stay

I am back under 205.

Next I want to get under 200.

Most of all I want to stay on the plan. It got me where I want to be. Leaving it will risk me going where I don’t want to be. FAT. Not going there again.

Put a good scare in myself. I have done this a few times since I hit my goal weight. This was the worst.

The Truth is…

This will never be easy… Easier.. Perhaps. Never easy.

I have 50+ years of bad habits, genetic programming, and emotional scars that I have to overcome each and every day.

I win the fight most days and I have been winning the fight most days for 675 days and counting.

I know I will stumble and fall. The past week or so I did my share of stumbling and falling. Today was tough. A pressure filled day and one of my favorite foods in abundance at that office.

I was good. It was a fight. It is always a fight. That is the truth. It will always be a fight.

Today is Halloween. Candy everywhere. Tomorrow there will be candy at the office as people bring in the leftovers from the Trick-or-Treaters. It will be a fight.

I have a lunch appointment tomorrow. Selecting the right food to eat and the right amount will be a fight.

This is the truth. This is life.

I know this. I know that keeping the weight off is making good decisions one decision at a time day after day..

I had a decision to make and I did. I decided to reshape myself and to get fit. I have made that decision nearly every day since and I will fail from time to time.

The setbacks don’t really matter unless I fail to keep moving forward.

I stumbled. I fell. I got back up. I got back on the plan.

I may not win every battle. Fact is I know I will not will every battle. But I am winning the war because I get back up each time I fall

The truth is this is all that really matters.

Last Ride

I think Sunday may be the last shop ride for the year. The cold and the dark is starting to make the ride harder to do. I hope it continues but the attendance is dropping and it isn’t a shop ride if I am doing it alone….

It isn’t my call. I leave that decision to the Managers and Owners of the shop. I will keep showing up to ride until they tell me otherwise.

I will keep riding myself until the winter weather prevents it.

Then I will hike.

Winter will not be an excuse.

I love doing the Sunday rides. There is something affirming in these rides for me. There is a joy in doing what I could not do, what I was afraid to do.

I am proud of what I have accomplished. Able to ride hills I could not ride before. Able to ride distances I used to consider a long DRIVE.

I remind myself of these things when I slip. I remember what I couldn’t do. I remember who and what I was. I get it back in gear.

SO if the last ride is coming soon I at least know it is not my last ride. I have many more in me. I have more miles. I have more turns of the pedals. I have them because when I fall I get up.



Friday Thoughts

Once-a-year Pizza

If you are going to do it…

Do it right.

In Parsippany, right up close to Boonton, there is an Italian Restaurant: Bevacqua’s Reservoir Tavern.  It has been around forever and is well-known in the area for the pizza.  I first went there some 48 years ago or so.  This, of course, only proves that I am old…

I love the pizza.  Chewy thin crust, cooked in a very hot oven giving the crust a nice char.  Delicious sauces, good cheese, fresh toppings…  You get the picture?

I don’t often eat pizza.  At one time it was a nearly daily part of my menu but no longer.  Because I love it so much I have little control when eating it so I avoid it almost entirely.

Last night was an exception.  PGB and I met at The Reservoir to mark the first anniversary of being below my goal weight of 210 pounds.  We met there one year ago when I reached the goal.  As we did last year, we ordered a large pie with peppers and onions.

Oh my…  It was so good.

I had two slices.  PGB had two or three and took the remainder home.

I sat there running rationalizations through my head trying to convince myself that having a third slice would be perfectly OK.

I didn’t give in to the rationalizations.  I was good.  I had my two slices.  I loved them.  It points to the risks I still face and why I limit having foods like pizza.  I simply would not be able to continue to control how much of it I ate if I allowed pizza to be a part of my menu more frequently.  Once a year is about the right amount for me.  I enjoy the pizza as a special treat.  I treasure the two slices.  I don’t end up on the slippery slope that might lead me to weight gain…

I would be perfectly happy for this to be a once a year tradition for PGB and me. Meet at the ‘Tavern in mid-August each year and have a couple of slices of Pepper and Onion Pizza.  It will mean that I am still below that goal weight.

My Weight

I still get very concerned when I step on the scale and I am suddenly two or three pounds up.  I know that it is a false weight gain in most cases: water or whatever still in the system.  I will scale back on the calories a little, watch everything carefully and make sure that the weight moved back down over the next few days.

This week has been like that.  My weight jumped over 205 for a couple of days and has now come back down.  This morning was 201 even.  This is what weight does.  I am sure I am no different from anyone else in this regard I just obsess over it more than most people.

At 201 the morning after two slices of pizza I am very happy.  It means to me that I regulated my calories very well yesterday.  I was careful with breakfast, careful with lunch and I was careful with my evening snack to make up for the 800 or so calories in the two slices of pizza.

This weekend I will be very busy.  I will ride to the bike shop for work and then probably ride home.  I may leave the house extra early so I can get in a 30 mile ride before work.  Then I am working a rest area for the Ramapo Rally bike tour on Sunday.  That will be a full day of activity and I will burn nearly as many calories as I would if I was in the ride.

By Monday I expect to be less than 200 pounds.

lap dogs

My Lap Dogs

By Labor Day I plan to be around 195.

Then my new target will be to stay between 195 and 200.  I have proven to myself that I can stay between 200 and 205.  195-200 is the right place for me to be with my weight and that is the target now.

With all the weight loss and all I must still have a comfy lap:

Big Bike Plans

Labor Day weekend is approaching.  It had been my plan to ride High Point to Cape May over the course of three days but those plans ran aground.  Now the plan is to work on Saturday and Sunday of that weekend, getting in rides in the morning, and then do either 75 or 100 miles on Monday.  The next weekend is the NYC Century and I am signed up for that.  So I may end up doing my first two Century rides on consecutive weekends, six days apart.

I am trying to get to 3000 miles for the year.  I am at 1806 miles for the year right now.  It will be a challenge to get another 1200 miles on the bike before the cold weather changes me from cyclist to hiker.

I have to pick up the pace.  I have actually slacked off a little with less evening rides and fewer miles on the weekends.  Last weekend I put only 58 miles or so.  This is not going to get me to my goals.  If all goes well I will get in 20 miles tonight.

I have been taking more hilly routes recently because I am trying to build up my hill climbing ability.  It is pretty poor.  The more you do it the more you can do it so hills are where it is at for me.  The route I plan for tonight will take me on a two-mile climb.  It used to kick me hard.  Now I am able to do it smoothly but slowly.  If I keep working at it I will get to where I am doing it less slowly…  Who knows, maybe someday I will be good at it…

Seeing Me

As I dressed for work at 4:00 AM this morning and I selected my jeans and T-shirt (very casual Friday) I grabbed my medium blue GET FIT MIT T-shirt.  It is a shirt I got for taking part in a fitness “challenge” with a team my friend NI helped put together.  The idea here was to report your fitness activities on their website over the course of several weeks.  I was diligent about it and I am proud of the work I did as part of the challenge.  It was fun and motivating.

The shirt is a large and it is a trim cut.  That is to say it isn’t a baggy T in the very least.  I used to run from shirts like this.  I was like many fat people.  I wanted baggy clothes.  I liked baggy for two reasons: comfort and I was under the delusion that the baggy clothes hid the fact that underneath the clothes there was a fat man.

get fitNow I wear trim cut shirts.

I caught reflection in the mirror and I had to admit that there was a very different body in that reflection.

I can’t say how I look to others but I like the changes in me.

I am not a handsome fellow but I have never been ugly.  Now with the weight off, my nose looks huge.  I am balding.  Well, I am nearly bald.  I have the wrinkles of a 52-year-old man.  I am amazed that with the weight loss I am not jowly at all.

Still, I like who I see in the mirror.  I see a trim man.  I see a fit man.  I also see a man who has changed in ways the mirror can only hint at in the reflection.


I still track everything I eat.  I record every bit of food, to the best of my ability to capture it, on the Loseit.com website or in the Loseit App on my phone.  I do this so it is harder to lie to myself.  I am forced to stay in reality if I record everything.  If I don’t record it I fall in to the trap of “forgetting” foods I have eaten and this becomes added calories and that becomes FAT.

I am thinking about this because of a conversation with a woman in my office.  She is a really nice woman and we work well together.  In our conversation over lunch or a cup of coffee my weight loss and fitness have come up and she put forth the opinion that I am “lucky” to be “able” to lose weight.

She tells me she doesn’t eat all day and still can’t lose weight.

She eats all day long.

This morning she ate a coffee cake.  She is having a bagel with cream cheese right now.

She will likely have lunch.  She will tell you she only ever has a salad for lunch.  This week we had Chinese for lunch.  Yesterday she had KFC.

She will tell you she hardly eats a thing.

I don’t track her food, mind you.  This is just what I have casually observed.

She simply does not realize how much she eats.

This is not at all unusual.

Weight loss experts will tell you to keep a food diary.  The reason is exactly as I described above.  1) We don’t realize how much we consume.  2) We lie to ourselves.

For me it is about staying grounded in reality.

I am a terrible food liar.  In the old days I would count ten cookies at two.  I wasn’t doing it on purpose.  I was deluding myself.  I would eat half a pizza and later tell you I had two slices.  I had myself convinced that I only had two.  Presented with the evidence I would realize that I did have ten cookies, I did have four slices…  I can remember Missus buying a tub of chocolate chip cookies and the second day I would go looking for them only to be told that had eaten nearly all of them and the last four the boys had eaten.

So I continue to log it all in to Loseit.com and I continue to use my Fitbit so I can’t lie to myself about my activity level.  That is the other area where self-deception will come in to play if I am not careful.  I cannot tell myself that I have walked 6 miles and burned 2500 calories with the Fitbit recording every step and tell me otherwise…

It is about staying attached to reality.



Contemplations and a Weekend

My Roller Coaster

When I started this Journey in December 2011 I really had no clue what I was getting in to. I didn’t know that I would soon start a blog and would expose every raw nerve to anyone who happened across my writings.

I didn’t know that emotions would play such a large part in the Journey. I didn’t realize it was a Journey at all at the time.

I started the Journey because I was fat and it bothered me to be fat. I felt awful all the time. I was physically uncomfortable all the time. It was only after I started the work to take off the weight that I started to really explore the emotions and psychology of all this.

In this blog I have shared with everyone who cared to read about it most of the emotions I have experienced as I traveled along. Al of the anger, fear, anxiety, depression, joy, pleasure, rapture, exultation and so on of this trip has been laid out before you.

I would say up days have been more common than down days but it is close. For each time I was overjoyed by an accomplishment, there would be a nearly offsetting day of depression or anxiety.

This journey has been a rocky one to be sure. It has also been overwhelmingly worthwhile.

As I have battled all of these ups and downs I have also explored the reasons for them.

I am working on putting these thoughts in to a blog post and I will post it soon.

The Weekend Trip

What had started out as a family trip to my brother’s family home I for the Memorial Weekend Cookout his family hosts each year turned in to a Father-Son weekend for the Younger one and me. With Missus down with a respiratory infection,we decided that I would take the younger one and Missus and the older one and the two hounds would stay home. Instead of leaving at silly o’clock Saturday morning the younger and I left Friday afternoon, pulling in to the hotel at 10:00 PM.

At the Museum

At the Museum

Instead of spending Saturday morning in the car, the younger and I were able to enjoy a relaxed yet light breakfast and then went to the Air and Space museum at Dulles International before heading off to the cookout.

The Younger One in front of the Space Shuttle

The Younger One in front of the Space Shuttle

One of the most satisfying aspects of the weight loss and the fitness has been the ability to do what I could not contemplate before. When all was said and done and the Younger and I had explored every nook and cranny of the museum, my FITBIT said we had walked a little over three and a half miles. Then we went to the cookout where I essentially stood or walked the entire day from 1:30 until we headed back to the hotel at 9:30.

The Space Shuttle.  WE were the first visitors of the day to get to the Shuttle display and we were able to take pictures without people in the way!

The Space Shuttle. WE were the first visitors of the day to get to the Shuttle display and we were able to take pictures without people in the way!

The Younger One at the Museum

The Younger One at the Museum

To do this two years ago was simply not in the range of my abilities. I would not have been able to walk three plus miles and then stand and walk and climb stairs and chat and walk and stand and climb stairs… Barely sitting at all the entire day. Could not have done it. I would have been exhausted and in great discomfort.

It was easy yesterday.

I really enjoyed the museum. I loved the cookout. Spending the weekend with The Younger One? PRICELESS!

The Cookout

Controlling my eating at the cookout was a failure. I over-ate. By a bunch. I had brownies. I had a cupcake. I had a cookie. I had several bowls of vegetarian chili. I had two chicken skewers. I had some salads, many strawberries, etc. I did NOT have red meat or diet soda or regular soda or alcohol or a myriad of other not so good for me foods but what I ate I ate much of.

I think I had about 3500 calories yesterday and I am not really happy with my lack of discipline. I decided to allow myself the day of excess and to not beat myself up about it but today I beat myself up pretty good….

I did get up early this morning and do a mile + on the treadmill at the hotel and I have kept today’s calorie count below 2000. I did enjoy yesterday but giving in to temptation and eating to excess still frightens me.

Much of my conversation yesterday had to do with how much weight I have lost and how I did it. Some of the people there have not seen me in two years, most have not seen me in a year. Several did not recognize me until my Brother introduced me. One refused to believe I could have lost that much weight (we had never met before) until I showed him the before picture.

I enjoy the conversations. I truly do. Who does not like to hear the kudos and huzzahs? Still I am starting to feel like a one trick pony. It is as if I have nothing else to say… I have to work on this.

I guess it is natural for people to be curious about how and why. The how has always been easier for me to explain than the why. Silly as that sounds. The why is rather complicated. On the surface of course it is because being 100+ pounds over weight is unhealthy and uncomfortable and I hated it. But that is not what people are asking when they ask why. They are asking why did it become so important to you that you have been able to lose it and keep it off when so many fail in their efforts to lose it and most who do lose it can’t keep it off. What happened? Why is it working for you.

That is the harder question to answer because I don’t really know.

The cookout was a little smaller this year I think as the weather was cooler than normal for this time of year. It was still wonderful. Seeing my Nephews and my niece and their friends and the friends of my brother and his wife is always fun for me. Being so comfortable in the skin I am in made it much more fun.

My cousin the cardiologist was at the part y this year. He has not seen me in person in a couple of years though he has seen the pictures. His JOY at seeing the new lean me was palpable. When a cardiologist sings your praise it feels good.

So a weekend with The Younger One, a wonderful cookout, praise from friends and family and forgiving myself for over indulgence and getting right back on plan the next day and Sunday breakfast with my brothers family. A really wonderful weekend