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


1 Comment

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.

Peace


1 Comment

I’m Still Standing


Ride For Autism

At the Rest Area.

At the Rest Area.

This past Saturday was the long discussed Ride for Autism. After worrying about the weather and the dealing with drenching rains on Friday, Saturday dawned overcast but dry. The road dried quickly and by the start of the ride at 8:00 AM the roads were in good shape and ready for the riders.

Though I had planned on riding 62 miles, we cut it short to 55 when threatening weather convinced my riding companion and I that discretion was the better part of…. Well, staying dry. As it turned out, the threatening sky gave up only a few drops of rain.

It was a fun ride and the company was great. There were many enthusiastic riders, all doing their part to raise money for Autism research.

A personal note: thank you to all who donated to the cause. I am truly grateful.

The nice thing for was that come Sunday morning I was in great shape and felt no effects from the ride.

On the left: Last year Ride for Autism On the right: This years Ride for Autism.  Even 30 pounds make quite a difference.

On the left: Last year Ride for Autism
On the right: This years Ride for Autism. Even 30 pounds make quite a difference.

I am now certain that I am ready for my first century ride and I am looking for the right opportunity.

For no Particular Reason: A True Story from my Youth

I was seven years old.

My brothers and I went down to the river that winds its way through town. I was not then (nor am I now) a strong swimmer. We all took turns swinging from a vine out over the water, letting go and splashing down in to the water. Great fun on a summer day.

My brothers, bigger and stronger than I was, were able to swing out further and higher and were able to make bigger splashes. Being the competitive little fellow I was I gave it my all and with a great running leap and grab I swung out over the river just as high and far as my brothers had. I made a great splash and started to swim back to shore. It was then that the current decided to take a hold of me and pull me along down the river. I was not a strong enough swimmer to overcome the pull of the river as my brothers could. The river was taking me and I began to panic. I can still remember my oldest brother running along the shore trying to figure out how to get to me as the river pulled me further away and out towards the middle.

I remember thinking that I was going to die. I was 7 and I was sure that death had me. And I was frightened.

And then, very suddenly, strong arms lifted me out of the water. I remember my arm being grabbed and I remember flying out of the water and landing in a canoe in the arms of a man with a beard. He and his canoe mate had seen me, paddled over and saved my life. A simple act with profound ramification for my family, for people I would not meet for decades, for my children yet to be…

The canoeists paddled me over to the shore and I climbed out. Wobbly knees and still frightened and confused I thanked him and my brothers thanked him. He scolded us for playing in the river that way.

We walked on home with my brothers eliciting solemn oaths from me to NEVER tell our parents. Too late. The canoeists beached their canoe and followed us by car up the hill to our home and told my mother what had happened. I remember my mother thanking him and his friend with hugs and teary eyes.

I thought my mother would finish what the river started. I was wrong. She hugged me tightly, more tightly than I can ever remember being hugged before and rarely since. Of course she also grounded me for a week…

I don’t know The canoeists name. Never did know it. If my mother knew it she took the name with her when she passed away

I would like to thank him. I hope he has told the story and received approving comments and pats on the back from those listening.

Climbing Out

This Journey of mine…

This has all been painful. Holding myself out to anyone who happens across this blog. Exposing my scars, my bleeding wounds. The traumas of 52 years of living a hairbreadth away from spinning wildly out of control. Ripping open barely healed scar tissue.

I have pushed myself in ways I could not have imagined two years ago. I have sat at this computer and dug deeply to find the reasons I became fat, lazy and detached. I have sat here and tried to understand what happened to the 17-year old with boundless energy and untapped potential. I looked hard to find the remnants of that boy in the man starting the journey.

I started in a deep depression. I consciously and aggressively fought the depression. I forced myself out of the hole. I forced myself, one step at a time, literally and figuratively, to climb the mountain.

I got up there. Battered, exhausted and in pain but I got there. I climbed the hills with PGB and MT and I climbed my emotional mountains each and every day. I tried to keep a positive outlook and I tried to write about this journey in an uplifting way to keep my spirits up.

This has been a fight. A fight I was never quit sure I would win or even be around for at the end.

When I was 35, one week before my 36th birthday, long before I reached my heaviest, I was lying in the hospital with an out of control heart beat. My blood pressure was sky rocketing. My heart was throwing in extra beats and I the doctors were certain they would find blockages when they rushed me in for cardiac catheterization. Nothing. Wide open arteries. Lose weight, get fit, take these pills and start taking care of yourself.

Fourteen years later….

So I started the Journey a little late.

When I started it I went all in. I stripped naked to the world and said HERE IT IS.

Pain.

Fear

It all factored in. I wanted to have the wrong foods. I wanted to have a PB&J. I wanted to throw in the towel more than a few times. I wanted to go back to my comfort zone. As much as I hated being fat I know HOW to be fat. I was me. It was who I was. I could hide. I could be that person. I was easy. “no, would love to but I am so out of shape…” “Yes I will have that extra helping. See how easy it is to have me as a guest/ I will eat anything and everything and in large quantities.”

Do you understand? Being fat was physically uncomfortable but emotionally familiar and safe. I hated being fat but it was easy. It was safer to stay fat then risk failure (again) trying to become lean.

Do you know? Do you see what a risk this blog has been? I am out there. If I failed you would all see it. You would see ME. The failure. ME. It would be so easy to stay hidden. Stay fat. Stay behind the wall.

I have climbed a mountain here. I did it in full view. I climbed El Capitan on Wide World of Sports with Jim McKay breathlessly describing every misstep.

I don’t say my Journey has been unique or for all that it is, all that impressive when there are those who have lost twice as much weight or more than I have and have done it in the public eye.

But it has been MY journey. All mine. My unique issues and tribulations. My fears, my pain, my anxieties and my insecurities.

And tonight, as I fought the temptations that I fight almost every day, I remembered that I am still climbing this mountain and I held on. I gripped the rock and the rope while Jim McKay described the howling winds.. Soon the wind died down and soon it calm again. And I was fine. I didn’t give in. I didn’t have the extra serving or the large snack or dig in to the jar of peanut butter.

This is it. See? It never gets easy. It never passes completely.

So I write about it. I talk about it. I put it out there and I ask people to pass judgment on me.

Today I am 203 pounds.

Tomorrow maybe more. Maybe less.

By the weekend probably 200. Then who knows. And every day I will step on the scale. And every day I will record the weight in my spread sheet. And every day I will record every calories, every bit of food.

And I will keep climbing the mountain.

Thank you for reading this wild, rambling, stream of consciousness ramble..

Peace


9 Comments

Birthday Weekend


52-years old

I turn 52 very soon. Hooray.

I am not a “Birthday Person”. I recognize that having a birthday is better than NOT having a birthday but I am not a celebrator of the day.

That said… I do have some things that are worth remarking on. On my birthday last year I weighed 268.6 pounds. This year I will come in at right about 200, give or take a couple of pounds.

Last year at this time I rode a ten-mile ride and thought I would pass out by the time I got home. This afternoon and tomorrow I plan to get in rides of 30 miles each.

My New Bike.  First 30 mile ride on it should be later today....

My New Bike. First 30 mile ride on it should be later today….

When I turned 50 I wondered if I would make it to 51. Making it to 52 was not even in my mind. It took me 9 months after my fiftieth birthday to actually start to do something about my poor health, obesity and poor fitness.

So my birthday weekend. This time I am not surprised to reach it.

I DO NOT LOOK OLD (and if I do, so what)

Recently I posted a picture of myself on FaceBook and someone had some very negative things to say about my appearance. The person said I looked old and sickly due to the weight loss and that I should put some of the weight back on to fill out my face…

Taken with an iPhone, not a very good picture I agree....

Taken with an iPhone, not a very good picture I agree….  And it was taken in a moving vehicle….  BUT OLD AND SICKLY???


Not happening.

1) I disagree. I do not think I look either old or sickly and several friends have said that I look younger than when I carried around an extra 100+ pounds of me.

2) Even if I have sacrificed youthful looks for a healthier body I am happy with the trade. I would rather look old and feel young then look young and be waiting for the heart attack.

At my age it is not surprising that not all of the skin has tightened up with the weight loss. Much has. Not all. It is true that I have a few wrinkles that are more obvious now that the skin is not all pumped out with fat.

I am not at all bothered by it.

I am happy that I can ride my bike for 30 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles. I am happy that I can see my feet looking straight down. I am happy that I can cross my legs. I can hike. I can climb stairs. I can run, jump…

I am more than happy to say HEY LOOK AT THE WRINKLES that were hidden by the fat.

I didn’t lose the weight for looks. I lost the weight for life.

Do What you love and you will never work a day in your life

“I have to get in the work”. That is how a friend referred to exercise. The odd thing is it surprised me to hear it referred to as work. To me it is not work. It is fun. It is play. I go for a hike, a walk, a bike ride… Fun, not work. I even miss the treadmill at the hotels…

I am disappointed if the weather or other events prevent me from getting out to do the things I love to do: walk, hike, ride…..

I love the fitness and I love pushing myself past what I thought I could do. That is fun. That is play. Not work.

Just a thought…

“I have to get in the work”. That is how a friend referred to exercise. The odd thing is it surprised me to hear it referred to as work. To me it is not work. It is fun. It is play. I go for a hike, a walk, a bike ride… Fun, not work. I even miss the treadmill at the hotels…

I am disappointed if the weather or other events prevent me from getting out to do the things I love to do: walk, hike, ride…..

“I have to get in the work”. That is how a friend referred to exercise. The odd thing is it surprised me to hear it referred to as work. To me it is not work. It is fun. It is play. I go for a hike, a walk, a bike ride… Fun, not work. I even miss the treadmill at the hotels…

I am disappointed if the weather or other events prevent me from getting out to do the things I love to do: walk, hike, ride…..

Plans Beyond the Bike Rides

So I will get in the rides if all goes well. This afternoon and then again as I said, tomorrow.

Tomorrow night Missus and I hope to be sharing dinner with our friends MT and LG. Indian. Our new GO-TO food. We can be sure of nutritious and delicious vegetarian fare. Always good to share food with friends.

Monday night Missus is making me a cake because the Younger One insists that it is not a birthday without cake. I will have a VERY thin piece but I will have it. I did it last year and survived. This year it should work out the same.

If I am not careful I may grow to like these birthdays.

Still Searching

I am still searching for the me that I must be now. I am sure I am wearing my friends out with the fitness and eat right conversations. I just seem to fall back to it. I have much more about me to talk about and much more about them and the world to talk about but I continually fall back to the weight loss and fitness. It is as though I need to keep reminding ME that it is real. I still have a way to go before I am comfortable in my skin I guess. Comfortable enough and confident enough for it to move to the back ground. I still feel (emotionally) like a fat man. I need to remind myself that I am not. Still searching.

Peace