From 589 pounds to 220 pounds. This is my journey. Welcome to the countdown.

Archive for February, 2014

A cold day in hell…

When I first started working out, my Monday and Wednesday workouts would start at 6 am. Opposite me in the gym was what they called a boot camp. It wasn’t just any boot camp. It was the alpha boot camp. The hardest of the hard. Those taking this camp were covered in sweat. When it was over, they looked like zombies. Their trainer was Terri.

You’d hear her the whole time. Barking out orders like a drill sergeant. Just watching and listening in the other gym made me sweat. It sounded like a government torture session. And none of these people looked happy. They looked drained and exhausted.

I told Matt, my trainer, it would be a cold day in hell before you’d catch me in there or working with Terri. Every so often Terri would peek in. She’d hint she might be my trainer and my face would turn white. Eventually I moved an hour later to 7 and out of the gym. And that meant I’d rarely see or hear about alpha boot camp or Terri. Yes, I’d see her around and we’d joke but never work together.

Last week, almost a year plus later since I’d seen boot camp or Terri, Miranda needed a sub while she was on vacation. She was having trouble finding a sub. As a joke, Miranda suggested Terri.

I said…okay.

Miranda did a double take. I think I shocked her. I saw Terri that week and she seemed a little shocked too.

Her comment–“really?”

Mine–“bring it”

She smiled.

So this morning, a cold day in hell arrived. The first of two days working with Terri. The woman who scared the absolute crap out of me in those early days at 543 pounds. The one I swore I’d never work with. Oh and I survived. Had to or there’d be no blog entry today or ever again. I think I even scared my trainer Matt because Terri tells me he texted a few times about how I was doing.

I was doing fine. Covered in sweat–but fine. No zombie like states though. Maybe that’s tomorrow.

Guess hell isn’t a cold as I thought.

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And I opened this door because…

I came back from Las Vegas and wanted to make changes. In one of the seminars, they talked about asking others as to how they perceived the same time or place. It got me to thinking about how I am perceived. So yesterday, I asked my boss.

And he told me the truth.

It’s a funny thing about the truth. Sometimes you think you want it when really you don’t. That came in the form of this revelation:

I do just enough to get by.

Now my “just enough” is pretty good but I could do better and don’t. My radio career failed because I didn’t go the extra mile. In my job, I could do more but I don’t. I claim I want to win the World Championship of Public Speaking but I don’t put in nearly the effort to do so. Even with the weight loss, if I get to 5 pounds and I could get higher, instead I take as a time to go eat pizza or something.

The good news–it’s fixable.

The bad news–I’m not sure I want to.

Yes, I want more and better but am I willing to do it? Will I put in supreme effort? Worse, what if I do and fail?

So where does that leave me?

A mess.

Nobody wants to admit they’re not willing to do something. It’s a horrible feeling. It’ll make you sick to your stomach. The obvious step is to make a change. But what happens when you’re not willing to? What do you do then? Can you live with yourself knowing you’ll never be what you could be?

What do you do when you open a door and find the answer wishing you’d never seen it?

I have a lot to think about and soul search now.

Countdown 2/26/14

Last Week: 323

This Week: 330

Next week’s goal: 323

Magic Number to 220: 110 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012: 213 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011: 231 lbs

Highest ever weight recorded/known: 589 (difference of 259 lbs)

Steps for the week: 89,598

Average Steps per Day: 12,800

I know what y’all are thinking.  He went to Vegas and this is the result.

I wish I could say that was true…but it’s not.

I came home from Las Vegas at 325. During that trip I had a 30,000 step day and two 10,000 step days. My only sweet all weekend? One small serving of mint chip ice cream. Yes I drank and had some carbs but I stayed strong.

So how am I up 5 pounds since Monday?

On Monday night, I went with friends to TGI Fridays. I ordered a grilled chicken salad.

And then I decided to split boneless buffalo wings with someone.

I thought I’d have 1 or 2.

Well they brought us the wings and they had a bone. The waitress told us to keep them and she’d get new ones. My partner didn’t want any. And there it was. I had a plate of wings in front of me. Worse, the 2nd plate came and half my partner didn’t want either.

So 1 and half plates later, I ate my salad as well.

In one sitting, I wrecked weeks of work. When I try to identify why I keep thinking I was happy. Somehow in my happiness I felt it was okay to have buffalo wings. And then there was the additional food. Why did I eat it? Because when I was a kid, I was told to eat everything on your plate and not waste food.

So because I was happy, my reaction was the celebrate with food. The continuation occurred when I felt obligated not to waste food and eat everything–like a good little boy. Just when I think I’ve figured this out, I realize I’m always going to have issues like this. That I’ll always need to be on top of this stuff and hyper aware.

It’s easy to say why buffalo wings suck and I shouldn’t eat them. But for someone like me, it’s the taste and what reactions and emotions it brings that make them attractive. The memories of hanging out with good friends in college, drinking beer, and eating wings. Or those Sundays watching football with the guys.

Then there’s the other part of this. In Vegas I wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t a fiasco. So why did I create one the night after I came home? Why at a moment of triumph did I torpedo myself like this? Why did I hurt myself? Did I not deserve to be happy? To feel like I accomplished something? I walked 13 miles on Friday and yet it now means nothing.

But then it sort of all makes sense. Ever since I hit 200 pounds lost, I’ve sort hit a standstill. It’s not a physical one just mental. I hit 200 pounds lost and felt like I’d accomplished something. And that would be the case if the job was done–but it’s not. There’s 110 to go. I’ve been justifying and saying I’ll figure it out.

But that’s not happening. I’ve hit goal just once in 2 months. I’ve been content with the 1-3 pound losses. The goal on Monday is 323–7 pounds. I need to get my head out of my ass and make it.

Vegas!!!

Wow, I’m in Vegas.

So cool. First time in 20 years I’ve been in a plane. Almost didn’t need an extension either. No fears about bathrooms as well.

I really have changed things. I can get on a plane. See places and people. Going through security was interesting as well for a first time.

Now I’m sitting on a shuttle headed for a weekend of bright lights in the big city.

Can’t wait to get started. 🙂

The Countdown 2/17/14

Last Week: 325

This Week: 323

Next week’s goal: 318

Magic Number to 220: 103 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012: 220 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011: 238 lbs

Highest ever weight recorded/known: 589 (difference of 266 lbs)

Steps for the week: 78,011

Average Steps per Day: 11,144

This was a crazy week. One of my vendors came in–and brought snacks. And while others ate some, I ate more. I’ve been having trouble with the community food in the kitchen. I didn’t used to but of late it’s been an issue. I’d be one thing if it was just a taste but usually it’s more than that.

There was a box of chocolate covered english butter toffee that I’m positive I ate the majority of. Then there were the 3-6 oreos with cookie dough filled I just had to try. Even tried bigger breakfasts to compensate but alias no–not working. Still, no fast food again this week. Two weeks in a row. I had two dinners out this weekend. One was a date and the other my Mom and Aunt.

And with all this, I’d lost a pound.

I might made this week except…I planned poorly. Saturday I had my Toastmasters club’s anniversary party. I should ate more before I went but I also knew I’d eat while there. So I tired to push through. I did it after treadmill and Zumba.

There was pizza.

Crappy Little Casears Pizza.

I had 1 slice….then 2…then 2-3 more. And of course as club president , I felt obligated to eat the cake that was made.

Sunday morning…up a pound.

If not for my error, I’d been close this week. Instead–2 pounds. I know I shouldn’t complain but damn it I really wanted to be further along before Vegas. Normally I’d be more annoyed but things have been great. Had an amazing date Friday night and I’m headed for Vegas on Thursday.

As I mentioned, it’s the first time I’ve flown in 20 years. My schedule for Saturday and Sunday is pretty packed too. It’ll be nice to get out of the cold for a few days too. This weather is absolutely driving me nuts. As I write this the snow falls…AGAIN! It’s just maddening how much cold and snow there’s been this year.

The real trick will be finding the time to get in a workout and keeping the eating healthy. It’s Vegas, I’m positive I can get what I need. The question becomes will I have time or what will I need to do in order to make it all work? If anything, I’m worried more about the drinking. It’s Vegas and free drinks. I could gain and not have eaten anything.

The sorta good news? Looks like I don’t weigh in until Wednesday next week. It screws up the next week but depending on how Vegas goes, it could be interesting.

So next week is 318. 18 pounds from 300 and 98 pounds from 220–the goal. A fun and challenging week lies ahead. Vegas baby!

Valentine’s Day? Really???

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Okay this hasn’t exactly been my holiday. Thanksgiving–that’s my holiday. Valentine’s Day is a holiday for the pretty people. And when you’ve always been overweight the only people you get valentines from is your family. So this is not exactly my holiday.

So how in the hell do I somehow have a date tonight on Valentine’s Day?

Damned if I know.

Last summer I got back on Jdate on a whim. Once in a blue moon I’d get someone look at my profile. But really nothing serious. I’d shoot a few emails and flirts with no response or a polite no thanks. And then I updated my picture. Now I’m not saying women are throwing themselves at me but suddenly I seem to be on the radar. I’ve had a few dates but nothing to write home about. I’ve mentioned the one who hates Star Wars.

But tonight is a little different. I saw this woman’s profile…gorgeous. Maybe in 100 pounds and when I was a little more toned up I’d have a shot. On a whim, I shot her an email.

She replied–and not with a no either.

I’d initially asked about Valentine’s Day but she was going out with her girlfriends that night. The about 7ish last night I get an email. Her plans fell through–do I still want to go out?

And there it is.

I have a date…on Valentine’s Day. With an amazing, smart, and sexy woman.

Me, the guy who’s idea of a date that day is the local strip club.

People ask me how things are different. How things have changed.

This is how.

A date on Valentine’s Day…me??? really???

Wow.

20 years later…

Next week I head to Vegas for a 4 day weekend–place I’ve not been in 20 years.

It reminded me about the time I could have gone to Vegas and didn’t. About 4-6 years ago, I was President of non-profit game group. We helped run and promote games like Monopoly, Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic the Gathering. An industry magazine had decided to create a trade show and approached us about having members demo games for companies in…Las Vegas. It was all expenses paid. Further, they were giving me an opportunity to create a seminar talking to the biggest and best in the industry. Given my penchant for public speaking and hunting for a career opportunity this was an amazing break.

But it never happened. I never went to Las Vegas.

I told friends it was fiances and I couldn’t get of work.

A total lie.

I didn’t go because I knew I wouldn’t fit in a plane seat. Because I was scared what would happen if I had to go to the bathroom and I couldn’t fit in it. Because I didn’t want to ask them to pay for a 2nd plane seat.

And so my friends boarded a plane and I stayed at home.

And that was the first time I realized what I’d done to myself. That my weight was indeed an issue. That it had hindered me and I missed out on an amazing opportunity. And in typical fashion, it made me unhappy, depressed, and caused me to eat even more. Because at that time, I could grasp how I’d ever could be anything more than the overweight man that I was.

I told myself there’d be another chance and I’d go next year. There was no next year. The show folded after one year. I missed out because of my issues with weight. Now I’d like to believe it was all for the best. That maybe it all needed to happen. That it was the beginning of my awakening. That it made me think about doing something. That I started to look at places like Structure House.

But the truth is we’ll never know. But I do know this: on Thursday night I’ll board a plane for Las Vegas.

The last time I was on a plane?

Before 9/11–when it didn’t cost you to check a bag.

Yeah, that long ago.

The true test? Will I need a seat belt extension? I’m hoping the answer is no.

The last time I was in Vegas, I was 21. I’d always though I’d be back sooner. A lot has changed in 20 years and I plan to see all of it. And a lot more. Thursday night marks the biggest milestone so far–I can travel on a plane again. Even when I went to North Carolina to Structure House it was a 2 day drive there and back.

But now things will be different now. I am never putting myself in a position like that again. I’ve got places to go and people to see. Well as long as the airfare isn’t too high. But 20 years later things will now be very different from now on.

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