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

Posts tagged ‘binge eating’

Recap–1/26/15 (Week 3)

This was a make or break week. After last week’s two pound gain, I was at 369. The brief weight loss could be a facade or we could be on track.

I made myself some promises last week. Here’s how I did:

*I got to the gym more. It wasn’t exactly on time but I got there. I also did both WERQ dance classes–even if I was 30 minutes late for Thursday. But other than Saturday, I got to the gym everyday and twice on Monday and Thursday.

*I started using the Lifetime “to go” meals. I need to get in regular habit of ordering in advance. The result was a couple of days where I went to Whole Foods instead. That’d be fine but some of those days I could made better choices. I also need to watch the portion sizes there. And samples, much I hate to say it, count. I would put my usage at about 3 of the 5 work days.

*Supplements and Vitamins all week. Not one miss. I’m not a big on this stuff but I’ve felt the difference when I’ve overworked myself or when I move.

I wasn’t perfect–but I wasn’t bad either. I just wouldn’t say I was good. I did okay might be best. On Friday I was still hovering around 369-370. But I was a little more careful over the weekend. The combined with an evening of West Coast Swing dancing, a WERQ dance class, and yoga made all the difference.

This morning’s weight: 360.6.

For those playing at home, that’s 9 pounds. Since 1/5/15, when I restarted, I’ve dropped 17 pounds in 3 weeks. I’m thrilled by this because the glass is still half full in terms of what I can tweak and work on. It’s later on when real cuts and sacrifices are going to have to be made that I expect trouble. But for now I’m happy there’s room to improve and grow.

Looking ahead, this week is not going to be easy. Monday and Thursday nights I’ll be doing WERQ Fitness. Tuesday night I’m presenting on behalf of Toastmasters. Wednesday night I have a Toastmasters’ meeting. Friday night I’m supposed to go out on a date. And Sunday is the Super Bowl–a notorious eating day.

That means a lot of my dinners are going to be “on the run”, “to go”, or at a restaurant. It is a week like this that can send you a wrong direction. Normally on Monday and Thursday nights I’ll eat in the Lifecafe then dry sauna. This week, I’m thinking finish my workout, head home, and eat there. Tuesday night looks like eat in advance and/or bring a snack.

This brings me to Wednesday. I’d really like to with friends that night. And I can if I make good choices and do well early in the week. Still not sure where I’m going on Friday. Sunday…I think I’ll be okay if I bring my own food. I’ll probably still eat too much but as long as the quality is better and I’ve done what I need to it should be okay.

Along with the previous goals, the following are new ones I’m adding:

*No more community food from the Kitchen.

This is going to be hard.The kitchen is where I store my food and water for the day. It’s also where people drop “free” goodies for the rest the office. Once in a while it’s nuts–which is better but usually…cookies, cakes, donuts–you get the idea. Even with resolve and willpower, there’s only so much you can do. Given I’m a stress eater that can also play in. I’m going to need to find healthier options I can store and not feel like I’m missing something. What that is has yet to be determined. Still, if I don’t make this a goal in writing, I’ll put this off so now it’s here.

*No more special peanut butter cups.

Don’t ask me why but I see those peanut butter cups–the ones shaped like xmas trees, pumpkins, hearts, etc and seem to want them. The regular peanut butter cups I can seemingly resist most of the time. But these…these are the ones that kill me. It’d be different if it was one a week. But when you sell them 3 for $2—you’ve suddenly eaten enough calories where I could have had a steak! It’s not effected me so far but it will later on. Much as I love these things, I have to nip it in the bud.

Okay those goals are harder than the previous ones. Combined with last week’s goals, it should give me enough to work on. I’d hoped to have dropped 20 pounds this month. I’m 3 away from doing just that. The rest is all gravy.

Still, we have a long way to go. I’m 140 pounds from goal and just last May I was at 306–a number I’m now 54 pounds away from. The good news is I’ve traveled this road. I’ve done this once and I know what it takes to do it again. But to get to uncharted territory, I need to make changes in my habits now or I’ll once again find myself going the wrong direction.

What I do today will effect tomorrow. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow looks like.

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Let’s try that again shall we…

I wrote a blog post about it being “go time” and how we’re going to do better yesterday. How it’s going to be different.

And then I went to the Marianno’s hot food bar and grabbed mac and cheese.

And Chinese food.

And honey chicken wings.

Did I mention the potato pancakes?

Yeah, it went different all right.

I’d love to tell you it went better today but the trip to Wendy’s for what was supposed to be just ice coffee turned into a sausage biscuit, homestyle fries, and oh yeah and ice coffee.

Yeah I’m going all right–right to another 5-6 pounds!

What was I thinking…

About how my trainer, who I love to death, got on me about the 13 pounds I gained last week.

How my overloaded carbbed ass felt running around the track.

Like everybody keeps looking at my like a giant train wreck.

Why is it so f’n cold outside?

Why family members who know I’m struggling don’t realize that their meddling makes it worse.

When that nagging butt injury is going away. (Actually it’s between my butt and my hip. Butt just sounded funnier)

Credit Card Debt

Bills

Work

And of course, how I seem to have hit EPIC FAIL in a 7 month period.

I know I can do this. I’ve done it twice now. Once in North Carolina and when I got home. I know what I need to do. It would be easier if the fire and passion were there right now.

They’re not.

And that makes it a lot harder.

It means sacrifices will need to be made. For a while, I could go to any restaurant and make great choices. That’s not happening now. Much it means I’ll not be able to socialize with friends, I’m going to have to say no. They’ll understand but as I’m a pretty social person, it’s going to just about kill me.

It means no fast food period. I’d kicked it for almost a year. I believed I could handle rare occasions. That’s no longer the case. So tonight when I head home the hardest battle begins. The one in which I pass dozens of fast food joints trying to stay strong and not end up in one’s drive thru.

It means watching the portion sizes and the carbs. I love carbs. Warm bread/rolls is a guilty pleasure. But since I’ll be dropping my restaurant eating, I’m hoping this won’t be as much as of an issue. The portion sizes will be an issue though. I’ve noticed they’ve gotten larger. I think it happened when I was working out more. At one point I was doing twice a day three times a week plus one session everyday or 10,000 steps. I mistook the worn down feeling as needing more energy from food when I probably needed a multi-vitamin and fish oil.

Most of all, I need to find a therapist. I’ve resisted a for a while now. I have two great ones in North Carolina but our schedules don’t work and I need someone in Chicago. I’ve also resisted because for years I would bitch, moan, and complain to one. I felt better for a few minutes but I didn’t make changes nor could I get myself to.

All that the changes in my life have come because I stopped talking about and started doing something about it. So going back to a therapist right now makes me wonder is this really going to do anything for me right now? Or will I just end up like I used to be and not taking action?

I already know the answer because the stress is just making things rougher. I need to find a healthy outlet or no matter what happens, I’ll burn out like this again.

The good news? I’m aware of all this. I know what I need to do. I also know I can do it so it’s not a lack of confidence. I also know I have a lot of people behind me.

I promised myself this was a new day. The last two have not been those days. That changes the minute I finish this post. I will not give up. I am not going to quit. I’m going to keep going. And I will not stop until I get it right and back on track.

So let’s try again shall we?

Today is a new day.

You’re doing great!

This morning, I got on the scale.

353.8

Not bad since I had pecan pie and a 7 oz fillet last night.

(Note to all the food police: Yes, I should not be eating pecan pie. So noted and stipulated. Thank you.)

As I thanked god and creation, I got off the scale in the locker room. That’s when someone said it:

“You’re doing great! Keep going!”

Ever since the winter of 2013, this is a regular happening at Lifetime Fitness Old Orchard. As I’ve mentioned previously, I went from sideshow to rock star. There were days when I couldn’t get through a workout without being stopped. My trainers get asked about me when I’m not in the building.

As Ron Burgundy once said, I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. And for the most part, I enjoy it.  It’s nice to walk in the building like I’m Norm from Cheers. Especially when most of my life I dreaded going to the gym–a place of the pretty and buff–two things I’m not.

Now when someone wishes to compliment me and things are going well, it’s a polite thank you and try to be humble (somewhere my true friends are laughing at that). Usually that includes a comment like…”well, I appreciate that but I’m not finished yet”. And I’m not. I’m 133 pounds away as of this morning.

But on the days when the scale isn’t my friend…well, it’s a lot heard feel good about those words.  Especially when you know if you didn’t stop at Culver’s for a Concrete Mixer frozen custard with cookie dough, peanut butter cups, and peanut butter syrup things would gone much better.  So when a well meaning person says those nice words, my inner loser knows better and get squirely.

Now in the past, I was losing more. That meant this wasn’t an issue. But as I mentioned previously, in April of 2014 I was at 307. I was closing in on 300. I was 87 pounds from goal.

After Thanksgiving I was at 360. For those not wanting to do the math, that’s a gain of 53 pounds since then. So when well meaning individuals would walk up to me these last few months and say…

“Hey, you’re doing great!”

ARGH…

I AM NOT DOING GREAT! I JUST GAINED AGAIN AND ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS CHEESEBURGERS WITH BACON! THINGS ARE NOT GREAT! I’VE GAINED A SHITLOAD OF WEIGHT AND I TOTALLY SUCK!

That’s what I want to say. What do I usually say?

“Thank you.”

And then the worst feel in the world happens. The one where I look at myself in the mirror and my mind is thinking only one thing.

FRAUD.

Yes, I should look at the big picture but when 1 pound becomes 5 and 5 becomes 15…well, it’s not so easy.  You know that right now, a pat on the back or high five is the last thing in the world you deserve. Then comes the fun part. You feel guilt. In my case guilt leads to stress. What do I do when I’m stressed?

You guessed it–I eat.

All because someone tried to be nice and my mind twisted it into something else entirely. The last few months, I’ve allowed myself to say and think horrible things about myself. But I also know this. I don’t want to go back to who and what I used to be either.

There is no question I am my own worst enemy. Everyday I’ll need to remember to stay positive and not give up. That when somebody says “you’re doing great” it’s a reason smile and stand proud even if the night before you had too many carbs and the scale says your up.

I may feel like a fraud at times but the truth is I’m stronger, faster, and healthier than any point in my life. If I just continue to believe in myself, I will figure it out. I will lose the weight. I will reach my goal.

He was right: I am doing great.

The Countdown 3/17/2014

Last Week: 323

This Week: 324

Next week’s goal: 318

Magic Number to 220: 104 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012 (561.8 lbs): 221 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011 (561.8 lbs): 239 lbs

Highest ever weight recorded/known: 589 (difference of 265 lbs)

 

I was posting these regularly on Monday and the last two…late. I suppose I should be happy I was out 7 nights in a row and ended up only gaining a pound. I went places where I had no business being, ordered wisely, and walked away without my weight skyrocketing.

But it’s now going on week 4 of trying to reach 318. My trainers and team are getting nervous. Some are beginning to question my commitment level.

I can understand that. 

I could have not gone out a few nights. I could have brought my own food. Maybe exercised even more. 

But I didn’t do any of them. 

Last Friday was the 22nd anniversary of the worst day of my life. Someone I considered a friend I can no longer trust. I wasn’t wise with funds, work isn’t going well–and my bosses know it. I got into with one of them last week. Someone on my side no less. Mostly because I wouldn’t let him in with what’s going on with me. Others have noticed as well. 

People want me to strive to better or do my best and right now I just keep wondering how much more I need give. It’s almost like I’ve become a totally different person now. I keep wondering what was wrong with who I was or who I am now. Sometimes I look in the mirror and still see the same fat guy who’s always been there.

I know it’s not true but and I’ve made huge strides but I still look and see a big fat guy. I see the loose skin that sags on my body now that I’ve lost. Yesterday I thought I saw definition in my abs but really it’s covered by a layer of fat. So I get depressed looking at what I did to myself. And yet when people ask me “if I feel better now…”, I get annoyed.

Annoyed as if I was just some loser who sat on the couch all day and ate chips or something. Like I was some sort of total loser before all this. Then there’s the people who think I’m going back to being some 500+ pound guy if I don’t have structure or if I take a break. I’m a different guy now and yet they look at me like it was 16 months ago. 

I feel tired, lost, and like I’ve lost my identity. I almost want to say depressed because the last few days all I wanted to do sometimes was crawl up in a ball and not leave my bed for a while. 

And I think I can motivate people. Hell, I can’t even motivate myself right now. Inspirational my ass!

This all said, I’m not giving up. I may not have this all figured out right now but I’ve come to far. Win or lose, I’m going to keep going. Sooner or later I’m going to put the pieces together again. I’m going to figure out these answers. And call it a gut feeling but I’m pretty sure when I do, it’s all going to fall into place, and better than it ever was.

Just got to believe. 

Next week 318 and I don’t even want to know what happens if I don’t get there.

 

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.

The Countdown–2/10/2014

Last Week: 331

This Week: 325

Next week’s goal: 320

Magic Number to 220: 105 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012: 218 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011: 236 lbs

Highest ever weight recorded/known: 589 (difference of 264 lbs)

I REALLY didn’t think I’d make it this week.

Given trends the last few weigh-ins and how the week was going, I thought I’d lose something but not 6 pounds. Yes it was a week with no trips to fast food however it was extremely carb and cheese filled–two things which will result in weight gain for me when too much is consumed. I also know I was pretty nut crazy this week again as well. I also know that on Thursday morning I was at 331-332.

Due to other life aspects, I didn’t get a chance to weigh on Friday or Saturday. So when I stepped on the scale Sunday I had no clue what to expect. I did eat less but some of the things I ate…chocolate covered strawberries or cole slaw are not good ideas. Neither was half of that oversized blueberry muffin I ate either. But I also found healthy options with both The Corner Bakery and Panera–something I can use down the road as well.

Again exercise continues to rise. This week was 78,849 in steps. There was only one day under 8000 and it was by 73 steps. Everything else was 9400 or better including 16,606 on Sunday. It’s a daily average of 11,264 and 36.18 total miles. Fibit also measures what they call active minutes. These would be more than just stepping just to step. The daily goal is 30. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were 15, 12, and 42 respectively.

It is becoming clear that while 10K a day would be awesome (note: national avg is 5000), I’m questioning whether 7000 with 30 active minutes might not be better. That target heart rate zones being hit on a more regular basis might be more effective. Miranda, the nutrition goddess of Lifetime, would tell you do both. I’d tell you I work a desk job in which being on the phone and email is where the dollars come from.

But I’ve really buried the lead here…

Next week’s goal is 320.

Exactly 100 pounds from where this countdown ends…220.

The magic number dropping to double digits is honestly something I’d never thought would come. This entire journey the numbers have been 3 digits long. As much as I’ve accomplished, I was still VERY far away. And now I’m 6 pounds from 99 away. Two digits–not three. Suddenly the never ending road has an off ramp. It’s 105 pounds away but its there.

Amazing how things can change in a week eh?

Next week’s goal. 320–100 away from the countdown’s end of 220.

Can’t wait to get started.

See you next week!

Five Guys Friday

During the summer months, my company does Friday bbq. There’s usually grilled chicken and veggies I can do but it all ends around Labor Day. And then it’s back to everybody doing their own thing. Well, almost everybody.

Last spring a Five Guys opened up near work. Big greasy burgers and home cuts french fries. Instantly popular in the office. So popular the office now has what’s called Five Guys Friday. Every Friday they take orders and bring back Five Guys. And being that my office/desk is around the corner from the kitchen, I smell it all the time. I know when it’s here. The entire office chows down on monster sized burgers and greasy, salty fries.

So how many times have I been a part of Five Guys Friday?

Not a one.

It’s not easy. God, it’s REALLY not easy.

Sometimes I’m having my little healthy meal while I’m surrounded by those a part of the Friday ritual. I look at my chicken, smell the burgers, and mentally sigh. My favorite is when some try to “guilt” this group while I eat my healthy meal. Really it hits me more mentally than any of them. The worse part is I’ve romaticizied Five Guys now. Having fought this long, now look at it like a guilty pleasure that one day I’ll be able to have. I’ve thought about just going there one day and getting it out of my system but resisted so far.

Perhaps the hardest part is the peer pressure. Everybody is having Five Guys Friday but I can’t. It makes me flashback to those days as kid when you weren’t considered social normal. When maybe you got stuck wearing the plaid shirts, Buster Brown shoes, and corduroy pants. Or you had the brace facial gear? Or maybe you were the kid who opened your lunch and had all the uncool food compared to the other kids?

Now nobody is dunking my head in the toliet (note: NOBODY ever did that. I weighed too much. They couldn’t lift me to do it anyway) or laughing at me but when everybody else is eating Five Guys and I’m eating a salad with very little dressing…well, you can imagine how you might flashback to those kid moments. The ones when you didn’t fit in. When you didn’t feel comfortable.

I’m not asking my office to give up Five Guys Friday. It wouldn’t be fair to them. This is my issue, problem, and fight. And while all of them support me and these efforts, they’re free to eat whatever they want. As they should be. Unfortunately it sometimes results in me wondering why I can’t have Five Guys like everybody else.

And there lies the issue.

So often we all want to be “like everybody else” following the social norms or being accepted. Yes we all want to be individuals but we all look to fit in somewhere. And that will happen once more as we get closer to Memorial Day. When Five Guys Friday gives way to BBQ. But until then Friday’s at noon surrounded by Five Guys food is just another obstacle on my countdown.

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