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

Posts tagged ‘nutrition’

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.



The Countdown—3/3/14

Last Week: 330

This Week: 323–GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!!!!

Next week’s goal: 318

Magic Number to 220: 103 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012 (561.8 lbs): 220 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011 (561.8 lbs): 238 lbs

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

Steps for the week: 63,582

Average Steps per Day: 9,083

Welcome back to the countdown. I apologize for the delay. I find it interesting that the weeks where I accomplish goal are the bounce back weeks. I also think it’s interesting how those weeks have been 6 and 7 pound losses. And given weigh in happened on Wednesday, that’s 7 pounds lost since then not Monday.

The step numbers were low this week. This included a less than 5000 step day. It again begs the question of how hard you work versus quantity of steps. As I write this, I’m almost at 11,000 but I wouldn’t it was a hard workout–just a lot of walking. I do find that the extra walking and movement sometimes helps with thought and stress. But when I get to goal, I’m thinking more quality and less time.

I don’t know I’d say I was perfect but I was watching a little of the what, where, and when. So we’re back to before the Vegas trip. 323 with a goal of 318. I’ve noticed so far this week my intake is up some. Good quality foods but up. Going to need to watch that.

Again, we’re inches away from being under three digits from goal. We’re also 24 pounds from 299–a number I can’t recall when I saw last. My trainer Matt asked me about it this week. I think I was in high school at this weight but under 300…maybe at 14?

I think sometimes that’s where the disconnect happens. I’d daydreamed about it but actually being here is surreal. And sometimes it makes me content. And why wouldn’t I be?

And there lies the rub.

Best shape of my life but even now–not done. And that’s what’s hard. Even harder with the pats on the back and lauding what’s already come. Harder because you so want to take those moments but doing so makes you content. And right now I can’t be content.

The end is so close and yet it’s still far enough away. Frustrating.

Next week–318. We break into the teens, get closer to 299, and double digits to goal. Exciting times for the countdown.

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 2/17/14

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!

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.

The Countdown 2/4/2014

Last Week: 330

This Week: 331 (Goal was 325)

Next week’s goal: 325

Magic Number to 220: 111 lbs.

Lost since Nov 2012: 212 lbs

Lost Since Nov 2011: 230 lbs

Highest ever weight recorded/known: 589 (difference of 258 lbs)

To say I’m annoyed is an understatement. Eight days and I can’t seem to lose one pound? It’s one thing when it’s a vacation or something crazy but your basic standard week? When on Sunday I was at 329? When I did 78,000 steps averaging 11,148 steps a day and 5.12 mile average?

I’m more active than I’ve ever been and yet…struggling. I got to 342 in mid November and since then it’s been a total of 13 pounds. Yes there were gains. Yes, it was the holidays. Yes, I started on 1/1/14 at 349 and lost 18 pounds this month. But really, I’ve been running in place for 2+ months now.

Last week included 2 trips to McDonalds for ice cream cones, a trip to KFC for Grilled Chicken, “sampling” at Whole Foods, eating the nice treats in the kitchen, and a the small piece of pie during the Super Bowl. And yet a 78K+ week couldn’t offset apparently any of this! Truly ironic that I simply can’t step myself out of this. On Sunday, I did pilates, and dance class, yoga, and another 11,000 steps to boot!

No effect.

No, it’s all about the nutrition. Which for me is easier said than done. Every time I pick up something to eat, there’s at least 2-3 thoughts that fly into my head. And while that’s great the constant watching and mindfulness is beginning to take it’s toll. It gets mentally tiring which adds stress which results in even worse choices.

Of late Miranda, my dietian, wants good quality choices which flies in the face of everything I know. Because there are days where I look at a food option which is better quality and know something from McDonalds has less calories or lower fat content.

The result?

McDs–of course. Shoot, I see Big Macs are 2 for $5 and I want’em. You’d think I know better and I do but yet there I am drooling at the idea of eating 2 Big Macs. So instead I have a McDonalds ice cream cone. Better than Big Macs but not going to help to hit goal. Still not getting me anywhere near 220.

Hell, after stepping off the scale this morning all I wanted to do was eat something. Not what would be “the right correct choice” either. Something with chocolate, bacon, and peanut butter with a side of steak and some sort of fried potatoes smothered in cheese and ketchup. Oh and ice cream–for sure ice cream. Maybe some fudge too while I’m at it. Oh and doritos or fritos too.

Relax, I touched none of that. Well except the peanut butter but the rest…?


So now comes the fun. My week starts today on Tuesday but yet I will weigh in on Monday. And I have 6 pounds to lose. And it appears I could run a marathon and sleep in the dry sauna with no real effect. No, I’m going to need to get clean again. REALLY clean. Squeaky clean. Clean like I can eat off the floor without a 5 second rule clean.


Jeez, why has this gotten so damn hard? I feel like they should just feed me with an IV or something so it’d be easier.

Because I like food. I like food a lot. Because right now when I say “okay, just one taste” it turns into 1-3 pieces. Because I keep finding myself in a drive thru way too often lately. Because TV is filled with food porn.

Because…I’m tired of making sacrifices…and I need to keep making them.

I lost this weight because I was willing to do what it takes. And right now that’s not happening. I could work harder. I could be cleaner.

I know it.

I’m also tired of making sacrifices. The hard ones. The ones that will get me to the goal.

It was one thing when I’d lose but not hit goal but gaining…ouch.

There are times this process has been ugly. Just never this ugly.

It’s going to be a long week…

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