Thursday, July 31, 2008

232 1/4

I went to the Mens Wearhouse on Monday night with my wife, and purchased a new suit. I hadn't done that since I was in High School. The Army issued me a set custom cut Dress Greens but that was more than 25 years ago. Damn, I have to say I looked good in that mirror. No big belly sticking out there anymore.

It's not just about losing the weight, it's also about changing self image. I see myself as a regular sized guy now, no longer as a lovable, oversized oaf.
Putting on that suit and seeing the guy who has lived in this body with all the extra weight, and now doesn't is really reinforcing for me. I don't think I will have a good self image, I see it first hand in the mirror.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I really didn't think I would lose any weight this past week, but I do like surprises. There is a reason I only weigh myself once a week, and that's because I was told during my surgery preparation not to weigh myself everyday, that it was a self defeating act.
I bring this up in reply to some of my emails, asking why I don't post a daily weight.
I am considering going to a bi-weekly weigh in, because I'm not losing at the rate I was immediately after my surgery, and I want to set an example for those of you who faithfully read my posts for encouragement.

I'm not discouraged at all by the slowing pace. I was adequately prepared for it, and I accept it. No one can keep losing weight at the pace I was for an extended period of time, our bodies just won't do it.

The most important variable to my lifestyle change is exercise. I can't stress enough that the commitment to exercise regularly is the one thing I know I have to maintain. Exercise helps drive our metabolism, and regulates our hunger. You don't worry as much about impulsive eating, or "Living To Eat" compared to "Eating to Live", when the hunger pangs aren't there, or don't persist, and are easily sated.

You don't have to run 5 miles, or swim 1000 meters everyday, but you do have to get up and move, you have to do Something, even if it is only taking a walk for a half hour.

I find that exercise actually deters me from eating. I am always hungry after swimming, but I don't eat as much if I eat after exercise. a paradox I didn't expect, but considering that we always had breakfast AFTER Physical Training in the Army, way back when, it sort of makes sense.

I do try to eat something before exercise though, because if I don't, I really feel it during exercise. Please remember I am doing some serious workouts, however.
I'm doing at least 35 minutes on the elliptical and swimming 800 meters every visit to the gym. That's a good 75 minutes right there. If I decide to do 30 minutes on a bike, with a resistance program, which I do once or twice a week, or sprinkle in some other activities for a change of pace, I'm upping my activity level and burning more calories. If I don't eat before exercising, I find it harder to finish a routine, and my metabolism will slow down, which is not what I want. I want it to keep burning at a higher rate, and excising the extra pounds from my body.

When I started, I set a goal of 220 pounds. I think I can make 210, maybe 205. I'm only 13 pounds from my original goal, and I'm not worried that I won't make it. I accept that it is going to be very hard. I only have to stay focused and keep pushing on. I'm too close to stop and be satisfied with where I have made it to now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

234 1/2!

Somehow I lost a pound last week. Hurray! My swim times keep getting better. Tonight I did 16 laps (800 meters)in 35 minutes and 28 seconds. When I started doing laps, doing 3 of them after all the other stuff was tough. But now I can do 35 minutes, or 3+ miles on the elliptical trainer, and go do an 800 meter swim a few minutes after. I'm doing this a minimum of 4 times a week, and it's really starting to show in my arms and legs, they are getting lean, at least what passes for lean on a 5'11' 234 pound guy!
Now it would be easy to say that I'm a slow swimmer, but you have to remember some things. First, I am doing the Breast stroke, because Free style is really hard on my shoulder, and the constant kicking hard on my knees and hip. The Breast stroke is a good stroke for me, and I have found I do laps faster that way than with the freestyle, it is more "ergonomic" for me, and I get a better, more lasting physical workout. All those summers in morning swim club back in the late 60's and early 70's were worth it! I hated it then for taking me away from baseball, but I'm glad I did it now.

Okay, I keep getting questions about how losing weight has had any effect on my libido. That's why I do private emails, because some questions are TMI (Too much INFORMATION!) I empathize with the curiosity, but I'm not going there publicly, people, only privately.
Do I get urges to overeat, or ever find myself eating just to eat?
I get full so quickly when I do eat, I think I honestly can't answer that question. As I've written before, my problem has now become one that I don't eat often enough. I have to make a conscious effort to eat protein first thing every day. Other wise, when I do eat, I get filled up before I get enough, and I feel strung out at times. The only way to cope is to eat small meals every couple of hours.
I have 4 to 5 60 calorie yogurts and 4 to 6 90 calorie Kellogg breakfast bars between 6 AM and 3 PM, and sometimes I go to a nearby Bennigans on 309, or Zoto's diner across the highway for a bowl of soup. I have to watch the salt intake, on days I have soup and check my Blood pressure, it is always up 5 to 10 points.

Tonight my BP was 125 over 72, and my resting pulse was 63, before I worked out.

Back to the food issue. Everything I listed above, barely breaks 1200 calories, in a worst case scenario. that's why I try to have protein as soon as I get home around 4 PM, before I go to the gym, as well as when I get home, after 7. Tonight I made an omelet with some Better n'Eggs and added some sliced Pepperoni. I threw a slice of Colby jack cheese on top too. Still i don't know if I made 2000 calories for the day, and I need to eat more to rev up my metabolism, and keep burning off the excess fat. Otherwise, my body will slow down to protect itself. that's the trap of it. That's why my weight has stabilized where it has. i was told this would happen, and sooner or later, my body will shift gears again, and I will start another descent, as long as I follow the game plan.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Six months after surgery, at 235 1/2

On the Morning of January 9th, depending on whose scale you used, at 5 AM I weighed somewhere between 323 and 332 pounds. On April 8th I weighed, depending on whose scale you used, somewhere between 261 and 258 pounds. Tonight, Thursday July 10th, 180 days removed from surgery, according to the scale at the Human Performance Center, I weigh either 235 1/4 or 235 1/2. I'll live with the half. The long term goal is/was 220. I think I will eventually surpass it, as it is I'm way ahead of my expectations, I though I wouldn't get this far until at least Christmas. Tonight I did 35 minutes on the elliptical, then I went and swam 20 laps in the 25 meter pool, which took an hour. I'm not the fastest swimmer, and I am doing the breast stroke, but it's a really good workout. I didn't go to the gym on either Tuesday or Wednesday, letting my muscles rest, while I caught up on some much needed to be done home maintenance.
I couldn't accurately weigh myself before Thanksgiving in 2007, because the scale only went to 350. It is probably, in all likelihood, accurate to say that I have lost at least 120 pounds, or one third of the weight I was carrying around 8 months ago. I find that amazing, and staggering to consider. I am one lucky guy, but I still have a lot of work to do. I have to continue to practice healthy habits. i have no one to blame but myself if I fail. Thank God i have such a great and supportive spouse. I couldn't have done it without her!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Holding at 236

I've been doing a great deal of swimming. Today I swam 20 laps in the 25 meter pool, which is the most I have ever done. I am seriously considering trying a mini-triathlon next year. That's an 800 meter swim, 26.2 bike ride, and a 10 K run. I can do the first two, but that third, with my knees and hip, I don't know.
Anyway, I emailed most of you that I'm taking the format into that of a weekly email. Blogger lets me email my post to up to 100 people, there are currently 34 on the list. if you want to be on the list and receive updates, and answers to your personal questions, please email me at Once I add you to the list, we can correspond more easily, and no one else will see your questions. I'm not going to allow comments here anymore. none of you deserve the nasty comments that some heartless people make, and I won't publish them.