Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 18, 2011--270(ish)-225

- Taken just before Christmas 2010.

Less than a month later, I weighed in at a whopping 300 pounds.

By the way, I'm the one on the right.

- Taken June 17, 2011. I currently weigh 225 pounds.

Early last Saturday--around 4:15 a.m.--I became a graduate of P90X. P90X is an intense at-home program that incorporates resistance training, cardiovascular development, and various stretching techniques to bring a more holistic approach to physical fitness. After 90 days of showing up even when I didn't exactly feel like it and giving it everything I had each and every time I pressed play, I am now in the best shape of my life.

I know a lot of people who have started P90X. I know very few who have completed the program. Those who stop usually do so for one of two reasons. Either (1) it is too hard or (2) they do not feel like they are seeing the results they had expected to see.

My response to the first objection is that it should be hard. Every time I would huff, puff, and have to push the pause button during the first month of the program I would remind myself that if I could do this all the way through right out of the box, it wouldn't be worth doing at all. Easy workouts benefit no one. Hard things get easier with persistence.

To the second, I had no response to offer until I started the final third of the workout. I didn't have any noticeable results to speak of until day 60 and following. But when the results came, they all seemed to come at once.

First of all, 45 pounds in 3 months is quite the result in my opinion. When I started, I was barely squeezing into a pair of 38x32 pants. I am now comfortably wearing a pair of 32x32s. Back in March, I was wearing a tight Big & Tall brand XXL shirt. I now wear a regular XL shirt from a regular store. I am stronger than I have ever been in my life, I am even more confident in my ability to meet and overcome difficult challenges, and I have a newfound respect for yoga!

I have already started a slightly modified P90X round 2. I am continuing on with the resistance workouts while replacing everything else with marathon training. I have my eyes set on the St. Jude marathon on December 3--a goal I plan to achieve a week before I complete round 3 of P90X.

What lofty goals are you setting for yourself these days? It is the only way out of your rut.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011--206.6--????

(December 13, 2008--393.2 pounds)

I had intended to write this on April 24, know, so it would be exactly one year since my last post. The hope was to make my hiatus from blogging seem more intentional than it actually was but April 24 came and went without an e-peep from me. So here we are one year and 8 days later--duh, duh, duh, duuuhhhhh....

A lot has happened in my time awful lot. The most significant, of course, is that my son was born on June 28, 2010. He is the best part of me. He is the best part of his mamma. Better than that, he is the best part of us. He is all kinds of wonderful. And with his arrival, my life has changed in all kinds of ways.

If you read any of my older posts, you'll begin to pick up on the fact that I am a firm believer in discipline. It is impossible to do anything of any value without it. Thinking that positive changes will happen in your life without a little hard work and dedication is, at best, a pipe worst, a sad reality for most people. Anybody can start a diet on Monday morning. It's what you do on Tuesday...and Wednesday...etc...etc...etc...that counts.

All of the weight I lost melted away due to my strict adherence to a way of life that was built around a specific schedule. This schedule included not only what I would eat and when but when I would work out as well. At the time Logan was born, I was still running fairly long distances which would mean I was leaving the house around 4:30 in the morning and returning home around 6, just in time to get ready for work.

I was able to maintain this schedule for a number of months after he arrived--particularly throughout the time that Jacqui was on maternity leave. But when Jacqui returned to work around the end of the summer, I simply could not keep this schedule up in good conscience. It was not right for me to be away so often for so long without doing my part for my wife and my baby boy.

Around the end of September, I stopped running altogether. I would wake up early with Logan so that Jacqui could sleep because, more often than not, she was the one who would get up with him throughout the night. So I'd rock him...sing to with to him...oh yeah, and I ate too. I ate a lot. Boy, oh, boy did I eat! Mercy.

After all of that rocking and singing and playing and reading, Logan would usually fall back to sleep. But I was wide awake. And with nothing to do but sit with a sleeping baby and having had no exercise to energize my body or curb my appetite, I opened the floodgate to bad decisions. Please understand, my old demons did not just return for a visit from time to time, by the middle of October, they had moved back in to stay.

Looking back, it boggles my mind how much I was able to eat during that time. I would eat before leaving for work, stop somewhere on my way to the office to grab another breakfast and a snack, gobble all of that down before anyone else arrived, I'd hit a local convenience store on my way out to see patients and then grab my lunch and another afternoon snack before returning to work. On my way home, I would stop at a grocery store and buy ice cream and cookies--all of which would be finished off either before bed that night or, at the very least, along with my breakfast the next morning. And the cycle continued day after day after day after day.

I cannot say with any certainty just how much weight I gained between October 1 and January 1. After all, the weight listed in my previous post was just after running a marathon. I know I was heavier than that by the time this insanity started. So I cannot be sure how much I gained. I know it was a lot. When I weighed myself in early January, I learned that I was back up to 300 pounds. 300 pounds. 300. Pounds.

In retrospect, what I find most shocking about that discovery is that it did nothing to me. I was numb to the fact that I was back in the 300s and did not decide to change anything for another couple of weeks. And I cannot tell you why or how but on January 14, 2011 I woke up. Enough was enough. It was time for a change.

I realized that morning that I had initially viewed caring for Logan in the morning as an inconvenience. I had later embraced it as an excuse. Neither of these is acceptable because (a) he is the greatest gift I have ever received and (b) he doesn't deserve that kind of pressure. So I came up with a plan that morning that I have been following ever since:

1.) I figured out a way that would allow me to exercise in the morning before work while at the same time caring for Logan 4 out of 7 mornings a week.

2.) I began preparing all of my breakfasts, snacks, and lunches for the week on either Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I had been doing this on the morning of the day I was going to eat the food but have found it to be a better use of my time if I get it all together at once. This gives me more time for either working out or caring for Logan in the mornings.

3.) I immediately began setting short-term fitness goals. My first goal was to begin taking the stairs at work again (we are on the 7th floor of our building) no later than February 1st. I achieved that goal early. My next was to begin running again. At first I could only run about 1/4 of a mile. My last run was 6 miles. Short term fitness goals are the key to long term fitness success. If you say you can't, I say you haven't tried intelligently.

With these things in place (not to mention the support of my lovely bride) I have turned this thing around.

You'll notice, however, that I do not have a current weight listed or a current picture shown. The reason for that is because I'm not spending a lot of time on the scales anymore. I love Weight Watchers. I need you to know that. If you want to lose weight and be healthier, Weight Watchers is the best way to reach those goals. But I've come to grips with the fact that my problems go much deeper than simply eating too much. My problems are more compulsive in nature and compulsively checking my weight on a scale is simply trading one compulsion for another.

So, since January 14 I have stood on a scale about once every month-and-a-half. And the last time I stood on the scale (about 2 weeks ago) I weighed in at 245 pounds. So, all I know is that I've lost at least 55 pounds since January. I'll probably check it again in June.

As of today, I am on day 51 of P90X (which is both very intense and very enjoyable). This will end a week before marathon training begins (mid-June). I plan to run the St. Judes Marathon in December. Then I will do another round of P90X to kick off 2012 and hope to run the OKC Memorial 1/2 Marathon almost exactly one year from today. Remember what I said about short term goals? A lot of short term goals strung together can make for a lifetime of healthy living.

So what have I learned through all of this? My sister, whom I adore, is about to celebrate 7 months of sobriety. She once told me (and I believe her because she lives it) that "setbacks are set-ups for comebacks". I've learned that for sure.

The other lesson I've learned is that most (if not all) of us are looking for excuses to not be the best we can be. If we can come up with a reason why we shouldn't be esteemable, we can feel more content with embracing mediocrity. Some excuses are valid (and, therefore, need to be worked around). Some excuses are noble (and, therefore, do not need to be looked down upon by anyone). But for most of us, any excuse will do (and, therefore, have to be named for what they are).

But I can't do that for you. Only you can name your excuse. Only you can overcome it. The key words, of course, are "you can overcome it."

You'll hear from me soon.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24, 2010--203.4-206.6

Well, I did it! Back on Sunday, April 11, I ran the Big D (and I DO mean Dallas) Marathon. All it took was a little over 5 hours, a slight conversion experience along the road, and at least two pints of nipple blood.

A little background (that I've probably shared with you before). When I first started Weight Watchers--back in December of 2008--I weighed in at just under 400 pounds. I was, as they say in the medical profession, "very, VERY fat". Weight Watchers is the best of the best as far as weight loss plans go in many ways but among the top is the fact that it is possible for a very large person to lose significant amounts of weight simply by following the eating plan. That being said, once you taste a bit of what Weight Watchers has to offer, it is impossible for the serious member to ignore all other aspects of the lifestyle--a key component of which is "moving more".

After losing quite a bit of weight, I decided that it was time to do just that. At the time Jacqui and I were babysitting a treadmill for some good friends. It was time to dust that bad boy off, ignore it's 275 pound weight limit, and give it a try. At a zero incline, I commenced to walk for 2 minutes at a 2.5 mph pace. I did not set out to walk for 2 minutes--my goal was to walk for 30--but it was near the two minute mark when it felt that I had shattered both knee caps, collapsed a lung, and began having palpitations. I honestly thought I was dying and was so out of breath after such a short workout that I couldn't even call Jacqui into the room for help.

That was a little more than a year ago. Three weeks ago, I ran a friggin' marathon!

The takeaway? Decide that you want to do something extraordinary, start where you are, push yourself a little further each and every day, and achieve that goal. After all, the only thing between you and that goal is you--you settling for the occaisionally getting motivated to change your life but growing discouraged and giving up the moment that you realize that you're not already where you were hoping to be the instant that you decided that you wanted to change your refusing to push yourself because the familiar is WAY more comfortable (but is it really?!!??!?).

Go ahead and scroll back to the top of this post--that guy...the one in the first picture...should not have been crossing a marathon finishing line in April 2010. That guy should have been dead by now or, at the very least, in a wheel chair/stroke rehab center.

Oftentimes, people will say to me, "I wish I had your motivation." In my pride I could gloat over such comments. But I can't...I can't because I have a memory. And that memory reminds me that at one point I was the least motivated creature on the planet. One does not balloon up to 393.2 pounds as a result of being motivated...the only way to get there is down the path of directionless self-loathing. In other words, if anyone lacked motivation, it was me...

If you're one who covets my motivation, you'll never reach your goals. You will, however, be better off tomorrow than you are today if you'll do the long hard work of reaching down deep inside yourself, finding whatever spark of your own motivation that remains, and fan it into flame one decision at a time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010--204.2--203.4

I know, I know--I go two months without posting a thing and then I throw up two new blogs in a week. Forgive me.
I have two reasons for posting so soon. First of all, Jacqui took a current picture of me yesterday afternoon. I wanted to post it. I'm also posting because I forgot to post a win from last month in my most recent blog.
Last month I went for my regularly scheduled check-up at the doctor's office. He has decided that I should stop taking the blood pressure medicine I've been on for several years. He was also excited to tell me that for the first time since we've been testing, all of my levels (good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, blood sugar, etc...) were all within "normal" ranges!!!! That's right, I'm a healthy feller!
There's more but I'll save it for next month. See you then.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010--211.6--204.6

Well it's about time! I haven't posted a new blog since January and that's simply not acceptable! There is just so much to report. The last two months have been filled with achieving goals, struggling with old demons, and embracing new opportunities.

Let's start with the goals achieved.

I celebrated my 29th birthday early by participating in the Cowtown Half-Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, February 27. I've run a half-marathon several times on my own--just me and the South Highland streets while the rest of Shreveport sleeps--but this was different. 25,000 people descended upon downtown Fort Worth to run (everything from a 1/2 mile fun run to an Ultra-Marathon). It was electric! To be a part of such a large gathering for such a positive purpose is indescribable! I fell in line with the 2-1/2 hour pace group but actually finished in 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 43 seconds--shattering my expectations for myself!

Because of that great experience, I've decided to push the envelope a bit and train for a full marathon being held in Dallas on April 11. As a result, I have set two new personal distance records in the past two weeks--running 16 miles on Sunday, March 7th and 18 miles just one week later. I will attempt 20 miles this coming weekend after which I will taper off for a few weeks in anticipation of the 26.2 that looms a mere 24 days from today.

As you can see from the title of this posting, I have also managed to lose another 7 pounds over the past 2 months. This brings me within 4.8 pounds of "onederland" and has also meant the difference between 32" jeans and the 30" pair that I need (but have yet to buy).

It has indeed been a good couple of months.

But it has not been without struggle. Sometime within the next week or so, I will be entering a Weight Watchers contest in which they are seeking positive role models. The winner of this contest will be brought to New York for a week, given $500 to wander around the city with, and land on the cover of Weight Watchers magazine. All that is required to enter is a 400 word essay explaining how I've been a positive role model for others along my journey.

As I was reading over this blog in search of inspiration for that essay it occured to me that I have not been a good role model in at least one regard--I've shared all of my glory with you but none of my defeats. A truly good role model exhibits both. A good role model not only gives inspiration that leads to victory but also a context for dealing with defeat. Over the last 15 months I have experienced tremendous amounts of victory. Over the past 2 months I have wallowed in defeat.

That defeat has come in the form of binge eating. It has happened on several occasions (to be honest, I've lost count as to how many times it has occured). It has most often happened at the end of a busy day and usually when Jacqui is not home. I'm tired, I'm alone and I eat...A LOT.

Some reading this will wonder what the big deal is--after all, I've still lost weight these past two months! Why worry about over-eating if the number on the scale continues to go down!??!?!?

That is not the issue. The title of this blog is "No Longer That Guy". "That Guy"--the one that I no longer want to be--had a very unhealthy relationship to food. That's putting it nicely. To be honest, "that guy"...THIS guy...was/is an addict. In my pride I had forgotten that reality and as a result, I fell.

I have to admit my problem. For 13 months I have been reversing 27 years of living to eat by learning to eat to live. For the past 2 months (at least on several occasions during the past two months) I have been reversing that progress in an attempt to use food to accomplish things that food was never intended to accomplish--comfort, stress relief, a cure for boredom, etc...

Excuses have abounded--"I'm too busy to shop for the right foods"..."I'm too busy to prepare the right foods"..."it's time to celebrate my accomplishments"..."everyone else gets to eat whatever they want"...

I have even gone as far as blaming others to a certain degree, even if just passively (i.e. not wanting to put others out by demanding we go out to eat at a place that is more Weight Watchers friendly). But I am the only one who controls me--no one and no thing else will have to answer for the decisions I make in any given situation. So the excuses stop here.

To be strong is to know how I am weak. Having named my weakness in such a public forum, I am confident that I will not continue to wrestle with the same demons for long. Once exposed, these things that seem so powerful in the dark tend to whimper away in the light. I will be successful. I will excel.

I have to because of the new opportunities at hand. Most of you know but for those who do not, I'm going to be a daddy in just 4 short months! He's not even here yet and my heart is overflowing with love and excitement for our baby boy. If I don't take care of me, I will be shortchanging Logan. In the past, this would have been perfectly acceptable to me. But that was the old me, I'm no longer that guy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13, 2010. 211.2--211.6

I've been a weight watcher for nearly 29 years. It's just that for 28 of those years I was watching my weight go up and up and up and up and up! For the last 13 months, I have been a Weight Watcher--meaning that I've been watching it go down and down and down and down and down! I am 181.6 pounds lighter since December 13, 2008.
My .4 lbs gain this month notwithstanding, I did manage to slay the holiday beast! Back in early November, I read that the average American will gain 6 lbs between Thanksgiving and January 1st. It appears that I actually lost 6 lbs from the Saturday before Turkey Day to January 1. Is that the equivalent of being 12 lbs ahead of the game?????? Hmmm....
On Christmas Day I decided to not count points--to simply eat whatever I wanted in whatever quantities I wanted. I ate like a king...a large king...a really really FAT king. I DO NOT recommend this for anyone beginning the Weight Watchers journey. It takes time to embrace this as a lifestyle and until you reach that point, it is all too easy to forget that your primary problem with food is that you're addicted to it--jumping off of the wagon before you're mentally prepared to do so responsibly is way too dangerous to attempt. It took me over a year before I felt I could handle it...and handle it I did!
The most notable result from this "day off" came when my father-in-law asked me if I was overwhelmed with guilt for eating what I was eating. For a moment I felt like I should feel guilty. But just as quickly I realized that I didn't--not one bit. If I were on a diet, guilt would have been the only emotion available in that situation. But I have not merely changed what I eat for a short period of time. I have changed my life forever.
For the first time in my life, I realized that I was choosing to eat rather than being compelled to eat. I was in control of me and I could have never said that a year ago. Once again, thank you Weight Watchers!!!
In other news, I have received numerous reports of people deciding to turn their lives around because of the inspiration they've received from reading this blog. That is the only reason I do it! From the beginning, one of my goals has been to help others along this journey as well. It does my heart good to know that friends near and far are benefiting from this small window into my life.
If you're one of these people, I hope to see "less" of you soon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009. 223.2--211.2

I have now been a Weight Watcher for 1 year and 2 days. While reflecting over these past 12 months, it occured to me that I somehow let 2 months slip by without updating this blog. Sadly, I do not have an updated picture to post but will add one soon.
Several things have happened since October that I'm eager to share. The first is that I reached Lifetime Status with Weight Watchers on Saturday, November 21st. This means that, over a six week period, I was able to show that I cannot only lose weight but maintain that loss as well. Lifetime members only have to weigh in once a month and can attend any meeting at any time for free so long as they are not over 2 pounds of their goal (227 is the limit for me).
I also dropped another pant size in the last two months--I am now wearing 32x32s--down from 50x30s a year ago--fulfilling my lifelong dream to be as big around as I am tall :P
As of last weekend, I am weighing in at 211.2 for a total weight loss of 182 lbs. I have decided to work toward weighing in at 193.2 for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think it would be pretty cool to be able to say that I've lost 200 lbs! The second reason is slightly more serious--at 211.2 I am still considered obese. Judging by the BMI scale, a 28 year old man of my height should weigh, at the most, 195 pounds. I'm interested to see how I both feel and look at "normal" weight. It'll also be pretty sweet to be a part of the "Onederland" community for a while.

I usually avoid making New Year's Resolutions but the one I hope to stick to this year is to keep this blog updated on a more consistent basis--I'd hate for any of you to think I fell off the wagon in between posts...