Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Little victories are better than little failures...

...and little failures and better than big failures.

This is a very stressful time of year.  This week is a two-day work week.  That might sound great, but it also means that there is a week's worth of work to do in two days.  My parents are in town visiting.  That's nice too, but it is still another thing to think about this week.  Of course, the biggest thing is the food.

There is food everywhere this time of year.  It's almost a cliche that we will struggle with food issues through the holidays.  It's not even Thanksgiving yet and D brought meatballs covered in grape jelly to work this morning.

I'm going to set My Fitness Pal at 'break even' and be more than happy if I make it through this week without gaining weight.

The real battle starts on Sunday, when I wake up in an empty house with no guests, nothing to do, and hungry...

I must stay on course no matter what happens in the next 5 days.

* * *

Last week I averaged about 2500 calories per day and I walked over 43,000 steps, but I only lost 0.8 pounds.

I have lost 22.6 total (in 49 days).

I am FINALLY wearing new shoes though!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Everybody Has The Answer...

If you aren't careful, you can be overrun by other people's advice. 

Everybody thinks they have the best answer for how to lose weight.  Here's the thing... you probably don't know the best answer for someone else.

In my first blog entry I said, "I'm not asking for your advice." That hasn't stopped people from giving it to me anyway. For the most part, I appreciate the little tips and well-meaning anecdotes that people share.  

The only time it bothers me is when people are adamant that their solution is the only way or the absolute best way. There may be 'wrong ways' to do this, but there is absolutely not 'one true' correct way. 

Yes, some diet programs work for some people.  Yes, some exercise programs work for some people. No, I am not going to try it your way. At the great risk of sounding unappreciative and maybe even a little rude, let me tell you about some of my favorites... 

1.  "You really need to follow a Vegan / Vegetarian / High Protein / Low Fat / No Carb / All Carb / Paleo / Plant-based / Whole Food / Atkins / Sugar-Free / Gluten-Free... diet."

All of these diets work very well for certain people. I have tried at least half of them at one time or another. I know that they don't work for me. What I'm doing right now is what I believe to be my best chance to succeed. So, not only am I not going to follow the same diet that you are following, but I don't think we should all be so insistent that other people eat the way we do.  There are a lot of ways to eat healthier than the average person.  Pick one and do your best to stick with it.  There's nothing worse than watching the Paleo crowd and the Vegan crowd argue with each other in the comments below a Facebook post about your new diet.  That kind of thing only makes this process more difficult for people who are struggling to better themselves.  If your diet works for you and makes you happy, then that's great.  You want to tell people how great it is?  That's fine.  Please do not belittle my diet choice as being inferior to yours.  It's not necessary, not helpful, and not true.  

2.  "I know that you are walking right now, but you really need to try Crossfit / Weightlifting / Bicycling / Swimming / More Cardio / Resistance Training / p90x / Yoga / Pilates / Running Up Stairs Until You Puke..."

Once again, just like with the diets, I'm sure that your workout regimen works great for you.  If it does, that's a great thing.  I need to walk.  I need to walk more than I do now. I certainly need to walk a lot more than I was six weeks ago.  That's what I'm doing right now.  That's what I'm comfortable with.  That's it.

3.  "I heard about your weight loss journey and I wanted to tell you about AdvoCare / Medifast / Nutrisystem / Jenny Craig / Weight Watchers / Isagenix / Hydroxycut / Garcinia Cambogia / Super Mega Tape Worm Tablets..."

I am eating less.  I am moving around more.  I am taking a few vitamin supplements that I already know about and understand and like.  I have no intention, at this time, of using any other system or pill.  Thanks though.

4.  "You really need to go ahead and just have the weight loss surgery / Whatever you do, do NOT get that weight loss surgery." 

As I explained in one in a previous blog, I am not getting the weight loss surgery now, but if this plan does not work then I am absolutely going to do it.  Please stop trying to convince me to follow another path.  If you have had the surgery and it has changed your life for the better, then that's great. If you had the surgery and it was terrible, then I am sorry about that.  (I should point out that no one has told me that they had the surgery and they regret it.  It's only people with second and third-hand accounts of people they know who had complications from the surgery or did not get the results that they wanted.)  I have already made my decision and I am going to stick with it.  I do appreciate your concern for my well being, but I am going to stick with my plan.

Let me just say once again that I REALLY APPRECIATE everyone who has reached out and offered their encouragement.  I hope no one is offended by this post.  I'm not just doing it to be snarky.  It really does frustrate people when they are bombarded with conflicting advice from every direction. We need to all remember that.  If someone asks for your advice, give it to them.  However, it's not always okay to try to tell people that your way is the best or only way to achieve something.

* * *

I had a little trouble this weekend.  I was staying at the L'auberge Casino Hotel and they have a magnificent buffet.  Buffets are a huge issue for me.  I LOVE THEM, but I know they are bad for me.  I resisted the temptation on Friday night, but then I hit the buffet for lunch on Saturday.  I still tracked all of my calories as best as I could.

In the end, I ate about 3700 calories on Saturday, but I got right back on track Sunday.  I averaged about 2500 calories per day and I walked over 43,000 steps (even though I spent two whole days driving).

I lost 1.8 pounds since last week and 21.8 total (in 42 days).

(Sorry Andreas... I forgot the new shows again...)

Bonus video:

When I hear or read people arguing about why their diet is better than all the others, I think of this clip.  It's from an episode of The West Wing where Josh is listening to experts lobbying for alternative energy.  Each one just beats up on everyone else's proposal.  It makes them all seem awful.  That's how I feel about diets.  No solution is perfect, but we have to do something.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I think about cheeseburgers...

They say men think about sex every 7 seconds.

It's probably a little bit less than that, but not by much.  I'm not going to dig too deeply into that cliche, but I will add something else into the mix.

I think about food constantly.  It's all I think about, all the time.

Well, when I'm not thinking about sex (because, after all, I am a man).  So, for argument's sake, let's just assume that the old saying is true.  If I think about sex every 7 seconds, then I probably think about food 5 out of the remaining 6 seconds on average.

I daydream about all the bad things I'm trying hard not to eat.  I mostly think about cheeseburgers.  I'm not entirely sure why.  I love cheeseburgers, but I wouldn't say they're my favorite food or even in the top five.  Nonetheless, if you see me with a glazed over look, I'm probably imaging a juicy cheeseburger or a naked woman... or both...

Side note: On Saturday, my friend Mary Lynne, said, "I have never watched one of these Hardee's/Carl's Jr. commercials and thought anything other than how disgusting it looks.  Nothing about a hot girl eating a giant sloppy cheeseburger makes me want to eat there."  That's because you are not the target of those advertisements.  I assure you, they are very effective.  In fact, just thinking about it right now makes me want a cheeseburger...

Who am I kidding?  I wanted a cheeseburger anyway.

I don't just think about 'bad' foods though.  Even when I have my entire day's meals planned out, I still think over and over again about what I'm going to eat next.  I imagine this is what a heroin addict feels like.  When you are not high, you are always thinking about your next high.

Last week, during all the CMA Week craziness, I couldn't stop thinking about food.  CMA Week is one of the biggest sources of my favorite type of food.  FREE FOOD.  There was free food at the CMA broadcast orientation on Sunday, at the official broadcast everyday, at the pre-CMA parties, and, worst of all, at the after-parties.  This isn't just free food.  It's GOOD, free food mixed with free drinks.

The amazing part is that (this time) I didn't eat much of it.  I just wish I didn't fantasize about it.

I don't know how to fix it.  I don't know if I can fix it.  I don't even know if I want to fix it.

I just know that it's something I'm struggling with everyday.  Maybe if I could stop thinking about cheeseburgers, I'd be happier eating a salad.

Nah... probably not.  It's still a salad.

* * *

I had a good week.  I averaged about 2100 calories per day and I walked over 36,000 steps.  I had very little time for dedicated workouts during CMA week, but I still managed more steps than I did three weeks ago.

I lost 4.2 pounds since last week and 20.0 total (in 35 days).

Also, my good friend Andreas keeps pointing out that the shoes I'm wearing are old and ragged.  He correctly remembers that these are the same shoes I was wearing when we were in Paris in August.  He also remembers that they were "past their prime" even then.  Well, I had every intention of wearing brand new shoes today.  I already bought them.  I just forgot to put them on this morning.  So, you get to see a picture of my old, ragged shoes one more time.

Here's a bonus picture of me in my (over-sized) suit for the CMA Awards.

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's CMA Awards week, so this will be brief (I hope).

I'm sitting here at the end of a very long day which is only the start of a VERY LONG week.  I promise that I'll have many more insightful things to say next time, but right now I just want to give you quick update and then crash...

CMA week is always a lot of work and a lot of fun.  I'm excited about going to the show Wednesday night as well as several other events and parties throughout the week.

It's interesting how I have gone through phases with concerts and live events.  When I was younger, I couldn't get enough.  Then, I got married and I enjoyed being at home with my family.  I still went to a LOT of events, but not nearly as many as before.

Now, I'm divorced and I find myself happy to be out of the house for almost any reason.  So, I go to everything.

That's not the only reason though.  I think I took things like concerts, music industry parties, and award shows for granted.  Since my divorce, I have a new appreciation for this lifestyle.  I have always known that it was a privilege, but now I have a stronger desire to participate than ever before.

Still, it isn't fun to wear a suit when you weigh over 350 pounds.  Then again, it isn't fun to wear anything when you weigh over 350 pounds.

I am just going to suck it up, put on the suit, shine my shoes, and look as good as I can.

Oh, and try desperately to not eat too much of the free food at all the parties...

* * *

I had another great week.  I averaged only 2000 calories per day and I walked over 49,000 steps, which is 8,000 more than last week.  I even walked over 4.1 miles in one workout on Sunday afternoon.

I lost 2.4 pounds since last week and 15.8 total (in 28 days).