Friday, April 30, 2010

Some Shocking News

When I started my 12 week class back in January I had blood work done the same week. Here are some disturbing numbers from the January 27th test:

Cholesterol - 247
Triglycerides - 556
HDL - 30
LDL - 217

And here are my results from April 24th after losing almost 50 pounds and exercising every day:

Cholesterol - 158
Triglycerides - 107
HDL - 30
LDL - 107

I never thought the numbers could drop that much in just 3 months. I'm a little surprised that my HDL didn't change at all considering the changes in the other numbers. If anyone has any suggestions on how to increase my HDL I would love to hear them!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekly Weigh In

Starting Weight: 252
Current Weight: 202.4
Weekly Weight Loss: -3.4 lbs
Total Weight Loss: 49.6 lbs
Starting BMI: 36.2
Current BMI: 29.0

This was the first weigh in using my scale at home since my class is now over. I know there's always seems to be a little difference between scales, but using my home scale is really my only option for something to use weekly. I'm staying with Monday as my weigh in day. It helps me from getting off track on the weekends.

I'm very excited about this weeks numbers. I came closer to hitting the 50 pound lost number than I thought I might. I finished week 2 of the C25K program this weekend, but I didn't get to do much outside because of the almost constant rain in Indiana.

It's getting hard to believe that within a week or two, assuming everything goes well, that I may see my weight starting with a 1 for the first time in over 20 years. I don't remember the last time I weighed under 200 pounds. I was 220 when I graduated from high school in 1989. It was probably two or three years before that that I broke the 200 pound mark.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bowling Balls and Dog Food

While I'm still trying to lose some more weight, my biggest concern at this point is keeping off the weight I have already lost. I've found visualizing things that weigh the same amount as I have already lost is a pretty good motivator. When I hit the point that I had lost 32 pounds it dawned on me that 32 pounds is the same amount as two bowling balls. The thought of carrying around two bowling balls all day, every day, isn't that appealing to me anymore.

As I approach 50 pounds lost I remember another blogger saying he realized how much he had lost when he picked up a 50 pound bag of dog food. It's hard to believe that I used to carry around that much extra weight. About a year and a half ago I started having pain in my right foot one day which turned out to be a stress fracture. It was frustrating at the time because I didn't know how it had happened. I hadn't twisted my foot or dropped anything on it, it just started hurting one day. Now it's obvious what caused it, it was the 50 pound bag of dog food that I was lugging around all day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Taking Notice

As I started to lose weight, I wondered when the people that I'm around every day would start to notice. I was actually a little disappointed when I hit about 25 pounds lost and not many people said anything. I got over that pretty quickly because I reminded myself that wasn't why I was going through this lifestyle change. I was doing it for myself and my family.

But then all of the sudden I have people asking about my weight loss every time I turn around. I had a meeting last night with a group of people I see regularly during the hockey season, but hadn't seen in about a month, and I was probably asked about 10 times about how much weight I had lost, and how I had lost it. And then today at work has been the same thing. I'm not sure if it's something I wore or what. And I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but the extra attention has been kind of nice!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekly Weigh In

Starting Weight: 252
Current Weight: 205.8
Weekly Weight Loss: -5 lbs
Total Weight Loss: 46.2 lbs
Starting BMI: 36.2
Current BMI: 29.5

Today was the last weigh in for the 12 week class that I started back on January 25th. I was very anxious to weigh in today because I thought I had a pretty good week last week. I ate pretty well all week, I did some weight training, I helped some friends move Friday night, I mowed a fertilized a couple of lawns, and I did 60 minutes on the treadmill Friday, Saturday and Sunday, along with an extra 30 minute walk outside with my wife last night.

While I realized that I was too hard on myself after last weeks weigh in, I'm trying not to pat myself on the back (at least not too much) for this weeks loss. Now that the class is over I have to keep living all of the things that I learned on a daily basis. The true measure of how successful I am at this won't be determined today, tomorrow or even next month. The true measure will be in 1 year, in 5 years, in 20 years.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All You Can Eat Pizza and Beer Diet

That's how I am going to start responding to people when they ask me how I've lost my weight. I'm going to tell them I found an All You Can Eat Pizza and Beer Diet. Why am I going to do that? Because I just can't take the looks of disappointment anymore when I say (to quote Jack Sh*t at Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit) that I'm "eating less, eating healthier and exercising more". When I tell them that it's like I've told them that Christmas has been cancelled because of the economy.

Now to me it doesn't matter how you lose the weight, just that you lose it. Thank God we aren't judged like Olympic gymnast on how we lose weight (because my dismount is always horrible). I always tell people when it comes to losing weight it's not how, but how many.

OK, so I'm not going to tell people about the All You Can Eat Pizza and Beer Diet. I actually tried that once and it didn't work out so well for me so I don't want to lead others down that path. I guess the next time I come across a disappointed face I will just have to try to point out all of the positive aspects to working hard to live a healthy lifestyle.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It Feels Good

After spending some time reflecting on yesterdays frustration after my weigh in I realized it was kind of ridiculous. I still had a nice little loss, and most importantly I feel really good. I'm kind of a numbers guy, but I'm learning this new lifestyle is more about how I feel than just a number on a scale.

I have asthma and prior to my lifestyle change I had to use my rescue inhaler several times a day, even if I wasn't doing something that was very demanding physically. Now the only time I need to use it is when I'm doing something more physically demanding than a brisk walk.

Last fall I was diagnosed with having a couple of bulging disks in my neck and I was told by my doctor the next step would be to see a neurosurgeon. Since I have lost weight I have had almost no pain in my neck. The only exception was when I over did it a bit when I first started weight training a couple of weeks ago. But even that pain went away relatively quickly.

My family started camping a few years ago, and while I have always enjoyed it I can't wait to get started this year (if the Indiana weather ever stays nice for more than a day or two). I can't wait to do some of the hiking that I have passed on in previous years because I didn't think I could do it physically.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekly Weigh In

Starting Weight: 252
Current Weight: 210.8
Weekly Weight Loss: -2.6 lbs
Total Weight Loss: 41.2 lbs
Starting BMI: 36.2
Current BMI: 30.2

I'm a little disappointed this week. I felt like I worked out pretty hard this week and ate fairly consistently. I had hoped to reach 204 by the end of my 12 week class, and next Monday is the last weigh in, so that seems unattainable now.

But 204 wasn't my original goal when I started 11 weeks ago. My original goal was to lose 30 pounds, so I blew that away. 204 was a revised goal that I made about half way through.

I also started weight training 3 times a week a couple of weeks ago, so hopefully I put on a little muscle as well.

The good news is the old me probably would have gotten frustrated after todays weigh in, but it just gave the new me more resolve to work harder!

Friday, April 9, 2010


I work on a college campus and I have a Subway about 30 feet from my office. They close early on Friday's and the manager just brought around a huge try of cookies that they were going to throw out and insisted that I take a few.

Even though I have not had one of these wonderful cookies since I started trying to live a healthier lifestyle I didn't want to be rude, because she is a very nice lady, so I took a few. I'm going to take them home for my son.

I hope there is a day when I feel like I can have a cookie now and then, but right now I'm still scared of what one cookie could/will lead to. I've worked to hard to get to the milestones I mentioned in my last post. I'm not about to let a soft, chewy, magical, chocolate chip chunk of evil stand in my way!


I'm about to come upon three pretty significant milestones, at least they are are significant for me. At my last weigh in I was at 213.4 lbs. At 208 my BMI will fall below 30 for the first time since I was probably in high school (20+ years ago). At 202 I will have lost 50 lbs. And 3 more pounds from there I will be in Onederland, a place I couldn't even imagine just a few months ago. Now I have no doubt I will achieve these milestones.

I've thought about what I will do to celebrate these milestones. In the past I probably would have had a big meal, but that now seems ridiculous!

If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. If you have read my previous post it will become obvious that I'm not the most creative guy, I'm sure some of you out there in the blogsphere can come up with some great ideas!

Thanks for your help.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Cost of Healthy Living

As I began trying to live a healthier lifestyle I had a lot of people tell me that I would have to spend more money to do so. Now that I have been doing it for a couple of months I'm convinced that the opposite is actually true.

Sure, buying fresh, whole foods costs more than buying highly processed foods, but the savings from not buying all of the extra crap (junk food) that I used to buy more than makes up for that. And the savings from not eating out several times a week is huge.

And the cost of only drinking water, whether at home or dining out makes a big difference as well. The savings from drinking water alone more than pays for a monthly gym membership.

Obviously the long term benefits of reduced health care costs are impossible to calculate, but I don't think many people would argue that there is not a monetary advantage to living at a healthier weight.

I also look forward to being able to buy life insurance at a reduced rate. I have some term life insurance through my employer, but I need more than that and have been putting it off for a long time because I knew at my old weight and blood work number that the cost would be outrageous.

Has anyone found that they are spending a lot more money now that they are living a healthier lifestyle?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Learning the Power

I'm starting to discover the power of this blogging thing.

While I have been spending a lot of time on the treadmill the last couple of months, it is usually just walking at a pretty good pace. I have added speed and incline as I have gone along, but I have been avoiding going to the next level and speeding it up to a run/jog.

After spending a lot of time the last week or so reading incredible blogs about people who got started long before I did on this quest to live a healthier lifestyle, and noticing that they almost always talked about running as part of their exercise routine, I decided that I was going to try to run 1 mile on the treadmill last night.

I was having serious regrets about that decision about 7:30 in (running at 5.5 mph), but thinking back about the blog posting I have read at places like Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit, The Anti-Jared, F Daddy Rants and Did I Just Eat That Out Loud I was reminded of their struggles, but also of their results, and it gave me the push I needed to make it to the 11:00 mark and the completion of my first mile of running.

Getting that first one under my belt was hard, but now I'm excited to do it again and to keep pushing.

So thanks to all for the extra motivation!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In The Red

I spent the first 12 years of my "professional" life in the mortgage business (I'm fairly certain I'm not the one responsible for the mortgage meltdown, but who knows!) I have spent the last couple of years in the accounting services area of a university, although I'm not a bean counter. But now that I'm trying to live a healthier lifestyle I have been counting a lot of beans. Well, at least the calories, carbs, protein, fiber etc. in beans.

But I digress.

I have always tried to be "in the black" with almost everything I have ever done in my life. Trying to lose weight has finally given me a good reason to be "in the red".

Being "in the red" sure is a great feeling!

P.S. Please don't tell my boss I said that!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Weekly Weigh In

Starting Weight: 252
Current Weight: 213.4
Weekly Weight Loss: -3 lbs
Starting BMI: 36.2
Current BMI: 30.7

Another good week. Still averaging almost 4 lbs lost a week.

I've read some other post that refer to going below the 30 BMI mark as leaving "Obese City". I don't know if I can do it this next week, I would need to lose 5 lbs, but I'm going to give it a try!

Food Revolution

Is anyone watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC?

Seems like a gret idea, but changing how schools feed our kids is going to be a monumental task. It's worth pursuing, but in these economic times it's going to be hard to make changes that will require more man power and increased food budgets.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Survived the Easter Bunny

I had my one Reeses Peanut Butter Egg today, and it was great, but i didn't feel like I needed to eat 6 of them, so that's progress.

Also had dinner at my grandmothers house and I didn't go overboard. I got in an extra session on the treadmill today to make up for the few extra calories that I'm sure I put down today.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Afraid of the Easter Bunny

So I haven't had any candy for close to 10 weeks now. With tomorrow being Easter I have decided to splurge and plan on having 1 Reese Peanut Butter Egg. I hope it doesn't cause me to fall of the wagon.

In past years I would eat a whole 6 pack by myself in a single day. Ahhh, the bad old days!


So far in my 9 week quest to a healthier lifestyle I have had no problem doing cardio (mostly walking). I do at least 30 minutes every day, increasing the intensity as time has past. But I am struggling to find the motivation to do weight training.

I work on a college campus and joined the university fitness center a few weeks ago, and I have gone a few times to lift weights, but it certainly isn't something I look forward to doing.

Has anyone else experienced a similar lack of motivation with weigh training? If so, were you able to overcome it?

Friday, April 2, 2010

I Guess You Have To Start Somewhere

Well, I've never done a blog before, but as I draw inspiration from others that are on a journey to live a healthier lifestyle, I decided that maybe there is someone that might be able to draw a little inspiration from me as well, so here goes...

I'm a 38 year old male who has been overweight most of my life. I don't know why I finally decided to try to live a healthier lifesytle, but something back towards the end of January said that it was time. I was tipping the scale at 256 pounds, and most of my clothes were at the point that they were close to no longer fitting. I decided if I was going to buy new clothes they were going to be smaller ones, not bigger ones.

I was fortunate that my employer was offering a 12 week weight loss/lifestyle modification program about the same time and I decided it was worth a try. There really isn't anything magic about the program. It's the typical reduce calories, eat 5-6 smaller meals a day, drink lots of water, and exercise at least 30 minutes a day program.

Well, I am now 9 weeks into the program and I have lost 40 pounds. I have increased my workouts to closer to 60 minutes a day, but other than that I have pretty much stuck to the plan, and have pretty consistently dropped about 4 pounds a week.

Unfortunately I'm a person that doesn't like any fruit. The texture just makes me sick. I have once again tried to force myself to eat fruits while on this plan, but so far I have been unable to do it with any success.