Posts Tagged ‘weigh-in’

2015 Weigh-In Number 2 (of 52)

Yeah, yeah, I know, I should have posted Friday. Didn’t work out that way. But I did weigh-in yesterday morning, to a shocking four-pound loss at 285. Which tells me that last week’s weigh-in, the baseline, was probably the result of a bunch of water weight. Regardless, yes, I’m pleased with a four-pound jump start.

Biggest Dietary Deviation of the Week: A “Southern Cucumber” – Bourbon, cucumber, lemonade – at dinner last Saturday night. I would not have been surprised to not lose a pound after that.

Biggest Disappointment of the Week: Remembering how inconvenient it is to eat without fast food. Yes, I know if I prepared lunch at home and brought it with me it would not be inconvenient. I’m unlikely to do that. The day moves by really fast sometimes, and driving through a fast-food place is A LOT faster than anything else. Regardless, I don’t do that anymore.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!


Weighing in, and bacon.

I don’t know if you read this blog for the witty turns-of-phrase (yes, I flatter myself), for the insightful links from the research department, because you have nothing better to do, or because you keep thinking that sooner or later I’ll lose some more weight.

If that last reason is your reason, I have good news and bad news for you tonight:  No, I haven’t lost weight since the last time I posted a weigh-in. I was 262 this morning, which isn’t bad considering how much I stretched my “program” since I was last posting regularly in March, but it’s not the same thing as losing weight.  The good news is that now I’m pissed-off about it.  Which isn’t a good motivator for everyone, but for me, it’s always been a fine way to keep my mind on the project at-hand.  Being angry about something sharpens my focus.

Why am I pissed-off?  Well, there are the obvious reasons – primarily that I’ve been stalled within a few pounds for too long, and since I actually write about his stuff on the internet it’s kind of embarrassing to be stalled for so long for no other reason than that I haven’t been on-task.  I wanted to be farther along than this before summer, and I’m not, and it’s nobody’s fault but my own.

But that’s not all.  The truth is – and we all know this – that there are a lot of too-good-to-be-true weight-loss gimmicks out there, and if people like me who are doing this sensibly don’t succeed, and don’t share that success, the gimmicks win.  And then everybody loses, because the gimmicks don’t work.  At least not in the long run.

So I won’t have it.  No white-bread hamburger bun, no bowl of cheese-grits, no Kraft Mac and Cheese tastes good enough for me to let the gimmicks win without a fight.

Speaking of hamburger buns, here’s a bonus bacon cheeseburger link and a couple of thoughts.  You may have read that McDonald’s announced they will phase out using pigs from gestation-crates for their pork products.  Good news, right?  Yeah, turns out they’re not going to actually, ummm, do that for about ten years.  One more reason to stay away from fast food.

Beyond that, let’s talk about bacon cheeseburgers for a minute.  A while back, in one of my more lucid moments in this process, it occurred to me that when I order a bacon cheeseburger – or any sort of beef burger – what I taste is the burger.  Furthermore, that’s what I want to taste when I order a burger – the beef.  So I tried really thinking and tasting my burger (yeah, eating intentionally) to see how much the bacon was adding to the experience.  Answer?  Almost nothing.  And on further review, I think I’m going to jettison the cheese.  A good burger stands on its own.  No reason to tart up a good piece of beef.  It’s insulting to both the cow and the pig.

Yeah, I still eat bacon, you bet I do.  But I save it for places where it really makes a difference – carbonara, next to an egg, places where it belongs.  It doesn’t belong on a burger.  So I don’t put it there anymore.  And I don’t miss it.

Thanks for reading – don’t be shy about passing this along to a friend!

A Little Perspective

Whew!  Busy week.  Sorry about missing Wednesday and Friday.  Hopefully you used the time to read some older posts.

Regardless, know that I did weigh-in Friday morning, I just didn’t get a chance to blog it.  260, which is down one more pound from last week.  Still in the 260’s, still annoying.

A couple of weeks ago I was whining about how slow this slog is, and how frustrating it is to not be losing at a greater clip.  A friend of the blog made the remarkable suggestion that the next time I’m in the grocery store I pick up a 25-pound bag of dog food and carry it around for a bit.  The point being that, having started at 287, I used to carry more than that around with me every step I took.  Hey, that’s a good idea, I thought to myself.

I didn’t actually do it, of course.

And then this afternoon I was in the Publix, and I was thinking, “Damn, I can’t believe I’m still fighting my way through the 260’s.”  And I remembered Ed’s suggestion.  So I pushed the cart over to the pet aisle and discovered that the Publix doesn’t sell 25-pound bags of Purina.  But they have 20’s, so I picked one of those up and carried it around for a few aisles.

You know what?  Twenty pounds of dog food is a lot to carry.  Twenty-seven pounds of fat must have been as well.

I don’t feel “better” now than I did before I started this journey, to be honest.  Clothes fit a bit better and I don’t have to take heartburn meds every night anymore, but I think I’m still about 25 pounds from really feeling what I could describe as “better.”  However, the reality is that right now … 27 pounds lighter … my knees aren’t working as hard.  My flat feet aren’t working as hard.  My heart isn’t working as hard.  Which means all those components – and more -should keep working longer than they otherwise would.

Which is fine thing.

So.  Thank you Ed, hell of a suggestion.

Thank you for reading.  I promise to get you a Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday post this week.

A Little Math to Start the Weekend

First, here I am, seven days into Accountabilitober, and I’m seven-for-seven. Blogged every day this month.  (Pats self on back.)

It’s late in the day, so I’ll be brief, but the day is weigh-in day, and on the morning of this day I weighed-in at 258.  That’s 29 pounds in 30 weeks.  Which, of course, puts me behind schedule, but I’m at peace with that today.  After all, as I mentioned earlier this week I could have eaten better on the road than I did.  I’m lucky to be at 29 pounds.  I’m confident I’ll get back on pace within a week or two, but for now I’m just happy to be solidly in the 250’s.

I also should point out that 29 pounds is officially a full ten percent of my starting weight (287).  Yes, I am 90 percent of the man I was a mere 30 weeks ago.  For which I am deeply grateful.

Some People Just Don’t Get It.

Like, for instance, this jackass.  He set out, a while back, to prove to the world that the only thing that matters in a weight-loss regimen is the math:  burn more calories than you take in.  So he cut his daily caloric intake to 1,800.  Most of which he obtained through, apparently, Twinkies, Doritos and Oreos.  And yes, he lost weight.

To his credit he’s apparently been able to keep it off.  But here’s why the point he “proved” is a slap in the face to people trying to manage their weight responsibly:  Some of us, Dr. Haub, can’t eat just one.  And let’s face it, if your total caloric intake is less than 2,000 calories, you ain’t gonna get many Twinkies. One (1) Twinkie is 150 calories – and they come packs of two, which means somebody with less-than-perfect will-power is going to consume 300 calories when they open a package of Twinkies.

I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten a pack of Twinkies, but I have to tell you, they aren’t particularly filling.  He says he ate one every three hours, plus other snacks.  Let’s say he started at 9 AM and ate one every three hours through 9 PM.  That’s 750 calories, and nearly nothing in his stomach.  Let’s say he added two handfuls of Doritos every day.  That’s another 280 calories.

Maybe he added a couple of Oreos and a bowl of Honeycomb cereal just to round-out the days snacking.  There’s 310 more calories.  Which leaves 460 calories for the protein shake and vegetables he says he consumed.

A reasonable person isn’t FULL after eating that amount of food.  It rings the calorie register too quickly, and there’s no bulk, no satisfaction to the “meal.”

Perhaps he’s one of those rare folks who can eat a couple of Oreos and just walk away.  Or perhaps I’m the strange one.  But here’s what happens when I eat an Oreo:  I eat another Oreo.  And then another and another.  And then I start looking around to be sure nobody sees the fat guy eating the next ten or fifteen Oreos.  And you know what?  I think there are more of me than there are of him.

As I referenced in this post, there’s actual research to back up my point that bad food is engineered to make you want more bad food.  So this guy is effectively telling people – many of whom are desperately trying to get healthy – that there’s no difference between an all-Twinkies-all-the-time approach and the Michael Pollan approach.  But there is.

Yes, he tries to back off from it by saying he doesn’t know what the right answer is.  Really?  Seriously?  You think the right answer has anything to do with Doritos?  That’s simply disingenuous, and worse, it’s harmful.  Because I’ll promise you there’s somebody reading the CNN article about him and thinking, “Alright!  I CAN eat junk food and lose weight.”  And a year from now that person is going to blame themselves, and not this jackass. And that’s inexcusable.

Two housekeeping items:  First, I’m stuck at 262.  That’s 25 pounds in 25 weeks.  Gotta pick up the pace or I’ll be OFF pace … and that won’t be good.

Second, see those little pictures of the Facebook, Twitter, Google and other icons?  Click those.  Share the blog if you enjoy it.  Thanks!


Another week, another pound.  263.  That’s 24 pounds in19 weeks, by my math.  Speaking of math, that’s 8.3% of my former self.  Which means you could say, I suppose, that I’m only 91.6% of the man I was in early March.

Or you could say I’m exactly 30% of the way toward my goal.   Let’s go with that one.  It’s a nice round number.

I have to say I’m getting really tired of the 260’s.  Yes, I’m happy to be making progress, but I need to get out of the 260’s.

I know.  Sometime in August.

Which is excellent motivation to keep me from backsliding …

(Hey, look, there’s a bonus post today!)

One More Reason Not to Count the Calories

Generally speaking, I don’t care what the menu says about how many calories are in my steak.  I’m pretty sure I’m not making a stellar nutritional decision by dining at Outback (or any other chain restaurant) in the first place.  I already know the less sauce and the more vegetables there are on the plate, the “healthier” it is.  I don’t need a little heart printed next to it on the menu.

Plus, I don’t trust their numbers.  They have plenty of motivation to be less-than-honest about the calorie count on any given item, and there’s plenty of room for error in the kitchen.

Vindicating my distrust of menu-math, a friend of the blog (actually my Lovely Wife) sent me this NPR story highlighting a Tufts University study printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week.

In all fairness, it turns out restaurants are right more often than they’re wrong (by a long shot) but when they’re wrong, they’re really wrong.  One chain mis-labelled their chips and salsa (yeah, they couldn’t even get chips and salsa right) by more than a thousand calories.  Considering that I know people who refuse to eat more than 600 calories a day, that’s a a substantial error.

What the article doesn’t report, but which is, I think, pretty important, is that there are diet plans out there (I won’t mention them by name, ’cause I don’t make any money off this and don’t want to pay a lawyer when they sue me, but the second word in the title of one of them is “Watchers”) who actively promote checking the printed calorie counts.  You’ll notice many of the chains even include “exchange” information next to the calorie count.

If the data is wrong … and you’re counting it for your “points” … you’re likely to be left wondering what went wrong at your weigh-in.   Which is devastating to the psyche of someone committed to a program like that.

So while part of me is happy to be right about those calorie counts, the consumer advocate in me is more than a little annoyed by this news.  Let the eater beware, I suppose, but I’d like to see the counts ditched altogether.

There are few crutches worth using on the path to losing weight.  In the long run, we all have to do the hard work on our own.  But there’s no reason for restaurants to make the work harder.

Here’s a rule of thumb:  Eating at a chain restaurant is not good for you.  Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it occasionally – they make stuff that tastes GOOD to most of us.  It means you have to be careful and you have to do your own research.

As a side-note to this, the NPR Health Blog (“Shots“) is a fine health resource.  I recommend it.

Never Be Daunted

“Never be daunted.  Secret of my success.  Never been daunted.” – Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

It’s Friday, so it must be weigh-in day.  Which is good news – 264!

If you’re scoring at home, that’s 23 pounds, 18 weeks.

Every now and then the number still out there (57) is, well, daunting.  I agree that much of the secret of success is not being daunted.  But even after powering through 23 pounds, staring at nearly sixty, well, there’s no other word for it.

That said, I feel pretty good about being where I am.  And I know many of the changes I’ve made are permanent, because, for instance, the idea of Publix buttercream icing no longer makes my mouth water.  So I got that goin’ for me.

There’s no question that writing through the process on this blog is one of the things that helps keep the sense of daunting at bay.  I’m pretty sure Hemingway never gave a second thought to losing weight or any other aspect of living healthy.  I’m not as good a writer as Hemingway.  But I’m mighty determined to outlive him.

Maybe It’s the Sleep Deprivation …

I’m almost as happy about having been correct yesterday as I am about being down three pounds in a week.  This morning I weighed-in at 265, which is 22 pounds in 17 weeks.  Being firmly back on the plan and emotionally in-control of what I eat makes all the difference.

But I don’t discount the extra coffee I’m drinking either.  Fighting sleep-deprivation with a three-week -old in the house is a real concern.  Maybe I’ll start a new fad diet:  “Shed pounds NOW with the NEW No-Sleep Plan!

(I’m kidding.  Unless somebody wants to pay me to write a No-Sleep Diet book, in which case, I’m open to the discussion.)

I would have been happy to get back to 267 this week, but I’m thrilled the correction in my thinking (leading to the correction on my plate) worked as well as it did.  The plateau is in my rear-view, and … for now … I’m rollin’ downhill.

Related to my own struggle with weight, and worth sharing with you, are the ongoing discussions my lovely wife and I have about our sprightly daughters and their current and future relationship to food.  Raising daughters to be happy and healthy in their own skins is tough business.  I don’t want to get too far off on this tangent, because it is it’s own topic, but it’s daunting to think about the horrible, unhealthy messages they’re going to face about food, weight and body-image in general.

Part of the problem is that, as a society, we no longer share a definition of what it means to eat healthy.  My lovely wife and our daughters’ pediatrician agree on a definition, and it’s essentially what I espouse here on this blog – the Michael Pollan “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” ideal – but away from home?  It seems like everybody ha a different idea of what the phrase “healthy eating” is supposed to mean.

For some people, it means “eat whatever you want, but be very concerned about how much of it you eat.”  For others it conveys the dreaded, “fat free” concept.  For most school lunch planners it apparently means “PIZZA!”

Candy is a reward nearly everywhere for kids.  Everywhere but our house, that is.  Which is going to confuse the hell out of my daughters as they spend more time away from home.  If the reward for achievement at school (or pre-school) is sweets, and we don’t do that at home, do they perceive (subtly) that they’re not being rewarded at home?

Some of you will shake your head and think, “he worries too much.”  Some of you will think, “well, he just needs to be clear with the people his kids are around about what he means.”  Would that either of those things were that easy.  I do worry about it a lot.  Because, if you haven’t noticed, we’re in kind of an obesity epidemic.  Somebody’s got to worry about it, and it ain’t gonna be the schools.

I’m not looking for answers on this topic.  But I know many of you share the concern.  And if you don’t share it, and you have kids (or grandkids), I want to shake you up.


A Self-Induced Plateau

268.  Again.  That’s 19 pounds in 16 weeks.  Creeping ever closer to numbers that put me on-schedule instead of ahead of schedule.  Which is too close to behind schedule for comfort.

I know why I’m not losing, but need some momentum to the boulder rolling back up the hill.

Here’s how I’ve ended up on this plateau:  As regular readers and other friends know, back on June 16 my lovely wife delivered a brand-new sprightly daughter.  And since then, kind, sweet, talented cooks/friends have been delivering delectable dishes to our home.  For which we are truly grateful, as it means food is something we don’t have to think about as we figure out how baby Kennedy fits into the family structure (or, perhaps more correctly, how the family fits into baby Kennedy’s structure).

The problem with that (not thinking about food) is that I haven’t been thinking about food.  I’ve been just eating food, with the intention only of satisfying my hunger.  Which, for this body, is not enough.  I have to think more critically about what goes on my plate.  The food we’ve been brought is all healthy and delicious, but it’s time for me to stop and think, “Hmmm … do I need to fill the plate or will only one spoonful of that pasta do me better?”

I have this (well-meaning, but fat) voice in the back of my mind that keeps telling me it’s somehow rude to not eat the wonderful food people bring me when they bring it to me.  It’s not rude.  At all.  None of these fine people have intended me to eat everything at once, and all this food will freeze quite nicely.  But that voice, it’s a strong presence.  I suspect some of you know whereof I write.

Rude or not, this week it’s back to responsible portions.  I need to catch up.


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