Thursday, December 22, 2005

I'm Bad - I'm Nationwide

Went to the doctor today to get a flu shot. "Can we weigh you today?" "Sure," I said. I climbed up on the scale after shedding my shoes. "I think I know where you were at the last time you were here." The nurse fiddled with the little slider weight for a few seconds. She kept sliding it back down the scale and looked at me like "what the?" "You've lost a lot of weight!" Dang straight, I thought.

I weighed at home this morning before my shower. The scale read "302.6 pounds." Maybe the old plateau is starting to ease off. I hope so.

Since 2003, I've lost a total of a little over 40lbs. Slow going, but it's coming off for good.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

5 Measly Pounds

I’m still here.

I read yesterday in the paper that some journal reported that people who check their weight every day on the scale lose more weight than people who don’t. Good thing I am obsessive compulsive. I’m checking it daily and watching it go up and down like a rubber ball.

I’m pretty much hovering around 305 pounds. Last time this plateau kind of thing happened was during the summer when I stayed at 325 pounds for weeks.

Five measly little pounds. Five more pounds and I can kiss the 300’s goodbye.

Friday, November 25, 2005

I Survived Thanksgiving

Well, I made it through the official pig-out day of the year, without pigging out.

Breakfast: The following is our traditional Thanksgiving breakfast. I updated it this year using low calorie choices.

2 eggs
3 pieces of turkey bacon
hashbrowns (no oil)
cinamon roll (icing used Splenda instead of sugar)

Thanksgiving dinner:
Turkey (white meat)
small helping of mashed potatoes
yellow squash
small amount of dressing
green beans
gravy (just a smidge)
thin slice of pumpkin pie and berry cobbler with whipped cream for dessert

That was the last meal of the day.

Late night snack: 6 triskits crackers, slice of swiss cheese.

Onward through the fog!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lord, I Love Rings

Most people think that Eve gave Adam a bite of an apple when the original sin was first committed. I challenge you to find the word apple anywhere in Genesis.

I think it was an onion ring. Onion rings are of the devil and fried in the fires of hell itself! Delightfully crispy and greasy, the heavenly bouquet of freshly fried onion rings verily wafts up my nostrils and straight to the "sin" center of my brain when I am within sniffing range of a Burger King!

I ordered a Veggie Burger at Burger King on the way to band rehearsal last night. As I was placing my order through the little speaker outside, I heard another voice come out of my mouth. “I’d like to order a BK Veggie Burger and LARGE ONION RINGS.” It was one of Satan’s demons talking. He also made me drive to the takeout window and greedily grab the bag as the startled cashier handed it to me.

Waves of guilt swept over me. Then a little demon appeared on my left shoulder and said, “Well really, how many calories can a large order of onion rings have? Just a few onion rings won’t hurt you. And besides, think how good you’ve been lately. You deserve it!” A little angel who had floated down from heaven and landed on my other shoulder said, “Try somewhere in the range of 500 calories. Don’t do it Randy. You know how dirty you’ll feel if you give in to this temptation.”

I was soon consumed with a ravaging desire to eat the onion rings. I NEEDED these onion rings. I wanted these onion rings. One pack of onion rings wasn’t going to be the end of the world! Just this one time wasn’t going to hurt. Then the takeout demon from hell pried open my mouth and force fed me the onion rings. One, two, three onion rings slid down my throat like some kind of wildly evil (and slippery) amusement park ride.

Then it was over. Everything was quiet. Pleasure turned into guilt. I had been defeated by a bag of fried vegetables.

So I had a little stumble. Nothing to get real upset about. Next time just don’t listen to that little guy with the pointy tail, OK?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Less and less of me

Thanks to all the folks who send in their encouragement to me on a daily basis. I appreciate it.

Things are looking up. I’m down to 303.8 pounds (the “old” scale would read 297.8) since the last post. Clothes I haven’t been able to get into in ages are starting to fit. It’s very encouraging and keeps me motivated.

The old face is starting to look a little thinner. I started wearing a belt again since some of my pants started falling down in public. I’m eating probably half of what I was eating before I changed my eating habits. I’m amazed when I think back to what I could put away at a meal.

Dawn and I have been sharing most meals out. We went to a Mexican restaurant yesterday after church and split the “Grande.” Grande is an understatement. That baby was huge. We split a couple of enchiladas and the beans and chips and stayed away from the rice for the most part. I’m not really that fond of Mexican rice to begin with. The worst (most calorific) part of the meal was the Chimichanga. A deep fried, bean, chicken and cheese delight with sour cream and guacamole. We just kind of nibbled at that one.

And so it goes. I’m eating sensibly. I’m not depriving myself and I’m no longer stuffing myself silly. I started working out on the cross trainer at the gym last week. Seems to be much easier on my knees. I think I can keep that one up.

Thanks again to everyone who has provided me with some much needed encouragement.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Houston...we have a problem.

Houston…we have a problem.

My wife and I went to Target over the weekend to get some stuff for our new house. While we were there, I found a weight scale that I really, really wanted. I have had some suspicions that the weight scale at work that I weigh on was off.

The scale is made by Health-O-Meter, so it was a good one. I took it home, put in the batteries and weighed. The total weight it gave me was a good 7 pounds off from the scale at work – and it wasn’t in my favor! Sucks big time.

This means I am now at 308 instead of under 300 as I announced. Very disappointing, but will not slow me down. I have still lost the same amount of weight, I'm just not under 300 like I thought. But hey, it sure felt good thinking I was under 300, so I’ve got to get back to that feeling!

On the menu today:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter and cinnamon.

Midmorning snack: 6 triskets and an apple

Lunch: leftovers from last night- Italian sausage, zucchini, tomatoes and low carb soy pasta.

Afternoon snack: yogurt

Dinner: ? I have to rehearse with my band tonight so it will probably be a veggie burger at Burger King. Those things are pretty durn good.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I broke the 300 pound barrier

Lord have mercy! I broke the 300lb barrier. I weighed in yesterday at 297 lbs. I don't know what to do. I can't celebrate with food. I'm still too damned heavy to jump up and down. I guess I'll just give myself a high five and leave it at that.

I can't believe I am losing weight. It's slow, but I'm doing it. I'm not starving myself. I am eating smaller portions and I really think that splitting my food into six small meals is the trick. I went to dinner tonight with my wife and my friend " the Vonster" at the Olive Garden. I ordered pizza, ate half of it and boxed the rest. I also had a bowl of soup. I'll still lose weight, because I'm keeping my calories and portions under control.

Here was the menu for the day:

Breakfast: bowl of oatmeal with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
Snack: 4 Triskets
Lunch: 2 lean lunch meat sandwiches on Orowheat "light" bread.
Snack: Yogurt, apple
Dinner: 3 pieces of pizza and soup.

I looked back through an old food diary. In July of 2003 I weighed 340 lbs. So really, I've lost over 40 pounds in 2 years and have kept it off. That's equal to the weight of a couple large turkeys and a pound of hamburger. That's a lot of fat!

This day has been a long time coming. Only 80 more pounds to lose by July 9, 2006!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Are you losing weight?

Someone came up to my desk last week and said, "are you losing weight?" I could barely contain myself. "Yes, I'm losing weight and thank you so much for noticing!" That's the second person within about a week who has commented on my weight loss. This is good.

I weighed myself that same afternoon and found that I had gone from 307 to 303. Just a few pounds shy of ridding that awful "300 pound" tag forever. There will be some celebrating when I break throught that barrier.

The desire for comforting myself with food seems to be fading away. Eating 6 small meals a day seems to be doing the trick. I'm never starving and I don't feel like I'm missing out on something. My wife Dawn and I went to Red Robin restaurant on Friday and split a burger and fries. I ate maybe 4 french fries. A friend and I went out to eat last night. He wanted to go to a new chinese buffet that just opened. I had egg drop soup and some different shrimp dishes. No rice - I think it was a nice lo-cal dinner without feeling the need to pig out.

I have lost 16 pounds since July 9, or just over a pound a week. Since the beginning of this year I've lost over 20 pounds. Since we're getting closer to Thanksgiving, I like to compare those pounds to a large turkey. That's a lot of fat.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sweet Comfort

Today was one of those days when I needed a little comfort. Funny, it's been a long time since I felt I needed to eat something to feel better. But today was one of those days. It's not like I went hog wild overboard or anything. I just had a craving for onion rings. Burger King onion rings if you really have to know.

Maybe it's because I was just so tired today. Feeling a little burned out. Feeling all of the 31-plus years that I've been a graphic artist/designer. Bored. Disgusted. Maybe it's because I went to the gym for the first time in almost a week to do a little weight lifting. I weighed in at 307 pounds. That's one more pound than last week. It must be water weight. Damned water. I don't even drink the stuff. I'm more of a diet Coke fan myself.

Tonight, the missus and I went to Red Robin to have split a burger. We split the watchamacallit burger with pineapple. Dee-lish. The kitchen split the burger for us and gave us each a little pile of fries. I cleaned out the basket.

So, I've been a little bit of a stinker today. Onion rings and fries. It's not the end of the world, but I'm not speeding toward my goal of 100 pounds by July 9, 2006 either.

Tomorrow's another day right? Riiighht.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Would you like a table or booth?

My wife and I went out to eat tonight. I'm usually asked whether I'd like a booth or a table. I prefer a table since booths are typically so small (or is it I'm so large?) that by the time I've lodged myself between the table and seat all feeling in my body is cut off from the diaphragm down. Then there is the problem of actually getting the fork of food into my mouth from the plate without depositing half of it on my shirt. Normal weight people don't go through these gastric calisthenics.

I lifted weights after work today. I weighed and I was back up to 312 lbs. I knew I shouldn't have weighed so close to the last time I weighed. It's only a 3 pound difference - and probably water weight at that - but it is still such a downer. This whole weight loss thing is going way too slow. My knee is feeling a little better, so maybe I'll be able to add walking back into my health regime soon.

Last Saturday Dawn and I went to the Octoberfest celebration in Mt. Angel. I went with the primary goal of munching on something really unhealthy. I managed to eat a sausage on a bun with sour kraut, Marionberry pie with ice cream and fried mushrooms. Sounds awful doesn't it? It wasn't. It was fantastic. So I did it and then I was done. I didn't beat myself up, and I didn't fall any further off the diet straight and narrow.

So there you go. I've been doing pretty well with food intake (other than at the Octoberfest) despite the fact that our lives have been uprooted with the move into our new house. Time to step up the old fat burning machine. July 9, 2006 is just around the corner.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Progress at last

It's been quite a hectic time since my last entry in August. We have moved into our new house - the first house of our own after 31 years of marriage. Quite the deal. I have stayed the course with my food "plan." I say plan, but really all it amounts to is staying under 2300 calories a day, eating complex carbs, more fruit and eating two snacks (one at midmorning and one midafternoon). I lifted weights after work today. I weighed myself after I finished - 309.2 lbs. I'm down 10 pounds in a little over 2 months. Just doing the math in my head...I've got about 10 months to lose 90 pounds to reach my goal of 100 pounds in one year (July 9, 2006). After weeks of being at a plateau with my weight, the pounds seem to be dropping again. Thank the Lord! It's an encouraging shot in the arm. So, I've got to pick up the pace a little in the excercise department. My knee is giving me some trouble. I hurt some ligaments last year during a move. It hasn't been the same since and that's frustrating. I'm determined though to get past it and get on with the weight loss. "Only" 90 pounds to go!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Letter to me

A friend who is also in the fight with me to lose weight, sent me the following letter that she wrote to herself. It was really an encouragement to me ...hopefully you'll be encouraged too.

Dear Me,

You've been so stressed lately, and it is starting to
do serious damage. You've turned to your loved ones
for help, but despite all their love for you, they
can't give you the support you need. So, it's time to
face are alone in this. That is nothing to
feel bad about--it's true of everyone...ultimately,
the only one we've got standing 100% at the ready for
us, 100% of the time, is ourselves. So, it's time to
reintroduce yourself to your one true champion--me.

You are the only one who is going to make your
business work or not. You are the only one who is
going to create your weight loss. ...Don't look at it
as a fair/unfair issue--it is, simply, the way it is.
Again, you are in this alone. Get used to the company,
baby, 'cause it's just you. Me.

Okay, so as for that weight loss--you must be the one
creating change. It is you and you ALONE who is going
to alter the eating habits. Who's going to get your
body in motion. You can't rely on your loved ones.
They're wonderful people, but can be a lousy influence on your
weight loss attempts. So, leave them out of the
equation. Go it ALONE. And don't use their habits as
your excuses. You are on your own. ...

...Finally, for all the other stuff...yes, you're
going to do it, but remember your two top priorities:
your health and your business. Choose wisely on how
you spend your time, and don't guilt over having to
make that choice--after all, you are only one person,
ALONE. Here's to a happy life for you. For me.



(J. Southwick)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Fat Man

"Fat Man"
By Jethro Tull
Don't want to be a fat man,
people would think that I was
just good fun.
Would rather be a thin man,
I am so glad to go on being one.
Too much to carry around with you,
no chance of finding a woman who
will love you in the morning and all the night time too.

Don't want to be a fat man,
have not the patience to ignore all that.
Hate to admit to myself half of my problems
came from being fat.
Won't waste my time feeling sorry for him,
I seen the other side to being thin.
Roll us both down a mountain
and I'm sure the fat man would win.

I remember this song from the Jethro Tull album "Stand Up" which came out in the late 60s I believe. I always hated this song, but loved the music. The shame is that I wasn't even fat when I first heard the song, but I was convinced that I was. I developed a penchant for dieting at a young age. My mother, who also was not overweight, seemed to be constantly on the latest diet, starting with the Ayds diet candy program back in the 60s. I usually just went along for the diet ride with her. It seems that I have been obsessed with weight since a very early age. Now that I really need to lose weight, I'm going to have to prove to myself that I can stick with it and follow through.

My goal weight is 175-180 pounds. I can hardly wait. Just think, no more searching through the clothes rack at Wal-Mart for the XXXXL sizes. I plan to go on a huge shopping spree when I reach my goal and buy all those clothes that I could only just admire from afar.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Nightmare at 20,000 feet

I’ve been thinking a lot about flying recently. It’s amazing what you have to go through to fly somewhere if you are very overweight. It’s something that I really dread whenever I have to fly to visit family or friends. First there is the fear of having to pay for two seats, especially if you are flying Southwest Airlines. I never really gave it a thought until last year when I flew down to Texas for a visit. I remember when Southwest announced that they were going start charging fat people for an extra seat, I thought, “I’m not that fat, that will never happen to me.” When I arrived at the airport to check my luggage, the lady behind the counter kind of eyed me up and down (maybe that was just my imagination) and said, “I need to let you know that you may be asked to purchase two seats before you can board the flight. The attendant at the gate will let you know when you get there.” Oh my God. I can’t tell you how humiliated I felt when she told me that. All I could think of at the time was that there was no way I could afford to buy another ticket and how embarrassing it was going to be to have to call my wife to ask her to come pick me up at the airport because the airline wasn’t going to allow me to fly unless I plunked down another couple of hundred bucks.

I made it through the second attendant without having to pay the extra seat charge. What a relief. Now it was time for the second round of torture – finding a seat. Maybe again this was just my imagination but I could swear that as I walked down the aisle, people who were already seated were eyeing me nervously with a, “God I hope he doesn’t sit down buy me” look on their faces. I always pray, especially when I’m one of the last passengers to get on a flight, that there will be an aisle seat open for me. I was in luck that day. I found an aisle seat, put my carryon bag in the overhead apartment and sat down in my seat. It was a full flight and the two seats next to be were already occupied. Then came the fun part - trying to put on the seat belt. I nonchalantly brought the dangling buckle up to my waist, looked around to make sure no one was watching and sucked in my stomach as hard as I could. Strain. Grimace. Crap! There was no way it was going to buckle. I asked the stewardess for an extension. I love the way flight attendants bring you a seat belt extension. The roll it up tight and try to hide it in their hand. At least they try to hide it. I take it from their hand and snap it into place. There are times when I just can’t bring myself to ask for an extension. Here’s a tip on how to avoid that whole extension situation: all you have to do is bring up both ends of the seat belt, put the buckle ends as close as possible together and hold the ends together with one hand while with the other hand you drape a magazine or coat across you lap to cover it up.

Now for the last segment of torture. I try to get comfortable in my seat. This is impossible if you’re sitting right next to someone. I inevitably have to cross my arms and move my arms as close to my body as possible. Try doing that for the duration of a 5 hour flight.

On the menu today:
Breakfast – oatmeal, cup of yogurt
Mid-morning snack – 6 Triskit crackers and a white
Lunch – turkey burger without bread, ½ yam
Mid-afternoon snack – ¼ almonds, 1 banana
Dinner - (Applebees) my wife and I split a dinner of grilled salmon and chicken, broccoli and salad.

Met my friend Von at the Beanery for coffee after work, so I postponed walking until late evening.

I also emailed Mackie Shilstone today and told him how much his book "The Fat Burning Bible" has helped me. He was kind enough to email back:

"Randy, I wish you the best of success and good health on my program. It works. Please review the recommendations with your doctor, as the book recommends. I sense that you have taken ownership of your health. In other words you have stopped renting your health. You are most kind to mention my book in your blog. Please check in with questions or comments.
-Mackie Shilstone"

Another good day. Still going strong.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Hunka Hunka Burnin' Fat

I took the plunge this morning and posted my announcement that I am going to lose 100 pounds by July 9, 2006 on the How Design Magazine forum which I'm a member of. Talk about hesitating before I pressed the "publish" button! I have really felt though that the more I spread the word about what I'm doing the more it will cement in my mind what is going to happen. Everyone on the forum was really supportive. There were several other forum members that also want to lose weight and we discussed starting a "Howie Diet Club." Cool! You really need the support of people around you when you are committing yourself to a goal like this.

This was my menu for the day:

Breakfast- Quiche (one piece) and a cup of coffee
Snack – red grapes and ¼ cup of almonds
Lunch – left over Salmon from dinner last night and a great salad that my wife made, low carb bar and a cup of coffee
Afternoon snack – 1 white nectarine and 6 trisket crackers
Dinner – turkey burger, yam and green salad
Before bed – a glass of red wine
I made a conscious effort to take time to eat slowly…1 bite, 2 bites, stop. Wait 20 seconds and then start again. It really made a difference in my enjoyment of the food. Instead of just wolfing it all down without thinking, I ate slooooowwwwly. I also felt a lot more full at the end of the meal.

Exercise just about did me in. I’m following the exercise plan outlined in the new book “The Burning Bible: 28 Days of Foods, Supplements, and Workouts that Help You Lose Weight” by Mackie Shilstone that I bought at Borders Books. I did 10 minutes of circuit training…10 exercises with 10 reps each and 50 minutes on the treadmill. I was sweaty and out of breath but I made it through it. It will be interesting to see how sore I’ll be tomorrow. One day at a time, right? For me, it felt like the highest intensity workout that I’ve ever done.

Today was a successful day. Time to turn in for the night.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

100 Pounds by July 9, 2006

100 pounds by July 9, 2006. That's been my mantra since July 9, 2005. At 319 pounds and 5'6", I have to lose weight or else. This has been an ongoing battle since the late 1980s when I started gaining weight. Since that time I have been on every diet imaginable, the last one being the Atkins Diet. I lost 40 pounds on that diet and gained back 30. In February of this year, I had a revelation. There is really only one way to lose weight and keep it off I think - exercise and eating right. Gee, what a revelation. Isn't that what the "experts" have been saying for years now? So, from a steady diet of bacon, cream, cheese and pork rinds I went to low glycemic and whole grain foods and walking 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week on the treadmill at my company gym. Since February, I have lost approximately 16 pounds. Not a lot, but something, and I haven't been starving myself.
A few weeks ago I started reading about an overweight entertainer in New Orleans who was on an eating and exercise plan that he got from a new book called "The Fat Burning Bible." He had lost like 70 or 80 pounds in a few months. I went down to Borders Books and promptly ordered it. I must say that it seems to be the most level headed diet book that I've ever read. Plenty of info on how the body processes food; exercises to help speed up weight loss and some really good recipes of food that I would actually eat.
So I decided on July 9, 2005 that I would lose 100 pounds or more by July 9, 2006. I have read that the brain - a really marvelous creation of God - if fed daily affirmations (not voodoo) will get to work putting things together to accomplish the thing that you are affirming...or something like that. So I tell myself, my wife and my friends on a daily basis, "Have you heard that I'm losing 100 pounds by July 9, 2006?" I add to the affirmation, 3 meals a day plus two snacks, 4 liters of water a day (I'm trying) and I excercise 6 days a week...that's the plan anyway. I will do my best to update this blog on a daily to semi-daily basis and let you know of my progress.

Pictured above: Top-The most recent of picture of me taken in April 2005. Bottom-That's me in 1974, age 19.