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.