Reset. Refocus. Restart.

Fall

Well, the last few months have been somewhat of a write-off for a scheduled exercise regime. The good news is that although I remained active, it was nothing on a routine basis. The summer had me out hiking and Geocaching as well as out camping with the family. As the season progressed into fall, I was still out hiking and Geocaching. Now with winter settled in, my outings have dropped to negligible. The weather hasn’t been bad, but in my part of the country it’s snowed, melted, and then froze; then snowed melted and froze again. Walking anywhere became treacherous let alone trying to go for a run or hike. I thought about getting a membership at a local gym, but we were house hunting over a wide area at the time so “local” was relative, depending on what part of the city (or cities in our case) we may end up.

At the start of November my wife was laid off so my free space was taken up with a 4 year old at home who’s up at the crack of dawn taking over the TV… or at least that’s been my excuse, and I fully admit that I’ve used it as an excuse. I have those DDP Yoga DVD’s still staring me in the face as a blatant reminder that I need to be the parent and take the time I need. Half an hour away from the TV isn’t going to kill him. His toy minefield is another story and does make it a little more difficult to navigate though.

I’m surprised I survived the holiday season without a new onset diabetes. The problem with working as a nurse is often the nursing station is a sugar buffet due to the generosity of patient’s families (fruit and veggie platters everyone, PLEASE!). Healthy eating goes right out the door with enough temptation that would make the good Lord buckle.

The bad part about all of this time is that I really haven’t lost any weigh (according to the scale). The good news is that I also haven’t gained any weight! I actually find myself able to get back into clothes that I haven’t worn in years! I now wear a size 40 jeans properly; which means that it actually fits across my navel, instead of me squeezing into the jeans by fastening it up underneath my roll and letting it flop over the top of the jeans!

I’ve also been able to fit back into my Paintball pants, which I  haven’t worn in at least 7 years or more. Consequently, it gave me inspiration to perhaps get back into the game, which has turned into a full-blown explosion of my passion for the sport. Paintball was my physical and mental release, as well as my main social outlet for many years. It’s a connection I lost when I quit. I’m back in with my wife’s full encouragement.

So while things have been okay, they still could be a lot better. It’s now been over a year since I stopped eating from fast food outlets and I’ve managed to maintain that, however I still struggle to maintain an adequate eating program in other areas. I’ve been giving into temptations and treats more than I should be and it’s simply me not exercising my own will power. I should be somewhere in the advanced level of the DDP yoga by now instead of looking at starting from scratch again. The program is supposed to have a support structure built into that that I think I need to look at optimizing. I know what I need to do. I just need to get off my backside and start dong it!

This pause in the plans does NOT mean that I’ve failed! I don’t believe you’ve truly failed until you quit, and I’m nowhere near that point! This is a hiccup and I understand that they happen. While progress has been negligible, I haven’t slipped back. As I say, take the little victories. I recognize the need for me to get back on my game and step it up. I need to set some new goals and find something to shoot for. I’m still 20 to 25 pounds from my goal weight, and I’ll probably still adjust that goal when I get to it. But first, let’s achieve that one.

Also, I need my damn TV back…

start again

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Milestone Reached!

July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013

Yesterday was speculation. Today, it’s official. For the first time in 7 years, I’m under 300 pounds!

This is the first big Milestone on the journey, and represents several things:

  • This is the most weight I’ve ever lost at once.
  • This is the most weight I’ve lost and KEPT off.
  • This is essentially the “halfway” mark to my target weight.
  • This opens up a lot of options for sporting goods to use, as many have a “Maximum 300 lbs.” weight limit.

It’s a bag of mixed emotions: joy, relief, a sense of accomplishment, and wonder about what comes next. It also bring a new voice that I recognize, and call “Complacency”. “Hey, you don’t need to go out and run or bike today. Look how far you’ve come. Go ahead and cheat a little more!”. That type of voice is what contributed to me being as heavy as I was. Now – more than ever – is the time to remain vigilant! The habits are still new and too easy to slip back into old ways. How bad do you want to keep what you’ve accomplished?

This is the first of 3 milestones I’m aiming for. The other two are: around or above 290, which is what I weighed when I got married; and 270, which is what I weighed when I played Tournament Paintball, and when my wife and I started dating. I’d eventually like to give her back the man she met!

I honestly had my doubts that I would ever get to this point. Now that I’m here, I look forward to what lies ahead.

Anything is possible, if you know H.O.W.!

I like anyone who can teach me something new or help put a new perspective on life.

During today’s Doctor visit (everything’s going smashing from his perspective BTW, details to follow) he shared a nugget of wisdom with me. He said that to make effective changes in your life, you need to know the acronym H.O.W.. It means HONESTY, OPENNESS, and WILLINGNESS.

Damn! One for the Doc!

Let me break it down into how I define it:

HONESTY – I have another blog post in draft form called The Lies We Tell Ourselves that touches on this subject. The bottom line is that at some point, you have to quit lying to yourself. “I don’t need to change my diet” or “I’m perfectly healthy the way I am” as examples. You need to really take a hard look at things and realize that whatever it is that you’re doing, isn’t working. The lies create a comfortable trap that we’re more than happy to sit in while waiting for it to eventually snap shut. You stay in the trap, you die. Bottom line. Being honest and realizing that change is necessary opens up the door for:

OPENNESS – For the change to come, we must be willing to accept new ideas and new methods, some of which may completely rock our worlds and what we’ve believed over time. Because what we were doing before wasn’t working, those methods and ideas must be put side for new paths of learning, whatever they may be.

WILLINGNESS – The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Whether you’re a saint or a junkie, if you do not have the willingness to change, no change will come. Even if someone could force you to do it, the change would not last because even though you may want it, you have to be willing to do what is necessary for those changes to come. Nothing is possible without this.

You want to change? HOW to do it is right here! No matter what you do or want to do, someone can show you the path, but nothing will happen until YOU take that first step. And that’s just part of the willingness, now isn’t it?

Stepping up your game…

As of today, I’ve lost 34 pounds since starting in late July/August of last year.

Now, I am proud of this achievement and I don’t take it lightly, but lets face it… I did this with a half-assed effort and without much risk. I may have gone out of my comfort zone on a few things, but with one foot still firmly planted on the other side of the line. But, for a guy who’s struggled with his weight for the majority of his life, this is also the MOST I’ve ever lost that I can recall. So for me, if that is what it takes, then so be it. I’d rather do it slow and keep it of than something quick and not let the habits fully set in.

I’ve seen testimonials of people losing great amounts of weight within a year doing a variety of programs. I’m not going to compare myself to them and kick myself in the ass for not losing as much as they have, as they’ve probably dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to whatever program they’re on. There does come a time where one needs to step out of their comfort zone and take bigger strides toward their end goal.

For me, that time is now.

The running is OK. I’d like to stick with it, but I’d also like to add something else. I had been looking at programs  like P90X and Insanity, but found out recently that it’s better to be in good shape for P90X and even BETTER shape for Insanity! Well, those are out for the time being. What has piqued my interest again is DDP Yoga ( http://www.ddpyoga.com/site/index.php/en/ ). I first looked at this back when Diamond Dallas Page was calling it YRG, or “Yoga for Regular Guys”. Back then I had bought one of the DVD’s but never did much with it. Wasn’t ready I guess. Now, I’m looking for something more and I like the principal of it. Many of you may have seen the viral video of Arthur and the amazing transformation from a disabled veteran on crutches, to running.  If you haven’t seen the video, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX9FSZJu448

I like to watch the video frequently. Not that it inspires me (although it is inspiring); I use it as a reminder. Every time I feel like I can’t do something, I watch that video and say to myself “Your Excuses are Invalid!”.

The next (and I’m predicting most painful) step as well is to take control of my eating habits. I’ve made a lot of changes in my habits in the last 6 months: I don’t eat fast food anymore. My pop consumption is next to nothing, compared to what it was. I try to cut out processed sugar and use natural sources – like honey- instead. I’ve cut down (working on cutting out) on processed foods. I have more fruit and vegetables in my meals. Big strides, but I have room for more improvement too. Despite the improvements, the one thing I’ve never really addressed is how much I eat, good or not. Portion size is what got me in trouble in the first place. So, I found an app that should help count my calorie intake, and hopefully I can adjust what should be a proper portion for me, as opposed to eating whatever I could until full. It’s a new learning curve, fighting 40 years worth of learned habits.

I’m setting a start date after my next Doctor’s appointment, which is next Friday. Wish me luck.

I’m allowed off days… right?

Not the best run today.

I struggled to try to keep up my usual pace. By the end of it, I was practically dragging my feet for the last go-around. I spent my laps trying to figure out what had changed in my morning routine or what I had missed. Besides for no coffee (not that urgent, depending who you talk to)… then realized that I had nothing to drink that morning. Essentially I went from the night before until after my run with no water. I was dehydrated.

Well no wonder!

Before figuring this out, there’ always that annoying voice questioning what you’re doing and why you’re not progressing. We all have the moments when we trip and fall. The key is to get up and keep going.

This too shall pass.

Six weeks down, six to go…

Don’t get excited, it’s just time until my next Dr’s appointment.

I have to give my Doc a lot of credit in his support. He’s really held me to task since we started this back around Aug/Sept of last year. Granted there’s not a lot he could technically do to me besides stern words and utter disappointment, but it’s still nice to have someone to be accountable too (My wife’s used to me talking and not following through, so that doesn’t count.).

First couple of times were a month apart to check progress and develop a plan (do we still have a plan?), after that, it was spread out to two months. This last time, we decided on a three month interval. While some of my previous intervals didn’t have any significant changes or weight loss, I also never gained any weight back during this time.

Always take the little victories, no matter how small.

One of the goals during these periods was to start some sort of exercise program. That part I was failing at, but I was making progress on changing eating habits. Again, little victories. Last time we met, we decided to stretch the interval out to three months. “Great”, I though, “maybe now I can get an exercise program started!”. Now, I really didn’t have a great excuse for not starting a program (besides for some work issues that I’ve since solved and working around) and it would always start like “Next appointment isn’t until eight weeks away, I got plenty of time!“, which would go to “Five weeks away. Should start something soon, but I got time.“, until “My appointment is what date???“.

Rinse. Repeat. Recycle.

The difference this time is now I have started something. Not as early as I planned, but better late than never. Keeping it up until the target date is the next goal. I had planned (or hoped) to be under 300 pounds by that date (which I probably would have had a better chance had I started sooner in this cycle), however starting any sort of exercise is far more beneficial than a number. That number I’ll get to soon enough. When I do, it’ll be the first time I’ll be under 300 pounds in roughly seven years. Donations to help sponsor my Koi tattoo at that time would be greatly appreciated <shaking collection plate>.

Slow progress is better than no progress. I didn’t get to this point overnight, nor do I expect the solution overnight.

Words for anyone starting their own program; Stick with it.