Let The Re-Programming Re-Begin!

Once upon a time (circa Steve v4.6), I was a fat guy with a goal- lose 150 lbs between birthdays. Well, I didn’t make it. I only lost 148 lbs. and felt better, both physically and emotionally, than I had in a long time. I guess you could say it was a lose-win situation, or maybe lose-lose-win, I dunno- I don’t know tech-stuff. Anyway, I lost a butt-load of weight and felt pretty good about it all. Anyone who stuck with me and read my blog over the course of that little undertaking can confirm that I was really into the whole weight loss thing and was all jazzed about my self-perceived success.

My method was simple; eat less, move more. It worked. I lost a lot (did I mention “buttload”?) of weight- and did it without taking any miracle pills, dietary aids, special exercise programs, diet meetings, or coaches, or anything else that I consider to be “external motivators”. Just me, the gym, the stairs, and a “can-do” attitude. Again, it worked.

Here’s the thing though- “simple” isn’t the same as “easy”. Even though I created and maintained some pretty good habits that produced some pretty spectacular results, I also slacked off from time to time and let things slip. Those little slips can turn into an almost unnoticeable slide and pretty soon the butt-load starts creeping back into your life. Not a good thing.

So here I am, whacking myself upside my own head, working up the same level of motivation again. My birthday is in June, by then I will lose 60 lbs. Period. I’m starting right now and am simply going to repeat everything that worked for me in the past. I will follow the simple steps every day- those two simple things that brought so much success in the past. I don’t expect it to be easy.

The Time I Went Full-Suess

This is another flashback to an earlier version of myself. I was so full of life- so naive. I’m sure there was still a glint of youthful exuberance in my still-clear eyes. My fourth decade was chock-full of potential awesome.

Yep- up a pound. Not what I wanted to see but not entirely unexpected either. Granted not a huge deal, but telling.

But on you will go

though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
I was given Dr.Suess' Oh The Places You'll Go by a business associate at the end of a company retreat some fifteen years ago. I thought it a joke at the time. It wasn't until reading it on the flight home that I came to realize the unconventional wisdom contained in its all-too-colorful pages. I still find it inspiring and recommend everyone read it with a mind wide-open.
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordeci Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your Mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!
It's funny. After almost five months “climbing my mountain” I've come to develop an intuition of-sorts in regard to my weight. I think it is probably due to an increased overall focus on diet and activity and its' effect on how I feel and what the scale is going to report. Weighing myself three days a week helps too- heightening my awareness of the effects of different types of food and different levels of exercise.
This morning I KNEW I had gained weight even before I stepped on the scale, not in a doom and gloom, depressing kind of way, but in a way that I can only describe as “clinical”. Yesterday we took our kids to the orthodontist for an evaluation. It was an early morning appointment and conflicted with my track schedule. Ah, priorities. I've also been experimenting with the introduction of different foods and discovered, Scientifically speaking,
Consumption of regular white flour pasta (ravioli) in an exercise-free environment = weight gain
So there you go. Consistent weight loss requires consistent vigilance. Considering that I still have a ways to go to meet my goal, you can be sure that I am reverting back to prior (successful) methods. Namely sticking to my original plans of consuming the proper foods in the proper quantities while maintaining consistent exercise.
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
I'm going to reach my goals. I've decided.

The Time I Wrote About What Has Become Taboo

If weight loss were a religion, scripture would warn us against cookies. Over-indulgence and my gaining a freakin' pound this weekend has me feeling repentant. Thus, an excerpt from the Book of Cookies, Chapter 3, verse 11 and 12:

Damn thy sweet crunchy goodness thou slayer of diets, thou foiler of shrinkage! I curse thy coconut, thy chocolate chip, thy caramel and beg mercy. For thou art mighty though be ye small and cunning- yes! For though my plate be full one moment, verily it is empty the next and I remember not thy consumption. Surely ye shall be my undoing should I not regain my will.

Woe be unto the children of men, for they will savor not thy sweetness, thy crunch, for father has eaten them all, and shared with them not. It is temptation that triumphs over thee and makes clothing bind and belly jiggle. Eat them not, thy Berry Thumbprint, thy Macaroon, for therein lies peril and thy doom.

OK, so weight loss need not become a religion but it certainly needs to become a habit. I've made some bad choices this past weekend but I've refocused, hit the gym hard this morning, and my wife has put the cookies out of reach. Color me, "back on the wagon".

Man Cannot Live off Bread, Alone

A month without bread? Why not? Meh, Ok.

That was the consensus when I suggested the idea to my wife. It was the day after Valentines day and she was drunk on candy and love, and whatnot, and very agreeable. And with seemingly boundless enthusiasm, we went an entire month without eating anything bread-ish.

What we interpreted "bread" to be can probably be best described by examples of things we normally ate. Bread (Dave's Killer Bread), pizza (the go-to when no one can decide on dinner), cookies (my personal kryptonite), cake, brownies, pancakes, waffles, gravy, and a bunch of stuff we identified as containing flour. We also gave up dairy-- more on that some other time.

Was it difficult? I'm a guy with a vary narrow range of culinary prowess. I'm not good at cooking, I don't measure ingredients or look at recipes or menus. I specialize in fast. If the family is hungry, I can change that in thirty minutes or less. That means my mental menu is sparse but efficient and that bread and milk are staples. So yes, it was a little difficult. The thing is, when I thought about it, it really was the simplest way to eat.

Meats, vegetables, fruits... done.

Lean-ish meats from animals, vegetables and fruits from dirt. And not a lot of cooking. Most of the meats a done is less than 15 minutes, and most of the plants stuff was uncooked. It was highly efficient and tasted good to me. I could do this 4-eva. Forgot to mention that I have a teenage daughter. That kind of food is not to her liking.

Struggles aside, my wife lost almost 5lbs and my pants are feeling a lot looser.

How This Did Start to Stop

So here's the deal, I was a pretty active guy; athletic, thin, energetic. I stayed fit until my late 20's and then gradually became less active and ate a lot more.

Guess what- I got fat, really fat. Obese.

It was May 21, 2007 that I decided the time had come for change, drastic change. I decided that obesity just wasn't my thing and set about losing weight. Here's the thing though, I would do it without pills, potions, or program, just common sense, exercise and healthy choices.

This blog started it's life as "Steve v4.6" because I was 46 years old. My goal was to lose 150 pounds before my next birthday, at which time it (and I) would become Steve v4.7. That happened on my birthday, June 6, 2008- marking not only my birthday but also a loss of 148 pounds.

My goal now is to lose another 40 pounds before my next (v4.8) birthday by applying everything I learned during the past 380 days.

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