Sunday, December 27, 2009

Goals for 2010

I sat down to write my blog today, with a blank page wondering what my goals (or plans) for 2010 were going to be. I could write down all of the easy stuff that I tell myself that I am going to do every year, like stop procrastinating, be a better son, friend etc. But they are never tangible things that I cannot measure, so this year I will make goals that can be measured.


1) Be less than 300 lbs by June 30, which would be a 54 pond loss and will keep me on track to my total weight loss plan.

2) Do 1005 miles by biking, swimming and walking by 2011. I was reading Jennsfitjourney and she had a goal of 2010 miles and I liked the idea but with my knees I figured I could do half of it.

3) Bike the Perkiomen Trail in one day. It’s a 22 mile trail from Green Lane to Valley Forge National Historical Park.

4) Walk the Valley Forge National Park loop. It’s a 5 mile loop through the park.

5) Swim 2 miles at once. This is 142 laps at the YMCA pool. I currently do 44 laps at a time now.


Do all of this myself and not hire anyone. I know it sounds like normal maintenance
but each year I tell myself to do it and it never gets done. So I am making a commitment.

1) Paint the house, inside and out. It needs it, been 18 years and is starting to look shabby.

2) Strip and wax both bathrooms and kitchen.

3) Steam clean all of the rugs.

Well that wraps it up. I will have to track the walking, biking and swimming on daily/weekly bases which will help me blogging more.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Identity Theft

You know how to really ruin Christmas is to stop at a gas station and have you credit card declined for over limit. Now, mind you I only use this card for gas and I have a $5,000 limit and it’s paid off every month. When I get back to the house I give the credit card company a call and they go over the charges in the last week on the card, and it totals $4,985.

In discussing this with the companies fraud division it appears even the address on the card has been changed. After spending 1 hour on the phone with them and then call the 3 credit reporting agency and my other credit card companies to place fraud alerts on my info, I finally had a chance to think.

Not only am I worried about my credit, but I feel violated. First how does someone get a hold of my card information and just change things. All the companies told me, not to worry I am only responsible for $50 on any bad charges, but I am now the one who has to clean this mess up. The person who did this will probably, not get caught or if they do will not do time.

But I am the one who is the victim and I still have to pay $50 on any bad charges, it’s just not fair. Now, I will try to have a good day today and look at the positive. I have lost 77 lbs, although I missed the lose 25 lbs by Christmas by 2 lbs, I have done well this year. My health is good (even the knees feel better), the family is fine and I still have a job.

I have told myself I will not head to food to comfort this and I will get by, but it still sucks.


Sunday, December 20, 2009


What a peaceful Saturday. I had done all my weekend chores Friday night and just got to relax on Saturday, watching the snow was really good for me. It calms me and makes me at peace. I love it when you go outside after the storm and everything is still and quite. The crunch under my feet, the sparkle of snow as it drifts.

Then today, shoveling my car out was a task. Ok it was light snow but still 16” is a b*&tch. Afterward my back was bothering me but hey I did it and am proud I did it myself. When I was 75 lbs heavier it would have taken everything out of me. But today, I just had a minor back ache. Even my knees did not feel that bad.

This week is going to be a busy week. Christmas is coming up and I have not even started shopping. My last day at work is Wednesday and I normally leave at 12 pm so that gives me the afternoon. I work well under pressure, no second guessing what people want just pick and go.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fat Dude

I reading several blogs today and it seemed that everyone is talking BMI. It’s the new weight measurement tool. So just to check out how I stand on this scale off I head to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website and enter my stats and hit the button and WAMO my BMI is 45.7. Now what’s that mean to me? According the web site

BMI Categories:
Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
Overweight = 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Class 1 or mild obesity is a BMI = 30–34.9, class 2 or moderate obesity is a BMI = 35–39.9, class 3 or morbid or severe obesity is a BMI = 40–49.9, and class 4 or super morbid obesity is a BMI ≥ 50.

I am in the morbid obesity area. No s&*t, like I could not tell that by looking in the mirror. But the good news I started out with a BMI of 55.3, which was super morbid obesity and I am down to morbid obesity. Now we have classes and numbers and all kinds of stuff.

What ever happen to just fat dude or blimpy? I forgot that’s was not politically correct, but it got to the point, and I am not politically correct.

So fat dude out.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Office Snacks

When I first got into business, Contractors gave booze around the Christmas time. As guy who had just quit drinking I found this ironic, where were they when I was drinking. But as times change Contractors started giving cookies, popcorn, peanuts (Virginia Diner the best). Now when I was not watching what I ate I would be in the kitchen grabbing something all the time.

Today we received I large tin of popcorn, a slab of almond chocolate and a tin of peanuts. Bad news! Someone opened the popcorn and I found myself grabbing a handful every time I passed the kitchen. On the third time I figured since I am keeping a calorie count I would like at the label and see how many calories there are in a handful. So I grab a normal handful and place the popcorn in a cup and it came out to just about one cup. The label said 55 calories per cup. I had 165 calories without thinking, which is about 8% of my calorie count per day. I looked at the peanuts 190 calories in three tablespoons. In three tablespoons that not enough to really get a good taste of them and the chocolate bar who knows what the count it that is.

So off I walked telling myself no way no more. But as I was walking out the door bang a handful of popcorn. Damn office gifts, right up there with the evil supermarket. Hold on there is a common denominator in this and it is me, you know this journaling stuff sucks


Monday, December 14, 2009


I was reading one of my daily blogs today and she was talking about going to her great grandmother home to get a picture of 5 generations. What a amazing thought to be able to do something like that. One of my greatest regrets is that I don’t have kids. Now I have nieces and a nephew but that’s not the same. But you I have come to accept the fact that I will not have any kids.

One of the main reasons is I am not married. I am one of those “independent” guys who could never settle down with one person. I look at it now and think I was too scared to settle down. Have someone really get to know me. Sure I have a lot of friends but no one ever got close, I never let them. I keep thinking one day I will meet someone and let my guard down. But the truth is I have met someone several times and I ran as fast as I could. It is so easy to wrap myself in my weight and say that is the reason but it’s not. Truth is told I am afraid and that is something I have to get over or I will spend the rest of my life alone.

So as I lose weight I must come out of my shell and start to live more and have no regrets. Man none of this stuff is ever easy.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle

That was the healthy reflection from Sparkpeople. Very timely, when I reread my post yesterday, I saw a pattern that I fall into. After a slip, or maybe a better way of looking at it is an unplanned break from my new lifestyle, I would normally say what the heck, I blew it and give myself permission to go nuts.

But I didn’t go nuts, went right back to my plan of eating sensibly. I was reading on another blog about people who go on the fad diets. You know the ones Optifast, South Beach, Slimfast etc, etc where you lose weight but after a few years its back and more. The key it seems is changing behavior, like Pavlov dogs, where someone who merely reacts to a situation rather than using critical thinking. Therefore, I have to change my behavior so I react to the situation in a more favorable way.

Reaching back to college and my psychology class that means changing my habits via positive reinforcement and repetitiveness. Damn I thought I would never use that crap again. Let me digress, when I had psychology at the end of the class I was a paranoid schizophrenic with delusions of grandeur. Every chapter I read I saw a part of me. Afterwards, I figured that everyone has a little nut in them, but boy I was wondering about it. Maybe, because I was drinking up a storm and smoking my brains out, had something to do with it.

I am back, reading some stuff on the web it appears that “Key to Changing Habits Is In Environment, Not Willpower” according to a Duke Expert. This I understand. When I stopped drinking I was told to stay away from people, places and things. Therefore, I should never have gone into the evil supermarket. The researcher found out.
“Once you form a habit, it takes willpower to inhibit the triggered response. If you don’t have the energy to override the response, you tend to repeat what you’ve done in the past”. Well I was hungry therefore no energy. This is going to take awhile.

I read all kinds of ways of discovering what motivates specific patterns, and what can be done to change habits and create new life patterns. I boiled it down to the following:

1. Identify the pattern and cycle or awareness.

The first step is recognizing that change is necessary. Just saying I am going to change the habit is not enough of a commitment. I need to actually write it down, on paper, or in this new fangled age this blog. Define what need to be changed.

2. Commit to the change

I read that one key to commitment is my use of language. How many times have I told myself (“I need to lose weight”) or (“I want to lose weight”)? I need to start telling myself (“I will lose weight”). It takes the commitment from a want or a need to an action step

The habit needs to be stated positively. This means I need to focus on what I want rather than what I don’t want. Just saying that I intend to lose weight is more positive than saying that you want to lose weight.

I need to go public with my commitment. This means telling all the key people in my life about the change I am making. Put change in writing. Make a formal contract with myself and post it where my family can see it. Pledging to keep this promise with the same level of commitment I use in promising to tell the truth in court.

How many times have I started losing weight and not telling anyone? Was I just setting myself up for failure? This time is different.

3. Find healthier ways to meet needs

This is the when I am supposed to stop myself in the midst of the bad habit or troubling behavior. They say, the healthy response is to stop, acknowledge and apologize if needed, and then redirect to a healthier choice of behavior. Easier said than done!

To change any habit, I give up my excuses. Stop using them and of course stop trying to come up with new ones. If I am easily tempted, I need admit it. There is something refreshing about stating the truth.

4. Change limiting beliefs

It is said that “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day, while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”

When I look at the above it tells me changing habits requires discipline. So off I go to look up disciplines. According to Wikipedia “discipline refers to systematic instruction given to a disciple”. So the root of the word discipline is 'disciple' to me then I am following my spiritual path. Wow I did not expect that.

Back to Wikipedia which tells me self-discipline refers to the training that one gives one's self to accomplish a certain task or to adopt a particular pattern of behavior, even though one would really rather be doing something else. What does this mean to me? I guess acting according to what I think instead of how I feel in the moment.

I know when giving up drinking it was because the pain I was enduring was greater than the pain I thought I would endure not drinking. I found pain was an extremely positive motivator. By keeping my life focused not giving up, I achieve success. So this hold true in every area of life. If I do not achieve something, it just means I have changed my mind at some point and stopped being committed to a new outcome.

Enough said for today.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Evil Supermarkets

I am driving home from work last night and thought to myself I don’t have any lettuce for a salad tonight. So I figured I would stop by the supermarket and pick up a bag and do like I normally do make one at home. Diving down the highway there are two supermarkets on the road. The one on the right a normal supermarket, you know type, 10 aisles, small produce section, plain jane store. The one on the right the SUPER supermarket. The huge one, that has the fancy food court, the bakery, the pizza area, etc etc.

Now one would think, just go to the normal one, and buy some lettuce, head home. Nope I head to the SUPER store. My thinking I will make a salad and not have to break out the stuff at home, what a fool. I should have seen it coming. Remember cunning and baffling.

Off I go to the salad bar. It’s at least 50 ft long with everything you can imagine. Mistake number two, I will have just a salad for diner. So instead of grapping the small container, I get the big one and fill it up. Lettuce, onions, peppers, turkey (well I have to have protein) and on and on, till I have ¾ of a pound of salad.

Mistake number three. As I am walking to the cash register, I figure I just wander around and see what they have. What a bunch of bull shit, I am in a supermarket what was I thinking, they have food and they make it look good.

Here is a window into my mind. Look they a prepackage bowl of pasta and meatballs, I guess I will have some pasta with my salad. Wow little pizza sticks, now that would be a great appetizer. But they only come in a pack of ten. I will have a couple for an appetizer and freeze the rest. Look over there they have rich chocolate chip cookies. Oh it’s a small pack I have one or two for dessert.

I walk out of the store with the above. All I wanted to do was get a bag of lettuce for dinner. Isn’t this one of the things people say don’t go shopping hungry.

I head home and reality hits. Ok I will have the salad. The pasta sits in the fridge for tonight. I only had 5 pizza sticks and the rest are frozen. Now the bad part:

I ate the 8 cookies (.44 lbs) which comes out to 962 calories, 5 pizza sticks at 160 calories for 800 calories, and the salad for about 400 calories. That’s a grand total of 2162 calories for dinner.

This morning I hit the scale and see that I lost 0 lbs this week. I hope I learned my lesson

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter time blues

First it ah, what just a cookie, that can’t hurt. Then its, I really don’t have to track what I eat. I am staying on course. Then it’s man it’s cold out do I really need to go to the gym. Next thing you know, BAM, I am back to old habits.

It’s just so easy to do. I am down 70 lbs; people have commented your losing some weight. I feel good, then why do I sabotage myself. Am I just lazy, is it the easier softer way. Or is it really that cunning and baffling.

The recipe is easy. According to my basal caloric requirement it takes 3631 calories a day to maintain my weight. To lose 2 lbs a week I have to eat 2631 calories a day and have moderate exercise. Simple, its math, not to complicated. Why do I make it that way?

I just have to remember it just one day at a time, one pound at a time and I will get through it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Santa came to town

Every year I become Santa Clause for a local township. Why I got hook into this I will never know. The first year was because the old Santa had to work that night and they need a replacement. So, I figured what the heck I fill in. Now, being a single person in their late forties, I had forgotten what the joy it was to see the kids and the wonder in their eyes. When they got on my knee and told me what they wanted, you could see in smiles.

The next year they asked and I said sure, but thought what am I getting myself into. Climbing up on the fire truck and riding through town. Who me, come on I am the fat guy who hides from everyone. But there I was again doing it. Now, I would bitch and complain Ho f’n Ho was and still is my moto, but don’t let anyone know I really enjoy it.

Last night was no exception. I wondered if my knees would hold out. They did, I guess dropping 70 pounds helped. The kids were great, although before I got there a helicopter fly by and they thought it was Santa and his reindeer. We lite the tree and they had cookies and hot chocolate, the choir was great and I had a good time. The best par was when a little girl came up and was crying and did not want to sit on my lap. When she finally stopped fussing the brightest smile came across her face. Pure joy and a quick tear came to my eye.

Who said the magic of Christmas is gone.

Food was bad, but the night was good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pack Rat

So I am a pack rat and never really throw out things. My pants lately have really been looking baggy on me. Well they are the ones I was wearing when I was 431 lbs and now at 360 lbs they do hang. So I went to “the closet” where I have stored all of the clothes that I have worn that no longer fit and I found 4 pairs of pants that do. Now that is a great feeling to be able to fit in clothes that at one time I grew out of.

I made a decision to give the 4 pair (size 4xl) to the good will. I am thinking that I will no longer need them. This is big for a person who never throws things out. May be a little growth??

The day went well, and I am sitting here listening to the rain as I write this blog. We are supposed to get an inch of rain tonight. I do love to listen as it hits the roof, something smoothing in it, great to sleep by. This reminds me I got too sleep by midnight last night. Did not sleep through the night but hey it’s a start.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Lately I have been going back to the old habits, staying up late and sleeping later than I should. The general guideline state that I should be getting about 8 hours of sleep. Lately I have been getting about 5 to 6 hours and it my own damn fault. There is no reason that I need to stay-up and watch TV to the end of the show. Sure I like Charlie Rose, but he is now on cable at 8 pm instead of PBS at 12. But no I stay up to watch him late at night.

When I was over 400 lbs I could not get more than 2 hours of sound sleep. I looked into it and think I have/had sleep apnea but as the weight started coming off I got longer and longer periods of sleep. I felt more rested in the morning and not tired during the day. But now while I have longer sleep periods I find myself sleeping less.

Every morning I tell myself I will get to bed early and I find I am up late. This has got to stop, time to break the habit. Some people say that it takes 30 days to form a pattern and 90 days to form a habit, so I guess I will have to make an effort on this one.

So here is my commitment get at least 8 hour of sleep a night!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

What do I see?

The Healthy Reflection that I got today from spark people was about setting goals and a vision of where I want to be. I don’t think I really ever set goals or thought this is where I will be when I am this old. It’s easy to go through life without goals then you really never disappoint yourself. How can you fail if you have nothing to benchmark yourself with? I look around and I would seem to have made a good living, plenty of friends and a family that loves me. These things I never planned for they just happened. I have gone through life letting life take me not the other way around. What would happen if I really set a goal or two? Could I actually achieve something I set out to do? Not something that someone asked me to do but something that I really wanted to do.

The Reflection asked “What do I see”?

I have set my goal to be 240 lbs by March 2011. I have a plan and I will follow that plan. Hopefully this blog will get me on the straight and narrow. It’s time to stop stumbling, hoping that I reach my goal and to take a positive path.

As for my day the food was good, I swam 40 laps at the “Y”. The bad part is I ended a relationship that I really did not want to, but had to, for both our sakes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Post

Time to start keeping a blog about my weight loss.

I started this journey in May of 2009 at 431 lbs. I had just left the doctors to see what was going on with my knees and after the x-rays and him poking and prodding he just looked at me and said "what do you expect'. You 200 or more pounds over weight and your knees are telling you that's it.

I asked what could be done and all he said was lose weight and come back then. Man talk about a great bed side manner. But that started it off and now I am on my way.

So I decided that I would get down to the weight I was when I graduated college. Two hundred and forty pounds, but instead of fad diets I would change my life style and eat right and exercise. I found this website "Spark people" and it seems to be helping me keep track of my food and exercise and the change was on.

This is for me and know one else. Well maybe the two cats, someone needs to be around to feed them.

The other thing is today is my 23rd anniversary of not drinking, so miracles do happen.