Friday, October 24, 2014

Serenity Now

“We don’t tell ourselves, ‘I’m never going to write my symphony.’ Instead we say, ‘I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to do it tomorrow.’”  - The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

I ran across a blog today called Can You Stay For Dinner and read Audie's October 21, 2014  post.   Its about what she has learned the second time losing weight.  It was a amazing read that made me think about my struggles. Someone once told me there was a difference between knowledge and wisdom. While all around me I had access to more information than I knew what to do with about my weight things did not change.  There is a prayer were it talks about accepting the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.  Her post made me that about the wisdom to know the difference, powerful insight that I needed.

Procrastination.  The bane of my existence.  Why do something today when you can do it tomorrow. It seems that I procrastinate because outside distractions  interfere with my long-term goals. In a sense I sabotage my own success, which is really strange. I will make plans to exercise or to diet but find my  attention drawn toward attractions like the television or the refrigerator. I am hiding from either feels or situations I really don't want to handle which only leads to more discomfort.  However when I finally do face the situation it not that bad, which is totally baffling.  

So I say I am going to work on my procrastination and ironic thing is that I off dealing with my procrastination.  Get me a couch.

This leads me back to the serenity prayer. This simple three-fold prayer to a power greater than myself  asks for three things:

1) Serenity
2) Courage
3) Wisdom

A simple prayer that holds great meaning.  Courage to change things in my life might lead only to heartbreak and suffering when I apply it to something that is out of my hands. Serenity in accepting bad situations and treatment that could be changed might leave that me to be trapped and helpless within the my current mess. And the wisdom to figure out the one from the other is useless if not acted upon.

The prayer show me that these simple concepts and counsels me to stay calm in the face of matters I can do nothing about and tells me to decisive moves in the face of those I can. It serves to clarify my thoughts during times of trouble when all is confusion, suffering, and doubt in that it provides an answer, or at least a tool that can be used to help find an answer, to what can be done and what cannot.

So as Audie concluded "It’s time to feel, and really be, OK. And that’s not something you can put off. Not even for a day."

Time to start and change the thing I can.....

Stats for the week

Weight when I first started blogging:     431.0 lbs
Weight when I started re-start:               422.6 lbs
Last weigh-in:                                         390.0 lbs
Current weight:                                       387.4 lbs
Loss for the week:                                       2.6 lbs
Total loss since re-start:                             32.6 lbs
Goal for coming week:                      Met my goal

I'm out of here


Friday, October 17, 2014

The unsinkable Gary Brown

“An entire body of water the size of the Pacific Ocean can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship.  Similarly, all the negativity in the world can’t bring you down unless you allow it to get inside your head.” - unknown

I was down now I am up.  One has to keep fighting to win.  I read a couple of posts establishing healthy habits and here is the plan

Step 1: Set Goals by Baselining My Health
Step 2: Set Priorities
Step 3: Identify Harmful Patterns
Step 4: Make Steady Changes
Step 5: Reinforce Good Decisions

So today I am going to work on step 1.

The first step in taking control of my well-being is to set goals, and a sensible way to do this is to “baseline” my health. I need to gather some basic facts that realistically inform you about your body: weight, height, family history, exercise habits, general diet, and a self-assessment of my stress levels at work and in my home life.

I have found out that setting big goals, like the title of this blog, might be exciting but starting with small, boring goals is more likely to lead to success.Therefore smaller and simpler my goals are, the more likely I will to keep them.

From what I read I need to select just ONE habit at a time.

So for this week my goal is keep my calorie count under the 2700 calories a day, which would lead to two pounds a week.

Hopefully taking small actions tricks my big old brain. Since my inner me likes to be in control and does not like change, the big changes I resist, but maybe I can sneak a small change by it.

Let's see

Weighted in today and am disappointed with my stats.    


Weight when I first started blogging: 431.0 lbs.
Weight when I started re-start:           422.6 lbs
Last weigh-in:                                     387.4 lbs
Current weight:                                   390 lbs
Loss for the week:                                 -2.6 lbs
Total loss since re-start:                        32.6 lbs.
Goal for coming week:                        Developing healthy habits

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Off the Wagon

So for the last two weeks I have been struggling with food.  I was doing so well then bam of the track, hit a wall, off the wagon.  What happen, I look back and I was doing so well, then just like my normal way I stopped no reason.  It was the weekend, I got a craving and did not resist and started grazing as my father called it.

At least I caught it before I went all in.  But still why did it happen, I don’t know.

Well time to start it again, life goes on

I am out


Friday, October 3, 2014

Bump in the road

 Yesterday we celebrated a friend of mine anniversary.  What a pleasure to know this lady for the last 28 years. While she can infuriate me with her "Pink Cloud" she has been a rock in my life.

We went out to El Limon, the new Mexican restaurant in Ambler, and is good.  I tried to keep my food in check with just sharing a appetizer, although I had the lion's share of it, and tortilla soup I felt like I did well.  I had a piece of cake to celebrate and somehow wound up taking the rest home.

According to my friend Kathy, "take it into work for my employees".  Problem is I have a luncheon date today so the cake will stay home.  I need to freeze it and get it out of the refridge or it will be gone.

Weighted in today and am disappointed with my stats.    


Weight when I first started blogging: 431.0 lbs.
Weight when I started re-start:           422.6 lbs
Last weigh-in:                                     385.2 lbs
Current weight:                                   387.4 lbs
Loss for the week:                                 -2.2 lbs
Total loss since re-start:                       35.2 lbs.
Goal for coming week: Figure out what is going on

Now I know I have not did any swimming this week and I had my back shot but my food has been on track, around 2000 calories a day.  This is baffling, but I need to stick the course and maybe its just a bump in the road.

"Life is like a highway, no matter what they say, the construction is never finished. There's always gonna be bumps in the road and detours every now and then." - Nishan Panwar

out of here


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Time to wake up

Alright, my last post it got me to thinking and writing again. What is a "psychic change," what is the nature of a "spiritual awakening?"

In the Doctor's Opinion in the Big Book of AA, as I was studying the Big Book again, the antidote for recovery from alcoholism is stated "...unless this person can experience an entire psychic change (also known as a "spiritual awakening") there is very little hope of his recovery."

In my opinion it is that change that has come from reaching the turning point in which I decided I had enough and became willing to go to any lengths to get it and approached the working of life in that manner which then started the evolution of the psychic change which lead to ultimately learning that my self-centeredness was at the center of my sickness and that it was about focusing on God's Will (or Good Orderly Direction) not mine and practicing the principles of a program for life in all my affairs.
All my affairs, not just some.  That also means the way I use and abuse food and activity.  It was a very simple thing (although not easily achieved), to change my system of beliefs, when it came to drinking, but now food.  This means entire system of belief I have been living with and operating under all my life. Oh boy that's going to be a challenge.  But a necessary one because I don't want to spend the rest of my life like this.  I am finally sick and tired of being sick and tired of this weight thing.

I guess this blog/journal might help me along the way, we shall see. I read that a blog trains me to be observant in things in my life and gives weight to the personal growth that hopefully I am experiencing. It can be used train my mind to track thing happening life and articulate the changes I am experiencing. In becomes my record of my life that is saved “in the cloud” never to be lost, stolen, or destroyed in a fire.

Since I am still new to all this on a daily use, it will be difficult, but any lengths so we shall see.  Part of the awaking we shall see.

“Blogging is best learned by blogging…and by reading other bloggers.” – George Siemens

I am out


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Third Back Shot and some insight

I went in for my third back shot today and I hope it takes.  I asked the pain management Dr what would happen next if it did not.  He told me he doubted that they would operate due to the weight so if this did not work it might be meds for pain management.  I love it when I get a straight shooting doctor, one that looks at me and thinks he too fat so the best we can do is have him with pills.  At least he had the nerve to tell me.

The problem with doctors is that they have facts and studies behind them the chances of a person like me losing weight. According to the results published in the International Journal of Obesity, among overweight and obese adults:

36.6% of those who lost at least 5% of initial body weight kept it off
17.3% of those who lost at least 10% of initial body weight kept it off
8.5% of those who lost at least 15% of initial body weight kept it off
4.4% of those who lost at least 20% of initial body weight kept it off  

But I know something the doctor doesn't, you see I am sober 28 years and the chances of me being sober that long is 5%, and there is a way to do this and I am not alone.  I was told early on you never have to feel this way again.  And there are steps to take and I know it takes a physic change.  Only problem is having one of those. but baby steps.  

I could beat up on myself and think gezze I lost 125 lbs before and what happened or I loss 110 before that and what happened.  But this is the here and now not the past.  I love the saying "When you put one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow and you might be pissing on today".  So I need to concentrate on today because it all I have.  The weight will come off I have the experience to back that up.

Well they put me under a light dose of stuff and I could hear everything they were saying.  Not good I want to be knocked the f out when they are inserting a really big needle in my back.  Afterward the doctor said he put the mojo juice (my technical term) right where he wanted it so let's see what happens.  The nurses were great and I had a good experience overall.

Mandy stayed for the first hour when I got home then left to baby sit her grand kids.  I luck to have her and need to tell her that more.

Food was not bad today, according to my tracker I had 2043 calories.  I have to stay out of the pool for 48 hours so I can start swimming on Thursday night.

Last week's calories.
“You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” ― Zig Ziglar

that's it 


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Can Water Really Help You Lose Weight?

Ok so I have been mulling this over for the last couple of days.  You read all about keeping yourself hydrated during weight loss.  According to International Journal of Obesity substituting just one cup of sugary soda for one cup of water would slow weight gain by a full pound every 4 years. That's good news but I don't drink sugary soda.  Time for more research;

Back to WebMd.  According to the web set that when I stay hydrated the chemical reaction in my body run smoothly and even a drop of 1% can cause a drop in my metabolism.

There has been a study that drinking a class of water before a meal can cause a decrease of 75 calories per meal.  I guess it from the liquid displacing space in my stomach and giving me a full feel.  That's close to 270,000 calories or 8 lbs per year.  There was a study group at Virginia Tech that had half the people drink two glasses of water before each dinner and the other half did not.  The first half lost 3 lbs more in twelve weeks the second half.

Now how much water to drink.  I have read cut your weight in 2 and that is how many ounces of water you need.  Let's see 385/2 is 192 oz or 1.5 gallons of water.  That's a lot of water, but does it all need to be water.  Water is in everything.

I drink a lot of coffee, a pot or more a day.  Now those people who say that's to much coffee are right but it's my last vice and I am not ready to give it up.   Apparently if you drink enough coffee the effect of caffeine as a diuretic is negated.  Therefore coffee is in the mix, so I am going with that.

The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (100 oz) of total beverages a day.    

"That's a very simple, easy way to monitor hydration," says Nancy Clark, MS, RD, sports dietitian in Chestnut Hill, Mass. "If you go from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon without peeing, then you're dehydrated."

Well that's enough learning for today.  Weigh in went good lost 2 lbs this week.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. - Buddha

I am out


Monday, September 22, 2014

Simple steps for the plan

Here comes the hard part.  Figuring out how many calories I take in a day.  So let's break down the steps to do this:  Here are 4 simple steps that will help get you started with counting calories.

Step 1 – How many calories do I need to lose weight.

In my last blog post I found a website to help me in this.  Problem is there is several formulas to do this and since I am a Engineer this does not work.  So I have to find one and stick to it.  Here are the formulas I found on the net.

The Harris-Benedict Equation:
 (6.24 x W) + (12.7 x H) - (6.76 x A) + 66

The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation:
(4.54 x W) + (15.9 x H) - (5 x A) + 5

The Owen Equation:
879 + (4.64 x W)

W = Weight in pounds
H = Height in inches
A = age in years

Now throw in the activity level multipliers and all is good

1.2 if sedentary, little or no exercise and desk job
1.375    if lightly Active, light exercise, or sports 1-3 days a week
1.55      if moderately active, moderate exercise, or sports 3-5 days a
1.725    if very active, hard exercise, or sports 6-7 days a week
1.9        if extremely active, hard daily exercise or sports and
             physical job

Now according to The American Society for Nutrition, I love societies, the Mifflin-St Jeor Equation is the one to use, so into my excel spreadsheet it goes and I am good.  Interesting the Mifflin-St Jeor Equation has my caloric requirement at 3940 cal/day compared to the 3767 the  Harris-Benedict Equation had.

Step 2 – Keeping track of my food.

When I lost the weight the last time I used SparkPeople    Nutrition Tracker gives you all kinds of charts and has lost of food already broken down.  From the last time I inputted allot of the foods I liked so it seems to be the best fit.  What I found from before a small pad and pencil worked great to write everything down.

What I need to do is:

1.  Record everything you eat and drink immediately.
2.  Note what I am doing while I eating.
3.  Got to be honest. It's my journal and no one will see it but me

At the end of each day enter it into my tracker.

Step 3 – Plan and prepare menus ahead of time.

Right now when it comes to planning my meals I use “fly by the seat of my pants” method. Well, this “method” led me to eating lots of takeout and prepackaged food which has lead me to my current weight.

When I lost the weight before I would plan out my meals for the week.  On the weekend I would cook meals for the week so I could pop them in the microwave and not spend so much time at night cooking.  I also made lunch the night before and did not eat out for lunch.  This gives will give me better control over my portions, calories, and nutrition. Not to mention, it reduces the hassle of figuring out what to eat when I come home at night.

Step 4 – Measuring and Estimating Portion Size

This is the part I hate but it is the most essential.  It's easy to grab a had full of pretzels or potato chips and say that a serving but I have some big hands and that not a serving.  I checked it out just to make sure a serving of thin pretzels is 10 pretzels (ok I looked at the bag), when I grabbed a handful I got 15 or so.  the difference between 1 serving and 1 1/2 servings.  Ever look at the actual serving sizes on that Nutrition in a serving size label, damn a serving size is small. But it needs to be done.  So I need to break out the scale and measuring cups

The best way for me to assess portion size is to measure it. The more I measure, the better I am at visually assessing portion size, which helps when I dine out.  Now that I am dating Mandy we go out twice a week so time to learn.

I found some helpful hints on the web though

One serving of cooked meat (about 3 ounces) is equivalent to a bar of soap.

If I am in the mood for the grill, a hockey puck is a good estimate for the size of a ground hamburger patty.

A serving of cooked pasta (about 1/2 cup) should match the size of my fist.

One serving of grains equals a piece of bread, a waffle, or a pancake. While a standard CD case is an appropriate size for the bread, the CD itself is a good guideline for the waffles and pancakes.

One teaspoon approximates a single serving of fats and oils. Don't have any measuring spoons around? Use the tip of my thumb as a guide.


1 cup = your fist
1 ounce = the meaty part of your thumb
1 tablespoon = your thumb, minus the meaty part
1 teaspoon = the tip of your index finger
1 inch = the middle section of your index finger
1-2 ounces of a food like nuts or pretzels = your cupped hand
3 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry = the palm of your hand

Well that is Part 1 of the come back plan.  The good thing with counting calories is there are no special foods, shakes, weight watcher nutra system or weird recipes.  I can eat what I want as long as I stay within my calories.  I just got to remember, I suck at getting healthy and I'm on a journey to figure all this out.

Life is a journey, not a destination ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Engineering and Weight Loss

Not a bad week, food was good weight was down, mental outlook not so bad.  On my thought for today page the quote was:

Education should be the process of helping everyone to discover his uniqueness.   — Leo Buscaglia

Interesting thought.  You know all the diets that I read on the web pages I gather knowledge to put to use.  Both of my parents were educators and they stress learning and that what I have been doing.  I could follow that fad diet or that nutritionist latest learning but it all about my body and that is what I need to remember.  Yes the I need to follow the basic rules get three well balanced meals with portion control, but count carbs, denying myself things will bound to fail.

This is where the engineer in me kicks in to maintain my weight I need x amount of calories simple biology and thermodynamics.  A machine need energy to run  any more than that is wasted or in my account stored.  That what is stored is fat to be burned off at a later date.  If I take in less than what the body (engine) needs it will pull on that stored energy or the fat.  Apparently from all of the reading I have done a pound of fat is 3,500 calories.

Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

Therefore I need to have 7,000 less calories per week to lose 2 pounds per week which is what all the current think says is safe.  This I prove true when I lost 125 pounds about 5 years ago.
Ok back to the internet I found the following calculator:

Weight loss Calculator

I figured I would use the one from the American Cancer Society because they have are more interested in you having a healthy life that sell a diet.

        Current weight 387.2 lbs
Current age 57
       Height    6'2"

So according to their calculator I need approximately 3767 calories per day to maintain my weight so losing 2 pounds per week will mean I currently need to have 2700 calories per day.  Of course that changes as I get older and way lees but for now that is my goal.  Any exercise will be a bonus.

According to WebMD;

Severely slashing calories may lead to weight loss, but the lost weight includes precious muscle  and lowers metabolism. Drastic calorie restriction also causes a shift toward a higher percentage of body fat, which increases the risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Unless medically supervised, don’t cut calories below 1,200 per day. Otherwise, you will struggle to get enough nutrients to fuel your activities and satisfy your hunger. Keep in mind that when you lose weight quickly, you may be at risk to pack it back on -- with more fat and less muscle -- especially if you're over 50.

I am over 50, don't want to risk metabolic syndrome (whatever that is) and currently are not diabet I think I will follow that advise.

So that's the plan.

I also checked my BMI and I am under 50!

That all for now


Monday, September 15, 2014

Knee Shot

I got my second shot of  Euflexxa toady and have the leg up and iced down.  It seems to work and I am happy with the relief since I really don't look forward to a knee replacement.  But I know its going to happen am I am just biding my time.

I older I get the more aches and pains seem to come on.  Swimming helps but I have to stay out of the water for 48 hours.  If I had only known what the abuse to my body in my 20's and 30's would have one my 50's as the saying goes.  But you know I was young and stupid and it would not have helped if I had known.

Food was good and got my swimming in this weekend so all is well in my world.

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Staring back with the exercise

So I started back swimming,  Tuesday was rough tonight was not as bad.  The knee hurt and the back hurt but I have been reading on the internet (always a bad thing) that the best exercise for osteoarthritis of knee is swimming.  As WebMD states:

The old slogan, “Move it or lose it,” applies especially to people with osteoarthritis.   Apparently the buoyancy, and man I am buoyant, and the resistance is good.  Water creates a barrier and the faster you swim through this barrier, the more intense the exercise is for your muscles.  Well I am not fast but I can go a long time.  I checked with the calorie counter and it is surprising how many calories you can burn.

Weigh in is tomorrow so hopefully I lost something.

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


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Where did the summer go

So what did the summer bring. Let's see:

1) Sciatica like there is no tomorrow
2) Knee hurts like hell
3) No vacation because I did not feel like I wanted to do anything
4) No golf
5) Still the same weight

Maybe it the last thing that on the list that causing the stuff above. Ya think.  I have to turn this around.  I just passed my 57 birthday and this is not how I want to look forward to my golden years.  Time for some soul searching.

Now on the other hand , some good things

1) Started to going out with Mandy
2) My niece was in from the peace corp, a breath of fresh air
3) New car
4) Had a great 57th birthday, with family and friends

So things are not that bad.  Let's start again and see where the journey leads me.

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

Thomas A. Edison


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Plan for 2014

My weight today was 393.2 lbs.  That’s down 29 lbs from June of last year but up 86 pounds from my low three years ago.  While I am on track again I still have to keep vigilant.

This morning I spent some time reflecting on weight loss.  Since I been up and down the scale I thought "What was different the times that I have actually lost weight?"  and of course that question led to "what happened to make me stop losing and to in fact gain?"  I was easily able to say that I believed in myself and that I was worth it.

I went back and traced my weight loss journey.  I decided to lose weight, I needed to.  That vision I had of myself dead on the bathroom floor, scared me so I started.  I set goals and when the weight loss started to happen I thought about what life would be like when I lost the weight.  How would my life change, things would be different.  I lost the weight and I realized that it wasn't that way.  My life was exactly the same except that I had a bit more energy and my clothes were a smaller size.  The life problems were still there.....weight loss didn't fix everything. I was listening to life and allowing it to derail me.  

So what was different now?  I read something that started making me think.

"How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result, and so into easy, happy, and good living—well, that's not only the neurotic's problem, it's the problem of life itself for all of us who have got to the point of real willingness to hew to right principles in all our affairs."

Even with the weight loss peace and joy may still elude me, it's a hell of a spot, literally. So how can my unconscious—from which so many of my fears, compulsions and phony aspirations still stream—be brought into line with what I actually believe, know and want! How do I convince My dumb, raging and hidden "Mr. Hyde" becomes our main task.

That's what I need to work on.  I still intend to get down to 240 lbs by July of 2015, which is a ambitious goal.  I will need to lose 9 lbs a month.  I am breaking it down into three area


Being accountable means stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for my weight, while publicly declaring my desire to change.  That's the reason I started this blog and have failed to keep it up, this is going to change.  I have started back to doing what worked, when I lost the weight, keeping track of my weight weekly, tracking calories and staying away from my kryptonite pizza.

I’m weighing again every Friday morning and have started a weight loss page to tell the world.  I may even start posting progress photos, but I have to think about that.


Back to sparkpeople and tracking my food.  It worked last time so it should work this time. According to the calculators I need to consume about 2,268 calories a day to reach my goal weight of 240 lbs by July 30, 2015.

Mental State

This is what I need to work on and discover how to convince Mr Hyde to change.  So let the game begin!!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

"When you turn on yourself, it's not the food, it's you that you're battling. Admit you overdid it and be honest, but recognize that you're human."

Ah the holidays, family, fun and food.  Way to much food.  For the last two weeks I went nuts.  I was on a good course before, that but what happen?  I could spend hours trying to figure that out, but I was always told to live in the solution, not the problem.  As the saying says I am only human, and the sooner I recognize that I am off course the better.
So I aim to lose 2 pounds in the next week. To do that I'll have to reduce my daily calorie intake by 400 to 600 calories and burn off 300 to 400 calories a day for an average weekly deficit of 7,000 calories.  So be easy, one would think.  The house is clean of all the bad foods and stocked with good.

I am also thinking it's time to write more, I have friends that swear by this and maybe I can learn something more about me.  I’m a better student when I am taking notes. Writing things down leads to even deeper understanding and, I hope, wisdom. I want to write down what I learn, so I don’t have to re-learn it later.
Whether it be in this blog or a journal I have not decided but it is something that I should do more often.

Then there is prayer and meditation.  Another thing I seem to have stopped doing and it's time to get back to.  While I am not a religious person I do believe in the spiritual aspect of life and the older I get the more this seems to be important.  Maybe it's a midlife thing but since its been on my mind it must mean something.

Well this is a start, and a journey always starts with the first step.