Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Don't Recognize Myself

Yesterday I shared about hitting 240 pounds, the lightest I've ever been as an adult.  This morning I weighed 239.5 pounds, which I haven't weighed since well before I graduated high school.  I'd guess 10th grade.  I can only guess on that.   As of this morning my Ten Day Average is 243.8 pounds, so I'll "officially" hit the "Half The Man" status very soon.
 But today I want to talk about something else!    I don't recognize myself any more!   I vaguely recognize the face in the mirror as mine, but that's about it.   I look at my hands.  They don't look like mine.  I've always said I couldn't learn to play the guitar because my fingers were too clumsy and fat.  Well, they're not fat anymore!  My hands look normal.  I have no excuse for not learning to play the guitar now. :)
 I don't recognize my arms.  My feet.  My legs.   When I look down while walking I see these legs moving forward and back where before I only saw my belly and the tips of my shoes.
 I don't recognize my shadow.   It's not the one I'm used to.

 It's no wonder I don't recognize myself anymore.  I haven't seen this body in over 30 years.  Excuse me while I go reacquaint myself!

Happy Eating!

 -Norm  aka John Smith    

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

240 Pounds: Then and Now

 This morning I stepped on the scale and it said I weighed 240 pounds!   The 240 threshold is one of several milestones I'm coming up on real quick.    Others include 243 pounds, which marks the half way point from where I started at 486 pounds, and 236 pounds which will mark 250 pounds lost.   None of these are "official" yet because I don't count one day's weight as my official weight, I count my ten-day-average, which as of today is 244.55 pounds.  I'm creeping up on officially being Half The Man I Used To Be, which will merit it's own blog post.  Look for it soon!

 What is significant about 240 pounds?   It is the lightest I've ever weighed as an adult.   I graduated high school weighing 260 pounds.  I've been on diets before then and after then and the most "successfull" of them, when I was around 20, got me down to 240 pounds.  This is a great opportunity to talk about life then versus life now.  Weight loss then and weight loss now.   Why could I not get under 240 all those years ago?   Why am I confident now that I'll not only get under 240, but eventually under 200?  Good questions!  I'm glad you asked.  :)
 When I was 20 I used everything I knew about weight loss to try to lose weight.  I exercised more and I ate less food and I ate as healthy as I knew how.  Unfortunately, for all my efforts, what I knew about diet and weight loss then is comparable to what most people ever know.  I was trapped in the "Exercise More, Eat Less" mentality.   Sure, I lost weight, but it got harder as time went on and eventually I stalled at 240 pounds.   At that point no amount of exercise would budge the scale and I was already denying myself food at a level I couldn't maintain and eventually...   we all know what happened next...   I gave up.   I saw the utter futility of what I was doing.   Not knowing there was a better way I resigned myself to the fact that I'd always be fat and from then on set out to just try not to be TOO fat.
 What's different this time?  The biggest difference is the food I eat.  I've learned to satisfy my appetite on foods that will fill me up, offer long-term satiety, proper nutrition, and do all that while keeping the calorie levels at a point I can lose weight WITHOUT denying my hunger.   It is no longer a matter of willpower and resolve.  It is no longer a matter of torture and unsustainable deprivation.  It is a matter of simple choices and long-term satisfaction that results in the weight loss I've sought after my entire life.
  If you aren't familiar with this way of eating and wish to learn more about how I've lost over 240 pounds then read through my blog and learn!

 Happy Eating

-Norm   aka John Smith

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weight Loss Update: 11/18/2012

 I have been very lax about updating my blog, and I have no excuse for it other than the old "if you have nothing nice to say..." rationale...    Which doesn't cut it.  After all, the purpose of sharing my journey publicly is to help others going down the same path I am, and that means sharing the good along with the bad.
 So please accept my apology for not sharing what's been going on this past month.  It hasn't been pleasant.  I've fought with the scale almost daily.  I've fought water retention that has caused the scale to climb when everything I've been doing has been right.  How frustrating. How disheartening. 

 The Skinny:

 If you browse my weight graph you'll see for the first time in my journey my weight has gone up. I no longer use my actual weight on weigh-in day, but my ten day average, which has gone up since my last weigh-in period.  My ten day average for today is 250.3 pounds. 

 What's been going on:

Water Retention:  About a month ago I started retaining water.  I didn't know why. It got worse, got better, but didn't go away. It was bad enough that I actually dug out an old pair of compression socks which I hadn't worn in years. Both legs were swollen, but my left for some reason was noticeably more swollen than the right.  Thankfully, this has improved significantly over the past week, especially in the past few days.

Walking:  I gave up walking, for the most part, two months ago after I finished my goal of 1000 miles.  The weather was getting cooler and I am quite often cold and I just didn't want to do it.  To compensate, I turned my focus to DDP-Yoga and I built a stand-up computer desk which would keep me standing instead of sitting while at the computer.  Did giving up the walking cause or contribute to the water retention I've been dealing with in the past month?  Did increasing my time standing contribute?  I don't know the answer to these questions, but I do know this....  I started walking again earlier this week and almost instantly my water retention started going away and the scale started moving downward.  Since this is what I want to have happen I plan on continuing with more walking, even though I REALLY don't want to.  :)

Weight Loss:  Even though I've had a very rough ride with the scale this past month and even though I'm still a bit heavier than my lowest, I'm still making good progress along my journey towards better health.  I've stuck with the DDP-Yoga very consistently these past two months and my strength is improving and I'm putting on muscle mass.  So even though the scale hasn't reflected it, I've lost fat mass and gained muscle mass.  One measure of this is how my clothes fit. A month ago my pants fit very nicely and comfortably, with no need for a belt or suspenders.  Today they're too big and I need suspenders to hold them up.  As for a measure of where my strength is, I now do 60 pushups every day (except Sunday). In comparison, the first time I tried doing a pushup back in April I could not do one single good pushup and could only do a few "cheater" pushups from my knees.  It wasn't until June 21st that I worked up to doing my very first REAL pushup.  Now I do 60 a day, creeping up to my goal of doing 100 a day.

Looking Ahead:  I continue to push on and will work and plan on making it through the Holiday Season sticking true to my goals.  Last year was the first time I made it through Thanksgiving week while losing weight. I plan on this year being the second!  Further down the road I hope to catch up to where my long-term goals say I should be as far as the scale goes, but if the setbacks of the last month mean I'll get there slower, I won't be too broken up about it.

 Happy Eating!!

-Norm  aka John Smith