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The Rancho Commons
Note to self: no whining, no slacking
aspiring2live

 Today was the day.  I have been on a weight loss program since July of this year and am making great progress, being nearly 50 pounds down so far.  However, I have been waiting on a number, and it came today.

     Years ago, and I’m not sure exactly when because I failed to write it down, I stepped on a scale somewhere and saw the highest weight I’ve ever attained, to my knowledge.  I weighed 314 pounds.  In looking through my journal, I see I weighed 290 in February of 2002, so I’m sure it was some time after that.  I worked over the years to get weight off, often gaining most of it back. However, I had some success in keeping it off and when I started this program I was 262.2.

     Today on my home scale I was 213.5.  I have lost a HUNDRED POUNDS from my heaviest.  I wanted to share that with all those who have seen me at that weight, and who have seen me struggle and give up struggling.  And to those who are struggling themselves, don’t give up, keep doing work, we can do it.

     I was on medicine for diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.  I was either taking insulin shots before meals or I was being non-compliant by not doing so.  I am now off of all meds except for 20mg Lipitor and I hope to be off that the next time I have labs drawn.

     I am still only eating one healthy meal a day and drinking 4 protein shakes.  I will transition to more food as I get closer to and attain my weight goals.  I go to the gym at least 3 times a week.

     I am living the lifestyle changes it takes to make this kind of progress.  There are no short cuts, there is no easy way.  We are all the gatekeepers for our own food intake and that is the very bottom line.  My saying now as I point to my mouth is, "Only I control what goes in this hole."  Meaning, no matter how much help, love and support you have, it is ALL, EVERY MOMENT, up to you.  No one can do it for you and no one will.

**I made two private entries in August regarding this new start which are now public.  I'm nearing my primary goal (weigh less than 200) and will most likely continue to my secondary goal (180).

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aspiring2live
Day 3 of my all liquid diet. So far so good. I have experienced a bit of hunger the first few hours I'm up, but it resolves and I'm fine after that. I have been walking 30+ minutes nearly every day and I'm going to start strength training this week about 3 days a week. I am on my way!

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This entry will remain private until I have completed this goal.

I have come here many times to talk about my weight, my health and my diet and exercise or lack thereof.  In 4 days I am taking a major, final, desperate, and hopefully, wildly successful step in dealing with this problem.  Since 7/11/2015, I've been on a calorie restricted diet pending my start, in 4 days, of an all liquid diet under medical supervision.

I went to the Wake Forest Baptist Health Weight Management Center in June to get some professional help.  They have me currently on an ~1100 calorie per day meal plan in which I have 3 shakes a day and three small meals (snacks).  I am using Atkins and Muscle Milk shakes per their guidance.  This weekend, however, I will get down to business and start the Opti-Fast program in which I will have 4 shakes and a soup per day for 840 calories total.  This is planned to last for 12 weeks after which time I will begin transitioning back to healthy meals.

For exercise, I started walking on 7/21 and have been walking nearly every day for 30-45 minutes.  As part of my program, I get a 6 month membership to the hospital's fitness center and, in a couple of weeks, a Fitbit device.

I am on my way.  After this is said and done, my target weight is 180 (started at 260, currently just over 250) and I will NOT EVER weigh over 200 pounds again.  I won't allow it.  I am taking the necessary steps to change my lifestyle for good.

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Current Location: Work
Current Mood: optimistic optimistic

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Once there was a boy who lived a very ALL or NOTHING existence.
Now when he was ALL, the world was his oyster.
But when he was NOTHING, which was nearly all the time, he found it harder and harder to bear.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." --Dylan Thomas

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aspiring2live
As is my habit, I’ve been absent.  Again.  I was posting last about my 60 day juicing effort.  I made it until just before my birthday when I had a planned break for Father’s Day and my 50th birthday.  After that, I just didn’t have the heart or the strength, or cojones, or whatever it was going to take, to return to juicing.  I went about 32 days and went from 273.5 to 248.

Since that time I have continued to eat a much improved diet, keep my blood sugar reasonably under control, and maintain the new weight.  Saturday I began a 15 day juice so this is day 3.  Juice only.  I started at 248.5 and am now 246.  My plan is to do shorter juice fasts so I don’t have to endure the misery of not enjoying good food for such a long time.  It is much easier to deny myself knowing it’s only for a couple of weeks.

I have worked the last 2 nights and I work tonight.  Tomorrow I begin walking again.  This is a short term plan to accomplish my long term goal of weighing less than 200, specifically about 180, ideally even less.  But realistically, I think 200 is a very reasonable goal health-wise.  If I never get much lower than that, I’m still going to be tremendously healthier than I was at my 314 max.

I’ve decided to juice a week or two at a time interspersed with periods of eating and maintaining, and exercising (again, ideally) during ALL of those times.  This seems to be the most effective method for me in reaching my goals.

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Current Location: United States, North Carolina, Winston Salem

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Currently at 250.5, low of 249.5 a few days ago. Usually I hang around a weight for a few days, gain back a couple and lose them, etc. Then, one morning I get up and I'm 2 or 3 pounds below my lowest previous. So, I still count the 249.5 because I'm not taking in enough calories to gain an actual pound of weight back. In the last month I've gone from 273 to 249.5 = 23.5 pounds. If I reproduce that in the 2nd 30 days of this experiment, or do even better, I'll be down in the 220s or less.

The problem, as always, is food. I miss it, I love it, and I'm starting to feel stasis with juicing. Meaning, I'm "bored" with it and want to eat so I'm allowing foods to slip in more. I know from experience how quickly that can slippy slope from a bit of fruit now and then to all eating/no juicing. I have to reinstate vigilance or I'll slack right out of this and that is NOT going to happen. Don't get me wrong, I'm not eating meals and I'm not taking in thousands, or even hundreds, of calories in solid foods every day. But, on a few days, I've gotten into the hundreds of calories. Every bite of solid food is counterproductive to the 60 days of juicing plan, because it adds calories that slow my weight loss and the whole point is to maximize weight loss during the 60 day period. In other words, I'm shooting myself in the foot when I eat.

I have only occasional, mild hunger feelings so I don't have that as an excuse. Today, I am halfway. Tomorrow will be day 31 and I will be on the downward side of a goal I thought might actually be impossible for me. Juice for 60 days. I still doubt if I've had 5000 calories of solid food, though even if I have, it's been nearly all raw fruits and vegetables. I feel good, I'm looking better, and I am on the homeward track.

I still haven't covered all the health reasons for me to do this, and there are many. To summarize them, I'll close with this for now and I'll fill out this list with details in the next 30 days. My "co-morbidities" prior to this juice: hypertension (hgih blood pressure), high cholesterol, Type II diabetes (oral meds AND insulin injections before meals) and morbid obesity (the medical term). My family history includes cancer, heart disease, and vascular disease. In 6 days, I will turn 50. I am staring down the health care equivalent of death row. But, I can fix this. It's not too late. My goal is to get off of ALL of my meds for the above diseases and that is certainly still within the realm of possibility.

"Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." --Hippocrates.

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Weight hasn't really changed this week. I can feel the changes happening in my body, though. My ankles look like they did when I was 25. I don't have all the swelling I was so used to anymore. I feel lighter, which I am, but it's nice to feel that way. I don't "see" it a lot yet, but I know it's going to be very noticeable to anyone who hasn't seen me in a few weeks.

I just started two weeks of vacation. We don't have plans to go anywhere, really, so I've decided to use the time to get some things done around the house and to initiate a much more aggressive exercise effort. I told the boys that the next two weeks were, "Let's see how much weight we can get off of dad weeks." And I told them they are in charge of my exercise for that time. I said, if you tell me to do it, I will do it the best I can. It "officially" starts tomorrow (Sunday, which it already is by 3 hours) but we went for a walk Saturday evening for 1.5 hours and walked 4.7 miles in 80+ degree weather. Not a record setting pace, I know, but I am about 80 pounds over my recommended weight and sedentary, and juicing, and I'll be 50 in a little over a week. So shut it, if you are feeling an urge to be unimpressed.

They want me to try jogging around our block next. That's only a 3rd of a mile, but it's not exactly flat and I am aerobically nowhere near capable of sustained running yet. So, I'll do what I can. That's what I'm doing anyway. 34 more days.

**Edit: I just broke 250: 249.5.  New territory.  I am now passing through the weights I haven't attained for many, many years.  I won't be here long, and I'll never pass this way again.  Ever.**

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I ate two Fritos corn chips last night. Best I have ever had!

This morning I am 252, 21 pounds down from my start of 273.  When I break 250 in a few days, it will be quite a moment.  It's a magical number that represents attaining weights I haven't achieved in years and years.  It is a sign that I'm on a path to better health that will not be derailed.

I have a pact with myself that, once below 250, I will never let myself break that barrier again.  The same is true for 200 when I reach that, because I will.  This is no longer something I "wish" I could do or that I "want" to do.  It's something that I have to do and I'm not allowing any other options.  I really have no choice if I want to have lived a happy and successful life by any account when I reach my eventual end.  It's choose now to live life or to continue to contribute to the causes of my premature death.  No more of that.

I have a doctor's appointment this morning and I expect it to be a very positive experience once she gets over the idea that I've been "not eating" for the last 22 days. Labs will be drawn and my weight and blood pressure will be taken. When the labs come back, there will be no bad news. In fact there will be much better news than I've had in years, I'm confident of that.

Still no real hunger to speak of, and I only eat when I've allowed myself to fantisize for too long about something or had to be around the smells and sights of food for too long. When I DO eat, it is very small amounts of plant food only, with the exception of a handful of tortilla chips I've had on two occasions while eating some chunky guacamole and those 2 corn chips. Still plant food, I know, but highly processed plant food with little nutritional value and a load of salt.

Still caffeine free, artificial sweetener free (except for a stick of gum once), sugar free (except for what's in the fruits and veggies), preservatives and other additives free... In short, if it ain't water or plant nutrients, primarily in the form of juice, it aint going in my body. I'm looking forward to eating some food again, but I'm not focused on that day. I did that before and it caused me to quit 12 days into a 15 day attempt at juicing (my first). This time, my focus isn't going to be celebrating by eating a decadent, unwholesome meal as a "reward." My reward will be eating some good food while keeping to a goal of >50% plant food. Something like a salad with some steak or grilled chicken on it. Something really tasty, but also pretty healthy. I can do that and not feel like I'm plunging back into my old eating habits head first. But all that's for another day in the not-too-distant future.

Quite frankly, I feel superb! 38 More days of this and it's getting easier every day.
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Juicing every day, no food at all most days, a few bites others.  Currently I have lost 16.5 pounds.  I expect the loss to accelerate because I started walking Thursday.  I skipped yesterday (Friday) because I was actually sore from walking, a sad truth I know.  At any rate, I plan to walk at least every other day, but every day is preferred.  It will be hard to make that happen when I'm working 3 nights in a row, but I'll manage.

Tomorrow will be day 20.  I will be 1/3 of the way through my plan of juice only for 60 days and I will be one day shy of doing this for 3 weeks.  It seems impossible to me even now that I could go that long ONLY drinking fruit and vegetable juice, but I have.  I could still eat everything I've had in the way of food for the last 19 days in a single meal, or two at the very most.

Day 10, as I've mentioned is when my hunger finally left me alone.  It was aggressive the first 5 days, annoying the next 5 days, then it left with Elvis.  I only feel hunger occasionally now and it is mild.  Usually it is when I have allowed myself to think about some food I want for too long.  When it happens, I can chase it off with some water or juice.

It is that lack of hunger that makes me think I can easily do this for as long as I choose.  The hard part now is waiting for the days to go by till I reach my goal.  This is my birth month.  Normally, my mom would make me a birthday meal with my favorite foods and I would go out to eat more of my favorite foods with my family.  This year, I'll have birthday juice - no candle.

Yet, sacrifice though this is, it is also a gift to myself.  If I am successful, I will lose enough weight that I will no longer need most or all of the medicines I am currently on.  My blood pressure, cholesterol level and blood sugars will be normal, or very close to it.  I will feel better, look better, and have more energy.  I will have hope for a better life.  This is how I look at it now when I start feeling whiny about all the great food I'm not eating.

I can do anything for 60 days.

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In the last 15 days, I have eaten much less than one meal's worth of food, at least calorie wise. I had a period of intense craving in which I've eaten about a jar and a half of salsa over several days. But, at ~600 calories a jar, that's not so bad. The craving has subsided now. I have had a few bites of fruit otherwise.

It's interesting that I don't eat now because I am hungry but because I feel deprived. I get angry at not "being able" to eat, though I can anytime I choose. I take bites of fruit I am juicing just to feel the food in my mouth and to get the pleasure of chewing it. It is a rebellious act of almost-cheating. But, I haven't actually cheated outside of the parameters that I set, which was to juice only unless I could no longer bear it, then to allow plant foods as necessary to complete my 60 days.

Well, it's working. I am on day 15 and I've avoided all of the things I set out to avoid. It has not been easy. I miss food. I'm no longer hungry, for the most part, as of day 10. But I miss food. I still long for steak and pizza and burgers. I am resolved to continue this for the full 60 days now, more sure I can do so than I was last week. But I really want it to be over so I can eat stuff.

My weight has stalled, which isn't too surprising. I expect it will start to drop again soon because I can't possibly be taking in enough juice per day to meet my daily caloric requirements. Right now I'm 259.5, so 13.5 pounds down in 15 days. Not so bad when you view it like that.

I am 1/4 of the way to my goal today. I'm surprised I've done this, to be honest, it doesn't seem possible that I could juice for 15 days and have energy and focus and feel "normal." Even more surprising is that I'm fully prepared to keep doing it for another forty-five days!

Oddly, when the gnawing hunger in my stomach stopped, the gnawing moved to my brain. I'm trying not to let it bother me, but I'm having a hard time NOT thinking about my weight staying where it has for a week now. But, I know I NEED to be walking and I've put it off. No doubt, exercise will drastically affect my weight loss. No slacking, no whining. Gotta do work.

Well, time to sleep after work last night.

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260, 13 pounds down in 12 days.  Hunger has almost completely resolved as of day 10.  Energy level is great.  I cannot tell I am not eating by the way my body feels.

I'm having a little difficulty with finding appropriate juices that taste good, but I've been just throwing stuff in the juicer to see what happens.  I think I might get some recipes off the 'net to try.

I need to start walking now.  No excuse not to.

More to come.

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In the past 9 (almost 10) days, this is all I have consumed that is not fruit and vegetable juice:

1 banana
~4 small apricots
2 tiny slivers of avocado
~6 spoonfuls of Pace Picante sauce (mild)
~3 radishes

I have also had a few cups of Motts Garden Blend juice.  I highly recommend it!  But I want to find the  Low Sodium version.  Original: 410 mg, Low Sodium: 140 mg per 8 ounces.

In addition, I have had several varieties of green tea.

Sue me.

What I have NOT had: Preservatives, Processed Foods, Meat, Artificial Sweeteners, Soft Drinks, Caffeine, excess Sodium, or any other solid food than the above listed.

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Officially over a week into juicing now. 261 this morning (from 273). I am now established on this journey, the single step that started it is safely behind me and my resolve seems to be improving. Numerous times every day I feel like quitting. But, I haven't.

I need to make a better effort at keeping busy for one thing. Now that I'm stabilized in this effort and my energy level has normalized, I am going to start walking and moving around more.

The first time I tried juicing, I did 12 straight days out of an initial goal of 15 days. But, then I quit. I had a lot of good reasons at the time. I wanted to eat, was the main one. It's astounding how encompassing the feeling of hunger can become if you allow it. To some extent, you have no choice. You can't control the feeling that comes up in your stomach at the mere smell, sight, or thought of food. But, I started thinking the last time about how much I liked food, and how much I missed food. I started to think about the foods I loved, and soon I was focused on the foods I simply must eat the day I completed my fast. It was New York style pizza from a local restaurant. I imagined it, savored it, dwelled on it. Pretty soon after that started, I ate it.

So, this time, I am making an effort not to fall into the trap of imagining food and anticipating it's entry into my gullet. This, I recognize, is the path to failure. Now, after fasting for 7 days, I won't count it a total failure if I get up from here and go grab a chili dog out of the kitchen. As Joe Cross of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead says, if you are shooting for a 10 day fast and you only make it 7, "Well, good on ya for trying, mate! Good on ya for trying!" (He's a little bit Austrailian).

So, on day 8, looking forward and struggling through the smells and scenes of food around me, sometimes right next to me crunching and gobbling, I head to my juicer and think, yeah, good on me.

As Joe always says, juice on!

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Days 3 and 4 were bad, especially 4. I was convinced that I was suffering raging starvation all day. I was, of course, but that's no excuse. I remembered that I have to do things to keep busy. If I don't think about it, I don't really starve, but if I sit in a chair and think about it...

Today was 262. Hunger resolved mostly on day 5 and today (day 6). Still, I'm 6 days into a 60 day goal. 1/10th. I know now that I have the strength of will to go without food and juice only, it's the resolve. That's where they get you. Therein is the rub. I CAN do this, but I really don't WANT to.

So, the question now is, can I trick myself every day into passing just 60 short days without quitting. Can I focus on the right things mentally and do the right things physically to keep on track? There's something worth sleeping on. And I'll wake up in day 7.

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Joe Cross is the guy that made the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead I've recently referred to in another post.

"If you let people in white lab coats design your food, you'll see people in white coats to treat your disease." --Joe Cross

Oh, how we are being duped by the people that produce our "food" and those that make huge profits off of the resulting deleterious health effects from it.

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Day 3, juice only. Started 273, this morning 264.

I had a headache last night, pretty sure it was probably from caffeine withdrawal. However, I spent a few hours out in my parents hot, sunny yard yesterday while the boys and I helped them get their raised beds populated with veggie plants. I drank juice and lots of water, but it still could have been a headache from mild dehydration. I'm making sure to keep my water intake high so that isn't the problem if I get more headaches over the next day or so.

Energy level is good. The first day I was starving, yesterday I was hungry, so hopefully today I'll be numb. Last time I juiced, I had a goal of 15 days and made it 12. I quit because I was so pissed off about all the great food I was missing out on. In other words, I lost mental focus. I let my attitude go in the wrong direction. Instead of seeing how much I had gained and accomplished in 12 days, I allowed myself to think about what I was missing out on.

This time, I am aware of that error and I am working to keep it from happening. Last time, my end weight was 258, and this time I started at 273. Probably about 10 pounds of that was fluid and food in my gut, which is mostly gone now on day 3. So, while it sounds like I gained a lot of weight back, I'm thinking less than 10 pounds of actual weight. More like 5.

More as I progress.

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Yesterday. 273. Started juicing today to see what I can accomplish. I've been watching lots of inspirational material on Netflix. If only I had known some of this stuff when I was younger. Recommended list of videos to educate yourself about food, health, and everything you don't know about it that's killing you:

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead - The movie that inspired me to change. That gave me hope when I had none left. It's also available on Netflix.

Food Matters This is the trailer for the movie. It's available on Netflix. "Every culture, every language, every person in the world knows it... you are what you eat. Food does matter."

Hungry For Change Trailer for the movie, available on Netflix. "The problem is, we are not eating food anymore, we are eating food-like products."

More information as I progress.

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If you use Twitter, you should follow me.  @ascrublife

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Posted this elsewhere a couple of days ago, but I think it belongs here as well.

For those who may have heard about the 87 year old woman who stopped breathing at a nursing home in California and the call between a 911 operator and the “nurse” who was refusing to give CPR because the facility had a “policy”, I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of outrage over it, and may be outraged yourself. I want to speak up on this.

Firstly, the facility is backing the worker, which tells us right up front there is more to the story. They are on rock solid legal ground or they would hang her out to dry, meaning, there was obviously an agreement on how to proceed in such a situation already in place, most probably a signed agreement between the facility and the patient or patient’s relative. So, it is my opinion that there was no legal wrongdoing.

Secondly, the daughter said she was satisfied with the care provided to her mother. As you must know, if there was any hint of negligence she would be outraged, UNLESS she wanted mama to die so she could collect money or such. Possible, not likely.

Lastly, and this part is based on my personal experience, this lady was beyond hope the minute she stopped breathing. Yes, she may have been resuscitated and transported to a hospital, and all manner of lifesaving measures might have been used to prolong her death. But, at 87 years of age, her ribs and sternum would not have withstood the forceful and, yes, brutal procedure of chest compressions.

It is nearly guaranteed she would have had multiple rib fractures, possibly a sternum fracture, and a lot of soft tissue damage to her body, to include probable severe bruising to her lungs, as well as damage to her cardiac muscle. These things would be difficult to manage and overcome in a young person, much less in someone of that advanced age. I’ve personally felt the crunch of ribs and seen the aftermath. Believe me, the death that is almost definitely assured to occur within a few days is much less peaceful and comfortable than someone who simply stops breathing and dies in their sleep.

Anyone who has worked as a nurse in an ICU will tell you that there are “things much worse than death.” I once heard a trauma surgeon telling another doctor how to break the news of a patient’s imminent death to family members and it was such good advice that it has stuck with me. He said, “Tell them we can prolong his death, but we cannot prolong his life.” That is a very important distinction.

People who are “brought back” are frequently subjected to getting a breathing tube and a ventilator, are placed on powerful drugs to keep them out of pain and unconscious, and to keep their heart beating, and to keep their blood pressure up, and have numerous tubes placed in various orifices to maintain bodily functions over which they no longer have control. Believe me, this is a sugar-coated version of the reality. All of these measures, especially in an 87 year old, are very unlikely to result in a positive outcome for the family or the patient.

My feeling is that this daughter knew these things as truths, and did not want her mother to suffer the ravages of advanced “lifesaving” attempts. She may have even been prompted through conversations with her mother to pursue a “do not resuscitate” order or to sign an agreement not to initiate CPR. We just don’t have enough information on this event, but that hasn’t stopped all manner of outrage from coming forth directed at this facility, nurse, and daughter.

Until you’ve been there as a healthcare provider, patient, or relative, you cannot know what the right decision is for you and your family. But, based on the information we DO have, my opinion is that this lady was allowed to pass in the most dignified way her circumstances allowed.
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262. Dropped off a bit there, sorry. I went to the evening of the 12th day of my juice fast. That's right, I jumped out of my 15 day goal. I figured that, even though I knew I could make the 15, if I continued to the end, I'd be so pissed at juicing I'd never do it again.

Once I was able to think properly again, which apparently requires pizza molecules, I figured out my error, and a solution, and my next goal. Yes, the pizza was that good. I had unconsciously allowed my thought patterns to shift away from what I was accomplishing and I began to focus on what I was missing; what I was being "deprived" of. I started obsessing over food which intensified the hunger and longing and trashed my morale. In retrospect, the arbitrary goal of 15 days was not the best method.

I plan to start juicing again this week, probably tomorrow. This time, my goal is to break 250. Last time, I started at 274.5, ended at 258, and have stabilized at 262-264. So, my net loss was over 10 pounds for a 12 day fast. This time, I'll break 250 and probably end up around 254/255 when I start eating again. Rather than fix a set number of days to fast, I'm targeting a weight to break. That way, a few days in, when I'm starting to dwell on all the wonderful foods I'm NOT eating, I can reach my intended weight goal sooner by exercising more. INCENTIVE!!

Oh, and if I just get downright pissy again or obsessive about food? I'll eat something. Not every day, not every 3rd day, but like, maybe once a week or something. This is a consideration and not a concrete part of the plan as yet. Mainly, though, I expect success because this time I'll be aware to avoid a shift in my thinking to what I'm "missing" and remember what I'm losing.

I looked at my tag "weight" a few days ago and was saddened by how long it's been. How long I've been affectionately called "big guy" by people who barely know me. How long I've berated myself and hated myself, no loathed myself... One of my life's successes so far has been making sure my boys didn't have weight issues. I hope they never will. If they do, I'm going to counsel them and encourage them and support them. I'm going to "bug" them about it every time we talk until they hear me. 20 pounds when your 30 turns into a hundred when your 40, I'll tell them, and it does nothing short of ruining. your. life. until you drop it. They'll know how I know this.

On a more positive note, I looked at my work badge photo, which is just over 2 years old because I got a new badge when I changed jobs. I had crept up over 300 to a maximum of 314 around this time. When I looked at that I realized I had lost over 50 pounds in the last 2 years and it gave me a surge of optimism. Maybe I won't have to be buried in a piano case. ;-) It made me realize I need to rethink things yet again, to start expecting to lose down under 200 pounds, because that can actually and realistically be accomplished in our lifetime!

And, because this post is only annoyingly long and not yet impossibly long, let's talk drugs. Still off all my depression meds and I've recognized some feelings of mild mania and depression associated with my cyclothymia. I guess I had once again convinced myself blindly and ignorantly that all that stuff was gone away. Ha. Uhhhh, yeah. So, recap, my brain isn't as balanced as yours. I have... issues. But I think I'll be able to manage without medicine. I think diet and exercise and weight loss will all positively impact my brain function. Some days I'll want to stay up and not sleep and others I'll sit on a chair and take note of the fact that I'm just not motivated enough to do the things that I intended to do that day.

It's a brand new concept for me; where I understand my imperfections, I acknowledge my strengths and shortcomings. It is conceivable that, with time, I might even come to like or even love myself. The telegraph worked, man flew, space travel happened. It's conceivable.

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