FacePic2009

(no subject)

 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).

I Alone

Optifast

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!
Happy Face

A Life-Changing Event

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.
I Alone

(no subject)

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
Happy Face

Day 3 - Juice redux

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.
I Alone

Day 30

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.
I Alone

Day 25 heading into 26

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.**
I Alone

Day 22

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.
I Alone

Day 19

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.
I Alone

Day 15

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.