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January 20 – Navigating the office eating minefield

“For better or worse, the workplace has become the eatplace.” – Gabriella Stern

I am a big fan of Seinfeld. I still watch the reruns, and it still makes me laugh. In one episode, Elaine laments how often there is cake at her office, and the effect it is having on her waistline. This quote relates to that phenomenon.

As it turns out, my office isn’t too bad for this, at least not any more. There was a time when Friday donuts, regular birthday cakes, work anniversary cakes, and so on were contributors to the difficulty in maintaining a sound, healthy diet. There are still a few candy bowls around the building, and the occasional cake or donuts make their way in, but it is largely under control. I will say that since I work from home on Friday, I am likely missing some of the sweets that work their way in.

But, the fact that there is food at work means only that temptation exists. What I do about that temptation is up to me. I cannot use temptation as an excuse. I need to be honest, track my food, and stay true to myself. That isn’t to say that I don’t have occasional treats. It means that when I do, I need to account for them.

The good news is that over the past 3 years I have become largely immune to the temptations. The only time I will indulge is when we have a special event, or a member of my team has an anniversary or birthday, and then I keep it small. Office eating is not my problem these days.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…There are many minefields to success when it comes to eating sensibly. Taking accountability for my own choices keeps my head in the game.

January 11- EXCUSES!

“Perhaps I am a bear, or some hibernating animal underneath, for the instinct to be half asleep all winter is strong in me.” – Annie Morrow Lindbergh

Yesterday I wrote about being in a funk. Today’s quote is from a woman exploring her ursine tendencies. Maybe I am not the only one who struggles at this time of year.

In my job, the first month of the year is quite hectic and stressful. It is during January, and the early part of February, that project budgets for the New Year, which were set in the previous Fall, crystallize into monthly forecasts. These forecasts become a key measure for the health of projects.

Over the years I have developed some proficiency when it comes to financial management of projects. This is necessary to be successful as a program manager. But, I hate it. I truly do not like doing financial management, and I like even less dealing with people in the Finance department. It quite literally keeps me awake at night, and turns my stomach in knots. This year I have 3 major projects that each have their own complexities when it comes to finances. This week there is a review of those projects’ finances with senior management. The run up to that review, for me, is exhausting.

So far, on Monday and Tuesday, I have come home and crashed hard. My job isn’t physically demanding, but it is mentally grueling at times, and leaves me like a limp rag. It has been all I can do to get the basics done at home before vegging out in front of the TV for the evening. Today will be the worst so far, as I have meetings from 7:00am until 4:00pm. One of the meetings is a lunch meeting, so making a healthy choice there will be a key to whatever health success I have today.

As I write all this, you know what it sounds like to me? EXCUSES! I have come to learn in life that there are reasons things happen, and there are excuses for not getting things done.

Reasons are objective. One can look at the events and circumstances and see the sequence that leads to the present situation.

Excuses happen when we apply those objective events in our lives, and use them to explain why we don’t perform. “Being in meetings all day mentally exhausts me”, is an objective reason for being tired at the end of the day. “I didn’t work out because I am too tired from meetings”, is making an excuse for not getting to the gym. Saying that the stress kept me awake at night is the reason I didn’t get up in the morning for the gym is just as much an excuse.

Right now I am making excuses in my life.

  • It is cold outside so I can’t walk at lunch
  • I couldn’t sleep last night, so I am resetting my alarm for an hour later
  • There are still a few goodies from Christmas around the house, so I guess I have to snack
  • My wife isn’t home, so rather than the healthy alternative she left me for dinner, I will take the fast way out and ear a peanut butter sandwich (not that peanut butter isn’t healthy, but I could have chosen better)
  • And on and on.

This has to stop for me to reach the goals I have for myself. I have to get my mind out of the excuse game. Today is the 11th of January. So far I have exactly ZERO days where I have done everything I said I need to do to move myself toward success. I want to sit here and say “today is the day!” But, I am afraid. I am afraid that today will devolve right back into the same patterns as yesterday.

I have to stop writing and get to work, all those meetings and all that stress is looming in front of me. From where I sit I can see the gym bag I packed, but didn’t use yesterday. I will put it back in my car today, with the intent of using it when the work day is done. Tomorrow you will find out whether I succeeded, or made excuses.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…Only when I stop making excuses will I be able to build momentum toward my goals

January 3 – “It is impossible to walk rapidly and be unhappy.” Dr. Howard Murphy

Where I work, my team moved into a new building about a year ago. It is a modern facility, built to encourage collaboration, with much open space and natural light. We moved in January, and one of the first things that I did was to lay out a walking path within the building. There wasn’t an intuitive path, so I had to be a bit creative. I ended up with a 0.17mile loop. When I finished laying out the path I made posters for the building showing where the path was, and giving encouragement to use it. Included on the poster was this quote:

“Walking is man’s best medicine.” – Hippocrates

When people ask me how I lost 130 pounds, I tell them two key actions I took – track all my food, and walk. The first year I was on this journey, I logged hundreds of thousands of steps. I did monthly mileage challenges, worked on the treadmill, walked the neighborhood, and spent my lunch times endlessly circling the buildings where I work. I am a huge believer in the power of walking. In these past 6 months, I have gotten away from that. I haven’t been going to the gym, or walking at work and home. This morning, before writing this post, I went to the gym and did 42 minutes of fairly intense interval training on the treadmill. On my phone is a step counter that has a goal of 8,000 steps per day. I haven’t hit that goal in months, but I plan to work on it today. (I have it at 8,000 because the time I spend on the treadmill doesn’t register. If I work out, and hit the 8,000 goal, I am somewhere in the 12,000 step range for the day).

Reckoning

I said that later in the week I would get up the courage to get back on the scale. Today was the day, and let me tell you…it wasn’t pretty. This morning I tipped the scale at 250.0 pounds. That is up 12 pounds since the last time I weighed myself on November 18. And, it is up 33.6 pounds since June 10th. On Friday, when I do my formal weigh-in I will update my progress chart.

I am disappointed in myself this morning, but not terribly surprised. Prior to Monday I was eating and drinking at will, with no regard for my weight. The fact that my total weight loss since starting on March 1, 2014 is now below 100 pounds REALLY upsets me.

But, as I said on January 1, there is nothing to be gained by berating myself for past choices. The only thing to do now is forge ahead, and make today the best it can be.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day… Accountability – to myself and others – is the surest way to get myself back on track. Hiding and hoping that the scale will take care of itself universally fails.

The struggle goes on

This week I’ve not been as diligent as I should. I have watched what I eat, but not tracked in WW. I made 1 trip to the gym, and will get one more in, but will fall short on my goal of 3. Oh, and I have missed my step goal every day. so, yeah, not trending the well. Tomorrow will be the day of reckoning.

Next week is Thanksgiving, so plenty of opportunity to be well off the wagon.

I am writing get this today for me. I need to remind myself what my goals are, and that I would think reach them without a lot of work and sacrifice.

That’s it, just a few, random, morning thoughts.

210 by 2/10

Good morning. Today is November 1, 2016. Yes,  I am still around. No, I haven’t been blogging, and for that matter, I haven’t been really paying attention to my health lately.

The list of excuses for why I haven’t been doing what I know I need to do is a mile long. I could list them, but what point would that serve? The truth is that somewhere along the line, somehow, I lost focus. My last post here was June 10th. That day I weighted 216.4 pounds. Today I stepped on the scale, and I am at 242.4.

I desperately want this slide to stop NOW!

My fellow blogger Mama Ames and I have been talking and we have decided to set ourselves some goals. For me it is to reach a target weight of 210 pounds by 10-February-2017.

To get there it will be simple, but not easy. The simple formula for me is to track my food daily (and accurately), get back on a regular gym and walking schedule, and share my story regularly to increase my accountability.

My life is incredibly busy and stressful right now, and I have been using that as an excuse to eat, drink and miss the gym. The real fact is that the best way to deal with the stress is to be healthy.

When I started this blog back in 2014 I said that I might live to regret my first post.

There is every possibility that I will live to regret having created this blog. There is a chance that a few months from now this will exist on the Internet as a mockery of yet another a failed attempt by me to do something about my weight. But this morning, March 1, 2014, that is a risk I am willing to take.

As I sit here, some 32 months later, I have the same feelings all over again. Today will either be a start of something special – getting me back in the right direction, or it will stand as a failed attempt.

My official weigh-in date will be back to Fridays. This week I will update my charts and start weekly reports / goals. Today is about recommitting to myself to be better.

I know I have many friends who follow this blog. And all of you will want to encourage me along the way. For that I am eternally and incredibly thankful. I could not have gotten from my start weight of 345 down to where I am today. Thank you all in advance. The one thing I am so bold as to ask you is that you not let me make excuses.I know the accountability rides with me, I have to do this and can blame no one if I fail. I also know that I am at a fragile point right now, and that I need harsh reality, not coddling.

That is it for today. I am going downstairs from my home office to make a healthy breakfast and lunch, and then off to work. Tonight is game 6 of the World Series (Go Tribe!), and the day and night will be long.

Thank you for reading.

Too hard on myself? Or being accountable?

This weekend my wife and I went on a camping trip. It was our second of the year, and we had our annual visit  from some very dear friends and their two young daughters. We experienced some cold weather, including hail! When it was relatively nice, we went on a hike of a couple of miles up a sand dune.

While keeping warm at the campfire, the wife of the couple mentioned that she’d read my blog post on Friday. She offered encouragement, then said she thought I was being too hard on myself. She pointed out that there have been Holidays, family events, Mothers day, and so on that could take me off track. She reminded me that I have come a long way, and am still down well over 120 pounds. I smiled, and thanked her. Then I mentioned that all of those things might be reasons why I gained, but none of them excuse the weight gain.

Any event – whether a wedding, Holiday, special dinner, and so on – may be a reason to go over on a particular meal, but they shouldn’t derail that day, let alone many days. I didn’t gain 11 pounds in 10 weeks because of a Holiday, or a special dinner, or even attending a wedding. I gained because I slipped into old habits. I let myself believe that seconds at dinner was ok, or that I had “earned” a snack in the evening because it was a hard day. I elected to sleep in the morning rather than get up and hit the gym. In short, I slacked. I could make excuses for myself, but that won’t change the direction of my weight.

When I reached the end of my weight loss in 2000 and 2001, I allowed myself to become complacent. I allowed myself to believe that I had this weight thing licked, and could go back to mindless eating. 13 years and 127 pounds later, I finally got my head out of my rear end and realized that this is a lifelong effort for me.

I am not saying that there can’t or shouldn’t be times to celebrate and have a little extra. What I am saying is that when I do, I need to remind myself to make up for it, and get back on track.

The 130+ pounds I lost didn’t happen because I allowed myself to make excuses, and allowing myself to make excuses won’t let me maintain my weight loss, let alone continue to lose to get to my overall goal.

The title above asks the question whether I am being too hard on myself, or holding myself accountable. I prefer to think that I am holding myself accountable. I am not particularly down on myself, I am not beating myself up over the recent gains. I am merely looking in the mirror and telling the person responsible for my gains to get his ever loving rear in gear!

What the….? Week 102 weigh-in

I have no idea what happened this week. Yes, I had 2 pieces of pizza on Saturday, and I indulged at a super bowl party. Since then I have logged over 20 miles of walking, and I have eaten cleanly and correctly all week. There is NO WAY that I ate enough on those two days to account for a 3.4 pound gain.

This morning I weighed in at 219.4, up 3.4 from last week.

I didn’t track in Weight Watchers accurately, but I also didn’t consume enough to account for that weight gain. It is simply not possible.

This week I continue to pull the oars and try hard for next week.

Week 100 Weigh-in

When I started this on March 1,2014 I wasn’t sure if I would sustain the effort for 10 weeks. This morning I conclude the 100th week. There is a part of me that is surprised that I have stuck to it this long. This is, by far, the longest I have sustained a health program.

Today I weigh 217 pounds. That is down 2.0 pounds from last week. My total loss to date is 128 pounds, or 37.1% of my original weight. For January of 2016, I was down 8.0 pounds.

This was a good week on the walking front as well. Here are my numbers:

mile chart 2016

Right now my yearly pace is 446 miles. That is largely because of missing the first two weeks. Over the last 7 days I have been on a pace that would be 907 miles for a full year. That is still below 1,000 miles, and I am still behind the pace I need for the year. But, it was a good week. Tuesday I elected to do my treadmill time after work, but later decided to come home to await a package delivery. Had I either gotten up in the morning, or worked out after work, I’d have logged over 20 miles for the week.

On Wednesday a friend and I checked a walking path within our building. We each used a pedometer and independently arrived at a distances of about 1/5 of a mile for the path. This coming week I intend to use that path to log some miles at work. Until I find a more definitive way to measure the distance, I will consider it to be 1/6 of a mile.

For the week ahead the plan is to keep up with my walking, track my food accurately, and avoid after-dinner snacks.

 

A health update posted on my health blog

As I mentioned on Friday, I have been battling an ear problem since before New Year’s Day. When I wrote that update, I called it an ear infection, because that was how the Nurse Practitioner had diagnosed it. She even said I had a blister on my ear drum. She prescribed Amoxicillin and said that I was likely just unlucky to have two infections in about 2 months (I had another in early November).

I started on the antibiotic, and took it as prescribed. When Monday came and I was on the 7th day of the course of meds, with no relief evident, I called the office again. The triage nurse consulted with the NP and they decided to refer me to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT).

At first I was frustrated. I didn’t want to have to wait around to be seen as a new patient, as many of the practices here get quite backed up. But, I called around to the numbers I was given. On the second one I hit the jackpot. They had a same-day appointment and got me in.

The ENT looked at my ear, even using the microscope. He looked up my nose, including with an Endoscope (wasn’t that fun!), and then determined that I did NOT, in fact, have an ear infection. I do have a deviated septum, likely from a baseball injury when I was about 12. And, I had fluid, but not an infection in my ear. The problem was that the right ear wasn’t draining right.

He decided to tackle this from the perspective of getting control of my allergies, stopping the congestion, and then letting the fluid take care of itself.

He put me on Afrin 3X a day (but only for 3 days), Flonase once daily, and Azelastine HCI twice daily.

I am on day 2 of that course of meds, and have an appointment to see him again in February. And here is the thing. I feel somewhat better. Much of the pressure in my ear is gone. There is still some, but I can yawn and make it pop, which I could not before. Honestly, I think snaking that endoscope up my nose released a bubble or something.

At any rate, I feel better. I plan to get up and work out tomorrow morning, and to get back to my daily routines.

Back at Christmas I toyed with the idea of challenging myself (and anyone who would join me), to walk 1,000 miles in 2016.  I have successfully completed several 100 mile monthly challenges, and I thought this one would be nice. I am now 12 days late starting, but I think it is eminently doable for the year. Look for more on that later this week

One other thing. I joked in my last post about having or not having “fans”. I must say, my heart has been warmed by the number of people who have told me they are fans of mine. Here on the blog, on my personal FB page, text messages and more. thank you all so very much!

That’s it. Just wanted to give you all an update on how old Bobby-C is doing!

Week 76 Weigh in – “OK, get back on the horse”

Well, the vacation is over. I last posted here 15 days ago, the day I left for vacation. We’ve been back from the trip since Monday, but apparently I have still been on a vacation when it comes to minding my Ps and Qs on my health journey. Today I tipped the scale at 220.6 pounds. That represents a 4.8 pound gain in 2 weeks. Ugh. I told my wife this morning as we were passing at the bathroom door. Her answer was “OK, get back on the horse.” And, that’s just what I plan to do.

In my last post I said I was going to walk 100 miles in August. Sadly, I didn’t keep track of my walking well on vacation, so that is out the window. Oh, yeah, and then I didn’t do much this week.

Starting today I am going back to publishing my WW tracker. That worked well for me. Honestly, I had very little cell coverage on vacation, so tracking was difficult there. I have no such excuse since coming back, only to say that I didn’t get it done.

For the week ahead the plan is simple. Track everything. Walk more. Look up the address to that gym place I was going to, and get back to work.

The good news is that I had a great vacation. I came back feeling refreshed for the challenges ahead. I am disappointed this morning, but honestly not surprised. I knew that while away I indulged on snacks and adult beverages. I know that we spent more time in the car and less on the trails than we had anticipated. For that I have no regrets, it is just the facts of the trip. What disappoints me more is how I have done THIS week since being back. I have had no trips to the gym, and my tracking has been spotty. With this morning’s wake up call, I am – as my wife suggested – climbing back on the horse. Onward to better things in the days and weeks ahead.