Weigh-ins

February 10 – Comforting routines and my weigh-in day

 

“Eating habits are like a mother tongue you learn as a child and never forget.” – Sandra Haber Ph.D.

In High School I took 3 years of Spanish, then I took another year in College. I got good grades, and could read, and even speak a bit in the language, but I was never to a point where I would have considered it a second language. Today and skills I had are lost to lack of use. I may catch the occasional word on a TV show now and again, but nothing worth talking about. My mother tongue is, and always will be English.

Today’s meditation in Weight Watchers Success Every Day. 365 Meditations for Your Weight Loss Journey discusses how the habits we learned in childhood can have an effect on our eating today. I grew up in the late 60s and 70s, and I was taught to eat everything on my plate. Dinner at my house was a predictable mix of foods. There was a mix of cooking styles that she used, and she had a handful of things she made often. If I were to point to one thing about my food habits growing up it would be that we had a routine.

One could guess the day of the week by what was on my plate at dinner. We had a pattern that repeated. We didn’t eat the same thing every week, but over the course of a month or two the pattern would emerge. My mother was a creature of habit. When she used something from the cupboard, that item went on the shopping list to be replaced for the next use. My breakfasts and lunches were no different. I would eat the same cereal, with a cup of hot chocolate every day. She would buy me something relatively healthy, like Raisin Bran, then allow me to sprinkle a spoonful of table sugar on it. For lunch, I would eat the same, nearly exact thing, for an entire school year. Some years it was PB&J, others it was a salami sandwich. Whatever it was, I had it every day.

I am still the same today. Just yesterday a coworker was telling me she was hungry. I asked if she’d had lunch yet, and she hadn’t and was heading to the cafeteria. I had eaten, and before I could tell her what I had, she said “Ham sandwich?” She was, of course, right. One thing that has helped me stay on track has been routine. There are about 10 different things I eat, in various combination, that account for 2/3 of all my meals.

For me, the fact that I thrive on routine is a leftover from my childhood that serves me well. Along the way I have improved on what I eat, and most importantly how much I eat. But, the routines still drive me.

Weigh-in

Today I weighed in at 245.6 pounds. That is a 3.2 pound increase from last Friday. I honestly don’t get what happened. I had 1 day where I was off track on my eating, but I didn’t consume 10,500 extra calories that day!  For the rest of the week I was on track. I did miss one work out as well. My wife wonders whether my, umm, movements might be in play. And, we did go to our favorite diner last night, so perhaps there was a bit of extra sodium in my system. My guess is it is a combination of all these factors. I am discouraged, but honestly not surprised.

For the week ahead I will continue to work on doing what I know works. Track food, increase exercise. I am in this for the long haul, so a single week isn’t the end of the world.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day..For me, routines are comforting. They allow me to enjoy my life, without having to spend too much time worrying about food decisions. When I follow them well, and watch my portions, I get the results I desire.

February 3 – Re-joining the Century Club!

Today I am departing from the two (yes I missed my post yesterday), quotes in the book. They are copied below in case you want to see what the Weight Watchers Success Every Day. 365 Meditations for Your Weight Loss Journey book has in mind for February 2 and 3.

Today is weigh-in day, and I am stoked! (Is “stoked” still a thing, or am I out of date?) This morning the scale registered 242.4 pounds. That is a 5.0 pound loss since last week. For the year I am down 7.6 pounds or 3.04% of my weight on January 1.

But the big news is…I am back in the century club! My total weight loss since March 1, 2014 is at 102.6 pounds, or 29.7% of my weight on that date. This is a big psychological boost to me. I was really lamenting the fact that not only had I gained weight, but it meant I was no longer down over 100 pounds.

In the past week I hit 1 of my 3 goals completely, and had partial success on another:

  • I accurately and honestly tracked my food every day.
  • I did 3 workouts, but one of them ended up being 30 minutes because I was worried about a blister. Today’s was 58 minutes.
  • I only ended up with about 12 laps at work, rather than 50. I simply didn’t have time. From the time I arrived on Tuesday, until I left on Wednesday, I attended 24 meetings. Thursday was a light day, there were only 9 meetings, and a training class that I had to complete. Over those 3 days I had to schedule my bathroom breaks. So, laps took a back seat

The week ahead will have some challenges. Sunday is the Super Bowl, which always is problematic for eating. On top of that, I have a birthday party to attend on the same day. The key to success this week will be to honestly track, try to get in an extra work out, and see if I can get closer to my 50 lap goal.

Here are the quotes from the last two days, with brief thoughts:

Feb 2 – “I simply cannot understand the passion that some people have for making themselves thoroughly uncomfortable and then boasting about it afterwards.” – Patricia Moyes

In the book, the meditation talks about bad workplace ergonomics and ill-fitting clothes. I talked about clothes the other day. One thing about my present office space that is nice is that we have new chairs, and we have desks that can be raised and lowered to allow for standing. I honestly have some of the best ergonomics I have ever had in the work place.

As far as the rest of the quote goes, I can see Patricia’s point when it comes to eating or drinking to excess, and things like that. But, then again, working out isn’t always comfortable. And while I might not “brag” about it, I am proud of the fact that I create that discomfort in order to attain a higher goal.

Feb 3 – “We know that every woman wants to be thin. Our images of womanhood are almost synonymous with thinness.” – Susie Orbach

This book was published in 1996, and was very clearly aimed at women on Weight Watchers. I have no idea what the general self-image is that women have. I can only speak for myself (not even men in general)

The generalized image of manliness, going all the way back to Leonardo da Vinci, is a perfectly proportioned, muscular body. When he drew the sketch of the Vitruvian Man, there wasn’t a spare tire or love handles, and he only looks to have a single chin, and no turkey neck. That image of the ideal man translates to today.

For me personally, it isn’t that I want to be thin, per se, it is that I want to be as healthy and fit as I can reasonably be, and that can’t happen if I am morbidly obese.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…Today is a good day. I am back to an all-time loss of over 100 pounds. This isn’t a time to rest on laurels, but rather to use this accomplishment as a springboard to greater success.

January 27 – Making health my primary focus

“We don’t get offered crises, the arrive.” – Elizabeth Janeway

Today is weigh-in day. I stepped on the scale and it registered 247.4 pounds. I didn’t weigh in last week, so over the last two weeks I have gained 1.0 pounds. For 2017 I am down 2.6 pounds, or about 1% for the year. I didn’t weigh in last week because I was fairly sure I had gained. This week I feel pretty good that I lost weight, although not all that I gained.

For the week I did well on workouts. I did a total of 3 sets of interval training on the treadmill of 58, 42 and 58 minutes. I ate sensibly, but didn’t track. That remains an issue. And, I didn’t do extra walking at work. On the whole, it was a good week, but not a great one. I can and will do better.

Handling crises is a big part of my job. I often am handed projects that are complex and filled with issues. It is my job to assemble the right teams to address the issues and get the project back on track. This year, as I have written in past posts, the crises have been of a budgetary nature. These have been the bane of my existence since the Holiday break. I am happy to say that there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Yesterday we had a breakthrough meeting and hopefully have addressed the problems with a set of plans that will be acceptable. There is still much work to be done, but now we have a plan, which is a quantum better than before.

Because I have a tendency to be an emotional, or stress eater, when there are crises it is particularly difficult for me to stay on plan. Not saying it is an excuse, but it is a contributory factor.

I have come to understand about myself that it is all about capacity. My mind, and my will has a certain capacity to handle things. When there is a crisis, much of that capacity is expended on solving the crisis. That is true whether it is a personal or professional situation. Whichever is the biggest crisis, or worry bead, in my life, gets the most attention. When I analyze why I was successful in 2014 and 2015, I believe it is because my health, and losing weight, was the biggest crisis I was trying to solve. In 2016, once I had my health under control, my projects at work took center stage, and diligence to my weight program was pushed back.

My guess is that it is similar for others. Something happens with our health to make it take the spotlight. It could be bad news at the doctor’s office, or something as simple as the turn of the calendar to a new age, or a new year. For a while, our health becomes the most important thing in our lives. And while our health is the focus, we eat well, lose weight, increase exercise, and so on. But, we humans are notorious for having a short attention span, so inevitably something else comes up, we are dazzled by the shiny bauble, and are off to something else. Soon, the progress we made in our health has ebbed, and we are right back where we started.

Part of my intent with writing this blog, and specifically for my 365 project this year, is to keep my health in my crosshairs. If you are a regular reader, you will note that I missed 3 posts in the last week or so. This week I plan to catch up on those missed posts, and stay on track for the new days.

So, here are my objectives for the week ahead:

  • Track my food every day, no excuses
  • Minimum 3 workouts, none less than 42 minutes, at least one of 58 minutes
  • 50 laps around the internal walking path at work (12/day X 4 days, plus a couple). That is about 8.6 miles

I would like very much to be at, or below 245 when I weigh in next Friday. That would restore me to 100 pounds lost in total.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…Only when my health is at, or near the center of my focus can I have sustained success. Remembering what is important in my life is paramount.

January 13 – Weigh in day, and poetic blindness

“Anger as soon as fed is dead –
‘Tis starved makes it fat.” – Emily Dickinson

I really have no earthly idea how this quote relates to a weight loss program. I read the daily meditation in Weight Watchers Success Every Day. 365 Meditations for Your Weight Loss Journey. It talks about avoidance of emotional eating, which I know to be important, but this quote seems to argue in the opposite direction. Then again, I am fully able to admit that at 6:00am, fresh off a workout, hungry, and a little tired, I might be missing Mrs. Dickinson’s subtlety. Rather than focus on my poetic blindness, I will talk about the more obvious need to avoid emotional eating, and tell you how I did since my last weigh in.

Back in the mid 2000s, I was working on a team of people that was really great. My co-workers and I were all trying to promote better standards of Project Management at our company. Often we were met with skepticism from groups that didn’t want to change their practices. At times it was contentious dealing with project teams that would have preferred we just leave them alone.

At that time I had a manager (two up from me), who had decided to leave our company. This was right at the precipice of the Great Recession. I scheduled a one-on-one meeting to pick his brain about how he came to the decision to leave the company. What professional factors did he weight, etc.. For reasons known only to him, rather than taking a few minutes to mentor someone seeking his guidance, he decided to use the half hour to lob insults at me. He openly (and baselessly), questioned my integrity on several fronts. He essentially called me a fraud and a hypocrite with how I dealt with people. As a man in my 40s at the time, I will tell you I left his office in near tears. The meeting ended just a lunch time.

I walked back to my desk and started talking to my best work friend at the time. I told her what he’d said. She assured me that he was full of it. And, she suggested a trip to Benihana. She and I and another work mate loaded into our cars and feasted for lunch. I am sure I consumed about a day and a half’s worth of food in that single sitting. Clearly I was eating my emotions.

After lunch, and in the coming days I talked to a lot of people whose opinions I trust and asked them to be brutally honest with me about what this manager had said, and whether there was merit. While each said that there were aspects of my life where I could improve (who among us can’t say that?), it was also true that he had grossly over stated the case, and was completely full of it.

I mention this story to illuminate how I used to think. Going out for a calorie-packed lunch after a stressful morning wasn’t an exception, it was the rule. And working in an exceptionally stressful job meant that the lunch rule helped me pack on the pounds. This was in a time of my life when I was steadily climbing in weight.

This week has been stressful at work, as was last week. The first few weeks of the year tend to be this way until the normal processes of the year are established. Yesterday there was a crescendo of stress in a financial review which ended at 11:00am. After that meeting I had my staff meeting, then went to lunch. In years past that would have been a perfect “excuse” to consume mass quantities. Instead, I “treated” myself to eating the lunch I had packed in the break area rather than at my desk.

I will say more as the year goes on about how I fight emotional eating. Yesterday was a victory

Weigh-in

This morning, after a 42 minute work out, I stepped on the scale and it read 246.4. For the year (and since the time since my last weigh-in 2 weeks ago), that is a 3.6 pound loss. I was pleasantly surprised, but certainly not satisfied with the result.

These past 2 weeks have been a struggle. I have had a hard time getting, and staying on track. Today I rose at 4:00am, and completed a 42 minute workout. THAT makes me feel good today.

For the week ahead, my intent is to get in a minimum of 3 workouts, with at least one of them being a 58 minute session, rather than the 42. I also intend to track, and stay within my points.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…Staying away from emotional eating is a habit that I must continue to feed.

Interesting weekly result

I was prepared this morning for bad news on the scale. I didn’t track food on 5 of the 7 days this week, and I missed a trip to the gym. Being home on vacation, I also had a few more snacks than the norm.

After my workout today I stepped on the scale, and announced to my wife that I was up for the week. She reminded me of what I already knew, that I needed to buckle back down and do what I know works.

Then a funny thing happened.

I track my weight on an Excel spreadsheet. When I opened the sheet and plugged in today’s weight, I was actually DOWN for the week.

For some reason I had a different number in my head for last week’s weight.

Today I am 237.4 pounds. That is a 1.0 pound LOSS from last week.

That is ok news. I could have done better had I stuck to my plan. So, this week, my plan is the same as last:

  • Accurately Track my points
  • Minimum 3 hard workouts
  • 8,000 steps a day walking

 

Week 140 weigh-in – Getting the Arrow in the Right Direction

I am back to weekly weigh-ins. Today marked 140 weeks since I started this journey. It has been 19 weeks since my last, official weigh in on June 10th. Although I didn’t weigh-in last Friday, for the purposes of comparison, I am taking the weight I had on Monday as my reference point.

Today I weigh 238.4. That is down 4.0 pounds this week. As I said in the headline, I have the arrow pointing in the right direction again, and that is encouraging.

This will sound like an excuse, and so be it, but today I opted to catch up on sleep. My wife and I went to bed at 9:00pm. I had the alarm set for a 4:00am workout, but elected to sleep until 5:15, giving me a full 8 hours. This morning I feel refreshed! It was always my intention to restart workouts in the coming week, so missing today isn’t really off-plan.

For the week ahead my plan is to:

  • Continue accurately tracking my food every day and staying within my points.
  • Working out at least 3 times for at least 42 minutes each time
  • Daily steps over 8,000

How was your week? What challenges are you setting for yourself in the coming week?

Week 119 – Off week, positive result

It has been 2 weeks since last I posted here. (why does that sentence take me back to my Catholic Grade School days? lol). In that time I had a great week, with a minimal result, and an off week with a more impressive result. Here is where I stand:

Week 119
Weight – 216.4
Change this week: -2.6 pounds (-3.0 pounds in 2 weeks)
Total Loss: 128.6 pounds
Total % lost:  37.3%

 Since my last weigh-in post, I had the weekend of hiking. That week I ended up losing 0.4 pounds. I was a bit disappointed. But, we had eaten out that week (sodium), my intestinal schedule was off, and I had missed a work out. So, I was actually ok with the total result.

This week I fell off the wagon on food tracking, and only got to the gym twice, and I missed my step goals on 3 straight days, but my weight loss for the week was 2.6 pounds. I am basically saying that over the 2 weeks, including Hocking Hills, I am down 3.0 pounds, which is right on target.

I say that I fell off the wagon on tracking and that is just what I mean, I didn’t track. I also didn’t binge, or really eat anything that was off-plan. I just didn’t track. I know that in the long run that is bad news for me, but at the same time, I also know that for a short time I can sustain good, healthy choices.

For the week ahead I plan to get back to tracking my food, and to hit my schedule of steps and workouts.

This morning I have a bi-annual doctor visit, which will mean new A1C reading. I’ll talk about those results in a future post.

Wherever you are on your journey, keep plugging away. Sometimes it happens that you rock your tracking and exercise for a week, and see minimal results, then you will have a week where you feel like you were a little off, and you get a big result. The body is not always predictable. Have a plan, stick to your plan, and ride out the waves!