health

January 28 – Finding the right fit

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” – Carl Jung

I have often been asked “how did you do it?”. Just this week a co-worker was talking to another person near my desk. I was vaguely aware of the conversation, but immersed in my own work. I turned to get something off a shelf, when one of them said “Bob did it…”. I looked up and was drawn into a conversation about weight loss. The person who was visiting has been told by his doctors that he must lose weight for health reasons. I was asked about how much I lost. I told them the story of loss and gain, and re-dedication. Then the inevitable question arose…how?

When asked that question I have a somewhat pat answer. “I follow Weight Watchers, and I walk a lot.” That is short, and succinct. And,  the vagueness is intentional. I have learned that what Carl Jung says above about life in general is particularly true when it comes to weight loss and becoming more healthy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one will not work for another. As I have said many times before…

Weight loss is simple, but it is not easy.

The formula for losing weight is deceptively simple. To lose, you burn more calories than you consume. There are two parts to the equation. Work them both, and have success. Simple, right? But the truth is that both parts are difficult to execute.

It is hard to be in constant control of calorie intake. If you have even a minimal social life,  eating out makes it hard. If you have a demanding job, spending the time on home cooked, healthy, sensible meals is a challenge. And, battling hunger is a problem all its own.

Increasing the burn rate is also harder than it sounds. Committing time to walk more, go to the gym, and so on are difficult to balance with having a career, being a parent, and so on. There are no easy answers there either.

Yesterday I talked about the commitment, and keeping weight loss on center stage.

The key to success is to find something that you are willing to do, every day, for the rest of your life. Anything short of that kind of lifestyle change is just a fad diet, and will universally fail. And, what works for me, what I am willing to make a lifelong commitment to, is not necessarily what will work for you.

If you are reading this blog for inspiration, let me say this to you… Don’t give up! If what you are trying to do isn’t working, and doesn’t feel like something you can commit to for the rest of your life, then try something new. Let me tell you an analogy from my life that might illustrate the point.

I go to meetings just about every work day. Some are short, some are long. Some are working sessions where actual decisions are made, others are informational. They share one thing in common, there is information in the meeting which I need to retain, which means, I need to take notes in some form or fashion.

Over the years I have used many ways to take and retain notes. I have tried all-encompassing notebooks that serve as a diary of my days. I have tried using a pad of paper, and tearing off the notes from each meeting to be stored in a folder related to that specific project or subject. I have tried taking notes in OneNote, and on and on. I have not yet found my ideal note taking strategy, but I have learned one thing about myself. I like trying out new ways from time to time. For me, changing up how I gather and sort my notes keeps my mind fresh. Just this past week I bought a new notebook.

I may never find the best way to take notes for me. But, by varying the approach, while keeping a few key points in mind, I can be effective. I think it is the same with weight loss. There are certain principles to keep in mind, like portion control, balance, and thinking about the calorie density of foods. How I arrange the food in my actual daily intake can change over time, and still be effective. The same is true for exercise. Right now I am all about interval training on the treadmill. In a few months I might be about neighborhood walks, or riding a stationary bike, or lifting weights. The important thing is to keep the principle of increasing my calorie burn in mind, and keeping it fresh.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…Being successful at weight loss is about finding what works, sustainably, for you! Keep trying until you find that fit, then stick to it as though your life depended on it.

January 24 -Conquering issues

“Providence has hidden a charm in difficult undertakings which is appreciated only by those who dare to grapple with them.” – Anne-Sophie Swetchine

First let me just acknowledge that I missed a couple of days. We had a family gatherings on Sunday, and yesterday I had a particularly long day at work. I will eventually write for those two days, perhaps starting tonight, just so I can complete the idea of 365 posts in the year.

Sometimes when I am writing on a project like this, the exact right quote comes at the exact time I need it. I feel like today is one of those days. As I mentioned above, yesterday was a particularly long day at work. I came home tired and frustrated.

There is no secret that financial management of projects is something I loathe doing. I know it is necessary, and I actually have skill for it, but it frustrates me to no end. A few years back I asked for a reassignment largely because I was completely at my wits end after dealing with constant financial issues over a period of years. I could go into more depth, but that would only raise my blood pressure, and as you’ll read shortly, my day is off to a good start and I don’t want to ruin it.

Last night I sat with my wife in the living room and vented my spleen about my frustrations. I even hinted that perhaps it is time for me to move on from my current assignment. I told her that doing so would allow me to sleep better, eat better, be less stressed and angry, and actually like my job again. She listened, offered her thoughts, and then I settled in for some light reading.

This morning when the alarm went off at 3:50am, I was eager to get out of bed and get to the gym. At the time I thought it odd because I have struggles to mightily in recent weeks, but it was not a time to question success, so off I went. When I got to the gym I opted for the 58 minute workout rather than the 42 minute work out. At no time during the workout did I even consider stopping, I was eager to be successful.

After my shower this morning I read this quote and it hit me. I have this challenge in front of me, and I need to rise up to it. In fact, I have two challenges:

  1. To get my weight back where I want it to be.
  2. To wrestle long-term control of the finances of my programs from those who are unable to handle them, and make them right.

If I shy away from the challenges above, my thirst for peace may be slaked for a short time. But I know that if I persevere through, and get to success, the sweetness will be far greater, and the peace more lasting.

This morning I feel energized. Having a 4:00am workout is good medicine indeed. I am off to go tackle the problems at work, and my healthy lunch is packed to fuel my day.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…My destiny lies not in the avoidance of problems, but in the diligent conquest of them.

January 19 – Recharging my batteries

“Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.” Pearl Buck

The somewhat clumsy syntax of that sentence aside, this quote from Pearl Buck does resonate with me. To those who know me well, that might be a surprise, so let me delve into it.

If you have ever been exposed to the Myers Briggs test, you know that the first of the 4 letters in your type indicator describes whether you are an Introvert or an Extrovert. I am an Extrovert to the extreme. What that means is that on a day to day basis, I draw energy from outside myself. I am the type of person who is energized by a group activity, like a party or departmental off site. Introverts would find those same activities to be exhausting. At the end of a work week, I am ready to get out and about and enjoy a nice dinner, maybe spiced by a cocktail; whereas an Introvert (like my wife), is ready to curl into the family room with a good book, or maybe a movie.

The little known fact about me is that, from time to time, my Introvert tendencies also come out. This week has been a mix of the two, and so this quote is timely.

My team at work participated in an all-day offsite on Wednesday. It was great. We had a long and illuminating discussion about one another’s strengths. We got to know each other better, had some fun, laughed a bit and found insights to how we can best work together. When that day ended I was on fire. I was full of energy and couldn’t wait to tell others about the experience. That day was the embodiment of my Extroversion.

Fast forward 1 day to Thursday. The 3rd Thursday of the month is a stressful one for me at work. On that day we culminate our Project Governance cycle with the top level meeting in the morning. In the afternoon we start the next month’s cycle of Governance back at the bottom of the pyramid. I am responsible for presenting with Senior Management in the morning, then working with the teams in the afternoon. When the end of the day comes, I am pretty tired.

I left the office with the faint hope of going to the gym, but my tired mind wanted only to come home and be alone. I beat my wife home by several hours, and spent the time alone, much of it napping, the rest of it in mindless rest. I was embracing my Introversion.

I do have a spring within me, and it does refresh my spirit. While I may not always dip down into it, I know it is there. Days like yesterday are essential for my long-term wellbeing. As Extroverted as I am, I recognize that there is a strong need in me to sometimes just be alone with myself. Yesterday it was about doing nothing. Sometimes it is about reading a book, or taking on a solitary project that gives me both peace and joy.

I am a day late with this post, as it should have been out yesterday morning. That happened because I overslept my alarm and was rushing to be on time for work. This morning I made the conscious decision to skip my Friday workout. I also forgot to weigh in before eating for the day, so this will be a no-weigh-in week. I had a discussion about this with my wife, and I asked her if she thought I was being lazy. She assured me that she does not think I am lazy, but rather that my life has been hectic and stressful the last couple of weeks, and my body needed the rest. I trust her opinion, and am not being hard on myself today. As I wrote the other day, the fact that I am struggling means that I have not given up. During the low times from June to the end of the year, I didn’t give my weight, my diet, or my health much thought. Those days I wasn’t struggling, and the scale tells the tale.

For the week ahead, my intent is the same as for the week just concluded. I will work to track my food, hit the gym 3 times, and walk daily. That is a recipe for success for me, I just need to follow it.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…When I am at my peak of Extroversion, I still have those days when I need to just be alone with me. Even my batteries sometimes need a charge.

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 10 – Two guys walk into a bar…

“Laughter is by definition healthy” – Doris Lessing

The Friday before New Year’s day, my wife, older son, daughter-in-law and I spent the day together. My daughter-in-law wanted time with her brother-in-law while he was in town. Also, both of them had some work to do for their jobs, so they were telecommuting from my living room. My wife was doing a bit of crocheting. That left me to sip coffee and read funny things on the Internet. Occasionally I peppered the conversation with some of what I was reading. By the end of the day, all of us had several good laughs.

I have no idea if Doris is right in this quote. I don’t know if there is a specific health benefit to laughter or not. I do know that I like to laugh, and occasionally I can get one in that makes someone around me laugh too, and that is nice.

Sadly, I haven’t been feeling funny the last few days. I can’t really explain it. Things are going well in my life. Work is busy but good, and my home life really couldn’t be better. Still, I am in a funk. Call it post-Holiday depression, or the cumulative effect of short days and long nights if you will. I honestly don’t know.  Every day I pack my lunch, and every night I set out my workout gear. I do great with eating the lunch, but I still find myself snacking too much in the evening. The Weight Watcher’s icon on my phone is in a prominent place, but lately I am  very careful not to accidentally touch it. I come here and commit to myself, but by the time I dress and get to work that commitment is out of my head.

As for the workouts, the same pile of gym clothes has been neatly stacked and ready for use since Sunday night. Yesterday I overslept the alarm without ever waking up. Today was a much more conscious effort to go back to sleep.

At work I wasn’t feeling 100% yesterday. I’d made a few unscheduled trips to the bathroom, if you get my drift. I came home from work, and crashed on the couch for a 90+ minute nap. I hardly left the comfort of that couch for the rest of the evening.

I need to get out of this funk.

As I sit and write, my lunch is already packed, and I intend to put the gym clothes into my bag and take them with me to work. Perhaps I need to change it up and go after work.  Honestly, if I don’t find my way out of this funk soon, I will start to question why I am taking the 15 to 20 minutes every morning to write this blog. If I am not serious about weight loss, and being more healthy, then what is the point of sitting here?

So, the rest of the joke from above… Two guys walk into a bar, the woman ducks. 😉

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…Being in a funk sucks. Today my focus, when it is not on the work of the day, will be on getting myself out of this hole.

January 7 – Is TV America’s WAISTland?

“[Television is] the triumph of machine over people.” – Fred Allen

As I mentioned yesterday, I am a creature of habits and routines. One of those habits is how I end my day. Generally speaking, during the day I don’t watch much television. On week days I am at work, and on weekends I keep fairly busy with other activities. There are two exceptions: when I first get home from work, and after dinner.

The reflection for today in Weight Watchers Success Every Day. 365 Meditations for Your Weight Loss Journey, mentions the idea that when watching television, your body’s metabolism slows down, and your brain starts emitting alpha waves, the way it does when you sleep. They don’t cite any sources (simply quoting nameless “researchers”) , so my naturally-skeptical mind wonders whether that phenomenon is unique to watching TV, or might also occur with other forms of screen time, or maybe even while sitting to read a book. To my mind, the “science”, or “pseudo science” isn’t important. What I do know is that when I am sitting to watch TV, I am shutting down, and usually it is very intentional

In the case of the time just after work, it is frequently because I am just exhausted. By the time I get home I have been on the go for 10 to 12 hours (or more), depending on whether I worked out, and whether my day ran long. When I hit the door I need down time. Many days I put on TV, look for a rerun of Law & Order, and make the conscious decision to shut my eyes for a few minutes. Most days that is less than a half hour, some days longer.

After dinner my wife and I like to spend time together in the family room. There are a routine of shows we like to watch together. Usually she is on her iPad, and I am on my phone, and the TV is a backdrop. That time is also usually peppered with conversation about our day, upcoming events and so on.

During this TV time is when I am most likely to snack. My go to snack is Skinny Pop popcorn with some Frank’s Red Hot Sauce sprinkled on it. A couple of cups of the popcorn is only 2 to 3 points, and it is a fun snack. Other than that, when I am on track a piece of fruit will do the trick for me.

But lately, my evening snacking has been nuts, and by that I don’t mean crazy, I mean actual nuts. I love nuts. My wife gets two large jars of nuts at Costco – one un-salted, the other lightly salted – and we mix them together. We usually do this only around holiday time. But, when they are in the house I eat them. Nuts in small quantities are a great way to snack, my problem is usually controlling myself around them. I also quite like pistachios, although I am usually better about limiting myself.

Today is Saturday, and the NFL playoffs are on later. I do plan to watch some of the game. The book suggests including other activities while watching TV, such as treadmill or stationary bike. Neither of those are in my family room. So, instead I will commit to myself to only eat zero-point snacks tonight. I am going to give some consideration to altering my TV time, especially right after work. During the winter, once the holidays subside, I love to sit in the living room with a good book. As I said above, I have no idea if that is, in and of itself, any better than TV, but I do know that it is enjoyable and expands my mind.

Bobby-c’s thought for the day…I am going to work on consuming less points during TV time, so that TV does not become Americas WAISTland for me!

January 6 – Caution: being healthy can be habit forming

“Man is what he eats.” – Ludwig Feuerbach

The other day we were having a casual family discussion about food habits. My wife is one of the best cooks whose food I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. She can re-create almost any dish she eats, and adapts things she learns from cooking shows, cook books, and websites to make things that are just delicious. My son is developing talents in the kitchen as well, and has been sharing his learning with her. It is interesting to listen to the two of them discuss the finer points of emulsification.

The particular discussion was about variety in the diet. We were talking about how most people like to have a little something different on a regular basis in their diet, so they don’t get bored. At some point in the conversation I chimed in and said that I could eat the same 3 meals on just about every day and be very happy. This was met with a bit of skepticism until I pointed out that during the week, I essentially eat the same breakfast and lunch every day:

Breakfast

  • A 100 calorie sandwich round
  • 2 oz of peanut butter
  • 1 Banana

Lunch

  • A 100 calorie sandwich round
  • 2 oz of ham
  • Mustard
  • 2 slices of dill pickle
  • 3 or 4 pieces of fresh, in-season fruit
  • Occasionally cut up carrots and/or celery
  • (The last two are also my in-day snacks at work)

I can eat that same breakfast / lunch combination every day of the week. I don’t suffer from boredom over it in the least. And the beauty of it is, I can just about assemble it in my sleep as the coffee is brewing in the morning, and still have time to empty the dishwasher on most days.

As the conversation went on I said I could probably come up with a dinner plan that could be repeated nearly every week day and I wouldn’t get bored with it either. There was some surprise by others, but I am confident it would be true.

When I was growing up, I was raised by a single mother (my father died when I was 6 years old). She worked in a retail job that had her on her feet all day. When she got home, she thrived on having a routine in the kitchen (and the rest of the house for that matter). We had a limited menu that was very repeatable. The specifics aren’t important, but the idea was that if it was Monday, there were only about 3 or 4 possible things we were eating. Tuesday was often leftovers from Sunday, and so on.

Similar to today, my breakfast / lunch routine was extremely repeatable. I could go the majority of an entire school year with the same brown-bag lunch every day, assembled by my mom while I ate raisin bran.

As I consider this quote today, I wonder…if I am what I eat, then am I the ultimate creature of habit? When I have been successful at weight loss, it has been because I have gotten into strong habits. This week started out in the right direction, but a series of unexpected events has had me eating restaurant food the last 3 nights, and over-sleeping my morning work outs. I think I have made good choices in terms of the menu selections, but the sodium levels are probably keeping me from meaningful progress. As a result, the scale is going to wait until Monday. Next week I will return to my Friday weigh in routine.

While driving with my son last night, I passed a couple of fast food joints that I used to frequent. I was telling him that I would go to them at lunch time from work, order a ridiculous amount of food, and eat it in my car. He asked if that was because I was ashamed of my food choices, both in terms of content and quantity. I said that was likely a factor, along with other things. The interesting point is that I had a routine from which I seldom varied. As I was gaining weight before 2014, I was the same creature of habit that I am today.

As I sit here this morning, the most important point I am taking away is that my success is governed by how well I stay in healthy routines. That applies to my eating choices, my daily walking, frequency of gym trips, and so on.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…If I am what I eat, then I am a mass of habits. The more virtuous the mass, the healthier I am.

January 4 – “Fear is a question: What are you afraid of, and why? Just as the seed of health is in illness, because illness contains information, your fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if you explore them.” – Marilyn Ferguson

The simplest answer to this for me is that I am afraid of dying. The mortality numbers associated with obesity, and all of the diseases and conditions that come with it, are terrifying. I am in my mid 50s, and want to be around well into my late 80s. I am painfully aware of the fact that I have long-since crossed over the midpoint of my life.I want to be healthy because I want to be around as long as possible. Digging deeper, not only do I want to be around, I want my existence, and my life to have quality. I don’t want to find myself unable to do the things I love to do. Those fears drive why I want to lose weight, and be fit.

As I sit here, on a windy January morning, there is something else. Right now I fear that I cannot sustain a healthy lifestyle. Since June I have seen myself slip into the bad habits that got me to 345 pounds. I see myself taking the extra sleep instead of going to the gym, skipping the walks at lunch, having seconds, indulging in unhealthy snacks, and so on. I am afraid right now that my love of food, and the comfort it can offer, is greater than my love of being healthy.

Years ago I was a Confirmation Director for a Catholic parish. One of the things we discussed with the 8th graders who were preparing for the Sacrament was the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. Among those gifts is Courage. When we had those discussions, the constant theme was that courage is not the absence of fear. Instead, courage is the ability to take action in spite of  fear. I need to find my courage again. I need to channel what scares me into productive, headstrong, action

Today, and in the coming days, I need to be more reflective on what scares me, and how I can face those fears with a plan of action

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…Fears are usually irrational. When I allow fears to keep me from acting, I ignore all of the rational reasons to succeed.

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.

Week 52 Weigh-in. I DID IT!

Back in October I was out on a walk. I was thinking about my weight loss goals, and looking to put some timing on things. As I was considering it, I thought “wouldn’t it be cool to weigh 228 on 2/28?” At the time I was about 255, and my running average for weight loss was almost 3 pounds a week, so I didn’t think much more about it. Of course, I did know that weight would start coming off much more slowly, and I was right. But, I put that goal in my mind.

December came along, and I actually gained weight for the month. When I started the year, it didn’t look like I would make it to 228 by 2/28. Then last week, with just one week to go, I gained weight again and it wasn’t looking so hopeful, considering I had 3.6 pounds to go to make it.

This past week I was very diligent. I missed a couple of workouts due to my cold, but I stayed on points all week. I tracked honestly and accurately. This morning I worked out, came home, stood on the scale, and it said 227.8 pounds! I made it. Tomorrow is actually 2/28, but my weigh-in is today, and today I came in under 228. I was stunned. I stepped on and off the scale 3 times to make sure I was reading it right, and it didn’t change. I showered, dried off, and stepped on and off two more times. The final answer… 227.8!

My total weight loss is now 117.2 pounds, and I am at 34% lost of my original weight. I officially weigh 1/3 less than I did one year ago. My BMI is down to 30.89 (from a starting point of 46.79). I did some quick checking, and I am only 6.8 pounds away from no longer being obese! Now THAT will be a milestone!

For the week ahead there are no particular challenges from an eating perspective. We are going to a party on Saturday, but I have become good at managing my way through those, so nothing to worry about.

The keen observer will note that this is week 52, or 1 year since I started. I actually started on March 1, and I plan to write more extensively about the fact that it has been a year, on Sunday. Stay tuned for that post.

My next two milestones are to be below 221.2, so I am no longer obese; and then to get to 218. When I lost weight in 2000-2001, the lowest I reached was 218. Those two goals are close to each other, and not that far off. I might set my sites on being at both by the end of March.

How are you doing with your goals? What is driving you?