Not so fast there big guy

Last week was a big one in my ongoing effort to lose weight and get in better shape because I finally cracked the 20-pounds-lost barrier.  When I saw my steadily-diminishing weight pop up on the bathroom scale I kind of felt like Sly Stallone at the end of “Rocky II” when the big lug finally beats Apollo Creed.  “I DID IT!”

That 20 pound mark had become a minor obsession over the past few weeks and I have to admit that I gave myself a little pat on the back for nailing it by ramping up my daily walks.

I’ve been tracking my weight for more than 5 years and this is the lightest I’ve ever been in that time span.  Pants and shorts that haven’t been able to wrap themselves around my pale, fuzzy gut for years finally fit again.  My neighbor, who I almost never talk to, told me last weekend that she’s noticed recently that I’m a lot thinner than I used to be.  Positive feedback doesn’t get much better than that.

But then I pushed it a little too far.  Feeling like a victorious Rocky Balboa after reaching a personal goal is awesome and I recommend it to everyone.  But when you’re an overweight, out of shape middle aged dude who hasn’t jogged in more than half a decade you should err on the side of caution when “Gonna Fly Now” starts playing in the back of your head and you decide, “The hell with this bland daily walk, I’m going to break into a run!”

Because that’s just what I did early this week and I’ve been paying for it ever since.

Sore back, sore legs and knees.  In short, I felt like I was hit by a truck.  In fact, if I had to tie this in to a Rocky movie (FYI: I can tie almost anything in to a Rocky movie) I’d say that I felt like Rocky right after he got his ass whipped during his first fight with Clubber Lang in “Rocky III.”

But just like the Italian Stallion in Rocky III — the mother of all Rocky sequels — I’ve taken some time to lick my wounds and gotten back into the ring.  After a day off I jumped back into my nightly walks and took my longest one yet last night.

At some point I’m going to have to let go of my nightly walks when it gets too cold and dark and finally hop on the elliptical trainer in our back room.  I’ve owned that thing for more than 2 years and I’ve only spent 5 minutes on it because there’s no TV in that room and I feel like a hamster on a wheel mindlessly running to nowhere.

But now that I have an iPad I think I can make the elliptical work if I play this while I’m trying to burn some calories:

 

Like I said, there’s always a way to work Rocky into the conversation.

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The good, the bad and the ugly

It’s been a while since I got off my butt and posted to this blog.  I’ve been to little too busy/lazy/caught up in the Oakland A’s spiraling down the drain to blog about my beer gut.  But I’m back with some quick hits.

THE GOOD

Since January I’ve lost almost 20 pounds.  I’d say that qualifies as “good.”

What also qualifies as good is fitting into some jeans and shorts that I haven’t worn in years because I got too damn fat to squeeze into them.  I was always too cheap and stubborn to donate them because I figured if I ever managed to lose weight I had an entire wardrobe waiting for me.  Sure enough, some of those old clothes are coming back into play.

I’ve also had to cinch up my belt a couple of times in the past several weeks which is a welcome change of pace.  Over the past few years I’ve had to cut extra holes into belts as my waist line has expanded and when I ran out of room I finally had to throw in the towel and buy a bigger belt.

Oh the shame of it all.

THE BAD

Last week was the first time in a long time that I stepped on the scale and I didn’t lose any weight.  The only positive I could take away from the experience was that I didn’t gain any weight but I have to admit that it was a major bummer that I wasn’t able to officially hit the 20 pounds lost mark.

The most frustrating thing was that I pushed myself all week to take longer walks on my lunch break but the silver lining is that those long walks are probably what helped me maintain my weight.

So what was my downfall last week?  I think I had a few too many gin and tonics and snack foods at night.  And I had a few too many tacos and chips for lunch on Friday.  Looking back, I have to admit that I got a little too excited about losing almost 3 pounds the previous week and assumed that an extra drink or two during the week wouldn’t put a dent in my weight loss goals.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

THE UGLY

You know those lunchtime walks I love so much?  I think it’s getting too hot in the afternoon for me to take them anymore and that’s bad.  Very, very bad.

Wait a second, I led into this last item with “The Ugly” as a subhead … I guess I should say that not taking walks anymore is ugly. Very, very ugly.  Sorry about that.

In my opinion those walks are a major reason why I’ve been making progress in battling the bulge and I take’em on my lunch break because I’m too busy after work to do it.  Now that summer has finally decided to arrive and it’s 85/90/100 degrees out in the middle of the day I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to be charging into the blazing heat to take a long, brisk walk after shoving some Lean Cuisine down my pie hole.

My friends at work don’t deserve to be stuck working next to a sweaty, fat, middle aged dude.  So we’ll see how this plays out as the summer rolls along but it seems like one of my greatest fears is coming to pass.

The only time I’ve ever lost weight in the past is during the spring/summer when the weather is good enough to go out and be active.  But as soon as it gets too hot I duck back indoors and act like a sloth.  Then the summer disappears and winter rolls in and I stay inside to avoid the cold and rain.  By the time the next spring rolls around I’ve gained back all the weight I lost and more.

Hopefully I can find some creative ways to keep my rear in gear as the mercury rises because it would be a shame to throw away all the progress I’ve made up to this point.

Damn you rain

Clearly Mother Nature didn’t get the memo that I needed to take a long walk on my lunch break to try and burn off some of the gin and tonic and snack I had last night because it’s been cold and rainy for the past hour and I’m not taking one step into that mess.

Isn’t it supposed to be, you know, spring right now?  Sunny, warm, all that good stuff?  Apparently not.

I bet I’m going to pay dearly for last night’s drink and snack when I hop on the scale on Saturday morning.  This is what happens when you gamble and mix weak discipline with strong rationalization skills and a surprise winter storm in May.

I hate you lopchong

Let’s talk about my sausage.

OK, now that I have your attention, I’ll break the news to you this this won’t be any kind of NSFW post.  I’m talking about Chinese sausage, aka lopchong.

I went out for lunch with my friends from work yesterday and we hit a Vietnamese restaurant where I tried to be good by ordering a bowl of pho.  How bad can a bowl of soup be?

I ordered a small bowl with sliced beef instead of my usual medium or large and I only had a couple of glasses of water to drink.  Without giving it a second thought I also ordered a side of Chinese sausage to add to my soup.

Little did I know that that nasty little link of meat would lead to my downfall.

After lunch I e-mailed my wife to bug her and see how many points my lunch cost me because I assumed I did great.  How wrong I was.

According to her the soup, noodles and sliced beef was just 6 points but the sausage dropped an extra 12 points on my beergut.  How the heck can an ugly little thing like lopchong be worth a whopping 12 points?

I clearly have to be a little more paranoid about what I eat and err on the side of less is more … even though less often frustratingly feels like less.

Damn you discipline, damn you all to hell!

The one major drawback I’ve found to trying to lose weight so far is that paying attention to what I eat is pulling me away from some of my beloved indulgences.

In no particular order, here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been missing out on and longing for:

* Pizza and buffalo wings — I miss the good old days when I could easily scarf down 4 or 5 gooey, magically delicious slices of pie while mixing in 6 or 8 wings and a couple of ice cold beers with no remorse.  How many points would that be in the Weight Watchers Points Plus program? 1,000?

* Donuts — Oh how I long for my beloved sugary friends in the morning.  In my carefree days of eating I’d regularly stop off at the local donut shop or 7-Eleven on the way to work and get a couple of gorgeous, sweet, circular calorie bombs.  The one rare week that I didn’t stop off at 7-Eleven led to the cashier asking one of my co-workers why I didn’t come in for my weekly chocolate eclair.   I miss you too.

* Bagel breakfast sandwiches — How many calories are these things?  Do I really want to know?  Do I even care?  All I know is that I freakin’ love a good bagel breakfast sandwich in the morning but I haven’t had one in a long time.   I’ve had bagels with cheese and sausage, ham and cheese and even ham, cheese and bacon.  How bad is it when you’re adding pork to pork?  Like I said, I haven’t had one of these in a long time and I happen to be losing weight.  Coincidence?  I think not.

* Late night snacks — OK, I haven’t really quit this but I’ve drastically cut back and I kind of miss my evening pig-outs.  Ask my wife and she can tell you that I am the snack master.  I can make a mean plate of nachos or jazzed up chicken nuggets with a mayo and mustard sauce (I probably just gained weight writing that).  I can even turn cheese and crackers into something special with some cold cuts and creativity.  Of course, those are a mountain of calories to shove down your throat before going to bed and I know I’m better off without them.  It doesn’t mean I can’t long for another late-night encounter with my guilty pleasures.

So there it is, a quick rundown of my friends/foes.  It took a lot of willpower this morning to pass up donuts and bagels on the way to work since I was running late and stressed out.  But I managed to make it to work and stick to my low-calorie cereal and apple breakfast.

We’ll see if that pays off when I step on the scale this weekend.

Too true

Sadly, there’s no buffed sexy dude trapped in my chubby frame but this photo hits close to home.

Tip of the hat to My Funny Pictures for the pic.

Ladies and gentelmen, I am now eating like a weirdo

I think I have just crossed a line into weirdo eating as I sit here chowing down on my lunch.

Instead of heating up the delightfully delicious and nutritious LeanCuisine feast I brought to work I headed down to Kinder’s for a sandwich.   What can I say? I was feeling a little sick and tired of low calorie frozen food this afternoon.

In the past I probably would have ordered a ginormous sandwich full of wonderous, magically tasty red meat.  But today I tried to keep the whole weight loss thing in mind and I simply ordered a mini smoked turkey sandwich.

That should have been enough to make me feel like I was being a good boy for once.

So where’d I cross the line from normal eating into weirdo eating?  When I got back to my desk I ditched half the bread and piled the turkey and all the fixings into one half of the sandwich.

I’m probably the worst educated dieter in the world but I heard somewhere that the carbs in bread are my mortal enemy.  So with that in mind I made the odd move to chuck half of the bread I got with my mini sandwich.

If bread is the enemy, I have to admit that I love the enemy and I miss inhaling any sandwich I desire with no remorse.  But if I step on the scale this weekend and see a slightly smaller number than last week I guess I can live without a full helping of bread every once and a while.

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