One chunky rollercoaster ride

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One afternoon I checked out a local park near my office which is in an industrial area. This is what I found. Needless to say, I’m not coming back to this park for a relaxing walk on my lunch break.

In 2011 I lost 50 pounds. That was great. In 2012 I found 25 of those pounds. That was not-so great. What does 2013 hold for my waistline? I have no freakin’ idea but I’m not very optimistic at the moment.

We’ll see how that pans out as the year unfolds.

As a die-hard baseball fan it’s hard not to look back as 2011 as an outlier, an out-of-nowhere career year from an average/mediocre player who never comes close to posting similar numbers. Up until 2011 I was a fairly lazy desk jockey who steadily gained weight since graduating from college. I made several efforts to get on top of my diet and work exercise into my routine but nothing ever stuck.

Somehow, some way, things clicked in 2011. By the end of the year I was pretty confident that I had a solid new set of habits in place to at least keep me on the road to better health. Then 2012 came around and everything started to unravel.

I’d be lying if I said some personal issues from 2011 didn’t spill into 2012 and lead to some unhealthy indulgences with grog and grub. Health also ended up playing a major role in the return of 25 pounds to my gut. At the beginning of 2012 we moved our kids into a large day care center and the rest of the year was Plague City. Every time I started to get back on track with exercise the entire household would get sick and I’d end up out of action for a couple of weeks. I’m actually at home sick right now so it looks like The Plague still has a hold of me.

The pounds slowly started glomming onto me and then the onslaught of flab picked up pace when I landed a long-sought new job. The new gig led to a seismic shift in hours and just like that, the time to exercise seemed to vanish.

Committing more hours to work by adding a notable commute to my life also led to a slew of sloppy habits with my diet. I went from having the time to eat healthy breakfasts to being lazy and eating breakfast burritos and bagel sandwiches in San Francisco. Man, oh man, I love me some breakfast burritos!

By the time winter 2012 came along, my waistline was rapidly expanding and my energy level was steadily shrinking as the calories piled up and the exercise slipped away. All in all, a terrible combination.

I’ve tried to dig back in a few times over the past couple of months and get my diet back in line while finding some opportunities in my new schedule to squeeze in some walks. When I stay on top of things it seems like my weight at least holds steady. Of course, the negative momentum from 2012 has a lot of … well, weight behind it which has a tendency to keep dragging me down.

So here we are, a couple of months and a few pounds into 2013 and I’m left scratching my head while gazing down at my plump belly wodering how things will play out this year. Will I rediscover the success of 2011, will I continue the fall of 2012, or will I end up landing somewhere in between?

Of course, acting like the whole thing is out of my hands is kind of absurd and totally lazy but I guess that’s kind of my thing. It really just gets down to coming up with a workable plan and having the willpower to stick to it long enough to develop new habits.

Knowing what to do is the easy part. Actually doing it is a whole other challenge.

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Damn you bathroom scale, damn you all to hell

If I stepped on this scale the only way it would read out 127.2 pounds is if I cut off one of my legs.

Like anyone battling the bulge I have a love/hate relationship with the bathroom scale. The fact that I’m back posting to this blog after months away shows that I’m still duking it out with my waistline.

I lost 50 pounds last year so the scale wasn’t my enemy all that often in 2011 but this year I’ve packed on a few extra pounds and I’ve been trying to get back into a good routine to lighten my load.

There’s clearly no better way to track my progress than by hopping on the scale but over the past few weeks the old thing started messing with me. My frustration peaked a couple of weeks ago when I got a 203+ pound reading before a shower and a reading close to 206 pounds right after I scrubbed myself down.

I didn’t drink every last drop of water in the shower so gaining almost 3 pounds in the span of about 10 or 15 minutes of bathing seemed totally absurd and mildly infuriating.

Now why in the world would the scale screw with my mind and emotions like that after everything we’d been through together? It wasn’t the first time I got such odd results in a small window of time but this was easily the wildest swing in weight I’d ever seen and the worst 1-week gain I’ve experienced in more than a year if the scale was to be believed.

Did the scale have any reason to hate me? I’ve been watching “Toy Story” with my 3-year-old son often enough over the past month to be open to humorously entertaining the idea that an inanimate object can have a heart, soul, and life of its own when we’re not looking.

I bet one of the reasons that Buzz Lightyear is smiling is that he ended up being manufactured as a toy and not a bathroom scale.

If the scale had a secret existence along the lines of Buzz Lightyear or Woody then I guess it had plenty of reasons to hate me. Who wouldn’t hate being thrown on the floor and stepped on by a naked fat guy a couple of times a week? Who wouldn’t hate being resentfully glared at by the earlier-mentioned naked fat guy when you simply do your job as a bathroom scale and honestly tell him that he gained a little weight?

With that in mind, I guess I can see why the scale decided to start fighting back by attacking me with a disinformation campaign. Then again, why not shoot me straight with an accurate reading the first time I stepped up to do my weekly weight check and get it over with?  A suspicious reading just makes me hop on the scale over and over, prolonging the scale’s misery and adding to the indignity of being trampled by a pale, naked Irish guy.

Anyone who knows me really well knows that I hate B.S. Don’t lie to me, don’t shine me on, don’t dodge me or tell me what you think I want to hear. Let’s just cut to the chase and speak in direct terms. In the long run it saves everyone a lot of time.

The more often the bathroom scale gave me an odd reading the more often I stepped on it to see if I could get a weight that made sense. I don’t mind gaining a little bit every now and then, it’s just a part of life, but when the scale tells me I packed on almost 4 pounds in a week even though I didn’t eat anything crazy and I walked about 5 miles a day I tend to get a little ticked off.

So in the end the inaccurate readings were too much to handle and it was finally time to part ways with the bathroom scale that was with me every step of the way as I dropped 50 pounds in 2011. Out with the old and in with the Homedics Bamboo Digital Scale.

We’re already off to a good start since the first time I hopped on the new Homedics scale in my birthday suit before my shower on Saturday morning it told me I lost a couple of pounds.

Music to my ears and hopefully the start of a long, healthy relationship.

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