I’m Out, I’m Ok, and I’m Making Progress

I’m Out, I’m Ok, and I’m Making Progress

     From the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you to all of the people have commented, texted, called, etc… to both wish me well on the way into surgery, and in the past few days to check in and see how I’m doing. It made me feel so much more at ease going into surgery hearing from you, and had helped me immensely since getting out. The continued words of encouragement and support are nothing short of amazing.

     I promise I will write more about the experience when I’m a but more rested and more comfortable but I wanted you all to know that I’m out of the hospital, I’m ok and I’m already making progress toward my goals. Granted they are small goals for now, like being able to drink 64oz of water and have right number of protein shakes per day… but I’m getting there, and of course, I’m still losing weight in the process.

    It is a very strange feeling to be full after drinking a few sips of water, or to barely be able to drink a few protein shakes a day and have absolutely no desire to eat anything else. As for the pain… I’m better now, it’s starting to hurt a little less everyday, but to anyone who thinks losing this way is going to be the “easy way out” trust me… it isn’t. This hurts… a lot! Not only is it pretty painful, but then there is also the massive pile of medications you end of having to take for months after this. It’s hard enough to keep track of that I ended up having to make myself a daily checklist to remember what I have to take when and if I’ve actually done it.

     I will surely write more soon and document this journey… I can already tell it’s going to be a bit of a crazy ride!

     Again, thank you all so much for your messages, texts, and emails… they’ve really helped a lot. You’re all amazing!

Think, Wish, Or Pray – Time To Get Out Of This Mess

Think, Wish, Or Pray – Time To Get Out Of This Mess

     Some say they’ll keep you in their thoughts, others say they’re wishing you well. Some also say they’ll keep you in their prayers. Well, whatever it is you do, maybe toss a little of it my way.

     As some of you might already know, maybe some even noticed… I’m fat. It’s been a strange past few years and I surely haven’t made my personal health anywhere near the priority it should have been. By the time I did, I had gotten myself into such a mess that I didn’t know how to get out. I’ve put in huge amount of time working out and eating right and absolutely have lost weight in the past. My biggest problem is that I’ve also spent a huge amount of time eating too much, being entirely too sedentary and allowed myself to gain back everything I’ve ever lost and more.

     I’ve finally gotten myself to a place where it’s become dangerous. I’m 41 years old, Over 350 pounds and at this point even when I try to workout I end up being in pain long before I actually burn any real calories. Things finally got scary for me about 18 months ago when I wound up in the hospital due to the first, and only, migraine I’ve ever had. I was terrified. I was sitting in an emergancy room bed while the doctors started doing tests to make sure I wasn’t having a stroke. When I asked why this was happening they carefully explained to me that because of my age and weight my risk of having a stroke was greatly increased.

     To make a long story short, after 3 days in the hospital, just before being discharged I had a conversation with the doctor who had admitted me. He explained that it wasn’t his area of expertise and that it was something I should talk to my regular doctor and my family about, but in his opinion, weight-loss surgery might be a great idea for me.

     I took some time to relax after getting home, made my follow up appointments and started the process of getting my physical health back in order. I did a ton of research and surely spent plenty of time thinking that I should just go back to a solid diet and take the same route I had before. Seems pretty stupid right? Why would something I’ve done at least 3 times before end any differently this time? Eventually… I got to the place where I know it wouldn’t.

     So here I am. 41 years old, over 150 pounds overweight and at John’s Hopkins University Hospital ready to have weight-loss surgery. This is something I’ve been working towards for an entire year. It’s hard to really keep my mind straight at the moment. I’m both terrified and excited. I’m terrified because this is actually the first surgery I’ll ever have… and its a bit of a strange concept to think that I’ve walked into a hospital so a surgeon can stab me a few times and steal a good portion of one of my internal organs. However, at the same time, I’m excited that this will be the beginning of a long overdue change in my life. A change in eating habits, a change in physical activity, and overall the first step on the path toward greatly improving my physical health.

     I will, of course, let everyone know how I’m doing… but if you’ve got a spare minute or two, cross your fingers and wish me luck!

July! Here Comes Less of Me!

     Yup, you read that right. As July, and my cousin’s wedding get closer, there’s just that much less of me. Literally. I surely have been sticking to my diet, even-though last few months have been crazy. I’ve also been doing little workouts when I can at home just to keep things moving. The best thing about it is, it’s working.

     I’ve still got a few pounds to drop before I reach my next goal. I set it at 250 pounds by the start of July, as I’ve mentioned a few times before. So, as of this morning, not only have I hit my lowest weight yet at 254.8 pounds, but that also leaves me 11 days to lose the last 4.8! I think I can do it!

     Another good friend also pointed out that I haven’t been posting much lately, which is true. Honestly, there’s been so much going on that I barely have enough time to squeeze in my workouts and do what’s needed to follow my diet. As my weight gets lower, it is a little harder to drop the pounds. I’m still losing weight, and according to my measurements, I’m still getting physically smaller, which is exactly what I want! Hopefully as things calm down a bit after the wedding and I’ve got some more time on my hands I can get back to a little more outdoor physical activity. That being said, any who’s up for a little adventure let me know. We can go hiking, kayaking, cycling, I’ll try just about anything at this point!

     As always, here a few little charts that show my progress over the past month. The first is my daily weight chart. My weight is the blue line, the orange line is the schedule to reach my goal.

Weight-loss Progress - July 2017
This graph shows my daily weight in blue and the weight needed to reach my goal in orange.

     The chart isn’t really a graph, but it’s still awesome! It’s actually the chart of my measurements since I’ve started this diet. The biggest, best number on here is that I’ve lost over 6 inches off my waist. That’s huge!!

Body Measurement Chart - Jun 2017
This shows my starting, current and best measurements of my neck, chest and waist.

     Also, don’t forget! You can always check this page to see my current weight-loss progress, it’s updated EVERY day. There is also a link to it in the sidebar, or at the bottom of the page if you’re on a mobile device. It’s there for every post about my weight-loss!

Oh The Month Of meh.

     So… yeah, the month of May was surely pretty meh. I’m still dieting and still making decent weight-loss progress, but I made less than I would have liked. Between The Virginia Gold Cup, DC101’s Kerfuffle and some road-trips, sticking to my diet was a little harder than normal. Unfortunately it really showed in the amount of weight I lost throughout the month.

     As you can see from the graph below, there were a few big bounces in my weight. All caused by my weekend shenanigans. According to the numbers, for the entire month I actually only lost a total of 5.75 pounds.

Withings App Weight-loss Progress Chart - May 2017
In this chart you can see the 3 bumps. One on the 8th, the 14th and another on about the 24th.

     As June starts I’m back to my diet and should get in some workouts soon. I actually haven’t been on a bike ride in well over a week now. Especially since I’m not nearly as far ahead of schedule to reach my 250 pound goal as I was a few weeks ago. The chart below shows the month of May and where it lands toward that goal.

Motion X App Weight-loss Progress Chart - May 2017
Weight-loss progress for May 2017 shown in blue and my scheduled goal progress in orange.
The 2017 Virginia Gold Chub

The 2017 Virginia Gold Chub

     So… is gaining weight and “going off the plan” worth it?? In the past one of the biggest problems I’ve had with weight-loss, from a diet and exercise perspective has been taking things too far. What I mean by that is my drive to drop the pounds takes priority over everything else, including enjoying myself. Instead of going out and enjoying a night out at dinner or a bar, even worse…. God forbid… a weekend of day drinking, I’d decline the invite and while my friends were all having a good time, I’d be home drinking a smoothie, or out a bike ride, or sweating to death on my rowing machine.

     This time around, however, I decided to take my weight-loss at a slower pace. Make sure I enjoy time out with friends, even if it means there’s a little bump in my weight, or I knock myself back a few days. I thought about it for a while when I got started this past January and quickly realized, isn’t that the point anyway? I’m losing weight to have more energy, to be healthier, to be more attractive, to not have to worry about my weight holding me back from doing things. So why do all this work, then deprive myself of actually enjoying any of that?

     Granted, I’ve still go a long way to go to reach my goals, but having already lost 60 – 65 pounds, I decided Gold Cup was a perfect excuse to take a little break from the shakes and the workouts and just go have a good time. Well, guess what? It was 1000% worth it and from weighing myself on a more frequent basis and knowing there was going to be a bump in my weight and that I’d be able to work it off, I wasn’t nervous about derailing my progress at all.

     That being said, I just thought it was important to share exactly what that looks like. I had reached my goal of getting myself under 280 pounds and had actually dipped a decent bit under it, all the way down to 273.2 pounds the morning of Gold Cup. Well, take a look at the graph below and you’ll see what happens when you REALLY throw your body a curveball. Not only did I weigh-in at 8.8 pounds higher the next morning, my weight actually kept going up for the next 2 days as well… for a grand total of almost 15 pounds! That’s 15 pounds “gained” from just one crazy day of eating and drinking!

The Gold Cup Bump

     Needless to say, you can see how quickly the weight is coming back off, but it’s not nearly a week later and I’m only halfway back to where I was. We’ll see what happens over the next few days. I’m sticking to my diet, I’ll do some workouts inside since it’s going to be raining for the next 3 days and we’ll see how close I come back to where I was before another concert/day-drinking event this coming Sunday.

     So I’m finally back on track toward hitting my next long term goal of being under 250 pounds by July, but just barely. I started the month of way WAY ahead of the game, and good thing I did because that was exactly the room I needed to be able to cut loose and have a little fun!

Virginia Gold Cup, The Much Smaller Version

Virginia Gold Cup, The Much Smaller Version

As some of you remember, a few weeks ago I decided that while I’m on my way to my goal of being under 250 pounds for my cousin’s wedding in July, I also wanted to reach a smaller quicker goal of getting under 280 pounds before going to Gold Cup this year. If you don’t know what it is… basically it’s a big horse race in Virginia, if you’d like to know more… click the link! 😛

Well, after some pretty solid bike rides, I’ve managed to make it. Granted Gold Cup is actually tomorrow, and I’ll surely being doing a little workout at home in the rain today and weigh-in tomorrow morning before leaving, but the amazing part is, as I mentioned before, I actually reached my goal of 280 pounds LAST Saturday a full week early and decided to just keep going and push through and see how much extra I could squeeze in before leaving. As it turns out, I was able to do a lot more than I thought. This morning’s weigh-in put me at exactly 274! Not only is that 6 pounds lower than my initial goal to get to Gold Cup, but it’s already halfway to my goal of 250 by July. That leaves me with 59 days to go and 24 pounds to lose.

As long as I’m able to keep grabbing Capital Bikeshare bikes at least a few times during the week and keep up these 10+ mile rides, for the first time in a while, I really think I can do it!

P.S. Just one more little graph that I thought was interesting. Here’s what my weight-loss progress looks like since I decided to go for this 280 pound goal:

April 2017 Wrap-up, What A Month It Was!

April 2017 Wrap-up, What A Month It Was!

     I mean, personally when I set goals, I try to make sure they’re challenging, but still attainable. The idea of breaking up my entire weight-loss journey into smaller more reasonable steps was so I didn’t have to stare at this huge number of pounds to lose (over 140) and freak out thinking I was never going to get there.

     However, now with the warmer weather here I’m able to get outside more, I’ve been taking the metro places, taking the long way around, up steps, walk a few extra blocks, and of course I renewed my Capital Bikeshare membership and I’ve tried to get in at least 7, if not 10 mile rides at least every other day when I can. Sometimes the weather slows me down, sometimes things just get a little too busy, but I’ve done a decent amount of them so far.

     The amazing part is how much they’ve accelerated my weight-loss. A wrote a blog post a few posts back about wanting to make sure I got myself down to 280 pounds by the time Gold Cup came around this coming weekend, and somehow… not only did I manage to reach my goal an entire week early, but I’ve pushed past it since I have the extra time.

     I started the month of April at 300.5 pounds, and as of this morning, exactly one month later, I’m down to 275.8 pounds. I’ve lost almost exactly 25 pounds in 1 month. That’s halfway toward the goal I set for the beginning of July to hit 250! Granted I’m sure there will be a few little bounces back up here and there, especially with event like Gold Cup where I’ll be drinking bourbon and snacking all day, but according to the math and my little charts, I’m 12.3 pounds ahead of schedule for July, so if I need to take a cheat or two here and there, I’ve surely got the room.

     Anyway, it’s been an AMAZING month and I really want to thank my friends and family who continue to encourage me and cheer me on as I make my way through this. I have lost 65.4 pounds so far, but I do have another 75.8 pounds to go! I’m sure it’s going to get harder as I get closer, the weather gets harder and my body will eventually adapt to what I’m doing and make it a little harder for me as well, but I’m committed to pushing as hard as I can, sticking to the plan and getting through this, while making sure that I enjoy my free time as well. If I slow down a little, if I have a few up days after hanging with friends, so be it. I know I’ll get there, but the point is improve the quality of my life and be a happier healthier person.

     So… here goes the month of May, let’s see what happens!!

Pounds, Pastels and Plateaus… BUSTED

Pounds, Pastels and Plateaus… BUSTED

So I needed a little nap... STOP JUDGING!!
So I needed a little nap… STOP JUDGING!!

     Everyone who’s ever dieted knows that sometimes you hit these plateaus and they can be frustrating as hell. They always seem to happen right when you set a small goal and really mess up your shopping trips!  😛

     So, of course, that’s where I am now. Locked in right around 290 pounds, and while I’m still on way and even a little ahead of schedule to hit my goal of 250 pounds for my cousin’s wedding in July, I really did want to get myself down just 10 more pounds by the time Gold Cup came around.

— 3 days later —

     So I’ve eaten right, been busting my butt on bike rides to get faster, go farther and make sure my heart rate stays up to where it should be, and it looks like I’ve made it though this last little plateau at 290 pounds , but one thing thats concerning a bit it how much my legs hurt, even with a rest day between rides. I’m going to have to look at what I’m eating and if there’s something I can improve on or change that might help me recover a little better or a little faster. Either that, or I have to slow it down a little bit no push so hard on rides.

     Either way… things are going well, especially since I hit another new low weight this morning after a 10 mile ride and a nearly 20,000 step day… so, for now I’ll just keep going and hope with another rest day and some great weather ahead the rights and the weight loss can continue. I’ve got just under 5 pounds to lose and 10 days to do it. Then I get to reward myself with new Brooks Brothers gear for the race! Also, for those of you wondering… YES… for race day, all diet rules are suspended!!

P.S. Right below this is my chart toward my goal of 250 pounds by July, but as always, you can look at my current weight loss charts page, which should now be permanently linked in the top right corner of any page about my weight loss from a desktop, or right below a blog post on a mobile phone.

April Showers Bring May Weight Loss

April Showers Bring May Weight Loss

     I’ve been so busy these last few weeks, between work as well as personal stuff that sometimes it’s a little harder to stick to my diet than I’d like. The good news is, I’ve managed to squeeze in a little more exercise again, I’ve been watching what I eat, food logging and trying to keep on top of it the best I can.

     I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I decided today was a good of a time as any since, for the first time in a while I weighed-in and hit another new low weight. 293.8 pounds, which means that since the start of this journey I’ve already lost just over 47 pounds. I reached my last goal of getting out of the 300’s by the end of March, and now it’s time to set new goals.

     I’ve got a wedding coming up at the beginning of July, so with that being a few months away, plus the weather getting warmer and being able to do more exercise, that seemed like the perfect goal to set, so that’s it. I’m going to try to drop the next 50 pounds, down to 250 by July 3rd. I know it won’t be easy, but I’ll keep plugging away and as always, if you want to check up on me, my current weight loss progress has it’s very own live updated page!

Goals Are Good, Making Them Stick Is Better

Goals Are Good, Making Them Stick Is Better

     I know some of you saw the picture to the right posted about a week ago, in fact, it was the morning of my 38th birthday. So while I was excited to reach my initial goal of getting out of the 300 club, I knew it was going to bounce back up since there was no way I was following all the rules on, basically, The Ultimate Cheat Day, a.k.a my birthday. I did however promise a full blog post and an update of where I’m at. So, here it comes, with a few slight exceptions which, I think you’ll see after reading, are pretty fair.

     So again, of course, you’ll see by the graph below, right after my birthday night, and the day of hungover “I think I’m gonna die” eating that needed to happen to recover. As quickly as I got myself under 300 pounds, I bounced right back up… and decently back up as well, to 305.3. THATS a lot of drinking and eating in two days. Enough so, that it took almost an entire week to make it back to where I was!

     You can also see from the same graph how it started coming back down right afterward. I went back to sticking to my diet, took a few extra walks, and now the best part is, almost exactly one week later, all the damage done from “The Birthday Bounce” is gone, and I’m not only back under 300, but I’ve dropped even farther down and landed myself even farther down to 298.8!

     While I’m pretty excited about it, I’m not going to celebrate yet, since I based my real achievement on the 7 day average weight, which I’ll explain in another post next week, but it does still feel pretty damn good to reach a goal, even if you know you’re about to have another weekend of bananas amounts of fun and probably bounce back up a little bit!! Like I said though, more on that early next week!!