Friday, December 31, 2010

End Of The Year Weight... 205.6

I absolutely love being able to have a bad day, even two or three, and then being able to react to it by losing five pounds over the next four days!  I end the year over 107 pounds lighter than I started last year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

208.0

Considering I went to P.F. Chang's after my health screening, I will take it. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This Is The Reason

I will admit that there is a certain amount of vanity that comes with losing weight.  I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the compliments.  I love people telling me they don't recognize me.  I love having people tell me I look nice when I get dressed.  I love every thing that contributes to me getting a big head.  I never get tired of hearing it.  But, that was never the real reason I started this quest.  Looking good was a distant second to my health.  The single biggest reason that I wanted to lose weight is because I felt like I was slowly dying.  I felt lethargic even when I had a good night's sleep.  I felt stressed and anxious even when my work didn't warrant it.  I breathed heavily just from climbing a flight of stairs.  In fact, I breathed heavily at times just from bending over to tie my shoes.  I stopped breathing in the night while I was sleeping.  When I ate too much salt, my chest itched so badly I could hardly stop scratching it. 

A few years ago, shortly before my stomach issues, I went in for a physical and was told that my scores were borderline diabetic.  Today, I went in for the health screenings that I was unable to take a couple of weeks ago because I kept forgetting that little requirement regarding fasting.  I didn't forget this time.  I couldn't wait to see the results.  And despite knowing that I was much healthier than a year ago, I still had a little anxiety going in to the tests.  The results?  Well, I will summarize it in a simple equation below...

2,563 = 1,093.475

Right now you are thinking this must be some of that newfangled "fuzzy" math these lil' whippersnappers are learning these days.  Let's break the equation down in to it's components...

295 + 295 +383 + 1,500 + 60 + 30 = 152 + 81 + 54 + 90 + 78 + (118 / 80) +29 + 110 + 48 + 450

Still confused?  Well, let me explain further...

The left side of the equation are all of the numbers that got me to today.

295:  The number of days straight that I have exercised.  Only five days away from 300!

295:  Not coincidentally, the number of days since I began this blog.

383:  The number of posts I have made on this blog previous to this one.

1,500:  The upper limit of my calorie goal... which is between 1,200 - 1,500 per day.

60:  The minimum amount of minutes that I try to exercise on a daily basis.  Usually, I spend at least that much time on the treadmill almost every day.

30:  The number of minutes I try to workout in the morning... on those mornings where I don't turn over and go back to sleep.  Specifically, the number of minutes I swam every day during the week over the summer.

The numbers on the right are the results of the numbers on the left and all of the hard work over the last nine plus months.

152:  My total cholesterol.

81:  My LDL cholesterol.  The Kroger goal is <= 160.  The NIH healthy level is <= 100. 

54:  My HDL cholesterol.

90:  My tryglicerides.

78:  My blood glucose level.  The Kroger goal is <= 125.  The NIH healthy level is <= 100.

118/80:  My blood pressure.  The Kroger goal is <= 140/90.  The NIH healthy level is <= 120/80.

29:  My body mass index.  The Kroger goal is <=29.  The NIH healthy level is <= 25.  You all know how I feel about the BMI.  Still hard to believe that after losing 110 pounds that I could still be a few pounds away from being "obese".  If I ever find the inventor of the BMI, I plan on kicking his skinny little ass!

110:  Total pounds lost.  Okay, maybe not as of today.  But, I will be back there in a week... promise.

48:  My current resting pulse.  When I graduated from high school my resting heart rate was always around 58.  A couple of years ago, it was hovering around 90.  Hard to believe it is now even lower than when I was a teenager.

450:  The amount of money that I have earned from Kroger for meeting at least three of the four health screenings.  Too bad I can't get a bonus for hitting all four!  That is a nice chunk of change.  But, I was far more excited over my scores than I was the $450!

I wish I could find my scores from a few years ago for comparison purposes.  Suffice it to say that they were not as good as the scores above.  As the screener read each score to me, my excitement grew and I felt the hint of tears in my eyes.  A year ago, I would not have passed.  Well, I may have passed the blood pressure test.  Maybe.  But, it would have been close.  Today is what this entire journey has been about.  Today, it finally hit me that my end of the year goal that has eluded me was a trivial thing compared to the changes I have made and the years I have added to my life.  I might have been a diabetic today if I hadn't made changes to my life.  Today, I was reminded once again of how this blog saved my life.

Here is my sheet.  Again, excuse the vanity.  Sorry for the bragging.  But, I felt like a little boy today.  I may actually frame this sheet and hang it on my wall!  Click on the image for the full 4-1-1.



Here's to living...

208.8

Down 1.4 pounds heading in to my health screening.  Don't forget to fast...  don't forget to fast...  don't forget to fast...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

210.2

With my health screening looming tomorrow, I now am likely not going to pass my BMI test.  Dumb, dumb, dumb...

Monday, December 27, 2010

210.6

No, that is not an error.  That is not a dyslexic moment on my part.  That is not supposed to say 201.6.  After weighing in at 203.4 on Friday, we celebrated with our kids on Christmas Eve at Mi Ranchito's, with Lori's family at our house on Christmas day, and with my family last night at Manhattan's.  Those three wonderful meals, wonderful for the company and good times, I gained 7.2 pounds. Actually, after I worked out on Friday, I weighed 201.8!  So, since that  post-workout obsessive weigh-in, I have gained 8.8 pounds! 

I scoffed at all of the people who said to me over the last two weeks that they were going to start trying to lose weight after the holidays.  I kept telling them not to wait.  I recommended they start immediately and change their attitude.  I admit I was a little bit "holier than thou" when I was preaching to them.  I apologize.  Turns out that I am not better than any of them.  Turns out that I still am too weak to go through a holiday season and lose weight.  I guess 200 will have to weight until January...

December To Remember Status: CANCELLED!   (Unfortunately, it has become a "December To Forget")

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hopefully, everyone reading this blog had as nice of a day as I had today.  I love Christmas.  I love this time of year.  In fact, I gained 2.2 pounds since yesterday and hardly blinked an eye.  I expected it after an excellent Christmas Eve dinner at Mi Ranchito's and I quickly accepted it without ruining a wonderful day. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

December To Remember Status: Day 24: 2.2, Total: (3.6)

Friday, December 24, 2010

203.4

Nice start to the Christmas weekend. 

December To Remember Status: Day 23: (2.0), Total: (5.8)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

205.4

I could hardly believe that I actually lost weight since I last weighed in on Tuesday.  After eating at two of my favorite places, Qdoba and Chik-Fil-A, I fully expected to weigh somewhere between 209-210.  I imagine this is less a testament to my hard work over the last two days, though I did work out diligently as always, and more a testament to the fact that my weight on Tuesday was slightly misleading.  I am guessing that without those meals and a little more discipline I could have been in the 203 range this morning.  No worries though.  Unlike the countless people I have talked to in the last week, I will not be waiting until after the holidays to get my butt in gear.  I probably won't get under 200 by the end of the year.  But, I am going to keep trying.  That will never change.

December To Remember Status: Day 22: (0.8), Total: (3.8)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Subtle Reminder

I didn't weigh myself today because we were in Denver at a hotel this morning.  My daughter had surgery in Denver today.  I always say that I hate hospitals.  Then I laugh at how ridiculous this must sound when I realize that there probably aren't too many people who feel otherwise.  But, with my stomach issues a few years ago and the hell that Kelsea has gone through this last year, I really hate hospitals.  I can't stand walking through the front doors.  I start feeling a level of anxiety that is far more intense than I ever felt five years ago.  And, that anxiety is actually even worse when it involves your children.

I was reminded today that Kelsea's two hospital stays around this time last year were a small part of my motivation.  I never talked about that the night I started this blog.  I actually forgot about it at the time.  But, I realized the 10 pounds I lost from January through March, before I started writing, were partly due to having my daughter in the hospital for almost a month.  Every time I stepped in to the hospital, every time I saw people I didn't know struggling with their health, every day I drove back to Pueblo and left my wife and little girl behind in Denver, it was a subtle reminder of why I needed to change my life.  I knew if I didn't change something that I was going to be spending many more nights in front of an army of doctors and nurses.

Everything went great with Kelsea today.  She went in around 9:15 and we were on our way home around 3:00.  That's the way I like it.  I couldn't wait to get out of there.  Every moment I sit in that waiting room is filled with anxiety.  I can hardly watch my little girl get an I.V. line put in her arm.  Everything done to her dredges up another horrible memory from three years ago and reminds me of how scared I was.  Today, I was scared for her.  Today, I am far less scared for me than I was a year ago. 

Time to get busy again.  Time to be stronger than every holiday temptation set before me.  I never want to step foot in the hospital again... at least not any time soon!  Here's to putting together a streak of days together, similar to my exercise streak, where I never see the inside of a hospital... for me or for a loved one... a subtle reminder...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

206.2 : (

Anyone care to see a grown man cry?

December To Remember Status: Day 20: 1.8, Total: (3.0)

Monday, December 20, 2010

204.4

Maybe my old friend Will was right.  Maybe 204-206 is going to end up being my ideal weight.  Maybe this is where my body is going to settle in.  After a decent weigh-in following the Christmas party on Saturday, I felt pretty good yesterday.  I thought I did pretty good yesterday as well.  But, I still gained 1.4 pounds!  If I had known my weigh-in was going to suck that bad I wouldn't have gotten up at 5:30 this morning to work out! 

Of course, "pretty good" is up for debate.  Even if I didn't have another one of Lori's incredible chocolate chip cookies from now to the end of the month, the number of cookies I ate through three days would still be enough to put my average over those two weeks to at least 2 per day!  No more. 

I am okay with 205 being my new weight.  But, I am unwilling to accept that fact until I have put together at least two straight weeks of following a strict diet and exercise plan like I did at the beginning of this journey.  If I was able to string a couple of good weeks together and was still unable to break 200, then I would stop worrying about it.  But, as long as I am eating 6-8 chocolate chip cookies a day... and everything else in sight... I can not or will not accept it!

December To Remember Status: Day 19: 1.4, Total: (4.8)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

203.0

So, the cocktail shrimp, jalapeno poppers, bon bons and Crown and 7s cost me .4 pounds.  Not too shabby.  The Christmas party was worth it.

December To Remember Status: Day 18: 0.4, Total: (6.2)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

202.6

Now that's the way to start a weekend!  Of course, now I have to worry about all of the yummies at the Christmas party I am going to tonight. 

December To Remember Status: Day 17: (2.4), Total: (6.6)

Friday, December 17, 2010

205.0

Given my 3,000+ calorie day yesterday, I guess I should be happy with the result.  Exercising drunk and then waking up early this morning to do it again paid off... at least a little bit.

December To Remember Status: Day 16: 0.6, Total: (4.2)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good News and Bad News

I know I have a lot of these good news bad news stories.  But, here goes another one...

The bad news is that I gained .8 pounds this morning and weighed 204.4.  The bad news is that I seem to eat even worse the closer I get to 200... I seem to be self-sabotaging.  The bad news is that I gave in to every temptation that I was faced with yesterday at work.  The bad news is that today I was in an all-day business meeting which was followed by a dinner at Park East.  The bad news is that I ate too much at dinner... a little vegetable tempura, a little Pueblo chile popper, too much blue cheese crumbles, and a filet mignon.  The bad news is that I drank too much.  The bad news is that I came home to freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and had to have one.  The bad news is that I did so poorly for the third straight day that I will likely gain weight once again.

The good news is that I ate well throughout the day despite being faced with a lot of tempting treats.  The good news is that I had fruit for breakfast.  The good news is that I skipped the pastries.  The good news is that I skipped the bread and mayo at lunch when eating my sandwich.  The good news is that I skippped the potato at dinner and had two salads instead.  The good news is that, despite being a little buzzed, I still found my way to the club for my 282nd straight day of exercise!  The good news is that I plan to get up before my meeting tomorrow and exercise again.  The good news is that tomorrow is another day!

Here's to the good news...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

203.6

Focus Anthony... focus!  You're almost there.  Stop screwing around.

December To Remember Status: Day 14: 0.4, Total: (5.6)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making Your Parents Proud

I got a call from my pops today.  He had just received his birthday gift and some pictures we had sent.  You see, my dad does not have a computer or the desire to access a computer even if he had the opportunity.  My dad is one of those guys who thinks this whole "inner net" thing is pretty silly.  Pretty ironic that he has two sons who are quite the opposite.  Because of that aversion, he has not had access to this blog or any of the verbal or pictorial updates.  I hadn't told him that I was losing weight.  I kind of wanted to surprise him the next time I saw him.  Plus, despite how this blog would appear, I really don't like bragging about what I have done.  Sure, I will blab on and on if you ask me about it.  But, I don't say a word about it if somebody else does not mention it first.  Somewhere along the line, one of my siblings informed him of the changes that his oldest son was going through and the secret was out.  So, I have given him updates over the last few months, but still no pics. 

A couple of weeks ago, he asked for some photos.  So, I printed about 15 pictures that showed the gradual (despite how fast you may think it was, it feels GRADUAL to me!) progress I have made from the Fat Penguin picture to the picture from a couple of weeks ago.  He called today to thank us for the gift.  But, he mostly wanted to comment on how great I looked.  Now, this may not seem like a big deal.  But, my dad is not real big on compliments.  Unlike his sappy oldest child, he does not get all mamby-pamby that often.  Not that he never gives a compliment or gets emotional.  It's just that they don't happen real often and they are somewhat subdued when they occur.  I remember coming home from school with straight A's and giving my report card to my mom.  She would read the subject and then announce, "A!" and then do a clap and cheer like the crowd was going wild.  It was goofy, but funny to me at the time.  My dad, on the other hand, would come home from work, take a quick look at my report card, and say, "Good job" with far less enthusiasm then those words might imply.  So today, I could hear his genuine excitement after seeing the photos of me, and it made me smile.  He was so thrilled and he mentioned how good I looked repeatedly.   

My mom doesn't have that problem.  As I mentoned in the story above, my mom has always been hugely supportive of anything anybody in her family does, no matter how insignificant it is.  A little over a year ago, my mom informed us that she was leaving Pueblo and heading out to San Diego to be near my brother and his newborn daughter.  I wasn't thrilled by this news.  But, I understood why she was making the move and I was happy for my brother and my niece.  My mom has made the trip back to Pueblo on a quarterly basis for work.  While it's not the same as her living here, it has been often enough to make her moving a little easier.  However, there was one nice thing about my mom moving away.  The timing of that move took place right before I started this journey.  So, my mom has not been here while I have lost the weight.  It is much more difficult to notice when you are around someone daily or weekly because the changes happen so gradually.  Seeing these updates once every three months can be a lot more impactful.  I have enjoyed her reactions to seeing her son every three months.  I keep thinking I just saw her and then it hits me that I have probably lost 15-25 pounds in that short time.  On her most recent visit, I got the usual enthusiastic response when she pulled up to the house.  But, what was even better than that initial reaction was the number of times throughout the first couple of days she was here that I realized she was staring at me in amazement, as if to say, "Who is this person?".  The differnce is so shocking that she seemed surprise every single day when she saw me for the first time!  That makes me smile too.

I learned today that making your parents proud never gets old, no matter what age you are.  I also learned that parents should never stop letting their kids know they are proud of them, even if they believe their kids are too old to care.  I will remember this as my kids get older... not that I imagine I will ever have a problem in this area.  Here's to making your parents proud at any age and still being thrilled to hear about it...

203.2

Running out of things to say about ho-hum weigh-ins...

December To Remember Status: Day 13: (0.4), Total: (6.0)

Monday, December 13, 2010

In Case You Didn't Notice

Change is good.  Well, maybe not for everyone.  But, I have always liked change.  When that change is because I am 110 pounds lighter, then I like it that much more.

Saturday, I shaved off my beard.  Still left the goatee.  But, after about 15 years (seems to be a common number for me), I finally got rid of the beard.  Nobody noticed.  And, that's okay.  I like to think that had I shave my beard a year ago, it would have been more noticeable.  I think it doesn't have quite the impact now.  Kelsea noticed.  Niko asked me if I was growing out the hair on my chin...  seriously son?!  I used to think that my beard hid my fat face.  LOL!  Who was I kidding?  Well, me if you must know.  Now, I think it makes me look fatter.  It felt weird shaving it off.  You get used to things over time.  I even got used to being fat.  But, I like the goatee.  Now on to convincing Lori that I would look fine with a completely bald head.  Or, at the very least, convincing her that even if it looks bad it will grow back in about three days!

Yesterday, I was finally able to wear my wedding ring again.  Though I wore a replacement about seven or eight years ago, I have not worn my actual wedding band for about...  wait for it... 13 years, maybe less (you thought I was going to say 15, didn't you?).  I just know that I was glad I got it off my finger when I did or it may have required tools to get off if I had waited much longer.  I know I said previously that this was mostly for Lori.  But, I have to admit I like being able to wear my ring again.  At the very least, it is a great feeling to know that I am now a similar weight to where I was 13 years ago!  Oh, and by the way, Mindy noticed that I was wearing my wedding ring!  So, wedding ring 1, goatee 0.  Who would have guessed it?

Here's to change...

203.6

Yeah, I'm guessing you already know what I want to say.

December To Remember Status: Day 12: 1.2, Total: (5.6)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

202.4

Down .4 pounds as I take on the Sunday that always seems to ruin my Mondays.  I want 200 so bad that I may end up fasting next week!

December To Remember Status: Day 11: (0.4), Total: (6.8)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

202.8... Over 110 Pounds Lost!

Finally.  After a couple of weeks, I finally set a new low and broke the 110 pound barrier that I had been on the verge of since before Thanksgiving.  It is definitely time to move the camera in to the bathroom to be ready for that morning when I break 200.  Great start to my weekend!  With that 2.4 pounds, I have now lost 6.4 pounds since December 1.

December To Remember Status:  Day 10: (2.4), Total: (6.4)

Friday, December 10, 2010

205.2

The pastry that lead to me missing my health screening also kicked off a day of binge snacking... with all of the snacks being horribly bad for me.  Not sure why I keep sabotaging myself whenever I am on the verge of reaching a new low. 

December To Remember Status:  Day 9: 1.0, Total: (4.0)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Memory Went With The Weight

This morning, I was scheduled to take my health screening.  The screening isn't a requirement of getting our company's insurance, but rather an opportunity to get additional funds put in to a Health Savings Account based on successful results.  The intent is to incent (lol, I like the way that sounds) employees to be healthier and thus reduce overall health care and insurance costs.  This screening includes four tests.  They are Body Mass Index, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.  Lori and I can earn the additional funds for each target met and only need three targets of the four to get the maximum. 

I felt pretty confident this morning that I would not only get the three I needed but also pass the fourth for good measure.  My only concern was the BMI test.  The BMI is a simple calculation that uses your weight, height and age.  But, this test fails to take in to account different body types and shapes.  In fact, the BMI calculator on myfitnesspal.com indicates that I have just moved out of the "obese" category and in to the "over" weight category.  Yay for me.  Glad that after 109 pounds and 11 months I can now say that I am no longer obese!  It suggests that my target weight range is between 128.9 and 174.3.  Yeah right!  174.3 just to get to the "healthy" range?!  Right now, I am still barely under "obese"... and here I thought I was doing good. 

My screenig was scheduled for 8:45 AM this morning.  The screening requires fasting for 12 hours.  I did fine last night.  This morning, I packed my breakfast and lunch... still no problem.  On the way to work, I reached in to the bag next to me and grabbed a couple of grapes.  This is habit and the grapes are my favorite snack item.  Two grapes later, I thought to myself, "Shit!  I forgot about the health screening!".  I figured two grapes was not going to kill me.  So, I blew it off.  I got to my desk, pulled off the lid to my yogurt and licked the excess yogurt off the underside of the lid, and then thought, "Shit!  I forgot about the health screening!".  Still, two grapes and a lick of yogurt... I should be fine.  About 40 minutes before the test, I walked in to the lunch room to grab a handful of popcorn.  As I was reaching for the popcorn I spotted a plate of pastries on the table.  Now, I am not a big pastry guy.  But, I do like a certain cream cheese danish-type pastry with powdered sugar on it.  I saw a smaller sized one and decided I really was in the mood.  I ate about half of it and then as I took the third bite, I shouted loudly, "Shit!  I forgot about the health screening!".  Not only had I eaten, but I was eating a sugar-filled, cream cheese-filled, cholesterol and blood sugar level raising, unhealthy pastry!  Ugh.  Well, I decided it wasn't worth risking the funds to test my luck and ended up rescheduling my screening.  Three times within a two-hour period I forgot about my screening.  So, 107 of my pounds may be fat.  But, at least 2 pounds of it is brain matter.  I am sure of it.

So, no scores to post tonight.  Those will have to wait until the night of December 29th.  Congrats to Lori for passing three of four and getting us a nice chunk of change.  Wooooooo Hooooooo!  I ask anybody reading this who knows me to spend the entire morning of the 29th constantly reminding me not to eat.  Here's to still having more days in December to reach those targets and a couple of weeks to practice memory drills...

204.2

This morning I go for a health screening in an attempt to reduce by insurance costs.  I am actually excited to see the results.  Never thought I would say that again!  Wish me luck.  Down a pound this morning and down 5 pounds after only a week in to December!

December To Remember Status:  Day 8: (1.0), Total: (5.0)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

205.2

Maybe my friend Will is right.  Maybe I am just destined to be 205 pounds.

December To Remember Status:  Day 7: (0.6), Total: (4.0)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Updated Pics

While I have recently posted these photos on Facebook, I realized that some of my non-FBers weren't able to see them.  Yes, Facebook users, there are still people who do not use Facebook as hard as it is to believe.  And, some of them even read this blog.  So, here are three recent photos that I have willingly posed for.

"X" Marks The Spot
November 4, 2010
Outside the X-Burlesque Theater at The Flamingo
(No comment regarding the creepy guy in the background!)


Kelsea's Birthday Dinner
November 21, 2010
The shirt is a large (a hand-me-down from my son Niko!), the jeans are new

Hiking at the Rez (Lake Pueblo Reservoir)
November 27, 2010
Doing what I love to do most!

That's all for now!  If I can get rid of these last pesky pounds, you may finally get to see the ugliness that started this journey.  Here's to not being afraid to have "my" memories captured...

205.8

What's the word for the emotion that is even more intense than loathing?  Just curious...

December To Remember Status:  Day 6: 0.8, Total: (3.4)

Monday, December 6, 2010

205.0

I hate Mondays.  More specifically, I hate salt.  I have come to the realization that even a decent meal at a restaurant can be dangerous because of the high amounts of salt used.  Restaurants are famous for putting lots of salt in their dishes.  Salt makes food taste better... even for those people who don't think they like salt.  Restaurants know this.  In fact, I just read an article that said raw chicken purchased at the grocery store is injected with salt to improve the flavor!  I never knew that little tidbit of info!  I thought I was safe after only eating the salad bar.  But, after waking up with slightly swollen sausage fingers and a dry throat, I realized I was wrong.  I think that even the lettuce at the salad bar must be injected with salt.  I am even now starting to suspect that there is some salt component to the menus that make the items more appetizing!  lol.  Okay, enough about that.  Up .6 pounds.  But still, a far cry better than where I was last Wednesday and not a bad starting point for the week.

December To Remember Status:  Day 5: 0.6, Total: (4.2)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

204.4

I do much better losing weight when not faced with a steady stream of skewers of meat shoved in my face!

December To Remember Status:  Day 4: (0.6), Total: (4.8)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

205.0

Oops... almost forgot.  Great morning.  Down 1.2 pounds!

December To Remember Status:  Day 3: (1.2), Total: (4.2)

Friday, December 3, 2010

206.2

Wanted more.  But, as always, I will take it.

December To Remember Status (yeah, I know I stole that from some car company!):  Day 2: (.6), Total: (3.0)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Don't See That Every Day!

Despite not adhering to my planned eating guidelines over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was still proud of one thing.  I was happy that I still exercised every day, including a nice 90 minute walk around the neighborhood on Thanksgiving day.  On Saturday, the weather was so nice that Lori and I made it out to the Pueblo Reservoir for a three hour, seven mile hike.  It was a perfect afternoon and I felt great as we made our way up and down the shale gulleys.

While not quite as pretty as Rocky Mountain National Park, the Reservoir offers decent trails and, with the sun starting to set, it's own share of spectacular views.  The trails are predominantly used for mountain bikes... which explains why relatively easy climbs and descents are rated as difficult on the trail map.  While they would definitely be difficult climbing up on a mountain bike, they aren't the same as a hiking trail rated as "difficult".  We were amazed at some of the mountain bikers climbing the shale while spinning at a rapid rate.  Even though we both felt a lot better than the first time we hiked the Reservoir, neither of us felt like there was a future for us in climbing these same trails on a bike. 

As we were making our way back to the car and watching the sun slowly set over the lake, I was feeling pretty good.  I was proud that I had worked out at the club in the morning but still wanted to go hiking for almost three hours.  I was proud at how easy climbing the more difficult trails at the Reservoir was compared to the very first hike we did in the Spring over the easier trails.  I was proud that the only thing that was making me return to my car was the fast approaching nightfall.  I was proud of how easy it was for me to climb these trails.  I was proud that I was spending part of my Thanksgiving weekend doing something so healthy, invigorating, and rewarding.  I felt pretty good about myself at that moment.  And then it passed...

As Lori and I stepped off the trail to let a couple of mountain bikers pass, I saw him come over the hill.  With the fading light, it took me a second to register.  A man riding down the hill on one wheel.  That's right.  A very fit man riding a unicycle up and down the dirt and shale trails of the Reservoir!  I couldn't believe it.  He cruised past us and then glided up the next ascent with his arms to his side trying to keep his balance as he climbed.  I can't even imagine the balance and the core muscles it takes to ride a mountain unicycle over these trails.  That was impressive.  I laughed as I saw him cross paths with other mountain bikers and heard each group comment in astonishment as he rode off. 

After watching him ride off in to the sunset, I was no longer impressed by my own feats.  I was simply walking fast.  I had two legs for balance.  I was a wimp.  Still enjoyed the hike... just no longer felt like the King of the Hill.  Here's to always being amazed at the abilities of the human mind, body and soul...

206.8

Nice start to the new month, down 2.4 pounds.  December is going to pay for what November did to me!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

209.2... A Wasted Month

Whenever people ask me if it has gotten harder to lose the weight as I have gotten closer to my goal, I have steadfastly said no.  I have hung on to the belief that as long as I stuck to my program, exercised daily, and ate right, the weight would come off.  And, I still believe that 100% and will argue with anyone who disagrees.  The only thing that has changed is the amount of effort it takes to burn the same amount of calories as my weight has declined.

But maybe, just maybe, I was wrong.  Maybe none of these people were talking about the physical aspect of this equation.  Maybe they were all referring to the mental component the whole time and I never realized.  Maybe I assumed wrongly.  Maybe these people are smarter than they think... or at least smarter than I.  The ONLY thing I have found harder about losing weight at 205 as compared to 315 is fighting complacency.  At 300+ I hated myself.  Despite EVERYBODY telling me to take it easy on me, that hate drove me.  That hate motivated me.  That hate made me make better choices.  But, at 205, I started liking myself again.  I started  getting comfortable with the way I looked.  I started feeling invincible.  I thought I could make mistakes and then recover quickly.  I was wrong.  If all of you who asked me that question understood this mental battle and that's what you truly meant, then let me be the first to say I was sadly mistaken and you were 100% correct.  If not, then I still don't agree.

Between Las Vegas, Thanksgiving, and Texas de Brazil, I lost the entire month of November.  For the first time since I started, I gained weight.  Last night, I thought I was going to be able to accept that graciously.  I was wrong... horribly wrong.  The best thing about November is that I now loathe myself once again!  I hate that I couldn't stay focused.  I hate that I let a holiday hurt me so bad.  I hate that I am no closer to 200.  I hate that I STILL can't get through a vacation, a holiday, or a business meeting without gaining weight.  I hate that I ate more meat last night than a large grizzly bear would eat when preparing for hibernation.  I hate that I let other people convince me that it is "okay" to have a bad night and, on top of that, that convincing me could be so easy.  I hate me.

So, now that I am back in the right mindset... the one that works for my demented little brain... it is time to tackle December.  I didn't think getting to 200 by the end of the year was going to be a problem two months ago.  It doesn't seem as easy now.  But, it is still possible.  So, I now have 31 days, two holidays (including one designated specifically for margaritas!), no business trips, and no vacations to lose 9.3 pounds.  So, a nice round .3 pounds per day, or about a pound every three days.  I may not get there.  But, I promise I will not gain weight again this month!  And, I promise that I will try. 

And, please, don't worry.  Loathing myself does not mean I am going to do anything drastic like killing myself... I would at least have to wait until after I got under 200!  lol.  So, no notes.  No lectures.  Let me wallow in my loathing for a little bit longer!

No Update... No Hope

I am back home after going up to Golden yesterday morning for a business meeting.  So, no scale this morning meant no update. I did well eating overall and didn't even drink too much considering that I was in Coor's backyard... until tonight.  Didn't even plan to stay for dinner this evening.  Thought of coming home this afternoon.  As much as my stomach wishes I had come home and skipped the planned festivities, I enjoyed the evening and was glad I stayed.  The evening started with a visit to Children's Hospital in Denver, sponsored by The March of Dimes.  That visit included a tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and ended with a couple of people sharing moving stories about their premature infants. 

As sad and touching as those stories were, they had no impact on my appetite and I found plenty of room for the meat-fest that is Texas de Brazil.  For those of you who have never been, TdB is a single price all you can eat table side buffet.  Does this mean my plan to never eat at a buffet is over?  Yes.  The salad bar alone is enough to satisfy any normal person on any normal day.  And, if you have never been to a Brazilian steakhouse, I highly recommend not overdoing it on the very tasty salad buffet items and leaving room for the meat.  The variety of meats, from filet mignon to pork tenderloin to lamb to chicken, are served by a stream of gauchos with long skewers.  They came to the table so quickly that, as one of our table-mates so elegantly stated, you feel like you are in the Meat Olympics.  It is a race to consume each piece of meat to clear space before the next gaucho showed up at the table.  Some of the gauchos were on top of each other.  The meat never stops ("that's what she said")...  truly a carnivore's heaven.  The meal was fantastic.  The company was great.  Thanks again to The March of Dimes for a great evening.

I am not going to whine and moan about how bad I was.  I am not even that upset with myself.  I laughed thinking back to the days when I first experienced a Brazilian steakhouse, the Rodizio Grill, and remembered the amount of meat I ate on those two occasions.  I only wish that this dinner hadn't occured on the night before my official December 1 weigh-in.  At the moment, I am half-tempted to skip weighing in at all tomorrow and saving myself the agony of hating myself in the morning.  My fear is that I may not have lost any weight at all this month.  We will see.

Here's to The March of Dimes and all of the great things they do for premature babies...

Monday, November 29, 2010

205.8

Sorry for the late entry.  But, I have been out of town today.  I even planned to get busy blogging something more substantial than my daily weight.  But, as I sit in my hotel room, tired with work to still do, it does not appear that tonight will be the night.  See you tomorrow night.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

205.6

Crap... I think I told my brother I would be 202 by this morning.  Hey Frank, I lied.  Down 1.6 with three days to go until my official December 1 weigh-in.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

207.2

Down 2.0 pounds from yesterday with a hike at the Pueblo Reservoir planned for the afternoon.  Would have been happier to have been down a whole 4 pounds this morning.  Time to forget about all of my December 1 and December 14 goals and just get back on track to break 200 by the end of the year. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

209.2

Six days ago, I weighed 204.0 and had tears of joy in my eye as I drove to the fitness club.  This morning, I was close to tears again.  But, for obviously different reason.   The Turkey Day damages were 4.2 pounds.  I knew I wasn't as good as planned.  But, 4.2 pounds?!  Really?!  What a dumbass I am...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!  205.0 this morning.  Not a good number going in to Thanksgiving dinner.  But, a much better number than last Thanksgiving.  And, for that, I am thankful.  Will post some more thoughts regarding Turkey Day later tonight.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

206.2

Okay, never mind.  I won't be getting to 202 by Sunday.  Sad day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

205.4

We went to Red Lobster last night for Kelsea's birthday.  While I was better at Red Lobster than I was at Texas Roadhouse, my body couldn't do both in a weekend and still go down.  So, once again, I start off the week with a weight gain.  Still, I hope to get to my December 1 goal of 202 by Sunday, despite having Thanksgiving in the mix.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

204.0

Given that we broke down and had Texas Roadhouse last night, that is a pretty good weigh-in and made my morning.  Now, I try to avoid my Monday morning failures and start the week on a good night.  Today's weight is exactly a pound under what I hoped to be. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

204.0!!!

Under 205!  Only one barrier to go!  I felt overwhelmed when I stepped on the scale this morning and saw that number.  I wasn't expecting it.  You all know what a big emotional baby I am.  So much so that I actually started crying on my drive over to the club this morning every time I ran that number through my head.  Two hundred and four frickin' pounds!  One hundred and nine pounds lost!  Crazy.

Since I am on the topic of being emotional.  Wouldn't you think that all of the televisions in a workout area on a Saturday morning would be tuned to ESPN and college football?!  I didn't pay attention, got moving on the treadmill, and then realized that the television staring me straight in the face was on the Hallmark channel.  With a full room of ladies, I didn't dare get off the treadmill to switch the channel.  So, there I was watching some Christmas story with Gary Sinise that I had seen before.  A tear jerker, as if they play anything else on the Hallmark channel, about a reunion of a father and a daughter and the obligatory love story.  So, there I sat reading the captions and watching the second half of this movie.  Despite knowing how the movie was going to end, I soon found myself tearing up when the sad blind girl says goodbye to Sinise's character and again when everything ends happily.  Grown men should never be caught crying in an athletic club...  unless they break multiple bones.  Damn Hallmark channel!

Only four pounds to my ultimate goal and two pounds away from my December 1 goal.  Maybe I can stay focused, not have another two week lull to start December, and actually beat my December 14 date.  Wish me luck. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

205.0!

With two days to go until Sunday, I already find myself at the weight I was hoping for.  Love it!  Down .8 and 3 pounds away from my December 1 goal with 12 days remaining.  I just realized this morning that I have lost 8.6 pounds in the 15 days since I have returned from Las Vegas.  And, one other tidbit of info... as of November 14, I had exercised 250 straight days!  That streak will move to 255 tonight despite the fact that I have not felt 100% the last three days and went to Harry Potter at midnight last night.  It was very difficult rising out of bed this morning to go to work.  But, that .8 pounds gave me a little  spring in my step that might not have been there otherwise.  Hopefully, tomorrow is the day I finally break 205.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

205.8

Nice.  Another .8 pounds down and that included a filet for dinner which has historically caused the opposite to happen.  I am hoping that means good things to come.  That leaves .8 to lose over the next three days.  I find myself getting more anxious the closer I get to 200.  I can hardly believe I am reading the scale right these days.  So close...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

206.6

Down 1.2 pounds!  That leaves me 1.6 pounds to get to the next barrier of 205 pounds.  Once again, I have squandered half a month with little to show for it and now have exactly two weeks to lose 4.6 pounds.  Please send me all of your positive thoughts!  Thanks in advance...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

208.4

Not sure what I hate more... myself or Monday mornings.  I can hardly believe that I hit a new low and then turned around and gained 2 whole pounds back!  Ugh.  I have once again made the goal ahead of me that much more difficult and now need to lose 6.4 pounds in only 16 days.  Okay, I made the decision... I hate myself more than I hate Mondays.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

206.4!

After two weeks, I finally get to see a new low.  Down another pound and at a new low of 206.4!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

207.4... Six Days

So, the answer to the question, "How many days does it take to put Las Vegas and the weight gained behind me?", is six.  Thrilled to be back at my lowest.  Excited that it took me only six days.  Bummed that I ended up losing about 12 days because of my vacation.  Disappointed that I only have 20 days left in November to lose the 5.4 pounds needed to get to my goal.  Upset that I will start December still over 200 pounds.  Elated that I am even having a discussion about potentially breaking 200 within the next few weeks!  Thrilled, excited,  bummed, disappointed, upset, elated... so, how do I feel this morning.  Still great!

Tomorrow will be a new low...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

No Buffet!

Now that I have gotten most of the post-vacation weight off, I can finally talk about Las Vegas again and not be sad.  When Lori and I started talking about our vacation plans, we agreed to partake in one buffet.  Lori actually said that we could do one of the casino buffets and she would be glad to accompany me to my favorite sushi place, Yama Sushi, while I indulged in their all-you-can-eat sushi.  My head was already struggling with the thought of one buffet.  But, two was out of the question.  I debated going to Yama Sushi and just having a couple of my favorite rolls and some sashimi.  I decided that it was better to not even enter those doors and risk the temptation.  I knew that, once I added up the cost of my sushi and realized it was about the same price as teh AYCE sushi, I might change my mind.  So, one casino buffet it was.

Originally, we were still debating between the World Buffet and the Village Seafood Buffet at the Rio.  I love seafood and pretty much only wanted to consume large quantities of shrimp, lobster, and any other unsuspecting shellfish I could get my hands on.  This despite my known, though very slight, shellfish allergy... heck, that's what Benadryl and a couple of margaritas are for!  I have always wanted to go to the Village Seafood Buffet.  But, the more I read about the lobster and shrimp options online, the less appetizing and more expensive that proposition seemed.  So, I changed my mind and decided that a bunch of shrimp cocktail and crab legs at the World Buffet would more than suffice.  And, I hate to admit it, I was pretty excited about going to the buffet... even if it was mixed with a tinge of guilt.

We went to Cabo Wabo on the second night, mostly to sip on a couple of margaritas and enjoy our favorite past-time, people watching.  We hadn't eaten yet and after perusing the menu, we decided that the Mexican fare sounded awfully appetizing and decided to eat there as well.  It was excellent.  Of course, when you love Mexican as much as I do and only get to eat it every six weeks, even Taco Bell can be great Mexican food.  I ate too much chips and salsa.  But, I guess you already assumed as much.  I ate my fish tacos, my beans, my rice.  And, we still had those scrumptious margaritas.  As we sat looking out over the strip watching the crowds around Planet Hollywood, I realized I had eaten way too much food.  At that moment, I told Lori I know longer wanted a buffet at all.  She told me she was fine with that and was doing the whole buffet thing for me in the first place.

Like most moments like this, I half expected that, by the next afternoon, a less full stomach would think that the buffet sounded great again.  That never happened!  We still ate a few too many calories at each meal.  But, we never ate a large meal again.  I am not proud of myself about the weight gained.  Certainly not proud of my Cabo Wabo feast.  But, I am proud that the buffet no longer sounded good to me and that I managed to leave Vegas without ever gorging myself.  The thought of it even makes my stomach a little ill now.  My buffet days may finally be behind me... along with chunks of my ass that have slowly fallen off of me as well.  That makes me smile.  Here's to being proud of eating good food in small portions and not so proud of eating enough cocktail shrimp that you puff out your chest until it's even with your protruding gut (or protruding "fountain of youth" - sorry, three people will get that joke) and proclaim that you "got your money's worth!"... 

208.2

Sneaking up on a new low.  My next milestone, 205 pounds!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

208.6

I am not going to lie.  I was disappointed when I got back from Las Vegas and realized I had gained almost 6 pounds.  I know I shouldn't be this upset and I get better each time this happens.  I guess it is a lot harder to gain 6 pounds back when you have only lost 10 and a lot easier to stomach, no pun intended, when you have lost 106!  If not for my goal of getting under 200, I don't even think I would blink an eye at this vacation indulgence.  I guess we will see when I get there.  But, the best part of this "new" me is that no matter how disappointed I am in myself, I never let it derail me off of this course or from my ultimate goal.  I lost 2 more pounds this morning and find myself only .8 off of my pre-vacation weight and 1.2 from my low after just four days back.  This new resolve is what gets me past that disappointment and is one of the things I am most proud of.  Looking forward to what the scale has to share with me tomorrow morning!

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 1 Status Update... From October 31... Written On November 8

Last Sunday, October 31, was my seventh official weigh-in against my monthly goals. Below is a quick status update... better late than never...
  • On October 2, I weighed 213.0 pounds. My November 1 goal was 200.0 pounds.  Ha!  What was I thinking?!  Last Sunday, I weighed 207.8. I missed my November 1 goal by 7.8 pounds and lost only 5.2 pounds in the month of October. This is the third straight month that I have missed my goal. 
  • My December 1 goal was 195. Well, I don't think that is going to happen.  I am going to try and be a little more realistic over the next two months.  So, my new goals are December 1 - 202, New Year's Day 2011 - 197.  That puts me around December 14 to break 200!  A little later than I thought a couple of months ago.  But, pretty close to how long I thought it would take me when I started this whole thing in March.
  • I have lost 105.2 pounds since the middle of January. I have lost 94.8 pounds over the 33 weeks since the start of this blog. And, I have lost 89.8 pounds since returning from Las Vegas on March 23.
  • My streak of exercising at least 30 minutes has now reached 236 straight days... though that streak is now 244 as of tonight!
  • I lost .168 pounds per day in October. My goal weight for December 1 would require me to lose .193 pounds per day. That seems a lot more reasonable than the goal I set for October!
  • My plan was to start P90x with my brother on November 8. My brother ended up "ballooning" to an obese 180 pounds and couldn't wait for me any longer.  So, he already started the program for his second go of it.  So, I will postpone my start date a little longer with the intent of being closer to 200 when I start as I originally planned.  Right now, I am tentatively planning to start at the beginning of December.
I give myself a D for October. A bad start resulted in an okay month.  But, 5.2 pounds is 5.2 pounds.  I am trying to see the positive in that number despite my disappointment.  Here's to November and new starts...

210.6

Same weight as yesterday.  Any Monday where I haven't gained is a good Monday. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

210.6

Down another 1.2 pounds.  How long will it take to put Las Vegas behind me?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Damages... 213.6

My goal was to come back at or below the weight that I was when we left for Las Vegas.  Yeah right.  After too many margaritas and too much good food, I quickly realized that I now only hoped to gain less than five pounds.  Well, I missed both those goals and ended up gaining 5.8 pounds.  Even more disappointing given that we skipped the all-you-can-eat buffets!  Hard to believe that I actually did worse on this trip than I did on my March trip with the boys when I only gained 3.6 pounds... and that included a buffet!  I knew this trip right at the beginning of November would haunt me.  But, this was worse than I expected.  So, now I start November in a whole.  Very disappointing...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Everything Costs Money In Vegas

There is some irony that Lori and I chose to, once again, go to Las Vegas on vacation mainly because we couldn't afford to go anywhere else.  We were able to book $29 one-way fares with Allegiant's new flights out of Pueblo.  By the time taxes and fees were added, we had spent a total of $160 on airfare.  Combine that with discounted nights at the Flamingo because of reward points with Total Rewards and our airfare and four nights of hotel was approximately $250!  Neither of us are big gamblers... I guess that makes our vacation choice even more ironic... so we end up not spending money on the main thing Vegas wants you to spend money on. 

But enough about us.  The point of my story is that this isn't what Vegas is about.  Despite signs for discounted drinks, free shows, and cheap steak and egg breakfasts, don't let any of this fool you.  Vegas is about money.  And everyone you see wants their own little piece of the pie.  From the guy in the bathroom of the Bellagio handing you paper towels to the people on the bridges hawking $1 bottles of water to the folks claiming they can get you tickets to those cheap shows to the taxi and shuttle drivers to those who provide housekeeping services, Vegas is about money.  The expectation of tipping is so ubiquitous that I even saw a tip jar at the Panda Express! 

Seriously?!  Did you do something extra special when you asked me what my two items were and whether I wanted noodles or rice?  In fact, the people at this Panda Express should have paid me for dealing with their rudeness.  And, since I am ranting, do I really need someone to hand me a paper towel in the restroom?  I have always been perfectly happy getting my own paper towel and not feeling obligated to tip the old man who watches me wash my hands.  In fact, I am guessing that the towel guy contributes to two bad habits.  I figure that the men around me think that if they don't wash their hands then they don't need to worry about tipping.  I can't say for a fact that this is true, but judging by the number of men that I saw not wash their hands in every single bathroom that I went to, whether attended or not, I have to believe that the Bellagio is a contributor to this nasty trend.  The second habit this must be causing, and again this is pure speculation, is that people are now holding it in rather than use those bathrooms.  This is not a healthy habit either and by the time those people figure out how to get out of the hotel, through the casino, and over to one of the cheaper hotels that make you grab your own towel, these folks could be risking serious bladder infections!

Well, you get my point.  I read a list of people you were supposed to tip and the expected amounts and I had to laugh.  Maybe that's why my brother tips the pizza place even though he goes and picks it up himself.  I guess the way they hand him the pie must have been what earned the tip!  Damn Californians!

So, Lori and I woke up that first morning after only about six hours of sleep and made our way to the "four bridges circuit".  This is the four bridges that connect the Flamingo/Bill's corner to the Bally's corner to the Bellagio corner to the Caesar's Palace corner and back to the start.  This is the same circuit that I had planned to get up and walk/climb when I was in Vegas with the boys in March.  I never made the circuit on that trip.  Despite starting my exercise program, I wasn't in good enough shape yet and I really never felt like dragging myself out of bed each morning after late nights and a lot of walking. 

But, seven months later, I am a different person.  I not only made myself get out of bed and dragged Lori along, I was excited to take on the circuit.  We walked quickly on the bridges and grounds, dodging the early risers along the way, and then bounded up two steps at a time up the stairs.  We passed the bridge people, that combination of homeless people, musicians, and water sellers, all looking for their share of the Vegas pie.  Each of the homeless holding their obligatory cardboard sign with various messages, including way too many with the once-funny but now tired "Why lie. I need a beer" sign... though judging by the giggling, some folks haven't seen as many homeless people as I have.  I appreciated the ones I had never seen before, such as the one that said, "My parents were killed by Ninjas.  Need money for Kung Fu lessons". 

Some of the homeless were still sleeping, it was early.  But, a couple of them caught our attention as we made repeated trips past them.  The one on the Bellagio was picking up trash that people left behind... a rant for another day.  I was impressed.  Another man said good morning to us every time we walked past him.  We wondered if he would ever make the connection that he had seen us before.  But, I imagined that we were part of a herd of faceless people that walked past him hour after hour.  On our fourth pass, I thought I saw him notice my shoes... not a surprising thing since they have neon green on them.  The next trip by, I was sure he looked at the shoes again and then back at us and a light went off.  By the sixth trip, he smiled and laughed and said "Good Morning again!".  We both laughed.  The other gentleman that made an impression was a musician playing a guitar and singing.  His first impression was a good one too as he was singing a song I like, "Losing My Religion", by REM and doing a good job of it to boot.  He also made us laugh when he jokingly said, "You know you are going in circles, right?".  I wasn't sure if he was trying to help the lost tourists or just confirming it to himself. 

Well, on our last circle, I pulled out some money and gave some bills to each of these three.  Now, before you go and think that I am bragging about being kind, that is definitely not the case.  I typically don't give money to homeless people.  I know where this money is going and have never wanted to be a contributor to the cause... oh yeah, plus I am a cheap bastard.  And, I don't normally give money to street performers unless they really do something that catches my eye.  But, by the time we were done, I felt a connection to these three and they had all interacted in a positive way with us, and that was enough for me.  Oh, and to confirm my suspicions, we saw one of those homeless guys making his way to the liquor store that we had just left a little later.  He didn't acknowledge us.

So, even an early morning walk isn't free in Vegas.  But, that's okay.  That money was the most productive money I spent while there and I loved getting up every morning and getting my heart rate elevated... even if it meant a nap later in the day.  Here's to sticking with a plan and finding ways to exercise no matter the situation...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

207.8

Crap.  Not a great way to end the 19 day plan. 

Day 19 of 20 19 day plan - .4;  Total - (8.8)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

207.4

When I planned my 20 day plan, I forgot that I might be out of town on the 20th day...  oops.  So, my 20 day plan has been reduced to a 19 day plan.  Down .8 this morning and definitely back in a groove.  Hoping that I can go to Las Vegas and, at the very least, come back around the same weight as when I leave.  So far off of today's goal weight that we won't even discuss.  But, feeling good this morning about turning this ship around.  Can I get to an even 10 lost over the 19 days by tomorrow morning?

Day 18 of 20 19 day plan - (.8);  Total - (9.2)

Friday, October 29, 2010

208.2

Down 1.6 pounds and, once again, at a new low!  October won't be what I had anticipated, but I should be able to hang on to a 5-6 pound weight loss.  Given my transgressions and my venture off course, I am actually pretty excited about that.  The great news is that I was able to re-focus slightly and lose 8.4 pounds in 17 days.  Maybe that little test of my willpower will end up being a great thing and bode well for my mental state when facing those temptations in the future.

Day 17 of 20 day plan - (1.6);  Total - (8.4)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

209.8

Two steps forward, one step back.  I know you have heard this before.  But, I can usually tell when the weight is a true gain or when my body is just reacting to sodium, etc.  This weight will be gone tomorrow...  I think.  The encouraging news is that I stayed under 210!

Day 16 of 20 day plan - .8;  Total - (6.8)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Am Not Sick!

Over the last week, two people have said that I look great and then followed that up by saying that they hoped it wasn't because I was sick and they hoped my weight loss was actually a planned thing.  Over the last few months, I had wondered if some of the people who ran in to me were wondering that same thing.  But, if they did, nobody spoke it out loud until recently. 

I laughed it off both times and assured these folks that I was indeed healthy and that all 100 plus pounds was by intent.  I get the question.  And, the question in and of itself doesn't bother me.  I understand that part of the reason is that, for most people, it is hard to grasp how someone can lose 104 pounds in nine months.  I know my previous struggles and it is sometimes hard for me to comprehend it myself.  Maybe it's even a little easier for people to accept their own struggles if they hang on to the belief that it can't possibly be done.  

But, it might simply be that having colon surgery three years ago because of diverticulitis tends to make folks wonder.  I lost a good amount of weight shortly before I was diagnosed with diverticulitis.  I will add that all of the pre-surgery weight I lost a few years ago was planned and was due to the things I was doing and not my health issues... though I will admit that 5-10 of those pounds were during my hospital stay and post-surgery diet.  I get these concerns and I get why it might make someone question that.

But, I do have one little problem with it.  I don't mind answering that question and letting people know that I haven't felt this good in almost 15 years and that I feel 35 again.  What I do mind is that I know there are a lot of folks I see that have the same question but never ask it.  That bothers me!  It bothers me that some people might assume that this is the only way fat Anthony could ever have lost the weight.  It bothers me that I can't set the record straight and tell them that I did this all on my own through hard work and life changes.  And, in case any of you haven't been paying attention, let me say this one more time.  I AM NOT SICK!  Hopefully, even though it has been asked, most of the people who see me don't actually think I look sick.  So, if you are reading this, do me a favor and pass it along. 

Should I care what all of these people think?  In the end, no.  I shouldn't spend time worrying about such trivial things.  And, it really doesn't bother me as much as it might sound.  I think I mostly want people to know that it doesn't take health issues to be successful.  I want them to share a positive message with those they talk to and not go around whispering that they think Anthony might be dying.  Here's to feeling great and losing weight without ever seeing the inside of a nasty hospital...

209.0

Down another .6 pounds... 104.0 total!  Two pounds to go over the next four days to make me a happy camper.

Day 15 of 20 day plan - (.6);  Total - (7.6)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

209.6

Well, I think that somewhat proves my water retention theory.  Down 2.6 pounds and now at a new low of 209.6.  I need at least 1.6, though I am shooting for 2.6, by Sunday.

Day 14 of 20 day plan - (2.6);  Total - (7.0)

Monday, October 25, 2010

212.2... @#!^&% Mondays!

I think I may cry.  I wanted so badly to end the streak of bad Monday morning weigh-ins.  I have not had a Monday morning drop in weight since September 13.  I thought I did pretty well yesterday.  Probably a little too much salt.  Hopefully, I will see a quick drop and get in the 208 range quickly over the next few days.  With less than a week to go and my official monthly check-in moved up to October 31 rather than November 1, I need to lose at least 4 pounds by Sunday.  I absolutely have to lose at least 5 pounds this month for my mental well-being. 

Day 13 of 20 day plan - 2.4;  Total - (4.4)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

209.8!

I know I keep saying "finally", but some of these numbers have seemed a lot harder to get to then others.  Especially recently.  Finally, under 210 pounds.  It has been at least 15 and probably about 16 years since I have been under 210.  Of course, I didn't get far enough under 210.  So, now I prepare for the inevitable Monday morning blues when I go back over 210. 

Day 12 of 20 day plan - (.4);  Total - (6.8)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

210.2

Down another .8 and ever so close to breaking 210!  Off to Pueblo Mountain Park to see if I can lose .4 pounds today.  Not even close enough to my official Saturday goal to report.  Now, I am just scrambling to maybe get five pounds out of the month of October.

Day 11 of 20 day plan - (.8);  Total - (6.4)

Friday, October 22, 2010

211.0... A New Low... Finally!

Back in the pool this morning...  inspirational!  If you don't get the reference, refer to last night's post.  Down .8 pounds and glad to hit a new low after a lengthy lull... try saying that three times real fast.

Day 10 of 20 day plan - (.8);  Total - (5.6)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Not Much Of An Inspiration Lately

I should have never thought it.  I definitely should have never said it.  Over the last couple of weeks, I have told a few of my closest friends and family that, while I still planned to continue losing every extra pound I still carry and that I was still intent on getting to 200, I would be perfectly content living the rest of my life at around 210.  When I started this journey, I didn't like myself that much.  Now, I finally feel comfortable with where I am.  I finally feel good when I reach in the closet to figure out what I am going to wear.  I am content. 

I should have never said those words.  I talked to my sister, Gina, today and we talked about that very thing.  The problem with being content is that you tend to lose focus.  While I haven't fallen off enough to gain any of my weight back, I have hovered between 210 to 220 since September 4.  When you weigh over 300 pounds and feel like you are slowly dying, it is easy to find motivation.  When you feel 15 years younger at 212, that motivation is a lot harder to come by.

But, if I can't find an internal motivator that works like it did six months ago, then I think I have found an external one.  If you read this blog from the beginning, you will recall the ephiphany I had one night at Kohl's.  Well, today, while I was talking to my sister, I had my second ephiphany... albeit a little less moving than the original.  My sister uttered the words I have heard repeatedly over the last several months, "You are an inspiration".  I hear this all the time.  I am embarassed every time.  My brother, the very person who has inspired me since this started, said I have recently inspired him through a personal battle that he is going struggling with.  A friend told me last week, while on the verge of tears, that her husband found out he has diabetes and that I have inspired him to get to the gym and change his lifestyle.  Another friend I know basically through a prep basketball forum, recently said that he was trying to lose a few pounds and that I had "inspired" him.

I don't believe I should be anybody's inspiration.  And, as you well know, I don't even believe that what I have done could even flick that switch inside others to make similar changes.  I hope I am wrong.  Despite my feelings otherwise, I really hope it's possible that I can indeed inspire.  But, I haven't been too inspirational lately.  I haven't followed my commandments that I laid out a week or so ago.  I have eaten popcorn and drank soda EVERY day over the last couple of weeks!  I haven't lifted weights since the very first day that I started free weights.  I haven't been in the pool or up early in a couple of weeks.  Lately, I don't deserve to hear any praise that includes my name and the word "inspirational".  Lately, I haven't liked myself again. 

When I hung up with my sister, I realized that I really do want to be an inspiration.  It may sound arrogant, but so be it.  I wasn't the one who said it.  You said it.  So, if that's what you want or what you need, then I will try my hardest to oblige.  I would love nothing more than to inspire as many people as I can to make needed changes in their life.  So, I need to get my head out of my ass and start acting the part again.  Tonight, I start again.

Here's to being an "inspiration"...

211.8

Well, what do you know?  Despite more "taste tests" at work, I managed to show slightly more control yesterday and ended up losing another pound.

Day 9 of 20 day plan - (1.0);  Total - (4.8)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

212.8

Hi, my name is Anthony Marinucci and I am a fat pig with absolutely no willpower and possibly no clue either.  Nice to meet you.

Up .2 after sampling every barbeque rib I could at work.  We were supposed to sample each of the three variations of ribs and give our preference.  But, I thought that I needed to sample 3-4 of each rib to fully know how I felt! 

Day 8 of 20 day plan - 0.2;  Total - (3.8)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Music Pass, Lower and Upper Sand Creek Lakes

Okay, I'm a little behind...

About a month ago, we headed towards the Westcliffe area with our friends, Steve and Maureen O'Dorisio, for a much anticipated hike over Music Pass.  I first heard of the trail when I saw photos on Kara Kochenberger's Facebook page of the Kochenberger family hiking it.  Kara was kind enough to provide the info and I immediately started researching it on the internet.  It looked awesome and I couldn't wait for the chance to hike it.  Our first planned outing ended up being postponed and by the time we finally made it up that four wheel drive road to the trailhead, I could hardly wait.

Not sure why I was anticipating this trail so much.  Maybe it was the name... I think Music Pass has a nice ring to it, pun intended.  Maybe it was Kara's photos that included a beautiful lake above timberline that reminded me a lot of Sky Pond.  Maybe it was all of the great articles I read on the internet describing this fantastic hike.  Maybe it was the company, because hiking and talking with the O'Dorisios makes a 10 mile hike seem like a stroll in the park.  Maybe it was stories I heard from Doug Naylon and Jeff Kochenberger describing how their families climbed the pass when they were growing up.  I'm not sure, but I looked forward to this hike as much as I did on Lori and I's first hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.

And, in the end, the hike, the company, the views, the lakes, and the peaks in the background, did not disappoint.  The end of our Sky Pond hike was incredible.  But, I think I enjoyed this hike from end to end more than any other hike we have done so far.  The views were simply awesome. 

The start of the hike is a climb to the summit of Music Pass.  The views in front of you, to the side of you, and behind you are stunning.  After reaching the summit, you head down the other side of the mountain down a pretty steep hill that you know you are going to hate on the return trip!  After reaching the bottom, we made the left turn towards Lower Sand Creek Lake.  That portion of the trail was a quiet and cool walk through the forest.  Eventually, you reach the prettier of the two lakes, Lower Sand Creek Lake.  The lake is stunning and sits below an imposing and equally stunning Tijeras Peak.

After a short rest and snack, we started back down to the main trail up to Upper Sand Creek Lake.  This climb is a little longer, but equally as nice.  Upper Sand Creek Lake, while not as pretty as the Lower Lake, is still quite beautiful.  We relaxed, ate lunch, and took in the views with that great feeling of knowing that it was all downhill from here... save for that little uphill jaunt I mentioned earlier.

That section of the trail that climbs back up Music Pass seems a lot longer going up than it seems when making your way down it.  By the time we got there, we had walked at least 8 miles and the climb went slowly and methodically.  Eventually, we summited Music Pass for the second time and felt that true sense of relief that it truly was all downhill from there.  After a little more than 10 miles and 8 hours of hiking, we were back in the truck and headed back down the bumpy road through beautiful aspens and on our way back home. 

Music Pass lived up to every expectation I had going in.  I highly recommend this hike to anyone looking for a great day hike.  Here's to Music Pass...

As always, click on any of the images below to enlarge.






Definitely click on the photo above to see the panorama!