Friday, April 30, 2010

The Food Network as Porn

Let me start by saying I love the Food Network.  I love the contest shows like Chopped, The Next Food Network Star, and especially Iron Chef.  I love watching the creativity of the chefs after The Chairman emphatically unveils the secret ingredient... an introduction that has been imitated repeatedly in our house with the same enthusiasm.  I love anything with my cooking hero, Bobby Flay, in it (yes, Mom, I know you still don't like him), including BBQ with Bobby Flay, Boy Meets Grill, Grill It!, and, my favorite, Throwdown with Bobby Flay.  I enjoy watching Giada as she whispers Italian recipes softly and soothingly in my ear and am jealous when watching Michael Chiarello cook Italian feasts for his family and friends.  I really like Outrageous Foods.  But, my ultimate favorite is Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri.  I love Guy's enthusiasm and can almost taste the food when he describes it.  These are my favorite shows.  Those shows that showcase local treasures across the country. 

The Travel Channel gets a share of my love with shows like Bizarre Foods (oh, how I wish I had your job Andrew Zimmern), Man vs. Food (can you believe there are so many places to test your intestinal fortitude?), and the recently added Food Wars.  Like D,D&D, Food Wars gives publicity to local specialties and the establishments that have made these dishes famous.  I had never heard of Food Wars before the recent filming of an episode right here in little ol' Pueblo and the battle for slopper bragging rights between The Sunset Inn and Gray's Coors Tavern.  But since, we have recorded a few episodes and I really enjoy the show.  The contested foods themselves are tempting.  The host, Camille Ford, is cute and bubbly.  But the combination of Camille lustfully enjoying these offerings is perfect!   Maybe it's the fact that I think I am closer to her now that I have stood right behind her at the Union Depot.  I find myself writing down the cities, restaurants and dishes just in case I end up in any of these cities and want to confirm each contest's winners.

As I was discussing with my boss how much I enjoy these shows, how much I enjoy cooking, and how much I enjoy talking about food, it hit me.  I am a food addict!  For me, the Food Network is no different than someone getting on the internet and looking at pornography.  This addiction doesn't have an ugly stigma about it.  People don't judge me for watching food shows.  And, while my food addiction may be less detrimental to my marriage than an addiction to smut would be, it is far more detrimental to my health.   But, I think it's time for this to change.

I have tried to change my mindset about food.  My cravings have decreased substantially.  I rarely eat because I am hungry or think I need to eat something.  I think of food as fuel for my body now.  I am trying to think of food as less sexy then I used to.  I am trying to have less conversations about food.  I have gotten in to the habit of eating throughout the day at pretty regular intervals.  No excitement.  No anticipation.  Just my scheduled stops for fuel to keep my body going.  I said it before, but I really believe that I have made huge strides mentally and just need to give my body about six months to catch up physically.

Of course, like I said, I still write down the challenges from Food Wars.  I will still watch and enjoy the D,D&D DVDs I got for Christmas.  I will still wish I could secretly jump in the convertible with Guy Fieri and tour all of these hidden gems with him by my side.  I will still watch food shows on the Food Network and the Travel Channel.  But, I will watch these shows less often and, hopefully, with less drool running from my mouth.  I will pick and choose recipes that fit my new lifestyle.  And, if I ever get to any of these dives, I will split the dish with Lori and try all of these delights in moderation.  Here's to battling your demons even if they seem as innocuous as the Food Network...


Only four pounds to lose by tomorrow to hit my April goal!  lol.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Tune With My Body

One of the things I have found as I continue to modify my diet and eat healthier is how much more in tune I am with my body.  In the past, my high sodium and high fat diet would leave me achy and lethargic on most days.  But, I got so accustomed to eating that way that I really didn't remember how my body felt when it was feeling good and functioning properly.  It didn't take long for my body to start feeling better.  Now, I know when I am putting something unhealthy in me because I feel it so rapidly.  Even if I wasn't tracking everything I consumed and it's nutritional data, my body knows.  Because of this, I find myself looking up this data on meals before I even eat them to make sure I am careful about these numbers. 

Not that anything I am about to tell you is earth-shattering news or unknown to most of you.  But, I doubt I knew the true impact of certain foods.  Probably the biggest eye-opener has been the way my body reacts to too much salt.  Sodium has become my biggest nemesis!  And, it's not just about water retention either.  When I consume excessive amounts of sodium, I can feel it in my joints.  My knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders all get a little bit achy.  I can feel my hands and feet start to swell.  I can almost feel my body drying out despite all of the H2O that I have been drinking daily.  I feel bloated and my skin feels tight.  I can feel it when I workout.  I went with a co-worker the other day to Mongolian Grill.  While I did good putting ingredients in the bowl... about 70% veggies, 20% noodles, and 10% chicken... the problem started when I added generous amounts of Siracha sauce (an Asian hot sauce for those not in the know).  I love Siracha sauce and I always overdo it.  So much so, that my co-workers make sure to give their food to the cooks before mine so that the hot sauce and copious amounts of jalapenos do not get mixed up with their dishes.  Both Russ and Jay have been on the unfortunate end, no pun intended, of having their meal cooked with my meal and paid for it for most of the day and beyond!  That sauce, combined with the soy sauce I put in my soup was way too much sodium.  I felt it almost instantly.  I felt crappy througout the afternoon.  And, I knew when I went to bed that I would be looking at a weight gain in the morning.  Unfortunately, I was correct.

The other obvious culprit is fat.  Obviously, my body does not react to fat in the same manner as sodium, but it can ruin an afternoon just as quick if not quicker.  I find myself so utterly lethargic when I eat anything that is heavy in fat content, especially anything with cheese.  I love cheese.  But, I keep reminding myself that I love working through the afternoon without having to fight off the desire to take a nap at my desk even more!  I have found it much easier to avoid fat than it has been to avoid sodium. 

On the flip side is the way I react to getting plenty of water.  When I get busy at work and forget to drink my body reacts almost immediately.  When I am drinking lots of water throughout the day, I can almost feel it flowing through my body.  Like an oil lubricating my joints and skin.  Like exercising, I am lucky that I really enjoy water.  I stopped drinking soda some time right around or before this blog and I don't miss it.  Probably because the only time I am really tempted to have a Pepsi is when I eat pizza, chicken wings or Mexican...  and, other than chips and salsa, I haven't had any!  lol.

On all but a couple of mornings, I have done a pretty good job of estimating what my weight would be.  But having said all of this, there is a certain irony regarding how wrong I was this morning.  My lunch yesterday consisted of plenty of sushi and the obligatory soy sauce... and yes a ton of wasabi.  What can I say?  I like my food spicy.  So, I was expecting another bad weigh-in this morning and was pleasantly surprised by the pound I had lost. 

I also find it very hard to predict how I am going to feel at the club.  There are many nights I am anxious to get there only to struggle through my workout.  Then there are days like today where I feel exactly the opposite.  Not enough sleep.  Feeling a sinus infection coming on.  Came home tired after a Period Close and a long day at work.  My head was pounding... that irritating sinus pain that sits right behind one of your eyes and makes you feel like you can't even keep them open.  I didn't feel like going and wondered if I was better off resting.  But, fortunately, it has become a habit now.  My workout ended up being my best of the week!  I walked 3.63 miles, though I could have gone far longer.  Not my highest of the week, but I felt so good at the end.  I made myself stop only because I really want to fight off this infection.  The weights I put up were the highest numbers since I started.  Once my head stopped hurting, I was in a zone and I feel ten times better now than when I left for the club.  That is why I go.  Even if it's a high from the workout, I will take it because it beats the way I felt when I got home tonight.  Here's to being in touch with your body... and actually listening to it when it's telling you something...


Somewhat surprised that I am down a pound after my sushi and sodium-filled lunch yesterday!  Under 275 and my new low since this blog began.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


My brother sent me a link yesterday with a video of the new free-fall ride, the SkyJump, at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.  If you haven't heard of it or seen it, take a moment to follow the link below to watch a little clip about the ride.

Wow!  Now that looks fun!  Not quite a bungee jump, but a free-fall from the top of the Stratosphere has got to be quite the thrill.  At $99, it's not cheap.  But, it's also not outrageous when you consider bungee jumping is at least that expensive and this is, after all, in Las Vegas.  The price with the video adds an additional $15 and there are some other combos they will sell you with shirts, photos, bottles of the urine you lost on the way down, etc. So, I got to thinking today that a trip to Las Vegas and a leap off the Stratosphere might be the perfect reward for me reaching one of my biggest goals - getting under 200 pounds.  I told my brother of my plan today and he not only liked the idea, he wanted to join me and offered to pay for the ride!  What a guy!  No wonder he is my favorite brother. 

The more I thought of this, the more I liked the idea.  Those of you who read my opening post of this blog know the saga of my last trip to the Stratosphere.  Those who don't know are not reading all of this blog and not getting the full experience.  Shame on you.  Please go sit in the corner of the room for 15 minutes... right after reading that post.  That experience is still a painful memory and still a very fresh wound less than a year after the tragedy of not being able to ride the rides I love so much.  In fact, last month when I went to Vegas with the boys, I would every once in awhile look down the strip and notice the Stratosphere standing tall.  Taunting me.  Laughing at me.  Daring me to lose the weight and give those three thrill rides another chance.  And now, she has added a fourth.  I think a return trip to the Stratosphere with a thinner, healthier me would be the ultimate redemption and a proud moment for me.  I might even shed a tear jumping off that platform. 

Oh yeah, I know, I still plan to write about the topic that was planned for last night!  Here's to finding the ultimate redemption over 855 feet in 15 seconds from the 108th floor...


For the third time...   : $

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Apologies To Those I Have Offended!

My plan was to talk a little more about being in tune with my body.  But, that post will have to wait...

I want to take the time to publicly apologize to those I have offended with this blog last night.  Specifically, all of the folks who know me, read my blog, or know that I am trying to lose weight and have given me any compliments over the last month.  I truly did not mean to imply that this group was a bunch of mindless drones prone to giving compliments purely based on the power of suggestion.  I did not mean to imply that I could fish for compliments with simple blog bait and get so many solid hits!  I was not saying that these folks did not mean their kind words or that I did not believe them.  I was simply trying to say that because of their familiarity with me and my plight that this group is more apt to notice any changes.  A good analogy would be when you buy a new car.  Suddenly, you begin to notice that car everywhere you look.  You swear to yourself that nobody owned that car until the day you purchased yours.  My boss uses the term "perceptive activation" to describe this phenomenon.  What I am trying to say is that this group is looking for a change and thus far likely to notice!  So, to all the people who reminded me today that their compliments were indeed well-meaning and sincere... and also the ones who reminded me that I will not be receiving any more in the future...  I apologize from the bottom of my heart.  Are we good?  I really do appreciate any and all kind words and hope that I have not disillusioned group #1. 

While I am apologizing, let me come clean about another slight from this blog.  While I am a stubborn old fool about alternative methods of losing weight and take issue with the word "diet", I really do not have any problem with all of the people out there trying anything and everything to lose weight.  Again, I was trying to say that none of these alternatives were for me.  It's not because I don't believe that some, most or all of them don't work.  Again, it's just that I am so damn stubborn and believe that I can do this by changing the way I live my life that I refuse to try them.  I was mostly trying to emphasize that this was not a short-term change and that the intent was to creat a lifestyle that was sustainable for me.  And, yes Jim, I believe I have found that.  And, I am not immune to these alternatives.  I ate cottage cheese for three straight days until I thought I might puke... and that was 20 years ago!  I have read countless books and tried numerous diets.  I think that anyone fighting this battle should use any means at their disposal, assuming they are safe, that they want or are willing to try if it helps them achieve their goals.  I don't even care if it's a placebo-effect...  that is still a positive outcome.  Believe me, if I died because of my stubbornness, I imagine all of the people who had their stomachs stapled successfully would have the last laugh and I would fully regret that stubbornness.  For now, this is what works for me.  I strongly suggest each of you find what works for you.  I apologize if I sounded like I was demeaning any of these alternative methods or anybody's  efforts and was not trying to come across as high and mighty.

Let me add that it would be a good practice to take everything I say with a little grain of salt.  I definitely write a lot of this blog with a tongue-in-cheek attitude and a playful spirit.  I thought those who knew me would always get this about me, it's how I live my life.  But, I have found out over the years that I tend to offend way more often than I intend (wow, tend, offend and intend all used in the same sentence!) [so don't pretend - just kidding].  And, I have also realized that even those who know and love me don't always get my humor.  Okay, so I believe I am done with my current round of mea culpas.  Tomorrow I will get back on subject.  Here's to learning a small bit of tact and not offending those I care about...

276.6 : (

I could feel this coming last night.  We will discuss further tonight.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Joy of Compliments

One of the most motivating aspects of losing weight is when people start noticing.  Some of those compliments still make me smile hours later while walking on the treadmill.

For me, these people are broken down in to two groups.  The first group are those that know you are trying to lose weight... and, in my case, those who may be reading this blog and actually aware of my success.  When someone from this first group compliments you, it feels good and is a very satisfying feeling.  But, there is that little part of you that isn't sure whether they are just saying that because they know you are losing or whether they have truly noticed a change.  And, some of these people may not even be sure themselves.  The power of suggestion can be a very moving thing. 

The second group are those people who know nothing about your efforts.  Those include people you don't see as often or people you see who have not been bombarded by you pimping your blog via Facebook or e-mail!  While it shouldn't carry any more weight, compliments from this group are even more special.  When somebody who doesn't have a clue looks at you and notices that you have lost weight, it can make a day.  I have had a few of those over the last couple of days.  Today, two more people noticed and turned my typical Monday morning frown upside down.  While I trust the first group, this second group is completely unbiased.  Their thoughts are not swayed by anything other than your appearance.  Great day for compliments today.  And, while I am embarassed at the time, I am secretly beaming inside. 

Having these people notice and go on about how good you look is the reason that I don't want to see some people right now.  There are folks who I don't see daily who I hope not to run in to for about six months so the effect will be even more dramatic!  I can't wait for my brother to see me thinner whenever it is that one of us makes their way to see the other.  I look forward to my Mom and Rita coming out to Colorado in June.  I really look forward to December when I see all of the people who I usually only see during basketball season for the first time.  I get so excited about those "first" moments with so many friends and family that I found myself making stupid decisions because of it.  I had been thinking about getting together with my sisters and was going to call them both last week.  But, I found myself wanting to hold off so that I could lose a little more weight before I saw them again!  lol.  Of course, I eventually got over that rather silly thought process and we are planning to get together over the next two weeks.  But, I was laughing at myself this weekend as I shared this story with Lori and realized my obssession.  Here's to receiving endless compliments and the motivation they bring... 


A good day away from being under 275!  Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Best .4 Pounds I Have Ever Gained

I have said this here before, but one of the most irritating things about a couple of the days where I have made poor decisions is that I didn't even waste a bad moment on one of my favorite meals.  The holy trinity of temptations for me has been pizza, chicken wings, and Mexican food... specifically Mi Ranchito's.  I have also repeatedly talked about saying no to Mi Ranchito's on a couple of occasions already.  One of the tips my brother gave me is to plan these exceptions and to use them on things you really love.  For him, it is movie popcorn. I could add movie popcorn to my list of favorites as well... along with a Pagano's Super, a Musso's Fuhgeddaboutit, the lunch buffet at Tea Palace, a slopper at The Sunset, CiCi's pizza, Red Robin burgers and fries, P.F. Chang's, On The Border, The Brewery Bar... well, you get the point.  But, for some reason the first three things have been the three I have thought about the most often.

Yesterday, I woke up early to take some photographs of The March of Dimes Walk down at the Riverwalk.  After that, I had to leave to cover the 2010 John Neumann Panther Run, a combo walk/run fundraiser.  It was a breezy and overcast morning, but I had a ton of fun covering two very positive events that both included a lot of people walking or running!  Tons of positive energy at both events.  When I got home about four and a half hours later, I saw a U-Haul truck next door and realized our new neighbors were moving in.  So, I asked if they needed any help and they took me up on my offer... much to my chagrin.  lol.  About 30 minutes later, my two new neighbors, their two friends, and I had unloaded a large truck as fast as I had ever seen it done.  I was sweating, tired and my knee hurt.  So, I changed my clothes, grabbed my iPod, and headed for the athletic club that I was longing all morning for.  By the time I got home, my knee was hurting me even more.  So, I took a shower, got ready, and Lori and I went shopping.  We also intended to go to Giacomo's when we were done.  As we were leaving Lowe's, I mentioned that a margarita sounded really good.  Lori agreed and added that chips and salsa with that margarita sounded better than Giacomo's at that very moment.  So, we finally ended up at Mi Ranchito's!

We weren't let down.  I truly believe that Mi Ranchito's has the best margaritas around.  A perfect blend with a nice amount of tequila.  I consider myself a little bit of a connoiseur and I love margaritas.    Not sure if it's because we have been abstaining, but Lori and I were both feeling pretty good after splitting three margaritas.  Not sure I know of too many other places that have a mararita that can make me feel that way after only one!  Of course, the fact that I was close to a coma and utterly exhausted might have helped.  The chips and salsa were perfect and, while I would have liked my favorite Pork and Avocado Burritos, they really hit the spot and I again left a restaurant not feeling sick like I used to.  Yeah, Lori and I probably could have had one less basket of chips.  We could have skipped that extra margarita.  But, we still did pretty good and I was content that I was wasting calories on a couple of things I thoroughly enjoy!

I knew this morning would not be a good morning.  I was fully expecting a pound plus and told myself, even convinced myself, that I would not be upset.  So, I was even more content knowing I had such a fun night and only gained .4 pounds back.  So, 276.0, even.  I really would have been okay with even more.  But, .4 put a smile on my face.  We have a tentative plan to have a bad evening once a month.  Given the holy trinity above and wanting to spread the love around, it might be another three months before we return.  I look forward to that day.  Thanks Mi Ranchito for living up to expectations and making for a fun evening.  Love the food, love the salsa, love the hot salsa, love the wait staff and the service, and really love those margaritas!

When I was sitting on the couch last night, my body ached from a long day of photography, exercising, moving, and shopping.  At that moment, I thought that today might be a good day to take a break and let my body recuperate.  I was seriously considering ending my streak because my body was telling me it was time.  But, when I woke up this morning, I felt great.  Slept much better than the Mi Ranchito nights in the past.  My body felt great.  My knee felt great.  So, back to the club I went for a nice 3.53 mile stroll and some work on these flabby arms.  Here's to planned exceptions with no regrets...

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Good Morning!  Another pound shedded!  Off to capture some photos of the March of Dimes walk and the St. John Neumann Panther Run.  See you tonight.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Anthony's Athletic Club!

I love Friday nights at the club!  Why?  Well, a couple of reasons.  First, there is usually almost nobody in the building.  I can use my favorite treadmill.  I don't have to wait for any machines.  I felt like Lori and I owned the club for a moment as we walked on the treadmill with not a soul in sight.  The second reason is that I know that all those people who I normally see are either taking the night off or, more likely, out having a good time.  But, that makes me feel even better.  I feel great that I have made the choice to be there changing my life.  I love that the funnest thing that I can think of to do on a Friday night is working out at the Pueblo Athletic Club. 

When I am on the treadmill, I spend a lot of the time thinking about what I am going to post on this blog.  About five minutes in, I thought of a perfect topic.  Short but sweet.  By the 15 minute mark, I had forgotten!  I still can't remember what it was and I really don't feel like writing tonight.  Hopefully, it will come to me tomorrow.  Hopefully, it will still be relevant.  lol.  Hopefully, this is not a sign that I am spending too much time in the club!  Here's to spending Friday nights in the club even if that club is slightly different than it used to be...


Down another 1.2 pounds and confident now that the 280 barrier will never be seen again!  Two days ago, my May 1 goal seemed completely out of reach.  Now, I have a glimmer of hope.  If I don't quite make it, I hope to be at least within striking distance.  It was an agressive goal and one that I won't mind missing by a couple of pounds.  I was 291.0 on March 30 when I set these goals and have lost 14.4 pounds since, 25.8 since the start of this blog, and 36.2 since January.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm Proud Of You Lori!

Overshadowed by this blog about Anthony's road to health has been my wife Lori's equally as impressive path.  At every yoga class, Lori has been right there next to me.  Other than an occasional rest day to recuperate, she has been next to me on the treadmill.  And, even more impressive, she has not missed a beat with the weight machines and does a daily situp routine.  This morning, Lori weighed in at 199.2!  She has lost 35 pounds since mid-November of 2009.  This morning was the morning we have been waiting for like a newborn baby.  This morning was the morning that we expected Lori to drop below 200 pounds for the first time since... well, neither of us can recall it's been so long.  I can't tell you how proud I am of her.  This journey is way more satisfying with her along for the ride than it would be going solo.  She looks great and her success has motivated me even further.  I love looking over at her when we are working out and thinking about all of the additional years that we are adding to our lives together.  I love looking at her and thinking of the two of us being as thin as we were when we first met.  I look forward to growing old with her... gracefully and healthily, even if our kids will probably still be living with us.  I love you so incredibly much Lori Ann and I am extremely proud of everything you have accomplished. 

While I like to think of the number of days in a row that I have been in the club, that Las Vegas trip keeps getting in the way of me talking about my streak.  I like streaks, always have.  So, I will stop worrying about the six days in a row I did before I left and concentrate on the streak since.  Tonight was my 30th straight day in the athletic club since I got back from that vacation!  The last two nights have been the first two since I started where at least one of my feet, ankles, shins or knees did not hurt even a little at some time during my workout.  I think they are thanking me for the 35 pounds that they no longer have to carry.  That streak is even more important than the days in the club.  I love working out, always have.  Each night I leave the club on a incredible high.  I can't wait for Day 31.

Here's to joining my wife under the 200 pound barrier in the not so distant future...


My reward for being good at Tubby's?  277.8.  Nothing else could make me feel any better about my decisions yesterday than this morning's weigh-in.  Down 2.4 pounds from yesterday.  I had a feeling that a big number was coming.  But, this still surprised me.  Today will be a great day...  even if extenuating circumstances try to steer me from that position!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Today started off on a bad note.  To tell you the truth, it was just an extension of what was a crappy afternoon at work yesterday.  The weigh-in this morning was simply icing on the cake and made for a grumpy Anthony at work this morning.  At lunch, a group of co-workers asked me if I wanted to join them for lunch.  I can't remember the last time I left for lunch, but I needed to get out of the office so I accepted... with the caveat that my friends were charged with cheering me up.  I asked Leana where we were going to lunch and she shouted "Tubby's" from around the corner.  For a split second I thought maybe she had misunderstood me and though I had asked who was going to lunch!  I finally realized that Tubby's was a diner, a place that I vaguely remember seeing but had never had the pleasure of visiting.  Well, given my current saga, Tubby's does not sound like the kind of place a guy goes to find healthy fare.  And, the name is not deceiving.  Tubby's is your typical greasy spoon diner with a fine menu of tempting entree's.  I asked the group about their slopper and was told that it was pretty good.  Remember, I was still in a bad mood.  While I looked through the menu at other things, I knew I was actually going to get the slopper and a Pepsi.  I just didn't really care at that moment. 

So, the waitress turned to me for my order, I opened my mouth, and out came "a side salad and a water".  I am not even sure what happened.  I can only liken it to Obi-Wan Kenobi using his Jedi mind tricks on an unsuspecting storm trooper.   Like Bruce Almighty making the newsman talk jibberish.  Not sure who said side salad since I wanted a slopper!   But, I appreciate that voice.  Usually I go to places with good intentions and end up going the other way.  I can't tell you the number of times I have gone to Texas Roadhouse with the intent of having a salad or the trout only to have the words "Hearty Cut" come dancing off my tongue.  The salad was awesome.  I am not just saying that, or lying to myself, just to make myself feel better about the food I passed up.  It really hit the spot, was the perfect size, and actually went a long way towards turning my foul mood around.  I even tried a small bite of the slopper I had passed up and it made me feel even better.  Not a bad slopper.  Not the Sunset or Coors' Tavern either.  And, the fries were the kind of greasy home-cut fries that I really don't like.  So, I made a healthy choice that also, for me, turned out to be the best choice.  Of course, I have just lost any potential spokesperson opportunities with Tubby's as well.  lol.  I came back in a much better mood.  One bad mood, one bad day at work, one night of not enough sleep... none of these things is going to derail me.  Another small victory, but one of my most significant to date.

We went to yoga again tonight.  Getting a little bit better, but it still kicks my ass!  The positive is that we both had our own yoga mats tonight and at least one emotional hurdle has been eliminated.  Still wish the yoga class was at 9:00 P.M. instead of 7:00 P.M. so it was the last thing that I did at night before coming home, taking a shower, and going to bed.  Sally was glad to see us back.  She said that a lot of people never come back for that second class.  Well, Sally, I might not have wanted to, but I have a mat now so I have to!  Here's to going to places like Tubby's and not letting their names intimidate you in to bad choices...


Speechless... so much for not going back over barriers.  :(

Constant Reminders

While none of you reading this blog asked for my advice regarding weight loss, I am going to give it to you anyway...  at least in small doses over time.  In my mind, one of the biggest keys to losing weight is setting up your life with constant reminders.  This means putting things in place that serve as wake-up calls throughout your day.  I don't mean looking at a fat picture every other day.  I mean reminders at every turn.  Here are some of mine...
  • Until recently, my laptop password was "l1veord1e".  I enter this password first thing every weekday morning and repeatedly throughout the day any time I come back to my desk.  Talk about a great reminder!  That version of "live or die" became my motto for the day.  My new one has a similar message... but I will let you guess that one.
  • My previous laptop wallpaper was a picture from the book "Body Worlds" by Gunther von Hagens.  Those of you who have seen this exhibit can attest to how amazing and incredibly fascinating it is.  But, some of the displays can also be quite disturbing!  The most moving for me was the "Obesity Revealed, 2005" exhibit.  This exhibit shows side views of a 120 pound male and a 300 pound male.  The sight of the fat layer and it's effects on the internal organs of the 300 pound male is not only upsetting, but also revolting.  I scanned the two pages from my book and used it for my wallpaper.  Again, that disgusting image confronted me every morning.  I would share it here if I wasn't concerned of copyright violations.
  • My current laptop wallpaper is much more light-hearted, but equally as moving.  It is now an image that my brother Frank sent of his little girl and my niece, Giselle.  I have only met Giselle once when Lori and I visited San Diego last Spring for her Christening.  But, I love that little pumpkin dearly and love my photo and video fixes that I receive all too infrequently.  Recently, my brother sent a great picture of Gigi with a mischievous grin looking up at the camera.  That immediately became my wallpaper.  It is a reminder that I want to live long enough to see my niece graduate from high school in 17 years. 
  • My home page on my laptop and my photography computer at home is  Every time I click on the Internet Explorer icon, pops up!
  • The first page of my binder for work has a printout of my daily log.  That log includes my weight, food measurements, exercise, etc. and I will talk about it further in another post.  But, every time I open my binder, there is that page telling me where I stand on my quest!
  • This blog... I think it speaks for itself as a constant reminder.  Throughout the day I think about what I am going to write about in the evening.  Just thinking about telling all of my family and friends that I have been a schmuck keeps me from being one.
  • I have pictures that I look at from time to time.  These are pictures that I cut out of Men's Health magazine over the years that show the Before and After success stories.  I taped these on several pages and look at them on occasion and still am amazed at how different these people look in the "after" pictures.  Most of them don't even look like the same person.  A few of them look like the son of the "before" person.  Talk about truly inspiring!
  • There are subtle reminders too.  Letting people know of your goals, while contradictory to my normal motus operandi, has become a great thing.  People remind me even when I don't need reminding.  Friends grab food out of my hand (though this has only happened once!).  Some friends bring in breakfast sandwiches from McDonald's and give them all out before I get to work so they don't tempt me.  It's good to have people looking out for you and making those choices without your knowledge.
  • I weigh daily.  While there have been disappointing days, there is nothing like looking at that number to start your day!  And, I find it equally as motivating whether the news is good or bad.  On the good days, I feel elated and make great decisions all day because of the high I am on.  On the bad days, I am so irritated at myself that I don't let myself make bad decisions.  Talk about a win-win scenario!
This is just the start of my list and I am sure I am forgetting things.  I plan on adding more to it as time goes by.  While I hardly feel qualified to give advice at this juncture, I feel very strongly about this advice and it will become one of my Top Ten items when my list of weight loss tips supplants Dr. Oz's tips as the tips that people turn to when trying to lose weight.  Here's to surrounding yourself with positive reinforcements and to making people forget about Dr. Oz...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


As expected, my weight-loss pace has slowed slightly.  Partly because that is simply what happens and partly because I have raised my calories slightly to avoid hurting myself physically.  I may have to adjust some of my goals over the next three months.  But, I am good with that.  I have neglected myself for so many years that it would be foolish to want to undo all of that in a few months.  So, I find myself content with another .4 pounds off.  The thing is, I have already changed my life... it just might take the scale a little longer to realize and my body some time to catch up with my mind, heart and soul.

My Closet

I talked recently about my stubbornness regarding buying new clothing once I had passed the 300 pound barrier.  I was okay purchasing new wardrobes through about 290.  But, after that, my mind just couldn't bear accepting that I was really going to be this weight forever. Well, that stubbornness goes beyond even that.  In December of last year, I gathered up some KrogerWear (company clothing) certificates I had been accumulating over the last few years and finally placed an order.  The only problem?  I ordered everything in XXL even though I knew it wouldn't fit me.  So, not only was I resisting buying new clothes but I couldn't even order my current size in the free clothes I was getting.  This is not the first time either.  My closet is full of 2X stuff that I have never worn.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I was about 5 pounds away from having a much larger wardrobe!  One of the items I bought was a really nice winter jacket.  It didn't fit me this winter.  And, if I continue at my present pace, it may be too big for me next winter!  And, you know what?  I don't care.  I don't care if I never get to wear this jacket that I wanted so badly.  I will give it away or sell it and I will do either with a smile on my face...  and then I will ask for a new jacket for Christmas.  I hope that my current wardrobe of 2X clothing is too big by that time as well.

I don't plan on keeping this clothing either.  All of my "fat" clothes are going to Goodwill as soon as they no longer look good on me.  This is one of Dr. Oz's 10 rules to losing weight...

2. Thou Shalt Not Keep Bad Clothes in Your Closet - When you keep the clothes you wore at an unhealthy weight, it gives you a back-up plan if the pounds don’t come off. Instead, force yourself to stay on track by 86ing your “fat pants.” Send those fats pants, and clothes that are too big for you to Charities.

I agree!  If I fail this time, it's going to hurt mentally and financially!  My boss referenced Cortez and his burning of his fleet's ships last week.  I had never heard the story and, like I always do when I don't know something, had to research.  It seems that Hernando Cortez' fleet landed in Mexico and a small army of soldiers was faced with the dubious task of battling the Aztec empire.  To win the battle, Cortez needed his soldiers to have an "all or nothing" attitude.  So, he burned his own ships and told his army that they would return home in the enemies' ships!  And, they won.  And, so will I.  I like that mentality.  If you want to read more, here is a more detailed account of the story...

So, one of those shirts I ordered before Christmas finally fit!  I wore it last Friday and was overwhelmed with positive feedback about how nice the shirt looked and how much thinner I looked.  Nice day and a great feeling.  I still have a hard time taking any of these compliments to heart because I still feel like a big tub of goo.  But, I hope to one day truly believe each and every compliment bestowed upon me.

Today was another great day eating and a solid day on the treadmill... 3.48 miles.  Here's to finding hidden treasures I forgot I had in that closet of mine...

Monday, April 19, 2010


Sorry about taking yesterday off, but the day just got away from me.  Will be back tonight with the story of my closet.  See you then...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'll Take It... 279.8!

Under 280 for the first time in probably 18 to 24 months!  Just barely under that 280 barrier.  So, I need to have a good weigh-in tomorrow because it's a little quirk of mine that I don't want to go back over these barriers once I have broken them.  This weight was not good enough to keep me on pace for 270 by the end of April.  I now sit .6 pounds behind this Saturday's goal weight.  But, given how I started this week with my trip down obesity lane last weekend and the subsequent 2.6 pounds I gained last Sunday, it's encouraging.  Over the last six days since, I lost another 4.8 pounds.  Two more weeks just like that would put me almost right at 270.

After tweaking my ankle on Wednesday night, I have struggled through some pain over the last two nights.  Add to that the normal struggle I have on my Saturday morning workout after working late on Fridays and I was expecting to have a hard go of it this morning.  Giving in to a moment of OCD, I downloaded Adam Lambert's song "Whataya Want From Me" to my iPod with the intent of listening to it repeatedly until I knew the words or was worn out!  Well, it took me about 10 listenings to have all of the words, screams and grunts down.  I love that song!  But, I was feeling great.  After the twelfth time, my 45 minutes were up but I was feeling so good that I kept going.  I looked at my distance and knew I wanted to get to 4 miles.  So, in another OCD moment, I got in a zone and just kept going, determined to set a new distance mark.  At just under 57 minutes, I got to the 4 mile mark for the first time since I started this journey.  By the time my two minute cool down was over, I had travelled 4.18 miles.  The ankle didn't bother me at all.  I was dripping with sweat... and I love that feeling.  I love sweating so much that it starts dripping off my forearms and pooling on the sides of the treadmill.  I still felt great while lifting and came home on a high!  Here's to sweat dripping off of your forearms...

Friday, April 16, 2010


Seriously, can a brother get another .1 pounds!  I guess the 270s will have to wait another day.  Upped my caloric intake over the last two days.  Feel like I am eating all day long.  But, today was the first day I wore one of the XXL shirts that have been sitting in my closet since I ordered them in December!  Nice.

An Unexpected Byproduct

Yesterday, a fellow member left me a really nice comment on this blog.  This is what Judi from Wisconsin had to say...

I love reading your blog. Keep up the good work! I am on a weight journey myself and find your blogs inspiring. Really enjoyed your blog about yoga. Shared it with a friend who is an instructor. She shared it with her class. Hope you don't mind. I am also using the site Keep writing....

That comment made my day for a couple of reasons.  First, it was pretty cool thinking that a yoga class in Wisconsin was hearing the story of my first yoga class!  Nice.  I hope everyone in that class had as much fun hearing it as I did writing my account of that night.  That thought made me smile for the rest of the day. 
Secondly, it's a great feeling hearing that you may actually be inspiring someone.  My sole reason for creating this blog was accountability to family and friends.  A mental parole officer who was going to have me check in daily and and monitor my progress.  I did this for me.  While I never expected to actually provide any inspiration to others, it is an incredible feeling to hear that!  Almost inspiring in itself.  If you think I felt a lot of pressure to stay on track before, just think about the added pressure of trying to stay on the right path for those people who may be reading this for inspiration!  Talk about accountability!
I am not naive enough to think that this blog will change hundreds of lives.  But, if Judi alone was inspired enough to win her battle, to make better choices, and live a healthier life, I would be ecstatic.  Keep reading Judi because your comment inspired me equally as much as this blog did you.  Thanks to everyone else who has said similar comments to me in person and on Facebook.  As I said, hopefully at least one of those people using this as inspiration will be successful!  That's great motivation when I am struggling on the treadmill.  Great motivation when I am making choices about what I am going to eat.  Heres to successful journies for Judi and countless others...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Knock On Wood

I knew this day was going to happen and I would have laid odds that today was going to be the day.  I jinxed myself... and I forgot to knock on wood.  Twice yesterday, I had a conversation and pointed out that I had yet to gain weight on the days I had worked out and eaten less than my calorie goal.  In my last 30 weigh-ins, I had gained weight only 7 times.  On every single one of those occasions I knew exactly what I had done the day before to make that happen.  While I knew that my body would have small ups and downs on it's slow march to a better place, I had yet to experience that.  Well, that streak is over.  I burned 680 calories last night.  I ate a few more calories than I had been eating, though still under my goal.  And yet, I woke up this morning .6 pounds heavier.  I am definitely more in tune with my body now and I could feel it this morning.  My salt intake was way too high yesterday.  I used the sauce for the chicken lettuce wraps at lunch and again in the evening.  That hot mustard, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, sesame oil mix is a brutal high-sodium combo, but oh so tasty.  So, I think it's water retention and I will modify my salt today accordingly to see if I can remedy this.  I am not upset this morning like I have been the last few times I have gained.  Those were definitely my fault.  While I have some culpability for the salt I consumed, I am not fully blaming myself and will expect a big drop tomorrow morning... talk about the eternal optimist!  I knew I should have knocked on wood...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Another 1.2 pounds of fat kicked to the curb!  Only .9 pounds to go to be back in the 270s.  Eating Kashi Go Lean Hearty All Natural Instant Hot Cereal with Clusters this morning.  After taking my first bite, I realized that this is a really fancy name for oatmeal!  Not bad... good enough that I will try to add it to my morning ritual.  But, I have never been an oatmeal fan and it's still not my favorite. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1,160 Calories!

My office is out near the Pueblo Airport and, because of this, I have a tendency to rarely leave for lunch.  On occasion, I will join a group of people to grab something in town.  But, usually, I grab my food and take it back to my office and work through lunch.  Not very sociable, I know.  It's not that I dislike fraternizing with my co-workers... I actually really like the people I work with. It's just that I don't like wasting that time.  That is why I don't leave the office.  I don't want to drive 40 minutes and add whatever time it takes to eat my lunch, grab a lunch, or run an errand.  I just feel too busy in both my work life and home life to spend time traveling or chatting in the lunch room... he says as he spends at least 15 minutes a day blogging incessantly about his life.  In the end, this is probably good for me as I tend to eat a lot slower at my desk than I do in the lunchroom or any restaurant.  I get busy with stuff and take an occasional break and it slows me down from the usual break-neck pace that I eat at.

Today, I broke away because I just plain felt like getting out of the office.  I went to a favorite place of mine to relax and take a break, Barnes and Nobles.  I could spend hours in B&N, actually more like days or even weeks.  I think the magazine rack alone could interest me for a month straight.  By the time I got through reading most of the magazines, they would be re-stocking the shelves with the latest month's issues.  Maybe not quite as soothing as yoga, but I can always find solace and plenty of good reads at B&N. 

Not sure why I am telling you any of this other than to explain how I found myself at the Burger King nearby.  I wanted something quick.  There I was in line watching one person after another order something bad that looked oh-so-good.  My mind wandered between the Double Cheeseburger, the Whopper Jr., and my favorite Original Chicken Sandwich.  In the end, I got two tacos.  Maybe not as good as a side salad, but these tacos were still only 230 calories combined.  Given the fact that I am now on my third straight day of eating all day and still not getting to 1,000 calories, I was fine with that number and probably should have eaten two more!

While it is too late to make a long story short, here is the gist of my story.  While I was waiting for my food, I noticed that there was a nutritional chart on the wall for the entire Burger King menu.  Very cool!  Not sure if this has always been there and my Original-Chicken-Sandwich-loving brain just never registered it.  But, I have never seen this before.  As I glanced rewardingly at the nutrional information of all of the items I had passed, something caught my eye.  The chocolate shake was 960 calories.  Almost 1,000 calories for one drink!  I immediately thought of the nights in the summer when Niko or Kelsea would go on a Sonic/McDonald's run to pick up Slushes and shakes and the times I would order the large chocolate shake at Mickey D's.  No wonder I weigh over 280 pounds!

So, I sent Lori a text asking her to look up the McDonald's version.  She found the McDonald's nutrional information on a nifty little site.  If you frequent McDonald's and are curious about what you are eating, then this is a great URL for you.

So, the verdict?  The 32 oz. McDonald's Chocolate Triple Thick Shake is 1,160 calories!  Seriously?!  1,160 calories.  That makes my head spin.  One shake, that we sometimes had a couple nights in a row, is more than the calories I have eaten each of the last three days.  The standby when I wasn't feeling like drinking something so fattening was the Sonic Route 44 Lemon Berry Slush.  Good choice Einstein... that drink is only a measly 617 calories!  Oops.  Well, now I know better.  Here's to becoming educated and all of the resources available online to help you do just that...

282.0... again

I still suck... but a little less this morning.  Great night at the club, 3.4 miles, and I did great with my food intake as well... including passing up the monthly birthday pies at work (yes, we alternate between cake and pie, don't ask).  Got home and cooked an almost perfect imitation of P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  I was stuffed and still not able to get my calories anywhere near where I need to be.  Oh well, still feeling good.  By the end of the week, I hope to break another one of those barriers!

Downward Facing Hog

So, I have been meaning to tell the story of my first yoga class.  I have always wanted to give yoga a shot based on it's relaxation, meditative, strength, and flexibility components... all of which I could use heavy doses of.  So, Lori and I ventured in to our first yoga class last Thursday evening.  Now starting any new fitness class can be a little intimidating.  But, because of our lack of yoga knowledge this class seemed even more so.  It is uncomfortable that first night not knowing what to expect.  There is always that sense that everyone knows each other in the room except for you... and a little feeling that they may all be pointing at you and talking.  Combine that with the fear of not actually being up to the task and it can be rather daunting. 

Regardless, we made our way in to the room at the Pueblo Athletic Club, grabbed a mat, and found a spot in the back of the room where most newbies seem to congregate.  Now if the lack of yoga knowledge or skill wasn't enough to announce to the group that we were first-timers, the fact that we grabbed one of the rubber public mats certainly was!  Everyone else in the class pulled out their personal yoga mats and, while I am sure I imagined it, gave us looks of disdain. 

On top of everything else, I was the only male in a class full of females.  Females who not only knew yoga but could easily have taught the class.  Females who were so limber that I knew they were secretly contortionists.  Females who were not beginners like me.  Yes, I knew those people walking down the hall and glancing in were at least having a small giggle at the old fat guy in the middle of this room!

Contrary to those feelings that we just crashed somebody's yoga party, our instructor, Sally, was extremely friendly and helpful.  She guided us through a variety of yoga positions and continually reminded us to not push too hard and that it was okay if we couldn't do everything.  I didn't need Sally to tell me this, my body was plenty vocal and my knee specifically was not happy with some of the poses.  Lori and I muddled through about half of the class when we came to Adho Mukha Svanasana, commonly referred to as Downward Facing Dog.  As my body pointed to the sky in an ugly inverted V-shaped position not as pretty as the pictures of DFD I have seen online, my arms started to scream at me and began to shake ever so slightly.  Sweat dripped off my forehead.  My knee hurt.  My V looked more like an upside down U.  My shirt fell towards my face exposing my still-too-large stomach and I right then knew I was doing the Downward Facing Hog!

Eventually, we ended up lying on our backs in a cool-down position.  As my limbs took turns melting in the floor, I thought I might actually fall asleep.  This might be the part that I was looking forward to the most... letting my world go for a few minutes.  I will caution all of you who have never experienced yoga to not plan on doing your aerobic exercise immediately afterwards.  By the time Sally was done with me, my legs felt like lead weights when I started walking.  It was a struggle simply waking up.

When the class finished, our instructor was kind enough to tell us that we did a good job and that we should continue to do only what we could manage.  While I know she was being sincere, my translation of what Miss Sally said was, "Yoga's not for you fat boy!".  But, Miss Sally, I will return this Wednesday to try your patience again.  lol. 

Yoga kicked my ass!  Not that this was a huge surprise.  I knew it was a tough discipline and was expecting it to do just that.  But, I was worn out when I left that room.  But, at the same time I felt extremely energized.  Nice feeling.  I like yoga... for now.  Here's to proving to Miss Sally, well actually to myself, that fat boy is not a quitter...

Monday, April 12, 2010


I can't remember the last time I was 283.4.  Oh wait, yeah I do, it was LAST THURSDAY!  Back on track.  But, I still suck.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Suck!

I am a weak human being.  I didn't even want to post a blog entry today.  But, that is why I am doing this.  This is the "accountability" portion of this exercise.  As much as I would love to share only good stories, I feel obligated to share the bad as well.  So, as embarassing as this post is for me, here goes nothing.

Yesterday, after my 2.6 pounds lost and a great workout, I left the club on another high.  I think I have mentioned how emotional I am and how that has increased with age... okay, I am a big sap.  And, for some reason, this journey has made me even more emotional.  When I left the club I was listening to "Feeling Good" by Muse.  That's exactly how I was feeling and I got that all too familiar chill and got teary-eyed with excitement.  I felt an all-time high in confidence at that moment.

Lori and I left a short time later for Denver to watch Niko coach a basketball game and to go to a Colorado Rockies game.  Somewhere along that drive, all of that resolve and all of that tough love I had given myself the day before flew out the window.  Maybe it was an altitude thing, but when we got to the Coca Cola suite I immediately forgot everything I said and that feeling I had on Friday morning.  I assume the way I forget these bad moments must somehow be the same mechanism that women use to forget the pain of pregnancy.  This, of course, is a great thing for mothers because it allows them to have more than one child.  But, for fat pigs such as myself, this mechanism does not work so well.

The fare in the suite started out with some Philly cheese steak sandwiches and some hotdogs and brats and continued to grow from there!  A veritable smorgasbord of temptations from cheese pizza to queso dip to guacamole to 7-layer dip to salsa to hot dogs to brats to peanuts to some kind of meat lover's pizza to the afore-mentioned Philly cheese steak sandwiches (my favorite).  Throw in a couple of beers and I had full confirmation that I do not have even a thread of willpower.  My biggest weakness is not only all of these fattening food choices, it's made worse by the fact that all of these delights were free!  Before I continue, let me add another thank you to Jeff Krams and an even bigger thank you to Rob Coulter and Coca Cola for a great time.  Great game, great food, great company.  I might add an additional thanks to Rob for bringing his five year old son Austin.  My trips with Austin to search for vampire bats in Coors Field was one of the few things I did that actually removed calories!   On Friday, the day that I was furious with myself, I ate only 828 calories.  When I entered the damages today I realized that I had quietly eaten 2,698 calories yesterday!

I expected to see a bad number this morning.  But, I never expected to see the same 2.6 pounds lost the previous morning back on the scale!  Yes, this morning's weight was 284.6 again!  Again.  Again.  Same crappy feeling.  Same regret.  Went to the club and worked even harder today.  I found myself getting teary-eyed again on the treadmill but this time it wasn't one of those moments of elation.  I was upset with myself.  Walked about 10 minutes longer and went 3.85 miles and burned 786 calories.  And, I know this is not healthy so please refrain from the reprimands, I ended up only consuming 734 calories today.  So, my calories from exercise alone were more than my intake.  

I am hoping to be somewhat back on track in the morning.  My biggest frustration is that I would like to be able to attend a sporting event and not go through this.  What I don't want to do is say it's just easier to say no and not even go.  Yeah, that works.  But, I need to be stronger than that so I can enjoy these moments.  So, to prove that I have finally figured this out, I challenge any vendor of ours... heck, any vendor out there... to give me a couple of tickets to your suite during the Nuggets playoff run, preferrably versus the Los Angeles Lakers.  I will prove that I can enjoy that suite without gaining any weight the next day.  I look forward to hearing back from you.

Trying to stay positive, here are a couple of other tidbits.   Other than my Las Vegas trip, I have now been in the club and on the treadmill every single day over the last 32 days.  I had been doing minimal weight on the machines while my body and my connecting issue got through that initial pain.  Yesterday, I finally started to feel like I was lifting weights and increased the weights on all of my exercises.  And, today, I did not eat a single sample at Sam's club.  Maybe not a suite, but it's a start.  Tomorrow, a story about my first yoga class last week.  Here's to not seeing 284 on the scale for a fourth time in a week and ever again...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

282.0!!!!!! Tough Love Works It's Magic Again!

Back on track!  The only positive thing about the days where I have not been good is the fact that I have always come back the next day with a vengeance.  I have yet to let these moments change my overall spirit despite the momentary bouts of anger with myself ("rage" my be a little more appropriate).  And I appreciate all my loved ones letting me know that it was just one day.  That I was having a good time with my son.  That there are going to be bad days.  I really do.  And, there is a small part of me that agrees.  But, for now... at this early point of a long journey, I need some "tough love".  And, if nobody in my world of loved ones is going to provide it, then I plan on continuing to take on that role myself!  It is working for me.  That 1.2 gained fueled me yesterday.  Made me go to the club despite energy levels at a low because of my lack of sleep the night before.  Made me eat right the entire day.  Made me throw away that handful of popcorn that I mindlessly grabbed in the afternoon (that's really more of a diverticulitis concern than a weight concern).  That disappointment in myself lead to a 2.6 pound drop this morning!  That disgust in that weigh-in lead to me now being 1.8 ahead of my 270-by-the-end-of-April goal! 

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Bittersweet Night... 284.6

The original title to last night's post was going to be "An Evening With 'Melo, Kobe, and my boy".  I was taking my son to see his hero.  And, "hero" may be understating my son's infatuation with Kobe Bryant.  Thanks to Jeff Krams, Christy Stickley, and Anheuser Busch, I was thrilled to surprise him with tickets to last night's Nuggets vs. Lakers game.  But, alas, there were two issues with that blog post. 

The first being that I couldn't get my iPhone to cooperate with my blog host and it just wouldn't let me complete the blog while driving to Denver.  By the time I got home at 1:40 A.M., I no longer had the energy to blog.  The second issue is that somebody from that title was noticeably missing.  Kobe Bryant didn't even play!  As a matter of fact, Kobe did not even make the trip.  We both expected that his minutes might be limited because the Lakers didn't need the win.  But, I don't think either of us could have imagined him staying home in L.A.!

In the end, we got over our disappointment... and only a few tears were shed.  We had a great time and enjoyed the game and the ride back and forth.  Always nice sharing quality time with your kiddos.

Unfortunately, the bitterness does not just end with Kobe.  I gained 1.2 pounds this morning.  I again find myself disappointed in my willpower but remain undaunted.  Niko apologized that he was with me for the last two times that I have strayed.  Not his fault, but their is some irony that the fittest person in my world is now sabotaging my efforts.  lol.  Of course, I kid.  This is absolutely nobody's fault but my own.  As I was verbalizing my irritation at myself on the way home, he tried to help by saying it was hard being in a suite with free drinks and not having the best food choices available.  I agreed outwardly.  But, internally, I knew better.  That's bullshit!  A complete and total copout for me to believe.  Those are the things you say to yourself when you are justifying bad behavior.  Those kind of beliefs lead to 1.2 pounds gained and eventually back to 300 pounds.  I could have easily had water instead of three Bud Lights.  Despite that overwhelming feeling of obligation that you get sitting in the Anheuser Busch suite, there really is no rule that you must partake in the Budweiser products that they have made available!  And, I didn't need to eat the deluxe nachos that we bought or the kettle chips and cashews that were provided in the suite.  I could have skipped the snacks.  I could have found something a little bit better for me than the deluxe nachos!  Heck, even a hot dog would have been fewer calories. I screwed up.  No excuses.  No justification.  I was weak.  Shame on me.

And, I paid for it immediately... as it should be.  My only good news on this morning is that I did not go back above my last barrier of 285.  Really trying to make sure I do not ever cross back over these barriers once I have broke them.  Today will be a good day.  My only issue will be fighting the urge to starve myself.  As of yesterday, I was .4 pounds below Saturday's goal weight.  Now I am .8 behind with a day to go.  I went from being ahead of pace to likely missing this week.  Here's to never allowing yourself to justify bad behavior...

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Another disappointing weigh-in and a disheartening two-day trend.  Even more disheartening considering that I spent two and a half hours at the club last night.  Time to revisit what I am eating and look beyond the calories to the mix of protein, fat, etc.  Discouraged slightly.  A part of me is still thrilled to see a lower weight for the 15th consecutive day.  And, nothing in my mindset has changed.  If it takes me 418 more days to get under 200, then I will happily celebrate that milestone on May 31, 2011.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Truly Inspiring!

As I promised, today's post is an inspirational story that my brother, Frank, shared with me yesterday.  We have talked about interventions and I have expressed my belief that there is no value in them.  I truly don't believe that knowing people love and care for you has any bearing when it actually comes down to making choices. Not that it hurts.  But, I know that when I am grabbing that piece of pizza, or somebody is drinking that first drink of the night, or when a junkie is sliding that needle in, that it makes no difference.  I think people have pivotal events in their life that are eye-opening.  Those events might be a car crash, a hospital stay, or some other catastrophic event.  Or they may be as simple as a night at Kohl's shopping for clothing for your son.  There is no rhyme or reason... simply a switch that gets moved from one position to another.  Some event that uniquely moves a person differently than any other event.  And, not everyone experiences that event... or maybe some people just don't have anything that moves them other than the addiction itself.  If you don't understand the Kohl's reference, then please take a few moments right now to read the very first post in this blog.  I will wait...

Some of you may remember playing Sonic the Hedgehog and having Mr. Sonic get irritated and start tapping his foot when you weren't moving and he grew impatient with you.

Okay!  Back?  I think that background helps knowing my motivation and might go towards illustrating how different these pivotal moments can be.  Mine, while moving to me, doesn't hold a candle to the girl's moment in this story.  So, here it is... straight from my brother's e-mail.

"I remember a girl I used to work with that was an alcoholic.  She wasn't a very pleasant person to be around and used to go get hammered every night and drag herself into work all hungover.  That had been going on for 10+ years.  She thought of getting help, but never did.  She already had a few DUIs.  One night, she was a bit tipsy and driving her car.  It was raining out and she pulled up behind someone at a stop sign. She doesn't brake in time and accidentally runs into the back of him.  She gets out and it's pouring.  She begins walking up to the other car.  The guy she hit calmly gets out of his car, walks up to her, gives her a shove and calls her a "stupid bitch".  She falls backwards on her butt and is sitting in the middle of the road getting rained on.  He turns around and gets back into his car and drives away.  She's been sober ever since.  That story gives me chills.  It was as if God himself had gotten out of the car and done exactly what needed to be done for her to finally wake up.  She had a moment of pure clarity and realized what a mess she was and how much of her life she was wasting.  What's amazing is it changed her entire life.  She went from a grumpy, very mean-spirited woman to a nice, calm, very caring person.  And, boy it did wonders for her physically.  She almost glowed after she sobered up.  It was such a transformation."

WOW!  I get chills every time I read that.  Again, not the same kind of story as mine.  Actually, it makes mine seem kind of boring.  Maybe I should have left this out!  lol.  But, my moment had the same impact despite all differences.  Hopefully, her story might actually be the pivotal moment for some of you.  Here's to anyone who is fighting their own personal demons hopefully experiencing their own pivotal moment...


Why am I so disappointed when I only lose .4 pounds?!  That comes out to 146 pounds in a full year! 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Status Update

It has been four weeks since my first blog entry and tomorrow will be the four-week weigh-in.  A lot has changed in those four weeks and I thought it was time for my first reflection and status update.

Four weeks ago, I got on the treadmill for the first time in ages.  That night, I walked for 35 minutes, burned 323 calories, and traveled 1.71 miles.  Within a week I was walking 45 minutes and now I almost have to make myself stop.  Tonight I walked 3.42 miles and burned 715 calories!  Didn't realize the significance of the mileage until just now.  Tonight I walked exactly double what I walked that first night.

Four weeks ago (or slightly less), I weighed 302.6 pounds.  Only two weeks ago, because of my detour to Vegas, I still weighed 297.6.  This morning I weighed 284.0.  Down 18.6 from the first time I weighed and announced it to the world and down 13.6 in just under two weeks.

Four weeks ago, my stomach hurt when I walked because of the extra weight I was carrying.  I could feel the weight of my stomach bouncing with each step.  Tonight, I felt no pain in my stomach when I walked.

Four weeks ago, my XXXL shirts were frighteningly close to no longer fitting me.  Today, they fit comfortably.  My XXL shirts also fit enough to wear them.  But, I want another 5-10 pounds so they fit nicely.

Four weeks ago, I felt like crap.  Today I feel great!  My energy levels are up.  My confidence is up!  

Four weeks ago, I wanted, hoped, prayed I could lose some weight before it was too late.  Today, I no longer hope. I know that I will be successful.

Four weeks ago, I didn't know how to say no.  Now, not only do I say it often, but it is starting to get easy.

Today, a co-worker asked what my weaknesses were and asked specifically if bread was one of them.  I responded that bread was indeed one of the saboteurs.  Another co-worker said that she would be ruining my diet next week because she was bringing in a bread vendor with plenty of free samples.  I politely informed her that was not going to happen.  And, without question, I know that it is not going to happen.  I am absolutely unconcerned regardless of what vendor and what wares are placed before me like evil temptresses.

And, one more thing, I am not on a diet.  This is no short-term change of eating habits.  This isn't the five pound diet I need to fit in to my Speedo (sorry for the imagery, I really don't own one... anymore!) for the summer.  This isn't like last year when I wanted to lose some weight before graduation season.  This isn't a grapefruit-eating, pill-popping, cottage-cheese eating, shot-taking, stomach-stapling, lap-belting, jenny-craig-shake-drinking, weight-watching phase I am going through (and no offense to anyone who has taken any of the mentioned meausures, I fully understand the need and good on ya).  This is a lifestyle change.  I will not partake in the breadfest next week and I will not partake in the breadfest when it returns next year!  I will not eat the Reese's Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Egg this Easter.  And, I will not eat that same egg next Easter either.

Tomorrow I will share a truly inspirational story that my brother shared with me today.  Stay tuned.  Here's to four more weeks of continued successes...


I don't need no stinkin' milk chocolate covered peanut butter egg!  Another 1.2 pounds gone.  For most people in this world, our weight consists of three numbers.  For those who have experienced that first number of the three changing any time after about the age of 18, it is very traumatic.  That number, whether it be 200, 300 or something else, becomes the first barometer of success.  If I can just break 300.  Done.  People who are losing weight then start breaking their goals down in to tens.  If I can just break 290.  Done.  Well, for me, I have started breaking it down in to groups of five.  The last one was... if I can just break 285.  Done.  The next is 280! 

P.S. My wife ended up skipping the egg last night as well!  Very proud of you Lori!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg

I know you are all probably tired of my little success stories.  But, I guarantee that I have shared far more embarassing stories than success stories on this blog.  At the moment, I am on a little bit of a roll and need to get all of the success stories out of my system.  I also guarantee that I will return with plenty more embarassing stories in the future.  

I am not a real big chocolate or sweets fan.  Good thing too, or I would likely weigh 400 pounds instead of 300!  But, I do have a few things that I still like in the sweets department.  Cheese cake, Richella Stawski's bon bons, Jean Sharpe's pumpkin whoopies, Oreo whoopies, and Reece's Peanut Butter Cups.  Even better than the cup is the annual production of the Reese's Egg!  We don't keep a ton of candy in the house.  But, we typically by a nice supply of the eggs every year around Easter.  But, impressively, Lori did not buy any this year.  But then, my son, who likes sweets even less than I, gave her grief for not buying any... he was mostly kidding.  Not that he wants more than one every other day.  But, it is one of his few exceptions to eating good all the time. 

Then at work, I grabbed a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup out of a co-worker's office only to have my friend, Russ, grab it out of my hand and throw it in the trash!  That's what friends are for and I gave him a fist bump for the effort!  I think I grabbed it out of habit and wasn't even thinking.

Well, I gave in to my boy and encouraged my wife to buy some eggs for him.  Tonight, I came home and, to my horror, spotted the pile of four packs of Reese's Eggs.  Four packs, 24 eggs!  With Russ out of the picture I once again reached out for a milk chocolate and peanut butter temptation.  But, before I opened the package I decided to peruse the nutritional info and was shocked when I read 170 calories.  170 calories!  I was expecting a minimum of 100 calories but this was still an eye-opener.  I threw the egg back, thinking to myself that I might consider it after dinner if my calories were substantially lower than my goal for the day. 

That thought faded quickly when I got to the club and started working out.  I fought through nagging shin splits for a little over 10 minutes before my legs stopped hurting.  That same 10 minutes that it would take to burn off one Reese's Egg!  The egg stopped sounding as good.  Truth be told, I think I knew when I threw it back down on the counter that I wasn't going to have it.  Over an hour at the gym, a good dinner, and an incredible NCAA Basketball National Championship game later, any desire for that egg had completely vanished. 

To top it off, I made that decision with plenty of calories to burn.  I have stayed under my calorie goal on a consistent basis.  But, this goal is based on a weight loss of two pounds per week... nowhere near the goals I have set.  I have found that it has been relatively easy to be under that goal by somewhere between 300-900 calories.  But, today was even lower than normal.  After working out, the website still showed that I had 1,453 calories to burn.  Calories aplenty for that egg...  but desire not so much.  Another temptation, another no, another small victory.  Here's to friends helping you say no... or at least taking the time to get there on your own...


I have to say that this is the most excited I have been over losing only .4 pounds in a day!  This .4 pounds validated my small victory at the Golden Corral.  I dreaded getting on that scale this morning.  I actually wondered last night if I was lying to myself when I gave myself a B+/A- score for my day at the buffet.  But, after this morning, I moved that up to a solid A-!  I went to an all-you-can-eat buffet and still lost weight.  It doesn't get any better than that.  Now, my only issue is seeing 285 as the first three digits on that scale the last three mornings.  I am ready for that to change to 284 tomorrow. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gunfight at the O.K. (Golden) Corral

Happy Easter!

Shortly after proclaiming that I would never go to a buffet ever again (please see the blog after my return from Las Vegas), my wife reminded me that her grandmother was taking us to Golden Corral for Easter.  My shoulders dropped...  oops!  So, I immediatley started talking about trying to be good, but I wasn't actually convincing myself.  Over the two weeks since, my resolve grew stronger with each passing day.  I went from just talking about it to having a lot of conviction.  As of Thursday this week, I was actually anxious and looking forward to the meal just to prove my new resolve.

Today was the day.  The ulitmate test.  A buffet.  I felt great driving over there.  I was still convinced when we got in the doors.  But then, as we were being seated, I started looking at all of the good food I really wanted to try.  I looked at a seafood section that has been substantially expanded since my last visit.  Pizza that always looks good to me.  And, yes, when even GC pizza looks that good, you know you are addicted.  I started well.  A little Bourbon Chicken, some baked tilapia, a salad, some broccoli, some cauliflower.  That would have been perfect had I quit then.  But then, I broke down and had a little bit of Orange Chicken.  In the end, I wasn't quite as good as the original plan.  I wasn't near as strong as I thought I would be.  But, I was still under my calorie goal for the day.  And, I stepped away from the table and didn't feel sick.  I walked away full, but comfortable.  Compared to the failure of my last buffet, I give today's effort an A- to a B+.  In the end, I may never be strong enough to go to a buffet and be as good as I need to be.  But, I learned that if I ever find myself in that situation, I can still go and not eat like a small horse. 

My weight loss for the day was only .2 pounds.  I think that the last time I had .2 pounds lost and then followed it up with 1.6 pounds helped me to be a far less grumpy Anthony.  It also helped that the club was open on Easter.  Lori thought they would be closed and told me this as we left the club on Saturday.  I thought I might cry.  So, I ran back in to find out that they were indeed open and I was elated.  Another good day at the treadmill.  Not looking forward to the scale in the morning.  But, I will be fine with whatever it tells me and know that I am starting a new week in a lot better shape than I started the last.  Here's to kicking the buffet's ass, even if it wasn't a knockout...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day... 285.6... 3.30 miles!

There is a moment each day when I am on the treadmill that I feel truly inspired!  Usually, it is connected with an upbeat song that I really love.  I think to myself how great I feel and how I am changing my life.  That combination of song and exercise is almost euphoric and, despite sweating my butt off, I feel a chill go through my whole body.  I end up smiling, I can't help myself.  A Chesire Cat grin that must be a little creepy to fellow club members if they happen to glance over.  A grin and a feeling like I have finally figured this out.  A grin that reflects the knowing that I am going to make this happen this time.  Today's song was "It's A Beautiful Day" by U2.  A perfect song to reflect the way I felt this morning. 

The memory of my disappointing weigh-in from yesterday has been replaced with a much better 1.6 pounds lost and my new weight of 285.6!  To add to the beauty of the day, I felt great on the treadmill and walked a new high, 3.30 miles.  Did some machine work and came home for a light lunch.  A beautiful start to a beatiful day!  Here's to more euphoric moments and increasing my chances to experience more beautiful days...

Friday, April 2, 2010

When No Really Means No

One of my goals is to eventually get to the point where it is no longer difficult to say no.  I mean really saying no.  Not the no-but-I-really-want-to-say-yes-because-that-pizza-sounds-wonderful-why-are-you-tempting-me-this-way kind of no.  Not the kind of no that is followed by a sigh and slight bit of drool from my mouth over the food that I have just been offered and turned down.  Not the kind of no that feels like I am making the biggest sacrifice in the world.  But, a simple no, and a thank you.  Not that I expect this no to actually mean that I no longer desire some of these foods.  I just want to say it with conviction.  I want my body to be so tuned in to how it's affected by these foods that I no longer am actually tempted.  An easy no.

Tonight I had one of those moments.  When I got home from work, my son asked me if I wanted Taco Bell.  I said no.  Not because I knew I shouldn't.  But, because I actually didn't want Taco Bell.  Okay, it's a small victory.  I do like Taco Bell.  But, it doesn't usually agree with my stomach.  So, I don't eat a lot of it anymore anyways.  A small victory, yes.  But, at this point, I am taking any victory I can find.  And, yeah, I probably just ruined any chance of being a Taco Bell spokesman with this statement.  That's okay for two reasons.  Despite the recent light menu commercials aired by Taco Bell, I still can't quite get it in my head that they have become a healhty alternative.  And, as I mentioned before, I still am hoping to become the spokesperson for The Earl of Sandwich!

Despite my grumpy behaviour at only losing .2 pounds, I still managed to have a great day eating and working out.  Another 3.22 miles and 685 calories.  Skipped the mayo on my sandwich today... another baby step in my journey.  Here's to just saying no and actually meaning it...

287.4 : (

I knew this day was coming.  But, it doesn't make it any easier.  Yesterday felt like another solid day.  But, for whatever reason, the body didn't react accordingly.  So, I am grumpy today!  Sorry in advance to those who have to deal with me today.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sorry If I Ruined Your Pool

Let me start by saying that I have done some really dumb things in my life. And, I see you guys nodding your head out there.  I was thinking back to high school when my friend, Dean Furlong, and I started a pool in our drafting class about what a classmate would wear each day. This particular kid had probably three t-shirts that were the exact same raglan sleeve design with slightly different color variations, similar to the one below in colors like blue/gray, gray/blue, gray/black.

So, one day we started a pool in class for $1 per person to guess which one he would wear on each Friday.  That may have been the start of my bookie career as I have continued to run all of the office pools, fantasy football, etc. to this day.  Again, I am not proud... even feel bad about it now.  My motto has always been "stupid kids do stupid things and all kids are stupid"!  The only thing I can say in our defense is that this particular kid was not ever made aware of the pool... at least as far as I know.

As I said in a previous post, I have always liked nice clothes.  I enjoy dressing well.  But, I enjoy it far less than I used to and it has gotten worse with each pound gained.  The first reason is that it is just plain difficult to find the same selection of clothing being a heavy person.  Maybe companies don't believe that obese people like nice clothes.  Who knows?  Since I am not planning to be a part of that club soon, it is not something I plan to fret over any more.  The second reason is that I am stubborn.  I simply refuse to go out and buy a wardrobe full of more fat clothes.  I keep telling myself that I am going to change and then I will buy new clothes at that time.  Because of this stubbornness, my current wardrobe of work clothes is somewhat limited and was getting even slimmer (no pun intended) as I closed in on 315.  Not as bad as that kid in high school, but dangerously close.  So, it hit me a couple of months ago that I was now that kid.  I know they won't admit it, but I think my workmates secretly have a pool going about what shirt I am going to wear each Monday. 

Well, today, I put on an XXL shirt that I had only worn once before, and uncomfortably at that, while helping out at the State Fair.  I realized when I showed up at work that I had just pulled the equivalent of a Kansas.  Like the Jayhawks, I was ruining a lot of people's pools.  So, apologies for those who lost money today.  I guess, like Kansas, that maybe everybody missed that one.  I promise to make the pool a lot more difficult and to be far less predictable going forward.  And, I am sorry for starting that pool 28 years ago! 

Good day again.  Started with another 1.4 pounds off on the scale.  Finished with 3.19 miles, 683 calories, and some machine work on my arms.  Here's to a larger wardrobe and an air of unpredictably...