Thursday, September 30, 2010


With one day to go, I am now at an even 10 pounds lost for the month.  I won't hit my goal.  But, I will be content with another 10 pounds... especially given the weight I gained recently.  I have now lost 8.4 of the 8.6 pounds I gained in three days!  I can hardly believe I am now .2 pounds from my lowest point and .6 pounds from hitting the 100 pound mark. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Day 2 of the new streak and, incredibly, I find myself down another 3.6 pounds... or 7.8 pounds in two days.  This is the opposite of how this typically works.  Usually people lose a few pounds over a couple of weeks and have a bad weekend where they gain it all back in two days.  I gained 8.6 in eight days and then lost all but a pound of it back in only two!  Now on to Day 3 of the new streak and Day 204 of the old streak.  I am now .8 pounds away from my lowest and 1.2 pounds away from the 100 pound barrier.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Day one of my new streak, the under-my-calorie-and-no-exceptions streak, started yesterday and resulted in a promising 4.2 pounds lost!  Needless to say, I am in better spirits this morning.  I might even be able to still lose 10 pounds in September if I can keep it up over the next three days.  I would love to keep my streak going of 10+ pound losses every month.  Plus, my brother is nagging me to get to 200 so we can do P90X together... well, as together as two people can do something together when one lives in San Diego and the other in Pueblo, Colorado!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Don't Know How That Could Happen!

Over the years of watching "The Biggest Loser", I have seen some pretty amazing transformations.  The part I have always had a problem with is when I see the "updates" on television or in magazines such as People.  It has always saddened me to see these people who had made such positive changes go right back to their old eating habits and gain most or all of their weight back.  I never understood this.  I always said, "I don't know how that could happen!".  I always thought to myself that would never happen to me.  I just couldn't grasp working that hard and then just letting it all go.  It hardly seemed possible.

Well, this week, I got a glimpse in to how it happens.  Not that I haven't lost before and then gained.  I know all about being bad for a week and then all of a sudden it's six months later and I wonder what just happened.  So, I had some idea of how quickly a person can relapse.  But, that was 20 or 30 pounds, not  100. After losing close to 100 pounds and feeling completely confident that I was "fixed", I found out I was wrong. 

A friend told me today that I really hadn't changed my eating habits.  She's right!  And, I already knew this.  That is why I still avoid going to Mexican restaurants.  That is why I avoid going to the places I love.  I think I will always have this problem which, again, goes back to my beliefs about not putting myself in to situations that I can't handle.  I will argue with her that I am better.  These bad days are still 1,000-2,000 calories less bad than they were before.  I even go to restaurants and order a side salad and make the right decision from time to time.  I am better.  But, I am not healed.

So, after gaing 8.6 pounds in only 8 days, I lost my mojo again.  Even though I still have lost around 90 pounds, I found myself feeling fat again.  I found myself eating to the point that I felt that old disgusting fullness and lethargy.  I found myself tired when I was driving because I had eaten a heavy meal.  I found myself eating cashews by the handful... cashews that I shouldn't have even purchased let alone consumed like Duke eating $100 bills!  Besides the simple fact that it's like placing crack on the table in front of an addict, the decision is made even more boneheaded based on my diverticulitis and the fact that I should be avoiding nuts entirely!  But, I didn't care.  And, in the end, that feeling of not caring even when my mind was telling me no is what scared me the most.  I am disgusted with myself for the last week and  even more disgusted that I would ever not care again.

Now, having said all that.  I am still going to go out on a limb and reiterate, "I don't know how that could happen!".  Because despite the fact that I put a few pounds back on, I haven't gained 80 pounds back.  And, I won't!  I will back my original statement here in this blogg.  In three months, I will look  at "The Biggest Loser" updates and still wonder how they let it happen.  I will not be one of those stories for all of you to shake your head at and wonder what knocked Anthony off course. 

Today starts a new streak.  A streak that I have not  kept track of up until now.  I am going to see how many days I can go without any exceptions.  I am going to see how many days straight I can stay under my calorie goals.  Today will be my 203rd straight day of exercising and my 1st day of no exceptions.  I am not planning on getting to 203.  But, I do plan to set a bar high enough that I will have a number to shoot for the next time I find myself slipping in to the abyss. 

September will come and go and I will miss my goal once again.  In the end, I will find myself around five pounds lighter than I was to start the month.  And, if that's the best i can do, well then 200 will just have to weight until the end of the year.  I can handle that.

Here's to a new start...


I missed yesterday's update... that is the first ugly number above.  That one pound gain was a result of breakfast at The Pantry and food and drink at the Loaf 'N Jug Chile and Frijole Festival. 

The second number is this morning's weight.  : (   That is a result of going to the Denver Bronco game yesterday and showing less control than I did at the LNJC&FF!   That means I gained 8.6 pounds in 8 days!  With only four days left until my official October 1 weigh-in, things don't look good. 

Last night, I had a this sense that I was spiralling out of control.  Well, that ends this morning.  Again, I will talk more about this tonight.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Whoopity doo!!

Exercise As An Outlet

I had planned to share some thoughts I had about my recent weight gain and the fear that has slowly crept in to my brain over the last week.  But sadly, that will have to wait.

Tonight, my Mom, my son, and I went out to pick up some food and stop by a couple of stores.  Right before leaving, I was looking for some tickets in my laptop case and in the process ended up setting a pile of money and papers on the couch.  This was the money I have collected so far for our fantasy football league at work. 

To give you a little more background to this story, my son's dog, Duke, has started to chew up tissues and papers out of our garbage cans when we leave the house.  I don't think he is looking for anything in particular.  I just think he is pissed off that we are leaving him at home.  This started a couple of months ago and has gotten steadily worse. 

In addition, my son has recently talked about possibly moving out of the house in to a place with some friends.  After tonight, I wish he and Duke would have made the move a little sooner!

When we walked in the door, Niko, who was a few steps ahead of me, started to yell at his Siberian shredding machine.  While Niko has gotten annoyed before, there was an elevated tone to his voice this time.  I wasn't sure what Duke had done, but it seemed worse than before.  And then, I walked around the corner and saw the pile of shredded bills on the floor near the couch.  Duke had chewed, shredded and consumed hundreds of dollars!  I wanted to cry.  I guess I still kind of want to cry four hours later.

We pieced together a couple of bills and then my anxiety started building.  I am a calmer man now than I was fifteen years ago.  Back then, I may have beaten the crap out of that dog.  Tonight, I gave him a couple of smacks on the rear end and then decided I needed to get out of the house. 

So, I took off to the gym for some stress relief.  And, while I can't say that I came back in a jovial mood, my mood improved enough that I no longer felt like harming Duke... though he still hasn't come in from the back yard!  The walk on the treadmill felt good.  It definitely relieved some of my stress.  Not all of it.  But, I came home in a better place than when I left.

When I got back, I found that my Mom and Niko had spent some time on the puzzle that was my shredded fantasy football funds.  Not sure how the reclamation project will go and I just don't know what I will end up getting back.  I know there is at least a couple of hundred dollars that have too many missing pieces for us to get anything out of them.  Hopefully, some of the other pieces will have enough parts to convince someone at a bank or the US Treasury Department to replace them.  I think the hardest part of this little episode is that I don't even play fantasy football.  I still run the league because I like to be involved.  But, after about 15 years of playing, I found myself a little burned out and I have taken the last two years off.  So now, my rather low-paying job... and by low I mean $0... as commissioner has now just cost me money.  Oh well.  I would have been even more stressed if I was out 300+ dollars and also still weighed 300+ pounds!

Here's to the power of exercise and the other benefits it provides beyond just losing weight...

Friday, September 24, 2010


Will talk about this more later.  Suffice it to say that 2,000+ calories for five of the last seven days is no way to get to 200.  I can only imagine how bad the damage would be if I wasn't working my butt off at the club every night.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Down A Pound

217.6.  Headed in the right direction again.  Though it feels like I have tried to get under 215 way too many times already. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oh Yeah... No Change

Forgot to inform everyone of that little tidbit.  Not even sure what I weighed.  I got on the scale.  I saw a number that stunned me for the second day.  I couldn't remember the day before so I wasn't sure if my weight was the same or down .2 or .4 pounds.  By the time I got to work to see what my weight actually was yesterday, I actually forgot what the scale said.  So, in my confusion, I recorded the same weight in my spreadsheet.  September is not ending as well as it started.  I need someone to smack me upside the head!

The Move To Free Weights

Throughout this journey, I have had maintained somewhat of a "plan" for my workouts.  I have added weight machines, swimming, etc. as I have lost pounds and as my body has felt ready to increase my activity level.  That plan included starting to lift free weights again once I got below 220 pounds.  While I have been under 220 pounds for about two weeks,  circumstances have kept me from making the move.

Yesterday, I finally moved from the weight machines that are upstairs at the gym and made my way downstairs to the big boy room.  With the help of my personal trainer, my son Niko, I began my new routine.  I like the machines I have been using.  But, there is something primal about lifting free weights.  I had finally gotten past that feeling that people were making fun of the tiny weight I was lifting as I had begun to increase the weight gradually and even found myself lifting more than most of the people in the room.  But now, I get to face those feelings of insecurity head on once again.  The good news is that I am less intimidated than I was six months ago.  I am okay if all of these muscle-bound guys and girls are snickering at me. 

I could feel that old familiar soreness creeping in to my chest and triceps today.  I love that feeling.  And, while I worked out a little harder, I still didn't overdo it.  Just enough soreness to confirm the hard work.  But, not the kind of overwhelming soreness that keeps you out of the gym.

When I get under 200, I plan to start P90X.  I really don't know if I will be able to handle it.  But, I can't wait to try and I will do as much of it as possible.  I hope I get the opportunity to start sometime in November.  I would love to finish the 90 day program sometime at the end of January 2011 and compare my results shortly after reaching the one year mark!  Here's to mixing things up...

Monday, September 20, 2010


No, before you start sending me messages that I accidentally typed an "8" instead of a "3", that is not a typo!  Too much salt yesterday.  I expected bad news.  But, never expected that.  I pray that those 5.2 pounds disappear over the next three days.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


After two days without a weigh-in, the scale rewarded me for being decent on the road and hiking 9.6 miles over Music Pass yesterday with a 1.4 pound loss!  Not quite 100 pounds, but it's close! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

First Time Back On An Airplane... You Can Breathe Easier

It's been a long week and, between work and home, I have had little time to blog.  Not that I haven't thought of anything to say.  I just haven't been able to find the time in the evenings to write.  Tonight is no different.  I flew to Kansas last night for a quick business trip and just got back a couple of hours ago.  I am exhausted and I will be up again in about five hours to finally tackle Music Pass.  But, I couldn't go a whole day without at least checking in.  No weight today since I woke up in a hotel in Wichita.

For the first time since early in this journey, I found myself on an airplane again.  But this time, I didn't see that slight trepidation and anxiousness in the eyes of the other passengers as I slowly got closer to their open seats.  What I wanted in March finally came true in September.  I was no longer that fat guy sitting next to you on the airplane.  People smiled at me as if to say, "I wouldn't mind if that man sat next to me on this flight.  He's not too fat and he looks kind of friendly!". 

I didn't have to squeeze my shoulders and arms so that I was no longer impinging on other passengers' valuable real estate.  They paid good money for their tickets and deserve to at least have a full seat!  I no longer was filled with anxiety as I pulled the seatbelt across my lap hoping that it would buckle and praying that I wouldn't have to ask the stewardess for the dreaded extension.  No, that has never happened to me before, though I have been close.  I always managed to exhale just enough air to get that buckle to snap.  And, you know, for a brief moment I still felt that same anxiety until I remembered that it was no longer an issue.  In fact, I had to tighten the belt.  I no longer felt the tray right up against my gut when I put it down.  I no longer had to worry about the stewardess bumping in to my arm and shoulder as they passed in the aisle.  I sat in my seat comfortably for the first time in many many years. 

The other good news is that, despite not having to pay for it, I actually wasn't hungry and ended up skipping dinner!  That's right.  You heard it here first!  I skipped a free meal... in an airport loaded with yummy temptations. 

When I got home, I found just enough energy to go on a 3 mile walk.  A walk I needed since I hadn't exercised today... though walking through the United concourse at DIA should definitely count. 

See you tomorrow night!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Finally, under 215 for the first time and down 1.6 pounds.  Now, I turn my sights towards 100 pounds total weight loss...  only 1.8 pounds to go.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Back on track!  Down a pound.  I have to prove to myself that I have the willpower to handle my Mom's quarterly visits!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


In a little bit of a rut.  Beyond that initial gain, Mi Ranchito's always seems to leave me with a bad week where I struggle to get back on track.  Mom, you really need to go back to California now.  lol.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Pleasantly surprised to find myself down .8 pounds.  Yesterday, after a slow start to the morning and some difficulty finding any trailheads in Red Canyon Park, we ended up only being able to hike for a little more than an hour.  Combine that with a stop at Culver's yesterday evening and my expectations were definitely in the other direction.  By the way, for those of you as naive as myself, the custard at Culver's is not similar to soft-serve ice cream found elsewhere.  It is far worse!  Had I any knowledge of this before stopping there, I would never have had that sundae.  In fact, I will never eat custard at Culver's again in my entire life now that I know what I know.  I have said this before, but the best reason for tracking calories is to always arm yourself with the knowledge and awareness of the nutritional information for the things you are eating to help you make better decisions.  I will not make that mistake again.  So, I went to bed completely disappointed and woke up to a nice surprise... the weight loss you perverts, get your mind out of the gutter!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Down .8 pounds and off for a morning hike and a picnic on the Arkansas River with my Mom, sisters, and my nephews!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Well, my only September exception that I had planned for is now in the books.  My mom arrived yesterday from California and we made our obligatory trip to Mi Ranchito's.  It was awesome, as always.  Mexican food has been one of the hardest things that I have gone without and I still crave it all the time.  While I gained 2.2 pounds, it was still a far cry better than the 4.2 pounds I gained the last time we went there in June.  I skipped the margarita.  I cut down the amount of beans and rice I ate.  And, I significantly reduced the number of chips I consumed.  I had hoped to keep that number below 2 pounds.  But, I am okay with it. 

Now off to the club to get busy working that 2.2 pounds off again.  As of yesterday, I was 1.5 pounds ahead of my pace for today.  Sadly, I ended up missing my goal by .7. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I found out this past weekend that the pool is closing this Sunday.  I was not happy about that.  This morning, I had a glimpse in to why that is the case.  It usually takes me about three lenghths before my body warms up and I stop noticing the cool air.  This morning, it too between 12-14.  Still, a great way to start the morning and better than the indoor pool which is stuffy and humid.  Oh well...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I got 1.2 pounds back of the 2.6 pounds I gained yesterday.  Tomorrow, I hope to get the rest of it back!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reflecting on August

Yesterday morning, I was on the treadmill and I was reflecting back on the month that had just passed.  I found myself thinking that I was much more accepting of my disappointing August now than I was five days earlier.  Maybe, time heals all wounds.  Maybe, I am getting a little healthier mentally and a bit more patient.  Most likely, losing 6.4 pounds in five days can brighten one's disposition... and, yes, don't remind me of the weight I gained this morning.

But, there was one thing I gained in August.  Despite exceeding my calorie goals for almost half of the month, I still lost 10 pounds.  The significance is that it gives me confidence in my ability to maintain my weight once I reach my goals.  I keep telling myself that I will be more relaxed and less hard on myself once I get to a comfortable weight.  I promise that I will have the occasional exception and not be quite so strict about my diet.  But, I secretly wonder if I am lying to myself.  By exception, I mean those days where I break down and have a piece of pizza or two.  Those days where I have a couple of beers.  Those days when I am craving some soft-serve ice cream.  While I don't plan on having 3,000 calorie days, it is nice to know that I can have 1,700-2,200 calorie days and still be able to keep off the weight over a period of time with hard work in the gym and sticking to my goals on the remaining days. 

That gives me a renewed confidence in both my goals for September and the sustainability of this lifestyle once the push for 200 is finally over.  Here's to losing 10 pounds in August and being happy about it...


I had a feeling that this was coming this morning.  Still, I am encouraged by the results since the start of September and even the overall results from the weekend.  I will get these 2.6 pounds back over the next couple of days.  So, I am staying positive this morning!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Again, this is purely about staying active.  My day included a birthday party where I ate a hot dog (yes, bun and all) and some french fries.  For the second day in a row I found myself a couple hundred calories over my goal.  But, for the second day in a row, I was moving all day.  I walked on the treadmill, lifted weights, swam in the pool, moved boxes up stairs and in to a storage unit, and then finished with some laps around the fairgrounds. 

I love walking during the fair because we love to watch people and it is mindless exercise.  Plus, Lori and I have fun trying to walk fast while dodging in an out of the crowds.  The people at the fair can be quite entertaining.  If you have ever seen, then you have an idea of what people watching at the State Fair is like.  The State Fair is on steroids!  Thanks to all of those people for helping me to lose weight.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Down 2 more pounds!  This is more a testament to the exercise on the treadmill, in the pool, in the garage moving boxes, and walking around the fairgrounds than it is to any willpower at the BBQ I went to.  Because I had none.  As usual, and despite not having the jalapeno poppers that I had saved my appetite for, Richella's cooking was excellent and I struggled to be good.  I did okay.  Not great, not horrible... just fair.  The highlight of the BBQ was sneaking one of those ice cream sandwiches (on real cookies with a Cherry Garcia type ice cream in between) that were supposed to be only for the kids... don't tell Richella.  Scrumptious!  The 96 pounds on that ticker made me forget about eating that whole ice cream sandwich...  as Russ promised me I would if I took even one bite. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Finally! 219.0!

A great start to the Labor Day weekend!  Down a pound and under 220 for the first time... well, officially, since I did briefly see 219 last weekend after my hike and workout.  This puts me 1.4 pounds below today's goal weight.  Hoping to stay under 220 the whole weekend by making it a true "Labor" Day weekend.  Off to the pool and treadmill, followed by some work around the house, a BBQ at the Stawski's, and finishing off the day with some walking and people watching at the Colorado State Fair.  Would love to finish the weekend dangerously close to the weight that was my original mini-goal and the weight that I always told myself I could live with...  215.  Though I feel differently now, 215 will be a major milestone for me and has always been an important number.  Not as big as 200, but close.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Northridge, Devil's Canyon, and Mace Trails - Pueblo Mountain Park

It is an odd phenomen how people tend to take those things close to them for granted.  If somebody told me they were visiting Colorado and asked me what things I recommended they see, I would probably start listing all of the popular spots that tourists always make their way to.  It would include places like Pikes Peak, Seven Falls, The Royal Gorge, maybe even the mint in Denver.  Yet, I haven't been to Pikes Peak and Seven Falls since I was a teenager before I moved to Florida.  I haven't been to The Royal Gorge since my kids were really young.  And, I have never been to the mint.  These are just a few examples.  But, I think you understand what I am talking about.

When Lori and I set out for our first hike about a month ago, the first place I thought of was Rocky Mountain National Park.  I love RMNP.  I loved our hike.  We have gotten closer to home with each subsequent hike... from RMNP to Vail to Colorado Springs.  Last weekend, we finally ended up driving the short half hour to Pueblo Mountain Park near Beulah.  We have been up in the area a couple of times over the last few years.  And, every time we have been up there, we have said to ourselves that we should make the drive more often.

We started up the Northridge Trail and very shortly found ourselves overlooking a beautiful rock ridge.  The trail was awesome and well-shaded for most of the way.  In front of us were incredible rock formations.  Behind us were fantastic views of the entire valley below us.

The view along Northridge Trail

We eventually made our way through the forest and weaved back and found ourselves on top of the ridge pictured above.  Before turning back towards the forest for our descent down the mountain, we ran in to a little friend.

A green snake that I almost stepped on

Starting to heat up along the Northridge Trail

After enjoying the views and taking in some pictures, we eventually turned and started back through the forest making our way down the backside of the ridge.  This section of the trail was peaceful and was a cool respite from the sun that was starting to get a little warmer.  The forest was incredibly quiet and Lori and I felt completely alone. 

Some mushrooms appreciating the cool shaded conditions

We reached the bottom and turned left down Devil's Canyon.  Devil's Canyon is a beautiful canyon between the two sides of the rock ridge. 

Devil's Canyon

We made our way through the canyon slowly climbing down boulders until we realized that the faint buzzing sound we were hearing echoing off the canyon walls was actually wasps!  All of a sudden, I realized that my rock climbing skills, or rapelling skills, were a little bit better than I realized as I flew down along rock walls on the side of a small stream of water to the bottom... ignoring the wasps swarming around my feet and hands.  When I got to the bottom, I realized that I had left Lori a little behind...  who said chivalry was dead?  So, I decided to pull out the camera and get some shots of her climbing down the canyon!

That's Lori climbing down Devil's Canyon

Shortly after the climb through the canyon, we found ourselves back at the trailhead.  After a quick lunch, we started back up on the Mace Trail and eventually made our way to Lookout Point.  Lookout Point is a great spot to take in the views and sights on top of the East side of Devil's Canyon.

Lori taking in the scenery

The panaroma from atop Lookout Point
(click for larger image)

After some more picture taking, we headed back down Mace Trail.  Mace Trail wasn't as shaded as Northridge Trail and it was a nice relief to start making our way down back around the loop to the East side and eventually back to Devil's Canyon.  For the second time, we found ourselves in the canyon facing the hum from the buzzing wasps.  We both did a better job ignoring the wasps and Lori nimbly made her way through the crevice while facing her fear! 

We ended up hiking about 5 miles that morning and it was a perfect hike.  I enjoyed Waldo Canyon near Colorado Springs.  But, I have to tell you that I much preferred the journey around Pueblo Mountain Park and look forward to our return.  The views were better.  The forest and canyon were incredible.  And, the best part is that we only saw three other people on the trail the whole morning!  There must have been 70 people on the Waldo Canyon Trail by the time we got off it.  Who knew such a beautiful mountain and set of trails existed in our backyard?!  We will definitely be back at PMP in the very near future!  Here's to not taking things for granted and finding hidden treasures in your backyard...


Great start to September!  Down 1.2 pounds on Day 1! 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 1 Status Update

Today was my fifth official weigh-in against my monthly goals. Below is a quick status update...
  • On August 1, I weighed 231.6 pounds. My September 1 goal was 219.8 pounds. This morning I weighed 221.6. I missed my September 1 goal by 1.8 pounds and lost 10.0 pounds in the month of August. This is the second month out of five that I have not made my goal.
  • My October 1 goal was 210. Rather than increase it 1.8 pounds, I am leaving it and hoping to make up the ground I lost in August.  So, my remaining goals remain unchanged. They are October 1 - 210, November 1 - 202, December 1 - 195, New Year's Day 2011 - 190.
  • I have lost 91.4 pounds since the middle of January. I have lost 81.0 pounds over 25 weeks since the start of this blog. And, I have lost 76.0 pounds since returning from Las Vegas on March 23.
  • My streak of exercising at least 30 minutes has now reached 176 straight days!
  • I lost .323 pounds per day in August. My goal weight for October 1 would require me to lose .387 pounds per day.
  • And the bad numbers... I went over my daily calorie goal 14 times in August.  Add to it the last two days of July where I did the same, and I have actually exceeded my calorie limit 16 of the last 33 days. 
As disappointed in myself as I was last night, several people kindly reminded me to focus on what I have accomplished. In that vain, I had to look back at my original goals set back in March and remind myself that my September 1 goal started at 225. After 25 weeks, I am still ahead of my ORIGINAL pace and that makes me smile. It is unfortunate that my early success spoiled me. All I wanted on March 10 was to get under 200 within a year! Oh how expectations have changed.

I give myself a C for August. Too many exceptions to be anything better despite the 10 pounds.  Here's to September...

Tomorrow: Pueblo Mountain Park...  I promise...  really.


Down the .6 pounds I needed to reach 10 pounds for the month.  Though not my goal, I was pretty happy to get that .6 and hit double digits once again.  I am excited to start my "September to Remember".  August is behind me... thanks to all of those who reminded me.