Tuesday, February 25, 2014


There has been one thing that has been very positive about my recent business travel to Chicago...  I have  been extremely busy with work.  Most nights I have worked until some time after 8:00 PM.  This is good for me because by the time I get out, I am usually to tired to go out to eat.  In addition, I have a tendency to find food when I have too much time on my hand.

Tonight, I was extremely tired by the time I left the office after not sleeping well last night.  I stopped by a little grocery store to pick up dinner and brought it back to my room to eat.  When I was done, I read a couple of chapters of Game of Thrones before Lori called.  We talked for some time, including a discussion of how neither of us was really in the mood to workout tonight.  Lori said she was going to do a P90x workout.  I knew she was working out only because I was still planning to work out.  I got off that call mostly because I knew I needed to get to the fitness center before I changed my mind.  Of course, I hung up and then started reading again.  

After reading another chapter and a half, I really didn't feel like working out and was about to crawl in to bed and just call it a night.  I glanced at the clock and it said 10:38.  Way too late to work out.  Plus, it would result in me going to bed way too late once again.

I stood there staring at the clock, talking to myself.  Unlike the grocery store last week, not a soul was there to witness the crazy person or judge me.  10:38.  Way too late.  10:38.  Well, I could just go and do 15 to 20 minutes on the treadmill.  10:38.  I could still workout 30 minutes and get to bed sooner than I did last night.  10:38.  I could also read another four or five chapters in that time.  10:38.  Lori is right now working out because I said I was.  10:38.  Just do it.

So, I did.  After 35 minutes on the treadmill, I walked to the other end of the fitness center where I hadn't walked before.  And, to my surprise, there I found dumbbells, kettle bells, jump ropes, and other equipment.  I was thrilled. I never knew this was there.  So, I lifted weights for about 10 minutes just because.

Then I wrote this blog.  Now, I am going to bed... at 11:46.

Here's to making the right choices at 10:38...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Seriously?! 265.6

Since I started blogging again, I have lost weight every single weigh-in except for the three mornings that I left for Chicago.  I have taken solace in knowing that they were short nights and that I had consumed lots of water the night before.  And, I have kept a positive attitude despite my disappointment.

But, this time was supposed to be different.  I didn't drink too much late.  I had the best Sunday i have had since I started.  In fact, I was better on Sunday then I was on Saturday when I lost .8.  I ate good.  I exercised.  I did everything I could to make sure that the worst-case scenario was that I would be even.  SERIOUSLY?!

After three full weeks, ten of those days in Chicago, I am down 12.8 pounds.  

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 265.6
Change from previous: +0.6
Total: (12.8)
Total Days: 21
Ahead/(Behind) Pace: (3.4)

Sunday, February 23, 2014


It's good to be home.  Down .8 from yesterday and 13.4 pounds total.  Still remain 2.0 pounds behind my goal pace.  This is the lowest I have been since April 4, 2013!  

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 265.0
Change from previous: (0.8)
Total: (13.4)
Total Days: 20
Ahead/(Behind) Pace: (2.0)

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I was so anxious for this weigh-in this morning.  And, I really didn't know how it was going to go.  I felt I had done decent these last five days and even upped my exercise.  But, I still didn't feel like I had lost much and I was worried about seeing a slight gain. I didn't need to worry so much. For the second straight week, I lost weight while travelling on business in the town that I have developed a love/hate relationship with.  In addition, I did even better than last week. 

Down 2.0 pounds!  And, this time I am truly thrilled.  I would always take more.  But, my goal this week was 2 pounds and I met that goal.  That's 2.8 over my two trips to Chicago.  After 19 days, I am down 12.6 pounds and feeling confident.  This is my lowest weight since April 14, 2013!  APRIL 14, 2013!  I was 265.2 that day and have been 265.8 or more every day since.  That is 314 days.  This puts me behind my original pace by 2.0 pounds, as I expected.  But, we will work on that when I get back to the controlled and safe confines of my home and office.  That 2.0 pounds will not change how thrilled I am right now!

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 265.8
Change from previous: (2.0)
Total: (12.6)
Total Days: 19
Ahead/(Behind) Pace: (2.0)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Please, No More Chicago

Today, I found out I will be coming back to Chicago for three more weeks.  My love for Chicago is dwindling.  Next year, when I weigh somewhere south of 210 pounds, I will welcome a visit to Chicago.  I will welcome great meals at great restaurants while still working out hard and simply maintaining my weight.  But, right now, it does not fit in to my plans.

I will continue to eat good and exercise over those three weeks.  And, I will hopefully still lose weight.  But, my month end goals appear to be unattainable at the moment.  While this is slightly disappointing, I will not take it as hard as I would have four years ago.  I will simply use this as the ultimate test of my willpower, power through it, and then start anew on March 15 with revised goals.

Because right now it is no longer about whether I will I figure this out again.  It's simply about how long it will take.  I feel confident and mentally healthy again.  I already feel physically better.  Just maybe, I will come back and make up for lost time and get back on track to hit my original goals.  Just maybe, I won't even bother coming up with new ones.  I like that plan better.

Here's to spending the next three weeks finding other things to love in Chicago besides the restaurants...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Those Little Choices

This journey is all about choices.  We make so many choices throughout the day that effect our health.  The hardest part about the first few weeks of making changes is making the right choices.  They get easier in time.  They really do!  Eventually they become habit and there is no longer any debate or argument taking place in your head.

This blog and myfitnesspal.com help me immensely when it comes to those choices.  It isn't that I am writing down every meal I eat or every choice I make here in this blog. But, those choices impact my weight loss and the results of that do get posted here.  While I appreciate that some people enjoy reading this blog, I guarantee that the number would drop dramatically if I talked about my struggles while continuing to gain weight and make bad choices.

Three years ago, I wasn't drinking soda any longer.  But, somewhere over the last three years I started drinking a little more, then a lot more, and then all the time.  Which leads me to one of the first of those little choices.  Two weeks ago, I was at work and I was craving a Pepsi.  I went and got a can of Pepsi without thinking.  But, I didn't open it.  At first, I thought of two options, drink it and not post it on MFP so my brother didn't give me shit OR drink it and just take the shit.  Of course, there was a third option and that's the one I went with.  I decided to put the can of soda in the refrigerator and not drink it at all.  That can still sits in the refrigerator.  Yes, a small step when taken individually.  But, those small little choices add up over time.  I went from drinking soda daily to almost quitting cold turkey.  I have had two sips of soda over the last three weeks and I think it is mostly due to that choice I made on that first Wednesday.

Tonight, I had two more.  I got out of work late and didn't feel like going out to a restaurant.  Most of the fast food places near my hotel don't have a lot of healthy options and I wasn't in the mood for those that did.  So, I stopped by a grocery store that had a lot of fresh options.  The salad bar was the first thing I saw and it looked good.  But, I had to see the rest of the store.  So, I wandered... past the sushi (I love sushi by the way), past the fresh dipped caramel apples, past the hot food bar, past the pizza bar, past the pasta bar, past the gelato stand, past the bakery... and then back to the hot food bar.  The fried chicken looked so good and so tempting.  I stood there trying to do the math in my head.  Analyzing my day and the exercise I would be doing later at the hotel.  I finally reached, slowly, for the tongs.  I opened them up and placed a crispy golden brown chicken breast in between them.  I started to move it towards my container.  Then I put the whole process in reverse and returned that piece of chicken.  And, then went back to the salad bar.  I neglected the blue cheese and ranch salad dressings for a healthier option.  

So, that's where the story should end.  I had made a great choice and had my salad in hand.  Then I returned to the hot food bar again.  I ended up grabbing a small portion of a grilled peppers and sausage entree'.  I returned to my room and started eating my salad and it was excellent!  Then I took a bite of the sausage with some peppers.  It was average.  A little oily.  Not super flavorful.  While not great, it certainly was good enough that the me of a month ago would have finished it just because.  But, one thing I learned last time is not to waste any calories on average meals.  If I am going to eat some extra calories, I need to save them for the things I truly love and crave.  And, it's okay to throw food away Anthony.  I did.  The salad was so good I might just have it again tomorrow.

Here's to the little choices...

Monday, February 17, 2014


Deja Vu!  Last week, the morning that I left for Chicago, I gained .4 pounds after being really good the day before.  This morning was an exact repeat.  I exercised and ate good yesterday and was expecting a little better news than that.  But, I remain undaunted and will chalk it up to not being in bed long enough.  

After two weeks, I am down 10.6 pounds and now find myself slightly behind my goal by .2 pounds.  So, now I have the choice whether to try and play catch up over the last week of February or do even better than I did last week in Chicago and try to keep pace on this trip.

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 267.8
Change from previous: +0.4
Total: (10.6)
Total Days: 14
Ahead/(Behind) Pace: (0.2)

Sunday, February 16, 2014


It's good to be home.  A solid day at home results in a 1.4 pound loss, almost double the loss from the past six days on the road.  This is the lowest I have been since September 14, 2013.  Down 11 pounds in just under two weeks and 1.0 pounds ahead of my goal pace.  Feeling confident.

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 267.4
Change from previous: (1.4)
Total: (11.0)
Total Days: 13
Ahead/(Behind) Pace: 1.0

Saturday, February 15, 2014

268.8! Stupid Expectations.

Expectations are a funny thing.  When I left for Chicago, my goal was to come back five days later and weigh exactly the same or be down slightly.  To me, that would be considered a victory.  If I missed, it would not only hurt, but likely put me back up to 270.  But, a funny thing happened over the last week.  My expectations changed.  I started feeling better about my decisions and gained confidence.  I secretly was hoping for a 1.8 pound loss and a number that had 267 in front of it.  So, when I stepped on the scale this morning, it was a weird sense of elation and pride mixed with faint disappointment.

I am down .8 since I weighed in last Sunday.  I beat Chicago!  I am thrilled to be down and will use this as momentum going in to my four day trip to Chicago on Monday.  Less days equals less temptation.  Let me repeat this if only to try to cement it in my thick stubborn skull, I am thrilled! 

I know why I didn't get that extra pound.  I had planned on a single exception and I had two... well maybe 1 and 3/4.  But, my meal Wednesday night was enough to keep me from losing that other pound and that is something I will correct next week.  I look forward to a good weekend and a pound or two more to put me further away from that 270 number.

Still shy of two weeks and I am down 9.6 pounds total and still ahead of pace... barely! 

I am thrilled.

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 268.8
Change from previous: (0.8)
Total: (9.6)
Total Days: 12
Ahead/(Behind) Pace: 0.4

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Curse the Obesity Gods

Disclaimer:  While certainly not intended, the following post may offend those with delicate religious sensibilities.  It is written purely in jest and the writer in no way wishes to imply that he truly believes in or prays to any such god or gods.  The opinions expressed in this blog belong to Anthony Marinucci solely and do not represent the opinions of Blogger, any other blogging website, or that of others who are attempting to lose weight or who blog.  For those who are easily offended, please do not read any further.

I have done well on this trip to Chicago.  Despite numerous temptations every time I step on the streets of Chicago, I have maintained some semblance of willpower and control.  Not perfect by any means, but acceptable.  One would think, armed with this proof that I can go on a business trip without being bad, that this would be enough to give me confidence for the next time.  It does not. While it helps, I have been down this road before and then blown it the very next time I traveled. 

So, when I found out today that I would be returning to Chicago next week, I cursed the obesity gods and shouted, "Why?!".  I was good getting through one week.  But, two?  After all the years of paying ample homage to these gods, why would they punish me by testing me once again?  What had I done to deserve such fate?  Why were they so angry at me after only a week of blogging and attempting to leave their church?  Why such a quick reaction to my lack of faith?  Couldn't they have given me a month off before flouting their neon obesity restaurant signs?

All kidding aside, I was not happy with this news.  Not because of the hours. Not because of the travel.  Not because I am away from my bed and my wife again.  I was upset only because I wanted the comfort of my routine, my kitchen, and my cupboard.  I wanted to be back in Pueblo where the restaurants still call my name (yes, I am talking to you Mi Ranchito), but not as loudly.

I will survive this.  I will prove I can be good in back to back weeks.  The best thing about this new challenge is that if I can come back home after two weeks of being good, then I imagine that I will feel like nothing can stop me again... like I did three years ago.

When my friend, Joel, was reading my blog the other night and read the line about my holy trinity, he mentioned that I should write my version of The Lord's Prayer.  Joel is a very religious man, so it's okay that he suggested such a thing.  So, for Joel and in honor of the gods I have so offended, here it is...

The Gorger's Prayer
Our stomachs, that eat in heavenly places,
Hollow they are not,
Thy appetizers come,
Thy steak will be medium rare done,
At Outback as it is at Texas Roadhouse ,
Give us this day our Olive Garden breadsticks,
And forgive us for our caloric trespasses,
As we forgive those that shop at Walmart in pajamas or really short shorts (or with pants so tight they cause muffin tops, or shirts too small, or smell too bad, or...),
And lead us not in to temptation,    
But, deliver us a pizza,
For thine is the bread, the bacon, and the cheesy
Forever and ever,

In the name of Chik-Fil-A, Five Guys, and Qdoba.

Here's to worshiping healthier gods and beating Chicago two weeks in a row...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Noisy Stomach

One of the side effects of a drastic diet change is an upset stomach.  Our bodies expect what they are accustomed to. Our bodies adjust for an expected intake and timing of fat consumption and how long they need to store that fat.  Our bodies adapt, even to a bad diet.  

When we modify our diet, we upset this order.  This creates turmoil.  Even though the goal is to do right by our bodies, they don't get that at first.  An increase in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fiber in general can create gas and upset our stomach.  

Every time I have started eating better, I have experienced this discomfort.  My stomach feels queasy.  My stomach feels like I ate something bad.  My stomach feels bloated.  My stomach even hurts.  And, my stomach talks to me like something out of a Pepto Bismol commercial.  When Lori makes a fruit and vegetable smoothie, it takes the express train to my stomach and starts the protest almost immediately.  This is usually worst the first week and then slowly subsides.  But, I have felt nauseous from eating good for as long as three weeks in the past.  

Eventually this discomfort goes away. Eventually our stomachs accept that we are actually trying to be good to them, make the necessary adjustments, and leave you alone.  I am looking forward to that day.  

The best thing about your body not liking what it's not accustomed to is that it works both ways.  Eventually, when you start eating better every day, your stomach will react the same way when you have that rare encounter with your exceptions, cheat days, and wayward moments.  That's a great thing!  It's a positive sign when your body sends a negative message that your brain seems to be failing at passing along.  Those messages come through loud and clear and modify behavior slowly, whether it be lessening the damage from those cheat days to removing those cheat days all together.

Here's to shutting up my stomach permanently and having it speak to me only when I truly need to hear what it's saying...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Modifying The Plan

On Saturday, I wrote a little bit about my plan for Chicago.  That plan included going back to most of the places I went to two weeks ago to do a redo of that trip and see how good I could have been.  I gained 4.2 pounds on that trip.  Believe me, I have done much worse on other trips.  I have also done a little better.  My plan was meant to keep me from doing the same thing on this trip.

Fifteen days ago, I went to a Chicago Bulls game with a friend.  I wasn't that hungry while at the game. So, I decided to wait until the trip home to grab something.  My options late at night on a Monday, even in Chicago, were relatively slim.  I then saw the lights still on at the Billy Goat Tavern.  So, I wandered in and found that they were open.  And, they had burgers!  In what can only be labeled as gluttonous, I ordered a triple bacon cheeseburger, French fries, and a Coke.  I don't even want to guess at what the calories were.  It was good.  But, it also kept me up all night... as triple bacon cheeseburgers at 11 PM are bound to do.

Flash forward to last night, exactly two weeks later.  My plan included going back to the Billy Goat Tavern because that burger was excellent.  But, my plan called for me to eat a single cheeseburger, sans bacon, with French Fries and water.  I thought this would bring my calories down dramatically while still enjoying a burger.  

At some point during the day, possibly shortly after enjoying an excellent salad at lunch, my plan changed.  I ended up at Chik-Fil-A.  Let me add that I have never eaten anything else but chicken sandwiches at Chik-Fil-A.  Chik-Fil-A, and the chicken sandwich specifically, are part of my holy trinity... along with Five Guys and Qdoba.  But, last night, I ordered the Market Salad with grilled chicken.  To make that choice even better, I ordered a packet of the Light Italian dressing, a dressing substantially lower in calories than any of the others.  The best part?  The salad was very good.  The salad was very filling.  In fact, I didn't quite finish it.  And, the salad only had 180 calories with an additional 25 for the dressing!  A total of 205 calories!  Heck with 30-40% reduction in calories!  I  bet this meal was about 10% of the calories of the meal I had two weeks before.

I finished off the night by walking on the treadmill.  I think the Hyatt was ready for me.  It was the first day open for their new fitness center and I had it all to myself.  Great finish to a great night and the first time I have exercised in a hotel in three years.

Here's to making improvements to the plan and finding different ways to eat at Chik-Fil-A...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weighing In

It sucks not being able to weigh in.  While I like the process of weighing in daily and have weighed every day, when I could, for almost four years, it's not the weigh-in itself that I miss.  What I miss is posting my weight.  I miss it because it has always been my greatest motivator.  I want so badly to be able to post a lower weight every single day. Before you post the comments here and on Facebook and send me messages, I get it.  I understand that I won't lose weight every day.  I understand that weighing daily is frowned upon because of this very reason. I know that if I lose weight five days straight and then go up .4 on the sixth day that it's not the end of the world and still a good six days.  But, none of that matters.

On Sunday morning, when I saw 269.6, I was irritated at myself. I was mad that I was going to post that on this blog.  I am so upset that I have to fess up to that weight gain that I almost want to lie about it.  Yes, I have a problem.  But, at least I fessed up.

Since I can't weigh in today, we both don't know what I weigh today.  That sucks because that would be a little more reinforcement.  A little more reinforcement never hurts when travelling on business.  But, I am down since yesterday.  I am confident I am down.  You will just have to take my word for it.  In exchange, I will try to be a little less psychotic.  Deal?

Here's to weighing in again on February 15...

Sunday, February 9, 2014


The hazard in not eating as many chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday is the resulting leftover chicken wings... a rarity at the Marinucci household.  We had planned on cooking some ahi tuna for dinner yesterday.  But, we saw those leftover chicken wings that were close to being thrown away.  We called Nicholas to see if he wanted the leftovers.  Unfortunately, all of the BBQ wings were drumettes.  But, Nicholas doesn't like the BBQ wings.  All of the hot wings were wingettes.  And, Nicholas only likes the drumettes.  Yes, he is a picky little shit.  So, he said no.

I know.  Lori and I could have just thrown them away.  Maybe the inability to waste these leftovers is a topic for another day.  Regardless, we ate the leftover chicken wings.  I used less than half a tablespoon of blue cheese.  I actually still ended up under my calorie goal.  But, two days of heavy salt and lots of water before I went to bed resulted in my gain of .4.  

My first setback since I started.  The good news is that I didn't go back over 270 and you know how I feel about going back over a barrier once I have crossed it. 

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 269.6
Change from previous: +0.4
Total: (8.8)
Total Days: 6
Ahead/(Behind) Pace: 4.2

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Little Tests Leading Up To The Big Test

Like a lot of things I will likely write over the next year, I know this topic has been written about in this blog before.  But, it bears repeating. Plus I can't remember every post I have written and don't feel like going back to the beginning to find out. 

Over the last couple of years I have gotten back in to the bad habit of not being able to get through any "event" without eating poorly.  My definition of events are all those things that are exceptions to me sticking to my normal eating routine at work or at home. These events include lunches with friends, business trips, weddings, vacations, dinners with friends, holidays, etc.  I would do well for a few days and then let a single event ruin all of my progres. 

From Monday to Wednesday, I didn't have any of these events.  I ate well at work.  I ate well at home.  It was easy.  On Thursday, I had my first event since starting again.  I had lunch plans with three of my best friends.  When we arrived at The Gold Dust, the specials board listed the bacon cheeseburger, with French fries, and a salad or soup.  I like their French fries and I really like their hamburgers... and, well you know how I feel about bacon and cheese.  On most days, that's probably what I would have gotten.  Instead, I ordered the turkey sandwich, took off the bottom bun, ate a salad with very little Italian dressing and skipped the Pepsi.  And, it tasted excellent.  My reward for eating like a normal person was a 1 pound weight loss.  Test #1 complete.

Yesterday, I went to Panda Express at lunch.  Before going, I made sure I planned what I was going to eat by looking online at the nutritional info on various dishes.  While I knew I wasn't going to get away from a heavy sodium meal, I still wanted to keep the calories and fat grams to a minimum.  So, I planned on mixed veggies, Black Pepper Chicken, and Firecracker Chicken.  510 calories total.  When I left the drive-through and got to the parking lot, I realized that they had accidentally given me fried rice instead of the veggies.  I heard the loud voice in my ear say not to go back in because it was cold outside and I really didn't want to get out of the car.  I heard another louder voice say that I should just eat the rice since it was probably just fate.  Then I heard a really faint voice tell me to get my ass out of the car and go get the veggies.  So, that's what I did.  The veggies were so good that I found myself wondering why it is so hard to order them without this little conversation in my head always taking place.  I skipped the soy sauce and the chile paste that I love.  The meal was excellent.  My reward for planning ahead and eating decently at Panda Express was a .8 pound weight loss.  Test #2 complete.

So, now I face the biggest test in this early stage of my latest journey... Chicago.  I sat down and did a preliminary plan of what I wanted to eat when I am there next week.  While it is subject to change, my plan, for the most part, is a redo of my trip last week.  I wanted to see if I could go to all of the same places - adventurous spirit be damned - and reduce my caloric intake substantially.  My plan would likely be 30-40% of the calories I ate last time!  I plan on working out every day in the hotel like I was doing three years ago.  And, I plan on coming back at the same weight or lighter than when I leave as opposed to the 5+ pound gain last time. 

Those first two tests seem like small things.  But, they were huge for me.  Those tests prove that I can handle the Chicago test.  Those tests give me a great deal of confidence.  While a bad week in Chicago won't mean the end of this journey, a good or great week in Chicago might springboard me to a great start.

Here's to doing Chicago right... well, a third of Chicago...


Back under 270 for the first time since October 16, 2013 and my lowest weight since I was 268.0 on October 3, 2013.  Feeling great!  More importantly, feeling mentally strong!  Bring on Chicago!  Down 9.2 after five days and 5.4 pounds ahead of pace.

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 269.2
Change from previous: (0.8)
Total: (9.2)
Total Days: 5
Ahead/(Behind) Pace: 5.4

Friday, February 7, 2014

New Goals

Any good journey needs some goals.  As I did last time, I have set out aggressive goals over the next six months or so.  Of course, as aggressive as these goals are, I secretly have stretch goals that are even lower than this.  I like aggressive goals because if I miss, I am still usually pretty happy with the results regardless.  For now, I will share my current goals by month and not my stretch goals..  With a great start and four excellent days, I am already 5.3 pounds ahead of my pace.  This is a good thing, I may need those as a contingency plan to offset my trip to Chicago next week.

Here are my goals...

February 3, 2014 Starting Weight: 278.4
March 1, 2014: 258.4, monthly (well, almost a month) goal of 20 down, total goal of 20 down
April 1, 2014: 243.4, monthly goal of 15 down, total goal of 35 down
May 1, 2014: 228.4, monthly goal of 15 down, total goal of 50 down
June 1, 2014: 218.4, monthly goal of 10 down, total goal of 60 down
July 1, 2014: 213.4, monthly goal of 5 down, total goal of 65 down
August 1, 2014: 208.4, monthly goal of 5 down, total goal of 70 down
September 1, 2014: 203.4, monthly goal of 5 down, total goal of 75 down
October 1, 2014: 198.4, monthly goal of 5 down, total goal of 80 down

The key date for me is July 1.  As I said before, I have always considered 215 to be the barrier that I need to break to feel healthy again.  Sure, that is not the lowest I could or should go. or even my lowest weight from three years ago (198.0).  But, it's the weight where I feel comfortable with myself.  It's the weight where I sleep, breathe, and feel better.  It's the weight where I feel good in the clothes I wear.  It's the weight where I stop hating myself.

Here's to not hating myself and to setting goals...


Down another pound.  I weighed when I got up and was 270.0.  I wanted to break 270 this morning really bad.  So, I took a shower, got ready, and then weighed again.  Still 270.0.  Oh well, it will have to wait until tomorrow.  Down 8.4 pounds in four days.  

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 270.0
Change from previous: (1.0)
Total: (8.4)

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Day 3 in the books and down another 2.2 pounds.  That's 7.4 after three days!  Too early to get excited.  But, very encouraging start.  Just like that I am at my lowest since January 13.  The last time I was under 270 was October 16, 2013!

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 271.0
Change from previous: (2.2)
Total: (7.4)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Crutches and Weaknesses

After posting my "CNTL-ALT-DEL" blog the other night, I received several comments from people who didn't agree with my musings regarding "crutches", "weakness", "failures", and not needing "all of this".  Those folks were upset with me for implying that using myfitnesspal.com, this blog, my exercise streak, etc. were bad things that I could do without.

Sometimes in these posts, I am not always very clear.  Sometimes I don't always convey what I am thinking in my head.  So, let me clarify...

I wasn't trying to say that writing in this blog is a sign of weakness.  I have always enjoyed blogging... though I have enjoyed it more when things were going well for me.  If I knew that I would need to keep blogging for me to maintain my health, I would attempt to blog until the day I died.  I am perfectly fine with that.  But, I would prefer it if the blog was a byproduct of my journey and not such a key component of it's success. My fear is that if, for whatever reason, I can no longer blog, then all of a sudden I will start gaining weight.  What if I can't think of anything else to write?  What if I just get bored with it?  Will I do exactly what I did over the last two years?  I just want to find something that works so that when I lose this weight, I can maintain it for the rest of my days.

I wasn't trying to say that my exercise streak was a sign of weakness.  But, again, I want to know that I can make it my plan to exercise daily with an expectation of never exercising less than five days in a week.  But, what I don't want is to start a streak and find that the streak is what motivates me and not how I feel.  After my streak ended last time, I didn't immediately stop working out.  But, I did find that I was more willing to skip workouts afterwards.  I want to be able to continue to exercise regularly without having that streak be the sole motivator. 

I love myfitnesspal.com.  And, I truly believe logging everything I ate was a huge driver of my previous success.  But, I want to be able to still think about what I am eating even if there comes a moment where I get out of the habit of using MFP.

Maybe it will take some sort of compromise that works for me.  Maybe I will simply log my weight every day, which in the end is the biggest accountability moment when posting to this blog.  Maybe I will post lengthier blogs weekly instead of daily.  Maybe my streak will be the number of weeks working out at least five days rather than trying to beat my previous streak of 549 straight days without a miss.  I can still use MFP regularly... the commitment is not overwhelming.  I can continue to fill my cabinets with healthy foods.  I can continue to use all of these tools at my disposal and, hopefully, find a compromise of all of these things that works for me over many years.

Here's to finding the correct mix of all of these "aids", as one friend insisted to me, that works and not thinking of them as crutches or weaknesses...


Solid second day.  And, this one was because I did the right things and not just because I felt sick from chicken wings the day before!  

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 273.2
Change from previous: (2.0)
Total: (5.2)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Love Chicago

I love Chicago.  Chicago has always been my favorite city.  Okay, I haven't been to every city in the world or even the United States.  But, other than New York City, I have been to most of the big cities in this country and to Sydney as well.  I like the feel of Chicago.  There is a certain grit about the city and I have always imagined that New York City would have a similar feel.  Maybe it's something about a cold weather city that makes it different.  Maybe the city seems 'harder' because of the winters.  Can you really have the feel of Boston, Pittsburgh, New York City, or Chicago if you have the kind of winters that Los Angelenos have to endure?

But, like many things in my life, I eventually come to the realization that most of the things I love are somehow based on my love of food.  So, maybe it's not the grit.  Maybe it's the fact that there are so many great places to eat in Chicago.  Maybe it's the fact that as I walk down the streets of Chicago towards my intended restaurant, I pass another five to ten that tempt me. 

I have talked about my love of the Food Channel and, more specifically, the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  Whenever I travel, for business or pleasure, I always spend at least one night researching the restaurants that have been on DDD and other Food Channel shows such as Sandwich King (based in Chicago by the way!).  I watch youtube videos.  I make a list of the potential places to eat.  I ask the locals what they recommend.  I look at reviews on Yelp.  In summary, I spend way too much time planning where I am going to eat.

My success with using these sources has been hit and miss.  But, that's okay with me.  That has always been part of the adventure for me.  I don't want to go to the same restaurants I can go to anywhere.  I want to eat where the locals eat.  I like riding the trains to city locations I would never go to if not looking for a local favorite.  I like trying local foods that I have never had before.  I don't want to stop exploring new cities for new restaurants.  I like that experience.  I just want to stop feeling like I need to try everything on the menu. 

Last week, I went to Carson's Prime Steaks and Barbecue.  I ordered the roquefort wedge salad, baby back ribs, and their famous au gratin potatoes.  The salad was awesome.  And, it was huge.  I didn't quite finish it.  But, I wanted to.  I was already feeling full and hadn't even received my meal.  The potatoes were very good.  The ribs were average.  But, I kept eating them...the full rack and the potatoes.  Most likely because they were a little pricey.  Yeah, my company was paying for it.  But still, they were pricey!  When I was done, all I kept thinking about was how good the salad was. I don't even think I was that hungry when I sat down and I wondered why I hadn't saved my company almost $30 and just ordered the salad. The salad was not only excellent, it was more than enough for a full meal and not a light meal by any means.  When I left the restaurant, I was so full that I was uncomfortable walking to the train and to my hotel.  Not only did I not love the ribs, I ate them to the point of causing discomfort.  I am tired of that discomfort combined with that guilty feeling that I get almost immediately after.  Even more so when the item causing the discomfort was average at best.  I know better.  Yet, it doesn't seem to impact my decisions.

I want to continue to try new things without feeling that discomfort.  I want to go to new restaurants and order one item.  I want to go back to Carson's and order the wedge again, only the wedge, and leave happy and comfortable.  I want to go to Chicago and not gain four to five pounds every time.  I want to be able to continue to enjoy the adventure of experiencing a new city and it's local foods without making myself feel guilty or uncomfortable.

Next week I go back to Chicago.  My goal is to come back lighter than when I left.  Even when I was exercising on the road the couple of times I travelled during my previous weight-loss, I never came back lighter than when I left.  A successful trip was staying within a pound or two of my departure weight.  That would be a first!  And, for now, that is my plan.

Here's to the Windy City and not letting it end my latest journey right when it was just getting started...


Good way to start!  Aided by an upset stomach after eating chicken wings on Sunday, I never felt that hungry yesterday.  Down 3.2 pounds! 

Starting weight (this time): 278.4
Current weight: 275.2
Change from previous: (3.2)
Total: (3.2)


I thought I could do this without this blog.  I thought I could do this without myfitnesspal.com.  I thought I could do this without my exercise streak.  I thought that when I got past all of the issues I used as excuses I would be fine.  I thought it was only a matter of time.  I wanted to keep from blogging and then come back when I had finally lost the weight for a second time.  I wanted to defiantly prove that I could lose weight without all of this.  I was wrong.

It might be that I really didn't believe any of the above.  To be perfectly honest, the thought of writing a blog and admitting how far I have fallen off the weight loss wagon is more imposing than I ever thought.  Even as I write this, there is a part of me that is struggling at the thought of actually hitting the enter button. As if anyone who sees a photo of me can't tell that I have gained a ton of weight.  As if writing a number that is 40 pounds higher than the last time I wrote and 80+ pounds higher than my lowest weight from about three years ago all of a sudden makes it real.  As if writing in this blog and admitting that I need this to help me is a sign of weakness. As if writing that I was a failure made people suddenly aware of something that they couldn't easily deduce with their own eyes.

I need this blog.  I need to record every thing I eat every day in myfitnesspal.com.  I need to cook meals in advance and fill my cupboards and refrigerator with healthy options.  I need to start an exercise streak again.  And, I need to be okay with that.  It is far better to admit I need any or all of these crutches and use them to my advantage than to continue to slowly return to where I was when all of this started. 

So, it's time for a reboot.  I have thought of doing this for almost six months.  I have found numerous reasons to put it off.  I will write after the event we have planned for this weekend.  I will write after Thanksgiving.  I will write after Christmas.  I will write after we go to Denver for the P!nk concert and The Brewery Bar for the Bronco game. 

I planned to write this weekend after returning from a business trip in Chicago where I ate like I always do when I am on a business trip... poorly.  But then, we went to dinner on Saturday.  Sunday?  Well, we had chicken wings planned for the Super Bowl so I couldn't write that night!  The irony is that I did a little better than normal at both Mi Ranchito on Saturday and while eating wings on Sunday and find myself only .4 pounds higher than my post-Chicago weight. 

So, what's different about tonight?  Do I have a month of no restaurants or activities planned?  Nope.  In fact, I go back to Chicago next week.  My favorite city.  Likely my favorite city because of all of the great restaurants and food choices.  But, I have to start sometime and there will never be a month without this stuff.  There is never a good starting point other than today.  At some point, it is time.  So, I start tonight and hope that I can show some resolve next week in Chicago.

More than anything, I am blogging again because my brother, Frank, has badgered me for the last two weeks.  Because my brother has reminded me of all of those things that I already know.  Because my brother has begged me to run a half-marathon with him.  Because my brother was proud of me the last time and is scared that I will never get back to that weight.  I was about to go to bed tonight and remembered I promised him I would start this today.  And, I thank him for being a pain in the ass!  I love him for loving me so much that he doesn't care if he pisses me off in the process.  He is going to remind me every day of this stuff because he wants me to live life and not continue to die slowly. 

The weight, you say?  Do I have to?

This morning, I started my journey again at 278.4 pounds.  I am 43 pounds heavier than when I last wrote in this blog over 13 months ago.  I am 80 pounds heavier than my lowest weight on February 27, 2011.  I have now been heavy again longer than I was at a normal weight. 

See you in the morning...