Category / 20/20 Lifestyles

Two years from start. August 26, 2008 at 7:59 pm

On August 11th two years ago I started the 20/20 lifestyles program at 328 pounds.  That wasn’t my all time highest weight, but it still was very large.  A couple weeks back was August 11th again and I was planning on reflecting on my progress.  Not everything has been perfect.  In fact the last 4-5 weeks have been very bad. 

My diet has been awful and I haven’t been exercising regularly for the last 3 weeks.  OK I have an excuse for this, but it still bothers me. 

The week before my 2 year start anniversary I had to stop cycling.  You can read all about "saddle sores" and I can attest that "painful" is an apt description.  However once that cleared up something else came and visited.  For the last couple of weeks I have had various symptoms that in and of themselves weren’t overly worrisome to me.  In fact for the most part I was able to work through the various issues and I actually was able to make it to the gym a few times.  However, the day after each of the gym visits resulted in MORE days off from the gym.  (All gastrointestinal type of symptoms that various Pepto commercials satirize.)

Thursday and Friday of last week finally beat me to a pulp.  I ~should~ have seen my doctor on Friday, but I didn’t even make it out of bed until 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon.  Then I ~really~ should have gone to a "local care" type of place.  But I am smarter than that!  Ha.  I waited until Money to make an appointment with my doc.  He was concerned enough to order a slew of tests and send me home with a strong antibiotic. 

I’ll know more later.  He wasn’t going to offer a diagnosis without the tests. 

At this point I will be happy to be able to get back to some more physical stuff or even go for a ride!

Yo … Ga! October 10, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Around the first of the year I told myself that I would give this Yoga thing a try.  I had noticed that simple stretches after doing workouts made a huge difference in my flexibility and the way I felt on my subsequent days of activities.  My trainer gave me a simple routine that I followed for a while, but I didn’t follow that plan as much as I should.  Once I started cycling into work the whole stretching on a regular basis kinda went out of the window. 

So much for a "New Years Resolution!"  Last month I started looking into it again and I am proud to say I finally followed through and signed up for a four week introduction to Yoga series.  The first class was last night.  What I didn’t know was that my trainer had actually showed me a very basic Yoga routine!  Many of the stretches I was doing to help strengthen my core and help alleviate my back pain were actually Yoga poses! 

I’ll give it a try and see how it goes.  I suspect I will try and integrate a couple of Yoga sessions a week into my schedule.  I quite enjoyed the class last night and I suspect as some of my flexibility returns I will get more and more out of it.

I am now able to run (jog?) 4 miles consistently on the treadmill without any noticeable knee or back pain.  I am still only trying for a maximum of twice a week.  My current plan is to run Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  I more or less have to drive into work so I can make the Yoga classes on those evenings so hitting the gym is a good thing. 

I’ve pretty much kept up the cycling too.  I am not riding as many miles as I was during the summer, but my current plan is to commute Monday, Wednesday, and Friday weather permitting.  Rain isn’t a show stopper unless it is REALLY pissing it down.  High wind and snow are reasonable excuses for wimping out.

My weight has more or less been within a 10 pound range over the last few months.  I am currently back on the way down.  I peaked again at about 218 a couple of weeks back.  I ~was~ on vacation and wasn’t watching what I was eating.  I have still not been able to break the 206 barrier.  Every time I have been close, something else has caused issues.  The last time I spoke with the doctor he did say I should try again AFTER the heavy training.  Now is the time.  :)

Healthy 101 August 29, 2007 at 12:21 pm

I’ve been living the "20/20 Lifestyle" for over a year now.  A couple of weeks back I officially weighed in at 213.  That is a 2 pound increase over where I was at when I finished the program in March.  Not too bad over all.  According to my scale at home I have been 210 +/- 4 during the entire time.  Not too shabby, but I would really like to break the 200 pound barrier. I know what it will take to get there and I haven’t made the effort required.  The doctor says I’ll probably have to wait until after I complete my "training" and endurance rides.  Given the fuel requirements needed to keep up the high level of activity, it is "really hard" to drop the last number of pounds while training.  Maybe in November and I will be able to concentrate on the last bit.  Skiing isn’t as hard on the body (the way I ski anyway) as cycling. 

I have been bicycling quite a lot this year.  I am getting very close to breaking the 4000 mile mark and I should pass the mark by the end of this week.  I still enjoy it.  Days like today make the ride into work down right heavenly.

Still maintaining, but having ups and downs July 27, 2007 at 1:06 pm

In just over 2 weeks I will have been working on the "diet" portion of the 20/20 Lifestyles program for a full year.  Over all I consider myself as doing a good job, but I am still not successful yet.  My definition of success is making it to 8/11/2008 and still being at or below where I am today. 

Over the last month I was on an upward trajectory.  My morning weight peeked at 216.8 and a couple of nights I saw 220+.  Just prior to this "slip-up" I had even seen a number of consecutive evening weights UNDER 210 with the morning weight hovering around 206.  I thought for sure that I would be able to finally break that 206 barrier.  Life intervened.  10 pounds is NOT a HUGE deal, but to me it felt very much like a huge deal.   I can see it in the photos of me on my bike during the STP.  I was on the upper end of the gain during that ride.  Not only that, but I definitely felt  the extra weight. 

I know that without the education that the program imparted on me this slipup would have been MUCH worse and I would have likely gained even MORE.  I’ve got an action plan in place and I can clearly see that it is working.  The more I am in control of what I eat (i.e. not eating out/etc..) the better I feel and the better my body responds. 

I am loath to make any projections about what will happen in the next couple of weeks.  At this point I am just grateful that I was able to get control of my slide and start the recovery process.  Live and learn!

Preparation is key July 3, 2007 at 12:35 pm

There is nothing like re-learning a lesson that I already learned to help drive a point home.  Over the last couple of weeks I had been sliding ever so slightly back into my old habits.  That just isn’t going to work for me long term.  When I try and wing-it I end up having less than desirable results.  Some examples are not preparing my lunch, counting on "meal replacement" snacks, and eating out.  In moderation none of the above would have a huge impact, but when combined with stress and emotional eating they are particularly effective ways for me to pack on poundage. 

When I don’t bring in my lunch to work I am at the mercy of the cafeteria.  We have a pretty good selection of food and I can avoid things like french fries and pizza without too much of an issue.  Part of this is I know what I will feel like the next day after I eat said crap.  The biggest problem is not knowing exactly what is going into my mouth.  Even when I just have a couple of chicken breasts cooked on the grill and a salad I still don’t fully know what is going into the meal prep.  That in and of its self isn’t a huge deal, but I still tend to over do it when eating out.  Proportions can be inflated and the conditioning to clean my plate still has an impact.  It is good in a pinch and it beats going hungry, but it isn’t optimal by any means. 

"Meal replacement" bars can be a double edged sword for me.  On one hand they are a convenient way to supplement  my morning or afternoon snacks.  However sometimes I can really over do them.  There are a number that I have proven just can not keep around the house.  Most granola types of bars can contribute to my over indulging.  I hate to admit it, but last week I was able to power through 6 BOXES of Odwalla bars.  That is over 72 bars.  I have NO doubt as to how THAT contributed to my weight gain over the last week.  The extended weekend before that?  I went through 3 full boxes of Clif Bars.  Before that I was powering through the PureFit bars too.  Given the time frame for the PureFit bars it would have happened with what ever I had around the house.  Over all, with all the extra calories I am VERY grateful that it didn’t cause even MORE gain!  I have to treat those things as a controlled substance around me.  They were MUCH better than cookies or ice cream, but still. 

Eating out is a problem area for me.  I know how to order well, but sometimes I just make poor choices.  Last Sunday was one of those days.  Over all and in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t nearly as bad as the Odwalla debacle, but I knew better and paid for my "sins" on Monday.  One Benefit of being in tune with my body is that I tend to recognize the impact that food has both on my mood and performance.  The four glasses of Strawberry Lemonade, Fries, and Chicken Burger tasted good going down, but I was zoned in the morning. 

My conclusion is that I really shouldn’t "stock up" on Clif Bars even if it is cheaper to buy them in bulk.  I’ll just stuff them down my neck in bulk.  Same goes for the other bars too.  I had a good track record with the PureFit bars until a few weeks ago.  I’ll give that one another shot some time, but for now I am just going to try and grab a few Clif Bar’s before my long rides and not keep them around the house. 

I am not happy with this turn of events and I am not getting complacent about it.  After experiencing close to skinny, I now "feel" the extra pounds.  Until recently I really didn’t have a frame of reference.  Now I do notice the extra 5-10 pounds.  I am certain part of that is the cycling clothes.  Jerseys tend to be a little unforgiving and I notice it a lot. 

So now I need to add snack preparation into my daily plans.  It is too dangerous (at times like now) for me to have certain food stuffs around.  I am better off having to plan the meals in advance.  Lesson learned! Again. 

20/20 Update June 27, 2007 at 2:18 pm

It is getting close to 11 months from my start of the 20/20 Lifestyles program.  I have been reflecting back on how I feel and the stress that I have been going through in my life lately.  I can honestly say that without the knowledge I have gained from the program I would have easily regained 30-50 pounds by now.  The last few months have been a constant struggle to avoid binge eating.  I am well aware of the stressor that is likely the progenitor of the behavior and I have been working towards correcting the issue.  Without the framework in place I would be out buying much larger clothes again. 

As it is, right now I am pretty much stalled at around 210 +/- 4.  I have seen 206 and came very close to breaking that barrier again last week, before my latest episode.  Without the exercise, much better diet, and considerably better binging intake I would have failed to maintain any of the loss.  I don’t have ice-cream, cookies, or other candy around the house.  I have to watch out for Cliff Bars and the like because they tend to set me off.  Comfort in food.  That is probably the hardest conditioning for me to over come.  Even friends un-intentionally can help to undermine my determination.  Once in a while is OK and I know it is going to happen.   I just need to remain vigilant and not let it become a continuous theme in my life again.    

It is frustrating, but also very encouraging to me as well.  When I can take in an extra 1000-1500 calories in a day and not see a massive impact, because after a slip I am much more focused on eating better, it is only frustrating and not depressing! 

I also know that part of the reason I have more or less stopped dropping pounds is that I have been building muscle mass.  It isn’t obvious to me, but others notice it quite a bit.  My leg strength was always good, but now it is considerably stronger.  Bicycling has really made a huge impact in that regard. 

I am pretty much down to just a belly now with the tiniest bit of "love handle."  On the days that I get below 210 I actually am starting to feel skinny.  When I am over 210 I am noticing the extra poundage and I feel more bloated and large.  I look at this as a good sign.  I am beginning to relearn my body image and I am more in tune with how I feel physically. 

The predominant contributor to the stall is well known to me, but I suspect a little of the cause is my feeling of getting smaller.   Most days it is a good feeling, but every now and again I just don’t believe it to be real.  Go figure.  I never thought the hardest part of the program would be the psychological barriers! 

Love the weather! June 1, 2007 at 7:19 am

Another month gone in 2007.   I have been tracking my daily weight for over two months now and I have noticed a trend.  It is subtle, but it is there and I am generally pleased with what it says.  I bounce around +/- 4 pounds around a number for a couple of weeks, but that number is gradually getting smaller and smaller.  Because of the nature of measurements being so absolute, I am mostly just happy that the trend is there! I will have to keep that in mind on the days when I weigh high.  As long as the intra week trend isn’t showing an increase for too long!  I promise that I will make some form of "public disclosure" about my weight over the last two months sometime. 

I can say that I was at 206 again this morning.  I am not certain if it is a "jinx" or not, but every time I have "announced" my weight lately, I have done something to reverse that number and I have had to work at keeping it down. This is a very good lesson to learn.  I am slowly understanding what I can "get away with" and what tends to cause issues.  This is NOT just about the weight.  I was also having issues with cholesterol, high blood pressure, and blood glucose levels.  

While I can "get away" with the rouge pastry every now and again, I know that they MUST be a treat and not an every day item.  On the long bicycle rides that I have been doing I know that a couple of potatoes (14 Hills of Kirkland) really have a good impact on my energy levels WITHOUT the annoying sweetness associated with the energy gels.  Potatoes are excellent energy food, but ONLY if you are expending the energy.  The way the body processes the starches does NOT make for good weigh loss if you are sedentary. 

The month of May was Bike to Work Month.  I was ill the first week of the month, but for the rest of the month I was able to make my goal of at least 4 times a week! In May I cycled to and from work 16 times.  Each day was at least 26 miles and some of those days even more. I hope to keep the 4 times a week goal for the rest of the summer.  Sometimes I miss the gym, but then on days like today, I don’t miss it at ALL.

The last two days it has been warm enough for me to ride in the morning without my arm warmers.  The end of last week saw the leg warmers staying home.  Only 20 more days until the longest day of the year.  I am already starting to be roused in the morning at about 5:30 from the bright sun reflecting into my bed room.  In late June the sunrise is expected to be around 5:10 in the Seattle area.  It is already light enough for me to leave work as late as 8:00pm and be "safely" home without worrying too much about light levels.  With the tree’s that cover my "quick" route home, I do prefer having flashers on the bike, but the light is just fine otherwise.  For about a month I’ll be able to leave work as late as (8:30pm) in a pinch.  Keep in mind that my current preference is to bail as early as 5:00pm and no later than 6:00pm.  However, even in my current position I can end up staying late.  smile_sad

Only 72 more days until my 1 year (start of program) anniversary.  With good focus on my part I hope to still be under 210 pounds.  I am not sure if I can break the 200 barrier before then or if I ever will, but I still intend to try! I still won’t consider myself successful (no matter what every one else keeps on saying) until I stay at this weight for at LEAST two years.  Even then, I really know that I can never let up or I will bloat-ify right back up.  20/20 Lifestyles indeed!

20/20 Followup May 24, 2007 at 11:52 am


08/02/06 09/12/06 10/16/06 11/20/06 01/09/07 03/07/07 05/21/07 Total Change
Weight 328 298 273 254 234 215 211 -117
Blood Pressure 128/80 128/72 121/72 112/70 134/86* 120/78 128/80 -2/-9
Chest Girth 51.25 48.5 45 42.75 42.5 40.25 40.5 -10.75
Waist Girth 55.25 46.25 44 41 40 37.5 36.25 -19
Hips Girth 49.5 47.25 44.25 43 42.25 41 41 -8.5
Waist to Hip Ratio 1.12 .98 .98 .95 .95 .91 .88 -.24
Bicep Girth 17.75 16.25 14.74 14 14 13 12.5 -5.25
Thigh Girth 30.5 28 26 25.75 25.25 24 23.75 -6.75
BMI 44.5 40.4 37 34.4 31.7 29.2 28.6 -15.9


As part of the 20/20 Alumni program we can come in for a follow-up every 10 weeks to get basic measurements.  This is cool because it not only gives them tracking information on the progress of graduates of the program, but it helps keep me accountable because I know that someone else will view the data. 

I have been recording my AM and PM weight for the last couple of months, but I still haven’t decided how I want to present the data.  I need to spend some time modeling the data in Excel.

Jinx? May 16, 2007 at 12:40 pm

I’ve been hovering at about 210 +/- 3 for the last few weeks.  Some day when I get a chance I will publish the last couple of months of data that I have accumulated about my morning and evening weights.  I normally start the day about 3-4 pounds lighter than I end the day!  It is also interesting (to me anyway) that I also respire about eight tenths of a pound every night.  I don’t measure myself twice every morning, but the mornings that I have are pretty consistent.  Almost a full pound most nights!  I attribute that to any perspiration that might occur at night, moisture lost from breathing out, and any chemical transformations that occur that might produce heat.  I don’t quite remember if conservation of mass comes into play with the whole chemical thing.  After visiting my porcelain friend, I use that weight as my morning number.

All of that preface leading up to my new lowest weight I’ve seen.  Yesterday and today, I was at (marginally over) 206!  Last night I actually ended the day under 210 for the first time ever as well!  “Ever” applies to times AFTER my late teens as I am pretty sure I didn’t start out over 200 pounds on my birthday.  My mother always said I was a big baby, but that would take the cake and a pie.

I am pretty happy about the current trend in the last week.  I hope that I have most of my binging under control and that I don’t start inching up again.  After hitting 207 a little over a month ago, I also recorded 213 one morning.  I would have never noticed 5 pounds of weight gain or loss on my body before.  Now I can definitely feel the difference.  The fact that I wear skin tight cycling shorts on a regular basis helps me see the effect.  Cycling shorts are not very forgiving.  Even two of my Jerseys that are cut a little large have started fitting a little too loose. 

I had thought that size inflation hadn’t made it to cycling clothes just yet.  I was wrong!  A few manufacturers have started making a “club fit” for us larger Americans.  This is a little annoying because now I really have to pay attention to the Jersey sizes.  Most “normal” Jerseys for me are XL and fit fairly good.  They show off my belly which is a good reminder to me that I want to continue to make progress.  However with the new fit sizing or “size inflation” I can get away with a large.   These trends make sense to the clothing manufactures because alienating 60% of the customer base by calling them XL or XXL is not the most profitable thing to do.  I just remember that I was an XL in High School and now I am a large and still slightly larger than I was back then.  Heck it is so bad that for a few manufactures I am in medium.  I think that clothing sizes should be more like pants.  I would find it much simpler to go into the store and pickup the shirt that matched my chest and girth (or hopefully lack of girth).  With the way pants are measured, there is a very good chance that I will pick something that fits correctly every time.

I hope that my writing about my new low number isn’t a prelude to another binge fest!  If I can keep things under control, 205 could be a stable reality by the end of next week.  With the amount of flab left on my body I hope to get to a point where I fluctuate between 190 and 195 on a daily basis and I can keep myself under 200.  (If I decide to put on tons of muscle, I might have to revise these numbers upward a little.)  I really think it is possible.  I am just starting to feel the definition in my abdomen now. In my adult life, I have never been this skinny before.  I quite like it!

Image Changing May 9, 2007 at 12:04 pm

About 9 months ago, I started the 20/20 Lifestyles Program offered by the Pro Sports Club in Bellevue, WA. At that time, I weighed in at a hefty 328 pounds. In July, I was at 338 and earlier last year even heavier. I am not 100% certain of my maximum fatness because most scales stop around the 330 range. I do know that I was off the scale at my doctor in May. That scale stopped at 340 and the estimate was 350.

I was large. When I visited my brother in Jan of 2006 I wasn’t able to put the tray down on the plane and the seat belt barely fit. As large as I was, I still didn’t completely have an internal body image that said I was a fatty.

Today I weighed in at 208 this morning. From my highest recorded weight that is 130 pounds gone. It still hasn’t completely sunk in. I’ve lived the large life for such a long time my body image still thinks of me as fat. I feel the fat on my body and when I sit, it still shows around my belly. I understand that I have lost quite a bit, but because it was such a gradual change for me, I don’t recognize the differences unless I step back and think about it.

It is a really weird feeling. I am more or less still the same person mentally, but the impact of my weight delta is mostly lost on me on a day to day basis. Don’t get me wrong, when I shop for clothes it is quite obvious that I don’t need the XXXL sizes anymore and it is actually annoying that I am in-between sizes for pants again. I do recognize these things, yet my body image is still of me as a rather large person. I wonder when or if I will ever make the mental switch. (Or even if I should make the mental switch!)

In just over three months, I will mark the 1-year anniversary of the start of the program and I still feel fat at times. Weird!