Category / 20/20 Lifestyles

Farthest/Longest ~ever~! April 20, 2007 at 9:29 am

Something someone said to me a few months back made quite a bit of sense.  It was along the lines of: “Running is the best exercise, especially on vacation or travelling.  It is easy to take a pair of running shoes with you.  Try taking your bicycle with you on the plane.”  I have been giving that a lot of thought because a couple of weeks off my “training” regiment could seriously derail my progress.  I know this about me, so it is a good idea that I try to rectify the situation before it exists. The last few times I had tried running (jogging on a treading mill) I really hurt my back.  I was still much larger than I am now and the Physical Therapist said it was highly likely it was due to the extra weight compressing my spine in an “unnatural” manner.  This week I tried again.  On Wednesday I jogged 2 miles and today I jogged 3!  3 miles is the longest I have EVER continuously jogged or run.  It took just under 30 minutes and I set the machine to 6.5 miles per hour.  The cool thing (to me anyway) is that I feel GOOD after doing this.  It might take a few months for me to be able to jog/run for a full hour or more, but I am going to add this to my list of exercises.  Crap.  Now people are going to start suggesting I train for a triathlon.  I am a good swimmer already and I love cycling.

I have been under 210 pounds consistently now for a full week.  My lowest was 207 and I have fluctuated between 208 and 212 during most days.  I am ~STILL~ battling the binge, but I am 100% certain of the trigger and I have been working to correct this situation.  The worst one was Wednesday night.  ½ box of Ak Mak crackers with Laughing Cow Cheese, a FULL sleeve of whole grain crackers with more cheese, an apple, a box of strawberries, and roughly 5 table spoons of peanut butter.  The worst part of all of that was a) I wasn’t really hungry, and b) I knew what I was doing and I still wasn’t able to stop myself. I am glad that I know more about how to handle this situation, but it is extremely aggravating.  I am not beating myself up over this, but I am trying to mitigate the problem.  If I did that everyday even WITH the exercise, I would add the pounds back on.  The cats did help me a little.  Once they piled on top of me, it prevented me from getting up and visiting the refrigerator.  Meow!

Ouch April 11, 2007 at 8:43 pm

I am not accustomed to paying over $100 for a shirt. Heck, most of the time I balk at a $40 shirt. All I can say is that the Nordstrom shirts I purchased tonight better darn well be worth it.

Weird thing is that both of the shirts ended up being medium and the t-shirt was a large. Go figure. I had to balance this purchase with a couple of internet order $18 shirts. One is highly likely to go back and I think it will be the large because this vendor has the habit of over sizing. I swim in the XL shirts that I ordered from them late last year. I swim in most XL shirts, but these are particularly roomy.

I am still astonished by the speed and relative ease I discarded the poundage. I know that it can re-appear faster than it disappeared ~if~ I go back to my old habits. Staying strong!

I was at 209.6 about a half hour ago. That isn’t my before bed weight, but it will be pretty close. The next few days will be the key to knowing if I can keep it regularly below 210. The most exciting time will come when my morning weight starts getting around 205. At that point my evening weight isn’t likely to creep over 210 unless I’ve just had a massive amount of water or food.

Off to cook my lunch and dinner for tomorrow. Thursday is my day off from the gym, but I will still be up bright and early. That means extra time at the office. Oh joy!

Will it hold? April 10, 2007 at 9:54 am

Last night I saw the writing on the scale. I ended the day at the same weight that I started the day. When this happens I generally start the next day 2-3 pounds lighter. I was 211.2 last night and this morning I FINALLY broke the 210 barrier with 208.4! Now the key to this being a stable lower number is me watching the binging for the rest of the week. Last night I ~did~ have a about 200-300 extra calories of snackish food, but I avoided going way overboard. The coolest thing was that the scale (the official 20/20 Scale) at the Pro Club showed me at 209.4 after my workout.

I am now the lightest I have been in at least 17 years. I was over 210 by the time I was 20. I don’t have the records of that and I am going by memory, but I know that my lowest weight was around 210 during my cycling routine in Arizona when I was 24 and 25. I was just fitting into size 34’s back then too, so the clothes are a good verification of that number. I was however still in XL shirts back then and now I use large. I’ll write that up to size inflation.

This is cool for me because I was parked between 211 and 220 for the last 4-5 weeks with no appreciable downward trend. I was smack in the middle +/-4 pounds. Most of that has been my diet. This really goes to show what I “can get away with” to maintain my weight when I finally wish to stop dropping poundage. I will never be able to go back to the lifestyle that I once lived, but I look at that as a benefit and NOT a loss. I am much happier knowing what is in my food and I do enjoy cooking. I’ve been eating much better foods in the last 8 months and frankly, I really LOVE the way my body responds.

Coffee and caffeine have been out of my system now for a few weeks and I’ve started waking up BEFORE my alarm again in the morning. Not only do I wake up before the alarm, but I am NOT groggy after getting out of bed. I don’t need 30-40 minutes of “ramp up” time in the morning. This was something that started to wane around the time I started drinking coffee again. During the first Phase of the program when I avoided coffee all together I experienced the same effect. I’ve known this for years. Duh! The first time I recognized the effect on me was when I was 24! Now if I can just avoid coffee next winter. It won’t be an issue this spring/summer/fall.

I am going to go celebrate with a box of Krispy Cream donuts. NOT! This wouldn’t have been a far stretch when I lived in Miami.  My "celebrations" happened on average once a month with a FULL box of the donuts.  I get ill just driving near the KC in Issaquah now.  Bleck.

33 April 9, 2007 at 10:03 am

Yesterday I went out trying to do some retail therapy. Too many places closed for Easter, but Eddie Bauer’s in the Redmond Town Center was open so I stopped in. I generally don’t shop at that store out of a matter of principal. Retail is OK, but EB is too much. Anyway, I tried on a pair of 33 waist shorts more or less out of curiosity and found them to be nearly wearable. I am really shocked at that. It is annoying that size 33 seems to be less than popular, but it is more popular than size 35, which is next to impossible to find. (Of course, EB has size 35’s!)

I still look fat to myself. I wonder if that will ever change. I KNOW that my legs are in excellent shape and I am quite happy with everything south of my belly and even north of the belly. My mid section is the last to go. It is happening very slowly. The “love handles” are still evident and my “fat pouch” is getting smaller. Today I did something that I surprised me. I really shouldn’t have been that surprised, but it was a first in a very long time! I was able to do a stretch that required me to bow my legs out to make room for the fat pouch before. Today the extra girth was small enough to squish out and in on its own. I can bring my knees up to my chest now. It takes time and I have to be warm because my muscles haven’t done that maneuver in countless years.

This week I want to focus on stabilizing my diet again. The uncertainty at work is starting to coalesce into a clearer picture, so my hope is that that stressor will be out of my life by the end of this month. It is possible that it could be an issue through May, but I hope (and I am working at this very diligently) to have the issue resolved within the next few weeks.

I still haven’t seen sub 210 yet. Last night wasn’t the best night I’ve had food wise this week so I wasn’t overly surprised to see 211 this morning. Seeing sub 210 is the next goal, STAYING sub 210 follows very closely after that. With the shock a couple of weeks ago of seeing 220+ for a few hours it was a wakeup call of sorts. Ultimately I think I would like 200 to be my “oh my gosh” number. Still working on that.

After I’ve collected enough data to make the results interesting I will publish a graph of my AM and PM weights. I find the general trends quite interesting and seeing the fluctuations every day is interesting. Some of the binges correlate directly to sustained weight regains and I can even notice the extra FAT on my body. Other binges don’t show evidence of more permanent damage. At least they don’t directly show increased fat storage in the short term. I suspect that if I kept it up over a couple of weeks that it would show up! I don’t want that to happen.

Almost! April 8, 2007 at 11:18 am

I am teetering on the edge of breaking the 210 barrier. Yesterday afternoon following my ride, I saw exactly 210.0 on the scale. It is going to happen and if I can keep my binging under control it should happen THIS week.

Nearly there (again!) April 5, 2007 at 11:02 am

Over the last few weeks I have been battling the binge. I have almost got it under control and my period of “maintenance” hopefully will stop and I can start dropping again. To that end, I have seen 223 last week and 210.8 this morning. I didn’t really drop over 10 pounds of weight in the last week, but I would guestimate around 5 total. I’ve been hovering around 217 +/- 3 for the last few weeks. This week I’ve been steadily seeing lower and lower weights again. To date 210.8 is the lowest weight I have seen ever (Some time back I was there once before). I may be able to break the 210 barrier next week if I can keep the binging under control over the weekend.

Last night I had an episode, but thankfully kept to “better” selections. It helps a lot that I don’t tend to have many “bad” selections around the house. Crackers tend to set me off and I need to be extra careful around them.

I am pretty certain I understand the general origin of the what is going on. Certainty and stability make for a good foundation. When uncertainty creeps in (even if it isn’t completely apparent) the brain responds. I’ve been going though some uncertainty at work and that is coming to a head. This lack of focus and certainty in direction is definitely having a major impact. When you combine this with other factors, it makes for interesting bedfellows. This is likely one of the contributors to my unplanned chowing down.

I’ve been measuring my weight in the morning (after a restroom break) and just before I go to bed at night. I generally see a 4-5 pound delta between my morning weight and my evening weight. The days when the evening weight are only 1-2 pounds over my morning weight (like yesterday) are the days I see lower numbers the next day. When I publish my results again (as soon as I figure out how I want to display the data) I’ll like use the A.M. number as ~my~ watch point. Given my normal 4-5 pound delta during the day, I need some basis number to watch. It is about the trends at least for now. I definitely either gain weight or just maintain when I eat out more! (The binges don’t help much either.)

It always catches up… March 29, 2007 at 10:14 pm

I’ve been hovering around 212-216 in the mornings and never over 218 in the evenings. Tonight I just got off the scale and it said 223. I ~had~ just consumed a liter of water and hadn’t visited the white receptacle yet, but after I was done the scale still reported 221. Remember that “hypothetical” red light number from last week? I’d say that I sailed past it. Today I was a little evil to myself as far as lunch was concerned. I had even planned on being evil for dinner. I was a pig. Much of those meals are still passing through my system and I am concerned about how much will “stick.” Let me put this in perspective. This morning I was at 214.4. That is nearly a full 10 pound delta. A good portion of that is water, but the other food is definitely a major issue and I REALLY feel it.

I am hoping that this will be the trigger that will get me to STOP binging and get back on the program. The result from cause and effect is generally effective with me. I am certain that I will continue to have “setbacks” from now until the ultimate setback of death. In the grand scheme of things, it isn’t any ware near as bad as I was 7 months ago. YET. It IS something that I really NEED to convince myself is BAD, but in the back of my head I keep on hearing what my dietician kept of saying during the program about how it wasn’t so bad etc. THOSE are words that I hated then, and NOW I really need to re-convince myself that I shouldn’t listen to them. It is too slippery of a slope for me to be on.

What a weekend… March 26, 2007 at 10:34 am

Saturday there was NO CHANCE in hell that I was going to go and ride in the rain. I dislike it on the best of days and well, Saturday was more for ducks than humans. Many insane folks did ride on Saturday. More power to them! I waited for Sunday. More on that later. Saturday I went into the gym so that I wouldn’t miss at least some cardio workout. Wow I felt great. I did a full hour on the step mill at level 13 and then 30 minutes on the elliptical at level 18. It was a pretty good workout.

The rest of the day I spent running errands and driving all over the place getting equipment for an electrical project that I needed to do. I go an extra storage room to have a place to work on my bikes in my condo. The room didn’t have any electrical outlets or even a light switch to turn the light off. My “storage neighbor” and I reconfigured the electrical so we could have power and light switches for each of the individual halves of the room. That took about 4 hours on Saturday and about 2 on Sunday morning. I am happy with the results. It is handy to be somewhat handy.

Sunday afternoon I decided to go for a ride. The rain had finally cleared up and this magical heat producing yellowish thing was peeking out at us. I made the mistake of thinking that it would actually be warm out and was a little ill prepared for the ride. I started by climbing up Lakemont Blvd and road through Newcastle and part of Renton, then circled back to Issaquah. It was my intention to go around Lake Sammamish too. However, with the wind and me forgetting to put on ear protection, I was thoroughly trashed and wimped out and went home instead.

I am doing a little better with my “binging,” but it still happening a little. I KNOW it is happening and it isn’t mindless in that it doesn’t happen without my awareness. I just elect not to stop it. I need to figure out my motivation or lack thereof. Take right now. I am hungry. It isn’t ~just~ cravings in that I ~do~ feel my tummy telling me that it wants food. But with the mixed signals of mouth watering being generally more attributed to cravings, I am trying to put off eating my (already prepared) lunch for about 30 more minutes. I ~know~ that will quash the hunger and the cravings in one go, but the earlier I eat the earlier it will return. Based on what I was supposed to have learned on the program, I need to re-jigger my diet to make either my snack or my breakfast. Both of which were a little atypical for me today. Lunch is pretty much normal today.

New tracking method/Life on Life March 24, 2007 at 8:08 am

Now that my official time on the 20/20 Lifestyles program is over and it is mostly up to me to track my continued weight loss and eventual weight maintenance I am moving my measurements to my home scale first thing in the morning buck naked after visiting the porcelain throne. I have a calendar and pen sitting by the scale and I am going to write this down every day in the morning and most evenings before I go to bed to get a record of my fluctuations and establish a good baseline for my Red light, Yellow Light, and Green Light numbers. These numbers are focal points for actions that I should take if I ever see them. Based on 210 it would work something like this: 215 is a yellow light and I should examine the eating patterns and exercise activities to see what has changed. Ideally this should give me enough warning to correct the weight gain before I have to go for a larger intervention. 220 would be a Red light. This is an indicator of a trend that needs to be quashed before I explode into a human gas bag again.

I really want to get under 200. I still have enough flab that I believe getting to 190 is a good possibility. It may take a while, but I think it can happen. I’d like to have a Spartan-esq (from the movie 300) set of abs, but that ain’t going to happen with my extra skin. I’ll settle for a decent definition and no extra flab pouches.

Anyway, my goal with writing down the numbers is to get a record of the pattern that I have seen over the course of the program. Most days I start the day 3-4 pounds lighter that I end the day. This really isn’t a major surprise because water and food has mass. Heck within 30 minutes of my morning weigh-in I have usually added at least 2 pounds back on! I drink a lot of water and a liter of the stuff during my breakfast weighs that much! My current working plan is to hover between 190 and 200 with 200 being the Red Light number that I don’t want to go beyond. The next couple of months will give me the information to see what the possibilities are.

Caffeine is a cause of one of my major malfunctions. This is not something that I didn’t already know, but every now and then I listen to what everyone else says about how caffeine doesn’t affect them and one cup of coffee a day won’t hurt you. I agree that one cup a day won’t harm your body, but for me it causes a cascade effect. One cup turns into two, then three, and so on until I am hooked on the elixir again and it starts to impact my sleep patterns. This impacts my performance physically. That impacts the energy that I burn because I am too tired to fully engage in the exercise. That impacts my need for a chemical boost which is coffee because I don’t get the rush from exercise that normally occurs. See the vicious circle? I have 100% verified this effect in me over the last seven months. When I introduced caffeine back into my daily ritual it didn’t impact me too much. I wasn’t having all that much, but I do quite LIKE coffee and in the PNW when it was cold I tend to like a nice warm drink even MORE! I was OK for a couple of months and then because a LITTLE wasn’t bad, I started pushing the limit. It isn’t that hard when you have a FREE coffee machine in the office that dispenses fresh ground Star Bucks coffee in 60 seconds! My conclusion on this (at least the 5th or 6th time that I have learned this lesson) is that I just need to stay away from caffeine and coffee. From now until next winter that will be easy. Let’s see how I do next winter.

I am generally happy with my physical abilities and new active lifestyle, but I still want more. I wonder where that will end. Something very extraordinary has happened to me in the past year. I care about things again. I care about how I look and about my health. I care about my mental well being and being out and about. I do know now that I was majorly depressed over the last 6-8 years and this took its toll on my health and general well being. I also know that the sleep apnea was a major contributor to this overall malaise. The combination of the 20/20 Lifestyles program AND the treatment of my sleep apnea has given me a life back and I intend to use it.

Final 20/20 Lifestyles Program Results March 20, 2007 at 10:31 am

08/02/06

09/12/06

10/16/06

11/20/06

01/09/07

03/07/07

Total Change

Weight

328

298

273

254

234

215

-113

Blood Pressure

128/80

128/72

121/72

112/70

134/86*

120/78

-8/-2

Chest Girth

51.25

48.5

45

42.75

42.5

40.25

-11

Waist Girth

55.25

46.25

44

41

40

37.5

-17.75

Hips Girth

49.5

47.25

44.25

43

42.25

41

-8.5

Waist to Hip Ratio

1.12

.98

.98

.95

.95

.91

-.21

Bicep Girth

17.75

16.25

14.74

14

14

13

-4.75

Thigh Girth

30.5

28

26

25.75

25.25

24

-6.5

BMI

44.5

40.4

37

34.4

31.7

29.2

-15.3

*This is an anomaly based on the time my pressure was measured.  I get my BP done every week and the normal range is between 116/69 – 120/74. 

Blood Work Results:

Initial

Phase 1

Phase 2

"Ideal Range"

Glucose

93

93

88

< 100 mg/dl

Cholesterol

216

153

165

< 200 mg/dl

Triglyceride

175

81

70

< 150 mg/dl

HDL

31

36

44

< 40 mg/dl

LDL

150

101

107

< 100 mg/dl

LDL/HDL Ratio

4.8

2.8

2.4

< 3.5

CHO/HDL Ratio

7.0

4.3

3.8

< 5.0