Monday, August 31, 2009

A Feral Burro Had It's Head in My Car Window

I'm on vacation.

Roadtripping the southwest with a buddy of mine; had a few great days so far with another week yet to come.

I'm not likely to be on here much for the remainder of the trip, so if you don't see me posting, know that it's not me isolating in a food-fueled funk (ALLITERATION), but rather driving through the desert, eating the fresh, healthy food from our cooler that I prepared in advance.

I hope everyone has a great week.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Soy Un Perdedor...

...I'm a loser, baby.

I had a great week. I continued my damn near flawless eating, while upping my cardio to three walks during the week (at 1, 1.3, and 1.5 miles respectively), and I lifted weights twice.

As a result, I lost 10 pounds last week.

And, likely more importantly, I continued my mental/emotional/spiritual recovery in a big bad way.

Here's to a wonderful week full of great choices for us all!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weigh-In Day & A Very Special K

It finally happened, as I knew it would. After 5 weeks of great weight loss results via healthy eating, low sodium, and beginning at a HUGE starting weight, the scale slowed down this week.

In the past, a number like this would have upset me quite a bit, but I can honestly say that today I am fine with it. Would I have liked more? Of course. However, I knew this would come soon and actually predicted yesterday to my brother-in-law that this week was it, despite having another ridiculously on track eating week.

I knew the weight loss would slow because I haven't yet upped my exercise. I've walked, on average, twice a week for about 40 minutes each most weeks so far.

I knew that even at this high weight, I'd eventually stop the monster numbers that have been based on the healthy change in my eating habits and a little exercise. I knew the day would come due to the lack of exercise and the natural plateau I usually reach between 5 and 8 weeks.

My number this week was 5 pounds lost.

Now this week, I will begin to up the exercise; here is my plan: Lift weights 3 times this week; starting just with the various arm, chest and shoulder exercises I can do with my dumbbells and barbells here at home. I am also going to up my walking to at least 3 days this week.

Lastly, I wanted to say that though I walked it instead of running of course, and though it was obviously very slow (one hour and 20 minutes) in the grand scheme of things, that on Saturday morning I walked a 5k.

Not an official 5k event or anything, but I set out to walk that distance myself Saturday morning, and I did.

I feel AWESOME about it.

So, I challenge anyone who reads this to, when you are feeling like not exercising, or even better, when you are feeling like you don't want to push yourself any harder while walking or working out, remember that a 587 lb man did a 5k a few days ago.

Because, if I can do that....what can you?

Friday, August 14, 2009


"I do believe that people do not change. A cheater will always be a cheater, and a winner will always be a winner." - Tony "The Anti-Jared" Posnanski


Change is one of the most constant, yet controversial things in life. Change can evoke a lot of different feelings in people, and can result in a lot of different things: Fear, Hope, Excitement, Worry, Fresh Outlooks, Healing, Illness, Success, Failures, etc.

I was reading Tony's blog this morning, as I do with many blogs daily. I was making my way through today's post when I came across the above mentioned quote; I stopped.


"...People do not change"

I immediately felt the urge to discuss that notion (as you might expect, given the name of my blog), so here we go:

The first thing I want to say is that obviously there are elements of each of us that are just who we are and cannot be changed. But I don't want to talk about those; it's not at all relevant to this discussion. I want to talk about exactly what the above quote does: the belief that in life there are successes and failures, cheaters and winners. Once a winner always a winner; once a failure always a failure.

The next thing I want to do in order to discuss this topic is to briefly review my weight problems and weight loss history:

I've been heavy my whole life, but I became morbidly obese in my teens. Below is a breakdown of the major weight benchmarks in my life, and my weight loss efforts around them.
  • 350 lbs by 16 years old. I walked, lifted weights, ate healthy, and lost 50 lbs.
  • 420 lbs by 19. I walked, lifted weights, ate healthy, and lost 50 lbs.
  • 430 lbs by 21. I walked, lifted weights, ate healthy, and lost 50 lbs.
  • 550 lbs by 23. I walked, lifted weights, ate healthy, and lost 178 lbs.
  • 580 lbs by 26. I walked, ate healthy, and lost 75 lbs.
  • 667 lbs by 27. I've walked, eaten healthy, and have lost 75 lbs so far.

So, a couple things to deduce from that history.:

  1. Like most fat people, I know how to lose weight. I'm pretty damn good at it actually. Now don't get me wrong, I have also lost some weight here and there via a number of "quick and easy" efforts: Isagenix, Atkins, etc. But again, I know how to lose weight, as does virtually, well, just in case there is anyone who does not, here's the answer: burn more calories than you take in. Got it? Good; now you can understand why there are hundreds of thousands of books trying to help the masses understand that mystifying, complex equation: how to lose weight. I digress.
  2. Like most chronically fat and obese people, I have been unable to sustain weight loss for any significant amount of time and have generally ended up regaining the weight that was lost and then some.

So, I am trying to lose the weight again. But wait, why bother right? I've clearly shown I am the kind of person who is always fat. After all, like the terrible "Fat Peoples Rights" movement says: "Most people gain back the weight they lose", and thus, why keep trying? Why not just accept myself for my fatness and pick up the "progressive social movement" of Fat Empowerment! "You must put calories on Menus! You must give me two plane tickets for the price of one! You must stock your business with huge chairs for me to sit in! No? DISCRIMINATION!!! LAWSUITS!!!"

I digress.

Here's why I'm not stopping: Change.

I know enough about life to recognize that, obviously, people CAN change. People can change both for the worse and for the better. A sober, responsible person can become an arrogant, abusive drunk halfway through their life. A repeat juvenile offender can become a law abiding, family-having, positively-contributing member of society for the remainder of their adult lives.

I also know enough about life to recognize that true, individual change comes from within; that it is intrinsic. It HAS to be.

I can even can tell you what kind of change is the best, or at least, my personal favorite: Redemptive change.

Don't believe me? Here are a tiny sampling of books and movies that are about people changing, and again, even better, redemption through change:

Books: The Bible, numerous other religious texts, Les Miserable, Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Crime and Punishment, A Tale of Two Cities, Faust, The Brothers Karamazov, A Christmas Carol, The Count of Monte Cristo, East of Eden, etc.

Movies: It's a Wonderful Life, The Pursuit of Happiness, The African Queen, Good Will Hunting, Beauty and the Best, On the Waterfront, Groundhog Day, Remember the Titans, Ben Hur, etc.

If change is possible, and can even be beautiful, then why haven't I been able to keep the weight off? Well, here's my thought: I changed the outside.


Over, and over, and over, and over.

But, I never changed inside.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I can tell you my experience:

I never kept the weight off and generally gained even more weight because I put food first, inside. That's what I cared about most. That's what I thought about most.

I didn't get to the point that I could barely walk by helping others.

I didn't get to be a depressed, morbidly obese stroke-risk by putting my family and friends first.

I didn't eat 11,000 calories a day being upfront and honest with my loved ones.

I didn't get to 400 pounds, 500 pounds, or 600 pounds by being selfless.

So, I am trying to lose weight again, and this time, for life. To accomplish that I will continue to do whatever it takes: take control where necessary, let go of control where necessary.

Most important I will continue to change. Change the way I think, the way I act, and consequently, who I am.

Because if I don't change what's inside, the outside likely wont stay changed.

I pray to God that this time I change who I am.

Because who I've been would die young; a selfish, grossly obese man.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eating Yourself To Death for Dummies

I went to the doctor recently because of some swelling in my legs I've had for the last few months, it seems like a manageable issue and he gave me a couple of things to do, one of which is to keep my sodium level around 2,000 milligrams a day. Eating a low sodium diet lately has been great, but pretty hard. I have been fairly surprised how hard it is to consume so little sodium, as well as how crucial eating fresh food with barely anything canned and eating very little condiments has ended up being.

In any event, I was thinking about sodium while I ate my dinner tonight, and I started mulling over the fact that I must have really been eating a lot of sodium when I was actively binging. Well, long story (somewhat) short: I ran the numbers.

Now, I have listed the food I used to eat to myself many times, and I think I've even talked about one of my binges on this blog, but today was the first time I ever looked at the various nutritional elements of a day...the way I used to eat.

So, a quick note: the example shown below is typical (the food choices changed daily, but the below sample is standard) of how I was eating for the better part of the last 10 months, and, with the exception of the "1st Dinner" (roughly 700 calories), and with the inclusion of a whole fifth of vodka, nightly, (roughly 800 calories), the way I had previously been eating for the last 3 years.

Without any further adieu, I give you a rare glimpse into a very typical day of an actively disfunctional, morbidly obese man, tentatively titled: "Eating Yourself to Death for Dummies".

Breakfast - Nothing.

Lunch -

Taco Bell:

  • 1 Cheese Quesedilla
  • 1 Beef Grilled Stuft Burrito - w/Baja sauce (a creamy pepper sauce)
  • 2 Grilled Chicken Burrito - w/creamy avocado sauce
  • 2 Half-Pound Cheesy Double Beef Burritos w/Baja sauce
  • 1 Side of Baja Sauce
  • 1 Extra Large Raspberry Ice Tea


  • 2 Double Cheeseburgers w/mayo
  • 1 Large French Fry
  • 1 20 Piece Chicken McNugget
  • 3 Packets of Ranch Dressing
  • 1 Large Milkshake

1st Dinner (I would eat with the family so as to appear normal, then sneak a 2nd Dinner into the house):

This would always vary obviously, but a quesedilla w/chili beans, a serving of Spanish rice, and a salad w/caesar dressing would be a fairly regular example.

2nd Dinner -

  • 1 Full Can of Pringles
  • 1 King Size Reeses FastBreak Candy Bar
  • 1 Foot Long Subway Melt Sandwich on white w/extra cheese and extra mayo
  • 1 Foot Long Chicken and Bacon Ranch Sandwich on monterrey cheddar w/extra cheese and extra mayo.

So there you go, though the foods differed from day to day (other days lunches would be a similar amount, but from Burger King & Jack in the Box instead, and other dinners would be a couple of pizzas from Dominoes instead, etc,) that is a very accurate example of a day...the way I used to eat.

Now for the numbers:

Daily Grams of Fat: 600

Daily Milligrams of Sodium: 23,000

Daily Calories: 11,000

Six hundred grams of fat, twenty three thousand milligrams of sodium, and eleven thousand calories: daily.


That blew my mind.

Thankfully, I never have to eat that way again, and, by the grace of God, I never will.

I look forward to time passing, and to my health continuing to improve, and to those horrible numbers becoming memorials to an increasingly distant era of self destruction.

I look forward to seeing those numbers collecting dust, only serving to mark the death knell of that era because it was then that I was given another way, I was given another chance...

and I took it, and never looked back.

Monday, August 10, 2009

15 Step

I walked through the old downtown portion of Pocatello on Saturday; all along the big faded neon signs, and old fashioned glass store fronts.

There was a kitchen appliance store selling Maytag refrigerators and dishwashers that were displayed prominently up front in the large windows by the sidewalk, much as I imagine they were all throughout the country 50 years ago as the housewife of that era looked into the window of those stores imagining themselves buying those appliances and thus becoming the proud owner of the "kitchen of"

I eventually made my way to the "end" of the town where the old brick buildings and false store fronts stop, and then walked by the small, art deco greyhound station on my way to the railroad yard.

I walked through the yard, stopping to watch a train pass a few times (thinking of the John Galt line), and eventually made my way to the other side where I continued my walk.

In another 15 minutes or so I completed my walk. I had gone 2 miles in an hour; woohoo!

What a lovely walk for a Saturday afternoon, and what an accomplishment for a 607 lb man; I am awfully proud of that.

Though, to be fair, I did drive across town this morning and pay my weekly visit to the retirement home where I use the scale, and as it turns out, though I was 607 lbs when I weighed last week, I probably wasn't that much by Saturday. When I weighed this morning I learned that I lost 15 pounds last week.

I feel so grateful for the position I'm in to be able to heal and continue towards health, as well as for the help and support from so many in my life, personal and in the blogging community.

Ahhhhh, it does feel nice, I must say.

Here's to a wonderful week full of great choices for us all.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Morning Has Broken

...and with it comes good news; the couple quick things are as follows:

A) I walked another 1.5 miles last night in 40 minutes. Excellent!

B) I told somebody over the weekend that I'm feeling good, then sort of sheepishly added, "I feel really good actually, I have been kind of purposely playing it down." Their response was: "I know. I've seen it in your eyes." It blew me away, and actually brought tears to my eyes because they had seen it; their validation and understanding of the changes I'm making from the inside out was amazing.

C) After getting back from weighing today I thought: "Maybe I should treat myself for breakfast", which is something, after a good weigh-in during previous attempts to lose weight/get healthy/etc, that I've always done. BUT, again, for the third week in a row, I said "Nope" and just ate a regular breakfast. I'm starting to notice these moments each time and they feel good, because they are all about the true change that is occurring.

D) I lost 18 pounds this last week.

Here's to a wonderful week full of great choices for all of us!