Monday, January 31, 2011

Honey Milk and Food Porn

As I listen to the cacophony of my husband laying in all his manish glory snoring on the couch, I am hit with the unfairness of it all. I just watched him scarf down half a pound of spaghetti with clams in white sauce while I ate low sugar oatmeal and hot skim milk with an invisible drop of honey. He’s sleeping like a slim baby and I’m feeling guilty about not exercising for the past 2 days. Nothing is worse for weight loss than a cold – I have an actual legitimate reason to avoid the treadmill, and I want to feel better by eating chocolate and all things bready. Sure, some people say exercising with a cold will actually make you feel better. They are probably the same people who consistantly say no to whipped cream on their Starbucks and manage to really come through once they say “I’ve eaten enough of these,” after 4 Doritios. Those people fascinate me; they are magical like unicorns.

The only good thing about my current situation is that I have full access to food porn. Ahhh food porn, the salve for the chubby masses disguised as informative material on how to become a better cook. The hubby’s asleep and the controller is mine! Cooking Channel, Food Network, and Google images galore. So far, I’ve eagerly drooled over an undressed po’boy, watched breathlessly as a swordfish got filthy in marinade, and almost lost it when Man versed Milkshake. I know I acted like a sumo wrestler in training today (cereal, sleep, ham and mustard, sleep, honey milk, sleep…), but I really think my throat would feel better if I ate some cheese on a soft roll. Instead, I’ll have to satisfy myself with Internet images of stimulating, salty snacks and big, moist cupcakes. Maybe I should even head to bed myself – an Emeril specialty audience oooh, ahhhh, yeah!) may push me over the edge and into the real fridge. Does anyone else do this or am I the sad, dangling outlier on the eating bell curve?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hi, my name is Rock

As I get further and further into this thing, I'm realizing that I must have been a rock in a previous life. When I think of my perfect day, it involves sitting on the beach, a great dinner (with some sort of gout-causing dessert), and maybe a glass of wine while listening to music. Notice that in no part of my day does moving around quickly play a factor. Even in my "ok" daydream I don't imagine myself breaking a sweat jogging on the beach or playing a stimulating game of tennis. I could maybe accept a walk in a European city, but that doesn't count because I'd be going slow since I was touring a new place. Hello, my name is Rock.

The first couple weeks went well - I kept workout dates, ate healthy, and drank my water bottle at work despite having to use 5 minutes of my 25 minute lunch break to find a clean, hair-free bathroom - and that's not even counting the time it took to microwave my lunch since my bathroom break ensured me last place in the "nuking food" line. I didn't even let myself get annoyed that I had a constant need to go due to my new H2O intake.

Then came Week 3 and all the catch-up work from the students' week-long vacay due to snow day. I'm stressed out and jonesing for chocolate like a crack addict. The secretary announced doughnuts in the conference room and I broke out in a cold sweat and walked by 3 times unnecessarily just to watch people eat the little puffs of sticky icing heaven that I knew would secretly make my life that day better. To make matters worse, over the next three weeks I'm going to be majorly busy with work, which usually means I come up with every excuse imaginable to skip the gym and work the couch. Why can't I be one of those naturally active people that can smugly smile while saying, "My body just feels weird if I don't get in a good workout," or "I already had my breakfast, so I'm not hungry for a free donut"?

The gym has become this giant looming over me, creeping out from the corners of my guilty mind until I'm almost about to have the kind of meltdown that requires a nap and an aspirin. People keep telling me to "just get there" and it will be ok. Every time I hear that I want to scream a big "DUH!" in their direction and push them into something (which I know is not nice at all). "Just getting there" is the issue - if I could "just get there," I wouldn't be appeasing my guilty conscience by telling another person about my extreme lack of motivation. Granted, people are trying to be supportive and helpful, but it comes across like a too tight girdle - it's supportive, helpful, and rubs you raw. Though I consider myself a lover of truth, I love it in that angry hate way when it comes to my health.

In the meantime, I've been promising myself that this week will be better - I will be the more focused, driven, slightly-boarding-on-obsessive me that started out my journey. The guilt is driving me nuts; the pressure to perform after seeing my pictures in the paper is slightly consuming me, though not motivating enough for me to do something about it. I'm like a hamster melodramatically dying in front of the wheel of life, but I refuse to climb on it and spin. No matter how much I don't want to, I have to strip myself of my Rock identity and become Hi - my name is Healthy Me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meet Dan Vines

Hello. My name is Dan Vines and I'm obese. Sounds like a guy at an AA meeting doesn’t it? Here is my story. I’m a 59 year old baby boomer, married to my wonderful wife for 37 years. I've run 12 marathons in my life with my last one being my 6th straight Marine Corps Marathon at age 40. I'm 5 foot 10 inches tall and weigh an earth crushing 245 pounds. How did I get that way from being athletic and active?

When I turned 30, I lost 50 pounds and began running. However, I gained it back when life got in the way. Five years ago, I lost 75 pounds and was on the road to better health. At that point, like a lot of Boomers these days I faced several years of taking care of an elderly parent. My mother needed to move in with us and my exercise program, which included ballroom dancing, went down the drain. With the added family strain, I ballooned from 170 to my current 245 pounds.

So, why would my blog about my weight loss adventure keep a reader’s attention? Below are some of the reasons that will occur throughout my “battle of the bulge" year:

· I turn 60 in Oct. A lot of readers are baby boomers who, like me, and dream of being in better shape before it’s too late.

· I've done this before and know the challenge ahead. While I have a plan, I hope to have the willpower to carry it out.

· My goal is huge - to be down to 175 by New Year’s 2012.

· My daughter is getting married on April 16th. I want to lose a good bit of weight by then to look better in the wedding pictures.

· My method will include diet, lots of exercise in the garage, walking, and eventually some jogging. No trendy diets, no fancy gyms.

· As an end of year challenge to assist me in my weight loss and exercise goals, I will attempt to jog the Thunder Road Half Marathon in mid-November.

· Finally, to thumb my nose at turning 60 years of age, I will participate in the Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon in White Sands, NM in March of 2012 with my son. Its 26.2 miles of hiking in sand and up mountains carrying a 35 pound back pack the entire time.

There you have it, a big weight loss goal from a guy with many hurdles and varied life events to share and keep the story interesting along the way. If I'm successful in this endeavor, hopefully it will inspire some other people to take up the challenge of becoming more fit later in life. Selfishly, I also realize that participating in this blog will help hold me accountable and assist me in succeeding in reaching my goals.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meet Nancy Johnson

I have struggled with my weight for my entire adult life, starting with the college “Freshman 10.” As I continued to gain weight, I became comfortable. If I gained some weight, I simply bought larger clothes.

The travesty in my logic was unraveled when my daughter was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in October 2008. It was then that I realized that my inability to properly address my weight in the past, impacted my daughter’s physical and mental health.

My overall goal is a simple one – to develop a healthier lifestyle to save my life and more importantly save the life of my 16 year-old daughter, Brittany. We are both overweight, in fact, we are both considered obese. So my 2011 goals for myself are:

1. To get up and get moving.

2. Eat healthier food and portion sizes

3. Lose 36 pounds in 2011 and another 36 in 2012

An old proverb said that before you criticize anyone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. My blog will be just that – a walk in my shoes – an opportunity to share stories and encourage those who share my issues while educating others who may not understand what it means to be overweight.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thanks to Readers: I'd offer you a cookie, but I can't buy them...

Just a quick thanks for all the supportive comments and positive feedback I've received. I also appreciate those readers who made some valid arguments and pointed out scratches on my rosy-colored glasses. As I progress through the months, I plan on sharing more specific info on my ideas and methods for reaching my goal. I get two visits with a nutritionist via my health care program and I plan on using them. In addition, I'd ideally like to work my way towards doing some form of exercise for at least 1 hour a day, 4 times a week. This will hopefully be more of a lifestyle change than a plan that ends, so I'm still in the early stages of learning how to live healthy.

I encourage everyone to join me and we can work our way through health makeovers together! Also, it seems that some readers have experience with weight loss plans and exercise regimes - spread your knowledge and keep the discussions coming!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meet Melissa Sykes

My weight battle began with Superwoman Underoos - my “S” kept folding into a “C” and my cape seemed more like a napkin than a shield. Except for a brief time during college when narcissism resulted in religiously healthy eating and a workout regime of the Gods, I’ve always been “big boned.”

Fast forward the hamster wheel of life and I’
ve spent lots of time ignoring healthy living. Instead, I focused on the important stuff - how tired I was after working all day, and getting my husband to understand that chocolate is like cocaine because it fixes all wrongs in the world and requires increasingly larger amounts to satiate the appetite. I trained myself to believe that a full time job, spouse, mortgage, bills, and dogs aren’t so bad when I can order pizza for dinner and pop M & Ms according to color scheme.

Now the extra pounds are starting to become evident via my blood pressure pills and stalled future plans. I’m tired of sticking out my neck in pictures so my double chins don’t show. My weight
doesn’t define me, but my extra pounds are affecting my life.

So, I’
ve declared 2011 the Year of the Khaki Slack and vowed to dedicate myself to losing weight before a friend’s November wedding. I’m aiming to get rid of 80 pounds or a large 5th grade student. I chose the khaki slack to represent my quest because it is a true fashion anomaly – never has one article of clothing been so comfortable yet so accepted in the workplace. I’ve envied the khaki wearer but always remained chino chagrined.

Khaki slacks are for fit women who jog and wear white without worrying about their silhouette; khaki slackers make a muscle and there’s actually a tone outline.
I’ve never lived up to the canvas expectation, but this is my beige, pouch on the thigh, tiny butt-pocket year!

I'm no stranger to the gym, but the gym is strange to me. I’ve experienced flying off a treadmill; I broke my pinky so badly it required surgery. The guy next to me picked up my cassette player (in 2006), and I tried desperately to reach the emergency stop while attempting to run on my knees. It was humiliating, but I am climbing back on the workout horse and riding it to the finish line.

I realize I can no longer use my high stress job as an excuse for a low concern about my health. I plan to be honest and unafraid as I try to get rid of the "extra" me - my voice may be imperfect but hopefully filled with laughter. A weight loss blogger shouldn’t just be an inspirational go-getter; climbing steps to nowhere and eating carrots not cake requires realistic dedication and heart. If I can do this, there’s hope for beefy Americans everywhere!

Melissa Sykes