Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mr. Creosote

In honor of yesterday's temporary derailment, I present for your enjoyment a clip from the movie "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life," featuring a old favorite, Mr. Creosote. How much damage can a mint do, anyway? It's only "wafer thin" after all...

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Warning: Mr. Creosote uses bad words and likes to vomit. A lot. So if that's not your cup o' tea, you might want to skip the video.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Weigh In: Week 83

Last Week: 159.8 lbs.
This Week: 160.0 lbs.
Change: Up 0.2 lbs.

Starting Weight: 292.0 lbs.
Total Weight Lost: 132.0 lbs.
Starting BMI: 43.2 (Morbidly Obese)
Current BMI: 23.7 (Normal)

Started WW: 25 April 2006
Reached Goal: 15 May 2007
Started Core: 13 June 2007
Reached Lifetime: 26 June 2007

I survived Thanksgiving week with only a 0.2 pound gain, but in retrospect it may not have been such a good thing. I know that sounds crazy, but I'll try to explain.

Since Thanksgiving dinner last week, I've been indulging in a generous portion of Jewish apple cake for dessert every night. After splurging like that for the last 5 nights and only showing a 0.2 pound gain, I gave myself permission to overeat when my wife and I went out to dinner tonight.

Not only that, but when we came home, I willfully made it a point to finish off the last of the apple cake (almost 2 servings) even though I wasn't close to being hungry. Not only that, but when my wife tried to remind me that I had said over dinner that I wasn't going to have any cake tonight, I told her I changed my mind and not to worry about it.

I'm more worried about my behavior on this one rather than whatever number the scale will show. There's absolutely no reason in the world I should have stuffed my face like I did tonight, and I know it. My stomach definitely knows it as well. It hasn't felt this bloated in a long, long time. I thought that pigging out like this was something that was behind me, but apparently I'll always have to be on the watch to make sure I don't let it sneak up on me again.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Aftermath

Wow! Four days away from the blogosphere has really left me behind. I've been catching up on my reading and commenting on other blogs and almost forgot to update this one! But I'm here now, so let's dig in...

Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful. We enjoyed a fresh turkey with all the trimmings. I had a nice helping of the turkey and enjoyed everything else in moderation. I even had a baked sweet potato instead of the mashed sweet/white potato dish (although I did have a taste!).

Come dessert time there was pumpkin pie and fresh Jewish apple cake, so I had a slice of each! Wicked of me, I know, but somehow I didn't think it would make all that much of a difference, you know?

In fact, it's true confession time. That Jewish apple cake was huge! And delicious! And I've had a generous slice of it each night for dessert since Thanksgiving. But once it's gone, it's gone. I'll know tomorrow night if there was any holiday "damage" to deal with, and if there is I'll deal with it then.

I also made a great Turkey Vegetable Soup with Barley over the weekend. I don't really have a recipe to give you, it was just another one of my "throw everything into a pot and see what happens" recipes. I boiled the turkey carcass & giblets for a couple hours, strained them, added a bunch of veggies, turkey meat and barley to the strained stock and simmered it for about 45 minutes. It's a hot, tasty dish perfect for the cooler weather we're having as we get ready to head into December.

Stay Tuned...

I'm back after a short hiatus over the Thanksgiving weekend. I'll post all about it later today...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Despite having to put a new fuel pump on my car yesterday, I have very much to be thankful for today. My family is home and safe, I'm in the best health of my life, we have a roof over our head and food in the cupboard, and all kinds of other things that get taken for granted every day.

So to everyone who visits the blog I just want to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and hope that you also have plenty to give thanks for.

The turkey is in the oven, football will be starting soon and this is probably the last time I'll be on the computer for the day, so enjoy yourselves and have a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Weigh In: Week 82

Last Week: 160.8 lbs.
This Week: 159.8 lbs.
Change: Down 1.0 lbs.

Starting Weight: 292.0 lbs.
Total Weight Lost: 132.2 lbs.
Starting BMI: 43.2 (Morbidly Obese)
Current BMI: 23.6 (Normal)

Started WW: 25 April 2006
Reached Goal: 15 May 2007
Started Core: 13 June 2007
Reached Lifetime: 26 June 2007

I'm down a pound this week, but the week ahead is going to be a bit of a challenge. Normally, our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday would have been manageable enough since dinner will be at home and totally under our control. The one thing that isn't under our control right now involves a car that refuses to move under its own power. Of course, it chose to exhibit this behavior at a most inconvenient time.

Plenty of holiday food plus added stress from dealing with an unexpected car repair could lead to problems if I let it, but I'm going to do my best to avoid going crazy this week. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sorry, No Thanksgiving Tips

Today I was going to write a post with tips for getting through the Thanksgiving holiday while sticking to your weight reduction method of choice. But about halfway in I deleted what I had written and decided to just ask you to remember a few things this week instead.

Remember that you'll be gathering with people that are important to you. Make sure you let them know that.

Remember that no matter how tough your weight loss journey has been, there are still people in this country who go to bed hungry every night because they have no other choice.

Remember that there are families that won't be together on Thanksgiving because one of them will be on foreign soil, in harms way.

Remember that while things could always be better, they could always be worse.

Finally, remember to be thankful for the things you have and for the troubles that you don't.

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Field Trip: Philadelphia Diabetes Expo

I took my annual trek into Philadelphia this morning to visit the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This was the forth or fifth one I've been to, and as usual I took the train into Philly to avoid the hassle of driving and parking in Center City.

I can't verify it, but it seems to me as if the Expo has been getting smaller every year that I've been going. At one time the seminars were held in separate rooms on the mezzanine. Now, different speakers are in "rooms" that are nothing more than areas separated by curtains where they compete with each others amplified voices, not to mention the noise of the entertainment in the general hall.

There also seemed to be many fewer exhibitors in attendance. The major insulin and blood glucose monitor companies where there, as were the pharmacy chains, but I don't remember seeing any of the other major pharmaceutical companies there. I managed to walk the floor fairly quickly, picking up many of the usual "freebies," including a new blood glucose monitor.

The day wasn't a total bust, however. I had a pleasant conversation with Alison Dryer, an RN at Abington Memorial Hospital, which was sparked by a plastic replica of one pound of fat on display at their booth. I also attended an informative talk on Type 2 diabetes given by Dr. Anthony Cannon, a New Jersey endocrinologist who gave some interesting insights on the spread of Type 2 diabetes and the increasing importance of diet and exercide in treating it. He also held a very informative Q & A session afterwards.

Unfortunately there weren't enough exhibits to keep my interest long enough to pass the time until the other talk I wanted to hear, on diabetes and nutrition, began. So after Dr. Cannon's presentation I packed up and started off towards the train and home to New Jersey.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Diabetes Lights The World Blue

On Wednesday, dozens of monuments worldwide were bathed in blue light in recognition of World Diabetes Day. Below are some images from a handful of these monuments from around the world. All images are from the World Diabetes Day website, except where noted.

San Francisco, The Coit Tower


San Antonio, The Alamo


New York, The Empire State Building
(From radio station 1010 WINS in New York)


Pisa, Italy, The Leaning Tower


Sydney, Australia, The Sydney Opera House


London, England, The Eye


These sites and many others around the world brought attention to the worldwide problem of diabetes and hopefully it will help pave the way for a cure in our lifetime.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day. It is a day of increased recognition of the effect of diabetes worldwide. It is a day of education about the seriousness of the disease and awareness that many people who suffer from the disease, especially children, do not have the needed tools and medications to battle it.

Personally it means that I will remember those whom I have known and loved that have died from complications of the disease and that I will do my best to not be counted among their numbers. I will also be praying that those I love who also have this disease will take it upon themselves to care for themselves so that I may enjoy their company for a long, long time.

It is my hope that a cure for diabetes will be found during the lifetime of all those who are currently afflicted and that all those who are at risk of getting the disease take that risk seriously and that those who are able can avoid being diagnosed.

I also hope that the public, the media and the government realize that there are several types of diabetes and that not all who have the disease could have avoided it. It is a disease of genetics as much as it is a disease of lifestyle.

Finally, today is a day of unity for all those who are affected by diabetes, whether you have it, are a caregiver for someone who has it, know someone who has it, or are in a position to help in the fight against it. If we all take an active part in this fight against diabetes, the children of the world will one day have one thing less to worry about.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Weigh In: Week 81

Last Week: 159.6 lbs.
This Week: 160.8 lbs.
Change: Up 1.2 lbs.

Starting Weight: 292.0 lbs.
Total Weight Lost: 131.2 lbs.
Starting BMI: 43.2 (Morbidly Obese)
Current BMI: 23.8 (Normal)

Started WW: 25 April 2006
Reached Goal: 15 May 2007
Started Core: 13 June 2007
Reached Lifetime: 26 June 2007

Things have been slightly hectic over here since the weekend. As a result, I missed posting yesterday's blog roundup and was barely able to get this weigh in posted tonight. I guess that's what happens when posting to your blog isn't the only thing you have to worry about!

As expected, my weight is up a bit this week after the wedding Friday night and the football party on Sunday. Even so, I'm still far enough below my goal weight that I needn't worry. Now it's into the home stretch leading to the Thanksgiving weekend. I'm actually looking forward to it. How about you?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'm Not Out Of The Woods Yet...

The weekend's festivities aren't quite over. Yesterday was a day of recovery from the wedding. It was certainly an off day as far as following the Core guidelines went, and I definitely didn't come close to having any well balanced meals. We were out most of the day, visiting several home centers trying to get some research done for some home projects coming up, then a trip to the supermarket and some other errands. Quite the busy day!

Today, however, is the day I pick up the party pack that I won last month. I was able to avoid keeping the food in the house by offering it to one of my son's buddies who has invited my boy over to his house for some football parties before. His dad was nice enough to invite us to stay for a while, so I do plan on sampling the wares, but fortunately I won't have to deal with any leftovers.

The worst part about the whole thing is that the way the Eagles have been playing lately, I'm not sure if the game will be worth watching...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Grand Experiment

We all had a great time at the wedding last night even though we had to leave a little earlier than we would have liked. Our nursing student daughter had to get back to the dorms last night and our son had an early alarm this morning for a school related practice. Besides, mom and dad don't hang nearly as well as they used to, but we won't dwell on that...

The experiment I'm talking about in the title of the post is the way I approached my plan for eating at the wedding. Since these are good friends of ours, I decided to concentrate more on enjoying the celebration of their daughter's wedding and less on being anal-retentive about what I was eating and drinking.

I had a few things going in my favor with this approach. First, I'm already below my goal weight. Since I don't have to worry about posting a loss every week, I can afford the occasional blip up here and there. Also, I think I've actually learned a few good habits since I've started this whole weight loss adventure, so I thought I'd give them a hard core workout. Finally, since my wife has threatened to start calling me "Mr. Bones," I knew she'd be happy to see me eating "normally."

I grazed the hors d'oeuvres, concentrating on the out of the ordinary treats instead of the kinds of things you can pop into the microwave at home. The sit down dinner was very good, and the portions and side dishes were not out of line with what I've been used to eating lately, so there weren't any major issues there.

That pretty much left the two problem areas for most folks. You guessed it, alcohol and dessert. On the alcohol front I think I did very well. I probably had more to drink last night than I've had in the entire previous year, but that's more a function of abstaining for the last year than the amount I had last night, especially since I was driving. All things considered, I was a very good boy.

Dessert, on the the other hand, started out very innocently. I began by putting two or three of the small bite-sized sweets onto my plate. Then they rolled out the cakes and pies. Since I'm not a chocolate fiend, I was able to avoid some of the richer looking concoctions. Then I saw what looked like a cross between an apple pie and an apple cake, cut into pieces that were entirely too large. I took one, thinking that I would eat just a small portion. After all, it's a strategy that I've successfully used in the past.

Time for my grades. For Hors D'oeuvres I give myself a B. Pretty good, but I could have done better. I earned the same B for Dinner since I didn't need to polish off the mashed potatoes. My Alcohol grade is an A because I had just enough. Dessert gets a big, fat F because everything was just to good and I wound up showing no self restraint at all. Overall I think that works out to about a C+ for the evening. Not bad, although I do have to work on bringing that dessert grade up.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Just Passing Through...

I've been pretty busy between work and not-work over the last few days and really haven't had much time to post. Time to post coherently, anyway.

There won't be any more posts today, either, as we're attending the wedding of a friend's daughter this evening. There will be eating and drinking and dancing and fun.

Please make sure no one rearranges the furniture on me until I get back. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Weigh In: Week 80

Last Week: 159.8 lbs.
This Week: 159.6 lbs.
Change: Down 0.2 lbs.

Starting Weight: 292.0 lbs.
Total Weight Lost: 132.4 lbs.
Starting BMI: 43.2 (Morbidly Obese)
Current BMI: 23.6 (Normal)

Started WW: 25 April 2006
Reached Goal: 15 May 2007
Started Core: 13 June 2007
Reached Lifetime: 26 June 2007

Now that Halloween is over, the rest of the holiday season looms ahead, waiting to pounce upon those that are unprepared for its challenges. Challenge #1 of the season for me is coming up in a few days; my daughter's godparents are marrying off their oldest daughter on Friday evening and it's going to be a party to remember.

Judging from other special occasions I've had to face, I should be able to manage this one as well. One of the things that has helped me get through these situations is to just try and make the better choice. Not necessarily the best choice, but the better choice. I have found that if I make the better choice often enough, I usually enjoy better results over the long haul.

So when the holidays are in full swing and you're faced with a myriad of food choices that would tempt even the strictest Weight Watcher, just do your best to make the better choice and be satisfied knowing that better choices make for better results.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Weight Loss Blog Roundup #9

In honor of National Diabetes Month, this week's roundup is chock full of diabetes resources. These sites belong to private and government organizations that are active in the fight against diabetes.

The International Diabetes Federation is an international body that concerns itself with the worldwide spread of diabetes, especially in undeveloped countries. The IDF is also the sponsor of World Diabetes Day on November 14th and the first ever United Nations Resolution recognizing World Diabetes Day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Diabetes Web Site contains information for the general public and professionals about diabetes, including research, statistics, and educational publications.

The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse is another government web site dedicated to distributing information about diabetes to the public as well as patients and health care professionals.

The American Association of Diabetes Educators is a professional organization for certified diabetes educators. There are several resources available there for patients as well, including a database for finding a CDE in your area.

The American Diabetes Association is one of the country's leading organizations involved in diabetes education, research and advocacy for all persons suffering from every type of diabetes and its complications.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure to Type 1 diabetes, previously called juvenile diabetes. Its chapters and affiliates span the globe in its efforts to defeat Type 1 diabetes.

There are some strong opinions out there about the effectiveness of some of these organizations; this list is just a starting point for folks who want or need to learn more about diabetes. Feel free to leave links to your favorite diabetes sites in the comments section.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Some Time To Recharge

Everyone needs to take some time off every once in a while. Whether it's for a physical or mental break, when you come back you feel much better equipped to deal with the things you need to deal with.

That's why I'm taking the weekend off. No blogging, no web sites, no email. I'm just going to take some time away from the computer and relax. Well, relax as much as my wonderful wife will allow.

So don't expect to see me around these parts until Monday, but don't be surprised if I make it a three day weekend since my Eagles are playing the Cowboys Sunday night which means I'll probably be up past my bedtime. Again.

Before I go, I just wanted to mention that two friends of Gotta Keep It Off! are finalists for the 2007 Weblog Awards.

John from John Is Fit is a finalist in the Best Medical/Health Issues Blog category.

Israel from Fat Man Unleashed is a finalist in the Best of the Rest of the Blogs (8751+) category.

Both of these blogs are great reads and if you feel the same way, head on over via the above links and vote for them. You can vote once every 24 hour period, but act soon before the polls close on November 8, 2007.

Good luck, guys!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November Is American Diabetes Month


Diabetes has touched my life and the lives of those dear to me for a little over a decade now. Since November is American Diabetes Month here in the US, and since there are many diabetes events going on world-wide this month, I plan on devoting a few posts to different aspects of this disease throughout November.

I haven't discussed it much here, but I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes almost 8 years ago. My father-in-law passed away after his diabetes, along with other complications, cut short his recovery from a broken hip. Two months after that my wife was diagnosed. So for us, diabetes is something we deal with on a daily basis.

I'm going to try to post about different diabetes resources, some of the national and international diabetes organizations and what they do, and basically anything else related to diabetes that I can think of. I'll be posting about World Diabetes Day, celebrated on November 14, as well as about my planned visit to the Diabetes Expo in Philadelphia on November 17.

It is very important to realize the impact of diabetes not only in the United States, but around the world. I'm hoping that by talking about it here during the upcoming month, I will have done my part.