Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Rockin' Eve

Well, hardly Rockin', but it'll have to do...

I've been pretty occupied since my last post with holiday visiting, events to attend and various and sundry ordinary things. Thank goodness that things will soon be getting back to normal very shortly. Until then, we have our traditional early New Year's Eve dinner out and a lazy New Year's Day at home.

I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the coming new year and that you do your best to get what you want out of it!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Interesting Observations

First of all, I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday. My holiday had the usual allotment of the good and the bad, with the good winning out yet again.

I noticed several interesting things as things ratcheted into high gear going into Christmas. I know that I fell into a pattern of mindless eating, especially when near Christmas cookies or other holiday treats, over the last few days. I also paid less attention to my "comfort zone," and ate until uncomfortably full, both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

In fact, it may not have been as mindless as I thought, since I do remember being aware of what I was doing at the time. I do know that I'm not concerned about it, mostly because I didn't let it spill over to today.

What really surprised me was how easy it was for me to go from "indulgence" to "overindulgence." I imagine it's just something else to file under "Constant Vigilance."

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

No weigh in report, no sage words of advice, just the heartfelt fish that you all have a happy and joyous Christmas!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Right down Santa Claus Lane...

It could possibly be the most linked to site on the Internet on December 24th, but that won't keep me from linking to it. After all, we need to know where that fat, jolly old elf is, don't we?

NORAD has been helping children around the world track the location of Santa on Christmas Eve since 1955, and as technology has improved, so has the ability to track Santa. This year, NORAD has integrated Google Maps and Google Earth to help with its annual mission.

Without further ado, find out where Santa is!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Extreme Christmas Shopping

Not! I was able to complete my shopping today with a minimum of fuss without having to go anywhere near the mall and the dreaded food court.

But in the spirit of enjoying the holidays, I bring you another Christmas game, Xtreme Xmas Shopping. Good luck!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rockin' Around The Shopping Mall

I was out all day today with the Mrs., taking care of her last minute stuff. Which means my last minute stuff has to wait until tomorrow. Such is life...

In the meantime, here's some Christmas fun for you from OfficeMax. It's just a bunch of silly holiday games, including the popular "Elf Yourself." Have a ball!

PS The chances are pretty good that I won't get back to any serious posting until after the holidays. Not to worry, though. I'll still try to find something to keep you occupied.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

12-20

December 20, 1959
Tada! Look out, world, I'm here! That's right, 48 years ago today I made my debut and ever since then the universe has been toying with me in the same way a cat toys with with its prey before deciding it has had enough fun. It usually doesn't end well for the prey...

December 20, 1975
The universe gets serious. My grandmother was rushed to the hospital the day before and passed away the day after. I think it's safe to say that my 16th birthday wasn't my favorite.

December 20, 1984
My first birthday as a married man and the last in a long time that found me weighing less than 200 pounds.

December 20, 1988
My first birthday as a dad! My daughter was born that August, and I couldn't have been prouder.

December 20, 1989
It started out normally enough, but I wound up getting my most surprising birthday present of all when my son decided that he didn't want to be born in February, and decided to show up rightnow!!! We almost lost him, but today as he celebrates his 18th birthday he's a healthy, happy, athletic teenager who lives to give his good old dad grief!

December 20, 1999
Fast forward ten years later and the universe is warming up to give us the most frustrating year that we've ever had, starting with my diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes just 19 days after this birthday.

December 20, 2005
In contrast, this birthday preceded what turned out to be a very good year for yours truly. A new job within my company led to an improved attitude and the beginning of my weight loss journey. Take that, universe!

December 20, 2006
The first birthday since 1984 that I clocked in at under 200 pounds. I'd lost almost 94 pounds by this point and was in a groove that wouldn't quit.

December 20, 2007
That brings us to today. I'm down over 130 pounds from my starting weight, about 165 pounds from my all time high weight in 1989, and very thankful that I found the inner strength to do what needed to be done. It's the second best birthday present I've ever had. (See 1989 above for the best one...)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Weigh In: Week 86

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

First off, I'd just like to say hello to anyone from my local WW meeting who is stopping by looking for the recipe I mentioned at the meeting tonight. Just click here and you're all set! I whipped it up at the beginning of the football season to help me get my wing fix while watching the games. Please feel free to stick around and enjoy the rest of the site while you're here.

Looks like I'm hanging in there, staying in that two to three pound zone that I've been in since hitting lifetime. The longer I do this the more it seems possible to keep right on doing it. Although I have to admit, I'm getting a little tired of having these staring contests with those Christmas cookies! Sooner or later, I'm bound to blink, and that can only lead to trouble.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Juggling Cats

Maybe not cats, but I've been keeping quite a few balls in the air the last few days. There were equal parts stress, running from here to there and back again, celebrations, holiday madness and computer failure, just to name a few of the things that had to be dealt with.

The most painful was the death of the hard drive on my daughter's laptop. We've been waiting for her new laptop to be delivered and it was as if her old laptop went into a jealous rage, killing the hard drive before anyone could rescue the data that was on it. The hard part was informing my daughter that the last year and a half of her college work had been lost. She was especially distraught about losing all of her nursing files.

Unfortunately, it seems as though all of us learn about backing up our computer files the hard way.

On a brighter note, we were invited to help the president of my son's high school celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood. It was a wonderful evening, attended by many members of his blood, religious, and school families. Did I mention there was plenty of food? And drink?

The bottom line is that I survived all that and managed to keep the damage to a minimum. While there was a time or two that I may have been on the edge, I managed to stay in control. I didn't engage in any stress eating, and at the anniversary celebration I indulged in some treats without turning into a human vacuum cleaner.

Now if I can just talk my wife out of baking more Christmas cookies...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Never A Dull Moment

I won't be blogging for a few days, lots of things keeping me busy right now. All is well, nothing to worry about, I just need time to take care of a few things. Until then...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weigh In: Week 85

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

I had a challenging week this week, but in the grand scheme of things I'm doing fine. I just need to make sure that I don't let the busy times, the stressful times, give me an excuse to backslide. Right now I have the tools to keep this weight off. The only thing I have to do now is practice everything I've learned and to keep my head in the game. So even though I'm up this week, I know why I'm up and I know that it's not the beginning of an upward trend. Especially since no one will be baking any more Christmas cookies in two weeks...

The challenges aren't over, though, and I'll have to be vigilant. The rest of this week will be just as busy as last week with plenty of chances to derail myself. As long as think before I eat, I shouldn't have any problems. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, to say the least. Whatever happens, it should make for some interesting reading.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The One Person Who Should Be Fat

You need to go here.

Notes To Self

  • Eating out four nights in a row is not conducive to healthy eating habits.
  • The 12 dozen Christmas cookies your wife brought home from a cookie swap are not calorie free.
  • You're supposed to eat to satisfaction, not to stuffed.
  • Tired and cranky does not become you.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

At Least I Didn't Eat It

The stress, that is. In spite of my best laid plans, I had a bit of a blow up on the way home from a night out with the family last night. It could have been averted if I had tried a little harder, but buttons were pushed and I couldn't resist pushing back.

Things are much happier today, thankfully. I had to run out to the market to restock some of my essentials. I even found something new to try. Couscous is something I've been hearing a lot about lately, so when I saw some whole wheat couscous in the store I decided to give it a whirl. Once I figure out the how and what, I'll give a report on the results here.

Something else I've been picking up on a semi-regular basis is German Dark Wheat Bread. Pepperidge Farms and Arnold's both make it, but so far I've only had the version from Pepperidge Farms. If you like a hearty, dark bread, it's very good. Much better than the low calorie bread I ate while I was losing. But since I eat nowhere near as much bread as I used to, I decided that when I have it, I'm going to make it a good one!

I will be trying the Arnold's variety very soon, though, as it was on sale today. It's a few more calories a slice than the Pepperidge Farms, but not enough to keep me from buying it. As with the couscous, I'll report on my impressions after trying it.

Time to start getting ready for another night out tonight. There's nothing like the holiday season to keep you on the move, that's for sure!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Specials You Must Miss!

Call me twisted, but I think this article by science fiction author John Scalzi from 2004 is hilariously funny.

The 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Envelope, Please...

Thanks to Veronika, I received the "A Roar For Powerful Words" award the other day. It's an interesting award, not quite a month old, yet this branch of it already has been awarded nine times before it came to rest here. If you enjoy reading good writing, check the bottom of this post for links to the bloggers who received it before me as well as the bloggers I nominate below.

Now, on to business! The guidelines state:

Seamus says : Those people I've given this award to are encouraged to post it on their own blogs; list three things they believe are necessary for good, powerful writing; and then pass the award on to the five blogs they want to honour, who in turn pass it on to five others, etc etc. Let's send a roar through the blogosphere! The image above can be copied and pasted onto other blogs. Also, a small size of the award for sidebars can be found over at the writing circle site.

My three things that constitute good, powerful writing can be summed up fairly easily.

1. Have something to say. I have a problem listening to people who go on and on about nothing. The same thing is true when I'm reading, whether it's on paper or on line. Please don't waste my time!

2. Say it honestly. If I can't trust you when I read what you write, why should I bother? And believe me, you're not as clever as you think. If you're being disingenuous, your readers can tell.

3. Say it effectively. There are numerous times throughout the course of my daily routine that I'm expected to work hard. I don't want to do it when I'm reading. Please learn to spell and have a basic grasp of grammar. If I have trouble making it through the first paragraph, chances are I won't be back!

Without further ado, here are my choices for this award:

Jonathan at Jack-Sprat.net
Robin at CR - Getting and staying skinny the healthy way
Dinah Soar at Diary of a Not So Mad Housewife
Gal at 60 IN 3
R.E. at A Healthy Path

All five of these recipients meet the three qualifications I outline above. In addition, they all manage to bring their own unique perspective to their writing without forcing it on you. They relate to their audience without talking down to them and the best thing that I can say about them all is that they keep me coming back for more. I enjoy reading their blogs and I think you will too.

Thanks again to Veronika, who received the award from Laura. Laura received the award from Shelli, who was nominated by CanadianSwiss. CanadianSwiss received it from SwenglishExpat, who received it from Eric. Eric got it from Zirelda, who was awarded it by mapiprincesa. Still with me? Mapiprincesa received it from Chief Biscuit, who received it from Seamus of Shameless Words, who originated the award. Congratulations to all the recipients!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Weigh In: Week 84

Last Week: 160.0 lbs.
This Week: 159.6 lbs.
Change: Down 0.4 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

I just wanted to get this report in before I turned in for the night. It's been a long day and tomorrow is coming up fast.

I know I'm usually a little more long-winded than this, but I'm yawning so much right now that I feel like the MGM lion at the start of the movie. Don't worry though. I'll try to come up with something that's extra verbose tomorrow!

Monday, December 3, 2007

An Award? For Me?

Apparently so! Veronika from MY STRUGGLE WITH LOSING WEIGHT has honored me with the "A Roar For Powerful Words" blog award. It's been almost a full day since I learned about my award, and Veronika's done something that few folks have been able to do, namely, leave me at a loss for words!

Here's why Veronika thought I deserved the award:

Skinny Guy – because I’ve never came a cross a person with such a desire and determination to change. He truly is an inspiration for many of his readers.

For those kind words I can only say thank you, Veronika. I started this blog as a motivational tool for myself, to keep me focused enough not to undo all the hard work that it took to lose my weight. The notion that other people come here not only to read my words, but also find themselves inspired and motivated by them, is a very humbling thing.

There are a couple of strings attached to this award, however. First, I'm supposed to turn around and pass it on to five other bloggers whose writing I perceive to be good and powerful. Also, I need to list three things I believe are necessary to make writing good and powerful.

I will do these things before the end of this week. In the meantime, I'd like to thank Veronika one more time and encourage you to visit her blog for her own brand of good and powerful writing.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Put To The Test

Well, it didn't take long...

I went into work yesterday for a little weekend overtime. Since I'm working on the last paycheck before Christmas, I thought a little last minute cash could be useful.

About halfway through the day I received an email from my wife that threatened to test my holiday goal. Halfway through a load of laundry, squealing noises and the smell of burning rubber started emanating from the washer. Ugh. And because we had previous plans to go to my mother-in-law's after work, I didn't have time to look at it when I got home from work. But it sounds suspiciously like an expensive repair bill or a new washer is now on our Christmas list.

On top of an almost $800 car repair from before Thanksgiving, this new development is already testing my resolve to stay in control despite the stress. So far I'm managing and not thinking about food to deal with the stress. I'm happy about that.

In fact, the way I'm dealing with it right now is by blasting Christmas music a volume level that even my teenage son might find uncomfortable. And it's working. It helps that no one else is home right now. But now I have to go run some errands.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Holiday Goal

On this first day of December, I have finally decided on a goal for this holiday season. It's a fairly simple one, and it isn't even entirely related to my weight. My goal is to not lose control.

It's easy to lose control during the holidays. There are many opportunities to get caught up in what everyone expects the holidays should be. I should know, I've been a willing victim to most of them. But this year, I want to be able to make it to January 2 without losing control when faced with all these ghosts of Christmases past.

What this means is that I will attempt to recognize stressful situations before they have a chance to surprise me. I will do my best to not let things that are not in my control get to me. I will not self-medicate any stress I do feel with food and will aspire to politely assert myself when the holiday food pushers align me in their cross-hairs.

I will work hard to refrain from losing my temper with those to know how to unleash it. I hope to be as gracious, kind and thoughtful with family as I am with friends and strangers. Most importantly, I want to remind myself every day why we're celebrating the holiday in the first place.

I realize that a lot of what I'm saying describes how I should act every day, but I also know that the things that I've mentioned are sometimes the first things to be sacrificed during the chaos of the holidays. If I can make it though the season accomplishing this goal, it will be the best present that I could have given myself this year.

Unless I buy that 65" plasma TV, of course.