Saturday, December 6, 2008

On Holidaze

I haven't posted here in a while as I'm no longer on the wagon, and I always thought of this blog as part of a balanced diet.

I'm still down ~45 pounds from my initial weight, but I'm not following any sort of sane food intake at the moment. I'm just trying to stay on an even keel until January, at which point I plan on getting back on the wagon again. This not-really-a-plan is actually working out OK.

Even eating pretty much whatever I want, my weight is still staying very steady. My blood sugar is starting to go back up a little, though.

I had a debate with myself this morning about whether or not to get on the scale - I've been weighing every few days still, but have had a few extravagant days of eating, so I wasn't sure I wanted to see the damage.

Talked myself into it (not so hard after remembering talking myself into doing it every day), and was happy to see that the last few days have just been holding steady.

I still feel great compared to 45 pounds ago.

I still need to get back to the gym. Encourage me, lazyweb.

Friday, October 17, 2008

newer clothes

Kids had a school event tonight that didn't require my presence, so I dropped them off and went to the K to pick up some new clothes (again). The last of my old shirts are too big, and I don't have enough of a selection of L dress shirts to go a whole week.

Finally picked up a new belt (a 40. the 38 seemed a smidge too snug.) Got some 38" jeans, a large dress shirt, and... a medium long sleeved T. 

I tried on a medium dress shirt and it was a little too tight in the chest (to be fair the T is a little tight as well, but not obscenely so. I least, I don't think so)  but the stomach fit no problem. So if I start toning up, I'll be able to wear a mediums. And maybe some 36" pants.

I  can't tell you how insane this is.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goodbye, gram.

My grandmother, pictured a few posts back, died recently. She was 92, and she was, sadly, ready to go.

There were no services, so Rachael and I took the kids back to visit my mother and her sister, to make sure everyone was alright. I think everyone is sad, but not distraught.

(now comes the related food bits)

There was, of course, much eating during the visit. I've been holding steady in the 220-225 range for months now, after falling off the medifast wagon. (More like dangling off the side of the wagon). After that visit, I had plumped back up to just under 230 again. I'm now back down to ~ 225.

Last doctor's visit (after weeks of being at that range), saw a slight increase in A1C from 6 to 6.4 or so; No change in meds; 3 month followup instead of the 6-weeks we'd been doing.

I'm slowly getting ready to make the push for the last 20 pounds. Planning a switch to a morning gym schedule to sneak it in before work, slowly getting back on the medifast wagon.

Saw someone today who hasn't seen me since I started on medifast; she said I didn't even look like the same person, and when I got to the '20 pounds to go' bit, she had the awesomeness to say "From where!?". (I could show you, but this is a family blog.)

(food part over)

I do wish I had gotten my stuff together when gram could have appreciated it; I know she always worried about my weight and health (I know this because she was not afraid to tell me I'd put on a few pounds!).


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Going Steady.

Things are pretty much holding steady at this point, I'm still in the low 220s; had a brief dip down to 219 about a week ago, but a trip back home for some family cooking caused a slight rebound. Course correction in progress.

Still heading down to 205, but doing so pretty leisurely at this point, even before the homemade white chocolate cheesecake and BBQ.

Six week doc visit was supposed to be Tuesday. Then Friday. Now Next Tuesday! The doctor herself is apparently unwell; I'll hopefully be able to ratchet down the meds another notch once I can go over my bloodwork from last week.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

In the before time

Here's another before photo from late March (thanks Raye!), a little more than a month before I started this program.

Sadly, it shows off my old physique quite well.

Also pictured here is my grandmother, Elsie Wilcox.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 117 - What's the Over/Under?

Haven't had a weight post in a while. The weekly weigh-ins have slowed down a bit, but I think that's entirely explainable by my recent deviations from the food plan.

I'm still primarily eating the medifast food, but I am being a little less cautious eating out (having the miso soup with my sashimi), having meat 2x a day once in a while instead of once and trying to juggle the medifast food down accordingly. So I'm still losing, but not as rapidly.

But as of today, I'm at 220.2 lbs. 
  • 61.8 pounds total loss (4.4 stone, 28 kg, 22% of my original weight.)
  • calculated BMI is now 29.86; I am now officially merely overweight. (I started out at 38+; morbidly obese with the diabetes)
  • Another 15.2 pounds to go to make my doctor happy. (We'll see if I'm happy there.)
I just went through the closet again today and tossed some old 44"-waist pants that managed to survive the last culling; Got some new 38" pants for my birthday which fit quite well. I don't normally like clothes as presents, but the size made it worthwhile. (Thanks, mom.)

I've included some before and after shots in this post; the one on the right is from mid January; but that's about the same size I was in May when I started. The one on the left Rachael just snapped a few minutes ago as I  was hunting for a new shot. I tried to use the "thin" pose. I think I look a little goofy, but it definitely shows the difference. I'll see if I can find a better "before" shot later, but that's ancient history now.

Onward and downward.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is Rachael's and my 15th anniversary; We actually got to go a concert[0] last weekend, so no big plans today.[1]

Just wanted to wish her a happy anniversary and thank her for all her support on the diet; without her (she's going through the same program I am), I'm sure I couldn't have made it this far!

[0] Cheap Trick/Heart/Journey, all of whom rocked. I was especially impressed with the vocals on the new Journey lead singer.

[1] Thanks to Ann who offers to baby sit every year for our anniversary. If it wasn't for her, we'd never go anywhere!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bite the Big Apple

Warning, this isn't about my weight loss.

Ok, I'm a big Apple fan. I switched years ago for the unix, and stayed for the shiny. I have a first-gen iPhone. I've tried out the option to download music from iTMS to the phone, and then re-sync it to the computer; works great.

So, I heard a song in the car on the way to lunch today. Thought it was Richard Cheese, but no, it's an honest to god "name brand" artist doing swing-style covers of rock songs. I liked it so much, I bought the album when I got back to the office and had access to wifi.

I just used technology which was only a dream even 10 years ago to do something amazingly awesome...

...and it was to buy a Paul Anka record.

I think there might be something wrong with me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 106 - Week 15 weighin

Snuck out a new minimum of 224.2 pounds today, for a 15 week total of 57.8 pounds, 2-pound loss from last week.

That's about 20% of my starting weight, at an average of 3.85 pounds a week.

If I can go a little over 3 more pounds, I'll drop down to 'overweight' from 'obese'. I started out at 'morbidly obese' in May.

If I go a little more than 16 pounds after that, I'll be at the goal BMI set by my doctor.

I had a most disturbing feeling last night, lying on my side, getting ready to sleep. Resting my arm on my side, I could feel my bones (lower rib and pelvis, I think), and the loose skin that's accumulating was kind of hanging off to the side. The disturbing part was the depression between the two bones.

Anyone else reading gone through this kind of weight loss? Presuming I can keep it off, how long is going to take me to adjust to the new... shape? I don't feel different most of the time (my "just walking around" body feels the same as it did months ago), which means anytime I notice something like this, it's rather jarring.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 102 - Edamame Pyrotechnic

Went out to a birthday dinner last night with the family to a newish Japanese place; Isabella's birthday was the day before mine, so we kind of shared a dinner out, but dragged the whole family with. I ate enough sashimi to fill the hold on a small whaling ship, and even had some awesome treat for dessert that involved mango ice cream wrapped in some dough-like coating (pictured here). I thoroughly enjoyed that, and the edamame, and some kind of warm sushi-like product that I think had some spicy mayo in it. And some shrimp tempura. I picked at everything.

I felt absolutely no guilt about this; However, I also had no "I deserve this NOM NOM NOM" moment, either. It was a normal, relatively sane dinner out; I had a good time, the food was good, I felt full but not bloated when it was over. I felt weird about not feeling weird, and commented on this to the wife, which did, I admit, make me feel sort of meta-weird.

My daily weighin shows a one day uptick of 0.2 pounds, which is completely insignificant.

And, after this wonderful dinner with my entire family, on the drive home, there were fireworks! We left the restaurant just in time to catch a good portion of a fireworks show on the Hudson; we pulled off on a back street to watch the amazing finale from the car.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 101 - Yes, but how does that make you feel?

I can't believe I missed an opportunity to blog on Day 100. Ah well.

One of the things that got me to a point where I needed to lose 80 pounds is eating for the wrong reasons. I often (used to!) eat when bored, excited, mad, depressed... To the kind of mindset I spent most of my life in, there's nothing some sugar and fat can't fix.

So, on this plan, I started out trying to be meticulous about following the program. And it didn't require a lot of concious thought at first; you setup your meals for the day, you eat every 2 hours, you don't have to think about it. The lack of thought was very helpful to me. I could make eating right the default, and I'd have to go out of my way to screw it up.

Lately, as I'm getting closer to my goal, I'm finding that I do have to think about it more. I've had a few days (yesterday was one!) where I didn't follow the program, but ended up substituting more low fat meats for a medifast meal or two. My totals for the day were probably not that far off, but I had sashimi for lunch[1], and then some roasted chicken and cold cuts later in the day. Well, I've been doing so well, don't I deserve to have some yummy food?

I've been having that thought a lot lately, and I think it's the new trick my lizard brain has come up with. It's partially true, even! I've lost (quick check) 57.6 pounds as of this morning. That's insane. Surely I deserve a little celebratory snack. An extra bag of those (relatively) delicious soy crisps? Another few ounces of meat? How about a few chips from a bag that isn't even on the diet?

One of the reasons I've been able to make this work so far is that I haven't really had to deal with real food at all. I've been "on plan" since May, so I've been able to avoid a lot of things that looked really good. I've allowed myself some slack so I don't explode: a few 20 calorie snapples aren't going to ruin my diet, after all. (And they haven't! I have retroactive proof!). But where do I draw the line? So far the line has been very close to "medifast or nothing"; Obviously not a good long term strategy.

As I start getting closer to maintenance mode, though, I'm going to need another mechanism to cope with all the food out there. I haven't quite figured out what that's going to be, but I am planning on keeping up with the daily weighins. So, worst case, even if I can't easily stay in a healthy range, I'll have an alarm for when I leave the range, and I know I can drop a few pounds as needed. It'd be nice if I never made the alarm go off, but that's my plan B for now.

I am glad that the medifast plan has a long maintenance cycle; Hopefully it will give my brain time to adjust to that as well. I also have a visit planned with a diabetes educator/nutritionist team once I'm released back into the wild, so I'll be working in this with the help of some very smart folks.

[1] Big shout out to Yoshi's in Latham, NY. Highly recommend. They take very good care of me there, and the sashimi platter I get there at least once a week has been a lifesaver on this diet. Having one food that I really enjoy that I get to eat on a regular basis with no guilt makes this bearable. I am looking forward to going back there every week even when I'm off the diet and on my own.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 99 - Pharmaceutical Reductionism

Got the results of my six-week followup bloodwork today: my A1C is down to 6.0; it was 6.8 six weeks ago, and that's with several reductions in blood sugar meds six weeks ago, and going off the insulin about 30 days ago.

 I'm back on a very small dosage of lisinopril for kidney protection, but get to cut the dosage of another med in half to compensate.

Cholesterol is sneaking back up slowly with the drop in meds the last time (only to 104 total, though), so no change on the meds there for now.

Big news is that my last remaining blood sugar med (metformin), which I was on 2g (2000mg) of has been cut in half to 1g. That's two less horse pills a day.

And I'm exercising less now than I was before I started the diet[1]. Still. So nearly all of this medicine cutback (and improved control on my numbers) is all food related.

The doctor seemed to have a hard time deciding today how deep to cut the dosages; She joked that it's easier to write the Rx when things are going badly.

Still aiming for 205 pounds; Doc says to shoot for about 28 BMI. That's about 20 pounds away from here, and given what I can see that remains of my still enormous-seeming stomach, I'm not sure I'm going to stop there.  I want to be healthy, not skinny; But I have no idea what a healthy weight is, so we'll see what happens when I get to 205.

I can already see .... issues with the skin that's left; I'll try not to worry about that (other than doing crunches) until I've kept the weight off for some time.

Another followup bloodwork/visit in six weeks; I aim to cut even more meds and weight by then.

[1] Though I did go for a very nice 10mile bike ride this weekend. Work is about 14m from here, and the first 10m of that is pretty flat. Definitely going to try that one day this month.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Day 93 - Wardrobe Malfunction

Time to go clothes shopping again; I have one pair of comfortable fitting pants (40s) and a few XL dress shirts; I'd already gone through the closet once, but even the stuff that's left now is too big.

Today I wore some nice, dress clown pants, one of my old 44s. I had to fold the waistband over before cinching my belt as tight as possible. So I stopped at the local Kmart after work to see if they had something cheap that could get me through the next few weeks. I only bought one outfit, but I did a little dance in the dressing room when I realized that the L dress shirt and the 38 waist pants fit. Schweeet.

I also just noticed (after not having checked the BMI-ometer recently) that I'm just under six pounds away from being overweight instead of obese.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Day 91 - Scales and Stones

So, as threatened, I've switched scales; that, combined with another good daily reading put me at 226 pounds this morning.

That's a total[1] of 56 pounds (down from 282), or 4 stone, even. That leaves only 21 pounds to my next goal of 205.

Must start muscle toning.

[1] I can't think of a way to easily keep track of the fact that I've switched scales when discussing how much I've lost, so I'm pretty much just going to ignore it from now on and pretend I had one really good day today. ^_^

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 90 - Are we *there* yet?

Went to a going away party for an ex-coworker of mine this week; got to see a lot of old friends that I haven't seen since I started the diet. So I got a lot of concentrated positive feedback. That was very nice, on top of just getting to see folks again.

But, the real reason for a post today is that I hit my first milestone! Had a single day loss which puts me comfortably at 232.5 pounds, for a total loss of 49.5 pounds as of this morning. That's 3.85 pounds a week.

Next time I go to the gym (which is about once a week lately; that plus bikes are keeping at 2-3 cardio "events" a week.), I'm going over to the weights to hoist up 2 25 pounders. Perhaps I will see if I can go for a walk around the track with them.

And, as I mentioned earlier,  now that I've made it to the first milestone (WOOO!), I'm going to switch over to the wife's scale.

Medifast. Tell your friends.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day 81 - Horribly close

Went out to dinner last night. Even picked a place (local diner) that I had a bad time at the last time to see if I could do any better. Didn't particularly care for the food, so it made it very easy to stay on portion. I wasn't starving like I was the last time we hit the diner, though. Small victories. Thank goodness for coffee; having one vice left makes me not miss the others so bad.

The new food from medifast is also helping; amazing how much less annoying it is when you don't have to eat the exact same soy powder every single day. (Some of the non-diabetic flavors actually seem... tasty. That can't be right, can it?)

So after a month of relatively slow loss, I've lost 6.5 pounds in the last 4 days. I'm down to 237 as of this morning, putting me two pounds away from my initial goal of 235. That's 45 pounds in 81 days.

I am pondering doing a scale switch once that happens, as my better half has a new scale that seems to agree with the scale at the gym. It's also finer grained (tenth pounds instead of half pounds), and, not that this has anything to do with my desire to switch, shows my weight as several pounds below my current. ^_^

I wanted to get to the 235 before the switch though. Soooo close.

Going out to Indian buffet today, and I blogged about the new low, and we're going into the weekend, so no doubt it'll be another 2 weeks before I get this close again.

Thanks for everyone who's posted comments so far; helpful to know that someone is slogging through these entries.

Also, go see Dr. Horrible.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 79 - on the road again

Had a mini plateau for the last 10 days or so; Day 69 had me at 241.5, I went back up, and down, not going below 241 until today, when I weighed in at 239!
  • Only 4 pounds to go on my initial goal!
  • Total loss is now is 43 pounds. (just over three stone.)
  • Loss is an average of 3.8 pounds/week; a slowdown, but still very nice.
Got a new batch of medifast food today, finally remembered to order something other than the default "diabetic sampler pack", so now I have some food I can actually, almost, look forward to.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 69 - A weekend that doesn't suck. At least for dieting

So, random weigh-in today; my “official” weekly weigh-in isn't until Tuesday, but this is a good daily low, so you get this one. =-)

Down to 241.5 pounds; that's a 40.5 pound loss in 69 days. That's a little over 4 pounds a week, which is unbelievable to me, especially given slow things have felt lately. 
  • Only 6.5 pounds remaining to my initial goal of 235. Only 2 pounds to the 230s!
  • My semi-final goal of 205 is only 36.5 pounds away - I'm already more than halfway there (since Day 1: 235 gets me about 61% of the way to 205.)
  • 40.5 pounds happens to be the weight of this printer sitting next to me: an HP 2600n laserjet. I just hefted this to see how much weight that is. I know there's some toner in there, but jeez, that's heavy.
On the one hand, this last point is one of the most disturbing parts of this process for me: It's hard not to equate good steps now with bad before. Have I really changed that much that I'm going to stick with it this time?

On the other hand, the daily weighings are going to be key, I think. Just like with my blood sugar about 2 years ago; it's way too easy to ignore if you don't have the data in front of you every day. Must take the measurements, not get discouraged or mad or frustrated. Get the numbers, analyze them, and then figure out what to do. Stupid numbers. You can beat them.

On the gripping hand, does that mean that you can't get excited about the daily numbers when they happen to fall in your favor? Hell no. Whoop it up. Enjoy your victory. Go blog about it, even. I'm going to go get a delicious cup of coffee, and will read your story when I return.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 64 - Week 9 weigh in


I have been feeling like I'm plateauing for the last month, which has been killing my motivation.

Of course, on this plan with the average supposedly being 5 pounds a week, anything less than that feels like you're stalled, but looking back over the official numbers the past few weeks, I'm still losing, just more slowly.

I missed the official weigh in on week six because I was in Chicago. Week five was 255, week seven was 250, week eight was 247.5, and today was 245.5; So, over 4 weeks, I'm down 9.5 pounds, an average of about 2.4 a week. So, nothing to sneeze at.

I think the thing that threw me is that partway through week six, I was already at 247, and then I went up before going back down, but the weekly weigh ins show that I'm still trending down. So, time to quit whining about the slow weight loss, especially since...


I had gotten my insulin usage down to 35 units a day before the long weekend, and then cleverly forgot my freshly packed pen as we rushed out the door on 3 hour car ride away. Realized my mistake about 2 hours into the trip.

So, I figured I'd do a trial run on the long weekend with no insulin whatsover. I figured, my mom is using a very similar type of basal insulin, if my numbers go completely out of whack, I have a fallback plan. I was only on 35 units, and was dropping 5 every few days, so how bad could it get?

As it turns out, not bad at all! My fasting sugar was 86 that morning, I discontinued the insulin that night, and through today, it's been 90, 89, 102, 113, 104; The intra-day checks don't seem to be going over 130 (just as before.)

Now, I had checked with the doctor at the last visit; She told me to keep reducing the insulin as I'd been doing, and if I discontinued it, great. So while I should have done that last 35 units over the course of about 2 weeks, this ended up working, thankfully. Kids: don't try this at home.

So now I've managed to cut my meds needed to about half, and while doing that, have better control than I did with all the meds. And I'll probably be able to drop more after my next six week eval. Now why didn't I do this earlier?


Slowly getting back up to speed here. Biking 2-3 nights a week.

My mom just bought our family a Wii Fit, and the entire family loves it. The kids were arguing over who gets to play it last night when I got home, which is 1) typical for them when there's a TV involved, but 2) they were exercising. For fun.

After they all went to bed, I logged about 50 minutes on it myself, doing a variety of cardio, balance, flexibility, and strength training.

I just wish the thing wouldn't say "... Oh!" every time you step on it, like you've put on another 5 pounds and it's afraid to actually tell you.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 55 - Corrections

Went through my closet yesterday and tried on every piece of clothing. I'm left with a few shirts that fit nicely (having been purchased at a time of optimism coinciding with a sale some months ago!), and some more that, while serviceable, were still too large. Some clownishly large.

So in our errands yesterday, we ended up going shopping for some clothes for me. At least one of my readers will be happy to know that while I can fit into a large t-shirt, I still require an XL dress shirt. Give it another month. Pants are down to a size 40.

Also, I missed a medication in yesterday's posting. I get to cut my crestor dosage in half as well.

Yesterday was my first day on a half dose of the blood pressure meds, and I was still dizzy. Not stop-the-world dizzy like I have been, but enough to notice. I've dug out the mini BP cuff and will monitor for a few days; if it stays low, I get to renegotiate meds with the doc yet again. Woot.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 53 -I am not a number, I am a free man!

The last time I blogged, I had just gotten back from a week long trip, over which I had lost 7 pounds; It's been a week since then, and today is the first day I've gone back down under that weight; currently at 246.5#. So while I did OK weight wise on the trip, it's apparently taken me a little bit of time to get back into the rhythm here at home. Frustrating, but I seem to be back on track now.

Had my 3 month bloodwork done Monday, and a visit to the doctor today to go over it. The numbers there are pretty amazing, considering I've only been on this program for a little under nine weeks. My fasting that day was 78 (on par with what I've been seeing self-testing), my A1C has dropped to 6.8 (down from a career high of 12, 3 months ago it was nearly 9). My total cholesterol is at 95. I just need to work on getting my good cholesterol up a little higher.

So, as a result, the on-again-off-again glipizide is gone, discontinuing the actos, and I've been adjusting my insulin dosage down 5 units every few days, that's currently at 50. I'm free to discontinue it as long as my fasting looks good; I'll keep dialing it back every few days, but I'm going to give it a few more days at this dosage since I'm dropping the other meds. Also cutting the blood pressure meds in half (been a little dizzy on this diet, so that'll help.) I'm also supposed to monitor the BP, if it gets too low, I'll end up discontinuing that and start reducing one of the other heart meds too.

We also talked briefly about a more final weight goal than my current 235; I'm going to shoot for 205 as a long term goal, but let's get to the first one first, mmmkay? Because things are progressing pretty fast here, my followup visit is in six weeks instead of three months.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 45 - Back home again, jiggity jiggle.

So, I'm back from Chicago; I went 5 days without a weigh in anywhere, and while I've been pretty good, I was of course nervous about the weigh-in this morning.

Shouldn't have been; 7 pound drop since last Friday morning.

That puts me at 247 pounds:
  • 1st weigh-in in the 240s
  • 35 pounds total loss
  • 74% towards my initial goal of 235.
Thanks to all the perl/parrot folk who were very understanding about me avoiding the eating portions of the conference.

I have my fasting blood work on Monday and a 3-month doc checkup on Friday; I'll have been on this plan for about 7 weeks when I get the bloodwork done. I'm excited to see those numbers, especially my A1c.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 39 - untethered

Well, the day started off like any other since I started this diet. Happened to maintain since yesterday (which is good, these new lows that I blog about have a way to magically influence the daily fluctuations, grumble.)

However, ended up a plane later in the day. Got through security just fine with all my medifast powder, and my drugs (even the insulin needles =-). Mixed up a shake while I was waiting for my flight. I swear the kid sitting across from me looked at me like I was about to conduct a non-TSA approved chemistry experiment.

Did fine on the flight itself, had a bar, passed along the snacky food to the lanky guy sitting next to me.

Did the insulin a little late today, but not too bad.

Staying in a not-so-luxurious dorm room, managed to find a microwave in a common area and heat up some medifast soup. I'm going to have to hit the local convenience store and see about getting a small bottle of tobasco or something.

But, managed to stay on track today on the diet, no problems. Found a vending machine with diet snapple, so I don't even have to give up my fix. =-)

As long as I can get some coffee on a regular basis, this trip should go pretty smoothly.

... And sleep. Sleep would be good. I was nodding off while chatting with the other conference goers, but now that I"m in my room with the AC cranked, no such luck.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 38 - 10%, 2 stone, 3/5

My daily weighin today puts me at 254 pounds. This is yet another milestone weight: (though really, any new low is a milestone for me at this point, I've gotten lower than I have in 5 years.)

Going by the 0.5 pound accuracy on my scale, this means I have lost 10% of my original body weight. (282 * 0.9 = 253.8) !

This brings me up to an even two stone (28 pounds) of total loss, in a little over five weeks.

It's ⅗ of my initial, almost inconceivable loss target of 47 pounds. (At this rate, I could theoretically reach 235 pounds by mid July.) My doctor suggested at my last quarterly checkup that I try this program out because I really needed to target my weight. I think she's going to be pleasantly surprised at the progress I (will) have made, both in weight and glucose control. This will be an excellent time for me to set a secondary goal with some medical advice, and come up with a plan for how we can determine what my final desired weight is. 

Over the next week or so, I'm not going to have the unfettered daily access to a scale, so I'm actually going to miss my “official” weighin on Tuesday. I will miss the daily feedback, especially since I'm going to be away from my comfortable routine for a few days.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day 36 - Week 5 weigh in.

Managed to eke out a little more loss than my previous daily low this week to 255 even. (woot)

This is:
  • a 5.5 pound loss from last week,
  • 27 pounds total,
  • 57% of my initial goal,
  • brings my average to about 5.4 pounds a week.
Did a little bit of clothes shopping this week, biggest news there is that now I can fit into a large shirt instead of needing an XL.

Looking ahead, I'm going to be missing weigh-ins for a few days as I go away to a conference; I am not looking forward to the disruption in routine, but I'm sure it'll be a learning experience as far as figuring out how to monitor my food & exercise, while not having all the comforts of home or work.

Also, not looking forward to carrying nearly all my food with me on the plane!

Update: LazyWeb, please find me a picture of something that weighs 27 pounds and post it in the comments. I found a lot of links to news articles with no pics.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 32 - Six Degrees of Obesification

Today's daily was 255.5, which is enough to drop me below the calculated BMI of 35, making me... Obese! Not severely, morbidly, or otherwise, but a plain, simple, vanilla obese. (Vanilla Obese, the new flavor from Ben & Jerry's, mmmm.)

The next BMI crossover, to a tantalizing mere overweight, will occur at 221 pounds, which is beyond my first milestone of 235 and therefore beyond the range of modern science to predict. I do think there's a good chance of hitting that target by mid-August, however, even with plateaus.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You haven't changed a bit!

I had lunch with some old ex co-workers today, and wanted to answer some of the questions they brought up, and figured if they had questions and didn't ask on the blog, someone else might be wondering.

What do you eat?

I'm on the medifast 5+1 (diabetic) plan. The 1 is a “lean and green” meal, which is, basically, 7 ounces of lean meat and some fat, depending on how fatty the meat is, you have a smaller portion size. The 5 refers to the special food from medifast; they have bars (which have slightly more calories), and pouches; the pouches get mixed with hot or cold water, and they have soups, shakes, oatmeal, cold or hot drinks.

You eat the same thing every day?

No, just the same kinds of things; I can have any combination of those 5 medifast meals I want every day. I have an assortment shipped to my house once a month, then for a given day, I eat any five I want. I've had days where they've all been oatmeal, or soup. Only rule is one bar a day; And I've bent that rule if I'm not going to be near a convenient place to mix up the food.

Also, it doesn't matter when during the day I have the meat & veggies. Today I did it for lunch, sometimes I do it for dinner.

How many calories are you taking in?

Theoretically, 800-1,000 calories. Let's check my intake today to see how that matches up. I've had:
  • one medifast diabetic bar (140 calories)
  • one medifast cold drink mix (90 calories)
  • one medifast soup (100 calories)
  • one medifast hot drink mix (100 calories)
  • one medifast shake  (90 calories) (don't get this one for another hour or two)
  • one snack, a pickle + some low-cal salad dressing (50 calories. Technically I went over on this.)
  • one “lean & grean” meal. This was at a restaurant, so I'm using Calorie King to fill in some rough numbers here and guesstimate portion sizes.

    • 9 small pieces of sashimi (183 calories)
    • wasabi (20 calories)
    • soy sauce (8 calories)
    • salad (25 calories)
    • unknown salad dressing (170 calories) (!!!)

That works out to 976 calories today. And now that I've checked out a comparable salad dressing, I'll know to ask for it on the side in the future so I can more easily limit how much of it I eat. If I had gotten the salad dry, I would have come in at just over 800 today. Important to look up these calories!

That's not enough, is it?

The plan is that this is enough calories to keep you out of starvation mode, but still force your body to burn the fat stores you've helpfully accumulated for it. I think if I dropped one of the meals, I'd be feeling it. As it is, I get a slight pang pretty much on schedule, go eat, all set.

Yes, but aren't you hungry?

Not really. I eat every 2 to 3 hours. After lastmeal (whenever that happens to be), I usually don't feel hungry, even if I stay up until 2 AM.

You haven't changed a bit?

Sadly, I'd put on weight since the last time I saw these guys, so my amazing 23.5 pound loss so far... basically let me break even as far as they were concerned. Ah well. We'll try again in a month. =-)

Day 30 - Halfway to step one: Part Two!

I am once again at 285.5, 258.5, a feat you may remember from last week.

I still look forward with great anticipation to dropping below “severely obese”. Here's hoping the dailies go in the right direction this time. ^_^

Update: whoops! weight-loss induced dyslexia. I have been feeling a little dizzy on and off…

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 29 - 4 week weigh in

Whee, a small but measurable loss this week. Especially nice after seeing the daily weigh yesterday. Current weekly weigh in is 260.5, for a one week total of 1.5 pounds, and an overall total of 21.5 pounds. (about 3/4 pound per day.)

Blood sugar is creeping back up, it was 86, 89 respectively the last two days; will hold off on any more insulin dosage changes and get some exercise back in the mix.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 28 - Final day of week 4

Since my last post, I've gained 5.5 pounds back (with dailies that were up, down, and one the same); That puts me 2 pounds over my last weekly weigh in. Even more frustrating, the jump up today of 4 pounds is the first time since I started 4 weeks ago where my 5 day average has gone up.

I definitely stuck to program today; Did a much better job than I usually do, and it was easier, now that I'm used to the routine. Stuck to the schedule (pretty much every 2 hours today). Haven't been tempted to go back and have anything after lastmeal1, either. So, something's working.

So, frustrating, but certainly not demotivating; As of this second (a purely informational bedtime weigh in), I'm back down to my weight of last week. That still puts me at an average of 5 pounds a week for the whole, even if I just hold steady until the official weigh in tomorrow.

Got my second month's worth of food today; sadly, I didn't login in time to customize it, so I got more of the same, but that's OK. I am finding I do better when I conspire to reduce my choices; that helps keep me focused on the food-as-fuel mantra.

Biggest tip I can provide to those who are considering a similar program: Build in some distractions to your day. Have stuff to do. Have a list of things you can work from if that helps. If you're a dork like me, setup a wiki for your household. Clean a room in your house. Do the dishes right now instead of leaving them until after dinner. Go to the library and get some books to read. Go for a walk - not because it's good for you, but because it will trick your lizard brain into looking at shiny things instead of thinking about your next meal.

Hell, go blog about something.

Look for another post in the morning for the official week's numbers.

1What do you call meals when you have six of them a day, and not always at the same time?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 24 - Halfway to step one.

Going by the daily weigh-ins, I hit 258.5 today, a 2.5 pound daily loss from yesterday; This is a big milestone for me:
  • first reading in the 250s (in a long time.)
  • 50% of my initial goal (from 282 to 235)
  • last weight before my BMI drops below 35 (which is the cutoff for severely obese if you have other health risks like I do.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cat Food?

Someone asked (but not in the comments, OH NOES!) why the 20 pounds in the last post was linked to a bag of cat food - the bag weighs in at 20 pounds!

Being able to look at a physical object that corresponds to the loss is very helpful. I certainly don't want to carry that bag of cat food around all day every day anymore, and the fact that I have been for some years now is rather disconcerting. What else is lurking in there, I wonder?

Do you have a reminder you keep to help you maintain?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 22 - Week 3

Official 3 week weigh in this morning is 262, for a net loss of 20 pounds so far.

Still not quite back to my daily low of 261, but since this has come more gradually, I'm sure it's gone for good.

Blood sugar this morning was 65, and I was feeling it. I've been cutting back on the insulin, will continue to do so, and to make sure I'm eating all the carbs I can on this plan. My control has never been good enough to worry about lows before I started this plan. I am now making sure I carry the glucose tabs everywhere, and checking my sugar 3-4 times a day.

Reading Think Like a Pancreas, a loaner from my mother; The short history of diabetes technology over the past 100 years or so was very instructive. (Basically, I have it good and need to quit complaining. =-)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 21 - Weekends Suck

So I have typically found it more difficult to stay on program (any program!) on the weekends. When I'm at work, my choices are much more limited, and I can't just wander over to the fridge or the cupboard.

I'm doing much better with this on this program than I have in the past, but yesterday, for example, I basically substituted another real meal for one of the medifast meals.

I think it's great that my “cheating” on this diet consists of extra vegetables and roast chicken, but will definitely have to be aware of when I'm going over. I was obviously completely oblivious before, or my blood sugar wouldn't have been so high: Fasting sugar this morning was 68.

3 week weigh-in tomorrow morning. See you then.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 17 - Fat Deposition

For those who think there's no justice in the world, the scale has reversed my incredible loss yesterday, and a few more days besides, bringing back above my 2 week weigh-in.

The 5 day average shows a steady, downward trend, however. (Apparently this is why some of my diet buddies recommend the thing!)

Trying to convince my better half we need a beam scale so any daily fluctuations are at least a result of my own crazy body and not inferior technology.

Fasting blood sugar holding steady in the high 70s/low 80s after a small dip in insulin.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 16 - Quantum Fluctuations

Still doing the daily weigh ins, even though I'm not reporting in every day; had an unusual reading today, though, which I thought I'd share: a six pound drop from yesterday, bringing the daily loss to 21 pounds in 15 days.

I'm sure it's part of a multi-day fluctuation, but for now, I'll bask in my 45% of goal.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 15 - End of Week 2

Had my 2 week weigh in this morning. Down to 267, a 15 pound loss in two weeks. Because I had a slight dip below there, my five day average is 267.5 at the moment.

My fasting blood sugar over the last five days has ranged from 75 to 83. I am now experimenting with a slight reduction in my insulin (was up to 80 units daily) to see if I can maintain the just-below 80 fasting reading with less.

I'm currently 32% of the way towards my initial weight goal of 235 pounds. At this week's current loss levels (ignoring the 9.5 drop the first week), that would put me at about July 1st. It probably won't go that fast, but I still haven't added my exercise back in yet. I plan on doing that this week, and will report back.

I need to start planning how I'm going to do with a week away from home on this plan. I suspect I'm going to have to switch to using mostly shakes and other cold mixes, and carry a lot of bottled water. Anyone have any thoughts on that, please leave a comment.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Switching the widget on the main page of the blog back to showing percentage of goal based on daily weighings rather than the 5 day average.

I get that the 5 day average helps you feel better when you're going up and down, but that's not the case on this plan, at least for me.

Day 11 - onward and downward

Yesterday for lunch, the guys at work asked me to go to lunch for sushi; said yes without thinking about it; then went anyway thinking I could find something safe at lunch. Tried out a new Japanese place near Crossgates Mall, had a sashimi platter; at the time I was very hungry, but it kept me full for some hours.

Last night was rough - there was a dinner function the entire family went to, and I had already planned (even before the sashimi) to not eat anything there. I had a bar (my second of the day, even though I'm only supposed to have one a day), but by the time we got home, I ended up throwing together a salad and putting in a can of tuna (which, of course, didn't compare at all to the tuna I had for lunch).

So I ended up doubling up on bars and probably went over on my allotment of meat for the day, too. I was concerned, but woke up this morning after a sound sleep to another 1.5 pound loss, and a blood sugar of 75. Woot.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 10 - One Stone

Doubling up on the shakes when I didn't have enough time didn't hurt (and probably helped, I know I don't want to go below a certain number of calories a day or my body will go into starvation mode instead of fat burning mode); down another 3 pounds today, and blood sugar dropped back down to 90.

One problem I've noticed the past few days is that I can't seem to get as little sleep as I used to. If I stay up late, I'm getting up late. 2 weeks ago, I could have dragged myself out of bed. Yawn. Going to have to cut back on the late night gaming.

Another problem is that I'm going to have cleaned up all my corners of the house by the end of this week and will then have to come up with something else to do with my nervous energy.

For all of the three potential UK readers I have, as of the weigh in this morning, I'm down one stone.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 9 - just another day

Today went by pretty fast.  Brother in law was out yesterday, and I ended up oversleeping this morning, so I got a late start.

Ate out for lunch with some friends (steamed chicken and vegetables); spaced out the meals a little too far the rest of the day. In order to get my full set of meals in, I had to double up on two shakes, even. Though I did that about 3 hours ago. Guess I could have waited, I thought I'd be asleep by now!

Blood sugar was up today, but only to 100 or so; but the weight was down, so it's all good.

Hopefully I'll get a few more days where I'm not constantly thinking about eating and start to settle in for the long haul… and as I'm settling in and things are more regular, I won't be posting every day. I'll definitely post the weekly weigh ins, and anything interesting or unusual.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions about the plan.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 8 - First full week!

“Official” weigh-in this morning puts me down 9.5 pounds for the first week!

Sugar up a measly 2 points today to 81.

Spoke to my diabetes educator yesterday; She was cautiously optimistic about my participation on the Take shape for life plan; she doesn't have any other patients who have followed the regimen, so I'll be kind of a guinea pig for her. The initial numbers look promising, but she shares my concern about what happens after the initial low calorie jumpstart.

I'm definitely planning on meeting with her after my next run of bloodwork; I'm going to want as much support as possible going off the powder and onto real food to make sure I don't backslide on the weight or the blood sugar.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 7 - Ups and Downs


First full week of the program ends today. A lot of people have been reporting 10+ pounds the first week, and I was on target for this until this morning's weigh-in cut my loss so far in half. Switched the little widget on the site to report the progress towards goal in terms of the 5 day average (now that I have 5 days of data and every day isn't a loss. =-) My theory on the one day reversal? too many pickles!


Today's gain isn't demotivating at all, though! My blood sugar is down to 79 this morning. This is low enough for me to (at least today) discontinue one of the blood sugar medications I'm on. This is much more important than a single day gain.

I'm perversely lucky that I have the blood sugar readings to fall back on as another indicator for how well the program is working; Though really, it's one the main reasons I got on this program, and to have it be down in this range after six days is a real win for me.

Tune in tomorrow for the official one week total. Post your guesses in the comments.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 6

Blood sugar at 87 second day in a row. Feeling pretty good today!
  • Fit into a shirt I haven't been able to squeeze into for a while
  • Did 35m of cardio (bike riding around the neighborhood). Low impact, but very nice.
Mother in law came over for Mother's day today. Raye grilled some food and the whole family was able to eat together outside together.

Another small loss today, woot. 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 5

Heard back from my doctor's office yesterday ; there's a plan now for cutting back on medications as my blood sugar drops. Fasting dropped again to 87 this morning. If it hits 80, there's one I can drop entirely, after that, I can start dialing back on my insulin.

Lunch yesterday was no problem. Got steamed chicken and vegetables. Came with rice, but the waiter at Emperor's was very helpful when I asked for the rice to go before I dug in.  Not having it on the plate made it much easier to ignore. Had some hot sauce on the side. (Just spice, nothing at all creamy.)

Felt like crap last night, tired and weak. Fell asleep (not in bed, sadly!) about 10:30 or so last night, woke up at 10 am. Thanks to Raye for managing the kids this morning (er, that's pretty much every morning).

This is my first day at home on the plan. Hopefully I won't fall back into any old habits today.

Weight loss is proceeding nicely.

If you're subscribing this via a feed, there's a widget on the main page that shows the progress so far. I figured that would be less annoying that daily posts of "another six ounces!".

Friday, May 9, 2008

Day 4

Oh, right, the wife!

I neglected to mention, Coke-focused blogger that I am, that my wife Rachael (a.k.a. Raye) is also on the program with me.; She's been doing well on Atkin's, but switched to this program too. It's not an easy switch to make, and I really appreciate it. I think long term, it's going to be very beneficial for us both to be following the same program. Thanks, Raye!

Raye fired up the grill last night, and I stopped on the way home at the fish market and got some tuna steaks for us both. Best. Food. Ever. I suspect I'll be saying that about every non-powder meal I eat for the next year. =-)


I mentioned in Day 1 that I'm on the diabetic version of Medifast. This basically means that some of the powders (and all of the bars) I get through the program are slightly different; otherwise, it's the same program. Just fewer calories, and different nutritional additives specifically for diabetics…

…And it's working. While I have another small-but-measurable weight loss today, my fasting blood sugar this morning was 98 (mg/dl), which corresponds to an A1C of 5.5; I think my last official A1C was about nine; probably the highest it's been since I was diagnosed five and half years ago.

Here's my fasting readings this week by day:
  1. 189
  2. 149
  3. 129
  4. 98
And at least so far, the readings were solid all day. Now, I'm on four different medications for my blood sugar, but the reduced calorie intake (in pretty much a complete absence of real exercise) has had an amazing impact.

I am now going to go call my doc and see what we're going to do next: I need to have a plan if this is going to drop another 20-30 points tomorrow. I am very hopeful that I'll be able to eliminate some medication due to the program. Improving my glucose control was one of the main reasons for me to start this program, and to have this feedback in the first week of the program is very helpful.

Finally, I'm also taking my "lean and green" (Medifast-speak for the one real meal you get a day) meal at a restaurant today. I have it planned out what I'm going to get, and I should be able to fit this in to the program.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day 3 (updated)

Another small loss today.

My target goal is 235 pounds, by the way; It's not a final goal, but I needed an intermediate step where I could see myself at, and then I'll have a better idea of how much I have left to go from there.

SDN, who commented yesterday, was just telling me how his self-image has changed as he's lost weight; I have the same block now he had before he started losing: I can't really imagine myself at, say, 200 now. I hope my view of 200 to be very different nearly 50 pounds from now.

235# goal: 10%

That seems like a high percentage to me for Day 3, but there's a lot of anecdotal notes about TSFL having a steep loss curve. I don't think my goal is too small…


If you care at all about how the food tastes, I highly recommend mixing thoroughly. I just had some cream of chicken soup that had very big chunks of powdery balls (and so it was watery at the same time.). It was edible, but by no means yummy. I may have to bring in some hardware other than spoons and plastic containers for meal prep. Maybe if I go for some bigger plasticware, I can use a regular size whisk.

Thankfully, the shakes mix just fine by… shaking.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Day 2

Day 2 of the plan started out with a screaming leg cramp, but was followed up shortly by a daily weighing that showed a 4.5 pound drop since yesterday. So that's alright then.

I'm sure this is just mostly fluctuations, but it's a nice kick off.

Food so far today tastes a little better. Nuking the hot stuff (like the directions say) instead of just adding steaming water makes a big difference. Of course, it could just be me acclimating.

Haven't gone to the gym yet this week (been doing 3 days a week, 30 minutes of cardio), but did a 30m walk in the woods near work today.

As expected, the lack of decision required in picking food is helping. So is the fact that you have to eat every 2.5-3 hours; what's the point of cheating if you get to eat something soon?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Day 1

Started the Take Shape for Life program , which uses the Medifast food. I'm on the extra special diabetic plan, which has a lower gyclemic index for type II's like myself.

While I was up to 285 pounds last week, my (official starting) weight this morning was 282. Also have a 48 inch waist to contend with. While I've been bigger in the past, this is as high as it's been in a while.

I am very excited about the program. The local cardiologist's office is running the program, and their meeting with current and potential members was quite motivating.

I'm hoping to improve my general fitness, and see some improvement in my A1C and maybe reduce some of the 10 medications I'm on. (Oy.)

I am hoping that the relative lack of food choices on the plan during the initial phase will be beneficial; no thoughts about portions, no more effort than selecting a pouch when trying to decide what to eat.

After a single day, I don't really feel deprived at all. The food is very nearly un-food like, but it's just fuel. And the one meal with real food I had today tasted great. (It's not all powder and bars.)