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.