Spring Break!

I just realized last night that my Spring Break is in session. Thanks to my lax class schedule and the fact that Friday is a court furlough day I am officially done with school until Monday, April 2nd. Minus any school work that I need to finish and complete over the break that is.

I’ve been somewhat up and down on my progress so far this year. I’m hoping to use the break to regroup and get back on a more regular “loss” slide. No more gains! Okay, that’s a little unrealistic, but I think I can manage to continue on the downward path towards 200.  I no longer have any delusions that I can reach forty pounds lost on the year by June, but I still believe I can reach under 200 by graduation (or June).  Just have to get cracking (and hope it doesn’t continue to snow!).

Photos are funny things

I look in the mirror and I generally think I’m looking alright at the moment.  But then I take a photo and it takes forever to get one that I’m happy with.  I’m not really sure why this is.  I don’t think that it’s an issue particular to me though.  It seems like most people have problems with photos of themselves.  Even people who, in my opinion, never take a bad picture.

I think pictures are an opportunity for you to see how others view you.  It’s hard to get an objective view of yourself, and even harder to get others to give their objective opinions of your appearance.  I mean, most people aren’t going to come out and say you’re ugly, even if they think you are.  I struggle with this since I have varying opinions on my own appearance.  I get lots of positive feedback on my present look, but I often struggle with how honest this is.  Not that I think people are lying to me, I just think a lot of people are impressed with how much weight I’ve lost so it’s hard to weigh what “hey, you’re looking good” means.  I certainly know I look a hell of a lot better than I did last year.  Anyone that knew the 300+ me or even the 250+ me is definitely going to think I look good now in comparison.  But is the “you look good” comment just in comparison, or do they actually think that I look good?  I don’t know, and I’m not really sure how to figure that out.

This is one of the reasons I like meeting new people.  If you can read how they are sizing you up it gives you an opportunity to get an objective look.  Don’t get me wrong, I am immensely proud of my weight loss and I don’t hesitate to bring it up if I meet a new person and they ask about it.  But it is nice to get a feel for how someone views you without them knowing about it at first.

The Art of Walking

I love to walk. It relaxes me. It refreshes me. It’s good exercise. I feel better on days when I get a walk in then on days when I don’t. I’ve said all this before, but I just wanted to say it again. Yesterday I walked while it was pouring down rain mixed with snow. I was covered up, but still, I’m sure many people thought I was crazy. Regardless, it still felt good. Even though it was miserable weather, walking still refreshed me for the day.

If you want to get healthier or lose weight or whatever, I think it’s important to find something like walking to do every day. Something you enjoy doing and will do on a regular basis. Something you will keep doing no matter what life is presently throwing at you. Otherwise, you’re just going to be stuck in the cyclical abyss of ups and downs on the scale.

Healthy Eating versus Portion Control

Eating healthier is definitely good for your body.  If you eat a healthy salad with a low-fat salad dressing that’s most likely going to be better for you than a bag of chips.  However, just eating healthier isn’t going to necessarily result in you losing weight.  This is a concept that I think a lot of people miss.  Losing weight is more a component of portion control than it is about eating healthy.  The two are complementary subjects, but accomplishing one doesn’t necessarily compute into accomplishing the other.

A lot of times people will give me food and say “It’s healthy, don’t worry about it.”  But I still do worry about it.  I appreciate eating healthier, because that is part of what I am doing and it is better for my body, but if I have three to four portions of a healthy pasta dish than we still have the same problem of me eating too much.  500 calories is 500 calories, whether it’s healthy or junk food.  Losing weight is about being able to control the amount that you eat.  Living healthier is about eating better.  It’s good to do both, but if you want to lose weight you have to remember that it isn’t just about eating healthier.  It’s about making better eating choices, which includes the amount that you eat, not just what you eat.

Don’t let being discouraged knock you off course

The first couple weeks of any new weight loss program are generally the easiest.  Your body’s initial shock from whatever change you’ve instituted equates into an easy loss, generally.  It’s the next few weeks that determine whether you stay the course, as your body adjusts to the new norm and shedding pounds gets more and more difficult.  That’s when it’s easy to become discouraged, and I challenge you not to let yourself get knocked off the course over a few bad weigh-ins.

The difference for me last year than when I’ve tried to lose weight in the past is that getting discouraged motivated me to work harder rather than give up.  And I think that is part of the key to my success.  There will be incredible highs as you lose weigh, but there will also be plenty of bad weigh-ins and not-so-good moments.  There are ups and downs to every journey, and the measure of your success will be how you handle the lows.  If you keep working and putting in the effort, you will get results.  It just might take time.

The other important part of this is not let being discouraged give you reason to “take the day off.”  There’s a lot of temptation when you’re having a down day to just continue down the bad path and start over the next day.  That’s the easiest way to get knocked off your plan.  Once you start down the path of “giving up” it’s hard to course correct back onto the plan.  I know that once I’ve had one slice of pizza it’s real easy to just keep going until the box is gone, but I force myself to stop.  That’s not to say that you can’t treat yourself every now and then, but there’s a big difference between treating yourself and taking the day off.

Transitions

I was always have difficulty with transitional periods in my life.  In college, I noticed that whenever I went back and forth between home and school I was a little moodier for whatever reason.  I have found the same thing to be true during law school.  I think it’s the change of going back and forth over such a short period of time.  At the end of the semester I’m burnt out from school and trying to see people before I go home.  I’m at home and I’m trying to squeeze in as much time with friends and family as possible.  Then I get back to school and I’m trying to reintegrate myself into the rhythm of school and catching up with friends again.  It’s a lot of planning.  And planning is necessary but also annoying.

I have had trouble getting back into a groove now that I am here in Eugene again.  I was sick last week and started some of my classes this week, and the rest of my classes begin in earnest next week.  I’ve been playing around with my schedule almost non-stop for the last couple days, but I think I’ve finally figured out what I’m going to take.  I have no finals at the moment (just papers), so that should be good!

Hopefully I can find my groove again by next week.  We shall see.

2011 in review

2010 had some pretty good highs (Hawaii, anyone?), but otherwise it was not a great year in the life of Dave.  I blew up to a weighty 300+ pounds.  2011, however, was pretty awesome in comparison.  I suspect that tomorrow morning I will “officially” weigh-in under 227 to reach the elusive “official” 100 pound goal.  But even if I don’t, I’ve already lost 100 pounds this year.  That in itself would make this the best year in the last decade.  But there is more, of course.

I went to Mexico twice, once with family and once with a really good group of friends.  I had a blast both times.

I’ve taught myself how to live a healthy life and I plan on maintaining that lifestyle for the rest of my life.

I have a pair of size 48 (waist) jeans that I wore last year.  I now wear 36.  It fits pretty well; 34 is just outside of my reach at the moment.  FYI, that’s an entire foot off my waistline!  In other clothes news, I dropped from wearing 3XL/4XL shirts to now wearing XL/L shirts depending on the brand.  Hoping to completely transition to L in the next few months.

I’ve taken risks this year that I haven’t taken in a long time.  I’ve accomplished things that I never thought I would do.  I have failed at things I used to be afraid of trying, and moved on past the failure stronger for having tried.  Some of the things I have tried, even just in the past few weeks, would have scared the crap out of me a year ago (hell, even three months ago!).  As I’ve said before, I’m a changed person both mentally and physically from the guy who weighed 327 pounds at the start of this year.

My new goal: under 200 by the summer.  I’ll get a post up soon with more thoughts and details on my new goal.  Hopefully sometime next week.

2012 resolution?  My 2011 was so successful that I am of course planning a 2012 resolution.  My new goal is not a part of that, because I don’t need the start of a new year to lose weight any more.  I’m past that! 🙂  No, my goal this year is probably going to be more of a personal nature.  I may or may not share it on this blog.  I will decide that once I settle on a new resolution for 2012.

Have a great New Year’s Eve!