Some perspective

It’s been slow going in 2012. I’ve just started to pick up the pace again, so maybe I’m finally out of this rut. Last time I was in a rut I took a look back and noted how far I’ve come. I thought I’d do that again.

I’ve lost about 110 pounds so far since I started this journey. Wowza. About this time a year ago, I was about 307 pounds. That means that I’ve lost about 90 pounds since a year ago today. I just got a new pair of suits since the ones I got in 2010 and had altered last summer are waaaaaaay too big. When I got them altered I was roughly 282 pounds, which means I’ve lost almost 65 pounds in between suits. When I returned to Eugene from California last August I weighed-in at roughly 262 pounds, which means I’ve lost almost 45 pounds since last summer. So even though I’ve only lost 8 pounds since January 1, 2012, I’m still going strong.  I obviously still have a lot to be proud of!

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!

On being called fat

Serious face for some serious talk

I was inspired by this post by the Anti-Jared to be a little candid about my formerly fatter existence.  I wouldn’t click on the link unless you’re ready to read some pretty harsh stories about people being called fat or being belittled for being fat.

I’ve been pretty lucky as a fat person and I don’t remember ever being called fat to my face.  I’m sure people said stuff behind my back, but as far as I can recall I was never called any names to my face on account of my weight.  I think part of the reason for that is because I was fairly comfortable joking about my weight in front of people.  It was a coping mechanism for me.  In my head, if I could get people to laugh with me about my weight then they wouldn’t be laughing at me.

I try to keep this blog upbeat for the most part, but every now and then I have to reflect and talk about the ugly stuff.  This is one of the moments.  So I’ve mentioned before that one of the reasons I was inspired to change my life around was a very candid talk with a friend who told me that he was worried about my health due to my weight.  That’s the kind of being called fat that is okay, and close friends should always feel comfortable saying things like that because let’s face it, somebody has to.  And that moment played a huge role in where I am now.  But the ugly side of that, a part that I am pretty sure I have never mentioned on this blog since I think I’ve only mentioned it to a few people, is another conversation with a different friend who essentially called me fat while making a joke about me.

I think it was actually the same night as the other conversation, but I’m not sure about that.  I was with a group of my friends hanging out, and we were drinking and joking around.  Like I said earlier, I was pretty comfortable joking about my weight.  I would joke; people would laugh. It was all good. Then, something different happened.  One of my friends apparently felt comfortable enough to crack a joke about my weight unprompted by me.  I was stunned, but I didn’t want anyone to know so I played it off and laughed at the joke.  What could have been an incredibly awkward moment went on as if nothing had happened.

It stung at that moment.  It really hurt; I’m not going to lie.  It’s one thing when a complete stranger says something to you, but it’s a completely different animal when someone you consider a good friend says something.  I won’t name names because I don’t think that’s important and really, it could have been anybody.  I had set myself up for it.  If I hadn’t made everyone comfortable laughing at me with my own jokes then that friend wouldn’t have felt comfortable cracking his own joke about me.  And to be completely honest, I was pretty much over the “hurt” of being made fun of by a friend almost immediately.  I knew it wasn’t intended to be hurtful, and as I said, the real person to be mad at was myself, not the friend.  I mean, had it been about anything other than my weight no feelings would have been hurt.  I would have brushed it off without a thought.

The event did stick with me, though, and played as big a role as the previously mentioned conversation did in inspiring this journey.  Those two moments are what inspired me to make a life-changing New Year’s Resolution and stick to it.  Maybe it was just the kick in the pants I needed!

I don’t even recognize myself from last year

When I look at the photo of myself for 2010 I don’t even recognize me.  Ditto for the picture posted under the photos section for January photos.  Part of it is that my self-image is not the “fat me” but a much thinner version of me then even the weight I’m sporting now.  The other part, of course, is just the fact that I’ve lost so much weight in the last year it’s hard to keep my mental image up to date!  When I returned to Eugene this semester my friend Aila kept commenting on how different I looked and I didn’t really get what she meant until just the other day when I was going through pictures.  And yes, I know this is somewhat of a continuation of a thought that I’ve already posted about both Friday and yesterday, but bear with me for a sec, please.

Part of the motivation behind doing this whole thing was that I had gained so much weight that I was beginning to not recognize the face in the mirror.  I thought I had mentioned that before on this blog, but I can’t find it anywhere so it must have been something I’ve said in an email or in conversation.  I don’t remember thinking that I looked that much different, but looking at the pictures there is no denying it.  The 2009 and 2010 versions of myself are people I don’t even recognize anymore.  As far as the pictures go, I think I’m now somewhere between the 2004 and 2005 versions of myself.  I’m shooting for the 2001 version (the 2000 version was a little punk…).

I should land there just in time to reminisce with all my old buddies at my 10-year high school reunion!  That’s kind of funny because it’s something I never thought of when I started all this, but coincidentally, I should be pretty close to my desired result of under 200 by that time.  I don’t have any problems with that if it works out.  I didn’t plan it that way, but if it happens I won’t be upset.  Quite the opposite actually.

Shedding the pounds

I remarked when I reached the 290s that I had lost my “law school pounds,” and now that I’m nearing the lower 240s, I think I can officially declare that I’ve lost my “Mercury pounds.”  I don’t quite remember what weight I was when I started working at Mercury, but I think it was somewhere in the 250/260 range.  Pictures of me at the time seem to confirm that guess, so with that guesstimate I can safely say that I’ve shed the weight I’ve gained since starting my first post-college job at Mercury Insurance.

As with pretty much most of my weight loss experience, I find that pretty remarkable!  Even though this past year I’ve been dropping weight, for most of my life I have been constantly gaining weight.  So it is always interesting to reach milestones like this along the way.  It motivates me to keep going, and helps make all this “feel real” to me.  Sometimes I get bogged down on the fact that I still don’t have a flat stomach or my double chin hasn’t completely faded away.  But then I look back at how far I’ve come and it gives me hope for the future.  I can do this.

The other remarkable thing is that most of my friends presently in my life I either met whilst working at Mercury or in law school.  Which means none of them knew me when I weighed less.  It’s sort of an interesting dynamic I think.  For me, my self-image is of my body image at ages 17-19 when I was probably at my best shape.  I think that’s pretty typical.  So I’m working down to that.  I have a frame of reference of where I want to go, so to speak.  I’m not sure what losing all this weight looks to people on the outside who first met me when when I weighed 260+, or at the start of law school when I weighed 290+.  I would think pretty interesting.  Of course, on the flip side there is also the people I’ve met for the first time recently who have no frame of reference at all for how much weight I’ve lost this year.  That’s certainly another way to look at it!

Some thoughts 75% through

It has been nine months since I started this project, so it’s time for another look back like I did three months in and six months in. So I’ve lost somewhere in the 75-78 pound range so far, which puts me at 75% completed. That’s pretty damn good.  3 months in I was slightly behind, 6 months out I was slightly ahead, and now I’m pretty much right on schedule.  I bounce around a little bit, but at this rate I’m 99.9% confident that I’ll reach 100 pounds lost by the end of the year. At the very least I’ll be pretty damn close.

I was planning on doing this super long thought out post like I’ve done the past two times, but I don’t think I really need to. Simply put, what I’ve been doing continues to work. Every time I feel like I’m about to plateau something happens, and I’m right back on the losing train. In fact, I haven’t had a gain since July 24th. Sure I’ve had a couple lackluster weeks where my loss has been pretty small, but I haven’t actually gained in almost three months. That’s pretty impressive and shows that something is going right!

So I’m going to just keep chugging along and doing what I’m doing. Maybe I’ll hit my goal on time, or maybe I’ll even hit it a little early. Either way, I know I’m going to hit my goal, and that’s something I wasn’t 100% sure of when I started this. That’s not something I was sure of even six months ago.

Which brings me to my next point: what to do after I reach 100 pounds lost. Well, my plan is to keep going. BMI says that “normal” for me has an upper range of 168 pounds. The last time I remember thinking I was a good weight was when I was in the 170s, so I’d really like to get under 180 pounds again.  Maybe I’ll shoot for “BMI normal” after that. We shall see. Some people have suggested to me that 200 pounds is a more realistic goal, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. I would be ecstatic to be under 200 pounds again, but it feels somewhat like “settling” to me. I’ve gone a long way to just “settle” at some point that seems easier to attain.  We’ll see how I feel when I hit my goal of 227 by the end of this year, but I’m thinking I might as well set my sights at 180.  Go big or go home, right?

Some thoughts so far revisited

I did this after three months of blogging, so I thought since I’m now six months through the plan I would take another look back at what’s gone on so far.  I’m halfway through with almost 54 lbs. lost so far.  That is ahead of schedule.  At my “three months review” I was a little behind, so I must have stepped it up between now and then.  I’m not quite sure I’ll make my summer goal of cracking the 250s before I go back to Oregon, but I’m definitely going to make a valiant run at it.

Goal evaluation: I had three goals last time around.  Let’s see how I did at following them.

  • Add another exercise component.  Well, this worked in Oregon.  I went to the gym at least once a week, sometimes twice, alternating between the bike and the track.  Down in Cali I no longer have access to a free gym.  I considered getting a summer membership when I first got down here, but they were somewhat expensive.  I’ve been able to keep up with my loss plan by walking, so I’ve pretty much decided to forgo the gym for now since I’m not sure it would add enough value to justify the cost.  I think what helps down here is that my regular walking route is longer with more elevation than my Eugene route, so I get more out of walking here.
  • Keep the Cokes down.  Yeah, I still drink Coke Zero, but not like I used to.  I try drink 2-3 bottles of water each day, so I think that somehow cancels it out or something.  Or so I like to think anyways.
  • Eat healthier/cook more!  I’m still following this maxim.  I continue to get better at choosing healthy food options when I go out.  It helps that they now have calories listed on everything!  Living with the fam also means that I eat more home-cooked meals.  They are also amiable to my eating healthier, so we get lots of healthy eats at home.

So what’s been working well? I originally thought that I’d have to be constantly changing things up to keep losing weight when I started this whole process.  Now that I’m halfway through I realize that it’s more about settling into a pattern that works.  I walk every day pretty much the same route, and that has been working well.  As long as that continues to work I have no problems just sticking to it.  My walk has become such a part of my daily routine now that instead of an inconvenience it actually relaxes me.  I get kind of cranky if I don’t walk.

What could use some improvement? I’m in a groove that’s working, but everything can always be improved.  I don’t really want to rock the boat so much, though, so I don’t plan on changing anything up at the moment.  I have sometimes been adding a running component to my walk.  And by sometimes I mean twice.  Mainly it’s just been running for a very short distance for a couple minutes.  Even though walking has been doing the job and it is healthier than running, I would like to have some confidence in my ability to run short distances at least.  I think it would be good to build up some “knee strength” for running.  You know, just in case I ever find myself in a position where I need to get the heck out of a dodge real quick!

Goals: As I said, I don’t want to rock the boat.  The goal is to just keep doing what I’m doing since that has been my gold ticket so far.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s weird how much of an attitude shift I’ve gotten from all this.  At the start I was very hesitant about what I’d actually be able to accomplish, but now I know that eventually I will reach my goal.  And I’m already thinking about what I want to do when I reach that goal (set new ones!).