Friday, February 28, 2014

Daily Food Report #2

I hope this never becomes too tiresome.  I'd rather be sleeping right now, but instead, here's what I ate today:

My breakfast omelette.  It was one egg, a half cup of that Reddi-egg stuff (my friend Tom calls them Feggs, meaning fake eggs, and says he can't abide them, but I don't mind them as long as there's real eggs in there to make the taste right), chopped mushrooms and onions, and a slice of deli ham and Havarti cheese in the middle.  Not too bad tasting, and I think it only runs somewhere around 200 calories or less, and most of that is the cheese.

Snack one is some deli-sliced roast beef, four big strawberries, and a serving of almonds.  I always try to make sure every meal has the balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats that I've heard is recommended.  Almonds are my go to fat, but I probably ought to branch out.  Olives are supposed to be good too, but I'm not a big fan.  My breakfast was missing its fat, because the avacados we had have gone bad on us.  I almost bought some more at the store today, but they were hard as stones, so I didn't bother.

Lunch was my usual big salad...

My usual serving of almonds...

And a serving of the same deli ham that had been sliced for my omelette.  My wife had cut these into cubes, I imagine for the baby to eat.  I was in a rush this morning, and it was the easiest thing to grab.

Snack two was the same as snack one, but this time with grapes. Probably could have eaten more grapes and been just fine, but my daughter packed that particular portion for me, and packed it daughter-sized.

For dinner, it was almonds again, and more ham.

And that's what I ate today. Again, I'm hungry right now, and could eat another meal, but I'd feel embarrassed to report that to you. What would I call it? "This is my second dinner, more ham, more almonds, screw it, there's a bunch of maple donuts right here," and that's where the Cookie Monster sounds start in. So, yeah, I'm not going to eat more. But what I am going to do, is report a great number to you all on Wednesday when I next weigh myself, because this whole thing really is working. I'm being good, and I'm excited about what results I'll see.

Maybe it'll be...this guy:

Sure he's and undead zombie, but look how skinny he is! He's practically wasting away...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Daily Food Report #1

I swore that I would, so here it is.  Yesterday, I mentioned in my post about my snack of strawberries and almonds...

After that, I ate my lunch, which consisted of a big salad, another serving of almonds, and a bowl of pulled pork that my wife had made.

Then I had my second snack of the day.  It was the same as the first.  Usually, I try to have a protein with my snack, maybe a cheese stick or a slice of ham or something, but I forgot to pack that in my lunch today.

Then it was time for dinner.  I had packed my bag pretty poorly today, so all I had left to eat was the rest of the pulled pork.  No sides at all.  I did still have more almonds though.  I have a whole mess of them in a container in my cupboard at work.  So that's what I ate.

That was pretty much it for me.  But, just to prove to you how honest I'm being.  I also ate a bite of a cookie that I bought for my daughter as a treat for doing a good job at her choir concert.  Here it is:

That is a sugar cookie with a crapload of icing on top.  More icing than I would normally go for, but my daughter's still young and doesn't know any better, and picks whatever has the most icing on it usually.  I only ate one small bite of it.  I wasn't tempted to have more, because I knew I would have to tell you, and also I my daughter wasn't in the mood to share today either.

So, that's all that I ate today.  I admit, as I type this before going to bed, that I am a little hungry, but not bad.  The amazing thing was how well it worked to keep me from eating garbage I don't need to be eating.  While I was at work, I considered grabbing a candy from the jar on my manager's desk, but I changed my mind, because I knew I'd have to photograph it and present it to you all.  After work, as I drove out, the urge to stop at the gas station and grab a candy bar hit me (as it has been hitting me every day for the last while), but I didn't even consider it, because I didn't want to shame myself in front of you all. 

I'm excited about the possibilities.  It seems like it might be a lot of work, but so is food journaling on the MyFitnessPal app or anything else like that.  This is just a more public, and therefore more accountable way of journaling.

We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Weigh-In Day #3

Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!

So, it's weigh-in day, and unlike others who are a part of this whole thing, like Tena, Tobias, Jeremy, and Marshal, I'm not doing very well.  I'm really pissed off at myself.  I'm like one of those drug addicts that says they're going to quit and goes to the rehab place only to climb the fence in the middle of the night to go looking for their dealer.

Needless to say, after these three weeks (has it really been three already?) I'm not losing weight.  I weigh now a little bit more than I did the day that I started, and several pounds more than I did a few weeks ago.  I have been exercising.  I ran Friday and Saturday, and I ran and lifted weights on Monday.  But I weigh more.  And don't try to tell me that it probably comes from the weight lifting and that muscle weighs more than fat, because I know that's not the reason for the weight gain.

The reason for the weight gain is my crack-like addiction to sugary foods. It's sad, and a, not a little...really embarrassing just how addicted and out of control that I am.  I've been trying to be good this whole time, and I manage to do it for a good 90% of the day, but the 10% of the day that I am not good, I binge and hork down so much fattening food that I completely negate the 90% that I was good.

I am a glutton, and I am loathe to tell of most of my gluttonous exploits.  It's really shameful.  Most people, those that don't have the problem that I have, would shake their head or curl their lip in disgust upon hearing, and then turn away from me, feeling at least a little better that they are not me.

I was pondering on this whole problem this morning, as I weighed myself, and then refused to take a picture of the scale because of what it had to tell me.  What can I do to overcome this shameful problem of mine.  I've done it before, as I proved with that picture of me in the zombie outfit.  I used to look like this just 18 months ago:

But now I don't.  I'm back to the same size I was before I tried to lose weight that year, so 24 months ago.  I managed to scrape together some self-control, and I held onto it for months on end, until I had dropped 50 lbs.  I am still determined to do it again, and to stay there.  And I think I figured out how.

So, last night, on my way home from work, I had to stop by the grocery store for my wife.  She needed me to pick up two lbs. of roast beef lunchmeat and cereal for the week.  While I was there, I went by the bakery section, because I wanted some kind of treat, and these days, the second I get the idea in my head, my mind will not stop pestering me about it until I comply.  Like a friggin' crack addict, I am twitchy and distracted until I satisfy my urge for unhealthy junk food.  In yesterday's case, I went to the bakery, and decided on cookies.

I bought the smallest package they had of cookies, which of course was an eighteen pack of chocolate chip and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  Don't you wish they'd just sell them individually?  Anyway, I got in the car with these cookies, and by the time I got home...which in my defense was a half hour later because my commute is long...I had eaten probably ten of these cookies, maybe even twelve.  Ten to twelve cookies!  In my belly!  At this rate, I would look like that Mike Myers character Fat Bastard who is famous for yelling, "Get in my belly!"

It says on the internet that each one of those cookies had approximately 100 calories.  Which means, in one half of one hour, I ate 1,000 to 1,200 calories.  Now, let's put that in perspective.  My diet is supposed to be a 2,000 calorie diet.  Each day, I'm supposed to be getting right around 2,000 calories.  That's because I'm a big dude.  Smaller people are supposed to eat even less.  If a woman were to be on a diet, she would probably eat somewhere between 1,200 to 1,500 calories.  IN A DAY!  I ate 1,200 calories in a frigging half hour!  And this is me trying to control myself.

It's really shameful to me to admit the breadth of my problem.  To tell that story of the cookies is hard, and I hate to do it.  I hate to admit it.  I normally would do my best to hide it.  When there's treats at work, and I go back for more and more and more, I often try to curl my hand around the cookies or whatever and shield them from people's view with my body to prevent anyone from noticing that I'm back for seconds, or thirds, or sixths.

But I think that is exactly what I need to face.  I need to get it out in the open.  I need to use the shame to conquer my problem.  So, when I say I think I've figured out how to get back to being that thin-faced guy in the picture above, this is what I mean.  Look forward to a lot more blog posts from me, because I am not going to eat a single thing without taking a picture of it and putting it up on the blog.  If I eat it, you'll know.  And that goes for drinks as well, except water.  I drink a lot of water, and it's 100% good for you, so I won't bother you with pictures of a bunch of glasses of water.

So, here we go.  I decided this after breakfast this morning, so I don't have pictures of that.  But here is my first snack of the day:

I'm not ashamed to admit that I ate a serving of almonds and a serving of strawberries for my snack.  But I would post it even if I was.  Everything will be posted.  Hopefully, the shame will keep me from eating the garbage that I usually eat.  Knowing that I have to tell the world just exactly what crap I ate seems like a good deterrent to eating junk.  We'll see how it goes.

It's time to go eat lunch.  So, I'm going to go take some more pictures.  I'll post them tomorrow, and so on and so on.

But enough about me.  Marshal, Tobias, Tena, Jeremy?  How did you guys do?  Post your results in the comments.  And if you haven't joined our merry band of weight-losers, but would like to, post in the comments, and we'll add you to our fun.

Friday, February 21, 2014

I Promised

Yesterday, I said, "Tomorrow morning I will be up at 6:30 AM, pounding on that treadmill. And I'll post about it, to prove it. I swear. I really do."

So, here's the picture...

It was amazing how much it changed my attitude. I feel so good about myself and about the possibilities in life. And I only ran for about fifteen minutes. I only ran a mile.

It seems that running is a lot like writing. It's kind of hard to do, and therefore it's something that I try to avoid, but when I actually do it, I feel so good and have so much fun, it makes me wonder why I don't do it all the time.

I couldn't get a good picture from running in the basement. I guess there's a good reason that I always ran outside when I was making my progress toward 500 miles video. The indoor treadmill stuff would have really sucked.

It may have been fun to run, but I took so much time off, that my lungs were already burning within the fifteen short minutes that I ran. What a dumb thing to do that was, taking time off. My shin splints better not come back, that's all I have to say.

I'm gonna have to do some kind of writing goal here soon too. Especially after reading some strong words from Dean Wesley Smith recently that made me feel like I better quit the whining and start the doing.

It's kind of nice to have a positive attitude. Hopefully, I can hang onto that.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Weigh-In Day #2

Sorry that this post is late. I had a splitting headache yesterday, and didn't feel like doing anything, including posting something on my blog. I'm starting to think that I might be one of those migraine sufferers. I get these headaches fairly often, and they really do make me want to quit on everything. And the headache hasn't gone away completely, it's still there on the fringe of my awareness certain to come back and plague me later today or something.

But I'm not here to whine about that, I'm here to talk about my fatness. So...

And I thought last week didn't go well. At least I lost weight last week. I weighed 276 after last week, and this week?

Yeah, so I'm up 1.4 lbs. Or, I lost -0.5%.

My biggest problem is that I can't be consistent, and consistency is the #1 key, I think. I tend to be good for 90% of the day, but during that other 10% I'm so bad that I make up for any good that I might have done. I just gotta figure out how to overcome that last bit.

That, and I need to get back to exercising. I haven't done anything since I finished my 500 mile goal on Dec. 30th. That sucks. But inertia is a hard bugger to overcome. I even got up early one day this week, and still couldn't get myself to actually exercise. Instead, I just sat on the bed, not going back to sleep, but also not doing anything of any worth either.

And I know that it matters too. When you exercise, your body gets filled with endorphins and all that feel-good stuff. People who exercise are happier, don't have depression problems nearly as much, and live worthwhile fulfilling lives. Then there's me right now. Unhappy, depressed, unfulfilled. I could make it all go away if I could only get up and run. That's my goal for this week. To get moving.

Tomorrow morning I will be up at 6:30 AM, pounding on that treadmill. And I'll post about it, to prove it. I swear. I really do.

Oh, that's my one goal of two. My other goal? To out-lose my wife. A few months back, she came up with this idea to help motivate us to lose weight. She made it a contest. Whoever lost the highest percentage on the week got to enforce a penalty on whoever lost the least. It broke down on us, when my wife decided that I had to help her clean the basement out. We didn't have time to get to it that week.

When I won the next week, I told her what she had to do, and she said, "sure, as soon as you clean the basement with me, I'll do that." The basement was a big job, though, and we simply never got around to it.

But this past weekend, we finally did it. The basement is cleaned out and organized. So, I have fulfilled my penalty. I told her the next day that now we were getting back onto the game again, and that I was going to win. We weighed in on Sunday, and I have to beat her, so I can force her to do all sorts of awful things that she'd never want to do otherwise, like maybe go running with me...

Anyway, I guess I'll let you know how that goes in a future blog post too.

Okay. So, I've reported. Marshal it's your turn. He was the only one who reported back last week, and the winner of the percentage as well. Tobias and Jeremy? Have you already dropped out? And also we have a new person that joined in, and it's thanks to her and her prodding that I finally got around to posting this report. Tena, how did you do? I'm afraid to find out, because she said she'd been good, so I'm sure she smacked me down good.

Anyone else want to join?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Classic Sci-Fi and Character

I'm reading, or trying to read, a classic science fiction novel called The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard.

I'm still at it, but it's been pretty difficult.  It's a problem that I run into with nearly all the classic science fiction novels I try to read.  The characters in them seem to be so wooden and uninteresting that I can't give a crap about what's going on in the book.  Why is that?  I'm sure all the readers of this blog know better than me.

My guess is that a lot of the authors who wrote science fiction in the classic era were scientists first and writers second.  It's like they have an idea about something that could happen; like the earth heating up, causing the ice caps to melt and evolution to digress creatures back into a state that suits that environment; or a world that is like a ring around the sun, so it's a million miles wide and 600 million miles in circumference; and then they shoehorn in some sort of meager plot and characters.

I'm trying not to give up on the book, but I have no reason to keep at it, really.  Stephen King once said that if an author hasn't hooked you by the 15% mark, then you have no reason to keep reading.  I'm past that, but I'm slogging on.  Any time I've done that in the past, I've found that it was the wrong decision.  I never grew to appreciate the story later.  We'll see how much longer I can go.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Weigh-In Day #1

Okay, so how'd it go this week. Well, it wasn't a total failure but it wasn't great. Here's what I weighed in at today:

Last week, I was at 278.6, which means I lost 2.6 pounds this week, or 0.93%.

Not terrible, for sure, having lost that in a week.  The reason I saw it wasn't great is that earlier in the week I weighed 274.  I lost several pounds, because I was doing really good, but then the weekend came along, and I fell flat on my face basically and gained half of the weight back.

I haven't started in with the exercising yet, which might be part of the reason why I find it so hard not to cheat on my healthy eating plan.  I was sick part most of last week, so I was waiting to get all the way to full health before I started wearing down my body with miles of running or tons of weights.  I think that exercising might really help me though.  For one, after working really hard, you feel a little more invested, and are less likely to undermine the hard work with gluttony.  So, I'm going to get on that.

But it's been difficult to get started.  My wife went out of town for some training this week, so I've been playing both Mommy and Daddy all week long.  That really cuts down on free time for things like running and weight lifting.

I also worried about this weekend, because it's Valentine's Day.  Surely My wife and I will go out to dinner and eat at some place that is fattening and unhealthy.  And also, chocolate is always involved in Valentine's Day as well.  Or at least some kind of candy, right?  Will I be able to turn it down?

As Ben Stein always used to say on that "Win Ben Stein's Money" show on Comedy Central from about 10 or 15 years ago, "I shall do my best."

So, Marshal, Jeremy, Tobias, how did you do?  What were your percentages?

Friday, February 7, 2014


So, I challenged Marshal Latham to a weight loss contest, since he had sounded amenable to it in the past.  Then, Jeremy Carter decided to join in with us too.  If you want to join us, just comment, and I'll add you to the list too.  I'm excited about the possibilities.

I'm going for it.  I've been trying really hard to keep to my diet.  I made my big salad again, and brought it to work with me.

I also ate an omelette for breakfast made with one egg, and a serving of those Egg Beater things.  They're lower in calories, supposedly, at least that's what my wife says.  I chopped up mushrooms, onions, and red bell peppers to put in it, and then added one slice of ham and one slice of cheese for flavor.

I may have to drop the ham and cheese eventually, because of the added calories, something like 150 cals for one slice of cheese and one slice of ham.  But I may be going too hardcore, as well.  I've heard that if you eat too little, you won't lose weight either, so I don't want to go there.  What would suck more than going without food, and not losing weight too?

Yesterday was a bit of a snafu on my part.  I've been bringing a large amount of pre-cooked meat to work, and keeping it in the freezer ready to go, so it's easier to pack my lunches in the morning.  I ran out, but for some reason I thought I hadn't.  So I came to work with just an orange and an apple for snacks.  When lunchtime came, I realized what I had done, and was bummed.

Yesterday turned out to be one of those days in news where there's a big event going on, and we were covering it the entire day, non-stop.  So, leaving the station to get some lunch was out of the question.  Instead, I just had to stay here, and grin and bear it.

When it was time to go home after the five o'clock show, a special treat arrived.  Subway sandwiches to thank us all for the hard work we'd been doing.  I'm trying to lower my carbs, and those big French bread loaves aren't low in carbs.  I should have turned my back on those sandwiches and walked out.  And, had I eaten anything all day, I would have, but I was so famished, that I ate three sandwiches instead.  They were big subs divided into smaller pieces, so three pieces probably equaled one footlong maybe.

Anyway, I don't know how much that derailed my progress, I refuse to weigh myself this morning.  I don't want to get discouraged if it did derail me greatly.  Instead, I'll wait till the week is over, giving myself time to make it up.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thumbdrive Found!

I had given up hope, after looking everywhere I could think to find that thing, and then, when I walked into work this morning, my boss handed me the thumbdrive, and said, "Somebody found this in the parking lot.  I guess you dropped it out there."

Well, dropped is probably the wrong word, but it works.  And here it is:

If you look closely, you can see that the place where you attach the key ring is completely broken off.  I bought this stupid nubbin of a thumbdrive because it had a metal hook to attach the key ring to.  That was supposed to make it so that they stopped breaking.  Instead, it broke way quicker.  Piece of crap!  At least somebody found it, and it made its way back to me.

So, my files, stories, and the like are saved.  I've already backed them up onto another thumbdrive, and will back them up on my hard drive when I get home too.

Some folks have told me that I need to get with the times and start saving important files on a cloud server.  I think I need to look into that.  I've got a Google account, that comes with Google Drive, which I believe is something you can save files to, right?  Also, I know I have 5GB on iCloud automatically with my phone, but I'm not sure how to save particular files with that, because it's new to me, and doesn't seem to have an option for just dumping whatever crap I'm working on into it...unless I work on it with Pages, I think, which I suppose I could start doing.  If you have knowledge of iCloud or Google Drive or anything else that I should use instead, let me know, I'd love to get with the times.  I hate being left behind.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Word Of Advice About Thumbdrives

I keep a thumbdrive on my keychain, so that I can access files that I use most wherever I am.  It has come in handy more times than I can say.  From writing stories on computers I usually don't use and being able to save them onto my keychain, to bringing audio files to other places to work on them for the show.  I feel a little lost without my keychain thumbdrive.

Unfortunately, the stupid design that SanDisk has for their thumbdrives means I have to replace them relatively often, despite the fact that the inner workings are still in tip top shape.  Because the thing you attach the key ring to is made of plastic.  And, in the course of removing my keys from my pocket and putting them back in, the strain inevitably cracks the plastic and the thumbdrive falls off the key ring.

Here's my most recent keychain thumbdrive:

You can see the cracked plastic bit there at the bottom of the picture.

Well, I've been buying and replacing these thumbdrives for years now.  When this one broke, I thought I needed to change something up.  This problem with the plastic breaking could be remedied if I could find a thumbdrive that had metal there instead of plastic.

I went searching, and quickly found this:

You can see that at the point where the key ring attaches it is a metal ring.  It should be perfect.  Now, granted it was pretty small, but that shouldn't matter, right?

So, I bought myself one, transferred all my files off my old thumbdrive to this new one, and attached it to my keychain.  That actually took some doing, because the attachment thing is really small.  The keyring that my old thumbdrive attached with was too big.  I had to get a thinner ring for it.  Luckily, my wife had one that I could use.

But was it luckily?  Probably not.  Here's my keys now:

That thin ring on the tip with nothing on it is the one that once had my new thumbdrive attached to it.  It fell off at some time, and I didn't see it happen, or notice.  You would think it would probably turn up, but it's so small that I will probably overlook it if it does.  It's so small that it likely will get thrown away with the other specks on the floor when it gets swept up.  It's so small that it will probably just get vacuumed up instead of noticed on the carpet.

I've looked everywhere I might have lost it, and found nothing.  And the worst part is, I've been very lazy in backing that thing up and making sure the files that I want to keep from it are saved somewhere beyond that tiny portable drive.

I looked on my home computer to see which stories I might have lost.  Rish got me in the habit of putting the stories I wrote in folders labeled with the year they were written in.  On my home computer, I don't even have a folder for 2012, let alone 2013.  Luckily for me, I've been super lazy at writing, so I probably haven't lost much.  But I do know for a certainty that unless I find that itty-bitty chip of a thumbdrive, the work I've done on "Sunny & Gray" is gone, as well as my TWSC story called "The Wrong Ingredients".  The version of "The Wrong Ingredients" that I turned in for judging is still in the email, but the longer version from before I hacked and slashed it down to fit the word count is gone.

And I don't know what more is gone besides that.  I suppose, there will come times when I think that I have something, and then I go to look for it, and discover that it's nowhere to be found.  Could be next week, could be years from now.  Will probably be both.

Now I walk around, looking at the ground, getting hopeful any time I see something small and black on the ground where I think it might possibly have fallen to.  I'm like one of those guys in a sad movie montage.  I'm still hopeful it'll turn up.  You never know.

So, anyway, my advice to you is don't buy a thumbdrive that is so small that when it falls of it immediately disappears into the ether, because when it does, you'll regret the files you've lost.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Time To Get Serious

I was recording the show with Rish the other night. As usual, we'd gone on for a long time, so long that the screen saver on my computer kicked on, and it started showing me pictures from my hard drive.

One of the pictures that came up was of me dressed in my zombie regalia for the Zombie Walk 2012 that Rish and I attended together.  My screen saver is set do do the Ken Burns effect, which means that the pictures zoom in and out, and there's a dissolve in between each one. So, this picture of me was zoomed in a lot.  It was pretty much just showing my face, and I was struck by how thin my face looked.  Was that really me?

I suppose it's probably hard to see, what with the blood spattered all over my face.  But my face is pretty dang skinny.

That picture was taken 18 months ago.  I don't look like that now.  Now, I look like this:

You can really see the difference around my face, all the extra rolls of fat there.  Sigh.

I went back to figure out when that picture was from, and discovered that it was from the end of the time that I was working really hard at losing weight.  If you've read my blog for a long time, you might remember this post: Fitness Challenge: Final Update.

That was the end of the first round of the fitness challenges that we were doing at work.  I ended the first round at 245.  The second round wasn't quite as good for me, but I still lost another twelve pounds, ending at 233.  That was right about the time of that zombie walk.

Right now, I weigh almost the same as I did when I began those fitness challenges in March of 2012.  It took me six months of self-control to get to that state.  It was hard, but I did it.  And I can do it again.

This year is one of those milestone years for me.  I hit an age that is hard for me to believe I have reached.  I don't feel like I'm that old, but the calendar don't lie.

Unlike most folks, who set resolutions by calendar years, I tend to set them for myself by birthdays.  The years of my life instead of the years of the calendar are the ones I measure by.  So, before arriving at that milestone, I wanted to achieve some things.  I made some goals.  One of them being to get to my goal weight of 200 pounds and friggin' stay there.

The first three months of the year...remember we're talking my year, not the calendar year, and my birthday's in October...I've been unable to get motivated.  Instead of losing weight, I've gained it.  I've had bursts of motivation, but they've been followed by long stretches of not giving a crap.  And I was doing a lot of running in December, which kept my poor eating habits from catching up to me too strongly.

When I made it to 500 miles, I decided to rest so my shin splints would heal, and I've packed on a good ten or more pounds this month.

That picture (and other pictures of me from that same era) seems to have given me the motivation I need to get back on the horse and go for it.  This is what I weigh now:

I'm going to report each week on how I do, and how much I weigh.  I think I may challenge Marshal Latham to a contest to see who can lose the most weight (he was saying he'd probably be up for that), and I'd be willing to do the same with any reader of the blog who wants to participate.  We can report our progress in the comments, and talk smack and everything.

I started eating good today, and was 100% faithful.  Hopefully, I can keep it up tomorrow, the next day, and for the rest of the year, until I reach my goal.  I was going to start back into running this morning as well, but I woke up with a sore throat, so I went back to bed instead.  It doesn't help to wear yourself out when you're sick, so I'll get back to running when I'm fully healthy again.

I've learned from past experiences that exercise and healthy eating are the only way to lose weight without regretting it later.  So, that's what I'm going to do.