The Sound Of Inarticulate Shock

We at dinner at a Red Robin yesterday – it’s a burger place, sort of like Applebee’s but 90% cheeseburgers instead of desperate attempts at relevance. I hadn’t been particularly great with my calorie budget yesterday (thanks to grabbing breakfast from a drive-through) so I looked over a menu full of burgers topped with chili and cheese and pulled pork and other burgers, and spotted a basic bacon cheeseburger. “How bad could that be?” I said to myself. “Nice and simple.”

You probably know where this is going, don’t you?

The bacon cheeseburger was 1,020 calories. The steak fries that came with it were 450 more calories. Dinner was 3/5ths of my daily calorie budget.

Next time? Check first, order second.


What Did You See?

“What did you see?” asked my wife when I got back from my walk last night. Before I could answer, though, we were distracted by my highly energetic seven year old son. So the question slipped my mind until this morning.

I drove myself over to the Anderson Township Government Center, which looks like this:

It’s pretty over there, and there’s a nice walking trail, and there are also Pokestops to amuse the (large) part of me that lives playing video games. And there’s that pond there in the picture, which is nice.

You can’t see it well in the picture (maybe I’ll take some of my own and post them sometime), but there’s two ways to cross the pond. One is a bridge, and the other is a set of stairs that leads down to the water’s edge and a series of blocks in the water that you can walk on. Whenever possible, I use the latter.

Yesterday, as I’m walking down the stairs, I see a goose. Not really surprising, I see them all the time there. But usually, they’re swimming. This one, though, was about six inches above the water, neck chained upwards, flapping and slowly gaining altitude as it soared above the surface of the pond. I stopped walking and watched it go, clear mining above the grass and into the sky.

I also got my walking in. But that is what stuck with me.

Not Defeated By The Donuts

I believe I’ve described before how donuts are my kryptonite. Although it’s probably more accurate to say that cake is my kryptonite, really, but donuts are my work kryptonite.

But yesterday, I managed to beat that problem! Here’s how.

First of all, I moved the donut table from “right next to my desk” to “a cubicle away”. A little move, sure, but one that placed them out of easy reach. Temptation is easier to resist when they’re not right there.

Second, I consulted my calorie budget and then allowed myself a single donut. And I’ll admit to cheating a few hours later and having half of a second one. It was a total of about 400 calories – steep, but they were high quality donuts and so worth it.

At the end of the day, thanks to packing all of my meals and making wise choices, I came in a hundred calories under budget. Even with the donuts. And I knocked out all my walking as well, so I feel pretty good.


Last week was not as successful as I might have hoped, thanks in large part to poor sleep hygiene. I ended up overeating and not getting in the walking goals I set for myself, and on top of it I wasn’t the most pleasant of people to deal with. As a result, I had absolutely no change in my weight from a week ago.

It could have been worse, of course.

This week, thanks in large part to my wife helping me realize that I really need to, I’m going to be focusing on actually going to sleep at a reasonable hour. Eight pm, to be specific, which sounds utterly unreasonable until you remember that I get up at 3:45 am to get ready for work. My plan is that more sleep will allow me to do crazy things like have the energy to get my walking in and to resist the fatigue-based carb loading that I tend to do.

Fending Off Discouragement

It is so easy to give up.

I had a really good week last week – I ate within my calorie budget (except Sunday) and hit my walking goals, and lost some weight. Then, yesterday, things were a little rough for… well, for a few different reasons. Fatigue, for one. As a result, I overate (3,027 calories out of my 2,500 calorie budget) and didn’t get my walking goal in.

Now, objectively, this wasn’t all that big a deal. I mean, I was only 527 calories over goal and I still walked 4.68 miles according to my FitBit. It wasn’t the best of all possible days, sure. But I could have done a whole lot worse. Nevertheless, my brain – the same part that tried to tell me that losing 1.4 pounds in a week wasn’t “enough” – is telling me that I failed and I may as well eat a triple whopper with cheese garnished with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s for lunch today because I’m a failure.

I mean, wow. You’d think my own brain would be on my side.

So, how do I deal with this negative voice? By using a trick that I started practicing decades ago (wow, that makes me feel old). When other negative memories are dragged up, I consciously ask myself why I’m suddenly thinking about that. What benefit is there? What lesson can I learn right now from that memory. And then I thank myself for the lesson. It really does work, too. Kind of like the negative part of my brain gives up in disgust and stomps off to sulk in the corner.

So, what lesson can I learn from this feeling of failure about my current health program?

First, I can learn that these goals really are important to me. I wouldn’t feel guilty about not hitting my goals if I didn’t actually care about them. Second, I can learn that self-care is important. The urge to lay around and carb load doesn’t come from sheer laziness, after all. It’s a warning sign that I’m tired and that I need to make sure to rest and take care of myself.

So, brain, thank you for the lesson. I’m still going to hit my goals, but I’ll also make sure that decent sleep and that me to read are part of those goals. Thank you for the lesson.

Reminding Myself Of Realistic Expectations

I weighed in at 339.8 pounds yesterday, which made for a respectable 1.4 pound loss in one week. So, naturally, my first thought when I saw my weight was to think it wasn’t enough. Even after I ran the numbers and saw what I’d lost, that same voice in my head wanted to see more, and started trying to make plans to be more strict and exercise more and reduce my calorie budget and…

And stop right there, Brain.

The CDC says that.

It’s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a “diet” or “program”. It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.

So I’m doing just fine brain, thank you very much.

That Was A Lot Of Walking

Most days, I try to get some of my walking goal done at work. I park inconveniently far from the door, and go walking on breaks. As a result, I’ll usually be at between 3.5 and 4 miles by the time I get home.

Yesterday, I was at 2.75 miles. And I was trying really hard to convince myself that I should just sit in front of the television and play video games and not bother. I’d missed my walking goal on Tuesday and Wednesday, after all. What difference did one more day make?

Instead, I got myself up and drove to a park – the same one I mentioned yesterday, in fact. It did not rain on me, and I knocked out two solid miles without sitting down. My legs were tired but, between that and the incidental walking around my house, I hit goal.

Yay me! Right?

Today, though? I think I’ll try to get some walking in on each break. It doesn’t feel quite so hard, distributed throughout the day.