Getting Started. Again.

As of Sunday, I have officially lost 82 pounds. That’s the good news. The bad news, of course, is that now I weigh ‘only’ 336 pounds.

Hi there! My name’s Richard Gant, and if you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning (way back in August 15, 2015), you might recognize that opening paragraph as a paraphrase of the very first paragraph I ever wrote in this blog. If you haven’t been reading this for all that time, I’m a husband, a father of an active eight-year-old, a stockbroker who works in equity compensation, a ninth gup in Taekwondo, an amateur writer, and a would-be guitarist. And way back in July of 2015, I weighed 418 pounds.

Four years later, I still haven’t hit my target weight of 220 pounds. But I have taken 82 pounds off, and I’ve kept those 82 pounds off. And that’s still an accomplishment in my book.

I’ve spent the last year or so focused in n other things. Things that were of genuine importance (for the most part), but which took my eyes off my physical health. And, to be honest, many of those things are still present in my life. But I’m also starting to remind myself that health and physical activity are important parts of my life. I do Taekwondo with my son three days a week, and we’re trying to build that into six days a week as we practice at home, and that’s become a valuable bonding time with him. Walking is stress relief for me, both at and after work. And I feel and sleep better when I exercise and eat well.

It’s a struggle. Don’t let me kid you into thinking it’s not. Health’s important, but the important often gets lost when confronted by the urgent (to paraphrase a dimly-remembered thing Stephen Covey said).

I’ve lost about 40% of the weight I red to get off, so I’ve got a long way to go. But, as I said back in that first post, I’m changing my life. So, technically, I’ve got my whole life left to go.

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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.

That Was Wierd

Stress. It’s a thing that happens to everyone, and we all need to learn to manage it. Sadly, my default stress management technique is eating. Well, that and getting moody and sullen and bitchy and withdrawn. I have bad stress management techniques, is what I’m saying.

So, I’ve (finally) started researching the topic. And I discovered something strange: as soon as I typed “stress management” into Google, I started feeling anxious. Seriously. I felt that uncomfortable gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach that you get from being nervous, and it didn’t go away until I started making notes.

It was an interesting realization but, in retrospect, not a surprising one. Way back in the day, I’m pretty sure I write about how it took a health crisis to force me to acknowledge that I had a serious problem and needed to start being serious about my weight and health. It was, to be honest, part of a general trend in my life. I often feel like I have to be perfect to have any worth, and as a result I tend to hide from or ignore my problems. I tell myself that, if I just work a little harder, everything will be fine. But that always ends with fear and stress-induced paralysis, and it never works.

So, I read the articles and took some notes. And I discovered that there’s nothing surprising in what I read. As I work through it, I’ll share my plan here.

Stress over learning about managing stress. Who’d have thought that?

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Let me show you something.

That, of course, is the foot to which my broken toe is connected. Wearing a real shoe for the first time in a month.

I had my follow-up appointment about my broken toe yesterday, and everything is healing nicely. I don’t have to wear the funky black sandal anymore, and can go back to wearing regular shoes as long as they provide good support for the toes. And it turns out that my running shoes as perfect for that. I was also told that unusual sensations (burning, numbness, even electric tingles) are a common thing for a healing bone, and that I shouldn’t be concerned unless they really hurt.

The best news, of course, is that I can wear real shoes again! And that, by April, I should be fully healed. I’m looking forward to that.

Oh, in unrelated news, how can a 15-pound dumbbell feel so incredibly heavy?

I Miss My Caffeine

Starting today, I’m kicking my caffeine habit! It’s expensive, because I don’t like coffee and so I have to purchase my caffeine vectors. And it can’t be all that healthy, even with consuming it in the form of diet sodas.

Starting today, I’m also really tired. Coincidence?

With any luck, I’ll manage to avoid any significant withdrawal headaches. I’ve been slowly ratcheting back for a few days now, so hopefully I won’t get punished for going cold turkey.

I am, however, quite tired. It’s probably just as well that I’m taken by the week off from exercising.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Hi! I’m back! I hadn’t originally planned it n not posting for all of last week (in fact, I’d planned on writing every day), but life sort of got away from me. Along with my walking goals, and my exercise goals, and my calorie budget. But, on the up side, I feel great!

So, what did I do?

Let’s see. On Tuesday, I went with my family to the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, a 300 acre park on the north side of Cincinnati. We didn’t do anywhere near as much walking as I’d planned there, since it started raining and we ended up renting a golf cart to go see the sculptures, but it was still a good time.

How much of a good time? Well, my six-year-old son declared that he wanted to go back for his birthday.

Thursday, or maybe Friday, I took my son to Force Friday II at Toy’s R Us. It was at midnight, which entailed getting the six-year-old up at 11 pm on Thursday to go and get to n line. We ended up getting there a half hour early, which worked out well. Why? Because at 11:40 he told me he had to go to the bathroom. So we had to leave the line, drive to a nearby Meier, discover that the doors closest to the bathroom were locked, and sprint the length of the building and back to avoid accidents. All ended well, and we made it back with 7 minutes t spare.

Force Friday II was actually a bit of a letdown. We had no idea what to expect, but all we got was a poster.

Still, we had a good time going out and doing this utterly ridiculous thing. He wants to go again next year. Just… somewhere else.

Saturday I got myself back to the Zen Zone to get my flabby butt kicked by my personal trainer. Well, all right, I joke. But I was sweaty and sore by the time we were done, so that was a good thing. It helped with the discovery that I’d gained weight over the last week, mostly (I assume) from eating badly and not exercising,

Speaking of exercising, we took my son and my nephew to Sky Zone yesterday. That’s a big indoor trampoline park, and I got a ticket to jump with them. “How hard can it be?” I told myself. “It’s just bouncing. How hard can it be?” Five minutes later, I was soaked with sweat and out of breath. Trampolining is hard work.

Which gets me to today. I’m not actually done with my vacation until tomorrow, but I’m rested and refreshed and ready to get back on track. I’m trying out the Zombies Run 5K app, because I’ve still got the itch to see if I can build up to be able to run 5 kilometers, and I did the first set this morning. And I’ve planned out when I’m doing my exercises (and how to fit them into my study schedule), and I have two weeks of healthy meals planned out.

I am feeling great!

Cool Weather And Sinuses

Right now, it's perfect walking weather. Nice and cool in the morning, with just a hint of a breeze. The kind of day that makes you glad to be out walking, and which doesn't get too hot even in the afternoon. A far, far cry from the unpleasant heat and humidity of the last few weeks – I have to work to sweat, right now.

So, naturally, my sinuses have packed it in. My fault for letting myself run out of allergy medication, but it sucks a lot of the fun out of the walking when you can't breathe very well. Still, so far so good. And I'm nicely on track to hit all my goals today.

And once my prescription is refilled? I'll be far more on track.