I wasn’t successful with my calorie budget yesterday, not by a long shot.  But I did hit my walking goal and then some.  15,131 steps according to my FitBit, which it calculates out to be 7.63 miles.  So, yeah.  I feel pretty good about that.

Part of the secret is the new “family walk” program my wife and I have instituted.  Every day, after dinner, we’re going to pack up our son and our dog and go for a walk.  Some days it’ll be around the neighborhood, and some days it’ll be at a park.  Yesterday, we went to Woodland Mound, and had some drama.  See, my son wanted to walk our dog – something we were hesitant about because the dog is not the best with strangers.  He’s a 17 pound Cocker Spaniel mix of some sort with four teeth left in his 12ish year old head, but he thinks he’s a wolf and barks and lunges at strangers.  But, since there was nobody around, we let my son take him and run to the nearest tree and back.

Unfortunately, my dog got all excited and tried to run around my son.  This resulted in him tripping and scraping his knee.  He was fine, more or less, until he saw the blood oozing out.  Then he panicked and started crying and wanting to go home.  So, while mom held him and comforted him, it fell to me to walk back to the car and fetch the first aid kit.  An alcohol wipe and a bandage and a couple of hugs later, and we were back to walking.

Crisis averted.

Things Are Turning Around

All right, so I wasn’t perfect last week.  So what?  You know what happened when I got on the scales on Saturday?  I was down 1.8 pounds.  That, right there, is progress.  And that progress didn’t come from perfection.  It just came from actually trying, from working hard and not giving up because I didn’t quite do everything.

Part of me, of course, is saying stupid things.  “You could have done better, if you’d just hit your calorie goals.”  “You could have lost more, if you’d just walked more.”  But that voice isn’t important, and it isn’t carrying the day.  Sure, maybe I could have done better.  But “maybes” and “perhapses” and “if onlys” and a $1.50 will get me a 20 oz Coke Zero out of a vending machine.  They aren’t worth anything, is what I’m saying, and I’m not going to indulge them

Now to do it again this week.  Because, as I keep trying to remind myself, I’m doing this for health, not just for weight loss.  I’m changing my life, not hitting a target and then stopping.  And I can see that life change, even if I haven’t yet hit my final goal.  Because I’m more than a hundred pounds lighter than I was when I started this project more than two years ago, and I’ve kept it off despite distractions and stress and illness and injury, and that is success.

Actually, I Feel Better Now

Yeah, I know.  I got a little ranty, yesterday.  Is “ranty” a word?  Well, it is now.  It is now a word, and it is a word that well describes my mood from yesterday.  “Frustrated” would be another good word, but “ranty” works.  I think I’m over it now, though.  Why?  A couple of reasons.

First reason:  my amazing wife, who reminded me once again (because I really need the reminding right now) that this is a process, not a race.  And that there’s no shame in being busy, and in “only” maintaining a 115 pound weight loss.  Because there’s no “only” about that.  Also, she reminded me that she loves me no matter what weight I’m at, and that made me all happy and damnit I’m not getting a little teary!  It’s just some… some grit!  Yeah, that’s it!  Grit!

Seriously, though, she’s an amazing woman.

Second reason:  I believe I mentioned a couple of months back that I’m in a competition of sorts with a friend of mine.  He doesn’t have as far to go, but we support each other in an adversarially-friendly way that actually works pretty well and that only doesn’t end in blood because we are good friends.  Well, he texted me after reading my post and let me know he’s having a little bit of a struggle as well.  And that was nice.  Not that he’s having trouble, mind, but that he took the time to remind me that I’m not the only one having trouble.

I’ve got great family and friends, and they’re a huge chunk of why I’m still trying.  Damn, but I’m a lucky man.

The Year in Review

So.  2016.  What can I say about the year that we’re about to leave behind?


That’s sure what it feels like, doesn’t it?  Lots of famous, popular people died.  Politics upset a whole lot of people.  Nazis have stopped scuttling for cover when you turn on the lights.  That sort of thing.

It hasn’t been all bad, though.  Not really.  There’s a number of lists of good things that happened this year, and here’s my favorite.  And it doesn’t even mention the New Horizon probe flying past Pluto, or Juno rendezvousing with Jupiter.  Or the fact that I’m almost 30 pounds lighter than I was on January 1, or the fact that even though I didn’t have the same success I had in 2015 I’ve kept the weight off.

It’s easy to listen to the news and get discouraged.  It’s easy to learn that childhood icons passed away, and get depressed.  It’s tempting to obsess on the things you wanted to achieve, and not to see the things you did achieve.  It’s utterly human to hear bad news, and think that things are worse now than they’ve ever been and that they will never, ever get better.

But they do.  And they will.  And they have.

I’ve lost 30 pounds this year, and kept it off.  I live in a world where my son only knows about chickenpox from television, and has never even heard of measles.  I’ve taken up contact staff spinning and contact juggling as hobbies, and I’m walking long distances for fun.  I can do 20 push-ups, and all of my stretching has made my joints far less stiff than they once were.  I sleep better, and I’m eating better, and I feel better than I have in a long, long time.

It’s been a good year, overall.  So let’s let’s see it out in style.


Holidays All The Way Down

Originally, I was going to call this post “Two Days After Christmas”, in a nod to my last blog entry.  But then I thought about calling it “Two Days After Hanukkah” instead, because that particular holiday started on December 24th this year.  But then, the way my brain works, I started thinking I should look for a holiday that was two days from today, but that would have made the title either “Two Days To Kayin New Year” or “Two Days To Tick Tock Day“, neither of which would have made sense.  However, I also learned that – assuming the internet is to be believed – yesterday was a holiday named “Second Day of Christmas” in the Netherlands, which I’ll choose to believe is called Tweedekerstmis until informed otherwise.  Which will probably happen within the next few hours.

Anyway, it was a good weekend.  Plenty of time spent relaxing and visiting with family, and playing odd board games with my son, and drooling over the recipes in the lovely new cook book that was one of my gifts.  Oh, and according to my scale, I lost five pounds over the holiday weekend.

Wait, what?

Yeah.  See, I weighed in on Saturday at 310.2 lbs – a thing that did not make me a happy man.  But then, last night, something struck me.  I’d been on steroids for the past 10 days, as part of my treatment for bronchitis, and as of Saturday it had been only 24 hours since I took the last pill.  And steroids cause you to gain weight.  So, out of curiosity, I got on the scales this morning.

305.6 lbs.

So, yeah.  I’m actually 1.2 pounds lighter than I was before I started taking the steroids.  That felt good.  Really good.

So, have a Happy First Day of Kwanzaa and a Solemn Zartosht No-Diso, and I’ll see you all tomorrow!

Two Days Until Christmas!

Yeah.  I’m super excited.  Presents, and a big Christmas dinner, and time with family – not to mention a three-day weekend.  It’s gonna be great!  And then, starting Monday, I’m really getting back on track.  I’ve done a pretty good job of hitting all my exercise goals this week, and next week I’m going to go back to having a calorie budget again.  Because 2017 is going to be a much better year than 2016, that’s why.

Yes, I know 2017 doesn’t start until the following week.  Work with me here, all right?  After Sunday I’m through the calorie-laden part of the holidays, so it’s a good time to get started.

Anyway, though, it’s Christmas on Sunday.  Merry Christmas!

Dancing The Last Mile

Quite seriously, I did not expect to hit my walking goals yesterday.  I hadn’t had a whole lot of sleep the night before, and by the time I left work at 2 pm (with only 3.8 miles under my belt) all I wanted to do was go and take a nap.  Which I was able to do, because my wife had made arrangements for my son.  Why?  Because there was a Yule celebration at church, and he wanted to go and wanted us both to go as well, and daddy needed some sleep desperately in order to manage.

Yule celebrations vary from group to group, of course.  For us, it involves a fire pit and dancing and singing and pot-luck desserts as we celebrate the longest night of the year and look forward to the coming of spring at the very beginning of winter.  And there was a lot of dancing.  Nearly a mile of dancing, by the time we all snaked and twisted our way around the parking lot and back to the fire pit.

So, yeah.  I hit my goal, in the nicest way possible – sharing it with friends and loved ones as we celebrated Yule.