I Met Someone

I won’t go into a lot of detail right now but I think I’ll be burning a few extra calories in the coming weeks.

Calorie and Word counts

November 1st is coming up and that means NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.

I’m returning to my old friend mystery this year and working on a “warm-up” story. The goal is 50,000 words in thirty days, which will go along way towards working out some of the frustrations I’ve been having at work.

I’m not going to talk about the book or tell anyone I’m doing it except for now, of course. Talking about writing is what screws me every time and I never seem to learn my lesson.

This year, we’ll see what happens.

What Made You Smile Today?

I just listened to Steve Hofstetter’s latest entry in his new podcast Failing Forward. It featured the first guest that was not a comedian or a performer but he is someone who is very successful in his field and naturally, had some down points in his life.

His name is Dr. Mark Goulston and you can listen to the podcast on the link I provided, or you can watch it on Youtube.

Mark has experience with suicidal patients and he has made a name for himself by simply being someone who understands that people are not carbon copies of himself. He is someone who actually has applied the concept of “listening” to his profession and you’d be surprised how rare that is – especially among the mental health crowd.

Reaching out to someone is very difficult for me. My experiences with therapy can be summed up like this. I talk to them, I explain everything as well as I can, and by the next session it’s as if I wasn’t even in the room. And the excuse is always the same; They’re only human. They put their pants on one leg at a time. Except, no one has charged me three hundred dollars an hour to put their own pants on. So that excuse just doesn’t fly with me.

Mark is human, too. He has been depressed and suicidal. He overcame it with the help of a compassionate influence in his life who was probably just as human as he was. And he turned it into a career that has helped billions of people worldwide and he probably puts his on pants on just fine without expecting a cookie.

People in my life have projected their fantasies and ideals onto me and blamed me when I didn’t measure up. It may be the core of why I can’t always accept when I have done something right, like losing weight. I have come to associate the positive feelings of accomplishment with a negative backlash by someone else who expected me to do more. It has caused me to constantly doubt myself and maybe hold myself back from opportunities that might well have worked out for me. Listening to Mark’s story and knowing what he has done with his life, reminds me that I am also human.

That’s what made me smile today.

Sliding Scale

So I’m not sure what’s happening. It seemed like I was losing a record amount of weight in a short amount of time. Then I used the weighing feature on the kiosk scale at work and it said I was still at 230.

Yesterday was a rough day anyway so I wasn’t really in the mood to find that all the progress I seemed to be making was a fairy tale. But I tried looking on the bright side. At least no one expects me to lose weight over night, right? People who follow the vlog and this blog will get to see everything happening in as close to real time as I can give it to them. And setbacks are bound to happen, especially this early in the game.

So I put the question to my fellow Quorans:


The common item in the answers provided is that I obviously don’t weigh myself at work without my clothes on, because that would be frowned upon in Walmart. Whereas at home, I am typically in the buff about 90% of the time and I don’t have to worry about the added weight of my clothes, my shoes, and the world on my shoulders.

Then I did some more research. It turns out I should have been calibrating it every time I used it. Okay, fair enough. I bought a second scale, digital this time. Right out of the box, I read the instructions and it automatically calibrates itself. So I tested them both.

The dial scale said I was now down to just below 220 pounds. No calibration. The digital scale, which calibrated itself according to the instructions, said roughly the same thing.

So now I have to look other reasons for this reading. People have told me about water weight. How it’s not unusual to lose a fair amount of weight when you are actually trying to lose it and how most of that will be water weight. So it could be either or. I might genuinely have lost a lot of weight.

To be on the safe side though, I will be taking my brother’s advice and buying a two pound weight this week. I’ll use that to check that both scales are working perfectly and from then on out, we’ll see what happens.

Calorie Counting

I haven’t been doing it as much but I’ve been following a fairly basic plan, I think. We’ll see what happens in four weeks. Maybe November is the day I can cash in on my goal of watching Wes Anderson’s Rushmore and eating Fish and Chips at Lil’ Britain.

I lost all that weight before I started calorie counting, so I don’t see that not being super obsessed with counting now will make much of a difference. I just need to keep control of the urge I sometimes have to binge eat, especially when stressed. I also think switching to a primarily plant based diet has helped.

Okay, so I did eat some turkey cubes yesterday. And I did have a four piece chicken McNugget. That was my fault. But I made up for it at work, since I had to watch the fitting rooms most of the day. Every time I had to wait for a customer who was trying on clothes, I did squat thrusts. Pretty much every second of my day has been filled with some similar activity and that probably has been helping a great deal.

Come on, 224!

Now that I’m at 225, what I want more than anything is to see the dial move again. It took four weeks of changing my eating habits and exercising regularly to get to this stage, so I should be happy with my progress, right?

There’s something about a nice round number. 10,000 steps a day will help you burn one pound a week. 10,000 hours of practice will make you an expert on something. 10,000 is a nice round number. Not 9,999 steps, not 10,023 hours, just 10,000.

I wasn’t very good at math. I’ve never been any good at math.

When I was in the third grade, I struggled with fractions. They were explained to me over and over again but I just couldn’t make the numbers work right. The answers were never correct no matter how closely I followed what was being told to me. This created stressful moments in my life.

The man who is the father of my brothers decided that what I needed was incentive.

So one afternoon as I was struggling with fractions in my room, at my desk, he placed a bowl of food next to me and told me that I wasn’t allowed to eat it until I finished my homework. And I had to get each problem right.

But strangely, the numbers did not just magically come to me. I tried and I kept getting them wrong. And I just kept getting more frustrated and upset. And the worse part was I wasn’t allowed to eat until I got them right. I was nine years old.

It’s so difficult for me to accept that things don’t simply happen automatically because I want them to. They take time and effort. And what I still can’t seem to explain to a lot of people is that just because they want something for me, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen the way they want it to. Or if it doesn’t happen the way they expect it to, they accuse me of being lazy or just not trying hard enough.

The fact is the world works a certain way whether you like it to or not. I couldn’t just learn fractions because food was placed next to me. And I can’t just burn the fat away because I eat well and exercise. My body works a certain way. It naturally wants to keep some of my fat because that is how millions of years of evolution works.

I have to fight hard not to give up. And I have to remember that I am not answerable to anyone else. No one will ever hold so much power over me again and now, after nearly thirty years, I know the difference between a punishment and a reward.

225 Pounds

I have a video in the oven that will be just under an hour long. But I didn’t want to wait for that to convert to share the good news. I’ve lost ten pounds after five weeks of dieting and exercising.

Today is a cheat day of sorts. I’m not eating junk food. I’m having two black bean burger patties on a wrap and some spinach spaghetti with mushrooms.

I know, quit bragging.

Digital Camera

Nope… definitely not imagining it.

Memory can be fuzzy. You think you remember something a certain way but really all you’re remembering is your interpretation of reality. It’s why, “I don’t remember” is not a valid defense in court. It’s actually considered to be a sign of deception, since it can’t be proven one way or the other.

When I stepped on the scale last night, it seemed as though I weighed close to 225. Now when I weighed myself on that first day, only moments after I took the scale out of the box, I was so certain I weighed 235. And in the first week after I recorded the first episode of Lose The Belly, I only stepped on the scale one time. It didn’t seem to be moving.

Then, something curious happened. One day, it seemed as if I was not getting any worse than 235. Yesterday, the dial moved. And I started thinking, maybe I misread it the first time and I only wanted to think I was 235 pounds.

Then I remembered that I recorded the scale and posted it on the video. Cameras sure aren’t subjective.

You can see at the :24 second mark that I may have only been off by a few pounds but I was most definitely closer to 235 than 220.

Four weeks of eating mainly veg and just going about my normal work routine has lead to this. It’s lead to something else as well but I won’t get into that I until I get back from my doctor’s appointment on Thursday.