Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 79 - Swine Flu

No, I do not have the swine flu.

Despite my rather creative name, Oinkstop, I do not have anything particularly porcine around my home. I do not collect pig memorabilia, nor do I raise them.

What I do seem to have is a case of gum flu.

I've been busy chomping away on a lot of chewing gum.

Well, by most people's standards, it's probably not much. I've only been using one serving per day, but I've been chewing and chewing and chewing. I chew until my jaw is tired and I have to stop.

But it's helping keep me out of temptation. By the time I give up one the gum for the day, my jaw is so tired that I don't really feel like eating anything.

But I guess it's helping. I've managed to stick to Cambridge shakes with nothing else since Monday.

Of course I found out today that I have to go to the neighbor's house for a birthday party on Saturday. I'm wondering how I'll manage to avoid the cake, the treats, and especially the beer. I've been told our host is planning Jello shooters, and I think that will be incredibly hard to resist.

We'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll just have to be honest with myself, since I know I probably won't be able to resist.

I keep telling myself even five or six good days out of seven isn't so bad. It's certainly better than seven out of seven days of bad eating.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 78 - Keep Going

Today is the third day back on the Cambridge Diet after being off while my MIL was visiting. I imagine that my weight is dropping, but I've been avoiding the scale like the plague. I'm going to give things a couple of weeks before I dare step back on, only because I'm sure I've gained and I just don't want to know the damage.

I'd rather stick to the diet for a week or two, step on the scale and say, "nice, I'm the same weight I was before I went off!"

I know, I'm deluding myself, but what the hell.

I've learned, because I've taken several "diet vacations" along the way that I'm always in for a not-so-wonderful surprise on the third day back on Cambridge. It seems the third day is marked by repeated trips to the bathroom while my colon rebels against the change in diet.

Of course after I spend the day crapping my brains out, I feel much lighter.

So, onward day three!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 76 - Back on Track

Well I never did make my goal before my MIL came, and we ate like pigs while she was here. The good news is that she didn't nag me about my weight, which was nice.

I'm avoiding the scales at the moment, because I just don't want to know the total damage I've done. I'm sure it's bad, because I've been hungry like crazy. So, I'm back on the shakes again, and I'll stick to it for a couple of weeks before I give myself the bad news.

Maybe it won't be that bad, but I don't want to know.

At any rate, I don't feel any difference in my clothing, but then I didn't notice much difference even when I was losing weight.

I'm going to have to really stick with the program, though, because I'm going to have to schedule my annual visit with my doctor, and I'm sure she will nag me about my weight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 63 - Ow, ow, ow!

So this morning I'm hobbling around my house like I've been crippled.

Over the weekend, The Wife and I decided to plant a vegetable garden, and it involved much digging, bending, and crawling around in the dirt. It also involved running to our local home improvement store to buy paving stones. We bought about 70 of them, and had to carry each one from the driveway into the back yard.

While other people were enjoying fancy Easter dinners, I was busy digging in the back yard.

We started just before 8:00 AM and didn't finish until at least 5:00 PM, and we didn't really stop for lunch. We took a few rest breaks, but basically we were on our feet for the entire day.

The scary part is that we only got about half the yard done. We'll have to go back to the store and buy more stones to finish.

I went off Cambridge for the weekend because I knew I'd need the extra energy. Even with all the extra exercise, it didn't help my weight at all. My weight popped up yet again, and now I'm about 10 lbs higher than my low weight from a week ago.

I'm sure most of it is water weight gain, and I'm back on the shakes as of yesterday morning.

But boy I am sore. Even my muscles have sore muscles!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 62 - Motivation for Loosing Weight

Last weekend, The Kid has had a friend visiting for a sleep over. The Kid is 13, and The Friend is 12. On Saturday morning, the two of them went outside and started kicking a soccer ball around in the backyard.

Just watching them made me tired. Really tired.

So then I started thinking about all the reasons why I should lose weight.

Some of them, are pretty obvious, and really are less about my reasons for wanting the weight off. It's the stuff like better health, a longer life, and all the good stuff that the ubiquitous "they" have to say about why people should lose weight.

When I started thinking about the reasons that I want to lose the weight, I thought about a number of reasons, but then just as quickly realized that a lot of those reasons aren't important to me. Here's the list:

Reason to Lose Weight My Response
I'll look better. I don't care
I'll feel better. Will I?
My clothes fit better. I don't care about clothing, and I hate shopping
I'll be able to buy clothes at regular stores instead of buying fat clothes at a specialty shop. It would be nice, but it's not a huge motivator, even though I'll probably save money.
People might find me more attractive. So what? I'm already married.
I might live longer. Maybe, maybe not.
I won't have to lift up my fat stomach to wash underneath. Good reason.

I guess the real truth is that my motivation doesn't really come from any of the typical reasons people want to lose weight. Mostly, it's just I'm tired of being fat, and I'm sick of my fat being in my way. I don't like how it feels when I try to tie my shoes, or the fact that I have to pick up my breasts and my stomach to wash underneath.

At my heaviest, it was starting to get hard to twist around to wipe my ass.

I know, TMI, but that's the honest truth.

I really don't care so much about what people think of me, and I doubt once I've lost the weight that anybody will think I'm attractive. I don't even think I'll feel better about myself.

It's just the fat is getting in my way, and that's why it needs to go.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 61 - Comment from Anonymous

On Thursday, I got an anonymous comment that's been weighing on my mind. It was written in response to my post Deciding Day by Day.

I'm going to post it here, in entirety, along with my response.
I don't have a blog so that's why I am anonymous. Nothing sinister.

Here's something I learned (and it was true) about losing weight.

Every time you drink a shake you are teaching your metabolism "Look, this is all you are getting today." And your metabolism says, "Well, I'm not happy about it so I'll dip into your fat cells and use some of those for energy."

In my experience, the only way I'm going to lose weight is to do exactly that. I've tried counting calories, Weight Watchers, you name it, and the only thing that I've found that works is to drastically reduce the number of calories I consume. I'm not sure that it's possible to eat a nutritionally balanced diet with real food if you are eating less than 1,000 calories per day, and that's exactly where I have to go in order to get any weight to come off.
Then, when you eat what you want to eat, your metabolism says, "Damn, man! You mean I don't have to work today and eat fat cells? Hot Dog! (pun intended)"

You have to either decide to be on Cambridge the rest of your life or learn how to eat what you KNOW you should be eating.

It may very well be that I'll have to use Cambridge products, or something similar, to keep the weight off. I fully expect, given my past experience with dieting and weight loss, that I'm going to have to work very, very hard to keep the weight off.
Otherwise, you are just shocking your metabolism on a regular basis and it just freaks out.

I agree I need to do a better job of sticking to my diet. I'm sure it will be easier once the MIL comes and goes. I expect that the rest of the summer will be mostly free of family gatherings, which are the biggest temptation when it comes to food.
It's not really the food that shows the pounds on the scale the next day ... because you know in your heart that if you eat a slice of pizza for dinner that it's impossible to show on the scale the next day.

The increase or decrease of poundage on the scale is only the result of what you ate 3-4 days earlier.

It is scientifically impossible to eat a piece of pizza for breakfast and show it as a true weight gain at lunch.

The only way this is true is that the pizza clearly has salt in it ... salt that you have removed from your diet. Salt has an immediate affect on the body's system, causing it to retain fluids.

If you ask any nutritionist, (as I did) you will discover that weight gain is not an immediate result of the [name food here] you ate for lunch.

I have been meaning to tell you this for a while.

I know this, and I don't believe that the fluctuations I'm seeing on the scale represent a "real" weight gain. I know it's scientifically impossible to put on 7 lbs of fat overnight, even if I did eat an entire box of cookies. I know about diet math, and the fact that 1 lb of fat is equal to 3,500 calories.
Bottom line ... I don't care if you use the Cambridge diet for 365 days with no cheating. The very second you go off it you are retraining your metabolism to stop working so hard to chew up those fat cells. And now you have to teach your metabolism to slow down. And you end up with hunger pains because you're giving it more food (instead of the drink) and it had been used to not having anything substantial for 365 days.

While I agree that going directly from Cambridge Diet to eating everything I want to eat would result in the described weight gain, I know of plenty of people who have not regained the weight. They don't quit the diet cold turkey, instead they gradually add in healthy foods while increasing their activity level as well.
It's a prescription for disaster. You will eventually gain it all back and then hate yourself even more.

I respectfully disagree. I don't think it's a prescription for disaster, and I don't believe that gaining it all back is inevitable.
And you're not being fair to yourself because you think you are trying to do the right thing with the Cambridge diet.

But you're freaking human. You gotta eat real food. You just have to work on your brain and tell yourself you can control food urges.

I've been reading your blog a long time. I think you are too hard on yourself

I don't think I'm being unfair to myself. I've come to realize that as hard as I've tried, I don't lose weight on conventional diets. It's easier to stick to a plan of less than 1,000 calories by doing the shakes than it is eating conventional foods.

Maybe I won't make it. But if I don't at least try, I haven't given myself the opportunity to fail.

I've decided that this is the last diet I'm ever doing. If it doesn't work out, then I'll just die fat.

And although that's an undesirable result, I'm not going to hate myself for it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 60 - Inching Along

Yesterday morning, I did my weekly weigh-in and I whipped out the good ol' tape measure.

The results were pretty discouraging, actually. My weight was up (still haven't lost all of the 7 lbs I gained overnight when I ate those cookies) from the week prior.

I've been dieting for two months now.

My body fat has gone from 50.0% to 48.6%. Statistically speaking, it's almost nothing.

What's even more discouraging is that even though my weight this week is down from where it was a month ago, some of my body measurements are actually bigger than they were a month ago.

Hips: Increased 0.5"
Waist: Decreased 1.0"
Bust: Increased 0.5"
Neck: Decreased 1.0"
Arm: Increased 0.75"
Thigh: Decreased 0.75"

Measurements are supposed to get smaller not larger!

Can I just go and scream now?

I've been taking pictures every month as well, and the truth is I can't see much difference between my "before" pictures, and the ones I shot this week. I'm still an enormous, lumbering elephant.

I'm gonna keep going, but I have to say I'm getting really darn discouraged!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 59 - Wondering What It Will Be Like

For quite some time, I've been wondering what it will be like when I'm finally back down into a normal, healthy weight range. When I close my eyes and try to imagine what it might be like, I draw a big, black, fuzzy blank.

It's not because I'm being pessimistic. I know I'll get there eventually. It's just that I simply can't imagine what my body will feel like when it's thin.

For most of my life, I've been somewhat on the pudgy side. I was more or less in shape (mostly less) during my high school and college years, and ever since I've ballooned in weight. High school and college are now more than 20 years past, and I have a very hard time remembering what I felt like during those times.

I can remember, during the one time in college where I truly was thin. I remember being surprised that clothing fit, and finding that clothing that I picked off the rack was actually too large.

But I can't remember what it felt like to sit, or move around. I just can't recall that at all.

Now, I look at my body and everything sags, especially my stomach. I wonder if I'll ever have a tummy that doesn't have to be lifted out of the way to care for my undercarriage. I'd like to hope that, even if my stomach is saggy, I won't have to keep lifting it, but I don't know. I'd like to hope that my body will shrink back to a normal look and that I won't have to keep lifting saggy bits of skin out of the way to wash.

But maybe I won't shrink. Maybe I'll end up looking like a deflated balloon when it's all over.

I don't know. I guess for now I'll keep wondering what it will be like. One day, I guess, I'll find out.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 58 - Deciding Day by Day

I have to admit that sticking to the Cambridge Diet is not always easy. Sometimes it is easy. I don't have to think about what I'm going to eat, ever. I just mix up a shake, chug it down, and it's over.

But sometimes, it's really hard, especially when The Wife or The Kid are eating something especially nice.

Last night, The Wife asked me if I wanted to join her and The Kid for dinner. She was serving Hamburger Helper and vegetables. They've been eating quite a lot of the stuff since I've been dieting, so I wasn't really tempted. Honestly, I don't like it all that much.

But last night, I was tempted. So allowed myself to consider the possibility of joining them. I imagined how the dinner would taste, how it would feel in my mouth, and the consequences of what I'd see on the scale in the morning.

Suddenly, it didn't seem all that worthwhile. I decided to have a shake instead.

What I've realized is that I decide what goes into my mouth, day by day. Sometimes, when things are hard, I have to make the decision hour by hour, or even minute by minute.

But really, I am the one that's in control here. I can decide to have a shake, or go out and have pizza if that's what I really want.

So I get to decide, at various points along the way, if I want to stick to the shakes or break the diet.

And that's okay, because I won't have to have these shakes forever, and I don't necessarily have to stick to it every single day in order to lose weight. The more days I stick, and the longer I do it, the more weight I'll lose, so there's certainly an incentive to keep going.

But deciding to give myself a break, as long as I'm on track more than I'm off, is okay. I'll get to the end eventually.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 57 - Note to Self

Important Note to Self: When really craving for a single vanilla ice cream bar dipped in chocolate, just go out and buy the damn ice cream instead of eating an entire box of Girl Scout Samoas hoping that will satisfy the craving.


I gained seven pounds overnight from that little episode.

Well, I think this blows it as far as being able to get to my goal of being merely obese before my MIL arrives on April 17.

But that's okay. I'll get there, eventually.

And no for those who are asking, I don't feel guilty about it. The Samoas were pretty tasty. It's a good thing the Girl Scouts are getting stingy, though. There are fewer cookies in each box and the cookies seemed to be smaller this year. So, I guess they did me a favor, in a round-about way.

The stress around chez Oinkstop at the moment is pretty high. We have an influx of relatives flying in soon, and all of them are expecting to stay with us. Worse, none of them want to rent a car, so it means we'll have to be driving two cars and shuttling everyone everywhere. The Wife isn't working right now, so we've had to make a lot of cuts. The added expense of food and gas is making me worry.

Although I'll be glad to see the relatives, there's a part of me that wishes they weren't coming right now. They'll only be here for five days, but because of poor planning on their parts, we are going to have to make five trips to the airport (located ever-so-conveniently an hour away) because nobody is coming in or leaving on the same day.

Normally, I'd be mildly annoyed at the extra driving, but because The Wife isn't working and our income has been cut by half, I'm really scared.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 51 - The Weight Just Keeps on Droppin'

This morning's scale-hopping adventure: 227.2 lbs


I like that. Again, I know I shouldn't be getting on the scale every five minutes, but when the numbers are going so well, I like it.

When I know I'm doing well, I like the confirmation. When I know I'm not (like when I had pizza for dinner, or some other such rottenness) it's much easier not to step on the scale until enough time has passed until I know I've likely burned off the disasterous food.

I'm hoping that my super-fast weight loss will continue. Only 15 days until my MIL arrives.

Only 9.2 lbs until I'm merely obese. I wonder if I have any prayer of making it by the time my MIL shows up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 50 - Breaking a Barrier

I've been really trying to resist my habit of scale-hopping, but the truth is, I just can't help myself. The scale sits there on the bathroom floor, staring at me, and I just can't resist. Some days, I'll jump on it 3 or 4 times.

I know, bad me.

This morning, my scale hopping made me very happy. I've broken a new barrier, and I weighed 229.0 lbs this morning. Of course today isn't my official weigh-in day, but it makes me happy nonetheless to know that my diet holiday didn't ruin things too badly.

I can't remember when I last weighed in the 220's, so this is a good thing.

Now, all I have to so is lose 11 more lbs and then I'll just be obese instead of morbidly obese.

I've been doing a pretty good job of sticking to just shakes since the beginning of the week, and I know it's making a difference. It's difficult, but my motivation, at least for the moment, is high.

With the exception of my Deaf buddy, who knows I am on a diet, nobody has noticed I've lost any weight. Yesterday, a friend stopped by the house, and I expected she, of all people, would notice. This particular friend had a heart attack a few years ago, and has become very health-conscious. Anyway, I haven't seen her in a month or two, so I figured she would notice I'd lost a few pounds.

Not a word. Pretty discouraging when I realize I've lost 28 lbs from my highest weight.

Of course I guess if I am not noticing the weight loss, nobody else is likely to notice either.