Welcome! Plus a Chart Update and Some Honesty

July 13, 2011

A big hello to anyone that’s discovering my blog for the first time today!  Chances are you’re here because you saw me on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” today.  (If you didn’t see me on the show, and would like to, than just go to Watch Me On Ellen at the top of the page!)

I hope you take a look around, because there’s lots to see!  I update this blog 5-6 times a week, so there’s almost always something new to read.  If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss a thing, you can sign up to receive my posts via email – look for the SIGN ME UP button in the right column (right below the black-and-white, head-to-toe picture of yours truly).  You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Other things to check out:  Some great ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ photo comparisons in the Photo Gallery, examples of the types of posts you’ll see here in the My Favorite Posts section, and you can read more about my history with obesity and my relationship with Richard on the The Story So Far page.  Oh, and if you wanna read the behind-the-scenes dirt about what it’s like to be a guest on “Ellen”, then check out these posts: Part 1 (filming footage in my home) and Part 2 (what happened the day of the taping).

OK, seriously, David – that’s enough links!  Move on!

All in all, you’re here on a good day, because it’s time to update my weight loss chart!  I weighed myself yesterday – Tuesdays are my weigh-in days.  And I’m also gonna open up and be honest about a few things, which is something I always try to be on this blog.

But first, my chart.  My chart lives in my closet and has become quite popular since first appearing on national TV six months ago (yep, the show today was a rerun – it first aired on January 11, 2011).  It’s also gotten longer.  I’ve added 2 pages to the chart since January, and the chart has outgrown the wall it lives on, so now it turns the corner and lives on 2 of my closet walls:

On the show, I proudly proclaimed that I had lost 159 pounds.  Here’s the part of my chart that reflects that loss:

I weighed 243 pounds when I went on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”  So, what do I weigh now, six months later?  Let’s check out yesterday’s chart update:

I now weigh 236.  I stayed even this week – didn’t gain, didn’t lose.  I’ve lost 7 more pounds since I taped the show six months ago, and I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, it’s 7 pounds.  That’s a good-sized newborn human being, or a full-grown Chihuahua or Pomerianian.  It also means that, in total, I’ve lost 166 pounds, and that’s nothing to sneeze or scuff at!  It’s an amazing accomplishment, and I know that, and I’m proud.

On the other hand (here’s where the honesty comes in), I know it probably could have been more.  I’ve been stuck in ruts over the last six months.  There were times during those six months that I was trying hard, working my ass off, eating well, and the pounds weren’t coming off.  I accept that that sometimes happens.  It’s called a plateau, and everyone on a journey like mine experiences them.

But, looking back, I know there have also been times when I accepted the plateau, and used it as an excuse to just not work as hard.  It was (and is) so easy to say, ‘Well, the weight isn’t coming off when I’m trying my hardest, so why bother trying my hardest anymore?’

I know I’m not trying my hardest right now.  I’m doing great with exercise – the month is almost half over (can you believe it?), and I’ve worked out 10 of the last 12 days.  It’s my eating that sometimes slip-slip-slips away.  I’m not surprised I didn’t lose any weight this week, because I overate a few times.  Once was after the picnic I went to on Sunday.  I ate well during the picnic, but much later on, after I came home, I ended up eating the two leftover pieces of the giant sandwich before going to bed.  One of the things I’ve been working on is not eating after 8pm, and eating 1/4 of a loaf of ciabatta (plus the contents) near midnight is a big fail.  Earlier in the week, I gassed up my car, and ended up buying junk at the mini-mart at the gas station.  It was a messed-up thought process:  I was really craving something sweet, and knew I wouldn’t be home for a few hours to satisfy the craving with some fruit, so I bought candy.  As I wandered the store, I thought, ‘You know what goes really well with something sweet?  Something salty.’  And I bought chips, too.  I bought probably between 600-800 calories of empty calories, and I ate it all, while thinking, ‘Eh, what does it matter, I’m pretty much still on a plateau anyway.’

Look, I know candy and chips and midnight eating isn’t the end of the world.  It’s not the calories from those instances that worry me, it’s my attitude.  I’ve become lazy with my eating; I’ve noticed my portions slowly get bigger; I’ve become accepting of this plateau.  I’d like to think that finally hitting 236 last week, over three months after hitting 237, would’ve been a huge motivator, but it wasn’t, and I’m not sure why, except to say that maybe it’s because this lazier attitude has taken root a little bit.  Eating off program twice in one week can easily lead to eating off program 3 times next week, or 4 times a few weeks down the road.

I can’t let that happen.  Even though I’m not gaining right now (thanks, probably, to all the exercise), if that lazy attitude continues, and grows, it will surely lead to gaining some (or all) of this weight back.

I have every opportunity right now to turn my attitude around.  I’m not working at the moment, so I can’t use long hours and work stress as an excuse.  I still have plenty of money on my Whole Foods gift card, so there’s no excuse to not have a fully stocked kitchen of healthy options.  And I have lots of wonderful family, friends, and readers who stop by this website every day for a little inspiration and to eavesdrop in my life.  Maybe, with my “Ellen” episode airing again, I’ll even have some new fans and readers that will choose to come back again and again looking for a little motivation.

It’s time to step up, David.  You’ve got more to lose – you’re still 16 pounds from your next goal. 

Today was a good day, health-wise.  Right before I wrote this blog, I spent 61 minutes on an exercise bike, and for the first 30, I was doing a series of different arm and shoulder exercises with a 15-pound weight in each hand.

Tomorrow’s gotta be a good day, too.

Keep it up, David.


Chart Update and Collage

May 18, 2011

I was very excited to step on the scale this morning.  I had worked my ass off, exercise-wise, over the past week, and eaten really well, too.

Last week, I weighed 239 pounds.  Yesterday, when I got on the scale, I weighed…

…drum roll, please

…238 pounds!  WOO-HOO!  Down one pound.  Fantastic news!  All you regular readers know that for the past few months, I’ve had my rough patches, whether it’s hanging on for dear life, so I don’t fall off the wagon, or confronting the terrible voices in my own head after a gain.  I don’t think I’m done with the plateau, which I’ve basically been on for a few months now (more on this later), but it does feel good to work hard and stay focused, and see that resolve reflected on the scale.  There have been weeks over the past few months where I feel like I’ve done everything right, but haven’t seen the number change – that’s the joy of a plateau, and it’s completely frustrating.  But that didn’t happen this week, and that’s fucking amazing.  Pardon my French.

So – time to update the ol’ weight loss chart!

Look at that!  I’ve lost two pounds over the past two weeks – the same two pounds that I gained during the two weeks that ended two weeks ago.  Ya follow?  I sure do like that the line is heading downwards.  Down is good.

If I were to sum up my weight loss progress over the past few months, I could basically say that I plateaued in February, dropped a few pounds in March, plateaued again in April, and since then fluctuated up and down a few pounds.  But when I look at my chart during that time (and I spent a good long time looking at my chart today), basically what I’m realizing is that it’s been one big long plateau pretty much since the end of January.

To illustrate that point, I took a few more pics of the chart, and assembled them together in a fun little collage.  Take a look:

Hmmm – you may not be able to read the numbers in the collage – they’re pretty small, so I’ll walk you through it.  The left-most number is 242, which is from my January 29 weigh-in.  I lost another pound a week later, and plateaued at 241 until the beginning of March.  Throughout the first half of March, I dropped 4 pounds – this is where I hit 238, my current weight, for the first time (on March 11).  I got to my all-time low, 237 pounds, but gained a pound back, and stayed at 238 from March 29 – April 19, and then I gained two more pounds, which I’ve since lost, which brings us to the present, where I’m back to weighing 238.

All that is a lot of jibber-jabber that can be boiled down to the simple fact that in the past 3.5 months, I’ve stayed within a five-pound range.  That’s one long plateau!  On one hand, it’s a little frustrating, because generally speaking, I’m busting my balls to lose weight, and I’m not really doing it.  But on the flipside, Holy Shit!  I haven’t succumbed to the difficulties and given up, or taken a few days or weeks off and seen my weight shoot up 10 pounds.  That’s something to be proud of, and I’m very proud of that.  There’s that saying: When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

This bodes well for whenever I reach my goal weight, whatever that may be (it’s still TBD), because then I have to transition from weight loss to weight maintenance, and winter/spring 2011 has shown me that I’m capable of weight maintenance.  These 3.5 months have been good practice for the rest of my life.

I’m ready to keep losing – I’m 18 pounds away from my next (but possibly not final) goal weight, and these past two weeks, where I’ve posted losses, is a good foundation to build on.  And you know what?  I’ll say it.  I’m proud of this post, which marks a shift in thinking about my plateau.  And for those two reasons, I say…

…Keep it up, David.


Return of the Carrots AND My Song

April 29, 2011

Had a particularly colorful and delicious snack yesterday…

…Rainbow Carrots!

It’s not the first time I’ve blogged about them (this blog has that honor) – and it probably won’t be the last time I blog about them, because they are tasty and different and I love them.  I look for them every time I’m at Whole Foods.

Like oddly-colored vegetables?  Check out this post, this post, and this post.

Yesterday I went around my office, and offered the carrots to about 20 different people.  I thought it’d be nice to share.  I got a variety of reactions and responses, and here are some of them:

  • “Oh wow, this is good!  Tastes just like a carrot!”
  • Co-worker: “Why is this carrot purple?”  Me: “Who says all carrots have to be orange?”  Co-worker:  “I do.  It’s a carrot, and carrots are orange.  That’s why they’re carrots.”
  • “Hey thanks, I love them!  Have you ever had purple potatoes?”  Yep!
  • “Why are you giving this to me?  Is this some sort of set-up?”
  • “I like it!  It might be a touch more bitter than a regular carrot but if I had my eyes closed I wouldn’t know I’m not eating an orange carrot.”
  • “Those are the most beautiful carrots I’ve ever seen.”
  • What’s going on?  What are these?  Am I going to hallucinate or something after eating one?”

I’d say they were a hit.  And no one hallucinated.  As far as I know.

Moving on…

Remember, in March, when I shared that beautiful new song that was inspired by this very blog?  Click here to refresh your memory!  Last night, my friend Kristy Hanson (along with Mike Chiaburu and Tim Young) performed again in Hollywood, and once again, she performed my song.  Even though I have the song on my iPod, I haven’t listened to it in a couple weeks, and I didn’t know they were going to include it on their set list (they have a lot of songs), so it was a wonderful surprise to hear it live again.

Long story short:  Kristy and Mike did a side project called East Paris where they wrote songs inspired by writers, and they asked me if they could write something based on this blog.  Uh, yes, please!  So I sent them this post, and they came up with a song called “Today’s The Day”, which is about taking control and knowing that things are gonna change, and knowing that they’re gonna change because you’re going to change them.

The fact that the concert last night feel during a week where I’ve been struggling to stay on track and retain control didn’t go unnoticed in my own head.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO “TODAY’S THE DAY.”  While you’re on that page, check out that “Free Download” button!  They set it up special for all my readers – so take advantage, download it, and add it to your iPods and playlists!

Kristy played another song last night that really struck a chord with me.  It’s called “Crawl,” and even though I’ve heard it tons of times before, last night it resonated in a way it hasn’t before.  Kristy introduced it by saying (and I’m paraphrasing): “this next song is about how sometimes things don’t move along at the pace you’d like, but you just gotta keep going” and I thought, that’s the boat I’m in right now with this plateau!  Some of the lyrics:

It’s not what you hoped for

But who can trust hope

You plan and you daydream

Then you just cope

You flail and you flounder

Till you’re thrown a rope

And you crawl, and you crawl

and you crawl onto the shore

You can listen to “Crawl” on Kristy Hanson’s website (it’s track number 7 on her album Into the Quiet).

I’ll end with two questions that Kristy poses in “Crawl”:

Is it the dream you’re holding that keeps your pace from slowing?

Is it the hope for something, or the hope itself that keeps you going?

What do you think?

Keep it up, David!


It’s Almost Over

October 28, 2010

This week has both flown by and inched along terribly slowly.  On one hand, I can’t believe it’s already Thursday.  On the other, it’s only Thursday?!?  Here’s what’s been going on:

My job is still terribly time-consuming.  Today I worked my 18th day in a row without a day off, and I’m exhausted.  I’ve worked until 9pm every day this week except for today, when I was able to leave at 7:15 or so, at which point I did a few errands before stores closed that haven’t been able to do.

Only making matters worse is that this week I’ve been fighting a cold.  I woke up on Monday not feeling the greatest.  I powered through it at the office until about 6pm, and which point I settled into a big comfy chair and dozed off for about 30 minutes.  A co-worker thought I looked cute, because I fell asleep with both hands holding my blackberry in front of my face, as I was reading work emails before nodding off.   I should’ve had her take a photo as a blog visual aid, but funny how you don’t think of those things when you’re asleep.  Anyway, I woke up, felt a little refreshed, worked until 9, and went home and crashed.

Tuesday was much worse.  At the office, people were practically instructing me to go home.  They weren’t telling me to take the day off, mind you, just to work from home so I didn’t get everyone else sick.  And after having a few meetings and taking care of a few important things, I jumped in the car around 1pm and headed home.  There, I worked until 9pm (excluding a 45-minute nap on my couch).

Wednesday was very similar to Tuesday.  People kept telling me I looked like hell, but I powered through, hopped up on DayQuil.  I tried my hardest to leave mid-day and finish my work from home, but one thing led to another and thanks to a series of important scheduled phone calls (that weren’t spaced far enough apart to give me enough time to get home in between them), I didn’t make it home until 9pm.  Guess what I did then?  Crashed.

Today I woke up feeling about 90% better, and over the course of the day improved more.  Leaving at 7:15pm was such a gift tonight, and I’m going to celebrate by going to sleep early.  The 70-hour workweeks AND the cold have taken their toll.  I wrote a post last week about being tired, but that doesn’t compare to this.

I’ll end by explaining this post’s title.  The nice thing about my work situation is that it’s almost over.  It’s a temporary gig, and chances are my last day at this job is tomorrow.  I’m not thrilled about being unemployed, but I’m really looking forward to having free time again!  I’m looking forward to starting my food log again – it had fallen by the wayside thanks to this work schedule – and I’m very excited that I’ll be able to work out regularly again.  I’ve only had the time and energy to work out once in the past 12 days, and that’s gonna change.  As a result, my weight loss has hit a plateau, but that’s about to change too.  I’m looking forward to that most of all.

Keep it up, David!


My First Workout in a Week!

October 24, 2010

The title of this post is true!  More on that later.

First things first – Today I weighed myself.  As I said yesterday, due to my lack of exercise (no work outs at all in the past week, thanks to a strenuous work situation), I was hoping to, at the worst, stay even.  So I stepped on the scale..  and…  let’s just go straight to the chart:

I STAYED EVEN! Woo-hoo!   What I haven’t mentioned before is that my scale actually measures down to the tenth of a pound.  This morning I was 258.5.  When I began this process in January, I decided I would ignore the tenths, because that just seemed like too much.  I know how I can get (obsessive), and I knew that I could easily slip-and-slide into fretting over .2 or .3 of a pound.  So I don’t write down the tenths on the chart, and usually I forget what the tenths are by later that same day.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Isn’t that the name of a book?  Has Julia Roberts appeared in a movie version yet?

I’m quite proud that this is the first time I’ve stayed even on my weight loss journey since the beginning of June.  Here’s a close up of when that happened – it was 64 pounds and almost 5 months ago:

I looked up my food log from back then, and it was right after I had houseguests (my sister and nephew), and right around the same time I was resigning from my job of 7 years.  Lesson:  Employment turmoil = more difficulty losing weight.  That’s a habit I’ll have to break, especially if I want to continue doing freelance work!  The photo sort of cuts it off, but I rebounded the next weigh-in with a 2-pound loss!  That’s impressive…  we’ll see what my next weigh in brings.

Today has been a pretty good day, all in all – much better than the stinker that I had yesterday.  I had to work (Day 14 in a row), but I worked from home, completed my to-do list, and it wasn’t all that bad.  I wrapped up around 4, jumped in the car, and headed to the gym.  I decided to hop on the elliptical.  It’s low-impact, has a wide range of settings, and a personal TV that I can watch with my headphones.  I decided that I would build to a moderate, but not crazy, resistance level, and not push myself to the extreme.  And it felt good!  I didn’t bust out into a ridiculous shirt-soaking sweat like I do at Slimmons or Latin Jam class, but I got my heart rate up, and exceeded my 45 minute goal by 8 minutes.

I had to swing by an ATM after, and my bank has a location near Henry’s Farmers Market, one of my favorite supermarkets, so I headed there after to stock up on produce.

They have beautiful produce, great prices, and it’s never that crowded, so you can get in and out quickly.  I wasn’t blown away by the prices today (like I have been at Super King), but they were still pretty good.  Produce-wise, I picked up 3 bananas, 1 pound of carrots, 2 broccoli crowns, 1 green pepper, 1 cucumber, 1 yellow squash, 2 tomatoes, 4 bartlett pears, and 3 ambrosia apples – which I had never heard of before, I don’t think.  The produce portion of my bill came out to $7.90, and when you add in the other stuff in my basket (yogurt, cottage cheese, a few pantry items), it totaled $21.44.

As I was driving home, it started to rain, so I drove around my block a few times extra in hopes that the rain would wash away some of the bird crap on my car and save me some cash at a car wash.  Then I remembered I had popsicles in the truck and scurried home.   I forgot to look after parking to see if the bird crap was still there.  I suppose I was really focusing on those popsicles!  They’re only 25 calories a piece, FYI.

I also just took a really cool, inspiring photo that I can’t wait to share tomorrow!

Keep it up, David!


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