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Old 01-17-2013, 01:26 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
As always I love your posts Z. They are so true, and I always feel as if I look at someone who writes from the heart.

And yay for insurrance. :-)
Thank you Ms. Velvet. I appreciate that. Above all else, I value authenticity in my interactions with others. I feel that the magic of the Internet is that it is possible for us to be completely honest with a sea of strangers - to share that innermost self that we must hide from people on a daily basis in order to function in society. We learn to hide this self for a multitude of reasons: People aren't interested in the answers to the questions they ask ("how are you doing?"), fear of reprisal or ridicule, societal expectations, an unwillingness to show potential weakness...

We bury our true selves under a thousand tiny lies of omission, until we don't really even know ourselves anymore.

And it protects us to do so. But it isolates us. It prevents us from availing ourselves to the possibility that other people feel the same things that we feel. And that the unspeakable and embarrassing oddities about yourself aren't so odd at all. In walling our true selves off from people, we've lost the ability to connect with people.

Here on the Internet, I'm still a weirdo. But I'm not the only weirdo. And even after I toss aside pretense, fear, suspicion, elusiveness and simply present my true self, there are still people in this world who can relate with me on some level.

I believe that when you are able to communicate with people utterly free from inauthenticity - when you can connect with people on a completely honest level, having presented your true self - the interaction is inherently more valuable; more rarified. Whether you are mocked or praised, whether people agree or disagree, no matter the outcome, the ability to be genuinely yourself - without reservation - is it's own reward.

And when you are well-received, precisely as you are, what could be better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmybabyhead View Post
I really needed to read this today. You have no idea how much I needed to read this! If I have one more well meaning idiot friend tell me "But you have such a pretty face!" I'm going to freak.
I hear you there. I've had friends tell me "you don't look that fat," or "You carry it SO well"

Yes I do, and No I don't.

Look... In the last 21 years I've set and accomplished a major life goal every year. I won't go through the whole list, but a few highlights...
  • Learned to play the guitar
  • Learned to sing professionally
  • Learned to play 6 other instruments
  • Paid my bills with music
  • Quit smoking
  • Became an industry leading malware analyst in two months
  • Went to school after the age of 30
  • Picked up video editing and photography
  • Learned sound recording, music production, and audio engineering
  • Gave up Internet rage, in an effort to improve myself as a person
  • Lost 50 pounds (and counting!)

Every year I pick at least one new aspect of myself that I don't like, and fix it. This last year was manual photography, diet, exercise, video editing, and improved recording techniques.

The point?

Don't you dare feel sorry for me because I'm fat! I'm one of the most talented, smartest, funniest, most driven, most interesting people you're ever likely to meet. Not by accident, but because I've worked REALLY hard at it.

Look - the point isn't about how spectacular I am - anyone could do anything I've done, if they wanted to. The point is, if you think 'FAT' is my defining characteristic, you've missed the point. What I look like is the least important thing about me. I don't need to be thin or good looking to have value as a person, and if I become those things through the process of this diet, it won't make me a better person than I was. Simply a healthier person.

People will try to shoehorn you into believing that attractiveness is the most important thing there is. Your closest friends might be so enamored with this concept that they lie to you about it to make you feel better. Don't let them. You are so much more than other people's opinion of your appearance. A billion disparate events had to combine in perfect confluence to make you the person that you are today.

I'm Fat.
I'm Ugly.
And I'm Freaking Awesome.

Not in spite of my weight, but irrespective of my weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janetsbreeze View Post
Wow. I read this from start to finish and wanted to chime in to add my sincere congrats on your successes!
Thanks - it's been really great to have so many people 'cover to cover' this thread over the last several weeks. That you would find this thread so compelling that you'd finish this 11 page wall of text - that's really moving to me.


Thanks again to everyone who has stopped by. I can't overstate how much I enjoy hearing from all of you.
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8/8/2012: 350
11/2/2013: 250.0
Rebound peak: 286
8/22/2014: 270.6 - time to recover lost ground

Shark Sandwich: One man's epic journey from fat to slightly less fat.

Last edited by Z; 01-17-2013 at 01:32 AM..
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:41 AM   #332
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Z, would you say you are pretty disciplined with your time?

i'm not just working on nutrition and fitness, i'm working on reclaiming a lot of my life from the dustbin, let me just call it "lifestyle recovery" for short. a big part of this is taking better care to spend my time wisely, instead of constantly chasing after "feels good." it helps me to see how you structure your time. thanks!
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:55 AM   #333
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Z, would you say you are pretty disciplined with your time?

i'm not just working on nutrition and fitness, i'm working on reclaiming a lot of my life from the dustbin, let me just call it "lifestyle recovery" for short. a big part of this is taking better care to spend my time wisely, instead of constantly chasing after "feels good." it helps me to see how you structure your time. thanks!
Not by nature.

But I am very sensitive to sleep deficiency (especially with 10 hour days), and I cannot afford to lose this job - so I have to follow a very strong and disciplined procedure in order to make up for the weakness of my nature.

Case in point - I'm an hour late getting to sleep. Maximum I'll get 7.25 hours. But in the old days I'd have stayed up until 10:30, and tried to wake up at noon (in this case, noon is when I have to wake up to get to work on time)

So my nature wins out a little, sometimes. But at least I'll only be an hour short, instead of 6 hours short.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:12 AM   #334
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Hey, Z!

Fully understand the busy schedule and finding time to post. It's kind of become my life, as well.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:17 PM   #335
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I was going to have a quiet night last night. I was going to stay home and play video games. That's when I get the phone call: "It's 80's karaoke night - we need you there, man!"

I don't know why, but that's a gauntlet I can't not pick up. I pick out my best Miami Vice shirt, and intentionally forget to shave.

Fortunately, I know how I tend to get a little crazy at these things. I set a budget in cash before hand and followed a strict time limit between drinks (and I looked up and counted every carb). I'm proud to say that I didn't do anything yesterday that would make me ashamed to be alive today.

Made it down to 291.4 today but only by sleeping in and not eating or drinking for an extra 5 hours. Past experience has shown me that I can expect to be back to 293-294 by tomorrow. People like to say "If you see it on the scale, you can count it..." I'm not disagreeing with the sentiment of that, but for me what happens is that it sets an unrealistic expectation that I'm fighting against for the next 2 or 3 pounds. So when I hit 292 for the first time without trickery, it won't mean anything if I've already decided that I should actually be at 291. Then, even if I'm losing weight I feel like I'm behind where I should be.

I'd much rather keep a realistic expectation, and be able to take credit for my progress as it occurs, than take credit for one number that's been goosed and be disappointed for the following 3 weeks.

I suppose I'm riding the line between those two extremes. I'm absolutely taking credit for seeing 291 point-something on the scale. Sleeping-in or not, that's still a new low score, and an outstanding marker of things to come. But, after I go back to what I weighed before, I'll count it again a second time when I can hit that number on a weekday.

I think of it this way - at any given weight there's a continuum from heavy to light.

You might be at a heavy 300 pounds, or a light 300 pounds, or somewhere in between. What's the difference - A pound's a pound, right?

Weight is influenced by a great many factors, working together: Hydration and water retention, how much food you're still carrying around, et cetera. Ironically, a heavy 300 is better than a light 300 - here's why:

Today I'm at a comparatively light 291. I am unusually dehydrated, and have had the opportunity to expel more weight than I've taken in today (though I could stand to expel a bit more - so I'm not at the lightest frame of reference I could be at). I'm so much lighter than baseline, that this sets an unfair point of comparison. In a few weeks I'll see a heavy 291. I'll weigh myself at night, after work, and even though I'm carrying around 3 meals in my gut, and it's the high cycle of the day, I'll weigh 291 (instead of the 287 I will have weighed that morning).

Understanding that baseline is why the same weight on three different occasions doesn't mean anything bad. You can lose fat without showing it on the scale. Then one morning you have a particularly 'thoughtful' session, and you've lost 3 pounds.

I have to celebrate every landmark. But I also have to celebrate the process. It's not as fast as it once was, but I've got nothing but time. My reward today? Baked stuffed pepper with pulled slow cooked bottom round, egg, and sharp cheddar. Whether you decide low carb food is a punishment, or a reward is up to you. And whichever you decide, you'll be right.

Anyway, it's laundry night. But I wanted to stop in and give an update. I hope the day finds you well.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:42 AM   #336
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Thanks for the update! The 80s night sounds fun - glad you stuck to your plan.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:47 AM   #337
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I'm right there with you on the vagaries of weight. I consider a "good weigh" to be first thing in the morning, after the bathroom and before food or drink, and stark naked. (No watch, no necklace, no glasses -- nothing but skin.) But... what if you still needed another trip, half an hour later? One wherein you off-loaded a fair bit of mass? But it's too late to re-weigh, because by then you've broken your fast (even if it's just with a glass of water).

Then, too, there's the issue of injuries and swollen joints. My back's out right now -- swollen pretty bad, lots of pain. SWOLLEN -- that means water, which means if I stepped on the scale, I'm probably at least a pound "too heavy".

This is one of the beauties, I think, of tracking and plotting weight. On the graph, you can stand back, squinch up your eyes, and see the overall trend, without the minor fluctuations.

BTW -- seems you're now about 100 lbs above me -- almost exactly. And I'm having some "issues" with losing right now -- I've been fluttering between 190 (rarely seen) and as high as 193 for... a WHILE, now. (I'm also a.) not measuring, b.) exercising, and c.) making some tweaks, since I'd noticed at one point I'd fallen into non-stop grazing that wasn't hunger-based.) I seem -- aside from the back-injury -- to be heading in the right direction again... My super-secret goal is to try to hit 170 before you hit 250. (Not that there's a competition going on, but rather I'm using another real human being's progress to keep myself from getting lazy and slipping.)

GRATZ on hitting 291.x. Even when it's a "fluke" (slightly dehydrated, etc), still, SEEING a new low makes you know you can see it again. At least, I know it's that way for me. I usually EXPECT the "bounce" after... but know that I'm not too far from it being my "real" number.
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I haven't found anywhere else to track this, and am not sure how accurate my scale is, but Body fat:
10/26/2012: 39.0% 10/27/2012: 39.2%
10/28/2012: 39.3% 10/30/2012: 38.5%
10/31/2012: 38.6% 11/02/2012: 36.5%
11/03/2012: 39.1% 11/04/2012: 39.3%
11/05/2012: 39.3% 11/07/2012: 38.5%
11/10/2012: 38.9%
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:05 PM   #338
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I'm proud to say that I didn't do anything yesterday that would make me ashamed to be alive today.
Great job on controlling the carbs and planning ahead!

As far as weight fluctuations go, when I have a loss of more than 1lb I know I am apt to bounce back up for a day or two before I see that new low stick. The way I think about those surprise dips in to new low territory is that they are just previews of what my body can do. If I go up the next day, as frustrating as it is, I work that much harder to stick to my plan because I know my body can easily be at the lower number.

Griffin is right about looking at the overall trend on a weight loss graph. I will go and look at mine for the last 6 months and see the concrete evidence showing the overall downward trend proving that what I am doing is right for my body.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:57 PM   #339
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Great job on controlling the carbs and planning ahead!
Carbs? I was talking about alcohol
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:26 AM   #340
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Gave up sweets and cigarettes. Can't give up alcohol too! I'm entitled to at least ONE vice? No?
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:20 PM   #341
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Absolutely!
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:49 AM   #342
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I wake up today to find that the antibiotics I was put on for this insane abscess on my forehead are giving me moderately severe abdominal pain. I already took one day off this week to see the doctor, so I'm not going to take another one - especially not during training. Look outside and it's raining (bear in mind that I walk to work). I open my door to see how badly, and there's a note from the landlord: Hot water isn't working today, so no shower...

I've been awake for 30 minutes, and I'm already afraid to find out what happens next. This is how "one of those days" starts. Still - I'm going to try to maintain a positive outlook.

Wish me luck


On the upside? 290.6

I'm a stone's throw from my January goal of <290
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:47 PM   #343
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Luck -- Oh, luck! I hope the worst is over, and it only gets better from here!
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:47 PM   #344
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Wow, what a crappy start to your day. Call your doc and ask for a new med. I would hope you would not need to go back in to see him. Hoping tomorrow starts off a lot better!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:55 AM   #345
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I hope your day get's better - and great job on the losses!
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:41 AM   #346
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Awesome, youve lost over 50 lbs!!!!!
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:18 PM   #347
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When I first started the whole low carb thing, my typical breakfast involved 8 eggs, and 8 or more strips of bacon. Low carb or not, my stomach still had certain volume requirements to achieve satiety. Over time I've had to reduce the number of eggs that I eat in a single sitting, both as my energy demands diminish, and as my stomach physically shrinks.

This morning, I ate three eggs scrambled with two slices of pepperjack and three deli-thin-slices of hard salami. It was too much food.

This is why this RAD (radically awesome diet) works for me: It seems to provide corrective action. I didn't force myself to eat less, and wait for my metabolism to get with the program - I started with giving my metabolism the fuel it needed, and gradually ate less as a natural consequence.

From needing 8 eggs in a sitting to only needing 2, in just a few months.

This is why I always go on about not worrying about calories. Eventually, when you stop fighting your internal cues, and stop fighting your plan, you will find that calories take care of themselves. It's not that calories don't matter, it's that (for many of us, at least) calories aren't the root of the problem.

For me the experience has taught me to count the carbs mercilessly, and count nothing else - not because nothing else matters, but because everything else will align on its own as long as I take care of this one primary goal.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:06 AM   #348
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where's the "like" button??
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:28 AM   #349
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Your description of the unplanned changes we make in our diet is exactly right. I’ve noticed it but never really thought about it. It makes me shudder to think of the amount of food (in calories, carbs, fat, and sheer volume) I used to be able to consume.

At the beginning I would have to stop during the day to eat some meat and cheese to hold me over until the next meal. Like you I didn't worry about how much I was eating just making sure it fit into the plan.

Now there are time when I will actually be too busy to eat at the meal time and simply skip that meal with no ill effects. That would never, and I repeat never have happened in the past. My blood sugar alone would have made it impossible.

Congratulations on hitting the 290 mark. It’s always rewarding to move into a smaller decade.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:13 AM   #350
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This is why I always go on about not worrying about calories. Eventually, when you stop fighting your internal cues, and stop fighting your plan, you will find that calories take care of themselves. It's not that calories don't matter, it's that (for many of us, at least) calories aren't the root of the problem.
This, exactly.

It really does work: Kill the carbs, and everything else works itself out.

I can function -- at a much HIGHER energy rate -- on a FRACTION of the food I ate a year ago. On gym-days, I sometimes get by on a few fat-bombs or a bulletproof coffee for breakfast, and eat almost nothing till dinner. I'm busy -- no time -- and not particularly hungry.

When I was eating carbs, like Ralph said, I'd have to eat again just to stabilize my blood sugar. (It was bad. I was on my way to diabetes.)

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Old 01-30-2013, 01:04 AM   #351
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Did you ever notice how all the love songs talk about being willing to fight the biggest battle, climb the highest mountain, and struggle for an impossibly long time against impossible odds - all in the name of love? Perform the impossible for the ultimate prize. The brightest flame in the darkest night; the stars the moon and every grain of sand on every beach on the Earth.

Now, did you ever notice that there aren't a whole lot of love songs about doing the taxes, or taking out the garbage, or taking the kids to school, or sitting at the DMV while waiting for one's inamorata to pick up a replacement driver's license?

Sure you'd catch a grenade, or bless the rains down in Africa, or whatever - but would you spend a weekend with the in-laws? When you have a fever of 104, and it's snowing outside, and the whole house is sick, and someone has to walk three miles in the elements to the pharmacy because the car is dead and the kids need their medicine, and it's too dangerous outside for anyone else to go, would you do that? Where's that song?

All that Romeo and Juliette stuff makes for a cute story, but it simply isn't realistic. Passionate infatuation might be forged in the fire of the initial romance, but true love cannot take form until it has been quenched in the quagmire of utter mundanity. The simple and unglamorous chores of day to day life as shared between two people. And, as you well know, a lot of people simply don't make it once the initial phase of infatuation has passed on.

It is easier to triumph against the arrayed forces of probability and the universe than it is to succeed in the face of boredom.

At this point you might be asking "What does ANY of this have to do with low carb dieting and weight loss?"

We have reached the end of January. By now, most people (~75%) have given up their resolutions for the new year and gone back to their old habits. By the end of the year, 94% will have returned to the behaviors they most wanted to change.

Like love, changing fundamental behaviors comes in two different phases. The first phase is a daily struggle against the entire world, and against yourself. An epic struggle every moment of every day. This phase is a test of the strength of your will - those who don't want to change will be weeded out quickly.

Then you make it through - and you're on to the second phase. This is a test of the endurance of your will. You might be able to brave the darkest jungle for the first two weeks, but can you maintain your plan - without interruption or fail - in the face of endless mundanity? Can you deal with being YEARS away from your goal? Can you deal with changes that happen so slowly that they have to be charted in weeks and months? Can you deal with setbacks when they happen - even when a single mistake undoes two weeks of effort? Can you avoid cheating for entire seasons? Can you do everything right, and get bad results on the scale, and STILL stay strong on your diet?

You have to be just as committed even after the first two weeks - but you have to be that committed for longer. No matter how hard you push up front, goals are reached after YEARS of sustained compliance.

If you gut it out and make it through induction without cheating, you've proven that you are truly infatuated with the idea of losing weight. But without a long term commitment to your plan - unless you are willing to stick with it, even when it's lost its lustre - there can be no success.

Up to two weeks to undo a single binge. One week to start losing again, and another week to lose what you gained. 10 cheats a year can destroy 4 and a half months of weight loss. That's not even counting that during that two weeks, you won't lose what you would have lost. add in the time that you're repairing damage instead of losing new weight, and you're looking at 40 weeks - leaving 12 weeks of actual weight loss in a single year.

Like it or not, two cheats can easily ruin an entire month.

10 cheats a year is 98.37% compliance. You want to get a lot closer to 99% compliance. That's ~3.65 "cheats" per year. That's how tight the margin of error can be. It's different for everyone, but the commonality among the people who have lost the kind of weight I need to lose and reached the kind of goal that I want to reach seems to be pretty close 100% compliance. They are committed, even now, to internalizing and maintaining this new way of life.

You have to want the change more than you want to stay the same.

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Old 01-30-2013, 05:39 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by Z View Post
Now, did you ever notice that there aren't a whole lot of love songs about doing the taxes, or taking out the garbage, or taking the kids to school, or sitting at the DMV while waiting for one's inamorata to pick up a replacement driver's license?
Z, did I ever tell you that I went to an all-girl's Catholic High School? I did (though just for the last two years). Junior Year theology included a quarter on the nature of love. We read M.Scott Peck and a bunch of other things, trying to understand the difference between love, infatuation, and less savory emotion. (And I don't mean lust, I mean things like manipulation, other-ownership, etc. TRULY unsavory.)

Anyway... there was this wonderful article -- I can't remember a SINGLE THING about it, except that it described, "stirring the oatmeal kind of love". All the boring and sometimes "ugly" stuff that goes into a REAL loving relationship.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:46 AM   #353
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This is so true, and it really resonated with me.

It's so easy to give up because right now, I'm not seeing any movement on the scale. It's easy to just chuck the whole lot in the trash because that's the easy thing to do.

Thanks for this post.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:38 AM   #354
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You have to want the change more than you want to stay the same.
Amen. That single thought is why I've been successful this time. I want to change more than I want the status quo.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:42 PM   #355
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Up to two weeks to undo a single binge. One week to start losing again, and another week to lose what you gained.
So true. I think about this often when I am tempted to graze off plan in a big way. I know that unplanned forays into carb-land will lead to overeating and carb cravings afterward, leading to more carb eating. I think about how long it will take me to get back to the weight I am and I realize it is just not worth it for only a few moments of eating.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:26 PM   #356
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Hello Z
I have read your post from page one, its just like a book I can't put down, only it's real life. You are doing this, you are making choices as I type this. It has given me some perspective in regards to my own journey, I just made it past two weeks, I'm in a differant percentile!!! Yay! And that makes it even more important to hold fast and not give up. It has been very inspiring reading your recent past, and look very forward to cheering your future.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:59 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by Saltsandsea View Post
Hello Z
I have read your post from page one, its just like a book I can't put down, only it's real life. You are doing this, you are making choices as I type this. It has given me some perspective in regards to my own journey, I just made it past two weeks, I'm in a differant percentile!!! Yay! And that makes it even more important to hold fast and not give up. It has been very inspiring reading your recent past, and look very forward to cheering your future.
Thank you so much for reading - and again for replying. I'm flattered that you would consider my journey to be so compelling. Of course - I've only lost 50 out of 190 pounds that I need to lose. There's a lot more road ahead than remains behind. Sometimes, the hard part for me is to remember that the goal isn't some arbitrary number - some round number avoirdupois to brandish about like a badge of triumph. The REAL goal is the adoption and internalization of a lifestyle that is better than the one that made me so oppressively overweight to begin with.

I can see that you've already met with significant positive results - that's fantastic! You've just about made it through the acute suffering phase - which separates you from the field as someone who is serious about committing to this new lifestyle. There's almost certainly going to be some bumps in the road - we've all hit them, and learning how to recover from a fall is going to be a part of the learning process. Of course, learning how not to fall is the long term goal

You've definitely come to the right place, I think. There are a lot of people here who are happy to share this experience with you. It's a much friendlier environment compared to a lot of the other sites (but that's a different story).

Post often, ask questions, and share your own revelations as they come to you on this odyssey. There's a lot of good ideas out there, and no one here has the monopoly on all of them.

Last edited by Z; 01-31-2013 at 12:01 AM..
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:56 AM   #358
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Hey there, Z! Thanks for checking in! Looks like you are making progress in all sorts of ways-- congratulations!

I was just in Arizona (Green Valley) to see my parents about 10 days ago and loving the winter weather. Mom and Dad thought it cold, but I spent a lot of time on the back porch watching the mountains and all sorts of birds. Love it there in cooler weather!
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:26 AM   #359
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Thank you!
You are right about the goal. Mine is to be able to chase after both of my sons when/by the time they start running, to set a good and healthy example and (somewhat selfishly) feel good in my own skin again.
I have always been "thin", being 6ft tall has advantages. I would say my average weight was 180, not what I wanted but still acceptable. Also, I never really worked out, I just worked, two/ three jobs at a time. Food service, everything from bussing to fry cook to bar-tending and cleaning everything.
Met my Hubbs when I was 155 lbs and a size 8. He works construction and a year into our relationship was remodeling an Italian restaurant.
I know it's my own fault, but that food was some of the best I've ever eaten! The chef was from Italy and was so sweet, he made sure we had something everyday to eat for lunch. Lasagna, Shrimp premivera in home made alfredo sauce, uuuhh and home made tirimisu with ricota! I could not say "no", actually I never thought to say no.
We both put on weight, I more than he. I was about 200. I look back now and want to slap myself, I thought I was huge. Then came babies back to back. With my first I topped out at 260, granted, pregnant. After I almost got back to 200, was surprised with my second. Went back up to 290, pregnant, and after stayed about 250.
Now I get the " but you JUST had a baby", and he's JUST starting to crawl, or the " but you are so tall you wear it well", and thank you but I don't want to wear "this" anymore.
I'm a very "nip-it-in-the-bud" kind of person and decided to start this healthy path now. I really like it, I feel better and am starting to tap in to the energy y'all have been talking about.
Well that's kind of my backstory, looking to read more of your progression
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:24 PM   #360
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I salute you, sir. I really dig the things you have to say, and the way put them into words. Your approach with regard to eating seems similar to mine. Although at 265 my start weight didn't put me in the same class as you, a lot of what you say resonates, such as how I feel when someone who has nary a clue tells me I'm "doing it wrong." I look forward to keeping up with this thread and watching you reach your goal. You clearly have the right mindset to do it.
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