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Old 08-28-2013, 05:52 AM   #511
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Z, you've never had exploded eggs from the microwave topped with cheese?? mmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:40 AM   #512
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What's that?
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:04 AM   #513
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i mean, you crack your eggs in a microwave safe bowl, break the yolks, cover and put them in the microwave for a minute or less (depending on the power of the microwave and the number of eggs). they will violently pop and crackle, but you get some good messy eggs out of it! do not overcook or they will be rubbery. Try it!
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:00 PM   #514
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14 more pounds before this joke will apply to me.

{sigh}

250-Pound Man Sadly In Best Shape Of His Life | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:37 AM   #515
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I'm still going strong on my renewed 'tightning of the belt'. Chopping kielbasa into thirds to split up the carbs over 3 meals, cutting down on onions (surprisingly high in sugar), and cutting out the less commonly recognized sugars like lactose and fructose.

In order to make sure that I am fully on track - and to identify errors of judgement early on, I have picked up a box of ketostix. You will be pleased to hear that I am in a medium heavy state of ketosis.

Vigilance is key.

My goals are simple, and achievable.

1. 250 lbs by December 31st.
2. 200 lbs by the following December 31st.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:26 AM   #516
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I lean on eggs pretty heavily for my nutritional input - and not just for breakfast. One of the dangers of a ketogenic diet is relying too heavily on the same foods over and over, until eventually you snap and have to eat something - ANYTHING - else.

This is where so-called 'slips' come in to play. And a slip every 3 weeks is at best a maintenance diet. The best defense against this inevitable downfall is a steely determination, but we are all only human, and even the deepest reservoir of determination will eventually run dry if it is tested without respite.

For this reason, the second best defense is no less important: Creativity in the kitchen.

For example. Today for breakfast I had the following:

10 oz prewashed and sliced mushrooms (4.5g net carbohydrate)
1 can of artichoke hearts (6g net carbohydrate)
1 tin of kippered herring fillets (0g net carbohydrate)

I started by frying the mushrooms in a third of a stick of butter. Then I halved and added the artichoke hearts (along with a bit of the citric acid they can it in). Finally, I added the herring fillets and chunked them up with the spatula so it would all blend into the mushrooms and chokes.

10.5g of carbohydrate is a little more than half of my daily allowance, but now it will be much easier for me to coast the day out on eggs and, if needed, broccoli.

I'm making a point to remember to eat before I leave the house. I will not reach my goals by trusting others to cook for me.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:15 AM   #517
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I like your breakfast and varied eating strategy Z. Sounds like you are on a fast track to 250! Hope you have a great day today too.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:10 AM   #518
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When I quit smoking, there was a webpage I spent a lot of time at. There was a term for people who would quit smoking two or three times a week, every week, for months at a time.

We called them the unquit - A parallel to the undead. Constantly stuck between two worlds - and left with the worst of both. You see, the only way to put an end to the mindbending and incessant cigarette cravings is to stop smoking altogether. But living in this middle ground ensures that the one not only suffers the health effects of being a smoker - but also the withdrawals of cessation.

Apply the same principle to food, and this is exactly what I was going through a few months ago, - and I'm still paying for it now. I'm completely submerged in ketosis, and the carbohydrate withdrawals are hitting me like a tank. I'm having trouble concentrating, sleeping, waking up, and I'm generally enjoying all of the wonderful effects of moving through the incipient phases of a ketogenic diet.

Checked the scale today: 266.6

266 has been tormenting me like a persistent telemarketer with an impossibly short to do list for the last few months. It doesn't matter if I work out or not. It doesn't matter if I eat before sleeping or not. 2 pounds of steak, or 2 eggs - it doesn't make any difference at all. 266 keeps slapping me in the face with the ferocity of a malevolently timed cartoon anvil.

Despite the best efforts of 266 to break my will, I have noticed some changes that indicate a drop is in the works. I'm down to a 47 inch waist, for example - so my new pants finally fit.

I am fortunate to have the benefit of experience. I know - KNOW - the relief is a few weeks away. I know that once I move past the discomfort, I will find myself having a more consistent energy level - and that my concentration will return. I know that a week might show no progress, but that the months will. I know that I will sail through Thanksgiving - because who wants to do this crap again? That it is not the food, but family and friends that give meaning to such gatherings. I know that I have set very realistic, very achievable goals. I know that I have all the time in the world to get to them - and that it won't take all the time in the world if I stay conscientious. I know that weight is just a number - and that my current number already represents a monumental shift towards a healthy life. I know that once I let go, I don't really miss the things I cannot eat - Even when I am off-plan I order my burgers without sauce and without bread. I know that this only becomes easier once I take the things that do not belong in this diet off the table - When I no longer allow myself to romanticize a potato. I know that self-denial is the key to self actualization.

It's hard after you've been in the mix for a while to find things to write about, primarily because it can be hard to find things to stay fired up about. From time to time though, it is important to find something to be fired up about. Some goal, some experience, some obstactle - anything to keep your head in the game. The erosion of determination is a dangerous thing, because if you aren't playing to win there's no reason to turn down that slice of pizza.

Yesterday I had my first full intensity workout in a few months. I'm doing it again today. I'm upping the eggs, and the steak, and I'm cutting the deli meats. In pursuit of a number, yes - but it is a number which represents progress towards the more important goal.

If you don't keep score, the game has no meaning at all.
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:25 AM   #519
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Another great post, Z. Glad you are back in the 'game'. With your determination, that number will soon be a distant memory. I hung around the '200' number for a year, it was like a spectre kept its finger on the scale, and I couldn't see any progress. But persistance paid off, and here I am- 182.5 today. It's not effortless, but it does become easier each day you stick to the plan.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:03 AM   #520
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Z. . . wish there was a "like" button for your posts. very inspirational and hits home for me. Being a smoke quitter for almost 6 years, I know exactly what you're talking about. I have a friend who "quits" over and over and over again. Her mistake? Nicotine patches and inhalers. I told her that is a load of hooey, and that stuff is only keeping her in the clutches of her addiction! Her choice though. I still love her.

Anyway, about your post. . . . . LIKE
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:27 AM   #521
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Originally posted in a different thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z View Post
9/25 - 262.6 - Good, good - Movement, and in the correct direction. It's amazing how 2 and a half pounds can be nothing at all, or it can be an insurmountable distance. 12.6 pounds away from my end of year goal... it's right there. If I find my groove, that could be three weeks. If I don't that could be three months.

I'm changing up my strategy a bit. In order to maintain metabolism, I'll eat the same high calorie, high protein, high fat, low carb diet that I've been eating. But for only one day a week, I'm going to restrict fat and calories along with carbs.

"Why," you ask?

While in the state of ketosis, one's body turns to fat for its fuel. This is good, but the metabolism doesn't recognize the difference between dietary fat, and stored fat -- save that it seems to prioritize the burning of dietary fat.

Eating a high calorie, high fat diet keeps the metabolism hungry and active. The hypothesis is that one day a week, I can pull the rug out from under my metabolism and force it to turn on my excess adipose tissue. However, unlike prolonged starvation tactics, I will be return to HFLC from LFLC after a single day - preventing the dreaded slow metabolism.

This is, of course, an experiment based on a hypothesis. Maybe it works in the long term, or maybe I adapt. But for now, it seems to be working.
In the beginning, losing 2 pounds a week is one of the worst things you can imagine - especially if you started off more than 100 pounds overweight. In the beginning, you're dropping 8 pounds one week, and 12 the next. The first 50 pounds are a blur once ketosis sets in and you're underway. But gradually that rate of loss starts to sputter, until it grinds to a halt altogether. 3 weeks with no change. 5 weeks with no change. The sageish veneer of patience starts to crack and peel, and you're left wondering if it's even possible for you to hit your goal - Wondering if maybe your dietary strategy was ultimately the wrong one.

What it is easy to lose sight of, is that something did change in all that time between losing 14 pounds in a single week, and hitting an unbreakable plateaux for months at a time.

You Changed

This is why we work so hard to understand the underlying mechanics of our diet. This is where all that reading comes into play. You see, there's a reason you're wearing pants that are 12 inches smaller around the waist: You got smaller. Almost 90 pounds smaller in my case. The strategy that got you here was tailored for a person who is much bigger than you. A person who had much more to lose - And ironically, much to gain from doing so.

I recalculated my BMR, and re-evaluated my eating habits. I looked for some opportunity to improve my system. My intake is in a good place - immeasurably better than a year and two months ago. I keep a large amount of fat in my diet to ensure that my metabolism stays primed to burn fat, but the needle on the scale stopped moving.

So I made the change that made sense to me: Keep doing what I'm doing - but for one day a week, turn the ketosis against my stored fat, instead of dietary fat.

In short, I'm restricting my intake, one day a week.

I'm not exactly starving myself to accomplish this - I have a single large meal on this day - but it is not the equivalent of three meals. A small change that turns my natural propensity toward laziness into a strength. All I have to do is not cook anything, all day.

These days, 2 pounds is fantastic news. After being stuck at 266 for a brief eternity, I found myself at 262.2 this morning. Because I understand the mechanics of my diet, I was able to find a way to restart the loss cycle - at least for now. Maybe this will work for a few months. Maybe it will see me the rest of the way to 155. If I can just keep my average at 2 pounds a week, I'll be under 200 lbs in 7 months.

And if I can't - it'll take longer. But one way or another, I'm finding a way to my goal.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:42 PM   #522
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Glad you're back in the game. I so enjoy reading your posts!
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:26 AM   #523
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A very close friend came to visit last this month. She has moved to a carb-restricted diet. For her last night in town, we went to a nice restaurant for some proper eats. Of course, the first thing they do is set some fresh bread on the table between us, along with a selection of spreads. One of them, judging by the taste, was made of some combination of three cheeses, butter, and unicorn milk.

My friend said something that really resonated with me:

"Bread tastes like failure"

This spawned a back and forth sort of game that has brought me endless delight for the last few weeks. You think of any of those foods you can't have, and associate it with failure. The association is real, but the language really drives it home.

Peanut Failure and jelly
Failure and Meatballs
Ben and Failure's ice cream (Phailure Food)
Whole Failure Bread
Oatfailure
Failure split sundae
German-Failure cake
Stuffed Tortellini al-failure
Deep Dish Failure
Failure and schmear
a Butterfailure candy bar
Coffee and Failure-nuts
Failure Chip Cookies
Pancakes and maple failure
Nacho Failure Doritos

Sometimes the name wasn't the joke, but the preparation

Lasagne -- 5 layers of failure filled with failure and topped with failure.
Taco bell -- "I'll have a 7 layer failure"
Recipes -- "This recipe calls for a cup and a half of failure"





It's a joke of course, but there is more than a nugget of truth to it. Bread and pizza and ice cream and chocolate ARE the taste of failure. It is the short-term delight that brings long-term destruction.

And now, on those days that it would just be much easier to eat something off-plan, I find myself saying "I don't want that - It tastes like failure."
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:29 AM   #524
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Been reading your journal and want to congratulate you on your progress. You have truly transformed yourself! You are almost down to where I started from, but I will wager your health is now much better than mine was when I started this woe at 250 lbs. After nine months my blood tests are now normal and I started from the "pre-diabetic" area, and my cholesteral was approaching how you described yours In an early post.

A side effect of this woe is the improved health that kicks in long before we even approach goal weight. That already achieved milestone is a daily reminder to me to "keep the faith". I can appreciate your temptations at work. I'm retired now, but years ago I had a sign above my desk that read, "Real programmers don't eat quiche, We eat Twinkies, pizza, snickers . . . ." When difficult projects had been attacked, the desk top would be littered wiith the "bones" of work hours past.

Then there was "the sharIng". Its hard to resist when friends try to give us their offerings of kindness. God deliver us from our well-meaning friends that are killing us with kindness in their offerings of hand nade sweets, baked goods, and pasta.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:55 AM   #525
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Thank you for stopping by, Chuck41!

Between the kindness of our co-workers, the endless carbohydrate gauntlet, and the concern of our friends trying to save us from ourselves, it's a wonder we ever manage to adhere to LC long enough to see the transformation at all.

My health is far better at 262 on the way down than it was at 262 on the way up. 260 is hardly an ideal weight, but I'm a much stronger 260 than I was the last time - precisely because I've worked my way to this place. I've got a long way to go yet, but I could never possibly express how much happier I am now.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:08 PM   #526
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I've spent hours today reading your journal, from first post to last. It was moving and inspiring.
I think your writing may be more addictive than food. Our journey and our struggle may be different but so much that you speak of resonates deeply with me. I appreciate your honesty and wisdom. Thank you Z-man.
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:51 PM   #527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaGetz View Post
I've spent hours today reading your journal, from first post to last. It was moving and inspiring.
I think your writing may be more addictive than food. Our journey and our struggle may be different but so much that you speak of resonates deeply with me. I appreciate your honesty and wisdom. Thank you Z-man.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

It's been quite a journey, in this relatively brief period of time. Indeed, my life has changed more in this last year than in the decade leading up to it. In retrospect, the kind of internal and fundamental changes of character required to see this kind of weight loss through must by their very nature be the sort of changes that will have sweeping effects throughout one's life. It is inherent to the nature of attacking one's root causes that the ramifications will be manifold, and sometimes unanticipated. Put simply, when you dam the river upstream, all of the tributaries will run dry - even the ones you didn't know about.

I've made some progress, yes - more than I imagined to be possible - but I've still got a long way to go. Even at that, it'll be no time at all before I will find myself shouldering an avoirdupois that I deem to be suitable. A year or three down the road - a fraction of the rest of my life - and my days of being obese, or even overweight will be behind me.

This is where I count myself lucky. Not in my confidence that the goal is attainable, but in the understanding that reaching my desired weight is not the goal. I have the benefit of the collective wisdom and folly of those who have come before me. People who have made incredible transformations by force of willpower, personal effort, even drastic surgical procedure, only to manage to turn the corner a second time, thinking they've won the game, and gain back every pound they fought so hard to lose. Getting to that place on the scale will be cause for celebration, but it is not the finish line. It is the new beginning.

With 40 looming only a few years into my future, I find myself starting over again, again. Alone for the first time since I was 22, changing professions and geography again, struggling to believe that there is anything waiting for me at the other end of this personal cataclysm that could be worth my effort. How can the world ever be good again, when so many of my treasured assumptions have been laid to waste?

This is where irony steps in to save the day. Because one of the assumptions utterly immolated in the conflagration, was the belief I could not be happy as a single man.

Happiness, for now at least, is freedom. The opportunity to focus on myself - to take the kind of risks that I need to take if I am ever to achieve any real success in this life.

So I am quitting this job that I hate so much, and moving back to Portland to be among friends and family. I have some grand schemes, but nothing so solid as an actual job. What I have instead is a belief that I can bring my vision to fruition.

Addressing a root cause allows for the resolution of all downstream problems.

Just because a goal takes years to accomplish does not mean that it is out of reach. You just have to plan a little harder, and have a little faith in yourself. Whether you succeed or fail, you will never regret having tried.
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:33 PM   #528
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You appear to be well in control of your future and life is way too short to waste it in a job you don't like and seperated from those you love. Good luck in your move. Such changes always come with eager anticipations of tomorrows experiences. I am sure Portland will be better for your relocation as you bring your visions to fruition.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:55 AM   #529
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And so it begins.

The leaves now fully engrossed in the colorful dance of their demise, the inescapable briskness of the morning air growing more pronounced with every passing day. Even for the most gifted of denialists, it is clear: Summer is over.

Summer has yielded to the immediate frigidity of autumn, heralding a time of year that is notoriously the bane of all weight loss efforts, and of unrivaled pertinency to the low carb adherent. Three simple months that can very easily reverse an entire year of progress. Even as I write this, innumerable trucks are spiriting an inestimable mass of Halloween candy to every grocery store in the nation. The candy was always there, but starting today it takes the front seat. The holiday lasts only a single evening, but the real tradition - the month-long feast of Snickers, Tootsie Rolls, carameled apples, of zucchini bread and pumpkin soup - begins today.

Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Year's Eve. A perfect storm of traditionally mandated dietary debauchery.

If weight loss / maintenance was a sport, This would be the Championship. Last year, I decided to participate in Thanksgiving, and while I managed to lose weight between October 1 and January 1, I lost a month and a half of weight loss progress to a few days of dietary non-compliance. More damaging is that it set a precedent for justifying failure. In January I had pizza. For a week. Then in February. My entire summer was spent falling off and getting back on, because once you lose that sense of urgency and priority, it's entirely too easy to say "I'll just jump back on tomorrow"

This year, having played with fire last year, I will meet this most trying of seasons with a new tack:

No candy.
No pie.
No cake.
No potatoes.
No Grandma's special recipe.
No beer.
No spiced rum.
No pizza.
No bread.
No doughnuts.
No nog.
No excuses.

This year, I will resist the pressure from every angle, because food should never be a requirement. Friends, family, and co-workers will, out of the genuine goodness of their hearts, attempt to sway me from my chosen path. They believe that they are giving me permission to enjoy myself for a day. I will thank them, and decline their offers. Getting below 200 lbs is far more rewarding than a slice (or 5) of pie.

To my advantage is the progress I've already made. Anyone who really pushes the point can be neatly put in their place with a simple reminder. "Remember when I was most of the way to 400 pounds? Remember when I could barely manage to get out of a chair? When getting off the floor was an task of herculean proportions? Remember when I couldn't tie my own shoes, or when I couldn't sleep without extra padding to keep myself from dislocating a shoulder? When I couldn't keep up on the trail -- with my 80 year old grandfather? That was one year ago."

It pains me to say it - itself an indication of my addiction - but a single fun-sized snickers will send me on a year-end bender from which I will not recover until mid-february. If I recover at all.

I will stay my course no matter the resistance I meet, and in one year I will look back on today with the same sense of transformation and disbelief that I now enjoy.

Thank you to all have read, and especially to those of have responded over this last year. You have been a source of strength for me in my darkest times. I wish you all success in the coming months.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #530
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And....may you continue on with your marvelous success!

You have such a wonderful way with words.....love reading your posts.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:10 AM   #531
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..but a single fun-sized snickers will send me on a year-end bender from which I will not recover until mid-february. If I recover at all.

TRUTH
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:02 AM   #532
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Love what you say about the importance of not "losing that sense of urgency and priority"...that makes all the difference for me. When I'm at my goal weight I've a tendency to become complacent and stop weighing every day. Inevitably the lbs. creep back over time because I've allowed myself to, as you say, lose a sense of urgency, priority, and vigilance.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:25 AM   #533
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Quote:
Thank you to all have read, and especially to those of have responded over this last year. You have been a source of strength for me in my darkest times. I wish you all success in the coming months.
I, for one, am walking this journey right along with you and it hasn't been easy for me, either.

I agree with the Snickers bar. I've had my slips. The great part is, you've proven to yourself that you can stay the course.

Onwards to better health!
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:20 AM   #534
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Z. . . I just want to thank you for doing all this thinking out loud and being able to put the pen to paper. You have helped more than you know.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:47 AM   #535
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LolaGetz View Post
Love what you say about the importance of not "losing that sense of urgency and priority"...that makes all the difference for me. When I'm at my goal weight I've a tendency to become complacent and stop weighing every day. Inevitably the lbs. creep back over time because I've allowed myself to, as you say, lose a sense of urgency, priority, and vigilance.
ITA. complacency is my personal killer and the reason I have sat so close to goal for so long. I love your writing Z, keep at it.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:39 AM   #536
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Five and a half weeks. That's how long until I walk out of this job for good and move back to Portland, Oregon.

Being good isn't easy. Candy and carbs are more plentiful than air around here these days. All of the sugar free energy drinks have been taken out of the vending machines. Chicken and pizza and burgers and burritos everywhere.

I take that back. It's not hard to stay compliant with my diet - but opportunities to screw up are everywhere. Not just passive bowls of candy, but people actively offering me foods from my former life. It's tempting, at first.

Then I remember how my clothes from last year fit me like a train-hopping drifter.

How I'm at the lowest weight I've seen since... I don't know. I guess since before I started keeping count. Before I realized how big of a problem I was hurdling towards. I mean... on the way up, 250 was chunky, to be sure. But it wasn't a big deal - It was less than ideal, but ultimately it wasn't really holding me back. Or so I thought.

Now, On the way down, I realize that 250 (260 if you want to be a jerk about it) is still 100 pounds away from my destination. Oddly enough, It was 100 pounds from my destination on the way up, too.

I'm so excited to be claiming health back. Like coming inside next to the fire after walking 5 miles in the arctic snowdrift. On its own, with no external point of reference, home is just 4 walls and a bed and a thermostat. But as a reprieve from exceptionally harsh conditions, it becomes something more than that. The greatest comfort comes as the result of being relieved of a great discomfort. Air conditioning in the summer, or heat in the winter - or a restroom after making it 200 miles further than you thought you'd have to drive...

That's what it's like to be where I am now. Before, it was simply a state of being - now it is a state of relief - and escape from a prison of extreme adiposity.

Sure I'm still fat, but I'm half way home. I'm more focused now than ever. I'm keeping my eye on the prize, and I'm still making progress after all this time. Everything below my current weight is the new frontier. I'll be able to say things like "it's been 12 years since I weighed this little"

I'm turning back the clock, in a big way. It's a relief to have something in life to look forward to.
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:46 AM   #537
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"That's what it's like to be where I am now. Before, it was simply a state of being - now it is a state of relief - and escape from a prison of extreme adiposity."

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Old 10-17-2013, 04:12 AM   #538
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I have a bad habit of owning only one pair of pants. More than that just seems wasteful to me - especially with all the clothes I've been leaving behind. Unfortunately, sometimes the behind leaves me first. My slacks ripped at the seam the other day - all the way up the back. So I grabbed my previous pair of pants and a belt, and walked on down to Men's Wearhouse hoping to find a pair of slacks... Nothing even remotely in my size.

As a last ditch effort, I head over to Target looking for a pair of 48w jeans. The biggest size they had? 46. I can't go to work without pants, and I'm not going to wear my hilariously oversized clown slacks to the office, so I bite the bullet and grab the one pair of 46x30 pants.

Imagine my surprise when they not only fit, but were a little loose - even after washing them. A little over a year ago, my waist size was 59". That's a foot and an inch of circumference, gone. Where does it go? I have no idea. but it's gone. And it's going quickly. Taking a day out every week to reduce my consumption really seems to be putting me back on a consistent losing cycle. 6.6 pounds away from my year end goal, and it's really starting to seem attainable.


The first wave of clothes that I've rescued from the 'it'll fit again someday' box are now going into the 'Never again' box.

It's nice how these little victories keep adding up. I wonder what the next 90 pounds will bring.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:01 AM   #539
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That is an amazing feat!!!! It gets even more exciting when your "skinny" clothes are too big
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:53 AM   #540
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This story made me smile. Congratulations! I know that is an amazing feeling!!

I love happy endings. Especially to perceived crises.
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