Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
This Christmas was probably the greatest Christmas I have ever had. Here are 12 of the reasons why (sing it like the song, if you feel so inspired BUT know now that it won't match up to the tune in any way, manor, shape or form) . . .
Thursday, December 20, 2007
First off, my man Jez looked great. He lost 150 pounds and gained a ton of self confidence. I STILL think he could have/should have/would have won the entire season if not for bad politics on the part of Neil much earlier in the season but - such is life. He still won by losing in the long run.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Here is the point . . . calories count up QUICKLY in this world. Before you know it - you're wayyyyyy over whatever amount of calories you wanted to eat. Case in point . . .
Monday, December 17, 2007
I tell you this only because there was a very exciting twist to the usually dreaded task of packing last night. Since I only have one day of meetings (tomorrow), I decided to use my garment bag for packing. I put my suit in the garment bag and zipped it up.
That's right. Just in and zipped. I didn't have to fold the jacket over itself and then do the thing where you put the sleeves just so and then tuck the bottom of the coat back up as such - being sure to leave everything else perfectly flat at the same time.
In otherwords - my suits fit in a garment bag. No fancy moves or folding tricks required. Just in, zip and go. NO need to iron the entire suit tomorrow morning. NO worries about ruining my suit during travel (my formerly used magic packing moves are downright dangerous for wools) AND no need to send it out for a formal pressing upon my return either.
If my meeting goes HALF as well as the packing process . . . I'll be a happy, happy guy.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
There are SALADS out there with 1,500 calories in them!
There are TURKEY BURGERS with 1,400 calories and over 70 grams of fat in them!
And the clinker . . .
The Chili's Awesome Blossom (a la the Bloomin' Onion at Outback) has 2,700 calories (that is more than three days worth of calories for me) 203 grams of fat (that is almost seven days worth of fat) and more than 20 days worth of sodium!
And I used to eat an entire Awesome Blossom by myself back in the day.
Father, forgive me!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Another tradition of Fatty-Monday (as I, on this the 26th day of November, 2007 am declaring the henceforth nickname for the Monday after Thanksgiving - for all mankind for the rest of time - for those that want to just stand around and talk about how much they've eaten in the last five days and how delicious the misery was/is/will be) is, of course, standing around talking about how much everyone ate in the last five days and how delicious the misery was/is/will be!
This year, I have a new work environment in a new time zone but - the tradition remains the same. I've had no less than 15 chats about the Thanksgiving feasts my colleauges overdid-it-on and how much they enjoyed it. The weight of the Turkey. The size of the scoops of mashed potatoes. The kernels of corn eaten (to the nearest thousand) and, of course, the pie - and how many pieces and slivers they all ate and what variety.
One key difference this year . . . just a slight one . . . I have a new perspective on the holiday.
I had no "war stories" to share. NO tales of wonderment at how many mounds of Stove Top I could take down. NO wonderous boasts of entire pies disappearing through my mouth. NO belt loosening, pants unbuttoning, shirt untucking, forehead swetting, long nap taking misery to follow the meal and NO regrets about what I had eaten.
I was happy to listen to my co-workers go on and on. I laughed with them and smiled politely as they shared their great victories and woeful struggles from their never ending parades of food-bliss (leftovers really are the devil's tools) and I was happy to tell of the feast I put together for my wife's immediate family on Thursday and the great, great spread that Joy and her mother and Aunt Joyce and cousin Stephanie layed out for about 35 members of the extended family on Saturday. Everyone seemed to love every bite, I boasted. No one left hungry, I quipped. We'll have left overs through January, I lamented.
Alas, I could not share my own story though. How exciting is three to four ounces of white-meat turkey, some triscuits, some hummus, some Pepper-Jack cheese (not even low fat (I mean a guy has GOT to live it up on the Feast Day, right?)) anyway?
The ONLY boasting I could do is that I discovered a new dessert - four Whole Wheat Ritz crackers with 1/2 tablespoon of sugar-free, seedless Blackberry Jam on each (about 5 grams of sugar, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and about 95 calories total). And how much swaggart does that dish even bring to the table? I know, I know - NONE.
Anywho, as per everything lately . . . I was of course force to recount Thanksgivings gone by and how I would eat and eat and eat and how I would just make myself miserable with overeating all weekend long and how little I seemed to care at the time about calories and fat and sugar and protein and overall nutrition and the IMPACT of such eating on my health.
I was very thankful, to say the least, for my new attitude about Thanksgiving and for my new dessert - which I had again on Sunday - the binge CONTINUES (smile))!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
I can understand that. We are changing. Our bodies are getting smaller. Our minds are realizing all that we've been through and we're taking stock of who is in our life and why and how we might have never formed or kept relationships with people if we weighed "then" what we weigh "now" (or at least had the introspection we have now).
In my case - I've had a lot of these realizations. Forget people or ways I've acted - let's focus on tangable things . . . like clothes that are black. T-shirts with pockets. Pleated pants. Chicken McNuggets. Soda. Gum. All things I was once pretty sure I could not live without and - low and behold. I CAN. I DO. I PREFER IT! At the same time, things I once vowed to NEVER like . . . corduroys, white dress shirts, booths in restaurants and 3-D animated movies "starring" Angelina Jolie, for instance it turns out are all pretty okay.
Perhaps the things I wanted were never right or perhaps and perhaps the things I like now still aren't right but there is one thing that I've been perplexed to find no longer fits me . . . my wedding ring.
That is, of course, no "figurative" way of saying that I am unhappy in my marriage. To the contrary. Things are possibly better now that they ever were or perhaps ever could have been without my surgery. It is the ring itself that doesn't fit. It slips right off my finger. I have "lost" it a dozen or so times and spent hours searcing frantically for it. I have lost it in the laundry, lost it in moving boxes and, in one case, lost it in Lake Erie.
Today I realized I could take it NO MORE! I could never lose my ring and "survive" - I would be a mess. Anyone who was at my nuptuals to the lovely Joy could tell you that I cried like a baby the entire time I stood on that altar and waited for my band of white gold and it is much, much more to me than a simple piece of jewelry. It is a sign of my life, as I live it, as a husband and a man trying to improve for a wife he doesn't always deserve.
$22. That is all it is going to cost to have my wedding ring fit me again. It will be ready on Friday.
Now, if only all the things I've found in my life that no longer "fit" or that suddenly do "fit" were that cheap, quick and easy to fix.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Our bedroom and Ava's "big girl room" (we are no longer calling it a nursery for various reasons - many of which make us look slightly nutty so we won't get in to them here) and a bathroom are on the top floor. The main floor is our living room, dining room, kitchen, guest room, bathroom and Ava's playroom. The basement is our family room, a second kitchen, the third bathroom, the laundry room and a utility/work room. LOTS of space.
Now here is the kick . . . you have to go up and down stairs to get from Point A to Point B. For instance - we put Ava to bed at 7:00 PM at night. The beauty of Central Time is that primetime television starts at 7:00 too so we get her settled and then go to the basement to watch TV. Every up and down for Ava involves two flights of stairs.
Here is why I'm telling you this . . . I sort of let it slip last night that I don't know if I would have liked our house . . . much less loved it . . . eight months ago (before my surgery). Why? Too many gosh darned stairs.
I used to go out of my way to avoid even five or six stairs and I would never, in our house in Baltimore, go from basement to upstairs without a layover on the ground floor in the middle. We had looked at a condo when we first moved to Bethel that had stairs EVEYWHERE that I came up with other reasons to hate without telling Joy it was the stairs.
During my DC days I would not go to certain social functions based on the closest Metro stop and wether or not I would be willing to walk up the stairs from the platform to the gates or the gates to the street should the escalators be out of service and the elevator inconvinient. I used to avoid the "Courthouse" movie theater because of all the stairs you had to use to get to some of the theaters. My apartment was on the ground floor but you had to go up eight stairs to get to it . . . and some days I cursed all eight of those stairs. I was truly THANKFUL when I found out my workspace was on the ground floor at my last job. Even with elevators for use, I was still happy it was not an issue I would have to worry about.
I was just too fat and too out of shape to handle stairs when I was in DC and could not manage all the stairs in my life even just 2/3 of a year ago. I'm not proud to say that but I'm comfortable saying that, now.
Today I can bound up and down them several times an evening (as needed) and I don't look for reasons why I can't go basement to upstairs in one swift series of motions.
Joy looked at me when I told her my "stair secret" like she was sort of horrified, sort of sad for me and sort of relieved that I had the surgery when I did. Our house is all but perfect - it would have been a shame to have passed on it because of my weight and my inability, at the time, to be open and honest about how it impacted and limited my life.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
According to the article - a few simple actions can make all the difference . . .
• Plan ahead, bring food with you
• Drink plenty of water
• Choose grilled chicken, fish, meat
• Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
Finally a suggested diet that feels like just about every day to me. Here's what I'm packing (food and beverage wise) for my road trip . . .
1 - Four "Super Sized" Pure Protein Blueberry Crumb Cake protein bars (28g of Protein, 10g fat and 3g sugar in each bar). I'll eat one for dinner Tuesday night and then one for breakfast Wednesday morning with the other two as "safety" meals in case I can't find something else I want to eat (I should be home in time for dinner Wednesday night).
2 - A 1.5 Liter bottle of Glaceau's Smart Water - I'll nurse it all day Tuesday and will have it Wednesday morning too, just in case (room tempurature water doesn't scare me - it is apparently better for you and digestion anyway). I'll likely need more water along the way too but, that is why we stop to pee anyway, right? So we can put more fluids in our bodies?
3 - Three bags of "Smaller Hips Jalapeno Cheddar" Revival Diet Non-Naughty Nibbles. Don't let the name fool you - unlike "the pill" they may be MARKETED to womean, but they are ingestible by either gender. These snacks pack quite the flavor wallop and with only 100 calories and 7 grams of protein (0 grams sugar) they make a great road trip snack (or TV snack, for that matter).
Now, unlike when Joy made the trip two months ago - I will not be stopping for sit-down meals so I should make better time on the trip BUT I will be stopping every three hours to walk for 15 - 20 minutes and to just stretch my legs in general (I need my excercise daily, right?) and also, unlike Joy, I will probably rob a gas station somewhere around the Ohio/Indiana state line - just to prove that I can do ANYTHING after surgery.
Okay, that last part is a lie. Joy robbed a gas station too.
If you are the Indiana State Police.
Or the owners of the gas station.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Now I know, I know . . . STOP talking about your stupid pants, Sean. And I will try. I promise.
There is a point to this open love letter to the cotton twill pant - reread that first sentence. I was shopping for khakis IN a store IN the mall. Not CasualMaleXL. Not Rochester Big and Tall. Not Westport Big and Tall. Not even Men's Wearhouse. I was shopping for pants - and had options - in yet another store that - until very recently - only my skinnier counterparts could frequent for all their khaki needs.
There is good news and better news. First - it was great. They had brown, navy, olive, black and grey pants to choose from . . . they had two different inseams to choose from . . . they had pants made by four different companies to choose from . . . I HAD CHOICES in khakis. Second - I am another two inches smaller in the pants than I was just a month ago. I've lost 18 inches off my waist. 18. That is a foot-and-a-half to you and me. Ava's waist is not even 18 inches around to begin with. I've lost my daughter's waist from my waist . . . and then some.
Anywho - I didn't buy the khakis when it was all said and done. I couldn't find the right inseam/waist ratio and if you factor in the price of the pants and the price of the alteration - they were more expensive than the pants I could get at CasualMaleXL that come to my exact specifications.
What a great thrill though. Another store to shop in. Another 2" off my waist. Another of life's little moments after surgery that remind me how wonderful life after surgery really is.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Life, of course, could only be that simple for the four years we both spent at Quinnipiac. A lot has changed since then. Tom works for The View. He also writes a radio prep sheet for morning radio shows and he writes comedy and preforms stand up comedy. I work in Public Relations. We both have followed our paths and we both seem very, very happy in our choices and our chosen lifestyles.
That being said - we're just not as close as we once were. Not that anything happened or that we had a falling out or whatever . . . I mean, sure, there have been some issues along the way (we were friends, right? friends fight, right?!) but the main obstacle to our friendship has just been life itself. We have lived within 90 minutes of each other for 18 months - and I just saw Tom four days before I left town - and he came to see me on his way to a wedding up 95 from Stamford.
It was a great dinner, truth be told. It was nice to sit down with Tom, catch up, share some memories and talk about how different life is now v. 10 years ago when we thought we knew what the next decade might bring us.
Tom, of course, made a big deal of the new smaller me. He thought I was back down to my Freshman year weight (truth be told - I'm about 20 pounds heavier now than I was when we graduated so - I have about 80 more pounds to go to get back to Freshman year weight). I was just happy to think that I have undone almost a decade of weight gain and could still sit and enjoy a meal with a friend who knew me when . . .
The peace tour continues. And it feels great.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
- Eating disorder (27 percent)
- Uncontrolled mental disorder (20 percent)
- Current significant life stressors (11 percent)
- Lack of effort at following a formal diet program (8 percent)
- Lack of social support to cope with the transition after surgery (4 percent) - Unrealistic expectation of change (2 percent)
I, myself, had two significant mental problems that lead to my life of severe obesity. One, I was never really sure of myself as a child/adult/person and two, I was pretty sure that as long as I didn't know myself, I might as well keep on eating. I was crazy enough to think that I would find myself at the bottom of a bag of chips or at the crust of the last slice of pizza or in the bottom of a large soda or whatever.
I won't blame any one person or any one thing for my life or my weight. Well - I blame MYSELF for it, I suppose.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
FIRST - my mother is in the hospital. As I've mentioned many times, I come from heavy stock. My mother and father - while not nearly as heavy as I have been in my younger life (I still weigh more than them, frankly) BUT - they are much older and much more "entrenched" in their mentalities about food and diet. That being said - my mother is having some serious colon issues. She has diverticulitis and she has a perforation in her colon and she has only just started to realize that a lifetime of poor diet has had a terrible effect on my mother's health. She is facing the chance of multiple surgeries and she's been in the hospital five days already and the end is not yet in sight for her. My heart goes all the way out to her and I wish her a quick and full recovery, clearly, but the whole time I was at the hospital this weekend - I just kept thinking - THANK GOD I had this surgery before all the health demons under an unhealthy eater's bed came out and got me while I slept (or worse, while I was awake). I am so very, very sure that a far worse hand would have been dealt to me if I would have stayed on the path I was on. Get well soon, Mom. I love you very, very much and wish you all the best through this process.
SECOND - I have been busy prepping for my big drive west to Wichita. Once again, I have been thinking a lot lately about time and opportunities and how life is a funny thing. We have only driven out to Wichita together one other time. It was the summer of 2006 when we were waiting for Gracie to be born. I was in the high 400s at the time. The whole drive was almost painful. Crammed behind the wheel. Stuffed in the passenger seat. Only stopping long enough for gas and to eat, go the bathroom and sleep. I got to Wichita and I was so damned glad to be out of that car, I swam about two hours a day in Mom and Dad Terry's pool for the first two weeks we were in town. I lost about 20 or 25 pounds. Then, I got an ear infection - a pretty bad one - I was ordered out of the pool until I got better and then Ava was born and then we left . . . I wonder how much more comfortable the drive to Wichita will be next week and I wonder if being trapped in my car for two days will make me want to walk and walk and walk for miles and miles and miles when I get there. How much weight will I lose just being reunited with Joy and Ava and just having my heart back in one piece? I can't wait to find out . . .
THIRD - I am continuing my "peace tour" - it was great to be back in Upstate, New York this weekend and to get some Ithaca-in-October air in my lungs. My father and I went to collegetown so I could get a Cornell sweatshirt and we had to park a few hundred yards away from the store. As anyone who's been in Ithaca's collegetown before could tell you - it is pretty much all up and/or down hill to walk around. We had quite the climb to get to the sweatshirt store and my father didn't do so well. We had to pause in the middle of the hill for him to catch his breath and he sat in the store while I shopped to further recover from the climb. I, on the other hand, had no problem climbing the hill or shopping at the top . . . what a difference seven months has made . . . NO WAY I could have ever climbed that hill before my surgery. NO WAY I would have not been winded and NO WAY I would not have driven around for an hour looking for a closer parking spot to avoid the walk/climb. In the meantime, peace be with you - collegetown!
FOURTH - I have just posted to my blog - for the first time in almost a week.
PS - Jez, you are my hero! Keep it up, bruddah!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The only lowlight (overall - a very upbeat and fun session) was something that I don't know if anyone but me in the room even realized or took as a slight but, in my beady little brain . . . there was another sign that no matter where you are, people will sell you short because of your weight.