Monday, December 10, 2007

Don't give up on me, loserblog.

I'm not giving up on you.

I'm not losing weight. I've gained back what I'd lost, plus a few. But I will start again. Sometime in the next month. I'll jump on the January bandwagon and see if I can hang on longer than everyone else.

Don't give up on me, kid. I'm still here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Week Si--errr, Seven Weigh-In: Get Back, JoJo

Starting Weight: 477.4 lbs
Week 7 Weigh-in: 465.0 lbs
Weekly Gain: 0.4 lbs
Total Loss: 12.4 lbs


I took a week off and didn't weigh in. I used my birthday as an excuse. That was dumb.

So was eating too much birthday cake.

But in two weeks, I've gained less than half of a pound, which is a blessing. I think I may be starting to run out of these blessings, and I need to get my butt in gear.

Speaking of in gear, I rode my bike around my apartment complex for about ten minutes yesterday. Not a lot, but it was fun. And cold. I need to bundle up better.

I haven't been counting points. I know. I know. I'm gonna.

Part of the problem is that I didn't really go to the grocery store last week, with all the other stuff going on in the week. I didn't write out my October budget, so I didn't have the cash ready, so I didn't want to go, so I ended up eating out too much. And while I did make a few good choices, I made a lot of bad ones.

Anyway. Here I am. And hopefully tonight, I can get back to where I once belonged--losing 5-7 pounds a week and finally making some progress again.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Week 5 Weigh-in: Better Late than Never

Starting Weight: 477.4 lbs
Week 5 Weigh-in: 464.6 lbs
Weekly Loss: 1.6 lbs
Total Loss: 12.8 lbs


It's Thursday, I know, I know.

Despite a half-hearted week, I lost a pound and a half (or, a pound plus the little I gained). And I have to confess, this week so far is the same thing. I'm only half-heartedly committed right now. I don't want to point, I don't want to count, I don't want to limit.

Right now, as I'm typing this, I'm eating a Snickers bar and drinking a verboten root beer. I pointed the bar but not the drink. This is what I'm talking about. Half-hearted.

I need a renaissance of commitment. And I find myself unwilling to do that before Monday. Cuz nobody but nobody wants to point their birthday cake.

Here we are, gang. My first real valley of decision, in this go-round of dieting. (I wanted to type "this last go-round," but right now, I don't have the confidence in myself to say this is the final countdown for me.) This is the point where I fell away earlier in the year. I received the diet with joy, but when the sun rose and scorched the earth, I withered because I had no roots.

So that's my prayer for the week. That this new approach to eating, this new lifestyle, will dig deep roots in me, and find the ground water down there to help it survive and thrive.

I'm tired to death of being a fat man.

(Happy Birthday, BigLoserDave. Give yourself a present this year. Make a change.)

Friday, October 5, 2007

BigLoserDave's Tip of the Week.

Even if you're using the Weight Watchers' recipe for peanut butter cookies, if you eat the whole batch in the space of 3 days, it's still not good for you. Idiot.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"Biggest Loser" Commentary: Temptation Challenge

Something I meant to talk about, from last week's show (Week 3):

First, seems like everyone had a low week. The initial huge losses are now being followed by a small loss. It's easy to get disheartened. I'm going through it too. (Though obviously, I was doing other stuff that caused my gain.) But it's a good thing to remember. Even people who put up big numbers on a regular basis have small weeks.

So, the Blue Team made a couple of really bad decisions last week. First, they voted off Jerry. Dumb, dumb, dumb. He was the one who'd lost the most weight, and who'd been a true team captain. My prediction is that they are now going to be less focused, and there will be more in-fighting.

The bigger mistake last week involved the "Temptation" challenge. Basically, they were sent one-by-one into a room with a bunch of really deliciously-looking forbidden food, where they had to stay for 4 minutes before leaving. They were told that the person who consumed the most calories would get a 3-lb pass to add to their weight loss at the upcoming weigh-in.

There was some miscommunication, and two Blue Team members ended up indulging in the food, each consuming over a thousand calories in the space of that four minutes. The "winner" of the challenge ate almost 1900 calories. (Turns out, she would have lost the most weight on her team, even without it.) And with all the talk of "for the team," I couldn't help but recognize the greedy look in their eyes. I've worn that look myself, I'm sure, countless times. And I lost sympathy for them in that moment. I almost felt like they were transgressing, in a sense. Betraying their mission.

Here's my question: If I'm on a show where losing weight and learning to eat right is the goal, why the heck would I jeopardize this progress by pigging out "for the sake of the team"? If I had to go into that room, I would have grabbed a chair as far away from the food as possible to wait out my required time.

That's the kind of tenacity I would have to have. Or, do have to have. I didn't have it this weekend, and I'm furious with myself about it. These have to be lifestyle choices, decisions that I keep having to make every day, because it's the smart thing to do and it's what's best for me.

Temptations are going to come, on this diet. But I can't make excuses about how it's "okay" this time or that time. I can't get in the habit of justifying pigging out. Because all it does is set me back and weaken my slowly strengthening resolve.

So yeah, that's the craziness that transpired last week. I'll give you an update tomorrow with my thoughts on tonight's new episode (at 7:30 CST, if you want to watch with me).

Week 4 Weigh-in: Slipping but not Sliding.

Starting Weight: 477.4 lbs
Week 4 Weigh-in: 466.2 lbs
Weekly Loss: -0.6 lbs
Total Loss: 11.2 lbs


Yeah, I gained back a half-pound this week, but considering how I know I was eating, that half-pound is a mercy.

I spent most of this past week at my parents' house, taking care of siblings and keeping everything together while the folks took a much-needed weekend vacation. As such, I was cooking for (or buying meals out for) not only myself, but my sibs. My folks also keep a lot of snack foods in the house. While they did provide me with good options, the bad ones were right there beside them. When the good stuff ran out, I just kept on with the bad. And so it goes.

Really, if we're being honest, the half-pound gain is really a 6-pound or so gain, since I lost any ground I would have made up this week, too. Thinking about it that way makes me a little more frustrated.

Not only that, but I slipped into my old eating habits. I was always munching on something (or, in some cases, a lot of somethings), and not stopping myself. At least at work, it's easier (believe it or not) because there are constant distractions. There's work. That keeps me occupied. At "home," I had nothing to distract me, and I kept snacking as I sat and watched TV or played video games.

I think I'm running into the dichotomy of "diet vs. lifestyle change." I have been treating this exercise like a diet that I will go on and then go off. But it has to be more. It has to be a conscious change in how I live, from now on. So that's the goal now, to make that change permanent. That's why the up-and-down inconsistent food intake I've been dealing with has been so problematic. I can't live like that. I need to find a good "food" rhythm so that I can make these changes part of how I live, instead of something I'm just doing for a while.

So here we are. Some ground lost (or pound gained, if you like.) I slipped, but didn't slide. We're back up. I'm hitting the grocery store tonight to restock my house with good things, and we're back in the game.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Week 3 Update: Bacon is baaaaad.

Starting Weight: 477.4 lbs
Week 3 Weigh-in: 465.6 lbs
Weekly Loss: 5.5 lbs
Total Loss: 11.8 lbs


Another five and a half gone. You'd think I'd be a little more excited about this than I am. I don't know. I don't think I'll actually start getting "excited" until there are visible changes, which probably won't be for another month at this rate.

(Speaking of visible changes, I need to get a haircut. Wakka wakka wakka. Nevermind.)

I have a few concerns at this point. One is that I may be undereating. Ha ha, yeah, I know, right? But I've been hit with some really serious hunger pains this week, as well as the occassional weakness issues (similar to when I've fasted). I wonder if I should take the slower-loss approach the WW website recommends, and eat all of the points I'm allotted, including the bonus bank of points each week. I've gotten scolded twice by the website for losing weight too fast.

Yet, when you're as big as I am, you can't afford to do this 2 pounds a week business. It will take forever, and I don't want it to. I want to get healthy as soon as I possibly can, and while I'm obviously not starving myself, I'm probably not eating quite as much as I'm allowed some days. I don't know. It's a balancing act. I don't want to commit to this half-way. If I'm gonna do it, then I'm gonna really do it, you know? No more messing around; my health is too important now.

I did okay this week. Went over a few days, but if I was going to go over, I tried to pick better things to go over with. This is where shopping wisely is paramount. If you don't have crap on hand, you won't eat crap. Kind of makes sense. I left about 15 points in the bank. As I said, not sure if that was good or not.

As for the title: bacon is pretty bad for me, one of the fattiest meats. But I had a package of center-cut bacon in the fridge, so I decided to fry it up and split it with my dad, who was over that night. That way, I'm only eating half of it. I mixed mine with eggs and cheese, and spooned the scrambled goodness in some half-pitas with a little bit of honey mustard. Tasty.

However, that bacon sat on my stomach like a brick all night, and into the next day. And I said to myself, "Self--bacon does not agree with your digestion. Stay away from bacon." And I said, "You know what, self? That's an astute observation. You know, you're a pretty sharp cat." And I said, "Why thank you, self. I appreciate that coming from someone with such distinguished taste." And I replied, blushing, "Oh, go on, now you're just being flattering." But I retorted, "No, self, I am quite sincere. You're a pretty righteous dude, and it's a privilege to know you." And I smiled winningly and responded, "Believe me, self, the privilege is mine." And so on and so forth for a half-hour longer.

So what have we learned this week? I'm alarmingly self-assured. And bacon is bad.

Weekly goals: Aside from the usual stuff, I need to work on incorporating more activity into my day. I only got to the gym once this past week, for a 25 minute cardio session. I need to make this more of a habit. Of course, this week will be difficult, since I'm house-and-sister-sitting for the folks for half the week. But hopefully I can take advantage of that great track around my parent's house called a...what was it? ... Oh yeah, "sidewalk."

Okay then. I'll keep you posted. Happy eating, but no bacon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Week 2(ish) Weigh-In.

Starting Weight: 477.4 lbs
Week 2 Weigh-in: 471.1 lbs
Weekly Loss: 6.3 lbs
Total Loss: 6.3 lbs

I started "pointing" last Tuesday, so this is really a 6-day total, but I wanted to get on the board.

What's sad is the fact that I'm a little disappointed by this. On Friday, my loss was over 8 pounds, and somehow between then and now, I gained back a pound and a half. ("Somehow"--like I don't already know.)

Fact is, my first falter was this weekend, a whole five days into the process. Weekend transgressions include: 1 pint of chocolate milk; 1 pint of chocolate ice cream; 1 full-cal Cafe Mocha from Starbucks; 1 chocolate donut from Starbucks. All the striving and careful eating that took place (including carefully chosen meals at Chili's, Chipotle, and Freebird's!) were nearly undone by the dreaded sweets. Hard habits to break.

I went to the grocery store on Saturday. Stocked up on "the good stuff" and avoided buying the bad (save for the choc-milk and ice cream). So I don't have any of the bad stuff in the house now.

I think I'm going to be okay. This first week was tough, but the first 2-3 weeks is always tough. Once I hit my stride, and start seeing some real results, I think I'll be all right.

(Yes, "real" results. To some of you folks, 6 pounds is a huge deal, but when I'm staring down the barrel of a sub-250 goal weight, it's just one small step on a long and winding road. "Boy, you're gonna carry that weight...")

Happy eating, friends and neighbors.

The *new* New Zero.

Okay, I'm ready to recommit to this. I was wishy-washy for the months (?!) but now I'm on board.

So the new zero last Tuesday was: 477.4 pounds.

And we begin again. I'm back to "pointing food." I'm starting to be more active. I'll report all of this to you in this forum now, including some recaps and commentary on this season of "The Biggest Loser." I'll post on the premiere later today, or tomorrow morning.

But first, my first update.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The New Zero

I've been afraid of posting, because I've been falling down, falling off the wagon. My diet attempts have stalled.

I got back on the scale today for only the second time in the last three or four weeks. I need to. It's time to.


Weight: 452.8
Gain Since Last Weigh-In: 4.0 lbs.

So, 452.8 is the new "zero." And it's time to start again.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Update: Week 4

We'll call this one "Good News, Bad News." As always, let's take the bad news first.

Weekly Weigh-in: 448.2
Weekly Weight Loss: -7.0 pounds
Total Weight Loss: a negligible 1.3 pounds

It's official. I'm back to square one.

I'm so incredibly frustrated. Yet at the same time, I'm not surprised. I guess I thought somewhere in the back of my head that I'd somehow get away with making bad choices, and still come out losing weight. But this just isn't the case. Bad choices equal bad results.

I'm past the point of simple self-chastisement. I'm downright angry with myself. Furious. I have been given a gift--life, health, and full functionality--and I'm wasting it. Throwing it away for the sake of chocolate milk and little chocolate donuts and cheeseburgers and pizza. It's not worth it.

This junk food, this sugar, it's not worth my life.

I need help. I need change.

And I realized today the one thing I have yet to do: turn to God for help. It's so obvious, I feel foolish for missing it.

Look, I don't know who's ever going to read this, or if you believe in God, but I do. And I believe that He loves me and cares about what's going on in my life. He cares about my health, and wants me to be healthy so that I can honor Him through how I manage this gift of life.

And I have reached the point yet again where I realize that I can't change who I am without His power and His strength to do so. I'm going to keep yo-yo-ing back and forth, making the same mistakes, because my heart isn't right.

So that's where I am now. Flat on my back, back where I started, finally realizing that I can't do this on my own anymore.

And now, the good news:

Yesterday morning, I worked out for the first time in months. I used the Biggest Loser video, my balance ball, and some hand weights. Since it had been a while for me, I figured, "what the heck? let's do the full 75-minute workout."

What's the first rule when you're restarting a fitness regimen? Don't overdo it on the first day.

I overdid it on the first day.

My quads and glutes want me dead. The muscles in my inner thighs want to torture me Jack-Bauer-style and THEN kill me. My upper body isn't as vehemently intent on my demise, but they could be swayed.

And the sad part is, I couldn't make it much further than halfway through the video.

So think of it this way: another unforeseen blessing of not making it to the TV show is that I am spared the embarrassment of passing out on the first day before everyone else does, and probably being voted off for not lasting all the way through any of the workouts.

Anyway. So there. Weight gain and frustration: Bad. Work-out pain and realization of need for divine assistance: Good.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Seven hours vs. five minutes.

Subtitle: "I Really Wanna Be A Loser."

Yesterday, I got up much earlier than normal, showered and dressed, and drove the opposite direction down I-45, until I reached a gym. There I joined about 300 people in line ahead of me.

Yesterday morning, they were holding an open-call audition for "The Biggest Loser."

Being a participant (it feels weird calling it "contestant") on that show has been an idle dream of mine for a few years now. I've always thought that it would be an amazing experience, but I never really considered it a possibility. I always thought too much of my life would have to change, in order to make that happen. I was never willing to do what it took, make the sacrifices necessary, to do so.

Then, about two weeks ago, I found out that representatives of the show were coming here, to my town, to find contestants for the show. I knew I needed to try. It just seemed too perfect. My friends and coworkers cheered me on. My family encouraged me to give it a shot. So I took my hastily-taken photograph and my application, and stood in line.

It was a strange experience, standing in that line. First, it's odd to see so many overweight people in one place. One of the hallmarks of being obese is feeling singled out and ostracized. So there was a strange sense of community in the idea of 500 fat people all together at once.

On the other hand, when I walked up, I was instantly "sized up" (bad pun) by the people already in line. I could almost hear them calculating what I weighed and if they could "take me" as a contestant. Truth be told, I caught myself doing this very thing. The abstract camraderie of the moment was swallowed up in the understanding that we were all contestants competing for one, maybe two, slots on the program. Unlike the show itself, where your biggest competition is yourself, in this very first "round" of the game, we were up against each other. I wished I had brought friends or supporters, like some of the people in line. It felt a little lonely at first, before I started talking to the group of people in front of me.

Our little group became fast friends, though I can't remember but two of their names. We'd hold each others' place if someone needed to make a bathroom run. We encouraged each other. It was nice. However, we couldn't lose sight of the competitive undercurrent.

Some observations about the crowd:
1) I felt a little emboldened (wrong as it may be) by the fact that several of the largest people were pretty scary-looking. Not only fat, but just outright fugly. While "TBL" is a reality weight-loss show, the contestants aren't incredibly unattractive. They're "TV fat." I'd like to think I lean more toward the "TV fat guy" than the "scary cautionary tale" fat guy. Or the "half of my teeth missing" guy. Or the "half-balding stringy mullet" guy. I think my chances were a little better than them. That may be wrong to admit, and I don't deny their inherent value as people, but they ain't pretty. By a long stretch.
2) If you are in line to try out for a reality show about proper diet and exercise, because you ostensibly want to improve your health and life, does it make sense to a) smoke like a chimney while in line; b) once you get a bracelet guarenteeing an audition, go across the parking lot to Wendy's and get a big bag of fast food and a Frosty, to eat while in line at 10 in the morning? (On the other hand, after missing lunch to be in line at the audition, I got home and had a combination lunch-dinner that consisted of about 3/4 of a large pizza. And some breadsticks. So I'm a paragon of hypocrisy. But still, I didn't do it while standing in line.)
3) Dear mother of apparently-helpless 20-year-old girl who may or may not have some kind of medical condition I missed hearing about: It's okay the first time to offer the people around you a chance to say hello over the phone to your daughter who's sitting in the car in the adjacent parking lot. But NOT every time you call her, every twenty minutes, for seven hours. No one, but NO ONE, cares that much about someone else's kid, no matter how sick they are.

Okay, maybe it's the bitterness talking. But really.

So, from 7:15 to after 1:30, we wait and wait and wait. [Note: I accidentally typed "weight" the first time. heh.] Finally we are ushered in. We sit in groups of ten with the recruiter-type-girl. We introduce ourselves individually--name, age, hometown, how much weight we want to lose. Then she asks us a quick discussion question about why we want to participate in the show.

You know me. I like to talk. But I don't often like to interrupt, especially with strangers.

This only goes to show that, sometimes, politeness is fo' sucka's.

This nice young woman with whom I spoke while in line commandeered the conversation. Not maliciously, nor intentionally, I think. She just had lots to say. A few people piped up, often speaking over one another. I waited for an opening. Waited. Waited, and then I opened my mouth to speak, but--


And that was that. I nodded and smiled a lot, and said lots of affirming words like "Yeah" and "I agree." And in the end, that and my introduction were the whole of "the audition." Seven hours. Five minutes. Done.

The girl said they'd call people for callbacks over the next day and a half. By Wednesday, if we haven't heard back from them, we aren't getting pulled from the "Houston" group. She assured us we can certainly send in a video audition for this season, too, because they're picking people from videos as well as the open calls.

And that was that. I went home, ordered a pizza, watched football and a movie, and stared at my phone, trying to will it to ring.

No luck yet.

On Wednesday, I guess I'll decide if I want to put out the effort to make the video, if I want to get my hopes up again; or if I want to just accept the fact that if I'm gonna be a "loser," I'm gonna have to do it all on my lonesome.

I'm trying not to be bummed out, but I think I'm suffering from "American-Idol"-rejectitis. Thankfully, I was self-controlled enough to not tell anyone to "go back to England" or that they didn't know what they were talking about.

But seriously, I wish they'd call. Any second now.

Any second now.

Update: Week 3

Weigh-In on Monday: 441.2 pounds
Weekly Loss: -3.8 pounds
Total Loss: 8.3 pounds


Yeah, a negative loss is a gain. Dang it.

It was a difficult week. I didn't Point my food pretty much all week, and I did a lot of stress-eating. Comfort food. Chocolate milk. Little chocolate donuts.

Plus, I had pizza yesterday. A lot of pizza. More than half of a pizza.

I'm having trouble committing to this, partly because I'm not sure what the next few months are going to hold. I'll explain shortly.

At any rate, this is a down day, and I'm trying to find my footing.

Dieting is hard. Discipline is hard. But the payoff will be worth it. Even if the "now" sucketh.

I'll close with a quote from that wise philosopher, Red Foreman: "Work is hard. That's why they call it 'work.' Otherwise, they'd call it...'happy fun time.' "

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Update: Week 2

Weigh-In on Tuesday: 437.4 lbs.
Weekly Loss: 4.6 lbs.
Total Loss: 12.1 lbs.

This, despite pigging out Monday with my family. I love big, thick cheeseburgers, and so I had one for lunch...and two for dinner. So my weekly loss would have been much higher. Shame on me.

I'm becoming reluctant to start pointing again. I haven't "pointed" in the last couple of days. This morning is no exception. I've probably consumed half of my daily ration. Stupid, Dave. But dang, this cafe mocha is good.

Peath out.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Update: Week 1 and following

Weigh-in on Monday, January 8: 442.0
Weekly Loss: 7.5 pounds
Total Loss: 7.5 pounds

You know, this week has been hard for me, because I've been cheating on the diet quite a bit. I just got really hungry the past two days, and haven't had any good alternatives at home, so I've been eating bad things. Peanut butter sandwiches. Cap'n Crunch cereal. Part of the problem is that these bad options have been available to me.

So much of our lives, we struggle to make good choices, to embrace the good and healthy, to shun the bad and unhealthy. But if the bad we want to shun is within arms' reach, and it was our own weak wills that caused us to choose poorly in the first place, what makes us think that our will is now strong enough to choose the good?

While it doesn't make permanent behavioral change, in the short term it's better to remove that which tempts, until the will is strong enough to resist on its own.

So bye-bye Cap'n. And so long, sweet, tasty peanut butter. I love you, but you're holding me back. I've got a mission.

Confession: Last night I went to Taco Cabana and had a Chicken Fajita Cabana bowl (that's right--rice, beans, sour cream, cheese, and the fried tortilla shell) and two large Dr. Pepper's. I woke up with heartburn, which I think is God's way of saying, "Dude, enough with the crappy food."

My hopes for next week's weigh-in are low, I'll admit. I'm gonna have to be pretty awesome diet-wise to show any losses, I think. But I'm also going to start the new workout in the next few days, so that should help. Okay, maybe I'll start it tonight. Yes, tonight. Before "Smallville." I love my Smallville.

I need to pick up a Weight Watchers cookbook, because I'm getting bored already, foodwise. I need some ideas.

Anyway. There's your update, non-existent readers. Giddyup.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Weight-Gain-and-Loss Background of Big Loser Dave (Part 2)

471. Almost a quarter-ton. My only concept of being that heavy involved things like the guys on daytime TV who can't get out of bed, and haven't bathed in weeks. That couldn't be me.

I realized that if I didn't make some serious changes, I wouldn't last ten more years. So, at 25, I decided to make a difference to save my own life. So, I committed to Weight Watchers, got serious, and by last May, had lost 60 pounds. 60. Over a tenth of my body weight. Just by making diet changes, not with exercise. I really didn't exercise at all.

But as always happens, life interrupts momentum. I went on vacation in June, a two-week roadtrip that involved visiting with loved ones and friends, seeing my beloved Cubs play twice (both losses, as you'd expect), and driving back the final 1500 miles or so on my own, just me and my truck on highways and towns that I'd never seen before. I decided to let myself have a vacation from the diet, too. To not worry about counting "points," to go ahead and have that slice of pie with my patty melt. It was nice. It was freeing. It was fun.

It was the worst decision I made in 2006--and I had made a few doozies.

When I got back to the "real world," I had gained13 pounds. I freaked out, worked extra hard, and lost it in two weeks.

Then, inexplicably, I stopped caring. I could probably pin the blame on a friend who was dieting with me, who had to stop when she found out she was pregnant. It's hard to diet with a friend, harder still to do it alone. But I can't blame her. I made the choices. I was lazy. I chewed the food, and swallowed it.

[If you don't get anything else from this blog, get this: I believe from the crown of my head to the bottom of my toes, that my being fat is a result of bad choices. Not genetics, not environment, not hormones, not advertisers. I will not be made a victim by my own weight. I did this, and I'm going to work hard to fix it. It's all about personal choice and responsibility, folks.]

So I gave up. I gave up on a diet that worked wonders for me. Seriously, everyone under the sun commented on how great I looked when I lost all the weight. I was still fat, mind you; but I was noticeably less fat than before. Sure, the diet was a pain in the butt at first, but I got used to it. I became disciplined for a while.

And just like that, discipline was thrown out the window.

In the last few months, I've felt more disgusting. My clothes are starting to feel tight again. I can tell I've gained weight. This frustrates me to no end.

So I'm left with two choices: I can get depressed and give up.

Or, I can work like heck to get back on track, and take back my life.

There's only one right choice: to break down and admit that I need to change, and now.

So this January, like millions of other Americans, I decided to make the change. UNlike many of my fellow Americans, I know I can accomplish this. I've done it before.

I got back on the scale this week. 449. I gained 38 pounds since July.

Okay then. Let's get to it.

Wanna see where I am, starting out? Shield your eyes, ye faint of heart:

Not flattering, I know. But it's not supposed to be.
Don't worry, I won't do that to you often on this blog. I'm pretty sure it would break some sort of international "crimes against humanity" statute or something.
So here we are. Day 3 of the new diet. I'm already starting to fold. But I'm gonna keep trying.
If you're game, you can take the journey with me.
God bless.

The Weight-Gain-and-Loss Background on Big Loser Dave (Part 1)

I've been a little oversized all my life. Check that: I started out "a little oversized." I've contributed to that, since then.

I never was very active, growing up. I played with the other kids. Baseball with the YMCA in grade school--the kind where everyone gets a trophy. Then I became very bookish for a few years, and didn't play sports with the other kids at school. That changed when my folks got me a basketball goal to hang over the garage, the Christmas of my seventh-grade year. That summer, I wore out that goal, played on it constantly.

As a result, I played basketball from 8th-12th grade. This isn't a terribly impressive accomplishment; I went to a small Christian school where, at 5'11', I was one of the taller kids and could make the team based on brute force and size alone.

I also played flag football, as a sort of conditioning regimen to prepare for basketball. Flag football is often regarded as a sissy-sport by many macho sportsdudes, but I don't think they take into account a few key points: 1) it involves a lot of running--A LOT; 2) anyone on offense is an eligible receiver, including the center (yours truly), so everyone is encouraged to have good hands and good yards-after-catch footwork; and 3) there are no protective pads involved, and there IS contact. Lots, if you play the game hard like we did.

Suffice to say, I played high school sports and kept in decent shape. I weighed in at a solid 250, but I carried it well. I wasn't buff, but I wasn't terribly fat either. I was just stocky. Solid. A little slow-footed, but I made up for it as I could.

In college, I played two seasons of intramural hoops with my buddies, but never anything serious. There certainly were no 6 a.m. practices five days a week, like there were in high school.

And of course, in college, I gained weight eating on the meal plan, like so many other college freshman do. But instead of the "Freshman 15," I gained the Freshman 50. Lucky Charms cereal and glasses of chocolate milk became a staple of every single meal. My diet was very meat-and-bread-focused, with few vegetables beyond what they could fit into an omelette.

By the time I finished college, I had gained another 50 pounds, to put me at a non-buff, more-than-just-stocky 350. I was big. A big dude.

In the first year post-college, I had two personal setbacks that I won't get into here. Suffice it to say, I turned to food for comfort. I lacked self-control. I made bad choices. And over the next year or so, I gained yet another 100 pounds.

I didn't know how much I actually weighed. The scales at the doctor's office only go up to 375, and I had long ago beaten those weak things.

I commuted to work downtown, a stressful 90 minutes each way. Invariably, on the way into work, I would stop by McDonalds for a sausage McMuffin, or I'd swing by the convenience store for a package of chocolate donuts and a pint of chocolate milk (an addiction I'm still struggling to beat). On the way home, I'd sometimes hit up Mickey-D's again for two double-cheeseburgers (no pickles) and a large Dr. Pepper.

My eating habits at home were no better than my habits before, during, and after work. I liked pizza. And ice cream. And cake. Especially cake.

My blood pressure was high, I was on the fast track to diabetes, my cholesterol was probably getting pretty gross. I say probably because I wasn't sure. I'm still not. It's been a while, and honestly, I'm afraid.

I made small changes, to "get active," but they never really addressed the problem. The little bit of walking I did was made up for by more bad food habits. (Hamburger Helper is a bad name; it should be called Heartattack Helper, or Hamburger Killer.)

Last Christmas, I had had enough. I bought a scale online that could go up to 550 pounds. I was going to make a positive change.

On January 5, I started Weight Watchers. I weighed in for the first time in years--weighed in for real.

471 pounds. I couldn't believe it. But it was what it was, and it was up to me to change.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Why, Dave, why?!?

I'm a blogger, which means I'm irrepressibly narcissistic. So when it comes to the minutiae of my life, it only makes sense to share it. That includes my constant battle with weight and weight loss.

More posts later, including some background on me, but let this suffice for now: I'm extremely overweight. "Morbidly obese." And I need to change. God-willing, this year, I will change. And I'm bringing you along for the ride with me.

More later. Pleasant snacking.