News of Kevin Smith’s heart attack earlier this week was a reminder, an unneeded one at that, that the weight yo-yoing needs to cease. Admittedly, he smokes and at his peak weighed 100 pounds more than I did, which put him at greater risk. However, he’s only two years older, and — as painful as it is to say — someone once mistook me for him on a summer evening back in 2010. (I was near my peak weight at the time and the length of my hair was similar to his.) So, yeah… news of his heart attack was unsettling.
The good news is that full workup a couple years ago on my heart arterial health showed no moderate or significant signs of blockages and my overall cardiovascular health was good. While the yo-yoing is putting stress on everything, it hasn’t caused significant damage — yet. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, once the weight gain from last year finally disappears, this time it needs to stay off. I’m hoping that the fact that a less stringent exercise routine prevents the type of proper eating and exercise burnout I’ve experienced each of the last four years. However, it’s meant that the weight loss for the first two months of this year has been slower than in similar previous efforts. It’ll be a number of months before knowing whether this change makes a difference.
In the meantime, as for the weigh-in itself… I actually did weigh myself, as per routine, the last two weeks, but I just didn’t post about it. Purely for reference sake, I lost weight on the 02-14 weigh-in, and gained enough weight on the 02-21 weigh-in to put me slightly back over where I was on 02-07. So, really, I lost a little over three pounds this past week, though I’m not going to claim it given what happened on the week ending 02-21. For what it’s worth, I’m now back to roughly 35 pounds below my 2011 peak.
Change since last weigh-in (three weeks ago): -2.4 lb
2018 Cumulative loss: 6.8 lb
Pounds from goal: 23.8
Change since last weigh-in: -1.4 lb
2018 Cumulative loss: 4.4 lb
Pounds from goal: 26.2
I feel like I’m on the cusp of making real progress. It has become easier to make the trek out to the gym or downstairs to the treadmill. Maintaining a proper diet also takes less effort, though that might be due to the fact that junk foods are no longer kept in the pantry. Also taken as a sign of improvement: the dietary carnage for Super Bowl Sunday was entirely contained within the hour leading up to the big game and during its first three quarters.
Although I never make weekly goals, it cannot be denied that reaching the five-pound mark this week would feel really nice.
Change since last weigh-in: -2.6 lb
2018 Cumulative loss: 3.0 lb
Pounds from goal: 27.6
Well, it’s basically back to where I was three weeks ago. Although this is clearly a step in the right direction, any real excitement about my progress won’t begin until there’s been consistent progress for a number of weeks in a row. The Super Bowl presents an obvious challenge this weekend, but containing the dietary carnage within the confines of the Super Bowl party I’m attending means that next week’s weigh-in should be fine (provided I do everything right during the rest of the week, of course.)
Gain since last weigh-in (two weeks): 2.4 lb
2018 Cumulative loss: 0.4 lb
Pounds from goal: 30.2 lb
(numbers are from yesterday, I just didn’t get off my lazy ass to write the post until today)
Yeah, I failed miserably over the past couple weeks. However, in an odd way the looming threat of this week’s weigh-in post worked. See, on Monday of last week I already planned to avoid a weekly weigh-in because of a desire to remain fully in denial. Thus, in an act similar to self-fulfilling prophecy, it became easier to avoid both exercising and eating properly until the end of the weekend. Then, this past Monday morning, I grudgingly forced myself back on track in an effort to minimize the damage as much as possible in anticipation of this week’s post. So, the fact a cumulative loss for the year remains (albeit by a measly 0.4 lb) direct resulted from a desire to minimize the damage as much as possible before yesterday’s scale reading.
Thankfully, until Super Bowl Sunday arrives, there’s nothing in the social calendar that provides a weak excuse for eating poorly or not somehow taking the time to work out. Admittedly, there wasn’t much of an excuse for either for most of the past two weeks, but going to New Jersey this past weekend to visit Dad and Ellen and then watching the Eagles’ NFC Championship win over the Vikings made eating properly a lot harder during those two days. But, only those two days.
With a little luck, next week’s numbers will be the best of the year — if for no other reason than that’s a rather low bar to clear thus far.
Loss since last weigh-in: 2.8 lb
2018 Cumulative loss: 2.8 lb
Pounds from goal: 27.8 lb
Under normal circumstances, this week’s weigh-in would be disappointing. The first week of effort after an extended layoff typically results in a loss somewhere in the neighborhood of five pounds. However, this past week was not typical. In response to a record-breaking cold snap, I didn’t leave the house for three full days. Until this morning, the made to the gym only once, and that was to shower there because the water meter froze, which stopped water from going into our house. Thankfully, we still have TeenLitGirl’s old treadmill in the house. So, I did manage to exercise — just not at the levels I would’ve preferred.
Outside of that, I stuck to plan. Hopefully, this week will see a return to proper gym visits and will compensate for last week’s lower than typical number.
As stated yesterday, properly taking care of myself was one of many things that fell by the wayside during the second half of last year. If it was simply the normal end-of-the-year slacking that occurred each of the last few years, then it wouldn’t have been problematic. However, that wasn’t the case as my weight hit its highest mark since I initially took 60 pounds off back in 2011. Even worse, the last few weeks saw the return of the same health issues that initially forced me to resolve to live a more healthy lifestyle. Making an unwelcome return: lower back pain, sciatica, an increase in blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and, most disconcertingly, a need to buy a new pair of jeans that could contain my expanding gut.
Admittedly, a complete cessation of healthy eating and not even nominal attempts at exercise (as opposed to merely half-assing the efforts) probably caused the number to jump an extra few pounds during the closing weeks of the year, but that’s just the extra flowery icing on the sweets I stuffed myself with as the year ended. While stress-induced comfort eating was by far the biggest factor contributing to a literally new waistband, I’ve decided that I really need permanently resume the weekly weigh-in posts. There’s no question they serve me incredibly well when I’m trying to eat and exercise properly. However, I’ve decided that it’s no coincidence that my weight begins creeping upward again almost immediately after ceasing to post them. Instead of simply using them to push my weight back down to ideal levels, it seems that they should also serve just as a way to force myself to maintain my health after a return to healthy benchmarks. Given that it took me until early June last year to shed 25 pounds, it’ll almost certainly be early July before I’m able to test this hypothesis.
Yesterday brought the return to healthy eating, and this morning I forced myself onto our treadmill for a 40-minute brisk walk. Ideally, this morning would’ve started with a trip to the gym to use the elliptical motion machine, but it was 1 F° this morning, and there was no way I was going to willingly see how quickly my testicles would retract in such temperatures. It looks like it will be the treadmill for at least a little while, given the forecast lows for most of the coming week.
If there’s one silver lining, it’s that I’m good at shedding pounds. I’m not concerned about failing to make my goal; I’m concerned about what happens after. But, that’s a worry I’ll ignore until the proper time comes.
Weight gain since last weigh-in post (6/7): 31.4 lb
2018 Cumulative loss: n/a
Pounds from goal: 30.6 lb
As I stated earlier today, maintaining a proper reading pace was one of many casualties in 2017. The final tally for the year dropped far below the average pace for the previous few years, and if not for knocking out the Scalzi novel in the few days following Christmas it actually would’ve tied 2013 for the lowest total since starting to keep track in 2011 . The decrease stretched across dead tree, ebook, and audiobook — nothing was immune. I’m happy to report that I’m already nearly done my first book of this year, thanks to having lots of solitary quiet time yesterday to focus on yet another dystopian classic.
Along the same lines of refusing to make New Year’s resolutions, I won’t make a goal for the coming year. However, returning to a number similar to those from 2014-2016 certainly seems like a easily attainable goal. Actually taking the time to jot down a few reactions to each book would also be a nice return to form. Alas, I won’t be doing that at this time, mostly because of the length of the list.
13. The Invisble Man, by Ralph Ellison (audiobook)
14. Among Others, by Jo Walton (eBook)
15. Crosstalk, by Connie Willis (dead tree)
16. Down Among the Sticks and Bones, by Seanan McGuire (dead tree)
17. Hyperion, by Dan Simmons (audiobook)
18. Luna: Wolf Moon, by Ian Mcdonald (audiobook)
19. Iron Dragon’s Daughter, by Michael Swanwick (eBook)
20. Collapsing Empire, by John Scalzi (dead tree)